Saturday, May 14, 2005

Yay!

One of my mostest favoritest blogs, A Mockingbird's Medley, run my one of my favorite bloggers, the lovely and talented Mimus Pauly (also a member of the Skippy International team), was a year old yesterday. Sorry I missed it then, but I have an excuse. If you haven't been over there, go now. Congratulations, my fine feathered friend.

Heh, Gord, he called us 'rock-ribbed'.


Update: 19:45:

Another birthday announcement from another of my favorites. Rook's Rant is 2 years old. Congrats to Guy Andrew Hall, the GirlFriend, and the Fuskers.

Give it up

CAFKIA:

[. . .]

I got some bad news for John [Kerry]. It is too late for him to start running for the 2008 election. Yep, you saw it here first. It's too damn late! To prove to me, and liberally inclined individuals like me, that he was serious about getting the office and up for the fight it takes, JFK needed to not concede until every damn vote had been counted. TWICE! We had already seen what happened when a democrat tried the honorable, what's-best-for-the-nation route. He and we got screwed.

[. . .]


Good sense from a crazy old squid. Remember this when you vote in your Dem primary.

Instructions

Since we've been on the subject lately. Via the Old White Lady, A Beginner's Guide to Sodomy.

Inside the 'Blogger's Studio' Part 2

These are my answers. I'll add the Mrs.' later on. Update: The Mrs.' answers are in italic.

01. What is your favorite word?

Payday.

Fuck and most things said by a great voice.

02. What is your least favorite word?

Nuk-u-ler.

Cunt; nuk-u-ler comes a close second.

03. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

My wife is my muse, and she also turns me on like you wouldn't believe.

Romance, intelligence and creativity.

04. What turns you off?

Dishonesty and deceit.

Stupidity.

05. What is your favorite curse word?

Motherfucker.

Fuck.

06. What sound or noise do you love?

That noise women make when you've found the right spot.

The sound of an ocean liner's air horns at it pulls into/out of port. Preferably, I am on the ship.

07. What sound or noise do you hate?

Police sirens . . . behind me.

Loud noises, nails on the blackboard

08. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Supermodel gynecologist.

Chef/Restaurant owner.

09. What profession would you not like to do?

The guy who cleans up after the elephants in the circus.

Manual labor.

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

"Hey, Pete, how'd this asshole get in here?"

"I wasn't certain you would be coming up here!"

Freedom stumbles marches on


Thanks to Riggsveda @ Corrente

The end of the world as we know it

BBC:

US sports tycoon Malcolm Glazer has won control of Manchester United in a £790m ($1.47bn) takeover bid.

The American has secured the 28.7% stake owned by Irish racing tycoons JP McManus and John Magnier, and now has more than 70% of the Premiership club.

[. . .]


At least the Brits think so.

I like this

I'm gonna have fun on Monday. This is going around Mrs. F's place:

Slap Your Co-Worker Day is Coming!!

Monday is the official Slap Your Irritating Co-workers Holiday: Do you have a co-worker who talks nonstop about nothing, working your last nerve with tedious and boring details that you don't give a damn about? Do you have a co-worker who ALWAYS screws up stuff creating MORE work for you? Do you have a co-worker who kisses so much booty, you can look in their mouth and see what your boss had for lunch? Do you have a co-worker who is SOOO obnoxious, when he/she enters a room, everyone else clears it? Well, on behalf of Ike Turner, I am so very very glad to officially announce Monday as SLAP YOUR IRRITATING CO-WORKER DAY!

There are the rules you must follow:

* You can only slap one person per hour - no more.
* You can slap the same person again if they irritate you again in the same day.
* You are allowed to hold someone down as other co-workers take their turns slapping the irritant.
* No weapons are allowed...other than going upside somebody's head with a stapler or a hole-puncher.
* CURSING IS MANDATORY! After you have slapped the recipient, your "assault" must be followed with something like "cause I'm sick of your stupid-a$$ always F'n up stuff!"
* If questioned by a supervisor [or police, if the supervisor is the irritant], you are allowed to LIE, LIE, LIE! Now, study the rules, break out your list of folks that you want to slap the living day lights out of and get to slapping.....and have a great day!

More 'moral values'

I wrote about these assholes last week, but the Rude One's take is excellent.

[. . .]

And it's fuckin' everywhere, the fuckin'. It's gay fuckin', group fuckin', straight anal fuckin', just so much fuckin', where the repressed libidos of ranting right wingers runs rampant. Somewhere in heaven, Michel Foucault is laughing his sore ass off.

There's Jim West, wayward gay-bashing mayor of Spokane, who not only fucked men he met at Gay.com, offering jobs and gifts to young men he wanted to bugger, but he is being investigated for having fucked young boys back in the 1970s. West made his name by blocking and getting into a huff about gay rights legislation.

There's the appointee to the Bush administration's FDA advisor committee on reproductive health drugs, W. David Hager, who as an OB/GYN for Jesus refused to prescribe contraceptives for unmarried women and has written that women who suffer from PMS should pray for help. Apparently one reason Hager never worred about contraception is because he loves the ass fucking. He loves the ass fucking so goddamn much that he raped his (now ex-)wife's ass repeatedly for years. Said the former Mrs., Linda Davis, "I would be asleep and since [the ass fucking] was painful and threatening, I woke up. Sometimes I acquiesced once he had started, just to make it go faster, and sometimes I tried to push him off.... I would [confront] David later, and he would say, 'You asked me to do that,' and I would say, 'No, I never asked for it.'" Hager believes he was called by God to stop abortion and emergency contraception. But apparently God was too busy to slip into his calls to Hager, "Hey, Davey, by the way, stop raping your wife's asshole. It's fucked-up and, frankly, it's kinda gay."

[. . .]


