Sasser Worm Creator Awarded Freedom

Ξ July 10th, 2005 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Geeky Stuff, Rants |

Wired News: Sasser Worm Creator Avoids Lockup
VERDEN, Germany — The teen creator of the Sasser internet worm, which caused millions of dollars in damage worldwide, won’t be going to jail despite his conviction Friday on charges including computer sabotage.

Sven Jaschan, 19, who was fingered with the help of ($250,000) reward money from Microsoft, instead got a 21-month suspended sentence and was ordered to do community service, court spokeswoman Katharina Kruetzfeld said.

How ridiculous is this? This little butt-hole gets 30 hours of community service after causing millions of dollars of damage world-wide. What a message to send to all the other socially inept, sexually inadequate, attention seeking misfits.

The court claims he just wanted attention and respect from his ‘peers’. How silly. With this ‘sentence’, they just GAVE him all he wanted, AND sent a message that this is how to get it with nothing more than a wrist slap. He was only days short of his 18th borthday. Really just a child I guess… not aware of his actions.

I guess the German courts are following the lead of other European courts in not making these little shits responsible for their actions. What a deterrent!

I can’t wait until he hacks the courts computer system! Think the sentence would be the same?

 

Another reason to hate the French

Ξ July 5th, 2005 | → 1 Comments | ∇ Rants |

NOIRMOUTIER, France — Six-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong underwent a surprise doping test at his hotel on Friday afternoon, a control which raised questions as the American was the only rider to be tested.

The Texan was the only rider to be tested a second time, two days after blood testing on all 189 Tour starters.

But French sports minister Jean-Francois Lamour said on Saturday in Noirmoutier that his agencies were not behind the random test.

Ha! Whatta crock of shit!

What an incredible bunch of sore losers are the French. After SIX prior Tour wins and absolutely NO evidence of any doping after dozens or tests, they still cannot fathom how a lowly American could possible be that good. So they do everything they can to put him off his game.

Damn… what a low life group of people are the French. A totally classless group of trash.

 

Basta! It’s time to invade Aruba!

Ξ July 5th, 2005 | → 5 Comments | ∇ Rants |

Got your attention?

My TV news fix in Costa Rica is pretty much limited. Thank God for the Internet.

We get the Clinton News Network (CNN) in both English and Spanish and Fox, Fox gets most of my news viewing time as CNN is just so freaking pinko and biased I cannot deal with their constant flow of left-wing drivel.

Fox, however, lately seems to have taken an almost fixated view of this Natalee Holloway deal in Aruba. They have built nearly their whole news coverage on this case.

It is impossible to tune in for more than 15 minutes without an ALERT or some “BREAKING NEWS” on this poor girls disappearance. I feel terrible for this girl’s family.

CNN pretty much ignores the whole thing and there is almost no coverage elsewhere on the net.

What bugs me the most though is that although Fox is investing a ton of air time on her disappearance, they just don’t seem to “get it”, or if the do, they are not saying it aloud. I feel like the kid that was yelling “The king has no clothes!”.

What I mean by “get it” is THE GOVERNMENT OF ARUBA IS COVERING UP THE ENTIRE CASE BECAUSE THE PRIME SUSPECT’S FATHER IS AN ENORMOUSLY INFLUENTIAL PERSON AND A JUDGE-IN-TRAINING!

In the beginning, they were terrified of the loss of US tourism.

Now, they have strung this thing out to the point where few people care.

They do not want this case solved. They want it to go away!

This has been clear from the first week when the Aruban “police” allowed these miscreants (the suspects) the opportunity to get together, build a story, and impede the investigation. There seems ample evidence the father of the chief suspect has been advising his son on this issue.

What a joke this is, and shame on Fox for not getting nasty on this issue. Fox should be taking the lead on this since they have appointed themselves the Natalee Holloway experts!

The Aruban government, with Fox’s cooperation, has successfully stalled this case to the point where there is no righteous indignation and the story itself has withered from the mainstream news.

What WILL get the attention of the Aruban government would be a full-court press by Fox encouraging their viewers to boycott Aruba until this case is resolved. Aruba depends almost entirely on tourist dollars. Cut off those dollars and I can guarantee a change in attitude. Even the precious son of an Aruban official will not be worth the loss of an entire country’s economy. Fox did this with the French and the resulting boycott has cost France dearly.

