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 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 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:[whatever_username_you_choose]

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

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

Good luck!


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., 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. 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


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:
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.