VICTORY

THIS IS IT! It's been done. We've done it. Congratulations everyone.
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Studs Terkel, 1912 - 2008

studs-terkel
Sad news: Studs Terkel died today. A broadcaster, writer, and oral historian, Terkel is best know by many people for his book "Working:
People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do
", which consists of a series of interviews with people about the frank realities of their working lives. Interviewees include a receptionist, a farmer, a miner, a garbage truck driver, and a prostitute. That last one would have got this book banned from my high-school had not a group of parents insisted that the reality of the interviews, including that of the prostitute, provided a startling reality not seen in most more heavily-edited publications. The prostitute's interview does not glamorize the profession; it simply provides a honest look at the working life of one woman. I think that's the ultimate value of
Working
. Lots of people are doing a lot of things all day without having their stories told, and therefore do not get recognition that their lives are valuable and part of what makes our society what it is. Terkel understood that giving these people voices to tell their stories, and giving others their stories to read, increases our understanding of our fellow citizens, and thereby adds to harmony in our society. Thank you Mr. Terkel, you'll be missed.
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Abuse

abuse
Awesome news to break at 9pm eastern time on a Friday... Just when everyone's paying the most attention to national headlines. Gawd. Anyway, the investigator in "Troopergate" has found that that Palin abused her power in firing Alaska
Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, and the Legislative Council which commissioned the report has adopted it. What's next? Nothing, probably. It's Friday night, and America's out for a drink.






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Good Lord...

art.heroes.cooper.cnn
Just look at this picture CNN is using of Anderson Cooper.

...Can we just be clear how ridiculous it is to have a photo like this taken of yourself? Is there anyone who can look at this and not laugh? Who would possibly allow this to be used publicly? Anderson Cooper, the greatest man alive, that's who.

The best part is I found it on CNN's "Heros" section. I know who my hero is...
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Space Elevator!

06_SpaceElevator
So, the space elevator will happen, it's just a matter of when. As Arthur C Clark famously said, it'll be "probably about 50 years after everybody quits laughing." Well, scientists, particularly those who are working on carbon nano-tubes, quit laughing some time ago, but that's far from fulfilling "everybody" in Clark's quote. However, having an article on CNN.com discussing it in a fairly non-laughing tone is getting considerably closer, even if it's in the European side of the World Edition. Come on, space elevator!

Also, please note the existence of The Space Elevator Blog.
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Sarah Palin for President!

Wow, this is great.  This is Sarah Palin cutting funding for a program that provided housing to teen mothers in Alaska (note her initials, SP by the big cut on the top line).  Gotta love Republicans... They got theirs, and that's all they care about.



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Simple

Apologies to whoever I stole this from, but here's a great infographic, if you're into that kind of thing:
baracktax
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Getting Closer...

Further evidence for the previous post. I'm aware that this could just be election politics for the Iraqi officials as well, but we haven't seen this before, and it's disharmonious with what Bush/McCain has been and is still saying.
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Over Before It Started

What a difference four months makes. Since my last post, a lot has changed in this election, first and foremost being the Democrats just dodging a horrible mistake and getting behind Obama. This week, the most important thing that's happened in this election so far, in my opinion, has unfolded: The Iraqi government has gotten behind Obama's plan for withdrawing American troops by 2010, a long time before McCain's timetable...

While I realize that this is largely a political decision by Al-Maliki, who needs to publicly oppose a continued occupation as often as possible, this still changes the calculous of this war, and this election, considerably. I've always assumed that the US disengagement from Iraq will be under the political cover of the Iraqi government asking us to leave: it's clear that a) the "we've got to finish the job" crowd is never going to go away, and b) we're never going to "finish the job." Thus, the only way where hawks and the military won't lose face is to reluctantly leave under the demand of the Iraqi's, thus nobly appearing to give in to the will of the Iraqis. Anyway, this week's news essentially opens the door to this exit. All we have to do now is elect Obama and we're out.

This does to major things to the election: First, it makes it clear that a vote for Obama is a vote to end the war, period. Second, it also makes McCain's standpoint look out of sync with the "liberation not occupation" rhetoric that has been used so often. Frankly, I think this is the beginning of the end of this war, finally.
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GAH!

In case you're reading this in the post-apocolyptic future of a McCain presidency, today was the day we lost the 2008 election:

Picture
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Snake Oil

The false promise of class mobility, defined:

lie
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Later, Tony

adc+Tony+Snow+NPC+Battle+Of+The+Bands043.JPG


I read the almost daily. I do so for two reasons: First, I think it's an interesting way to get news, or at least an interesting way to learn about what the White House is thinking. Second, I think it's neat (and disgusting) to see how issues are over-analyzed, skated around, and ultimately forgotten by both the press and the White House (although in the latter camp, they're usually the ones trying to make the former forget), and that this is an important window into why "mainstream" journalism and media is so bad in this country. Personally, if I had the power, I'd shut the whole thing down to make reporters do some real work, but while it's here and important, I'll keep reading.

Anyway, Tony Snow, former FOX pundit, stepped down as Press Secretary today. In a job that essentially consists of creative non-answers, he did the dance quite well in a time in which it was pretty hard to keep a straight face while saying the administration is anything less than a dismal failure. Tony, I both despise you for your sliminess and admire you for your quick mind. And I sincerely hope you're in good health.

PS, what's with ? That just makes him look like a spoiled fool. Jeez, won't you just say you want to spend more time with your family ?
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190,000 Guns

Holy lord. Reuters is reporting today that the Pentagon cannot account for 190,000 AK-47s distributed to the Iraqi police/military between 2004 and 2005.

Think about that for a second. One-hundred-ninety thousand guns. That means almost 200k people other than official military walking around with machine guns. This alone almost outnumbers US and Iraqi government troops on the ground.

And the days go by...
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Clear Channel Go Home

So as of August 1st, the Tacoma City Council is supposedly going to start enforcing a decade old ordinance on billboard restrictions within the city. In response, Clear Channel changed a large number of their billboards (they have around 150 total in the city) to say "Constitutions Matter" as some kind of desperate shot at appealing directly to the citizens of Tacoma. Three problems:

1) Nobody associates "Constitutions Matter" with anything other than Bush these days.
2) They didn't even have the $4.95 to buy www.constitutionsmatter.com, and google doesn't place the phrase as having anything to do with their little tirade. Viral marketing failed.
3) Everyone hates billboards. You can't appeal to the public about that. That's like running a "Save Parking Cops" campaign. You can't win this.

However, I can't sum it up better than the guy who spray painted "Death To Clear Channel" Across one of the billboards up north. You appealed to the mob, and the mob has spoken. Go home.
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Control of Language

Has anyone else noticed the distinct lack of the word "fillibuster" since Democrats gained control of congress? With all that talk from Republicans about "the nuclear option" in 2006 and how blocking votes with extended debate was the end of democracy, you would think folks would be making hay with with the past few Iraq (non)votes.

Hmm... Let's see... Here's the AP:
Earlier this month, the House voted 223-201 to order troops out of Iraq beginning in 120 days. But the bill stalled in the Senate, where Democrats hold a thinner majority and Republicans blocked the measure from advancing.
How did they block the measure from advancing? Could it be a fi- fil- fi-... Oh, who even remembers? Crap.
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Lies, damn dirty lies

Check out this conversation on the White House kids page:

"Q: Fran from Cave City, KY writes:
I and several other of my friends would like to write a note of support and thanks to President Bush for all he has done and continues to do on behalf of our nation.
card-50

A: Andy Card, White House Chief of Staff:
Dear Fran:

On behalf of President Bush, thank you for your email and for your kind words of support. The President is always encouraged to hear from Americans across the country like you and your friends, and he is grateful for all of the people who think of him and pray for him every day. Thank you, again. I will make sure that the President gets your message. Andy Card"

Yeah right. Look White House, I can make shit up too!

Q: Billy from Carbondale, Illinois writes:
Dear Elliot: I think you're really great and I like reading your blog. Your photography is top-of-the-line. All my classmates agree. Your friend, Billy.

A: John Frankenbrown, Spokesperson for Elliot Levin:
On behalf of Elliot Levin, thanks for your email. Keep praying for Elliot, and have a fun and safe summer. Stay away from drugs and people who are different from you. Thanks again, and I'll make sure Elliot gets the gist of your message. John Frenkenbrown.

See? Anyone can do that, you don't need no fancy oval office, or dog named Boots or something like that.
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Ready and Wait...

Remember Hurricane Katrina? Remember when we spent millions of dollars and countless man-hours fixing the infrastructure of the city after the storm to prevent catastrophic flooding from happening again? Remember when Bush and the federal government made it a priority to make sure an American city wasn't destroyed a second time by the same mistakes that caused it's first devastation?

Today the NYT is reporting on an Army document that shows that New Orleans is still prone to widespread flooding during large storms.

Priorities, people. The argument that we don't have the money or resources to fix these problems is completely mute when considering the amount of money we throw at certain other programs. Make no bones about it, the US has the ability to end hunger and homelessness, provide decent health care and education to all our children, and provide folks safety from natural disasters. We just don't choose to.
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War President

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LA

Speaking of race in America, one of the most amazing and heartbreaking things I've seen recently is Jill Leovy's Homicide Report over at the LA Times. Essentially, Jill has taken it upon herself to blog every homicide in the city each day. Often details are slim when only police reports are present, but often she conducts interviews and tells stories that are incredible testaments to the violence and destitution that oppresses the lives of so many people of color in America today. Today's post is a pretty shocking example of what it means to to say that the problems of racism and poverty are ignored in this country. The truth is, we could fix all of this if we cared. It's often said that the first step is admitting you have a problem. In this case, they first step is admitting that we're at fault.
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It's Institutional

I want to take a moment to expand on my post from yesterday. What I mean when I say the race issue is going to be interesting to dig up is this:

I'm a firm believer in the old adage that the biggest race problem in the United States today is the fact that white people don't believe there's a race problem in the United States today. The logic that leads to this conclusion is that today racism is not so much overt discrimination (although that still definitely happens) but institutional discrimination, whereby deeply ingrained systems and institutions behave to reproduce class and cultural stratification based on ethnicity. Thereby, it's not that folks are starting their day to say "I'm going to be a big racist and discriminate," it's more that not enough people are waking up and saying "I'm going to tear down the structures of institutionalized discrimination." Complacency caused by the idea that "we solved racism with civil rights in the 60's" is a great way to end up in this situation.

Yesterday, I read an article in the business section of CNN by a woman who was arguing against legislation to encourage employers to narrow the income gap between men and women. You can read the article if you like, but here's a synopsis: women these days aren't overtly discriminated against, but instead make less because they choose to major in English and take career breaks to have kids.

Now, this is a fine logical argument, except for the fact that it completely ignores the concept of institutional discrimination. The very idea that we would arrange society to reward less people who major in English and choose to spend time with their kids, which are two traits found disproportionately among women (her assumption, not mine) is in and of itself INSTITUTIONAL DISCRIMINATION. Just the same way that mortgage brokers lend at worse rates to people looking to buy a house in neighborhoods with higher crime rates, that just happen to be black community centers (for example) is also discriminator to black folks.

