July 31, 2008

Archery Anxiety

Interesting article in the NYT about target panic in archery. Both neurological and psychological, the cure has to do with changing grips, and removing the roundrel of the target.

At this level, top archers are of course using the high tech bows - I think this might be part of the problem - they have complex counterbalances and a sight, of course, and I'm guessing the fact of the sight can overwhelm the internal sense of presence and balance and intuition required by traditional archery.

My argument would be better if I was a better shot.

John McCain: An All-Show Celebrity, Just Like Porn Star Jenna Jameson


The Tremendous Cost of Ted Stevens

Even now, facing an arraignment today at 1PM, presumptive felon Sen. Ted Stevens enjoys the boozy adulation of many Alaskans, convinced somehow that Alaska would be nothing without him: a barren region of wilderness, without Denny's, without Wal Mart, occupied by several dozen hard-scrabble people surviving by scrapping lichen off the snow-covered rocks, clothed in the shredded remains of Carhardts.

I'm not going to reiterate the history, but I will say this:

Ted Stevens made much- though far from all - of Alaska in his image: greedy, mean, miserable son of a bitch of places, soured from a state of infinite potential. He corroded it top to bottom, enfeebling its government at all levels, selling out its heart and soul to oil giants who ultimately don't give a flying intercourse about the people and land of Alaska.

In spite of, or more likely because of his federal successes, many Alaskans - the ones who became dominant politically for so long - developed a third-world mentality, an ingrained sycophancy for big oil, a destructive expectation of personal enrichment from the government and yet a spitting contempt for anyone weaker than them. This had next to nothing to do with the progressive, egalitarian and libertarian state I grew up in - where rapaciousness and irresponsbility were certainly de rigeur, but not giant company suck-up-it-tude.

Even his greatest accomplishments, most notably the Alaska Native Land Claims Settlement Act, which did some wonders for the state's native population, but were hardly his sole accomplishment, have taken one of the most equal and free societies on earth and created an increasingly rigid and self-aggrandizing class structure, a great division into rich and poor worlds rather than the sense of brotherhood and shared risk of a difficult frontier. Real Alaskans know they depend on each for survival, but it was this very ethos that Stevens and cronies have worked so hard to destroy.

As a side note- it's been interesting to see him now from the perspective of a Washington State resident- destroying good laws and proposals out of unadulterated vindictiveness and a huge, easily bruised ego, like some kind of unholy overripe giant peach.

As a result of Ted Stevens, this corporate/poor class division reached into native culture as well, and in spite of the very success of ANLCSA (which is must be said is infitely better than the treatment most Native Americans received) a lot of native and non-native Alaskans are not escaping suicide, alcholism, lack of basic health care and limited education and all this in a state with virtually unparalled spending power. In my view, almost all of these problems were solvable, and the failure has been profound in the oil era.

Many of these problems have only gotten worse as public money was blown time and again on precisely the concrete building nonsense Stevens pioneered, all the while literally whining that he wasn't a millionaire. And the deepening class change, the ugliness of the cities and many political attitudes - endemic to societies that feast on resource extraction- breaks my heart every time I visit.

Worse, he has been the biggest tool in oil's pocket. The fallout of that is seen today in the decline of America as a great power, and the tremendous peril facing the whole planet.

He is a small, awful little man, shrivelled by his black-hearted greed, convinced by endless sycophants that his every whim is a public service. Federal charges won't begin to make up for his malfeasance, his corruption, his leadership of the state straight into the darkest and smallest of politics.

Finally, the long-sought glimmer of post-oil Alaska begins to kindle, due to the hard work of a lot of people who, unlike me, stuck it out and tried to build a better future. The working philosophy of modern Republicans, and especially of Stevens- never give a sucker an even break -is out of gas.

Sometimes, to progress, you have to wait for old men to fade and die. Or be arrested on felony charges. So what do Alaskans really owe Senator Ted Stevens?

Hard time. For corruption in high office, and moral betrayal of his state and his country.

