Saturday, May 31, 2008

Friday, May 30, 2008

Some stories just need a little edit...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I knew marines were psychotic... but i didnt realize how remarkably stupid they are. This will end well.

Girl Scout Part Deux

These girls are priceless - perfect little future republicans - and so many money quotes - lol.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Guess who's off the Xmas card list...

"Bush is depicted as an out-of-touch leader, operating in a political bubble, who has stubbornly refused to admit mistakes."

You know - every asshole from this administration has come out, written a tell all that says something along the lines of 'they're a bunch of assholes who dont listen' - even that neocon nutjob Feith made those sorts of sounds (albeit with a slightly different angle).

Oh - and fyi - Grandma-with-too-many-names is an asshole too... you might want to rethink the whole 'who i'm working for' thing...

BoingBoing pointed a gadjillion people at Charles Stross' 'what would you do with the $6t from the Iraq war' blog today... it's an interesting topic - and he's handling the trolls well (so far). If you want to watch blog software grind to a screeching halt on an interesting topic lead by a dictatorial hardsf visionary then give it a read.

EDIT: i'm at 145... But you GOTTA check out what happens when SM Stirling chimes in at 222 and has his head handed to him at 236. I hope the freepers are paying attention - because we're not the same roll over and take it up the ass left they used to gangrape. That goes for you too OSC - you arrogant prick.

Friday, May 23, 2008

NY and London have done something extremely cool for the anniversary of the Brooklyn Bridge - they've opened the tunnel between the cities and put in a window/telescope so you can see the other end!

Hardly anyone knows that a secret tunnel runs deep beneath the Atlantic Ocean. In May 2008, more than a century after it was begun, the tunnel will finally be completed. Immediately afterwards, an extraordinary optical device called a Telectroscope will be installed at both ends which will miraculously allow people to see right through the Earth from London to New York and vice versa.

I love shit like this. Why not set up one of these between Austin and it's sister city Xishuangbanna - i mean - i'm sure the whole tunnel to china thing is pretty well mapped out by now.

doc martin is a bit of a hipster shoe these days...
but really - this takes the cake
I herd you leik mudkipz indeed

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Some dogs belong at lollapalooza (nsfw language)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

So - Oil hit $135 a barrel today.

That's pretty much $4.50 a gallon gas - we just haven't seen it yet - and they're talking $150 soon, and $200 on the horizon.

I dont think your average Bubba understands how inflationary this is... how badly this is going to hork up the economy... how much blame the next president is going to get for the clusterfuck economy he inherits...

I hope you're ready for adam smith's invisible hand to make a fist - cause your colon is about to take a pounding.

This site is dedicated to wade... he'll make better use of it than i have.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008

Kodomo no Jikan and SCOTUS

Man - i never thought it would get this bad. I mean - even under this idiot administration the courts had come in saying 'you cant hold something as child pornography if it doesnt actually depict a child' (Ashcroft v Free Speech Coalition (2002)) and thus overly broad and unconstitutional under the First Amendment.

"First Amendment freedoms are most in danger when the government seeks to control thought or to justify its laws for that impermissible end. The right to think is the beginning of freedom, and speech must be protected from the government because speech is the beginning of thought." - Justice Anthony Kennedy

So the boys on the hill went back to the drawing board and came up with the PROTECT act... "The law, known as the Protect Act, applies regardless of whether the material turns out to consist solely of computer-generated images, or digitally altered photographs of adults, or even if the offer is fraudulent and the material does not exist at all." - basically they're going around the first amendment by saying you're 'pandering' child porn if you 'think' it might be child porn - and SCOTUS just gave the law a 7 on 2 gangbang.

So - before I go any further I want to make something clear: I've never considered any character in any game, movie, or cartoon to be a human child for the purposes of any sexual or pseudosexual situation. They're all either adults or micronized zentradi - i have no way of knowing differently since i dont speak japanese and no one can tell me i THOUGHT ANY DIFFERENT AT THE TIME - meaning they might well be hundreds of years old. Thank you. If I'm playing GTA4 I'm of the opinion that all the hookers i'm fucking are OVER THE AGE OF CONSENT IN LIBERTY CITY... I swear I never thought they were young looking - they all looked like grandmothers to me.


In the dissent - Souter wrote "However, he added, possession of pornographic images that do not depict real children is constitutionally protected, and offering them should not be a crime. “If the act can effectively eliminate the real-child requirement when a proposal relates to extant material, a class of protected speech will disappear.”

