If you went to university in the '50s/'60s you got inexpensive quality education and then life time jobs with life time pensions.

If you went to university in the '70s you got inexpensive quality education.

If you went to university in the '80s you got inexpensive education.

If you went to university in the '90/'00s you got fucked up the ass.
Be Pro-people.

Normally I would say that MTV sucks major ass. It has somehow moved away from its purpose...to provide music to the masses. It was supposed to be all about the music, hence the videos, the music related news, etc, etc. Now it's a powerhouse of reality based television shows designed to bring in high ratings and, of course, money. They've become so inundated with shows like Road Rules, Real World, Sorority Life, Fraternity Life and Diary of (enter celebrity name here) that they've had to create a secondary channel, MTV2 for the music. The very thing the channel was created for. The M in its friggin name!

Toss aside the fact that MTV is a huge money making vehicle driven by generation Xers with stylish clothes and spiky hair, and you have an organization that is trying desperately to reach its target audience, today's youth, and inform them of important issues.

MTV generates an amazing amount of awareness.

On occasion MTV creates original movies about important topics. I had my first experience with MTV's non-trend driven programming several years ago in 2001. I turned on my television in college and found myself watching a recreation of the Matthew Shepard murder. I hadn't been overly aware of the details of that and after watching the movie I was filled with shame. Both that I didn't know about it when it happened, and that it happened at all. I found out when it would be on again and I forced my house mates to watch it with me. They, like myself, were moved to tears by the story. It reached us as it undoubtedly reached thousands of others.

Tonight I found myself watching one of their rare interviews with a political figure. Something I saw happen last after September 11. Tonight's issue is, of course, Iraq. In the hot seat is British Prime Minister, Tony Blair. Surrounding him are 40 representatives from 24 countries. Whether the questions are pre-fab or not, they're getting asked and he's answering them. There are also politically generated commercials being aired at every break and short interviews with intelligent people where they tell what they think the problem is in a few sentences. Coming soon to MTV will be another Diary show, but this one will be Diary of Gideon in Kuwait. He's with the troops, and will be giving those of us at home a brief glimpse into what it's like over there.

I know what it's like, I know what to expect. My father was in Desert Shield/Storm. I've seen photographs, read letters, seen silent video footage of bombs falling to the ground and destroying buildings and heard him talk about it on numerous occasions. If I thought for one second this war was about helping people, about saving lives I'd back it, but I know better. This is about upcoming presidential elections. This is about oil. This is about not being able to lock down on Bin Laden and saving face by bringing "evil" to justice.

I'm not anti-American, I'm just not ultra-nationalist.

MTV is doing its best to give those people that are of voting age now, those young people that don't read the paper and don't watch the news but are in college and unaware of what's going on for the most part, information they can use to form their own opinions. It's alerting those that will be of voting age soon about what the issues are so that when their turn comes they'll have something to draw on. Because, let's face it, the results of all this business with Iraq are going to effect the elections in the end.

30% of Americans support going to war without the UN's backing.

My father thinks if we go to war and beat Hussein, whatever that means, that Bush will get re-elected. I hope he's wrong. He also said something that I agree with, but never expected to hear him say. "I agree with that one girl. I think she hit it dead on. If we were going in for humanitarian reasons, and not for reasons concerning weapons, there would be much more support."

MTV managed to bring me eye to eye with my father on political matters. Imagine that.


If you're offended by something here, or you know I'm incorrect about something..let me know.
I have no qualms with discussing issues and changing inaccuracies.

March 8 is International Women’s Day!

The Arab News, "Saudi Arabia's First English Daily", is the official English language newspaper of the government. Perhaps in anticipation of Women's Day, they've finally broken their long silence:

Wife Beating: The Entire Family is Victimized


RIYADH, 19 February 2003 -- Wife beating is a widespread phenomenon in Saudi society.
...
Eighty-eight percent of violence against women results from differences of opinion, 69 percent because the husband refuses to allow the wife to travel and 82 percent because he won’t even let her outside the house.

