Thursday, April 29, 2010


I'm Ready For My Closeup, Mr. DeLay

So I'm under the gun to get things done in real life - minor things like making ocarinas out of moose turds pushed up the mountain to buy a new digital thrill that always recedes into the distant future - but this cute little blurb pops out at me and indeed while the Gulf of Mexico burns, why not a little more cheap heat...?

N.Y. Times

Laura Bush also suggests, apparently for the first time, that she, Mr. Bush, and several members of their staff may have been poisoned during a visit to Germany for a G8 Summit.
They all became mysteriously sick, and the president was bedridden for part of the trip. The Secret Service investigated the possibility they were poisoned, she writes, but doctors could only conclude that they all contracted a virus.
After noting several high-profile poisonings, she wrote, “we never learned if any other delegations became ill, or if ours, mysteriously, was the only one.”

And of course it's all bullshit, a bunch of decadently seasoned word salad to tempt eager copy editors into assigning some faux credence to a pre-release tale designed to boost projected meager book sales - as if an Executive branch more paranoid than Nixon at his most diet-pill phlebitten would have allowed any foreign chef-cum-evildoer within a country kilometer of the Great Leader's ketchup-smothered T-bone n' fries.

Why, the Secret Service even bagged Junior's body wastes rather than let one drop of 'golden sunshine' hit the dirt overseas - imagine who the lucky agent who drew that task felt about their career track.
Now tell me again how this blow against the empire was supposed to occur under such circumstances - exactly.

Far more likely that President Drunk Fuck was a little under the sort of weather as might be found in a frosted glass, but a lil' ol' hairy dog had him right as rain and putting the smooth moves on foreign chancellors in no time.

Just like blaming other people's cars and road signs designed with universal standards for one's own utter carelessness in handling a motor vehicle that leads to a death, the conservictim mentality never seeks the answers for its own shame and failures from within - always from without, always the 'other', always someone else to blame.
This state quickly inverts when they are in power of course - enemies to be exterminated as opposed to villains engaged in nefarious bedevilment.

Don't simper to me about 'losing your faith', Laura Bush - "God didn't protect me from myself, I've been forsaken" and all that sort of claptrap - you fucked up and killed somebody.
Whether that was your ex-boyfriend and you were under the influence or not makes no difference to the outcome. Dead is dead, and guilt is guilt.

Rest assured, your physical comfort levels won't change a bit. Marrying into 4 generations of traitors worked out very well for you, hmmm?


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I read the news today, oh boy

What's a Pentecost? If you have to ask you can't afford it:
'Noah's Ark' found atop Mount Ararat in Turkey, evangelical group claims
Oh, so now carbon dating is acceptable science!?
What's an 'illegal immigrant' cost? FactCheck does the math:
Cost of Illegal Immigrants
Do you know anything about Iran?
Can You Pass The Iran Quiz
Laura Bush blames car and ’small’ stop sign for alleged ex-boyfriend’s death
I bet Tell Laura I Love Her were the last words on his lips ... not!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Somebody's Watching Me

I try to catch the things that tend to slip under the radar, mostly because the major news stories and their fallacies are already covered better by other bloggers. But this is a minor local news story that I've been monitoring for a bit, and I think it may have larger significance and consequences across the nation.

Fri, Feb. 19, 2010
Student claims school spied on him via computer webcam

Sat, Feb. 20, 2010
Subpoena issued in Lower Merion webcam case

Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed the Lower Merion School District for documents related to the controversial use of remote-control cameras on students' school-issued computers, The Inquirer has learned.

Tue, Apr. 6, 2010
Subpoena stands in L. Merion Web-cam case

A federal judge said Monday that he would not throw out a subpoena for a Lower Merion School District technology coordinator in a laptop Web-cam lawsuit.

U.S. District Judge Jan E. DuBois said Carol Cafiero might have information useful to the case because she was able to activate the cameras on the student-issued computers. Cafiero is trying to block efforts to get her to testify in the case.

Sat, Apr. 10, 2010
Key figure in 'Webcamgate' invokes Fifth

Carol Cafiero, who had previously sought to quash a subpoena ordering her to testify, refused to answer questions pertaining to the district's controversial practice of remotely activating webcams on Apple MacBooks issued to high-school students.

Fri, Apr. 16, 2010
Family: Pa. school snared 1,000s of webcam images

A suburban Philadelphia school district snapped secret webcam pictures of a high school student when he was partially undressed or sleeping in his bed, and captured instant messages he exchanged with friends, the student charged in court papers this week.

Sat, Apr. 17, 2010
L. Merion to let parents see secretly snapped photos

The president of the Lower Merion school board said Friday that investigators had retrieved "a substantial number" of photos secretly snapped by laptops the district gave its high school students, and that officials were arranging for parents whose children were photographed to see the pictures in private.

