Swimming with the Razorfishes

Saturday, September 04, 2004


run bush run

This was taken down by the next morning, as were many anti-Bush or anti-Republican bills.

bill of bush

I'm the guy on the left. I want to get one of these, and use it as a TV.

A full-screen QTVR view of the Axis of Eve demonstration in Central Park.

Warning: visible nipples. Run away if that sort of thing frightens you.

Ha ha. Take a close look at the third photo down.

AP: "Two former Vietnam prisoners of war who appear in [Swift Boat Veterans for Fruth] ads attacking Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry were appointed by the Bush administration to a panel advising the Department of Veterans Affairs."

Friday, September 03, 2004

The Independent: Bush by numbers

$3m Amount the White House was willing to grant the 9/11 Commission to investigate the 11 September attacks.

$0 Amount approved by George Bush to hire more INS special agents.

$10m Amount Bush cut from the INS's existing terrorism budget.

$50m Amount granted to the commission that looked into the Columbia space shuttle crash.

$5m Amount a 1996 federal commission was given to study legalised gambling.

More fun facts in the article.

Reuters has video of some Iraqi reactions to President Bush's speech [RealVideo].

According to the Labor Department, the slight reduction in the unemployment rate is not solely due to new jobs but also because an increasing number of out-of-work Americans are leaving the civilian work force. "The jobless rate edged down primarily because 152,000 people dropped out of the labor force," says [Wells Fargo economist Sung Won] Sohn, adding that this is "not an encouraging sign."

Via U.S. News and World Report.


Communists for Kerry

freaky old guy

pink slip for Bush

rich republican parasites go home

Morgan is assembling a list of books to read next year, and asked what was on my list. See below. In no order, etc... Looking at some of these, it is embarassing that I have a degree in literature, but haven't read them.

Albert Camus

  • The Stranger

Lawrence Lessig

  • The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World

Umberto Eco

  • Foucalt's Pendulum

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

  • One Hundred Years of Solitude

Julio Cortázar

  • End of the Game and Other Stories

Philip K Dick


Robert Musil

  • The Man Without Qualities

Aldous Huxley

  • The Doors of Perception

Truddi Chase

  • When Rabbit Howls

Haruki Murakami

  • The Wind-up Bird Chronicles

Jane Jacobs

  • Dark Age Ahead

Douglas R., Hofstadter

  • Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid

William S Burroughs

  • Naked Lunch
  • Junky's Christmas

Washington Post: Former president Bill Clinton is scheduling heart bypass surgery after tests revealed significant blockage.

Ha ha! Nothing like demonstrators with a sense of humor.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Just a few fun tidbits from the official platform of the Iowa Republican Party:

