Saturday, May 03, 2008

Yeats' Version of The End

The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

-- William Butler Yeats, January 1919

Truer now than then? Or is it always supposed to feel that way?

Friday, May 02, 2008

Ancient Chinese Secret ...for Destruction and, Apparently, Patriotism

Lovely Chinese Ladies

Wait, what was I writing about?

Oh, yeah, let's try this:

Chinese Nuclear Cave for Hiding Submarines

From those lovely Brits at the Telegraph:
Satellite imagery, passed to The Daily Telegraph, shows that a substantial harbour has been built which could house a score of nuclear ballistic missile submarines and a host of aircraft carriers.

In what will be a significant challenge to US Navy dominance and to countries ringing the South China Sea, one photograph shows China’s latest 094 nuclear submarine at the base just a few hundred miles from its neighbours.

Other images show numerous warships moored to long jettys and a network of underground tunnels at the Sanya base on the southern tip of Hainan island.
I shouldn't have to say this, but there are many, many ignorant "I'm a victim" folks out there, and apparently the Chinese are just as good at misplacing aggression as rednecks are: the following tirade is focused at the powers that be, the oppressive government of China, primarily, that has nothing to do with the Chinese people, who should overthrow their oppressors.

So...Aside from the obvious arch-villain mastermind cave lair issue, let's go over the political basics one more time:
  • China fucking owns us because they own a sick amount of our debt. They could shake their money-maker and cause a dip in the Dow. They shuck poison toys, smirking as they shake our hands with shit, smeared in their palms, mouthing "Whatcha gonna do?" all the while eying the vice in which they have out balls clamped.

  • China has one man and one woman available for military service for every American alive. Let me say that in another way: China's standing potential army (age 18-49) is well over twice the population of the entire U.S.A., all ages. Those fit for service are just under "twice."

  • Based on past diplomatic efforts of the past eight years, China can deal with Russia. Russia can deal with Iran. Iran can deal with China. Iran can deal with Venezuela. Iran can deal with North Korea. Russa can deal with North Korea. They're all kind of buddies in that they think we need to be taken down a peg.

  • We really don't want to talk to any of them.
Here's a reminder in the form of a delicious Photoshop I put together a little less than a year ago:

Putin, Hu, Jong Il, Chavez, Ahmadinejad all hate America

Everyone's heard the phraseology of "America the Bully." True dat. But our world, the playground, if you will, has recently seen some kids bulk up. And they're all talking in the corner. They may not have the abilities or the technology or the know-how on their own, but they can MacGyver it if they needed to, and together the numbers are in their favor.

And the US is just kind of mindlessly, dreamily staring at the sandbox. Invested, he'd whisper, were he asked.

And it has suddenly become very quiet, but US doesn't really notice.

So when the beatdown comes, we know who'll throw the first couple punches. But when US is bent over a little, when those accosting have proven weakness beyond a reasonable doubt, who else will join in? Who will come out of the woodwork? Who else will align with a potential "new bully?" Who else will come out with baseball bats or sticks or hat pins to give a whack "because it's about time?" or "just because?"

I think the more frightening, "reality" question is: should this paranoid thought experiment play out as proposed, how would I react? I complain about America and I try to better America and I write and I vote and I participate in activism when possible and I do all these things because I do love and want to protect the freedom to do these things of which I speak.

So if America was the object of a military, world-wide, gang rape, would I leave my wife and daughter and take all my tech savvy and voice and passion and intelligence and potential firearm acuity and strap one on and blow the fuck out of anything that actually threatened this country and all that it stands for? To make this world safe for my daughter to blog and piss and moan about what's wrong with America?

You bet your ass I would.

Just like if the zombies attack.

Fuck. I think I just got all patriotic. And maybe emotional. Not to worry; it's a feeling, not a flag or a pin or a gun, so few will actually recognize it.

Shit, I've got to get a gun.

Let's just keep this between us.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Tennessee Principal Outing Gay Students

Principal Beasley sporting a Spring Stache

From the local Tennessee station:
Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union say Daphne Beasley, the principal of Hollis F. Price Middle College High School in South Memphis, went way beyond her role as educator.

The ACLU says in September 2007, Beasley asked her staff to give her the names of students who were couples, heterosexual and homosexual, because she wanted to keep an eye on them to cut down on public displays of affection.

She's accused of publicly posting the names of those students, including two boys, Andrew and Nicholas, who had just started dating. The ACLU says that in doing so, Beasley revealed their relationship to other students, teachers and even their parents.
This is where you think: "What kind of monster...."

You can find the school website here.

And feel free to call the school:

Phone: 901.435.1765

...and perhaps even email Principal Beasley directly:

Just try not to, in your frustration and anger, mention her mustache.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Ricky's April "Read It Later" Roundup

I've talked before about the Read It Later Firefox download, which is basically a button that files URLs in to a Bookmarks folder called "Read It Later."

It is both a curse and a blessing. Blessing because I otherwise might not keep track of some of the stories I come across and you would lose out. Curse because I tend to both procrastinate and lose track of when "later" should occur. Because of this, I need a steady cleaning session, and today's the day!

US-funded health search-engine censors all results for searches on "abortion"

From BoingBoing:
Popline is the world's largest health-information search engine, run by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health with funding from the US government. They have just changed their database so that queries for "abortion" show no results, even though the system has access to more than 25,000 documents on the subject. They say they've done this because they believe it's a requirement of their federal funding.
The Bush Administration limits most of their sex ed funding to abstinence-only training, the results eight years later show higher incidence of teen pregnancy and STDs, the media ignores it, and we're supposed to be surprised by this? Bush != Science. Surprise!

Flu Vaccine Not So Good

(fake update: where I Chanel the Flaming Fashionista)
Another one for the Sur-prise! cache. The CDC done fucked up. Again. It's not their fault; they have to guess, during the nadir of influenza outbreaks, what three, hot, fashionable strains will be picked up by the most folks in the coming season.

The reason they have to do all this mad guessing? They've freaked so many people out about the necessity of getting a flu shot that they've got to deliver. Okay, so it is their fault. And constant reminders that Bird Flu Gonna Getchu - not even going there, my chicken-lovin' sistahs. No Whammies!

And this time around, it looks like two of the three picks were duds. Better luck next season! Even Vogue gets it wrong some of the time. Who am I kidding; Vogue never gets it wrong.

Cafferty is Plated Chinese Shit Sandwich

I was going to go all out, rage for paragraphs on this one, but I think it's better in concentrated format.

What he said:
I don't know if China is any different, but our relationship with China is certainly different. We're in hock to the Chinese up to our eyeballs because of the war in Iraq, for one thing. They're holding hundreds of billions of dollars worth of our paper.

We are also running hundreds of billions of dollars' worth or trade deficits with them, as we continue to import their junk with the lead paint on them and the poisoned pet food and export, you know, jobs to places where you can pay workers a dollar a month to turn out the stuff that we're buying from Wal-Mart.

So I think our relationship with China has certainly changed. I think they're basically the same bunch of goons and thugs they've been for the last 50 years.
And he was right: China owns us and is using the leverage to make us smile while they walk on our nuts with a conga line of piss-poor products. Wal-Mart is King Pimp, whoring Chinese goods to us while assassinating American jobs in the back room.

The average Chinese salary is $0.35/day. A day. If the angry Chinese now protesting CNN pointed their concern at China and attacked the real problem - lack of human rights, product regulation, and a humanistic wage - then they might actually accomplish something. This is nothing more than misplaced aggression, throwing stones at the film critic when the movie truly, truly sucks.

But they're suing CNN. $1.3 billion. Enough to pay every Chinese citizen the average of about 3 days wages of the average worker. And the douchebox known as NewsBusters (semantic note: a douchebox can and often does hold many douchebags) decided to basically reprint the story and call Cafferty names. As I believe I've already noted: douchebox.

Thus ends the April Roundup. I hope you enjoyed. Good night and don't let the bed bugs bite.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Cuss-o-Meter for Cause For Concern

How did this fucking happen?

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?

Found this gem via angry ballerina and you can do your own damn blog here.

Incidentally, "This is 653% MORE than other websites who took this test."

I'm like a genius but for swearing. Kind of like I'm a chocoholic but for booze.

Office of Government Commerce: Down Wit OPP?

OGC Logo

The OGC, or Office of Government Commerce, some British governing outfit, released a new logo, placed on pens and mouse pads and other swag. It cost them £14,000 (or almost $28,000) for some lucky ad agency to stick three letters together so they touched. Unfortunately, no one thought to turn it on its side before release.

Wait for it...

...wait for it...

OGC Pole Stroking

Ah, the Brits are brilliant.