Saturday, March 15, 2008

Pissing on Puzzle Pieces - It's Autism Awareness Time again.

It's April, and that time of year that rubs our noses in all the patronizing, clueless "concern" tends to drive me bugfuck. Some - even most - is well-meaning, but it's driven and influenced by those who view everyone on the spectrum as a "plague victim" who is unsuited for life.

Don't Speak for Me Anti-puzzle-piece graphicAh, the "the love that dare not speak it's name" has become loquacious indeed, but the Normalcy Police have not given up on creating fear and loathing of difference.

In this, I reference Autism Hub's "Don't Speak for Me" petition campaign, which is in turn a response to Autisim Speak's odius 2006 anti-autistic propaganda film, "Autism Every Day."

This film was alleged to depict the realities of autism, described by the film's Producer Lauren Thierry as:

"At this point we need to be showing the world what the vast reality truly is. [Lauren says]…that reality includes images of kids not sleeping through the night, banging their heads against the wall or running into traffic – not images of kids setting basketball records or passionately playing the violin."

It later transpired that the film had been 'set up' and that Thierry had purposefully attempted to display the worst possible view to the world:

"Thierry told her subjects not to do their hair, vacuum or bring in the therapists. She showed up with her crew at their homes sight unseen and kept the cameras rolling as a mom literally wrestled with her son to get him to brush his teeth, as a 9-year-old had a public meltdown, as a 5-year-old had his diaper changed. And, as moms revealed dark and uncomfortable truths about living with autism. The result is a window into an exhausting world of interminable work."

The film itself contained a segment where one of the mothers interviewed said that:

"I remember that was a scary moment for me when I realized I had sat in the car for about 15 minutes and actually contemplated putting Jody in the car and driving off the George Washington Bridge. That would be preferable to having to put her in one of these schools."

The mother in question made this statement whilst her autistic daughter was in the room with her. She further added that the only reason she didn't kill her autistic child and herself was the thought of her non-disabled daughter.

Producer Thierry called this section 'gutsy and courageous' and added that:

"If most mothers of autistic children…look hard enough within themselves they will find that they have played out a similar scenario in their minds. If this is not your reality, then God bless you."
The above makes me want to chew nails and spit bullets. But instead, I decided to put my autistic savant nature to work, perseverated a while, and came up with this graphic. It is copyleft, you may grab it and use it as you wish, so long as the copyleft remains intact and the graphic itself is not altered. (You can embed it in a larger graphic, for instance.)

From Autism Awaren...
This year, I'm hoping that the combination of skill, beauty and frankness will help to change a few minds. So stay tuned, as they say - I'm uploading several versions, both to Zazzle, and to the Picassa folder this comes from. What I am encouraging people to do is to use these images to fund-raise. More on that in a separate post.

You see, I simply cannot afford to support all the wonderful sites that do battle with the forces of curebie hatred every day. I personally admire their courage, but I have enough difficulty dealing with ordinary Republicans. Oh, and yes, there is (or at least once was) a linkage between Cure Autism Now and Free Republic. It's kind of the same mindset.

Think on that, then consider the odds in trying reason with them. What you have to do is to apply reason to those they are trying to stampede to their advantage.

Friday, March 14, 2008

When you lie down with dogs...

...sometimes the pooch screws you!

NRCC Says Ex-Treasurer Diverted Up to $1 Million - washingtonpost.com

For at least four years, Christopher J. Ward, who is under investigation by the FBI, allegedly used wire transfers to funnel money out of NRCC coffers and into other political committee accounts he controlled as treasurer, NRCC leaders and lawyers said in their first public statement since they turned the matter over to the FBI six weeks ago.

"The evidence we have today indicated we have been deceived and betrayed for a number of years by a highly respected and trusted individual," said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), the NRCC chairman.

Well of course. The ethics of a war on false pretenses didn't bother anyone much at the NRCC. They have never had an issue with "signing statements," or validating torture, or gerrymandering Texas, or blowing out a whole CIA intelligence network for partisan reasons, rigging national and local elections, well, I could go on. But this, THIS is dishonest!

Gee whiz, when you solicit people whom you know to be unethical enough to participate knowingly and willingly in acts that are variously illegal, immoral, indecent and unethical, doesn't it seem just possible that they might be less than totally trustworthy?

Has NO-one in the Republican Party learned from that simple morality tale called "The Sting?" EG, you can't cheat an honest man?

That, of course, makes the Republican Party (and any registered Republican) target one for every grifter, confidence artist and multi-level marketing scammer out there. Aside from the outright thieves such as this, of course.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

And Stupidity. Don't forget the stupidity.

Apparently the New Mexico Secretary of State is baffled. Well, so are we all.