Dr. Ahmad Al-Ameri, a Shariah expert, said there is a difference between violence in general and wife beating.
...
It is certainly against Islam to beat a good wife. An erring wife should be warned first and advised. If that does not work, then the husband could give her a light beating, the purpose of that being to embarrass rather than inflict pain.
http://www.arabnews.com/Article.asp?ID=22895
(emphasis added)
The article, while very informative, was unclear on several points:
  • If a wife attempts to travel, is warned, and cancels her plans, but then attempts to travel someplace else, must there be a separate warning or may she be lightly beaten immediately?
  • If the wife's father, brothers, or other male relatives warn her about leaving the house during childhood, must the husband warn her again as a married adult, or may he proceed to lightly beat her, based on the earlier warning?
  • Are blanket warnings such as "do not travel to the market, your friend's house, or anywhere else" permitted? What about pre-emptive warnings if you think the wife is thinking about leaving the house? General-purpose or pre-emptive warnings would be very efficient, and they would save the husband the trouble of remembering if he's issued a warming or not. Such savings would almost certainly result in lighter beatings for the wife.
  • Finally, a suggestion: perhaps the government would consider a future article discussing what is meant by a "light" beating. For example, is it permitted to beat the wife with her own shoe, so long as it doesn't break the skin?
Well fellow noders, I've decided to stick a toe back in the water here with an insignificant ramble. I sometimes wish there were an "E2 for dummies" website, not for really pointless type nodes, but basically a place that accepts those of us who never learned, or have (like myself) forgotten all they did learn regarding grammar, and punctuation. There are so many things I'd like to write about here, but overcoming the language barrier is really tough. I guess logically I should get some jr. high or high school grammar books and relearn all this, if I wish to fit in here.

The amount of time it would take me to get "good enough" - is it worth it? This place wouldn't suffer greatly without those things I might have to offer, and they can still be offered here in other ways besides me noding them. So I wonder if it's really worth it to me?

I used to, believe it or not, write for others. And in college I scored 500 out of 500, or 200 out of 200 (whatever the case may have been) on every writing assignment I wrote. This because I was fanatical - I read oh 30+ books on AT&T for my Big Brother wins the battle, America loses the war“ paper - it was just supposed to be a little ditty about government regulations minimum 10 pages, mine was over 20 pages (500/500 btw + 20 EC.) This is because my writing assignments no matter what they might be about, I wrote in the same way as my ritalin rant (with passion, interest and conviction) - and when it was all finished, I'd usually get my friend to toss in a few commas and ;'s in where needed (unless of course it was an English class!).

E2 sometimes feels like "everything" for a select group of people who either write well, or those who do not care that they do not and will still contribute here. My self-esteem was at rock bottom when I happened upon E2, being here honestly makes me feel like I belong back in the 5th grade.

I'm not complaining about E2; I don't know that I would have stuck around and ended up addicted to this place, if the majority here wrote like I do.

I'm just sharing my thoughts since that's what daylogs are for.

I have to wonder if the time I were to spend learning to write proper grammar and punctuation would be worth it? What would I gain? What would E2 gain from me doing so? What else could I spend that time doing that would be more beneficial to myself or to others? Honestly, I need to learn math! I would have had 3 degrees had I not been opposed to learning math, only thing I ever really learned or needed to learn in math was P/R*B.

I originally came here for fun and entertainment (learning is fun and entertaining for me - hence my literal addiction to the library for a few years) but it's not as fun for me because I have so much I would like to share but really don't feel I am "good enough" to do so.

So I pretty much hide here in the daylogs where people do not seem as critical or caring about periods, commas and sentence structure. I guess I could write all I wish to share here in daylogs, but the problem there is in someone searching and finding the topic I were to write about.

Another option would be to learn just enough to "get by"; but I know my obsessive, compulsive, perfectionist self - if I really get started on that by the time I'm done I'd be able to teach college English.

I still love E2, just wish I'd come across this 10 years ago when I could write more like the majority here. Well for those still with me, thanks for your time, I will figure this out somehow.


