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RANDOM LINKS FOR 12/19/13
Dec 18th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

via gaijintonic.com

  • As some of you know, I believe any crusade on behalf of “women in music” should champion not just singers and singer-songwriters, but also non-singing female instrumentalists. Such a crusade, however, has nothing to do with, and would be moved neither forward nor backward by, a recently broken-up trio of Japanese “bikini trombonists.”
  • Ex-Seattle actress and Twin Peaks legend Sheryl Lee now has a website all about “reconnecting with the healing spirit of Nature.” Yes, its home page includes a poem about trees and hawks.
  • Just as M.L. King Jr. was not the passive “dreamer” mainstream media outlets like to invoke every January, so was Nelson Mandela more of a pro-labor, pro-economic-democracy, anti-war figure than recent remembrances might have led you to believe.
  • No, BankAmeriCrap, you don’t have an “image problem.” You have a “what you’ve really done problem.”
  • In Minnesota, not showing up to a debt-related court hearing can be a jailable offense.
  • Under pressure from the corporate “globalists,” Mexico is letting the big U.S./Euro oil companies back in after 75 years. Bloomberg.com’s headline: “North America to Drown in Oil.”
  • The problem with any essay titled “Debunking Nearly Every Republican Lie Against President Obama” is that new lies of that type are generated nearly daily. It’s darned difficult to keep up with them all.
AMERICA’S WORST BROADCASTER COMES TO TOWN
Apr 11th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

famousfoto.com, via mooreslore.corante.com

It seems like just yesterday that I was complaining about KOMO firing its pundits Bryan Johnson and Ken Schram, and about its parent company bringing hate talk back to KVI-AM.

We’ve got a bigger problem now.

Fisher Broadcasting, the only owner KOMO-TV and Radio has ever had, is being sold.

That would be bad enough. Fisher was the last locally-owned major commercial broadcaster around here, and its loss would complete the capture of the Puget Sound’s airwaves by big out-of-state station groups.

But this particular out-of-state station group is far, far worse than most.

It’s Sinclair Broadcasting.

More than any other station group (even Fox’s company-owned broadcast stations), Sinclair imposes right-wing propaganda content on its properties.

In 2003, Sinclair ordered ABC affiliates it owned not to run a Nightline episode about Gulf War combat deaths.

In 2004, Sinclair ordered all its stations to run, in prime time, a propaganda film by the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth,” spreading false allegations about John Kerry’s service record in Vietnam.

In 2010, Sinclair ordered six of its stations to run, in prime time, an even less-true GOP propaganda film branding Obama as an anti-democracy extremist and an ally of mideast terrorists.

Oh—and like so many other companies in so many industries, it’s been severely hiking executive pay packages while severely cutting workers’ wages.

WHO MOURNS FOR THE FEMBOT?
Apr 11th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

via redmolucca.wordpress.com

Margaret Thatcher’s recent death has sprung off a veritable gusher of reaction, much of it vitriolic.

This is to be expected in regard to the woman who oversaw the brutal decimation of the UK’s “welfare state” and the destruction of its once-mighty industrial base.

The woman who so firmly delivered that nation into the hands of financiers that even the opposition felt it had to conform (becoming the anti-working-class “New Labour”).

The precursor (and intellectual superior) to Reagan (whose regime, as you recall, was also run by “a strong woman”) and an inspirer/co-conspirator in the crimes of Reaganism, crimes whose long term effects still plague this country today.

The friend of despots and state terrorists who never met a dictator she didn’t like (so long as said dictator professed to be anti-Communist).

The inspirer of a wealth of deservedly angry protest music, which helped to transform punk and “postpunk” from an aesthetic niche into a sociopolitical movement, at least in the British Isles.

In her day, and since, some have argued that Thatcher should at least be respected as “a strong woman,” and even as a feminist of sorts.

I would argue that she helped disprove one of the most easily disproven tenets promoted by some feminists, that “Women” are innately the Moral Sex.

And Thatcher helped prove another tenet, that a woman is capable of doing anything. Including very, very bad things.

Thatcher, of course, didn’t do all she did by herself.

She was an active frontwoman for a group of movements with different but similar goals—to defund the poor, to smash organized labor, to redistribute wealth into fewer and fewer hands, to turn the state into the tool of financial speculation, to prop up even more brutal regimes from Chile to South Africa.

And Britain, and the world, are still feeling the ills from them.

