|tom moodyUpdate: Digby has posted the transcript of DeLay's recent interview with Wolf Blitzer, which gives the flavor of the outgoing congressional honcho's single minded, narcissistic insanity. Perhaps you know, or are related to, people like this: powerful bullies who can never admit any error. Or as Digby says, demand you pay them fealty by not pointing out they are stark raving mad.
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To all my Republican friends and family members (I love you but you are dopes), I offer this tribute to the fall of corrupt legislator, Tom DeLay. It's titled Oh Happy Day, and this is indeed a happy day for lovers of freedom and haters of thieves. Jane Hamsher of firedoglake
Itís a beautiful day here in Oregon, and a great day in America.
Tom DeLay, one of the biggest crooks in modern American history, has fallen. In order to appreciate the importance of this I want to link to a couple of articles I think have been really good at laying out the full extent of the criminal enterprise that has bilked this country for billions, of which DeLay was the architect.
Nicholas Confessoreís Washington Monthly article on the K Street project is a must-read for anyone fuzzy on the details about how the GOP gamed the lobbying business to fund its illegal enterprises by hoovering up every tax dollar in sight, and quite nearly got its hands on the "prize pig" of the Social Security trust fund. And Sarah Posnerís article in The American Prospect is a searing expose of how lobbyists like Barbara Comstock set up a clearing house for companies wanting to bilk the government in the wake of 9/11, capitalizing on Republican fear-mongering and making sure that copious amounts of cash made their way back into GOP coffers and insured the perpetuation of the system.
The result? The government bought a bunch of expensive, useless shit it didnít need. DeLay and the GOP were very good at ripping off the nation but they left the country vulnerable, weakened and poor, ill-equipped to meet the challenges of a new century. National and economic security were the furthest thing from their minds. Every man, woman and child in America now carried $30,000 worth of government debt on their backs. And thousands have died in their expensive, futile, graft-laden war.
Tom DeLay has fallen today. Heís not in chains (yet) but heíll soon be out of Congress off the House Appropriations Committee where he has stolen so much for so long. And the justice system has him in their sights.
Itís a great day in America.
Chameleon Monkey, artist unknown, enlarged with html.
Neal Stephenson's publisher has split the author's "Baroque Cycle" doorstops into nine paperbacks. Started reading the first one, Quicksilver (comprised of the first three chaps. of Doorstop 1); probably won't finish it. Stephenson is a good teacher, in the sense of getting complex math and science ideas across to a mass audience, but he's been spending too much time off by himself writing with his crow quill pen. (Apparently he abandoned computer-writing for this series.) The novel has a giddy, "I'm so smart I could pinch myself" tone a la Douglas Hofstadter's Godel, Escher, Bach, and it's hard to swallow Stephenson's revisionist effort to push computer science as far back in history as the alchemists. The anachronisms are annoying--having 17th Century characters using phrases like "run the numbers," or joking about "addiction" to tea--ah, yes, the therapy culture of the Baroque era. A book like John Barth's The Sot Weed Factor does a much better job of injecting tricky postmodern concepts into an "archaic" novel, in that it actually reads like an artifact from an earlier era.
On the earlier comment thread(s) about Flash, Photoshop, etc. the patent issues with respect to GIFs were mentioned. A website called Burn All GIFs discusses this. In a nutshell, a particular company owned the compression tech behind GIFs and could potentially sue every website with a dancing hamster or viking kitten raising a sword. So we should, therefore, purge our sites of all GIFs in protest. But the patents affecting GIFs expired in the US in 2003 and everywhere else in 2004, so what's the problem? I can't keep track of all the moral issues I'm supposedly on the wrong side of. PNGs, the alternative to GIFs, are made with Microsoft programs (animated PNGs, anyway)--that's better? When web browsers stop recognizing GIFs we'll all move to something else. Some will spend years of their lives converting their GIFs to PNGs or whatever--now because it's the "right thing to do" or in the future because nothing will recognize GIFs. You can go insane thinking about this stuff.
Update, from the comments (well, my comment): They really should take the "Burn All GIFS" page down. Since it's not blog style, it's difficult to tell where the rabble rousing anti-GIF rhetoric stops and "never mind, the patent's expired" message starts. The website is still pushing the "switch to PNG or you will feel the licking flames of hellfire" message really strongly.
From the comments:
Why, if there are so many interesting things in this [Cory Arcangel] interview and also this excerpt, the discussion will always start with "I like Flash", "Flash ain't bad", "I like Flash", "it is a tool" etc?? ... i have seen this with 98% of all articles where Flash is mentioned.I also especially hate the "smudge tool."
Strangely, Photoshop is still out of this circle. Photoshop is also mentioned here, but never anybody jumps in and says it sucks or it is gr8 or just a tool or whatever. Actually Photoshop is mentioned everywhere and never such strong opinions as about Flash pop up.
Let's change that! Who will start?
- drx (guest) 3-31-2006 3:15 am
Allow me to say as strongly as I think you'd like to hear, I hate Photoshop. I hate its characteristic '70s airbrushed look, I hate the "bicubic mush" from resizing (your term, drx, and it's great--I'm thankful Paul Slocum told me about "nearest neighbor" resizing or I'd be screwed with these pixeled bitmaps I do), I hate all those "artistic" paintbrushes, I hate the instantly recognizable effects ("mezzotint," "craquelure"), I hate the lazy "surrealist collages" people make with Photoshop, I hate working with layers, I hate the un-intuitive interface, I hate Adobe, which has criminalized the gray area of intellectual property disputes, I hate the constant upgrades that add features no one needs (I'm still using a version of 5 that came bundled with a scanner)--I mainly use Photoshop for cropping and maybe tweaking the contrast of a photo for the blog. I hate making art with it.
- tom moody 3-31-2006 3:40 am
Receptors (Jeremy Kolosine) performing at the Bent Festival last year. (I took this pic and never got around to posting it.) He's coming back to NY this weekend: performing Saturday, April 1, at 9 pm, at vertexList in Brooklyn. His live show is a mix of 8-Bit instruments including the Atari 2600, NES, Gameboy, and Sidstation, with live, mostly Vocodered vocals. One of my favorite tunes of his is "The Devil's Backbone," which is a weird, seemingly impossible mix of videogame Electro with elements of folk/bluegrass Americana (there's a lyric about a train coming down a mountainside, but I confess I don't know what the song's about.) Hope he performs it this weekend.