Thursday, May 31, 2007


Hillary questions the validity of claims that cat-sized rats can be found in some dorms at UGA. I added my commentary over there. Ah, more memories. I thought I'd share for all the old Creswell residents who read this and would think about all our old furry friends.

They were never a threatening size, in comparison to the ones who lived in the band's practice space over in the Buckhead Beach building, though. Come to think of it, the rodents over there were large enough to start their own band.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Flagpole Music Votes

(Or, how I would have voted if the ghost in the machine hadn't eaten my vote and never got my confimation to gmail earlier this evening...)

Jazz – Scott Leon O’Day Quartet

Experimental – Diet Rockstar
I hate experimental music. But these guys sound a lot like Primus, the exception to my rule, so they get my vote.

World Music – One L

Country / Americana – Caroline Monroe

Folk – Mad Whiskey Grin
Nice to have blues and bluegrass lumped into this category.

Cover Band – Contraband/Megaband
A band covering the Konami’s Contra soundtrack? While the video game itself is played at shows on a screen? How can I NOT vote for this?

Hip Hop/Rap – Ishues
While I would like to give some props to the new artists, my vote in this category will go to Ishues as long as he calls Athens, Georgia his home, or someone brings a game so tight to dethrone. This is a vote for more than artist loyalty or fandom, this is about the genre as a whole.

DJ – Uhh, DJ Bulldog Purp?

Punk – gUFF

Jam – Perpetual Groove
The name says it all.

Pop – PUSH!

Solo Artist – Ken Will Morton

Rock – Southern Bitch

Hard Rock (are there any real hard/heavy rock bands in Athens?) – We Vs. the Shark

Album of the Year & Album Cover Art – Greetings from Athens: a Drinking Town with a Music Problem

Up & Coming Act – Levi Lowrey


Media Attentions

Ladies and gentlemen, a snapshot of the Atlanta blogosphere. I couldn't believe they missed EDSBS, which is most likely the most widely read blog to broadcast out of the AT&L area. Then again, I never lived in Atlanta, so what the hell do I know about the Atlanta blogosphere besides the cats in my blogroll? I find it interesting that out of the 5 Atlanta blogs they highlight, one is run by a cat in Macon and another is run by a chick in the Athens area.

I wonder what blogs would make such a list if it was expanded to include the whole state of Georgia? I, of course, have my favorites, but I already link to all of them. I wish there was a list of Georgia bloggers that I could peruse to keep up with all of them.

Oh well. I guess Georgia can't have everything.

Monday, May 28, 2007


Two years ago today, right this very minute, as a matter of fact, I was very, very hungover, and eating breakfast at a place called Dresner's Cafe, two blocks from the Atlantic Ocean, after having nearly destroyed Island City, Georgia, the night before.

Later in the day, two years ago, I would take some hair of the dog medicine and roll donw the beach, where I got to hang with some beautiful neighbors wearing next to nothing and get ready for Monday of two years ago's hangover.

How very, very different the world looks today from the view that was Memorial Day 2005.


I only got to go for a few hours, but it was one of those days that you live all the dreary winter ones thinking about. The big fish might not have been biting on such a bluebird day, but they were darn sure dancing to the music in Bayou St. John. I met up with some friends and we walked the few blocks down Jeff Davis Ave. to see the festivities.

The Soul Rebels were just starting to blow up a storm on the main stage, the line at the Juan's Flying Burrito/SLICE booth was already deep into the double digits (though my tattooed co-workers took it all in stride, as photographic evidence shows). Beers and burgers procured, we found some shade and listened to the music outside in the grass on a Saturday. If heaven don't feel like that when you get there, you ought to ask for your money back.

Now listening to some band playing rock and roll with an accordian (which rules), we then strolled around the art market (we procured beers both on the way there and on the way back), where one of my friends picked up a clay relief of a catfish at one of the many, many booths. Words cannot describe the absolute coolness that was this catfish. The booth in question had clay reliefs of crawfish, shrimp, pelicans et al, but only one catfish. When we saw it, we knew it must be had, he just pulled the trigger a little quicker. (The pic I took of this awesomeness must have been on the analog camera, because it is nowhere in the digital database.) The mythological importance of such a thing had absolutely nothing to do with the number of beers consumed and the number of UV rays lashing exposed skin, I am sure.

Back to the food, we had to go and bother co-workers some more, and watch as they grilled both quesadillas and pizza slices on a charcoal grill, and make sure they had beer. On the way, we passed the Friends of Laffite Corridor booth, and said hi to some folks we knew in the Faouburg St. John Neighborhood Association. But, with our own nightshift at the burrito stand uptown looming closer, it was time to go.

The 'fun mobile' was, of course, ten minutes behind us -and the coworkers who remained behind made ample note of this fact later- as the Mardi Gras Indians (who I have heard but still not seen) were out in full regalia. I was told many, many times over the last several dozen hours, that I 'missed my amazing photo opportunity.' Well, you miss a lot of things when you have to work a night shift. But at least I got to sit in the grass on a day like Saturday.

Better Late than Never?

Let's hope so.

Honestly, ambassadors from the United States and the Islamic Republic sitting down together would have been far more productive about 7 years ago. In truth, probably earlier than that, but the right wingers would never have let Clinton open that door.

From a realpolitik standpoint, we would have been sitting down in a much, much stronger position than we currently are, and we wouldn't have "needed" Iraqi diplomats as "mediators." And the giant elephants present in such a room (the Iraq war, nuclear weapons) would have been much, much, much smaller than they must currently be. Then again, with the neocons, such a thing may have been "the plan" all along.

Is it too late for such talks to be any kind of productive? We must hope not.

On this Memorial Day, as we remember our American servicemen and women who gave the last full measure because of those times diplomacy failed, let us renew our faith in the practice, as maddening as it can be.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo

Is tomorrow. Free all day Like I said many times, you can't have a weekend in this city without a street festival of some kind. Here is the stage schedule.

Hopefully, I can make it out to this one to see Soul Rebels. Been meanin' to see them at Le Bon Temps Roule on Thursdays, but never have been able to make it. Last night I could have gone, but I decided instead to watch a pirate movie until 2:30am at the Prytania Theatre. (It was an awesome pirate movie, by the way, and any of those Yankee reviewers for Slate or MSN either don't know pirates, haven't watched the first movies, or both. I will most likely go see it three more times. Perhaps the darkest and most violent straight up Disney flick ever. If you like big movie theatre movies, and aren't so dull you can follow multiple plotlines at the same time, this one's worth the trip to see on the big screen.)

