Butting Bush

Igor Knezevic summed up the US Elections in this graphical Haiku.

Click to enlarge

Boingboing.net sums up why someone as hated as Bush can still be re-elected — just like Nixon was, and we all know what happened then.

And Dan Gillmor clarifies it like no other:

The Republicans have an even stronger congressional majority. They have shown how gladly ruthless they can be in using their power. Bush and his allies have never believed in compromise. They have even less incentive to govern from the middle now, even though the nation remains bitterly divided.

There’s no secret about what’s coming. We don’t have that excuse this time.

Here comes more fiscal recklessness — as we widen the chasm between the ultra-wealthy and everyone else, cementing a plutocracy into our national fiber, we’ll pay our national bills on the Treasury Bill credit card for the next few years. Many economists expect a Brazil-like financial crisis to hit the U.S. before the end of the decade. If we muddle our way though the near term, we’ll still have left our kids with the bill.

Here comes an expansion of the American empire abroad, a fueling of fear and loathing elsewhere on the globe. This is also unsustainable in the end. Empire breeds disrespect.

Our civil liberties will shrink drastically. This president and his top allies in Congress fully support just one amendment in the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms. Say goodbye to abortion rights in most states. Roe v. Wade will fall after this president pushes three or four Scalia and Thomas legal clones onto the Supreme Court. Say hello, meanwhile, to a much more intrusive blending of church and state.

The environment? We’ll be nostalgic for Ronald Reagan’s time in office.

This is not sour grapes. This is reality.

I hope, but doubt, that the Democrats re-discover enough of their collective spine to block the most extreme moves. If they do it’ll be a change for a party that stands for so little these days.

People say there are two Americas. I think there are at least three.

One is Bush’s America: an amalgam of the extreme Christian “conservatives,” corporate interests and the builders of the burgeoning national-security state.

Another is the Democratic “left”: wedded to the old, discredited politics in a time that demands creative thinking.

I suspect there’s a third America: members of an increasingly radical middle that will become more obvious in the next few years, tolerant of those who are different and aware that the big problems of our times are being ignored — or made worse — by those in power today.

That third America needs a candidate. Or, maybe, a new party.

What frightens me is what happens now to the media in America? Did you see how awash CNN was in ‘national colours’ in covering election night. Now look at the different sets of translations for Osama’s final message just before the election in a side-by-side comparison by Mark Taw.

The crunch is in the CNN version which suggest that Osama said this: “Your security is not in the hands of Kerry or Bush or al Qaeda. Your security is in your own hands. Any nation that does not attack us will not be attacked.” There was no mention of this in the Al-jazeera version. Is the media contorting the threat to fuel patriotic zeal?

And note the Al-jazeera version of 9/11:

But because it seemed to him that occupying himself by talking to the little girl about the goat and its butting was more important than occupying himself with the planes and their butting of the skyscrapers we were given three times the period required to execute the operations.

Versus the softened CNN version:

He was more interested in listening to the child’s story about the goat rather than worry about what was happening to the towers. So, we had three times the time necessary to accomplish the events.

Why did they choose to leave the goat’s butt out? Creative editing, licence to contort, how far will CNN go?

"We want to change the world…"

When was the last time you heard someone say that in the tech world and cringe. Yeah, yeah, you and me and Eric Clapton. The cynic in me always found such statements wanting. “Can you please qualify that you pathetic piece of marketing shit?,” said the Jaded Journalist in the back.

The quote this time was from Dan Shine, AMD Marketing Director, no less. Thanks Catherine of PC.com for the heads up.

The story thus far: Intel’s only rival AMD has decided to plunge into the zero-margin world of PC manufacturing.

And here is the miracle box that is about to change the world.

Looks like an ugly toolbox doesn’t it? It’s called the Personal Internet Communicator (PIC). Argh. Just another acronym to add to the dungheap of Oracle’s New Internet Computer (NIC) and other such low-cost, near-free PC ideas. The idea of the sub-US$200 PC is not a new one, but why AMD has decided to be the champion of this project is beyond me.

Let’s nitpick on the NIC/PIC. Here’s the specs:

The PIC device is a box 8.5 inches long and 5.5 inches wide. It consists of an AMD Geode GX 500 processor, 128 MB of RAM, a 3.5-inch 10 GB hard drive, a 56K modem, four USB ports, and one VGA port. For a suggested retail price of $249, purchasers get the central PIC device, a 15-inch monitor, a USB keyboard, a USB mouse, a preinstalled custom version of Windows based on Windows CE, and bundled software including Internet Explorer 6.0, Macromedia Media Flash Player 6, Windows Media Player, PDF document and image viewers, WinZip, a spreadsheet, a word processor, and an instant messaging client.

“It will be manufactured by contract manufacturer Solectron with partners Seagate, Samsung and Macromedia.”

What? No Microsoft?

“It will be branded and marketed by in-country service providers, who will focus on leasing and lease-to-buy pricing models for consumers who can’t afford the whole sum up front.”

You are selling cheap PCs to people who can’t afford it?

“The PIC is a sealed device, operates without a fan and can only be upgraded by the service provider, thus reducing the risk of human errors such as the accidental deletion of critical system files.”

In short: It’s not upgradeable. Oooh. Thanks. Not only can I NOT open it up, you have saved me from my own idiocy of the dreaded disease of the first-time user: Accidental Deletionitis.

“AMD is taking a geo-sensitive approach….”

Target countries are India, Mexico, the Caribbean and maybe Russia, China and Brazil. Just some of the most corrupt nations in the world. They are calling it AMD’s 50×15 strategy which is to get 50 percent of the world’s population on the Internet by 2015. My math 50 X 15 = 750. In sq ft, that is the size of the room the AMD marketing dept should be locked up in and the keys chucked away.

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