HongPong-site

Yes HongPong.com returns for 2015: Such HTML

a great year

I let the domain name go down for almost two weeks but got it rolling again today. It was good to have a little reflection on the site's absence and a couple friends asking in concern where it went!!

This highlights that some of the best material is tucked in earlier archives, with assorted data drops & such perhaps forming the most continually relevant material. Highlighting the classics better would help everyone.

I think more frequent, shorter posts are probably in the works this year, probably doing a new theme and finally pushing it up to Drupal 7. There were many benefits foreseen by setting it up on Drupal but I've tended to mostly stick with default blogging methods for years.

Also I should acknowledge finally here that I moved to Boston several months ago! Hence, the banner image & slogan is finally going to have to change.

Also I would like to thank A.D. who provided this domain as a Christmas gift to me a whopping 14 years ago. Awesome! :)

Anyway thanks for checking in and I will do my best to provide solid info, or at least garnering shared knowledge with traditionally solid context around bizarre information.

City Pages Poll: A time for quixotic votes?

This is a bit of a joke, but after some really bad turns lately, a friend trying to raise my spirits a bit suggested that it would be a good idea to get people to vote for HongPong.com on Best Local Blog on CityPages. Is this high profile? Not really. Trendy? No. In with the cool cats? Dubious. Likely to win or even make top 5? HaHa.

If there is anyone who *really* deserves it it's Rich Neumeister & Open Secrets blog (http://opensecretsmn.blogspot.com/) , if only because no one else has really been following the matter of secret stuff in MN.

But I would say this site has done as much to circulate interesting new news as any non-corporate MN blog in 2012, including publishing hundreds of pages no one outside the system has seen before. Plus you can annoy the establishment more efficiently than any other choice.

Some highlights: Helping on the DRE drug scandal including publishing the BCA internal report along with working on the earlier video report & followups - which has 158,281 views right now, the MnDOT tracking system documents, Among the earliest Occupy Sandy notes. In early 2013 the MPD Strategic Information Center. In March a new FBI FOIA doc drop from spying campaigns on anarchists in Minnesota and Iowa.

Even the last story of 2012, about the Homeland Security TSA team and possible Vikings drone, spurred more coverage of the TSA's bloated unnecessary role at the NFL, though the drone was claimed not to be a government item. Also covered Idle No More at MOA and the first IdleNoMore protest in the US at the Canadian consulate.

On less local: The story on Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), an almost totally unknown & quite crazy new police agency in the federal government -- and indeed basically no one had blogged about it, or written mainstream stories addressing their growing collection of scary domestic riot battlewagons that are once again a popular meme.

For the weird goings-on, the shady FawkesSec case. Perhaps more significantly, domestic detention facilities material turned up. The shady world of domestic military policies stemming from the 2008 Republican National Convention -- analysis of this led to a story that got some bounce at least!

Also, the Wisconsin recall & the crushing of the Ron paul movement. Homeland Security crackdown on the Occupy movement. The development of post-Facebook social networking alternatives.

It is not a huge number of posts over the year but I would say they are not too shabby and usually bring something new and unusual to light.

Instead of buddying up to the usual suspects and playing their game, the narrative thread over the last year has cut its own path, with great support from sources and friends.

The info: Vote in the Best of the Twin Cities 2013 Readers' Poll - Minneapolis - Arts - Dressing Room

And vote here: City Pages Poll. Vote for who you like!!

Reviewing the 2013 stories cheered me up though. It's hard to get a sense of direction, some kind of feeling there's traction from writing on the ethereal interwebs.

There's been a lot of hard parts of life to get through lately -- hug your friends. I'm taking a few days away from the digital sphere of madness -- unable to promote this Quixotic mission in the interwebs -- but back around next week.

A time to run around and a time to think

For better or worse (and mostly better) for these six weeks or so I've got to do what the developers call 'refactoring' on a bunch of stuff in my life & won't be able to churn out posts at a good clip until probably early October. For more frequent updates see https://twitter.com/hongpong - I should just rig up an auto-poster off Twitter to aggregate tweets every day maybe.

Additionally we are running a few little experiments so this website may be on a 'CPU limiting' circumstance - it still loads but a little more slowly for a week or so.

With the world changing pretty quickly around us, pulling back and reflecting instead of rambling on and on seems like the appropriate move (along with straightening out plenty of offline things).