Don't talk to me about moral values anymore. The people yelling loudest are some of the most fucked up individuals I've ever seen. I got nothing against kinky sex, with consenting adults, but even my 'liberal' mores draw the line at forcible rape and bestiality. These assholes should be in jail, not be given a pulpit to promote their insanity.

Fading stars

See, when you're a crazy man like me, people don't take you seriously. Take this thought I advanced months ago (right before Christmas). I said we are beginning to see the end of the American Century (here and here), hastened by the ineptitude of the Bush Administration.

We're gonna be left behind soon enough. Our inept leadership had put the American Century soundly to bed. It's downhill from here.


You get a calm, level headed guy like Atrios (in the guise of Avedon Carol) saying the same things and people listen. Story of my life. It's tough being an evil genius.

I have previously been known to discuss the fading star of the USA, and the rise of China (greatly facilitated by the Bush Family Empire). I have also talked about how, in India, they don't really think much about us anymore (but I'm too lazy to look it up). Now Jim Henley detects more signs of this in the de-escalation between China and Taiwan.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Snotty's smackdown

Q: Doesn't the President want to be involved in what could be a decision to shoot down a plane over Washington?

McCLELLAN: Well, it may not have been a threat, Mr Smarty-Pants! So there!

Q: There seems to be so many disconnects here. You've got a plane that was assessed as not being a threat, you've got 35,000 people evacuated, you've got a person who you claim is a hands-on commander in chief who is left to go ride his bicycle through the rural wildlands of Maryland while his wife is in some secure location somewhere, it's just not adding up.


Go read Maru.

Light blogging today. Got a wake this evening and I had to work late. Now I gotta go make myself pretty (a tall order). Maybe I'll post after I get home if I'm not too depressed from watching a bunch of Italian ladies crying.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Inside the 'Blogger's Studio'

[Posted by Mrs. Fixer]

I've been enjoying reading the questionnaires and quizzes over the past weeks. I've always been intrigued by the answers I've been reading in the posts. This one is stolen from Inside the Actor's Studio, stolen from Bernard Pivot by James Lipton. I'd be interested in how bloggers answer these.

01. What is your favorite word?

02. What is your least favorite word?

03. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

04. What turns you off?

05. What is your favorite curse word?

06. What sound or noise do you love?

07. What sound or noise do you hate?

08. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

09. What profession would you not like to do?

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

[The Mrs. and I will post our answers later. - F-man]

Hasta la vista, baby! I'll be back

I am going on hiatus from The Brain for about ten days. Mrs. G and are are going on a business/pleasure trip to the Central Coast of California, one of the loveliest parts of the state.

I may comment some later, but I have things to do in preparation for our trip, such as service the pickup (if you're keepin' a diary, I use Valvoline Max Life 10w-30, Fram DG16 oil filter w/Teflon) and collect Mrs. G's travellin' necessities all in a pile. Sometimes the union on the kitchen sink gets stuck and it takes extra time. I'm glad we have the truck. When we travelled on my old Triumph, I had enough room for a quart of oil for myself. Luckily, I'm a good, safe rider and didn't need a fresh pair of shorts. I also have to complete one major project.

If you think these things don't take much time, keep in mind that things always take more time than you think they will. For instance, before I could take the trash out this morning, normally a one-minute job even in the pre-coffee fog of morning, I had to make an unscheduled foray out into the woods to collect said trash from where the damn bear took it. It must be Spring, and she musta been awfully hungry.

Anyway, while I'm gone I'll try to post once or twice from my sister-in-law's house.

I will miss you all. I'm already starting to have withdrawal pains. Take good care of yourselves, and I'll see y'all real soon, Brainsketeers.

Clairvoyance

Ike had it. Another good one from my brother-in-law:

"Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things.

Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."

President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1954


(Note to all who believe that this quote is way too perfect to be for real: should you wish to find the source, go to the Eisenhower Presidential Papers, Document #1147; November 8, 1954. The Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower, Volume XV - The Presidency: The Middle Way Part VI: Crises Abroad, Party Problems at Home; September 1954 to December 1954 Chapter 13: "A new phase of political experience" )

Principles

[. . .]

Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio, who had earlier stunned Republican peers by saying he wanted to review allegations against Bolton, portrayed the nominee as “arrogant” and “bullying.” The senator said that while he would vote against the nomination in committee, he supported sending it to the full Senate for a vote.

“John Bolton is the poster child of what someone in the diplomatic corps should not be,” Voinovich said, adding that Bolton would be fired if he was in private business.

[. . .]


Nice to see a Repub with a couple. Good on ya, George.

Bumpkins Invade D.C.

I'm so sure you've heard about the little puddle-jumper that invaded D.C. that I'm not even going to bother linking to it, but I have some thoughts on the incident. Duh.

Bush was in more danger from his fuckin' bicycle, which he was off ridin' in the park instead of being at work (that's "at work" as opposed to "working", which he has shown no inclination of doing as yet), than from the air assault. He's the only guy I've heard of that somehow managed to fall off a Segway, fer Christ's sake! Years of drinkin' and druggin' can wreak havoc on yer balance, so I'm told.

I think the upshot of this deal is that the Feds overreacted as usual, inconveniencing maybe 35,000 people and spending millions of our dollars, unnecessarily no doubt. Those are what they do best and, hey, ya gotta go with whatcha know.

The poor slobs who caused this mess are in deep guacamole. They were on their way from Pennsylvania to North Carolina. I looked at a map. The straight shot goes right over D.C. The FAA has put out the word in no uncertain terms NOT to fly there, but somehow these rocket scientists missed it. If the authorities are makin' the Runaway Bride pay for the public outlay in her case, and they apply that criterion to these clowns, they'll be eatin' rice 'n beans forever. If they're lucky, that is.

