Friday, April 30, 2010

Four feelings hurt in Illinois

Yessiree, the right wing has their own Kent State Massacre in Quincy, Illinois, where jackbooted goons of the Obama Socialist Conspiracy viciously attacked Tea Party grannies. Here's the video:

WTF? A handful of awkward Midwestern cops doing the worst job of marching I've ever seen, and a polite request of "Move back, please?" Where's the tear gas? Where's the billy clubs? Where's the dogs and horses and blood spilled on the street? This is the lamest oppression I've ever seen, dammit!

In honor of the Tea Party's "Quincy Massacre", where four teabaggers had their feelings irreparably hurt by a polite request to "Move back, please", here is a song in their honor:

Ten cops and Obama's comin,'
We're finally on our own,
This summer I hear the drummin'
Four feelings hurt in Illinois

Got to get down to it.
Policemen are staring us down.
Should have been done long ago.
What if you knew her
And her feelings were hurt on the ground?
How can you run when you know?

La, la, la, la

Got to get down to it.
Cops are being mean to us now.
Should have been done long ago.
What if you knew her
And her feelings were hurt on the ground?
How can you run when you know?

Ten cops and Obama's comin'
We're finally on our own
This summer I hear the drummin'
Four feelings hurt in Illinois, four feelings hurt in Illinois
Four feelings hurt in Illinois, four feelings hurt in Illinois
Four feelings hurt in Illinois, four feelings hurt in Illinois
Four feelings hurt in Illinois, four feelings hurt in Illinois

And let us not forget this top-secret video of Obama's stormtroopers torturing a teabagger granny:

No! Not the comfy chair!

-- Badtux the Oppression Penguin


Okay, so Bill wasn't exactly the most rockin' of dudes and that was a long concert. So here's L7 rocking out with their 1992 hit ""Pretend We're Dead". Just your generic grunge-punk, except done by chicks. Which was sort of revolution in 1992, I suppose.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Why I left teaching, part 435,453,245

British teacher snaps, cracks open skull of trouble-maker who cursed him.

When I started getting that temptation big-time, that's when I knew it was time to hang up my shingle and go into another line of work. Way I see it, if the little shits want to be disrespectful little shits, and the administration won't do fuck-all about it, and the parents don't give a shit, why the fuck should I give a shit? Let them be taught math by the goddamned P.E. teacher, I'm sure he (who can't add 1+1 without a calculator) will do a great job of it...

-- Badtux the Burned Out Teacher Penguin

Smoggy truth

Bill Callahan ("Smog") and a couple of friends do a tiny desk concert for NPR.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Thought for the day

There are some people whose apparent sole purpose in life is to take up real estate, convert food into shit, and consume valuable oxygen better used by more deserving organisms. More deserving organisms like slime molds.

-- Badtux the Misanthropic Penguin

And on today in 1939...

On today in 1939, two letters appeared in the San Jose Mercury News. The first one was by Jean Adams of San Jose, and said:

Regarding the opinion (Editorial, April 27) "Don't follow Germany's lead on Jew reform", I agree that Germany has to balance jobs and security. The job market alone could start by sending Jews back to their country of origin by asking for proof of citizenship. The newspaper suggests we "create a way for jews already here to earn citizenship." Have you forgotten that any Jew in this country has broken the law by crossing our borders illegally? That is suggesting to Jews who want to become a citizen of the U.S. to get here quickly, not wait their turn, so when a blanket amnesty is passed they will be here and ready to get on the bandwagon for such a great deal.
Immigration restrictions were imposed in the United States in 1924, and was used to turn away the M.S. St. Louis at Florida's shores on June 4, 1939 as it attempted to find refuge for Jews fleeing Nazi persecution.

The other letter was by Peter Brown of San Jose, regarding Indiana's laws prohibiting blacks from moving into the state. He says,

I think we should strongly support the Indiana initiative that is putting teeth into curbing the hordes of niggers coming over their borders. We should urge our own elected officials to give us the same laws that will slowly empty our jails, our schools, and our system of the freeloaders. We need to return them to Africa and give their jobs to our own children, returning veterans, and the unemployed. I have zero patience with niggers taking up space, jobs, services, and support from all of us at our expense.

Oh wait, those letters were in *TODAY'S* paper. Except instead of about Jews or Negros, it was about Arizona's draconian new "if you're brown, don't bother comin' 'round" law that criminalizes passing through the state without your birth certificate or passport if you're brown. (Or if you're white too, but what do you bet it never gets enforced against white people? Any takers!?).

It's official: Mexicans are the new nigger, the new Jew, the new scapegoat to account for the ills of the nation. So it goes, as it was in 1939, so it is today. Just with sparkles. Can't forget the sparkles. They're all shiny and make it look all new and clean, even though it isn't. Alrighty, then!

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Motown on acid

Panda Riot, "Motown Glass". An odd take on dream pop meets Motown girl band...

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

And a chicken in every pot...

Y'know, I thought it was a stereotype. You know, the Vietnamese refugee makes good, buys a house, keeps chickens for the kitchen pot and other lifestock in the back yard and root vegetables in hamper, that sorta thing?

Today for the first time in my life I toured a home and saw chickens in the back yard. And yes, the dude was Vietnamese...

Oh yeah - not interested. The house had some issues beyond simply the livestock tearing around in the back yard...

-- Badtux the Home-seekin' Penguin


Portishead, "Mysterions" off of their album "Dummy". Or is it off their self-titled album "Portishead"? Oh WTF, if you don't have one of them, buy it.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Monday, April 26, 2010

Liar, liar, pants on fire

An ICE spokeswoman says, "no racial profiling involved" in case of a truck driver detained by ICE agents. Luckily his wife was able to swiftly get there with his birth certificate, otherwise ICE would have disappeared him into a gulag and likely dumped him onto the streets of some foreign land at some point in the future.

Here's some video of another ICE spokesman lying his head off:

View more news videos at:

I love how the camera cuts from the ICE spokesman lying to the security camera video showing the ICE agents clearly racially profiling by rounding up Hispanic customers while ignoring white and black customers... a classic!

Here's a fun exercise to do, if you're bored and want to entertain yourself: file a FOIA on ICE asking for the racial composition of those stopped and asked for proof of citizenship. They won't tell you. They'll tell you it's a State Secret. They'll tell you that you don't need to know. They'll tell you anything *but* the racial composition of those stopped and asked for proof of citizenship, because the reality is that 100% of those stopped by ICE and asked for proof of citizenship are *BROWN* despite the fact that at least 25% of all illegals in America are *WHITE* (but they're from European countries so that doesn't matter, right? Right?!).

No racial profiling? Bull fucking shit. These ICE spokespeople are lying fucking tools who ought to be ashamed of themselves, but likely aren't because they're evil sadistic bastards or else they wouldn't be working for such an evil agency to begin with. So it goes in Soviet America, Land of the Free(tm)*.

-- Badtux the Sovok Penguin
*Land of the Free(tm) is a copyright of Soviet America, Inc., and is not related to any concepts called "freedom", "liberty", or "justice". Offer void if brown, Muslim, or holding political beliefs inconvenient for those in power. Batteries not included, except when they're tasering your ass for not being a proper Sovok.

Lucky Clover

Buffalo Clover Band does their song "Luck", which is about having anything but. Sounds like it could have been written by Tom Waits, except that Margo Price can sing a whole lot better than ole' Tom (who is a heckuva songwriter, but I can't stand his voice thus why you've never seen any of his songs on this blog).

