Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Berkeley Freezes Solid, Democrats Walk Into a Trap, and Other World News

with 12 comments

Now what?

Rumours of my demise have been exaggerated, barely. I hate being sick, it sure makes me appreciate it when I’m not sick. Then to top it off, the temperature actually dropped below freezing in Berkeley. There was a frozen slab of water on a sidewalk as I walked to work yesterday. People were standing around it in awe and amazement. Well, no, actually they weren’t. If it gets below 50 (10C) here virtually everyone huddles indoors and complains about the arctic conditions. Most of them assume that temperatures below freezing are instantly lethal if one was so foolish as to venture outside. It’s pretty pathetic actually, what a bunch of wimps. Even my cats have gone native, they go out for minutes, then come back in complaining that it’s broken outside. Yeesh.

In politics, the Democrats have come out against Bush’s surge in Iraq. Bush’s response: If you don’t like my Iraq plan, tell me yours. It all seems like so much fiddling while Rome burns to me, I don’t think anyone has a plan that will fix the mess in Iraq. At the same time Condoleezza Rice is travelling in the Mideast purportedly trying to revive the peace process in Palestine. I wish her luck, really I do. Call me a cynic but all I see is a frantic effort to blame everyone on the planet except Bush and company for the unfolding disaster in Iraq. “Victory has a hundred fathers but defeat is an orphan.” It’s also hard not to be a little alarmed by the sweetheart deal to basically give control of Iraq’s oil to American oil companies, does this mean we can now start naming memorial gas station’s after our fallen in Iraq?

In science news, there is further evidence that life on Earth could have originated on Mars. Scientists have confirmed that life could survive a meteorite impact impact on Earth. This sort of research has limited practical value, but it’s nice to know that if all else fails, we can blame microbes from another planet for all our troubles. Stupid microbes. Did I say I hate being sick?

In other important world news, a cat has been named special stationmaster of an unmanned railway station in Japan, with two of her cohorts named as assistant stationmasters. Of course it had to be a calico, they are at the heart of so many conspiracies. I think Hitler’s cat was a calico. Or maybe I’m just hallucinating from an overdose of cold medications and old Star Trek reruns.

(The above image from Mainichi News is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It is not being used for profit, it is central to illustrating the post, and it is sure to be an historically important image.)


Written by unitedcats

January 14, 2007 at 12:51 am

12 Responses

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  1. Doug,

    Nice to see you back after couple of day. What kind of health problems you have? I really never asked this before when you said that you will be home due to sickness thinking you might have cold and flu nothing serious.

    Iraq is a mess and its true there is no solution to stablize the siutuation quickly. It is also true that Palestinians Israel situation will never get resolved because both sides are so rigid in their extreme religious understanding of their religions. The result of all this is deaths and destructions with nobody wants to backup from their radical stance.

    Quran Bible

    January 14, 2007 at 8:07 am

  2. Being a new transplant to Berkeley, the weather doesn’t seem so bad to me, but then I’m used to a foot of snow on the ground by now.

    In regards “fixing the mess” in Iraq, just write a check for the damages and leave.


    January 14, 2007 at 2:42 pm

  3. Doug,

    First, I hope you are felling better!

    Second, you are probably right on the Bush situation, although it has been my impression of Democrats (since JFK) that they are simply reactionaries. Not much in the way of ideas, but heavy on the criticism. I think that confirmation of this was that bumper sticker I saw that said, “Anyone but Bush.” Or as my friend Chickenhawk says, “The democrats are the party of no ideas, the Republican the party of bad ideas.” ha!

    I never understood the theories about life on earth beginning on mars. As far as we know, mars has never been a techtonic planet. Its ability to support anything other than simple bacteria in its history is doubtful. I guess its fun to speculate–I guess we’ll see when we have the first mars expedition.

    Oh, and as far as the cold is concerned…I have determined that if I ever move from here it is further south!



    January 14, 2007 at 8:25 pm

  4. Sorry about the cold…they are a real bummer. I find a few shots of Bourban help tremendously. As to the Bush situation, my response is, “If you wanted suggestions as to better things to do, you should have sought more advice before you made a huge mess. You can’t jump in being the decider and make a big mess, and then blame those who don’t have the answers for cleaning it up. You need to figure out the best solution for wiping up the blood.” I also feel that if Bush wasn’t so invested in retribution that had nothing directly to do with terrorism, we wouldn’t be in this mess to begin with. That’s just my average jane opinion.


    January 14, 2007 at 9:58 pm

  5. Doug,

    Are you an American? If so, why do you use the British spelling of favorite in your “favourite sites” page?



    January 15, 2007 at 3:49 pm

  6. Oops, just saw the answer.


    January 15, 2007 at 3:49 pm

  7. Doug, ran across this interesting article:

    GAZA — Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said on Monday the Islamist militant group Hamas would never recognize Israel.

    Haniyeh, a Hamas leader, said in an interview from Gaza with Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah’s al-Manar television station: “Hamas will never recognize the legitimacy of the occupation (Israel).”

    “Hamas will never show flexibility over the issue of recognizing the legitimacy of the occupation,” he added.


    January 15, 2007 at 7:02 pm

  8. Also, I am trying to find an article that I read a while back to get your perspective. Its premise was basically that because of world-wide socialism (the reallocation of financial resources to social welfare and programs) that in the future space exploration would be done by the private sector–venture capitalists, corporations, etc. It was a fascinating article. When I find it I’ll drop the link.




    January 15, 2007 at 7:13 pm

  9. Jack, that’s a fascinating suggestion. Reminds me of Isaac Asimov’s speculative fiction. We’ll probably have intelligent robots as soon as they figure out how to hook up the circuits to some kind of living organism like a yeast that forms a brain. Or it could be very Frankenstein’s monster. Who knows.


    January 15, 2007 at 10:46 pm

  10. Or the concept of cell phones, space stations and laptop computers to people a century ago! :)



    January 16, 2007 at 6:41 am

  11. Hi Doug,
    I am enjoying your blog which somehow found it’s way to me. I think it has to do with calico cats and Berkeley. : ) And, yes, my calico is crazy, but she looks nothing like Hitler. I recently moved from Berkeley to NC. I was looking forward to snow here. It has been in the 70’s, the frogs have reemerged and are singing their confused heads off, and the robins returned yesterday, from wherever it was that they went assuming that winter was here.
    I miss Berkeley.


    January 16, 2007 at 12:13 pm

  12. Who really now is engaged in the control of health? To mine it neglected the large pharmaceutical companies and the medical centers. There should be a centralized management WBR LeoP


    January 28, 2007 at 5:09 pm

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