Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Is this the way to Armadillo?

Okay this is just plain funny. What is great is the way that they seem to having so much fun just walking around in their underwear.

Click photo for video. It's about 3 minutes long.
Thanks to ifilm for hosting and for the British troops for having a great sense of humor in a tough time.

When the president talks to God

I couldn't believe this song was allowed on the Jay Leno show.
How dare he question Bush's conversations with God!
Where does he think he is? America? Oh yeah, right.

Here are two verses from the song:

When the president talks to God
Are the conversations brief or long?
Does he ask to rape our women's rights
And send poor farm kids off to die?
Does God suggest an oil hike
When the president talks to God?

When the president talks to God
Does he ever think that maybe he's not?
That that voice is just inside his head
When he kneels next to the presidential bed
Does he ever smell his own bullshit
When the president talks to God?
I doubt it
I doubt it

Here's a photo of Bright Eyes on the Majority Report.
Is this the Bob Dylan of the this decade? (By the way, what ARE we calling this decade. The Fear Decade? The" 9/11 changed everything" Decade? Maybe just the 9/11 decade.

Do we REALLY care about ALL life equally?

I decided to move this comment to the main page because I spent some time thinking about it. My reply is rather long winded (these powerful Vulcan lungs don't cha' know). But I felt that Jim's question was interesting. After writing my response what surprised me was how much of it had to do with definitions and ethical models that aren't consistent, shared or even fully understood. I was also surprised to see Dobson's view on the war. Dobson Supports War Efforts in Iraq . At least the previous Pope was strongly anti-war as well as anti-death penalty which seemed consistent to me.

Here's Jim's comment and my response.

Jim said...
After reading some of the comments, a question I'd love to see the readers and Spocko comment on is:Given that embryo's are in fact unborn children (and that is a related but entirely different debate) is it ever morally or ethically justifiable to kill one human being in order to benefit another? If the answer is no, how can you then not agree with FOTF? If yes please descibe the circumstances.
2:00 PM


I think that we do have to go all the way back and look at that premise. "Given that embryo's are in fact unborn children" This is the question. If I remember correctly a huge part of the early debate over abortion had to do with viability out side of the womb and as medicine marched on that got reduced further and further till the only way that seemed "logical" to the theologians was to say. "Since science has pushed viability all the way back to conception then that is when we will say that the human soul has arrived. Any later is just guessing. Maybe the soul isn't there until the Brain is 'developed' but when is that? Therefore, we will set the soul and human life at that instant when sperm and egg unite." Now note, this is a theological decision and definition that not everyone agrees with.

When I created this spoof I was looking at how FOTF was dancing around this issue, I know some of the ways they talk about it and given a definition of life begins with sperm and egg uniting then there are a lot of "souls on ice" in liquid nitrogen tanks out there.

A tank full of souls? A freezer of fetuses?

Now here of course is the kicker. If you are a certain kind of Christian and you believe that the instant that a sperm and egg unite you have a soul-filled tiny child, is it okay to make a bunch of these and knowingly (although with out malice) implant them in a situation where most will die? Now I would say that from reading the real FOTF comments the answer would be yes. But that seemed inconsistent with their rhetoric on abortion, hence the creation of spoof release.

As to your earlier question "is it ever morally or ethically justifiable to kill one human being in order to benefit another?" some times it is about consent. Would you give your life to protect the life of your child? Would you take a life to benefit your child? A lot of people would say yes on one but not the other. But maybe not everyone thinks that way. This is a hard one that could come down to how strong your beliefs are. It is when you move away from the 'easy' answers that we start to have moral complexity.

  • Would you give your life to protect your country?
  • Would you take life to benefit your country?
  • What do you mean by protect and benefit?
  • Would you give your life to benefit some rich people?
  • Would you take life to benefit some rich people?
  • Would you give your life so that your friends and relatives can waste energy foolishly?
  • Would you feel used if they weren't doing their part?
  • Would you give your life to benefit a multinational company?

There is a focus right now on the beginnings of life. I understand that, I also understand not everyone defines life and soul the same way. What confuses and frustrates me is a lack of consistent morality across the board. If you hold strong beliefs about protecting life, then shouldn't that belief extend to ALL human life?
How far are you going to go to protect children in Iraq? Children in Darfur?

It is different asking someone to make a choice to protect and benefit another life through killing or being killed vs. forcing that choice on them through deceit or conscription.

