Monthly Archives: August 2007

Senatorial and Societal Sauciness

With Sen. Larry Criag (R-Idaho) joining the list of politicians nailed for surreptitious sauciness, we feel it is incumbent upon us to laugh like a truck full of fools at the utter silliness of the whole situation.

Two facts:  Humans like sexual activity.  It is one of those down-in-the-DNA things that are hardwired into us.  It feels good.  It lowers your blood pressure.  You get an endorphin flood from it and it is a somewhat important component for breeding other humans.  Like it or not, we are also animals and we are predisposed to wanting and enjoying sexual activity. 

Morality, the control of where, when, how and in what context humans engage in sexual activity, is a learned behavior.  Religion, family and societal conditioning are very large components of morality that change sexual activity patterns and practices.  The two are inextricably intertwined.  Again, like it or not, we are also socialized animals.

(Personal Morality Disclosure:  If the participants are of the age of majority and can actively consent, I have no issue, as long as the participants keep it private and discreet.  Those three conditions means no kids, no animals, no tonsil hockey on the subway, please.  The details, I don’t want to know about it)

The list of politicians who have been caught in various shenanigans is too long to be recited, even here.  However, the reason many have been caught is quite clear:  Lack of Discretion.

Entering a leadership position in a societal structure usually entails surrendering personal privacy and personal morality for raw, unadulterated Power.  Power, to quote Hank Kissinger, is the ultimate aphrodisiac.  Which leads me to a vivid mental picture of Margaret Thatcher and her consort Dennis, later in the evening, after declaring war on Argentina over the Falkland Islands.  I’ll need an extended session of self-trepanation with a 3/8" drill to get rid of that image.

The immediate loss of privacy is part of the deal for power.  Setting yourself up as a Moral Leader means you must behave as an exemplary example of all things Moral, by what ever definition the electorate is fond of this week.

Where we get all bent out of shape is when those in a leadership position say one thing and do another.  The hypocrisy of it makes us outraged and crusty because the leaders’ lack of discretion has led to us being confronted with hard evidence that our leaders are mere mortals too.

By being humans we’re intertwined in the rope of sexuality and morality in every possible combination, permutation and association you care to mention.  Which is at best, confusing, possibly uncomfortable and potentially unsanitary.

Feel free to lead, but do not take a moral position unless you are willing to back it up with behaviors that reflect that moral position.  Or, if you choose to lead, take a moral stance and get caught deviating from it, learn this quote from the Duke of Wellington:  "Publish and Be Dammed"

I think it would be lovely if a leader caught in one of those situations simply said "So what?  At least I’m getting some.  Next question?"  The media would have a collective stroke and possibly fall over dead.  I’m not seeing a downside to that.



Michael Vick's Career Flush

The deep sucking sound you heard yesterday, was Michael Vick’s career going down the toilet.  Having cut a plea deal on dogfighting, the Atlanta Falcons quarterback grabbed the handle and flushed his career away in a press conference. 

The story that Vick had been running a dogfighting ring and betting on the outcomes is almost too grisly to comment upon.  Historically, dogfighting, bearbaiting and the rest of the animal bloodsports have been going on since shortly after humans started walking upright.  Given the right circumstances you could probably get rabbits to fight to the death and it is a given that somewhere nearby a person would be taking bets on the outcome.  Humans are like that.

My bias, I’ll put up front: I do eat beef and wear leather shoes.  Pork is a wondrous meat and fish, fresh from a stream, pan fried on the shore is about as good as you can get.  Veal, I will eat if served, but I don’t buy it, as I think immobilizing a year-old cow or steer merely for tender meat is not right.  Yes, I know we boil lobsters alive and I have done it personally.  I have skinned and dressed the carcasses of a few animals and fish that I have either hunted, or caught.  I know what goes into sausages and I have been to a slaughterhouse, so I know how my steak was made.

I will live with the contradictions, as being a carnivore does not make my opinion regarding animal cruelty less important.  I’m merely going to recognize my contradictions up front.

Wagering on organized animal cruelty compounds the offense.  Which explains the instant suspension without pay from the NFL.  One bright light at the Atlanta-Journal Constitution newspaper has done a bit of back of the envelope calculating and figured that dogfighting has cost Michael Vick about $51 million in endorsements.  The other shoe that we’re waiting on, is how much jail time?

The likelihood is a year, plus probation, which means three to six months, then the probation, as Michael Vick is not your next door neighbor.  If you or I ran a dogfighting ring, we’d be looking at five years, then three on probation.

The mere fact that we have dogfighting, cockfighting or other animal blood sports and I include bullfighting in there, as well as calf-roping and steer wrestling, is the part that makes no sense in the year 2007.  There is no need for it. 

Is it some kind of fashion statement?  Some kind of street-cred machismo to engender respect?

The dumb part is it isn’t actually that difficult.  There is no physical danger, no real personal blood involved.  You’re watching something else do your posing, fighting and dying for you.  It doesn’t take any more bravery than going to the 7-11 in a tricked out Land Rover.

If you want to butch up and show how tough you are, enter bare knuckles fistfights, take boxing lessons, or become an Ultimate Fighter type of athlete.   The truly tough sure as hell aren’t on a football field, ball diamond, race track, soccer pitch, or in the back yard organizing dogfights. 

Those who think they get a bigger dick and more respect from watching pair of dogs fight are cowards and poseurs of the first order because they are not in any danger whatsoever.  None.  They’re in more danger when they go on a roller coaster than running an animal bloodsport.

Want to show the world how big your dick really is and how much respect you really deserve?  Why not enlist?  You get to prove how tough you are when people shoot real bullets at you.  You get to prove how tough you really are if your leg gets removed with an IED and the blood is your own blood, not some dog blood.  Wager on the patrols if betting is what gets you off. 

Those who serve in the military, male and female, have a big set that clank when they walk.  They are truly tough, deserve true respect and have more street-cred in their little finger than Michael Vick or his ilk would have in their whole extended families.  

Poseurs and cowards run things like dogfights and deserve exactly how much ‘respect’ and street-cred?



Friday Is as Friday Does

This weeks’ collection of the lame, the halt and the deeply disturbed, including the last weenie roast of the summer.

From AFP On Wednesday

A Japanese game maker said Wednesday it would withdraw arm-wrestling machines from arcades after three players — two of them foreigners — broke their arms.  Players would choose a strength level from 10 characters, ranging from a maid to a professional wrestler, and face off with an artificial arm on the other side of the table.  A 25-year-old South Korean man broke his right arm while playing the game in Osaka, while a 19-year-old Frenchman and 24-year-old Japanese man also suffered arm fractures, the company said.

Atlus, a Tokyo-based arcade game maker, said it will remove the 155 machines of the game — called "Udedamashii," which means Arms Spirits — which were put into service just a month ago.

"We had done careful simulations on the possibility of injuries before putting it on sale, but unexpected accidents can happen with game machines when people are too excited or fail to follow instructions," a company spokeswoman said. "But I’m afraid some foreign nationals couldn’t understand the instructions well as it was written only in Japanese," she said. By paying 100 yen, or just under one dollar, the player would have two battles of strength.

I’ll pay the $1 to pit any 13 year-old boy without a girlfriend against the machine, as long as he can have a copy of FHM or Maxim to help. 

From the Times Leader in Wilkes-Barre, PA  Police officer charged with prostitution

Part-timer for Newport Township arrested in sting at W-B motel. By Edward Lewis

A Newport Township part-time police officer was working as an escort when he was arrested in a prostitution sting at a Wilkes-Barre motel on Friday, according to arrest papers.  Levi Gibbon Jr., 40, of East North Street, Wilkes-Barre, was charged by the state police Organized Crime Unit with a single count of prostitution. He was arraigned before Hanover Township District Judge Joseph Halesey and released on $5,000 bail.

Newport Township Solicitor Richard Shiptoski said Gibbon has been suspended without pay until resolution of the charge, a third-degree misdemeanor. Gibbon couldn’t be reached for comment on Tuesday.

I know being a part time cop does not pay well, but couldn’t he check the schedule before going to his other job.

From ABCNews  Aug 22, 2007

BEIJING (Reuters) – A Beijing factory recycled used chopsticks and sold up to 100,000 pairs a day without any form of disinfection, a newspaper said on Wednesday, the latest in a string of Chinese food and product safety scares.

Counterfeit, shoddy and dangerous products are widespread in China, whose exports have been rocked in recent months by a spate of safety scandals, ranging from pet food to medicine, tires, toothpaste and toys. Officials raided the factory and seized about half a million pairs of recycled disposable bamboo chopsticks and a packaging machine, the Beijing News said.

The owner, identified only by his surname Wu, said he had sold the recycled chopsticks for 0.04 yuan a pair and made an average of about 1,000 yuan ($130) a day. Wu, who had no license to sell the goods, said he had sold 100,000 pairs a day when business was good.

From AFP under the heading to Tit for Tat

(Xinhua) China said Wednesday it had discovered many safety problems with soybeans imported from the United States, urging US authorities to deal with the problem.  "Inspection and quarantine units in various areas have discovered a large number of quality and safety problems with imports of US soybeans," the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said.

"We have reported this to the US side, demanding that it look into the causes and adopt effective measures to ensure that a situation like this does not repeat itself," it said on its website.  It detailed a series of safety problems, including the discovery of sorghum halepense and other exotic harmful weeds among the soybeans.  There was no mention in the statement of any plan to restrict or halt imports of US soybeans.

Recent global scares over the safety of China’s exports — ranging from toys to clothes to toothpaste — have not made major headlines in the nation’s state-run media. However, frequent reports have emerged about safety problems in goods imported into China, especially from the United States.

On Monday, China said it had returned 272 heart pacemakers imported from the United States after they failed quality inspections.  The Xinhua news agency quoted the general administration as saying the pacemakers posed potential threats to patients’ lives as they could cause misdiagnoses.

Of course there were defective pacemakers, half the components were made in China and the other half in that hotbed of medical device technology, Taiwan.  Perhaps it is just a way for Taiwan to get even…

Survey: Seniors Have Sex Into 70s, 80s

(AP) An unprecedented study of sex and seniors finds that many older people are surprisingly frisky – willing to do, and talk about, intimate acts that would make their grandchildren blush. That may be too much information for some folks, but it comes from the most comprehensive sex survey ever done among 57- to 85-year-olds in the United States.

Sex and interest in it do fall off when people are in their 70s, but more than a quarter of those up to age 85 reported having sex in the previous year. And the drop-off has a lot to do with health or lack of a partner, especially for women, the survey found.

The federally funded study, done by respected scientists and published in Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine, overturns some stereotypical notions that physical pleasure is just a young person’s game.  "Most people assume that people stop doing it after some vague age," said sex researcher Edward Laumann of the University of Chicago. However, more than half of those aged 57 to 75 said they gave or received oral sex, as did about a third of 75- to 85-year-olds.

The rumor is that there is sex in the afterlife.  The drawback?  You can’t feel it.

And to wind up with the final summer weenie roast… 

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A woman set fire to her ex-husband’s penis as he sat naked watching television and drinking vodka, Moscow police said Wednesday. Asked if the man would make a full recovery, a police spokeswoman said it was "difficult to predict."

The attack climaxed three years of acrimonious enforced co-habitation. The couple divorced three years ago but continued to share a small flat, something common in Russia where property costs are very high.  "It was monstrously painful," the wounded ex-husband told Tvoi Den newspaper. "I was burning like a torch. I don’t know what I did to deserve this."

Hmmm.  Would sitting around the apartment for three years, watching television, naked and drinking vodka all day long constitute a ‘reason’ for your ex to set fire to you?  She was probably trying to see if you were still alive. 



China: More Problems

There has been a lot of blowback about the People’s Republic of China in the media over the last couple of weeks.  The continuing storylines are the usual things:  Food Safety  Lead Paint  No standards  Corrupt Practices  Economic Blackmail  Police State and so on.

Overlooked in all this is the PRC’s determination to take a firm stand on reincarnation. 

From Newsweek in a piece by Matthew Phillips, China has banned Buddhist monks in Tibet from reincarnating without government permission.  I’ll quote the article here:  According to a statement issued by the State Administration for Religious Affairs, the law, which goes into effect next month and strictly stipulates the procedures by which one is to reincarnate, is "an important move to institutionalize management of reincarnation."

Of course, the real story is the Chinese government messing with Tibet in general and the Dalai Lama in particular, reincarnation of the Dalai Lama being a core tenet of Buddhism.  Perhaps the more absurd side of this, is that the US Department of Homeland Paranoia didn’t come up with it first. 

One could almost imagine Mikey Chertoff and Shotgun Dick at a signing ceremony in the White House:  The bill, called Reincarnation Enhancement as part of the Secure Homeland Institutional Terror Statutes would very specifically outlaw any suicide bombers from getting the 72 nicey-niceys or coming back to this life as anything except illegal aliens. 

I mean really, if President Jo Jo The Idiot Boy isn’t going to protect us from terrorists reincarnating, then, hey, we might as well go on Rush Limbaugh and whine for the next four weeks about how the government is abnegating their responsibilities, leaving us open to another 9/11.  I could probably book an appearance on O’Reilly too.  

I need some letterhead along the lines of Americans Reincarnating Securely Everywhere and a few hundred names on a petition.  If Ann Coulter can draw an audience with her inanities, then protests about reincarnated terrorists isn’t that far a leap.

This might work.  That’s the scary part.  It might just work. 



Elvis Still Dead, but Julius Lives On

Today is the thirtieth anniversary of Elvis going to the can and stroking out on the toilet.  In two days, it will also be the thirtieth anniversary of the passing of Julius Henry Marx. 

Now, I’m not one to say that Elvis’ passing wasn’t the death of a star of a high order, but the passing of Julius Henry Marx was overshadowed by the death of ‘The King’ so to speak.  I think it is time to recognize the contribution of Julius Henry "Groucho" Marx at least as much as the contribution of Elvis to our culture.

Consider this:  Groucho and the Marx Brothers were stars on vaudeville and Broadway from basically 1915 until the 1930’s.  When radio was starting out, Groucho and Chico moved to radio in the glory days of the 30’s and 40’s.  Harpo couldn’t make the transition to radio very well. 

The Marx Brothers were quite possibly the first multi-media crossover stars:  Broadway, Radio, Film, Print and later, Television.  Howard Stern might be King of All Media, but the Marx Brothers owned the title before Maarshall McLuhan called it media in 1962.

Songs?  Groucho has one classic to his credit:  "Lydia The Tattooed Lady".  Most of the Marx Brothers’ songs in vaudeville, Broadway and the movies were written notables like Irving Berlin, Gus Kahn, Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg, Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby:  All first lights of the American Songbook.

Movies?  Their first film, Humor Risk, in 1921 was a silent one-reeler that the Marx Brothers, being well-off Broadway stars, mostly self-financed.  Rumor has it, it was never released, and to quote Groucho the prints were "cut up into mandolin picks". 

The first Marx Brothers movie more broadly released was The Cocoanuts in 1929. The last cinematic appearance was Groucho in 1968, in Otto Preminger’s SkidooGroucho owned television in the 1950’s with his quiz show You Bet Your Life.

I’m leaving out more stage work, television, books and print as each of the brothers did their share even in retirement.  Groucho eventually played Carnegie Hall in 1972 and released a double album called An Evening with Groucho.  It is a classic you should listen to at least once in your life to hear the original voice, steeped in the history of showbusiness, when it was showbusiness, not shallow celebrity and person-of-the-moment cellphone camera hysteria.

Zeppo was the last of the Marx Brothers to pass away, November 30th, 1979.  Herbert was actually quite inventive:  His company, Marman Products, invented a type of ring clamp used in WWII to secure the atom bomb to the innards of the Enola Gay.  Marman clamps are still used in aviation to this day.  He was also their agent and apparently a fierce one when it came to cutting a deal.

At the end of the day, Groucho lives on:  Elvis is still dead.  

Two quotes to close this piece:

I don’t care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members.

And the last lines of a song from Animal Crackers by Kalmar and Ruby.

I’ll stay a week or two

I’ll stay the summer through

But I am telling you

I must be going



Shenzen and the Tinfoil Hat Brigade

In Shenzhen, China, a port city on the Pearl River, a bit north of Hong Kong, is going to be the home of an experiment that might just curl your hair.

According to an article in the NYTimes the authorities are taking identity cards to the next step.  The card will contain not merely the name and address of the holder, but also work history, education, religion, ethnicity, police record, medical insurance and the landlord’s phone number.  The reason for this?  Fighting Crime, of course. 

This is a little easier in China than, oh, let’s say the US, or Canada, as the government in China can do whatever they want.  Ostensibly, we have controls here. 

This was illustrated by a comment quoted by the author, Keith Bradsher, in the NYTimes story:  "If they do not get the permanent card, they cannot live here, they cannot get government benefits and that is a way for the government to control the population in the future," said Michael Lin, the VP for investor relations at China Public Security Technology, the company providing the technology. Plans are afoot to include credit histories, subway travel payments and even small purchases to the functionality of the ID Card.

Short form?  China is going to tag their citizens like cattle, put more cameras everywhere and use face recognition software to track down miscreants:  The whole system is built for it.  Interestingly enough, the whole system is GPS-based, powered by big North America companies who provide the software, hardware and skills to put the whole thing together.

China Public Security Technology, the company providing the technology, is incorporated in Florida, China Public Security has raised much of the money to develop its technology from two investment funds in Plano, Tex., Pinnacle Fund and Pinnacle China Fund. Three investment banks — Roth Capital Partners in Newport Beach, Calif.; Oppenheimer & Company in New York; and First Asia Finance Group of Hong Kong — helped raise the money.

Check out their website at if you want to eyeball their SEC filings, as they are an over the counter stock.

As it stands now, Britain has something like one CCTV camera per 14 citizens.  Chicago has promised the Loop will have a complete 2,000 camera remote surveillance system shortly.  They already have ‘gunshot detector’ cameras mounted in certain ‘high crime’ areas.  Toll-Road EZ-Pass data is obtainable in divorce court proceedings in New Jersey.  New York City already has 1,000 cameras in the subways, with another 3,100 monitoring city housing projects.

COMPASS, the traffic monitoring system in Ontario has 104 cameras watching over us.  Right now, I’m watching the intersection of the Airport Parkway and Hunt Club Road in Ottawa.  Traffic is moving fine, by the way.

There are no statistics about how many private CCTV systems exist, like the ones used in stores to stop shoplifters, or watch over the cash register.  For that matter, there are also no legal controls over what the store can do with the images they collect. 

The Face Recognition Vendor Test for 2006 asked for participants and got a lot of applicants.  The results were not as wonderful as the tinfoil hat brigade would suggest, in that false positive identifications were a little too high still.  Vendors in the casino industry security space, however, claim that their software can spot a cheat with little more than a blurry shot of someone’s’ left eyebrow.  The truth is somewhere between the two ends of the spectrum.

Which brings us back to the Identity Card system in Shenzen.  How easy would it be to implement in Canada?  Too easy is the accurate answer. 

If you check your drivers’ license or health card, you’ll see a big, fat, magnetic stripe and probably a bar-code readable area.  That’s all it takes to find you in the database in the sky. The question becomes what data can be incorporated into your record.  Shenzhen wants to have everything, including, if the face recognition software works out, your whereabouts at any given time based on surveillance CCTV cameras. 

It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if The Department of Homeland Paranoia is looking longingly at Shenzen and the Peoples’s Republic of China, using them as a beta test.  A beta test?  Dave, that’s a bit over the top, even for you?  Not really, the companies providing the technology are all American companies.  

I’ve worked on systems (older ones) that did license plate recognition, using infrared cameras to read your car tag, front, back or both, that could sort and match things in under two seconds.  This was before the high speed systems we have now, in the mists of time known as i386 and 486 days.  Face recognition software is another step in matching a unique metric to a person.

Faces are almost all unique.  Take four or five measurements and you can probably come up with a unique number for the face attached to the body.  These are things you can do at home, if you want to.  Measure your intraocular distance, that distance between the irises of both eyes, like your optometrist does, with his or her little steel ruler.  That’s one unique number.

Measure from the notch on your brow where your nose joins your forehand, to the tip of your nose.  Another number.  Measure from tip of nose to tip of your jawbone, then measure a triangle from ear hole to jaw tip, to ear hole, as well as the angles of that triangle.  Don’t bother noting that you have a four-colour snake tattoo on your face and enough piercings to sound like an ocarina on a windy day. Then measure the little patch of skin between the bottom of your nose and the top of your upper lip. 

You now have enough data to do a really cheap, probably effective, numerical representation of the landmarks of your face, or any face.     

Add’ em all up and then search for faces in your library that have a value near your value.  You now have come very close to recognizing a face.  Where do you get a library of faces?  Mug shots from the cops will do nicely, thanks.  Drivers’ Licenses, Health Cards, Costco Membership Cards and Company ID will also supplement the database. 

The relationships between those numbers, (your intraocular distance being .987 of the length of your nose, while nose to jaw is 1.244 of your nose length and 1.863 of your intraocular distance) is what you really want.  If you have the relationship between landmarks, then you can search by the relationships:  Find me everyone with a nose this long and at least an ear-hole to jaw distance of this number on either left or right, as most faces are close to symmetric from ear-hole to jaw, left side or right side.

I am simplifying beyond absurdity here, plugging in some fanciful numbers.  Face recognition software uses several dozen landmarks, the more landmarks; the more accuracy, but the core concept is the same.  Reduce a face to landmarks and derive a big number from it, out to a few dozen decimal places. 

Big Math says if you can do a measurement remotely, you can narrow your search down to a few faces that come close to matching.  A database is just Big Math for comparing and searching.  Face Recognition Software is a way to automate finding and measuring landmarks, then assigning a value to it with the least amount of human intervention. 

All you have to do is say that Jerimiah Fleegus has a face of this value, a credit score of this value, a health card of this value and a drivers’ license of this value.  Add in his address, organ donor status and a few other impertinent facts, burn it onto the back of his ID card and voila!  Jerimiah Fleegus is now searchable, even in crowds of people. 

Tie in some other data, like Jerimiah Fleegus’ car was noted coming downtown a half-hour earlier on a toll-road, then he bought a sub (Chicken Teriyaki, 6-inch, whole wheat) using his debt card one block away, not twenty minutes ago.  A public CCTV camera spotted someone close to Jerimiah Fleegus’ face coming out of the restaurant and heading to the ball park. 

Then a camera at the ball park pedestrian ramp noted a face, sort of like Jerimiah’s, climbing to a seat in the high up seats.  We already know he has season tickets to the Jays and the seats are in the nosebleeds, from his credit card records. 

So where is Jerimiah Fleegus?  Probably at the ball game, watching the Jays beat the Anaheim Angles like a cheap gong, 4-1 in front of 31,978 fans.  We checked, using the cameras in the stands, and yep, there was Jerimiah, so far above the third base line that he is closer to the CN Tower Observation Deck than field level. 

He’ll check out of the car park around 10:30 PM and be on the toll road near 10:55 PM.  If the car gets off on the Hurontario exist of the toll-road, then he’s probably going home.  If we check his Rogers PVR later tonight, we’ll see that he watched an old episode of Mythbusters around midnight and skipped over the commercials.  Then he turned it off at 0040 hrs and went to bed.

So then this story,  U.S. to Expand Domestic Use Of Spy Satellites off the front page of WSJ online, by ROBERT BLOCK August 15, 2007; Page A1 would point to more societal management coming our way:

"The U.S.’s top intelligence official has greatly expanded the range of federal and local authorities who can get access to information from the nation’s vast network of spy satellites in the U.S.

The decision, made three months ago by Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell, places for the first time some of the U.S.’s most powerful intelligence-gathering tools at the disposal of domestic security officials. The move was authorized in a May 25 memo sent to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff asking his department to facilitate access to the spy network on behalf of civilian agencies and law enforcement."

The capabilities of American spy satellites are subject to much speculation, most of it ill-informed or wildly exaggerated.  They don’t need to see if Vladimir Putin shakes it with his left hand or his right hand. 

For the record, Putin is right-handed, and he doesn’t strike me as the kind of person who would take piss outside, unless he was at his dacha at Solovyovka.  Solovyovka is just off the M56, but is well wooded, so he could take a leak in the woods, if so inclined.  I’m reasonably certain somewhere in the depths of Homeland Paranoia or the DIA Mapping Branch, there exists pictures that prove or disprove Putin’s handedness, as well as his predilection for taking a piss in the forest. I digress.

We know Google Earth and MS Maps Live have the resolution needed to see license plates.  There are enough anecdotal stories about people being photographed from great height, sunbathing nude in the backyard,or coming out of peeler bars, for it to be funny anymore. 

We know that the Toronto police are using airborne Infrared cameras to find houses that have too many lights on at 0300:  This usually indicates a grow operation and as often as not, means a group of unfriendly people are coming in the door.  Unfriendly to the tennant at least. 

Data mining we’ve talked about before, but this is almost into the realm of speculative fiction until you stop and think about it.  The ability to have this level of data about everyone in a few seconds short of real time, is perfectly doable right now.  There is no magic involved, or special computers with a black hole suspended in space plasma at their center.

The issue is not the doing.  The issue is the why we’re doing it.   



Rove Pulls the Pin

Karl Rove, longtime puppet-meister of the Terror Troika of Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rove, has finally pulled the pin on his career at the top tier of politics. 

Kousin Karl, architect of President Jo Jo The Idiot Boy, since Texas Governor days, said in a Wall Street Journal piece by John D. McKinnon, that; "I just think it’s time," Mr. Rove said in the interview. "There’s always something that can keep you here, and as much as I’d like to be here, I’ve got to do this for the sake of my family."

Kousin Karl has been sniffing the Bush athletic supporters and other foundation garments since 1973 when he was Special Assistant to Daddy Bush as Chairman of the Republican National Committee. 

The big break came in 1984 when Daddy said he’d fund a corporation to put some fresh, working, electronics in his eponymous son George "Give Baby a Lap Dance!" Bush and stand him up as a meat puppet for the Texas gubernatorial election.  Karl and some of the other fixers did good work and got Dubya elected in ’94 and again in ’98.

Two years later, after regrooving the Dubya software and putting some of the electronics in First Puppet Peggy Hill, Kousin Karl ran it for President of the Whole Shebang against Al Gore and won, more or less.  This put Kousin Karl in a position of Great Power along with the ex-Daddy Bush cronies like Shotgun Dick, Donnie Rumsfeld, Irv Libby, Rickie Pearle, Wolfie Wolfowitz, Fast Fred Fielding, Slick Rick Armitage, the Z-Man, Zalmay Khalilzad and Dougie Feith.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the chain-whipping specialists of "Larry" Ari Fleisher and Victoria "Torie" Clarke, who thought that genital electrocution was merely a prelude to permanent attitude adjustment for reporters unfriendly to the White House and Pentagon.  Larry Ari Fleischer’s weapon of choice was a bricklayer’s hammer, while TC used her Death Ray stare to boil the kidneys of recalcitrant reporters. 

We know where all that got us.

Now with Kousin Karl walking the plank, it looks like Shotgun Dick is going to drive for a while, from the Undisclosed Location.  I wonder where Karl is going to get the fresh human blood to drink?  Ah.  I forgot, Texas is his home state.