Monday, November 30, 2009

Atheists, come out and playay

Richard Dawkins implores you to. Funny guy. Hates religion so much.

It's nice that there is someone out there aside from black metal dudes pushing for atheism, against theism. If only there were more people willing to do it.

Seems like a simple idea, but what a profound observation that there is nothing that binds any of us to respect someone else's religion. Especially when it's a bunch of bullshit. And it all is.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


If only every bird had a Snoopy.

Killing birds

Not turkeys. I saw this today. I have nothing profound to say about it. It's just so fucking stupid and such a waste. We have no respect. We put ourselves at the head of the ship but have very little idea of how to work it. We will never admit it.

Pigeon extermination program kills blackbirds


A plan to get rid of pigeons in a northern New Jersey town ended up killing blackbirds instead.

Fort Lee Health Officer Steven Wielkotz had decided to use the chemical Avitrol to
get rid of more than 100 pigeons that descended on the area around town hall two months ago.

Wielkotz says he was told the seeds were too big for any other bird to eat.

However, the blackbirds ate the seed and about 30 birds died.

Mayor Mark Sokolich says he saw several youngsters picking up the dying birds and trying to help them.

The chemical has been removed and the pigeons remain.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Another One Bites the Dust

"The northern bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus), or giant bluefin tuna, is a species of tuna native to both the western and eastern Atlantic Ocean, as well as the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea. Although not native to the Pacific Ocean, the species is now commercially cultivated off the Japanese coast. Bluefin tuna are caught by sports fishermen using heavy-duty rod and reels and by commercial fishermen using purse seine gear. The northern bluefin is an important commercial species, especially for sushi. This commercial importance has led to severe overfishing.
On October 16th 2009
Monaco formally recommended Endangered Atlantic bluefin tuna for an Appendix I CITES listing and international trade ban. The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) affirmed that Atlantic bluefin tuna stocks are declining dramatically, by 72% in the Eastern Atlantic, and by 82% in the Western Atlantic"

We will once again wipe anther life off this planet FOREVER! all for some fucking sushi! Is this a joke? We know better and we do nothing!!!! FUCK!

Nothing says i am doing my job better then some broken glass!

"This latest incident occurred on Saturday, again in Oakland. Authorities say the BART officer on duty at the station removed an unruly and intoxicated passenger from the train and led him across the platform toward the closest wall. The video shows that the wall was concrete below and glass above, and as the two men hit the wall, the glass shattered, injuring both men.
One version of the video, captured by a passenger, is titled "BART POLICE PUT MANS HEAD THROUGH WINDOW," but police say that phrasing may be misleading. Unclear from the video was whether the officer pushed the suspect's head into the quarter-inch thick glass, breaking it, or whether the suspect broke the glass with an extended arm.
A BART police spokesman conceded that 'it does offer one powerful perspective, but it is only a perspective. We're saying just don't jump to conclusions."
BART police officials have launched an internal investigation to determine whether the officer used excessive force.
If nothing else, this incident and the one on New Year's Day underscore the increasing role of eyewitnessing cameras in police matters।"

Anytime you see a pig doing anything use your phone or ipod or tape player or something to record EVERYTHING they do. Technology has been failing our planet but we can fuck everyone of these power hungry bottom feeders!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Public Enemy - By the Time I Get to Arizona

I never knew they made a video for this song. In fact, it never occurred to me that they could. Somehow (things were surely different in 1991), they produced this video, while on Def Jam/Columbia, while at the height of their popularity, and MTV played it, at least once, given the icon in the corner.

This song is incredible, the record from which it comes is fantastic, and you can download the whole thing, Apocalypse 91...The Enemy Strikes Black here. Public Enemy was really on it at this point. So many excellent songs on the record. "1 Million Bottlebags," fuck:

Then I ask a question
"Yo brother, what the hell is you drinkin?"
He don't know but it flow
Out the bottle in a cup
He call it gettin' fucked up
Like we ain't fucked up already

See the man they call Crazy Eddie
Liquor man with the bottle in his hand
He give the liquor man ten to begin
Wit' no change and he run
To get his brains rearranged
Serve it to the homies and they're able
To do without a table
Beside what's inside ain't on the label

They drink it thinkin' it's good
But they don't sell the shit in the white neighborhood
Exposin' the plan, they get mad at me I understand
They're slaves to the liquor man

Fuck. This video captures so much emotion. So much rage. So much desperation for a recognition of dignity. It's so moving. What a fantastic video. No one would do this anymore. Especially not in their position. People are so fucking scared to offend, to jeopardize their place on the fame ladder. As though it's permanent.

Back then, the governor of Arizona, along with some (lots of?) other people in the state government refused to recognize Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday as a holiday. Flat out.

That's what a real video is. It communicates something very real and elevates the song into something so much more than it was.

Here is an article from the Washington Post about the subject matter of the video, and what had been going on for a few years by that point:


Washington Post - Wednesday, January 14, 1987
Author: Paul Taylor, Washington Post Staff Writer
Of the 21 new governors being sworn in this month, none is off to a shakier start or shorter honeymoon than Arizona's Evan Mecham (R), a political outsider who won office on his fifth try.