Don't look for this song on an album. Though we can hope.

- Badtux the Music Penguin

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Republican crook?

But I'm being redundant, of course. Seems that Meg Whitman, who is likely to be the Republican candidate for governor against Jerry Brown (D-Old), used her position on the Goldman-Sachs board to buy pre-IPO stocks of over 100 companies before they were sold to the public and accepted bribes from Goldman-Sachs to list eBay with them for eBay's IPO. Oh, they're not *called* bribes, it's called "spinning", but bribes it be.

Disclaimer: I have benefitted from the same practice (spinning) in the past. But I was not in an executive position with the power to decide who listed my company's IPO. Meggers was. That's the difference. She took a bribe to list with Goldman-Sachs, pure and simple, and if that's not illegal, it should be.

-- Badtux the not-Republican Penguin

Like, Groovy!

Rose Elinor Dougal does something rather interesting with her song "Start/Stop/Synchro". It has a vaguely late 60's pop sound to it that is, like, groovy, dig?

I don't know if she's unsigned, but she definitely doesn't have an album out. You can buy a few of her singles (like this one) on iTunes though.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Yay, it's a kitty pile!

After the previous nastiness, I needed some cute. The Mighty Fang and Mencken chillin' on my quilt. Yeah, I have problems getting my bed made up in the morning due to all the fur-bearin' varmints that occupy the place...

-- Badtux the Cat-owned Penguin

The Lowden Health Care Plan

Tastes like chicken. A few weeks ago, I figured Harry Reid was pretty much toast in Nevada, Sue Lowden was gonna run him out of office. Then she started up with the nonsense of you don't need health insurance, just pay for your health care with chicken.

As I've repeatedly pointed out on this blog, healthcare consumes 16% of GDP but sick people don't make anywhere near 16% of GDP, and if you go with what people can afford out of pocket, you're back to 1960 healthcare, when things like kidney disease, liver disease, heart failure, etc. had no treatment other than "send patient home with palliative care to die." But Silly Sue appears to have not gotten the message. So:

Sue: You want doctors to be paid in chickens. If elected, will you agree to accept your Senatorial salary in chickens?

Sue: You say bartering for health care was good 'nuff for your parents and thus should be good enough for you. If elected, if you become ill, will you agree to pay for your health care with chickens rather than via filing an insurance claim with the Congressional health insurance?

Oh who am I kidding, we both know Sue Lowden isn't going to agree to either of the above. What's good for the doctor isn't good enough for the senator, apparently. Alrighty, then!

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Goldman Sachs in a nutshell

They're crooks, and they're going down. Sadly, as a civil case, not a criminal case. Why a civil case? Because according to the above securities attorney, the civil case is a slam dunk -- in civil cases, you don't have to prove criminal intent to defraud, all you have to show is that they misrepresented the security, and knew they misrepresented the security. Going for the criminal charge, on the other hand, and you have to prove that the misrepresentation was intended to defraud the investors. Much harder to prove.

- Badtux the Law Penguin

Doing the right thing

So there was this situation where, a hundred miles from civilization, a guy comes across someone who managed to lose control of his vehicle and fly a couple hundred yards offroad -- into a designated wilderness area. Said vehicle is still on all four wheels and steerable but the radiator ended up in a rock and the engine won't start.

So, what do you do?

  • Drive to near his back bumper, hook your tow strap to your d-ring and to his back bumper, pull him out to the dirt road, then go around and hook your tow strap to his front bumper and to your rear d-ring to tow him back to pavement so he can get help?
  • Say "Well, I could get sued if I helped him", and call 911?
  • Say "Well, I could get ticketed for violating a wilderness area if I helped him", and call 911?
  • Say "It's not a problem of mine" and drive on?
Should there even be a question as to what the right thing to do is? Yet, sadly, doing the right thing isn't going to happen nine times out of ten here. It is utterly baffling, how few Americans are willing to man up and do the right thing despite any potential consequences. Makes you respect those civil rights activists of the 1950's more, they were willing to brave vicious dogs, beatings, jail, and even death in order to obtain equal rights for all Americans. If MLK Jr. can risk going to jail (and actually going to jail) for drinking from the Whites Only fountain at the bus station, surely the threat of getting a ticket shouldn't stop me from doing the right thing, right? Yet, sadly, it seems that my attitude is now the exception, not the norm...

-- Badtux the "When did Americans become utter pussies?" Penguin

Haunted Accordion

It takes real balls to play an accordion-based cover of one of your own songs, but band Haunted Stereo was up to the challenge. Anja McCloskey both plays the accordion and sings their song "Cross the Sea" at a Christmas party a few months back... and the effect is, well, haunting.

Yeah, another band whose music you won't find in record stores...

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Friday, April 23, 2010

Six feet deep

In paperwork, that is. This time it's for the mortgage lenders... I was barraged with application forms, requests for additional documentation, etc. today. *PLUS* had to do my regular work, that, like, I get paid for. How tedious...

-- Badtux the Paper-buried Penguin

The Return of the Mighty Fang

The Mighty Fang is on top of his warm vibrating catalounger. Yes, that's a full-sized dryer, *not* a compact model. Yes, The Mighty Fang *is* that big.

-- Badtux the Cat-owned Penguin

And Unsigned Musician Week continues...

This is Laura Hocking. If you want to hear her music, you'll need to either see her MySpace page, or go to the venues in London where she's playing along with other "anti-folk" musicians such as Emmy the Great and Noah and the Whale. The particular song is "Strong Men and Acrobats".

- Badtux the Music Penguin

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thought for the day

If your every criticism of Obama starts with "I'm not racist, but..." or ends with "it's not about color"... dude. Quit being in denial and get fitted for your bedsheet and pointy hat ASAP, 'kay?

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Republican girlfriend

Republicans like their girlfriends to just lie there like a lump. And Sears has their perfect girlfriend. The only question is: Why is she wearing a bright yellow latex glove on her one arm? On the other hand, given the proclivities of Republicans -- man-on-dog sex, man-on-mule sex, auto-erotic sex while wearing a wetsuit with a rubber dildo up their butts, crap, even man-on-box-turtle sex... maybe I don't want to know what the yellow rubber glove is for.

- Badtux the Easily Amused Penguin


Esben & the Witch - "Eumenidies"

This is yet *another* unsigned band singing a song that's not on any album. Somewhat dream-pop'ish, but lead vocalist Rachel Davies' voice is too bright and clear and upfront to count as being in the same genre as folks like Mazzy Star and Slowdive that buried the vocalist deep inside the texture of the music. More Goth, I guess, except without the eye liner and coffin decor...

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How to deal with those pesky poor people

The average human being can live approximately three days without water. We are basically bags of salty water held in by sausage skins, if you look at what human beings really are. So if you want to kill lots of people, don't do it by starving them to death, the way the Confederates did at Andersonville or the way that Hitler did at Buchenwald. No. Just pen them up in one place and cut off their water. In three days, you can make Stalin's ghost smile: no people, no problem.

Nobody would ever be vicious enough to do something like that, you say? Well, Detroit has already started on that project. As have a number of other cities in similar dire straits, where water main breaks occur every day and it's only a matter of time before they quit fixing the water main breaks anywhere other than in the neighborhoods where rich people live or work. Because, after all, who needs those pesky poor people around anyhow? They're so... uncouth.

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin


Caitlin Rose sings "Sinful Wishing Well". The video appears to be an homage to Joan Baez singing while Bob Dylan types. Caitlin doesn't seem to have an album out with any of her recent songs, but maybe it'll happen? We can hope, anyhow!