The BRAD BLOG : Exclusive: NM Sec. of State Says Rep. Heather Wilson's Payment for Voters 'Very Odd':
"Cargo said the checks vindicate his allegations and prove that state Republican Party operatives 'are a closed little group who operate on the basis of hate.'"
It's clear from many, many examples of this sort of implosion over the last several years that the mentality and priorities required to be accepted as a bona fide "New(t) Republican" are incompatible with competent administration and leadership, aside from trivial matters such as intelligence, conscience, ethics and a regard for the interests and common sense of one's constituents.

You know how Heather Wilson was forced to admit that she had actually paid the entry fees for delegates to the NM State Party convention?

She cut checks from her campaign fund - instead of reaching in her purse and peeling off tens and twenties.

You know how the state party organization tried to cover up the scandal when former Governor Dave Cargo blew the whistle on the scam? They claimed they had paid his fees in 2004 and forged an invoice to "prove" it.

Oh, but that gets even better.

The forged invoice (or at least an intentionally deceptive one) was produced by a lawyer.

The accusation from Republican lawyer Pat Rogers—who in the past has been the party’s legal counsel—came in the form of an invoice. During the taping of the Eye on New Mexico program at the KOB-TV, Channel 4 studio, Rogers pulled an invoice from a stack of papers and said that four years ago, party operative Lou Melvin paid the $20 registration fee for Cargo to attend and participate in a delegate nominating convention.
It makes me think that there must be special programs that allow persons disadvantaged by congenital partisanship to pass the bar. Because I think that piece of paper with Pat Roger's fingerprints and party operative Lou Melvin's name would probably be enough to justify a serious investigation...

Oh, wait. It was. As any half-decent lawyer could have told you. Unfortunately, they had a REPUBLICAN lawyer.

People just like this; Paul Bremer, Dick Chertoff and "Heckofajob" Brownie are more prominent examples of this sort mystifying combination of hubris and stupidity, and apparently it's an attitude that's much emulated in the rank and file.

If there is a Republican party left after this election, perhaps it will be of so little interest to "the people who matter" that it can be retaken and rebuilt by actual Republicans.

Short of that, it's the way of the Whigs for them.

Can I get fries with that idea?

My idea for a collaborative T-shirt network.


I plan on using this as a template to blog mind-bogglingly stupid ideas that are repeated straight-faced by the MSM. You are encouraged to play along, either by promoting my version or creating your own "Can I get fries with that idea" templates. However you do it, with whatever service, I'd love you to link it here.

By the way, I'm going to try and be as non-partisan as I can here, but there is a distinct difference between an idea that IS stupid, and an idea you happen to THINK is stupid. And the final cut is up to me. Don't like it? Start your own stupid blog - everyone else has!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Woo. I hadn't realized, but it's tech bubble time!

"Client Nine" on Zazzle...

I went to tell Lionel (of the lionel show on Air America) that he'd inspired me. And, you know, maybe get some free bennies.

Well, looks like I ain't the first.

But neither am I the most obvious, or least erudite.


create & buy custom products at Zazzle

Pot. Kettle. Rove.





I've always felt that if you need a solid viewpoint on a position that requires professional insight, you should go to a professional. Well, when speaking of positions found in the Kama Sutra there is no finer pro than Susie Bright, and she of course has a very professional analysis of the Spitzer Scandal.

Pride Goeth Before Client #9

Governor Eliot Spitzer of New York, who became famous prosecuting Wall Street crooks, has been caught on a federal wiretap, making arrangements with a high-priced prostitute.

The pro, named Kristen, called her booker after her session with Eliot to confirm that all had gone well. She said she didn't find Spitzer "difficult,"€ as some of the other girls had complained.

The booker replied to her that "Client 9," as Eliot was called, was known to ask the women "€œto do things that, like, you might not think were safe."

Aside from the kinky slap to his Mr. Clean reputation, Spitzer is also facing legal jeopardy, since, among other things, the feds are hitting him with the Mann Act, a 1910 prostitution law designed to crack down on interstate "white slavery."

And as they say on Fark: "Hilarity Ensues." First Suzie has a few rings on the gong, and then her readers chime in. I won't spoil it- it's best enjoyed in it's compellingly NSFW context.

Oh, maybe just ONE more little nibble:

If we could give a truth serum to all the parties involved—€” or wiretap their personal diaries— here's what we might listen in on:

The $4,300 an Hour Prostitute:

Well, first of all, I got less than half of that, and my manicurist charges almost as much.

The Wife:

There's not a political wife alive who's been schtupped by her own husband in years. If you want a career as a high profile spouse, you can kiss your sex life goodbye.

The John/Governor:

Those sons of bitches. I know who did this, and I'll destroy them if it's the last thing I do.

