Matt Brundage

Archive for 2005

Friday, 30 December 2005

Rethinking the UN

Another spot-on entry from Newsbusters. An excerpt:

The UN is a failure. While the United States pays the biggest portion of the tab, the UN makes backroom deals with our enemies. In 2005 UN diplomats lounged around on what looks like a 1970s Merv Griffin set by day and double parked their cars by night. “Peacekeepers” of the UN raped those they were sent to help, including children, across the world. In the 10 years since Black Hawk Down, 9 million more Africans have been killed from conflict [PDF]. The last time that many people died, we held people accountable. What, if not this, is the UN for?

Where are the editorials condemning the current state of the UN? The media was too busy in 2005 trying to scuttle the John Bolton nomination because he might be hard on the UN. Had the media spent the broadcast time and column inches on UN reform that they spent chasing moonbat scandals, they could have made a difference in lives.

I’m wondering when a domestic politician will call for the United States to completely withdraw from the UN, given our return on investment is so low. The world would probably be better off with its dissolution.

Friday, 30 December 2005

Dawn of a New Age

Well, the move is over, college is over, the Dimension E510 arrived, Christmas is over, Verizon Fios is up, so I think it’s about time I sat back, maybe get back to those marathon coding sessions, and fuel my recent addiction to Starbucks’ Mint Mocha Frappuccinos.

I brought over Annie’s G4 because she said she was having trouble starting it up. I’m not a Mac person by any means, but I took a look at it and everything seemed to work. Connecting it to the network was simple; I fussed around with it for a bit, but only because I wasn’t familiar with the interface. It’s a shame Firefox isn’t available on OS9.1, or else I would have urged Annie to abandon *gasp!* Mac IE 5.1.7 a long time ago.

Saturday, 10 December 2005

Case Study: John Lennon’s If I Fell

Beatles' If I FellLennon starts off the song with “If I fell in love with you…” Fell in this context is incorrect. He had two choices — he could have used the subjunctive mood: “If I were to fall in love…” or the implied future tense: “If I fall in love…” He chose the simple past tense — when coupled with “If”, it seems as if John is uncertain about whether or not he fell. Not the intended meaning, I’m sure.

The implied future tense of “If I fall in love…” make the most sense, both grammatically and rhythmically. Furthermore, it parallels the second and third verses, which start with the implied future tenses of “If I give my heart…” and “If I trust in you…”, respectively.

Many inconsistencies abound in the last verse:

So I hope you see that I
would love to love you
And that she will cry
when she learns we are two
If I fell in love with you

He uses the explicit future tense “will cry” with the past tense “If I fell”. Shouldn’t it be “..she will cry… if I fall in love”? The listener knows that John has already fallen in love with this new girl. But he has to temper his emotions and not reveal his new love to said girl. “If I fall in love…” would have made a good improvement, but “When I fall in love…” would have been the kicker, as would “When I give my heart to you…”, and “When I trust in you…” This makes sense because John predicts that “she will cry when she learns we are two.” Notice he said “when” and not “if”. Choose either the hypothetical “if” or the inevitable “when” and use it consistently throughout the song.

Saturday, 3 December 2005

This December

I have many exciting things going on right now: I’m taking my final final exams next Saturday (no more college!) All this week I’ve been moving out of my condo and into a townhouse — replete with painting, organizing, sorting, tossing out stuff, buying new stuff, etc. December’s postings and site updates will be few, as I won’t have Internet access at my new place until Dec 27th. I’m having fiber installed, so it should be well worth the wait. I will somehow find a way to survive over three full weeks without a TCP/IP connection.

Saturday, 19 November 2005

Dr. Martens disc up for grabs

Dr. Martens Music Sampler I have a Dr. Martens Music Sampler CD available to the first person who contacts me with his/her mailing address. It’s a promotional CD that I picked it up at the 1999 HFStival. It features 17 full-length tracks from artists on various labels.

Track listing: Primal Scream — Kowalski, Faith No More — Last Cup of Sorrow, Failure — Pitiful, BT — Quark, Gus Gus — Why?, Moloko — Fun for Me, Soul Coughing — Soft Serve, Cornershop — Candyman, DJ Kool — Let Me Clear My Throat, T.D.F. — Rip Stop, Arkarna — House of Fire, Drill Team — Peppermint, Kenickle — In Your Car, Wilco — I Got You (At the End of the Century), Cool For August — Don’t Wanna Be Here, Poster Children — 0For1, and Rockers Hi-Fi — 90° Fuzzwalk.

It’s mostly rock with a bit of techno and hip-hop thrown in for good measure. Released in 1997.

Thursday, 17 November 2005

Pearls Before Swine

Pearls Before Swine, 14 Nov 2005 There ought to be a law against comic strips this funny.

Thursday, 10 November 2005

From the server logs

I was browsing my server logs recently when I came upon this entry:

halhoupro3.halliburton.com – – [09/Nov/2005:06:17:58 -0800] “GET /random/jenna.jpg HTTP/1.1″ 200 24414 “http://images.devilfinder.com/go.php” “Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; Q312461; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)”

Hmm…Make of this what you will.

Friday, 4 November 2005

Diversity in Democracy

I found this blurb in a discussion group, so I thought I’d share my comments.

The 2000 presidential election was a good test for our democracy. The country is becoming more and more diverse. With each day more come in, thus increasing the diversity. Diversity of culture is not bad. It is the diversity of political beliefs that cause the problems. When diversity reaches all times high little to none are pleased.

When you say that the diversity of political beliefs causes problems, are you aware that it is such diversity that defines democracy? One of the cornerstones of democracy is the right to associational autonomy, i.e. the right to form interest groups. If, for instance, a nation were governed by one monopolistic political party or interest group, its political system could not be defined as a democracy. Our democratic guarantee of associational autonomy ensures the diversity of interest groups and political parties.

Perhaps the term “polarization” was the term you meant to use. Some are of the belief that our nation is politically polarized like never before, with liberals and conservatives perpetually fighting each other. Yet razor-thin popular vote margins — such as what Florida experienced in 2000 — are not necessarily the indicator of such polarization. It simply means that the two major political parties were about equally represented in the election. Correlatively, landslide victories, such as Reagan (1984), Nixon (1972), or Roosevelt (1932) do not necessarily ensure political peace and harmony. In fact, quite often the opposite is true.

I’m interested in your solution to your statement that the “diversity of political beliefs … cause the problems”. Would you prefer that everyone hold the same political beliefs? If this were so, by logical extension, there would be one political party, one presidential nominee on the ballot, et cetera.

Sunday, 30 October 2005

Amy’s Halloween Party 2005

me, doing my best Rick James impression I’m probably going to change my mind and remove this picture, so enjoy it while you can.

While some guests at the party actually had the gall to recycle their costumes from last year, Annie and I were determined to be original. She went as a “bridal shower” and wore her tiara and veil along with a poofy bathrobe. I told her beforehand, “Annie, no one’s going to know what you are unless you tell them!” Sure enough…

Someone came as a deviled egg — a gigantic egg costume with red horns and a pitchfork — very clever. A black wig got passed around — and I happened to be near a camera when I embellished my costume with it.