Damian's Random Ten, 9/28/2007


Hit the Party Shuffle in iTunes and what do I get?
  • The Beatles - Penny Lane
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic - The white Stuff
  • 2MB - Fascination ~eternal love mix~
  • Lali Puna - Left Handed
  • Kukeiha Club - Theme of Vic Viper/Lord British
  • Motoi Sakuraba - Coin Attack
  • Eminem - Stan
  • Modest Mouse - Education
  • The Eagles - Wasted Time
  • Tatsh and Naoki - Red Zone

Phage's Big American iTunes Party!

Who is listening? Bear is listening, oh my god how can that be?

It's the Friday Random Ten!
Hit the Party Shuffle in iTunes and what do I get?
  • Deceiver of Fools - Within Temptation
  • My Console - Eiffel 65
  • The Revolution Exodus - the Deathstars
  • Without Faith - ThouShaltNot
  • Back Home - Fort Minor
  • Leviathan - GothMinister
  • Going Through the Motions - Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Once More with Feeling
  • The Little Things Give You Away - Linkin Park
  • All Because of Your - Blackmore's Night
  • New York State of Mind - Billy Joel


Is it even worth it?

I'm starting to really lose my desire to keep fighting. When otherwise sane people immediately start spewing authoritarian bullshit every time they have half a chance, it gets so tiring that I just want to stop telling them they're wrong. I often find myself thinking that maybe it's for the best if we just stop struggling and let the people who are killing society and the world do whatever they want.

And the fact that I am, once again, the only person updating this only makes that feeling stronger.


Damian's Random Ten, 9/21/2007

It's the Friday Random Ten, to bring out the tiger in you.

Hit the Party Shuffle in iTunes and what do I get?
  • More Yamasan, B. Hasake & Miyazaki - Basilisk Mine Field
  • Ferry Corsten - L.E.F. (Loud Electronic Ferocious)
  • Semisonic - Closing Time
  • Naoki - Dynamite Rave
  • Aqua - Around the World
  • 403 - Southern Cross
  • Bush - Comedown
  • Barenaked Ladies - Some Fantastic
  • The Beatles - Hello, Goodbye
  • The Eagles - Hole in the World


A loop from which we never seem to escape

Right now, I'm watching coverage of the protests in Jena, LA. I find it amazing that I don't remember seeing anything like this and feeling so strongly about it. Some part of me wonders if this is what it felt like to watch the civil rights movement of the 60s and want dearly for equality.

But another part of me, a very angry, bitter part, wonders "Why?" Not to my other feelings, but to why this even has to happen. It's not the 60s anymore. We shouldn't have to see things like this happen. We should be better than that. As Felis Domina told me only a few minutes ago, "This should have been done and over with in the 1960s and '70s. But I guess some people are just happy living 50 years in the past."

Sometimes I think we live not on an ever-moving bullet of time, but in a loop, from which we can't escape.


Damian's New Links, 9/14/2007

When I look in the list of recent Indiana weblog posts in the sidebar, I usually find myself reading the links from Shakesville more than other ones. It's a fine place, and now it's in my Recommended Links.

The Meaning of "American Idiot"

Okay, it's not quite a deconstruction of Green Day's megahit song/album, but it does trigger the song in my head: From USA Today:
Most Americans believe the nation's founders wrote Christianity into the Constitution, and people are less likely to say freedom to worship covers religious groups they consider extreme, a poll out today finds.

The survey measuring attitudes toward freedom of religion, speech and the press found that 55% believe erroneously that the Constitution establishes a Christian nation. In the survey, which is conducted annually by the First Amendment Center, a non-partisan educational group, three out of four people who identify themselves as evangelical or Republican believe that the Constitution establishes a Christian nation. About half of Democrats and independents do.

I actually got wind of this from Shakesville, where guest poster Petulant is rightfully angry about it. How stupid do you have to be to believe this garbage? My high school history teacher would knock the stupid out of these people. It's incredible to think that in this day and age there are people who still think with this kind of medieval mindset.