I am not going to wait for Fox to lead this. ML and I are now planning our honeymoon. For the past few months, we narrowed our choices to Mexico and Aruba with Aruba taking a slight lead as seemed more “exotic” and sexy.

We made the decision yesterday to go to Mexico.

I realize our measley few thousand tourist dollars will not make much difference to the future of Aruba, but it makes me feel a bit better to know my dollars will not be going to fuel a corrupt government. To this day, I still will not buy products from France.

There are a ton of beautiful, tropical island destinations in the Carribean, not to mention Costa Rica and Mexico.

Planning your trip? Put a pass on Aruba until they get serious about this thing.

 

Microsoft warns of unpatched IE flaw

Ξ July 2nd, 2005 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Geeky Stuff, Humor, Rants |

Microsoft warns of unpatched IE flaw… AGAIN (gaffaw!)

Microsoft, for the 2,347th time this year, has issued a security advisory for Internet Explorer, after a research firm published a working exploit to demonstrate how attackers could take advantage of the flaw, and with almost no effort on your part, allow any pimply faced anti-social to take control of your very life.

Gee!

Just about everyone else involved in Internet technology issued another advisory today: Microsoft Sucks!

The vulnerability, discovered by SEC Consult, mean that attackers could cause the browser to unexpectedly exit and execute arbitrary code.

Translation: Oh Shit!

Versions of IE affected by the flaw include IE 6.0 on Windows 2000 with Service Pack 1, 3 and 4, and on Windows XP with Service Pack 1 and 2.

So, in other words, if you have all the latest and greatest updates and whatever, you STILL get to take it in the shorts!

A patch for the flaw is not available.

A patch for the flaw is not available. As an interim measure, the software giant advises people to set their Internet and local intranet security zone settings to “high” before running ActiveX controls.

And I advise you to never use this cumbersome, slow, dangerous, and hopelessly out-of-date web browser unless you have some sort large hole in your head!

Damn people… if you don’t use Firefox (best) or Opera NOW… you gotta be about as dumb as a box of rocks.

 

Chase Bank -Credit Card Fraud – What bullshit!

Ξ December 5th, 2004 | → 5 Comments | ∇ Rants |

I am really pissed off.

Even in Costa Rica, we get the 746 daily commercials for VISA, MasterCard, AMEX, about credit card fraud.

I actually LIKE the one with the 65 (mas o menos) black gentleman (I have been away for a while so if I am not PC on what Blacks want to be called this week, please forgive me. (In Latin America, they are simply called negros, the Spanish word for black and totally not a racist term), who says: “I just got a call from my credit card company asking if I just bought two surfboards”. Clever.

Anyway, for those of you who are not credit card pros, when you buy something, the request is sent to a processor. These are companies nobody ever hears about (unless their DB’s get hacked!), which then passes the request to the issuing bank. The bank replies and gives the thumbs up or down. If it is a thumbs up, the transaction goes through.

So I get an order form this guy in Chile for $239.00. Nothing unusual as we do business in Chile, but the credit card has the name of someone CLEARLY nor Latin. This send up red flags for my accounting folk who have abnormally tight rectal muscles and they notify me.

Yes! “This does seem odd. I’ll contact VISA and see what give!” says me.

So I call VISA. Whatta joke. Turns out it is damn near impossible to call VISA. Oh, you can order credit cards and do a bunch of shit, but what you cannot do (easily) is find a number where merchants can call to check stuff out.

Finally, after 2 hours, I find a merchant verification number and call them.

They are… umm… less than forthcoming, but I am a persistent person and so they finally give me the name and number for the issuing bank. Chase Bank.

So I call Chase Bank. Whatta bunch of total assholes. Clearly the surf shop person was not using a Chase Card cause if he was, he’d now own 6 surfboards and that guy would be buying KY jelly by the gross.

I get the standard customer service person on the phone. He asks the normal questions to ID me… which was fine… but then he starts with the “What do you want ME to do? I can’t give you an approval. Well DUH dickweed, I KNOW you can’t, but you can contact your customer and ask THEM if they just bought $239.00 in services from Chile!

This brain trust says he can not do that.. OK… Can I speak with security? “Well why”? Well DUH again!

So we continue this for 5 more minutes and FINALLY I get transferred to this even larger asshole from security. Clearly Chase Bank promotes their security folk from their prior positions as Customer Service folk. Once you reach a certain level of assholiness and incompetence, you get the job in security!

