"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
Safety Warning. Not for use as a stroller. May contain parts. Manufactured in a facility where one or more of the following may be present: Peanuts, almonds, unfiltered water, oxygen, ultaviolet and infrared radiation, sunlight. Use only as directed by your legal counsel. Do not use during earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, flooding or presidential election years. Use of handles may promote RSI, see your doctor or therapist before opening. May be flammable when exposed to open flame. Not for use as a stepping stool or adult seat. May cause injury if dropped from a height. Does not enable user to fly. Do not eat.
If erection lasts for over 4 hours call friends and brag. Persons attempting to find a motive in this blog will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot. We don't need no stinkin' badges.
Unplug after use.
Slippery when wet.
Ignore this notice.
Use only as directed.
Consume in moderation.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
Your mileage may vary.
For external use only.
Don't try this at home.
No purchase is necessary.
You must be present to win.
Do not think of an elephant.
Other restrictions may apply.
Apply only to affected areas.
Part of a daily balanced diet.
No shirt, no shoes, no service.
You need not be present to win.
No user-serviceable parts inside.
Do not exceed recommended dosage.
Offer void where prohibited by law.
Do not remove under penalty of law.
You have the right to remain silent.
If swallowed, do not induce vomiting.
Valid only at participating locations.
Freshest if used before date specified.
Prices subject to change without notice.
Do not fold, staple, spindle or mutilate.
Contents may have settled during shipment.
Caution! The edge is closer than you think.
In emergency, break glass, pull down handle.
Product is sold by weight and not by volume.
Do not use if safety seal is torn or missing.
If condition persists, consult your physician.
Detach and include upper portion with payment.
Nutritional need is not established in humans.
Objects on screen are closer than they appear.
Satisfaction guaranteed; return for full refund.
Names have been changed to protect the innocent.
Anything you say can and will be used against you.
May be used as flotation device in case of emergency.
Please note locations of emergency exits upon arrival.
No animals were harmed in the production of this page.
Caution: Dates on calendar are closer than they appear.
Please leave as clean on leaving as you would like to find on entering.
Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
Do not use if you have ever had an allergic reaction to this product or any of its ingredients.
Business is unpredictable and unsafe. The Internet is dangerous. Many blogs have been written about these dangers, and there's no way we can list them all here. Read the blogs.
The Internet is covered in slippery slopes with loose, slippery and unpredictable footing. The RIAA can make matters worse. Patent trolls are everywhere. You may fall, be spammed or suffer a DOS attack. There are hidden viruses and worms. You could break your computer. There is wild code, which may be vicious, poisonous or carriers of dread malware. These include viruses and worms. E-mail can be poisonous as well. We don't do anything to protect you from any of this. We do not inspect, supervise or maintain the Internet, blogsphere, ISP?s or other features, natural or otherwise.
Real dangers are present even on the Web. E-commerce is not the mall. It can be, and is, steep, slippery and dangerous. Web features made or enhanced by humans, such as firewalls and spam filters (if any) can break, collapse, or otherwise fail catastrophically at any time. We don't promise to inspect, supervise or maintain them in any way. They may be negligently constructed or repaired. The web is unsafe, period. Live with it or stay away.
Stay on trusted sites whenever possible. The terrain, in addition to being dangerous, is surprisingly complex. You may get lost. Carry food, water and an APU at all times.
Ads for things you don't want and other objectionable content can arrive from nowhere. This can happen naturally, or be caused by people around you that are being used as bots. Spam and disgusting images of all sizes, including huge images, can arrive, or pop-up with no warning. Use of spam filters is advised for anyone approaching the Internet. They can be purchased or rented from us. They won't save you if you get hit by something big or on a port you left open. A whole DOS attack might collapse on you and squash you like a bug. Don't think it can't happen.
Public opinion can be dangerous, regardless of the forecast. Be prepared with extra damage control, including press releases. Ticking off the blogsphere can kill you. The Streisand effect can turn a simple nastygram into a deathtrap.
If you make hasty comments about those in high places (making unsupported comments that reduce the image of a person, often posted quickly and without thinking) without proper thought and, or allow your employees to do so, you are making a terrible mistake. Even if you know what you're doing, lots of things can go wrong and you may be sued for libel. It happens all the time.
We do not provide rangers or security personnel. The other people on the web, including other visitors, our employees, agents, and guests, and anyone else who might sneak in, may be stupid, reckless, or otherwise dangerous. They may be mentally ill, criminally insane, drunk, using illegal drugs and/or armed with deadly malware and ready to use them. We aren't necessarily going to do anything about it. We refuse to take responsibility.