I have a certain amount of empathy for these guys, tho'. I got to thinking the same thing could happen to me 'n Fixer. Or to any of us. Picture this: you're on a road trip. You decide to enjoy it, so you turn off the C.B., crank up the tunes, pop a cold one, light a fatty, and put the hammer down while dancin' with your left foot and generally jokin' around. At the same time as a chemical plant explodes ten miles away. If you somehow miss the ensuing sea of red lights and sirens...well, you get my drift.

My advice to the gummint? Them F-16's are too fast for this kinda work. Dust off some P-47 Thunderbolts or F4U5A Corsairs. They're plenty fast enough to catch a Cessna and a lot cheaper to run. Them big round motors sound good, too.

"The Note" on media and the news

It's a media kind of day. Following up on my previous post, go see "The Note" at ABC News.
Brides gotta run, planes gotta stray, and cable news networks gotta find a way to fill a lot of programming hours as cheaply as possible. (CNBC gets to talk about the booming April retail sales numbers, and the NRA's television network will replay the Secretary of State on Larry King over and over.

We say with all the genuine apolitical and non-partisan human concern that we can muster that the death and carnage in Iraq is truly staggering.

And/but we are sort of resigned to the Notion that it simply isn't going to break through to American news organizations, or, for the most part, Americans.

Democrats are so thoroughly spooked by John Kerry's loss —- and Republicans so inspired by their stay-the-course Commander in Chief —- that what is hands down the biggest story every day in the world will get almost no coverage. No conflict at home = no coverage.

What follows is an extensive report on stuff & things. If they'd put "The Note" on the air it would improve television news coverage immensely. Fat chance.

A comment on the above from Sirotablog:
Let me reiterate how unbelievable this actually is: A MAJOR AMERICAN MEDIA OUTLET HAS NOW DECLARED THAT THEY SIMPLY ARE NOT INTERESTED IN LETTING THE CARNAGE IN IRAQ "BREAK THROUGH" IN THEIR NEWS COVERAGE - AS IF IT IS SIMPLY NOT NEWSWORTHY. You can just imagine the pathetic newsroom attitude: we don't cover cats getting stuck in trees, we don't birthday parties at the local McDonalds, and we don't cover America's multi-billion dollar war in the Mideast.

Sorry America, the insulated, out-of-touch, Washington media is simply uninterested in providing any real coverage about the war. Because remember, the media has to be "very deferential" because "no one want[s] to get into an argument with the president at this very serious time."

Truly nauseating.

Disgusting and criminal, too.

All the news they think is fit for you to know...

William Rivers Pitt on the media and what they want you to hear v. what's actually happening. Via Truthout.
So picture this moment. There I was, trying to drive down one of the worst roads in Cambridge with a cell phone the size of a gallon of milk stuck to my ear, and I have this MSNBC producer telling me that if I go on the show, I have to dump all over the inspectors who at that time had been in-country about a week. Coincidentally, that was exactly the same line of rhetoric being pushed by the White House at exactly that time. I'm sure the look on my face was priceless, and I'm lucky me, the car and the giant cell phone didn't wind up in the Charles River.

I asked her if she knew who she was talking to. She didn't understand. My book, I told her, says there are no weapons of mass destruction and therefore no reason to go to war there. I'm the last person on the planet, therefore, who is going to haul water for the idea that there are weapons in Iraq. Furthermore, I said, I don't know where you get off trying to gin up resentment against the inspectors. They just got there, and if they can finish their work without getting derailed by nonsense like this, it'll hopefully keep a lot of people from getting killed. The MSNBC producer laughed quietly - that's the part I will never forget, how she laughed - and hung up.

If this MSNBC producer is an appropriate example - and I think she is, because she was asking me to basically be yet another Bush administration mouthpiece - the fictions they create do not merely soothe and placate the populace. They kill. They kill in large numbers, and a few people (who coincidentally own large chunks of the corporate news media) get paid handsomely for that killing.

Speaking of the pleasant fiction, have you heard about that leaked secret British intelligence memo? Have you seen it covered on the TV news? I haven't. I haven't even seen mention of it in the print realm. It must not be important.

In my humble opinion, we need two exit strategies: one to get our forces out of Iraq, and another to get George W. Bush out of the White House and into a cellblock in The Hague. Save a bunk for Mr. Blair, too. Criminals belong in prison.

But this doesn't fit the fiction, it grates against the consensus, and it also by the way would cut significantly into media profits if they were no longer able to sell fear and war. CNN's viewership went up 500% after September 11. Have you any idea the advertising dollar-value a ratings boost like that brings along? They aren't dumb. Fear sells. Soul-scorching fear sells really well.

What we in the alternate media need to do, and what you media activists need to do, is advocate hard in your own communities for the providing of computers and internet access to poor and rural communities. In other words, we need to wire up the people who need this information, who get lied to by their televisions every day, who send their sons and daughters off to die so Halliburton and Exxon can line their pockets. I know this stuff, you know it, but too many others don't even have access to it. That has to change.

I have this dream. In my dream, I turn on my TV and CNN is on. Some talking head is there to do the top of the hour report. In my dream, the talking head says, "Today in Iraq, the 26,000 liters of anthrax, the 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin, the 500 tons which is one million pounds of sarin, mustard and VX gas, the 30,000 munitions to deliver these agents, the mobile biological weapons labs, the uranium from Niger and the robust nuclear weapons program that George W. Bush told us about in his January 2003 State of the Union address were, once again, not found anywhere. Now here's Flappy with the weather."

He goes into a lot more detail, of course. Please read.

un-Real ID

Lambert has more:

[. . .]

Besides setting up a national ID system, placing every American's identity at risk of theft, and laying the groundwork for a RFID-enabled system of internal passport controls, the RealID sets a precedent for the executive branch overiding any law without judicial review: [my emphasis]

[. . .]


