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May 25, 2004

Pass many ports

Well, just retired my second US Passport. It ended up with 72 pages (the original 24, plus two supplements). Didn't quite fill up the last supplement, but still... I think I can safely say that I've gone many places in the past ten years.

As I sat here thumbing through the pages, I counted up how many separate entries to foreign countries I made during that time: 58. And that doesn't count the Canada crossings and some of the entries into EU countries where they didn't stamp my passport. I know it's kind of silly to get sentimental about a clump of paper, but I'm kind of sad about the whole thing.

The new passport looks so sterile and empty in comparison. Also, I have to say the new digital photograph makes me look horrible. I actually liked my photograph from the old one, but I have to say that with the new one, that book "When You Look Like Your Passport Photo, It's Time to Go Home" has new relevance in my life.

Well, here's to the next decade of travels, and the wonderment and enlightenment that hopefully accompanies me.

PGP Signed Entry

May 19, 2004

Kerry Spam

Okay, so I registered my support of John Kerry as the de facto Democratic presidential candidate a while back. I even sent him some money.

Since then, I've received at least one piece of e-mail from the Kerry campaign every single day, asking for more money. Hey, I'm all for defeating Bush and all, but this is getting out of hand. I don't even read them anymore, and I'm about one step away from blacklisting mail from the campaign as spam.

Once or twice a week, hey, I'm cool with that. Updates on major developments, great. Summary of the week's events, no problem. But not every day. I'm not a zealot, and though I believe in this cause tremendously, I believe these daily e-mails are becoming noise instead of a meaningful message. Wake up, Kerry campaigners... before you alienate anyone just because you annoyed them with spam.

PGP Signed Entry

May 8, 2004

The Houston Oiler

Dear President Bush:

As oil prices rise to levels not seen since the last time American soldiers occupied a middle-Eastern land, why have you stood by flaccidly?

During times of similar attempts by the oil barons, foreign and domestic, to take advantage of the American people, President Clinton made what I would consider minimal attempts at trying to placate the public and show at least marginal interest in making a symbolic gesture to alleviate the situation.

Releasing oil from the strategic national reserves was a small consolation indeed, with little direct influence. However, it was a gesture that did not go unnoticed. Like the pebble in the pond, a small gesture (especially one made by the President of the United States) can have widespread effects, something I'm sure your economic advisers have informed you of. You, on the other hand, have done nothing.

If anything, your lack of action as oil encroaches upon $40 per barrel is silent confirmation of your lack of concern and/or awareness of the issues affecting the people you claim to represent. Is this because your true representation is for your friends, foreign and domestic, who happen to be oil barrons? Was that the plan all along?

And then you have the gall of asking me for another $50 billion to fight this war. Let's see, in addition to the $87 billion I already gave you last year, that's about $137 billion. And remember, I'm onto where this money goes. I am not going to give you and your arrogant friends my money and the future of the country. The destructive fiscal irresponsibility you have demonstrated will take decades to overcome. And that's if and only if we get you out of office this November.

If only you would just confess and say the truth: you have only the best interests of rich oil barrons and war-mongering bigots in mind. Then at the very least I could respect you for your honesty. But alas, you have squandered even that measure of respect. What a shame. To yourself and our country.


PGP Signed Entry

Gin Rummy

On the subject of Don Rumsfeld...

I despise the man. He is the archetypical arrogant, greed-driven American so reviled around the world. He is the most visible of the shadowy world of our military-industrial complex. He personifies all that is wrong with our foreign policy.

At present, he is being pressured to resign.

Folks, if you sign on to this bandwagon, you are playing into the hands of the administration. Right now, believe it or not, I actually feel sorry for Rummy. Like the mafia, gangs, and drug dealers, the ultra-neo-conservatives have shown that "in this shit business, you ain't got no friends."

Donnie has become expendable to people like Dick Cheney and Karl Rove. So he's gonna take the fall for this gross injustice, while attention is deflected away from the massive shortcomings of the President (Vice) and the President (Shadow). It's masterful art, this ruse. They've got everyone going for it. I mean, hey, Rums is such an easy target. In a way he set himself up for it by being such a complete snob.

But again, it's not really him we should be concerning ourselves with. There are far larger fish to fry.

PGP Signed Entry