Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Manoogian Megalomania

Kwame Kilpatrick is like a moron muscle car owner who has terrorized his neighborhood with dangerous driving for six years, and now, after he's wrapped his precious car around a lamp post, he turns to his outraged neighbors and says, "I just sat down and had a very grown-up conversation with my twin boys about road safety."

Bully for them.

Kwame "apologized" to Detroit this evening. It was a rank pastiche of velour rhetoric pulled from the outhouses of self-help, slick PR consultants and corporate executive contrition. It was the sort of apology that left an odor in the room of everyone watching.

After listening to what Kwame had to say, a few things became very clear:
  • Kwame has no business being mayor of any city -- no business being dog catcher in the furthest flung of communities;
  • He clearly sees a few more dimes can be wrung out of Detroit, so he won't resign;
  • It took an excruciatingly embarrassing scandal to prod him into spending time with his family;
  • He needs women to bail him out of trouble -- Christine Beatty whose resignation satisfied the public bloodlust for a firing; tonight, his wife, Carlita joined him on television;
  • He has no idea why the public is actually angry with him.
While Kwame bemoaned the invasion of his privacy during his most insincere "apology", he gave no indication that he understood that few people -- if anyone -- cares about his family. I don't wish them any harm, but their happiness and well-being is irrelevant to me. My interaction with Kwame Kilpatrick is as a taxpayer, and he has badly handled his duties and responsibilities as mayor of Detroit. And he did not address the side of that scandal at all.

My concern, watching his "apology", was not how much pain his own hubris, stupidity and machismo has caused him and his family, I care about the near $9 million dollars his hubris, stupidity and sleaziness has cost an impoverished city. I care about the business his hubris, stupidity and sleazy machismo is frightening away and out of the city of Detroit.

Of course, Kwame had the gall to refer to himself as a "public servant." Right -- in the same way Donald Trump is a "servant" at Trump Tower.

No, a few coins remain in the cash register that is Detroit and Kwame is going to stick around until he's pocketed every last one.

The most obscene aspect of Kwame's televised "apology" was the inclusion of his wife. Lord knows Carlita Kilpatrick has paid her dues as Kwame's wife, and she may well have appeared at his side by her own volition, but it was ugly and surreal hearing her take on this matter. Her inclusion succeeded only in muddying the true issue -- the goddamned money Kwame has mishandled, mismanaged and misappropriated. I hope the press does stop hounding Carlita and refrains from filming the Kilpatrick children.

Amid the numerous irrelevancies volleyed about during the mayor's address, I will, however, heed one request Kwame made: I will blame him, and him solely, for the avoidable, irresponsible shitstorm that has enveloped the city of Detroit for the past week. Among the wretched wrecks of human beings who become politicians, Kwame is at the bottom of the barrel of spoiled souls. Kwame Kilpatrick is deluded, corrupt and contaminated. For these reasons, I'm actually glad he will remain in office, so that he will remain a target of community pundits for as long as possible -- the distraction of a new mayor won't queer the trajectory of bile and recriminations that still must be heaped on Kwame.

Kwame Kilpatrick is a wreck, an embarrassment, an illiterate, unimaginative adulterer and luckily the stocks of his hubris will keep him directly in the line of fire of the city's rightful enmity. He is a failed man. And there remains for us to learn more about Carmen Slowski.

The Banana Republic of Detroit

No Speech Audience, Church Setting Slammed: has learned Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick will deliver his speech Wednesday from a room in his church that will be virtually empty. There will be no audience and reporters are being barred from the speech.

Kilpatrick's speech, his first public comments since the sex-text scandal broke, is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God in Christ.

From Mayor's Office...
"The address is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. There will be no audience. There will be no reporters allowed inside. There will be no still photography allowed inside. The mayor will not do any interviews.

"We are asking that you remind your viewers... that this is not a public event and they can tune into stations that will be broadcasting the address live."
The travails of Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick are beginning to resemble something out of Dr. Strangelove were it written by Roald Dahl and directed by Terry Gilliam.

So, Kwame Kilpatrick has booked an empty room at his church from which to make his grand statement. With all the conjecture about whether or not the mayor will resign, maybe Kwame is going to hit Detroiters with some asymmetrical warfare and use the occasion to declare a Thousand Year Reich in Detroit. That could be the first genuine surprise in this sad, maddening, predictable saga surrounding this scoundrel mayor.

An editorial in the Detroit Free Press says "It's disappointing that Kilpatrick chose his church . . . as the setting for tonight's speech. It looks contrived, at best."

Contrived? No, the past week of the mayor's political career has veered into surreal travesty. At best, Kwame addressing the city of Detroit from an empty room in his church is the utter definition of farce. In fact, addressing the city from a bastion of hypocrisy makes perfect sense.

As one observer, I have no idea why the mayor would bother addressing the city of Detroit at all. There is no one in a position of authority willing hold him accountable for his numerous misdeeds. Aside from the avalanche of text messages that flitted between himself and his chief of staff being revealed, there's nothing occurring in this term of his mayorship that did not take place in the first term. Kwame's as arrogant, stupid and self-interested as he was the day he was first elected by his sorely abused electorate. Among his supporters, he has nothing to apologize for. Among everyone else, there's nothing short of resigning immediately -- and he's more apt to walk across the Detroit River and feed Windsor, Ontario with loaves and fishes before that occurs -- that would untarnish his thoroughly shat-upon image.

That said, to anyone other than his most devoted, deranged supporters, Kwame is an utter disgrace. Let him address an empty room in his church. Any apology he utters will have all the sincerity of Jimmy Swaggart bawling "I have sinned!" onstage before his own brainwashed multitudes in the 1980s. Any words of contrition from Kwame will ring as hollow as they did the first time he uttered those insincere platitudes years ago.

The only thing that will satisfy most Kwame-watchers is if he pledges to resign immediately, sets a date to burn his pimp suits in Hart Plaza and announces he's moving to Florida to open a micro-brewery cum brothel cum bail bond firm.

Short of that, what the hell does anyone expect to hear from this shameless, humiliated politician?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Cowardice of Manoogian Magnitude

I have known cowards in my time: male elementary school teachers working out their latent homosexuality by battering around nine year old kids; the high school basketball coach and his arm-flailing tantrums, regaling teenagers with stories of his bar fights during bus rides to out-of-town tournaments; politicians who avoided military service of their own, but have no trouble sending others into war. Few times, though, have I witnessed sheer tail-between-the-legs cowardice that Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is exhibiting at the moment of this writing.

Last week, embarrassing transcripts surfaced of sexually explicit text messages the mayor wrote back and forth with his female chief of staff, which has whipped the panty-sniffers into a righteous fury. The revelation also raised the issue that the mayor and chief of staff perjured themselves in a whistle-blower court case where they were asked if they were carrying on an affair and answered in the negative.

So, for the last week the embattled city of Detroit has awaited a statement from its mayor. And for the last week, he has remained in hiding, leaving some in the media to even wonder who is running the city. I imagine Kwame Kilpatrick slumped in an easy chair, glad in boxer shorts and a wife-beater shirt, in front of a television set while playing with a nickel-plated revolver; a mixing bowl filled with salted pumpkin seeds next to him. His mistress has faced the music, sending in her letter of resignation and making a statement apologizing for the upset news of these text messages has caused. Not a grand gesture and certainly no surprise, but at least it's something.

