Archive for February, 2011

This is the most awesomest music video ever

February 28, 2011

Why have I not heard of ZDoggMD before? Internet, you’re supposed to tell me about these kinds of things.

The SPJ and undercover journalism

February 27, 2011

The “Society of Professional Journalists” is pretty upset with the way that nobody covering the story seems to get angry enough about how Murphy was deceptive in his talk with Governor Walker. They cite their own ethical code in that journalists should be “honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news.”

So Murphy clearly violated the SPJ’s ethical code as far as not being honest since he was pretending to be someone he wasn’t. But if you’re going to whine about every time a journalists lies in order to obtain information, then that effectively make all undercover journalism “unethical” according to the standards of the Society of Professional Journalists. In fact, let’s see what the SPJ’s Code of Ethics has to say about undercover journalism:

Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information except when traditional open methods will not yield information vital to the public. Use of such methods should be explained as part of the story.

If someone at the SPJ were to actually read the story, they might have noticed that the very first thing they will read is a quote from a Democratic state senator in Wisconsin saying, and this is a paraphrase, that traditional open methods of contacting Governor Walker in order to obtain information vital to the public have not yielded results. So my question to the SPJ is: How exactly does Murphy’s story not qualify as an exception to the SPJ’s “no undercover work” rule?

Traditional open methods had not yielded this information, contrary to what certain pols and politicians have been saying (more on that later). The information we uncovered is vital to the public. This should be a textbook case of acceptable undercover journalism according to the SPJ’s own standards.

lol

February 24, 2011

Wow, I’ve let this blog sit for a while now. Kind of busy at the moment though, so be patient. Or don’t. Whatever. Look at this:

Wisconsin

February 18, 2011

The Republican governor of Wisconsin is trying to push through legislation which would strip public employees of their collective bargaining rights. You’ve probably heard about this by now.

In response, thousands of protesters have filled the streets of Madison. Here are some of them:

Good times. Anyway, Glenn Beck weighed in on the subject and did that random association thing he does. According to Beck, the Wisconsin public unions are collaborating with the Muslim Brotherhood because Midwest teachers, police officers, and other public servants have a lot in common with the Muslim Brotherhood, a group which (unfortunately for Beck’s conspiracy mongering) has only 15% public approval in Egypt.

Here’s how it works: See, in Egypt, they had demonstrations protesting against what the government is doing. And now in Wisconsin, you’ve got demonstrators  protesting against what the government is doing. Obviously the two groups must be in cahoots! For some reason, Beck doesn’t use this kind of brilliant analysis to compare protesting teabaggers with protesting Muslim extremists, even though they share much of the same ideology.

At this point, the only thing stopping Glenn Beck from being as much of a loon as Alex Jones is his refusal to get involved with 9/11 troofer bullshit.

Governor Walker claimed he needed to try to bust up public unions because of budget problems. We’re broke and the sky is falling so we need to cut benefits from skilled workers. It’s just how it’s got to be, because of the BUDGET. Ah, if only if weren’t for that budget, everyone who works for a living would get a retirement and decent health care and stuff like that. In fact there’s even a number associated with the budget problem. They are $137 million in debt. But then some people started investigating why there’s so much of a budget problem in Wisconsin. From One Wisconsin Now:

Republican Gov. Scott Walker plans to pay for $140 million in new special interest spending signed into law in January by extending the state’s long term debt in a “scoop and toss” refinancing scheme that will cost untold tens of millions of dollars in additional debt for Wisconsin.

In other words, the only reason they’re in so much debt is because now Walker has to pay off the corporations which helped him get elected. In order to do that, he has to redistribute the wealth from the working poor and the middle class to his extremely rich contributors. Apparently you only get to call it socialism or communism when you’re redistributing wealth from the rich to the poor. When it’s the other way around – as it is in this case- it’s an “emergency budget measure” or some other such nonsense. Got that? Giving money to the poor = communism. Giving money to the rich = tough-minded pragmatism. That’s how conservatives think. Seriously.

Yesterday, in an attempt to delay or kill the proposed bill, Democratic state senators fled the state so that less than the necessary 3/5 wouldn’t be in attendance. Reporters tracked some of them down to a Best Western in Rockford, IL. Wonkette points out that that hotel has an awesome water park and a pub, so that makes it a win-win for the state senators who made it there.

Probably will have more on this later as it develops.

Only 12 Senators voted against extending the USA-PATRIOT Act

February 17, 2011

Here are their names (source):

  1. Max Baucus (D-MT)
  2. Mark Begich (D-AK)
  3. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
  4. Tom Harkin (D-IA)
  5. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
  6. Mike Lee (R-UT)
  7. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
  8. Patty Murray (D-WA)
  9. Rand Paul (R-KY)
  10. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
  11. Jon Tester (D-MT)
  12. Tom Udall (D-NM)

If you see your Senator listed here, maybe it’d be a good idea to contact them and let them know that you appreciate their support for civil liberties. And it’d probably be even better to contact the ones you don’t see listed here to let them know that they lost your support.

John Boehner is standing up for the stupid guy

February 16, 2011

The President of Republicans John Boehner went on the teevee this weekend to tell David Gregory that although he’s definitely not a birther, he doesn’t want to interfere with the right of Americans to believe stupid things by telling his supporters that they’re wrong about Obama’s place of birth and religion. From Politico:

When the host of NBC’s “Meet the Press” asked Boehner whether he, as speaker of the House, had a responsibility to “stand up to that kind of ignorance,” Boehner told David Gregory: “It’s not my job to tell the American people what to think. Our job in Washington is to listen to the American people.”

OK, got that? John Boehner is not interested in telling the American people what to think! He would never do such a thing. Right? Well, I decided to ask the Wikipedia to find out if that is actually true. Here are some things I found:

On May 25, 2006, Boehner issued a statement defending his agenda and attacking his “Democrat friends” such as Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Boehner said regarding national security that voters “have a choice between a Republican Party that understands the stakes and is dedicated to victory, and a Democrat Party with a non-existent national security policy that sheepishly dismisses the challenges of a post-9/11 world and is all too willing to concede defeat on the battlefield in Iraq.”

Each and every day, Israel’s very existence is at stake.

We need to look at the American people and explain to them that we’re broke,” Boehner said. “If you have substantial non-Social Security income while you’re retired, why are we paying you at a time when we’re broke? We just need to be honest with people.

A ban on taxpayer funding of abortion is the will of the people and ought to be the law of the land.  But current law – particularly as enforced by this Administration – does not reflect the will of the people.


Those are all quotes from the House Majority Leader literally telling the American people what they should think. And not only that, but he’s also told the American people what to think in regards to how to pronounce his own name. If I think his name is pronounced ‘boner,’ isn’t it my right to call him that? Apparently he’s not as against telling people what to think as it seems he is when it comes to birtherism. But why the special exception in that case? Let’s go back to Politico to find out:

Boehner denied that he is willing to let those misperceptions remain because they weaken and delegitimize Obama.

Oh no, of course not.

Subverting drug war propaganda

February 16, 2011

Pete Guthier at his Drug War Rant blog has some good examples of how to take those “Above the Influence” messages the ONDCP and other send out and turn them against themselves. Here’s the starting point:

And from there you can do something like this:

Or this:

Enjoy.

Stuff

February 15, 2011

  • Mother Jones: South Dakota Moves To Legalize Killing Abortion Providers
  • Nicholas Kristof: What Egypt Can Teach America
  • Slashdot: DailyMotion now streaming live news from from Al Jazeera, BBC, and France 24 and others.
  • Lawrence Wright: Paul Haggis vs. Church of Scientology
  • Danger Room: Kin Jong Il’s 69th Birthday Party Kicks Off
  • Wonkette: Dick Cheney Refuses to Answer Questions About Sonic the Hedgehog
  • WPXI: Man creates a fire hazard to combat atheists.

65 House Democrats voted to extend the USA-PATRIOT Act

February 15, 2011

Here are their names (source):

