Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tuesday Night Music 11 24 09

Now more relevant than ever, in the wake of Kanye West becoming a "Jackass" - Nine Inch Nails makes fun of Kanye's Daft-Punk mashup in his own, excellent style.

NIN for the win! I only hope his threats to stop touring are just threats and not reality. I'd hate to see him take the Jay-Z route.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Iran: Revolutionary Square

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tuesday Night Music 11 17 09

The Butthole Surfers. Now this is a band I can get behind, thick or thin. They just are too baked to not love.

True story, maybe. One tour they did, they went cross country in the back of a van. They remember getting INTO the van at the start. They remember getting OUT OF the van at the end. Everything inbetween, almost a whole year, is just little bits and pieces because the moment they got into the van, they started getting high. And they didn't come down until it was time for reentry.

Is it true? Who cares? It's the Butthole Surfers. And this is "Pepper."

And that IS Eric "Ponch" Estrada in the video. How cool is that?

Sacha Baron Cohen Exposes Bad Parents (Bruno Clip)

I'm not a major fan of cringe humor - I spent most of Borat scrunched down in my seat with my hands over my face, saying "oh no, oh no..." - but every once in a while Sacha Baron Cohen skewers someone who deserves it, and a whole lot worse (re: the "throw the jew down the well" song from 'Borat'). And for that I have to applaud.

This is one of those cases. This is Baron, as Bruno, auditioning babies for a photo shoot. It is a brilliant reminder that some people will do anything for money. And I have to wonder how these parents are allowed to keep their kids.

I also wonder what the outtakes were like ("You want my baby to play with bees and lit phosphorous?!?!?")

(h/t Failblog)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Iran Asset Seizures: The smile just says it all

mahmoud ahmedinejad
see more Political Pictures

U.S. law enforcement and intelligence officials have long suspected that Alavi and its related institutions are vehicles through which the Iranian government keeps tabs on Iranians here, obtains data about U.S. technology, promotes Tehran's views on world affairs, provides gathering places for pro-Iran activists and channels money to U.S. academics to gain friendly readings on Iran. Indeed, a lengthy investigation by Newsday in 1995 concluded that Alavi was controlled by Iran's clerical leadership and that several officers and directors had been implicated in arms and technology shipments to Iran

From the article here

The timing is interesting, given that recent news has us looking downcast at Iran's reactor programs, yet again.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A letter to an old friend

I had cause to write a pointed letter to a friend whom I used to write for, over at the American Partisan, over what he said about what happened at Fort Hood. His comments were here and here.

You can read my response here, as he was gracious enough to print it.

I'd like to stress that I respect Timothy Rollins very highly. He gave me a start in the op-ed biz, long ago, and though our roads have diverged I still think the world of him for his generosity and enthusiasm. I just think he's wrong about this issue, and needed to hear it from me.

I'd also like to point out that he is -- in a world where those who run blogs and op-ed sites are often loath to publish something that disagrees strongly with them, or have to run it along with smarmy and belittling comments -- a prince amongst men.

I don't know if I'll agree with his follow-up, which he has promised, any more than I agreed with the other two. But at least I have given him something to think about, and he has, most graciously, agreed to do so.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuesday Night Music 11 10

The members of Front 242 are well known for going off and doing side projects. C-Tec is one of them, and they are seriously amazing. I only know of two CDs they've done, but they are both pure gold. If you like Front 242's darker, more experimental stuff, and aren't constantly expecting "Headhunter" out of them, you should give them a listen.

(And yes, I'm a day late. Computer troubles. I'm sure that needs no explanation)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fort Hood and Remembering the Snipers

After the last few days of the Fort Hood horror, and its aftermath, it's a good thing to put things in proper perspective. It may not help the victims' families, but it may do a bit of good for the rest of us. Goddess knows we could use it.

And, fortunately for us all, this has been a week for synchronicity. As much as I hate resorting to new age babble amongst adults, there is some truth in the notion that, at certain times, the universe smacks you upside the head with several different, yet related things -- signs -- in order to help point you in the direction you should be going, or away from a pitfall.

Like Mel Gibson in a house filled with half-drunk glasses of water, we are being bombarded with signs.

