Tuesday, May 27, 2008

You Tell 'em, Jello...

I stu-stu-stutter.

From the Boston Phoenix:

As you may have heard,
conservative attack-radio douchebag Michael Savage went postal again the other day, responding to the news of Ted Kennedy's brain tumor by taking to the airwaves with a rant that once again revealed the vicious, inhuman gutlessness of this country's so-called silent majority -- students of the P. Diddy Institute for Higher Etymology would surely recognize this as a prime bit of bitch-assedness. First he played clips of Ted Kennedy singing, interspersed with (Kennedy in-law) Arnold Schwarzenegger's infamous "It's not a tumor" clip. "The poor guy's been suffering for years, you know?," Savage said of TK. "Unfairly he's been accused of alcoholism, but we see now that it was something much more deep-seated."
Then he did something even more unforgivable: he played Dead Kennedys' "California Uber Alles," compounding the sacrilege by actually singing along. (Click here for the full clip,
courtesy of MediaMatters.) A convergence of loony-fringe hatemongering and punk rock shibboleth-busting: is this where it all ends up?
We doubt that anyone would be ignorant enough to think that Savage is anything approximating an actual Jello Biafra fan, nor that anyone would be silly enough to think that Jello Biafra was in any way supportive of Savage. But we wanted to get Jello's thoughts on the matter anyway, so Phoenix Editor Lance Gould raised him on the phone. Here's what Jello had to say:

I haven't read the details yet, but I'm aware of what Michael Savage did. Obviously he took my song way the hell out of context and did it deliberately. But the bigger issue is Savage himself and how the hell he gets away with stuff like saying this, and saying that people with AIDS should be put in concentration camps. And then when people protest at the station, he calls on his own listeners to come down and beat them up.
It scares the shit out of me that the most popular radio talk-show hosts are all foaming-at-the-mouth, ultra-bigoted blabbermongers whom only North Korea or the Nazis could love.
But like it or not, Savage is the third-most popular radio-talk show host in this country behind Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Nobody from the other side is represented or promoted well enough by the big right-wing-owned radio networks to compete. That's one of the ways they mindfuck the country into being so dumb they vote for people like George Bush, Mitt Romney and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The real issue here is why aren't the big candidates calling for media reform? Once upon a time there was a law on the books called the Fairness Doctrine, and it said that if somebody like Savage or Limbaugh or that skull woman Ann Coulter said something completely fucked up and dishonest on the air, somebody else was allowed to come on the air and reply to them without being told to shut up every 15 seconds by a power clown like Bill O'Reilly. That law was on the books for 50 years but was allowed to expire in the late '80s when a Democratic-controlled congress failed to override President Reagan's veto of the law.
The damage was further compounded when your friend and mine Bill Clinton rammed through the Telecommunications Act of 1996, further deregulating how many radio stations and media outlets one corporation can own and what they can do with them and they greenlighted their long-held agenda to throw public interest out the window. And the volume and impact of the Rush Limbaughs and Michael Savages multiplied exponentially with nobody on the other side being allowed to reply. In large areas of rural and small town America, this is the only radio anyone is exposed to. That's the problem. We need to bring back the Fairness Doctrine. John Kerry had a golden opportunity to fire back at the Swift Boat liars and use that as a platform to rally the public to demand media reform. But true to form, he was too chickenshit to do it.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Kinks -- Low Budget

"Americans, like human beings everywhere, believe many things that are obviously untrue. Their most destructive untruth is that it is very easy for any American to make money. They will not acknowledge how in fact hard money is to come by, and, therefore, those who have no money blame and blame and blame themselves. This inward blame has been a treasure for the rich and powerful, who have had to do less for their poor, publicly and privately, than any other ruling class since, say, Napoleonic times."

Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five

Friday, May 09, 2008


SEM (scanning electron microscope) image of a dust mite approaching a gear train. The gear train is microscopic in dimension, each gear tooth is smaller than a human red blood cell. The gear train is connected to a microscopic motor and acts much like the transmission in your car, but it is so small that you can not see it without the aid of advanced scientific microscopes. This device is an example of real things being made with nanotechnology.

Image Source: Sandia Labs [H/T: Norm]

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Suicide, eh?

Corrupt Politicians: 2 Hookers: 0

Police: Woman believed to be 'D.C. madam' kills herself
A woman police believe to be convicted Washington escort service operator Deborah Jeane Palfrey committed suicide, officials said Thursday.
Police said the body was found in a shed near Palfrey's mother's home Thursday morning. There was a suicide note, but police did not disclose its contents or how she killed herself.
Police said they were trying to confirm the woman's identity, but did not immediately have additional comment when reached by telephone. Palfrey's attorney, Preston Burton, did not return a telephone call and e-mail message.
The District of Columbia U.S. attorney's office, which spent years investigating and prosecuting Palfrey, was aware of the media reports and was awaiting confirmation from law enforcement, said spokeswoman Channing Phillips.
Police did not immediately have additional comment when reached by telephone. Palfrey's attorney, Preston Burton, did not return a telephone call and e-mail message.
Palfrey was convicted April 15 by a federal jury of running a prostitution service that catered to members of Washington's political elite, including Sen. David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican.
She had denied her escort service engaged in prostitution, saying that if any of the women engaged in sex acts for money, they did so without her knowledge.
She was convicted of money laundering, using the mail for illegal purposes and racketeering. Palfrey faced a maximum of 55 years in prison and was free pending her sentencing July 24.
Prosecutors said Palfrey operated the prostitution service for 13 years.
Her trial concluded without revealing many new details about the service or its clients. Vitter was among possible witnesses, but did not take the stand.
Vitter, a first-term senator who is married and has four children, has acknowledged being involved with Palfrey's escort service and has apologized for what he called a "very serious sin." But he avoided commenting further.
One of the escort service employees was former University of Maryland, Baltimore County, professor Brandy Britton, who was arrested on prostitution charges in 2006. She committed suicide in January before she was scheduled to go to trial. [Emphasis mine]
Last year, Palfrey said she, too, was humiliated by her prostitution charges, but said: "I guess I'm made of something that Brandy Britton wasn't made of."