Friday, August 31, 2007

New Home

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Dog Days: Fear and Loathing

It's the Dog Days. My mind is incapable of any sustained reading of a long book. So I picked up the second volume of Hunter S. Thompson's letters, Fear and Loathing in America, to go with my rereading of his articles in The Great Shark Hunt.

(Note to self: learn to write better through close reading of Thompson.)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Live Cubs blogging

I'll interpret the scoreboard for you. The Cubs lost 6 - 1.
Sometimes you're the windshield; sometimes you're the bug.

Live Cubs iPhone blogging 2

The Cubs are down 6 to 1 in the 8th, but all the bleacher bums are
still here.

Live Cubs blogging

If heaven exists, it must look something like this.

Your gun: don't leave home without it

I like this story from the NYT: U.S. Releases Group of Iranians Held in Baghdad.

Members of an Iranian Energy Ministry delegation were arrested and held overnight by American troops in Baghdad for having unauthorized weapons, before being released this morning, American and Iraqi officials said in Baghdad.

Seriously, would you hang out in Iraq without a weapon? Everybody else has one.

Hook 'Em Cubs!

Dear Everybody,

You can probably imagine where my head is at today. The Cubs are playing the Milwaukee Brewers for first place in the NL Central division. The Cubs won last night; I have a solo ticket for tonight’s game--so I’m totally stoked. As you read here earlier this year, I wrote the Cubs off in May. I forgot you don’t need to have a very good record to win the NL Central division. Anyway, I have won some good whip out cash betting on the Cubs this summer.

This year or next year is my 50th anniversary of being a Cubs fan. (Memory fails.) As you sports fans well know, I have yet to see them make the World Series. At my advanced age and with my very unhealthy life style I worry about ever seeing them become the champs. I have been very lucky all my life, but if things turn toward the worse, I’ll probably die the day before they win the World Series.

The European football season is well underway. The American football season starts soon. Lot’s of good wagering is left to be done before the year is out.

Gotta get back to writing my memoirs. Take care!



Tuesday, August 28, 2007


On the train to Naperville. The city sweats beneath the summer sun.
Inside the train, I'm way cool with Thompson's gonzo papers resting on
my lap.


At some point feeling replaces certainty. I feel I get the gist of Riemann’s thoughts on the number of primes less than a given number. I feel I understand what Hegel is saying about sense certainty. I feel that Alberto Gonzales’s resignation is a good thing. But how do I know if my feelings are right? I could have the learned quiz me. But how do I know the learned really know? Epistemological paranoia freezes my brain.

Morning sunlight pours through the window. I check the Metra train schedule to Naperville. My brain thaws.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Down Boy

The morning with its gray sky and sharp cool wind could be mistaken for an autumn dawn instead of one in the midst of the dogs days. Idly recalling my life while I drink coffee and smoke a cigarette is like writing--a central challenge is what to put in and what to leave out. My memory is a wild and untamed beast. I must discipline it.

I'll be on the road soon. I must slap my memory around most then to keep it in line with the image I have of myself.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

August 2007

A full moon, a cool breeze, the scent of freshly cut grass: an accumulation of failures gnaw at me. Yes, that is what has me feeling empty and lonely. What I wouldn't give for a touch, a kiss, and some assuring words.

What else can I do but stand in the dark, smoke a cigarette, and try to imagine what will be rather than what was. Yet that seems as hollow as the moon.

Easy to Forget

I made an unexpected trip back to Iowa yesterday. I had no desire to go, but duty calls. However, this morning is cool and no clouds litter the sky, something I have not felt or seen for sometime.

Our fates are never completely under our control. That’s easy to forget. That brings us to other things easy to forget, but that is too long a story to be typed on the iPhone.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Patience and Iraq

The release of yesterday's intelligence assessment on the Iraq Occupation and Surge strategy does not give reason for hope about Iraq--no matter what your political persuasion. From NYT, Report Offers Grim View of Iraqi Leaders:

A stark assessment released Thursday by the nation’s intelligence agencies depicts a paralyzed Iraqi government unable to take advantage of the security gains achieved by the thousands of extra American troops dispatched to the country this year.

