Thursday, November 11, 2004
Not mine, but a better more insightful one. The Unenlightened. I highly recommend it. Torpid is great thinker and writer. Be warned, if you're the kind of guy who doesn't get movies and needs them explained to you, don't waste your time. Otherwise, enjoy the madness.
It's official this time. He's really dead. So far things seem to be going well, but anarchy can only hold its breath for so long. Keep your eyes on Israel, friends.
Acura RSX Type S
Acura TL A-Spec
Audi TT 3.2 Quattro
Cadillac STS V8
Dodge Ram SRT 10
Dodge SRT 4
Ford Mustang GT (the new one too)
Infiniti G35 Coupe
Jaguar S-Type R
Maserati Coupe' Combiocorsa
Maserati Spyder GT
Mazda RX 8
Mazdaspeed MX 5 Miata Turbo
Mercedes CLK55 AMG
Mercedes SLK32 AMG
Mercedes S55 AMG
Mini Cooper S John Cooper Works Edition
Mitsubishi Evo VIII (Known to silly Americans as the Mistu Lancer Evolution)
Nissan 350 Z
Pontiac Bonneville GXP
Porsche Cayenne Turbo
Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet
Not bad for $1600 bucks. It also corners like, I dunno, a car that corners really well. And I still get about 25 mpg.
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
I can't think of any more to say about this than THANK GOD!! Maybe we CAN be free again.
Monday, November 08, 2004
Many people, including myself, were concerned about the possibilities of a long fight over electoral votes. Said fight, if continued and vicious, could have been a great threat to our country, I believe. No matter who started it.
But John Kerry also knew this. Senator Kerry decided it would be better for the sake of the country for him to concede. Even though his advisors thought they might take Ohio, and maybe others, he knew what a protracted electoral fight could do to us.
Thank you Senator. You've done us a great service. I wish you well in your continued political career.
The title of my post notwithstanding, I am not a vapid ideologue of any sort. I will shortly get to my point, but first, a little preemptive self-defense:
I am not a Republican. I am not a Democrat. I am not a Conservative. I am not a Liberal. I am not a Moderate. I do not stand waiting to catch the prevailing winds. I have beliefs, and I take stands. However, these beliefs and stands do not equate directly to any major party or ideology. (If you believe that I am a spineless Moderate or whacky Liberal or something, feel free to ask me about any given positions and I will honestly respond.) On that, I base my above statements that I am not a Republican, not a Democrat, etc. I have never voted for a Democrat or Republican for POTUS. I have, however, voted for members of both parties for local and statewide office.
Now, with that out of the way, I shall get on with it J.
There is a prevailing notion that there are strong standard bearers of Conservatism who bestride our airwaves like the great Colossus. These people have names like Hannity, Limbaugh, Ingram. I could go on, but I believe you get the idea.
These men and women claim to be Conservative Republicans. They are not. They are Republican Conservatives. You may argue that this is simply an issue of semantics. I believe it is more than that. By putting “Conservative” first in one’s self-affixed label, one leads others to believe that he is a “Conservative” first, fighting for those values. And further, he only goes on to the “Republican” part of the title, after he has prevailed on the “Conservative” front. None of the people I mentioned can honorably make this claim.
In “Conservative” talk today (radio and television), it is obvious to any onlooker with a modicum of intelligence that said rhetoric is “Conservative” only in token form. The rhetoric is Republican first, Conservative second, if ever. These “Conservatives” do not care that a Republican POTUS has increased non-defense government spending, has increased government regulation, has decreased our level of some freedoms, and has generally been on the side of the Federal Government on State’s Rights debates.
I find all this sad, as I agree with many true conservative positions. I wish our “Conservative” commentators would try to use their voices more to get conservative policies enacted, and they’d use their voices less for the sole purpose of keeping/getting Republicans in office.
Friday, November 05, 2004
One step closer to true AI? Incredible experiment nonetheless.
'Brain' in a dish flies flight simulator
(CNN) -- A Florida scientist has developed a "brain" in a glass dish that is capable of flying a virtual fighter plane and could enhance medical understanding of neural disorders such as epilepsy.
The "living computer" was grown from 25,000 neurons extracted from a rat's brain and arranged over a grid of 60 electrodes in a Petri dish.
The brain cells then started to reconnect themselves, forming microscopic interconnections, said Thomas DeMarse, professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Florida.
"It's essentially a dish with 60 electrodes arranged in a dish at the bottom," explained DeMarse, who designed the study.
"Over that we put the living cortical neurons from rats, which rapidly begin to reconnect themselves, forming a living neural network -- a brain."
Although such living networks could one day be used to fly unmanned aircraft, DeMarse said the study was of more immediate relevance as an experimental aid to understanding how the human brain performs and learns computational tasks at a cellular level.
"We're interested in studying how brains compute," said DeMarse.
Mrs. Arafat keeps husbandon life support
Where's his money?
Special to World Tribune.com
GEOSTRATEGY-DIRECT.COMThursday, November 4, 2004
RAMALLAH — Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat has died. He was 75 years old.
Israeli and Palestinian officials said Arafat died on Thursday in a military hospital in Paris. They said Arafat was deemed clinically dead, but is still attached to life support systems on the insistence of his wife, Suha.
"He is dead, but neither Arafat's wife nor the Palestinian leadership is ready to announce this," a PA official said. "The announcement could take place on Friday."
The problem is that Arafat is still the only Palestinian official who can pay the bills. And it is unclear who, if anyone, has access to the estimated $2-3 billion in his personal Swiss bank accounts, according to a report in the current edition of Geostrategy-Direct.com. Even his wife is said to be unaware of how to access the funds.
Arafat continues to hold the purse strings to the Palestinian finances. For the last decade, he has been the final, and often only word on payment to everybody from the suicide bomber to the janitor. Not a dime was paid without Arafat's okay.
Before he left for Paris, Arafat approved a three-member emergency committee to operate the PA and PLO in his absence. Officials said Ahmed Qurei was meant to run the PA's daily affairs while Mahmoud Abbas was appointed acting chairman of the PLO.
Palestine National Council chairman Salim Zaanoun, the third member of the committee, was said to be a symbolic figure.
Abbas and Qurei sought to acquire Arafat's power to allocate money during the absence of the PA chairman. But as he boarded a Jordanian Air Force helicopter for Amman, Arafat refused.
"I'm still alive, thank God, so don't worry," Arafat was quoted as saying.
Israeli officials confirmed that Arafat died on Thursday, Middle East Newsline reported. They said Arafat was termed brain dead and physicians have stopped attending to him.
For Palestinians, the main question is where is Arafat's money?
Issam Abu Issa knows how Arafat appropriated and concealed money. Abu Issa was the founder and chairman of the Palestine International Bank from 1996 until he fled to Qatar in 2000.
"Rather than use donor funds for their intended purposes, Arafat regularly diverted money to his own accounts," Abu Issa said in a report for Middle East Quarterly. "It is amazing that some U.S. officials still see the Palestinian Authority as a partner even after U.S. congressional records revealed authenticated PLO papers signed by Arafat in which he instructed his staff to divert donors' money to projects benefiting himself, his family and his associates."
Arafat controls billions of dollars meant for the Palestinian people. In a word, he stole it, intelligence sources said, according to the Geostrategy-Direct report.
His personal fortune has been estimated at between $2 and $3 billion, most of it in Swiss bank accounts.
In 1997, the PA auditor's office said in its financial report that $326 million, or 43 percent of the annual budget, was "missing."
The United States has been supporting former PA security chief Mohammed Dahlan as Arafat's successor. To his friends in the Bush administration, Dahlan, 43, has all the qualities for Arab leadership: a smooth talker and brutal cop. Arafat asked Dahlan to accompany him to Paris in a move designed to keep him out of the Gaza Strip and any coup plot.
Another challenger has been Fatah Secretary-general Marwan Barghouti, sentenced to life in prison for a series of terrorist attacks. Barghouti, 44, has followers in the West Bank but does not appear to have the iron will necessary to face Arafat loyalists.
Neither Israeli nor PA officials have been told much about Arafat's condition, and the only one authorized to issue information from his hospital bedside is the chairman's wife, Suha.