?

Log in

entries Friends of the Estate calendar profile Previous Previous Next Next
The 5th Estate
An enraged terrier on the ass of the power elite...
lullabypit
5th_estate
lullabypit
I love sports. Always have. I grew up playing all the usual sports and eagerly tried out a lot of others when I got older. I've always been a big spectator, too, watching everything from football, basketball and baseball to soccer, track, cycling, volleyball, water polo - whatever was on, you know?

But these days I watch less sports than at any point in my life, and it seems likely that this downward trend is going to continue. The why is pretty simple. I was raised old school by a grandfather who grew up playing through the Depression. People who knew him back then and saw him play said that under different circumstances he might have been good enough to play in the Bigs. Maybe. Hard to say, because the hard realities of life intruded on the dreams of many in his generation. So he wound up working for a few dollars a week and playing ball on the weekends.

There was a right way and a wrong way to play. Hard, but fair. Sportsmanship mattered. Team ethics mattered. And no game ever happened unless the chores were done and the academics were satisfactorily completed. I was taught to love sport but to understand its rightful place in life. We hear a lot of talk about how sports teaches lessons - yeah, it does. And I was one of the ones who learned it the right way.

I look at the sporting landscape today, though, and I feel like I'm the only one. With each passing day it gets harder and harder to watch sports without feeling the need to take a shower afterwards. If you're a principled, thinking person, you may spend a lot of time, as I do, realizing that your continued attention to the game is helping finance all the things that are wrong, and you wonder how much longer you can take it. (More...)

Now Playing: The Good, The Bad & The Queen - Behind The Sun

archangel__7
5th_estate
archangel__7
A few months back, I read an article in one of the major national magazines lamenting how bloggers are now beginning to set the terms under which interviews with journalists are to take place (if at all). For the life of me, I can no longer recall the magazine in which it was published, and knowing this community to be one of many avid readers, I'm wondering if anyone here would recall.

Accounts were given where a blogger would insist that the interviewer submit his questions in writing, via e-mail. Of course, this kind of demand is something most interviewers would balk at, and so he naturally refused to comply. At this point, an interviewer might normally persuade a subject to relent to an open interview, at least so the people can "hear his side of the story".

But the blogger no longer needs the printed page to accomplish that. At this point, the blogger simply electronically publishes about these events to his large readership, and if his views are in any way controversial, bloggers from an opposing viewpoint will likely pick up where the reporter had been left out.

We've all heard this before: The view that the information age is heralding a sort of decentralization of communication in the media, where it is no longer the intrepid reporter or the editors who monopolize the content and the slant in which a story is told. On the other hand, another journalist weighs in, suggesting that what has been lost in the technological exchange is an interviewer's opportunity to get a feel for what's really going on through body language, facial expressions, gestures, and so on. These sorts of things don't convey easily through textual responses to questions, and so the public is left out of such "true-color" moments which have made the press what we've known it to be for decades.

In any event, it was an interesting read. Any ideas where the article came from, or where to look?
drdenny
5th_estate
drdenny
Q: Is it in part a response to the Democratic criticism last night over Iraq at the debate?
MR. SNOW: No.
Q: Did he watch the debate?
MR. SNOW: I don't think so. I don't think he's big on YouTube debates.

— White House spokesman Tony Snow aboard Air Force One, explaining the president's speech schedule and topic the day after the CNN/YouTube Democratic debate.
Let me turn now to the report that's being released today. Of the actions that were due at 12 months, we assess that 86 percent of those actions have been completed. That's to be compared to a score of around 92 percent that we released at the six-month mark. There are about 14 percent of the actions that are not yet completed. We document those in the action-by-action detailed report. We anticipate those being completed in the 18-month time frame at the next six-month report. I'm not going to go through the accomplishments in great detail. Suffice it to say that on the international front, we've taken unprecedented action.

— Dr. Rajeev Venkayya, special assistant to the president for biodefense, explaining the administration's actions on avian and pandemic influenza during a July 17 press briefing in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
Read more...Collapse )
nebris
5th_estate
nebris
"Entertainment has become more important than information and the media is looking ... for money. They're looking for audience, they're looking to give the public what they want," ~Lawrence Taylor, a former Los Angeles prosecutor who runs one of the nation's top DUI defense law firms in this article on Lindsey Lohan.