If you surf at work, you may become pre-occupied with it. This is true whether you are experienced or not, trained or not, equipped or not, though training and equipment may help. It's a fact, surfing at work is extremely dangerous. If you don't like it, surf at home. You really shouldn't be doing it anyway. We do not provide supervision or instruction. We are not responsible for, and do not track how much time you surf at work (although we could if we wanted to.) As far as we know, your employer may find out and send you plunging to unemployment. There are countless tons of loose management staff ready to be dislodged and fall on you or someone else. There are any number of extremely and unusually dangerous conditions existing on and around the Web, and elsewhere on the Internet. We may or may not know about any specific hazard, but even if we do, don't expect us to try to warn you. You're on your own.
Rescue services are not provided by us, and may not be available quickly or at all. Local computer geeks may not be equipped for or trained in hard drive recovery. If you are lucky enough to have somebody try to get rid of a virus or find that deleted file, they may be incompetent or worse. This includes your local computer store. We assume no responsibility. Also, if you decide to participate in a rescue of some other unfortunate, that's your choice. Don't do it unless you are willing to assume all risks.
By entering our site, you are agreeing that we owe you no duty of care or any other duty. We promise you nothing. We do not and will not even try to keep the premises safe for any purpose. The premises are not safe for any purpose. This is no joke. We won't even try to warn you about any dangerous or hazardous condition, whether we know about it or not. If we do decide to warn you about something, that doesn't mean we will try to warn you about anything else. If we do make an effort to fix an unsafe condition, we may not try to correct any others, and we may make matters worse! We and our employees or agents may do things that are unwise and dangerous. Sorry, we're not responsible. We may give you bad advice. Don't listen to us. In short, ENTER AND USE THIS SITE AT YOUR OWN RISK. And have fun!
Warning: This Product Warps Space and Time in Its Vicinity.
Warning: This Product Attracts Every Other Piece of Matter in the Universe, Including the Products of Other Manufacturers, with a Force Proportional to the Product of the Masses and Inversely Proportional to the Distance Between Them.
Caution: The Mass of This Product Contains the Energy Equivalent of 85 Million Tons of TNT per Net Ounce of Weight.
Handle with Extreme Care: This Product Contains Minute Electrically Charged Particles Moving at Velocities in Excess of Five Hundred Million Miles per Hour.
Consumer Notice: Because of the 'Uncertainty Principle,' It Is Impossible for the Consumer to Find Out at the Same Time Both Precisely Where This Product Is and How Fast It Is Moving.
Advisory: There is an Extremely Small but Nonzero Chance That, Through a Process Known as 'Tunneling,' This Product May Spontaneously Disappear from Its Present Location and Reappear at Any Random Place in the Universe, Including Your neighbor's Domicile. The Manufacturer Will Not Be Responsible for Any Damages or Inconvenience That May Result.
Read This Before Opening Package: According to Certain Suggested Versions of a Grand Unified Theory, the Primary Particles Constituting This Product May Decay to Nothingness Within the Next Four Hundred Million Years.
This is a 100% Matter product: In the Unlikely Event That This Merchandise Should Contact Antimatter in Any Form, a Catastrophic Explosion Will Result.
Public Notice as Required by Law: Any Use of This Product, in Any Manner Whatsoever, Will Increase the Amount of Disorder in the Universe. Although No Liability Is Implied Herein, the Consumer Is Warned That This Process Will Ultimately Lead to the Heat Death of the Universe.
Note: The Most Fundamental Particles in This Product Are Held Together by a 'Gluing' Force About Which Little Is Currently Known and Whose Adhesive Power Can Therefore Not Be Permanently Guaranteed.
Attention: Despite Any Other Listing of Product Contents Found Hereon, the Consumer Is Advised That, in Actuality, This Product Consists Of 99.9999999999% Empty Space.
New Grand Unified Theory Disclaimer: The Manufacturer May Technically Be Entitled to Claim That This Product Is Ten-Dimensional. However, the Consumer Is Reminded That This Confers No Legal Rights Above and Beyond Those Applicable to Three-Dimensional Objects, Since the Seven New Dimensions Are 'Rolled Up' into Such a Small 'Area' That They Cannot Be Detected.
Please Note: Some Quantum Physics Theories Suggest That When the Consumer Is Not Directly Observing This Product, It May Cease to Exist or Will Exist Only in a Vague and Undetermined State.
