Archive for October, 2006

Boy, those Masons sure are down with the latest trends, aren’t they? Apparently, some of the southern chapters are still waiting to see if this whole “equal rights” thing isn’t just a passing fad:

Nationwide, Masonic groups operate in a separate-but-supposedly-equal system in which whites typically join one network of Masonic groups, called Grand Lodges, and blacks typically join another, called Prince Hall.

But in the South, it goes further: White-controlled Grand Lodges in 12 Southern states do not even officially recognize black Masons as their brothers — the Masonic term is “mutual recognition” — and in some cases, black lodges have taken similar stands.

This isn’t exactly impressive. No wonder the organization has suffered a massive decline in membership over the last hundred years.

But there are fewer names on the membership rolls than there once were: 54,000 in New York, down from a high of 346,413 in 1929. Membership rose again after World War II, rising to 307,323 in 1957 before beginning a long slide.

It seems to me that the freemasons are no longer relevant. They might as well just call it a day, reveal a few secrets and leave it at that. At the very least they need to get this racial division thing sorted out. That’s gotta be fucking embarrassing.

Sibel Edmonds and Daniel Ellsberg say it’s worth looking into:

The major effect of that is that terrorist gangs are taking a cut of this, including Al Qaeda, which essentially taxes this traffic as it goes through the various lands where each ‘band’ pays a percentage as they hand it off. In other words, the US is in effect, endorsing – well, ‘endorsing’ is too strong a word – ‘permitting’, definitely permitting, or ‘not acting against,’ a heroin trade – which not only corrupts our cities and our city politics, AND our congress, as Sibel makes very specific – but is financing the terrorist organization that constitutes a genuine threat to us. And this seems to be a fact that is accepted by our top leaders, according to Sibel, for various geopolitical reasons, and for corrupt reasons as well. Sometimes things are simpler than they might appear – and they involve envelopes of cash. Sibel says that suitcases of cash have been delivered to the Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, at his home, near Chicago, from Turkish sources, knowing that a lot of that is drug money.

There’s more.

Our government in action! In case you were wondering where they find time to be this corrupt, it’s because they don’t really do any work as RollingStone makes clear in their latest article on the corrupt congress.

Throw the bums out!

Where the Fuck is a Wiki for Classical Music?

Hey, where’s our fucking wiki, man? I just searched for “classical music wiki” and I got precisely 8 results.

Doesn’t classical music seem like an ideal basis for a wiki? Don’t know what the hell a wiki is? Well, here’s Wikipedia’s explanation:

A wiki (IPA: [ˈwɪ.kiː] or [ˈwiː.kiː] [1]) is a type of website that allows the visitors themselves to easily add, remove and otherwise edit and change some available content, sometimes without the need for registration. This ease of interaction and operation makes a wiki an effective tool for collaborative authoring. The term wiki can also refer to the collaborative software itself (wiki engine) that facilitates the operation of such a website, or to certain specific wiki sites, including the computer science site (an original wiki), WikiWikiWeb, and online encyclopedias such as Wikipedia.

We’ve got a wiki for quotes and for animal species and for Macintosh computers. Why don’t we have a wiki for classical music, encompassing a detailed history of composers, conductors, pieces, players and classical music through the years, while also being a repository for the songs themselves, both in audio and musical notation form?

Most of the relevant songs are in the public domain, although many recordings of the music might not be (consider the copyright of the recording versus publishing/performing rights). Still, such a resource could be an incredible compendium of knowledge concerning something that is woefully misunderstood by the general public…. or just not understood at all.

I can’t believe that here we are in late 2006 and I just used Google, our most comprehensive search engine, and wasn’t able to find a single wiki project for classical music. Am I just retarded? Can somebody fill me in? Is there some amazing classical music resource on the web that could help me learn more about music theory, composers, notation, the instruments themselves and even the players in both modern and ancient times? is good, but not exactly jizz-worthy.

You might say “well, why don’t you start one” — and that’s a good idea. However, I have limited time as the emptiness of this blog lately demonstrates amply. Also, I am currently pursuing a challenging musical enterprise — starting a rock band! We’re getting really close. We hope to have a CD recorded soon, which will shortly be followed by some club dates around town. (However, we’ve been having trouble in the name department. Our first choice, Geech, is already pretty much taken. Suggestions welcome.) I would much rather, in this case, be the guy who comes up with the idea and then goads someone else to do all the heavy lifting. [evil grin]

But somebody else must’ve had this idea already. Where’s the fuckin’ wiki, man?

This is kind of weird… Am I just not finding it? WTF?

The stragety is said to include a hammer and a bag full of tacks.

The Bush White House insists his tactic of hitting himself in the face is stopping terrorism. Others, while inclined to agree that it is somewhat distracting, are unsure how it prevents terrorism since Bush sacrifices the life of one American soldier and 100 Iraqis for each tack he painstaking nails into his head.

Bush is said to believe that the mere act of suggesting that he stop nailing tacks into his head is morally treasonous to him, and that those who suggest it are “soft on terror.”

Democrats were generally in agreement and bragged about how much of a better job they could do. It was not immediately clear whether the Democrats would be nailing tacks into their own heads or whether they would continue to nail tacks into Bush’s head. The Democrats Leadership Coucil has convened a “focus group” to study their options.

For their part, many prominent Republicans have suggested that we need to stay the course, or that we need to nail even more tacks into our heads. They have resisted calls by some Democrats to start using thick nails, but some Republicans, like John McCain of Arizona, believe we should increase the pool of people standing ready to be killed by George Bush each week.

Meanwhile, the November elections approach rapidly and the American people are left to choose the path that seems most prudent. Most voters agree that we should not “pull out” immediately and instead favor a phased reduction of the face-hitting strategy despite the government’s assurances that the need for additional tacks is dimishining and will only last a few more years, or… ya know, maybe a halfa decade or so….. or you know, possibly a decade or two — three tops.

Holy fuck! I'm busy!!

I don’t have time to do a decent post, but I just wanted to remind myself and the world that I have a blog, but I have not had a chance to post in it! Might be more of the same for the next week and a half. Work is crazy busy; I am struggling against some demanding and impossible projects. Wish me luck.

On the plus side, I just had a nice vacation before this, so I’m rested and ready to rock. Well, okay, I stayed up until 8:30 in the morning playing video games with my buds from Onalaska. So I’m not really rested. But the vacation was cool.

I have pix from the recent World Can’t Wait protest against Bush. I’ll try to post them when I have a chance. Later…

Is somebody trying to tell them not to speak out?

Congressional pages involved in the Foley sex messages scandal are receiving threats via emails, Representative Rodney Alexander (R-LA) told CNN today.

We need to have an investigation of the threats as well as protect the safety of these pages. They could lead us much deeper down the rabbithole and they should not be punished for speaking out.

Meanwhile, it looks like the Republican leadership are all turning on each other in a desperate scramble to save their own asses. And it’s looking more and more like everybody except me knew about parts of this case months or even years ago.

Oh, and now Foley says he was molested by a clergyman and that he’s gay…and a drunk. And he’s been sold into sexual slavery in Uganda. Okay, not that last bit, but Foley is trying his best to make himself into the victim here. I don’t think that’s going to work. Keep trying, though.

I’m mostly concerned about the pages. We need to protect them and guard against any threats making them clam up. The only way we can get to the bottom of this and protect future pages is if everybody speaks out about what they know. The FBI needs to run a competent and thorough investigation and we need to make sure they don’t try to cover for those in power. Keep the pressure on!


Sorry, I didn’t realize the sound on this game was so annoying until I got home and started wondering what the hell that noise coming out of my computer was.

Anyway, it’s still a good game, just turn the sound off after your first time through. Here’s a link directly to the game.

Holy shit, this Foley business is exploding. It looks really bad for the Republicans. The leadership of the GOP is in shambles. People are breaking ranks and speaking to the press to cover their own asses and the media is lapping it up. The leadership itself has tried to present a united front, but they seem to be taking a “duck and cover” approach to the storm. We’ll see if that works.

This is serious business. It is a serious breach of trust and a serious problem for a Republican party that has been trying to shake the “Culture of Corruption” tag that the Democrats have hung around their heads.

The blogs have been going nuts, of course. Glenn Greenwald in particular has had thorough and consistant coverage. He’s been all over this thing.

Hastert’s first interview since this scandal began is here, with CNN. He really just seems exhausted, beaten, and even resigned. He dismissively shrugs off the reporter’s incredulous question as to how he could simply forget reports from Rep. Reynolds that a 53-year-old Congressman was sending inappropriate emails to a 16-year-old page, and speculates that perhaps he forget about it because Reynolds mentioned it in passing along with a half-dozen or dozen other “campaign” items. This story really can’t end unless and until Hastert resigns.

The audio is really bad in that link above, and it’s not synched with the video. But the point is that Dennis Hastert is toast. He’s done. He had knowledge and he did nothing with it. There doesn’t seem to be any sort of “intervention” where Hastert might’ve wisely sat Foley down and told him, “Hey, dumbshit, quit hitting on the fucking pages, already, eh?” That might’ve happened, but it hasn’t come out yet. Denying any knowledge of the crime is a normal fallback for any politician (look at Condi Rice using that exact tactic to deflect culpability for the 9/11 attacks), but this time it might get Hastert burned since there are others close to him on record as saying that he was informed.

Of course, the neocons have wiggled out of tight spots before, a hundred times. But this might be their undoing. And yes, they look incompetent here, but they knew exactly what they were doing. Every powerful person has their favorite perks of the job, and Mark Foley’s was that he liked the endless stream of underage boys that he could hit on and do god-knows-what-else to. He could just as easily have been a high school gym teacher. Who knows what Hastert likes. Whisky? Hookers? Cocaine? All 3 at once? It doesn’t matter. These guys all look out for each other and they know when they have to look the other way. If Foley likes boys and Hastert likes hookers and Cheney likes skull fucking the corpses from his recent hunting expeditions, that’s just fine and dandy within the ruling elite.

But stories like this aren’t supposed to leak into the mainstream. And if they do, they are supposed to be buried quickly. So watch out for any attempts to do so (which will actually take the form of a deafening silence), and raise hell if you see it. I have no doubt that Hastert would have liked to cover this thing up way before the media caught wind of it. He should’ve put the kibosh on it long ago and now it’s come around to bite him in the ass. He’ll have to pay the piper.

Quite frankly, I suspect we’ve only scratched the surface of this one. The way that Foley resigned his seat — not decided to quit his re-election campaign, not said he would work out the remainder of his term — tells me that there may be more skeletons hidden in his closet. Possibly cute 15 year old skeletons with stories to tell. We shall see (but most likely we won’t, whether they exist or not). I don’t want to speculate (okay, yes I do), but I’m guessing that this goes waaaay deeper than “overly-friendly” notes to underage pages. I think we have to watch for something much worse. I can only subscribe Foley’s quick exit (at the very beginning of the media frenzy) to a guilty conscience.

What horror lurks in Foley’s closet?