31 May 2006

Steve Jobs and the Not So Great Glass Elevator

With apologies to both Roald Dahl and the recently departed Sen. Lloyd Bensten,

Apple Chairman Steve Jobs, I served with Willy Wonka, I knew Willy Wonka, Willy Wonka was a friend of mine. Chairman Jobs you are no Willy Wonka.

(sorry not everything can be pirate related)

(I take that back, here's the Steve Jobs/Pirate link nexus that makes everything OK)

(Where did I serve with Wonka you ask? During the great Chocolate War, of course, you silly)

Speaking of Pirates in the Parliament

Is it possible that Taiwan already has a Pirate Party?

(Samizdata has the dope, follow the link, then follow the link within the link)

(and a Samizdata commenter brings forth this blast from the past regarding parliamentary behavior in Taiwan)

More Pirate Chat

It's not even International Talk Like a Pirate Day, yet I seem to be posting pirate related stuff (Keira's a pirate afterall) so here is one more. In Sweden some of those affiliated with Pirate's Bay have recently formed a political party and hope to earn a seat in Swedish Parliament.

Maybe they'll be more amenable to some of my modest proposals regarding political reform (which in some cases would be applicable to parliamentary style politics, as well).

Raise a glass of grog and wish the Piratpartiet success.


Don't recognize that acronym right away?


Follow this Go Fug Yourself link for the Keira Knightley related fugness.


Swede Cops Shutdown Pirate's Bay.

30 May 2006

A Modest Proposal on Making Representative Democracy Far More Representative

Often times a situation arises where elected representatives don't go about representing the wishes of the folks that they were elected to represent.

Most Republican Senators and some Republican Congressional Representatives have strayed far afield from their constituents' wishes regarding Illegal Immigration.

Clearly, an important segment of Sen. Clinton and Sen. Lieberman's constituencies are angry over specific votes and an overall pattern of those Senators' choice to seemingly ignore the Will of those that got them there.

I wouldn't bring all this up if I didn't have a simple, effecient and effective remedy.

Since Vote-Buying didn't seem to create much of a stir, my modest suggestion regarding Electoral Reform was ignored, and Terminal Limits, though perfectly sensible, seems to have been a complete non-starter, I have come up with a new proposal that will positively transform the manner in which common folks are represented by their elected representatives.

This modest proposal requires direct engagement from the populace, while it simultaneously penalizes Senators and Representatives who ignore the will of the people. It would require a small investment in some infrastructure, but I am here to say that no investment is too large that would better the responsiveness of the federal government to the folks governed.

Here's the scheme in a nutshell, all bills before either the Senate or the House would be required to have their final version online for 2 weeks before the final vote is cast. During that two week period voters who have gone through a biometric check to verify their identity, would then be able to place their personal vote on each bill (it's possible, and in this case vital, to keep the biometric data separate from the voting data, so that the voter can be verified without the vote being identified). Each vote in each district or state would then have a number assigned to it equal to the spread between the votes for and against (Example, Bill A in District 1 has a percentage count of voters who made their voices heard of 53 for, and 47 against, but Rep. of Dist. 1 votes against Bill A anyway, he would get -6 points against his running total). That number would then be applied for or against a running total for each Representative and Senator, and even the President so that when they vote with the Will of The People they get a positive points, and when they vote against the Will of their particular constituents they get points taken away (For the President his signature or veto would be counted as a vote, so that veto-overrides wouldn't count against him).

The purpose of this would be to collect the Will of The People on each decision that each Senator and Representative makes during their service to The People. Each vote then, would be accorded a positive or negative number corresponding to the degree with which the elected concur or stray from the thoughts of his/her constituency. A Senator or Representative who accumulates a negative total of more than 300 would be forced to vote whichever way their constituency demands, also any issue that develops a single issue majority of plus 50 (better than 75 for versus 25 against) would mean that the representative would face immediate recall if they choose to vote against the Will of The People when the will has been voiced so strongly.

The arguments against such a system are mere piffle (possibly even mere-er than piffle, more triffle-y even). Once this system is in place folks will make it their business to know the business of the Federal Government and make their Will known, or risk having the Will of others be the deciding factors on how their elected vote.

Given that most decisions don't form better than a 55-45 split amongst constituencies, and given that all voters in a district would count equally (plus this would be a huge incentive to vote, given that only people that voted in the previous election would be eligible to have their Will processed and counted) this would also allow a focused political minority within a district remain influential with their representatives. Now being in the political minority in some districts is virtual disenfranchisement, this system would change that for the good.

If the 300 negative point limit seems too excessive then it could be tweaked to a lower amount to keep the elected from straying too far from the opinion of the voters, maybe 200 would be enough to allow the elected some room for discretion without that discretion running rampant and allowing Representatives and Senators to run roughshod over the Will of the People that elected them in the first place.

The technology now exists to force our current Representative Democracy to better resemble a Direct Democracy, and the more direct a democracy is, the better it will function.

There is great wisdom in the commons, let the folks have not just influence, but real power over those that they elect, not just every 2, 4 or 6 years, but every single vote should require the input of the good folks of the United States, it's a more effecient and effective way to prevent the appearance of despotism that often seeps in the edges of our current system.

28 May 2006

You Ain't Wrong (Week Ending 28 May 2006)

You Ain't Wrongness will be delayed by a day this week, the real post will be here sometime late tomorrow, till then, enjoy your Sunday, and your holiday (if tomorrow is a holiday for you, it's no longer a given that most folks have that day off).


This will be short, a few Memorial Day tributes or musings that need your attention if you haven't already perused them

Michelle Malkin

Sippican Cottage

Callimachus posting at Done With Mirrors

Prof. Ann Althouse

Christopher Hitchens

Prof. Stephen Bainbridge

(links aplenty mixed in those links, and they are all full of aintwrongness in their own ways)

As far as the usual non-Memorial Day related aintwrongness for the week

Slate.com, Y'all Ain't Wrong, For coming up with Pulp style covers for classic novels. Brilliant stuff, this, more, more, let's see much more.

Daniel Drezner, You Ain't Wrong, For questioning that insipid World Cup add featuring the voice of Bono.

Dr. Helen, You Ain't Wrong, For enjoying an afternoon luncheon with your daughter at The Tea Room. Life's little pleasures shared with loved ones are often the best pleasures.

Michael Yon, You Ain't Wrong, For defending the integrity of the copyright of your photo and ensuring that the use of this powerful image not be deployed inappropriately. Fight the good fight, stick it to them, hard. SHOCK magazine should change their name to Shame if this first issue is indicative of their behavior, editorial choices, and corporate culture.

That's it, keeping it small and tidy this week. As far as the antiaintwrongness, George Galloway probably belongs in an antiaintwrongness hall of fame. But nevertheless, his statements regarding PM Tony Blair this week are a new low, even for him. So in all his gallowaygian glory, Not at all Gorgeous George Galloway epitomizes all that is antiaintwrong for this past week.


26 May 2006

Friday Funk Lyrics, 26 May 2006

Memorial Day Weekend. Kick off to summer for most (even if the sun doesn't agree). What funky song to match the holiday?

Battle Hymn of the Republic (link has audio), of course, by Julia W. Howe

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch fires of a hundred circling camps
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps;
His day is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His day is marching on.

I have read a fiery Gospel writ in burnished rows of steel;
“As ye deal with My contemners, so with you My grace shall deal”;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with His heel,
Since God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Since God is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet;
Our God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free;
[originally …let us die to make men free]
While God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! While God is marching on.

He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
He is wisdom to the mighty, He is honor to the brave;
So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of wrong His slave,
Our God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on.

Those abolitionists were a funky bunch if you ask me (in the positive sense of funky, not otherwise).

The 15 Most Dirtiest, Hippiest, Commieist, Pinkoist Rock Songs of the Last 40 Years

Seems this John Miller list of songs won't die. The discussion at Althouse seems rather lively.

I thought I'd take on the opposite project. Which rock songs since 1966 best epitomize Dirty hippie, commie pinko sensibilities (yet are still by artists that I still respect, love, admire (with the obvious exception of ALW 'aka' Satan), and even many of the songs on the list still are pretty great, despite being damn dirty hippie songs)

This won't be easy to narrow down, the number of candidates is tremendous, and my knowledge of the dirty hippie commie pinko musical nexus isn't as complete as my knowledge of other genres, but I'll do my best.

