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Air Force to Train More Drone Operators than Pilots

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M AJOR O SMOSIS.com

BY THOMAS ADRIAAN HELLINGER & MIGUEL ESTEBAN

he age of drones is at hand. This year the Air Force will train more drone operators than fighter and bomber pilots for the first time in its history: 240 compared to 214. (Federal Times reports that the Air Force currently has 3,700 fighter pilots, 900 bomber pilots and 550 drone pilots.) At least 5,000 robotic vehicles are currently deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pentagon officials estimate that 15% of the armed forces will be robotic by 2015. Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz told USA Today what makes Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) so compelling, "The capability provided by the unmanned aircraft is gamechanging. We can have eyes 24/7 on our adversaries." Approximately 400,000 hours of airborne surveillance was captured on video by Predator and Reaper drones last year, as opposed to less than 10,000 by conventional aircraft a decade ago. While the Israelis were the first to employ UAVs in combat (against Lebanon in 1982), the US Air Force’s combat history with drones began in Afghanistan in 2001. Unfortunately, statistics regarding...

hernobyl. Three Mile Island. The mere mention of these sites of nuclear catastrophe tends to evoke the same type of ill-reasoned paranoia that a weepy Glen Beck summons to mobilize his “demographic”. But with many more popular menaces out there for fearmongers to profit from, the threat of nuclear meltdown is probably not anywhere near the top of list for most Orlandoans. But if you pay a monthly power bill, it should be. Did you know that the 15% rate-hike that the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) whammied us with last January - and the 30% rate-hike still pending approval - are partially being used to fund a proposed nuclear power plant in Levy County? Yup, it’s business as usual in Orlando! OUC and Progress Energy – which also jacked rates recently...

{I ♥Nuclear Power continued pg.5}

DO HUMANS COME FROM COMETS?

scientists have confirmed that NASA comet dust collected by the Stardust probe during its 12-min. ride BY B R ANSON F A SRICCI

{Drone On... continued pg.7}

THIS ZINE CONTAINS:

1: NET-ZERO emissions unless on fire! 2: stars charted by DAVID PLOTKIN 3: HOW TO PUNK a city council 4: a toilet accessory to SAVE THE EARTH 5: NUGULAR shiznit 6: spads & such by BRAD PETTIGREW 7: DRONES GONE WILD: ‘Stan Edition 8: Wackenhut =1; ACORN = 0 9: 24 HOURS of lemons 10: far be it A SENSELESS SHADOW 11: TOP GUN word games (repeating) 12: what’s ailing PHILONIOUS MONK? 13: GREEN is the new black 14: geek love: AN INTRO 2 LaTeX 15. MISS FORTUNE’S HORRORSCOPES 16. General Atomic’s AD... BUSTED

MENTAL

HOW I L EA RN ED TO ST O P W O RRYI NG A ND ♥ NUCLEAR POWER

DRO NE ON T O H IGH E R MOR AL G RO UND BY

ESSENT IALL Y

L i f e go es o n . . . ta k e th e p l u n g e !

across the nucleus face of comet “Wild 2” on Jan. 2, 2004 contains the amino acid glycine, which is required by organisms (as we know them) to synthesize protein. Glycine is common on Earth, and scientists studying the sample upon Stardust’s return to Earth on Jan. 15, 2006 initially could not rule out contamination and were skeptical that glycine had been found in outer space. Analysis over the past three years has ruled out the possibility of contamination conclusively. Carl Pilcher, director of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute explained the implications of the discovery to Aviation Week & Space Technology last month, “The discovery of glycine in a comet supports the idea that the fundamental building blocks of life are prevalent in space and strengthens the argument that life in the universe may be common rather than rare.”

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We think... so you do n’t ha v e to!

Vol. 1 Issue 4

To Our Esteemed Readers,

LAYMEN & GENTLELADIES, we are currently A NATION DIVIDED. We are BATTLING PASSIONATELY against one another in the POLITICAL ARENA. I do not presume I can offer a MAGIC SOLUTION solution to our problems. ALAS, I am satisfied to leave THE DEBATE over why we’re so PISSED OFF to those who seem to find so much joy in it: THE PUPPETS OF PUNDITRY!

I’m sure I ’M N OT THE O NLY O NE who perceives C OMMON G ROUND between RIGHT-WINGERS, LEFT-WINGERS & NO-WINGERS because ALL CITIZENS ARE GETTING SCREWED BY THE GOVERNMENT® for the exact same reason:

CORPORATIONS WIELD MUCH MORE POWER OVER OURGOVERNMENT THAN WE DO!

There are many reasons why WE DISAGREE - that’s ONLY NATURAL! But unless we BREAK THE STRANGLEHOLD of corporations over OUR GOVERNMENT then we citizens cannot INFLUENCE POLITICS. So let’s all JOIN FORCES long enough to CHASE THE MONEY-CHANGERS FROM THE TEMPLE OF DEMOCRACY! After that, it’s FAIR GAME & we can continue to DUKE OUT our differences like we’ve ALWAYS DONE!

- Branson Fasricci

The Pew Research Center in Washington, DC conducts polls & publishes the results online at people-press.org Here are some of their recent findings:

Distrust of the news media is increasing. • 29% believe news media “get facts straight” (compared to 55% in 1985.) • 18% believe news media “deal fairly with all sides” (compared to 34% in 1985.)

The world is more confident in Obama than Bush. As of July of this year, the citizens of every nation in the world (except Israel) have more confidence that President Obama will “do the right thing in world affairs” than they had in President Bush last year.

GLBTs are the most discriminated against minority. Percentage of Americans who agree that a particular minority is the subject of discrimination: • • • • • • • • •

64% agree Gays & Lesbians are disciminated against. 58% agree Muslims are disciminated against. 52% agree Hispanics are disciminated against. 49% agree Blacks are disciminated against. 37% agree Women are disciminated against. 35% agree Jews are disciminated against. 27% agree Evangelical Christians are disciminated against. 26% agree Atheists are disciminated against. 24% agree Mormons are disciminated against.

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Subtly controlling your mind since 2009!

Vol. 1 Issue 4

M i c ha e l L ehr e r’ s a ddr es s t o t he L a s Veg a s c i t y co u nc i l o n Ju l y 1 6  20 08

M A Y O R G O O D M A N This meeting of the Las Vegas city council is called to order During this portion the agenda must be limited to matters within the jurisdiction of the city council If you wish to speak to us step up give us your name and we’ll put the three-minute timer on M I C H A E L L E H R E R I’m Michael Lehrer I’m a Las Vegas resident -- on again off again homeless person I’ve been struggling with addiction for many years from methamphetamines to even sleep texting But I’ve been devoting my life at this point to community national and worldly service

As far as Las Vegas goes I wish for us to start making more attempts to provide an infrastructure to support burgeoning forms of alternative transportation throughout the city ya know? More bike racks downtown a plug-in for Segways at the very least a locker where I could shove my rollerblades into! Also I think we need to take a close look at the due process of our criminal justice system In our country we have exonerated over two-hundred men from death row and long term bids for crimes they did not commit You can only imagine the fashion emergency that is sometimes behind these bars So I think it’s important that we set these men up upon their release ? with local business support perhaps ? with the latest styles Because to me the only thing worse than a execution of judgment is to walk out of prison - your first steps of freedom - wearing Z Cavariccis and a Hypercolor t-shirt ya know? That said I think we need more realistic policies in policing When someone commits a felony in this country we take away their right to vote No disrespect to our elected officials but this is not a punishment! This is another day off! We need to take away from these people something that matters to the average person ya know? Take away their right to eat a sandwich ya know? It doesn’t sound like a big deal but even the hardest dude on the block is gonna grow tired of salads real quick On a Federal level we need to start protecting our civil liberties I cant smoke here  I can bare my arms only here  I can only make out with a guy in these three states ya know? And those who think they’re immune only need to look to the preferred savings programs that are available at all major supermarket chains I don’t want Uncle Sam knowing what I’m eating ya know? I don’t think I need to put my life under a microscope because once a week I enjoy falafel I don t think that’s fair

M A Y O R G O O D MA N

M IC HA E L LEHR ER

And I appreciate that Are you homeless now? I am not sir

M A Y O R G O O D MA N

Uh   did you start out saying you were homeless?