Flash back seven years when America was under attack, once again, by Islamic terrorists. Remember the snipers? Remember when we were told that Al-Qaeda was lurking with a gun in hand, shooting folks? Remember how just about everyone with an opinion was out there, waving it in the air, and telling us what was happening, and why - some theories more ludicrous than others?

Well, it turned out that it wasn't Al-Qaeda. It was a disturbed man with an even more disturbed, underage accomplace. They weren't exactly the foreigners we were looking for. They weren't exactly the Muslims we expected, either.

Everything we thought we knew was wrong.

As of this writing, that man's attempt to have his execution stopped has been denied by the Suprene Court. Unless the Governor shows him clemency, he's on his way to the hereafter by way of a lethal injection.

Also as of this writing, the people who were wrong about what was going on have yet to apologize for their shaky theories, fear-mongering, and sorry attempts to use the fear we felt to catapult themselves into the limelight.

If anything, they went on their way insisting that they were right all along, even if they weren't. Call it the Joseph "Mr. Mustache" Farah school of bad journalism - practices he's happily continued, as the Orly Taitz imbroglio has proven.

Flash forward to another man with a gun -- Scott Roeder, who has, according to the news, just confessed to killing abortion provider George Tiller. And he has no regrets whatsoever -- after all, "preborn children were in imminent danger," which makes shooting an unarmed man a-ok in the world of anti-abortion zealots, and their defenders.

Disgusting, yes. But this is also a sign.

When I was speaking of the capture of the then-suspected snipers for The American Partisan, I said:

But that's all a bit secondary to the real point. I don't care what the suspects looked like, who they prayed to, or what was going through the suspects' heads when they were on their damned who rides. I care about their actions, and I think I have the right to call them evil.

And do you know what? Evil isn't a phenotype or a census tag. It isn't a race, a religion, a philosophy or a country of origin - nothing that simple or clear-cut.

Evil is a state of mind: the willingness to ignore the fact that others matter, too, while benefiting yourself. It can be as simple as taking the money from someone's lost wallet, and it can be as elaborate as 9/11, the Holocaust or Stalin's reign of terror. It can come from any hand, any face, any background and at any time.

And woe be to those who forget this, for their predictions about what evil will come, and who will do it, will often have about as much accuracy as Criswell.

I stand by those words even now. Now that people are banging the drums of islamophobia again. Now that there are calls for the discharge of Muslims from the armed forces again. Now that we're all flipping out over what to do next, or what's the best way to handle this matter.

Evil is not your religion, race, or country of origin. Evil is what you do. Period.

The best way to handle this is the way we should always handle these matters. Investigate the situation and then hold those responsible accountable for their actions. So if the suspect is, indeed, guilty of these killings, then he should be held accountable.

We should not tar all Muslims serving in the Armed Forces with his brush, any more than we should tar all members of the Nation of Islam with John Muhammad, or all anti-abortion activists with Scott Roeder. We should consider patterns and possible connections, yes, but one should not accuse an overall group based on the actions of the few, or the one.

In the days to come we will hear a lot from the "Experts" on what we should do next. Just remember that some of these exact same "experts" had us looking all over for the wrong targets when the beltway snipers were on the loose.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Happy Fucking Birthday, Sesame Street

Sesame Street turns 40, this week, That's milestone worth celebrating. It's also worth a look at the old stuff versus the new stuff to see how we've developed as a society over the last forty years.

The sad news is, we've got backwards.

Remember when Cookie Monster ate only cookies, and ate them like they were going out of style? Not anymore. Now he eats a healthy, balanced diet because Gods forbid kids eat only cookies. Kids can't be told - like I was - that cookie monster can eat only cookies, but I need other kinds of food, too.

Remember when Mr. Snuffleupagus was thought to be imaginary by the other denizens of the street, because he always walked offstage when they showed up, leaving Big Bird alone? Not anymore. Now everyone knows he's real because it's BAD for kids to have imaginary friends. Kids with imaginary friends need special drugs, these days.

ANd does anything need to be said about Elmo? That devil doll is the prozac-riddled apotheosis of everything wrong with kids in this day and age. He is the lovechild of Barney and all four of the Teletubbies, dripping sweetness like poisoned sugar, and desperately in need of a .50 caliber enema.

Several .50 caliber enemas.

The loose insanity and free to be you and me ethic of the show is gone. It has been replaced by safety nets and the occasional swipe at Fox news. The DVDs of the old years come with warning labels that they're not for kids - can you imagine that? If they weren't for kids now, then what was so bad about them then that we got screwed up by watching them?

I mean, look at me. I think I turned out normal. Elmo's exploded asshole may think differently, but that's his problem. I think I've got some public backing on that one.

So allow me to hijack the birthday cake, heat up the flamethrower and make a wish. I wish they'd just go back in time and let loose with what they used to be. We need some of that acid-fueled, hippie love daring-do in the here and now, when who knows how many kids are hooked on psychiatric drugs and being turned into robots for public health and safety.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

"Earther" Update - Stranger is Fictional Reality

Yes, this a little bit of old news, but I was, this very day, struck once more by how reality is stranger than fiction.

Remember how I reported, not that long ago, that "Earthers" were out there, insisting that Obama was not a native of this planet?

However, a new group of theorists claim that the President wasn't just born outside of America, but outside of Earth's orbit. The "Earthers," as they are known, say they have tentative proof that Barack Obama is an alien from outer space, sent to destroy the country from within for sinister but unguessable purposes.

However, that's just about all that they agree on.

It was a cute piece -- though perhaps a bit long -- complete with a cameo from my old friend Tim Foil, who's been up to who-knows-what since his expose on Cookie Monster shooting JFK. Fearless, peerless, and usually wroGn, that's our Timmy!

Well, to echo From Hell, I made it up, but it came true anyway.

If you read the small print in Judge Land's absolutely hilarious explanation as to why he fined Orly Taitz $20,000 for wasting the court's time, a magnificent find appears on page 27:

Or perhaps an eccentric citizen has become convinced that the President is an alien from Mars, and the courts should order DNA testing to enforce the Constitution.

7 The Court does not make this observation simply as a rhetorical device for emphasis; the Court has actually received correspondence assailing its previous order in which the sender, who, incidentally, challenged the undersigned to a “round of fisticuffs on the Courthouse Square,” asserted that the President is not human.

Oh yes, he did.

And not only did he do that, but the moron who sent that correspondence actually outed himself on Orly's facebook:

Leonard McCauley: Orly Taitz, U will not believe this…U might recall the letter I sent to Judge Clay Land asking him out for a round of Fist n” Cuffs on the Courthouse Square…. I must have really freightened the Weasle, cause a fella by the name of Chad B. Hunt, Deputy U.S. Marshal, Tulsa, Okla. 918-xxx-xxxx, Cell: 918-xxx-xxxx [numbers redacted] gave my neighbor his card and asked me to call him. I called him immediately & left a message. He just now returned my call. He proceeded to chastise me for writing threatening letters to Judge Land…By the time I got threw with him, he was talking to himself.. My letter did exactly what I wanted it to do, and I thanked Chad B. Hunt for making my day. If Judge Land thinks he is scaring me by sending a U.S. Marshall to try and Frighten a 62 yr. old S.S. Recepiant, he is dead wrong…All he did was to strengthen my resolve.

(courtesy of Oh For Goodness Sake, printed verbatim, misspellings and all)

Was he being serious in his letter to Judge Land? Was he just blowing off steam and tweaking the face of sensible legal authority? Is he missing a few cards from his deck? Who can say?

But unless this is just a 62 year old social security recipient's idea of a bad joke, it appears we may have our first proper "Earther."* And, Goddess help me, I may have heralded his approach with giant space laser Frisbees.

*Not counting COTO's new best friend David Icke, of course.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Orly Taitz - Now With Serdar Argic!

Lucky, Lucky, Orly Taitz. First she gets attention, then fame, and now her very own Zumabot. The ghost of Serdar Argic lives on, and he's a "forger"!

Fellow bloggers covering the Orly Taitz Birther imbroglio: have you had a visit from "Paul"? If so, did he post this:

Judge Land and now judge Carter, smack down the crazies (case dismissed), poor little Birthers.

Not even “Fake News” Bill O’Reilly believes the crazies, how funny.


To all the birthers in La, La Land, it is on you to prove to all of us that your assertion is true (TOUGH WHEN YOU KEEP LOSING CASES), if there are people who were there and support your position then show us the video (everyone has a price), either put up or frankly shut-up.

In my opinion the Republican Party has been taken over the most extreme religious right (people who love to push their beliefs on others while trying to take away the rights of those they just hate) and that is who they need to extract from their party if they real want to win. Good Luck, because as they said in WACO, “We Ain’t Coming Out”.