Counting down from 15 (Why fifteen songs, why not?) here's the list, with explanations.

15. The War Song, Culture Club. To know this song is to admit to having had this album. Well I know this song, and I had it on vinyl. This was the beginning of the end for this band. Their first two albums were and still are pretty amazing. This one, not so much. And this song, well read the lyrics, and laugh, cry, whatever.

14. Woodstock, Joni Mitchell. She's one of the all time greats. This isn't one of her all time great songs. She wasn't even at Woodstock, yet she recorded this silly little song, makes the list cause it's about Woodstock, which was one of the dirtier, hippier, pinko commier events of the last 50 years.

13. Excuse Me Mister, Ben Harper. From the Fight for Your Mind album, a great essential album that should be in any music collection, but it's still commie agitprop, nevertheless. When he stopped being a pinko socialist agitator, he became less interesting musically, sometimes it's good to be commie pinko scum (artistically speaking).

12. America Eats Its Young, Funkadelic. The title speaks for itself, really. If that doesn't sound commie pinko and dirty hippie to you, than I don't know what does.

11. Television: Drug of the Nation, Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy. I admit it, I loved this album. It's a great socialist screed against all that is capitalism. Useful idiots that they were, they still managed to construct some damn good beats.

10. Two Tribes, Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Another great song, but still commie pinko agitprop that suggests Ronald Reagan had an itchy trigger finger on the nuclear button.

9. I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke, Hillside Singers or The New Seekers. Sure this song was written and conceived as a commercial for one of the biggest most imperialistically capitalist products of our time, but it's still a bunch of dirty hippie touchy feely nonsense.

8. Jesus Christ Superstar, Andrew Lloyd Weber. Satan, thy name is ALW. Jesus reimagined as a dirty hippie popstar. Gross doesn't even begin to describe what this is. I can't single out any one song, so let's just call the whole project one long dirty hippie nightmare.

7. Bold as Love, Jimi Hendrix. Just cause he was one of the all time greats doesn't mean his insipid lyrics can escape scorn. I defy anyone not stoned out of their mind on numerous substances to explain what this song is really about.

6. Walking Down Madison, Kirsty Maccoll. Your typical, anti-capitalist screed against the victimization of the downtrodden. But it's a fantastic song, and Kirsty MacColl kicked all sorts of ass. Love this song, but it's still pinko to its core.

5. Going Down to Liverpool, The Bangles or Katrina and the Waves. Another song I love, but all about being on the dole. Rather than telling these tossers to get off their duff and make themselves useful, it just encourages more wankery. The Bangles version was banned by the BBC, though the Katrina version managed to get the OK, guess it's OK for Brits to sing about unemployment, but not Yanks.

4. Animal Kingdom, Prince. Good song from a forgotten and ignored album (off the 4th disc of the 4 disc version of Crystal Ball). The biggest most dirtiest hippiest pinkest commiest agitators are those crazed PETA folks, and this is a PETA anthem. But any song that combines acoustic guitar, dolphin squeaks, Prince scatting, and a scarily good bass line can't be all bad, despite silly politics. (did I mention that this song has the line, " So I don't eat no red meat or white fish
Or funky, funky blue cheese "?)

3. Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology), Marvin Gaye. Sweet Jesus is this a fantastic song. Marvin Gaye's voice is pure velvet. The soundscape for this song is a lush jungle of soothing sounds. But the lyrics, the lyrics, the lyrics. Things ain't what they used to be. Actually compared to then, things are far, far better, but don't tell that to a certain former Vice President, some truths are inconvenient.

2. Grateful Dead. No song picks here, just there entire oeuvre. Not like when they played in concert you could easily differentiate one song from the next anyway, and all those damn dirty hippies couldn't care less.

1. Imagine, John Lennon. There can be no other number one on this list. Insipid, ridiculous, often quoted by the dirtiest and commiest of the pinkos and the hippies. It's a cliche wrapped in a trite tune wrapped in a collectivist worldview. Joel Engel writing in The Weekly Standard ripped that sorry excuse for a song a new one quite thoroughly, but all I can say about Imagine is Grrrr! Arggggh! (words fail, though this chap tries, the comment section over there is priceless)

25 May 2006

Number Fifteen

I'm number fifteen on the list for this Yahoo Search.

I haven't clicked on the images link for that search, some things are better left unseen.

(I should choose my language with more care in the future, I guess)

24 May 2006

Latin Puns Make Me LOL

And Yes, I Am a Geek.

More link love for the Manolo.

(he's not alone posting on the subject, Althouse, Bruce, and Althouse)

Andrew Sullivan Made Me Do It

Mr. Sullivan has commanded the blogosphere to go forth and photograph views from their window.

I've used my really crappy camera to oblige, below are some front window selections (my grandmother's Red Element makes a cameo (she probably costs that vehicle at least 10-15 'cool points' each time someone sees her climbing out of the driver's seat))

The view from the back porch features a cameo from big black Mofo (in the last picture, he seems to be auditioning for a hellhound role in a future Omen sequel).

Jurislator, Rebuked

Judge Freeman stopped the California exit exam for high school graduation. The California Supreme Court disagrees with his ruling.

There's hope yet.

And speaking of public education in California, the poor, poor teachers represented by UTLA are now demanding a 14% pay increase since revenues for the state have come in higher than expected.

Average pay for LAUSD teachers is nearly $57,000 for 9 months work (not including a far better than average health care package and retirement benefits), but they still insist they are severely underpaid. Performance of LAUSD students continues to be dismal, but don't blame the teachers, and don't blame illegal immigration, blame Pres. Bush, Gov. Schwarzenegger, and racist exit exams.

Questions to Ask Your Surgeon

Have you played Super Monkey Ball today?

It Was a Good Year for Wine/Whine, Though

Instapundit posts his thoughts on Jonah Goldberg's NRO article regarding the outright lies, falsehoods, and mendacious twitterings that escaped mostly unchallenged from the press in the immediate aftermath of the destruction of New Orleans related to the failing levees, and the failure to properly evacuate the city as was strongly suggested by the federal government, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The foreign press coverage angered me more than the domestic. There was this one punk from the BBC, who if I had recognized him in a pub here in Santa Monica, I probably would have thrashed him but good.

Europe (and the American Left) has used these events to reinforce their dim view of America in general, and its built on falsehoods.

I can't but help think of the disaster that befell Europe a few years earlier, that received comparatively scant coverage here, and has lead to far less hand-wringing than Katrina related events.

The August 2003 heatwave across much of Europe killed an estimated 50,000 mostly elderly people. Compare that to the 1500 or so dead from Katrina. They are very different kinds of disasters. But deaths caused by both were largely avoidable, and hit the elderly overwhelmingly. I wonder if any cynical person has compared healthcare costs before and after 2003 to see if La France saw a big dip in its medical bills when it let so many elderly and chronically ill perish. Remember those events when crying for socialized medicine here in the States.

And the title of this post? Well, the heatwave produced one of the best Beaujolais in memory.

And Katrina produced the best year in memory for the domestic media for Whine, and they've been riding this constant shrill Whine for all its worth.

22 May 2006

Good Lordi!

One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn't belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?

Figured it out yet? It was a trick question, they're all alike, they all belong, they're all EUROVISION CHAMPIONS.

(For the most brilliant Eurovision coverage, the Manolo is the only source, read, weep, laugh, plotz)

(Lordi's official site, here)

(also, next time anyone tries to proclaim European cultural superiority, just link to this post. End. Of. Argument.)


Heather at Go Fug Yourself, gives Lordi some love. Also she calls for Eurovision 2006 highlights to be broadcast in the USA. I concur. Don't make me go break international laws to see this stuff.

21 May 2006

You Ain't Wrong (Week Ending 21 May 06)

Aintwrongness ripples across the universe.

But is aintwrongness a wave or a particle?

I really can't comment on aintwrongness beyond our small globe, so once again I'll be mostly terracentric with my highlighting of weekly aintwrongness.

Dr. Helen, You Ain't Wrong, 'Helicopter parents' do neither themselves nor their children any favors by becoming too involved in their children's lives. You can create situations and opportunities for your children to gain knowledge, but wisdom comes from within, from painful mistakes, as well as self-motivated triumphs. I can't imagine those parenting techniques creating many moments where wisdom flourishes.

