Monkey Wrench Iraq

Setting aside the undisputable fact that President Bush and his supporters are the leading experts on Iraq’s military positioning and nucular programmes, this article suggests that perhaps the inspections are maybe possibly worthwhile enough to continue considering an increase in compliance from Iraq. It also makes the controversial point that Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction aren’t really a threat to us. Alright, that’s most likely true, but they fund terrorists and harbor them.

Also interesting is the recently awarded contract for the gentrification of Iraq to Cheney’s old company’s subsidiary Kellog Brown and root.

The shiftyness of this is pretty astounding. The American oil barons have so much to gain from this. The single-minded push towards war is indicative of hidden motivations, particularly in light of world opposition, Iraqi (attempts towards) compliance, and domestic opposition. Coupled with the immense number of links between the power elite and the powerful elite, it really is necessary to take a step back.

War is not the only solution here. How can Bush in clear conscience send tens of thousands of Americans, British, and Iraqis to war when with the wave of his hand and a market-researched quip he turned down a debate with his father’s mortal enemy? I know it can never happen, but it is wrong that he will not spend an hour debating the subject with Saddam. Then again, he wouldn’t face Nader either.

Oregon Courts SOL

Here’s a must-read from Jack Bog. Details of the sorry situation of Oregon Courts from a fine blogger. I knew there were problems, but wasn’t really aware of the extent of the problem. Think I’ll be parking in the driveway from here on out…one vehicle breakin (this car) is plenty for me.

Education has been much more my issue (it’s all bottled up inside!) to this point, but this is freaky stuff. This whole state is falling apart. Crime rates are skyrocketing, schools are shutting down, teachers are signing contracts, reactionary right-wingers are seizing power and making bizarre demands. I love Portland, and want to make a difference…but it’s one helluva stone to chip away at.

Planck Scale

A fascinating article recounts strategies to examine space and time at what is believed to be its most fundamental level, the Planck scale. It is at this level that we believe the universe is granular, ‘we’ being those who interpret quantum physics in that manner. Not all physicists believe that the Planck scale means precisely that, but nearly all do believe that these measures in space and time do have a special and eerie significance.

The article lightly details serveral methods of observing space and time at the Planck scale, which is pretty nifty. These methods center around using interferometers of various scale and construction. An interferometer is a device that makes interference clear between two sets of waves. Basically, you take two separate streams, put them on the same track and look at their interference pattern.

What are the implications of these experiments, should they yield results? That is a heavy question, and I doubt that a roomful of scientists would have many in agreement. However, the unification of quantum theory with general relativiy will be high on the list…whether the results give some hards clues one way or another or tell us to get back to the whiteboard. Perhaps we may get some direction towards nanotechnology, or smaller, faster computers, or nastier bombs.

For now, I just consider it something cool to think about.

Saxer Bock

It has been awhile since a Saxer beer crossed my path. Opened, at least. On this occasion, I am sampling their Bock, a tasty golden treat. This beer, weighing in at 6.2% alcohol (volume) goes down far smoother than I would have expected. A light sweetness is the strongest sensation, but coupled nicely with a faint bitter flavor. The combination comes through with a very old-European flair, more so than other American beers. The aftertaste strikes me as similar to Pilsner Urquel, though the lead in make that something of a surprise.

This is a delicious fireside beer. Read a book by the glow, and throw back a few Saxer Bocks. Sounds like a nice evening. This one will go nicely at the pub as well, tossing darts with the boys, and I’m sure that it wouldn’t shy away from a few peanuts.
This lager is very lightly carbonated. The flavor is deep enough that this beer really does not need the carbonation.

Saxer is located a bit outside of Portland in Lake Oswego. Portland is something of a beer lover’s mecca, with a number of fabulous breweries inside the city limits, or not far outside. Saxer takes its name from one Henry Saxer, who opened the Pacific Northwest’s first commercial brewery here in Porland and later sold it to Henry Weinhard who happily passed on long before his brewery passed over to Stroh, Miller, and other assorted giants. They also moved the brewery sans building to Olympia, Wa. because we need a New York-owned fancy-pants grocery-store (hyphen added to complete trifecta!) at the gateway to the Pearl.

Saxer was established in the 1990’s. They specialize in lagers, which contrasts with a brewery that specializes in ales. Basically a lager takes longer to make, has to be kept cooler while fermenting, and the yeast lives at the bottom rather than the top while it turns wort into a fabulous malty beverage.

Overall, this is a tasty pint. While not the one I’ll reach for first, it will go onto my on-sale watchlist. cheers.