Saturday, July 14, 2007
I like nothing more than to smoke a whole lotta dope on a Saturday and stare at an optical illusion. But I’m not too sure about this one. I seem to be seeing less action than some have claimed, although the little snake tongues are a puzzle. I guess illusion is in the opticals of the beholder.
The secret word is Look
Woody Guthrie was born on this day in 1912. He died almost forty years ago, but is far from forgotten, and the same damned fight for dignity and equality still goes on. (See the last minute stuff above and ask yourself how come The Taser victims are all black or Latino?)
"Yes, as through this world I've wandered/I've seen lots of funny men/Some will rob you with a six-gun/And some with a fountain pen."
(And the very moment I finished writing this came in from The LA Times – “A nationally lauded program that has helped thousands of mentally ill homeless men and women break the cycle of psychiatric hospitalization, jail time and street life is now on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's list of budget cuts”)
It’s weird how these things appear and you have no idea why they are lurking on the web or how they came to be there. This collection was recorded in 1995 in front of a live audience in Santa Monica, and the players – in addition to me and Jack – include Wayne Kramer, Andy Colquhoun, Doug Lunn, and Brad Dourif (that’s right, Doc from Deadwood and Wormtongue from LOTR.) All the tracks are fucking great, but I’m kinda fond of “The Disgruntled Employee” and “When The World Was Young.”
If you want actually to buy a copy hit Alive/Total Energy mail order, linked on the right.
I also discovered these weird Google books that seem to be portions of novels and I have no idea why they exist. This is the one for Darklost, and, if you haven’t read any of The Renquist Quartet, this is at least a taste. Who knows? Maybe it’ll hook ya.
Friday, July 13, 2007
It’s all fine and dandy to laugh at Dick Cheney and cast him as a human-devouring, A. E. Van Vogt space monster, but, something has to be done about that bastard. I lifted this impeachment plan from a much longer piece in HuffPo that had in turn lifted it from Slate. I’m not a lawyer but it holds water for me.
"A bill of particulars against the vice president has been sketched by constitutional law expert and former Justice Department official in the Reagan years, Bruce Fein, in Slate of June 27: "Impeach Cheney: The Vice President has Run Utterly Amok and Must Be Stopped." He urges the House Judiciary Committee to commence an impeachment inquiry: "As Alexander Hamilton advised in the Federalist Papers, an impeachable offense is a political crime against the nation. Cheney's multiple crimes against the Constitution clearly qualify." Moreover, Fein posits that President Bush has outsourced a major share of his presidency to Vice President Cheney. Here is his review of the record of Cheney's abuses and excesses:
- The vice president "asserted presidential power to create military commissions, which combine the functions of judge, jury, and prosecutor in the trial of war crimes."
- Cheney "claimed authority to detain American citizens as enemy combatants indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay on the President's say-so alone, a frightening power indistinguishable from King Louis XVI's execrated lettres de cachet that occasioned the storming of the Bastille."
- The vice president "initiated kidnappings, secret detentions, and torture in Eastern European prisons of suspected international terrorists...The legal precedent set by Cheney would justify a decision by Russian President Vladimir Putin to kidnap American tourists in Paris and to dispatch them to dungeons in Belarus if they were suspected of Chechen sympathies."
- The vice president "has maintained that the entire world is a battlefield. Accordingly, he contends that military power may be unleashed to kill or capture any American citizen on American soil if suspected of association or affiliation with al Qaeda."
- Cheney "has championed a presidential power to torture in contravention of federal statutes and treaties."
- Cheney "has advocated and authored signing statements that declare the president's intent to disregard provisions of bills he has signed into law that he proclaims are unconstitutional, for example, a requirement to obtain a judicial warrant before opening mail or a prohibition on employing military force to fight narco-terrorists in Colombia. The signing statements are tantamount to absolute line-item vetoes."
- The vice president "engineered the National Security Agency's warrantless domestic surveillance program targeting American citizens on American soil in contravention of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. He concocted the alarming theory that the president may flout any law that inhibits the collection of foreign intelligence, including prohibitions on breaking and entering homes, torture, or assassinations."
- The vice president "has orchestrated the invocation of executive privilege to conceal from Congress secret spying programs to gather foreign intelligence, and their legal justifications."
- Cheney "urges application of the Espionage Act to prosecute journalists who expose national security abuses, for example, secret prisons in Eastern Europe or the NSA's warrantless surveillance program."
- He "retaliated against Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame, through Chief of Staff Scooter Libby, for questioning the Administration's evidence of weapons of mass destruction as justification for invading Iraq." (Does Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald think that the vice president, and not just Scooter, was involved in obstructing justice?)
- Fein puts forward a provocative argument questioning what could be termed a sanctioned coup d'etat: "The Constitution does not expressly forbid the president from abandoning his chief powers to the vice president. But President Bush's tacit delegation to Cheney and Cheney's eager acceptance tortures the Constitution's provision for an acting president. The presidency and vice presidency are discrete constitutional offices." Section 3 of the 25th Amendment provides a method for the President to yield his office to the vice president, when 'he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.' There is no other constitutional provision for transferring presidential powers to the Vice President."
