Weblog Archives




  Saturday   January 4   2003

i resolve...

Resolutions For The Damned
For 2003: More veggies, louder orgasms and, of course, defy ShrubCo at every possible turn

Resolve, simply, to illumine your own life with nearly immeasurable amounts of wet messy joy. Resolve to let almost anyone in to almost any lane in front of you in traffic, even if they're driving an obnoxious H2 Hummer while wearing a backward baseball cap and spitting out the window and don't bother to wave a thank-you. You resolve to shrug and ignore them and get on with the process of moisturizing your soul.

This is what you do. This is all you can do. Because, as always, you do not change the world by attacking it and hurling hot balls of fiery angst into its eyeballs.

You change it by moving into yourself, peeling back the layers of accumulated BS and media hype and marketing PR and finger-wagging patriotic dogma, thwarting all efforts to confine your urge to color outside the lines. Man, they just hate it when you do that.

 03:12 PM - link

early paintings

The Cave of Chauvet-Pont-D'Arc

On Sunday, December 18, 1994, Jean-Marie Chauvet led his two friends, Éliette Brunel and Christian Hillaire, on the Cirque d'Estre toward the cliffs. A faint air current emanating from a small opening at the end of a small cave had attracted his attention and he now wanted to satisfy his curiosity once and for all. All three had a passion for speleology and had long stopped counting their discoveries. It was late in the afternoon and the small cavity into which they penetrated was already known since it was situated very close to a popular hiking trail. But there, behind the fallen rocks, they were sure there was something more… They dug a passage, crawled through it, and soon found themselves at the edge of an obscure shaft. They did not have the equipment necessary to continue. By the time they got back to their cars, night had already fallen. They gathered up the essential tools, hesitated for a moment, and then returned to their discovery. They descended with their speleological ladder and discovered a vast chamber with a very high ceiling. It was filled with magnificent, glittering concretions. They progressed in a single file line toward another chamber as big as the first one, and there admired the unexpected geological wonders that surrounded them. They also saw animal bones scattered on the floor. They explored almost the entire network of chambers and galleries, and on the way back out, Éliette saw an amazing sight in the beam of her lamp: a small mammoth drawn with red ochre on a rocky spur hanging from the ceiling. "They were here!" she cried out, and from that instant they began searching all of the walls with great attention. They discovered hundreds of paintings and engravings.


  thanks to DANGEROUSMETA!

 03:10 PM - link

This is a must read.

Travels with Mohammed
A trip with lawyer Mohammed Dahla to his childhood stomping grounds in Galilee takes us to the two major shapers of his identity - Sheikh Raad Salah and MK Azmi Bishara - and raises some serious questions about the common future of the Jewish and Palestinian peoples. His message is clear: The Jews have already lost their battle for control of this land

As dusk approaches, Mohammed's brown eyes will look straight into my eyes and he'll say: You have to understand that it's not going to work. Your Jewish mind came up with this Jewish-democratic invention, but the invention won't work. So instead of talking and talking the whole day long, through this whole long trip, what we should have done was to sit down together quietly and try to formulate some sort of new, joint constitution. Because you have no other ally: I am your only ally. And instead of going to the Haredim (ultra-Orthodox Jews), you should have come to me. And instead of trying to scrape up half-Jews and quarter-Jews and eighth-Jews from every corner of the world, you should talk to me. Because I am here, in your backyard. I am here and I am not going anywhere.

Five rules set by the Kingdom of the Settlements
By Amira Hass

Rule Number 1: Jewish Arabists always know what Arabs mean and what they want, even if the Arabs say the opposite. Therefore Jews don't have to listen to what the Arabs say. The Arabists of Israel know that Azmi Bishara issued a call in Damascus for armed resistance against Israel. Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein decided there's no need to wait until the matter is determined by the courts, which will hear Bishara's clarification (of the very unclear statement he made there), which says he called for an Arab political initiative as a way to help the Palestinian resistance to the occupation. It's interesting that the Arab states not only didn't obey his supposed call for armed resistance, but also accepted the Saudi Initiative, which is based on the two-state solution. Most of the Israeli Arab public was among the first to struggle for that solution. If they had been listened to in time, a lot of lives could have been saved.

