Sunday, July 31, 2005

One less taxi driver in Atlanta.

Thank God. In two ways: let the torturer get his just desserts, and keep the East Africans off Atlanta streets. Sorry, but when they're not torturing people at home, they're murdering our traffic.

I have to confess, I'm tired of the ACLU.

I grew up as an atheist in Catholic Ireland. I'll tell you that all it did was make me stronger. Everyone needs something to struggle against.

Even so, Cynthia McKinney keeps getting elected.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Atlanta is about to get a gigantic aquarium. It's part of revitalizing the downtown area, which is an almost complete wasteland after 6:00 PM weekdays, and most weekends.

As part of setting up the aquarium its sponsor, Bernie Marcus, wants panhandlers out of the downtown area. You see, one reason to avoid downtown is the aggressive panhandling.

Well, the bums are striking back.

My prediction: initial eviction of bums, followed by slow return, followed eventually by eviction of bums, followed by....

You see, Atlanta really needs the money. Apart from the city of Atlanta, the rest of the metro area is booming. If the eco-terrorists don't get Altantic Station, and the aquariam is a success, the city might just see a revitalization.

An Atlanta policeman robs three banks to secure the funds he needs to keep his security business afloat.

Only in Atlanta.

Run Dick! Run!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Notice to passengers.

Makes sense to me!

What struck me most about this was the cell phone video someone mailed in to Channel 2.

I heard about this crash on the way home from work. At the time, a police spokesman commented that the amount of rubber-necking was disgraceful - people just could not get enough of watching someone burn up in an SUV crushed between to big trucks.

Showing the video, and giving credit to the person who sent it in, is only going to encourage a lot more rubber-necking.

This will probably turn out to be a piece of eco-terrorism.

Environmental concerns are killing astronauts.

Friday, July 22, 2005

I like traffic lights,
I like traffic lights,
I like traffic lights,
But only when they're green.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

So, President Bush has settled on a nominee to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Listening to Chuck Schumer last night, the worst thing I heard from him was that Mr. Roberts doesn't have much of a paper trail.

Reminds me of instructions to communist cadres, Hungary, 1956:

1. Don’t think.
2. If you think, don’t speak.
3. If you speak, don’t write.
4. If you write, don’t sign.
5. If you think, speak, write, and sign, don’t be surprised!

Watching the news about the nomination (CNN had the news about an hour ahead of the official announcement), I was struck by how young this guy is. I mean, he's only 50. If confirmed, he'll be a fixture on the court for the rest of my life. Damn! What awesome power! I mean, he could go cuckoo day one after his confirmation, and we'd have 20 or 30 years of nutball rulings to look forward to.

Anyway, from an Atlanta perspective, the news about CardSystems is much more immediately important.

Equifax has driven Atlanta to a leadership role in the credit business. I recent months, Atlanta companies have gotten some black eyes, to the point where the Senate is investigating ChoicePoint, and CardSystems may well go out of business. Nature abhors a vacuum, and others will grab what Atlanta's dropped.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Days without beer: 9.

I recently finished working at a startup. While there, I made a point of putting together a development/build environment that would work for both Windows and Unix developers (actually, it was usable by Eclipse, JBuilder, IntelliJ, EMACS, vi, etc., users). I did this because the existing build/development had been hacked by the in-house Linux bigots to be usable only on Unix. I mean what an abomination: Ant build scripts that would only work on Unix!

Anyway, I just came across this, which makes a lot of good points about Unix bigotry.

I pretty much agree with Joel's assessment.

The world's top 50 beers.

Friday, July 15, 2005

So, it's eight days after the Islamofascist attack on London.

In reading some of the coverage of the killers, I'm struck by how ordinary they appeared to be, right up to the point where they blew themselves up.

I mean, take this, about Shahzad Tanweer: "'He was a nice lad. I don't know how many times he served me fish and chips,' said Peter Douchworth, 58, a Beeston resident for over 30 years. 'He went out of his way to help.'"

Balanced against that is this: "The transformation was gradual, but then his relentless reading of the Quran and daily prayers became almost an obsession, his friends told The Associated Press."

I have a friend - well, he used to be a friend, I haven't seen him in a while - who married a Muslim woman. Sortly before his marriage, he converted to Islam. Now, none of his non-Muslim friends ever see him. He's just dropped off the face of *our* world. God knows what's happening in his Islamic world.

I served for six years in the US military. One of the things that truly impressed me about the experience was how you could lift a group of people out of the world, give them a few weeks of training and indoctrination, and have them ready to carry out missions.

