Wednesday, December 9, 2009

thanks again WaPo

let the shrillness continue. brad delong compiles some new WaPo transgressions.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

thanks again daily show

why does the daily show consistently bring more to bear to our discourse than other media outlets?

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-december-3-2009/oliver-s-travels---switzerland

Friday, December 4, 2009

sometimes surprising

it is nice when companies actually take affirmative steps to aid privacy protection and respond to user requests.

http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=190423927130

Monday, November 23, 2009

deep thought #1

despite the "stop snitching" movement starting in Baltimore, the most popular player for the Ravens, and arguably the player with the most street credibility, is currently still playing in the NFL because he snitched on two friends to avoid a murder trial.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

random lines #1

blinds of cascading light
reprise their role, pushing me
towards the ill-lit corners
of my conscious mind

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

sedition

how are people allowed to get away with saying this? and why are the democrats not leveraging this? i know why fox news and the other sensationalist outlets are not covering it, but why not others?

essentially calling for a military coup to solve the "Obama problem" is not something that should be allowed.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

it didn't sink in until today

i had always heard about Nixon's anti-semitism, paranoia, and underhanded political machinations. but i don't think it ever was clear until i read analysis and transcripts dealing with his theory of a "Jewish cabal" designed to damage him politically. frankly, the man was a monster, and why anyone would idealize him is beyond me. we'll put aside his liberal social agenda; negative income tax, health care reform, anyone?

choice quotes:

President Nixon: All right. I want a look at any sensitive areas around where Jews are involved, Bob. See, the Jews are all through the government, and we have got to get in those areas. We’ve got to get a man in charge who is not Jewish to control the Jewish . . . do you understand?

President Nixon: Second, most Jews are disloyal. You know what I mean? You have a—you have a [White House Consultant Leonard] Garment and a [National Security Adviser Henry A.] Kissinger and, frankly, a [White House Speechwriter William L.] Safire, and, by God, they’re exceptions. But, Bob, generally speaking, you can’t trust the bastards. They turn on you. Correct? Am I wrong or right?

Friday, September 18, 2009

glenn beck doesn't do coincidences

could the noticeable uptick in vitriol and demagoguery, breaking news and frenzied rants, emanating from glenn beck have anything to do with his new book, to be published on Tuesday? no, of course not. surely it has to be a coincidence.

if the product description on amazon wasn't laughable enough as it is, enjoy this gem: "Idiots...can be found only by looking for people who hide behind stereotypes, embrace partisanship, and believe that bumper sticker slogans are a substitute for common sense."

sound familiar?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

#44 historical lesson #1 - post-partisanship doesn't work

lesson #1 from obama's administration: post-partisanship does not work in the current political environment, or it at least requires a firmly defined and achievable set of specific policy priorities. attempting to split the difference (triangulate, as it may be) on policy issues results in your base begin upset and the opposition continuing to oppose your initiatives, in essence irregardless of content. and if you are going to try to claim the middle ground, you need to lay out a specific set of legislative proposals, rather than let congress tackle the brunt of crafting the proposals. this latter insight applies mainly to the health care debate, but is certainly applicable in other areas as well.

further proof that a well-organized and effective campaign does not necessarily translate into productive and effective governance.

Monday, September 14, 2009

comment is free

egregious moderation is such an unbelievable pet peeve. middle aged moderators with nothing better to do than sit around patrolling comment threads need to chill with the power trips.

what is the point of the internet if policing decorum devolves into simple censorship?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

arch-enemies

as a youngster, i read far more archie comics than i now care to admit. of course, there was no information or plots to retain, so it's not like i memorized a particularly interesting story arc, as if i was reading a real comic.

and colbert nicely relates the travails of betty to those of hillary clinton and the ridiculousness that is the MSM. (for some reason, can't embed properly)

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/247055/august-18-2009/the-word---arch-enemies

Saturday, August 1, 2009

reasons for the initial fascination

i did end up attending a couple of iran-related events in the aftermath of the unrest, but with the clampdown within iran (on dissidents, protests, media, etc.) the news emerging is limited and certainly less compelling for most, and the limited attention span here in the US, coverage and attention has waned somewhat. however, the stronger media outlets (NYT, NPR) that i read have done a good job of continuing their coverage.