RANDOM LINKS FOR 11/29/12
Nov 29th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

spoon-tamago.com via buzzfeed.com

  • Newest fun invention from Japan: the “3D photo booth.” Stand very still for 15 minutes, and a few days later a figurine that looks like you shows up in the mail.
  • Wash. state is Number One! As, er, a “net importer of out-of-state parolees.”
  • Question: “Is Amazon.com Taking Over the World?” Answer: No. Only the world’s potential profit centers.
  • The remaining Tully’s coffee houses may have a buyer.
  • Did the Bellevue City Council not really know that light rail tracks have to have a rail yard (train car parking lot) with them?
  • Gender-neutral marriage licenses are on the way. Will they show up in time for the first rush of gay nuptials?
  • Walden Three, Greg Lundgren’s ambitious attempt to set up a multimedia arts center in the old Lusty Lady building (and to partly pay for it all as a years-long “documentary film shoot”), now has a blog. In it, Lundgren spins completely fictional stories about fabulous exhibits and shows that would be occurring there if it were operating now.
  • The Illinois company calling itself Boeing is still stonewalling in talks with the engineers’ union.
  • After 11 years, the final edition of KING-TV’s Up Front With Robert Mak airs this Sunday. It’s ending for no good reason. A studio interview show doesn’t cost that much to make, particularly if any good bits can be reused on your regular newscasts.
  • Yes, the Florida Republicans really were trying to stop people in Dem-leaning districts from voting.
  • Speaking of state-level GOPpers, they’re now in full control of 24 state houses. Expect more Wisconsin-like extremist legislation and dirty tricks, just on the other side of the holidays (if not sooner).
  • I still meet left wingers who imagine that in some utopian pre-television age, all newspapers were local mini versions of the NY Times, noble progressive institutions exposing social ills. In real life, even the NY Times mostly wasn’t like that. A lot of them were pugnacious right-wing rags that supported, or even contributed to, climates of fear and hate. Case in point: The Hollywood Reporter. The venerable showbiz trade paper recently ran a big essay describing, and apologizing for, its role in promoting the 1950s “blacklist” against film people even suspected of “communist” beliefs.
  • The “Black Friday boycott” at Walmart stores, thankfully, turned out to be more than just self-serving online rants by lefties who never go there anyway. There were actual pickets and other actions at the stores, in favor of fairer labor practices. And now, fast food workers in NYC are also demanding a living wage.
  • Something lost in all the copyright-police suppression drives against “file sharing”: the “obscure music” blogs, which unearthed and shared long-out-of-print LPs, 45s, and 78s in all kinds of non-hit categories.
  • Larry Hagman, 1931-2012: The Dallas/I Dream of Jeannie star was as kind hearted and generous off screen as he could be villainous on screen. I once got to know his daughter Kristina, a local painter who had a space in the old 619 Western building. She is also a kind and generous soul.
http://kuow.org/post/washington-leads-nation-net-importer-out-state-parolees
RANDOM LINKS FOR 10/8/12
Oct 8th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

