Friday, March 20, 2009

Obama poster in LA

Christian Girls' Guide to Spring Break Abstinence

During Spring Break, the number one priority for unsaved boys (especially lustful colored and avaricious Jewish ones) is to take home the trophy prized by pagans the world over: the sweet, warm blood of a virgin. Every March in Daytona Beach, that prize is attained by spilling the sacred hymen blood of a lily-white Christian girl. Here at Landover Baptist, as our college students make their way toward the godless, gibberish-mumbling shores of Mexico and Florida this Spring, they understand that whether they are a boy slipping on a pair of enormous crotch concealing surfer shorts or a girl covered from knee to chin in a modest one-piece swimsuit, their conservative swimwear is going on the body of the Lord Jesus Christ. And He doesn't like to flop about, displaying His enormous dangling holy parts in public. Yes, Christian youngsters know that the most important thing to remember when they are at the ocean (after the importance of using a 120 SPF so they don't wind up so dark folks think you're about to knock over a Cancun liquor store) is that mixed-faith beaches are mission fields to share the Good News. 

As members of the inferior sex, Christian girls are more easily swayed toward the lures of Satan and anything drunk out of a pineapple. A young lady might have made a commitment to save herself for Jesus and abstain from the filthy, repulsive act from which the beauty of life springs, but it is often times more difficult for them to understand which parts of their body are off limits to the superior sex. 

In general, Christian boys are more successful in resisting demonic influences. Indeed, we've heard countless tales of Spring Break sacrifice from our Godly gentlemen, who've sacrificed their pride by resorting to mouth, hiney, and even boy-on-boy canoodling in order to protect their virginity. These are lessons many Baptists boys picked up from Mormon missionaries and can provide a reputation-saving technique for Christian girls hoping to save their precious lady business until after an expensive, catered wedding. 

Of course, Christian females have a hard time understanding the different parts of the slimy abyss between their legs -- in part, because they have been forbidden to look. Most Christian ladies don't even realize they have six holes (the number of the beast) through which the devil tries to enter. There is only one however, that upon entry, will destroy an angelic little girlie's virginity and turn her into a debauched, fornicating Devil's slut who must be drop-kicked out the back door of our church and sent to the Landover Baptist Home for Wayward Girls and Pastors' Comfort Retreat.

As any Roman Catholic priest who has spent countless hours eying the crotches of buff, young men in swim trunks can tell you, the Lord Jesus isn't the only thing that rises in the Spring. Danger of vaginal penetration lurks on every beach blanket. In preparation for the lurid temptations of Spring Break, our team of Creation Scientists has been kind enough to prepare the chart below. All female church members are required to carry a laminated copy it in their purses at all times as a "map" to guide them safely across the treacherous minefield of teen almost-sex, which is pitted with many a dark and sticky sinkhole intent on sucking young souls into their fetid vortex of sin. Choose the wrong hole and you will have chosen a whole lot of damnation, my teenage friend!

Deepak Chopra on Slumdog Millionaire:

The Dilemma of the New India
by Deepak Chopra

After its sweeping win at the Oscars last Sunday, Slumdog Millionaire seems like the movie everyone wants, and perhaps needs. It has all the ingredients of escapist fare from the Great Depression -- a populist hero who overcomes all odds to get the girl and the money. There's an added element of self-congratulation for the West: by seeing this movie you can see India without getting your hands dirty or offending your nose, and cheer it on. Cinderella didn't walk through tenements and sectarian violence to reach her prince. But in this fairy tale, a concession must be made to modern realities. Dev Patel is symbolic of India here and now, fulfilling its wildest economic aspirations while being conscious of the darkest aspects of social decay and despair.
If we follow the metaphor to its logical conclusion, India will get the money and the girl by rising above its slums. Perhaps that's why Slumdog has created an uneasy reaction in Mumbai and the rest of India. Rising above isn't the same as solving. Many well-born educated Indians have looked westward for a long time, which is easier than looking inward. They know more about the streets of London and New York than the teeming lanes of the ghettos in their own city. This is true, of course, among rich elites everywhere, not just in south Asia. Watching Dev triumphantly cross the social line is triumphant, but it reminds you that there is a line. (Barack Obama crossed the racial line in triumph, also, but notice how much heat his Attorney General, Eric Holder, took when he suggested in less than polite terms that America needs to be more honest and courageous about the whole problem of race.)
Like fairy tales, symbols can pacify deep anxieties. India dreams of being a millionaire, but it lives with the anxiety that it's really a slumdog. Or that the slumdogs will one day rise up against the millionaires. You can read the tea leaves any way you like. Another uncertainty attends the film. Having been made on a shoestring, Slumdog managed to outgross any number of big-budget Hollywood films. Last week it ranked fifth in U.S. box office while its nearest Oscar rival, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, was no longer in the top ten. Brad Pitt, being a megastar, has pulled his film to $122 million, compared to Slumdog's $98 million, but is that really competitive? Ten movies on the scale of Slumdog can be made for the cost of one blockbuster that has yet to pay back its cost.
The whole movie industry is watching closely, and the developing world is watching back even more closely. After two decades of action flicks with move-your-lips scripts that were primitive enough to appeal to immature male psyches, here is Asia -- via the UK, admittedly -- sending back something sophisticated, poignant, and universal. It's like the ultimate retort to colonialism: the coolie and the wallah have more smarts than the sahib. Indians feel uneasy about that, too. Will the sahib turn his back and shut them out? Do south Asians have enough self-respect and stature in the world to at last forget that the sahib ever existed?

We found the chip inside the new iPod headphones...but is it DRM?


You'd never guess it was there—a tiny chip, barely a millimeter square, hidden inside the headphone module on the third-gen iPod shuffle. If you dismantle the module itself, you still won't see it: it's underneath a board containing a few simple copper traces, itself minuscule, and glued to the plastic. Even the traditional iFixit teardown gallery missed it.

We decided to take a closer look after iLounge reported that the third-generation iPod Shuffle's headphones had an "authentication chip" that Apple could use to turn something as basic as headphones into a proprietary licensing scheme.

By adding such a chip to headphones, Apple could force third-party manufacturers to pay fees to make headphones for its iPod Shuffle—after all, the device has no controls, so normal headphones are useless.

"This is, in short, a nightmare scenario for long-time iPod fans," wrote iLounge's Jeremy Horwitz. "Are we entering a world in which Apple controls and taxes literally every piece of the iPod purchase from headphones to chargers, jacking up their prices, forcing customers to re-purchase things they already own, while making only marginal improvements in their functionality?"

Even if someone invented headphones that worked without a licensed chip, that could amount to circumvention of a digital lock: Apple could shut them down using the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, provided the signal sent from the headphone buttons to the iPod itself is encrypted.

Liberty City Six Judge Refuses to Pay Private Investigator After He Speaks Out

By Bob Norman

How much does freedom of speech cost when applied to the now-infamous Liberty City terror trial?

P.I. Rory McMahon got screwed by a federal judge for speaking out against her.

For one private investigator who worked long and hard on the case, Rory McMahon, the bill came to $9,000. For making the mistake of speaking his mind, the veteran P.I. was also banned from the case.

That's the punishment levied against McMahon by U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard, who handled the two previous Liberty City terrorism trials and is presiding over the third that's playing out now at the federal courthouse in Miami. Lenard refused to authorize payment to McMahon for work he'd done while leading the investigation for the Liberty City defense and forbade him from working on the case ever again.

McMahon's crime: He had the nerve to criticize the judge during the first trial in a story of mine in New Times ("Have Terror, Will Travel," November 22, 2007).

Because federal judges have near-dictatorial power in their courtrooms, there's not a thing McMahon, a former federal probation officer, can do about it, the First Amendment be damned.

"Initially I was totally shocked," McMahon said of his reaction to Lenard's withholding him pay for 180 hours of work over the course of several weeks. "But I know that federal judges can act with impunity and there is no accountability, so I guess I shouldn't have been."

McMahon's story is a cautionary tale for anyone involved in the justice system. The disheartening lesson: Keep your mouth shut.

"Where Have All the Political Songs Gone?" (with apologies to Pete Seeger)

I'm spending some time this month rehearsing for an annual charity show (playing keyboards in the pit band), so my thoughts have turned back to music. Here's my question: where have all the political songs gone, and especially songs about war and peace? I'm not saying there aren't any (see below), but this genre doesn't seem to cast the same shadow it once did.

Back in the folk era (for younger readers, that means the late 50s/early-to-mid 60s), songs about war and injustice were staples of popular culture here in the United States. Think of Pete Seeger's "Where Have All The Flowers Gone?" or Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind," or Phil Ochs' "I Ain't Marching Anymore." At about the same time, the all-time genius of political musical satire, Tom Lehrer, was writing scathingly funny songs about a range of foreign policy topics, including nuclear proliferation ("Who's Next?"), NATO's multilateral force ("The MLF Lullaby"), liberal interventionism ("Send the Marines!") and even nuclear Armageddon ("So Long, Mom!"). And don't forget Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction" (written by P.F. Sloan), an apocalyptic jeremiad that hit #1 on the Billboard charts in 1965 and contains references to nuclear war, Red China, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and congressional fecklessness.

By the late 1960s, fueled by Vietnam, songs about war were legion. Off the top of my head, there's Donovan's "Universal Soldier," the Animals' "Sky Pilot," CSNY's "Ohio," and "Wooden Ships," John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance," and "Imagine," Edwin Starr's "War," and Kenny Rogers' "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town." Even Glenn Campbell's pop hit "Galveston" (written by Jimmy Webb) has a Vietnam theme. There were a few songs on the other side too, most famously Sgt. Barry Sadler's "Ballad of the Green Berets."

My main point is that some of these songs were big hits, selling lots of copies and getting lots of airplay. And satire wasn't entirely gone either, with Country Joe and the Fish's "Feelin' Like I'm Fixin to Die Rag," and Randy Newman's brilliant "Political Science," which dates from the early 1970s but could have been written for George W. Bush.

Pete Seeger's 90th Birthday

You are cordially invited

Clearwater: Creating the Next Generation of Environmental Leaders
hosts a benefit concert in celebration of

Pete Seeger's 90th Birthday

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009, 7:00 p.m.
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

American Express Pre-Sale Monday, March 23 at 9:00 a.m. EDT at
Tickets On Sale Monday, March 30 at 9:00 a.m. EDT at

Pete Seeger
Native American Indian Cultural Alliance

All proceeds to benefit the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater (,
a non-profit organization created to defend and restore the Hudson River.

DOJ to end raids on medical marijuana facilities not violating state law: Holder

by Matt Glenn

Photo source or description
[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] will no longer prosecute owners of medical marijuana facilities that do not violate state law, Attorney General Eric Holder [official profile] said Wednesday. Although the use of medical marijuana violates federal law, thirteen states have legalized its use. Holder warned, however, that the federal government would continue to prosecute dispensers that violate state law [AP report], including dispensers that are fronts for drug dealers. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) [official website] opposed Holder's decision [AP report], arguing that marijuana leads to harder drugs. Holder did not comment on whether the DOJ would continue to prosecute medical marijuana cases already underway. Also Wednesday, a bill legalizing medical marijuana in New Hampshire survived a committee vote [Union Leader report] in the state House of Representatives [official website]. The house will vote on the bill next week.

Under the Bush administration, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) [official website] routinely raided medical marijuana distributors because they violate federal law. The DEA raided medical marijuana facilities as recently as February [Washington Times report] to the disappointment of President Barack Obama, who, during his campaign, pledged to end raids [Boston Globe report].

Portraits of US Presidents' mistresses





Victims of class warfare

by Garrison Keillor

And in the end, AIG is not about credit default swaps or derivatives. It is about people.

People like Megan, who suffered a painful case of shingles after a $4 billion default swap dropped to $234.15 and whose mission is to save the endangered grommet. That's where her bonus is going, to create a grommet habitat in Vermont.,0,5921581.column

The Case Against Indexing

(I Don't Buy It)
by Andrew Tobias


The way to help small businesses is NOT to give them tax cuts – what good's a tax cut when you're making no profit to be taxed ON?  I refer you back to my five questions on tax cuts. 


But yesterday the Obama Administration did three things concrete things that WILL help small business: 


It waived the fees small businesses have to pay to take out SBA loans.


It raised the Federal guarantee on such loans from 75% and 85% to 90%, which will encourage more lending (yet still leave the lender on the hook for significant scratch).


It set aside $15 billion of TARP money to buy securitized SBA loans, until private investors regain their appetite, so that the banks can sell them and, with the proceeds, make new small business loans.


That money will be ready to start buying 7A loan securitizations by the end of this month – any minute now – and 504 loan securitizations by mid-May.


To take just one concrete example of how constructive this is:  I have an investment in a private company that has profitable orders it can't fill.  It lacks the working capital to pay suppliers, shippers, and so on.  It may have to close and lay everyone off.  But with an SBA loan, it would be able to keep people employed filling the orders, remain in business, and continue to grow.


Now, because of the Administration's swift action, it has a better chance of getting an SBA loan.


Compare that with telling the owners of this company that they will get a tax break on their nonexistent profits.  I think the Obama approach makes more sense.


A Mom Lets Her Son Walk to Soccer…And The Police Come Calling

New word of the day: testilying


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Testilying is U. S. police slang for the practice of giving false testimony against a defendant in a criminal trial, typically for the purpose of "making a stronger case" against someone they believe to be guilty, although it may also be for the purpose of framing an innocent defendant.

The word and its meaning have been publicized by defense attorney Alan Dershowitz, notably in a 1994 New York Times article, "Accomplices to Perjury," in which he said:

As I read about the disbelief expressed by some prosecutors... I thought of Claude Rains's classic response, in Casablanca on being told there was gambling in Rick's place: "I'm shocked—shocked." For anyone who has practiced criminal law in the state or Federal courts, the disclosures about rampant police perjury cannot possibly come as a surprise. "Testilying"—as the police call it—has long been an open secret among prosecutors, defense lawyers, and judges.[1]

There seems to be little doubt that the practice occurs, is not limited to any region of the country, and that "testilying" is a common name for it. A 2003 Boston Globe editorial noted:

In the early 1990s, the Mollen Commission peeled away layers of falsehood in the New York City Police Department, including false statements on warrant applications, creation of confidential informants out of whole cloth, and lies told to establish probable cause for stopping and searching vehicles. So-called "testilying," however, is not limited to any one area or police department. The problem has become so acute that juries nationwide routinely express skepticism about law enforcement testimony, such as drugs found "in plain view."

The LAPD is said to call the practice "joining the liars' club." In a 1996 article in the Los Angeles Times, "Has the Drug War Created an Officer Liars' Club?," Joseph D. McNamara, then chief of police of San Jose, said "Not many people took defense attorney Alan M. Dershowitz seriously when he charged that Los Angeles cops are taught to lie at the birth of their careers at the Police Academy. But as someone who spent 35 years wearing a police uniform, I've come to believe that hundreds of thousands of law-enforcement officers commit felony perjury every year testifying about drug arrests." He noted that "Within the last few years, police departments in Los Angeles, Boston, New Orleans, San Francisco, Denver, New York and in other large cities have suffered scandals involving police personnel lying under oath about drug evidence."

The SkinFlints