The Daily Dun

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 2:11 pm by George Smith

The President and Obama for America pulled out all stops today. If you are on the mailing list you got hit with about half a dozen dunning mails (so far), including a picture spammer’s Sharpie pen-colored feed stuffer entitled “Why I Support [the Prez].”

George —

Maybe you’ve seen this photo going around on Facebook — one person’s reasons for supporting President Obama.

Nothing conveys genuine sincerity like Facebook-automated picture spam.

George —

Sometimes politics can seem very small.

But the choice voters face in this election couldn’t be bigger.

Over the past two months, we have been outraised by our opponents. They’ve used that advantage to distort the truth and mislead people, over and over, on TV and the radio in battleground states.

Tonight is one of the most critical fundraising deadlines we’ll face.

If we win this election, it will be because of what you did in moments like this to close the gap.

Please make a donation of $4 or more right now:


Thank you.


From Hildy Kuryk …

George —

It’s deadline day. We’re down to the last few hours before we tally up our numbers — and make some tough calls about what Democrats can do in August. This could be our most important deadline yet.

If you can, please support Democrats across the country with an urgent donation of $5 or more before midnight tonight.

And from Hildy, entitled “Me again…”

George —

It’s deadline day. We’re down to the last few hours before we tally up our numbers — and make some tough calls about what Democrats can do in August. This could be our most important deadline yet.

If you can, please support Democrats across the country with an urgent donation of $5 or more before midnight tonight.

Just changed the title in the header. Couldn’t even change a few words.

Choke artists

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 11:56 am by George Smith

It’s easy and healthy to despise the Olympics. As well as the US Olympic team, the stars, over-exposed physical fitness freaks sold on their superiority by our culture of lickspittle.

[And that’s not including the sickening American fad in which your army of professional bootlicks and minders arrange for you to have a viral video lipsynching to “Call Me Maybe.” ]

Having given up cable, the wall to wall coverage still allows me to enjoy the embarrassed tears and expressions of bamboozlement when our most heavily promoted Olympians, predicted to be invincible, come croppers.

Buzz Bissinger’s (he of Friday Night Lights) takes the Olympics and our stars down. It’s worth a read:

The big events during this first week are in swimming, and unfortunately I have to say that the big guns of the men’s teams not only seem unlikeable but also choke artists. Michael Phelps’ official Olympic photo, with scraggly beard and hair sticking out like professor Irwin Corey, was insulting. He does irritate me when he talks, a little bit too cool for school and obviously (also rightfully) thinking he is superior to everyone else, given his incredible past performance in Olympics with 16 medals and needing only three more to break the record. During an interview with Ryan Seacrest on NBC during the opening ceremonies that was unconsciously played instead of a tribute to the 52 victims of terror attacks in London in 2005, Phelps was asked if he would consider himself the best Olympian of all time if he won his 19th medal. He could and should have been gracious and contrite. Instead he paused and then said it was something he would have to think about if it happened.

He didn’t train very hard for London, and it showed in his first race Saturday, leading any reasonable person to conclude that he didn’t want to be there in the first place and just should have retired. He seemed a shadow to his competitive nemesis, Ryan Lochte. The Florida native does have a certain charm, except when he drapes about on his skateboard during those insipid NBC bits with John McEnroe, who is wearing an undershirt for chrissakes. And when Lochte puts that silver contraption in his mouth, he looks like the guy in a James Bond film who once played Lurch. But Lochte did kick ass in the 400 Meter IM on the first day of real competition, making Phelps look pathetic in the process. He won the gold while Phelps did not even medal.

Being a fair-weather fan of vast proportion, I immediately picked Lochte as my official American hero, until Phelps swam an incredible second leg in the 400 meter freestyle relay and Lochte, in the anchor position with the lead, got caught …

So Phelps has choked. And Lochte, too sold on himself and his mouth jewelry tore down the goal posts before he’d actually scored all the winning touchdowns. Yay.

“[The] the helicopter ride of the Queen and Daniel Craig as 007 was stupid … Rowan Atkinson as Mister Bean was even more stupid, first acting like his usual idiot self,” Bissinger writes of opening night.

And then, again, there’s the best tune on the Olympics, ever. Sadly, a little under-appreciated.

Most popular in Cayman and the Isle of Man.

How unfortunate. He won a gold.

They’ll turn off the power!

Posted in Cyberterrorism at 9:51 am by George Smith

“Ha-ha, I will now plunge half of America into darkness!” cackled the fiend, deep inside his cyber-bunker, somewhere in the eastern hemisphere.

Well, not quite:

Half of India’s 1.2 billion people were without power Tuesday as the grids covering 19 states broke down, the second major blackout in as many days.

Stretching from Assam, near China, to the Himalayas and the northwestern deserts of Rajasthan, the outage was the worst to hit India in more than a decade and embarrassed the government, which has failed to build up enough power capacity to meet soaring demand.

The power loss includes grid failures in northern, eastern and northeastern India.

How much off-shored American business was impeded? What, you couldn’t get any help from the call center? Oh, wait … you never could before, either.

Rich Man’s Burden — worrying about the peasants

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Decline and Fall at 9:39 am by George Smith

Today, a brief piece in New York magazine about weird, decadent billionaire Jeff Greene, a man who admits he made his fortune gaming the system.

Now, he’s allegedly trying to persuade his other horrid billionaire pals they’d better stop hogging it all lest they provoke the peasants into burning the place down.

I’m not convinced the 99 percent can take up the pitchforks.

The country lacks something. Like fortitude and iron jaws. It doesn’t have the polity it did in the Sixties. Even then, while social unrest and the Tet offensive in Vietnam caused Lyndon Johnson to not seek re-election, the Democratic Party was effectively destroyed until Richard Nixon did himself in.

And there’s no indication that the current populace has even fractions inclined to repeat the labor riots of the early 1900s.

The country has no group like the Molly Maguires. It does, instead, have the Tea Party, which would call for the FBI to destroy dissent would such a group appear.

We also have a heavily armed and powerful police forces, a private sector national security industry unafraid of lawbreaking and a general populace that is easily propagandized.

Greene does make the valid observation that those who are being impoverished by his type are still voting for the mountebanks who will accelerate the doing of it.

Another casual observation: The guy probably does a lot of of some type of powder. And when he’s in one of the flop sweats from it suffers panic attacks.

Some choice bits:

It’s strange to imagine someone like Greene, who counts Mike Tyson as a close friend, and who has a streak that caused the L.A. party girls to refer to him as “Mean Jeff Greene,??? feeling vulnerable. It’s hard to think of any superrich person as vulnerable, just as it’s hard to think that a bear with outstretched claws and giant teeth is more afraid than you are. But over the past few months, it’s become clear that rich people are very, very afraid.

“Obama wants to take my money and give it to do-nothing animals,??? one matron blurted at a recent party at the Pierre for Dick Morris’s Screwed!, the latest entry into a growing pile of socioeconomic snuff porn geared toward this audience.

“There are all these people in this country who are just not participating in the American Dream at all,??? he says. This makes him uncomfortable, not least because they might try to take a piece of his. “Right now, for some bizarre reason, a lot of these people are supporting Republicans who want to cut taxes on the wealthy,??? he says.

Greene ran for Senate in Florida a year ago. You can guess the comedy that ensued.

Read the entire thing. I’ll also wager someone is now waving a book contract worth a couple hundred thousand so he can retell his tale of the billionaire with a conscience.


Joke of day

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Extremism at 12:40 pm by George Smith

Seen in the news:

President Barack Obama has called for a common sense response to the slaughter in Aurora.

With headline: White House gives cool welcome to bill restricting online ammo sales

Atta boy!

“Truly, I say to you, unless y’all can buy unlimited ammunition on the Internet, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” — Chapter 2, The Compleat Sayings of American Jesus

More ways to use smartphones as annoyances

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 9:13 am by George Smith

It’s called Chirp, an app that sends pictures and ads by “chirping” in a room to others with it installed and enabled on their smartphones.

One man from a computer magazine burbles:

I tested the concept of using Chirp for mass communication on a live netcast this week called MacBreak Weekly.

I joined the show via Skype video all the way from Greece. To demonstrate Chirp, I held my iPhone up to the microphone, and let the app chirp a picture of my sister’s dog. People in the California studio got it instantly. They then re-chirped it, and one of the hosts of the show, himself Skyping in from Massachusetts, got the picture, as did the studio audience and the people watching the live-streaming video online. In literally a few seconds, I transmitted a photograph across the world to thousands of strangers …

By the way, If you listen to this video with Chirp running, you’ll get a picture of my sister’s dog, too.

The potential applications for Chirp are seemingly endless.

Movie studios could put chirps at the end of movie trailers to send viral marketing campaigns to the audience. After people leave the theater, they can use Chirp to share the same campaigns.

Nightclub DJs could mix chirps into their music, sending a constant stream of photos out to everyone in the room.

Kiosks could use chirps instead of Bluetooth or other short-range wireless technologies. The benefit would be much higher ease of use.

You can embed chirps with pictures, URLs, contacts or text-based notes in your phone voice-mail message.

The creators of Chirp even imagine embedded chirps in car horns and doorbells.

Readers know I detest the Cult of Smartphone, the belief that everything in the world can be solved through the development of apps for your hand-held consumer electronic bauble.

Every week, a new milestone in existence, the blind made to talk, the lame to see. An iPhone gadget to tell everyone in earshot when you’ve gone to the toilet or the people at the table over what you just ordered. Dictators will fall, unemployment will end and the 48 million people on food stamps will be able to throw them away when everyone finally has the power to Chirp with a smart phone.

You’ll be able to automatically send pictures of your sister’s dog to everyone sitting in the McDonald’s with you. Whether they care or not.

What’sa matter? You got something against sharing pictures of a nice dog?!

Like, like, like, like, like!

Banksters more likely to hit grid than cyberwarriors

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Cyberterrorism at 8:21 am by George Smith

One of the favorite memes of our cyberwar theoreticians is the one in which hackers, or some nation in the eastern hemisphere, hit the American electrical grid.

In reality, the only time the electrical grid was manipulated was by Enron.

Power traders in the employ of that company games the California independent operator one summer a decade ago. Their tricks, aimed at raking in more profit caused brown-outs as the company persuaded various suppliers to idle plants at times of peak usage, or switch power out of the state.. The political fallout brought the recall of governor Gray Davis and the installment of Arnold Schwarzenegger in Sacramento.

This weekend we learn that the masters of the universe have again gamed the electrical system in California, for the purpose of rake-off.

From the Sacramento Bee:

It’s been a decade since companies like Enron Corp. manipulated California’s electricity market to generate billions in excess profits.

Enron went out of business long ago, and California’s energy market has been a place of relative calm. Now, however, another big power trader is being investigated for allegedly gaming the state’s electricity system.

State officials believe a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co., the New York investment bank, pulled down an extra $73 million by exploiting a small wrinkle in California’s electricity market over several months in 2010 and 2011 ..

While the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is investigating on the state’s behalf, a prominent energy consultant warns that the ISO’s automated market system remains vulnerable to abuse.

“These things are hidden eight levels down in the computer programming,” said Robert McCullough of McCullough Research in Portland. “If a computer doesn’t catch you, you’re not caught.”

He said JPMorgan’s trading strategy appears to be similar to “Get Shorty,” one of the infamous schemes cooked up by Enron to ramp up profits at California’s expense during the energy crisis of 2000 and 2001.

ISO officials insist this wasn’t a rerun of the energy crisis. They said they’ve made huge strides in protecting the system and are quick to sniff out problems.

The only good news? The magnitude of malfeasance is much less than during the Enron-caused crisis.

No putting girl punk rock bands in jail

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Rock 'n' Roll at 7:47 am by George Smith

New rule for the Department of State to lobby for: No putting girl punk rockers in jail for singing in church, ever.

St. Maria, Virgin, Drive away Putin
Drive away! Drive away Putin!
(end chorus)

Black robe, golden epaulettes
All parishioners are crawling and bowing
The ghost of freedom is in heaven
Gay pride sent to Siberia in chains

The head of the KGB is their chief saint
Leads protesters to prison under escort
In order not to offend the Holy
Women have to give birth and to love

Holy shit, shit, Lord’s shit!
Holy shit, shit, Lord’s shit!

St. Maria, Virgin, become a feminist
Become a feminist, Become a feminist
(end chorus)

Church praises the rotten dictators
The cross-bearer procession of black limousines
In school you are going to meet with a teacher-preacher
Go to class – bring him money!

Driest most unintentionally hilarious news report, ever. “If the girls are found guilty of hooliganism they could face seven years in jail.” — Ria Novosti

Trivia: Now who was the more important American innovator? Leo Fender or one of Google’s famous pontificating stooges? Note Fender Strat. (Actually, a knock-off — but it’s still a Strat.)

If this woman were in America, she could join the Tea Party:

“This is not a question of our parliamentary or presidential elections, but a criminal case about … banal hooliganism with a religious motive,” said Larisa Pavlova, who represents Lyubov Sokologorskaya, one of several people who work at the cathedral and are appearing at the trial as “victims” of Pussy Riot.

Sokologorskaya, who described herself as a “profound believer”, said only clerics were allowed at the altar and that the defendants’ bare shoulders, short skirts and “aggressive” dance moves violated church rules and offended the faithful.

“When I talk about this event, my heart hurts. It hurts that this is possible in our country,” she said. “Their punishment must be adequate so that never again is such a thing repeated.”


Beaver Stadium Boodle Bosh

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 1:25 pm by George Smith

They’re worried. What can you do with one of the largest football stadiums in the country, out in the middle of nowhere, when the cheering dies?

Beaver Stadium does not have a liquor license, either.

From the Centre Daily Times, a dearth of ideas. Maybe a Flyers/Penguins game …:

Penn State trustee Paul Silvis said Thursday that utilizing Beaver Stadium in more ways could be a possibility to draw more tourism to the county in the wake of the NCAA sanctions against the football team. He suggested a concert could be held there.

Punt said there is speculation of a Philadelphia Flyers-Pittsburgh Penguins NHL Winter Classic in the stadium every year and that would be a “dream??? for he and Joe Battista, associate athletic director for ice arena and hockey operations.

One obstacle, Punt said, would be acquiring a one-day liquor license to serve alcohol at the event, because the NHL requires that venues have alcohol available. Beaver Stadium does not have a liquor license or sell alcohol typically.

One assumes even Pennsylvania’s strangled liquor control board would not actually stop Penn State from getting the proper paper. However, the phrase ‘we’re fucked’ does come to mind.


Water, power, money — all at risk, always

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Cyberterrorism, Imminent Catastrophe at 4:34 pm by George Smith

Earlier this week, I was asked if I was going to hear Keith Alexander’s speech at Def Con, a first. Nope.

What could he possibly say new? Nothing. Nice p.r., though.

Most of the publicity was reserved for Alexander’s appearance at the Aspen Institute, where he apparently delivered a speech much like he has in the past.

Everything’s at risk — power, water, money. (Even the air is now at risk when the poison gases are released.)

“I’m worried most about power … I’m worried about water,” he said.

“Alexander repeated his view that computer-based espionage against the industrialized world amounted to ‘the biggest transfer of wealth in history’ because ‘adversaries have gone into our companies and taken intellectual property,’??? reads the LA Times, posted a few minutes ago.

If you collect Mr. Keith Alexander’s remarks then he must be the most important man in the country, ultimately responsible for securing the US in cyberspace against the ton of trouble coming against everything.

If we had better reporters, rather than just compilers and tape-recorders, someone would be pointing this out. But the current state of journalism cannot deal with repeated claims that a host of catastrophes are imminent.

Therefore, well meaning or not, Mr. Alexander abuses the publicity afforded him at these functions. It’s flagrant and too many people give it a pass.

“All ur H20 belong to us,” cackled the fiend from inside the cyber-bunker, somewhere in the eastern hemisphere. “Does Mr. Alexander know haxorz can haz make H20 to bleach?”

Get off the cyber-corruption of water meme already, sir.


The greatest transfer of wealth in history …

All ur water does not belong to the cybermen.

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