Saturday, February 06, 2010


Longtime readers of Doc40 will doubtless remember that, after some initial misgivings, I became quite a fan of the remake of Battlestar Galactica, and was particularly taken by Dr. Gaius Baltar and the blonde humanoid Cylons whose spines glowed neon red at the moment of robot orgasm. Although the final season rather fell apart at the end, the show had been a regular feature of Friday nights when I had nothing better to do and before the DVR came to stay. On the strength of this previous connection, I set the controls for the new show Caprica, the supposed prequel to Galactica, hoping to derive a similar space opera enjoyment. Unfortunately not. Instead of intergalactic intrigue, space warfare, hot cyborgs, and a bit of religious ambiguity (with Bob Dylan), I found to my dismay that Caprica is all about some cute teenager who is killed in a terrorist attack so her grieving dad builds her avatar (that’s right) into what will be the first Cylon. Not a Viper, hyper-space jump, or glowing spine in sight. The only conclusion I can draw is that some executive idiot decided it would a cool move to screw the fans of the previous show and go after the Twilight market. Not cool. Asinine. If teenage girls weren’t lured by the kick-ass, hard-drinking, female fighter pilots on Galactica, they aren’t going to go for this saccharine Caprica crap. The toilet level ratings confirm this. Caprica jumped the shark in the pilot. What we have here is yet another example of abandoning the base that put you where you are for some nebulous grass-is-greener demographic. It seems a primary delusion in this modern world, adopted by both presidents and bad TV shows.

The secret word is Epsilon

Click here for the Pink Floyd playing Interstellar Overdrive


If I ever catch Finn doing this, I shall walk straight out of the apartment and never go back. (Click here for the animated version.)


Friday, February 05, 2010


Fear is our motivation. Abject fear is all we have left. We will give it up when it’s pried from our cold dead fingers. We fear the black helicopters of the New World Order that will come to take us the special trains that will, in turn, take us to the FEMA concentration camps. We fear the Islamo-fascist terrorists who are moving in to kill us. We fear the foreigners who are taking our land. We fear a president who calls himself Barack. We fear the homosexuals and their abominable agenda. We fear the Elders of Zion and their abominable protocols. We fear unions and are glad they are gone. Since our jobs were outsourced, we survive on unemployment, but we hate and fear socialism. We believe every word that Glenn Beck tells us which inflates the fear. We believe every word in the Bible and hate and fear anyone who doesn’t. We know that climate change is a dirty lie. We live on animal fat and corn syrup and we have no healthcare. We have a chainsaw and no future. We will see our nation reduced to a Third World wasteland. We must torture our enemies. We pray the Rapture comes soon to stop the voices in our head. Thank God for crystal meth and Jesus.

Click here for Johnny Cash singing “Hurt.”

The secret words are Pain and Threshold



The follow came from the NRDC...
Dear Mick,
The war on wolves is getting uglier by the day. It's tragic enough that a record 402 wolves were killed last year in Idaho and Montana after their removal from the endangered species list -- an astronomical level that amounts to one-third of the entire wolf population in those two states. But what saddens me almost as much are the barbaric tactics that wolf-haters have been employing lately. For example, on Christmas Eve, Idaho wolf supporter Lynne Stone received a threatening email from a wolf hater there. The email only said "Merry Cristmas" (spelled without the 'h') and included a morbid photo of a bloodied dead wolf in the back of a pickup truck. This disturbing photo and sinister email remind us of what wolves and their supporters are up against -- and why we need you to speak out now against the savage slaughter of wolves. Even if you've recently signed other wolf petitions, please sign our new message to Interior Secretary Salazar because it's only getting worse for wolves. Here are a few shocking examples of how ugly the situation has become: Just a few weeks ago, a Wolf/Coyote/Predator Killing Derby was held in Idaho, where prizes were given away for shooting the most animals. Participants were told in advance they'd be able to use "wolf distress calls" to attract nearby wolves to the rifle range. Outraged by this blatant example of animal cruelty? Take action now and sign our new Citizen's Petition. And as we showed you a while back, a sickening sign outside an Idaho restaurant proclaimed, "Tag a Wolf. Get a Free Pizza and Pitcher of Beer." Angry that wolf-killing is being promoted in such a cavalier way? Fire off a wolf-saving email petition now to demand federal protections for wolves. Many wolf packs have been decimated. A majority of Idaho's Basin Butte pack, a favorite of wolf-watchers, was wiped out, seven of them by government agents firing from a helicopter or airplane. The remaining members of Montana's Sage Creek pack were also killed by aerial gunners. Four of the 10 wolves in Yellowstone Park's much-studied Cottonwood Creek pack were killed when they ventured out of the park's boundaries. And government agents have recently been authorized to destroy several packs in Montana. This disastrous open season on wolves has reversed so much of our hard-won progress over the past several years. Tell Interior Secretary Salazar to put wolves back on the endangered species list where they belong. Over the next critical months, NRDC will be facing off in federal court against Interior Secretary Salazar over the fate of the wolf. But legal action is just one important tactic. Public action is another. That's why we're urging you to show the Interior Secretary that you care about wolves. Powerful government agencies and a vocal minority of hunters and ranchers have lined up against the wolves of the Northern Rockies. But the wolves have you. It's urgent that you stand with us now.
Frances Beinecke, President Natural Resources Defense Council

Click here to help

And click here for a friend of Doc40 who should be in our thoughts.


