Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Identified as a trouble maker by the authorities since childhood, and resolved to live up to the description, Charles Carreon soon discovered that mischief is most effectively fomented through speech. Having mastered the art of flinging verbal pipe-bombs and molotov cocktails at an early age, he refined his skills by writing legal briefs and journalistic exposes, while developing a poetic style that meandered from the lyrical to the political. Journey with him into the dark caves of the human experience, illuminated by the torch of an outraged sense of injustice.

Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:18 am


10:10 am, April 21, 2005

Raised Roman Catholic, and educated in Franciscan, Benedictine, and Jesuit schools, I have an opinion about this Pope. The Jesuits taught us that to be spiritual is to be beyond the influence of the times and peer pressure — to “be your own man.” But Pope Benedict sounds like a go-along to get-along kind of guy. While he may not deserve to be crucified for joining Hitler Youth in the first place, this thing he confessed to, of pretending to be Hitler Youth to get a tuition break after completing his seminary education, discloses a character flaw. Clearly he was already through his priestly education at this point, having completed seminary, and yet he's pretending to be a fascist to get a tuition break? Give me a break!

"The Pope“

'When the Hitler Youth was established, my brother was forced to become a member,' Ratzinger said in an interview in 1997. ”I was still too young, but later, when I entered the seminary, I also joined. But as soon as I had left the seminary, I never went to see them again. And this was difficult, because in order to be entitled to get a discount on the tuition fee, which I urgently needed, one had to prove that one was a member of the Hitler Youth.'

In other words, he joined Hitler Youth at the same time as he joined God's Army of celibate clerics, then didn't go back to the clubhouse after graduation, but just pretended as much as necessary to “prove” himself a member. I bet on occasion that required a little fancy guss-stepping!

A Pope should be a man of character, someone worthy to fill the shoes of the first Pope, Peter, whose name means “Rock.” Peter was one tough guy, who himself attained martyrdom at the hands of the Romans, just like his zealot leader, but insisted on a distinction from his executioners — he wanted to be crucified upside down. Legend says he claimed to be unworthy to of the honor of being crucified in the same manner as his master.

Peter had shown a crazy streak early on, though, like in the Garden of Gesthemane, when he cut off the Roman soldier's ear with his fisherman's blade, and Jesus had to re-attach it to calm things down. Somehow, I don't think our new Pope could fill the shoes of such a fisherman. He'd more likely be out there with Judas, seeing what they could buy for 30 pieces of silver. It's just what anyone else would do, and that is the standard on which the public seems eager to judge this Pope. Why didn't they look for a priest who was a fisherman? Then they might have even found a Pope from Africa or South America, or some other former European colony.

Benedictu Sancti, Chas ;)
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:22 am


11:49 pm, April 24, 2005

It is a great comfort to know that the most drastic legislation in this nation's history was written by a first-generation Vietnamese immigrant traumatized by spending a portion of his childhood adrift as a boat person due to the faithless US abdication of its anticommunist mission in his native land. New to this country in spirit, in 2001 he declared himself “really enamored by the institutions of government,” and has declared his intention to keep shaping anti-terrorist policy until he's made the nation safe. I would like to think he has a Spiderman complex, but that's probably too generous an assessment. A political animal reared in the slimepit of Orange County politics, John Ashcroft gave this dangerously clever man discretion to reshape the Department of Justice into a terrorist-fighting machine. Why was he given such free rein? His previous achievements — teaching at Georgetown law school and hectoring the Clintons in the Whitewater investigation — would not seem to fit him for the job of abolishing the Bill of Rights, but then what experience do you need to do something so stupid! Actually, the fact that he has never been a trial lawyer, and has therefore never prosecuted or defended anyone in a situation where they really needed to assert their civil rights, is the sort of aggressive ignorance that enables someone to do something especially stupid. A notable example of the Peter Principle (people rise to their level of incompetence) acting with extraordinary swiftness. Well, no need to rant about spilled civil liberties, eh? There's an oil war on!

LA Times 9/18/02

At Home in War on Terror: Viet Dinh has gone from academe to a key behind-the scenes role. Conservatives love him; others find his views constitutionally suspect

Loretto, PA. – Viet Dinh is working the room. Viet Dinh, it seems, is always working a room.

The room itself isn't much, at least not by the standards of one of the rising stars of the Bush administration. A hundred or so faculty members and supporters at Saint Francis University in rural Pennsylvania are lunching in a nondescript student center to hear Dinh, advisor to U.S. Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft and a point man in the war on terrorism, philosophize about how liberty and freedom can thrive even in a time of national crisis.

But look closer, and the Vietnamese-born, Southern California-bred Dinh has a more immediate agenda. Seated at lunch next to him is a local district judge, D. Brooks Smith, whose promotion to a federal appellate court has been imperiled by protests over his civil rights record. Literally and figuratively, Dinh is at Smith's side.

Amid Dinh's broad legal colloquies and historical references to Nathan Hale and William Penn, he delivers an impassioned endorsement of Smith. He steps up the drumbeat for local television reporters after his speech, decrying the ”liberal activists“ who have threatened to derail President Bush's nominee.

The scene is typical of Dinh and his remarkable ascent to power: Part law school professor, part political pit bull, Dinh has navigated seamlessly between the worlds of Ivory Tower academia and sharp-elbowed Washington politics to leave his imprint on a wide array of policy decisions.

If Ashcroft and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld are the face of the Bush administration's anti-terrorism campaign, Dinh and a small cadre of other behind-the-scenes advisors have emerged as its brain trust.

At age 34, he already has filled a resume befitting a man twice his age: boat refugee from Vietnam, Oregon fruit picker, Orange County burger-flipper, Harvard Law School graduate, U.S. Supreme Court clerk, Georgetown Law School professor, constitutional scholar, lawyer to a high-powered congressional committee. His is ”a spectacular American story,“ Sen. Pete V. Domenici (R-N.M.) said in introducing Dinh to the Senate during his confirmation hearings 16 months ago.

Dinh's current role as an assistant attorney general clearly has given him his most important platform yet. At first a somewhat obscure player in Ashcroft's Justice Department, his prominence in recent months has made him both a darling of the conservative movement and a lightning rod for criticism from liberal-leaning politicians and civil rights activists who assert that his views run roughshod over the Constitution.

On topics as far-ranging as gun control, cyber pornography, human trafficking and the selection of new federal judges, Dinh has played an increasingly critical role in shaping federal law enforcement policy. But nowhere has his impact been felt more keenly than in the Bush administration's highest priority: its aggressive war on terrorism.

Crafted Patriot Act

Dinh was the chief architect of the USA Patriot Act, the legislation approved by Congress in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks that gives law enforcement agencies vastly expanded powers to track terror suspects. He has been the official responsible for crafting a series of anti-terrorism initiatives that would, among other things, require the fingerprinting of potentially tens of thousands of visiting foreigners from Middle East countries and would put foreign students on a much tighter leash.

He revamped the law enforcement guidelines that Ashcroft announced in May to give FBI agents new powers to snoop in mosques and surf the Internet. And he is now working on a plan to promote better coordination within the Justice Department and with agencies such as the CIA, a task aimed at preventing the communication breakdowns that preceded Sept. 11.

”I did not sign up for a war,“ Dinh said in an interview. ”But it's a privilege, a profound honor really, to serve your country in a time of crisis. I can't imagine a better place for me to be right now.“

What is perhaps most surprising to Justice Department observers is that Dinh has achieved such influence as one of 11 assistant attorneys general in charge of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Policy. The office was once a low-profile, somewhat nebulous operation chiefly concerned with federal judicial nominations--''a backwater,'' one former employee, who worked for the department during Janet Reno's tenure, called it. But with Ashcroft's blessing, Dinh has expanded the office's reach into areas once considered far outside its domain. Ashcroft's a Fan

Dinh, a wiry, energetic man who spews out ideas and legal theory at a furious staccato clip, has turned his boss into one of his biggest fans.

”It's hard to point to a part of this department,“ Ashcroft said in an interview, ”that isn't related to sound legal policy, so [Dinh] has become an integral part of virtually every decision we make.... He operates on a gold-medal level.“

Dinh recalls the instructions Ashcroft gave him when he took over the job last year.

”He told me: 'The art of leadership is the redefinition of the possible. I want you to be the think tank to help me redefine the possible for the Department of Justice.' That was a great charge for an academic,“ Dinh said.