Internal passport controls? What is this, Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia? Am I gonna need papers to cross the George Washington Bridge into Jersey? I hope they realize I won't put up with that. You have been warned.

The stench of hypocrisy 7

W. David Hager is a physician. He's also on the advisory panel of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and an outspoken evangelical wingnut. Now he has decided to take the credit for the failure of Plan B, which would have allowed over-the-counter sales of the so-called morning-after contraceptive pill. The story is unusual, because the FDA has a habit of following the recommendations of its advisory panel, yet it decided to go against the panel's advice in this particular case. Hager explains this as follows:

[. . .]

The wingnuts like Dr. Hager don't like Plan B because it might encourage unsafe sexual behavior. Thus, it comes as a teeny surprise that Dr. Hager himself has been accused of unsafe sexual behavior. His ex-wife, Linda Carruth Davis, has this to say about Dr. Hager:

[. . .]


Echidne goes in-depth on this asshole. Why is it that the folks who scream loudest against birth control, homosexuals, sodomy, and abortion are the ones who are the most fucked up when it comes to sex?

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Road Kill

As a follow up to Fixer's post, go see this.

Gunmen Erupt in L.A.

As you may have heard, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has stepped on its dick again, big time. From the LATimes (whose site has a nice new look, by the way):
Compton officials today joined a chorus of protest over the weekend shooting of an unarmed motorist by 10 sheriff's deputies who fired 120 times, striking the suspect, an officer, and the homes of five residents.

Compton, for those of you unfamiliar with L.A. neighborhoods, is predominately Afro-American, and the original home of the Crips and Bloods. Not that the ethnicity of the area would have anything to do with this story, perish the thought, but I can't see this happening in Beverly Hills.
"The overriding objective of every police operation is to protect the public. However, 120 rounds sprayed along a narrow residential street is not in the interest of public safety," Hall said.

Keeps folks off the street and out of trouble, though.
The shooting came after Hayes had been driving around the neighborhood for several hours playing loud music.

Wow. 120 rounds? I never use more than eight to retaliate against motorized boom boxes. That's all my Garand holds. But then, I have to pay for ammo with my own money.

Ten deputies fired 120 rounds, for an average of twelve rounds each, and scored four hits on the poor bastard, as well as a lot of collateral damage to the 'hood. If I'da done that poorly, my Primary Marksmanship Instructor would've hung me by my 'nads, which is exactly what oughta happen to these fool deputies, and not all because of their aim.

I was always taught that you should never point a firearm at anything unless you intended to shoot it. What the hell were those idiots thinking? Don't they know guns can kill people? Do they just plain not care what happens to folks in Compton?

Cops have in their job description the power to kill. I think they either need to have the serious nature of that explained to them before they are let out in public, and not to use potential deadly force lightly, or be disarmed, shitcanned, and told to go forth and sin no more against the people who pay their salaries. Preferably the latter.

The damage is done in this instance, however, and thank God nobody was killed. I'm sure some heads will roll, but probably not those of the higher-ups who let those idiots out on the street with a badge and a gun.

Training? Discipline? Communication? Planning? Marksmanship? Brains and/or common sense? Leadership? LACoSD? Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

Duh

Sisyphus Shrugged:

The Bush administration periodically put the USA on high alert for terrorist attacks even though then-Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge argued there was only flimsy evidence to justify raising the threat level, Ridge now says.

[. . .]

Percentages

Mark explores some interesting relationships.

Bend over

And grab your ankles:

CHICAGO May 11, 2005 — United Airlines gained a significant financial victory with court approval to dump its four pension plans but faces a tough challenge to win back the support of angry employees.

While smoothing the path toward a targeted exit from Chapter 11 bankruptcy later this year, Tuesday's ruling in U.S. Bankruptcy Court inflamed United's unions, with some hinting at the possibility of strikes or other disruptive actions.

It also prompted a renewed warning from some members of Congress that taxpayers may someday have to bail out the deficit-riddled government pension agency, which now will assume an additional $5 billion in pension obligations from United. [my emphasis]

[. . .]


We should have let the major airlines go under after 9/11. We wouldn't be bailing them out again. Trust me, we wouldn't have been any more inconvenienced than we were for the time it would take regional carriers to fill the vacuum. This is the age we birthed in 2000. The 21st Century, the Age of Broken Promises. Stupid, stupid Republicans.

Awwww

"You picked a fine time to leave me, loose wheel." - Darrell Waltrip

From the Lady of the Lake:

[. . .]

For the past six consecutive months, Fox News Channel's ratings in the all-important 25-54 age group (the ones most likely to buy whatever Fox advertisers are selling) have declined versus the previous month. Fox defenders were quick to leap to O'Reilly's defense today, saying everyone's ratings peaked around election time and then went down again. But in April 2005, FNC's weekday primetime demo average decreased 25% compared to the same time period a year ago. CNN's, on the other hand, increased 27%. Only on a network well-versed in promulgating the war in Iraq as an unqualified success could these numbers be smeared with lipstick and sold as a "triumph."

[. . .]


[nelson muntz] Ha-ha! [/nelson muntz] The wheels are coming off. Heh.

Breathe

"Breathe in the air,
Don't be afraid to care." - Breathe - Pink Floyd

"Breathe deep the gathering gloom,
Watch lights fade from every room." - Late Lament - Moody Blues

From the Sister:

[. . .]

It is the deadliest target in a swath of industrial northern New Jersey that terrorism experts call the most dangerous two miles in America: a chemical plant that processes chlorine gas, so close to Manhattan that the Empire State Building seems to rise up behind its storage tanks.

According to federal Environmental Protection Agency records, the plant poses a potentially lethal threat to 12 million people who live within a 14-mile radius.

[. . .]


[. . .]

