Friday, September 29, 2006


, originally uploaded by mike1727.

This is why I love them. The way they keep their head down and draaaape those relatively massive arms forward and above you. What a profile.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


scorpion, originally uploaded by BaZz..

This guy's lookin really nice....


Cuz everyone's doing it - a personal favorite of my own childhood:

We Had The Look Back This, We've Had The Look Back That

It gets more and more surreal every time he speaks:
Q Thank you, Mr. President. Former President Clinton says that your administration had no meetings on bin Laden for nine months after he left office. Is that factually accurate, and how do you respond to his charges?

PRESIDENT BUSH: You know, look, Caren, I've watched all this finger-pointing and naming of names, and all that stuff. Our objective is to secure the country. And we've had investigations, we had the 9/11 Commission, we had the look back this, we've had the look back that. The American people need to know that we spend all our time doing everything that we can to protect them. So I'm not going to comment on other comments.
And look at the army of straw men he's knocking down! It's like Robotron!
And that goes back to Jennifer's question, you know. Does being on the offense mean we create terrorists? My judgment is the only way to defend the country is to stay on the offense. It is preposterous to think if we were to withdraw and hope for the best, things would turn out fine against this enemy. That was my point about, before we were in Iraq there were thousands being trained in Afghanistan to strike America and other places. The only way to protect this country is to stay on the offense, is to deal with threats before they fully materialize and, in the long-term, help democracy succeed, like Afghanistan and Iraq, and Lebanon and a Palestinian state.

But there's a difference of opinion. It will come clear during this campaign, where people will say, get out, leave before the job is done. And those are good, decent, patriotic people who believe that way -- I just happen to believe they're absolutely wrong. So I'm going to continue to work to protect this country. And we'll let history judge -- all the different finger-pointing and all that business. I don't have enough time to finger-point. I've got to stay -- I've got to do my job, which comes home every day in the Oval Office, and that is to protect the American people from further attack.

Now, there are some who say, well, maybe it's not going to happen. Well, they don't see what I see. All I ask is that they look at that terror plot that, along with the Brits, we helped -- helped stop -- people who were going to get on an airplane and blow up innocent lives in order to achieve political objectives. They're out there, they're mean, and they need to be brought to justice.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Interview with FairUse4WM Creator

Fairly fascinating interview from Engadget with "Viodentia," the human that cracked the Windows PlaysForSure DRM:
Without revealing the secret sauce, what were the fundamental flaws with PlaysForSure that allowed you to break it? Did Microsoft know about these flaws?

Once code is released, there's really nothing secret anymore -- Microsoft didn't follow standard security practices, and left sensitive data unencrypted on the stack while calling routines out of kernel32.dll. Even when they fix this by changing malloc() to alloca(), it'll still be a big task to audit other sensitive routines for DLL calls. On a theoretical level, they have to send the decryption keys outside of their control, and their only defense is through obfuscation.
I find the programming side of DRM a bit conceptually confusing - it's hard for me to quite picture what you could do to a file that could make it playable and then not playable - so this is a fun little window into some very specific aspects of the issue.

I also love when asked why he did it - is he a subcriber to Napster or Rhapsody (subscription services that rely on this protection to ensure the fence around the files)?
No, due to geographic location, I'm unable to subscribe to those services. Only my selfish rationale is the challenge in pitting my skills against the industry leader.


BoingBoing writer Mark Frauenfelder on Homeland Security "allowing" us to once again bring liquids that we purchase in the airport onto the plane:
The department also announced that the chocolate ration has been increased to 20 grams a week.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

In 8 Billion Years The Sun Will Blow Up... why worry about this month or THAT century.

Carpetbagger Report notes the Bush view of history, where his failed Iraq War is "just a comma."

That quote should be picked up and repeated everywhere.

Update: Crooks and Liars has the video and more commentary.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


What the Goddamn hell is this shit doing in the NY Times?
In some ways, squash offers a window into Mr. Rumsfeld’s complicated psyche, revealing much about his stubborn competitiveness and seemingly limitless stamina. Pentagon officials and employees say Mr. Rumsfeld’s play closely resembles the way he has run the Defense Department, where he has spent six years trying to break the accepted modes of operating.

