June 20, 2009


Don't Ask, Don't Tell is the military policy towards gays in service.  I explain why in a bit, but I think it will go away in my lifetime, and I support it as policy.  First I want to address some of the arguments favoring it.  Some of them, I think, are knee-jerk arguments, but they really irk me.

I'm going to snark a bit, but don't think for a moment that I have anything less than total respect for those who serve.  I have more to lose than most if America fails to defeat Islamic extremism.

1.  Don't drop the soap in the shower.

A.  Because gays are notorious for boinking unsuspecting men in the shower when given an opportunity?

B.  Because ogling is faggotry's primary transmission vector?

Please.  I don't think the military is very tolerant of rape.  And certainly, anybody who can complete basic training must have some degree of self-discipline.

As a side note, guys preen when a chick looks them over and are skeeved when a dude does it?  What the fuck?  How about being flattered that somebody thinks you're hot enough to check out in the first place?  It won't make you gay, I promise.  I'm pleased when a woman flirts with me; it suggests that I'm not a creepy fucking leper that ought to be locked in the basement.

2.  I'm not sure this argument isn't bit of satire, but the frequency with which I see it makes me think at least some people believe it (it has a corollary, but I'll get to that).  Flouncy girly-guys will join and spend their time flaunting their sexuality.

A.  Right, because the Perez Hiltons of the world are clamoring for a chance to join the military.

B.  How many of those types who actually do join will last through basic training?

A horde of queers wearing siren hats and sandwich boards reading "LOOK AT ME, I'M A FAG" are going to take over the military.  Yeah, I kind of doubt it.

You can argue that I'm out of my depth, since I haven't any military experience.  But, I can argue the same of you since those people you see at the Folsom Street Fair, and on Will and Grace are absolutelty not representative of all homos.

3.  This is the ugliest argument, and will have the ugliest response.  But, I recognize the reality of the argument.  I would not enlist/re-enlist if I had to serve with an openly gay service member.

A. I would rather forsake everything America has accomplished and for which she stands than serve in a unit with a queer.

My bitterness over this argument is probably personal and emotional, but the argument is a touch horrifying.  I suppose I'm guilty of having a Platonic pure form vision of selfless soldiers battling for American supremacy and freedom.

Now I've learned that as many as 80% of our soldiers have the following priorities, in order:  Not to serve alongside openly gay soldiers.  To protect and preserve everything America stands for. 

That's hurtful, and more to the point shameful.  This is perhaps the one argument that gay service members can win hands down.  I know from my reading of gay former soldiers that they hide and even abandon their personal lives in order to fight for something greater than themselves.

They not only fight a war of aggression against America's enemies, but a war of intelligence against their peers and superiors.  My understanding is that there is a powerful extra-military culture amongst service members that pushes for a normal, stable life with a wife/girlfriend/children.  The queers serving have to obfusticate/dissemble/lie in order to fit in.

Many of them have crappy private lives and abandon their own personal codes of ethics in order to serve something above their own petty existence.  I can guarantee that this hurts them, and their morale, and that they, still, are truly offering everything they have to serve American ideals.

Anyhow, there are arguments about unit cohesion and loyalty that I can't address since I have no military experience.  I will trust the military establishment on their assessment.

4.  Why do we segregate male and female service members?

A.  Because they chase after one another?  Duh.

I can only speculate about the whys and wherefores of military policy frowning on co-military relationships, but I do believe those reasons are valid (as opposed to similar civilian restrictions, with which I disagree.)

But, I can say that the fags will be chasing one another, rather than any straight people with whom they have no hope of building a relationship, or getting laid for that matter.

In spite of my ire against the arguments above, I have to be realistic.  Realistically, DADT is the best alternative for now.  I only have three reasons in support.

1.  The arguments I listed above are common, and most frequently come from members of the Armed Services.  I'm confident they know what they think.  And these thinkings are the majority for now.

2.  My biased response is that it protects the queers from harrassment and hazing that they would certainly suffer if they were out.  A small percentage of military personnel are actually gay, but they would certainly be mistreated if they were outed.  It's a fact of human nature.  (No, not because they're gay, but because they belong to another 'tribe.'  The same thing happens to blacks, women, red-heads, insert group.  Try not to lose any sleep, it's the same reason we invented Taxonomy.)

3.  There would be a percentage of enlistees who would be flamey-fags.  They would fuck up until they were booted and then turn around and sue for discrimination.  It's a leftist tactic, and it's as sure to come as the sun is to rise.  I don't want to pay the legal bills.