Some Republicans even speculate that Dinh could someday be a candidate for the first Asian American justice on the Supreme Court. But with success and visibility have come a growing chorus of critics who attack his policies and politics.

Democrats on Capitol Hill have publicly chastised Dinh for disregarding the privacy rights of law-abiding Americans. An irritated former Secretary of State Warren Christopher challenged him at a law conference last summer by suggesting that the administration's refusal to identify terrorist detainees reminded him of Argentina's notorious practice of simply making prisoners ”disappear.“ And gun control advocates accuse Dinh of serving as Ashcroft's buffer on 2nd Amendment issues, helping to scale back regulations for enforcing gun laws.

”John Ashcroft has put together the most right-wing legal team in modern Justice Department history, and Viet Dinh is, by all accounts, a principal player. His impact has been felt across the department,“ said Ralph Neas, president of People for the American Way, a liberal civil rights group.

Where Bush administration loyalists see an aggressive counterattack on terrorism, civil rights activists see an infringement on American liberties. Where supporters see well-crafted public policy, critics see far-reaching edicts made under a veil of secrecy.

”When you start acting by executive fiat, that's what leads to governmental abuses,“ Neas said, ”and that's why I'm so worried about what Viet Dinh and John Ashcroft have been doing in the last year.“

Emotional Memory

Nearly a quarter-century later, Dinh still becomes emotional when remembering one scene: his mother in a Malaysian port, wielding an ax that seemed bigger than she was, whacking holes in the side of the vessel so she and five of her children would not be sent back out to sea.

It was 1978. Dinh was 10. His father was being held as a political prisoner in the family's war-ravaged homeland, when his mother, Nga Thu Nguyen, tried to escape by sea with Viet and the other children. They were among 85 people crammed on a 15-foot-long boat, but as Dinh's mother recalled in a recent telephone interview from her Garden Grove home, ”after three days, the boat was broken. After seven days, there was no more food or water.“

After 12 days, she had lost nearly all hope. But they came upon a Thai fishing crew who gave them food and gas, helped fix the boat and pointed them toward land. They reached Malaysia--only to be met by gunshots from a patrol boat. The Malaysians didn't want them. Their boat managed to dock, but Nguyen realized that the port police would force them to leave the next morning, so she crept back out to the boat alone that night with an ax, she said. ”I just hit it and hit it and made holes everywhere,“ she said.

Dinh, recounting the events last year before the Senate Judiciary Committee as his nomination was considered, said it demonstrated for him the ”incredible courage“ of his mother and the ”incredible lengths“ to which people will go in search of freedom.

The administration's critics now find it ironic that Dinh, a refugee himself and an inspiration to many Asian Americans in Southern California, would advance policies that civil libertarians say place many Arabs and Arab Americans under a cloud of suspicion. But Dinh counters that his experience has given him a ”special sensitivity to what it means to be an American“ and how important it is to apply the law equally, regardless of race or ethnicity.

After six months as refugees in Malaysia, Dinh's family made it to Oregon for Thanksgiving of 1978. They picked strawberries for menial wages, sending money back to Dinh's father and a sibling hiding out in Vietnam. After Mt. St. Helens erupted in 1980, the crop damage forced his family to relocate to Fullerton.

In Orange County, the teenager worked with his mother in a sewing shop and put in time at fast-food restaurants after school. The family's persistence paid off in 1983 when Dinh's father finally made it to America. Dinh's parents wanted him to be a doctor. But politics was his passion, an interest fueled by his mother.

''He had a hatred of the Communists because I made him understand it was the Communists who had taken his father away from the house and put him in prison,'' Nguyen said. ''I instilled that in him early on.''

Like many Vietnamese immigrants, Dinh's emotional experience in his homeland steered him toward the Republican Party because of the GOP's hard-line stance against communism.

Youthful Volunteer

Garden Grove Councilman Van Tran remembers Dinh, just out of Fullerton High School, volunteering to work the phone banks at an Asian American voter registration center set up by then-Rep. Robert K. Dornan.

”He used to call me anh, or 'elder brother.' He stood out even then as a lanky 18-year-old because he was someone who was very quick and very witty,“ Tran said.

Dinh's reputation as affable, bright and politically astute would follow him through Harvard University and Harvard Law School, which he attended with the aid of scholarships and graduated magna cum laude, and to the U.S. Supreme Court, where he clerked for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

”He was a wonderful law clerk,“ O'Connor recalled recently. ”I was so fascinated by his background and the fact that he had arrived on our shores with nothing but the clothes on his back, yet somehow he had persevered.“

By 1999, Dinh had firmly established his Republican credentials as a lawyer for two of the most bitterly partisan initiatives in Washington, working first for Sen. Alfonse M. D'Amato (R-N.Y.) in the Senate investigation into President Clinton's Whitewater dealings in the mid-1990s, and later for Domenici during Clinton's impeachment trial.

When the 2000 presidential election led to a landmark lawsuit, Dinh was there to write a friend-of-the-court brief before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of a group of Florida voters who backed Bush's position.

When Ashcroft's nomination as attorney general ran into widespread opposition in January 2001 over his record on civil rights and other issues, Dinh wrote an op-ed piece in the Washington Post extolling Ashcroft's ”deep compassion“ for minorities.

And when Dinh was nominated a few months after that article to become one of Ashcroft's top deputies, he contacted Tran and asked him to call Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove) to see whether she would be willing to introduce him at his Senate confirmation hearings, even though he was a Republican nominee, Tran said. Dinh's nomination was confirmed by a 96-1 vote in the Senate.

Dinh was feted as a returning hero at a Vietnamese American festival in Orange County last year.

”Sanchez understood right away the political significance of such a gesture, and Viet got a bipartisan introduction“ before the Senate, Tran said. ”I thought it was a brilliant move on his part.“

Too brilliant, some of his Democratic detractors on Capitol Hill say. While demanding anonymity because of frayed relations with Ashcroft's office, several Democratic officials describe Dinh in terms such as ”rawly political,“ and have even coined a derisive nickname to describe his aggressive politicking: ”Viet Spin.“

Democrats whisper that during his days on the Whitewater investigation, Dinh was suspected of leaking confidential information to the news media in order to hurt Clinton.

Dinh vehemently denies the charge, but Democrats say lingering resentments over his Whitewater days--Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y) was the only senator to vote against his confirmation--have hurt his relations on Capitol Hill and caused tensions as the Ashcroft administration has pushed to expand its law enforcement powers.

No Time for Golf

If such political sniping has bothered Dinh, he doesn't show it. Indeed, about the only regret that Dinh, a bachelor, confesses is that his hectic pace has given him time to hit the golf links only once or twice since Sept. 11.

After reaching a pinnacle in his career, he insists his mind is squarely focused on the task at hand: revamping federal law enforcement to confront the threat of terrorism.

That has to be ”the overriding priority,“ Dinh said. ”The day that we relax is either the day that we have definitely won this war or the day that I get somebody else to continue my job."

"The Orange County Register 5/10/01“

Ex-refugee is nominated for Justice post: A Fullerton High grad gets praise at his Senate confirmation hearing.

Viet Dinh wiped tears from his eyes as a United States senator chronicled his remarkable journey from a 10-year-old fleeing Vietnam in a boat to a law professor facing a congressional panel Wednesday as a nominee for assistant attorney general.

For a young Dinh and his family it was the point of no return. They had fled Vietnam by boat in 1978. After 12 days with no food or water, they landed in a port in Malaysia, where they were met by gunfire and cast back into the South China Sea.

That night they swam ashore, sure their boat could not withstand another sea voyage. Dinh's mother, Nguyen, stayed aboard and, ”wielding an ax that was almost as tall as she was,“ put a hole in the side of the boat to sink it so they would not be forced back to sea, Dinh said.

”That image of my mother destroying our last link to Vietnam really stands in my mind to this day as to the courage she possesses, but also the incredible lengths which my parents, like so many other people, have gone to in order to find that promise of freedom and opportunity.“

”This is a spectacular American story,“ Sen. Pete Domenici said Wednesday as he introduced Dinh, formerly of Orange County, who was the New Mexico Republican's special counsel for President Clinton's impeachment trial. Dinh was before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which could vote as early as today on his confirmation as assistant attorney general for policy development.

”You've got a Vietnamese scholar who just 23 years ago was a young man out on a boat at sea who could just as well have drowned, and we never would have heard from him. But because of a loving family around him, they eventually ended up American citizens.“

As Domenici talked, Dinh's parents — who split their time between Garden Grove and Salem, Ore. — sat proudly next to their son. Dinh's lower lip quivered as he fought the emotion of the moment.

