James Moody, Rest in Peace

James Moody, Jazz Saxophonist, Dies at 85

From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/11/arts/music/11moody.html?_r=1&ref=obituaries


James Moody, a jazz saxophonist and flutist celebrated for his virtuosity, his versatility and his onstage ebullience, died on Thursday in San Diego. He was 85.

His death, at a hospice, was confirmed by his wife, Linda. Mr. Moody lived in San Diego.

Last month, Mr. Moody disclosed that he had pancreatic cancer and had decided against receiving chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

Mr. Moody, who began his career with the trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie shortly after World War II and maintained it well into the 21st century, developed distinctive and equally fluent styles on both tenor and alto saxophone, a relatively rare accomplishment in jazz. He also played soprano saxophone, and in the mid-1950s he became one of the first significant jazz flutists, impressing the critics if not himself.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/11/arts/music/11moody.html?_r=1&ref=obituaries

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Hackers Finally Get Political: But Who Will Follow WikiLeaks and Anonymous Into the Fray

From Infoshop News: http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=2010121021511296

Friday, December 10 2010 @ 09:51 PM UTC

Contributed by: Anonymous

After years of seeing some of the best and brightest hackers sell out to corporate or government power for some money and no jail time, are we now seeing the politicization of hacker subculture.

To understand Anonymous or 4chan, indeed, to understand Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, one must understand the politics of hacking.

To an extent, the hacker subculture has always had its own set of politics, though users come from various ideological and technological backgrounds. Primacy, however, is placed on the politics of free information, of pushing information beyond control. It began with software limitations and a desire to explore the invisible maps beyond the boundaries of analogue and digital information. And if we are to trace the origins, we must begin at MIT.

At MIT there were two sources that led to hacking: the Tech Model Railroad Club and the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. The interaction of various students at MIT eventually led to the free software movement, which has at its core the declaration “Information wants to be free.”

Many of these students disliked authority, mostly because access to computers in the mid 20th century was usually reserved for use by those higher up in the MIT pecking order–some of whom had ties to government. Hacking was in essence an anti-authoritarian prank with origins in the MIT student prank culture.

Thus from the very beginning, hackers were political animals. They were for the democratic spread of information and software without limitation, the DIY attitude of computing and programming, and this would over time put them at odds with power structures. Why? Well, for one, a good thing like software mustn’t be free when it is so powerful: people must pay for access to the information. And hackers also had a unique talent for striking blows against power by revealing its artifice.

But, there never has been a groundswell of anti-authoritarian hacking as one might have imagined, perhaps because of the disparate aims of those with the particular talent. Sure, there has been the occasional hacker with a political agenda, such as Jim Bell, but there haven’t been a hacktivists on the order of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. They took the hacker ethos of ‘information wants to be free’ (which, admit it, should be the operating principle of a transparent democracy) and shifted it into the sphere of publishing.

Continue reading at:  http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=2010121021511296

From Raw Story: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/12/spam-downloads-surge-wikileaks-supporters/

WikiLeaks supporters download ‘Low Orbit Ion Cannon’ software en masse

By The Associated Press
Friday, December 10th, 2010 — 12:59 pm

Security experts see surge in downloads of spam used to attack sites hostile to WikiLeaks

WikiLeaks supporters on Friday downloaded increasing amounts of the spam-shooting software used to attack companies seen as hostile — a development that could challenge even Internet giants such as PayPal and Amazon.com during the crucial Christmas shopping season.


Users who download the software essentially volunteer their computers to be used as weapons that volley streams of electronic spam at targeted websites. The more computers, the greater the flow of data requests, and the better chances are of overwhelming the targeted website.

The cyberguerillas, who gather under the name Anonymous, have generally been successful in foiling their enemies. Attacks directed at the main pages of Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. succeeded in making them inaccessible, in MasterCard’s case for several hours. Attacks on online payment company PayPal Inc. have periodically rendered part of its website inoperative. Moneybookers.com, another targeted site, was inaccessible Friday.

All four sites have severed their links to WikiLeaks, often citing suspected “terms of use” violations, hurting the group’s ability to accept donations. The moves angered WikiLeaks supporters and alarmed free speech advocates, whom claim the companies are caving in to U.S. pressure to muzzle the controversial website.

Complete article at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/12/spam-downloads-surge-wikileaks-supporters/

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Has Assange Turned Me Into An Anarchist?

In my case, “No!”   I sometimes think I was born an anarchist or became one the moment I learned the word, “why”.  I’ve never accepted arbitrary rules that seem to serve an irrational purpose.

I don’t like people who use secrets and manipulation to hide nefarious deeds.

I don’t bow down to a bunch of “Little Eichmanns”.

In the words of Tom Morello, “I support my troops, they wave black flags, they wear black masks.”

From Mother Jones: http://motherjones.com/politics/2010/12/wikileaks-assange-revolution-anarchy

— By Oliver Broudy

Thu Dec. 9, 2010 3:00 AM PST

In 2008, in the run-up to the Republican convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, I went undercover to report on an anarchist training camp. The camp was staged in a bucolic private park not far from the city and I passed a memorable few days trying to blend in with a ragtag collection of young activists, leftover hippies, and wounded runaways intent on revolution.

Working within the system wasn’t an option for this bunch. “In order for that to be the case,” one of the more credible among them told me, “you have to assume that there’s something salvageable on a grand scale with government and politics in this country. And that the system ever worked for the people. And I don’t know that it ever did.”

Despite my own mainstream political leanings, I sympathized with this view, vaguely. At the very least, I believed that these occasional bubbles of political weirdness can sometimes serve as incubators for ideas that may one day prove interesting or useful. Yet as much as I shared the anarchists’ latent distrust of power and antipathy for the GOP, it proved difficult to take them seriously, not least because they seemed to have so little stake in the system they hoped to overthrow. I came to accept, as I think most Americans do, that we are more or less stuck with the government we’ve got.

In the media frenzy over WikiLeaks, this familiar dialectic has reemerged: On the one hand there’s the incrementalism of those like Steven Aftergood, of Secrecy News, who on a recent Democracy Now segment advocated a more restrained approach to revealing corruption, condemning the Wikileaks strategy as “extremely primitive” and “reckless.” And on the other, there’s the fervor of guys like Salon’s Glenn Greenwald, who on the same show echoed the skepticism I once heard from the anarchists, i.e., that it was “incredibly unrealistic” to think that our political system is “somehow on the verge of starting to bring about meaningful increases in transparency” on its own. “WikiLeaks,” Greenwald went on, “is really one of the very few, if not the only group, effectively putting fear into the hearts of the world’s most powerful and corrupt people, and that’s what they deserve.”

Continue reading at:  http://motherjones.com/politics/2010/12/wikileaks-assange-revolution-anarchy

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Bernie Madoff’s son sets good example, hangs himself

I find it impossible to feel sad that this component of the of the society of plunders, did the honorable thing.  I wish all the “masters of the universe” would join in a mass suicide.

Then we could confiscate all their plunder, destroy their too big to fai financial house of cards that  seems to be hit with economic Katrinas that are self inflicted out of greed every few years.

If we could get all of these bastards to kill themselves, even if their suicides were done ala Baader Meinhof then we could start over with a well regulated state controlled economic system that would benefit all instead of 1 percent or 5 percent of the people.

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/11/mark-madoff-suicide-hanged_n_795342.html


12/11/10 02:51 PM

NEW YORK — The eldest son of disgraced financier Bernard Madoff hanged himself by a dog leash in his Manhattan apartment on Saturday, the second anniversary of his father’s arrest in a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme that swindled thousands of investors of their life savings, law enforcement officials said.

Mark Madoff, 46, was found hanging from a ceiling pipe in the living room of his SoHo loft apartment as his 2-year-old son slept in a nearby bedroom, two law enforcement officials told The Associated Press.

The law enforcement officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the death.

Madoff, who reported his father to authorities, has never been criminally charged in the biggest investment fraud in U.S. history. He and his brother Andrew have said they were unaware of their father’s crimes.

But the pair and other Madoff relatives have remained under investigation and been named in multiple investor lawsuits accusing them of profiting from the scheme.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/11/mark-madoff-suicide-hanged_n_795342.html

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On Foodstamps: One in Seven and Getting Worse

From the must read daily Fire Dog Lake: http://firedoglake.com/2010/12/11/one-in-seven-and-getting-worse/

By: Peterr Saturday December 11, 2010 9:00 am

From Sara Murray at the Wall Street Journal:

Some 42.9 million people collected food stamps last month, up 1.2% from the prior month and 16.2% higher than the same time a year ago, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Nationwide 14% of the population relied on food stamps as of September but in some states the percentage was much higher.

(Click through to check your state.)

14% is roughly one in seven. In DC, Mississippi, and Tennessee, it’s more one in five.

That’s right: one in five.

And the numbers are going up. Compared with last year, as Murray noted, they’re up 16% nationwide, but again, the state by state numbers are stunning. They’re up by more than 20% in 13 states, up by more than 25% in 6 states, and in Idaho they’re up by a whopping 39.1% over last year.

Continue reading at:  http://firedoglake.com/2010/12/11/one-in-seven-and-getting-worse/

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While U.S. Fumbles On DADT, Australia & Canada Accommodate Trans Servicemembers

From Pam’s House Blend: http://www.pamshouseblend.com/diary/18188/while-us-fumbles-on-dadt-australia-canada-accommodate-trans-servicemembers

Reposted with permission

by: Autumn Sandeen

Fri Dec 10, 2010 at 14:00:00 PM EST

One day Henny Penny was scratching in the farmyard looking for something good to eat when, suddenly, something hit her on the head. “My goodness me!” she said. “The sky must be falling down. I must go and tell the king.”Henny Penny

Above is the opening paragraph to the traditional telling of the children’s story Henny Penny — Henny Penny being a hen who kept repeating the mistruth to all willing to listen that “The sky is falling!” Image: Australian FlagShe convinced her friends Cocky Locky, Ducky Lucky, Goosey Loosey, and Turkey Lurkey that the sky is falling along her way to the king — the king who never ended up hearing her message of doom — but the sky was never really falling.

As I watched the Family Research Council’s (FRC’s) November 30, 2010 Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) press conference, my mind kept wandering back to the signature line from Henny Penny: The sky is falling! As I’ve listened to the statements of Senator John McCain on DADT — as Senator McCain has rhetorically moved the goal posts on what it would take for him to vote for repeal of DADT — my mind keeps wandering back to the signature line from Henny Penny: The sky is falling!

We know, if only from the examples of other militaries in our allied countries who allow lesbian, gay, and bisexual servicemembers to serve openly, that the sky won’t fall if DADT is repealed. The military will still be able to accomplish its missions if DADT should be repealed.

In fact, other allied countries are now figuring out how to accomplish the accommodation of transgender servicemembers. Image: Canadian FlagIn the Sydney Morning Herald‘s Sex-Change Soldier Forces Army To Scrap Transgender Policy, we learn that Australia is revamping their policy on transsexuals to clearly allow them to transition on active duty. And Pink News reported in their piece Canada’s Military Updates Uniform For Transgender Soldiers that Canada’s military has put together a new policy on how trans service members should be accommodated.

From the Pink News piece:

While debate continues in the US about openly gay troops, the Canadian military has been putting together a new policy on how trans soldiers should be treated, the National Post reports.The policy says they should wear the uniform of their “target” gender but must be given privacy and respect. For example, no reason must be given when a person’s name is changed on military records.

The new policy does not allow military honours to be reassigned to new names, saying “there is no legal authority for rewriting history”.

Canada’s military first paid for gender treatment for a member in 1998 and deals with one or two trans troops every year.

So while the United States can’t seem to get past the stage of discussing whether or not lesbian, gay, and bisexual servicemembers should be allowed to serve openly, some of our allies have moved on to accommodating the transitions of transsexual servicemembers.

I believe what Australia and Canada are at with their policies towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) servicemembers is where the United States should be in its discussions of LGBT servicemembers, but instead we’re still discussing whether or not LGB servicemembers should even be allowed to serve openly in the military services, let alone be accommodated in serving their country while in military uniforms.