Mecham, 62, has drawn fire for making good this week on a campaign pledge to rescind what he termed an illegal executive order by his predecesssor, Democrat Bruce Babbitt, to establish a state holiday honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

The move, expected since Election Day, has triggered accusations of racism and spurred civil rights demonstrations around the state. A large one is planned here for Jan. 19, the federal observance of King's birthday.

Mecham, in turn, has accused his critics of either misunderstanding or misrepresenting his motives. A soft-spoken man, both admired and disliked here for his deep conservative political convictions, Mecham has said the issue is strictly legal and technical, and on Monday he proposed that it be settled by the electorate in a referendum. He has also argued, however, that King is not a figure comparable in historical importance to Washington or Lincoln, and therefore is unworthy of a holiday.

"He says the issue is technical, but the longer he talks, the more he makes it clear his problems are philosophical," said the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, in the state to address student and church groups. Jackson wound up meeting privately with the governor yesterday aboard the state airplane.

"He said he felt that Babbitt had pandered to the blacks," Jackson said. "The reality is that Dr. King embodied the quest for equal protection for everybody. If the world can recognize him with a Nobel Peace Prize, if the federal government can recognize him with a holiday, then surely Arizona will not be able to turn the clock back."

Last year the state Senate passed a bill to make Arizona one of 40 states that observe the King holiday, but the measure was defeated 30 to 29 in the state House. A spokesman for the Martin Luther King Federal Holiday Commission in Washington said he believed it was the only state legislature to vote down such a bill since King's birthday became a federal holiday last year.

Babbitt then proclaimed the holiday on his own -- a move that state Attorney General Bob Corbin, a Republican, subsequently declared illegal. "I'll see you on the courthouse steps," responded Babbitt, who was preparing to leave office and run for the presidency.

There the matter stood until the fall gubernatorial campaign, when Mecham, in response to a newspaper questionnaire, said he would rescind the order. The issue was never prominent in the campaign -- which Mecham won when two Democrats, one running as an independent, divided 60 percent of the vote.

The day after the election, he reiterated his intention to rescind the order, and has been under fire since. A recall petition is being circulated, but it is not taken seriously here. The Rev. Warren Stewart Sr., pastor of the First Institutional Baptist Church and a leader of a civil rights group trying to restore the holiday, has accused Mecham of having a "racist mentality." Martin Luther King III came to Arizona and said Mecham's actions were motivated by racism. Entertainer Stevie Wonder, who was a leader of the movement to make King's birthday a national holiday, has refused to schedule concerts here.

Some here have speculated that Mecham was motivated by his religious beliefs as a Mormon; until 1978, Mormon Church doctrine gave blacks an inferior status. Jackson said he raised the question with Mecham, and "he assured me that was not the case."

The governor declined to be interviewed, but his spokesman, Ron Bellus, said the issue is due process. "Let's get serious," he said. "Babbitt saw a chance to use the memory of Dr. King for political purpose, and he did an illegal thing . . . . I find that despicable."

Babbitt said in an interview that he considers Mecham's action an "insult, not just to blacks, but all Americans," and plans to participate in protest marches here next week. He denied he was motivated by politics.

The issue, meanwhile, is also back in the legislature, which convened Monday for its 1987 session. Three bills are in the hopper: one would establish the King holiday; the second would establish the holiday and combine the Washington and Lincoln holidays so as not to incur the estimated $2.5 million cost of a new state holiday; and the third would establish the holiday as a Sunday observance, but not make it official unless voters approved it in a referendum next year.

Mecham has not said whether he would veto the first two bills; he supports the third. Holiday backers oppose the Sunday-observance proposal, but doubt they have the votes to block it.

"If you've got the votes, you vote; if you don't, you talk, and right now I am doing a lot of talking," said House Minority Leader Art Hamilton (D), who sponsored the holiday bill that failed last year.

Arizona is a conservative state with a black population of less than 3 percent, and many are unsure whether the symbolic Sunday holiday would survive a referendum. "When I voted for the holiday last year, my mail came in 50-to-1 against me," said Rep. Jim Green, a Republican from Tucson, who is sponsoring the referendum measure.

This Time article provides a quick history of the King holiday, including how piece of shit John McCain opposed it until it wasn't cool to do so anymore and then came out in support of it. Please note that even Reagan was pleading with Arizona governor Evan Mecham to drop his opposition to the King holiday.

Fuck yes, Public Enemy.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Crime - San Francisco's Still Doomed

Way early punk band, ahead of their time. A bunch of nihilistic fuck ups and druggies. They dressed like cops and their first show was a gay-rights benefit. They hated the music scene at all levels and let it show:

...But Crime’s insistence on headlining every show and undisguised disdain for the bands they gigged with earned them more enemies than fans.