Andrew Sullivan, You Ain't Wrong, Fake but Accurate is the right thing to call this recent Rovemania.

Christopher Althouse, You Ain't Wrong, People who have no shame should be ashamed of themselves. In locker rooms anyway. And speaking of locker room stories, I can't link his post without linking to this locker room related discussion from Cathy Seipp as well.

Prof. Althouse, You Ain't Wrong, For posting your 50th podcast today. They've mostly been entertaining. Keep it up, so long as you have fun doing it.

Michael Barone, You Ain't Wrong, Change the party governing, and you'll suddenly see the current economic data be reported without a damning but in sight (he doesn't actually explicitly say what I say he says, but he implies it strongly).

Egotastic, Y'all Ain't Wrong, Pictures of Jessica Alba kicking ass, really kicks ass (uh-oh, I'm in a kick ass loop like I was last week, sorry, they happen sometimes, someone should really come here and kick my ass to get me to stop with this habit).

Los Angeles Clippers, Y'all Ain't Wrong, For forcing a game seven against the Phoenix Suns Monday Night. All y'all out there would also not be wrong if you root for the Clippers to advance to the Western Conference Finals. They have great players who play well together. They've got a real MVP in Elton Brand. And Chris Kaman is really, really ugly. Go Team!

All the good Folks of the United States of America, Y'all Ain't Wrong, If you think that the folks of New Orleans are plum crazy (and Brendan Loy ain't wrong for adding the perspective and commentary that I have linked).

Mars Rovers, Y'all Ain't Wrong, For rockin' it Timex style. You've both taken a licking, and have continued ticking, photographing, sampling, and communicating with scientests back on Earth. Great job Spirit and Opportunity (and see, I'm not solely terracentric).

That's enough aintwrongness for the week. As usual there is plenty more, but I'll leave it to others to search it out.

As far as the antiaintwrong, Sir Ian McKellen, suggesting that the bible should come with "warnings" about its fictionality seems a bit silly. It earns you an antiaintwrongness. Doubting the bible is one thing. I myself am not a person of the book, but I respect those that are, and saying what you said (video here), shows a great and malignant disrespect towards people who are. That's shameful. Slagging the Hebrew and Christian Bible is easy, let's see if you go for the Abrahamic trifecta and slag the Koran as well. Somehow I think I'll be waiting a long time before you make those statements publicly. So for this week, Antiaintwrongnes=McKellenness.

Ummmm, No Comment

"A boom in the sale of loincloths has been seen since last spring, and in just half a year the department store has sold about 5,000 loincloths -- roughly 25 times the normal number it sells. "

19 May 2006

Friday Funk Lyrics, 19 May 2006

Here it is, another Friday. It's a nothing special in particular Friday, too.

If you've often wondered what a Funkadelic is, well the first cut from the first Funkadelic album tries to answer that question. They've spent all the time since trying to unanswer that question.

Here for your consideration are the funky, funky lyrics.

(Don't you find yourself often telling someone else, "If you will suck my soul, I will lick your funky emotions"?)

I'm still waiting for the Funkadelic night on American Idol, that would be interesting.

Mommy, What's A Funkadelic?

{G Clinton}

If you will suck my soul
I will lick your funky emotions
(Hey baby, hey...had something last night...man, it was strange...it taste so good...it was some good stuff)

Do it again
Hey baby
What's your thang?
What say we touch each other?
Mess around and get our thing goin' on
Yeah, ha, ha, ha!
Ohh, ohh

Ba-ba ba ba ba
Ba-ba ba ba ba
Ba-ba ba ba bomp bomp buh buh buh buh bah!

By the way, my name is Funk
I am not of your world
Hold still, baby, I won't do you no harm
I think I'll be good to you
Fly on
Hmm, hehhehheheh

Like I said, I won't do you no harm
I am Funkadelic
Dedicated to the feeling of good
And baby, I'm good at being good
Let me play with your emotions
For nothing is good unless you play with it
Fly on
Fly on, baby

I didn't make the rules
I follow them
And what's so nasty about funky music?
Heh, heh, feels good to me!

Ba-ba ba ba ba
Ba-ba ba ba ba
Ba-ba ba ba bomp bomp buh buh buh buh bah!

Whoa! Yeah!
Wait a minute
Do you feel that?
Lord, baby
Fly on
Fly on, baby

Let me kiss your mind
Let me slide a yard of tongue down your throat
There's nothing wrong with that
Merely a kiss
Why is everyone afraid to say:
Kiss me baby! (make it?)
Whoa, yeah
Kiss me baby!

Kiss me
I like it like that
I like it like that
Play with it, baby
Play with it
Play with your emotions
Go ahead, brother

Release all of those feelings
We don't need no words
Just feelings
Do it again brother, oh!
One more time, oh!

I recall when I left a little town in North Carolina
I tried to escape this music
I said it was for the old country folks
I went to New York
Got slick
Got my hair made, hehheheheh
I was cool, heh heh
I was cool
But I had no groove, hehheheh
No groove, no groove, no groove, no groove
I had no groove
But here it comes!
But now, fly on baby
Here it comes
Cuz I got it
Fly on baby
You got it
Dig, baby
You got it
You got it now
You got it
Fly on
Fly on sisters
Play on brothers

Ba-ba ba ba ba
Ba-ba ba ba ba
Ba-ba ba ba bomp bomp buh buh buh buh bah!

Can you feel that baby
It's called Funkadelic music
It will blow your funky mind
(rolling on the one, tape's in motion)

'Orgasm is a metaphor for political change'

No, really.

Who am I to argue?

Have you done your part to change politics today (metaphorically speaking)?


I wonder if the boy's name Damien will experience a one day jump in popularity on Gubenatorial Primary Election Day in California (what, there's some significance regarding the first Tuesday of June this year? Besides another crappy movie being inflicted upon an unsuspecting world populace).

Or to follow the fine example of that fella from POD, Neimad.

Would Susej be more appropriate?

Maybe there'll be a bunch of babies named Natas that day.

How freaked out would the press get if Brangelina's progeny sallies forth from the Wombgelina on that day?

(and rather than Namibia, I say Brangelina should slouch towards Bethlehem to have their child)

18 May 2006

Coincidence or Convergence? You Make the Call

The placement of these two Drudge Headlines, Coincidence?

(I take that back, I'm not sure that I've ever heard Sean Penn speak in complete sentences)

Also I think the sub-headline of the second article actually belongs with the first. The first article states that the film in question is based on Clarke's novel (I know, I know, he claims it's non-fiction, but I'm not buying that line) Against All Enemies, and will be directed by hacktacular director Paul Haggis. The sub-head of the second article is, "pyow pyow pyow . . . hack hack hack hack".

I don't think there's a better review of Crash (Defamer brings the hateration against that awful, terrible, probably worst picture to ever win Best Picture, sitcom parading as 'message' film) possible. And I don't expect any better of Against All Enemies.

Now That's Progressive

A male born student, diagnosed with gender identity disorder, has gotten the OK to be enrolled as a girl at her school (the pronoun used is to match the gender the person in question identifies with, or is currently performing, at least that's what was drilled into me during all those undergrad English courses).

Did I mention the student in question was SEVEN!!

Read about it here.

It's Getting Hard Out Here For a Parodist

"Good on him. He's not likely to win, given the mounds of evidence against him, but he deserves recognition for both his accomplishments in the courtroom and his studious trial preparaton."

The 'he' in question is John Allen Muhammad, the older DC area sniper.

Quoted from TalkLeft's account of this article in WaPo.

Not exactly the words I would have chosen.

When lefties make it so easy to make fun of them, what's the fun of making fun of them?

Damn you all! Damn you all to an existence bereft of any belief system beyond your own navels.

17 May 2006

He Is German, Afterall

The Secret of Dirk Nowitkzi's Success?

(and you know he must have this poster on the ceiling above his bed)

(and SI.com doesn't link the lyrics, but I will)

The Tasty Fruits of Gerrymandering

During the TNT showing of the 2OT Clippers-Suns game (tough loss for the Clips, but they'll win game 6 on Thu, and Game 7 on Mon), two ads ran for Democratic Primary candidates for Congress, in district CA-36. That's something I've never seen before. The election is on 06/06/06, so maybe the crazies figure that crazies have a better chance of winning than normal.

