Thursday, December 22, 2005

Ironical? Ripped from the Onion's headlines

What's on Dick Chaney's iPod?

The brilliant and charming Athenae over at First Draft asks, "What do you think is on Dick Cheney's iPod.

At first I thought he was listening to NTodd's podcast or Friday Coffee Blogging from my good friends over at Candleblog. Wouldn't it have been cool to hear some of the top secret mp3s on his iPod?

As regular readers of this site know I have several readers of this site in the CIA and NSA and five agencies that are so secret that if I even told you the initials I would get throw in jail faster that you can say Yankee White Cosmic Top Secret. (Which isn't used much these days anyway, but still.)

So here is part of the mp3 that was leaked to ol' Spocko as a "joke" from my buddies. Of course they wouldn't be asking for money, they are just too smart for that, they would be asking for protection from blame and to stop the law breaking. You see it just PISSES them off when Cheney and Bush do shit that they could have done LEGALLY and CLASSIFIED but they decided that they just didn't want to go through the paperwork.

Yea, paperwork is a pain in the ass, but if you know how easy it is to listen in on stuff once everything is set up, you WANT there to be some guidelines. You KNOW how easy it is to be misused and WANT oversight, which isn't the same and wanting terrorists to get away. It is the people who KNOW what power is available that understand and respect the law--hard as that is for some people to believe. Especially since when it might be their ass that gets hung out to dry for breaking the law.

I think sometimes people forget that the folks in the NSA and the CIA have ideals and values too. They don't like being caught with their pants down or missing the intelligence boat, they have families too and live in areas that are targets. They know that a huge problem with all intelligence is lack of correct focus. When you are looking left when the problems are happening right you miss the good stuff. Spending resources in the wrong way just because you want to cast a hugh net isn't smart either, translating worthless crap takes time and processing cycles.

And some of the people know history and the chaos that happened so that certain laws were enacted. They remember or have at least read about abuses and that personal and institutional memory keeps popping up when someone asks them to cross the line. It is such an easy step from terrorist tracking to anyone making an overseas call, and if that person happens to be a political opponent making that call, well...

what is especially galling is that line DIDN'T NEED TO BE CROSSED! FISC is a lapdog rubberstamp and everyone knows it. You were guilty and lazy and we all know it.

Anyway, I changed the mp3 transcript a bit so as not to get myself in trouble and to make it funnier.

"Hi, Dick. Yes we know all about the lies and the deception, but we will be holding off on revealing them to the American public if you pay us the rest of the cash you were sending our way before journalism payola scandal broke. We were smarter than those idiots who got caught. But we held off not out of the goodness of our heart, but to lay low till things cooled down. And maybe to up the asking price a bit. I mean what's a few million between friends? Oh, in case you think we are bluffing we can deliver more than just the bombshell we delivered to the NYTimes last week. We know where all the bodies are buried Dick, we watched you while you were burying them.

Oh, and we have audio and video, thanks for the non-warrant free ride. I mean how were we to know that YOUR calls would fall into our collection bucket? I mean you do call people overseas with terrorist connections (think about it, you know who we are talking about. Do the initials HB, KBR and BT mean anything to you?)

What could we deliver? Do you think that the podcast of you in the energy meeting talking about carving up Iraq following the war would be a big seller on iTunes? You know the meeting, the one that was pre-9/11. Where you folded you hands together in a praylike fashion and said, "Look, one way or another, we will in fact control Iraq oil in the Middle East." "Or maybe they would like to hear you say on the phone to Brownie, "Fuck those dirty bastards in New Orleans, they made their bed now they can lie in it. We'll help Barber and that will teach those bastards to put a Democrat in power when we are running the government." Of course those are only the ones that make you look bad politically, you don't really care about those, you aren't running for office again. Its the ones we have of you actually breaking laws that are the most interesting to us. You broke so many laws in such a short time it is almost an embarrassment of riches. Yeah, you thought those calls weren't tapped didn't you? Who do you think certified the "secure phone"? We did. Sure it's secure from others, just not from us. Let's just say the calls involved trains, planes and mayo. I know you think we are a bunch of cowboys worshipping trees, but

