Israel and Palestine

I think that Israel is acting like complete idiots. Before anyone declares I am anti-Semitic and such let me add that I think the USA is acting like complete idiots and the Palestinians are also acting like complete idiots. I started with the Israelis because they are the ones, in my opinion, who have the power to make peace happen and yet they are doing the exact opposite — enflaming the war.

Now look — Hamas is not friendly to Israel. They are quite hostile and they basically if not actually have declared war on Israel. I believe that Hamas is part of the problem in a big way. But I also believe that the Palestinians voted for Hamas for the same reason that people in the USA voted for Bush — to greedily protect their interests, with a heavy hand if necessary.

Obviously, the notion that the Palestinians can wish Israel out of existence is nonsense. Any such goal should and will be crushed. The Palestinians do not get to decide if there is an Israel or not.

At the same time, I’d be pissed off if it was up to the Israelis if there was a Palestine or not. With countries and borders less than a century old, it is irrational to leave the fate of the Palestinians up to the Israelis. Israel rightly expects the world to stand up for their right to exist. I think it is time that the world stand up for Palestine’s right to exist.

You know, when people lob bombs into your neighborhoods, take hostages and kill people, you get pissed off. I can see why Israel is pissed off. But what do they do? They lob bombs, take hostages and kill people. You’ll remember from above that this pisses people off.

The military power of Israel dwarfs that of the Palestinians and this puts the impetus on the Israelis to be utterly measured in their military actions. Blowing up power plants and bridges is fighting the wrong enemy. How can they not see that? Arresting elected Hamas leaders leads away from, not towards, peace.

I’ve asked this before of both sides: do you fucking want fucking peace or not? The answer is obviously, no, you don’t.

The solution is obvious (in no particular order):

1. Palestinians stop killing Israelis.
2. Israelis stop killing Palestinians.
3. Palestine recognizes Israel as a sovereign nation.
4. Israel recognizes Palestine as a sovereign nation.
5. A multi-national, cooperative and good-faith negotiation occurs as to the logistics of #2 with neither Israel nor Palestine having veto rights. It is binding arbitration.

As long as the Palestinians are under Israel’s thumb, there will never be peace. That is the bottom line.

Israel and Palestine

Apple's Spotlight

Am I the only one that noticed that Apple’s Spotlight desktop search is a complete piece of shit? Here are my complaints:

1. It starts searching as you type. Sounds like a feature, right? No…just type ‘a’ and before you can type the second letter it is strenously searching for every goddamn file that has an ‘a’ in it. This wouldn’t be so bad except…

2. It is a major fucking resource hog. Once I typed ‘a’ as described above I get the spinning rainbox cursor of death as it maxes out CPU, disk and memory searching for every goddamn file that has an ‘a’ in it. Please, oh please, let me finish typing what I want you to search for before you start searching for it.

3. It is a major fucking resource hog. Thought I said that already? Well this time I’m talking about the major CPU load it creates as it indexes hard drives. For example, plug in a 10000 gigabyte hard drive and Spotlight will start to index it for you, eating every possible shred of resource it can get its hands on. Have you dolts at Apple ever heard of `nice`? You should fucking nice those sorts of commands to zero priority. It is completely wrong to make me sit and wait for an hour while you index every fucking disk you can get your hands on. nice the shit, bitches! Not that hard.

4. This is a fun one: if you search by Kind->Others it builds a list of every possible kind of application for you. The problem is, it takes 5 minutes for it to do this. Even if your choice is in the list, it is impossible to choose because it keeps redrawing the dropdown menu, resetting it back at the top. So you scroll down, it scolls back up for you every 1 second or so. Did anyone at Apple ever try to use this feature before they released it?

As my friends and co-workers know, I am a huge fan of Apple. You would see about 10000 times more of these bitches if I was using Windows often. (Windows is beyond lame in almost every imaginable way. I know because I have two Windows boxes, too, that I use for astronomy.) Apple does drop balls, too, though, and Spotlight is a miserable failure.

Dear Steve Jobs, please fire every dolt on the Spotlight team and put someone with half a brain on that project. Desktop search IS very important, way too important to fuck up as bad as you guys have fucked it up.

Apple's Spotlight

Not Too Well Thought Out

This article, Astrology – The Left’s Creationism?, has a title that says it all. Utter inane nonsense.

First of all, while the Left certainly has people who believe in astrology and creationism, they don’t want it taught in school. They have minds capable of separating civic matters from spiritual ones. I treat Christians, Jews, Muslims and astrologers in the exact same way: I tolerate them and ask that they tolerate me. I think their beliefs are ridiculous and they probably think the same of mine.

Second, those that DO defend science, such as myself and others he mentions, all completely and entirely, across the board, denounce astrology as non-scientific nonsense. No one on the side of sciences takes it easy on astrology. No one. None, zero, zip, nada, nil. Very idiotic to suggest otherwise.

Finally, I would not consider someone who believed in astrology to be any less qualified for a job than someone who believed in God. I don’t agree with either of them but I respect their personal beliefs.

Nice try. Or not.

Not Too Well Thought Out

On The Record

It’s funny, this blogging thing. It seems so spontaneous and throw-away. Many of us just dash things off when we get inspired or pissed off. I mean, who visits the archives anyway?