His journey and the patriotism for his new country came flooding back, he said, as he heard Domenici's words.

The young professor has seen much in his 33 years.

His family was separated in 1975 when his father, Phong Dinh, was imprisoned in a re-education camp after the fall of Saigon. His father escaped in 1978, and while he remained a fugitive in Vietnam, Dinh's mother, Nga Nguyen and his older siblings got on a boat with 85 other people and set out for freedom.

After their harrowing journey and a stay at a refugee camp in Malaysia, they made their way to the United States.

The family began their life in America in Portland, Ore., picking strawberries. But the eruption of Mount St. Helens volcano in 1980 wiped out their livelihood. They moved to Orange County.

Dinh was reunited with his father in 1983. In 1992, he was reunited with one of his sisters at a refugee camp in Hong Kong — a meeting filmed by NBC's Dateline newsmagazine show.

Those who knew Dinh during his teen-age years in Orange County are not surprised by his success at such a young age. They describe him as an outgoing, gregarious teen-ager with an incredibly bright and inquisitive mind.

Fullerton High School classmate James Campbell, called him a ”well rounded whiz kid. He seized all the things that a lot of us take for granted about this country,“ said Campbell, a spokesman for Supervisor Charles Smith.

Dinh will be honored by his high school alma mater this fall when he is added to Fullerton's wall of fame. He will share that wall with an ideological opposite, David Boies, former Vice President Al Gore's lawyer for the Florida recount.

Dinh was a familiar figure during that historical case, delivering sound bites on CNN and other network news shows. And Dinh filed a brief with the Supreme Court in favor of George W. Bush.

For many in the Vietnamese legal community in Orange County, Dinh is viewed as a trailblazer and risk taker.

”With his achievements, he puts the idea that a Vietnamese- American can be successful in law and on a national level,“ said Hao-Nhien Vu, a Garden Grove lawyer. If confirmed, Dinh will be the highest-ranking Vietnamese- American legal official in the nation. ”A lot of people will be watching what he does and learning from his example.“

And he honed his political skills early.

Van Thai Tran, a lawyer and Garden Grove councilman, first met Dinh in 1986 when the 17-year-old showed up at a voter-registration drive and volunteered to help.

”Even then he was quick-witted,“ Tran said.

Dinh is not expected to face a difficult confirmation. But Democrats and Republicans on the committee are feuding over the confirmation process for federal judges, and it was clear Wednesday that Department of Justice nominations are caught in the crossfire.

The only critical questioning Dinh faced was from Sen. Pat Leahy, D-Vt. Leahy asked Dinh how he could be in charge of reviewing judicial nominees when he has never been a trial lawyer. Dinh went directly from clerking for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor to a political post and then to Georgetown Law Center as a professor.

Dinh said he would look to those in the department with such experience for help.

It's traditional for lawmakers close to the nominee or from their hometown to formally introduce him to the panel. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Santa Ana, who represents a large part of the Vietnamese -American community in Orange County, introduced Dinh along with Domenici.

Sanchez met with him Tuesday. She said she was satisfied that ”as an immigrant himself, he wants to make sure the gates are open for other immigrants.“ She also talked to Dinh about racial profiling, an issue Attorney General John Ashcroft says is a high priority.

”He said that was of great interest to him,“ Sanchez said, ”because he himself has experienced that sort of discrimination.“

Dinh says he's not looking beyond his new job.

”It will be in the public service,'' Dinh said. “I am really enamored by the institutions of government. They protect the most precious aspect of America, the promise of opportunity and freedom.

”Even when I was in the refugee camp, I knew the value of this promise."
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:26 am


1:30 pm, May 16, 2005

Image Image Image
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, directed by George Clooney, Starring Sam Rockwell, Drew Barrymore and Julia Roberts

First Lady Talks About Horse Penises, Harvests Accolades

Who has Laura Bush been talking with, that she is now able to toss off one-liners suggesting that the president gave a horse a handjob when he thought he was milking a cow? And who was she talking to, that they didn’t choke on their rubber chicken? If I had attempted to deliver a joke about my wife masturbating the livestock at any venue other than the seediest bar in town, my taste, even my sanity, would probably be called in question.

"Bill Berkowitz at“

The most outrageous joke described the president’s early arrival at the ranch in Crawford, Texas: As a graduate of Andover and Yale, which “don’t have real strong ranching programs,” the president was ill-prepared. He was so out of his element that he tried to milk a horse—a male horse.

The first lady’s string of one-liners have been widely repeated in the weeks since the event. She started by interrupting the president—as per the script—and seizing the platform. Then, she mixed some light-hearted lines—”I am married to the president of the United States, and here's our typical evening: Nine o'clock, Mr. Excitement here is sound asleep, and I'm watching 'Desperate Housewives', with Lynne Cheney“ —with several sexed-up jokes — ”Ladies and gentlemen, I am a desperate housewife. I mean, if those women on that show think they're desperate, they ought to be with George. One night, after George went to bed, Lynne Cheney, Condi Rice, Karen Hughes and I went to Chippendales,"—the home of buffed male strippers.

Answering the first question, where did she learn to talk like she needs her mouth washed out with soap? I think she’s just been hanging out with the Cheneys too much. Mrs. Cheney’s bodice-ripper novel, Sisters, about horny sluts in Renaissance outfits, is currently out of print after the administration nixed the reprinting deal, because the book wasn’t Mrs. Cheney’s “best work.” That’s an interesting reason for pulling the publication, I’d say. Graded on that basis, most writers wouldn’t have more than one book in print, and I’m not sure what her “best work” might be, but I bet you it wasn’t on a par with Don Quixote. Perhaps we should put all her work out of print if none of it turns out to be better than “Sisters.” Of course, unlike most other authors, she doesn’t have any pressing financial need. Oil sells better than books.

Answering the second question, Laura let fly her bon mots at the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner late last month, and according to the toadying press, the First Lady’s crudity hit their funny bone. You'd think they'd be jealous. The President's wife gets to say stuff they'll lose their jobs for trying. Loose talk about penises is what caused the FCC to fine Howard Stern off the air for, right?

"Roman Bystrianyk and Meryl Barr at“

On February 26, [2005] Clear Channel Communications pulled Howard Stern off its six stations that carry his syndicated show as part of the radio giant's new “zero tolerance” policy against indecency on the airwaves. As a reason for the action, Clear Channel cited Stern's interview on Tuesday with Rick Solomon, the man who was filmed having sex with hotel heiress and Fox reality star Paris Hilton in a video widely distributed on the Internet. According to a transcript released by Clear Channel, Stern asked Solomon about his sexual practices and referred to the size of certain body parts. Using a racist term, a caller asked Solomon if he had ever had relations with any famous black women. “It was vulgar, offensive and insulting, not just to women and African-Americans but to anyone with a sense of common decency,” said chief executive officer John Hogan.

What Howard Stern Needs To Learn

Stern was run off the air by Clear Channel because he talked about human penises. As an attorney, I'm not advising you to start a bestiality website, but in the search for a principled legal distinction, I'm forced to say that there appears to be greater tolerance for jokes about animal sex. Clearly it would be off-base to suggest that different standards of ”decency“ might be applied to the First Lady's words than those of a ”Shock Jock“ like Howard. As for whether it's safer to discuss having sex with a horse than having sex with Paris Hilton, perhaps we could ask Alberto Gonzales for guidance — he's helped so much to legitimize bondage by raising the bar on what constitutes torture, perhaps he can help us to develop some bright-line rules on where to draw the line on bestiality.

Looking at business opportunities here, as I always do, inquiring minds want to know: Does this open the way for celebrity sites showing pictures of the First Lady indulging in a little revenge sex with her groom — a male who isn't asleep at 9 p.m.? Is it open season for photoshop projects showing a clueless president ”milking a cow," i.e., masturbating a stallion? Are these the next Hot domain names: Ah, for that kind of advice, you have to pay!
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:28 am

FREE PORN LINKS FROM PBS. by Charles Carreon

8:03 pm, May 17, 2005

I hope that title doesn't get me banned from Yahoo! I just stumbled across this website at that has some excellent coverage of the important recent cases in the areas of free speech, erotic media, and Internet regulation to make the Net “child-safe.” (That's like trying to childproof the Grand Canyon or the Pacific Ocean, isn't it? Tends to make it a lot less fun for us grown-ups!)