He hits the ball well, but he doesn’t play by the rules,” says Chris Zimmerman, a devoted squash player who works in the Pentagon’s office of program analysis and evaluation and is sometimes in the Pentagon athletic complex when Mr. Rumsfeld is on the court.
And a bit below:
Many politicians have relaxed by competing, and Mr. Rumsfeld is not the first to have earned a reputation for zeal. As governor of New York, Mario M. Cuomo was known for his sharp elbows and tongue on the basketball court; as president, Bill Clinton exasperated his golf partners by taking mulligans, or do-overs, after bad shots.
"Do-over"....where have I heard that recently? Oh, right, President Bush being interviewed by Wolf:
BLITZER: And you don't look back with any regrets?

BUSH: I regret when people lose lives. But -- you know, and presidents don't get to do do-overs.
No they don't - can you imagine what a poor reflection it would be on a President's character if he ever demanded - or stole - one such "do-over??"

What Is Democracy?

William Jefferson Clinton, having agreed to be interviewed on FOX News in connection with his Clinton Global Initative to raise money for poverty, climate change, global health, and other issues, was in fact immediately poked by Chris Wallace with this increasingly common GOP "Chewbacca Defense":
Why didn’t you do more to put bin laden and al queda out of business when you were President?
Clinton responded eloquently and forefully, in many ways. Here's just one excellent quote, when asked whether President Bush "has that right" that "the fight against Islamic extremism is the central conflict of the century and his answer is promoting democracy and reform."
To advocate democracy and reform in the muslim world? Absolutely. I think the question is what’s the best way to do it. I think also the question is how do you educate people about democracy. Democracy is about way more than majority rule. Democracy is about minority rights, individual rights, restraints on power.
I believe it airs Sunday (9/24) morning.

Friday, September 22, 2006

That Means YOU, Wayne Coyne

Ken Levine:
Oh, and while I’m ranting, to showrunners, producers, and directors everywhere – NEVER play “Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong EVER AGAIN. Thank you.
Ken's a former writer with Cheers and Frasier (and many others), who keeps up an excellent and hilarious blog on current and past TV industry issues, plus everythingelseintheworld.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Down the Drain

Windows Mutha-fucking Media Player 11 has a load of fun new DRM features to ensure the slow calcification of our fluid media life, including the ability to copy-protect the files that you rip yourself off of your own CDs. The Inquirer writes:
But it gets worse. If you rip your own CDs, WiMP11 will take your rights away too. If the 'Copy protect music' option is turned on, well, I can't top their 1984 wording. "If the file is a song you ripped from a CD with the Copy protect music option turned on, you might be able to restore your usage rights by playing the file. You will be prompted to connect to a Microsoft Web page that explains how to restore your rights a limited number of times." This says to me it will keep track of your ripping externally, and remove your rights whether or not you ask it to. Can you think of a reason you would need to connect to MS for permission to play the songs you ripped from you own CDs? How long do you think it will be before a service pack, masquerading as a 'critical security patch' takes away the optional part of the 'copy protection'? Now do you understand why they have been testing the waters on WiMP phoning home? Think their firewall will stop it even if you ask?

Watch Love

PZ Meyers discussing "The Watchmaker," an evangelical anti-evolution splutter from a group called "Kids 4 Truth":
Isn't it enough to simply point out that watches need watchmakers because they don't reproduce?
He ends with another fantastic sentiment:
If there were a god and heaven, I would hope that lying to impressionable kids would be one of his most smite-worthy sins.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Not So Fast

Judge overturns Bush Administration attempt to soften the Clinton-era ban on the building of roads in sections of untouched National Forests.

Jude and Chan?

NYTimes interviews Chan Marshall, aka Cat Power:
[Chan] said that the cult director Wong Kar-wai invited her to play Jude Law’s ex-lover in the movie he is now shooting. Mr. Wong, she said, told her he was in the habit of playing “The Greatest” for his actors before each scene.
(via Largehearted Boy)

Who's the Rational One?

The NYPost calls the President of Iran "Cuckoo" and "Tehran Lunatic." None of this should surprise me - and I'm not saying he may not have his faults or represent a danger to the world - but his speech yesterday was completely rational and insightful about the forces, mainly the US and the UK, that keep the UN from functioning as a truly ethical source of world justice.

"The question needs to be asked: if the governments of the United States or the United Kingdom, who are permanent members of the Security Council, commit aggression, occupation and violation of international law, which of the U.N. organs can take them into account," he said.