Senator John W. Warner, Republican of Virginia, called for a limited United States withdrawal to begin this year.

The assessment, known as a National Intelligence Estimate, casts strong doubts on the viability of the Bush administration strategy in Iraq. It gives a dim prognosis on the likelihood that Iraqi politicians can heal deep sectarian rifts before next spring, when American military commanders have said that a crunch on available troops will require reducing the United States’ presence in Iraq.

But the report also implicitly criticizes proposals offered by Democrats, including several presidential candidates, who have called for a withdrawal of American combat troops from Iraq by next year and for a major shift in the American approach, from manpower-intensive counterinsurgency operations to lower-profile efforts aimed at supporting Iraqi troops and carrying out quick-strike counterterrorism raids.

Such a shift, the report says, would “erode security gains achieved thus far” and could return Iraq to a downward spiral of sectarian violence.

Well, that plainly says sectarian violence is baked into the cake. Sectarian violence ends when the two sides have exhausted themselves and are too tired to continue the gruesome slaughter. Standing in the middle of the warring factions and preaching peace and moderation will do no good. A troop presence will do no good. Picturing the occupation as some kind of humanitarian aid misses the point entirely.

There are no religious moderates in Iraq. The Iraq constitution specifically includes a hallowed place for Sharia law. As interpreted by the religious fanatics, this is a license from god to terrorize, brutalize, and butcher their neighbors.

One would like to believe that there are innocents in the conflict, but as long as the so called innocents hold to their religious beliefs, beliefs that encourage carnage, they are not so innocent. That is tough to say when you look at the pictures of the children ravaged by the conflict, but let's face it, that is the nature of religion when it gets out of control. Denying the nature of politics fueled by religion, as we see in Iraq, only makes matters worse. Those who would remove the separation of church and state in the US ought to meditate on this.

As a religious skeptic I find it increasingly difficult to sympathize with those who create the conditions for their own hell, war, death, and destruction. Patience understandably grows thin.

Flight to Safety?

More grim news coming from Iraq: More Iraqis Said to Flee Since Troop Increase (NYT).
The number of Iraqis fleeing their homes has soared since the American troop increase began in February, according to data from two humanitarian groups, accelerating the partition of the country into sectarian enclaves.

Despite some evidence that the troop buildup has improved security in certain areas, sectarian violence continues and American-led operations have brought new fighting, driving fearful Iraqis from their homes at much higher rates than before the tens of thousands of additional troops arrived, the studies show.

The surveys show that 500,000 people have fled their homes since the troop buildup because of increased fighting in their neighborhoods for one reason.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


I am sorry, at least for myself, that I have not been able to blog much. I have attempted several times during the past few days to blog from the iPhone, but ATT's terrible network failed each time. The iPhone is a great piece of technology connected to a horrible piece of technology.

Until next week all blogging will be done from the iPhone if done at all--postcards kind of.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Surge and Its Discontents

This from Reuters, US foreign policy experts oppose surge:

More than half of top U.S. foreign policy experts oppose President George W. Bush's troop increase as a strategy for stabilizing Baghdad, saying the plan has harmed U.S. national security, according to a new survey.

As Congress and the White House await the September release of a key progress report on Iraq, 53 percent of the experts polled by Foreign Policy magazine and the Center for American Progress said they now oppose Bush's troop build-up.

That is a 22 percentage point jump since the strategy was announced early this year.

The survey of 108 experts, including Republicans and Democrats, showed opposition to the so-called "surge" across the political spectrum, with about two-thirds of conservatives saying it has been ineffective or made things worse in Iraq.

Foreign Policy, published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said the experts polled on May 23 to June 26 included former government officials in senior positions including secretary of state, White House national security adviser and top military commanders.

