August 24, 2016

What Can You Change?

I recently watched Cartel Land on Netflix and thought it was a great movie. How the movie starts in the present, flashes back & then loops back around to right near where it started (showing the full cycle of "change" and the resultant futility of the process) I gained further appreciation for just how hard it is to change human nature or systems of power generally.

Any review I attempt to write would probably be inferior to the one Paul2001sw wrote on IMDB:

Are vigilantes reluctant heroes taking up arms to defend their communities? Or men of violence looking for a cause in which to fight? Can a band of local activists protect the people against a corrupt government? Or is an self-appointed institution always doomed, by its very nature, to be guilty of the same crimes it is founded to eliminate? Where does the greatest threat to a popular movement come from - the personal failings of a charismatic leader who can satisfy, but only for a moment, the people's desire for a saviour, or in the slime-ball sellouts who would replace him?

What I found interesting was not only how quickly the movement fell apart when the charismatic leader was injured, but then how to have the sort of charisma needed to be that strong of a leader he attracted people in such ways that ultimately led to him even hurting the people who (should have?) mattered the most to him.

You know and love the people near you, but the bigger a movement you try to build, the faker it becomes as compromises are made as people who don't believe are casually swept up and active exploiters of the movement sense an opportunity.

They show at one point him flirting with a girl & then later his wife saying he had only to do right by his family and god & that he did neither.

People who want to seriously change the world may attract many people to their cause, but if they are successful they'll likely screw over some of the people who trusted them most and gave them the most.

Glow too bright and you burn the people near you.

Widely known, or a few deep relationships with people who really matter to you.

Everything is a trade off. Everything comes with cost. Our hours are limited & we all eventually die.

About 15 years ago I read Edward Behr's book Prohibition about the 1920s & this film left the same sort of sense of uninspired hopelessness in social engineering attempts.

Like the current war on drugs, those efforts failed & had to be unwound.

So long as there are 2 books of law, the profit margins guaranteed by black markets will mean any progress in the war on drugs would ultimately just create more profit margins. It is a self-stabilizing cycle of societal instability. Much like our financial system.

As bleak as many things are with corruption being at the core of huge parts of the economy, there is hope in knowing you can see more sustainable results by focusing on changing yourself and helping those you care about most.

September 7, 2009

Radiohead's Harry Patch (In Memory of ) Lyrics


Song Lyrics:
I am the only one that got through
The others died where ever they fell
It was an ambush
They came up from all sides
Give your leaders each a gun and then let them fight it out themselves
I've seen devils coming up from the ground
I've seen hell upon this earth
The next will be chemical but they will never learn

And if you want the song for your iPod here you go.

April 17, 2009

Army Men: Soldiers of Misfortune Sabotage the Water Tower

First of all, if you are thinking of buying this game I would suggest not buying it (the game control absolutely suck). But lets say you already have the game, made the mistake of playing it almost all the way through and you got stuck on the sabatoge water tower level. If so this is the blog post for you

The 4 dynamites are located in the following locations

  • near the house (not where they start you, but all the way around to the edge of the house and off to the right

  • under the picnic table

  • at the top of the slide

  • inside of the sand castle

Now lets say you lay all 4 of them down next to the water tower and are wondering how to turn the water on. What I did to turn on the water faucet / water spiket was to drive right up next to it in the tank and then use the z button (I think it was the z) on the nunchuck. That slowly turned the water faucet...and you have to hold it in for like 15 seconds or so to have it turn far enough to open up and fill the bucket and end the level.

November 27, 2008

Black & White Card Dealer

Sometimes minimalism is good. A buddy runs a poker software site and this was the best I could do for him. Not perfect...but a start I guess.

I find a lot of the logos I make just come out way too ugly when I go cray with the colors ;)

July 27, 2008

When Votes Lie

The housing bailout bill passed the Senate in a 72-13 vote. President Bush, who won 2 elections through voter fraud, said that he would vote against the bill before deciding to vote for it.

In the House of Representatives, where elections are coming up soon, most Republicans backed away from voting for the proposal, with the NYT stating:

Republicans said they would not support a bill that puts taxpayer money at risk while potentially bailing out irresponsible borrowers and greedy lenders.

Sorry but if that is a quote tied to the entire Republican party then the entire political party is scum. Especially when you consider that they wasted trillions on a war started under false pretense, pushed market deregulation, turned a blind eye to rampant fraud, and are now engaging is socialism for the rich (with privatized gains and socialized losses).

Republicans may not raise taxes, but if they eat your wealth with increased debt and inflation how is that any better? I remember when 82 cents bought a Euro. Now the dollar is worth .63 Euro! Take out increased national debt, military spending, and real estate fraud, and the economy has never recovered from the 2001 recession.

Don't get me wrong - I think both political parties are blue and red shadows of their former selves - packaged fraud sold to the uninformed. Its just that the Republicans seem a bit more aggressive stealing your money, while telling you that you are too stupid to realize what they are doing.

June 8, 2008

Fishing With Cookies!!!

While on vacation in Kauai, my wife and I went on an ATV tour. I was always trying to break it open, but their terms of service said no passing, so it was hard to get going. On the very last corner I did get to rooster it, which was satisfying, if brief ;)

There are man made water reservoirs on Kauai, and we passed one of them in the middle of the trip, where we stopped for juice and cookies. The tour guides pulled out fishing poles and allowed some of the small kids that were in dune buggies to go fishing. They didn't have a fly fishing kit, just a string tied to a stick, and they put a cookie on the hook at bait! Within 1 minute of putting the cookie in the water the kid caught a fish.

I never thought fish ate cookies, but maybe they are smarter than we give them credit for being ;)

June 2, 2008

Big Rapper at a Jewelry Shop

Before leaving from our honeymoon my wife and I stopped in a small jewelry shop in Kauai. The person behind the counter mentioned that a rapper came in about 6 months earlier. The rapper was angry that nobody knew who he was in spite of wearing a big obnoxious piece of jewelry. And while the MTV and grind your booty Maxim marketing chanels would like you to believe that particular rapper had style over substance he clearly lacked both. He bought $4,000 of jewelry then a few days later returned it all. Absolutely without class!

May 15, 2008

Which Bowling Ball Are You?

My wife and I are having our first anniversary coming up soon. I wonder if getting a yoda bowling ball would be ok as long as I get her a hello kitty one?

March 26, 2008

Materialism is Hot

Consumerism Failing...

The present situation index, which looks at current conditions, slumped from 104.0 in February to 89.2 in March, its lowest reading since December 1973 when it registered 45.2 amid the Arab oil embargo and Watergate scandal, the Board said.

And a great 20 minute video about why consumerism does not work (or at least why and how many parts of it are broken).

Charge it and all is well, at least for today.

March 17, 2008

The New York Times Further Undermines My Trust in the Media

Nice overwrite here by the NYT...they write an article with this quote

Mr. Cheney, who arrived in the Iraqi capital with his wife and daughter on an unannounced trip Monday morning, will meet with top officials including the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, a Shiite, and the Iraqi president, Jalal Talabani, a Kurd.

According to a pool report of comments made by a senior administration official who was flying with Mr. Cheney, the vice president plans, among other things, to push Iraqi officials to pass petroleum legislation that would help bring international oil companies to Iraq.

The official described it as being about Iraqi leaders “figuring out how they really begin to exploit” the country’s resources, according to the pool report.

see the Google snippet here

Then they decided to overwrite that page with news of an Iraq bombing. Shady.

Original content here. A related funny video is right here