What’s unbearably annoying is that on the same day I’m reading about such a huge security gap, questions about which directed to the administration would no doubt be met with excuses about funding, . . .


Who cares, the NY Metro Area is in blue states. That's why Cheyenne, Wyoming gets more Homeland Security money per person than NYC does.

Heh . . . see yas!

Pam:

We posted a couple of days ago about the dumb*ss pastor of East Waynesville Baptist Church, you know, the knucklehead that "excommunicated" followers with "Democratic tendencies" if they didn't vote for Chimpy (since a vote for Kerry was a vote for abortion and support of homos).

[. . .]


Well some of the founding members of the congregation came to their senses and put pressure on this dickhead to leave.

Frank Lowe, one of the nine asked to leave, said Tuesday: "I think his duty was to preach God's word and let the people sort out what they want to do."


Amen, brother.

Warblogger Appreciation Month

God, how'd I miss this? From the Penguin, snark and all:

The Culture Kitchen reminds us that May is the month set aside in commemoration of the brave men of the 101st Fighting Keyboarders, that pasty-faced flabby-bicep'ed division who, from the front lines of their parents' basements, fight for truth, justice, and Mom's apple pie (of which they regularly over-indulge, thus their penguin-like figures). Yes, May is Masturbation Month, in honor of the only sex that the 101st Fighting Keyboarders ever have!

[. . .]


Not that I have anything against masturbation (30 seconds and I don't break a sweat), but jeez, it's no substitute . . .

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Hillaryphobia

Go read the Moose via RUFNKM.
The ugly truth is that if Jesus of Nazareth himself returned and dared to run on the Democratic line the righteous right would tar him as a bleeding heart vagabond who couldn't hold a job and that he needed a shave. No doubt a Galilee Fishingboat Veterans for Truth outfit would call into question Jesus' miracle claims - financed with lavish funding from Rove's buddies in Texas and maximum exposure on Fox News. Just imagine the book - "Unfit to Save".

Let 'er buck, I say. I wonder why all the "horse" references lately?

Don't miss this one...

From the Niagara Falls Reporter.
When historians write about our times, they'll shake their heads and wonder how so many people could believe so many lies for so long. They might actually write two parallel books -- one describing the cascading lies and deceptions George W. Bush and the Republicans sold and the other telling the truth.

We're told, in effect, that trampling on civil liberties and eroding freedom are a sure way to protect us from terrorists who envy our freedom. That colossal lie will be one of the lasting stains on this era, and I fear the day coming when the Busheviks or their political heirs, gripped in fascist fever, will silence those who expose the fraud.

I am not only happy to help in a small way to expose the bastards, it's my civic duty, whatever the outcome.
George W. Bush lied to the world when he said he sought peace in Iraq and war was a "last resort." That's what historians will write and they now have a document proving it.

Journalism is often called the first draft of history. For the most part, America's big corporate media's first draft of Bush's war has been devoted to his propagating lies. That's very dangerous in a fragile democracy.

Those quotes are the beginning and the end of the piece. There's a lot in between. Hie thyself yonder and read.

Are Bush supporters literally insane?

That must be it. It would certainly help us understand why so many otherwise good Americans support that criminal fucking moron. Go read Slate's take on it.

Asleep at the switch

Telegraph:

A review of security at a major British naval base has been carried out after an alleged intruder was found on board a visiting American aircraft carrier.

The alleged trespasser was discovered on board the USS Harry S Truman, anchored off Stokes Bay, Gosport, on Saturday night during a week-long visit to Portsmouth Naval Base.

[. . .]


How? WTF?

GOP Plan to 'Fix' the Democrats

Damn, it hurts just thinking about it! By E.J. Dionne in the WaPo.
The stakes in politics are about to get a lot higher.

Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform and a leading figure in both the DeLay and Bush political operations, chose more colorful post-election language to describe the future. "Once the minority of House and Senate are comfortable in their minority status, they will have no problem socializing with the Republicans," he told Richard Leiby of The Post. "Any farmer will tell you that certain animals run around and are unpleasant. But when they've been 'fixed,' then they are happy and sedate. They are contented and cheerful."

If you wonder in the coming weeks why Democrats are so reluctant to give ground, remember Norquist's jocular reference to neutering the opposition party. Democrats are neither contented nor cheerful over the prospect of being "fixed." Should that surprise anyone?

Lots about DeLay in the Op-Ed as well. Go read.

This Day in History

On May 10, 1869, a golden spike was driven at Promontory, Utah, marking the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States.

It runs along about a half mile from where I'm sitting.

Since the builders were getting paid by the mile, and Big Business being what it is, the crews coming from both east and west actually built the lines right past each other for a few miles before they got reined in.

Also, since they got paid more for mountain miles than for flatland miles, and since nobody in Washington DC knows shit from shinola, the Sierra Nevada range got extended west to about Sacramento for billing purposes.

You can read about this major milestone in "Nothing Like It In The World" by Stephen Ambrose. A wonderful read.

Taking Earth's Pulse

In light of the wonderful, caring way that Preznit Horse Cranker is taking care of the planet, I think this article in the NYTimes is very interesting.
In the wilds of the San Jacinto Mountains, along a steep canyon, scientists are turning 30 acres of pines and hardwoods in California into a futuristic vision of environmental study.

"It's a sea change across a whole range of fields," said Dr. Robert S. Detrick, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod. "The objective is long-term investigation of temporal, climate or human impact. It's a big change."

"It's the largest undertaking in the history of geoscience," said Dr. Gregory E. van der Vink, project director of EarthScope, which is based in Washington. "It's about instrumenting North America."

The scientists say the nation should press ahead because the opportunities are so great and the stakes so high.

"It's a paradigm shift," Dr. William J. Kaiser of the Center for Embedded Network Sensing said of innovative new ways of monitoring the environment. "It's going to change the way we think."