  1. Gary Ackerman (NY-5)
  2. Jason Altmire (PA-4)
  3. Joe Baca (CA-43)
  4. John Barrow (GA-12)
  5. Sanford Bishop (GA-2)
  6. Tim Bishop (NY-1)
  7. Dan Boren (OK-2)
  8. Leonard Boswell (IA-3)
  9. Corrine Brown (FL-3)
  10. George Butterfield (NC-1)
  11. Dennis Cardoza (CA-18)
  12. Russ Carnahan (MO-3)
  13. John Carney (DE-1)
  14. Kathy Castor (FL-11)
  15. Ben Chandler (KY-6)
  16. Gerry Connolly (VA-11)
  17. Jim Cooper (TN-5)
  18. Jim Costa (CA-20)
  19. Joe Courtney (CT-2)
  20. Mark Critz (PA-12)
  21. Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
  22. Susan Davis (CA-53)
  23. Ted Deutch (FL-19)
  24. Norman Dicks (WA-6)
  25. Joe Donnelly (IN-2)
  26. Martin Heinrich (NM-1)
  27. Brian Higgins (NY-27)
  28. Ruben Hinojosa (TX-15)
  29. Tim Holden (PA-17)
  30. Steny Hoyer (MD-5)
  31. Jay Inslee (WA-1)
  32. Steve Israel (NY-2)
  33. William Keating (MA-10)
  34. Ron Kind (WI-3)
  35. Larry Kissell (NC-8)
  36. Jim Langevin (RI-2)
  37. Sander Levin (MI-12)
  38. Daniel Lipinski (IL-3)
  39. Nita Lowey (NY-18)
  40. Stephen Lynch (MA-9)
  41. Jim Matheson (UT-2)
  42. Carolyn McCarthy (NY-4)
  43. Mike McIntyre (NC-7)
  44. Jerry McNerney (CA-11)
  45. Brad Miller (NC-13)
  46. Chris Murphy (CT-5)
  47. Bill Pascrell (NJ-8)
  48. Ed Perlmutter (CO-7)
  49. Gary Peters (MI-9)
  50. Collin Peterson (MN-7)
  51. Mike Quigley (IL-5)
  52. Nick Rahall (WV-3)
  53. Silvestre Reyes (TX-16)
  54. Mike Ross (AR-4)
  55. Steve Rothman (NJ-9)
  56. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-2)
  57. Adam Schiff (CA-29)
  58. Allyson Schwartz (PA-13)
  59. David Scott (GA-13)
  60. Terri Sewell (AL-7)
  61. Heath Shuler (NC-11)
  62. Albio Sires (NJ-13)
  63. Niki Tsongas (MA-5)
  64. Chris Van Hollen (MD-8)
  65. John Yarmuth (KY-3)

Contact your Representative if you see them on this list to tell them that they lost your support due to their position on civil liberties.

Inception

February 13, 2011

First 10 Minutes: Cobb is talking about memes and how people can take credit for someone else’s memes on Reddit in order to acquire karma. But there is a way to protect yourself, and that is why he is going door to door selling his virus protection software to a Japanese guy in a room with way too many lights.

OMG it was all just a dream! Well, that wasn’t too bad. Concise, at least. Oh shit, nevermind it’s going to keep going. Natasha from the Bullwinkle cartoons shows up and hits on Cobb since she is undergoing a trial separation from Boris Badenov. Then Leonardo DiCaprio went on a killing spree on set. Security stopped him while the producers all slowly turn around in their swivel-chairs doing slow clap. Oh wait, nevermind guys! This is all really just the movie… inside a dream. I think. The cast starts shooting stunt doubles just to prove it and this gives Cobb night terrors.

11-20 Minutes: Everyone wakes up and there’s a riot because they are outraged that Christopher Nolan did not get nominated for Best Director. But that doesn’t matter because it was all another dream, if you didn’t see that coming. It turns out Cobb and his friends are corporate spies who get all up in ur sleep, stealin ur memez. That is what happens when indie dream spies sell out to The Man. I remember back when they used to play at Showplace and this one time Critter got so drunk he threw up all over the mosh pit. It was so gross, but everyone understood because those were crazy times, man!

Cobb's old squat, from before he went mainstream

The guy from Brick hangs out with Cobb in Japan and they’re approached by the Japanese guy they were trying to rob earlier who does slow clap again. He wants to hire them to do a forced meme, aka Inception. He cannot get this procedure done in the US because the gubberment death panels will not ration out that kind of treatment under Nobamacare.

21-28 Minutes: Cobb goes to visit Alfred Pennyworth, who has been using a fake identity to pose as a university professor in France ever since the death of Bruce Wayne. So he gives Cobb a university student named Ariadne to do an unpaid internship designing mazes to use on the menus of his family restaurant chain. Cobb takes her to one of them and tries to sell her on his 11 step program on how to unlock the full potential of the brain for just 3 easy payments of $95.99. But it was all just a dream… *sign* Again…

29-39 Minutes: Ariadne shows off her design skills and Cobb decides that she will make excellent children’s placemats. Nolan uses all the cool special effects he couldn’t afford in Following. Their acid trip goes bad and Natasha returns to stab Ariadne in the stomach for an impromptu wall slinky. This disturbs her for some reason so she bolts.

Cobb hits up a Kenyan casino to try to recruit another actor for the movie. But bad guys are following him, so Cobb runs away and tries to hide out in a cafe like Indiana Jones did in Raiders of the Lost Ark. The chase scene causes lots of property damage and terrifies countless innocent civilians, but that’s OK because a main character escaped with the newly hired actor AND Barack Hussein Obama’s real birth certificate.