I think that DADT will go away in my lifetime, but I don't think that now is the right time.  Every generation seems to be less cautious towards homos and eventually these sorts of people will fill not only the ranks, but the command structures of our military.  I can be patient.

Besides, there are historical, literary, and modern examples to give encouragement.  The Sacred Band of Thebes was entirely gay.  Frank Herbert gave God, Emperor of Dune a lesbian army, and the IDF hasn't splintered because of the queers serving in Israel.

I say we keep DADT until soldiers and Americans stop giving a crap.  I give it a decade, maybe a decade and a half.

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May 26, 2009

So Long and Thanks for All the Fish

I'm feeling a bit nostalgic and depressed.  Honestly, I think the American spirit has passed in my lifetime.  Perhaps it will make a last gasp or two in the future.  Indeed, it could prevail.  I don't think I will live to see those final moments of American doitiveness.

Our bureaucracy is to large.  We are no longer ruled by a limited and tepid government with specific mandates, but by a sprawling, unruly bureaucracy whose only interest is in maintaining their own existence.

I will never again see the day when youngsters played on the shale cliffs and built a dam across the swollen river during spring melts.  From now on it's kevlar helmets and 10 year-olds in car seats.

Young as I am, I miss the good old days.  No longer shall we learn from our mistakes.  That is, not until we repeat them.

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March 11, 2009

Oh! La la!

I have a new date guy.  He's not really my type.  Heavy set, femme, few commonalities.  But he's great in bed.  I'm having my first purely sexual relationship* (aw, wipe that tear away, I'm all grows up now).

Anyhow, I have one question.  How does one get rid of hickeys? He's a biter!

* Not counting hookups and one-night stands.

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January 11, 2009

Fo' Shizzle

Guess who has a spiffy new hat.  It's me!

I made it meself, and I need to record the instructions for posterity, so see below the fold for the pattern.

This is a work in progress since the pattern mostly comes out of my own head.  What I thought would be a sock hat ended up being a beanie.  Add another 6-12 rows for a sock hat.  76 sts might not be quite enough after washing.  It's supposed to fit tightly, but if it shrinks the hat is likely to fit like a nylon.  Castons should be even in number, and ideally a multiple of four.

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December 19, 2008

Antacid, Please

I'm trying to get my TVPC up and running and I'm hitting a wall every time I try to install the Nvidia drivers.  Normally these drivers work like a charm (yes, even on my Slackware machines).

This time they're killing.  I have a GeForce 7300 GT video card.  In addition, I have a pcHDTV tuner card.  My concern is that there is a conflict in the driver between these two devices, but I can't find anything in the log files that suggests this might be the case.

Anyhow, here is my attempt to fix the problem.  It's below the fold hidden from you non-geeky types who might find their way here.

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December 07, 2008


It's not much, but hey. . .


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November 21, 2008

Don't Need to Ask

The local afternoon radio guy just made me laugh.  His argument against Don't Ask Don't Tell:

'It would be sheer poetry to have the flamingest gay guy in America go into Afghanistan wearing pink camo and drag Osama out of his cave.  That would make me smile.'

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November 19, 2008

Bless You Armed Forces

Forget Jake what's his name.  This is my new boyfriend.


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October 31, 2008

Babel of Books

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Unicorns and Kiwi Muffins

Dennis Kucinich introduced H.R. 808 last year.

If you're too lazy to click the link, this bill would establish the Department of Peace and Nonviolence, complete with a cabinet level Secretary of Peace and Nonviolence.

The purpose of the department would be to promote and research peaceful and non-violent solutions, conflict resolution, peace,  and non-violence. 

It also has a duty to teach peace and non-violence as part of the public education curriculum, and to promote peace and non-violence to the public at large.

We all want peace and non-violence because you can't hug puppies with nuclear arms.

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October 30, 2008


I was a tad disenchanted when McCain won the Republican nomination.  Fred! and Romney were atop my list of nominees, followed by McCain, then Giuliani.  Fucking Huckabee is nearly as big a joke as Ron Paul.

Anyhow, I think McCain may have been the best possible selection for this particular cycle.  Obama alienated a big portion of the Democratic party, and they are now agitating for McPalin.  These PUMAs would likely be far less active on behalf of Fred!, and tepid for Romney.  McCain's reputation appeals to moderate Democrats, and they're much more willing to fight for his election than they would be to fight for a more staunch conservative.

