Saturday, March 08, 2008

Clinton Hate Future

Clinton Hate Future

Clinton Hate Future

Clinton Hate Future

Friday, March 07, 2008

Hey, It's Only Politics, It's Not Like Anyone's Life Is On The Line

Clinton's Hawkishness Ruffles Feathers in Obama Camp - Eli Lake @ NY Sun (via Spencer Ackerman)

Oh well, that's just peachy. So Sen. Clinton is against the war (finally disavowing her vote for it after what, six years?) but will 'listen to the generals on the ground' first before making her decision on withdrawal. A) This sounds like President Bush and his rhetoric; and B) this sounds like another CTV type scandal where Sen. Clinton's rhetoric won't match what she actually does. In other words, a vote for Sen. Clinton is a vote for war, unless the politics are just right. And we've already seen that she can't confront dictators and warlords face-to-face. If she can't say to his face what she says about Sen. Obama alone in front of the tv cameras then how can we expect her to stand up to dictators around the world? No wonder she's arguing that the lowest level of diplomacy is the most she's willing to do. Scared of dictators and unfavorable politics in withdrawing from Iraq. That's exactly what we need in a new president, a continuation of the old president. Oh yeah, get ready for real 'solutions'. Sen. McCain is going to slaughter her in the presidential debates. I can't wait to see a 71-year-old man throw Sen. Clinton to the ground like a sack of potatoes.

The Upmost in Luxury Blood

Okay, I'm calmed and heavily medicated so I think I'll take another shot at this. Samantha Powers makes an off-the-record comment about Sen. Clinton that included the description of 'monster'. The reporter Mrs. Powers was talking to worked for The Scotsman newspaper. Quote gets published, Sen. Clinton gets mad and suddenly Sen. Obama is without one of his top aides.
Now all of these events come after Sen. Clinton has declared war on Sen. Obama by preparing a 'kitchen sink' offensive against the black Senator. Sen. Clinton placed her approval on an ad by a 502 group that actually digitally darkened Sen. Obama. The ad played in Ohio and apparently, through the exit poll, we come to find that race played an important role in how people decided to vote. This ad comes after weeks of the Clinton campaign whining about their press coverage, blaming everything from the caucus system of the Democratic party to sexism and the 'vast right-wing conspiracy' to lessen the appearance of weakness in their campaign. And now Sen. Clinton is giving talking points to Sen. McCain by claiming that Sen. Obama lacks the expertise of a commander-in-chief.
I never really bought the argument that Sen. Clinton would take her party to the brink of destruction for her own ambition. I simply considered that a rightist talking point. But after witnessing Sen. Clinton get all huffy about campaign fliers and such on tv and then playing coy during the last debate, it's obvious that Sen. Clinton doesn't have the balls to say such destructive things to Sen. Obama's face. So she lacks the ability to speak her mind to someone when they are present but is willing to throw as many knives as she can when they aren't looking. Sen. Clinton has shown a complete lack of grace and civility throughout her campaign, particularly when it has come to acting with some goddamn common sense. Giving the Republicans talking points and basing her platform around ideas and ideology such as experience and her being a fighter only serves to weaken her against a candidate like Sen. McCain. If you want to talk about experience then he has it. If you want to talk about the ability to lead as commander-in-chief then he blows Sen. Clinton out of the water. The longer this primary season goes on the more Sen. Clinton looks and talks like a Republican. So essentially Democrats have a choice of either voting for a real liberal in Sen. Obama or a fake Republican in Sen. Clinton. And if Sen. Clinton does win the nomination then why would the electorate vote for a fake Republican when they have a real one they can vote for instead?
I'm not tired of this primary season but I am tired of the Clinton campaign getting away with bullshit in the same way the Bush administration has. No one is willing to step up and say that Sen. Clinton has slandered and attacked Sen. Obama unfairly. The mainstream media has gone quiet because they are afraid of the Clintons, just as they are afraid of the Bush administration. So we now have a situation where a candidate is allowed to say whatever she wishes and those who have the audacity to question her are clearly sexist, right-wing Clinton haters. It boils my blood to see the media so weak. After years of living with the Bush administration one would think the media would rather do their jobs than continue to act as if their careers depended on the good graces of Senators.
At this point, I have to believe that Sen. Clinton will win the nomination but in such a way that disenchants the African-American electorate, the youth electorate and the progressive electorate. Moreover, I think women voters will finally see how the Clinton machine has run roughshod over their supporters when serious women's issues come up and Sen. Clinton quickly runs to the most politically favorable position, or concedes the entire issue to the Republicans, just to maintain her power. It happened to gay supporters with Don't Ask, Don't Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act. Whenever push has come to shove the Clinton's have caved every time. Even when an important vote cam up in the Senate recently on telecom immunity Sen. Obama was there to cast his vote while Sen. Clinton was out campaigning still. So much for taking her responsibilities seriously. I believe another Clinton presidency will be the end of the party of Jefferson as we know it. The youth vote will either stop turning out or turn to third parties. The black vote will stay home knowing that the Democrats care about them just as much as the Republicans do. Women will get shafted and be told to be thankful for it. The working class will wonder what happened to those five million jobs they were promised. Our military will not leave Iraq in a year or four years. And we will witness a resurgence of a Republican party that has not learned the lessons of the last decade, will attack and stall Clinton at every turn, and probably do their damnedest to see her impeached, particularly if those tax returns have a few scandelous gems in them.
Thus ends a nearly two hundred year old party, thanks to the Clinton campaign. The politics of hope once again will be trashed and tarnished by the politics of fear, the same politics of the Bush administration. And the baby boomers will have their one last hurrah before the next president who was not born during that period comes along and not only says things have to drastically change but will actually do something about it. Sen. Obama could qwell the generational war brewing, but that kitchen sink will probably prevent smart decisions from coming to pass. The age of the baby boomer politics is over, but of course the boomers will hold on to the handles of power with all their might. Too bad really, since it's my generation that will wrest their grip away. And it won't be pretty.