Yeah, we are a sneaky group, but then that is why you love and hate us. You fucked up Dick, you trusted us. Don't you think we learned from Nixon too? Well you know our Swiss Account numbers. We'll be back in touch after the holidays, looking forward to what Santa will leave in our stocking.
P.S. Stop listening to Radiohead! You should really listen to Nelly and then watch this great video on your new video iPod [] We think you'll identify with the main character

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Fox News phones tapped. Murdock Talking to Bin Laden Agents

-By Nicholas Kurtzman and Ian Warrenn
January 21, 2006.

(WT) New York-- Media giant Rupert Murdock was hauled out of his hotel room in New York this morning on charges of talking to people with terrorist connections. Following the perp walk through the lobby of the Grand Hyatt he was quoted as saying. "I was just trying to buy Osama's life story for a book we titled 'How I made George W. Bush my Bitch.' Someone tapped my phone!" He screamed as he was placed in the patty wagon along with other high-level journalmalism practicers at Fox News.

Fox News Anchor Brit Hume was also taken into custody while he was still broadcasting the evening's information. As dozens of Fox News watchers watched live, Hume yelled "I know President BUSH! President Bush is my friend! I've cut brush with him! I'm innocent! Raewgal, Rangean, Brulgoooo!!"

Sadly the incident was marred by a fatality. Following the detention of Hume, John "Five in the Noggin" Gibson tried to run from the federal agents and was ironically shot five times in the head.

It was later determined that he did not have a bomb but a book bag with several copies of his bright red book "The War on Christmas" which to Homeland Security Troops looked like a bag of dynamite. The Department of Homeland Security regrets the error. "He ran, he had a heavy bag with him, he had associated with people who had conversations with potential terrorists, so our agents had no choice but to shoot him to protect the people in the area. We had only seconds to decide. Sure it's sad, but what if he HAD a bomb and it had gone off? Then you would all be crying that we didn't do enough to protect you. Look, sometimes these things happen, and I'm sure if Mr. Gibson were alive today he would be the first to agree with us." said Jack Lint assistant deputy director of the HSD department of information retrieval.

Further information about these arrests and the detainees will remain classified indefinitely.

*Washingtonian Times is not to be confused with The Washington Times, the multi-million dollar money losing paper owned by Rev. Sun Myung Moon, A.K.A: the Messiah

I wonder, would this be the story and the headline that would get Freepers attention as to why this un-warrented spying is a bad idea? As one of my wonderful readers, Ellroon said over at the home for wayward cats, one of the arguments that gets thrown up regarding Bush breaking the law to spy on American citizens with out getting an easily obtainable warrant is that "I don't have anything to hide. Do you? What's the big deal?" I think that some of these people just won't care until they realize that they are about 3 clicks away from being thrown in jail like "Buttle"
when the government is looking for "Tuttle".

Or maybe they will care (as John A over at Americablog postulated) if we got a list of people with international contacts with Al Qaeda and see that they are journalists. But maybe they still wouldn't care. Who would they care about?

"Mrs. Buttle, this is your receipt for your husband... and this is my receipt for your receipt."

Monday, December 19, 2005

In their own words. Who said this and when?

"I would say first we cut off your finger next we go for your penis, what do you want? What do you want? Okay? I'll tell you what, the guy says nothing we cut off the finger first. Just the tip of the finger, that's all. I got news for you he's going to start talking quickly, we can't do any of that now."

Is this:

a) Michael Madsen as Mr. Blonde from the movie Reservoir Dogs or

b) Brian Sussman as Neocon Theocon from the radio show KSFO?


Listen to the 20 second Windows Media Audio clip here

Clip from KSFO 560 am, December 15, 2005 6:14 pm PST

Sunday, December 18, 2005

NTodd's Cat: The Key to Blogging Popularity

Here I am a sucker, trying to post interesting enlightinging stuff. Well it turns out that all you have to do is post photos of NTodd's cat, Sam.