Here's the link to the Supreme Court page on the website documenting a Frontline series called American Porn. It's a very earnest presentation, oozing “redeeming social value.” Nevertheless, as soon as Bill Frist finds out about it, there will probably be a Congressional virtue crusade to take the site down, and defund PBS altogether, so better go check it out quick.

For lawyers and other interested people, the dissent by Justice Stevens in Ashcroft v. ACLU is better than a Gilberts or Casenotes Outline on Con Law II on the current shape of free speech law in this, the land of the fee.

Justice Stevens, dissenting

Appeals to prurient interests are commonplace on the Internet, as in older media. Many of those appeals lack serious value for minors as well as adults. Some are offensive to certain viewers but welcomed by others. For decades, our cases have recognized that the standards for judging their acceptability vary from viewer to viewer and from community to community. Those cases developed the requirement that communications should be protected if they do not violate contemporary community standards. In its original form, the community standard provided a shield for communications that are offensive only to the least tolerant members of society. Thus, the Court “has emphasized on more than one occasion that a principal concern in requiring that a judgment be made on the basis of 'contemporary community standards' is to assure that the material is judged neither on the basis of each juror's personal opinion, nor by its effect on a particularly sensitive or insensitive person or group.” Hamling v. United States, 418 U. S. 87, 107 (1974). In the context of the Internet, however, community standards become a sword, rather than a shield. If a prurient appeal is offensive in a puritan village, it may be a crime to post it on the World Wide Web.

The Child Online Protection Act (COPA) restricts access by adults as well as children to materials that are “harmful to minors.” 47 U. S. C. §231(a)(1) (1994 ed., Supp. V). COPA is a substantial improvement over its predecessor, the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA), which we held unconstitutional five years ago in Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U. S. 844 (1997) (ACLU I). Congress has thoughtfully addressed several of the First Amendment problems that we identified in that case. Nevertheless, COPA preserves the use of contemporary community standards to define which materials are harmful to minors. As we explained in ACLU I, 521 U. S., at 877-878, “the `community standards' criterion as applied to the Internet means that any communication available to a nationwide audience will be judged by the standards of the community most likely to be offended by the message.”

We have recognized that the State has a compelling interest in protecting minors from harmful speech, Sable Communications of Cal., Inc. v. FCC, 492 U. S. 115, 126 (1989), and on one occasion we upheld a restriction on indecent speech that was made available to the general public, because it could be accessed by minors, FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, 438 U. S. 726 (1978). Our decision in that case was influenced by the distinctive characteristics of the broadcast medium, as well as the expertise of the agency, and the narrow scope of its order. Id., at 748-750; see also, ACLU I, 521 U. S., at 867. On the other hand, we have repeatedly rejected the position that the free speech rights of adults can be limited to what is acceptable for children. See id., at 875 (quoting Bolger v. Youngs Drug Products Corp., 463 U. S. 60, 74-75 (1983) (“[R]egardless of the strength of the government's interest” in protecting children, “[t]he level of discourse reaching a mailbox simply cannot be limited to that which would be suitable for a sandbox”) (quotation marks omitted)); Sable, 492 U. S., at 128; Butler v. Michigan, 352 U. S. 380, 383 (1957).

Petitioner relies on our decision in Ginsberg v. New York, 390 U. S. 629 (1968), for the proposition that Congress can prohibit the display of materials that are harmful to minors. But the statute upheld in Ginsberg prohibited selling indecent materials directly to children, id., at 633 (describing N. Y. Penal Law §484-h, making it unlawful “ `knowingly to sell ... to a minor ...' ”), whereas the speech implicated here is simply posted on a medium that is accessible to both adults and children, 47 U. S. C. §231(a)(1) (prohibiting anyone from “knowingly ... mak[ing] any communication for commercial purposes that is available to any minor ...”). Like the restriction on indecent “dial-a-porn” numbers invalidated in Sable, the prohibition against mailing advertisements for contraceptives invalidated in Bolger, and the ban against selling adult books found impermissible in Butler, COPA seeks to limit protected speech that is not targeted at children, simply because it can be obtained by them while surfing the Web.1 In evaluating the overbreadth of such a statute, we should be mindful of Justice Frankfurter's admonition not to “burn the house to roast the pig,” Butler, 352 U. S., at 383.

COPA not only restricts speech that is made available to the general public, it also covers a medium in which speech cannot be segregated to avoid communities where it is likely to be considered harmful to minors. The Internet presents a unique forum for communication because information, once posted, is accessible everywhere on the network at once. The speaker cannot control access based on the location of the listener, nor can it choose the pathways through which its speech is transmitted. By approving the use of community standards in this context, Justice Thomas endorses a construction of COPA that has “the intolerable consequence of denying some sections of the country access to material, there deemed acceptable, which in others might be considered offensive to prevailing community standards of decency.” Manual Enterprises, Inc. v. Day, 370 U. S. 478, 488 (1962).

If the material were forwarded through the mails, as in Hamling, or over the telephone, as in Sable, the sender could avoid destinations with the most restrictive standards. Indeed, in Sable, we upheld the application of community standards to a nationwide medium because the speaker was “free to tailor its messages ... to the communities it chooses to serve,” by either “hir[ing] operators to determine the source of the calls ... [or] arrang[ing] for the screening and blocking of out-of-area calls.” 492 U. S., at 125 (emphasis added). Our conclusion that it was permissible for the speaker to bear the ultimate burden of compliance, id., at 126, assumed that such compliance was at least possible without requiring the speaker to choose another medium or to limit its speech to what all would find acceptable. Given the undisputed fact that a provider who posts material on the Internet cannot prevent it from entering any geographic community, see ante, at 11, n. 6 (opinion of Thomas, J.), a law that criminalizes a particular communication in just a handful of destinations effectively prohibits transmission of that message to all of the 176.5 million Americans that have access to the Internet, see ante, at 2, n. 2 (opinion of Thomas, J.). In light of this fundamental difference in technologies, the rules applicable to the mass mailing of an obscene montage or to obscene dial-a-porn should not be used to judge the legality of messages on the World Wide Web.2

In his attempt to fit this case within the framework of Hamling and Sable, Justice Thomas overlooks the more obvious comparison--namely, the CDA invalidated in ACLU I. When we confronted a similar attempt by Congress to limit speech on the Internet based on community standards, we explained that because Web publishers cannot control who accesses their Web sites, using community standards to regulate speech on the Internet creates an overbreadth problem. “[T]he `community standards' criterion as applied to the Internet means that any communication available to a nationwide audience will be judged by the standards of the community most likely to be offended by the message.” 521 U. S., at 877-878. Although our holding in ACLU I did not turn on that factor alone, we did not adopt the position relied on by Justice Thomas--that applying community standards to the Internet is constitutional based on Hamling and Sable. See Reply Brief for Appellants in Reno v. ACLU, O. T. 1996, No. 96-511, p. 19.3

Justice Thomas points to several other provisions in COPA to argue that any overbreadth will be rendered insubstantial by the rest of the statute. Ante, at 14-15. These provisions afford little reassurance, however, as they only marginally limit the sweep of the statute. It is true that, in addition to COPA's “appeals to the prurient interest of minors” prong, the material must be “patently offensive with respect to minors” and it must lack “serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors.” 47 U. S. C. §231(e)(6). Nonetheless, the “patently offensive” prong is judged according to contemporary community standards as well, ante, at 11, n. 7 (opinion of Thomas, J.). Whatever disparity exists between various communities' assessment of the content that appeals to the prurient interest of minors will surely be matched by their differing opinions as to whether descriptions of sexual acts or depictions of nudity are patently offensive with respect to minors. Nor does the requirement that the material be “in some sense erotic,” see ante, at 15 (citing Erznoznik v. Jacksonville, 422 U. S. 205, 213, and n. 10 (1975)), substantially narrow the category of images covered. Arguably every depiction of nudity--partial or full--is in some sense erotic with respect to minors.4

Petitioner's argument that the “serious value” prong minimizes the statute's overbreadth is also unpersuasive. Although we have recognized that the serious value determination in obscenity cases should be based on an objective, reasonable person standard, Pope v. Illinois, 481 U. S. 497, 500 (1987), this criterion is inadequate to cure COPA's overbreadth because COPA adds an important qualifying phrase to the standard Miller v. California, 413 U. S. 15 (1973), formulation of the serious value prong. The question for the jury is not whether a reasonable person would conclude that the materials have serious value; instead, the jury must determine whether the materials have serious value for minors. Congress reasonably concluded that a substantial number of works, which have serious value for adults, do not have serious value for minors. Cf. ACLU I, 521 U. S., at 896 (O'Connor, J., concurring in judgment in part and dissenting in part) (“While discussions about prison rape or nude art ... may have some redeeming educational value for adults, they do not necessarily have any such value for minors”). Thus, even though the serious value prong limits the total amount of speech covered by the statute, it remains true that there is a significant amount of protected speech within the category of materials that have no serious value for minors. That speech is effectively prohibited whenever the least tolerant communities find it harmful to minors.5 While the objective nature of the inquiry may eliminate any worry that the serious value determination will be made by the least tolerant community, it does not change the fact that, within the subset of images deemed to have no serious value for minors, the decision whether minors and adults throughout the country will have access to that speech will still be made by the most restrictive community.

