stAllio!'s way
Friday, April 29, 2005 
the sun also sets
the dst bill has passed 51-46, in a late-night session. the governor will sign it and then petition USDOT to hold hearings on which time zone indiana should be in.

those hearings will be very contentious and a lot of people will be pissed off by the final ruling, whatever it is. i think the argument that businesses will start flocking here if only we changed our clocks is a delusion; it won't happen. but mitch will have that extra hour on the golf course in the summers, so that'll be nice at least.

what else can you expect from an administration that considers dst and a new dome more important than funding education or social programs? companies don't want to move into a state full of uneducated poor people... or do they?

Thursday, April 28, 2005 
star power
the last time i ran into ryan from thursday club, he told me that he'd taken a copy of maura's milk chocolate bath from the take-one-leave-one at recycled rainbow and given it wcsb, the cleveland radio station where he works (probably the biggest college station in cleveland, and home to the subgenius hour of slack). so hey, that was cool, but i didn't think a whole lot of it. there are a few stations out there who have a cd or two of mine, not to mention djs who have stuff or burn their own cds to spin.

fast forward a couple months and ryan posts to exbe that i'm #7 on wcsb's top 10 for the week. i guess i'm actually getting some regular airplay.

well i found wcsb's top 30 list online and i'm still on it at #12. better than dinosaur jr and yo la tengo. however, the list is a week out of date (currently dated 4/16), so my chart position could have slid since then.

who's at the top of the charts? watching too much kids in the hall has conditioned me to believe the answer should be "bel biv devoe", but maybe the answer should really be stAllio!

i've gotten airplay before (awia has gotten lots of plays on wcbn, for example), but this is the first i've ever charted. it's kinda weird.

i guess i should state for the record that radio djs are more than welcome to contact me directly about promo packages. i've sent them out before and have no problem doing so again.

the sun also stands still
the indiana house voted on DST... and nothing happened.

Daylight-saving time legislation failed to pass the House this morning, when a 49-48 vote against the measure stopped it in its tracks.

The bill could be taken up again later, but it's an open question whether supporters will succeed in changing enough minds. Two key supporters of the measure are out sick.

House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, opened the voting machine at 11:33 a.m. and held the machine open in hope of getting the 51 yes votes needed.

As Rep. Terri Austin, D-Anderson, voted no, however, opponents cheered. By then, the machine had been held open for several minutes, even though such votes usually take less than 30 seconds.

More lights went from green to red as the packed House gallery stood and lawmakers milled about the chamber. Rep. Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, called for Bosma to tally the vote, but he refused.

Twelve minutes into the vote, House Republican leaders fanned out in an unsuccessful effort to persuade lawmakers to change their votes. Three minutes later, at 11:45, they came back shaking their heads and Bosma closed the machine, which tallied 48-49.

wthr makes sure to point out that "there were not enough votes to approve or defeat the measure"... they could bring this up for another vote before the session ends, and possibly get a different result. but the session ends friday, after which time we'd have to wait until next session, and the whole damn process would have to be repeated.

so it's possible it will still pass. but time is running out. way to go, mitch. you touted this as one of the pillars of your platform, but in part due to your own arrogant comments, chances that it'll pass don't look so good.

more on why dems were pissed about daniels' comments:

"When asked about the united Democratic opposition to the budget, I said that the requirement to devise a package that every Republican (House member) would vote for prevented us from achieving even greater deficit reduction," Daniels wrote. "That was a true and non-judgmental statement of fact. I honestly do not know how these remarks could be misinterpreted, but I sincerely regret if anyone did so and took offense."

why was it a "requirement" that every republican vote for the package? bills get passed due to majority vote: if a package that democrats (even just a few democrats) could agree to had been proposed, then even if a few GOPers had been against it, it still could have passed. and it could have resulted in "greater deficit reduction". but daniels prefers to blame democrats. democrats who had no say in the budget bill whatsoever:

Democrats are just as mystified as to why Daniels doesn't understand their anger.

Democrats were excluded from the conference committee meetings crafting the budget, and all the amendments that Senate Democrats offered were rejected. The House and Senate are both controlled by Republicans.