Speaking of multiple plotlines, this little political/southern cultural/music/food loving phenomenon you all know an love as Hurricane Radio passed, quite accidentally, our 800th Post. I can't believe that a little idea I had back in December of 2003 for a cool email address would become a blog in early 2005 and last 801 online posts that people still click over to read. Thanks, y'all.

And for your pirate music listening pleasure, click over to Loch Ness Johnny of South Carolina.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Politics as Usual?

This is what happens without any Democrats around: Republicans become free to snort all the political faerie dust they want, and watch as campaign staffers attempt to run other campaign staffers down with trucks. This is the kind of thing that happens in the South when it ain't football season. I adore the fact that campaign events in Georgia's 10th Congressional District require the attention of the local sherrif's office, homeowners demanding people remove themselves from private property, and that Minutemen were to be called upon to remove campaign signage. What will really boll your weevil is that the only provable part of the altercation is that someone put a dent into a truck with their hand, perhaps in self-defense. So much for bringin' your truck to a fistfight.

The "you might be a redneck" jokes just write themselves. Which I can say, because I've written a few in my time. I did used to live down the street from where this happened.

Alarm Bells are Ringing, Willie.

So, let me get this straight: agents engaged in espionage are murdering each other with radioactive poisons, there's a new cult of personality youth movement afoot*, and a fellow NATO member nation comes under cyber-attack, sounding like something straight out of a Hollywood script.

1). It is one thing when American political figures & their ilk make thinly veiled 'America-as-Nazis' refrences; they are engaging in the traditional American political hyperbolic theatre that makes light of such comparisons by calling folks who slightly disagree with you the enemies of all mankind.

It is a completely seperate thing when the President of the Russian Federation, the leader of a civilization whose seminal historical period came when they lost over 20 million casualties while at war with the Nazis, starts making thinly veiled 'Americans as Nazis' refrences. That's just my opinion, of course.

On the Daily Show tonight, John Stewart wondered aloud if these things meant Russia was 'back.'

2). I sure am grateful the neocons's Project for a New American Century lasted a whole seven years. Thanks, guys, we needed to provoke another Cold War as soon as possible.

3). Upon reading this, someone in China is laughing even louder than they were yesterday.

4). One day, DOS attacks will come from the powers that be and will be used against small civilian, on-the-ground-style media. I am not usually a conspiracy theorist, but I know this will happen. When the move is made to shut down the NOLA blogosphere, they will come for Ashley first. That is our alarm bell, and we should make contingency plans accordingly.

5). The 'War on Terror' is not the 'great' challenge of this generation. There are other monsters in the room we refuse to acknowledge, and there are preparations we refuse to make.

* - And this is NOT the original article I read in Newsweek Online two days ago.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Forum 303

I've posted about the DeadMalls site before so this topic isn't exactly new territory here. I'd like to take a moment today to mourn the passing of Forum 303 Mall in Arlington, TX. It doesn't look like much on the outside and to be honest it had all the decorative sense of a Soviet Gulag on the inside but it was certainly more than the sum of its parts:

There was a 6 theater movie theater in the mall. That doesn't wound like much now but it was considered massive well into the 1980's. Just outside the theater in the mall there was a large wall that usually contained some sort of painted mural on it. It was a Star Wars mural for the longest time. The movie theater also hosted a Rocky Horror show for years.

There was a store called Collector's Corner where you could buy Dungeons and Dragons books back when most bookstores were too afraid to stock them. There were also tons of sci-fi collectibles to be found in the store. I still have a Mr. Spock action figure I bought there that was made for Star Trek III.

Then there was the Spencer's. Sure you can find a Spencer's in any mall today but the ones of old actually devoted a good chunk of their floor space to their strobe and black lights. And the most obscene item in the store was the "Welcome to our ool" signs. No novelty vibrating cucumbers to be found there.

There was also Century Bookstore, one of the first Chick-Fil-A's I have ever seen, a Toys by Roy (once a Dallas/Fort Worth institution as far as toys were concerned), a pizza place that had the first big screen TV I ever saw, a center court where there was always some sort of piano recital or karate demonstration going on Saturdays, and the Montgomery Ward/Dilliards/Service Merchandise (formerly Wilsons) anchors.

Last but not least, it had the best arcade in the Metroplex. I'm sure some arcades were bigger from a size standpoint but this one was still rather large (about 3 1/2 stores in size) and always had the best and rarest games. It was the only place I've ever seen a Discs of Tron or Fire Truck up close. It had about 20 of the 8' Skee Ball lanes. It felt more like a carnival than the dark cavern feeling arcades like Alladin's Castle and Gold Mine. It even had a Carousel inside the arcade towards the back. It's where we went as a family on many weekend nights.

So what happened? Well, if you see the list of what the mall had in it, you can see that it bet on almost every losing horse. Montgomery Ward is long gone. Arcades are a thing of the past. The bookstore wasn't bought out by Border's or Barnes & Noble so it didn't stand much of a chance. The mall had no food court and nowhere good to put one. Theaters in the mall are a dying breed. Dillards was the shining star of the mall but it was never renovated. Most of the floor was green shag carpet (red in the children's area). It was downgraded to an outlet center in the late 80's. Service Merchandise also went under. This Service Merchandise in particular never repainted the walls from their blue color back when they were a Wilsons.

It also didn't help that the area became hub of industry in the DFW area. Instead of the subdivsions and commercial centers that most malls are surrounded with, this one is surrounded by a GM plant, a small airport, and a bunch of industrial parks. It's main highway (360) was either being built or being renovated for most of the mall's life. Then again, that might have ultimately hurt them since 360 put Six Flags Mall about minutes away when it used to be a solid 15 minute drive.

Once the new Parks Mall (looks very similar to North Point in Alpharetta for those familiar) opened, Forum just couldn't survive as a standard mall. A group bought them and turned them into an indoor flea market called Festival Marketplace. This group obviously neglected to check out the area beforehand or they would've noticed one of the world's largest flea markets less than 10 minutes away. In fact, if you look at the directions for Trader's Village (the flea market in question) on their website, the star showing the location is big enough to cover where Forum 303 is. The flea market idea didn't go over too well but the mall hobbled along for more than a decade until the air conditioning went out. The cost to fix the very old AC unit was in the ballpark of $3 million. The mall shut down immediately and they forced out their tenants that weekend.

