Tuesday, March 28, 2006

We Were Warned II

So I watched We Were Warned on CNN shown not last weekend, but the weekend before. It was a little more upbeat than the End of Suburbia, but I have to wonder how factual it was.

I especially wonder at the integrity of this, since I think the first advertisement break featured an advertisement from, get this, John Deere. Showing lawn mowers, no less. Talk about being part of the problem. Lawns are emblematic of the problem! Especially here in Colorado, and from what I understand, in Arizona, they may soon become untenable. Taking potable water and spraying it on something that is for aesthetic purposes isn't what I'd call the best use of limited resources.


So I created yet another Greasemonkey script - DenverLibPlus...this one adds a few tweaks to the Denver County Library website. For one, it will autofill card number and lastname info and click submit for you. It will also prevent the oh-so-annoying five minute timeout. I understand why they would do that for computers WITHIN the library, but you'd think they'd narrow that functionality to IP ranges within library only, and for those of us accessing it from outside, turn that off. Maybe it keeps resource usage lower, too, since it seems to keep some state on the server? Dunno. In any case it's annoying to come back to a tab where you had a search or an item on and instead you are back on the home page instead.

It will also select a preferred branch for you during placing a hold, and hit submit on that page as well.

And lastly, it can automatically go back to the listings you were viewing before placing a hold.

If I think of more improvements, I will be adding those as well. Overall, the library systems are great, but the web site could use some improvements, and this is a way of giving the power back to the user. Viva la Greasemonkey! :)

Monday, March 27, 2006

Parts: The Islandus Horror

So someone was telling me how great HDTV was (again). I of course said that sounds great, but where's the content. I don't watch sports, I don't watch local news, and the movie content when I've looked at the HDTV titles for on demand were, well, how to put it nicely? Ah, hell, why bother - they were shitty movies.

He begged to differ...and went on to discuss Island. I asked him I thought that movie was panned up one side and down the other? He said it was really great, and went on to describe the plot. It started sounding EXACTLY like Parts: The Clonus Horror to me, and I said so. He never heard of it. Anyway, awful, awful movie made brilliant by the Mystery Science Theater 3000 guys. I saw Clonus Horror when I was really young and it sorta freaked me out, but I was 8 or 9 I think. Now, all I can think of is..."I'm coming to AMERICA!" - Neil Diamond style. See the MST3K version...you'll know what I'm talking about.

Anyway, I think I'll stay away from this steamer...sure Scarlett is stunning - but from the director of Bad Boys I & II, Armeggedon and Pearl Harbor? Yawn. No thanks.

And I'll definitely be staying away from HDTV until I can watch good movies on it, and not just the latest turd that Hollywood squeezed out.

Oh, and I'm not the only one who's noticed this. Check out this write-up of how the original movie producers weren't even acknowledged for the big-budget release of the remake.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Bye, Da Vinci

Well, it's not official yet, but we dropped Da Vinci off at his new home. If for some reason it doesn't work out, he'll come back to our house to be fostered again. If not, he'll certainly be missed. That's the hardest part of fostering, I guess. The big downer is that he and Lucy couldn't be kept together. Sure beats some of the alternatives, I guess.

Movie Find

So I was browsing the DVD section at the local library, and I see this title that catches my eye: Demon Seed. Huh, never heard of that one. Who wouldn't be intrigued, with a title like that? I figure it's some cheesy low-budget thing. Well, it's the 70's so there is a bit of cheese, but it was a surprising little nugget to find. I'm surprised I never heard of it before - it seems like quite the cult movie.

Seeing how Hollywood has been remaking every sci-fi/horror film of the 1970's, I imagine this one is already under production. Let's see, we have The Hills Have Eyes, Dawn of the Dead, Assault on Precinct 13, The Fog (okay, 1980)...it's only a matter of time before Last House on the Left, Don't Look in the Basement, every giallo ever made by Argento and this are made.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Suspect Goods

You can prep yourself by getting the gear to reflect how some in the government seem to view all of us.

Critical Mass

There was a mention of Critical Mass over on the Coil mailing list...pretty interesting concept.