Inching toward an apartheid state

The assault on the political activity of Palestinians in Israel over the past few days is unprecedented, even compared to the assailment on the Al- Arad movement in the 1960s. Most of the Palestinian public in Israel and all of its prominent leaders express a position in favor of acknowledgment of the State of Israel; but, at the same time, oppose the discriminatory regime that the Jews have established over the last 50 years.

The Israeli regime has firmly established its position as one that first and foremost serves the Jews in Israel and the Diaspora; and in order to do so, it is willing to take harsh measures against the Palestinian public in Israel. Land expropriation, citizenship laws, immigration laws, orientation of capital, and the development and division of the geographic space are all basic components of the structure of the Jewish-Israel regime. All these means constitute tools to strengthen the Jewish majority and exclude the Palestinian minority. In many cases, they even serve as tools to harm the minority.

 02:52 PM - link

where evil shops

Your Online Source For Everything Evil.™

Welcome to www.VillainSupply.com, Your Online Source For Everything EVIL™. If you are a supervillain, mad scientist, warlord, dictator, or despot, then this is the place for you.

To begin shopping, choose a link from the left side of your screen. Or visit one of our affiliated sites to the right. And of course, you may make a purchase from our World Domination Gear Store. In fact, you will make a purchase. NOW.

What's the point in taking over the world if there's no world left to take over when you've taken over it? That's why supervillains need to THINK GREEN, and remember to save the environment as they build their new world order. That's why I suggest:
Recently developed by the U.S. Army, these small arms shells contain tungsten cores instead of the poisonous lead ones that degrade our environment. This is just one small way you can help keep the world a place where our children can breathe free under the yoke of global tyranny.
-- Sunshine Firebomb, Zero Population League


  thanks to JOHO the blog

 02:33 PM - link


What Will We Tell The Children?
by Rebecca Knight

Remember that refrain? Remember how the Republicans pounded the airwaves with that question regarding Clinton's indiscretion?

As I reflect upon the past two years and the possibilities that exist for the next two years, I wondered what the answer to that question would be today or two years from now.

Here is what I came up with for my child:

I will tell my child that I once had respect for the Republican Party...

  thanks to BookNotes

 02:19 PM - link


USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection

The introduction of new varieties required exacting representations of the fruit so that plant breeders could accurately document and disseminate their research results. Since the use of scientific photography was not widespread in the late 19th Century, USDA commissioned artists to create watercolor illustrations of newly introduced cultivars. (...)

The exhibit presented here consists of approximately 175 images of fruit watercolors. All of the fruit varieties featured in the exhibit were introduced and described in the Report of the Pomologist between 1886 and 1900.

  thanks to dublog

 12:17 PM - link

no taxes — no services

Some people (most?) don't seem to understand the relationship between cause and effect. This is another story of people voting against taxes and then whining because there favorite government subsidized service is being eliminated. Duh!

Puget Sound Journal: Goodbye R-51, goodbye ferry runs

All these people, with all these sad stories -- the guy who'll sell his house, the single mom with the latchkey kid, the fellow with the cane facing surgery on his knees. And there were many others understandably worried about having less time to spend with family.

So why do I lack compassion for these people?

Because every one I spoke to on that boat last week either voted against R-51 or didn't vote at all -- even though they acknowledged knowing that the ferry system was counting on the cash.