P/R*Beer???

Since I know someones gonna ask - I'll explain Gods-gift-to-math. The one darn thing I'll never understand is why they didn't teach me this in grade school. (or maybe they did and I thought of it as 'math' and therefore didn't learn??)

Anyhow I've gotten by for all these years knowing only one thing about math and that is a little thingy called P/R*B. This is something math people would call a formula, but I won't because I don't wish to scare you off!

So this P/R*B thingy works like this:

Let's say you have a case of 12 beers. If you go out and grab a case of beer it'd help with this! (non drinkers subsitute pop)

P = the part of something, a piece of it, not the 'whole thing' ok. Like say 4 of the beers would be a part of the whole case of beers. Makes sense right? GOOD!

Ok now B = the base of something, the whole thing, all of it. So in this case B would 12 beers. Still making sense? GREAT!

Ok now it gets a tiny bit harder, but not much, trust me if I "got it" - anyone can.

R = the rate of something, the percentage of it. If it has a .25 or a 25% for example you know you have the rate of something. We don't have one of those here yet!

So what do we have? The Part and the Base right?

P = 4 (remember I said 4 beers...) and B = 12 (the whole case)

So to figure OUT the R (rate)

We use that thingy one might call a formula P/R*B (that / is called division, but don't let that scare you, in this day and age we all have calculators. Run and grab a calculator and four of those beers for me now)

Ok so let's do this!

Let's figure out what % of beer you have with those 4 beers. (I know you could do THIS one in your head but that's not the point... it gets harder when your B is 1736 and your P is 347)

Take that handy calculator and divide the P (4 beers remember) by the B (12 beers right) and guess what? You have the rate! If you did this right it'll be .3333333333333 (33% - just move that . over two spots to get the %)

Amazing? Yes. But it gets better!

Drink one of those beers, and than let's try again.

So now what's your P? (what part of the beers out of the 12 do you have sitting there? 3)

So what part of B would 3 be? How would you figure it out?

P/R*B remember.

Hit 3 on the calc than divide it by 12. Answer? 25%

(in case you didn't know this .33 = 33% and .25 = 25%)

Now! I'll need you to guzzle one more of those beers and we will have 2 left.

(This will make the explanation easier)

So now we have 2 beers left.

Sometimes you won't know the P, or you won't know the B. Instead you'll know the R. So this time I'm giving you the R.

You have (or had anyhow) a 12 pack of beer, and you've now drunk about 17% of the beers, how many have you drunk? (Ok I know you know 2 beers, but this would get harder if it were 239 beers and you'd drunk 17% - you'd have forgotten long ago how many right?)

So how to figure THIS out?

Anytime you have the B and the R you multiply the B and R. If it's a % you take the % and move it over and squish it together and make it look like a . (so 17% becomes .17 see how I moved that % thingy over and squeezed it into a .)

Alrighty then. Let's multiply the B and R in this case.

12 beers times .17 would be? 2.04. So to drink 17% of the beers you'd need to crack open another beer and drink some of it- oh hell just drink the whole beer!

There's one more step here any guess? What if you don't have the B? Let's say your a real lightweight and by the time you finish this 3rd beer, you don't remember how many beers are in a case. Ok.

So we have the P (part of something) the 4 beers you brought in with you. And the Rate , you know you brought in around 33% of the beers. How are we going to figure out the B?

That handy calculator again. Remember P/R*B. We have the P and R this time. Not the B (you've forgotten how many beers come in the case already, lusssssssh!) So what we need to do is find the B by dividing the P (4 beers) by the R (33%).

4 divided by .33 would = 12.121212121212

So your answer 12

Drink the rest of the beers (might as well, we are done using them for examples) and go on to the next section.



For the non drinkers among you, I'll tell this in a "real world" applicable way.

You want to figure out which of your WU's are counted in your merit. So what would our B be? 100% of your WU's. Lets say you have 620 WU's. We know that the top 25% don't count, and the bottom 25% don't count. So that's our R (anytime you see the .25 or 25% (this is the rate) you've got your R in a problem!)