There is no question in my mind that Ada depicts the sexual acts of a 14 yr old girl... if i offer it for sale by claiming it has child pornography between the covers then, as i understand it, i am guilty of pandering. If I claim a video of the presidents state of the union address is chock full of bukakke shots of Dick Cheney blasting away at 4 yr old boys and encourage you to download a copy then I'm pandering.

7-2... it'll be years before, even in a best case scenario of the court slowly edging back from this sort of idiocy. What will they do next? Even as the court gets better and moves in a slightly less crazy direction - what thoughts will they determine to be illegal tomorrow? WTF.


From Scalia's majority opinion itself:
A crime is committed only when the speaker believes or intends the listener to believe that the subject of the proposed transaction depicts real children. It is simply not true that this means "a protected category of expression [will] inevitably be suppressed," post, at 13. Simulated child pornography will be as available as ever, so long as it is offered and sought as such, and not as real child pornography. The dissent would require an exception from the statute's prohibition when, unbeknownst to one or both of the parties to the proposal, the completed transaction would not have been unlawful because it is (we have said) protected by the First Amendment.

So what I read as an affirmation of an attack on conduct in games and cartoons isnt. This is a good thing - if they start prosecuting the lambdamoo guys for REAL rape then we're all in trouble.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I've been sitting on this one a couple days... digesting it like the 2 lbs of ribs I managed at the Salt Lick saturday evening...

There was a story in the NYTimes the other day about a nice Italian man who had fallen in love with a nice Virginian girl... he was a lawyer from a well to do family... came to the US, helped out at the community center with the retirees and local kids... made lots of friends and was very popular amongst the locals. DHS locked him up for 10 days out of what appears to be spite - and only released him (directly back to Dulles and a plane home) when the NYTimes started making phone calls.

Then I read a nice bit on the senate's new Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act - which, well, here's the money shot:

The legislation specifically singles out the Internet as a "weapon" for domestic radicalization. When she introduced her bill to the Senate last November, Harman remarked, "There can be no doubt: the Internet is increasingly being used as a tool to reach and radicalize Americans and legal residents."

Equating America's web-surfacing habits with the threat of ideological infection by Islamist pod-people, Harman avers that the Internet allows Americans "to become indoctrinated by extremists and to learn how to kill their neighbors ... from the comfort of their own living rooms."

They're going to go after people who say anti-american things on the internet - and otherwise fill the net with pro-america propaganda... What's happening here... I mean - we went from 9/11 to PATRIOT - ok, we made a mistake there... but we didnt learn and we took the sunset off a bunch of it. We had the FISA bill come within a hairs breadth of passing - and it steamrolled in the senate... I WANT MY COUNTRY BACK.

The afterward of Doctorow's great new book Little Brother (this one should be on Oprah's book club) captures this perfectly:

Have the terrorists already won? Have we given in to fear, such that artists, hobbyists, hackers, iconoclasts, or perhaps an unassuming group of kids playing Harajuku Fun Madness, could be so trivially implicated as terrorists?

There is a term for this dysfunction--it is called an autoimmune disease, where an organism's defense system goes into overdrive so much that it fails to recognize itself and attacks its own cells. Ultimately, the organism self-destructs. Right now, America is on the verge of going into anaphylactic shock over its own freedoms, and we need to inoculate ourselves against this. Technology is no cure for this paranoia; in fact, it may enhance the paranoia: it turns us into prisoners of our own device. Coercing millions of people to strip off their outer garments and walk barefoot through metal detectors every day is no solution either. It only serves to remind the population every day that they have a reason to be afraid, while in practice providing only a flimsy barrier to a determined adversary.

Ok look... I mean I keep thinking I'm as frustrated and pissed off at this Country and what's being done IN MY NAME as i can get - and they keep making it worse. First something idiotic like we cant carry liquids on planes because tang is an explosive, they set up CCTV cameras everywhere and they take pictures from protests to casinos and run facial recognition against them and build dossiers, and set up profiles based on THIS BLOG and scan all the email that goes across the net and dump packets wholesale out of fiber optic closets into renamed total information awareness databases and i, for one, have long since had enough of it.

Harlan had it right...

Once more, in anticipation, the elfin grin spread, and there was a tooth missing back there on the left side. He dipped, skimmed, and swooped over them; and then, scrunching about on the air-boat, he released the holding pins that fashioned shut the ends of the home-made pouring troughs that kept his cargo from dumping prematurely. And as he pulled the trough-pins, the air-boat slid over the factory workers and one hundred and fifty thousand dollars' worth of jelly beans cascaded down on the expresstrip.