I'm also dedicating a lot of my spare time to learning more object-oriented PHP and trying to shore up my rather patchy programming skills. (get it, patchy?)

New for HongPong.com: Drupal 6 a win?

It's been a long time in coming, but now we've got Drupal 6 running on hongpong.com. The database patching and everything else went perfectly. I've installed the 'Fusion' theme and have just started tweaking it up (please be patient for more tweaks... ) I whipped up a silly new banner featuring Andrew Jackson battling the banker octopus and the Rocky Taconite figure from Silver Bay MN.


Some quick notes on Drupal 6, which was released... wow, last February? It took a few months for Drupal 6 to mature as a platform (due to a lack of important contributed modules that got heavily re-engineered). For Drupal 7, which is due in Q1 2010, we'll have a lot more awesome new features and the contrib modules will be in better shape right away. (Drupal 7 will roll when 'critical issues' gets to zero.)
Some Drupal 6 features from the announcement:
Actions and triggers
...Automate your processes with just a few clicks using the new and powerful "actions" feature. No programming knowledge required! Actions are available for posts, users, comments and more.
Optimized code
Drupal 6 splits most core modules into smaller pieces and only loads what's needed, resulting in less code per page. JavaScript aggregation and block-level caching further improves performance for both authenticated and anonymous users.
A new menu system
Drupal's menu system has been rewritten from scratch, making it much more efficient and powerful.
Better file handling
Files are keyed to users instead of posts, and new, reusable validation functions are available that check file sizes, extensions and resolution.
Better polls
Quickly add and manage poll options.
Better anonymous commenting
Drupal 6 remembers the contact details of anonymous posters, automatically filling them in for their next comment.

Eight years in the frying pan!

Has it really been eight years and a couple weeks since Aaron grabbed this domain name out of the ether for me? Wow... That was December/January 2000/2001, the last semester of high school. What did this website look like? Check out the Wayback Machine :-D [The very first Wayback entry is in early March, but isn't loading - so go late March]

Ahh, the clarity of a design from before the word 'blog' splat itself upon the Interwebs. It's too bad the images aren't loading, they were hilarious. And we had some sort of RSS-like feed coming over from the ReidypooTime site, which had innovative features like the Papa John's 'how many pizzas/calories we've ordered over the Internet' item.

Here... here's the archive of everyone's posts from the last days of the Clinton Administration. Unbelievable. It's kicked me on a trip down memory lane. Flan made a post defending me after they suspended me for cussing about the school administration on the site.... Here was the original descriptor:

HongPong.DynDNS.org / www.hongpong.com

A LinuxPPC/Apache web server on improbable hardware

In November 2000, I set out to install Linux and Apache on a derelict Apple Macintosh 6100 in my house, Christmas 1994 vintage. It took somewhat less time than I thought, a few days, a weekend or so. The catch here was that I wanted to install LinuxPPC, the modern and primary Linux distribution for Apple Macintoshes, onto a computer which was officially too old to support it, because it does not have PCI slots and such. However, some punkish people made a hacked kernel, and after funny memory things, weird color pallettes, CD formatting problems, and such, I finally beat the problem with great troubleshooting help from Andrew McPherson, who goes to MIT now. What a resource. Yeah. :-)

Information about how to do this is available at the NuBus-Pmac sourceforge site. Basically, while installation is pretty tricky, all you really need to do is install a specially comiled kernel.

Specs: Apple Macintosh 6100/60: 60 MHz 601 processor (first consumer PowerPC processor)
3.5 GB primary HD, 350 MB secondary HD (original)
NuBus/SCSI-based internal architecture
Apple Multiple Scan 15" monitor
LinuxPPC 2000 Distribution minus XWindows & KDE, more or less, with a special NuBus kernel.
Apache 1.3.9

It's fun to spin through this stuff: it puts me back to the last time that Republicans didn't dominate our lives. Scraping off all those layers of memories and perceptions of new and ugly realities.... That old fresh way of thinking, the way the whole world seemed before us. 2001 looked like a casual slack into a prosperous future, not the prelude to a heinous jag towards genocide and madness. Hell, Paul Wellstone was Minnesota's senator! What could go wrong!!?

Well, folks, it's been eight long years of fucked-up bullshit. Not too original a sentiment, given. I'm sitting here, trying to win what they call the 'battle of summation'. As those cats at Pepperspray Productions and subMedia put it in their RNC video, Ground Noise & Static,

"First you fight the battle, then you fight the battle of summation."