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Who's behind the tree?

California business leaders agree: The state's school system is in a free-fall collapse caused by a collapse of school funding over the past forty years since Proposition 13 was passed. Their solution: Raise taxes. Raise taxes on other people, that is. Not on them.

At which point the ordinary folks of California, who've seen their percentage of the property tax burden rise from 50% of property tax collections to 80% of property tax collections over the past forty years since Prop 13 was passed, say "Nyet! Don't tax me, tax that other guy!". The guy behind the tree, presumably. Who *isn't* business. Who *isn't* an ordinary residential homeowner.

The problem is, who is that guy behind the tree? Nobody will point him out. Baffling, eh? But the game of "yes, we need taxes to fund education, but don't tax you, don't tax me, tax that guy behind the tree" continues, as California's school systems crumble under the weight of inadequate funding...

-- Badtux the Taxing Penguin

Holly Miranda

This is a couple of songs off her new album, "The Magician's Private Library". The first one sounds a bit like early Cat Power, I don't know who her drummer is but he has the mad beats of Steve Shelley down pat. The second one sounds more like some middle-album Portishead, except with more bite in the vocal style. Hopefully we'll hear more from this young lady in the future...

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Monday, April 19, 2010

Idiots and Landlords... but I repeat myself

Well, been busy looking for a new place to dock my iceberg... and came across some great looking places. Well, they could be great looking places, if the landlords would invest the minimal amount needed to make them look great. You know, paint, replacing worn-out plumbing fixtures, that sort of thing. We're talking about a couple thousand bucks max here, most expensive thing would be replacing a worn-out tiled-in cast-iron bathtub (something not for the faint-at-heart). At least, a couple thousand bucks max if you do it yourself, and if you're in the small-time landlord business you better damn well be doing it yourself, because otherwise there's no way to make owning a rental property pay, the maintenance expenses will kill your ass.

Yet they don't do it. And their properties look ugly. And people like me, who like to live in a nice looking place and will live there for years (I've been in my current place for almost six years), turn our noses up at these properties, leaving the Silicon Valley equivalent of trailer trash to move in and not pay the rent, trash the place, and have to be evicted. So what's the deal here? I mean, one of my friends was a small-time slum lord and he let his properties get pretty trashy, but his properties were in the *slum*. As in, if he'd put nice stuff in there, the meth-heads woulda broke in and stole it and sold it for meth. With my friend we're talking about the sort of properties that rented for $80 per week. Yeah, *those* kinda properties. (And he rented by-the-week so that if they didn't make their week's payment, he could start eviction proceedings right then and there without waiting for the end of the month). But none of these properties I've looked at have been in the ghetto. They've been in nice looking neighborhoods.

Is it that these landlords are simply idiots who don't know how to maintain their homes? I mean, I might have unrealistic expectations here based on the fact that my father was a hotel maintenance man who did kitchen and bathroom remodels on the side. I painted my first interior at age 15, and did my first bathroom remodel at age 16, including sweating in new copper pipes to relocate the water heater (the house was built in 1925 and had a gas water heater in the corner of the bathroom, alongside a claw-foot tub). I still remember being up under the corner of a house that was only 8 inches off the ground with a propane torch, sweating in the new pipes and wondering if that was a black widow spiderweb over in that floor joist... and if you're wondering how even a skinny 16 year old gets under a house that is only 8 inches off the ground: Shovel. Seriously. It was like being in a grave.

So I guess my point is: Does anybody know a good real estate agent in the San Jose, CA, who a) specializes in buyer's representation, and b) knows the west San Jose area (Burbank/Buena Vista) well?

-- Badtux the Near-homeless Penguin

All you need

Three chords and the truth...

Emmy the Great sings her song "War", busking for an audience in Northampton Square, London.

The album version has a bit more instrumentation to it, but it doesn't make the song any better. Or any worse, for that matter. Whether stripped down to the elemental or not, a good song is a good song.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fatherless Child

Kate Wolf died way too young, and nobody nowadays seems to have heard of her except other musicians. She sang country-folk in the late 70's and early 80's and wrote a number of good songs that have since been covered by the likes of Nanci Griffith and Emmylou Harris. This one is "I Never Knew My Father".

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Busy day

Been looking for a new berth for my iceberg, and now I'm scouring the Youtubes for a new batch of videos because we were just about at the end of the last batch. I want to get up to May 1, at least. I have some really cool stuff coming up, some unsigned bands that have some really neat tunes. Some people think music is dead. Nope, it's not, it just takes a lot more looking to find it... but luckily we now have the Internets to help us with that, cool!

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

More Outfit!

The Belleville Outfit. These youngsters are singing classic Texas honky tonk songs that are way older than they are, and doing a pretty darn good job of it. This one is "Will This End In Tears"...

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Friday, April 16, 2010

Welfare for rich people

The York family, who own the San Francisco 49ers, are leaving San Francisco in a snit after the City of San Francisco refused to give them corporate welfare to replace the perfectly functional but "obsolete" Candlestick Park. The deal being that Candlestick has too many "cheap seats" and not enough expensive corporate sky boxes that could be auctioned off for millions per year to enable the Yorks to pay their mediocre on-field "talent" more millions than they're worth.

So here come the Yorks into little Santa Clara, who they're trying to con into building a new football stadium for the 49ers on a patch of city-owned land near Great America Theme Park. In the process, they're spending millions on glossy lies and bullshit to gull the small-town Santa Clarans into mortgaging their future for the sake of a gigantic white elephant that will be used eight (8) times per year and otherwise sit empty.

Lies? Well, yes. Lies like:

  • "It will put Santa Clara on the map." Yeah, like the Dallas Cowboys put Arlington, Texas, on the map? Hello, can any of you find Arlington on the map and tell me any benefit it's gotten from having the Cowboys stadium there? Santa Clara has a nice high-tech center in that area, Oracle/Sun, Yahoo, Nortel, etc. all have major facilities there, how will a stadium help Santa Clara gain more high-tech business than it's already achieved? Ain't happenin'.
  • "It won't cost tax money." Bullshit. The 49ers are leaving San Francisco because San Francisco refuses to spend tax money on their stadium, and they think Santa Clara is gullible enough to go for that? The 49ers are raiding taxpayer funds big-time -- the city proposes raiding redevelopment funds intended for redeveloping depressed warehouse areas (funds that will need to be replaced via, duh, TAXES) *plus* raiding the municipal utility's capital improvements fund, which will need to be replaced via, duh, raising electrical rates (same damned thing as a tax).
  • "It will create jobs". For eight weekends a year. Low wage jobs. And for four of those weekends, it will *destroy* jobs, because Great America will be forced to close down on game days. Great America currently earns a large amount of money on late summer / early fall weekends, and will be forced to lay off hundreds of workers on those days that the stadium has streets clogged and Great America's parking lots full of cars illegally parking there. And if this eliminates Great America's profitability altogether, Great America will close altogether -- which will cost thousands of jobs. If you want to create jobs, use that parking lot to lure the corporate headquarters of some major technology company, not for a white elephant stadium.
  • "It will generate millions in property taxes for local schools." Yeah right. Pull the other leg. Like I said, you want millions in property taxes, get another high-tech company in there to complement the dozens of other high-tech companies that have their corporate HQ or U.S. offices in the vicinity, such as Yahoo, Sun/Oracle, Marvell, Nortel, etc.
  • "It will be good for the city." Yeah, like that stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, where two major league teams play, which has turned East Rutherford into paradise on Earth... well... maybe not.
The reality is that every single NFL stadium in America built over the past three decades has been a gigantic boondoggle. They've all made promises like the 49ers are making, and they all broke those promises and left taxpayers with the choice of paying hundreds of millions of dollars in cost overruns, or having a half-completed construction site cluttering their city. Every single team has promised that there would be no taxpayer dollars used to operate or maintain the stadium, and every single team has broken that promise. The 49ers are leaving San Francisco because the city won't subsidize them with taxpayer money, yet they promise they will stay in Santa Clara without needing taxpayer subsidies? Bullsh*t. They're lying. Their past history -- and the past history of NFL teams in general that have made these same exact promises -- shows that it's going to be an expensive drain on the city treasury and that public services like police, fire, etc. are all going to suffer because of the money drain. They make all these promises in these glossy brochures, but promises are cheap, and promises are empty. Look at their history, people. These rich NFL owners are welfare whores, and once they get their hooks into your city, they will suck your city dry with their incessant demands for corporate welfare and their threats to leave if they don't get the welfare they want. San Francisco is showing these welfare whores the door, and Santa Clara wants to be their next victim? Talk about small-town rubes! Siiiiiiigh....

-- Badtux the Welfare-sniffin' Penguin

For more information:

A crook, or clueless?

Republican Senatorial candidate Carly Fiorina is either a crook, or clueless. That's the best you can say about her supposed non-knowledge of an extensive bribery campaign conducted in Russia, a campaign that included a large number of shell companies owned by HP. Either she's the Sgt. Shultz of CEO's -- "I see no-think! I hear no-think!" -- or she's Richard Nixon reincarnate. Either way, why would any sensible person vote for her to be a U.S. Senator?

-- Badtux the Corruption-sniffin' Penguin

Apple is evil

Apple censors Pulitzer-prize-winning cartoonist, prohibits Mark Fiore from publishing his cartoons via the iPhone/iPad store.

Apple's control of the distribution channel for iPhone apps has always disturbed me. Apple wants a monopoly on iPhone apps -- if you want to put an app on your phone, you have to buy it from Apple (and then Apple, through the generosity of its heart -- hah! -- sends a pittance of the money onwards to the application developer). Apple has tried their hardest to prevent "illegal" applications (i.e., those not sold through the iPhone Store) from being installed upon their devices. This gives them unlimited ability to censor any content they wish according to what Chairman Steve's whims be.

So anyhow, apparently Apple has determined that political satire is not "appropriate" for their devices. After all, it might make it hard to sell their devices into North Korea, and we couldn't have that, could we? ;). I just wish there was any other phone out there that did what the iPhone does, I'd buy it in a minute...

-- Badtux the Geeky Penguin

What a shame

P.J. Harvey, "Shame", off of her album Uh Huh Her. This is an interesting album that manages to both rock hard and be chick rock at the same time (by which I mean, it talks about relationships from a woman's point of view, as vs. cock rock which talks about relationships from a man's point of view). It appears to be out of print in CDROM format right now, but of course is available via iTunes and other electronic media...

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Surprise, surprise

So we have the teabaggers out there ranting about taxes on this April 15, despite the fact that most of them don't pay horrific amounts of taxes and the U.S. is the least-taxed major OECD economy, period, paying less than 26% of our national income as taxes. Note that the 26% figure includes every level from local elementary school district to the Federal government.

So what's motivating them, if it isn't really taxes? Hmm... let's go take a look on the Clue Train(tm) and see what we can find out. First of all, who are the teabaggers anyhow? Err.... wealthier and more well-educated than the general public, Republican, white, male, married and older than 45, say that too much has been made of the problems facing black people, and want government to keep its socialist hands off of their Medicare and Social Security. Hmm, okay, so that's interesting. White, male, older, not fond of black people. Reminds me of some other folks who fit that same general demographic... Okay, so that's a low blow. But what can I say? If the shoe, err, sheet, fits...

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Slaid Cleaves, "One Good Year". White trash blues in the Austin tradition. Just another guy you'll never hear on the radio.

--Badtux the Music Penguin

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

More Stupid

I swear, it seems like stupid just came out in swarms while I was out on my spring migration. It's as if stupid saw that, "hey, the penguin's not around! Let's pour out in mass quantities!"

As you may have noticed, we're currently in a period of elevated unemployment caused by a collapse in consumption. The current rate of unemployment is such that demand has in turn collapsed, meaning that, since there's no demand for company's products, they're in turn laying off even more people. This has stabilized somewhat this past month, but only because of massive government hiring for the Census. That isn't going to persist, the Census will be mostly over by July.

So, demand is down, and without demand, people stay unemployed. And we can't leave them unemployed forever because they'll start starving to death -- and people do not voluntarily starve to death, there will be massive civil disorder long before that happens. FDR created his own jobs programs so that people wouldn't starve during the Great Depression not because he was a anti-capitalist socialist -- he was by and large a moderate liberal Democrat -- but, rather, because the alternative was a Communist revolution that overturned his government and installed one that would have been truly anti-capitalist.

So, with demand down due to a collapse in consumption... the answer that Presidential advisor Paul Volker has is... to tax consumption with a Value Added Tax (VAT), basically a sales tax?! Say WHA?! So let me get this straight. Consumption is down, so in order to increase consumption you want to, err, *tax* it? Does anybody else agree that this sounds like the most idiotic idea since the captain of the Titanic put watchmen up in the crow’s nest without binoculars to watch for icebergs then called for full speed ahead?!

I thought Volker was smarter than this. Sadly, it appears I was wrong.

-- Badtux the Economics Penguin

Definition of "stupid"

So you want the judge to rule your way in a case coming before him at an upcoming trial. So what is your preferred method of doing so? a) Have a good lawyer and the facts on your side, or b) ask your supporters to spam his personal Blackberry email account?

Most of us have a smidgen of brains and would choose (a). But that was too righteous for sleazy infomercial pitchman Kevin Trudeau, who makes his living by being loud, obnoxious, and brainless. So he chose option (b). And promptly got 30 days in jail for contempt of court.

Lest you talk about "freedom of speech", harassment is not protected speech. Political speech is protected speech. Opinions are protected speech. But it's not legal to harass someone. You can't set up outside someone's home with a loudspeaker and spend 24 hours a day calling him a babykiller, for example. You can stand outside his home for 24 hours a day waving a sign saying that he's a babykiller, but the loudspeaker turns it into harassment and harassment is illegal. Once your speech goes beyond the purpose of communication and ventures into the realm of punishing someone, you've crossed the line. And when you cross the line with a judge... well. That might as well be the dictionary definition of "stupid", heh.

-- Badtux the Law Penguin

Like father, like son

"Daddy's Cup", by the Drive By Truckers. Michael Cooley's ode to short track stock car racing. This one seems simple, but is deeper than it looks -- a damn fine combination (simple and deep).

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Technology moves on

I was getting close to filling up my 640GB hard drive in my Macbook Pro if I dedicated 120GB or so to Windows 7 64 bit, so I went out to see if anything bigger had been made. YES! 750GB laptop hard drives are now available! So I swapped it out last night, and will be installing Windows 7 64-bit sometime today...

Badtux the Geeky Penguin

Like water

"Salty Seas", some dream pop by Devics off of their album Push the Heart. A beautiful sad song.

Sara Lov, the singer (and writer) of this song, was kidnapped along with her sister by her Israeli father after her mother won custody of the two girls in the divorce. Sara was eventually found and repatriated. Her sister never was. There is so much space there for sad songs...

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Monday, April 12, 2010

How to protect your kids from Catholic priests

Sad to say, the product in question doesn't actually exist.

In other news, the number of children molested by atheist or Tuxologist clergy remains at... err.... ZERO.

-- Badtux the Religious Penguin

Back from spring migration

I am somewhat tired, but had fun playing in the desert and in the snow (hey, there's snow in the desert if you go to a high enough elevation, okay?) . I'd take a picture of my muddy Jeep for you, but hit a huge thunderstorm coming back that washed it all off. So you'll have to be satisfied with that photo of my Jeep over on the left (the snow covered the road further uphill behind me, thus why I was stopped while waiting for Jeeps with winches to get up to the top so they could haul my Jeep up via winch cable as necessary :). Oh yeah, the local kids enjoyed playing in the snow too, including the lady in red and her husband who got into a massive snowfight with the kids. They are retirement age but I guess retirement doesn't mean the same thing anymore ;).

When I got in the kittehs treated me pretty much as if I'd never left, I guess because they still had food in their food bowl so why would they need me around anyhow? Huh.

-- Badtux the Migratory Penguin

When I was young

Eric Burdon and the Animals from 1967, "When I was Young".

Little known fact: This was the inspiration for my song "When I was Younger", even though it's absolutely nothing like this song, it just set off some neurons firing in my head. I still don't have a good recording of the song because I've been busier than a beehive full of bees, but here's the imperfect take that has a buncha flubs in it that I posted some time back...

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Youthful Trance

Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, playing "The Shape is in a Trance". That is some interesting geetar pickin' going on there. I've been experimenting a bit with alternative tunings myself, they're nice for getting a new feel of how a guitar works. Hopefully I'll get around to finishing "No Mercy" soon, it's in dropped-D tuning and takes advantage of its easier mobility on the fretboard...

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Saturday, April 10, 2010

You are alone... right?

Patty Griffin, "You Are Not Alone". Melancholy alt-country for folks who want to get back to fundamentals. No glam, no glitz, just a woman, her voice, and a guitar.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Friday, April 09, 2010

Kibble monsters

I did not feed them much the evening before heading out on my spring migration. As a result, when I put down a bunch of food that morning, The Mighty Fang and Mencken ran to the food bowl and started doing the cookie monster bit, nom nom nom nom, food flying everywhere. See that little piece of kibble between The Mighty Fang and Mencken, near Menken's right hind leg? That piece of kibble was *inside* the food bowl before they started going nom nom nom!

-- Badtux the Cat-owned Penguin

Extreme metal

Okay, so Devin Townshend is best known for his "extreme metal" albums of the late 90's. But he appears to have gone psychedelic on this song, "Ki", off the album of the same name. It's an interesting sound, he does his trademark wall of sound but for a totally different effect than on his metal albums...

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Migratory roadblocks

So as I migrate I'm in a long line of traffic. Finally I approach the blinking lights and see what is causing it.

Note to truckers: Keep the rubber side facing the road. When it faces the side of the road, Bad Things Happen.

That is all.

-- Badtux the Traffic Jam Penguin

R&B Pop Man

The Rosewood Thieves playing "Mad Man". They seem to be doing a sort of R&B-inspired pop mixed with a hint of psychedelia here. You almost expect Janis Joplin to walk on stage and start doing a duet. Other songs of theirs seem to be channeling The Beatles or other 60's music, yet they don't sound like a tribute band, they're doing something interesting with it. Hmm...

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

False equivalency

Whenever some right-winger does something violent such as shoot up the Holocaust museum, shoots up a church, blows up a day care center, kills a doctor, etc., the press is quick to say "there's extremists on both sides of the political spectrum!"

At which point I ask one simple question: How many incidents of left-wing violence has there been over the past 30 years? No no, you moron trying to point to something that happened in 1963, I'm talking about 1980 onward. How many left-wing nutcases have shot up day care centers? How many left-wing nutcases have tried to bomb the Olympics? How many left-wing nutcases have gone on shooting sprees where they kill random people of another race?

Hello? Hello? Anybody got an answer? (Crickets).

Uhm, yeah. That's what I thought.

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Targeting the Church? Fuck yeah

So the Catholic cardinals and bishops are upset that the media is revealing the depth of their moral corruption when it comes to the pedophilia scandal? They whine that they're being targeted for protecting pedophiles? Oh wah, cry me a fucking river, why doncha?

Look: The Church for decades has treated pedophilia as a sin, the equivalent of breaking your Lenten promise or some shit like that, rather than a crime. A few Hail Marys and Our Fathers after a confessional, and all is forgiven. But it's not. It's a crime, and the people who do it are criminals.

In other words, the Church has been complicit in covering up crimes, yet appears to not Get It even now. Transferring a priest to a position where he has no contact with children is not an appropriate response to a pedophile. Handing him over to the civil authorities so he can be placed in jail for the rest of his life is the appropriate response. And until the Catholic Church gets this simple fact, fuck yeah we're going to target them as an organization of kiddy-diddling asshole protecting bastards. The Catholic Church has unclean hands, has participated willingly in a moral atrocity, and has no -- ZERO -- moral authority to criticize *ANYBODY* right now until they clean house and hand over every child-molesting bastard in their ranks to the civil authorities -- starting with this bastard they moved to India to keep him from being arrested in America. So they might as well shut their fucking traps in the meantime. 'Nuff said on that shit.

-- Badtux the Rude Penguin


Etta James even old and with her voice showing its wear and tear has more talent in her little pinkie finger than the whole bunch of pop tarts lighting up the charts today. Here she's belting out "I'd Rather Go Blind"...

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Gays are the new nigger

I was in the American South when desegregation became the law. When school districts in Bigotsville were forced to hold bi-racial proms, they did what bigots always do in that case -- they cancelled the prom, and instead the White Leagues held a private prom -- no niggers allowed, on penalty of being arrested for trespassing by bull-necked white Sheriff's deputies stationed outside. And believe me, if you were a black boy or girl, that's the last thing you wanted to have happen to you -- because you might never make it to the police station afterwards, and then the FBI would be dragging the river for your body a few months later.

So when I hear that the same thing happened to a gay girl in Mississippi, it's like I'm having dejavu all over again. These inbred redneck cracker motherfuckers ain't learned a goddamned fucking thing in the past forty years. They're still the same hate-filled spiteful cocksucking bastards as always, pure festering evil masquerading as human beings, just looking for a new nigger to hate now that their old ones have given them the finger and worse. And now they found one: Gays.

So it goes in the State of Mississippi. We shoulda let'em secede in 1861. Just sayin'.

-- Badtux the Observant Penguin


It is my annual spring migration, so I will be wandering desert areas. Music videos will pop up on time since they are queued weeks in advance. Anything else I may or may not respond to in a timely manner.

Anonymous comments are turned off, but if you have a Google/Blogger ID you should be able to comment. 'Nuff said on that, spammers, ick.

-- Badtux the Migratory Penguin

Bizarre Prophecy

Grizzly Bear, "Knife". Sort of psychedelic rock, I guess... the video is certainly bizarre enough, but it needs some twirly objects and stuff ;).