Jelly Beans! Millions and billions of purples and yellows and greens and licorice and grape and raspberry and mint and round and smooth and crunch outside and soft-mealy inside and sugary and bouncing jouncing tumbling clittering clattering skittering fell on the heads and shoulders and hardhats and carapaces of the Timkin workers, tinkling on the slidewalk and bouncing away and rolling about underfoot and filling the sky on their way down with all the colors of joy and childhood and holidays, coming down in a steady rain, a solid wash, a torrent of color and sweetness out of the sky from above, and entering a universe of sanity and metronomic order with quite-mad coocoo newness.

But no one will save us from ourselves... they will poison our society - take away the sharp edges and fois gras, the jawbreakers and colors and giving us cold grey bland tasteless reeking fear. I hate it. Palpably. To the point I can barely stomach the people who advance it upon us for our 'collective good'. To the point I'm ready to abandon the nation of my birth. I dont see the flag the way I used to see it... how many years of wiping their asses with that symbol did it take before it lost it's hold on me I wonder... We get worse - month by month. Prove me wrong. Elect Obama and see him safely into the WH and see if, as a result, we can take the country back from these cretins and warmongers and horrible awful people who torture and kill in my name. I do not have high expectations.

Friday, May 16, 2008

slightly improved...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I was talking to Jon the other day about appropriate response to violent acts. The difference is subtle but telling - I dont believe in responding to minor violence at all - but i'm in favor of escalation above and beyond when it comes time to actually act, whereas Jon is more of a 'take a crowbar to the bully's car' person. In this case, imo, the police exercised far more restraint than was appropriate. Maybe a hail of gunfire would have been over the top - but honestly, i'm not sure.

From the BBC article:
Sir Richard Leese, the leader of Manchester City Council, suggested "a fair number" of fans had been too drunk to follow directions to an alternative screen which was set up after the failure of the Piccadilly Gardens screen.

Sir Richard added: "The technicians trying to repair the screen had bottles and stuff thrown at them so they had to withdraw.

"I think there were clearly a fair number of fans that had been drinking since before breakfast time and they might have had some difficulty following instructions, but clearly the vast majority were still capable."
Sorry - the right way to handle these assholes is teargas, tasers, and 48 hours in the drunk tank with Big Gay Ed as their cellmate.

The Ides of May - traditionally the end of the school year and the beginning of summer... Bastrop may have avoided the worst of the first big summer storms last night - but I'm sure more will come before the end... wait - what? the end? Yes Virginia, there is an end... you see, this summer we're going to do something to try to prove the Higgs field exists, that there are 10 dimensions of space and 1 dimension of time, and that the universe is bounded by very good math. There's only one problem...

ok, it's not a likely scenario, in fact - it's only theoretical - and even then the probability isnt high -- about like being the only winner of the texas lottery -- but that doesnt stop people from paying the stupid tax on wednesday night. The theory works like this... taking you back to the atomic structures you're probably familiar with from school, atoms are made of protons, neutrons, and electons... protons and neutrons are made of three quarks... after that odds are you're lost. Ok - well - there are different sorts of quarks - and one sort of quarks is called a 'strange' quark. Now in theory - strange quarks should be able to bond with other strange quarks and be stable at a lower energy state - but to get them to do so would require extremely high energy input... so when they crank up that hadron collider this summer - people believe there's a chance that they'll cause strange matter to be created.

So - why is that a problem? Well - once strange matter hits other regular matter - it will liberate the energy and convert it to strange matter. It's an ice-nine problem... meaning if things go just right - they'll be turning the earth into a very hot and very dense ball of quarks.

So enjoy your summer - it may be your last...

There are times when the right answer is something that might offend. Biden nails this one. I dont have that much to add - it's like when Cafferty went off on the Chinese being 'goons' - we get so used to throwing bullshit around at each other, being crass, saying unbelievably idiotic things politically - but then when we involve other peoples in our muck wracking it really does cross the line. Don't you miss the days when the biggest political story had to do with the first lady?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

13 yr old boy... check.
stolen credit card... check.
hotel room... check.
escorts... check.

the line 'Asked why he ordered two escorts, Ralph said he thought it was the thing to do when you win a "World of Warcraft" tournament.' - priceless

some stories you just have to read...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The coolest picture you're going to see today...

lightning striking a volcanic eruption in chile courtesy of national geographic. This is one i wish i had in high res...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

just in case you were wondering...

Today's lesson in how to become a NSFW meme

Next time you're thinking about riding mass transit here in the rotting cities of the once great american empire - think again. And while you're at it, somebody give me a phone chuck.

it begins with this...
but we all know where it leads.

the enemy of my enemy is... wait... yeah, guess that sort of simplistic Bushian world view doesnt quite cut it out in the real world does it. I wonder - will McCain understand this - or will he make some other off-color remark about the indigs.