MI C HA E L L EH R E R

I said that I ’ve been “on again off again homeless sir Pardon me your honor

MA Y O R G O O DM A N

MI C HA E L L E H R E R

No no   because if you were homeless we do have a representative here to assist you That ’ s the reason I brought that to your attention Thank you so much And that’s good to know I’m back on my feet for the time being

Watch the video online

wwwdangerousmindsnet/indexphp/site/tag/Michael-Lehrer/

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W e think... so you do n’t ha v e to!

Vol. 1 Issue 4

S L OA N ’S N EW A QU S ® G RE Y W A T ER S Y S T EM F OR T O I L ET S SM A R T GR I DS O R B U ST he Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in T Golden, Colorado is researching the

loan Valve Corp.’s new AQUS® GreySdevice water System is an innovative new for recycling bathroom sink

$360 Device Reclaims Water from Sink for Toilet Flushing

development of “smart energy grids” capable of networking solar panels, fuel cells, microturbines and other power generators together, to effectively distribute electricity within such a massive, decentralized, system. Assuming that gas and coal industries don’t monkeywrench the prospect (and they’ll try) our whole energy infrastructure shall be “smart” in the future. Households will be able to produce their own power, thereby saving money and benefitting the environment, while selling any excess electricity back into the grid at a profit.

drain water for use in toilets. According to the company’s website, “An average two-person household bathroom can expect to save up to 5,000 gallons of fresh water per year.” Used water is routed through a sanitation device then stored in a tank under the sink. The system is suitable for home and commercial use, and contributes points for LEED® “green building” certification, which in some states and municipalities is rewarded with tax exemptions. For more info about AQUS (and all your other water conservation needs) visit: www.aquaprosolutions.com

N A SA ’ S N E W “ N E T ZERO” BUILDING

pace News reports that NASA broke ground on a new facility, known as SSustainability Base, at its Ames



A V i si o n for Hi g h Sp ee d R a il in A m er ic a Time & cost to travel 300 miles: Train = 2hrs [$50 ] // Car = 5hrs [$60] estimated

Bus = 5hrs [$50] Plane = 2hrs (incl. 1hr at airport) [$150]

Research Center located in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, on Aug. 25. Upon completion in 2011, the $20.6 million facility will be the US Gov.’s first “net zero” energy-use building. It will essentially power itself.

S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y BAS E

Instead of air-conditioning, water from deep, naturally cooled, wells will be routed through special panels within the walls. Solar panels and fuel cells will produce electricity for the facility, which is designed to consume 90% less water than traditional office and laboratory buildings of comparable size. A central computer will provide feedback to the occupants via their laptops to encourage further energy optimization, and will also automatically adjust windows to take advantage of cool nighttime breezes.

Estimated cost to build high-speed rail: $300-500 BILLION Funds set aside for high-speed rail in “stimulus package”: $8 BILLION

[Cost of “bank bailout”: $789 BILLION]

P EN T AG O N PU R S UE S THE “ E N ER G Y C Z AR” was the biggest, most powerful, ENERGY INDEPENDENCE E nron corporation of its kind... ever. But ederal Times reports that the Pentagon what exactly did Enron do? In a nutshell, was a middle-man between enerhas “11 projects in the works Enron providers and energy users, that spec Fto currently help cut its power consumption and gy ulated - ie, made bets against the future -

SUBMIT TO US: submissions @weaklytelepath.com

generate renewable energy” at Miramar Air Force Base near San Diego. The pilot program’s goal is to cut energy dependency at the base by 80% within five years as part of the Pentagon’s long-term strategy to ensure military bases can operate “off grid”. All federal agencies are mandated to obtain 7.5% of their electricity from renewable resources by 2013.

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that were overly optimistic (like bankers did with “sub-prime” loans) and then attempted to save its own ass by manipulating US energy markets. Enron’s house of cards was unsustainable, and when they screwed California to keep from going bankrupt the ensuing backlash caused Enron to implode. But why was a private corporation playing the role of America’s “energy czar” anyway?


Vol. 1 Issue 4

{ fr om I ♥ Nucl ear Power pg. 1 }

and is seeking permission to do so again – have gone to great lengths to keep the feasibility study and permit applications for the Levy County Nuclear Power Plant hush-hush. OUC is a public utility, yet has done little to inform the public about the project. The unpublicized “time for comment” set aside by OUC at internal meetings can hardly be considered adequate feedback from the populace. Obviously, OUC’s undemocratic behavior is an effort to sidestep the controversy surrounging the nuclear issue. I speak from personal experience. I used to volunteer for an anti-nuclear activist organization that is passionately fighting to make Central Floridians aware of the Levy County nuclear project, with the ultimate goal of squashing it. I initially joined the fight because of my indignation at OUC for failing to solicit feedback from the community. And yet, despite moral righteousness being on our side, I soon became disillusioned with my fellow activists quasi-religious stance against nuclear energy. This is the story of my conversion from a nuclear Luddite into a nuclear environmentalist who believes that nuclear technology has the potential to save our planet and the poeple on it. T HE NUCL EUS OF T HE I S SU E: POT EN T IAL ENERGY Ideological battle lines have been drawn regarding the nuclear question, and, no new nuclear power plants have been built in the US for over a decade. I myself did not question the anti-nuke gospel of my comrades initially since I had a limited understanding of nuclear power and its alternatives. The environmentally conscious platform of antinuclear activists demands that 100%clean solar and wind technologies be prioritzed over the coal-fired power plants that OUC currently uses and the nuclear plant that is being proposed. But I began having my doubts about the feasibility of replacing fossil-fuel technology with “green technologies” such as wind and solar as I became better informed about these renewable energy options. My research revealed significant limitations, especially for wind, particularly in Florida. Floridians can attest to the fact that we gobble up most of our power consumption during those sweltering summer and fall and winter and spring - after-

Subtly controlling your mind since 2009!

noons so hellishly hot that humans without air-conditioning are bound to end up with their shrunken heads on display at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum of oddities. The energy industry refers to the energy consumption during this time of day as requiring “peak power generation”, and uses it as a benchmark for determining how many power plants must be built to handle the energy demands of a particular area. And, despite solar panels operating at their best while the sun is at its worst, wind turbines do not generate much power as they rotate lazily in the balmy subtropical soup.