The fact that Kwame Kilpatrick has so far refused to show his face in Detroit proves how much he is used to lurking in shadows -- intimidating and firing all those who accuse him of wrongdoing, surrounding himself with a ridiculous number of body guards, living beneath the shelter of his family name and parents' work. Right now, the city of Detroit needs Kwame Kilpatrick to stand up and make a statement. But there is no Kwame Kilpatrick -- there's no there there, no person within the pimp suit, no voice behind the bluster, no conscience behind the brash words and deeds, no backbone behind the seal of the mayor of Detroit. When the time arrived for Kwame Kilpatrick the man to stand up, he was absent and cowardly, silent and hiding; a great gaseous exhalation emitting from his bravado, the empty-suit bravado that could only emanate from behind a wall of body guards.

He's so far left his mistress to take the fall in public.

Kwame will appear at some point. By now he has no traction to gain back the ground he has lost as a public official. He has been called by the media to make a statement, called by his constituents to account, and Kwame has hidden himself.

He will surface at some point. Flanked by ministers and his family, he'll doubtless turn on all the phony penitence that comes with the kit when one finally sells his soul and becomes a politician. Like all humiliated miscreants before him, he will ask forgiveness as a preface for begging that all this be put behind him. It's unfortunate that any personality capable of going into politics is fundamentally unable to comprehend the deafening echo of this week of silence from the mayor, neutering his bluster, musting his speechwriter's apology text and rendering invisible the moment he finally emerges from his hiding place.


Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick to break silence on text messaging scandal

So, from the unassailable pulpit of his church, ole Kwame will address the city, no doubt surrounded by a phalanx of security, clergy and family gritting their teeth. Kwame will remain the mayor of Detroit for several reasons. He's too arrogant to resign. The City Council and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy are too corrupt and compromised to make any move against Kwame. And Kwame simply does not possess the character to do the right thing by any one but himself. Even his family has used to mop the floor of his misdeeds, but that doesn't matter to him. He's got three sons who have no paternal role model. But what does that matter so long as Kwame has mistresses to fuck and a city credit card to fund his trysts.

The city of Detroit is bereft of many things -- it's former stature, economic vitality, a cohesive, thriving community, and schools with enough text books for each student. Unfortunately, though it's no surprise, it's still horribly demoralizing to see that the city is also bereft of leadership with even a semblance of honesty or integrity.

The ghost of Coleman Young -- succubus that it is -- continues to feed on the throat of that city. His host body is Kwame Kilpatrick.

Friday, January 25, 2008

"The Mayor is LOL LOL! Damn That. Never Busted."

O, I would bet there are guys on death row who are glad they are not Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick right now.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick shamed by text messages

They raise questions about trial testimony

David Josar, Paul Egan and Christine MacDonald / The Detroit News

DETROIT -- Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick said Wednesday night that text messages indicating he had a sexual affair with his chief of staff in 2002 and 2003 were "profoundly embarrassing" and "reflect a very difficult period in my personal life."
. . .
In some of those more than 14,000 messages, Kilpatrick, 37, and Beatty -- both were married at the time -- exchanged sexual banter, declared their love and arranged trysts in motels in Metro Detroit and on out-of-town business trips.

But under oath last summer in a whistleblowers suit filed against the city by two former cops, they both denied a romantic or intimate relationship. They also testified that they didn't plot to fire Deputy Police Chief Gary Brown, but the text messages include exchanges about dismissing him.

Brown and ex-bodyguard Harold Nelthrope sued the city, claiming they were unfairly punished because Nelthrope alleged misbehavior by the mayor and his police bodyguards, and Brown investigated those claims. A jury awarded the pair some $8 million, including interest. In a separate but related case, a third ex-cop, Walt Harris, was paid $400,000.
As a Detroit tax payer, I don't care about the mayor's philandering, I'm angry that his arrogance, lies and abuse of office led to those above-mentioned police officers being fired and to the ultimate pay-out in their whistle-blower court case of $8.4 million. I vividly remember seeing Kwame on television calling the fired police officers liars and even saying they were mentally ill.

Not quite.

