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In the Mind of a Dreamer [entries|friends|calendar]

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American News Networks vs Arab News Networks [10 Apr 2010|11:21am]

CNN vs alJazeera
4 dreams| enter the dreamscape

Disconnected [01 Apr 2010|08:52pm]
Those of you who are connected to me on facebook have probably noticed that is no longer the case. That is because I have deactivated my facebook account. This is only temporary, and I will be back within the month.

On the bright side, this has led me to an increased interest in updating my livejournal which is far more conducive to expressing myself (as verbose as I tend to be), than the tweet-like status updates of facebook and the oft-overlooked facebook Notes.

Flight school has been going very well since I started air-to-air training, and I feel quite natural at it. Some of my fellow classmates are absolutely furious with their pace of practice in our simulators, and I've already seen this begin to wear on them. They train to the point of exhaustion, which in flying is not proper. In flying you train to the point where your performance starts to dip, and then you break, and attack it after a four hour break or the next day.

What happens is that when you train to exhaustion, you make mistakes, and those mistakes become part of your unconscious habit pattern. Consequently, you will continue to replicate them even when you are fresh and alert. The maxim is wrong Practice does not make Perfect. "Perfect Practice makes Perfect."
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God I Hope This Is True [30 Mar 2010|11:35am]
Apple is working with ASUSTek to build Verizon iPhone.

Can't wait :)
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Everybody Was Wrong (Except Those Who Were Right) [26 Mar 2010|11:59am]
David Brooks wrote an article in today's NY Times that annoyed the hell out of me. Particularly this:
Then the story would come to Act III, the economic crisis of 2008 and 2009. This act is a climax of sorts because it exposed the shortcomings of the whole field. Economists and financiers spent decades building ever more sophisticated models to anticipate market behavior, yet these models did not predict the financial crisis as it approached. In fact, cutting-edge financial models contributed to it by getting behavior so wrong — helping to wipe out $50 trillion in global wealth and causing untold human suffering.

This would bring the historian to Act IV, the period of soul-searching that we are living through now. More than a year after the event, there is no consensus on what caused the crisis. Economists are fundamentally re-evaluating their field.
First, just because Brooks's preferred models didn't predict the crisis, doesn't mean that none of our economic models did. Specifically, Paul Krugman and Nouriel Roubini, using Keynesian models BOTH predicted that we had a huge housing bubble as early as 2004. Moreover, there were a number of companies and individuals that realized this early (notably, Goldman Sachs) and started betting against the system through short sales as early as 2006.

The problem with Brooks is, instead of providing Krugman and Roubini their due on being Cassandras to this crisis, he simply renders them non-persons; for him to admit a liberal, Keynesian economic model successfully predicted this crisis, would be to admit to the superiority of a liberal, Keynesian model to his own status quo. And that just can't happen. Brooks instead looks to absolve himself and the theorists he follows of their failures by saying economic theory couldn't have predicted this crisis. But Brooks is now not only wrong, he's looking to render invisible those who were right to save his own face.

Finally, in this second paragraph he claims we still don't agree on the crisis. This is utter hogwash. What caused the crisis has been roundly agreed upon that it was huge, excessively leveraged financial institutions, making wild bets that the housing prices would never again fall, and trying to pass off high-risk mortgages as "Triple-A" investments. Again the answers that follow from this reality (i.e. we need more banking regulation, especially restrictions on leverage) do not conform to what Brooks presupposes, and therefore he discards them. That this man denies what is true for his own convenience makes him not credible, and his economic opinions not worthy of consideration.
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What will our legacy be? [20 Mar 2010|09:37am]
The Greatest Generation was a product of the Great Depression, growing up amidst two wars, and a nation falling apart with sky high unemployment and government deficits.  Much of that is credited to the leadership of FDR and Truman through 1940s and 50s.

Today we find ourselves growing up in the Great Recession, amidst two wars, and a nation falling apart with sky high unemployment and government deficits.  And now I'm left to wonder; who are our leaders who will bring us out of these times better than when we went into them.  And how will our generation be thought of in the annals of history?
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This is your life. [14 Mar 2010|12:50pm]
It's weird to think that the next six years of my life will be decided tomorrow.  For those who don't already know, tomorrow the US Air Force will decide which airplane they want me to fly for the next six years at least.  My goal is the illustrious F-15E.

