May 31, 2003

Discovering Columbus

Preformed "The Center Can Not Hold" last night, here in Columbus, Ohio. Still a work in progress, but it went over well. Now I can finally relax and explore this city more. Its way bigger and more vibrant then I expected. Its actually easier to get good food after midnight here then in San Francisco. Still a bit drained from the performance/celebration. More when I recharge.

Posted by Abe at 04:36 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Chain of Fools (Lying)

Been offline a few days and Billmon drops a brilliant collection of quotes documenting the "Weapons of Mass Destruction" story as told by all the big Bush administration players. Read it at the Whiskey Bar: What a Tangled Web We Weave . . .

mirroring it here as well to help spread the meme. Many, many thanks to Billmon for putting this together. Read his site folks its the shit, super sharp observations with a hilarious sting.

Whiskey Bar: What a Tangled Web We Weave . . .

Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.

Dick Cheney
Speech to VFW National Convention
August 26, 2002

Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.

George W. Bush
Speech to UN General Assembly
September 12, 2002

If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world.

Ari Fleischer
Press Briefing
December 2, 2002

We know for a fact that there are weapons there.

Ari Fleischer
Press Briefing
January 9, 2003

Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent.

George W. Bush
State of the Union Address
January 28, 2003

We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more.

Colin Powell
Remarks to UN Security Council
February 5, 2003

We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons -- the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have.

George W. Bush
Radio Address
February 8, 2003

If Iraq had disarmed itself, gotten rid of its weapons of mass destruction over the past 12 years, or over the last several months since (UN Resolution) 1441 was enacted, we would not be facing the crisis that we now have before us . . . But the suggestion that we are doing this because we want to go to every country in the Middle East and rearrange all of its pieces is not correct.

Colin Powell
Interview with Radio France International
February 28, 2003

So has the strategic decision been made to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction by the leadership in Baghdad? . . . I think our judgment has to be clearly not.

Colin Powell
Remarks to UN Security Council
March 7, 2003

Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.

George W. Bush
Address to the Nation
March 17, 2003

Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly . . . all this will be made clear in the course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes.

Ari Fleisher
Press Briefing
March 21, 2003

There is no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction. And . . . as this operation continues, those weapons will be identified, found, along with the people who have produced them and who guard them.

Gen. Tommy Franks
Press Conference
March 22, 2003

I have no doubt we're going to find big stores of weapons of mass destruction.

Defense Policy Board member Kenneth Adelman
Washington Post, p. A27
March 23, 2003

One of our top objectives is to find and destroy the WMD. There are a number of sites.

Pentagon Spokeswoman Victoria Clark
Press Briefing
March 22, 2003

We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.

Donald Rumsfeld
ABC Interview
March 30, 2003

Obviously the administration intends to publicize all the weapons of mass destruction U.S. forces find -- and there will be plenty.

Neocon scholar Robert Kagan
Washington Post op-ed
April 9, 2003

But make no mistake -- as I said earlier -- we have high confidence that they have weapons of mass destruction. That is what this war was about and it is about. And we have high confidence it will be found.

Ari Fleischer
Press Briefing
April 10, 2003

We are learning more as we interrogate or have discussions with Iraqi scientists and people within the Iraqi structure, that perhaps he destroyed some, perhaps he dispersed some. And so we will find them.

George W. Bush
NBC Interview
April 24, 2003

There are people who in large measure have information that we need . . . so that we can track down the weapons of mass destruction in that country.

Donald Rumsfeld
Press Briefing
April 25, 2003

We'll find them. It'll be a matter of time to do so.

George W. Bush
Remarks to Reporters
May 3, 2003

I'm absolutely sure that there are weapons of mass destruction there and the evidence will be forthcoming. We're just getting it just now.

Colin Powell
Remarks to Reporters
May 4, 2003

We never believed that we'd just tumble over weapons of mass destruction in that country.

Donald Rumsfeld
Fox News Interview
May 4, 2003

I'm not surprised if we begin to uncover the weapons program of Saddam Hussein -- because he had a weapons program.

George W. Bush
Remarks to Reporters
May 6, 2003

U.S. officials never expected that "we were going to open garages and find" weapons of mass destruction.

Condoleeza Rice
Reuters Interview
May 12, 2003

I just don't know whether it was all destroyed years ago -- I mean, there's no question that there were chemical weapons years ago -- whether they were destroyed right before the war, (or) whether they're still hidden.

Maj. Gen. David Petraeus, Commander 101st Airborne
Press Briefing
May 13, 2003

Before the war, there's no doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical. I expected them to be found. I still expect them to be found.

Gen. Michael Hagee, Commandant of the Marine Corps
Interview with Reporters
May 21, 2003

Given time, given the number of prisoners now that we're interrogating, I'm confident that we're going to find weapons of mass destruction.

Gen. Richard Myers, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff
NBC Today Show interview
May 26, 2003

They may have had time to destroy them, and I don't know the answer.

Donald Rumsfeld
Remarks to the Council on Foreign Relations
May 27, 2003

For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction (as justification for invading Iraq) because it was the one reason everyone could agree on.

Paul Wolfowitz
Vanity Fair interview
May 28, 2003

It was a surprise to me then — it remains a surprise to me now — that we have not uncovered weapons, as you say, in some of the forward dispersal sites. Believe me, it's not for lack of trying. We've been to virtually every ammunition supply point between the Kuwaiti border and Baghdad, but they're simply not there.

Lt. Gen. James Conway, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force
Press Interview
May 30, 2003

Do I think we're going to find something? Yeah, I kind of do, because I think there's a lot of information out there."

Maj. Gen. Keith Dayton, Defense Intelligence Agency
Press Conference
May 30, 2003

Posted by Abe at 04:15 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Apple As Big Budget Conceptual Art?

Steve Jobs is a top caliber conceptual artist. His vision seems to be more of an aesthetic vision than a technical or even a marketing vision. In this regard, I think that the Apple saga may be far from over. I'm mindful of Dave Hickey's observation in Air Guitar, his wonderful book of essays about pop culture: when the automobile became something of a commodity, Harley Earl, who headed the design division at General Motors after WW II, turned the auto industry from one driven by manufacturing innovation into one driven by design. As the computer industry is increasingly commoditized, will the computer market too become more of an "art market", one that, in the words of Hickey, "stopped advertising products for what they were, or for what they could do, and began advertising them for what they meant"?

- Tim O'Reilly

[via birdhouse]

Posted by Abe at 04:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 30, 2003

Columbus Style

Chilling in sunny Columbus Ohio prepping for a 47 show at the BLD. More when I find a proper internet connection.

Posted by Abe at 03:16 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 27, 2003

Summertime Clipping

Its sunny and gorgeous out today. Perfect day for a summertime hairchop.


Can't recommend Akemi more, she's the best stylist in San Francisco hands down. Never got a good haircut in my life before meeting her. And now I get the best. Lucky me. Her partner Elle is best colorist in town too, you can see the remnants of her work left in my hair from their brilliant hair show last December. Theme was the 20th century, I somehow got transformed into "country club 80's", complete with massive blow dried hair, topsiders and a pink button down. Hilarious, wish I had the photos. Then again maybe they are best kept secret.

