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busy, busy, busy

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Soldier in Iraq Records Country-Music Hit

While I doubt the necessity of yet another God-fearin', America-lovin', flag-wavin', soldier-supportin', dick-swingin' country song, I have to grudgingly give the guy some respect. He gets credit for not being one of those humonculous, whiskey-swilling, fuckwits who love to wave the flag to sell a few million records but won't live up to their professed idolatry and actually risk getting maimed and/or killed for it.

There has to be some soldier somewhere who listens to good music...

Now playing:
The Arcade Fire Funeral
Wolf Parade EP
Pavement Wowee Zowee
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Bill Hicks Flying Saucer Tour, Vol. I

Holy merit badge! Divine retribution?
God hates Boy Scouts.

It couldn’t be clearer. God hates the Scouts’ policy of discrimination against gays. That’s right, God is pro-gay, and he/she/it is letting that be known, beginning with some good ol’ fashioned smiting of those who are blatantly going against his laws and discriminating against his creation, gay men.

The evidence? Just look at the 2005 Boy Scout Jamboree, a 10-day event held in Virginia for tens of thousands of Boy Scouts and their leaders. Now, remember, this is the same organization that blatantly said no homos, homos are bad, homos will influence our children or worse, attack them. And while I support their right as a private religious-based organization to keep homos out (that’s another editorial), I’m not God. And it appears God is angry.

First came the tragic death of four scout leaders, setting up a dining tent. By all accounts, it was biblical carnage at its best. Scouts watched as a metal pole at the center of the large, white tent touched power lines, electrocuting four adult leaders and injuring others. According to accounts published in the July 29 Guardian Unlimited, “Screams rang out as the tent caught fire and the men burned.”

That’s downright Old Testament.

Then, within a day or two, record heat and humidity sent scores of scouts to the hospital. Yes, once the deaths occurred and the scouts decided to press onward, the weather turned against them and oppressive heat and humidity hospitalized many and caused almost 300 scouts to seek treatment. From the Guardian Unlimited again, quoting 15-year-old scout Jeremy Loftness of Denver: “Yesterday was ridiculous.… I, myself, saw 50 people either passed out or being carried away.’’

In fact, the weather was being used as a shield, an impenetrable barrier to keep away another entity with which God is obviously upset, President Bush. He has been scheduled twice to speak to the Boy Scouts at the Jamboree, and twice the weather, a traditional act of God, has dissuaded him.

Theological implications aside, shouldn't Boy Scouts, of all people, be able to avoid tragedies such as this? Isn't that what they do?


Tuesday, July 26, 2005

"A collage of myself."

Monday, July 25, 2005

Shot man not connected to bombing
A man shot dead by police hunting the bombers behind Thursday's London attacks was a Brazilian electrician unconnected to the incidents.

The man, who died at Stockwell Tube on Friday, has been named by police as Jean Charles de Menezes, 27. ...

Scotland Yard said Mr Menezes, who lived in Brixton, south London, was completely unconnected to the bomb attacks and added: "For somebody to lose their life in such circumstances is a tragedy and one that the Metropolitan Police Service regrets."...

Meanwhile Dr Azzam Tamimi from the Muslim Association of Britain told BBC News the police should review their procedures.

"Frankly it doesn't matter whether he is a Muslim or not, he is a human being.

"It is human lives that are being targeted whether by terrorists or whether in this case unfortunately, by people who are supposed to be chasing or catching the terrorists."

The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, said: "The police acted to do what they believed necessary to protect the lives of the public.

"This tragedy has added another victim to the toll of deaths for which the terrorists bear responsibility."

The Mayor of London is half-right--terrorists do bear the responsibility for the man's death, but I get the impression he's blaming the execution on the wrong terrorists.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Music Meme, Part II

I'm going to regularly revisit this, mostly because it's a great way to take up space and make the appearance that I'm exerting some sort of effort around here.

1.) What is the total amount of music files on your computer?

Right now I have 6,083 files at 25.5 gigabytes. I recently obtained a brand new computer with a much larger hard drive. Praise!

2.) The CD you last bought was:

Three from the Love Garden:

Tori Amos The Beekeeper
Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros Rock Art and the X-Ray Style
Prefuse 73 Prefuse 73 Reads The Books EP

3.) What is the song you last listened to before reading this message?

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah "In This Home on Ice"

4.) Write down five songs you often listen to or that mean a lot to you:

1. "Hyper-Ballad" (Björk)
2. "Engine Driver" (The Decemberists)
3. "Spanish Bombs" (The Clash)
4. "Workin' on Leavin' the Livin'" (Modest Mouse)
5. "Type Slowly" (Pavement)

Congressman suggests way to retaliate for nuclear terror
Talk show host Pat Campbell asked the Littleton Republican how the country should respond if terrorists struck several U.S. cities with nuclear weapons.