"I don't know if the governor realized our conferees had been excluded," Bauer said. "He said he really didn't know."

today, light savings
today is a good day to vote: yesterday the indiana sentate approved DST 28-22, and the indiana house is scheduled to vote at 11:15 this morning (a little less than an hour and a half from now).

but it's possible that governor "my main bitch" daniels has already screwed this one up for himself:

The debate in the House had already begun when Democrats, angry at comments Gov. Mitch Daniels had made earlier about their role in the state budget, asked to meet privately.

Republicans, who thought they had locked up the 51 votes needed to pass the controversial issue and send it to Daniels to be signed into law, were suddenly scrambling.

They were losing Democratic votes they needed to pass the time change, and some Republican opponents were being pigeonholed in a last-ditch attempt to pick up more votes.

so what did bitch say that angered them so?

"The Democratic Party's entitled to take a position of opposition or even obstruction. I guess it wasn't a surprise. I will say if there had been any element of bipartisan interest on their part, a stronger budget might have been possible."

Daniels said there was "zero interest and zero votes available from the Democratic side."

Democrats said Republicans had shut them out of negotiations.

"I hope the governor is listening," Robertson said. "I wish he would choose his words more wisely. One of these days he might just have to eat them."

of course... if your opponent doesn't come running at the opportunity to hop on your jock, then clearly they're not being bipartisan.

more later once the vote has happened. for now check out flava flav here:

Wednesday, April 27, 2005 
animation show 2005
last night (before watching "justice sunday" on my tivo) drbmd & i went to see the animation show 2005. this is the second year of the animation show festival; they set the bar really high the first year, but i think they met it again, even with the distinct disadvantage of only having one don hertzfeldt cartoon this year (last year's theatrical version had five!)

i'm pretty busy today but want to make a few comments before i forget it all. format = cartoonist/director - toon title - my comments

jen drummond - the FEDS - this was an interesting short about people whose job is giving out free samples at supermarkets. jen drummond also worked on richard linklater's waking life (which is highly recommended). fun in a clerks sort of way, but i enjoyed waking life a lot more (i know it's not fair to compare a short to a feature-length film, but i couldn't help but compare while i was watching, because i don't think i've ever seen that animation style anywhere else).

david russo - pan with us - OH MY GOD... this has some of the most jaw-dropping awe-inspiring animated sequences i have ever seen. it starts off with etched glass that comes to life and moves through various absurdly-complicated (yet breathtaking) shots, like a scroll that unfurls down the road (seemingly for miles). you can see the stop-motion animation as it happens: focus is drawn to the "animated" parts, which are flawless and smooth, but in the periphery you can see the animators' hands or whole bodies skitter about as they manipulate what's happening. this is really something else: i can't effectively describe how this looks because i've never seen anything quite like it before. astonishing.

jonathan nix - hello - a very cute short about a boy with a boombox head, who can only communicate by playing tapes (in his boombox head, of course). he's in love with a girl who has a radio for a head... but whenever he's around her, he gets so nervous that he can't cue up his tapes in time. poor guy.

peter cornwell - ward 13 - a man wakes up in a hospital. his face is wrapped in bandages. he begins to explore... and quickly discovers that the hospital staff is not looking out for his best interest. thus begins the most exciting, action-packed 15 minutes of claymation i've ever seen. thoroughly cool.

tomek baginski - fallen art - tomek baginski directed the cathedral, a dark and beautiful piece of 3d animation that was featured in last year's show. fallen art is a complete 180: while still somewhat dark, this is very playful and funny, where the cathedral was brooding. i don't want to spoil the big surprise, so i'll just copy the tagline from "In an old forgotten military base far from civilization, a group of deranged military officers nurture their insanity."

georges schwizgebel - l'homme sans ombre ("the man with no shadow") - georges schwizgebel also directed la course à l'abîme from last year's show. stylistically they're very similar: they both look like an impressionist painting come to life. pretty cool. i like this one better than la course à l'abîme because it has more of a narrative structure and linear progression (la course à l'abîme was more like a music video for hector berlioz). it's about a man who is swindled out of his shadow, and desperately tries to get it back or adapt to his new shadowless life.

