Wednesday, July 29, 2009
News out today from the Tiversa Inc. Group testifying at the House Government Oversight and Government Reform Committee that highly sensitive and classified information has been located on public P2P networks, both domestically and internationally.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
China has announced that it is outlawing the practice of forcing internet addicts to undergo shock treatment.
Monday, July 27, 2009
You have to take your hat off to the evil, that is liberalism. Those craven souls that would work with Satan himself to subvert America's wholesome goodness.
John Philpot Curran
Saturday, July 25, 2009
I had an interesting go around with Bank of America this week. They took over Countrywide last year, a company I had a longtime mortgage and equity line with. Never had a single problem in many years.
The history of the last century shows, as we shall see later, that the advice given to governments by bankers, like the advice they gave to industrialists, was consistently good for bankers, but was often disastrous for governments, businessmen, and the people generally.
When I tell people that I don't have a television, I invariably hear some gobbledygook like I only watch the history channel or CSPAN. I will be frank with you, I'm so dumbed down that if I did have one, I would be the bleary eyed guy who comes to work all tired out after the weekend Pettycoat Junction marathon or who has memorized every line of dialogue from Fireball XL5. I'm decidedly lowbrow.
I found this clip from Liquid Sky, one of my favorite early 80's cult movies, which unfortunately is not available on Netflix. Some of my other favorite movies include Vanishing Point, Repo Man, O Lucky Man, Legs Diamond, 8 million ways to die, Hudsucker Proxy, The Warriors, Zatoichi the Blind Swordsman, Chinese Ghost Story, The Harder They Come, The Man who would be King, Z and my all time favorite movie, One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest.
Love Zorro and all the samurai movies and pirate movies and mobster movies. Love Lon Chaney. Never could understand Fellini or Bergman or the arty stuff and my little brother Buzz would have to translate what was going on for me. He would be laughing hysterically and I would be like what the hell's going on? We had an old spanish revival theater in Encinitas that I think might have been owned by Mary Pickford called the La Paloma. At one time it had couches instead of chairs and you could catch the late night fare lying down and occasionally snoozing. You could get a Pink Floyd at Pompeii - Bunuel double feature and zone into the stratos. Ah, misspent youth!
Friday, July 24, 2009
I have been sort of following the recent debate on national health care. I think that we need to move towards that option. I read the WHO report the other day that America ranked around 37th amongst developed countries (sandwiched in between Costa Rica and Slovenia) in regards to the quality of it's health care. (At least we outrank Slovenia.) Approximately 48 million Americans are currently without any form of health insurance and only have access to healthcare through the hospital emergency room.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
You are just walking down the street minding your own business and you look up in the sky and Whammo, no more worries about the kid's tuition or the fading 401k. Life is so tenuous and can disappear in the wink of an eye. If a planet gets vaporized in the forest and no one hears it, well, you know...
The scale of the cosmos is incomprehensible. And we are in orbit around a relatively small sun. The average distance from the Sun to the Earth is 1,496*10¹¹m. Thats 149 million kilometers or 92.58 million miles. Jupiter's diameter at the equator is about 88,700 miles (142,700 kilometers), which is more than 11 times the diameter of Earth. It would take 1,000 earths to fill up Jupiter. Jupiter is about 391 million miles from earth at it's closest approach. As they said when I was a kid in Texas, that's a fur piece.
One of the favorite books of my youth was Eames Powers of 10. Take a journey from outer space to the proton with this modern day link.
An amateur astronomer in Australia, Anthony Wesley, noticed the collision near the south pole of Jupiter last thursday. Like the bruise you would find on an apple that has fallen off your counter. Let's hope nobody got hurt.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I have been following the scuttlebutt surrounding the Huntingdon Valley Swim Club controversy with some interest. I am sure that you have heard the basic story. Sixty five mostly black inner city youths were tossed out of the suburban Philadelphia club for changing the "complexion" of the club. The money that they had paid the club prior to their visit was refunded.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Davey and Goliath were a 1960's television stop animation duo produced by the Lutheran Church. Don't ask me which synod. Note the early Mountain Dew product placement. They were created by Art Clokey, the creator of Gumby. At one time they were seen in over 90% of the homes in America. Each episode helped indoctrinate America's youth to the wonders of god's great plan for us.
The show ran into troubles when Goliath was hit by a car while chasing an errant ball Davey had thrown into the street. Production stopped while the canine was in a long and intensive rehabilitation since the producers could not find another talking dog to use as a stand in.