So now this guy asks all the same verification questions of me… which is fine.

He then asks (NO SHIT), “What do you want ME to do? I can’t give you an authorization.” Well BIGGER DUH. I know that. But wouldn’t it be a good idea to contact the customer, ask them if they are using their card to buy services from Chile? My services would make NO sense for them to purchase even if they were on vacation. Maybe just ask them to see if their card is missing. ANYTHING???? I mean hot damn! If my credit card company (Advanta) called me to ask these questions (which they actually DID one time now that I think about it!), I would be happy as hell. I cannot imagine anyone who would NOT want to know this. It might also mean your CC number was out on some Internet list or your are in the process of having your identity stolen.
No, he won’t do that. I don’t know why and he won’t tell me… so we argue some more. I give him the addresses used and other stuff including phone numbers. I OFFER to give him the IP address of the user and their email address. He doesn’t want that either. I keep asking him to call his cardholder… it gets very unpleasant.

I bitch and moan for a while longer, and FINALLY he says, OK, I’ll call our customer. Cool!

He is off the phone for an adequate time to impress me that he is telling the truth about calling them (about 20 seconds) and returns to say, “nobody answers.”

I just fucking gave up.

Even if he DID call those poor suckers, which I doubt, he certainly did not try work numbers or anything else. This whole credit card fraud stuff you see advertised is nothing more than some PR guy’s wet dream.

So Mom and Dad, here is what I learned today!

I will NEVER again try to help some hapless cardholder whose card is being used at my company.

The credit card companies clearly do not give two shits for card security. Admittedly, this may be unfair because OTHER banks might have treated this situation differently.

Chase bank in particular would rather charge exorbitant rates rather than try to control their fraud losses.

Chase Bank does not give a damn about their customers and their security and finally….

Only a REALLLLY dumb shit would ever use a credit card issued by Chase Bank.

 

We really need to stop killing people…

Ξ November 30th, 2004 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Rants |

I am against the death penalty. I am not against it because I think it is wrong to take the life of miscreant who has slaughtered helpless folk. I am against it because time and again, I see evidence that the system is simply not working. It is a well known fact that eye witness identification is simply not accurate. It seems to me that the only true method is a freely given confession, or forensic evidence that is beyond reproach.
In the copyrighted online edition of today’s New York Times, there is an article the skewers the system in Texas which is widely known as the state that simply kills people left and right. The willy-nilly process used in Texas is clearly flawed. It further discusses the role of the Fifth Circuit Court (New Orleans) and their role in this folly. I am excerpting a small portion of what is there, but the whole article is worth the read. The online edition is free and only requires a registration.
Death Sentences in Texas Cases Try Supreme Court’s Patience
By ADAM LIPTAK and RALPH BLUMENTHAL

In the past year, the Supreme Court has heard three appeals from inmates on death row in Texas, and in each case the prosecutors and the lower courts suffered stinging reversals.
In a case to be argued on Monday, the court appears poised to deliver another rebuke.
Lawyers for a Texas death row inmate, Thomas Miller-El, will appear before the justices for the second time in two years. To legal experts, the Supreme Court’s decision to hear his case yet again is a sign of its growing impatience with two of the courts that handle death penalty cases from Texas: its highest criminal court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans.
Perhaps as telling is the exasperated language in decisions this year from a Supreme Court that includes no categorical opponent of the death penalty. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote in June that the Fifth Circuit was “paying lip service to principles” of appellate law in issuing death penalty rulings with “no foundation in the decisions of this court.”
In an unsigned decision in another case last month, the Supreme Court said the Court of Criminal Appeals “relied on a test we never countenanced and now have unequivocally rejected.” The decision was made without hearing argument, a move that ordinarily signals that the error in the decision under review was glaring.

Instead of considering much of the evidence recited by the Supreme Court majority, the appeals court engaged in something akin to plagiarism. In February, it again rejected Mr. Miller-El’s claims, in a decision that reproduced, virtually verbatim and without attribution, several paragraphs from the sole dissenting opinion in last year’s Supreme Court decision, written by Justice Clarence Thomas.
“The Fifth Circuit just went out of its way to defy the Supreme Court on this,” said John J. Gibbons, a former chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in Philadelphia, who joined a brief supporting Mr. Miller-El. “The idea that the system can tolerate open defiance by an inferior court just cannot stand.”
The Supreme Court agrees to hear only about 80 cases each year. It seldom accepts cases to correct errors in the lower courts and concentrates instead on resolving conflicts among appeals courts and announcing broad legal principles. But in recent years the court has often found itself fixing problems in specific Texas death penalty cases. Over the last decade, it has ruled against prosecutors in all six appeals brought by inmates on death row in Texas.

