Friday, April 30, 2010

"Look, if we are to break free of foreign oil we must drill, baby, drill…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:05 PM Permalink

…and all those people who don't believe we can do this without disastrous accidents are wild-eyed lunatics. With our modern technology such an event just isn't going to happen. Harumph! Harumph!

I spent the best years of my youth 15 miles east of Pensacola in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, almost smack dab in the middle of the whitest sands in the world, called "The Miracle Strip." It seems that millions of years ago there was no crustacean life to decompose and dilute the pure white sands. (It's also where the Army tried to keep Geronimo in custody and from which he escaped, swimming the 3-3 1/2 miles across Choctawhatchee Bay to do so. [choc'-taw-hatchee])

With windows up and A/C at full blast you could easily believe you were looking at the most blindingly white snow on earth.

THAT'S where a large part of this oil spill will make landfall, so there goes the sands so white that at every World Fair they used to have they would bring in a few tons of it, just to showcase one of nature's miracles.

I weep for the beautiful and astoundingly white beaches upon which I grew up with water so clear you could count fish and stingrays 60-80 feet down with no difficulty.

But remember - this could not, would not, cannot, and never will be an impending ecological disaster that could prevent 3 to 4 million visitors a year to the Miracle Strip. I imagine those numbers have increased greatly since I was there.

They said so.


Labels: , ,

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I read the news today, oh boy

posted by The Sailor @ 5:27 PM Permalink

What's a Pentecost? If you have to ask you can't afford it:
'Noah's Ark' found atop Mount Ararat in Turkey, evangelical group claims
Oh, so now carbon dating is acceptable science!?
What's an 'illegal immigrant' cost? FactCheck does the math:
Cost of Illegal Immigrants
Do you know anything about Iran?
Can You Pass The Iran Quiz
Laura Bush blames car and ’small’ stop sign for alleged ex-boyfriend’s death
I bet Tell Laura I Love Her were the last words on his lips ... not!

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Razing Arizona

posted by The Sailor @ 6:15 PM Permalink

Labels: , ,

Monday, April 26, 2010


posted by The Vidiot @ 10:14 AM Permalink

Perhaps the demon dreams I had last night were precognitive:
Walmart is eying a proposed Brooklyn shopping center for its first New York City location, Crain's New York reported.The retail giant is scoping out the Gateway II shopping center near Jamaica Bay.

Even though the proposal isn't official yet, community groups already are planning protests.

Walmart is reportedly also checking out other unidentified sites in the city.
The article goes on to quote a Walmart exec;
"We know that New Yorkers want to shop and work at Walmart, and as a result, we continue to evaluate potential opportunities here," Walmart exec Steven Restivo told Crain's. "New Yorkers want quality jobs and affordable groceries, and it remains our goal to be part of the solution."
Hey! Bonehead! Don't be telling me what I want! Your jobs AREN'T quality and the groceries, while certainly affordable, push out small farms and give more power to industrial farms. And don't even get me started on how you bankrupt small businesses and strong arm your vendors!

Yikes. A freakin' Walmart in NYC. I'm sure Rev. Billy will be all over this.

Labels: , ,

More truth from Obama

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:39 AM Permalink

Obama: Miners ‘died in pursuit of the American dream’

Indeed they did. As long as you understand that the American dream is little more than a deep dark hole where there is no light, no fresh air, pollution that will kill you, a barely livable wage and a shortened lifespan.

I know, it sounds a little bleak, but I just saw "Paranormal" and I had dreams about demons all night.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

I know it's a cop-out to use another blog's post on your blog

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:38 AM Permalink

However, I couldn't have written it any better.

Imagine if the tea party were black.

(hat tip: JK)

Labels: ,

Friday, April 23, 2010

You want to understand the Goldamn Sachs case?

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:15 PM Permalink

Then read this guy's take on it.
1. This is a Weak Case: Actually, no — its a very strong case. Based upon what is in the SEC complaint, parts of the case are a slam dunk. The claim Paulson & Co. were long $200 million dollars when they were actually short is a material misrepresentation — that’s Rule 10b-5, and its a no brainer. The rest is gravy.
(saw it on BoingBoing)


Somebody's Watching Me

posted by The Sailor @ 5:22 PM Permalink

I try to catch the things that tend to slip under the radar, mostly because the major news stories and their fallacies are already covered better by other bloggers. But this is a minor local news story that I've been monitoring for a bit, and I think it may have larger significance and consequences across the nation.

