Web www.theriverman.blogspot.com

Friday, November 29, 2002

God is a Chump

Nifty little essay by some guy click here to read it.

Ever wondered how black you are?

Apparently, I'm pretty damn black. :)

How BLACK are you?

Brought to you by the good folks at sacwriters.com.


Monday, November 25, 2002

Ashcroft for Civil Liberties???

Given John Ashcroft's recent coming-to-power as head of our police state, and the new PATRIOT act etc., I found this article he wrote in 97 very interesting. He wrote it when he was a senator from Missouri. Interesting how one's convictions can change so quickly... You can read it here.


Saturday, November 23, 2002

Bills, Bills, Bills

I encourage all of you to use the THOMAS Search Engine on the US
Congress's Home Page to find and read the following bills:

The USA PATRIOT Act - H.R.2975 RH ( I couldn't find the Enrolled version)

The "No Child Left Behind Act of 2001"- HR 1 ENR

Homeland Security Act of 2002 - HR 5005 ENR


Thursday, November 21, 2002

Libertarian Party Article

Another good article on the Pentagon's “Total Information Awareness” Program.

LP Press Release: Pentagon database is step toward police state, Libertarians say (November 20, 2002)


Tuesday, November 19, 2002

High Schools Required to Give Student Contanct Info to the Military

Read this article! It reflects just ONE of the many buried "easter eggs" in the "No Child Left Behind" legislation.

MotherJones.com | News


Monday, November 18, 2002

To Rancid Fans

Perhaps some of you Rancid fans out there have listened to their song "Harry Bridges" and wondered who he was and what happened on "Bloody Thursday". Here's an article from the San Francisco news coverage of that day in 1934.

"Bloody Thursday" - 1934


Sunday, November 17, 2002

The Coming Iraqi War

Just for the record, let me clear up this War vs. Inspections question. The war will come, some little thing will trigger it during the inspections. It will begin around the 18 or 28 of December. It will last a few months, Saddam will disappear and be presumed dead. The country will be taken over by an American-Friendly regime. And the final goal: AMERICANS WILL CONTROL IRAQI OIL AND THE AFGHANI PIPELINE!


Thursday, November 14, 2002


From Drudge


**URGENT** FBI issued confidential terror alert Thursday evening warning taped message from bin Laden, recent overseas strikes by al-Qaida raised threat of 'spectacular attacks' in USA... Developing... NYT reporting: 'In selecting its next targets,' the FBI alert said, 'sources suggest al-Qaida may favor spectacular attacks that meet several criteria: high symbolic value, mass casualties, severe damage to the U.S. economy, and maximum psychological trauma. The highest priority targets remain within the aviation, petroleum, and nuclear sectors as well as significant national landmarks'

TIA Systems

The DARPA website for the afforementioned TIA System. Shades of the Department of Precrime, for those of you who've seen "Minority Report"

New York Times Op-Ed

Great article on the new "Homeland Security" Bill, from the New York Times, a great read. Bringing out the truth of the Bush-Ashcraft Orwellian dream. One column at a time.



Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Quick Commentary on the Election

Well, history has been made. The party with presidency gained seats in BOTH houses of Congress for the first time since the civil war. Of course, you know that by now. But what does it mean? Is the Democratic party washed up, as the right-wing pundits like to rave? Or did the public just not get their message, as Terry McAuliffe and his ilk like to say? Actually, neither. As often is the case, both extremes are wrong. The R's would like to think that this is a backlash agains Clintonism and Daschle's gridlocking of Congress. They have seriously overestimated the minds of the American people. The masses barely remember Clinton. On the same token, most hardly know who Daschle is. The main motivating factor was FEAR. The voters wanted a competent war government, and in this day and age, they knew it would need to be Republicans. Sure, they'll pay for it in a few years as the deficit triples, but Bush knows they'll have forgotten his budget habits by then.


Monday, November 11, 2002


Everyone should get on Kazaa NOW and download some Tom Waits songs. If you don't have Kazaa (idiot) then I recommend Kazaa Lite, download it here. I like it better than plain ol' Kazaa due to its lack of spyware and ads. Also, while your at it, check out The Official Tom Waits Page here.

Prepare for an election commentary up soon.

Post-Post-Modern Ethics

The human need for an ethical or moral standard is apparent in everything one sees in life. Especially now in these terribly “amoral” times we live in. The questions I would like to raise are, to what do we owe this need, and is it possible for this need to be overcome. By overcome, I do not necessarily mean through discipline or some such self motivated effort. On the contrary, I would suggest that it can be bred out of the species, and moreover, that similar social evolutions are currently taking place. But from whence has this come? That is the more intriguing question. At what point in human development did we find need for a system of right and wrong? For the sake of this writing, I will be dismissing any Adam-and-Eve notions of divine guidance. If that is the reality of it all, these questions are fruitless. And if so, so be it. But given god’s lack of hopping forward to help his dwindling creation, that idea can be very nearly put to rest.

First, let us examine the social systems near the development of the first ethicist: small tribes, hunter-gatherers just learning the magic of agriculture. The development of social systems themselves is an incredible topic as well, but we will not delve into it here. We are assuming now that the people are just entering what could be called a pre-moral social organization. Now, somewhere between there and Caesar, humanity developed ethics. We must consider a few options here:

1. A moral system developed on its own out of an innate human need for guidance.
2. A few people in power wanted to stop the crime of the day.
3. We are, and have always been ethical creatures.