Hello There!

I think that's Xena there making some greetings to Lucy. Off to the right is Da Vinci, and in the foreground is Sasha.

Tough Guy

Da Vinci is demonstrating one of the axioms of dog-ness: little dogs rarely know they are little dogs. :)

Whiney Babies == Conservatives Later in Life?

I have to admit I'm very skeptical, but I was amused by this study that seems to indicate that the whiney nursery school kids have a tendency toward what sounds like social conservativism. Of course, the findings are contested.

A Trip To The Dog Park

Last weekend, we took all five hounds to the dog park for a basset hound play group. Here is Brodie (AKA Mr. B) taking a breather under the table. Behind him is another owner's dog, Xena. I'm not sure which dog that is way off in the background, slightly out of focus.

Foster Hound - Lucy

Lucy is the other foster hound we took in. She's been very calm and quiet except for one time there was a bit of growling around food time. No aggressive behavior other than that; she's been a real sweetheart. The first day I headed into work, she let out a little sad cry when she saw me putting on my jacket - Tiffany and Silas had already left for work

Foster Hound - Da Vinci

Da Vinci is one of the two foster hounds we took in recently. He's very puppy-like, but in a good way. Hard to ignore the little guy for very long - he's actually jumped into my lap when I was at the computer and it looked (to him) like I was inviting him to, I guess. :)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Dude, Get a Dell...For Porn

This very funny video clip mentioned on The Consumerist is great. This is probably either fake or someone did their best to punk QVC.

Hooray for YouTube.

From Jesus to Christ - The First Christians

From Jesus to Christ is 4 hours long. Not too surprisingly, it's controversial. Check out the Amazon comments - someone even dredges up the l-word: "liberal". Sigh. So predictable.

Monday, March 20, 2006

File Sharing Is GOOD For Business

Again, a great link from Consumerist. This time, about how a CRIA study found that file sharing is good for business. How ironic that RIAA is hellbent on prosecuting their best customers...

Death & Taxes Art

Saw this one over on Boing Boing a while ago. I'm thinking I might buy a print of this.

Lucifer Principle

I've actually read this over a year ago, but wanted to put some mentions of books that I found more memorable/important.

You can click on over and read the reviews over on Amazon as it's not fresh enough in my mind to do a full review.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Operation Swarmer and Bush Ratings, Coincidence?

It seems mighty strange that the day BEFORE this operation was announced that CNN was running stories that Bush's rating had reached the lowest ever. I'm just saying, is all.

Smacks of Clinton when he had his Lewinsky thing and launching cruise missiles, doesn't it?

Thursday, March 16, 2006


So I've been driving around my car for the past few weeks with a Bulldada sticker on my car, and then out of the blue, one of the podcasts I listen to, Out There, interviews Reverand Ivan Stang about the history of the Church of the Subgenius. Stang also talks about the ongoing (?) lawsuit with one of the members and the custody battle resulting in a misunderstanding of what the whole Subgenius thing is. Very good stuff. I wonder what it is about Texas that seems to generate some of the most weird and wild stuff.

These same guys did a show on the author of Behold a Pale Horse, William Cooper. I actually read this back in 1998 because I saw a mention of it in Rolling Stone as some conspiracy theory literature that for whatever reason hiphop artists were into. Anyway, I picked it up and read it. To me, it just seemed like rantings from a redneck Republican - stuff about New World Order/one world government etc., and the plans that the U.S. government has with aliens, how he did all this secret stuff for the military. It was like he thought he was the Forrest Gump of the black ops industry - he had something to say on virtually everything. I wondered if it even was a bit of a put-on, something like the Subgenius or Discordian literature, so I started to read it like that. If what was said on the podcast was true, that he was one of the more respected conspiracy theorists, I'd say they need to get better writing or something.

Anyway, on the Out There podcast, they mentioned that the guy was shot by police in 2001? I had no idea, but it's not like this stuff is covered in everyday news. Now, you can come to two conclusions about this:

1) If the guy was as paranoid and reactionary in person as what his writings were, well, it's not surprising some cop got jumpy and shot him.
2. This feeds the fire for the conspiracy theorists - this guy being paranoid and whatnot as a cover story is perfect for the cops, don't you see?

