Sunday, December 28, 2014

Kurt Andersen talking to Paul Thomas Anderson about Thomas Pynchon and Inherent Vice

If you have a spare 40 minutes, or if you want to listen to something interesting while watching football with no sound, you can do worse than listening to this extended interview that was condensed to 13 minutes on Studio 360:

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

North Korea can finally catch up on the latest cat videos

After nine or ten excruciating hours of internet failure, Kim Jong-un can finally share more moments of joy around the computer with his closest friends.
YouTube is the universal language.
If the United States really did have a hand in this outrageous outage, we may need another Congressional torture commission.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Joe Cocker, 20 May 1944 - 22 December 2014

This is one case where the Beatles' original version definitely came out second best:

This performance by Joe Cocker and the Grease Band is also one of the moments that will always define Woodstock. The YouTube version up above isn't the best, but if you have the DVD of the movie, watch this song with the subtitles on (if you don't have the DVD version of Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music, what's wrong with you?).

Rest in Peace Joe.

To lighten the mood, someone pointed me to this version with the misheard lyrics:

Friday, December 19, 2014

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hanukkah Miracles!

Along with New York banning fracking yesterday, and a U.S. President finally treating our Cuban policy with a modicum of common sense, we were also apprised of the following sign of divine intervention in human affairs, with god revealing his (or her) true face:

Even more surprising than the feline nature of God (which is actually not surprising at all), is the fact that God is female. Because, despite the "him" in Darth Skeptic's tweet, we know that Grumpy Cat (alias Tardar Sauce, alias God) is a girl.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Jon Stewart nails confessed torturer Dick "The Dick" Cheney

This is must-see TV from last night's The Daily Show. However, Dick Cheney and others responsible for "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques" need to be asked these questions before an international court of law where "9/11-9/11-9/11-9/11!-9/11!!!-9/11!!!!!!" is not an acceptable defense for torture.

"George W. Bush, thank you for not dying while you were in office."
--Jon Stewart, The Daily Show, 14 December 2014

Happy Hanukkah

Matisyahu has convinced me on more than one occasion that if I weren't an atheist I'd have to be Jewish (or Rastafarian).

(But I still find it strange to see Matisyahu without his beard.) turns ten years old today.

Started with its first post on December 16, 2004, in the dark days between the second election of Bush and Cheney (their first without the assistance of an antiquated electoral college, hanging chads, and a reactionary Supreme Court) and their second inauguration, this blog enters its double digits today much as it began, not with a bang but a whimper.

One of these days I'll need to start taking this blog seriously. Maybe I'll start giving out True Blue Liberal Blue Ribbons to other neglected blogs in 2015. Americans love awards.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Legal Strategy 101 for War Criminals

With the Senate report on CIA torture during the Bush/Cheney years being released today, it's important once again to remember that Administration's intense opposition to United States participation in the International Criminal Court as soon as they came into power in 2001 (long before September 11th of that year). It's almost as if they knew that there might be Americans committing war crimes in the near future.

I couldn't find any lengthy statements from George Bush or Dick Cheney about their principled opposition to a permanent Nuremberg-inspired war crimes court, but I did find an interesting video explanation from the Captain Kangaroo they placed as their recess-appointment ambassador to the United Nations. John Bolton puts the reason the Iraq Warriors objected to the ICC clearly in the following lines delivered about three minutes into this video:
"And yet, the threat of prosecution -- the threat of being accused of being a war criminal -- can have an inhibiting effect. And since there's no accountability for these institutions, it could pose a threat to the United States -- or to the will of American friends and allies -- to take actions that they should undertake for their own self defense." --John Bolton [Emphasis Added]
Isn't that the point of all police and prosecutors and courts? To have an inhibiting effect on potential criminals?

And without American participation in an International Criminal Court, shouldn't even Bolton agree that it's therefore incumbent on American judicial institutions to look into and possibly prosecute the people behind the numerous war crimes listed in the report released today?

Monday, December 08, 2014

Ken Weatherwax 1955-2014

I just heard the news that the actor known to us all as Pugsley in The Addams Family (the 1964-1966 small screen original, not any of its lesser, colorized, widescreen imitators) died today.

What better way to remember him than watching the first episode of one of the favorite shows from my childhood? I'm exactly Pugsley's age, and I was so jealous of his home in 1964.

"Why else would a grown man play with trains?" -- Gomez Addams

Friday, December 05, 2014

What the Fuck is Hillary Clinton Doing in a Commercial for Ford Pickups?

I may have to kill my television again before 2016 gets here. I actually couldn't watch this folksy g-dropping piece of dreck until the end, so don't feel that you need to either.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

So, I did this map thing.

I have two areas I need to address. I need to visit the heart of Dixie and the home of the Mountain West football division, oh, and also Alaska, so I can get a good look at Russia.

Create Your Own Visited States Map

The map is actually more full than I thought it would be when I started this exercise, but some of these blocks were filled in during childhood drives.