new york -- violence in the bronx today as thousands of libertarians from all over the country descended upon the borough to stand up for their fellow americans, who according to this new york times article have been denied their basic constitutional rights. "we don't care about someone's social strata, sexual preference, color, or anything else. we are all americans and our brothers and sisters rights are being violated." said foo bar, from jackson hole, wyoming. he sported a bitchin heckler and koch mp5, with multiple extended clips in the various folds of his cargo pants. it looked wicked cool, like out of the movies.

when the group's demand that the federal government put an end to this perceived injustice went unheeded, the crowd turned violent. feeling no other option, they promptly finished their double stackers and set fire to buses and subway stations -- anything that required tax dollars to operate. they also threw garbage cans through any storefront with a "wic and food stamps accepted here" placard in the window. francine fishpaw who lives just blocks from yankee stadium told eyewitness news "i really like what they are doing and am so glad i won't have to pay taxes anymore for public transportation, but i have no idea how i'm going to get to work in new jersey in under 4 hours for the rest of my life."

bringing a smart array of legally purchased assault rifles, handguns, black powder rifles and crossbows, the revolutionaries took a stand against what they called an oppressive government, fit on destroying our personal liberty and called on every american to join their fight. tyrone davis, fallbrook, california said "i mean the constitution isn't just about the second ammendment. we really care about the other 4, too. i mean, come on." he sported a cool t-shirt with obama's face and what appeared to be a photoshopped swastika on his forehead. mrs. anton la vey, from virginia beach, virginia called upon the founding fathers "i know they were all slave owners, even when they wrote 'all men are created equal' and stole indian land and killed them without mercy, but they would never have done something like this."

not caring that their conventional firearms were no match for the most advanced military hardware, they fought to the last man. all day, they fought pitched battles with national guardsman, who simply rolled over them in mechanized infantry vehicles and main battle tanks. buddy holly, from bentonville, arkansas was quoted as saying "i really thought my ak-47 was gonna do some damage to them m1a abrams tanks, but they just ran right over us. what gives?" they were seen scurrying, looking for any bomb shelter in sight, filled with weed and rations, but since it was the bronx, there simply were none. "it was a blood bath", reported bronx borough president ruben diaz jr. "but i am so grateful that they cared so much that the people in my district would have the same rights as everyone in kentucky."

there will be 1 minute of silence and a concert with ted nugent headlining on city island this coming sunday at 4pm, 6pm and 8pm. tickets are available from ticketmaster.

link | rss rss | share | posted: 2013-05-01 15:42:59

so we have another massacre to ponder for a minute, before we get back to the important things in life, like our ipads and planning for labor day weekend.

i have something to say about this shit, before i get swept up too.

this world is filled with people who want to hurt other people. this is a given. guns give people the ability to end the lives of large amounts of people in a short amount of time. this is also a given. the united states has in it's defining document wording that allows it's people to own guns. this is a given.

the reality is that the constitution isn't changing any time soon and gun ownership will remain legal, whether any of us like it or not -- until the end of this country. personally i fucking hate guns. my father had assault rifles in the house all the time. my mother used to carry a loaded .357 magnum in her purse and a gas mask in the trunk of her car. i had my own gun(ar7) when i was 10 and was obsessed with them until i did mushrooms for the first time. i digress. there is no argument anyone can make to make me believe they "need" one, but the constitution clearly states that they can own them. i have to live with this. i have perfectly sane friends who own guns and i don't hate on them, i love them all.

this is called "compromise." and i do it because i actually believe in the core ideals of this country. i honestly believe this is the best country on earth, though i will never, in any way call myself a patriot and have found that people who do are often blinded by pride and hypocrisy. my heros include samuel langhorne clemens, thomas jefferson, jane jacobs(born in pa) and john waters. yeah, i know this country has always had significant problems, but the core ideals of this country are correct -- "all men are created equal", freedom of speech, etc.