What is so funny about this attitude we have is that it is wrong. Thanks to Google-like entities and way-back-machine-type entities, each spontaneous quip is immortalized for all eternity. We who start our careers in the blogsphere and end up in politics and business are going to have our words read back to us at opportune times in the future.

I’m OK with that, myself. Just for fun, let’s say that I’m running for President of the United States. (This is, I’ll admit, rather unlikely.) I have eluded to drug use and sexual behavior. I have uttered profanity-ridden diatribes against politicians, writers and bloggers. I am mean sometimes, intolerant sometimes and plain ol’ wrong sometimes. All of it squirreled away on hard drives scattered throughout the globe, well beyond my means to destroy. These words would be used, in or out of context, to make me look like a looney. They have me on the record saying taxes are good, Bush is a complete moron, Republicans are hypocrites, all drugs should be legal, speed limits are too low, religion is evil, etc. ad infinitum.

But, provided I get a chance to address these issues if brought up, I have no problem with being on the record. There are really three things you can say when presented with your own words:

1. I was right and I believe that now.
2. I was wrong and I believe something else now.
3. I was right but I believe something else now.

None of these are hard to swallow. Present day coward politicians have a problem with #2 and I don’t get it. It is a sign of intelligence if you change your mind based on new information. Yes, I agree, you can’t blow with the wind but you can and should re-evaluate decisions. #2 means having to say you are sorry sometimes, as well. That’s not hard. I think people that can admit when they are wrong, say they are sorry and change their beliefs and behaviors are the very best kind of people. Nothing flips the bozo bit faster than someone who is more interested in winning than being right.

I’ll stand by my words from now until the end of time. There may be times I change my mind and disagree with my former self. There may be times I have to say I am sorry. I can handle that. I do very much enjoy the spontaneous nature of the blogsphere and it will suffer if we all get overly focused on the permanence of what we say.

Although, to be truthful, 99.9% of it will be pretty much gone like it never existed in fairly short time scales. Still, I suspect the presidential candidates for the 2032 election will have some Internet skeletons in their closet.

On The Record

Republicans: Pro-Fraud

That insane liberal, Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, introduced a bill intended to prevent waste and fraud by contractors to the US Military. Said Dorgan:

“I think when you are at war, when a massive quantity of money is being pushed out the door, that we ought to decide to get tough on those who would be engaged in war profiteering,” said Dorgan in fighting for his amendment last week. “I dare say that never in the history of this country has so much money been wasted so quickly. And, yes, there is fraud involved, there is abuse involved, and it is the case that there is a dramatic amount of taxpayers’ money that is now being wasted.”

Now I know how Republicans like to pretend they are fiscally conservative (which is a complete fucking lie). If we temporarily give them the benefit of the doubt, wouldn’t you think that they would support a bill intended to save taxpayers money?

How silly of you to think these fuckwits would be rational. No, they tabled the bill, “effectively rejecting the amendment. Every single Senate Republican voted against the measure to make the contracting process honest and impose penalties on those who break the law.”

They voted against a bill to make sure that contractors are honest and don’t break the law!

Even if you are uncomfortable with the Democrats, they are fucking geniuses compared to the completely asinine, fucked up and retarded GOP.

Republicans: Pro-Fraud

Darwin In Action

Motorcycle fatalities involving riders without helmets have soared in the nearly six years since Gov. Jeb Bush repealed the state’s mandatory helmet law, a newspaper reported Sunday.

We all pretty much know that if you ride a bike without a helmet and get in an accident, you are pretty much going to die. Here is a statistic that backs that up quite convincingly.

I don’t really care if you die because of choices you make but the public safety interest here is pretty obvious: you brain-dead, quadriplegic and dead motorcyclists cost the system a lot of money.

The quote at the end of this article, though, is amazing in its stupidity:

But Merritt Island motorcyclist and helmet law opponent Dave Carroll said the helmet law debate is misguided.

“What causes most of the crashes is cars,” he said. “Usually, it’s the car driver turning left at an intersection and causing an accident because they didn’t see us coming.”

OK, Dave, if what you say is true then it is even more important that you guys where helmets. Saying the above in an argument against helmet laws is idiotic. I think we should work to prevent cars from causing these accidents, no question about it, but they will continue to happen and you guys are going to continue to hit your head so hard you die. Wise up, dudes. Yes, helmets suck, but so does being dead.

Darwin In Action

PZ vs. Coulter

PZ Myers at Pharyngula has issued a challenge. I’d like to try to extend it as far and wide as possible. The challenge is simple: find ONE FUCKING PARAGRAPH in Ann “Controversy Whore” Coulter’s Godless book, in chapters 8 through 11, which is accurate. ONE ACCURATE PARAGRAPH in any of those 4 chapters of Ann Coulter’s ridiculous drivel. If you find one, send it to PZ.

I dissected Coulter in my very first podcast. What is clear is that she is a moron, a self-serving controversy whore, a traitor, a theocrat and an incredibly tacky and unlikable person. Thus, a very appropriate spokesperson for the Right Wing.

PZ vs. Coulter