Elle and Akemi just moved to a new Fillmore location today. Give them a call if you are up for a top of the line haircut. Be warned though, like many luxury goods its pretty had to go back to the cheap stuff once you experience the real quality. You can reach them at diPietro Todd, 2239 Fillmore, 415.674.4366. Say hi for me.

And yeah, if you want to see me before the cut, follow the link below.


Posted by Abe at 09:28 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Quality Product: ActiveWords

Need to say some positive things about ActiveWords liked the product since I first played with it, but couldn't make it work with my system. Then an extremely helpful rep named Buzz took the trouble to come to this site and post some suggestions. Lead to an email exchange that finally solved the issue. Talk about good service. I'm extremely impressed, thanks Buzz!

As for the product itself, its pretty amazing. Best way I can describe it is that is sort of like layering a command line interface invisibly over Windows. That plus some powerful scripting. A bit like hot keys after they've been exposed to massive gamma rays... Basically it reduces your need to reach for your mouse dramatically. And corrects typos. And makes looking up words on various dictionaries a snap. Not sure I'll be able to work without this app once I've fully incorporated it into my work flow.

ActiveWords, great product, nuff said.

Posted by Abe at 08:49 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

The Evil Becomes More Transparent

"We are trying to change the tones in the state capitals - and turn them toward bitter nastiness and partisanship," said Grover Norquist, a leading Republican strategist, who heads a group called Americans for Tax Reform.


Statements like these make me more and more of a Lakoff fan by the day. The problem with this right wing fight picking is that no one knows how to transform the dialog back into the realm of reason and community building. Luckily if the right wing keeps blustering like this they are going to stumble over their own rhetoric and fall straight into their decline. But how much can they ruin before they collapse?

[via Kathryn Cramer]

Posted by Abe at 07:57 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

PageRank Growing Pains

Jeremy Zawodny's declares: PageRank is Dead. Like Zawodny my PageRank has been downgraded to 0. Google doesn't like the style of links coming in, mainly from my State of Emergence mirror blog I think. Think its a bit early to declare it dead but it certainly has growing pains. They are smart people over there in Mountain View, think they will learn that rewarding the communities aware of the power of linkage. Of course they hyperlinkers aren't quite as flush with ad money as some linkage unfriendly corporations, so we'll see how the big G handles this...

Posted by Abe at 03:30 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

May 26, 2003

Barcelona Dreaming (Bound?)

There's something about Barcelona, never even been there but its been on the edge of my mind for a while. Today something clicked, I really want it to be my next home. Anyone from Barcelona reading this, or know someone. I want to find out as much as possible about the town and the possibilities of visiting for an extended period of time. Culture, climate, rent, stories, tips, send them to me I want to hear about it.

Posted by Abe at 11:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 25, 2003

Musical Clean Up

Super exciting Saturday night catching up on shit work, got to happen sometimes... Using the opportunity to listen to some albums that have been sitting on my harddrive far too long without being properly listened to. The reviews:

[va] red hot and riot:
The latest in the Red Hot series is a tribute to the late great Fela Kuti. Well tribute is stretching it, more like a pale imitation. Most of it sounds like over produced and smoothed over Fela. A waste of great talent. Like the albums of Fela's son Femi, this would have been much better if it was recorded live. Sounds like the producers spent hours stripping out all the raw soul from the sessions.

[yeah yeah yeahs] fever to tell
Hot, hot, hot. Not sure what's happening to me, along with the White Stripes and the Rapture, this is the third contemporary rock band I actually enjoy. Third in a decade. Had only browsed through this album, yet it sounded intimately familiar. Catchy, yet raw, with real emotion bleeding through the tracks. Good stuff.

[baby] birdman
Shit I can't imagine how out of control it would be if Manny Fresh actually made a record with a super talented MC. As always his beats shine. And Baby is a decently talented MC, a bit of New Orleans freak shines through in his birdcalls and flow. But like all Cash Money MCs he doesn't have jack shit to say. I have a pretty big tolerance for bling bling and gangsta talk, but how many times can you rhyme about the size of your tires? Yet another collection of 4-5 star Manny Fresh beats marred by 3 star rhymes. There is an Cash Money instrumental album I saw once and have never tracked down since. If you see it grab it quick.

[johnny cash] the essential johnny cash 1955 - 1983 (3 discs)
The name says it all. This is the shit, extra premium.

[ginuwine] the senior
The nastiest. I love this mofo, he's dirtier then both R. Kelly and Prince at least for the moment. Who else has the balls to sing "Is there any more room for me in those jeans"? As always this album is hit or miss. But the hits hit so sweet. Pick hits, Hell Yeah, Get Ready, In Those Jeans, Sex, and the Hell Yeah remix featuring a very drunk R. Kelly.

[lil kim] la bella mafia
Speaking of nasty, Lil Kim is the queen bee of course. And this album has her on some ridiculously raw beats. Hot shit. When it hits of course, like every 16 track hip hop CD there is a lot of filler here.

Posted by Abe at 04:30 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 24, 2003

Build Your Own Cruise Missile

Build you own cruise missile for under $5,000. Very scary and pretty much inevitable.

The need to build a worldwide culture of nonviolence becomes more potent every day it seems. Bush and Company are running into the age of terror with the worst possible strategy, escalation. Scary shit, and the worst of it is that they are happy to use that fear they generate to increase their own power. A paranoid world filled with off the shelf cruise missiles, something ain't right.

[via pseudorandom]

Posted by Abe at 10:03 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

NYT on Matrix Philosophy

So the third movie, scheduled for November release, faces its own choice. It could end up moving even closer to the nihilism of Mr. Baudrillard and its ultimately sordid message. But faced with what Mr. Baudrillard has called "the desert of the real," it could also find some other path, as yet undreamed of in its philosophy, that may bring hackers, humans and machines together.

from a good NYT article on the Matrix and philosophy. That's right along the lines I'm thinking of. Only way to find out is wait.

Posted by Abe at 07:34 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 23, 2003

Websites: Reloaded No More?

Quiet Death of Re-launch

Posted by Abe at 10:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


new york city gargoyles

Posted by Abe at 09:22 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 22, 2003

Matrix, Agitprop?

Are the Matrix directing Wachowski brothers the biggest subversives in America? Well, if they are getting any sort of percent on the box office receipts then they certainly are the richest subversives not named Soros or (for the brief moment) Buffet.

Forget the action and the sci-fi minutia and ignore all the player haters while your at it, the untold story about the Matrix franchise is that its the biggest piece of leftist agitprop to hit the western mediasphere in years. And so far only Salon seems to be getting it. And they only touch on the beginning it (not to mention their bizarre enjoyment of the worst sex scene to grace an A list movie in years). In a time when Bush and Co are trying their best to make American's believe in a one dimensional world of us vs evil, the Matrix is an elaborately crafted vehicle for undermining the conservative message. And countless Americans are eating it up. I wouldn't be surprised if we saw the effects come the 2004 elections.

