Monday, March 31, 2008

In the face of piracy

Jettison nonessential equipment
We’re in for nasty weather
Remove unnecessary ornamentation
Now is no time to be clever
Tear through old layers
Of wall paper, plaster and glue
Get down to brass tacks
To get a glimpse of what is true
Then take the claw hammer to the brass
Get those tacks out
Get em out
You’re trying to save your ass
Don’t bother with holes and splinters
Heart wood always heals
It can weather any storm
Throw your treasure to the pirates
If it can be stolen then it’s extra
And was never yours to keep
All these extras are just ballast
Dragging you towards the deep
Don’t fight the waves
Float beyond safe shores
Be light
And nothing more

Friday, March 28, 2008

Listening To: Stuart Davis, Something Simple

The Mighty Stu has a new album out on his new record company, Majeski Media.

Something Simple is Stuart's 10th ablbum and includes the song "Already Free" which is the closing track to the Owen Wilson film Drill Bit Taylor. I haven't seen the movie, but the song is great. Hopefully this will get Stuart some extra attention.

The album is a typical Stuart romp through the playground of the soul, with songs about love, religion, fear, addiction and his newest family member.

There is also a remake of his classic Universe Communion complete with string orchestra.

Not as quirky and edgy as some of his earlier albums, but then I think Stuart has been mellowing into family life and fatherhood, and I think he and his record company may have been looking for something more accessible for new listeners. But there is still lots of energy and the twisted mystic lyrics his fans have come to expect.

Check out Stu's new web site and pick up a copy of Something Simple.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Don't Show This To My Dog

My dog Ricky (that's short for Ricochet) wants to play fetch 24 hours a day.
If she saw this video she would wouldn't stop whining until she got an automated ball thrower of her own. So do not show her this video. But you should watch it, because you have self control (do what I say). You are responsible for your own actions (watch the video!).

Video Link:

Lest We Forget reported that back at the beginning of this invasion, the people "in charge" of it believed that we would be in and out with no trouble and no long term occupation. Not 5 years, not 10 years, not John McCain's 100 years.

Read on:

Monday, Sept. 11, 2006 15:16 EST
General: Rumsfeld told us not to plan for "postwar" Iraq
When Dick Cheney says he'd do "exactly the same thing" all over again in Iraq, we wonder if this is what he has in mind: In an interview last week with Virginia's Daily Press, the retiring commander of the Army Transportation Corps says that Donald Rumsfeld specifically directed war planners to stop short of planning for what would happen after Saddam Hussein's government fell.
"The secretary of defense continued to push on us ... that everything we write in our plan has to be the idea that we are going to go in, we're going to take out the regime, and then we're going to leave," said Brig. Gen. Mark Scheid.
Scheid, one of a small group of officers involved in drafting an Iraq plan, said that he and his colleagues tried to write "what was called Phase 4" -- a plan for post-invasion operations -- so that "at least [we'd have] a plan for it" if U.S. soldiers didn't leave Iraq immediately after deposing Saddam.
"I remember the secretary of defense saying that he would fire the next person that said that," Scheid said. "We would not do planning for Phase 4 operations, which would require all those additional troops that people talk about today. He said we will not do that because the American public will not back us if they think we are going over there for a long war."
― Tim Grieve

With Success Like This, Who Needs Failure?

"We're succeeding. I don't care what anybody says." -- John McCain speaking about Iraq

Has the President or McCain or anybody ever described what exactly "success" in Iraq would look like?
If success means luring al-Qaida into Iraq where our ongoing battle with the terrorists can destroy and terrorise the entire population of a country that had nothing to do with al-Qaida, then I guess we are succeeding. But it ain't pretty.

Monday, March 24, 2008

5 + Z = What?

