The Invisible Web

Your Trip Into the Chapel Perilous

Archive for November, 2008

W – The Wounded Puppy

Posted by invizweb on November 8, 2008

From Open Salon:

The day after the election, the Wall Street Journal posted an opinion article lamenting the treatment that president Bush has been receiving from the American public. The WSJ not only calls criticisms of Bush “disgraceful,” but implies that the treatment (re: criticism) Bush gets from the American people will embolden our enemies.

The poor president not only faces “relentless attacks” from the left, but was abandoned and left out in the cold by the right. No matter what the poor president does he just can’t escape the blame for the past 8 years of America’s problems. All he wanted was a little bit of unquestioning loyalty, a pocket full of blank checks to cash whenever he needed to exercise his divine mandate to rule. Instead the American people either shamefully criticized him or turned their backs saying “hey, he’s your friend – you brought him to the party…I came with the maverick.”

According to the piece, the American people have no character and are weak, cruel, and slanderous. If only we just accepted the regent’s mandates we would have crushed our enemies, kept our economy running, and all gone to sleep at night safely wrapped in our American flags under the watchful paternal eyes of homeland security. Instead we no longer can afford to press our button down Oxford shirts and silk ties, illegal immigrants sneak into our homes at night to steal jobs and mortgages, and our enemies will slaughter us all in the coming apocalypse.

Are you sad yet? Are you feeling a little bit sympathetic? Are you ready to pat poor W on the head, maybe scratch him behind the ear a little and tell him that you’re sorry? I for one, am not.

I’m also not cruel, slanderous, or weak. I am not arrogant and have plenty of resolve – the kind you get from standing up for what you believe, not from kowtowing to the whims of a would be monarch and his court. As for character, I ask you this – who has more character – the son of a powerful family handed the best education, a get of of Vietnam free card, and eventually the presidency or the sons and daughters of families who worked three jobs to get through college, face insurmountable debt to creditors, and were sent to bleed and die on foreign battlefields for questionable motives and platitudes about freedom and liberty?

Read more.

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The Invisible Web Episode 21 (Fighting 63 in Japan)

Posted by invizweb on November 6, 2008

The Invisible Web Episode 21 (0302) – Fighting 63 in Japan

On this episode of the Invisible Web I interview Roxanne Modafferi, who is one of the headliners for the inaugural GCM VALKYRIE MMA show on Saturday, at Tokyo’s Differ Ariake (doors open 1:00 PM Tokyo and 2:00 is bell time). We discuss the etymological origins of her family name, her mini feud with Megumi Yabushita, training with the Wajyutsu Keishukai Network (Caol Uno and Yushin THUNDA Okami), anime, and more. And as a bonus I read Time and the Gods by Lord Dunsany.

Roxanne’s official website.

Fightlinker, her top sponsors who sell her t-shirts.

Time and the Gods at Project Gutenberg.

UPDATE: Roxanne won the decision in her fight today at the inaugural VALKYRIE show against Chisa Yonezawa. Congratulations~!!

Posted in Combat Sports, Mixed Martial Arts, Mythology, Philosophy & Religion & Spirituality, The Invisible Web Podcast | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Blather.net’s Map of the Weird

Posted by invizweb on November 6, 2008

damien wrote for Blather.

“For the last eleven years (yes, that’s eleven) we here at Blather have been keeping track of every lake monster, UFO sighting, satanist, pornographer, ghost, exorcism, banshee attack, ABC sighting, religious quack, police state action, alien abduction and friendly neighbourhood Kangaroo that we can scribble down in this here site. But the truth is, there’s such an abundance of these bloody things that keeping track of them has become somewhat problematic. Until now.

So allow us reader dear, to present ‘Blather.net’s Map of the Weird’, a first public presentation of what will become an ever-growing, all-encompassing cartographic apocalypse of filth, depravity, smut and forteana.”

Read more.

Posted in Anamolous Phenomena/ Forteana, Cryptozoology, Internet, UFOlogy and Nonterrestrial life, Urban Legends | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

2008 US Presidential Election Prelim Results (as of 11:24 PM EST)

Posted by invizweb on November 4, 2008

(C) Comedy Partners

(C) Comedy Partners

Robert Greenwald wrote:

This is a truly amazing moment in our nation, and we couldn’t be more delighted to share it with you. Just marvel at the historic change occurring right now — change that seemed like a dream only a year ago — and you helped make it happen. You saw the explosion of grassroots activism around the country and recognized the importance of participating in democracy by spreading our videos, signing our petitions, and supporting our various campaigns.

When the corporate press wasn’t doing its job to portray John McCain accurately, you took it upon yourselves to spread The REAL McCain videos like John McCain’s YouTube Problem Just Became a Nightmare, which has received a whopping 8 million views! And when it became clear that FOX News would stop at nothing to smear and slander Barack Obama, you made sure millions more could see the truth by spreading our FOX Attacks Obama series. All told, over 25 million people watched these videos — all achieved with people-powered persuasion.

Tonight is a beginning. We look forward with excitement and anticipation to the opportunities ahead to fight for social justice. We are already at work on efforts that will provide positive change for our country.

Thank you,
The Brave New Films team

probably not the expression on her face right now.

probably not the expression on her face right now.

Posted in Cryptopolitics, Current Events | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

U.S. Plans To Deploy Another 4,700 Troops For “Domestic Deployment”

Posted by invizweb on November 4, 2008

By Erin Rosa 11/2/08 1:45 PM for the Colorado Independent

In the next three years the military plans to activate and train an estimated 4,700 service members for specialized domestic operations, according to Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart, commander of U.S. Northern Command, which was created in 2002 for homeland defense missions.

The comments, made at the annual National Homeland Defense and Security Symposium in Colorado Springs last week, reveal more details about the recent stationing of active military personnel inside United States borders for what officials say is a mission centering around responding to catastrophic emergencies.

In September the Army Times reported that the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team — a unit based in Fort Stewart, Ga., that most recently spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq patrolling in full battle gear — would be put under the control of Northern Command, located on Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs.

Military representatives claim that the unit, now referred to as the Consequence Management Response Force, is only supposed to assist in responding to terrorist attacks or natural disasters, but that hasn’t stopped numerous civil liberties advocates from speculating just how closely the military will be involved with law enforcement issues falling under a state’s jurisdiction.

“This isn’t a military police brigade or a civil affairs brigade. This is actually a combat brigade being assigned a domestic mission,” said Mike German, national security counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union’s legislative office in Washington., D.C.

The ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act Request last week with the Department of Justice and the Pentagon asking for records relating to the assignment of domestic forces to the Northern Command.

“One of our founding touchstones of democracy is that the military is not to be used against the American people. Over a hundred years ago that sentiment was put into law in the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibited the military from being involved in law enforcement functions,” German said. “Our hope is to find as much information as we can to challenge whether this is appropriate or not and to create some public awareness about what’s going on”

Now the commander of Northern Command claims that at least two more military units will be stationed inside the county in the next two years, contributing to an estimated total of 4,700 specially trained service members.

Read more.

Posted in Civil Liberties and Social Justice, Cryptopolitics, Current Events | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Online Predation An Exaggerated Problem

Posted by invizweb on November 4, 2008

By Larry Magid for CBS News

CBS Tech Analyst Breaks Down The Stats; Drugs And Alcohol A Much Bigger Risk

CBS) A survey of 1,000 moms of teenagers commissioned by McAfee and conducted by Harris Interactive reached the surprising conclusion that “about two-thirds of mothers of teens in the United States are just as, or more, concerned about their teenagers’ online safety, such as from threatening emails or solicitation by online sexual predators, as they are about drunk driving (62 per cent) and experimenting with drugs (65 per cent).”

That might be how moms feel, but it’s not reflective of the real world. While moms have good reason to be concerned about how their teens use the Internet, online dangers pale compared to the risks of drunk driving. In 2007, 6,552 people were killed in auto accidents involving young drivers (16-20), according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. In 2006, nearly a fifth of the 7,643 15- to 20-year-old drivers involved in fatal traffic crashes had a blood had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.

Perception of Internet danger has been heightened thanks to the TV show “To Catch a Predator” and inaccurate reports stating that “one in five children have been sexually solicited by a predator.” That statistic is a misquote from a 2000 study by the Crimes Against Children Research Center. The data (which, based on a 2005 follow-up study, was revised to one in seven) is based on a survey that asked teens if they had in the last year received an unwanted sexual solicitation.

But many – possibly most – of those solicitations were from other teens, not from adult predators. What’s more, most recipients didn’t view them as serious or threatening. “Almost all youth handled the solicitations easily and effectively” and “extremely few youth (two out of 1,500 interviewed) were actually sexually victimized by someone they met online,” reported the authors of the study.