don hertzfeldt - the meaning of life - this was a significant change of direction after the 4-5 hertzfeldt shorts that were included in last year's show. those were hilarious; this has moments of humor but is overall much more serious. it's an epic look at the world as creatures crawl out of the primordial ooze, gradually evolve into humans, form "civilization", and then go extinct, evolving into hordes of fantastic creatures. very good.

i could keep going and keep reviewing the other shorts, but i have run out of time! needless to say, every selection is at least pretty good, if not fantastic. the ones mentioned above were among my favorites, but everything was worth seeing.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005 
ha ha! (in best sen. nelson voice)
i went back looking for more screengrabs. like i mentioned before, they had corrected the scroll by the time frist came on, so there wasn't much more to get (other than go in looking for dobson in awkward poses or making funny faces). but i did get a couple more. here's the empty stage immediately after dobson walked off.

(click for bigger view)

this was actually very tricky to time correctly because there were at most a couple frames before they cut to the audience (nice standing ovation, yes?):

(click for bigger view)

senator nelson?!?
i tivo'd that "justice sunday" program today... drbmd and i were just watching it and noticed something peculiar (well, especially peculiar).

at the bottom of the screen is a scroll listing senators who the crazies think are "soft" on judicial nominees. the format is state - senator - phone #. viewers are urged to deluge their senators with calls begging for an up-or-down vote on bush's wingnut judge appointments.

but being a native-born hoosier, i wasn't aware that indiana had a senator named "nelson"

(click pic for larger view)

update:i guess they noticed their mistake, because they had corrected the scroll to say "lugar" by the time they played bill frist's videotaped statement.

second update: in case you don't recognize him, i guess i should mention that the guy in the screenshot is anti-spongebob crusader dr. james dobson, founder/chairman of focus on the family.

2,4,6,8, who do we discriminate?
bigots, have no fear: it's okay to discriminate against gays in indiana. the city-county council rejected by 18-11 a measure that would've extended discrimination protection to include sexual preference and gender identity.

In the end, it was not Republicans who killed the measure -- though all but one, Scott Keller, voted against it -- but five Democrats, who broke with the majority of their caucus to oppose the proposal.

i don't agree with this reasoning; it's the same reasoning that suggested that florida "won" the election for bush in 2000. but elections don't really work that way: all votes are created equal. florida might've been given to bush, but if any number of states had gone for gore, bush wouldn't have won. similarly, those democratic pro-bigotry votes hurt, but if more republicans had voted against, it wouldn't have mattered.

this is not to say, however, that those 5 democrats don't deserve a heapin' helpin' of scorn for caving in to the hate lobby. steve talley, council president, is a black man who should know about discrimination firsthand... but he voted against the measure, claiming there was "no evidence" that gays are being discriminated against? wha-huh? isn't that exactly the kind of argument that was used against jim crow laws back in the day?

same goes for patrice abdullah and sherron franklin, both black democrats who should've known better. (not to let ron gibson or mary moriarty adams off the hook either: their whiteness does not excuse them.)

Some council members later said that religion spoke louder than politics Monday.

"I don't think that I should be forced to compromise my integrity and my beliefs as to what God put here for us to obey and to accept," said Patrice Abduallah, a Democrat who voted against the measure, Proposal No. 68.

In Indiana, similar anti-discrimination ordinances have been approved in Bloomington and Lafayette. Nationwide, more than 100 communities and at least 16 states and Washington, D.C., also have some form of anti-discrimination statute in place for private employment, according to a national gay-rights group.

In Indianapolis, though, some said a campaign by the opposition eroded support.

"The onslaught of misinformation has been almost numbing," said Council Democrat Jackie Nytes, the proposal's sponsor. "I am surprised that people feel as swayed as they do by the clear misinformation."

For example, supporters said, some council members were being told the measure would affect churches.

"religion spoke louder than politics"? which commandment is "thou shalt hate gays" again?

fortunately (for me, at least), my councillor, jackie nytes, was actually the sponsor of the bill, so i can vote for her with pride next time 'round.

Monday, April 25, 2005 
mp3 de la semana
this week's mp3 of the week is my remix of "schwindel" by einstürzende neubauten. it's really glitchy and probably takes a lot of liberties. read more about it and download it now!

also, because of the server hiccup last weekend (not this past weekend), i will be leaving up the mp3 from two weeks ago (critical stop) for an extra week.

periodically when i try to post a blog entry it will fail and i'll get this error message (001 i never really knew whether this was caused by blogger or my host (i suspected it was some of each, and technically i was right, but the mast majority of the time it was blogger).

well, it turns out that this error generally means that one of blogger's DNS servers is down. DNS servers resolve human-readable names (such as "animals within animals dot com") to actual IP addresses. so if blogger's DNS server is down, blogger won't be able to find your server, and your entry won't get posted, no matter how well your server might be performing.

(i say "generally" because if your server is, in fact, down, you will probably also receive this same error.)

anyway, the fix is to find your server's IP address and plug that into your blogger settings rather than the server's domain. there are lots of ways to determine that IP address, but the easiest is to go to a site like this one.

i was having this problem this morning, and assumed that srn was down for maintenance (that new new server is due pretty soon), but miraculously after several tries my ghost in the shell post went through... but then my DST post wouldn't. and i could log in, but still couldn't post. obviously the problem was not with srn. a little googling and here's the answer.

so if you use blogger and get a lot of failed posts, there's your answer.

daylight shaving
indiana's dst bill keeps inching toward... well, nobody really knows what it's inching toward, other than a vote tomorrow. nobody really knows whether it'll pass, and legislators seemingly keep voting it on to the next stage simply to get it out of their hair. indeed, masson points out that even the editorial-writers don't have any better arguments anymore than "let's just vote and get it over with." (i highly recommend masson's blog for coverage of indiana dst and other legislative issues: it's very comprehensive).

although polls allege that a majority of hoosiers support going to dst, the lafayette journal-courier righly points out that a major drawback to this bill is that it does not settle the matter of which time zone indiana would be in. the goldsmith plan is to just pass the damn dst bill, and then figure out the time zone later. this is a bad idea: i suspect that a very large number of hoosiers would be happy to observe dst if we went to a specific time zone, but not if we went to the other.

the problem is that indiana is in a sort of geographical dead zone: if the time zone border were a straight line, it would cut right through the middle of the state. if we switch to EDT, then during the brunt of summer it won't get dark until near 10pm (an absolute nightmare [pun intended] for those of us who actually enjoy nighttime). if we switch to central, then during the winter it'll start getting dark around 3pm. so it's a shitty situation for indiana regardless. in fact this is the entire reason why indiana opted out of dst in the first place: there is no non-shitty solution. either we get shoved into a time zone where we don't really fit, or we're stuck in a land of confusion in between them. the only question is which scenario is the least shitty, and opinions on that are vastly different depending on your priorities.

the myth that our lack of dst somehow causes hoosier brain drain and prevents corporations from doing business here is clearly false. arizona and japan, for example, don't have any brain drain problems. adopting dst in indiana won't be some panacea that will reverse our economic problems. and i for one don't buy the "energy conservation" argument either: perhaps, if we went to EDT, hoosiers would use slightly less energy on keeping the lights on during the day. but they would also spend more energy on air conditioning, because the hours when the sun is out are the hours when it's warmest. and we all know that a/c uses more power than lights do. not to mention how much gasoline people will use: it's been said that dst encourages recreational driving. and with the high price of gas these days, that's an expense you can't afford to forget.

anyway, the full indiana senate votes on this tomorrow. if it passes, it moves on the house. if it fails in the senate, i think that means the bill is officially dead. at least until next year when they try to ram it down our throats yet again.