A typical wind turbine is capable of generating a peak 1.5 megawatts (MW) of electricity. However, during real world use wind turbines only generate an average of 0.3 - 0.6 MW. Unlike ideal wind generating areas, such as the Great Plains, Florida is not windy on a regular basis, and is covered in woodland. The wind generating potential of most of Florida has been ranked as low as ‘1’ or ‘2’ (on a scale from 1-6) by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory studying the feasibility of wind power in the Sunshine State. Even our coastline is not as windy as one may assume, and the specially outfitted turbines required to withstand hurricanes are expensive. And since 10 turbines can be erected per square mile, it would require axing 400 sq miles of Florida wilderness (what’s left of it) to erect the 4,000 turbines necessary to produce the 1,300 MW of peak power generation currently required by the Greater Orlando area. Orlando proper’s city limits is only 67.3 sq miles. Therefore, wind power alone is not an environmentally friendly, nor a fiscally sound, option.

This is an inconvenient truth for environmentalists. Wind and solar are simply not suitable primary energy sources for a sizable urban area. Since Florida is flat mountain country, we don’t have the luxury of building hydroelectric dams. Also, our peninsula acks geothermal activity. We therefore don’t have any other options for replacing dirty fossil-fuel power plants with zero-emission technology. Despite what some idealistic green technology advocates may claim, 100% renewable clean energy technology on a mass scale is at present a pipe dream for Florida (and you can stuff that in your pipe and smoke it!) 350ppm: GREEN IS THE NEW BL ACK Emissions induced climate change used to be a conspiracy theory. Nowadays scientists are in consensus that the modern global warming trend is a result of human activity. Presently, a worldwide coalition of environmental activists is rallying around the measurement of 350ppm [parts per million] of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as the threshhold Earth can handle without significant environmental degradation.

350ppm is not some namby-pamby statistic created out of thin air by climatechange zealots. Rather, it is the informed opinion of NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Association) and NASA scientists who work for our notoriously climate-change denying federal government. Currently, the world average - as measured from the remote Pacific Ocean - is 386ppm. It is estimated that we must reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses we release into the atmosphere enough to drop back down below 350ppm threshold by 2015, or else risk irreversible environmental degradation on a global scale. (Readers are urged to visit www.350.org to find out more and get involved!)

Solar, on the other hand, is a decent fit for the Sunshine State, but the time of day requiring peak power generation is also when thunderstorms often strike. Modern solar technology only harnesses up to 20% of the sun’s energy, thus the sheer volume of solar panel arrays needed Many governments of the world are takwould, like wind turbines, require a tree ing steps to address this potential global holocaust of unprecedented proportions. catastrophe of apocalyptic proportions. Even international corporations are Now consider that each of the two jumping on the green bandwagon despite AP1000 Westinghouse reactors slated for continuing to reap record profits amidst the proposed Levy County nuclear power an economic recession by preserving the plant can generate a mind-numbing 1154 fossil-fuel status-quo. Many companies MW (pun intended). That’s enough to are “greenwashing” their products in a satisfy the energy needs of the more than cynical attempt to pander to their custwo-million people currently residing in tomers’ desire to “save the planet”. They Greater Orlando - with plenty left over simply slap words such as “green”, “eco”, for sustaining future growth - all from a or “earth friendly” on their products single power plant that does not pollute and jack up their prices accordingly... the atmosphere around it! {I ♥Nuclear Power continued pg.6}

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Subtly controlling your mind since 2009!

Vol. 1 Issue 4

{ fr om I ♥ Nucl ear Power pg. 5 }

that caused a partial meltdown of the reacwhile simultaneously resisting any new tor core and resulted in nuclear material environmental regulations that could being released - did not result in a fullblown explosion, nor did it cause widecut into their profit margins. spread long-lasting environmental destrucCitizens need to be informed so as to tion. At the time, the atomic energy not fall prey to such duplicitous tactics indutry claimed that the containment which undermine our environmental building had kept radiation from being goals. Cases in point: King Coal promot- released, and thus nobody was harmed. ing “clean coal technology” and Big Oil However, research since indicates that promoting hydrogen fuel cell technolo- there was a two-year spike in infant mortalgy that always seems to remain prohibi- ity, lung cancer, and leukemia rates downtively expensive and another ten years wind from the plant. away (which if ever adopted will require retrofitting the current petrol infra- Now, let’s put the magnitude of the Three structure for the delivery of hydrogen Mile Island in perspective. Under the fosfuel - how convenient for Big Oil, huh?) sil-fuel friendly Bush Administration the Energy Department released a report estiOK DR . S T R A NGE L OV E: W HAT mating that coal-fired power plants cause ABOU T NUCL E A R DI S A S T E R? more than 2,000 cancer related deaths, plus 4,000 asthma and heart-attack related The main arguments against nuclear deaths, in addition to shortening the lifespower are usually propagated by people pans of at least 20,000 people, every year in concerned about the environment. the US alone. This is a situation akin to peoAllow me to address these concerns one- ple having an irrational fear of flying by-one: meltdown. nuclear waste, and despite air travel being much safer than automobiles, simply because airline disasterrorism. ters garner sensational international news Two major disasters have occurred at coverage, wherease car accidents are comnuclear power plants in the last half monplace occurrences. century. The worst happened at Chernobyl, Ukraine in 1986 when a But what about spent nuclear fuel? Is it not reactor exploded releasing 400 times dangerous, and require tens of thousands more nuclear fallout than the bombing of years to biodegrade? Yes, it does. And of Hiroshima. 600,000 persons were there is no easy solution. Currently we seal exposed to radiation and at least 4,000 spent fissile material in special containers died of exposure and cancer as a result. buried in bunkers. Maybe someday we shall A large swath of the city is now unin- develop technology allowing us to reuse all habitable, and will remain so for the the spent fissile material. (Maybe someday we’ll also harness fusion and supply all of foreseeable future. Earth’s energy needs with seawater-fueled Nuclear power experts claim that the nuclear power plants.) explosion of the Chernobyl reactor serves as a validation of the safe con- Regarding terrorism, it is fortunate that struction of nuclear power plants in the spent nuclear waste is useless for making western world. The Soviets were atomic bombs. At worst, terrorists can use employing a graphite-moderated gener- it to make “dirty bombs” for contaminating ator so that the Chernobyl plant could an urban area or food supply with radioacproduce not only electricity - like tivity. But, spent nuclear material is diffiAmerican nuclear plants do - but also cult to obtain and spread over a large area, enrich bomb-grade plutonium. The and, technology exists for cleaning it up. design was unstable during low-power conditions and did not have a contain- The threats represented by meltdown, ment building to stop the spread of nuclear waste, and terrorism are mitigatnuclear materials in case of disaster. able. As such, we shouldn’t allow the hysteBecause the Soviet Union was crum- ria surrounding all things nuclear to cloud bling at that time, inadequate resources our judgment when choosing what is best were bing allocated to monitor and for people and the planet. maintain nuclear facilities. PR O M E T H E U S R I S I N G : N UC L E A R ’ S P R O M I SE F O R A G R E E N F U T U R E In contrast, the disaster that occurred on at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant near Harrisburg, Currently, the paragon of environmentallyPennsylvania in 1979 - which was friendly energy generation is France, where caused by a cooling-system malfunction 90% percent of the country’s energy needs