Mon, Apr. 19, 2010
Lower Merion report: Web cams snapped 56,000 images

Lower Merion School District employees activated the web cameras and tracking software on laptops they gave to high school students about 80 times in the past two school years, snapping nearly 56,000 images that included photos of students, pictures inside their homes and copies of the programs or files running on their screens, district investigators have concluded.

Tue, Apr. 20, 2010
Lower Merion details scope of Web-cam surveillance

Lower Merion School District employees activated the Web cameras and Internet address tracking software on laptops they gave to high school students about 146 times during the last two school years, snapping nearly 56,000 images, district investigators have concluded.

In 48 of those activations, images were recovered; 68 showed only the computer's Internet address. The rest showed nothing or could not be recovered.
Ahh, yes, the old 'we can't recover the files' trick.

And since even their own investigation had to walk back the number of times and images that were accessed, one would think in the midst of a Federal investigation that they would give it up.

But no, not these stalwart protectors of the children school district. They doubled down:
Wed, Apr. 21, 2010
Filing states student broke rules and had no expectation of privacy

Even in his own home, the Harriton High School sophomore had "no legitimate expectation of privacy" from the camera on his school-issued laptop, information systems coordinator Carol Cafiero contended in a court filing on Tuesday.
And the latest news is:
Administrator agrees to surrender [home] computer in Web cam case
56,000 photos of kids!? I bet some members of the Catholic Church wish they'd thought of this sooner.

Monday, April 19, 2010

There'll be dancing in the streets

Former LAPD Chief Daryl Gates died last week.

Not to speak ill of the dead, but after living thru part of his corrupt, violent, regime of systematic abuse of police powers and Constitutional violations for which the citizens of LA paid financially over and over, where I was personally subjected to abuse from his thugs, and seeing his theories being institutionalized in abusive police practices across the country, all I really have to say is a paraphrase of another Hollywood icon:You should never say bad things about the dead, you should only say good . . . Daryl Gates is dead. Good.

I'm sure there will be many people who mourn his passing, maybe even his son.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

the dreams that you dare to dream Really do come true

A perfect piece of music, performed perfectly:

We've featured this wonderful guitarist here before, here's a bit more about her:

Born in Tokyo, Japan, Kaori Muraji received her first lessons on the guitar from her father Noboru Muraji at the age of three. From ten, she continued her studies with the renowned guitarist Shinichi Fukuda. From quite early on, her presence was dominant in competitions, winning the 1989 Junior Guitar Competition, and the 1991 the Student Guitar Competition for all categories. In 1992, she was the winner of both the Leo Brower International Guitar Competition (Tokyo) and the Tokyo International Guitar Competition.

In 1993, Ms. Muraji gave her debut recital at Tsuda Hall in Tokyo, which was soon followed by the release of her debut CD “Espressivo”. Her orchestra debut came in 1994 with the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, and in 1995 was selected as soloist to tour with the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI on its Japan tour. In May of that year, the same orchestra invited Ms. Muraji to join them in one of their subscription concerts in Turin. This concert, which was broadcasted on TV throughout Europe, marked Ms. Muraji’s European debut.


There's a new world somewhere

Just a quick drive-by post. thanks to the usual gang for keeping things up here while I've been , um,under the weather.

Lot of folks think MTV Unplugged is Teh Awesum™, because after all, how could folks just go onstage with guitars and sing? Well, watch this and be humbled. 4 singers, 1 acoustic bass, 2 acoustic guitars, 3 microphones, and musicians who've done this a time or two:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Say it again, say it again

Think about the great promise of America and the great legacy we have inherited. Our wealth as a nation and our energy as a people can deliver, in the words of my predecessor Samuel Gompers, “more schoolhouses and less jails; more books and less arsenals; more learning and less vice; more leisure and less greed; more justice and less revenge; in fact, more of the opportunities to cultivate our better natures.”
What he said. Please read the whole speech.

The best economic times for America was when the middle class and the unions were strong and the rich had the highest taxes. We all made money, we had money to buy things, and the rich got moderately richer, but all boats floated higher.

Speaking of taxes, did you notice your Federal taxes went down this year? Well I did. But then I'm middle class, do my own taxes, and I've had my wages frozen for a couple of years. Math is easy, changing minds is hard.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Would I Lie To You?

WikiLeaks has been saying for a few weeks that they have video and testimony of US soldiers deliberately killing Iraqi civilians.

They said they were announcing it in advance because the US Government was targeting them if they exposed it.

Well guess what. They were right. They have produced video, they have produced witnesses, and it's true that the US targeted WikiLeaks specifically to stop their Freedom Of Speech.