Samantha Powers vs. The Monster

You Racist, You Bigot, That's Not the Problem, Now is It? - Spencer Ackerman

I sincerely hope no one from the Clinton campaign runs into Ackerman any time soon, because I'm pretty sure some one will end up dead and Ackerman in jail. You do not fuck with a campaign like this, period. If Hillary Clinton wins the nomination then I will vote for McCain now. No one who acts like Hillary Clinton has deserves to win the presidency.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Zen of the Day

Hurdle Face Fail - the FAIL Blog

Ah, my Zen of the day, and yours too.

Pocket Change

Not With My Money - David Kurtz @ TPM

So the DNC has told Florida if they want their do-over primary election then they have to pay for it. Maybe the Clinton campaign could loan them the money.

The Graveyard Book

The one with the finished Dave McKean Graveyard Book cover - Neil Gaiman

Damn publishing schedules and whatnot. I want this book now! Too bad my kitten's too cute to punch because I want to punch a kitten right now.

Review: The Full Service

The Full Service
The Full Service @ MySpace

I probably should just let this one go. An unsolicited request to review, or at least preview, the Full Service from Austin. The two tracks I listened to--Blueberry Farm and Hi-Ho--are technically proficient. The composition of their music is thoughtful and lacking in many of the traditional indie rock band clichés. Being from Austin, they successfully avoid coming off sounding like a Voxtrot copy-cat, but I don't think that alone is necessarily a good thing. Being technically proficient and having the ability to write songs that are not overtly offensive to the ears, while far better than most, does not exactly endear one's self to the band. The music of the Full Service just kind of floated in, made a few funny faces, maybe told a sweet joke or two and then just as quietly took their leave. Unlike Satié who wanted to, and in fact did, write furniture music, the Full Service write wallpaper music. Yes, it's there, but after five minutes it fades into the background. If you'd like a comparison then I'd say they have a sound similar to that of Whitest Boy Alive but without the novelty of taking minimalist music to an extreme in a traditional indie rock band set up. So goddamnit, put some fucking substance into it. Fuck, just fill out the sound a little and the lyrics wouldn't sound so trite. Keyboards, jangly noise, just something to add that touch of indie cred would do it. The Full Service can save themselves and even standout in the music scene if they just tried to not be so small, soft and sweet.

