Sunday, June 20, 2004
Well, this it. The last post on this blog. Radio Userland is a bit expensive and they never expanded their mac offerings in two years.

I'll be moving on to other places. You can check my regular website, However, that site may be going down in August because paying for a static IP is expensive in this downscale lifestyle I'll be embarking on in the next few months.

I'll try and start a blog on my .mac account. There's nothing there today, but you can see something there soon.

Also, I'll spoof whatever I do at a faux gebryan site. That'l be the spoof IP for the blog wherever it ends up. Once again, there's nothing there yet.

However you can go to the new media review site technicolordirt and see pop culture reviews. Plus there's still The High Road and it's related sites. Also, most of the links on the sidebar should work or at least work occasionally.

Jumping the shark was fun, see ya around.
10:26:43 PM  #  Oh yea! []

Bush's plan to dose Americans with expensive antipsychotics. President Bush's family has made a lot of money from drug companies and still has very close ties to the pharmaceutical industry. (Bush Sr was on Eli Lilly's board of directors and Bush Jr appointed Lilly's CEO to a senior position on the Homeland Security Council.)

According to this British Medical Journal article, "Lilly made $1.6m in political contributions in 2000—82% of which went to Bush and the Republican Party. "

So it's not surprising that the President announced a plan to screen the entire US population for mental illness and pump lots and lots of people full of expensive Eli Lilly drugs. Bush's commission has recommended that the federal government adopt a model based on the Texas Medication Algorithm Project (TMAP) a medication treatment plan that recommends Zyprexa as a first line antipsychotic drug for patients. Bush was governor of Texas when the plan was adopted, and Zyprexa coincidentally happens to be made Eli Lilly. It's the drug company's top seller, grossing $4.28 billion dollars last year. According to the article, "A 2003 New York Times article by Gardiner Harris reported that 70% of olanzapine sales are paid for by government agencies, such as Medicare and Medicaid."

But the Texas project, which promotes the use of newer, more expensive antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs, sparked off controversy when Allen Jones, an employee of the Pennsylvania Office of the Inspector General, revealed that key officials with influence over the medication plan in his state received money and perks from drug companies with a stake in the medication algorithm (15 May, p1153). He was sacked this week for speaking to the BMJ and the New York Times.

Mr Jones told the BMJ that the same "political/pharmaceutical alliance" that generated the Texas project was behind the recommendations of the New Freedom Commission, which, according to his whistleblower report, were "poised to consolidate the TMAP effort into a comprehensive national policy to treat mental illness with expensive, patented medications of questionable benefit and deadly side effects, and to force private insurers to pick up more of the tab."

Link [Boing Boing]
10:10:44 PM  #  Oh yea! []

 Thursday, June 3, 2004
There's new legislation in the pipeline to ban clove cigarettes because cloves and other 'flavored' cigarettes entice kids to smoke. The bill is endorsed by Phillip Morris. PM doen't make any flavored cigarettes, but did manage to get menthols taken off the table because PM does make menthols. Nice way to get rid of competition, eh?

So why don't they ban the just as destructive 'alkipops?' You know, all those yummy flavored soft alchol drinks that entice kids to drink? Could it be that all the major alcohol producers make---and profit from---those delicious flavored drinks?

Love the name---Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.
12:27:54 AM  #  Oh yea! []

'Pirate Act' raises civil rights concerns. "The Pirate Act is another piece of legislation that asks the government to fight the recording industry's misguided war on file sharing while forcing you to foot the bill." [EFF: Mini Links] []

12:18:01 AM  #  Oh yea! []
 Wednesday, June 2, 2004
Bush Campaign Is Seeking Help From Congregations. The Bush campaign is seeking to enlist thousands of religious congregations in distributing campaign information and registering voters. By David D. Kirkpatrick. [New York Times: NYT HomePage]

Hmmm, the new Frontline documentary The Jesus Factor, while extremely fair to George Bush and his religious conviction does make the point that Gee-dub figured out in his dad's presidential race that evangelical Christians were the reliable voting block for his dad and co-ordinated those efforts. That's fine.

But this seems like an abuse of power from both church and state. Do we go to church to be evangalized about a candidate? And, as Bush's new efforts target specific Bush-friendly churches, should he be allowed to shill during worship?

The interesting aspect of the article is that many churches aren't biting and respect the serparation of church and state more than the state seems to.

On another front of Bush's campaign to reel in the churchgoers, he's brought up the faith-based wedge issue again. Interestingly, no money has been earmarked for Muslims, Hindus, and other non-Christian denominations. A few bucks was thrown to some Jewish organizations, but Pat Robertson and Billy Graham got a boatload. The division of money kind of mirrors the support he received from the denominations that supported him last election. Kind of like all the corporation support he's given out.

Is America a Christian nation or a nation with a lot of Christians in it?
11:52:24 PM  #  Oh yea! []

Guestblogger Russ Kick's MemoryHole -- banned in Iraq?. Posted by a member of Declan McCullagh's politech mailing list:

I've received email from a person with an [] address. This person is stationed in Iraq, and he/she tells me that The Memory Hole is blocked on military computers. Trying to get to the site results in the following message:

Access Denied (content_filter_denied)
Your request was denied because of its content categorization: "Extreme;Politics/Religion". For assistance, contact your network support team.

How interesting. I post raw documents created by the government, military, and corporations. These days, that apparently amounts to "political extremism." Naturally, I've filed a FOIA request about this blocking.

Link [Boing Boing]

I've been getting back to reading Russ Kick's Abuse Your Illusions, fascinating book. The book uses lots of raw documents to weave alternate truths. There's a lot of sites archieving the web and other information, only because seems like we're living in revisionist times. The truth is no longer the truth, but like a 50/50 poly-blend, 50 percent truth/50 percent spin.
11:29:28 AM  #  Oh yea! []

 Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Hard lessons from poetry class: Speech is free unless it's critical

In March 2003, a teenage girl named Courtney presented one of her poems before an audience at Barnes & Noble bookstore in Albuquerque, then read the poem live on the school's closed-circuit television channel.

A school military liaison and the high school principal accused the girl of being "un-American" because she criticized the war in Iraq and the Bush administration's failure to give substance to its "No child left behind" education policy.

The girl's mother, also a teacher, was ordered by the principal to destroy the child's poetry. The mother refused and may lose her job.

Bill Nevins was suspended for not censoring the poetry of his students. Remember, there is no obscenity to be found in any of the poetry. He was later fired by the principal.
[via robot filter] []

3:32:44 PM  #  Oh yea! []
 Friday, May 21, 2004

These Iraqi torture/iPod ad mashups are appearing around NYC.


(Thanks, Rich!)
[Boing Boing]

3:31:00 PM  #  Oh yea! []
 Thursday, May 20, 2004
Here's the blog sites and Web help sites for class.
9:25:19 PM  #  Oh yea! []
 Wednesday, May 19, 2004

The state of Texas has denied Unitarians tax-exempt religious status because the church "does not have one system of belief." As Julia notes, Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams were sufficiently convinced of the Unitarians' religiosity that they actually were Unitarians.

Never before -- not in this state or any other -- has a government agency denied Unitarians tax-exempt status because of the group's religious philosophy, church officials say. Strayhorn's ruling clearly infringes upon religious liberties, said Dan Althoff, board president for the Denison congregation that was rejected for tax exemption by the comptroller's office.


(via Electrolite) [Boing Boing]

9:57:27 AM  #  Oh yea! []
 Saturday, May 15, 2004
In the other narrative of current events, strangeness surround the Nick Berg beheading.

Here's the new proof.
11:36:33 AM  #  Oh yea! []

Here's a nice essay about these tragic days by legend Kurt Vonnegut.
11:28:58 AM  #  Oh yea! []
SETI@Vatican. The Vatican's official astronomer, Brother Guy Consolmagno, has given an interview in which he discusses the Vatican's thinking on what to do if alien intelligence is discovered.

We find an intelligent civilization and there's no way in creation we can communicate with them because they're so alien to us. We can't talk to dolphins now. In which case, we'll never know.

Second scenario: We find the intelligent civilization. We can communicate. We discover that they have the two essentials that theologians talk about for the human soul, intelligence and free will. They know who they are, they're self-aware, and they're able to do something about it. I think dogs are self-aware, but they don't have a whole lot of free will. Maybe computers are the same sort of thing. Human beings have to have both...

A third scenario: We find a dozen civilizations out there, and a bunch of Jehovah's witnesses go up and convert them all. At the end of the day, every civilization is Christian, except the human race is still not too sure about this. I mean, anything's possible.


(via /.) [Boing Boing]
11:08:08 AM  #  Oh yea! []

Watch the skies!. UFOEarlier this week, a video of eleven UFOs caught on tape by Mexican Air Force pilots was released by the country's Defense Department.
According to the Associated Press report, "the lights were filmed on March 5 by pilots using infrared equipment. They appeared to be flying at an altitude of about 3,500 meters (11,480 feet), and allegedly surrounded the Air Force jet as it conducted routine anti-drug trafficking vigilance in Campeche. Only three of the objects showed up on the plane's radar."

Yesterday, a follow-up AP report quoted a nuclear scientist from the National Autonomous University who believes "the bright blurs could have been caused by electrical flashes emitted spontaneously by the atmosphere." Meanwhile, the Mexican Defense Secretary says the jury is still out on what appears on the tape.

I want to believe. Link
[Boing Boing]
11:01:24 AM  #  Oh yea! []
Cecil Baxter. "You don't get anything clean without getting something else dirty." [Quotes of the Day]
10:54:10 AM  #  Oh yea! []
TV show mashup photoshopping contest.

Today on Worth1000's photoshopping contest: mash up two or more TV shows.

[Boing Boing]
10:51:16 AM  #  Oh yea! []

Sometimes, Rock and Roll can save lives. In my hard times this past month, Wilco's new release A Ghost is Born has helped. It's not in stores until June 22nd, but you can hear the whole album streamed at the website.

The new album is mellower and more straightforward than Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and has a Neil Young with Crazy Horse sound in parts. But the foundation is solid while the emotions are shaded. My only complaints, the new version of Handshake Drugs isn't as effective and pop-hook worthy as the EP version (but it does fit the album better) and the extended ambience-fest at the end is becoming a Wilco cliche. It's still worth the dough because I want to listen to it daily and like Yankee, there will still be reveals months from now in the CD.

My favorite line, right now, from the new CD:

Where would (we/life/love/I) be without wishful thinking?

Wishful thinking indeed.
10:41:13 AM  #  Oh yea! []

Well, this blog is in it's last days. The renewal comes up this month and I think I'm dropping Radio Userland. I'm planning to host a blog on my own site, I'm planning on building my own pages, maybe using a modified iblog. I did have an idea for a segmented fiction piece blog and it's easier access to the music content.

Anyhoo, as Preacherman says, blogging has jumped the shark.

Plus Radio Userland hasn't grown it's product in two years. Jeez, no WSYWIG for mac yet?
10:22:22 AM  #  Oh yea! []

 Monday, May 10, 2004
Forgiveness, some days, is a full-time job.
5:00:09 PM  #  Oh yea! []
 Wednesday, March 17, 2004
Porn for Pandas. Chinese veterinarians are hoping "panda porn" movies will turn on American-born panda Hua Mei. According a Xinhua News Agency article, it's believed that because the panda was born in captivitiy, she was never clued in to the mating game. An Adult Video News report claims that "besides the videos, Hua Mei has also visited a few 'sets,' live viewing of other panda couples mating." Link to AVN article (Thanks, Vann!) [Boing Boing]
8:18:22 AM  #  Oh yea! []