Sunday, December 30, 2007

soma fm

pretty kick-ass internet radio:

13 unique channels of listener-supported, commercial-free, underground/alternative radio broadcasting from San Francisco.


Current channels are:
* Xmas in Frisko
* Christmas Lounge
* Groove Salad
* Secret Agent
* Drone Zone
* Space Station Soma
* indie pop rocks
* Illinois Street Lounge
* Beat Blender
* cliqhop idm
* Boot Liquor
* Doomed
* Tag's Trance Trip

The Water Front

Good flick about water rights, government corruption, racism, and coercion. Think we all best get organized.



...p.s. lots of evil people in this film. Black, white, male, female, you name it - evil does not know skin color. Evil. Evil. Evil. Evil.

Lots to learn from this film. One of them is that 'just doing your job' is not an excuse. If your job requires you to do evil, then you need to quit. That's it, end of discussion. Find something else to do. At a minimum you have to make it more expensive for your company to commit evil, and you can do that by quitting.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Tiger finally has enough in SF

and goes ballistic:

All three men who were attacked were zoo patrons, not workers, and were attacked not in or near the tiger's pen, but outside the Terrace Cafe.

The dead man was 23 years old; the two survivors, whom a paramedic described as having wounds 'all over' their bodies, were brothers aged 19 and 18, friends of the victim.


We need to close down all zoos immediately. They're criminally inhumane to the animals, no matter how much some book might have led you to believe otherwise.

That a wild animal being treated in an inhumane fashion decides to go batshit crazy and attack and kill people should not be a surprise to anyone.

That zoos all over the world are underfunded and treat their animals like trash should not be a surprise to anyone.

That zoo cage designers continue to underestimate an enraged animal's abilities should not be a surprise to anyone.

I'd be willing to entertain the notion of wildlife preserves, but the time for zoos is up. Game over. Stop the madness. Stop crushing the souls of these animals. Stop locking them in cages. Stop trying to beat them into dank submission. They want to be free - let them be free.

One or more of the people responsible for this particular animal should go to jail for a long time.

Thoughts for family and friends of the injured and killed. Let this be the last time ever that a caged animal is set loose upon unsuspecting humans.

Move the remaining animals to wildlife preserves and sanctuaries. Close down the SF zoo, and then close down the rest of the zoos in the world.

...PeTA:

December 26, 2007

Manuel A. Mollinedo, Executive Director and President
San Francisco Zoo
1 Zoo Rd.
San Francisco, CA 94132-1027

1 page via fax: 415-681-2039

Dear Mr. Mollinedo:

While authorities investigate the circumstances surrounding Tatiana's escape and the tragic mauling of several zoo visitors, PETA is asking that the zoo give serious consideration to phasing out its tiger exhibit. The San Francisco Zoo has already established itself as a facility that takes animal welfare issues seriously, including the zoo's honorable decision in 2004 to close its elephant exhibit and send its elephants to a sanctuary.

There are some species--including tigers--that simply do not belong in captivity because of their extraordinarily complicated physical and psychological needs. Scientists at Oxford University have concluded that big cats and other wide-roaming predators become neurotic when they are confined. No "educational" program is worth sacrificing animals' well-being.

Given that the average tiger enclosure is about 18,000 times smaller than the animals' natural roaming range, it is simply impossible for these animals to express instinctual behaviors, such as staking out territory in dense forests, choosing mates, running, climbing trees, and hunting.

Dangerous incidents with captive big cats are not uncommon. Since 1990, there have been more than 220 such incidents involving big cats in 40 states. Four children and 15 adults have lost their lives, and more than 50 other people have lost limbs or suffered other injuries after being mauled. The animals involved are victims too--75 big cats, including Tatiana, have been killed because of these incidents.

May we please hear from you regarding this matter at your earliest convenience? I can be contacted at 757-622-7382.

Sincerely,
Lisa Wathne
Captive Exotic Animal Specialist


...the worst part about it all, is the dude who got killed by the tiger wasn't even doing anything - it was the other two losers (and maybe a third, who we don't know about yet). and the dude who got killed went back into the jaws of the tiger to protect his buddy - one of the kids doing the taunting. so what did the two taunters do when they saw _their_ buddy start getting attacked? they ran. that's right - they deserted the guy who had just saved their lives. awesome.

Merry Christmas!

Now go find a place to live, losers!

Don't suffer from PTSD, go out and cause it

The first time you read this blog, you might think, "This mf crazy," but then the posts start piling up and you start wondering, "Damn, maybe mf has a point."

Well, mf has a point:

BOISE – Idaho's newest police officers are not being trained to inflict post-traumatic stress, the head of officer training for the state says, despite a slogan to that effect that was featured prominently in the program for the latest police academy graduation.

"Don't suffer from PTSD, go out and cause it," urged the slogan, which was printed above the list of 43 graduates of the Idaho Police Officer Standards and Training Academy's latest basic academy.


On another point, this is an America where if a cop rapes and murders someone, he might get a couple weeks of desk duty, but imagine the situation in Iraq, where U.S. soldiers run around raping and murdering all day with nobody there to watch them - that's the real shit right there. It's the same with every occupation.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Cops Will Kill Anything

If it moves, the cops are gonna shoot it:

I was depressed to read about a policeman shooting an off-leash dog in a Bedford-Stuyvesant park earlier this month. I heard about it through NYCdog—a New York City off-leash advocacy group. The dog, a three-year-old named Diamond, was running toward the cops “wagging her tail” when one of them shot her in the chest. After two days in critical care, Diamond is on the mend.


This doggie lived, but many don't. Cops are killers, and need to be stopped. They all need to be thrown in jail before they kill again.

Of course, if we actually tracked all the police murders in the U.S., we'd have no room or time for any other type of post. Just pay attention white people - they'll kill you, too.

...the backdrop, here, is that this story of cops killing the tiger only after the tiger approached them is absurd. We're supposed to believe they were sitting around smoking peace pipes as they watch the lion continue to maul the victim on the ground. Shit is stupid.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I'll shoot you in the face...

...if you come to my house with your crew, and a baseball bat, threating me and/or my family.

Of course, I'm white, so I'm allowed to defend myself in this country.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Italians Block Construction of U.S. Base

Good on them:

The people of the northern Italian city of Vicenza, with help from activists around Italy, the rest of Europe, and even in the United States, are continuing to block the proposed construction of a new U.S. military base on their soil. When a company laid underground fiber-optic cables at the site of the proposed base, activists fill a junction box with cement. When another company tried to begin the work of removing World War II era U.S. bombs from the site, activists camped out in the cold for three days and nights while allies in Florence and a small town near Naples conducted simultaneous protests in front of the company's offices. The company backed off and has suspended the work. And a small town outside Vicenza has now refused to allow the United States to construct a residential village for troops.

Israeli army crimes 'unpunished'

Why every occupation is illegal and immoral:

An Israeli human rights group says the overwhelming majority of Israeli troops suspected of criminal offences against Palestinians are never indicted.

The small number of investigations and even fewer indictments showed Israel's army was ignoring its duty to protect Palestinian civilians, Yesh Din says.

It said soldiers felt they had immunity from investigation and prosecution, which inevitably led to more offences.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Got AVPR1a?

Trump, a Chump

I knew about Trump from growing up in NJ. I knew about him when he was a small-time crook - throwing little old ladies out of their homes so he could build massive shitpiles along the boardwalk in Atlantic City.

That he has a little army of criminals doing his dirty work these days is no surprise to me. That he's so popular, and afforded the privilege to be on tv is not a surprise, either - capitalist criminals look out for their own.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

HumanCalendar.com

From the squidlist, of course - it should show your local day, whenever you view this blog post:

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bike Fatality in Portland Area

Been following the Portland biking scene since I've been thinking of moving up there.

