Friday, May 18, 2007

Climate Change

  • Climate Progress
  • Bansky

    The New Yorker magazine has a great bio on my favorite british grafitti artist Bansky.

    "Even on Banksy’s home turf, it’s hard to know what to look for, or where to look. For many of his admirers, that’s the fun of it: scouring a city for him or his art works, invests a potentially monotonous activity with the possibility of discovery."

    "Graffiti afficionados like to say that the [art] form is as ancient as cave drawing, and Banksy takes a similarly romantic view. “Imagine a city where graffiti wasn’t illegal, a city where everybody could draw wherever they liked,” he once wrote. “Where the street was awash with a million colors and little phrases. . . . A city that felt like a party where everyone was invited, not just the estate agents and barons of big business.” Detractors of graffiti, however, can trace its spread as assiduously as epidemiologists mapping an outbreak of diphtheria. "

    Wednesday, May 16, 2007

    Salt Flats pt.2

    I'm finally getting around to viewing the other photos from the salt flats in Argentina I went to last month. These photos were taken by my cohorts in wind, sun and salt.
    A complete description of the day can be read @ Gaffer63: Salt Flats

    Illegal Domestic Spying

    Really great piece on Americablog/NYT's about the lengths Gonzales was willing to go...........

    Gonzales went to great lengths to implement illegal domestic spying
    by Joe Sudbay (DC) · 5/16/2007 09:38:00 AM ET

    Didn't see James Comey testify yesterday, but The NY Times has a fascinating account of his testimony. Comey described the lengths to which Alberto Gonzales and Andrew Card were willing to go to break the law and allow spying on the American people. You know it's ugly when John Ashcroft comes across as being on the right side.

    This is like something out of a bad spy movie -- unfortunately, it's real:
    Mr. Comey said that on the evening of March 10, 2004, Mr. Gonzales and Andrew H. Card Jr., then Mr. Bush’s chief of staff, tried to bypass him by secretly visiting Mr. Ashcroft. Mr. Ashcroft was extremely ill and disoriented, Mr. Comey said, and his wife had forbidden any visitors.

    Mr. Comey said that when a top aide to Mr. Ashcroft alerted him about the pending visit, he ordered his driver to rush him to George Washington University Hospital with emergency lights flashing and a siren blaring, to intercept the pair. They were seeking his signature because authority for the program was to expire the next day.

    Mr. Comey said he phoned Mr. Mueller, who agreed to meet him at the hospital. Once there, Mr. Comey said he “literally ran up the stairs.” At his request, Mr. Mueller ordered the F.B.I. agents on Mr. Ashcroft’s security detail not to evict Mr. Comey from the room if Mr. Gonzales and Mr. Card objected to his presence.

    Mr. Comey said he arrived first in the darkened room, in time to brief Mr. Ashcroft, who he said seemed barely conscious. Before Mr. Ashcroft became ill, Mr. Comey said the two men had talked and agreed that the program should not be renewed.

    When the White House officials appeared minutes later, Mr. Gonzales began to explain to Mr. Ashcroft why they were there. Mr. Comey said Mr. Ashcroft rose weakly from his hospital bed, but in strong and unequivocal terms, refused to approve the eavesdropping program.

    “I was angry,” Mr. Comey told the committee. “ I had just witnessed an effort to take advantage of a very sick man, who did not have the powers of the attorney general because they had been transferred to me. I thought he had conducted himself in a way that demonstrated a strength I had never seen before, but still I thought it was improper.”

    Mr. Gonzales and Mr. Card quickly departed, but Mr. Comey said he soon got an angry phone call from Mr. Card, demanding that he come to the White House. Mr. Comey said he replied: “After what I just witnessed, I will not meet with you without a witness, and I intend that witness to be the solicitor general of the United States.”

    Illegal Domestic Spying pt.2

    The Washington Post Editorial Board chimes in with:

    A standoff at a hospital bedside speaks volumes about Attorney General Gonzales.

    The dramatic details should not obscure the bottom line: the administration’s alarming willingness, championed by, among others, Vice President Cheney and his counsel, David Addington, to ignore its own lawyers. Remember, this was a Justice Department that had embraced an expansive view of the president’s inherent constitutional powers, allowing the administration to dispense with following the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Justice’s conclusions are supposed to be the final word in the executive branch about what is lawful or not, and the administration has emphasized since the warrantless wiretapping story broke that it was being done under the department’s supervision.

    Now, it emerges, they were willing to override Justice if need be. That Mr. Gonzales is now in charge of the department he tried to steamroll may be most disturbing of all.