I understand people feeling that they are doing something that is ethically acceptable by telling themselves "I'm protecting my family by taking the lives of these people who are plotting to kill my children in Kansas City". Now what if that initial intention gets transmuted and you find out that you are not really protecting your children in Kansas City but actually co-opting and invading a geopolitical location that is seen as essential to the continued "American way of life" (and incidentally the profits of a multinational company)? Now you might feel different. What if the people who designed this KNEW that they could count on the good will of people who want to and are willing to kill and be killed for these 'protect my family' values? Would you be pissed if you found out?

Is Focus on the Family strongly and firmly anti-war? No. So in their mind it IS morally and ethically justifiable to kill one human being to benefit another. Supports War Efforts in Iraq )

They also talk about support of the death penalty (and of course use the Old Testament as justification). That to me seem wildly inconsistent with Jesus' teachings. And I'm not talking about PAUL or the Church after Jesus, I'm talking about what can be seen as the authentic words of Jesus while he was alive. "Love your enemy" is bit different than, 'eye for an eye' "Love your neighbor as yourself" is actually a pretty damn radical notion especially when he went to such great pains to define who the neighbor was and how to interact with your enemy.

Speaking of loving your neighbor, thank you for posting it makes me feel like I'm sending bits into cyberspace an getting a radar return.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Focus on the Family Demands Global Halt to In Vitro Fertilization

Standard methods lead to death of thousands of unborn children

Colorado Springs, Colo.EMBARGOED UNTIL June 6, 2005 Focus on the Family Founder Dr. James Dobson, today called for an immediate worldwide halt to all in vitro fertilization procedures. “This procedure almost always results in the death of unborn children, often several unborn children die for each successful attempt. I said it regarding stem cell research and it’s time to apply it to in vitro fertilization --it is never morally or ethically justifiable to kill one human being in order to benefit another.”

In addition to calling a halt to these procedures, Focus on the Family will be funding a number of lawsuits against clinics that support these procedures, doctors who perform them and couples who partake in IVF. “On behalf of the thousands of babies trapped in freezers who can’t speak for themselves, we will be their voice in court. And yes, in accordance with Exodus 21:22-25 we will be seeking the death penalty for doctors, clinic administrators and couples who allowed their unborn children to be killed in an experimental procedure. The bible compels us to take the life of anyone who is responsible for the death of these unborn children and who has been found guilty of a capital offense in a legal trial. The Scriptures are clear that the state alone is ordained by God to "bear the sword" and "execute wrath on the wrongdoer." (Position statement on Violence against abortionists)

The announcement comes following the release of the Focus on the Family’s Position Statement on Stem Cell Research.

Focus on the Family opposes stem cell research using human embryos. In order to isolate and culture embryonic stem cells, a living, human embryo must be killed. It is never morally or ethically justifiable to kill one human being in order to benefit another. By requiring the destruction of embryos — the tiniest human beings — embryonic stem cell research violates the medical ethic, “Do No Harm.”

“The stem cell debate finally brought this issue into focus for us. No person that calls themselves a Christian should be involved in IVF. It is morally inconsistent to say we support a culture of life and then prepare tiny babies to die in a test tube or to languish in a freezer never knowing God’s love.” said Carrie Gordon Earll, Senior Policy Analyst for Bioethics at Focus on the Family and a fellow with the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity. “We regret having to prosecute Christians who thought that IVF was different than abortion, but as Exodus 21:22-25, NIV tells us, “If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.’

“Activist judges that have allowed abortion are being replaced with judges who are more constitutional originalists.” stated Bruce Hausknecht, the Judicial Analyst for Focus on the Family, “The pressure that Focus on the Family members have been putting on congress, senators and the President have really been paying off. We fully expect these new judges to support our lawsuits and ultimately God’s law.” Said Hausknecht.

# # #

NOTE: This is a parody press release. Although quotes were made up, the majority of this fake press release was based on documents found on the Focus for the Family website. If you don’t believe me look at the links yourself. If you don’t think this is funny, but scary because it seems like a logical next step for Focus on the Family, then you got the ‘joke’.

The truth is that the greatest enemies to the doctrines of Jesus are those calling themselves the expositors of them, who have perverted them for the structure of a system of fantasy absolutely incomprehensible, and without any foundation in his genuine words. And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this the most venerated reformer of human errors.
As the "silent member" of the Congress, Thomas Jefferson, at 33, drafted the Declaration of Independence. In years following he labored to make its words a reality in Virginia. Most notably, he wrote a bill establishing religious freedom, enacted in 1786.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Sassy Saucy

The first time I made this I was stunned. Stunned I tell you! Stunned at how good it was. And SO simple. Here is the recipe. Let me walk you through the modifications I've made.

