Wednesday, December 29, 2004

a failure of a different sort

GW, very upset at being called stingy (which he probably thought meant cheap) apropriately noted the US has decided to give more money than initially pledged to help with the Tsunami disaster. In fact, the US has pledged ALMOST as much money to help offset the 13.5 Billion dollars of damage not to mention the 100,000 plus estimated lost lives as is being spent on GW's inaugural celebration! HOORAY FOR AMERICA!!!! And those European bastards had the nerve to call us stingy!

logic fails then prevails, sort of

Dental floss tycoons or no, Montana's got some weird issues.

Please note how moronic the logic of the electoral commission and more importantly a judge to whom the commission's decision was appealed was: they decided to award ballots marked for two different candidates to one of them because doing so would help him win the election. Shouldn't someone be fired for that?

From the NYTimes:

HELENA, Mont., Dec. 28 - The Montana Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that a Democrat was the winner of a contested seat in the State House of Representatives, a decision that gives the party control of the governor's office and both chambers of the Legislature for the first time since 1977.

The disputed race was a three-way contest in Lake County among Jeanne Windham, a Democrat; Jack Cross, a Republican; and Rick Jore, of the Constitution Party. After the election, Mr. Jore led Ms. Windham by a single vote. A recount found that the race was tied, 1,559 to 1,559.

Gov. Judy Martz, a Republican who is leaving office in January, broke the tie by appointing Mr. Jore to the seat, which gave her party control of the House, 50 to 49, with Mr. Jore a third-party member.

With its 6-to-1 order on Tuesday, the court put the House into a 50-50 tie, but state law mandates that the House speaker come from the party of the governor. Democrats acknowledged that their hold on power would be tenuous and far from the control Republicans exercised in the last few sessions, when they had a 2-to-1 margin in the House, and controlled the State Senate and governor's office as well.

"Cooperation will be at a premium," said Dave Wanzenried, the Democratic leader in the House, who will become the next speaker.

Still, the ruling cemented a remarkable political turnaround for the Democrats, who until November held no major positions of power in the state save one United States Senate seat. Even as President Bush took 59 percent of the vote here in November, Brian Schweitzer, a rancher, won the governorship for his party and is now being held up as a model for Democrats looking to make gains in the Rocky Mountain States.

At issue in the House race were seven ballots that had ovals filled in for both Mr. Cross and Mr. Jore. Election officials awarded those ballots to Mr. Jore, as did a recount board.

Ms. Windham, a businesswoman, appealed to District Court in Lake County. Judge Kim Christopher upheld the decision of the recount board, arguing that otherwise the race would go to Ms. Windham, for whom none of the disputed ballots were cast.

After Governor Martz broke the tie by appointing Mr. Jore to the seat, Ms. Windham appealed to the Montana Supreme Court, and the seven contested ballots were driven to the court by a state Highway Patrol officer.

In its brief order, the Supreme Court declared "one or more" of the contested ballots invalid, a move that broke the tie in favor of Ms. Windham.

"I'm disappointed," said Mr. Jore, a businessman in Charlo. "I felt the ballots in question were clear." He added, "They obviously intended to vote for me." Mr. Jore said three of the voters whose ballots were in question called him and said they had intended to vote for him.

Mike Meloy, a lawyer for Anita Big Spring, a voter who brought the case to the Supreme Court, said the decision was the right one. "There is no way for anybody to tell from those ballots what the voter intended," Mr. Meloy said. "Those voters violated the instructions given them, which was don't change your ballot and if you make a mistake, ask for a new ballot. Why would you want to give special consideration to someone who didn't follow instructions?"

The decision comes just five days before the new session of the Legislature convenes. Republican leaders had already made committee appointments, which will have to be changed.

The last time there was a tie in the House, in 1985, committee assignments were split between Democrats and Republicans, and Mr. Wanzenried said that was likely to be the case this time. But there are still procedural powers he has as speaker that can help the Democrats.

The election of Democrats in Montana was helped by a redistricting plan drawn up by an independent panel and adopted in 2003. The seat in Lake County was a newly created one.

"The new plan put us on equal footing," Mr. Wanzenried said.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

susan sontag passes

Well, keirkegaard's heir apparent has passed on, and in the process the University of Chicago has lost another great alumna. Susan always seemed to be lionized, and not just because of her mane. Love her or hate her (I love her, despite her) she was what she was, a great sharer of thoughts.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

which is more scary?

Tomorrow the 24th of December, 2004:

In 1865, several veterans of the Confederate Army formed a private social club in Pulaski, Tenn., called the Ku Klux Klan.


Rock singer-musician Lemmy (Motorhead) is 59.

not what I'd call a likeness

Graham pointed me to this image from a french speaking 'chopophille:

from a strange site.

One More Reason to Celebrate Festivus

I will admit to being a bit bummed out that 1) I'd never heard of Festivus before and 2) that it's from Seinfeld. But, it is a great idea.

Somehow though, I don't think THESE PEOPLE would be very happy about it, when they think that Christmas is evil:

two of my favorites:
... Santa Claus is a pagan mockery of God the Father with white hair, grandfatherly image, eternal, lives in the North, unlimited resources, omniscient of children's behavior, omnipresent for a night, hears confessions, comes as a thief, blesses children, and distributes judgment for works.

... the name Christmas came from "Mass of Christ," and Christians hate the Catholic mass.

mostly I just like the juxtaposition of that but I'd hate to not mention this one:

... all the God-hating, Christ-denying, and sin-loving pagans get excited about this day.

Marina reports these people actually advertised on the nytimes site (?!?)

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

que lastima!

Mexican City Bans Indoor Nudity
Published: December 22, 2004
Filed at 2:24 p.m. ET

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Alarmed by glimpses of sweaty citizens in the buff, the city council in the southeastern city of Villahermosa has adopted a law banning indoor nudity, officials confirmed Wednesday.

The regulation, which takes effect on Jan. 1, calls for as much as 36 hours in jail or a fine of 1,356 pesos ($121) for offenders in the Tabasco state capital, 410 miles east of Mexico City.

``We are talking about zero tolerance ... for a lack of morality,'' said city councilwoman Blanca Estela Pulido of the Revolutionary Institutional Party, which governs the state and city.

Opposition party councilman Rodrigo Sanchez said in an interview that the measure, part of a larger series of prohibitions, ``tramples on the rights of the citizens by taking laughable measures such as contemplating penalties for citizens who walk around nude inside their houses.''

``I have no idea how you detect the naked. You'd have to have a big operation to try to bring it under control,'' he added.

Pulido said she was confident that citizens who catch a glimpse of offenders would report them to police -- though the law also threatens jail for peeping Toms.

The city on the southern Gulf of Mexico is noted for its swelteringly hot, humid climate.

``The majority of houses have a lot of ventilation, and we give ourselves the luxury of going naked,'' Pulido said. ``Because we walk past the windows, you see a lot of things.''

Monday, December 20, 2004

it's called a rat terrier for chrissake

"Early Friday morning, as news reports aired about the horrific baby snatching, the regulars on the Ratter Chatter site realised the victim was one of their own."

I mean, if you're collecting and breeding in some creepy eugenics sort of way something called a rat terrier you're pretty much creepy and nutso already so taking it one step further only seems natural. A baby is just a rat terrier without fur right?

person of the year?

You've fucking got to be kidding. I will be the first to admit since Time magazine went glossy I stopped using it to wipe my ass because it wasn't even good at that, but I'm considering starting again just to make a point.

The saddest part about it is they chose GW "for sharpening the debate until the choices bled, for reframing reality to match his design, for gambling his fortunes -- and ours -- on his faith in the power of leadership."

Well those are certainly the qualities we want in people right?

Saturday, December 18, 2004

deadly dragon sound system

gotta love the internet. Yesterday Richie found me on the internet for the first time in many moons. It turns out he, aka Rikshaw, and Jeremy, aka Scratch are still doing the deadly dragon thing in slightly different forms. The best in dub plates and roots reggae on line and soon to be in a New York store. Couldn't come from better people. Check it out yo!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

i have a friend who carries around a box of knives

(a vague interpol reference)

...the NYTimes has a great article on fancy knives today. sorry for the link that requires a subscription...but it's the nytimes so you should have one already.

Much Thanks to Logan White of Paeia Millwrights in Honolulu for turning me on to great blades so many years ago and buying my first Japanese blade and waterstones.

Alameda has a great woodworking shop that also sells japanese cooking blades. It gets one and a half thumbs up (couldn't resist sorry)

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

viaduct millau

Monday, December 13, 2004

Pinochette finally must pay the piper

or at least I hope so

This seems long, long overdue. Maybe Kissinger will be charged too.

Fuck, Panty Lions, Body Worlds, Caltrans

how else could these items be coupled together but in a trip to LA?!
Yes, Mary and I went to LA this weekend, in an attempt to "do it all" nixed was a plan to see the life aquatic because it was only showing at the Grove. Gross.

Fuck were awesome, and I finally got to meet some folks other than Kyle in the band, Timothy in particular lives in Memphis now and played with one of the Choppers in Cherry Blossoms, no idea who though. Geoff and I spoke briefly but not long enough about Eurpean tours and Ken and I didn't get the chance to talk more about stained glass. The magic show was great.

The Panty Lions were great too, but it's a bit strange not knowing anyone but Ashod in the band. Also the sound guy clearly didn't know what to do with the samples/keys in the mix but maybe I've been spoiled by Jelle's mixing.

The Body World Show was excellent. Really and truly totally respectful of anatomy in a way the media hype seems to have lost sight of for no good reason. Probably one of the best museum shows I've seen in a long while. I cannot recommend it enough.

The new Caltrans building is also totally spectacular. Seeing it did remind me that I failed to see any Koolhass stuff in NL while I was there but it also made up for it. The building really does a great job of being in downtown LA while still feeling like a bridge with traffic on it. Now if we can just get Caltrans to build the originally planned span of the Bay bridge.

Two other sides:

1) Went to Senor fish and missed Brad and Marina but wow has that neighborhood changed for the worse, new buildings everywhere, a starbucks and and office depot and a total loss of the sense of blighted parking lot sprawl. I doubt the Bordine/Peterson household would recognize the area and it's only been a year and change. sheesh.

2) Stopped for McConnell's ice cream on the way back north and ate/drank the melted remnants with Salim and Anna in SF when we returned. two thumbs up despite the bimbo who answered "yes" to the question "do you have dry ice?" becuase should could give us ice without any water/soda. I am not kidding.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

the metal world feels your pain

``This is the worst day in metal history,''

Well, maybe not the worst, but it's probably right next to when Rob Halford came out.

So the story behind this is the dude (one of the Abbots) from Pantera got shot onstage while performing with his new band in Ohio. Still no story about why, but one can only suspect a methed out metalhead pissed about him breaking up the band. The coppers capped him before he could explain so we may never know...

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

all whirlwind and flash

sorry for the delay, we actually did things (great things) after Vienna, but time for the internet was limited.

highlights include:

Bart and Levin brought Jean-Luc Columbo's Viognier to Ghent.

The ferry didn't sink.

Edinburgh totally rocked. totally. highlights, aside from this:

...included hanging out with Otavio, who is a theoretical physicist and a skate punk. we talked a bit about the flow of matter over wiskey. and he had an upper playground cap.

cork was comical. really. the stage was set up for devo does the pied piper. really. or maybe not really.

and liverpool was great. usher hall was beautiful, I ran into my friend david wall, who has been building strange midi boxes that control speak and spells based on strange variables like proxmity and velocity and shit. genius.

and finally london. the barbican is great. great. we had to scamper around LSO equipment but the hospitality was great, friends aplenty backstage and after the show, and the sound and image were as great as the show.

really, all spectacular.