I've read a bit about Islam. One thing I've taken away from my reading is that muslims are encouraged by their religion to keep apart from non-muslims. I have some empirical evidence of this in the behaviour of my friend. So, let's just take one last step and realize that Islam is the perfect breeding ground for sociopathic behaviour: self-segregate, listen only to the Islamic echo chamber, see the rest of humanity as dirty kufrs, divide the world into the room of submission and the room of war.

These guys need a reformation and enlightenment, pronto.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Sunday's New York Times has an article about Galway.

How cool is that? My hometown covered by the Paper of Record.

Friday, July 08, 2005

So. After reading hours of blogs, I'm brought to this:

Saudi Prince, to GWB: Tell me, George, why are there no Arabs on Star Trek?
GWB: ... Prince, I'll have to get back to you on that.

(Days pass....)

GWB: Prince! You remember that question about Star Trek?
Saudi Prince: Yes...
GWB: I figured it out. Star Trek happens in the future....

Thursday, July 07, 2005

I'm sure you've already seen this.

After conversations with relatives in England (most in the London area), I've learned that the general response has been "What a bummer! We were so happy after getting the Olympics, and now this."

I think Tony Blair's response was about right: concern for the dead and maimed, promises of retribution.

It's initially hard to say who might have done this. I mean, there has been a claim of responsibility, but the IRA has a history (Canary Wharf, as an example) of setting off bombs that cause massive economic damage, with some death and maiming thrown in for good measure. Of course, the IRA also has a history of usually giving warnings. If it was Al Qaeda, then I'm amazed there was so little loss of life. After 9/11 in New York, and 3/11 in Madrid, you sort of expect them to be a lot more bloody. Maybe this was a bullet dodged. I just don't know.

I definitely feel for the Brits. Last time I was in London, I went through Russell Square and Aldgate tube stations many times. Russell Square is a very deep station. Getting out of there on foot is quite the climb.

Sorry, I'm kind of disconnected. Not quite sure what to make of this.

UPDATE: Sent a sympathy note to the British Consul General here in Atlanta. Got a note back asking if I'd be willing to be interviewed by the AJC. Said "Sure!" Just got off the phone with the press guy. Let's see how it gets reported....

UPDATE: As of tonight I hear of 37 dead and 700 injured. Based on profile, this is now an Al Qaeda bombing. No bullet dodged.

UPDATE (7/8/2005): The death toll is now 50. I just cruise by Russell Beattie's notebook. When the Islamofascists exploded bombs in Madrid, he had this hysterical rant. He's been silent on the London bombings. Probably because the President isn't up for re-election. What a self-centered little man.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy 4th of July from Atlanta.

I'm afraid I spent little of the day in meditation about Philadelphia on July 4, 1776. Instead I woke up late (0800), got coffee for myself and Mrs. LivinInAmerica, watched a movie on TV (with Mrs. LivinInAmerica), went to the pool (with Mrs. LivinInAmerica), came home (with Mrs. LivinInAmerica), watched another movie (with Mrs. LivinInAmerica), and now here I am blogging (alone).

So, here I am 229 years after a bunch of rebels started a ball rolling. It took them over a decade to get rid of George III. Another 75 years after that to get rid of that original sin, slavery. At the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives.

This America. 229 years after being founded, it's the world's hyper-power. Our President talks very softly because he wields a huge stick. Against him, the rest of the world is shrill, and the more so for the tiny twig in its hands. The world's hyper-power. With no interest in empire. How about that!?!! Today, at the pool, the neighborhood recreation committee put on a barbeque: chicken, hot dogs, potatoe (Hi Dan!) salad, chips, soda (OK, I brought my own beer). It was a total mass-production, at the bottom end of the American food chain. It had to be, to feed the masses of children. Yet it was a feast beyond the imagining of most of the world's population. That, for me, sums up this America: we're rich, happy, fat, family-oriented, sharing, want the best for everyone.

As I parked the car after coming home from the pool, a couple of WWII arcraft flew over. A P-51D Mustang, and a Beechcraft C45, in USAAF and RAF regalia, respectively. Brought a lump to my throat, I have to say. I won't go on, but when it comes to world affairs, let's remember WWI, WWII, NATO, SEATO, The UN, The IMF, and a host of holding actions against world Communism.

So here I am on my HP laptop. Transistors: American invention. Microsoft XP: American invention. The Internet: American invention. Etc., etc.

How did it turn out like this? Basically, from a Copernican inversion. Instead of the European model, where Kings gave up just enough power to keep the peasants quiet, America started out by regarding the individual as sovreign, giving up just enough power to allow government to function. And here's the result: 300 million free individuals driving the wealth machine the feeds them to the point of killing them, and throws off enough to keep the rest of the worlds 6 billion from starving.

It's 21:31, and I can hear the fireworks going off around town.

I start every day thanking God I'm an American. Tonight, I'll go to bed on the same note.

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