"If they have differences with a nation or state, they drag it to the Security Council and as claimants, arrogate to themselves simultaneously the roes of prosecutor, judge and executioner," he added said. "Is this a just order?"
One source of the full text of the speech.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Four in a Row

Four home runs in a row? The last three on three pitches?

In the bottom of the ninth, to tie the game?

And then, in the bottom o f the tenth, down a run, a two-run home run to win? Yeah, that's a hell of a game.

Stark, Not Vague

From Talking Points Memo, via Foreign Policy Watch:
If you were to pick the single greatest hypocrisy of the Bush Presidency, wouldn't it have to be this: that the man who ostentatiously claims Jesus as his favorite philosopher (he of "do unto others as ye would have them do unto you" fame) would say, in all seriousness, "Common Article III says that there will be no outrages upon human dignity. It's very vague. "What does that mean, 'outrages upon human dignity'?"

Monday, September 18, 2006

Just Add Freedom

Bush takes the opportunity to impress all the foreign dignitaries in town for the UN General Assembly by talking about something he calls his "Freedom Agenda."

Wait Wait Wait

ArsTechnica has a series called Scientists on Science, where John Timmer distributes a series of somewhat theoretical questions about scientific procedures and assumptions and discusses the responses. Some excellent stuff like
Explanatory power: What value is given to explanatory power? Do people attempt to make their models as broadly applicable as possible? How much value is placed on predicting phenomena that have yet to be observed?
Peer review: Are peer reviewed publications the most significant means of communicating scientific information in your field? What non-reviewed sources do you rely on?
Evaluation/falsifiability: Do things typically get falsified, or do they drop out of favor well in advance of conclusive falsifying data? What is the evaluation of competing models based on? Can you describe the general characteristics that people base evaluations on? How big a role do changing interpretations of primary data play in falsification?


I don't know what a Feast File is, but this is truly hypnotic.

Distrust is Patriotic

Marvelous post by Glenn Greenwald on "the central propagandistic myth which really does lies at the heart of almost every terrorism-related debate we are having. It is a myth which the Bush administration propagates on almost every issue and which the media, inexcusably, almost never points out, even though it is extremely simple, clear and of central importance."
Our entire system of Government and the Bill of Rights is based on the principle that to be accused by the Government of being guilty of a crime is not the same as being guilty. But a recognition of that distinction requires a healthy and definitively American distrust of Government -- exactly what Bush followers lack.
Read the whole thing.

Shape Of: A Peasant!

My Left Wing has an intriguing discussion about how we decide what population to envision ourselves a part of when we answer the question "What was life like?" about other times in history.

Friday, September 15, 2006

New Face

On the odd chance that you're reading this at the site and not in a reader, what do you think of the new look? I had planned to make it even plainer, but i think this is plain enough. Anything buggin you? I'll try to add back the kids with the chelicerate sometime. Or maybe it's time to move on. We'll see.
I'm learning lots of words this week. Earlier it was rivalrous. Now it's "weasel words," a term from Wikipedia.

Thank you, internet...

- m

My Cowering Fear's Getting All Confused

Bush has equated Bin Laden with Hitler. Then said he's no big deal.
In case you've missed it, there has apparently been a Never Before Seen writing system uncovered, the oldest ever found in North America the Western Hemisphere, 3000 years old, probably from the Olmec culture.

I'd totally dig a high res poster of that, even if it ends up being a purchase record or something.

Yeah, I Can See That

A couple of years ago, we went to Eurodisney. That too was bearable, although it was a bit weird when Mickey Mouse came to ask for an autograph.
- Robert Smith, The Cure
More Robert Smith quotes here.

heh, heh...."that too was bearable"....

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Learned a great word today: Rivalrous, as in rivalrous and non-rivalrous goods.

Ya know - I think this might have some relevance in the next few years...

The Strawmaniest

Where do you get off?

Karen Hughes, serius GW buddy from back in the day (where she was director of communications for him as governor), and current embarrasment for the US the world over as undersecretary of state (see her 2005 tour of the Middle East), has the gall to write an op-ed in USA Today on 9/12 called "Where's The Outrage?" complaining how there has been a lack of condemnation of the terror.

I know the tale she's been pushed to tell, that focusing on the US response intead of ...the horrible things... that terrorists do is...undermining....our safety...and security, or something like that, but her piece is really a piece of shit. It's utterly transparent and seems to have been written by someone in a kindergarten debate class.

