Merry Christmas!

La Jetée

Happy Thanksgiving.

Third Graders Know More Than Most Adults


Obama Win Causes Obsessive Supporters To Realize How Empty Their Lives Are

Tip-o'-the-hat to D'Alessandrius!

Still a good sport?

Seems so...

Community Organiser

The Endorsement That Matters

Different things on different days...

The Ugliness


Today, I'd like to extend my personal thanks to John McCain and Sarah Palin for exposing the issues that divide this country. Through their candidacy, we Americans have seen clearly just how fearful, hateful and prejudiced our fellow Americans truly are.

McCain didn't have to run a sleazy campaign against Obama - but thankfully, he did. Had John McCain not run the nasty, virulent campaign that he has, I would have only had an inkling of how stupid, ignorant, racist and frightening my fellow Americans really are. What a great relief to know that roughly 50% of my neighbors are total knuckleheads bent on the destruction of this country. Now, I can go quietly about my life safe in the knowledge that one out of every two people I meet is a dangerous asshole. And it confirms another feeling I've had for quite some time; that perhaps it is now time to let another, less stupid and suicidal species run the planet.

The nationalist campaign of the McCain/Palin ticket has sought to sow fear amongst the electorate, and it has worked to a degree. Please watch the video below.

These people don't exist only in Eastern Ohio; they are your neighbors and mine. And they are just as frightening to me as Islamic fundamentalists.

"Country First"

With the government now taking huge stakes in our banking and trading systems, I fear more than ever the encroachment of a centralized government into our daily affairs. One of the key components of fascism is the centralized control of business to further the goals of the State. To vote for McCain this year is certainly a vote for nationalism and militarism, ugly enough in and of themselves. But is it also a vote for fascism? Sure it is. Roughly half of you would be just dandy with that, wouldn't you?

Not to worry, though. If you're stupid enough to elect McCain, you'll get what you deserve.

Oh, my!

Americans - the nicest people on Earth!

(tip-o'-the-hat to Andrew Sullivan)


We broke the National Debt Clock.


The Choice.

tip-o'-the-hat to D'Alessandrius the Wise



Fabrication & Bucky Fuller.


America is lost.

Stevie Wonder on Sesame Street (tip-o'-the-hat to Kottke)

A 1-in-1,000 Chance of Götterdämmerung...

That's the title of this article from Reason. Of course, if John McCain is elected President, then the odds would be more like 1-in-5...

John Stewart sets the record straight...

while Christopher Hitchens attacks something so bereft of substance that he again deserves the moniker "Hissy Fit-chens". How did this guy get voted one of the world's top intellectuals?

The infamous voicemail that John McCain left for Sarah Palin informing her that she'd been chosen as his running mate.

That is all.

This Is Wrong.

Massive raids of suspected protestors. What is the FBI doing? Unless some dastardly plot is brought to light, these actions are unforgivable.
Happy Labor Day! Enjoy!

Godzilla Returns

Tonight's top story... Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.

When I saw the cover of Newsweek at a newsstand in Narita Airport a couple of days ago, I thought it was a joke: What Bush Got Right. (But there seems to be a lot of people trying to nail-down Bush's legacy before he even leaves office. Robert Kagan writes about The Bush Era in Perspective). Then I got on the plane, sat down, opened a copy of the Japan Times, and read that a "Majority in U.S. believe God can revive the dying". For a brief moment, as the plane taxied toward the runway for takeoff, I considered hijacking the plane and making it return to the gate so that I could apply for amnesty/Japanese citizenship.

I'd stayed pretty much unplugged from the world for the two weeks I was in Japan. I had no internet access, so I read a paper and watched the Olympics and a small amount of news on TV. It felt great.

Who is John McCain? This is John McCain:

What to look forward to: The Audacity of Nope. Who does he work for?

Over the last decade and a half, Japan has struggled to keep it's economy growing and stable. In efforts to fix things, the Japanese have tried to follow more closely to the American model - privatizing, downsizing, outsourcing - and breaking down the traditional ties and safety nets of society while doing so. What has been the result? What was once the most egalitarian of countries has seen a broadening gap between rich and poor and a rise in homelessness: Beyond the bright lights, Japan's biggest slum is nation's dark secret. It's a shame, really. More on Japan later...

Some thoughts on China and the 2008 Summer Olympics... Bird's Nest of Bird Trap? China: Humiliation and the Olympics. Design and Branding Trends: Olympic Games. However you decide to look at it at, it is always about control. The Forbidden World.

For all you Ren & Stimpy fans out there: Dirt? (don't miss the slideshow)

Finally, a nice li'l vid from Nippon, Chainsaw Maid:



08.06.2008 - 08.21.2008 -  We're heading to Japan...