My grades are plenty good to merit the airframe, but the grades are not the only factor that contribute.to the decision.  Aircraft availability plays a huge role as well, and the last drop only two of the six slots were fighters, although only one of the four who got bombers didn't want bombers.

At this point the selection is out of my hands, and I've done everything I can to make this happen for me.  Tomorrow I find out.
1 dream| enter the dreamscape

Maybe the Mayans were right... [11 Feb 2010|08:03am]
Newt Gingrich (The Daily Show, twice), Sarah Palin (Tea Con), and President Obama (Business Week) all made complete assholes out of themselves this week. They are the 3 front runners for the 2012 Presidency...
enter the dreamscape

Oscar Picks [02 Feb 2010|09:08pm]
[ mood | busy ]

To clarify, these picks are the people who I think should win, not the people I think will win.

Actor in a Leading Role

Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart”
George Clooney in “Up in the Air”
Colin Firth in “A Single Man”
Morgan Freeman in “Invictus”
Jeremy Renner in “The Hurt Locker”

Actor in a Supporting Role
Matt Damon in “Invictus”
Woody Harrelson in “The Messenger”
Christopher Plummer in “The Last Station”
Stanley Tucci in “The Lovely Bones”
Christoph Waltz in “Inglourious Basterds”

Actress in a Leading Role
Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side”
Helen Mirren in “The Last Station”
Carey Mulligan in “An Education”
Gabourey Sidibe in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
Meryl Streep in “Julie & Julia”

Actress in a Supporting Role
Penélope Cruz in “Nine”
Vera Farmiga in “Up in the Air”
Maggie Gyllenhaal in “Crazy Heart”
Anna Kendrick in “Up in the Air”
Mo’Nique in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphirebased solely on [info]wizard21's recommendation

Animated Feature Film
“Coraline” Henry Selick
“Fantastic Mr. Fox” Wes Anderson
“The Princess and the Frog” John Musker and Ron Clements
“The Secret of Kells” Tomm Moore
“Up” Pete Docter

“Avatar” Mauro Fiore
“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” Bruno Delbonnel
“The Hurt Locker” Barry Ackroyd
“Inglourious Basterds” Robert Richardson
“The White Ribbon” Christian Berger

“Avatar” James Cameron
“The Hurt Locker” Kathryn Bigelow
“Inglourious Basterds” Quentin Tarantino
“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Lee Daniels
“Up in the Air” Jason Reitman

Documentary (Feature)
“Burma VJ” Anders Østergaard and Lise Lense-Møller
“The Cove” Nominees to be determined
“Food, Inc.” Robert Kenner and Elise Pearlstein
“The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers” Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith
“Which Way Home” Rebecca Cammisa

Film Editing
“Avatar” Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron
“District 9” Julian Clarke
“The Hurt Locker” Bob Murawski and Chris Innis
“Inglourious Basterds” Sally Menke
“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Joe Klotz

Music (Original Score)
“Avatar” James Horner
“Fantastic Mr. Fox” Alexandre Desplat
“The Hurt Locker” Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders
“Sherlock Holmes” Hans Zimmer
“Up” Michael Giacchino

Sound Editing
“Avatar” Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle
“The Hurt Locker” Paul N.J. Ottosson
“Inglourious Basterds” Wylie Stateman
“Star Trek” Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin
“Up” Michael Silvers and Tom Myers

Sound Mixing
“Avatar” Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson
“The Hurt Locker” Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett
“Inglourious Basterds” Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano
“Star Trek” Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson and Peter J. Devlin
“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson

Visual Effects
“Avatar” Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones
“District 9” Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken
“Star Trek” Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
“District 9” Written by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell
“An Education” Screenplay by Nick Hornby
“In the Loop” Screenplay by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche
“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher
“Up in the Air” Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner

Writing (Original Screenplay)
“The Hurt Locker” Written by Mark Boal
“Inglourious Basterds” Written by Quentin Tarantino
“The Messenger” Written by Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman
“A Serious Man” Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
“Up” Screenplay by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy

Best Picture (any of the bolded movies should win)
“Avatar” James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers (If this movie wins I will douse James Cameron with Cow Blood)
“The Blind Side” Nominees to be determined
“District 9” Peter Jackson and Carolynne Cunningham, Producers
“An Education” Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey, Producers
“The Hurt Locker” Nominees to be determined
“Inglourious Basterds” Lawrence Bender, Producer
“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness, Producers
“A Serious Man” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Producers
“Up” Jonas Rivera, Producer
“Up in the Air” Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman and Jason Reitman, Producers

enter the dreamscape

Sigh... [01 Feb 2010|02:48pm]
Nothing sucks more on a graded event than to think you did really well on something only to have an evaluator come by and say you were absolutely terrible.
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What? What? What? [26 Jan 2010|08:48pm]
[ mood | flabbergasted ]

So in 2009, Barack Obama had a plan to fix the weak economy and job market. The idea was to provide stimulus spending (i.e. deficit spending) in order to pump money through the economy to create jobs. This made sense as America's Great Depression was exited through a massive surge of deficit spending during World War II. While leading economists (e.g. Paul Krugman) pointed to a required stimulus of $1.5 trillion, Obama only proposed $800 billion and ended up with $700 billion in the end. Flash forward to today. The stimulus has noticeably slowed the rate of job losses, but, as predicted, was inadequate in size to cover the output gap.

So now after engaging in deficit spending to pump up the job market in 2009, Obama has now inexplicably decided that the answer to a falling job market is a spending freeze. A complete 180 from everything he had pushed in 2008 & 2009. This is a totally baffling decision, as no one in their right mind believes that rapidly decreasing spending produces jobs. It's EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE.

I wonder if this guy has a clue what he's doing up there on the mountain.

enter the dreamscape

The End Of All Hope [22 Jan 2010|05:49am]
So let me get this straight:

1. Democrats had a 60 seat supermajority in the Senate from the day Al Franken was seated until the day Paul Kirk (Ted Kennedy's interim replacement) is replaced. Meanwhile, NOTHING that may require the 60 seat supermajority has been passed.

2. After Ted Kennedy dies, Democrats nominate one of the shittiest, unlikable candidates to replace this progressive leader. She subsequently loses the election by 5% in a state Democrats carried by >20% the year before.

3. Now the Democrats have an 18 seat majority in the Senate, a 79 seat majority in the house, and President Obama is calling a retreat from Health Care Reform?

I've lost faith in hope. I've lost faith in change. I've lost faith that there is anyone willing to fight for what I and 60% 58% of America believe in up there on Capitol Hill.
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New Years Resolution [01 Jan 2010|11:56pm]
Actually host people on a regular basis at my apartment, and stop being such a hermit from my work friends.

Oh, and earn ratings to skydive and pilot (as opposed to Navigating) airplanes.

And buy a rental property.

And...that's it.
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Come Again??? [25 Nov 2009|01:44pm]
[ mood | appalled ]

Bush Press Secretary #4 Perino said this on Fox News last night:

"I don't say this to be political, but it matters a lot what we call [the Fort Hood incident]. We had a terrorist attack on our country, and we should call it what it is...We did not have a terrorist attack on our country during Bush's term. I hope they're not looking at this politically. I do think that we owe it to the American people to call it what it is."
Um, what? The deadliest single attack on American soil in US history, 9/11 happened during Bush's term, and Dana Perino glosses over it as if it never happened. She also glosses over the Anthrax terrorism that happened months after the 9/11 attacks. She also glosses over the fact that thousands of American soldiers and civilian contractors have died from terrorist attacks since the start of the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. They don't count?

Secondly, if you want to call this Islamic terrorism (which would only empower the aura of Islamic terrorist organizations), it is lone-wolf, domestic terrorism committed by an American, not international terrorism. Warnings of Al Qaeda's plan for 9/11 appeared months prior in W's daily Presidential briefs, and wasn't acted on. Maj Hasan did not appear in any such brief, nor did his actions trip the radars of his fellow Army officers. Yet Perino accuses Obama of politically manipulating what does and does not count as terrorism.