Up front she kicks in the teeth of the millions of americans that have protested and criticized as loud as they can for the last five years, demanding a focus on making us safer instead of blindly swinging a bat in a room full of wolves.
Five years after the Sept. 11 attacks, one essential ingredient is still lacking in our international response to terrorism: the concerted moral outrage of everyday citizens of every faith and country.
Then she trivializes the situation in - say - Baghdad or Kabul with this crap:
[W}here are the mothers organizing against terrorism as American mothers did against drunken driving? Where are the fathers promising to teach their sons to choose to live rather than choose to die? Where are the religious clerics and congregations of all faiths arguing that no just and loving God would call on young men and women to kill themselves and others in the name of religion?

To be fair, many voices, Western and Eastern, Islamic and Christian, have spoken out against the violence. Yet the criticism seems oddly muted.
She's all over the map, saying why can't a group of mothers come storming into a suicide planning meeting and pull their kids away by the ears, and then she switches back, pretending she was talking about that "all faiths" shit. And "oddly muted?" What country do you live in? Who the FUCK has not spoken out against the violence?

On she goes, flailing about in half-formed ideas and half-formed appeasements:
Those who speak of a clash of civilizations seem to forget that Islam is part of America, that an estimated six to seven million Muslims live and worship freely in America.
[W]e believe in the dignity and value of every person. The fifth anniversary of Sept. 11 is both a reminder of the inhumanity of the extremists we are up against and the humanity shared by most citizens of the world. The color of our skin, the language we speak and the way we worship may be different, but much more unites us than divides us.
We had this feeling 5 years ago, and the actions of the Bush Administration burned it all away with vitriol and arrogance.
So why aren't more of us doing more to stop the terror?

First, I believe most of us hope that terrorism is an aberration. Unfortunately, I do not believe it is true.
The 3 things I liked most in my vacation were seeing Mickey, sleeping in a tent, and riding in the big boat.
Second, the presence of religion in this debate makes governments and individuals nervous. We are unsure how to engage; we hesitate to offend. Yet all major faiths — including Christianity, Islam and Judaism — teach that life is precious. We cannot allow what is essentially a death cult to get away with murder in the name of religion.
Once again, who is she speaking to? Herself? George Bush? Iraqi civilians? Red state warmongers? The millions that have demanded that the govermnent be straight with us and stop burning bridges with allies and making enemies for no discernible reason?

And who again is she concerned is going to "get away with murder?" I must have missed something. No one is saying "leave them be, it's their religion." That's not what the protests against the war and the administration are. If she doesn't understand that, then holy fuck.

On she goes...oh, a constructive suggestion? Perhaps we could send around a petition to ask terrorists to stop?
It is in the best interest of all the civilized people that the terror stop. And we have a model. Slavery's path from international norm to pariah began with moral outrage. In 1833, one of every seven adults in Britain signed a petition against slavery. That was twice the number of people eligible to vote at the time and the largest public petitioning of Parliament to that date. The grassroots petition drive was born of the conviction that every person has value — a conviction that should guide us today.
Brilliant idea.

Almost half of America disagrees with how George W Bush is handling terrorism - not that it is an imporant issue.
Idiots. If you say something idiotic like that, you don't make an audio file of it and post it on your website loose in an obvious location like "".

And what fuckin idiot decided to allow directory browsing?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Maybe it's just the earth-shakingly good sci-fi book Spin by Robert Charles Wilson that I'm reading right now and the "civilization-in-significant-flux" mental state it has put me in, but there is a surreally exciting story posted over at boingboing about how the drug in Ambien has shown effective in pulling folks out of "persistent vegetative states."
Spirited discussion between Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, and Dale Hoiberg, senior vice president and editor in chief of Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc.

I'd personally say that Jimmy comes off a bit wiser, quick-witted and less behind-the-times (big surprise), but he certainly comes off snarkier. Whatever you think, the personalities of the individuals as well as some larger about their approach to human knowledge is on stark display in the back-and-forth.

Almost There

(Ignoring for a moment that this looks like something that should be sold with a long black plastic raincoat...)

I've been talking about (read:waiting for) these for 15 years. Video camera that continuously records what you're seeing, overwriting it like a DVR. If you want to keep what you just saw, you have the means to save it off for good.

Next up: attaching this thing to the input of the ears and eyes.