Fri, Feb. 19, 2010
Student claims school spied on him via computer webcam

Sat, Feb. 20, 2010
Subpoena issued in Lower Merion webcam case

Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed the Lower Merion School District for documents related to the controversial use of remote-control cameras on students' school-issued computers, The Inquirer has learned.

Tue, Apr. 6, 2010
Subpoena stands in L. Merion Web-cam case

A federal judge said Monday that he would not throw out a subpoena for a Lower Merion School District technology coordinator in a laptop Web-cam lawsuit.

U.S. District Judge Jan E. DuBois said Carol Cafiero might have information useful to the case because she was able to activate the cameras on the student-issued computers. Cafiero is trying to block efforts to get her to testify in the case.

Sat, Apr. 10, 2010
Key figure in 'Webcamgate' invokes Fifth

Carol Cafiero, who had previously sought to quash a subpoena ordering her to testify, refused to answer questions pertaining to the district's controversial practice of remotely activating webcams on Apple MacBooks issued to high-school students.

Fri, Apr. 16, 2010
Family: Pa. school snared 1,000s of webcam images

A suburban Philadelphia school district snapped secret webcam pictures of a high school student when he was partially undressed or sleeping in his bed, and captured instant messages he exchanged with friends, the student charged in court papers this week.

Sat, Apr. 17, 2010
L. Merion to let parents see secretly snapped photos

The president of the Lower Merion school board said Friday that investigators had retrieved "a substantial number" of photos secretly snapped by laptops the district gave its high school students, and that officials were arranging for parents whose children were photographed to see the pictures in private.

Mon, Apr. 19, 2010
Lower Merion report: Web cams snapped 56,000 images

Lower Merion School District employees activated the web cameras and tracking software on laptops they gave to high school students about 80 times in the past two school years, snapping nearly 56,000 images that included photos of students, pictures inside their homes and copies of the programs or files running on their screens, district investigators have concluded.

Tue, Apr. 20, 2010
Lower Merion details scope of Web-cam surveillance

Lower Merion School District employees activated the Web cameras and Internet address tracking software on laptops they gave to high school students about 146 times during the last two school years, snapping nearly 56,000 images, district investigators have concluded.

In 48 of those activations, images were recovered; 68 showed only the computer's Internet address. The rest showed nothing or could not be recovered.
Ahh, yes, the old 'we can't recover the files' trick.

And since even their own investigation had to walk back the number of times and images that were accessed, one would think in the midst of a Federal investigation that they would give it up.

But no, not these stalwart protectors of the children school district. They doubled down:
Wed, Apr. 21, 2010
Filing states student broke rules and had no expectation of privacy

Even in his own home, the Harriton High School sophomore had "no legitimate expectation of privacy" from the camera on his school-issued laptop, information systems coordinator Carol Cafiero contended in a court filing on Tuesday.
And the latest news is:
Administrator agrees to surrender [home] computer in Web cam case
56,000 photos of kids!? I bet some members of the Catholic Church wish they'd thought of this sooner.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Matt Taibbi on the NFL draft.

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:41 AM Permalink

I think he's a little gung-ho.
This is about as dark and freaky as our sanitized modern American mainstream culture ever openly admits to being. These are bloodless corporate enterprises using advanced scientific and economic metrics to measure the material worth of human flesh down to the half-pound, the 16th of an inch. Which would be horrifying and morally repulsive under normal circumstances, but when added to a strong rooting interest in your home team, can become for certain people one of those guilty pleasures you just can’t give up because you enjoy it so much, like jerking off while hanging yourself in the shower.
Dr. Vidiot's somewhat tongue-in-cheek response?
Most of us don't even have the opportunity to have our worth measured prior to becoming enslaved. That is, they don't even take the time to measure our worth, we are all worthless material destined for the industrial and post-industrial machinery. They, at least, get measured and become millionaires.
Welcome to my world.

Labels: ,

This guy was taken seriously as a candidate for president?

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:39 AM Permalink

“It's the drive-by that -- the drivers of cars with illegals in it that are intentionally causing accidents on the freeway," the onetime Republican presidential nominee told O'Reilly.


I'm sure other bloggers have said it more eloquently

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:36 AM Permalink

but the fact that members of the SCOTUS have no idea about technology
The first sign was about midway through the argument, when Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. - who is known to write out his opinions in long hand with pen and paper instead of a computer - asked what the difference was “between email and a pager?”
only proves my point that the power elite of this world don't exist anywhere near us 'proles so why on earth does anybody expect them to do anything that benefits us?

