"If you understood everything I said, you'd be me" - Miles Davis
"There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." - Bertrand Russell
"Take away the right to say fuck and you take away the right to say fuck the government." - Lenny Bruce
"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!" - Homer Simpson

Utility Fog Banner

Get Your Warblog On
Some sources to feed the news/commentary jones:
Tacitus
Daily Kos
The Agonist
Warblogging-especially the War Stories
Talking Points Memo

Welcome to Dogbuns.com
We make Hot Dog Costumes for Dachshunds

They ain't real, part #2
Besides having a truly scary Ari Fleischer fan-page, WWW.ProBush.com has also fallen for the misattributed "Trying to Help" meme.

Resources
The Journalist's Toolbox: Iraq and U.S. Conflict
Via wood's lot

One of Life's Little Pleasures...
..is seeing your favorite character actors at work. One of mine is William Forsythe , who seems to evenly split his roles between criminals and lawmen. He can currently found as a mysterious semi-sidekick and bartender on the series John Doe. He shouldn't be confused with the director of the Frankfurt Ballet.

Oh Crap
"Here is one example of the far-reaching harmful effects of these bills. Both bills would flatly ban the possession, sale, or use of technologies that "conceal from a communication service provider ... the existence or place of origin or destination of any communication". Your ISP is a communcation service provider, so anything that concealed the origin or destination of any communication from your ISP would be illegal -- with no exceptions.

If you encrypt your email, you're in violation, because the "To" line of the email is concealed from your ISP by encryption. If you use a secure connection to pick up your email, you're in violation, because the "From" lines of the incoming emails are concealed from your ISP by the encrypted connection.

Worse yet, Network Address Translation (NAT), a technology widely used for enterprise security, operates by translating the "from" and "to" fields of Internet packets, thereby concealing the source or destination of each packet, and hence violating these bills. Most security "firewalls" use NAT, so if you use a firewall, you're in violation.

If you have a home DSL router, or if you use the "Internet Connection Sharing" feature of your favorite operating system product, you're in violation because these connection sharing technologies use NAT. Most operating system products (including every version of Windows introduced in the last five years, and virtually all versions of Linux) would also apparently be banned, because they support connection sharing via NAT."
Link
Via Boing Boing

Practice to Deceive
"Today, however, the great majority of the American people have no concept of what kind of conflict the president is leading them into. The White House has presented this as a war to depose Saddam Hussein in order to keep him from acquiring weapons of mass destruction--a goal that the majority of Americans support. But the White House really has in mind an enterprise of a scale, cost, and scope that would be almost impossible to sell to the American public. The White House knows that. So it hasn't even tried. Instead, it's focused on getting us into Iraq with the hope of setting off a sequence of events that will draw us inexorably towards the agenda they have in mind."
Link

Milk shoots out my nose...



Glurt's "Sullen Froth" cartoons are splendid deadpan chuckles.
Click on the cat to get to the good stuff.

Say Goodbye to Entertainment if this Passes
Section 305 of the CLEAN-UP Act stipulates that:

"`Whoever, for a commercial purpose, knowingly promotes any rave, dance, music, or other entertainment event, that takes place under circumstances where the promoter knows or reasonably ought to know that a controlled substance will be used or distributed in violation of Federal law or the law of the place where the event is held, shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned for not more than 9 years, or both.'

Under the provision, any concert promoter, nightclub owner and arena or stadium owner could be fined and jailed, since a reasonable person would know some people use drugs at musical events."
Link
Via Follow Me Here

Good Lord
Montreal hockey spectators booed the American national anthem. Political sports fans: sign of the apocalypse #689

Just No Comparison
Letterman never fails to make me laugh out loud at least once while I can only stare at Leno in mounting horror.

Support the Troops?
"By a vote along party lines, the majority members of the House Budget Committee passed and reported for a vote by the House a budget resolution that would cut $844 million from veterans' medical care next year and $9.7 billion over the next 10 years. In addition, the budget resolution would cut $15 billion from the disability compensation and other benefit programs over the next 10 years. The House leadership are pushing these cuts to offset the cost of the President's $1.57 trillion tax reduction plan."
Link

They ain't real
If you get the "Bad American" email (supposedly by George Carlin) or the "Trying to Help" rant (attributed to Dennis Miller) be advised that however much you might (or might not) agree with the sentiments expressed, the two esteemed gentlemen are not the authors.
Source:My mad internet research skills

Call me Mr. Gadget (oh, right-already taken)
Let's say someone is tailgating you. All you need do is press a button and a laser range finder determines the distance between you and offender, a gps unit locates your position, and a digital camera takes a picture of following car with your speed, location, date, and distance all recorded in the picture. You could even automatically e-mail it to the state patrol.