 11:54 AM - link


The Year of the Mug Shot

For The Smoking Gun, 2002 was the Year of the Mug Shot. Sure, we've posted booking photos of famous arrestees like Nick Nolte, Bobby Brown, and Stone Cold Steve Austin, but our favorite images aren't of celebrities--we actually prefer the mug shots of the unknown criminals whose arrests will never be chronicled on "Behind the Music." These allegedly lawless ladies and gentlemen should be recognized for their awful hair, unfortunate clothes, array of bandages, and goofy smiles. On the following pages you'll find our favorite mug shots from the past year.


  thanks to MetaFilter

 11:45 AM - link

free trade — the lie

Free trade fallacy
Rich countries didn't follow free trade rules when they were developing. They now insist: do as we say, not as we did

The failure of free-trade globalism to help the developing world has not been an accident, according to Ha-Joon Chang, an economist at Cambridge University. He argues that the rules of the world economy are designed not to help poor countries develop into modern economies, but to lock in the advantages of the present industrial leaders. The US and other advanced industrial countries are not only selfish but hypocritical. They would deny to newly-industrialising countries the very practices that they used in the past to become economic superpowers.

"When they were in catching-up positions, the now-developed countries protected infant industries, poached skilled workers... and wilfully violated patents and trademarks," Chang observes. "Once they joined the league of the most developed nations, they began to advocate free trade and prevented the outflow of skilled workers and technologies; they also became strong protectors of patents and trademarks... the poachers turned gamekeepers."

  thanks to also not found in nature

The Big Lie About Free Trade
Turns out it's American workers who are waving goodbye to their jobs
by Bernie Sanders

Though I am a congressman from Vermont, it outrages me that Maytag Corp. will shut down production at its refrigerator factory in Galesburg, Ill., and lay off the plant's 1,600 workers by late 2004.

Maytag is using the North America Free Trade Agreement, which I opposed, to move its plant to Mexico. In Mexico it will be able to hire workers at $2 an hour, rather than pay the average wage of $15.14 earned by workers in Galesburg. And the Newton, Iowa, appliance manufacturer is closing its Illinois plant despite recent concessions from the union and substantial sums of corporate welfare given it by city, county and state governments.

Illinois citizens should have no illusions that what is happening in Galesburg is unique. I can tell you that the same thing is happening in my state. In fact, it's happening in many regions of the country. In Vermont, in recent years, as a result of such disastrous trade policies as NAFTA, most-favored-nation status with China and permanent normal trade relations with China and other trade agreements, we have lost thousands of decent paying jobs in Shaftsbury, Newport, St. Johnsbury, East Ryegate, Island Pond, Randolph, Orleans, Bennington, Springfield and Windsor--among other communities.

The simple truth is that our nation's manufacturing base is collapsing. As unemployment rises, more and more Americans are searching for non-existent jobs. In the past two years we have lost just under 1.8 million factory jobs nationwide, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and, at 16.5 million, we now have the lowest number of factory jobs in 40 years.

 11:36 AM - link

war against some drugs

Legalized pot seems likely up north

A working medical marijuana law is in place nationally. Late last year, both the House of Commons and Canadian Senate in official reports endorsed some form of pot legalization, as have the justice minister and prime minister.

Indeed, Justice Minister Martin Cauchon recently promised to ease marijuana laws in 2003, making possession of a small amount punishable with the equivalent of a parking ticket.

In Vancouver, this already has happened, if not in law, then in practice. Although cannabis remains illegal and its possession is a criminal offense, the city effectively has decriminalized it. Police rarely bust the dozens of dealers selling grams of pot and hashish on East Hastings Street. On a Sunday afternoon, pot is nearly as easy to buy as a six-pack of beer.

All of which has made east downtown Vancouver -- where The Marijuana Party storefront sits sandwiched between cafes named The New Amsterdam and Blunt Bros. (motto: A Respectable Joint) -- a bit smokier and, judging from the number of signs offering "munchies," a bit hungrier, too.

Legal 'soft drugs' a fact of life in the Netherlands

While Canada's softening of drug laws raises eyebrows there as well as south of the border, the legalization of marijuana and hashish is a fact of life in the Netherlands, where the use of such "soft drugs" was officially decriminalized in 1976.

