"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

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This Looks Like Fun

This looks like a more crowded version of "Capture the Flag" at church camp. I was the 13yr-old Sun Tzu of "Capture the Flag", inventing the "human wave of rugrats followed by a flying wedge covered in baby oil" tactic.

防衛大 棒倒し 激闘!(でも、お尻がぁ出てるぅ、、)
Via Laughing Squid

George Clinton will be appearing at the British Library w/ Nona Hendryx on 18 June, to talk about "all things galactic".
George Clinton will be appearing at the British Library w/ Nona Hendryx on 18 June, to talk about "all things galactic". .. George Clinton + British Library = Head Explodes ..

Twitter Sun, 29 May 2011 20:20:45
Tweet 75054011534946304

Incredibly awful - Star Wars Dance-Off:
Incredibly awful - Star Wars Dance-Off: -- America is Doomed --

Twitter Fri, 27 May 2011 06:46:14
Tweet 74124257625509888

State AGs Prosecuting Bank Fraud #banksters
State AGs Prosecuting Bank Fraud ++ NY & California AGs Are Prosecuting Bank Fraud ++ #banksters

Twitter Wed, 25 May 2011 03:04:48
Tweet 73222780438585344

datamoshing
datamoshing == i'm on my datamosh, glitchin up vide0000ooos ==

Twitter Tue, 24 May 2011 19:00:33
Tweet 73221891074179072

RT @thebenbrooks: Now that Bin Laden is dead I feel bad for all those Calvin car stickers with nothing to piss on.
RT @thebenbrooks Now that Bin Laden is dead I feel bad for all those Calvin car stickers with nothing to piss on.

Twitter Wed, 25 May 2011 02:44:04
Tweet 73217493342240768

Jonathan Winters

Johnathan Winters-1 (part1 of2)*
Via Jonathan Winters (MetaFilter)

* That's how it's spelled on YouTube, don't look at me like that

Extra: WTF w/ Marc Maron Podcast - Episode 173 - Jonathan Winters NSFW - swearing, audio nudity



The Smithsonian acquires the Mothership #thinkitaintillegalyet #itsbootsybaby #funk
The Smithsonian acquires the Mothership -- One Nation Under a Groove -- #thinkitaintillegalyet #itsbootsybaby #funk

Twitter Sat, 21 May 2011 12:07:49
Tweet 72030859909267456

RT @timminchin: Did you know: 75 million years ago today, God whisked all the good little dinosaurs away to heaven. #velocirapture
RT @timminchin Did you know: 75 million years ago today, God whisked all the good little dinosaurs away to heaven. #velocirapture

Twitter Sat, 21 May 2011 07:34:21
Tweet 71962039274311684

RT @danielmaier: People are making Rapture jokes like there's no tomorrow.
RT @danielmaier People are making Rapture jokes like there's no tomorrow.

Twitter Sat, 21 May 2011 07:49:35
Tweet 71965873170165761

RT @johnmoe: @pattonoswalt What if the rapture is real but a day early and only Macho Man is pure and holy?
RT @johnmoe @pattonoswalt What if the rapture is real but a day early and only Macho Man is pure and holy?

Twitter Fri, 20 May 2011 19:51:25
Tweet 71785140401094657

RT @crankfetter: I don't hate reality. I just try not to spend too much time there.
RT @crankfetter I don't hate reality. I just try not to spend too much time there.

Twitter Fri, 20 May 2011 19:41:39
Tweet 71782679049273345

Ozark raccoon hive-mind
Ozark raccoon hive-mind

Twitter Fri, 20 May 2011 12:20:12
Tweet 71550508501970945

Mickey Mouse wicker man
Mickey Mouse wicker man ++ In Suriname, you can visit the Mickey Mouse wicker man ++

Twitter Thu, 19 May 2011 06:51:33
Tweet 71226490905296896

RT @AdamSerwer SCOTUS: When the president does it, it's not illegal. As long as he can keep it a secret.
RT @AdamSerwer SCOTUS: When the president does it, it's not illegal. As long as he can keep it a secret. -- SCOTUS Rejects Extraordinary Rendition Case --

Twitter Tue, 17 May 2011 14:17:59
Tweet 70493055421120512

RT @justinvincent: Boot a linux kernel right inside your browser.
RT @justinvincent Boot a linux kernel right inside your browser. ..Linux inside the browser (Firefox4/Chrome)..

Twitter Tue, 17 May 2011 05:59:30
Tweet 70488616278822912

Scanning fingerprints from six feet away: #1984
Scanning fingerprints from six feet away: .. Fingerprint Scanner that Works at a Distance .. #1984

Twitter Tue, 17 May 2011 05:56:24
Tweet 70487834909347840

RT @crankfetter: All this rapture talk is making the demon who possesses me uncomfortable. (He made me type that.)
RT @crankfetter All this rapture talk is making the demon who possesses me uncomfortable. (He made me type that.)

Twitter Sun, 15 May 2011 13:24:54
Tweet 69875930398605312

Matt Taibbi: The People vs. Goldman Sachs
Matt Taibbi: The People vs. Goldman Sachs .. Indict Goldman Sachs ..

Twitter Thu, 12 May 2011 04:01:51
Tweet 68647070550073344

Doritos Nacho Cheese Flavored Scope Mouthwash
Doritos Nacho Cheese Flavored Scope Mouthwash .. Doritos Nacho Cheese Mouthwash ..

Twitter Thu, 12 May 2011 06:25:54
Tweet 68683319197437954

THE LEGENDARY 1967 STAX EUROPEAN TOUR
THE LEGENDARY 1967 STAX EUROPEAN TOUR -- “YOU KNOW I’VE GOT SOUL” | THE LEGENDARY 1967 STAX EUROPEAN TOUR --

Twitter Wed, 11 May 2011 19:04:28
Tweet 68511834159845377

NSA Gathers 4x the Amount of Info than the Library of Congress, Daily
NSA Gathers 4x the Amount of Info than the Library of Congress, Daily . The NSA collects Four Times the Information in the Library of Congress, EVERY DAY .

Twitter Wed, 11 May 2011 04:10:44
Tweet 68286918659547136

War Criminals Try to Evade Prosecution By Pretending Torture Was Vital to Getting Bin Laden…When It Actually Delayed It
War Criminals Try to Evade Prosecution By Pretending Torture Was Vital to Getting Bin Laden…When It Actually Delayed It .. War Criminals Try to Evade Prosecution By Pretending Torture Was Vital to Getting Bin Laden … When It Actually Delayed the Hunt for YEARS ..

Twitter Mon, 09 May 2011 06:32:24
Tweet 67597793308581888

RT @ggreenwald: It was evil when Bush merely eavesdropped on or detained US citizens w/no due process - but noble when Obama kills them: ...
RT @ggreenwald It was evil when Bush merely eavesdropped on or detained US citizens w/no due process - but noble when Obama kills them: ...

Twitter Mon, 09 May 2011 05:24:41
Tweet 67580750819639296

RT @djrupture: Noam Chomsky "My Reaction to Osama Bin Laden's Death" #requiredreading
RT @djrupture Noam Chomsky "My Reaction to Osama Bin Laden's Death" ++ Noam Chomsky: My Reaction to Osama bin Laden’s Death ++ #requiredreading

Twitter Mon, 09 May 2011 05:10:37
Tweet 67577213091975168

RT @johnmoe: Steals roommates Cheez-Its. Totally blames theft on Israel. #binLadenTapes
RT @johnmoe Steals roommates Cheez-Its. Totally blames theft on Israel. #binLadenTapes

Twitter Mon, 09 May 2011 05:07:24
Tweet 67576402345594880

RT @tjcrowley: I am pleased to announce that I have figured out Lady Gaga. She's totally a Batman villain.
RT @tjcrowley I am pleased to announce that I have figured out Lady Gaga. She's totally a Batman villain.

Twitter Sun, 08 May 2011 20:19:48
Tweet 67443628439642112

RT @ggreenwald: Even when dead, OBL continues to be the pretext for more liberty curtailments, government power:
RT @ggreenwald Even when dead, OBL continues to be the pretext for more liberty curtailments, government power: .. Sen. Schumer proposes "no-ride list" for Amtrak trains ..

Twitter Mon, 09 May 2011 03:40:03
Tweet 67433377858469888

Glenn Greenwald: U.S. tries to assassinate U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki

Reason #1 of why I'm never going to vote for Obama again. So good/infuriating I had to post the entire article.

"That Barack Obama has continued the essence of the Bush/Cheney Terrorism architecture was once a provocative proposition but is now so self-evident that few dispute it (watch here as arch-neoconservative David Frum -- Richard Perle's co-author for the supreme 2004 neocon treatise -- waxes admiringly about Obama's Terrorism and foreign policies in the Muslim world and specifically its "continuity" with Bush/Cheney).  But one policy where Obama has gone further than Bush/Cheney in terms of unfettered executive authority and radical war powers is the attempt to target American citizens for assassination without a whiff of due process.  As The New York Times put it last April:

It is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing, officials said.  A former senior legal official in the administration of George W. Bush said he did not know of any American who was approved for targeted killing under the former president. . . .

That Obama was compiling a hit list of American citizens was first revealed in January of last year when The Washington Post's Dana Priest mentioned in passing at the end of a long article that at least four American citizens had been approved for assassinations; several months later, the Obama administration anonymously confirmed to both the NYT and the Post that American-born, U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki was one of the Americans on the hit list. 

Yesterday, riding a wave of adulation and military-reverence, the Obama administration tried to end the life of this American citizen -- never charged with, let alone convicted of, any crime -- with a drone strike in Yemen, but missed and killed two other people instead:

A missile strike from an American military drone in a remote region of Yemen on Thursday was aimed at killing Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical American-born cleric believed to be hiding in the country, American officials said Friday.

The attack does not appear to have killed Mr. Awlaki, the officials said, but may have killed operatives of Al Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen. 

The other people killed "may have" been Al Qaeda operatives.  Or they "may not have" been.  Who cares?  They're mere collateral damage on the glorious road to ending the life of this American citizen without due process (and pointing out that the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution expressly guarantees that "no person shall be deprived of life without due process of law" -- and provides no exception for war -- is the sort of tedious legalism that shouldn't interfere with the excitement of drone strikes).

There are certain civil liberties debates where, even though I hold strong opinions, I can at least understand the reasoning and impulses of those who disagree; the killing of bin Laden was one such instance.  But the notion that the President has the power to order American citizens assassinated without an iota of due process -- far from any battlefield, not during combat -- is an idea so utterly foreign to me, so far beyond the bounds of what is reasonable, that it's hard to convey in words or treat with civility.

How do you even engage someone in rational discussion who is willing to assume that their fellow citizen is guilty of being a Terrorist without seeing evidence for it, without having that evidence tested, without giving that citizen a chance to defend himself -- all because the President declares it to be so?  "I know Awlaki, my fellow citizen, is a Terrorist and he deserves to die.  Why?  Because the President decreed that, and that's good enough for me.  Trials are so pre-9/11."  If someone is willing to dutifully click their heels and spout definitively authoritarian anthems like that, imagine how impervious to reason they are on these issues.

And if someone is willing to vest in the President the power to assassinate American citizens without a trial far from any battlefield -- if someone believes that the President has that power:  the power of unilaterally imposing the death penalty and literally acting as judge, jury and executioner -- what possible limits would they ever impose on the President's power?  There cannot be any.  Or if someone is willing to declare a citizen to be a "traitor" and demand they be treated as such -- even though the Constitution expressly assigns the power to declare treason to the Judicial Branch and requires what we call "a trial" with stringent evidence requirements before someone is guilty of treason -- how can any appeals to law or the Constitution be made to a person who obviously believes in neither?

What's most striking about this is how it relates to the controversies during the Bush years.  One of the most strident attacks from the Democrats on Bush was that he wanted to eavesdrop on Americans without warrants.  One of the first signs of Bush/Cheney radicalism was what they did to Jose Padilla:  assert the power to imprison this American citizen without charges.  Yet here you have Barack Obama asserting the power not to eavesdrop on Americans or detain them without charges -- but to target them for killing without charges -- and that, to many of his followers, is perfectly acceptable.  It's a "horrific shredding of the Constitution" and an act of grave lawlessness for Bush to eavesdrop on or detain Americans without any due process; but it's an act of great nobility when Barack Obama ends their lives without any due process.

Not even Antonin Scalia was willing to approve of George Bush's mere attempt to detain (let alone kill) an American citizen accused of Terrorism without a trial.  In a dissenting opinion joined by the court's most liberal member, John Paul Stevens, Scalia explained that not even the War on Terror allows the due process clause to be ignored when the President acts against those he claims have joined the Enemy -- and this was for a citizen found on an actual active battlefield in a war zone (Afghanistan) (emphasis added):

The very core of liberty secured by our Anglo-Saxon system of separated powers has been freedom from indefinite imprisonment at the will of the Executive.  Blackstone stated this principle clearly:  "Of great importance to the public is the preservation of this personal liberty:  for if once it were left in the power of any, the highest, magistrate to imprison arbitrarily whomever he or his officers thought proper … there would soon be an end of all other rights and immunities. … To bereave a man of life, or by violence to confiscate his estate, without accusation or trial, would be so gross and notorious an act of despotism, as must at once convey the alarm of tyranny throughout the whole kingdom." . . . .

