Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney

A Message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney From a Dying Veteran

To: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney
From: Tomas Young

Truthdig - The Last Letter

I write this letter on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War on behalf of my fellow Iraq War veterans. I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of those whose wounds, physical and psychological, have destroyed their lives.

I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole

I hope that before your time on earth ends, as mine is now ending, you will find the strength of character to stand before the American public and the world, and in particular the Iraqi people, and beg for forgiveness.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Moondog Medicine Show at Western MD Blues Fest 2012

Moondog Medicine Show featuring Lana Spence performs at Western Maryland Blues Fest

A few pictures from Moondog Medicine Show at Western MD Blues Fest June 2, 2012.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Sanity Restored?

Here’s your sign

A few signs of sanity seen at Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity Oct 30, 2010.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Robots are Coming

The Robots are ComingI have been privileged to receive a pre-publication draft of The Robots are Coming from the author. This has nothing to do with any aptitude for literary review or interest or fear of robots on my part. Rather the author is my oldest friend. This is therefore not an unbiased review. The author will show up at my doorstep with beverages and conversation more often if this book sells well.

And since our friendship has always been built on friendly argumentative exchange, I won’t try to suggest that this book is without fault or that I fully embrace its conclusions. There were a few spots where the argument sounded too much like Glenn Beck for my taste though I didn’t mind the occasional political jab.

The robots are coming Actually, we all know that they are already here. We know about the ones that man the auto assembly lines and we know about the ones the police use to probe and destroy shopping bags left behind by careless tourists. We also know about armed and unmanned drones flying over Pakistan providing not so silent security for wedding parties and such.

And we know about endless loop, mind numbing, talking software that substitutes for customer ‘Service’. The robots are here alright. We built them to do useful or profitable things for us and we tolerate them because we like the convenience it brings (or we really are desperate to get through to customer service).

We all also know about the internet and the growing power that is Google. We know about 2001 a Space Odyssey , The Matrix and The Terminator films and we know that we are not ‘there’ yet. At least we think so. This book shows that we’re a lot closer than you think. The author provides a well-documented look at exactly where robot technology is at today, how quickly it has gotten there and how few the steps are and how quickly they might occur that will send us hurtling willingly into the matrix.

The author warns in bold type from the first page of the introduction that when the robots come for you “your neighbors will help it happen” I’m one of the unwitting neighbors; happy to turn over to iTunes and the cloud information about my complete music collection (and likely whether it was obtained legally). Happy to allow their software to pick the music I listen to in exchange for the pleasure of hearing my music in novel and interesting sequence and the convenience of not having to sort through 100’s of CDs to do it. I don’t mind giving Pandora Radio my thumbs up or down clicks as they learn my taste in music. I like the end result. Radio that reads my mind (and yes I do occasionally succumb to targeted advertising and buy new music). Without the cloud I would have never heard Lucinda Williams sing Dylan’s Positively Fourth Street.

And I can’t neglect mention of the irony of how utterly indispensible Google and the cloud were in producing a book warning of its imminent threat. Or the role that a company named after a river in South America might play if it is to be successful.

This 20 minute TED Talk video demonstrates why you should read this book.

Quoting the author of The Robots are Coming:

“In this powerful talk, the world‘s foremost robot expert shows how the widespread use of robots in war is changing the realities of combat. He shows us scenarios straight out of science fiction -- that are no longer at all fictitious.”

Friday, May 7, 2010

Georgia O'Keeffe Hides in My New Camera

to Orange Poppy on Flickr

Orange Poppy in Morning Sun

to Flickr PhotoSet

I seem to have found the spirit of Georgia O'Keeffe peeking out from my new camera. You hardly notice she's there at all in the full frame image.

Check out some of Ms O'keeffe's flowers. Visit the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum.

The ghost of Georgia O'Keeffe was hiding among the Iris too.

to Blue Iris on Flickr

Blue Iris

Compare to Georgia O’Keeffe’s Blue Flower, 1918 which can be seen HERE, HERE or HERE.