It's been sitting for 3 or 4 years empty. Now a developer is going to come in and demolish the mall. From what I hear, the demolition is already being prepared for. That's probably a good thing. I hate to see another old childhood stomping ground go away but really it's been gone as I knew it for 20 years. So long, Forum 303. You will be missed.

(Too bad I already used up my Ed Rooney quote in the Falwell post. This would've been a much better place for it.)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

If You Write It,

they will come.

No pun intended.

I have run across the most explosive thing you will read on the interweb this month. Right now, the sound you hear are the thousands of keyboards clicking away at this one, because the idea is simply so good, it cannot be ignored. Common thread, with literally millions of possible variations.

Folks: "How to make love to a ________ fan." That link leads you to the idea and also the instructions on how to make love to a New York Mets fan. (Strange enough, the only jersey I own is a Mets jersey, so that makes me grin. I'm onna be wearing it all weekend, now.)

The idea, like Gatorade, springs from places oft despised, but that don't keep you from drinking. Orson Swindle at EDSBS tunes in with this one to help kick things off, bringing whole new meaning to the phrase "F#*% Florida."

After spending last football season in New Orleans, I can't wait to see what some of the NOLA bloggers come up with for the "How to make love to a -Saints- fan".

UPDATE: 6:12pm CT.

The next two installments are in, including How to make love to a St Louis Cardinals' fan, (hint: it involves cuddling and custard), and, perhaps the mother of all blog posts: How to make love to a _________ fan; Tennessee Edition over at EDSBS, which may be, after that post, the single greatest blog on the planet, guestbloggers and all. You get that distinction if the words "The erotic potential of deer carcass had previously escaped my notice." ever show up in the comments section (no: 56).

Thinking about any woman 'sweating Boone's Farm' ... even a Tennessee fan ... priceless.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Nine. Damn. Years.

Hell, it's about time? You ain't kiddin. The King Nerd that lives somewhere in the back of my brain dreaming in pixels just woke up screaming, 'cause he just found out about this tonight.

I already gave you the report on movies I couldn't wait to see. Now this? I'm reminded that some of my generation's best stories don't come from the movies at all. Or, more accurately, they happen when you mix all the movies together at once. This is one I might watch for 60 hours. Straight. I hope I've got enought bandwidth, because I'm about to serve SAWB up Pittsburg style over a basilisk husk.

There goes the galaxy. Again.


The target link is an explanation of Paul Wolfowitz's problem. Short summary: Wolfy is a math guy, and math guys see the world in black and whites, and that ain't good for consensus building.

I reckon there's some merit in that argument somewhere, but I don't really think math guys are incapable of seeing other people's opinions. I know plenty of math cats who are perfectly able to interact with people normally, and are vital parts of a team. Just like I know humanities cats who can't be budged from their opinions. People who can't see the other sides of things and who don't listen to others can be found in every field in every profession. We all know them, because many of them are that guy in any room they walk into, and not in a good way.

In a related article (also from Slate), Christopher Hitchens waxes on about how Wolfowitz did nothing to deserve the scandal that has now driven him out of the World Bank. Maybe not. But it don't take much to bring that guy down.

I got a better response to both articles: if you spend your career being an asshole to everyone but your own pals and cronies, the people who are not your pals and cronies will wait in the tall grass for their chance to getcha. And you gonna get got, and here's why - there are way more of them than there are of you.

To put it in math terms for all the math folks out there, if x = your pals and cronies and y = people who are not your pals and cronies and z = people you have been an asshole to over the course of your career, you are left with this very simple equation:

x < yz

For those of us who are not math guys, there are many parables and sayings that explain the same thing.

What goes around comes around.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Be nice or leave.
Payback is a bitch.
Don't $#!+ where you eat.
If you can't spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, you ARE the sucker.

Or the corrolary to that; if you think everyone else at the table is a sucker, you are either the sucker, or you are surrounded by idiots (which is almost the same thing as are the usual results).

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Since the Memphis bureau of Hurricane Radio has been silent lo, these many months, and neglected to inform us of the Super Bowl of Swine, I'm not going to be able to drive up this weekend, as my life revolves around making tasty tortilla treats for the good people of the Lower Garden District on Friday and Saturday nights.

I reckon I got something to do tommorrow, however, since there is never a weekend that goes by in this town without a festival of some sort, and this one looks to be one hell of a show. It will also be a cover charge well spent, if money does get to the NOFD, to buy some stuff that they need.

Though it is a shame that, with all the taxes people pay in this country, the politicians can't figure out a way to fully fund Fire Departments, it is good to see that there are some folks out there who have decided to go ahead and "git-r-done," and try and raise some supplemental cabbage in support. I hope the event will be well attended. I will try and bring back some pictures.

But this got me to thinking, especially along the lines of Ashley's Sinn Fein mantra. Couldn't NOLA do something like this on a macro scale? Like, send NOLA bands out on a full scale invasion of the United States next summer, after Jazz Fest? Take it all on the road, like the Lollapaloozas of olde: one big, traveling NOLA circus taking over fairgrounds and civic centers in Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, San Francisco, Seattle, Miami, Nashville, Memphis etc? How effective of a message spreader would that be? "We are still here. We are not OK. But this is how we roll. This is why you love us. This is why you need us."

This City may not need an Irish Channel Republican Army, for NOLA already has her boots - they play every night at places like Tipitinas and the Circle Bar and Le Bon Temps and Carrolton Station... Could you imagine how such a thing would go off?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Wanted: Good Presidents

This will not mean what you think it means.

Many moons hence, an extraterrestrial residing in a human costume somehow became appointed to the Presidency at a certain University in Georgia that I attended in the past. The way this individual runs the certain University caused great consternation in the population of said certain University's student body, alumni, faculty and supporters statewide. There was a long laundry list of tangibles and intangibles that made the faithful question "how did this [censored] get to be [censored] President of the [censored] university?"

Threats to this man's property were flown over the stadium during home football games. Protests were organized. Billboards in and around the state of Georgia and the city in which said University resides went up encouraging membership to websites and organizations formed against this individual. General revolt was discussed, seriously, and civic disobedience was considered.

What really ticked off a lot of people was that the University kept getting 'better' by the stuffy standards of academia (so our degrees were worth more) but the culture at said University began to suffer.

There is a certain percentage of hell raising creativity that must be present in student body, it appears, in order to keep alive the things that are good and right about a major Southern university. And we try to carry that torch as long as possible.

But this college is simply the greatest school in the land. It will survive the current administration and be better for it. We all know this. It has to do with more beatiful and irrational faith. This makes opposition begrudging at best. We like our new East Campus stuff. We like the new renovations to some dorms we used to live in. We like that they repaved streets around the place because getting around is easier. But, dammit, we shouldn't have to suffer a fool to get those things.

