Shocking news

Max, 2008/01/31 

Glad to be on our side right now…

Breaking: Romney and McCain Drop Out!

SIMI VALLEY – In independent moves Presidential candidates John McCain and Mitt Romney surprised supporters by dropping out of the race for the Republican nomination tonight. Their announcements closely followed the conclusion of the debate between Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

“I watched the debate and I realized there’s just no hope” Senator McCain told a crowd of tens of supporters in a bowling alley this evening. “I was in Vietnam, I might have mentioned that, and I’ll tell you my dear friends that I’d rather be back in the Hanoi Hilton than on stage debating either of those two. My friends, it made me tired just watching them. I’ve been shot down once in my life, I don’t want to go through it again.”

Mitt Romney, the former Governor of Massachusetts, did not appear in public but released a statement in which he said “Yes, I was running before and now I’m not. I changed my mind, okay? It happens. Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, you think I want to run against one of them?”

The sudden withdrawal leaves former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee as the putative Republican front runner. Reached by phone with the news this evening Governor Huckabee said “Probably for the first time in my life I have to say I really don’t have a prayer”.

The other remaining Republican candidate, Congressman Ron Paul, was traveling on another planet and could not be reached for comment.

Had to be Mars. It’s everywhere tonight.

Taikomol’s Mistake.


The Huchnom Tribe (means ‘Mountain People’) say the world began when Taikomol, ‘One Who Wanders’ made some people from sticks, and then made the Earth to float upon the Great Water for them, so they had something to stand on. But Taikomol’s First New World had no sun, and no game, and the people ate one another; so Taikomol destroyed the world.

The Second World Taikomol made was too heavy, and sank into the Great Waters. The stick people he made for it all drowned.

The Third World Taikomol made had a sun, plenty of game, and three people made from sticks.

And It Was Good.

But I wonder what it was like on the First World, there, for awhile. It’s a frightening image. I want to write about it.

This Is Very Bad And You Shouldn’t Watch It.

byronius, 2008/01/30 

And it’s rude. But funny. And a little true.

Money out of politics. Forever. Especially corporate money. As Randi Rhodes says, ‘corporations can have individual and free speech rights when they have to go get a mammogram or a PSA screen’.

In fact, military contractors making political donations is a sign of deep, deep national sickness. Because that ends up being my money in the end, doesn’t it? Effers.

Edwards. Sigh.

A moment of silence please…


Bye John

Kneeling Man.

byronius, 2008/01/29 

Kneeling Man

The source of this photo is US. ARTIST GENERAL, who sends me wild-ass emails constantly. Very interesting fellow. This sculpture is apparently from Burning Man ’97.

Fixin’ Stuff.


The Vet

The Last Chimariko.


The Last Chimariko

I’m reading Kroeber’s Handbook Of The Indians Of California, which is both fascinating and gruesome. The Chimariko were a small tribe occupying a 20-mile stretch of the Trinity River in Northern California. In 1777, they numbered 1000; in 1851, they numbered 250; in 1910, the census placed their numbers at ‘one toothless old woman and one crazy old man’. He is pictured above.

They were an ancient tribe, having spent several thousand years (perhaps twelve thousand) fishing for salmon on the Trinity River; they may have been the oldest tribe in the area. Their language was a Hokan branch, similar in root to some of the other local tribes, including the Shasta and Karok; but was unique to the Chimariko, and barely preserved after the tribe’s extinction by John Peabody Harrington, who documented the basic structure by extensively interviewing the last speaker of Chimariko, Sally Noble, in the 1920’s. She was presumably the ‘toothless old woman’ referred to in the 1910 census; her mother was Chimariko, and her father was Tsungwe.

They were not a social tribe; they kept to themselves and were quite territorial. There are some references among the Hupa to the presence of Chimariko at their quite-popular dances, and some of the rituals of the Chimariko echoed those of other northwestern tribes; but generally, they were a people unto themselves.

The miners and trappers arrived in the 1840’s. Their operations intruded into Chimariko territory; their mining methods left the Trinity River and Redwood Creek clouded with silt, and killed off the salmon. The Chimariko responded with violence in the 1860’s in an attempt to repel the invaders, and were wiped out.

The US government at the time still paid cash for murdering Indians in the area. Out-of-work miners would routinely band together and attack Indian villages, burning them to the ground and slaughtering all inhabitants, for which they could then claim a bounty from the government. Several million dollars was paid out in this way; a considerable sum for the time.

Many tribes in the area suffered complete annihilation at the hands of the miners and the US Army. Most of their history is completely unknown. So many lives passing by, in hundreds of generations; so many stories, so much love and war and struggle, all lost, forever. I read the small section on the Chimariko, and then imagined myself as one for a moment.

Paradise on the Trinity, for thousands of years. Fishing, hunting, talking in the sweat lodge, dancing, raising children. Suddenly, contemptuous pale alien strangers arrive to strip the land of resources. Soon, everyone and everything you’ve ever known is dead, gone, and forever forgotten. Your ancestral lands and holy places are now parcels bought by retired corporate executives, with septic tanks and wine cellars, double garages and rustic fences. No one knows anything about you anymore. Your family has disappeared like a wisp of smoke.

What is that like?

sprout & the bean

raison detre, 2008/01/28 

The Indie Singer-Harpist Who Met the Orchestra – New York Times

i really enjoy her concerts

Violence may not be the first thing that comes to mind from the pristine sound of a harp, a woman’s elfin voice and the genteel, elaborate backup of a symphony orchestra. But for Joanna Newsom, the songwriter, singer and harpist who will be performing her entire 2006 album “Ys” (pronounced ees) with the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra on Thursday and Friday nights at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, “emotional violence and brutality” are at the core of the songs, from their cataclysmic lyrics to their jumpy harmonies.

“References to upheavals, betrayals and deaths float through the lyrics on “Ys.” The songs encompass animal fables, visions of war and poetic disquisitions on the differences among a meteorite, a meteor and a meteoroid. When Ms. Newsom wrote the music, “I wanted to start with a bass line that had the same violence, that didn’t seem organic or natural in the shifts that it made,” she said. “There’s a lot of strange chromaticism.” Then, “to lace these weird global shifts together,” she came up with concise melodies rooted in folk songs, which provide some stability atop the turbulence. And to bind the simplicity and the complexity, she decided to use an orchestra.”


raison detre, 2008/01/27 

Japanese Coke machines to accept cellphone payment

U.S. soft-drink giant Coca-Cola said it will equip all its vending machines in Japan to accept payment through mobile telephones, an increasingly popular money option in the country.

Coca-Cola Japan said that all of its 200,000 machines by the end of 2008 will accept Felicia, contactless credit cards on mobile phones developed by cellular industry leader NTT DoCoMo and electronics giant Sony. – 'Mobile Suica' phones board Japan's rail system: rooted in Felicia technology

Felicia Payment System Goes Live

smile on… i’m very you!

when will it be accepted here?

The Conservative Stages Of Grief.


Daily Kos

In the year 2000, a devastating blow was dealt to conservative ideology. They were at long last given simultaneous control of all parts of government, and a chance to implement their philosophies.

The outcome proved, of course, to be a fiasco of monumental proportions. From budget surpluses to record deficits; unchecked pork; a tide of corruption, both moral and legal, that thinned their ranks like smallpox; mismanagement of even basic government tasks, such as emergency response capabilities; a national economy constantly teetering between mere sluggishness and outright recession; the entrance into a quagmire of a war, one with unclear initial purpose and even less clear strategies for exit. And those are just the highlights.

It would be enough to drive even the most sane person to despair; in fact, the more sane you are, the more likely you are to feel despair over any of these things. With the agonizing lack of grace of a faceplanting pole vaulter, and in every realm — economics, oversight, foreign policy, etc. — conservatism unleashed into the real world met, once again, with abject and humiliating failure. It seems there is no aspect of government that conservatism is actually good at, once the adherents are given any more responsibilities than being the besuited blowhards of Washington cocktail parties.

I thought it might be appropriate, at this point, to go over the five conservative stages of grief. They are taken directly from Kubler-Ross, and so are solidly backed by the best psychological modeling. In their moments of understandable despair over actually having finally been given the unfair and dastardly opportunity to put their signing pens where their mouths have been, as opposed the previous years of merely erupting, geyserlike, on Fox News every evening about what they could do if they were in charge, it is expected that most conservatives will at this point go through at least some of these stages of grief. Since we are not ogres, here, we will simply wish them well and pray for their speedy recovery.

Stage 1: John McCain. In the McCain stage of grief, a conservative is mentally aware of their surroundings but unable to emotionally process the information. The result is a mental short-circuit. Sufferers are especially prone to thinking that the Iraq War is going spectacularly well; they may even wander open-air marketplaces in which they are protected by a hundred or more fully armed United States soldiers, with helicopter gunship support, and remark aloud at how normal and stable and safe their location obviously is. Denial may also exist over the state of the economy, of their own party, or, especially, their own past actions.

The McCain stage of grief is known to last years or even decades. Fortunately, the sufferer usually loses all concept of time, such that they cannot differentiate between any particular six month period, and will eventually declare them all to be “a hundred years” long.

More Stages

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