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Saturday, April 28, 2007


Do I Scare You?

Though I haven't really visited the blog much, PostSecret is generally pretty cool. This recent post (above), followed by the following messages, certainly gave me the opportunity to really examine the value of the site:
-----Email Message-----
Sent: Sunday, April 22, 2007 3:33 PM
Subject: Asians Scare Me

Don't worry, after VT, we have more reasons to be scared than you do.
-----End Message-----

-----Email Message-----
Sent: Monday, April 23, 2007 8:02 AM
Subject: PostSecret

I grew up being in fear that I was asian. Now after VT I too am more scared then ever. It's good to see that someone else feels the same way I do . . . That email message made me feel better about the situation we are in now.
-----End Message-----
When I first saw this, I was infuriated. I thought, "Great, so PostSecret is be a place for closet bigots to anonymously air their fear and ignorance?!" I thought about all the responses I could offer that would convey my put-offèd-ness, about how I could submit my own, scathing message that would teach them that--

And then I took a breath.

And I knew that anger does not beget understanding; understanding begets understanding. And I realized that these people were putting on display, if anonymously, their weakness, their fear, their ignorance along side other displays of vulnerability: a photo of a depressed kid's cutting, an apology for a long-ago hurt, an admission of a still-hurting long-ago hurt...

To rail against ignorance is not to enlighten; it is rather to repel. The ignorance must first be accepted to be addressed.

At the bottom of it, what made me mad was the overarching blanket of "Asians" in association with the tragedy at Virginia Tech. When Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold took down a dozen students plus a teacher, were there people harbouring fears of "Whites" because of it? I doubt that PostSecret got any photos inscribed with "Trenchcoat-wearing, Disaffected white youths scare me," let alone, "Whites scare me."

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Young Li Mu Bai

Young Li Mu Bai
Originally uploaded by ebilflindas.

Crouching Tiger Cub, Hidden Dragonling

Young Li Mu Bai

He likes to pretend and play around like he knows kungfu (don't tell him I said that--he insists he really does), but today, he was absolute poetry. This park area is right across the street from his school, and on the way to our car, he asked if he could run around for a bit before going home. Why not, I thought. Just look at that sky. So we went to the car to drop off his things and to grab a blanket (some might accuse me of having a messy car, but I've always got something handy when it's needed!) and his toy sword.

Once I'd laid out the blanket, I turned to see him moving ever so slowly, sword deftly gliding through the air, his other hand--while not precisely forming sword fingers--arcing with deliberate, complimentary movements, and light, yet purposeful footsteps. I was delighted!

He was conceived and born into a martial arts environment--based on the "soft", cultivative practices of gongfu, taiji, and qigong--so it really shouldn't surprise me when he shows some kind of...I dunno...aptitude? But I also don't want to expect it of him--I don't want to push it on him so that he resists it. So it delights me to see him move like this so naturally.

Then again, much of the practice of taiji is learning to move naturally. Being Taoist in origin, in taiji, there is the intent of being as water, or maybe "the uncarved block"; perhaps seeking what Zen Buddhists might ask is "your face before your father was born," or as Christians might say, "...become as a little child..."

Perhaps my delight is in recognition of his pure, natural way; his movement unencumbered by opinion or prejudice; his steps unhindered by fear or shame. My practice may be to regain some of that, but now, also, it is to guide, nurture, and cultivate.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007


The Raw Story | Limbaugh: Virginia Tech killer was a liberal

The Raw Story | Limbaugh: Virginia Tech killer was a liberal

The VA Tech shooter was a liberal. Hillary's words would make Goebbels proud. If a Democrat is elected in '08, expect another "9/11".

I swear, these f#c&tards are trying to make as much noise as they can to drown out the ugly truths that are finally coming to light--the fabrications of Jessica Lynch's and Pat Tillman's heroism.

Not that they weren't heroes. Those who volunteer themselves to the service of their country are heroes--if not to you or me, at least to their loved ones. I know three guys, who I consider family in one way or another, who to me are heroes for their service--for their sincere, honorable service.

If I knew Jessica Lynch or Pat Tillman, I'd probably uphold them heroes, too. I wouldn't need the Defense Department (at the time headed by Donald Rumsfeld) to tell me they were, let alone make up elaborate stories about their heroic deeds.

"The first casualty of war is the Truth," or as Sun Tzu put it over a millenia-and-a-half ago, "All warfare is based on deception." In this case, Limbaugh, Savage (Michael, not Dan), Hannity, and the rest (not to mention this Administration and its Defense Dept.), are the ones who would do Goebbels proud.

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Monday, April 23, 2007


Things aren't looking good for Internet Radio

Independent Internet radio is on the verge of being wiped out.
Well, maybe not entirely wiped out, but pretty close. If you've ever had the commercial-free pleasure of listening to streaming music from Radio Paradise, Pandora, or SomaFM (which is dubiously down as of this writing...), to name a few, get ready to find your fix elsewhere. I don't have it in me to run down what's going on in detail--you can find out more at the above mentioned Radio Paradise, Pandora, or at SaveNetRadio.org--but basically, indy-internet radio stations like these are about to be squeezed out of existence by Copyright Royalty extortion. As Schuyler Erle, blogger at O'Reilly's OnLamp wrote:
...to stay on the air, SomaFM will have to pay about $500 a day in fees to the RIAA. Just to expose you to new music that you wouldn’t hear anywhere else. Just to help you buy more records.
And that's retroactive for 2006, too!

If you have a couple minutes, would you please navigate your way to SaveNetRadio.org and sign the petition they've set up over there? It can't hurt, and it can only help.

I signed the petition and had it sent off to my Senators and Congressman. I got an anemic response from one; awaiting responses from the other two.

From Senator Feistein's response:
The new rate that was established is less than a 5 percent increase of the rate in effect from 1998-2005.
Sure, but then it jumps up to 44.35% (Docket No. 2005-1 CRB DTRA, p.4, para. 2)!
I am a strong believer in intellectual property rights and believe that artists and performers have earned the right to be fairly compensated for the broadcast of their works by webcasters who benefit - financially and otherwise - from their talents. Without fair compensation, these artists would not create their works.
Does she honestly believe that artists and performers will see any of this money? And "webcasters who benefit--financially and otherwise"? I wonder just how many webcasters are profiting such that they must pay more than radio broadcasters who are nothing but profit-driven? And those who benefit "otherwise"? Hmmm, if I were to start a music webcast, it would primarily be to share music that I love; the benefit being that those listening might like what I'm sharing, would be turned on to new music, and maybe seek out more of that music for themselves. So cheerleading for the artists is something I would have to pay for?

I wonder just who these Copyright Royalty Judges are. Considering the appointments nominated and made during this administration, it's not too far a leap for me to wonder about their past and present affiliations.


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Sunday, April 15, 2007


Time to shed that winter coat!

Dad, I wanna look like Ang [protagonist of Avatar: the Last Airbender]

Are you sure?


Want me to do it too?

Yeah! We can be like twins!

Hey, Cueball!
(Click photo to see slide show)

My head looks so pointy next to his!

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YouTube - Otters holding hands

Annie, have you seen this?!

YouTube - Otters holding hands

Saturday, April 14, 2007


16oz Tumblr

From my 16oz Tumblr"
Ren: Hey Dad, you know what's a penguin's predator?
Me: No, what's a penguin's predator?
Ren: A Cheetah Otter.
Me: You mean a leopard seal?
Ren: Yeah, a leopard seal.

Sunday, April 08, 2007


Cereal Wednesdays!

Do you remember the first time you saw something on the Internet and thought, "Wow, you really can find anything on the Internet!"
I remember several of those moments--some titillating, some nauseating.

Just when I thought the Web's boundaries would be tested by the crass and profane (and yes, I'd see some of it), I come across this YouTube gem. (No, it's not pr0n--I think the guy who created this video inserted a bit of a bikini-clad babe as an experiment, to see how it would affect his hits.)

See? You really can find anything online!

(Seriously, it's not porn.)

Heavy Marijuana Use Doesn't Damage Brain

Heavy Marijuana Use Doesn't Damage Brain

By Sid Kirchheimer
WebMD Medical News

July 1, 2003 -- Long-term and even daily marijuana use doesn't appear to cause permanent brain damage, adding to evidence that it can be a safe and effective treatment for a wide range of diseases, say researchers.