Mind Reading - FAIL

Neuroscientists May Soon Be Able To Read Minds - evolution @ Truemors

I'm sorry, that's cute and all but come back when you have something real to tell me.

Fear of a Black President, Pt. 2

Why is Obama's Skin Blacker than Normal in Hillary's New Attack Ad? - AMERICAblog

Ah, thank you Spackerman for pointing this to me. Yeah, I think I have to agree that when it's about the tenth time that your campaign has done something to clearly allude to your opponent's race you can't claim that you knew nothing about it. Either Sen. Clinton and staff is so utterly clueless not to figure this out or they are doing it on purpose. Now, which of those options makes Sen. Clinton a better president again?

Politics of Fear - Politics of Hope = Politics of Frustration

Andrew Sullivan has taken a day to put the hammers to the Clinton campaign. It's a bit of venting of frustrations from Tuesday's polling results. A lot of bloggers have gone back to look at the prevailing winds and come to the conclusion that Sen. Clinton's attacking of Sen. Obama on his NAFTA rhetoric (while saying the same things to the Canadians) was what pulled enough votes away from Sen. Obama to prevent any more upsets. Oh, and apparently one of the pro-Clinton 502s thought it appropriate to darken Sen. Obama in campaign ads run in Ohio. So there's a bit of racism thrown in there for fun as well. But however you explain it, Tuesday was a depressing night for Obama supporters like myself. I've heard enough stories from Republicans who followed Rush Limbaugh's advice and voted in the Democratic primary just to help out McCain by voting for the weaker candidate. I've also heard the same people spouting the same "Obama is a Muslim sleeper agent" bullshit. So all in all there has been little good news to come out of this past election. Except for this--Sen. Obama still leads in pledged delegates, he still leads in the popular vote and he still hasn't taken the gloves off.
But for Sullivan, the important thing is to throw Sen. Clinton against a wall and have her try to explain her tax reports, why she hasn't released them and, if there's nothing scandelous there, then why the hell did the campaign take so long in releasing them? This is a case where we might just have an over-cooked ham or a conflageration the campaign is desperate to avoid making public. Either way, it's all to familiar to those of us who have watched the Bush administration block requests for information at every turn, even when that information might bolster their positions. It's this absolutism over secrecy that I, and Sullivan, find so troubling. We don't need another four years of this, if Sen. Clinton even makes it that long. An impeachment of President Clinton isn't a surprising thought really. Not when you still have enough Republicans ready to sink their teeth into the Clintons once again.
The other matter that Sullivan only lightly touches on is the need for Sen. Obama to rally back with some Chicago-style crowbar politics. Of course, Sen. Obama himself cannot place himself that the center of such a tactic, but certainly he should have surrogates out there pointing to all the inconsistancies and lack of unity within the Clinton campaign. I, on the other hand, do think that Sen. Obama should place himself front and center of such an attack as it shows that he can fight just as hard for what he believes in as the Clintons can for power. Taking Sen. Clinton down at the knees would scare the hell out of Republicans while potentially securing the nomination for Sen. Obama. It would become a clarion to Sen. Obama's 'toughness' and show that he is willing to get his hands dirty. Besides, it's far easier to lob these kinds of attacks from the position Sen. Obama is in and any retort by the Clinton campaign of 'unfairness' will come off as whiney. I say bring out the crowbars and show the Clintons how their kind of politics is actually played by the real pros. It's the schoolyard moment where the hero who has thus far not taken the baiting of the bully finally throws the knockout punch. Do it, Sen. Obama, and make it clear who did it.

