Thursday, March 23, 2006


Diablo kills Dave!

Also, on Monday night, Diablo Cody made a visit to the Letterman show, and KICKED ASS! Check out the clip of the interview and leave her a love note!!


If you were listening to the national news on Tuesday, you might have heard that, at one of Bush's recent Iraq pep rallies, he allowed questions from the crowd for the first time in, geez, has he ever taken questions that haven't been cleared in advance? Anyway, although his audiences are so scrupulously screened, the first question was from a woman who asked if his views on the Middle East were in line with those eho believe that Iraq is the staging ground for the apocolypse. He stuttered, of course, and then talked in circles, and doesn't answer the question:

Q: Thank you for coming to Cleveland, Mr. President, and to the City Club. My question is that author and former Nixon administration official Kevin Phillips, in his latest book, American Theocracy, discusses what has been called radical Christianity and its growing involvement into government and politics. He makes the point that members of your administration have reached out to prophetic Christians who see the war in Iraq and the rise of terrorism as signs of the apocalypse. Do you believe this, that the war in Iraq and the rise of terrorism are signs of the apocalypse? And if not, why not?

THE PRESIDENT: The answer is -- I haven't really thought of it that way. (Laughter.) Here's how I think of it. The first I've heard of that, by the way. I guess I'm more of a practical fellow. I vowed after September the 11th, that I would do everything I could to protect the American people. And my attitude, of course, was affected by the attacks. I knew we were at war. I knew that the enemy, obviously, had to be sophisticated and lethal to fly hijacked airplanes into facilities that would be killing thousands of people, innocent people, doing nothing, just sitting there going to work.

Well, on-the-ball Amy Goodman had the author (a former Republican strategist) of the book referred to above on her show the very next day! It was a very lively conversation (which he begins by calling Bush "an embarassment") about the faction of the Republican party that caters to the zealots who actually believe the whole "left behind" mind-fuck, and other tidbits about peak oil and the rise of the credit card industry. Read the transcript, it's wild!

He's the second person to say he believes that Bush/Neo-Cons/Halliburton went to Iraq for the oil. Also on Monday, Greg Palast, who's been watchdogging this administration since the get-go, sends out the following email to us ITMFA (Impeach the Motherfucker Already) junkies:

Bush Didn't Bungle Iraq, You Fools
by Greg Palast
for The Guardian

20 March 2006

Get off it. All the carping, belly-aching and complaining about George Bush's incompetence in Iraq, from both the Left and now the Right, is just dead wrong.

On the third anniversary of the tanks rolling over Iraq's border, most of the 59 million Homer Simpsons who voted for Bush are beginning to doubt if his mission was accomplished.

But don't kid yourself -- Bush and his co-conspirator, Dick Cheney, accomplished exactly what they set out to do. In case you've forgotten what their real mission was, let me remind you of White House spokesman Ari Fleisher's original announcement, three years ago, launching of what he called,


O.I.L. How droll of them, how cute. Then, Karl Rove made the giggling boys in the White House change it to "OIF" -- Operation Iraqi Freedom. But the 101st Airborne wasn't sent to Basra to get its hands on Iraq's OIF.

"It's about oil," Robert Ebel told me. Who is Ebel? Formerly the CIA's top oil analyst, he was sent by the Pentagon, about a month before the invasion, to a secret confab in London with Saddam's former oil minister to finalize the plans for "liberating" Iraq's oil industry. In London, Bush's emissary Ebel also instructed Ibrahim Bahr al-Ulum, the man the Pentagon would choose as post-OIF oil minister for Iraq, on the correct method of disposing Iraq's crude.

And what did the USA want Iraq to do with Iraq's oil? The answer will surprise many of you: and it is uglier, more twisted, devilish and devious than anything imagined by the most conspiracy-addicted blogger. The answer can be found in a 323-page plan for Iraq's oil secretly drafted by the State Department. Our team got a hold of a copy; how, doesn't matter. The key thing is what's inside this thick Bush diktat: a directive to Iraqis to maintain a state oil company that will "enhance its relationship with OPEC."

Enhance its relationship with OPEC??? How strange: the government of the United States ordering Iraq to support the very OPEC oil cartel which is strangling our nation with outrageously high prices for crude.

Specifically, the system ordered up by the Bush cabal would keep a lid on Iraq's oil production -- limiting Iraq's oil pumping to the tight quota set by Saudi Arabia and the OPEC cartel.

There you have it. Yes, Bush went in for the oil -- not to get MORE of Iraq's oil, but to prevent Iraq producing TOO MUCH of it.

You must keep in mind who paid for George's ranch and Dick's bunker: Big Oil. And Big Oil -- and their buck-buddies, the Saudis -- don't make money from pumping more oil, but from pumping LESS of it. The lower the supply, the higher the price.

It's Economics 101. The oil industry is run by a cartel, OPEC, and what economists call an "oligopoly" -- a tiny handful of operators who make more money when there's less oil, not more of it. So, every time the "insurgents" blow up a pipeline in Basra, every time Mad Mahmoud in Tehran threatens to cut supply, the price of oil leaps. And Dick and George just LOVE it.

Dick and George didn't want more oil from Iraq, they wanted less. I know some of you, no matter what I write, insist that our President and his Veep are on the hunt for more crude so you can cheaply fill your family Hummer; that somehow, these two oil-patch babies are concerned that the price of gas in the USA is bumping up to $3 a gallon.

No so, gentle souls. Three bucks a gallon in the States (and a quid a litre in Britain) means colossal profits for Big Oil, and that makes Dick's ticker go pitty-pat with joy. The top oily-gopolists, the five largest oil companies, pulled in $113 billion in profit in 2005 -- compared to a piddly $34 billion in 2002 before Operation Iraqi Liberation. In other words, it's been a good war for Big Oil.

As per Plan Bush, Bahr Al-Ulum became Iraq's occupation oil minister; the conquered nation "enhanced its relationship with OPEC;" and the price of oil, from Clinton peace-time to Bush war-time, shot up 317%.

In other words, on the third anniversary of invasion, we can say the attack and occupation is, indeed, a Mission Accomplished. However, it wasn't America's mission, nor the Iraqis'. It was an Mission Accomplished for OPEC and Big Oil.


What a delightful occurence of syncronicity, don't you think?

Republican Lexicon

This arrived in my inbox today, very clever!

Repulican Lexicon

alternative energy sources n. New locations to drill for gas and oil.

bankruptcy n. A punishable crime when committed by poor people but not corporations

Cheney, Dick n. The greater of two evils.

class warfare n. Any attempt to raise the minimum wage.

climate change n. The day when the blue states are swallowed by the oceans.

compassionate conservatism n. Poignant concern for the very wealthy.

creationism n. Pseudoscience that claims George W. Bush's resemblance to a chimpanzee is totally coincidental.

DeLay, Tom n. 1. Past tense of De Lie 2. Patronage saint.

democracy n. So extensively exported that the domestic supply is depleted.

Fox News fict. Faux news.

free markets n. Halliburton no-bid contracts at taxpayer expense.

girly men n. Males who do not grope women inappropriately.

God n. Senior presidential adviser.

growth n. 1. The justification for tax cuts for the rich. 2. What happens to the national debt when Republicans cut taxes on the rich.

habeas corpus n. Archaic. (Lat.) Legal term no longer in use (See Patriot Act).

healthy forest n. No tree left behind.

honesty n. Lies told in simple declarative sentences--e.g., "Freedom is on the march."

House of Representatives n. Exclusive club; entry fee $1 million to $5 million.

laziness n. When the poor are not working.

leisure time n. When the wealthy are not working.

liberal(s) n. Followers of the Anti-christ.

neoconservatives n. Nerds with Napoleonic complexes.

9/11 n. Tragedy used to justify! any administrative policy. (see Terra, Terra, Terra)

No Child Left Behind riff. 1. v. There are always jobs in the military.

ownership society n. A civilization where 1 percent of the population controls 90 percent of the wealth.

Patriot Act n. The pre-emptive strike on American freedoms to prevent the terrorists from destroying them first.

pro-life adj. Valuing human life until birth.

Senate n. Exclusive club; entry fee $10 million to $30 million.

simplify v. To cut the taxes of Republican donors.

staying the course interj. Slang. Saying and doing the same stupid thing over and over, regardless of the result.

shit happens interj. Slang. Donald Rumsfeld as master historian.

voter fraud n. A significant minority turnout.

Wal-Mart n. The nation-state, future tense.

water n. Arsenic storage device.

woman n. 1. Entity; can be trusted to bear a child but can't be trusted to decide whether or not she wishes to have the child.
2. Entity; must have all decisions regarding her reproductive functions made by men with whom she wouldn't want to have sex in the first place.


Thursday, March 09, 2006

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

What the fuck is a Mandelbrot set?

I had a vague idea that these existed because of the picture of a nautilus on the cover of my calculus textbook. It's the shapes that are defined by plugging different values or colors into the "recurrence" equation


There was a show about PBS last night about it, called "Colours of Infinity." This is one of those instances where, you instinctively know something on a metaphysical or psychic level for, say, a few thousand years, and then some scientists or mathematicians come along and are able to explain it in terms that make sense to them. Because some of us are not linear but abstract thinker-feelers, we don't necessarily need these tools to feel moved and understand a meaning behind the beautiful chaos that is life. But the linear-thinking types do need them, and so we get these groovy pictures to set as wallpaper on our monitors.

I'm sure I can't explain it as well as they did on the show, so, thanks to the nearly limitless font of information that is the wild wacky web, I'll copy what I think is the gist of the thing from Wikipedia:

Periodic cycles in the Mandelbrot set

Periodic cycles in the Mandelbrot set

Periodic cycles in the Mandelbrot set

Inside the Mandelbrot set, the iteration of sequence zn+1= zn2+c evolve in different ways for different values of c. For values of c inside the big cardioid, the iterations converge to a point. For c inside the big bulb to the left of the cardioid, the iterations converge to a cycle of period 2. For other bulbs, the iterations converge to a cycle of a different period n, according to the numbers shown in the following figure.

Period values for the bulbs

Period values for the bulbs

Notice that in the bulb in the middle of bulb with n=2 and the bulb with n=3, the period of the cycle is n=2+3=5;in the bulb in the middle of the bulb with n=2 and the bulb with n=5, the period of the cycle is n=2+5=7; in the bulb in the middle of the bulb with n=2 and the bulb with n=7, the period of the cycle is n=2+7=9. In fact, there are so many bulbs as the real numbers between 2 and 3 in that quadrant of the main bulb!

The number of rays coming out of the antena of each bulb corresponds to the period of the cycle that bulb. In the corresponding Julia sets, the number of rays also corresponds to the period of the cycle the corresponding bulb.

cycle periods and rays

cycle periods and rays

If we look at the trajectory of the periodic cycle in a bulb with n=5, we see that the cycle jumps always 2 components counterclokwise, in each iteration (i.e. the cycle rotates by 2/5 of a revolution, in each iteration). And the same happens in the corresponding Julia set.

animated cycle of period n=5

animated cycle of period n=5

So the bulbs with n=2,7,5,8,3,7,4,5,6,7 in the figure can be represented instead by the rotation parameters r=1/2, 3/7, 2/5, 3/8, 1/3, 2/7, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, 1/7, which are ordered as a sequence of decreasing rational numbers.

Notice that the bulb in the middle of the bulb with r=2/5 and the bulb with r=1/2, r=2/5+1/2=3/7; and in the middle of the bulbs with r==3/7 and 1/2, there is also a bulb with r=4/9, etc... There is a bulb with r=p/q for each rational number between 0 and 1, and they are correctly ordered around the cardioid in a counterclockwise fashion. In the bottom part of the Mandelbrot set, the cycles rotate clockwise.