Oh, wait, no it isn't, not with "Jesus Day" Bush in the White House.

And now, more horribly scary numbers:
Most respondents, 58%, say teachers in public schools should be allowed to lead prayers. That is an increase from 2005, when 52% supported teacher-led prayer in public schools.

More people, 43%, say public schools should be allowed to put on Nativity re-enactments with Christian music than in 2005, when 36% did.

Half say teachers should be allowed to use the Bible as a factual text in history class. That's down from 56% in 2000.
This is nauseating, really. Though, if you want some truly stomach-emptying results, you go to the source: the First Amendment Center's page giving the results of the poll.

* Just 56% believe that the freedom to worship as one chooses extends to all religious groups, regardless of how extreme — down 16 points from 72% in 2000.
* 58% of Americans would prevent protests during a funeral procession, even on public streets and sidewalks; and 74% would prevent public school students from wearing a T-shirt with a slogan that might offend others.
* 34% (lowest since the survey first was done in 1997) think the press “has too much freedom,” but 60% of Americans disagree with the statement that the press tries to report the news without bias, and 62% believe the making up of stories is a widespread problem in the news media — down only slightly from 2006.
* 25% said “the First Amendment goes too far in the rights it guarantees,” well below the 49% recorded in the 2002 survey that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, but up from 18% in 2006.
The fact that some of those numbers are moving in the right direction is promising, but the fact that they have a right direction to actually move IN is frightening. We should know what our rights are, but in a culture where people are told every day that an entire religion is out to get them and they have to sacrifice their freedoms to stay safe, that's a far-off hope.

The absolute peak of my fury comes at this single paragraph, though:
The right to practice one’s own religion was deemed “essential” or “important” by nearly all Americans (97%); as was the right to “speak freely about whatever you want” (98%) and to “assemble, march, protest or petition the government (94%),” Policinski said. “Still, Americans are hard pressed to name the five freedoms included in the First Amendment,” he said. Speech is the only one named by a majority of respondents (64%), followed by religion (19%), press and assembly (each 16%) and petition (3%).
My feelings on this travesty
The sad part is, I can tell you why they think this way. People are told every day that people like Coultergeist have "freedom of speech" to say horrible, untrue, often criminal things about people. Religion, they're told, is a freedom only to worship as the churches of the majority see fit, and the government can say nothing about anything any religious figure says in the name of their god, no matter how hateful or untrue, because otherwise it's "taking their freedom". The rest they don't even really have under this administration, so they forget about them.

Well, on the plus side, not everyone seems to think this way.

I have to go lie down now. My head hurts.

Bush: "I'm Deciding to De-Surge the Surge, 'Cuz I'm the Decider"

From CNN: Bush: 5,700 troops to return home by Christmas
President Bush said Thursday night conditions on the ground in Iraq have improved sufficiently to start bringing some U.S. troops home, and urged Americans divided over the war to "come together."

In a televised speech to the nation, Bush said he would reduce U.S. force strength by 5,700 troops by Christmas and, by next July, reduce the number of combat brigades from 20 to 15 -- a decrease of roughly 21,500 troops overall.
In other words, for those who haven't been paying much attention, he's essentially saying that he's just going to return us to the numbers we had in there before the "surge". In fact, he may not even reduce troop numbers that much.
As for this flap about "conditions on the ground in Iraq have improved sufficiently", where the hell is he getting that? The GAO concluded that violence is still high and "The average number of daily attacks against civilians remained about the same over the last six months." That doesn't sound like "improved conditions" to me. That sounds more like the same old bullshit.

Phage's Big American iTunes Party!

It's the Friday Random Ten.