Current Mood: cynical cynical

sirpaulsbuddy
5th_estate
sirpaulsbuddy
queen.jpg  Brian May, the under-appreciated guitar hero of legendary rock band Queen, is about to receive his long delayed PhD in astrophysics.

May was working on his doctorate at Imperial College, London, in 1970 when he was persuaded by late band mate Freddie Mercury to join him and drummer Roger Taylor in the group.  Bassist John Deacon joined shortly after completing the band's classic line up.

I became a Queen fan based on the song, "Killer Queen" from their 3rd album, Sheer Heart Attack. The combination of music hall camp and hard rock power struck exactly the right chord for me when the song appeared in 1974. May's guitar work sang throughout the tune, counter pointed with Mercury's piano, Taylor's Ginger Baker/Keith Moon influenced drumming and Deacon's understated, always interesting bass lines.
Keeping themselves alive...Collapse )

Current Mood: creative
Now Playing: Queen, "Radio Ga Ga"

drdenny
5th_estate
drdenny
A magician who seeks to retain his (or her) illusion for — and thus control over — the audience uses sleight of hand and misdirection. In the modern political era that began in earnest with the 1994 mid-term elections, a Republican majority in Congress mastered that art using the textbooks authored by former House speakers Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay. Although that majority has evaporated, the Democratic successors have continued to play three-card monte with the best of the GOP.

Terry Schiavo. Abortion. Stem-cell research. Gay marriage. Immigration reform. Osama. The "war on terror." The Iraq war. Corruption (Cunningham and Jefferson et al.) Ethics reform. Sex scandals (the House pages and Vitter). Scooter Libby and Plamegate. Global warming (er, climate change). The dancing denials of Alberto Gonzalez. Vice President Cheney's non-executive executive branch. Impeach the bastards, etc.

These are serious subjects, of course, or so intones The Media (a.k.a. the magician's assistant), charged with telling the audience why it ought to be worried about them and why it ought to vote for The Right — or The Left — to make sure that Subject X doesn't happen again. It doesn't matter which party's talking; each has a tall tale it sells, er, tells to the audience.
Read more...Collapse )
drdenny
5th_estate
drdenny
* Formerly "Recent statements from morons."
We know, also, that [terrorists are] working feverishly to obtain ever more destructive weapons, and using every form of technology they can get their hands on. And this makes the business of fighting this war as urgent and time-sensitive as any task this nation has ever taken on. As the Director of National Intelligence, Admiral Mike McConnell, said recently, "The time needed to develop a terrorist plot, communicate it around the globe, and put it into motion has been drastically reduced. The time line is no longer a calendar, it is a watch."

Vice President Dick Cheney, commencement address at West Point, May 26.
I believe we are entering a period this summer of increased risk. Summertime seems to be appealing to them. We do worry that they are rebuilding their activities.

Michael Chertoff, Homeland Security secretary, to the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune, July 11.
Read more...Collapse )
notgruntled
5th_estate
notgruntled
LOL kitties. Electoral politics. One is silly, juvenile, a series of flip one-liners with no real substance, and an endless series of cute images, inane clichés and dumb puns.

The other involves pictures of cats with text on top of them.

If both are among your guilty pleasures, please let me direct your attention to lolitics, a community specifically dedicated to this unique school of satire. Hey, what could it hurt?

Cross-posted to folks who I think will either enjoy it or berate me for it. Cool either way. And before you accuse me of trivializing something important, two top topics are the Fred Thompson's hot wife and how much time John Edwards spends on his hair, so spare me.

Modestly cross-posted.
sirpaulsbuddy
5th_estate
sirpaulsbuddy
Old Man: “What are you rebelling against?” 
Johnny Stabler (Marlon Brando): “What you got?” -The Wild One (1954)

2007 is a year filled with Boomer anniversaries - the 40th anniversary of Monterrey Pop, the 40th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

And there’s an ongoing anniversary celebration this year for a book that influenced Boomers as profoundly as perhaps any other this side of Siddhartha or The Catcher in the Rye - we’re in the midst of the 50th anniversary celebration of the publication of Jack Kerouac’s Beat Generation opus, On The Road. And that raises a question - for me, anyway:

ontheroad.jpg What is it about the 1950’s that makes some of the artists from that decade, like Kerouac, feel overrated?
Rebels without causeCollapse )

Current Mood: creative
Now Playing: Spirit, "Elijah"

drdenny
5th_estate
drdenny
I repeat: Forget Sen. David Vitter's penis. I've already pontificated about following his money. Now let's focus on his ability to do his job under the cloud caused by his wandering wanker.

