ustoo Dead

Sites to see:

Almost Essential
From the Left
From the Right
Magazines and Journals
Various Weblogs and Pundits
Think Tanks
Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
Shrill Leftist Garbage


Thursday, June 30, 2005

Instant Karma's gonna get you 

Now that we can leverage government to take each other's land (not that it's all that new), someone wants Justice Souter's piece.

Likelihood of it going through? I would imagine nill, since the retaliatory intention is so clear, and because it belongs to one of the gods on high. Clever though, what with the "just desserts cafe" and all.

-Lucky  11:18 EST | |

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Aptly Horrified 

Sony Pictures presents: Rent.

Directed by Christopher Columbus (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Stepmom) and featuring Rosario Dwason (Sin City, Kids) as Mimi and Taye Diggs (Chicago, How Stella Got Her Groove Back) as Benny. Roger, Maureen, and Angel are played by the same actors as in the original broadway cast.

Release date: 11 November 2005.

Note to Sony: I am a little terrified about this. This is the freaking show that introduced me to the musical theatre (I meant to spell it that way). I love this show. It embodies the narrative cohesion, great characters, heart wrenching story arc, and all-around goodness that hollywood only wishes movies could have. If Columbus and all you bastards ruin it for me, I'm gonna be pissed. Damn pissed. And I might not be responsoble for my actions.

I will admit though that if it is good, it could have a Barnes & Noble effect, in that it will bring a great show to people who would otherwise never see it.

-Ben  00:28 EST | |

Sunday, June 26, 2005

I feel about foie gras the way Paul feels about guns 

To animal welfare groups, the obscenity of force-feeding, known by the French word gavage, is self-evident. But Mr. Ginor and his partner Izzy Yanay, who runs the farm, accuse their critics of anthropomorphism and ignorance of duck anatomy and behavior. They say the practice is as benign as it is ancient, since waterfowl lack a gag reflex and have sturdy throats that easily tolerate grains, grit, stones and inflexible gavage tubes. To understand gavage, they say, is to accept it - as they insist poultry researchers have, after examining birds for signs of undue stress and suffering during gavage and finding none.

I visited Hudson Valley Foie Gras last week, seeing gavage for the first time. I saw no pain or panic in Mr. Yanay's ducks, no quacking or frenzied flapping in the cool, dimly lighted open pens where a young woman with a gavage funnel did her work. The birds submitted matter-of-factly to a 15-inch tube inserted down the throat for about three seconds, delivering about a cup of corn pellets.

The practice, done three times a day for a month, followed by slaughter, seemed neither particularly gentle nor particularly rough. It was unnerving to see the tube going down, and late-stage ducks waddling bulkily in their pens, but no more so than watching the epic gorging at the all-you-can-eat buffet at Shoney's, where morbid obesity is achieved voluntarily, with knife and fork.
The whole thing is here.

-Daddy Brooklyn  09:32 EST | |

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Supreme Court = Supreme Assholes 

The government can now seize your property for a reason no more compelling than giving it to Pfizer. Thank goodness we still have the second amendment, so I can at least pick off a few construction workers before they bulldoze my house and put me in jail because Long John Silver's needs a corporate training center.

In other news, the justices in the majority were heard commenting on how delicious the lentil soup was they got in exchange for their birthright.

-Miguel Sanchez  10:36 EST | |

Salazar, You Son of a Bitch! 

Sen. Sellout "Nighthorse" McDouchebag is co-sponsoring the flag burning amendment in the senate. If this passes, I'm going to express my displeasure in a way that shows more discretion than threatening a U.S. Senator (possibly a phone call to your office), you worthless son of a bitch.

Update: Half as fun! Twice as safe!

-Miguel Sanchez  10:31 EST | |

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The cost of being Batman 

I've alwas wondered what a well-run vigilante operation might cost. Well, Forbes has the answer.

Given that Batman's efforts seem to have some effect on crime in Gotham (at least at the end of the most recent movie...the comic books paint a more dreary picture of an obsessed man trying to hold back the ocean), it goes to show that indcreased funding for crimefighting really can make a difference.