So what do we need to do? Figure out what 25% of 620 is. P/R*B remember. P in this case is? .25 and B in this case is 620. So .25 X B = 155. 155 = your P!

So your bottom 155 WU's do not count in your merit. And your top 155 WU's don't count.

Now you try a few before you forget this. Notice how you always have 2 of the three P R or B??

In case one we have the R and B.

What is 25% of 50 basketballs. (R = ? B = ?) so your P would = ?

.25 / 50 = ?

Another sample?

In case two we have the P and B

You have 3 dates for tonight, you need to turn 1 down what % do you need to turn down? Your B would = ? Your P would = ?

P / B = ?

(Now what are you going to do with the other two dates?)

and finally in this case we have the P and R

I've agreed to give you 25% of my eggs, so I hand you 4 eggs. How many eggs did I have all together?

The P = ? The R = ? So the B would = ? (P divided by R)

Time now to finish 100% of the remaining beers!!

If anyone "got" my explination to this please let me know, perhaps I can cut out some of the gibberish and make it a WU in that case. Since I "got" it - it's a tad tough to explain - as so many parts are just a "given" to me now. Like trying to explain walking and forgetting to suggest standing first.

My husband and I will celebrate our 20th anniversary in a couple of months. We lived together for a year before that. I turned 40 last year. I have now lived with this man for more than half my life. How the hell did that happen? Where have the years gone? How did I get to be so old?

Today's Headlines

US News

Troop Movements Could Cost $25 Billion
The Congressional Budget Office estimated today that simply sending troops and equipment to the Persian Gulf to fight Iraq and returning them home would cost nearly $25 billion. Moreover, the Office concluded that the total cost of a potential war would doubtless be much higher, depending on how long hostilities lasted and how much was spent on reconstruction and other aid. This provides the first real financial view from the Republican government on the potential cost of a war in the Middle East.

Air Force Academy Scandal Deepens
The Air Force has finally begun investigating at least 54 reports of sexual assault or rape at the Air Force Academy in Colorado over the last decade. Air Force Secretary James Roche, in announcing this in a Congressional hearing last week, sounded deeply appalled and wondered aloud how many more unreported assaults have occurred, questioning whether a rapist could be in the cockpit of an Air Force jet "with a couple of thousand pounds of bombs under his wings." His reaction gives hope that Air Force command has finally recognized the academy's failure to respond to legitimate complaints by young women cadets.

Investigators Look Into NASA Communications
A fourth investgation team evaluating the space shuttle Columbia disaster will look into NASA's internal communications, including e-mails and management directives. Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hess, an aviation mishap expert, said Friday the team will aid three groups already investigating the structural design, operations and technical aspects of the shuttle. Hess, who belongs to NASA's 13-member Columbia accident investigation board, also said that the overall investigation is focusing on the left wing, but has not ruled out other possibilities.

International News

Israeli Helicopter Kills Hamas Leader
Early this morning, Israeli helicopters destroyed a car with a barrage of air-to-surface missiles, killing a Hamas leader and three of his bodyguards. This strike comes a day after the militant group claimed responsibility for two deadly attacks that killed 16 Israelis. The apparent target of the strike was Ibrahim Makadmeh, 51, who was accused of engineering a series of attacks that have resulted in the deaths of 28 Israelis, most recently a tank bombing that killed 2 Israelis last month.

Blix Delivers Iraq Questions
Chief United Nations weapons inspector Hans Blix yesterday distributed a lengthy document to UN Security Council members which contains a wide range of questions he says Iraq has failed to answer about its weapons programs. This document was a supplement to Blix's latest report to the United Nations concerning Iraqi cooperation in disarmament, in which Blix praised Iraq's decision to destroy its al-Samoud missiles]. Due to these reports, the United Kingdom has presented a revised draft resolution to the Security Council; the resolution demands Iraq disarm by March 17, 2003 or face military action.