Hollywood is a left wing paradise with a big problem. Most of the major movie players lean heavily to the political left, but their bread and butter comes from pumping out Good vs Evil themed flicks that play directly into the Lakoffian moral politics of the right wing. Regardless of the explicit messages in a film, the very structure of a Hollywood Blockbuster leads to a reinforcement of a conservative world view.

The first Matrix had a pretty explicit leftist agenda: rise up and revolt against a rigid power structure, question reality, the wool is getting pulled over your eyes by those in control of the system. But that message was undercut by the reliance on the standard Good/Evil binary. For every person driven to question the hidden network of powers driving our world, there is someone who sees another example of the good guys beating the bad guys.

The Matrix Reloaded is out to shatter that trope and its far more effective at calling attention to the structures of power. Remember those hippie "Question Reality" bumper stickers? Well the Matrix is getting people to question reality on a scale that Timothy Leary couldn't even dream of when high off his premium LSD + bullshit blend. The left has been content to release memes into their own marginal subcultures for far to long. The Matrix unleashes memes into the heart of pop culture. "Choice is an illusion created by those with power to control those without", says the Merovingian and the Architect adds in: "nearly 99.9% of all test subjects accepted the program, as long as they were given a choice, even if they were only aware of the choice at a near unconscious level."

The way the Matrix Reloaded points out the multiple layers of control built into society is perhaps the most potent of the messages it carries. Its one thing to make people aware of the first layer of control. Its far more powerful to make them aware of the way that a built in "resistance" can be used to solidify the power structure.

These are powerful seeds for any campaign to make the American public aware of the way the Bush administration is using the rhetoric and the media to sell a system of control. The left has been pushing these ideas for decades now, and general public couldn't give a fuck. Thanks to the Wachowski the ideas are now seething through the subconscious of the suburbs. And its far to soon to guess at what the ramifications are.

Six months from now, when the Matrix Revolutions hits theaters, we'll have a much better sense of it all. Most exciting to me are the indications that the Wachowski's are ready toss the Good/Evil binary out the window in a big way. Neo is the hero of the series so far, but everything else is way less clear. (*Spoiler Alert*) Who are the bad guys though. The Agents are now apparently on their own, at least those without earpieces. Morpheus is now a deluded fool of a leader. And where the Oracle, Merovingian, Persephone, Locke and the Architect fit into it all is up in a cloud of mystery. Perhaps it all collapses back into a nice binary, ala classic Hollywood. But I have a feeling we are in for something more complex. Perhaps a Princess Mononoke style peace making is in the offering.

Regardless of the binary, the leftist agenda is pretty advanced already. The Berkeley wet dream make up of the Zion Council, the Baudrillard references, the Cornell West guest appearance, the unverified anti-Bush jab, the corporate blandness of the Agents, the pro revolution plot-lines, etc, etc. Six more months and we'll find out exactly how extensive the agitprop goes.

Posted by Abe at 06:38 PM | Comments (18) | TrackBack

Premium Propaganda

Some premium left wing Propaganda via nettime. No idea who is behind this but it pretty clear its a liberal pretending to be a Republican. Well done although I don't know how many Republicans would actually buy the argument or forward the mail. If it works its a really nice trojan horse designed to raise doubt in the minds of hawks everywhere (in America). I'm archiving it here.

Dear Fellow Republican,

Because claims continue to grow that Vice President Cheney knew about and
allowed the September 11, 2001 attacks for political and strategic gain,
the Republican Party needs your moral and financial support more than

Liberals are spreading over a hundred accusations that our Vice President
of the United States of America knew about and allowed the 9/11 attacks.

Fellow Republicans, we recommend not directly addressing all the details
spouted by liberals and their bleeding heart press. During a recent
prayer meeting here at Patriotic Citizens for the Defense of American
Values, deep inspiration and humility moved us to develop a special answer
to the mounting liberal propaganda. We call our answer the "Daisy Cutter
Moab Rebuttal."

Here it is: "Even if Vice President Cheney allowed the attacks on the WTC
and Pentagon, he did so for the good of the nation. Franklin Roosevelt
did this when he allowed the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor so the United
States could join the war against the axis of evil of that era." (Use in
#13 below.)

Because liberals love Franklin Roosevelt so much, this answer shuts them
up quickly.

Only a true leader can make the toughest decisions in order to lead his
nation to its destined greatness. Even if our President allowed the
attacks of 9/11, this proves Bush is an even bigger hero for allowing Vice
President Cheney to make such a tough, necessary decision. We elect our
leaders to lead, not flirt and carry on with interns. It was President
Bush's amazing post-9/11 leadership that unleashed the American people to
free others around the world, including oppressed women in Afghanistan and
Iraqi victims of Saddam Hussein.

You can help. Our views will win over liberal propaganda regardless of
their so-called evidence.

Please donate to the Republican party to protect the truth from the
snooping eyes of the unrighteous (liberals).

Thank you,
Patriotic Citizens for the Defense of American Values

Liberal Lie #1: In October 24-26, 2000, detailed drills were held in the
Pentagon practicing response in case an airliner crashed into the Pentagon

FACT: If God inspired the planners at the Pentagon to prepare for an attack
on their building nearly one year before the September 11, 2001 attacks,
they should be commended, not cast into suspicion.
Liberal Lie #2: Field FBI agents in Arizona notified their superiors of
information about hijackers using planes as suicide bombs, but the superiors
didn't act on this information.

FACT: The FBI management can not act on every wild claim made by field
Liberal Lie #3: In 1995 the FBI under Clinton's administration raided
flight schools looking for potential hijackers. The FBI and other gov't
agencies already knew of this specific real danger.

FACT: In government, six years is a long time and with all the FBI
personnel changes, the agency was unaware of its past diligence. It is
impossible a few high-ranking members of Herbert Hoover's esteemed FBI along
with other high-ranking officers from other U.S. intelligencies would betray
their own country by blindly following heinous orders to allow a mass attack
on their own country's civilians. Some agents would be truly patriotic
enough to risk even their own lives to uncover such a high-level crime
against the people of the United States of America.
Liberal Lie #4: A United States Air Force Intelligence Colonel at the
Monterey Language Institute U.S. Intelligence School told his class, "Bush
is a joke. He knew about 911 and let it happen." He was forced to resign.

FACT: Though this did happen, similar outbursts by military personnel about
gays in the military occurred under President Clinton. Those critical
officers also resigned.
Liberal Lie #5: Before 9-11 a con-man working for Navy Intelligence fled to
Canada with a sealed document showing the impending attacks by suicide

FACT: This person is clearly a con-man, and though he worked for the U.S.
Navy, he is unreliable and has a long criminal history during his entire
service in the United States Navy. This exposes him:
Liberal Lie #6: Russian and other foreign intelligence agencies warned the
Bush administration in the summer prior to the 9-11 attacks that hijackers
intended to use planes as suicide bombs and were soon going to attack.

FACT: Foreign intelligence sources frequently notify the United States
about many so-called impending attacks, most of which never happen.
Liberal Lie #7: Ashcroft and some other government officials did not fly
commercial flights in the weeks leading up to 9-11 for fear of being on a
hijacked plane.