Mike Bloomberg thinks we need a "New, New Deal". He's done more for New York during his tenure as mayor than Rudy ever did. Maybe we should listen to him... Congress Must Act to Keep Econmoy Growing. McCain Changes Lanes. Berlusconi puts troops on the streets - "The government has repeatedly linked rising crime rates to illegal immigration, which last month prompted Berlusconi and his ministers to declare a national state of emergency." Hmmm... I wonder if the statistics back that up, or whether something else is afoot. An ominous shadow from the past? Is the future dark as well? Hersh: Cheney Plan for Creating False Flag Attack.

Gene doping: Genetically modified Olympians? Beware the Superbugs.

A double life. Days of Lies and Roses.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn dies aged 89. A World Split Apart.


Sunday. Shuffling around. A cast-iron case for a secular society. Oil from algae? The Power of Mao. The anthrax case raises new questions about the investigation and the media who reported it. What hath the Southern Strategy wrought?

Worth watching - Bill Moyers Journal takes another look at Capital Crimes, starring Jack Abramoff, Ralph Reed, Grover Norquist and a host of other scumbags.

Moistscape. The Urge to Merge. 6.6.

Apathy. It's an epidemic.

Study Finds Young People Remain Apathetic About Office Politics
Karadzic protected by US until he broke 'deal'. Why were we protecting a monster?
Cass Sunstein, of the University of Chicago, and friends studied the Supreme Court's rulings looking for partisanship. Guess what they found? See for yourself: Judicial Partisanship Awards.

Just another Buzzzz Kill.

The Large Hadron Collider

It's nearly ready! Check out these photos at The Big Picture. (also, see Physics Rap below)
The Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece digitally constructed. (tip-o'-the-hat to things magazine)
5 ways to trigger a natural disaster. Can This Planet be Saved? Perhaps... "Major Discovery" from MIT Primed to Unleash Solar Revolution.

Why did the Doha Round of trade talks fail? India and China said no to the US. For White House, Hiring is Political.

'"One does not have to believe everything is true," a priest tells Joseph K in "The Trial." "One only has to believe it is necessary."

I've looked, and I can't find a better summation of the Bush administration's logic.' - Louis Bayard writes in "How Kafka-esque is Kafka?"

What could you do to improve things around the world with $10 billion? Bjorn Lomborg and the Copenhagen Consensus have some good ideas. Just think... if the Bush administration had done some of these things instead of wasting blood and treasure upon an act of folly, the world would be a better place already.

A Physics Rap

Seriously. Tip-o'-the-hat to Ian Sample at The Guardian.

The Silly Season is in full swing. How do I know? Just look at the presidential campaign: McCain's talking trash. Well, that's nothing new, is it? Just think, there's over three months to go until Election Day. It's time for the D.C. Limbo - how low can they go? Meantime, Exxon-Mobil is going up.

All that talk about a possible war with Iran? Like we said here a while back, it's already on. Time to place your bets.

Beware the Fusion Centers - no, it's not a place to get a smoothie.

Imagine there's no oil: Scenes from a liberal apocolypse. Maybe it's time to brew your own?

Stop kickin' the tires! Watch this report, and then go read your tires. You'll be glad you did. (tip-o'-the-hat to Dave D'Alessandro)

Does a person's tastes in art say something about him or her? Probably.

Looks like executive privilege only applies to washrooms. You still have to watch out for Larry Craig, though.

An excellent series on Alaska's Changing Climate. Not to be missed. (tip-o'-the-hat to Davin Ellicson)
Herzog says,'Only an Idiot Would Have Said No'. Glad it's so simple for him.

Antikythera Mechanism Deciphered

The New York Times reports that researchers have uncovered the workings of the famous Antikythera Mechanism. (photo - Antikythera Mechanism Research Project)

House Panel Votes to Cite Rove for Contempt.
Imagine that you are a schoolteacher. You take photos of the wreckage from an earthquake. You post the photos on the internet, wondering why so many schools collapsed in the earthquake. For this, you are sent to a labor camp for a year for "re-education". Seems fair, doesn't it?

Wednesday. American political ideology graphed. American political ideology, graft - Goodbye, Uncle Ted. The road to ruin.

Where to now?

"In a sensible political environment, the Rand report’s conclusion would be obvious and beyond question."

A promise I hope he keeps - Obama Would Order Review of Bush's Executive Orders.

He Should Stick to His Day Job

John Voight wrote a an op-ed for the Washington Times, "My Concerns for America - Obama Sowing Socialist Seeds in Young People". Kinda over-the-top, if you ask me. We give celebs way too much space for this sort of thing. He kinda reminds me of Brigitte Bardot; nice to look at once upon a time, but not much going on upstairs.


