Friday, July 27, 2007

Daily Soap Box - U.S.A. != Enemy of Russia

OK the Cold War has been over for almost 20 years now. Are we clear on that part? OK. Good. So what is with Putin trying to paint the U.S.A. as the primary enemy of Russia?


I know the last few years we've not agreed on a number of issues but... ENEMY?? Come on!

We may be a competitor but certainly not an enemy. With the exception of older Americans who've lived through the Cold War and are still suspicious, I'd bet that most Americans would look at a number of other countries that are a bigger threat than Russia.

That is not to suggest Russia shouldn't be respected as a country. What I'm saying is that we don't see Russians as a people with an ideology that is against our own. I have no personal issue against Russians. I am wondering what Putin is up to but I don't have any problem with Russia. The U.S.A. is arrogant in its global policies. I realize this will piss off some countries, but does that make enemies?

My opinion is that Putin doesn't like what Bush has been doing and is pushing his personal disappointment onto the entire country.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Daily Soap Box - Dog Breeding

There may be legitimate and good reasons for certain types of dog breeding, but I can't think of any. I saw a news clip last night regarding 'backyard breeders'. It upset me to see the conditions in which these animals were kept but that's only part of the issue. The real problem, in my mind, are the people who insist in buying bred animals.

WTF!?! There is always an over population of pets at local animal shelters. Good animals that need homes, but these people insist on having a specific breed or some dumb shit like that. Come on people, do something good with your money. You can adopt a shelter dog for a lot less and then if you insist on spending that $1000 anyway, give it to the shelter to help them continue the good work they are doing.

If people stopped buying those, literally, retarded toy dogs, then breeders, especially backyard breeders, would no longer have incentive to breed.

The news article goes into requiring licenses and such and I think that would help, but at the end of the day until the buyers stop, the breeders will keep supplying.

Rescue an animal for crying out loud! - The Humane Society
Hell just Google "Dog rescue" or "Animal Shelter" and you'll find many many links to all kinds of organizations that will help you find a companion. They are happy, you are happy and you've saved an animal!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Up In Arms over Google Street View

First, if you don't know what Google Street View is, go to and click the button labeled Street View.
You'll notice a few camera icons pop up on the map. These are cities that have street view enabled. I won't go into the full details of how to use it, it's pretty easy.

Google will be rolling out more Street View cameras to capture more roads. Likely they'll focus on major cities first. They'll also probably focus on the United States first. But other countries are probably going to be done too, depending on privacy laws.

And that is the issue that seems to keep coming up. Over on DIGG about 25% (by my rough guess) were up in arms about this whole project. As if taking pictures of streets was a real threat to privacy. Really I doubt it has anything to do with the streets or even the houses but the fact that the cameras capture people too. All doing a variety of things. It's not like they couldn't have been seen any other time by people driving down the street but now they are on the Internet for the whole world to see.

I can't help but think, "So what!?" Oh no, Google my drive by my house when I have neglected to cut the lawn so there will be a scruffy picture of my lawn on Google for possibly YEARS! Umm, so? Sure I'd like my house to look better but that's far from a privacy problem or really any problem at all. If someone is trying to find my house I can direct them to the Street View of my house and they'll be able to find me quickly and easily. THAT is the point of Street View.

Some people can read maps easily and translate that to the roads as they drive. I'm one of those people. I have a great sense of direction and my place in the spacial world. Other people have trouble with maps and are better with landmarks. Google Street View provides that. Hell even I would like to see a picture of the place I'm going. Sure I can get to the general location from my map but what does the building look like?

I understand that people are upset with the current government and some of the over reaching activities that have taken place in recent years in the name of The War on Terror. I think many of those activities were and are unnecessary to the security and safety of the U.S. Google is not some evil corporation for doing this. Focus your anger at real problems.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Global Warming

Ok, it's a loaded title, I know.

I've thought long about this topic. I believe that as a global community, as a human race, we should be doing things to reduce our waste and just generally be more energy efficient.

Are we causing Global Warming. No, I don't believe so. Are we helping? No we're not. I personally believe that we are going through a natural weather situation, not unlike the ice ages. Is there anything we can do? Nope. We can't do much to stop weather, we are insignificant in comparison.

Here is why I don't think we are doing this:
  1. Cars pollute, but not as much as the media likes to present. Industry and power plants put out, literately, TONS more carbon and greenhouse gases than cars do.
  2. Volcanoes put out HUGE amounts of greenhouse gases and the like when they go off. It hasn't killed the planet yet (nor will it).
Here is why I don't think we are helping:
  1. Cutting down huge swaths of rain forest that help regulate temperature.
  2. Even if our pollution is a small fraction of the green house effect, it still isn't good.
We could be doing more, but not to change Global Climate Change. (much more accurate title)
The bottom line is that it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better. I mean the changes will be more dramatic. Some areas will benefit from the changes, others will not. Coastlines will change as the oceans rise. Some islands will disappear. There will be stronger storms, longer droughts, stronger floods.

There will be death and loss of entire species of plants and animals. Those that cannot adapt will parish. This is just a reverse ice age. Hell it may even swing the other direction too.

We humans can and will survive. How well depends on how willing we are to face the truth and just be prepared. I mean come on, like we are going to change the planet from rising a few degrees over the next decade or two? HIGHLY doubtful. We'd be better off figuring out how we can sustain our crops in adverse weather conditions and moving out of coastal cities or prepping them for rising ocean levels. New Orleans...sorry, your days are numbered, like it or not.