Also interesting is the Forbes Fictional Fifteen. After Santa Clause (net worth: $ cop-out), Richie Rich ranks top. I thought for sure it'd be Lex Luthor, but he ranks a paltry #8 (Bruce Wayne is #7).

Who knew?

-Ben  00:41 EST | |

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Thank you Michael Kinsley. 

The La Times Editorials Elsewhere offers up criticism of other major papers' editorial pages.

Yet another sigh that this is becoming one of the best editorial pages in the country (or anywhere?).

-Ben  12:41 EST | |

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Huzzah, Public Editor, Huzzah 

The NYT's new Public Editor, Byron Calame, wrote an excellent article today about how the paper decides to publish a story that is potentially damaging to the CIA or national security more broadly.

The substance of the decision-making process is fascinating and seems spot-on to me. I was surprised that so many people complained that what the NYT published "weakened" our country, but I guess if us namby-pamby liberals don't know about extraordinary rendition then we can't complain about it.

But what I really wanted to point out is how this article is--to my thinking--the platonic ideal of a public editor column. Calame takes on a discrete issue that the readership has concerns with, allows the relevant NYT official respond, and then gives his own judgment. Fair, informative and a real exercise of institutional oversight.

So, cheers to you, Byron Calame!

-Ziggy Stardust  16:53 EST | |

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Have you written your elected officials yet? 

Be clear that you're opposed to torture.

Hilzoy makes it easy. Do it--it is an easy step.

-Ziggy Stardust  23:38 EST | |

Sunday, June 12, 2005

What I need to avoid: 

If anyone missed this book review by Mr. Torture (warrants), you should check it out--if only to learn what may await me:

The immortal law firm endures by eating its young and adapting to the ever-shifting ethics and business practices of the second-oldest profession.
or, perhaps better put:

The occasional excitement of a pro bono stint on behalf of a probably guilty killer on death row breaks the tedium of thousands of hours of pro malo work on behalf of predatory corporate clients. Prohibited by sexual harassment policy from dating subordinates or supervisors within the firm, precluded by the 18-hour workday from meeting anyone outside the firm, these legal eunuchs think the occasional firm cocktail party or the early-morning jog to the office counts as real fun.

-Ziggy Stardust  20:54 EST | |

Senator Obama's Speech 

In case you haven't seen it yet, read Barack Obama's Commencement speech at Knox College.

-Ziggy Stardust  20:47 EST | |

Friday, June 10, 2005

They Shut Down Kim's 

Only Ziggy and if he ever reads this, Jad, know what Kim's is and appreciate how amazing it is. The cops shut it down:
A longtime fixture in the East Village, Mondo Kim's, a mecca for independent music and video at 6 St. Marks Place, was raided and closed for five hours on Wednesday by police officers who left with boxes filled with CD's, DVD's and computer equipment. Five store employees were charged with trademark counterfeiting.

According to several employees of the store, known widely for the its independent labels, and sometimes ornery staff, the police arrived about 1 p.m. on Wednesday, and ordered all customers to leave.

Then, all of the 20 or so clerks, managers and other employees who were working in the three-floor store, which sells DVD's, CD's, books and production equipment, were told to line up on the ground floor. The police quickly identified four men and one woman and led them away in handcuffs. They ordered everyone else to leave and searched the store until about 6 p.m., when officers filed out carrying boxes.

-Daddy Brooklyn  18:37 EST | |

Monday, June 06, 2005

Miguel Sanchez Rules in Favor of Non-Medical Marijuana in a Closely Watched Decision 

Miguel Sanchez overruled a lower court today in a 1-0 decision and got totally high. "This was a clear cut issue of states rights," said Sanchez from Denver, where the ruling was made.

The controversal decision has drawn fire from critics. "Don't you have to go to class in a few hours?" asked Miguel Sanchez, a long-time crusader for getting passing grades. Watchers of the court expected this decision, as the court has ruled in favor of non-medical marijuana 3 times in the last 24 hours.

-Miguel Sanchez  11:21 EST | |

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Jacob Weisberg missed this one 

"It seemed like to me they based some of their decisions on the word of -- and the allegations by people who were held in detention, people who hate America, people that had been trained in some instances to disassemble -- that means not tell the truth."

