July 2006


delme-mp3-player-cowan-iaudio-x5.jpgSo……… Carolyn got an mp3 player!   NOT an iPod. (more…)

delme-homeless-eating-bw.jpgIt seems like the Bush administration has the explicit goal of making me ashamed to be an American citizen.  We sit there and bitch at China and other countries for their poor human rights, but meanwhile our own rights are eroding away at an increasing pace.  Here are 3 more occurrences that fuel my anger:

 Don’t feed the animals: Las Vegas bans feeding of homeless in parks.

Yes, you heard it right.  In Las Vegas, they are criminalizing the feeding of the delme-homeless-parkbench.jpghomeless.  What the hell?  It’s my food, I can give it to whoever the fuck I’d like.  I’ve heard of “keep your laws off my body”, but how about: “Keep your laws off my picnic basket”.   Food is legal.   Giving is legal.   This reminds me of the ban on prostitution:  Sex is legal.  Selling is legal.   Either way, this is an outrage.  So now we can only give to the homeless through indirect corporate charities that inefficiently dispense the money out?  Maybe some of us only want to help people directly.  It’s a fucking park.  That’s public land.  If the Statue Of Liberty could read this, she would cry.

delme-fema-is-a-disaster.jpgOf course, you still might be worse off in a FEMA camp.  But the rest of the world would never know, because when you stay at a FEMA camp, you apparantly are not allowed to talk to the media.  Yes, not allowed.

Read FEMA a Disaster for Freedom of the Press for more info.  This, too, is an outrage.  If I am ever in a FEMA camp, I damn well will talk to whoever the hell I want!  Nobody has a right to say who I can and cannot talk to.   Quotes:

The Federal Emergency Management Agency prohibits journalists from delme-fema-camp-soldier-dog-fence.jpghaving unsupervised interviews with Hurricane Katrina victims who have been relocated to FEMA trailer parks, according to a report in the Baton Rouge Advocate (7/15/06)

Dekotha Devall, whose New Orleans home was destroyed by the storm, was in her FEMA-provided trailer telling the Advocate reporter of the hardships of life in the camp when a security guard knocked on the door.

You are not allowed to be here,” the guard is quoted as telling the reporter. “Get out right now.” The guard reportedly called police to force the journalist to leave the camp, and even prevented the reporter from giving the interview subject a business card. “You will not give her a business card,” the guard said. “She’s not allowed to have that.”
 

Now, I have read a lot of “conspiratorial” literature about FEMA, and how FEMA is poised to enforce martial law in the case of a national security emergency.  They already have the “prison camps” set up.  A lot of people believe that if there is any organization that will “take over the country”, that FEMA would be the one best poised to do so.  They have the resources for dealing with mass numbers of people; they have the vaguely defined powers that allow for abuse.  Now some of this may have been hard for me to believe in the past, but it is becoming easier and easier to believe, when I hear about things like this.  Not allowed to have a business card?  I think I would make sure my voice was heard.  Are these people allowed to leave??

delme-fema-hung-up-on-me.jpgLater, at another FEMA camp in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, the reporter attempted to talk to camp resident Pansy Ardeneaux through a chain link fence when the same guard halted the interview. “You are not allowed to talk to these people,” the guard told Ardeneaux. “Return to your trailer now.”

“They cannot deny media access,” Gregg Leslie, the legal defense director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, told the Advocate, saying that FEMA’s restrictions were “clearly unconstitutional … and definitely not legal.” Referring to the requirement that interview subjects have a FEMA escort, Leslie said, “That’s a standard for a prison, not a relief park and a temporary shelter.”

I am disgusted.  My tax dollars pay for FEMA to fuck up Katrina all over the place, and then my tax dollars are also used to suppress people’s constitutional rights?  I hate being a contributor (via my taxes) to abuse such as this!

delme-bush-dunce.jpgFinally, we have President Bush Blocks NSA Wireless Tapping Probe.   I mean this one is obvious, at least.  Bush abusing power?  Who’d have imagined?  (That was sarcasm.)  Bush blocked the Justice Department’s probe into his illegal wiretapping by refusing to give any of the lawyers clearance!   Yes, he is covering hiw own ass.  Bush is no better than Nixon.  Actually, Nixon was better.  At least Nixon helped us on the international diplomacy front.  Bush, on the other hand, has made america hated.

A friend of mine visited Amsterdam recently.  Apparantly, when a dog takes a shit in Amsterdam, people come and put a tiny american flag on a toothpick atop the pile of shit.  So you have American flags “claiming” piles of dog shit all over the city. 

Makes you wonder what we’re fighting for?  We’re not making friends and we are arguably worse off for terrorism today than we were on Sept 11th.  Anyway, back to Bush blocking the probe into his uncontitutional acts:

delme-bush-emporer.jpg“Since its creation some 31 years ago, OPR has conducted many highly sensitive investigations involving Executive Branch programs and has obtained access to information classified at the highest levels,” chief lawyer H. Marshall Jarrett wrote in a memorandum released Tuesday. “In all those years, OPR has never been prevented from initiating or pursuing an investigation.”

Yes, you read this right.  Bush is abusing his power in a new way in order to protect himself from being investigated for abusing his power!  What a vicious cycle of logic.  Note that the article linked to has one detail wrong:  The wiretapping actually started before September 11th.  Months before.