kurzweilai.net

  • Did the U.S. Air Force really think up plans for a supersonic flying saucer in the 1950s? And would it have been practical (i.e., would it fly)?
  • What does it mean to be “indie rock royalty” these days? It means you can play Radio City Music Hall and still have to share a studio apartment. Speaking of which….
  • KEXP’s pledge-drive playlist of the most important records of the past 40 years is essentially a canon of “indie” music classics, plus a few “mainstream” mentors. Nevermind predictably tops the listener survey. The list is top-heavy with the Pixies, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., New Order, Arcade Fire, etc. etc. The list’s only surprise is its paucity of female artists. The top woman-fronted act, the Pretenders, appears at spot #51.
  • A HuffPost blogger disparages Vancouver as “No Fun City,” a place where nightlife is essentially nonexistent. I can recall ages ago when I looked up to Van as having the bars and live-music venues Seattle could only dream of having. Since then, Seattle has vastly changed while Van has, if anything, become more moribund.
  • The Olympic Peninsula’s northwest tip has no teen vampires, but it is an ideal spot to measure climate change with solid empirical data.
  • Even “underground food market” dining operations (one-night-only food courts) have to have health permits.
  • Nintendo’s next game machine will be a tablet. It will also stream video content to TVs. It could be big.
  • Amazon’s paying a cool billion to buy the Paul Allen-owned buildings it occupies in South Lake Union.
  • Stalking and harassing apartment residents is no way to sell cable TV.
  • Seattle’s next would-be mega-developers? The Bill Pierre car-selling family.
  • Can the waterfront tunnel be built without massive city subsidies (that the city really doesn’t want to pay)?
  • Stranger staffer Kelly O tells a San Francisco website “12 Things You Should Know About Seattle.” These things include (too much) pot, (endangered) graffiti murals, and (yummy) street hot dogs.
  • White cops shooting at nonwhite civilians with little or no true justification: it’s not just happening here.
  • I had a boring and/or miserable time in the Boy Scouts. But, as we’re all learning, it could have been worse. Much, much worse.
  • CNN contributor Simon Hooper asks if we can finally get over Beatles (and James Bond) nostalgia now.
  • A self-described “middle aged punk” gives forth a back-in-my-day-sonny lament, nostalgizing about getting beaten up by jocks.
  • Don’t look now, but Walmart workers are trying to organize.
  • Having solved all of the world’s other problems, 60 Minutes sics its fangs on the designer-eyeglass-frame monopoly.
  • Today in right-wing sleaze, two GOP senators are asking defense contractors to fire thousands of people just to make Obama look bad; while Arizona is suppressing the votes of up to 200,000 Latino-descent citizens in the name of “cracking down on illegals.” Also, a Legislative candidate in Arkansas says parents should be allowed to put “rebellious children” to death.
  • The University of Idaho’s getting the world’s biggest collection of historic opium pipes. Hey, you gotta have something to do out there.
  • Forbes contributor Steve Cooper believes content-based websites could make more money by directly selling stuff on their sites, instead of running low-profit ads for other companies selling stuff. That biz model might work for sites focused on entertainment or lifestyle topics (music, food, bridal, travel, etc.). For local newspapers’ sites, it’d be a tougher fit.
  • Don’t look now, but rain (remember that?) might finally appear locally later this week.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 9/27/12
Sep 27th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

from the book 'mail order mysteries' via laughingsquid.com

  • Oh we so wanted to believe the miracle products advertised in comic books really worked as advertised (or at least were as cool as the ads claimed).
  • I might be in the minority even among local fans, but I believe the replacement refs made the right call in awarding Monday night’s final play (and hence the game) to the Seahawks.
  • No, the Edmonton Oilers hockey team isn’t ever going to move to Seattle. The local visit by Oilers execs is only an exercise in “arena blackmail” toward Edmonton politicos.
  • David Goldstein puts the blame for Washington’s regressive tax structure on a state Supreme Court ruling back in 1933.
  • Pundits look at Washington state’s political “Cascade curtain.” Micah Cohen at the NYT‘s FiveThirtyEight sees the west/east divide in terms of women’s rights issues
  • …while Eli Sanders dissects how, in the last State Supreme Court race, an unqualified white candidate beat a highly qualified Hispanic candidate in Eastern Washington, even in 40-percent-Hispanic areas.
  • Speaking of Eastern Washington, those bigass, electricity-hungry “server farm” computer installations there might not employ very many people once they’re built, but they still demand political clout.
  • A judge refused to throw out a class-action suit by female Costco employees, alleging discrimination in promotions.
  • TV ads for the gay marriage referendum don’t show any actual gay people. I’m reminded of the 1998 initiative to end affirmative action in the state. The anti-initiative ads showed, as their examples of affirmative action’s needy beneficiaries, only white little girls. The tactic didn’t work.
  • The good folks at Seattle Indian Health Services claim the city, led by councilmember Nick Licata, is trying to take over their agency so it can sell the land on which their offices sit to a private developer.
  • A national church mag calls Seattle’s own Mars Hill Church (home of “hip” misogyny/homophobia) America’s third fastest-growing church.
  • The Northwest’s oil refining capital could also host the nation’s biggest bottled-water plant. What could possibly go wrong?
  • The airline now calling itself United (a shotgun marriage of the original UAL with Continental) has posted a nice time lapse video of a Boeing 787 being put together. It’s enough to warm this Snohomish County guy’s heart.
  • Andy Williams, 1928-2012: The seemingly ageless singer/TV host began as a child in a singing-brothers act, then jump-started the career of a similar act (the Osmonds). He was a quintessential icon of the square side of the 1960s, smooth and slick and pleasant and never ruffled. He was one of those personalities who seemed to inhabit a world of serenity that flowed all around him; which made his latter-day emergence as a right wingnut even stranger.
  • Ben Adler at the Nation says the truly crazy wingnut conspiracy theories and insult “jokes” don’t start on radio or Fox “News”, but at obscure blogs and e-mail lists.
  • Today’s Romney/Ryan bashings: Richard Eskow believes Ryan still believes his former Ayn Randian denunciations of Medicare and Social Security. Florida Republicans are up to their old voter-suppression tricks. Greg Palast claims Karl Rove’s ol’ election-stealing dirty tricks operations are still up and running. And Jonathan Chiat visits some extremely rich people who imagine themselves to be America’s most “persecuted” and overtaxed sector.
  • Economic philosopher Angus Sibley has a highly lucid, step-by-step breakdown of what’s wrong with libertarian economics.
  • If outsource manufacturers like Foxconn in China keep up their reputation for workplace horridness, western tech-hardware companies just might have to return production in-house just to avoid the bad PR.
  • Victoria’s Secret has quietly discontinued its “Sexy Little Geisha” ensemble. Anti-racist bloggers claim credit.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 9/24/12
Sep 23rd, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