***

Ain't that the truth. The two big themes of the Bush Administration were rationalized annihilation and its counterpart, perception management. A fair summation, I think.

The Bush Administration talked us through the killing all sorts of people -- rapidly, though advanced weapons, and more slowly, through malign neglect, contamination and the forceful spreading of deadly ignorance. Our taxes went to this macabre spectacle: do you remember the sexy embedded reporters, the svelte glossy fascism of the early days of the marketing of this war, and its gesture towards building a totalizing new way of experiencing life-within-images?

The texture of the persuasion was the wallpaper of our minds. The mushroom cloud exploded in everyone's heads, but it originated with the Satanic alchemy of lies, brewed by Beltway bastards from these 'perception management' firms like the Lincoln Group.

Meanwhile, everyone was coaxed towards accepting total, organized surveillance into every dimension of their lives. I've been reading James Bamford's The Shadow Factory, which details the busy bodies at the NSA and its multiplying greasy contractors, all of whom saw a growth industry in selling their shitty products into the expanding Homeland Security Industrial Complex. This complex - and its media counterpart - are the enemies of clear and decent thinking, the shortcut to economic collapse and a nightmarish dystopia.

***

Things are 'gapping down,' there is extreme discontinuity in the system, and it is not likely to end anytime soon. Some like James Kuntsler call it the Long Emergency in the Clusterfuck Nation. This seems a lot less far-fetched than it did a year ago:

I don't see how America can confront the "change" represented by the stark fact that suburbia-is-toast. It is the sorest spot of all in the corpus of a culture beset by disease and debility. The salient manifestation of suburbia's demise is the remorseless drop of housing values in the places most representative of that development pattern. The worst thing the Obama team could do about this would be to attempt to prevent the fall of inflated house prices. Their real value needs to be clearly established before a picture emerges of which places have a plausible future, and which places are destined to be mere ruins or salvage yards.

Americans will have to live somewhere, of course, but the terrain of North America faces a very comprehensive reformation. The biggest cities will contract; the small cities and small towns will be reactivated, the agricultural landscape will be inhabited differently, and the suburbs will undergo an agonizing decades-long work-out of bad debt and true asset re-valuation. Since the loss of so much vested "wealth" is implied by the crash of suburbia, this may be a source of revolutionary political violence moving deeper into the Obama administration.

[......]We'll hear a lot about dreams this week, anyway, of course, but then reality will set in and the heavy lifting will commence. Many Americans of good will also stand ready to face reality, to roll up our sleeves, ditch the video games and the Nascar and the microwaved cheese treats, and the internet porn and all the other noxious, narcolepsy-inducing distractions of our time, and put our shoulders to the wheel to haul this nation into a plausible future. For the moment: a rousing cry of "Good Luck!" To President Obama from this little outpost of Clusterfuck Nation.

The UK financial muckraker Christopher Story tells of strange fiscal conspiracies and demonic impulses. Fair enough, I suppose: after all, trillions of dollars don't just steal themselves.

***

Improbably enough, Bush only pardoned two Border Patrol guards (along with some earlier random pardons). I suppose it's a nifty gesture towards his tattered Texan image - and it definitely left his coterie of horrible advisors hanging in the breeze. Nice move - I didn't expect it. Like ducking a shoe!

***

There have been some cool developments. Wikipedia & crowd-sourcing have a lot of promise. I'm very into looking at how we can use 'open source intelligence' can be used to elucidate everything for everybody from the man on the street to the President. After all, despite all the hoopla around secret intelligence agencies running data mining, about 90% of the information that policy-makers really need is actually openly out there. [see oss.net for more - Robert Steele has his shit together, and even goes for 'conspiracies'! {It helps that numerous conspiracies seem more likely to be true when you read more sources!}]

You'd think that putting 90% of the intelligence budget into better handling these open sources would be a top priority; however, the shady bastards like SAIC and Booz Allen Hamilton are great at ensuring that nothing as simple and clear as this is likely to transpire. And that, my friends, will be a difficult nut for this new President to crack.

Who wants to better organize what's already out there, when getting zillions for stupid widgets and spying on regular people is so much more profitable?

LittleSis.org is a nice new site - an 'involuntary Facebook' for the Elite, if you will, with Wiki-style info ties among orgs, contractors and political donors. This kind of thing is hugely promising.

