Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Thong of Power

thong whip

Denise Lightning taking a "thong whip" off of Princess America. [Carolina Rollergirls vs. Tuscon @ Nationals]

(h/t Claudia Van Damage in the Yahoo roller_girls group)

saturday reads

Burma's 'new life' camps evoke memories of Pol Pot

Politically motivated officials at the Pentagon have pushed for convictions of high-profile detainees ahead of the 2008 elections, the former lead prosecutor for terrorism trials at Guantanamo Bay said last night, adding that the pressure played a part in his decision to resign earlier this month.

In Jena and Beyond, Nooses Return as a Symbol of Hate

Wing decertified, COs sacked for nuke "mistake"

Fragging Case: No evidence links an Army supply sergeant accused of killing his company commander and another officer in Iraq to the deadly explosion that killed them, his defense lawyer argued at a military hearing Friday.

Four U.S. Marines were being detained Friday at the Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station after allegations they gang-raped a 19-year-old Japanese woman, according to a base spokesman, prefecture police and a Japanese chief cabinet secretary.

If there's a burning question that's arisen from Brent Wilkes' trial, it's not whether Wilkes is guilty. It's: 'Just how stupid is Duke Cunningham?'

Leave It To Dennis (h/t Crooks and Liars)

Friday, October 19, 2007

friday reads

KARACHI, Pakistan, Oct. 19 — The death toll rose to 134 killed and 450 wounded today following explosions just feet from a truck carrying the returning opposition leader Benazir Bhutto on Thursday night, in what the government said was probably a suicide attack by an Islamist militant.

Allegations that the CIA held al-Qaida suspects for interrogation at a secret prison on sovereign British territory are to be investigated by MPs, the Guardian has learned. The all-party foreign affairs committee is to examine long-standing suspicions that the agency has operated one of its so-called "black site" prisons on Diego Garcia, the British overseas territory in the Indian Ocean that is home to a large US military base.

Criminal probe into U.S. Embassy in Iraq construction

Executives Arrested in 'Phoenix New Times' Legal Dispute

Top Village Voice Media executives Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were arrested Thursday night by Maricopa County sheriff's deputies on charges of revealing grand jury information, a misdemeanor.

The charges came after they published a story under their byline in the Thursday edition of the Phoenix New Times, in which they described a subpoena the paper reportedly received from a local grand jury.

“They did not have a warrant, but they told me that I was being arrested for unlawful disclosure of grand jury information,” Larkin told The New York Times by phone from his home early this morning, after he was released from jail. Lacey, executive editor, remained in jail early this morning. Captain Paul Chagolla, a spokesman for the sheriff did not return a call from the Times for comment.

If you had 1,200 pounds of marijuana in the back of your semi, would you consent to a police search?

Digby takes a look at the truly ugly slime that has been oozing from the comservative movement in the past few weeks.

Fashionista Watch: Hello Kitty AK-47

friday random ten

Photo by Ryan McManus

Road Trip Edition

James McMurtry and the Heartless Bastards
[Live in Aught-Three]

Giant Sand
[Long Stem Rant]

The Beat Farmers
[The Best of the Beat Farmers]

"Seattle Washington"
Casiotone for the Painfully Alone
[Answering Machine Music]

"Jordan, Minnesota"
Big Black
[The Rich Man's Eight Track Tape]

"53rd & 3rd"

"Atlantic City"
Bruce Springsteen

The Birthday Party
[Prayers on Fire]

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
[Live Seeds]

The Pleasure Barons
[Live in Las Vegas]
(Jerry Leiber & Billy Edd Wheeler cover)

View Larger Map


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Dodd to Block Telecom Immunity


Senator Chris Dodd plans to put a hold on the Senate FISA renewal bill because it reportedly grants retroactive immunity to telephone companies for any role they played in the Bush administration's warrantless eavesdropping program, Election Central has learned.


By doing this, Dodd can effectively hold up the telecom immunity bill, because bills are supposed to have unanimous consent in the Senate before going forward. One Senator can make it very difficult to bring a bill to the floor by objecting to allowing it to go to a vote.

thursday reads

Bought and Paid for Senate Caves in to Preznit 24%

Senate Democrats and Republicans reached agreement with the Bush administration yesterday on the terms of new legislation to control the federal government's domestic surveillance program, which includes a highly controversial grant of legal immunity to telecommunications companies that have assisted the program, according to congressional sources.

Glenn Greenwald has more

FCC says media not consolodated enough
The head of the Federal Communications Commission has circulated an ambitious plan to relax the decades-old media ownership rules, including repealing a rule that forbids a company to own both a newspaper and a television or radio station in the same city.

Kevin J. Martin, chairman of the commission, wants to repeal the rule in the next two months — a plan that, if successful, would be a big victory for some executives of media conglomerates.

WASHINGTON BURMA- A dysfunctional economy has trapped millions in poverty, and aid is not reaching many who needed help, WFP's Asia director Tony Banbury said.

Justice for Sale: Price of Immunity, $2,000,000?
Today the Texas Supreme Court takes up an issue that goes to the heart of what it means to be a Texan: Are we accountable for the consequences of our behavior? Lord John Brown, former CEO of British Petroleum and his special interest peers say no. They argue that they are above the law-literally.

Specifically, the Texas Supreme Court will hear arguments to determine whether the former CEO of BP must travel from London, England to Austin, Texas to give a deposition to lawyers representing the families of those injured in the March 2005 explosion at the BP refinery in Texas City, Texas-- an explosion that killed 15 workers and seriously injured more than 170.

An American A Congolese warlord has been flown to the International Criminal Court at The Hague where he is to face charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The Most Curious Canned Goods Found Online

Jake E. Lee shreds

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

wednesday reads

MPs in Turkey are due to debate a motion authorising cross-border military operations into northern Iraq to target Kurdish rebel bases there.

Saying the free flow of information must not be choked off, the House on Tuesday took up a media shield bill to protect the confidentiality of reporters' sources in most federal court cases. The White House, warning that the bill would encourage leaks of classified information, threatened a veto.

DoJ's shifting focus:

The Justice Department under the Bush administration has retreated from prosecutions of mobsters, white-collar criminals, environmental crimes and traditional civil rights infractions, new department data show.

As part of a series of policy shifts that have greatly transformed the administration of federal justice, the department has strongly emphasized immigration and terrorism-related investigations. It has also devoted new attention to areas important to conservative activists, such as sex trafficking and obscenity, according to the department's own performance and budget numbers.

David Neiwert: Watching the Bus Plunge

Glenn Greenwald on Neonepotism

Watch the PBS Frontline episode: Cheney's Law
For three decades Vice President Dick Cheney conducted a secretive, behind-closed-doors campaign to give the president virtually unlimited wartime power. Finally, in the aftermath of 9/11, the Justice Department and the White House made a number of controversial legal decisions. Orchestrated by Cheney and his lawyer David Addington, the department interpreted executive power in an expansive and extraordinary way, granting President George W. Bush the power to detain, interrogate, torture, wiretap and spy -- without congressional approval or judicial review

Deepening unhappiness with President George W. Bush and the U.S. Congress soured the mood of Americans and sent Bush's approval rating to another record low this month, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday.

Supernova 2005ap: 100 Billion Times Brighter Than the Sun

The Pojman Pocket Protector Webseum (via Boing Boing)

Eric Clapton shreds

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

WFTDA 2007 Third Quarter Rankings

The WFTDA third quarter rankings are up. There was quite a bit of movement in the top half of the rankings from last quarter due to some upsets at the National Finals and Eastern Regionals.

The Top Ten:

1. Kansas City Roller Warriors [+4]
2. Rat City Rollergirls [-1]
3. Texas Rollergirls [-]
4. Carolina Rollergirls [+3]
5. Gotham Girls Roller Derby [+5]
6. Tucson Roller Derby [-4]
7. Windy City Rollers [+7]
8. Detroit Derby Girls [+11]
9. Mad Rollin’ Dolls [-5]
10. Philly Rollergirls [-1]

The entire WFTDA 2007 Q3 rankings can be found at Lead Jammer.

tuesday reads

Verizon Communications, the nation's second-largest telecom company, told congressional investigators that it has provided customers' telephone records to federal authorities in emergency cases without court orders hundreds of times since 2005.

As the Bush administration deals with the fallout from the recent killings of civilians by private security firms in Iraq, some officials are asking whether the contractors could be considered unlawful combatants under international agreements.

12 former Army captains write to the Washington Post:

There is one way we might be able to succeed in Iraq. To continue an operation of this intensity and duration, we would have to abandon our volunteer military for compulsory service. Short of that, our best option is to leave Iraq immediately. A scaled withdrawal will not prevent a civil war, and it will spend more blood and treasure on a losing proposition.

The Cannonball Run

Despite the spiraling rise in the daily number of shootings in the US, gun culture has only become stronger.

The Rude Pundit: 42 Ways Not to Have Sex With Ann Coulter (Do I even need to say that The Rude One is "NSFW"?)

Monday, October 15, 2007

monday reads

Paul Krugman: What is it about Mr. Gore that drives right-wingers insane?

The Food and Drug Administration is moving with unprecedented speed to launch a drug research center to be paid for by companies it regulates.

A Vatican official suspended after being caught on hidden camera making advances to a young man said in an interview published Sunday that he is not gay and was only pretending to be gay as part of his work.

The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund has filed the lawsuit in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, accusing the restaurant of discriminating against Ms. Farmer because her appearance did not comply with society’s norms concerning gender identity.

Countdown's Worst Person In The World: Fascist Apologists Edition

Sunday, October 14, 2007

sunday reads

Frank Rich: The ‘Good Germans’ Among Us

In a swath of territory across Afghanistan and Pakistan, a wild and lawless new state is being born. The New TalibaN

Despite New Law, Firms Find Ways To Bribe Ply Politicians

Reporter Travis Fain took a camera out on the town [Macon, Georgia] and asked 100 people to find the United States on a world map. Of those asked, 25 percent could not.

The Moby Equation: How to Calculate Musical Sellouts