Iraqi Diplomat Expelled From Australia
Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer announced this morning that Iraqi diplomat Helal Ibrahim Aaref had until Wednesday to leave Australia after hearing advice from the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation that Mr. Aaref was working as an intelligence officer. In a speech, Downer said, "The assessment is he is an Iraqi intelligence officer and clearly that has implications for Australian security." But the Iraqi senior diplomat in Australia, Saad al-Samarai, wondered, "How can you expel him if you don't charge him with spying?"

Business

$1 Billion IBM Lawsuit May Taint Linux
The SCO Group has filed a $1 billion lawsuit against IBM for allegedly giving away trade secrets in its open-source Linux programs. SCO, which acquired the Unix operating system in 1995, claims IBM is freely distributing proprietary code by converting aspects of its own Unix variant into a Linux product, which includes open-sourced and freely accessible code. This move is seen as a potential boon to Microsoft and other proprietary software companies, who view Linux as a major threat to their software businesses.

Quattrone Resigns From CSFB
Frank Quattrone, one of Wall Street's most celebrated investment bankers in the 1990s but now facing criminal investigation, resigned under pressure from Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) on Tuesday. His departure from CSFB comes as state and federal prosecutors are studying whether or not the Silicon Valley financer sought to obstruct government investigations of 1999 and 2000 initial public stock offerings. The resignation was expected after Quattrone's decision last week to refuse an interview with the National Association of Securities Dealers, which violated CSFB's rules of cooperation.

Stocks Continue To Bounce On Mixed War News
United States stocks finished higher on Friday after an unconfirmed report that two sons of Osama bin Laden had been captured. Share prices fell early in the session on news the US economy had unexpectedly lost jobs in February and after chip manufacturer Intel said its first-quarter sales wouldn't meet its highest forecast. "Everything is hinged on anything related to terrorism, bin Laden, or Iraq," said Michael O'Hare, head of listed trading at Lehman Brothers. "Any positive piece of news and the market's going to fly. Anything negative, and it's going to drop."

Science & Technology

Microsoft Threatens Copyright Infringement Against Neowin
Using an unusually harsh application of a widely used Internet enforcement tool, a Windows news site was taken offline for nearly 24 hours this week after Microsoft accused the site of infringing its copyrights. Microsoft's Internet investigator sent a takedown notice on Tuesday, alleging the site was infringing the company's copyrights relating to its recently released Windows XP Peer-to-Peer Software Development Kit (SDK). However, Microsoft chose to alert the site's network service provider, who pulled the plug on the site without the knowledge of Neowin.

Intel To Boost Xeon Chip Line
Intel is expected to launch new Xeon microprocessors, running at clock speeds of 3GHz and 3.06GHz, on Monday. The Xeon line, which is similar to Intel's Pentium 4 line, is designed for single- and dual-processor workstations. This move is seen as a reinvigoration of Intel's high-end workstation and low-end server processor line in response to recent moves by AMD attempting to edge into these markets. The new chips, which are expected to cost about $700 each, follow the release of Intel's 2.6GHz, 2.66GHz and 2.8GHz Xeon chips in September.

University of Texas Warns of Additional Hacker Strikes
University of Texas officials are warning that more computer hacking may be attempted after publicity that thieves downloaded Social Security numbers and other personal data on 55,200 people from a university information system. In an internal memo, the university warned computer support staff to beware now that the February 28, 2003 breach has been made public, as it may label the university for further attacks. "The likelihood of attack and searches of the university computer systems for other vulnerabilities rises exponentially. I ask for your immediate attention to any vulnerabilities you may have in your systems that would allow someone to replicate this type of attack on your information," wrote information services director Sheila Ochner.

Health

FDA Proposes New Rules For Dietary Supplements
The Food and Drug Administration moved on Friday to impose new rules on dietary supplements that would force manufacturers to make clean and accurately labeled products. The changes will not tell consumers whether the supplements, which include everything from vitamin C to ephedra, St. John's wort and ginkgo biloba, are dangerous, nor whether they work, but instead focuses on making sure that the products are actually clean and contain the material that is described on the label. This is in reaction to recent evidence showing the presence of bacteria, glass, pesticides, lead and other contaminants in food supplements.

