Saturday, April 29, 2006

todays quote

I was looking at random blogs and saw this line, and I just liked it.

"He struck with all the savagery of an afternoon tea."

Friday, April 28, 2006

today's self-quote

No, this cartoon has nothing to do with one-issue voters, I just liked it, that's all

"One-Issue voters are going to take us all to Hell, one hand-basket at a time"

Something I said (more or less) on Dont Floss With Tinsel, that I liked so much I decided to substitute it for a real post. For more stuff like this image, go here.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

quote for the day

Wash: "Ah, curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!"

Fox is run by dumb-asses. By the way.

scam me once, shame on you,
scam me twice, and I'm getting my aluminum bat

If you live in one of the "deregulated" energy markets, you know that it's one of the early chapters in the Big Republican Book of Lies, maybe chapter 18 or so (it's hard to tell, there are so many). So you might enjoy this article that may herald the end of the experiment (the experiment being: How much can we screw the public out of before we get caught?).

If you are lucky enough not to live somewhere that power's been deregulated, here's how it works:
the electric fist will punch your faceNo new power sources are built. No new transmission lines are built. Energy "brokers" buy huge "amounts" of electricity, at wholesale, in advance, from whoever was selling you electricity before. They then sell that wholesale electricity to you. It is sent to you on the same lines as were used before deregulation, and comes from the same place it did before. But now, there's a middle man, who takes his cut. This is said to assure "efficiency".
Often, if you are with one of these brokers, there's a contracted price that "guarantees" you a certain price per kilowatt hour, assuming you never, ever, are late on your payments. Miss one, and you're back to your original dealer, paying more than you were before deregulation to make up for lost profits in electricity sold wholesale to brokers. This is the fate of almost all people of modest means.
Deregulation was supposed to save consumers money. And it has, oh, it has.
Well, it has if you're a BIG consumer. Meaning, naturally, a BIG Business. The kind with a CEO, often. The kind with a Really Rich Guy CEO running it, who calls his Really Rich Buddy on an Electricity Board, and says, "I use lots of electricity, and the cost is just killing my bonus. Isnt there some way to make people who dont use as much pay for a larger share of the cost?" A little conferencing, a little spin, a secret meeting or two with the Vice President of the United States, and voila, everybody (who is a CEO) wins!

Somehow, during the 80's and 90's, we were somehow convinced that any organization run by the government was wasteful, and that their job could be done so much better by profit-making private organizations. But we missed a few important points.

  • Nobody thinks that government workers are real go-getters. We've met too many that arent. But government pay has never been particularly good, which is why they always lose people to the private sector. With privatization, the (fewer) workers will get even less money, and lose many of the benefits that have always been the one advantage of civil service. You also get a new layer of management, one that will pay more to stay "competitive". And finally, because this new privatized organization still has to answer to the government, there will still be a layer of bureaucracy in place. Result: more management making more money, less workers making less money.
  • Secrecy. Dont like how your government is operating? Well, BushCo notwithstanding, there's a little thing called the Freedom of Information Act, which allows you to pry into almost anything that the government is doing. Try doing that with a private company (sorry, trade secret). Wonder where the money is going in the government? You can find out. It might be a pain in the ass, but you can find out. Wonder where the money is going in a private firm? Hope you've got a friend high up in the FBI (who wont be vetoed by someone higher up in the Justice Department). Oh, and probable cause, since mere curiosity wont kill this corporate cat.
  • Profit. Lets see, we werent making any profit before, but in the hands of private individuals things will be "streamlined" making profit possible while resulting in no loss of service. Seriously, that's the claim. See #1 for how things are "streamlined", read this or this or this or this to see how "no service is lost".
  • Ask yourself this: Do we really want people making money off of government service? Isnt that what generally leads to corruption?
I got a crazy idea, lets go back to having electricity (and other monopolies) really looking like the monopolies they are. And lets keep them firmly in the public sector. Yes, it may be less "efficient". Yes, it may even be more expensive. But wont it be nice knowing where your money is going? All of it, back into the system.
And if you want to get really wacky, how about if you pay less money when you use less electricity. Yeah, nuts, I know.