But "without making a written transmittal to Congress, President Bush has ceded vast domains of his powers to Vice President Cheney by mutual understanding that circumvents the 25th Amendment. This constitutional provision assures that the public and Congress know who is exercising the powers of the presidency and who should be held responsible for successes or failures. The Bush-Cheney dispensation blurs political accountability by continually hiding the real decision-maker under presidential skirts."
Bruce Fein's conclusion: "Cheney is impeachable for his overweening power and his sneering contempt of the Constitution and the rule of law."
The secret word is Thirteen
Thursday, July 12, 2007
“Maybe the aliens had the right idea.”
The following, sent over by Rich is all perfectly true, except cow fart -- and now cow belch -- has been used over and over by GM and Exxon, and a host of other corporate polluters as smokescreen (so to speak) for their own environmental atrocities. It’s just the agri-industry doing their bit to wreck the planet. Shall we talk about the disposal of pig shit by the pork corporations?
"Cows could be doing more damage to the environment than four-wheel-drive cars, scientists have warned. Methane emissions from cattle account for a quarter of the gas in our air and researchers are trying to find a new way to feed cattle which leads to less belching. Michael Abberton of the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research said the key is developing new varieties of food that are easier for cattle to digest and also provide a proper balance of fibre, protein and sugar. He told a briefing on farming and climate change at London's Science Media Centre that this could open up plant-based solutions as alternatives to reducing stock as farmers look for ways to cut methane emissions amid warming climates. Mr Abberton said the average dairy cow belches out about 100 to 200 litres of methane each day, making diet changes a key potential factor in reducing this greenhouse gas. "There is a common misperception about how methane gets into the atmosphere," he said. "It is actually through belching rather than the other end," he said. He said introducing easier-to-digest legumes that tend to reduce methane emissions is an example of an approach scientists are beginning to explore. Legumes such as clover and alfalfa are commonly used for animal fodder. It also requires farmers to balance cows' legume intake with other food and to develop different species of grass that are also more digestible, he added. "What I'm saying is there are approaches within plant breeding that can lead to reduced emissions," said Mr Abberton. "
The secret word is Moo
Enough with the cowboys and aliens, already. This is getting out of hand. (See Tuesday) HCB sent this over long along with the trailer for The History Of America which looks kinda interesting. Seemingly it’s a day for trailers, the remake of Vincent Price’s I Am Legend has been beamed over by Dimitrios “new adaptation of Richard Matheson 's classic with Will Smith. If the fuckers keep the unbelievably pessimistic ending, it should be cool. I’m not holding my breath.”
AND FINALLY I have two pieces in the current LA CityBeat. One on Keith Olbermann and the other on the viruses that lurk on money.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Must write. Must work. Must drive myself crazy. But must leave the DOC40 visitors a quick shot of H. P. Lovecraft in the form an animation of The Terrible Old Man, and promise to be back later.
Or would you rather see a penguin being taught to swim, or a demonstration that in Europe they really have TV commercials, or, if none of that appeals, how about a clip of Spinal Tap with Ric Parnell, a once and future drummer of the Deviants hammering his heart out?
The secret word is Haste
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
THE TECHNOLOGY OF SUBVERSION
Valerie has sent us two killer clips of laser graffiti in action. The first is happening in Barcelona and is the more exciting of the two. The other is in New York and starts kinda slow but is worth some perseverance. I wish I knew a great deal more about how this works and could see it in live action. I firmly believe that we may well have to take to the streets before this current power cabal is run out of office and the era of hideous bullshit ends, and I could see laser graffiti, flash mobs, and any other 21st century technological innovations being totally applied to direct action and rising up angry.
AND talking of angry, China just executed the head of its pure food and drug agency.
DOC’S PAPERBACK CLASSICS # 19
A very bad attack of genre confusion going on here. I mean spaceships, whips, horses, spurs, aliens, girls in boots, cross-dressing cowboys, aside from qualifying as a few of my favorite things, this whole concept is something of a mess. On the other hand, back in the later 1980s, HCB (who supplied this gem) other Doc40 plas and I all wrote scripts for a TV animation show The Galaxy Rangers which had a cowboys in space theme made only slightly less preposterous than Spurs Jackson and his Space Vigilantes by making the horses mechanical. Oddly, I believe The Galaxy Rangers became something of a cult in Germany. Here’s a clip.
The secret word is Yippie
Monday, July 09, 2007
I came across this picture while working on the super-fine, up coming Bomp magazine wonder book (More about that in the future.) They are the Pandoras from the fabulous 1980S and there is a website about them with video and audio and beaucoup fine stuff.
The above was photographed on Sunset Boulevard and submitted by munz. A few weeks ago the CIA was running recruiting ads during the Fox11, 7.30 reruns of The Simpsons (?), and I’ve also been noticing that those mail-order home-education mills that advertise on late night TV are pushing all manner of forensic-related courses. Could law enforcement be a new growth industry, especially the kind privatized law enforcement about which that Dick Cheney must have wet dreams.
The secret word is Copper