Justice Kennedy makes a similar misstep, ante, at 2 (opinion concurring in judgment), when he ties the overbreadth inquiry to questions about the scope of the other provisions of the statute. According to his view, we cannot determine whether the statute is substantially overbroad based on its use of community standards without first determining how much of the speech on the Internet is saved by the other restrictions in the statute. But this represents a fundamental misconception of our overbreadth doctrine. As Justice White explained in Broadrick v. Oklahoma, 413 U. S. 601, 615 (1973),“the overbreadth of a statute must not only be real, but substantial as well, judged in relation to the statute's plainly legitimate sweep.” (Emphasis added.) Regardless of how the Court of Appeals interprets the “commercial purposes” or “as a whole” provisions on remand, the question we must answer is whether the statute restricts a substantial amount of protected speech relative to its legitimate sweep by virtue of the fact that it uses community standards.6 These other provisions may reduce the absolute number of Web pages covered by the statute, but even the narrowest version of the statute abridges a substantial amount of protected speech that many communities would not find harmful to minors. Because Web speakers cannot limit access to those specific communities, the statute is substantially overbroad regardless of how its other provisions are construed.

Justice Thomas acknowledges, and petitioner concedes, that juries across the country will apply different standards and reach different conclusions about whether particular works are harmful to minors. See ante, at 12-13; Brief for Petitioner 3-4, 39. We recognized as much in ACLU I when we noted that “discussions about prison rape or safe sexual practices, artistic images that include nude subjects, and arguably the card catalog of the Carnegie Library” might offend some community's standards and not others, 521 U. S., at 878. In fact, our own division on that question provides further evidence of the range of attitudes about such material. See, e.g., id., at 896 (O'Connor, J., concurring in judgment in part and dissenting in part). Moreover, amici for respondents describe studies showing substantial variation among communities in their attitudes toward works involving homosexuality, masturbation, and nudity.7

Even if most, if not all, of these works would be excluded from COPA's coverage by the serious value prong, they illustrate the diversity of public opinion on the underlying themes depicted. This diversity of views surely extends to whether materials with the same themes, that do not have serious value for minors, appeal to their prurient interests and are patently offensive. There is no reason to think the differences between communities' standards will disappear once the image or description is no longer within the context of a work that has serious value for minors.8 Because communities differ widely in their attitudes toward sex, particularly when minors are concerned, the Court of Appeals was correct to conclude that, regardless of how COPA's other provisions are construed, applying community standards to the Internet will restrict a substantial amount of protected speech that would not be considered harmful to minors in many communities.

Whether that consequence is appropriate depends, of course, on the content of the message. The kind of hard-core pornography involved in Hamling, which I assume would be obscene under any community's standard, does not belong on the Internet. Perhaps “teasers” that serve no function except to invite viewers to examine hardcore materials, or the hidden terms written into a Web site's “metatags” in order to dupe unwitting Web surfers into visiting pornographic sites, deserve the same fate. But COPA extends to a wide range of prurient appeals in advertisements, online magazines, Web-based bulletin boards and chat rooms, stock photo galleries, Web diaries, and a variety of illustrations encompassing a vast number of messages that are unobjectionable in most of the country and yet provide no “serious value” for minors. It is quite wrong to allow the standards of a minority consisting of the least tolerant communities to regulate access to relatively harmless messages in this burgeoning market.

In the context of most other media, using community standards to differentiate between permissible and impermissible speech has two virtues. As mentioned above, community standards originally served as a shield to protect speakers from the least tolerant members of society. By aggregating values at the community level, the Miller test eliminated the outliers at both ends of the spectrum and provided some predictability as to what constitutes obscene speech. But community standards also serve as a shield to protect audience members, by allowing people to self-sort based on their preferences. Those who abhor and those who tolerate sexually explicit speech can seek out like-minded people and settle in communities that share their views on what is acceptable for themselves and their children. This sorting mechanism, however, does not exist in cyberspace; the audience cannot self-segregate. As a result, in the context of the Internet this shield also becomes a sword, because the community that wishes to live without certain material not only rids itself, but the entire Internet of the offending speech.

In sum, I would affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeals and therefore respectfully dissent.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:40 am


12:43 pm, May 22, 2005

Call it the dumbing down of torture. In Fox TV's show, “24,” an anti-terror cop puts down his badge to “disassociate himself” from his agency, and goes rogue on a terror suspect, breaking his fingers until he coughs up the truth. Damn good thing, since the lives of innocent Americans are saved thereby.

Whole lotta fallacies in that line of reasoning. (a) That Americans are innocent, (b) that torture produces the truth, (c) that the truth would be usable as evidence in a criminal case, and (d) that a cop who tortures a suspect would be anything other than a criminal. I address these fallacies in order:

The first notion is refuted by the Iraqi death toll since we blessed their nation with democracy, began torturing these beneficiaries of our generosity and machine-gunning them in their automobiles, and installed Achmed Chalabi (the real “Comeback Kid”) as their oil-field overseer.

The second notion, thoroughly asinine in its assumption that the use of torture will inject more “truth” into the system, was conclusively disproved by the Spanish Inquisition, that coerced whole towns full of people into admitting to practicing witchcraft that they'd never even conceived of practicing. The only people who understood witch-law in those days were the witch prosecutors, working for the Vatican under an anti-terror law called a “Papal Bull” adopted by the ironically-named “Pope Innocent.” The average “witch” was just a person who knew that it would go easier on them if they just said what their torturers wanted. Such systems produce wonderful stoolies, make liars out of honest people, and turn the search for truth into a horror show of invention. Under a torture-supporting regime, terrorism thrives, as it still does in every nation where torture is state policy. Israel is probably the biggest example of such a nation, which legislatively legalized torture under the name of “moderate physical and psychological pressure” in 1987, until the Supreme Court decided not to authorize “illegal interrogations” except in the case of “necessity.” During this time period, Israel did not make any progress against the Palestinian resistance, and in fact, suicide bombing became de mode. And why not? It's one sure way of avoiding capture and torture at the hands of the Israelis.
The third notion, that the coerced statement would be usable in a criminal trial, is clearly not the law outside of Fox-land.

"U.S. Supreme Court"

We have likewise established the Miranda exclusionary rule as a prophylactic measure to prevent violations of the right protected by the text of the Self-Incrimination Clause--the admission into evidence in criminal case of confessions obtained through coercive custodial questioning. Chavez v. Martinez

The fourth notion — that torturer cops are anything but felons with badges — runs directly afoul of the law, because there is no “police exemption” from the torture statutes that are on the books in all fifty states. Indeed, causing a person's death by torture is grounds for capital punishment in virtual all states. Of course some people might say that capital punishment itself is torture, so that would be the exception that proves the rule. Additionally, the Federal Government specifically outlaws the practice of torture in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, where many soldiers are being given the equivalent of traffic court fines for acts that clearly violate 18 U.S.C. 2340A, which provides:

"The Extraterritorial Torture Law — 18 U.S.C. 2340A"

a) Offense.— Whoever outside the United States commits or attempts to commit torture shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and if death results to any person from conduct prohibited by this subsection, shall be punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life. (b) Jurisdiction.— There is jurisdiction over the activity prohibited in subsection (a) if— (1) the alleged offender is a national of the United States; or (2) the alleged offender is present in the United States, irrespective of the nationality of the victim or alleged offender. (c) Conspiracy.— A person who conspires to commit an offense under this section shall be subject to the same penalties (other than the penalty of death) as the penalties prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the conspiracy.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:42 am


1:51 pm, May 22, 2005

Back in the 15th Century the Pope was the President of the Western World, and the Vatican was the Capitol. He didn't need anyone's vote to adopt his version of the Patriot Act. It's one scaaaary document, empowering “Henry Kramer and James Sprenger, Professors of Theology, of the Order of Friars Preachers,” to do absolutely any damn thing they wanted throughout all the Pope's realm, “imprisoning, mulcting (imposing fines), and punishing” any persons they chose to charge with witchcraft.