I believe the 3rd option may be taken off the table for its sheer absurdity. To this day and throughout history, one can see that people are not basically good and must have a structure of good forced, or at least gently nudged, onto them. The proposition that a system of ethics developed itself is intriguing. However, such a complex system is highly unlikely to completely develop itself. One might argue that civilization, in its basest form, developed on its on. However, upon viewing the evidence we have concerning the development of civilizations, it becomes obvious that such early gatherings of people arose out of a common need. Be it food, protection, or simply companionship, there was a need to be filled. I propose that ethical systems developed for the same reason. A need had to be met. That need, was control. The people in power at the time must have been having a difficult time controlling the growing numbers of people in their tribes. You can see today how hard it is to get someone to do something just because you tell them to. Threats work, but they can damage one’s image and create a mutinous atmosphere. How much easier it is to get someone to do something because they should? Because it is the right thing to do? This was the beginning of ethics, as we know them today. Specifically, Judeo-Christian ethics. The Hebrew people were nomadic and fractured, the development of their ethics brought them together and holds them together until this very day. I cannot fault the designers of this plan; they have accomplished more than they could have dreamed. I do not wish to besmirch them, only to expose them. The issue I leave to you, however, is this: Do humans now crave simply morals, or to be controlled?

Now, to my second question, can (or should) such a need be bred out of our species. As I have stated, I believe it can. Also, I think that a process much like that has already begun. I believe what the right-wing sees as the fall of morality, is not quite that. It is simply a mutation of morality. Morality is not being erased. The need for it screams forth from nearly every person on TV, regardless of the degree of each’s atheism or agnosticism. The experiment is not one to attempt to erase the need, but to exploit it, to corrupt it even further. Is it not nobler, then, to retreat from the force? To attempt to circumvent the control? One must realize that a single system, no matter how well planned or implemented, cannot function well in ANY given scenario. It is each persons right, dare I say responsibility, to accept only that which commonsense can allow. For many, this may be a well-established system of political or religious beliefs. And who am I to question a man’s judgment? But there are people who do not respond to random and arbitrary stimuli, be it positive or negative, people whose lives do not mesh with a given system. These must reconcile in themselves a plan, a system to disembark the need and accept what they are, a judge with no law.

My Simple Guide To Life

90% of what people tell you is crap.

Remember your roots. Just like a tree, you would fall without them.

Money won’t solve all your problems. It will solve about 8 out of 10 though.

Your mind is your most valuable possession. Without it you are nothing. With it, you are only nothing if you chose to be.

A day is more like a minute in memories.

Always buy used.

Always get enough sleep.

Love is an important human need. Never take it for granted, but don’t make too much of it either.

Don’t make a habit of making promises. They work just like checks. If you make a bad one, it will come back to haunt you.

Plan for tomorrow, live for today.

Remember that sunlight is essential to the production of many chemicals in your body.

Gas prices change quickly.

Trust is a gift handed out too often, and often with too little thought.

Fear and doubt can be your greatest enemies. For who else would you change your plans if they only whispered?

A one hit wonder is still more successful than most of the population.

Always give rides to strangers who need it.

Carry a gun.

You can never be who you want to be until you figure out whom exactly that is.

When people disagree with you it doesn’t mean you’re wrong.

When people disagree with you it doesn’t mean you’re right.

You cannot be responsible for the happiness of others.

Making up your bed is a waste of time. But you should still change the sheets once in a while.

Take lots of pictures.

Write. Letters, thank you notes, poems, stories, songs.

Run for office.

Watch the news.


Never let anyone tell you you’re wrong unless they can prove it. And if they do, take it like a man.

Stay out of debt.

Always own at least one nice suit, a navy blazer, a pair of black shoes, a pair of brown shoes, and a good pair of mud boots.

Whether you judge or not, you will still be judged.

Know whom you need to impress, don’t worry about the others.

Your mirror is not the only thing that is a reflection of you.

Marksmanship is a valuable skill.

Everyone has ulterior motives.

Start, and constantly contribute to, an IRA.

Tomorrow is never as far away as you think; yesterday is never as near as you wish.

Mutual funds should only be invested in if you are planning to leave your money there for at least 5 years. Ten years is better.

Stay away from single-stock investing.

Every man worth his salt should be equally able to rebuild a carburetor and a computer.

Balance your checkbook.

Keep your lawnmower blades sharp. Don’t wait until it’s time to mow again.

Learn to weld.

Make, and live by, two budgets: one for time, one for money.

Never be afraid to kill, if absolutely necessary.

Never be afraid to run, if necessary.

Go to city council meetings.

Don’t get married if you can’t afford it.

Try not to watch too much television; it will eat your time quicker than you think.

Truth can be as damaging as lies.

the deed is done
he said to her
in tones both old and cold

the dead man said
no murderer
will ever find my home
no ill intent shall ever reach
into my walls of stone
no revenge
or recompense
shall darken my abode

the dead man died
without a word
and we did find his home
the house, it stays
although ablaze
and he remains alone


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