Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Read this book this week
It's not long, it's very good, and time is running out for you to experience this masterwork before your impressions of it get all mucked up by the mornons who brought you "The Matrix: Reloaded" and "The Matrix: Revolutions".
Like the Midwestern yokels they are, the Wachowski Brothers thought they were really on the cutting edge by recycling intro to philosophy and calculus 2. Who knows what freshman level class they will co-opt to ruin Alan Moore's book. My deepest fear is that it will be "creative writing". They have already reset the story from taking place in a future England that embraces fascism for safety to an alternate universe in which the Nazis won WWII. By the time this is released, I expect lead character and terrorist V to be re-imagined as a rapping surfer.
In any case, while you may not have had time read my analysis of "disco duck", you need to make time to read this. Before it's too late.
-Miguel Sanchez 09:59 EST |
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Dean was right
From a speech
Dean gave on Feb. 17, 2003:
We have been told over and over again what the risks will be if we do not go to war.
We have been told little about what the risks will be if we do go to war.
If we go to war, I certainly hope the Administration's assumptions are realized, and the conflict is swift, successful and clean.
I certainly hope our armed forces will be welcomed like heroes and liberators in the streets of Baghdad.
I certainly hope Iraq emerges from the war stable, united and democratic.
I certainly hope terrorists around the world conclude it is a mistake to defy America and cease, thereafter, to be terrorists.
It is possible, however, that events could go differently, and that the Iraqi Republican Guard will not sit out in the desert where they can be destroyed easily from the air.
It is possible that Iraq will try to force our troops to fight house to house in the middle of cities - on its turf, not ours - where precision-guided missiles are of little use.
It is possible that women and children will be used as shields and our efforts to minimize civilian casualties will be far less successful than we hope.
There are other risks.
Iraq is a divided country, with Sunni, Shia and Kurdish factions that share both bitter rivalries and access to large quantities of arms.
Iran and Turkey each have interests in Iraq they will be tempted to protect with or without our approval.
If the war lasts more than a few weeks, the danger of humanitarian disaster is high, because many Iraqis depend on their government for food, and during war it would be difficult for us to get all the necessary aid to the Iraqi people.
There is a risk of environmental disaster, caused by damage to Iraq's oil fields.
And, perhaps most importantly, there is a very real danger that war in Iraq will fuel the fires of international terror.
Anti-American feelings will surely be inflamed among the misguided who choose to see an assault on Iraq as an attack on Islam, or as a means of controlling Iraqi oil.
And last week's tape by Osama bin Laden tells us that our enemies will seek relentlessly to transform a war into a tool for inspiring and recruiting more terrorists.
We should remember how our military presence in Saudi Arabia has been exploited by radicals to stir resentment and hatred against the United States, leading to the murder of American citizens and soldiers.
We need to consider what the effect will be of a U.S. invasion and occupation of Baghdad, a city that served for centuries as a capital of the Islamic world.
Via Benj Hellie at Leiterreports
-Ziggy Stardust 17:39 EST |
Saturday, February 25, 2006
Everybody's doin' the Disco Duck
Things begin normally one night for the protagonist of Rick Dees 1976 hit song "Disco Duck".
In a Kafka-esqe twist, just as "all the ladies were treating him right" a normal man is somehow transformed into a duck. In horror, the man flaps his "arms" to come to grips with what could be the most existentially jarring moment of his life. "Look at me" he cries, "I am the disco duck".
But the party doesn't stop. Everyone wants to get down with the disco duck. They dance like he dances. Like Zeus in the form of a swan, women find the disco duck irresistible. The disco duck, for his part, has retained some element of his humanity: a desire for women. "I gotta have me a woman," declares the duck amid perverse laughter. "Hey momma, shake your tail feathers! ha ha ha!"
Amid this spectacle of beastiality and metamorphosis enters Elvis, thanking the duck. Everything seems to have worked out for the poorly-voiced, hyper-sexualized Donald Duck rip-off.
Dees tried to follow up the success of this disturbing, but optimistic, magna opus of the disco era, but failed when "discorilla" failed to meet with as wide an audience.
-Miguel Sanchez 13:28 EST |
Friday, February 24, 2006
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Friday, February 17, 2006
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Google's feelin' lucky
In case the administration isn't pissed enough about Google refusing to share info, they continue to leave little side-jabs along the way. First, it was typing in 'miserable failure' and hitting "I'm feeling lucky" in Google. Now, type in 'asshole' and do the same thing. I'm sure there's more.
-Lucky 16:12 EST |
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Low Blog quality: not our fault
Due to my tireless research, I have concluded that the lack of posting on Ustoo has nothing to do with the posters being either busy or with the novelty of unpaid blogging wearing off. The fault here is not ours, but the world's, for producing stories of too little import to be worth mentioning.
Sure, there's still the occasional stoned owl or chicken flavored condom that comes along, but, on the whole, there are just far fewer "blogworthy" stories these days. Think back to 2004 - torture scandals, presidential election, etc. What, in 2006, is there to blog about? Nothing. So, as we wait for this sleepy world to wake up, take solace in the knowledge that I will at least occasionally have time to kill. I am so funny.
-Miguel Sanchez 10:08 EST |
Or Dobrow Milligan or whatever your internet name ends up being: I ment to call you back when you called me a week ago, but I have problems working the telegraph machine.
I would have contacted you by electric mail, but I wanted to prove that our blog isn't dead at the same time and kill 2 birds.
ALSO re: NEW YORKERS - it's gonna be 50 here today! enjoy the snow - SUCKERS!
