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Journal: #3 - Resignations

Journal by koh

This has been a busy day. This has been a busy week, actually. Cleaning after people who don't know one bit about coding is always a pain in the mind and soul, and sometimes you just want to resign on the spot. Really.

Fortunately, I still find within me the strength to carry on. Mostly because I still need the money. But there are other, older, more fortunate people who choose to just give it up, to stop doing what they they do best, to retire into oblivion and never be seen again.

To these people, I want to say : "I'd like to show'em, just like you did." Also, "Can you lend me a thousand bucks ?"

This week (2005-03-11) has been rich in resignations. Let's go through a few of them :

  • Carlos Mesa, President of Bolivia, resigns after 3 years in power because of oil problems and government-sponsored repression issues. But his resignation was mass-rejected by the Bolivian Congress, so he's still in charge. Tough luck, Carlos. Nobody wants your job anymore. If you still have oil problems, sell your car. Or call the US government, they would also solve your repression issues. Anyway, you're to remain where you are for at least two more years.
  • Omar Karami, Prime Minister of Lebanon, resigns after the murder of the former Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri. Actually, he couldn't care less about the murder, but he would not have the Syrian troops retired from Lebanon, even after said Syrian troops were accused of committing the murder, even after said Syrian troops were suspected of being involved with Omar himself and his government, and even after the US government told everyone that said Syrian troops were withholding Michael Jackson from justice. Anyway, President Emile Lahoud promptly reappointed him to his former position. Tough luck, Omar. Call Carlos if you need advice.
  • Gary Kasparov, one of the strongest chess player in the world, if not the strongest, resigns after finally realizing he was beaten senseless by a puny machine back in 1997-05. When asked about this event, Gary mumbled about "the machine being helped by a puny human being", "the machine having Neo inside", and "the machine not running Windows" as possible explanations for his defeat. So long, Gary. We'll miss you.
  • Tropical Cyclone Ingrid resigns from being a category 5 cyclone to start a new job as a category 1 cyclone in Australia, pending "getting back to category 5 or better as soon as I find a way to the US". Ingrid, allow me to wish you best of luck, and when you're in the US please follow the standard route and aim for the red states. Thank you.
  • Aslan Maskhadov, leader of the separatist movement in Chechnya, finally resigns after being allegedly killed by Russian special forces. Astoudingly, Aslan did not show up in office even after President Emile Lahoud and the whole Bolivian Congress reappointed him to his former position. We think of you, Aslan, wherever you are.

So many resignations, so little time. Let's remember them all, and close with one of Gary Kasparov's best gifts to humanity :

1.e4 d6
2.d4 Nf6
3.Nc3 g6
4.Be3 Bg7
5.Qd2 c6
6.f3 b5
7.Nge2 Nbd7
8.Bh6 Bxh6
9.Qxh6 Bb7
10.a3 e5
11.0-0-0 Qe7
12.Kb1 a6
13.Nc1 0-0-0
14.Nb3 exd4
15.Rxd4 c5
16.Rd1 Nb6
17.g3 Kb8
18.Na5 Ba8
19.Bh3 d5
20.Qf4+ Ka7
21.Rhe1 d4
22.Nd5 Nbxd5
23.exd5 Qd6
24.Rxd4!! cxd4
25.Re7+! Kb6
[25...Qxe7
  26.Qxd4+ Kb8
  27.Qb6+ Bb7
  28.Nc6+ Ka8 29.Qa7#
]
26.Qxd4+ Kxa5
27.b4+ Ka4
28.Qc3 Qxd5
29.Ra7 Bb7
30.Rxb7 Qc4
31.Qxf6 Kxa3
32.Qxa6+ Kxb4
33.c3+! Kxc3
34.Qa1+ Kd2
35.Qb2+ Kd1
36.Bf1! Rd2
37.Rd7! Rxd7
38.Bxc4 bxc4
39.Qxh8 Rd3
40.Qa8 c3
41.Qa4+ Ke1
42.f4 f5
43.Kc1 Rd2
44.Qa7 1-0

Truly, he shall be missed. In my wildest dreams, I expect to be half as missed as he is when I do retire.

Thank you for your time.

United States

Journal: #2 - Fool me twice... 4

Journal by koh

Tonight the cloudy sky finds me at the console, like so many times before. Except tonight I don't feel like coding. I don't feel like playing games or reading forums. Music is on, TV is off, as I'm trying to think by myself. Trying to understand.

Across the ocean, in this country I only know from flickering images on screens, from lines and lines of crude text in mailing lists, something incredible has happened. Cohorts of people stood up and went outside, some under the rain, some with great pain, to achieve their duty. They went and chose the man they wanted as their leader, as their guide into this new century.

That man is George W. Bush, from Texas.

And it is legitimate this time, no Supreme Court authority was involved, no decision was forced upon people. They have chosen. And this, friends and neighbours, is good. It is what democracy is all about.

I understand that there are people disappointed with this decision. They should not be, for this is the will of the absolute majority of the American people.

So let's put rants, tears and threats aside for a moment and try to think about it. A little humour on the way does no harm, either.

First of all, a quick look at an election map shows the only states that voted against Bush have either a common frontier with Canada or a coastline. Well, Illinois excepted, but the lakes do count, you know.

Maybe these states were corrupted by liberal, unpatriotic, anti-American thoughts from abroad? And what does the name "Illinois" have to do with the English language anyway? Sounds European to me. Maybe even French. Oh wait, it is Native American after all. Go figure. I always suspected there was something unpatriotic about those Native American people. Especially the way they died. But I digress.