Digital Media Versus The Book

Book lovers have emotional bond with paper - Nate Anderson @ Ars Technica

Books litter my house. Between my sister and I we have amassed quite a collection of fiction, nonfiction and everything in-between. I personally have books stacked in weird places just so I can move around. For me the attachment to printed media like books lies in its versatility. Now I know many Kindle users and other digital book readers will say that you lose nothing of said versatility but there's something ingrained in me that enjoys holding a book and physically turning pages. Perhaps the next generation of readers or the generation after that will have less of an attachment to books. Even so, there's something to be said for maintaining printed media alongside digital books. The key issue for me is longevity. A printed book will last far longer than digital media will in the original state it was printed in. There's a lot of concern as the digital age moves forward about having the hardware to read data from media like floppy disks, laserdiscs and even cds themselves. A hundred years in the future, will we still have working cd-rom drives? And what happens to that media if we don't? This is all to say really that the printed text will not die easily, if at all. Transposed into different forms perhaps, bound in new ways or even incorporating some tech into itself. But the writing, editing and publication of books is not the same as the composing of music or video. Books have spanned centuries in a mainly unchanged form while music has gone through constant changes. So I wouldn't bet on books disappearing too soon.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Rip Hunter

What we have here is what naturalists call a 'time kitten'. They are rarely seen away from a clock under their control. This cat here has decided to use the power of sleep to slow down time.

Texas Primary

6:24 PM – Just voted in the primary. A big black mark for Sen. Obama. The woman who I followed into the polling station was a serious Clinton supporter. She was nasty to the Obama supporters outside the precinct building (100 ft and all that) and said, upon entering the building and being asked which primary she wished to vote in, “Do I look like a Republican to you?”

6:30 PM – So far there have been a steady stream of people walking to the Democrat side of the precinct. I was told when I received my caucusing card to expect a crowd. The caucusing is slated to begin at 7:15 but I haven’t the slightest clue when they will start seating people.

6:36 PM – Forgot to mention the news crew outside. I figure that: a) they are waiting for exit polls and; b) this is the closest precinct to their news station. Beyond that, I don’t know nor really care. I wonder though, if the assumed crowd does come, where will they park? And what kind of parking hell will occur once everyone leaves?

6:41 PM – A lot of friendly talking going on. I live in a liberal neighborhood but if yards signs are any indication then this precinct will go for Sen. Clinton. I wonder what the caucus will actually look like? I’m eager to see if I need to beat a Clinton supporter with my laptop for being uppity. I swear I will not let some two-bit Clinton camp worker hijack this caucus, even if I’m the only person on Sen. Obama’s side.

6:45 PM – More white people. White people annoy me.

6:46 PM – Warren Ellis is threatening to change his name to WOLFMANGLER. Or GOATGOUGER. Damn Twitter.

6:48 PM – Youngish 30-something with a soul patch. Beginning to wonder about the sanity of my neighborhood.

6:49 PM – Ah, finally some black people have arrived.

6:50 - 7:22 PM - We waited in line for the caucusing for nearly half an hour. We were the lucky ones as the line continued to increase. By the time we left (we didn't stick around for the delegate election) the line stretched down a forty foot hall and out the door and up the parking lot. I would say somewhere around 150 people were there, along with the TV broadcasters. There were an awful lot of whiteys in line while I noticed only two black couples in the caucus.

8:12 PM - So the races for the Democrats are too close to call for the most part. Sen. Obama leads in Texas while Sen. Clinton leads in Ohio. Vermont has gone to Sen. Obama but Rhode Island hasn't been called yet. This is a bit of a nailbiter night for me, as I want Sen. Obama to take all the states. So now I wait.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Men Bring Out the Knives

Men Have a Harder Time Forgiving than Women Do - Science Daily

Now this I can believe. Being a Scorpio myself, I tend to take an all or nothing approach to things. Or at least I did until the wonderful world of anti-anxiety medication mellowed me out some more. Plus, studying cultural history played a role since a cultural historian is supposed to try their best to see the world through the eyes of people of the past. Even so, I can take a scorched-earth attitude towards those who piss me off sufficiently. I'm not above cutting a bitch.

Cyber Goggles Tells You Where the Guns Are

Cyber Goggles Record and Tag Your World for Future Reference - Wilson Rothman @ Gizmodo, via Miss Information

Fellow blogger and friend pointed me to this article on Gizmodo about a virtual reality interface, or cyber goggles as they are calling it, that allows the user to tag the real world in the same way information is tagged in the virtual world. It's an idea I first encountered in William Gibson's latest book Spook Country. It's an idea I adore, mostly due to its implications to the philosophy of language and the mind. When you can stop relying on your brain to recall the specific name of something what happens to your memory and language functions? What happens when language is encoded in a device that exist outside of our brains? And what does this say about the primacy of the brain in consciousness? A tagged reality is the next step towards the hyperreality simulation supplanting the real physical world. Okay, I'm started to geek out now so I'll stop here.