My point of all this is that upon reading that article yesterday, it struck me that we haven't just forgotten about race as a real issue in this country, we've forgotten about a whole concept of methods of discrimination. Or maybe we never learned.
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It it just me...

...Or did they flatten the midtones on this picture (from cnn.com) to make Clinton and Obama have more similar skin tones than in reality? Note how Clinton looks distinctly grey, which is contrary to the super warm tone look networks usually go with for folks with light skin. Gah, I'm already looking forward to this race...

In all seriousness, though, I think the most interesting thing that's going to happen is that we might actually have a conversation about race in America for the first time since, well, the Johnson administration. That's probably a good thing, though I'm a little scared to see what's going to come out of it...
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Ridiculous HDR

One of my favorite flickr contacts, tendril , has been doing some ridiculous HDR stuff lately. For those of you outside the know, high dynamic range (HDR) photography is essentially combining multiple exposures to extend the dynamic range of digital camera sensors. Thus, by over and under exposing a shot, you can combine them to get well exposed areas from both the light and dark regions of a scene. The problem is, it's easy to make this look really bad, and flickr is littered with bad attempts. tendril, on the other hand, makes it look like magic. Anyway, check this shot and his other's out, he's rad.

Link to his HDR tagged shots: |<->-<->-<->-<->-<->-<->|

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Not the way you planned...


Here's a good one from the White House Press Briefing today:

"MR. SNOW: I'm sorry, but the President is not the kind of guy who says, tell me what I want to hear. As a matter of fact, you sit in a meeting and you try to do that, you're not going to get very far. What the President wants and demands of his people is -- are their best opinions and their best advice, and that's the way it operates. So --

Q He got a lot of lousy advice, didn't he?

MR. SNOW: Well, he got some advice that -- you know, it's interesting, Bill, you can say about any war that Commanders-in-Chief got lousy advice, because wars never work out quite the way you planned."

Yeah, four years later and no end in sight isn't really what you planned, was it? Oh well, I guess that's just the way it goes!

Welcome back, Tony.
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Oh Jeez...

Here's a quote from the reddit comments that really cuts:

"I think you lost your right to "benefit of the doubt" when Bush got re-elected - it was a tacit democratic approval of his actions by (supposedly) the majority of the country.

I think your next president will have to do a lot more than "just change direction" to get people back on-side. One of the worst things about Bush's tenure has been not just his actions, but the fact that from outside the USA a sizeable portion of your population has been right alongside him, cheering him on and constructing apologist excuses for his excesses.

The take-home lesson hasn't been "Bush was an evil man" - it's been "Americans can and will elect brainless vicious egomaniacs, and then often side with them for no better reason than a false understanding of patriotism and a herd mentality".

FWIW I know plenty of very cool Americans, and I'm well aware that there was a determined (but ultimately pretty ineffectual) resistance to many of his policies.

That's a very nuanced position though, and in the cartoon-vision most people think in it just looks like the majority of you were either right alongside him, encouraging and egging him on as he invaded other countries, abducted innocent civilians and tortured people simply because he could... or you were too fat, lazy and apathetic to do anything other than whinge about it on web comments pages.

As I said, I disagree with this unfair perception, but it is the perception you've created for yourselves that you now have to disprove."

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Here's a good interchange at today's WHPB (White H...

Here's a good interchange at today's WHPB (White House Press Briefing, natch):

"Q: Does the President risk using the troops when this morning he talked about if this does not go the way he wants, those troops and their families may have to wait longer for them to come home?

MS. PERINO: The President takes great pains not to politicize the troops. But what he was repeating was what the military -- Department of Defense has told him they are going to have to do, since they don't have this money."

Um, ok.

bush41112-01President+Bush+and+BG+Kamiya0,1020,574204,00
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They had writing!


As much as I hate to take things out of context, sometimes it's more fun when you do. Here's Tony Snow responding to the question on why, under the proposed White House rules, there would be no transcript of interviews with senior officials:

"MR. SNOW: No, here's the point, is we've set up a situation in which we think members of Congress and staffers -- this is open to members and staff, who are able to take notes, and we also believe that writing goes back to the inception of Western civilization, and the ability -- I'm not sure that they had recordings or transcripts, but they did have writing. There was writing."
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Confessions

I was going to comment on the subject of the recent 911/Pearle terror confession, but this guy said exactly what I would have:

"I believe Mohammed is a terrorist, although I have only the U.S. government's word for it. But let's face it, we picked this guy up four years ago, we've held him in secret detention centers for years, he has no access to counsel, and we've subjected him to who knows what treatment. After all that, I'd confess to shooting the Pope.

If we're going to abandon our ideals of justice in pursuit of the war against terror, we have to accept that confessions we obtain will have limited credibility. Maybe Mohammed did plan 9-11, but I don't believe it because of his confession. I want some real evidence."

Link
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Bananas!


This just in:

Chiquita Bananas finance terrorism.

Choose your produce carefully, patriots. And jeez, everyone knows only wusses pay protection money.
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Kiva


Microlending is rad. Hell, rad enough to win (half) a Nobel. Anyway, meet Kiva. These guys are doing something real cool to promote microlending involvement from your computer-bound life. It's a little bit Sally Struthers-ish, but web-wisdom says it's legit. Check it out.

Oh, and you can use Paypal, so you don't even have to take out your wallet.
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Blackout

A couple weeks ago, the AP did a little experiment whereby they stopped covering the antics of Paris Hilton to see whether anyone cared about the lack of ink devoted to the subject. Turned out, no one complained, thus proving that AP's distributors or their customers really don't give a flying fuck about Paris Hilton. Having proved this important fact, they assumably returned to devoting an absurd about of mental energy to some blonde girl and her money (it was only an experiment, after all. God forbid they take lasting action).

Anyway, I'm proposing the same treatment for Ann Coulter. She's just as un-newsworthy as Ms. Hilton, except for the fact that she gets to crack jokes in front of the potential leaders of the free world. By all means, the press should be chasing down all the guys laughing and clapping when she makes bigoted jokes. They deserve political crucifixion. But as for her, well, she's just an idiot with opinions. There are lots of those.

I'm going to set a positive example for the AP by starting this blackout. So, without feeling the need to call her bigoted, unbalanced, stupid, or ugly, I'm just going to stop. Any. Coverage. Now.
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Get your vote in!

Maakies this week is holding an election for the joke next week (presumably in the mini-comic at the bottom). I'm campaigning for Option 1: A Pile of Beer. Vote Option One!
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Shameless cross posting

Shameless cross posting for the purposes of my Google ranking:
www.elliotlevin.com
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Oh boy...

For folks like me that like glass, this represents something... I don't know, like some kind of holy grail, except not quite so good. More like if getting the holy grail also meant you'd have to carry around around a thirty pound lens all the time. Anyway, here's Sigma's new 200-500mm f2.8. Note the camera on the right for scale.
200-500_28_s

Read Sigma's .
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Hey everyone...

New Comments format. Just thought you'd like to know.

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Photo Credit: AP

capt.ec6ee1fb132b42dbaee9e277e06847d8.bush_tornadoes_gacd106
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Site Overhaul

Ok, so that's just an excuse to use the word overhaul, which sounds like I might be rebuilding an engine or something. Like these fine chaps:

overhaul

In any case, I think you'll find the site a little sleeker, a little more dynamic for aeros, and above all, higher in the coefficient of "lean and mean".

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Picture of the Day

I'm changing the front page to a sort of picture of the day. We'll see how that goes. I'm also going to try to set it up the be an RSS feed. That working is even less likely.
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Picture of the Day

I'm changing the front page to a sort of picture of the day. We'll see how that goes. I'm also going to try to set it up the be an RSS feed. That working is even less likely.
Comments (1)

Israel Pictures

Hey, watch for a boatload of Israel pictures going up in the next few days, I'm almost done. That's all. Oh, and this funny picture:

AquamanCVR20
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Israel Pictures

Hey, watch for a boatload of Israel pictures going up in the next few days, I'm almost done. That's all. Oh, and this funny picture:

AquamanCVR20
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Still here.

Yep, the good 'ol blog is still here, just relegated to a non-frontpage location. Maybe I'll even start posting again! Mystery, suspense, and fun! Also, duty and responsibility. Eat vegetables and quiet down.
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Still here.

Yep, the good 'ol blog is still here, just relegated to a non-frontpage location. Maybe I'll even start posting again! Mystery, suspense, and fun! Also, duty and responsibility. Eat vegetables and quiet down.
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Canada Day

This weekend we had a party for Canada Day. We built an igloo in the front yard out of chicken wire and some giant printouts of Wayne Gretsky.
DSC_4459
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Canada Day

This weekend we had a party for Canada Day. We built an igloo in the front yard out of chicken wire and some giant printouts of Wayne Gretsky.
DSC_4459
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The Second Coming, Not

The Pixies reunion was pretty amazing, clearly one of the most exciting things to happen in rock in the last few years. A Pavement reunion would be pretty rediculous (although Face The Truth makes it clear that a solid SM solo career is a pretty good compromise). But this is just too much. The only return to music that really matters, Jeff Mangum, was announced today on Pitchfork. Then, several hours later, Apples In Stereo had an exchange back and forth with the man himself, denying the story, and it looks like the denial is sticking. My God, that's the kind of emotional roller coaster I just don't have it in me to ride.

Jeff, we need you man, now as ever.

Neutral_Milk_Hotel
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The Second Coming, Not

The Pixies reunion was pretty amazing, clearly one of the most exciting things to happen in rock in the last few years. A Pavement reunion would be pretty rediculous (although Face The Truth makes it clear that a solid SM solo career is a pretty good compromise). But this is just too much. The only return to music that really matters, Jeff Mangum, was announced today on Pitchfork. Then, several hours later, Apples In Stereo had an exchange back and forth with the man himself, denying the story, and it looks like the denial is sticking. My God, that's the kind of emotional roller coaster I just don't have it in me to ride.

Jeff, we need you man, now as ever.

Neutral_Milk_Hotel
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Ok, the picture at the left is a real picture of s...

Ok, the picture at the left is a real picture of some Marines questioning an Afghan man. The one on the right is a fake picture of Bush all Bin Ladin'd up. But seriously, it took me way to long to decide for sure that the one on the left wasn't really Bush under cover. Re-dic-erous
newt1.canada.af.gigeorgeb
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Ok, the picture at the left is a real picture of s...

