The blog incarnation of the Desperado mailing list, the voice of the apocryphalypse since 1978.
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Despicable and utterly irresponsible spam. Worst phishing ever.
This one is nasty. Really rank.
This morning I received mail claiming to be from "email@example.com", but with obvious spoof address characteristics.
The phony story:
Early this morning two CNN Journalists discovered the CCTV footage that will shock the world. At 3.29am President George Bush was shot dead by an Islamic Militant suspected of working for Al-Qaida. As yet to be released to the nation due to the governments concerns over national Security, CNN has decided to inform the public of this terrible event. A short CCTV clip as evidence of this tragedy has been posted here (URL deleted).
I don't want George W. Bush to die, I want him to spend the rest of his life squirming, wincing, and whining as the entire country denounces him.
PS – Since I get all my spam on my Unix account using steam-powered Emacs rmail, the message was unformatted. Virtually all HTML-encoded email I get on that account is spam or phishing.
Thus, in addition to spotting the spam by the sender's ID, I was also treated to the usual spate of spamfighter-fighting random text:
Sometimes taxidermist toward strokes, but diskette toward always plan an escape from particle accelerator beyond tabloid!grand piano near prays, and beyond globule hesitates; however, for ball bearing throw at..But they need to remember how often chess board beyond prays.But they need to remember how wisely wedding dress related to steam engine sweeps the floor.Most cream puffs believe that defined by polar bear give lectures on morality to fruit cake around hockey player.Dallas, although somewhat soothed by dust bunny beyond and over spider.
PPS - I called the Secret Service. We concluded it was virus bait. Should have thought of that, but it makes it more despicable, really. Half the people following the link will think the sky is falling and the other half will think they'll be the first to see a snuff video. Ughs all around!
It doesn't matter if you're left or right. Bush is an embarrassment to real men.
BY PETE KOTZ firstname.lastname@example.org
If Bush was a real man, he'd know he never earned his bones.
The man on TV swaggers like he's undefeated in 57 Collinwood bar fights. He threatens, he talks big, he's fearless. His are the pronouncements of a badass.
Meet George Bush, consummate man.
It's a noble thing he seeks. While the Manly Man has fallen from fashion, replaced by The Sensitive Guy who can cook a five-course meal while discussing his feelings of inadequacy, the rules for real men have been around for thousands of years, and they've always been simple and good:
You work hard. You provide. You look out for the weak and speak when everyone else is afraid. You make your shoulders available to those who need carrying.
It doesn't matter who you are or what you do. This is the one-size-fits-all path to honor.
Unfortunately, Bush, like so many others, confuses attitude with masculinity.
The Presidential debates are a joke, two pieces of projected party apparatus extending into the same space at the same time, with actual debate, or any kind of smoking out of the candidates, strictly forbidden.
Here web log within web log within web log is a Koscite within Change for America within me, meaning it's virtually a sure thing:
Jon Stewart For Debate Moderator Food for thought (via Kos):
Viewers of late-night comedy programs, especially The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on the cable channel Comedy Central, are more likely to know the issue positions and backgrounds of presidential candidates than people who do not watch late-night comedy, the University of Pennsylvania’s National Annenberg Election Survey shows.
Polling conducted between July 15 and Sept. 19 among 19,013 adults showed that on a six-item political knowledge test people who did not watch any late-night comedy programs in the past week answered 2.62 items correctly, while viewers of Late Night with David Letterman on CBS answered 2.91, viewers of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno answered 2.95, and viewers of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart answered 3.59 items correctly. That meant there was a difference of 16 percentage points between Daily Show viewers and people who did not watch any late-night programming.
See! We know more stuff. I say throw him in the moderator chair. It will be the most engaging debate in the history of politics. No one will be safe.
Instead of the servile citizen, Jim Lehrer, a major contributor to the success of Bush through his unctuous debate moderation in 2000, let us have Jon Stewart. the stand-up citizen and people's smartass, to moderate the debates. So it is written, so it should be done.
After the election, Kerry will be just awful enough to keep Jon Stewart on his case, that way maybe we can get some good out of Kerry too.
PS -- Original link viaDiscourse.net (one whole level of embedding skipped) and Lehrer originally confused with McNeill. -- Ed
Rumsfeld: "At some point the Iraqis will get tired of getting killed and we’ll have enough of the Iraqi security forces that they can take over responsibility for governing that country and we’ll be able to pare down the coalition security forces in the country."
Ed's translation: If we had some ham we could have some ham and eggs, if we had some eggs, not to mention some butter, and some salt, and some pepper, and a frying pan to jump out of, and a fire to jump into.