Monday, April 24, 2006

serfs up

Okay, so maybe the Republican Credo, "I've got mine, so fuck you" hasnt really affected you much yet. That's probably not true, but close enough. Well, here's another manifestation of Big Money's anti-public spirit, and it threatens bloggers everywhere, not to mention every cool Mom+Pop website you've ever visited.
It's called "tiered access", and it basically means, those as pay more, get the better down-loading speed. Never mind that we are the ones doing the down-loading, and what we chose to down-load should be what goes fastest. No, Big Money doesnt see it that way, because that's not what keeps Big Money in Big Money.
Look up the word "oligarchy", if you dont already know it. And understand that Dubya isnt all that concerned about immigrants, illegal or not, because he really wants the U.S. to operate just like Latin America: a wealthy few in control, with all else peasants.

Props, delayed due to blogspot, to J.R.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

compliments of my wife

The little lady left me this link. I cant imagine why.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

thought exercise

Ask yourself this question: For whatever reason, you must leave town in two days. You are allowed to take the contents of one 5x8 U-Haul trailer. What do you take with you?

Here's my list (so far) subject to change:
  • all the CDs and records
  • most of the books
  • my computer and scanner/printer
  • all my negatives, but none of the prints
  • my Revereware, the spatulas, and the Joe's cups
  • all tools, except for the stupid cordless ones
  • the Stereo 70 in the garage, not the Yamaha in the living room
  • the futon couch (which I'd be stealing from The Boy)

Friday, April 21, 2006

quote for the day

The true threats to stability and peace are these nations that are not very transparent, that hide behind the, that don't let people in to take a look and see what they're up to. They're very kind of authoritarian regimes. The true threat is whether or not one of these people decide, peak of anger, try to hold us hostage, ourselves. The Israelis, for example, to whom we'll defend, offer our defenses. The South Koreans. -- Mar. 13, 2001

I think this speaks for itself. More where this came from.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

decision-making help for women by a true authority

so easy, and how could it possibly be wrong?props to Lex

beam me outta here

Oh, if only this were true...If you dont read the Omnipotent Poobah, well, then you ought to, because he's, like, a deity and all. Like this piece here, posted less than two weeks ago. Go Scott, Go!

So what do you think? They asked him (politely) to go because he's showing signs of getting ready to snap? Did he finally realize that, even though he signed a contract with the Big Red Guy, if he acts now, he can still save his soul? Or is it just his turn for the revolving door?

"Great job Scotty! Dunno how you do it without cracking a smile! Now get on out there to K-street and start making your millions while greasing the palms of the Legislature. You earned it!

Normally, I'd say something along the lines of having to learn all over again how to tell if the press secretary is lying to us, but since this is the BushCorp, that wont be necessary. Here's how to tell if the Bush Administration's Press Secretary is lying to you: Is he in the room? Did you hear him speak, or interact with him in any way?
Then, he's lying.

Monday, April 17, 2006


I was looking through archives for something, and came across this quote from the Smirking Chimp (I love that name), and it's so damn good that I have to reprint it. Again.
Watching the zeppelin of the neoconservative movement burst into flames, tethered to the mooring mast of George W. Bush's presidency, I experience a shiver of such undiluted schadenfreude it's like to blew my earlobes off. What joy to see these scheming, lubricious barghests come undone, sinking beneath the hubris of their utter assurance that they alone are blessed with the vision to fulfill mankind's destiny: to shovel money into their pockets, regardless of the cost to life, love, or the future of the world.
Let's hope the flames are hot and last a long time.

Props to Omnipotent Poobah, again.

fool me twice...

Some time in the last few days (?) or so, somebody responded to my diatribe about the BushCorp plans to pre-emptively nuke Iran. Since this post is a ways down the line, I'm gonna reprint it here, because I want to respond to this fellow who sullies the good name of Dave, and because I feel quite strongly that nuke are not an option. Ever.

So here's the "bad" dave comment:
davetheguilt-free said...