fighting gun ownership is a losing battle and always will be. you will never win this one and it is your achilles heel. it is often the trump card in the republican & "libertarian" deck of cards. tell some back woodser __name_of_any_democrat_or_"liberal" is gonna take all his guns away and watch out.

but at the same time gun-nuts are entitled to their guns, we are all entitled to live our lives safe from psychopathic fucktards, like the boy wonder. anyone who argues against that cares not about his/her fellow americans. period.

there is an argument gun nuts have, that if we all carried guns, it would be safer. answer me this, a kid goes into a darkened movie theater, tosses a tear gas canister and starts shooting. everyone in there is packing and grabs their glock and starts shooting at wherever shots are coming from, which is fucking all around them. how many people die then? don't want to answer that one, do you?

anyway, so we can't get rid of guns, and we can't get rid of idiots. just what can we do?

hey, i've got a crazy idea and it involves a little something called "compromise" -- from both sides of the aisle. it's called "why don't we let sane people own guns and just keep them out of the hands of insane ones." whoah -- omg, i know it's a completely ridiculous idea, right? hush my mouth! working together is so unamerican these days!

both sides have this all-or-nothing approach that has never worked, never will and this perpetual stalemate is killing our fellow americans. if either side really were patriots and gave a shit about the people that live in country, they'd be willing to say "you are sane enough to own a gun and you are not sane enough to buy full body armour, a shotgun, two glocks and some random .223 caliber rifle, some tear gas and 6,000 rounds of ammo all at once, legally." i mean, when the police showed up at his mom's place, she knew he did something terrible right away. if there was a background check asking his mom if he should be allowed to have all this firepower, do you think she would have said "yes?"

i believe in compromise and working together, in order to keep me and my fellow americans safe from harm, do you?

this article is related to this one: killing is easy with guns

link | rss rss | share | posted: 2012-07-23 15:55:52

a little over a year ago an earthquake happened off the coast of japan in which a plate moved less than 10 feet, killing a total of 4 people. this may become one of the most significant and influential events of the 21st century.

the earthquake caused a devastating tsunami, which erased significant parts of industrialized coastal areas near the epicenter. as if the localized destruction of the towns wasn't enough, it caused a massive failure at the fukushima daiichi nuclear reactor. since then there have been large releases of radioactivity into the environment, meltdowns, you name it. prior to this failure, nuclear power produced around 30% of japan's energy. it was planned that nuclear energy would bring that total closer to 50%. the nation had faith in the industry and there was little, if any resistance to it, in the only country to have ever had atomic weapons used on it's soil, against it's people.

the reactors' failure has spewed giant radioactive clouds and sent people fleeing and now every single one of japan's reactors has been taken offline, indefinitely. tepco, the company which owns the stricken reactor has now been taken over by the government, as it has fumbled and stumbled every step of the way since the disaster and can no longer sustain itself. the nuclear industry in japan is over -- at least for now. the majority of japanese are now against nuclear power and want other ways of generating power, but those options are years away.

with all of japan's reactors offline, japan has 30% less electricity available to it. this presents a big problem. japan is a massively automated country, with cities like tokyo and yokohama requiring massive amounts of electricity, just to maintain themselves. in addition to the populace, japan's lifeblood, it's heavy industries obviously rely on large amounts of power from these reactors.

but with all this doom and gloom, there is a silver lining.

when it comes to consumer electronics, japan has been a country of significant innovation for decades. i remember going to japan in the 90s and finding gadgets there that i only saw in the united states years later. our electronics are what drive the need for electricity. it doesn't end there though. japan has always been the leader in industrial electronics as well. it was the first country to use robots in significant numbers in it's factories.

japan is also one of the most important economies in the world and faced with imminent blackouts, a new era of electronics must be achieved -- an era of electronics that are significantly more efficient than any we've seen in the past. the market will adapt to the circumstance, and as a side note, possibly pull japan out of it's decade long slump.

long before buckminster fuller, folks have been begging people to curb their destructive appetites, to no avail. this random event may inadvertently change this, forever.

