Friday, August 26, 2005


Originally uploaded by recyclingfan.
The Continental

The Continental.....Christopher Walken

Announcer: The sun is set. The stars shine in the sky. The night air is tinged with anticipation. And it is time to meet the Continental.

[ a glove reaches for the Continental's doorbell, as he jerks the door open ]

The Continental: Ah! [ laughing ] My wonderful one. I see you received my message. You have come to retrieve your mail. Huh? How it comes in my possession is mystery to me.. but this was yesterday. Please.. come in. [ camera enters through door ] You look so lovely. It is as though Michaelangelo sculpted you by hand.. then kept you for himself.. in a closet.. to visit on lonely nights. Would you care for a glass of champagna? [ camera shakes no ] I knew you would. I knew you enjoy champagna. How do I know this? Because I love women. I can read their mail.. I mean, mind! [ pours champagna and hands glass over ] May I read yours? I venture to say, please, you are the kind of woman who has a poster of puppies with humongous eyes hanging on your bathroom wall. Yes? Am I right? [ camera shakes no ] I have similar tattoo. Let me show you. It is tattoo of two dogs doing it. [ camera shakes no furiously before he can peel off his smoking jacket ] Okay. Please. Be seated. I continue to read your mind.

[ sits ]

I imagine a woman of such beauty as yours lives right here in this neighborhood. Yes? In fact, I bet you could see your own apartment from this very window here. [ camera glances towards window, spotting an oversized telescope against the wall ] And, may I say, you have exquisite taste in underwear! [ camera turns for the door ] Ah! Wait! Wait! Oop! Oop! [ blocks the door from his visitor ] You.. you are skittish.. like Siberian palamino.. on the frozen steps. I love that! You have what it takes to be model. Have you been on the television.. or some sort of moving picture? [ camera shakes no ] This I cannot believe. At least, tell me, you have graced the pages of some publication. [ camera shakes no ] No? Inconceivable. I have a stack of magazines.. under my bed.. you would be perfect for. Sit. Please. [ stares at her as she sits ] Wow! Wowwie-wow-wow! Boing! I never seen them from this angle. Nice! May I take photograph? [ camera shakes no ] Simple photograph? [ camera shakes no ] Be so kind, please? Huh? [ snaps picture ] Wonderful! Now.. take your top off. [ camera shakes no ] Only kidding. [ laughs ] Totally! That is.. unless you would like to? [ camera stands ] Ah! Okay. It's a joke! Joke from old. [ puts down camera ]

Let me freshen your champagna, huh? [takes glass ] Caviar? [ shakes head no ] Did you see my painting? [ camera looks at painting on wall ] I got it from Target. [ camera turns back to see the Continental slipping a Mickey into her drink ] Oh! Wait! [ blocks her path to the door ] I never would slip you Mickey! It is merely rhinoceros horn. This makes the champagna bubble. Please.. taste this. [ holds up her glass, but she denies it ] No? Very good. [ pours champagna onto her ] Whoops! What happened? What have I done? I have spilled some wine. All over your boob. How wonderful! They look like two ripe melons.. drenched in morning dew. Wait. Let me gently wipe them.. [ takes out handkerchief, she fends him off ] You must get out of this clothing. You cannot leave like this.. you'll catch chest cold. What kind of a cold would that be? I joke! Please.. you must dry up. I insist. Let me show you powder room, please. This way. [ points her to the half-bath ] A creature wonderful as you should not be in wet garments that cling to you so wettly. [ kisses her glove ] Wow! Here we are. [ opens door ] I leave you in peace.

[ camera enters half-bath, glances at sink, then at obscene art hanging on the wall; back to mirror, where the Continental suddenly appears on the other side as he lights a cigarette ]

Wait! [ camera runs out of half-bath and to the door, but the Continental quickly blocks her again ] Wait! Wait, wait, wait.. Let me explain. I must vindicate myself somehow.. [ glove reaches out to choke him ] Wow! Wowee-wow-wow! [ camera mace him, he screams ] Only kidding! I have been sprayed so many times, I have developed immunity to Mace. Such is life. Champagna? Caviar? [ glove punches him in nose, knocking him to ground, camera runs through door ] Wait! [ camera glances at him sprawled on floor ] Don't forget your mail. [ glove grabs bundle of mail from shelf ] Out!