Teen Gets Stem Cell Treatment
Doctors at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, California became the first in the world to use stem cells from a patient's own blood to try to repair damage caused by a heart attack. The innovative transplant was announced at a news conference Wednesday morning at the hospital, where Dimitri Bonnville, 16, who had been shot in the heart with a nail gun, sat at the table with his parents and cardiologist. Doctors hope the stem cells will regenerate heart tissue damaged by a massive heart attack that followed the injury and stimulate the growth of new blood vessels. Dimitri's heart function has begun to improve since the stem cell transplant Feb. 21.

Sports

Giants Release Jason Sehorn
After long-time Giants cornerback Jason Sehorn refused a sharp pay cut to free up salary cap room, the New York Giants released the colorful player after nine years in Giants' blue. Sehorn's fate was sealed sometime in the past two days when his agent informed the Giants he would not accept a proposed restructuring that would have dropped his pay from $4.3 million to $1 million and erased a $1-million roster bonus he was due to receive Monday. Over the last five seasons, Sehorn's strength at the cornerback position has dropped significantly, meaning he may not have much drawing power in the free agent market.

Els Remains In Driver's Seat In Dubai
Ernie Els, Alastair Forsyth and David Lynn go into Sunday's final round at the Dubai Desert Classic tied at 13 under par, maintaining the trio's lead that they held at the end of play on Friday. Ernie Els is looking for his fifth win in six tournaments to open a strong 2003 golf campaign for him, in which his primary rival appears to be Tiger Woods, who himself has won two of his first three tournaments. The Dubai tournament has a weakened field after Woods and Colin Montgomerie declined to play, citing fears around the building military conflict in the region.

Entertainment

Broadway Darkens Because of Musicians' Strike
Most of Broadway went dark last night when its musicians walked out over how many of them should be employed in each theater's orchestra pit, and actors and stagehands refused to cross their picket lines. Broadway producers announced that all musicals except for Cabaret, which operates under a different contract would be shut for the weekend. Dramatic plays without music and off-Broadway musicals will continue to operate as normal. It was the first time in nearly 30 years that Broadway had been shut down by a labor dispute.

Burt Ward and Adam West Reunite
The two stars of the 1960s camp classic television series Batman, Burt Ward (Robin) and Adam West (Batman), are reuniting for Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt, to be aired on CBS this Sunday. The original Batman series ran from 1966 to 1968 on ABC. It is regarded as one of the biggest camp shows in television history. Animated POW!s and BLAM!s flashed on the screen when the blows were struck during fight scenes, and the acting was intentionally overplayed. Yet the show has retained a popular following over the past thirty five years.


And Now, Some Typical Daylog Fare

I am considering running for public office as a member of the Libertarian Party.

Your initial reaction to this revelation might be well, he has no chance whatsoever of winning.

I know that very well.

The reason I am planning on running is because I think that a true grassroots effort is what is needed to get a Libertarian voice out there in the American consciousness. Most people are not even aware of the politics of parties outside of Democrats and Republicans. My goal is simply to raise the awareness of a different viewpoint.

How am I planning to go about this? I'm considering taking a year off from my job (which I think I may be able to do), packing up my car, and visiting every small town in my Congressional district. What will I do in those towns? Show up at the town meeting places and simply talk to individual people. In small towns, people usually congregate at the fire station or at a particular small restaurant. I just have to find that place and meet a few people. If I find a lot of interest in what I have to say, I may try to schedule a town meeting and just let it be an open question-and-answer forum, where I try to build a discussion on the topics at hand.

Basically, I want to run a truly idealized campaign in the style that they were run a hundred years ago, before politicians decided to use mass media to reach their constituency and took themselves away from actual contact with their constituents.

I don't expect to win. All I hope for is that I am able to make a few people in Iowa care about their government again and see the possibilities of what could be if they went to the polls and made a real choice rather than just choosing the lesser of two evils.