The two appeals courts handle an enormous number of capital cases and grant relief in very few. Between 1995 and 2000, the Court of Criminal Appeals heard direct appeals in 270 death sentences and reversed eight times, according to a report by the Texas Defender Service, a nonprofit law firm that represents death row inmates. The reversal rate – 3 percent – is the lowest of any state. California, which has a much larger death row, at 635, has executed only 10 people since 1976, to Texas’s 336.
By contrast, a comprehensive study of almost 6,000 death sentences across the nation over the 20 years ended in 1995 found a 68 percent chance they would be overturned by a state or federal court.

“The Fifth Circuit does not understand that it is an inferior tribunal to the United States Supreme Court, and it acts lawlessly,” said Professor Dow, who was a law clerk to Judge Carolyn Dineen King of the Fifth Circuit in 1985 and 1986. Referring to the court’s critical role in several historic civil rights cases, he added, “If it acted this lawlessly in the 1960’s, black people and white people would still be eating at separate lunch counters.”

In another episode widely perceived as an embarrassment, Roy Criner, a prison inmate serving 99 years for the rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl that he insisted he had never committed, successfully petitioned for a DNA test not available during his trial. The test determined that the semen in the victim was not his. A second test produced the same result.

The trial court asked the criminal appeals court to order a new trial, but with Judge Keller prominently in the majority, it voted 6-3 to let the conviction stand. Gov. George W. Bush, then running for the White House, granted Mr. Criner clemency. “It’s pretty bad when you have to go to Governor Bush for relief,” said James Marcus, executive director of the Texas Defender Service.

At times the federal appeals court has been unfathomable to its critics. Last December, for instance, it considered the last-minute appeal of Billy Frank Vickers, scheduled to die for the killing of a grocer in 1993. With the inmate already given his last meal, the judges deliberated until 9 p.m. and announced they were leaving, with no decision. Bewildered state prison officials allowed the death warrant to expire, granting Mr. Vickers a delay. He was executed six weeks later.

In October, a Houston federal judge granted a last-minute stay to Dominique Green, but the state appealed. The Fifth Circuit then gave defense lawyers less than half an hour to file their response, Professor Dow said. A rushed brief was e-mailed to the court and turned down. The Supreme Court also rejected a stay, and Mr. Green was executed that night.
________

This article contains a lot more than what I have placed here, but the conclusion is clear to me. The death penalty process is really fucked up in Texas and a bunch of other states and until we either figure out a way to reverse the process, or until a fool proof system is used to hand out the death penalty, we simply need to stop killing these people.

 

Americans are Ugly

Ξ November 21st, 2004 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Rants |

In most parts of the world, we Americans are not viewed kindly.

This is not a result of George Bush, US policy in Iraq or other political happenings, although that is certainly not popular in most parts of the world. I am referring to the American people… personally. We are viewed as arrogant, rich, thoughtless, cultureless, rude, ignorant (not stupid), and socially inept.

In Costa Rica, where I live, this is true as well. I spend a lot of time with folks from the USA… folks who both live here and those who come as tourists. Many come here and act just as their mommies taught them to behave… be respectful guests in someone else’s home. They appreciate the cultural differences. They marvel at the beauty of this country. They understand they are in a foreign land and things will not be the same as ‘home’. Many more do not.

Why is that? Why would someone come to Costa Rica and be all bent that not everyone speaks English. Hint: This is a Latin country! I see this all the time. When their English is not understood, what do they do? The speak louder, as if an increase in volume will overcome the basic fact that the listener does not speak a damned word of English.

The sad part is that Costa Ricans are such marvelous, gentle, and peaceful people. They may be the least offensive group of people I have encountered anywhere in the world. The lives of Costa Ricans center far more on family and friends and less on the job you hold or ‘things’. You will never find an aged family member shipped off to a nursing home. In a crisis, everyone jumps in to help.