Anyway, sorry to hear the guy got shot, even if he did seem to be a bit of crank (to me, anyway).


I haven't been to unamerican.com in a while...what a great site. They have a sticker to offend just about everyone. :)

The name of the site, of course, is a complete misnomer.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


I checked Matewan out from the lib last summer. I first heard about it from Phil Hendrie talking about it, another obvious film fan. Phil really seems to enjoy a good movie, and who doesn't?

I heard it brought up on some conspiracy-minded podcast that made an off-handed mention of this movie. It did get me wondering about this movie. Here we have some rather subversive themes in here (people who are labeled "communists" are providing some good) and this movie was made in the eighties in the middle of Reagan years and the Cold War when we were fighting "communism". Pretty surprising a movie of this caliber about such subjects could be made. I guess similar ones were made, but this is really in your face stuff, and not a bunch of smarmy those-were-the-days American dream bullshit.

Anyway, outstanding performances all the way around and I think a very instructional movie about a slice of American history. Keep this in mind the next time someone tells you unions are a bunch of thieving, lazy no-goodniks...they are just mouthing what their corporate masters want them to.

Yet Another Amazon GreaseMonkey Library Permutation

The Jefferson Library Greasemonkey script now has Worldcat search and the CD/DVD search link as well. I plan on updating the others (Arapahoe & Adams) soon as well to do this. I may add VHS search as well.

Also, a Douglas script may join the bunch, if to do nothing else but search by CD/DVD, since match by ISBN isn't available at the Douglas County Library website.

Five Hound Household

So Tiffany and I picked up two more basset hounds to make it five total. These two are foster dogs (Lucy & Da Vinci) and are fitting in quite nicely so far. I'll post some pics if I can get them all to sit still in frame long enough to snap some.

Book Review: Underground! : The Disinformation Guide to Ancient Civilizations, Astonishing Archaeology and Hidden History

So it's been a while since I read Underground!, but thought I'd write up some opinions about it. What made me think of the book was listening to Zohara Hieronimus' FutureTalk show via podcast. On this particular show, they were talking to an individual talking about something called human devolution as an alternative to Darwinism. I'm pretty sure it's the same person who wrote a piece in Underground! about the same thing.

Now, I'm all for admitting that "the map is not the territory" and that scientists can be as guilty as anyone else for practicing what RAW calls "modeltheism" - worshipping the model instead of realizing it's just a model. On the other hand, I think finding a few cases where people try to fit the findings into a model (or hide them altogether) doesn't mean that science needs to be abandoned altogether and things like human devolution (some sort of Vedic theory about human bodies being vessels prepared for souls to descend into, and the bodies being designed from the outset or somesuch thing) or intelligent design need to be embraced.

And that's where Underground! fails in spots. Some of the pieces in there are great, and you don't need to take flights of fancy to think they are possible. Others, like the human devolution one and another one that talks about the technology of the pyramids are, well, uh....

I guess this is the case with a lot of disinfo's output: some of the stuff is great, but all needs to be taken with a grain of salt. It's almost like these guys revel in RAW's Maybe Logic sort of thinking - a person with one set of encylopedias is sure of his "facts" - someone with more than that isn't so sure, and things like the Internet or disinfo.com in particular bring that to the fore with an exclamation point. Now you have to bring critical thinking and research to bear since it quickly becomes obvious there isn't any authority on everything (and people and groups have their agendas and reality tunnels they bring to the table, of course). Anyway, I bought Underground! and don't regret it, but I do wish some of the sillier things could have been excised.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

We Were Warned

So I'm sitting at my desk at work, and happen to glance over at the tube, and CNN is advertising an upcoming special. I only saw a glimpse of it, enough to get the title, and a little graphic that looked a lot like the DVD cover of The End of Suburbia. The special is on "CNN presents" on Saturday, 9PM MST, and called "We Were Warned". I set up my PVR at work and my Tivo at home to record it and see what it's about. I'm assuming it's something along similar lines as End of Suburbia.