Labels: , ,

Monday, April 19, 2010

There'll be dancing in the streets

posted by The Sailor @ 7:19 PM Permalink

Former LAPD Chief Daryl Gates died last week.

Not to speak ill of the dead, but after living thru part of his corrupt, violent, regime of systematic abuse of police powers and Constitutional violations for which the citizens of LA paid financially over and over, where I was personally subjected to abuse from his thugs, and seeing his theories being institutionalized in abusive police practices across the country, all I really have to say is a paraphrase of another Hollywood icon:You should never say bad things about the dead, you should only say good . . . Daryl Gates is dead. Good.

I'm sure there will be many people who mourn his passing, maybe even his son.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

I was so wrong about how to pronounce the volcano's name

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:18 PM Permalink

Here is how you pronounce Eyjafjallajökull.

Update: And I found this:
Eyja= is the mountain name


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Icelands unpronouncable Volcano

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:46 AM Permalink

Seriously, how the hell do you pronounce Eyjafjallajökull? I'm thinking something like "eye-jaf-jalla-JO-cool". Helluva language those Icelanders have. Anyway, Here's some history on that volcano and its sister volcanoes, if you're interested. I didn't know but the one that's blowing now is connected to Hekla and Katla, which typically erupt after Eyjafjallajökull.
Experts are not as concerned about Eyjafjallajokull as much as a nearby volcano that has much greater potential. Past activity at Eyjafjallajokull has triggered eruptions at the Katla volcano.
That can't be good.

Here's a good Twitter feed. Here's a good web cam and here's a map of air traffic that will put it all into perspective for you. What they're not telling you is that this sort of disruption could very well go on for a couple of years.
But if the explosive nature of the volcano's eruption "is more a function of the composition of the magma, this could go on continuously or episodically for quite a while," he says.
That's from the CS Monitor. The usual culprits though, our corporate-owned media, is obviously protecting the economy, or at least the perception of it, and they tell us
The eruption of an Icelandic volcano that sent a huge plume of ash into the atmosphere and caused sweeping disruptions of air traffic over Great Britain and Scandinavia today will likely dissipate in the next several days, according to a University of Colorado at Boulder atmospheric scientist.
If you do a google news search, that story has been picked up and repeated everywhere. The key words that kees showing up in the little story blurbs are "will likely dissipate". That's what they want folks to focus on.

Obviously, our media doesn't want us to worry about the huge economic hit this volcano could have. See, it seems illogical to me that it won't last for some time. Volcanoes, as far as I can recollect, if they don't do a massive blow, tend to let off steam over time. This volcano could just cough and sputter for a while and air traffic over Europe will become sporadic and difficult. Not to mention the result of all that particulate matter in the air on the climate and growing seasons, respiratory conditions, etc. I could be wrong. I'm no geologist. But this aspect of volcanoes has not been discussed in our illustrious media so it sort of has me wondering. You know, what they don't want us to know...

But there is a silver lining in all of this; the grounded planes aren't spewing their usual fumes into the air. The carbon footprint of the grounded planes is way more than the carbon being spewed by the volcano. (I saw a graphic that I now can't find that shows just how remarkable it is. I HATE when that happens.) But that's all I can come up with as far as a silver lining goes. For the most part, this volcano is a huge inconvenience and quite possibly, an economic disaster. Hopefully, it won't kill a lot of people either. Personally, I hate to fly when all conditions are perfect. As it stands now, I'm not sure anybody will be able to get me into a plane in Europe with all that crap in the air that could possibly gum up engines in mid-flight. Yikes.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Did you know

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:39 AM Permalink

a meteorite or comet or something came down last night over parts of the midwest?

Lots of people in lots of states saw it. Pretty cool.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Say it again, say it again

posted by The Sailor @ 5:47 PM Permalink

Think about the great promise of America and the great legacy we have inherited. Our wealth as a nation and our energy as a people can deliver, in the words of my predecessor Samuel Gompers, “more schoolhouses and less jails; more books and less arsenals; more learning and less vice; more leisure and less greed; more justice and less revenge; in fact, more of the opportunities to cultivate our better natures.”
What he said. Please read the whole speech.

The best economic times for America was when the middle class and the unions were strong and the rich had the highest taxes. We all made money, we had money to buy things, and the rich got moderately richer, but all boats floated higher.

Speaking of taxes, did you notice your Federal taxes went down this year? Well I did. But then I'm middle class, do my own taxes, and I've had my wages frozen for a couple of years. Math is easy, changing minds is hard.

Labels: ,

Monday, April 12, 2010

Would I Lie To You?

posted by The Sailor @ 6:05 PM Permalink

WikiLeaks has been saying for a few weeks that they have video and testimony of US soldiers deliberately killing Iraqi civilians.

They said they were announcing it in advance because the US Government was targeting them if they exposed it.

Well guess what. They were right. They have produced video, they have produced witnesses, and it's true that the US targeted WikiLeaks specifically to stop their Freedom Of Speech.

Reuters has been trying to get this info thru FOIA requests for years. Our thanks should go out to the brave souls who provided a copy to WikiLeaks, and the brave souls at WikiLeaks.

There is a reason that the military offers video games as a recruitment tool, and there is a reason that the military keeps lowering their standards for recruits to the point of giving waivers to criminals. It's a feature, not a bug, that the WOs involved thought this was a video game. This isn't an aberration, it's how they were recruited and trained.

So the next time you see the military's lies being reported as fact, think of the source.


a very cool pic of the moon

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:02 AM Permalink

Click on the image to see the full size. (You have to cross your eyes a bit to get the effect.)


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Far be it from me to speculate on conspiracies....

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:43 AM Permalink

FAAAaaar be it.

However, when the ENTIRE ruling elite of a country is decimated in a plane crash
A plane carrying Polish President Lech Kaczynski and much of the nation's ruling elite crashed landed in the Russian city of Smolensk on Saturday killing all 96 people on board.
Right after an agreement was signed for missile defense shield installation that was viewed as a 'grave security threat' by Russia
Poland on Tuesday agreed to a new version of a deal on stationing an American missile shield, a government statement said, adding it would be aimed essentially at potential threats from Iran.
And at the same time, Kyrgyzstan's new leaders are accepting support from Russia, meaning that the US-backed government run by Bakiyev's (put in place during the Tulip revolution in 2005 with US involvement, and as usual, it was a corrupt and authoritarian regime), no longer in power, will not be able to accomadate the US military base that was supposed to be set up there in Manas, a base that would've been key to a supply route for the Afghan War, not to mention its usefulness as a listening station into Xinjiang or as a possible expansion point into Central Asia for NATO, well, one has to wonder just how dicey Russian and US relations are getting. I mean, it can't have been a coincidence that the take-over happened on the same day that the US and Russia signed the new arms control pact. That's sending quite a message if I ever heard one.

Somebody doesn't want stability in the region. Who it is, I have NO idea.

Update: Might've been the bankers
The Polish government and the National Bank of Poland, in a “rare moment of unity,” agree to weaken Poland’s currency, the zloty, in an act that would benefit Poland’s exporters at the expense of Poland’s trading partners—that is, the European Union, among others. Then, the next day, Poland’s president and the president of its national bank die in a plane crash.

Labels: , , ,

Why I don't trust cats

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:35 AM Permalink

The Cat With Hands from Nindozzmo on Vimeo.


Labels: ,

Friday, April 09, 2010

Oh and...

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:13 AM Permalink

Just in case, you heard it hear first: Mars' moon Phobos is really not a moon, but an ancient hollowed out space ship.
A shift in perspective (further to the left and down - below), reveals an even more stunning geometric view -- with thousands of regular "right-angle formations" visible all across the "orbit facing side" of this small "moon," at this particular sun angle -- compelling indications, indeed, of "an ancient, battered but manufactured world ...."


Labels: , ,

I know I haven't posted here for a while..

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:52 AM Permalink

...because, well, there's so much going on in my life (raising somebody else's kid is NOT easy) that what constitutes the 'real' world just seems so insignificant. And frankly it is insignificant.

Even the recent release of the video on Wikileaks -- showing an Apache helicopter killing a bunch of folks on the ground in Iraq, thinking they were carrying guns, but they were really photo journalists for Reuters carrying high-powered cameras -- is insignificant.

Yeah, those guys in the helicopter killed a bunch of innocent people, and they did it with complete and utter disdain. No big whoop. It happens every day all over the planet in different ways, but with the same result: the powerless get murdered by those with the power. Whether it be because of bullets coming from an Apache helicopter, or an unmanned-drone in Afghanistan piloted by a couple of government yahoos sitting in a double-wide trailer smack dab in the middle of the Nevada desert. It could be because a health insurance company denied critical treatment for a very sick person or the police assume a black kid in the projects is carrying a weapon and shoots him anyway. It could be GM seed crops failing, bankrupting and poisoning vast swaths of people or it could be the result of a government's policy of choosing to fund the military over food aid for its people. Folks get murdered every day for plenty of reasons and some in the most banal of ways, but unless they're part of the underclass, the murderers are powerful and go unpunished. And that's the way it is.