The real disturbing news? Obama appointed this bimbo to the Broadcasting Board of Governors in an attempt to display "bipartisanship."
3 dreams| enter the dreamscape

What's Reasonable About Being "Reasonable"? [08 Nov 2009|11:24am]
After the election in 2004, with a narrow 1 seat majority in the Senate, a mere 17 seat majority in the House, and 2% margin on their Presidential victory, Republicans triumphantly declared that they had a clear mandate from the American people. They cited that "mandate" for pushing their agenda through.

In 2009, after a decade of Republican dominance, the citizens voted overwhelmingly for Democrats giving them a 10 seat majority in the Senate, a 41 seat majority in the house and a 7.5% margin on their Presidential victory. By this the Democrats were given a mandate to enact their campaign promises, which included universal health care, gay rights, the right-to-choose, accountability for human rights violations (i.e. torture), stopping Congressman from immediately becoming industry lobbyists, and increasing government transparency.

Yet, while the Republicans during their tenure at the top were able to hammer through their desired agendas with a minimal majority, Democrats with what should be a filibuster-proof majority, only now managed to pass a severely compromised Health Care reform initiative by a vote of 220-215, while simultaneously passing the "Stupak Ammendment" preventing any public or private insurance company from covering legal abortion procedures. Yet another example of Democrats falling far short of what their majority should have provided.

Why has this happened? It comes from Democrats never-ending desire to appear "reasonable", while their opposition grows more radical by the day. The Republican opposition has and will take a pound of flesh out of any proposal Democrats make, and then still vote against it. The stimulus bill was shrunk from the called for $1.2 trillion to the less than adequate $800 billion, because Democrats wanted to appear "reasonable." Republicans then took a $50 billion pound of flesh from the stimulus in the debate and then still voted against it, and we remain with 10.2% unemployment. "Medicare-for-all" should have been the Democratic rallying-cry for universal health care, but in an effort to appear "reasonable" they low-balled their pitch with the public option, and nearly walked away with weaker, historically inadequate co-opsk, Medicare still can't negotiate drug prices, and their reform bill still lacks universal coverage. When Obama approached to holding torturers accountable, Republicans accused him of a political witchhunt, and he backed off in an effort to appear "reasonable," and still human rights criminals go free. When the military once again balked at homosexuals serving openly (as they historically balked to integrating black people), Democrats backed off tryin to appear "reasonable" while gay soldiers are still forced to painstakingly hide their personal lives to protect their careers. And when Congress created a second "Pecora Commission" to investigate financial frauds that nearly resulted in a second Great Depression, Obama tried to appear "reasonable" and "look forward" by issuing a signing statement asserting that executive privelege insisted that only his Justice Department could handle prosecutions.

I, for one, am fed up with Democrats who try to be "reasonable." We did not elect them to conform to what Republicans and their other critics thought was "reasonable"; we elected them to follow through on what they promised us: provide universal health care for America, promote the equal rights of gays in all aspects of life including the military, hold accountable those who violate the human rights of Americans and foreign nationals alike, and to be aggressive in restoring our economy without rewarding the people who caused it to fall. It's time for Democrats to stop being reasonable, and start delivering what they promised America.
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A Six Year Prenuptial [23 Oct 2009|08:58pm]
I should learn not to plan my life too far in advance, especially while the military still owns my body, mind and soul for the next six years.

Now that I think about it, I should just give up on planning to do anything I want to do until they let me go. I've never had a more jealous lover than the Department of Defense.

(If you know why I'm posting this, chances are this has affected you to. And for that, I am truly sorry.)
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I'm A Military Man, But... [11 Oct 2009|03:17pm]
[ mood | dumbfounded ]

I cannot think of a worse move for Obama than to do what Liz Cheney and Thomas Friedman are calling for - going to the Nobel Prize ceremony and dedicating the prize to the US military.