Monday, March 13, 2006

AJAX patented?

So I'm browsing the Javaposse site and seeing what's what. Then I see this article that there is a broad patent covering AJAX. I'm wondering if these guys will be the NTP extorting money from the Web 2.0 equivalent of RIM in the future?

Sunday, March 12, 2006

American Public Education and the Prussian School System

I saw another article on disinfo referencing America's Prussian school history. While this article doesn't specify the Prussian link, this other article does. Note this quote:

The King, however, didn’t want his own children to be subject to such a treatment. They, after all, would one day become the rules of the country. They’d be the leaders, and instead of follower-skills would have to have the skills of leadership, creativity, and independence. The King also realized that the sons of the leading merchants and government officials would need similar skills, and would be less effective at running business and government if they’d been processed by the public school system he’d created.

So he ordered the creation of a second, parallel public school system. While the first system was called "the People’s School" (Volkshochschule), the second was to be the place where true education would take place. Recognizing this, it was called simply "the Real School" (Realschule). Ninety three percent of students would attend the People’s School, and the seven percent who represented the elite of the nation and would be its future business and governmental leaders would attend the Real School.

Having gone through public education, I'd say the conclusion that public education is mostly doing what it was intended to is a great big "duh!". Questioning authority in all its forms and learning to think for oneself were not part of the curriculum. There were places where some of that "subversion" slipped in through the cracks, but rote learning the "facts", pledging allegiance to the flag (symbol manipulation at its best), tardy slips, hall passes, regimented eating schedules, not leaving the premises, very small windows, etc. were the order of the day.

I thank my lucky stars I wasn't a tyke when it was fashionable to "medicate" the hyperactive and/or inquisitive kids.

Fox News Watchers are the Most Ignorant

I think that most TV news borders on the ridiculous, but this study from PIPA shows that Faux News is the clear leader for the most ridiculous. Let me summarize: Fox News watchers were more likely to hold all three misconceptions that they checked for than any other news consumer. Faux News isn't "fair and balanced", they wipe their asses with the concept of fairness - unless by "fair and balanced" they mean between right-wing Republicans and far right-wing Republicans.

I'd like to propose a challenge to the folks that actually believe the outright corporate propaganda on Faux News to check out MediaMatters.org and Consumerist for a month, using RSS readers. When you run into something that you think is nonsense (because it conflicts with the reality matrix that Faux News and others have tried to construct for you, for example) research it. Check it out, decide for yourself. I bet you come away with some different opinions. Certainly don't just accept at face value the steaming dung that corporate channels serve up as "news".

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Sleep a thing of the past?

I first heard about this sleep research on Mysterious Universe podcast. My first reaction was pretty much what it was over on Digg...40 hours a week will no longer be considered fulltime.

Not only that, but imagine Big Pharma casting an even bigger shadow. *Shudder*.

On the other hand, the pure science sounds pretty cool, and if it isn't abused by the corporatocracy, it could be very cool.

Ripped-up credit card app still works?

The guys over at Consumerist at it again. The have this entry about how a ripped-up credit card app still works. Very uncool.

The house shredder is busticated at the moment, so I have a big box of credit card apps yet to be shredded. Even though the trash doesn't spend much time on the curb, untangling the mess that could be caused is not something I want to go through. I worked with a guy at Corning who had his identity stolen. That guy was so spun up I honestly think he would have killed the guy responsible if he could have wrapped his hands around his neck. Nothing like spending a lot of your free time talking to lawyers and cops and collection agencies.

Also note the link to get yourself off the pre-approved credit card list.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Infidel Guy vs. Way of the Master Radio

So I listened to this podcast episode of The Infidel Guy. It has a lot of ROTFLMAO sort of moments...the very fact that the guy on the Bible-thumping channel is witnessing to his guest instead of actually trying to listen to him is hilarious. Of course, the circular logic of Christians rears its head, too. Good times.

