Friday, May 30, 2008

Freak Angels Friday

The good Warren Ellis has been putting out a web comic these days, called Freak Angels, and a new one comes out every Friday. It's brilliant and succinct, set in a mysterious post-apocalyptic London (London is indeed drowning, and I live by the riverrrrrr!)

Since it's Friday, there's a new one out. Catching up from the beginning is easy to do. Check it out:

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

David Gregory, You Insult Journalism

I am one of those kerrazy people "who thinks that if [the white house press corps] did not debate the President, debate the policy in our role as journalists, if we did not stand up and say 'this is bogus, and you're a liar, and why are you doing this' that we didn't do our job."

That's not your role? Calling BULLSHIT when you see it and smell it isn't your role as a fucking White House press journalist? Golly gee, if your role is to just repeat what politicians say as though it's all truth, and not actually ask tough questions and demands answers, what are you there for, then? Why not cut out the middle man, let them just say it to the cameras themselves, let them run the newspapers. State TV, man, that's where it's at!

Get the fuck out of here.

I, too, think Scott McClellan was and is still a douche bag and a liar, but there's nothing revelatory here, and watching David Gregory go on to blame everyone else for not calling bullshit on the President when he and the rest of those hacks would just complacently repeat everything that was said to them at that podium as if it was fact when it was bald, naked lies, and they knew it... well that's actually worse than Scott McClellan's lame little book of vengeance that is of no surprise to anyone.

Via Oliver Willis

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Suckers Is What We Is

I hate my Treo.

It's a hard life, I know.

Been thinking about getting an iPhone, and I usually think better of it. Poking around at the sites again today I found that while the normal iPhone customer pays AT&T ~$80 / mo for unlimited data and only 200 text messages (or $120/mo for unlimited minutes and still only 200 text messages!), corporate subscribers get unlimited text message plans for only $65/mo. Notice the lack of a .99 on that price tag, too. Nice to know that AT&T is looking out for the little guy. Jerks.

It won't be long before it's just them and Verizon Wireless. And maybe Sprint will hang in there. Cell companies are like shitty landlords - it doesn't get better when you move, just different. Maybe NTT DoCoMo will open up for business in the US and bring us cell phones that buy junk food from vending machines. Because we can't get it fast enough.

Back to work!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


In cafe, mildly caffeinated. Going back upstairs soon to drink yet more coffee and finish things up around "the office." A new version of Tempo will go out today, I'm working on a doc for a proposed application modification for a client of ours, then I need to finish up some work on the scheduling and messaging daemons for PingMe.

Then it's time for laundry, some exercise, and a good night's sleep, as I leave for North Carolina with the other Meltdowns in the early AM. Very exciting, I know. Such is the blog.

Our new track made it onto Jim's Jersey Beat podcast, which is awesome. Lots of other good bands on there who will be playing with us at the festival tomorrow.


He ain't skurred:

But this year’s Republican primary was a contest to see which candidate could out-Bush the other, and that is the contest John McCain won. The Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans that once bothered Senator McCain’s conscience are now his only economic policy. The Bush health care plan that only helps those who are already healthy and wealthy is now John McCain’s answer to the 47 million Americans without insurance and the millions more who can’t pay their medical bills. The Bush Iraq policy that asks everything of our troops and nothing of Iraqi politicians is John McCain’s policy too, and so is the fear of tough and aggressive diplomacy that has left this country more isolated and less secure than at any time in recent history. The lobbyists who ruled George Bush’s Washington are now running John McCain’s campaign, and they actually had the nerve to say that the American people won’t care about this.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Jerz Beat!

Our new track Slut is in the new Jersey Beat Podcast, along with a ton of other great songs from bands we'll be playing with this weekend in NC.



I've been paying a lot of attention to the situation in Zimbabwe. Robert Mugabe is a truly evil human being and deserves a lot worse than he's ever going to get at the hands of people who just want a decent and just government, who want to live free of the kind of fear we've rarely known in this country. And yet he still won't step down, even after losing the election in what was according to exit polls a landslide... but we'll never know, he won't release the results.

Now, this:

"We know there are 18 snipers, and the military intelligence directorate is in charge of this," MDC Secretary General Tendai Biti told reporters in Nairobi.

"Mugabe's military intelligence has compiled a list of 36 to 40 people to be assassinated. Top of the list are our leader Morgan Tsvangirai, myself and our spokesman Nelson Chamisa," Mr Biti said.

The US ambassador to Zimbabwe has warned that post-election violence makes a fair second round run-off vote impossible.

Opposition and human rights groups have said hundreds of opposition supporters have been beaten up and at least 30 killed since the first round on 29 March.

Here's a country that really could use our military assistance to uphold their democracy, to have violence-free elections and get back on track.

Notice how the White House has nothing to say about Zimbabwe?

I'm not proposing that we actually invade another country - we could use to chill on that for a while. But if anybody in our government were serious about nourishing democracies across the globe and saving oppressed people, like they said was the case with Iraq, where are they now and why aren't they rushing to the rescue? Because there's no oil there? Because these are black people?

It doesn't take a particularly bright person to realize that if you let nations like this slip into oblivion and oppression, you face a darker and less secure world for your own children.

"This hurts the image of liberation movements everywhere," said the president of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, and he's right, it hurts ours, too.

Friday, May 16, 2008

McCain's Memory Must Be Going...


But given his own position on Hamas, McCain is the last politician who should be attacking Obama. I asked: "Do you think that American diplomats should be operating the way they have in the past, working with the Palestinian government if Hamas is now in charge?"