FACT: Ashcroft and others as citizens of the United States of America are
free to choose any method of transportation within their means and legal
rights. They stopped flying commercial for scheduling reasons and their
heavy workload.
Liberal Lie #8: Mayor Willie Brown of San Francisco was warned a few days
before 9-11 not to fly to New York on a commercial aircraft as he had

FACT: It is illogical a so-called Republican conspirator would call a
liberal Democrat Mayor to help him.
Liberal Lie #9: Vice President Cheney wanted to take over parts of the
Middle East and boost the his administration's sagging popularity. An
attack would fulfill both.

FACT: This accusation of treason against the Vice President should not
even be dignified with a answer.
Liberal Lie #10: U.S. armed forces were massing in the Middle East in the
weeks and months before the 9-11 attacks.

FACT: Though true, the forces were involved in a large military exercise.
Such U.S. military exercises occur regularly throughout the world. This was
only a routine military exercise.
Liberal Lie #11: The head of Pakistan's Intelligence agency (the ISI) was
in the United States meeting with Condaleeza Rice and others in the Bush
administration in the week before the 9-11 attacks. During that week this
Pakistani General wired $100,000 to hijacker Atta.

FACT: Pakistan is our ally, not our enemy. Iraq was our enemy, but we
liberated them and rid them of weapons of mass destruction and thwarted evil
in God's name.
Liberal Lie #12: A few years prior to September 11, 2001, Philippine
police discovered a document outlining suicide attacks with hijacked planes
in the United States. The Philippine police officer who found the document
gave it to police commanders who passed it to U.S. intelligence.

FACT: It is completely understandable and expected that such a document
would get lost on its way from a Philippine police officer through the
Philippine government then to the United States then through the US
Intelligence community. This happens all the time.
Liberal Lie #13: Families of 9-11 victims threatened the Bush
administration with going public with their questions about 9-11 after the
Bush administration stonewalled an independent 9-11 inquiry. The
Administration responded by backing an investigation led by Henry Kissinger
and by stalling the whole process. President Bush is terrified of an
independent inquiry into 9-11.

FACT: Use the "Daisy Cutter Moab rebuttal," which we feel is more
effective than diving into liberal-minded detail: "Even if Vice President
Cheney allowed the attacks on the WTC and Pentagon, he did so for the good
of the nation. Franklin Roosevelt did this when he allowed the Japanese
attack on Pearl Harbor so the United States could join the war against the
axis of evil of that era."
Liberal Lie #14: Attorney General Ashcroft is secretly using the powers of
the Patriot Act to investigate Vice President Cheney and others in the Bush
Administration for treasonous actions against the citizens of the United
States of America regarding the 9/11 attacks. Some members of Congress and
the Senate are also being secretly probed under the Patriot Act.

FACT: Completely false. Attorney General Ashcroft is an honest Christian
and loyal Republican committed to the cause of anti-abortion. To suggest
the Attorney General of United States would secretly investigate treasonous
crimes perpetrated by his Republican superiors is ridiculous regardless of
so-called liberal evidence. True Christians follow orders and are always
loyal to their bosses. The rumors regarding this are just that: rumors.
This is completely false.

To waken you and your friends to action, please rebut the liberal
propaganda. To view the details of their plot, study the following, but
only if you're over 30 years old (the age of Jesus when he started his
mission) and a committed Republican. Do not view otherwise!


WE SALUTE the brave men and women behind the scenes in the ONI, FBI, NSC,
NSA, CIA, MCIA, AIA, OIG, DIA, USAIC, USSS, OFAC so willing to risk their
lives for their country and every bit as brave as single and married combat
soldiers on the front lines. Their courage to serve the U.S. Constitution
and U.S. citizens even when their superiors command otherwise protects our
democracy. This commitment prevents our agents from serving evil by
covering up internal high-level crimes against their country and fellow
citizens. Only athiests and the guilty fear the truth. God is Truth. Life
is short, and our agents are committed to doing the right thing. They are
part of the solution, not the problem. To paraphrase Jesus Christ in modern
language, "Real psychopathy is not the snapping, it's the ability to
maintain a calm presence and give plausible explanations to implausible
events." Matthew 23:27-28

* Warning: Do not be fooled by liberal hoaxes trying to stop this message
by claiming it is a virus.
* Neither this email nor the Patriotic Citizens for the Defense of American
Values are authorized by or affiliated with the Republican Party, but the
Republican party needs your financial help and prayers more than ever.
* "Daisy Cutter Moab Rebuttal" is not a trademark of Patriotic Citizens for
the Defense of American Values, but can be used by Republicans only.

Posted by Abe at 04:20 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 21, 2003

For the Design and (abstract) Animation Fans


Posted by Abe at 02:46 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 20, 2003


Mitch Radcliffe is turning Emergent Democracy into a book. He outlines his key ideas on his blog. Good and interesting stuff although and he's got a degree of the over-optimism I see in a lot of Emergent Democracy discussion. No one is really dealing with the fact that the same tools that could lead to democracy can also lead to its corruption of downfall.

Now I'm all for optimism and positivism, but I like mine cut with a nice dose of pragmatism and an occasional dash of the paranoid critical method. What I find most telling is that no one has yet to really define what they mean by "emergent". There are a handful of attempts to bound the concept, but the term is kept vague enough to let everyone imagine their own particular version of it. Straight from the failed buzzword cookbook. Pitch a concept that sounds cool and new and structure it in a way that it triggers future fantasies. Let people run with concept while everyone pushes their own poorly defined vision. Enjoy it while the bubble expands.

Now like many buzzwords there is some really meat hidden in the concept. But until the idea is broken down to its seed, its not going to grow, its going to pop. Radcliffe does a good job bounding the concept of Emergentism, which is a nice start. But there still is no definition, and that's a problem.

Posted by Abe at 11:39 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Lesson From JFK

I'm not a big fan of "what if" history, but this argument as to why JFK might have stopped Vietnam has something more then just an overactive imagination. It has real facts, the kind they don't teach you in school. And it makes me a touch annoyed. In 1982 it was revealed JFK cut a deal with Khrushchev to pull missile out of Turkey in exchange for the removal of those from Cuba, against the advice of all his advisors. In 1982 I was in 2nd grade. You'd think that info would have made my high school history books. Guess not.

Back to 2003, we've got our own right wing low rent JFK in the White House. And his advisors sucker him left and right, day and night. Sad. Wonder how history will rember Herr Bush?

[via Calpundit]

Posted by Abe at 03:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Occupied Iraq (Permanently?)

Back In Iraq 2.0: U.S., Britain put off Iraqi self-rule "indefinitely"

Wow what a double edged sword. Signs increasingly point toward the neocons having no idea what they were getting themselves into. The Rumsfeld doctrine of fast, cheap and light troop commitments is getting disposed of quicker then an aged jim hat. I agree with Allbritton that at this moment this is actually better then fleeing the country ala Afghanistan. But unless the US is ready to drop the cash to really rebuild the Iraqi infrastructure there are no long term benefits.

