Archive for June, 2006
This story hit the wires last week and we decided not to comment, assuming the media and blogs would be all over it. Oddly, the story has been all but ignored with patchy coverage here and there from tech blogs. So here goes:
[ From the AP] Google Inc. co-founder Sergey Brin acknowledged Tuesday the dominant Internet company has compromised its principles by accommodating Chinese censorship demands. He said Google is wrestling to make the deal work before deciding whether to reverse course.
Meeting with reporters near Capitol Hill, Brin said Google had agreed to the censorship demands only after Chinese authorities blocked its service in that country. Google’s rivals accommodated the same demands ‚Äî which Brin described as “a set of rules that we weren’t comfortable with” ‚Äî without international criticism, he said.
“We felt that perhaps we could compromise our principles but provide ultimately more information for the Chinese and be a more effective service and perhaps make more of a difference,” Brin said….
“It’s perfectly reasonable to do something different, to say, ‘Look, we’re going to stand by the principle against censorship and we won’t actually operate there.’ That’s an alternate path,” Brin said. “It’s not where we chose to go right now, but I can sort of see how people came to different conclusions about doing the right thing.”
We’ve been opposed to the deal all along, especially given the company’s better-than-thou posturing and their “don’t be evil” mantra. Brin’s statement of course begs the question if Google compromised their principles, why not change course now? Maybe Google will decide to do the right thing in the coming weeks, but simply issuing a statement admitting that they fucked up is an empty gesture.
Permalink » No Comments » by freewilliamsburg Wednesday, June 14th, 2006, 9:47 am
You know, now that they’ve been proven wrong and have the blood of Iraq on their greedy, imperialistic hands. [From AntiWar.com]
Is the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), which did so much to promote the invasion of Iraq and an Israel-centered”global war on terror,” closing down?
In the absence of an official announcement and the failure since late last year of a live person to answer its telephone number, a Washington Post obituary would seem to be definitive. And, sure enough, the Post quoted one unidentified source presumably linked to PNAC that the group was “heading toward closing” with the feeling of “goal accomplished.”
In fact, the 9-year-old group, whose 27 founders included Vice President Dick Cheney and Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld, among at least half a dozen of the most powerful hawks in the George W. Bush administration’s first term, has been inactive since January 2005, when it issued the last of its “statements,” an appeal to significantly increase the size of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps to cope with the growing demands of the kind of “Pax Americana” it had done so much to promote.
Permalink » No Comments » by freewilliamsburg Tuesday, June 13th, 2006, 10:06 am
We checked out a great new restaurant in Williamsburg last weekend, Pies & Thighs. Our favorite food blog, cakehead, has a story here. The name Pies and Thighs makes us feel dirty, but definitely pay them a visit before the crowds discover them.
Permalink » No Comments » by freewilliamsburg Monday, June 12th, 2006, 9:12 pm
We saw Cat Power perform over the weekend at Town Hall with the The Memphis Rhythm Band. It was [surprisingly] an AMAZING show. Chan seemed completely at ease an energized playing with a band. And the ten-piece Memphis Rhythm Band was a lot of fun. She played every song off of her latest record, The Greatest, and a handful of covers including “Wild is the Wind,” “Hit the Road Jack,” and “House of the Rising Sun.” Defying her reputation as a bad performer, Chan frequently joked with the crowd and even did a costume change. She came out for an encore wearing a tight, white prom dress. We were pissed back in February when she cancelled a series of shows due to “health issues” — perhaps a bout with the bottle since she made several references to being sober at Saturday’s show– but her performance more than made up for it.
RBally has a great live Cat Power bootleg here.
Permalink » No Comments » by freewilliamsburg Monday, June 12th, 2006, 9:53 am
From BattleCry – A Christian youth festival envisioning a Christian nation. Read the whole story here, on out brother site evangelicalright.com. [image c/o Rogouski]
Permalink » 4 Comments » by freewilliamsburg Saturday, June 10th, 2006, 4:24 pm
Michelangelo Antonion Retrospective
when: Jun 7 – 29
Web info: click here
One of the few artists credited with creating a new language of cinema, Michelangelo Antonioni remains enormously influential, yet impossible to imitate. While many of his Italian contemporaries used Neo-Realism to address political issues of the day, Antonioni developed a new approach: one that directly attacked problems within society and human interactions, while using a supremely confident visual style. Never content to work on a small canvas, Antonioni explored weighty issues and set his characters amidst stark and unfeeling landscapes. Yet central to all his work is a need to see, to understand, and to interpret the world around him. All films directed by Michelangelo Antonioni, in Italian with English subtitles, unless otherwise noted. All new prints courtesy of Cinecitt√† Holding unless otherwise noted. Presented with Cinecitt√† Holding and the support of the Ministry of Culture of Italy and the Italian Cultural Institute in New York.