McCain answered: "They're the government; sooner or later we are going to have to deal with them, one way or another, and I understand why this administration and previous administrations had such antipathy towards Hamas because of their dedication to violence and the things that they not only espouse but practice, so . . . but it's a new reality in the Middle East. I think the lesson is people want security and a decent life and decent future, that they want democracy. Fatah was not giving them that."
I know it's not right to make fun of him for bein' old. And it's not truthful either, the guy lies like a rug.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Old Blue Ribbon: Montclair Goes Green

Dispatch from Mr. Alan Smith:

Kathryn Weller is ahead in the at-large seat of the Montclair NJ town council election by 41 votes, with only the provisional ballots left to be counted ... I was her campaign manager in 2004. Tonight her slate cleaned up including the guy who ran for mayor, Jerry Fried, the head of Bike Montclair, the biggest cycling advocacy organization in New Jersey ...They were the most progressive slate running in the most progressive town in New Jersey ...They ran on a green platform including a plan to install solar panels on all schools and government buildings, wind turbines on our windy mountaintop, a bike friendlier town and, maybe most importantly, in this economically and racially diverse town where only the rich are surviving as of late, rent control. They were thoroughly out matched as far as funding. They silk-screened their own t-shirts and handed out their own literature and they won the election, getting more votes than 2 heavily financed and politically connected slates.

Sometimes the good guys actually win. Oh, and Kathryn is having a baby in less than 2 weeks.

Congratulations to the Unity folks!

I imagine the hard part comes next; Montclair is full of rather entitled, monied, and powerful people, and I'm sure that once slighted they will do everything the can to trip these folks up. Here's hoping for the best!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Who Are Teh Futar?

Ta-Nehisi Coates says, "we are":

It's really been enlightening for me to watch Obama's share of the white vote change state by state. It's really obliterated this idea that all white people everywhere think the same about blacks. It's even obliterated the only slightly more nuanced idea that white voters in the South are somehow more racist than white voters in the North. What does it mean that Ohio and Wisconsin whites voted so differently? What do we take from the idea that Obama lost the white vote in Pennsylvania but won it Virginia?

Well, quite a bit as my super-intelligent commenters have pointed out. It seems that it isn't even a matter of poor whites versus rich whites, or educated whites versus non-educated whites, although all of that factors in. We've seen that the percentage of black folks doesn't really make a difference either. There is something beautiful in this, because you see a complexity in the great monolith that is often simply labeled White America. It's a complexity that, as a black person, I often miss. Even the one simple fact buried inside is beautiful--the biggest predictor of the white vote seems to be age. The point? The racists aren't the future. We are.

Monday, May 12, 2008

My favorite political phrase, thanks to PMI, "respect the Dodd:"

"Having been a candidate, it's awfully difficult when you're going 180 miles an hour in one direction and you have a rough night, as ... Senator Clinton did last Tuesday night, to expect to within 48 hours or 72 hours to reverse field, to stop everything and go in a different direction is asking way too much in my view. Give her a chance to breathe, to settle down, to recognize what's going on here. She'll make the right choice"

Friday, May 09, 2008

Saturday, Melting

My funk-punk band The Meltdowns is performing at a record store tomorrow down the street from my place in Greenpoint. Very excited. Sat May 10th, 3pm. We've been working hard to prepare for it, should be a really fun time. Hope to see you there!

The Meltdowns @
Permanent Records
Saturday May 10th, 3pm
181 Franklin St, Brooklyn NY 11222

You're A Laughing Stock, Get Out

Hotline On Call, Jersey City, NJ :
During the morning press conference at Liberty Science Center in Newark, NJ, the senator was flanked by Sen. Joe Lieberman and former NJ Gov. Tom Kean, Lieberman was quick to jump to McCain's defense.

'I just want to report that this morning I personally checked John McCain;'s bearings," said the 2000 Dem veep nom. "He has not lost any of them. They are all in really great shape."
Somebody got lost in the Touch Tunnel. And possibly groped.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

My Mon Bats Don't Shiv

Do you remember that scene in the 1989 BATMAN movie (jesus, it was 1989???) where the Joker's henchmen tear up an art museum while jamming to Prince?


Thanks, Candi.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Tank Crash!

Did I ever mention that I started a record label with Adam some time ago? It's called Tank Crash! and it has lain mostly dormant, save for releases from The Meltdowns.

But I'm thinking of a bit of a revival these days for two reasons:

1) I know a lot more people these days, who would either care about the music, or would want to release music on the label.

2) I can pretty easily throw together a Rails app that would handle a page for each release, catalogue them, and provide the download features and all that so that it's just a matter of uploading the zip file and the record cover for the artist. Perhaps a CSS file, too.

I mean, I'm envisioning a system for free releasing music to the Internets. But I suppose a pay system could be plugged into it pretty easily later on...

Another one off the list



Friday, May 02, 2008

Every little bit helps

You try and try and try to get some press, some notice, to get the word out, it's like pouring your energy and your heart and soul down a deep black hole, until:

Hey Billy -- I'm xxxx, I write and maintain xxxxx [excellent indie music blog]. I'm really glad to hear that you're into the listing and I've tossed you into next week's edition. I tend to have rather esoteric tastes that stack the decks against "rock bands" a bit, but I actually was familiar with some of your stuff and it seems a good inclusion for sure. Cheers,

And then it's all worth it.