Way to go America

"No court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction ot hear or consider an application for a writ of habeas corpus filed by or on behalf of an alien detained by the United States who has been determined by the United States to have been properly detained as an enemy combatant or is awaiting such determination."

-H.R. Bill 6166

This bill passed both the house and senate and is awaiting signing by the President. It regards the use of military tribunals as a method for trying prisoners.

You would think that, at the very least, anti-war folks would put up a stink for Mid-Term elections.

Kicking Rad!!!!

First day of classes and I am pumped! I'm ready to sit through 6 straight hours of lecture with breaks only to rush to the next class, "Heck Yeah!"

Not that I'm complaining, I kind of like it this way. 10-4 two days a week and only 3.5 hours of classtime spread out over the 3 remaining days. Hopefully this will be an easy semester, two intro sociology courses, statistics and a german class with my favorite professor ever.

Dunno what else to say except that this will be a good semester, simply because I kicked it off last night with watching a demolition derby. Leif's pick won the whole thing, the two america-cars had wildy different but both fitting performances, one car hit another car so hard it knocked itself out, and the "lady-driver" made it to the finals.

That is what makes a bad-ass semester.

P.S. I started today with half an hour of C-SPAN, I both love and want to beat myself up for this.

American Politics

With my recent readings it has become increasingly obvious to what extent the corporate world has started making political decisions. Of course America, Michigan and Detroit all suffer because of it. Multi-national corporations have multi-national interests in mind, namely the profit of it's largest shareholders (incidentally those are the ones who make the decisions).

It happens from either side of the aisle, with the both the left and the right caving to the demands of the (corporately) well-funded lobbies. We're fighting the war against terror, not for civilian safety, but for corporate safety. Terrorist organizations are not striking at America specifically for it's morals, but because of exploitative corporate strategies. America has become a symbol for corporate largess and therefore a target of the anti-globalism crowd. Nevermind the fact most american citizens don't see much benefit from these globalist policies.

Simply put, I would love to change things, hence the reason for my interest in politics, but recently I am realizing just how little can be accoplished as a politician. While a single politician can stand up for what they believe is right, if their colleagues are all cowards who consistantly bow to the whims of those with the most money, that voice of reason will be swept under the status quo.

It seems the people who are making the most positive influence on the world are the progressively-minded corporate types. The class of people such as the Bill Gateses, Warren Buffets and their contemporaries, who dole out millions in charity. Money is what changes the world, not all the rhetoric and passion that gets a person elected, but the money that comes from successful business ventures.

So it would seem that I could make a bigger mark on society as a member of the corporate community than as a politician. Is it likely, or even possible, for me to do so. It wasn't too long ago that Bill Gates was a villian with his monopolistic business tendencies. Does the corporate game turn its players into the monsters that most of these corporations have become? Is it possible to run big business progressively? More importantly, would I become corrupted by money such as others most assuredly have before me?

I am worried about my ability to weild power responsibly, never mind the far cry that I actually get into a position to wield such power. Is it possible to wrest control of the government away from money and back into the hands of the people? What would it take? More specifically how do we get the people to matter more than business in politics? One citizen, one vote has proven not to be enough when many citizens can be swayed with the money/access/advertising that a single corporation can provide. Campaign reform seems to dead, as those who vote on it have the most to gain from it remaining the same. Essentially we are ruled by the business world.

Even the two inescapable truths that all human beings have to deal with, death and taxes, corporations can cheat both. They have constantly weilded their influence to find, create and abuse loopholes in the tax code - even illegal measures which they almost never get called on. Corporations also cheat death, in two ways no less. First, corporations don't die in the normal sense, if a corporate leader dies another one takes his place. More insiduously, bankruptcy, which should be the death of a business, has become an ecomonic ploy. Brankrupt companies are allowed by the government to continue functions without paying all of its creditors.

At the same time, business is not a wholly negative proposition. In many cases business can provide jobs, build infrastructure, allow for education, do charity work, and in general create/rebuild communities. Politically it would take a strong leader to push business in that direction, but it also requires strong progressive-thinking leaders in business as well to look beyond the immediate profit and see the greater picture. It's an extremely lofty goal, but if I could somehow play a part in any of that I would be a fulfilled man.