I said some time ago that Obama would be the easier candidate to beat, and I still think that's true.  I doubt anybody thought the GOP would have an easy time this election, but had Hillary won the Democratic primary, we would be seeing a real runaway rather than this see-saw, smoke and mirrors election we're seeing now.

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October 29, 2008

Isn't she cute?

This is Crystal, the doggy.  She demands your unwavering attention.


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October 25, 2008

The Sacred Band

In ancient Greece, specifically Thebes, there was a military unit called the Sacred Band.  150 pairs of queers formed the unit and it was one of the most formidable hoplite units in Greece.

In fact, the Sacred Band defeated the Spartans, and guaranteed that Thebes would remain independent. Phillip of Macedon defeated them, but legend has it they stood and fought to the bitter end, with every one of the 300 men dying on the battlefield.

Hoplites looked something like this:

I suspect that Frank Herbert may have read Plato and Plutarch, because a variation of the Sacred Band was used in his book "God, Emperor of Dune."

Emperor Leto's army was composed entirely of women who would form relationships with one another rather than take out their sexual frustrations by pillaging and raping civilians (men are barbarians, doncha know).


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October 07, 2008

More Debating

I just watched the debate, and was distinctly underwhelmed.  Nobody offered a single body blow.

That being said, I think McCain sort of won.

Obama was articulate and compelling as an orator.  McCain was affable, and kindly, maybe even a bit diffident.  Neither of them charged to the fore.

I suspect and hope that this is a bit of strategy on McCain's part.  Tonight, he showed that Obama is a bit of a boob.

Obama prepared for McCain to come out swinging and was ready to defend and attack.  McCain was pleasant, and mostly avoided direct attacks on Obama.  Obama was baffled, and went on the defense even when McCain didn't bother to attack.

One of the rules of warfare is to make a noise in the east and attack from the west.  Obama seemed focused on the east.  If he was prepared to attack he never did.  He was focused and prepared to defend against something which never happened.  And that's why he was shown to be a boob.

Obama is focused, to the point of being single-minded.  He wants to be president, but hasn't a clue as to what the job entails.

I think McCain has a plan.  I don't think this oatmeal debate is cause for panic.  McCain said the gloves are off, and he wasn't lying.  However, everybody assumed that meant he would take every opportunity to smack Obama.  That would be stupid given the 24/7 news cycle, and the short attention span of the average American.

McCain is gambling again.  Nobody won the debate.  I doubt McCain thinks it was a battle worth winning.  He will take the fight elsewhere.  Afterall, another rule of warfare is to pick the battlefield.  McCain will bash Obama on the campaign trail.  He intends to seize the initiative and drive the debate in a venue where Obama will necessarily have to take time to formalize a response and fight back.  So long as he can keep Obama in defensive mode, he will have an advantage.

I would provide a link, but I don't remember where I found the quote (paraphrase, really), but if McCain is smarter than I, what would he do?  McCain is a successful politician and decorated military hero.  He might make mistakes, but fighting a battle to a draw isn't one he would make without having a greater goal in mind.

I guess the question is; can his tactics keep up with his strategy?

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October 02, 2008


I watched the VP debate tonight.  It was quite good.  There were some predictable bits and some not so predictable.

Gov. Palin started out a little rocky.  She definitely got her bearings though.  The uncertainty passed.  Sen. Biden clearly struggled to school himself and not be a total prick.  He succeeded.

Palin is so fucking charming it's ridiculous.  Biden is also charismatic but damn.  No contest.  Palin won the cuteness factor.  I don't know if that's a good thing.

Substantively?  Obviously, I'm conservative so I think the McCain/Palin ticket is the winner.  I do think it's pretty impressive that after six odd weeks, Palin managed to hold her own against a 30 year veteran of the Senate.  I think she managed to maintain the narrative if not control it.  I think she demonstrated a firm grasp of the issues and that she can be critical and thoughtful about decision making.  Palin pointed out many of her accomplishments as governor and mayor while Biden named a handful of bills he has sponsored and a three-decade political career.

I think this was probably a draw leaning to Palin.

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September 24, 2008

Mousey Fate

I was visiting my family in Wyoming recently.  Apparently my folks had a mouse in their basement.  Mom went to town to get some traps and poison.

Meanwhile, my aunt chased the little fucker down and ended its scurrylous ways with a claw hammer.