July 30, 2008

The Acme of Mediocre Productivity Advice

I urge you to waste time and read this remarkably mediocre article in the New York Times on productivity and life organizing. There is little subtext- it is simply so bad as to be remarkable. This advice is bereft of useful letters, let alone sentences.

We sabotage ourselves by writing down things like “Plan the anniversary party” or “Learn French.”
I am so amazed by it's utter uselessness that I am indulging one of the worst blogging habits, random media complaining, and saying that this well-intentioned little tidbit on life-habit tips was so useless as to produce anger and dismay, and a kind of dry irony that is almost but not quite funny, in such a way that it too constitutes a waste of time, and in that element, is ironic enough to almost be worth posting, but not quite.

I was so annoyed with this article that not only was my time was wasted, but I intend to erode the productivity of others in order to balance it out.

July 29, 2008

Ted Stevens Joke-Off

Senator Ted Stevens has been indicted. For lying on federal documents. For example, he claimed he was born after the Civil War ended in 1865.

You can dream of an being an old man selling out his government for a beige house and gas grill. Or you can be Ted Stevens.

Just goes to show you what happens when you combine an angry Republican Senator and two cases of Red Bull.

Ted Stevens now faces a series of 7 tubular felony indictments.

I guess from now on he'll be filibustering his cellmate "Shanky" up at the Statesville Prison.

Ted Stevens denies the charges and stands on his integrity: in 65 years of public service, he has never once turned down a bribe.

No one denies that Stevens is close the oil industry, like that time in the 70's when his face was the beloved mascot for Exxon gas station signs all over the country.

Which is more appalling: a U.S. Senator taking bribes, or him taking such tacky ones?

And I now repeat my personal favorite:

Alaskans all owe a debt of gratitude to Ted Stevens for blazing the way across the Bering Land Bridge during the last Ice Age.

The Small, Mole-Like Growth on John McCain's Face: The Interview

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. As part of Isengard.Gov's commitment to cutting edge political reporting, we were able to obtain the first interview with the small, mole-like growth recently removed from John McCain's face.

I.G.: How's it hanging?

SMLG: Well, it's been traumatic, you know, I've just lost the only home I've ever had, you know, John McCain's cheek.

I.G. : I'm sorry for your loss. He just turned you out on the street?

SMLG: I thought we were so close..What will I do? (sobs.)

I.G.: Well, the McCain camp says that not only were you at some risk for being pre-cancerous, but that they don't believe it's appropriate for the government to step in to save people's homes.

SMLG: Well (redacted) them too.

I.G.: Did you feel you really knew McCain?

SMLG: We shared our lives..it was so exciting, all the press attention, all the travel to all of America, all the golf resorts, all the gated communities, corporate boardrooms, and country clubs, and then that one time we saw some black people.

I.G.: Which brings up my next question. Before they determined you had to be removed, you were referred to in the press as a "darkened area."

SMLG: Well, people did say things to him while looking at me, like "Maybe you should get that looked at," and "John, darling, what the hell is that thing?!!!" I suppose I should have see the signs, I'm mean it's not anyone was openly anti-dark skin, but it's not like diversity central at the GOP either. It was nothing overt, but I could never forget that I was a dark spot on a guy so white if he lies down on a hockey rink he disappears.

I.G. So you felt alientated, excluded?

SMLG: All the staring, the worried looks. You think I wouldn't feel that?
Maybe it would be different if I was just melanin, and not, you know, borderline pre-cancerous, but maybe it's a little bit of skinism, sure.

I.G. Were you the only mole of color in the McCain campaign?

SMLG: The only one that close, sure. Except for the new guy on the back of his neck.

I.G. Who are you voting for?

SMLG. Well, that's tough you know. I know John so well, but it's hard not to feel betrayed. I can tell you that campaign's a friggin' mess-it's like Laverne and Shirley trying to run a nuclear plant. And Obama's a really empathetic guy. I get the feeling he wouldn't have been so quick to have me excised from his face.

I.G. Are you registered?

SMLG: Had some issues when I went to register to vote, they weren't sure where to count me as 72 or as six months, so they split the difference and as far as Arizona is concerned, I'm officially 36.

