Saturday, May 13, 2006

Course Number: 2085.901

Roller Derby Appreciation

Curious about the modern roller derby revival that began in Austin and has spread to every major U.S. city? Ever wonder what those ladies are doing out there, and how the game is played? In this course you will spend an afternoon with skaters from the Texas Rollergirls and learn how this group of Austin-based women modernized roller derby and created the sport of Flat Track Derby now sweeping the nation. Find out more about the modern day derby revival, standardized rules of the game, strategies and plays, and how players get sent to the penalty box. Learn to watch, understand, and appreciate the energetic full-contact sporting event that is Flat Track Derby. For the ladies, you will also learn about athletic skills you can develop if you're interested in becoming a rollergirl. Course consists of classroom instruction and game viewing, followed by a private, live demonstration. You will also receive a ticket to one of the Rollergirls Flat Track Derby upcoming bouts. A portion of this class will be held outdoors; please dress appropriately. The Texas Rollergirls are founders of Flat Track Derby and the reigning National Flat Track Derby Champions. (1 meeting)

Course Number: 2085.901
Dates: Sa, June 17
Time: 1:00 – 4:00pm

Friday, May 12, 2006

eight months after katrina

more photos here  Posted by Picasa

friday random ten

Photo by Ryan McManus

"Tiny Little Drop Of Perfumed T" - A.R. Kane
"Cold Water Coming" - Kristin Hersh
"Postcards From Italy" - Beirut
"Cactus Cat" - Look Blue Go Purple
"Never Never Land" - The Bellevue Jubilee
"Underwater Explosions" - Guided by Voices
"Freefall" - Tony Shoebox
"Where Damage Isn't" - The Radio Dept.
"Marathon" - Erase Errata
"Henry K" - The Ex

Video bonus: The Dog Faced Hermans - "Incineration"

Thursday, May 11, 2006

tyrannical bastards

Glenn Greenwald on the NSA warrentless eavesdropping program:

This theme emerges again and again. We continuously hear that the Bush administration has legal authority to do anything the President orders. Claims that he is acting illegally are just frivolous and the by-product of Bush hatred. And yet, as I detailed here, each and every time the administration has the opportunity to obtain an adjudication of the legality of its conduct from a federal court (which, unbeknownst to the administration, is the branch of our government which has the authority and responsibility to interpret and apply the law), it does everything possible to avoid that adjudication.

This continuous evasion of judicial review by the administration is much more serious and disturbing than has been discussed and realized. By proclaiming the power to ignore Congressional law and to do whatever it wants in the area of national security, it is seizing the powers of the legislative branch. But by blocking courts from ruling on the multiple claims of illegality which have been made against it, the administration is essentially seizing the judicial power as well. It becomes the creator, the executor, and the interpreter of the law. And with that, the powers of all three branches become consolidated in The President, the single greatest nightmare of the founders.

The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, selfappointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny. -- James Madison, February 1, 1788, Federalist No. 47

i feel your pain

(AP Photo/ Haraz N. Ghanbari)

chimpeachment now

NSA has massive database of Americans' phone calls

The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, people with direct knowledge of the arrangement told USA TODAY.

The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans — most of whom aren't suspected of any crime. This program does not involve the NSA listening to or recording conversations. But the spy agency is using the data to analyze calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity, sources said in separate interviews.

NSA won’t grant Justice Department lawyers required security clearance
WASHINGTON - The government has abruptly ended an inquiry into the warrantless eavesdropping program because the National Security Agency refused to grant Justice Department lawyers the necessary security clearance to probe the matter.

The inquiry headed by the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, or OPR, sent a fax to Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., on Wednesday saying they were closing their inquiry because without clearance their lawyers cannot examine Justice lawyers’ role in the program.

“We have been unable to make any meaningful progress in our investigation because OPR has been denied security clearances for access to information about the NSA program,” OPR counsel H. Marshall Jarrett wrote to Hinchey. Hinchey’s office shared the letter with The Associated Press.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

robin hood gang


They dress up in pink catsuits, have names like "Spider Mum" and feel a social obligation to plunder the most expensive restaurants and gourmet delicatessens in town as part of a campaign to help the poor.

Last week the well-heeled citizens of Hamburg's Altona district got a taste of their antics when 30 of them marched into the city's luxury "Fresh Paradise Goedeken" supermarket and walked out five minutes later with €15,000 (£10,000) worth of stolen goods.

The gang's booty included magnums of Champagne at €99 a bottle, filets of Japanese Kobe beef at €108 a kilogram, legs of venison, a salmon and several boxes of Valrhona chocolate.

Before leaving, gang members thrust a bouquet of flowers into the hands of a shop assistant. Attached was a handwritten note which proclaimed: "Survival in the city of millionaires would be impossible without us!" It was signed by "Spider Mum", "Santa Guevara" and "Multiflex".

Another note later released by the gang insisted that the haul had been distributed to Hamburg's needy, to the "social workers, cleaning ladies and minimum-wage earners". It added: "The places of wealth in this town are as numerous as the opportunities to take it."

last-morning-ever pill

Pro-life advocates celebrated approval of the new anti-abortion drug UR-86 by the Food and Drug Administration Tuesday, calling it a "safe and effective method" for terminating pregnant women while leaving their unborn children unharmed.

Pfizer, manufacturer of UR-86—dubbed the "last-morning-ever pill"—said the drug is intended only for occasions when the mind-set or politics of the mother threaten the life of the fetus.

"This drug is designed for extreme cases in which the mother cannot or should not be saved, or when her health has been placed before that of her unborn child," Pfizer spokesman Anthony Wright said.

Monday, May 08, 2006

monday morning reads

Digby on the new breed of "liberals"

WaPo's Jim VandeHei takes a look at Karl Rove's situation in the Plame investigation

Preznit's best moment in office? "...when I caught a 7.5 pound perch in my lake"

My ever growing sphere of influence - my light cone - has already reached 85 stars. In two weeks, it will reach star HR6518. (via Boing Boing)