Thursday, February 04, 2010


Just as public opinion seems more accepting of drug legalization, the Obama administration escalates funding for the drug war. The story comes from the Marijuana Policy Project.

WASHINGTON - February 4 - According to 2011 funding "highlights" released this week by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the Obama administration is expanding the war on drugs and focusing its funds toward law enforcement over treatment. The budget puts America's drug war spending at $15.5 billion for fiscal year 2011; an increase of 3.5 percent over 2010 and an increase of 5.2 percent in overall enforcement funding ($9.7 billion in FY 2010 to $9.9 billion in FY 2011). Addiction treatment and preventative measures are budgeted to increase from $5.2 billion to $5.6 billion. Furthermore, President Obama chose to continue funding the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, which is run by the drug czar's office and has for years emptied its coffers on absurd anti-marijuana ads that veer far from the truth. One such ad released in 2006 insinuates that marijuana use can lead to rape, a particularly dishonest claim considering that alcohol, a legal drug, is a factor in a huge majority of sexual assaults. "This budget reflects the same Bush-era priorities that led to the total failure of American drug policy during the last decade," said Aaron Houston, MPP director of government relations. "One of the worst examples is $66 million requested for the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign when every independent study has called it a failure."

Click here for the “date rape” commercial.

The secret word is Shame



Wednesday, February 03, 2010


Yesterday Daily Kos/Research 2000 came out with a poll that indicated 39 percent of Republicans believe Obama should be impeached, 36 percent of Republicans believe Obama was not born in the United States, 31 percent of Republicans believe Obama is a "Racist who hates White people" – a description used by Glenn Beck. As if that wasn’t enough, the poll also showed 53 percent believed Sarah Palin more qualified to be president than Obama, and 23 percent believed their state should secede from the Union. For our purpose here, the important number is the whopping 63 percent who think Obama is a socialist. Shall we get real? Anyone who thinks Barack Obama is a socialist does not have even a hazy inkling of the true nature of socialism. And what the hell would they do if confronted by the term anarcho-syndicalism?
As it happens anarcho-syndicalism has come up a Jungian number of times in conversation recently and I thought it might be time to be reacquainted with the theory. I’m also thinking a great deal about the potential for anarchism to combine with cyber-technology and online communications where, it seems, money is already on the way to being abolished. I have yet to form even a partial conclusion, however.

"Political rights do not originate in parliaments; they are, rather, forced upon parliaments from without. And even their enactment into law has for a long time been no guarantee of their security. Just as the employers always try to nullify every concession they had made to labor as soon as opportunity offered, as soon as any signs of weakness were observable in the workers' organizations, so governments also are always inclined to restrict or to abrogate completely rights and freedoms that have been achieved if they imagine that the people will put up no resistance. Even in those countries where such things as freedom of the press, right of assembly, right of combination, and the like have long existed, governments are constantly trying to restrict those rights or to reinterpret them by juridical hair-splitting. Political rights do not exist because they have been legally set down on a piece of paper, but only when they have become the ingrown habit of a people, and when any attempt to impair them will meet with the violent resistance of the populace . Where this is not the case, there is no help in any parliamentary Opposition or any Platonic appeals to the constitution." – Rudolf Rocker, Anarcho-Syndicalism: Theory & Practice, 1947

Click here for the sensible Wikipedia entry

Click here for the Python version

The secret word is Change


And while I was looking at the anarcho-syndicalism in the 1930s another piece of synchronicity came into play as I happened across a clip of the extended Busby Berkeley production number “Lullaby of Broadway” from the movie Gold Diggers of 1935. I have always marveled at this amazing piece of cinema. It seems so much more than just a dance segment in a Hollywood musical. For a start, the principal character falls to her death at the end, and on an inspired day, I am able to see it as a metaphor for the rise of fascism. If you think I’m crazy, click here and check it out.


Anastasia Wharton-Frozdick trained her group to have little patience for debate.


Click! (Posterity is yours.)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


It’s usually the left that schisms, fragments, and starts fighting with its own. The Revolutionary Socialist Workers Party focuses its spite and loathing on the Revolutionary Workers Socialist party and who could forget the Anarchists shooting it out with the Stalinists in Barcelona in 1937. But now, if we hang in there, we are likely to see the right snarling at each other’s throats. As the Republican primaries approach and the extremist of the Tea Party movement start purging heretics, the whole thing could turn really ugly and the grifters, the crooks, the megalomaniacs, and the-just-plain crazy form factions and turn their poisonous and frequently fabricated vitriol on each other rather than the Obama administration. James O'Keefe and his ludicrous crew are most probably ratting each other out right, and heaven help Glenn Beck if he picks the wrong side as the right goes for the jugular. Not even Sarah Palin – already under fire for possible money laundering via her book – seems above the coming fray as this weekend’s Tea Party Convention degenerates into bickering chaos and she remains the last speaker standing. Oh man, would I love to see Palin and Michelle Bachmann going at it. I would even spring for Pay For View.

The secret word is Glee


This somewhat unnerving story was supplied by our pal Elf Hellion…

“Dr David Dosa, a geriatrician and assistant professor at Brown University, said that five years of records showed Oscar rarely erring, sometimes proving medical staff at the New England nursing home wrong in their predictions over which patients were close to death. The cat, now five and generally unsociable, was adopted as a kitten at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Centre in Providence, Rhode Island, which specialises in caring for people with severe dementia. Dr Dosa first publicised Oscar's gift in an article in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007. Since then, the cat has gone on to double the number of imminent deaths it has sensed and convinced the geriatrician that it is no fluke. The tortoiseshell and white cat spends its days pacing from room to room, rarely spending any time with patients except those with just hours to live. If kept outside the room of a dying patient, Oscar will scratch on the door trying to get in. When nurses once placed the cat on the bed of a patient they thought close to death, Oscar "charged out" and went to sit beside someone in another room. The cat's judgement was better than that of the nurses: the second patient died that evening, while the first lived for two more days.” (Click here for more.)



Monday, February 01, 2010


“An Oakland, Calif., based group is trying to gather the 434,000 signatures necessary to put the question of marijuana legalization before state voters on the 2010 ballot.
Under the Tax, Regulate and Control Cannabis Act of 2010, adults over age 21 would be allowed to legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana, and could grow the drug for personal use on plots of land up to 25 square feet. The proposed ballot measure was filed with the state Attorney General's office this week. Legalization advocates point to past successes with medical marijuana in California and a Field Poll that found that 56 percent of state voters support the legalization and taxation of marijuana. "It's one more pretty amazing element in the momentum toward ending statewide prohibition," said Stephen Gutwillig, California director of the Drug Policy Alliance. If it makes the ballot and is approved by voters, the measure would repeal all state and local marijuana laws and clear marijuana offenses from the records of all past offenders.”

While being well aware that this is a major step towards the eventual goal of wholly legal marijuana, that eventual goal has to be kept firmly in mind, and public relations should not be confused with reality. Already, in Los Angeles, we have medical marijuana emerging as essentially a neat legal loophole for the affluence middle classic dope smoker – the yuppie pothead, if you like – who can kick back a hundred bucks to a doctor for a cannabis card and then pay $120 bucks for a quarter of purple kush or Skywalker OG. The almost 200 hundred dope stores that have sprung up in LA County are a clear testimony to the profits levels in the business. And of course the profits are amazing because quasi-legal dope is being sold at outlaw prices even though the risk factor – the reason we paid the big bucks during prohibition – has been eliminated. Also eliminated – or at least seriously threatened – is the community benefit of illegal dope in that distribution and sale previously supported literally hundreds of people. Medical marijuana stores would appear to be making a fortune for a lucky few, but hardly spreading the wealth. We also have the nebulous, beam-me-up-Scotty, anomaly of dope that is illegal during its mass cultivation, harvesting, and distribution, but magically becomes legal once it is safely inside the pot store.
The Tax, Regulate and Control Cannabis Act of 2010 perpetuates and extends the same nonsensical legal anomaly. The ounce that you’re holding will be legal, but the kilo it came in remains outside the law. Ounce good/kilo evil simply cannot stand. If marijuana is to be legal, it has to be legal across the board, taxed, regulated, and subject to a considerable reduction in consumer prices because no one has to duck the narcs any more and no ones goes to jail. Half measures have to be recognized as merely temporary or else we go back to an outlaw pot economy in which everyone’s ass was up for grabs.

The secret word is Bud




I think I could live without the poodle.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


Those darn scientists keep coming up with more stuff to worry about...

“According to researchers at Australian National University, the end of the universe will happen earlier than anyone previously thought. The mother of all deadlines is coming up!
Dr. Charley Lineweaver and Ph.D. student Chas Egan at ANU, who recently tried to tally and account for all the entropy in the universe, ended up finding about thirty time more than they expected to. (Entropy is a measure of how much energy a system has used up; one way to think of it is that the more entropy is present in a system, the more run-down that system is.) Lineweaver and Egan think the excess entropy quotient comes from supermassive black holes, and they've concluded that the whole of existence is nearer its stopping point anyone believed.”
(Click here for more)
And just for retro-fun, click here for REM playing "It's The End Of The World As We Know it.

The secret word is Chill


“If we don’t go one way, we go another.”



“Maybe we’re just so damned irresistible.”