The sky isn’t falling. We in the United States can allow lesbian, gay, and bisexual servicemembers to serve openly in the military services, and still be extremely professional, and capable, of meeting mission requirements. The United States could go much further in accommodating lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender servicemembers than just a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell that would accommodate LGB servicemembers, and still be able to capably and professionally meet the country’s military mission requirements.

That the United States still is functioning with antiquated policy regarding LGBT servicemembers says something about my country, and what it says isn’t particularly good.

Hat Tip to Monica Helms and Robin McGeehee. Emoticon: Hat tip

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Wikileaks: UK frightened by papal appeal to disgrunted Anglicans

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/12/wikileaks-uk-frightened-papal-appeal/

By Agence France-Presse
Friday, December 10th, 2010 — 8:32 pm

LONDON — Britain’s ambassador to the Vatican feared the pope’s invitation for disgruntled Anglicans to switch to Catholicism might spark anti-Catholic violence at home, a leaked US diplomatic cable revealed Saturday.

Ambassador Francis Campbell told US diplomats that “Anglican-Vatican relations were facing their worst crisis in 150 years as a result of the pope’s decision”, according to the cable dated November 30, 2009.

The cable sent to Washington added: “The crisis is also worrisome for England’s small, mostly Irish-origin, Catholic minority, Campbell said.

“There is still latent anti-Catholicism in some parts of England and it may not take much to set it off. The outcome could be discrimination or in isolated cases, even violence, against this minority.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/12/wikileaks-uk-frightened-papal-appeal/

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For transgender people, choice of shelter can mean refuge or violence

From 365 Gay: http://www.365gay.com/news/for-transgender-people-choice-of-shelter-can-mean-refuge-or-violence/

By Sterling Wong, 365gay.com
12.10.2010 8:47am EST

Christmas season is a time for rejoicing. It is also a time when the plight of the homeless stands in sharp contrast to the all-round festive mood.

Indeed, homelessness is a pervasive national problem, and it is all the more so for transgender people. Transgender and gender-nonconforming people are more susceptible to homelessness than the general population, reports City Limits News.

The National Transgender Discrimination Survey is due to release a report on housing before the end of the year and it will show that 19 percent of the 6,560 transgender people surveyed nationwide have experienced homelessness at some point.

The reasons for the increased likelihood of homelessness for transgender people are obvious. Many are less likely to have parental support, and they often get kicked out of their homes for gender nonconformity. There is also job-related discrimination which means transgender people are more likely to be unemployed.

And when they have access to shelters, homeless people also face the problem of harassment or worse, assault, because they might not have access to shelters of their chosen gender identity.

Continue reading at:  http://www.365gay.com/news/for-transgender-people-choice-of-shelter-can-mean-refuge-or-violence/

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San Diego gay journalist dies in apparent suicide

When I was in Los Angeles and a volunteer at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center I used to pick up all the gay and lesbian free publications from around the nation that I could glean from the Center’s free publication rack.

I considered the San Diego Gay and Lesbian News one of the best of those community supported newspapers.

Since 2000 and even during the decade prior the independent alternative press had slowly been bought up and turned into a pasteurized and homogenized conduit for entertainment and advertising rather than for communicating necessary information.

I was saddened by the news that SD Gay and Lesbian News had closed its doors earlier this year.  I am even more saddened by the news of the death of its long time publisher.

From San Diego.com: http://www.sandiego.com/news/gay-and-lesbian-times-publisher-commits-suicide

San Diego newspaper recently shut down due to economy
by City News Service
Posted on Fri, Dec 10th, 2010

(CNS) – Friends and family today were mourning the suicide of Michael Portantino, longtime publisher of San Diego’s Gay and Lesbian Times.

The 52-year-old apparently jumped and landed on a cement walkway in the 500 block of Spruce Street sometime before 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office reported.

His body was discovered by a passerby next to the hotel, Park Manor Suites, according to the Medical Examiner’s office, which ruled the manner of death as suicide.

Continue reading at:  http://www.sandiego.com/news/gay-and-lesbian-times-publisher-commits-suicide

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