The Escort Service Booker:

There's a couple dozen high end joints like us operating at any time to service the Pol crowd, and we just can't charge enough. Once they start ratting out each other, they'll mess us over so bad there'll be forty people filing bankruptcy as a result of their bullshit.

Did I mention that I like Susie Bright a lot?

She's had a lot to say about previous scandals of this sort, all of it compelling, insightful and wickedly pointed. But as amusing it is to see an arrant hypocrite hoist upon his own crusader's petard, it's really "Dog bites Man."

But, thanks to Susie, I was directed to this article on BoingBoing:

"I'm the proud owner of Karl Rove’s father’s solid gold cock ring."

You know, that might well be the most compelling headline of the decade.

Shannon Larratt, founder of the body modification online publication BMEzine, pointed us a few days ago to a first-person essay that a person named Yard[D]og was writing, regarding the adoptive father of Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove (shown in the image at left). Yard[D]og claims to have been a close personal friend of the now-deceased elder Rove.


I've also had occasion to exchange emails with Shannon over the years, and there's nothing in my interactions that would cause me to either doubt his word or think that this might be concocted. [BK]

And now I wondered if that son ever cried for the man who raised him and watched him grow up? I’d be curious as to how Karl Rove would ever explain his pierced, gay father? He never told the people in Louis’ phone book that he had died, nor invited them to a service if there was one. No one even knows where he is buried.

As for me? Well, I am the proud owner of Karl Rove’s father’s pure, solid gold cock ring! I’ve put it away with a few memories and pictures of his father. And in my garden grows a nasty, prickly little cactus from Louie’s backyard ... alive and well.

- - - - - - - -

Link to full text. NSFW advisory: Contains links to photographs of pierced genitals said to those of Karl Rove's father, with a "modesty mosaic" imposed over the thumbnail images at that main link.


Well, now; that explains a lot, don't it? Oh, and Karl was raised in Sparks, Nev, just for that local interest angle.

I've always thought that Karl was a little bit "queer" myself. Not in the way his dad was, but in the sense of being ooozingly, off-puttingly not quite right. In the old sense, before the word came to be a synonym for homosexuality, one connotation was the sort of person that caused you to wipe your hand on your pants-leg after shaking their hand.

And oddly enough, Karl is the exact sort that would like you to confuse those terms, with the sort of pasty phiz you see in sex-offender registries.

So, with that unpleasant but entirely too plausible association in mind, let us now observe that Glenn Greenwald is wondering aloud if this might be the result of a politically motivated "sting" by the Department of Justice.

Is it really the case that any elected official who ever breaks the law should be righteously condemned by all decent people and then forced from office -- without regard to how serious the offense is or whether there are even any victims? If so, I don't think there are going to be very many elected officials left.
I believe that's one of them Rhetorical Questions.

I'm minded how easy it was for Larry Flindt to scare up awkward details on people howling for Clinton's head during the Lewinski matter. The odds are very good that if there is any political figure of any party that you would like to pressure or put out to pasture, that you will be able to find dirt enough to do it. The only requirement, of course, is that you somehow believe that "sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander."

Glenn points to a damn fine Harper's take on this and in a later update heaves a nod toward firedoglake.


UPDATE II: Harper's Scott Horton, one of the country's foremost experts on the Bush DOJ's overtly political prosecution of former Democratic Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, compiles numerous additional questions regarding this quite unusual, massive federal law enforcement effort directed at a small prostitution ring that just so happens to have had Democratic New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer as a client (leading, in turn, to the disclosure of all sorts of salacious details in the "Client-9" paragraphs of the Complaint having no bearing whatsoever on the actual criminal issues).

It will be difficult for the questions Horton raises to attract much attention given all of the fun, titillating details concerning Spitzer's sexual activities which are already preoccupying so many, to say nothing of the invigorating charge that comes from being part of an upstanding mob so righteously condemning the private lives of others. But the issues Horton raises are of far greater significance than how Eliot Spitzer and other consenting adults chose to spend their time with one another.

UPDATE III: Jane Hamsher is asking similar and additional questions about this very odd prosecution.


That, of course, would be the sort of operation we have come to describe in the Blogosphere as being "Rovian."

In light of all of this, I think it's pretty obvious exactly what precise national security imperative drives the White House toward insisting on the need to be able to listen to our phone-calls or mine your data without so much as a warrant or a by-your-leave.

Their idea of "national security" is a permanent Republican majority, if not in name, than in effect. Odd, is it not, how so many Democrats failed so frequently to frustrate such obvious abuses of power by George Bush and his cronies?

This may well be intended as an object lesson as to what happens to people who poke their noses into Republican business.

But I wonder what a decent investigative reporter could dig up on major Republican figures - given a few grand for expenses?

Illustration: Could I be your Yoko Ono, Number Nine? T-Shirt by webcarve Get this custom shirt at Zazzle

Entreprenurial Capitalists think Republican Bloggers are stupid.