The complete decimation of Detroit took place in the 1970s and '80s under the reign of Kwame's spiritual father, Coleman Young, a complete and utter gangster who spent his multiple terms as mayor callously enriching himself while sinking the once-great city. I recall in late 2001 when Kwame was first elected. I was happy for him and very hopeful for Detroit. Kwame and I are the same age and I admired how much he had accomplished in his life. But as it has turned out, Kwame has followed in Gangster Young's footsteps. Yes, Kwame brought the Super Bowl to Detroit and many people believe he's made many other gains for the city, but he has also sorely abused his office, leasing expensive vehicles on the city's dime for family members; having family and friends on the pay-roll, though these folks were not expected, nor did they, actually show up for work at the jobs they were being paid to do.

With Clintonian self-righteousness, Kwame vehemently denied rumors of a wild party occurring at his mansion early in his first term. A stripper alleged to have danced at that party was later murdered in a 2003 drive-by shooting. The dancer's family believed that one of the fired police officers who won a whistle-blower lawsuit against Detroit was fired for investigating the dancer's death.

Sordid shit.

Coleman Young slithered out of numerous investigations and ultimately retired as a revered local politician and even went into academia. He made out all right for himself, though the blight of Detroit is his true legacy. Kwame may come out of this scandal still the mayor of Detroit. The difference between him and Coleman Young is that Kwame has in arrogance what Young had in cunning.

Hopefully an example will be made of Kwame. I hope he and his mistress are charged with perjury and prosecuted heartily. And when found guilty, I hope they are sentenced to repaying the city of Detroit the $8.4 million their stupidity and hubris cost it.

1/26 Clarification

When I refer to Kwame Kilpatrick's "Clintonian self-righteousness" I am not aligning myself with right-wingers and their knee-jerk hatred of former US president Bill Clinton. My use of the word "Clintonian" refers to venal, petty deception that causes a crazily disproportionate amount of harm and disappointment -- as well as loathsome self-pity; the sense that when someone is legitimately caught doing something wrong, that they portray themselves as being persecuted. For some strange reason, right-wing conservatives seem to believe that the worst thing a human being can do is be the recipient of a blowjob. I'm not jumping on that bandwagon.

More to the point, a "Clintonian" lie occurs when someone who is the bearer of hope and promise stupidly and needlessly plays into the hands of their enemies.

I also refer to Kwame's misdeeds as "Clintonian" in order to keep them in perspective. Kwame has cost his city a lot of money, brought a shroud of shame to his family and basically ruined himself as a public official. As with Bill Clinton's misdeeds, these do not even approach the gargantuan, egregious, multifarious, malignant sins of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Kwame deserves to be found guilty of perjury, he should resign his mayorship and repay the millions of dollars the city of Detroit paid out for the whistle blower trial and pay-out his actions caused. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney (and everyone else who has served in BushCo in the last eight years) should be tried for war crimes and jailed for the rest of their lives.

That's a distinction I think is worth drawing.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Culture War

Lenny Bruce once said, "I always wonder about the anonymous giver. Cause the anonymous giver is truly an egomaniac: 'I'm so good -- I'm not going to tell anybody.' That's sick, man. I'm going to leave you with this, that the only anonymous giver you'll ever have to worry about is the guy that knocks up your daughter."

I've been watching Aaron Sorkin's TV show Studio 60, and though I continue to admire Sorkin's talent as a writer, I'm about fed up with his arrogant, self-righteous sanctimony. Every episode of Studio 60 is lopsided and disfigured with sermons and pontificating -- as was the endlessly nauseating West Wing with all its white-guilt do-gooders getting those smarmy smirks on their faces in the final two minutes of each episode when they were able to do right. The sketch comedy show within Studio 60 is a completely artificial petri dish in which Sorkin coaxes and prods cloned cells of the Culture War going on in America today. Every character is a cipher; one-dimensional Sorkin puppets spouting cliched inanities with more schmaltz per episode than the entire Brady Bunch series and every After School Special. I honestly don't know who I find more sickening: the big city liberal sharpies with their pitying, sensitive comments in support of gay marriage, marijuana use, and slamming everything the right-wing holds dear, or the right-wing one-dimensionals with their surprisingly well-articulated prejudices that are nuanced with actual, subtle reasoning and heart-warming small-town stories (Sorkin showing off how broad-minded he is by lending his quill equally to the ciphers of people he hates).

