Eight random things about myself

Ellroon tagged me.

1. All right, here are the rules. 2. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts. 3. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves. 4. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules. 5. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Okay, here goes:

  1. I’m not very good at picking random things about myself to talk about.
  2. Unless I am out of town or just waking, you can presume I have taken cannabis within a few hours before or while writing anything here; I would take more cannabis if I could afford it or if I was allowed to grow my own.
  3. I have an orphan genetic disease which causes bone pain.
  4. I have insurance.
  5. I am married.
  6. My wife is smarter than me.
  7. That didn’t count, because it wasn’t about me.
  8. This is an eighth thing and I’m not sure if it’s about me but I wrote it.
  9. I don’t actually follow directions unless I must or feel like it.

Now tagging:

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On blogonomics

Melissa McEwan, my friend who runs Shakesville (formerly Shakespeare’s Sister), has an excellent post about how we as a blogging community might sustain ourselves. Obviously we can do this out of our pockets and free time for only so long, but we do not want to become compromised by anyone for the sake of a coin. Advertisers will limit what you can or cannot say. Mimus Pauly wrote a long but very good post about this the day before yesterday. For him this must be always a part-time endeavor, his advice — don’t quit your day job (he hasn’t).

But good writers should have a way to write full-time. Good bloggers should be able to make this a profession, and afford to feed themselves and their families without selling out. The alternative is that you will have no good bloggers that do it for a long time, and eventually our whole ecosystem will be corporate shills like we have on the mainstream media today.

We need patronage, we need to do some things to make a network of bloggers that can rate one another in terms of worthiness, and help new bloggers get connected with a source of funding. We need a structure that is more than each of us having a donation box, as patrons may not know about more than a few of the larger blogs, and some of us blog semi-pseudonymously for good reasons.

Cannablog is a blog about cannabis, and I am a medical marijuana patient in California. This is information I have made public and I feel no great concern about my safety in saying so. California law protects patients. The federal government may have other ideas, and that is something that needs badly to change. Though I feel safe now, I am not safe forever, if it does not. But in other states, medical patients who are living and not dying because they take cannabis are constantly at risk of arrest and imprisonment by local and state officials now. If they want to be bloggers and honestly talk about how cannabis helps them, they cannot use their names. This needs to change.

I want to ensure that they can be funded somehow, to be given help so that they can afford to live, so they can feed their families. They are capable of being great writers and bloggers, and if you think otherwise, if you think this blog is substandard in any way, then I would ask you to please leave a comment and tell me what you’d like to see me do better.

This is, for me, a labor of love. I do it because I must do it. I do it because it is more important to try to stop war than anything else I can do, and this is how I can help to achieve that objective. But I must eat. All must eat.

Press release

From United States Senator Russ Feingold.

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER COSPONSORS FEINGOLD BILL TO REDEPLOY TROOPS FROM IRAQ
April 2, 2007

Washington D.C. -­ U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced today that they are introducing legislation that will effectively end the current military mission in Iraq and begin the redeployment of U.S. forces. The bill requires the President to begin safely redeploying U.S. troops from Iraq 120 days from enactment, as required by the emergency supplemental spending bill the Senate passed last week. The bill ends funding for the war, with three narrow exceptions, effective March 31, 2008.“I am pleased to cosponsor Senator Feingold’s important legislation,” Reid said. “I believe it is consistent with the language included in the supplemental appropriations bill passed by a bipartisan majority of the Senate. If the President vetoes the supplemental appropriations bill and continues to resist changing course in Iraq, I will work to ensure this legislation receives a vote in the Senate in the next work period.”

“I am delighted to be working with the Majority Leader to bring our involvement in the Iraq war to an end,” Feingold said. “Congress has a responsibility to end a war that is opposed by the American people and is undermining our national security. By ending funding for the President’s failed Iraq policy, our bill requires the President to safely redeploy our troops from Iraq.”

The language of the legislation reads:

(a) Transition of Mission – The President shall promptly transition the mission of United States forces in Iraq to the limited purposes set forth in subsection (d).

(b) Commencement of Safe, Phased Redeployment from Iraq – The President shall commence the safe, phased redeployment of United States forces from Iraq that are not essential to the purposes set forth in subsection (d). Such redeployment shall begin not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(c) Prohibition on Use of Funds – No funds appropriated or otherwise made available under any provision of law may be obligated or expended to continue the deployment in Iraq of members of the United States Armed Forces after March 31, 2008.

(d) Exception for Limited Purposes – The prohibition under subsection (c) shall not apply to the obligation or expenditure of funds for the limited purposes as follows:

(1) To conduct targeted operations, limited in duration and scope, against members of al Qaeda and other international terrorist organizations.

(2) To provide security for United States infrastructure and personnel.

(3) To train and equip Iraqi security services.

# # #

Related post:

Copyright be damned, and torturers go to hell real quick

Terry Jones Here is Terry Jones. Via Why Now?

Call that humiliation?

No hoods. No electric shocks. No beatings. These Iranians clearly are a very uncivilised bunch

Terry Jones
Saturday March 31, 2007
The Guardian

I share the outrage expressed in the British press over the treatment of our naval personnel accused by Iran of illegally entering their waters. It is a disgrace. We would never dream of treating captives like this – allowing them to smoke cigarettes, for example, even though it has been proven that smoking kills. And as for compelling poor servicewoman Faye Turney to wear a black headscarf, and then allowing the picture to be posted around the world – have the Iranians no concept of civilised behaviour? For God’s sake, what’s wrong with putting a bag over her head? That’s what we do with the Muslims we capture: we put bags over their heads, so it’s hard to breathe. Then it’s perfectly acceptable to take photographs of them and circulate them to the press because the captives can’t be recognised and humiliated in the way these unfortunate British service people are.

It is also unacceptable that these British captives should be made to talk on television and say things that they may regret later. If the Iranians put duct tape over their mouths, like we do to our captives, they wouldn’t be able to talk at all. Of course they’d probably find it even harder to breathe – especially with a bag over their head – but at least they wouldn’t be humiliated.And what’s all this about allowing the captives to write letters home saying they are all right? It’s time the Iranians fell into line with the rest of the civilised world: they should allow their captives the privacy of solitary confinement. That’s one of the many privileges the US grants to its captives in Guantánamo Bay.

The true mark of a civilised country is that it doesn’t rush into charging people whom it has arbitrarily arrested in places it’s just invaded. The inmates of Guantánamo, for example, have been enjoying all the privacy they want for almost five years, and the first inmate has only just been charged. What a contrast to the disgraceful Iranian rush to parade their captives before the cameras!

What’s more, it is clear that the Iranians are not giving their British prisoners any decent physical exercise. The US military make sure that their Iraqi captives enjoy PT. This takes the form of exciting “stress positions”, which the captives are expected to hold for hours on end so as to improve their stomach and calf muscles. A common exercise is where they are made to stand on the balls of their feet and then squat so that their thighs are parallel to the ground. This creates intense pain and, finally, muscle failure. It’s all good healthy fun and has the bonus that the captives will confess to anything to get out of it.

And this brings me to my final point. It is clear from her TV appearance that servicewoman Turney has been put under pressure. The newspapers have persuaded behavioural psychologists to examine the footage and they all conclude that she is “unhappy and stressed”.

What is so appalling is the underhand way in which the Iranians have got her “unhappy and stressed”. She shows no signs of electrocution or burn marks and there are no signs of beating on her face. This is unacceptable. If captives are to be put under duress, such as by forcing them into compromising sexual positions, or having electric shocks to their genitals, they should be photographed, as they were in Abu Ghraib. The photographs should then be circulated around the civilised world so that everyone can see exactly what has been going on.

As Stephen Glover pointed out in the Daily Mail, perhaps it would not be right to bomb Iran in retaliation for the humiliation of our servicemen, but clearly the Iranian people must be made to suffer – whether by beefing up sanctions, as the Mail suggests, or simply by getting President Bush to hurry up and invade, as he intends to anyway, and bring democracy and western values to the country, as he has in Iraq.

· Terry Jones is a film director, actor and Python
www.terry-jones.net

Please help

I need some advice on how to continue to blog as I have been and still make a little bit more than nothing with two clients across the country one of whom may soon cease to be able to afford me due to the financial condition of his main client. I am in no risk of starving, between my wife’s graduate stipend and a bit we got for our condo when we moved we are okay, but we’re thinking we might want to have kids sometime and it can’t happen if we’re already running a small deficit every month.

Do you prefer plagues of locusts?

What is six times nine in base thirteen?

The act of writing is the means by which our consciousness can be focused and analyzed for coherence. If our thoughts are jumbled we would write in such a fashion. If we have a point to make, our thoughts can be arranged around that point. If we are searching for something which others could help find, our thoughts might be phrased as questions. If we already know the answer, it might be that in asking it of others we answer it to everyone.

What is the Ultimate Question?

You know. Life, the Universe and Everything.

Can you compute?

Following, the back of the Regional Transit Connection ID Center Processing Fee Receipt calculation, and verified by my wife, the graduate statistician.

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