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Monday, April 05, 2010

4,000 posts, five years

I founded this blog basically as an act of depression after the majority of the American people let their will be known and elected George W. Bush to the Presidency in 2004. Not desperation. Depression. The stupidity of the American people seemed bottomless. The sad thing is that this blog is still relevant five years (and a few months) and 4,000 posts (and a few more) on. Even though the resident President has changed, the American people haven't -- they're still the same ignorant self-centered want-something-for-nothing cretins that they were five years ago. As I'm fond of pointing out, 50% of the American public is below average -- and average ain't so smart nowadays.

So what does the future hold? How the fuck do I know. You can always count on cat pictures and music videos if I run out of things to talk about. Thus far, however, running out of things to talk about doesn't seem in the cards. There is no shortage of stupidity to poke fun at, or self-entitled cretins like those morons at the Republican National Committee using donor money for booze to shine a light on, and given the statistic I mentioned above, I doubt that'll cease happening anytime soon.

-- Badtux the Anniversary Penguin (somewhat belated).

Magic Sparkle Pony Republicans

Tea Party Republican wants lower taxes -- but don't touch his farm subsidies, thank you very much!

Americans don't like the deficit, but don't want to raise taxes or cut spending to deal with it.

I guess all these people just expect the money to somehow appear, by magic. Undoubtedly after being shit out by a magic pink sparkle pony, who shits out, not rainbows, but free money so Americans don't have to, like, actually pay for the government services they receive.

Ronald Reagan once said "there is no such thing as a free lunch." One of the only true things he ever said -- somebody has to pay for that lunch. But the American people today, apparently, have a new slogan: "Gimme free lunches, and plenty of'em, and put it on the national credit card!" Alrighty, then!

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Word for today: Socialism

So what is Socialism?

Well, you listen to today's right-wing blogosphere, and it becomes clear that they haven't a clue. They appear to believe that "Socialism" is the same thing as redistribution of wealth. By that standard, President Dwight D. Eisenhower was a socialist -- he had no problem with a 90% income tax rate on the top bracket in order to redistribute wealth downward.

The problem is, that's not what Socialist means. Socialist means that the government owns the means of production of wealth. Like when the UK nationalized Leyland Motors and called it British Leyland, or when France nationalized Citroen and Renault and made them state-owned, or when Britain nationalized the hospitals in 1948 and made them state-owned, or when Sweden nationalized its banks in 1992. That's Socialism -- the State owning major industries. Redistribution of wealth -- such as, say, taxing the rich in order to provide subsidies to the poor so that they can buy health insurance -- is plain old liberalism, which is not the same thing as socialism at all, let alone Communism, which outright outlaws private property beyond anything you can carry upon your own person.

Words have meaning. Using words in ways that aren't applicable makes you look like an idiot to anybody who is intelligent. Which, I realize, is the minority of Americans since 50% of Americans are below average and average ain't so smart anymore, but still. This ain't Freeperville, and we're a bit brighter 'round these parts :).

-- Badtux the Liberal Penguin

Cold Love

The Decemberists, "Hazards of Love". Just well-crafted pop. And that's not something to ignore, nosiree.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Sunday, April 04, 2010

A picture is worth 1,000 words


- Badtux the Geeky Penguin

The case of the missing body

The prisoners in the cells behind the police sergeant were sleeping the sleep of the unjust when the message came in at 5AM: a crypt had been looted and both the body and the loot were missing. Grumpily the sergeant sent out a call to the detective on duty, dispatched a couple of patrol officers to secure the area, and then returned to his sword-n-sandals fantasy novel.

Detective Morelli wasn't fond of 5 AM but he was even less fond of body thieves. As he approached the scene of the crime on the narrow path that led to the crypt he noted a bunch of people in white robes on their knees praying, he had to step over a couple of them because they were packed around the crypt. The two patrol officers at the crypt looked distinctly uncomfortable and had their riot batons at ready.

Morelli identified the senior officer and asked, "What's the situation, Officer Berlusconi? Who are these people?"

"Some sort of cult, sir. They keep demanding to go into the crypt. I told them that everything got stolen out of there and there's nothing to see, but they won't go away."

"Huh." Morelli ducked his head into the crypt and let his eyes adjust to the gloom. Indeed, there was nothing but some random bones lying around in various cubbies. He turned around to the white-robed cultists and yelled, "Hey, yo! Who's the leader of you bunch?"

A guy with a long black beard wearing one of those Jewish beanies tentatively stood up and said "I guess I am, now."

"What's your name, citizen?"

"Peter Shamir, sir."

"Well, Peter, come on up, you're going to get a tour of this crypt, then you're going to go to your bunch there and tell'em what you saw, then you're going to all clear out, see?"

Peter just glared, then said "It depends on what I see."

"Well, hope you see what you need to see then, because otherwise we're calling in the Army to move you lot away at spearpoint."

"The Army?" Peter spit. "They're the morons who executed our Holy Leader."

"Well come up here and see, then."

Peter tentatively stepped over a few of his fellow cultists and joined Morelli at the entrance to the crypt. "So who was your Holy Leader, and why did the Army execute him?"

"He was Joshua Eshkol, and the morons thought he was leading a rebellion against the government. But he wasn't! He was a wise and holy man who had no inclination to get involved in politics, he even told them that!"

"Well, do you see your Joshua around here?"

Peter looked around in the gloom, eyes adjusting to the low light level. "He's.... he's not here? But where...." then Peter's eyes got as big as saucers. "He is risen! He is risen!" He ran out to his fellow cultists. "He is risen!" White robed men and women jumped up and started dancing around in circles, shouting "He is risen!" Morelli rolled his eyes. The cultists ran away down the track, still occasionally shouting "He is risen!"

Morelli shook his head. "Religious nutcases. Heavens save us all from them. So, officers, what happened here?"

"Well, sir, we got word yesterday evening that somebody might be stealing the body out of this crypt, so we sent Officer Craxi down here to keep an eye on things. But he musta fell asleep. He claims he didn't, but then he would, wouldn't he?"

"Yeah. Or somebody knocked him over the head, I can't see someone sleeping through looting a whole fuckin' crypt. How's his head feel?"

"Uhm, he did complain he had a hellacious headache, sir. But then he had a whole jug of wine with him. To keep warm, he said. So that might be it."

"Drunk outta his skull, no wonder he didn't wake up. Well fuck. I guess I can't blame him for wanting some liquid entertainment. Watching a fucking crypt has to be the most boring fuck-ass job ever. So who owns this crypt?"

"Joseph Sharett, the miller."

"Guess I'll head on down there then," Morelli said.

Morelli walked down the path to the cemetary, then took a taxi to Sharett's mill. He walked in and badged the secretary behind the desk. "I need to talk to Joseph Sharett."

"Yes sir." The secretary led Morelli through the lobby door, and to a large office behind. A large Jewish man with a long black beard wearing one of those Jewish beanies was behind the desk, looking at some papers with Hebrew writing on them.

"Sir, the police are here to talk to you."

"Thank you Yitzhak, you are dismissed," the man said.

Morelli badged the man. "I'm Detective Morelli. You're Joseph Sharett?"

"Yes, Detective, I am. I'm a busy man, what is this about?"

"Do you own a crypt in Holy Mount Cemetery where a common criminal named Joshua Eshkol was laid to rest a couple of days ago?"

Sharett slapped his papers down. "Oh yeah, that asshole. Have you seen those fucking cultists of his? Have you? A guy shows up, says that a holy man got killed and asked if they could use one of the niches in my family crypt 'cause else they were going to have to dump him in a pauper's pit. Crap, I'm not a bad guy, I said okay. But have you seen those fuckers? I went up there to check on things and there were all these assholes in white robes all over the fucking place, and they'd took over the whole fucking crypt, they'd even shoved my mother's bones over into a corner to make room for shit they were piling around all over the goddamned place, perfumes and fine cloths and stuff. I tell ya, it was enough to make a man go into a rage and tell those assholes to get their fucking holy man and all that shit out of my crypt by the end of the week, or else. So what, those assholes complained that I was mean to them or something?"

