As I drove home from the Indianapolis Airport two nights ago I listened to the end of a broadcast from the Commonwealth Club of California on how the right stole the 2004 election. The speakers name is Mark Crispin Miller. I highly recommend it.

From what I can tell he basically is saying that the domocratic process is broken in America. Not only was the 2004 election stole (nearly all of the elecronic voting machines were manufactured by companies owned by highly partisan republicans, one of which is quoted as having said "I promise to deliver Ohio to President Bush."

I don't think the main point is actually the machines or even that the election was stolen but more that the whole system must be broken for this to have happened. But I don't want to talk about that. The most interesting point that despite many people knowing about it no one wants to talk about. Why? Because This Can't Happen In America.

This is an attitude that I have felt for some time but I haven't really been able to articulate. I have found that many of my beliefs on the character of our national leaders to be rather extream. I actually believe that they are evil. I actually believe that they are trying to subserviate the democratic process in America. I am sure they are not the Dr. Evil kind of evil who does things for the sake of being evil. They are evil in the same way that many other political leaders, Stalin, Musilini, even Hitler can be considered evil. And no, I do not believe that is hyperbole. Ah, ok I am rambling.

Why are we so unwilling to believe that something that has happened countless times before in countless other countries can not happen here? Is it not a sign that the framers of our constitution took so many pains to prevent the consolidation of power? Even then Thomas Jefferson recognized that the only true prevention of Tyrany is the vigilance of the people. This is why he is quoted so aften as saying that public education is the foundation of a healthy democracy.

This complacency and arrogance is pervasive in our society. Attempt to compare America to some other country in an argument and prepare to be riddiculed for even considering the fact that we are not the best. The signs as to the decline of our educational system have been passed off with excuses of a "Biased Test" and how other countries do not have truely universal education. The war in Iraq and many other actions have been justified under the crusade of spreading democracy and the American Way.

Once the lie starts it grows. Think of the last time you were caught in a lie. Did you own up to it right away? I don't know how many times I have said a little white lie to save face when caught. Time after time I have seen it grow and grow untill the stakes are so high that owning up and admitting your mistakes is impossible now. The same thing has happened here. We have believed with our eyes closed that we are super awesome for so long that settleing for anything else would be admitting the whole thing is false.

This is the tragedy of a revolution, it needs a scape goat. Granted, it could be an evil goat, but it is never the actual problem.

I have no doubt that Bush will go down in flames but it is bringing me less and less joy. We need to address the state of mind and beliefs that have allowed such a thing to happen. In the spirit of such an inquisition I end with the opening the the Constitution of the United States and a challange. Read carefully the purpose of our constitution. Look up words in the dictionary if you have to.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The question is not "How are we doing?". The question is why do we not eat, sleep, and breath this sentance. The United States of America is not set on a piece of paper, it lives in the spirit of those words and the spirit of those words depends on us. I say one must now earn the right to call oneself an American. It is no longer enough to sing

"And I'm proud to be an American, 'cause at least I know I'm free..."

you have to secure that freedom. Being an American is not a birth right, it is a state of mind with the aim to uphold those virtues that this country was founded upon.

I hate to end on such a definitive note but I have pretty much convinced myself of this.


A gab bag

This is going to be a mish-mash of ideas that I have been thinking about that I just want to get out there. I don't have time to develop every one of them so... here they are:

The 100 dollar laptop
This will create, by force, the next internet and cause the death of Microsoft as we know it. Why? It has no harddrive. They just stuck in a couple gigs of flash memory and a few "Essential" programs like a word processor and an internet browser. Assuming a 10th of the users have access to the internet with this thing there are going to be 1 million people out there dying for internet delivered applications. And, as with most things, if you build it they will come. Other companies will start building 300 dollar laptops with nice screens but that are still basically glorified internet browsers and now computers are finally availiable to the masses. Yes the first users will be poor but there is still money to be made in this. I can tell you this much, I'm going to buy the first laptop like this that is sold because frankly the only programs I ever have open are word, firefox, and AIM.

Republicans and democrats
About a year ago I gave up caring about the fact that President Bush had won the nomination. My reasoning is somewhat Maciavellian but I thought if I am right then what the Bush administration and republicans are doing is not sustainable. There will be a crash and, hopefully, that crash will be so great as to destroy the republican party. At the time I was gunning for complete dominance of the democrats but now I want everyone to go down with this thing. I want politics as we know it to be destroyed because frankly if the public wants to they can find enough dirt on the vast majority of republicans and probably half the democrats to sweep them out of office. This wont happen though untill the media gets more agressive, which we are starting to see.

The Revolution
Ah yes, don't worry, its still comming! Only I am more worried now about the possibility of a real war (not iraq, I'm talking 10s to 100s of thousands of causualties) within our life time. The way I see it the world is segmenting into three regions, the western hemisphere, the middle east, and China. War will only only start due to unstable countries and world wars only occure due to the clash of hegemons. Here we have both. China is gunning to control asia like the USA controls the Western Hemisphere and to a degree Europe. It already has several conflicts that it appears willing to go to war over: Tiwan, Nepal, and the big one Energy (They had quite an argument with japan over oilfields in the sea of japan a couple years ago). So you have ambitios nations (China), unstable nations (mid east), and nations that are willing to go to war to maintain their position of dominance (US and Europe). I hope this won't happen and it probably wont but with the comming energy squeeze...

It has the most competitive economy in the world and yet it is socialist? They pay over 40% of their income in taxes each year and speeding ticket fines are based on your income. An executive of nokia (I think) payed a houndred thousand dollar speeding ticket a few years ago. The point is that many people make the argument in the USA that low taxes are good for an economy because when you take away peoples earnings they have less incentive to work hard and be innovative and this doesn't seem to be the case in Finland. What Finland has going for it is a very egalitarian society. It is one of the most racially homogenious nations in the world and the harsh enviroment and its small size tend to encourage cooperation as opposed to competition. Also, they use that money to invest heavily in human capital such as education, government funded research, and social services. *sigh* Is it possible for a country to be to big for its own good? Is it hard to learn whatever language they speak there?

I Misanthrope
My faith in humanity is waning. Well, I guess that is not entirely accurate, my hope for humanity is waning. I have come to the conclusion that alot of the worlds problems stem from the social and behavioral changes we have had to adopt to maintain the increadible number of people on the planet right now. This is why, if I make billions of dollars (heh) I am not going to donate it to education or fighting world hunger (loosing battle, you feed people they make more people that need food. Populations will expand to utilize all of the resources availiable and overshooting is inevitable.) I am going to donate it towards world wide birth control. If I become president (not if this blog is still up) I will encourage programs that advocate one child per couple. The fact is we have already reached the world capacity. Yes, technically we can have more people but not without decreasing the overall happyness significantly. I would also write an open letter to the Catholic Church that says basically: "Hey guys, you can stop discouraging birth control and condums and all that. We made it. We hath gone forth and populated the earth and now it is time to think about what to do now. We are not animals, our population doesn't have to be dictated by the same differential equations (yes, I would say that), we can take steps to make ourself happier."

Fourie Approximations
Using an infinite sum of sines and cosines you can approximate any two dimensional curve. Lately all I have wanted to do is find the fourie approximations of stuff around me. Mainly trees. Awesome.