Reuters has been trying to get this info thru FOIA requests for years. Our thanks should go out to the brave souls who provided a copy to WikiLeaks, and the brave souls at WikiLeaks.

There is a reason that the military offers video games as a recruitment tool, and there is a reason that the military keeps lowering their standards for recruits to the point of giving waivers to criminals. It's a feature, not a bug, that the WOs involved thought this was a video game. This isn't an aberration, it's how they were recruited and trained.

So the next time you see the military's lies being reported as fact, think of the source.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Malcolm McLaren

Malcolm McLaren, a flamboyant impresario best known as the former manager of The Sex Pistols, passed away at age 64 after a struggle with cancer.

Born in London and raised by his maternal grandmother, in his youth McLaren had already picked up a reputation for being subversive and manipulative. Drifting through several art colleges in the late 60's, he became interested in the tactics of the Situationists, the French-based avant-garde anticapitalists who staged elaborate pranks as a means of spreading their message. McLaren left school for good in 1971 and with his girlfriend Vivienne Westwood opened his first London boutique, Let It Rock. In 1975 he traveled to New York where he met up with glam-rockers The New York Dolls and convinced them to let him manage them. McLaren's promotional ideas, including using a hammer-and-sickle style design motif for their stage show, did not go over well, and the Dolls broke up later that year.

Returning to London, he and Westwood renamed their shop Sex, and began selling punk and S&M gear. The shop became a hangout for bored, frustrated London youths; aggression was in the air. Among this crowd were a number of musicians who felt that the London music scene was becoming much too tame. One day a young man sporting green hair and the words "I HATE" scrawled across the top of his torn Pink Floyd T-shirt strolled in. McLaren dubbed him "Johnny Rotten", and soon he was rehearsing with some other musicians who hung out at Sex, forming a group that soon was known as The Sex Pistols.

Due to the way that their brief career played out, and in large part because of the flamboyant promotion of McLaren and the outrageous behavior he encouraged in the band members, some people today regard The Sex Pistols as a joke. In their early days, though, they made music to be reckoned with. John "Johnny Rotten" Lydon's corrosive vocals expressed the anger and frustration of London youth, supported by Steve Jones' slashing guitar lines and Paul Cook's powerful drumming. Original bassist Glen Matlock was also a competent songwriter. Their debut LP, Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols, remains the greatest punk rock album ever recorded. "God Save The Queen" scandalized the entire United Kingdom, while "Anarchy in the UK" is simply one of the two or three best hard rock songs of all time.

Trouble started with the dismissal of bassist Matlock, allegedly for being too respectable in his music tastes, but perhaps also because he wasn't as easily swayed by McLaren as the other group members. His replacement, Sid Vicious, was the embodiment of punk style but absolutely clueless as a musician. Vicious also brought with him a nasty heroin habit that only intensified during his Pistols tenure. As the quality of the band's performances deteriorated, the focus shifted increasingly to McLaren's stunts, which is perhaps how he wanted it all along. The Sex Pistols broke up at the end of a chaotic American tour, with Lydon snarling at the crowd, "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?" at the conclusion of the group's final gig in San Francisco. Lydon, Cook and Jones went their separate ways, while commencing a series of lawsuits against their former manager. Sid Vicious went on to die of a heroin overdose.

Malcolm McLaren simply kept on hustling. He briefly managed Adam Ant, as well as taking some of Ant's backing musicians and teaming them up with teen singer Annabella Lwin to form Bow Wow Wow. He put together another Sex Pistols album, The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle from odds and ends, serving as the soundtrack to a movie that told the Pistols' story in farcical fashion from McLaren's point of view. He also established a successful music career in his own right, scoring UK hits with "Buffalo Gals" and "Double Dutch". In 1985 he offered to manage the then-unknown Red Hot Chili Peppers, but they turned him down, as he wished to move their music away from its funky roots toward a punk direction.

McLaren continued to diversify during the 90's, composing music for British television and for commercials. He also continued to release solo recordings, and in 1998 attempted to launch a female Chinese pop group, Jungk. He briefly considered running for mayor of London, wrote a number of magazine articles and appeared on British reality TV.

Arguably, McLaren's only real talent was for self-promotion. Yet, smooth talkers with big ideas have always been at the heart of popular culture, and the music world will always find a place for the outrageous likes of those like Malcolm McLaren.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby!?

Group arrested not Christian or militia, insider says

Members of a militia charged with plotting to kill police were not Christian or a militia, a man acquainted with the group said Tuesday.

"This is a group that I would classify as neither a militia or a Christian group," said Michael Lackomar, a member of the Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia. "They're really a fringe group outside of anything we do.
Riiiight. Just because they are christains and a militia, that your group has walked hand in hand with, doesn't mean that they are christains or militia.

