Insomnia Log

This is what keeps me awake at night???

Who needs sleep? (well you’re never gonna get it)
Who needs sleep? (tell me what’s that for)
Who needs sleep? (be happy with what you’re getting,
There’s a guy who’s been awake since the second world war)

-- words and music by Steven Page & Ed Robertson

Location: Boulder, Colorado, United States

Everything you need to know about me can be found in my posts

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Donald Slips Pluto a Mickey, Everybody Turns Goofy

So, Pluto is no longer a full-fledged planet. It's a planet lite, along with the asteroid Ceres and wannabe planet UB40 (and the Rat in its Kitchen). I can't believe how many people are up in arms about this. This is such an emotional issue. We all grew up with nine planets, and dammit there should always be nine planets.

Well, here's some news. Science is not static. If it were, it would be called religion. Science is a process about trying to better understand the universe, learning new things, classifying.

If you are fighting based on your personal emotions and beliefs that Pluto should remain a planet, then you are the same as the people who fought to keep Plan B contraceptives off the shelves at drugstores or who deny global warming. Get over yourself and let the world move on.


Monday, August 21, 2006

To Err Is Human, To Forgive a Divine Right

One of the absolute coolest things about being President is that you can pardon anybody you want to for any reason whatsoever. President Bush has been one of the stingiest with this power. With the 17 pardons he issued last week, his total is still just shy of 100 in over 5 years in office.

Of course, there is nothing that says pardoning more people is better. As long as Bush is using his God-given power for good, not evil...

Looking over the most recent list of lucky pardonees, one thing strikes me -- they are all safe. All were convicted long ago and none will be released from prison with the possibility of going on a rampage. In fact, almost all of them never did a day in prison.

So, who were the lucky winners this time? Well, there were four with firearms convictions, three with drug convictions, three theft/larceny cases, a couple of AWOL cases, a couple of liquor law violations, an embezzlement charge, someone who counterfeited postal orders, and a conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Make of this what you will, but these old ex-criminals are just the types that can get sympathy from President Bush.

And get this. One of the moonshiners pardoned by W was Randall Deal, an actor who played a minor character in the movie "Deliverance". No, he didn't play that character. He played one of the brothers that guide the misguided group, and his one line was, "It ain't nothin' but the biggest fuckin' river in the state." Perhaps, given his success in navigating the path to his pardon, he would say the same thing about our President.

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Friday, August 18, 2006

They're Mad, I Tell You!!

As you can imagine, the arrest of a suspect in the 10-year-old murder case of JonBenet Ramsey is the biggest thing to happen in Boulder in, well, about 10 years. People are talking, the local paper is filled with pages and pages of coverage, the national media is converging. Rumors are flying. Lots of information is in the streets (true or not I can't say) that is not in the papers. Everybody knows somebody who knows somebody who is a detective on the case, and everybody has an opinion.

Well, one thing you can count on from here: Nothing. I refuse to get involved in the public/media frenzy surrounding this and other sensationalized cases. This is my first and last word on the topic. It definitely does not keep me awake at night.

Next topic?


Monday, August 14, 2006

No Virgins for You!

Some Islamic extremists are motivated to perform extreme acts in the hope of becoming martyrs. It has been widely reported that their religion promises 72 virgins in heaven if they die as martyrs.

However, there is one aspect of this that is not so widely known. It is true that dying in the service of Allah will earn you those 72 virgins. However, what they don't tell you is that you will have to share those 72 virgins with all of the other martyrs. Believe me, there have been a lot of martyrs in the past 1400 years.

Oh, and those virgins are getting just a bit shop worn, if you know what I mean.

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Friday, August 11, 2006

Flogging Floyd

Something about this whole scenario just doesn't add up.

Floyd Landis was tested several times during this year's Tour de France. That includes four or five occasions prior to stage 17, when he failed the test, and two or three times after. No more than 48 hours prior to and 48 hours after his test failure he passed with flying colors.