Today there is a report of another bike fatality.

To me, it seems suspicious - not as in 'murder', but as in the description from police so far doesn't make sense. Do riders really just veer out into high-speed traffic, even when they're all (cars and bikers) going the same way? I doubt it.

Below is a picture of a sewer grate along that road (link). As you can see, the road has bike lanes and they're clearly marked, and there's even room to get around the sewer grates and still stay inside the bike lane. Not much room, but something.



Click the image for a closer look.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The MXGM Pledge

MXGM is 'the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement'. They have a website. And on that website they list a pledge:

We must build the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement for Self Respect, Self Defense and Self Determination!

The Black Nation Charges Genocide!

We must Free the Land!

Free the Land!

Free the Land - By Any Means Necessary!


In this post, they explain exactly what they'd like to see happen:

Why we say FREE THE LAND

“Free the Land!”

... is the battle cry of the New Afrikan Independence Movement (NAIM).

The NAIM is part of the Black liberation Movement in North Amerikka that wants independent Black Nation on land in north amerikka. The land identified by the New Afrikan Independence Movement is primarily known as South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, as well as other areas of what is now called the Black-Belt South, where Afrikan people are in the majority or have a historical/economical/socio-cultural relationship to. When we say “Free the Land” this is the land we are talking about freeing. Malcolm X once stated:“Revolutions are fought to get control of land, to remove the absentee landlord, and gain control of the land and institutions that flow from the land. The Black [Nation] has been in a very low condition because [it] has no control whatsoever over the land.” He later stated:“A true Negro revolt might entail, for instance, fighting for separate Blacks states within this country…”

New Afrika- South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and other areas of the ‘Black-Belt South”- must be free. Afrika is the homeland of all Afrikan people, but We have no realistic plan to transport 40 million captive New Afikans back to Afrika.

We recognize the claims of Native Americans to this land, and we will struggle side-by-side to help them regain their land. At the same time, since out captivity in the western hemisphere, progressive Native Americans have recognized that We have nothing in common to north amerikkka and the majority of us have no realistic way to get back to Afrika.

We say ‘Free the Land’ because We want independence so that we can ensure our Human Rights are protected and that our land will be a zone and base for all who seek liberation and freedom.

FREE THE LAND!


That I can tell, the MXGM works with a lot of lefty-type groups out here in the Bay Area. I was at a Green Party meeting once where their name was brought up - the Greens and the MXGM were working together on something. I don't recall if I had a chance to speak or not, but I do remember voicing my opinion online somewhere - maybe a local Green Party mailing list. I said I didn't want to be involved with MXGM because of their 'Back-to-Africa' nonsense. Organizations that work together don't have to have similar goals all the way through, but they should share a common vision of what the future should look like, in a generalized way. For me, in any way cooperating with an organization whose ultimate goal is the division of people along race lines is plainly abominable and not something I would ever want to be associated with - officially or otherwise.

I don't approve of separatism, I don't approve of a Back-to-Africa strategy, I don't approve of a Back-to-Atlanta strategy, I don't approve of sexism, racism, or any form of aggression. For these reasons and more, I could not imagine ever supporting a policy of the separation of people based on race.

Maybe I'd feel differently if I was black and I was tired of getting terrorized by the police, but I doubt it.

I don't suspect it would take me too long to realize that black people with money and power are no better than white people with money and power.

And I don't think I'd be proud of myself for helping some old black lady onto a train bound for New Orleans from San Francisco, saying, "OK, ma'am - hop right in. You're gonna be safe down there, for sure." I suspect it'd make me think of myself as a racist. A Nazi. A monster. Or worse - a Republican.

And then I'd think, well what happens then? Do you need a passport to travel from White America to Black America and vice-versa? Does the South try to secede again? Another Civil War - poor whites versus poor blacks?

And what if some people want to stick around? Is the rest of society further polarized? White and black flight?

Do I get to visit South Africa for the next World Cup? Do I have to stay in just the white parts of town?

And if MXGM is really serious about this policy, then let's see it in action. There's no good reason I can think of for an any able-bodied black person who supports this policy to be stuck in the Bay Area for longer than a couple of weeks. Save up a couple hundred bucks, get a Greyhound bus ticket, and ride that mess down to the ATL - start your new racist life.

It's a bad joke. It reminds me of the racist evangelical preachers talking about moving all the god people down to some southeastern state to take it over and make it 'all god' or 'all white' or 'all whatever'. It's empty, hateful rhetoric.

This racist, divisive policy is asinine, and it's a poor service to Malcolm's memory to be promoting it. The MXGM needs to check itself, and any persons and any organization working with MXGM needs to think about their own position on this matter. I do not want to be aligned with the Aryan Brotherhood, and neither should you.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Sunday Parkways

Pretty cool.

Even if the U.S. government manages to stop other countries from progressing democratically, they can't stop progress on every front. Cultural ideas will still spread around the world. With the help of internet video, this exchange of ideas between everyday people is made even easier and more affecting. Witness different U.S. cities now taking up the issue of bicycle rental programs. These are not government-initiated programs - they're popular organizing, with people pressuring their local rulers to implement particular policies.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Panda Bear - Comfy in Nautica

Listened to this song about 83 times (seriously) on my way to Portland and back (yes, I sang along, too, and I was great). MySpace page.



Lyrics, here:

try try try try try try (repeated)
try to tell me how to do it
only because i'm new to it
coolness is having courage
courage to do what's right
i'll try to remember always
just to have a good time
try to show me that you know me
do you know what coolness really is?
winning is what you want to
but you're scared to go forth
you try to remember always
always to have a good time
good time (x9)
try and have a softer inside
shut up boy and be a soldier
coolness is having courage
courage to do what's right
try to remember always
just to have a good time
winning is what you want to
winning but you're scared to go forth
try to remember always
always to have a good time
good time


Why doesn't MySpace have an embeddable music player?

How to blog from up in a tree

I've been trying to get the Berkeley Oaks folks to set up a blog, but haven't had luck yet. One, I don't know if there is anyone in Berkeley willing to blog ongoing events, and two, even if they were, they may be in jail. So, it's not as easy as you might expect.

Today I heard one of the tree-sitters might be interested in doing some blogging from the tree, so I thought Twitter might come in handy. The tree-sitters have a cell phone - don't ask me how they got it, get it, keep it going - beats me - hopefully we have one of the security guards paid off.

So, here are some instructions I'm hoping to deliver over there tomorrow (Sunday). The tree-sit is in Berkeley, so it's not quite a quick trip for me. Driving in the Bay Area just totally sucks. Whoever owns California really decimated a beautiful place.

How to blog from up in a tree
-----------------------------
1. Have someone go to twitter.com and register. It is free.
You will just need a valid email address. And later you
will need to enter your cellphone number to actually
use Twitter with your cellphone.

2. Register your cell phone by entering your number in the
designated place at twitter.com. Twitter will then send
you a text message. Hit reply to verify that this is
your phone.

3. That's it. Registration done. Get blogging.

4. To make things easy, add a 'Contact' to your cell phone
called 'Twitter' and use the number/short code '40404'.
Whenever you want to blog/twitter something, just send a
text message to this contact and it will automatically
appear on the web.

Your web URL will be:

http://twitter.com/[whatever_username_you_choose]

My own twitter URL, which I only use for testing, is:

http://twitter.com/shmooth

Messages can only be up to 140 characters long - so this web
service was designed to be short-form blogging.

Good luck!

.peter
<my_email_address_here>

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Sunday School for Atheists - TIME

I started hanging out with the Humanist Community a few weeks ago, and I think it's a great organization - maybe one of the possible 'saviors' of an American society going down the drain very, very quickly.