Check out the Way of the Master site, too. Kirk Cameron is associated with this? I knew he was a Bible-banger but I didn't know he was doing this. The advertisements are pure gold. Things like "learn how to demonstrate the literal truth of the Bible" when witnessing...ugh. I remember hearing AnswersInGenesis.org (a very funny site, BTW. It reads like The Onion, but these guys are serious. They even have a tab on there entitled "Creation Education" - isn't that a contradiction in terms?) adverts on Michael Weiner's (aka Savage) the Savage Nation, but these take the cake...

It'd be funny to start an entire new religion, plant intentional internal inconsistencies in the holy texts and "facts" at odds with reality (like Pi==3, for example) and then after a few years, yell "surprise! I was bullshitting you the whole time. Think for yourselves, chowderheads!" I bet you dollars to donuts that rather than letting their worldview come falling apart, they'd invent that religion's version of apologetics, and continue right on with whatever they were doing...

Someone Who Won't Be Throwing Stones

On javablogs, I saw someone is constructing a house of glass.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Free Chicken sandwich with Church Bulletin?

I can't help but wonder if this is urban legend...Chick-fil-A supposedly gives a free sandwich with a church bulletin?

This sounds too good to be true.

It's all the funnier to me because I was just at Chick-fil-a with Tiffany the night before...she jokingly said to "ask for the LDS discount" (since she was raised Mormon).

I wonder what they put in those sandwiches...I love that place. At the last place I worked, we called it Crack-fil-a since they always got you coming back for your fix.


I love the weblog The Consumerist. I drop in there from time to time via my RSS reader and see what they are skewering that particular day. This time it looks like some folks are trying to bring on the rapture by getting more people converted. I wish I was kidding.

For some reason, I cannot read stuff from the far right religious people without hearing a cuckoo clock going overtime in my imagination...I wonder why.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Recent Evolution in Humans

Not too startling, but researchers found genomes that show evidence of recent evolution. As always, I'm amused by the reactionary creationist goofballs who insist on clinging to their worldview despite all evidence to the contrary.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


CorporateSpeak seems to have an alarming similarity to Orwell's doublethink. I recently ran Windows Update and picked Express (I was trying out IE Tab under Firefox). I get this:

To use this latest version of Windows Update, you will need to upgrade some of its components. This version provides you with the following enhancements to our service:

  • Express and custom installation: Choose only the most recent critical updates or pick and choose from all available updates.
  • Smarter downloads: If downloading is interrupted, the process will start up where it left off the next time you download that update.
  • Smaller downloads: Only the files your computer needs are downloaded, saving download time and connection-speed costs.
  • One version: Only the most recent updates are offered to you.
  • Less clutter: You can now hide updates you don't want to see.
  • Update news: A News from Microsoft section on the Windows Update home page displays tips and the latest information.

  • Well, that all sounds rather bullshit-y and nebulous. There is a details button, so I push that and a section expands to show this:

    Windows Genuine Advantage Validation Tool (KB892130)
    710 KB , less than 1 minute
    The Windows Genuine Advantage Validation Tool enables you to verify that your copy of Microsoft Windows is genuine. The tool validates your Windows installation by checking Windows Product Identification and Product Activation status.

    I feel all warm and snuggly now.

    Monday, March 06, 2006

    With God On Our Side

    I recently watched With God On Our Side. It tries to go back to the beginning when evangelicals started to be political activists in America and follows the movement all the way to our current president.

    I read a review on Amazon that said that both folks for and against evangelicals involved in politics will come away with something from this. I agree wholeheartedly. In fact, about midway through, I was wondering whether they were condoning the bible bangers or criticizing. It doesn't really seem to be either, which is a hard thing to do, especially with so sensitive a subject.

    Sunday, March 05, 2006

    Liberals Feel, Conservatives Think

    As I mentioned earlier, I think this meme borders on the retarded. I'm quite sure that people of all political stripes feel instead of actually thinking about issues, and as a general rule, I would say that liberals are better at empathizing with others, which I guess is what the conservatives are talking about when they say "feel". Let's talk about some examples of so-called conservatives feeling instead of thinking:

    1. The Angry White Man syndrome. This has been talked about quite a bit, but I think I should again point out just how well this falls into the hands of conservative elitist opinion-makers. I think Chomsky said something along the lines of this, too. These AWM (Angry White Men) have lots to be angry about: crappy healthcare system, falling real wages, offshoring, etc., but these opinion-makers deflect what they should really be angry about to the usual irrelevant red herrings: abortion doctors, feminists, no prayer in schools, the "war on Christmas", and other things they can get their audience to whine about instead of issues of substance.