Announcer: Join us again next week, for another chapter in the life of.. The Continental.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

747 crabbing in

747 crabbing in
Originally uploaded by recyclingfan.
This is a neat trick, if you are too high on short final for a runway. You bank left, put in right rudder, and lose altitude quickly. However, you need to watch airspeed, and you also have to pull out and center the aircraft for a landing. i have never seen a 747 do this - this is an awesome video. This pilot is awesome! Dude!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Pro-life Christian?

Pat Robertson is at it again! This time he has called for the assassination of a democratically elected leader.

Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson suggested on-air that American operatives assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to stop his country from becoming "a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism."

"We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability," Robertson said Monday on the Christian Broadcast Network's "The 700 Club."

"We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator," he continued. "It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."

Chavez has emerged as one of the most outspoken critics of
President Bush, accusing the United States of conspiring to topple his government and possibly backing plots to assassinate him. U.S. officials have called the accusations ridiculous.

"You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it," Robertson said. "It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war ... and I don't think any oil shipments will stop."

Robertson, 75, founder of the Christian Coalition of America and a former presidential candidate, accused the United States of failing to act when Chavez was briefly overthrown in 2002.

Venezuela's government has demanded in the past that the United States crack down on Cuban and Venezuelan "terrorists" in Florida who they say are conspiring against Chavez.

Robertson has made controversial statements in the past. In October 2003, he suggested that the State Department be blown up with a nuclear device. He has also said that feminism encourages women to "kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians."

What is Robertson's definition of terrorism? We harbor anti castro militia members who train in Florida and Texas to commit acts against Cuba - isn't that harboring terrorists? Of course, terrorism is a political, Orwellian term: terrorists are those who disagree with you I guess.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Donnie Darko: his dad's response to the jet engine crashing into the house

"That damn airline better not fuck us on the shingle match."

northwest airlines

northwest airlines
Originally uploaded by recyclingfan.
As a union member, I sympthesize with the mechanics at Northwest Airlines. They helped build this company, and its only fair they share the wealth with stockholders. But, after deregulation, and 911, airlines are struggling with union contracts made in more affluent times, and high debt to equity ratios (what they owe is very close to what they are worth - totally leveraged, which might be good if its a bull market and the debt is invested to expand business, but now the debt only covers operating losses). And their planes are old: gas guzzlers compared to newer, smaller jets and prop jets. And the price of fuel is eliminating any savings made by airlines through past adjustments. So the mechanics strike rather than accept cuts in pay (up to 25%) and layoffs (up to half). Northwest will probably file bankruptcy. The airlines are dinosaurs, ready for extinction. It won't take an asteroid, just higher fuel costs. All the major airlines will fail. In response, smaller airlines with newer more efficient planes and non union employees will take over. So the mechanics of Northwest Air have guts: give management the finger instead of accepting more cuts. At least they loose their jobs with some dignity. They would probably loose their jobs anyhow. The airlines management are to blame: profits ahead of investment. The take overs of the 1980's eliminated the airlines little debt - the well run airlines, were undervalued, bought, their valued assets sold. After the corporate raids, the airlines had heavy debt, old inventory, and contracts that did not reflect realistic market conditions. So this is the result - hey, who says the public sector is inefficient? Look how inefficient private investors have made our airline industry! Good luck Northwest mechanics: better to die on your feet than live on your knees!

Sen. chuck Hagel says Iraq is becoming another Vietnam: NO!

