Friday, September 23, 2011

Bon Les Feuilles Mortes

Or, Happy Autumn Leaves!

Yes, Summer is officially over, and we move into Autumn, with today's Autumnal Equinox

The First Day of Fall.

It seemed like we had a terribly short Summer, and a rain-soaked one as well, so, here's hoping we have a nice, mild (perhaps, occasionally, crisp) Fall season.

And, who better to take us into this, but the great Mile Davis

Autumn leaves - Miles Davis

And, we have a vocal, from the man who introduced the song;

Yves Montand - Les Feuilles Mortes

And, one of our personal favorites, from the late, great Eva Cassidy

Eva Cassidy - Autumn Leaves

Bonus Riffs

Autumnal Equinox 2011: Sky Show Caps First Day of Fall

The September Equinox Explained

Autumnal Equinox


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"Build That Afghan Prison Now! ..."

Boy, to take a little liberty with the song, what a difference a week makes ...

There, we had President Obama, on the heels of unveiling his "Jobs for America" package, hitting the stump and exhorting Congress to "Pass that bill now!" 


Funny, in what I read about the proposal, and Obama's stumping, I don't recall seeing anything about a massive, Fortress-of-Solitude-like Afghan Prison, there were no impassioned cries of "Build that Afghan prison now! ..."

Glenn Greenwald has the dirt;

As the Obama administration announced plans for hundreds of billions of dollars more in domestic budget cuts, it late last week solicited bids for the construction of a massive new prison in Bagram, Afghanistan.  Posted on the aptly named FedBizOps.Gov website which it uses to announce new privatized spending projects, the administration unveiled plans for "the construction of Detention Facility in Parwan (DFIP), Bagram, Afghanistan" which includes "detainee housing capability for approximately 2000 detainees."

McClatchy Newspapers'  Saeed Shah, back in February;
The U.S. plans to hand over the new Bagram to the Afghan military next January, a demanding target that some think it will be unable or unwilling to meet. Afghan guards are due to start arriving this spring to be trained. This appears to be the reason, officially at least, for expanding the capacity so dramatically, from 600 prisoners at the old site to 1,000 currently and up to 2,300 when the new building is completed.

"This will be the enduring detention facility for the next 50, 60 years. It's world class," said Navy Vice Adm. Robert Harward, who's in charge of U.S. detention programs in Afghanistan and who was visiting Bagram. "For the Afghans, this means that they will immediately be able to separate the insurgents from the criminal population."

"For the next 50, 60 years?"

You mean we'll be housing, and feeding and, otherwise taking care of Afghan prisoners (some who may, or may not, be terrorists - they being held with that "Do Not Pass Go" justice system - secret evidence, no charges, no trial - from the previous war criminal administration, which means Obama has looked in the rearview mirror, at least, once), for decades to come, so, like, who's going to pay for this?

One obstacle is funding, though. It costs $5 million a year to maintain the new facility, plus an additional cost per detainee, Garrity said. That's way beyond the budget of the Afghan authorities for a single jail, so it remains unclear how the new prison will be financed.
Oh, let us count the ways ...

More, from Greenwald;

One last point: recall how many people insisted that the killing of Osama bin Laden would lead to a drawdown in the War on Terror generally and the war in Afghanistan specifically.  Since then -- in just four months since bin Laden's corpse was dumped into the ocean -- the U.S. has done the following:  renewed the Patriot Act for four years with no reforms; significantly escalated drone attacks in Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan; tried to assassinate U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki with no due process; indicted a 24-year-old Muslim for "material support for Terrorism" for uploading an anti-American YouTube clip after he talked to the son of a Terrorist leader; pressured Iraq to keep U.S. troops in that country; argued that it has the virtually unlimited right to kill anyone it wants anywhere in the world; and now finalized plans to build a sprawling new prison in Afghanistan.

And, he finishes most wryly;

If that's winding things down, I sure would hate to see what a redoubling of the American commitment to Endless War looks like.

Help Me Mr. Wizard! ....


Bonus Riffs

Tom Engelhardt: Scamming Washington - Exclusive Letters from the ScamiLeaks Archives

Ambassador Crocker Meets Eddie Izzard

Krugman: Reclaiming America’s Soul

Does He Get To Keep The Bag Man?