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are met by 59 nuclear power plants, and the rest is produced by renewable-energy resources. (The US generates 20% of its energy from 104 nuclear plants.) French nuclear plants produce such an abundance of energy that the country is the world’s number one exporter of electricity. The French even have developed a process for reusing 90% of their nuclear waste. Fruthermore, France’s government-run energy company has operated for decades without any major accidents. Also, the scientific community supports nuclear power. A recent Pew research poll showed that more than 70% of American scientists support the construction of new nuclear reactors. However, the same poll found the American public is evenly split on the issue. Which group do you think understands the issue better? As an activist, I know that a position that cannot be soberly communicated to the citizenry is likely an indefensible position. For anybody who honestly cares about the environment, and accepts responsibility for the stewardship of our planet for future generations, the reality of preserving Earth’s atmosphere should outweigh ideological preferences. To drop back below 350ppm of CO2 by 2015 will require a significant transformation of our energy infrastrucure. The technologies already exist for accomplishing this, but we must have the wherewithal to do it! I’m not advocating a radical lifestyle change involving axing your car, going “off grid”, and breathing oxygen only when absolutely necessary although there’s nothing wrong with that! What I am advocating is a radical transformation of our energy and transportation infrastructure by adopting nuclear power as the primary energy source backbone for a “smart energy grid” of localized renewable-energy - i.e. wind, solar, etc. - generators installed throughout the land on energy-efficient buildings. The massive emerging economies of China and India demand an exponential increase in energy production. Our own energy thirst will also skyrocket as we transition to electric automobiles, buses, and trains (all of which produce zero emissions.) Our green energy future is possible here and now; but we must build it, or it’ll never come.


Vol. 1 Issue 4

{ f r om D r one On. . . pg. 1 }

drone airstrikes - and the resulting casualties - are hard to come by because the Pentagon does not release the data. Nevertheless, data about American drone strikes in neighboring Pakistan is readily available from Pakistani sources. As of July 18 of this year, 31 airstrikes by American drones have killed 365 people in Pakistan. The Pentagon estimates that at least 1-in-10 are High Value Targets (HVTs). But the Pentagon is only willing to confirm killing 22 HVTs to date in the entire so-called Global War on Terror, which is a figure that includes all the combined drone strikes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. Therefore, even if the Pentagon is withholding proof of other HVTs killed, a conservative estimate of the ratio of intented targets to “collateral damage” is perhaps closer to 40-1. If we are to optimistically assume that most killed are in fact ”enemy combatants”, then we should also pessimistically assume that any who are civilians will soon compatriots taking up arms against us. A NY Times reporter recently quoted a 21-year-old Pakistani college student as saying, “Pakistanis hate America, to some extent because you don’t bomb an ally. People here do not like drone attacks. They are important in the war against terror, all right, but America should respect our sovereignty.” Another student further criticized American military policy, “There are thousands of Blackwater operatives in the country right now if you go by the media reports. They have been given a license to kill. They are not accountable to anyone here. Would India allow Blackwater on its territory? Not at all.” An 81-year-old retired Pakistani bureaucrat offered this assessment, “America is breathing its last. Afghanistan will be the graveyard of American imperialism.” Such sobering commentary from people directly affected by wars, that, to many Americans, may as well be happening on the moon, brings up some serious questions regarding the nature of US warcraft: Do drones make it too convenient for us to conduct warfare?

W e think... so you do n’t ha v e to!

Will our ability to wage war without risking American lives desensitize our politicians, military commanders, and soldiers to the repercussions of their acts? How much longer would we have “stood the course” in Vietnam had we not paid such a heavy price in American casualties? Will the American public ever get a grasp on what is really going on in the wars we are waging when: (a) drones don’t have a conscience (b) embedded reporters mostly only witness what our military allows them to, and (c) our media doesn’t publish pictures of the war dead ? (The media in most other countries I’ve visited shows extremely graphic footage compared to our media.) Al-Qaeda’s primary recruitment tool for converting able-bodied young Muslims into Islamofascists willing to kill us is by propagandizing American recklessness in the Middle East, both imagined, and real. Of course, I’m oversimplifying a complex subject (for an in-depth analysis read Benjamin Barber’s book Jihad vs. McWorld) but the fact remains that the more socalled “collateral damage” – aka murder of innocents – we are responsible for (especially from a ‘video game’ console countless of miles away), the more terrorists there will be. We’ve developed the greatest military arsenal the world has ever seen, and yet, despite winning battles we are losing the war.

Alas, to criticize without offering a solution is cowardly. Personally, I love my Roomba floor vacuuming drone as much as some of my peers seem to love their iPhones. (And yes, I am fully aware that it’s manufactured by iRobot, which also manufactures military drones.) And while I don’t believe we need to travel through time to locate John Conner so he can rescue us from Skynet (yet), if it is truly our intention to rely on superior technology to defend our way of life amidst endless warfare against “barbarians at the gate” (and we all learned in grade school how that turned out for the Romans), I believe we need to invest heavily in the research and development of nonlethal weaponry. Otherwise, how are we supposed to look like we’re the “good guys” when everywhere we go we dish out more death and destruction than we receive?

R

Statistics in this article are from the excellent website www.longwarjournal.org but analysis is my own.

D ID YOU KNO W?

Be caus e un man ne d air pla ne s, h eli cop ters , boa ts, su bm arine s, b omb - de fus ing and fire figh ting r o b o t s alr e ad y ex i s t, t h e t e r m U nm ann ed A er i al Ve h i cle (U A V) is alre ad y pa ssé . I nste ad , d rone ma nufa cture rs n ow pre fe r the ca tc h- all Un man ne d A ut o mat e d Sy st em ( UA S ) .

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ROGUE REAPER DESTROYED BY F-1 5

ecurityManagement.com reports that on Sept. 13 the US Air Force lost the Sability to communicate with and con-

trol an armed Reaper drone flying over Afghanistan. An F-15 was scrambled to destroy the unmanned aircraft before it exited Afghani airspace. Air Force spokesman Captain Frank Harnett told the website, “This is the first MQ-9 Reaper crash that was due to loss of control.”

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USA F ’S F IRST “ L A S T ST A R F I G H T E R ” Singer, who the author of the new Pfor.W. book on robotic warfare Wired War, claims that a young recruit who

the Army did not allow to become a helicopter mechanic (because he’d flunked out of high school) went on to became a drone operator in Iraq due to his expertise at flying unmanned aircraft - a skill which he acquired from playing video games.Training F-15 pilots costs $5-million a pop. This kid trained himself on an Xbox. Mr. Singer reports that America’s first “last starfighter”, at only 19-years-old, went on to become an Air Force academy instructor despite enlisting in the Army.

r

COMING SOON: S EA F A R I N G D R O NE S

arbor Wing Technologies, a Seattlebased startup founded in 2003 to H develop an Autonomous Unmanned

Surface Vessel (AUSV) for the US Navy, recently announced that it has delivered a production ready prototype known as the X-3, which is an unmanned trimaran sailboat capable of surveilling an area of the ocean for months at a time, by relying on solar power, in addition to wind. The company’s website claims the X3 will be employed by the Navy to patrol remote Pacific waterways, secure American ports, track foreign submarines, and interdict drug smugglers; and by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to study marine animal colonies, guard against poaching, and monitor the effects of climate change.




W e think... so you do n’t ha v e to!

Vol. 1 Issue 4

AN ACORN BY AN Y OTHE R NA ME I S A WACKE N HUT (E XCE PT “SOCI AL IST ”)

T

BY M AJOR O SMOSIS.com In 1984, during the deregulation days of the Reagan administration, the company entered the private for-profit prison business. Scandals followed when Texas, Louisiana, and New Mexico revoked Wackenhut’s prison contracts in 1999 due to mounting controversy. Forced to defend itself in court dozens of On Sept. 11, the US State Dept. issued a times due to charges of physical and sexual statement calling pictures of the security abuse against inmates, Wackenhut has abanfirm’s guards engaging in what the watchdog doned the prison business. group Project on Government Oversight (POGO) calls “deviant hazing”- involving sex acts with prostitutes - “disgusting.”

he US Embassy in Afghanistan is guarded by Armor Group North America (AGNA) - which is a subsidiary of Floridabased security contractor Wackenhut - at a cost to American taxpayers of over $180 million per year.