Well, it looks like Time Magazine has done a little write-up on The Children's Program that happens every Sunday morning, while the adults are busy doing their Sunday Forums/Talks:

On Sunday mornings, most parents who don't believe in the Christian God, or any god at all, are probably making brunch or cheering at their kids' soccer game, or running errands or, with luck, sleeping in. Without religion, there's no need for church, right?

Maybe. But some nonbelievers are beginning to think they might need something for their children. "When you have kids," says Julie Willey, a design engineer, "you start to notice that your co-workers or friends have church groups to help teach their kids values and to be able to lean on." So every week, Willey, who was raised Buddhist and says she has never believed in God, and her husband pack their four kids into their blue minivan and head to the Humanist Community Center in Palo Alto, Calif., for atheist Sunday school.


After the adults finish their talking, the kids and Sunday school teachers come back upstairs and we all chow down. It's fun to see the little kids run around and be all excited - especially when us adults have probably just finished discussing some very heavy topic like stem cell research, or green energy, etc. And I made an immediate mental note that a bunch of people (a couple of teachers and at least one other chaperone) were giving up their time with the adults to go do the hard work of taking care of the children, teaching them, etc. It's a pretty inspiring feeling to know that so many people are working so hard with no expectation of formal recognition. So, I'm very happy this article helps to put a face on their hard work.

Big congratulations to everyone involved with The Children's Program!

...if you dig it, please Digg it.

...some Humanist Community videos.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Firefox 3 implements more useless features

I'd rather they just let the social bookmarking sites and tools take care of bookmarking, and concentrate on core feature that Firefox is still missing - like default email handling. Instead, we get this:

Many of its new features concern bookmarks, an area typically slow to change in the browsing world. You can now add keywords, or tags, to sort bookmarks by topic. And a new 'Places' feature lets you quickly access sites you recently bookmarked or tagged and pages you visit frequently but haven't bookmarked.


What's the basis? How about releasing a Javascript API so developers can develop extensions that do cool stuff - and they don't have to be rocket scientists to develop them?

SFist rewrites history

It's OK if you make a mistake - just own up to it, and note the correction. SFist wrote a post this morning, and did not acknowledge the change, and in fact, hid that the change had occurred.

And we're not talking about a simple typo - we're talking about a very misleading charge against a mayoral candidate who is currently awaiting the results of the vote.

Instead of changing the headline and noting the change, it seems 'Brock' over at SFist thought that too much of a chore. Is it a joke? Laziness? Embarrassment?

The original headline read:

Vallejo Mayor Candidate - Hic! - Arressted for DUI

Here is a screenshot of Google Blog search at about 11:50pm on the same day, Monday, November 19, 2007:



The problem with the headline was, the Mayor was not arrested for DUI. Instead, he was arrested for the much-less-serious offense of 'public intoxication'.

This misreporting is serious business. If you are out to ruin a politician's career - fine - do your thing, but don't expect people to take your history rewriting operation seriously. It's no different than Fox News hackery.

As to the seriousness of the initial errant reporting, time will tell, but ask Al Gore how one lie can propagate and potentially change the course of history. Ask the American people, or the people of the world.

The headline now reads:

Vallejo Mayor Candidate -- Hic! -- Arrested for Public Intoxication

Brock's follow-up comment to mine in the comments, is:

yes, as stated in the headline, he was busted for public intoxication.


I am unable to log-into SFist right now to reply and ask about the history rewrite, so I don't know if I've been banned or if the SFist login is just down (and it has been before).

Here is a screenshot of some other news outlets that are propagating false information. For both CBS links, the links themselves claim 'DUI', but the actual titles of the articles once you click through state 'Public Intoxication' - that's Google's cache at work:



For context, here is my comment:

not to break up the DUI party, but the article says suspicion of public intoxication, which is about an order of magnitude less serious than DUI. it is not, in fact, DUI at all.

but i guess sensational headlines are important.


Here, again, is Brock's reply from four minute later - a reply which does not acknowledge the original false headline:

yes, as stated in the headline, he was busted for public intoxication.


We report. You decide.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Band Of Horses - Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina

Yep - that same South Carolina that I'm always mocking for its weird-ass blue laws and various other unpleasantries.

Band Of Horses sure can bring it.

Slower than my typical style these days, but they got a couple of up-tempo joints, and some real good shit-kicking stuff.

* Is There a Ghost
* No One's Gonna Love You
* The General Specific
* The Funeral (from the old album)

Git some.

...and Marry Song has the deadliest keyboard/synth hook since Upon This Tidal Wave of Young Blood by CYHSY.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Woman's web hoax led girl to kill herself

Yes - an adult woman created a fake myspace profile of a boy, and used it connect with a young girl down the street, who was already on medication for depression.

By gaining the young girl's trust, and then viciously turning and telling the young girl that the world would be better off without her, that young girl hung herself.

The woman should go to jail for the rest of her life.

12-foot Secular Crosses

Check out these non-Christian (according to the cops) 12-foot-high statues in Utah.

Jesus Christ. 12 feet? Why don't they just erect a bunch of megachurches instead?

Georgia Police Terrorize Protestors, with U.S. Taxpayer Money

That's Georgia, the country:



Glad my money is being used not only rape, murder, and terrorize Iraqis, but Georgians, too.

Brilliant.

...no, we're not pulling our aid from Georgia. The Georgian government are good terrorists. The Pakistani government is only luke-warm good terrorists.

The only reason we give money to these terrorist states is so we can control them - it's a lever of power. Once we start paying that money, the politicians start paying off generals and domestic terror agencies (equivalent to the FBI, here, in the U.S.). So, when the U.S. government threatens to pull that terror funding, the foreign government has to step back in line, or else face what Musharraff is right now - a U.S.-backed challenger, and millions in 'opposition funding' and other U.S.-financed terrorism.

It was never about Barry; more about war and racism

Dave Zirin got me thinking:

Tomorrow (Friday) I will be demonstrating in front of Mukasey's Department of Justice along with thousands of my closest friends. We will march because they refuse to indict people for hanging nooses, or see the rape and torture of Megan Williams as a hate crime, or do anything to change the perception that justice means 'just-us.' But my vocal chords might be a little more raw than usual at days end. The idea that they have no time for Megan Williams, but invest years in the prosecution of Barry Bonds should make any good person of conscience utterly enraged.


Who's Megan Williams, you ask? Oh, just the 20yo black girl who got kidnapped, beat, raped, and tortured by 8 white West Virginia rednecks a couple of months ago - all while calling her the typical racial epithets. Think Deliverance, but multiply the evil by 100.

The Justus Department isn't pressing hate crimes charges because racism is not something we want to admit exists.

Yet, the Justus Department spends four years and millions of dollars, at least, trying to catch one Barry Bonds - black man.

There are nooses going up all over the country, but the Justus department is too busy prosecuting a black man to worry about them.

It's getting so you have to march on Washington to get anything done these days, and even then it's just a prayer.

It's a distraction. It's almost anything you want it to be, but it ain't about Barry.

...so that's the figure - $6 million to get Barry.

Save the Berkeley Oaks


Save the Memorial Oak Grove.

Maybe you've heard about the year-long protest by now, but I hadn't been paying too much attention myself until one of the tree-sitters fell and broke his arm and leg.

First, they've been up there, sometimes rotating, for a year - officially, Dec 2, 2007.

Second, the situation is much more tense than you would otherwise believe, given the news coverage - or non-news coverage.

The picture is a snapshot from when all hell broke loose. Someone was trying to hand some food and water over the fence, because UC-Berkeley is trying to starve the protestors, and that person was arrested.

The people supporting the tree-sitters from outside the fence weren't too amused.