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September 17, 2008

We're Running Out of Alphabet

Being a computer guy, I have to know a lot of acronyms.  PHP, SQL, LAMP, WAMP, CMS, and so on.  Further more, I used to work for the DSS (Department of Social Services) which became CPS (Children's Protective Services) which then became DHHSCPS (Department of Health and Human Services Chilren's Protective Services).

Frequently I had to fill out a collection of forms to request a certain document.  I filled out the ADM-2, ADM-2A, and the ABCDM-4.  All of them in triplicate, two of them with nearly identical information only in different boxes.  Talking to co-workers was a gabble of letters and numbers.  I swear we all sounded like Star Wars robots talking dirty to each other.

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September 16, 2008

The Sky is Falling!

We seem to be running out of light sweet crude, but that's only a fraction of the oil resources in the world.  Even now refineries are upgrading to handle heavy sour crude which accounts for much more of the oil resources in the world than light sweet.  Beyond that we have tar sands(pdf), oil shale, and coal (all of which, with a bit of chemical hocus-pocus can be turned into fuel and such).

Those who tell you otherwise are Chicken Little types screaming about the falling sky and you should be skeptical.  There are oodles of energy resources in the world.  We will use them as the economy demands.  With light sweet crude resources dwindling
we will switch to heavy sour crude.  Current prices and technologies mean that oil shale, tar sands, and coal liquefaction are also economically viable.  Hopefully we will take this opportunity to begin switching to other technologies for energy as well.

That bad news is that we will face a transition.  It will cost money.  Prices will go up.  On the other hand, we are resilient, I simply can't believe we're facing a catastrophe.

I think I'll write a series on the realities of energy production in the near future.  It's something that quite interests me, so consider this the first in that series.

Anywho, we are not running out of hydro-carbon fuels.  Not in my life-time, my kids' life-times, nor their kids.  The grandkids will wear nylon, use plastic bags, fertilize their gardens, honk down pharmaceuticals, and probably even drive many of the same vehicles as we do today.

The world goes 'round because of energy.  Humanity exists in its current state because of our manipulation of energy.  Nearly every advance in our history has been the result of better ability to manipulate energy.  We started with the taming of fire, then water pumps, then windmills.  Today we are nearing the point where we can harness the mechanism that powers the sun.  I'm a bit of a science fiction nut, but when we accomplish that we will finally be a Type I civilization.

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September 03, 2008


I finished a book today called "Firestar" written by Michael Flynn, published in 1996.  It was in a collection of books given to me after my aunt died.  It's an ambitious book and would have been better served if it were written as a number of volumes rather than a single tome.

As far as the writing goes, it was mediocre. The dialogue didn't exactly compare to Oscar Wilde.  The story was moderately predictable without being tiresome.  I would describe the theme as being a business-opera meets techno-drama.

In "Firestar" a rich heiress witnesses a meteor during the day in Jackson Hole.  This event drives her to get mankind out of the cradle.  All of her wealth and business acumen is directed to create an orbital industrial base and send humanity to the stars.  Meriesa van Huyten's efforts create a sprawling conglomerate of industries from smelting and plastics to MEMS and school administration.

I would have found the book truly riveting had the author focused a bit more on the intrigue and politicking of VHI (van Huyten's Industries).  The plot is more of a backdrop aimed at developing character stories, and thus the plot suffers.  Potentially exciting intrigues and political wranglings are introduced and solved pages or chapters later with a few sentences. This particular technique relieves the reader of any pesky suspense.  It's also a bit of a pie-eyed story, but I don't mind that so much.  Fiction is an exercise of the imagination, and as a techno-optimist I rather enjoy reading feverishly optimistic stories of future tech.

As a bit of an aside, the book is very timely in its treatment of technology.  It got a few things wrong, like voice-actived computers; a few things right, like remote-controlled armed-forces units; a few things not yet realized, like the aerospike.  The timing was a little optimistic since it has only been in the last five odd years that private enterprise has actually begun to pursue a potentially lucrative space industry.  There's also an important sub-plot on education which is a source of some of the other (interesting) characters in the book.

But, as I mentioned the book is primarily character driven and I will discuss that below the fold as I wouldn't want to ruin anything.

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August 25, 2008

My Goodness

Daniel Radcliff is a tiny little fellow.  By way of reference, my current date is 5'4" at best; weighing 120 lbs.

Radcliff, on television, looks to be about 4' 1" and 60 lbs.

Who says television adds 40 lbs.?

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