But anyway, the whole idea that Bush can prevent something from being investigated by making an unprecedented denial of security clearances is just disgusting.  This adminstration has proven that the checks and balances put into the constitution by the founding fathers have been whittled away until they are no longer effective. 

I daresay it’s time for a completely new constitution, because the one that is in place now may as well be a piece of toilet paper for all the Bush administration cares. 

This is truly a scary week to be an American.  Will they come for me next, for writing about it?   If, for example, they decided I was a terrorist, how many of my own friends and family would believe the government and the media over the truth?  Think about that carefully.  The populace is brainwashed.  How 30% of people can still “approve” of Bush’s job is beyond me.  I think there may be no hope left for an American America.  Perhaps we need another iteration of the 1960s to happen. 

Just watched Kurt & Courtney (1998). I actually was taken aback a bit, because I had expected a movie. It was really a documentary. (I had a similar experience with Crumb (1994).)

Anyway, it was an interesting documentary that more or less held my interest throughout the 95 minutes it ran.

Some of the characters were utterly ridiculous. Courtney Love is ridiculous too. She went from not knowing Kurt Cobain, to owning everything Kurt Cobain ever worked for, within just a few years. I think they said 3.

That’s some good whoring. (more…)

Well, since we just watched Cube 2, I managed to obtain a copy of Jim Henson’s “The Cube (1969) (TV)”. An extremely rare video find.

It was the black-and-white version (but there is a color version as well). It was a made-for-TV 60-minute “movie” that aired on TV around 1969.

While I don’t normally give the benefit of the doubt to any movie that came out before 1980 (or any music that came out before 1975), Jim Henson’s The Cube actually contained many elements that later showed up in The Cube horror movies. There was, however, no violence — except for a few punches thrown at the end.

(more…)

Just watched Cube 2: Hypercube (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0285492/).

I must say that, while I don’t remember Cube 1 very well, Cube 2 definitely lived up to my expectations. 

We had just recently watched Mission to Mars, where the director engineered one of the awesomest shots I’ve ever seen.  It was to convey the weightless feeling of space, and they had one long shot where you basically get vertigo just watching it.  They talked about the shot in the dvd-extras.  They had to literally sit in chairs in a rotating “ferris-wheel”-like device, sometimes being upside down… It was a hard shot to make.

Well anyway, I think Cube 2 had some camera shots that were just as disorienting.  You see, different rooms have different gravity.  Sometimes there is no clearly defined up or down, so the camera is held sideways.  It was very disorienting.

Anyway, Cube 2 lacked a lot of explanation for what was going on, or for the ending.  Most questions are not answered.  It’s a movie you watch for the “moment”.  You don’t watch it for the ending.  The ending isn’t particularly happy and hardly gives any closure whatsoever.

I’d still recommend that anyone who watched Cube 1 go ahead and see Cube 2. 

Now I need to watch Cube Zero! (Moved it from #45 to #5 in my Netflix queue.)  Too bad there are no more Cube movies.  I heard “Cube: Tresspassed” is going to be a short film made by the director.  Hopefully that shows up on bittorrent or something.

The next night we watched Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003).  I fell asleep about halfway through.  It was funny, with a lot of very obvious over-the-top occurrences that aren’t the slighest bit believable.  They’re not trying to fool anyone, including themselves.  It’s all bullshit.  But it’s entertaining bullshit.  If only I hadn’t been so tired…

Tonight: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

Bloomberg Article HERE.

NSA asked AT&T to help set up domestic call monitoring 7 months before September 11th!  (This is according to the lawyers who are suing AT&T.)

Remember, the Bush administration asserted that this became necessary after 9/11.  If you still don’t think Bush is an evil liar, wake up. :)

More than 30 suits have been filed over claims that the phone carriers violated the privacy rights of their customers.

Just read the article.  It’s disgusting.

“Could it be that they were intending to monitor domestic calls (and internet traffic) all along, and the ‘Global War on Terror’ was just a convenient excuse when they got caught?”

routerCNet is reporting that the FBI is pushing for legislation to allow law enforcement officials free access to networking gear via built in backdoors for eavesdropping.

So, if you have a router, a switch, a hub, a DSL modem, or anything along those lines, the FBI wants to mandate that a backdoor be built into it, so that they can silently bypass any security you may have and snoop in to whatever you are doing.

It also has a clause where they no longer have to disclose how many conversations they are intercepting.

You thought spyware was bad…  Howabout spyhardware?  Mandated by the government?  In your house.  Connected to your computer.

It’s looking more and more like Soviet Russia every day.

Of course, the inevitable will also happen:  Criminals, black-hat hackers, and identity thieves will undoubtly find these exploits, and use them to bilk people out of their life savings and/or interfere with people in other annoying ways.  This happened in Greece already.  In 2004 some of the highest-ranking politicians in Greece had their cell phone conversations secretly recorded by unknown persons … for months.  This could not have been pulled off without the presence of automated wire-tapping functionality built into the Ericsson networking switches used in Greece.

Then, the government will join in as well, attacking dissidents, activists, and anyone else they feel like, all the while being able to easily scapegoat the criminals and identity thieves.  (“I didn’t do it!  Butt-head did it!”) 

Not that the FBI can even manage their own security.

Let freedom ping?

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