First the brand of canned tomatoes DOES matter. The Italian San Marzano's are your best first choice, but they are sometimes hard to find and they are a bit pricey. The next best are Muir Glen Organic diced tomatoes. But they too are a bit pricey, but I did some research and taste testing (6 other brands) and it turns out that the Trader Joe's Organic Diced tomatoes are THE SAME! (Of course that might be because Trader Joe's put their private label on the Muir Glen)

The second secret to this recipe is the anchovy paste. Yes I'm sure that diced anchovies would be better, but the paste is convenient and lasts for months in the fridge.

I run the tomatoes through the food mill (medium setting). At first I used to throw away some of the pulp that was left, but now I just add it back in.

Note that I cook this down further than the recipe calls for. If I'm doing this for a spaghetti sauce I'll cook it for 45 minutes or more to thicken the sauce. If I'm making the sauce for a pizza I'll cook it even longer. If it is for the pizza sauce I'll drain it through a strainer before I spread it on the dough to remove excess water. The longer you cook the more the flavor concentrates. Sometimes I'll double the recipe and reduce the volume by half.

Any questions? Leave me a comment.
Yours in fine intergalatic dining,
Mr. Spocko (last name unpronounceable by humans), Star Fleet Academy, SF, CA, Earth. Federation Sector, 0,0,0

High oil prices got you down?! Drill off the California coast!

Yesterday I heard some guy on the radio say, "There is PLENTY of oil in the United States. All we have to do is have the will to drill off the coast of California."
I'm wondering when that idea will be floated. Here's what it will probably sound like:

We need the oil. High oil prices are bad for the economy. Environmental nuts are making you, Mr. Average consumer, pay too much to protect their elite multi-million dollar views. They want us out of Iraq? Well then they should allow us to drill off the coast of California. People in Texas and Oklahoma look at the oil rigs and they don't complain, they know it is necessary and part of the American way. Joe 12 pack in Texas can't say "Boo hoo, remove the oil rig in my view, or I'll sue." Why should some liberal Hollywood elites get perfect views? What is more important, our ability to get to work and drive our kids to school or their "right" to view the ocean?

My Friends, in the bible God gave us dominion over the earth. To quote Genesis 1:26, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” If you believe in some secular environmentalist view and not the bible, you will oppose drilling off the coast of California. But most people believe that it is better to block Barbra Streisand's Malibu, Calif., view of the ocean than to deny the bible. Look out for environmental activist judges to embrace Alec Baldwin and Luna Moonchild Butterfly and not God.

Okay, once there was a spill outside the liberal elite conclave of Santa Barbara. That was 35 years ago! The technology has advanced! The protections will be massive so it won't happen again. If these people were patriots they would demand that the government drill here! Can you imagine someone in the heartland saying, "My view and a few seagulls are more important than the country's energy needs?"

What's the big deal? People can still go to the beach after the oil rigs go up.
Copyright 2005 UC Regents / Davidson Library
Photographed from the air Jan. 29, 1969, oil bubbles to the ocean's surface from cracks in the sea floor around Platform A. Following the rig's blowout, upward of three million barrels of oil leaked uncontrollably for 10 days, resulting in a slick that covered 800 square miles

(Frankly sometimes I scare myself when I think of these things. Good thing only 14 people read my blog. If Karl Rove and the rightwing nut ball hosts read this blog I might encourage them to do exactly this! If any of you readers hear stuff like this or read stuff like this, let me know. Maybe this view is already out there!)

Friday, May 20, 2005

Crazy Conservative Christian stuff. Vs. Sane Secular stuff.

Pro-Life Conservative Values Wristband

This is just CREEPY.
Faith, Family, Fetus, Flag and a GUN? WTF? Is this just bizarre or what? What kind of twisted version of the bible are they reading? Jesus Christ died for my right to hate gays and carry a gun? Talk about Christians unclear on the concept. And is it just me or is that pro-life icon super creepy?

Now compare that to this nice little silicon band from this super nice woman who created these nice blue "Truth" bands. I corresponded with her when I spotted them. She was going crazy over the lies she kept hearing on the Right and thought that if people knew the Truth about them they would be repulsed. I agree and I try and spread truth, but some days it just seems harder than others.