Let the hits roll in!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Bush Uses Santa Claus Defense for Spying

President Bush said Saturday he personally has authorized a secret eavesdropping program in the U.S. more than 30 times since the Sept. 11 attacks and he lashed out at those involved in publicly revealing the program.

"This is a highly classified program that is crucial to our national security," he said in a radio address delivered live from the White House's Roosevelt Room.

In a later special meeting with the White House press corps the President compared his work to that of Santa Claus.

"What I do is kinda like that old Christmas song about Santa comin' to town. Only instead of looking at the kids I'm looking at bad people, and instead of rewarding the good ones with presents and the bad ones with lumps of coal, I'm rewarding the good ones with freedom and the bad ones with a one-way life-time ticket to Gitmo. Santa doesn't need a warrant to watch everyone and neither should I. If Santa didn't have 24 surveillance on the kids and a list to check, a bad kid could get a present, and nobody wants that. Besides, if I wasn't allowed to eavesdrop on American Citizens, Osama Bin Laden would never have been caught."

Aides to the president later said that the President meant to say Saddam Hussein and that the president still thinks that Santa is real and requested reporters voluntarily withhold that sensitive information from the president during this time of war.

Of course the song President Bush is referring to is "Santa Claus is coming to town" which features the ominous lyrics.

He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake

As commentator H. Comet said about Santa, "This is a clear statement of 24 hour surveillance. Unconstitutional if the government does it, quite illegal is an individual or a corporation does it. You are being watched, and your activities logged for later review. Not only that, but you're being judged based on these actions."
He also noted, "Notice that there are NO options for appeal or introduction of extenuating circumstances. The ONLY indication we have of the parameters of how we are being evaluated come from the beginning of the song and the list of prohibited behaviors."

In an article The Technology of Santa Edward Willett addresses the methods that Santa uses for surveillance and how they were most likely adopted by the NSA.

"Consider Claus's ability to maintain year-round surveillance on all the world's children. As the seminal paper on the subject states, Santa 'sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake, he knows when you are bad or good...' But how? asks Willett.

Satellites, of course. "In the last few years we've developed satellites capable of reading a license plate from orbit. Santa Claus has had them for centuries. A powerful computer scans incoming data for those actions Claus deems "good" or "bad." Infrared sensors, which pick up body heat, can give a pretty good idea of what's going on even inside a house, and anyway, Claus has ample opportunity every Christmas Eve to plant listening devices and miniature cameras. When the time comes to plan deliveries, Claus simply asks the computer to print out a list of those boys and girls whose good deeds outweigh their bad." stated Mr. Willett

Is Bush like Santa? Does Santa use illegal surveillance like the President? We may never know. The truth lies somewhere in the middle. For SBOnline news this is Karen Ryan reporting.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

What IS an Ultra-conservative Neocon Theocon?

So somebody posted this on my blog.

Can you email me at my yahoo account? I'd like to arrange a private meeting with you, either by phone or in person.
The evil Neocon-Theocon

If this is a joke, ha. ha. If it is from that radio host who calls himself a neocon theocon, I'd rather not. You have your huge public platform. I have my tiny blog with 18 readers (19 if I count you). If you have something to say, put it in writing here. I might respond, I might not, maybe one of my other 18 readers will. I might delete the comment. This is my tiny space and I reserve the right to set the rules.

Monday, December 12, 2005

A Perfect San Francisco Event

The lighting of the tree at McLaren Lodge in Golden Gate Park. Little kids running around the tree. Hot apple cider. A nice little speech from Gavin Newsom, Santa in a one horse open sleigh (really!) and then the real highlight ... the choir. I believe it was the Young People's Teen Musical Theater. There is something special about a choir of children singing Christmas songs. This one was especially well directed.