The findings were published in the form of a Terrorism Index in the magazine's September/October issue, to be released on Monday. The magazine published similar indices in July 2006 and in February.

Just so we did not miss it, “with about two-thirds of conservatives saying it has been ineffective or made things worse in Iraq.”

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Howl: lost and found

I have been looking for my copy of Howl for months. I found it today.


Friday, August 17, 2007

Maker's and mean value theorems

Drinking Maker's Mark whiskey is like a version of a mean value
theorem. At first, you rise, then you reach a maximum, then you
decrease all the rest of the way in the closed interval, and never
achieve your maximum again.

That means you get happier up to point, then less happy.

What a pity. Wouldn't life be a whole lot better if you could just keep getting happier and happier from some magic elixir.

I think it has something to do with death and all that banal shit. Whatever, this is live blogging from Pippin', USA.

The next day early

Tempo, Chicago, USA

The morning glory pancakes at Tempo on State Street.

Still live blpgging from Quenchers

Don't know who these folks are either, but they are mega-awesome!

Damn, I think I'm slightly shit faced




Thursday, August 16, 2007

Still live from quenchers

My bad. Don't know the name of the band. I'll report back later.
Quenchers, Chicago, USA

Live blogging from Quenchers

The Jagz, some of my good buds, rockin' at Quenchers, Chicago, USA.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Live blogging from Mother's

Pink Taco playing at Mother's, Chicago, USA. I received an offer I
couldn't refuse.

e and handy rules

The number e pops up all over the math world. It is the base of the natural logarithm, irrational, and transcendental.

I spent a long time not caring much about e, but now I do. You better know as much as you can about e when you are meditating on the Riemann Hypothesis.

e calculated to two decimal places is 2.71. The natural log of 10 is 2.3, of 100 is 4.6, and of 1,000 is 6.9. For each factor of 10 the natural log increases about 2.3. That’s a handy rule to know.

Too bad life, in general, does not have more handy rules like e and it’s natural logarithm.

Where does it go?

It was 1992. I didn't have a computer. Why exactly I cannot say. I didn't know what the Internet was. My career had stalled even though I considered myself a star. I didn't even have a girlfriend, so I was a kind of hermit.

I was reading the classics of literature, history, philosophy, and science at the University of Chicago. That seemed enough at the time.

Then I met Jo, Dianne, Bonnie, plus some out of towners for occassional hit and runs.

I discovered the Internet too, and became an Internet junkie. Now, I use the Internet to talk to you about stuff.

It was 1992. Now it's 2007. Where the fuck does the time go?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Maybe, I should move to Austin, TX. That would require getting my shit together. It could happen one of these days. But no matter where I go--no more crushes.

Market Blues

About noon. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down a goodly sum again.

Let's not think about it. Turn off CNBC. Log out of Ameritrade. As soon as you buy that put, the market will turn positive and you'll regret the purchase.

Read a poem. Go for a walk. Do something spiritual such as factor a ten digit number chosen at random into its prime components.

Where's the calculator?

Monday, August 13, 2007


I spent the day thinking about the Riemann Hypothesis. That's a silly
thing to do. Especially for me.

Well. I thought about Riemann, himself, too. Two enigmas.

Where would we be without enigmas?

So much for iPhone blogging.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The higher arithmetic

The higher arithmetc begins with some innocently simple questions about the natural numbers 1, 2, 3, etc. Then things become difficult in a hurry. Take the question about how many primes there are less than a given number. No one has answered it to everyone's satisfaction.

Life would be much duller if it was not that way.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Hegel and DeShannon: when you walk in the room

Since, then, this certainty will no longer come forth to us when we direct its attention to a Now that is night, or to an ‘I’ to whom it is night, we will approach it and let ourselves point to the Now that is asserted. We must let ourselves point to it; for the truth of this immediate relation is the truth of this ‘I’ which confines itself to one ‘Now’ or one ‘Here’. Were we to examine this truth afterwards, or stand at a distance from it, it would lose its significance entirely; for that would do away with the immediacy which is essential to it. We must therefore enter the same time or space, point them out to ourselves, i.e. make ourselves into the same singular ‘I’ which is the one who knows with certainty. Let us, then, see how that immediate is constituted that is pointed out to us.

Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit, Miller translation

And now my song du jour:


I can feel a new expression on my face
I can feel a glowing sensation taking place
I can hear the guitars playing lovely tunes
Every time that you walk in the room

I close my eyes for a second and pretend it's me you want
Meanwhile I try to act so nonchalant
I see a summer's night with a magic moon
Every time that you walk in the room

Maybe it's a dream come true
Walkin' right along side of you
Wish I could tell you how much I care
But I only have the nerve to stare

I can feel a something pounding in my brain
Just any time that someone speaks your name
Trumpets sound and I hear thunder boom
Every time that you walk in the room
Every time that you walk in the room

Lyrics by Jackie DeShannon

Wanna bet?

A lot of people write to me and say, “Hey! State Street! You are crazy for betting on sports.”

To which I reply, “Hey! You can do crazier stuff--like betting on the stock market.”

You might be walking around Chicago in February without your shirt.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Live blogging from Pippin's, Chicago, USA

This is the spot where Chicago's premier geezer is sitting. I'd take
a picture of him, but he's busy signing autographs.

Buy a put?

The financial and housing markets continue to get uglier. Nouriel Roubini's blog has a good summary of the situation. Worse than LTCM: Not Just a Liquidity Crisis; Rather a Credit Crisis and Crunch. I won't quote it.

The markets opened over one percent lower this morning.

Of course, economists and economy watchers predicted this state of affairs several years ago. It is errie though to watch the financial markets unravel even though I knew it was coming.

CNBC and other financial news sources are, once again, the most interesting shows.

Maybe, it is time to buy some puts on the market just in case.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Made out of words

Some of you won't like this, but I sincerely believe it is the truth. Our intelligence consists of memory and imagination that arise from a thoroughly embodied mind. We remember things or make things up, then we utter something about it, or write it down, and then we call ourselves intelligent.

Our thoughts depend upon our bodies. If intelligent life exists on some other planet, we would not recognize it unless that life has a body similar to our own--an infinitesimally small probability.

Men Made Out of Words

What should we be without the sexual myth,
The human revery or poem of death?

Castratos of moon-mash--Life consists
Of propositions about life. The human

Revery is a solitude in which
We compose these propositions, torn by dreams,

By the terrible incantations of defeats
And by the fear that defeats and dreams are one.

The whole race is a poet that writes down
The eccentric propositions of its fate.

Wallace Stevens


A lot of people write us and say, "hey, State Street, what's the scoop on you, dude? What kind of mood are you in?" Well our mood on this gray sultry summer day is captured in a poem from Sam Hamill's stunning and magnificent translation of ancient Chinese poetry contained in Crossing the Yellow River.

Drinking All Night, Sleeping All Day

Rosy from wine, she rises
as light rises in the east.

Her sash is half untied.
The stars are fading.

From the garden, crows caw,
"Drunken princess!"

Flowers bend under heavy dew.
She draws her morning water

with a windlass of jade
and a rope of hand-tied silk.

Her face is powdered,
but still flushed faintly purple.

Drinking all night, sleeping all day,
she hasn't a care in the world.

Behind silk curtains, she sleeps
like an emperor's daughter.

Li Ho (791-817)

the dude will abide.

Sam and Tu Fu

You have heard me extol the virtues of Sam Hamill's stunning and magnificent translation of ancient Chinese poetry, Crossing the Yellow River. And why not? It has things like this in it.

Traveler's Pavilion

Sunrise brightens my autumn window.
Winds have once again stripped trees.

The morning sun slips between cold mountains.
The river runs through last night's mist.

Our court makes use of everything it can,
but what's the use of a sick old man?