Monday. The Battle For A Country's Soul. Feeling John McCain. Obama in Iraq. The Democrats and National Security. It's much later than you think. Obama's new cards. How Obama became acting president. Did I mention Obama?

Taxpayers Bailout for Fannie and Freddie = performance bonuses! Let's celebrate! Foreclosures all around!

We have a Drinking Problem.


Nick Cohen raises some good questions about America's future once we get over our infatuation with Obama.

I have an Obama bumper sticker on my car. I dropped my independent status and became a Democrat because I want change - real change - but I wonder how much is really possible.

If Obama is elected president, what will change in America? Will some of the 37 million people now living below the poverty line be lifted out of their misery? Will there be less people in prison? Will health insurance become affordable? Will Obama have the political will to investigate the crimes of the Bush administration, or will things be mostly swept under the rug, similar to the Iran-Contra fiasco? Will our foreign policy be able to shift to new challenges as well as getting us out of two bloody wars? Will America find a way to meet the challenges of climate change? I could go on and on...

Instead of placing our hopes on one man, the problems we face will require the work of millions, not to mention a less corrupt Congress. Changing the course of the ship of state is no easy task, and expecting one man to perform miracles is a recipe for disaster.

If you want change, be prepared to roll up your sleeves.
Survivors of Bosnian concentration camps speak out. The war we don't see. (tip-o'-the-hat to Davin Ellicson)
Here's a look at a house by Mexican architect, Javier Senosian.


A sensible criticism of Gehry's new Serpentine Pavilion via bd. For anyone who has stood under one of Gehry's buildings in a rain storm, it will seem obvious.
How do I know? Because the weenies at National Review are nitpicking: Citizen Obama. A right-of-center candidate isn't good enough for them. But not to worry - they'd only be happy if Cheney, Goebbels, or Mussolini were our next leader.

Immaculate Deception

Don't be... Slate has an interactive guide to help sort through the various Crimes and Misdemeanors of BushCo. Handy that. And over at TPM, Jim Sleeper discusses why David Brooks is so annoying.

(tip-o'-the-hat to Ken Silverstein at Harper's)
If, over the years, you read the financial news in The Economist, the Financial Times, or The Wall Street Journal, you'd be familiar with the term Moral Hazard. It is something free-marketeers hold dear, almost a quasi-religious belief. Here's a partial definition, found at Wikipedia:

"Moral hazard is the prospect that a party insulated from risk may behave differently from the way it would behave if it were fully exposed to the risk. Moral hazard arises because an individual or institution does not bear the full consequences of its actions, and therefore has a tendency to act less carefully than it otherwise would, leaving another party to bear some responsibility for the consequences of those actions."

Fredie Mac and Fannie Mae have gotten themselves into a lot of trouble by taking on bad loans - and are involved in roughly 50% of all home mortgages in the US - but being a private company that is also answerable to the federal government, they took on risks that they knew the government would back up if they failed. Voila! - a moral hazard.

James Surowiecki of The New Yorker has written an article entitled Sponsoring Recklessness about the current situation. It won't hurt you to read it.

It seems to me that the entire Bush presidency has been sponsoring recklessness all along - and not just in matters financial.

Also, Ken Silverstein takes note of Dow 11,349.28.

(I am a donut)

But if you work at the US embassy not far away, you were not allowed to attend the speech. That's freedom for you.
Zaha Hadid's Mobile Art traveling Chanel pavilion is coming to NYC's Central Park. Zaha Hadid is also involved in the Expo Zaragoza 2008. The old and the new in Beijing.

Who knew?

The richest 1% of Americans have gotten richer. The rest of us? Um, not so good.
Salon has an interesting story on BushCo.'s abuses of power.
Karadzic is found - He took Europe to The Edge of Madness.

Blackwater is leaving the security business and blames the media for having to do so. Yeh, right.

"This is a clear choice that the American people have. I had the courage and the judgment to say I would rather lose a political campaign than lose a war. It seems to me that Obama would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign." - Senator John McCain

Joe Klein thinks McCain's most recent statement/faux pas is scurrilous. When did he start paying attention? When I heard a recording of McCain saying those words on the radio yesterday, only one word came to mind: asshole.

How about you? Could you be President?

Home Delivery

Prefab housing has been around a long time and has enormous market share. Prefab has evolved over the last decade, with increased participation from architects and designers, and has brought about what might be called the Dwell revolution toward more economical and ecological housing. This new direction beats the cookie-cutter suburbs that popped-up all around the country in recent decades.

A show entitled Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling has just opened at MoMA about the history and direction of prefabricated buildings. Here's a review of the show from Bloomberg. The show looks interesting and I hope I get a chance to see it. More info will be posted as I find it...
The Misdirection - Scott Horton discusses the latest news in torture policy investigations. The truth will out.
Will Eurpoe's Adulation of Obama Soon End? His foreign policy speech in Berlin this week will probably determine the outcome.

