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RaptorMagic [Site] [XML]
Description: Fuck the world, I want to get off
Last Update: 00:36:25 01/30/2006

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First Fetched: 00:18:09 01/31/2004
Last Updated: 00:36:25 01/30/2006


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Sleight of band
The Center for American Progress has an excellent dissection, full of links to evidence, of this week's Repo effort to reduce the attention given to the 9/11 commission's report (scroll down to "9/11 Attack and Distract").
18:12:12 July 23, 2004, Friday (PDT) Source: RaptorMagic
Jib Jab pulls no punches
Go view a truly, amazingly funny Shockwave animation of how the presidential candidates look to most of us ordinary people.
23:50:34 July 22, 2004, Thursday (PDT) Source: RaptorMagic
Ain'ta that good news
A judge in Yukon "changed the territory's common-law definition of marriage to mean the voluntary union for life of two people to the exclusion of all others" (Seattle Times). So same-sex marriage is now legal there as it is in Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia, although the Canadian Supreme Court will take up the issue nationally in October.
23:49:55 July 22, 2004, Thursday (PDT) Source: RaptorMagic
The treatment team
I can't believe the resources Cathy is getting access to. (For the story on her cancer treatment, see our family home page.) Cathy's surgeon, Dr. Michael Baker, is Chairman of the Department of Surgery and Chief of the Division of General and Vascular Surgery at the local hospital (John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek). He has published more than 50 articles and is a Navy reserve Rear Admiral (his Navy bio), currently assigned as Commander, Naval Medical Forces Korea. Her oncologist, Dr. Michael Sherman, was most recently a researcher at the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology, part of a private biomedical research institution affiliated with the University of California, San Francisco. He has published more than 25 articles and received almost two dozen research awards and distinctions, and is a co-holder of patent #6,664,040, Compositions and methods of delivery of a molecule into a cell. Her plastic surgeon, Dr. Nouri Ghorbani (his web page) is a former Chairman ...
21:27:19 July 14, 2004, Wednesday (PDT) Source: RaptorMagic
Boxed in
I couldn't pass this up, but it definitely qualifies as a cheap shot. (So, I admit to being cheap.) The script for Sen. John Cornyn's (R-Tex.) speech before the Heritage Foundation included this line, quoted in the Washington Post (he didn't say it out loud, though, so this was probably some staffer going over the top): It does not affect your daily life very much if your neighbor marries a box turtle. But that does not mean it is right. . . . Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife.
17:25:25 July 14, 2004, Wednesday (PDT) Source: RaptorMagic
Make a note of this
(Not a walk update this time...) 5:47 p.m., July 10: Sally Ann said, "I'm not hungry right now." I was speechless for a full minute.
17:51:40 July 10, 2004, Saturday (PDT) Source: RaptorMagic
Walk update
12:15: Cathy and the rest of the Contra Costa Canal Gal team are eating lunch in Sausalito, 10 miles in. Her friends Sally, Tom, and Laura have met her to eat also. Cathy feels sure she can make the 3 more miles to Mill Valley, her goal for the day.
12:21:00 July 10, 2004, Saturday (PDT) Source: RaptorMagic
A new case of breast cancer is diagnosed every three minutes in the U.S.
This weekend is the San Francisco Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. You can donate to the cause on Cathy's page; and if you're in the city, you can come out and support the walkers at several places and times leading up to a "closing ceremony" Sunday at 4 (Speedway Meadow in Golden Gate Park).
14:17:47 July 9, 2004, Friday (PDT) Source: RaptorMagic
This month's update
What happens when the crises compound each other is that you try to continue to do everything, then more than everything. This eventually fails, which is why I realized today that my "daily reads" were actually about biweekly. (Geez, Atrios was already pretty good, but now he's got staff too! When did that happen?! Just ten minutes skimming this week's posts makes me wish I could catch up on a dozen other blogs...) My wife is scheduled for surgery at the end of July, so expect continued intermittent blogging throughout the summer. Whining about Bush is enjoyable, but I just can't find enough time to do it well.
21:56:09 July 7, 2004, Wednesday (PDT) Source: RaptorMagic
Faithless leadership
Mark Lew read Kevin Phillips' book on the Bush family. Mark's review is wonderful, not only because it distills the litany of Bush/Enron connections and adds to Phillips' collection of dynastic Senate seats, but especially because of Mark's suggestions for the press: Either religion is affecting politics or it's not, but refusing to talk about it doesn't make it any less so. If our President is engaging in faith-based policymaking, then we ought to know about it, for better or for worse. I can think of a whole lot of questions I'd like to hear some reporter ask the president: Do you believe that members of the U.S. Congress should use scripture as a guideline for determining law? (Same question for judges interpreting the law.) Is prayer an effective strategy for making America more safe from terrorism? Is your opponent less qualified to implement this strategy than you are? Do you believe Armageddon is coming in our lifetime? If so should our foreign policy try to prevent it or ...
21:27:39 July 7, 2004, Wednesday (PDT) Source: RaptorMagic
Rights? We don' need no steenkeen rights
Jack Balkin's Balkinization has a clear summary of the various "enemy combatant" Supreme Court decisions this week.
22:15:47 June 30, 2004, Wednesday (PDT) Source: RaptorMagic
Killing the court jester
Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz have both recently blamed problems in Iraq on the media... and they did it in press conferences, because they were certain that no reporter would stand up to them. A recap of the links, and of a few reporters' belated reactions, is at the DCCC's blog.
22:14:29 June 30, 2004, Wednesday (PDT) Source: RaptorMagic
Offline at times, unpredictable always
Imminent death of blogging, film at eleven, as one of my authors would say. My wife has been diagnosed with breast cancer, so I don't expect to be very interested in posting here. Full story on our family home page, and go visit her page on the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer site to donate to the cause.
00:44:35 June 26, 2004, Saturday (PDT) Source: RaptorMagic
My All-Star ballot
General principles: I like batting average and rank by that first; then I look at overall power, speed, and defense in that order. If a guy can lead his position in both home runs and stolen bases, that will usually overcome my requirement that All-Stars should be batting a minimum of .300. American League: 1B: Frank Thomas; a couple of weeks ago this would have been Rafael Palmeiro, but Thomas has gotten even hotter. 2B: Alfonso Soriano. SS: Michael Young; yes, two Rangers! Tough crowd here; neither Jeter nor Garciaparra can crack the top five (Guillen, Tejada, Valentin, and Eckstein are all having better years)! 3B: Alex Rodriguez; I would prefer to see Mora or Blalock in the All-Star game, but I have to be honest about who's having the best season. C: Ivan Rodriguez. OF: Vladimir Guerrerro, Manny Ramirez, Matt Lawton. National League: 1B: Sean Casey 2B: Jeff Kent; I dislike Kent because he doesn't appreciate baseball as a game, but he is clearly the best of the group in this ...
00:43:24 June 26, 2004, Saturday (PDT) Source: RaptorMagic
Sunset already
TBogg nails it: It's impossible for anyone who has lived through both Richard Nixon AND George W. Bush to say that Ronald Reagan was the worst president in their lifetime, so let's just give him the bronze medal, close the box, and get back to reclaiming our country from the ones who are ruining it for the rest of us, okay?
19:38:12 June 18, 2004, Friday (PDT) Source: RaptorMagic
Lessons I had to remind myself of again this morning
A 3500-pound car is not a good tool for expressing one's emotions. The radio's volume knob is a good tool for expressing one's emotions.
19:37:40 June 18, 2004, Friday (PDT) Source: RaptorMagic
The continuing death of the commons
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) is introduced another take-rights-away bill [PDF] this week. Copyfight has the whole story with many links. This proposal would expand recent anti-communication, anti-creativity, and anti-innovation acts by creating a new form of copyright-infringement liability: it would be illegal to do things that might possibly induce others to infringe, even if the things done—including writing up research—have legal purposes. There is no common good being promoted here, only the interests of corporate media companies. Remember, Hatch is the same guy who wants the Department of Justice to spend public money doing the entertainment industry's dirty work when it comes to suing people the industry doesn't like.
19:37:11 June 18, 2004, Friday (PDT) Source: RaptorMagic
The Power of Old Media
I am not permitted to reveal specific publishing-industry statistics. However, I can give you a general impression: Two weeks ago, Oprah chose Anna Karenina for her reading club. Since the announcement, sales of one particular edition of the novel have multiplied by 1,000.
19:36:19 June 18, 2004, Friday (PDT) Source: RaptorMagic
Shipping News
In the category of "I'm glad I saw this before Monkey Vortex Radio Theater got hold of it": A BBC employee in London had to get a tape to Bristol overnight and sent it through the Beeb's dispatch system. In the mail room, the clerk noticed that the address label was coming off; he helpfully decided to replace it after lunch, peeling it off and sticking it to the fridge in the break room in the meanwhile. The next morning, the first employee had this message [MP3] on his mobile phone voicemail: "Message received yesterday at 9.20am." "Hi Paul, this is Beth. We have an emergency. Apparently you gave the courier a six-foot fridge to be delivered to BBC Bristol instead of the tape we need in the studio today. Could you call me as soon as you get this message? Bye." (Yeah, probably an urban legend. But it's not my story anyway.)
21:48:35 June 17, 2004, Thursday (PDT) Source: RaptorMagic
New Word of the Day
Coined by my wife this morning: monopulate To get what you want from someone by keeping them away from other people.
11:21:30 June 13, 2004, Sunday (PDT) Source: RaptorMagic
Dying to meet you
Did you know there is an annual convention of obituary writers? And even if you knew that, did you realize that they were meeting last week (in New Mexico)? So of course we got this scene: In the closing minutes of the 6th Great Obituary Writers' International Conference (their title), one of the events that obituarists hate the most burst in on them. Just as Tim Bullamore, a Bath city councillor who writes for Fleet Street newspapers and the British Medical Journal, began an elaborate slide show on the glories of his city, where the conference takes place next year, someone rushed in and shouted: "Reagan's died!" The article is actually much more than this anecdote; it's an interesting description of the members of the International Association of Obituarists (IAO) and their meeting.
21:14:07 June 11, 2004, Friday (PDT) Source: RaptorMagic
Sight Gagging
an interesting optical illusion
21:12:44 June 11, 2004, Friday (PDT) Source: RaptorMagic
Impeach now!
What did the president know, and what did he do about it? We're finding out. It turns out he sought and got justification for violating the Geneva Conventions; and it turns out he is disowning his "pet" Iraqi now that the guy is inconvenient. The Center for Constitutional Rights has posted the Pentagon report that says why it's OK for us to torture people (recently referred to at a congressional hearing, along with a similar Justice Dept. memo). The Washington Post says: There is no justification, legal or moral, for the judgments made by Mr. Bush's political appointees at the Justice and Defense departments. Theirs is the logic of criminal regimes, of dictatorships around the world that sanction torture on grounds of "national security." For decades the U.S. government has waged diplomatic campaigns against such outlaw governments -- from the military juntas in Argentina and Chile to the current autocracies in Islamic countries such as Algeria and Uzbekistan -- that claim torture ...
21:13:02 June 9, 2004, Wednesday (PDT) Source: RaptorMagic
I've felt that way myself
Randy Paul has a Socratic exchange on what constitutes law and what governs the Constitution. It makes the case for imprisoning Bush on a charge of torture very logical indeed. (He's reacting to the extensive analysis here.) To quote the comments at the Whiskey Bar: "Why do I feel like I'm living through Vietnam, Watergate and the Rise of the Third Reich ... All at the same time?!!!"
17:18:04 June 8, 2004, Tuesday (PDT) Source: RaptorMagic
Uranium rocks
If you have Flash installed and you like Tom Lehrer, you must visit The Elements. "Be sure the sound is turned on!"
22:50:07 June 7, 2004, Monday (PDT) Source: RaptorMagic
A tool for blowing smoke
Reason to laugh on a Monday: How did we ever write without White Smoke, the "next generation in sentence processing"?
22:48:27 June 7, 2004, Monday (PDT) Source: RaptorMagic
Ronnie Ray-gun
I don't subscribe to Salon, and I don't read it very often because you have to watch a long animated ad each day to access it (and even that doesn't eliminate further popup annoyances). But I happened to be there today reading an article about blogging in China and noticed that their cover story was on Reagan. And I happened to read it... and it happened to be a very sharp piece. I can personally attest to what people thought of Reagan: I was active in fighting him. 1980 was the first election I could vote in, and as an (at the time) evangelical who emphasized the Sermon on the Mount, I felt an obligation to campaign for Carter. Also, I had been very aware of politics early on, so I had watched in horror as Nixon made a dog's breakfast out of American governance; thus, the choice between a thoughtful liberal and a simpleminded conservative seemed (to put it inappropriately) a no-brainer to me. Throughout the Reagan years, the zine that I published carried editorials and a letter ...
22:47:18 June 7, 2004, Monday (PDT) Source: RaptorMagic
Your rights -- yours -- are being taken away
Many thanks to Dan Gillmor for reporting these two links: From Slate: "The evidence in this document was collected during a two-year detention, in which Padilla was in solitary confinement, never charged with a crime, and only given access to his attorney this spring. Certainly his confessions might still be reliable, along with the confessions of Abu Zubaydah and other confederates being interrogated in secret. Or they might not. Without a trial we can never know, and as Phil Carter recently observed, there can now be no trial on the strength of this evidence since it was obtained unconstitutionally." From the LA Times: "In a moment of extraordinary and chilling honesty, (Dep. Attorney General) Comey explained that Padilla had to be stripped of his civil liberties because, if he used them (including his right to remain silent or his right to a lawyer), he might have been able to win his freedom." (I notice that in the government's seven-page summary of all the bad things they ...
22:46:11 June 7, 2004, Monday (PDT) Source: RaptorMagic
Department of Good Laughs
I've just discovered the pseudonymous blogger that everyone else already knew about: Rance. Be prepared for raunch and celebrity knock-downs, but here's Rance at his absolutely mildest: "At the Redwoods National Park, interestingly, twice as many people stop and see the giant cement statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Big Blue Ox as actually go into the park and see the trees."
00:05:24 June 5, 2004, Saturday (PDT) Source: RaptorMagic
Again, and again, with "blog gender"
I wrote up a bit about two posts this week, on the recurring topic of "women and blogging." Best practice apparently tells me that instead of copying the whole thing here, I should cross-pollenate by mentioning it and providing a link. There.
00:04:33 June 5, 2004, Saturday (PDT) Source: RaptorMagic