Archive for October, 2006

PostHeaderIcon Riddle

skat1. British Zoologist Professor Richard Dawkins

2. The International Space Station

3. Martha Stewart

4. A/S Regnecentralen (A Danish computer manufacturer that I worked for in the seventies)

5. Robert Metcalfe (co-inventor of Ethernet and founder of 3COM corporation)

6. Hungary

7. The Princeton institute for Advanced Studies: Theoretical Physics

8. Seattle Symphony

9. Georgetown, Cayman Islands

 

I’m looking for the common factor … If you know it, email me at paul@paulclaessen.com (subject: blog riddle) and, if correct, I will acknowledge that fact here:

(and I DID leave a clue in this post)

 

Correct answers sofar, from:

– Paul Claessen (Duh!)

– Victor de Keijzer Himself (3rd attempt)

– Dawnell Claessen

– Rob Lagesse (with a little help from Jay Leno ;-))

Honorary Laureates (people who weren’t completely correct, but made a much appreciated and original attempt):

– Victor de Keijzer (Yes, THE Victor the Keijzer *proud look*, the world famous Dutch author from www.victordekeijzer.nl who, incidently, has a sister who once worked for A/S Regnecentralen as well -such a small world-)

People whom I fully expect to solve this:

– Dawnell Claessen 

– Bob “Injun” Cuyt

– Charles Simonyi

– Peter Westergaard

– Victor de Keijzer (on 2nd 3rd attempt)

– Rob Lagesse

PostHeaderIcon I have seen God

cigLast night I have seen God.

He spoke to me. And I have closed God into my heart.

No, not Jesus. God!

I may have uttered the name ‘Jesus’ a few times, but I’m referring here to God.

When he appeared to me I was not alone: many devout followers witnessed the event with me, mostly people in their 50’s and 60’s. There was waving of arms, chanting, calling His Name and I even have seen tears. It was glorious, awesome and just plain perfect.

He did not speak many words, but he needn’t speak much, his mere appearance was close to what mere mortals like us, in this big arena in Jacksonville, could take.

Of course, God has been God for a long time.

But it was still breathtaking to witness the evidence of his divinity: even after some 40 years, Clapton is still God.

Link to the history behind this

PostHeaderIcon We’re so much safer now!

1984Yesterday was Friday the 13th. An unfortunate day indeed.

President Bush signed into law bill H.R. 4954: Security and Accountability For Every Port Act or the SAFE Port Act.

Official title: To improve maritime and cargo security through enhanced layered defenses, and for other purposes.

Sounds good eh? Cost: $26 per American over a four year period. Good AND cheap!

Votes: 421 Ayes, 2 Nays (9 no votes). Good, cheap and popular.

Congress hammered this through on their last day ‘at work’. Probably noone cared to actually read the damned thing. Who cares about the details .. we all want to be safe, right?

Here’s how the American people gets screwed by an increasingly sleazy and sneaky government: the catch: look at the last four words of the official title given above!

Yes. Other  purposes.

What are those other purposes?

Well … whatever some really sneaky politician decides to sneak in there. So, if, for instance, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and the Speaker of the house Dennis Hastert (yes, that guy from the Foley scandal), based on their righteous ideas of what is ‘moral’, decide that all those millions of Americans who play that wildly popular Texas Holdem Poker game online are engaging in immoral activities and therefore should be banned from doing so, then, yes, they can in fact sneak in some rules that practically bans this form of innocent entertainment. Even in a bill about protecting our sea ports!

Not only can they do that. They did do just that.

As of yesterday, I can no longer legally fund my accounts at online poker sites in order to engage in my beloved 5 cents poker games. All in the name of making our sea ports more secure.

We live in a free country. And we have many freedoms that other countries don’t have.

But make no mistake, those freedoms, even the ones that concern only what we do in our own houses, in our own time and affect noone else, are being eroded at an alarmingly increasing rate.

This war on terrorism is quickly becoming a war on our privacy.

Americans, once again (remember the Patriot Act?) … you’re being screwed!

You’re being conned out of your freedoms by self-righteous, deceptive, manipulative, insincere, dishonest, machiavellian, cheating, lying, powerhungry and zealously selfserving politicians. Considering the oaths they took, their actions border on treason.

PostHeaderIcon Quote

Reality is an illusion

  — Paul Claessen, October 2006

PostHeaderIcon Two in the pool

poolThe other night, right after work, my wife went for a nice cool-down swim in our pool.

