Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Plame and angry spies

There is an extremely interesting article on the Plame affair, written from an intelligence analyst's perspective, here.

They're kind of pissed about it.

UPDATE: The story got shuffled to behind a subscriber wall. I posted it in the comments section for this entry.


Building a new coalition

In the midst of our national internecine squabbling, we’re missing an opportunity.
We are at a historic crossroads, where the dominant party is undergoing a tidal pull. The conservative coalition – ascendant since the fifties -- is sundering before our eyes. Libertarians, Goldwater westerners, paleo-conservatives, fiscal constervatives and the lingering pockets of what’s left of Rockefeller republicans are starting to find the loudest tribe in the conservative – the religious populists – a little whiffy.

The problem with this is, of all the components of the coalition, the Religious Populists are the most ideologically slutty. Big government is quite okay now, as long as big government in service to their form of idealism and social engineering. And as long they are the loudest faction, the Santorums of the world are strong arming their pals to repudiating long held ideological beliefs. They’ve been bullied into signing up for a program of reckless experimentation and bitter populism. It’s become an ideology of affiliation instead of ideas, one that can’t offer any better authority than they know what’s best for us.

Consider this Bill Buckley quote:

“...if one acknowledged the second inaugural address of the President as marching orders, well, that would keep us busy with something to do for all eternity. It’s not, in my judgement, conservatism. Because conservatism is....the acknowledgement of realities. And this is surreal.”

So here we have the founder of the coalition, looking on the ultimate triumph of his creation... with disdain.

So, what does this mean for secularists, progressives, libertarians, and ideological moderates? Perhaps it’s the time to consider building our own Jeffersonian coalition, one built on clearly delineated Federal powers, with government’s primary role being the defense of the rights and property of citizens and the idea that our society, our culture, our technology, our government become more vital when experimentation is condoned and protected.

Now this bring us to our other problem: The Democratic Party.

It’s a bland, empty husk, riding on the war and Republican scandal. Let’s step in. Let’s start the ugly business of coalition building in this vacuum. Let’s start reconciling our differences, and begin building vital institutions. Let’s launch think tanks. Hug a libertarian today. Make cookies with a McCainite. Send a mash note to a New England republican. Let’s not miss this chance to experiment with new combinations.

As your first mission in coalition building, I'd invite you to check out the Freedom Democrats, a home for Libertarian Democrats.

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Thursday, October 13, 2005

The evils of knowing your co-worker's blog URL.

A coworker forwarded the url of another (male) coworker's blog, wherein there was a photo of a pale and hairy man's be-hind poking through the ripped seat of a pair of jockey shorts. The words "Fuck Me" were scrawled across his hirsute buttocks.

Underneath was written (I paraphrase):
"Wow! XXXXX sent me this photo. How nice and thoughtful of him to express his needs."

I saw the blogger the next day, exiting the restroom. He said hi. I shuddered.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Everything you wanted to know about the Malaysian Metal crackdown.

A 2001 scene report from Kuala Lumpur, where authorities are harshing on hessians. Are umlauts verbotten as well?

Some Malay, Vietnamese and Indonesian metal MP3 are linked to from here.

Some more backgound here.

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Life is good in Berkeley!

So, yesterday, I’m home with the brats. Their school was closed for Columbus Day, so I took the day off and so we could futz around Berkeley in the brilliant East Bay summer. (We have ours in October.)

In the morning, I walked in the front room with a cup of coffee to enjoy the quiet before the terrors arose, when what should I see parked in front of my house, but a Subaru completely shot to shit with numbers taped next to each hole. Ballistics before nine is hard for me.

When I wasn’t with the kids, I was staring at, just sitting there...saying “You don’t live in Marin, you don’t live in Marin....” over and over again.

I live in a nice neighborhood. A quiet neighborhood. One with old folks, and young families and cats and birds and possums and raccoons and all that shit.

But that car... the holes look perfect and round, like a wino went to town with a pop rivet gun. Plus we have weeds, so I felt especially trashy with the car with the shot out window.

So Paula gets on the case today, brave she-who-is-not-ascared-to-talk-to-humans and emails the neighbors.

Seems the car belongs to this kid around the corner(he’s a goth/white hip hip guy hybrid. I admire his eclecticism.), who loaned his car to a friend, and who promptly got it shot up in a random incident in another part of Berkeley. (I’ve seen the borrower limping through the neighborhood. Got a slug in his leg)

The girl who lives across the street picked up the car from the tow
place yesterday for the out of town Goth Rapper, and had
it my house. With the weeds in front.

I guess it serves us right. But we’re getting the landscaping done. Honest.

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How my mind works -- STARFUCKER EDITION

-- Arrive at work. Listen to my pod mate argue with a producer (the pod mate Michael who graciously invited my family to eat delicious home cooked food with his family. Chicken livers and truffle oil on toast!).

-- Go to get coffee. Am now thinking about a presentation that both the pod mate and I participated in -- to Scott McNealy and board of Sun Microsystems. During the preamble and introductions, McNealy jams his thumbs in his ears and starts grunting – no joke. “Quit the spiel! Just show me the work!” (SUN MICROSYS INC (SUNW): 4.06)

-- This gets me thinking about McNeely and the fact he apparently named each of his kids after AMC cars. Am processing AMC car names, and can only come up with Maverick as a possible name. Pacer and Gremlin are too alarming to consider further.

-- The phrase “a Gremmy with a Hemi” has know taken over my mind and is shaking it like a Jack Russell with a rag soaked in beef stew. The only way I can countact this is thinking about what would the implications had been if we named our son GRADY as we originally discussed, vs. OWEN. While GRADY is a cool name, the only person I know of named GRADY was the guy on “SANFORD AND SON”.

-- Enter Starfucks. Am bewildered by sheer suckiness of the music they sell. Do we need an acoustic set of “Jagged Little Pill”? Remixes of Sly and the Family Stone? And who the fuck is Antigone Rising? This makes me think about hippies and seeing the godawful Bela Flek and the Flektones at Stern Grove. Why? Why? Why? I smoked pot behind a bush and then saw a girl that I went to High School with hippy dancing with a guy in some sort of plume-ed medieval hat. Did not say hi.

-- This makes me think of the three guys from high school who came out after high school, and that nobody I knew was terribly surprised.

-- Starfucks made me think about Howard Shultz who, yes, I was also in a presentation to. (This is not name dropping, because these people are dull and generally uptight jerks.) It went okay. He made a big deal about the coffee service, which was understandable. The coffee was just okay. (I wish there was someplace with decent coffee nearby, but there isn’t. Fuck, I’m an idiot.)

-- Thinking about celebrities I have seen:
*Steven Hawkings – Awesome! In Heathrow Airport – making a report to a cop after my wallet got stolen. Hawkings comes jamming on through. The Universe stops for a second. Awesome.

*Scott from Anthrax, I think. I stared at him a long time. It sure looked like him, but I didn't ask because a) it was him, and I'd sound like dork or b) it's some creep trying to look like him, so I'd be validating his weeniness.

*Bob Wilkins from Creature Features (Best crappy monster movie show ever)

*Bjork – In a natural food store in San Luis Obispo (Sugarcubes era!)

*Dave Alvin – In a bookstore in San Luis Obispo

(Discursive Horseshit: San Luis Obispo, being a college town halfway between San Francisco and LA gets a lot of biggish acts. My friend Mark actually saw Jonathan Richman – a man who slept on Andy Warhol’s couch – standing at a San Luis Obispo bus stop with his guitar case in hand, waiting for the bus to Santa Maria.

Mark: “You need a ride, Jonathan?”

Jonathan: “Yeah!”

Jonathan then took Mark out for a burrito – “’s gotta be a place where they speak Spanish, Mark...”

At the burrito place, Jonathan starts speaking fluent Spanish and they get a tour of the kitchen. True motherfucking story.)

* Timothy Dalton – getting hassled by customs at LAX. Big burly motherfucker!

* John Doe – Did some music for a project I was working on. Very nice. Talked about coaching his daughters’ soccer team.

* Dave Immergluck – My neighbor is friends with Immergluck, former Monk of Doom, now a Counting Crow. Also the drummer, Jim Bogios. So that counts.

* Michael Dempsey – My friend Michael STARRED in the play “Mr. Roberts” at the MOTHERFUCKING KENNEDY (AS IN GRASSY KNOLL) CENTER. He’s a star. Oh, yeah. A star. Michael also once served ice cream to Shane MacGowan.

* The guy that owns Joe Boxer (don’t know his name...probably Joe something). For some reason, I’ve seen this guy like five times in and around San Francisco, and once in New York. He is quite a dandy, this feller. I find that I have seen this man SIX times absolutely shocking, and endeavor to tell pod-mate Michael IMMEDIATELY.

-- Breathlessly, enter the POD. Michael is doing something workish: “MICHAEL! Did you know I’ve seen the guy that owns Joe Boxer like SIX TIMES! Once in New York!... Just walking around! And did you see that Downfall Hitler movie? It's really good!”

Michael just stares at me.

What’s wrong with me?

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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

A photo of Mandy Patinkin

I offer no explanation. What explanation could I give?

Look deeply, so you may see the unchanging, infinite, immanent and transcendent reality that is the Divine Ground of all being. Look upon the source and sum of the cosmos, look upon that which is not constricted by time, space, and causation, look upon the "world soul"

Look upon...PATINKIN!!!!

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Monday, October 03, 2005

"But having such a big penis ...

A great violence has been perpetrated against my soul.

And I mean that as an endorsement. Over at The Sneeze, (a truly invaluable source of inane and pointless entertainments) our host Steve tries a great Korean delicacy, canned silkworm pupas in broth.

Gut churning excitement with illustrative photos. Great fun!