5 Years
4,000 Dead American Soldiers (so far)
6,256 American Veterans took their own lives in one year (2005)
30,000 seriously wounded
18 months, the average wait time for a soldier to get his or her disability approved.
800,000 cases backlogged in the VA system
25% of enlistees and 50% of reservists come back with serious mental health issues.
X = the undocumented number of American family members adversely affected by returning soldiers.
2,000,000 displaced Iraqis (that means refugees)
Y = the number of dead Iraqis (we don’t keep count)
3,000,000,000 dollars, the total cost of the Iraq occupation so far
Z = the number of years we will continue to stay in Iraq

Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Birthday to Chani

Hey, it's Chani's birthday on the 25th. She is a teenager now.

But still fun to hang around with.

Love ya, Chan-Chan.

Note to Feed Blitz Subscribers

Hey Feed Blitz people.
I just noticed that Feed Blitz emails don't include links to videos.
So I will try and mention that their is a video in the post so that the email you recieve makes more sense from now on. You will have to follow the link to my actual Blog to see them, however. Sorry about that.
Technology makes our lives easier...keep telling yourself that.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hooverville? No, Bushburg!

All the US Media chatter is about Bear Sterns and the troubles on Wall Street.
You have to go to the BBC to get coverage of what the financial shell game on Wall Street is doing to regular working Americans.

Calling this a "housing crisis" and blaming people trying to own a home for this mess is crap. This is a "financial fraud crisis" created by mortgage brokers and junk bond managers trying to make double-digit returns off of faulty paper.
We might as well say we have a "child teething crisis" and blame the toddlers for chewing on toys with lead in them instead of blaming the companies that manufacture and sell the poisonous toys.

NOTE: The video seems to have been pulled. But it was the BBC interviewing people in Los Angeles living in an impromptu homeless village. Every person they talked to had a story about their mortgage payments going up or having problems and losing their houses. The Feds seem happy to bail out Wall Street firms, but I doubt there will be a bail out for home owners who had the market manipulated beyond their control and out of their reach. It's easy to see who is included in Bush's "Ownership Society" and who isn't.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Writer Arthur C Clarke dies at 90

'Legendary British science fiction writer Sir Arthur C Clarke has died in Sri Lanka at the age of 90.'R.I.P

read more | digg story

Obama Speaks About Race in America

Read the Full Text Here: My favorite part is reprinted below.

"In the end, then, what is called for is nothing more, and nothing less, than what all the world's great religions demand - that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Let us be our brother's keeper, Scripture tells us. Let us be our sister's keeper. Let us find that common stake we all have in one another, and let our politics reflect that spirit as well.

For we have a choice in this country. We can accept a politics that breeds division, and conflict, and cynicism. We can tackle race only as spectacle - as we did in the OJ trial - or in the wake of tragedy, as we did in the aftermath of Katrina - or as fodder for the nightly news. We can play Reverend Wright's sermons on every channel, every day and talk about them from now until the election, and make the only question in this campaign whether or not the American people think that I somehow believe or sympathize with his most offensive words. We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she's playing the race card, or we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his policies.

We can do that.

But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we'll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change.

That is one option. Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, "Not this time." This time we want to talk about the crumbling schools that are stealing the future of black children and white children and Asian children and Hispanic children and Native American children. This time we want to reject the cynicism that tells us that these kids can't learn; that those kids who don't look like us are somebody else's problem. The children of America are not those kids, they are our kids, and we will not let them fall behind in a 21st century economy. Not this time.

This time we want to talk about how the lines in the Emergency Room are filled with whites and blacks and Hispanics who do not have health care; who don't have the power on their own to overcome the special interests in Washington, but who can take them on if we do it together.

This time we want to talk about the shuttered mills that once provided a decent life for men and women of every race, and the homes for sale that once belonged to Americans from every religion, every region, every walk of life. This time we want to talk about the fact that the real problem is not that someone who doesn't look like you might take your job; it's that the corporation you work for will ship it overseas for nothing more than a profit.

This time we want to talk about the men and women of every color and creed who serve together, and fight together, and bleed together under the same proud flag. We want to talk about how to bring them home from a war that never should've been authorized and never should've been waged, and we want to talk about how we'll show our patriotism by caring for them, and their families, and giving them the benefits they have earned.