-Miguel Sanchez 10:04 EST |
Thursday, February 09, 2006
Imagine: your dog, cat, or other pet in full military regalia. We make this fantasy a reality.
Yep. They sure do. A creepy reality.
Since when is NASA a part of the military? Why does that decorated general have a tennis ball in this mouth? Only the people at www.petsinuniform.com
have the balls or the rudimentary photoshop skills to answer that.
-Miguel Sanchez 13:31 EST |
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Tang: It's not just for astronauts anymore!
According to this small study, there are unique health benefits to old fashion doin' it
To those of you that may object to this title: at least I didn't say "vitamin c".
-Miguel Sanchez 12:04 EST |
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
From John Derbyshire of the National Review:
In between our last two posts I went to Drudge to see what was happening in the world. The lead story was about a ship disaster in the Red Sea. From the headline picture, it looked like a cruise ship. I therefore assumed that some people very much like the Americans I went cruising with last year were the victims. I went to the news story. A couple of sentences in, I learned that the ship was in fact a ferry, the victims all Egyptians. I lost interest at once, and stopped reading. I don't care about Egyptians. Via Crookedtimber.
NB: You can find the Derbyshire quote by clicking through the CT post, but you have to scroll down a bit.
-Ziggy Stardust 12:09 EST |
Monday, February 06, 2006
Hindsight and Contingency
I'm reading Bush v. Gore tonight for class, and I'm literally shaking with rage as I read what so many experts
believe to be total bullshit.
But thinking about the overvotes and spoiled ballots from Palm Beach County's infamous "butterfly ballot" reminds me that Gore won that election. And had it not been for Bush's illegitimate incumbancy and ill-advised imperial adventure in Iraq, the Democrats would have won in 2004 too. So while the time of witches is still upon us, it will not be forever. Democrats are not doomed losers, we've just been dealt some shitty hands (and played shitty ones too in 2002). Buck up, fair readers! Despite the headlines, all is not yet lost.
Now if we don't pick up a house of congress in the mid-terms...
-Ziggy Stardust 00:37 EST |
Sunday, February 05, 2006
This is a subject probably more appropriate for a blogger with a better grasp of the farcical (er, Miguel?), but our reading public is clamoring for UsToo commentary on the Danish cartoons and backlash.
Burning the Danish flag? Are you kidding me?
But what's even more ridiculous is our government's stance:
The State Department spokesman, Sean McCormack, reading the government's statement on the controversy, said, "Anti-Muslim images are as unacceptable as anti-Semitic images," which are routinely published in the Arab press, "as anti-Christian images, or any other religious belief."
Still, the United States defended the right of the Danish and French newspapers to publish the cartoons. "We vigorously defend the right of individuals to express points of view," Mr. McCormack added.
What does "unacceptable" mean if we defend the right of free expression? Incoherent might be more apt.
-Ziggy Stardust 18:09 EST |
Another year, another deflating plan to read 100 books in a year. It's now February, and I have read 4.
Most of these have been old "hard boiled" crime novels
. I need to ease up. My inner monologue is increasingly concerned with "dames" and other hard-boiled debris. In fact, it was a great struggle to make that last sentence. What I wanted
to write was "ever since that dizzy broad got me into this, I've killed 2 men. Both died the wrong way - screams and blood and terror. It was just 2 o'clock, and I met her at noon".
Such slips have been highly inconvenient. Because of my sudden propensity to drop into "hard-boiled" talk I have had 2 pizzas go undelivered. The problems don't stop there. I have also been thrown out of Target
, jailed, married, and on the run from two guys I never met on account of something I never did.
I also read the new Stephen King book. It made living in a zombie apocalypse seem really depressing. I had always thought of a zombie apocalypse as some kind of ultimate spring break. You get to shoot zombies. You gather with an ethnically diverse group of survivors at the mall, kick it. And of course, you have hot unprotected doin' it with the other survivors because of the solemn duty you have to repopulate the earth. But no. This book just made zombie survival seem like a grim slog uphill toward inevitable death and hardship.
As my grim uphill slog to read a 100 books continues, I will keep you, gentle reader, up to date. If this slow pace keeps up, I will need to include coloring books, and match books.
-Miguel Sanchez 10:58 EST |
Thursday, February 02, 2006
Goodbye open internet?
The nation has an article
on the future of the internet as envisioned by the carriers (the companies who provide our service at the door, and who operate the large fiber-optic networks that serve as the backbone of the internet)
...phone and cable lobbyists are now engaged in a political campaign to further weaken the nation's communications policy laws. They want the federal government to permit them to operate Internet and other digital communications services as private networks, free of policy safeguards or governmental oversight. Indeed, both the Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are considering proposals that will have far-reaching impact on the Internet's future. Ten years after passage of the ill-advised Telecommunications Act of 1996, telephone and cable companies are using the same political snake oil to convince compromised or clueless lawmakers to subvert the Internet into a turbo-charged digital retail machine.
When I first heard about this, I understood that they were looking to charge providers for what they send us. For example, google video would be charged a couple of cents for me to watch something through their site. Doens't make a lot of sense, given that I have already paid them for the internet connection. From this article, it looks like they also want to charge consumers more to view or download different types or amounts of data. It would be the death of the intet as a commons and the birth of a coopropate-controlled ad-fest that does not serve the public good.
Wasn't there a time when the telecoms got in trouble for just this sort of thing? Those were the days...UPDATE:
Lawrence Lessig has something
-Ben 19:13 EST |