    Via Think Progress

    Tuesday, May 15, 2007

    Seven and Bamboo

    I came back to Los Angeles last friday. The dog is doing much better now and has gotten used to his medication. It will be for life this stuff and we now have to get his blood tested twice a year to make sure there is no liver damage. We through out the ratty old rugs and got a bamboo rug. It looks great in the sunlight and as the dog can attest, perfect for napping on. Although he still prefers the futon.

    Saturday, May 05, 2007

    Queens Just Wanna Have Fun

    Queen visited the Kentucky Derby today with mixed results.....
    "Queen Elizabeth arrived in Louisville, Kentucky for the running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. The monarch is making her sixth official visity to the United States and her first to the world's most famous horserace.

    Handicappers have placed her as a 256 million to 1 longshot to win the opening leg of the triple crown. "She's just not as fast as she used to be, and she's not used to being ridden by these little American jockey's," said handicapper Jimmy the Bermudan. "She still has some spunk, but I really don't think she has much chance to win, place, or show.""

    The lighter side of the Queen displayed on youtube. And below, what the cartoonists are saying about the royal trip.

    Friday, May 04, 2007

    Lilibeth Moment of the Day

    From today's tour of Jamestown......
    "Visiting the Jamestown museum, the Queen was shown iron spatulas used by the settlers as a gruesome cure for constipation, which according to an early 17th century inscription was "a disease that killeth many" in the settlement.

    Turning to her personal physician, Commander David Swain, Elizabeth remarked: "You ought to have something like that!"

    Thursday, May 03, 2007

    Tom Mankiewicz

    Tom Mankiewicz is the younger son of famed Hollywood producer and director Joseph Mankiewicz. He also wrote "Diamonds Are Forever" and collaborated on 4 other Bond films. He has recently given a interview on those heady 007 days. Excerpts are below or you can read the whole article here.
    'And the line originally was when Bond sipped it, "Pity about your liver, sir, unusually fine Solera. '61, I believe."
    And Cubby's lawyer was reading the script, and he was part of the wine jury who gave the stars out to different wines, and he said, "Would you tell that kid that there is no year on a Sherry bottle, it can't be 61. What they do is take casks and put the worst vintage on top and then the next and the next and then the best vintage is on the bottom, so they all run through the best vintage but there's no year. So quickly, embarrassed as I was, I changed the scene to:

    Bond: A Sherry Commander? Pity about your liver, sir, unusually fine Solera. '51, I believe.
    M: There is no year for sherry, 007.
    Bond: I was referring to the original vintage on which the sherry is based, sir. 1851, unmistakable. '

    'Your trademark in the Bond films is your witty dialogue.

    I enjoyed doing it because it was dialogue you couldn't get away with in any other kind of movie except Bond.
    In DAF, they try to sneak diamonds up the asshole of a corpse and Bond and Felix are looking at it, and Lieter says, "I give up, the diamonds are here somewhere."
    Bond says, "Alimentary, my dear Leiter."

    And Cubby says, "What the fuck is this?"
    It's the alimentary canal, Cubby. It means it's stuck up his ass. He said, "Take it out -- no one will know that." Guy Hamilton said, "Oh no, I like that." So it stayed in the picture.

    Cubby and I were at Mann's Chinese standing in the back. It was a full house and Sean says, "Alimentary, my dear Leiter. Out of 1500 people two guys laughed. Cubby looked over to me and said, "Big deal - two doctors." '
    ' Paul McCartney writes Live and Let Die. Cubby says to me, "Boy didn't we get taken, listen to this," And plays Live and Let Die, which he hates, and I said to him, "Cubby, this is terrific."
    Jerry Moss of EMI records was in London at the time; Cubby loved him, and I said, "Let Jerry have a listen to this." Jerry listened to it and he said, "Cubby, I can guarantee you that this record will go platinum and it will become the number one song in the world. If you don't like it, I'll be happy to give you one million dollars for your rights to the song right now." Cubby just stared. Starting the next day, Cubby said, "We have this great song by Paul." And what's his name who arranged the score?
    George Martin
    George wrote a wonderful score. '
    'I rewrote the Spy Who Loved Me at Cubby's house for no money and no credit because they had already given out the credits -- you could only have two non Brits in the main titles. Cubby paid me cash under the table to rewrite the picture and when Roger Moore started getting the rewrites in England, he said, "This is Wankiewicz, Wankiewicz wrote this." He could tell right away, "Good, he's on the picture." Cubby said, "No, no, no, no, no one is suppose to know he's on the picture." '

    Tuesday, May 01, 2007

    Super Duper Friends

    I got back to Brooklyn tonight and saw this website. All the power players in Washington are divied up between "The Legion of Doom" and "The Justice League". Guess who's on each team?????????
    See the whole site and cartoon trailers @ Challenge of the Super Duper Friends".