“At first it was with the people who were running things,” said Strike, “a close-knit group left over from the hippie days that included club bookers, journalists, record shop owners, deejays, etc. They definitely weren't up for us. When we saw how things were, instead of playing nice with them like most bands, we drew our swords and made the gap as wide as it would go.” Despite the band’s bad reputation among San Francisco’s rock elite, Crime secured regular appearances at the Mabuhay Gardens and even booked a notorious gig at nearby San Quentin Penitentiary, which they played in full police regalia to the puzzled inmates. Aside from rare shows in Seattle and Los Angeles, Crime remained a local phenomenon, stubbornly staying in the face of a scene that considered them rude and primitive even by punk standards.

Fucking awesome, fucking punk. Their shitty website has an article from a zine that gives you about as much history as you'll get on them.

Swami Records put out a collection of demos in 2004 called San Francisco's Still Doomed and it seems to be out of print already, so I'll put it up here to download.

Their singles (never put out an LP) are still unavailable, so this is the best there is for now. There's supposed to be a boxed set coming down the line that collects everything, which would be way cooler.

The first half of this CD is a live in the studio session from 1978 and it rips. It's barely held together chaos, but it works so well. The other half of the CD is kind of ehhh but it's still cool. It has a more traditional rock n roll vibe, which is kind of boring at times.

Overall, the shit just rules. And I am really not someone who is into protopunk or super early obscure punk. Crime was fucking awesome. Undeniably so.

Will Phillips, 10-Year-Old, Won't Pledge Allegiance To A Country That Discriminates Against Gays

A fellow alien traveler. Hello.

The people who make your decisions

That's Lawrence Summers, President Obama's chief economic advisor. He's a powerful guy. He moves the world in ways that are hard to grasp.

He also used to be the president of Harvard, a few years back. Perhaps he still would be, had he been more reserved in expressing opinions on certain matters. That's a pretty good gig. Maybe he would have left eventually to join the Obama administration. Also seems like a good job to have, if you are of that persuasion. He used to work for Clinton, too, so he is obviously of that persuasion. President of Harvard though, man, that is a prestigious post. You would imagine that's the kind of thing you want to really hold onto and only resign when you are about to get fired. Getting fired from your post as the president of Harvard is basically the antithesis of prestige.

Summers though, I guess he's one of those people who just doesn't understand why anyone would have a problem with what he thinks or says. Cause to him, what he thinks is fact and truth. He's just telling it like it is, basically. He sees reality, and fuck the liberal softies who can't take it. Or at least fuck them until your job is on the line.

At an economic conference in January, 2005, Summers gave an address on the underrepresentation of women in various science and math professions. Some of his ideas look at this discrepancy through a biological lens:

''In the special case of science and engineering," he continued, ''there are issues of intrinsic aptitude, and particularly of the variability of aptitude, and that those considerations are reinforced by what are in fact lesser factors involving socialization and continuing discrimination."

He also made it clear he knew he was bucking conventional wisdom, saying he wanted to offer hypotheses ''without seeing this through the kind of judgmental tendency that inevitably is connected with all our common goals of equality."

Intrinsic aptitude. It's more a concern of "intrinsic aptitude" over the "lesser factors" of socialization and discrimination. Overall, women don't have what it takes to be good chemists or engineers or whatever.

Be sure not to miss his appeals to have a real discussion, unbound by the constraints of p.c. fascism and to look through the smokescreens that those namby pamby liberals put up about how everyone is equal. This is Harvard, not fucking Woodstock.

In his comments on the differences between the abilities of men and women, Summers offered a calculation based on research presented at the conference, arguing that if half as many women as men score in the top 5 percent of 12th-grade math and science tests, then far fewer women will rise to the highest level of math and science.

''If my reading of the data is right -- it's something people can argue about . . . then whatever the set of attributes are that are precisely defined to correlate with being an aeronautical engineer at MIT or being a chemist at Berkeley," there will be more men than women with those attributes.

Hey man, women just don't do well in math and science, period. You can see it in high school. What do you expect? Of course they won't be able to cut it as scientists or mathematicians. Their lower scores have nothing to do with socialization as children, they have nothing to do with discrimination at the hands of teachers, they have nothing to do with discouragement from parents, and no possible connection to how tests are written and conducted. They're just not smart like that. They can do other stuff though, probably.

And no, Karl Marx, hiring discrimination is not a factor either:

As for discrimination, he was far more skeptical -- applying economic theory to make his point. "If it was really the case that everybody was discriminating, there would be very substantial opportunities for a limited number of people who were not prepared to discriminate to assemble remarkable departments of high quality people at relatively limited cost simply by the act of their not discriminating, because of what it would mean for the pool that was available. And there are certainly examples of institutions that have focused on increasing their diversity to their substantial benefit, but if there was really a pervasive pattern of discrimination that was leaving an extraordinary number of high-quality potential candidates behind, one suspects that in the highly competitive academic marketplace, there would be more examples of institutions that succeeded substantially by working to fill the gap."

Stop getting down on him, Joe McCarthy of the liberals. Give him a break! Then-president Summers is a friend of all the oppressed, seeing the pervasive discrimination people of all stripes suffer:

But during the same speech, Summers also said, "The data will, I am confident, reveal that Catholics are substantially underrepresented in investment banking ... That white men are very substantially underrepresented in the National Basketball Association; and that Jews are very substantially underrepresented in farming and in agriculture."