And what of my one life remains,
rising or falling on autumn winds?

Tu Fu (712-770)

My heart skips a couple of beats. My breath stops for a few moments. Then I pass on to the next bittersweet poem.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Got free will; almost got Riemann

Me after I solved the free will problem. I still had a few more
steps to go on Riemann, but lost my train of thought. Hey, one out of two ain't bad, especially when you are shit-faced.

A couple two three more shots and I would have nailed Riemann too.

Wait! I did have a couple two three more shots. or maybe more.


Me working on the Riemann Hypothesis and the free will problem, while
slightly shitfaced.

1993 Mac

It was 1993. I had been without a home computer for four years. I have no idea how I survived.

I walked to Marshal Fields at Water Tower Place and bought a Mac. They had a small electronics department on the top floor at the time.

The Mac came with a 24K modem and a copy of AOL. I didn’t know what AOL was, but I tried it. I immediately became addicted. That was when you paid by the minute to use AOL. My phone bills were awesome huge.

I can hardly remember what life was like before the Internet. I don’t want to.

I still have that Mac. I still have a PC Junior too.

PC Junior: that was home computing at its most challenging. The word processor did the job though.

Three Years

Next month will be the third anniversary of State Street. I know what you're thinking, "State Street, who gives a shit?" That's what I'm thinking.

But I've had a shit load of fun with this blog all the same. I plan on having even more fun too.

A Note on Grammar

For quite a few months I typed my documents with the grammar checker turned on. Whenever grammar checker told me to change something, I did my darnedest to do it.

Actually, grammar checkers can be down right tyrannical. Sometimes I would paste text from an acknowledged master of the English language into a document and the grammar checker would recommend butchering the sentences. That ought to be a warning.

The really bad part of it was that I felt as though my high school English teacher was looking over my shoulder all the time. I stopped being me when I wrote. I couldn't say stuff like shitfire, fingerfuck, or fuckstick!

I ain't using grammar checkers anymore. If I lapse into the passive voice, then tough shit. I'll keep Strunk and White handy for those times when I feel self conscious about my writing.

But I ain't using grammar checkers anymore. We'll all just have to deal with it in our own way.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Market Volatility

The volatility in the stock market is interesting to watch. It’s kind of scary too if you have some of your life savings invested in it. Of course, there is much white noise when the so called expert analysts explain what is driving the volatility. I like the softness in the housing market as an explanation best. My personal experience is that housing prices are not what they were two years ago.

We also have an interesting fiscal storm coming in 2010. Many of the tax cuts during the Bush Administration are set to expire. The minimum alternative tax for middle income earners is set to kick in too. Can anyone see a recession on the horizon?

I was thinking about running for President in 2008, but with the mess in Iraq and these various economic crises looming, I no longer think it is such a good idea. I know what you’re thinking. “State Street we need you in the White House now more than ever.” OK, I’ll think it over and let you know by the end of the year.

Google is letting a lot of spam into my mailbox today. I suspect it must have something to do with the market volatility--just kidding.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Easy and not too fancy

I have, naturally, been spending some time setting up my new computer the way I want it. Here's how it's going.

I have been trying OpenOffice, a competitor against MS Office. It fits my simple needs nicely. Open Office is free; I won't buy the expensive MS Office.

Connecting the Apple email client to Google mail and Google notifier was easy. In the past, I never was able to connect MS Outlook to email, not even MSN mail.

The Mac version of the Firefox Browser was easy to install. It looks, feels, and works exactly like the Windows version.

I like the Safari browser too although it does not have all the features Firefox has when using Blogger.

I have had some trouble syncing my iPhone with iTunes, but that is because of my unfamiliarity with both.

I found a free anitvirus scanner, ClamXav. Trend Micro has a version for Mac of their Housecall Internet scanner that runs very quickly.

So much for the basics. And you know State Street; we ain't too fancy.