Component equivalency notice: The Subatomic Particles (Electrons, Protons, etc.) Comprising This Product Are Exactly the Same in Every Measurable Respect as Those Used in the Products of Other Manufacturers, and No Claim to the Contrary May Legitimately Be Expressed or Implied.
Health Warning: Care Should Be Taken When Lifting This Product, Since Its Mass, and Thus Its Weight, Is Dependent on Its Velocity Relative to the User.
"Protesters here in Minneapolis have been targeted by a series of
highly intimidating, sweeping police raids across the city, involving teams of
25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes
of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on
the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers,
journals, and political pamphlets. Last night, members of the St. Paul police
department and the Ramsey County sheriff's department
handcuffed, photographed and detained dozens of people meeting at a public venue to plan a demonstration,
charging them with no crime other than "fire code violations," and early this
morning, the Sheriff's department sent teams of officers into at least four
Minneapolis area homes where suspected protesters were staying.
There is clearly an intent on the part of law enforcement authorities here to
engage in extreme and highly intimidating raids against those who are planning
to protest the Convention. The DNC in Denver was the site of several
quite ugly incidents where law enforcement acted on behalf of Democratic Party
officials and the corporate elite that funded the Convention to keep the media
and protesters from doing anything remotely off-script. But the massive and
plainly excessive preemptive police raids in Minnesota are of a different order
altogether. Targeting people with automatic-weapons-carrying SWAT teams and mass
raids in their homes, who are suspected of nothing more than planning dissident
political protests at a political convention and who have engaged in no illegal
activity whatsoever, is about as redolent of the worst tactics of a police state
as can be imagined."
"Two-thirds of us, according to calculations I have made while
brooding inordinately about this inside my Subaru, are lineuppers, slowing
rapidly from 70 to 30 or 20 or whatever and taking our places - courteously and
patiently, as our mothers taught us to do, respecting the broad tenets of social
justice and the primacy of fairness to all persons on the road, regardless of
income or ethnicity or car model or perceived level of personal importance -
where was I? Oh. Sorry. Taking our places at the end of the line, I was saying,
the long two-lane line that has formed to the right, creeping toward the mouth
of our tunnel bore. There is still some empty lane space beside us on the left,
true, where the cones are gradually closing those left lanes down. But people
are already lined up. If we passed them on the left to get in farther ahead, we
would be cutting the line.
One third of us, on the other hand, zoom on by. For purposes of this problem, I
shall call these sidezoomers. (When I raised the Caldecott Tunnel Problem with
my father, who is 83, he startled me by suggesting a longer label that included
more bad words than I believe I have ever heard him use at one time.)
Sidezoomers have a variety of strategies, each exaggerated by the configuration
of the Caldecott but replicated in bottlenecks across the land: there are the
ones who zoom by a few dozen cars, angling in when they see a plausible opening;
and there are the ones who zoom all the way up, to the very top of the cone-off
funnel, at which point they thrust their aggressive little self-entitled fenders
toward the lineup and nudge themselves in. And there are those who opt for
frontage-road sidezooming, which requires maneuvering into the far-right highway
lane in order to get off at a certain pretunnel exit that dumps cars onto a
surface street alongside Highway 24. They zip along that street and get back on
24 at the next entrance, slipping in ahead of the bumper-to-bumper highway
lineup they just bypassed. So now they're cutting the line, too, but from the
And that very last exit lane before the tunnel, also on the right? You can't get
back onto the highway once you've exited there, but if you're a sidezoomer you
can slide into the empty exit-only lane, still on the highway but pretending
you're leaving, and then you drive and drive right past all the lineuppers until
whoops, now at the last minute you've changed your mind and you're not exiting
at all; you're sneaking back into the line.
Not in front of me, though."
Almost every weekday I'm a "lineupper" in the exit to the northbound Seattle express
lanes. And I'm not going to stop getting as close as safely possible to car crawling ahead
of me. Oh, I leave room when I'm near the end of the line, because the line backs all
the way into the restricted commuter lanes - so for a while there people have a legitimate
excuse for merging in. But as we get closer (and I have a predetermined spot) my
generosity evaporates. The idiots who designed I-5 through Seattle ended the
northbound express lane exit with a brilliant blind hill, causing easily spooked
Seattle drivers (don't get me started) to slow to their natural cruising speed of 15 mph.
So letting in "sidezoomers" won't smooth traffic flow, it'll just reward bad behavior.
