Heh, Gord, he called us 'rock-ribbed'.
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.
[. . .]
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.
[. . .]
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.
[. . .]
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!
[. . .]
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."
[. . .]
We're gonna be left behind soon enough. Our inept leadership had put the American Century soundly to bed. It's downhill from here.
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.
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.
"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" )
[. . .]
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.
[. . .]
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.
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."
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."
[. . .]
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]
[. . .]
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:
[. . .]
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.
"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.
The shooting came after Hayes had been driving around the neighborhood for several hours playing loud music.
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.
[. . .]
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]
[. . .]
[. . .]
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."
[. . .]
[. . .]
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, . . .
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).
[. . .]
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."
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!
[. . .]
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".
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.
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.
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.
[. . .]
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?
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."
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.
[. . .]
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.
[. . .]
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.
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.
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?
[. . .]
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.
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.
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 . . .