All purpose vertically integrated publishing empire for cynicism, hopelessness and misanthropy. Mild nausea is common when using this product. Other symptoms may include, but are not limited to: dizzyness, headache, homicidal rage and yellow discharge. Rarely, users may begin to hear voices urging them to kill. If this occurs, discontinue use and seek psychiatric attention. Do not read when pregnant or nursing; the author thinks that's gross.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Double Length Superspecial Interblag News of the Day

Not all politics, something for everybody this time.

So many interesting bits of weirdness around today, it's hard to get started, so I might as well hop into it.

Fuckwit College Editorials
Boy do we ever get a lot of these around here at IU, in our own paper, the Indiana Daily Student (or as it was always called in my undergraduate days, the Indiana Daily Stupid. Not the cleverest riposte, but incredibly accurate)

In this case, at the Daily Texan, we have a college age male actually trying to make the case that women wearing pants are evil, and that it would be best for all concerned for them to submit to his 'benevolent' domination.


Source: Feministe

Guitar Hero(ine)

While I can't agree with everything said in this article (like the claim that a guitar shaped like a woman's leg in fishnets is somehow an assault on the senses, a visceral attack), I have to admit, the skimpy outfits, heavy promotion of Axe bodyspray and its assorted floozies within the game, to the point that it interferes with gameplay.. that's not a good sign. Activision appears to think that, you know, they should toss away a good portion of the next-gen gaming market share, which includes women, families, and what you might term 'soft-core' or 'casual' games (I prefer soft-core myself just because a: it'll rile some oversensitive types up, and b: all consumer gaming is casual. Game testers and programmers do the non-casual gaming, and that's called WORK, boys and girls), in order to court the drunken frat boy market. It's worked before; look at the sports heavy initial lineup for the original Xbox.

But that doesn't mean it's a good idea in this day and age, when the Wii stalks the earth.


Apparently Rock Band, by the original creators of Guitar Hero, takes a much more balanced, and less commercially crass approach. You might want to stick with that one.

Source: Feministe

Crazy But (Mostly) Harmless Cult Alert:

So in Italy, it seems, for decades, a sort of loose cult of artisans crafted an incredibly elaborate series of cave/vault like churches underground, without permission from local authorities. They did this competently enough that the structures are sound, and due to their neglecting to pay taxes on it or inform the authorities or what not, they're now in possession of the government.

It really is amazing what nuts with time to spare can accomplish. The work they did is amazing. Yet the art itself is uninspired and tacky. It's like a children's playground for hackneyed neo-paganism.

Still worth a look-see.

Source: The Daily Mail

Torture in Lieu of Ticket:

As picked up by the excellent Digby, there is now a video floating around on Youtube of a cop torturing a man for refusing to sign a confession on a traffic ticket. You read that correctly.

I sort of expect that sort of behavior, really, but the idiot cop forgot he was on his dashboard camera the whole time. Needless to say, there's a major lawsuit forthcoming, and good on the taser victim for that. We now live in a country where if you fail to lick the boots of your traffic cop, they can torture you with high voltage. Bravo.

Source: Hullabaloo

Random Wikipedia Coolness of the Day
Birds that vocalize don't have a larynx, like we mammals, they have a syrinx. This structure lacks vocal cords but otherwise serves the same function, with a twist -- it's located farther down the throat, where the lungs branch off in the bronchial tubes. As a result, some birds can sing two sounds at once.

This is wicked cool.

Source: Wikipedia (duh)

Also, here's a Gobi fish that lives symbiotically with a shrimp. The shrimp is mostly blind, so it digs a burrow for both, and the fish acts as a lookout when they're above ground level. neat.

Source: Wikipedia

Finally, did you know that the Poinsettias you get at holiday time are produced using a deliberate infection by a little known category of bacteria called Phytoplasmas? See, without the infection, they produce a single stem, not the cute bushy arrangement full of flowers that people love. So they dose the plants with a disease to alter that. This is somewhat similar to the striped tulip thing the Dutch get mocked for. Apparently, striped tulips are now produced without the disease that originally caused so much adoration.

Sources: Wikipedia (Poinsettia: Cultivation), (Phytoplasma), (Tulip [Introduction to Western Europe])

Marilyn Manson, Perhaps Crazy After All:

Having most recently made the news for bottling his own brand of the highly overrated absinthe, Manson is now getting deeper embroiled in a lawsuit brought by his former bandmate (who operated under the equally cheerful name Madonna Wayne Gacy), for basically embezzling band funds.

To buy human remains. Lots of them.

Included in the list of alleged props: masks made from skin and the skeleton of a little Chinese girl.


Source: The Daily Mail

Science and Morality Watch:

A tragic story about a new baby that has a horrific degenerative disease that causes Alzheimer's like symptoms as young as five, and death before adulthood. It's your standard autosomal recessive genetic disorder, so both parents have to give you a faulty gene. There is a test to determine if you have the gene, it seems, and you're supposed to have the test done if your family has a history.

This woman didn't do what might be argued is due diligence and was unaware of a family member who had a child die of the same illness months before. Now she has a kid that will know nothing but a life of increasing suffering as his own cells die from a glut of cholesterol piling up like toilet paper in a clogged sewage line.

Why is it that people rush into breeding? Why can't they get a comprehensive DNA battery done before they do so? Why for that matter don't we test all fetuses in the womb, to see if we could spare them from, you know, this ghastly and unspeakable, untreatable hell? I know I'll get called a Eugenicist for saying that, but fuck. I'm not the one who is putting a child through five years of torture.

Source: The Daily Mail

Well, that's about it for the news today. Very little in the way of mainstream politics that caught my eye; the whole cell phone tracking scandal I already posted about, and the grind on the FISA bill and Congressional oversight continues apace.

Peace out, word to your mother.

Yet Another Reason to Turn Off Your Phone

Technological developments to make the Stasi drool!

The Washington Post has an excellent, though disturbing, article on a new practice by our liberty-hating governmental overlords -- the warrantless tracking of an individual's movement and location. How might they do this, you ask? Simple! By abusing, blatantly and cynically, the 911 system built into newer cellular phones!

See, the feds required a while ago that cell phone companies upgrade to a system that tells them, within about 30 feet, where you are in case of a 911 call. It uses GPS so it's not exactly pinpoint. This was generally thought to be good; I wasn't opposed, certainly, to the idea of a paramedic being able to find me if I called 911 from my phone.

Ahh, but that was a younger and less cynical me. Given a few years, they've managed to turn a life-saving innovation into an electronic tracking collar. Which you pay for and can buy cute little faceplates to adorn!

*breaks into a rousing chorus of God Bless America*

So you might want to leave the phone in the car. Or turn it off. Or even turn it off and remove the battery, when not in use, in case it's being sneaky and operating in a low power spy-mode.

Or just vote for a better government next November. I don't know about you people, but I'm a bit tired of living in an Orwellian farce.

Source: The Washington Post

Friday, November 23, 2007

Qualification; I Love Being Mega-Sick

I atone for my rhetorical sins, oh lord....

So yeah. I've been thinking since yesterday sometime that I should have said 'some' Indiana farmers, or "ethanol producing Indiana farmers". I've yet to meet or hear of anyone in said industry opposed to their lobby and the ethanol scam, but hey. There's bound to be one, and they were unfairly lambasted. So I apologize, duly contrite. I was just terribly angry after reading that article, but accuracy is required and emotion not a completely compelling excuse.

That having been said, whoooooah was I sick. Food poisoning or lingering aftereffect of my gastrointestinal system's woes, it's hard to say. I'd rather never go through that again, though. Yeesh.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanks for Nothing, Indiana Farmers

The ethanol fuel debacle continues, as not only does ethanol still consume more fossil fuel than it replaces, as well as lower fuel economy, but thanks to greed and huge government subsidies, it's also starving people this Thanksgiving.

There's little more insulting in American energy policy today than the idea that vast amounts of arable land in one of the most productive agricultural regions of the world should be turned into inefficient, money-soak fuel factories. Yet that's precisely what's happening today. King Corn, as the lobby has been called, has gotten precisely what it wanted: billions of dollars in government waste to fund the destruction of vast amounts of food, grown using vast amounts of gasoline, into an inefficient gasoline substitute. The process produces about 85% as much fuel as it uses, and the fuel it produces is crappier as well, requiring you to fill up your car more often and spend more money.

Worse still, it's creating a shortage of corn. Of food.

As documented in this article from The Independent, America's obsession with paying farmers not to produce food has led to, predictably, a shortage in the food that they throw into the waste bin of ethanol. Corn surpluses that used to go to feeding the hungry? Now tossed into SUV gas tanks. Corn syrup used in countless consumer products (whether or not this is a good idea, leave that aside for the moment)? Gone. In addition, thanks to the idiot economic policies of the Chimp in Chief, our dollar is in the basement, and you know what happens to a country with huge agricultural reserves and worthless money, right?

It exports its own food to try to pay the bills. Because our food is cheaper to buy than the food in countries whose currency isn't in the toilet.

So Happy Thanksgiving, and make sure to give thanks to the assholes on the road with their FlexFuel SUV Behemoths, as well as your friendly farmers here in the Heartland of America, who are lining their pockets with your tax dollars, and the hunger of their fellow Americans.

World's Hottest

At long last, a new challenger enters the arena!

So apparently, the Guinness people have crowned a new champion in the World's Hottest Pepper category. Ladies and gentlemen, I present the Bhut Jolokia!

This almost certainly delicious monstrosity weighs in at a searing 1 million scovilles, more or less, making it up to twice as hot as the previous champion, the Red Savina Habanero. It's not really 'new' though, just new to the testing game, so it has claimed the title that I guess rightfully belonged to it all along.

Must... consume.... aghghghghghghg.

Thank you, India, as Alanis would say. Thank you for the pepper of dooooom.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Printer Hijinks

A tale of swords and souls. No wait, that's Soul Caliber....

So I quit the grad program in the spring, right? I kind of assumed that my Indiana University accounts would be canceled by now, after only 6 months of not being a student. But lo and behold, while in the library tonight with the roommate, who has to do some work on lab machines, I discovered by chance that not only do they still work, but that my printer quota, which I did technically pay for with a technology fee, is still active! One thousand pages, no less.

So I immediately set to work spending them before they can get canceled. I just finished compilating and printing, thanks to the Internet Archive, every Bastard Operator From Hell article prior to his moving to The Register. It's a pretty large font so it's easy to read with a late night taco snack, as is my wont; I also plan to put each page in a sleeve or laminate them to keep them safe.

Total paper useage: 484 pages.

Muahaha. That'll teach them not to expire old accounts in a timely manner.

Political News of the Day

What's that? The world's gone mad?

I plan to do a post a day, at least, just summarizing the variety of weird political news and outrages, as well as major topics, that are currently floating around the ether and the blagosphere. I know a lot of people who don't have the time or energy to sift through all the stuff I do for fun, but would generally like a bit more information on the particular route the world is taking to hell, so I provide this noble public service, like the altruist I am.

White House Lies (part 1 of an endless series)

Scott McClellan, former mouthpiece/Press Secretary for El Presidente, is writing a book. Surprisingly enough, he seems to be willing to rat out his former boss, to some degree. The publisher has leaked a short passage indicating that Scotty boy says he now knows he was lying to the public about the leaks that destroyed the professional life of spy Valerie Plame (as a way to get back at her husband, Iraq War I hero Joe Wilson), and endangered our nuclear counter-proliferation operations overseas. He says that the President, VP, Chief of Staff, Scooter Libby and Karl Rove were all 'involved' in these lies.

Should be an interesting read.
Source: Editor and Publisher

Senator Dodd, meanwhile, having realized that if nobody else will take the high road you can probably speed, has jumped on this bandwagon as well, calling for a Senate investigation. Whatever his motivations, if there's a cause that everyone else running for President is too chicken to stand up for, Dodd's your man. It's either incredibly principled or incredibly crass.
Source: Raw Story

From the Department of the Painfully Obvious:

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says that our own El Presidente belongs in an asylum for stating that Iran getting a nuke could lead to World War III. I could not agree more, and there's even a handy amendment to the constitution that says crazy people shouldn't be President. Maybe Dodd can get on this one.

Sources: Reuters
U.S. Constitution, Twenty-Fifth Amendment

Health Care for Nobody:

Clinton, Obama and Edwards are all bickering over the best way to provide more money to insurance companies instead of helping people not be sick all the damn time. Clinton and Edwards want to require you to get health insurance, the same way you have to get auto insurance. They have token plans to help poor people buy it if they could not already. Yeah, that'll solve the problem of our private insurance system, where we spend far more and get far less than anyone else in the industrialized world. Pour MORE money into that hole; see if you can fill it.

Obama, meanwhile, just doesn't care if everyone has insurance at all. Nice guy.

Source: Raw Story

Pencils Still Down:

Finally, the writer's strike is taking an interesting turn, as the CBS news writers' union will seemingly go on strike before the last Democratic debate, to be aired on CBS, which would effectively cancel it. Thank you again, WGA! No, seriously. Eight thousand debates is more than sufficient.

Source: Raw Story

Here Comes Tomorrow Rebirth Neo-Kai

After a long hiatus due to personal issues, the shining glory that is the future's greatest resource, Here Comes Tomorrow is back online!

To make a long story very short, when I started this blog my life was going in a very different direction. I was still recovering from a long illness but it seemed like I had things back under control, and was going to be admitted to graduate school at my old university, continue work there for a couple of years, and basically maintain the status quo. Then two things happened.

First, I got rejected for graduate school because I foolishly admitted that I had plans after academia. This is the cardinal sin in the ivory tower world of Political Science, it seems. Secondly, my illness got worse again, and so I lapsed in doing, well, much of anything.

But you can't hang around sick forever, or you probably die, and there are far too many of my enemies left to outlast me, so I'm back on my feet. I'm on track to move out of this backwater state, go on to law school directly, and ignore any requests for alumni donations from here until Ragnarok.

Which brings me to another point. I've decided to drop the pseudonym, which I adopted primarily because I was in the process of applying to the (supposedly) austere and intellectual world of Graduate School, rather than the vicious circle of sharks that is Law School, and I did not want 'teh Google' to impact this process negatively. Apparently I had nothing to worry about in this regard; ambition, other than the kind that leads to your name in obscure academic journals, is the true kryptonite of post-grad work.

So I'll dispense with the Ellis Kage persona, which really never had time to develop at any rate.

My name is John J. Sears. The J is for 'Joseph', as if anyone cares. I'm 25 years old and hold a B.A. in Political Science/Criminal Justice from Indiana University. I live here in glorious Bloomington, Indiana, which is mercifully populated with a large collection of oddballs, freaks and wisdom seekers, along with the idiots who pile into the stadium on sports days, or the alcohol addicted frat rats who make the bars look like Gallipoli every Friday night.

Politcally, I'm a left-wing sort of guy. A socialist really, though that term has been pretty successfully demonized in the good old U.S. of A. Just so you know where I stand, here are my standard issue biases and positions, laid out in a handy list format, to make it easier to hate me.

Abortion: Pro-Choice (Extremely; I'm in favor of the government paying for any and all birth
control, abortion and sterilization procedures as social policy)

Health Care: Pro-Universal Health Care (I personally like the German model, but all the
Western Industrialized nations do it better than we do)

Civil Rights/Surveillance: Civil Libertarian (think ACLU; I like my Bill of Rights, the Separation
of Church and State, etc)

Religious Status: Atheist (if God wants to prove his/her existence, I'm listed in the phone book)

Political Affiliation: Democrat (until something better comes along; please, please do)

Unions: Pro-Union (go WGA!)

Immigration: Extremely Pro-Immigration. (What, it's better to keep up the population with
screaming worm babies than skilled adults who want to come here and contribute?
Please. Also, American food is almost entirely inedible. The more ethnic groups, the
better our restaurants.)

Science: Pro-Science (sad, but it needs to be stated in this day and age. I like my light bulbs and
interblags, genetic engineering and even the killer robots that will one day rise up and
overthrow human civilization.)

Ok, so most people won't be with me on the robots thing. Too bad. They're adorable when they charge the death rays and start chanting in badly synthesized voices.

This blog's focus will be on politics, entertainment, technology, and the intersection thereof, primarily. I like to see how the world we live in is shaped by the world we want it to be, and vice versa; I'm also, by training and nature, very cynical and suspicious of the ebb and flow of power, and like to keep an eye on what our Esteemed Leaders are up to.

Plus it's just cool how so few can control so many using the brain-rot trifecta of Church, State and Television.

Well, that's about it. This is longer and less amusing than anything I intend to post in the future, I assure you. You, who will someday be reading it. Perhaps.



Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Under Construction

This blog is now being reactivated. Please bear with me.

Blah blah blah.