John Furie Zacharias
having a bad day in a strange place
Thunderstorms Anywhere

Thunderstorms in the Imajica



 The different ways I don't like you 
 in a list that may never become organized
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Friday, July 21, 2006
The Family Farm


 The Family Farm by JfZ

Amid the annoying coos and gurgles of Snowflake Children, President George Bush announced Wednesday that he signed the Fetus Farming Prohibition Act (S.3504) into law, but then used his virginal veto pen to shoot down the popular, bi-partisan Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act (H.R. 810).

This makes perfect Bush World sense.  Although no one in the scientific community is advocating this fake political issue of fetus farming anywhere, he said:

This good law prohibits one of the most egregious abuses in biomedical research, the trafficking in human fetuses that are created with the sole intent of aborting them to harvest their parts. Human beings are not a raw material to be exploited, or a commodity to be bought or sold, and this bill will help ensure that we respect the fundamental ethical line. (emphasis mine)

Immediately following the Bush veto concerning federal funds for new stem cell medical research, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich used executive orders to fund projects within their respective states.  Despite this, one of the benefits of federal funding and using the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as opposed to individual state projects and private corporations doing this research is to coordinate efforts and not waste money on duplicate research.

Arthur Caplan Ph.D. was quite cranky about the Bush veto:

President Bush's embryonic stem cell policy began with lies and has now ended with one.  Bush reserved his first veto as president for one of the only valuable things this do-almost-nothing Congress has managed to actually get done.

It's a good read.  I wonder though, how are Fetus Farmers in Kansas going to vote in November now?








[Headphones] :: Too Poor To Die - Louisiana Red

I don't use Skype just because it saves me money.

NSA-free Skype

Unlike other telecom providers, they are also NSA-free.



Thursday, July 20, 2006
NEV: Tesla Roadster


See this sportscar above?  It's called the Tesla Roadster and it's going to be available very soon in a city near you.  This car does 0-60 mph in about 4 seconds, with a top speed of about 130 mph, and uses ZERO gasoline as a fuel to make it go.

Do you want tell big oil to piss off with their higher and higher gas prices?  Do you want to get the U.S. military out of the Middle East protecting THEIR oil fields under the premises of national security interests?  Maybe you don't like Hugo Chavez?  Maybe you don't like the mullahs in Iran?  Maybe you just don't like the huge influence any of these interests and lobbies have on our elected legislators in Congress?

In the United States, about two-thirds of all our oil consumption is used up in the transportation sector of industry.  A vast majority of that amount basically equates to you driving to work everyday --  actually --  you and many millions of other people cussing at each other while they drink their coffee everyday.

This sportscar may not solve all the problems we face in the United States, but I have to say that it has the promise to plant the seed to solve some of the most pressing issues we are all talking about today.  It's a start -- perhaps a role model and motivator.

I've got a total hard-on for this vehicle.  It wasn't developed in my rustbelt hometown, Detroit, but in Silicon Valley.  It's not a fuel hybrid -- I'll post why E-85 is not my first choice for alternative energy transportation another time.

The Tesla Roadster uses the newest battery technology, giving it the longest range of use between charging, about 200-250 miles.  It takes less than four hours to fully re-charge overnight.  Oh. And it's obviously not a ugly little battery box on wheels or your grampa's golf cart.

Don't take my word for it.  Read what Joshua Davis said about it yesterday over at Wired News.  He recently went for a test drive in the Roadster with Tesla Motors founder, Martin Eberhard.

[update] I found this 3 minute YouTube video of the Tesla Roadster.






[Video] :: Who Killed the Electric Car? [audio] by PBS TV show Now

 


 


Saturday, July 15, 2006
Evil Thumbnails v1.06


Click for more Evil Thumbnails
Welcome to my Evil Thumbnails page.

Millions of people store billions of images on the internet.  You can never tell what the image really is from its filename.

I thought I'd take it a step further. I'll even let you see a part of the image.

See if you can guess what the image really is.



Click on the Evil Thumbnail to view the entire image.

Caution: Some Disturbing Content
026 Apparently, these flowers weren't getting enough sunlight previously.  Now, they should flourish.
027 Mercedes Benz has always made a cool car.  Even though they are expensive, they wouldn't need any fake computer graphics in an advertisement to convince me to buy one in this 'hood.
028 Talk to the hand.
029 An ancient garden of black flowers being watered by  modern tears.
030 "Hide and Seek" never was my favorite game either.










[Headphones] :: Israel National Radio stream (.ASX) - Various DJ's




Thursday, July 13, 2006
Holy Smoke!


