Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Adventures in Cluelessness: or, "Let's fly a Great Big Plane Around NY Without Warning Anyone"




Somebody in the White House needs a wedgie. A great, big, atomic wedgie. The freakin' Mother of Atomic Wedgies. How did this seem like a good idea?

Those poor bastards in New York. I can just imagine the sinking feeling people had when they looked out the window yesterday and saw a big-assed jet flying at low altitude around the city. That "Oh dear God, not again" feeling. The panicked rush to the stairwells, the trying to get outside before the shit goes down. Wrestling wheelchair-bound co-workers down 20 flights because no one wants to be stuck in the elevators when the plane hits.

What the Fuck?!

Update: Well, this took longer than I expected, but at least it happened.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Gee, Why Doesn't This Surprise Me: or I FVCKING WARNED YOU IDIOTS!!!

Speaking for all of us who railed against the institution of the ridiculous executive power expansion under the Bush Circus, Glenn Greenwald points out the, erm, slight inconsistency of the right's objections to the DHS comments on growing right-wing fanaticism. Money quote:
Indeed, thanks to the very people who are today petulantly complaining about politically-motivated federal police actions (now that they imagine it's directed at them rather than at people they dislike), the Federal Government today has the power to eavesdrop on telephone calls and read the emails of American citizens without warrants; monitor bank records without court approval; obtain all sorts of invasive personal records, medical and financial, without Subpoenas; and obtain and store a whole host of other personal information about American citizens who have not been accused, let alone convicted, of having done anything wrong. Also thanks to them (and things like the War on Terror, the War on Drugs, the Patriot Act, the FISA Amendments Act, etc. etc), most of this is carried out without any real oversight or safeguards, left entirely to the judgment and good faith of federal officials to wield these powers carefully and for proper ends. And, better still, federal officials can hide behind sweeping claims of secrecy and National Security to prevent courts from scrutinizing what they did and determine if it was illegal (we call that "the state secrets privilege").

So what's the problem? As the National Review/Bush-following-Right has been telling us for years now, there's nothing to worry about if you've done nothing wrong and have nothing to hide. The first duty of the Government is to protect us all -- keep us safe and warm from all the scary things out there, like a Good Daddy does -- and if they need to trample on some lofty privacy ideals and so-called civil liberties concerns and supposed Constitutional safeguards, well: that's just how it is. It takes a real paranoid hysteric to think that federal government officials have nothing better to do than target domestic political opponents. And besides, what good is the Constitution if we're all dead at the hands of domestic McVeigh-like Terrorists? After all, the Constitution isn't a suicide pact. Remember all of that? I certainly do.

A. Fucking. Men.

Seven years of warning against this. And the stupid, drooling GOP automatons ignored us, or said we were 'supporting terrorism'. Goddamn idiots!

Now the fruit is ripe. But it is ever so bitter.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tweenbots: fun with robots in New York

A friend forwarded me a link to a fun and interesting study of human behavior. A woman in New York releases a small robot that is only capable of rolling forward. It has a message on it asking passers-by to help direct it to a distant goal. It is entirely dependent on the help of strangers to accomplish it's task. What do you think might have happened?


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Corruption in the Phoenix Police Dept: "Dis us, and we'll take all that you own"

This is unbelievable. A guy starts a blog critica (apparently with ample reason) of the Phoenix Police Department. With the help of numerous inside sources, he uncovers misconduct ranging from sexual harassment to evidence mishandling to racism to concealing borderline criminal activity. The department's reaction? Not an investigation.

They raid his home, handcuff his girlfriend for 3 hours and basically take everything he owns.

But we don't live in a police state: no way!

Spread this story around: don't give the Phoenix cops any slack.

Via Dispatches from the Culture Wars.