2.7. We support a landlord’s right to refuse leasing property to cohabiting homosexuals based on moral grounds
2.9. We believe those guilty of second offense illegal drug use, manufacture, or selling, should be subject to termination of parental rights.
3.2. We oppose compulsory preschool, and any proposal to lower the age at which children are required to attend school.
3.4. We believe that the local choice to teach creation science, or intelligent design science, should be allowed in government schools rather than exclusively teaching evolution as the only viable theory. We also believe that tax funded libraries should include creation science materials on their shelves.
3.7. We support the abolition of the Federal Department of Education, and the removal of this position from the Cabinet. In addition, we call for the downsizing of the Iowa Department of Education. We believe that the control of education should be left to the parents, teachers, and local school boards.
3.9. We favor posting the Ten Commandments in public schools.
3.10. We believe the state should prohibit school based health clinics from providing or recommending abortion or birth-control services or referrals.
3.11. We believe that educators should stress abstinence outside of marriage as the surest way to prevent pregnancy, the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, and the associated psychological problems. We also oppose the distribution of condoms in tax-funded schools.
3.12. We oppose the teaching of homosexual behavior as a normal, acceptable or alternative lifestyle, and believe that sex education must emphasize traditional heterosexual lifestyles.
3.13. We support the immediate expulsion of the Human Growth and Development K-12 Sex Education programs as defined in Iowa Code Sections 279.50 and 279.51 from our government schools.
3.14. We oppose Governor Vilsack's scholarship program for self-declared homosexual students.
3.19. We believe Educators at all levels shall have comprehensive communication skills in English, and that English should be the official language used in all areas of the Iowa educational system.
3.22. The Iowa legislature should allow educators more disciplinary tools or options when confronting disruptive student behavior.
4.2. We oppose the Kyoto treaty on the environment and the language of the UN Kyoto Protocol, as it would put the US, its jobs, citizens, and businesses at an economic disadvantage. We support responsible environmental policy that recognizes the importance of existing as well as alternative sources of fuel for both developed and developing countries.
We believe that the basis of our laws and founding documents are rooted in Judeo-Christian values. We believe that every human being has the God given, unalienable right to life regardless of age or degree of dependency from conception to natural death. We believe the family is the cornerstone of society; a traditional two parent family of one man and one woman is the best environment to raise children.
5.7. We support adoption only by heterosexual married couples, consisting of one man and one woman.
5.14. We strongly oppose the UN "Convention on the Rights of the Child."
5.16. We believe that present laws should be enforced, new laws written and fines levied to prevent indecency and pornography.
6.1. We believe in retaining the moral absolutes which our founding fathers derived from Holy Scriptures as the principal foundation of our laws.
6.3. We assert that the phrase, “the separation of church and state” as is commonly used, contradicts the original intent and practice of the framers of the Constitution.
6.8. We support English as the official language for the United States.
6.9. We oppose any further restrictions on gun rights, eroding our Second Amendment rights.
6.11. We oppose special rights based on social or economic grouping, and oppose "hate crime legislation" or quota systems designed to favor one group over another.
6.25. We call upon the US Congress to pass HR 2357, the "Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act," which would restore the liberty of churches to participate in America's political life without fear of retaliation by the Internal Revenue Service.
6.31. We believe the United States should withdraw from the United Nations and the U.N. headquarters should be removed from U.S. soil.
7.9. We favor spousal benefits for legal, heterosexual marriages only.
7.11. We believe that healthcare is a privilege and not a right. Therefore we strongly oppose the adoption of any socialized national health care system.
8.15. We believe the United Nation’s International Criminal Court represents a grave threat to the Freedom and Liberty guaranteed every American by the constitution, and urge legislative action to ensure the safety of our citizens.
10.1. We urge continued economic and military support for Israel, our strong ally.
10.2. We support Israel’s right to use military force to protect itself from terrorists.
10.3. We strongly urge the United States government to cease pressuring Israel to give its land to Arab nations, and to recognize that Israel clearly needs this land for its national defense.
10.4. We support the immediate and full U.S. withdrawal from the United Nations and oppose any U.S. funding of the United Nations.
11.4. We should maintain an environmental policy that protects the rights of humans before other species.
12.4. We support the reversal of Roe vs. Wade.
13.3. We believe that state and federal capital gains taxes should be abolished.

What kind of party bases its beliefs on excluding certain classes of people, creating classes of people that are more equal than others? What kind of party identifies its goals as taking away rights from citizens? What kind of party peppers its platform with goals that fly in the face of commonly accepted good economics and science?

Is this a party with which you identify?

And after all these suggested changes to state and federal constitutions, the Iowa Republican party tossed this one in:

6.4. We oppose judicial activism.

Funny. Their platform seems rather activist to me.


I promised some pictures of boobs from this week's demonstrations.

So here they are. Apparently, there was an all-nude demonstration on Tuesday. I'm sorry I missed that.

And here's one for the ladies. Or the boys, should you be so inclined.

Comedy Central's "Make Your Own Headlines With the Daily Show Newsmaker" kits were banned from RNC gift bags because they included words like "tranvestite," "goat," "dances" and "dumb" as well as "Dubya," "Rumsfeld" and "Cheney."

Not to pimp my own company's stuff, but I'm watching the second season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, and laughing like it is the first time I've seen it.

"I stopped it after twelve pumps!"