Review: The One

The One @
Shinichi Osawa @ MySpace

I discovered this electro artist by accident a couple of months ago and have loved his stuff ever since. Shinichi (I think that's his last name unless they've Americanized it) produces the same type of dance-floor fused pop music that the likes of Simian Mobile Disco and Digitalism produce, only, I think, more inventive. The One was release in October of last year but it's still not available in the States, which is a damn shame. Fans of Soulwax or Shitdisco would love what Shinichi has to offer. It's not italo by any means but the music does have the shimmering sound that makes italo-disco so lovable. Still, fat key basses and minimalist backgrounds are used to great effect, particular when Shinichi finally drops the beat. This is electro properly done with some real club bangers mixed in with a few softer, Ellen Allien-style numbers. Few of the songs actually top six minutes making this album distinctly different from the euro-style club music and more inline with the SMD and Soulwax format. Grab a couple of tracks from or wherever you can. The import, while worth it, is a touch pricey.

Review: Robotique Majestique

Robotique Majestique @
Ghostland Observatory @ MySpace

It's been about a week since I've been listening to Ghostland Observatory's latest album and I must say that it proves the power of electro-rock. Not to say that electro-rock is the only viable form of music right now, but it is the most versatile in terms of song structure, instrumentation and, perhaps most importantly, band composition. When a band can run on one or two people alone that says something about the genre. Some of the best acts from across the pond are two-man acts. But again, this is not to say that electro-rock is a superior genre. What it is, is the genre of the 21st century. I think James Murphy said it best in "Losing My Edge" with the lyric 'I hear that you and your band is throwing out your guitars and buying turntables/I hear you and your band is throwing out your turntables and buying guitars'.
This fusion of pop elements with the electro music of the European dance floors, on perfect display in Ghostland's music, allows for a different sort of thinking about composition and artform. Ghostland has chosen to take some basic punk elements and ditch the guitar parts for thick and heavy synths. The vocals sound almost as if they came from an 80s hair band, but the beat is an Americanized import of Euro beats. Moreover, they have the breakdowns of good dance-floor club bangers that tease the crowd and whip them into a frenzy. And all of this comes from a band from Austin, TX, not NYC, not Canada, not San Franscico, but Texas. How long electro-rock sticks around I really can't say. I think it is reaching a peaking, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The changes and directions electro can take at this point is fairly wide open. But for the moment, Ghostland Observatory captures the spirit of electro without feeling contrived or over-produced. They deserve your attention and, yes, money. Go see a show if you can, or even buy one of the albums.

Project Hyperreal

I've started a mod project on my 2004 Audi A4. The warranty is long gone so I figure why the hell not? I want to maintain this car as well as I can so adding a few things here and there only makes sense. I'm not looking to turn this car into a racer, although it will eventually take on most other high power cars out there. But for the moment, I've changed the brakes with a full set of Hawk performance pads (the car needed it anyway). The spark plugs are Denso Iridium plugs and I slipped a new H&N air filter that supposedly add a couple of horses to the engine. But my concern was more with idling and the reliability of the engine than with added horsepower.
The next few changes include a short shifter for comfort in driving, a new crankshaft pulley to take some of the load off the engine and new polyurethane engine mounts for added stability in the engine. I need to change the timing belt since the time for that is coming up and I'd like to add some slotted brake discs for greater stopping power. Also, a Carbino air intake is in the future, but at the moment, I'm looking to fix what needs fixing and add some small (re: cheap) improvements. I'll update with pictures as I go along.

Marie Isabella V

So the new kitten is adjusting well to her life in the Lawrence household. She doesn't care for the dogs, although Satchel is dying to smell her. The other cats are unsure of this uncalled for and obviously threatening beast that has invaded their domain. But the family adores Marie Isabelle V, or MI-5, domestic intelligence. At the moment, she's comfortably asleep on my shoulder as I write this. This kitten has definitely landed on her feet.