Lent Diary, Day 4

In my daylog for February 19, 2003, I outlined my plan for a challenging Lenten discipline: no food or water during daylight hours. Visit that daylog for more details.

Last night, about 10 PM, I took a long walk in lieu of my usual pre-bedtime meditations. I have a lot of things on my mind; this Lenten discipline has made me carefully reconsider what's good and what's bad in my life, and what I might want to consider changing.

I've found that I have two major regrets in my life. The first is that I did not even consider going to seminary. I think now that this may have been the path I should have followed in life. I think I have a gift for communication with people in a one-on-one basis, in terms of making people feel comfortable talking about things that they might not otherwise want to discuss. I wonder if I should not be in a career to utilize this gift.

My second regret (and one that I can still potentially change) is that I have not been involved in significant public service. I would like to run for a political office; more than that, I would like to provide a voice for those who are interested in individual liberties and freedoms.

I believe now, more than ever, that God made man to be free. Free will was one of the gifts we were all given, and we should be allowed to make choices, whether right or wrong. Whenever a government makes choices for us, this gift is being restricted.

My Lenten discipline has made me more of a libertarian than ever.

Code: Pink

Pantaliamon and I spent much of today at the Code Pink anti-war rally at Meridian Hill Park (aka Malcolm X Park) in Washington, D.C., some five blocks from our apartment. Women (and their male allies) turned out all over the globe to rally against the Bush administration’s war plan, and this was one of the major events. As usual with these things, I was glad that I attended, but was left dumbfounded by many of the speakers and attendees.

My main problem with the anti-war movement, of which I am definitely a part, is that so many of its supporters and organizers are incapable of rational discourse. With the exception of some very intelligent people who spoke, a lot of it was just – pardon the generalization – new age hippy bullshit. The great call to arms at the end of the rally invoked the “Mother Goddess” and urged us to remember that we are all part of the “River of Life.” I certainly don’t want do deny anyone their religious beliefs, but forcing it on a secular anti-war rally just seemed … tacky? Irritating? Naive?

Let’s face it, for the anti-war movement to gain any mainstream momentum we desperately need to appeal to the majority of Americans – those people who live in what most coastal elites condescendingly refer to as “flyover country.” I’m not sure invocations of Gaia are really going to play well there.

Nor do I think old anti-Vietnam folks songs are the ticket, either. But one of the speakers sang one for us – clearly to bring back memories of the “Good Old Days” when the baby boomers rallied against the conflict in Southeast Asia. Not that you can’t draw parallels between the two, but I think a focus on the present and not the past is crucial to getting past this crisis. And besides, there’s nothing more embarrassing than an old hippy recalling the Summer of Love. This is a new fight and although history is important, it’s time to pass the torch to a new generation. If only we could pry it from the hands of these lifelong activists …

My other problem lies with the use of the tried-and-true “peace movement” clichés – “make love not war,” “food not bombs,” “give peace a chance,” etc. These don’t play well to middle American, either. For starters, they don’t mean anything to the public, anymore – they only stir the people who are already converted to the cause. Second, the notion that all war is unnecessary is, I think, terribly naïve – so messages to that effect just turn people off.

What the movement needs are more articulate people, such as Janene Garafalo, who have clearly done their homework and can offer a rational reason for why it’s wrong to invade Iraq. This is crucial in winning the PR battle with the conservatives, because – let’s face it – they’re going to just blow-off anything less than a reasoned challenge. Janene, I might add, did a splendid job on CNN’s Crossfire, yesterday – she effectively beat off attacks by both James Carville and Tucker Carlson (why Carville was so hard on her, I can’t begin to guess), and made a case against war that I could look at and say that I respect. I was glad that she participated in today’s rally, although I missed her speech.

I don’t mean to be offensive to the members of this growing movement – I really do respect their convictions and their activism. But if they really want a mainstream movement, they have to avoid resorting to the old standbys – they’re a crutch in this case. No one will ever take the movement seriously if it continues to expound 30-year old clichés without employing the intellectual muscle needed to win the fight.