I hereby volunteer to take a bunch of the largest probes they got and go to Washington D.C.. Believe me, I know right where to stick 'em for maximum effect.

Stump broke

Even a city boy like me knows what that means. Blondie.

Causes

If ya can spare a couple bucks. From Suburban Guerrilla:

Operation Truth, the Iraqi war vets organization, is going to Washington next week to meet with Congress.

They need a few bucks to cover expenses. If you want to really support the troops, click here.

Seems like yesterday

PSoTD looks back at the news headlines from a year ago.

No surprise

From Leah at the Blog of 8:

[. . .]

The story they have to tell is about the circumstances under which the was "recruited" into the National Guard, in which he is still serving. Those circumstances involve intense pressure, on both the son, who was seventeen at the time of his recruitment and the mother, (who had to give permission for her son to enter the Guard), lies told, promises broken, and more. It's a story that is disturbing and heart-breaking.

[. . .]


Does this come as a surprise to anyone? Four months of falling recruiting totals and we're gonna have to do something. The recruiters are desperate and the brass is probably crawling all over 'em. Remember, the recruiters are mere enlisted weenies. They're being told by their officers to say anything to meet the monthly quotas.

More 'pearls'

One of these days, I have to meet Jayinbmore for a drink. He comes off with some deep stuff and I'd love to spend a couple hours or so swapping ideas. His newest, stolen fully and completely:

Thoughts from Kansas sums up the story so far, with links. The thing that drives me batty, continually, is that even very smart people don't directly address the really serious issue, although TfK gets at it. Yes, the war is on "naturalism". But rarely is the question asked: who benefits from the war, and who benefits if "naturalism" is destroyed? There's only one group of people who benefit from the enforced ignorance of the general population, and that group of people doesn't have the general population's best interest at heart.

You're "it".

Since the Yelladog tagged the Old Man and me yesterday, turnabout is fair play. There are a couple ladies whom I'd be interested in seeing their musical inclinations. Cmdr. Sue and Morrigan, how 'bout it, girls? And what about you KR? Heh.

Tin Ear Man Gets Tapped

Ol' Yelladog got me too. He saved me from volunteering.

First, let me tell you about my musical acumen. I'm good at listening, but playing and singing, not so much. I may be the only guy in history to have this happen to me:
Once upon a time, many years ago (I can't remember that decade, exactly, or even which one it was) I went to see The Rolling Stones at Anaheim Stadium. Sixty thousand people in the crowd, yellin' an' screamin'. Mick Jagger comes struttin' out like a banty rooster, his scrawny chest stuck out nearly as far as his lips, one arm pointed at the sky. The crowd got wilder. You couldn't hear yourself think. Jagger grabbed a microphone (they still used them in those days), pointed at the crowd and yelled, "Thank you all for coming." Then, he pointed directly at me and said, "Gordon, don't clap. It throws our drummer off!"

As far as singing, I'm best in a group. Whenever I sing on a clear night, no problem. Dogs 'n frogs join in from miles around.

Here we go.

A. Top Five Lyrics that Move Your Heart:

"The Marine's Hymn" goes without saying.

1."Night Rider's Lament" - Nanci Griffith on "Other Voices, Other Rooms"
Tell me, why do you ride for your money, and why do you rope for short pay?
You ain't gettin' nowhere an' you're losing your share,
Oh, you must have gone crazy out there.

Well, they've never seen the Northern Lights,
never seen a hawk on the wing.
They've never seen Spring hit the Great Divide
Or heard ol' camp cookie sing.


2. "You Don't Miss Your Water" - Kathy Kallick on "Good Ol' Persons: Good and Live"
In the beginning you really loved me,
but I was blind and I could not see.

I was a playgirl, I could not be true.
I could not believe I really loved you.

But when you left me,
Oh, how I cried.
You don't miss your water
'Til your well runs dry.


3. "She's More To Be Pitied" - The Stanley Brothers and The Clinch Mountain Boys
She's there at the bar every evenin'
Face powdered and cheeks painted red.
Her beauty has faded too early
Brought on by the fast life she's led.

She's more to be pitied than scolded,
She needs to be loved, not despised.
Too much beer and wine, too many good times.
The lure of the honky-tonk has wrecked her young life.


4. "Joe's Last Train" - The Country Gentlemen
Standin' by the railroad track, his chin down on his chest,
The old man couldn't catch the train, although he tried his best.
A sleepin' roll, a coffee pot, a jug half full of wine,
He threw inside the boxcar that went on down the line.

Poor ol' Joe's too old to catch the train,
But somethin' keeps him tryin' just the same.
Old soldiers and old sailors have a place to go,
But no one helps a railroad bum like poor ol' Hobo Joe.


5. "Gypsies in the Palace" - Jimmy Buffett
-- spoken:
In days of old, when knights were bold,
And journeyed from their castles,
Trusty men were left behind,
Knights needed not the hassles.
They helped themselves to pig and peach,
And drank from king’s own chalice.
Oh, it was a stirring sight
These gypsies in the palace.
And some things never change. hit it boys!

So long boss, knock ’em dead, don’t worry ’bout a thing
Wish that we could come along, we’d love to hear you sing
Limo’s here, your bags are packed, the list is by the phone
Me and snake will watch your place and treat it like our own

Look at all this liquor
Look at all this food
It’s only gonna go to waste
We’re not really being rude
But the good stuff’s in his closet, I swear he wouldn’t mind
Hell we’ll just shoot the lock off, I do it all the time.