Here is here copy from the website.
Truth! is Power

The Democratic blue TRUTH! Wristband is a symbol of strength and unity. Join others as we let the world know we don’t support the current administration’s policies and we are taking a stand for truth.
Bracelets are made of silicone with the word TRUTH! debossed into them. $3.00 each.

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” George Orwell

Now go buy a couple. I don't wear wrist bands, but I found I can use these for other purposes. I'm going to use them to hold back my pants when I go biking to protest the oil wars. I'll use them to bundle things to my pack when I'm out walking around Star Fleet Academy. You would be supporting a real person not some soulless corporation or bizarre Christian "values" group.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Theocratic Nation

Debating politics in the pulpit Bill would allow churches to back candidates, issues

This just boggled my mind when I read it. No more hinting around about who to vote for in churches. I wonder if this will have some unintended consequences if it passes. Answer. YES! I can't imagine it will pass, but that is part of the deal they cut and the politicians know it. "Yeah we'll sponsor their wacky extremist bill, but they won't pass because the democrats will spend money and energy fighting it and look like anti-God heathens. We look like good Christian supporters. We can't lose!"

The case has reignited debate over the House of Worship Freedom of Speech Restoration Act, introduced earlier this year by North Carolina GOP Rep. Walter Jones. The measure, which Jones has proposed two other times, would amend the Internal Revenue Service tax code to enable church leaders to endorse candidates and campaigns in their sacred buildings. Though the IRS has rarely pulled a religious institution's tax exemption because of pulpit politicking, conservatives say even a threat of an investigation has a chilling effect on religious leaders.

"If my pastor says vote for Bush I say, "How many times?"

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Why aren't we dead?

I'm not complaining mind you, but following the dramatic conclusion (yawn) of Enterprise last week it made me wonder. "Why aren't we dead? Dead as in killed by a terrorist attack here in the USA?" Remember after September 11, 2001 how everyone was predicting another terrorist attack in the US? How during the election Dick Cheney said if we would be attacked if Kerry was elected?

Located here in at Star Fleet headquarters as I often am, I fully expected something to happen to the Golden Gate Bridge and by extension, everyone who is in the general vicinity when something really bad happens.

When discussing this issue with the most wonderful "The Voice" after watching the movie The Interpreter he brought up a couple of possibilities:

1) The extent of the terrorist network was much smaller than we were lead to believe.
2) We got most of the serious players.
3) We got serious players as well as innocent people "just to be safe."
4) We tortured innocent and guilty people to get more info and swept up more innocent and guilty people.

Whatever we did, it has worked so far (opps, not counting the Antrax, but we don't like to talk about that.).

Now I know that I have a huge number of readers in the NSA and CIA who constantly come to my blog to see how resident aliens view what they do. In addition to defending the CIA to David Brooks I've also talked about the folks at the NSA using their big brains to protect America.

But should we question the methods that keep us safe? To wonder about the scope and the practices?

Someone called up "The Ethicist", New York Times columnist Randy Cohen, on All Things Considered on NPR recently to ask some silly question about the Pope and "Holy Cards". Here's a tougher question that I could ask because I want people to question their acceptance of torture.

"It is quite clear there is a systematic rounding up and torturing of innocent, as well as guilty, people in the attempt to fight terrorism both here in the US and abroad. I live in a highly ranked target area (around the Golden Gate Bridge). Since I haven't been killed in a terrorist attack, it appears that these tactics are working. I think torture is wrong, do I have an ethical obligation to protest these tactics? Am I jepordizing the safety of my friends and family around me if I ask that these tactics stop? Are these procedures that use torture necessary to keep the terrorists at bay? "

View of Golden Gate Bridge from one of the many non-inspected boats that cross under it every single day.

Now I know that reading about and writing about torture is no one's idea of a good time, and I'm sure some people might say, "Heck, it's fine with me if they have to torture a few innocents to keep me and my family from blowing up." to those people I will ask, 1) Do you call yourself a Christian? 2)If you are not a Christian, what ethical system to you subscribe to? Does this system allow this torture? What is this system called? 3) If you think toture is necessary and acceptable, why are we so coy about it and deny we are doing it? Here is the president saying we don't torture (of course he can say we follow the law and then change the law, you can do that when you are in charge.)