Like the Bush Gang, the Vatican Gangsters had to invent terrors big enough to spook the populace out of their wits, so witches were the terrorists of those days. Their terrorist practices were disgusting. According to Pope “Innocent,” these anti-God medieval sickos “abandoned themselves to devils, incubi and succubi, and by their incantations, spells, conjurations, and other accursed charms and crafts, enormities and horrid offences, have slain infants yet in the mother's womb....”

Stopping at nothing in their war on God's people, witches targeted natural resources and the backbone of the medieval economy. They attacked livestock and crops by “blast[ing] the produce of the earth, the grapes of the vine, the fruits of the trees, nay, men and women, beasts of burthen, herd-beasts, as well as animals of other kinds, vineyards, orchards, meadows, pasture-land, corn, wheat, and all other cereals; these wretches furthermore afflict and torment men and women, beasts of burthen, herd-beasts, as well as animals of other kinds, with terrible and piteous pains and sore diseases, both internal and external.” And apparently, their aphrodisiacs weren't as good as Viagra, since these medieval bio-terrorists could “hinder men from performing the sexual act and women from conceiving, whence husbands cannot know their wives nor wives receive their husbands.”

The stakes were high, and the Pope had to hit back hard — it wouldn't take much crop blasting, or more than one prolonged bout of impotence among the working class, to knock the medieval economy from its knees to a state of complete prostration! Harsh measures were required. Enter the Inquisitors. They're comin' to your town soon, to ask a few questions, like — Was that you out there by the airport taking pictures? Why do you need all these books, Mr. Carreon? Do you know your babysitter is a Muslim? And somehow, they seem to know all the answers and just want to hear yours. Oh, c'mon now, don't get all nervous. I'm just kidding. Bush would never authorize anything like that.



Innocent, Bishop, Servant of the servants of God, for an eternal remembrance.

DESIRING with the most heartfelt anxiety, even as Our Apostleship requires, that the Catholic faith should especially in this Our day increase and flourish everywhere, and that all heretical depravity should be driven far from the frontiers and bournes of the Faithful, We very gladly proclaim and even restate those particular means and methods whereby Our pious desire may obtain its wished effect, since when all errors are uprooted by Our diligent avocation as by the hoe of a provident husbandman, a zeal for, and the regular observance of, Our holy Faith will be all the more strongly impressed upon the hearts of the faithful. It has indeed lately come to Our ears, not without afflicting Us with bitter sorrow, that in some parts of Northern Germany, as well as in the provinces, townships, territories, districts, and dioceses of Mainz, Cologne, Tréves, Salzburg, and Bremen, many persons of both sexes, unmindful of their own salvation and straying from the Catholic Faith, have abandoned themselves to devils, incubi and succubi, and by their incantations, spells, conjurations, and other accursed charms and crafts, enormities and horrid offences, have slain infants yet in the mother's womb, as also the offspring of cattle, have blasted the produce of the earth, the grapes of the vine, the fruits of the trees, nay, men and women, beasts of burthen, herd-beasts, as well as animals of other kinds, vineyards, orchards, meadows, pasture-land, corn, wheat, and all other cereals; these wretches furthermore afflict and torment men and women, beasts of burthen, herd-beasts, as well as animals of other kinds, with terrible and piteous pains and sore diseases, both internal and external; they hinder men from performing the sexual act and women from conceiving, whence husbands cannot know their wives nor wives receive their husbands; over and above this, they blasphemously renounce that Faith which is theirs by the Sacrament of Baptism, and at the instigation of the Enemy of Mankind they do not shrink from committing and perpetrating the foulest abominations and filthiest excesses to the deadly peril of their own souls, whereby they outrage the Divine Majesty and are a cause of scandal and danger to very many. And although Our dear sons Henry Kramer and James Sprenger, Professors of Theology, of the Order of Friars Preachers, have been by Letters Apostolic delegated as Inquisitors of these heretical pravities, and still are Inquisitors, the first in the aforesaid parts of Northern Germany, wherein are included those aforesaid townships, districts, dioceses, and other specified localities, and the second in certain territories which lie along the borders of the Rhine, nevertheless not a few clerics and lay folk of those countries, seeking too curiously to know more than concerns them, since in the aforesaid delegatory letters there is no express and specific mention by name of these provinces, townships, dioceses, and districts, and further since the two delegates themselves and the abominations they are to encounter are not designated in detailed and particular fashion, these persons are not ashamed to contend with the most unblushing effrontery that these enormities are not practised in these provinces, and consequently the aforesaid Inquisitors have no legal right to exercise their powers of inquisition in the provinces, townships, dioceses, districts, and territories, which have been rehearsed, and that the Inquisitors may not proceed to punish, imprison, and penalize criminals convicted of the heinous offences and many wickednesses which have been set forth. Accordingly in the aforesaid provinces, townships, dioceses, and districts, the abominations and enormities in question remain unpunished not without open danger to the souls of many and peril of eternal damnation.

Wherefore We, as is Our duty, being wholly desirous of removing all hindrances and obstacles by which the good work of the Inquisitorsmay be let and tarded, (i.e., delayed) as also of applying potent remedies to prevent the disease of heresy and other turpitudes diffusing their poison to the destruction of many innocent souls, since Our zeal for the Faith especially incites us, lest that the provinces, townships, dioceses, districts, and territories of Germany, which We had specified, be deprived of the benefits of the Holy Office thereto assigned, by the tenor of these presents in virtue of Our Apostolic authority We decree and enjoin that the aforesaid Inquisitors be empowered to proceed to the just correction, imprisonment, and punishment of any persons, without let or hindrance, in every way as if the provinces, townships, dioceses, districts, territories, yea, even the persons and their crimes in this kind were named and particularly designated in Our letters. Moreover, for greater surety We extend these letters deputing this authority to cover all the aforesaid provinces, townships, dioceses, districts, territories, persons, and crimes newly rehearsed, and We grant permission to the aforesaid Inquisitors, to one separately or to both, as also to Our dear son John Gremper, priest of the diocese of Constance, Master of Arts, their notary, or to any other public notary, who shall be by them, or by one of them, temporarily delegated to those provinces, townships, dioceses, districts, and aforesaid territories, to proceed, according to the regulations of the Inquisition, against any persons of whatsoever rank and high estate, correcting, mulcting, imprisoning, punishing, as their crimes merit, those whom they have found guilty, the penalty being adapted to the offence. Moreover, they shall enjoy a full and perfect faculty of expounding and preaching the word of God to the faithful, so often as opportunity may offer and it may seem good to them, in each and every parish church of the said provinces, and they shall freely and lawfully perform any rites or execute any business which may appear advisable in the aforesaid cases. By Our supreme authority We grant them anew full and complete faculties.

At the same time by Letters Apostolic We require Our venerable Brother, the Bishop of Strasburg (Albrecht von Bayern, 1478-1506 - ed.), that he himself shall announce, or by some other or others cause to be announced, the burthen if Our Bull, which he shall solemnly publish when and so often as he deems it necessary, or when he shall be requested so to do by the Inquisitors or by one of them. Nor shall he suffer them in disobedience to the tenor of these presents to be molested or hindered by any authority whatsoever, but he shall threaten all who endeavour to hinder or harass the Inquisitors, all who oppose them, all rebels, of whatsoever rank, estate, position, pre-eminence, dignity, or any condition they may be, or whatsoever privilege or exemption they may claim, with excommunication, suspension, interdict, and yet more terrible penalties, censures, and punishment, as may seem good to him, and that without any right of appeal, and if he will he may by Our authority aggravate and renew these penalties as often as he list, calling in, if so please him, the help of the secular arm.

Non obstantibus . . . Let no man therefore . . . But if any dare to do so, which God forbid, let him know that upon him will fall the wrath of Almighty God, and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.

Given at Rome, at S. Peter's, on the 9 December of the Year of the Incarnation of Our Lord one thousand four hundred and eighty-four, in the first year of Our Pontificate.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:44 am


4:51 pm, May 22, 2005

Joe Chip has a problem. He went to the moon with his boss, and got killed in a terrorist bomb attack. Or his boss was killed. He’s not sure, but either way, it’s a problem. It’s 1992 in a world a little different from ours. It’s still earth, and earth is still populated by people. But there are lots of psychics on the planet now, and the moon is colonized.

