Sept 11

With just 3 hours to spare, I noticed that today was Sept 11. I really hate these anniversaries, as I don't like to listen to Americans moan on and on about it. I can't stand these tributes. Just like NASA - Need Another Seven Astronauts. What would be worth watching is if on Sept 11 every year the Americans announced which dictators were going to get rolled in the following year. Or perhaps they could organize for all NATO aircraft to take to the skies on Sept 11, and then launch an invasion of some dictator, and you don't actually know who it's going to be until the bombs start dropping.

Anyway, we've reached the point of equidistance. After Sept 11, 2001 I was determined to make sure that the scum that did that were permanently removed from the face of the earth. It was just a matter of identifying who they were. Who were these people that wanted to harm America instead of protect it? It took 2 wars and 3 years before I finally identified the enemies in message 666 on Sept 11, 2004. Not Muslims so much as religious bigots, of which a majority of Muslims were just a subset. And now it has been 3 years since message 666. It has certainly been a radical change for me. Going from computer programmer to English teacher in that time.

I have basically concluded my programming contribution to humanity. A couple of weeks ago I released new versions of PDPCLIB, PDOS and GCCMVS. The only thing that remains there is some tidy-up, releasing associated versions of Bison etc for MVS. Then I'm going to get a laptop and start using Windows Vista instead of Windows 98.

At work they are still using cassettes. And they don't even have enough CD players. So I went and bought an MP3 boombox for $100 (US$80) and have converted the CDs to MP3s. It's really neat. Now I'm trying to get hold of a cassette deck with "line out" so that I can convert the stuff that is on cassette. It seems that machines with "line out" are very rare these days. Even my portable stereo from 25 years ago had one! My boombox has 512 MB of memory and can take an SD card as well (of which I have a 128 MB spare card). The internal battery lasts 5 hours supposedly. I'm definitely happy with it.

The students come up with some of the most amazing stuff. E.g. after I explained the different security forces protecting my human rights as an Australian, one asked me who was protecting the Iraqi people's human rights from the Americans. And a South Korean told me that the reason South Korea sent forces to Vietnam was because if they didn't, America would put trade sanctions on them and destroy them. The first guy I pointed out that Saddam was chopping out people's tongues, whereas now they have laws to protect human rights, and the Americans are helping to enforce those Iraqi laws. For the second guy, I asked him if he'd met even 1 single American who supported putting trade sanctions on South Korea if they failed to turn up to Vietnam etc. Nevermind 1%. I'll start with one single American. Because I'd like to meet this dastardly American that everyone talks about. Just once.

I'm trying to get people into chat rooms so that they can actually talk to some random Americans. Really, English and ordinary Americans are the tip of the spear in this ideological war. The good will prevail. We have the truth on our side. Nothing needs to be rigged from our side. We win in an environment of free inquiry. All we need to do is get a global conversation going. I am starting to get access to various nationalities that I previously had no way of contacting, and that's really great. The mix of students changes radically though. Originally I had no Koreans, and now I've got over 50% Koreans. In the space of a couple of months. A pity I don't have any Taiwanese. I had a Vietnamese in a different class for one day, but only a teenager, and didn't speak personally with her. I need a lot more time in order to pop the million dollar question - "what percentage of your countrymen want to be bombed?". A teacher from Iran reckons over 50% of Iranians want to be bombed, which corresponds to a recent poll. But I have no confidence until any figure at the moment. I'll wait until post-liberation to find out this extremely important figure.

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