 11:26 AM - link

back to normal

I think the wedding activities are finally over. I picked up the honeymoon couple yesterday (they stayed at a local B & B) and delivered them back to reality land in Tacoma. A good time was had by all but I look foward to getting back to my normal routine.

 11:16 AM - link

  Thursday   January 2   2003

ads from our youth

Super Marketing
Ads From The Comic Books

They promised us spectacular treasures and secret knowledge, super-intelligent pets and incredible powers.


  thanks to reenhead.com

 11:36 AM - link

warning from a friend

American Empire as Gated Community
by Brian Eno

"Europeans have always looked at America with a mixture of fascination and puzzlement, and now, increasingly, disbelief. How is it that a country that prides itself on its economic success could have so many very poor people?

How is it that a country so insistent on the rule of law should seek to exempt itself from international agreements? And how is it that the world's beacon of democracy can have elections dominated by wealthy special interest groups? For me, the question has become: "How can a country that has produced so much cultural and economic wealth act so dumb?"

 11:21 AM - link


This Modern World

 11:14 AM - link

limits to growth

Our Quality of Life Peaked in 1974. It's All Downhill Now
We will pay the price for believing the world has infinite resources
by George Monbiot

With the turning of every year, we expect our lives to improve. As long as the economy continues to grow, we imagine, the world will become a more congenial place in which to live. There is no basis for this belief. If we take into account such factors as pollution and the depletion of natural capital, we see that the quality of life peaked in the UK in 1974 and in the US in 1968, and has been falling ever since. We are going backwards.

The reason should not be hard to grasp. Our economic system depends upon never-ending growth, yet we live in a world with finite resources. Our expectation of progress is, as a result, a delusion.

 11:06 AM - link


Now Corporations Claim The "Right To Lie"

While Nike was conducting a huge and expensive PR blitz to tell people that it had cleaned up its subcontractors' sweatshop labor practices, an alert consumer advocate and activist in California named Marc Kasky caught them in what he alleges are a number of specific deceptions. Citing a California law that forbids corporations from intentionally deceiving people in their commercial statements, Kasky sued the multi-billion-dollar corporation.

Instead of refuting Kasky's charge by proving in court that they didn't lie, however, Nike instead chose to argue that corporations should enjoy the same "free speech" right to deceive that individual human citizens have in their personal lives. If people have the constitutionally protected right to say, "The check is in the mail," or, "That looks great on you," then, Nike's reasoning goes, a corporation should have the same right to say whatever they want in their corporate PR campaigns.

PepsiCo Kids
Caffeine and the First Amendment

Apparently, defending children from the perils of caffeine "upsets the applecart." My principal informed me that "down town" a reference to the superintendent's office was vexed by my overt and public criticism of our school district's unholy alliance with PepsiCo. I was instructed not to state that I was an employee of the Salem/Keizer school district when I wrote editorials critical of our soda "contract" with PepsiCo. Emails about the pitfalls of the soda contract were not to be shared with fellow teachers during school hours.

 10:58 AM - link


Josh Marshall has some comments on Korea.

There's been a lot of talk in the last several days about whether North Korea is a bigger threat than Iraq, whether there's an inconsistency between the policies the administration is pursuing with regard to each, and so forth.

These questions ignore the big issue, one that's being inexcusably ignored in the American press.

This entire crisis -- and it's foolish to pretend it's not a crisis -- is an administration screw-up of mammoth proportions. The administration is trying to portray this as just another crisis that happened on their watch. But that woefully understates its own responsibility for the situation we're now in.

Also read what Josh has to say here and here.

Outfoxed by North Korea

One political reminder from this episode is the danger that can come from tough talk. When using words as weapons, a leader must be prepared to back up his rhetoric with force. The president's nomination of North Korea as a member of the "Axis of Evil" in his last State of the Union message now looks like a bluff that is being called. And the outcome of the administration's diplomacy is that we are preparing to fight a war with a country that might eventually acquire nuclear weapons, while another country is closing in on the ability to go into mass production.

South Korea, Once a Solid Ally, Now Poses Problems for the U.S.