James Gordon is the former AGNA employee who blew the whistle. He claims that, as a manager, he once tried to fire an employee for visiting a brothel during work hours, only to discover that "the AGNA medic and the program manager himself had frequented the brothels with him.”

Now, if you’ll re-read the preceding story one more time, but this time replace “Wackenhut” with “ACORN”; and “actual sexual deviancy” with “potential sexual deviancy”; and “sleeping on the job” with “voter registration fraud”; and “accounting irregularities” with “accounting irregularities”; and “for-profit” with “nonprofit”; and “hundreds of millions per year” with “$53 million over two decades”; and I think you’ll start getting the bigger picture. Or am I wrong? Does guarding our embassy in Afghanistan, patrolling Florida’s interstate rest areas, providing fire and rescue services for Kennedy Space Center, and registering citizens to vote not fall in the government domain despite being critical components of government institutions funded by taxpayers? Are we to expect the same accountability from corporations who only really answer to their shareholders (if even that) as we do from our elected government if they fail us?

Gordon alleges that his attempts to impose a no-brothel policy were thwarted by the company despite, “Many of the prostitutes in Kabul [being] young Chinese girls who were taken against their will to Kabul for sexual exploitation." His lawsuit in US District Court accuses AGNA of wrongfully terminating his employment after he informed his superiors that he overheard an employee bragging that he could purchase a girl for $20,000 and have her turning a profit for him within weeks. A second AGNA employee, John Gorman - a former Marine who is not participating in Gordon’s lawsuit - has since stepped forward also, stating, "In any interaction I have had with corporate officials from AGNA, no one - no one - ever mentioned or indicated a concern for the actual safety of the embassy. The greatest and only concerns were the profit margin... Knowing full well that our jobs were on the line, we went to the embassy out of a sense of duty and patriotism…[due to an] inability to provide for the security and safety of the U.S. personnel."

Which begs the question: Why does the US Govt. employ a private security firm to guard the US Embassy in Afghanistan instead of American soldiers? Could it be for the same reason we fail to guarantee American citizens such basic services as ensuring they’ll automatically be registered to vote simply by meeting legal requirements?

A witch is a witch, a fox is a fox, and an ACORN by any other name is a Wackenhut. Except, of course, when one was founded by J. Edgar Hoover’s finest to “battle the perils of modern life”, whereas the other was founded by socialist pinkos to “organize a majority constituency of low-to-moderate income people.” Congress has cut ACORN’s funding over much hyped allegations. Meanwhile, Wackenhut - and countless others - continue to receive more taxpayer money every year than ACORN recieved over In 2007, Wackenhut had its contract almost two decades, despite actually getting guarding nuclear power plants revoked convicted of wrongdoing. after two internal whistleblowers video- Are poor people guilty until proven innocent? taped fellow security guards sleeping on the job. You do the math.

Sixteen AGNA employees have been expelled from Afghanistan by the State Dept. which is In 2008, Wackenhut was forced to fire 8 workinvestigating the affair. ers after a Miami-Dade County audit revealed that the mid-level employees had conspired But we’re only talking about AGNA here. The with city employees to overbill Miami for mildrama multiplies exponentially if you delve lions of dollars worth of non-existent security into parent company Wackenhut. guards at metrorail and bus stations, and then covered it up. Wackenhut was founded by ex-FBI agent George Wackenhut in 1958, and it’s initial Grand jury indictments are pending, the FBI is contracts included guarding Kennedy Space involved, and the city has returned the Center, a nuclear test site in Nevada, and responsibility of protecting public spaces to supplying prisons with food. the police department.

8

Contractor

Fiscal2008 ForcedtoRepay ContractAward* FedGovSince1995**

ExxonMobil

$837,000,000

$2.3Billion

IBM

$438,000,000

$824Million

University ofCalifornia

$1.4Billion

$66,000,000

ACORN

$3,600,000†

$0.00

*Source:GovernmentExecutive,Aug.152009 **Source:POGO(ProjectOnGovernmentOversight) www.contractermisconduct.org †Yearlyestimatebasedon$53millionsince1995.


THE 24 H OURS OF L E M ONS

Subtly controlling your mind since 2009!

Vol. 1 Issue 4

Burning Man for Speed Demons Q: What do you get when you cross several dozen tweaked out jalopies, an “anything goes” spirit of anarchy, and 24-hour endurance racing? A: Good old-fashioned American Nouveau fun! To enter the 24 Hours of LeMons which is actually a series of endurance races held throughout the United States - all you gotta do is assemble a team of wannabe Ricky Bobbys and Cole Trickles, pair them up with a Smokey Yunik-esque mechanic, acquire a car worth $500 or less, perform some safety modifications, and hit the track, Jack!

“black flag” drivers for performing illegal maneuvers, such as crashing into other cars, taking shortcuts across the track, or simply as a handicap to benefit amateurs since some LeMons regulars are professional racecar drivers. When your car is black flagged - not if - you will be forced to pitstop and spin the Wheel of Misfortune. A variety of humiliating punishments are available for the amusement of spectators. Potential Judges wearing black robes and white punishments are only limited by the frou-frou wigs will inspect your vehicle judges’ imaginations. Some fan favorites one day prior to the race. Your team include: being tarred with high-fructose shall be deducted one lap for every ten corn syrup and feathered; scrawling “I dollars your car is deemed to be worth will not pass under yellow.” (or whatever over $500. The outlandishness of your infraction you are accused of) one-huncar’s appearance, and dred times all over its rarity, will increase At the midpoint of the race, one your team’s car ala the likelihood of favor- car is awarded “People’s Choice” Bart Simpson; stashanother “People’s Curse”. ing a fake bag of marable judgment. and The former gets a cash prize. The ijuana in your car for Anybody can make a latter is ceremoniously crushed. the judge’s to search Mazda Miata look like a ladybug and soup it up with cheap for, and if they manage to find it, being aftermarket racing parts. However, the penalized by wearing an orange jumpsame cannot be said for a Soviet era suit and picking up trash in the pit area. Škoda Estelle. At the midpoint of the race, one car is Judging is extremely subjective. Bribes awarded “People’s Choice” and another are expected. Failure to leave sufficient “People’s Curse”. The former gets a cash liquor, fireworks, and other refined prize. The latter is ceremoniously crushed. luxuries on the hood of your racecar during inspection will incur the judges’ Finally, the team that completes the wrath. Tactful bribery will allow the most laps within 24 hours wins the judges to overlook slight modifica- whole shebang, and earns the right to tions, such as the salvaged turbo your take home a couple thousand dollars team mechanic somehow managed to worth of nickels for their trouble. install on your spray-painted leopardprint Geo Metro christened Kathleen Like Burning Man, the 24 Hours of LeMons started as many too-ludricousTurner Overdrive. not-to-exist ideas do -- in San Francisco. After inspections are complete, everybody parties the night away courtesy I’ve got mad skills performing e-brake stunts, son! Plus, I’ve watched almost of the bribery pool. every episode of Dukes of When the 24 Hours of Lemons finally Hazzard. Waddya say we form gets underway things become even “Team Telepathy” and git ‘er done? zanier. The judges whimsically “black M a j o r O s m o s i s , c o m

9

GSFFEPN

Replace each letter with the one before it in the alphabet to reveal a secret message.


