They're not back-doors, they're "diagnostic capabilities," blahblahblah...
So, like, MH17 - you may have heard of it: a plane was shot down, ten Britons on board, maybe Pro-Russian separatists did it, possibly with a tech-support assist from the Russians themselves - who knows, the jury's out (though some great work being down over on Bellingcat trying to track down the Buk launcher's escape-route - and that's a digital detective tale unto itself, like something out of an old Bruce Sterling book with claims and counter-claims and dis-information, billboard pics allegedly photohacked by the Russians, YouTube timestamp conspiracy theories , et ceteraaaa...) -- but, anyway, the Conservatives have jumped on Putin as their pantomime villain - someone they can be seen to denounce and make a noise about (anyone rather than Netanyahu, right?) - as witnessed by much Putin-related lip-chewing and manboob-puffing by David Cameron in Pariament yesterday - all good stuff, right?
Except, well, the Conservatives love Putin's outer- and mid-circle oligarchs sooo much - Boris really loves them; Liz Hurley, she loves 'em, they love 'em all - all of them super-rich Ruskies, especially when they buy property in London from their old school chums or go for a weekend shoot, but not with a Buk, of course - all that Russian state-stolen, son-of-the-KGB lucre that oozes into LDN like an oil-slick - they love it so much that they invited a bunch of them to donate to their election campaign. They even got their own table, the Russians. Putin's "judo partner" was there, as he often is at... events. Boris 'worked the tables,' it said, 'really hard', though I'm paraphrasing...
Cue infographic... thing that I've been saving for a rainy day.
So, someone shot down a plane. Ten Britons on board. Cameron was very clear in Parliament yesterday that he thought the Russians were involved in some way - he has access to Intelligence, y'see? - and he was making a LOT of noise about that nasty Mr. Putin and what he intended to do about him and his cronies and their assets. *boo-hiss* "Nasty, nasty rich Russians! What a bunch of utter thugs and rotten eggs they are. Uncivilised brutes, etc."
But is the Conservative Party going to hand back any of the campaign money they recieved? You know, as a moral gesture, 'cos, well, ten of our citizens were on that plane and their bodies are now on a train somewhere in the sticks while a Dutch forensic team picks over the appalling collateral damage.
Well, what do you think?
Shot Buck & ate his leg
Patients sit opposite the bastard cough
Inside the pork towers
an uneasy rumour spreads
amongst The Glowing Artists
An erased opera featuring 'Kenny Ink'.
I'm going blind.
"Its message — that minimum wage increases will lead to service workers being replaced by apps — is continued on an accompanying website — BadIdeaCA — which claims to be “holding activists accountable for minimum wage consequences.”
"So who the hell pays for billboards threatening waitstaff with redundancy if they demand a living wage? A bit of digging and clicking reveals that the campaign is backed by the Employment Policies Institute, the conservative lobbying group which regularly campaigns on behalf of the restaurant industry."
Now let's follow this down a rabbit-hole to the Employment Policies Institute (EPI) ... and into the shadowy world of Front Groups.
EPI is an odious US lobbying company, an umbrella for a series of hit-n-run front-groups, that is run by Rick Berman, the self-styled "Dr. Evil," "Conservative Weapon of Mass Destruction" and "Astroturf Kingpin" - a man who has grown fat and bald on the money these companies recieve to lobby against Healthcare, minimum wage increases, etc. The EPI is like corporate 'cloud' - nebulous, a business barely present in the physical world; it doesn't have offices or employees - it "shares office space with Berman & Company on a cost pass-through basis" - makes millions from its clients, yet is registered as tax-exempt organisation and passes itself off as a 'non-profit' organisation.
It has much in common with the Infrastructural targets of #Stacktivism - a network of tenuous, teflon-coated companies, websites and IRS-reflective cash-conduits; an intangible organisational infrastructure that refuses to be concretised, it's only solid-world front-end a series of billboards and adverts designed to seed fear amongst low-paid workers and those without health insurance. Its tangled web of influence and barely-visible cash-flows make it the ideal target for an open-journalism compaign.
SHAKY & JANE KANE picked me up in their Monster-Truck.
Awesome day. Really great fun. Thanks so much to Alex and Caleb for being such great hosts / great blokes. They've not just built a really cool independent shop in the middle of a recession, they've built a community. One I'm proud to be part of. They are the creators.
Drop in, next time you're passing through Yeovil.
SHAKY drew some awesome Frankensteins ("They're too handsome!" he complained - but they were really great!) - wish I'd taken some pics, but I was enjoying myself too much.
Was watching with fascinated admiration last night as this saga started to unfold.
Citizen journalist / web-detectives track the AWOL Buk missile launcher that was such a hot topic in today's newspapers using Web photos, Ukrainian dashboard Youtube footage and Google Translate. They beat the Guardian to the punch, location-wise (they were still hedging their bets today), and I think the Americans said they might have spotted the potential launch-site via spy-satellites, but again after these guys were patiently plod-trawling through web-based evidence. **
Meanwhile, the saga continues, as they attempt to track the missile-launcher's route (through Eastern Ukraine?)...
Fascinated by Bellingcat, also. Been busy today, but just started checking out the forensic code this evening from GitHub being used to test conspiracy-theories about YouTube time-stamp codes...
Re-edit ** Rechecking time-line; not entirely convinced my earlier comment is true. But not 100% sure that it isn't, either.
Classic re-issued track. Really love Jim's stuff. Like it waaay better than [ redacted ]'s. In many ways, he was ahead of (and outside of) the curve. This has a wayward early Miller / Silicon Teens vibe, yet is very much its own animal. Quality.
Holy cow, man! The CAP'N DINOSAUR one-shot hits the shops today in the UK and US, ushering in The Aluminum Age of Comics.
Am I excited? Yep, you bet yer darn buttski I am, buddy!
And to celebrate our four-color lift-off, those lovely folks at Geeks Unleashed invited Shaky and myself to chat a bit about Cap'n Dinosaur and some other comics 'n' Pop Kulchur-related topics. Enjoy.
A big thanks to Jo and the GU gang for their kind support. Cheers!
The comic is already getting some kind reviews. Shaky and I sincerely hope you take the time to time to check it out.
Remember when your Nan would give you some holiday money to spend on a comic and some sweets? Well, without descending into misty-eyed nostalgia, it's that kinda deal. Snag a copy to read on the Tube on your way home or over a pint in the pub. And, hey, we think your kids might dig reading it when you've had a trawl through it.
Enjoy the sunshine, folks!