Friday, March 16, 2007

Friday Night Jazz Blogging

(Jazz Guitar Night)

Lonnie Johnson: Another Night to Cry

Wes Montgomery: 'Round Midnight

George Benson: Breezin'

Jimi Hendrix: Little Wing

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Internet Tube Damage

SBC Communications, Inc. AKA AT&T Inc. AKA Incompetent Idiots of the Internets (see Ted Stevens) are having problems keeping their tubes clear. My access to the Internet is shaky at best; not all at worst, mostly for the worst right now. As if the current round of connection problems weren't bad enough and completely their fault with line problems, I'm sure everyone knows the absolute joy of trying to resolve an issue with their non-existent customer support and billing reps over the phone. SBC/ATT have repeatedly screwed me on billing by always charging me more than quoted than giving a partial credit one month then back to the overcharging a month later. It would be too simple for them to have one person to handle you entire account. If they were to do that they couldn't get away with their incompetence and illegal billing practices. Instead, they expect you to call one person for phone billing questions, one Internet services billing, another for Internet problems, a different one for phone line troubles, an entirely different person for scheduling repairs, and yet one more for arranging service changes that you didn't request. I'm sick of it and with my ongoing health problems I don't need the stress of dealing with their bullshit anymore!

I'm in the middle of preparing a letter detailing what I have gone through over just the past 18 months to the Missouri Attorney General. I have had problems with SBC/ATT for nearly 7 years, but didn't have much of choice for hi-speed access until recently. I'm looking into Charter Cable. They now supply Internet access in my area, I have been a subscriber to Charter Cable TV for a while. I now see the opportunity to leave SBC/ATT behind and go to Charter for cable TV, high-speed Internet, and phone. They can't be any worse than the idiots at SBC/ATT and probably will be better judging from their past cable TV service.

Unfortunately, this means that my postings may be light to none at all until I can get this resolved and a stable connection. The funny thing is my connection went out again yesterday evening and was out till sometime today, but is working perfectly right now despite heavy thunderstorms in the area.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

General Pace's Morality: Devoting Time to Teh Gay

Hmm, the headline of this article was:

"Top general seeks to calm gay sex row"

but now it has been changed to:

"Top general seeks to calm homosexuality row"
The top U.S. military officer, Marine Gen. Peter Pace, tried on Tuesday to calm anger that erupted after he described homosexual acts as immoral, saying he was expressing only his personal views.
"I do not believe the United States is well served by a policy that says it is okay to be immoral in any way."
Later, Pace issued a statement saying he had made a mistake in devoting so much time to his personal views.

Not sure why they decided to change it, both are pretty humorous. I wonder if General Peter Pace, USMC, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, shares Ted Haggard's morality -- the morals of hypocrisy. I'm sure Pace is arranging an investigation and private consultations into the matter with Marine Corporal Matt Sanchez.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi had this to say about Pace's morality:
“We need the most talented people, we need the language skills, we need patriotic Americans who exist across the board in our population,” Pelosi said, calling on the military to “carefully consider” reversing the ban on gay service members. “We don’t need moral judgment from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs.”

Bush Demonstrates His Carrot 'N' Stick Diplomacy

(h/t John Aravosis @ AMERICAblog)

Blocked Tubes

Senator Ted Stevens (Idiot-Alaska) parked his SUV illegally and blocked my access to the Internet tubes.

My DSL connection has been down since Friday evening. I knew it had to be a line or router problem with my ISP. After a long, frustrating call to SBC (now ATT) tech support, which lasted about an hour, my connection has been restored. Of course, the call was replete with second and third random transfers for unknown reasons to someone unaware that I had just explained the problem in total to a previous person, who supposedly entered all the information into their incident tracking computer system. After the third person failed to understand why I would want a name or ID to contact them in case of another transfer or a disconnect to prevent me having to explain the problem from scratch to a fourth person, I demanded to speak to a supervisor. Fortunately, they quickly understood the customer service issue, for the supervisor request, as well as quickly being able to identify the problem as a line service problem from their end.

Now that Senator Stevens' SUV has been towed away and I have access to the tubes again, I will attempt to catch up on my blog reading. I don't think I can catch up on the posts I had planned, such as my Saturday morning nature blogging. I will probably save it for this coming Saturday. i will see what I can do about the latest Faux News propaganda attacking Democrats, liberals, and progressives as well as the latest Cheney Misadministration scandals:
  • Walter Reid and other army hospitals
  • political purge of US Attorneys (AKA Prosecutor Rendition)
  • Haliburton moving to Dubai

Friday, March 09, 2007

Friday Night Jazz Blogging

Special Get Well to Steve Gilliard Extended Edition

Johnny Lee Hooker and Santanna: The Healer

Marvin Gaye: Sexual Healing

Al Jarreau and David Sanborn: Love and Happiness

Glenn 'Gort' Reynolds

Starring in "9/11 - The Day the Earth Stood Still"

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

France Bans Citizen Journalists!

Is France Giving Bush New Ideas to Eliminate Dissent?