It's the Economic Stupidity, Stupid!

Cheney and Exxon-Mobil are linked to a shift in global warming policy... gee, didn't see that one coming. Reed Hundt likes Al Gore's idea to move all electricity production to zero carbon-emissions. Klaus Topfer, former UN Environment Program chief stands by his words: 'We must invent a future without nuclear energy'.

In Dubai, things are going up, up, up... Meanwhile, the rest of the world continues its fiery descent: Golden Bull, by Leon Wieseltier (tip-o'-the-hat to Ken Silverstein).
Bored? Try extreme base jumping in wingsuits:

(tip-o'-the-hat to Davin Ellicson)


Things have gotten a little out of hand.
Howell Raines takes on media reporting about the energy crisis. Gillian Anderson deals with a stupid interviewer.

Let the Eagle Soar!

I've been really lax in finding good music vids to post on Fridays, but this week, we've got something really special - a guy who thinks water-boarding is not torture singing about the land he loves, America. It's Nationalism at it's very best, ladies and germs! So, without further ado, I give you the one and only John Ashcroft! (please refrain from throwing any undergarments at your computer monitor).

We need more mass transit in this country, and it needs to be convenient and good. So, why not trams? There's been some success here in Portland with a tram system, but it could be both better and more extensively deployed. Here's an article from Spiegel Online - A Renaissance on Rails: France Rediscovers its Love of Trams. Some may object to this because it's about France, but we could always call them "Freedom Trams" if it makes certain fools happy.
An interview with Rem Koolhaas.
Time for a re-think.
A newly planned expansion to Le Corbusier's Notre Dame du Haut chapel at Ronchamp is stirring passionate responses from architects.

The Economist published an interesting chart on three waves of globalization from data recently released by the WTO. A look at the numbers for the period of 1974-2007 suggest that it has not been a great success.

Here's a deeply religious man saying that water-boarding is not torture. To witness him use his son's service in The Gulf as a political prophylactic only adds to the nauseam of having to observe this grotesque excuse for a human being. His son's life is worth more than that. Not even John McCain has walked down that dark path. Water-boarding is "controlled drowning". There is no other description which honestly describes the "technique". It is torture, pure and simple. How is it possible for a man who says under oath that torture is not torture to simultaneously declare his allegiance to Christ? It is beyond my comprehension. There is a sickness in the land.

Winning or Losing?

The Economist reckons with al-Qaeda.
There is a 30 year difference in average life expectancy between those in prosperous Connecticut and those in Mississippi. How twisted is that? It's stories like this that make you realize that concern for the common good has all but evaporated in this country.

Join up. Save the planet.


House of Cards.
Send a JibJab Sendables® eCard Today!
The US will establish diplomatic ties with Iran for the first time since 1979.


Google is used for nearly 70% of all US web searches. That's a lot of market share. [tip-o'-the-hat to Daring Fireball]

Demolition, man.

Demolition, Floor by Floor [via Gizmodo]
The Cynic and Senator Obama. [tip-o'-the-hat to D'Alessandrius the Wise]
From Mao to Wow! Kurt Anderson takes a look at all the new stuff in Beijing.
The now infamous New Yorker cover illustration is no big deal. Or, as Gary Kamiya says, Rush Limbaugh Was Right. We've got enough other problems that are truly serious. Move along, people.

We Need a New Bubble

Recession-Plagued Nation Demands New Bubble To Invest In.
Scott Horton of Harper's interviews Jane Mayer, author of The Dark Side.

How Things Really Work

Ken Silverstein at Harper's has posted this: Sunday Times Video Catches Lobbyist Selling White House Access. Make sure to click through the link and read the original Sunday Times piece and watch the video. Nothing is free in the Capital of the Free World.

Frank Rich on The Real Life "24" of Summer 2008.

Way to go, Chuck!

Indy Mac Seized.
Torture and the Rule of Law.
The Inexorable Comeback of Nuclear Energy / Canadians Ponder Cost of Rush for Dirty Oil / The Power and the Glory.
The Incredible Shrinking Bush / Bush to Kick-off Tyrant Tour - "I'll bring wine for the Myanmar junta, roses for Kim Jong Il - maybe a nice necktie for that little Iran guy, who doesn't seem to own one." Curiouser and curiouser... But it's OK because McCain Vows To Withdraw All Troops... from the U.S.

Go check out BLDG BLOG for more info...


Was Bush imitating Will Ferrel imitating Bush? Or was he just off his meds?
Two rants as fresh today as the day they were filmed...