Ok, the picture at the left is a real picture of some Marines questioning an Afghan man. The one on the right is a fake picture of Bush all Bin Ladin'd up. But seriously, it took me way to long to decide for sure that the one on the left wasn't really Bush under cover. Re-dic-erous
newt1.canada.af.gigeorgeb
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Too Good

So this is what I like about Bush. On a policy level, his administration is a rapidly worsening train wreck, public opinion is down, and his party is facing the potential for a landslide defeat in November. Through all of this, however, it just seems like he's just hanging out (you know he doesn't actually care about any of this, he's just having a good time cause he gets to be president), getting into day-to-day hijinks. Like today, for instance, when he made fun of a blind man for wearing sunglasses.story.vision.bush.ap

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Too Good

So this is what I like about Bush. On a policy level, his administration is a rapidly worsening train wreck, public opinion is down, and his party is facing the potential for a landslide defeat in November. Through all of this, however, it just seems like he's just hanging out (you know he doesn't actually care about any of this, he's just having a good time cause he gets to be president), getting into day-to-day hijinks. Like today, for instance, when he made fun of a blind man for wearing sunglasses.story.vision.bush.ap

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Sign of the Times

Here's a good one, to file away as a rediculous thing that you saw happening "back when"...

A rash of SUV owners burning their vehicals to avoid loan payments!
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Sign of the Times

Here's a good one, to file away as a rediculous thing that you saw happening "back when"...

A rash of SUV owners burning their vehicals to avoid loan payments!
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The SS Eyman Is Sinking...

Not many days I get to wake up to a headline like this:

Eyman Fails To Deliver

Honorable mention to Neil Modie for the awesome article that he somehow got the editors to let through.
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The SS Eyman Is Sinking...

Not many days I get to wake up to a headline like this:

Eyman Fails To Deliver

Honorable mention to Neil Modie for the awesome article that he somehow got the editors to let through.
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Devine Rage

Can we just be clear about how ridiculous the picture below really is? This is of the floor of the NYSE yesterday, after the DOW lost thereabouts 200 points on Fed comments about a slowing economy. We've seen pictures like this on days that the market is down so many times, we're probably pretty jaded. But come now, lets take a second to actually look at this:
newt1.dow.1645.ap
First, and most shocking, is the guy with the incredibly flared nostrils, looking for all the world like he's waiting for you to throw a peanut so he can catch it in his mouth. But could this much emotion possibly be necessary? I mean, really, when was the last time you got this amp'ed at work? Moving on, we've got the guy in the behind him to the right, inexplicably yelling out of the side of his mouth. Did you notice his suit? I mean really, look at it. Last, we've got the guy to his left, made notable primarily by his dissimilitude to his two companions. Is he just slow, or does he really just not give a fuck? Actually, he kind of looks like he was just hanging out waiting for a bus or something, when all of a sudden a stock exchange broke out around him.

Ok guys, thanks for taking the time to reexamine something you otherwise might have taken for granted. It makes us better people.
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Devine Rage

Can we just be clear about how ridiculous the picture below really is? This is of the floor of the NYSE yesterday, after the DOW lost thereabouts 200 points on Fed comments about a slowing economy. We've seen pictures like this on days that the market is down so many times, we're probably pretty jaded. But come now, lets take a second to actually look at this:
newt1.dow.1645.ap
First, and most shocking, is the guy with the incredibly flared nostrils, looking for all the world like he's waiting for you to throw a peanut so he can catch it in his mouth. But could this much emotion possibly be necessary? I mean, really, when was the last time you got this amp'ed at work? Moving on, we've got the guy in the behind him to the right, inexplicably yelling out of the side of his mouth. Did you notice his suit? I mean really, look at it. Last, we've got the guy to his left, made notable primarily by his dissimilitude to his two companions. Is he just slow, or does he really just not give a fuck? Actually, he kind of looks like he was just hanging out waiting for a bus or something, when all of a sudden a stock exchange broke out around him.

Ok guys, thanks for taking the time to reexamine something you otherwise might have taken for granted. It makes us better people.
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Space Jam

Does this headline:

Astronauts Forced to Improvise in Space

Make anyone else think of this:

Space

?

Props to Google Image Search and the Magnetic Lasso Tool for making this a five minute project. Honorable mention to Quickmask Mode for stepping up when things got tricky.
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Space Jam

Does this headline:

Astronauts Forced to Improvise in Space

Make anyone else think of this:

Space

?

Props to Google Image Search and the Magnetic Lasso Tool for making this a five minute project. Honorable mention to Quickmask Mode for stepping up when things got tricky.
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Implosion

As promised. Let me know if this doesn't work, and what browser/OS you're using. It looks great in Camino and Safari.

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Implosion

As promised. Let me know if this doesn't work, and what browser/OS you're using. It looks great in Camino and Safari.

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The Fall of Troy

I went down to see the Trojan Nuclear Plant's cooling tower imploded this Sunday. I'll put the video I shot up tomorrow.
DSC_3128_2
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The Fall of Troy

I went down to see the Trojan Nuclear Plant's cooling tower imploded this Sunday. I'll put the video I shot up tomorrow.
DSC_3128_2
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Frosty on Immigration

Guest blogger Amanda made a good catch today:

This Just In: Robert Frost Not too Dead to be Misquoted

The Senate fence measure was embodied in an amendment offered by Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama, who borrowed from the poet Robert Frost. "Good fences make good neighbors," he said. "Fences don't make bad neighbors."

Here's the original text of the poem (see the bold section. Actually, read the whole thing.):
MENDING WALL
Robert Frost

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
'Stay where you are until our backs are turned!'
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbors'.
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
'Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
Where there are cows?
But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down.'
I could say 'Elves' to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me~
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."
Comments

Frosty on Immigration

Guest blogger Amanda made a good catch today:

This Just In: Robert Frost Not too Dead to be Misquoted

The Senate fence measure was embodied in an amendment offered by Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama, who borrowed from the poet Robert Frost. "Good fences make good neighbors," he said. "Fences don't make bad neighbors."

Here's the original text of the poem (see the bold section. Actually, read the whole thing.):
MENDING WALL
Robert Frost

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
'Stay where you are until our backs are turned!'
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbors'.
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
'Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
Where there are cows?
But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down.'
I could say 'Elves' to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me~
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."
Comments

Huh.

That's, um, actually a ton of people:
_A_A_A_A_A_A_


Hmm, figuring that as far as American newsworthiness goes:

One white girl = 2 police officers = 20 Europeans = 1000 Indians = 25,000 Africans,

What does that mean for Brazilians?

I'm going to venture that 80 Brazilians is about on par with one white woman. Am I right?


race
Comments

Huh.

That's, um, actually a ton of people:
_A_A_A_A_A_A_


Hmm, figuring that as far as American newsworthiness goes:

One white girl = 2 police officers = 20 Europeans = 1000 Indians = 25,000 Africans,

What does that mean for Brazilians?

I'm going to venture that 80 Brazilians is about on par with one white woman. Am I right?


race
Comments

Don't blackmail the public

At the risk of getting shot, I recommend everyone check this out. Let the Sonics leave. Time to put the foot down on this bullshit. I'm glad someone's running this campaign: |__________BLAM_________|
Comments

Don't blackmail the public

At the risk of getting shot, I recommend everyone check this out. Let the Sonics leave. Time to put the foot down on this bullshit. I'm glad someone's running this campaign: |__________BLAM_________|
Comments

Iran Letter

Hey, everyone should read this: |--------------------IMPORTANT DOCUMENT--------------------|
This is the first letter between leaders of Iran and the US since 1979. It's being grossly misrepresented in the media. Read it for yourself. It's important.
Comments

Iran Letter

Hey, everyone should read this: |--------------------IMPORTANT DOCUMENT--------------------|
This is the first letter between leaders of Iran and the US since 1979. It's being grossly misrepresented in the media. Read it for yourself. It's important.
Comments

All Too Easy

Mad props to whoever gets this one first.

Dunk
Comments

All Too Easy

Mad props to whoever gets this one first.

Dunk
Comments

Grand Central Station

So deets came out on the Play Station 3 today. Apparently, it will be a device that gets plugged into your television and allows interactive adventures with animated friends. I'm excited for the both of us. Anyway, a lot of people are unhappy about the price tag and a few missing features. Here's a clip from the comments board at Engadget. I'm sure you'll all agree that #4, "jdb," has won the day.

gaystation
Comments

Grand Central Station

So deets came out on the Play Station 3 today. Apparently, it will be a device that gets plugged into your television and allows interactive adventures with animated friends. I'm excited for the both of us. Anyway, a lot of people are unhappy about the price tag and a few missing features. Here's a clip from the comments board at Engadget. I'm sure you'll all agree that #4, "jdb," has won the day.

gaystation
Comments

The Decider

Decider
Comments

The Decider

Decider
Comments

Ahoy!

Hey, check this out. It looks like Japan, famous for, among other things, continuing to whale despite 40 years of international pressure, has managed to take control of the International Whaling Commission, the body that, you know, tells everyone not to whale. Meaning? Get ready to super-size your bacon double whale burger. Spoiler alert: ************************ Whale is kinda tasty, but not that tasty.

IMG_9435
Comments

Ahoy!

Hey, check this out. It looks like Japan, famous for, among other things, continuing to whale despite 40 years of international pressure, has managed to take control of the International Whaling Commission, the body that, you know, tells everyone not to whale. Meaning? Get ready to super-size your bacon double whale burger. Spoiler alert: ************************ Whale is kinda tasty, but not that tasty.

IMG_9435
Comments

Support Our Troops

Once upon a time in Mexico.

story.vert.pyramid
Comments

Support Our Troops

Once upon a time in Mexico.

story.vert.pyramid
Comments

Busy, lately, I guess

Hmm...Doing more on this page is definitely on my list. In the meantime, chew on this, snapped in Vancouver, BC this weekend:
DSC_0586
Comments

Busy, lately, I guess

Hmm...Doing more on this page is definitely on my list. In the meantime, chew on this, snapped in Vancouver, BC this weekend:
DSC_0586
Comments

The Trinity

Ok, so this is it. This is the year I'm finally going to observe the full hat trick: Lent, Passover, and Ramadan. Being the day after Fat Tuesday (it probably has a name of it's own, doesn't it?) I'm beginning my Lent give ups today. However, I felt like I needed to kick this off right, so instead of normal Lent, I'm doing a triple threat, SuperLent®. I will be giving up, for the forty or whatever days, the following three things:

tanggor
First, and most devestatingly, Tang. Y'all know this is going to be especially difficult.

large-salt-pile
Second, salting my food after it has been served. This does not mean I cannot cook with salt, just that once a dish has been put on a plate, by myself or others, it's salt content will not increase. It should be noted that, as a member of a coop, I only cook for myself once a week, so I only have an opportunity to spike myself with salt ever so infrequently.

Bear Bread
Lastly, bread. This includes cookies and pita bread, but does NOT include beer. Otherwise, it would be just another Passover.