more things that rock
ghost in the shell: stand alone complex

the year is 2030. cybernetic technology has advanced to the point where virtually the only difference left between "humans" and robots/AI/software is the existence of a soul, or "ghost". many people now have cyberbrains, which allow their minds to wirelessly connect to computer networks, if not various other physical or intellectual enhancements. but that simple cyberbrain accessibility means that if you're not careful, unscrupulous hackers can actually hack directly into your brain. in these dangerous times, superhacker law enforcement is needed, and that's where section 9 comes in.

i've been in love with this show for many months now. the animation isn't quite as outstanding as in the movies, but it's really good. the character work is great. and the plotlines! o, they're deliciously intricate and sophisticated. this is probably the deepest, most intelligent anime series i've seen (and one of my favorites, along with fullmetal alchemist, which is on adult swim immediately before GitS... what a double-team!)

this is a series that shifts seamlessly between high-tech action, spy stuff and intrigue, and deep metaphysical and philosophical questions. i now fantasize about cyberized. i pretty much did before, since cyberpunk and bionics have been standard concepts for years now, but i never had such an elaborate framework for my cyberization fantasies.

at any rate, i've decided that this show is just too damn cool to only watch when it comes on adult swim. and it's way too late now to record all the episodes to tivo and dump them to vhs tape (conceivably i could do this someday, when they start airing it everyday, but it would still be a big project involving many hours and many tapes). so i've decided to buy the series on dvd. it won't be cheap: around $20 for 4 episodes, for the non-special editions (though maybe i'll get v3 special edition in order to get the t-shirt). but i think it'll be worth it.

the hard part will be not rushing out to the store immediately to start buying the dvds. i have a habit of doing that: as soon as i decide i want something, i want it now and purchase it as soon as possible. i should be able to wait at least a couple days before i start buying these dvds. but maybe i won't make it. that remains to be seen.

Sunday, April 24, 2005 
the fall
while many of us had hoped that the GOP's constant scandalous behavior could catch up with them before last year's election, allowing the people to sweep them out of office en masse, their long-awaited comeuppance has been slow to materialize. but thanks in part to the corporate media's pack mentality--where the more coverage a story gets, the more coverage it will continue to get until you can hear about nothing else--scandal is all over the place and increasingly hard to ignore.

the rumors surrounding ethical breaches by house majority leader tom delay have been circling for years, but getting consistently louder in past weeks. even prominent republicans have been starting to say that it's time for him to go. but delay is not ready to go, claiming that he hasn't done anything that everyone else doesn't do (not the best of moral or ethical arguments), and that he's never done anything that was actually illegal or in breach of house ethical rules.

now we know the truth. delay won't be able to talk his way out of this story.

The airfare to London and Scotland in 2000 for then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) was charged to an American Express card issued to Jack Abramoff, a Washington lobbyist at the center of a federal criminal and tax probe, according to two sources who know Abramoff's credit card account number and to a copy of a travel invoice displaying that number.

DeLay's expenses during the same trip for food, phone calls and other items at a golf course hotel in Scotland were billed to a different credit card also used on the trip by a second registered Washington lobbyist, Edwin A. Buckham, according to receipts documenting that portion of the trip.

House ethics rules bar lawmakers from accepting travel and related expenses from registered lobbyists. DeLay, who is now House majority leader, has said that his expenses on this trip were paid by a nonprofit organization and that the financial arrangements for it were proper. He has also said he had no way of knowing that any lobbyist might have financially supported the trip, either directly or through reimbursements to the nonprofit organization.

there's no mistaking: that's a clear violation of the house rules. cut and dry. copy and paste, click submit, and the verdict is in. or it would be if the house ethics committee hadn't effectively disbanded after delay had the rules changed in order to keep him out of trouble. but he's damaged goods now, and the longer it takes him to resign, the more damage he does to his party and his allies.

meanwhile, john bolton is a loyal bush crony who once famously remarked that there is no such thing as the united nations. naturally, bush nominated him for UN ambassador. and until the other day it seemed to be fate that his nomination would be shoved through committee and be sent to the senate floor... where it would possibly ignite the "nuclear option" (more on that in a minute). this was expected to happen despite the fact that bolton has been described in senate hearings as "a kiss-up, kick-down kind of guy" who is routinely abusive to co-workers and underlings, trying to get them fired or chasing them down hotel hallways while throwing stuff at them.

but surprisingly, the other day a republican senator (sen voinovich of ohio) stepped forward and said he wasn't comfortable voting just yet. this bold action actually set off the daily show's first-ever "bipatisanship alert" and stalled the nomination, pending further investigation, until next month. (in contrast, my own senator, dick lugar, was the one rearing to force the vote through until voinovich had a break.)

at the rate that stories damaging to bolton keep coming out, there's no way his nomination will succeed next month:

Colin Powell plainly didn't like what he was hearing. At a meeting in London in November 2003, his counterpart, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, was complaining to Powell about John Bolton, according to a former Bush administration official who was there. Straw told the then Secretary of State that Bolton, Powell's under secretary for arms control, was making it impossible to reach allied agreement on Iran's nuclear program. Powell turned to an aide and said, "Get a different view on [the Iranian problem]. Bolton is being too tough."

Unbeknownst to Bolton, the aide then interviewed experts in Bolton's own Nonproliferation Bureau. The issue was resolved, the former official told NEWSWEEK, only after Powell adopted softer language recommended by these experts on how and when Iran might be referred to the U.N. Security Council. But the terrified State experts were "adamant that we not let Bolton know we had talked to them," the official said.


But the London story is further evidence that Bolton and the White House have their work cut out for them. On several occasions, America's closest ally in the war on terror, Britain, was irked by what U.S. and British sources say were efforts by Bolton to undermine promising diplomatic openings. Perhaps the most dramatic instance took place early in the U.S.-British talks in 2003 to force Libya to surrender its nuclear program, NEWSWEEK has learned. The Libya deal succeeded only after British officials "at the highest level" persuaded the White House to keep Bolton off the negotiating team. A crucial issue, according to sources involved in the affair, was Muammar Kaddafi's demand that if Libya abandoned its WMD program, the U.S. in turn would drop its goal of regime change. But Bolton was unwilling to support this compromise. The White House agreed to keep Bolton "out of the loop," as one source puts it. A deal was struck only after Kaddafi was reassured that Bush would settle for "policy change"—surrendering his WMD. One Bush official called the accounts of both incidents "flatly untrue."

so bolton is no incredibly hard to work with that the only way to get things done is to go over his head. exactly the kind of guy we want as our top diplomat.

so we have scandals involving the house majority leader and one of bush's top nominees... but what's going on in the senate? how about a scandal involving the senate majority leader, too?

majority leader bill frist will appear (via video) at a gathering today at a louisville megachurch denouncing "judicial activism" and promoting the "nuclear option" (the concept of eliminating filibusters during nominations, an idea so outrageous that democrats have promised to shut down the senate if it occurs). the gist of today's event, called "justice sunday", is that the judiciary is "against people of faith". the message being that if you aren't in the radical right, you have no faith, something which, surprisingly, millions of people find insulting.

the event will be netcast as well as on satellite tv (i already have my tivo set to record it when it comes on WHT tuesday night; there could be lots of sample-able crazies on there). and by appearing on the program, even if only by videotape, frist is aligning himself with the farthest of the far-right wing and tacitly endorsing their definition of faith. either you are with him or you are a heathen.

lots of people are fuming about this all over the net... like here and here and hell... here.

something rotten is afoot in between the states of virginia and maryland.

do you have any rolls?
new blogroll in the right column... it will probably expand over time, at least the politiblog section. and hell, if you're a regular reader & have a blog, drop me a line (or even a lime). i'm also looking for more good hoosier blogs (though indiana blogs has quite a few listed).

i made a couple other minor updates; probably the only one you'll notice is that the date headers have changed color. i think they stand out a little more, while still not being too bright or distracting.

i also wasted some time trying to strip out the tables in the awia bio section... i managed to update and rework this page using css (eventually i'll go in and add links from each member to hisr bio, though currently a few members don't have bios yet), but the individual bio pages are simply impossible to redo in css without mangling the presentation (or coding every little box with exact pixel heights, which is more of a hassle than it's worth). so those particular tables are here to stay.

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