Something that I haven't seen mentioned yet is how fragile Saddam's regime appears to have been. Could he have been toppled without mounting an invasion? We'll never know. But I have a feeling a well planned subtle long term plan could have gotten him out of power within a few years. Without the massive infrastructure collapse, and without exposing the Iraqis to the crude hands of US troops.

Posted by Abe at 03:04 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 19, 2003

Once Again We Present the Architecture of Tomorrow

Almost missed the NYT Magazine's architecture issue.

Posted by Abe at 09:55 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The 5 Principles of Rovean Newspeak

So the NYT goes into constructing the president's media image. Time to go a bit deeper. Mike Malloy breaks down the way Bush's speeches sell terror and government control. Its an audio file, and its well worth a listen. Take note that I am pretty biased against audio online, I'm much happier reading on my computer. This sound file is pretty potent though, check it out.

Posted by Abe at 04:45 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Building the Presidential Facade

Keepers of Bush Image Lift Stagecraft to New Heights

All Democratic presidential candidates should read this religiously and learn every lesson. The 21st century president exists mainly in the media, and any winning candidate is going to have to embrace that fact.

Posted by Abe at 04:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 16, 2003

Crib Notes From the Rapture

The Rapture were designed for stardom from the moment they were named. It just makes great headlines. Tried to actually moblog a post titled "Live from the Rapture" but the software failed. The problem with moblogging is ifs its an experience worth logging then the act of logging it is going to take you out of the experience.

The experience? Yeah, the Rapture put on a damn good show. Start out a bit too close to their indie rock roots for my comfort, but all the soul and funk that the DFA whipped into them shows up soon enough. Are the Rapture here to finally kill rock and roll or are they here to save it by making it danceable again? Give me a year or two to get that answer.

Had way more to say but I think the failed moblogging killed it. Noticed this effect before, if I try to moblog but don't get the fully info into that attempt then its really hard to motivate to re-blog the whole story. Oh well, go see the Rapture. And yeah if you are smart burn a ton of CDs of the album. Its not out till August and most of the crowd did not seem to have heard it. Its pretty strange to be recognize a song and watch a crowd that doesn't btw. Anyway I could have made serious cash selling advance burns of that album to the mass of fans starving for its release. Not that I would ever advocate anything illegal of course, so check with your friendly RIAA rep before proceeding on that plan.

Posted by Abe at 07:27 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 15, 2003

The Matrix Reviewed

In short, go see it.

In just slightly longer form:

Overall: Pretty damn good, certainly blew away my muted expectations.

Fight Cinematography: Absolutely amazing in the prime sequences. Minus one for there being at least two too many fight sequences. Whole movie was 30-60 minutes too long but not in a really bad way.

American Style Action/Car Chases: Top notch, plenty of Ron Silver in this film and its done as good as its ever been.

Philosophy/Thought Provoking: Pretty damn solid, although they will need to come through in final film or I'll be taking back that statement. The "head trip" of the first film actually never really phased me, it was done well but still pretty predicable. This one had me thinking a bit more. Need to see the climax or at least see this one again to get a better read on how smart it really is though. Bonus points putting Cornell West in the movie, with a speaking role no less.

That's the core elements of the film. 90+ percent of the movie. A good thing too cause the rest is poor, humor and love story were crap and the "rave" sequence laughable. The worst is visual aesthetic though. Mediocre at the best points and straight awful at times. Bad sunglasses and black leather trenchcoats. You have got to be shitting me. It was bad enough the first time around, now it just looks fucking backward. The Wachowski brothers have learned tons from past sci-fi movies, but they must of cut the class on how good sci-fi should feature innovative fashion and design that defines how a generation envisions the future. Apparently this generation will think the future is a Kenneth Cole ad.

Nah, they'll just do what I did and ignore the backward ass aesthetic as best as possible and enjoy the ride. Well worth seeing.

Posted by Abe at 08:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

War Comes Home: DHS vs the Democrats

Homeland Security Department Used to Track Texas Democrats. You know the department that's supposed to protect us from foreign terrorists, and never used for domestic partisan politics. Yeah that one. The Bush Administration loves war, and I have a strange sense they are going wind up bloody from their bloodlust sooner or later.

[via bIPlog]

Posted by Abe at 05:51 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Support Independent Journalism

Quark Soup wants to raise $200 for an investigative article on the Sugar lobby. That's a bargain if I even saw one. Kick in a few if you got em and lets make truly independent journalism a reality.

[via Back to Iraq]

Posted by Abe at 12:09 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 14, 2003

The Dark Side of the Social

Insiteful discussion, on Don Park's Blog, about the potential dark side of social software. Shades of the suburbanization of information?

Posted by Abe at 08:13 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

May 13, 2003

Paths, Perl and God Way more about paths at UC Berkeley than you'd ever want to read. The title says it all and maybe too much, its just about the right amount I wanted to read.

Larry Wall the creator of the Perl programming "glue" speaks of a more enlightened approach at another UC School:

I am told that when they built the University of California at Irvine, they did not put in any sidewalks the first year. Next year they came back and looked at where all the cow trails were in the grass and put the sidewalks there.

Perhaps its apocryphal, but its a damn good story. Its from a fascinating interview of Wall by the one and only Erik Davis. Makes me want to learn Perl really badly. Actually makes me do a 180 in my thoughts on the language, used to see it as messy in the wrong way, now its sounds like the best sort of mess around. And given how much hackers like the language it probably is messy in the right way.

I was trying to encourage what I call diagonal thinking. Traditionally computer languages try to be as orthogonal as possible, meaning their features are at all at right angles to each other, metaphorically speaking. The problem with that is that people don't solve problems that way. If I'm in one corner of a park and the restrooms are in the opposite corner of the park, I don't walk due east and then due north. I go northeast -- unless there's a pond in the way or something.


But that's merely a form of tribalism. What we also try to encourage are the kind of joiners who join many things. These people are like the intersection in a Venn diagram, who like to be at the intersection of two different tribes. In an actual tribal situation, these are the merchants, who go back and forth between tribes and actually produce an economy. In theological terms we call them peacemakers.

In terms of Perl language, these are the people who will not just sit there and write everything in Perl, but the people who will say: Perl is good for this part of the problem, and this other tool is good for that part of the problem, so let's hook 'em together. They see Perl both from the inside and from the outside, just like a missionary. That takes a kind of humility, not only on the part of the person, but on the language. Perl does not want to make more of itself than it is. It's willing to be the servant of other things.

Damn why aren't there more interviews like this?

Posted by Abe at 02:28 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 12, 2003


Wow, this one brought tears of hope to my eyes. 16 years ago Oral Lee Brown, a real estate agent making $45,000 a year, told 24 first graders she would pay for their college if they graduated from high school. In a school district where 75% of high school freshmen dropout, 19 of those first graders went on to college, and the first has just graduated.

A rich as America maybe there are still areas of extreme poverty, areas where hope and encouragement are in short supply. And this shows just how much that hope and encouragement can make a difference. Lets never forget that.