He’s the greatest guy to work for, man he’s really cool
Hey snake this party’s gettin’ dull, throw someone in the pool
Hey let’s all take our clothes off and form a conga line
Watch out for that broken glass, hey snake we need more wine

We’re gypsies in the palace, there ain’t no wrong or right
We’re gypsies in the palace, and we’re raisin’ hell tonight
Hey

Oh hi there boss, what’s goin’ on
You say you’re coming when?
I’ll send snake out to pick you up tomorrow night at ten, okay!
Everybody outta here, this joint is closin’ down
We gotta find someone to clean this up, he’s comin’ back to town

Hi there boss we waxed your cars, we raked and mowed your lawn
We couldn’t find enough to do in the short time you were gone
Man it sure is peaceful here, you’ve really got it all
If you ever hit the road again, give me and snake a call!


-- spoken:
Hey, jimmy, it’s glenn
Glenn, how ya doin’?
Fine man, I’m goin’ on the road.
Do you know anybody who could possibly house-sit for me?
I got these two great guys that look after my place.
Man, they’re the best!

B. Top 5 Instrumentals:

1. "Walk, Don't Run" - The Ventures
2. Any of the selections on CLARENCE WHITE: 33 ACOUSTIC GUITAR INSTRUMENTALS
3. "Dixie Breakdown" - The Dillards
4. "Thus Sprach Zarathustra" from "2001: A Space Odyssey"
5. Any selection from TUT & CLARENCE FLATPICKING

C. Top 5 Live Musical Experiences:

1. Smoking a joint with Doug Dillard in the back room of The Palomino Club in North Hollywood in the '70s. He told me I had a nice grin. If you've ever seen his shit-eatin' grin, you'd know that was like Jesus telling you you're a good person.
2. Malibu Mountains Bluegrass Festival, 1976. 100,000 people for a one-day event. Closed down the Ventura Freeway, ten miles away. Rode there with Joe Gastwirt, a mastering engineer and fellow motorcycle mechanic from Brooklyn who had just learned to drive and really shouldn't have been on the L.A. Freeway. I don't scare easy, but I made an exception that day. We had to carry a lot of water to get his load of an overheatin' Fairlane there and back. The music was good, but the whole day was one-of-a-kind.
3. Getting my friends "The Saddlerash Bluegrass Band" their first gig at the Pastime Club, aka The Knife n' Gun Club, in Truckee in the late '80s. They're from North Lake Tahoe, 12 miles away, and had never played that far from home before. Also, they were scared of Truckee's reputation as a tough town. It used to be. They had a great time and are still playing, and have become much more professional with time. Hey, ya gotta take it outta town sometime.
4. Seeing Emmylou Harris and The Hot Band at the Palomino Club in the '70s with Ricky Skaggs as her guitar player. We got to sit right in front. They got three bucks for a Bud so I snuck in a six-pack in the pockets of an English motorcycle jacket. The waitress kept checking my beer to see if I needed a fresh one but I never did. I think she musta thought I got pretty gooned on one bottle. Hell, I'm a cheap date.
5. I sang an old country tune, Freddy Hart's "The Wall", a cappella to a dorm full of youngsters in the county jail once and got applause. Yes, it was a captive audience but, trust me, these were not country fans. And just what was I doing in jail, you ask? Thirty days.

D. Top Five Artists You Think More People Should Listen To:

1. Kathy Kallick, solo, with "Good Ol' Persons" or anybody else.
2. Allison Krauss and Union Station
3. The Fox Family
4. The Seldom Scene - Bluegrass band from the D.C. area.
5. Bryan Bowers - Probably the best autoharp player in the world. He can play at least six parts of a song with one hand. I don't even know if it's been recorded but his "Hash Eatin' Song From Virginia" is not to be missed.

E. Top Five Albums You Must Hear From Start to Finish:

1. Emmylou Harris - "Quarter Moon In A Ten-Cent Town"
2. Mary McCaslin & Jim Ringer - "Bramble and the Rose"
3. Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris - "Trio"
4. Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen - "Bakersfield Bound"
5. Jimmy Buffett - "Meet Me In Margaritaville"

F. Top Five Musical Heroes:

1. Doug Dillard - World's best 5-string banjo player. I have never heard anyone play while they were sober with better speed and precision than he could while dead drunk and/or stoned on his ass. His band,"The Dillards", played "The Darlings" on the Andy Griffith Show.
2. Emmylou Harris, for her entire body of work.
3. Jimmy Buffett, just 'cuz he's Jimmy Buffett.
4. Woody Guthrie. He wrote and sang about hard times, and tried to make a difference.
5. Alan Lomax, for preserving an awful lot of American and world music.

This was fun but actually kinda hard, not just the research and typing but choosing from all the wonderful music and brilliant writers and performers. Since the whole thing is sorta mood-driven, the whole shootin' match could come up different on any given day. There's other categories that should be included too, but I'm tired.

Do this to me again 'dog and I'll...do it again.

Monday, May 9, 2005

The answer

To the mess in Iraq. Via Badtux, Operation: GOLDEN SHOWER.

Tagged and snagged

I was trying to lay low, but Ol' Yella snagged me.

A. Top Five Lyrics that Move Your Heart:

"You're my castle, you're my cabin, you're my instant pleasure dome
I need you in my house 'cause you're my home" - You're My Home - Billy Joel

"If the sun refused to shine, I would still be loving you
Mountains crumble to the sea, but there will still be you and me" - Thank You -Led Zepplelin (Our wedding song, by the way)

"I'm a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride
I'm wanted dead or alive, Wanted dead or alive" - Wanted, Dead or Alive - Bon Jovi (My old squadron song, by the way)

"But with any other beat I got left in my heart, You know I’d rather be damned with you
If I gotta be damned you know I wanna be damned, Dancing through the night with you" - Bat out of Hell - Meat Loaf

"O'er the land of the Free
and the home of the Brave" - Star Spangled Banner - Francis Scott Key

Honorable Mention: "I met a gin-soaked barroom queen in Memphis" -Tumblin' Dice - Rolling Stones

B. Top 5 Instrumentals:

Moby Dick - Led Zeppelin

Jessica - Allman Bros.