Quote of the Day

Clocked - Ezra Klein @ The American Prospect

I generally bristle at Ezra Klein's sense of liberal politics but sometimes his use of language makes it worthwhile to suffer through another post about how mandated healthcare is better than Sen. Obama's eyebrows and just about everything else. Example: "but somehow I still don't think you can clock someone in the crotch with a baseball bat."

Winning on Hope

Advice to Clinton (and to Obama who already knows it): "Keep Your Sunny Side Up" - Paul Finkleman @ Balkinization

A very interesting post by guest blogger Paul Finkleman about the promise of hope in a presidential campaign leads me once again to the conclusion that Sen. Obama would whip Sen. McCain in a general election. It's not so much based on the organizational structure Sen. Obama has built that will work in his favor (although it certainly will), but the televised debates that will seal the deal for the American electorate I think. The image of the young, proming, animated and hopeful Sen. Obama debating the merits of the war, taxation and universal healthcare with the old, hardly mobile and quick to anger Sen. McCain will naturally favor Sen. Obama. For all of the times that either Sen. Clinton or the moderators of the Democratic debates tried to goad Sen. Obama into an angry response, you would witness a person who tempered his anger with smart, considered replies that, often times, allowed Sen. Obama to come out of the moment looking and acting presidential.
The sense of hope that Sen. Obama has based his campaign around isn't a false hope either. It's not uncommon to find Sen. Obama chiding parents for not taking a more active role in their children's lives, or pointing out how, while being the president affords him a great deal of power, the changes he wants to bring about in America rely just as much on the American people as they do on his leadership. Unlike Sen. Clinton who claims she is in the 'solutions' business, Sen. Obama's solution is to raise people up and offer them a promise of hope that is contigent on the American public taking a more active role in politics and governance. To me, it is the difference between a nanny-state of Sen. Clinton's doing and a self-governing state of Sen. Obama's making.
When it comes to a general election between Sens. Obama and McCain, you only have to look at how Sen. McCain has responded to criticism and how he has lead in the Senate to give you the sense that, while a great legislator he may be, a leader of a nation, of domestic and foreign policy, he is not. It's that promise of hope for a better future that Sen. Obama offers while Sens. Clinton and McCain offer only promises that they will try but if they fail then it's of no fault of their own. They will claim the American people were duped while Sen. Obama will personally admit momentary defeat and then go out to re-energize the American public. I get the sense that an Obama administration will see great victories and great failures while a Clinton or McCain administration will only see the same patterns of governance of the last twenty years.
I'm 27 years old now. The last twenty years of politics is not what I want. So, to put it simply, fuck McCain and Clinton.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Review: Sunshine

I know, I know, I'm late to the party as usual. I don't often go to theaters so most of my movie watching comes from Netflix these days. But I finally watched Sunshine and, while an excellent cast and directing make this a movie worthy of the scifi genre, I do have to say that the script is lacking in a way. Perhaps it's too simplistic for the suspense it's supposed to provide. Yes, there is suspense, but nothing out of the ordinary. I did like the way Boyle didn't dwell on the personal backgrounds, letting the in media res form let the characters speak for themselves. This is something Brian Wood and Brian K Vaughan do in their comics to great effect. It also allows for surprises in how the characters act when your assumptions of one character are drastically changed just by their actions.
Still, the real suspense just isn't there. Perhaps though, the suspense isn't the focus of this movie. I think Sunshine is more about the mysteries of space and our humanity within it. The captain of the previous mission loses it over his prolonged exposure to the sun and how we are all stardust, as it frequently mentioned throughout the film. And that is true, everything on Earth, or in fact, any element heavier than Iron is created in the heart of a sun, particularly during a supernova. Element heavier than iron cannot naturally develop without added pressure, the kind of pressure found in supernovae. So we all are stardust, formed by our first god, the god of the sun.
Overall, I enjoyed the movie. It wasn't filled with cliches and other standard sci-fi tropes. The characterization was good and the cinematography was excellent. I wasn't insulted by the movie and certainly felt that I gained something from watching this movie, although what that is I haven't figured out yet. So this is a recommendation to go a rent Sunshine and wonder for a moment about the mysteries of the universe.