Archive for the Politics & World Category

The Girl, The Dems, & the 2011 Pride Parade

Posted in Personal/Creative, Politics & World, Uncategorized on June 13, 2011 by joeylabartunek

My girl is fairly active in politics, and certainly more so than I.  So when she got an invitation to march with the Democratic party in the 2011 West Hollywood Pride Parade, she jumped at the chance and pulled me along for the ride.  Little did I know that several hours after agreeing to do it, that I would be holding a sign and marching down the middle of Santa Monica Blvd. And while I may not be 100% on board with the party anymore, and I certainly have some issues with the Dems and maybe more pointedly the President and all of their lack of spines, I didn’t really mind holding a sign while the Obama chants went out around me.

Ahh, the things we do for love and entertainment.  I realized after the fact that holding a sign and trying to take pictures with my phone was a really bad idea, and most of the pictures I took were complete shit.  But here are a couple photos from the parading side of things, if only to say, ‘Yes, bastards, I was there’.  Cheers.

Gearing Up

Marchin' in the Streets

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Evil Templar Knights Break Earth’s Rotation

Posted in Politics & World with tags , on May 20, 2010 by joeylabartunek

Ok, so that’s not reeeeaaally what happened, but I liked that title.

Apparently the end of the world is at hand, the remnants of the Knight’s Templar must have finally set in motion the mystical badness that will inevitably lead to end times and here is our first sign.  From BoingBoing:

The original pendulum, which was used by French scientist Leon Foucault to demonstrate the rotation of the Earth and which forms an integral part of [Umberto] Eco’s novel’s labyrinthine plot, has been irreparably damaged in an accident in Paris.

The pendulum’s cable snapped last month and its sphere crashed to the marble floor of the Musee des Arts et Metiers.

In 1851, Foucault used the pendulum to perform a sensational demonstration in the Paris Pantheon, proving to Napoleon III and the Parisian elite that the Earth revolved around its axis. Such was its success that the experiment was replicated throughout Europe.

Somewhere the evil templar's plans are finally coming to fruition. Or something.

I read Eco’s ‘Foucault’s Pendulum’ about a decade ago, and it was one of those joyous blasts of history and paranoia that I love so much. And while this article has nothing to actually do with the book, it does have to do with the Pendulum that is front and center.  And I can’t help but think that the destruction of a device used to show a basic fundamental force of the planet breaking is a sign of something.

Maybe it’s a sign that it’s ice cream day.  Probably.

Secret Plan of the Masters of the Internets is Leaked.

Posted in Politics & World, Tech with tags , on November 4, 2009 by joeylabartunek

I haven’t been as vocally active in my distaste about the direction the powers that be have designed for our future interactions with the internet, but then I haven’t really been active in general lately.  Seeing as how I’m attempting to rectify that, this is as good a place as any to start tossing in these bits that help detail the scary plans the government would love to enforce, if allowed.  From Boing Boing:

The internet chapter of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a secret copyright treaty whose text Obama’s administration refused to disclose due to “national security” concerns, has leaked. It’s bad. It says:

  • * That ISPs have to proactively police copyright on user-contributed material. This means that it will be impossible to run a service like Flickr or YouTube or Blogger, since hiring enough lawyers to ensure that the mountain of material uploaded every second isn’t infringing will exceed any hope of profitability.
  • * That ISPs have to cut off the Internet access of accused copyright infringers or face liability. This means that your entire family could be denied to the internet — and hence to civic participation, health information, education, communications, and their means of earning a living — if one member is accused of copyright infringement, without access to a trial or counsel.
  • * That the whole world must adopt US-style “notice-and-takedown” rules that require ISPs to remove any material that is accused — again, without evidence or trial — of infringing copyright. This has proved a disaster in the US and other countries, where it provides an easy means of censoring material, just by accusing it of infringing copyright
  • * Mandatory prohibitions on breaking DRM, even if doing so for a lawful purpose (e.g., to make a work available to disabled people; for archival preservation; because you own the copyrighted work that is locked up with DRM)

    The ACTA Internet Chapter: Putting the Pieces Together

Obama Releases New Weed Guidelines

Posted in Politics & World with tags , on October 19, 2009 by joeylabartunek

President Obama made the lives of a lot of legal pot smokers very very happy today, in a move that makes good on his promise and helps to (hopefully) pave the way further towards actual legalization.  From the Queen of the Geeks herself, Olivia Munn:

On Monday the Nobel Peace Prize Winner Barrack Obama issued new guidelines for arresting those who are both legally selling and buying the marijuana.

The new policy tells prosecutors to stop wasting their time going after those in compliance with the state law, specifically those providing or using medical marijuana.

The 3 page long memo urges the prosecutors in the 14 states allowing medical marijuana and to top officials at the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration to go after marijuana cases that involve violence, the illegal use of firearms, selling pot to minors, money laundering or involvement in other crimes.

While the DEA and FBI may be upset about the new policy, medical marijuana advocates are excited that the Obama has kept his word on changing the policy.

Bruce Mirken of the Marijuana Policy Project says the change “moves the federal government dramatically toward respecting scientific and practical reality.”

13 states now allow the use of medical marijuana and 14 states currently have medical marijuana legislation pending.

Here are the lucky 13… in case you’re thinking of moving:

Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington.

I personally know quite a few legal smokers now, most of them have very legitimate reasons for attaining their cards, everything from serious pre-existing back problems and no hope of getting insurance, to nasty anxiety, insomnia, and other heavy duty head-problems.  Sure you could just take sleeps meds or shit gleamed from the pharmaceutical empire, but it’s all just a matter of choice of medication, and who are the public to decide which medication is best for you.

Removing the threat of their local dispensary or their homes being raided when they have gone through the correct channels is big.  Really big.

Brazilian Making His Own Nasty Reality TV

Posted in Politics & World, TV on August 13, 2009 by joeylabartunek

It’s no secret that we already fabricate reality in our TV shows here in America, spend any time working on a reality show and you learn very quickly that reality is truly what we want to make of it, but a Brazillian TV host has taken things one step further.  From BoingBoing:

Police in Brazil noticed that reporters for a TMZ-meets-COPS style TV show about murder in western Brazil kept managing to show up at murder scenes before they did. Authorities allege that’s because the show’s host Wallace Souza ordered at least five of the murders. Souza is a local lawmaker who loved to denounce crime during the program, but he is charged with dealing drugs and using the show to bump off his rivals. NPR Audio

So the question is, how soon until we see this kind of behavior in the States.  I’m hedging bets that a few more weeks of  mindless, made-up, bullshit reality TV like ‘Megan Wants A Millionaire’, and some poor Network sap is going to snap and we’ll start seeing mob style offings with a camera crew conveniently located a block away.

Or maybe Glenn Beck will just crack under all the weight of loosing his sponsors due to being a hate-mongering shithead and start coordinating deaths to boost his ratings and find new sponsors.  Wouldn’t that be something.

You Mean They’re Not Still Cannibals?

Posted in Politics & World with tags , on June 29, 2009 by joeylabartunek

I’m completely not surprised, I mean, some people I know are one step away from this now :

Early Europeans were cannibals with a particular taste for the flesh of children, archaeologists have claimed.
The claim has come after bones of the ancestors of Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens who first settled in Europe around 800,000 years ago were unearthed in the Atapuerca caves in northern Spain.

A study of the prehistoric remains has revealed that human flesh formed part of the diet of early man and children and adolescents in particular were regularly killed and eaten.

Jose Maria Bermudez de Castro, one of the co-directors of the Atapuerca project, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, said: “It is the first well-documented case of cannibalism in the history of humanity.”

More in this article here.

DoD Classifying Protests As Terrorism

Posted in Politics & World on June 23, 2009 by joeylabartunek

Protesting the government’s shenanigans is an American staple, it’s not only something we’re good at, we’ve been doing it forever.  Hell,  it’s our duty and right as citizens of this country to protest the shit out of what we don’t like.   And while the secret iron grip of the military state continues to slowly engulfs us, your really only option is to take it to the streets.  Of course, doing so may just get you classified as a terrorist.  From Boing Boing:

A US Department of Defense training manual describes protest as “low-level terrorism.” This is part of a broader trend of state agencies characterizing protest as a form of terrorism.

The first question of the Terrorism Threat Factors, “Knowledge Check 1” section reads as follows:Which of the following is an example of low-level terrorism activity?

Select the correct answer and then click Check Your Answer.

O Attacking the Pentagon
O IEDs
O Hate crimes against racial groups
O Protests

The “correct” answer is Protests.