While happily splashing around she suddenly noticed she wasn’t alone in the pool.

Calmly and quietly she left the pool and called me at work, asking me to come home and escort the intruder off our premises.

Which I did.

Here’s a link to a picture I took of the intruder prior to urging him to leave.

(Disclaimer: my description of the manner in which she left the pool may be slightly in conflict with reality)

 

PostHeaderIcon Bad Book

stopA certain Laura Mallory, of Loganville, GA, is loudly campaigning to ban the Bible from class rooms an libraries. This young mother of four is horrified about the book’s content and fears that the book will cause children, who can’t think critically yet, to indulge in, and even attempt to experiment with, the super-natural. I’m with her on this. I also think we should ban books in which people drive cars. I mean, haven’t you read those stories where 9 year olds get into daddy’s car and cause all kinds of accidents? Comic books are probably the worst: can you imagine the horror when kids think they can do what Superman and Spiderman can do?

We should also keep them away from anything that has to do with politics: kids are so gullible, they may think that politicians actually mean what they say (although, I must admit, the chance that kids understand what politicians are saying is quite remote). In fact, we must ban any form of fiction, because it could be taken as reality, and we all know that fiction is the exact opposite of reality, and we don’t want our kids to get confused about which is which. In fact, it’s better that we don’t expose our kids to any of the craziness that’s going on out there: keep your kids in the house (which, needless to say, is TV and radio-free).

Way to go Laura Mallory! Ban that Bi… errrr hang on… I read that wrong, it’s not the Bible she wants banned, but Harry Potter books. Oh well… same thing. Evil evil evil.

Now, go take your meds.

 

(I guess no Halloween for the four Mallory kids either… can you imagine, oh horror, a night full of witchcraft?)

 

Wake up, Laura Mallory! This is the 21st century.

 

For the story, just google ‘Laura Mallory’. I lost the link to the article, but the most frightning thing about the whole story was, that there was a poll connected to the article: of over 68,000 people who took the poll, 11% agreed with her!

I live in a country where 11% of the people think Harry Potter books should be banned and are dangerous for kids to read. Maybe I am the one who needs to wake up… from a very very bad dream!

PostHeaderIcon Idiotsa

tsaWhy is it that people in uniforms or with a badge so often think they’re above the law and that you, in dealing with them, automatically lose all your constitutionally given rights?

We all (well, almost all) know that it is unwise to joke about carrying a bomb when you’re anywhere near an airport, and we sort of, reluctantly (don’t we all love bomb jokes?), go along with it. Even though the automatic detainment (and heavy penalty) for using the word ‘bomb’ is a bit silly: statiscally the odds of someone cracking a joke about a bomb actually carrying a bomb, is incredibly much smaller than the guy who doesn’t announce carrying a bomb, actually having one. In fact, it is a bit scarry that in the process of searching for bombs, officials would take anything said to them by the subject-under-investigation into account. Taking someone in custody for joking to have a bomb, is logically as silly as waving him through unsearched when he claims he does not have a bomb. Why all the over-reacting drama? Why not ask the joker “Really? Show me!” and pat him down. And if the bomb-jokes get a bit old, put up a big sign saying ‘Please, no bomb jokes. Heard them all. Not funny’. That would be far more effective than not puting up a sign and sending naive innocent people to jail for five years for making a joke.

 

But again, silly as it may be, I can live with it. It gets way different when the TSA starts detaining people at the gate for calmly and passively expressing non-threatening opinions, as in the case of Ryan Bird, who wrote the political protest statement ‘Kip Hawley is an idiot’ on his toiletry bag. (Kip Hawley is head of the TSA, and I’m not referring to the Tourette Syndrome Association here, although, one has to wonder). He was first told he couldn’t write those things (huh?), then the supervisor had the audacity to inform Ryan that, basically, in dealing with TSA-uniforms and badges, Ryan in essence lost all his constitutional rights (“you can express your opinions ‘out there’, but not ‘here’“), and then proceeded to have Ryan detained. I just checked the first amendment and couldn’t find any exclusion concerning TSA officials!

This is outside of outrageous. What is next? Getting detained for not smiling at some grumpy TSA nazi?

Again, ‘security theatre’, this time by the TSA, whose slogan, ironically, is “TSA … VIGILANT, EFFECTIVE, EFFICIENT” .. they were exactly the opposite in this case.

 

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