But for all that fool's sufferings, at least he isn't this guy who is apparently dismantling Tulane. I mean, could you imagine what would happen if, at the Georgia university of which I speak, we got rid of the Business School and started driving out all our Journalism professors?

Rioting would ensue.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


For some reason, Marley's in my head right now, as stories of deaths play their way across the wire.

I remember, when we used to sit
in a government yard in trenchtown
Oba-observing the hypocrites
As they mingle with the good people we meet.

Jerry Falwell is dead at 73. His is a death that will be made to matter far more than it actually does. It is a shame to see so much vitriol and so much celebration over this man's passing. He was not a demon, or an evil person. He was just a man, who unfortunately found his voice and his passion dividing rather than uniting, and who made his living by playing to some of the basest natures of those he spoke to. Among my people, the Americans and the Southerners, he sold only the externalization of religion; among people of my faith, the Christians, he sold only discord and the mixed message of a vengeful savior instead of the humble meaning of reconciliation. He made a fine living, selling these things, and we are worse off for those of our families and friends who bought into his market. This is a world that needs far less vengeance and far more reconciliation.

But it is the baser natures of our being that deserve the vitriol, for that is what he fed from. It is a shame that someone with such a voice would prefer to drink from the trough instead of the chalice, but he is drinking from that chalice now, and he is weeping. My faith, as beautiful and irrational as it is, tell me that he will be welcomed into the everlasting kingdom, that my savior and his will hold him close as he relives his life's failings and sees the damage done in the name of God, he will see from afar the circus that his death has become to the world, and he will be ashamed. He will know then that he is not worthy of forgiveness, he is not worthy to drink from the chalice, but he will be invited to anyway.

He will then be welcomed across the threshold of the kingdom, and the first ones he sees there will be the ones he has wronged, the families broken and only united on the other side of that threshhold, those he has offended and those he has betrayed. They will dry his tears and offer embraces, and then he will see the face of the Lord, and he will know the true nature of forgiveness, unity and reconciliation that he has known of but never known.

I know this will happen the same way I know that I will become wet if I were to go wading in the river, because that is how it will happen to me.

Good friends we've had
Good friends we've lost
Along the way.
In this great future you can't forget your past.
So dry your tears, I say

If there were justice inherent in the world, the Rev. Falwell's death would not be making headlines. It would not be broadcast on all news outlets and radio channels, and not many would speak so ill of it. He has lived his life, for good or ill, to the fulfillment of his potential.

If there were justice inherent in the world, it would be this death that would make the headlines. It would be this story that was told, as Leigh tells it, and the story would revolve around those gossamer ropes we all sever with time and wish we didn't. We would all value just a little more how special and fragile our lives are, and maybe we would make an effort to do just a little better tomorrow, and to be a little easier on ourselves and those around us.

It is a shame that someone would take their own life at such a time, and such a thing devestates those left behind and leaves those who loved and who lost him weeping, as he too is weeping. My faith, as beautiful and irrational as it is, tells me that he will be welcomed into the everlasting kingdom, that his father who preceeded him will meet him before the gates and together they will say their goodbyes to dreams deferred and things left unsaid and all the regrets that come from lives left unlived. They will also be eased of the burdens that weighed so heavily upon their shoulders, as the world drove them down to a point from which they were unable to return.

They will then be welcomed across the threshold of the kingdom, and the first ones they see there will be the others who have been unable to bear this burden, this apocalyptic ending of the world that so many have been unable to fight through. There they will dry their tears, bind up their wounds and clothe them in the finest robes. A feast is prepared from the fatted calf, as another prodigal has found his way home from the wilderness. And there they will be at the house of the Lord, and they will know the true nature of unfathomable understanding, and make to prepare the table for those they left behind, and dry those tears shed for them on that day when their loved ones meet them again.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Scratching My Head

I truly hope history is brutal to the man who currently occupies the Office of the President of the United States of America, because every time you think you've seen the last big blunder, another one comes along. We determined a long time ago that he was no real conservative, but now, I'm wondering if this guy, or any of the people who surround him, believe that American histroy began at any point prior to the year 2000.

I mean, first of all, we re-attacked a nation that had not been properly dealt with by the previous two Presidential administrations. Instead of using the real history with Iraq, this President created a PR machine for a 'new war' and re-invaded a nation not based on the fact that we were already in a de facto shooting war with said nation, but that said nation may have intentions to re-attack us or our allies at some future time. The justifications were made for pre-emptive war, which is not, historically, a good idea. But a bunch of milquetoast Democrats and Republicans decided to re-drink the kool-aid, re-ignore history, and we re-went, even though we were already there, already shooting and being shot at.

We re-won said war against this nation, and this President and his administration re-failed to properly deal with the aftermath of winning. Then things started getting really wierd.

Opposition to re-winning the war and re-failing to properly deal with the aftermath was considered 'surrender' to a force we had already soundly defeated. This ridiculous sound byte debate has dominated the American body politic since then, and this President and his Administration, sold as cartoon conservatives but acting like cartoon liberals, blamed everyone else, and re-forgot to set a wartime finish line.

Because of this increasingly shenanigan plauged political situation, and that Republican legislators re-ignored the American body politic's sneaking suspicion that we had already re-won a war we were somehow still fighting, they turned those legislators out. Then Democratic legislators elected instead then passed a measure affecting funding to the war. It was here I really understood the depth of this President and this Administration's complete obliviousness of how to run a war.

If this President and his Administration are to be believed, the United States Military, already re-victorious against a re-defeated enemy that remains resilient, is somehow operating on a six week budget for materiel and ordinance, and that the budget situations currently being re-debated will begin affecting troops on the ground this summer.

My mind is boggled by that line of thinking, and horrified that the President would admit that particular strategic supply line information. That his hawkish supporters echo these sentiments is equally bothersome, as it seems to suggest, on the part of conservative punditry, that it is acceptable to run a war on a six week operating budget. To me, that, more than anything, told me exactly how clueless this administration is.

Until I read the news today.

What the heck is a War Czar? The first six paragraphs of this article tell us exactly what has gone wrong with the war in Iraq, and probably the larger Global War on Terror. The absolute kicker is the mind blowing sixth paragraph:
The White House has sought a war coordinator to eliminate conflicts among the Pentagon, the State Department and other agencies. Lute will seek to cut through bureaucracy and deliver fast responses when requests come in from U.S. military commanders and ambassadors.
Well, if there is any short summary of why we are still fighting a war we've already won about 12 times since 1991, that's it right there.