I heard that she now wants to investigate the “Republican 2009 Summer of Love” list: Assemblyman, Michael D. Duvall (CA), Senator John Ensign (NV), Senator Paul Stanley (TN), Governor Mark Stanford (SC), Board of Ed Chair, and Kristin Maguire AKA Bridget Keeney (SC).

I wonder if she is a mail order bride, just like her law degree? She is perfect reporter material for “Fake News”, where unfounded rumors and innuendo reign supreme , unlike a our US courts of law, where you need to present documented facts, not half baked lies (prepare for more failures).

A lawyer, dentist, realtor and black belt, WOW I must say a JACK of all trades master of none.

If so, you appear to have been spammed. At first I thought it was a bot that zeroed in on post dealing with Orly, much like Serdar Argic went after anything having to do with Turkey - including, infamously, turkey dinners. However, "Paul" has since gone on to become "Montana" on my blog, and "Preston" over at Obama Conspiracy Theories.

Busy fellow, our "Paul."

Paul, if you're not a bot, and you actually ARE reading this - please stop forum spamming. It makes you look like a little kid telling big boy jokes to older kids in the hopes of being accepted. All they're going to do is steal your lunch money and give you a wedgie.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Tuesday Night Music 11 3

The Cure are one of those bands that are truly progressive. Just when you think you've got them nailed down, they twist and shift into an entirely new shape. It's too bad that the shapes they've taken over the last few incarnations haven't been anywhere near as good as the past, at least for me. But I was brought up with The Top, Head on the Door, Pornography, and the magnificent Disintegration. And with b-sides like this, how can what they've done in recent years hope to compare?

"A Man Inside My Mouth" is this one. It may or may not mean what you think it does.

Orly Post-Carter - Observations, Speculations, and Silence

(Image stolen from 3 Times Faster) : )

After the "shocking" dismissal of Barnett vs Obama - which was shocking only if you hadn't been paying attention, or were a Birther, or both (which often goes without saying) -- Orly Taitz and her flying monkeys have been making a lot of noise, as you might well expect. Judge Carter has been vilified. Obama has been promised more lawsuits. Everyone, everywhere is going to get taken to jail for treason. La la la la.

One interesting voice in all this has been silent thus far, at least on this matter. Alan Keyes, who had Orly representing him in this matter, has yet to weigh in on the matter on his blog. Instead he's gone on about the "New Totalitarians" at Whirled Nut Daily, and talked about Dede Scozzafava's leaving the race in NY's 23rd Congressional District. No word yet about how he got conned by Orly's incompetence. Accountability, much, Alan?

Speaking of WND, Terry Krepel has another piece at Huffington Post looking into how that august, dependable media body has failed to have any sense of journalistic integrity when covering her.

Such failure to report basic, factual information is not accidental, or is it incompetence. It is a deliberate effort on the the part of WorldNetDaily to decieve its readers.

Why would WND do this? Because it has a lot invested -- the reputations of the website and its employees, from Joseph Farah on down, not to mention a money-generating side business -- in the birther conspiracy, and in Taitz. If Taitz is discredited, the birther conspiracy is too ... and so are Farah and WND.

Therefore, WND must hide the truth about Taitz from its readers. They can't know the increasingly shaky foundations upon which its signature conspiracy rests.

h/t to Oh For Goodness Sake

And finally, Doc Conspiracy over at Obama Conspiracy Theories has an admittedly speculative piece up, wondering if maybe, just maybe, Orly is more victim than victimizer in all this.

So yes, Orly Taitz is batshirt crazy, but I am not ready to call her evil. I see her as a victim of unscrupulous characters, her repressive upbringing in the Soviet Union, the anti-Obama smear campaign from the 2008 election, her anti-Muslim prejudice, her own obsessive character, and the seductive nature of fame itself. Once she loses her license to practice law, the fame of the crusading lawyer dries up. She will go back to being a nobody. That could be a crushing blow. I see Orly Taitz, “queen bee of the birthers” as an essentially tragic figure in the making.

And I'd send you over to AXJ's forum for more post-Carter yuks and schadenfreude, but as of this writing it's been down for three days. Cruel humor on the behalf of us "forgers" will have to be found elsewhere.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Here is wisdom