Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Cosmopolis, Chaos Theory and Today's Headlines

Have a look at this article from the New York Times. It's not that we should become market experts but rather grasp, what I believe, DeLillo is saying about the hyper-globalized cyber-capital economy. These are the "experts" and they can't really explain what's going on anymore.

"While China was the first market to tumble, it was not clear what set off the selling. But once it began, it spread first to other Asian countries, then to Europe and the United States."
Also, the Washington Post has a simple little graphic here showing the near immediate fluctuation in world markets yesterday. This is the piece about the cause and effect ofhe "Mexican Tortilla Crisis". Furthermore, I wrote an article last month which mentions the Tortilla Crisis. The piece is dealing with cause and effect which is pertinent to our discussion. Be warned, I'm no DeLillo and its blatantly political. Finally, here is a very good "chaos theory for beginners" which is all I could ever hope to understand.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A Merry Prankster and Environmental ‘Heresies’

Since we just finished one “Merry Prankster” I thought you would appreciate this article about another. It’s getting spooky how everything is all coming together. Just what the heck was Janice Radway getting at anyways?

"He divides environmentalists into romantics and scientists, the two cultures he’s been straddling and blending since the 1960s. He was with the Merry Pranksters and the Grateful Dead at their famous Trips Festival in San Francisco"

American Psycho ending monologue

I also thought about this film. Very disturbing but quite telling.

Wall Street Limo

100 million dollars seems trite in Cosmopolis. I still love the film but I can't think of any film that approximates DeLillo's Cosmopolis.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Das Unheimliche

Who remembers this? This is the young Kirsten Dunst, aka Claudia (1994 Interview With The Vampire), the beautiful little porcelain vampire child. If this isn't the ultimate expression of "The Uncanny" and "Castration Anxiety" then I don't know what is.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Al Sharpton's ancestors were slaves owned by Strom Thurmond's relatives

(AP) Geneaologists have found that civil rights activist the Rev. Al Sharpton is a descendent of a slave owned by relatives of the late Sen. Strom Thurmond, a newspaper reported Sunday.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

"24" and American Torture

If you need any more evidence that the American public has gotten blasé about torture, consider the hit Fox action drama "24." The show featured 67 torture scenes during its first five seasons, and most of those depicted torture being used by "heroic" U.S. counter-terror agents.

top gear new orleans

Top Gear is a wonderfully funny British car program. Their experience in NOLA was less than flattering.
They ask, "how can the rest of America sleep at night knowing this is here?"

Friday, February 23, 2007

Moderate Democrat Is New Target of Liberal Bloggers

Only a year ago, bloggers were hardly taken seriouslly by the MSM, let alone the political establishment. Is this still just a fluke or the future of US politics?

Democratic leaders want their activists to focus on beating Republicans. But the grass roots and Net roots believe the political tide is shifting their way, and they can provide the money, ground troops and buzz to challenge Democratic incumbents they don't like. had two Bay Area chapters before the election; now it has 15, and they could all go to work against Tauscher in a primary. "Absolutely, we could take her out," said Markos Moulitsas Zúniga -- better known as Kos -- the Bay Area blogger behind the influential Daily Kos site.

As Clinton Runs, Some Old Foes Stay on Sideline

This story says alot.

Mr. Scaife, reclusive heir to the Mellon banking fortune, spent more than $2 million investigating and publicizing accusations about the supposed involvement of Mrs. Clinton and former President Bill Clinton in corrupt land deals, sexual affairs, drug running and murder.

But now, as Mrs. Clinton is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, Mr. Scaife’s checkbook is staying in his pocket.

Juan Crow

I don't know how many of you are paying attention to the "immigration issue" in the U.S. Of course are class is dealing with Black America. However, there are many similarities between the language and politics of Jim Crow and the current state of affairs. Furthermore, and mostly overlooked by the MSM, the immigration issue has an enormous impact on African American communities.

I came across this article in the Washington Post, which is a story I've been following for the last few months. This is the first time I've seen it in a major national paper.Detention Facility for Immigrants Criticized

Organizations Laud DHS Effort to Keep Families Together but Call Center a 'Prison-Like Institution'
The Post also has an entire section devoted to immigration, complete with resources, maps, photos, and some interesting interactive multimedia stories.

Monday, February 19, 2007

McCain: Roe v. Wade should be overturned

"I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned,"
McCain ran the 2000 primaries as a centrist, left of Bush and got slammed. Now, he's hired some of the Old Bush campaign staff and is turning hard right to shore up the "New Republican Base". He wants to be president sooooo baaaad.

Air - Playground Love (The Virgin Suicides)

I don't think this video summarizes the story but it's such a beautiful song and the video is damn clever. Enjoy.

Texas may OK shooting first in self-defense

HOUSTON — In a "shoot first, ask questions later" approach to personal safety, state lawmakers are weighing a bill that would give Texans the right to use deadly force as a first resort when they feel their safety is threatened.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Al Gore's Presidential Guessing Game

As the formal candidates reach their stride, Gore's schedule — jam-packed with a stroll down the red carpet at the Academy Awards, a book release in May, and the December Nobel Prize announcement — will, if not heighten, surely sustain the buzz surrounding his candidacy.

Black Like Me?

Black immigrants such as myself would probably not be here if not for the sacrifices of those who were on the front lines of the civil rights movement. And that's why I identify myself as black -- not that I have a choice -- with pride and without apology. But black Americans can't on the one hand complain about black immigrants consciously separating themselves from black Americans, which many immigrants do, and on the other hand say: "But you aren't really black like us."

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Guest DJ John Waters

This is a fantastic conversation NPR's "All Songs Considered" with underground filmmaker John Waters, including some unbelievable music samplings of his favorite songs. He's got some great stories about growing up in Baltimore in the early 50's and his early musical influences. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

"I liked Tina better when she was with Ike, she didn't but the music..."
Btw, Ike will be performing in Odense this April.

All the World’s a Stage (That Includes the Internet)

Mr. Raphaeli’s stage of choice is the Internet, where he has posted 30 short video clips to Metacafe, a Web site that pays video creators based on how many viewers their work attracts. So far, Mr. Raphaeli has earned more than $13,000 from the site, where his most popular card trick has been seen 1.4 million times.

NY Times and "Upity" Citizen Journalists

Even as they exploit the newest technologies, the Libby trial bloggers are a throwback to a journalistic style of decades ago, when many reporters made no pretense of political neutrality. Compared with the sober, neutral drudges of the establishment press, the bloggers are class clowns and crusaders, satirists and scolds.
Please read the whold article, its very very telling.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

are American children faring badly?

via The Economist

On Wednesday February 14th Unicef published a report comparing the well-being of young people in 21 rich countries, and concluded that British and American youths endure the worst quality of life of any. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Would O'Brian say this qualifies as a "true war story"?

Would this qualitfy as "how to tell a true war story"?

I know we barely touched on the parallels between Iraq and Vietnam yesterday. This article is well worth the read.

"The lead interrogator at the DIF had given me specific instructions: I was to deprive the detainee of sleep during my 12-hour shift by opening his cell every hour, forcing him to stand in a corner and stripping him of his clothes. Three years later the tables have turned. It is rare that I sleep through the night without a visit from this man. His memory harasses me as I once harassed him."

Monday, February 12, 2007

Dixie Chicks take home Grammys

The Dixie Chicks took home Grammys for the top three awards: record, song and album of the year. Their “Taking the Long Way” (Open Wide/Columbia) won best country album and “Not Ready to Make Nice” also captured best country performance by a duo or group with vocal. That song is an unapologetic response to the furor set off in 2003 when the band’s lead singer, Natalie Maines, made an off-the-cuff antiwar remark to London concertgoers: “Just so you know, we’re ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.”
It's great to finally see some good news out of Texas, compared to this recent news.

Now, I've never considered myself a big county music fan (despite being from Texas) but these young ladies are simply fantastic musicians. Add on all the hell they went through for speaking out against the war in Iraq and their Grammy is just a little sweeter. You can see the trailer to the documentary, "Shut Up And Sing", which cronicles the huge "right-wing" reaction against that one comment they made against the President.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Obama Formally Enters Presidential Race

Obama invoked a speech Lincoln gave here in 1858 condemning slavery — “a house divided against itself cannot stand” — as he started his campaign to become the nation’s first black president.

Lake of the Woods

Lake of the Woods (French: Lac des Bois) is a lake occupying parts of the provinces of Ontario and Manitoba and the U.S. state of Minnesota. It separates some land in Minnesota, the Northwest Angle, from the rest of the United States so it can be reached from the rest of Minnesota only by crossing the lake or going through Canada. The Northwest Angle is the northernmost part of the U.S. outside Alaska.

Lake of the Woods                         Storbælt
                                                              (Sprogø to Langeland)

Max-length 110 km                           Max-length 60 km
Max-width 95 km                              Max-width 32 km
Surface area 4,350 km²
14,542 islands
105,000 km of shoreline
The Northwest Angle, known simply as the Angle by locals, and coterminous with Angle Township, is a small part of northern Lake of the Woods County, Minnesota that is the only part of the United States outside of Alaska that is north of the 49th parallel.

* Statistical information and maps courtesy of Wikipedia. For a more detailed map see Encarta.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

two African-American head coaches leading their teams into the biggest show of all.

By Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr

We cannot afford to be complacent, because we still have a long way to go to make the playing field even for all Americans. Sunday's football game is an occasion of joy, but it's not the end of the struggle. Too many children in this affluent nation are born to poverty, deprived of adequate nutrition, health care and early education. They are raised on mean streets, and go to crowded schools not ready to learn. They are expected to pass the same hurdles, but with shackles on their feet. We need to create equal opportunity from the start.

The imperial Mr Bush

from the typically conservative (pro Bush) Financial Times;

The founding fathers knew the dangers of an imperial presidency, so they gave Congress the job of reining him in. Now is the time for the legislators to start doing that job in earnest.

Elvis and Faith

Professor Charles Reagan Wilson will be giving a lecture on Elvis and Faith at SDU;

7 February from 14:15 to 15:15 in auditorium U42.

Charles Reagan Wilson is the director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi in Oxford. A professor of history and Southern studies, he earned his B.A. and M.A. at the University of Texas in El Paso and his Ph.D. at the University of Texas in Austin. His books on Southern religious and cultural history include Judgment and Grace in Dixie: Southern Faiths from Faulkner to Elvis (1995) and Baptized in Blood: The Religion of the Lost Cause, 1868-1920 (1980). In addition, he edited The New Regionalism (1997) and Religion in the South (1985), and co-edited Encyclopedia of Southern Culture (1989) and Religion and the American Civil War (1998).

Friday, February 02, 2007

American State to enact 25% renewable electricity standard

via The Agonist

Today marked a milestone in the pursuit of America's renewable energy policy, as I watched the Democratically-controlled Minnesota State Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities, Technology and Communications pass Senate File 4 moments ago, a bill which mandates about 25% of Minnesota's electricity will come from renewable sources by 2020, and the gradient of renewable energy will rise every few years until then. This will be America's most aggressive renewable electricity policy, once it passes the Legislature.