If Joe himself is dead, he must be in cold-pack in a Swiss half-life “moratorium,” where dead people can spend their half-life in a dreamlike space, and occasionally visit with relatives through a sort of psychic intercom. It’s a common thing to have relatives in cold-pack, and Joe’s boss, Glen Runciter, still meets to discuss business matters with his lovely dead wife Ella, who half-lives in the exclusive Beloved Brethren Moratorium, a Swiss facility that is supposed to be among the best. Ella Runciter died in her twenties, but Glen Runciter thinks so highly of her that he has never considered remarrying, despite his wealth.

Runciter Associates is a psychic security company, and Joe Chip is Glen Runciter’s top man. Although Joe was always broke, his life wasn’t entirely crazy until he met his new girlfriend, Pat Conley. Everything went crazy shortly after Joe introduced Pat to Runciter. Although both Joe and G.G. Ashwood, a renowned psychic talent scout, agreed that Pat had a powerful psychic talent, Runciter questioned whether he should even hire Pat, because he usually hired “inertials,” who block the psychic talents of “precogs” and “teeps” hired by Runciter’s nemesis, the Hollis organization of criminal psychics. But Pat wasn’t a psi-blocker. She displayed a new type of talent, the ability to change the future, not just foresee it. She could send people on alternative reality trips, to places a lot like the present, but with important differences.

Runciter had always refused to take jobs on the moon because of the security risks inherent in being away from earth, far from help. However, ever the businessman, he broke his rule to pick up a big contract job working for Stanton Mick, a plum client Runciter was eager to sign up for a very fat fee. Stanton Mick had told Runciter he needed immediate, massive assistance to block the efforts of a band of psychic spies who were invading the privacy of his lunar planned community. But shortly after Runciter and his inertials arrived, Mick came to meet Runciter in a conference room. Mick acted and talked strangely in a metallic voice in a grandstanding manner, setting everyone on edge. Slowly, it dawned on Runciter and Joe Chip that this wasn’t Mick; rather, it was an android made in his image. Alas, they didn’t figure this out until the android floated off the floor to gain destructive altitude, and an instant later, detonated.

Immediately after discovering that the blast had apparently killed Runciter, Joe Chip assumed control of Runciter Associates. He chartered a rocket and flew the survivors to Switzerland with Runciter’s body, where they booked him into the Beloved Brethren Moratorium, and tried to set up a half-life session. But Runciter wouldn’t revive into half-life, and Joe experienced the pain of losing his father figure.

After Runciter’s death Joe struggles to run the company, but he has some impediments. Like Philip K. Dick, Joe Chip finds himself habitually broke, and regularly abused by the his coin-op apartment door, which won’t let him out without depositing a poscred, and makes nasty remarks when he loses his temper. Sometimes he has to call friends to come by and visit, and pay to get in. Then he can borrow money from them to get himself out. But these problems are small, because one by one Joe’s friends are dying, turning into mummified ragbags of bone and hair. This horrific transformation occurs within a few hours after each individual quietly separates themselves from the group, seeking solitude and stillness.

Not only are Joe’s friends turning into mummies, all mechanical objects, except his apartment front door, are regressing to older models and falling apart. His TV turns into an old tube radio. The elevator in his building regressed from a modern self-serve box to a tiny lift with an accordion steel grate, and seemed to silently suggest: “Take the stairs.” Joe’s car turns into an old car, and even as he negotiates to sell it, the car ages into an even older model of jalopy that is virtually worthless. When he goes to the airport, all he can find to fly is an old biplane.

Due to a series of messages from Runciter that mysteriously appear on bathroom walls and elsewhere, Joe Chip learns that he is probably dead and merely half-living in the Beloved Brethren Moratorium, where Ella Runciter is also in half-life. To reverse the decay of all forms, and prevent himself from turning into a mummy, Runciter tells Joe to get UBIK in the aerosol can. Unfortunately, every time Joe is close to getting a can of aerosol-spray UBIK, he finds only old-fashioned, regressed versions of UBIK that contain toxic ingredients, or in one case, a substantial quantity of pure gold suspended in mineral oil. Fortunately, this last form of UBIK is worth a lot of money in the half-life realm, and Joe is able to trade it for a plane flight for Demoines, Iowa, where Runciter’s funeral is happening. Joe is still not sure that he is dead, so he of course wants to attend Runciter’s funeral.

After Runciter’s funeral, one by one, Joe’s friends just keep disappearing, hiding themselves from their friends so they can turn into psychic tumbleweeds and blow away into the void. The only one who isn’t dying is Pat Conley, Joe’s strange girlfriend. She thinks she’s doing the whole weird trip with her powers, thinks she’s immune from the death that’s stalking him, and drenches Joe with passive-aggressive cruelty while observing Joe’s painful effort to just go to his room and die. But Joe makes it to his room, where Runciter is waiting for him with a can of UBIK aerosol:

“Opening a drawer on the vanity table, he hastily brought out a spray can with bright stripes, balloons and lettering glorifying its shiny surfaces. ‘Ubik,’ Runciter said, he shook the can mightily, then stood before Joe, aiming it at him. ‘Don’t thank me for this,’ he said, and sprayed prolongedly left and right; the air flickered and shimmered, as if bright particles of light had been released, as if the sun’s energy sparkled here in this worn-out elderly hotel room.”

Shortly after this rejuvenating Ubik experience, Joe meets his true antagonist – Jory, a malevolent psychic juvenile delinquent who haunts the moratorium’s half-life realm. Jory is a projective psychotic who generates deceptive “realities” that seduce half-life dwellers into unreal realms and consumes the dregs of their half-life vitality. Dick’s description of Jory’s psychic attack on Joe Chip is bluntly physical and eerily frightening:

“Snarling, Jory bit him. The great shovel teeth fastened deep into Joe’s right hand. They hung on as, meanwhile, Jory raised his head, lifting Joe’s hand with his jaw; Jory stared at him with unwinking eyes, snoring wetly as he tried to close his jaws. The teeth sank deeper and Joe felt the pain of it throughout him. He’s eating me, he realized. ‘You can’t,’ he said aloud; he hit Jory on the snout, punching again and again.”

Shortly after the Jory encounter, from which Joe barely escapes with his life, he sees a pretty girl going down the street, and in a desperate hope to have one last pleasant moment, he strikes up a conversation with her and asks her to dinner. You can almost see Phil Dick counting his Dexedrine pills, getting hungry for a burger after days of speeding and typing, and figuring out he’d better finish this story up quick, before he consumes the last of his inspiration. The story picks up pace immediately after the unexpected encounter with the girl, which leads to the hasty revelation that she is Runciter’s dead wife. Ella Runciter tells Joe that his friends have been killed by Jory, but that, good news – he’s been granted a perpetual supply of UBIK. She explains to him that an aerosol can of UBIK is actually “A portable negative ionizer, with a self-contained, high-voltage, low-amp unit powered by a peak-gain helium battery of 25kv. The negative ions are given a counter-clockwise spin by a radically biased acceleration chamber, which creates a centripital tendency to them so that they cohere rather than dissipate.” UBIK, at 212 (Vintage 1991).

Immortality in a spray can? What else would we expect from Phil Dick?
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:46 am


7:23 pm, May 22, 2005

My wife creates these images with Photoshop, and sometimes I consult on the composition. Cloning all the little Bushies was a perverse delight, especially since he hates cloning so much. Better suppress Photoshop on grounds of national security, because it aids forgery and counterfeiting! Gonzales, get on it!

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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:51 am

THOSE WERE THE DAYS, by Charles Carreon

7:06 pm, May 29, 2005

Once upon a time there was this thing called acid rock, the pre-eminent practioners of which were not the Grateful Dead, but rather the spare, efficient power trio, Cream. For those of you looking for authorities to guide your search, Timothy Leary liked Cream, I'm quite sure, though I can't find a quote, so you can take it on faith or miss the show. For your baptism by fire in the fine work of this eminently gifted band, click through to the website and listen to the tunes on the double album Wheels of Fire. One of my favorite tunes, Those Were The Days, is also attached in mp3 format at the bottom of this post for easy access.

Personnel on this exercise in deafening virtuosity were Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, and Ginger Baker. These folks played so fast by the standards of those days, that rumor had it they sometimes consumed crystal meth, but I don’t think so.