For my part, I can't imagine why this grove of trees has to be leveled. It's like they want to turn the Berkeley campus - a beautiful campus - into a concrete strip mall. It's appalling.

And there is no good reason to do it, other than the fact that the UC Regents - the people who run Berkeley, apparently, thought they could get away with it.

Fortunately, they're finding some resistance.

If you are skeptical, I'd ask you to consider that this is but one protest of thousands being fought across the U.S. every day, and maybe one is going on in your backyard - or will be soon. For this reason, at least, you should support the tree-sitters.

You wouldn't want some outside interest to come into your town and start leveling shit - these Berkeley folks don't want that, either. The difference between Berkeley and most other towns in America is that some Berkeleyites are organized, and they're willing to make gigantic sacrifices to stop outsiders from wrecking their town.

Click through to the whole YouTube video to catch a glimpse of how crazy shit is over at the Berkeley Oaks.

Here is my own video of the situation. It's a short clip showing how UC Berkeley is using loud generators and spotlights to terrorize the tree-sitters. It's pretty similar to what our CIA and military does to prisoners in Guantanamo Bay Cuba - human rights violations galore.

Other than that, the video is just a bit spooky. With all the barbed wire, it immediately reminds you of a concentration camp.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Shangri-La Diet

It's interesting:

But will Seth Roberts's strange weight-control solution - he calls it the Shangri-La Diet - really work for the millions of people who need it? We may soon find out. With the Atkins diet company filing for bankruptcy, America is eager for its next diet craze. And a few spoonfuls of sugar may be just the kind of sacrifice that Americans can handle.


Not sure if I'll try it, but it's definitely interesting.

Moms competing with their daughters

I've certainly known a few cases of this type of thing, but is it really all that widespread?

Overheard Everywhere

But Isn't It a Little Soon to Start Competing with Her?

Overtired mom, after seeing infant fail to grasp something: See? Their reflexes suck. That's why babies don't drive cars.

Stunned husband: Uh, that and they can't see over the steering wheel.

Wellsboro, Pennsylvania


And do dads compete with their sons the same way?

Obama a fraud, just like the rest

This post is not just to pick on Obama - he might be slightly less horrible than Hillary, but on the whole we need to pressure whichever one of them gets into office. The 'Dear Leader will save us' routine is just not reality.

Obama says he wants to get rid of Social Security.

Probably doesn't mean much - he's just trying to get more love from the right-wingers, who Hillary currently owns.

The point? Don't spend your time evangelizing Hillary or Obama or any other mainstream candidate - work to build mass popular movements that force the government to change, whoever is in power.

That means, on voting day, cast your vote for the least horrific and destructive of all the candidates, but don't spend more than 30 seconds on all this Presidential mumbo-jumbo.

Six-hour work day

Nice:

In two weeks, Venezuela seems likely to start an extraordinary experiment in centralized, oil-fueled socialism. By law, the workday would be cut to six hours. Street vendors, homemakers and maids would have state-mandated pensions. And President Hugo Ch�vez would have significantly enhanced powers and be eligible for re-election for the rest of his life.


I've long argued that the developed world is working too many hours. And by that I mean that the people who own this country (USA) need us to work so many hours - to keep us from having any spare time to organize against them.

Lots of questions if/how this will play out in Venezuela, but I'm sure the capitalists who own this country will continue to do everything they can to stop the socialist experiment - including overthrowing Chavez again.

Moms: Don't date...

unless you want your child to be sexually assaulted or murdered:

Nonetheless, many scholars and front-line caseworkers interviewed by The Associated Press see the abusive-boyfriend syndrome as part of a broader trend that deeply worries them. They note an ever-increasing share of America's children grow up in homes without both biological parents, and say the risk of child abuse is markedly higher in the nontraditional family structures.


Headlines like this pop up every other day or two.

Stepdad throws toddler into wall, kills him.

Stepdad takes 14yo step-daughter to strip club to molest her and have her molested by a group of men.

A google search would certainly turn up plenty more horrifics. And it's probably not confined to men being perpetrators.

The effect is probably something like what we're seeing with all these school teachers getting busted for fucking their students. The teachers have no biological connection to the students, and that helps the teachers rationalize away their evil behavior against the students.

Some might want to call it sexist or something else, but to me, the simple fact remains:

Moms - if you bring home men who are not the biological fathers of your sons and daughters, your sons and daughters will be sexually assaulted or murdered.

That, to me, is the only prudent advice. Children are just too vulnerable to leave to 'biological strangers'.

The same could be said for Dads (don't bring womyns home), I suppose, but I have a feeling the overwhelming majority of abuse/murder cases are perpetrated by men, not women.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

You can own a professional soccer team, but what about a newspaper?

This soccer story has has been percolating for months, if not more than a year, and I think it's great.

The question, though, is what _else_ can we regular citizens buy? Could we buy something important, like a newspaper? Or build one from scratch? I've always thought it'd be nice to put together a USA Today, but a non-corporate one, and we could easily distribute it in every major city in America - and we could probably pay people to do it. We'd be sort of like the Green Party - we would only take ad money from non-profits and businesses not over some certain size - say 50 employees or some revenue amount, like $1 million or so.

Now you, too, can own a professional soccer team. And no, you don’t have to settle for an M.L.S. expansion franchise. Like Malcolm Glazer, Roman Abramovich and other super-rich sports investors, fans can own part of a real English professional soccer team.


What say you?

...i'm in. It's not really 'ownership', that i can tell - more you just get a chance to vote for a single year. You can buy yearly memberships, up to three, I think. Kinda sucks, but I'm glad I got in so I can check out how everything works.

Serfs of the Turf - wow

Michael Lewis does a great smackdown on the scandal that is big-time NCAA sports. That is - the NCAA forcing players to play for free if they want any chance to play pro, and the pro leagues forcing players to play for colleges for free for at least three years (football) or one year (basketball - i think) before they can go pro:

THE three most lucrative college football teams in 2005 — Notre Dame, Ohio State and the University of Texas — each generated more than $60 million for their institutions. That number, which comes from the Department of Education, fails to account for the millions of dollars alumni donated to their alma maters because they were so proud of their football teams. But it still helps to explain why so many strangers to football success have reinvented themselves as football powerhouses (Rutgers?), and also why universities are spending huge sums on new football practice facilities, new football stadium skyboxes and new football coaches.


Good stuff. Let's end this institutionalized serfdom today.

Check out League of Fans and Edge of Sports for more info.

UCLA - pay for admission

Pretty straightforward:

UCLA’s elite orthodontics residency program has violated University of California policy and standards governing public schools by giving special consideration in admissions to major donors and their relatives.

Hundreds of pages of e-mails and internal documents obtained during a months-long Daily Bruin investigation, along with dozens of interviews, show that the program and the officials at its helm developed a system of preferential treatment over the past five years.


Don't think I'd be too happy about that if i was a graduate or soon-to-be graduate - kinda puts a damper on everything you've done. Who will believe you actually did any work at UCLA, much less actually earned your own way in there?

Bushco wants Musharraf's Oil

That's the only reason I can figure they're trying to push Musharraf out of power. They don't necessarily need him out of power - they just need him to do what he's told.

On Monday, she said her Pakistan People's Party (PPP) had broken off contacts with Gen Musharraf and there was no likelihood of talks resuming in future.

She now says she can no longer see herself "serving with President Musharraf".


I'm sure Palast will be on top of it, whatever is going down...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

580,000 gallon oil spill in Black Sea? Crew trapped?

Those are the reports from Russia/Iran/etc.

If I've done the math correctly, the SF oil spill is roughly 1/10th that size - at just 58,000 gallons - just. The Black Sea spill is listed at '2,000 tonnes', so you have to get the specific gravity of crude oil, multiply, convert to gallons, etc.