Davey, wracked by guilt, fell into a lifelong battle with drugs and depression. He is currently living in an undisclosed location in the United States and reportedly planning his triumphant return to the world stage. For once, Goliath would offer no comment, but his publicist released this statement:
Monday, July 20, 2009
Read an article today that an engineer's texting might have been the culprit in the rail crash the other day in NYC and was definitely involved in two other fatal mishaps. Also read a warning about texting while driving, something I have shamefully done but have tried to curtail. These infernal crackberries and other communication devices are insidious. I find myself constantly checking the red light on the device to see if I have an incoming email. There will definitely be a strong urge to unplug soon. No television for 19 years, I can forgo instant communication. I am also getting into the habit of doing my own spell check correction instead of relying on a word processor so my spelling skills don't go the way of my late mathematical computation ability.
From Wikipedia: Robert Pete Williams (March 14, 1914 – December 31, 1980) was an American Louisiana blues musician, based in Louisiana. His music characteristically employs unconventional blues tunings and structures, and his songs are often about the time he served in prison. His song "I've Grown So Ugly" has been covered by Captain Beefheart, on his album Safe as Milk (1967), and by The Black Keys, on Rubber Factory (2004).
Williams was born in Zachary, Louisiana to sharecropping parents, and lived around the Baton Rouge area throughout his life. He was discovered in Angola prison, by ethnomusicologists Dr Harry Oster and Richard Allen, where he was serving a life sentence for shooting a man dead in a local club in 1956, an act which he claimed was in self-defense. Oster and Allen recorded Williams performing several of his songs about life in prison and pleaded for him to be pardoned. The pardon was partially granted in 1959, when Williams was released, although he could not leave Louisiana until he received a full pardon in 1964. By this time, Williams' music had achieved some favorable word-of-mouth reviews, and he played his first concert outside Louisiana at that year's Newport Folk Festival.
Williams went on to tour the United States, and played a number of concerts with Mississippi Fred McDowell. He continued to play concerts and festivals into the late 1970s when his health began to decline.
His most popular recordings included "Prisoner's Talking Blues" and "Pardon Denied Again". Williams has been inducted into the Louisiana Blues Hall of Fame.
Williams died in Rosedale, Louisiana on 31 December 1980, at the age of 66.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
It's coming up on 2:oo a.m.and we are still coming down off our Screw the Depression party. It was very successful but incredibly crowded. Plus the room was very hot. People drank like fish. Close to 60 bottles or more I think.
Ended up drinking Bushmills with some crazy people. Thanks to everyone who came out. The party was an interesting shift and mix of old and young. Rich and poor and in between. There was a late entry that phase shifted the thing into the wee hours. Some people came that have been buffeted about by the winds of economic misfortune. We all commiserated. Usually I end up with about 20 more wine bottles than I started with after these affairs. Now the cupboard is near bare.
Leslie had the belly dancers at Caravan. The Blue Heron Gallery featured an excellent twelve string guitar player Doug Danker performing and then a couple of funky memphis type cats from a gospel church. People were getting hammered on the sidewalk out front for hours as the cops slowly drove past. Pretty insane.
I even sold some paintings today so it might be a tragedy narrowly averted. Pala Casino catered the steak and giant shrimp dinner for the wine and a bite portion. Robert, the executive chef, was a gas. Orizaba wine donated a lot of good red for the tasting. A lot of people came in that had never seen the gallery before and no one had ever seen it this clean - I have been quite the domestic the last several days.
Thanks to all who came and played and partied with us. Catch the rest of you on the next go round. Everyone seemed quite happy and I kept hearing how my parties are mas mejor. Best group of people, I know...
Leslie and I cleaned up after we finally flushed the last stragglers out. Tomorrow I finish up. We just split a quesadilla and it's sayonara time.
Robert - going to bed.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
He was so depressed, he tried to commit suicide by inhaling next to an Armenian.
Times are tough, and many people have been cashing in their chips. I was talking to my friend Vern who lives in the Grand Canyon about the Romanian guy who drove his car into the great divide last week. He said that most people only get 30 to 50 feet down the side but this guy went about 600'! The decedent had to really scout out the flight plan, going behind the El Tovar Hotel, driving on the grass for a spell, finding a little used path, and throttling down for maximum acceleration to one of the few areas without a guard rail. But a high visibility spot so you could still give the people a little show.
Vern has lived in the canyon a long time and says the real waste are the people who come to the canyon and merely shoot themselves, when they could be working on their flying skills. It's a bit counterintuitive, couldn't you save on gas and do it at home?
Why are people such, pardon the pun, lemmings? Why the Golden Gate or the Coronado Bridge all the time. Why the Canyon? Is it their poetic nature? Are we just copycats without an original thought, even in death?
Then again I had a frenchman across the street do himself in in his garage when I lived in Rainbow years ago. The sheriff's deputy, who knew the fellow, was really pissed that the guy couldn't have taken it outside, since it caused quite a mess.
Of course writers and dentists are the people most known for this sort of thing - the Sylvia Plath tradition - don't quite get it. If I have to drill one more stinky molar, well that's it.
Maybe it's man's innate and primordial urge to fly that causes us to seek great heights for our grand finale. Finish the whole think off with a two and a half gainer in pike position. Style points. And no one has to clean up the bathtub.
Grand Canyon News Release
Release date: Immediate
Contact(s): Shannan Marcak
Phone number: 928-638-7958
Date: July 17, 2009
Man Who Drove Car Over Edge at Grand Canyon Identified
Grand Canyon, Ariz. - The body of a man who drove his car over the edge
the Grand Canyon earlier this week has been identified as that of
Chiriac of Apple Valley, California.
On Monday, July 13 at approximately 6:00 a.m., the Grand Canyon Regional
Communications Center received multiple reports that a car had been
over the edge near the El Tovar Hotel on the South Rim of Grand Canyon
Upon arriving at the scene, park rangers found tire tracks indicating
a car had been driven up onto the curb of the loading area between the
Tovar Hotel and the Kachina Lodge. The tracks indicated that the car
veered left, traveling through the grass behind Kachina Lodge until it
reached the Thunderbird Lodge where it veered right and into the canyon.
As the car had traveled a significant distance from the regular roadway,
there was no wall or barrier where it went over the edge
Rescue personnel descended on ropes and located the vehicle
600 feet below the rim. The body of a lone male was located shortly
thereafter. After the scene was documented, the body was transported to
the rim by helicopter via long-line operation and then picked up by the
Coconino County Medical Examiner.
The body has now been identified as that of 57 year old Gheorghe Chiriac
who emigrated from Romania approximately 30 years ago. His death has
ruled a suicide.
The investigation into this incident was conducted by the National Park
SHANNAN D. MARCAK
Public Affairs Specialist
Grand Canyon National Park
Friday, July 17, 2009
Kudos to Mitch McConnell, the Senator from Kentucky and Minority Leader. He came out in opposition to Sonia Sotomayor's nomination today. A senior aide said the senator plans to announce his opposition officially Monday, voicing concern about her respect for the notion of equal justice, and about whether she would let her sympathies and prejudices interfere with judicial decisions. Now isn't that the problem with most minorities, that they are so damn prejudiced?
"Judge Sotomayor's record of written statements suggests an alarming lack of respect for the notion of equal justice, and therefore, in my view, an insufficient willingness to abide by the judicial oath. This is particularly important when considering someone for the Supreme Court since, if she were confirmed, there would be no higher court to deter or prevent her from injecting into the law the various disconcerting principles that recur throughout her public statements. For that reason, I will oppose her nomination."
"In her writings and in her speeches, Judge Sotomayor has repeatedly stated that a judge's personal experiences affect judicial outcomes. She has said her experiences will affect the facts that she chooses to see as a judge. She has argued that in deciding cases judges should bring their sympathies and prejudices to bear. She has dismissed the ideal of judicial impartiality as an 'aspiration' that, in her view, cannot be met even in most cases. Taken together, these statements suggest not just a sense that impartiality is not possible, but that it's not even worth the effort."
"Judge Sotomayor's record on the Second Circuit is troubling enough. But, as I said, at least on the Circuit Court, there's a backstop. Her cases can be reviewed by the Supreme Court. This meant that in the Ricci case, for example, the firefighters whose promotions were unfairly denied could appeal the decision. Fortunately for them, the Supreme Court sided with them over Judge Sotomayor. If, however, Judge Sotomayor were to become a Supreme Court Justice, there would be no backstop. Her rulings would be final. She'd be unencumbered by the obligation of lower court judges to follow precedent. She could act more freely on the kinds of views that animated her troubling and legally incorrect ruling in the Ricci case. That's not a chance I'm willing to take."