Do these people even know why the Nobel Prize is awarded? From Alfred Nobel's will:

"[The Peace Prize shall be award to the person who] during the preceding year [...] shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."
If Obama does something as stupid as dedicating that award to us in the military who wage war for a living, he won't earn any points domestically. Moreover, he will have singlehandedly slapped Olso in the face, who gave him the award precisely because they had hoped for him to de-escalate the conflicts in the Middle East borne out by his predecessor.

If he wants to decline the prize out of humility, that's one thing. But to dedicate the prize to US warfighters would be an international political disaster.
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Nobel SurPrize for Peace [09 Oct 2009|11:11am]
It's a rare day I agree with Fox News's Chris Wallace, but let's call a spade a spade. The Nobel Committee awarding their Peace Prize to President Obama is first and foremost a repudiation of the eight years of George W Bush. It's also a manuever by Oslo to leverage Obama toward their vision of the world, a vision they obviously believe Obama already shares.

President Obama's greatest policy accomplishment toward the goal of peace was removing ABMs from Eastern Europe. Beyond that, he's accomplished very little, but the Nobel Committee obviously feels that he has been leading the world in the right direction.

This award will not likely affect domestic US politics as supporters will laud this award, and skeptics and antagonists will disregard it. However, what the award does provide is a boost to President Obama and the United States's international standing and credibility throughout the world. They are demonstrating their trust in the United States to once again assume the mantle of respected leader of the free world. And that is unequivocally a good thing.
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Density [07 Oct 2009|07:56pm]
Normally, I'm pretty neutral when it comes to Maureen Dowd's NYT op-eds. But her leatest op-ed is downright dense. She insisted there was nothing wrong with what David Letterman did because "Sexual harassment entails pressuring or penalizing a staffer or making the office atmosphere hostile[, and] there’s no evidence yet that Letterman was guilty of that.

Yet two paragraphs later, she says this:
"Stephanie Birkitt, his former lover and assistant...was not punished but rewarded with a recurring on-air starring role — despite the fact that she wasn’t funny or charming. As usual, Letterman was living out loud on the show, showing the audience his crush."
Obviously, Mrs. Dowd has never been to one of those harassment classes that us men are foced to attend, because she'd know that showing favoritism to those who have had sex to you IS sexual harassment. It's sexual harassment to every woman on that show who wasn't having sex with Letterman, because Birkitt was being unfairly advanced. Moreover, there was obviously enough hostility amongst Letterman's staff to result in the showman being extorted.

Regardless of CBS's decision as to Letterman's career, his behavior is inexcusable and extremely disruptive to his staff. Mrs. Dowd's apparent ignorance of that fact is simply appalling.
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Michael Moore: A Hate Story [04 Oct 2009|11:54am]
It didn't surprise me that none of the Pensacola theatres are showing Moore's film Capitalism: A Love Story the weekend it debuted. It did surprise me when I found out that none of theatres will ever show it in their theatres at all.
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My Trip Home (Abbreviated) [30 Sep 2009|12:49pm]
I have returned home from California, or what my former boss called, "the land of fruit and nuts." Two weeks is still not a long enough time home to enjoy everything I love in this state, but I packed in quite the itinerary.

- I had a family dinner celebrating my return home (extended family is still grossly dysfunctional)
- Saw Wicked at the SF Orpheum Theatre
- Satisfied my In-'n-Out, Chipotle and Jamba Juice cravings, none of which exist in the dirty South
- Attended my college friend's wedding in Long Beach with reinepsychotica
- Became a fan of Bloomingdale's (i.e. I'll soon be poor again)
- Went water skiing in Granite Bay
- Shot a .22 Lugar, .357 Magnum, and 12 gauge shotgun in Woodland
- Picked up my degree and frame at UCLA
- Enjoyed copious amounts of cigars and geekery with wizard21, Tim and several others in LA
- Sat in on a California Western criminal law class...during a campus protest of the military
- Went to a UCLA Alumni gathering in San Diego, saw my fraternity brother, and made new friends
- Toured San Diego's finest restaurants and locales with reinepsychotica

All in all, a damn good trip home. Can't wait to go back for the winter holidays!
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