Other studies have shown that “the stereotype of the Internet child molester who uses trickery and violence to assault children is largely inaccurate” (Wolak, Finkelhor & Mitchell, 2004). In a survey of law enforcement investigators of Internet sex crimes, it was reported that only 5 percent of offenders pretended to be teens when trying to meet potential victims online.

Read more.

Posted in Civil Liberties and Social Justice, Current Events, Urban Legends | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Tweets Give Race-Baiting Hoaxster a ‘B’ for Effort

Posted by invizweb on November 4, 2008

By Sarah Lai StirlandEmailfor WIRED

(C) WIRED

(C) WIRED

Thanks to an unattended Twitter widget, a website intended to promote the work of 50 young Republican volunteers became an unwitting showcase for the mockery of one group member Friday, when it emerged that the volunteer faked a macabre attack on herself and tried to pin it on a nonexistent Obama supporter and mugger.

Ashley Todd, a 20-year-old college student and McCain volunteer, admitted on Friday that she made up a widely reported story about being mugged by a so-called big black guy at an ATM in Pittsburgh. She falsely told police this week that her assailant became enraged after seeing a John McCain bumper sticker on her car, and proceeded to scratch a backwards “B” — for “Barack” — on her face. It now appears the mark was self-inflicted, and police say it’s expected to heal completely.

Todd was one of the members of a group called 50 College Republicans that has been publicizing its activities through a blog and Twitter feed on a website called Life in the Field. The volunteers’ tweets carried the hashtag “#litf08.”

On Friday, commenters started using the tag to broadcast their disgust, causing the sarcastic tweets to be automatically displayed on the Republican site.

Read more.

Posted in Current Events | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Phony State Board of Elections flier advising Republicans to vote on Nov. 4 and Democrats on Nov. 5

Posted by invizweb on November 4, 2008

(C) The Virginian-Pilot

(C) The Virginian-Pilot

RICHMOND

“A phony State Board of Elections flier advising Republicans to vote on Nov. 4 and Democrats on Nov. 5 is being circulated in several Hampton Roads localities, according to state elections officials.

In fact, Election Day, for voters of all political stripes, remains Nov. 4.

The somewhat official-looking flier – it features the state board logo and the state seal – is dated Oct. 24 and indicates that “an emergency session of the General Assembly has adopted the follwing (sic) emergency regulations to ease the load on local electorial (sic) precincts and ensure a fair electorial process.”

The four-paragraph flier concludes with: “We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause but felt this was the only way to ensure fairness to the complete electorial process.”

No emergency action has been taken by the General Assembly. It is not in session and lacks the authority to change the date of a federal election.

State Board of Election officials today said they are aware of the flier but disavowed any connection to it.”

Read more.

Posted in Civil Liberties and Social Justice, Current Events | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Will closet racism derail Obama?

Posted by invizweb on November 4, 2008

By Laura Smith-Spark (BBC News)

“Two decades ago, Douglas Wilder watched as a 9% lead in the polls in the race to be Virginia’s governor slipped to just one-tenth of 1% when the ballots were counted.

He still won the election – becoming the first African-American to be elected a US state governor – but the narrowness of his victory led analysts to speculate that he had been a victim of a white hesitancy to vote for a black man.

The theory goes that some white voters tell opinion pollsters they will vote for a black candidate – but then, in the privacy of the polling booth, put their cross against a white candidate’s name.

And the fear among some supporters is that this could happen to Barack Obama on 4 November, when the country votes for its next president.

The phenomenon is known as the Bradley, or Wilder effect.

Tom Bradley was an African-American mayor of Los Angeles who, running for California’s governorship in 1982, saw a sizeable eve-of-polling lead evaporate on election day, giving victory to his white rival, Republican George Deukmejian.

In 1989, the year Wilder became governor of Virginia, David Dinkins was elected the first African-American mayor of New York – but he also saw an 18-point lead in the polls shrink to a winning margin of just two points on the day.

Charles Henry, a California professor who was among the first to research the Bradley effect, says Mr Obama would need a double-digit lead to feel confident of victory.

Other pundits have suggested a six- to nine-point cushion may be sufficient. Mr Obama currently has a lead of about this size, according to most polls.

But Mr Wilder, now mayor of Richmond, Virginia, and a supporter of the Obama campaign, told the BBC News website that he believes racism will not have a major impact this time.

