Saturday, March 15, 2008

Not Election; Not Bush; Still Death 

Let today mark the day that developers in New York City went from metaphorical to literal murderers. You don't have to be sympathetic to the Upper East Side to recognize and fear the impossibly tall cranes that have dotted our city for the last decade (as well as many other cities-- I was recently in Buenos Aires and the same thing was happening), erecting tasteless trash-o-futuristic yuppie dwellings as quickly as possible.

Well, now there is a stain on Bloomberg, who for all of his much-vaunted pragmatism has also furthered the Guilianian project of unfettered development and the expulsion of the middle and working class. Not that anyone is going to see it that way.

By the way, on the subject of development, it is worth mentioning that Mike Davis, a renowned urbanist, believes that we may have already passed the point at which there are more people worldwide in cities than outside of them. Scary stuff.

"Horton Hears A Who!" and more 

Not sure if these notions have been bandied about much yet, but Scott Horton from Harper's asks "A Few More Questions" about the Spitzer sex sting. (Actually, he was asking them earlier this week.)
However, there is a second tier of questions that needs to be examined with respect to the Spitzer case. They go to prosecutorial motivation and direction. Note that this prosecution was managed with staffers from the Public Integrity Section at the Department of Justice. This section is now at the center of a major scandal concerning politically directed prosecutions. During the Bush Administration, his Justice Department has opened 5.6 cases against Democrats for every one involving a Republican. Beyond this, a number of the cases seem to have been tied closely to election cycles.
Not to say that Spitzer wasn't indeed patronizing the Emperors Club VIP, but still...

Also, as Abote pointed out earlier, the Emperors Club's website has definitely been "disabled," but thanks to the wonders of the Internet Archive's "WayBackMachine" (maybe the coolest web research tool there is) you can delve back into a time, specifically late August 2007, when the Club's website was in full swing.

It's pretty weird: the welcome page only refers obliquely to its "dating services," but touts its "direct connection to internationally acclaimed artists" and "access to some of the most captivating, authentic contemporary art available" just as strongly.


Click around. There's plenty more to explore, at least until the Feds come looking for you.

(Meanwhile, did anyone know there was a schlocky 2002 movie starring Kevin Kline as a prep school teacher called "The Emperor's Club"? Tagline: "In everyone's life there's that one person who makes all the difference.")

Friday, March 14, 2008


I guess it's not surprising that the dumbest voices in the "left-wing" media--such as Air America Radio's noxious Randi Rhodes--were on the air today strenuously denouncing Rev. Wright.

Rhodes' main points?  That Wright had committed the sin of "mixing" "religion" with "politics"--as though the irrational, uncontrollable Id of "religious" discourse messy, mean-spirited Id of "political" discourse might infect the sane, rational, democratic "political" discourse pure, sanctified, inviolable space of "religious" discourse we enjoy in this nation, preached daily from secular pulpits like Rhodes' studio.

Of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Randi asserted that he always delivered his political speeches from places like "the steps of the Capitol," and was always sure to be "inspirational" and "unifying" rather than "divisive."

Almost literally: Rev. Wright a scary black man; Dr. King a low key Negro.

things that will be seen less than Ashley's boobs 

New movie with what looks like some pretty amazing exclusive footage:

When Molly Bingham and I left Baghdad at the end of May 2004, we had 100 hours of video footage that contained the most important story of the Iraq war and one that is still, to this day, the least explored. We had just spent the last ten months talking to “insurgents” — or Iraqi resistance fighters — who violently opposed the presence of foreign armies on their soil. As journalists with more than 30 years of conflict reportage between us, we wanted to understand why these individuals would commit themselves so relentlessly to taking on the most powerful military machine the world has ever seen

If only the Resistance had a MySpace page...


The Antichrist Sings! 

You know you're in trouble when even the New York Times goes out of its way to note that its representatives were not present.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


George Bush has been tied to a prostitution ring involving as many as 50,000 women and girls and is expected to resign or be impeached, according to Congressional sources.

The prostitutes, some as young as 13, are among the 1.2 million desperate Iraqis who fled to Syria after Bush's invasion of Iraq in 2003, according to the U.K. Independent.

Bush's invasion destroyed the Iraqi government and unleashed a wave of political and sectarian violence that has killed over 1 million Iraqis and forced 4 million to become refugees, according to the UN.

Facing starvation, as many as 50,000 women and girls have been forced into prostitution in Syria alone, according to Hana Ibrahim of the Women's Will Association.