Wagering: the year in review and some basic rules

The American and European football seasons are upon us. The baseball season is winding down. It is time to take stock of how I've done this past year in my sports wagering.

I won some good money wagering on American football last year. Early in Premier League season, I hit some really nice 3, 4, and 5 team parlays and held my own the rest of the season. The football season was a definite winner.

I gave some of that money back during the NCAA basketball tournament.

I went on an incredible roll wagering on Cubs and White Sox baseball in June and July. I exceeded my winnings for the entire football season.

Damn, I was lucky this past year, for that is exactly what it was.

That brings us to a few basic rules about gambling.

Never bet more than recreational money.

Expect to lose in the long run.

Find the games where the house and bookie odds are least stacked against you.

Learn the rules and best strategies for the games you play.

When you win, pull your money off the table.

When you win, buy something nice for yourself as motivation for pulling your money off the table in the odd chance you win again.

Get lucky at the beginning of the game and stay lucky until the end.

It's that simple.


From VOANews:

On Friday, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki welcomed Iraq's national team to celebrations in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone.

Most Baghdad residents were barred from the celebration because of security concerns.

Iraq defeated Saudi Arabia 1-0 in the Asian Cup final, sparking a rare moment of national jubilation.

Hot Date

I spent Saturday night with the sexy MacBook Pro. What more can I say. I think I'm in love.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Digital Liquor

A hard drinkin' night the week I bought my new camera.

The sad irrelavence of the old

Moving to a new and different kind of computer is like moving into a new house. First, you must learn to navigate a different set of rooms. Second, you must get the basics you enjoy setup. In my case getting my new computer to work with gmail, installing Firefox, linking to my favorite websites, etc. Then I must decide about purchasing yet another copy of Microsoft Office. It’s so damned expensive even though it’s nice. Open Office is functional and free. Free is good even if not pretty.

The third thing is the most problematic: deciding what to import from my old computer. I have not started to do that. There is so much junk left on the old computer. Importing all of it seems a waste of time. It is funny that so much of the work, which one time seemed important, is easily replaceable or worth nothing.

So, when it comes right down to it, I have some writing and some writing templates I want to keep. I cannot think of much else. Most of the other stuff is on some server out in the Internet.

It seems the old stuff documents a life of trivial pursuits and lost journeys on forgotten highways. It is like these posts, something to quickly disappear and hide on some Google server. That probably is a good thing. Computers for the masses are designed to be media machines; the relevance of media does not last long.

The iPhone is the new thing—the computer of the future. It needs a dock that you can plug a keyboard and monitor into. Then it needs a feature to import and export data to a server on the Internet.

I like my new iPhone and Mac.

Standing on the border
Looking out into the great unknown
I can feel my heart beating faster as I step out on my own
There's a new horizon and the promise of favorable wind
I'm heading out tonight, traveling light
I'm gonna start all over again
And buy a one way ticket on a west bound train
See how far I can go
(Because I can)
I'm gonna go out dancing in the pouring rain
And talk to someone I don't know
(Because I can)

Leann Rimes, One Way Ticket

And so it goes.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A New Mac

I bought a MacBook Pro today. I took the money from my sports
betting account. I have been more than lucky betting on baseball this


I will be mobile blogging from my iPhone for awhile just to see if I
can do it. It appears I won't have any problems with comments.


My computer keeps overheating and crashing. The fans are working fine, so I'm stumped. Could this be the excuse I need to buy a new one? After all it is over four years old.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Just me

One of these guys is me. Here's a hint. I'm the guy in the Cubs hat.


This post was sent via my new iPhone,which, by the way, is way cool! I will report more later when I figure out what I am doing. It is the toy I could not live without.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Attack: oh, really

From Reuters:
BERLIN (Reuters) - Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has told a German magazine that the United States has too many problems in Iraq to become involved in armed conflict with Iran.

Military action is sometimes discussed in Washington as an option in trying to derail what it sees as Iran's drive to develop nuclear weapons.

The United States "is not in a position to get into a new military conflict," Mottaki was quoted as saying in an excerpt of an interview to be published in Focus magazine.

"170,000 American soldiers can guarantee neither their own safety nor the security of Iraq," he said.

Like it or not he's right. All the armchair generals in the Bush Cult can't change the fact. That won't keep people from talking tough though.

Human nature is infinitely fascinating.

Iraq: the champs

Iraq won the Asian Cup football final. Good for them. Let's celebrate and hope nobody takes advantage of it.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Is there such a thing as the Bush Cult?

Cult: 1. A system of worship or ritual, 2. A religion or sect considered as false, 3a. Obsessive devotion to a person or principle. 3b. The object of such devotion.

American Heritage Dictionary fourth edition.

Is there such a thing as the Bush Cult? Of course, there is. I would have thought it was obvious by now.

Trust me; I once was religious and conservative a long time ago and far, far away. The Bush Cult, despite their pretenses, is neither religious nor conservative.

Pretense: 1. A false action or appearance intended to deceive. 2. A studied show; affectation. 3. A feigned reason or excuse; pretext. 4. An outward appearance. 5. A claim, esp. without foundation. 5. Pretentiousness; ostentation.

American Heritage Dictionary fourth edition

You know; the cult that pretends—like Bush Cult.

Liar, liar, pants on fire

Let’s not waste too many words on the patently obvious. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is a liar. He’s part of the Bush Cult so we do not set high expectations for him when it comes to trivial matters such as the truth.

Read F.B.I. Chief Gives Account at Odds With Gonzales’s (NYT).

The director of the F.B.I. offered testimony Thursday that sharply conflicted with Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales’s sworn statements about a 2004 confrontation in which top Justice Department officials threatened to resign over a secret intelligence operation.

Each time you hear the Bush Cult is doing something for national security reasons, you should substitute Bush Cult reasons for national security reasons.

After all, they are liars, or the most innocent are hopelessly deluded and easily led astray.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

One Life

The Iraq football team stands one victory away from being the champions of Asia, not a small feat. At least 50 Iraqis are dead because they were celebrating that feat.

They are not in heaven and they are not in hell. They are gone; they return to the dust from which they arose.

We only have one life. Too bad more people do not embrace the idea.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Iraq: very sad news

From Reuters:
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The death toll from two car bombs in Baghdad that targeted Iraqis celebrating the national team's win in the Asian Cup semifinal on Wednesday has reached 50, police said.

They said 135 people had been wounded in the two blasts.

About the only thing to say is motherfucker.

Iraq: Wonderful Victory

The Iraq soccer team beat South Korea to make it into the Asia Cup championship game.

Hook 'Em, Iraq!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A point of order, please

At first public sentiment was for the Iraq War and Occupation; now it has soured on the endeavor. When public sentiment was for the war, the public got war. Now that public sentiment has soured, the public gets war too.

It is strange how that works. Well, maybe, not so strange.

All Aboard

The generals have a new plan for Iraq: US is seen in Iraq until at least ’09 (NYT).

The gist is that troops will remain in Iraq through 2009. The report does not guarantee success or troop withdrawals before that time. The basic assumption is that the warring factions in Iraq will accommodate a political solution during that time.

This is no big surprise if that really is what is in the plan. It sounds like a long shot gamble.

President Bush probably finds it reassuring. He conveniently is not running for election in 2008.

The question is what the Republicans running for Congress will actively support and publicly admit. How many will jump on the train? The train most likely will leave the station at less than full capacity.

My eyes glazed over

Edwards’s Riemann’s Zeta Function, although over thirty years old, remains an indispensable guide to early work done on the open questions in Riemann’s 1859 paper and the Riemann Hypothesis in particular. The problem is that the mathematics in it makes my eyes glaze over. Each time I read it, I get frustrated.

Maybe that is as it should be. Why study easy things? Are we learning anything when the problems are too easy?

Frustration and loneliness must come before understanding.