Thursday, December 29, 2011


"""A GPS collar plots the journey of the lone gray wolf — loping over mountains, through forests and across highways.

The young male left his pack in northeastern Oregon in early September, setting out to find a mate and territory of his own. By the end of November, he had meandered 761 miles. Lately he has been lingering a day or two's trot from California.

If OR7, as he is known, crosses the border, he will be the first wild wolf recorded in the Golden State since 1924.

Even if he doesn't, the trek has made it evident that the return of the mythic native predator is imminent."""

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


""This art is music. It stands quite apart from all the others. In it we do not recognize the copy, the repetition, of any Idea of the inner nature of the world. Yet it is such a great and exceedingly fine art, its effect on man's innermost nature is so powerful, and it is so completely and profoundly understood by him in his innermost being as an entirely universal language, whose distinctness surpasses even that of the world of perception itself, that in it we certainly have to look for more than that exercitium arithmeticae occultum nescientis se numerare animi [exercise in arithmetic in which the mind does not know it is counting] which Leibniz took it to be."" Schopenhauer

mo': The Billy Wankford holiday medley

Monday, December 26, 2011


LA Times

"""Hollywood buys film rights to obscure short story by famous author. Makes movie. Movie makes money. Producers then claim they never needed to buy rights in the first place. Demand their money back.
Emblematic Philip K. Dick story elements: Attempt to turn back time and murkiness of reality. Extra mind-bending plot twist: Author of original story is named Philip K. Dick.

As Laura Dick Coelho, one of the late author's daughters, told me: "Everything in the Philip K. Dick world is complicated." She was talking specifically about the personal life of her father — she's the offspring of the third of his five marriages. But her observation applies well to the dispute over the 2011 Matt Damon film "The Adjustment Bureau which was based on "Adjustment Team," a short story Dick wrote in the 1950s.
If you haven't heard of Philip K. Dick, you're at least familiar with his work. He produced a huge corpus of visionary fiction before his death in 1982, including stories that became the basis for the films "Blade Runner," "Minority Report" and "Total Recall."The Dick estate, which is managed by Coelho, 51, and her half-sister Isa Dick Hackett, 44, optioned the film rights to "Adjustment Team" to writer/director George Nolfi in 2001 for $25,000. Nolfi, who subsequently wrote the screenplay and directed the retitled film version, had transferred the rights to Media Rights Capital, an independent studio. The producers exercised the option by paying the estate $1.4 million, with at least $500,000 more due once the film achieved its break-even point.

unReality for sale

unrelated: Dennis Dunderson in... Zero 6-hundred hour, soldier

Saturday, December 24, 2011


"The skeptic does not mean him who doubts, but him who investigates or researches, as opposed to him who asserts and thinks that he has found."
Miguel de Unamuno

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

comrade Benedict


""Benedict notes that economic "inequalities are on the increase" across the globe. He does not accept the trickle-down theory, which says that all boats will rise with the economic tide. Benedict condemns the "scandal of glaring inequalities" and sees a role for government in the redistribution of wealth.

Yes, you heard that right. The pope favors the redistribution of wealth. When was the last time you heard a liberal Democrat use those words?

The pope also disagrees with those who believe that the economy should be free of government regulation. An unregulated economy "shielded from 'influences' of a moral character has led man to abuse the economic process in a thoroughly destructive way," he writes. This has "led to economic, social and political systems that trample upon personal and social freedom, and are therefore unable to deliver the justice that they promise."

Critics have complained that the Occupy Wall Street movement has no program. The people in the movement could do a lot worse than to study what the pope has said about the economy. Sadly, few Catholics know of the church's teaching on economic justice, which has been called the church's best-kept secret.

The pope does not have a magic plan to restore economic prosperity, but he does focus on the values that a political and economic system must support. The priority, he says, must be "access to steady employment for everyone." And that means not just here in the United States, but also in the developing world, where we must rescue "peoples, first and foremost, from hunger, deprivation, endemic diseases and illiteracy."""

Monday, December 19, 2011

job killah, cont.


""... A venture capital firm run by Mitt Romney created nearly 150 jobs in Gaffney, S.C., in the late 1980s only to eliminate them four years later and earn millions of dollars in profits.

The Associated Press reviewed Bain Capital's little-known investments at The Holson Burnes Group. Bain doubled its $10 million investment into the clock and photo supply company. But workers in South Carolina and New Hampshire lost their jobs as the company consolidated and expanded its operations overseas.

By sheer coincidence, the economic fallout from Bain's decisions struck hardest in South Carolina and New Hampshire. They are among the first states with early primary elections that could affect Romney's run for the White House..""

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Hitchens-Eulogies, Inc:  (Cockburn/Counterpunch):

"""Since then it was all pretty predictable, down to his role as flagwagger for Bush. I guess the lowest of a number of low points was when he went to the White House to give a cheerleading speech on the eve of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. I think he knew long, long before that this is where he would end up, as a right-wing codger. He used to go on, back in the Eighties, about sodden old wrecks like John Braine, who’d ended up more or less where Hitchens got to, trumpeting away  about “Islamo-fascism” like a Cheltenham colonel in some ancient  Punch cartoon. I used to warn my friends at New Left Review and Verso in the early 90s who were happy to make money off Hitchens’  books on Mother Teresa and the like that they should watch out, but they didn’t and then kept asking ten years later, What happened?
Anyway, between the two of them, my sympathies were always with Mother Teresa. If you were sitting in rags in a gutter in Bombay, who would be more likely to give you a bowl of soup? You’d get one from Mother Teresa.  Hitchens was always tight with beggars, just like the snotty Fabians who used to deprecate charity."""

Hitchens' vituperative essay on Mother Theresa was beyond what any of the decent Fabians would have scrawled. And while he was an amusing sort of Hume-lite at times, he ...rode with the pigs, from 2002 on.    Bienvenidos a Perdido, CH

Thursday, December 15, 2011

bellum letale

"Humanity should question itself, once more, about the absurd and always unfair phenomenon of war, on whose stage of death and pain only remain standing the negotiating table that could and should have prevented it."
Pope John Paul II


......""The American withdrawal was part of a 2008 deal negotiated between the Bush administration and the Iraqi government, and an important campaign pledge for Obama. Yet the administration has long engaged in negotiations to keep a larger number of troops, despite the 2008 deal. Those negotiations failed as Iraqi lawmakers refused to grant the troops immunity.

What do 9 years of war in Iraq look like in figures? According to Associated Press numbers, 4,485 Americans have died as of November 30. 40,350 Americans were wounded, and at least 103,775 Iraqis have lost their lives. ""
Many would object to that estimated  body count of Iraqi civilians and military.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

city of angels

 Ry Cooder/LA Stories

""I work for the Los Angeles City Directory, a book of names, addresses, and job descriptions. I am one of many. Our job is to go out and collect the facts and bring them back. Other people take our work and put it in the Book, but we do the important part. Los Angeles is a big city, and the City Directory is a big book.

"How would you like to be listed in the Directory?" I show people what it is. They're afraid you'll ask embarrassing questions like "Do you have a toilet?" and "Can I see it?" I tell them they can list whatever they want — the job, the husband's name, the wife's name — simple things that most people don't mind. Most people like to be noticed, they like being asked......"""

young old Ry and his pal Don VV.


Tangentially related:  high desert hipster Brian Goldie's gal:Dottie the hottie

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


critical Z-dan update/LA Times:

"...Yes it turns out that late Frank Zappa, the restless musical genius who may have been the most committed inconoclast in the history of rock, was a pal to the late Jack Kirby, the cosmic dreamer who is arguably the second most essential figure in the history of the American comic book. (You have to put Superman at first.)

I remember seeing a vintage 1968 issue of “Fantastic Four” that had an ad for “We’re Only in It for the Money,” the new album from the Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, and it surprised me because it seemed like an unexpected crossover moment between counter-culture music and the Marvel universe. Both were popular on college campuses, of course, but seeing the gaudy little blurb (“Thrilling clean fun!” it promised) still made me smile and think about the sweet confusion of a young first-time Zappa listener trying to get his head around the album. If you don’t know it, it’s a masterpiece of cultural satire and heady music with Zappa’s smirking wit at every corner — the titles include, “What’s the Ugliest Part of Your Body,” “Hot Poop,” “Who Needs the Peace Corps?” and the mad-laughter finale “The Chrome Plated Megaphone of Destiny.” ..."

Relatedly:  Moebius!

warning...may be offensive to any/all descendants of the ancient psychotic Ibrahim )

Sunday, December 11, 2011


“To preach more than half an hour, a man should be an angel himself or have angels for hearers” (Whitefield)

Halle-f-in' loo-jah

Friday, December 09, 2011

party of the 1%


""The Republican Party may revere Reagan as the patron saint of low taxation. But the party of Reagan – which understood that higher taxes on the rich are sometimes required to cure ruinous deficits – is dead and gone. Instead, the modern GOP has undergone a radical transformation, reorganizing itself around a grotesque proposition: that the wealthy should grow wealthier still, whatever the consequences for the rest of us.

Modern-day Republicans have become, quite simply, the Party of the One Percent – the Party of the Rich.

"The Republican Party has totally abdicated its job in our democracy, which is to act as the guardian of fiscal discipline and responsibility," says David Stockman, who served as budget director under Reagan. "They're on an anti-tax jihad – one that benefits the prosperous classes."

The staggering economic inequality that has led Americans across the country to take to the streets in protest is no accident. It has been fueled to a large extent by the GOP's all-out war on behalf of the rich. Since Republicans rededicated themselves to slashing taxes for the wealthy in 1997, the average annual income of the 400 richest Americans has more than tripled, to $345 million – while their share of the tax burden has plunged by 40 percent. Today, a billionaire in the top 400 pays less than 17 percent of his income in taxes – five percentage points less than a bus driver earning $26,000 a year. "Most Americans got none of the growth of the preceding dozen years," says Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize-winning economist. "All the gains went to the top percentage points......""
As Dickinson suggests, historical fact rarely if ever interferes with teabug hype:  e.g,: Bush &  Co slashed the capital gains rate to 15%, significantly lower  than Reagan's  lowest cap. gains  rate of 20% (until '87 when it was increased to 28% or so), a point routinely overlooked by white-trash conservatives Ma and Pa Methcook when they got their anti-tax  hysteria and pro-NRA binge on..

Relatedly:  the Gerald Vick  Memorial Blog Link.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Net freedom


"""In the past five months since I called on the world's Internet users to "take back the Net" at TedGlobal in Edinburgh, the issues I highlighted have grown more obvious and urgent. In October, the world mourned the death of Steve Jobs. Netizens in China, Cuba, and Iran made comments to the effect that they respected Jobs more than they respected their own leaders. This speaks to a phenomenon I highlighted in my talk: that global information technology companies have become what I call the new "sovereigns of cyberspace." New kinds of global constituencies are forming around certain brands of hardware, software, and virtual platforms created by multinational companies like Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter. Members of these global constituencies can hold strong and even emotionally-charged loyalties towards technologies that they have integrated into their lives and even identities. These overlapping loyalties and constituencies will increasingly compete and clash with loyalties and identities tied to the physical nation-state.
No government -- not even Western ones claiming to champion Internet freedom -- is equipped to deal with the long-term consequences of this trend. But that doesn't mean that we should leave it to the world's multi-national technology companies to program and engineer the Internet in ways that best suit their commercial interests, or refashion global geopolitics to their own liking, just because so many governments are not getting it right. We the world's netizens must work to make sure that the Internet, the geopolitical system, and the international economy evolve in a way that serves everybody's rights and interests, not just those of the most powerful one percent.
The trends over the past five months have not been good. The sale and use of Western surveillance technology is rampant around the Middle East and North Africa and is aiding repressive governments. The social networking and mobile tools that helped fuel the Arab Spring have not enabled activists to stop a new round of state violence and repression in Egypt. Chinese Internet companies are bowing to government demands to ramp up censorship and surveillance of users. In Russia, digital repression is on the rise in the run-up to parliamentary and presidential elections.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

the Moustach'd one (cont.)

 the  Nation--

"American Nietzsche, Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen’s lively history of the reception of Nietzsche’s ideas in the United States, from which I have drawn the preceding quotation about the moral life, wisely devotes its prologue to Emerson’s impact on the philosopher: “Nietzsche used Emerson not to get closer to him but to get closer to himself. For Nietzsche, Emerson provided an image of the philosopher willing to go it alone without inherited faith, without institutional affiliation, without rock or refuge for his truth claims.” These themes, encompassing Nietzsche’s persona and ideas, figure prominently in American Nietzsche. The facts of the philosopher’s lonely nomadic life—his books largely ignored upon publication, his genius burdened by ceaseless physical pain and eventually insanity—were, for most readers, inseparable from the scandalous self-described “immoralist” with his emphatically modern “philosophy of the future,” as he called his thinking. And this fusion of life and work made him, especially in the eyes of Greenwich Village radicals in the twentieth century’s opening decades, a prophet and martyr embodying what Ratner-Rosenhagen calls a “cautionary tale about the perilous course of the intellectual in the democratic era.”

Monday, December 05, 2011


Frank Zappa, December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993.

Trey A. of Phish on FZ:

""...I'm making a new album, and the producer I'm working with told me that there is a whole generation of musicians coming up who can't play their instruments. Because of stuff like Pro Tools, they figure they can fix it all in the studio. Whereas with Frank, his musicians were pushed to the absolute brink of possibility on their instruments, at all times. Phish tried hard to do that too: to take our four little instruments and do as much as we could with them. I would not have envisioned those possibilities without him....
Zappa gave me the faith that anything in music was possible. He demystified the whole thing for musicians in my generation: "Look, these are just instruments. Find out what the range is, and start writing."""

Got that disco-emo boyz

mo' Zappa product:



Saturday, December 03, 2011



gimme dat ol' time religion

"The word 'chance' then expresses only our ignorance of the causes of the phenomena that we observe to occur and to succeed one another in no apparent order. Probability is relative in part to this ignorance, and in part to our knowledge." — Laplace

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Mormon frauds, cont.

Daily Herald (Provo, UT):
""An 80-year-old man thought his life savings was being invested by his one-time LDS bishop, Kevin Palmer Thomas. But by the time the elderly man stopped turning over his money he had lost more than $300,000, a police affidavit states.

The affidavit alleges that Thomas, 51, used his leadership position in and knowledge of the LDS Church to earn the man's friendship. The man reportedly had saved more than $400,000 throughout the course of his life, and when he turned it over to Thomas, he believed it was secured with property and promissory notes. Thomas made token payments to the man in order to convince him that he was making a great return on his investment, the affidavit reveals. But then the payments reportedly stopped, and the man learned of his losses.

The affidavit also states that Thomas bilked the man out of an additional $15,000 when he convinced him to invest in a "hard money loan." Thomas reportedly spent the money on himself. In addition, Thomas is accused of forging checks worth more than $40,000.

As a result of the allegations, Thomas was arrested earlier this month on charges of communication fraud and exploitation of a vulnerable adult, both second-degree felonies, as well as forgery, a third-degree felony. The affidavit also describes him as a convicted felon who is currently awaiting sentencing on a different case. Court records reveal that in March Thomas pleaded guilty to theft and burglary of a vehicle. His sentencing had been scheduled for Nov. 9.

The affidavit states that Thomas could face more charges when prosecutors formally file the case and that he is a suspect in at least two other felony crimes.

The affidavit also notes that Thomas had been a successful mortgage broker for many years and that his criminal activity happened after the economic downturn in 2007 and 2008. Thomas's position in the LDS church is mentioned several times in the affidavit as well.""

Romneyocracy = one big Provo-ville.

More on LDS bunko:


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