President Bush Press Conference
Q: Mr. President, under the law, how would you justify the practice of renditioning, where U.S. agents who bust terror suspects abroad, taking them to a third country for interrogation? And would you stand for it if foreign agents did that to an American here?

BUSH: That's a hypothetical.

We operate within the law, and we send people to countries where they say they're not going to torture the people.

But let me say something. The United States government has an obligation to protect the American people. It's in our country's interests to find those who would do harm to us and get them out of harm's way.

And we will do so within the law. And we will do so in honoring our commitment not to torture people.

And we expect the countries where we send somebody to not to torture as well.
But, you bet, when we find somebody who might do harm to the American people, we will detain them and ask others from their country of origin to detain them. It makes sense. The American people expect us to do that. We're still at war.

You know, I've said this before to you, I'm going to say it again: One of my concerns after September the 11th is the farther away we got from September the 11th, the more relaxed we would all become and assume that there wasn't an enemy out there ready to hit us.

And I just can't let the American people — I'm not going to let them down by assuming that the enemy is not going to hit us again. We're going to do everything we can to protect us.

We've got the guidelines. We've got law.

But, you bet, we're going to fight people before they harm us.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Joyful Video. Dance Edition: Ghostworld intro

This is the third in a series of joyful video clip. It is from the wonderful movie Ghostworld.

It is such a great film I bought the DVD AND the script. A brilliant little film with some incisive and cutting dialogue. You have to hear the dialog in context to appreciate it. (Here's a link to the broadband trailer)

It starts out with this wild video from the 1965 Bollywood film Gumnann (Lost One). The song is Jan Pahechan Ho. Here is a review of the movie it self. I haven't seen the movie, but it sounds interesting in a campy kind of way.

I love the frenetic dancing and the excellent surf guitar, but mostly the girl dancer in the gold lame fringe dress who just seems to be having a blast dancing. That is some joyful dance energy. The dance number is 5 minutes long, but I only put up the first 2 minutes.
I recommend you rent or buy the Ghostworld video to see the entire clip on the special features.

("Yeah, that'll definitely happen." I can hear one of the characters from Ghostworld saying.)

Right click and "save as"
Ghost World © United Artists Films, Inc. and Granada Film Ltd.
Based on the Comic Book by Daniel Clowes. Directed by Terry Zwigoff. Written by Daniel Clowes & Terry Zwigoff.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Mr. President: Lose Bolton. The jig is up.

Mr. President,

We are on to your tricks. John Bolton isn't supposed to work WITH the UN he is supposed to work AGAINST it. You picked him on purpose. He's the jerk boss everyone hates. The kind of guy that will piss off the one group of people that tries to get people to do the right things with law vs. the barrel of a gun.

If you need the UN (and you will, we can't manage the world) with Bolton in place it will just be harder. Yes, he would have the US behind him, but why do you have to send a knuckle-dragging gorilla to do the job of a well spoken diplomat? I know you think diplomacy is dead. Well I've got news for you buddy boy, Wars cost money. Diplomacy is cheaper in terms of money as well as our most precious resource, people. (Been to any soldier's funerals lately? I didn't think so. What is wrong with you?)

How many more people will die because of Bolton's crappy management style? How many wars will last longer and relief programs will be harder to implement because of this jerk? Too many.

So just knock it off with your stupid contrary appointments to places that you really want to destroy. You already got Wolfie into the World Bank isn't that enough destruction potential for one year?

Hopefully the sex scandal around Bolton will finally bring his nomination to a halt since that seems to be the only thing bad enough to block someone. Stealing from the people and lying to the people doesn't seem to get any notice these days. Then again you did a pretty good job of hushing up the Jeff Gannon/Jim Guckert affair and delaying the punishment of the Plame leaker so I guess your track record is pretty good.

You have a media so docile and a public so disillusioned that you might get your way. When when the UN doesn't do what you want you'll have no one to blame but yourself. No, strike that you'll blame Karl, or Codi or Dick anybody but George.

Mr. Spocko, Resident Alien
Star Fleet Academy, San Francisco, CA, USA,
Federation Sector, 0,0,0

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Who needs Real ID? I carry Alien ID!

Don't leave your planet without it!

I don't need to worry about the Real ID rider attached to the "must pass" unnecessary Iraq war spending bill. I'm actually surprised this is the MOST obnoxious thing stuffed into that bill. I'll have to review it closer to see what other nonsense was attached. Hmmm, I wonder if the President could use his line item veto on this? (What am I thinking? Logic and the President. I would laugh if I could.)