40-50 Minutes: Ariadne comes back and the guy from Brick shows her some MC Escher paintings. Cobb needs another actor to play the role of the chemist who makes their LSD, so he recruits this guy running an opium den. Saito, Cobb’s client, makes a speech about how his energy company is ideologically opposed to monopolization of the energy market as long as the company holding the monopoly isn’t his. So Cobb has to force a self-destructive meme into Saito’s enemy’s (played by The Scarecrow) dome-piece. It’s too bad they didn’t consider lobbying for anti-trust legislation, because that would make this movie or dream or whatever it is superfluous.

Cobb and Ariadne talk about his obsession with the wife he had to kill and how it will inevitably fuck up everything, but they decide against taking any real precautions whatsoever for the sake of suspense. See, they know it’s all just a movie. Inception is very meta that way.

51-60 Minutes: Cobb’s team decides to force the whole business-killing meme with a really catchy pop-punk concept album. They jam until they come up with something which will affect The Scarecrow on multiple levels, and then they will leave the music industry with a “kick,” which is just what the kids are calling it these days.

Ariadne is a voyeur and goes to fap while watching Cobb make out with his dead wife in a dream. She’s locked in some kind of S&M dungeon, which is why she sometimes gets all stabby.

61-69 Minutes: The gang catch a plane with The Scarecrow and drug him so they can see if he pisses his pants when they put his hand in lukewarm water. He does, and it’s hilarious. Many lulz ensues as they enter into the Matrix, I mean dream world.

Everyone’s pretty much immediately attacked by some dudes who are all like, “Hey! GTFO our dreams!” Saito gets clipped and it turns out that if any of them die in the dream they’ll go to Purgatory with nothing but aborted fetuses to keep them company. They’re all Catholics all of a sudden, I guess.

70-85 Minutes: They all interrogate Scarecrow and his buddy in compliance with the Geneva Conventions by playing their pop-punk album at them while they’re chained to a radiator. Cobb talks about his acid experiences with Natasha. Apparently one day she freaked out, thought she could fly, and jumped off a building in order to become a statistic used by the ONDCP. Cut back to the interrogation with gun fights and car chases and yet another dream…

86-97 Minutes: Cobb does a scene with Scarecrow in order to proliferate memes, which is kind of the main purpose of this movie. He also pretends to be Scarecrow’s anti-spyware software, pulling on his experience earlier selling it door to door. Then they both do a dine-n-dash from the hotel bar.

Cobb turns Scarecrow against his godfather who he’s known all his life just from a few lines of dialogue all while he he’s dreamin in his dream so he can dream while he dreams. This is like beating the mini-boss at the end of a board in video games, so they move on to the next level which takes place in a forced labor camp in Siberia.

98-114 Minutes: Back in the hotel, Christopher Nolan is going mad with power from the success of The Dark Knight and changes the laws of physics. He blames it all on the scene from earlier where they’re all taking a leisurely Sunday afternoon drive through the park, but that is a “false flag.” This scene is an “inside job!” WAKE UP, SHEEPLE.

Back in Siberia, everyone starts playing Call of Duty: Black Ops. But it’s one of those levels where you have to finish it within a certain amount of time and you never make it on the first try.

115-123 Minutes: As usual, they all fail to meet the time requirement for this level, so Ariadne plugs in a cheat code so they all go into God Mode, which is where Cobb plays Second Life when he’s feeling lonely and depressed. But Natasha shows up spouting some Post-Modernist bullshit about how there are multiple realities and it all just comes down to the subjective experience of the observer as she thinks it’s proved due to the double-slit experiment and quantum mechanics. She has been reading a lot of Deepak Chopra in this particular dream world.

The guy from Brick in the hotel and the others in Siberia continue playing video games.

124-132 Minutes: Cobb tells Natasha about how he totally punk’d her into committing suicide that one time and she STILL wants them to “be together.” It’s getting a little desperate and pathetic at this point, Natasha! Just get back to being a subconscious projection and plot device, please. Cobb verbally bitchslaps her and then Ariadne shoots her, because she’s fake and has no soul. Also, probably a witch.

Scarecrow finally gets around to stealing his dying father’s will in Siberia, and then the gang pwns him by blowing up his hospital. Soon everyone will be leaving The Matrix, I mean, the dream world, and back to reality.

133-140 Minutes: The meme worked. Scarecrow will destroy his father’s business with his anger. Cobb stayed in God Mode but accidentally hit restart and now must live through this whole movie again because it’s a recursive meme. That means that every time you watch this movie, Leonardo DiCaprio’s role is actually played by him each time and not just recorded. He has a terrible agent who signed a nightmarish contract. Cobb goes back to his maybe-home to frighten his maybe-children with his very real arrest warrant for murder. CREDITS.