Say So Long to the 4th Amendment

Stop the new FISA / Our Warrantless Wiretapping Lawsuit / Betrayed by Obama / Congress votes to immunize lawbreaking telecoms, legalize warrantless wiretapping / Interview with ACLU re: constitutional challenge to new FISA law.

Well, that's all bad enough but things could be even weirder.

Oh, well... time to take a nap.

The End is Near...

The Death of Gallium.


These days, I assume that everything I do is probed and examined by omnipotent corporations. A disaster of neglect.

Take two valium, and call us in the morning.

The FISA controversy won't go away, despite the best efforts of congress. Glenn Greenwald is on it. Joseph Galloway shares his thoughts on the Fourth Amendment. Robert D. Kaplan writes about What Rumsfeld Got Right. More interesting is Kaplan's 1994 article, The Coming Anarchy, which has not passed it's expiration date.

Independence Day

Seems everybody has different ideas as to what constitutes patriotism. I've noticed lately that some people's definition of patriotism actually tracks closer to the definition of nationalism, which brings us closer to Johnson's definition: "Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel". What seems more important is to discuss is what our notions of liberty are. Hmmm... interesting timing on that trip to Colombia by McCain. Ya don't think that maybe... nah! Couldn't be. US citizens are not the only ones having their civil liberties squashed in the aftermath of terrorist attacks. The debate is raging in the UK as well. Migration isn't just an issue at the US-Mexico border. Europe is going through a great migration similar to what it saw in the fourth to sixth centuries, a new Volkerwanderung.

Finally, a lesson on Patriotism from Mr. Twain.

[Drive safely, and don't forget your American flag lapel pin!]
Hitler Returns to Berlin, while in America a man gives birth to a baby girl.

A Feast for the eyes: Peter Greenaway's recent installation in Milan, a projected performance (with music) integrated with Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper. I wish I'd been there.


Now open in Berlin, The Embassy German's Love to Hate. It fits the context pretty well, so the hating is mostly about BushCo.? Well, maybe not: Fort Knox at the Brandenburg Gate. The Guardian has a guide to the LHC at CERN, a truly massive project. Some thoughts on Brasilia.
Woo-hoo! Chalk up another success for big business! Check this out: according to a leaked World Bank report, biofuels are the prime cause of the global food crisis! Can you believe it? We did it! We did it! High five, guys! Yeh!
Exclusive means.

Going Down...

The Bears have arrived. Bloomberg reports that President Bush's Dollar Drop Maps Loss of U.S. Clout at Final G-8 Summit. How convenient. Oil rises to Record Above $144... BushCo. gambled, and lost. BIG.

Barrack Obama may have learned his skills on the streets of Chicago, but now Arianna Huffington is telling Barack Obama to grow a pair. (sigh!) Well, at least there's this...

Bush Tours America To Survey Damage Caused By His Disastrous Presidency
Harper's has a good article by Wendell Berry entitled Faustian Economics: Hell hath no limits.
Would the White House be Able to Eavesdrop on Obama Under the FISA Bill Barack Supports? You Bet.

(tip-o'-the-hat to D"Alessandrius)
The big story of the day is that the writer and intellectual Christopher Hitchens submitted to being "water-boarded" to determine whether or not it is torture. His finding? It is torture.

So, now that Mr. Hitchens has determined that the United States of America has used torture in it's War on Terror (turning it into a War of Terror) and since the Geneva Conventions and other treaties to which the United States of America is a signatory forbid torture and cruel and inhumane treatment, will Mr. Hitchens now stand up and declare that the United States has committed systematic war crimes, and advocate the prosecution of those who ordered and established the systematic use of torture, including those in the Executive Branch who signed-off on the program? Christopher Hitchens was man enough to undergo water-boarding, and I commend him for his bravery. Now, is he man enough to stand up for what is right and denounce those who ordered the use of torture?

I wait with bated breath...

One more thought... How come he couldn't fucking figure it out before?
The last few news cycles have been filled with outrage over the words of Wesley Clark. An army of pundits and talking heads have denounced Clark for "dissing" John McCain. But what did he really say?

Clark's point was that executive experience, such as being a governor of a state (heck, even Dubya and Bill can claim that), running a large corporation, or being a commanding general (something Clark knows about - has anybody looked at Wes Clark's resume? The man is no lightweight) is relative to being able to effectively handle the job of President - and neither Obama nor McCain have these sorts of experience. In this sense, they are on equal footing, and neither possesses a viable advantage. Being tortured during wartime does not necessarily prepare one for the duties of the presidency, and is therefore irrelevant to the discussion of what qualifies a person to lead the country. What's wrong with that?

Wes Clark's words were impolitic - but they were true.