Ummmm... actually before those awful bombs got dropped Japan (who knew it was only a matter of time and that if the truth got out heads would roll almost literally) ordered all the American British and Australian POW's in custody at the time killed en masse.

Plus the invasion of Japan that those awful bombs rendered unnecessary saved the one million (1,000,000) U.S. servicemen predicted to be lost in the first three months of the invasion...
...and that's just the the first three months...

Might one suggest that these awful bombs are seen from a context of uninterrupted peace that required no personal effort to defend because of the blood that awful generation spilled to make possible???

Go back to your bong, hippies!!!
and now here's my response (I'm the "good" Dave):

I dont think many people argue that dropping the Bombs on Japan didnt speed up the end of the war and save a lot of lives. But that's not what we're talkining about here, is it? Instead of distraction and name-calling, try separating a defensive defeat of a military power attempting to take over the world (the U.S. vs Japan) on the one hand, and an agressive attack on a small nation that has not yet even created WMDs by a massive military power which fears that it might (the U.S. vs Iran) on the other.

And what "uninterrupted peace" exactly are we talking about? The U.S. has been involved in a war every decade since WWII, so I can only assume that you mean that there has been no wars on U.S. soil since then, and that any blood shed elsewhere is not us, and so unimportant.

I might also add that through trade and cultural exchange, America before George Bush was already largely in charge of the world, mostly because people all over the world wanted to be us. So even as they chanted "Death to the Great Satan", you could go into their houses and find Great Satan Cola, among other U.S. products, and could probably bet that they had watched a Great Satan movie or TV show earlier in the week, or listened to some of our Hellish music, somewhere, sometime.
Is that still true now, when they hate us so much more because of an ill-conceived invasion launched upon lies?

Oh, and hippies were a Boomer plague which we have yet to recover from, and I dont smoke dope, or engage in much more than an occasional English bitter.

Friday, April 14, 2006

tit for tat

Has it ever occurred to anybody to simply shut-up, and let this guy do his little bluster show. That maybe the best solution to Iran and Ahmadinejad is to simply roll our collective eyes at him, and then ignore him.

Surely you know someone like this. But if we keep pushing him, then he has to push back, just like any other blustery little bully-boy on the playground. Which, of course, is why Dubya doesnt get it, because our president and Iran's president are two sides of the same coin.

at least he didnt have me roughed up

CotL logoWell, it's done. Past done, actually. The 10th Edition of the Carnival of the Liberals is out now (and has been since Wednsday, sorry). I would have told y'all about it earlier, but it's taken me two days to stop crying, and crawl out from under my bed. Yes, that's right, rejected. Still, since I'm not very science-y, and Pharyngula is, I suppose that's no big surprise. Anyway, go read the new one, and start plotting your revenge by way of CotL #11, to be held at Doctor Biobrain's place (entry form not yet up).

You're doing a heck of a job, Rummy!

Does this sound familiar to anyone else.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

the "truth"

"I wanted people to see the truth. You're not supposed to talk about classified information and so I declassified the document." George Bush in response to a question from a member of the audience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington (link to story)
Can you imagine being a career intelligence officer? Always having to be careful of what you say, lest you inadvertently allow some critical piece of information slip to the wrong person. Spending years building up your own trustworthiness so as to increase your security rating. Sifting through mounds of documentation to determine what needs to be kept secret and what doesnt.

Then one day, some Yabo who is allowed see everything, simply because he or his handlers were clever enough to win a nation-wide popularity contest, gets his hands on some piece of information, and hands it out to a reporter or two, simply to take a slap at someone who criticized him. Never mind the havoc wreaked in the information apparatus. Never mind the ethical considerations. Never mind the abuse of power.

Dont you think that's gotta be frustrating?

Sadly, Bush's claim that anything he leaks to the press is pretty much automatically declassified, because he says it is, is probably true. But I would like to remind folks that there is one way to stop him.

Impeach Bush!

