Saturday, March 15, 2008

Revolutionary Quote of the Day: RFK

"Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not?"
-Robert F. Kennedy

Don't know why I haven't yet made this an RQOTD. It seems an obvious choice. A well known quote, and for good reason. It's a Barack Obama, Audacity of Hope, kind of quote. Although with the recent firestorm over Obama's former pastor's comments, that hope is fading slightly. I will post about it shortly.

I'm not sure I can keep calling this Revolutionary Quote of the Day if I don't post one every day. I missed a few days. Ok, not to cheapen the quote, but searching for it, I found it with this addendum, which I have to admit, is pretty funny:
"Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don't have time for all that."
Whoever George is.

-Fight the powers.

Oh Tucker, We Hardly Watched Ye - RIP

Tucker Carlson, cancelled, but not forgotten. Yet. A retrospective of some of the things that almost made MSNBC's Tucker bearable to watch. To give him some credit, he was more civil, reasonable and, what's the word I want to use here...sane, he was more sane than say, a Bill O'Reilly. I did give him some props recently in this post. At least this time his show wasn't killed by Jon Stewart. This time it died of natural causes. But that gives me a chance to show this clip again. I love this clip.

Tucker, 2005 - 2008 RIP (Rerun in Perpetuity).

US Military Bombs OK

And I don't mean they're capable, I mean they bombed OK. Are the Okies now part of the Axis of Evil? Is Osama hiding in an apartment in Tulsa? Fortunately for the residents of a Tulsa Oklahoma apartment complex, a bomb dropped from a military jet on their building was a dud. I'm not sure which is more frightening, that a bomb fell off, or that the pilot didn't notice what happened until he returned to his base.

I love the way he starts off, "Well, this may sound crazy...." US Air Force spokes general Bud Wyatt assures Okies that, "We don't take off out of Tulsa with live rockets or live missiles." You gotta trust a guy named Bud Wyatt, even when he's speaking for the Air Force. Ok, they dropped one on an apartment building. Mistakes happen. Why do you think they call it training, people? Kind of goes to show how collateral damage happens in Iraq and other places. And that's no joke.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Analyzing the Over Analysis: Maher on Spitzer

Bill Maher has the best take I've seen so far on the Eliot Spitzer scandal, especially the endless and laughable analysis by so-called experts appearing on news shows. Maher's post on HuffPo is, Spitzer's Trysts: Stop Over-Thinking This. In typical Maher fashion he cuts through all the BS with a machete and gives us the simple unvarnished truth. And it's funny. He says:
I'm going to throw the remote through the TV if one more news twink says something on the order of "When we come back, we'll look into what drives a successful man like Eliot Spitzer to risk it all..."
It's not a long post and it's worth reading.

Factory Pre-Installed Viruses Courtesy of Chinese QC

Along with toys coated with lead paint for your kids, poisonous food for your pet, and toxic toothpaste for the whole family, you can add electronic devices pre-loaded with viruses from the factory to the fine list of quality products coming out of China. An article from the AP posted on CNN reports that many new electronic devices are being shipped from the factory infected with viruses. The devices include new iPods, digital picture frames, and GPS navigation systems.

The problem appears to be quality control in Chinese factories. Devices may be plugged into computers that are infected for testing and may not be the result of malicious acts. The report goes on to say:
The recent infections may be accidental, but security experts say they point out an avenue of attack that could be exploited by hackers.

"We'll probably see a steady increase over time," said Zulfikar Ramzan, a computer security researcher at Symantec Corp. "The hackers are still in a bit of a testing period; they're trying to figure out if it's really worth it."

Thousands of people whose antivirus software isn't up to date may have been infected without even knowing it, experts warn. And even protective software may not be enough.

In one case, digital frames sold at Sam's Club contained a previously unknown bug that not only steals online gaming passwords but disables antivirus software, according to security researchers at CA Inc.
Why wait to get your virus from clicking on an attachment from a spammer when you can get it straight from the factory?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Colbert-Spitzer Connection

Stephen reveals his connection to the Spitzer scandal with an uncomfortable reference to something called a "Spitzer sandwich." Sound like something that could put you off your lunch.

OK GO for Net Neutrality

This week, Internet rock band OK Go came to Washington to urge Congress to act against all companies that seek to become the Internet’s gatekeepers. Phone and cable companies can try, but they can't shut us out or shut us up. They've shown us why we need Net Neutrality....