--G.W. Bush

-Daddy Brooklyn  10:54 EST | |

Friday, June 03, 2005

We want the crazies 

So, I was reading "The New Republic" today and smoking crack (of course) and I happened upon this really interesting article about how to deflower a girl. I won't get into details of such a sensitive topic on a family blog such as this, but let me just say that it involved "lightsaber research" (if you know what I mean). And that got me to thinking about how cool it would be to have a morphing halloween costume and be a shape-shifter. Why was I reminded of this? I don't know. It could be the crack.

-Matt  21:42 EST | |

The Future is Force Field 

Today slate has some-such-and-such about how a skyscraper can never really be safe. Instead of reading the article, I will do what all great visionaries do and talk about my own idea instead. Force field! If I were a venture capitalist, I would be pursuing the patent on force field. If you could create this kind of defense, you charge anything you want.

There has already been some experience of force field, as reported by an engineer at a 3M production plant (Here, here). I believe that given enough money for research, force field could be realize in no more than 10 years. It seems more productive than SMD projects that go no where.

The only way to stop terrorists is force field! Or planes made out of balsa wood. Or replace air travel altogether with a cannon/parachute system. That system would make baggage restrictions much easier to enforce, and if the terrorists went to cannon school, you'd just have to pay the window washers overtime. Just a thought.

-paul  15:29 EST | |

Who's looking out for you? 

Who's looking out for our national security in this dangerous time? Among others, an unschooled former drummer for the Doobie Brothers. While I am all for doobies, my own predilection for doobie rolling has prevented me from pursuing a career in national security. I guess I just had to be in a band.

I am looking forward to seeing Trey Anastasio as the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Phil Lesh as national security advisor, and M.C. Hammer as director of the CIA.

-Miguel Sanchez  12:51 EST | |

Thursday, June 02, 2005

And I thought it was hard to get a job 

My long, futile job search was grueling, but I wonder what life is like for University of Connecticut puppetry majors?

-paul  11:23 EST | |

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

ustoo search engine roundup 

Some of the more interesting search engine qureies thst have recently yielded an ustoo hit:
  • "new republic" "smoke crack"
  • how to deflower a girl (an interesting pattern with this one)
  • lightsaber research
  • morphing halloween costumes

-Ben  23:37 EST | |

Books: Man's oldest enemy 

Human Events Online, a conservative chop shop you may not have heard of, published a list of the ten most "harmful" books of the last 200 years. While some I agree with whole-heartedly (Communist Manifesto, Mein Kampf, Mao's little red book), others are bizarre (Democracy and Education by John Dewey? The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan?) and the list concludes with downright self-parody (Keynes's The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money). The list seems heavily skewed to not only the 20th century, but the last half of the 20th century. We may be living in the most dangerous time to be literate in human history.

Also hilarious are the also-rans: Unsafe at Any Speed, On Liberty, Madness and Civilization, Silent Spring, etc.

-Miguel Sanchez  11:51 EST | |

The downside of being a megalomaniac jerk 

Is that some times you explode in an undue, injudicious way. I would like to publicly apologize to commenter Natasha. I was out of line.

-Miguel Sanchez  11:44 EST | |

About us:

This weblog is an ongoing, if periodic, effort by several friends to stay in touch, in reading material, and in ideas.

Lucky Luciano is a former Italian Stallion real estate hustler and Benedict Arnold CEO turned shady lawyer-to-be. He lives in Denver.

Ben is a Paramedic and would-be philantropist who lives in Denver. He knows everything about nothing.

Fuzzy Dunlop lives in Manhattan. He is more than capable of standing up to the stresses of a high crime urban environment.

Jess is a teacher. But have YOU given her an apple? No, you haven't. You should be ashamed of yourself. This crazy feminist currently rests her copy of Awakening in Jersey City.

Matt is a pariah, iconoclast, and professor of gambling living in Oakland.

Miguel Sanchez is not Lionel Hutz.

Daddy Brooklyn lives in Brooklyn. He hates Republicans, though he wouldn't mind being ensconced in the landed elite of New York City.

Paul just smoked my eyelids and punched my cigarette.

Ziggy Stardust has no past.

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