***

The Israel-Gaza explosion was shocking, and depressingly pointless and nihilistic. The clever cool kid on NBC explained Israel did a much better job manipulating media coverage than 2006's Lebanon debacle by keeping out the journalists. Now, of course, the Israelis went all-in to prevent the HAMAS bottle rockets from going off, and instead they are suing for peace with a sub-national power without having achieved the cessation of the bottle rockets. And they bombed the UN with White Phosphorus and everyone else got Depleted Uranium. Bravo.

Now on to your even more depressing election campaign, wherein the noted racist lunatic Benjamin Netanyahu will take Israel on a shortcut to covert operations, brinkmanship and other dumb hobbies that'll impoverish all the Israelis and kill plenty of Arabs.

I didn't go to any demonstrations. I probably should have, as I've been to quite a few antiwar marches over the years... It's impressive to see so many folks sticking up for Palestinians; the Israelis have never looked so foolish and impetuous.

Whether or not Rahm Emanuel (who people keep calling a leader of the North American branch of the Mossad, fairly or not) can punish the various members of the political class who are flaking on their commitment to AIPAC's general views is a very salient question.

Realists and liberal interventionists are going to thrash each other, Jim Lobe observes... The anti-war cats are going to be depressed that Obama will fail to cut the military budget.

***

Despite feeling shamed and awed by the people annihilated (rationally... always oh so rationally) during this Administration, I can say that I am thankful for the many bits of wisdom and knowledge that I picked up from the many people I talked to along the way. Some of them went on the record, many told me things in confidence, many things anonymously.

I don't think I would have been motivated to try to get to the Bottom of Things if we hadn't been trapped in this bizarre political universe -- it seemed so endless, so inescapable, that only determined digging could put an ontological floor under the void of meaning. Really a prison of time, especially in 2004!

Some of it was funny, some of it sad. Some of it urban legends and memes, philosophical truths, nuggets of dry processes of local government, deep secrets, all-encompassing utopian visions, technical tricks, conspiratorial suggestions, emotional intelligence, financial angles, cultural noodlings.

It is amazing how much you can try and pack into a brain, and how much you know you're forgetting. So much of that eight-year trip was about the crime of passivity and the net of pain you know you're somehow caught within.

Now, it all shifts into the past, an ever-compressing block of experience, perpetually losing its resolution in my memory.

***

Regrets pile up quick and make ya feel old. Can't let em bog ya down. That's the key to the groupthink in the political class, the reason they're eager to move along, let complicit corporate Dems and nasty hack Republicans redirect the focus of our concerns elsewhere. Fair enough, in the sense that they've managed to generate a cascading collapse across our society which now threatens millions with starvation, poverty and madness, and thus we now have to fix that stuff.

On the other hand, there's not a chance in hell they are going to get away scot free. The key is to render the past revealed, the classified data exposed, the political contributions and the contracts out on the Internet. That would go a long ways...

So yeah, I've got some regrets of my own. I spent a lot of time tunneled into a bad attitude, and I hope I can tie it off and move along in my own way. But even when I was down, I got a lot from writing with passion and clarity (or at least trying to), attempting to bring light.

As I noted before, Hunter Thompson simply left "Counselor" on his typewriter. Thought to be a reference to the Gospel of John:

“16 And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor*, to be with you for ever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you.”

D.A. Blyler wrote after Thompson checked out:

For following your Counselor often means discovering things that aren’t fit for polite company. It’s never pleasant to find evil growing among the peonies. Or in the hearts of your elected officials. Better to be “vaguely happy” than uncomfortable. Thompson, though, never fell for that devil’s lie. He knew that even though the truth often cuts like a razor, it also serves as a “Comforter*” when the jackals begin circling. Because as Thompson recognized, the jackals don’t really give a damn whether you speak the truth or not. They are coming after us all one day. But facing the bastards down is a whole lot easier when you’ve got the truth by your side.

That's the sort of thing that kept me going during the rougher times. Even though I'm not much of a spiritual person, I got a lot of harmony and solace from the comfort of the truth in a time of sweeping lies. And that was better than a lot of people got.

***

To M.F. and the various people who didn't make it out alive. Never forget.

Yow! Introducing new HongPong.com Mogulus TV channel thingy!

How fun is this?? I have set up an account @ mogulus.com, a marvelous streaming video service. I can do a live stream, or else just queue up some videos zapped straight over from YouTube.