I thought the first season of Curb... was the best season so far, but I forgot how many great episodes were in Season two. Almost every time Cheryl Hines says something, I crack up.

Dave has a good point. I keep forgetting how George W. Bush specifically attacked the idea of "nation building" when he was a presidential candidate .

All the morning spin seems to be about who spoke last night at the convention, who said what, and what a masterstroke the speaker selection has been: a democrat, a jew, a bunch of "Hollywood" types.

But the mass media again fail the public. Even after all the shameful failings in the last few years, journalists are still covering the horse race, not the issues.

  • Shame on journalists for allowing George P. Bush to claim that Texas educational scores improved when, in fact, these figures have been discredited as fradulent; Texas students' test scores are among the lowest in the country.
  • Shame on the journalists for perpetuating the idea that Iraq had some kind of connection to terrorism or to September 11.
  • Shame on the journalists for not questioning the Republican speakers' claim that the Taliban has been ejected from Afganistan when they have been active there for months, attacking U.S. soldiers and civilians.
  • Shame on the journalists for dutifully reporting that the war in Iraq was about "ousting a brutal dictator" when it was sold to the American public quite differently.
  • Shame on the journalists for allowing nearly the whole convention to reference September 11 without questioning why the Bush administration did all it could to block investigations into what actually happened on that day.
  • Shame on the journalists for allowing Republican speakers to talk about honor and truth while the President and Vice President refused to testify to the 9/11 commission under oath, refusing to swear to tell the truth.
  • Shame on the journalists for allowing Republican speakers to talk about compassion and freedom without questioning why the current Republican administration indefinitely holds political prisoners in Guantanamo Bay and writes memos claiming that torture is sometimes good and legal.
  • Shame on the journalists for unquestioningly listening to speakers talk of "Bush Prosperity" in a time of sustained job loss and ballooning debt, all under the first president since Herbert Hoover to have a net loss of jobs during his term.
  • Shame on the journalists for listening to speakers vilify John Kerry for voting against military funding without questioning why Vice President Cheney himself voted against funding for Apache Attack Helicopters, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, as well as F-14 and F-16 attack jets.

Shame on the journalists for not asking questions, shame on the journalists for not demanding the truth. And shame on the Republican party for making these misleading statements at their convention.

This Republican convention has failed to address many of the issues facing our country. Instead the Republican party has created a carnival atmosphere around September 11 and has lead a room full of people in chanting absurd things like "flip flop." We need leaders who speak to issues, not to stereotypes. We need leaders who select representatives for the good of the country, rather than shamefully, cynically selecting representatives to appeal to the "right" demographic.

We need leaders, not demagogues.

Emmanuel Goldstein arrested in protest.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Skype beta for MacOS X seems to be out.

"[...]I feel my life's work has been very much squandered away by this administration."

William Harrop, the former ambassador to Israel

An interesting little developer community is sprouting up around the iPod. Apple should embrace this, and figure out a way to nurture these 3rd parties.

As other MP3 players catch up in terms of usability and design, this is something that would differentiate the iPod: lots of cool add-on gadgets.

"Standing on the corner of eigth ave and 40th street (I think), I spied one of my least favorite people the world- the "Rev." Jerry Falwell (sp?). At that point I could not contain my instincts. He walked by once, and I looked him in the eye about three feet away and said "Jesus is ashamed of you" to which he begain to say something, but then turned and walked away. Still high on that buzz, assuming it was as good as it got he then walked past in the other direction, even closer to me this time, looking at me in the eye as he went past, I spoke first though, making sure to clearly annunciate my words so that he could not mistake my meaning "You are going to burn in hell for your sins""

Go Thickeye!

Rather terse review of the new iMac.

POTD: Our Next Generation

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

The dancemob went off without a hitch today. Much joy was spread along 5th Avenue in midtown.

Styles varied; dance and otherwise.

Reaction was mixed, though mostly positive.