Adding color

Mathematically speaking, the pictures of the Mandelbrot set and Julia sets are "black and white". Either a point is in the set or it is not. Most computer-generated graphs are drawn in color. Under the most common rendering method, for the points that diverge to infinity, and are therefore not in the set, the color reflects the number of iterations it takes to reach a certain distance from the origin. This creates concentric shapes, each a better approximation to the Mandelbrot set than the last. One possible scheme is that points that diverge quickly are drawn in black; then you have brighter colors for the middle; then you have white for the points in the set, and near-white for the points that diverge very slowly.


Got that?

9 things that keep me from being fully swallowed by rage

  1. My ever-expanding music collection. Recently, I’ve grooved to
    1. Seu Jorge Carolina
    2. Joni Mitchell “Blue”
    3. “Is it rolling, Bob?” A reggae tribute to Bob Dylan
    4. Juan Formell y Los Van Van “En el malecon de la Habana”
    5. Tom Petty “Greatest Hits”
    6. Steve Earle “Transcendental Blues”
    7. Paolo Conte “Aguaplano”
    8. Sean Ardoin & Zydecool “Pullin’”
    9. Jeff Buckly “Grace”
    10. Bossacucanova “Uma Batida Diffente”
    11. Dale Watson “The Truckin’ Sessions”
    12. “West Side Story” original Broadway recording
  2. Reading, currently
    1. Philip Roth “American Pastoral”
    2. The New Yorker Magazine
    3. Saveur Magazine
    4. Journalism class texts
  3. Rob Brezsny’s Free Will Astrology Newsletter, with excerpts that inspire, from his book “Pronia”, and a weekly horoscope. This week’s:

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): At its best, a study of astrology illuminates your choices and leaves the choosing up to you. It helps you understand that your fate is never set in stone, but is always susceptible to the command of your free will. In that spirit, I've got a quiz for you to take. Here are four pairs of equally possible outcomes. Meditate on each pair, and decide which you'd prefer to induce in the coming week: (1) simmering happiness versus crazed longing; (2) love packed with chewy riddles versus infatuation that only temporarily frees you; (3) practical enthusiasm versus dizzying highs; (4) slow, epic bursts of subtle progress versus out-of-this-world fantasies.

  1. KFAI, mainly the world music shows from 1:00 – 3:00 every day
  2. City Pages weekly column “Savage Love” where you learn that your sexual idiosyncracies are not that kinky
  3. Various web logs, including
    1. Diablo Cody - Her blog "Pussy Ranch" (and her book "Candy Girl") reminds me that it's okay to just be a girl having fun
    2. Bfylist – a friend’s web log of fun and thought-provoking lists (inspiring me to create this list)
    3. Butenoughaboutme – husband of friend’s web log (see 6b) that feels kind of like a satisfying one-way phone call catching me up on daily life in New York City
    4. The Best Page in the Universe - irreverent, misogynistic (maybe fully misanthropic) and hilarious! Once the target of a cease and desist campaign by a group of mothers
  4. Mandelbrot Sets: TRIPPY! Math is so cool!
  5. The World Wide Web, maybe the final frontier of democracy (also may be a party to it’s final ruin)
  6. – I know, not exactly a Blue company, but I try to give my business mainly to the independent sellers who have contracts with Amazon

Monday, March 06, 2006

A Crashing Disappointment

I may as well add my 2 cents about the Oscar's last night, everyone else in the blogosphere has done:

The last time I watched the Oscars, or followed the buzz with anticipation, was in 1991, when Kevin Costner won for the top 2 prizes over Martin Scorsese - "Dances with Wolves" vs. "Goodfellas". "Goodfellas" is in my top 10 of all time, maybe top 5. That outcome soured me on the Oscar's. Until last night. I need, as we all do, some hint that the world is evolving, going forward instead of backwards, and I actually got excited thinking about the real possibility that a beauty like "Brokeback" could win. Bamboozled again! I will not be watching or giving credence to the Oscars again, at least not for another decade or so.

To be fair, the Oscar's, like the Grammies (Celine Dion, please), are a reflection of the popular culture, where People Magazine and reality t.v. are the plats du jour. So, maybe we all shouldn't have been so surprised (did you notice the collective silent gasp from everyone at the Kodak?). Plus, it's really the Steven Spielberg Show, isn't it? His movies are so nauseatingly moralistic . . . . . I think I may be on to something.