So, the supposed testosterone he took raised him to the extreme levels overnight and then just as quickly metabolized and were gone. And yet, and yet, and yet, ... testosterone is not a quick acting doping agent. It builds slowly in your body and is metabolized even more slowly.

Forget the argument that it would be stupid to rely on testosterone for a quick one day surge. Forget the argument that someone would have to be stupid to think he could take an illegal drug, win a stage, and not have it be detected in the mandatory drug test that follows a stage win. The simple argument is that it is not medically feasible for Floyd's testosterone levels to change so drastically, so quickly.

If I were Floyd Landis trying to prove my innocence, the first thing I would do is demand all of my other test results taken during the Tour. Look at the testosterone levels during the entire period. Then find the medical experts to show what would have to be done to create that profile.

Speaking of conspiracy theories, here's a good one. If Floyd had been slipped a testosterone supplement orally during the day, perhaps in a water bottle, it would have been metabolized quickly. He would have gotten little actual benefit, and it would have been passed out in his urine. Hmmm...

Here's another one. Did you see the big hug that Oscar Pereiro gave Floyd after his big comeback (but before the drug test)? I'm not sure how he did it, but ... Think about this. Oscar did remarkably well in the final time trial. He may even end up with the yellow jersey himself, if it is taken away from Floyd. But, he will have done that without having to pass the drug test in the final two days. If he had something to hide, that would be the perfect way to do it!

Oh, by the way, which one's Yellow?

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Sunday, August 06, 2006

Give Peace Activists a Shan't

I know it's been a while since my last post, and I apologize to my regular reader(s). Clearly lots of things are keeping me awake of late, swirling around in my head, never quite coalescing to the point of a coherent thought that is vaguely interesting to anyone but myself. I promised myself that I wouldn't post any essay that I wouldn't want to read myself, and sometimes that's a pretty high bar.

On thing that has been getting under my skin is the local peace activists. Many are affiliated with the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, and many of them have been recently willing to go to jail in support of their causes. All very impressive. I'm certainly sympathetic to the cause of peace. I held hands around Rocky Flats nuclear weapon plant years ago, putting pressure on the government to shut it down. Amazingly, whether we had any impact or not, the plant is in fact closed and is being turned into a wildlife preserve.

Recently, some of the local activists (such as Dan Winters and Carolyn Bninski) have been writing letters to the editor concerning the most recent conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. They chastise Israel for its actions, which I can understand, but then go on to say that the Palestinians have the right to attack and invade Israel.

Clearly there are some Middle Eastern leaders on both sides that do not have the best intentions of their own people as their top goal. In addition, some of the actions of the Palestinians are so far out of line with any accepted behavior in a civilized society that to accept it is to reject the concept of peaceful coexistence.

When a group of people believes strongly that they can improve their lot by murdering large numbers of innocent people, those people need to be corrected one way or another. I am not taking sides here, just pointing out that terrorist acts are not only inhuman, but they also generally eventually bring bad things down on the people who do them. This is whether or not they recognize that they have brought their suffering upon themselves.

In the middle east, there are people on both sides who strongly believe in the rightness of their cause and of their methods, while there are others who have co-opted the message for their own personal reasons. Regardless, when people murder to achieve noble or selfish causes, they are still murderers and need to be treated as such. Civilized countries need to say, I don't care who performs these acts or why, we will treat them the same way. If a Palestinian suicide bomber kills civilian Israelis, if the Israeli army kills innocent bystanders, if US soldiers kill civilian Iraqis we must be vigilant and treat them as the criminals that they are.

So, if you are a true peace activist, you cannot in good faith give preference in your opinion to one side of the conflict. Conflict resolution means finding a solution that all sides can (literally) live with. Search your soul and decide if you are taking your your extreme position becaaue it truly is the right thing to do, or because it is in opposition to what George Bush believes.

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