I hope those crew members get out alive.

I fucking hate these oily bastards - Bush, Cheney, GM - and all the other criminals around the world responsible for our oily economy.

Can you believe this spill in SF happened during Green Festivals weekend?

...National Park Service terrorizing locals.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Who Killed the Electric Car?

Finally watched it - it was good.

My biggest take-away from the film (since I'd already heard and trusted in the central thesis) was the need to organize.

The people who had electric cars had no idea that GM was planning to junk them all - and GM was just taking them back from people very quietly, and people had no idea it was happening. Now, the internets are helping people find each other - and I'm guessing the internet is what helped these people find each other, though the film didn't specifically cover it.

Corporations are very well run organizations - they're perfect tyrannies with perfect top-down command and control - so the message gets out, and they can move very quickly. Groups of citizens/consumers/etc need to be able to organize just as their adversaries organize - though, citizen/consumer groups should not be organized as perfect tyrannies.

Some tools:
Meetup.com
WetPaint.com
Google Groups

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Rupert Murdoch Professor of Language and Communication at the University of Oxford

Yeah. Me too.

I was thrown off when reading a pretty funny article about the way men and women argue. It's almost an exact pick-apart of all my past relationships. FTW?

Why men and women argue differently - Times Online.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Entrapment of Cory Ryder

Shannan Troiano left her husband, and her son's father. Her son quickly starts going downhill, as kids often do when they lose a parent, in this case by the mother's choice.

Things started to spiral downward for the youth because mom and step dad are too busy making money to give a shit about him. She throws him out of the house at 14 some point, but apparently lets him return.

By 16, the kid is doing all the typical things that troubled kids do when their parents ignore them and/or abuse them - pulling fire alarms and whatnot at school - the typical 'cries for help'.

Finally, a bunch of adults, including a corrupt cop, work together to get the kid thrown in jail:

Of all the times she worried about how much to discipline her teenage son, depriving him of a PlayStation and taking down posters of cars and rap stars he admired, Shannan Troiano never imagined their relationship had become so strained that he would try to hire a hit man to kill her.

But there in the spacious living room of her Southern Maryland house was a detective, talking about how Cory Ryder, then 16, had told someone he wanted to have his mother killed. "We need to find out if he is serious," the detective said.

He proposed a sting. The woman Ryder talked to, the mother of one of his friends, would take him to a hotel room, where he would meet with an officer posing as a hit man.


This entrapment, of course, is eerily reminiscent of the Central Park Jogger case, where a bunch of corrupt politicians, cops, detectives, prosecutors and judges worked hard to get five innocent black kids thrown in jail. They all helped to coerce false confessions and suppress evidence to make sure that defenseless black kids made their way to the slammer for a crime they did not commit. None of the guilty politicians/cops/detective/prosecutors/judges in the case were ever jailed.

Much of the same happened here. Exactly how the professional manipulator, the detective, got the boy to talk about killing his mom, I don't know yet - I'm looking for a transcript of the court proceedings, where i hope his defense attorney was able to effectively point out the entrapment.

Imagine the scene - two adults in a hotel room with a teenage boy. The boy doesn't have an effective father figure - his mom is always the disciplinarian, it seems, so he sees the adult male detective and says what he thinks the detective wants to hear - the boy wants to please. And please he does - he says what the detective and all the other adults around him want him to say, and then he gets handcuffed and taken to jail.

How did they get to the hotel room? Another adult, the friend's mom, actually led the boy to this 'contract killer'. Can you imagine? Exactly how evil do you have to be to manipulate a kid like this? Cops do it all the time - especially to black kids - but in this case, it's a white kid, and the boy's parents were in on it.

What kind of sick society is this?

...plea deal. Cory plead to one of the four counts against him - 'involvement' with a solicitation to murder him mom. The corrupt prosecution knew they would have to tell a huge string of lies to get a conviction, so they offered a plea deal. Ryder accepted the plea because that's what defendants have to do - minimize their risk.

What is sick about the whole situation is that all the people running Cory's life originally tried to have him tried as an adult. That's usually something the prosecution reserves for black kids, but in this case, the people who ruined Cory wanted to make sure he was done for good. They failed - the case was sent to juvenile court.

Dude was living out of his car/truck for a while - as a minor - when the parents still had legal responsibility for his care and well-being. When Cory was allowed back into the house, he had nothing in his room - just a bed and a dresser. It'd be like solitary confinement.

And the best part about this deal for the corrupt cops, is they don't have to testify as to how they coerced this kid into saying whatever he supposedly said - the now-infamous 'two bullets is all it takes' line. I doubt he ever said that or anything else. I think this was a frame-up from top to bottom. It wouldn't be the first time corrupt cops and prosecutors have gotten over on innocent people.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Wiki's need search

Without a great search function, wiki's are shit. That's why Google's Jotspot - whenever it comes back online - will be great, and so many of the other online wiki companies will be in trouble.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Zazzle.com still down

Not sure what's going on. Their new rollout must've had issues. Seems to have been down for a full day, now. Zazzle.com.

...they were up by the next day. Stuff is pretty much working. New look looks good.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Earthquake; Blogs Win

Just got a 5.6 out here. Me and another guy were in the office - I was rockin out to my headphones and started feeling something weird. So I kinda look around and see my coworker's face - he's got that 'wtf?' look. So, I took off my headphone and just sat there trying to figure out wtf was going on - shit was swayin - especially these gargantuan light fixture things we have. Told my co-worker he might want to move out from underneath the one he was under.

The blogs had people posting in real-time - saying stuff like, "Oh shit - an earthquake just hit as I'm posting this," or this guy, who says "the house is still swaying a little". Google News picked up this AP wire article about ten minutes after the quake.

It's pretty darn cool to be able to get immediate reaction from neighbors.

And all the Google Maps stuff helps, too.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

White People on CNN

The parallels between the flood in New Orleans and the fires in Socal are uncanny. Water vs. fire. Black vs. White. Democrat vs. Republican.

Look - white victims are OK to put on tv, apparently.

...seriously - how many asshole socal republicans have been getting off on the new orleans fema trailers? let's listen for the roar of those same republicans as their asses are out on the street. assholes.

...white house cuts testimony on global warming - just as catastrophic global warming-fueled fire are tearing apart southern California.

Bill McKibben, leading environmentalist and one of the leading forces behind Step It Up. In 1989, he wrote the book “The End of Nature,” one of the first books to describe global warming as an emerging environmental crisis. His latest book is "Fight Global Warming Now: The Handbook for Taking Action in Your Community."

Saturday, October 20, 2007

LightsOutSF.org

Turn your lights out for an hour. Install at least one CFL lightbulb. LightsOutSF.org.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Costa Rica says no to US

But the CIA says yes:

Chanting “No to the free trade pact” and “Costa Rica is not for sale,” demonstrators filled one of San Jos�’s main boulevards to show their opposition to the Central American Free Trade Agreement with the United States.


The Al Jazeera story actually includes a picture from the protest.

100,000 people out of a total population of 4 million - that's 2.5% of the entire population of the country protesting in the streets. Damn.

There's no way that thing passed legally. Must've had the CIA stuffing ballot boxes again.

Polls just a couple of days before the referendum said the anti-Costa Rica vote would go down bigtime. Guess the IHT didn't factor in CIA ballot-box stuffing and snuffing operations. Not to mention the work of USAID and various other anti-democracy organizations like the IRI.

...LA Times has a good pic. And some more info on dirty tricks by the rich:

But that was before a memo written by CAFTA advocates was leaked to the public this month, fueling outrage here. The document, dated July 29 and written by two high-level government officials with close ties to Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, outlined a campaign of dirty tricks intended to sway voters.