Sen. Vitter and soulmate Wendy met the press Monday but took no questions about his use of a prostitute. Mrs. Vitter offered support for her husband; Sen. Vitter looked forward to the future of "continu[ing] my work in the U.S. Senate to help move Louisiana forward." Specifically he said he wished to help "finalize a crucial water resources bill to provide much better hurricane and flood protection.”

Sen. Vitter had been a representative in Congress since 1998 before succeeding John Breaux in the Senate. If he wants better hurricane and flood protection for the Gulf Coast now, why haven't reporters reviewed his House voting record on funding for same before Katrina? Would that reveal a greater hypocrisy?
Read more...Collapse )
lullabypit
5th_estate
lullabypit
John Edwards kicked off Poverty Tour 2007 today.

His opponents and a lot of media people who'd know better if they'd studied a little harder in school will be countering with the even higher profile Idiots and Liars Tour, so brace yourself for all kinds of stupid. You're going to keep hearing about $400 haircuts. You're going to hear about new mansions. You'll hear about "lavish spending." You're going to hear lots of talk where the words "slick" and "lawyer" are used in close proximity.

Pay attention: every time you do, somebody is lying to you. (More...)
drdenny
5th_estate
drdenny
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to H.R. 2669 and in support of the McKeon alternative. As the father of three college graduates and a college sophomore, I understand the financial burden higher education poses on families and students. That is why I am proud of Republican efforts, particularly those of Representatives Buck McKeon and Ric Keller to expand college access and increase affordability.

Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) on July 11 in opposition to the College Cost Reduction Act of 2007, which the Democratically controlled House passed Wednesday. Supporters say the bill would lower student loan interest rates, increase Pell grants and offer tuition assistance and loan forgiveness. Nineteen months ago, Reps. Wilson, McKeon (R-Calif.) and Keller (R-Fla.) voted with the GOP majority (217-215) to approve the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, which slashed nearly $13 billion from student-loan programs.
Read more...Collapse )
lullabypit
5th_estate
lullabypit
We've seen a slow trickle of ship-jumping (or jump-related rhetoric) in recent days as a variety of GOP rats have come to understand that President George Walker Bush now stands as the biggest obstacle they face in Campaign 2008.

But Sweet Fancy Moses, this morning's news features a couple of Rats of Unusual Size (RoUS) swashbuckling off the Black Pearl like Captain Jack Sparrow, grabbing the President around the neck in mid-swoop and flinging him headlong under the nearest exploding hillbilly-armored Hummer in sight. (*ahem* Sorry about that bit - I'm a bit caught up in the excitement of Summer Adventure Movie Mania.)

First up, Bill O'Reilly, saying a number of really unprecedented things. (More...)

Now Playing: Space Team Electra - Glitter Galaxy

morality_play
5th_estate
morality_play
One of today's more interesting episodes has been Bush's admission before a crowd of placid, obedient journalists that an administration official "likely" leaked the name of Valerie Plame to the press in an effort to punish her husband for his critical appraisal of the Bush regime's rationale for the preemptive invasion of Iraq.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19728346/

When the name was first disclosed, many intelligent people reasonably supposed that it was the natural behavior of an administration best understood as a gang of thugs. Not intelligent. Not particularly well read or impressively credentialed. Simple really. And with no maneuver gauged to be too sophomoric or puerile in their estimation to service their own exercise of power. The same sense of self-entitlement that manifests in a schoolyard bully's indignation over his victim's retaliation is what has propelled Republican gaffes with microphones for the last seven years. Whether they're turning off their opponent's to silence criticism, or neglecting their own live mic's while painting opponents with vulgar slurs, what motivates them is a kind of childlike temerity. A willingness to secure immoral objectives with naked aggression, while imagining they are not required to justify those objectives.