    2. The war in Iraq. For the sake of argument, let's say we actually went there to rid Iraq of WMD. Okay, there were none, and a lot of our intelligence was saying that. Well, the neo-cons in the Bush administration ignored the facts and went with their gut - i.e., they "felt" that Saddam was a threat, and Stepford Republicans STILL back them on this. Democrats went along, too, but they weren't privy to the same information at the time, and many have reverted their decision based on the facts. (This is known as "flip-flopping" in ditto-speak) That's assuming that's why we went there. Next. Okay, let's say that we actually went there to liberate the Iraqis and help rebuild the country because Saddam was busy building himself palaces and didn't provide for his people, yadda, yadda, no schools, etc. and install freedom and democracy. Again, this is "feeling", not "thinking". Thinking usually involves some facts. A few points that involve some facts:

    a. I don't see the upper of the upper crust handing out bundles of cash here in America, but Saddam is supposed to be providing for his people? When did conservative EVER think the leadership is supposed to provide for their people? Okay, ALL the people, not just their oil buddies and defense contractor insiders? I thought they are supposed to lift themselves up by their bootstraps? So, they are justifying deposing Saddam (in part) because he WASN'T a, gasp, socialist? Being a socialist/communist is usually the reason we Americans are given FOR attacking a country. Makes the head spin. Conservatives can't even be consistent - they just contort themselves to fit the outcome. Just about every time a country tries to do that (provide for their people instead of American MNCs that are exploiting the resources) we call them "communist" and then organize a coup/invade/start economic sanctions.

    b. Uh, carpet bombing a country will tend to destroy the structures these conservatives complain that Saddam didn't build enough of. Not to mention that economic sanctions will prevent the country from rebuilding. Funny, pre-Gulf War I, Iraq was pretty far along towards being pretty modern. Not free, true, but they had those things that conservatives blame Saddam for not having pre-Gulf War II. So, our actions caused the things that conservatives blame on Saddam. Nice try, but yet another argument aimed at the gut, not the head.

    c. Saddam was a bad guy, no doubt. The conservatives will typically phrase this like this: "Anyone who is intellectually honest will have to admit Saddam was a bad guy, and they are better off without him, yadda, yadda." As if any ideologue conservative is ever intellectually honest. If we are so airy-fairy and have such high-flying notions, why did some of this SAME crew (Reaganites) give him WMD in the 80's? Hmmm? Again, something that conservatives don't like to talk about. Also, he was a bad guy, but now the UN reports that human rights conditions are WORSE there. I know, I can hear the typical conservative now - the Oil for Food fraud invalidates the whole structure of the UN. By that logic, the multiple scandals of this administration would invalidate the whole American government. Riiiiiight. Again, if we were really there to liberate the Iraqis, conservatives would give a damn about things like this. Of course, even if they did, they blame it on Iraqis being "animals" or the like.

    d. If we are supposedly spreading democracy, and polls show they want us out, then why don't we take heed of that wish? Isn't that democracy?

    I know people feel powerless or apathetic about this stuff, but for Pete's sake, these conservatives have got to stop advocating this shit, especially since they are so ignorant. The corporate media works towards keeping us ignorant anyway, but if you get most of your "news" (and opinions along with it) via right-wing talk radio, there is an additional distorting filter placed in between you and the facts. Show some guts and listen to something that challenges your views and doesn't just reinforce your ridiculous worldview.