" Before the year is out it's worth giving a belated Metafilter
sendoff to Thomas Scot Halpin, who died in February, his place in history secure
as one of the great
substitutes of all time, alongside
Mr. Bergstrom, and tofu.
Halpin was 19 in 1973, a rec-room drummer who idolized Keith Moon and had the
good fortune to score stageside seats at a 1973 Who show at San Francisco's Cow
Palace. Seventy minutes into the show, though,
his seat would be upgraded: Keith Moon passed out behind his
kit, Townshend asked the crowd if anyone could play drums ("someone really
good"), and Halpin's friend made enough of a racket to attract Bill
Graham's attention. Graham pulled him onstage, Townshend gave him a shot of
brandy to steel his nerves, and The Who featuring Scot Halpin of Muscatine,
Iowa, lurched into
"That term "the economy": what it means, in practice, is the
Gross Domestic Product - a big statistical pot that includes all the money spent
in a given period of time. If the pot is bigger than it was the previous
quarter, or year, then you cheer. If it isn't bigger, or bigger enough, then you
call Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke up here and ask him to do some
explaining. The what of the economy makes no difference in these councils. It
never seems to come up. The money in the big pot could be going to cancer
treatments or casinos, violent video games or usurious credit-card rates. It
could go toward the $9 billion or so that Americans spend on gas they burn while
they sit in traffic, or the billion plus that goes to such drugs as Ritalin and
Prozac that schools are stuffing into kids to keep them quiet in class. The
money could be the $20 billion or so that Americans spend on divorce lawyers
each year, or the $41 billion on pets, or the $5 billion on identity theft, or
the billions more spent to repair property damage caused by environmental
pollution. The money in the pot could betoken social and environmental
breakdown - misery and distress of all kinds. It makes no difference. You don't
ask. All you want to know is the total amount, which is the GDP. So long as it
is growing then everything is fine.
I am not talking about an obscure technical measure. This is not stuff for the
folks in the back room. I am talking about what you mean when you use that term
"the economy." Few words induce such a reverential hush in these halls. Few
words are so laden with authority and portent. When you say "the economy" is up,
no news is better. When you argue that a proposal will help the economy or hurt
it, then you have played the ultimate trump card in your polemical deck, bin
Laden possibly excepted.
This, by the way, is not an argument against growth. To be reflexively against
growth is as numb-minded as to be reflexively for it. Those are theological
positions. I am arguing for an empirical one. Find out what is growing and the
effects. Tell us what this growth is, in concrete terms. Then we can begin to
say whether it has been good.
The failure to do this is insane. It is an insanity that is embedded in the
political debate and in media reportage, and it leads to fallacy in many
directions. We hear, for example, that efforts to address climate change will
hurt "the economy." Does that mean that if we clean up the air we will spend
less money treating asthma in young kids? The atmosphere is part of the economy,
too - the real economy, that is, though not the artificial construct portrayed in
the GDP. It does real work, as we would discover quickly if it were to collapse.
Yet the GDP does not include this work. If we burn more gas, the expenditure
gets added to the GDP. But there is no corresponding subtraction for the toll
this burning takes on the thermostatic and buffering functions that the
atmosphere provides. (Nor is there a subtraction for the oil we take out of the
ground.) Yet if we burn less gas, and thus maintain the crucial functions of the
atmosphere, we say "the economy" has suffered, even though the real economy has
With families the logic is the same. By the standard of the GDP, the worst
families in America are those that actually function as families - that cook their
own meals, take walks after dinner, and talk together instead of just farming
the kids out to the commercial culture. Cooking at home, talking with kids,
walking instead of driving, involve less expenditure of money than do their
commercial counterparts. Solid marriages involve less expenditure for counseling
and divorce. Thus they are threats to the economy as portrayed in the GDP. By
that standard, the best kids are the ones who eat the most junk food and
exercise the least, because they will run up the biggest medical bills for
obesity and diabetes.
This assumption has been guiding our economic policies for the past sixty years
at least. Is it surprising that the family structure is shaky, real community is
in decline, and children have become petri dishes of market-related dysfunction
and disease? The nation conceives of such things as growth and therefore good.
It is not accidental that the two major protest movements of recent
decades - environmentalist and pro-family - both deal with parts of the real economy
that the GDP leaves out and that the commercial culture that embodies the GDP
tends to erode. How did we get to this strange pass, where up is down and down
is up? How did it happen that the nation's economic hero is a terminal-cancer
patient going through a costly divorce? How is it that Congress talks about
stimulating "the economy" when much that will actually be stimulated is the
destruction of things it says it cares about on other days? How did the notion
of economy become so totally uneconomic?"
"A Hong Kong computer programmer who had legally resided in the
US for 15 years (since he was 17) and fathered two American children went for
his final green card interview and was locked up, detained until he died of
cancer that the DHS refused to treat him for. He had overstayed a visa (the DHS
sent a key notice to the wrong address), and this prompted the DHS to lock him
away and demand that he waive all right to immigration appeal and be immediately
deported. In detention, his complaints of excruciating back pain were treated as
fakery, and he was dragged around in shackles after he lost the ability to walk,
taken on long, bumpy drives while official demanded that he drop his immigration
appeals. The jailers who caused his death were private contractors with fat
deals with the DHS to lock up immigration detainees.
As he lay dying, his family -- wife and two children, aged 1 and 3 -- were
denied access to him while the warden considered their request to visit."
Now I'm not a lawyer, but I have watched a lot of Law and Order, and
I think an enterprising prosecutor could make a case against Goodling et al for
"The statute is broad enough in its terms to include any
conspiracy for the purpose of impairing, obstructing or defeating the lawful
function of any department of government . . . (A)ny conspiracy which is
calculated to obstruct or impair its efficiency and destroy the value of its
operation and reports as fair, impartial and reasonably accurate, would be to
defraud the United States by depriving it of its lawful right and duty of
promulgating or diffusing the information so officially acquired in the way and
at the time required by law or departmental regulation. "
"On Friday at the National Urban League, McCain suggested he'd
fight crime using "tactics somewhat like we use in the military."
He went on to describe how it would work:
"You go into neighborhoods, you clamp down, you provide a secure environment for
the people that live there, and you make sure that the known criminals are kept
under control," he said. "And you provide them with a stable environment and
then they cooperate with law enforcement.""
"Members and advisors of the administration-in-waiting have
formed largely informal working groups to take up a whole host of issues related
to the Bush administration's legacy, like what to do about the Guantánamo
detainees. While they have not been asked to develop a formal recommendation for
Obama on the question of criminal accountability for torture, those who are
weighing the issue, a group that includes some of the 300 people the New York
Times recently described as Obama's
"mini State Department," are moving toward consensus on some key points.
Specifically, don't hold your breath waiting for Dick Cheney to be frog-marched
into federal court. Prosecution of any officials, if it were to occur, would
probably not occur during Obama's first term. Instead, we may well see a
congressionally empowered commission that would seek testimony from witnesses in
search of the truth about what occurred. Though some witnesses might be offered
immunity in exchange for testimony, the question of whether anybody would be
prosecuted would be deferred to a later date -- meaning Obama's second term, if
such is forthcoming. "
I wonder if Bush will resist granting pardons because they might look
like an admission of guilt.
The article only considers the possible crime of torture. I can well imagine
a constant stream of revelations of Bush administration crimes- FISA/eavesdropping,
the leadup to war, Iraq procurement, Justice department hiring, etc. The will to
prosecute might bend under the weight of more evidence.
"Ever since the Allies bombed the Axis into submission, Western
civilization has had a succession of counter-culture movements that have
energetically challenged the status quo. Each successive decade of the post-war
era has seen it smash social standards, riot and fight to revolutionize every
aspect of music, art, government and civil society.
But after punk was plasticized and hip hop lost its impetus for social change,
all of the formerly dominant streams of “counter-culture” have merged together.
Now, one mutating, trans-Atlantic melting pot of styles, tastes and behavior has
come to define the generally indefinable idea of the “Hipster.”
An artificial appropriation of different styles from different eras, the hipster
represents the end of Western civilization – a culture lost in the
superficiality of its past and unable to create any new meaning. Not only is it
unsustainable, it is suicidal. While previous youth movements have challenged
the dysfunction and decadence of their elders, today we have the “hipster” – a
youth subculture that mirrors the doomed shallowness of mainstream society.
"Punks wear their tattered threads and studded leather jackets with honor,
priding themselves on their innovative and cheap methods of self-expression and
rebellion. B-boys and b-girls announce themselves to anyone within earshot with
baggy gear and boomboxes. But it is rare, if not impossible, to find an
individual who will proclaim themself a proud hipster. It’s an odd dance of
self-identity – adamantly denying your existence while wearing clearly defined
symbols that proclaims it. "