It's sad to think how much good evangelical music these obtrusive subway preachers could have come up with to foil this imp of Satan, but, alas, no, they were defeated:
Me: “If you all don’t lower your voices and cease calling me Satan, I will have to sing show tunes.”
The other straphangers look at me with stony faces.
I begin to sing.
“Its very clear, our love is here to stay. Not for a year, but forever and a day…”
Preacher lady and the Jesus police start mumbling and beseeching G_d to strike me down and boil me in molten tar. (I look better in silver.)
The train reaches Wall Street. Confused subway riders check out the scene. I begin swaying and feeling the music.
The slamming Bible man looks like he is going to pop a blood vessel. “I cast ye out, Satan.”
I go into jazz dance crouch and then spring up to belt out, “THAAAAAAT OLD BLACK MAGIC, HAS ME IN A SPELL…”
Bible man has to get off the train as I wriggle and shimmy. “That same old witchcraft when your eyes meet mine!”
In their just released annual report "Homefront Confidential," the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press provides a lengthy list of actions taken by public officials to turn basic government information into state secrets. Lucy Dalglish explains why the public should be concerned about the information it is not getting.
H.G. Wells said "There are two kinds of people in the world, those who think there are two kinds of people in the world, and those who don't.:
The contemporary version might be, "There are two kinds of people in the world, those who take seriously David Brooks and his multipleattempts at discerning the two kinds of people in the world and those who don't, who ignore David Brooks, or perhaps have never even heard of this "liberal's favorite conservative".
There are two kinds of people in the world, those who are dope and those who are dopes.
There are two kinds of people inside my single skull.
Although not a terrorist, I carry a jackknife. It's a Buck, small enough to fit in the watch pocket of my jeans. When the thumb-post for one-handed opening fell off, I packaged it up to take advantage of Buck's lifetime warranty.
Dialogue at the post office:
"Does the package contained liquid, poison, firearms, explosives or anything dangerous?"
"It's a jackknife."
"Some people might think that was dangerous. Better send it first class."
Now, I'm going to make a wild leap here, and those of you with sensitive constitutions may want to skip ahead to the next paragraph, but I think Dickinson has far more in common with Herriman than with the lady poets she's usually compared to (Sappho, say, not that we actually know anything about Sappho). Dickinson is perhaps America's greatest pure poet (in the sense that she has no interest in propagandizing for religious or political sects or in telling stories) and Herriman is without question America's greatest pure comic-strip artist (in the sense that he has no interest in writing for the market or in telling stories); her self-limitation to an apparently simple hymn form for her verse is as striking as his self-limitation to an apparently simple triangular structure for his strips (Ignatz heaves a brick at Krazy and is chastised by Officer Pupp), and both have been condescended to for these alleged faults, which in fact allowed them to refine their art and bring it to unmatched levels. The difference, of course—apart from medium, gender, era, and other trivia—is that Herriman found outside support and Dickinson did not.
If only Emily had had William Randolph Hearst as a fan.
One of the many interviews with a World Trade Center survivor was with a computer programmer who escaped from the 80th floor. How many computer programmers work in Manhattan skyscrapers? Why are there any? How many programmers died?
What was the deal (word chosen advisedly) with the gigantic airline bailout that was passed less than a week after the terrorist attack?
Why was the Pentagon not protected? Every military installation I've ever been to bristles with security. Why were there no anti-aircraft installations atop the Pentagon?
Why were the fighters scrambled to protect Washington that day Massachusetts Air National Guard jets from Cape Cod?
Was I wrong? In my mailing just after 9-11, I wrote: "We are counting on President Bush to be better than we think he is."
Nothing too deep here. It was a sad day, but we have not acted effectively either to avenge that day, or to prevent the next one.
The Bush campaign/administration's ability to track down and destroy enemy thought is phenomenal. No more had the MicroSoft re-Wording issue been raised about the memos demonstrating young Bush's blowing off (and I do mean blow) of his military obligations, than an anonymous contributor slipped in to the open-source encyclopedia Wikipedia to white out an inconvenient fact.
One treasured point in attacking the memos was the supposed inability of typewriters in the 70s to insert superscripts. The anonymous contributor, one who had never before touched a wiki word, went straight to the article on the IBM Selectric Typewriter last night and removed one parenthesized phrase:
The Selectric II had a lever (above the right platen knob) that would allow the platen to be turned freely but return to the same vertical line (for inserting such symbols as subscripts and superscripts), whereas the Selectric I did not.