The authors proposed smearing CAFTA opponents by linking them to leftist firebrands such as Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Cuban President Fidel Castro. They called for a public relations campaign to "stimulate fear" among citizens about the alleged dangers of snubbing the deal.

They also advocated punishing local officials -- by withholding funds for public programs in their regions -- if their constituents repudiated CAFTA.


U.S. government issues the standard 'vote for this or starve ultimatum.

The WSJ feels some guilt for what they are about to let happen to the working class people of Costa Rica - so the WSJ prints a reader response to yet another right-wing pro-rich article.

...well, that wasn't just 'some reader' - it was Bernie Sanders, US Senator from Vermont, and avowed Socialist. Full article reproduced here.

...this article says no exit polls allowed - standard operating procedure for votes you expect to steal.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

2007 Waves to Wine


Darn - i need to get some sleep, quick.

Hopefully some pics when we're done.

...pics. and a vid w/ some more links.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Get Out of Your Fucking Car; The Tanya Rider Search

Out here in Cali it's pretty easy to get around without a car - relative to most other places I've lived. There are bicycle lanes, the weather is perfect, etc.

So when I stumbled on this story (video) of a woman who had been missing for seven or eight days, after leaving work, on the overnight shift, having to drive a nine-mile stretch of road that is woodsy and curvy and in a couple of spots not-overly-populated - I kinda thought to myself, 'wow - why didn't someone look there earlier?'.

Well, of course, someone did, but they probably didn't do it on foot, or maybe even bicycle. Well, why not?

My guess would be because Americans don't do stuff out of their cars. Being outside of one's car on a road is just not comprehensible to most Americans.

The take-away? If you decide to look for someone who probably fell asleep at the wheel and crashed their car into dense brush, how about getting the fuck out of your car? Walk it. Bike it. Skateboard it. Whatever - just don't drive it. You won't find what you're looking for.

Eight days. Unreal.

...and today we have these things called the internets and Google Maps and Google Earth. The first thing I did when I saw this article was to plot her likely path home on Google Maps. If I was actually interested in finding her I would have plotted it in Google Earth, saved the route out to a .kzm file, and then distributed it using Google Earth's built-in distribution system, as well as the blogosphere, etc. Me and a couple of friends could have searched 10 miles of roadway in a few hours. I could do it myself - possibly jogging occasionally, carefully combing the landscape, in a day, two tops. With Google Earth it is _very_ easy to spot the five or six locations along the entire route from the store to downtown Maple Valley (no idea where she and hubby actually lived) where a sleepy person might have lost control of the car and ran off the road - they're all on that Route 169. If you subscribe to Google Earth you can actually get all sorts of crazy details. The article mentions that she went off the road below Southeast 196th Street - that's one of the obvious hotspots on the Google Earth Map - though, I would have guessed just north of that location. When looking for a possible off-road situation, you'd know that people tend to wake up too late, overcorrect, and then actually go off their _own_ side of the road - so you'd search each hot spot area well, on both sides of the road. Import this .kzm file and use Google Earth to actually fly her route towards her home. Welcome to the internets, detective. No phone records necessary. No search warrants necessary. No 8-day suffering period necessary. No outrageous hospital expenses necessary. No emotional pain and distress for family and friends necessary. No multi-man, multi-day, multi-expensive search party necessary.

...confirmed:

Tom Rider said he also drove the route where his wife was found but didn't see any sign of a crash. He also offered a $25,000 reward for any information leading to her safe return.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Argentina hosts gay 'World Cup' of soccer

Argentina hosts gay 'World Cup' of soccer:

Hundreds of amateur athletes from around the world kicked off the gay 'World Cup' on Monday in soccer-crazed Argentina.

Waving a rainbow flag symbolic of the gay community, the cheering players began play at a park in Buenos Aires — which in 2002 became the first Latin American city to approve same-sex civil unions.

"There's the polemic that gay people are supposed to be effeminate and not play sports," said Matt Borkowski, a 36-year-old playing with a Philadelphia squad. "But we're here to embrace sports and show you can be gay and be sporty at the same time."

About 500 athletes, representing 28 city squads such as the San Francisco Spikes, New York Ramblers, London Leftovers and Sydney Rangers, are taking part in the International Gay and Lesbian Football Association World Soccer Championships, which run through Saturday.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Stanford vs. Rumsfeld, Rice, Hoover Institute

Hoover is at it again, trying to bring in another war criminal. The overwhelming response thus far seems to be negative. I put together a little sumpin sumpin - trying out my design skillz:

Monday, September 17, 2007

Stanford vs. USF Mens Soccer; 09/16/07


I only watched the first half, but here's the report:

Conor Chinn is a monster. Scored the first goal (and only I saw) for SF by running through and over at least four Stanford defenders, including the Stanford sweeper who made a lame attempt to clear - Chinn finished coolly. He should transfer to England immediately - they'll love him, and he'll do well.

Stanford should have known he was coming to town - he just downed #11 Cal with a two-goal performance (coaching error).

#7 SF outside right back for SF - solid. strong shot from set play. pwning his man.

#15 SF outside left half - super-quick. attacks with pace. dangerous.

#3 SF sweeper solid. fast. good on the ball. cool enough.

Stanford _completely_ dominating possession - Chinn is great, but SF won't go anywhere without a midfield.

SF keeper is solid - grabs all loose balls at their zenith.

Stanford strikers completely ineffective - slow, unskilled - probably senior holdovers.

#14 Stanford - terrible.

#10 Stanford - nonexistent.

Stanford holds the ball way too long - no fluidity or imagination.

Stanford strikers tired with 20 min left in first half.

Stanford refusal to dish early is killing every attack.

Stanford continues low-percentage passes to dead space - will _not_ make the easy pass - this is obviously an ego problem. Maybe another loss will fix that. Probably not. (coaching error)

...Stanford loses in overtime, 2-1.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Michael Vick - fascist?

Another good Zirin article:

Such a writer is Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post. On Thursday she wrote, "If an animal didn't perform well enough, if it wasn't champion enough, if it was in Vick's judgment flawed, he strangled it, drowned it, electrocuted it or beat it to death on the ground. Vick and his pals deliberately enslaved and tormented weaker creatures, and killed those they considered inferior. The dogs had faces and voices that would have eloquently expressed their agony, and Vick hurt them anyway, repeatedly. The crimes may have been committed against canines, but at issue is basic humanity. Commit those crimes against people, and the words we'd use for it are fascism, and genocide. Don't kid yourself: The people who are so angry at Vick are angry for all the right reasons."

If it had run in the Onion, I wouldn't have blinked. But this is the Washington Post, an esteemed paper of record. And this is Sally Jenkins. First, the contention, repeated everywhere as if fact, that Vick "strangled, drowned, electrocuted or beat dogs to death" was in the indictment, not the guilty plea. In other words, it remains an unproven accusation. If anything, Vick pleaded guilty because all of his friends pled deals when it became clear that the federal government wanted – as they always do – to land the big celebrity catch. The same justice department that says of Barry Bonds, "He's our Al Capone" wanted Vick. That's the headline. That's what keeps their budgets fat.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

BarCamp / BarCampBlock / Palo Alto / 2007

Just checked out BarCamp / BarCampBlock. It's just down the street (literally) from my crib.

Was a good scene. Lots of people where I went - the main hub - at SocialText. There are four or five other satellite-type locations/offices on the surrounding blocks.

Talked with a Yahoo - dominated the foos table - then split.

Didn't hurt that it was another picture perfect day in sunny Palo Alto, CA.

Oh - and the Yahoo had a damn Polaroid. Very cool. Pic came out good, too. He scans them later and uploads them to Flickr. Pretty dope. I need a digital Polaroid. Wonder if they make 'em?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

US terror interrogation went too far, experts say

You don't say?