a though during the earlier course of the election aftermath had occurred to me, and to rid myself of the scrap of paper upon which it is written, i figured i'd put it up here: the fascination with events in Iran goes beyond our simple interest in the human drama and stories that surround popular movements and uprisings. it connects us with visceral feelings of solidarity, protest, and empathy, of which there is often a paucity in the US, because while our system is orderly, it also engenders apathy.

i hope the situation in Iran continues to develop rather than stagnate or revert to a version of the status quo. i am not a westerner hoping for regime change or the overthrow of the islamic republic, but rather one who is hopeful for the emergence of a government there that respects the rules of democracy, the right of the people to peaceably assemble and to freely express their opinions and grievances, and ceases to harshly dictate standards of behavior, especially for women. seeing that list i can't say that i would expect major movement on these metrics, regardless of the outcome of the current unrest, but movement in the appropriate direction is movement nonetheless.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

iran momentum

i had not mobilized myself to the street in support of the opposition in iran, as generally that is not my M.O., but had decided to do so...unfortunately the rally i was to attend tomorrow was canceled. i think this points to the gradual waning of the collective attention to this issue. not only have the authorities effectively limited dissent in iran, but other events continue in the US and elsewhere, and sadly peoples attention spans are short. it would have been good to participate in something last week, but i have at least kept myself informed on events, and at the very least have learned a great deal about iran that i may have not otherwise.

the nytimes discusses, as i'm sure others have, what are the next steps for the opposition movement. with protests suppressed, i think a general strike and some political machinations need to occur. but time will tell how things change. i pray that the voices of those opposed to repression are heard.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

as if my disheartenment at the MSM couldn't go any further

today was a banner day for the MSM. CBS selectively edits (very unethically) an exchange between Billy Graham and Nixon from the Watergate tapes. Dana Milbank writes a ridiculous and fact-short article (when did he become such a self-important, snarky, pompous dick?). jonathan weisman, who didn't win me over at the WaPo, has an above the fold piece for the WSJ (a poor one at that). and i'm also reminded that john solomon landed as an editor at the washington times (AP -> WaPo -> WashTimes: not so hot).

i have been left yearning for so long for a halfway decent source of comprehensive news, and it looks like the possibility of finding one gets dimmer by the day. the NYT is barely adequate, the WaPo is very questionable, it seems the WSJ has lowered their standards (aside from the above, editing, a highlight of their work, was cut significantly by Murdoch, and there seems to be other things i need to catch up on), and the FT doesn't have an adequate American presence.

someday i guess...one can't get all their news from blogs.

Monday, June 22, 2009

i've been too busy reading to say anything worthwhile (i did post a few things on facebook), but a couple thoughts:

from huffpo live-blogging (monday 6/22):

5:20 PM ET -- A word about the past two days. In ordinary times, the violence in the streets on Sunday and Monday would have been shocking. But compared to Saturday's massive outpouring, the turnout of demonstrators has been significantly smaller. There is a good reason for it.

Over the past week, the reformist rallies that have succeeded were those scheduled days in advance, with turnout aided by massive word-of-mouth promotion. Today's mourning rally for Neda, on the other hand, was announced only this morning on Karroubi's social networking sites. In the midst of a near-complete media and technological blackout, these large demonstrations need time to develop.

It's virtually impossible for anyone to gauge whether there is a petering off of intensity among demonstrators, who now know they face incredible risks if they show up in the streets. But the last two days should not be used to argue that the unrest has dampened. The reformists are organizing another major demonstration for Thursday, and a national strike is set to begin by tomorrow or Wednesday. Those will be far better guides to how Iranians are reacting to the government's campaign of repression.

and from the daily beast, via the lede, live blogging on monday as well:

On the Web site The Daily Beast, an Iranian university student explains that, in his family, the video has exposed the deep rift in the way younger Iranians look outside the state-run media for the truth, while their parents and grandparents may not. Telmah Parsa writes:

more soon as soon as i have the time.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

a prelude to a post: a snap from iran, mama

something else coming on the iranian elections and their aftermath, to which i have been absolutely riveted.

but for now, this was really interesting. the words below are quoting a guns n' roses song. a stark illusion to the love/hate relationship much of the world has with America. in particular, they often hate our government, but love our culture (at least parts). i often find myself in the same boat.




credit: Saeed Kamali Dehghan, The Guardian.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

these are our leaders

the intersection of politics and new media has produced some interesting results, as TPM has documented. but grassley takes the cake. his tweets aren't merely akin to a 13-year old...it's like a 13-year old hybridized with a senile senator, who is excited like a puppy dog about this new fangled technology. a sample below, but read the whole bit.

