a Someone should care, maybe not you....: April 2006 .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Someone should care, maybe not you....

My thoughts on many things including the army, war, politics, the military corrections system, chaos, life, books, movies, and why there is no blue food. Feel free to comment on what I say. Feedback is nice.

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40+ year old former teacher, linguist, interrogator, soldier, and lastly convict. We all do stupid things every once and awhile. I am an economic conservative and a firm believer in civil rights. Starting a new life now and frankly not sure what I am going to be doing.

30 April 2006


Leaving the rants, and politics aside, I am happy. Why? Becasue yesterday afternoon I picked the first ripe blackberry in my backyard and ate it. This is a sign of good things to come. My blueberry bushes are laden with soon to be ripe berries, my pear trees have pears growing and the blackberries are already coming in. Joy and good eating is in my future.

27 April 2006

a quote....

"The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all."
-H. L. Mencken

I saw this quote and it admirably summed up my thoughts on several issues that have been roiling about in my brain. I watch the news and see people sentenced to prison for what they think. (hate crime legislation) Sex offender registries, while ostensibly serving a noble purpose,"protecting the children" accomplish little more than to demonize people who screwed up at some point in their life and prevent them from ever really reestablishing themselves in society. (the REALLY dangerous offenders don't bother to register)
Illegal immigrants being equated to terrorists and sabatuers sneaking into our country to destroy us.

I don't expect a lot of people to agree with me on a lot of this stuff but hey, if I wanted people to agree with me I'd say Bush is an idiot and the war in Iraq is illegal. (He's not and it isn't)
Expect more on this in the future. Like it or not.

24 April 2006

There's killer on the loose.....

In Siera Leone a gang attacked four men killing and mutilating one of them and putting two others in the hospital. the group was attacked after entering the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary. Armed police are now searching the area for the assailents. 6 of the estimated 24 attackers have already been found. the leader of the group is known as Bruno and is said to be "large, powerfull, and wary of strangers" No one is certain why Bruno's group attacked the men.

Here is a picture of Bruno:

In all seriousness the chimps did attack four men entering the park and kill one of them. Then they fled the sanctuary. No one knows why.....


20 April 2006

Seen while driving

Sometimes you come across things that you don't expect while driving down the road. One that I will always remember was a semi trailer with the markings of a major southeastern grocery store that had radiation hazard markings in all the little warning plaque places on the trailer. I have always wondered about that one.

A couple of weeks ago I was driving through BFE* South Carolina when I came upon this road sign.

Now I suppose one shouldn't be surprised at finding things like this in rather rural areas but still it was a surprise. I also was a bit surprised merely because I have spent so long in the military where OPSEC (Operational Security)is emphasized.
But there it was. My sense of OPSEC insists that I blur the names of the neighboring towns even though I know it isn't a "BIG DEAL" but I just felt uncomfortable without doing it.

* BFE Bum Fuq Egypt. This is a real town in the desserts of Egypt and some poor soldier who was stuck there, probably on a Bright Star deployment adopted the term to mean the Middle of NOWHERE. So BFE South Carolina means the middle of nowhere in SC.

16 April 2006


Today I am going to talk about one of my favorite rants as a history teacher. I am sure all of you at some time in your life have heard a teacher say something like "A 30 year old man in the middle ages was considered OLD.", or, "40 back then was like 80 today."

Today I went to a website on retirement and got the following.
A look back in history reveals that Neanderthals lived but 20 years and the classic Greeks and Romans enjoyed only a brief 28 years on Earth... If you lived in medieval England, you had an average of 33 years, a figure that rose only to 37 by the late 19th century.

This is of course accurate but at the the same time it is totally misleading. Everyone did not die off at 28 in ancient Greece. And in medieval England it was not at all uncommon for people to reach the biblical measure of "three score and ten".

So where does the confusion arise? It is "Average life expectancy" AVERAGE. That means they take an estimate of everyone born and figure this on when they die. People fail to understand that word AVERAGE. (Math is an evil thing.)

