- Please send as far and wide as possible.
Editor, The Konformist
After a near three year phase of no updates to Konformist.com, we are
finally updating it again. In essence, it will link to the best
articles each month that are put up at The Konformist Blog. So it
means you can return to Konformist.com to see what's going on in the
world of rebellion, konspiracy & subversion. To see The Konformist
And to see The Konformist Blog:
And finally, to view The Konformist Newswire (which includes all our
material since 2000):
Will You Help Me With My Next Film?
...a request from Michael Moore
Wednesday, February 11th, 2009
I am in the middle of shooting my next movie and I am looking for a
few brave people who work on Wall Street or in the financial industry
to come forward and share with me what they know. Based on those who
have already contacted me, I believe there are a number of you who
know "the real deal" about the abuses that have been happening. You
have information that the American people need to hear. I am humbly
asking you for a moment of courage, to be a hero and help me expose
the biggest swindle in American history.
All correspondence with me will be kept confidential. Your identity
will be protected and you will decide to what extent you wish to
participate in telling the greatest crime story ever told.
The important thing here is for you to step up as an American and do
your duty of shedding some light on this financial collapse. A few
good people have already come forward, which leads me to believe
there are many more of you out there who know what's going on. Here's
your chance to let your fellow citizens in on the truth.
If you have any info that would help, please contact me at my private
email address: bailout@....
For the rest of you on my email list who don't work in the financial
industry, you're probably wondering, "What the heck is this all
about? I thought he said he was making a romantic comedy!"
Well, I just can't say much right now. I'm sure you can understand
why. One thing I can tell you is that you're gonna like this movie
when I'm done with it. Oh, yeah...
So, again, if you work for a bank, a brokerage firm or an insurance
company -- or if you have seen things or heard things that you
believe the American people have a right to know -- please contact me
Thank you in advance for your help!
From David Letterman:
Message left on Alex Rodriguez's answering machine: "Could you find a
steroid that keeps you from choking in the playoffs?"
A-Rod, Anabolic Agonist Sports
By Dave Zirin
February 9, 2009
Should we pity Alex Rodriguez? The three-time MVP, owed $275 million
over the next nine years, has been exposed as a steroid user, the
latest in Major League Baseball's endless series of anabolic
agonists. The creative minds at the New York Post summed up the mood
of the moment with one blaring headline: "A-Fraud." ESPN senior
writer Jayson Stark was no less overwrought; his headline
proclaimed, "A- Rod Has Destroyed Game's History."
However, the list of frauds and history defamers extends far beyond
the Yankee third baseman. Before we gather the torches and
pitchforks, let us round up some of the real villains. When it comes
to steroids, no one, as A-Rod's alleged paramour Madonna might say,
is like a virgin. For instance, there's league commissioner Bud
Selig, who touted A-Rod as the man who would replace the "unclean"
Barry Bonds as the all-time leader in home runs. Then there is the
Major League Baseball Players Association. Once arguably the most
powerful union in the United States, the MLBPA has in its possession
the infamous list of 104 players tested in 2003. That year a deal
between the owners and the union was supposed to be based on
anonymity and trust. If more than 5 percent of the players tested
positive, more testing with suspensions would ensue. The union
promised its members that it would destroy the list. Instead it
inexplicably held onto the list long enough for the government to
seize it for the BALCO investigations.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Steinbrenner family
also have anabolic egg on their faces. They were depending on A-Rod
to be the cherry atop the sundae of the new billion-dollar Yankee
Stadium expected to open this year. Hundreds of millions in taxpayer
dollars have gone into this public works project, with specious
promises of economic renewal. Now it may just set the stage for a
season-long, agonizing fall from grace.
Finally, there are the owners-at-large, who have yet to have to face
any kind of Congressional subcommittee, grand jury or operatic media
melodrama for their role in cheapening the sport. Stark, in his piece
blaming A-Rod for shredding the very fabric of baseball history,
In baseball, we love our numbers. And we love our heroes. And that
brings us to Alex Rodriguez, a man who has committed a crime he
doesn't even understand: a crime against the once-proud history of
What Stark and his misguided minions ignore is that if we are upset
about the way numbers and hallowed records have become cheapened over
the past fifteen years, ownership is the problem--and it extends far
Owners actually had a multifaceted strategy to try to make baseball
more like beer-league softball--and it was about as subtle as a
tabloid's back page. As legendary baseball writer Bob Klapisch
said, "Somewhere someone decided that baseball needed more runs. It
was made at a very fundamental level. And little by little, step by
step, this became the new reality. There has been too much to write
it off as coincidence."
The reasons for the home run boom extend far beyond the steroid
dealer. The boom reverberates in every urban budget, every
underfunded school and every library that closes early. In the past
twenty years, more than fifteen publicly funded baseball parks have
been built in the United States. They are supposed to be fan-friendly-
-that is, unless your child happens to go to a school whose shrinking
budgets were paying the tab. The shorter fences at these parks are
engineered to yield more home runs.
Then there are the balls and bats. Countless baseball insiders
believe that the ball is now wound tighter than it was twenty years
ago. As for the bats, as recently as fifteen years ago, players used
untreated ash bats. Now the bats are maple and lacquered. That means
the ball goes farther.
Then there is the strike zone. The area where a pitched ball can be
called a strike has shrunk, in the words of retired pitcher Greg
Maddux, to "the size of a postage stamp." The owners consciously
engineered this trend toward the microscopic strike zone. When
umpires refused to agree to a uniform strike zone, Major League
Baseball crushed their union and instituted a machine to monitor
their abilities. Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer said, "The loss of
the high strike has changed the game more than any pill."
But an equally big reason home run numbers are up is that the game
finally shed its nineteenth-century view of strength conditioning.
The training standard until the 1990s was that if Joe "Ducky" Medwick
didn't do it in the '30s, then it shouldn't be done. For example, it
has been the conventional wisdom for most of baseball's history that
weightlifting would destroy your swing. Many teams even fined or
suspended players if they were caught pumping iron. Weightlifting is
now as much a part of every team's regimen as shagging fly balls.
Alex Rodriguez is set to be the next former slugger torn to pieces by
columnists, fans and the sports radio blabbocracy. They all need to
crack open some Michael Phelps medicinal magic and relax. Rodriguez
may not deserve your pity, but he hardly deserves your scorn. Reserve
that for the owners, political leaders and Bud the commissioner--who
robbed our cities blind and distracted us with dingers so we wouldn't
Dave Zirin is the author of Welcome to the Terrordome: the Pain
Politics and Promise of Sports (Haymarket) and the forthcoming A
People's History of Sports in the United States (The New Press). and
his writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Sports
Illustrated.com, New York Newsday and The Progressive. He is the host
of XM Radio's Edge of Sports Radio.
Contact him at edgeofsports@....
Monday, February 02, 2009
Will Porn Star Stormy Daniels Run Against Whoremonger David Diapers
Will Stormy Daniels beat David Vitter (R-LA)?
In the run-up to his 2010 re-election campaign David Diapers Vitter
has been working very hard to distract Louisiana voters from the
brouhaha over his multiple sex scandals involving prostitutes in
Louisiana and Washington, DC. Vitter, widely viewed as Congress' most
hypocritical member, would rather Lousiana voters think of him as
Congress' most reactionary member. And he's in a tight competition
with South Carolina wingnut Jim DeMint for the title. They are the
two who have virtually obstructed every single proposal and
initiative that President Obama has made. And the two of them are
icons of the neo-Confederate "No on Everything" movement within the
Senate GOP caucus.
Given the pathetic state of the Louisiana Democratic Party, Vitter is
more frightened of a primary challenge than he is of a general
election challenge. Religious fanatic Tony Perkins of the Family
Research Council (who has already run for the Senate in Louisiana)
and neo-Nazi, Jay Dardenne, currently serving as Louisiana's
Secretary of State, have both been checking out Vitter's
vulnerability on his right flank. All roads point to his reputation
as a whoremonger. Petrified that an opponent will keep reminding
voters about Vitter's bizarre and perverted sexual history and all
the cover-ups, denials, weepy admissions and so on, Vitter is trying
to distract them in every way he can. On the first day of the new
congressional session, he introduced 34 pieces of diversionary
legislation, none of which are considered serious by anyone with a
full set of teeth, about all the pet issues on the extreme right,
from an anti-stem cell research bill, an anti-immigrant bill, anti-
flag burning bill, to a proposal to encourage prayer in public
schools. He is understandably eager to be associated with prayer
rather than prostitutes and dirty adult diapers.
Unfortunately for Vitter, his opponents have no intention of letting
his sex scandals just go away and today's Politico reports on a
little shenanigan likely to get plenty of coverage in Louisiana.
There is a movement afoot to get porn star Stormy Daniels to run
against Vitter. While she hasn't been embraced by the Democratic
Party-- which is still trying to recruit ex-Governor Kathleen Blanco--
Stormy, a Baton Rouge Libertarian, would be perfect for the GOP and
would be a great countervailing forced against hypocrites like
Perkins and Vitter. Could she beat Vitter? According to several
prostitutes he's had long-standing arrangements with, that is his
exact specialty. Leave it to Louisiana to spice up American politics!
Let's just hope Blue Dog Charlie Melancon doesn't jump in looking for
Sleeping Around is right up Vitter's alley. But I wonder if he'd
bring the same thing to a desert island as Stormy says she would.
Anyway, do you think she'd off Vitter serious competition? Let us
know what you think.
Labels: David Vitter, Louisiana, pornography, Republican hypocrisy,
Senate 2010, Stormy Daniels, Tony Perkins
Bar Refaeli, 23, of Israel
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover girl, 2009
Obama's First Press Conference: Repeating Old Lies, Dodging Old
Wednesday, 11 February 2009
by BAR managing editor Bruce Dixon
So how's that "change" thing working out? Are we getting better, or
more of the same, and why? In his first press conference, Obama
labeled the regime a destabilizing influence in the Middle East
because it allegedly sought nuclear weapons, while ignoring the
longstanding Israeli nuclear threat to all its neighbors. And the
same day, Obama Justice Department lawyers appeared in court to
invoke the same defense against investigation of their secret cross-
border kidnapping and torture schemes as Bush --- that these widely
known activities were "state secrets". Have we heard any of this
In the past few years, newspapers and broadcast media around the
world have print and aired details of a lawless US government policy
of kidnapping civilians and flying them abroad for indefinite
detention and torture at the hands of client governments or its own
military and civilian officials. Called "extraordinary rendition," by
the Bush Administration, which inherited it from its Democratic
predecessor, this illegal practice has been the subject of a number
of books reconstructing the flight plans and naming many of the so-
called "black sites" which were the illegal jailings and tortures
took place. Despite the wealth of publicly available detail on these
criminal practices, the Bush administration claimed that to be
answerable in court for this illegal conduct would compromise "state
secrets," and found federal judges to agree with this ridiculous
On his first full day in office, President Obama renewed his pledge
to close the "black sites" without of course naming them and giving
himself a full year to do so, and declared that the US government
would observe legal norms from this point onward. So when some of the
victims of Bush-era cross-border kidnapping and torture appeared in
court Monday, the reasonable expectation was that the new Justice
Department would reverse itself and allow their lawsuits for damages
to proceed. Instead lawyers for the Obama Justice Department rose to
object to the case being heard in federal court on the same grounds
that the Bush-Cheney regime had employed --- that revealing the
criminal conduct of US military and civilian officials in court, even
when this conduct is widely documented and well known, would
jeopardize "state secrets".
But after all the books and articles and news items, there are no
remaining "state secrets" of any significance in the process of cross-
border kidnapping and torture. Looking backward, all that's left are
details like how many times it happened, who was kidnapped and
tortured, how many buried still alive or dead, and where those
bodies, animated and not, are now, and what dates which orders were
given. But the president assures us he is not looking backward, So
the unidentified maimed, dead and missing, their torturers and
enablers and the names of all but the highest officials involved ---
Bush, Cheney, Powell, Rice, Rumsfeld and their immediate deputies in
and out of uniform, will appear on no court records, because Obama's
Justice Department, just like the Bush Justice Department, insists
that all the details of their well known crimes, down to the
identities of the victims, are "state secrets".
As legal and official falsehoods go, this one is naked and
transparent. It provides past, present and future criminals on the
civil service payroll the same cloak of immunity they enjoyed in the
Bush-Cheney years. And it sets the tone, in many ways for the new
Later that day, in a similar spirit of telling old lies and avoiding
old truths, President Obama used his very first press conference to
label Iran and its alleged quest for nuclear weapons to be the pre-
eminent threat to peace and stability in the Middle East. Helen
Thomas, the most senior reporter in the White House press corps, and
the only one to stand up to Obama's predecessor asked point-blank
whether any other countries in the Middle East possessed nuclear
weapons. It is of course common knowledge that Israel has hundreds of
nukes aimed at every capital in the region from Tripoli to Teheran.
No less a member of Obama's cabinet than Robert Gates at his
confirmation affirmed that Israel has nukes, but it suited the new
president to refuse to answer the question, to ignore Thomas's follow-
ups, and to filibuster for four or five minutes in some other
Tens of millions who voted for this president imagined they'd get
real change. But the reality is dawning on many that what we're
getting is a lot more of the same. We have a president who repeats
discredited lies about "rogue regimes" with nuclear weapons, while he
ignores Israel, a genuine 21st century apartheid state, which has
menaced its neighbors with nuclear weapons for more than thirty
Obama volunteered at some point during the press conference, that the
moment the true import of his new job sank into him was when he had
to sign letters notifying the families of American dead, "our
heroes", as he called them. The president made no mention of his
decision, on this third day of office, to launch drones and cruise
missiles into Pakistan. Those missiles killed 17 people, including
several children. The drones were probably launched from Afghanistan,
and remotely piloted by stateside military personnel. Those dead,
including the children, got no letters of regret from the president,
and seemed not to register in the president's public calculus. After
all, they were not American heroes.
The election is over. Those unconditional Obama defenders who answer
the president's critics with "well what did you want, McCain?" are
doing what their president says he won't do. They are living in the
past, looking backward instead of forward. It's time to hold the
current president and his actions up to the cold light of day, to
evaluate his performance in light of his promises and our legitimate
expectations for peace and justice. It's time those of us who stand
for peace and justice stop protecting the president. We may soon need
to be protected from him.
The ultimate test of mind and machine, pitting twelve teams of two
people against each other for over 3,000 grueling miles. The drivers
are behind the wheels of their own cars, from American muscle, to
exotics, to tuners. Teams must use every trick under their hoods,
choose alliances carefully, and navigate down to the last turn in
order to make it to daily checkpoints first or risk finding
themselves in the most explosive challenges ever seen on television.
There can be only one Bullrun champion.
La Cage Slams Shut
Thu, Feb 12, 2009
After 23 years at the Riviera, Frank Marino has joined Las Vegas'
many laid-off workers. Marino's former jobstar of drag show La Cage
turned the Joan Rivers impersonator into a local celebrity. Still,
Vegas shows have been hit just like every aspect of the economy, and
though the news was sudden (the cast found out after February 9's
last show that it would be the last show), Marino had already begun
removing gowns from his dressing room of more than two decades.
"I am not surprised. When the economy hit about six months ago, you
started seeing the crunch in the numbers," he says. "I don't think
people really know how much it costs to put on a show. Even the
advertising is expensive."
But Marino isn't intimidated by the economy. He intends to negotiate
for his own show at the Rivierawith his own money. "In my head I've
built this show ... Frank Marino's Ultimate Drag Show," he says. "I
am going to put my money where my mouth is."
DC readies lesbian Batwoman for take-off
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 11 February 2009
Fans at Comic Con in New York this week were treated to a sneak
preview of DC Comics's highest profile gay superhero, Batwoman,
described by her creator as "the kind of sexy that makes you think of
a succubus with a very bad attitude".
With fiery red hair, a skin-tight leather cat suit and knee-high red
stiletto boots - complete with a blood red bat symbol on her ample
chest - Batwoman, the alter ego of Kathy Kane, is set to make her
debut on bookshelves this June in Detective Comics 854. Her
appearance follows the shock apparent demise of Bruce Wayne, the
multi-millionaire philanthropist who has protected the streets of
Gotham City as Batman since 1939.
Writer Greg Rucka said that Batwoman - who first appeared in 1957 but
was killed off in 1979 - was "exceptionally cool".
"Yes, she's a lesbian. She's also a redhead. It is an element of her
character. It is not her character. If people are going to have
problems with it, that's their issue," he told Comic Book
Resources. "Frankly, she should be judged on her merits."
Kane was first outed in 2006 when it was revealed that she was the
former lover of Gotham detective Renee Montoya. She has made passing
appearances in the comics since, with June's outing to be her most
"Nobody has really seen her. They don't really know who this person
is," said Rucka. "You are going to figure out what she does, why she
does it and who she has to help her. I obviously get into what makes
her different than Batman. They share a lot, more than including a
bat. But they have different techniques and different approaches."
He expects readers to be shocked when they read the first issue. "I
think people are going to fall out of their seats," he said,
providing the first few pages of the comic at his blog.