via yowpyowp.blogspot.com

Having finally gotten the Boomerang cable channel, I’ve become re-acquainted with the early Hanna-Barbera cartoon shows (Huck, Yogi, Quick Draw, ‘Stones, Top Cat, Jetsons, Jonny Quest). They didn’t have fluid movement but they had great visual composition. They had pleasing character designs and cool semi-abstract backgrounds. They had funny dialogue. Then the company got too big and everything went downhill. This B.C.-based blogger explains it all thoroughly, including the links between the Jetsons look and the Space Needle (hint: ours came first).

  • Chris Ballew’s jaunty li’l song from the J.P. Patches memorial celebration is now a video.
  • Seattle’s Capitol Hill was rated America’s eighth “hippest” neighborhood in one of those questionable magazine surveys.
  • Good (media) news, for once: the Village Voice Media chain of papers, including Seattle Weekly, was “taken private” in a management-led buyout. This might mean actual newspaper people in charge again. And Backpage.com, VVM’s oft-criticized sex ad website, will not be part of the new Voice Media Group.
  • We’ve long snarked at TV shows that were set in Seattle but made in L.A. or Vancouver. Now, though, it turns out it’s the L.A. production community that’s worried about “runaway” shows. Of all the new hour-long dramas on the five broadcast networks, all but two are being shot somewhere else. Even one show about young actors trying to make it in Hollywood is filmed in Toronto.
  • Take out the highly GOP-biased Rasmussen poll, and Obama’s currently ahead (at least slightly) in every so-called swing state.
  • The Obama campaign released a fun little online commercial showing how campaigns take opponents’ statements out of context—using real sliced-and-diced Romney quites.
  • Romney’s son admits his dad cheats and laughs about it, then says “that’s what we need in the White House.”
  • What happens when a Koch Bros.-funded super PAC tries to stage a pro-Wall St. rally? It gets infiltrated by “satirical” anti-Wall St. activists in suits and dresses.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 9/20/12
Sep 19th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

seattle chapter, american institute of architects via kplu.org

  • What to do with the soon-to-be former 520 floating bridge’s surplus pontoons? Several folks have ideas. One of them, above, is to build a walkway just below Lake Washington’s surface, for the ever-popular “walking on water” illusion.
  • Seattle’s own alt-country rising star Brandi Carlile has officially come out.
  • Fast Company seems to find it odd that Microsoft’s new hardware products have embraced a newly enriched design aesthetic without CEO Steve Ballmer being in hands-on charge of the initiative. A good boss knows when (and to whom) to delegate authority.
  • Amazon’s proposed three new towers won’t just be big, they’ll also be bold.
  • Earlier this year we mentioned how the Swedish Hospital system said it was losing loads of money. Similar news has now come from Group Health.
  • Private housing developers are getting tax breaks for building “affordable” housing units, without enough proof that they’re actually building ‘em.
  • Meanwhile, City Councilmember Nick Licata wants you to know that more than of Seattle’s “renter” population, 20 percent spend more than half their income on rent.
  • Starbucks now has its own branded home espresso machine.
  • If there’s anybody with an apparent greater sense of L’etat, C’est Moi than Seattle police, it’s Bellevue police.
  • More first-birthday greetings to the Occupy movement: Bainbridge Island-based Yes! magazine uses a tree graphic to show how the movement has “born fruit.”
  • Who wants to keep simple majorities in the Legislature from deciding revenue bills? Big business, of course. Like duh.
  • As of Wednesday evening, HuffPost’s Electoral College map lists only one tossup state, North Carolina. Obama has taken leads (at least small ones) in all the other previously “swing” states.
  • Richard Eskow of the Campaign for America’s Future claims Romney’s “47 percent” speech reveals the combination of privilege, selfishness, and rage that defines “the radical rich.” (A certain megahome-building couple in Leschi might be considered among these.)
  • Those print-on-demand book machines are coming to lots more locations. But will the new models allow color interior pages, or be even halfway decent with photographs?
  • Jack Hitt at The New Yorker has a hi-larious “Conservative History of the United States,” based entirely on wingnut politicians’ and pundits’ actual untrue statements.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 9/18/12
Sep 18th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