POTD: Voices of Experience

Virginia Congressman Ed Schrock, strident anti-gay politician, withdraws from his re-election campaign. Apparently, there are tapes of him soliciting sex from men.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Thoughts on the first night of the Republican Convention:

  • As far as I can tell, the Republicans are nominating September 11th as president, and the Military as Vice President. It was just about all they talked about. As someone who saw the buildings fall in person, who felt the earth shake, and who smelled the sickening odor of burning metal, concrete, and God knows what else for months afterward, I'm offended at the Republican's pimping a national tragedy to get reelected. 3000 people died; show some respect.
  • What I can see of the delegates: White. Male. Old.
  • Republicans can't dance.
  • Zero issues. No issues were mentioned. Unless frightening the country with the bogeyman of terrorism counts as an issue. In that case, the speakers mentioned one. There was a complete lack of substance tonight. Lots and lots of empty slogans.
  • Note to delegates: wearing the Flag as clothing is not patriotic, it is disrespectful. The flag is a solemn symbol of our country. You shouldn't be sitting on it.
  • Unless I'm mistaken, no one mentioned Osama Bin Laden or Al Qaeda. How did we hear so many speaches without hearing mention of these two?
  • The Republicans seem bent on convincing me that changing my mind is bad. It isn't working.
  • We didn't go to war in Iraq because of terrorism or what happened on September 11th. We were sold the war based on chemical, nuclear, and biological weapons. We did not go to war because Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator or to bring democracy to the world. I'm disappointed in Rudy Giuliani and Senator McCain for suggesting otherwise.
  • No mention of the economy, the environment, national debt or trade deficits, civil rights. Just lots of hedging and countering of Democratic policy.
  • How veterans stand behind the political party that tried to demonize Sentor McCain and Max Cleland, I do not understand. Calling Max Cleland, a soldier who lost two legs and an arm fighting for the country, a terrorist is simply over the top.

I love these tech industry research groups, like IDG, Meta, and Gartner. They look at some bit of technology, pull an enormous number out of their asses, and predict that this number, chosen entirely randomly, is the future market size for said technology.

The Register is calling IDC on its silly predictions. Funny.

OK, it is getting even worse. Images of George H. W. Bush are flashing by accompanied a muzak version of Van Halen's Jump. Clearly, I'm watching some kind of Daily Show spoof of the Republican Convention airing on CSPAN.

Is anyone watching the Republican convention on CSPAN? What are they thinking? This looks like a spoof of an MTV awards show, with everyone in bad suits.

Chalmers M. Roberts: "I could be dead when you read this."

John Perry Barlow was at Critical Mass on friday, too.

Radiation accidentally released in mid-town Manhattan post office. Republican party cites as an example of America's glowing economy.

Kerry, Bush daughters booed on MTV.

POTD: The Faces of Protest

"You can blow someone's head off, but 2 fucks makes you unwatchable for someone under 17. Unless they have their parent there to explain it to them. "Mom, I understood the first use of the word fuck, but what's with the second - give me guidance please. I've heard one fuck before, but ever since I heard the second one I've had this insatiable desire to rob a liquor store and refer to all women as "ho's"."

Zach Braff, writer and director of Garden State.

I put this in here just to get an R rating for my 'blog.

Mike from Satan's Laundromat (recommended reading, btw) was arrested Friday night. Mike, a photographer, was not involved in Critical Mass or any protest at the time. He was taking photographs in Times Square, something not altogether uncommon.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

I'd like to make a correction to the New York Times. It reported that following the main rally, a group of demonstrators, one of whom was dressed in an elephant costume, proceeded to 44th Street to protest delegates to the convention waiting to get into Phantom of the Opera.

Well, Old Gray Lady, I have seen elephant suits. I know people who have elephant suits.

This was no elephant suit.

I'm also not sure it was actually a protest. I think we were concerned that all those yokels thought that Phantom was giving them some sense of high culture. Several demonstrators were shouting out suggestions for other entertainment, should they not want to see that schlock.

Ladies and gentlemen, Susan Meiselas.

Of Carnival Strippers, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Pandora's Box and akaKURDISTAN fame. Seen at yesterday's pro-choice New Yorkers demonstration at City Hall. I was excited to see her. I'm sorry that I couldn't snap a good photo.