Struggle, support, sheepskin / Oral Lee Brown's 1st-graders reach for finish line

[big thanks to Thomas Vander Wal for linking to this article]

Posted by Abe at 11:23 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Obligatory Usability Rant #1: Hot Keys

Not sure if I've posted any usability rants on this site yet, but I'm sure to post more, so lets call this the first of many.

It be ironic if it wasn't so annoying, but every time I find a product that enhances the usability of Windows, I end up not using the product because it has hot keys that fsck up my ability to use other programs. WTF?

The worst offender is ActiveWords, which is a pretty brilliant app. It basically transparently overlays an invisible command line interface onto your computer. Its implemented flawlessly. You type as usual, and if you happen to want to trigger ActiveWords you just hit a key of your choice (F9 for me). It launches apps, scripts, spell checks, you name it. Let you do almost anything without moving your hand to the mouse. Loved it. Would be using it right now, except for one flaw, it had a hot key that overwrote the universal keyboard shortcut for zooming in withing graphics apps. Which meant that every time I opened Illustrator, Photoshop or Flash, I'd end up closing ActiveWords. First of course I tried disabling the hotkeys in it, but for whatever reason it never worked. Needless to say it was not worth the trouble to keep turning the program on and off depending on whether I had a graphics app running. The trial expired and I didn't buy it, despite the fact I'd been telling everyone how much I loved the damn application.

Yesterday, I discovered MultiDesk a program for ATI graphics cards. Brilliant, it gives you multiple desktops you can easily cycle through. The web running on one desktop, swap over to another with Photoshop, switch to an email one, switch to a blank one. Reduces desktop clutter dramatically. Good stuff. I'll be using it for a while.

But WTF is up with their hotkeys. I had a very specific combo I wanted to cycle through the desktops. Windows Key and the Arrows. Can't do it. Ctrl Alt and Shift only, and only with the number and F keys. Why? No idea. Can't get it to work anyway...

There is a solution to all this. Not sure if Microsoft would allow it of course, but here it is. Have one hotkey that triggers OS level functioning (switching monitors, opening apps, and the like). I thought that was what the Windows key was for anyway. That would leave ctrl, alt and shift combos as being defined by the apps only. No OS level application would be able to block internal application functionality. Hit the Windows key and all of a sudden you can access all sorts of meta functionality. Simple. But it doesn't work. Instead there is some sort of hidden warfare between apps, fighting for key combinations. The loser is the user of couse...

Posted by Abe at 11:01 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Graham Accuses Bush of Cover-Up

Presidential candidate and former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Bob Graham, just skyrocketed in my personal approval ratings by accusing Bush of a cover-up in the 911 investigations. Lets see some light shined in this direction, please?

Posted by Abe at 10:24 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Moral Paine: George Lakoff Interviewed at Tom Paine

Great George Lakoff interview, part 1

and part 2

[via - forgot where, sorry]

Posted by Abe at 08:55 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

The Obliquest Strategies in the Palm of Your Hand

Never been the biggest Brian Eno fan, although is production for the Talking Heads is top notch. His Oblique Strategies always caught my head when mentioned though. A touch pretentious, but underlying concept is sound. Force yourself to look at the problem with another perspective. Eno and Peter Schmidt just put little ideas and instructions on cards. Simple. Effective.

And now I have it sitting on my Treo. Nice.

Oblique Strategies for the Palm

Posted by Abe at 08:18 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Hot Damn Its Political Warfare in Texas

52 (or 53) Texas state representatives have fled the state in order to shut down the Texas House, blocking the passage of a controversial redistricting bill. They are subject to arrest in order to be brought back to the House chamber in order to restore quorum, allowing for the House to legally operate.

In other words its all out political warfare, as some politicians are finally ready to stand up the Bush Administration's abuse of 911 to cement their power. I support them big time.

[via the Political State Report: straight from the trenches]

Posted by Abe at 06:08 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 11, 2003

RSS + Blogger

How many users is Blogger losing by not having valid RSS feeds? And how many readers are the users losing? I'm at least 10x more likely to read a blog if it has a working RSS feed...

Posted by Abe at 09:14 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 10, 2003

"It's all about applications and functionality, not technology": Jeff Hawkins Interviewed

The Treo 300 is one of my favorite products around, this interview with Handspring's Jeff Hawkins shows why:

I'm not a technology guy. I understand technologies, but I don't really get excited about technologies. I get excited about applications. I've been cautious about Bluetooth for many years, because I ask myself what a user would do with it. It reminds me of infrared. Infrared was in a bunch of products, but no one ever used it. And we didn't put it into the Palm Pilot until we had a great application for it.

We were the first people to make infrared popular. You could beam card information from one device to another. It worked 100 percent of the time, and essentially it became the first real successful consumer application of infrared in a computing device. It's all about applications and functionality, not technology.

Repeat after me. "It's all about applications and functionality, not technology". There is a reason this guy makes such great products.

Posted by Abe at 10:49 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Tufte Takes on Powerpoint

There's No Bullet List Like Stalin's Bullet List!

Edward Tufte: The Cognitive Style of Powerpoint

Looks like it ships Monday, should be yet another Tufte gem, the cover is classic...

[via the always enjoyable and informative Kathryn Cramer]

Posted by Abe at 10:24 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 09, 2003

CSS Zen Garden

css Zen Garden: The Beauty in CSS Design

for web design geeks only, but very cool if you happen to be one as I occasionally am.

Posted by Abe at 09:52 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Beyond Friendster: Openness and the Future of Social Networks

Posted this at, reprinting it here for your info and my archives.

There has been a lot of talk of Friendster and its kin in the network lately. The sharpest of the observations so far comes from Marginwalker's co-founder Adam Greenfield. As usual Adam's observations are right on the mark. However his conclusion throws me off a bit:

Something tells me these services won't reach their maximum potential until they can incorporate our less salutary feelings about association: the latent but powerful distinctions we make, the dislikes and fears we, however subtly, import into our presentation of self. These are precisely the shadows we may have "gone online" to escape in the first place, but they are a part of what we've always meant by "social," they serve a function evolved over a very long span of time, and I believe we ignore them at some disservice to our ambitions.

Now Adam may very well be right, but I really hope he isn't. We have the ability to use services like Friendster and its descendent's to effect profound changes on the make up of society. Instead of giving into the base discrimination (or "shadows") we incorporate into our daily life I think we should be using technology to eliminate the subtle biases that underlie our culture and selves.

Openness is a potent tool. The public emergence of homosexual culture over the past 35 years provides a telling example. Before Stonewall gays and lesbians stayed hidden from society. And as a result homophobia was able to flourish. You can be certain a lot of homophobic conversations took place in front of closet homosexuals who were too afraid to speak out. Now in 2003 the stigma of homophobia, while still present, is rapidly fading. Major presidential candidates are making gay rights a campaign issue in America, and only the far right gives a damn. Its pretty damn hard to be homophobic when you become aware of the fact that a handful of your friends happen to be gay. And at least in urban America its pretty damn hard not have a handful of gay friends.