It's very nicely available @ http://mogulus.com/hongpong - This can show you how many ppl might be tuned in at any time. The whole thing is financed via yellow popup ads, which I think are not such a bad exchange to get the whole thing of hosting and routing out the video going nicely.
I have added a bunch of music videos and some fun Iran-Contra stuff from YouTube, as well as clips of the RNC flick Terrorizing Dissent and a bit from The Uptake.

It can even spit out embeddable hongpong channels for you.... Or set up your own channel. You can connect it to multiple logins and multiple webcam feeds...

At long last, a new links / blogroll for 2009!

Alrighty then, I have just totally overhauled the blogroll that runs within the right sidebar. I think you'll find that this array of websites will indeed give you a good heads-up on what's going on; as sources I have generally found these to be well-intentioned (i.e. not deceptive), although of course they may not be accurate or acceptable to Squares.

On the other hand, a new dimension is that I have attempted to flag some prominent left-of-center news outlets that have been practicing some excessive left-gatekeeperism (i.e. knocking out non-hegemonic news and views by attempting to mark boundaries of acceptable discourse).

This phenomenon is closely linked to foundation financing that often comes with strings attached. My asterisk markings are not intended to indicate that these websites are spreading lots of falsehoods, but they should alert you to a likely tendency to keep away from the more problematic issues ('conspiracies', 9/11 and generally Israel would be among the more well-known issues).

Additionally the disclaimer has been modified to indicate that I own some physical gold bullion. A very VERY small amount. But it's kinda fun!


Operations of interest and integrity!

Daily Hits

Top of the stack: AgonistWayne MadsenCryptogonAntiWar.comJuan Cole

My Projects & Such

Daily CounterSpin

Minneapolis / Minnesota

Narcotics & Real (corrupt) War On Drugs

Watchdog Operations of Interest and Integrity!

Friends' Sites

Intel / Blogs / Geopolitics / Washington

Spies / Conspiracy / Intrigues

Techie / Apple Things

Electoral Politics & Election Cheating

Anarchy / Anti-Authoritarianism and Other Bad Kids

Dubious Yet Interesting


Disclaimer: This site is *not* affiliated with AIPAC, Ahmed Chalabi, K Street, ClearChannel, or Urban Moving Systems of Weehawken, NJ. In case you were curious.
Full disclosure: I have some shares of Apple and therefore I have an Apple bias. Yum. Also got a tiny bit of gold!

Deprecated / Dormant

Latent contradictions!

Alright, I'll cop to this one because it was just too dumb. For months, I've had a typo, 'contraditions' instead of 'contradictions' in the banner, and i didn't notice. Someone politely commented months ago and I didn't even notice.

There's a lot of appalling typographical errors out there, but the banner has to take the cake! (and what better way to conclude the mea culpa than a barrage of cliches. Yes!)

Put in a new site theme before it's even polished

I decided that I'd had enough with the old HongPong OS X look so I whipped this one up today. It is based on "web application" here: Web Application | All Drupal Themes. GPL'd and all that.

It is certainly not finished. Or really, even started. This site has been around a long time but it has also been pretty shitty for quite a while. Things weren't going to turn without dumping the theme.

So I put this one up, and experimented with a horizontal stripe background and the weird and somewhat difficult new opacity CSS controls.

Is "recent popular content" relevant? I would like to put the del.icio.us block up front there because I am always thinking how nice it would be to just post bookmarks and not worry about full posts. So this does that front and center. It may be an excessive move for the side pages (but that could be disabled with one code).

Also the new Deep6.hongpong.com Drupal 6RC3 test server is available but can't seem to send those registration emails. I don't get it. Try to register but it may not work.

Please leave some feedback here or via the poll. I haven't even fiddled with many parts of the theme - I didn't even start until 6 PM. So ya know....

Super Wednesday of a Super Week: Updated HongPong-Drupal

Well, everyone, it has been a very busy week for me. I taped Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on HD Video (a loaned Sony HVR A1U to be specific). And we got Target Center rally footage Saturday that's pretty much mind-blowing. My project partner on this was camera guy/editor Andy French.

Here is the Obama rally on Saturday at the Target Center:


Here is a snippet of the Hillary rally:

There is certainly a lot more awesome footage. Then we filmed Ron Paul's rally on Monday night, but that was accidentally in DV instead of HDV (1080i High definition video). Really, it was pretty damn awesome.

I am also working today on developing a new theme for HongPong.com. That's a little overdue.

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