The spectacle which cannot exist
YUKIHYOU desertion start!
Via Geisha Asobi Blog

Bearing Witness
The Iraqi Body Count Project

Here we are at the brink of war, and I'm posting about TV shows-oh well
The heck with "Fear Factor", the Japanese seem to have reality game shows involving small armies storming castles.
Link
Via Flutterby!

The things I think about whilst driving
Previously I wrote about the "Resident Evil" movie and I've thought of another quibble with the plot's logic. In the movie our heroes are trapped in a hi-tech underground lab. They have disabled the AI that runs the lab with an EMP device and are beseiged by zombies. In order to escape the lab they restart the AI and threaten it with permanent destruction, forcing it to help them. But there is no reason to suppose an AI would possess a survival instinct. And even if it does regard continued existence as a priority, it may have higher ones. An artificial-intelligence's "motives" and "desires" may be totally different from those of an naturally evolved biological sentient. Hey! that's a neat acronym-Look, I'm a NEBS!

Technology is good
I've run across generators singly before, but here is a huge collection of them, including the evil diety generator- which comes in handy if you are running short of evil dieties.

13 Questions We Wish They'd Asked
At President Bush's Press Conference Thursday Night

...
8. Rather than make us wait for a supplemental budget request -- after the war has been launched -- to tell us what it, and its aftermath, will cost, don't you think the American people (who will pay the bill) deserve to know the latest long-term estimates before the fact?

9. Why did the U.S. edit the 12,000 page Iraqi weapons report (as recently revealed) to the U.N. Security Council, removing all names of U.S. companies that sold weapons materials to the Iraqis in the past?

10. Would you confirm or deny the reports this week, based on a leaked memo, that the U.S. bugged and otherwise spied on representatives of countries that are swing votes on the U.N. Security Council? Do you approve of such actions?
...

Source: Editor & Publisher Online

Perfect Xmas Gifts
From sister Kate comes the latest Japanese fad to leave us going "Huh?"-Nipple Scarves

Some Reasons to Support Celebrities in Opposition to War

- Two weeks of basic training before filming "Saving Private Ryan" is more military experience than Condoleeza Rice, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney (5 deferments), Tom Delay and Dennis Hastert combined.

- Don Rumsfeld went to Iraq while Hussein used our chemical weapons on Iranian soldiers (and civilians along the border) and secured the additional shipments to the Iraqi dictator. Sean Penn visited Iraq, but has only used chemicals on himself.

- Martin Sheen has been arrested 70 times in his pursuit of peace and social justice. George W. Bush's three documented arrests: drunk driving, stealing a Christmas wreath and football hooliganism.

- Brit Hume, Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh are celebrities, not elected officials or diplomats (incidentally, all avoided service in Vietnam) who make their livelihood shilling for war. Garofalo, Damon et al risk their livelihoods by opposing it.

- There is no such thing as apolitical art.

- "Apocalypse Now!" took 5 years to complete and Martin Sheen saw it all the way through, disease, monsoons and all. George W. Bush skipped the last 17 months of his National Guard service in Texas.

- Are award shows asking pro-war celebrities to keep their remarks "neutral?"

- It's their First Amendment right.

From Undernews

A modest proposal
I say we rename turkeys "freedom chickens".

Huh?
Dumbest line from a movie trailer (this week):
"Don't let anything get in the way of your destiny". From my understanding of destiny, nothing can get in the way of destiny, that's why they call it destiny-it's destined.

Marketing Genius
I am greatly unimpressed by the new anti-satellite-dish TV commercial from Comcast: Satellite customer/schmuck constantly loses signal in strong winds, is advised to anchor dish in cement, cannot due to apartment/incompetence, tries attaching dish to light wooden bookshelf, dish blows off porch. Too bad our hero never thought to use a bucket of nice heavy sand. This commercial seems to say "Morons use Comcast".

While I'm on the subject of commercials: I'm baffled by the contradictions in the Dr. Pepper spots that have pop-stars made up to look like some other older star singing about being an original. "Hi, I'm copying someone else to sell you suger water, be original". It makes my head hurt.

Hulk Hate Bad Woman
Michelle Malkin has caused my gorge to rise ever since I first read her columns in the Seattle Times. I'm sad to see she is still practicing what I can only laughingly refer to as "Journalism". Read at your own risk.

One Nation, Under Surveillance
RFID tags: Big Brother in small packages

It feels good to scoop the New York Times
I wasn't going to post anything about this, figuring it would be all over the mass media and the blogosphere. Imagine my surprise:

""As part of its battle to win votes in favor of war against Iraq," the London-based Observer reported on March 2, the U.S. government developed an "aggressive surveillance operation, which involves interception of the home and office telephones and the e-mails of U.N. delegates." The smoking gun was "a memorandum written by a top official at the National Security Agency -- the U.S. body which intercepts communications around the world -- and circulated to both senior agents in his organization and to a friendly foreign intelligence agency."

