frandroid: Drawing of sabotabby in revolutionary attire: beret, tight green top, keffiyeh, flowing red hair (revolution)
Dear DreamJournal,

Who are your favourite women in ska (and reggae, I guess?)

I adore Amy Winehouse's ska tracks* and The Slits (not technically ska, but seriously, listen to them??) as my recent discoveries. On the general ska front, I love the Specials as much as I love Against All Authority, so I go for all waves. An old female-fronted mainstay of mine is The Cartel from Montréal, but no one knows about them and there's almost no online documentation about them...

*: I'm convinced that if she had kept singing ska, she wouldn't have killed herself. She sounds so happy!!
frandroid: YPG logo, Syrian Kurdish defense forces (Default)
Latest Right-Wing Meme: Von Brunn's A Lefty

wuh-wuh-what?
frandroid: INGSOC logo, from Orwell's 1984 (totalitarianism)
Waterboarding Used 266 Times on 2 Suspects [nytimes.com]

C.I.A. interrogators used waterboarding, the near-drowning technique that top Obama administration officials have described as illegal torture, 266 times on two key prisoners from Al Qaeda, far more than had been previously reported.

The 2005 memo also says that the C.I.A. used waterboarding 183 times in March 2003 against Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-described planner of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The C.I.A. officers used waterboarding at least 83 times in August 2002 against Abu Zubaydah, according to a 2005 Justice Department legal memorandum. Abu Zubaydah has been described as a Qaeda operative.
Words fail me.


Op-Ed: The Torturers’ Manifesto [nytimes.com]

In one of the more nauseating passages, Jay Bybee, then an assistant attorney general and now a federal judge, wrote admiringly about a contraption for waterboarding that would lurch a prisoner upright if he stopped breathing while water was poured over his face. He praised the Central Intelligence Agency for having doctors ready to perform an emergency tracheotomy if necessary.

These memos are not an honest attempt to set the legal limits on interrogations, which was the authors’ statutory obligation. They were written to provide legal immunity for acts that are clearly illegal, immoral and a violation of this country’s most basic values.

It sounds like the plot of a mob film, except the lawyers asking how much their clients can get away with are from the C.I.A. and the lawyers coaching them on how to commit the abuses are from the Justice Department. And it all played out with the blessing of the defense secretary, the attorney general, the intelligence director and, most likely, President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
[...]
That investigation should start with the lawyers who wrote these sickening memos, including John Yoo, who now teaches law in California; Steven Bradbury, who was job-hunting when we last heard; and Mr. Bybee, who holds the lifetime seat on the federal appeals court that Mr. Bush rewarded him with.

These memos make it clear that Mr. Bybee is unfit for a job that requires legal judgment and a respect for the Constitution. Congress should impeach him. And if the administration will not conduct a thorough investigation of these issues, then Congress has a constitutional duty to hold the executive branch accountable. If that means putting Donald Rumsfeld and Alberto Gonzales on the stand, even Dick Cheney, we are sure Americans can handle it.

After eight years without transparency or accountability, Mr. Obama promised the American people both. His decision to release these memos was another sign of his commitment to transparency. We are waiting to see an equal commitment to accountability.

Please put Cheney on the stand. I want to see Fox News implode.

Speaking of which: But Can Obama Make the Trains Run on Time? [nytimes.com]

“Rhetorically, Republicans are having a very hard time finding something that raises the consciousness of the average voter,” said Saul Anuzis, a former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party who recently lost a bid to became national party chairman.

So Mr. Anuzis has turned to provocation with a purpose. He calls the president’s domestic agenda “economic fascism.”

“We’ve so overused the word ‘socialism’ that it no longer has the negative connotation it had 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago,” Mr. Anuzis said. “Fascism — everybody still thinks that’s a bad thing.”
frandroid: YPG logo, Syrian Kurdish defense forces (Default)

Spokane to detonate squirrels

The Rodenator Pro pumps propane and oxygen into the tunnels of squirrels, then sends an electric spark that causes an explosion. The shock waves kill the squirrels and collapse their tunnels - but in a humane way, the agency said.

"You're kidding," Humane Society Director Gail Mackie said when she learned the news.

hat tip: [livejournal.com profile] jwz
frandroid: (conservatives)
Hillier says we don't need more units

The Conservative party's Canada First defence plan [laid out during the last election] included proposals to establish a new airborne regiment and as many as 14 territorial defence battalions stationed in cities across the country.

Territorial defence battalions? Who are we defending against? Angry North Dakotans? Hordes of poor Michigonians, jealous of our universal healthcare, stoked by Michael Moore's Sicko?

Next thing you know, Harper will have Canadian troops parade in front of Himself in Ottawa, walking the goose-step...
frandroid: YPG logo, Syrian Kurdish defense forces (Default)
From the height of our 20th floor apartment, in spite of the new condo tower they're building right in front of me, I can see the CN Tower when I lean to my left. If you didn't know, the CN tower has changed its lighting: instead of projectors on the ground beaming white light on it, it is now covered with a ton of LEDs.

What would have been a sensible thing to do would have been to use the LEDs just to replace the ground lighting with white LEDs and save a lot of electricity. Instead, they installed a programmable, multicoloured matrix that allows for complex lighting. Now, this would be interesting if:
1) LED lights were available in an interesting palette of colours, and
2) these guys knew what they were doing.

Of course, LED technology is still limited, and you get these weird, cold colours. If you have paid any attention to the new LED christmas lighting, esp. side by side with the traditional incandescent technology, you will have noticed that LED lighting, while potentially brighter, is also much colder. Some people like this, but I find it atrocious. White LEDs are actually kinda grey, and the blue LEDs remind me of cold metal, which is not something I associate with the holiday season (except for "yes, sticking your tongue on the freezing shovel is a good idea!"). I mean, I love the 90% energy consumption decrease, and have replaced my own "festive" lightbulbs with LEDs. But they are somewhat lacking anyway.

So, they stuck probably a million LEDs or something on the CN Tower, and what do they do with them? Most of the time, the tower is a pink shade of red. It makes the tower look like a space outpost on Star Trek: TNG on an episode where the SFX team was having its Christmas party and they let the interns take care of the work. I mean, the CN Tower already looks like spacecraft, but this lighting makes matters worse. It looks like a giant popsicle. Now, do you want your city's nightscape to be dominated by a giant popsicle? The SkydomeRogers Centre has already started being illuminated by an awful set of colours, but that building is hidden from me by another apartment tower, so it doesn't irritate me as often as the CN Tower does.

So, that was the situation so far. But as I bid F good night on the stroke of midnight, I actually looked outside, and the tower was throbbing with red and green light. It was spectacularly ugly. It looked like a sea anemone, but anemones actually look good: this was nasty. The light show came back on around 1am, so I guess it happens every hour. I wish it was some sort of ride at the CNE or something, and that it would go next week. But we're stuck with this thing now. Check it out, tell me that you aren't stunned...
frandroid: YPG logo, Syrian Kurdish defense forces (Default)
In spite of being vegan, I'm voicing my dislike of animal rights activists more often these days, but this:



certainly keeps me in the game.
frandroid: camilo cienfuegos in a broad-rimmed hat (camilo)
Activist Charged With Violating Orlando's Ban On Feeding Homeless

ORLANDO, Fla. -- An activist was arrested while he was feeding homeless people in a public park.

Eric Montanez, 21, a member of Orlando's Food Not Bombs, violated a city ordinance against feedings in the park Wednesday evening, police said.

Each group is allowed to feed only 25 people, but undercover officers saw Montanez feed 30, police spokeswoman Barbara Jones said.

Food Not Bombs and Montanez are plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit against the city, claiming that the ordinance is unconstitutional, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Montanez was charged with a misdemeanor count of prohibited activity in a park and was released from jail on a $250 bond.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
frandroid: YPG logo, Syrian Kurdish defense forces (Default)
Current Québec election standings, as we speak:
ADQ 47
Liberals 45
PQ 32
Québec Solidaire was said to be ahead in one riding earlier tonight, as well.

These are preliminary scores, there are many more votes to be counted.

For those not keeping the score, there hasn't been a right-wing government in Québec since 1959. Of course this will finish in a minority, so it's not as bad. But Dumont has like, 5 "ministrables" at most. Also, as the outgoing head of government, Charest can ask the Lt.-Governor to continue to government, if he can hold the confidence of Parliament.
Keep your eyes peeled.

ETA: The Liberals finished on top. Phew. This is the beginning of the end for separatists in Québec. If the Liberals manage to move a bit left, they might squeeze the PQ off the scene in a few elections.

A lot of people are thinking that this bodes well for a federal spring election for Harper. I'm not quite so sure, but the prospect frightens me a lot. But the politics of individualism have finally caught up with Québec.

Amir Khadir and Françoise David almost won for Québec Solidaire. That's some pressure on the left for the PQ there. Next time around, if the PQ is down in the polls, some lefties my skip on the strategic voting and vote with their heart.

ETA2: I've been invited to the La Presse examination for their summer internship!! Fingers crossed.
frandroid: Pirate ghostship, moored in a lava creek, underground. (ghostship)
César Saez veut faire flotter une banane géante dans le ciel du Texas, en 2008. [radio-canada.ca]
[Giant] Geostationary Banana Over Texas (en français, english y español)

So I don't know. Did he really get funding for this? Is this a hoax? This is the kind of silly project that could catch wildfire over the net and actual raise the $500K he's asking for, but something sounds fishy or... fruity.

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