I haven’t seen this reported in the media outside of computer and tech journals like PC World, Macworld, or Info World. This is from Macworld:
France bans citizen journalists from reporting violence

The French Constitutional Council has approved a law that criminalizes the filming or broadcasting of acts of violence by people other than professional journalists. The law could lead to the imprisonment of eyewitnesses who film acts of police violence, or operators of Web sites publishing the images, one French civil liberties group warned on Tuesday.

The French law seems to have a very wide ruling and be sweeping in authority. It will criminalize the recording of any public violence except that of an accredited journalist. It makes you wonder if there are exceptions for private security surveillance cameras. I don't know the details and none of the articles pose or answer that question.

The broad drafting of the law so as to criminalize the activities of citizen journalists unrelated to the perpetrators of violent acts is no accident, but rather a deliberate decision by the authorities...

The government has also proposed a certification system for Web sites, blog hosters, mobile-phone operators and Internet service providers, identifying them as government-approved sources of information if they adhere to certain rules. The journalists’ organization Reporters Without Borders, which campaigns for a free press, has warned that such a system could lead to excessive self censorship as organizations worried about losing their certification suppress certain stories.

Does anyone doubt the desire of similar measures by the Cheney Misadministration?

(cross posted at Daily Kos)

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Why Democrats Should Stop Going on Fox News

Senator Reid, Don't Legitimize Fox News

"My view is that Fox News is a propaganda outlet of the Republican Party and that I don't comment on Fox News."-- Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean, June 12, 2005

Taking a Break to Enjoy a Nice Tuesday Afternoon

Scooter Goes 4 for 5: Bush Admires Batting Record

'Scooter' Libby guilty on four of five counts (CNN):
  • Libby guilty on four of five counts
  • Libby faces 25 years in prison, $1 million fine
  • President Dick Cheney's ex-aide accused of perjury and obstruction of justice
Former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby has been found guilty on four of five counts in his perjury and obstruction of justice trial.

Libby, 56, faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and a fine of $1 million.

Libby was convicted of:
  • obstruction of justice when he intentionally deceived a grand jury investigating the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame;
  • making a false statement by intentionally lying to FBI agents about a conversation with NBC newsman Tim Russert;
  • perjury when he lied in court about his conversation with Russert;
  • a second count of perjury when he lied in court about conversations with other reporters.

Monday, March 05, 2007

My Contribution to the Latest Coultergasm

I was going to have a few comments on Ann Coulter, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘bitch,’ so I — so kind of an impasse, can’t really talk about Coulter.

(reaction to Republican criticism for use of the word 'bitch')

C’mon, it was a joke. I would never insult Lynne Cheney by suggesting that she is like Ann Coulter. That would be mean.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Colorado Slave Labor: Tom Tancredo's Dream Come True?

Inmates Will Replace Migrants in Colorado Fields (New York Times):

As migrant laborers flee Colorado because of tough new immigration restrictions, worried farmers are looking to prisoners to fill their places in the fields.

In a pilot program run by the state Corrections Department, supervised teams of low-risk inmates beginning this month will be available to harvest the swaths of sweet corn, peppers and melons that sweep the southeastern portion of the state.

Under the program, which has drawn criticism from groups concerned about immigrants’ rights and from others seeking changes in the criminal justice system, farmers will pay a fee to the state, and the inmates, who volunteer for the work, will be paid about 60 cents a day, corrections officials said.

The director of the Colorado Department of Corrections, Ari Zavaras, is a real comedian:
“They won’t be paid big bucks, but we’re hoping this will help our inmates pick up significant and valuable job skills”

The Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition's director, Christie Donner, had this to say in response:
This feels like the re-invention of the plantation.
“You have a captive labor force essentially working for their room and board in order to benefit the employer. This isn’t a job training program. It’s an exploitative program.

Unfortunately, this concept seems to be gaining acceptance elsewhere:
Although chain gangs and prison farms have long been staples of American correctional culture, the concept of inmates working on private farms is unusual. But there are signs that other states are following suit. The Iowa Department of Corrections is considering a similar program because of a migrant labor shortage in that state.

Several Iowa farmers called recently to request inmates in lieu of migrant workers, said Roger Baysden, the director of the state’s prison industries program. One farmer asked for as many as 200 inmates, Mr. Baysden said.

All ties together doesn't it:

(cross posted at Daily Kos)

Conservatives Gone Wild: CPAC Raw and Uncut

Max Blumenthal of the Nation has released a video, CPAC: The Unauthorized Documentary:
Michelle Malkin goes unhinged and launches a hysterical tirade into the lens of my camera. I ask Ann "John Edwards is a Faggot" Coulter why she isn't the same person on Sunday morning as on Saturday night. Tom Tancredo fanatics lose their cool when asked about connection between race and immigration, then try to conceal their neo-Confederate paraphenalia. A curiously pale black Republican explains why black Republicans can't get elected. Bob Barr, Grover Norquist and "Flipper," the anti-Romney dolphin, discuss the conservative movement. I receive a special gift from David Horowitz...and much, much more!