Familiar Game

Just to get the writing juices flowing again, we're going to play one of my favorite games: Ask me questions.

It goes like this, you ask me a question and I answer it. You will be totally amazed by my 100% correct answer, because of my absolute mastery or despite my total ignorance of the subject matter.

I want you to have fun, but more importantly I want you to entertain me and force me to be clever again. There's far too little of that these days.

Woot Woot

Kind of like a train only belonging moreso to the internet.

Having just looked over my LJ calendar, I have owned this journal for almost 4 years now and my post rate has gone from a staggering almost daily to once a month. I have more LJ-friends than I actually read, I don't follow the communities I signed up for (and in one case founded - not that it's active anymore), and have been slowly distancing myself from this forum. At the moment I am feeling a bit of remorse for seperating from this community that has been so good to me in the past. Who knows, this little bit of introspection should be enough to kick start me into recording more of my daily events.

Much of the problem is that my daily events seem, to me at least, somewhat boring. I fall into my routine and frankly, I don't feel like expounding on that repetitive experience. If this journal is to return to some form of use it is going to have to evolve. Less about my actions and more about my thoughts. Lets see whether I can piece together anything coherent.


I always find it kind of weird that going home has my internet prescence die. At the same time it is a very seperate part of my being, so in essence it is like killing a part of me. This is one of the few forums in which I actually do some relatively heavy soul-searching and self-discovery, of which I do not really do elsewhere.

In other news I've been working for 2 weeks, MWF 10am-4pm, doing lots of menial jobs and some very basic promotional work, making brochures and listing the properties on Craigslist. The most noteworthy event that has happened to me because of this job is meeting a relatively influential Detroit artist. Jon Strand is a longtime Detroit resident and because of his experiences in 30-odd years of living in Detroit and producing art he was given a book deal to talk about Detroit, art and any connections he's made between the two in those 30-odd years.

Outside of that I've been catching up with friends, amazingly enought I just realized that the Grosse Pointe folks I hung out with in Ann Arbor, amazingly enough, are in Grosse Pointe - it only took me about a month to figure it out. This resulted in a bowling trip on Tuesday where I bowled a respectable 100+ and two solid 150-ish rounds.

I also reconnected with the first real friend I made in Grosse Pointe. We saw Clerks 2 yesterday, I thouroughly enjoyed it, and proceeded to chat for a while about things in general, reminiscing some and talking about the future as well.

More good news, I am officially readmitted to the University of Michigan, without a probationary period no less. It was touch and go for a while as letters went missing and petitions went unconfirmed. Thankfully it's all over and I just have to work my ass off to come out of here with two degrees, hopefully the second will have a solid GPA.

On a random ending note, my cellphone was faxed three times yesterday. I called them back, got the screeching dial-up noise, and it was over.

That's all, leave me a message and I'll get back to it pretty quickly.

End of an Afro

According to preliminary reports, Ben Wallace is no longer a Detroit Piston.

He reportedly took $60 mil over four years that was offered by Chicago as opposed to the $51 mil over four years we offered.

Needless to say I am disappointed and more than a little disheartened. We are certainly no longer the same team that we were before this happening. Ben Wallace was the heart and soul of this team, but was seemingly a bit malcontented at the end of the season and during the playoffs.

This, just like when we lost Grant Hill, will be another pivotal point for the future of this franchise. Our continued success depends on how Joe Dumars rebounds from this loss. Personally I think the best option would be a sign-and-trade with Portland for Joel Pryzbilla, not sure what we would give but we do have a lot of spare parts lying around which would probably be more palatable to Portland than just losing Przybilla outright - as he seems unhappy with the Portland organization.

But the worst part about this is that today was also the day that Steve Yzerman retired. I wish that Ben would have at least had the respect to wait a few days so that we could properly reflect on Stevie Y before dropping this bomb on the city of Detroit.

*edit* 2:20 am, reports have come out that Detroit is in negotiations with Przybilla and is the front-runner to receive his services next year. I enjoy being right. Let's see if my next proposed, much more radical, idea of trading Chauncey for Luke Ridnour and any one of the following :Nick Collison, Chris Wilcox or Damien Wilkins, comes true.