Thursday, April 15, 2010

In Living Color/Golden Age of Hip Hop/Back in the Day/Throwback/YouTube Spiral.

In Living Color was okay as a comedy show, but it rocked as a showcase for hip-hop in the early 90s.

Damn. "...over the past nine years, more US military personnel have taken their own lives than have died in action in either the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan."

VA services are tragically sub-par.

A Sign of Empire Pathology:
"Here is a shocking statistic that you won't hear in most western news media: over the past nine years, more US military personnel have taken their own lives than have died in action in either the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. These are official figures from the US Department of Defence, yet somehow they have not been deemed newsworthy to report. Last year alone, more than 330 serving members of the US armed forces committed suicide - more than the 320 killed in Afghanistan and the 150 who fell in Iraq..."

Yes, this. - "Paramilitary police don't make us safer."

BALKO: Paramilitary police don't make us safer - Washington Times:
"...SWAT teams today overwhelmingly are used to serve search warrants on suspected drug offenders. Where their purpose once was to defuse an already violent situation, today they break into homes to look for illicit drugs, creating violence and confrontation where there was none before.

Whatever you think of drug prohibition, this is the wrong way to enforce it. Even if the police nabbed a drug dealer and contraband every time they broke into a home on a SWAT raid, there would be reason to object to these tactics. There's an old Cold War saying commonly attributed to Winston Churchill (though I haven't found any hard documentation that he said it) that goes, "Democracy means that when there's a knock on the door at 3 a.m., it's probably the milkman." The idea is that free societies don't send armed government agents dressed in black to raid the private homes of citizens for political crimes. Given that all parties who participate in a drug transaction do so voluntarily, the prohibition of drugs is at heart a political policy. SWAT raids are being used increasingly to break up poker games and suspected houses of prostitution, too.

Of course, the police don't always get the people they're after in these raids. In a paper I wrote for the Cato Institute in 2006, I documented dozens of incidents in which police raided the wrong home, terrorizing, wounding and sometimes killing innocent people. Since that paper came out, there have been more high-profile incidents, including the 2006 Atlanta raid in which police shot and killed innocent, 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston, and the 2007 raid on the home of Berwyn Heights, Md., Mayor Cheye Calvo in which the police shot and killed Mr. Calvo's two black Labradors. Small towns considering forming a SWAT team might want to consider the lawsuits and settlements Atlanta and Prince George's County inevitably will be financing in coming years.

...Supporters of using SWAT teams for drug enforcement often argue that they are reserved for high-level, heavily armed and particularly dangerous drug suppliers. But when newspapers have surveyed the use of no-knock raids after a high-profile incident in their respective cities over the years, they usually have found that the raids don't turn huge supplies of drugs and high-powered weapons and, more often than not, result in little more than misdemeanor charges against the suspect."

"Between your control and death, we choose death" - comics are awesome.

From The Secret Six.  [Not this volume, but all sorts of kick-assery is, in fact, within.]

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Posted this before, but the thing is, you know.... YOU KNOW... this is TRUE.

Lost in Space | Articles | Features | Fortean Times UK:
"There are those who believe that somewhere in the vast blackness of space, about nine billion miles from the Sun, the first human is about to cross the boundary of our Solar System into interstellar space. His body, perfectly preserved, is frozen at –270 degrees C (–454ºF); his tiny capsule has been silently sailing away from the Earth at 18,000 mph (29,000km/h) for the last 45 years. He is the original lost cosmonaut, whose rocket went up and, instead of coming back down, just kept on going.

It is the ultimate in Cold War legends: that at the dawn of the Space Age, in the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s, the Soviet Union had two space programmes, one a public programme, the other a ‘black’ one, in which far more daring and sometimes downright suicidal missions were attempted. It was assumed that Russia’s Black Ops, if they existed at all, would remain secret forever.

The ‘Lost Cosmonauts’ debate has been reawakened thanks to a new investigation into the efforts of two ingenious, radio-mad young Italian brothers who, starting in 1957, hacked into both Russia’s and NASA’s space programmes – so effect ively that the Russians, it seems, may have wanted them dead."

I hope Justin Bieber is at least snorting coke off the backs of strippers by the time he's 18. 'Cause holy Jesus does my soul die a little when I hear his music.

I mean, I know my generation listened to Tiffany, Debbie Gibson and Vanilla Ice... but, fuck, at least we had Public Enemy, NWA, BDP, De La Soul, and Eric B & Rakim.
""...don't pick on them, they're so good and they're so clean cut and they're such a good image for the children." Fuck that! When did mediocrity and banality become a good image for your children? I want my children to listen to people who fucking ROCKED! I don't care if they died in puddles of their own vomit! I want someone who plays from his fucking HEART!" - Bill Hicks.


Sadly, this is logic not unknown to me.

Overheard in New York | And You'll Be Sober-- Is That What You Want?:
"Girl #1, dressed in St. Patty's gear: Slow down!
Girl #2, similarly attired, jogging ahead: No! The faster we go, the faster I metabolize what I just drank.

--58th St & Madison Ave

Overheard by: Not drunk yet, but Irish"

"It's not a war on drugs, it's a war on personal freedoms is what it is, okay? Keep that in mind at all times, thank you." - Bill Hicks

Overheard/NC FTW.

Overheard in the Office | Why Sensitivity Training Exists:
"Boss: The incentive this month is: the person with the most accounts will get a steak dinner on me. And you can bring your boyfriend or girlfriend or whatever, you don't have to eat alone, I'll pay for them too.
Female sales rep: What if I have like eight boyfriends?
Boss: Well, then you're a whore. I don't know what else to tell you.

Charlotte, North Carolina"

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A new batch of munchkins - welcoming the new 1st grade class at Jr High.

With the new school year comes a new batch of 1st graders at Jr High.  Japan does ceremony well, with first an official entrance ceremony attended by the parents and teachers of course, but also by folks like the head of the Board of Education and the city mayor.  The next day the new students are welcomed into the school by the 2nd and 3rd graders who introduced themselves to them at assembly.  It's all quite cool, actually.  It's a lot of fun watching the kids go from the senior 6th graders running their respective elementary schools to the unsure and hesitant low-man-on-the-totem-pole.  And add to that all their new and completely oversized school uniforms [that they'll grow into] and they are actually pretty darn adorable.

The band kids warm-up.

Welcome committee.

I'm really kind of annoying with the camera, truth be told.

The midgets prepare for their march in.

A great pic of a buncha kids from my smaller elementary school.  [Thanks Akemi!]

The new first graders meet the senior students the next day...

And are likewise introduced to the teachers and staff...

[What happens when you turn over your camera to a student for assistance.]
 Dig that crazy bow.

*Post assembly awesome 3rd graders*

Finally, a selection of a couple songs the senior students performed to teach to and welcome their new kohai.

Tsuyazaki Jr High - New 1st Grade Class Welcome from Rob Pugh on Vimeo.

Having listened to 5hrs of Terence Mckenna lectures today, I'm utterly convinced that I am really not all that smart.

Mind officially blown, several times over.
Wikipedia - Terence Kemp McKenna (November 16, 1946 – April 3, 2000) was an American author, public speaker, metaphysician, psychonaut, philosopher, ethnobotanist, art historian, and self-described anarchist, anti-materialist, environmentalist, feminist, Platonist and skeptic. During his lifetime he was noted for his knowledge on the subjects the use of psychedelics, metaphysics, plant-based entheogens, and subjects ranging from shamanism, mysticism, Hermeticism, Neoplatonism, biology, geology, physics, phenomenology, and his concept of novelty theory.

Watched this week.

Human Target, Daily Show, Castle, Breaking Bad, NCIS, Justified, South Park, Frasier, The Mentalist, TUF, Stossel, Bill Moyers' Journal, Smallville

Blasphemy is hilarious.

Really?  A picture incites hatred?  As opposed to the continuing and ongoing evidence that the church, as an organization, has and continues to be culpable in a conspiracy to cover up and cover for the sexual abuse of children?  Because, you know, I'd think the facts of the matter incite a great deal more hatred than a damn magazine cover.

Plus, this is just funny.

Catholics Outraged Over German Cartoon | Disinformation:
"A German cartoon mocking the Catholic Church has sparked holy outrage among believers here who say it incites hatred against the Pope and the Catholic faith."

Finest & most hilarious video review of 'Star Wars: Attack of the Clones' ever.

"Star Wars Episode II Attack of the Clones is the worst thing ever made by a human. Except for the bagpipes. Why is it so bad you ask? ...the answer involves every single thing in the film. Except for Natalie Portman's midriff.  ...It was at that moment when you left the theater that you learned to never trust your own judgement again. To live the rest of your life plagued with doubt and mistrust of everything and everyone. And that the nightmare of your life had just begun."

His equally astute Phantom Menace review is here.