Similar:

Stuff

February 9, 2011

  • Universe Today: In Case of Jerusalem Video, UFO Could Mean “Unidentified Flashlight Objects”
  • Flavorwire: 97 Things You Didn’t Know About William S. Burroughs
  • LegalMatch Law Blog: Court Sides With Father: Vaccination in Best Interests of Child
  • Cracked Magazine: 8 Real Photographs That Prove Hell Exists on Earth
  • BoingBoing: PirateBox, the anonymous, stand-alone wireless filesharing node
  • Buffalo Pundit: Local Congressman topless on Craigslist. Yes, of course he’s a Republican.

Violence at an Indonesian blasphemy trial

February 9, 2011

This article from the Jakarta Post is very short and concise, but it has an M Night Shayamalan-ish twist. Here’s the lede:

Violence broke out on Tuesday at a blasphemy trial in Temanggung, Central Java, immediately after prosecutors read out a five-year prison sentence demand for defendant Antonius Richmond Bawengan.

I was kind of hoping that this would mean the people watching the trial started attacking the prosecutors for suggesting such an absurd sentence for this “crime.” But here’s the twist:

Trial spectators suddenly attacked the defendant, prosecutors and judges, while a group of people outside the courtroom broke windows and set parked cars on fire, kompas.com reported Tuesday.

The fact that they attacked everyone instead of just one or the other side leads me to believe that they probably thought that five years in prison was too lenient of a sentence. Which is just so crazy that it makes me want to lie down for a while to let this headache pass.

Of course, it could just as easily be that the spectators weren’t a uniform group all sharing the same opinion. It was probably just a heated environment, which tends to happen when the government panders to idiots by keeping and enforcing ridiculous laws.

I’m conflicted about this

February 9, 2011

On the one hand, Greta Christina has an excellent post up at AlterNet called No, Atheists Don’t Have To Show “Respect” For Religion which you should read. But on the other hand, it’s way better than my own atheistic rantings and will probably soon threaten my #1 most read spot (I’m still beating Chomsky on Egypt – suck it, old man!) on that same site.

Actually, what you should probably do to get the best of both worlds is to read the post on her own blog. That way you can read it without AlterNet’s meddling while at the same time keeping my ego safe by stifling the competition (EDIT: Nevermind! That’s just the intro, so you’ll have to read it on AlterNet). Because it’s my personal, deeply held religious belief that I should retain the most read spot, and if you say or even think that’s wrong, then you are obviously a militant angry atheistic communist Stalinist Nazi.

Romanian fortune tellers are outraged

February 9, 2011

Queen Witch Bratara Buzea, mooch

The Romanian government has just passed a law which will require the fortune tellers in that country to pay a fine if their predictions don’t come true.

Naturally, the “witches” are outraged. From KOMO News:

“They can’t condemn witches, they should condemn the cards,” Queen Witch Bratara Buzea told The Associated Press by telephone.

And I guess when automobile manufacturers release cars with defective brakes, we should blame the plastic and steel instead of the company profiting off them. And when agribusinesses sell dangerous food, the FDA should go after the microbes and not the people responsible for the negligence. After all, we “can’t” condemn anyone responsible for their own fraud, right?

This is just a case of special pleading. Every single other manner of commerce is regulated within some bounds of reason in order to make sure people aren’t making a living out of scamming people out of money. It’s expected that when you run a business, you’re doing it in order to either sell products without lying about them or offer legitimate services which actually work.

But for some reason that kind of principle of honesty is not supposed to apply when it comes to religion and other forms of superstition. They get a total pass. The “witches” in question here were even outraged when, earlier this year, they were asked to *gasp* pay taxes! Oh, the humanity.

In fact, when that law was passed, they were so angry that they dumped a poisonous plant called mandrake into the Danube River. As far as I can tell, mandrake has no relation to the famous British Colonel who almost saved the world from nuclear war.

Political critic Stelian Tanase thinks this measure is a way for the government to distract attention from the way in which the international economic crisis is affecting Romania. But then again, he also thinks the “witches” should “put a spell on” the Romanian Prime Minister and President in order to punish them.

Paymobils dance dance dance dance dance to the radio

February 9, 2011

Here is the real footage of Joy Division playing Transmission on the John Peel’s music show. You will see here that Ian Curtis was not the only one suffering from epilepsy, since everyone in the band appears to have it, especially Stephen Morris.