Monthly Archives: June 2011

Privacy: Fights and Gongs (conclusion)

All will be explained at last

I have been lately battling various zeitgeist monsters, so we’ll finish without comment on tardies or TARDISes. This will, however, conclude the intentionally misnumbered trilogy:

• Privacy: Rights and Wrongs (part i.)  23 June 2011

• Privacy: Writes and Sarongs (part 2) 26 June 2011

If you don’t have time to catch up, or have forgotten, here is a brief recap: In a crystal tower in a sunset city a famous writer gave me some advice above the clouds: Always write as if your name were on the piece, because, sooner or later, it will be. [There: you're caught up.] Continue reading

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The Undie Feted

Feted, n.

1. To celebrate or honor with a festival, a feast, or an elaborate entertainment.
2. To pay honor to.

[French fête, from Old French feste; see feast.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language,
Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. 

There must have been a typo.

You might remember this, from 2008 (Washington Post) [emphasis added]: Continue reading


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Electric Car Update

Today on PRI’s “The World,” I heard a heartening story. Somebody was listening, somewhere. And that’s a good thing. Here is my original post:

5 APRIL 2010 · 8:55 PM

Lazy Pro-Animal Blogging – Oregon Edition

Electric cars are coming to Oregon, and they’re trying to figure out where to site the charging stations. I had been waiting for the right time to make this observation, and that time came.

Here, in my traditional style of precisely 250 words — not 249, not 251 — is my letter, as published in the Eugene Register-Guard last week. (Note the headline was NOT my idea. See here.) Continue reading


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Privacy: Writes and Sarongs (part 2)

In Part One []: The pulse-pounding tale of the public humiliation of one whose privacy has been stripped was salaciously exposed. A famous writer in a crystal tower gave some sage advice, and the senses-shattering secret inner world of writers’ and porn performers’ pseudonyms was laid bare. A Cautionary Tale was told. The importance of reputati0n and privacy was discussed, along with piquant anecdotes about the pseudonyms of porn actors, actresses and writers.  And now …

Identity is something that we take for granted — as a given; we’ve always had it, never remember NOT having it (unless, as in my case, one learns that my FIRST identity is on a Carnation Milk ad card, listed as “Baby Boy Williams”), and, as numbers and permanent records attach to it, it becomes, at last, the name chiseled in hard granite for a gravestone.

When our identities are “stolen” we get a sense of how important and interlinked our “identity” might be, but we generally don’t pay it no never mind, as they say.

When actors move to Hollywood, and writers move into publishing, a sudden new thing appears: the alter ego. Archibald Leach is little known by his given name, but as “Cary Grant” you’ve probably heard of him. I doubt that you’ve ever heard of Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin, later Baroness Dudevant, but you probably know her as “George Sand.” Continue reading

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The Month of the Hacker

Note: Privacy Part II is held to Sunday, in deference to the insistent zeitgeist.

Almost unnoticed — save for the front page headlines day after day — the month of June 2011 has turned into the “Month of the Hacker.”

Major cyber-attacks have been leveled at the Pentagon, CIA, Sony, PBS, CitiGroup, etcetera (hard to keep up, frankly) and, on Thursday, a major leak of sensitive Arizona p0lice information exposed undercover agents, informants, ongoing investigations,  etc. to extreme jeopardy. Last night: Continue reading

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Breaking NYews

Breaking News from Albany, New York:

Gay Marriage Approved by N.Y. Senate  —  ALBANY — Lawmakers voted late Friday to legalize same-sex marriage, making New York the largest state where gay and lesbian couples will be able to wed, and giving the national gay-rights movement new momentum from the state where it was born.

- New York Times

To which I respond:


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Privacy: Rights and Wrongs (part i.)

I will tell you this up front: this isn’t going to mention ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner or Andrew Breitbart. It probably won’t mention Sarah Palin, or Newt Gingrich or Jon Huntsman. I doubt very seriously that it will mention David Koch, Saul Alinsky, Noam Chomsky, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Mother Theresa or Cameron Diaz.

Not mentioned in this post

It definitely won’t mention Lindsay Lohan, Mick Jagger, Sting, Christina Aguilera, Dancing with the Stars, Rupert Murdoch or the Reverend Martin Luther King. Buddha will be entirely absent, as will Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Joseph Smith, Ganesha or Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gormé.

Because, Dear Reader, this is about you.

It’s about your privacy and your identity. And what you need to know to protect both on the interwebs. Continue reading

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Cognitive Dissidents

Hassan I Sabbah, the first Grandmaster of the cult later called “assassins” is reputed to have said: Nothing is true, all things are permitted.

Which is a very convenient and logical formulation: destroy facts and truth, and anything can be justified. Traditionally we in the West have viewed this with extreme suspicion — for reasons which ought to be obvious to the Reader.

And yet, today, the obviously “liberal” and, therefore utterly unreliable BBC reported this: Continue reading

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Dharma for One, or the Überstench of the Übermensch

Abigail Adams: Have you forgotten what you used to say to me? I haven’t. “Commitment, Abby, commitment. There are only two creatures of value on the face of this earth – those with a commitment and those who require the commitment of others.” Do you remember John? 

~ from the musical 1776, Sherman Edwards and Peter Stone

Sometimes the Black Dog bites. And other times, you’re in a pickup with your best friend, going to the dog park with his literal black dog, and talking on a beautiful mild, summer day, about how hopeless it all looks.

Jim said (echoing Tomm and many other friends), “It looks hopeless.” Continue reading

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Olberphobia Grips Gray Lady: Panties Knotted

I’m going to take one last riff at the old media — why, perhaps they are so suplinely [sic] compliant.

The Snarkosphere loved targeting Keith Olbermann

It would be easy to lay the blame at the New York Times’ magazine writer, who begins this snarky “personality piece” with the narrative he’s bound and determined to push, the PeeCee narrative of spineless “liberalism” — at least as defined by the Reicht Ving*. [* Not to be confused with Ving Rhames, with whom they love to metaphorically conflate themselves, a la "Pulp Fiction."] Emphasis added.


America’s Favorite Talking Hothead
By DAVID CARR Published: June 15, 2011

Keith Olbermann likes looking into a camera. The return of its gaze animates him and reminds him that he has a million friends on the other side of it. But he doesn’t picture those people. He talks directly to the camera. “I’ve never been convinced the cameras are plugged into anything,” he said.

Just how much does Olbermann like being on camera?

In late May, we went to the Saturday night game of the Mets-Yankees subway series. A former ESPN anchor and a lifelong Yankees fan, Olbermann is a deeply knowledgeable baseball wonk. We emerged from the dining club in the new stadium, stepped out into the section right behind home plate, walked down to the very front row and took a seat next to one of his longtime producers, Katy Ramirez Karp. Alex Rodriguez was just a few feet away, taking lazy warm-up swings and nodding at some pals who were sitting behind us. Olbermann looked beyond him, peering into center field.

Now pay attention to the “writer’s trick.” Since it’s this Sunday’s “magazine” piece, it’s going to have a beginning, a middle and an end, and tie it up at the end. Let’s skip to there, shall we? Continue reading

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My Final Word on the Breitbart Peepery is a Video

[Note: I am having browser issues, and have been unable to post for a couple of daze.]

Since words don’t seem to have much effect, and beseiged by an endless profusion of bad “dick” jokes, here is my final commentary on the matter.

[or click here to open a new window]

This is my first official YouTube video.  Maybe now I’ll get a smart phone, or a Kindle, or indoor plumbing.

“The Dancing Willies” appear as themselves.

I should probably point out that this is NSFW.

Or not.


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BREAKING: Breitbat and His Barking Moonbarts WIN!

According to our professional news persons (who report the news BEFORE it happens, more and more often), Anthony Weiner will announce his resignation from Congress at 2 PM, EDT, in Brooklyn, New York.

So, in keeping with this premature ejaculation of reportage, Andrew Breitbart and (anonymous) Publius (who broke the story) ought be pointed out for their instrumental role in taking out one of the few Democrats in Washington, D.C. willing to fight back against the Breitbartian Thugocracy that not only pound their Bibles to make their points, but often pound them ON the opposition, and anyone willing to dispute their points.

How proud they must be!

And now that they’ve succeeded in silencing an annoying voice, we can all take solace that Breitbart will be content with his trophy, and downsize his anti-ACORN, Planned Parenthood, NPR, Andrew Weiner, Shirley Sherrod operation and become a beloved and familiar American folk hero at State Fairs for years to come.


* In memory of what was done to silence Dan Rather.






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Flag Day and other Memory Lapses

Happy Flag Day.

Metaphorical version of the Betsy Ross Flag

First, let’s review the happy ending to last night’s edition of Pointless Political Kabuki Theatre [emphasis added]: Continue reading

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The Soul of the New Machine

Back in the last days of the Soviet Empire, they tell me, the official news service of the USSR, that venerable newspaper Pravda — literally “Truth” — was, of course, anything BUT, but the people knew they were being lied to, and could read pretty well between the lines. Would that we could.

New New Hampshire?

This year, I have witnessed an astonishing new addition to American politics: the endless “campaign” wherein Gallup makes money polling with ridiculous nonsense like this crap that leads Memeorandum today (which is a robot aggregator, by traffic volumes):

Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup: Romney Support Up; Widens Advantage in 2012 Preferences —  PRINCETON, NJ — Republicans’ support for Mitt Romney as their party’s 2012 presidential nominee has increased significantly to 24%, compared with 17% in late May.  As a result, Romney has widened his advantage over Sarah Palin …

Who do they think they’re fooling? Continue reading


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