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September 28, 2006

the fucking torture bill

Today is another day where we who can do little at least make with the typey-typey.  News reports are that the Congress is going to pass today legislation dealing with the desire of the administration to detain, torture and try foreign nationals in full-blown contravention of the Geneva Accords.  News reports are referring to the bills in question as "anti-terror" or "detainee", which I would take issue with -- you can just as easy refer to the legislation as "pro-torture" or "war crime-y".  I guess the news interests have to take care not to take sides, or at least only take one side, the war crime-y side.

You'da thunk that when the sad, evil fuckers decided to actually cross the line in full daylight and legislate something not only anti-Constitutional but also anti-American, they would have chosen some issue more in line with their personal greed -- election-fixing, or environmental deregulation.  Something that would actually continue the free flow of greenbacks into their corrupt little pockets.  But no.  Instead they cross the line with our right to strip inaliable rights from people.

Just like the founders intended!

The idea that an electorate is willing to allow this codified atrocity to be enacted makes me wish every bad thing on this electorate.  You invite what you become.  That is why the traditional story arc of a despot ends in the quick and painful end of said despot, and why the lifespan of an oppressive regime, and why a regime that deliberately steps on the rights of its people can end slowly and tumultuously with blood in the streets.

Not that this will happen anytime soon.  But we used to have this organizing document that gave us the illusion of moral authority, even when our actions didn't exactly jibe with this document.

Now we don't even have that.

So fuck the architects of this abortion.  Fuck them.  I hope they experience the focused disdain of millions of good people in a very, very personal fashion.

And finally, realize what is at stake with this legislation (and maybe why the Administration is so willing to put it on the line) -- this is not so much about a ruling class of sadist fuckwits looking to rationalize their basest instincts (though it seems that way, doesn't it?).  This is the act of a lawless and suddenly scared administration trying to endrun the Constitution and retroactively approve their impeachable offenses.

Some days not one fucking thing goes right.

Posted by mrbrent at 3:19 PM

attack of the monarchs

I don't remember this happening last year, or any year before it.  But the past week I've noticed an unnatural amount of monarch butterfllies here in the greater NYC region.  Mostly I see them outside my office in West Chelsea, and they just kind of waft in the wind eddies about three or four stories up.

Ah, I see that these little dudes stopped in Connecticut first.  That explains a lot.  Or at least it explains that the reason that I didn't notice them in years past is probably only because I didn't notice them.

I know, butterflies, schmutterflies.  But remember, Vladimir Nabokov had a little thing for butterflies, and that would be good company to keep.  Also, two words: papillon and schmetterling.

Posted by mrbrent at 10:17 AM

September 27, 2006

silversun pickups

A pal gave me a CD of a new band, and I swear on a stack of Bibles I have not been able to stop playing it.  It was in the glovebox of my car for a while, and I brought it to work on a whim last Monday.  Once I slapped it in the Discman (how quaint!) I have not taken it out.

The band is called Silversun Pickups, and the album is called Carnavas.  I've spent all afternoon trying to think of some snazzy description of what they sound like, but I'm apparently not having a very Lester Bangs-y day.  It jangles when it has to, and also it fuzzes out when it needs to.  The lead singer reminds you of Billy Corgan minus the cage-metaphors and the studio magic.  Are we up to post-post-punk now?  Is there pop in that equation?

I like.  And my recommendations come with no promise of profit, though I've never been known to turn down swag.  Yes, I'm talking to you, SSPU, should you be googling yourselves.

[UPDATE: I see on the website of their label that they have been picked as a Band To Watch by Rolling Stone, so maybe I'm late to this party.  Though I refuse to feel sorry for not reading Rolling Stone.]

Posted by mrbrent at 5:51 PM

it's so annoying when i harp on his broken language

There are other places for sober commentary on the recently related National Intelligence Estimate.  You know, the one about the briar patch, and the president who insisted that throwing the rabbit into the briar patch was the only wise choice.  You go to the places for the sober commentary already; no need for me to link, or to pile on.

I would, however, would like to read back to you some of the Words of Petulance from our President, as he discussed the implications of the NIE (as reported by the New York Times):

“You know, to suggest that if we weren’t in Iraq we would see a rosier scenario, with fewer extremists joining the radical movement, requires us to ignore 20 years of experience,” Mr. Bush said.  He added: “My judgment is: The only way to protect this country is to stay on the offense.”

I'm not sure where Mr. Bush acquired twenty years of experience -- he's not talking about experience as a failed capitalist, is he, or experience as beneficiary of his daddy's cronies' largess?  Or maybe just being a drunk?

And also, I'd suggest that the President get the country off the offense.  It's pretty hard to breathe with a country on top of you.

'Cause he meant, "stay on the offensive," see?  So, if you imagine it literally...

Whatever.  A bad day for this President is a good day for me.

Posted by mrbrent at 11:09 AM

September 25, 2006

i am having sex with marmaduke again, just now

This is your irregular dose of entertainments originally mined by Boing Boing.

First, there is this post concerning a little infographic concerning Disney's role in the current IP wars.  I link it mostly because Cory Doctorow makes a point that is infrequently made, and you all need to memorize it: the character of Mickey Mouse is under no threat of scampering off into the public domain -- Mickey Mouse is protected to a greater extent by trademark, which, if properly maintained, doesn't ever expire, as does copyright.  (Long story.)  So when you hear some loudmouth (like me) talk about how Disney is fighting to keep its characters from being publicly owned, remember that Disney is actually spending all this money and good will to ensure that the actual works (i.e., "Steamboat Willie") do not become publicly owned.  It's a small but important distinction, and Cory nails it in half the words it took me to describe it.  Figures.

And then, as an small token to my old friend Monk, there is this piece of excellence, which experiments with injecting real live humor into old strips, and the money line of which is the title of this little post.

It's nice to stumble across a few items not involving stuffing a doe's head into someone's mailbox.

[The next day:]  More sweet Marmaduke love!  Please let there be more websites deconstructing Marmaduke.  Or Modok.

Posted by mrbrent at 3:30 PM

my favorite part was that he was rude

I don't need to post anything about Bill Clinton's Presidential moment, do I?  You don't live in a cave, right?

I will say that word of President Clinton's appearance on Fox News spread in a fashion that I would compare favorably to schoolyard news that someone finally bloodied the nose of the bully who's been giving you years of swirlies.

And I would also like to cast aspersions on the personal character of one Mr. Chris Wallace, word of which comes to me anecdotally, and therefore I keep it to myself and let aspersions cast themselves.

Unless, of course, you'd like to buy me a drink.

Posted by mrbrent at 10:26 AM