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Dancing with Devils

June 29, 2009

Last night “Nature” on PBS aired a program about the mighty Humbolt squid, the devils of the deep, along with side shows on the poisonous blue rings and pajama squid of down undah. It is called Encountering Sea Monsters.

Here is the video showing contact between the squid vicious and the disco strobe held by a madman.

And here is a great woodcut of Status Quobama revealing his true self beneath the costume of superstardom. Hell-O Bama!!

Here’s the article that goes with it. A good read. Obama is choosing to be weak

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29 Comments leave one →
  1. Stemella permalink*
    June 29, 2009 7:48 am

    Archaeologists have discovered a 35,000 year old flute made of vulture wingbone, the oldest musical instrument found to date. It was found in a cave in Germany.

    A picture and sound clip from a replica may be seen and heard here

    • cometman permalink*
      June 29, 2009 8:12 am

      Pretty cool. No doubt they’ll find even older ones someday if they were preserved. After watching the squidlette, making noise of one kind or another seems to be a pretty basic instinct from an early age.

  2. cometman permalink*
    June 29, 2009 8:07 am

    Damn I missed that program. Don’t think I’ve seen it before but it looks like it has been repeated a few times. Hopefully they will repeat it in the winter – can’t get the local stations on my satellite until the leaves fall off the trees.

    And that was a good article on Squobama. This part summed it up nicely:

    The president has cast himself not as a leader of reform, but as a cheerleader for “reform” – meaning anything, really, that can plausibly be called reform, however flawed.

    Did you catch that latest Matt Taibbi article from Rolling Stone? I think a scan of the article was originally posted Zerohedge a few days ago and I posted a link to it in the Go Fish post. The part that is really interests me is the whole cap and trade fiasco which the FT article mentions. Goldman Sux is positioning themselves to pump up that bubble and make another fortune off it even though the actual legislation probably won’t have much of an effect on decreasing carbon emissions at all. It reminded me of this article from Harper’s from about a year and a half ago – The Next Bubble. The author also mentions that the government and business are positioning themselves to pump up another bubble because that is all our economy can do any more and it will be “green energy” that they are aiming for.

    And do we have a new podkeeper? What kind is that? Very nice looking, whatever he is.

    • Stemella permalink*
      June 29, 2009 9:22 am

      Yes, I’ve copied the new Taibbi article, and skimmed it. I need to print it so I can read the whole thing. There’s a new Stiglitz article at the nation also here I need to read.

      Yes, we do have a new keeper. That is the hilarious looking Pajama Squid that was featured on the program last night. If you look on the main link for the program I posted you can find several clips to watch on line. You must see it C-man. You will love it.

      I still refuse to accept those dancing devils as my overlords! They are pretty cool how they flash colors though. So disco!

      • cometman permalink*
        June 30, 2009 7:05 am

        Pretty good article by Stiglitz. Very measured tones but he’s very critical of what’s happening and is quite clear in saying that the proposed reforms are not enough.

        Also calling for a new reserve currency. The US would be a lot better off if the government realized this was coming and worked with other countries to institute it. Otherwise it will eventually be done without them. Seems like most of the other big non-European economies at least are pretty damn sick of the dollar standard

  3. cometman permalink*
    June 29, 2009 9:15 am

    Froomkin signs out from WAPO. Good to know he’ll be reappearing somewhere. He’ll probably be better off somewhere else anyway that doesn’t have a neocon loving douchebag running the show.

  4. cometman permalink*
    June 29, 2009 9:40 am

    Woo hoo!!! This sounds almost like justice – 71 year old Bernie Madoff sentenced to 150 years in the pokey. And he’s been stripped of all his assets.

    I’d just like to add a hearty fuuuuu-u-u-u-u-u-u-uck you for Bernie. I hope this makes of few of the other banksters piss their pants a little today.

    • Stemella permalink*
      June 29, 2009 9:47 am

      Hah! I think I could actually hear that fuuuuu-u-u-u-u-u-u-uck you!! I heartily agree with that sentiment.

      I hope Stanford gets the same. He may get out on bail today and he shouldn’t. Definite flight risk.

  5. Stemella permalink*
    June 29, 2009 9:51 am

    I don’t know about you, but I have an irrational level of disgust with poodles. I’m sure they are fine dogs as far as dogs go, except for the little ones that deserve only to be left on trampolines set on perma bounce.

    This blogpost, which I came across looking for info on Payne, takes the cake for psycho poodle people and the things they did to their poodles.

    get-ready-for-an-audiovisual-assault-on-your-mind-and-your-poodle

    I wonder if that lady has any zirconium encrusted tweezers? (see Zappa poodle song for reference) and yes I’m going to hell for saying this!

    • cometman permalink*
      June 29, 2009 10:16 am

      Talk about synchronicity or synergy or syzygy or whatever! As I was reading your post, Stinkfoot was just finishing up on the old Victrola.

      The poodle bi-i-i-tes! The poodle chews it!

      • Stemella permalink*
        June 29, 2009 10:36 am

        That is amazing!

        The “poodle lecture” has been disabled on youtube, sadly, but maybe this myspace page version will work:

        link couldn’t be embedded

  6. cometman permalink*
    June 30, 2009 7:14 am

    John Ross compares the recent election in Iran with the stolen election in Mexico and wonders why there was such a big difference in how the US and world media covered them. Also gets into the NYT and Carlos Slim.

    A stolen election by an entrenched regime? Opposition charges that more votes were cast than ballots distributed to the polling places? That independent electoral observers were barred from witnessing the vote count? Demands for a recount to which election officials respond by offering to recount just 10% of the vote? A regime-controlled media that exalts the incumbent’s victory and demonizes the loser? The use of alternative media by the opposition to get their side of the story out? Massive street protests by millions of peaceful demonstrators waving homemade signs and wearing bracelets displaying the color of their movement? At least 20 protestors gunned down by authorities and paramilitaries? Worldwide moral indignation stirred up by the international media?

    Iran 2009? Yes!

    Mexico 2006? Yes and no.

    All aspects of the above scenario describe the Great Mexican Electoral Flimflam three years ago this July 2nd – save for the conundrum of worldwide moral indignation. Virtually ignored by the international media, the stealing of the Mexican presidential election by the right-wing oligarchy stirred little indignation anywhere outside of Mexico.

    After getting into the details surrounding both elections he says:

    The unabashed and uncritical defense of Israel is the underlying reason d’etre of the Sulzberger clan, publishers of the New York Times.

    The Times’ moral authority for determining the level of the egregiousness of electoral fraud in Iran and Mexico must certainly be questioned in light of the stealing of Florida 2000 by the Bushites and the scant attention the “paper of record” paid to voting machine tampering in Ohio in 2004. “What gives the gringos the right to pass judgment on other peoples’ elections?” asks Berta Robledo, a pro-Lopez Obrador activist, over café con leche in downtown Mexico City.

    The comparison of coverage of electoral fraud in Iran and Mexico comes at a curious juncture for the New York Ayatollahs now that the Times Corporation’s biggest creditor and quite possibly its top shareholder outside of the royal Sulzberger-Ochs dynasty is a Mexican – the tycoon Carlos Slim, once the richest billionaire on the Forbes list but now relegated to third place behind Bill Gates and possibly Warren Buffet after suffering debilitating stock losses in the current suicide market.

    These are dicey times at the Times: the paper is over a billion bucks in debt, first quarter losses in 2009 were a record $74.5 million, and the stock price is now worth less than the price of the paper’s Sunday edition – stockholders’ dividends have been suspended indefinitely. Meanwhile, major labor trouble is brewing as the NYT seeks to close down the Boston Globe for which it once paid more than $1,000,000,000 USD – the defiance of Guild members up in Beantown threatens to spread into the New York newsroom.

    With the roof caving in on Wall Street and the newspaper industry gasping its last – advertising and readership have suffered the most precipitous drops since the Great Depression – the Times management sought out Slim in late 2008 to save the paper from itself. The Mexican’s $250,000,000 loan gave the NYT a little breathing space but was achieved at an astounding 14% yearly interest rate which, if not paid off in six years, will entitle the Mexico City-based billionaire to between 16 and 18% of the Sulzbergers’ precious preferred stock.

    Pretty good article and worth reading the whole thing. Carlos Slim is a strange bird.Doesn’t let too many details slip about what he’s up to, except for making lots and lots of money.

  7. cometman permalink*
    June 30, 2009 8:36 am

    Neurologist Oliver Sacks was on Jon Stewart last night talking about his most recent book Musicophilia. The season premier of Nova called Musical Minds which is based on his book airs tonight at 8 PM for those people whose reception isn’t blocked by leaves. Where’d I leave my napalm? Guess I can always watch it online.

    • Stemella permalink*
      July 1, 2009 7:52 am

      I watched this last night and it was pretty amazing. Thanks for recommending it. You mentioned above in response to the discovery of the ancient bone flute shows that music is a basic instinct. Sacks shows it is even more than that. It is part of the wiring of the chip that runs our operating systems.

      • cometman permalink*
        July 1, 2009 9:06 am

        I’m going to try to watch it online tonight if I can find the time. Sacks is really fascinating. Read his book The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat years ago and loved it.

      • cometman permalink*
        July 1, 2009 7:59 pm

        Just finished watching the Nova program. Absolutely amazing, especially the guy who got struck by lightning and could suddenly play the piano like a virtuoso. If you didn’t see it, you’d think it was something out of a Twilight Zone episode. It reminded me of another program I saw where a 20 something year old man who wasn’t particularly good at math all of a sudden developed a tremendous propensity for doing complex problems in his head.

        The part where Sacks got the brain scans was really interesting too. I wonder what it is that makes people prefer one type of music over another. I like all kinds of different music but I think like most people almost anything gets boring after you listen to the same CD a few times and you have to put it away for a few months or a year until it sounds fresh when you listen again. Like Fuck ‘Em Up Toddy – once or twice is plenty ;) But the one guy I can listen to over and over again and never get bored with is Zappa. Really don’t know why that is.

        I did a search to try and find a link to the math guy I mentioned above and came up empty, but I found this instead – Dangerous Knowledge

        Here’s part 1:

        • Stemella permalink*
          July 2, 2009 7:42 am

          That series looks really interesting. I watched the first and will look into the rest over the weekend. Tesla is another one who could have been included in that series, another one who looked over the edge of scientific genius and slipped into madness. The edge of the precipice between ultimate knowledge, or wisdom, and madness has always fascinated me.

          • cometman permalink*
            July 2, 2009 11:33 am

            I haven’t watched any of it yet except the intro and the teaser quoting Blake drew me in. Hopefully I’ll get to it tonight. Tesla is another guy I’d like to learn more about. I’d also like to build one of those cool coils of his in my garage. Probably won’t be allowed to though – couldn’t even get permission to do the plasma grape experiment in my microwave that I posted about a while back :)

            But yeah, it isn’t hard to see how mathematical genius could put somebody over the edge. Forget trying to balance out the equations – just thinking about what it all means and whether it has a basis in reality is enough to make your brain hurt. What is a “2” anyway? There aren’t any out there walking around. Trying to figure out what people like Payne and Ettinger et al are up to is child’s play compared to what’s going on in the noggins of some of these math guys.

  8. cometman permalink*
    June 30, 2009 10:34 am

    Sausage factory – Jane Hamsher describes how Pelosi and the DemocRAT “leadership” browbeat Congressional reps into voting for the ridiculous cap and trade bill that will not curb pollution much at all and will likely make the situation worse. Absolutely disgusting.

    But let’s not be too harsh – some people stand to do quite well with this legislation, namely the banksters like Goldman Sux who stand to make billions in fees by trading permits and the polluters who will have coal plants exempted and less EPA oversight.

    Funny how the “leadership” can twist arms and threaten those of good conscience when it’s time to do favors for their corporate masters but when it comes to passing anything that might actually improve the lots of the average citizen, they just whimper as a few Blue Dogs team up with the republicans and we’re told “Sorry, we just don’t have the votes”.

    What a fucking bunch of bought and paid for whores.

  9. cometman permalink*
    June 30, 2009 9:59 pm

    For those who must toil and travel to earn their daily bread, the original from the greatest movie ever made:

    And updated for the new millenium:

    • Stemella permalink*
      July 1, 2009 7:42 am

      Oh my sweet plastic jeebus! Love the Cool Hand Luke version, but the Billy Idol version fucking rawwwwwks!! wow.

      • cometman permalink*
        July 1, 2009 9:14 am

        I got a kick out of the Billy Idol one too. Never heard that song before I dug it up on youtube. Nice to see that Idol has found someone else to dance with these days :) There was another clip of the song that had a final verse about a ceramic Satan but the video wasn’t nearly as interesting. You can check out that version here which also has all the lyrics.

  10. cometman permalink*
    July 1, 2009 9:34 am

    One of the best takes I’ve read on the current situation in Iran from Reese Ehrlich at Truthout.

    When I returned from covering the Iranian elections recently, I was surprised to find my email box filled with progressive authors, academics and bloggers bending themselves into knots about the current crisis in Iran. They cite the long history of US interference in Iran and conclude that the current unrest there must be sponsored or manipulated by the Empire.

    That comes as quite a shock to those risking their lives daily on the streets of major Iranian cities fighting for political, social and economic justice.

    Some of these authors have even cited my book, “The Iran Agenda,” as a source to prove US meddling. Whoa there, pardner. Now we’re getting personal.

    The large majority of American people, particularly leftists and progressives, are sympathetic to the demonstrators in Iran, oppose Iranian government repression and also oppose any US military or political interference in that country. But a small and vocal number of progressives are questioning that view, including authors writing for Monthly Review online or Foreign Policy Journal, and prominent academics such as retired professor James Petras.

    They mostly argue by analogy. They correctly cite numerous examples of CIA efforts to overthrow governments, sometimes by manipulating mass demonstrations. But past practice is no proof that it’s happening in this particular case. Frankly, the multi-class character of the most recent demonstrations, which arose quickly and spontaneously, were beyond the control of the reformist leaders in Iran, let alone the CIA.

    Let’s assume for the moment that the US was trying to secretly manipulate the demonstrations for its own purposes. Did it succeed? Or were the protests reflecting 30 years of cumulative anger at a reactionary system that oppresses workers, women and ethnic minorities, indeed the vast majority of Iranians? Is President Mahmood Ahmadinejad a “nationalist-populist,” as claimed by some, and therefore an ally against US domination around the world? Or is he a repressive, authoritarian leader who actually hurts the struggle against US hegemony?

    Let’s take a look. But first a quick note.

    As far as I can tell, none of these leftist critics have actually visited Iran, at least not to report on the recent uprisings. Of course, one can have an opinion about a country without firsthand experience there. But in the case of recent events in Iran, it helps to have met people. It helps a lot.

    He goes on to discuss that the elections there were very likely rigged contrary to the claims of a few on the left who say there is no evidence to prove it. The fact that they counted the votes so rapidly and won’t allow anything like a meaningful recount sure makes it seem to me like they’ve got something to hide. Kinda like some recent elections here in the US I can think of…. Ehrlich also discounts the role that any CIA interference has played in the uprisings saying they really aren’t that competent to have moved so quickly to organize it all while still making it clear that the CIA does have a long history of meddling in that region and probably would have liked to do more in this case. He also discounts the role that Twitter has played, contrary to the claims of those in the US media.

    Worth reading the whole thing. Also a few really dumb comments from people who obviously didn’t bother to read the whole article. One seems to think that Ehrlich is the woman in the picture at the top although the name is not the same and it’s quite clear that Erhlich is a he by reading the blurb at the end of the article. Right wingers never cease to amaze with the depths of their stupidity.

    • Stemella permalink*
      July 1, 2009 10:32 am

      That is an excellent piece. It is difficult to analyze the situation from our desks here in the States, because the facts are thin and there has been misinformation. It is good to read from someone who has been there recently.

      He says at the end that leftist critics must claim a side. I claim the side that opposes religious tyranny in governance. I do not view Ahmadinejad as a great supporter of the people as a populist. His rhetoric doesn’t match his actions, sort of like our Commanders in chief of the past many years.

      Here are some recent updates from some of the livebloggers who are still trying to track what’s going on there:

      The Lede
      Iran’s police chief, Brig. Gen. Esmail Ahmadi Moghadam, called the death of Neda Agha-Soltan a “premeditated act of murder.”
      Neda Agha-SoltanCourtesy Caspian Makan/Associated Press Neda Agha-Soltan

      It was the first statement on the case since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for an investigation into the death of Ms. Agha-Soltan, who became an icon of Iran’s opposition movement when a video of her shooting death on a Tehran street was circulated on the Web.

      Mr. Ahmadi Moghadam also said that Iranian intelligence authorities are trying to find Arash Hejazi, a doctor who was shown on the videotape tending to Ms. Agha-Soltan as she bled to death. Dr. Hejazi had fled to London because of concerns for his safety following the crackdown. The police chief accused the doctor of “working against the Iranian government abroad.”

      It sounds like they would like to pin her death on someone not affiliated with themselves; to create counter propaganda.

      I heard several days ago that her family had been arrested, whereabouts unknown. Very tragic.

      Nico Pitney at Huffpo

      12:34 PM ET — Mousavis’ Facebook pages call for strike.

      The Facebook pages of Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi and his wife Zahra Rahnavard called for an Islamic National Strike late Tuesday night.

      Mousavi’s page updated first, about 7 p.m. local time, stating, “Strike: The manner of a man is better than his goverance. Help to bring this message back to IRAN.” Three hours later the status updated to “Dont underestimate the power of National islamic Strike.”

      And early Wednesday, around 2 a.m. local time, both he and his wife’s pages updated to “Islamic Strike, help to spread the Voice out to fight the Bullets.” The message was posted twice in a row on both accounts.

      The Guardian
      Iran has released three employees of the British embassy in Tehran who were detained in the wake of street protests against official presidential election results, state-run Iranian television reported today.

      Press TV said one embassy employee was still being held for playing “a significant role” in post-election violence, out of nine Iranian staff members originally arrested. Five were released last week. British officials said this afternoon they were checking the latest report.

      The reported releases come just ahead of a meeting of senior European diplomats in Stockholm tomorrow. The political directors of EU member foreign ministries were due to discuss coordinated measures against Iran for what David Miliband has called “harassment and intimidation” of local embassy staff.

      The Guardian also has this page to identify those detained and killed during the demonstrations: Iran election dead and detained

  11. Stemella permalink*
    July 1, 2009 6:21 pm

    Belovable Bernie was on the Keith O show tonight talking about health care. I now officially adopt him as the Senator of my political sensibility since my own Senators are rather far to the right of me.

    He has that great salt of the Earth New England horse sense plus the empathy and compassion of a true bleeding heart socialist.

    Here’s something written about his position at Angry Bear:
    Bernie Sanders Draws the Line

  12. Stemella permalink*
    July 2, 2009 7:46 am

    Forget about the Chinese, the squid vicious and canetoads – accept your new overlords: Ant mega-colony takes over world

    A single mega-colony of ants has colonised much of the world, scientists have discovered.

    Argentine ants living in vast numbers across Europe, the US and Japan belong to the same inter-related colony, and will refuse to fight one another.

    The colony may be the largest of its type ever known for any insect species, and could rival humans in the scale of its world domination.

    What’s more, people are unwittingly helping the mega-colony stick together.

    Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) were once native to South America. But people have unintentionally introduced the ants to all continents except Antarctica.

    These introduced Argentine ants are renowned for forming large colonies, and for becoming a significant pest, attacking native animals and crops.

    In Europe, one vast colony of Argentine ants is thought to stretch for 6,000km (3,700 miles) along the Mediterranean coast, while another in the US, known as the “Californian large”, extends over 900km (560 miles) along the coast of California. A third huge colony exists on the west coast of Japan.

    • cometman permalink*
      July 2, 2009 11:42 am

      Wow. That is amazing. Looks like the ants are a definite overlord contender. Or maybe they’re just working in tandem with the squid – the ants tunnel until the ground under us is weakened and collapses at which point the waters rush in and we become a snack for the hungry Humboldts. Yikes!

      I’d heard about the super colonies before but this news that they’re all connected is new and somewhat humbling. If I were those researchers I’m not so sure I’d be making statements like the one at the end:

      “Humans created this great non-aggressive ant population,” the researchers write.

      Non-aggressive towards whom?? Maybe they’re just biding their time….

  13. Stemella permalink*
    July 2, 2009 7:58 am

    Ooh Ooh new must read article: Michael Lewis – The Man Who Crashed the World about the crash of AIG that crashed everything else.

    • cometman permalink*
      July 2, 2009 4:42 pm

      That was a really good one. The way Lewis tells it, AIG wasn’t so much engaging in fraud themselves as they were dupes for the people at Goldman Sux and others who were. The AIG guys even realized after a couple years of insuring junk that they were being taken for a ride but by then it was too late. After reading that and a few other articles recently it sure as hell seems that the rating agencies like Moodys haven’t taken nearly the blame for all this that they should be getting. Goldman comes out looking really bad but the rating people should have been the ones to call bullshit on all those crap securities that the investment banks were packaging. That is the reason they exist and someone ought to pay for continuing to stamp AAA ratings on a bunch of garbage.

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