What everybody loves and respects about John McCain is that he suffered horribly for 5.5 years in the Hanoi Hilton and was tortured repeatedly. McCain is considered an American Hero because he survived torture. Why, then, do these same people not mind that we torture our enemies, or quite commonly, people who aren't our enemies at all but just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time? This is cognitive dissonance on a cosmic scale. Why not ask Christopher Hitchens about it? He seems to have belatedly "seen the light", as they say.

What's with this romantic attachment to the heroic? Why do we need a hero? What about a good manager who selects great people to fill governmental posts and is able to successfully guide the country out of the mess that Bush and Cheney made? I don't want the president to be a hero, and I don't want to elect a president because he was a hero. I want someone to get things done and obey the law while doing it. Is that too much to ask for?
The Guardian has an article about Frank Gehry and his design for the Serpentine Pavilion, as well as an open discussion on the historical value and probable demolition of Robin Hood Gardens, by the Smithsons.
Andrew Sullivan re-reads The War Over Iraq, a book by Lawrence Kaplan and Bill Kristol published in 2002-03, and finds it wanting.


Connect-the-dots: Iran-Contra's Lost Chapter.
They didn't know.
Congrats to Spain!

Bombs Away!

Well, not quite yet, but it seems that some people (the usual suspects) are Preparing the Battlefield. So, what's it all about, Alfie? It was Oil, All Along.

Happy Weekend!

con•tempt |kənˈtem(p)t|


the feeling that a person or a thing is beneath consideration, worthless, or deserving scorn : he showed his contempt for his job by doing it very badly.

• disregard for something that should be taken into account : this action displays an arrogant contempt for the wishes of the majority.

• (also contempt of court) the offense of being disobedient to or disrespectful of a court of law and its officers : several unions were held to be in contempt and were fined.

• the offense of being similarly disobedient to or disrespectful of the lawful operation of a legislative body (e.g., its investigations).


beneath contempt utterly worthless or despicable.

hold someone/something in contempt consider someone or something to be unworthy of respect or attention : the speed limit is held in contempt by many drivers.

ORIGIN late Middle English : from Latin contemptus, from contemnere (see contemn ).

It was a great movie. However, when officials of the Executive Branch show contempt for the laws of the land and the Constitution itself, and then show contempt for the elected officials with oversight of important governmental functions performed by the Executive Branch, that form of contempt can and should lead to punishment. David Addington and John Yoo appeared before the House Judiciary Committee yesterday, and their testimony was nothing short of contemptible. These two men are at the center of a series of illegal operations by the Bush Administration, possibly including war crimes. But if you were expecting contrition from these two, think again.

To read about yesterday's testimony, please see here, here, and here. To listen to the hearing and some commentary, please go here.

I truly hope that Addington and Yoo suffer for their crimes.

Inequality in America. What are your neighbors doing? Here's one way of finding out - one big drug test. Remember what Deepthroat said: follow the money. A surprisingly large number of Americans think torture is A-OK... 24 has served it's purpose. Is Obama just another politician? Let's hope not. Nothing is more twisted than this. Where did the ice go?
Ummm... not for my kid.
Leaving Tokyo for some relaxation at a ryokan.


A resurgent Russia flexes its muscles, while things don't look so good on Wall Street... but somehow, things seem to usually work out for this guy.


Lies, damned lies, and John McCain. Ken Gude on how to close Gitmo. A discussion about Darfur from GUERNICA. Rotating skyscrapers. It's us... versus nature.

Where the hell is Matt?
The only thing being compromised by the new FISA legislation is our civil rights. See here, here, and here. Don't let the knuckleheads in Washington shred the 4th Amendment!

Don't miss this tomorrow - Gavel to gavel coverage of the Addington-Yoo hearing, covered by Larry Bensky and Scott Horton.

In other news...

In the UK, massive indoor farming is planned - welcome to Thanet Earth. One guy crunches numbers. What? I can't hear you!

What's old is new again.

Magnetic Fields

Magnetic Movie from Semiconductor on Vimeo.
A new vehicle from Japan runs on water. Beat that! Of course, this will drive the price of water sky-high once speculators get involved.
Interesting photos from Nick Veasey.

In Memory of George Carlin

"The most unfair thing about life is the way it ends. I mean, life is tough. It takes up a lot of your time. What do you get at the end of it? A Death! What’s that, a bonus? I think the life cycle is all backwards. You should die first, get it out of the way. Then you live in an old age home. You get kicked out when you’re too young, you get a gold watch, you go to work. You work forty years until you’re young enough to enjoy your retirement. You do drugs, alcohol, you party, you get ready for high school. You go to grade school, you become a kid, you play, you have no responsibilities, you become a little baby, you go back into the womb, you spend your last nine months floating …and you finish off as an orgasm."