W e think... so you do n’t ha v e to!

Vol. 1 Issue 4

A Senseless Midnite Apology BY MIGUEL ESTEBAN

  death is really asexual you oughta plug your piehole with it senator itll make lusting after the green minds of littluns unimpeachable capitolize command her chief glands like clockwork

mater says __________ sit at the foot of the stares until you’re stooped over with affection

the proofs in the tits & ass that dickheads use to advertise even bottled water

heres an organic proposition lets amend our constitution so each state must elect a senator who is a male - but the other must be a female egad! doggod! doggess!

dare you think history is not herstory?

STERLING SCHROEDER

She was a shadow Who then became real And lips I could feel We became lovers And skipped being friends And then suddenly She was a shadow again

F a r B e I t F ro m Me BY

DESMOND BOLLINGER

Satisfied with nothing less than this The implosion of senselessness We’ve traveled far through the most absurd landscapes We’ve witnessed swiftly

line lined lining lineage lineal lineament linear linebacker linedrive linkup linnet linoleum linseed linseywoolsey lint lintel lion lions lioness

shifting shapes (and made our motives known to those who criticized the lives we chose

(adults are committed adulterers but kids are just kidding)

ok USA!!! (land of thunder and sunshine) our war disease bastardizes life beyond contraception

heres a technological inquisition why even use senators (who can be bought and sold) when we the people can use the interweb to vote directly hmmm? satisfy polar shifts! enable lunaships! quill the queen!

BY

With eyes I could look in

for uberculture precariously positioned upon the shoulders of multitudes indebted to industries that deplete economic frontiers by using resources that are finite

my diction is so hairy that more ran str8 more ran dumb

Shadow

To Live) I give my lungs a rest sometimes I’ve held the breath inside my chest too long It’s turned to toxic gas It leaks out unbidden

is “everything in moderation including moderation“ not a quote?

the needs of the many shall suffocate the decadence of a few fatalism is useless for global-eye-zation kid asexual really is death  

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from my ass

(In public

Causing me much disgrace) I wish that I could hide my face


Vol. 1 Issue 4

Word Games

Subtly controlling your mind since 2009!

E nd o f H is to ry R epeat ing

BY M ICHELLE L ANE

BY M ERIDETH L EGG

Crossed by hearts and hope

Now free markets not so sure

to dye our hair green

Which venture capital which industries shall rise

with envious minds mastering

From the grave or birth from last quarter

the few and far between

Last epoch told us wed be sure with liberty

The eyes collide

At fingertrips capital at doorsteps and social

A scope screams outsold

Dependence a death sentence Bridge the breech

Out side the box

With parliamentary democracy in reach Class division

Sing ringing true Four words

So discreet The schism the Marxism the potential

Sounds are heard Old!

Of power mobilization Welfare rescued liberal state

Beyond her grave

Paradise lost and regained or sustained West slows

Lease sedated by needles exchanging

To lose itself in progress perceived grasp

Mourners in the morning

The foresight it took to come into being is lost

Cant stand the heat

In the foresight it takes to recover the present

Waves good bye

All units as cosmopolitan cultural producers

Cycles High life rearranging

Of consumptive meaning consensus in identity crisis

Words play games

Unstable institutions in flux institutions reintegrate

For ages like aging whiners

State losing power global culture crushing state

The holy cost of living high and dry

Levels of sophistication a priori with

clean cut up town

The god laws of economic reality

Ease our troubled minds eye

Intellectual mastery over the real Hard to figure out Collective ownership

How big is the small? She overlooked her wordplay Dazed by confusion

Of metaphysical laws conceive models of Social order toward end of history… Repeats itself

“The best chance we've ever had at truly reforming or "changing" our current system to date was in late 2008, when the financial system was collapsing. However, it was an election year, and instinctively, both presidential candidates opted to prop up the current sytem rather than tear it down and build a new one. Both Barack Obama and John McCain voted for TARP and George W. Bush signed it. That was the pivotal moment that saved capitalism as we know it. Whatever disagreements all three men have, they've all decided that the evil that we know is better than the evil we don't...” - TOPGUN1776 (online comment in response to a

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recent LA Times ‘money blog’ post)


W e think... so you do n’t ha v e to!

Vol. 1 Issue 4

BY

his is a story about a guy named Phil [Whatup, Philly?; Philly Cheese!; Philonius Monk! Gimme six!] Phil has a stub of a sixth finger on his right hand, pinky side, and he’s right-handed, so naturally, he gives high sixes.

T

Phil’s been working at a local chain restaurant as a dishwasher for the past six months. During his night shifts (his only shifts) Phil drowns in the steam jetting out of the chemical-wash machine. He frets about his complexion for his pores are constantly on the up & open, and he abhors the mucky atmosphere to the point that he can no longer take hot showers or sit in a sauna or walk over gutters and grates in winter New York, which is odd considering he lives in Orlando, Florida. Phil’s story be-gins midway through a bout with a mysterious cold that rendered him miserably sniffolous and sneezoidal for two weeks. Despite the obvious inconvenience of staying conscious and functional at such a terrible time, Phil braved long, shitty nights at work, sneezing uncontrollably and wiping his ruby nose with the clean underside of his black apron, consequently snotting up the only shirt that he ever wore to the job. His work buddies, all pseudo-concerned—empathetically, apathetically—kept suggesting that he go home; munch on delicious medicine; rest his sorry soul. But Phil needed the money. His parents had recently cut him off financially, which meant that he was now responsible for his bills. “Philip,” his father had told him, “your mother and I have decided to cut you off financially, which means that you are now responsible for your bills.”

Y OSEF M AT IL S KY

“Oh, Father,” Phil had replied. “You Phil’s sense of independence was ridold jokester.” ing highballs of steely rods and bearings, but he knew fo-sho that he needBut Phil’s dad was not joking. Not this time. ed some help from a professional. He hopped on his Badass BMX he rode to Phil’s sudden illness had alarmed him, for work and speed-pedaled to his friend he was generally pretty good at keeping the Wiz’s house. health-checks on his body. He didn’t smoke, rarely drank, much, and didn’t ‘The Wiz’ was short for The Wizard de sleep with soiled skanks - only the most O-Townville. He was a stand-up hunter sterling, spotless ones. When he noticed of solutions to problems like Phil’s, his condition deteriorating, he slipped which basically entailed superior into a carbonated rage that culminated in Google skills. his punching himself in the stomach. “Stupid body,” he ranted in the dark of his After jumping off his bike mid-ride and watching it ghostroll into the lemon trees on the Wiz’s front yard, Phil approached the purple door and raised his index to his forehead, stamping a virtual communication button and chanting ‘Shrazool’ five times in falsetto. Emanating from one-bedroom apartment. “I feed you well, the entrance frame, the Wiz’s voice let bathe you, and I hook you up with clean itself be heard. skanks … and this is how you display your “I sensed your presence, Philonius. gratitude?! You bastard.” Please, enter, and take off one shoe. After calming down using potentially Right or left, the decision is yours.” incriminating methods of absolving pain, and anxiety—and motor skills— Phil real- Phil was used to these fantastical greetized what he must do. He roundhouse- ings. As he opened the door, he enterkicked his lamp Chuck Norris circa Delta tained the thought that the Wiz might Force style and vowed to the gods that he actually possess some forms of metawould not rest until he discovered the physical abilities. Irregardless, he thought. No, wait – regardless, he’s my source of his awful ailment. only chance. After toe-to-heeling his The most sensible notion that Phil could right shoe off, Phil took a nesting spot in come up with was to diligently retrace his the massive beanbag that covered an steps. The difficulty of the task did not entire corner of the ominous apartment. occur to him as overbearing, for he was Strange artifacts adorned the multicoldetermined to determine where he had ored walls. Turquoise masks of manacquired the rogue virus. He brainstormed beast hybrids, plastic pipe chimes, abstract DayGlo paintings with charred for a while. edges – indeed, the Wiz’s taste in art was “Ok, Phil,” he began. “Think of any sick eclectic. Yet the antiquated computer fuckers you’ve been around lately. This monitor shone bright like a beacon of virus must have come from another car- retrocontrast, somehow blending into rier.” Then he huffed out with in a the setting without disturbing the air of greased up mystery. smoggy tone, “Blaggers!”