Subjects accused of levying war against the King were routinely prosecuted for treason. . . . The Founders inherited the understanding that a citizen's levying war against the Government was to be punished criminally. The Constitution provides: "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort"; and establishes a heightened proof requirement (two witnesses) in order to "convic[t]" of that offense. Art. III, §3, cl. 1. 

There simply is no more basic liberty than the right to be free from Presidential executions without being charged with -- and then convicted of -- a crime:  whether it be treason, Terrorism, or anything else.  How can someone who objected to Bush's attempt to eavesdrop on or detain citizens without judicial oversight cheer for Obama's attempt to kill them without judicial oversight? Can someone please reconcile those positions?

One cannot be certain that this attempted killing of Awlaki relates to the bin Laden killing, but it certainly seems likely, and in any event, highlights the dangers I wrote about this week.  From the start, it was inconceivable to me that -- as some predicted -- the bin Laden killing would bring about a ratcheting down of America's war posture.  The opposite seemed far more likely to me for the reason I wrote on Monday:  

Whenever America uses violence in a way that makes its citizens cheer, beam with nationalistic pride, and rally around their leader, more violence is typically guaranteed. Futile decade-long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan may temporarily dampen the nationalistic enthusiasm for war, but two shots to the head of Osama bin Laden -- and the We are Great and Good proclamations it engenders -- can easily rejuvenate that war love. . . . We're feeling good and strong about ourselves again -- and righteous -- and that's often the fertile ground for more, not less, aggression.

The killing of bin Laden got the testosterone pumping, the righteousness pulsating, and faith in the American military and its Commander-in-Chief skyrocketing to all-time highs.  It made America feel good about itself in a way that no other event has since at least Obama's inauguration; we got to forget about rampant unemployment, home foreclosures by the millions, a decade's worth of militaristic futility and slaughter, and ever-growing Third-World levels of wealth inequality.  This was a week for flag-waving, fist-pumping, and nationalistic chanting:  even -- especially -- among liberals, who were able to take the lead and show the world (and themselves) that they are no wilting, delicate wimps; it's not merely swaggering right-wing Texans, but they, too, who can put bullets in people's heads and dump corpses into the ocean and then joke and cheer about it afterwards.  It's inconceivable that this wave of collective pride, boosted self-esteem, vicarious strength, and renewed purpose won't produce a desire to replicate itself.  Four days after bin Laden is killed, a missile rains down from the sky to try to execute Awlaki without due process, and that'll be far from the last such episode (indeed, also yesterday, the U.S. launched a drone attack in Pakistan, ending the lives of 15 more people:  yawn).

Last night, in a post entitled "Reigniting the GWOT [Global War on Terrorism]" -- Digby wrote about why the reaction to the killing of bin Laden is almost certain to spur greater aggression in the "War on Terror," and specifically observed:  "They're breathlessly going on about Al Qaeda in Yemen 'targeting the homeland' right now on CNN. Looks like we're back in business."  The killing of bin Laden isn't going to result in a reduction of America's military adventurism because that's not how the country works: when we eradicate one Enemy, we just quickly and seamlessly find a new one to replace him with -- look over there:  Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is the True Threat!!!! -- and the blood-spilling continues unabated (without my endorsing it all, read this excellent Chris Floyd post for the non-euphemistic reality of what we've really been doing in the world over the last couple years under the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Winner).

A civil liberties lawyer observed by email to me last night that now that Obama has massive political capital and invulnerable Tough-on-Terror credentials firmly in place, there are no more political excuses for what he does (i.e., he didn't really want to do that, but he had to in order not to be vulnerable to GOP political attacks that he's Weak).  In the wake of the bin Laden killing, he's able to do whatever he wants now -- ratchet down the aggression or accelerate it -- and his real face will be revealed by his choices (for those with doubts about what that real face is).  Yesterday's attempt to exterminate an American citizen who has long been on his hit list -- far from any battlefield, not during combat, and without even a pretense of due process -- is likely to be but a first step in that direction."