Everybody Pays Taxes

NYTimes 9/11 editorial:
The time when we felt drawn together, changed by the shock of what had occurred, lasted long beyond the funerals, ceremonies and promises never to forget. It was a time when the nation was waiting to find out what it was supposed to do, to be called to the task that would give special lasting meaning to the tragedy that it had endured.

But the call never came. Without ever having asked to be exempt from the demands of this new post-9/11 war, we were cut out. Everything would be paid for with the blood of other people’s children, and with money earned by the next generation. Our role appeared to be confined to waiting in longer lines at the airport. President Bush, searching the other day for an example of post-9/11 sacrifice, pointed out that everybody pays taxes.

Um from Brooklyn

Brooklyn residents have the shortest live expectancy of all the boroughs.
Deep thanks to the Syrian forces who protected the American embassy in Damascus, including a security guard that gave his life for it. I wonder if Bush will thank him.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Sitting on the D train riding over the Manhattan Bridge, reading my book and observing three segments of a text-versation (ahem??).

The guy writes:
I always love u
The response:
yeah right! r u lying again?
The response, all before the train went back into the tunnel (clearly I could...not...look away):
What do I have to do to prove 2 u that Im telling the truth?
I never found what he would have to do.
Beavis and Butthead Do America is 10 years old? Fuck.
Excellent summary from Defamer of the very weak box office returns for this past weekend. Nobody cared.
It finally happened. After two straight weekends in which it half-heartedly tried to convince us that Mark Wahlberg was the biggest movie star in America, Hollywood gave up. When the ticket-buying public showed up at its door, eager for a new round of cinematic treats that would make them forget all about Marky Mark's football movie, Hollywood stirred slightly in its bed, thrust its head underneath its pillow, and wearily threatened to go get its gun if they didn't get the fuck off his porch because it didn't even want their money anymore, OK? The desperate entertainment consumers were then forced to root around in the trash cans on Hollywood's curb, where they found nothing but an all-anonymous-male version (not even a Neve Campbell-level name on the call sheet!) of The Craft, an Adrian Brody vehicle with vague awards hopes, and a martial arts flick about the special love between a man and his elephant. Shrugging, they crumpled up whatever low-denomination bills they could find in their pockets and deposited them in the trash cans, knowing that they'd have at least a couple of hours of unsatisfying distraction that weekend. They started to shuffle away from Hollywood's house, film reels in hand, only after the ear-shattering report of what was either a window-rattling fart or a suicidal shotgun blast (they really didn't care which) reminded them they couldn't stand at the curb all day. They had pretty-boy witches to watch.


Jonah Goldberg:

A. Bush can do anything.
B. Bush hasn't captured Bin Laden.


C. Bin Laden must not exist! (ie, must be dead)
I mean why wouldn't Bin Laden issue a video for the five year anniversary of 9/11?
Rock solid logic. If you'll excuse the expression, "Mission Accomplished!"

Howabout: "Ladies and Gentleman...We got him."

Hmm, this is getting messy.

Martian Visitor

Let Go!, originally uploaded by Glass Bead Game Master.

So utterly beautiful.

How can you post this kind of editorial on September 11th?

The truth is that we're winning. Hands down. We just can't afford to revert to yesteryear's weakness and indecision.

WHAT should we worry about? Plenty. First, the unscrupulous nature of those in the media who always discover a dark cloud in the brightest silver lining. They're terror's cheerleaders. Second, the rabid partisanship infecting our political system - when "getting Bush" is more important than protecting our country, something's wrong.

A third concern is the Internet's empowerment of fanatics, conspiracy-theorists and all of the really good haters - on both extremes of the political spectrum. If there's one thing all responsible citizens, conservative, centrist or liberal, should agree on, it's that all extremism is un-American.

The big danger right now is the media, criticizing bush, and the internet.

The NY Post continues to lead the way in pissing me off.
The Patriot Act and other measures worked - without harming the rights of a single law-abiding citizen.
I can barely even imagine how your mind is working...
I have so many feelings and fears that were never resolved from the events of September 11th, 2001. I could never comprehend the horrible experiences that so many souls went through, and I've realized of late that I never did - it just went away, a little bubble of non-resolution, frayed edges and half-thoughts just put in the drawer for a later that has still never come.

I'm reminded of the most powerful signs we saw in the weeks after the event:
Our Grief Is Not A Call For War
Try to avoid watching the television coverage today. Meditate on it on your own.
Bernard Kerik this morning (9/11) on NY1: "The mayor was in his office trying to get a hold of the White House when the second tower collapsed."