Looking through the various paraphernalia on sale (oh, excuse me, available in exchange for a “donation”) – buttons, t-shirts, stickers, etc. – it took me some time to find something with a slogan I could actually get behind: “No War for Empire.” This really sums up my feelings about the war, and hints at a greater argument against American global expansion – it’s certainly more thought provoking than say “Imagine World Peace.”

At the end of the event, the protestors amassed on 16th Street and set out for the White House. The huge crowd – literally thousands of people, mostly women – marched down the street, beating drums, waving signs and puppets and chanting against the war. With everyone together – middle class housewives, college students, high school students, mothers, fathers, grandmothers, small children, even dogs, as well as traditional activists – the more radical elements of the movement were blurred out, absorbed in the mass. People stopped in their cars, honked their horns in support and waved at the throng.

It became clear to me at that moment that the peace movement is most effective when it’s in motion – whether it’s Janene Garafalo putting Tucker Carlson in his place, or thousands of people turned out in the streets, marching on the White House. The movement is at its weakest when it stands around and claps, cheering on people who can’t possibly understand the audience they desperately need to attract. Americans respect action more than hollow rhetoric. Only a proactive argument and public demonstrations can turn the tide.

I learned an important lesson today:

Little pitchers do have big ears.

I was laying quietly in my room this afternoon, studying. It was a lovely day; the air was voluptuous with that scent that can only mean the onset of summer. I imagined the bliss of cool, chlorinated water and Italian ices in the evening, pick-up basketball at midnight and the whir of crickets resonating throughout the plains. The comfort of crisp sheets after a sultry day.

My thoughts were interrupted when my sister, in her fifth year, knocked on my plain brown door. Gingerly, carefully, she traversed the floor of my bedroom; stepping over heaps of unkempt clothing and the permeation of Teenage Girl. With a carriage that only a young child can muster, she cleared her throat and announced-

"I have just made a NEW song. For when I am a star. Would you like to hear it?"

Of course, I obliged (Erik Erikson's psychology and the awareness that I had to reward her efforts of Industry won over my lesser instincts to kick her out in sisterly squalor.) Her most rhapsodic lyrics:

Baaabbbbyyyy I wanna lovvvvvee you (Yeah, Yeah!)

I just want to hold your hannnnnnd (Yeah, Yeah!)

I know you looooovvveee meee toooo (Yeah, Yeah!)

But you gotta go ta WORRRRRKKKKK! (Yeah, Yeah!)

I love you soo much (Yeah, Yeah!)

But work just SUCKS (Yeah, Yeah!)

I can't wait to hold your HAAAANNNNND!

I was shocked! My sister's opus was, unfortunately, the amalgam of what she has been exposed to- my mother's constant whining about the banality of school administration, my pounding of the snooze button when faced with another day of my magnet high school. Neither of us have been happy this year, she chose to channel this observation into an off-key country song. I had to laugh, but I can't help but wonder if my brutish insolence will color her perceptions of work and love in the years to come.

About an hour and a half ago, somebody got to my website by searching Yahoo! for the phrase pictures of the people who died in E2. From this phrase alone, and the results of the search, I can guess a few things about the searcher.
  1. They are not terribly savvy about the so-called Information Superhighway, but neither are they clueless. Most of the geeky types I know of prefer to use Google, while those who think the Internet is another keyword on AOL tend to use AOLSearch.
  2. They should be using Ask Jeeves. As far as I know, that is the only search engine that currently accepts natural language queries.
  3. They're easily distracted. Although a subpage of my site is the fifth result for this search, the excerpt clearly shows that page has nothing to do with their topic. (It doesn't even mention Hermetic.)
  4. They're not specific enough, or else they're too specific. There are only 1,420 results for the search, but none of them appear to actually be connected to whatever this person was looking for. Better search terms are definitely needed.
Through this search, I also found my way to a very anti-Semitic site called Vanguard News Network.

I dunno. I just felt like sharing this odd search. Can anybody let me know how many noders are known to have died?

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