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Subtly controlling your mind since 2009!

Vol. 1 Issue 4 The Wiz asked Phil about his symptoms and then spun towards the monitor on his wheeled chair to Google them. Since he had his back to his guest, his facial expression of paralyzed faith in the Greater Good of the gods remained hidden in the glow of the truth-telling monitor. “What foreign objects have you ingested or imbibed since your self diagnosis? Before you reply, know this: Honesty is a cunt-whore of a bitchface, but if you truly seek reprieve, embrace her saggy tits and vomit up some godblessed truth.” He said all this with his back still to Phil, but his tone negated the need for an intimate view of his face. Phil needed no deliberation on his response. “I toked a bit, swallowed a Lortab, and had half a shot of Jack, but for some reason, I feel wired like a tap. I can’t explain it. Blaggers.” The Wiz flipped into a furious-typing mode and finally spun back around with a frightful glance.

“He’ll be back,” the Wiz whispered. “For his shoe.”

Phil rode his Badass BMX aimlessly through back yards and across residential intersections where nobody ever paid attention to the legal precedence that Stop signs impose. Luckily, although he did not believe in luck, he was spared from hit & runs and even driver obscenity mega-yells of the bohemian type. He became meditatively ponderous, his mind flashing grindhouse images of gore and all-too-vicious fiction. He closed his eyes and tried to focus on the breeze on his face, which he nervously feared was randomly changing from color to Technicolor to transparent in continuous cycles synched up with the rotation of his bicycle’s wheels. With all this centripetal motion Phil neglected to watch where he was going, and he slammed into a curb, sending him soaring over his chrome handlebars. Time slowed down tremendously, he swore he sensed, as he zeroed his arms’ positions to mimic Jesus in his heaven grave.

“Philly, I don’t know how best to break this to you, which is cliché, I know, but I’ve been watching that show House a lot and I’m hooked.” This is it, he thought. It’s finally over. “What is it?”

The lemon trees Phil collided with felt oddly familiar to his noggin. He has defi“I think you’re dying.” nitely been here before. Time then sped back up to normal, and Phil opened his “You think? You fuckin’ think?!” eyes. He was on his back squinting up at “I can’t know for certain. Please, try to Jesus himself. remain calm. I’m only trying to help.” “Jesus? Is it really you?” Phil stared at his socked foot and then “Yes, my son,” quipped the Wiz. “It is I, in looked up at his friend. the mortal flesh. Grab my hand, Philonius “It’s called hummangulostalius rex. The Monk, and we’ll fly together.” ancient People of the Dice from Navarre discovered it back in the 30s. That’s, Phil perked his ears, for in the background 1130s.” distance he heard a faint punk rock rendition of a dreadfully familiar song. “You’ve got to be poopin’ me, Wiz.” ‘Here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson “Philonius, register this information Jesus loves you more than you will know securely. The disease is purely psychoWhoa, Whoa, Whoa somatic.” Whoa, Whoa, Whoa’ “What? So you’re saying I brought this upon myself? That’s bullpoop! “Who’s Mrs. Robinson, Jesus?” Bullpoop, I tellya!” “My wife,” said the Wiz. “My lovely, nubile, pneumatic wife.” With that, Phil climbed out of the beanbag nest, swung open the purple door, *[Roll credits, and get me and stomped out in a hackneyed-seema godblessed lollipop.]* ing ball of emotive instincts.

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2009! Subtly controlling your mind since 2009!

Vol. 1 Issue 4

When “normies” make love they use latex to stave off the horrors of childbirth and the tyrannical reign of two year olds. A geek uses LaTeX to make sweet, sweet love to documents. Geeks also use latex to prevent hideous cyborg offspring when “interfacing” with our beloved hardware, but that is well outside the scope of this article. So what is this LaTeX, and why should you care? Stop asking questions jackass this is my article.

LaTeX is a document formatting language, a type of markup language similar to HTML or XML. The difference is that whereas HTML is applied to web pages, and XML is applied to program output/input, LaTeX is applied to typesetting of printed documents such as essays, pamphlets, books, etc. Unlike WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors such as Micro$oft Office or Open Office, LaTeX is written in code and must be compiled by LaTeX software before the output can be viewed. These might seem like good reasons to never use LaTeX, but it offers some advantages that other editors simply can't match.

LaTeX's greatest inherent strength is it's ability to work with symbols, particularly mathematical symbols and formula layouts. While this is a Godsend for mathematicians, programmers, and engineers, many liberal arts majors will arguably find this not terribly exciting. You must, otherwise why are you still reading this? LaTeX also allows a much more expansive and logical grasp of how documents are arranged. No more having to muck around through a word processor's interface to crap out a table, drag text around an image, and try to figure out why the program isn't doing what you think makes sense. With LaTeX you have a more direct means of dealing with text arrangement freeing the author to focus on content over style, and the learning curve is as viciously mild as HTML.

Most Linux distributions already come with LaTeX fully installed. Windows and Mac users are advised to look into proTeXt and MacTeXt systems, respectfully, both of which are easy to install LaTeX environments. Mac users are once again reminded that to use LaTeX it will be necessary to use the keyboard, I know it may be scary but there is nothing to drag and drop here. I would like to thank the majority of Mac users for reading this far. (j/k - kind of...)

If you're really a geek, you are probably starving for code, so here we go. Commands are differentiated from text to be formated by being preceded by a backslash. Many commands describe what they will be modifying by encapsulating the text within brackets such as these: { } (sometimes the brackets are used to describe a facet of a command rather than directly modifying text). For example, the command for establishing bold text is written as follows: \textbf{This is the text I want to be bold!}. Additionally there are commands that can have optional parameters which are encapsulated in brackets such as these [ ], after the command name but before the angled brackets, for example: \command[optional arguments]{text and/or additional arguments}.

Like HTML documents, LaTeX documents are written in a text editor like notepad or emacs. LaTeX documents are saved with the .tex extension and then run through the LaTeX engine which produces a very portable .dvi file, which can be converted to pdf format or the even more portable PostScript file. Also like HTML documents, LaTeX files are divided into two logical segments, the document header and the body of the document.

In the header resides the metadata, or data which describes the document itself. This includes the authors name, the title, and the document class. The last of which plays the very important role of telling what type of document this will be such as an article, report, book, etc. The final important part of the header is the optional \usepackage{} command which links additional libraries to the LaTeX engine allowing an expanded repertoire of commands.