Unfortunately, the transcript of his speech is no longer accessible, but both Inside Higher Ed and the Boston Globe have articles that reproduce the most salient points of his address.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Shelter - Mantra

Fuck yes. Mantra. This is kind of the best Shelter record. Not the best as in the most pure from the heart (although, at that point, maybe that's really all that Ray Cappo was feeling), but holy shit are the songs good. The whole thing is just so solid. Every song rules and is memorable. The album benefits from being bookended by two amazing songs, with excellence in between.

Musically, it's fairly different from all the Shelter records before. It's a lot poppier, and at points, it's also a bit rappier. Really, Ray has always been somewhat of a rapper. It's just that there are more songs with rap-style vocals on Mantra than on previous records, which is fine by me, cause it works. I am generally not into mixing rapping with hardcore (New York in the 90s), but sometimes it rules. I think it also helps that it's not cheesy wannabe hip-hop over shitty riffs (again, New York in the 90s), but rather an adoption of hip-hop vocal stylings. Ray will not shoot you.

Fact - "Message of the Bhagavat" is an amazing opener. "We've got...We've got...We've got...THE MESSAGE FROM THE BHAGAVAT!" Hell yes you do. That shit always gets me going.

It's also a lot happier sounding than any previous Shelter material. That's ok though. I like both kinds of Shelter. Older Shelter had a decidedly more austere aural aesthetic, but I enjoy that at least as much.

Fact number two - "Metamorphosis" is an amazing closer. THE LYRICS ARE SO GOOD: "Told what is best for me but I've seen their destiny. Our leaders' ignominy reconfirms my concern to rearrange and change my life."

There are no crappy songs on this record. Some are fast, some are mid-tempo, some are catchy as hell ready for radio punk that never was(specifically "Here We Go" and "Empathy" - could have been a hit in another time), but it all rules. No excuses need be made.

Fact number three - Mantra is out of print. That's what happens when, in a time of hardcore bands briefly crossing into the mainstream (Sick of It All, Civ, Bad Religion), you foolishly, vainly jump the ships you built for a piece of shit label that offers you a couple of dollars. The mid 90s were a strange time for hardcore.

Fact number four - it is quite common in used sections, as lots of people mistakenly sleep on it. Or just download it here.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pearl Jam

Awesome band. Fact. Wish I saw this.

Sarah Palin's book

I'm sure lots of fools who believe in "rugged individualism" and routinely ignore whatever they don't like to create their own realities in their minds will eat it up.

The article seems long, but it's a quick, fun read in that "holy shit" kind of way. Each analysis will leave you wondering what else she wrote that could be on the same level as what you've just read.

Fuckin a man, people are so stupid. What a fucking pathetic culture we have.

FACT CHECK: Palin's book goes rogue on some facts

WASHINGTON – Sarah Palin's new book reprises familiar claims from the 2008 presidential campaign that haven't become any truer over time. Ignoring substantial parts of her record if not the facts, she depicts herself as a frugal traveler on the taxpayer's dime, a reformer without ties to powerful interests and a politician roguishly indifferent to high ambition.

Palin goes adrift, at times, on more contemporary issues, too. She criticizes President Barack Obama for pushing through a bailout package that actually was achieved by his Republican predecessor George W. Bush — a package she seemed to support at the time.

A look at some of her statements in "Going Rogue," obtained by The Associated Press in advance of its release Tuesday:


PALIN: Says she made frugality a point when traveling on state business as Alaska governor, asking "only" for reasonably priced rooms and not "often" going for the "high-end, robe-and-slippers" hotels.

THE FACTS: Although travel records indicate she usually opted for less-pricey hotels while governor, Palin and daughter Bristol stayed five days and four nights at the $707.29-per-night Essex House luxury hotel (robes and slippers come standard) overlooking New York City's Central Park for a five-hour women's leadership conference in October 2007. With air fare, the cost to Alaska was well over $3,000. Event organizers said Palin asked if she could bring her daughter. The governor billed her state more than $20,000 for her children's travel, including to events where they had not been invited, and in some cases later amended expense reports to specify that they had been on official business.


PALIN: Boasts that she ran her campaign for governor on small donations, mostly from first-time givers, and turned back large checks from big donors if her campaign perceived a conflict of interest.

THE FACTS: Of the roughly $1.3 million she raised for her primary and general election campaigns for governor, more than half came from people and political action committees giving at least $500, according to an AP analysis of her campaign finance reports. The maximum that individual donors could give was $1,000; $2,000 for a PAC.

Of the rest, about $76,000 came from Republican Party committees.

She accepted $1,000 each from a state senator and his wife and $30 from a state representative in the weeks after the two Republican lawmakers' offices were raided by the FBI as part of an investigation into a powerful Alaska oilfield services company. After AP reported those donations during the presidential campaign, she gave a comparative sum to charity.


PALIN: Rails against taxpayer-financed bailouts, which she attributes to Obama. She recounts telling daughter Bristol that to succeed in business, "you'll have to be brave enough to fail."

THE FACTS: Palin is blurring the lines between Obama's stimulus plan — a $787 billion package of tax cuts, state aid, social programs and government contracts — and the federal bailout that Republican presidential candidate John McCain voted for and President George W. Bush signed.

Palin's views on bailouts appeared to evolve as McCain's vice presidential running mate. In September 2008, she said "taxpayers cannot be looked to as the bailout, as the solution, to the problems on Wall Street." A week later, she said "ultimately what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up our economy."

During the vice presidential debate in October, Palin praised McCain for being "instrumental in bringing folks together" to pass the $700 billion bailout. After that, she said "it is a time of crisis and government did have to step in."


PALIN: Says Ronald Reagan faced an even worse recession than the one that appears to be ending now, and "showed us how to get out of one. If you want real job growth, cut capital gains taxes and slay the death tax once and for all."

THE FACTS: The estate tax, which some call the death tax, was not repealed under Reagan and capital gains taxes are lower now than when Reagan was president.

Economists overwhelmingly say the current recession is far worse. The recession Reagan faced lasted for 16 months; this one is in its 23rd month. The recession of the early 1980s did not have a financial meltdown. Unemployment peaked at 10.8 percent, worse than the October 2009 high of 10.2 percent, but the jobless rate is still expected to climb.


PALIN: She says her team overseeing the development of a natural gas pipeline set up an open, competitive bidding process that allowed any company to compete for the right to build a 1,715-mile pipeline to bring natural gas from Alaska to the Lower 48.

THE FACTS: Palin characterized the pipeline deal the same way before an AP investigation found her team crafted terms that favored only a few independent pipeline companies and ultimately benefited a company with ties to her administration, TransCanada Corp. Despite promises and legal guidance not to talk directly with potential bidders during the process, Palin had meetings or phone calls with nearly every major candidate, including TransCanada.


PALIN: Criticizes an aide to her predecessor, Gov. Frank Murkowski, for a conflict of interest because the aide represented the state in negotiations over a gas pipeline and then left to work as a handsomely paid lobbyist for ExxonMobil. Palin asserts her administration ended all such arrangements, shoving a wedge in the revolving door between special interests and the state capital.

THE FACTS: Palin ignores her own "revolving door" issue in office; the leader of her own pipeline team was a former lobbyist for a subsidiary of TransCanada, the company that ended up winning the rights to build the pipeline.


PALIN: Writes about a city councilman in Wasilla, Alaska, who owned a garbage truck company and tried to push through an ordinance requiring residents of new subdivisions to pay for trash removal instead of taking it to the dump for free — this to illustrate conflicts of interest she stood against as a public servant.

THE FACTS: As Wasilla mayor, Palin pressed for a special zoning exception so she could sell her family's $327,000 house, then did not keep a promise to remove a potential fire hazard on the property.

She asked the city council to loosen rules for snow machine races when she and her husband owned a snow machine store, and cast a tie-breaking vote to exempt taxes on aircraft when her father-in-law owned one. But she stepped away from the table in 1997 when the council considered a grant for the Iron Dog snow machine race in which her husband competes.


PALIN: Says Obama has admitted that the climate change policy he seeks will cause people's electricity bills to "skyrocket."

THE FACTS: She correctly quotes a comment attributed to Obama in January 2008, when he told San Francisco Chronicle editors that under his cap-and-trade climate proposal, "electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket" as utilities are forced to retrofit coal burning power plants to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Obama has argued since then that climate legislation can blunt the cost to consumers. Democratic legislation now before Congress calls for a variety of measures aimed at mitigating consumer costs. Several studies predict average household costs probably would be $100 to $145 a year.


PALIN: Welcomes last year's Supreme Court decision deciding punitive damages for victims of the nation's largest oil spill tragedy, the Exxon Valdez disaster, stating it had taken 20 years to achieve victory. As governor, she says, she'd had the state argue in favor of the victims, and she says the court's ruling went "in favor of the people." Finally, she writes, Alaskans could recover some of their losses.

THE FACTS: That response is at odds with her reaction at the time to the ruling, which resolved the long-running case by reducing punitive damages for victims to $500 million from $2.5 billion. Environmentalists and plaintiffs' lawyers decried the ruling as a slap at the victims and Palin herself said she was "extremely disappointed." She said the justices had gutted a jury decision favoring higher damage awards, the Anchorage Daily News reported. "It's tragic that so many Alaska fishermen and their families have had their lives put on hold waiting for this decision," she said, noting many had died "while waiting for justice."


PALIN: Describing her resistance to federal stimulus money, Palin describes Alaska as a practical, libertarian haven of independent Americans who don't want "help" from government busybodies.

THE FACTS: Alaska is also one of the states most dependent on federal subsidies, receiving much more assistance from Washington than it pays in federal taxes. A study for the nonpartisan Tax Foundation found that in 2005, the state received $1.84 for every dollar it sent to Washington.


PALIN: Says she tried to talk about national security and energy independence in her interview with Vogue magazine but the interviewer wanted her to pivot from hydropower to high fashion.

THE FACTS are somewhat in dispute. Vogue contributing editor Rebecca Johnson said Palin did not go on about hydropower. "She just kept talking about drilling for oil."


PALIN: "Was it ambition? I didn't think so. Ambition drives; purpose beckons." Throughout the book, Palin cites altruistic reasons for running for office, and for leaving early as Alaska governor.

THE FACTS: Few politicians own up to wanting high office for the power and prestige of it, and in this respect, Palin fits the conventional mold. But "Going Rogue" has all the characteristics of a pre-campaign manifesto, the requisite autobiography of the future candidate.


AP writers Matt Apuzzo, Sharon Theimer, Tom Raum, Rita Beamish, Beth Fouhy, H. Josef Hebert, Justin D. Pritchard, Garance Burke, Dan Joling and Lewis Shaine contributed to this report.

Butterflies in space

Yup. Now baby butterflies will visit the final frontier.


It's for a fantastic cause though, which will surely allay all reservations once you read it:

Once the payload's in orbit, teachers and K-12 students from throughout the United States will tune in at BioEd Online to watch the "butterflynauts" grow in a microgravity environment.

The time has long since come for this knowledge. HOW DO BUTTERFLIES GROW IN ZERO GRAVITY?

You know those situations on television and movies where people are so rich that they swim in their money, have money fights or buy a new car every time they drive? That's what NASA is.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Sometimes, it's really hard to go out and not scream at people, to not grab them and shake them, demanding an answer to "What the fuck is wrong with you?"

I want to know why they don't care. I want to know what hardened their hearts to the extent that stories like this won't move them in any meaningful way.

Telling people that 45 million turkeys will be eaten on Thanksgiving and shit out the next day doesn't mean anything. It's an abstract number. 45 million is too large to comprehend.

Eleven though, eleven is a number that people can comprehend.

And one, yes, people can handle one, especially when that number has a name - Kasey.

It was not yet Thanksgiving, but everyone at our Orland shelter had turkeys on the brain when 11 poults were dropped off at the sanctuary. The exact provenance of these young turkeys is a mystery, but because they arrived here debeaked and detoed, we know that they were likely born on a factory farm, so we are especially thankful that they somehow made their way to our door.

Our first concern was providing healthcare to these tiny birds. Several initially displayed symptoms of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections, which we treated by adding antibiotics to their water. One of the poults, Kasey, arrived with a distended abdomen and appeared lethargic the next morning, so we drove her to the University of California, Davis Veterinary Hospital for emergency care. Despite exhaustive treatment efforts, Kasey passed away the next day as a result of a virus that had destroyed her liver.

Or another named Hayden:

Back at the shelter, the other poults were growing rapidly and exploring their cozy new habitat in our hospital. Their flourishing was checked, however, by an illness we could not identify, which caused walking and balancing trouble for most and left some unable to stand. We monitored them closely during this time, providing the best veterinary care and the most comfort possible. To our grief, a poult named Hayden was severely affected and, though we did everything we could for him, he passed away.

Hayden and Kasey are gone. Just birds, right? Fuck you.

At least they died loved. At least they died with dignity. Their 270 million cousins, sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers and mates who will never be all suffer the indignity and misery of living their lives effectively immobilized, having been mutilated at birth, living in filth and disease, under constant light, indoors, fed fake food to make them fat and kept alive on drugs just long enough to kill them so that you all can get fat and sick, just like them. 270 million every year. Just about every person in America slits a turkey's throat once a year, or rather, pays someone else to do it.

What kind of sick fucks would build something like this? Humans, that's what kind.

Factory farming is irredeemably filthy

Jonathan Safran Foer, right on. He articulates this so succinctly and directly. What a good job of showing people that there is only one way out of this one. Will they listen? No. But a few will. This is the type of shit that is so true that it cannot be denied, just blocked. You really have to put your blinders on to keep pushing on in that brutal American way.

All the pigs we need

Way smarter than the other kind. Chance are they don't want to be eaten, much less caged, beaten, hung by their back feet or stabbed.

They’ve [animal behavior researchers] found that pigs are among the quickest of animals to learn a new routine, and pigs can do a circus’s worth of tricks: jump hoops, bow and stand, spin and make wordlike sounds on command, roll out rugs, herd sheep, close and open cages, play videogames with joysticks, and more. For better or worse, pigs are also slow to forget. “They can learn something on the first try, but then it’s difficult for them to unlearn it,” said Suzanne Held of the University of Bristol. “They may get scared once and then have trouble getting over it.”

I want to hang out with pigs and play bow and stand with them.

I know it's a dream that won't come true until people are wiped off the planet, but I really wish they would just recognize the inherent worth that other animals have in living their lives and leave them alone.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Support for health care reform bill

Pretty sparse. Americans are so reluctant to pay for anything worthwhile. They just want to blow their money on shit, or at least have the "freedom" to do so.

This is such a contentious issue, and all it is is trying to get people insured, nothing resembling socialized medicine. What are people so mad about? I just don't get it. They're all riled up on some conservative fantasy trope shit about "Big Brother in their pockets" or whatever. Make sure to catch a close-up of that picture up top. Pretty brilliant. A lot of cogent points in those signs.


Friday, November 6, 2009

I fucking hate this country, pt. 3

Just realized that this ("I fucking hate this country, pt. -) will be a long-running series.

I found some behind the scenes crap about how political marketing garbage (I will allow that they were at one point people) were paid to deploy their greatest efforts, using whatever imagery they found most effective, to ensure that gay people remain discriminated against, reviled and living in fear (when people are not afforded the full benefits of citizenship, you can be sure that they will treated as less than equal).

Gay marriage opponents pulled off another victory at the ballot box this week by using a tried-and-tested argument: Approve it and children will be taught homosexuality in school.

I don't know what that means, "taught homosexuality." Like, that it exists? Cause it does.

Here's my favorite part:

In Maine and California, voters were besieged with ad images of what would supposedly happen if same-sex marriage were legal: students going on a field trip to a lesbian wedding, elementary school kids reading books featuring gay couples, kindergartners learning about homosexuality from their teachers — all without any say from parents.

Oh, so that's what it means. I don't see the problem. Of course I don't.

Those advertisements came from these people:

After signing up to lead the campaign, political consultants Frank Schubert and Jeff Flint noticed that polls were showing voters tended to not have much of a problem with gay relationships.

With the help of focus groups, surveys and ammunition unwittingly supplied by their opponents, the two soon found a new way to frame the issue, by focusing on education.

People in marketing very low on the humanity ladder as it is, with them making it their jobs to convince people to buy useless things and poison themselves. But these people, "political consultants", I cannot describe the depth of my hatred for them. It burns inside of me.

They've made it their business (and yes, business is good) to fill people's minds with shit, so that they cannot, or at least they feel that they cannot, make decisions of their own. They thrive on breeding misery, with no apparent compunction.

One on hand you have these salespeople of hatred and ignorance, and on the other, you have a sea of people too fucking stupid to think about anything. Many of them will believe anything that is repeated often enough to them. They are small-minded people, with few thoughtful tendencies. They are deeply reactionary and want nothing more than to maintain what they believe has always been, which generally is based on "God". And they are the majority of Americans. Good luck getting anything progressive by them.

Whitest of the white

Damn. I feel bad for some of them. I shouldn't, but I do.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

On refusing to act

Here we see poor countries pressuring, trying to convince and finally begging the rich ones to cut their carbon emissions in serious numbers. As anyone would expect, the rich countries told them to suck it. The poor ones want rich industrial countries to reduce their carbon output by forty percent in the next ten years. Most of the latter are planning to cut by up to fifteen percent by then. America, of course, lags behind even such a basic measure, debating a seven percent cut. Fuck.

What's the excuse? Why won't they just do it? Money.

"I think to get to minus 40 [percent reduction in carbon emissions] is too heavy a lift," Yvo de Boer, head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat, told Reuters. Such a shift would require "going back to the drawing board" and would economically "come at a huge cost," he said.

Yes, the U.N. is also telling them to fuck off. Looks like the end of the road for all those poor client/host countries, huh? At least they can point the finger when the floods come and come. What satisfaction.

Once again, people have demonstrated that they will commit any act of violence and destruction in the name of money. Essentially, the rich countries tell the rest of the world that the western lifestyles they live are more important than anything, even some too-late attempt to "save" the planet. People up at the top know that they and their businesses are trashing every reach of the world, but they won't do anything meaningful about it, just sell you a canvas bag.

As for the climate change deniers, go for it. Give it your all. I can guarantee it won't make a fuck of a difference what you felt or said when your children live in a state of constant hunger and struggle, their houses long having been swallowed by the oceans.

Things get stupider

and people reveal themselves to be a little more ignominious as time passes. A lot of people seem to have this idea of constant, irrepressible human progress towards some semblance of equality, harmony and understanding. Fuck that.

The fact of the matter is that give us the chance, and we will demonstrate our hatred and intolerance in waves. You can check yesterday's elections for that. Voters in Maine came out to repeal a gay marriage law the state legislature passed. Just like thirty states before them, gay marriage went up for a vote, and it was denied. And I still don't know why. I mean, I know why people vote against it. They cite some religious drivel, some nonsense about sanctity and honor or whatever, but I really just don't know why they care if gay people get married or not. It has nothing to ostensibly do with them. They are just hateful and seem to relish in denying other people joy.

I have this idea that people in America, other places too, I am sure, but I only know America, know that their lives are empty, shitty and lived in service to higher powers - their employers, politicians and the rich, which are often indistinguishable from one another. They may not be aware of it in a fully conscious sense, and they may not give it much thought, but they have a sense of it at some level. It compels them to act in such awful, vengeful ways. They love taking things out on other people. They will direct their misery at just about anyone, acting out in a wide variety of situations - driving, internet forums, picking on individuals they perceive as weak and oppressing groups they feel are susceptible to being dominated. We are a profoundly miserable people who often behave much like electricity. We will strike out at whatever is closest to us, requiring the least amount of effort. I feel that this is a large part of why men beat and cow their families - they are closest to them. They're always there, as is these men's rage, the rage that comes from so many other places and is channeled in such unproductive ways.