But now South Korea has become one of the Bush administration's biggest foreign policy problems. Years of resentments over a variety of issues are boiling over in Seoul in the form of demonstrations against the United States and pronouncements by the departing and arriving presidents challenging American policies on dealing with North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

 10:37 AM - link

  Wednesday   January 1   2003

jennifer valdez

My oldest daughter went from Jennifer Coale to Jennifer Valdez today a little after 4pm (pacific). The hall (right here at Honeymoon Bay) is all cleaned up and most of the stuff is unloaded from my van. I've just finished putting all the extra food away.

Here are my little kids: Katie, Robby, and Jenny.

It seems the above picture was taken last week. How did Jenny grow so fast?

Jennifer and William Valdez

William is currently stationed in Germany. He doesn't have to worry about Iraq. His next tour of duty starts in March — in Korea.

 11:07 PM - link

  Tuesday   December 31   2002

The only links I have to offer are depressing apocalyptic links. Not the thing to start a new year on. I've been busy today getting ready for my oldest daughter's wedding tomorrow. So lets all give thought to those starting off on new beginings and wish them all the best. I'm going to watch Amelie now.

 10:24 PM - link

  Monday   December 30   2002


Eric Drooker


  thanks to Riley Dog

Be sure and check out his sequences.

 04:55 PM - link

gravity sucks

It's not a secret how the world works

So I present to you a couple from lovely Pacifica, Calif. Their names need not concern us. They live in an apartment with a gorgeous ocean view. It has a gorgeous view because the apartment is on top of a cliff.

It rained recently. You probably remember that. The rain was not kind to the cliff. The apartment building was threatened. The couple were interviewed by the newspaper reporter. "Try living with people telling you your house could crumble away at any minute," said one.

"We had no idea the cliff was eroding," said the other

Where to begin?

 04:27 PM - link

Ethnic Cleansing: Past, Present and Future
by Ran HaCohen

In Israel itself, however, the idea of "transfer" – the common euphemism for ethnic cleansing or mass deportation – is discussed openly. Several political parties support it; one of them is in Sharon’s cabinet. They may speak of "voluntary transfer", but Minister Benny Elon has been quite explicit about what they mean by "voluntary": It’s like a man who refuses to give his wife a divorce, he said. According to Jewish law, the defiant husband can be jailed and slashed until he – "voluntarily" – complies. (If you wonder why Israel is turning Palestinian life into hell, this – not the futile "war on terrorism" – is the answer.)

Palestinian Towns Wobbling on Last Legs
Conflict with Israel has brought hunger, poverty and illness to a once hopeful West Bank.

From Trent Lott to Ariel Sharon
Wherever Segregationists Are Found

It is an article of faith for most Americans that discrimination, bigotry and intolerance should be condemned, whether practiced by individuals, groups, organizations, or states. It is held with equal conviction that condemnation is not only appropriate for discrimination and intolerance based on skin color, but also when the differentiator is sex, ethnicity, religion, or whatever else sets human beings apart from each other. But do we indeed condemn discrimination and bigotry wherever they are found?

On March 4th, 2002, the U.S. Department of State released its latest report on human rights practices in Israel and the occupied territories. The report in its entirety is available on the state department's web site. It states that the Government of Israel has made little headway in reducing institutional, legal, and societal discrimination against Israel's Arab citizens, who constitute approximately 20 percent of the population but do not share fully the rights provided to, and obligations imposed on, the country's Jewish citizens. Among the report's specific examples:

"Nadav's" Putsch

One glance at this political map shows that without the Arab votes, no left-wing coalition has any chance of forming a government - not today, nor in the foreseeable future. Worse, without the Arab votes there can be no "preventive bloc", such as those which have played a crucial role in the last ten years. In order to prevent the setting up of a right-wing coalition, such a bloc needs 60 seats in the 120-seat Knesset. This means that without the Arabs, the Left cannot even dictate terms for its participation in a coalition dominated by the Right. It could join such a coalition only with raised hands, like prisoners of war.