Yesterday, Grassley told President Obama via Twitter that "you got nerve" for telling Congress to deliver on health care, while Obama himself was "sightseeing in Paris:"

Pres Obama you got nerve while u sightseeing in Paris to tell us"time to deliver" on health care. We still on skedul/even workinWKEND.

an open letter to eMusic

eMusic has recently almost doubled their prices, in tandem with an expansion of their download catalog. here is my email to their customer service, expressing my dissatisfaction:

I am really disappointed with the new pricing structure of eMusic. Under the new scheme, the price of each download will increase from $.25 per song to $.40 per song, under my current plan. Frankly I think this is pretty ridiculous considering other services like iTunes are lowering their prices.

I understand eMusic's desire to broaden their customer base by offering more mainstream music. But I, like most other eMusic customers, do not subscribe to this service for these types of offerings. And, sadly, I have a sneaking suspicion that by making your offerings more mainstream, you will neglect the more niche offerings to which most people on eMusic are attuned.

An obvious solution is to have a tiered pricing system, similar to that adopted by iTunes, that places a premium on more popular works. This would keep eMusic a more viable place for smaller artists, for which demand for their work may be more price elastic.

The previous comments are predicated on the idea that the new music you are offering costs more, which is why you are raising your prices. If the price increase is not simply designed to offset higher acquisition costs on your end, but also allows for an increase in artist royalties from downloads, than that is a different story.

I will say that unless a tiered pricing structure is implemented, or if the album pricing system does not provide a significant cost savings, I will probably cancel my eMusic subscription after a few months of the new system. I enjoy and appreciate your service but there are number of issues, most of all the rise in prices, that I find discouraging about the new arrangement.

Sincerely,
TS

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

once again, ladies and gentleman, it's our 24 hour news culture

leave it to jon to hold their feet to the fire

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
"i" on News
thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorNewt Gingrich Unedited Interview

to answer my previous question

in reading the wikipedia entry concerning my last post, it became pretty obvious that canseco was in fact juicing while on the simpsons, given his on-set behavior. or as it were, in the recording booth, which included intimidating the writers and demanding different lines that made him more "heroic." yeesshh

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

the big juicing question

whether Jose Canseco was juicing while he was playing pro baseball is immaterial. the real question is: was he juicing when he was on the Simpsons (episode: 8F13)? that i want to know.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

this just in

vincent d'onofrio is a terrible actor. watching him on law and order: criminal intent is mystifying and cringeworthy. at least one person on the intertubes seems to agree.

Friday, May 1, 2009

townes van zandt - mr. mudd & mr. gold

live at the old quarter. simply amazing.

three years today

the life continues. what comes next?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

filastine, loda @ gallery in silver spring, friday march 13th


if i was going to be in town, i would most certainly be at this gig. in fact, i am pretty upset that i am going to be missing it. filastine is amazing, and after catching him at loda in September, i can guarantee that his live set will be pretty amazing.

his TheirSpace. more show details. listen to some tunes and see what you think.

Monday, February 16, 2009

the way i see it #141

normally these things are pretty weak, but this seemed apropos of some recent thoughts of mine:

i used to feel so alone in the city. all those gazillions of people and then me, on the outside. because how do you meet a new person? i was very stumped by this for many years. and then i realized, you just say "hi." they may ignore you. or you may marry them. and that possibility is worth that one word.
- augusten burroughs

Friday, January 23, 2009

what can you say?

fox news and the conservative media...well, just watch.

the inauguration

i would be remiss if i did not briefly comment on the inauguration of Barack Obama as our 44th President. It was not until I heard Obama take the oath of office and deliver an excellent inaugural address did it finally sink in that George W. Bush was no longer our president, and that we were entering an administration that seems to be defined by intelligence and integrity rather than ineptness and moral bankruptcy.

standing on the mall, with the sun emerging from behind the washington monument moments before Obama took the oath of office, seemed an apt metaphor for the day.