Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Where there’s smoke

March 21, 2007

US Attorney Carol Lam, who was prosecuting the Duke Cunningham case, officially notified the DoJ on May 10 2006 that she would be issuing a subpoena to “Dusty” Foggo, the hastily retired number two at the CIA, who had fingers in every military and intelligence pork pie in Washington. The very next day, now hastily retired Kyle Sampson wrote the notorious email declaring that “we have a real problem right now with Carol Lam”, and that Justice should be prepared to axe her the moment her current term ended.

This is what is known as a smoking gun.

On Monday, George W. had reached such a pitch of desperation over Purgegate that he made a speech in which he characterized Karl Rove, a sleaze specialist widely lionized by Republicans primarily for his ability to limbo lower than an earthworm’s belly at the drop of a push poll, as an “honorable public servant”. (Tragically, taping of Hannity’s show had to be delayed for half an hour while the host recovered from a laughing fit.)

This is what is known as a smirking gun.


Squid pros go

February 25, 2007

This was reported everywhere, but I had to blog it because I am a lifelong sucker for giant squid.

This beauty, Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, not actually a giant but a (larger) colossal squid, was snagged by kiwi fishermen in polar waters. I’d gladly have spent a year in indentured servitude for the chance to be on that ship for the two-hour struggle.

More pics available here and here.


Some folks sure know how to put the pang into birth pangs

July 25, 2006

Woah. I just became anonymously famous again.

There’s been a fair amount of scorn leveled at Condi Rice on the left blogosphere for her chirruppy talk about the death and destruction raining down on Israel and Lebanon right now as the “birth pangs” of a new Middle East. No one seems to have noticed it was code talk, that had a potentially sinister edge to it, for those with ears to hear .

So when, in the discussion of Soros’s new book at Firedoglake, Digby mentioned it again as an instance of the Bushies’ cockeyed optimism, I dropped in a comment (#178). “Birth pangs” are of course the way that Jesus talks in Q, the ur-document for the gospels, about the “wars and rumors of wars” that will precede the hour of His return. Thus, Condi was quietly reassuring Bush’s fundamentalist base that his support of the Lebanon war, and his refusal to feign interest in a cease-fire, were just him doing his bit of midwifery, as an upstanding Christian, to hasten the Apocalypse.

Now Digby has catapulted the meme, crediting “one of the commenters”. What an unpredictable megaphone this Internet medium is.

For the fundamentalist base, more wars – especially in the Middle East – is a good thing, because it will usher in a more rapid Rapture. For the neocons, more wars – especially in the Middle East – is a good thing, because it constitutes “creative destruction”, hastening the final secular showdown in which American nukes will decide the issue.

For the rest of us, it’s hard to distinguish where Condi’s “birth pangs” end and Cheney’s “last throes” begin. The span of human life they appear to envision between the two is nasty, brutish, and short.


Sorry, no comment

July 17, 2006


I finally figured out that comment moderation was turned on. And , not knowing that, I hadn’t been moderating.

My apologies, and thanks, to those of you who were kind enough to leave remarks. I’ve turned moderation off, and from now on you should see instant feedback.


Technical difficulties

May 2, 2006

Well, that was instructive.

I’ve learned that blogspot will every so often just not allow some blogs (or some browsers) to publish for a few hours or a couple of days. And in the course of scouting for a workaround, I’ve learned that my current HTML template, which does fine on Mozilla and Firefox, looks moderately hideous on Internet Exploder. This is why I don’t envy the web designers of the world.

Wonder how it does on Safari? — But not to worry, I have it on good authority that no one uses Macs anymore.


In which nicteis exposes himself

April 24, 2006

Since the creation of this blog more or less fell upon me out of the blue, it’s taken me a little while to finish considering whether I wanted to be anonymous, or permit my real life self to associate with the likes of nicteis and Pickle Lips Now.

My conclusion: there’s no point in anonymity. It’s too easily breached, it would inhibit nicteis from puffing stuff that “I” have done. And the place is unlikely to draw the attention of anyone but (1) friends I’ve directed here or, in the worst case, (2) the keepers of the Black Iron Prison, who have their own sinister methods of extracting information anyway.

So I’ll say this once, and not worry about whether it comes up again. IRL I’m Royce (last name and only known web photo, concealed among assorted colleagues, to be found on Stargirl’s page.) MWM, two kids, one grandkid and one on the way. An unrepentant liberal since ’62 or so; an unrepentant though intermittently penitent born again Christian since ’72; ancient majors in math and philosophy. Currently employed as a computer geek at MIT, where I have the privilege of working alongside dedicated real live astrophysicist and engineer types who are

  • Smarter than I am and
  • Like MIT, not responsible for any opinions expressed herein.

What demographics have I left uncovered? Oh, yeah – classwise, I’ve looked at life from both sides now, having spent at least ten years in both the bottom and the top income quintiles.

On the Internets, I’ve posted extensively on Usenet under my own name, mainly on Bible groups (the central obsessions were exposing Christian Identity proselytizers, arguing for gay rights, against five point Calvinism, and for a radical re-examination of atonement); here and there under my Salon moniker of pt bridgeport; and under my own name as a top 1000 Amazon reviewer.

Should I ever get around to creating a personal home page, or a personal blog, I’ll link it once here. Otherwise, that’s about enough about me.