Morelli examined the man with a neutral expression on his face. "So you want that body and all that swag out of your crypt?"

"Oh fuck yeah. If it ain't outta there by the end of the week, I'm going to send some of my security guys up there to clean it all out and dump everything at the front door of that Peter dude who seems to be their second in command."

"Well, somebody already cleaned out the body and all that swag. Nothing left but your family bones up there."

"Really? Well whoever did that ought to get a fucking medal. Cultists. Bah. I shoulda never let them put their holy asshole in there in the first place."

"You wouldn't know anything about who could have done this, do you?"

"You ain't accusin' me of doing' it, are you? 'Cause if it was me, I done told you what I woulda done. It's my crypt, I woulda just dumped everything outside of that Peter's house and stationed a couple of security guards at the entrance to the crypt to keep them from bringing their holy asshole back. You want to know who might have had an incentive to, like, disappear that body? Check with the Army, they weren't too damned happy to have all these cultists gathered in one spot venerating a common criminal."

"Any idea who I should check with?"

"I think a Lieutenant Zanardelli was in charge, he's over at the Governor's Palace post."

"Thank you for your cooperation, Mr. Sharett. I notice that your business seems unusually large and thriving for a mill, and that's one expensive desk you're sitting behind. Must be a lot of profit in grinding wheat nowdays."

"I'm an honest businessman, detective. Now are you done?"

Morelli tipped his hat. "I believe so. Assuming you've told me the truth." Then he turned and left.

Morelli took a taxi to the Governor's palace, and went around to the side where the Army detachment was posted. He badged the trooper at the gate. "Detective Morelli here, to see Lieutenant Zanardelli."

"Does he know you're coming?"

"He knows someone from the police department is coming, I'm pretty sure, but not my name."

"Yeah? Let me check." The man looked down at a register in front of him, looked back up. "Nope, no police department dude listed here."

Morelli sighed. "Look, we're on the same side here, we're both trying to keep order in a sea of assholes. I can go up to the Governor's office and get an order and shit, but that's just plain asshattery. Just call Lieutenant Zanardelli and let's get our business over with."

The trooper considered, his monobrow squinching up a bit. "Okay, sounds fair enough." He turned around and spoke into an intercom, "A police detective is here to talk to Lieutenant Zanardelli." A couple of minutes later, Lieutenant Zanardelli showed up, flicking imaginary dust off the sleeves of his spotless uniform.

Morelli badged him. "Good morning, Lieutenant. I'm Detective Morelli from the Metropolitan Police. Just a routine enquiry about a missing body. Do you recall Joshua Eshkol?"

"Oh, him. That cult of his is plain creepy. The Feds were monitoring them and decided it was time to pull him in and put him on trial for fomenting revolt, the Army got called in because these nutcases were gathered in a large compound and it was decided that an overwhelming show of force was needed to keep them from resisting his arrest. He was guilty, of course, so we executed him two days ago. What's this about a missing body?"

"Well, sir, it appears someone disappeared his body from the tomb, after a couple days where those cultists were congregating around there. Somebody suggested that the Army might have gotten tired of those cultists congregating and decided to put an end to it by removing the body to some deep pit somewhere that it'll never be found."

"Interesting," Lt. Zanardelli said. "I'd say you have no need to know, but in this case, I think you're barking up the wrong tree. The Army has no interest in these cultists, we didn't find any weapons in their compound so from our perspective they're a non-issue. You might want to check with the Feds though. They seem to have a bee up their ass about these cultists."

" Do you know who I should talk to with the Feds?"

"I'd say check with Agent Zoli, he was the one who called in the Army for manpower."

"Thank you for your cooperation, Lt. Zanardelli. Hopefully we can get to the bottom of this before those cultist assholes can make a big fuss out of it."

"Yeah, well, good luck with that." Lt. Zanardelli turned and went back inside, still flicking invisible dust off of his immaculate uniform.

Manelli walked around the other side of the governor's palace and descended into a basement hallway. Halfway down the hallway was the Fed's door. He walked in and badged the secretary. "Detective Morelli to see Agent Zoli."

"And what is this about, may I ask?"

"Some cultist assholes. Agent Zoli will know who I'm talking about."

The secretary looked down at her desk, then back up. "You're in luck, Agent Zoli is in. Let me get him."

She talked into an intercom, and Agent Zoli entered the lobby shortly afterword, looking splendid in his dark suit and footwear. Morelli badged him, "I'm Detective Morelli, you're Agent Zoli?"

"I am. And what is this about?"

"We have a missing body. Some common criminal named Joshua Eshkol."

The agent laughed. "Oh yeah, him. His body isn't missing, his family has it."

"Ah. And how, exactly, did they accomplish this?"

"Well, when he was executed of course we notified the next of kin, his parents. They came down to retrieve the body, but those cultists had already snatched it and put it in that crypt. They were irate, of course, but what were they going to do, wade through a bunch of cultists to take their son's body away? Not hardly!"

"So how did they do it?"

"Oh, I sent a couple of agents with them last night to fetch the body and crate it up for shipping. The cultists seem to go home at dusk, there wasn't anybody out there except some cop passed out snoring near the entrance. We didn't bother waking him up, he smelled like a winery."

"Thank you, Agent. Can you give me the names of his parents, just so I can verify this information with them and close my file?"

"Sure, why not. I know how that goes, your superiors will get on you if you don't dot all your i's and cross all your t's." The agent pulled a pad and a pen out of his pocket, and scribbled a couple of names on it and the address where they lived, then tore off the sheet of paper and handed it to Detective Morelli. "Just don't expect much from them. Those cultists had them pretty freaked out. I doubt they'll even verify that they have the body, for fear that the cultists will start hanging around trying to sniff out where they've put the body."

Morelli shrugged. "Maybe so, but you know how it goes."

"Sure. Good luck, Detective."

Morelli nodded, and headed out.

The address on the pad was out of town, but Morelli bet that the body wasn't out of town yet. He started checking out shippers who might handle freighting a large crate. After the fifth shipper, he found the one.

"Oh yeah, them," the shipper said, looking at the names on the piece of paper. "Yeah, they were in here, with a body to ship."

"Is the crate still here?"

"Yeah, the freight to Galilee had already left by the time they got in, it'll be on tomorrow's freight."

"I'd like to verify its contents, then."

"Sure, why the fuck not."

The shipper took Morelli back into the warehouse to where some crates were sitting on a loading dock. He picked up a prybar and pried open one, and stood aside to let Morelli look inside. Morelli looked inside and yep, there was some Jew down there, with the hooked nose and dark curly hair and long black beard, dressed in one of those white cultist robes. The mystery of the missing swag was solved too, it was packed all around the body, the parents apparently having decided that they needed the swag more than the cultists.

"Thanks," Morelli said. "Now I can close my case."