As an alien I'm used to being asked for ID, but as most sentient beings know there are several fallicies in using photo ID as a security measure. In my experiance my captain's idenity has been tranfered to 1) A woman and 2) An Android. In both cases a photo ID was worthless. And of course when Captain Garth (LORD GARTH!) metamorphed into Captain Kirk, again a photo ID was worthless.

In my own case not only was MY idenity stolen, my actual BRAIN was taken.

Now who would believe that THIS was me?

IDs are useful for broadbrush purposes, but in the hands of a government that is ruled by the politics of greed and operated by faliable (and incompentent) humans, the prospect of abuse and misuse are legion. Right wing humans love to ignore facts like all the 9/11 terrorists had photo IDs.
Security is a trade-off; we have to weigh the security we get against the price we pay for it. Better trade-offs are to spend money on intelligence and analysis, investigation, and making ourselves less of a pariah on the world stage. And to spend money on the other, non-terrorist, security issues that affect far more Americans every year.
--Bruce Schneier, Security Expert

As Mr. Future will tell you (thanks for the book BTW I'm enjoying it) there is a lot more to security than a photo ID. And he KNOWs what he is talking about. His NSA file is probably thicker than mine!

Anyway for the record, here is my Alien ID. Yes, I weigh more than 81 kilos, but this new "Vulcan South Beach Diet" is really going to help once I start it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Floating Bread! FLOATING BREAD!

Can't talk watching Veronica Mars! You should be too.
The bread will continue floating until you return.
Must. Watch. Veronica.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Janeane Garofalo Interview on NOW, Friday May 6

Did any of you see Janeane Garofalo on NOW last Friday? I think she did a good job, but it was mostly stuff I had heard before. Dave Brancaccio set her up with a number of "But what about..." questions that conservative have often thrown at her. One issue that struck me as fascinating was that whenever the TV wanted an anti-war voice they went to actors and actresses instead of former military or ambassadors or intellectuals. She says imagine if you had a pentagon official or a senior fellow on the anti-war side and on the pro-war side, Kurt Russell. This "fair and balanced" selection of "experts" was rigged from the beginning. They got star power on a "boring" topic but they also marginalized the voice against the war by not having on experts of equal statue.

I've converted the clip to WMV for your viewing pleasure, but I'd like to have people download this as a bittorrent file. I'm new to setting up a tracker and I'm not sure if I set up it up correctly in my bit torrent client, Azureus. Please let me know if one of these works and if so which one. If none work and you know what I'm missing I'd appreciate some guidance.

UPDATE: I couldn't figure out a good tracker and so I'm posting a smaller version of the file on the website. You can either stream it or rightclick and save target as.
Audio is good, image is small. If anyone can recommend a good tracker I'd appreciate it.

Janeane Garofalo on Now, May 6, 2005

You can click the play button, the link or the photo or right click and save target as to get it on your system and conserve bandwith and hopefully limit congestion.

This is a big file about 10 megs and runs about 12 minutes.
If you right click and "Save Target as" you can reduce congestion on the server.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Another Man Date?

Click on their photo for the most excellent song by Electric Six (I LOVE the guitar riff) and a great Flash movie about Bush and Blair going to a bar together.

It could happen to you. More joyful video

In the second of my series of joyful video is a clip from "It Could Happen To You."

I love this clip because of the transformation of emotions on Bridget Fonda's face. It also shows her character's essential goodness. Upon finding out she was winning some money her first thought (after hugging the benefactor) was to give everyone ice cream for their pie.

The story is a fable. It deals with making and keeping promises, the ugliness of greed, human compassion and generosity in the face of adversity. This fable is powerful because it examines the essential longing for people to "do the right thing". When people don't do "the right thing" we know it in our hearts and we want justice to be done. We want karma to be complete within the scope of the story. Hollywood knows this and provides the appropriate penalties and rewards in their movies based on our deepest longings.

When we can't get justice on big issues in the real world we seek it in our entertainment. Some lash out and demand it on smaller issues they feel they can control. Some even lash out at the wrong targets.

Seeing people get away with stealing, torture, lying, and harming others should trigger anger and a demand for justice. Rationalizations should be seen for what they are, excuses for failing to do what is right. We often retreat to cynism because it is maddening to hold in your head the massive injustices that are rolled out daily.