On The Run - Pink Floyd

Fanfare for the Common Man - Aaron Copeland

1812 Overture - Piotr Iliych Tchaikovskiy

C. Top 5 Live Musical Experiences:

Grateful Dead - Radio City Music Hall, NYC - 1978

Crosby, Stills, and Nash - Lake Compounce, Bristol CT - 1986

AC/DC - Market Garden Arena, Indianapolis IN - 1984

Meat Loaf - Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale NY - 1995

Billy Joel - Reunion Arena, Dallas TX - 1984

D. Top Five Artists You Think More People Should Listen To:

Unicorn - A German band out of Kaiserslautern

Frank Zappa

Bond

4 Non Blondes

Van Morrison

E. Top Five Albums You Must Hear From Start to Finish:

Apostrophe - Frank Zappa

Bat out of Hell - Meat Loaf

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends, ladies and gentlemen, Emerson Lake and Palmer - Emerson, Lake, and Palmer

Supernatural - Santana

Zofo - Led Zeppelin

F. Top Five Musical Heroes:

Jon Entwistle - The Who

Mick Jagger - Rolling Stones

Frank Zappa - FZ

Jimmy Page - Led Zeppelin

Kieth Moon - The Who/Bono - U2

Truth, DeLay, and Rectal Bleeding

Took me a while to quit rolling on the floor, unwrap the wires from around my head, wipe off the keyboard and screen, and steal this from Yelladog:
Perhaps I am the last person in America to give a damn, but why are our elected officials using the corporate jets of the likes of Enron as personal taxis? Shouldn't they be required to disclose this sort of largesse? Is there any way we can force them to disclose these things?

Imagine how that would play in a campaign commercial- something like those monotonic flurries of information at the end of pharmaceutical commercials, where the voiceover announces that the product may have certain side effects, like baldness, hairy palms, headache, dry mouth and rectal bleeding.

"Tom DeLay is not for everyone. Tom DeLay may have certain side effects, including theocracy, homophobia, complete obeisance to corporate interests, higher energy prices, pointless wars and rectal bleeding. In the past, Tom DeLay has flown on the Enron jet 47 times, watched the Superbowl from Jack Abramoff's skybox eight times, played golf on Russia's dime X times, blahblahblah..."

In a world where campaign commercials were forced into full disclosure, I know that I would watch more television.

You could always read during the actual programs, I guess.

Haben Sie deine F├╝hrerschein, bitte?

RealID is real now. Make zertain you haff your papers. Paul the Spud blogging at the Sister:

Call me paranoid, and I've said this before, but we're inches away from tattooed barcodes.

Yeah, Yeah, I know... it's to fight terrorism. Well, bullshit. It's making our police force and millitary into the SS. How is "show me your "Real ID" different than "Papers, please," when you get down to brass tacks?

[. . .]

Today in History

From Working for Change:

Things that happened on this day that you never had to memorize in school:
1432: Charges of witchcraft dismissed against Margery Jourdemain, John Virley, and John Ashwell, in England. They're executed for littering instead.

1933: First Nazi-inspired mass public book-burning, Germany.

1967: Muhammed Ali stripped of world heavyweight boxing title for refusing military draft.

1974: Congress begins impeachment hearings of President Richard M. Nixon.

The Redhead and Her Friends

Arianna Huffington has opened her new blog, "The Huffington Post" today. Check it out.

Bush Gets Tough Queries From Youths in Holland

From the LATimes:
MAASTRICHT, Netherlands — At home, President Bush regularly travels the nation for "conversations" with hand-picked audiences who routinely shower him and his policies with praise. But abroad on Sunday, some youths in Holland had a rare, unscripted opportunity to ask questions that some Americans might want to pose if given the chance.

Based on the questions asked in the first half-hour, before reporters were ushered from the room (my emphasis), this group of students might not have passed muster at a typical White House event.

Might not have passed muster? They probably would have been arrested. Going off script by asking an actual question is at least a misdemeanor in Bushworld. I wonder if Bush thought those kids wouldn't speak English so the interpreter could ask the pre-planned questions and pass along the pre-planned compliments. I'll bet he was amazed they weren't wearing wooden shoes, too.

I guess the "Free Press" is only "Free" to go along with the program of lies and deceptions. Any chance of actual reporting seems to be off the table.

Cats and dogs

If you have any of either, you'll smile. Eponymous.

Laurel and Hardy

"Yeb vat, Georgi, now look what you've got us into."


Pic courtesy of Atrios.

Sunday, May 8, 2005

Happy Mother's Day!

To all you mothers out there.

Sunday Stupids

I was just watching Jack Welch on Little George. Am I the only one who thinks this guy is completely out of touch? I'm surprised Chimpy doesn't have him working at 1600. And don't even get me started on George Will. And I don't care what anybody says. I like Sam Donaldson.

Update: 16:45:

I'm sending you to Jane for more.

Nothing's changed

We went to war in Iraq, got close to 1600 Americans killed so far, 30,000 - 40,000 wounded, and probably a hundred thousand Iraqis dead. For all of that, nothing has changed. Swerve Left:

Recruitment's down; high-ranking military officers themselves admit that American military readiness has been compromised; worldwide terrorist incidents are the highest they've been in two decades; Iraq once more has convicted felons and known killers occupying key government posts . . .


Mission accomplished.

More reefer madness

Jane says it far better than I could. That's 'cause she's not an old pothead like me.

Northwest pedophiles

I linked to this earlier in the week, but JJ from Big Brass Balls, . . . er Blog has more . . . much more on this group of sickos.

New science

Eponymous reveals the 'Kansas Method' of scientific research.