Against this background, the full implications of the putsch of "Nadav" and his bosses can be grasped. If the Balad party or its chief is disqualified, all or most of the Arab citizens will boycott the elections. The Arab sector, constituting almost 20% of the Israeli population, will disappear from the political map. Without it, there is no chance for the Left ever to return to power, or even to play a meaningful role in a "Unity Government".

 02:34 PM - link


Heath Robinson

This collection of Heath Robinson's sketches has come about because there appears to be a shortage of websites featuring this great man's comic art. Enjoy.


  thanks to MetaFilter

 01:58 PM - link


States of Alarm
By Bob Herbert

There is something eerie, even a little unnerving, about the budget crises that continue to spread, like a contagious, crippling disease, to states and cities across the U.S.

A cutting edge Oregon wishes it wasn't on

Oregonians are proud that their state has been an incubator for change — a place where urban sprawl is in check, terminally ill people have the right to die and health insurance has been extended to the working poor.

Now their state is at the unenviable forefront of another trend: a fiscal crisis, fueled by the recession, that has states across the country frantically looking for ways to close the gap between government spending and declining revenues.

Many States Face Gloomy Budget Choices
Despite months of steep cost-cutting, the worst is yet to come. A Virginia prosecutor is seeking corporate sponsors for certain types of cases.

Struggling through their worst financial crisis in half a century, states are freeing prisoners, closing libraries, hiking college tuition, even halting prosecution of abusive spouses as legislators scramble to plug budget gaps that seem to widen by the day.

 01:42 PM - link


States, White House at Odds on Environment

No recent president has been quicker than George W. Bush to embrace the virtues of state and local control. But when it comes to the environment, William Becker discovered, that commitment can evaporate when state regulation would be tougher on industry than federal rules.

White House thwarted EPA's asbestos- insulation warning

The Environmental Protection Agency was on the verge of warning millions of Americans that their attics and walls might contain asbestos-contaminated insulation. But the White House intervened at the last minute, and the warning never has been issued.

 01:32 PM - link


The Tattoo Baby Doll Project

I find cloth bodied baby dolls at thrift shops and send them to tattoo artists who then draw original tattoos directly on the dolls. They send the dolls back to me and I hand embroider the images on the cloth bodies. Twelve of sixteen dolls have been completed to date. The dolls, like their artists, are of different races, religious and sexual orientations, and cultural backgrounds. Each collaborating artist is asked to consider her response to tattooing the doll along with my feedback and response to embroidering the doll. From there she is encouraged to name and then write a short statement or story about her doll.


  thanks to reenhead.com

 01:32 PM - link



We need a war with Iraq. It would help distract Americans from the scandals surrounding the president (and more broadly from the fact that our failing economy is killing the planet) than the start of football season: Nothing compares to the patriotic thrill of watching grainy footage of Iraqi radar facilities—or maybe houses or hospitals; the resolution’s never quite good enough to tell—explode into fragments, or better, simply vaporize from the pressure of the blasts.

  thanks to Dumbmonkey

 01:20 PM - link

government for the corporations

Bush's bitter medicine
The poor need cheap drugs, not cheap talk

When pushed to do so, the Bush administration will feign concern for the world's poor. But its actions speak louder than its words. The intervention by vice-president Dick Cheney last week to torpedo a deal to get cheap drugs into poor countries whose populaces have been consumed by epidemics was a cold-hearted piece of realpolitik. Forget the honey-coated pledges of support for development and warm declarations that global prosperity must be shared. The United States was the only country out of 144 to oppose an agreement that would have relaxed global patent rules on treatments. The richest nation on the earth backed the arguments of the drug lobby over the cries of the weak and wasted. In doing so the US has emptied the current round of trade talks of a meaningful and substantial proof that globalisation could help the poor.

