Author Archive | Liam McGonagle

Earliest Painting of Transvestite Uncovered in British Gallery

Chevalier D'EonJeanna Bryner writes on LiveScience:
An 18th-century portrait sold in New York to a British gallery as a "woman in a feathered hat" turns out to actually portray a man dressed as a woman, becoming the earliest known painting of a transvestite. The transvestite painting, now called the "Chevalier D'Eon," is currently hanging in the Philip Mould Ltd. gallery in London and will possibly become a permanent feature in the British National Portraits Gallery, said art dealer and art historian Philip Mould, director of Philip Mould Ltd. "We spent 30 years honing our skills at looking at British portraits, and you begin to spot anomalies," Mould told LiveScience. "Portraiture, despite the diversity of odd-looking people in the world, particularly in the 19th century, before advances in cosmetic science and dentistry and medical advances had taken place, but portraiture is always extremely straight-laced."
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The ‘Curses o’ Whoredom': Rome’s History Turns Into Wisconsin’s Misery in Phase 3 of The Madison Uprising

Caligula

Caligula: a career model for the modern statesman?

“Elections may be lost by failing to energize the base, but they are only won by charming non-ideological voters who form the majority.  Milwaukee and Madison are the state’s most left-leaning cities, but in the eyes of Wisconsin’s rural and suburban majority, they are also the darkest pits of Babylonish whoredom.”

The wheels seem rapidly to be coming off the runaway freight train that was the effort to recall troubled Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Nearly 1,000,000 people affixed their names and addresses to a petition to initiate the unprecedented recall procedures against Walker.  But as of late April, Walker is polling at least 5 % HIGHER than his most likely opponent, Milwaukee’s mayor, Tom Barrett. WTF?

Here is a brief recap of events since I last wrote about the Madison Uprising:

1.  Walker appointees refused to cooperate with a Federal John Doe investigation into Republican campaign violations. To date several minions have been charged with felonies ranging from appropriation of public assets to promote Walker’s candidacy, to embezzlement of funds intended for the surviving families of veterans in the Afghan and Iraq conflicts, to enticing underage boys into sexual relationships over the internet.  Walker made some attempts to distance himself from the actions underlings took on his behalf, but those were undermined by the revelation that he had retained legal counsel from a firm renowned for its specialty in defending against white collar criminal cases.… Read the rest

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Is Lloyd Blankfein An Accessory In the Death of Dimitris Christoulas?

Syntagma Square

Syntagma Square

Relax, folks, nothing to see here.  After all, I’m sure that all that austerity-funded bond money is going towards a good cause—like gold-plating the vomitorium drains in Lloyd Blankfein’s villa on the Riviera, for instance. From the BBC’s Mark Lowen:

Protesters have clashed with riot police in the Greek capital, Athens, hours after a pensioner shot himself dead outside parliament.

The 77-year-old man killed himself in the city’s busy Syntagma Square on Wednesday morning.

Greek media reported he had left a suicide note accusing the government of cutting his pension to nothing. Flowers have been laid at the spot where he died and tributes have been paid online.

“I see no other solution than this dignified end to my life, so I don’t find myself fishing through garbage cans for my sustenance.”—Extract from reputed suicide letter

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in the square outside parliament on Wednesday evening, the scene of many large protests in recent months.

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Tempus Omnia Vincit

Charles II, known as El Hechizado ("The Hexed").

Charles II, known as El Hechizado ("The Hexed")

“Time Conquers All”, in Latin. A pithy little meditation on the transience of this vale of tears, paradoxically immortalized by being phrased in a dead language.

My pal Pete found it written on the bottom of a half empty beer can around closing time at the local beer garden, as we basked in Wisconsin’s recent and unusually mild late March weather. Or rather, I suggested he’d find it there.

I told him it was the lucky password the bar’s owner had written on the bottom of a randomly selected can as part of a free promotional giveaway contest. Turns out in actuality there was only an expiration date written there. And by the time he’d flipped the can over to read, it was completely emptied. Mostly onto Pete himself.

I laughed, but the barkeep seemed a little annoyed, as some of the beer had spilled on other patrons who didn’t quite get the joke.… Read the rest

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A Tree Falls In The Forest …

Sabu Masked

Sabu Masked

To paraphrase the old Buddhist koan, “When Sabu shoots himself in the head, alone in the desert, will anyone care?”  What, for that matter, about the copper who turned him?

By now every one’s read at an account of how an influential member of the hacktivest collective Lulzsec was co-opted by American “law enforcement” to incite his fellow members into incriminating behavior for which they may now spend the rest of their natural lives behind bars.

Some of these stories have focused on local interest of individual participants in the drama.  Others have investigated the nature of hacker culture.  Still others on the legal problems presented by the apparently classic “entrapment” strategy used by the FBI.  But to date I have yet to see one discuss at any length the operation here of the deeper psycho/social dynamic that underlies the the self-concept of both Lulzsec and police forces.

This seems very odd to me, almost as if there were a deliberate conspiracy of stupidity to ignore the single most salient point of the whole affair.  Then again, my particular family history could be expected to make me preternaturally sensitive to issues of communal solidarity and order.… Read the rest

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Morgan Stanley Employee Implicated in Pigs & Prostitution

The bizarre case of Anna Gristina, the accused millionaire madam being charged with running a widespread prostitution ring in the Upper East Side, got even more absurd as her history of pig rescuing and posing in racy photographs surfaced on Wednesday.

Susan Magidson, who has worked with Gristina in saving six pigs over the last few years, told the New York Times:

Pigs are one of Anna’s passions. When people love pigs, in my opinion, they are special and unique — and in my opinion, the chosen ones — because they’re just such a special animal, highly intelligent, emotional animal, so it’s like working with orphans.

All which raises the question, who exactly is Gristina? Is she the 44-year-old, suburban mother of four? A brothel queen bee with nude model ambitions? Or is she simply a misunderstood swine lover?

Adding to the list of peculiar characters is Morgan Stanley employee David Walker, who authorities say had a private meeting with Gristina shortly before she was arrested.… Read the rest

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Joe Arpaio, Prominent Sheriff, Unveils Results Of Investigation Into Obama Birth Certificate

Sheriff Joe ArpaioMore proof of the old adages that “no publicity is bad publicity” and “the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence”.  Writes Jacques Billeaud at the Huffington Post.

America’s self-proclaimed toughest sheriff finds himself entangled these days in his own thorny legal troubles: a federal grand jury probe over alleged abuse of power, Justice Department accusations of racial profiling and revelations that his department didn’t adequately investigate hundreds of Arizona sex-crime cases.

Rather than seek cover, though, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is seeking to grab the spotlight in the same unorthodox fashion that has helped boost his career as a nationally known lawman.

Arpaio on Thursday unveiled preliminary results of an investigation, conducted by members of his volunteer cold-case posse, into the authenticity of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate, a controversy that has been widely debunked but which remains alive in the eyes of some conservatives. At a news conference, Arpaio said the probe revealed that there was probable cause to believe Obama’s long-form birth certificate released by the White House in April is a computer-generated forgery …

Continued at the Huffington Post

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WikiLeaks: Stratfor Confidential Emails Published

StratforReports Reuters via the Huffington Post:

The anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks began publishing on Monday more than five million emails from a U.S.-based global security analysis company that has been likened to a shadow CIA.

The emails, snatched by hackers, could unmask sensitive sources and throw light on the murky world of intelligence-gathering by the company known as Stratfor, which counts Fortune 500 companies among its subscribers. Stratfor in a statement shortly after midnight EST (0500 GMT) said the release of its stolen emails was an attempt to silence and intimidate it.

It said it would not be cowed under the leadership of George Friedman, Stratfor’s founder and chief executive officer. It said Friedman had not resigned as CEO, contrary to a bogus email circulating on the Internet. Some of the emails being published “may be forged or altered to include inaccuracies; some may be authentic,” the company statement said.

“We will not validate either.

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YouPorn: Up To 1 Million Adult Chat Users’ Email Addresses And Passwords Exposed

Rick Santorum?Oh there is guaranteed to be some fun from this.  Can you say “Caligula”?

I recommend a deep dive into the list of these names for top-level donors and operatives in the Santorum, and Romney camps, as well as that of embattled Wisconsin governor Scott Walker.

You’re invited to have a go at any Dems, too, but I’d be dubious about the payoff.  Since they’re all professed perverts and homosexuals, I can’t imagine getting much mileage over that lot downloading some pics from a foot fetish site.

Nothing brings out the kink like a vigorous dose of self-righteous Puritan denial, however, so I expect quite a few high level Repubs showing up as a clients of “Trannytown.com”.  From the Huffington Post’s Timothy Stenovec:

Unsecured login information for a chat feature on YouPorn, one of the most popular pornography sites on the Internet, has revealed the email addresses and passwords for some of its users, the Associated Press reports.

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Could A 16-Hour Work Week Save Civilization?

The question is:  If Americans wanted to retain compensation and employment gains between 1987 and 2009, how long would the average American be required to work each week?  Answer:  16 Hours. I was a little reticent to publish this one at first, since it does rather smack of classical Libertarianism (i.e., in the sense of being concerned with "free" time, ergo "liberty"). But then I thought, "What the Hell?"  It's only a thought.  If I give the reader access to all the underlying data they could do whatever they wanted with it and make their own decisons. Would you spend more time at Church?  The average employed American only seems to spend about 45 minutes per week on religious activities.  Imagine how many more God points you could rack up if you had another 23 to play with?...
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