The researchers found only a "very small" impairment in memory and learning among long-term marijuana users. Otherwise, scores on thinking tests were similar to those who don't smoke marijuana, according to a new analysis of 15 previous studies.
"We were somewhat surprised by our finding, especially since there's been a controversy for some years on whether long-term cannabis use causes brain damage," says lead researcher and psychiatrist Igor Grant, MD.

"I suppose we expected to see some differences in people who were heavy users, but in fact the differences were very minimal."

Friday, April 06, 2007


Rachel Maddow's Open Letter to Orrin Hatch

from Crooks and Liars
By: Nicole Belle on Thursday, April 5th, 2007 at 9:09 AM - PDT

The Rachel Maddow Show:

Dear Senator Hatch -

You don't call, you don't write…

I've just about exhausted myself trying to get someone in your office to call me back this week. Please apologize to your adorable receptionist on my behalf - the poor man now gets audibly exasperated as soon as I say "hello".

What I'd like to talk with you about is very simple: on NBC's Meet the Press this past Sunday, you said this about Carol Lam, the US Attorney for San Diego who was fired by the Justice Department in December:

"She was a former law professor, no prosecutorial experience, and the former campaign manager in Southern California for Clinton"

I checked the transcript against the video (or click here for the specific clip) and it's clear to me that you weren't misquoted.

Here's my question for you or your staff: what in the Lord's name are you talking about?

Here at Air America, we called John Emerson, who managed Clinton's California campaign in '92 and again in '96 to ask if Carol Lam had been the "campaign manager in Southern California for Clinton" - you might have thought we'd asked him if the sky was green.

First of all, uh, NO, she wasn't.

And second, Carol Lam was an Assistant US Attorney at the time of Clinton's campaigns, and she therefore couldn't have also been a campaign manager for any presidential candidate without violating the (ironically-named) Hatch Act, which restricts political activity by federal government employees.

Then we called a source close to Carol Lam in California, who expressed utter bewilderment at what old Orrin said on Meet the Press.

The source confirmed for us publicly-available documents about Lam's career which indicate that she is not a law professor, she's "been a federal prosecutor for nearly 18 years and [has] never been a fundraiser for any president".

Senator Hatch, what's going on here?

What's going on, indeed? Why does this have to come from an oft-marginalized talk radio host? Why are Rethuglicans allowed to spew, not mere inaccuracies, but plain lies on MEET THE PRESS?!

Monday, April 02, 2007


Does LL know about this?

Your cellphone is not a boom box!

Everybody to the Limit

So we went to the movies last night. We saw "Meet the Robinsons" with some friends. It was, as most movies are these days, at a big multi-plex in a mall. Which is fine--I never go to the mall (as a matter of public safety), and the movie let out after mall hours, so not many knuckleheads were around. Notice I didn't say not any, but not many. Which isn't really saying anything, since all it takes is a couple shitwits to make me swear off of the general public.

Like I said, we got out of the movie after mall hours, but to take advantage of post-movie traffic, Starbucks and Cinnabon stay open a bit later. While I got a cup of coffee (yes, I do occasionally patronize Starbucks--I actually used to work there, but that's a whole 'nother story. You gotta pick your battles, and I wasn't about to get coffee from the cinnamon bun joint), my friends got some sticky-sweets at Cinnabon. While we sat and enjoyed each others' company, watching Ren as he ran around in neverending circles, a handful of kids sat at a table next to ours. After a bit, I noticed that the incessant buzzing I was hearing was coming from their group. I looked over and saw that they had a cellphone sitting in the center of the table playing music.

Ok, now I can accept that some people really dig the all-in-one gadgetry, ie the mp3-playing-camera-phone-PDA. But I don't care if you're playing my favourite song (it's free to download!)--it's still gonna sound like shit coming out of your cellphone's loudspeaker! I humoured myself by remembering a young, skinny LL Cool J as he averred his need for his Radio.

Sunday, April 01, 2007


ho cant riTe


The Interwebs is a funny place today, like Technorati getting anagrammatical with its name (above). The funniest I've seen today is Google offering TiSP: "free in-home wireless broadband service" (watch out, it might scratch the porcelain).

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