Morelli headed back to his office, wrote it up, and closed the case. A few months later his boss came in. He'd heard that the cultists were making a nuisance of themselves claiming their Holy One had risen from the dead and walked around for a while. Morelli just shook his head. Cultists. Given how many cults were around in these times, he didn't figure that this one would last long. Rising from the dead, who was dumb enough to believe stupid crap like that? Morelli handed the file to his boss, and that was that. Until the day he died, he didn't think about it again, because really, with all the cults around saying all this silly crap, who cared about one particularly silly one? "Rise from the dead", indeed. If you'd asked him, Morelli woulda snorted. Those bones were well and interred in the family crypt of the guy's parents. But nobody ever asked him, because it just never was important enough, not until long after Morelli died and was himself interred.

-- Badtux the Fiction Penguin

When trip-hop was the future

Sneaker Pimps w/Kelli Ali, "6 Underground". They were one of a number of bands that combined hip-hop sounds with pop and psychedelia to do "trip-hop". Later they dumped Kelli Ali (who sang but did not write any of their songs) and became more of a New Wavey kind of band, but their early stuff with Kelli sounds much more interesting to me, even though I know she actually had nothing to do with the songs other than singing.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Look, mommy, a giant iPhone!

As predicted, the iPad is available for demo purposes at Apple Stores today. Looks like an iPhone on steroids. And I would be interested in this thing because of... why?

Yeah, exactly.

- Badtux the Not-impressed Penguin


Priscilla Ahn, "Masters in China". This song was written for her by Benji Hughes, but speculation is that it was also written about her. Just another singer whose music you'll never hear on the radio...

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Friday, April 02, 2010

Yay I'm up and running again!

I seem to have recovered all of my data from my disk crash, thanks to Apple Time Machine. First time in my life I've ever had to restore from a backup and had it actually work! But then, that's why I like buying Apple stuff... it Just effin' *works*.

Still a few things to do -- lost my RHEL5 vm, so I'm installing Centos 5 into a VMware virtual machine -- but that is a situation where I told Time Machine explicitly not to back up my VMware directory because everything there is disposable. Can't fault Time Machine for doing what I told it to do!

-- Badtux the Geeky Penguin

Bobo Brooks and the Economists of Doom

Oh boy, Bobo Brooks says economics is hard and a lot of economists get it wrong, so we should abandon economics and go back to explaining economics with stories out of history. Gosh, right out of the Austrian handbook. The Austrians hold that any sort of mathematical / statistical social sciences approach to economics is doomed to failure, and thus only the Austrian method of logical reasoning from postulates pulled out of their bungholes as “truths” is correct for thinking about economics.

Of course, as my Philosophy 208 (Logic) professor pointed out some thirty-odd years ago, if you start reasoning from false postulates, you end up with meaningless conclusions. If I start reasoning with, “All politicians are orange; John Boehner is a politician, thus John Boehner is orange”, I might think it’s correct. But then I come up with “All politicians are orange, Barack Obama is a politician, therefore Obama is orange.” Which, err, he isn't ;). A false premise (“All politicians are orange”) led to a false conclusion. Yet that is where the Austrians take us — into the realm of false premises that they “prove” are true much as I “proved” that all politicians are orange by looking at the examples of John Boehner and Charlie Crist.

The reality is that economic models validated by statistics do have use — as models, that imperfectly capture aspects of an economic system and have validity only insofar as they agree with the data they supposedly model. Insofar as these models can predict what happens in certain situations — such as what happens when we hit the zero bounds and enter liquidity trap territory — and insofar as these models agree with what we’ve actually observed in prior incidents where economies have hit the zero bounds and entered liquidity trap territory — they are useful. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater just because some of the models proposed by the Chicago school have no correspondence to any reality lacking pink unicorns and cotton candy trees is ridiculous, but it doesn’t surprise me that Bobo Brooks does it. After all, hacks hate facts, especially facts that happen to agree with models that predict them. Facts are inconvenient, and make it hard for them to lie to the American people about the results of policy decisions made by government and their effect upon the economy. And what fun is that?

-- Badtux the Logical Penguin

It's Jesus-on-a-stick Day!

Yay! Get your Jesus-on-a-stick, hot and fresh off the griddle. It's time to feast on body and blood of Christ! It's Holy Jesus On A Stick Cannibal Day, boys'n'girls, just go over there to your local house of kiddie fuckers err "church" for your feast of holy flesh and holy blood.

OMG, I'm going to Hell for this post. As if threatening to send a penguin to nice, chilly Hell, Michigan, was a punishment!

-- Badtux the Hell-bound Penguin


Gurf Morlix with another of his brilliant songs, "She's a River" off his latest album, Last Exit to Happyland. Gurf has noted that his voice has gotten rougher and deeper recently as he approaches Social Security age, and that he kind of likes it that way because his songs are rough and deep too. Yes indeed.

-- Badtux the Music Penguin

Okay, so poor Gurf is still in Lucinda's shadow, even here on my blog... oh well!

Thursday, April 01, 2010


So my Macbook Pro died today, after The Mighty Fang knocked the Roland amp off the shelf above it and put a dent in its case. (Yes, when an 18 pound cat wants to gravity-assist a 10 pound amp, the amp loses ;). The computer itself works fine despite the dent in its aluminum case, the problem is that it was running and hard drives do *not* like getting that sort of jolt. I tried mounting the drive into a USB enclosure and reading its data off into my Linux server(which can read the HFS filesystems just fine), but Linux reports that the drive is just dead, Jim.

So now I get to see how well Time Machine really works. My last backup was as of around 8PM last night, so ... anyhow, I put a new drive in the MBP, installed MacOS on it, told it to restore from Time Machine, and here we go. 2 1/2 hours left to go.

Which reminds me of just how lucky I am, actually. There's a lot of people who don't have any kind of real backup. If they lose their hard drive, they lose their photos, they lose their music collection, they lose everything. Even if they do have a backup, they're out of commission until the computer is repaired. I have my Linux server, this Acer Aspire One netbook that I'm typing this on, and if all else fails my iPhone. So I'm connected even if one of my computers goes down. But most folks are just SOL.

-- Badtux the Geeky Penguin


I've been pestering the conservative Twitterati ranting about Socialism and how it means the end of Freedom(tm) for exactly what freedoms we have that the socialist Swedes don't have. First, they say "well, socialism is the first step to Communism!" and I say "but Sweden has been socialist for over sixty years now. When do they go Communist?" Then they sort of stammer and stutter and go away. Except finally, finally one of the teabaggers came up with a freedom American parents have that Swedish parents don't have: The freedom to place their hand firmly on their child's firm, nubile young buttocks, in a most loving manner of course, to provide parently discipline to the disobedient little shit. Sort of like with the bondage lesbian night club that the GOP took their Young Republican donors to, except kinkier because the little darlings are actually related to you, but hey, Freedom(tm)!

Of course, Swedes might retort that Swedish children have a freedom that American children don't have -- the freedom to grow up without having the shit beat out of them by repressed pedophiles pretending that their "discipline" has nothing to do with sexual urgings on their part. Oh those firm, nubile young buttocks, so enticing... the child made him do it by being a naughty little boy, don't you see? Nothing to do with sexual urgings! Yay, Freedom(tm)!

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Bringing Freedom!(tm) to the Internets for over six straight years and 4,000+ posts now!

Update: So now we know what the Pope and teabaggers have in common... a liking for touching the buttocks of children. Whoa!

Update#2: This post did not, did not I repeat, have anything to do with the Lucinda Williams video below it, which was queued up over two weeks ago. Still, the subject matter of both is eerily similar...

Sweet music

Uhm, well, not exactly. Lucinda Williams, "Sweet Side". Sort of a country rap? Not exactly a happy song, but a good one...

-- Badtux the Music Penguin