link | rss rss | share | posted: 2012-05-13 17:34:44

the painted ladies of san francisco.

link | rss rss | share | posted: 2012-05-13 10:05:26

democrats irk me. i find them pusillanimous, lacking spine. it's not their fault. the 2 party system has forever emasculated the american left, squeezing a plethora of parties into a single party, which relegates it only an opposition party. the schizophrenic nature of the party is the thing which causes it's perpetual infighting and stagnation. it is the party of 10,000 issues -- women's rights, gay rights, animal rights, environmentalism, ethnic stuff, labor, shitloads more all clamoring for the spotlight and competing with one another for attention and relevance. this is why you will have a democrat president, congress and senate and still not get anything done.

then we have the republicans. their issues are few and simple -- god, guns and taxes. simple issues for simple people.

they hate chicks. they hate non-whites, who don't play professional sports. they hate queers. they hate muslims. they hate smart people. they hate people who don't worship their god and in the exact same way they do. they hate anyone who doesn't think exactly like they do. the vast majority of it's voter base are poor, uninformed, uneducated white people, who idolize the same people that keep them poor and uninformed. they let others do their thinking for them. while i find democrats annoying, i find republicans repulsive. if you are a republican, reading this and aren't like the person i'm describing, you had better do more to get control of your party and i don't mean just saying you support patriot ron paul, who is a verified racist, among other things.

and so we get to the point of this rant -- 2 issues that shouldn't be.

the first one is actually 2 in one. here, we have bills introduced in both arizona and alabama. you know the ones i'm talking about. one is clay scofield's bill for women to be forced to essentially have a completely unwarranted invasion of their bodies if they have an abortion. then there is this hb 2625 idiocy in arizona, that would allow employers to fire women if they enjoy sex with guys and don't want to get pregnant from it. could someone please remind me what century i'm in?

so what we have here is the party that constantly preaches about the evils of the government interfering in good old americans' lives yearning to give the government more ability to interfere in the lives of good old americans. and who wants to give the government these rights? people in government. which brings me to a side point, republicans have a major disconnect in the way that they view "the government." in their language and implications, "government" is this big, vague thing that is evil. they are active parts of it, yet somehow they don't perceive themselves to be. what they imply is that democrats are "government." and they assume that "government" is wholly owned and operated by democrats. republican congressmen and senators and even presidents always rail on "washington" and "government," while being in washington and government. their salaries are paid for by our tax dollars.

anyway, regarding hb 2625, check out this list of the bill's sponsors: brenda barton, debbie lesko, frank pratt, john kavanagh, justin olson, justin pierce, terri proud. there are 3 women sponsors for a bill to take their rights away. i took a gander at the bill and it is quite lengthy. you can skim through it -- look for the red, marked through text. that is where all the religious nonsense is. laughably, it appears to have been removed from the bill, but is still readable.

my question is, how could any patriot submit and/or sponsor a bill that would allow this treatment of their fellow americans?

moving on to point #2. to show how little the republicans have in their weaponry for the coming presidential elections, the only swipe coming out of the candidates(besides "in-sanitorum" and his obvious religious moanings) seems to be that obama is at fault for the high gas prices. goll darnit, he's got to do something about these crazy gas prices! it's out of control! do something! it's all your fault!! they have absolutely nothing to peg on the guy, so they blame something he has no control of and he can only defend himself by telling the truth, which they will never allow themselves to accept. the reality is that anyone who really believes he is to blame probably is not playing with a full deck and will believe anything they are told, depending on who is doing the telling.

let's break this down, i've said it before and i'll say it again, republicans whine to no end about regulation of the marketplace. "leave the markets alone" is what they say, yet they all whined when the banks failed. they whined that there was no regulation to prevent that from happening and then they whined when regulations were put upon the industry to prevent it from happening again. whine, whine, whine.

gas prices are driven by the marketplace. they go up when people want gas, or more precisely, oil, which is typically when the economy is on the up and up, like it supposedly is now. the prices are set by all the speculators and oil monopolies of the world, according to the laws of supply and demand. people want a thing, the people that own that thing charge more for it. people don't want a thing, the people that own the thing lower prices to create more demand for the thing, then they raise them again. this is what capitalism is.

point is, in order for obama to lower gas prices, he has to use the government to interfere in the marketplace and subvert the supply and demand aspect of capitalism, which according to the small government and non-interference camp, should never happen.

my advice, stop whining and go buy a fucking prius.