    3. War on Drugs
    Okay, again, it "feels" great, doesn't it? The facts don't really follow, though. First of all, we are so war-like as a culture, that most citizens barely blink when a war has been declared on its own citizens. What's wrong with this picture? Then we find out that the CIA has (and probably continues) to traffic in drugs. How hypocritical is that? We have a drug "czar". Why does a supposedly free country have a czar of anything? Lastly, why are we making new criminals by just declaring it so? Whatever happened to the pursuit of happiness? It's gone so far to the point of farce that most people never even notice...sampling your urine for an office job? Robert Anton Wilson calls them the Piss Police...it really goes much further than anything even Orwell imagined, and people just accept it, really. Somehow, the government and businesses have been granted this right to pry into your bodily chemistry. Think about that.

    What's even funnier, is what Penn and Teller exposed - the WOD actually caused the price of drugs on the street to drop, according to them.

    BTW, I know the conservatives have a lot of people who know this is ridiculous, have declared that it WILL be a failure when it started, and declared it a failure at various times in the course of the WOD's history. National Review's founder, and father of modern conservatism William F. Buckley being one of them. Also, I know Clinton cranked up the Drug War even more when he came into office...Clinton hardly counts as a liberal, though. So it's not entirely a conservative/liberal split on this.

    Stupid Security

    I have my RSS reader pointed at stupidsecurity.com, and I like to drop in every once in a while and browse the headlines. Here are two that caught my eye:

    Houston Eyes Cameras at Apartment Complexes

    Homeland Security: Policing Porn Is Not Part of Job Description

    I noticed in the "cameras in apartment complexes" comments, someone else made the same point I did earlier on this blog about the "If you're not doing anything wrong, what are you afraid of?" meme. I absolutely hate that stupid phrase.

    Read some of the replies on that comment - there is some discussion that police sometimes arrest people taping another arrest. If that is true, what is that about? Maybe I'll have to re-sub to the Bad Cop, No Donut podcast.

    As for the second article, I have no idea under which Constitution these guys think they are operating. What I find most alarming is that so many citizens just roll over and repeat the stupid meme above that I hate. In this case, someone fought back, and the story has a happy ending.

    Again, all this "stupid security" highlights what I think is another stupid meme: that liberals "feel", and that conservatives "think". Nonsense. IMHO, it's the conservatives who "feel" instead of "think". Security like this makes them "feel" that something is being done about "bad guys" and ignore the facts that this doesn't really protect the country from anything. More about that meme later, though.

    Thursday, March 02, 2006

    Cool/Weird Dog Video

    Someone really likes dogs so much that they made this video of them combined with electronica. Oddly fascinating. I have 3 basset hounds, and noticed there was at least one hound in the video - you get the hound's wrinkles flapping around in slo mo...tres cool.

    I like dogs very much, but don't have the skillz to put something like this together. Kudos. I found this on the Democracy Player (again), on the VideoBomb channel.

    Culture Jamming

    I just saw this great little mini-documentary on Ron English about how he remixes billboards and puts them out there for all to see - causing the corporations who are trying to jam these memes into our heads much grief, I bet. I think I've read about this guy before in one of the books about corporate branding. It's called POPaganda: The Art and Subversion of Ron English. I got it via the Democracy Player on the MediaRights channel.

    This Divided State

    I recently checked This Divided State out of the library...it's pretty alarming to see just how well a character like Hannity can manipulate the crowd. Same with the standing ovations that Moore gets.

    I found it an interesting insight into the most Republican county in the U.S. It's amusing that the guy trying to stop Moore is that afraid of a different opinion - if they are sure that the Mormon/Republican position he wants his community to maintain is so correct, what harm can it be to have a rabble-rouser like Moore come in to talk?

    Also, it was pretty clear that some ideologues on both sides have a rather poor understanding of what "free speech" means. Free speech is only meaningful when someone can say something that you absolutely abhor. Being able to say something that you agree with doesn't really need to be protected. You == majority in any particular location.

    There were examples of folks on both sides trying to shout down opposition. Most of the people in this case were conservative, but that may have been editing. Somehow, I doubt it, though.

    Oh, and what was really instructive was Hannity making silly remarks along the lines of "liberals are welcome to move into my neighborhood...if you can afford it." What an asshole. And I guess he's not an elite according to ditto-(non)think.

    You can see some free clips over on thisdividedstate.com.

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