Hit the Party Shuffle in iTunes and what do I get?
  • Forsoothe - B00l3
  • Get Me Gone - Fort Minor
  • Stand My Ground - Within Temptation
  • Castles and Dreams - Blackmore's Night
  • Quicken - Thousand Foot Krutch
  • To the Edge - Lacuna Coil
  • Eurotrash - Zeromancer
  • Dark Chest of Wonders - Nightwish
  • A Trace - ThouShaltNot
  • The Dream - Birthday Massacre

On Surges and Serpent's Tongues

So I've had several days to reflect on the Petraeus report, the White House's spin on it, what have you.

First, I've been meaning to use this and just couldn't get around to it until today:
Petraeus: Cheerleading for the Liars
People are taking what they want to from Gen. Petraeus' words. The Journal-Gazette ran a huge image the day after saying that his words were analogous the old, tired, already-discarded GOP talking point, "stay the course". Some saw his words as a sign that we may be leaving Iraq sometime. Some just ignored him and continued their own little crusades.
The White House, meanwhile, immediately took the report just as they wanted to, considering it vindication for the failed policies that have led us to our current state.

My biggest beef with all this, though, is probably with MoveOn.org, which attacked Petraeus before he even said anything. It's not so much about the substance of their attack, either, but about the fact that they essentially gave the Republicans ammunition to use against us. Thanks loads, guys, you fucked us over.

Damian's Random Ten, 9/14/2007

It's the Friday Random Ten, a Filmways Presentation, y'all.

Hit the Party Shuffle in iTunes and what do I get?
  • Modest Mouse - One Chance
  • Eminem - '97 Bonnie and Clyde
  • Masato Nakamura - Wing Fortress Zone
  • Kukeiha Club - Parodius Megamix
  • The Beatles - Hey Jude
  • Riyu Kosaka - Candy ♥
  • "WEird Al" Yankovic - Pancreas
  • Naoki feat. Paula Terry - Maria (I Believe...)
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers - Otherside
  • Namco - Everlasting Quest


Attention CNN and other major news sources!

Britney Spears sucking is not news, nor is it new.

That is all.


Damian's Random Ten, 9/7/2007

It's the Friday Random Ten, and it's got a fever, and the only prescription... is more cowbell.

Hit the Party Shuffle in iTunes and what do I get?
  • Hidenori Shoji - Feather (Customize)
  • daiki kasho, ono37 and Tetsu - PICO
  • Modest Mouse - Bury Me With It
  • Jenny Rom - Señorita (Speedy Mix)
  • Kukeiha Club - Bonus Stage
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers - Pea
  • Crystal Aliens - SEXY PLANET
  • T.a.T.U. - Not Gonna Get Us
  • Eminem - 'Til I Collapse
  • NESkimos - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Phage's Big American iTunes Party!

It's the Friday Random Ten.

Hit the Party Shuffle in iTunes and what do I get?
  • Almost Human - Voltaire
  • Come A Time - ThouShaltNot
  • Forgiven - Within Temptation
  • This is a Call - Thousand Foot Krutch
  • Flirt (With Me) - Zeromancer
  • The Greater Good - ThousShaltNot
  • Sinners Inc. - Rob Zombie
  • When I Crash ThouShaltNot
  • Back Home - Fort Minor
  • The Howling - Within Temptation


Jack Thompson seeks to subpoena President Bush

From GamePolitics.com:
So where does The Decider (seen at left in full Madden regalia) fit into the case?

That’s not really clear. But the linkage - at least in Thompson’s mind - seems to be that the Blank Rome law firm represents video game industry defendants in Strickland vs. Sony, an Alabama lawsuit alleging that an 18-year-old was acting under the influence of Grand Theft Auto when he killed two police officers and a police dispatcher in 2004. And Blank Rome - or at least some of its partners - are also lobbyists as well as heavyweight Republican donors.