The candidates who paid to reach beer swilling Clipper fans (most of the other ads during the game were for Heineken) in the South Bay were current Rep. Jane Harman (and enemy of all things Kossack, apparently), and "Peace" Activist Marcy Winograd (Russian for 'City of Drunks', I believe).

The ads looked like they were produced in an identical fashion, in the same fake library/den/office, with the same crew. Both were paid for by 'friends' of either candidate. The ads are basically Rep. Harman claiming to be moonbat friendly despite being pro-defense, and Ms. Winograd proclaiming her Allegiance to all things Kos, and for which they Stand, Disunited, Easily Divisible, with Tin Foil, Incoherent Slogans, and Papier Mache Effigies for All.

If the District hadn't been carved in such a manner as to ensure that 75-80% of voters registered to a party were Democrats, no extremist moonbat who spews the entire Kos party line would even be able to sniff at a Congressional seat in the South Bay (which for a long time was a blue collar/white collar mix of light industry and defense/space industry folks, not anymore). The district (pdf at link), hugs the coast from Venice to near Long Beach, yet manages to miss the more conservative coastal community of Palos Verdes.

If Winograd doesn't defeat Harman, that's bad news for the crazies. Harman has been described often as a 'blue dog' Democrat, and she used to be proud of being a pro-defense Democrat. She's run and won in this funky district before, but she's never been challenged from the left, and she's vulnerable on that flank.

Gerrymandering+Netroots Activists=Wingnuts running for, and possibly winning Democratic primaries, and given the nature of the unbalanced districts, probably finding themselves in Congress to spew their idiocy in front of a national audience.

Nothing could be better for Republicans and worse for Democrats.

There's an Irish-Americans for Winograd for Congress Fundraiser at O'Brien's Pub here in Santa Monica (even though this city lies outside of her district), I'm very tempted to put on my tinfoil, and stop bathing till then so I fit in with all those dirty, crazed psuedo-hippies, just to see how those folks act in a 'friendly' environment.

16 May 2006

When in Rome . . .

. . . do as the Romans.

When near Paris, do as les Parisiennes.

From an AP Wire story, seems in a suburb of Paris a street has been named for copkiller radical (and darling of the left) Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Frenchmen seem to think it is their natural right (I was going to type god-given, but France banned gods long ago) to piss everywhere. Well that's one street I'd be glad to piss on, if not defecate as well (who could tell the difference there anyway, they still haven't figured out that they should curb their dogs in sophisticated Paris).

The French might as well all be hippies, they're that disgusting at times.

(hat tip Michelle Malkin)

As a side note, while looking up info on curbing dogs in Paris, I came across a NYC-centric story regarding the problem from Gothamist entitled A Modest Dog Poop-rosal, so naturally I link.

UPDATE: Reader I Am, posting at Done With Mirrors (this is the circular link, linking the link that links my link, link) was kind enough to hat tip me as she links to the same article. What is proper netiquette regarding hat tipping a hat tip anyway? The original hat tip goes to a reader of Michelle Malkin who emailed her the story, I'm just relating the story I saw, and spinning it a bit, hopefully with some humor mixed in with the anger. Reader I Am does much the same, though she includes more of the story (as did Malkin) in the body of her post. Usually I prefer just linking, especially if my commentary doesn't really reflect upon specifics of the post, but rather the overall article.

Anyway, links are always appreciated, and I wouldn't be surprised at all if Rue du Tookie does intersect Rue de Abu-Jamal at some point in the near future.

14 May 2006

You Ain't Wrong (Week Ending 14 May 06)

It's another week, and I'm a bit tardy, stuff and things, and all, the real weekendingaintwrongness follows this placeholder tomorrow.

UPDATE: On to the real weekly round up of what struck me last week as being especially aintwrong.

Tammy Bruce, You Ain't Wrong, Weekly features, posted on weekends (sort of like this one) kick ass. Weekly features that also serve as an excuse to post cheesecake-y pictures of hot women, well that kicks all sorts of ass. A woman who loves other women, posting pictures and musings on a different hot woman each week, that kicks more ass than I can possibly quantify. Using 'kicks ass' and its variants as your only modifier of choice, doesn't really kick so much ass. (one other thing, the above pic links to the page for the book that cover is for, and please Tammy, we need a properly cheesecake-y photo of you, too)

Neo-Neocon, You Ain't Wrong, Take the crazies to task, they deserve it, and they're dangerous. The path of least resistance is Bush and America Hatred, but down that path leads destruction.

Victoria, You Ain't Wrong, Speaking of crazies, that picture leaves me pretty confuzzled as well.

Amy Ridenour, You Ain't Wrong, For pointing out the joys of socialized medicine.

Prof. Althouse, You Ain't Wrong, Shorts in the workplace, whether it's on women or men (and even if the folks in the shorts have the body to pull it off), should be shunned, ridiculed, and rejected.

Mary Katharine Ham (posting at Hugh Hewitt), You Ain't Wrong, For attending the Personal Democracy Forum in NYC. Also you are definitely not wrong in poking fun at the often shrill, often ignorant, Jill from Feministe. I think in that Feministe v Trippi fight, Trippi will be the first to start pulling hair.

The Anchoress, You Ain't Wrong, For your Idolatry. It may be a sin, but that's why there's freedom of choice. The sinning makes the grace that much more graceful (and yes, I noticed your warning that you aren't talking about real idolatry, but the internet is partially fueled by small understandings spinning out of control into large sources of incendiary matter).

La Shawn Barber, You Ain't Wrong, For staying on top of the developments of the Duke Lacrosse team Witchhunt. You've attacked the case against the players with healthy doses of the facts, and reasonable speculation regarding what the fact pattern suggests. The race-baiting, grievance merchants are trying to spin this case into something that it's not. Unsurprisingly, the anti-masculine campus victimologists jumped on this immediately and assumed the worst about these jocks (many of whom committed the heinous crime of being born privileged). Continue bringing the perspective regarding this case, don't let anyone off easy who tries to profit from this. No more Al Sharptons!

Finally, to the whole blogosphere, Y'all Weren't Wrong, for posting your musings on Mother's Day, Whether reminiscing (many, here, here, and especially here), warning (from Bill at So Quoted, about going to a restaurant on that day) , appreciating (Victoria at Sundries), going to see United 93 (Ruth Anne Adams at Maternal Optimist quoting Psalms 138:21-22, IT is time to get Old Testament on their ASSES, Jesus was waaaay too much of a hippie for times like these), being a good husband and giving a proper gift to the mother of your child (James Lileks, Bleating as usual), or waxing philosophical (Gregory Sullivan at Sippican Cottage, with photo!). There were scads more, but the many I link to give you a bit of variety for your post Mother's day ruminations.

(and lefties have mothers, too. They just seem more embarrassed about the fact)

There's been some antiaintwrong going on this week as well. It's an ever present force, harshing everyone's mellow. This week's mellow harsher in extremis was without a doubt President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadenijad, with your crazed, sprawling, probably written in crayon letter. You sir, are a blight on this globe. Either you are a puppet of the sclerotic, corrupt mad mullahs who have ruined Iran, or you are a crazed populist who fancies himself the son of Xerxes (your words not mine), the Mahdi, or just another Little Hitler. Either way, your letter is laughable, your rhetoric familiar (shouldn't it disturb the left that Ahmadenijad sounds so much like them?), your hatred for the US and Israel will be your undoing, don't take down all of Iran with you. You face an existential crisis, not us. If you can convince peacenik Israeli Vice Premier Shimon Peres to threaten to blow you to kingdom come, you've crossed a line no sane person should cross.

So without any more words antiaintwrongness=mahmoudahmadenijadness

The Jurislator

Some judges aren't happy just being judges, they have legislator envy. So I'm going to call these folks, jurislators from now on.

The latest jurislator, doing his jurislating best, to jurislate from the bench is Alameda County Superior Court Judge Robert B. Freedman (not to be confused with legendary scorer (and NBA player with the best name, ever), World B. Free).