If for example you took ten people and 6 of them lived to be 70 and 4 died at birth the average life of the group was 42 years. This despite the fact that the majority of them lived to be 70. So what skews the numbers so low? In a word, infant mortality. (ok, two words) When a bunch of babies die the AVERAGE goes way down. In medieval Europe if you managed to live through childhood you had a pretty good chance of making the late sixties and seventies. Just like today.

Averages are statistics and statistics lie. Afterall, the "average" high temperature in Georgia is "below 88 degrees" according to the Georgia Tourism board. Anyone who has been in South Georgia in August knows how true that isn't.

13 April 2006

And, for something completely different....

Venus. We are starting to get pictures back from the Venus Express probe launched by the European Space agency in November 2005. It has entered orbit around Venus and we are getting cool pictures of the votex at the south pole.

Date: 12 Apr 2006
Satellite: Venus Express
Depicts: Venus, southern hemisphere
Copyright: ESA/CNR-IASF, Rome, Italy, and Observatoire de Paris, France

This false-colour VIRTIS composite image shows Venus's day side on the left and night side on the right, with a scale of 50 km per pixel.

The day half is itself a composite of images taken via wavelength filters and chiefly shows sunlight reflected from the tops of clouds, down to a height of about 65 km above the planet's surface.

The image of the night half was taken via an infrared filter at a wavelength of 1.7 μm, and chiefly shows dynamic spiral cloud structures in the lower atmosphere, around 55 km altitude. The darker regions correspond to thicker cloud cover, while the brighter regions correspond to thinner cloud cover, allowing hot thermal radiation from lower down to be imaged.

for more information----Venus Express

11 April 2006

NUkes? Please......

I do not believe that our President is planning on Nukeing Iran. I know there are a few folks out there in the Blogosphere who would cheer a decsion like that but really, it just doesn't make sense.
If he nuked Iran as a first strike the republican party would get voted out of office en mass and probably never voted back in except in a few small areas. (Which would lead tot he creation of a new political party that might not be so rigid and... Wait, don't need to start looking at upsides....)In addition there would in all likelihood be an extremely active effort to try him and our other government leaders as war criminals for the slaughter of civilians and such. All down sides. And it isn't needed. IF, and I do mean IF, we decided to bomb Iran nukes would not be needed. Some of the big bunker buster bombs would be put together again like we used to go after some of Saddam's underground facilities in Gulf War I and II. And they would do the job more than adequately.
In fact though, I don't think we will bomb Iran. Frankly we won't have to because the Israelis will do it first. They, being in the area and high on the list of potential receivers of an Iranian bomb won't wait around for the Iranians to build on any more than they waited around for the Iraqis to build one back in 1981 when they bombed the reactors at Osriak.

On a slightly variant line here, I really think we as a government should be pretty much ignoring Iran. Right now we are playing into the hands of the the extremist factions in the country. Iran has a huge population of young people who do NOT like the restrictive government. When the US is ignoring Iran, reforms get made in the country and they move towards a more progressive western society. When we start agitating in the area the extremist factions crack down and everyone falls into line because while they may not like the restrictive government they dislike the idea of us invading/bombing them even more. The more we push, the harder they are going to become. We may have pushed too far and not left them any wiggle room which will be a bad thing. Because we REALLY don't want the Iranians to get a nuke. Not because they would use it on us but because it would get used on Israel and the Israelis would respond by nuking every major Arab city in the middle east including Mecca. And I really don't' want to see the shitstorm that would result from that.

03 April 2006

Away for a few

I am going out of town for a couple of days again. Off to do some work and try and earn a little money. (curse this capitalist system!) (JOKE)

Before I go though, I must say I was pleased that Jill Carroll renounced the statements she had made right after her release. I remember thinking how wrong it was that she say she had never been threatened when she had appeared on a video tape in tears pleading for her life after her captors said she would be "executed". But all is better now, she has let the truth be known.