 01:17 PM - link


An Eye for the World
Photographs by Shotaro Shimomura 1934-1935

Shotaro Shimomura XXI (1883-1944) was Chairman of The Daimaru Inc., a department store chain that traces its roots to a single store opened in Kyoto in 1717. Mr. Shimomura was named President of the company in 1907 and toured Europe and the United States the following year to study the management of department stores. He took these photographs on a subsequent trip around the world in 1934 and 1935, prior to establishing a subsidiary trading company.


  thanks to wood s lot

 01:19 PM - link

military industrial complex

Arming for Armageddon
Boomtime for the Military-Industrial Complex

The weapons industry storyline will include appeals to 9-11 and patriotism, free markets, job creation and level-playing fields, and global democracy--US style. But the reality behind the phony proclamations is, of course, profits and free-rides. American taxpayers spend upwards of $10 billion a year in subsidies to the US weapons industry. American jobs are, in fact, exported along with the technology to countries like Turkey and Israel through off-sets which means that the importing country can build the systems themselves. US technology and know-how gets given away at no charge or at discounted rates through the Excess Defense Articles program. US foreign policy is regularly altered and human rights ignored to meet the needs of US weapons manufacturers. More chilling though is the observation of a weapons industry executive who mused, "There will come a day when we will have no allegiance to a nation-state. We will be viewed as neutral suppliers to all combatants." That day has arrived.

 01:07 PM - link

  Sunday   December 29   2002


Victorian & Edwardian Photographs


  thanks to Spitting Image

Here is a mother lode of English photographs.


London's libraries, museums and archives possess a treasure house of modern and historic photographs of London. The photoLondon website exists to highlight and promote these collections.

The Oxford Arms was one of the seventeenth- century galleried coaching inns rendered obsolete by the railways. It was demolished soon after this photograph was taken. The Society for Photographing Relics of Old London (SPROL) was a far-thinking amateur body created to record London's threatened historic buildings. Much of this heritage was lost in the Victorian period. There are 120 photographs in the series, a key set of images of Victorian London.


  thanks to plep

 01:23 AM - link

why might black republican be an oxymoron?

House Negro
Why J.C. Watts is Congress' last black Republican

J. C. Watts's memoir, What Color is a Conservative?, should be a primary text for Republicans dumbfounded by black America's loyalty to the Democratic Party. Perhaps more than any other book in recent memory, Color effectively demonstrates why African Americans recoil in horror when "Republican" is preceded by the adjective "black." By no means should this revelation be attributed to Watts, however. Naïve and obtuse, Color is a failed memoir that bears all the markings of Watts's press office. But in its lack of candor, in its total inability to grapple with complexity, Color unwittingly demonstrates why African Americans view Republicans with such disdain, and why, after Watts retires this year, there will not be a single black Republican in Congress.

 01:09 AM - link


An excerpt from
Tomorrow Never Knows:
Rock and Psychedelics in the 1960s

On August 30, 1964, a Sunday, Manhattan lay swathed in the heat of a summer afternoon. In their air-conditioned luxury suite high above the intersection of Park Avenue and 59th Street, the Beatles could hear the faint screams of fans who had gathered reverently on the sidewalks around the Delmonico Hotel, hoping to catch a glimpse of Paul, George, John, or Ringo peering from behind a curtain. Those screams had rung in the Beatles' ears for seven months as the cresting wave of Beatlemania rose higher and higher with no end yet in sight. In April the top five places in Billboard Magazine's Top One Hundred chart were Beatles songs. On August 12, the film A Hard Day's Night had opened in more than 500 theaters nationwide, earning more than $1.3 million its first week and making Beatlemania a performance for millions of fans to watch and join vicariously. In late August, the Beatles had five singles on the American charts and were winding up a triumphal coast-to-coast concert tour of the United States. Now, as they rested from their performance at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium the night before, they talked to their guest, Bob Dylan, who had driven down from Woodstock to see them. Without fanfare, Dylan pulled a couple of joints from his pocket, put a match to the twisted end of one, and passed it over. For the first time ever, the Beatles were about to get high.

  thanks to Robot Wisdom

A Composer's Century
by Philip Glass

Any discussion of today's new music must begin with a few observations about changes that took place in the music world in the latter part of the 20th century. The most important of these was a shift in the way composers were making and thinking about their music, and even its role in society as a whole. This shift was so fundamental and eventually so widespread that it has determined the basis of how composers work today, and it may continue to do so for some time to come. At the same time, the changes were also quite subtle, almost invisible — so much so that scarcely any music writers had the interest or capacity to document them. Perhaps it is not so surprising that this development was hardly noticed at all.