U.S. tries to assassinate U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki


RT @warrenellis: Poisonous Holy Water - #robotweet
RT @warrenellis Poisonous Holy Water - __ God works in mysterious ways __ #robotweet

Twitter Sat, 07 May 2011 01:26:53
Tweet 66796130461159424

RT @ggreenwald: Objecting to US actions is about the standards we apply to ourselves, not sympathy for bin Laden: it's not a difficult ...
RT @ggreenwald Objecting to US actions is about the standards we apply to ourselves, not sympathy for bin Laden: it's not a difficult ...

Twitter Sat, 07 May 2011 12:21:00
Tweet 66794906861051904

Ahmadinejad accused of consorting with djinns (genies to you and me)
Ahmadinejad accused of consorting with djinns (genies to you and me) __Iran's supreme leader tells Ahmadinejad: accept minister or quit__

Twitter Sat, 07 May 2011 08:47:03
Tweet 66768769032269824

My ghod, there really is a Frozen Head State Park (but no actual chilled craniums, damn)
My ghod, there really is a Frozen Head State Park (but no actual chilled craniums, damn) -- Frozen Head State Park (Google Search) --

Twitter Sat, 07 May 2011 00:00:38
Tweet 66774427093827584

Lying to a Court isn't a crime, if you're the FBI
Lying to a Court isn't a crime, if you're the FBI -- FBI Chastised by Court for Lying About Existence of Surveillance Records --

Twitter Sat, 07 May 2011 00:41:41
Tweet 66784755135418368

RT @thebenbrooks: I don't want to play nice. I'd rather pull out my flame thrower and channel Bill Hicks.
RT @thebenbrooks I don't want to play nice. I'd rather pull out my flame thrower and channel Bill Hicks.

Twitter Sat, 07 May 2011 04:29:00
Tweet 66784875239313408

Osama bin Laden's Compound
Osama bin Laden's Compound .. Osama bin Laden's Compound ..

Twitter Wed, 04 May 2011 08:25:41
Tweet 65814362291568642

RT @crankfetter: I have high double standards.
RT @crankfetter I have high double standards.

Twitter Tue, 03 May 2011 18:13:16
Tweet 65599845817257984

RT @GammaCounter: Ultrapure water, so pure that drinking it will leach electrolytes from your body "Tastes ho ...
RT @GammaCounter Ultrapure water, so pure that drinking it will leach electrolytes from your body .. The Dangerously Clean Water Used To Make Your iPhone .. "Tastes ho ...

Twitter Wed, 04 May 2011 02:00:38
Tweet 65596530240925696

RT @farhanmasood: They buried #OBL out to sea right after Japan released radioactive water into the ocean. This has the makings of an aw ...
RT @farhanmasood They buried #OBL out to sea right after Japan released radioactive water into the ocean. This has the makings of an aw ...

Twitter Tue, 03 May 2011 17:56:23
Tweet 65595597683564545

My new glasses makes everything so sharp my brain thinks stuff must be really close, and therefore REALLY small #gulliversyndrome
My new glasses makes everything so sharp my brain thinks stuff must be really close, and therefore REALLY small #gulliversyndrome

Twitter Tue, 03 May 2011 17:12:39
Tweet 65584591037153280

How was Bin Laden's body positively identified?
How was Bin Laden's body positively identified?

Twitter Sun, 01 May 2011 23:53:38
Tweet 64960725315104769

RT @billyharrell: Rethinking many aspects of my life after realizing I found out Bin Laden was dead via Kim Kardashian's twitter feed.
RT @billyharrell Rethinking many aspects of my life after realizing I found out Bin Laden was dead via Kim Kardashian's twitter feed.

Twitter Sun, 01 May 2011 23:22:36
Tweet 64952916884209664

RT @KatiesTrail: "I've never wished a man dead, but I've read some obituaries with great pleasure." - Mark Twain #wellplayed
RT @KatiesTrail "I've never wished a man dead, but I've read some obituaries with great pleasure." - Mark Twain #wellplayed

Twitter Sun, 01 May 2011 22:49:28
Tweet 64944579325075456

RT @me_irl: Beloved character actor Osama bin Laden, star of TV's "Fox News", dies age 54
RT @me_irl Beloved character actor Osama bin Laden, star of TV's "Fox News", dies age 54

Twitter Sun, 01 May 2011 23:18:55
Tweet 64951987258662912

Now This is Entertainment