I did, however, like Jon Stewart, the gay jokes were hilarious, Salma's sapphire dress was a knock-out, and then there was Jake, my boy toy. MMMMmmmmm, Jake (drooling). And Gorgeous George was a sport. For mindless entertainment, it didn't suck. But 3 hours of Desperate Housewives would have been more satisfying.

Carry me away, Dwight!

I'm listening to Dwight Yoakam this wintry Mondy morn. Dwight is my Elvis. First I played "A Long Way Home," and now I've got my favorite album of his on, "Buenas Noches From a Lonely Room."

"I've had to buy back damn near everything I own, from a little man whose name is Saul, and has a lot of money to loan.
I drive a beat up '67 Chevrolet, with a torn up seat that pokes a brand new hole in my back near every day.
I got a letter from the folks over at Bell, just to let me know for my next phone call I could walk outside and yell.
Hey, I know my life seems a mess, but honey, things to me still look real swell . . . 'cause I got you to see me through . . . "

I need something to counterbalance the horrifying revelations of the day. What could it be today? Halliburton/KBR has been building dention centers in right here in the US of A. Yes, that's what they do, build prisons, but these are for rounding up "suspected terrorists," aka political dissidents, World War II style.

Following the news first given wide attention by this website, that Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root had been awarded a $385 million dollar contract by Homeland Security to construct detention and processing facilities in the event of a national emergency, the Alternet website put together an alarming report that collated all the latest information on plans to initiate internment of political subversives and Muslims after the next major terror attack in the US.

What's more, something which y'all may have heard of but I certainly had not, subsidiaries of theirs are also engaged in sex slave trafficking. Perfect.

On March 11th 2005, McKinney grilled Secretary Rumsfeld and General Myers on the Dyncorp scandal.

"Mr. Secretary, I watched President Bush deliver a moving speech at the United Nations in September 2003, in which he mentioned the crisis of the sex trade. The President called for the punishment of those involved in this horrible business. But at the very moment of that speech, DynCorp was exposed for having been involved in the buying and selling of young women and children. While all of this was going on, DynCorp kept the Pentagon contract to administer the smallpox and anthrax vaccines, and is now working on a plague vaccine through the Joint Vaccine Acquisition Program. Mr. Secretary, is it [the] policy of the U.S. Government to reward companies that traffic in women and little girls?"

Rumsfeld: "Thank you, Representative. First, the answer to your first question is, is, no, absolutely not, the policy of the United States Government is clear, unambiguous, and opposed to the activities that you described. The second question."

McKinney: "Well how do you explain the fact that DynCorp and its successor companies have received and continue to receive government contracts?"

Rumsfeld: "I would have to go and find the facts, but there are laws and rules and regulations with respect to government contracts, and there are times that corporations do things they should not do, in which case they tend to be suspended for some period; there are times then that the - under the laws and the rules and regulations for the - passed by the Congress and implemented by the Executive branch - that corporations can get off of - out of the penalty box if you will, and be permitted to engage in contracts with the government. They're generally not barred in perpetuity."

I need Dwight more than ever today. I think I'm going to be sick . . . I need a good cry . . . maybe I should go see Brokeback Mountain again.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Is anyone out there?

A plea to anyone who might be reading this: Don't leave me out here like a tree falling in a forest (if no one is there to hear it . . . ). Throw me a bone! Log in and leave a comment, please, let me know you're out there!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

No Basis in Reality

Okay, so this cartoon is a good example of the hoax being perpetrated on the citizenry by the corporatocracy, the illusion that there's just a difference of philosophy, of ideology . . . HELLO! It's all about global imperialism.

In this cartoon, we are asked to assume, yet again, that W is just a dumb little puppet who's being manipulated by Dick and Karl, el al. Now I'm not saying he ain't dumb, what I'm saying is, look at his Dubai Ports thing (this is a video clip from CNN, not the same link I've included before). What is the motivation? Ask yourself who stands to gain from this thing. Is it any suprise to find out that the Carlylse Group somehow has their hand in this?

The problem with the Dems, besides the fact that they are not liberals, is that they believe this is a level playing field, a fair fight between rivals, that it's just a matter of convincing voters that their ideas and philosophies should appeal to the average person. Voters have already been taken out of the equation. Consider this article that appeared in a while ago, that plainly shows what the right has been up to for some time. Here's how it starts:

One recent Sunday, at Morton Blackwell's Leadership Institute, a dozen students meet for the second and final day of training in grass-roots youth politics. All are earnest, idealistic and as right wing as you can get. They take careful notes as instructor Paul Gourley teaches them how to rig a campus mock election.

It's nothing illegal -- no ballot stuffing necessary, even at the most liberal colleges. First you find a nonpartisan campus group to sponsor the election, so you can't be accused of cheating. Next, volunteer to organize the thing. College students are lazy, and they'll probably let you. Always keep in mind that a rigged mock election is all about location, location, location.

Or, look at any of the evidence from the K Street Project, where lobbying firms are instructed to hire and with only Republicans if they want their bread to be buttered. Here's what Bill Moyers had to say about it in a recent article called "Restoring the Public Trust":

In addition to finding Jesus, Tom DeLay also discovered a secular ally to serve his ambitions. He found out the power of money to power his career. “Money is not the root of all evil in politics,” DeLay once said. “In fact, money is the lifeblood of politics.” By raising more than 2 million dollars from lobbyists and business groups and distributing the money to dozens of Republican candidates in 1994, the year of the Republican breakthrough in the House, DeLay bought the loyalty of many freshmen legislators and got himself elected Majority Whip, the number three man in Newt Gingrich’s “Gang of Seven” who ran the House.

Here’s how they ran it: On the day before the Republicans formally took control of Congress on January 3, 1995, DeLay met in his office with a coterie of lobbyists from some of the biggest companies in America. The journalists Michael Weisskopf and David Maraniss report that “the session inaugurated an unambiguous collaboration of political and commercial interests, certainly not uncommon in Washington but remarkable this time for the ease and eagerness with which these allies combined.”

DeLay virtually invited them to write the Republican agenda. What they wanted first was “Project Relief” -- a wide-ranging moratorium on regulations that had originally been put into place for the health and safety of the public. For starters, they wanted “relief” from labor standards that protected workers from the physical injuries of repetitive work. They wanted “relief’ from tougher rules on meat inspection. And they wanted “relief” from effective monitoring of hazardous air pollutants. Scores of companies were soon gorging on Tom DeLay’s generosity, adding one juicy and expensive tid-bit after another to the bill. According to Weisskopf and Maraniss, on the eve of the debate 20 major corporate groups advised lawmakers that “this was a key vote, one that would be considered in future campaign contributions.” On the day of the vote lobbyists on Capitol Hill were still writing amendments on their laptops and forwarding them to House leaders.

The Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, famously told the lobbyists: “If you are going to play in our revolution, you have to live by our rules.” Tom DeLay became his enforcer.

The rules were simple and blunt. Contribute to Republicans only. Hire Republicans only. When the electronics industry ignored the warning and chose a Democratic Member of Congress to run its trade association, DeLay played so rough – pulling from the calendar a bill that the industry had worked on two years, aimed at bringing most of the world in alignment with U.S. copyright law – that even the House Ethics Committee, the watchdog that seldom barks and rarely bites, stirred itself to rebuke him – privately, of course.

Sometime last summer, I think, I read an indepth article in The New Yorker about a private college that recruits mostly home-schooled students , who, if you didn't know this already, are raised with hyper-conservative ideology, and educating them on public affairs and political science. TNY doesn't archive all it's articles (yet - though they say you can find them on LexisNexis), and it's since gone to be recycled, but trust me, it made me shiver.

And, if you read anything about global media consolidation (this is a helpful and colorful chart to help you understand the extent to which you are being controlled), you will see that the evil empire has their death grip on everything (did I just mix metaphors?) - OH OH, I have another one . . . We're in the MATRIX!! (the first one, not the lame sequels).

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

This is not science fiction . . .

Ya know, how we're supposed to speak with our money, buying only from producers whose goal is to better the planet, not rape it? The whole Buy Blue movement? Well, here's an even more compelling reason to make sure you avoid buying from evil doers like Walmart and Proctor & Gamble (and, I'm surprised - or maybe just naive - to see hometown corp. Target on this list as well): they are pushing RFID - Radio Frequency Identificaiton - to track your every move by tracking your every purchase. Buy pushing, I mean, they are requiring of their suppliers, either you use these devices, or we won't buy from you.

"Imagine a world of no more privacy.

"Where your every purchase is monitored and recorded in a database, and your every belonging is numbered. Where someone many states away or perhaps in another country has a record of everything you have ever bought, of everything you have ever owned, of every item of clothing in your closet -- every pair of shoes. What's more, these items can even be tracked remotely.

"Once your every possession is recorded in a database and can be tracked, you can also be tracked and monitored remotely through the things you wear, carry and interact with every day.

"We may be standing on the brink of that terrifying world if global corporations and government agencies have their way. It's the world that Wal-Mart, Target, Gillette, Procter & Gamble, Kraft, IBM, and even the United States Postal Service want to usher in within the next ten years.

"It's the world of radio frequency identification.

"Radio frequency identification, RFID for short, is a technology that uses tiny computer chips -- some smaller than a grain of sand -- to track items at distance. If the master planners have their way, every object -- from shoes to cars -- will carry one of these tiny computer chips that can be used to spy on you without your knowledge or consent."

Those words are from a book by Liz McIntyre called Spychips. Lucky for us, our sunshiney watchdog, Amy Goodman, is on the ball, that's how I heard about this, quite some time ago. Today, she had an update of the scarey situation.

Of course, some agencies want to implant them in people, like children for example, or journalists who travel to places like Iraq, where, if they get kidnapped, they can be traced and rescued! One journalist, Annalee Newitz, who works out of San Francisco, and did an article for Wired, I think (which I could'n't find, probably not posted online yet), about how phyisicians are being marketed by this company, Verichip, to place in them their senior patients. Apparently, they also had coroners placing them in bodies in the gulf after the hurricane. You can already guess the more sinister aspects of this program, and see the implications of letting this NSA and TIA spying stuff, and the reauthorization of the Patriot Act, just slipping past without a fight. They said that the feds have already started putting these tags on passports - there goes my trip to Cuba!

Vive la resistance!

I'm equally gleeful and outraged at the press surrounding the recent Bush administration shenanigans. There's the Dubai Port World thing (long article, but very informative), where it's business-as-usual: cheap labor and profits at the expense of, well, everything. The trip to India, where protests have already begun in advance of his arrival, and where he will have the gall to visit and place a wreath on Gandhi's memorial ("The president of the United States is not exactly committed to violence; what he wants is an end to resistance").

The hypocrisy of "benign hegemony," where neo-cons, for whose professed mission has been to shrink government down to a size that it can be "drowned in a bathtub," but who are spending zagillions of dollars and energy and lives on national-building (read: ever-expanding corporatocracy) in another country, all while, against the recent backdrop of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, the picture of poverty and misery is stark in our own country. The Texas gerrymandering case orchestrated by The Hammer, which gave the republicans so many more house seats and compounded our liberal nightmare, is coming before the Supreme Court soon.

It just doesn't stop! And here's an entry for the "duh" column: Republican's make lousy care-givers! While tongue-in-cheek, this article illustrates the absurdity of efforts to keep gays from adopting:

"Credible research" shows that adopted children raised in Republican households are more at risk for developing "emotional problems, social stigmas, inflated egos, and alarming lack of tolerance for others they deem different than themselves and an air of overconfidence to mask their insecurities."

You can understand outraged, but gleeful? For those of us who rub our hands in fiendish anticipation of the glorious day when all these events and all the rest of their crimes will bring them to their knees, these reports make us twirl our mustaches! Of course, that would take a fairly remarkable effort on behalf of the citizenry, which I'm not convinced gives a damn, or is too blind and complacent to see what's up, what's at stake.