Of course we'll just take the word of a christain militia member for that. Oddly enough, the Michigan Militias just happened to change their homepages on the exact day that the raids occurred.

The militias are falling all over themselves to distance themselves from the group that just got arrested for sedition and conspiracy and having, you know, like, actual bomb making materials, classes in IEDs and plans to kill cops.

So tell us the truth repubes, teabaggers and militiamen, when you see these disciples, aren't you thinking

Saturday, April 03, 2010

When I grow up to be a man

CNN's latest-hire Erick Erickson has said some stupid things for ever lately, but John Cole offers an explanation:
A lot of chatter about this latest outburst from CNN’s newest hire:
ERICKSON: This is crazy. What gives the Commerce Department the right to ask me how often I flush my toilet? Or about going to work? I’m not filling out this form. I dare them to try and come throw me in jail. I dare them to. Pull out my wife’s shotgun and see how that little ACS twerp likes being scared at the door. They’re not going on my property. They can’t do that. They don’t have the legal right, and yet they’re trying.
Anyone who is surprised by this needs their head examined. Seriously. I know Erick, chatted with him for years while I wrote at Red State, and he knows that 90% of what he spews is utter nonsense. James Joyner got at this (kind of) the other day. You can say a lot of things about Erick, but he isn’t this stupid, he knows what he is doing. You at home can do your own math on the stupid to evil ratio.

Regardless, I’m sure there are people who are surprised that Erick would continue to say explosive things after his hire, including probably some of the clowns at CNN, but they shouldn’t. At this point, he has every single incentive to keep saying explosive and incendiary things. CNN hired him in spite of everything he had already said, so that was a de facto green light to continue in that vein. It will drive the ratings, and is clearly what he wants.
In re: the linked post from James Joyner, the (kind of) from Cole is because Joyner's an right-wing hack and apologist who still gives Erickson cover while basically saying the same thing Cole did: that Erickson isn't stupid enough to actually believe what he says.

But an interesting tid-bit slipped through the cracks. In the discussion between Howie Kurtz & Erickson, in which Kurtz got as rough as Barney Fife questioning Aunt Bee, there was this exchange:
KURTZ: Yes. And She never said that, and she assures me that she never said that.

The first lady, you wrote the following — the headline was, “Is Obama shagging hookers behind the media’s back?” And you write, “I assume not. I assume that Obama’s Marxist harpy wife would go Lorena Bobbit on him should he even think about it.”

Why would you describe Michelle Obama in those terms?

ERICKSON: Well, you know, back during the campaign trail in 2008, a lifetime ago, frankly, in blogging, I was very passionate, very aggressive in defending my side. And at the time that I wrote that, the Eliot Spitzer story was breaking, and the point was — distracted by the language, obviously — that Barack Obama was as much a creature of the media as Eliot Spitzer was. Neither have been investigated. And, you know, since that time, I’ve really learned, headed into, frankly, the David Souter comment, that I don’t have to get personal in blogging to make my point. I’ve definitely evolved over time.

He's evolved?

evolve (ē välv, -vôlv; i-)

transitive verb evolved evolved′, evolving evolv′·ing

  1. to develop by gradual changes; unfold
  2. to set free or give off (gas, heat, etc.)
  3. to produce or change by evolution

Etymology: L evolvere, to roll out or forth < e-, out + volvere, to roll: see walk

intransitive verb

  1. to develop gradually by a process of growth and change
  2. ☆ to become disclosed; unfold
For a guy who doesn't believe in evolution, except for himself, that's rich. And the context is rich. Unpacking the statement:
I used to be a juvenile foul-mouthed prick who would say outrageous stuff to get attention with no regard to the truthfulness of said statements.

But now I've . . . grown? Or grown up? or evolved?

So he's now better than before because he evolved from a fire-breathing wingnut blogger into a better-spoken Republican spokeperson?

Either way, his evolution doesn't speak well of his previous condition, which required evolution. Which he still doesn't believe in. Or something.


Thursday, April 01, 2010

Every time I look at you I don't understand, Why you let the things you did get so out of hand.

Jesus wept:
The Hutaree [hoo-TAR-ee]—which means “Christian warrior” in the group’s secret language—were preparing “for the end time battles to keep the testimony of Jesus Christ alive.” They believed that “one day, as prophecy says, there will be an Antichrist. All Christians must know this and prepare, just as Christ commanded.” And they obliged by forming a citizens’ militia underground cell and arming themselves. Their plans, according federal officials, began in August 2008.

Read the whole article. It takes a good look at "end times" lunacy and those who perpetuate the paranoia & mythology surrounding it.

1st commandment: Love God. 2nd: Love they neighbor. 3rd: Get guns and kill police. Because nothing says Christian love like guns/bullets.