The document body introduces the concept of “environments”, which are essentially conditions which change how text is interpreted by the LaTeX compiler. For example, the document starts with the tag: \begin{document} and ends with the tag \end{document} Everything between these tags is considered under the “document” environment and operates according to its rules. Other important environments are \begin{verbatim} \end{verbatim}, between which all characters, such as our old boy backslash, are stripped of any special meaning and placed directly in the document. Another very relevant environment for geeks is the math environment \begin{displaymath} \end{displaymath}, or more conveniently by putting mathematical equations between 2 dollar signs like so $ x + 2 = \pi $.

14

If you want to use special characters such as the $ in your text, you can append the special character with a backslash negating its special meaning without having to enter verbatim (note that \\ does not negate the backslash's special property but forcibly ends a line, which is usually unnecessary as LaTeX handles ends lines normally). So how about an example, huh? \documentclass[12pt, a4paper]{article} \author{Thomas Adriaan Hellinger} \title{JESUS CHRIST MONKEY PANTS} \date{October 2009} % This percentage sign keeps everything from it to the end of line from showing up! \begin{document} % Why do it? So you can write notes in your work, like on the next line \maketitle % This prints the info in the header onto the title page. See how helpful that was?

\section{Why Jesus Has Monkey Pants} Why not. Look at my math ma' $ x \in \lbrace \emptyset \rbrace $ \\ \subsection{What Would This Look Like?} You figure it out, I have stuff to do. \end{document}

Welcome to the world of LaTeX, see how easy it is? While you can do plenty with this low level of LaTeX logic, if you are in a scientific or engineering discipline there is a very high probability that you will need to know a bit more, even if this satisfies the 90%+ of the material you will generally need. Of particular interest will be the codes for symbols and notations. Never fear friend! There is an excellent open source (therefore free, as in beer) LaTeX editor called Texmaker that can be downloaded for Linux, Windows, and Mac here: http://www.xm1math.net/texmaker/downloa d.html. It has all the notation you would ever need in easy access, has a simple mechanism for compiling documents, and is just generally awesome. There is also a heavy duty, everything you would ever need and/or want to know plus badgers guide to LaTeX approprately named the "The Not So Short Introduction to LaTeX" available in pdf here: http://tobi.oetiker.ch/lshort/lshort.pdf

So there you have it, a crashed course on the magic that is LaTeX. There is also a way to mix LaTeX with OpenOffice to make the most awesome word processor ever. I am simply going to mention it to whet your appitite and because I have said too much already. Maybe I'll write an article about it. Who knows, I don't. Enjoy!


Vol. 1 Issue 4

October 2009

This month you hold more people in contempt than can be considered healthy. The planets are aligned for you to feel angr y, resentful, and have an all-around bad attitude. I f you want to stop hating yourself you need to quit masturbating with your own tears. I t is time to let that special someone k now you feel. The heavens are on your side. But lesser astrologers won’t tell you that, first, you must finger your beloved’s ass, then, offer that they take a deep whiff of your finger. They ’re natural reac tion will be to freak out and decline. But they ’ll forever be lef t wonder what it would have felt like. Eventually they ’ll grow bored of their boring sex life and call you up. Uranus predic ts this. Yo u ' ve a l ways wa nte d to d e f l owe r yo u r 2 n d - co u s i n , b u t c a n' t g e t ove r t h e t a b o o. For tunately, Venus is in conjunc tion with whatever-the -fuck-you-want this month, which means you can totally hook-up with your mom if you want to! Dating your mom would make your 2nd- cousin your girlfriend’s niece, which is sooo awesome, it ’s win- cest! For a sign named af ter a deadly disease, you have a great sense of humor. I hope you you’ll be able to appreciate the irony, then, that comets and asteroids are conspiring to give you cancer. Carcinoma is my best guess. Looks like the joke is on you this time! Our interstellar obser vers (which only I can hear) guarantee worldwide genocide and famine this month (in retaliation for my unpaid park iong tickets - sorr y!) Prophetic visions of wanton destruc tion shall torment you: baby seals being clubbed to death; sandy white beaches awash in black bubbling crude; the ver y last tree in the Amazon being clear- cut; a 1971 sunflower yellow Pontiac Trans Am being drawn by ten candystriped unicorns along a solid- gold rainbow highway as jelly beans and k isses fume from the tailpipe. You are the pinnacle of human kindness and therefore think everyone likes you. You always give more then you take, and listen patiently to peoples’ petty problems like a saint, even taking on their burdens for free. But you should wipe that shit-eating grin off your face because they all consider you a sucker. Even the angels in heaven talk behind your back. So go ahead and grab your M-4 assault rifle named “Pee Wee” and unleash a righteous barrage of hollow-tipped redemption into your vampiric coworkers, next-of-kin, puppies, kittens, and that bastard neighbor who borrowed your left-handed pruning shears and never returned them. You’re bound to make a fortune once IKEA launches your line of "rain drop grey" modular office furniture. Each one is unique!

The winds of change are blowing. Are you going to boldly grab destiny by the reins and ride the pale horse of your own dark genius proudly into the glorious unwritten future? Hell no! President Obama is bound to extend unemployment benefits again so you don’t have to sell your Rolls-Royce, because as we all know, that multimillion dollar bonus you rewarded yourself with after the bank you’re the CEO of got bailed-out by taxpaters ain’t going to cut it in this economy! Is it douchebag? Unless you drop your Disney Channel chatroom addiction (and I know you know what I'm talking about Guido!) the entire planet will be pulling for you to receive a visit from Chris Hansen. It’ll start like this: Hey I'm Chris Hansen with Dateline NBC, and we are doing a story on internet pedop....... Then a camera crew will barge in your door and you’ll try to run. In court you’ll claim innocence and blame it all on your middle-school gym coach. Any innocence you have left will be lost in prison.

There is something ex tremely impor tant only you can accomplish. Unfor tunately, you have no clue what it ,ight be, let alone what makes it so damn impor tant. Truth be told, only I can reveal the nature of this myster y to you; meaning, your life will have no purpose until you contac t me at (352) 514-0110. I am a SWM with an average build and decent bone struc ture. If you are happily married, you will get divorced. If you are happily single, you will get married. The reason for this is that Mars is a fickle, vengeful, planet with three testicles, and hath ordained that preemptive rage is not only the cause, but indeed, the solution to all your problems. You must get even at the people you love by having sex with your friends’ significant others, videotaping it, then posting the recording on YouPorn.com. Hurry up and do it before they unleash the pent-up hatred which they don’t even realize they have for you yet! Be inventive. That pop-up penis book you keep talking about really is bound to be the next musthave fad - just like the iPhone! Chase your dreams, even when doing so entails chasing that cute member of the opposite sex you always get caught staring at but are too shy to say “hi” to around a parking garage while waving a giant flaming paper mache heart soaked in kerosene while screaming, "I want you to be inside of me forever!", over and over. Our intergalactic overlords demand it. Go to Walmart. Proceed to isle 7. Find Thelma. Offer to buy her a pack of Winston Ultras. It is the highlight of her day when somebody leaves a bottle of shampoo and a can of creamed corned at the register. She can take these home because they ’ve already been paid for. This will be please her and she will reveal the rest of your horrorscope. She is the oracle. This is your mission. Anger the gods and goddesses of discount pricing at your own peril.



Weakly Telepath #4 - Oct/Nov 2009