!!! Really? There was still no contact with the federal government?

Friday, September 08, 2006

US Senate Report, released today:
Saddam Hussein was distrustful of al-Qaeda and viewed Islamic extremists as a threat to his regime, refusing all requests from al-Qaeda to provide material or operational support.
BBC Story.

Understanding the enemy is essential. Step aside.
The Editors finally got a sneak peak at ABC's 9/11 Blockbuster.

As the first commenter says, "You are a god."
Hahaha - planet or star?

McSweeney's Mac Ads

Awesome. An excerpt:
PC Guy picks up some binoculars off the ground and raises them to his face. However, instead of looking through them like the Mac Guy, he hurls them against the wall behind him, where they smash into a thousand pieces. He then picks up a gas can and dumps the contents over his head.

The Mac Guy is taken aback by this behavior, and yells at him, "What the hell are you doing, dude?"

PC Guy has now taken a book of matches from his coat pocket. He looks at Mac Guy with a smarmy grin. "I'm running a simple application."

With that, he lights himself on fire and dies screaming.

And Whose Fault Is That?

Pres. Bush, CBS Evening News, 9/6: "One of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror."
After another run at trying a browser that can actually do fun things like Block Ads, Gmail Chat, and Rich Text markup in Blogger, I've given up on Camino. Part of me thinks that it's been causing the crashes I find every morning when i come into work, and now, with Safari open, I feel like I'm home again.

Safari compared to Camino (or, especially Firefox), feels like the difference between 85MHz and 60MHz monitor refresh rate.

It just feels like a more polished piece. Now, if only they'd add internal wildcard domain blocking ("*doubleclick*"), i'd be in heaven*. Also, hopefully with that Google guy on the Apple board, maybe blogger will spend the time needed to get their WYSIWYG editor working in safari.

* somewhat pathetic definition of heaven.
What the hell is wrong with this world? Will I ever live in a time where I don't ask that at least 10 times a day?
You may have seen the marvelous "Sudo make me a sandwich" piece - the cartoonist at is really great.

GW and Pompey - Updated

When my friend Joe was last in town from England, he gave me an excellent gift of a book by a Roman author named Suetonius, called The Twelve Ceasars, providing biographies of twelve Roman leaders from Julius Ceasar to Domitian.

Besides having a bewildering-place-in-time moment this morning when I realized the source of "July" (Julius Caesar) and "August" (Augustus Caesar), I also noted that most excellent passage on Julius.

Whether or not this description is true (or the general ethics of Caesars overall legacy) is not the issue - what I find fascinating is the wisdom of this perspective, as opposed to - say - WPE.

Suetonius, contrasting the leadership conduct of Julius Caesar against his political opponent Pompey:
Nobody can deny that during the Civil War, and after, he behaved with wonderful restraint and clemency. Whereas Pompey declared that all who were not actively with the government were against it and would be treated as public enemies, Caesar announced that all who were not actively against him were with him.
(The Twelve Ceasars, p. 35)

It seems a subtle distinction, but the effect is unification, not fear and a splintered society.

Update 9/8: The irony of this post - placing GWB at odds with Caesar (and in line with Pompey) is that Julius Caesar is often considered the mark of the end of the Roman Republic and the beginning of the Roman Empire. He assumed an extraordinary number of unheard of (in a republic) powers, was awarded the honor of "dictator for life," and was assassinated out of fear that he was becoming too king-like and endangering the freedoms and the character of roman civilization.

Also interesting, it is noted, that the rise of a dictatorship is not always evident to the people involved. Wikipedia, on such a shift from the former republic:
This is a distinction chiefly made by modern historians and not by the Romans of the time, however. The early Julio-Claudian emperors maintained that the res publica still existed under the protection of their extraordinary powers and would eventually return to its republican form.
Uh-huh. The Patriot Act is just temporary.

Rush on CBS

In Katie Couric's CBS Evening News they have a segment called Free Speech, where, according to Katie, "newsmakers, opinion makers, and just plain folks tell us what's on their minds."

Well, who better to have on to tell us like it is than Rush Limbaugh, September 7th??

But some Americans, sadly, not interested in victory, and yet they want us to believe that their behavior is patriotic. Well, it's not. When the critics are more interested in punishing this country over a few incidents of Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo Bay than they are in defeating those who want to kill us, when they seek to destroy a foreign surveillance program which is designed to identify those who want to kill us and how they intend to do it, when they want to grant those who want to kill us U.S. constitutional rights, I don't call that patriotic. Patriotism is rallying behind the country, regardless of party affiliation, to defeat Islamofascism. Patriotism is supporting our troops in the battlefield, not undermining the mission and morale.