Baker, the drummer, had an early career as a competitive bicyclist, and backed into drumming as a way to channel his endless tendency to bang rhythmically on everything in sight. His first audition was also his first time sitting at a drum kit, and the band, which hadn’t wanted to audition him at all originally, replaced their old drummer with Baker after one listen.

Jack Bruce, a bass player whose exploits are legend, made sure this band always walked with a strut, and never limped along with a lame beat, so several songs give vastly more scope to the rock bass than your average boogie riff. Aspiring bassists, take heed.

Clapton, for my money, has never rocked this hard before or since. I loved him on Derek and the Dominoes, but nothing, repeat nothing, compares with the sizzling licks he jams into Crossroads, bringing out the dark spirits to ferry one more guitarist to play for their lord. And we all got to watch and listen. Those, indeed, were the days.

Here’s a quick rundown of a few of my favorite tracks, though it hardly matters how you approach them – the album is a solid masterpiece, and genius has a way of making its own points:

White Room – Just as magnificently confused and visually highlighted as the look of the world about an hour after the listener consumes a hit of Orange Sunshine, this song casts its spell with exquisite, entrancing lyrics — “Silver horses ran down moonbeams in her dark eyes,” alternating with disconcerting rhymes like “Golden tigers crouched in jungles in her dark eyes,” sharing obscure, half-formed sorrows — “you swore that you would be there at the station,” and leaving the listener with nostalgia for an unknowable, unrecapturable world, glimpsed once, and lost forever.

Sitting On Top of the World – Constructed from gleaming, twisted blue scales reflecting in the twisted mirrors of self-pity, this song of repentance takes a few sad lyrics and hangs them from the gallows to blow in the wind, a reminder that love will take its toll if we fail to take its measure.

Passing the Time – Introducing itself stupendously with blasts of bass and rhythm guitar resonant as a huge cathedral bell tolling the hour of doom, this song first segues into a contemplative canticle gentle as candlelight, then kicks into a rhythmic bridge as pumped up as a subway car rattling through station after station, a process that continues until Baker takes us all the way home in a drum solo that just fades away, bringing us back once more to Windwood’s soft melodic lullaby, which puts us sweetly to bed. What a way to pass the time – try it and you’ll see what we hippies were so hipped about.

Pressed Rat and Warthog – Is this song, many have asked themselves, Mere Nonsense, doggerel, the product of hash brownies and an aimless wander through the stacks of odd nomenclature? Perhaps, but meaning isn’t everything. By the end of this musical vignette, we truly feel for Pressed Rat and his partner Warthog, and are absolutely certain that the world will be the poorer for the lack of their admittedly idiosyncratic wares: “atonal apples and amplified heat, and Pressed Rat’s collection of dog’s legs and feet.” Musically, the song reminds me of a rock fugue, with guitar, drum, and bass weaving counterpoint themes, occasionally punctuated by a stately, respectful trumpet.

Politician – Lugubrious, luxurious, unctuous, and crass, the lyrics in this song are unabashedly male – “Baby, get into my big black car, Just wanna show ya’ what my politics are.” Bruce’s bass rhythm wanders like a fat man trying to choose between chocolates, cheesecake, power, and sex. Clapton's guitar expresses a confusion of emotions, wandering in the privileged jungle of temptation, a magnificent web of tones stretching and bending each other into sweeter and sweeter distortion, until the song thunders to a conclusion with Baker escorting the motorcade along like a whole squad of Harley-riding cops, vanishing into the clefts of the skyscraper-scarred horizon.

Those Were The Days – If you like majestic songs, you’ll like this one, which opens with the ringing of stately bells. (Click on the mp3 below to have a listen.) Windwood tunes his voice to a soft, reflective timbre to sing an anthem glorifying the golden days of Atlantis, firmly backed by Baker working the tom-toms and his double-bass bass drums gently, softly, perhaps to avoid waking the spirits who might hear. Clapton’s guitar marks rhythm with sharp blasts that break into an occasional tight solo to ornament the dark rhythmic figures cast by Bruce and Baker, setting them off with accents of ancient gold.

Crossroads – Ah if only boogie could be like this all the time. Clapton doesn’t really need a lot of help as he renders a great guitarist’s homage to this blues classic by Robert Johnson. Legend has it that if a bluesman goes alone to the crossroads with his guitar on a moonless night, he’ll meet the devil, and the devil will take his soul in exchange for the magic power to master the instrument. This song seems to express a corollary belief that the only way to come out right on the deal is to play so fucking fast that even the hellhound is left in the dust, howling “unfair!”

Spoonful – Willie Dixon rests easy in his grave when he hears this tune. With Bruce and Clapton thumbing the fat strings, the opening bars stomp towards us like a hoodlum, only to reveal a beautiful lyric like a diamond necklace offered to his girl: “Night spilled spoonful of diamonds, Night spilled spoonful of gold, Just a little touch of your precious love, Will satisfy my soul.” The jamming on this song is quite extended, but you know, joints were rolled fatter, and burned longer, back in those days.

Click here to download Those Were The Days.mp3.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:53 am

OH, FOR A NIXON TO LEAD US NOW!, by Charles Carreon

2:13 pm, July 1, 2005

Nixon was a sneaky bastard, a sweaty, hard-drinking, suspicious, hands-on reputation-ruining former prosecutor who looked somehow right in a bulbous black Cadillac getting a pelting of rotten guavas in downtown Caracas. They said he wore too much makeup on TV, and his grizzled jowls became the target of a George Carlin punch line in which a jowl-print, taken from a moist plaster wall at the Watergate, becomes the smoking gun that points suspicion to the Oval Office.

But Nixon also coined the terms, “Peace With Honor,” and more pragmatic terms like “Phased Withdrawal,” and “Troop Reductions.” He ended the war in Vietnam, albeit while conducting secret wars in Laos, Cambodia, Burma and other heroin-producing nations in Asia's Golden Triangle.

Eventually, the last GI was out of a defoliated, napalmed, booby-trapped jungle filled with whores, drug dealers, phony South Vietnamese officials, and dotted with spots of urban night life where some of the girls spoke French. Eventually, the roof of the US Embassy was used to airlift out the lucky few who managed to get safe passage out of Saigon as it fell to the North Vietnamese, who had been accumulating forces for the final offensive for months. It was an ignominous end to a dishonest enterprise, that left friends of the Americans in Saigon to shift for themselves in a holocaust of revenge. Peace with honor, indeed.

The current leader of the free world, a man who slanders with a smile and a shake of his cocky little head, who stands straight and tall as a wooden soldier, isn't the same type of knave as Nixon, who had plans, who manipulated and machinated relentlessly, who tactically governed events by the force of his stratagems.

The secret problem Nixon had with winding down the war was how to revert the economy to a peacetime condition. “War is Good Business, Invest Your Son,” was a slogan often seen in Nixon's day. The young, being drafted to fight a war against people they'd never heard of in geography class, accused greedy capitalists of funding imperial aggression for profit. But the economic challenges of those times were so severe that Nixon actually imposed Wage and Price Controls for about two years, to combat “spiraling inflation.”

By spending about $200 Billion on war industry and spending hundreds more injecting funds in the Dept of Homeland Security and the Transportation Safety Administration, we have created a wartime economy in which even Wired magazine gives tips on how to land venture capital from the CIA, and the Dept of Education pays people to plug the No Child Left Behind Act on the radio. It is a new way of doing business, and has shifted federal funding from Blue States to Red States with a vengeance. The security buildup along the Mexican border is inflating border states like Arizona, Texas and Southern California with military and security personnel, construction and funding.

The rationale for all this spending was the deaths of over 3,000 people when two large skyscrapers collapsed for what some say are unexplained reasons. We have been throwing money at “security” and “terrorism” ever since, and that money has blown away like the $170 Million that the FBI paid SAIC to build a computer network that just got junked. Airline security is just inconvenient for travelers, but it's an engine of the economy and another sink of low wage employment for those who aspire to flip more than burgers, and are ready to step up to rifling through luggage for sex toys.

There's an old song called “Give Me 40 Acres, And I'll Turn This Rig Around,” about driving big trucks. Well, we're driving about twenty thousand big trucks in the desert, plus humvees and such, and if Nixon was president, every day some of them would be driving to the beach, gettin' loaded on cargo ships, and sailing home to the land of the free. Oh, for a Nixon to lead us now!
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