It was one of those events that hit so many San Francisco highlights. A beautiful space, people of multiple faiths, races and ages coming together.

Right before the mayor threw the switch someone spotted a plane up in the air. It had lights on it! I thought, "Wow! Someone coordinated a fly over for the tree lighting. How great." Then we saw it was an advertisement for a Toyota dealer in Alameda. HA! They did have some nice lights in the shape of asterisks in between the advertising message, so it had SOME holiday context.

Over all a really nice event. Thanks Parks and Rec for organizing it.

Here is a photo taken with my cell phone.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Casualities in the War on Christmas

I makes me crazy to think that there are so many people that are signing up for this fake war on Christmas. Are there really that many deluded Christians? It makes me crazy we are even discussing this. Why aren't they demanding that American's stop torturing people? That would be more Christian than demanding people greet them in the approved fashion.

My friend Tena said it wonderfully, "Leave it to the Right. The one holiday when we are suppose to all come together and they pick a fight."

The stores tried to be INCLUSIVE but the faux Christians in the hate group AFA demand their due. "YOU WILL BOW DOWN TO MY VERSION OF RELIGION!" They are working very hard to recreate the state religion that our ancestors fled. Is their god is so small that he can't withstand any competition?

They aren't satisfied with their own Churches on ever corner. They aren't happy with their TV stations and radio shows. No, they demand fealty from all, even non-believers.

The propagandists on the Radio and TV knew that they couldn't come out and say, "Stop including others when you greet them" so they twisted the desire of businesses to include everyone into a frame where the Faux Christians are the victims.

And they said to their viewers, "Demand to be acknowledged! Show your victim hood, it's all about you! Make them notice you. Force them to worship your god just like you. If they don't, whip them into submission! Don't give them your money. Stop giving money to anyone who doesn't kowtow. Everyone WILL respond in the approved Christian way at the point of our smoking credit cards! Those who don't will be punished."

How far away have they gotten from Jesus, son of Mary, the first century Jew who taught about love and forgiveness, and caring for the poor and how much God loves us.


And remember, nothing says "Let's celebrate the birth of our saviour." like a drunken Santa scaring the kids

Looks like Santa didn't have time to change his diaper. Hey Santa, just tell the kids you are "feeding the Reindeer" next time.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Is this thing on?

Hey. While I was away at the Christmas tree lighting it appears my blog went Kablewie.

Are you working now O Blog or mine?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Greetings Vice President's of Marketing!

Yes. Brian Sussman really said all those things.*

Now you have a decision to make. You can say, "The comments of the show's host don't reflect our views." and ignore the clips because you really like the demographics. Or you can say, "It is not acceptable for a radio host to say those kinds of things on a program we advertise on. He can keep saying that, but not on our dime."

You aren't limiting his free speech, just removing your paid support of it. Some other company without your good values can support him. But this is really about YOU. Do YOU want to be associated with these comments? Do you want your company to be associated with these comments? Don't companies usually want to be inclusive of all religions? Usually they AVOID people who make controversial statements. I understand choosing to use a controversial host, but you should at least understand the kind of controversy.

Now I don't have a 100,000 readers who will write you saying they are offended. Why? Because my readers won't waste their time on a 3rd tier radio pundit. Most are busy keeping track of the lies and outrageous statements of 1st tier pundits and our leaders. Secondly, reasonable people who have listened to his quotes are appropriately shocked and appalled and, although they could complain, choose to ignore him and simply change the channel.

I used to ignore these hosts too. I even thought that they were amusing in a crude "Listen to this idiot!" kind of way. I thought that no reasonable person would ever AGREE with the outrageous comments. But sometimes zealots would call up and say, "I agree with you!" That frightened me.

And I realised that by ignoring them in some ways I was effectively saying, "Their comments aren't bad enough for me to complain." But without an active response from rational people they were "emboldened". They figured that if they weren't being boycotted and getting tons of complaints then EVERYONE who listened agreed.