Studio 60 reminds me is that I would be no more happy with people like Aaron Sorkin, than I would be with Pat Robertson, Bill O'Reilly or George W. Bush.

I'm sure that I'm very slow waking to this fact, but the two sides of the culture war are mirror images of one another, with slightly different window dressing. The Left believes itself so righteously enlightened, the Right believes itself righteously moral. The Right has its penned in yard of sacred cows and the Left has its penned in yard of sacred cows. Each group spends its time and energy lobbing stones into each other's pen.

The loudest of the loud on each side, who mount their garbage trucks, are the anonymous givers Lenny Bruce was talking about.

While these two lazy, myopic groups pick their feet in Poughkeepsie, I think more attention should be paid to the real Seven Deadly sins: Hypocrisy, Arrogance, Hubris, Deceit, Violence, Thievery and Self-righteousness.

I'm as pissed off to hear about Bill O'Reilly's hypocrisy as I am hearing about Hillary Clinton's. Sides don't matter, actions do. Who's doing what. That's what we should be reacting to. Rudy Giulliani's pornographic use of 9/11 in his presidential campaign is abhorrent to me. Rich Democrats pretending to give a shit about "ordinary" Americans is abhorrent to me.

There's no answer to any of this except to lampoon the true Seven Deadly sins wherever they arise. But that's only for people who are serious about this kind of thing, something Aaron Sorkin and Fox News definitely are not. They're both just filling time in between commercials.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

AP Reporter Jousts with Romney

The video

Heated Exchange At Romney Press Conference

Standing in a Staples for, probably, the first time in his life, Mitt Romney -- does the name "Mitt" not evoke the image of a hand-puppet for you, too? -- was in the midst of pontificating about how his campaign is not run by lobbyists, when an AP reporter interrupted him and pointed out that Romney's campaign advisor, Ron Kaufman is a lobbyist. To which Romney displayed his true CEO fangs and looked at the reporter as though he'd like to see him the-wrong-way-up at the bottom of a well. But nice-guy-camera-guy Romney thrust to the fore with a condescending chuckle and proceeded to split hairs about the lobbyist in campaign. To his credit, the reporter didn't let the point go in a haze of sulfur-stenched double-talk.

OK, someone other than Ron Kaufman runs Romney's campaign, but it's more than a little hilarious that a guy -- Romney -- would so brazenly brag about being beyond the reach of lobbyists and at the same time have a top advisor who is, in fact, a lobbyist. Elementary school kids in the schoolyard wouldn't let a peer away with such hypocrisy. Try this kind of parsing in the breakroom of any office in the land and you'd be laughed right out to the parking lot. But this is politics and this is a presidential campaign and even John McCain dragging his 90 year old mother around the country seems to be in bounds for getting elected. No surprises here. However, some of the comments accompanying the blog carrying the video of the exchange are utterly mystifying in their blind ignorance and stupidity, and a little heartbreaking in their fragile, groping reach toward something like innocence:
Um, excuse me, but Mitt doesn''t need lobbyists to run his campaign like McCain does. Mitt''s already spent $17 million of his personal fortune and he''s willing to spend another $60 million. Ron Kaufman is an honorable man and so is Mitt. It is a rather cynical view of the world to presume that something evil is occuring just because Ron Kaufman is a Romney advisor. There are few people in this race who are willing to sacrifice their own fortunes for the opportunity of serving this country. Romney doesn''t need to the job for money and he certainly won''t enrich himself when he''s done, like the Clinton''s and so many other former presidents have. Mitt could even serve in the presidency without accepting a salary. Waddya think of that? I highly doubt any of the other schmos could give of themselves in such a way. Mitt is a true leader-servant. This country needs more people like him.