I would not be running for President if I didn't believe with all my heart that this is what the vast majority of Americans want for this country. This union may never be perfect, but generation after generation has shown that it can always be perfected. And today, whenever I find myself feeling doubtful or cynical about this possibility, what gives me the most hope is the next generation - the young people whose attitudes and beliefs and openness to change have already made history in this election.

Moral Authority Required to be a Super Power

March 19, 2008
Dalai Lama Says He’ll Resign if Violence Escalates
DHARAMSALA, India — The Dalai Lama on Tuesday invited international observers, including Chinese officials, to scour his offices here and investigate whether he had any role in inciting the latest anti-Chinese violence in Tibet. He also threatened to resign as leader of Tibet’s government-in-exile in the event of spiraling bloodshed in his homeland.
He said he remained committed to only nonviolent agitation and greater autonomy for Tibetans, not independence. He condemned the burning of Chinese flags and attacks on Chinese property and called violence “suicidal” for the Tibetan cause.
In a clear effort to quickly seize the higher moral ground and at the same time poke at China’s important aspirations, he complimented Beijing for having met three out of four conditions to be a “superpower” — he acknowledged it has the world’s largest population, military prowess, and a fast-developing economy.
“Fourth, moral authority, that’s lacking,” he said, and for the second time in two days he accused Chinese officials of a “rule of terror” in Tibet, the formerly Himalayan kingdom he fled for exile in India 49 years ago.
The Dalai Lama’s remarks to reporters on Tuesday, here in the seat of the Tibetan exile movement, also revealed thathe has been unnerved by the violence across the border in Tibet and by the increasingly radical calls from Tibetan exiles in this country.
The 72-year-old spiritual leader of Lama Buddhism said he would step down from his political post if things “get out of control.”
He said he planned to meet Wednesday with those who have vowed to march 900 miles from here to Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, and convey his “reservations” about their effort. The march has been a source of embarrassment to New Delhi. The first batch of marchers that set off from here last week was arrested by Indian police; the second batch was allowed to continue, but they are still well inside Indian territory. The Dalai Lama chided their ambitions. “On border, some clash with Chinese soldiers, what use that?” he said.
He acknowledged there was growing frustration and a feeling that his “Middle Way” approach — no independence for Tibet but a large degree of autonomy — had achieved no concrete gains. But but dismissed talk of any other path as impractical.
“Last few days I had a sort of feeling, a tiger, of a young deer in a tiger’s hand,” he said, in the most intimate confession during the winding, two-hour long exchange. “Deer really can fight the tiger? Can express. But actual fight? Our only weapon, only strength is justice, truth. But effect of truth, justice sometimes takes longer time. Weapons power is immediately there.”
No sooner had he finished speaking that protesters outside the gate of his compound torched a Chinese flag, shouting “Hu Jintao Murdabad,” which in Hindi is literally “death to Hu Jintao,” the Chinese president. Two hours later, they burned more Chinese flags. Earlier, monks chanted prayers and walked in thick columns through the hills. Gory photographs were pasted across town, of Tibetans allegedly shot and killed by Chinese forces.
The Dalai Lama said he remained open to resuming peace talks with Chinese officials, and in an impish reference to the criticisms by Chinese leaders, said a solution could be reached swiftly if there were “mutual respect” and a willingness to take Tibetan grievances seriously.
There was no direct criticism of either Mr. Hu or China’s Premier Wen Jiabao, only of local officials whom the Dalai Lama accused of creating “artificial facts.” “Prime Minister,” he said, addressing Mr. Wen, “Come here and investigate thoroughly.”
He went on: “Since we are not seeking independence, actually we are helping the Chinese government to build harmonious society, happy society and Tibet remain within the People’s Republic of China, happily. I am helping them, if they look at the situation calmly. But so far it’s full of suspicion, so therefore they cannot see reality.”

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Winter Soldier II

I've been watching the Winter Soldier II panels on LINK TV.
The event is organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War:
Thank goodness we have some independent media still in this country because the mainstream media is not covering the event. In fact they are not covering the Iraqi Occupation much at all.
You could watch on LINK TV or Free Speech TV or listen on Pacifica Radio or on the IVAW website.
I found one article in the MSM via Google News Search from the Boston Globe:
"Liz Jackson's eyes were fixed on a screen showing a live broadcast of anguished testimonies by Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans describing what they had seen and done during their combat tours.
more stories like this
Jeffery Smith recalled how his Army unit beat and humiliated Iraqi prisoners. Former Marine Bryan Casler recounted how fellow Marines urinated and defecated into food and gave it to Iraqi children. Former Marine Matthew Childers talked about how he used to humiliate Iraqi civilians during predawn raids on their homes. When he described turning away an Iraqi father who was asking American troops to help the badly burned baby he carried in his arms, Jackson began to weep silently.
"These soldiers are saying: 'I'm complicit,' " said Jackson, 29, a community organizer from Cambridge. "But every American citizen who saw this happen and isn't out there protesting is complicit. I include myself."
Hundreds of soldiers and Marines from across the country are testifying this weekend in the "Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan" hearings, a four-day event held at the National Labor College in Silver Spring, Md. The event is named after the 1971 Winter Soldier hearings in which Vietnam War veterans testified in a Detroit hotel about war crimes they had participated in or witnessed.
The hearings, which began Thursday and end today, were organized by the Iraq Veterans Against War, a national antiwar organization, and broadcast live in locations across the country. The veterans who testified called for an immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq."

The coverage was hard to watch. The first-hand stories these soldiers told were hard to listen to. The looks of pain, remorse, outrage, and anger on these young faces was hard to take. But I don't think not listening is doing the majority of Americans any good.

Even if you are completely egotistical and self-centered, it should be obvious that participating in the Iraqi Occupation is not something that would be good for you.

Even if you are completely ethnocentric, it should be obvious by now that the Iraqi Occupation is not good for your country. America is being hurt the longer we stay in Iraq.

Even if you only believe in Corporate profits, it should be obvious by now that the Iraqi Occupation is not good for the American Brand. And it should be obvious that we cannot afford this occupation monetarily.

And if you have a more world-centric point of view, it should be obvious by now that the Iraqi Occupation is not good for the human race. We are jeopardising our dignity, integrity and our souls by continuing this military occupation. And we are damaging the lives of countless Iraqis.

I encourage you to read or listen to the reports of some of these soldiers, the real young people being asked to do the dirty work so that billionaires can make more profits.
And I encourage you to ask yourself why coverage from the streets of Iraq do not make it onto our TV screens and our front pages.
I think supporting the troops should include listening to their eye-witness accounts when they come home.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Spitzer Splits, Bush Remains

Governor Spitzer resigned, and he probably should have. Not because he had sex, but because his shady financial dealings and participation in crime opens him up to blackmail and undue criminal influence. Plus he was lying to his family, his employees and his employers, and the people of New York.

But let's be clear here, the main reason Gov Spitzer resigned was because Republican lawmakers in New York were busy drafting articles of impeachment.

If Republicans agree that lying about sex is grounds for impeachment (and Bill Clinton will testify that they do) then they must be willing to impeach public officials for committing serious crimes. Crimes like, (1) Starting an illegal "war of aggression" (2) torture (3) arbitrary detention (4) war crimes (5) warrantless wiretapping (6) signing statements (7) election fraud (8) outing a covert CIA operative (9) the "unitary executive" (10) gross negligence for Katrina and global warming. etc, etc, etc.

Not to mention pardoning Scooter Libby and then singing a disrespectful and unfunny song about it.
Not to mention the thousands of dead American soldiers and the tens of thousands of wounded soldiers who had their VA programs cut.
Not to mention the million dead Iraqis and the millions of displaced Iraqis.
Not to mention the 3 trillion dollars of financed war money.
Not to mention the thousands of public documents withheld by the Bush Administration.
Not to mention the cronyism.
Not to mention the billions of dollars in kickbacks and payments to business partners and friends.
Not to mention the Bush Administration's contempt for the Constitution.
All of which should be mentioned, and investigated, and prosecuted (except for the singing, there is no law against bad singing).

So if Spitzer has to go for his crimes, then Bush and Cheney are long overdue. They must deserve Impeachment more than the Governor of New York. But I don't hear the Republican leadership calling for Impeachment for Bush and Cheney. And the Democratic leadership has taken Impeachment off the table. And I don't see Bush and Cheney getting ready to step down.

I guess the only chance we have is if Bush and Cheney get caught lying about their sex lives.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Taking Care of Business

Taking care of business, every day.
Personal, Emotional, Professional.
It's all business. It's all good.
Don't make me show you the business end of this!
What kind of business are you in, friend?
Business is as business does.
If a Business falls and no Analysts are there to give us the numbers,
Does it make a sound?
The market is a place for people to come together, it's not a force of nature.
Take your golden parachute and ride into the sunset.
Me and my monkey have real work to do.

On another topic:
So Bro, where have you been?
More importantly, how have you been?
You don't answer your phone.
I can only guess that you are still reading email.
Let me know, because we worry about you.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Convenient Remote Control

Just dropped a major software release on a big customer.
Hip, hip hop, hooray!
Everybody's working for the weekend,
and I don't have to live like a refugee.
Have a good one and don't forget to
Spring Forward!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Listening To: Saul Williams

Saul Williams has a new album out: The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust!

You can download it for $5 bucks at:

Rock on, Brother!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Goodbye to the First Dungeon Master

Just heard that Gary Gygax, cofounder of Dungeons & Dragons and inventor of Greyhawk, has died at the age of 69.

Call me a Geek, but D&D has been an important and enjoyable part of my life since I discovered it at age 16. Some of my closest friendships were forged over D&D sessions. In fact, I still play with my wife and kids on a semi-regular basis.

So farewell DM Gary.

You will be missed.

Monday, March 03, 2008

What is it good for?

Absolutely nothing will be decided by the latest contest
The old men goad the fighters in the ring
Fight! Fight! Victory is around the corner!
Combat breaks many of the young men
Shattered by unspeakable experiences
Unable to find their calm center
In the midst of the raging flames
But here and there
A knowing smile
Catches the corner of a young mouth
That one knows the old men will fade away
If the young will stop fighting old wars

I do not mind the barkers
And the vendors selling peanuts
Or the noise of elephants and the clowns
It is the time of year when the circus comes to town
With fanfare, cotton candy and parades
And by Monday morning it will have faded away
What was it all good for?
Absolutely speaking, nothing
But I am taken aback
Brought to an aching halt
Standing alone in the vacant lot
By the sight of blood in the sawdust
It is primary day in Texas and Ohio.
Labour Day in Australia.
Somebody's birth day.
And just another day.
Just another poem and a collage.
Just another Blog.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Whirly Seeds

Telephone rings
Everything changes
As a distant relative relates the news
We all have history
And sometimes it repeats
Even when we can’t find the rhyme
And you say you have to fly
Carried by the winds of time

Telephone rings
I can hear the wind blowing
Beyond the pleading of your voice
I wish I could reach through the device
To hold your beating heart
And feel your breath on my neck
I try but do not reach you well
And again you have to fly
So I send a faint farewell

Telephone rings
Summoned to the front line
Gray airmen tell their tales
Perhaps for the very last time
Old stories of old wars sometimes catch
In the greyer folds of our minds
I hope you soon will fly
To the best place we can find

Here where warm embraces
Combat the chill of wind and time
And create a timeless space
Where winged seeds begin to grow
In our favorite place to be
Waiting for the telephone to ring

Saturday, March 01, 2008

If a Tree Falls in the Desert...

...Does a horse lose his name?
I just heard that U2's Joshua Tree fell over and died due to natural causes.
I hope it found what it was looking for before the end.
Evelyn is in Texas with her mom. Her uncle is in a coma.
Siona is sick on the couch.
I need to go buy her some 7-UP and some medicine.
I hope everybody feels better soon.