 You might as well get stoned one last time before Armageddon
The "Holy Land" seems to be doing what it historically does best -- going up in smoke amid border clashes and tit-for-tat, eye-for-an-eye, Levitican retribution and hostilities.  The only way to even write about the never-ending, mindless violence surrounding Israel is to start with the latest news and work backward a month, then a year, then a decade, then a century, then a millenium.  Sometimes, I think the global community is simply going to ignore this whole area, allow these brothers of Abraham to kill each other off, have a quick funeral for the Middle East, and then get on with the daily job of being a human in the twenty first century.

This is probably why I normally avoid writing about Israel/Palestine.  It's a no-win situation.  If you speak critically of modern Israel, suddenly you're an anti-semite in the U.S.  If you speak critically of Palestine, you get blamed for having no historical perspective of the situation.

Growing up in the Detroit area, I found this out very early in life.  I remember getting angry rebukes from some in the Arab community for even mentioning the name Israel to them -- to them, it is Palestine and always has been -- until the Zionists invaded 60 years ago and called it Israel.  If I referred to the country as Palestine to Jewish people, I'd get a reverse lesson in mindless history.

These history teachers were not poor, brainwashed, Palestinian teenagers who believe that becoming a suicide matyr is their best option for their lives -- nor was it some Orthodox Jewish settler on vacation.  These people were well-educated professionals and business owners.

I was literally amazed one day speaking to a Lebanese business owner who seemed perplexed about the Jewish exodus from Hitler's Nazi Germany.  I was trying to say that one cause for the formation of the state of Israel was WWII and Hitler.  He had never heard of it.  I guess they omit that holocaust lesson in schools in Beirut.

In the U.S. we seem to always get the news that Hamas or Hezbollah did some terrorist act -- and then, this is how Israel has reacted to it.  This is what is happening now.  Hamas took a hostage, Israel rolled into Gaza.  Hezbollah took 2 hostages, Israel is now bombing Lebanon.  Next, we can all start blaming Syria and Iran for supporting Hezbollah and the shit can really hit the fan.

By the way of a domestic note, Conneticut Senator Joe Lieberman explained his past and continuing support for Bush's Iraq war by saying that Saddam supported terrorists this very morning on the national syndicated radio show, "Imus in the Morning."   I found it very intriguing that Senator Lieberman conspicuously never even mentioned Israel once in his carefully contrived explanations.

Didn't Saudia Arabia TV have suicide martyr telethons before September 11th to show support for Intifada groups (terrorists) to the Israeli occupation, too?  I guess it's lucky that Bush is such good friends with the house of Saud, or we'd be mired down in their desert, too.

In the end, it's a matter of perspective.  In 2004, the Israeli government did swap over 400 prisoners for a single businessman who had been taken hostage.  Now, after some towns in the Gaza strip have been decimated for one IDF soldier and Lebanon has been bombed for two others, it's going to get much worse before it ever gets a little better again.






[Headphones] :: Democrusader [Download] [Lo-Fi Stream] by JfZ

 



Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Peace Takes Courage


This month's Rolling Stone magazine labels 15-year-old Ava Lowery as a Super Girl.  I agree with RS and told her as much on her Peace Takes Courage blog.  While I just became aware of this Alabama teenager's courage and website today from a blog entry on Veterans for America, she was thrust into the national media spotlight for her flash animations that asked people to think about Bush's Iraq war and its consequences.  She was interviewed briefly on CNN in June when her "What Would Jesus Do" flash animation prompted some to send her death threats.  View that CNN interview in WMV or MOV file format.

During the CNN interview, the news bunny asked Ava Lowery, "How did you even know about the Iraq War?"  That question really bothered me.  It almost sounded as if she was disappointed that CNN hadn't done its job putting the public to sleep  -- or -- amazed that a teenager whose older classmates are required by law to register with the Selective Service in order to qualify for any college financial aid should instead be living in the BushWorld Unreality Matrix, just shopping and playing videogames with her girlfriends.

Well, Ava Lowery has been thinking for herself for more than a year, doing her own research, and has created over seventy flash animations during that time.  For the most part, her flash animations are not goofy, humorous animations.  They ask you to think.

IMHO, the one truly humorous flash animation is called "The 32%" and highlights some of the hateful or misguided statements in email she received after the WWJD animation became widely known.  It's soundtrack is appropriate -- Dueling Banjos.

Despite the humor with which she channeled that spate of hatemail, I must say it also takes extraordinary courage on her part to take such an active stand for peace in the face of it all.  I remember receiving my own share of hatemail, mainly before the 2004 election.  Some of it made me a little nervous.  I'm a grown man, but Ava is a teenage girl.

I hope her ongoing story inspires you as much as it did me, today.  I'm rarely impressed.  I'm mostly snarky and cynical.  Yet, Ava Lowery is an impressive person in my book.  Maybe there is hope for a sane future.

Related entry: Fellowship Of Reconciliation peace organization list






[Headphones] :: Democrusader [Download] [Lo-Fi Stream] by JfZ

 




 
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