And it is especially distressing to see otherwise good people providing rationalizations for the sick policies of harming the less fortunate, stealing from the tax payers and excusing the creator of torture procedures.

An amusing thought experiment came to me. How would the court TV shows talk about and rule about the financial shenanigans in Iraq? What would Judge Judy have to say about the lies that were fed to the American people based on the latest evidence out of the UK. What would Celebrity Justice say about destroying evidence and lying to the family of Pat Tilman?

But all the Law and Order episodes in the world and neatly wrapped up CSI shows won't satisify people's essential desire for justice to be done on the big issues of the day. Every time a politician gets away with lying, a military man isn't held responsible for atrocities, or a corporate exec steals from the public, people's resentment at the lack of justice builds. How this resentment will manifest itself will be interesting to watch.

I want all of us to focus on the true players in these events. There would be no Abu Ghraib (in its full scale and scope, not the few low-level scapegoats talking the fall) without the approved policies from this Adminstration.

Now, on with our show.

This is a big file about 7 megs and runs about 4 minutes.
If you right click and "Save Target as" you can reduce congestion on the server.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Joyful Video

As you might guess I'm fascinated by human emotions. When they work, don't work or get in the way of logic. I do not dismiss their impact and power.

In studying the issue I notice that rarely do movies capture the emotion of joy. Lots of anger, sadness, hate and fun, but rarely joy. During The Depression (not to be confused with the depression felt by millions during This Administration) people flocked to movies to escape from the sad reality of the day.

I'd like to provide some clips of joyfulness that I've found in movies to help combat some of the anger, sadness and hate that current events seem to trigger in many.

Recent brain research shows that strong emotions imprint memories deeply. So maybe watching this and reading some of Katrina vanden Heuvel's Sweet Victories will provide some relief.

This clip is from "Adventures in Babysitting" starring Elisabeth Shue. She is dressing for a date and dancing around to music while she gets ready. It is one of my favorite joyful movie scenes of all time. I met the producer at a class and told her that. In response she said, "I'll have to tell Liz that." Wow! From her lips to Elisabeth Shue's ears!

It might take some time to download the file, it is pretty big
OR You can also right click and save target as.

Right click to save Windows Video Media
This is a 5MB file

Right click to save Real Video Media
It's a big file, 11MB.

I probably won't keep this up for long, it takes too much bandwidth, but I put it up for a few of my readers who are in a sad mood. If you are in a sad mood please check it out. It's very uplifting.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

US Travel Agent to Torture Towns Or

Death Flights 2005

Its official, United States Acts as Travel Agency to Torture Towns around the globe.
The confirmation that US agents were involved in the Swedish case provided the first concrete evidence that since 9/11 the US has been involved in organising a worldwide traffic in prisoners. Official and journalistic investigations show that the US has systematically organised the repatriation of Islamic militants to countries in the Arab world and East Asia where they can be imprisoned and interrogated using methods forbidden to US agents. Some call it torture by proxy. Prisoners have been captured and transported by the US not only from Afghanistan and Iraq, but from Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia, Albania, Libya, Sudan, Kenya, Zambia, Gambia, Pakistan, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Establishing shot: Backlit man in dark paneled office:

Camera cuts in tight on man’s lips talking into black phone.

“Porter, I’m kind of disappointed with what we are getting out of our detainees lately. Either they really don’t know anything, or our torturers just haven’t put their heart into it. Got anywhere that will put electrodes on sensitive parts of a detainee’s body? I think it’s time to “shock the monkey, if you know what I mean.”

Cut to exterior location,

CIA office somewhere in Langley, West Virginia.

“I hear ya, Don. What kind of Torture Trip are you looking for? Gitmo? I’ve got a SuperSaver package if your guest checks in before Saturday and says forever.”

Cut back to backlit man standing in dark paneled office:
“I’m thinking more along the lines of Syria, Jordan or Egypt.”


“Any would be good; I’ve got a nice long-range Gulfstream V jet newly repainted with no markings that can take you and your “guest” to Egypt whenever you want. It’s in S Stockholm’s Brömma airport right now. It’s your call, but you know the old rhyme,
‘Jordan’s your country for full interrogation,
but to kill them all outright, Egypt’s your nation.’

Dark panel office:

Egypt it is. Put it on my tab. Details to follow on umbra secured channels.
Best to the wife.

"Remember your number is 4 and we are the good guys."

The very latest in eye electrodes!