So, that's it, the triple threat for Lent. This'll be fun, right? And as a closing thought, I thought it was okay that these were all food related, since Passover and Ramadan are also food restriction themed holidays. I'm pretty sure I'm doing this right, are you? Wait, too late to change.
Comments

The Trinity

Ok, so this is it. This is the year I'm finally going to observe the full hat trick: Lent, Passover, and Ramadan. Being the day after Fat Tuesday (it probably has a name of it's own, doesn't it?) I'm beginning my Lent give ups today. However, I felt like I needed to kick this off right, so instead of normal Lent, I'm doing a triple threat, SuperLent®. I will be giving up, for the forty or whatever days, the following three things:

tanggor
First, and most devestatingly, Tang. Y'all know this is going to be especially difficult.

large-salt-pile
Second, salting my food after it has been served. This does not mean I cannot cook with salt, just that once a dish has been put on a plate, by myself or others, it's salt content will not increase. It should be noted that, as a member of a coop, I only cook for myself once a week, so I only have an opportunity to spike myself with salt ever so infrequently.

Bear Bread
Lastly, bread. This includes cookies and pita bread, but does NOT include beer. Otherwise, it would be just another Passover.

So, that's it, the triple threat for Lent. This'll be fun, right? And as a closing thought, I thought it was okay that these were all food related, since Passover and Ramadan are also food restriction themed holidays. I'm pretty sure I'm doing this right, are you? Wait, too late to change.
Comments

Solid Gold

Again, CNN.com's headline editor wins the day.

Security
Comments

Solid Gold

Again, CNN.com's headline editor wins the day.

Security
Comments

Ink

So a while back, Eli emailed me to say that there had been some recent developments in Russian superhero art covered at the nonist. Well, I spent some time over there tonight, and was unable to figure out what Eli was talking about, but did come away with these awesome pictures of Russian prison tattoos:

tats3

tats7

There's a whole lot more to be found there. These are the more tasteful ones. "Since when did you care about decency," you ask? "The old elliotlevin.com had lots of, um, less than decent things on it," you say, and rightfully so. Well, here at the new elliotlevin.com, we like to keep things family friendly, because I have a job. Anyway, if you want to find the goods, you'll have to click through to the nonist and poke around there. .
Comments

Ink

So a while back, Eli emailed me to say that there had been some recent developments in Russian superhero art covered at the nonist. Well, I spent some time over there tonight, and was unable to figure out what Eli was talking about, but did come away with these awesome pictures of Russian prison tattoos:

tats3

tats7

There's a whole lot more to be found there. These are the more tasteful ones. "Since when did you care about decency," you ask? "The old elliotlevin.com had lots of, um, less than decent things on it," you say, and rightfully so. Well, here at the new elliotlevin.com, we like to keep things family friendly, because I have a job. Anyway, if you want to find the goods, you'll have to click through to the nonist and poke around there. .
Comments

The sportsman

Comedians often introduce a piece of hard-to-nelieve news with, "you can't make this up." Well, I've never really understood that line as well as I do today:

Cheney shot an eighty year old man with a shotgun.
Comments

The sportsman

Comedians often introduce a piece of hard-to-nelieve news with, "you can't make this up." Well, I've never really understood that line as well as I do today:

Cheney shot an eighty year old man with a shotgun.
Comments

Time for riots at home, too!

From the AP:

"Despite the sacrifices called for in education, Amtrak, community development and local law enforcement grants, health research, and many other programs frozen or cut under his plan, Bush's $2.77 trillion blueprint forecasts a record $423 billion deficit for the current year and improves upon that figure in 2007 largely by lowballing cost estimates for the war in Iraq."
Comments

Time for riots at home, too!

From the AP:

"Despite the sacrifices called for in education, Amtrak, community development and local law enforcement grants, health research, and many other programs frozen or cut under his plan, Bush's $2.77 trillion blueprint forecasts a record $423 billion deficit for the current year and improves upon that figure in 2007 largely by lowballing cost estimates for the war in Iraq."
Comments

Plugging

So here's a bit of self promotion on an otherwise neutral personal blog named after myself:
I've just started a CafePress store! I only have 2 things up right now, but I'll be adding more, and if anyone has any special requests for stuff with photos on it (mugs, calendars, shirts, cats), I can do it right quick.

That link again, for those who missed my stealth before:

elliotlevin.com store!
Comments

Plugging

So here's a bit of self promotion on an otherwise neutral personal blog named after myself:
I've just started a CafePress store! I only have 2 things up right now, but I'll be adding more, and if anyone has any special requests for stuff with photos on it (mugs, calendars, shirts, cats), I can do it right quick.

That link again, for those who missed my stealth before:

elliotlevin.com store!
Comments

La Revolución

BOOSH
Comments

La Revolución

BOOSH
Comments

Ending Colonialism

chavez_morales_804
Comments

Ending Colonialism

chavez_morales_804
Comments

Double Zoinks!

Check it out, actual, real, no shit pirates. Caught off the coast of Somalia this weekend.
capt.ny11901230030.us_navy_pirates_ny119
I'm of the belief that they chopped off the superstructure so as to give the ship a smaller profile. And that they did it with hacksaws, diabolically, in a ravenous fit. Don't ruin my fantasy. Also, they're Reavers.
Comments

Double Zoinks!

Check it out, actual, real, no shit pirates. Caught off the coast of Somalia this weekend.
capt.ny11901230030.us_navy_pirates_ny119
I'm of the belief that they chopped off the superstructure so as to give the ship a smaller profile. And that they did it with hacksaws, diabolically, in a ravenous fit. Don't ruin my fantasy. Also, they're Reavers.
Comments

Divine Justice

You gotta love this, taken from CNN yesterday about the execution of Clarence Allen, the 76 year old man killed Monday night in California:

" Having suffered a heart attack back in September, Allen had asked prison authorities to let him die if he went into cardiac arrest before his execution, a request prison officials said they would not honor.

"
At no point are we not going to value the sanctity of life
," said prison spokesman Vernell Crittendon. "We would resuscitate him," then execute him. "
Comments

Divine Justice

You gotta love this, taken from CNN yesterday about the execution of Clarence Allen, the 76 year old man killed Monday night in California:

" Having suffered a heart attack back in September, Allen had asked prison authorities to let him die if he went into cardiac arrest before his execution, a request prison officials said they would not honor.

"
At no point are we not going to value the sanctity of life
," said prison spokesman Vernell Crittendon. "We would resuscitate him," then execute him. "
Comments

OH SNAP

Ok, y'all absolutely have to check this out. It's the most amazing thing I've ever seen. Don't let the URL scare you off:

METAL!
Comments

OH SNAP

Ok, y'all absolutely have to check this out. It's the most amazing thing I've ever seen. Don't let the URL scare you off:

METAL!
Comments

Worth a read

Published in the New York Times:

BAM!
Comments

Worth a read

Published in the New York Times:

BAM!
Comments

Radio Silence

Sorry for the recent radio silence, folks. I've been spending a lot of time with flickr, since Alex got me that pro account. There's a lot of new stuff in my photo stream, and hopefully one of these days I'll even be done with the Asia stuff... Anyway, this site is going to get a lot more pictures on it, but I have to wait for a couple things to happen first. So in the mean time, check out my flickr stream. Just to pretty up this post, here's something that just went up there, a gas station in Cambodia.
IMG_1470
Comments

Radio Silence

Sorry for the recent radio silence, folks. I've been spending a lot of time with flickr, since Alex got me that pro account. There's a lot of new stuff in my photo stream, and hopefully one of these days I'll even be done with the Asia stuff... Anyway, this site is going to get a lot more pictures on it, but I have to wait for a couple things to happen first. So in the mean time, check out my flickr stream. Just to pretty up this post, here's something that just went up there, a gas station in Cambodia.
IMG_1470
Comments

Today's Press Briefing

Man, I know everyone loves it when I do this, but check this interchange out, from todays White House Press Briefing:

Q When the President went to the Pentagon today, did he ask about the dropping of a bomb on a home, killing nine children and grandchildren, and so forth? I mean, is this how we go after the rebels?

MR. McCLELLAN: The President talked about the update that he received at the Pentagon earlier today. And let me just back up, because, first of all, as I understand it from the military in Iraq, they have put out a statement saying they are looking at the facts surrounding this matter. Second of all, our military goes out of the way to avoid civilian casualties. They target the enemy. They target the terrorists and the Saddam loyalists who are seeking to kill innocent civilians and disrupt the transition to democracy. In terms of this individual matter, it's something that's being looked into in terms of the facts surrounding it.

Q Why did they do that --

MR. McCLELLAN: I don't think that's an accurate characterization, first of all. The military has put out --

Q They didn't find any so-called terrorists.

MR. McCLELLAN: The military has put out additional information and you need to look at what they've said. It's still being looked into. I encourage you to wait until the facts are learned.

Q How can you justify killing children and grandchildren at home?

MR. McCLELLAN: Look at what took place in Iraq last month; successful elections, where you had nearly 70 percent of the voters turn out --

Q That has nothing to do with my question.

MR. McCLELLAN: -- and if you look at the pictures from that election, the Iraqi people are determined to live in freedom. They want to chart their own future. And the President talked about that earlier today. And it's --

Q -- bomb innocent families.

MR. McCLELLAN: -- the terrorists and Saddam loyalists who are going out killing innocent civilians. We saw that again today, with some suicide attacks on a funeral procession of Iraqi civilians.

Q So why are we there --

MR. McCLELLAN: I disagree strongly with your characterization of our military. They go out of the way to target the enemy --

Q I didn't say they did --

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, your implication is certainly that.

Q In this case, there have been several --

MR. McCLELLAN: That's your implication. No, that's your implication. Our military --

Q That's not my implication. I'm telling you what --

MR. McCLELLAN: -- uses technology to target the enemy and avoid civilian casualties.
Comments

Today's Press Briefing

Man, I know everyone loves it when I do this, but check this interchange out, from todays White House Press Briefing:

Q When the President went to the Pentagon today, did he ask about the dropping of a bomb on a home, killing nine children and grandchildren, and so forth? I mean, is this how we go after the rebels?

MR. McCLELLAN: The President talked about the update that he received at the Pentagon earlier today. And let me just back up, because, first of all, as I understand it from the military in Iraq, they have put out a statement saying they are looking at the facts surrounding this matter. Second of all, our military goes out of the way to avoid civilian casualties. They target the enemy. They target the terrorists and the Saddam loyalists who are seeking to kill innocent civilians and disrupt the transition to democracy. In terms of this individual matter, it's something that's being looked into in terms of the facts surrounding it.

Q Why did they do that --

MR. McCLELLAN: I don't think that's an accurate characterization, first of all. The military has put out --

Q They didn't find any so-called terrorists.

MR. McCLELLAN: The military has put out additional information and you need to look at what they've said. It's still being looked into. I encourage you to wait until the facts are learned.

Q How can you justify killing children and grandchildren at home?

MR. McCLELLAN: Look at what took place in Iraq last month; successful elections, where you had nearly 70 percent of the voters turn out --

Q That has nothing to do with my question.

MR. McCLELLAN: -- and if you look at the pictures from that election, the Iraqi people are determined to live in freedom. They want to chart their own future. And the President talked about that earlier today. And it's --

Q -- bomb innocent families.

MR. McCLELLAN: -- the terrorists and Saddam loyalists who are going out killing innocent civilians. We saw that again today, with some suicide attacks on a funeral procession of Iraqi civilians.

Q So why are we there --

MR. McCLELLAN: I disagree strongly with your characterization of our military. They go out of the way to target the enemy --

Q I didn't say they did --

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, your implication is certainly that.

Q In this case, there have been several --

MR. McCLELLAN: That's your implication. No, that's your implication. Our military --

Q That's not my implication. I'm telling you what --

MR. McCLELLAN: -- uses technology to target the enemy and avoid civilian casualties.
Comments

Bird Flu

Don't Panic.
IMG_8241
Comments

Bird Flu

Don't Panic.
IMG_8241
Comments

Zoinks!

Ok, check it. This here is a picture I took in Japan at the Tokyo fish market:
IMG_8856

And here, we have the cover of My Morning Jacket's EP, Off The Record.
offtherecord
Crazy, eh? Notice that in mine the guy has his winter uniform on, while in on the other he's takin' it all off and showing some skin.
Comments

Zoinks!

Ok, check it. This here is a picture I took in Japan at the Tokyo fish market:
IMG_8856

And here, we have the cover of My Morning Jacket's EP, Off The Record.
offtherecord
Crazy, eh? Notice that in mine the guy has his winter uniform on, while in on the other he's takin' it all off and showing some skin.
Comments

Russian Super Heros! Kinda...

So last week's post about Russian Futurists got Eli thinking about Russian Super-heros. Basically, the line of thought was that since so much Russian art has been about transforming humans into something more than human, who are capable of freeing themselves of the constraints of the past, they must have some pretty rad super hero types.

Unfortunately, the data gathered to test that hypothesis doesn't look good. Using this as the only source of information, it seems like super-heros, and comics in general for that matter, had a hard time developing in Russia. Reasons include:

Getting the business end of two world wars meant there wasn't enough paper.
The concept of comics and graphic novels was deemed to be anti-Soviet.
Nobody wants to read comics when you could be reading Das Kapital for the 70th time, paid for by the People.

The page (which you really should look at if only for the Pulitzer Prize-winning wallpaper) concludes with "
All the efforts to establish comic culture in Russia are in vain...".
It should be noted that this was written by one of the largest comic distributers in Moscow. Back to wrestling bears in abandoned steel mills for that guy, I guess.

On a brighter note, here's a couple pictures that Eli found while researching this:

I was pretty sure this is just Captain America with different, more Russian, colors. But then I looked at his eyes (see enlargement), and I knew from that look of despair that our man had to be pure Rusky. He dreams of freedom from his mob debts.
Pasted GraphicPasted Graphic 2

And here's a cartoon train that came up on Google Image Search:
Pasted Graphic 1
Comments

Russian Super Heros! Kinda...

So last week's post about Russian Futurists got Eli thinking about Russian Super-heros. Basically, the line of thought was that since so much Russian art has been about transforming humans into something more than human, who are capable of freeing themselves of the constraints of the past, they must have some pretty rad super hero types.

Unfortunately, the data gathered to test that hypothesis doesn't look good. Using this as the only source of information, it seems like super-heros, and comics in general for that matter, had a hard time developing in Russia. Reasons include:

Getting the business end of two world wars meant there wasn't enough paper.
The concept of comics and graphic novels was deemed to be anti-Soviet.
Nobody wants to read comics when you could be reading Das Kapital for the 70th time, paid for by the People.

The page (which you really should look at if only for the Pulitzer Prize-winning wallpaper) concludes with "
All the efforts to establish comic culture in Russia are in vain...".
It should be noted that this was written by one of the largest comic distributers in Moscow. Back to wrestling bears in abandoned steel mills for that guy, I guess.

On a brighter note, here's a couple pictures that Eli found while researching this:

I was pretty sure this is just Captain America with different, more Russian, colors. But then I looked at his eyes (see enlargement), and I knew from that look of despair that our man had to be pure Rusky. He dreams of freedom from his mob debts.
Pasted GraphicPasted Graphic 2

And here's a cartoon train that came up on Google Image Search:
Pasted Graphic 1
Comments

Lightning Fast Follow-through from Eli!

So on Friday, mere hours after the Russian Futurists post went up, Eli was gabbing along in the comments about looking up some stuff on Russian super-heros (if you haven't read the comments on that post, you should. Having that kind of stuff on here makes me proud.). Anyway, I've known Eli for a long time, and, well, let's just say I've missed a lot of important games of pinball while waiting for him to find his way down to the library lobby 45 minutes late.

Well, on Sunday night, Eli actually sent me stuff about Russian super-heros. Has Eli turned a new leaf? Is being on track to having a gar-rabbin' master's changing the old boy? Should I loan him $500 as a test? In any case, he wins the prize for the week. Sorry, I know that's not really a fair way to give out prizes, but, well...shit.
Comments

Lightning Fast Follow-through from Eli!

So on Friday, mere hours after the Russian Futurists post went up, Eli was gabbing along in the comments about looking up some stuff on Russian super-heros (if you haven't read the comments on that post, you should. Having that kind of stuff on here makes me proud.). Anyway, I've known Eli for a long time, and, well, let's just say I've missed a lot of important games of pinball while waiting for him to find his way down to the library lobby 45 minutes late.

Well, on Sunday night, Eli actually sent me stuff about Russian super-heros. Has Eli turned a new leaf? Is being on track to having a gar-rabbin' master's changing the old boy? Should I loan him $500 as a test? In any case, he wins the prize for the week. Sorry, I know that's not really a fair way to give out prizes, but, well...shit.
Comments

Preview!

Phil Eck here with a preview of the next post on elliotlevin.com! Eli sent me a bunch of stuff about Russian super heros, and it'll be dropping on this here page tomorrow night...Just look for the album with *me* on the cover! (I greatly appreciate the one person who got that joke. In fact, mad "props" to whoever identifies it first in the comments, and honorable "mention" to whoever convinces me to come out of my music nerd hole).
Comments

Preview!

Phil Eck here with a preview of the next post on elliotlevin.com! Eli sent me a bunch of stuff about Russian super heros, and it'll be dropping on this here page tomorrow night...Just look for the album with *me* on the cover! (I greatly appreciate the one person who got that joke. In fact, mad "props" to whoever identifies it first in the comments, and honorable "mention" to whoever convinces me to come out of my music nerd hole).
Comments

Am I the only one...

...That thinks this is the funniest thing that happened in the nineties?
BCF4EB28-3602-4ae3-A188-B4CE8DC23DB4_108820-1400
Cause if I am, that's okay.
Comments

Am I the only one...

...That thinks this is the funniest thing that happened in the nineties?
BCF4EB28-3602-4ae3-A188-B4CE8DC23DB4_108820-1400
Cause if I am, that's okay.
Comments

Oh, well...Good then. You stay on that.

Ok, so I just checked, and there's no Pulitzer category for headlines (but there is one for poetry. I figure it would get really annoying to explain to everyone, "well, it was published in a newspaper...").
Anyway, If there was a Pulitzer for headlines, the Sunday afternoon editor of CNN.com would totally deserve one for this. Also, the president deserves a pat on the head and a glass of warm milk.
Picture 1
Comments

Oh, well...Good then. You stay on that.

Ok, so I just checked, and there's no Pulitzer category for headlines (but there is one for poetry. I figure it would get really annoying to explain to everyone, "well, it was published in a newspaper...").
Anyway, If there was a Pulitzer for headlines, the Sunday afternoon editor of CNN.com would totally deserve one for this. Also, the president deserves a pat on the head and a glass of warm milk.
Picture 1
Comments

Russian Futurists

Man so I've been listening to this Canadian guy who records under the name Russian Futurists, and I got thinking about Russian Futurism.
I mean really, these guys were great. They had essentially decided that the world was changing so fast and getting so crazy that the only thing to do was to embrace it within their art, and in doing so they could help speed up the rolling ball. Like, Monet and Seurat on one side of the table saying "we got to fight it!" and the futurists on the other side going "no way, let's just get way into it". It's an interesting response.
russianfuturist235
And I guess they really did think that a new era of human consciousness was on the rise, which would be a pretty intense thing to be convinced of. But then again, don't most people think that at most points in the last 200 years? But I guess we've gotten pretty jaded to the whole futurism thing. Our best art about the future is stuff like The Diamond Age and Firefly, which are about the fact that people never really change, just the stuff we build around us, la de da. If only Frida hadn't let them kill Trotsky, that guy was serious about changing humanity:
“More correctly, the shell in which the cultural construction and self-education of Communist man will be enclosed, will develop all the vital elements of contemporary art to the highest point. Man will become immeasurably stronger, wiser and subtler; his body will become more harmonised, his movements more rhythmic, his voice more musical. The forms of life will become dynamically dramatic. The average human type will rise to the heights of an Aristotle, a Goethe, or a Marx.”
Comments

Russian Futurists

Man so I've been listening to this Canadian guy who records under the name Russian Futurists, and I got thinking about Russian Futurism.
I mean really, these guys were great. They had essentially decided that the world was changing so fast and getting so crazy that the only thing to do was to embrace it within their art, and in doing so they could help speed up the rolling ball. Like, Monet and Seurat on one side of the table saying "we got to fight it!" and the futurists on the other side going "no way, let's just get way into it". It's an interesting response.
russianfuturist235
And I guess they really did think that a new era of human consciousness was on the rise, which would be a pretty intense thing to be convinced of. But then again, don't most people think that at most points in the last 200 years? But I guess we've gotten pretty jaded to the whole futurism thing. Our best art about the future is stuff like The Diamond Age and Firefly, which are about the fact that people never really change, just the stuff we build around us, la de da. If only Frida hadn't let them kill Trotsky, that guy was serious about changing humanity:
“More correctly, the shell in which the cultural construction and self-education of Communist man will be enclosed, will develop all the vital elements of contemporary art to the highest point. Man will become immeasurably stronger, wiser and subtler; his body will become more harmonised, his movements more rhythmic, his voice more musical. The forms of life will become dynamically dramatic. The average human type will rise to the heights of an Aristotle, a Goethe, or a Marx.”
Comments

Congratulations Daniel, the Oppressor

Well, Daniel has done a bang up job disenfranchising an ethnicity, and therefore deserves a prize. A shameful, shameful prize. If you haven't seen the final solution, check it out here.
Comments

Congratulations Daniel, the Oppressor

Well, Daniel has done a bang up job disenfranchising an ethnicity, and therefore deserves a prize. A shameful, shameful prize. If you haven't seen the final solution, check it out here.
Comments

Congratulations Daniel, the Oppressor

Well, Daniel has done a bang up job disenfranchising an ethnicity, and therefore deserves a prize. A shameful, shameful prize. If you haven't seen the final solution, check it out here.
Comments

Congratulations Daniel, the Oppressor

Well, Daniel has done a bang up job disenfranchising an ethnicity, and therefore deserves a prize. A shameful, shameful prize. If you haven't seen the final solution, check it out here.
Comments

Congratulations Daniel, the Oppressor

Well, Daniel has done a bang up job disenfranchising an ethnicity, and therefore deserves a prize. A shameful, shameful prize. If you haven't seen the final solution, check it out here.
Comments

Did you notice?

The two things in the news today that got me excited were:
First, the Supreme Court will review the Texas redistricting plan implemented in the wake of the Texas Chain-saw Massacre. While I'm pleased as a plum that there will be investigation into this particular event, what I'm really looking forward to is gerrymandering getting some ink in the press. I'm creating a filtered section right now in my Google News (right next to my filter for the word "impeach", which incidentally has been pretty quite for the last few weeks), so here's hoping for a fun spring.

While I was thinking about districting, I decided I'd take a stab at Iraq. I think I did alright:
Irag
By my math, that's four Shiite seats, three Kurdish seats, one Sunni seat, and one seat which will be cause for everlasting armed conflict.

Which leads to this week's contest:
Whoever can take the map here:blankiraq

and "arrange" it to give the Sunnis no seats at all wins a prize! The two rules are: You must make contiguous districts, and you must have at least 5 seats (nice try to everyone whose answer was "Just hold federal elections!".) Hey everyone, institutionalized oppression is fun!

Which segues nicely into the next the next bit of news from the day. Bush was asked today how many Iraqis the US believes have been killed since the 2003 invasion. The usual answer ("dar, we don't do body-counts, yeee haw!) was surprisingly not used, and instead Bush answered "30,000 more or less". To my knowledge, that's the first time we've heard anything like a number of Iraqi casualties from the White House (correct me if I'm wrong on that). Well, those guys can write off the media and "the internets" as much as they like, but we know where they get their figures now. But that's not really the point. The point is that, for some reason, this is okay with most Americans, and Bush throwing this number out is barely getting any print. Good thing we're not racists in this country.
Comments

Did you notice?

The two things in the news today that got me excited were:
First, the Supreme Court will review the Texas redistricting plan implemented in the wake of the Texas Chain-saw Massacre. While I'm pleased as a plum that there will be investigation into this particular event, what I'm really looking forward to is gerrymandering getting some ink in the press. I'm creating a filtered section right now in my Google News (right next to my filter for the word "impeach", which incidentally has been pretty quite for the last few weeks), so here's hoping for a fun spring.

While I was thinking about districting, I decided I'd take a stab at Iraq. I think I did alright:
Irag
By my math, that's four Shiite seats, three Kurdish seats, one Sunni seat, and one seat which will be cause for everlasting armed conflict.

Which leads to this week's contest:
Whoever can take the map here:blankiraq

and "arrange" it to give the Sunnis no seats at all wins a prize! The two rules are: You must make contiguous districts, and you must have at least 5 seats (nice try to everyone whose answer was "Just hold federal elections!".) Hey everyone, institutionalized oppression is fun!

Which segues nicely into the next the next bit of news from the day. Bush was asked today how many Iraqis the US believes have been killed since the 2003 invasion. The usual answer ("dar, we don't do body-counts, yeee haw!) was surprisingly not used, and instead Bush answered "30,000 more or less". To my knowledge, that's the first time we've heard anything like a number of Iraqi casualties from the White House (correct me if I'm wrong on that). Well, those guys can write off the media and "the internets" as much as they like, but we know where they get their figures now. But that's not really the point. The point is that, for some reason, this is okay with most Americans, and Bush throwing this number out is barely getting any print. Good thing we're not racists in this country.
Comments

Did you notice?

The two things in the news today that got me excited were:
First, the Supreme Court will review the Texas redistricting plan implemented in the wake of the Texas Chain-saw Massacre. While I'm pleased as a plum that there will be investigation into this particular event, what I'm really looking forward to is gerrymandering getting some ink in the press. I'm creating a filtered section right now in my Google News (right next to my filter for the word "impeach", which incidentally has been pretty quite for the last few weeks), so here's hoping for a fun spring.

While I was thinking about districting, I decided I'd take a stab at Iraq. I think I did alright:
Irag
By my math, that's four Shiite seats, three Kurdish seats, one Sunni seat, and one seat which will be cause for everlasting armed conflict.

Which leads to this week's contest:
Whoever can take the map here:blankiraq

and "arrange" it to give the Sunnis no seats at all wins a prize! The two rules are: You must make contiguous districts, and you must have at least 5 seats (nice try to everyone whose answer was "Just hold federal elections!".) Hey everyone, institutionalized oppression is fun!

Which segues nicely into the next the next bit of news from the day. Bush was asked today how many Iraqis the US believes have been killed since the 2003 invasion. The usual answer ("dar, we don't do body-counts, yeee haw!) was surprisingly not used, and instead Bush answered "30,000 more or less". To my knowledge, that's the first time we've heard anything like a number of Iraqi casualties from the White House (correct me if I'm wrong on that). Well, those guys can write off the media and "the internets" as much as they like, but we know where they get their figures now. But that's not really the point. The point is that, for some reason, this is okay with most Americans, and Bush throwing this number out is barely getting any print. Good thing we're not racists in this country.
Comments

Did you notice?

The two things in the news today that got me excited were:
First, the Supreme Court will review the Texas redistricting plan implemented in the wake of the Texas Chain-saw Massacre. While I'm pleased as a plum that there will be investigation into this particular event, what I'm really looking forward to is gerrymandering getting some ink in the press. I'm creating a filtered section right now in my Google News (right next to my filter for the word "impeach", which incidentally has been pretty quite for the last few weeks), so here's hoping for a fun spring.

While I was thinking about districting, I decided I'd take a stab at Iraq. I think I did alright:
Irag
By my math, that's four Shiite seats, three Kurdish seats, one Sunni seat, and one seat which will be cause for everlasting armed conflict.

Which leads to this week's contest:
Whoever can take the map here:blankiraq

and "arrange" it to give the Sunnis no seats at all wins a prize! The two rules are: You must make contiguous districts, and you must have at least 5 seats (nice try to everyone whose answer was "Just hold federal elections!".) Hey everyone, institutionalized oppression is fun!

Which segues nicely into the next the next bit of news from the day. Bush was asked today how many Iraqis the US believes have been killed since the 2003 invasion. The usual answer ("dar, we don't do body-counts, yeee haw!) was surprisingly not used, and instead Bush answered "30,000 more or less". To my knowledge, that's the first time we've heard anything like a number of Iraqi casualties from the White House (correct me if I'm wrong on that). Well, those guys can write off the media and "the internets" as much as they like, but we know where they get their figures now. But that's not really the point. The point is that, for some reason, this is okay with most Americans, and Bush throwing this number out is barely getting any print. Good thing we're not racists in this country.
Comments

Did you notice?

The two things in the news today that got me excited were:
First, the Supreme Court will review the Texas redistricting plan implemented in the wake of the Texas Chain-saw Massacre. While I'm pleased as a plum that there will be investigation into this particular event, what I'm really looking forward to is gerrymandering getting some ink in the press. I'm creating a filtered section right now in my Google News (right next to my filter for the word "impeach", which incidentally has been pretty quite for the last few weeks), so here's hoping for a fun spring.

While I was thinking about districting, I decided I'd take a stab at Iraq. I think I did alright:
Irag
By my math, that's four Shiite seats, three Kurdish seats, one Sunni seat, and one seat which will be cause for everlasting armed conflict.

Which leads to this week's contest:
Whoever can take the map here:blankiraq

and "arrange" it to give the Sunnis no seats at all wins a prize! The two rules are: You must make contiguous districts, and you must have at least 5 seats (nice try to everyone whose answer was "Just hold federal elections!".) Hey everyone, institutionalized oppression is fun!

Which segues nicely into the next the next bit of news from the day. Bush was asked today how many Iraqis the US believes have been killed since the 2003 invasion. The usual answer ("dar, we don't do body-counts, yeee haw!) was surprisingly not used, and instead Bush answered "30,000 more or less". To my knowledge, that's the first time we've heard anything like a number of Iraqi casualties from the White House (correct me if I'm wrong on that). Well, those guys can write off the media and "the internets" as much as they like, but we know where they get their figures now. But that's not really the point. The point is that, for some reason, this is okay with most Americans, and Bush throwing this number out is barely getting any print. Good thing we're not racists in this country.
Comments

Mad Props

Congratulations to Tina for getting in the first post this morning, insanely early, I might add. That's the kind of dedication that I hope will become the hallmark of elliotlevin.com. Tina, your prize is on it's way! To me, that is, and will soon be on it's way to you, through me. Honorable mention goes to Gabby, who by the looks of her post, really *wanted* it, like Michael Jordan *wanted* all those NBA championships, or like Tenzing Norgay *wanted* to get to the top so that Edmund Hillary guy would quit following him around. So anyway, Gabby, I'll buy you lunch or something next time Amanda and I are in Portland.
Comments

Mad Props

Congratulations to Tina for getting in the first post this morning, insanely early, I might add. That's the kind of dedication that I hope will become the hallmark of elliotlevin.com. Tina, your prize is on it's way! To me, that is, and will soon be on it's way to you, through me. Honorable mention goes to Gabby, who by the looks of her post, really *wanted* it, like Michael Jordan *wanted* all those NBA championships, or like Tenzing Norgay *wanted* to get to the top so that Edmund Hillary guy would quit following him around. So anyway, Gabby, I'll buy you lunch or something next time Amanda and I are in Portland.
Comments

Mad Props

Congratulations to Tina for getting in the first post this morning, insanely early, I might add. That's the kind of dedication that I hope will become the hallmark of elliotlevin.com. Tina, your prize is on it's way! To me, that is, and will soon be on it's way to you, through me. Honorable mention goes to Gabby, who by the looks of her post, really *wanted* it, like Michael Jordan *wanted* all those NBA championships, or like Tenzing Norgay *wanted* to get to the top so that Edmund Hillary guy would quit following him around. So anyway, Gabby, I'll buy you lunch or something next time Amanda and I are in Portland.
Comments

Mad Props

Congratulations to Tina for getting in the first post this morning, insanely early, I might add. That's the kind of dedication that I hope will become the hallmark of elliotlevin.com. Tina, your prize is on it's way! To me, that is, and will soon be on it's way to you, through me. Honorable mention goes to Gabby, who by the looks of her post, really *wanted* it, like Michael Jordan *wanted* all those NBA championships, or like Tenzing Norgay *wanted* to get to the top so that Edmund Hillary guy would quit following him around. So anyway, Gabby, I'll buy you lunch or something next time Amanda and I are in Portland.
Comments

Mad Props

Congratulations to Tina for getting in the first post this morning, insanely early, I might add. That's the kind of dedication that I hope will become the hallmark of elliotlevin.com. Tina, your prize is on it's way! To me, that is, and will soon be on it's way to you, through me. Honorable mention goes to Gabby, who by the looks of her post, really *wanted* it, like Michael Jordan *wanted* all those NBA championships, or like Tenzing Norgay *wanted* to get to the top so that Edmund Hillary guy would quit following him around. So anyway, Gabby, I'll buy you lunch or something next time Amanda and I are in Portland.
Comments

Handshakes All Around

Here we see a Pakistani and an Indian shaking hands over the line of control (LoC) in Kashmir as the border was opened to allow refugees and aid to cross in the wake of October's devastating earthquake. Sadly, such pleasantries were short lived, as hostilities have continued along the LoC as the disaster unfolds.
_40992090_afp_kashmir220

Here, we see GW shaking hands with a Robot Albert Einstein. Sadly, such pleasantries were short lived, as RAE had to break the news to Bush it is impossible for him to fix his presidency by going back in time to "get good", a la Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.
3060000000054897.JPG
Comments

Handshakes All Around

Here we see a Pakistani and an Indian shaking hands over the line of control (LoC) in Kashmir as the border was opened to allow refugees and aid to cross in the wake of October's devastating earthquake. Sadly, such pleasantries were short lived, as hostilities have continued along the LoC as the disaster unfolds.
_40992090_afp_kashmir220

Here, we see GW shaking hands with a Robot Albert Einstein. Sadly, such pleasantries were short lived, as RAE had to break the news to Bush it is impossible for him to fix his presidency by going back in time to "get good", a la Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.
3060000000054897.JPG
Comments

Handshakes All Around

Here we see a Pakistani and an Indian shaking hands over the line of control (LoC) in Kashmir as the border was opened to allow refugees and aid to cross in the wake of October's devastating earthquake. Sadly, such pleasantries were short lived, as hostilities have continued along the LoC as the disaster unfolds.
_40992090_afp_kashmir220

Here, we see GW shaking hands with a Robot Albert Einstein. Sadly, such pleasantries were short lived, as RAE had to break the news to Bush it is impossible for him to fix his presidency by going back in time to "get good", a la Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.
3060000000054897.JPG
Comments

Handshakes All Around

Here we see a Pakistani and an Indian shaking hands over the line of control (LoC) in Kashmir as the border was opened to allow refugees and aid to cross in the wake of October's devastating earthquake. Sadly, such pleasantries were short lived, as hostilities have continued along the LoC as the disaster unfolds.
_40992090_afp_kashmir220

Here, we see GW shaking hands with a Robot Albert Einstein. Sadly, such pleasantries were short lived, as RAE had to break the news to Bush it is impossible for him to fix his presidency by going back in time to "get good", a la Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.
3060000000054897.JPG
Comments

Handshakes All Around

Here we see a Pakistani and an Indian shaking hands over the line of control (LoC) in Kashmir as the border was opened to allow refugees and aid to cross in the wake of October's devastating earthquake. Sadly, such pleasantries were short lived, as hostilities have continued along the LoC as the disaster unfolds.
_40992090_afp_kashmir220

Here, we see GW shaking hands with a Robot Albert Einstein. Sadly, such pleasantries were short lived, as RAE had to break the news to Bush it is impossible for him to fix his presidency by going back in time to "get good", a la Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.
3060000000054897.JPG
Comments

God Bless Our Horrendous Leaders

Here's a good exchange from today's White House Press Briefing. The topic being discussed was the CIA's practice of rendering terror suspects to countries outside the United States to conduct interrogations (which lead, basically, to that whole Eastern Europe secret prison thing).

Q What is the purpose of rendition, other than, if it is not, in fact, to subject detainees to a degree of interrogation somewhat more difficult than that which they would be subjected to in the United States? And that being the case, what definition of torture does the United States understand and accept?
MR. McCLELLAN: The ones that are defined in our law and our international treaty obligations. We have laws --
Q If that's the case, then why bother to render anybody?
MR. McCLELLAN: We have laws that prohibit torture. We have treaty obligations that we adhere to. And the Convention Against Torture is a treaty obligation that we take seriously and we adhere to. And in that treaty, it -- those treaties and laws, it defines torture. And --
Q Then what's the purpose of rendition?
MR. McCLELLAN: -- so we adhere to our laws and our treaty obligations, and our values. That's very important as we move forward in conducting the war on terrorism.
But what this is about is how we conduct the war on terrorism, how we protect our people, our citizens. And each country's highest responsibility is the safety and security of their citizens. And we all must work together to prevail in this different kind of war. And intelligence helps save lives. And we have an obligation when people are picked up on the battlefield -- unlawful enemy combatants -- to do our part to question them and learn information that can help us prevent attacks from happening in the first place. And we work very closely with countries throughout the world to make sure that we are doing all we can to protect our citizens -- but we do so in a lawful way.
Q But if we are committed to international conventions against torture, what, then, is the purpose of rendition?
MR. McCLELLAN: Again, I'm not going to get into talking about specific intelligence matters that help prevent attacks from happening and help save lives. As Secretary Rice indicated yesterday, the steps we have taken have helped save lives in America and in European countries. We will continue to work with --
Q But you seem to be suggesting that --
MR. McCLELLAN: No, you're --
Q -- there's more to be gained by interrogating these people outside the United States than there is inside.
MR. McCLELLAN: It depends. It's a case-by-case basis, Bill, and in some cases they're rendered to their home country of origin. You cited two examples of past renditions yesterday, one individual that was involved in the attack on the World Trade Center in 1993; another individual that is one of the most notorious terrorists of all time.
Q But how do we know they weren't tortured? They claim they were.
MR. McCLELLAN: I'm sorry?
Q How do we know they weren't tortured?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, we know that our enemy likes to make claims like that.
Q I want to go back to David's question about whether or not the administration is looking into any new ways of monitoring rendition activities in other countries that --
MR. McCLELLAN: I answered his question and I'm not going to --
Q You didn't answer that question, Scott.
MR. McCLELLAN: I'm not going to talk any further about it.
Q You didn't say anything about whether or not -- you said we receive assurances from other countries. You never did say anything about whether or not we, then, go further and make sure that nothing is occurring. Is the White House --
MR. McCLELLAN: Secretary Rice talked about it yesterday. And I talked about it today. And we're not going to comment further than that when it comes to intelligence matters that are helping us to prevent attacks from happening and helping us to learn important intelligence that saves lives.
Q So there's no monitoring -- so there's no mechanisms, no monitoring after --
MR. McCLELLAN: You're asking me to talk about intelligence matters that I'm just not --
Q We're not asking you to talk -- we're asking you whether there's a procedure in place --
Q To make sure --
MR. McCLELLAN: You've had your question, I've responded to it and this what I'm going to say.
Q I had my question; you haven't responded to it.
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I've told you why. I have responded to it and I've told you the reason why. And I think the American people understand the importance of protecting sources and methods and not compromising ongoing efforts in the war on terrorism, and that's why I'm just not going to talk about it further.
Q I'm not asking you about an individual case. We're asking whether there is a procedure in the U.S. government to make sure that the system you tell us will not result in torture, in fact, doesn't.
MR. McCLELLAN: A couple of things. One, again, I'm not going to talk further about intelligence matters of this nature. So let me make that clear, again.
Q We're not asking on an intelligence matter.
MR. McCLELLAN: No, this is relating to intelligence matters; it absolutely is, David. And because of the nature of the enemy we face and the different kind of war that we're engaged in, these are matters I think the American people can understand that we're not going to talk further about because of the sensitivity and because of the fact that they could compromise our ongoing efforts.
We need to prevail in this war on terrorism. We've got to do everything we can within the law to protect our citizens, and we need to work with other countries to help save lives, and that's what we're doing.
Q The question you're currently evading is not about an intelligence matter.
MR. McCLELLAN: You've had my response, Bill.
----------------------
For those of you that don't read the White House Press Briefing, it's a good bit of lunchtime fun.
Comments

God Bless Our Horrendous Leaders

Here's a good exchange from today's White House Press Briefing. The topic being discussed was the CIA's practice of rendering terror suspects to countries outside the United States to conduct interrogations (which lead, basically, to that whole Eastern Europe secret prison thing).

Q What is the purpose of rendition, other than, if it is not, in fact, to subject detainees to a degree of interrogation somewhat more difficult than that which they would be subjected to in the United States? And that being the case, what definition of torture does the United States understand and accept?
MR. McCLELLAN: The ones that are defined in our law and our international treaty obligations. We have laws --
Q If that's the case, then why bother to render anybody?
MR. McCLELLAN: We have laws that prohibit torture. We have treaty obligations that we adhere to. And the Convention Against Torture is a treaty obligation that we take seriously and we adhere to. And in that treaty, it -- those treaties and laws, it defines torture. And --
Q Then what's the purpose of rendition?
MR. McCLELLAN: -- so we adhere to our laws and our treaty obligations, and our values. That's very important as we move forward in conducting the war on terrorism.
But what this is about is how we conduct the war on terrorism, how we protect our people, our citizens. And each country's highest responsibility is the safety and security of their citizens. And we all must work together to prevail in this different kind of war. And intelligence helps save lives. And we have an obligation when people are picked up on the battlefield -- unlawful enemy combatants -- to do our part to question them and learn information that can help us prevent attacks from happening in the first place. And we work very closely with countries throughout the world to make sure that we are doing all we can to protect our citizens -- but we do so in a lawful way.
Q But if we are committed to international conventions against torture, what, then, is the purpose of rendition?
MR. McCLELLAN: Again, I'm not going to get into talking about specific intelligence matters that help prevent attacks from happening and help save lives. As Secretary Rice indicated yesterday, the steps we have taken have helped save lives in America and in European countries. We will continue to work with --
Q But you seem to be suggesting that --
MR. McCLELLAN: No, you're --
Q -- there's more to be gained by interrogating these people outside the United States than there is inside.
MR. McCLELLAN: It depends. It's a case-by-case basis, Bill, and in some cases they're rendered to their home country of origin. You cited two examples of past renditions yesterday, one individual that was involved in the attack on the World Trade Center in 1993; another individual that is one of the most notorious terrorists of all time.
Q But how do we know they weren't tortured? They claim they were.
MR. McCLELLAN: I'm sorry?
Q How do we know they weren't tortured?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, we know that our enemy likes to make claims like that.
Q I want to go back to David's question about whether or not the administration is looking into any new ways of monitoring rendition activities in other countries that --
MR. McCLELLAN: I answered his question and I'm not going to --
Q You didn't answer that question, Scott.
MR. McCLELLAN: I'm not going to talk any further about it.
Q You didn't say anything about whether or not -- you said we receive assurances from other countries. You never did say anything about whether or not we, then, go further and make sure that nothing is occurring. Is the White House --
MR. McCLELLAN: Secretary Rice talked about it yesterday. And I talked about it today. And we're not going to comment further than that when it comes to intelligence matters that are helping us to prevent attacks from happening and helping us to learn important intelligence that saves lives.
Q So there's no monitoring -- so there's no mechanisms, no monitoring after --
MR. McCLELLAN: You're asking me to talk about intelligence matters that I'm just not --
Q We're not asking you to talk -- we're asking you whether there's a procedure in place --
Q To make sure --
MR. McCLELLAN: You've had your question, I've responded to it and this what I'm going to say.
Q I had my question; you haven't responded to it.
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I've told you why. I have responded to it and I've told you the reason why. And I think the American people understand the importance of protecting sources and methods and not compromising ongoing efforts in the war on terrorism, and that's why I'm just not going to talk about it further.
Q I'm not asking you about an individual case. We're asking whether there is a procedure in the U.S. government to make sure that the system you tell us will not result in torture, in fact, doesn't.
MR. McCLELLAN: A couple of things. One, again, I'm not going to talk further about intelligence matters of this nature. So let me make that clear, again.
Q We're not asking on an intelligence matter.
MR. McCLELLAN: No, this is relating to intelligence matters; it absolutely is, David. And because of the nature of the enemy we face and the different kind of war that we're engaged in, these are matters I think the American people can understand that we're not going to talk further about because of the sensitivity and because of the fact that they could compromise our ongoing efforts.
We need to prevail in this war on terrorism. We've got to do everything we can within the law to protect our citizens, and we need to work with other countries to help save lives, and that's what we're doing.
Q The question you're currently evading is not about an intelligence matter.
MR. McCLELLAN: You've had my response, Bill.
----------------------
For those of you that don't read the White House Press Briefing, it's a good bit of lunchtime fun.
Comments

