Friday, April 04, 2003


This is the oath that George took:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

It's not a difficult oath to remember. New members of our armed forces take one very similar every day.

The core of the oath every person wearing a Marine Corps, Air Force, Army or Naval uniform, on Iraqi soil and off, right this second, swore when they enlisted, is to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic;" and to "bear true faith and allegiance to the same. "

There's not much more than that -- obedience to the lawful orders of superiors (including the Commander-in-Chief) in adherence to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The usual.

But the Constitution.

The Constitution is the core of this oath, the basis for our system of government, and without it we cease to be Americans. It's not even the basis, it is our system of government. It is the definition of the United States of America. It is the compact the Founding Fathers made with one another and with posterity. We make that compact anew every time someone takes that oath. That is why we must preserve the Constitution, must protect it, must defend it if we want to continue to call ourselves Americans.

Well and so. Points for effort, Mr. President, but with regards to the preservation, protection and defense of the Constitution, I'm afraid I have to give you an 'F'. You can't protect a thing by destroying it. You owe us, all of us, in service and civilian, much more than that.

The Constitution of the United States of America
Enlistment Oath
Air Force Academy: Arrival & Oath
Marine Corps: Enlisted Oath
Damn Straight We Need Regime Change

"Republicans assail Kerry for 'regime change' remark"

I'm actually going to quote large chunks here.

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. John Kerry came under fire from top congressional Republicans for saying the United States, like Iraq, needs a regime change. Kerry would not back down.

Bill Frist, Senate Majority Leader, got huffy --

"Free and open discourse is one thing, but petty, partisan insults launched solely for personal political gain are highly inappropriate at a time when American men and women are in harm's way," Frist said in a statement Thursday.

I can't believe he actually said that with a straight face. I mean, I'm assuming he did, otherwise the article would have said, suppressing laughter at the blatent hyprocrisy of his statement, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said..... But it doesn't say that, so straight-faced he must have been.

"In a speech Wednesday in Peterborough, N.H., Kerry said President Bush so alienated allies prior to the U.S.-led war against Iraq that only a new president can rebuild damaged relationships with other countries. "

I believe this firmly. I believe that only if we elect a new president who has the strength of will to apologize, yes, apologize to the international community for the insults and misuse of power by this Bush Administration, do we, America, have a snowball's chance in hell of regaining our standing with that community. Our name, reputation, and honor has been besmirched by an administration that ignores international treaties and the importance of international relations as a whole.

Kerry said it right, "patriotism is not mutually exclusive with questioning the war".

Leading congressional Democrats generally have avoided criticism of Bush since U.S.-led forces began attacking Iraq.

Attention, "leading congressional Democrats"! It is time to stop avoiding criticism! It is time to question the regime actively ripping up our social contract! It is time to be a patriot! It is time to stand up for the Constitution!

Kerry says US needs its own 'regime change'
Republicans assail Kerry for 'regime change' remark
On eve of war, Kerry blasts Bush

Thursday, April 03, 2003

Flashy Beaks

Flashy colours come and go in the fashion world but bright beaks are always in style for male birds seeking a mate.

So, does this mean it's the guys who should be wearing lipstick?
The *snigger* Core (guffaw)

I can't stop laughing every time I see an ad for the film, "The Core".

Seriously. There I am, minding my own business, channel-surfing mindlessly (the sport of champions), and I'll slam into one of the more talky ads for the flick, where they actually *say* things like 'we're going in' and 'restart the core', and --


'Scuse me.

Literally, I collapse into laughter, pointing my finger at the screen. I swear, it's almost Pavlovian.

But it's just so *funny*. I mean, here's the idea, right? Let's take a ship made of earth stuff, and ride in it to someplace so hot even the earth melts!


My god, what a great idea! Let's drive a tank made of metal to a place where rocks melt! Yeah!

*hysterical laughter*

Not Much, But I Try

Jill, it was the best I could do.

One Patently False Statement

Deserves Another

Homophobes: Shoe pinches a bit on the other foot, don't it?

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Welcome to April

I dislike this April Fool's Day joke thing -- and I am not saying this because someone managed to fool me today or something (or even that anyone tried) -- but I did sit here for a grand total of 5 seconds and try to think of something to make a fool's-day joke over. The only things I could come up with were incredibly cruel, which is why I don't like fool's-day jokes (a holiday-specific subset of practical jokes) to begin with.