Miami - Jose Padilla had no history of mental illness when President Bush ordered him detained in 2002 as a suspected Al Qaeda operative. But he does now.


Well, it's yet another beautiful day in sunny Palo Alto, California, and I'm about to go out and enjoy it. And I'll be thinking about how to stop a lawless government from psychologically torturing (at least) innocent U.S. citizens until they become batshit crazy. And I'll be feeling guilty about not having done enough to stop it.

This is fucked up.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Bark Blog: Time to Bunny-Up

Bark Blog: Time to Bunny-Up:

They are currently the third most euthanized pet in this country. If bunnies had the same organized outreach as cats and dogs, this wouldn’t happen. So let’s join forces. Best Friends Animal Society is circulating a petition in protest. Brambley Hedge Rabbit Rescue has suspended rabbit adoptions with PetSmart and initiated a boycott. The Rabbit House Society is more circumspect, calling on the chain to change course and inviting supporters to politely express their displeasure.


This is important for a few reasons, but one I'd like to emphasize is that organizations are working together. Here, a dog magazine/blog is jumping in to help publicize a non-dog issue. Granted, it's not a big stretch since it's all animal rights, but this is the type of thing we need to be doing at all activist organizations - organizations with different stated goals need to be in better communication - by supporting each other directly and indirectly, they can become bigger power centers, forcing corporations and the government to respond.

...added links.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Once

That was a great #*##*#*#*# movie.

Grand. Brilliant. All the rest.

As per usual, I highly recommend not watching the previews.

...not watching the previews/trailers allows you to sit through the movie and wonder, "What the heck does 'Once' mean, anyways?". Spoiler tagline: How often do you find the right person?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Tillman murdered?

Thought I posted about this recently, but I couldn't find it. Damn blogger. Found an old post, but its source article, here, is disappeared. That's not completely abnormal for little newspaper sites, but still - it's a pretty important story - or, at least, speculation.

So, TPM has some new facts.

And now Wonkette, of all blogs, is saying some stuff I hadn't heard before. They say, for instance, that the reason Tillman was going to meet with (one of my personal heroes) Chomsky was to find out exactly how he should come out against the war when he got back to the U.S. I knew about the planned meeting, but I just figured it was going to be a chit chat about whatever.

And I firmly believe, now, if I didn't already, that he was murdered by his own unit. I mean, shit - his unit burned his armor - wtf? There's only one good reason to burn shit - to remove your tracks.

The Pentagon covered it up.

All sorts of military personnel in the field covered it up - a retired General recently being reprimanded.

Military doctors doubted from the very beginning the story they were fed.

Three close-range bullet holes in the forehead after he was already wounded several times?

That was some Mafia/Gestapo/Nazi-style shit - an out and out execution.

I'm sure someone's going to ask Chomsky what he thinks of all this - someone always does. Chomsky will handle it with care, of course, but I suspect he won't give people what they're looking for - he won't do our thinking for us. He'll say something to the effect that 'anything is possible', but won't go towards 'plausible' and he'll refrain from saying too much about it at all, and then he'll reinforce his core message to all of us - get together and get active - build mass popular movements and force the government and corporations to repond to our demands.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Government spyware - really

This sums it up pretty well:

FBI agents trying to track the source of e-mailed bomb threats against a Washington high school last month sent the suspect a secret surveillance program designed to surreptitiously monitor him and report back to a government server, according to an FBI affidavit obtained by Wired News.

The court filing offers the first public glimpse into the bureau's long-suspected spyware capability, in which the FBI adopts techniques more common to online criminals.


Here's the good part, though:

Under a ruling this month by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, such surveillance -- which does not capture the content of the communications -- can be conducted without a wiretap warrant, because internet users have no "reasonable expectation of privacy" in the data when using the internet.


Because you use the internet, you have 'no reasonable expectation' that the programs you are running on your computer should be known only to you - got it?

Criminals - all of them.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Iraq, Denial and Deception

Check out this page from the official White House site - it looks like a self-parody:

Friday, July 20, 2007

Cuba must suffer

That is the take-away from the latest on U.S. government treachery towards the Cuban people:

WASHINGTON — Eliminating U.S. trade and travel restrictions on Cuba could double U.S. agricultural exports to the island, according to a new government report that's sure to add fuel to the debate over U.S. sanctions on Cuba.

The study estimated that the restrictions cost the United States between $176 million and $350 million annually in lost agriculture exports to Cuba.


The economic strangulation of Cuba by the United States is for one reason and one reason alone - to set an example. If a country doesn't open itself up for exploitation by U.S.-based investors, it must suffer until it does so. Including and even if the trade strangulation against the targeted country harms American citizens, too.

Rethinking Camelot.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Sex abuse insurance

Kinda, um, evil:

According to GuideOne, a major insurer for Protestant churches, most of its clients choose $100,000 of coverage for sex abuse. That might cost a small church with one pastor as little as $100 a year. A much larger church that also runs, say, a day-care center, might pay $6,000 to have $1 million in coverage. Religious organizations buying a lot of coverage may need to prove that they're taking precautions to lower the risk of sex abuse. GuideOne, for instance, requires some churches to conduct criminal background checks on employees, to allow volunteers to work with kids only after they've completed six months of service with the church, and to make sure that no child is ever left alone with just one adult. The policy won't cover everything. Insurers may put a limit on how much they will pay in aggregate, or for each case. (Recently, three major Protestant insurers reported that they receive 260 reports of child abuse every year.)


If an organization needs sex abuse insurance, I think it's time to rethink whether that organization should exist at all.

Ewww factor

Why We Get Disgusted - TIME:

Andrea Morales and Gavan Fitzsimons can both remember when and where their current research interest began. It came during a talk at the University of Pennsylvania a few years ago: Paul Rozin, a professor of psychology, took a cockroach that had been sterilized, dipped it into a glass of orange juice, then asked if anyone was willing to take a sip.

Nobody was. But if an involuntary ewww just went through your mind, as it almost certainly did, the experiment is still working. Rozin specializes in the psychological study of disgust, and he was demonstrating the universal concept of touch transference. It's a fancy term for cooties. If something repulsive touches something benign, the latter, even if it's physically unchanged, becomes "infected."


These types of insights are important - especially for those of us to are trying to win others to our cause. It's kind of pathetic, but sometimes it seems like all activists need at least a minor in advertising and public relations to be able to effectively convey a message that folks are open to. The professional propagandists, after all, are trained in these arts of deception. Does learning these arts make us evil, too? Probably not - but practicing them against people? Yep - that would seem kind of evil.

Anyhoo, the mainstream media has convinced most folks that any pseudo-lefty idea was probably dreamt up by a 'dirty fucking hippy' - as Atrios like to refer to us/himself - and that, i'm certain, helps to keep people from taking our ideas seriously. If we say, "Hey guys, let's like, not murder people anymore" - the mainstream press will effectively relay the message that "the dirty fucking hippies said blah blah blah" - what we actually said is not important, because there is a 'ewwww' factor associated with any sane-sounding ideas.

Should we spend some/most/all of our time battling negative stereotypes, or do we just try to convince those few people who remain open-minded?

Got me.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Georgia executions recorded

Scary shit:

In 2001, radio producer Dave Isay released "The Execution Tapes," 19 recordings of electrocutions carried out by the state of Georgia since 1984. They remain the only recordings of executions in the United States. They were recorded internally by the Georgia Department of Corrections as a secret official record of the executions.


As usual, Democracy Now! is kickin ass. Every day they just have the greatest news and info.

...Jesus Fucking Christ. What kind of Nazi fuckin state is this? Monsters. Yuckin it up. "We appreciate it - just get us another one." IQ of the dude was 62. An IQ of 70 is the top bottom end of 'mentally handicapped' (meaning, this dude was mentally handicapped).