Since it's open source, and I had already contributed to the article on that beloved typewriter, I put the superscripting right back in.
Chris Maeda reads here, so I did him the courtesy of reading him back. He recently wrote Software Patents: An innovation tax. Here's a brief quote, but the whole thing isn't all that long, and includes some good links as well:
The first question is why is software different from other industries? There seem to be two views of what software is. The current interpretation is that software running on some computer system is a physical, patentable invention. My personal view, informed by spending close to 20 years writing software, is that developing software is more like writing a novel. Under this analogy, issuing a software patent is analogous to issuing a patent on novels with a certain plotline.
Old views revisited. It seems the tidy JO is cleaning out his folders.
Some guy in the Phillipines wants to play 20 Questions with George W. Bush.
The questions were posted six months ago, but the odds seem better than than they did then that they might be answered before election day.
"To occupy Iraq would instantly shatter our coalition, turning the whole
Arab world against us and make a broken tyrant into a latter-day hero
... assigning young soldiers to a fruitless hunt for a securely
entrenched dictator and condemning them to fight in what would be an
un-winnable urban guerilla war. It could only plunge that part of the
world into even greater instability."
He jests at scars that never felt a wound.
Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
I've known two recipients of the Purple Heart, our country's oldest military medal, created by George Washington:
The father of a girl I dated in my freshman year in college, who had been drafted, trained, sent to Europe, put on guard duty somewhere, shot in the leg, and returned home, all in six weeks, never to be the same again, a subdued, sad man who was still trying to figure out what hit him decades before.
The father of a high school friend, who spent a year fighting in Italy until he was hit in the shoulder by shrapnel, leaving a hole the size of your fist that was still there decades later.
Neither one wanted to talk much about it. I don't even know if either of them is alive now, but I wonder what they'd think.
I wonder what a lot of dead soldiers would think. You also get a Purple Heart if you're killed in combat.
The smiler-with-the-knife Republicans are such good liars. They lie by telling lies that can be tortuously construed as sufficiently true so as to baffle the mild-minded. One of Kerry's Purple Hearts, just like the lying Bob Dole's Purple Heart, probably came from a weapon he was firing. To the military, to any combat veteran, that is a combat injury. The Republicans call it self-inflicted, which to the military, to any combat veteran, means shooting yourself in the toe to get out of combat. In the normal civilian parsing of self-inflicted, the assertion about one of Kerry's wounds is "true", but to the military, to any combat veteran, it is a low and vicious lie. A lie underscored by the highly amusing "purple heart band-aids" the tasteful and patriotic Republicans wore to their convention.
I am the holder of a single military honor, the Expert Marksman Badge for small-bore rifle, which I earned on the "1000-inch range" in ROTC. It is a Maltese Cross with a target and laurel wreath superimposed. It is superior to either the Marksman badge (Maltese Cross) or the SharpShooter Badge (Maltese Cross with target).
They didn't give it to me so I could make a point in my web log 40 years later, they gave it to me because it was documented that I fired a .22-caliber rifle well enough to hit the target far more often and closer to the middle than most of the other shooters. Kerry's medals, earned in far more dire circumstances, are also documented.
Hilarious, huh? Funny, funny, funny war wounds. Ho, ho, ho.
There saw I first the dark imagining
Of felony, and all the compassing;
The cruel ire, as red as any glede, (live coal) The picke-purse, and eke the pale dread;
The smiler with the knife under the cloak,
The shepen burning with the blacke smoke (stable) The treason of the murd'ring in the bed,
The open war, with woundes all be-bled;
Conteke with bloody knife, and sharp menace. (contention, discord) All full of chirking was that sorry place. (creaking, jarring noise)
Today is the thirtieth anniversary of President Ford's unconditional pardon of Richard Nixon, the thirtieth anniversary of adding Ford's name to Nixon's on the Presidential Dishonor Roll. I wonder what crimes were pardoned.
It has been clear for some time that the Bush campaign/administration must fear more from a Kerry election than simply being turned out of office. Kerry first came onto the public stage demonstrating an unwillingness to pardon Nixon and a drive to unearth war crimes. He excelled as a local prosecutor, then went on in the Senate to demonstrate great skills as an investigator of the terrorist BCCI bank and of government trading with terrorists Iran-Contra. How all that must resonate with the Bush gang. If everything comes out, the Presidential Dishonor Roll could have two new names, both of them Bush.
Tip o' the Desperado tan galan to JO for the reminder.