"70 percent to 80 percent of the girls working this business in Damascus today are Iraqis," 23-year-old Abeer told the New York Times. "The rents here in Syria are too expensive for their families. If they go back to Iraq they'll be slaughtered, and this is the only work available."

post shamelessly lifted from Tiny Rev.

Poor Thing 

I think we all know who the "monster" is, and it's not Ashley Alexandra Dupré.

marriage and prostitution 

Commenter "rly" on NYC Indymedia:

Who's the real ho? The woman you [sic] gives up her career and life to marry some big rich real estate developers son...or the woman who actually has the sense to charge this prick by the hour? It's like you're only legally allowed to sell your body on a longterm indentured servitude basis and not on an hourly basis instead.


Well, so much for my theory about entering the circles of the privileged. Turns out Spitzer was already inside. One of these days I'll do my homework.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

another take 

sent in by my friend j-No:

there is nothing the corporate media likes better than a good sex scandal. it provides fantastic grist for passionate oped pieces from both allies and enemies as well as fans of more legislation and harsher punishments or conversely, legalization and regulation of prostitution.

but never are public dialogs opened on more basic issues like the wisdom of monogamy, the validity of marriage as an institution, and state regulation of sex as a commodity. that these issues and the continuing hypocritical and schizophrenic cultural and religious obsession/repression of sexuality may contribute to the perpetuation of prostitution, pornography, sexism and other forms of exploitation and violence is never examined.

as many politicians have claimed, marriage is the foundation of society (read: state), therefore the danger in questioning it publicly is that both church and state are exposed as failed enterprises which should have been cast off centuries ago.

Spitzer out 

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, as expected, announced his resignation Wednesday morning, making a brief but graceful exit with his wife, Silda, at his side.

Break an obscure pointless law, committing a victimless crime, lose your position in disgrace. Commit the "supreme international crime" victimizing millions, keep on keepin' on.

Fuck this place.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Spitzer explains himself 

Apparently, his curt, defensive "apology" on Monday didn't go over well with the press or the public. He was back out this afternoon to try again.

In non-prostitution news... 

Sinbad speaks.

More reaction from the TPM Sinbad.

Clinton/Sinbad '08 - DO WE EAT HERE OR AT THE NEXT PLACE!?!?!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Finally, a candidate who truly needs no strap-on 

Hillary as Clipperton 

In case anyone missed Larry David's bit at HuffPo:

How is it that she became the one who's perceived as more equipped to answer that 3 a.m. call than the unflappable Obama? He, with the ice in his veins, who doesn't panic when he's losing or get too giddy when he's winning, who's as comfortable in his own skin as she's uncomfortable in hers. There have been times in this campaign when she seemed so unhinged that I worried she'd actually kill herself if she lost. Every day, she reminds me more and more of Adele H., who also had an obsession that drove her insane.

A few weeks ago, I started to feel sorry for her. Oh Christ, let her win already...Who cares...It's not worth it. There's not that much difference between them. She can have it. Anything to avoid watching her descend into madness. So I switched. I started rooting for her. It wasn't that hard. Compromise comes easy to me. I was on board.

And then I saw the ad.

Now she's re-dissing the caucuses and threatening to go after pledged delegates.

I'm starting to be reminded of the character "Clipperton" from David Foster Wallace's novel Infinite Jest.  Clipperton was a junior tennis player who would play his matches while holding a gun to his own head, in case he lost.  He won a lot of matches for a while.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Emperor of Ice Cream Loses in Chicagoland 

It is pretty incredible that Dennis Hastert's seat in Congress went to a Democrat last night, even if the whole election will have to be redone in November. I grew up in this district. It is very conservative. When Hastert was our representative, photos of him ran on the front page of the paper virtually every week and prayers were offered for him and his perpetually ill wife, Jean, in every church. And this was years ago, long before Hastert became speaker, back when he was just an anonymous lump who accomplished nothing in Washington.

IL-14 was and still is a district where wealthy (and very wealthy) suburbanites live in a virtually crime-free environment, yet the town where I lived overwhelmingly voted to authorize the ever-expanding police force to carry automatic 9-mm firearms. There was a black family living in our town from, I believe, around 1986 to 1990, but then they moved away. And the Republican candidate in yesterday's election, Jim Oberweis, wasn't just some rich blowhard but a local milk and ice cream parlor magnate.

If you are a conservative Republican in IL-14 -- and what's more, if you're deeply associated in the minds of the electorate with fucking ice cream -- and you still manage to lose, that is simply amazing.


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