That this "was a difficult job to fill" and a "newly created position" speaks untold volumes about mismanagement of a war effort.

Hey guys, before you create any new positions or reorganizations, and God help us before you get us into any more wars, perhaps you need to read up on some historical material about some other famous 'war coordinators' and how we found them and filled their positions quickly. You can start by googling the terms "Ulysses S. Grant," "George Marshall," "Douglas MacArthur," "Dwight Eisenhower," "Norman Schwartzkopf." Matter of fact, I think you can still speak with Stormin' Norman on the phone. I think former Secretary of State Powell has his number in the rolodex.

For examples of how other nations do this 'war coordinator' thing successfully, you may also want to look up the terms "Bernard Montgomery" and ""Gregory Zhukov".

You guys may also want to sit down with someone from the Pentagon and examine this 'chain of command' thing they have. I'm sure there are some Generals out there who wouldn't mind the title "Supreme Commander Allied Forces Iraq" or a fifth star in addition to their 'war coordinator' position. And if Lt. General Lute can pull off this war coordinator thing with some success, and bail your asses out of the worst policy debacle in American history, you may want to go ahead and work on giving him that fifth star for his services.

What He Said

I'm specifically speaking about John Barry's piece in the Washington Post. (HT: Oyster.) Simply put, easy to understand, devestatingly effective. Answers the questions of taxi cab drivers everywhere. Could redefine the entire debate.

Makes me wonder, again, why we even have this debate?

After all, we rebuild Florida, on average, every two years. And that was just from hurricanes. Now, when that particular place isn't being destroyed by water from the ocean and water from the sky, it is being destroyed by fire. And we'll rebuild them from that, too, with little debate.

This is the United States of America, the most ingenious nation ever to grace the face of planet Earth. We never backed down from an engineering challenge before. Sometimes we engineer ourselves into a mess, but we can always build our way out of it. That is what has always been part of the American spirit. I just wonder why engineering our way out of the current mess is proving to be such a hassle on the front end....

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Primal Fear

Back in the day, when I was in high school, terrorism was an academic study and school shootings were not terribly high on the threat matrix for affluent, suburban student populations. Between 1992 and 1996, I witnessed two faux-terrorist/gunman attacks on students. Both were centered around clubs we called "Model UN," who were generally geeky policy wonks like me.

One of the fake incidents was staged during a Model UN debate at Brunswick College, where junior college students running the event posed as masked men with fake weapons and 'kidnapped' the keynote speaker. We, the 'delegates' to the 'United Nations' got to try and do something diplomatic about it.

We all knew it was going to happen though, because the folks who were going to stage said 'attack' pretty much let us know before hand. They gave us this information so no one would flip out when the thing went down. This was a risk on their part. The most serious debate involved whether we Seniors and Juniors would go all prank-war style on the college kids and disrupt their 'crisis situation' by locking the doors before hand (we had found a set of keys) or just send the 'Security Council' to the parking lot to egg the cars of the guilty parties. But cooler heads prevailed, no property was destroyed, and the college kids pulled off their situation according to the script. No one flipped out, because we knew it was coming. We knew it was a drill.

The second incident was a staged attack by half the Model UN club on the Model UN's 1996 Homecoming Parade Car right in the middle of downtown Brunswick. Our security detail, MIB's and guys in fatiuges, were armed with some pretty rocking Super Soaker water guns. Our turbaned and beret-wearing 'attackers' didn't come without some heavy water dispensing equipment themselves, and the running 'street battle' that ensued was just what the doctor ordered for a balmy South Georgia Homecoming night.

We placed third in the 'best car' division of the parade, because it was fun to watch and obviously a fake.

Involved poor judgement? You betcha. Even though both 'situations' were obvious fakes, there are a million things that could have gone wrong with either of them. But, I can't believe I say this now, the mid-90's were a more innocent time. We could get away with that kind of stuff because the study of terrorism was academic and school shootings had not yet touched the psyche of America outside the big cities.

If we tried stuff like that today, somebody would come down on us, hard. These days, one would hope we'd know better than to do stuff like that. Then again, maybe not. As evidenced by this fake attack on schoolchildren, some folks just haven't gotten the memo about what things are over the line.

What is really a shame is that schools do have to prepare for such situations, and we better have plans and contingencies in place that are far more effective than 'duck and cover.' But some things are so far outside the playbook, it is hard to imagine them happening to you, much less plan for them. Much less drill for them.

But from now on, let us hope this story serves as a warning to the folks in charge. There is a value in saying "this is only a test" and "today we are going to run our drill."

And, God help us, the only time you ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever say the words "this is not a drill" is in the event of the real thing.

A Whiskey State of Mind

I've been in a decided whiskey state of mind since Tuesday.

Maggie, a friend I came up with at UGA, was in town after graduating from Georgia State with an MBA. She was on a week long tour from the ATL to keep her sanity intact, and was traveling to New Orleans and Monroe to do it. An excellent choice, apparently. She crashed with me a coupla days in Broadmoor. I took her out round the town, she loved the food and music (we caught open mic at Carrolton Station on Tues, as well as rolling down the street to the Maple Leaf to catch a set by the Rebirth Brass Band), and we hit the bottles pretty hard over at Parasols.

I took her on the Misery Tour of the City on Thursday.

That pretty much set the tone for the week, as far as alcohol consumption was concerned. I reckon I'm back from my "giving up beer and liquor for Lent" thing. Good. I had the tolerance of a mewling, newborn kitten there for a while. SAWB would have started threatening to photoshop a "lolpat" if that nonsense had lasted any longer.

Oh, wait, some of those already exist...

Then, today I got a package in the mail, a CD of drinking songs from Athens' country bands, and Fester Hagood's CD. My boy Gary in Athens sent said CD's to me. But then there was more - I was really mad that last Saturday I wasn't able to be at Tasty World in Athens, for a Solid Gold Cinco De Mayo. What do you know? Gary, who will henceforth be known by the Injun name I give him now as "Owed Many Beers" done sent me a DVD of the show.

He will need to live up to such a big name during next year's Mardi Gras....

These facts, coupled with the strange and vaired reactions of New Orleans women to my particular personality, as well as the strange and varied personalities I work with at the Burrito Stand, ended up with me mainlining Maker's Mark and Wild Turkey at Finn McCools last evening and early this morning.

Thank the Good Lord Above for taxicabs.

Which is why I am blogging at 3 in the morning on a Sunday, and updating my blog's quote with Drive By Truckers lyrics.

What a town. Gravity's Gone, indeed.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


Saturday's field trip is over to this post over at Georgia Politics Unfiltered. He's got a YouTube up from the Democratic National Convention of 1992, and one of the greatest speeches I've ever read or listened to.

15 years can change so much, and so very little. But who speaks in a voice like that today? Not many folks, that is for damn sure, because if they did, we would gravitate towards them like moths to a flame.

I know ol' Zell Miller ain't a saint, but ain't nobody's right 100% of the time. I like to judge a man by what he does more than what he says (less he says it real good), and this guy put a million kids through college in Georgia, who might not have gone, otherwise.

I know he done gone plumb crazy, on national tv no less, but anybody who ever came up on them red hills and granite topped mountains knows that we're all going to go plumb crazy someday, some sooner than others, and Lord help us if the cameras are rolling when it happens. It may be the moonshine, it may the the way a banjo rings when you first pick one up, it may be all the demons that come from bein' descendants of storytellers, we ain't quite figured it out, yet, and we ain't sure we want to.

So that's that. I like to wonder what would happen if Clinton had picked ol' Zell instead of Al Gore. I wonder where we would be today, as a nation, if that seemingly small decision had been made a different way. Maybe they'd talk about Georgia with the same venom with which they talk about Texas. But maybe not. Who knows? It's something to think about, though.

But I did figure out where John Edwards gets his hairstyle template....

Friday, May 11, 2007

Creative Writing Contest

Field trip Friday. Today we are going over to read this post from Hey, Jenny Slater!, and comment appropriately.

Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani haters strongly encouraged to enter....

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Early Kickoff

Not one to wait around for manmade deadlines, Mother Nature has decided to warm us up for the 2007 Hurricane Season with her own verson of a Pre-Season Game: Sub-Tropical Storm Andrea. Though I spoke with the Moms this morning, the report from Island City at 10:45am EDT included not much rain so far. It appears that one is still holding up.

Mayor of Atlanta?

After Shirley Franklin boldy stepped in and replaced Bill Campbell's massively corrupt stint as mayor with her own slightly less corrupt mayorship, a candidate who might might actually end corruption in the mayor's office (albeit temporarily) is deciding whether or not to run for the position. I know you're sitting there thinking, "Yeah, right. Who are you going to name that I would actually trust as mayor?" Clark Howard. Yes, Clark Howard is seriously considering running for Mayor in Atlanta. He threw around the idea a few years ago as an opponent to Bill Campbell but that never really materialized. I hope he does run this time around. The City of Atlanta could use a leader who knows how to save more, spend less, and avoid getting ripped off.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Meanwhile and Dreaming

On the Other Side of Europe

NATO ally and prosepective European Union member, Turkey, is going through a Presidential decision perhaps more monumental than the one in France. The whole story is that there is more story than I can really sink my teeth into, and it has all been below the fold type stuff, despite how desperately important it is for some attention to be paid. Meanwhile, a host of things I've been reading this week are about religion, and they segue into this post as completely, utterly and distinctly related.

More after the jump:

Over in Anatolia, the folks marching in the streets are carrying some of the most direct and heartwrenching signs I've ever heard of. They say: NO SHARIA, NO COUP. What a line to walk, that place where the fear is so palpable that you could lose your westernized society to either religious dictatorship or military dictatorship by the end of the business day.

Thousands, marching to keep secularism in government. The fear of Islamization being touched off by a candidate's wife's choice to wear a headscarf. I mean, are headscarves really so threatening, if they're a personal choice? I guess I would know, as the Island City constabulary saw fit to look me over three times in 24 hours for wearing a red bandana.

At least I wasn't in England. At least my bandana has no religious connotation. Then I'd be in real trouble.

And that's our segue. The question being asked all around the world right now is not whose religion is better, whose is a 'religion of peace' and whose is a religion of war, the question being asked is thus: is your religion expressed internally or externally? Do you walk your religion or do you talk your religion? Does your expression of religion make you want to listen to people who disagree with you or attack people who disagree with you?

Where is that line? Because tolerance, open society, freedom, multiculturalism - these things are about expressing yourself for yourself alone, respecting that others may disagree with you and not hurting anyone else along the way.

These things are: I'll wear my bandana and you wear your burka and this other guy dresses up in Mardi Gras Indian costume beads; and if we live in New Orleans we all cheer the Saints and if we live in Athens it is OK if we all bark loudly like a Dawg and that's OK because you are not me and I am not you and we understand that. If there is any confusion over where the lines are, we can handle that person to person like grown-ups; I won't stand on your porch at 4 in the morning barking like a Dawg and you won't go around naked in front of my kids and I won't take my kids to Bourbon Street when that time of the year is on us where you'll be running around naked.

Fair enough. We used to call this stuff the 'social contract' and a lot of people were on board. We had towering giants to help us find our way down that winding path, and despite their flaws we ended up better for it.

We're sorry that the folks who weren't on board are now running the show and hogging the microphone. We're working on that. You keep marching in Turkey and voting in France, and we'll keep blogging and wading and blowin' jazz around New Orleans, we'll keep raising babies right back in Georgia and one day we'll all meet somewhere in the middle and realize we were just too much for those folks who weren't on board and they've all gone back into hiding.

But before I get ahead of myself....

Another part of it was: if you date someone I don't like, I might make fun of you. That's it. I would never, ever, ever stone you to death (brutal link) and will see, in your absence, that the sonuvabitch(es) who did is prosectued to the fullest extent of the law in a place like Texas and not in a place like Germany, where they appear to be confused.

And if you don't like coming in close contact with our ladies, that's cool. So long as you're not resorting to violence, we are cool. Your loss anyway. More ladies for me to hang out with, despite my Zero Game. But we can still play a game, all of us, we'd just kick your ass at golf where you don't have to stand within 400 yards of the ladies. Because we had senses of humor and grew up on an Island.

Because that's what I think about when I hear about folks in Turkey marching to keep secularism in government. Over a headscarf, among other things.

And before anyone goes away thinking this is centered on one religion, I don't mean for it to be that way. Every religion has its internalizers and every religion has its externalizers, and I make no bones about who I think the problems come from. Can you imagine an American march to keep secularism in government? Could we even have a real one here? I think it would just end up on Fox News and Bill O'Reilly as 'proof' of the ebil conspiracy to keep white, affluent Christians down in America. It would be the war on Christmas all over again.

I know this would happen, you know this would happen. The proof? I get emails from folks here, folks I dearly love. These emails use as examples of religious tolerance and plurality the nations of Israel, Iraq, and China. When Christians start quoting "when in Rome," it ain't a good thing, historically speaking. Have a look:
Paul Harvey says:

I don't believe in Santa Claus, but I'm not going to sue somebody for singing a Ho-Ho-Ho song in December. I don't agree with Darwin, but I didn't go out and hire a lawyer when my high school teacher taught his Theory of Evolution

Life, liberty or your pursuit of happiness will not be endangered because someone says a 30-second prayer before a football game.

So what's the big deal? It's not like somebody is up there reading the entire book of Acts. They're just talking to a God they believe in and asking him to grant safety to the players on the field and the fans going home from the game.

But it's a Christian prayer, some will argue.

Yes, and this is the United States of America, a country founded on Christian principles. According to our very own phone book, Christian churches outnumber all others better than 200-to-1. So what would you expect -- somebody chanting Hare Krishna?

If I went to a football game in Jerusalem, I would expect to hear a Jewish prayer.

If I went to a soccer game in Baghdad, I would expect to hear a Muslim prayer.

If I went to a ping pong match in China, I would expect to hear someone pray to Buddha.

And I wouldn't be offended.
It wouldn't bother me one bit.
When in Rome .

But what about the atheists? is another argument.

What about them?
Nobody is asking them to be baptized. We're not going to pass the collection plate. Just humor us for 30 seconds. If that's asking too much, bring a Walkman or a pair of ear plugs. Go to the bathroom. Visit the concession stand. Call your lawyer!

Unfortunately, one or two will make that call. One or two will tell thousands what they can and cannot do. I don't think a short prayer at a football game is going to shake the world's foundations.

Christians are just sick and tired of turning the other cheek while our courts strip us of all our rights. Our parents and grandparents taught us to pray before eating; to pray before we go to sleep.

Our Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. Now a
handful of people and their lawyers are telling us
to cease praying.

God, help us.
And if that last sentence offends you, well . .. just sue me.

The silent majority has been silent too long.. It's time we let that one or two who scream loud enough to be heard that the vast majority don't care what they want. It is time the majority rules! It's time we tell them, you don't have to pray; you don't have to say the pledge of allegiance; you don't have to believe in God or attend services that honor Him. That is your right, and we will honor your right ... But by golly, you are no longer going to take our rights away. We are fighting back ... and we WILL WIN!

God bless us one and all ... especially those who denounce Him, God bless America, despite all her faults. She is still the greatest nation of all.

God bless our service men who are fighting to protect our right to pray and worship God.

May 2007 be the year the silent majority is heard and we put God back as the foundation of our families and institutions.

Keep looking up.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Rock the Vote

Ladies and gentlemen, it is a shame that the only people left who can speak candidly in this society are comedians. Thank you for this post, Andre.


Well, they just had a big election over in France, the voter turnout was massive and the electorate made conservative Nicolas Sarkozy the President. Apparently, "slightly more than half" has become a "mandate" these days, especially in our Western nations with completely fractured voting blocs, because that's what they are calling Sarkozy's 53%.

I'm so old, I remember when numbers like those were considered a "simple majority." Ahh, the good ole days.

I heard about this switching forth on the radio, and heard that the voter turnout was a historic high for the Fifth Republic. Which reminded me that, oh yeah, France has had like 6 or 7 revolutions or major government re-organizations in the last 200 or so years.

We Americans are still working on our first Republic (Slight Return).

It is times like these I wonder why all the American animosity towards France, and vice versa. I'll never forget a woman in a bookstore, somewhere in 2003, telling me she could never read a book by a French author because "what they did to us."

I was unable to reply to that one. I thought our main complaint was that the French had trouble doing anything.

I mean, I like to pick on a lot the French do (or don't do), in the same way I pick on Florida and Texas. That "same way" being "all the time." I was raised in Georgia, after all, that's really all we talk about once football season is over and the crops are all picked and e'rything. So here is a post where I'm going to talk about why I think there is a huge rivalry in the West between the United States and France. Yeah, click on the read more link, if you want any more of this.

So the French talk smack about the Americans, the Americans talk smack about the French, and somehow we end up calling them 'surrender monkeys' and eating 'freedom fries' while they consider us the biggest threat to world peace. All the while, Germany, a nation that cost the world somewhere just short of 100 million lives to utterly destroy and Britain, a nation we had to secede from somehow get a pass in our national dialouge. We'll go ahead and follow the punditocracy and completely ignore what our 'trade partners' and 'allies' China and Saudi Arabia are 'doing to us' as well.

How, exactly, does that happen?

It comes down, IMHO, to the United States and France being the two main proponents of the 'Republic' school of government. We are the two cats who govern based on mass liberty and participation (in theory), and our rivalry stems from our "in theory" differences.

Like two bad gangsta rappers who must manufacture a controversey to increase record sales, the US and France go at it on the verbal stage, proclaiming the fear the one has for the other, how the other is just frontin' and dwelling on the others' disadvantages without really looking at the whole picture.

Translated, it may sound something like this: < beat-box >

ya name rhyme with dance,
and a silly word like 'prance.'
All you done for the world
is supply some bad fragrance.
Croy-sants and pur-fume,
How'm I gonna respect you?
You da kind of sucka
rip the Red, White and Blue
from my crew.
So I show up to school you,
don't call yourself a playa,
Cause you da one screamin'
'Don't shoot!
My hands' already in the air!!'"

Word. Made that up all by myself. It was actually easier than I thought, so ingrained is my cultural disrespect. I have no idea how France-as-rapper would call the USA a "sucka emcee," so I'll stop here.

But that's what this stuff has to sound like to the rest of the world. Because, like it or not, the USA and France are the two biggest acts in their particular genre of government. Right now, with the election of Sarkozy, all the conservative-pundits-as-bad-gangsta-rappers are gearing up for a week of 'I told you so' style tracks, so we get to hear that on the interweb until Sarkozy actually starts trying to govern, and then it'll be back to bad-radio-normal-programming, I'm sure.

But what I didn't realize when I started writing this post is, if the USA and France are like bad-gangsta-rap, what other musical genres would fit other government genres? I'm thinking Asian 'democracies' are like bad bubble gum pop; any Scandanavian or Slavic nations are, of course, heavy metal; and all British themed nations are bad emo.