"Well, what if you said something like -- if this happens in the United States, and we determine that it is the result of extremist, fundamentalist Muslims, you know, you could take out their holy sites," Tancredo answered.

"You're talking about bombing Mecca," Campbell said.

"Yeah," Tancredo responded.

The congressman later said he was "just throwing out some ideas" and that an "ultimate threat" might have to be met with an "ultimate response."

Spokesman Will Adams said Sunday the four-term congressman doesn't support threatening holy Islamic sites but that Tancredo was grappling with the hypothetical situation of a terrorist strike deadlier than the September 11, 2001, attacks.

"We have an enemy with no uniform, no state, who looks like you and me and only emerges right before an attack. How do we go after someone like that?" Adams said.

"What is near and dear to them? They're willing to sacrifice everything in this world for the next one. What is the pressure point that would deter them from their murderous impulses?" he said.

Of course an elected official who publicly stated it would be a good idea to use nuclear weapons against Islamic holy sites doesn't actually support threatening Islamic holy sites. That would be ridiculous. It's obvious that he was making use of a rhetorical device--not at all unlike Ice-T in his song "Cop Killa"--wherein he merely demonstrated, using first-person speech, how somebody else might feel about retaliating against Stateless terrorists. His spokesman decided to play along for the sake of consistency.

Think about it: Would the United States of America EVER use even one, or maybe two, of its many nuclear weapons against a non-military target for purely geopolitical reasons?

Monday, July 18, 2005

The Prime Number Shitting Bear is almost as cool as the Hypno-Rove.

Just sayin'.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Native Hawaiians on brink of sovereignty
But most visitors soon discover something profoundly different about the 50th state that the requisite luaus and hula dances only hint at. The 250,000 indigenous people of Polynesian ancestry who are among Hawaii's 1.2 million residents make the state like no other, sustaining a native Hawaiian cultural and linguistic imprint that preceded the arrival of Captain James Cook by centuries.

Now, 112 years after U.S. troops helped overthrow the independent Kingdom of Hawaii and 12 years after Congress apologized for it, that Hawaiian distinctiveness appears close to being formally recognized by the U.S. government. A bill that for the first time would extend sovereignty to the native Hawaiian people is poised for a vote - and likely approval - in the U.S. Senate, despite opposition from many Republicans who denounce the measure as unworkable and as promoting racial Balkanization.

The bill, the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, is considered the most significant development for native Hawaiians since statehood in 1959. The measure would give them equivalent legal standing to American Indians and native Alaskans and lead to the creation of a governing body that would make decisions on behalf of the estimated 400,000 native Hawaiians in the United States.

The governing body would also have the power to negotiate with federal and state authorities over the disposition of vast amounts of land and resources that were seized by the United States when the islands were annexed in 1898, including about 300 square miles, or almost 800 square kilometers, of land long ago set aside for use as native homelands and an additional 2,500 square miles scattered throughout the islands that is being held in trusts.

It's about fucking time.

I turn my camera on

This is a statue at Burcham Park in Lawrence. It's of a figure roughly ten feet tall, clothed in some sort of cloak or robe, and adorned/burdened about the shoulders with something unidentifiable.

What is it? There's no description, no explanation. It's just there, gazing across the river to the east. I don't even know if it's supposed to represent a human.

Some close-ups of the upper section:

This figure is flanked by two companion pieces, neither of which shed any light on what the hell it's supposed to represent. Here's one that looks slightly buffalo-ish:

That would be me


Dig the hair-do.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Justice, American-style.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Liberal media?

Why is it when any particular labor union is about to strike we never hear in the mainstream media why the strike might happen? The general thrust of most reporting on strikes and other labor issues is how "you" will be affected and all the petty inconveniences "you" will have to endure just because some blue-collar types have decided to be difficult.

Never are we treated to an examination of conditions that lead to strikes, an expose of how workers are constantly fucked by their employers; the most that is ever offered in that regard is stock footage of seemingly well-to-do suit-and-tie union negotiators while a voice-over tells us the workers want--even deserve--more money and more benefits. When we are shown images of striking workers, we see only the angry, chanting rabble of a picket line.

The result: No popular support for labor struggles within the non-union population, and, even worse, little solidarity among unions themselves. Divided and conquered.

"...and America does if America says it's so,
and the anchorperson on TV goes la ti da ti da ti da..."

"16 Military Wives" The Decemberists

Monday, July 04, 2005

Because I can't think of anything better...

Here's yet another self-indulgent "book meme":

Number of books I own..
I've never counted them, but I'd be surprised if I had more than 300-325.

Last book bought...
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett.

Last book read...
Passionate Declarations by Howard Zinn

Currently reading...
Rich Media, Poor Democracy by Robert McChesney
Infinity and the Mind by Rudy Rucker
White Noise by Don Delillo

Five books that mean a lot to me…
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan