Tom DeLay gets caught again

I can’t believe this guy is still in a position of power!

The Raw Story has broken another amazingly shocking scandal featuring Tom DeLay. It seems that a conservative think tank has been scaring the bejeezus out of senior citizens and then taking money it has collected to pay for posh trips for Tom DeLay. This is so insanely illegal. If this guy is still involved in the government next year, we’ll know that corruption in Washington is irreversible.

Source Watch

Awesome defensive tool against government propoganda

Source Watch exists to tell you who is really behind the messages you hear over and over on the news and punditry talk shows. Definitely worth a stop by…

Weird Weird blogging law

the FEC is extending some laws to the internet and it is getting really stupid.

Article on ZD.net

If this goes through, it could have an incredibly chilling effect on the new world of discourse and public participation in politics that the internet provides. It would also provide a tool for the ruling party to target on-lines sites they don’t like.

Very chilling…

Jahshaka

An open source video editor

Via Robin Good:

Jahshaka is a pretty cool looking open source video editor. Unfortunately the mac binaries are really old compared to the windows and linux ones, so I’m not gonna install it just yet. If you’re on windows and looking for an inexpensive video editing solution, it is worth a look.

Major Seattle show!

The Degenerate Art Ensemble plays their biggest show ever on March 19th in Seattle

DEGENERATE ART ORCHESTRA – a special 45 piece orchestral event!!!!!!
Saturday March 19, 2005 8pm ONE NIGHT ONLY!!!!!
THE MOORE THEATER
Tix: $10-$15
ONLINE: www.degenerateartensemble.com
BY PHONE: (206)292-2787

In the first concert of its kind, Degenerate Art Ensemble has assembled a
powerful roster of some of Seattle’s most creative and innovative musical
minds to create new works for a 45 piece orchestra made up of Seattle’s
finest adventurous classical and improvising musicians. The concert will
feature 10 new orchestral works including four multi-media works; Eyvind
Kang’s new work for solo vocalist and orchestra (Jessika Kenney – trained in
the musics of Indonesia and India), Ben McAllister’s suite for orchestra and
new silent film by William Weiss, Joshua Kohl’s score to accompany a solo
dance by DAE’s own butoh visionary Haruko Nishimura (“a master” -San
Francisco Weekly) and a new interactive work that breaks down the walls
between audience, composer and orchestra by Seattle School (the makers of
Iron Composer).

One night of innovation for full orchestra by 10 of Seattle’s hottest
musical minds- 40 piece orchestra, 11 Seattle Composers, 1 Dancer, 1 silent
film, 3 guest vocalists, 1 trumpet soloist, 1 theatrical work for orchestra

FEATURING NEW ORCHESTRAL AND MULTI MEDIA WORKS BY:
Eyvind Kang (Tzadik Records) – with guest vocalist Jessika Kenny Lori
Goldston (Black Cat Orchestra, David Byrne,
Nirvana)
Seattle School (the makers of Iron Composer) Timothy Young and Paul Moore
(Psychodelic Rock Orchestra, Very Special Forces) Joshua Kohl (Degenerate
Art Ensemble) – featuring a solo dance by Haruko Nishimura Jherek Bischoff
(Degenerate Art Ensemble/Dead Science)
– w/ guest vocalist Dawn McCarthy
Sam Mickens (Degenerate Art Ensemble/Dead Science) Ben McAllister
(Degenerate Art Ensemble/Baby) – featuring a new silent film Ian Rashkin
(Degenerate Art Ensemble/Baby) Tom Swafford (Meisce, Sound of the
Underbrush)

‘They entranced the audience… the secret of their show is perfect drama,
gradation and splendid visuals, and a punk-symphonic-garage-big-band style.
Dynamic upheavals were turning into relaxing passages and everything was
falling into place like wheels in a postmodernist clock machine.”
-Svet Jine Huby Magazine (Prague, Czech Republic)

new works for 45 piece orchestra by:
Jherek Bischoff
Lori Goldston
Eyvind Kang
Joshua Kohl
Ben McAllister
Sam Mickens
Ian Rashkin
Seattle School
Tom Swafford
Timothy Young & Paul Moore

Saturday March 19th, 2005 8pm
Tickets $10-$15

This exciting project is being presented by Seattle Theater Group and funded
in part by the Aaron Copland Fund, 4Culture and the Seattle Office of Arts
and Cultural Affairs.

A FEW NOTES ON DEGENERATE ART ENSEMBLE:

“…their art is a violently beautiful, passionate world where things
don’t have a ‘nice day’, but are either dying or coming to life, screaming
or absolutely silent.”
-The Stranger (Seattle)

“”This music & movement ensemble create work outside of all music and
dance conventions…telling a surreal story filled with sweetness, power and
humor.
The unexpected is accomplished and a mysterious mythology emerges.”
— Berliner Morgenpost, (Berlin, Germany)

“(DAE choreographer Haruko Nishimura) is able to create breathtakingly
powerful images using the sparest movement style.”
-Seattle Post Intelligencer

“(DAE) works to create and perform a living form of music… one derived
from jazz, punk, blues, post modern influences… (to) reflect what
music is in today’s society – a new, and developing thing.”
-Swing Magazine (New York)

“Lines between classical, jazz, world music, and hard rock aesthetics are
obliterated in (DAE’s) eloquently executed, high energy repertoire.”
-SF Weekly (San Francisco)

=====
Go to www.degenerateartensemble.com /music, photos, more!

Free Frame

Finally, a video equivalent of VSTs

I’ve been on kick about this for a while. Having an open, standard, format for plug-ins has made it possible for tons and tons of DIY audio plug-ins. Now with more and more people working with video, it makes sense to finally have a standard for video effects as well. Enter the good open source developers working on Free Frame. Godspeed gentlemen and ladies!

Catching up on the politics of the week

I’ve had a busy week, so I haven’t had time to post, but here is what I’ve been thinking about…

From the Daily Kos :
More spine growth in evidence from the Democrats as they elevate the Jeff Gannon controversy.
The Germans don’t buy into Bush’s “fake” town hall meetings
The Saudis hold an “anti-terrorism” conference that blames the Jews for everything and Bush says “well done!”

From the LA Times:
The Bush administration continues to become more and more like the Stalin Administration

From the Washington Post:
More evidence that living in the US is getting ever more like living in Stalinist Russia

Why I dislike the cashless society

More and more people are carrying less and less cash, that is a huge mistake

Corporate America is making it easier and easier to walk around with only a card in your pocket. For customers, it is convenient: no trips to the ATM to get a coffee, no worries about getting mugged. For Corporate America (and the Government as well), it means that you are a much richer data-mining target and more likely to spend more. For thieves it means that it is ever easier to steal your identity. For the rest of us, it means waiting for ages while you write your check or swipe your card to pay for a $.25 newspaper.

I’m not advocating that everyone carry around $1000 in cash all the time, that would be stupid. Credit cards have their purposes. However, I think that Americans are getting far too dependent on them for the little things. I think that this is part of the reason why our consumer debt is at record levels. If you have cash in your pocket, you are aware of how much money you are spending on a very visceral level. If spending $100 or $5 involves the exact same transaction, It is doubtful that you think so much about how the amounts you are spending are adding up.

Every time you use a credit card, or club card, or any cash substitute, you create a record in a database. This record will let someone know what you spent, when you spent it and what you spent it on. As these records pile up, corporations (and government) can create a fairly accurate profile of you and your interests. Corporations want this information so that they can more directly sell to you (I’m open-minded enough to acknowledge that this may not be a bad thing, ie: Amazon’s recommendations). Government wants this information so that they can track their citizens and maybe look for evil-doers (depending on your level of trust in the government, this may or may not be a bad thing, I think it is a scary thing given this government). Each one of these records also makes it easier for someone to steal your identity. These records are stored and replicated all over the place. A thief only has to find a single unsecured database to get your personal information.

Now you can ignore my warnings and do whatever the heck you want. This is a free country. Here is my final argument: sometimes it is just plain rude. When you write a check or use a card, you waste time. It is slower than cash. It is always slower than cash. Making a line of people wait while you write out a check and then fill in your register is just rude. Ditto for swiping your card and waiting while the card reader connects to the system and prints out the receipt. Again, I understand this in a grocery line where you are spending a lot of money. I can’t stand this at my local coffee shop, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen it.

Of course, the government is planning to add RFID tags to cash soon so a lot of the privacy arguments for cash will go away…

Gang o’ DVD reviews…

A sick weekend prompts a slew of rentals, here is the quick and dirty

The Motorcycle Diaries – A very well shot and acted account of the early days of Che Guevara
My Architect – An excellent documentary from the son of Louis Kahn
The Newsroom Complete Series – An awesomely funny short-lived series from the CBC in the spirit, but predating, the BBC series “The Office”
Cellular – Big hollywood thriller that bugged me at first, but then I got into enough to finish watching it.