“Will there be some effect? Yes. Are there some people who just cannot bring themselves to vote for an African-American? Yes.”

But, he said: “America has grown, people have grown.”

Controversies over race have cast a shadow over this campaign.

Popular conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh has referred to Mr Obama as the “little black man-child” and Fox News has called his wife, Michelle Obama, his “baby-mama”.

One Republican senator described Mr Obama as “uppity”, a word formerly used to describe blacks who had ideas above their station.

Reports of racist jibes among audiences at some recent McCain rallies led John Lewis, a Democratic congressman from Georgia, to accuse Mr McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin of “sowing the seeds of hatred and division” – a charge they deny.”

Read more.

Unfortunately, the overseas Chinese news media, a traditionally ultra conservative group, has done well to sway my parents of “the dangers of voting Obama.”

Posted in Civil Liberties and Social Justice, Current Events, Geopolitics | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Studs Terkel, historian of the American working class, passes away at age 96

Posted by invizweb on November 1, 2008

Ben Quinn for the Guardian:

Studs Terkel, the Pulitzer prize-winning author, broadcaster and master chronicler of American life in the 20th century, died last night. He was 96.

Celebrated for his streetwise portrayals of the American working class, Terkel was best known for letting the common people he called “the uncelebrated” tell their stories in books like Working and The Good War.

To generations of radio listeners he was also the voice of The Studs Terkel Show, which ran for 43 years and was widely syndicated across the US.

The cause of death was not announced, but in recent years Terkel had been beset by various ailments and his health took a turn for the worse two weeks ago when he suffered a fall in his home. At his bedside was a copy of his latest book, PS: Further Thoughts from a Lifetime of Listening, scheduled for release this month.

Born Louis Terkel, he was a native New Yorker who moved to Chicago as a child and came to personify his adopted town.

He won the Pulitzer prize in 1985 for his nonfiction work The Good War: an Oral History of World War II, one of a dozen best-selling books he wrote.

His first work was a little known book, Giants of Jazz, published in 1957, but he earned his fame with Division Street: America, compiled from interviews with Chicagoans from all walks of life. Using their own words, it told the stories, of businessmen, prostitutes and ordinary working people.

It was a theme that Terkel would explore again and again, in Hard Times, his 1970 Depression era memoir; in Working, his saga of ordinary lives in 1974; and in American Dreams: Lost and Found in 1980.

In 1986 he published Chicago, regarded by many as a distillation of much of what he had come to feel for a city that he was closely identified with. Capturing the voices of the city, he quoted ordinary men and women from social activists to police sergeants. His own voice was also present in the book’s anecdotes and reminiscences about his family and growing up. Last year he marked his 95th birthday with the publication of The Studs Terkel Reader, My American Century.

“If I did one thing I’m proud of, it’s to make people feel that together, they count,” he said last year.

In an interview with the Guardian this January, Terkel demonstrated his appetite for provocation was undiminished, wondering aloud of Tony Blair: “Why was he such a house-boy for Bush?”

Read more.

Posted in Civil Liberties and Social Justice, Current Events, Philosophy & Religion & Spirituality | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Sarah Palin vs Tales from the Crypt

Posted by invizweb on November 1, 2008

There seems to be a horror even the Crypt Keeper and his friends are wary of.

©2007 William M. Gaines, Agent, Inc.

Hockey mom Palin vs the EC buddies ©2007 William M. Gaines, Agent, Inc.

Kevin Melrose in October wrote for Newsarama

“…Later this month Papercutz will release Tales from the Crypt #8, which features on the cover a hockey stick-wielding Gov. Sarah Palin chasing off the three narrators of EC’s horror comics, The Crypt-Keeper, The Old Witch and The Vault-Keeper.

The caricature of the Republican vice-presidental candidate asks, “Didn’t we get rid of you guys in the 50’s?” — a reference to suggestions that, as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, Palin sought to ban books from the town library. (It’s contended that her inquiries were “rhetorical”; no books were actually banned during Palin’s tenure as mayor.) Of course, it’s also an obvious nod to the 1954 Senate investigation into juvenile delinquency, and the atmosphere that spawned the Comics Code Authority and effectively brought about the end of horror and crime comics…”

Read more. Kudos to Cathy Gaines Mifsud in pointing out the similarities between the Radical Right movement and the McCarthyism era politics that sought out to destroy her family’s work.

Posted in Civil Liberties and Social Justice, Comics/ Graphical Prose, Current Events | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »