I personally have loads and loads of friends who are right-wingers and Deadheads. I couldn't possibly name them all. For starters, obviously, there's Angela Lansbury. She gave me my first psychedelic tie-dyed tube top at a Dead show just outside Tucson. Just kidding. There are: Peter Flaherty, President, National Legal And Policy Center; John Harrison, top official in the Justice Department under Reagan and Bush and now a law professor at UVA; Jim Moody, MIT grad and libertarian attorney (and Linda Tripp's lawyer); Gary Lawson, former Scalia clerk and currently a law professor at Boston University Law School; Andrew McBride, partner at a DC law firm; DeRoy Murdoch, conservative columnist; Ben Hart, right-wing author of “Poisoned Ivy” out of Dartmouth. Oh, and the conservative talk radio host Gary Stone in Palm Springs is a Deadhead and kindly plays the Dead as my intro music. When I worked at the Justice Department during law school, I'd be leaving with a whole slew of Reagan or Bush political appointees to see the Dead at RFK. Finally, I believe the great New York subway vigilante Bernie Goetz was a Deadhead.
What this means that if you are in Wi-Fi spot and have a PSP with Skype you can call anyone of Skype's near 300 million worldwide users, (yes Skype is now about the size of the US population), for FREE.
If you want to call a landline in the USA the cost is roughly $40 a year, with NO per minute charges.
The only "catch" per se, right now is that you have to buy two accessories for it to work, a remote control set of headphones for about $20 and a headset that has a microphone, (so, like people can hear you speak), that connects to the the remote control that retails for $30.
Still, even with the extra $50 cost, given the advance in functionality, the size of the screen and the ability for the PSP to do significantly more than the iPhone, for about a third less in cost, there's no question that this is a major and significant advance in mobile communications.
Can't see how how the cell companies that charge by the minute can possibly like this new flat rate charging of less than $5 a month.
It's called a "disruptive technology" for a reason....
A new study estimates that more than 1 million Iraqis have died because of the war in Iraq since the US-led invasion of the country in 2003.
Data compiled by London-based Opinion Research Business (ORB) and its research partner in Iraq, the Independent Institute for Administration and Civil Society Studies (IIACSS) reveals a fifth of Iraqi households lost at least one family member between March 2003 and August 2007 due to the conflict.
The study based its findings on survey work involving the face-to-face questioning of 2,414 Iraqi adults aged 18 or above, and the last complete census in Iraq in 1997, which indicated a total of 4.05 million households.
It is estimated that about 55 million people died in the European theater during World War II. Globally a total of over 60 million people died in WWII and of those 60 million, more were civilian than soldiers. The Soviet Union lost the most with 25 million deaths, but only about a third were combat related. China's death toll is incomplete but estimates are between 15 and 22 million, Poland had 6 million deaths including 3 million Jews, roughly 20% of its prewar population, Germany lost 4 million soldiers and 2 million civilians, many of them women, Japan had 1.2 million battle deaths and another 1.4 million soldiers listed as missing, almost 1 million civilians were killed in the bombing raids between 1944 and 1945, over 1.7 million Yugoslavs and 500,000 Greeks died in the war, France lost 200,000 soldiers and 400,000 civilians, Italy lost 330,000 people, Hungary lost 147,000 men in combat, Bulgaria lost 19,000 in combat, Romania lost 73,000 in combat, Great Britain lost 264,000 soldiers and 60,000 civilians in bombing raids, the United States lost 292,000 soldiers, the Dutch lost 10,000 soldiers and 190,000 civilians, Australia lost 23,000 men in combat, Canada 37,000 soldiers, India lost 24,000 men in battle, New Zealand 10,000 and South Africa 6,000. These totals do not include the 6 million Jews who perished in the Final Solution of Nazi Germany or the 17 million dead as a result of Japan's policies in Asia from 1931 to 1945.
I plan to find and record some images of graffiti during a trip to Europe next summer. It's amazing how graffiti is a universal form of expression around the world that likely began with drawings inside caves. It's that primitive form of expression juxtaposed next to modern concrete structures that makes this form of art so powerful.
Here are examples I have found on the internet representing five continents:
Brazil (South America) (from a post on the Wooster Collective)
It was so awesome that the Frye Museum had this exhibit for free:
R. Crumb’s Underground: a retrospective of the legendary cartoonist who created Fritz the Cat, Mr. Natural, and Devil Girl.
Of course I went, but being the first weekend, it was crowded and I got busted after taking only one picture. There is no way I can describe the complexity and coolness of the exhibit. I could go back five more times. I talked to my friend Richard in Washington DC and he mentioned what a catalyst Crumb was for radicalizing him, as Crumb kind of flew in the face of everything corporate America stood for. Sure he has done a New Yorker cover now and he lives in France, like Johny Depp, fellow cartoonist Lynda Barry, Nina Simone and neocon Richard Perle, and like me, if I could afford it.
So.. I bought a postcard of Mr. Natural and I bought the cookbook I used to use back in the hippie days, and for only six bucks! It's called "Eat It," and is by Crumb's first wife and her friend, with R. Crumb illustrations. I learned to cook using this one, the Moosewood one and the Hare Krishna one.
Five Joint Soup:
1/4 cup mung beans
1/4 cup azuki peas
1/4 cup lentils
cranberry beans - enough to cover bottom of kettle
1-1/2 bunches celery
1 lb. carrots
4 large yellow onions
1 bunch bok choy
1/2 cup chard
1 medium potato
Any vegetable to taste - solid ones first, leafy ones last
1/4 lb. sliced mushrooms
2 cups of beef or chicken bouillion
1-2 cups dry red wine (any cheap, dry, red goofy)
Grated Parmesan cheese
Use a large kettle (can be picked up for about a quarter at most thrift shops) of 1 gallon or more capacity.
Put enough water in the kettle to reach 2-3 inches up the sides. Pour in cranberry beans and other beans and peas, 1 sliced onion, and 3 stalks chopped celery including the leafy part.
Season with liberal/radical amounts of salt, black pepper, oregano, celery salt, thyme.
Season conservatively with bay leaves, allspice.
Season fascistically with cayenne or curry powder.
Season piggishly with chili powder.
1. Let this first part cook for 45 minutes. As it comes to a boil, stir occasionally.
2. Now during the first hour of cooking, get away from the stove, sit down, roll one, have some tea, look out the window - relax.
3. After one hour begin adding the vegetables - hard ones first - celery, carrots, potatoes etc.
4. Put in leafy vegetables after the second hour.
5. Add mushrooms and tomato in the last 20 minutes, wine in the last 5 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before serving.
How and why R. Crumb captured the ‘60s in ink (Seattle Weekly)
I could never get into my brother’s comic books, with all those rippling, shaded muscles and dark backstories. Yet the 1960s cartoon caricatures of Robert Crumb, which did appeal to me—I even named my cat Fritz—had way more depth than all the shading in the world could have afforded my brother’s superheroes. With characters based on American archetypes—Flakey Foont, Angelfood McSpade, Devil Girl, Mr. Natural, Fritz the Cat—Crumb explored the complexities of the human condition. Of course, I didn’t entirely grasp all that when I was 10. The Frye’s "R. Crumb’s Underground" exhibit will be more than just comics, though; there’s a dark backstory to boot. “I was quite miserable for a good chunk of my youth,” Crumb told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I was chronically depressed between the ages of 17 and 25. Suicidal depressed … I felt like an invisible ghost moving but not able to affect anything around me … I lived those years on paper.”
Rival Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama came within a foot of each other just before President Bush's State of the Union speech Monday night and managed not to acknowledge each other, and certainly not touch.
Huckabee was endorsed by Chuck Norris.
McCain was endorsed by Sylvester Stallone. So this is going to be a MACHO MUDFEST.
But Stallone is a chicken who told Al Franken that he canceled a USO Tour of Iraq because he was afraid of getting killed: (Note that Franken is talking to a greasy spoon full of military guys)
Here is the original Huckabee Ad on the Chuck Norris endorsement: (It's hard to tell who is endorsing whom and it seems a tad homoerotic)
Here is a Huckabee Quote (thanks Rude Pundit):
"Now, everybody can look back and say, oh, well, we didn't find the weapons. It doesn't mean they weren't there. Just because you didn't find every Easter egg didn't mean that it wasn't planted."
Here is McCain's reaction:
Stallone actually went on Rush Limbaugh show to talk about his hero Arnold:
STALLONE: I was talking to Arnold Schwarzenegger last night. He came to the premiere (of his film about Burma). He said, "Rush is the man. This is one man that can get a rise out of me, and I never want to debate with him."
RUSH: (laughter) Well, thank you.
STALLONE: Oh, he did. He really respects you. He said, "I'm telling you, that's one powerful individual." I swear.
Pat Buchanan on MSNBC, discussing McCain the warmonger:
"..what he said was, make no mistake, there are going to be more wars. That is straight talk, to be quite frank, Joe. You get John McCain in the White House, and I do believe we'll be at war with Iran. That's one of the things that makes me very nervous about him. I think we need an Eisenhower, who got us out of Korea or a Nixon who tried to get us out of Vietnam with honor. i think that's the kind of President this country needs. There's no doubt John McCain is going to be a War President. Can anybody see John McCain as sort of a peace-time Calvin Coolidge president? It's preposterous. His whole career is wrapped up in the military, national security. He's in Putin's face, he's threatening the Iranians. We're going to be in Iraq 100 years. If we're in Iraq 100 years, Joe, we'll be fighting 100 years of war, just as the British, if they stayed in our country 100 years, would be fighting the Americans for a century. I'm telling you, what John McCain's promising you.
:: So he's promising wow if he gets into the white house, we won't only be fighting this war but starting new wars.
:: I don't say he's starting them. he expects more wars and he anticipates them and he's predicting them. and i think he's talking straight because if you take a look at the mccain foreign policy, he is in everybody's face. did you see thad cochran's comment when he endorsed romney? he is john mccain is an angry guy who constantly explodes. his whole career is the military. his big issue, the one he's comfortable with is what? is national security, fascism, the long war, 100 years in Iraq. That's where he's comfortable, that where he's at his best."
Here is the screensaver my son just put on our Mac - we want Romney - he should be easier to beat. The main strategy Romney and McCain use is to call each other the dreaded L word (not "lesbian").
Romney, on McCain:
‘Look at the three things Senator McCain has done as a senator - if you want that kind of a liberal Democratic course as president, then you can vote for him.
McCain, on Romney:
The truth is, Mitt Romney was a liberal governor of Massachusetts who raised taxes, imposed with Ted Kennedy a big government ...... "
McCain on New York Times endorsement:
My reaction was, as with several other liberal papers that have endorsed me, I'm glad that they support that they support my views, but it doesn't mean I support theirs.
More on Mormon underpants, by an Irish comic (Thanks Richard in NY):
One night not long ago, I had a disturbing dream in which I had moved to Washington DC and kept running into GW Bush. He had no Security and no one seemed to recognize him but me. I'd be in a "safe" location like a library and there he would be, tapping me on the shoulder and making some "cute" little remark and smirking. When I woke up, I chalked it up to a combination of his being in office for so long and things I had read recently about surveillance and invasion of privacy.
FISA (the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) allows our intelligence agencies to listen in on conversations between terrorists overseas. National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell believes that the government needs more expansive powers to examine web searches, internet activity and email. He considers FISA to be an outdated obstacle to doing so and believes that lawmakers are dragging their feet. McConnell convinced Bush of his position by hypothesizing about a cyberattack on a US bank. In his opinion, security will only come at the expense of personal privacy. His CyberSecurity Plan is still in draft, but would give the government authority to examine the content of any email, file transfer or Web search. Google records would be fair game.
AT&T Whistleblower Mark Klein claims that the infrastructure for monitoring our emails and calls is already in place. (Hear radio broadcast at the link)
Part of Klein's report:
"My job was to connect circuits into the splitter device which was hard-wired to the secret room. And effectively, the splitter copied the entire data stream of those Internet cables into the secret room -- and we're talking about phone conversations, email web browsing, everything that goes across the Internet. As a technician, I had the engineering wiring documents, which told me how the splitter was wired to the secret room. And so I know that whatever went across those cables was copied and the entire data stream was copied. We're talking about domestic traffic as well as international traffic. It involves millions of communications, a lot of it domestic communications that they're copying wholesale."
Meanwhile, Privacy International (UK) and Electronic Privacy Information Well (US) have both given US the lowest possible rating ("endemic surveillance society"), along with UK, China and Russia. These features helped us get our rating: increased surveillance with poor oversight, increased border control, plans for national ID cards including biometrics, security breaches, and invasion of privacy. Surveillance technology is now capable of advancing more rapidly than government safeguards for privacy.
Last week, The US Senate rejected an attempt to expand a secret court's oversight of government eavesdropping, sticking instead with a surveillance bill favored by the White House." The New York Times Editorial Board,on the debate over re-authorization of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, wrote: "The Senate (reportedly still under Democratic control) seems determined to help President Bush violate Americans' civil liberties and undermine the constitutional separation of powers." There is more voting today, and word was that Clinton and Obama will both return to the Senate to vote "no" against the Bush version of the FISA bill, though he may still veto.
A couple of final things:
Michael Mukasey, top law enforcement officer for the USA, keeps a framed photograph of George Orwell in his office. He says that he admires him for his "clarity of thought." Even FOX News reported that the FBI can listen to you using your cell phone even when it's off, unless you take the battery out. (see video below)
According to the Pew Research Group,Americans are worried more that businesses rather than government are snooping into their lives. About three-in-four (74%) say they are concerned that business corporations are collecting too much personal information while 58% express the same concern about the government. Given the powerful influence corporations have on government, it's hard to be comfortable with either.
Even in the short term, we need to be vigilant and proactive. We are juggling several big and inter-related civil liberties issues at the same time that we need to apply pressure to our Legislators on!
When I was in Graduate School, the atmosphere could become competitive and negative. I remember someone putting up a sign that said, "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean you're not being watched." That sign comes to mind now.