George Carlin - 1937-2008
The Hedonists of Power.

sandals, tevas, and flip-flops

Summer is here. The Silly Season has almost arrived, and EURO 2008 has some silly balls. Of course, on this side of the pond, it's always silly season, isn't it? This sounds hopeful, but I'll believe it when I see it. Electro-shock therapy. A new urban legend used by fear-mongering types. The bad stuff in Zimbabwe required a plan, and now Tsvangirai has pulled out of the race to prevent more bloodshed. Inside an interrogation, minus torture. You haven't forgotten about Afghanistan, have you? The real McCain? Only his hairdresser knows for sure... Flip-flop, flip-flop, flip-flop - that's the predominant sound out of Washington, D.C. Perhaps they should enforce a stricter dress-code? How Darwin won the race (he wasn't wearing sandals).

Why stop at Martha Stewart?

Good question.
A concrete failure. Why is a private company responsible for such an important safety issue? Why isn't a state agency in charge of such matters? Better ask your local Republican - Where's Rudy, America's Mayor, when you need him? / A promise made, and then broken. Many have attacked Obama over his funding decision, but read this and you may calm down a bit. / Anyway, this is worse, and I'm more pissed at Obama for supporting warrantless wiretapping. / Happy Birthday, Baby. / Time for a Green Industrial Revolution? / How Peggy Noonan won the Democratic primary (yes, it's a link to a Women's Wear Daily article, but it is nonetheless interesting, so pipe down already). / The 21 Club: Twenty One - the number of legislators in the 109th Congress investigated for corruption - that's almost 4%. And check the split; 17 Republicans, and 4 Democrats. The Democrats account for less than one percent, while the Republicans account for more than 3%. And a Republican is four times more likely to be a crook, or at least bend the rules so much as to get noticed. Way to go! Right on, America! Yeh! / Let's look at The Big Picture. / Everything seemingly is spinning out of control.

'I mean, "whitey?'

Michelle Obama speaks.
Or, more specifically, covering-their-asses:


1. Who is John McCain?
2. Loving John McCain
3. Full Metal McCain
"Last week, scientists at Imperial College London confirmed that a meteorite called Murchison contained extra-terrestrial molecules that were the precursors to DNA and RNA." - Ivuna, made of the same stuff as the Sun.

It's the oil, stupid.

Today, Andrew Sullivan linked to and commented on this article dated 18 October, 2007, by Jim Holt from the London Review of Books - and an excellent article it is. It appears that Holt was spot on; don't miss reading it.

Some former Bear Stearns managers get hedged in. The Congressional Democrats fall down again on surveilllance, and Laura Rozen asks a good question about it... not that anybody in Washington is listening (although the experience of the UK should give us pause). Glenn Greenwald weighs in on the subject. Mission Accomplished! - the US government has convinced the Iraqi government into giving away its future. That was the whole point of this long, drawn out exercise in nation-building, wasn't it? Meanwhile, back in the States, lots of "sensitive nuclear missile components" have gone missing. Oops! Afghanistan, graveyard of empires. Vice President Dick Cheney has been linked to torture tactics. "...there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account." A travel advisory to certain people in the Bush Administration.

Somewhere, the sun is shining...

juicing creatives

Paul Campos making some sense of it all - Very Serious 9/11 Untruths.

The US is accused of war crimes. Phillippe Sands discusses Covering up the truth. Torture plans hatched in secret. Torture From The Top Down, by Scott Horton.
Steve Aschburner on Kevin Garnett.
As we Americans face a shrinking economy with higher energy costs and turn our attention to the coming election season, we must remember how we came to this state of affairs, and those responsible for it. As Bill Moyers reminded us last week, Roger Ailes said the reason we went to invade Iraq was to ensure $20 per barrel oil. Gee... that didn't work out did it? Not exactly liberators, are we? Instead, we are now viewed as a pariah state, a malign influence on the world. How this came to pass is now a cottage industry, spawning endless books and analyses.

One issue stands above the rest: Torture. Here is a timeline from Salon on the history of the Bush Administration's support of torture. And while Gitmo still grabs the headlines, according to George Monbiot, Gitmo is nothing but a distraction from the larger horrors being committed in our names. Recent estimates state that the US has "detained" as many as 80,000 people worldwide at various black sites and on board ships far from the prying eyes of the Red Cross, the UN, Human Rights Watch, and reporters - and there are believed to be as many as 26,000 still in US custody. If Gitmo is any indication, a large number of the detainees are probably innocent, their lives wasted rotting in jail. Is there a better way to recruit a jihadi army?

Is this the America you want to give to your children and grandchildren? A country that secretly holds people indefinitely? A country that uses the prisons of the former Soviet Union to hold people away from the light of day? No matter how real and terrifying the threat of terrorism is, we must come to understand that the darkest, most frightening threat to our country has come from within. The malign reign of King George cannot end too quickly. Upon the election of a new president, we must not bury our heads in the sand and shrink from the responsibility of determining the truth of what happened in secret, and holding those responsible accountable for their actions. Then - and only then - will we be able to move forward and to protect this republic from such dark forces again.

Boston "C" Party


Yoo've gotta be kiddin' me! Not quite Harry Potter's invisibility cloak, but interesting nonetheless. Department of Globalization and its Discontents: How my vendetta against the Benetton family was born, by Andrew Leonard. On the verge of peace? Believe it when I see it... "If the detainee dies, you're doing it wrong." Dark genius, or corrupt mastermind? We report, you decide!

So long, ol' chap!

Andrew Sullivan takes on the idiots. 'nuf said.
Is it true that Marxism-Leninism is scientific?' 'No, surely not. If it were, they would have tested it on animals first.' - [old Soviet joke].

An essential truth - we were meant to nap. Start snoozing: It's good for you... A Beijing vs. Shanghai Architectural bake-off. BLDG BLOG has some time-lapse images by Alexy Titarenko - everything flows. This is amazing - scientists have experimented with a bacterium that eats waste and excretes petrol. Why bother to create a solution in the lab when it's so much harder to start a war for finite resources? I'm just sayin'... The Greatest Story Never Told. And when it comes to Bob Woodward, remember to follow the money.

Al Gore finally throws his weight behind the Obama campaign.

"I freed millions from barbarism"

George W. Bush on his legacy. Yeh... and if you believe that, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you.


Open mouth, insert foot. Best wishes to the Russert family.

A scavenger hunt in a NYC apartment.
An interview with J.G. Ballard in The Guardian, and an excerpt in the latest Harper's.

Can't forget what happened last night...

The Celtics had an amazing comeback!

U.S. Finally Gets Around To Closing Last WWII Internment Camp
Scott Horton weighs in - A Setback for the State of Exception.


Fox News has gone too far (again, but this is disgusting beyond all measure). Referring to Michelle Obama as "OBAMA'S BABY MAMA"? How dare they use such a slur! There is no excuse for such blatantly sexist and racist remarks. No apology could possibly suffice. This is outrageous behavior for a "news organization", but it is even outrageous behavior for a reactionary propaganda cadre such as Fox News.

The definition of baby mama from

baby mama

The mother of your child(ren), whom you did not marry and with whom you are not currently involved.
Oh her? She ain't nothing to me now, girl, she just my baby mama. So, can I get your number?;

And from Wikipedia:

A baby mama (also baby-mama and baby-mother) is a mother who is not married to her child's father. The Oxford English Dictionary defines baby mama as "the mother of a man's child, who is not his wife or (in most cases) his current or exclusive partner".[1]

Fox News doesn't do "news". It does targeted, political attacks clothed in entertainment. I hope Americans have the good sense to switch channels once and for all, and that Fox goes bankrupt for such callous and demeaning remarks. The posers on Fox are always first to take offense at anything, real or imagined; if they can't find enough offensive about someone in their sights, they make something up, such as questioning the patriotism of that person for not wearing a flag pin on their lapel.

They have no right to call foul in such a clear and unambiguous case of vicious, hateful propaganda.

It must stop, now.
Stand To better stand up and do the right thing.

(Tip-o-the-hat to D'Alessandrius!)
The return of Habeus Corpus. Hallelujah! A return to reason is a welcome thing.


Indecision 5768...

The Black Cab Sessions.
It's a powerful motivator. Hate informs much of human interaction - too much. Us versus them. Me versus you. It is so easy to hate. It is so primal, so visceral. It is much harder to understand or to listen.

Ya wanna see some hate? Here's The Obama File. It's not mere demagoguery - it's hate. This is just the beginning, of course. By November, the hate machine will be running on all cylinders, cranking out ugly crap at an alarming rate. The hate machine will align itself with powerful interests, and money will pour into its coffers, and hate will become a full-fledged industry, not just the cottage variety of the Obama File.

Very soon, we're going to find out what America is really made of. We'll soon see if the people of this country still deserve the Republic that our ancestors created or whether we have devolved to such a degree as to be only worthy of the country that BushCo. have left us with.

I remain skeptical. People in this country voted for George W. Bush not once, but twice. A people that stupid, that suicidal do not engender faith in their decision making capabilities. I hope my skepticism will be proved wrong...


David Gailbraith hits the nail on the head.
for better or worse, things change. Like today for instance. Here's an article on the end of the monarchy in Nepal. Or this - the rise of the Salaryman in Japan... while another fights for his job in Turkey... well, at least this is good (news) - [Via things magazine]