Georgia Capital Defenders.

Only took 20 minutes to kill the second dude. WTF?

Like Muse said in Take a Bow:

And burn, you will burn,
You will burn in hell, yeah you’ll burn in hell.
You’ll burn in hell, yeah you’ll burn in hell for your sins.


...it's fucking impossible for doctors of good conscience to participate in executions. They should be jailed, too. Two doctors. Same goes for you two - to hell.

...and what about the case of Genarlow Wilson? what the fuck is going on in Georgia?

...correction regarding IQ, above.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Babies dodging snipers?

Thanks Bush:

WASHINGTON — U.S. soldiers have killed or wounded 429 Iraqi civilians at checkpoints or near patrols and convoys during the past year, according to military statistics compiled in Iraq and obtained by McClatchy Newspapers.

The statistics are the first official accounting of civilian shootings since the war began, and while they seem small compared with the thousands who've died in Iraq's violence, they show the difficulty that the U.S. has in fulfilling its vow to protect civilians.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Men sexually harass women because they are not sexist

An interesting bit from the Psychology Today feed - Ten Politically Incorrect Truths About Human Nature:

# Men sexually harass women because they are not sexist

An unfortunate consequence of the ever-growing number of women joining the labor force and working side by side with men is the increasing number of sexual harassment cases. Why must sexual harassment be a necessary consequence of the sexual integration of the workplace?

Psychologist Kingsley R. Browne identifies two types of sexual harassment cases: the quid pro quo ("You must sleep with me if you want to keep your job or be promoted") and the "hostile environment" (the workplace is deemed too sexualized for workers to feel safe and comfortable). While feminists and social scientists tend to explain sexual harassment in terms of "patriarchy" and other ideologies, Browne locates the ultimate cause of both types of sexual harassment in sex differences in mating strategies.

Studies demonstrate unequivocally that men are far more interested in short-term casual sex than women. In one now-classic study, 75 percent of undergraduate men approached by an attractive female stranger agreed to have sex with her; none of the women approached by an attractive male stranger did. Many men who would not date the stranger nonetheless agreed to have sex with her.

The quid pro quo types of harassment are manifestations of men's greater desire for short-term casual sex and their willingness to use any available means to achieve that goal. Feminists often claim that sexual harassment is "not about sex but about power;" Browne contends it is both—men using power to get sex. "To say that it is only about power makes no more sense than saying that bank robbery is only about guns, not about money."

Sexual harassment cases of the hostile-environment variety result from sex differences in what men and women perceive as "overly sexual" or "hostile" behavior. Many women legitimately complain that they have been subjected to abusive, intimidating, and degrading treatment by their male coworkers. Browne points out that long before women entered the labor force, men subjected each other to such abusive, intimidating, and degrading treatment.

Abuse, intimidation, and degradation are all part of men's repertoire of tactics employed in competitive situations. In other words, men are not treating women differently from men—the definition of discrimination, under which sexual harassment legally falls—but the opposite: Men harass women precisely because they are not discriminating between men and women.


Zowie. There is other interesting stuff in there.

I certainly agree that many feminists employ the 'not about sex but about power' argument all too often. Never made any sense to me. After some research, I quickly admitted that yes, power did seem to be part of the equation, but my rational side always told me that sex had to be part of the equation, too.

Cesar Chavez Doesn't Exist in NJ Public Schools

At least, he didn't during the time I was growing up. Out here in Cali, though, he's everywhere. Looks like the Federales are finally being pressured to change things a bit:

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers will take another modest step Tuesday toward saluting the legacy of the late farm labor leader Cesar Chavez.

The United Farm Workers founder already has his own stamp. Next could be federal recognition of the landmarks in his abundantly active life, under a bill set for approval by the House of Representatives.

"I hope . . . future generations may understand who Cesar Chavez was and the significance of his work," Rep. Hilda Solis, D-Calif., said earlier this year.

Solis' legislation gives the Interior Department three years to study sites "significant to the life of Cesar E. Chavez and the farm labor movement in the western United States." Officials will examine ways to preserve the sites and interpret them to the public.


People wonder about the differences in miseducation between the U.S. and Canada, or the U.S. and Iran. What about within the U.S. - even two somewhat liberal states like NJ and CA?

Al Jazeera English YouTube Channel

This is very good news - Al Jazeera now on YouTube, legally:

The world's first English language news channel to have its headquarters in the Middle East; covering the world, bridging cultures and setting the news agenda.
Name: Al Jazeera English
Website: http://www.aljazeera.net/english


It's the second best television news program in existence - right after Democracy Now!. Check out a recent video clip of one of the many humanitarian crises the US Government has caused for innocent people:



And one of their shows, Listening Post, covers emerging media. It's great. And it'd be great to have some San Francisco tech-hipsters take notice.

The television channel itself actually shows YouTube-style 'video responses' from users - they are openly critical of the channel, Arab governments, and they are sent in from all over the world. Here's a call to send your thoughts:



Here's the full Al Jazeera program schedule. You can watch the low-quality feed for free, or pay a premium of a few bucks a month to watch it at a higher bit rate. Censorship from the U.S. government keeps cable operators from running it here.

Another program they have, Witness, is also brilliant. Here's one particular episode I'm trying to find an online copy of:

Witness
Gadi Schwartz takes his first trip to Kansas to investigate the mood of middle America and its position on the war in Afghanistan and Iraq.


Can you imagine seeing something like that on CNN?

...'Global Village Voices' may be the segment of 'Listening Post' where user-submitted videos are submitted.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Benefit to Save Net Radio

Pretty cool event:

Soma Fm, Sonic Living, reapandsow, myopenbar.com, Bagel Radio, corey denis, elise nordling , & Bottom of The Hill are throwing a benefit to help generate money and awareness in the final 2 weeks before the CRB hearing on July 15. After July 15, depending on your elected officials and members of the house & senate - Internet Radio is gone forever.

This is a benefit to help ensure the diversity of streaming music on the internet. If you use Pandora, Last.fm, listen to any internet radio/ streaming radio online, you are directly affected by the hearing on July 15.


No idea who this guy was, but he was good:

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Propaganda III World Tour, San Francisco, July 4, 2007

The Squid List rules my world. If I'm doing something fun, chances are I heard about it from the Squid List. Oddly, of the 100+ Squid Listed events I've attended, I don't believe I've ever seen the same person at two different events.

Regardless, the latest was a pseudo-art show of propaganda posters of all kinds:

On July 4, 2007, the PROPAGANDA III art show opens in San Francisco.

There will be no curation and absolutely NO censorship of any sort. Expressed political viewpoints, be they left, right, or center, will be displayed side-by-side, both online AND in the real world.

PROPAGANDA III will tour the globe through 2008, with dozens of one day art shows worldwide - the current schedule includes stops throughout north america, south america, australia, asia, europe, and the middle east.

NO art will be sold at any of the shows, although copies of the posters will be available for sale directly through the websites of participating artists.

This is NOT a commercial art show, but rather a global celebration of free speech + untrammeled freedom of expression.


SFist chimes in two times.

The posters themselves were very cool, very inspiring, but I was hoping for more controversial/right-wing/communist/authoritarian/uncle-sam-type stuff - instead, it was mostly lefty fare. Nonetheless, cool.

But the scene - the spot - the Phoenix Hotel and connected lounge - what a great spot. This is kinda what it looked like today.



Beers, bbq, rockin art, dj with turntables - what a scene.

I'm also on the mailing list for the Center for the Study of Political Graphics, where all these posters will live when this current art tour finishes. I first heard about CSPG when I was looking for some seemingly-rare Black Panther posters.