I know some folks who grew up in the last big Lebanese civil war - what a freaking nightmare. I swear - even if israel wasnt in the picture these guys would be busy bombing and killing and shooting the ever-loving hell out of each other.

the observation of which would, under normal circumstances, call for another beer - but after last night i think i can do without beer for a while

Friday, May 09, 2008

This one's for Robyn....
kool-aid is for closers
["Potheads..." o_0 ]

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Sometimes I wonder - are the copywriters really THAT lazy. Though, I remember a particular Jessica Alba photo of her on vacation in mexico in a 2 piece - so anecdotally I'd say 'yes - this is true'.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Ok - so Iron Man works - and it works for a couple very specific reasons. Firstly, the script isnt pablum - it doesnt fill itself up with a bunch of idiotic technobabble crap - and other than building a bulletproof armor suit and a revolutionary nuclear power supply in a cave out of spare missile parts - it doesn't really challenge the absurd. The Hulk turns big and green every 5 or 10 minutes - Ben Grimm makes clobberin time noises and punches people through a wall - that's kinda what you expect in super hero flicks. In this one - there's some acting... honest to god acting... and while it's not a 'smart' script it's certainly not a shitty one either.

The second reason it works is that Tony Stark is a raving alcoholic with huge authority issues and tremendous talent... his drinking problem was a huge driving factor behind the book for a decade - it's a tremendous downward spiral or a story arc - eventually leading to a really awful bottom. Robert Downey Jr was perfectly cast. He can get into this character in a way I doubt any other a-list actor in Hollywood could.

This leads me to question... why. They know what works - they know what doesn't... that wont work.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Am I the only one who's noticed that all the 'erectile disfunction' tv ads say, in small print, 'see our ad in golf digest'? So I guess guys who golf have more than one problem with their putters...

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Just because I call her a nasty bitch doesn't make me sexist...

So when i say the justice system in our country is broken i'm not kidding.

Taser advocates an alternative cause-of-death scenario called excited delirium. The condition, which is not recognized as a diagnosis in official medical manuals, is used to describe deaths of suspects who become so agitated by drugs, psychosis or poor health that their bodies shut down during struggles with police.

Excited delirium has been cited in police custody-death cases for decades. It is now being blamed more and more by medical examiners for deaths that occur following a police Taser strike, including at least one in Maricopa County in recent years.

Taser has funded excited delirium studies and has been involved in promoting its research. The company maintains that excited delirium is a valid syndrome, and some doctors say it will gain acceptance as more research is conducted.

This is exactly why our 'nation of laws' fails...

Thursday, May 01, 2008

My chinese friend Danny wished me a happy labour day... I found that amusing.

You see... May 1st is now a day celebrated by laborers in countries all over the world - a day celebrating working men and women who struggle and toil... but not here. No - in the country actually responsible for the day, responsible for the celebration, we see May Day as some sort of awful unamerican day...

Now you might ask, 'gee mr peabody - whats all this about labor unrest and america' and i'd say 'well sherman...' then - remembering your name isnt sherman and you probably have no idea who tennessee tuxedo is i'd just go on...

Once upon a time, the american worker didnt have an 8 hour workday. So, lacking that, he protested - it was 1886 according to the wayback machine, and tens of thousands of workers in chicago and new york were fed up with the long insufferable hours their employers demanded of them. So they picketed... at one point after a couple days of reasonably peaceful protest (oh there was scuffling - of course there was...) - some dumbass threw a pipebomb - and the cops fired into the crowd (and mostly into each other). After the smoke cleared - they rounded up some folk they considered leaders and malcontents - trying them for murder on the basis that by encouraging the protest they were guilty of the crime.

This trial has gone down in history as one of the most unfair, absurd, and preposterous miscarriages of justice ever perpetrated by a US court. Judge Gary would sleep at the bench - and spent the afternoons talking and playing with his children... in the end - several were hanged. Big Business was king in America - and money ruled the justice system. It's different these days... the rich are a little more circumspect about getting away with their abuses (or at least they had been before W's administration)

So to make a long story short - every May 1 people gathered to protest for the 8 hour workday - which the unions forced on employers - and as a result May 1 has long been held as the day the people triumphed over the absurd callous and uncaring demands of corporate interest. Is it any wonder that a day like that is most assuredly NOT celebrated in modern america?

Still - it's good that people the world over still celebrate and honor the brave actions of those young americans who stood up to their money-grubbing overlords. That we dont honor our own just demonstrates how little we deserve the freedoms our current administration is busy taking from us and we're so very willing to give up.