You see, these hosts spend a good amount of time figuring out how to say repugnant things in an reasonable fashion. They use all the tricks of the patent medicine salesman to get people agreeing with their outrageous claims and hate speech. Of course, if you have time and dig under the surface -- the hate, racism and bigotry come through. The lies, misinformation and intentional conflict for conflicts sake are there too.

But then I realized that this kind of willful misinformation and pre-meditated hate speech has a corrosive effect on our national dialogue. Hearing these hosts downplay torture, encourage machine-gun ownership and mocking other religions is not just "all in good fun". They seek to destroy the boundaries of acceptable speech in a civilized society.

Maybe you can hold your nose and said, "For the money this is the best place to be." First, I doubt it. Second, ask yourself, "Do I want to be associated with this man and these views?" You do have other choices. I would recommend Air America's Majority Report, but maybe you don't want to go that route. I will tell you that I have never heard the kind of gleeful hate speech and willful misinformation from them that I have heard on the Sussman show.

There are lots of reasons to advertise on a radio station. I like radio, it is a very personal medium. But sometimes you get suckered into simply looking at the demographic data and you draw the conclusion that there should be no problem with the host or the content of the show. Especially if the show is represented to you as "conservative". Unfortunately conservative values have been bastardized in the last 5 years. So now something that is called conservative or even "uber-conservative" doesn't mean what you thought it meant. It can be a cover for mean spirited, dark-hearted, cruel and mean speech.

In today's world you need to listen to the content of the shows. Simply putting the label "conservative" on a talk show is no guarantee that they are incapable of hate speech. The current reality is they have become the source of the divisive hate speech out there today. When they aren't spewing hate they are claiming they are being marginalized or that "The Left" is the one doing the hating. (It's called projection, and yes, I looked it up!)

Maybe you are okay with hate speech that is directed "jovially" at other political parties, but I doubt you also are okay with hate speech directed toward other religions. Are you fine with speech that reflects a moral code that is violent and anti-Semitic? And remember, hate speech comes in many guises. Sometimes it hides under the claim of "WE are the victims!" They can take a companies desire to be inclusive and turn it into a case of "They are picking on us!"

Finally, you will hear excuses and rationalizations for horrific comments. "I was joking!" or "I was quoted out of context!" And you might even hear from people who agree with his hateful, pro-torture, pro-machine gun ways. You might even covet these people as customers. But there are other alternatives to reaching them. Stop the support of this host. Do the right thing.

* Note to regular readers, this post in support of a letter sent to a few vp's of marketing who advertise on the Sussman show. You probably have heard all the clips already.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Rebates Suck!

A good article in Businessweek about rebates.

Although the rebate houses don't say, "Use our programs to screw your customers and keep the cash!" in so many words, that is what they do.

And I'm well aware of all the reasons behind them and how it is really the customer's fault if they don't follow through with the rebate. It just bugs me how much they are counting on bad customer behavior. And we FALL for the game OVER and OVER. To the tune of BILLIONS of dollars in lost savings for us and found money for the retailers or manufacturers.

We can all hear that little voice in our head, "This time I'll get it all in on time!" How many of us are walking around with the guilt of rebates unclaimed or deadlines missed? Could the companies make the process easier? You bet! Will they? No. I feel like Peter Griffith in The Family Guy movie, "This just grinds my gears!"

Its funny how the rebate dodge is acceptable, but other ways of tricking the customer on a smaller scale are not. There was a link to an article in Boing Boing yesterday about a man trying to buy a $3,000 camera online. The store called him up to "confirm his address" but what they were really trying to do was sell him more high priced accessories. He said no and was then told the camera was "out of stock". Lots of name calling ensued (especially when he threatened to blog about it!). I got to thinking, if this guy had just put out a very complicated rebate with short response times, lots of hoops and 8-10 week pay off cycles (all standard practices) he most like would be making as much money or MORE back! And he wouldn't look like the customer tricking retailer the he is.

Got to go, it's double coupon day down at the Hinky Dinky.