Now, before it's too late. Yes, that'll leave Cheney in charge. Who's to say he's not already? Cross that bridge when you come to it. Maybe taking out his boss will make Dick a bit more circumspect. Or maybe we'll have to impeach him, too.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

today's quote

"Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right."

H. L. Mencken, US editor (1880 - 1956)

true patriotism

Sometimes, I think I'm online too much; other times, not enough. Having found this letter reprinted in Truthout at a post that's one month old, today I think it's not enough. Props to Khalid.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

fool me once...

Can you hear it? Can you hear that song, playing again? It was a big hit a few years ago. Really catchy, had everyone singing it. But after a while, more and more people began to realize that it wasnt really a very good song. It continued to play, though, 'cause, boy, the DJ's sure seemed to like it. One began to think of Alan Freed, they liked it so much.
Now you're starting to hear that song again. Oh, they tell you it's a new song, but it's the same artist, with pretty much the same back-up band, and by golly if it doesnt sound pretty much the same as that first song, the one you're really starting to hate the sound of.

So, how many people are gonna buy it anyway?

I think I've said before that George Bush is a crazy Apocalyptocrat who has the hubris to believe that he would be doing Jesus a big favor by bringing on Armageddon. It may not be true, but there are "omens" in his behavior.

I've also mentioned my beliefs concerning the practice of pre-emptive strikes by the United States against our so-called "enemies". But let me say it again anyway:
I believe that the existence of first-strike nuclear attack plans, or indeed any plan that uses nuclear weapons for anything but retaliation for a nuclear attack on ourselves, proves the existance of a moral vacuum in Washington so great, that it threatens to suffocate the entire country. That the religious communities of this nation have not risen up in unified protest against something so evil only proves that anything that Organized Religion may say about ethics and morality is only so much rhetoric, a spewing forth of words with no other purpose than control of the masses.

In 1945, the United States dropped the only two nuclear devices ever used for any purposes other than testing. As a result of these two rather small bombs, 300,000 Japanese died. Let me say that again:

Two small cities, two "small" bombs, 300,000 dead.

We probably knew there would be a lot of destruction, that was the whole idea. But I like to think that while we knew intellectually the great destruction that would be wrought, we didnt really know what we were unleashing. I like to think that we were almost as shocked as the Japanese. Today, though, we have no such luxury, our time of innocence is done. If we use atomic weaponry against anyone, we do it knowing full well the devastation, both immediate and lingering, that we will create. Such an attack might be justified, after a similar attack upon us. Perhaps.

Should the U.S. be the first to use a nuke, then all bets will be off. Someone, somewhere, will make it a priority to set off a nuke in the U.S., because once we have done it, it becomes a retaliation in kind.
But I also find myself worrying about the possibility of a nuclear attack by terrorists upon the U.S. (without a "pre-emptive" strike on our part). Should that happen, it would be easy to guess who the Bush Administration would blame, regardless of the facts. And once again, fear would be exploited for the purposes of people who appear to have the ethical fortitude of a snuff film producer. (When I say this, I may be talking about our leadership, but someone had to make the decision to put them there; someone has to take responsibility for those who are in office being in office. Yes, I'm talking about you.)
Hell, it doesnt even have to be a nuclear attack: "Our enimies have attacked us agin, but we will be stronger than they are, and kill them back. Imagine if they had used nukular bombs supplied by Iraq! Let's roll now, and bomb the shit out of them! On to Megiddo, er, I mean Tehran!!"

A few thoughts:

  • Islamists work on an "eye-for-an-eye" system of justice, especially the fundamentalist types (the ones we happen to be fighting with).
  • Islamic fundamentalists are no more willing to back down than Christian ones are.
  • There is already an Islamic country with nuclear capability: Pakistan. Should BushCo be stupid enough to use nukes upon Iran, how long would President Musharraf be able to hold off protesters already inflamed by his alliance with the U.S.?
  • Should Pakistan fall to fundamentalist Islamists, how long would it take for India, and their nuclear capability, to become involved?
  • Should the U.S. use nuclear weaponry for the third time in history, how much moral authority could we possibly have left? None? I suspect we would carry a negative ethical balance, to go with our growing financial poverty.
  • Where is Israel in all this debate? If the U.S. used nukes in Iran (or anywhere in the Islamic world, for that matter), then the second nuclear weapon aquired by any Islamic fighters would be used on Israel. Bet on it.
We were lied to once before. No reason given at the time as to why we were invading Iraq has proven to be true. Now we are hearing practically the same words given to as reasons why neighboring Iran should be invaded (augmented, of course, by the new lies for why we invaded Iraq). Why should this story be any more true this time than it was the last?
Find out who your senator is. Write him a letter stating in no uncertain terms that anyone supporting an atomic attack will recieve your utmost efforts to have that person removed. Send a copy to your Representative, too. Maybe send one to your governor, just for re-enforcement.

Atomic Bombs dont kill people. People stupid enough to use atomic bombs do.
By the millions.

And whatever you do, DO NOT INTRODUCE GEORGE BUSH TO THIS MAN!!! (props to Johnny Rawhide@ Stinkhorn Rodeo).

Saturday, April 08, 2006

That time, again

CotL logoWhat time, you ask? Why, it's time for the next Carnival of the Liberals, this time held at Pharyngula. That's right, it's time for you to place your sense of worth in the fickle hands of a total stranger. Will they validate your own sense of self-importance, or crush you into recognition of the writhing worm you are?

Or, maybe you'll just get in. Or not.

Here's what judge PZ Meyers has to say:
You can guess what I like: uncompromising liberalism. Strong words. No apologies. Secularism (Steven Waldman and Amy Sullivan need not bother sending me anything, but that does not preclude Christian contributors). I’ll look especially favorably on anything about science and science policy.
The deadline is Tuesday, April 11th, for the Tenth Edition of the Carnival of the Liberals, which is scheduled for Wednsday, April 12th.

Oh, and good luck with that self-esteem thing.

Friday, April 07, 2006

quote for the day

"The ship of state is the only ship that leaks from the top"

--Sir Humphrey Appleby


Okay, so you say you think Brian Doyle is an just a one-time fluke, that there isnt anything seriously wrong with Homeland Security? Well, maybe it's true. Or maybe it's true that an organization designed to keep citizens under surveillance draws in the type of people you definitely do not want watching you. Because, you see, Brian Doyle is not alone. There was also a fellow named Frank Figueroa, a senior agent, busted recently (but not only) for masturbating in a food court, and another one named Michael Burks (see more below for him). Aberation? Maybe. Probably. There are thousands of people in Homeland Security, all of them watching us in some form or another, right? So how surprising is it, really, that a few sickos were among those watchers?
Except... except, I kind of thought that maybe the job of Homeland Security was to find the sickos (as in screening, not employing).
Still, it's not like this kind of behavior is limited to just Republicans, or anything. I mean, that old saw about the stricter the conservative, the kinkier the sexual behavior is just that, an old saw.

Finally, keeping in the tradition of finding more than you bargained for; if you have daughters, you may wish to a) read this, and b) never, ever let them go near the internet. Ever. I know that's my impulse right now. That, and to wash.

Thanks to Rude Pundit for making me feel so soiled. I think.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

hammer time!

"I heard Tom Delay's blood was in the water and the sharks were circling him, but unfortunately, it turned out to be a metaphor" (from the Onion)
Tom Delay just doesnt get it, does he? He fucked around with the system, he got caught, and now he's supposed to go home, shut up ("no really, shut up Tom, you know too much"), and get on with the high-paying sinecure postion that always seems to come to politicians who were ousted while their parties were still in power.

it's not a brown shirt... yet
But, not for nothing was Tom Delay named the Hammer (as in blunt instrument, as in "dumb as a sack of", as in having indulged so much one cannot think straight). In the kind of move that Texans once reserved for use mostly upon dark-skinned voters, a group of Delay supporters and staff surrounded and disrupted a press conference by the Democratic candidate for Delay's (now abandonned) congressional seat. One old lady was battered a bit, but mostly it was a lot of gratuitous yelling and sign-waving.
This "protest" was organized by DeLay campaign manager Chris Homan, who's e-mail organizing the event reportedly said "Let's give Lampson a parting shot that wrecks his press conference".

But why?

Just exactly what is Tom Delay up to? He says he's going to resign, but not till summer. Governor Rick "Rentboy" Perry has said he wont call a special election to replace Delay, leaving Sugarland without representation until next January. And Delay's people are engaging in a Boss-style bit of political thuggery that would never get in the same four-block area as a Bush press-conference, let alone within his sight (or in his face) (One wonders if this kind of thing is officially sanctioned White-House policy, and so the BushCorp takes extreme steps to keep it from being used back on them). Delay really does plan to resign, doesnt he? Because this seems like odd behavior for someone who's getting out of the business.

Or is it that Tom Delay, and his closest staff and supporters, are just simply assholes?

props to Glenda for the story tip

And now, because I spent a good 15-20 precious minutes of my life seaching Google Images, I will share a few Delay things with you...

This post simulcast on But Texas Wants You Anyway

bunnies on film (well, so to speak)

I tried and tried to get a picture to load for this post, and I couldnt. Six different configurations, six identical failures. So you'll just have to follow the link to the site, and watch. And remember, they may look all soft and fluffy, but they've got big nasty teeth. Look at the bones, man!

update: success! photo now exists.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

more watching

Have you heard of the Real I.D. Act. It will require that by 2008, everyone carry what will amount to a National I.D. card. This probably explains all the furor over illegal (and hence, undocumented) immigrants. If you'd like to spend some time, you can read this Acrobat summary of it.

The card will contain personal information in a machine readable form. Yes, in other words, whenever you are conducting some government business, you'll have to swipe your card to identify yourself. But what about private business? Well, gee, I guess they'll have access to that information, too. (I'm sure they wont do anything illegal, unethical, or profit-making with your information, though)
Eventually, you can bet, the Government (in it's current paranoid form, at any rate) will want RFID chips rather than mere magnetic strips. The advantage (from a "security" stand-point) of RFID is that the card wont have to be run through a machine to be read, but can be activated remotely, as you enter a courthouse, or perhaps as you walk past a street cam.

But, you know, maybe I'm worrying over nothing. Britian already has a massive surveillance system in place, with face recognition software and everything. And they seem to be okay, right. I mean, a place that the book "V for Vendetta" was set in (under a dark, religiously fascist regime) cant be completely unaware of government shennanigans (a British word, even). So lets think of the U.K. as a kind of canary in the data mine.

Oh, and go get a camera phone. You know, just in case you need to take a picture of something.

quote for the day

"News is the opposite of Information."

Stephen Kinzer, author of the book Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change From Hawaii to Iraq. Listen to an interview with him on the radio show Fresh Air.

Monday, April 03, 2006

the watchmen

Sometime around the turn of the nineteenth century, a philosopher named Jeremy Bentham conceived a revolutionary prison design. The idea would be expensive to build, but relatively inexpensive to operate. Called the "Panopticon" the design called for a circular building where each cell was windowed at both ends and observable from a central tower where the observers could not be seen. The idea was that the prisoners, knowing that at all times they were observable, but never knowing exactly when they were being observed, would be compelled to act on their best behavior at all times (the observation tower being shuttered and baffled to hide the guards from view). In theory, the guard tower could actually be empty, at least some of the time, but prisoners (or, if applied to a business, employees) could never be sure that it was, or wasnt.

Have you ever not looked at a web-site at work, because you suspected the company monitored web traffic? Have you ever not run a red light because you thought you saw a camera at the intersection? Have you ever avoided certain words that you thought might be interpreted by watchers at Homeland Security as "suspect", possibly bringing you attention you would rather avoid? Have you ever toned down a piece of anti-administration rhetoric because you figured the NSA was looking for kooks like yourself? (Wave "hello" to the boys!) Well, congratulations! You've just experienced the Panopticon.

Now, really, in theory, the Panopticon isnt really so bad. In a way, it's not much different than what life must have been like in almost every small community on the planet not 200 years ago, or so. No one had much privacy, once upon a time. That is still the basis of a lot of small-town stories set in modern times. When people think they are being watched, only the most sociopathic will not alter their behavior from what they might do when they are assured of privacy. Is this conformity to social standards a bad thing? Certainly some times, especially from the perspective of needed social change or shunned sexual orientation. In most cases, though, keeping people from acting out on things they dont wish to acknowledge publicly is probably a good thing.

The problem enters with that most human of behaviors: corruption. As soon as the Panopticon is used towards political goals, rather than crime-fighting goals, that's when things get ugly. And things will get ugly. People suck, and they suck way too much to let an opportunity to blackmail others for personal or political gain get away from them.
Ethics? For most politicians, ethics is a big shiny object used (along with "morals") to distract the public from actually looking details (go down to #5). For many, when two people accuse each other of wrongdoing, the one who has the highest authority will often be the one who is believed. The more religiously fundamentalist one is, the more likely you are to believe an authority figure. And many people, both those who believe in Authority, and those who do not, are often too lazy to actually research the facts of a case themselves.

So, are we screwed? Is a life of invasive government surveillance our doom? Is it time to start stocking up on unlicensed firearms and cash-bought C4 for the inevitable (and no doubt futile) struggle to destroy as many public cams as possible?
No, because there's another solution. It's called sousveillance. It looks awkward to pronounce, I know (it's French-based, and pronounced "sue"-veillance), but you're already familiar with it. Everytime you see a video tape made by a citizen of cops beating a suspect, you've experienced sousveillance. The photos from Abu-Graib? Same thing. Even as the government and big-business gain massive intelligence gathering powers, the people get a load of cheap gadgets that, when combined with the internet and our natural inclination to gossip, provide a sort of balance. It's not perfect, and it wont take the place of good old-fashioned accountability (of the sort that the Bush Administration resists with every fiber of its being) or transparency (ditto). But the combination of sousveillance, accountability and transparency should balance out the potential (and likely, given human nature) harm of mass surveillance.

But in the meantime, worry. And watch. And be extremely suspicious of any rule that limits things like cameras in public arenas, or eliminates anonymity on the internet.

Oh, and pay cash.

Some reading:

Saturday, April 01, 2006

quote of the day

"I shall never achieve success in this life, precisely because I lack one passion and one vice: Ambition and hypocrisy"
Chateaubriand, Memoirs

Props to the Sapient Sutler

daily dosage

click here to watch Daily show clipThe Daily Show gives us an all-purpose speech for Dubya, saving everyone a lot of trouble.

props, again, to JimSmash!

the continuing story

the fact that it even exists is just so coolIf you're a Trek fan, you know that Paramount, useless gits that they are, have dropped the ball on Star Trek (god, how I miss Rodenberry). Well, if you can have Star Wars fan films, why not Star Trek, which was much better (overall) anyway. Click on the image, go see. A bit cheesy, even by original series standards, but who cares?

props to JimSmash!

all I have to say right now

pop up commentprops to the Liberal Citizen

more furr-en stuff

better than the Sydney Opera houseI dont know where this is, but it is absolutely stunning. Here's the caption that went along with it:

"PALAU DE LES ARTS REINA SOFIA...una decidida aposta de la Generalitat Valencia per la cultura

useful products

best used when falling down drunkIt seems that today is a day for reposting stuff I find on blogspot (for some reason, often on non-english sites). One handy thing is that you can use the original file without fear of pissing off some other server.

The "handiness" of this product seems rather obvious.

it lives

the most horrible looking animal EVERThis is, bar none, the most hideous living creature I have ever seen. I found it on a (Scandanavian?) site as I was trolling the blogosphere.

I assume it's alive, anyway. It could be a zombie-dog, I suppose.

in pursuit of the white whale

Check out this post from The Skeptical Observer, where he compares Captain Ahab to George Bush. In retrospect, it seems almost obvious, doesnt it?

political plot

You are a

Social Liberal
(66% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(35% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test