The Observer added: "The leaked memorandum makes clear that the target of the heightened surveillance efforts are the delegations from Angola, Cameroon, Chile, Mexico, Guinea and Pakistan at the U.N. headquarters in New York -- the so-called 'Middle Six' delegations whose votes are being fought over by the pro-war party, led by the U.S. and Britain, and the party arguing for more time for U.N. inspections, led by France, China and Russia."

The NSA memo, dated Jan. 31, outlines the wide scope of the surveillance activities, seeking any information useful to push a war resolution through the Security Council -- "the whole gamut of information that could give U.S. policymakers an edge in obtaining results favorable to U.S. goals or to head off surprises."

Three days after the memo came to light, the Times of London printed an article noting that the Bush administration "finds itself isolated" in its zeal for war on Iraq. "In the most recent setback," the newspaper reported, "a memorandum by the U.S. National Security Agency, leaked to the Observer, revealed that American spies were ordered to eavesdrop on the conversations of the six undecided countries on the United Nations Security Council."

The London Times article called it an "embarrassing disclosure." And the embarrassment was nearly worldwide. From Russia to France to Chile to Japan to Australia, the story was big mainstream news. But not in the United States.

Several days after the "embarrassing disclosure," not a word about it had appeared in America's supposed paper of record. The New York Times -- the single most influential media outlet in the United States -- still had not printed anything about the story. How could that be?"


And all this time I thought we were just going to bribe people to vote our way.
Link
Via Looka!

Point by Point
President Bush's February 26 Speech on the Future of Iraq: A Critique
Via Robot Wisdom

I'm Shocked, Just Shocked
"British intelligence claims that Saddam Hussein has been trying to import uranium for a nuclear bomb are unfounded and based on deliberately fabricated evidence, according to an investigation by the UN nuclear inspectors in Iraq."

"The fabrication was transparently obvious and quickly established, the sources added, suggesting that British intelligence was either easily hoodwinked or a knowing party to the deceit."

Link
Link

George W. Bush is out of control.
Arrest Me

Just because you're paranoid....
"Evidence obtained by German hardware site tecChannel suggests a list of software installed on an XP machine is sent to Microsoft when users run Windows Update.

When patches are downloaded, a few kilobytes of data are sent in the opposite direction over a secure SSL channel.

Because the data is encrypted a simple packet sniffer can't be used to see what this data contains.

However tecChannel's tecDUMP utility takes advantage of an undocumented WinInet API, enabling an examination of the data before it becomes encrypted.

According to tecChannel, the information sent to Microsoft includes details of all the software installed in a machine, not only Microsoft applications."
Link

A relic from my impressionable youth
Starz!Family cable channel is showing Dr. Syn, Alias the Scarecrow ,a Disney TV special from 1963. Which means when it first aired I was only 5 (you do the math). I do remember the vivid impression it made on me-The evil that authority can do under the guise of law and order, rebellion wearing the face of compliance, conspiracy, betrayal, distrust of authority, secret societies and hidden tunnels-heady stuff for Disney to be showing a 6-year-old. Patrick McGoohan is one of the foundations for what passes as my character, as Dr. Syn and as The Prisoner.
I had no idea there were books about the good Doctor, imagine the effect they would have had on my tender psyche.

I just don't what to think
I just saw the new Victoria's Secret ad that uses Bob Dylan's "Love Sick" as the soundtrack.

I'm walking,
through streets that are dead
Walking,
walking with you in my head

My feet are so tired
My brain is so wired
And the clouds are weeping

Can anyone in the class explain the appeal of cognitive dissonance?

Thanks for nothing, #%^%$#*&*! Baseball
Since I drive for a living delivering books around Seattle I often depend on traffic radio. I have been listening to KOMO1000. Their pitch is "traffic on the fours, 24 hours a day, seven days a week". I like traffic reports every 10 minutes-it's very handy. Imagine my delight to discover their promise falls flat on it's ass whenever they broadcast Mariner baseball. I listen to as much "exciting" play-by-play as I can stomach and I still have yet to hear a traffic report. And with what-200 games a season, each one lasting 10 hours or more-there goes any hope of useful information when I need it. I'm just afraid the next traffic station I find will be full of crank right-wing talk-shows. I hate call-in talk-shows.

Is there a hidden city under Tokyo?
"Sitting on the Ginza subway from Suehirocho to Kanda, he says, you can see many mysterious tunnels leading off from the main track. "No such routes are shown on maps." Traveling from Kasumigaseki to Kokkai-gijidomae, there is a line off to the left that is not shown on any map. Nor is it indicated in subway construction records."
Link
Via Boing Boing

Just what I needed

Cute puppies and kittens: Link
Via Katecohen.com