Phone and cable companies will try anything to kill Net Neutrality. The best way we can fight back is to restore Net Neutrality as the law of the land. The bipartisan Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2008 (HR 5353) does just that.

Read More about OK Go's Support for this Bill

This bill guarantees Net Neutrality by restoring it in the foundation of communications law. It also promises that the public -- not phone and cable companies -- will control the fate of the Internet.

Thanks for your support,
Timothy Karr
Campaign Director

A Clintonian Apology

This is the very reason the Clinton name is synonymous with a kind of, "depends upon what the meaning of is is", equivocation, hypocrisy and outright lying. She apologizes when she appears before a group of African American publishers. For days she refused, her campaign refused, her surrogates and Geraldine Ferraro refused to apologize. In fact, Ferraro is still refusing. Hillary Clinton has used the tactic of inserting race into the campaign throughout. And she will use it again. She is the Democratic version of the George Bush. Boldly saying exactly the opposite of what you mean and what you know is the truth. Hiding your true motivations. Saying one thing here and another there, depending on who you happen to be standing in front of.

You have to ask why this is the first time she has apologized for what Bill Clinton said way back in South Carolina? It's because she is in front of a group of African American publishers and she has to answer questions and if she doesn't appear contrite they will eat her lunch. That will not make a good sound bite for TV. Every second she of her campaign Hillary Clinton becomes more distasteful. Democrats may be making history, but they are making it ugly.

Friend Me Kristen

I sent Eliot Spitzer's, or should I say Love Client No. 9's, Kristen a friend request on her Myspace page. So far nada. I gotta guess Ashley Alexandra Dupré been busy the past couple days. I smell a book deal in the works. A recording contract, apparently she's a singer. Appearances on Oprah and the View and the rest of the circuit. Ashley your 15 minutes of fame starts now. Here's an excerpt from her page:
About Ashley Alexandra Dupré
I am all about my music, and my music is all about me… It flows from what I’ve been through, what I’ve seen and how I feel. I live in New York and am on top of the world. Been here since 2004 and I love this city, I love my life here. But, my path has not been easy. When I was 17, I left home. It was my decision and I’ve never looked back. Left my hometown. Left a broken family. Left abuse. Left an older brother who had already split. Left and learned what it was like to have everything, and lose it, again and again. Learned what it was like to wake up one day and have the people you care about most gone. I have been alone. I have abused drugs. I have been broke and homeless. But, I survived, on my own. I am here, in NY because of my music.
That's gosh darn inspiring Ash. She's just 22 years old and I hope she can survive what's going to be a tsunami of attention. Hope she doesn't end up being one of those VH1 Behind the Music stories. There's been speculation that she did not know who Client #9 was. If she can ride this out and if possible, have some fun with it, she may come out the other end relatively unscathed with enough money to retire.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Keith Olbermann's Special Comment on Hillary Clinton's Campaign and Geraldine Ferraro

Again Keith saying exactly what needs to be said the way it must be said. Not holding back, not mincing words, not fearing the consequences. I just hope those to whom it is directed are listening.

One Last Word On Spitzer: Make Your Walk of Shame Alone

I should say last word today, because it's obviously not the last word on this scandal. Maybe it should be, at least here, which is all I have control over. But one thing I wanted to mention in the last post, one of the first things that struck me when watching the video of Spitzer as he acknowledged the scandal, and as he resigned, is why on earth do these guys who screw up this way have to drag their poor wives on stage with them? It's merely a show. It's to say, don't be so hard on me. Hey, even my wife who has more reason to be hurt than anyone, is still beside me.

The worst part of what these guys do is what they've done to their families, especially their wives. I don't think it's such a crime, or any reason for most of them to step down politically. But it might be a real good reason for a divorce. And these knuckleheads ought to have to stand before the public on their own and not drag their wives along on their walk of shame. Let the press and the public guess how she feels about him. No matter what it looks like on stage, most of us know what this woman would really like to do to this guy, and what she is probably doing when they aren't in the public eye.

More to Spitzer Story Than Sex Scandal

Thank you Morning Joe's Joe Scarborough, and Katrina Vanden Huevel of The Nation for someone finally saying something about what Eliot Spitzer accomplished, especially when he was in the Manhattan District Attorney's office and when he was State Attorney General for NY. Instead of simply focusing on the sex and scandal. His problem was a mountain of hubris, making a boatload of enemies, and the obvious hypocrisy in committing the crimes he did, minor as they were. If it were someone else this kind of scandal could, and probably should, have been survivable.

Thank you both also for bringing up the possibility that he may have been targeted by the many enemies he made in his prosecutions of many powerful individuals. For pointing out the obviously unwarranted reasons for the investigation that lead to his downfall. The celebration by the Wall Street slimes who hate him because he put the kind of people behind bars who cheat grandmothers out of their pensions is unseemly to say the least.

On another level I have to say that his is one of those cases in which the fates have way of showing us all that the high and mighty, as well as the low and not so mighty, are flawed and pretty much the same in very many ways. I'm not one for quoting scripture, but as they say, "Pride goeth before the fall."

Dream Ticket Impossible: Nancy Pelosi

It looks like the the party leadership is paying attention. Now how about telling Clinton to cut the crap? Maybe this is her way of giving her a warning first. I think it's way past time for someone to step in before things get too far out of hand.

All the Scandal That's Fit to Broadcast

An NBC Today Show three-fer. In Matt Lauer's interview with Barack Obama this morning he covers Geraldine Ferraro's remarks, Hillary's overtures to him to be her veep, and the Eliot Spritzer scandal. It's a cheap headlines hat trick!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Mississippi Primary: Obama is the Projected Winner

The polls have closed in Mississippi, and Barack Obama is is the projected winner according to CNN and MSNBC.

Next Up, Ferraro, Designated Baiter

Former Vice Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro emerges from relative obscurity as Hillary Clinton's latest surrogate race baiter. The irony of her statement, that if Barack Obama was a white male, or a woman of any color, he would not be in the position he is now in the race for the Democratic nomination, is not lost on her. She readily admits that when she was tapped for the Vice Presidential nomination in 1984 as Walter Mondale's running mate, she would not have been picked if she was not a woman.

But the differences between you Ms. Ferraro and Mr. Obama go far beyond race. Obama is an eloquent and intelligent figure who inspires the electorate like no figure in recent history has. Because he speaks to the people's overwhelming desire for change. He is swept up in a moment of history and you are a nearly forgotten footnote to history as the first woman to be picked by a major party to run for Vice President because as you readily admit, you happened to be a woman. You said it. I only repeated it.

Hillary seems to have no shortage of surrogates who will step up and sling mud for her. What's telling about these attacks is that these if these people had a candidate with more positives to tout, they wouldn't have to stoop to this level for her. It's really sad to see these formerly respected figures like her and Gloria Steinem, who I respect greatly, sticking their feet in their respective mouths and tarnishing their considerable reputations (at least in Steinem's case) with low brow campaign tactics at a historic time that should be uplifting to all who call themselves Democrats, if not all who call themselves Americans.

If I had a dollar for every time a racist statement is either proceeded or defended with, "I'm not a racist", I'd be a rich...African American. As if this somehow gives that person an exemption to go ahead and say something that is patently racist. There's obvious reasons she's a Faux News contributor. She's helping to fragment the party. Just admit you said the wrong thing, Ms. Ferraro, and apologize.

And in this quote from the Daily Breeze in Torrance California she defended her first offensive comments with more offensive comments. The second most used tact in defending racist comments, charging reverse racism.
Any time anybody does anything that in any way pulls this campaign down and says let's address reality and the problems we're facing in this world, you're accused of being racist, so you have to shut up,' Ferraro said. 'Racism works in two different directions. I really think they're attacking me because I'm white. How's that?
This is the kind of thing the party does not need. The party leaders need to intervene now and raise the level of this campaign on both side before this kind of divisive rhetoric torches the party's chances in November.

Big Brother is Listening

I am becoming more convinced every day that we live in Orwell's 1984 and don't know it, or wouldn't believe it even when presented with evidence we are. What's frightening about this is that not only could it be used by government agencies, the FBI, CIA, NSA, etc., but by any pimply faced hacker who can download the software to do it. The following is from an article on
Nextel and Samsung handsets and the Motorola Razr are especially vulnerable to software downloads that activate their microphones, said James Atkinson, a counter-surveillance consultant who has worked closely with government agencies. "They can be remotely accessed and made to transmit room audio all the time," he said. "You can do that without having physical access to the phone."

Because modern handsets are miniature computers, downloaded software could modify the usual interface that always displays when a call is in progress. The spyware could then place a call to the FBI and activate the microphone--all without the owner knowing it happened. (The FBI declined to comment on Friday.)

"If a phone has in fact been modified to act as a bug, the only way to counteract that is to either have a bugsweeper follow you around 24-7, which is not practical, or to peel the battery off the phone," Atkinson said. Security-conscious corporate executives routinely remove the batteries from their cell phones, he added.
The article also talks about spying through the OnStar system in cars and through PC cams. Welcome to 1984. Hey Big Brother, can you hear me now?

Monday, March 10, 2008

NY Governor Eliot Spitzer: Love Client #9

From Huffington Post:
Gov. Eliot Spitzer has been caught on a federal wiretap arranging to meet with a high-priced prostitute at a Washington hotel last month, according to a person briefed on the federal investigation," the New York Times reports in a blockbuster revelation.
There's blood in the water for the MSM. Sex and politics, a major politician going down. This will be in the headlines for weeks no doubt. If only they covered Darfur, the US Attorneys Office scandal and other unsexy stories like they cover this stuff. Not a chance.

Surf Watch: Drunkorexia and the Diseases of Excess

From the Stuff I Found Randomly Surfing the Internets File:
Drunkorexia is, as the video states, a new non-medical buzzword for the combination of alcoholism and anorexia. Specifically the practice of skipping meals, or reducing calorie intake to compensate for the calories in alcoholic drinks. Or it can mean a diet that completely substitutes liquid calories for the solid non-alcoholic variety. I like the term because it uses the word drunk, which I prefer to alcoholic ("alcoholics go to meetings"). It's described in this NY Times article along with several other medical and non-medical terms for various, no doubt, uniquely American diseases, or at the very least diseases of industrialized nations. They are:
Manorexia is the male version of anorexia. Orthorexia is an obsession with what is perceived as healthy food — eliminating fats and preservatives, for example. But people with this condition can dangerously deprive themselves of needed nutrients.

Diabulimia refers to diabetics who avoid taking insulin, which can cause weight gain, in order to control their weight. Despite the name, the disorder does not typically involve purging.

Binge Eating Disorder refers to obsessive overeating, especially of foods high in salt and sugar, that does not involve excessive exercise or purging to compensate for the high caloric intake.
The thing that I find curious about each of these diseases is that they are conditions that are only possible in a climate of excess. You don't find people in third world populations suffering from anorexia, bulimia or the like. They suffer from actual starvation in many cases. Maybe it could be characterized as the involuntary form of the disease. You certainly don't find many of them, I gotta guess, there are probably no stats on it, barfing up a good meal.

Maybe it demonstrates a need in people for strife. In a land of plenty, in those places in the country where no one has to want for a meal, or for shelter, or for clothing, people find something to have a food crisis over. I wonder just how you would explain the phenomenon in a place where people are starving because they live in an area affected by drought, or are refugees from war, just plain poor? It would surely sound baffling, if not completely insane.

Now I don't at all mean to minimize the suffering of those affected by these modern afflictions. Though I think at times we do go overboard in the characterizing of modern problems as diseases. Something that feeds in to the disease industry in this country. Of creating something that needs to be treated and cured and that makes a healthy profit for someone else. Ancient Romans binged and purged and they called it a party.

I also realize that these problems in many cases are deep-seated and emotional, a result of childhood trauma and abuse. I'm not saying they are not real. Just somewhat ironic and really hard to explain to people in the world who have problems that are more basic by just a skosh. I'm sure those people are suffering emotional trauma as well. But it wouldn't stop them from enjoying a good meal if they had one.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Revolutionay Quote of the Day: Albert Einstein

Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.

A Case for Torture

Precisely the point. We don't do it to our enemies because we don't want it done to our captured soldiers. Unfortunately it's them, and not chickenhawks like Bush & Co., who will suffer the consequences of ignoring the Geneva Conventions. Not to mention, and it's been said a thousand times, torture does not work. Tortured people will do anything to stop the torture, including lie.