and don’t miss
when: Sat 6.10 (3pm)
where: P.S.1 (22-25 Jackson Ave, LIC, 718.784.2084)
price: $5 suggested donation
Web Info: click here
Inspired by the eccentric-but-endearing cooking game show, Iron Artist pits artist against artist in a test of on-the-spot creative ingenuity. Today’s event, the love child of P.S.1 and Cabinet magazine, consists of two bouts, each 45 minutes in length. The first features two sculptors: artist/musician Jude Tallichet versus German-born and California-trained satirist Olav Westphalen. The second sees the production design collective Big Room, founded by Julian LaVerdiere and Vincent Mazeau take on artist team Type A. For each match, competitors create works based on a theme and materials provided, as commentators give a play-by-play of the action.
and on Saturday & Sunday if it doesn’t rain: The Big Apple BBQ
Permalink » No Comments » by freewilliamsburg Friday, June 9th, 2006, 2:41 pm
The dashing groom
This story is too hilarious to not share [from AFP]
A woman who fell in love with a snake has reportedly married the reptile at a traditional Hindu wedding celebrated by 2,000 guests in India’s Orissa state. Bimbala Das wore a silk saree for the ceremony Wednesday at Atala village near the Orissa state capital Bhubaneswar.
Priests chanted mantras to seal the union, but the snake failed to come out of a nearby ant hill where it lives, the Press Trust of India (PTI) said.
A brass replica snake stood in for the hesitant groom.
“Though snakes cannot speak nor understand, we communicate in a peculiar way,” Das, 30, told the agency.
“Whenever I put milk near the ant hill where the cobra lives, it always comes out to drink.
“I always get to see it every time I go near the ant hill. It has never harmed me,” she added.
Villagers welcomed the wedding in the belief it would bring good fortune and laid on a feast for the big day.
Snakes and particularly the King Cobra are venerated in India as religious symbols worn by Lord Shiva, the god of destruction.
Das, from a lower caste, converted to the animal-loving vegetarian Vaishnav sect whose local elders gave her permission to marry the cobra, the world’s largest venomous snake that can grow up to five metres.
“I am happy,” said her mother Dyuti Bhoi, who has two other daughters and two sons to marry off.
“Bimbala was ill,” Bhoi told local OTV channel. “We had no money to treat her. Then she started offering milk to the snake … she was cured. That made her fall in love.”
Das has moved into a hut built close to the ant hill since the wedding.
Earlier this year, a tribal girl was married off to a dog on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar.
Permalink » 2 Comments » by freewilliamsburg Friday, June 9th, 2006, 11:05 am
Firedoglake dig a great job yesterday of pointing out one of the more inane passages in Ann Coulter’s new book Godless:
Liberals hate science and react badly to it. They will literally run from the room, lightheaded and nauseated, when told of data that might suggest that the sexes have different abilities in math and science. They repudiate science when it contradicts their pagan beliefs‚Äîthat the AIDS virus doesn’t discriminate, that there is no such thing as IQ, that nuclear power is dangerous and scary, or that breast implants cause disease. Liberals use the word science exactly as they use the word constitutional.
Both words are nothing more or less than a general statement of liberal approval, having nothing to do with either science or the Constitution. (Thus, for example, the following sentence makes sense to liberals: President Clinton saved the Constitution by repeatedly ejaculating on a fat Jewish girl in the Oval Office.)
At least, people seem to be on to Ann’s bullshit this time around. Even Olbermann has turned on her.
Permalink » 6 Comments » by freewilliamsburg Thursday, June 8th, 2006, 9:46 am
Our Rapturous brother site, EvangelicalRight.com, has a revealing story on the Religious Right’s insane priorities. The powerful, boycott-happy American Family Association has already drafted a petition to thwart the supposed war on Christmas. Check it out here.
Permalink » 5 Comments » by freewilliamsburg Wednesday, June 7th, 2006, 9:52 am
we all know who the real antiChrist is
Happy Devil Day… otherwise known as The National Day of Slayer.
Permalink » 3 Comments » by freewilliamsburg Tuesday, June 6th, 2006, 9:37 am