Top Ten Cloves: Other Things The CIA Tried To Use With The Afghan Warlords

PNAC Going All Xe On Us

Again, Why Are We In Afghanistan?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Top Ten Cloves: Things Peyton Manning Might Be Doing While He Recovers From Neck Surgery

News Item: Peyton Manning's receiving stem cell therapy thrusts medical procedures back into sports spotlight

10.  "Hmmm ...Maybe since 'Modern Family' won a lot of Emmy Awards, they might have a spot for me ... A broken-down, ex-football-player, uncle-type role ..."

  9.  With all the doctors working on him, see if they can qualify under President Obama's new "Jobs Plan", maybe get some federal funding out of it ...

  8.  Will have time to figure out just what-the-heck Netflix is doing

  7.  Give Lorne Michaels a call, maybe hook again with 'Saturday Night Live'

  6.  See if Google wants a All-Star endorser for their new "Google Wallet"

  5.  Two words - "Fantasy Football!!!"

  4.  Might check out Sarah Palin, see if she's interested in hooking up with a "Legendary Quarterback"

  3.  "Hmmm ... Yahoo has an opening...I can even do some commercials - Yahooooooo ..."

  2.  Actually, having bolts inserted into both sides of neck and will announce shift to WWE as new terror, evil, bad guy, "Peytonstein"

  1.  "Damn everybody, I've always wanted to be... a lumberjack


Bonus Peyton Manning Riffs

Dan Childs: Peyton Manning’s Stem Cell Hail Mary

Jay Glazer: Manning chooses speedier recovery

Allen Barra: Goodbye to Peyton Manning, Greatest Quarterback of the 21st Century

Top Ten Cloves: Possible Reasons Peyton Manning Threw Six Interceptions Last Evening

It's a "Who Dat" Kind of World Now!

Retro Garlic: "Google Wallet" ...We Were Close

We espied news today that Google will be introducing their long-teased "Google Wallet", an application for cellphones;

While this will be the official launch, the product itself will likely still be quite limited. The only officially compatible phone is the Nexus S 4G, which is only available on Sprint in the U.S. Google has an NFC sticker product to bring tap-and-pay to other phones, but it’s not clear if that will be ready at launch or not. Hardware to enable the payments on the merchant end is also needed. And again, MasterCard has been the only official partner on the credit card side of things so far. Perhaps Google will have more to say on that tomorrow. But the above documentation still points to PayPass-enabled Citi MasterCards as the only way to use the service for now.

It also makes sense for Google to get Wallet out there now before their next flagship Android phone, the Nexus Prime, launches next month. It too will have NFC capabilities built in and will bring the Wallet functionality to the much larger Verizon customer base.
Oh boy!

Can't wait for those news reports to pile up about these "Google Wallets" being hacked ...

And, the Retro part;

Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - Google Drops Bombshell - Will Compete With U.S. Treasury ...Markets Close Early and Troops Activated; eBay Said To Be Dumping PayPal
A day after news leaked of the 'Google Wallet', a pay system said to rival eBay's PayPal, Google late yesterday afternoon dropped a bombshell when they announced they will begin a new monetary system for the United States and compete with the U.S. Treasury.


In a memo provided to The Garlic, by a person close to Google who wishes to remain anonymous, or would otherwise be terminated, shows that Google's money units will be called "Googlets" For higher denominations, a hyphen and Roman Numeral is added.

Ten Dollars in Googlets will be known as 'Googlets-X', $20, as "Googlets-XX, and so on. For odd denominations, a combination of Roman Numerals and regular numbers will be employed, such as $7 as 'Googlet-V2 or $23 as 'Googlet-XX3. There will be no metal coins in the Googlet Monetary System.

Oh well, we were close ...


Bonus Retro Garlic Google

Garlic Exclusive! ...Google Launches Search for Famed Woman Aviator

Stymied By Publishers, Google To Digitize Bazooka Joe Comics ...If Impasse Prolonged, Google To Continue With Baseball Cards, Shopping Coupons

Breaking News! Giant Search Engine Downed By GOP and RNC Staffers  ...Google Crashes! Besieged With “I’m Feeling Lucky” Searches From White House, Congress   ...Amazon, D.C. Novelty Stores Hit With Run On Magic 8-Balls

Top Ten Cloves: Other Great Things You'll Get Using Google's New Retooled Search Engine

Top Ten Cloves: Ways Google Can Provide Better Day Care

Life Imitates Art ... Or, Did Burt Lancaster Invent Google Earth?