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tom moody

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Farhad "Conspiracy? What Conspiracy?" Manjoo, fresh from efforts to prove that Robert Kennedy, Jr. and the rest of us are just way too overwrought about the 2004 election results in Ohio, now turns his debunking eye to the 9/11 conspiracy wackos (in Salon today--probably behind the subscription firewall). The subject is Dylan Avery's popular film Loose Change, but Manjoo makes sure to interview some other nuts so we can all have a good laugh about Satan being behind the plot, etc. At the end he includes a quote from 9/11 Commission member Bob Kerrey that's actually substantive:
Kerrey was dismissive of the conspiracy theories as well. Asked about the possibility of a controlled demolition at the World Trade Center, he scoffed, "There's no evidence for that." But he also noted that, quite apart from what Avery and others in the "truth movement" have proposed, many legitimate mysteries still surround the events of that day. "There are ample reasons to suspect that there may be some alternative to what we outlined in our version," Kerrey said. The commission had limited time and limited resources to pursue its investigation, and its access to key documents and witnesses was fettered by the administration. "I didn't read a single PDB," Kerrey said, referring to the president's daily intelligence briefing reports. "We didn't have access to Khalid Shaikh Mohammed," the mastermind of the plot. "We accepted a compromise, submitting our questions to him through the CIA. Now, that's not the best way to go about getting your questions answered. So I'm 100 percent certain that [bin Laden] directed that attack, but am I completely comfortable saying there was no direct Saudi involvement, or that Saddam Hussein wasn't involved in some fashion, or that the Iranians weren't involved? I'm pretty close to 100 percent certain, but I'd be more comfortable if we'd interviewed Khalid Shaikh Mohammed."
I'm sleeping a lot better now, knowing how thorough the investigation was.

- tom moody 6-27-2006 5:47 pm [link] [10 comments]

Just watched the trailer for A Scanner Darkly. It looks like an extended episode of Tom Goes to the Mayor. I'll see it out of loyalty to Phil Dick and the desire to hear his excellent words spoken by actors such as Robert Downey Jr. But there's a reason we had to wait twenty five years for a definitive Lord of the Rings--it took that long for the stink to clear from the '78 Ralph Bakshi version, which also showcased rotoscoped animation.

- tom moody 6-27-2006 10:59 am [link] [3 comments]

A fairly nuanced article from Cory Doctorow in support of "net neutrality" is here. He makes hash of the phone companies' beef that internet companies are getting to "use their pipes for free," but at the same time lists the difficulties in crafting neutrality legislation that doesn't stifle future innovation. Here's a good way of understanding what's at stake in the argument, and why you the consumer should care about the issue:
Why does network neutrality need protecting? Craigslist co-founder Craig Newmark addressed this point in an editorial he wrote for "Let's say you call Joe's Pizza, and the first thing you hear is a message saying you'll be connected in a minute or two, but if you want, you can be connected to Pizza Hut right away. That's not fair, right? You called Joe's and want some Joe's pizza."
Make no mistake, our phone and cable companies are spending millions and working Capitol Hill to take away some of the freedom you currently enjoy with the Internet. They hate it and want you to subscribe to their shitty programming the way you do with cable TV. On the other hand:
The most prominent voices for net neutrality have been calling for a regulatory solution. Regulation created this mess, so maybe regulation can solve it. Congress can pass a law directing the FCC to adopt rules to ensure neutrality.

It's a plausible answer, but the devil is in the details. If we're going to come up with regulations to keep the phone companies in line, we'll need to be sure they do the job. That means:

* The regulation should only catch companies when the free market and competition fail to protect customers. The long-distance fiber market, for example, has proven to be quite amenable to competition, as has the local ISP business. The rule has to be for the last mile, and only the last mile, whether delivered by wires or wireless.

* The rules should keep the phone companies in check without screwing the next generation of network services. Overlay carriers like FON, who provide last-mile connectivity by piggy-backing on the carriers' networks, should be free to play around with business models. This is about protecting us from monopolies in the last mile, not locking them in as the only last mile we'll ever get. We want to leash the Bells, not new innovators.
Read the rest, it's interesting, if complicated. I don't think we can just throw up our hands and say "the big companies will take care of this." Citizen involvement--Net user involvement--is going to be needed at every stage of the process.

- tom moody 6-26-2006 5:49 pm [link] [5 comments]

R Terry P P House C Fudge

J Little

- tom moody 6-26-2006 6:25 am [link] [add a comment]

Dado used the image of the TV static photos I did (with Ray Rapp) to accompany a blog post on the buzzing sounds and visual crackling we sometimes experience in sleep or near-sleep, and their relationship to the "three types of thought": perceptual, linguistic, and proprioceptive (involving body awareness). It's in French, so I'm relying on Google to translate it. I'm pleased to see the image getting out there. That work has not been shown, outside my studio, website, and the people who have linked to it. Or, put another way, it has been shown around the world but not seen in a physical, public space in New York.

- tom moody 6-26-2006 1:42 am [link] [2 comments]

A few weeks back I noted the similarity of our Pres to Paul Lazzaro, the character in Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five who lives for revenge (played by Ron Liebman in the movie). Lazzaro describes cruelly killing a dog who bit him once, biding his time and waiting for the right moment when the animal "least expects it." Eventually Lazzaro whacks the book's protagonist, Billy Pilgrim, as payback for some ancient slight. Bush offers nothing positive or constructive as a leader but excels at settling scores, Saddam being the most conspicuous "because he tried to kill my dad at one time." Recently blogger Elton Beard made the Lazzaro connection too, and even found a similarity in language used by George and Paul:
Q: Mr. President, what do you think of the successor to Zarqawi that was named by al Qaeda? ...
THE PRESIDENT: I think the successor to Zarqawi is going to be on our list to bring to justice.
Now, it's one thing to relinquish without fight a fragment of language like "begging the question" which is at least arguably only of interest to logicians. But if "to bring to justice" comes to be commonly understood as "to kill on my command" rather than as "to try before a duly constituted court" then it seems something crucial will have been lost.

* * * * * *

Speaking of killers - readers of Vonnegut will no doubt also appreciate Mr. Bush's fine impersonation of Paul Lazzaro from Schlachthof Funf:
LAZZARO: You're on my list, pal.
Paul Lazzaro lovingly maintained a list of people he disfavored and consequently planned to kill. He was, of course, quite insane.

- tom moody 6-26-2006 1:05 am [link] [add a comment]

David Lynch asks a WTC 7 related question (Quicktime). Go David!
Click it today* because it's his daily report and the question probably won't be up tomorrow.

*("Friday, June 23. Here in LA we have blue skies, golden sunshine...")

Update, Jun 26: Here's what he asked on Friday: "An interesting question for the blog page: Do you think all high rise buildings should be condemned? Because as was proven with for instance the WTC 7 building in New York, if a few floors catch on fire, the whole building falls down. Do you therefore think all high rise buildings should be condemned?"

- tom moody 6-24-2006 5:40 am [link] [37 comments]

Mark Dagley Drawing

- tom moody 6-23-2006 9:41 pm [link] [4 comments]