Posted by VAMan2 at 11:54 AM : Jan 18, 2008
O, dear person; dear, deluded lost soul. Ron Kaufman is an honorable man? If he's a lobbyist, he's a scumbag. And by extension, Romney is an utter scumbag for having him as part of his campaign, and an arrogant, truth-devoid scumbag for splitting hairs over the role of this lobbyist in his campaign. Do you actually use the word "sacrifice" in your statement? Romney's a CEO, which means he'd suck the marrow from the bones of his dead mother. His "fortune" is filthy lucre. My favorite line from this verbal comic strip is "Mitt could even serve in the presidency without accepting a salary." As if anyone who occupies that tainted seat in the Ovum Office does it for the salary!

There is something heartening knowing that such a vacant personality is a Romney supporter. Talking about building a house on a foundation of sand.

Another gem:
The reporter was a jerk, acted like he knows better than Mitt who his staff are. I was embarrassed for him. Mitt stood strong and straightened the boob out.

I appreciate that Romney isn''t neck deep in lobbyists like the senators running for president are. He really wants to help the American people.

The press are so jaded they can''t believe a good guy when the see one. I believe Mitt will go all the way to the White House. We better hope he does. He is the only candidate that has any clue how the economy operates.

Romney''s a decent, brilliant man, has been a raging success in the business world for decades He has turned around dozens of failing businesses, organizations, and a state. He is direly needed in Washington.

Mitt ''08!

Posted by bookaholic at 03:34 AM : Jan 18, 2008
You're kidding, right? Kidding, or huffing oven cleaner while smoking weed that's been marinated in Drano. May I introduce someone to you? His name is George W. Bush. He has turned the reputation of the United States of America into a used bedpan. The (p)residency of W. has been so disastrous, so hope-annihilating, so soulless, so dark and maniacal and without sense, so malicious and seething with malfeasance and malevolence, that maybe we all should be on your regimen of oven cleaner and Drano-dripping weed.

All of this serves to remind me that America's greatest export to the world is myth, fantasy, fiction. America should stick to what it does best -- making Hollywood extravaganzas and yuppie television pablum. Hopefully when China takes over the world in fifteen years, it will at least leave the Hollywood sign on that hill in California as a sort of tombstone.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Microsoft is collapsing under its own weight

It's finally begun: Microsoft is collapsing under its own weight. You can only sell bad software for so long, only make so many tens of billions of dollars from it, before people start to cop onto your scam. Among the many reasons why I hate Microsoft and its products is that Microsoft ships software before it's ready for the market, turning its customers into unpaid Quality Assurance testers. This undercooked software is then the reason your bloats up your PC with patch after endless patch, hotfix after execrable hotfix. If Microsoft were a car company, its vehicles would be shipped with no windows, no trunk door, components missing from the engine, and with only three tires. Sure, you'd eventually get everything you needed to have a functioning vehicle, but the problem is you didn't get what you paid for in the beginning.

The Microsoft automobile would also be sold to you without any seat belts, without airbags, and with no locks on the doors -- in other words, with nothing to protect the occupants. This is how Microsoft ships its products. In 2006, Internet Explorer was unsafe to use for 284 days of the year -- nine months out of 12.