Read moreCollapse )
liberalviewer
5th_estate
liberalviewer
(crossposted to conservatism, liberal and religion)

Several times in June, Fox News falsely claimed that a case that may be reviewed by the US Supreme Court allows the words "marriage" and "natural family" to be punished as "hate speech" in government workplaces. I provide examples of these erroneous reports and point out the specific errors in my latest 4 minute 18 second YouTube video at:

Fox News Misreports Christian Flyer Punished As Hate Speech

If you prefer using an embedded video player: click here for embedded video playerCollapse )

The two federal rulings at issue are available at:

http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/coa/memdispo.nsf/pdfview/030507/$File/05-15467.PDF

And at:

http://www.oaklandcityattorney.org/PDFS/Opinions/GoodNewsruling2-2005.pdf

Also, this video means I now have TWO DOZEN examples of Fox News Bias on my Fox News Bias YouTube playlist at: Fox News Bias


Finally, as always, I appreciate all feedback :-)
drdenny
5th_estate
drdenny
They're all over this guy — The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN. Sex sells, so they're selling it — and doing a disservice to their readers and viewers.

It's a story played over and over again in Congress (Wilbur Mills, anyone? Fanne Foxe?) A senator or member of Congress paints himself (or herself) as a vision of moral rectitude and gets caught with his pants down (or her skirt up). Literally.

So Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) paid for sex. Big deal. All this "sex sells" coverage may drive ratings, but it detracts readers and viewers from far more important issues. Politicians would rather have the press focused on their sexual peccadilloes than on their financial affairs while in service to their constituents.

Sen. Vitter's "serious sin" has nothing to do with sex. It's the sin far too many senators and members of Congress seem to commit with corporate abandon: "Give me money to get elected and I'll make sure you go to the head of the line for federal cash."
Read more...Collapse )
lullabypit
5th_estate
lullabypit
And away we go! Sen. David Vitter, a conservative Louisiana Republican, has become the first major pol linked to "DC Madame" Deborah Jane Palfrey.

A bit of context is in order. (More...)

Now Playing: Paul & Price - "I Adore You"

drdenny
5th_estate
drdenny
By now, thanks to The Washington Post, you've figured out that Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, he of the minimal memory, can warp time itself. The Department of Justice, under his leadership, can also turn an FBI report of civil liberties violations into a typographical error.

The AG told Congress on April 27, 2005, that "[t]here has not been one verified case of civil liberties abuse."

The Post today, however, reported that the FBI had notified Mr. Gonzales of such violations as much as three months before that:
Six days earlier, the FBI sent Gonzales a copy of a report that said its agents had obtained personal information that they were not entitled to have. It was one of at least half a dozen reports of legal or procedural violations that Gonzales received in the three months before he made his statement to the Senate intelligence committee, according to internal FBI documents released under the Freedom of Information Act.

Read more...Collapse )
5th_estate
angliss
Over the course of the last several years, we have experienced the results of failed Republican policies. The subjugation of all other foreign policy objectives to national defense has created a situation where we are literally less safe for having our soldiers fighting abroad. Lower taxes are bankrupting the government, leading to a wholesale crumbling of our roads and public buildings, public education, public health and safety, and even our national security due to lack of maintenance. Smaller government, originally intended to improve efficiencies by moving supposedly bloated government programs to private industry, has created a government that is unable to perform its most basic duties, such as protecting its citizens and enforcing its laws. Freeing markets from strict federal regulation has resulted in the corruption of Enron and Adelphia Communications as well as a massive increase in real poverty. And the focus on family values has produced a cultural environment that is singularly unfriendly to non-traditional families, scientific and medical research, and even immigration.

There are many, many reasons that the Republican agenda has failed. (read more at Scholars & Rogues)
sirpaulsbuddy
5th_estate
sirpaulsbuddy

xpost: The Savoy Truffle

People fear death even more than pain. It’s strange that they fear death. Life hurts a lot more than death. At the point of death, the pain is over. Yeah, I guess it is a friend. - Jim Morrison

A new interview with Sam Bernett, close friend of Jim Morrison, in that bastion of serious journalism, The Mail, offers a wild new account of the death of the 2nd most overrated rock musician of all time®.jimmorrison.jpg

Bernett claims in the exclusive interview that Morrison died of a heroin overdose in a toilet at The Rock and Roll Circus, a Paris night club. Here’s what supposedly happened:
The end, beautiful friends...Collapse )

Current Mood: contemplative contemplative
Now Playing: The Doors, "The End"