Costa Ricans are a special group of people. There is something innately wrong about offending non-offensive people. (Clearly, this does not apply to the French who seemingly have no problem offending just about everybody). Onward….
So why do people come here and act badly? Why do they bitch and moan that this store does not accept dollars, or that they had to wait in line at a bank longer than in the US, or that there wasn’t a cab available at 2 AM to take them to the next bar? Why do they feel the need to talk loudly in quiet restaurants and act abusive to the wait staff? Why do they seeming ‘talk down’ to Costa Ricans? In general, why do they visit another country and expect it to be just like home?

Part of this I think is that Americans just don’t have to deal much with other countries. The US is like a big island isolated from the rest of the world (except for Canada and Mexico, and everybody knows they don’t count!

I am struck by the differences I see in European visitors. The young ones… 20 somethings especially. Most speak 2-3 languages fluently. This, of course, is because of the schooling and the close proximity to other countries. But it is more… It is because they actually visit those countries all the time, not unlike a person from Ohio might visit Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kentucky, whatever…. The difference is that there is no difference in culture (ok, maybe in Kentucky). Thus there is no reason to act differently. When you travel to other countries regularly, you learn that there are other cultures; other ways of doing things, other languages and traditions.

Sadly, this does not apply just to the tourists. There is a large population of ex-patriots living here. I know many who do not speak a word of Spanish after 10 years of living here. Why? Learning the language and customs of the country in which you live is, in my opinion, nothing less than showing respect for that country. Many folks come here, live in American enclaves, eat at Tony Roma’s, TGI Fridays or MacDonalds, and never experience the real Costa Rica. They make no attempt to learn the language. They live a wonderland of rain forests, beaches, mountains, wildlife… but never leave their homes. They would rather sit around and complain about the long lines, the inefficiencies, the bad roads, the government policies on residency… just about anything rather than learning to adjust to their new homes.

Of the people who do move here, about 40% return home within a year. Culture shock? Naw. That’s a cop-out I think. They just never made the effort. They never realized that a vacation in the tropics is not like living in the tropics. So they think that their lives here will be just like their vacation was last year. They expected the culture to adjust to them. Really silly. The Spanish and Portuguese were sailing ships and discovering new words several hundred years before George Washington was born. Theirs is a true culture… ours I think, is not. Our is more of a mixture of cultures and traditions from the ‘old country’.

Now we are faced with an influx of people disenchanted with their lives in the US. They hate (in no particular order), George Bush, The Iraq situation, the government, their families, their employers, their jobs, their lives, or themselves. They are coming here to escape. It is sunny and warm and it will be perfect. They could not make it in the US and they think Valhalla is here in the tropics. They want a simpler life… back to the basics… but they immediately start bitching about the schools, the roads, the banking system, and how backwards everything is here.

Well if you come as a tourists… please remember you are a guest here, as am I and all the others who where not born here. Act like a guest. Most of us had parents who taught us how to behave when we visited someone’s home. Remember what you mom said? She was right.

And for you future ex-pats? Come if you like… but please, come for the right reasons. You cannot run away from yourselves.

 

Cross Dressers and Executions in Texas

Ξ November 18th, 2004 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Rants |

Anthony Fuentes, 30, was the 21st person executed this year in Texas and the 334th since 1982.

In a final statement while strapped to a gurney in the Texas death chamber, Fuentes said some day ”the truth will be known” about the crime.

”It is wrong for the prosecutors to lie and make witnesses say what they need them to say,” he said. ”I just hope everybody has their peace. Today I get mine.”

Two of his accomplices, Steve Vela and Kelvin Templeton, were convicted of aggravated robbery and sentenced to prison terms of 16 years and 15 years, respectively.

For his final meal, Fuentes requested fried chicken with biscuits and jalapeno peppers, steak and french fries, fajita tacos, pizza, a hamburger, water and Coca-Cola.

I used to be for the death penalty. I wasn’t really sure if it detered bad people from doing bad things. But it seemed fair. You kill someone. We kill you. I also justified this because of the huge cost to keep just one inmate locked up and guarded for a year. $40,000 + I think was the figure.

Then came DNA, and we found out just how many ‘mistakes’ were sitting on the Illinois death row. I lived in Illinois before I cam here to Costa Rica. In fact, the Illinois numbers were staggering. Many were released on appeal (with heartfelt apologies!) for the loss of x – 15 years…. and finally the governor commuted the death sentences for all the rest because the system was so fucked up.

Texas seems very confident in their system. I hope they are right. 334 folks knocked off is a lot. Even with a low 5% error rate, that sorta means 16 folks had a real bad day… por nada.

I think maybe we should not kill any more people until we figure out how to reverse the process if we screw up.

Side note: The other two guys convicted of this crime were given prison sentences. They also did not have Latin surnames. Probably just a coincidence!

And… Texas seems to be the leader in another area:

HOUSTON, Nov. 17 2004 Camouflage was in and cross-dressing was out at a rural East Texas school district Wednesday after a Christian legal group complained a long-standing school tradition of reversing social roles for a day would promote homosexuality.

Hmmm! Promote homosexuality huh?

And one concerned Mom voiced it ever so succinctly!

Delana Davies, who has two children in the Spurger school, complained this year that the tradition could promote homosexuality… ”It might be fun today to dress up like a little girl — kids think it’s cute and things like that. And you start playing around with it and, like drugs, you do a little here and there (and) eventually it gets you,” Davies told reporters.

Well now I am clear on this!

I guess now that those good ole boyz and gurlz can wear their cammies and prepare for another Columbine instead… likely because of their deeply supressed homosexual urges?

Sheesh! Am I missing something here?

 

The Nose Hair Problem

Ξ November 15th, 2004 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Humor, Rants |

Today I need to rant a bit on that problem common to many men and a few lucky women! I am, of course, referring to nose hair!

Getting older sucks. It especially sucks when hair that has been apparently happy growing in one location on your body decides now that it now wishes to expand its sphere of influence.

When I was young(er), my hair knew how to behave.

It grew on my head, my chest, my legs, (but never very much on my legs which caused my son to call me a sissy until I sat on him), two little patches on my back, and, of course, in my nether regions.

Now this brings up another subject. Why are our nether regions called our nether regions? In fact what is a nether anyway? Is it like the opposite of hither? Like coming hither, going nether? I suppose it could be where we get the term for that popular game nether ball. (Sorry, had to).

This may fall into that odd combination of weird words like Hoosier. What the fuck IS a Hoosier?? Now don’t tell me a Hoosier is a person from Indiana duh! I want to know exactly what IS a Hoosier. And nobody seems to know.

In fact, one day I should do a rant on screwy words. Like what is a Nittany??? There are the Nittany Lions, right? but what IS a Nittany?

Well this has been fun, but I really need return to the reason you were attracted enough to READ this rant in the first place. NOSE HAIR!

As I was saying, for years my hairs knew their place. Now, a sort or Hair Lib is taking place.

Let’s start at the top!

I had a nice head of hair. I guess I still do, BUT, there is a danger zone exactly on the top of my bean where the hair is ummmm… Endangered!

A person directly looking down at my head from above say when I am sitting in a sofa and they are above and behind me, can now see a LOT of skin through the trees! Sort of a Friar Tuck in Training thing. This is not good. I wanted to know where it was going because I was NOT losing these hairs. None on my pillow in the morning, None in my hairbrush. A conundrum for sure.

Then, I figured it out! They had ingrown through my brain and were now sprouting from my ears, my nose, and my chest.

This is GROSS. Ear hair must be dealt with. Men with foliage growing from their ears are disgusting. Men with uncontrolled nose hair make the ear hair guys pale to insignificance. Now I have both. When I was young(er), I always thought men (and women) with wild nose hairs should not be permitted in public.

Now I have become one of THEM, and I have to DEAL with this.

Now you can PULL an ear hair. No biggie! It hurts, but you can deal with it. You cannot pull a nose hair. Nose hairs grow in no pull zones. Even NFL players do not pull nose hairs.

Also, my chest hairs, which for many years were well disciplined and self-grooming for the most part, have now also felt the need for rebellion. Some grow at an amazing pace and not at all evenly. It’s like the chest hair fertilizer fairy came visiting after a bit too much of the suds. Why, the other day, I yanked one out (chest hairs, like ear hairs are in OK to pull zones), that was easily long enough to use as shoelace! Alas, it broke after only two tyings.

So, I did what any new age man would do, I formed a nose hair support group. We comfort one another twice a week. Somehow, you feel better knowing you are not alone.

Sadly, we have not one member who knows what is a Hoosier or a Nittany.

 

George and John from afar

Ξ November 14th, 2004 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Rants |

Costa Rica is a hotbed of democracy… er… I mean democrats. It seems that just about every person I meet here is about three hundred yards left of Ted in their political thought. This doesn’t bother me much as I am a bit liberal in most thought. And in general, I swing both ways… politically.

For some time now though, I find it almost impossible to get behind any of these fellows. I sort of vote for the one who I think will do the least harm if elected for four years. I can’t remember the last time I was actually ‘for’ someone. Sad.

In fact, I have developed what I think is a good plan. Unfortunately it didn’t work this time… but make sure the president’s party does not have control in congress. This way he/she is even more limited in the damage they can do.

anyway…

We get the Clinton News Network (CNN) here, and if you have a certain cable connection, you also can get fair and balanced reporting from Fox.

In the Post Mortems, the F&B folks made note that there seems to be a an intellectual gap with the east coast intellectuals (liberals) feeling that the rest of the country was out of touch with the needs of the country.

Fox went on to state that the intellectuals simply felt that the common folk should really not have a vote they simply do not have the innate intelligence nor eduacation to make such a selection and should really leave the serious thinking to those same east coast intellectuals, who just happen to be liberal in their thinking. This belief was even stronger if these poor ‘compasinos’ actually held strong religious beliefs. I guess belief in God is now limited to only a certain few with the intellectual capacity to handle such deep thought.

I heard this hogwash thought a bad word and changed back to Bill’s channel.

Fast Forward

So this week, I am doing a bit of consulting with a gentlemen recently moved here from Cape Cod (part of Massachusetts for those of you geographically challenged).

Lo and behold, I find myself talking with one of these real live LIBERAL INTELLECTUALS. Naturally, the conversation turns to the recent big political doin’s and he actually says this to me.

“Kerry would never have lost of those stupid, uneducated religious freaks in the mid-west had not voted for Bush”

I paused for a moment HUH?

What mid-west states are you referring to?

Ohio, Indiana, Iowa you know, Arkansas, Kansas.

So those people made a mistake?

Of course! What do they know about politics or what this country needs?

Well, they live here and there are millions of folks there; there are big cities, educated people. What about them?

Well sure, maybe folks form your town are OK (Chicago), but the rest? Farmers and blue-collar workers. Maybe high schooled at best. Now they’re letting God make their decisions for them?

But aren’t the blue-collar folks traditionally been supporters of the Democratic Party? And maybe they just felt strongly about those things that you didn’t.

Yeah, but clearly they got their heads turned around about morals and so on. Gay marriage! Right to choose. Who cares?

(Well clearly somebody did). No, I didn’t say this. He was PAYING ME!

Well this went on for a while longer, and I started thinking maybe F&B got it right and what was worse, how horribly far out of touch some folks are with what people really think is important these days. It is incredible to me that one group of people can actually feel that entire portions of the population are unfit to choose their president.

He then said, “This is why I left the US.”

You came here because Bush was re-elected?

Yeah! I don’t want to see the country ruined. Clearly, voting no longer reflects the needs of the country.

By George Bush? Single-handedly? And isn’t the vote supposed to reflect the wants of the country?

Absolutely. You know he will probably pick at least 2-3 Supreme Court Justices? And as for wants and needs, they are the same!

Getting testy.

So I went back to my office. Living as an ex-patriot provides a different perspective. We really don’t deal with the day-to-day issues as much maybe because this stuff is not in our faces every day.

Still does there seem to be something wrong here?

For the record: I am anti-gun, pro-environment, anti gay marriage (but FOR some form of legal contractual arrangements whereby gay couples have the same financial, insurance, medical, etc. and other benefits).

We need health care, but not the kind John wanted. It didn’t work in Canada, Costa Rica, Sweden or other places and it won’t work in the USA.

I am anti abortion and anti death penalty.

Some issues are just stupid and nobody likes the answers.

I think jobs are lost overseas because the labor market is now worldwide, and it is just a simple part of life. Companies cut costs to make money and to keep product prices down. If they don’t, the American public buys foreign made goods because our stuff is overpriced.

This is not new. It has been happening for years. It is getting worse because there is now a much larger population of educated and qualified workers willing to work for less money and benefits than the folks in our country. Costa Rica has its share of US companies here for just that reason.

 

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