When it comes to enacting legislation and things of that nature, white people in this country love to enshrine their special status. They will and have put laws on the books to discriminate against, well, anyone, really. I guess just about everyone has faced discrimination in this country, save for the white man born here to a wealthy family. And by fucking god do white people like to keep it that way. They will go against themselves so often, just to try to ingratiate themselves in some way with these untouchables who rule them.

Wave a flag or a cross at them and poor white people will come out in droves for just about anything you want, as long as it's hateful and glorifies their idea of white, religious, individualistic America. Cut taxes for the rich? You bet. Fight against socialized medicine? Here we are, boss. Slash funding for education? Sure thing. Whatever you want.

Dear Earth Lords, you have long since convinced us that black people, Mexicans and transoceanic, non-white immigrants are our enemies. They want our jobs and our virtuous white women. We will defend all of those with vigor, devoting special energy to maintaining the homogeneity of our neighborhoods. We will unite along racial lines, much to the detriment of our economic well-being. We eagerly embark on this journey with you. It is of no practical value to us, but we promise to never examine this fact.

As for the white middle classes, they are scared as fuck of losing their tenuous economic perches. The poor white people, they never had shit to begin with and don't expect to ever gain much, so all they really need is their whiteness, maleness, Americanness, femininity and whatever else. But these middle-class people, they will bite whether you wave a flag or a dollar. Taxes, taxes taxes. Economy, economy, economy. Jobs, jobs, jobs. And they hate black people, but mostly because they are beneath them, as well as a criminal threat. They are not primarily their competition. They hate immigrants, but like it when they trim the shrubs in the front yard.

And everyone hates gay people. White people, black people, religious people of all stripes, rich people, poor people. Maybe portions of the middle classes sympathize with them the most, for trying to maintain that delicate balance. Middle class people know what it's like to have to pretend, to put on a show for everyone.

In New Jersey, Chris Christie trotted out this platform of "fixing the economy," whatever the fuck that means. I suppose it's calculated to be a statement open to maximum interpretation, where people take it to apply to them. It got him elected, along with his messages of repression - specifically anti-choice and anti-gay. The images of his fat, happy, white family put the cream in the twinkie. He's a religious conservative and loves George Bush. He favors such brilliant measures as further reducing state funding for education at all levels, always a guarantor of a bright future.

Christie won. More people chose him than anyone else. People in New Jersey, counter to its liberal image, tend to be rather conservative. Sure, Obama trashed McCain last year, but also, look who he was up against - an old man and an idiot hick. A lot of young people came out, a lot of black people came out, and a lot of white people felt like they had to "do the right thing."

This time around, there was no celebrity candidate. Nothing fresh was at hand. "Hope" was reserved for lower taxes, and the only aspirations for "change" were for that mystical nebulousness, the economy. It was back to that same American political drudgery - which white guy? That's the shit that turns a lot of people off. They don't want those choices. They don't see anyone who represents them or whom they want to represent them, so they abstain. Maybe they don't think much changes for them, regardless of who is in office. So other people go to the polls and choose for them.

Thanks to the fundamental shortsighted nature of Americans, it was Chris Christie this time. Idiot people ate up his promises of more money in their pockets and clung desperately to his denigration of Jon Corzine's economic abilities. Surely, it must be Jon Corzine's fault! After all, he WAS the one in office when all this meltdown business took place. No need to look even a few years back, to the policies of yore. No, this is all on Corzine. New Jersey operates in an economic vacuum, and everything is in the governor's hands. All he had to do was fix it, but he wouldn't. Or something. At least, that seems to be the gist of much support for Christie. I am no Corzine supporter and do not care to entrench myself in the uselessness of American party politics. It's just that, come on, Chris Christie? This guy is a fat piece of shit who just can't hate enough.

I guess that a lot of people who voted for Christie are in need of something to believe in. They don't know shit about economics and think it's as simple as one person fixing what's broken. Even worse, they believe, or at least pretend to believe that when someone makes campaign promises to do so, it will happen, as though he deals in magic. How could New Jersey have a thriving capitalist economy when the national economy is fucked, not to mention the global situation? Duh. These voters also either embrace his social conservatism or find it generally agreeable. They just don't care about people who aren't them. Money is their god, and at this time, they have chosen Chris Christie as their...what, bishop or something like that?

Here is November 4th, the day that Americans revealed themselves to be a little more hateful and vindictive than they were yesterday.

"There is an inner logic,
and we're taught to stay far from it.
It is simple and elegant,
but it's cruel and antithetic,
and there's no effort to reveal it."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sara is down

Definitely been listening to her Write Back Soon CD.

October 30th at Town Hall in New York.