seanmichaelhurley.blogspot.com

  • My ol’ pal and fellow Stranger refugee, painter/illustrator Sean Michael Hurley, worked the “safety patrol” at the Downtown Emergency Service Center for the past two years, until earlier this month. Here are his poignant reminiscences of this tough job.
  • Not since (or even including) Dukakis have I seen a Presidential campaign come apart at the rivets so thoroughly, so quickly. Having apparently abandoned even most of the remaining “swing states” (of which some polls say there are now only six), the Romneyites are retreating to their remaining hardcore base—their billionaire donors. That’s the reason for the masses-bashing speech Romney gave to some donors last week, which got leaked to Mother Jones.
  • Next, the Romney cronies will try to double down on the “culture war” nonsense, to try to keep the wingnuts interested in propping up the GOP downticket races.
  • Wall Street was re-occupied, with the expected police over-reaction.
  • Timothy Harris at Real Change, meanwhile, insists there’s life yet in the Occupy shtick.
  • Nanci Donnellan, KJR-AM’s former “Fabulous Sports Babe,” has had major health issues in recent years, but is still doing the brassy-mama act on the air in Tampa.
  • Did a European magician try to copy one of Penn and Teller’s (well, Teller’s) signature bits? Or is it all just another of the team’s elaborate hoaxes?
  • Today’s lesson in officially homophobic institutions covering up rampant child abuse comes from the Boy Scouts.
  • So the organized anti-American attacks in the Mideast aren’t really due to an awful, no-budget American movie. But if they had been, so many more cringeworthy-bad films are out there. Where’s the rioting over Manos the Hands of Fate or The Wasp Woman?
  • There are still vast places in America, nay in Wash. state, where there’s no cell phone service and previous little Internet service. Some people who don’t live in these places imagine them to be heaven. I do not.
  • A Tacoma teacher says education reform has become like the unsolvable training exercise in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. I think it’s more like one of those Doctor Who season finales that require a millennium or two to resolve.
  • Jen Doll at the Atlantic says the changing book biz means the end of the cloying back-cover blurb. (You’ll also enjoy the article’s stock photo of the old Elliott Bay Book Co. location.)
  • Harvard researchers claim “a wandering mind is not a happy mind.” I’d tell you more about the story, but I had these 30 other browser tabs open at the time….
RANDOM LINKS FOR 9/14/12
Sep 14th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

andraste.com via the smoking gun

  • A Seattle fetish photographer puts up some shots taken inside a cemetery. Legal rancor ensues. Trust me on this: The dead people don’t give a darn.
  • Heather Artena Hughes, 1967-2012: The longtime local actress/singer/dancer/comedienne did everything from torch songs and burlesque bits to parody wrestling matches. She was a regular in the Match Game Belltown shows. Everyone who knew and/or worked with her called her a near-goddess of skill and verve.
  • Nordstrom is expanding into Canada. (No “designer toque” jokes from this corner.)
  • Why do the Mariners brass still oppose the Sonics arena scheme? Could it be because the M’s could conceivably want their own cable channel, and any neo-Sonics team could conceivably compete with that?
  • The city of Auburn has a “wall of shame,” decrying banks that hold on to foreclosed homes and leave them to decay.
  • A JPMorganChase analyst claims the iPhone 5 (just announced this week) “could prop up the entire U.S. economy.” Douglas Rushkoff at CNN is more than a little skeptical about this claim.
  • AT&T wants the legal right to abandon the landline-phone biz, and with it all demands for “network neutrality” that keep it from manipulating what websites its customers get to see.
  • The broadcast/cable/satellite TV industries, and their attorneys, continue to make the online streaming of “free” TV a near-impossibility.
  • It’s a little too late for the chain’s Washington locations (the regional franchisee went under a year or two back), but Hooters is trying to be more female-friendly.
  • It’s not much of a comic (just dialogue scenes), but there’s still novelty value to a lawyer making a five-page strip as a legal brief in the Apple/Amazon ebook pricing suit.
  • USA Today just brought out a massive print/online redesign. Nice to see a print paper fighting for continued relevance, instead of just fading away.
  • Amanda Palmer raised over a million bucks on Kickstarter for a new album. Not getting a slice of that: local pickup musicians on her tour stops.
  • The Pussy Riot protesters might get out of jail next month. Just might.
  • “Did the Republicans deliberately crash the U.S. economy?” Or was that merely collateral damage in the game of supplying as many favors as possible to its billionaire campaign donors?
  • How do you get and keep more women in the tech industries? One way is to not require programming experience in filling non-programming jobs (such as middle management).
  • What will it take to get more black ballet dancers?
RANDOM LINKS FOR 9/10/12
Sep 9th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