Except Australia, they're like that cool band that only did an album produced by an emo musician for better radio play, and then lure unsuspecting emo kids into massive mosh pits during the stadium tour....

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Zero Game

As many of the longtime readers know, I rarely provide a link to the general Yankee Press, but even a broken watch is right two times a day. Every once in a while, I reckon, even they can get a good writer to write something good.

It is a rare find indeed that they actually write something I can relate to, but I clicked (HT) over to it, and now must share it in solidarity with, well, other folks like me.



Do you ever wonder what the blogosphere looks like? My rendition would probably look more like this, and it would probably be drawn on a bar napkin with some bourbon spilled on the corner.

This is a pretty cool little skematic, from folks who get paid to study things like the blogosphere. (Yeah, how do you get that particular job?) Means we are one step closer to the Matrix or Johnny Mnemonic, which instills fear in my heart against our eventual faux-surfer-dude overlord. I wonder where the NOLA bloggers fit in this? Probably somewhere in the 'green' section.

Tip of the hat to Clicked, who includes a host of other very interesting reads.

Friday, May 04, 2007

If God Ain't Got Good Whiskey....

I'd rather go to Hell.

I am forced to the interweb for my music today, as burritos are more important that watching music live. No, I'm not bitter.

If you're up in El Georgia Del Norte, you need to getcho ass down to the Tasty World in Athens on Saturday night, for the Cinco De Mayo rendition of Solid Gold Saturday Night. The Bearfoot Hookers will be two steppin' (instead of 12 steppin'), and will be joined by the King Cotton Band and Levi Lowery and the Country Home Band.

I will (attempt to) torture my fellow burrito makers with both BFH albums on Saturday night, in harmonic solid gold solidarity. We'll see if that lasts longer than the heavy metal.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

What isn't beer good for?

The University of Queensland and Foster's Brewery have collaborated to build a microbial fuel cell at the Brisbane brewery. This fuel cell takes brewery waste water and some sugar-consuming bacteria as input and outputs electricity and clean water. I wonder if this could be used at universities. Last I remember consuming brewery waste (I think it was PBR), one of the byproducts was what appeared to be straight water. I wonder if I could've pulled an Uncle Fester and powered my own light bulb. I also wonder what this will do to the price of vegemite.

FTA: "It's not going to make an enormous amount of power — its primarily a waste water treatment that has the added benefit of creating electricity," Keller said.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Pass the Popcorn

I don't go to see a lot of movies at the theatre. Never really have. Matter of fact, I rarely even know what movies are playing during any time of the year. I have no idea what is a box office smash right now, for example.

Mainly this is because Hollywood, despite all their flashiness and faux-political involvement, just hasn't impressed me overall. I kept going to movies for years, hoping to be entertained, and just paying for the privilige of paying extra for coca-cola. With all the new CGI technology, I still miss the good ole days of Batman, Robocop, the original Star Wars, and Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. The Nightmare Before Christmas was a tour de force of good movie making, and Armageddon was amazing to watch in the theatres. But so many other disappointments left me bitter (new Star Wars, Underworld(s), Pearl Harbor), and finding better things to do than go to the movies (like doing laundry). And, honestly, TV has been so good in the past years (Rescue Me, the Sheild, Battlestar Galactica, Nip/Tuck, South Park, the Chappelle Show, House....) that watching DVD's was almost exclusively related to 20 hour storylines that movies just could not match up with.

But this summer is different. My geeky life will force me to act against my own economic well being, and throw down some cabbage just to see a bunch of movies in the theatre. I'm so excited, I can barely believe it.

First on deck is Live Free or Die Hard, coming out in late June. Bruce Willis action movies are awesome, and I loved the Die Hard series. Something big is gonna get blowed up and a lot of smack will be talked.

The Transformers comes out on July 4th. Spider-Man 11 or whatever may be cool, but I was raised in the 1980's off Saturday Morning Cartoons and dreams of giant robots fighting one another.

Then, a little over a week later, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is out, and I will be well prepped because the last book in the series will already have been released. OotP was my favorite book, so far, because it was so dark and reminded me of "Empire Strikes Back," which is like, the highest compliment I can give a work of fiction. Plus, the cats that have been making the HP movies, with the exception of Chamber of Secrets, seem to know what they're doing.

But before all this will come the one movie I really want to see, the movie whose franchise is the only movie that I have paid hard earned money to see more than one time in theatres, and it is part of a franchise I will never tire of. You know me, you know what movie it is: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. That's right, a pirate movie for me. I loved the first one, I loved the second one that people hated on. I've watched them again and again. Whenever I find a place to actually stay, finally get my TV and DVD player, PotC will be the first DVD's I get and watch. I don't care that Orlando Bloom is in them, I don't care that Johnny Depp lives in France. Cannon will roar, swashes will be buckled and rum will feature prominently. Kiera Knightly will also be on screen, covered in salt water for most of the film. How you goan hate on dat?

I had to go put on my red bandana just to finish writing this. I'm ready.

Can You Digg It?

I don't know how many of you are familiar with It's a website that lets users post stories and those stories can be "dugg" or voted good by its members. This basically gives the users quite a bit of editorial control over what is displayed on the site since stories are typically viewed in order of number of diggs. The staff at digg occasionally has to pull a story for violating the terms of use. Recently digg was given a cease and desist order for a very popular digg story displaying the HD-DVD* encryption key.

Well Digg removed the story and the diggers flipped out. Unrelated stories were posting the key left and right. And those stories were being seriously dugg. The Top 8 dugg stories in the past 24 hours are all related to this fiasco and that's not counting the pulled stories. It seems Digg has relented and will no longer pull stories containing the key.

I do wonder how this will be handled. Digg is violating the cease and desist and I don't think it will be taken lightly but how do you really stop the flow of information when your system gives the masses so much editorial power?

*This was a key that was supposed to keep you from illegally copying HD-DVDs. HD-DVD is in the middle of a format battle with its sibling BluRay and right now HD-DVD is losing but that's not saying much given the low sales of both formats. Now that people will be able to easily make copies of their HD-DVDs, it's going to be a little harder to convince studios to make movies on this format.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

No, no. Don't Get Up.

We'll handle this for you. Even if you don't want us to.

This excellent link sent to me by Corwyn.

You see, Corwyn and I disagree on just about 97.65% of all things, so I really have to make a big deal out of that last 2.35%, which this article talks about. Especially any place where Corwyn and DailyKos line up on the same side.

That's a bunch of damn nonsense. I'd love to see the ACLU file a brief against this as unwarranted regulation of Free Speech...