Originally uploaded by recyclingfan.
Chuck Hagel, Republican Senator from Nebraska and Presidential candidate for 2008, says we need an exit strategy now from Iraq or else it will be another vietnam. No way! First, no cold war. Vietnam was a hot war during the cold war, a civil war became involved with the USSR and USA because of the cold war alliances. sEcond, no vietcong. The Vietcong were a political and military arm of the North Vietnamese Communist Party and north Vietnam Army. They not only infiltrated the south, but were supported by many in the South (remember Door Gunner from Full Metal Jacket: if they run they are VC, if they stand still they are well disciplined VC). They were one party, at one with the North. In Iraq there are ex Bathist party members, islamic militia fighters, outside terrorists (from our ally Saudi Arabia) and other armed men who dont like American "occupation" (I prefer the term liberation). There is no one, organized resistance. Third, all those who fight against Iraqi security forces and US (and allied) troops have no political agenda: they have no government they support. They want the American occupation to end: they have no agenda after that. Fourth, if we withdraw, it is not like the North Vietnamese will walk in the impose their dictatorship: there is no government to replace the current Iraq government. Fifth, If we leave, Iraq will experience civil war. God only knows what will emerge. An independent Kurdistan? Nope: Turkey wouldn't stand for that: Turkey would invade northern Iraq. A sunni Islam government, with the old Bathist party in power? Nope, the Shia would oppose that, along with Iran (the biggest military power in middle east after the USA). It would be Afghanistan all over again, with islam facists running the provinces. And do you really think our volunteer army would put up with a cut and run policy? These aren't draftees: They are army guys and women who volunteered, who put their keisters on the line in Iraq, who had buddies killed - and for what? We admit we shouldnt have invaded, leave Iraq to an even worse fate than Saddam? How screwed up is that? Finally, what I believed back in 2002 when my friends at the political science conference in DC were leaving to demonstrate against the upcoming invasion (how middle class - leave your $165 a night room at a luxury DC hotel, with your PhD under your arm, take an air conditioned cab to demonstrate, then have an expensive meal that night with your pseudo intellectual friends): the invasion is set, has been set, cannot be stopped: the issue is how we as a nation meet our obligation to the people of Iraq after we invade. We can't cut and run: we owe it to the people of Iraq to rebuild the country, install a stable government that repects individual rights, especially the rights of women. Is this something to die for? You have to answer that I guess. If I were twenty something, would I volunteer? Hard question. The more I read about the situation, the more I would say yes, I'd volunteer. This election will be a real trip: Republicans trying to distance themselves from Bush, while a few months ago they were biblically washing his feet! Ah, politicians! Thank god I am a self righteous political scientist and not a politician! Ha!

The Red Zone: reporting from outside Iraq's Green Zone

The Green Zone is the American sector of Baghdad, protected like a Citadel from the rest of Iraq. Most reporters hide out there, and venture outside into the real "Iraq" only during the day and only with armed escorts. Not so with Steven Vincent, a former art critic from New York City, who travelled to Iraq as an independent journalist to document the US transformation of that country after the invasion. He was motivated by 911 - he felt that the same forces behind 911 were behind the enslavement of people in Iraq - what he calls "Islamofacists." Using Islam, combined with gunpower, to enforce a medieval code on modern Arab world. He encountered many good people, but overall he was disturbed by a lack of empowerment of the Iraqi people, that they could make a difference in post Saddam Iraq. They seemed opposed to the American "occupation" (which he thought of more a "liberation") but not supportive of any alternative other than another "strong man" who wouldnt be as cruel as Saddam. He also noted that tribal customs dominate Iraq, customs that enslave both women and men in roles that are in conflict with individual liberty, freedom of choice - heck, any notion we westerners have of "individual freedom" (we are "free," to do whatever, as long as we don't harm the freedom of others, the so called "no harm" principle of 19th century liberalism). He became somewhat disillusioned with the fractured nature of the Iraqi "nation," a combination of different ethnic groups, religions and tribes. He especially was offended by the status of women in Iraq. He was also confused (as we all are) by the different interpretations of the Koran by different religious leaders (the Shia have a temporary status for unmarried women that essentially treats them like whores). Any way, he published the Red Zone, a great book, then wrote articles for the New York Times. He fell in love with his Iraqi translator in Basra, and criticised the Basra police for being corrupt (how shocking) and in with organized crime with the backing of phoney religious leaders (fraud, black marketeering, protection rackets, smuggling exist with support of criminal gangs and some mosques). He was kidnapped along with his interpreter and killed. I am not sure if they found her body, but they found his in a ditch, shot several times. Who did it? Round up the usual suspects: there is no sense of "justice" in Basra. The british authorities train the police, but the police are not necessary on the side of law and order (only their notion of law and order, and the death of an American journalist who criticizes them and has an affair with a muslim women is not worth investigating, especially if the police were behind it). So read The Red Zone by Steven Vincent, and say a prayer for him and his muslim friend. Sad. Very Sad.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Hunter Thompson's ashes shot out of cannon