So. If the only thing I can come up with is faking my death online, I need to write more comedy.

Instead, I'll amuse you with a story about my latest bank statement. Riveting, I know.

I go about my business like most Sidras (work, lunch, more work, secret cabal meeting, watch episode of Stargate, throw out trash, dance around to Tomb Raider soundtrack, have a drink, read book, ritual human sacrifice at midnight, go to sleep. All completely normal.) and find my bank statement waiting for me in the mailbox.

Big wup, right? That's what I thought.

So, being in a mail-opening mood, I actually open my mail. (This does not always happen. Matter of fact, this does not often happen. To be truthful, this rarely happens.)

The thought actually crosses my mind that the beginning of April is...soon-ish or something, and I'm going to have to write a check for rent, and the bank statement is about an inch from my hand.... What the hell, I'll read my bank statement.

Which says "Current Balance: 0.00".

Yes, that's exactly the reaction I had. Hand clutching heart, gasping on floor like a drowning fish. Yes! That face! That's the face I made!

And then I notice what's probably been printed on my statement since UltraMegaBankCorp bought BigBank-U.S., to wit, "when we transfer your BBUS account to UMBC, your BBUS statement will show a current balance of 0.00. "

Oh. That's all right then. Thank you so much, UltraMegaBankCorp, for the heart attack, I can't tell you how long I've wanted one! If this is what I can expect as a customer, why, I'm thrilled to be a member of the UMBC family (FDIC insured)!

Want to take a guess at how many phone calls their customer service number got the day all the BBUS customers got their statements? I'm a little curious about that myself.

Monday, March 31, 2003

Fish. It's What's for Dinner.

Diabetic women gain significant health benefits from eating fish.

DALLAS, April 1 -- Eating fish regularly reduced the risk of heart disease in diabetic women by as much as 64 percent, according to study reported in today's rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.
"We found that women with type 2 diabetes who ate more fish had significantly lower risk of coronary heart disease and total death than those who rarely ate fish," says Frank B. Hu, M.D., lead author and associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. "Previous studies have found that fish consumption reduces risk of heart disease in a largely healthy population. This is the first study to look at the relationship among diabetic patients, who have very high risk of heart disease." The American Heart Association recommends that adults, except pregnant women, eat two servings of fish a week. For those with, or at high risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), supplementing fish in the diet with fish oil capsules may be advisable in consultation with a physician.
Also known as fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids from fish have been shown to reduce the risk of irregular heartbeats that can lead to sudden death, decrease blood triglyceride levels, improve the functions of blood vessels and reduce blood clot formation. These effects are particularly important for reducing risk for CVD among diabetics.
Enter My MInd

Understanding the Psychology of Programming, by Bryan Dollery.

Contrary to popular belief, programmers more frequently resemble artists than scientists. If you want to maximize the creative potential on your development team, you've got to start thinking about the psychology of the programmer and be willing to back it up with management policy.

Very accurate. Do programmers work for you? Or near you? Do you interact with them? Do they always seem absent-minded and upset at you for interrupting them? Not to mention just fucking weird? READ THIS ARTICLE.

If none of the above apply to you, READ THIS ARTICLE, too. Might come in handy.

'Course, while I'm at it, try reading Dave Kiersey's Please Understand Me. And then the Hacker FAQ.
Firewalls Bad?

The remark in Arron Rouse's article about "sysadmins fainting in disbelief" seems reasonable to me.

Use a Firewall, Go to Jail, at Freedom to Tinker.
Armageddon, ho!

Space Weather news for March 27, 2003

Sky watchers in several US states were startled around midnight on March 27th when a brilliant fireball streaked across the sky and exploded. It was a small (perhaps less than a few meters wide) rocky asteroid with a mass of about 10 metric tons. Some 500 fragments scattered over a 10-km wide zone in the suburbs south of Chicago. Meteorites struck houses, cars, roads--but no people. Such fireballs are surprisingly common: Researchers expect an asteroidal object one meter in diameter or larger to strike Earth's atmosphere about 40 times per year. Few are seen, however, because they usually appear over unpopulated areas.

Visit for more information.