Next up, Dobson?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

T-Shirts Chosen, 9/7/06

This morning, someone picked up these t-shirts out of their drawer and said "Yeah, THAT's the one for me today."

No Money
No Car
No Chance


Why Can't I Be Rich Instead of Just Good-Looking?
Angry Astronomer notes that California legislature spent taxpayer money drawing up an official resolution condemning the decision of the International Astronomical Union to revoke Pluto's status as planet. ("Excuse me, IAU? You have a phone call from California." "Who?" "It's one of the provinces of the USA")

Among other inane reasons, they point out that "the deletion of Pluto as a planet renders millions of text books, museum displays, and children's refrigerator art projects obsolete."

This is exactly the kind of "aww, poor Pluto," nostalgia-trumping-science shit that makes me sick. Science exists to make what you believe today wrong in the future. That's what it does. Dragging your feet makes you look not quaint, but rather like Flat Earthers or Young Earthers.

"But I Liked the Brontosaurus!!!"

Now if you want to complain that the IAU vote was done on the last day of the conference, with a small number of members still around, or that the new definition is vague, that's another thing...

Update 9/8: AA has updated his post to note that the bill is in fact a joke. Ha ha.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

There's a wonderful billboard near where I work that shows a toddler's face. The text reads:
Every time you yell at another driver, she learns a lesson.

You're always teaching. Teach carefully.

The British Sound French

NYT: Coalition of the No-Longer-Willing: "7 British Officials Resign in Revolt Over Blair"

Also, does this mean they would be Against Us?
MOST people believe that the Blair Government’s foreign policy has increased significantly the risk of terrorist attacks and now want Britain to distance itself from America and set a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, according to a poll for The Times.

File Under Effortless

You know what's a great song? R.E.M.'s "I Am Superman," from 1986's Life's Rich Pageant. They were effortless then.

Ministry of Success

Apparently, the Global War on Terror is being waged perfectly. It just needs a new name.

What is needed, said Army Col. Gary Cheek, is to recast terrorists as the criminals they are.

"If we can change the name ... and find the right sequence of events that allows us to do that, that changes the dynamic of the conflict," said Cheek at the Defense Forum Washington, sponsored by the Marine Corps Association and the U.S. Naval Institute.

"It makes sense for us to find another name for the GWOT," said Cheek. "It merits rethinking. I know our European allies are more comfortable articulating issues of terrorism as criminal threats, rather than war ... It ought to be our goal to partner better with the European allies so we can migrate this from a war to something other than a war."

If you've ever seen Cat Power struggle in a concert, you'll be pleased to read this review and see these pictures.

This guy's site's fantastic, so bookmark it or subscribe to it.

(image property of, so all honor to him!)
Okay, shrub, if Bin Laden's so much like Hitler, why have you been ignoring him for years? You're out of your league, you're terrified, and you're fucking up this planet and all of our futures. It doesn't seem like you're even TRYing to make sense anymore.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

It has been a beautiful gray rainy day in NYC, where the mist is deep enough that the city looks like a comic book. There just seem to be a wider variety of experiences going on in NYC when it's like this. On a sunny day, it seems like everyone's in the same head space, and I don't always want to share my head space with 10 million others.
Condi, speaking to Essence magazine, compares the present situation in Iraq and the War of Terror to the US Civil War:
Secretary of State Rice compared the Iraq war with the American Civil War, telling a magazine that slavery might have lasted longer in this country if the North had decided to end the fight early.

"I'm sure there are people who thought it was a mistake to fight the Civil War to its end and to insist that the emancipation of slaves would hold," Rice said in the new issue of Essence magazine.

"I know there were people who said, 'Why don't we get out of this now, take a peace with the South, but leave the South with slaves?'" Rice said.

Could this get any more condescending?

(via The Carpetbagger Repor)

Monday, September 04, 2006

On 9/11, every channel on the air had news tickers running along the bottom of the screen. That was a new thing - having it going constantly - and I realized today that they're still here, and that it is a permanent addition to the "language" of TV interface. It's not going away. It was new and glaring at first, but we've grown used to it, and no channel's going to back up now.