  • The first Boeing 747, the plane that saved both its maker and the state’s economy from complete ruin, sits out in the outside elements, desperately needing restoration.
  • One possible cause of the “West Seattle hum”: fish mating calls in the Stillaguamish.
  • Hunger in Washington increased more during the recession than it did in most every other state.
  • How’s private liquor sales turning out? Higher prices, smaller selections, more “moms” buying the hard stuff.
  • Teamsters may strike against a wholesaler of organic produce.
  • Washington’s most ethnically diverse place: Tukwila.
  • Eric Scigliano claims local leaders push for “trophy rail” projects, even when plain ol’ buses would be more cost effective.
  • Appropriately enough for what was founded as a railroad town, a “crazy person” and self-promoter named George Francis Train has a big role in Tacoma’s history.
  • Professional right-wing initiative maestro Tim Eyman might have broken the rules by moving money around between two of his concurrent campaigns.
  • Rachel Maddow believes Mitt Romney’s currently slim chances could be doomed by a far-right third-party candidate, who’s on the ballot only in Virginia.
  • A 71-year-old man asked Romney about Social Security. Romney’s security squad forced him to the ground. Romney joked about hoping the man had taken his blood pressure meds.
  • Laurence Lewis at Daily Kos warns that as the Republican base gets ever smaller and more X-treme, they’ll get ever more ugly and desperate:

Their last and only hope is that they can buy a last election or two, and encode into law, and legislate from the bench into the Constitution, an end to democracy itself.

  • King Crimson legend (and a man sometimes billed as the “smartest person in music”) Robert Fripp says he’s retiring from the music biz.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 9/3/12
Sep 3rd, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

  • Jon Rafman finds amazing shots taken by Google Street Views’ nine-camera-equipped trucks, and collects them at his blog 9-eyes.com.
  • In one corner, street-team advertising concern Poster Giant. In the other corner, angry women, who will not go away quietly.
  • Sun Myung Moon, 1920-2012: Those who didn’t closely follow the Korean religious/political/business/publishing cult master often called him a “right wing Christian.” The “right wing” part was correct enough. The “Christian” part was misleading. Moon’s Unification Church theology and practice were really a lot more unique (i.e., weirder).
  • Local college grad Alison Sargent writes in Bitch magazine about her experiences at Mars Hill Church. She describes it as another right-wing cult (albeit more traditionally “Christian” than the Moonies), and a place where “faith and feminism don’t mix.”
  • Harvard researcher Steven Strauss ponders whether the rate of techno-progress in today’s world is actually slowing down.
  • Bigtime political campaigns are employing polling and demographic stats work so complex, even they might not know how it works or what it means.
  • Author Chuck Thompson asks why “so many Southerners think they’re the only real Americans.”
RANDOM LINKS FOR 8/30/12
Aug 30th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