And just to show that I'm equal opportunity in disdain for jurislators, Judge Freedman is a Gov. Pete Wilson appointee (though, Freedman is a registered Democrat). Also this article from the San Jose Mercury News, mentions that there are some clouds hanging over Judge Freedman's head
The judge being watched by educators and high school seniors struggling to pass the exam is working under the cloud of a judicial ethics investigation that accuses him of failing to decide cases in a timely fashion and falsifying administrative documents about his workload. And even with that investigation looming, Freedman this year was assigned to a crucial post, handling the most complex civil legal issues in the sprawling East Bay court system.
I haven't seen any of the pieces regarding this ruling that explain the legal basis for the decision. Instead we get emotional statments like this one quoting Judge Freedman in the Sacramento Business Journal
Alameda Superior Court Judge Robert Freedman noted the "potentially devastating effects" of being denied a diploma, and said that as a result of "system wide disparities as to 'opportunities to learn' the material tested, the Court concludes that an injunction that may result in a windfall benefit to some is preferable to the alternative of no relief for those who are truly victims of a system which, although it shows signs of recovery, is still unwell."

So the system is "still unwell", that doesn't mean that there is a legal basis to assume that the test itself is discriminatory, which I'm assuming will be the grounds for ignoring the exit exam. I think the federal government should get very firm with California and threaten to pull all federal funds for education if the state government doesn't appeal this decision.

Also, contrary to the Judge's statement, the "potentially devastating effects" aren't the lack of a diploma that some of these students face, but the crappy education that they have received. A piece of paper won't patch over this lack The diplomas of the tens of thousands students, who despite going to crappy schools still passed this test of minimal competency in core curricula, will be devalued by giving the same diploma to idiots who can't even pass this simple exit exam.

If there are legitimate legal grounds for this decision, I haven't heard them espoused yet, instead this looks like another example of jurislating, from yet another jurislator.

Grrrrrr. Arrrggggh.

PDFs of student study guides for this 'unfair' exit exam are available, here (1,375kb PDF) for the Math portion, and here (4,479kb PDF) for the English-Language Arts portion. Read it and decide for yourself if you are comfortable with the idea that folks who can't pass this exam are qualified to call themselves High School Graduates.

Connecting the Dots

A long feature article in the LATimes regarding prison overcrowding in California focuses on the crimes committed by convicts released early, who commit subsequent crimes.

The legal status of the convicts is never questioned.

I guess the fact we have at least 10,000 undocumented folks being housed in our jails has nothing to do with prison overcrowding.

The Damning BUT

No article on the nearly unprecedented levels of global prosperity being enjoyed by folks everywhere, would be complete without a damning but.

LATimes has an above the fold, front page story on global prosperity, but (I can throw in a damning but or too, as well) the LATimes can't help themselves.

Headline: Emerging Nations Power Global Economic Boom
Just below the head: The expansion is the strongest since the 1970s, with China, India and Russia setting the pace. But many U.S. workers are left behind.

Reading the below the headline blurb for this article you'd think there'd be line upon line about massive unemployment, layoffs, inflation, and tales of woe, privation and starvation amongst those workers left behind, in the US.

Instead the author of this article has to pull a bait and switch to justify the suggestion that things aren't as good as they seem. Whenever he talks about problems in the developed nations with regards to this period of global growth, he lumps together US, Western Europe, and Japan.

Yet this is a different kind of boom from any other in the post-World War II era, analysts say. The soaring economies of China, India, Russia, Brazil and other emerging nations increasingly are setting the pace, overshadowing the slower growth of the United States, Europe and Japan, where the benefits of the expansion have eluded many workers.
With the developed world's growth lagging well behind that of emerging economies, however, workers in industrialized nations may not feel like they are part of the global boom. Wages in the United States, for example, have been slow to rise in recent years. In Western Europe, unemployment rates remain stubbornly high.

The U.S. and other countries in the developed world have lost jobs to emerging nations as a result of free trade, triggering protectionist sentiment here and in Europe.

Also, zooming prices for oil and other commodities, which have enriched the developing nations that export them, have come largely at the expense of the West.
Of course, the article does mention that this fear about job losses, and the protectionists reaction should be offset by the reality that cheaper goods, as well as expanding markets means that there are more opportunities now for workers in the developed world, not less. Also, the greater the size of the world economy, the greater ease with which it will be able to sustain growth. I'm sure it pained the author of this piece, as well as the LATimes to have to include the following,
There is no question that some of the developing world's gains are, in effect, a transfer of wealth from the industrialized world, but experts say emerging countries' success also is flowing back to the U.S., Europe and Japan — which combined still account for about two-thirds of the global economy.

The strength of the emerging economies could mean that this global expansion cycle will last longer than normal, as more people join the ranks of the consumer society. That could be good news for aging industrialized nations as well.

U.S. corporations, for example, are selling more abroad than ever before. American exports hit a record $115 billion in March. Companies in the blue-chip Standard & Poor's 500 index derived 32% of their sales from outside the U.S. last year, brokerage Lehman Bros. calculates.

"A new 'Mall of America' is being created in these smaller, younger-demographic, emerging economies," Wells Capital's Paulsen said.

Average Americans also have profited from the global expansion by investing heavily in foreign stock markets, many of which have dramatically outperformed the U.S. market the last three years. Americans bought a net $105 billion of foreign stock funds last year, compared with $31 billion of U.S. funds.

What's more, low-cost goods from developing nations have helped keep inflation pressures muted despite the jump in oil prices, economists say.

"A lot of people are benefiting from globalization and they don't know it," said Paul Kasriel, economist at Northern Trust Co. in Chicago. "If you're buying things at lower prices and you still have your job, you're benefiting."
It was also probably an ordeal to include the closing paragraphs which outline the fact that the large trade deficits this country runs, are most likely one of the engines that drives this prosperity, and rather than being a point to demagogue about, should be a point of pride, and viewed as a reflection of the strength of the US economy and not a weakness.
Like the post-World War II Marshall Plan in Europe, by which the U.S. jump-started the rebuilding of the continent's economy, the U.S. trade deficit has gotten the developing world on its feet and able to take on sustained leadership in supporting global economic growth, Paulsen says.

"I think we're just starting to reap the benefits of that investment," he says.

A Modest Proposal on Border Security

(border guards?)

Border security has become a hot topic recently. I have a comprehensive plan to not only increase border security, both on the northern and southern border, but also generate much needed energy, and possibly tourist dollars as well.

This story, from awhile back regarding "rewilding" North America provides the key. I modestly suggest that two 50 mile wide, across all largely unsettled areas on both the border with Canada and Mexico be dedicated as mega-fauna preserves.

These game reserves would be kept in order to ensure the continued existence of large mammals for generations to come. In the north you could have grizzlies, polar bears (an artificial polar region could be created, on a large scale, near Glacier National Park in Montana), caribou, moose, bison, and if some of the wilder breeding and dna extraction techniques prove fruitful, mammoths and similodons. Large predatory mammals would make a mighty fine deterrent for any unauthorized border crossings.

On the southern border, you could create a couple of zones, a savannah style zone, a rainforest zone, even a mountain forest zone near El Paso. Tigers, Lions, Gorillas, Chimps, Cheetahs, Elephants, Gazelles, Zebra, Nile Crocodile, Orangutang, Rhinoceros, Hippos, and anything else endangered in Africa and Asia could find a home (and provide border security) along our southern border.

A key component to the southern mega-fauna reserve would be water distribution to ensure that the vast and inhospitable deserts along the border could support life on the scale I'm suggesting. A series of oases, along with some diversion of both the Colorado and the Rio Grande would be required. I suggest using the Salton Sea as a major source for new water to be distributed across the region. Place many nuclear power plants that double as desalination plants, around Salton Sea, and use the energy generated to pump much of the water in that lake (after purification) back up to the border areas to create the conditions where these mega-fauna, and accompanying flora can thrive. The Salton Sea was a mistake in the first place, let's use that mistake to create a world where all these majestic creatures have a better chance to survive in a wild setting, for generations to come.

Anyone crazy enough to cross the southern border with lions and tigers and crocs (oh my?) acting as guards are crazy enough to deserve whatever their fate may be.

12 May 2006

Comparing the Clinton Years to the Bush Years

Christopher Althouse pointed to this poll. (UPDATE: might help to link the poll, directly)

After reading the poll, I'm not surprised at the results, but my main reaction was to quote George Santayana.

Here's why.

(as an addendum, any web piece regarding a poll should contain a link to the abstract of all the details, from the precise questions asked, to the method of asking, to the statistical tools used to yield the results, or else)

Question one, who did a better job at handling the economy, Clinton 63 Bush 26.

The perception, Clinton was great, everything was boom, boom, boom, and it had to do with the fiscal restraint that Clinton showed. Compare that to the constant and awful recession and/or jobless recovery we've suffered during the Bush years and the choice is obvious.

The reality, Clinton had he not lost the House in '94 would have taxed and spent this country into an earlier recession, but for the Gingrich gang and glorious gridlock, the greater girth of the government would have gone on with gratuitous abandon during Clinton's 2nd term. Also much of Clinton's economic miracle was a mirage caused by a speculative bubble. His erasing of the deficit was based on projections from the mid-90s on an overheated tech-based bubble economy that never translated into actual wealth. Just look at the Forbes figures for Bill Gates in that era as he went from a 20Billionaire to a 90Billionaire and back down to the paltry 40Billionaire that he is today. All those false billions that disappeared after the bubble collapsed were calculated into the figures of how the deficit was demolished. Contrast that to today. Now real wealth has been created. A broad-based recovery fueled by lower, simpler taxes has expanded prosperity to every corner of the nation and every income level (folks that say otherwise are lying and using statistical tricks to do so). Lower, and simpler taxes still will help keep the prosperity going, not a return to greater 'progressivity' in the tax code. The reason folks in a 2-1 margin perceives things incorrectly is partly because folks are making more money, but less secure in their position, and the constant drumbeat of negativity from the press.

Question two, Solving the problems of ordinary Americans Clinton 62 Bush 25

Perception, Clinton was so good at 'feeling my pain', Bush just smirks and ignores the little guy while whooping it up with other 'fat cats'.

Reality, Clinton was a master of emotionalizing, and projecting sincerity (sincerity is a great thing to be able to fake). Anyone who feels it's the federal government's responsibility to solve their own problems is one of two things, deluded or a Democrat. The very idea that the federal government should be in a position or has the responsibility to 'solve the problems of ordinary Americans' is precisely what's wrong with the discourse regarding politics and government today. Government should do as few things as possible, and do them well. The government should be an honest referee, and not be in the business of picking winners and losers. Anyone who thinks the government should step in and assist in solving their problems, forgets that for every one of their problems the government 'solves' they will likely cause a dozen problems for everyone around them. Government shouldn't be about greasing the squeaky wheels. Government should be about staying out of the way of everyone, and letting them sort out in an equitable manner the conflicts and problems that they themselves helped create. The very concept of asking that particular question suggests a bias towards statism and against dynamism inherent in those asking the questions, and those that commissioned the poll.

Foreign Affairs, Clinton 56 Bush 32.

Perception, Clinton had us in peace, and the world loved us, Bush has us at war, and isolated, hated across the globe.

Reality, When Clinton wasn't ignoring genocide on a massive scale (Rwanda) he was negotiating with dictators and accepting their word on matters vital to global peace and prosperity (Arafat, and Kim). Guess what, the dictators lied, people died, and the 'peace' of the Clinton years was a facade paid for shortly after he left office. He ignored terrorist attack after terrorist attack, content with no fly zones and cruise missle attacks. He treated terrorism on US soil as a police matter rather than an attack on our sovereignty and the first rumblings of a very real war. On the global stage, the Clinton years were an utter, total and ultimately dangerous waste, that has made the subsequent confrontation far worse than what it would have been had there been a leader in those years willing to do the unpopular but necessary actions that leaders must be willing to do. Bush has been the complete opposite. Luckily he's president during these times, setting up the framework for an active pursuit of Islamofascists, rather than waiting for the next attack, and treating it like any other street crime. Better a bleak decade or two now, than the very real possibility of global retrenchment and uncertainty for half a century.

Taxes Clinton 51 Bush 35

Perception, Clinton managed to help the little guy while forcing the fat cats to pay their fair share while under Bush, the rich light their cigars with 100 dollar bills while the average citizen has to sell their kidney to buy a tankful of gas.

Reality, Clinton did little on taxes, he was hamstrung by the Republican led House. Had he had his way he would have raised taxes and choked off even the false prosperity of the bubble that he presided over. Bush's tax policy has lead to a MORE progessive tax distribution, not less, the top 50% of earners pay 96.54% of taxes, that's not a misprint, that's the reality. What this poll proves is that the media has so distorted the facts that most people don't know what's going on (plus, class warfare sells).

Handling natural disasters Clinton 51 Bush 30

Perception, Clinton swooped in, felt folks pain, waved his magic wand, and made everything better. Bush on the other hand, used his dark minions to steer Katrina towards New Orleans and laughed in glee as all the folks suffered due to his evilness.

Reality, Clinton's record on disasters has been rehabilitated in retrospect. From Northridge, to Georges, the federal response after disasters was slow, red-tape filled, and always after the fact, the federal government has never before been expected to get people evacuated and out of harms way, that's always been a local concern. Nothing's changed. Katrina was many orders of magnitude larger than anything else that has hit a large area of the nation. That shock didn't bring down the markets, didn't kill tens of thousands, and didn't end civilization as we know it. Much of the lack of response before Katrina was due to local and state government (Brendan Loy has been all over this, read his coverage). The actual federal response was the fastest ever in the wake of a disaster that size. That hurricane wiped out most of the infrastructure for thousands of square miles in the gulf coast. Clinton would have played the sympathy game better, but he wouldn't have actually done better. The only difference is that Clinton wouldn't have been blamed by the media for the images they projected, or for the narrative they chose to tell (and don't forget, most of the worst of what they said in the immediate aftermath, was patently, ridiculously, and dangerously false).

I'm sick of this already, the rest of the categories break out much the same way, though the margins are closer. For some reason Opinion Research Corporations website doesn't work, so I can't find the actual details of this poll, though I'd like to.

Friday Funk Lyrics, 12 May 2006

Friday is here. Mother's Day comes on Sunday. Lyrics, funkified must be provided.

But which song?

I already said not this one, or that one, so instead I'm going with Cosmic Slop.

I hear the cries and moans out there, "Cosmic Slop?! What the hell?"

Read the lyrics, feel the lyrics, be the lyrics, and then you will ken what I was after.
Ahhh, ahh-ah-ahhhhh, hear my mother call
Ahhh, ahh-ah-ahhhhh, hear my mother call

I was one of five born to my mother
An older sister and three young brothers
We've seen it hard, we've seen it kind of rough
But always with a smile, she was sure to try to hide
The fact from us that life was really tough

I can hear my mother call
I can hear my mother call (Ahhh, ahh-ah-ahhhhh)
Late at night I hear her call
Oh lord, lord I hear her call
She said, "Father, father it's for the kids (Ahhh, ahh-ah-ahhhhh)
Any and every thing I did.
Please, please don't judge me too strong.
Lord knows I meant no wrong.
Lord knows I meant no wrong."

Then the devil sang

"Would you like to dance with me? (Ooh-ahh-ooh)
We're doin' the cosmic slop." (Ooh-ahh-ooh)

She was well known through the ghetto
Tricks would come and then they'd go
The neighbors would talk and call her Jezebel
But always with a smile, she was sure to try to hide
The fact from us that she was catching hell, hey!

Hear my mother call
I can hear my mother call (Ahhh, ahh-ah-ahhhhh)
Late at night I hear her call
Oh lord, lord I hear her call
She says, "Father, father it's for the kids (Ahhh, ahh-ah-ahhhhh)
Any and every thing I did.
Please, please don't judge me too strong.
Lord knows I meant no wrong.
Lord knows I meant no wrong."

(Ahhh, ahh-ah-ahhhhh)
Hear my mother call
(Ahhh, ahh-ah-ahhhhh)
Hear my mother call
She says, "Father, father it's for the kids (ooh-ah-ooh)
Any and every thing I did. (ooh-ah-ooh)
Please, please don't judge me too strong.
Hear my mother call (ooh-ah-ooh)
Hear my mother call (Ahhh, ahh-ah-ahhhhh)
I can hear my mother call (Ahhh, ahh-ah-ahhhhh)
Heyyyyyyy! Heyyyy!
I can hear my mother call (ooh-ah-ooh)
I can hear my mother call (ooh-ah-ooh)
Mother, mother

Late at night
Late at night
Calling me
I can hear my
I can hear my mother calling me
Late at night I hear my mother
Late at night I hear my mother

I'm Finally Breaking My "Fisking" Cherry

(are you disturbed by that post title? you should be)

My 500th post (which this is), should be something a little different. E3's in town, and I've already provided a few links to coverage regarding that spectacle (and long ago, I even pleaded (to no avail) to get press credentials).

The LA Times has been covering the story, too. Their coverage has, for the most part, sucked. This is one of the most prominent conventions every year that comes to LA, a cornerstone for many important industries, and they can't bring themselves to assigning folks with even the slightest interest or knowledge to cover the events.

I'm not saying they need to assign 'l33t' fanboy3142 to write up their articles, but when the biggest feature article, given a prominent front page place on the Friday Calendar section (presumably one of the more read editions, given that's where the weekly film reviews appear), is written by a woman who from the very first sentence expresses herself in a way to make sure we all feel her disdain for the entire industry and everyone who consumes that product, that fact rankles my hide.

So rather than rankling in silence, I thought I'd "Fisk" Gina Piccalo, instead. I'll take a sentence from every paragraph from this hacky article and deconstruct the meaning behind the words, so that you can fully appreciate the surface meaning, and the subtext of all that she wrote. So what she writes, italicized, and maroonized, what she really meant (parenthetically expressed).

Here's the opening sentence, "AMID the marketing decadence and general cacophony of the video game bacchanal known as E3, there was also hushed reverence, the sort of wonder historically reserved for the Holy Grail." (please someone, get me out of here, look at all the geeks)

Not much later, "
The object of their adoration was the mysterious Wii (pronounced "we"). On an elevated stage nearby, uniformed Wii masters performed for the awed visitors, gesturing wildly, their every move registering on flat-screen TVs." (look at those nerds, they act like a bunch of pagans worshipping some idol, how pathetic)

In the same paragraph, "All this while three lovely young women in blue miniskirts used their microphones to discuss the merits of their white go-go boots." (bunch of misogynist losers, don't these women know they are perpetuating the violent male dominance rampant in our culture through the male deploying the gaze, and the female acceptance of being objectified. Laura Mulvey would be rolling over in her grave, if she were dead. Come to think of it, one sure way to kill the great and good Mulvey would be to bring her to this place and watch all these pale pudgy men, play their violent videogames while women paid to be objectified wiggle their surgically enhanced assets in skimpy clothes)

You think I'm exaggerating? Here's what she writes next, "It was all strangely unsettling. But then perhaps that was the point. It's the rush of the new, the unfamiliar, that the faithful desire."

Followed by this nugget, "Starting on Wednesday, die-hard gamers swarmed the Convention Center for three days this week, lining up hours early, armed with their hand-held devices and overstuffed backpacks, pale as the undead, hungry for the next level of play, the next retina-blasting battle, the next high-def, high-concept digital dreamscape." (a parenthetical statement of what she really meant to say compared to what she said is redundant for these past two phrases, she has achieved that perfect state of contemptuousness that transcends all attempts at comic exaggeration or parody, brava maestra, brava)

She's really making this tough on me, the next paragraph is equally contemptuous and unparodable, "A triumphant cry lifted from a crowd of hundreds when the doors opened for non-VIPs at 10:55 a.m. Wednesday (because who could wait until 11?). Cheek-to-jowl, they moved into the hall with surprising speed. One young man darted out ahead, jogging. A woman on the periphery looked on, agog. "Frightening," she said. Within 10 minutes, the wait to enter the Nintendo exhibit was three hours." (though I will say, notice the deployment of 'a woman' to signify the difference in consumption of this spectacle between the male dweebs and the exasperated females, like Ms. Piccalo and this unnamed 'a woman' who is as equally frightened by the event as she is)

**Non Sequitur alert**,**Non Sequitur alert**, you've been warned, "It's a world that is changing as video game sales increasingly move online, but one thing is constant: the armies of adrenaline junkies fueling this monster." (Video game sales moving online has nothing to do with anything. I can only presume she mentions this to show that she actually knows something about this subject, yet stating this in that fashion, without any context or reason shows a lack of understanding rather than knowledge. Yes sales are moving online, but that's just a method of distribution and has nothing to do with anything else. Had she mentioned that all three next-gen consoles intend to employ direct-to-gamer sales of not only whole games, but customized content, and that all three seem intent to allow gamers themselves to create customized content of their own and trade amongst themselves, then that sentence would have made some sense, but since she just throws that in there, and follows it with another insult to gamers about how they all are a bunch of knuckle-draggers, she sounds ignorant)

Now she's just taunting me with sentences designed to set me off, "Inside the exhibit halls, a space roughly the size of New Jersey, the noise was deafening, so loud that a plane could have landed in the lobby without prompting so much as an eye twitch from anyone. Of course, noise was the least of it, really. Entering this space meant surrendering a good portion of one's frontal lobe to the relentless, albeit spectacular, imagery. It was like watching a dozen action films — all at once." (First off, I hate, hate, hate, hate, the fact that the LATimes feels compelled to hire so many New Yorkers, and wannabe New Yorkers. Nobody outside of that area would use New Jersey as a way to express the size of the exhibit hall. As it happens to be, the LA Convention Center is one of the largest, most modern, and flexible convention spaces in the world. It's been used in dozens of pictures and films to stand in for futuristic settings, and it's a great facility. But to describe it as being 'roughly the size of New Jersey' just tells me that Ms. Piccalo is trying to give a wink and a nod to her friends back home that she's still an NYC girl at heart, and she really, really hates all these days of sunshine and low humidity she has to endure while working in LA. Also in that same paragraph she makes it clear that she would much rather have covered the LA Books Festival from 2 weekends ago, but darnit, she's their 'new media' columnist, so she's stuck with all the dweebs instead)

Well, she goes on and on from there, and rather than covering the event, she decides a little digression involving Gilbert Gottfried (which I won't make you suffer through, if you must follow the link, and read it yourself) is in order for this piece. Here's the last few paragraphs of the piece all in block quoted succession, cause she's worn me out, her contempt for all things video games has outlasted my contempt for her writing about videogames. She p0wnzered me, and I'm man enough to admit it.
Ah, but there were legions of high scorers. At the PlayStation 3 exhibit, half a dozen men with incredibly dexterous thumbs manned the consoles of a game called God of War. On-screen, a guy trapped in a dungeon — or was this the Seventh Circle of Hell? — severed one of a monster's three heads and then used it to beat the beast to death. An impressive spray of bloody mist followed his every move.

Off-screen, the players stood perfectly still, feet planted. Their quivering digits and darting eyes the only evidence of effort. It was joyless game playing.

But that's not to say there was a lack of enthusiasm here. True, a decency crackdown on scantily clad "booth babes" by event organizers meant notably less cleavage this year. And, yes, even before the expo opened, many game bloggers seemed profoundly underwhelmed by Sony's new graphics and Microsoft's new Xbox3, products that cost tens of millions of dollars to produce.

Still, there were girls in silver mini-dresses who writhed on platforms as an emcee cheered gamers through a (simulated) hostage situation. There were people dressed as large game animals. There was blistering irony via message T-shirt.

"Video games are my friends," read one worn by a guy well past the age he should be wearing such things.

"I'm one of those bad things that happen to good people," read another worn by a young man who was really too short to do much damage.

And for the record, although the crowd was mammoth, there was no line in the ladies room.

(one last parenthetical to wrap things up, notice the error that will need to be corrected at some point, it's an Xbox360 folks, not Xbox3, how many layers of editors did that one slip by? Also, if there were a big SoapNet sponsored lovefest for all things Daytime television held at the LAConvention Center, would the LATimes have sent a straight male, soap-hating reporter to cover the spectacle and remark constantly about how unattractive all the housefraus attending the event was, and would they have let him get away with mentioning how there were no lines for the mens room at the event?)

11 May 2006

This Is What Happens When You Ban Booth Babes

The greater restrictions on the scantiliness of the cladding for women at the booths of E3 exhibitors has created a situation where the poor folks attending feel compelled to surf for porn on a public computer in the show press room.

Bring back bikini tops and bottoms now!

I wonder what the interview process was like for this job?
And to make sure the rules were followed, there were enforcers whose job it was to roam the aisles making sure "booth babes" didn't reveal too much.

This Is Pretty Funny Too (But Finding Humor Here Probably Doesn't Make You An Horrible Person)

(hat tip Drudge)

This is pretty damn funny, too.