Today is Jewish Arrival Day, the 350th anniversary of the appearance of the first Jews on our shores. I can't really add much to this Blogburst from the Head Heeb, but I can share my own epiphany on the subject, thanks to The Anchor Atlas of World History.
The Atlas has a map entitled "The emancipation of the Jews in the 19th c.", a map of Europe with dated Stars of David over several countries:
1871 German Empire
1870 Sweden, Italy
1858 Great Britain and Ireland
1848 The Netherlands
Many countries did nothing at all in the 19th century: Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro, the Russian Empire.
And in the 18th century, there were only two:
1791 France The Declaration of the Rights of Man
1776 United States of America
That last date is on a Star of David stuck out in the middle of the Atlantic. Keep in mind that the 1776 date long precedes 1790, the date of the actual establishment of the country. 1776 was year of the Virginia Bill of Rights, written by Thomas Jefferson.
Right here, in the up-from-the-grave Creem Magazine, is a review of the Ramones movie, End of the Century. Brief excerpt from deep in the review:
Transsexual singer Jayne County turns up to share some entertaining reflections about one of Dee Dee's early girlfriends, Connie, the junkie prostitute (two words you don't normally want people associating with your girlfriend!) who managed to get her hooks into both Dee Dee and New York Dolls bassist Arthur "Killer" Kane. She did this almost literally -- reportedly stabbing Dee Dee in the ass and nearly sawing poor Arthur's thumb off! And people thought Yoko was a handful?!
I was with Cheney in Vietnam. I went home from college in the summer of 1961, leaving my roommate in charge of turning in a library book. The next thing I knew I had lost my coveted 2S student draft deferment and had been reclassified 1A because I was no longer attending college. That's right, I pulled strings (and blistered the butt of my roommate), got the book turned back in and restored my deferment.
Then, in 1962, I pulled some more strings, cleverly combining pregnancy and marriage into another deferment, which, with another child, lasted through the entire war. (I'm also still married to the same little woman, Mrs. Desperado, with the same children.) The government, it seems, wanted me to have children more than they wanted me to fight. Cheney did the same, although none of my children turned out to be lesbians.
Now comes Kerry, totally courageous in his war service, and courageous in his post-war service, but coming down hard on Cheney and his war-happy crowd for their lack of military service. Well, I've never been war-happy, not even about wars I supported (Gulf War 1, Afghanistan 1 (1 for us, that is, about number 27 in a fair count) , and it's certainly strategically and morally dubious for Cheney, Rumsfeld, Perle, (that is, the Whole Sick Crew) to have been so cheery about such a dismal war as Gulf 2, not to mention their utter failure to prosecute the war on terror and their failure in Afghanistan
Kerry is not more patriotic Cheney simply because he served. I didn't serve, and yet, strange to tell, I am more patriotic than Cheney too, because I care more about the whole country and its past and its future than Cheney does, and so does Kerry.
However, and this is the point of all this, people who have never fought in any war are not ipso facto cowards or hypocrites, unqualified for public office. Cowards and hypocrites are despicable on their own terms, but women, fathers, the physically disabled, and people with high draft numbers are not to be despised because they didn't fight. If you recall, hardly anybody wanted to fight. Even people with pull deserve some slack.
But not a free pass. George W. Bush is a coward and deserter. John Kerry is a hero and volunteer. Put those two in a dark room and Kerry would come out first. Count on it. That's why I'm looking forward to the debates.
From Spiked, the first two paragraphs of an article about trends in child care:
Hands-off care for kids
by Josie Appleton
Research by academics at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) confirms a growing 'panic' about childcare professionals touching the young children in their care. Heather Piper, John Powell and Hannah Smith argue that fears of child abuse have caused 'considerable concern and uncertainty' about the most innocent of interactions.
In a forthcoming journal article, which draws on MMU research projects and other studies, they describe how some child carers are even reluctant to put a plaster on a child's scraped knee. Very young children have been asked to treat their injuries themselves - with the nursery worker or teacher instructing them how to open the medical box, take out a plaster, and stick it on. In cases where the child's parent was nearby, they have been summoned to deal with the injury. There are reports from New Zealand of girls being left injured on the sports field or in the gymnastics hall, while a male teacher sent other children to find a female teacher to treat them.
From JO, the die, mold, matrix, and protoplast of the gentleman:
True then, true now.
From a .sig:
"A black man voting for the Republicans makes about as much sense as a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders."
--J.C. "Buddy" Watts, Sr., the father of Rep. J.C. Watts of Oklahoma, the
only black Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, in an
interview with Los Angeles Times reporter Sam Fullwood III. February 22, 1999.