Seriously, all those states have another thing in common: people there are widely renowned to actually think. Makes you wonder why votes aren't weighted on the submitter's IQ before being registered, doesn't it? That's the trick with democracy: masses are always right. They may be dumber than the offspring of Britney Spears and a SUV tyre, but they're still right because they are numerous. Oh how lucky we are.

So the absolute majority (52%) of America is dumb? Short answer: yes. But you don't have to take my word for it, just take a look at their slogan: "Four more years".

"Four more years". That's three monosyllabic words that even untrained parrots can utter in a few hours. They don't say "In spite of the utter despise the rest of the world bears towards our current leader, and notwithstanding the gigantic holes he drilled (ha!) in our econonomy and our civil rights, I still think he will fare better if he just starts drinking again". Notice this sentence contains more than five words, some composed with as much as four (4) syllabes, which is why it is widely used to train parrots.

So there are actually two Americas: the unwashed masses (52%) and the people who do not think MS Windows is "too complicated" (48%). The question is, what can we do to ease the excrutiating pain those 48% are experiencing now ?

I tell you what. We can welcome them in Europe with open arms. I'm not kidding. Why move to Canada ? It's cold and close enough to the US that, if oil is found there one day, you're in big trouble.

I'm not afraid to tell you, fellow Americans, that you're welcome here. There are many advantages of becoming an European citizen now, including but not limited to :

  • 90% of the movies here are American, so you'll feel like you're at home,
  • We have nice coastlines, beaches and mountains too,
  • People worshipping different Gods, or no God at all, can live, work, or even sleep together without fear,
  • We have "Survivor" on TV here too,
  • Gays are more popular than straight people here,
  • Our space probes actually land before failing, not the other way around,
  • Germany has not engaged in global war for 70 years,
  • Given the way Bush runs your country, the euro will be twice as strong as the dollar in a few months,
  • Nobody is gonna ask you to go and die overseas until your house is destroyed by a real WMD,
  • We don't have oil.

So I urge you, bright people of America, to reconsider moving to Canada, and get here instead ASAP. Without you, America would soon revert to great plains of genetically engineered corn fields. The American citizen of the future would have 58 chromosomes, not 46.

God bless America... in Europe!

United States

Journal: #1 - Help, the USA are bashing at my door ! [cynical tone]

Journal by koh

This journal entry was originally meant as a reply to kevkar's post attached to this thread in this story. Since the reply was getting huge I made it a journal entry and linked back here in my post.

Some people think that US law is enforceable anytime, anywhere in the world. That's understandable, proof is quite abundant (DeCSS anyone ? and many others, but this is a journal entry, not a phone directory) that in our Harsh Real World the US can and will enforce their laws, whatever the stupidity level or the corruption ratio, anywhere it damn pleases them.

However this is still quite an isolated phenomemon, and we don't have to call to arms right now. We have to keep aware of the possible influence of the US on our lives, and hope our local government stands firm if needed, period. Any superfluous crusade is an additional case in those not-watching-our-ads-is-stealing people's folder.

The US are not nation conquerors (yet). AFAIK their presence is becoming quite heavy worldwide, but _if_ the almighty US of A had whished to declare war, say, on the whole EU, they would have done so back then when we were still divided, and they would certainly have won, and nobody would have said a thing.

Instead, the USA conquer by expanding their customs, media, and way-of-life, just like any advanced human civilisation tends to expand itself. AFAIK any (human) US citizen you ask thinks his way of life is better than the whole outside world's.

My point is, the USA have laws. Good thing. They have a constitution. Good thing. They currently think they're at the top of the foodchain, and they are currently governed by self-interested individuals. Fair enough. In my own country (which still claims to be the Land of Freedom), 50 years ago our government collaborated with the reich and killed thousands of people. But still nowadays you can meet respected individuals that deny this mere fact. And we made an extreme-right-wing candidate to presidency scare us all a few months ago (2002-05).

I'm concerned by the expansion of the USA, as many people are, and I'm concerned about its current government, as many people, especially US citizens, are. Don't think all US citizens are poor dolts. Look at history. Remember the people.

French citizens threw away their government for the first time a long time ago (yes, I'm french), and have always done the same if needed since then (though I admit we're cows nowadays, remember 1968-05).

US citizens threw away their government a long time ago, and since then from time to time they change it if needed, but in the US way. Talented individuals stand in the way of the government. Martin Luther King... Malcolm X... JFK (ouch)... Many others... That is the US way to react to oppression.

There will be global war long before US laws apply to any citizen in the EU, Japan, Russia, and China (at least). Long before your average Amelie Six-Pack is arrested in Europe for US law violation.

The US are threatening enough to win on the few tries they made at expanding their laws to foreign countries. I think there is a threshold somewhere, and the US government is (still) smart enough not to cross it. They do remember what US citizens did during the viet-nam war (they had to invent britney spears to counter the free speech tainting the population caught at the time).

Getting at odds with countries such as the EU or Japan for such petty concerns is just not the right way. The US government realizes its own nation doesn't like its recent laws... they won't try too hard to enforce them abroad. Look at history. Some have made the same mistake before, I didn't do them any good.

It seems logical, but who can tell however ? Recently our nation had a convicted nazi collaborator, responsible for many deaths, out of jail because of "old age and illness". I have to trust the US citizens, but I think I can. I think if their government goes too far, they'll get rid of it the instant they realize as a whole they have no other choice.

They can always invoke "old age and illness".

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