I.G. Of course you don't have an address.

SMLG: (Sobs).

July 28, 2008

More Status Updates

Jamie fought the stick as the 747 plunged toward the icy Pacific, its cargo of endangered Koalas screaming. Then, as no.4 engine died, he snipped the bomb's red wire.

Jamie tensed as the Diplomat wavered then inked the accord: Peace in the Middle East. "Well, thank goodnesss we solved that one," Jamie said, to uproarious laughter.

Jamie shot back directly at the tiny but intimidating Picasso. "Dora has left you, and we are happy." "Mais pourqoui?" "She has sensed your new irrelevance."

Jamie triumphantly held the tiny black hole with the atomic tweezers. The CERN physicists applauded. "Now..uh..where can I put this?"

Jamie rolled the rock, regretting that not only had he stolen the secret of fire, he forgot to bring a stick with which to prop up the rock.

Jamie motioned to shut off the microsurgical laser."But doctor, the risks.""Damn the Risks! The world's greatest ukelele player will not be silenced on my table!".

July 27, 2008

Brief Note Regarding a Fish

Off from the studio to forage for lunch in Ballard the other day, it turned out there was a Ballard Viking Seafood days festival poring into the streets.

In front of one of the last Scandanavian stronghold businesses in the neighborhood, Olsen's Foods, a group doing a fundraiser had flown in a small truckload of fresh silver salmon from Bristol Bay, for $3 a pound. Awesome, I declared to myself, and ordered me up a silver, toute suite.

Why so cheap? It was a local Christian church group working a fundraiser.

Raising money to fund their missionary work.

In Italy.

In Italy.

In Italy.

Is this thing on?

In their defense, distributing cheap delicious fish does seem genuinely Christian.

Sirens of Isengard: the Market Indicators

As every blogger knows, what the world may not really need is more commentary on the news. So to hell with it for the moment. At the risk of making Isengard.Gov sound more like Esquire circa 1987, I needed a brief break from art and politics, and research for this article was not unpleasant.
And I must encourage eisengeisters of the available genders to add in their feckless celebrity longings (edit right into this post!)

The Sirens of Isengard. And their Current Objectifying Directional Rating.


http://www.braintree.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/8A16E515-332E-4A82-937D-CB59FFD24204/0/MobiusLoop2.jpgKaren O. Oh hell. I love Karen O. Aside from her incredible voice and stage presence, she has a remarkable face, perfect almost to the point of being distinctly indistinct. But the Yeah Yeah Yeah's were on, in name only, some Ipod commercial or a car commercial or something, the name showing on the screen. Only a slight blip in theory, but when we're talking about the Queen of uber-hip, so alternative she makes PJ Harvey look like Kelly Clarkson, in NPR's phrase (strike two! NPR is great - but not cool) this is a blemish. Karen! No sell out, super-please! Well, in any event, the last album is fantastic..

http://www.freebuttonzone.com/images/arrow29d1z.gif Samantha Power. Long a favorite here, Super-foxy brainiac Genocide Chick, ditched by Obama when she gave Hillary Clinton the business, I am sad to report, has gone off and married some lame ass brilliant legal scholar. A legal scholar? Sheesh. You know what you call two laywers getting married? Uh...d Well, I don't have a joke here, but I assure you it is appalling at the deepest level.

http://www.braintree.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/8A16E515-332E-4A82-937D-CB59FFD24204/0/MobiusLoop2.jpg[Liv_Tyler.jpg]Liv Tyler

I didn't see the Hulk, or the whatever relatively whack superhero movie her hair has been blowing around in recently. Have there been one too many action figurines? No, no, Liv, you are still amazing.

http://www.freebuttonzone.com/images/arrow25u.gif The "Euro-Artbot Girl" in the Newer Disasronno Ad

This is clearly my most shameful listing.

