Mar

1

The Rolling Stones will not be performing at the Olympics this summer. Right after they were invited to do so, Mick rang up his good friend Bryan Adams to see what he thought of the idea. The Canadian-born rockstar, Bryan Adams, was center-stage at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010.

"Don't do it, Mick, it sucked", was Bryan's reply.

And so, Mike told the IOC thanks, but no thanks.

If you're asked to do something that sucks, don't do it.

Oh, and if you're doing something that sucks, quit.

Thank you, Sir Michael Philip "Mick" Jagger for 50 years of bad-ass rock-n-roll and this great reminder.

Kriek on!

Jim Caruso

Feb

24

Today on NPR there was another disturbing article about the ongoing erosion of our civil rights.

A federal appeals court by a vote of 2-1 upheld California's "test on arrest" policy, a policy which has President Obama's blessing.

With the "test on arrest" policy in place, DNA samples are taken from anyone arrested for a possible felony, without the need for suspicion that the person has committed any crime that the DNA will help solve, and the DNA sample is stored in a criminal database regardless of whether the person arrested is ever convicted of anything.

Judge William Fletcher, the sole dissenting judge, argued that that database of DNA invades the privacy of people not yet convicted — and who may never be. Fletcher says that while DNA profiling and the ubiquitous practice of fingerprinting are similar, neither should be done solely for investigative purposes without a warrant.

"If DNA is taken from arrestees . . . solely for purposes of investigation, that taking is a seizure in violation of the Fourth Amendment," Fletcher wrote. "The DNA is taken from the arrestee as a matter of course, without the need for any suspicion that he has committed any crime that the DNA will help solve. The DNA is taken because there is a possibility that the DNA may help solve some other crime — a crime about which the police taking the DNA have no knowledge, indeed a crime that may not even exist."

Fletcher also noted that DNA testing presents greater privacy concerns that unlike fingerprints, DNA contains familiy traits and police investigations can draw in family members of suspects. In addition, even so-called junk DNA used for the current profiles may actually contain medical information about individuals.

Drones capable of filming our every move, the government eavesdropping on international calls and e-mails, and now "test on arrest".

Hunter S. Thompson co-founded The Fourth Amendment Foundation in 1990 after his home was ransacked by police for 12 hours based on charges that were ultimately dropped due to lack of evidence. Might be time to start forming local chapters of that foundation. As Hunter wrote for his Legal Defense Fund campaign:

BEWARE

Today: the Doctor

Tomorrow: You

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing". ~ Edmund Burke

Stand tall!

Jim Caruso

Feb

22

This morning there was an article on NPR about drones or "unmanned aerial vehicles", as officials like to call them. They range in size from as small as a 6-inch wingspan to the size of regular aircraft, and can cost as little as $300 (and be controlled from an iPhone) to millions of dollars.

A new federal law, signed by President Obama on Valentine's Day, compels the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to allow drones to be used for all sorts of commercial endeavors — from selling real estate and dusting crops, to monitoring oil spills and wildlife, even shooting Hollywood films. Local police and emergency services will also be freer to send up their own drones.

It is estimated that within the next couple of years there will be as many as 30,000 drones in the sky.

In other words, as privacy law stands today, you don't have a reasonable expectation of privacy while out in public, nor almost anywhere visible from a public vantage.

In addition, all these drones pose a very real threat to air travel due to possible mid-air collisions.

Then, in my snail mail later today I received a letter from the ACLU with the following message.

Nearly four years ago, Congress passed an unconstitutional domestic wiretapping bill — the FISA Amendments Act — allowing the NSA to spy on Americans' international phone calls and emails.

The ACLU filed suit challenging the law an hour after President Bush signed it. And they've been in court fighting the constitutionality of it ever since.

But from the beginning, the government has asked the courts to dismiss the ACLU's lawsuit, arguing, in essence, that the 2008 law should not be subject to judicial review. And late Friday afternoon, the Obama administration asked the Supreme Court to endorse that dangerous idea. It urged the Supreme Court to overrule a sensible appeals court decision and deny the ACLU's clients the right to challenge the NSA's dragnet surveillance activities.

Both the Bush and Obama administrations have argued that no one can challenge the government's secret spying unless they can first prove they've been spied upon. It sounds absurd, but it's true.

Friday's indefensible action by the Obama administration sets up a huge 2012 struggle over the 2008 FISA Amendments Act — one that will be waged in the courts and in Congress where the Act is set to expire at the end of this year.