Originally uploaded by recyclingfan.
Hunter Thompson's memorial service will soon be over - they are shooting his remains out of a cannon on the Owl Farm. To bad I didn't get invited. Johnny Depp was invited, as well as Sean Penn, but not me. But that's ok; Johnny Depp will act strange, Sean will start a fight, and I'd rather just sit at home and read about it over the internet. His wife says several books are still to come out - but its mostly stuff he has published before, now in an edited collection. The book never written? Hunter Thompson in the Red Zone in Iraq, interviewing a cross section of iraqi civilians. I'd love to read that! I still love the story he circulated about Sen. Edmund Muskie during the 1972 Presidential campaign, that Muskie was on a drug called Ibogaine, from a herb chewed by Africans in the bush, to allow them to remain motionless for hours. If you ever saw Muskie campaign, that would explain his appearance! The press actually bought it, thinking that anyone who looked like Muskie must be on some muscle relaxing African bush drug!

Friday, August 19, 2005

Kansas teenager killed by Siberian tiger

One of the first animals you see at the pittsburgh zoo is an older Siberian Tiger. Even though he is old, he is beautiful. What is really beautiful about him is his size : Siberian tigers are huge! So here is the story about a teenage girl killed by a Siberian tiger:

"A local teenager who was killed while having her picture taken with a Siberian tiger was remembered by classmates and teachers for her energy and "zeal for life," while two animal welfare groups demanded investigations into the attack.

Haley Hilderbrand, 17, was visiting the Lost Creek Animal Sanctuary on Thursday in Mound Valley, where, for years, area high school seniors have gone to have their class photos taken alongside the sanctuary's exotic fauna.

While the 7-year-old tiger was being restrained by the sanctuary's owner, Doug Billingsly, it turned and severely bit Hilderbrand, who later died of her wounds."

The real question, is what a Siberian tiger is doing in Kansas, and why do people want their picture taken with it? Again: Siberian tigers are huge: I wouldn't come near one. Of course, this is Kansas, and having lived in Kansas for 1 1/2 years, I can testify that there isn't much to do there - but get your picture taken with a Siberian tiger? BAD IDEA! BEING IN KANSAS IS NOT AN EXCUSE!

I feel terrible for the girl, but also terrible for the tiger who had to be killed (after living a life of captivity in some Kansas freak show zoo). BTW, where i lived in Kansas, Manhattan, had a zoo: it should be shut down. I can't tell you how depressing the Manhattan zoo is. Even the Topeka zoo is horrible. And living in Kansas is no excuse!

I was an Assoc Prof at Kansas state univ for 3 semesters: I have never experienced such geographic, social and intellectual isolation. And people go there to "learn" -?! You'd learn more leaving Kansas than staying!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Christopher Walken for President?

Originally uploaded by recyclingfan.
Mr. Continental for President! He would make convincing President, at least his press conferences and public appearances would be better than what we've had so far. His mannerisms and speech would be a refreshing addition to american politics. His presidential race site doesn't load so more information isn't possible, but I am definitely getting some bumper stickers made!
More cow bell!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Katherine Harris - US Senate?

Katherine Harris
Originally uploaded by recyclingfan.
Katherine Harris is running for US Senate from Florida. Of course, she will win nomination due to her name recognition and status as the person who helped preserve the Florida 2000 "win" for Bush. Her background? Real estate. Political hack as Secretary of State, do nothing in US House of Representatives. She is conducting a "listening tour" of the state (like Hillary Clinton in 2000 in NY). She says current Senator Nelson is too "liberal," which means he isn't a right wing religious nut. Demonize the opposition, that's the Republican playbook. Should be interesting race. And Hillary is challenged by a bona fide Republican candidate, Jeanine Pirro, a moderate who is pro choice. That should be a good race too. Hey, look at Harris' makeup - she had a make over and is wearing more natural makeup. She is no dummy: she attended east coast colleges (including Harvard!), is very smart.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

california coast

california coast
Originally uploaded by recyclingfan.
Scientists have been finding lots of dead sea creatures on the california coast, more so than in years past. Also, a declining amount of plankton, important for sea life. My symposium on Sustainable Community Programs just appeared in print in Public Administration Quarterly - one of the articles is about Santa Monica. Located on a beautiful bay, Santa Monica is land limited: it can't engage in sprawl, since it is land locked. The land it has is all it has, and the bay gives Santa Monica its beauty, its economy. So Santa Monica turns out to be one of the most committed communities to sustainability. If the plankton goes, the pacific coast will be an entire dead area.