God Bless Our Horrendous Leaders

Here's a good exchange from today's White House Press Briefing. The topic being discussed was the CIA's practice of rendering terror suspects to countries outside the United States to conduct interrogations (which lead, basically, to that whole Eastern Europe secret prison thing).

Q What is the purpose of rendition, other than, if it is not, in fact, to subject detainees to a degree of interrogation somewhat more difficult than that which they would be subjected to in the United States? And that being the case, what definition of torture does the United States understand and accept?
MR. McCLELLAN: The ones that are defined in our law and our international treaty obligations. We have laws --
Q If that's the case, then why bother to render anybody?
MR. McCLELLAN: We have laws that prohibit torture. We have treaty obligations that we adhere to. And the Convention Against Torture is a treaty obligation that we take seriously and we adhere to. And in that treaty, it -- those treaties and laws, it defines torture. And --
Q Then what's the purpose of rendition?
MR. McCLELLAN: -- so we adhere to our laws and our treaty obligations, and our values. That's very important as we move forward in conducting the war on terrorism.
But what this is about is how we conduct the war on terrorism, how we protect our people, our citizens. And each country's highest responsibility is the safety and security of their citizens. And we all must work together to prevail in this different kind of war. And intelligence helps save lives. And we have an obligation when people are picked up on the battlefield -- unlawful enemy combatants -- to do our part to question them and learn information that can help us prevent attacks from happening in the first place. And we work very closely with countries throughout the world to make sure that we are doing all we can to protect our citizens -- but we do so in a lawful way.
Q But if we are committed to international conventions against torture, what, then, is the purpose of rendition?
MR. McCLELLAN: Again, I'm not going to get into talking about specific intelligence matters that help prevent attacks from happening and help save lives. As Secretary Rice indicated yesterday, the steps we have taken have helped save lives in America and in European countries. We will continue to work with --
Q But you seem to be suggesting that --
MR. McCLELLAN: No, you're --
Q -- there's more to be gained by interrogating these people outside the United States than there is inside.
MR. McCLELLAN: It depends. It's a case-by-case basis, Bill, and in some cases they're rendered to their home country of origin. You cited two examples of past renditions yesterday, one individual that was involved in the attack on the World Trade Center in 1993; another individual that is one of the most notorious terrorists of all time.
Q But how do we know they weren't tortured? They claim they were.
MR. McCLELLAN: I'm sorry?
Q How do we know they weren't tortured?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, we know that our enemy likes to make claims like that.
Q I want to go back to David's question about whether or not the administration is looking into any new ways of monitoring rendition activities in other countries that --
MR. McCLELLAN: I answered his question and I'm not going to --
Q You didn't answer that question, Scott.
MR. McCLELLAN: I'm not going to talk any further about it.
Q You didn't say anything about whether or not -- you said we receive assurances from other countries. You never did say anything about whether or not we, then, go further and make sure that nothing is occurring. Is the White House --
MR. McCLELLAN: Secretary Rice talked about it yesterday. And I talked about it today. And we're not going to comment further than that when it comes to intelligence matters that are helping us to prevent attacks from happening and helping us to learn important intelligence that saves lives.
Q So there's no monitoring -- so there's no mechanisms, no monitoring after --
MR. McCLELLAN: You're asking me to talk about intelligence matters that I'm just not --
Q We're not asking you to talk -- we're asking you whether there's a procedure in place --
Q To make sure --
MR. McCLELLAN: You've had your question, I've responded to it and this what I'm going to say.
Q I had my question; you haven't responded to it.
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I've told you why. I have responded to it and I've told you the reason why. And I think the American people understand the importance of protecting sources and methods and not compromising ongoing efforts in the war on terrorism, and that's why I'm just not going to talk about it further.
Q I'm not asking you about an individual case. We're asking whether there is a procedure in the U.S. government to make sure that the system you tell us will not result in torture, in fact, doesn't.
MR. McCLELLAN: A couple of things. One, again, I'm not going to talk further about intelligence matters of this nature. So let me make that clear, again.
Q We're not asking on an intelligence matter.
MR. McCLELLAN: No, this is relating to intelligence matters; it absolutely is, David. And because of the nature of the enemy we face and the different kind of war that we're engaged in, these are matters I think the American people can understand that we're not going to talk further about because of the sensitivity and because of the fact that they could compromise our ongoing efforts.
We need to prevail in this war on terrorism. We've got to do everything we can within the law to protect our citizens, and we need to work with other countries to help save lives, and that's what we're doing.
Q The question you're currently evading is not about an intelligence matter.
MR. McCLELLAN: You've had my response, Bill.
----------------------
For those of you that don't read the White House Press Briefing, it's a good bit of lunchtime fun.
Comments

God Bless Our Horrendous Leaders

Here's a good exchange from today's White House Press Briefing. The topic being discussed was the CIA's practice of rendering terror suspects to countries outside the United States to conduct interrogations (which lead, basically, to that whole Eastern Europe secret prison thing).

Q What is the purpose of rendition, other than, if it is not, in fact, to subject detainees to a degree of interrogation somewhat more difficult than that which they would be subjected to in the United States? And that being the case, what definition of torture does the United States understand and accept?
MR. McCLELLAN: The ones that are defined in our law and our international treaty obligations. We have laws --
Q If that's the case, then why bother to render anybody?
MR. McCLELLAN: We have laws that prohibit torture. We have treaty obligations that we adhere to. And the Convention Against Torture is a treaty obligation that we take seriously and we adhere to. And in that treaty, it -- those treaties and laws, it defines torture. And --
Q Then what's the purpose of rendition?
MR. McCLELLAN: -- so we adhere to our laws and our treaty obligations, and our values. That's very important as we move forward in conducting the war on terrorism.
But what this is about is how we conduct the war on terrorism, how we protect our people, our citizens. And each country's highest responsibility is the safety and security of their citizens. And we all must work together to prevail in this different kind of war. And intelligence helps save lives. And we have an obligation when people are picked up on the battlefield -- unlawful enemy combatants -- to do our part to question them and learn information that can help us prevent attacks from happening in the first place. And we work very closely with countries throughout the world to make sure that we are doing all we can to protect our citizens -- but we do so in a lawful way.
Q But if we are committed to international conventions against torture, what, then, is the purpose of rendition?
MR. McCLELLAN: Again, I'm not going to get into talking about specific intelligence matters that help prevent attacks from happening and help save lives. As Secretary Rice indicated yesterday, the steps we have taken have helped save lives in America and in European countries. We will continue to work with --
Q But you seem to be suggesting that --
MR. McCLELLAN: No, you're --
Q -- there's more to be gained by interrogating these people outside the United States than there is inside.
MR. McCLELLAN: It depends. It's a case-by-case basis, Bill, and in some cases they're rendered to their home country of origin. You cited two examples of past renditions yesterday, one individual that was involved in the attack on the World Trade Center in 1993; another individual that is one of the most notorious terrorists of all time.
Q But how do we know they weren't tortured? They claim they were.
MR. McCLELLAN: I'm sorry?
Q How do we know they weren't tortured?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, we know that our enemy likes to make claims like that.
Q I want to go back to David's question about whether or not the administration is looking into any new ways of monitoring rendition activities in other countries that --
MR. McCLELLAN: I answered his question and I'm not going to --
Q You didn't answer that question, Scott.
MR. McCLELLAN: I'm not going to talk any further about it.
Q You didn't say anything about whether or not -- you said we receive assurances from other countries. You never did say anything about whether or not we, then, go further and make sure that nothing is occurring. Is the White House --
MR. McCLELLAN: Secretary Rice talked about it yesterday. And I talked about it today. And we're not going to comment further than that when it comes to intelligence matters that are helping us to prevent attacks from happening and helping us to learn important intelligence that saves lives.
Q So there's no monitoring -- so there's no mechanisms, no monitoring after --
MR. McCLELLAN: You're asking me to talk about intelligence matters that I'm just not --
Q We're not asking you to talk -- we're asking you whether there's a procedure in place --
Q To make sure --
MR. McCLELLAN: You've had your question, I've responded to it and this what I'm going to say.
Q I had my question; you haven't responded to it.
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I've told you why. I have responded to it and I've told you the reason why. And I think the American people understand the importance of protecting sources and methods and not compromising ongoing efforts in the war on terrorism, and that's why I'm just not going to talk about it further.
Q I'm not asking you about an individual case. We're asking whether there is a procedure in the U.S. government to make sure that the system you tell us will not result in torture, in fact, doesn't.
MR. McCLELLAN: A couple of things. One, again, I'm not going to talk further about intelligence matters of this nature. So let me make that clear, again.
Q We're not asking on an intelligence matter.
MR. McCLELLAN: No, this is relating to intelligence matters; it absolutely is, David. And because of the nature of the enemy we face and the different kind of war that we're engaged in, these are matters I think the American people can understand that we're not going to talk further about because of the sensitivity and because of the fact that they could compromise our ongoing efforts.
We need to prevail in this war on terrorism. We've got to do everything we can within the law to protect our citizens, and we need to work with other countries to help save lives, and that's what we're doing.
Q The question you're currently evading is not about an intelligence matter.
MR. McCLELLAN: You've had my response, Bill.
----------------------
For those of you that don't read the White House Press Briefing, it's a good bit of lunchtime fun.
Comments