I hate when I do that - I hate when I leave my blog all bold like that.
Argument - I got into a big argument with my parents and sister last night. It was over the war. It escalated into shouting (mostly on my part). I feel a little bad about that, but I have strong feelings about the war. i believe there is some room for reasonable disagreement on the issue of war, and I respect my parents opinions. But it upsets me when people seem to be making decisions on less information than they should.
One thing I regret saying was stating outright that there are no terrorist camps in Iraq. There are cams, though not in the Saddam-controlled parts of the country. And they are not al Qaida, but rather are loosely affiliated. And these folks have met with Saddam to talk, though there is no evidence of support other than the fact that they both view America as an enemy.
I have a number of reasons I oppose the war. One is that I think it will decrease world stability, not increase it. I oppose what I perceive to be Bush's rush to war in our name, and in the name of our safety when there is no proof that Saddam has lent any support to al Qaida.
A war will be costly in lives and dollars, and I think the situation can be handled in a less costly way. I think the containment of the last 10 years has been a success, not a failure. If having troops in the area and having the UN inspectors back in Iraq is slowly putting the pressure on Saddam to cooperate, then I think slow and effective is better than quick and costly.
However, I have to learn how to calm down. And the fact that I'm drinking coffee again is not helping matters.
Blogger's Holiday - Boy, have I been reticent in the old blog lately. I've not had much time to devote to blog reading or blog writing. I hope people are still checking in, at least every once in a while.
I can't promise to post more frequently, because it just comes and goes. But keep visiting. It will be worth your while.
Deadly Nightclub Fire - I don't watch TV news, so I end up catching this local story on Yahoo's national feed. Yahoo! News - R.I. Nightclub Fire Kills at Least 60
At least 60... holy cow. It appears that the club had no permit for the pyrotechnics that started the blaze, though they had passed a recent fire inspection. No sprinklers were mandated because of the club's small size. Obviously, the small size of the club during the fire did not save at least 60 people.
Vote To Impeach Bush "Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General during the Johnson Administration has drafted articles of impeachment setting forth high crimes and misdemeanors by President Bush and other civil officers of his administration."
This is pretty amazing, to me. What will happen if some senator takes the ball and runs with this. It's obvious that people are getting more and more annoyed with Bush. I'm convinced that if we had had a better choice on the Democrat side, we wouldn't be stuck with Bush right now. Gore just wasn't the man. But people don't have the love for Bush that conservatives would have you think.
Computer Music - I love music, and Electronica is one of the styles I have a fondness for. But I've never really tried to make my own music. I have no idea where to start. I did find this cool website for a magazine that deals with computer music:Computer Music Tutorials - Intro. However, I still think I need some more basic information about where an absolute beginner should start.
Anyone out there know anything about this subject? Perhaps I should just take a class here at the university, but I guess I'm more of the "learn on your own" kinda guy.
Trash-talkin' Byrd - "This Administration, now in power for a little over two years, must be judged on its record. I believe that that record is dismal. " So says US Senator Robert Byrd. I can't agree more. Lessee:
In foreign policy, this Administration has failed to find Osama bin Laden. In fact, just yesterday we heard from him again marshaling his forces and urging them to kill. This Administration has split traditional alliances, possibly crippling, for all time, International order-keeping entities like the United Nations and NATO. This Administration has called into question the traditional worldwide perception of the United States as well-intentioned, peacekeeper. This Administration has turned the patient art of diplomacy into threats, labeling, and name calling of the sort that reflects quite poorly on the intelligence and sensitivity of our leaders, and which will have consequences for years to come.
Calling heads of state pygmies, labeling whole countries as evil, denigrating powerful European allies as irrelevant -- these types of crude insensitivities can do our great nation no good. We may have massive military might, but we cannot fight a global war on terrorism alone. We need the cooperation and friendship of our time-honored allies as well as the newer found friends whom we can attract with our wealth. Our awesome military machine will do us little good if we suffer another devastating attack on our homeland which severely damages our economy. Our military manpower is already stretched thin and we will need the augmenting support of those nations who can supply troop strength, not just sign letters cheering us on.
The O'Just-Shut-Up Factor O'Reilly's mask is off. If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. Check out this transcript of a conversation between Bill O'Reilly and the son of a 9/11 victim. Fair and balanced, indeed. Link via Tom Tomorrow's Blog.
Ninjas! - Too funny! The Official Ninja Webpage: REAL Ultimate Power!!!! This is hilarious - a site dedicated to Ninjas (written to be outrageous). Not everyone has gotten the joke, judging by the hate mail.
Let it snow - The kids are home from school and there's shovelling to do outside. Must be a snowstorm! Yep, and the snow is still falling. We haven't had many of these storms in the last few years. It always seems to me that there was more snow when I was a kid.
This is the anniversary of the great New England Blizzard of '78. Any snowstorm on Feb 6-7 generates memories of that long ago storm.
- Audition - When Aoyama decides to stage an audition to find the woman of his dreams (under the pretense of making a movie) what he finds is a woman who is, perhaps, too good to be true. At first he is smitten with the demure and pretty Asami, and then a bit obsessed. But why don't any of her references pan out? Is this a love story, a dream, or an hallucenation? The only thing you can trust is pain, a lesson that may be harder to learn for Aoyama than he bargained for. Takashi Miike has created a fairytale gone horribly wrong, to the point where it will likely turn your stomach before the storybook closes. Look closely at Aoyama's face in the last scene of the film and wonder, just what is going through his head behind those still longing eyes... Not for the faint of heart.
Unnecessary War - Sometimes I blog something I hear about at work, but don't have time to read (I want to be able to remember when I get home). This looks like an interesting article, and it starts out by saying that Saddam Hussein is a man that is capable of being deterred, making war unnecessary. It's what I would like to believe, so I'm interested in what the author has to back up the statement: Foreign Policy -- Unnecessary War
Netflix - After seeing all sorts of online ads for it and reading a few recommendations from people of whom I respect the opinion, I've signed up for a two-week free trial of Netflix. So far, so good.
One thing I like about Netflix is that it's going to free me up to view all sorts of movies I might be reluctant to spend money on at Blockbuster. You can have 3 films out at a time, can have them out as long as you like and (if you return the movies quickly) can view many different films over the course of a month. I've already seen Hyōryuu-gai(City of Lost Souls) (a very interesting crime film involving Japanese, Chinese and Brazilian cultures clashing) and A wonderful con artist movie that beats the last David Mamet film by a long shot. It was an Argentinian film called Nueve reinas(Nine Queens).
I highly recommend Nine Queens. Try City of Lost Souls only if you like Japanese films and bad subtitles (which I find at least entertaining). For example, this film was called City of Last Souls in some locations. I'm about to watch The City of Lost Children.
Netflix lets you establish a queue of movies you would like to see, and as you return the movies they simply send you the next DVD in the queue. Odishon (1999) is a movie that Rui told me about (a disturbing Japanese suspense/horror film). This movie is released on DVD this week, and Netflix is sending it along.
I'll let you know if I continue to be happy about their service. It partly depends on how quickly they can turn these DVDs around. I sent my first disk back on Friday, and another on Friday. They're already sending me 2 more, which will probably get here tomorrow or Wednesday. With the turnaround I can probably get about 4 movies in a week.
Likely to be slashdotted - Salon has an article entitled "Embrace file-sharing, or die". It's a message for the entertainment industry from a record executive and his son. Here are some interesting points: Movie sharing is at an all-time high, and the MPAA lament this fact, but filmmaker's revenues are also at an all-time high. Ticket sales are higher than they have ever been. Why? There's a lot of consumer choice out there in film today. Contrast that with the music industry. It's a long article, but a good read.