--

another related irony is that this week obama has stated his wish for congress to remove the $4 billion subsidy to the oil industry. subsidies are essentially a socialist mechanism for stabilizing or lowering the price of a thing, typically for "strategically important" stuff, like gas, food and airline tickets. the government -- democrats and republicans -- both collude to give subsidies to a host of mega-companies in several industries. it is pork barrel politics to the max.

on a side note, while i am not a conspiracy theorist, i find it suspicious that gas prices are going up to a level like this, so close to an election and so soon after obama killed the keystone pipeline. trend watch: the recession that we supposedly just came out of was prefaced by the same level of gas prices we see today. i am presenting the possibility that the last recession may have been partly manufactured by high gas prices, though i doubt it was intentional. this time, i'm not so sure.

link | rss rss | share | posted: 2012-03-18 18:12:28

i've spent most of my life believing that an economic model based upon a basket of the tenets of democratic socialism are the most equitable for a people. the tenet i've held to be the most important has been the idea of a tightly regulated marketplace, with that marketplace doing business under the guiding and watchful eye of the government.

the united states practices this to a degree... but only ever in hindsight. when the market wobbles, or collapses, the government is there to make everything better. laws are made to make sure whatever happened will never happen again. whatever these laws are on their introduction appear to maybe, possibly have a bite and by the time they land on the president's desk have had other, completely unrelated things tacked on and have been emasculated to the point of irrelevance. if the failed enterprise or broken market segment was bad enough, it is rewarded with a cash injection and we are told that this is a good thing for all of us. all politicians do this -- republicans and democrats. this is not ever going to change.

corporations use their influence in our government to have regulations enacted that hinder their competitors. a great example of this is the fcc. the fcc has become a tool of the mega media corporations. colin powell's son ran it for years, handing out all kinds of goodies to companies like viacom and news corp and making it harder for smaller entities to compete.

at this point, the corporate parasite can never have it's death grip upon our government loosened. it needs the government host in order to survive, through the government dole and occasional regulation. all the while, some of us beg for increased regulation that we know will never happen. there is only enough oversight to keep things from collapsing entirely -- to keep the system alive. and all the while, the folks who supposedly demand less government intervention, encourage regulation that limits competition and removes regulation that encourages it and also freely accepts taxpayer handouts without complaint.

--

being an avid reader of bloomberg, the economist and reuters, i read firsthand, the official capitalist reaction to the occupy movement. there were the occasional young idealists who feebly attempted to admit the failure of the current capitalist model and express sympathy for the movement. then there were the well established columnists who disdained the movement and heaped scorn upon it to obviously protect their own interests.

the most common criticism of the movement was that it had no agenda. my sense of the movement was that people got sick and tired of the 1% getting away with fucking our country all the way to the bank. they simply wanted to say "we see what you are doing and are tired of it." the only tangible thing i did sense was a desire for change, though no one could, or would define what that change actually would have been. it seemed to be simply a desire to move away from our broken economic model that works well for a few people and not at all for others.

so, now that the cops have run out of pepper spray and rubber bullets and the camps have all been cleared out and the movement is effectively over, how do we make things better? do we beg our government to make things more equitable like we've been doing for the past few hundred years? fat chance. do we elect a new generation of politicians, to be inevitably bought by exxon, koch, tyco, and everyone else? there seem to be no real options. even after the near collapse of our economy, the only thing that has come out of it is a handful of underwhelming regulations and a shitload of money paid out to arrogant assholes like aig, general motors, citi(can you say citi field?) and a host of others. i mean their hands weren't even properly fucking slapped. nothing has been done to keep it from happening again, and guess what? we are supposedly headed into another recession. out of the frying pan and into the fire.