It's like some sort of party for all the people I can't stand! Crazed "attorney" Jack Thompson, Dubya and Brother Jeb. If Jack manages to stall his case until Bush leaves office - which seems to be his goal - it's all the more reason to anticipate the end of the current administration. The sooner we can see the disbarment, and subsequent humiliation of Thompson - the sooner (hopefully) ANYone in the media will stop taking him seriously.

From Jack Thompson, attorney - to simply, Jack Thompson, sociopath.

Bush can't recall why the Iraqi Military was disbanded.

From the LA Times

"The policy was to keep the army intact; didn't happen," Bush told biographer Robert Draper in excerpts published in Sunday's New York Times.

Draper pressed Bush to explain why, if he wanted to maintain the army, his chief administrator for Iraq, L. Paul Bremer III, issued an order in May 2003 disbanding the 400,000-strong army without pay.

"Yeah, I can't remember; I'm sure I said, 'This is the policy, what happened?' " Bush said, adding: "Again, Hadley's got notes on all this stuff" -- a reference to national security advisor Stephen J. Hadley.

It's great that our supposed Commander-in-Chief knows whats going on with his own administration, to the point - that the 'plans' aren't being followed - and we're finding out years later that the President doesn't even know why.

Good to know, especially with the knowledge that: the Joint Chiefs weren't consulted in the decision.

Or how Bremer: told Bush in advance of his plan to disband the Iraqi military.

"We must make it clear to everyone that we mean business: that Saddam and the Baathists are finished," Bremer wrote in a letter to the president on May 22, 2003.

After recounting U.S. efforts to remove members of Saddam's Baath Party from civilian agencies, Bremer told Bush that he would "parallel this step with an even more robust measure" to dismantle the Iraq military.

One day later, Bush wrote back a short thank-you letter. "Your leadership is apparent," the president wrote. "You have quickly made a positive and significant impact. You have my full support and confidence." On the same day, Bremer, in Baghdad, had issued the order disbanding the Iraqi military.

Bush did not mention the order to abolish the military, and the letters do not show that he approved the order or even knew much about it. Bremer referred only fleetingly to his plan midway through his three-page letter and offered no details.


Bremer indicated he had been smoldering for months as other administration officials had steadily distanced themselves from his order. "This didn't just pop out of my head," he said by telephone Monday, adding that he had sent a draft of the order to top Pentagon officials and discussed it "several times" with Donald Rumsfeld, then secretary of defense.

To me, it sounds like the administration trying to distance itself from what is widely considered a VERY bad decision in regards to the war.

Either that or everyone was drunk at the time. Given the administration, I'm going to go with that.


Bush announces possibility of troop withdrawal!

From the New York Times: Bush, in Iraq, Says Troop Reduction Is Possible
President Bush made a surprise eight-hour visit to Iraq on Monday, emphasizing security gains, sectarian reconciliation and the possibility of a troop withdrawal, thus embracing and pre-empting this month’s crucial Congressional hearings on his Iraq strategy.
Y'hear that?! He actually said a troop withdrawal is possible!

Oh, except he didn't give any indication of how many would be withdrawn.

Or when.

And his circumstances are the same vague "we'll stand down when they stand up" crap they've been saying the whole time.

Huh. Maybe it's just another way of saying that he wants us to be there forever, or at least until someone else takes office.

Ah well, sorry to get your hopes up.


Phage here.

As was previously noted, I am your new friend, confidant - and graphic monkey.

I've completed the immediate layout changes, just to smooth everything out - without over complicating the whole thing. It'll do for the time being, til I decide to change everything again. Damn my need for perfection.

Who is Phage? I'll sum it up as such, I am a left-leaning libertarian (formerly a dues paying member, now wishing they'd stop sending me the blasted renewal letters.) - and that is "Small L" libertarian.

I'll try to keep any potential right wing nuttery (what little I may hold on to) to the barest of minimums.

//Good night and Eris bless//

What, more people?

Welcome Phage, my other friend. Yeah, I only have two.

Phage will also be handling any redesigns and graphics work being done here. He's far better with it than I am.