At least stupid enough, statistically, to make a phishing trip profitable.

Here's the pitch:

Greetings,

You are receiving this e-mail because we came across your listing on Google and thought you might be interested in our website. Our website is called 'DeeperRight.com' and it has been developed as a community and marketplace for merchants, website owners and bloggers with related content and products to promote themselves for Free. We have no intentions of ever charging for this service.

In addition, posted content and products will be eligible for our community Newsletter (shown below) at no cost. If you are interested, please post your website, blog, or product at http://DeeperRight.com.

If you are not interested, thank you for taking the time to consider our service, you do not have to unsubscribe. This e-mail will not be repeated and is only a courtesy mail to let you know about this new service.

Once again, this service is Free and we have no plans to ever charge for this service. We simply want to make sure that our community knows about sites like yours.

Cheers,
A.J.
Community Moderator
DeeperRight.com Community Development


Clearly, the work of a robot programmed by someone who has not yet learned that Libertarian is not a sort of Republican and may or may not be a sort of Conservative.

So, what the heck, I figured I'd check it out. It's a spam farm, of course. And it seems to be run by the same people that run e-shirts.com, apparent competitor artapart.com as well as a host of other niche websites.

But even so, a free link in a niche I don't usually penetrate is worth checking out. I clicked on the add link, where I ran into a form that stopped just short of asking for my SSN and my banking information, with this privacy policy.



PRIVACY POLICY:
As member of this community we offer an in depth newsletter that contains all of the latest news, discussions, blogs and websites. We try to make the newsletter as valuable to you as possible by providing you with up to date information delivered on the schedule you specify.

Unlike many newsletters, we will never sell your e-mail address to mass-marketers. It will only be used for standard operations by our parent organization and to keep you up to date with this community.

Mandatory information on the form is:

* First Name
* Last Name
* Address1
Address2
* City
* State
* Country
* Email
* Password
Phone
Note : All fields marked * are required

And that "parent organization" would be? Well, take your pick:

Copyright©1998- 2008 Aajost Technologies, LLC
All rights reserved. ( 1 / 29 / 10117 )


Friends of the community:
ArtApart.com | E-Shirt.com | MomFacts.com | TSE | BikerFacts.com | FaithfulNet.com | SportsSanctuary.com | UnspoiledEarth.com | HoundForYou.com | MusicIsInstrumental.com

...and if you click on the ArtApart.com link, you will find THEM linked to DeeperLeft - so there is a broad effort to scam people across the political spectrum, and apparently sort them by family size, favorite sport, faith and eco-consciousness.

That has me even more concerned, given that they have several ways to gain your banking information - just sign up for any one of a number of "free" services. Remember, they only promised not to misuse your email address!

But Name, Address, City, State, Country, zip and email are all mandatory. Of that, all they have a legitimate need to know for their "newsletter community" is email.

Now, I wonder what mischief I could brew - and what money I might spin - with a reliable list of real names and SSNs attached to particular bloggers, and a regular feed from their sites? The least nefarious would be to map them by legislative districts and start feeding them stories.

And by the way, what are "standard operations by our parent organization?" The standard operations of, say, the Democratic Leadership Council, the Mafia and the IRS are all quite different - but I welcome attention from none of them.

NOTHING I was able to learn about Aajost Technologies, LLC gave me any reason to think that altruism was a significant part of their business plan. So what do they plan to do - besides sell t-shirts and try and get me to sell some t-shirts for them? Well, I dunno, but that goal alone would not require any such deviousness. I deal with three reputable t-shirt companies - cafepress.com, spreadshirt.com and zazzle.com (presented in alphabetical order) and none have tried anything like this on me before. Moreover, they each make a great deal of effort to stay above politics, as business entities.

So what does
Aajost want with my personal information? Data mining is a probable intent. And with enough data to mine, I could easily use it to dig up dirt on bloggers in key states, and I could go a long way toward identity theft. If they use one of my "free" services, I have their banking information and SSN. At that point, I can screw anyone up badly enough to take them out of play.

That is just one potential scenario, but it's surely a potentially lucrative one.

You can bet blogs will be major players in the coming elections - and even minor blogs might have a major say in certain hotly contested districts. I wonder what people might pay to have information of that sort?

Me, I'm an anti-authoritarian blogger and I may as well have TANSTAFFL tattooed on my butt. Nobody gives you nothin' for nothin', so I take the time to think what "free" implies to the person offering me the freebie.

All the free services - including Blogger - carry a price with them. In some cases it's a price worth paying, but in other cases... like this... you'd be better off paying real money, because any price would be cheaper than the potential downsides of being linked to people who may not have your best interests at heart.

ATTN: doj.info@state.or.us
ATTN: Nevada Atty General's office

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