so, again, how do we fix this?

the end result of any unregulated economy is failure, so my answer is, we don't fix it. we stop trying to fix it. we stop regulating the economy altogether.

remove the fed. eliminate all patents and intellellectual property. remove government intervention in the marketplace completely, with the exception of environmental regulations. legalize drugs. eliminate all subsidies(food, oil, etc.), domestically and appearing as aid to other countries. allow monopolies in all industries and watch competition and innovation disappear. allow monopolies to fix prices and gouge us. have a flat corporate tax rate. allow insider trading. allow companies to lie about their revenues with no repercussions. allow giant bonuses for the 1% and let them pay their workers nothing. allow banks to lose everyone's money and ruin the economy. eliminate the minimum wage. allow individuals to run away with retirees life savings with no consequences. allow industries to crumble under their own corruption and incompetence.

once the bandaids have been removed, you will be able to see just how fucked up and incapable this system is. even the obama hatin', joe-the-plumber lovin', git-r-done sayin', permanently unemployed ex-drywaller won't be able to deny that there needs to be definitive change.

we will never move forward until we stop trying to keep it alive. leave it alone and let it die.

link | rss rss | share | posted: 2011-11-29 10:50:19

facebook's latest "upgrade" is causing headaches for tons of my friends and, gosh darnit, me too. it seems like every time someone sharts now, i'm gonna find out about it in that stupid box on the right side of the page. "donald zechariah rainwater is at target, buying new undies because he crapped his pants." apparently i am now to unsubscribe from all of my friends? individually in order to not be alerted about every single thing they do? or i do? or something? i can't figure it out. this is time-consuming and a pain in my ass. i have over 200 friends, am i really supposed to do this with every one? i didn't ask for any of this. in addition, the messaging system is now bizarre and makes no sense. an endless thread for every message?

also, the overuse of popups is seizure inducing. accidentally hover over a link for too long and all of a sudden, something you didn't want to happen just did. this bit stems from facebook's psychotic quest to cram an insane amount of information and functionality into a tiny space. all this is doing is degrading the experience of using facebook.

--

i left myspace for facebook because myspace had become an unusable monster. it was overrun with hackers, had massive pages that wouldn't load and the interface hindered whatever task i had set about doing to the point where i no longer had any desire to use it. plus, my privacy was at risk. i left friendster for myspace because that website was so incredibly slow, it was unusable. we all left myspace at the same time -- the time when revenue goals trumped usability. rupert murdoch's first major failure.

as an aside, i half read an article in the new york times yesterday on how facebook is trying to move into the realm of defining consumer habits or some crap like that with this latest release and this strategy ties directly into mr. zuckerberg's famous "privacy is over" philosophy. the thing about privacy and facebook is that while you are logged in, with every single website you visit facebook compiles and sells that data to a third party. how do i know this? a co-worker's girlfriend works at the company that buys all of your web-surfing data. that means if you forget to log out and buy yourself a salad shooter, check your bank balance or indulge your daily fetish, this information is in now the public realm. if you think privacy is an issue on facebook with this release, just wait until everyone can see all the sites you visit on some future iteration. “donald zechariah rainwater is on ladyboycentral.com.” like!

--

now, i am not a typical social media user. i am an admitted ux(user experience) snob. though ux is what i do for a living, i like a simple user experience not for any academic requirements, but because i am admittedly not all that bright. things is, the fact that many of my friends, who are smarter and more “typical” users than i am are fed up is interesting. most of these folks came over to facebook from myspace around the same time i did and for the same reason.

when companies enter the phase of placing priority on revenue as opposed to usability, there is no going back. investors must be appeased with more and more cash. and getting this cash means making the user's experience less and less pleasant. the product declines. people go elsewhere. this is how the cycle works.