(and yes, I pronounce horrible just like pre-Henry Higgins Eliza Doolittle)

(and I picture little cartoon clouds of dust as the subject of the article linked runs away)

10 May 2006

I'm Probably An Horrible Person For Finding This Funny . . .

. . . but, damn that's funny.

(courtesy Egotastic)

UPDATE: the story linked disappeared mysteriously (the Egotastic link within the story I link does the same thing), but the egotastic take on the TMZ story still works, and given the damned funny story, let's hope that this never pans out (maybe TMZ won't make this one disappear as well, and when I searched her name on their site, 118 hits, sad but true).

The Mother of All Music Posts

Reader I Am started it (posting at Done With Mirrors), Bill took up the cause at So Quoted, and now I do so as well.

I'm still about 250 cds behind in ripping music to my computer, so this is a very incomplete list, but nevertheless, the 'mother' songs that come up when searching my music library are as follows

D'Angelo - Shit, Damn Motherfucker
He was pretty damn good, back in the day. This song is smooooooooooooooth.

Parliament - Mothership Connection (Star Child)
No, this won't be this week's Funk Lyric, but it's still a great song. Remember, if you here any noise, it's just me and the boys, also swing down sweet chariot, stop and let me ride (Hell Yeah!).

PJ Harvey - I Think I'm a Mother
Bill posted a snippet of the lyric, great album, great artist, Polly Jean rocks! (I'm torn between linking to this photo or not (NSFW?). Do I really care that she's singing in a short skirt, has her legs opened wide, and we are privy to her 'south of the border' depilatory strategies (or lack thereof)? No, yet I find the site where that photo posted to be fascinating (in a scary sort of way))

(and the really scary thing about the above mentioned photo, not what's below her waist, but what's on her shirt)

Prince - Friend, Lover, Sister, Mother/Wife
One of Princes better slower groove songs that nobody has ever heard of, buried in that big, messy, three disc Emancipation album released after he got out of his Warner Music contract. The only song on this list that has anything to do with motherhood.

Sweet - Mother Earth
God bless the Brits (I don't know why I always assumed they were Swedish, but nope, no such luck). A late 70s ode to green policy implementation, pop-glam style (I could be lying about that part, but who's going to admit to knowing Sweet well enough to call me on it?)

(and don't forget, "Rolling Stones Should Rock TOGETHER!")

Memphis Slim - Mother Earth
Bluesy, piano, horn and a bit of wailing. The antithesis to the Sweet song that shares a name (and nothing else) with this song. "When it all is up, You got to go back to Mother Earth".

The White Stripes - I Want to Be the Boy to Warm Your Mother's Heart
From Elephant, this duo ain't all that bad. Meg's such a great timekeeper (maybe too good?), and he's Jack White.

But who calls their mother, mother anyway? I've got 7 Mama songs in the mix as well, as follows

Fatboy Slim - Ya Mama
"Push the Tempo, Push the Tempo, Push the Tempo!!"

Fats Waller - Hold Tight (Want Some Seafood, Mama)
How I love Fats Waller. Stride piano rocks. A throwaway jokey song from the master, but fun nevertheless.

Parliament - Red Hot Mama
Still not this week's Funk Lyric, but a great song anyway. Considering she is a 'red hot mama from Louisiana' I'm guessing she works here. Great early Country Fried Funk.

Prince - Make Your Mama Happy
From that other big sloppy messy multi CD (in this case 4) collection released by Prince in the late 90s. Prolific doesn't even begin to describe Prince during that period. Some real gems hidden between all those songs, this ain't one of them, sounds like a track left off of the Batdance album (not good, not good at all).

Clarence Samuels - Lolly Pop Mama
"I've got a red hot mama, she calls me her lollipop". A jumpy little shouter of a tune. Suggestive? You bet, some nice sax in the middle of this song (Sax, I said, didn't you hear me?, sax, not sex)

J.B. Lenoir - Mama Talk to Your Daughter
More blues, J.B. has an interesting voice, much prettier than most blues singers (and higher, but dudes a dude, not a lady), the song is kind of non-descript though.

Weather Report - Rumba Mama
I really love this band, and the Heavy Weather album. This song is just chanting and percussion, wouldn't be much, except Airto Moreira is one of the all time greatest percussionists to bang on stuff.

So that's it for my listing of Mother and Mama songs, I know there's more, the other songs just aren't on my computer at this time.

White Guilt/Blanc Anger

Dr. Helen posts about Shelby Steele's new book regarding White Guilt and I'm unusually brilliant and witty in the comments (even if noone over there appreciates that).

The Blanc Anger (I would have written BlackAnger as the oppositional pair to White Guilt in this post's title, assuming at least one of the critics in the beef I'm about to describe was not lily white, but no such luck, somehow blanc anger makes sense anyway) portion gets a little more complicated. John Cook for Slate posts about two music critics who had some sort of beef with Magnetic Fields lead Stephin Merritt (listened to some of the live concert posted here, not my cup of tea)

I have no problem with folks who don't like black music, and anyone who chooses to be needlessly provocative in their disdain for any particular musician, era, style, or aesthetic.

What I find really interesting is that the two critics who are singled out for getting completely bent out of shape seem awfully, terribly, blindingly, blanc.

I don't recall ever hearing of Sasha Frere-Jones before, he seems to have a regular music column for The New Yorker. That's a pretty big black mark (and not disdainful in a jealous, 'I wish I had that job sort of way', more in a 'god, this article sucks, it goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on, and on and on and on and on, and then on some more, and by the time it's over you've even forgotten which album, artist and genre he was writing about in the first place, this crap is really bad' sort of way)

He rebuts the Slate article on his blog here (a Gawker interview with photo, here)

Jessica Hopper responds here. I find this post especially enjoyable (in an 'unintentionally humorous, 'third wave' feminist really need to be less over-determined in analyizing their own actions' sort of way)

I'm thinking some displacement is going on in both cases. Both those writers give me the sense that they are angry at their own privilege so they feel compelled to defend the downtrodden. Pathetic.

(and after reading their responses, and other pieces by both, I'm thinking John Cook is more right than he is wrong)

And if my blog is as self-indulgent, insular, poorly composed, uninteresting, and (fill in whatever slightly insulting adjective you think fits after perusing their sites, here), then hurl invective my way in the comments.

Now my opinion about the state of much of hip hop today.

Much of the form has become modern day minstrelsy, but now it's black folks putting on even blacker faces and selling a thuggish, misogynistic, calculated display of every white parent's greatest fears to sell albums in the suburbs to Lily White and her brother.

There's plenty of great hip hop, but the stuff most admired seems to be the stuff that reinforces the worst stereotypes about blacks. It's about shock and commerce, not art. It's disgusting, and though these acts have every right to do what they do, labels have every right to promote this corrosive filth, they should know better, and they should do better. Radio stations shouldn't reward the escalation in rhetoric. Biography shouldn't displace artistic merit (nobody can ever convince me that Tupac is a poet, or that 50 Cent would be noticed if he didn't have a hot body, the face of a bulldog, and 9 bullet holes), and worst of all, much current hip hop lacks the musicality of the first and second wave of hip hop (I know, I know, I sound like every other middle aged crank in history speaking of 'back in my day. . . .').

Cakewalks should have gone out long ago, yet they seem to have made a comeback (and in some ways the current history of hip hop parallels the history of the Cakewalk, what started out as righteous, became caricature)

Every rapper doesn't need to be positive, and every popular black artists doesn't have to be a 'credit', but I tire of music critics who've taken too many units in various 'studies' programs and think that everything 'provocative' and 'transgressive' to social norms is somehow worth paying attention to.

(and Jessica Hopper's Myspace space is so cute and ironic, that all you really need to know is that the letters after the / are jhopz (cause she's from the hood!))

(and have I mentioned how much I hate folks who are 30 going on 14?)

And to complete the circle of incestuous blogginess, here's John Cook's blogpost about his post at Slate.

Finally, you thought I forgot about Dr. Helen didn't you? Well, if it's not clear by now, I think that all this nonsense on both sides by all three of these critics stems from notions of White Guilt, both reacting to it, displaying manifestations of it, and reacting against it. To all you white folks who feel the need to be guilty about being white, get over yourselves. To all the black folks who feel the need to exploit white folks' guilt, get over yourselves, too, you do yourself more harm than good. And to all the other folks left out of this ridiculous and artificial dichotomy, sucks, doesn't it?