"Like a Virgin" was the longest-running hit of 1984. (Yes, I'm a big fan of Madonna, and of female vocalists in general.) I wish that Orwell's "1984" were fiction, and that Madonna's hit song was all that 1984 was about, but I've long since lost my virginity when it comes to such idealistic notions.

I'll never forget the words of Mark Silverstein, the Legal Director of the ACLU of Colorado, when he spoke about the loss of constitutional freedoms after successfully defending Flying Dog against the State of Colorado — "where there's smoke under the door, the fire's not far behind" when it comes to the loss of our civil rights.

Ah, but all is not lost because WE THE PEOPLE still have power.

"Politics is the art of controlling your environment. That is one of the key things I learned in these years, and I learned it the hard way. Anybody who thinks that "it doesn't matter who's President" has never been Drafted and sent off to fight and die in a vicious, stupid War on the other side of the World — or been beaten and gassed by Police for trespassing on public property — or been hounded by the IRS for purely political reasons — or locked up in the Cook County Jail with a broken nose and no phone access and twelve perverts wanting to stomp your ass in the shower. That is when it matters who is President or Governor or Police Chief. That is when you will wish you had voted." - Hunter S. Thompson

Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Your wordy friend this spring-like February night in Frederick, MD.

Jim Caruso

jim@flyingdogbrewery.com

Feb

21

Desire.

You have to listen for it to know where you are going.

Where ARE you going? Is it far enough?

Embrace your desire and the shattered remnants of the disguises you have worn, of your lost hopes, and of your unfulfilled dreams will all fall away.

Keep your desire finely tuned. It is not something you turn on and off.

Desire is the only thing you need to break through THAT door. Go ahead. Kick it down! Right now.

 

Cut the Leash!

Jim Caruso

Feb

20

Last February 20th I posted a short tribute in memory of Hunter.

This year I'm sharing Anita's heart-warming blog post.

We are always only one decision away from making our lives a whole lot better or a whole lot worse. I, too, wish you the brightest of the many possible futures that are available to you if you only have the courage to choose it. Hunter's spirit is one of the great guiding lights.

Your friend,

Jim Caruso

Feb

12

He was born on February 12, 1809.

He failed in business in '31.

He was defeated for state legislator in '32.

He tried another business in '33. It failed.

His fiancee died in '35.

He had a nervous breakdown in '36.

In '43 he ran for congress and was defeated.

He tried again in '48 and was defeated again.

He tried running for the Senate in '55. He lost.

The next year he ran for Vice President and lost.

In '59 he ran for the Senate again and was defeated.

In 1860, the man who signed his name "A. Lincoln", was elected the 16th President of the United States.

The difference between history's boldest accomplishments and its most staggering failures is often, simply, the diligent will to persevere.

Jan

22

THANK YOU, Anita, for the shout-out for the Wildeman video!!!

It's been a VERY busy month, in a good way. 

The highlight was great food, much laughter, and insights about creativity and art with Ralph Steadman and his daughter Sadie at Joe Allen's in Covent Garden.  Ralph is not only a brilliant creative genius, and possibly the one TRUE artist in the world today, but he is also one of the most generous and good-hearted human beings on Earth.  

Ralph Steadman 14 Jan 12

For Ralph's art and other awesome Ralph Steadman items check out these two sites:

www.ralphsteadmanartcollection.com

www.ralphsteadman.com

Good speed and good beer to you, Ralph!!!!!!

Love,

Jim Caruso

 

 

Jan

19

Until you're pushed to the limit, or you take yourself to the EDGE, you'll never know who you really are.

"Tentanda via est" — The way must be tried.

Drink up!  Rage on!

Your friend,

Jim Caruso

Dec

8

Check out The GONZO Store the ONLY place where you can get OFFICIAL Hunter S. Thompson merhcandise, shipped directly to you from Owl Farm in Woody Creek, Colorado.

Bad-ass apparel, merchandise and jewelry.

Gonzo Pendant

Gonzo Tee

And, coming soon – numbered GONZO dog tags!!

GONZO lives forever!!

Jim Caruso

 

 

Sep

20

PrimateTattoo 

Many more on the Fully Sick Tattoo Archives website including the woman who holds the Guinness World Record with 5,920 piercings.

Party on!!

Jim Caruso

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