There is a serious problem with putting a woman this astonishing - She is, in my uber-phrase for such matters- INSANE - And I do not habitually praise advertising. She may be a citizen of Photoshop.
What was I talking about again? Oh yes. But why, Disarrono Advertising Tools, do you make us watch the dorkbot bartenders?


http://www.freebuttonzone.com/images/arrow25u.gif Rose McGowan. Grindhouse. Stop right there. But hey, there she was picking movies on Turner Classics - impressive. Also, I like the brunette-ification.


http://www.freebuttonzone.com/images/arrow25u.gifSegolene Royal. Ah, mon dieu, France, did you learn nothing from us? You elected a hypocritical, abusive egomaniac with a jones for wreckless globalization and a penchant for loving all the wrong things about America, INSTEAD of the hottest socialist leader in Europe. We are STILL stuck with the Bush administration, and you go all conservative because you're worried about a few riots in Paris? What the hell is Paris without riots? A fancy mall with appalling customer service!

Ahem. Meanwhile, Segolene is organizing a successful left-wing comeback in local elections as Sarkozy continues to embarrass the country.

The image “http://img226.imageshack.us/img226/125/evagreen15yf.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
http://www.freebuttonzone.com/images/arrow25u.gif Eva Green. Va Va Voom. A transcendental beauty who somehow made James Bond cool again. Also, an actual actress.

http://www.freebuttonzone.com/images/arrow29d1z.gif Uma Thurman. And the incomparable Uma? An official reprimand: dating another billionaire, apparently, according to Foreign Affairs. One billionaire is an eccentricity, two is a bad habit.

http://www.freebuttonzone.com/images/arrow29d1z.gif Gwen Stefani. Looking better than ever, particularly on ubiquitous personal computing device advertisments for a large computing device company, touting her own amazing creativity.

Okay, I'll bite:

http://www.freebuttonzone.com/images/arrow29d1z.gif Bruce
Sadly, much less appealing after breaking up with his wife.

Neil deGrasse Tyson
An astrophysicist who can kick your ass.

http://www.freebuttonzone.com/images/arrow25u.gifIain Pears

Read his books. Really, just read them.

http://www.freebuttonzone.com/images/arrow25u.gifDaniel Craig
Sure, my brain works good but so do my glands.

But the winner is:

Some guy I watched play football. Va va voom and hubba hubba too!

July 23, 2008

CBS thinks McCain needs words put into his mouth

Given his original response, it'd tend to agree with CBS.

For extra credit: try and find a level that this isn't wrong on.

Why We Fight

Obama's great-uncle, who helped liberate Buchenwald and lives to see his nephew rise perhaps to lead the nation he fought for in WWII, makes brief comments that summarize the promise of America, and the proper standard of the wars of a great democracy.

CHICAGO — Charles T. Payne had his first close brush with history at the end of World War II, when his infantry division liberated Ohrdruf, a subcamp of the Nazis' Buchenwald concentration camp.

Now 83, Payne is experiencing a second brush as the great-uncle of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Payne spoke to The Associated Press Tuesday as Obama, on the other side of the world, prepared to visit the Yad Vashem national Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.

In May, Obama mentioned "Uncle Charlie" at a meeting with veterans but mistakenly said Payne had helped liberate Auschwitz, when he should have said Buchenwald. Bloggers seized on the error and the Republican Party demanded an explanation.

Obama's campaign corrected the mistake the next day. Soviet forces liberated Auschwitz as they marched across Poland in January 1945.

Payne, with an Obama button pinned to his shirt, told the AP he was "truly astonished" by the attention paid to Obama's flub. The brother of Obama's maternal grandmother, Payne figures Obama heard the story wrong from his grandparents, "whose grasp of geography wasn't always the firmest." He said at the time he asked friends if he should "try to set the record straight," but that they advised him to ignore it.

Payne said he didn't want to say anything to embarrass the Obama campaign and minimized his role in the liberation of Ohrdruf.

"I have no heroic story to tell," he said. "I was just there."

He had seen plenty of death during his two years in the Army, but the cruelty of what he witnessed at Ohrdruf appalled him. In the courtyard, he saw lying dead "a circle of the inmates in their rags, and you could see they were mostly near starvation. They were there with their tin cups like they were called to get food, then had been machine gunned."

In a shed, he saw bodies stacked like cord wood. The survivors, many near starvation, were "nothing but just skin over bones with nothing, no flesh at all." He said the 1993 movie "Schindler's List" was "very good, but it didn't begin to show the desperate plight of the prisoners. I guess in real life you can't really starve people next to death in order to make a movie."

During the war, home was Augusta, a small town in central Kansas. Payne had enlisted in 1943 along with most of his high school graduating class. He served in a mortar squad, then a communications squad rigging telephone lines.

After the war, Payne went to college in Kansas on the GI Bill and then to graduate school at the University of Chicago, where Obama would later lecture on constitutional law. He later became interested in computers and how they could be used in libraries. He retired at age 70 as assistant director of the University of Chicago's library.

Payne is proud of his great-nephew, who is prominently displayed in family photos.

"He's truly an astounding young man and always has been," he said.

As attention turns to the Holocaust with Obama's expected visit to the Israeli memorial on Wednesday, Payne reflected on the lessons of history.

"Clearly to me it's proof that there's no limit to what a man will do to man and what government out of control will do," he said. "I guess we need to be on our guard eternally."

July 22, 2008


As they say, "Cool as the other side of the pillow."

July 21, 2008

Alternatives to Chillin', Working, Kickin' back or Studying

Here are my Facebook status updates, if you missed them:

Jamie grabbed the atomic detonator from Tatiana, shuddering with her betrayal as they struggled with the parachute harness. Who would die first? Them, or Helsinki?

Jamie ignored her attempt to defuse the tension. He gazed at her with searching eyes, cooly finishing his single malt. Entranced, she lowered the sniper rifle.

Jamie nodded with grim satisfaction as the rogue missle submarine slid into the Baltic Sea: Katyana, her Gucci purse full of C-4, had worked her magic.

Jamie walked to the waiting helicopter. "But what will we do without you?," pleaded the President. "The Library: Jefferson, Franklin, Roosevelt. You don't need me.

Jamie considered the fat Cossack General, and spat on his boots. "You will beg for death," said Dimtri. "Only if I have to keep smelling that cologne," he retorted.

Jamie squared against the raging rhinocerous and the omnipresent absurdity was suspended in the naked mortality, the thunderous charge, the raising of red dust.

Jamie , his pistols emptied, parried the Duke of Glouster's traitorous attack with the cutlass, leaping for the Galleon as her sails filled in the squall.

Jamie raised his Gladius in one hand, the head of Germanicus Caesar in the other. The rosy fingers of dawn alit the roaring legions.Mars had smiled on his vengence.

Jamie knew something of the polar region. "I would be honored Sir Shackleton, if you would take my Primus Stove. I have a sense that it may prove efficacious to you.".

Jamie swam through fire and rising seawater, struggling to close the valve. The sub rose drunkenly like a wino ordered to move along."Not today, Death..not today."

July 20, 2008

Al Gore: What is and What Isn't Possible

Al Gore's challenge concept: end fossil fuel production of electricity in ten years. I say possible.

Using existing wind and solar tech, geothermal, building tidal generation, plus conservation, plus an trade and offset concept (carbon credits for hybrids other alternatives), plus limited nuclear if absolutely necessary, here is my argument-

United States aircraft production during World War II

Total Production

Type of airplane Total 1940¹ 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945²
Grand total 295,959 3,611 18,466 46,907 84,853 96,270 45,852
Combat airplanes 200,443 1,771 8,395 24,669 53,183 74,564 37,861
Very heavy bombers 3,740 - - 4 91 1,147 2,498
Heavy bombers 31,685 46 282 2,513 9,574 15,057 4,213
Medium bombers 21,461 52 762 4,040 7,256 6,732 2,619
Light bombers 39,986 453 2,617 5,954 11,848 12,376 6,738
Fighters 99,465 1,157 4,036 10,721 23,621 38,848 21,082
Reconnaissance 4,106 63 698 1,437 793 404 711
Support airplanes 95,516 1,840 10,071 22,238 31,670 21,706 7,991
Transports 23,900 164 525 1,887 6,913 9,925 4,486
Trainers 58,085 1,676 9,294 17,237 20,950 7,936 1,352
Communications 13,531 - 252 3,114 4,167 3,845 2,153

July 19, 2008

Saruman Forced to Resign From McCain Campaign

With the McCain campaign already in disarray, Saruman the White, great wizard of Isengard, was forced to resign his advisory position after an outcry arose over allegations that Saruman had grown a new form of great orc in the very earth. This came on top of persistent criticism that Saruman was far too close to Sauron, the Great Eye in the East, as well as the office of Vice President Dick Cheney. Saruman's prominence in the campaign, particularly on the war and domestic labor policy, made it difficult for McCain to argue that he could set a new direction for the country.

"I have known Saruman the White since the First Age, " said McCain, "and he has always expressed the upmost admiration for the race of humans and what we are able to accomplish in our short lives in terms at least of our economic productivity." It was on this point, when Saruman was caught on a Palantir video saying that there would be 'no dawn for men,' that Maureen Dowd tartly said "here was a point on which 'Mr. Whiskers' and I completely agreed, and it's the one that finally juiced McCain to throw him under the mûmak."

"He has always been the first to counsel realistic and muscular foreign policy, and has inspired me to become a better speaker. For some time, I even feel that when at my most eloquent, he has been speaking through me, " said McCain.

Comments from Saruman on Hardball last Thursday may have weakened his position.
Chris Mathews had pestered him for some time about Isengard's environmental practices.

"I've seen the video - it once was a beautiful protected forest and now it's like a pit mine on fire! Don't you think this could embarass the campaign of the man you support?, "said Mathews.

"Isengard has navigated properly through the permitting process," said Saruman. "We've done nothing illegal and provided a good many jobs for underserved populations in the area. "

"Yeah, but that's the Bush Administration's regulations for you..the video looks like you're responsible for global warming single-handedly all while you're in the illegal arms business, and while employing labor that you apparently grew in the earth, like Americans don't need the work. Cheryl, can we get that tape of Lou Dobbs going off? I gotta say, Saruman, I don't see how you can defend this," continued Mathews.

It was at this point that Saruman's anger rose.

"You are extremely unwise. The Great Eye in the East has foretold the doom of men, and there are those that will gain, and those that will beg for the end of their suffering."

The video of the Hardball studio shaking violently and lights falling on Chris Mathews' head with Saruman's indecipherable incantations as analyst Andrea Martin looked puzzled has been replayed repeatedly on 24 hour news channels.

"It's easy for the Democrats to make Saruman the issue so they can avoid talking about how they're going to raise taxes," said McCain, "and so they can attack the Surge for their own narrow political ends. "

Saruman has retreated to the fortress of Isengard and has been unavailable for comment. But the New York Times reports that the Saruman has been communicating with the McCain campaign in a less conventional capacity.

July 17, 2008

Lots of Art

The Bellevue Nazi

For anyone who knows the Seattle area, it will comes as no surprise that when they finally found our local Nazi, he was on the Eastside.

No, it wasn't Tim McGraw.

July 15, 2008

Why You May Be Seeing More Rebar for Tootsie Rolls

Dr. X (you are ever Dr. X, Dr.X, even as you hide behind the front of your cleverly hidden persona of Dr. X in the cleverly hidden persona of "The Front"), put it rather well the other day, saying that he had no interest in making fun of Mr. Obama; he just wants to get on with the business of fixing the country.

I share the problem, and I'm far from the only one. The New York Times (ever the arbiter of what really is funny, ahem) interviews the late-night industry on the unsatirizability of Barack Obama.

The Times of course infamously dropped the ball on the incredible, national culture -changing moment of Stephen Colbert breaking Bush's balls in public. I'm looking back on this and thinking that this actually might have been the most important single moment in comedy of the new millenium. I'll conjecture that culturally it was right then, with the barely veiled attack on Bush's frat-boy imperialism in Star Wars, that Bush's nose dive really began.

Interesting article - pointing out that the best jokes have not been about him, but about his circle. (My personal favorite was on SNL- the CSPAN tag line as Wil Forte was going on about how great Obama's books were- Breaking: General Petraeus Sucks Up to Barack Obama.)

Don't look for much here. Dr. X is absolutely right. We're sick of shoring up our hearts against cynical, deadly political buffonery with the yuckles.


John McCain's first computer used Windows for beads.

McCain believes in the Bible. After's all he's in it, you know, whacking his brother McAbel.

John McCain? Didn't he invent clothes?

July 13, 2008

A Brewing Landslide

We've been fairly quiet on the political front here- sort of a combination of over-saturation, FISA irritation and holding of breath (like the moment for significant pause last week when Obama's plane conked out,) but I'm still seeing the kind of year for the Old Goiter Party where I'm afraid that come November, I'm going to wear out the barrel on the Schaudenfredenator...

(where did I leave that btw, I can't find it!)

The combination of the small but very consistent Obama lead in the last two months, and interesting stirrings on the sidelines, like this massive new voter registration imbalance in Florida, are seismic movements that to me suggest the possibility - the possibility- of a landslide.

And here's my thing with this, though...if victory is in reach, no holding back: take out all the stops. Phil Graham has been wrong about everything economic in the way Cheney is wrong about everything else. These are just two of the worst, most destructive people in America, a group otherwise known as the GOP, and McCain would have about as much influence over them as a 7th-day Adventist would at a wet-t-shirt contest.

I've been an Obama supporter primarily because I believed that his ability to create mass-movements as a basis for political action is the KEY to getting the country to move ahead. The bigger the victory, the greater the base political power there will be, and the more good that can happen.

July 08, 2008

A New Kind of War

As the United States and Iran give each other the "Stink-Eye", I say, let them settle their disputes Mano-a-Mano!...And have a guitar handy.

But What About Bears?

Mark Begich's New Ad.

Mark is trading polling leads with Ted Stevens. The main issue: did Stevens sell out America, or just Alaska?

This is one of the best races in the country to contribute to. It's tight and it's a unique opportunity in a Republican state that might help the whole place shift towards its progressive roots.

July 07, 2008

Spooky Action at a Distance

An enjoyable interview with some cheerful Austrian physicist on spooky action at a distance, and current forms of teleportation of properties of matter.

Last year we teleported light particles across a distance of 600 metres under the Danube – that's the current world record. In theory the range is limitless.....

You said that you only transfer properties, not particles. Would "copying" not be a more accurate expression than "teleportation"?

No. Firstly it differs from simple copying in that the original loses all its properties. That is something so crazy that it could only exist in the quantum world. You can actually remove all the properties of a particle and give them to another particle.

Nice touch: spooky action at a distance under the Danube. It's involves a damn nice pop science idea- information itself as a primary property of objects - that I've often used as a metaphor for "good"* art: Whether simple or complex in form, a necessary but not sufficient characteristic of good art is that has lots of properties, and continually offers a rich stream of information.

But you defend the thesis that there is an "original matter of the universe": information.

Yes. For me the concept of "information" is at the basis of everything we call "nature". The moon, the chair, the equation of states, anything and everything, because we can't talk about anything without de facto speaking about the information we have of these things. In this sense the information is the basic building block of our world.

*Good now always used in quotes as part of the Post-Modern Art Language Sarcasticization** Act of 1987.

**Having just, I think, invented it, I like "Sarcasticization" so much I may now actually start using it.

July 06, 2008

NYT: Call for A Truth Commission

Kristof calls for a Truth commission on post 9-11 U.S. abuses.

Over 100 detainees have died in U.S. custody.

July 03, 2008

Where Are the Bears?

Does a bear shit in the woods? Yes, and for Bear 209, all over Elmendorf Air Force base, according to this handy Anchorage bear tracking system.

July 02, 2008

Hitchens Investigates

Tries waterboarding; decides to stick with whiskeyboarding.