Saturday Morning Nature Blogging

(yeah, yeah I know it's nearly a day late, but I got dragged into this silliness and was swamped by a bunch of email requiring replies -- hopefully, I will be able to complete a post about it soon, which I have started writing since it includes, for first time, right wing bloggers directing emails at me, but don't get the wrong idea the exchanges were all relatively polite and amusing)

I finally managed to catch up on some reading about the Strange New Creatures Found in Antarctica:
Several strange creatures including a psychedelic octopus have been found in frigid waters off Antarctica in one of the world’s most pristine marine environments.

Others resembled corals and shrimps. At least 30 appear to be new to science, said Julian Gutt, chief scientist of an expedition that was part of the International Polar Year research effort set to launch on March 1. The researchers catalogued about 1,000 species in an area of the Antarctic seabed where warming temperatures are believed to have caused the collapse of overlying ice shelves, affecting the marine life below.

“This is virgin geography,” said expedition member Gauthier Chapelle. “If we don’t find out what this area is like now following the collapse of the ice shelf, and what species are there, we won’t have any basis to know in 20 years’ time what has changed and how global warming has altered the marine ecosystem.”

There were several news articles written about this last week, but this one had some of the best pictures:

Speaking about best pictures, PZ Meyers at Pharyngula has posted this fantastic artist rendering and informative article about newly found fossils of Orthozanclus:

(click on over to his blog for a larger image and a great article)

Also, I want to thank PZ for adding me to his blog roll and introducing me to Craig McClain's and Peter Etnoyer's science blog, Deep Sea News, which I have added to my blog roll. I have an emotional affinity with their blog having once worked for the Deep Sea Drilling Project at Scripps Institute of Oceanography, which I always say, "was the best job I ever had" and really mean it! They had a great post yesterday on the hypothesis that Hydrothermal Vents May Be the Womb of Life in answer to a question posed by one of their readers:
What's the current take on a deep-sea origin of life? I just finished reading Genesis by Robert Hazen where he discusses some of the hypothesis' pros and cons and how there is something of a divide between the "ventists" and the "Millerites" and was wondering if deep-sea scientists naturally fell into the "ventist" camp.

Late addendum

Dhonig at Hynocrites has posted this great map of the world in 2050 entitled, The United States of Creationism:

Saturday, March 03, 2007

As if there was ever any doubt...

I'm George Orwell

Paranoid and Cynical. I am able to understand society and the human psyche quickly and easily. I am depressed a lot of the time, because I am clever enough to see what is really going on in the world.

Take this quiz at

Friday, March 02, 2007

Friday Night Jazz Blogging

Spyro Gyra: Morning Dance

Back in the late 70s to early 80s I used to do concert and entertainment promotion by booking groups at my university. My favorite bookings were of course jazz concerts. I had the pleasure of having Spyro Gyra in concert a couple of times as well as entertaining them before and partying with them after the shows. This song was the title cut from their second album and concert tour circa 1979. I believe this video is from the 16th North Sea Jazz Festival in 1991.

Lies, Damn Lies, and Potty Mouth Rightwingnuts

The Rightwingnuts are making a big to do about a post made at one of their websites, The News Buckit (not sure why they can't spell), which attempts to answer the question:
But how different are the Rightosphere and Leftosphere when it comes to "dirty" language?

They approached the problem by Google searching what they considered "the 18 biggest Lefty blogs, and 22 biggest Righty blogs" with George Carlin's "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television".

Of course they started with the biased premise that the Leftosphere would be more profane than the Rightosphere. Needless to say here are their determined results:

With the self righteous glee of The Church Lady, they proclaim:
So how much more does the Left use Carlin's "seven words" versus the Right? According to my calculations, try somewhere in the range of 18-to-1.

Notice that the only "Note" for the Rightosphere is for LGF, "not sure if its counting comments, but it might be."

Well, isn't that special? How convenient.

Just for shits and grins (and to increment my own use of one of the seven dirty words), let's just look at the actual usage at LGF by actually searching their comments. Unfortunately, the LGF comment search doesn't work as well as Google so here are the totals for each of the words from independent searches:

Now, let's compare the LGF results, 123208, to that of Daily Kos, 146000. That's pretty close, however DKos is more popular than LGF, but how much popular? Let's use the Rightosphere's own measure from The Truth Laid Bear's ranking by traffic:

1) Drew Curtis' 1064063 visits/day
2) Daily Kos: State of the Nation 499153 visits/day
3) Daily Kos :: Diaries 469220 visits/day

13) lgf: cannot just be sitted idly by by 139603 visits/day

Let's be generous and assume everyone visiting Daily Kos that posts comments is looking at diaries only. So, Daily Kos has 469220 visits a day to LGF's 139603. Why, it appears that Daily Kos has nearly three and half times the number of visitors as LGF, but LGF has approximately the same number of usages of the seven dirty words.

Obviously, the Potty Mouth Rightwingnuts are over three times more likely to use profanity than the members of the Leftosphere.

(cross posted at Daily Kos)


The General points out priorities of the Rightosphere:

And I supply further hot intel for skippy to hop onto in rebuttal of Call'em Ishmael: