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Do you like to talk about politics or current events? The web is great, posting is okay, but sometimes don't you want a real time response? If you do, come talk to us on the IRC channel #news_garden. Connect to Undernet IRC, type /join #news_garden, hit enter and there we'll be.

If you aren't familiar with IRC (Internet Relay Chat) the best way to get to it is to download mIRC at (It's shareware which means you can try it until you decide you want to buy it.)

Download mIRC and install. (It installs in a snap.) Then fire it up while you're connected to the internet. In the mIRC menu go to File > Options and you'll get a dialogue box. The first heading is Connect. There you'll find a scrolling menu with LOTS of different IRC servers. Scroll down toward the bottom and choose one of the Undernet servers. I find those in Scandinavia work best. Then hit "Connect to IRC Server" and in a minute you'll be there. Then type /join #news_garden and all your political chat dreams will be come true! The first time shouldn't take but about 10 minutes total. After that less than a minute.

Come see us. We chat mostly about politics and current events and our chatters represent all points of view.

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Note: Anyone who wishes to become a columnist
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please contact Alllie.

Lunar Cheese And Federal Pork


In what has got to be one of the most obvious examples of political pandering and pork barrel spending in ages, President Bush recently announced his goal of sending the U.S. back to the moon by 2015 and on to Mars by 2040. Since about 75% of you seem to think it's a grand idea, let's dispense with the Hollywood generated fantasy that has been pumped into our collective psyche for over half a century just long enough to really examine the president's proposal.

The President's proposal is for robotic landers to begin working on the lunar surface by 2008, the creation of a new space vehicle, the Crew Exploration Vehicle, to begin manned lunar landings by 2014 and replace the aging shuttle fleet, the construction of a permanent lunar base and a manned mission to Mars at an unspecified date in the future, possibly some time around 2040. In the words of our President, "Mankind is drawn to the heavens for the same reason we were once drawn to unknown lands and across the open sea," he said at NASA headquarters. "We choose to explore space because doing so improves our lives and lifts our national spirit. So let us continue the journey."

Given these facts, what can we say about the President's proposal? First of all, take careful note that none of the dates set forth for the achievement of this grand plan fall during Bush's term of office, even if he gets re-elected. He gets all the upside and risks none of the political downside. As for improving our lives, other than tang and Velcro, I can't think of much in the way of improvements that are the direct result of the space program. Before you start pointing out all the advancements in electronics that resulted from the effort to land a man on the moon, honestly ask yourself if most if those technological advancements came from the lunar program or were they, indeed, spin-offs of national defense and intelligence programs such as missile guidance, communications and code breaking technologies? About the only thing the President has gotten correct, in my opinion, is that this new space initiative "...lifts our national spirit." Put another way, it's one big ego trip for the nation. After all, why have the people bogged down with the war on terror and a sluggish economy, slogging it out here on good ol' terra firma, when you can have them daydreaming about stretching forth their hands to the stars? Hollywood is sure to feed this national ego trip with plenty of science fiction eye candy. They'll be raking in the profits hand over fist, all the while convincing us that in just a few short years we'll all be tooling around the universe at warp factor one.

Meanwhile, back in harsh old reality, the damage has already begun with NASA abandoning the Hubble space telescope program. Who can afford to continue with good science and solid astronomy when two-thirds of NASA's budget will soon be diverted to our return to the moon? I wonder which social programs will have to be axed over the course of the next two or three generations so we can say that not only did we return to one dead rock in space, but we also managed to set foot on another? And let us not forget who the main beneficiaries of this new, bold initiative will be... That's right - the military industrial complex. The same people who will send us back to the moon and on to Mars are the very same people building the next generation of fighter jets and smart bombs to smite the "enemies of freedom and liberty."

In the end, what the president is hoping to accomplish is to distract John and Jane Q. Public from the nasty reality of a post 9/11 world while simultaneously diverting even more of our tax dollars into the hands of the weapons industry. He can't give the military-industrial complex the money it wants by way of the defense budget, which has now ballooned to over $400 billion, without facing intense scrutiny, vigorous opposition and harsh criticism. He can, however, accomplish this goal via the space program, all the while receiving cheers and kudos from a starry-eyed public.

Dam the photon torpedoes, Scotty, and warp speed ahead - we've got uncharted space to conquer! It sure beats the hell out of dealing with our problems back here on Earth.



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Articles of Interest

Bush and the Assassination of JFK by Paul Kangas

ANNALS OF DEMOCRACY : COUNTING VOTES by Ronnie Dugger (Nov 7, 1988)

Computerized Systems for Voting Seen as Vulnerable to Tampering by David Burnham, The New York Times (July 29, 1985) plus emphasis, links and comments

Sigmund Aas

The Terrorist's Achilles Heel: An Alternative Blow to Terrorism (June 24, 2004)


Apocalypse Number Nine
(mp3, 2.9 meg, Oct 4, 2002)
Souces:Artist: Kumi Tanioka
Album: Final Fantasy XI Original Soundtrack (CD TWO)
Track :The Awakening
Vocals: George W. Bush
Plus Additional sounds & subliminal track
Editing by Aleister

Fun with Paperdolls
(May 19, 2003)


Just Say No!
( Oct 21, 2003)
A Real Protest (April 9, 2003)
Who's to Blame (Feb 20, 2003)
Listening to the Lies (Sept.12, 2002)
White Storm (August 2, 2003)
!!!Fight!!! (September 9, 2003)
Happy Endings: A Theory of (November 16, 2002)
It Just Isn't Fair
(December 11, 2003)
Every Picture Tells a Story (January 23, 2004)
Who Do You Trust? (April 17, 2004)
The Criminal - Fiction (May 8, 2004)
Why I Believe Bush is the Anthrax Terrorist (October 10, 2004)

Arachne & TaoUrso

TURTLE TALES: Exodus in a Tin Can on Wheels

Part 1 -
Part 2 -
Part 3 -

Turtle Tales II: The Road Warrior (November 2004)


What is the American Way of Life (Jan27, 2003)
America is Under Siege (Dec 3, 2002)
Ozzy Osbourne - American Idol
(Nov 26, 2002)
Thomas Jefferson and Ann Coulter - Comparison and Contrast (Nov 21, 2002)
Some Thoughts on American Media (Nov 11, 2002)
Some Thoughts on Addiction
(Oct 28, 2002)
What Color is the Sky? (Oct 25, 2002)
The End is Near - And Other Truths
(Oct 7, 2002)


News_Asylum (Sept 15, 2002)


Virtue is not chosen, the chosen becomes virtuous (October 14, 2003) Conspiracy Theory This!(November 18, 2003)
Black & White (November 21, 2003)
From Cordoba to Jerusalem (November 25, 2003)
Free Speech and Intolerance (January 20, 2004)
State of the Old Union seen from the New Union (Febuary 2, 2004)

Lunar Cheese And Federal Pork
(January 20, 2004)

Lester Michaels

Morality & Ethics: A case study of the Carlyle Group

Bush's Folly


Election 2000-Highway Robbery and a Supreme Court Disgrace-

Part 1 (May 23, 2003)
Part 2
(May 29, 2003)
Part 3 (June 12, 2003)
Part 4 (July 8, 2003)


Bush Is Packing The Federal Courts: What Can I Do? (June 28, 2003)


The Rantings of an Angry, Fed Up Conservative


A RECAP OF THE USSC'S 2002 TERM (July 5, 2003)


The Myth of Free Trade (Febuary 3, 2004)

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