Not to mention the bloatware that ships with every Windows PC -- all those ridiculous trial versions of software you would never buy, anyhow, which take the better part of a day to uninstall -- and the arbitrary changes to their products' usability and interfaces. For instance, I've used Microsoft Word for a dozen years -- though I've recently moved over to OpenOffice Writer -- and many of the updates and new versions consist of simply moving functions around from where I was used to finding them off to some new place. The most egregious example of this is Word 2007. Nice try with attempting to make it more visual, but who in the vast Microsoft Brain Trust broached the idea of making Word 2007 save files with the .docx extension? Try opening a .docx file in an earlier version of Word. The result is pure, unadulterated schmlanx. "Why would anyone want to open a file created in Word 2007 in Word 2003 -- or, Zeus forbid, Word 98?" Those of us who work on multiple PCs, that's who. The only reason I moved from Mac to PC in 1997 was because Apple was going through a bad time, which made getting replacement parts for products stupidly difficult. Terrified of having thousands of pages of my writing trapped on my 1991 Mac Classic with no way to print -- my LaseWriter was conking out with no help to be found -- I printed my work and moved to PC, so I wouldn't have to run the compability gauntlet any longer. But now I can relive those good ole days with Word 2007 and its insane .docx format.

Customer dissatisfaction is nothing new with Microsoft. People could despise the Gates/Ballmer Leviathan all they wanted, but both men went on to become billionaires twenty and forty times over. With the release of Windows Vista, however, Microsoft-the-maker-of-inferior-products has finally had its mask ripped away. On the surface, Vista's smooth look is a complete and utter rip off of Apple's OS X. No one with an ounce of professional pride would engage in such baldface theft of another's ideas. Better yet, Vista was voted the #1 Technology Disappointment for 2007, among the Top ten terrible tech products by CNET, which stated "Its incompatibility with hardware, its obsessive requirement of human interaction to clear security dialogue box warnings and its abusive use of hated DRM, not to mention its general pointlessness as an upgrade, are just some examples of why this expensive operating system earns the final place in our terrible tech list."

Expensive is right. There are no less than five different versions of Vista, and they're well over $250. Which is great because there are Linux-installed PCs available for as little as $199:
Linux PC Models Multiply As Vista Struggles

Demand for Linux systems is such that some retailers are selling out. Last year, for instance, Wal-Mart for a time couldn't fulfill orders for Everex's $199 gPC.

Until recently, Linux PCs were about as easy to find in stores as a vinyl record. Now, personal computers with the Linux operating system pre-installed are becoming more readily available, thanks to new models from upstarts and established PC makers -- and disappointment withMicrosoft (NSDQ: MSFT)'s new Windows Vista OS.

In just the past several weeks, a handful of new, low-cost systems have hit the market that are powered by Linux -- open source software first developed by Linus Torvalds and enhanced by enthusiast programmers around the world.
In August 2001, I attended a conference held by the Society of Technical Communicators in Chicago, and heard a talk given by a manager in Microsoft's technical communications. He was a decent enough guy who began his talk by showing us the top of his head, ruffling his hair with a hand and saying, "See? No horns." Right -- Microsoft isn't evil.

Well, let's hope Microsoft makes its more sinister technology is as shoddy and hole-ridden as its mainstream software:
Microsoft seeks patent for office 'spy' software

By Alexi Mostrous and David Brown

Microsoft is developing Big Brother-style software capable of remotely monitoring a worker’s productivity, physical wellbeing and competence.

The Times has seen a patent application filed by the company for a computer system that links workers to their computers via wireless sensors that measure their metabolism. The system would allow managers to monitor employees’ performance by measuring their heart rate, body temperature, movement, facial expression and blood pressure. Unions said they fear that employees could be dismissed on the basis of a computer’s assessment of their physiological state.

Technology allowing constant monitoring of workers was previously limited to pilots, firefighters and Nasa astronauts. This is believed to be the first time a company has proposed developing such software for mainstream workplaces.
Let's hope this monstocity sinks to the bottom of the sea before we've got car battery cables linking our testicles and nipples to our PCs.