I'm not a pessimist about this stuff. I'm not throwing up my arms and saying, "Well, there's nothing I can do about it, that's just the way it is." I'm just doing the only thing I can do; raise this kid to NOT be a criminal, keep this home, help Dr. Vidiot follow his path, complete my graphic novel, and, with Dr. Vidiot's help, open as many eyes as I can.

The only thing that makes the release of this video different from all the other regularly occurring murders I mentioned is that this one is on video and it is clear, short and digestible. It's a perfect format for the short attention span of the the American public. And as such, it can become a teaching moment. Though, it's NOT a lesson on "This is one particular incident that needs to be addressed" or "how can we stop this indiscriminate killing." Rather, it's a chance to discuss what supports such actions, what the logic of institutions are that are a part of instances like this one, and how we, as people created these institutions, the ones who participate in it help maintain them and how it is we, as people, who can change our minds and NOT support them any longer.

Let's step back. Just look at your own place of business. Lots of dumb things happen in the course of the day that are the result of certain procedures that were instituted and then followed, with no discrimination between whether or not that procedure should be followed for each different scenario. For instance you may need a sign off on everything, from the most important contract to the smallest mailing label. How impractical is it to get a sign off on 3 lines of text? Yet, the system says you must do it, no matter if it takes you the entire day to track that idiot down for his signature. It's the logic of the system that says "you must have the signature for everything." Your own logic that says, "This is ridiculous and I'm not wasting half my day on this" doesn't count. You MUST follow the rules or you will somehow be sanctioned for not following the rules. And even if you went ahead and didn't get the signature and all went well, you'd STILL get sanctioned for not following the rules. Do a job long enough, and you stop thinking "I'll just use my own logic here" and you follow the logic of the system around you because it's just, well, easier and more comfortable to do so. (What's worse, nobody knows who instituted the rule, but that's another type of discussion best left to Dr. Vidiot)

Well, apply that to the institutions around us, the big one in particular being the logic of the Nation State. Sure, as a person, we're like, "How could those guys shoot at those people with such complete and utter disregard for human life? I could never do that!" and you never could. But if you had been trained like them, lived their lives, followed their path, were embedded in the institution to the degree that they are, you would've surely done the exact same thing.

But here you are; you think like you, you live your life. And when it comes to the logic of the Nation State, it is your choice to follow it. I know, everything in you says you must follow the herd, don't step out of line. Hell, I can feel that fear and panic welling up in me when I think about stepping out of line and I KNOW another reality is possible. This is what socialization does. It forms you and makes it hard to slip out of that form.

To combat that, I try to use images to move my head out of the herd. Here's one image I use:

Another is an image I use is of a crowd moving down the street and one person trying to walk the opposite way until they make their way to the edge and step outside the crowd. There, they can sit down, even lie down and relax, watch the birds and observe the others as they march mindlessly down the path. Maybe it's hokey creative visualization crap from the 70s, but I like it.

Sorry this post was so long and rambling. There's a lot of thinking that gets done when I'm managing the mundane tasks of maintaining Casa Vidiot. Not all of it is clear, but the feelings behind it are. I know a saner reality is possible. I'm just beginning to articulate it. Please bear with me.

Labels: , ,

Monday, April 05, 2010

Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby!?

posted by The Sailor @ 5:58 PM Permalink

Group arrested not Christian or militia, insider says

Members of a militia charged with plotting to kill police were not Christian or a militia, a man acquainted with the group said Tuesday.

"This is a group that I would classify as neither a militia or a Christian group," said Michael Lackomar, a member of the Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia. "They're really a fringe group outside of anything we do.
Riiiight. Just because they are christains and a militia, that your group has walked hand in hand with, doesn't mean that they are christains or militia.

Of course we'll just take the word of a christain militia member for that. Oddly enough, the Michigan Militias just happened to change their homepages on the exact day that the raids occurred.

The militias are falling all over themselves to distance themselves from the group that just got arrested for sedition and conspiracy and having, you know, like, actual bomb making materials, classes in IEDs and plans to kill cops.

So tell us the truth repubes, teabaggers and militiamen, when you see these disciples, aren't you thinking


Sunday, April 04, 2010

Hoppy Easter!

posted by The Sailor @ 2:32 PM Permalink

He dyed for your sins!