 12:59 AM - link

just how do they get those bras off?

Ah, the wonders of the universe

DON'T TAKE THIS the wrong way, but I'd like to say that the first wonder of the universe is women. Maybe you're a woman, and you don't feel so wonderful, but maybe the Pyramids have bad days, too. Maybe the Grand Canyon gets mad. But women can do wondrous things.

About 10 years ago, I wrote a column about the cool way that women can take their bras off without taking their blouses off. They nip here, they tuck here, and suddenly they're pulling a bra out their armhole. Shazam!

Well, people wrote and explained it to me. There were diagrams and everything. I understood it for about five minutes, but then I forgot. How does the strap on the opposite arm get over the shoulder? It makes no sense.

  thanks to Dumbmonkey

 12:52 AM - link

heating problems with your computer?

Swiftech H20-8500 WaterCooling Kit

Watercooling is not something new on the scene, yet it is still typically considered an "extreme" cooling method reserved for the "advanced" user. This method of cooling has several advantages over air cooling. The most notable of these advantages being the low noise level and excellent temperatures that are attained, not to mention how kick ass a watercooled system can look. The disadvantages of watercooling are obvious; H20 and electrical components don't mix!


  thanks to DANGEROUSMETA!

 12:46 AM - link


This is just brilliant!

Portland's top brass said it was OK to swipe your garbage-- so we grabbed theirs.

It's past midnight. Over the whump of the wipers and the screech of the fan belt, we lurch through the side streets of Southeast Portland in a battered white van, double-checking our toolkit: flashlight, binoculars, duct tape, scissors, watch caps, rawhide gloves, vinyl gloves, latex gloves, trash bags, 30-gallon can, tarpaulins, Sharpie, notebook--notebook?

Well, yes. Technically, this is a journalistic exercise--at least, that's what we keep telling ourselves. We're upholding our sacred trust as representatives of the Fourth Estate. Comforting the afflicted, afflicting the comfortable. Pushing the reportorial envelope--by liberating the trash of Portland's top brass.

We didn't dream up this idea on our own. We got our inspiration from the Portland police.

Back in March, the police swiped the trash of fellow officer Gina Hoesly. They didn't ask permission. They didn't ask for a search warrant. They just grabbed it. Their sordid haul, which included a bloody tampon, became the basis for drug charges against her.

  thanks to boingboing

 12:40 AM - link

Casualty Statistics
29 September 2000 - 8 December 2002

Palestinians: 1,926 deaths and 21,240 injuries in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Subtotal since March 29, 2002 invasion (termed by Israel as "Operation Defensive Shield") is 669 deaths and 2,687 injuries. These figures are likely underestimates due to PRCS inability to access many areas and the many people who 'disappeared' during Israel's invasion of Jenin Refugee Camp.

Israelis: 691 deaths and 4,908 injuries. Death stats to 10 October, injury stats to 28 November 2002.

It's a little hard to make sense of the numbers so I made a couple of quick and dirty pie charts to better show what the numbers are saying.

Moral Equivalence Redux
by Aron Trauring

Joy to the World and Hell in Bethlehem

Bethlehem remains under siege and celebrations there consist of home demolitions and confiscation of Palestinian property by the State of Israel. And because all Palestinians and their supporters are “enemies of the State”, house arrests dubbed “curfews” continue. These illegal and brutal practices are not, however, limited to the Christian and Muslim residents of Bethlehem.

 12:33 AM - link