Check out


Everex Think Cloud


Friday, January 11, 2008

Canada's tallest man in danger of being worn out by Windsorites

Gentle Giant

Gentle Giant Dreaming Big

Monster burger defeats giant

Twenty-four year old Jerry Sokoloski, who stands 7' 7" and weighs 550 lbs, has toured Windsor, Ontario since late 2007. A gracious guest, amiable Sokoloski has made appearances at area businesses, meeting Windsorites, and was most recently seen at Bubi's Awesome Eats -- at an invitation-only, who's-who-of-Windsor-event -- where he was served an 18 pound hamburger.

A growing number of citizens, however, are concerned that Windsorites might ask too much of Canada's Tallest Man. For instance, there has been talk of cordoning off a three-block section of Ouellette Avenue in order to create space for Mr. Sokoloski to demonstrate physical feats, such as throwing a minivan tire, palming and squishing watermelons with one hand, arm-wrestling a revving firetruck, and running and touching traffic lights. Although harmless, goodnatured feats, there is worry among city officials that Windsor's demands upon Mr. Sokoloski may wear out the country's tallest citizen, thus limiting his ability to visit other Canadian communities.

Word of other, more troubling feats have circulated through the city's grapevine, including having Mr. Sokoloski swim across the Detroit River, demonstrate at Sandwich Street's Dominion House how much beer he can drink and how many men he can fight at one time. Moreover, following his appearance at Bubi's Awesome Eats, every restaurant in the city is now eager to have Mr. Sokoloski to their establishments to eat 20 pounds of food. Such are the demands on Canada's Tallest Man, and the rigors of these requests can take their toll on even the most gigantic constitutions.

Mr. Sokoloski's tour of Windsor has been hailed as an unqualified success, particularly in light of the failed 2005 visit by Canada's Most Introspective Man, Maurice Osgood. Mr. Osgood's visit culminated with his appearance at the Capitol Theatre, where he sat on stage pondering the audience for two hours before saying, "It is most satisfactory to be here." To which the audience responded with silence and then a smattering of tepid applause. Most of the audience, however, was, in the words of construction worker Frank Gentry, "pissed off."

Talks are in progress between Windsor officials and Mr. Sokoloski's staff about temporarily deputizing Mr. Sokoloski into the Windsor Police Service so that he may compete on the Windsor side of the annual tug-of-war across the Detroit River between the Windsor and Detroit police services during the International Freedom Festival.

In 2009, there are plans to bring Mr. Sokoloski back to Windsor to team up with Girard Charbonneau, Canada's Loudest Man, for a tour of local eateries and historical sites. There was hope that Ian Jott, Canada's Hungriest Man, would be in Windsor to join Mr. Sokoloski and Mr. Charbonneau in a "Three Tenors"-like tour, but Mr. Jott is already scheduled to tour Romania and Transylvania at that time.

At present, Mr. Sokoloski's public appearances are being cut back for him to get some much-needed rest and begin, again, to focus on his writings. Calls seeking confirmation that Mr. Sokoloski has been invited to sample and endorse Windsor escort agencies were not immediately answered.


Politicians are like the "goths" that went to my high school -- utter conformists whose every waking minute is spent convincing you how "different" they are.

Saturday, January 05, 2008


Leave the Great Unwashed to their petty entertainments, to their tone-deaf music, to their album cover shuffle. Show-off with dignity -- demonstrate your moral and mental superiority with the new Pedant-iPod.

What's the good of technology if it doesn't kill time and belittle others?

Learn the Byzantine language, listen to the Refutation of Christian Polemics, to MENSA Roundtable or to Latin crossword puzzles read by Dr. Stephen Hawking.

Flash around the ultra-large, über-readable Pedant-iPod display on the bus or subway or aeroplane, in the cafe or at the cinema. Show the Philistines around you who really knows how to live!

The Pedant-iPod is the size of a hardcover book and weighs approximately four pounds. Pedant-iPod is only available in "ascetic black" with 11MB of memory -- no one who knows anything requires more disc space than that.

Show the pissants in your life who the pædant is. Sanctimonious superiority should always be represented. Be one of the anointed with Pedant-iPod.