--

i had a conversation with someone recently about facebook and their position in the industry. they were adamant that facebook will always be on top of the heap and were genuinely confused when i disagreed with them.

look at myspace, dell, microsoft, ebay(dare i say), the american auto industry and other ginormous companies currently in some mode of decline. there is no such thing as consumer loyalty. if there is a “better” product, people will use it. i also think there is a limit to how much people will allow their privacy to be compromised.

every time the top dog slips, there are others waiting to step into the ring, with a simpler and better product. after all, facebook wouldn't be where it is if it hadn't fit that description at the right time. any loss in momentum for a company like this can be catastrophic.

--

don’t get me wrong, i’m not a hater. i really don’t care about facebook, one way or the other. it’s just that, as a user advocate, i would like to remind y’all that if you want your companies to succeed, always give your users / customers / whatever top priority and tell your investors to take a back seat.

link | rss rss | share | posted: 2011-09-25 15:27:45

found a nugget on the tea party blog. on this post "Ideas for How to Run an Effective Tea Party Group," there is a section focused on pensions at nasa:

"Most government entities have pensions and benefits plans that far outstrip comparable private sector pensions and benefits. As NASA closes down the space shuttle program, we're learning that the contracts guarantee the retirements plans for the contractor's employees whether they work or not. These unfunded obligations are said to actually triple the debt the government is owning up to--and it's one area every Tea Party group can look into."

the line that gets me is "As NASA closes down the space shuttle program, we're learning that the contracts guarantee the retirements plans for the contractor's employees whether they work or not." are you supposed to work until the day you die to receive your pension? if that is the case, it is not a pension, is it?

my best friend from high school recently retired from a lifetime(20 years) of military service and now receives a pension from the us army, "whether he works or not." are you outraged about that? are you outraged that soldiers get college educations paid for by the government after devoting a few years to this country? what is your logic?

to the best of my ability, i have tried learning about the tea party with an objective eye, but the more i learn about the it the more i see this sort of selective outrage.

link | rss rss | share | posted: 2011-09-19 11:09:38

on perusing theteaparty.net, while trying to find out just what it is that they stand for(still can't figure it out), i came across this page. i noticed the page loading very, very slow and decided to do a little investigating. turns out that the "thumbnail" at the bottom of the page is a whopping 4.5mb. the thumbnail at the top of the page, ironically named govwasteroad.jpg is a mere 16k. the offending image(Constitution22x281.jpg?a=77) is nearly 300 times larger than govwasteroad.jpg.

what this means is that the more successful this blog is, the more they will be paying in unnecessary bandwidth. talk about wasteful spending!

not to mention this is a total ux fail. only users who can afford the fastest connections can even load this page in a timely manner. at my job, with it's t-whatever, it took over 15 seconds to load this one page. if i was using dsl, fuggedaboutit. seems funny that a political "movement" that parades and parrots the founding fathers' ideas of things like equality and stuff would fuck americans who can't afford such a connection.

as an aside, the post that this image is inside of is the blog's introductory post. it describes the author as a woman named donna wiesner keene. this woman apparently worked in the 2nd bush administration. i wonder where her tea party hat was when he was writing blank checks for his deficit busting trillion dollar wars.

link | rss rss | share | posted: 2011-09-19 09:45:33

in the wake of yet another avoidable, gun-related disaster, on perusing the comments section on one article relating to the topic i found a person arguing in favor of the second amendment and gun rights as a way to keep the balance of power between the citizens and government. like clockwork, i see these comments every time after this bullshit happens. i have no idea if these people are naive or simply stupid. my guess is the latter.

does any gun owner in this country honestly believe that their colt .45 is going to stop an abrams m1? are they going to be able to stop a cruise missile? can they shoot down an f-117?

military hardware since the beginning of the 20th century has shifted the balance so much that there is no way any militia in this country could ever overtake this government, ever. sure, one or two militias may have a .50 caliber machine gun laying around in someone's basement, but that is hardly enough firepower to overtake the american military, which reports directly to the commander in chief.

the argument is nonsense.

link | rss rss | share | posted: 2011-01-16 09:31:04

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