  • Bic thought it would be a great marketing coup to come out with a ball point pen “For Her.” (The package says, “Easy Glide: Feel the smoothness.” The Amazon snark-comments begin in 3… 2…
  • Sony will sell home TVs with the same ultra-high-def resolution as the top digital cinema projectors. Why, tell me again, are we expected to still go to theaters?
  • “Hipster” bashing is officially passé, now that it’s being used to sell Toyotas.
  • Just as the political right seems to be collapsing into a black hole of hardcore hate, Fisher Broadcasting decides to bring right-wing talk back to KVI.
  • If you really need more anti-Republican ranting (the proverbial fish in the proverbial barrell, shot with the proverbial smoking gun), there’s some here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 8/26/12
Aug 25th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

via theatlanticwire.com

  • Microsoft’s new logo is so highly appropriate. They’re literally proclaiming themselves to be a bunch of perfect squares!
  • Parker’s Casino and Sports Bar, the legendary Aurora Avenue roadhouse (once known as the Aquarius Tavern) where everyone from Paul Revere and the Raiders to Heart got their starts, has been gutted and may be demolished.
  • Thirty-eight percent of Seattle homeowners still have “underwater” mortgages.
  • James Fogle, 1937-2012: The Drugstore Cowboy author spent three quarters of his life behind bars, for robberies fueled by a lifelong drug habit. Never learned any better way to live.
  • Beloit College’s annual list of things today’s college frosh don’t know about includes such expected fading memories as VHS tapes, film cameras, car radios, The Godfather, and printed airline tickets. SeattlePI.com’s Big Blog adds that today’s 18-year-olds never personally experienced the Frederick & Nelson department store, the career of Sir Mix-A-Lot, and The Far Side comic strip.
  • Also mostly forgotten: the fact that Belltown’s American Lung Association building, finally razed for a high-rise apartment complex following years of ownership squabbles, was once the regional office of Burroughs Computer. In honor of that connection, the tower’s topping-off ceremony ought to include a reading from Naked Lunch.
  • Today’s Scrabble-related crime story comes to you from Kamloops, B.C.
  • Item: “All nine people injured during a dramatic confrontation between police and a gunman outside the Empire State Building were wounded by gunfire from the two officers.” Comment: So much for the idea that all you need to stop people with guns is more people with guns.
  • A HuffPost blogger claims “straight identifying” guys are having more gay sex than out-gay guys.
  • The “indie” music site Pitchfork Media posted a reader poll of top all-time favorite recordings. Almost all of them were by white guys (even more predominantly so than Pitchfork’s own coverage range of acts).
  • The late founder of the San Diego ComiCon was quietly outed. Very quietly.
  • The tiny, India-designed “car that runs on compressed air” is not really pollution-free. You need energy to power air compressors. Usually electric power. Power that’s often generated from coal or oil or plutonium.
  • Only in Putin’s Russia could there be such a wholesale rehab of the Stalin legacy.
  • On a “radical left” U.S. website, a Russian writer bashes Pussy Riot for being anti-populist, anti-Christian, in it just for the money, and led by (wait for it)… a Jew.
  • The Campaign, that comedy movie previously mentioned here in regard to its stars’ Pike Place Market promo fiasco, turns out to be a bold and broad satire of today’s corporate-bully-controlled politics.
  • Today’s rant against “the Fanatical GOP” comes to you courtesy of Robert Reich.…
  • …while Lindy West thoroughly demolishes a National Review writer’s quasi-homoerotic ode to Mitt Romney’s alleged masculine prowess.
  • Carlos Castaneda: Author. Guru. New Age legend. Harem keeper. Manipulator. Liar. Fraud.
  • As I keep telling you, right-wingnuts actually do read books. They read wingnut books. A lot of wingnut books, it turns out.
RANDOM LINKS FOR 8/20/12
Aug 19th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

slate.com

  • The images used to sell prog-rock LPs are often more intriguing than the noodle-y music itself.
  • Jonah Keri at the ESPN/McSweeney’s site Grantland lists 27 notable things about Felix Hernandez’s perfect game. That’s one item for each out.
  • And here are some clips and GIFs of Hernandez’s feat, and a video compiling all his 27 consecutive outs.
  • When Metro Transit dumps the downtown “ride free area” next month, ride times and congestion could get significantly longer/worse. That’s in addition to the impact on people of all economic castes getting around in the city’s center.
  • Tuition at Washington’s major colleges and universities more than doubled over the past 20 years, while average incomes stayed flat.…
  • …while state-government employment dropped by more than 15,000 people this past year.
  • Bill Maher says outright that “voter ID laws are racist;” while a Republican Senate candidate in Missouri suggests repealing the Voter Rights Act.
  • Unknown artists spent a lot of time creating a big installation piece using stuff found inside an abandoned Detroit church.
  • Tony Scott, 1944-2012: The director of Top Gun died from a depression-inspired suicide, just like too many of our real-life troops.
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