The very openness that Adam takes offense too in Friendster, to me is an engine of social change. It forces us to reevaluate some of our hidden prejudices and calls into question some of the forces that segregate society. Now its entirely possible, as Adam seems to imply, that when faces with this sort of info, people will just look upon their friends for the worse. But I personally believe that in the long run the results would be positive. There is a mess of small discriminations that drive many of our social interactions. And when placed into larger contexts they just look silly.

Sousveillance is a term, coined by Steve Mann, which has been gaining some buzz of late. Its roughly the opposite of surveillance. Instead of a power watching over the people, sousveillance is the people watching over a power, and as a corollary watching over themselves. The openness that the architecture of Friendster creates is an integral part of a sousveillance society. And we as a culture are going to have to either learn to embrace the openness or attempt to make it go away.

This is all part of a larger emerging conflict between transparency and privacy, and we are going to dealing with the ramifications for a long time. But for the moment what I'm really interested in is how do we build better social networking technology? Adam is probably right that Friendster, LinkedIn and company are just the beginning and I agree that the ideal solution is an open source one. An open social networking standard which permits people to choose and build their own interfaces. I think some standard will inevitably be emerging in the next few years, and hopefully its not a proprietary one.

The question I have is what do we want this network to do? Is it there to cement our social networks and further our interactions within them, or is the goal to open up our social boundaries and push us towards new cultural understandings? These are delicate lines to walk. And if we build the right structures I think there is a tremendous opportunity to change society for the better. But there is a constant threat of building the opposite, tools which reinforce existing inequalities. How do we ensure we do the right thing?

Posted by Abe at 09:30 PM | Comments (37) | TrackBack

May 07, 2003

Flight Risk: the Blog as Future Fiction

"...she's a flight risk."

Intriguing. Visited a few times, never been able to dig deep enough into it. I like what I see though. May be real. Probably not.

I'm all for blogs a medium (or part of a medium!) for fiction. Wrote about it a bunch in an altsense thread a while back. Good discussion. My comments are under the name abe1x or a variant thereof.

Posted by Abe at 09:11 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Salam Pax Returns

Where is Raed ?

Only read a bit so far, loads of stuff written from Baghdad during and after the war. Extremely interesting so far. You just can't get this stuff anywhere else.

Posted by Abe at 07:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"If You Want To Win An Election, Just Control The Voting Machines"

Never heard of Thom Hartmann before, but he's seems very smart and is definitely a prolific writer. And he writes of some scary stuff in this article.

It verges towards conspiracy theory, but the threats are real. What threats? The rigging of elections through privately owned voting machines. At the absolute least some more light needs to be shined in this direction. More details to come I hope.

Posted by Abe at 05:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 06, 2003

Why the WMD Matter

So they still haven't found those weapons of mass destruction. Who cares? Honestly I was as ready to forget about it as rest of America is, until this post showed me the spin.

We don't know if Iraq ever had the WMD, but that's not that relevant as we know that Bush and friends stated very clearly that Iraq had them. And if Bush says it, it must be right, yes? Now if we can't find them, and they exist, that means they went someplace. And that someplace could very well be in the hands of a terrorist.

Now if the goal of the war was to get the WMD out of bad hands, then that means we lost (nevermind that they never existed). Bush's war increased the danger of terrorism to the US. Bush's war put us American citizens in greater danger.

Now I'm no spin master, but if the Dems could spin it like that... Of course they seem to have forgotten the art of spin as of late. Not to mention the off chance the WMD are already in Rove's office being prepped for the right PR oppurtunity...

Posted by Abe at 09:54 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Musical Frictions and Breakthroughs

Is the musical stagnation of the past few years finally about to break?

A hour ago I watched the new Rapture album explode across the network. Its not due to August but in the course of an hour I watched the number of copies available on soulseek go from 0 to 10. Should be permanently available only by tomorrow.

The second listen is just starting, but the first round lived up to the hype. Electroclash and indie rock fused into a form that moves forward rather then looks back. Rock hasn't been so danceable since the Talking Heads. Have the dancefloors finally moved beyond the faceless DJ era? The DJ is here to stay, but lets hope the faceless music is over.

Over on the other side of the dial things are getting interesting too. The rhythmic frenzy of Nas' "Made You Look" is all over the new Lil Kim record. Like nearly all 70 minute CDs its a bit spotted, but when it hits its hot. "The Jump Off" is Timbaland besting himself once more. "Hold It Now" gets raw to the "Paul Revere" beat. "Thug Luv", "Magic Stick", "This is a Warning", hot shit. 50 Cent guests on "Magic Stick" and drops yet another ridiculous pop hook, he'll be reigning hip hop for a while, if he can stay alive...

Finally something really strange seems to be happening on hip hop radio, check Anil Dash and friends on hip hop + bhangra. Gives me hope for some soon to be born musical mutations.

Posted by Abe at 03:04 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

American Dialectic

Damn, the bar is raised. Billmon gets serious and god damn has he done it right. A treatise on the dialectic of American political history. A long read but worth every second. All that stuff you've forgotten in school, put into a dialectical context and uploaded to the web. Refreshing.

Read it if you dare.

Whiskey Bar: The Dao of American Politics, Part I

Posted by Abe at 02:39 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 05, 2003

Graphical Warfare

[[ LOVE IS WAR -- WAR IS LOVE ]] and its damn good design.

Posted by Abe at 06:36 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

New Blog: State of Emergence

State Of Emergence is a new blog I've started. For politics only. Everything posted there will also be posted here, so there is no need to read the new blog if you read this one regularly. However if you are only reading this blog for the political content you'll probably be happier just reading State Of Emergence.

Posted by Abe at 04:38 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Photography of Edward Burtynsky


Big thanks to Anne Galloway for highlighting the photos of Edward Burtynsky. Really nice images from a variety of man made landscapes. Sort of like an inverse of Gursky. All of Burtynsky's work focuses on marginal industrial spaces that few people ever see, while Gursky takes a very similar eye to areas right in the core population areas.

Posted by Abe at 02:06 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Reflections on the First Democratic Presidential Debate

Just watched the first presidential debate among the Democratic Party challengers. A pretty interesting affair all told, although the candidates all have their blandness...

I missed the beginning which I think featured some Kerry vs. Dean scrap, but caught most of the action (or at least I believe I did, I've avoided reading much about it as I want to write down my reactions before comparing them to others).

No strong winners or losers other then Kucinich who was already a loser, so he doesn't count. I think the closest thing to a winner was Gephardt and Kerry was the closest to a loser. In terms of Washington insiders with legitimate chances at the nomination, Gephardt really seems like the pick. Of all the candidates he simply looked and acted the most presidential. Had a sort of golden glow to him, real comfortable on TV acting like a leader.

Kerry on the other hand looks like the leader of a failed opposition party. He's one ugly ass prick, he doesn't stand much of a chance against Bush. He's straight out of central casting as the loser in this election movie, way too skinny and wrinkled. Still don't like Gephardt much, but I'm a lot more comfortable with him as a nominee then I had been. Add in the fact that he's from the South/Mid West and much more down to earth then Kerry and I think he's a much better candidate. Have a feeling Kerry's front runner status is about to disappear quickly. On the flip side though, Gephardt also looks strangely like Al Gore, but without any of that cold robot quality. Actually he looks sort of like a cross between Gore and Bush, really strange.

Edwards and Dean are the wild cards. Edwards really needs to step up a level, he's just not reaching his potential. Needs to gain a few pounds for the camera for one. There were a couple points when he started talking about his childhood where his empathy really started to show through. He's got some of that Clinton "I care for you, and can solve your problems" magic in him. But he needs to be pumping it out non-stop if we wants to be a contender. Its just not flowing consistently yet. He also looks really young.

Dean is a strange one. He needs some serious training in front of the camera, he's got to be looking the audience in the eye. His straight talking rep didn't manifest itself. Nothing about him really rose him above the rest of the pack, with one exception. He has perfected the psychological trick of getting the audience to view him as president. He talks like he's already nominated or even in the White House, dropping references to the "Dean administration". I've seen it in some of his writing too. Good stuff, straight out of the hypnosis handbook. The Republicans are good at that sort of manipulation, lets hope the Dems can get it down too.

Graham is a joke, he looks like a picture perfect corrupt fat cat insider. Sure he could win Florida, but he'd lose half the states Gore won. His hyper hawk position makes him completely irrelevant anyway, no way will he win a democratic nomination. There was one segment where all the candidates could ask one question to one other candidate, almost all where directed to Graham. The reason? Because everyone knows he's not a threat but he looks more serious then the other joke candidates, so he was the perfect way to not give extra TV time to competitors.

As for the jokes, anyone have any idea where Lieberman got it into his head that a short, ugly, ultra right wing, orthodox Jew could ever become the Democratic nominee for president? I have news for him, he can't.

At least Sharpton and Moseley-Braun know they don't have a chance. I've been a Sharpton fan ever since I saw him speak when he ran for NY mayor. He's probably the best speaker I've ever seen. He's running because he has an agenda he wants to push and I'm all for it. If he keeps attacking Bush and then pushing his issues, he can only help the Democrats and America's cities. He had a great line about Bush's tax cuts. "Its like getting Kool-Aid from Jim Jones, it might taste sweet, but it'll kill you". He'll never get the nomination, but there are definitely some strange scenarios where he'd actually be the best nominee, he's the only one who really seems to have the skill to lyrically devastate the Bush agenda and show the world just how bad it is.

Like Sharpton, Moseley-Braun also has an agenda, but sadly the agenda is to advance herself. Actually there is a bit more, I think she's out to rescue the image of black women from the horror of Condoleezza Rice. And that's fine by me. She's damn a damn smart women, and I think its a good thing for the Dems to have someone like her in the race. As long as she doesn't attack the other candidates its good to have a black women running, at least at this stage of the campaign. Hopefully she'll resign at the right time. She's putting herself in a good position for a cabinet post, smart woman, I respect that.

That brings us to the bottom of pile, Kucinich the loser. I had no idea before today that Cleveland went bankrupt while he was mayor. And now that I do I don't ever want to here a thing about him. How in the world can you even try and run after that sort of fiasco? You better have done something mighty impressive to make up for it, and Kucinich sure hasn't. On top of that he looks and acts exactly like a rat, I could practically smell rodent through the TV. He represents some far left ideals that really should be represented in the race, but all he can do is make those ideas look worse. He's exactly the wrong person to be representing anything, and he really needs to get out of the race.

Final thoughts? If John Edwards can step up and start running a strong campaign then I think he's the best candidate out there. He has capability to be a truly charismatic leader. But its really unclear if he can live up to his potential. If he can't I think Gephardt and Dean are the two best picks. Its still unclear if either of them really have what it takes though. Kerry is clearly overrated, and due in for a crash soon, I hope. He maybe could win if Bush keeps destroying the economy at record pace, but when it comes to insider power players Gephardt is a better candidate. All in all there is a bit of hope showing through in this debate, but not much. Its early still...

Posted by Abe at 12:41 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

May 04, 2003

Pynchon + 1984 = 2003?

The road to 1984, a Thomas Pynchon introduction to Orwell's suddenly timely classic. ...and while on the subject of newspeak, I'll be posting some thoughts on the first Democratic Presidential Debate in a few.

[via v-2]

Posted by Abe at 09:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 02, 2003

Sidebar Links Mirror

I've mirrored my sidebar links here. I only really did to make it easier for me to surf on my Treo, but maybe someone else will find it useful. But yeah you can still get all the links off my sidebar. And if you're wondering how I get the most recent posts to show up, I'm using the MT-RSS Feed plug-in to do it.

Posted by Abe at 10:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Bush Administration Admits Inspections Worked?

"He couldn't put them together as long as the inspections were going on" before to the war, he said.

That little gem, attributed to a "senior administration official" is buried at the very end of the NYT cover story on Bush's 'War Over' speech.

Now lets think about it. If Iraq couldn't assemble its weapons of mass destruction because of the UN inspections, doesn't that mean the inspections were working? I think it does. Wonder if the senior official is a black man from the Bronx?

Posted by Abe at 04:59 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 01, 2003

Mind Opening Blog + Humane Punishment

Mind open, mind blown. Every once in a while I come across some fact, story or writer who really blows open some of my worldview.

Al-Muhajabah is a white American woman, highly educated, very sharp and who is a devout muslim who wears the complete islamic dress (hijab). That adds up to a pretty unique perception of the world. Very opening to read her blog (if you let yourself be open of course). Plus she's a Movable Type master, all sorts of really well thought out plug-in implemented on her site.

Her post on issues in penal law hit me hard:

It's taken as a given in America that prison is far more humane than corporal punishment. But is it? The body heals; the mind and the soul may not. When we consider whether the prison system is humane we should look at the psychological damage caused by captivity. It's not as easy to measure as physical damage, but it may be far worse and more lasting.

So true, but I never would have thought of it like that in a million years. I have serious issues with the current American penal system, but I still was locked into a knee jerk corporal punishment = evil thought process. Now I still don't like corporal punishment, but I don't think I'll ever be thinking about it in the same way again. Damn, I love having my worldview widened...

Posted by Abe at 10:10 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

East/West Design

Direct from SARS infested Hong Kong my old friend John Bershaw aka dijon sends this example of Western vs. Asian web design. It begs the question of whether the difference is style is mainly cultural or technological?

WWF China - English

WWF China - Chinese

Posted by Abe at 09:01 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

A Piece of My 15 Minutes

who actually is a techno-nomad, living out of his laptop between New York and San Francisco.

The good Dr. Joshua Ellis' new column in the Las Vegas City Life is out now. It's all about the Marginwalker community started Ellis and Adam Greenfield of v-2. Low and behold my name shows up in it. Fame, Vegas, Lights and Action. Its all mine now ;)

Anyway Marginwalker, its a good place. You may have noticed its slip quietly into my sidebar recently. Check it out. Its invitation only, but if you are savvy enough I'm sure you can get an invite. They don't cost anything to print... Open source futurism, radical urbanism and way too many JG Ballard references, its a sharp look into the future. Enjoy.

Posted by Abe at 06:15 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack