Saturday, December 23, 2006

A rotten year ...

For Jesus Christ, American. The Guardian via Nicole at C & L:

Watching the box-office numbers coming in last week on the flop that was The Nativity Story, it occurred to me that the movie's failure might be a symptom of something happier. Alongside the November congressional elections that put George Bush's manhood in a lockbox for the next two years, the most encouraging development of the past year has been the American electorate's ferocious rejection of the primary tenets held by the fundamentalist godfathers of his administration. It's been a rotten year for Jesus Christ, American. Merry Christmas!

The craziest religious politicians were rudely kicked out of office, as a homosexual scandal engulfed a homophobic Republican Party, as gay-bashing religious hypocrites started tumbling from Colorado closets. Christian fundamentalist-backed ballot initiatives on reliable hot-button religious issues tanked, nationwide. South Dakota overturned a draconian abortion ban tailored by its far-right backers to provoke a test case before the US Supreme Court. Indiana voted not to outlaw stem-cell research, and Arizona voted down a gay marriage ban.

States don't come redder and more Bush-friendly than these, and yet they rejected the fundamentalist programme all down the line. So much for those Democrats who claimed, after the 2004 defeat, that the left now needed to kowtow to the vomity likes of Jerry Falwell and James Dobson.


Merry Christmas indeed. But I won't be happy until 'God's Chosen Preznit' is on unemployment.

Saturday night whore ...

My weekly installment (Chapter 11) of my novel The Captains is up at The Practical Press.


Happy Holidays everyone! I don't give a damn what god you worship, may the real spirit of this season be with you and the people you care for. As my esteemed blog pardner Gord said: Pray for Peace.


But say a prayer,
pray for the other ones
At Christmastime it's hard,
but when you're having fun
There's a world outside your window,
and it's a world of dread and fear
Where the only water flowing
is the bitter sting of tears
And the Christmas bells that ring there
are the clanging chimes of doom
Well tonight thank God it's them
instead of you

And there won't be snow in Africa this Christmastime
The greatest gift they'll get this year is life
Where nothing ever grows
No rain or rivers flow
Do they know it's Christmastime at all?

Here's to you raise a glass for everyone
Here's to them underneath that burning sun
Do they know it's Christmastime at all?


~ Great thanks to Bono for doing his damndest to keep our eyes open.

And at this time, do something to help those less fortunate.

Re: Blogger upgrade

Now they're not ready for us again. Oy! Best laid plans ...

Merry Christmas

I was gonna wait 'til in the morning to do this, but then I figured I better do it now because Fixer's liable to have this thing spread out all over the floor by then!

Me'n Mrs. G are headin' out to the coast for a family Christmas. If I don't see ya before about Wednesday, I'll see ya then.

We should be OK: Congress is out of session, so we're safe from them. I hope the 110th Congress takes that number as the 110% effort they owe us and better put out.

Bush is holed up somewhere tryin' to figure out a way to lie his ass out of trouble over the criminal war he lied us into, without admitting any mistakes or defeat. Fat chance, chimp boy.

I ain't gonna worry about it for a coupla days.

So to all, a Merry Christmahannukwaanzakkah. Pray for peace.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Day off

Everybody gets the day off tomorrow as I'm starting the move to the new Blogger software. Atrios survived so I figger I take the chance before Blogger forces me to do it anyway. I'll be starting at 0500 tomorrow and we'll be back whenever the bots finish the job.

Keeping this on top today, new posts begin below.

I was wrong ...

I thought it would take 6 months before we actually considered what it might take to reinstate a Draft. It won't even be a Friedman Unit:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Selective Service System is making plans to test its draft machinery in case Congress and President Bush need it, even though the White House says it doesn't want to bring back the draft.


And one F.U. ago, everybody said Charlie Rangel was crazy when he brought it up. They say the test won't be ready to run until 2009. I'd bet they'd be ready to run it one F.U. from now if it keeps going to shit in Iraq. I'd betcha they could get a Draft up and running by this time next year if they really wanted to. Are they still making kids register when they turn 18? Thought so.

While Nero fiddles

While Chimpy McFucknuts is decidin' what to do in Eye-Rack, the meatgrinder rolls on.

My kinda holiday!

Fuck Christmas, this is it.

Minimizing the damage?

Christy at FDL looks at the maneuvering by Dems so they're not painted as the 'surrender monkeys' they were after Vietnam. You remember the lines; "if we were only committed to victory", "if we would have sent more troops", "the peaceniks and Democrats sabotaged the war effort". She takes a quote from Kevin Drum:

The question here isn't so much about withdrawal, which I believe Ackerman, Farley, and Lemieux all support, but about how to handle withdrawal politically in order to minimize damage to the Democratic Party.

It's real simple. The Dems who supported the war have to admit they were wrong and ask forgiveness. Period. [If the Dem Presidential candidate in '08 voted for the war, they'd better apologize before they get my vote] Second, they have to call it what it was, an illegal act of war. Third, they have to impeach the President and Vice-President and put them on trial for war crimes. [If the Dem Presidential candidate in '08 doesn't support impeachment, they don't get my vote] It's not the fact that the Dems want to leave Iraq, but the fact the war was illegal in the first place and should never have happened. While some Dems were culpable in giving the Chimp the authority, they sure as hell didn't dream up this craziness.

No one paid the price for Vietnam except the 58,000 troops whose names are on that black marble wall in Washington. They have to show, decisively, that we demand accountability from our leaders and to prove, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that invading Iraq was an illegal act. Hopefully, Henry Waxman and John Conyers and the rest can bring the illegalities to light and get them on the record. After the Clinton/Lewinsky fiasco the Rethugs fabricated, impeachment is the only avenue at this point. If we do not impeach, it will say we take more offense at an extramarital blowjob than we do the premeditated murder of 3,000 U.S. troops and countless Iraqis.

It's not time to play CYA on the Dems' part. It's time to take the high road and let the chips fall where they may. Christy says it best at the end:

Even better, if the chorus of ridicule over Bush's cowardly posturing from a strong, morally based Democratic party is effective enough, we may even browbeat the loser into changing course in Iraq. Why should we be content with just playing the role that Republicans want us to play?

And just an addendum to those who can't wait to see Cheney sweat on the witness stand in the Scooter Libby trial: Do not think for a second Dick Cheney will ever see the inside of a courtroom, and do not think there will be any new revelations from it. In fact, I think the Chimp will pardon Libby long before the jury is seated.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I've been saying it ...

For 2 years. Now they're floating that trial balloon:

NEW YORK -- President Bush's secretary for Veterans Affairs said Thursday that "society would benefit" if this country were to bring back the military draft, and said it shouldn't have loopholes for anyone who is called to serve.


Wait, if we're still bogged down in Iraq in a Friedman Unit*, we'll be discussing this seriously.

*1 F.U. = 6 months

For the children

Again, San Francisco leads the way...

Twenty women took off their clothes on Wednesday to make the world a better place.

And one of them did an X-rated dance in stiletto heels with a giant stuffed dog, because it was the right thing to do for the children of San Francisco.

Debbie Licious may not be her real name, she said, but the $10 bills that customers kept poking into her various garment straps were very much genuine. She and her caring colleagues at the Gold Club on Howard Street were turning over the proceeds of their lap dances to benefit the San Francisco Fire Department's annual charity toy drive.

I see the common element between firefighters and strippers: must be the pole - dance around it, slide down it - it's a bond. And then I read further:

"That pole is too thin to be a fire pole," Lopez said, studying the situation very carefully. "But it's a good pole for other purposes."

I wouldn't touch that line with a. . .well, you know...

Firefighters union President John Hanley applauded the strip club and said he "hadn't heard one kid complain" about the source of the toys. And Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said the club is a "legitimate taxpaying business" and the strippers were "doing the right thing."

One club regular, who appeared to have been slaking his thirst from something besides a fire hydrant, kept slipping folding money into various posteriors.

"I'm giving back to the community!" he hollered.

Now that's civic-mindedness!

"Forget all that holly-jolly hoo-ha..."

Where else but the EssEffChron?

At the First Satanic Church party, there's music, burlesque and other sinfully rich ways to forget all that holly jolly hoo-ha

Black X Mass has been a San Francisco tradition since 1997. Over the years the audience has ranged from people who don't celebrate Christmas, to those who want to detox from a day of heavy dysfunction with their celebrating relatives and contemplate the possibility that they were adopted, to people who have recently moved to San Francisco and have no local family with whom to celebrate.

Black X Mass is presented by the First Satanic Church and its founder and high priestess, Karla LaVey.

"It's basically a variety show. There are outlandish acts that are really good musically. There's a lot of burlesque," LaVey says. "It's all crazy, wild and I guess a lot of people might call it sinful. Everyone has a good time and leaves in a better mood. All are invited to join the festivities. "

Included among the guest emcees is Monkeyman, the founder of Pirate Cat Radio, the station where Karla LaVey broadcasts her show, "The Satanic Church," every Wednesday night. Monkeyman started the unlicensed radio station more than 10 years ago, and it continues to broadcast on 87.9 FM in San Francisco and Los Angeles as well as online at

Black X Mass won't be a typical night at the club. "It's a party atmosphere, it's not just everyone sitting down and watching a show," LaVey says. "Everyone mingles, and there will be cake and snacks, too."

Dare to come in full costume and be ready for anything.

Sounds like fun. The only costume I wear to things like that is skivvy shorts, shower shoes, and a light coat of oil.

Why Impeaching Bush Is Good for Our Species


Ask yourself this: If our species is not predisposed by evolution to be both deceptive and gullible in equal proportions, how is it that we are so completely susceptible to propaganda, photo-op rhetoric, televangelists and backseat affirmations of love?

Very "wise guys" make up these lies and we believe them because it's easier than trying to figure out why we shouldn't (i.e., because we lack critical-reasoning skills). So, given our species' proclivity for deception, a more fitting Latin nickname might be homo sapiens fallaxcis ("wise guy who lies").

Considering both the ease with which President Bush bamboozled most Americans into supporting an unjust-and-illegal war against Iraq, and their subsequent lack of outrage at this affront to their sapient selves, one has to wonder if our species has not arrived at one of those telling evolutionary moments?

Ten thousand generations hence, might not they use the Bush Y-chromosome as their genetic marker to signal a crucial turning point in the evolution of homo sapiens fallaxcis, the fateful point where our generation foolishly chose to protect that which makes us fallaxcis at the expense of that which makes us sapiens, and we branched off into the genus homo fallaxcis? Ecce homo fallaxcis! Behold deceitful man!

However, if we follow congresswoman McKinney's lead, and impeach this World Class Deceiver for his lies and their dire consequences, we might send a signal to future generations that we consciously sought a different, far wiser evolutionary path.

Good points. One more fine reason to impeach the sonofabitch.

In the larger context of saving our species and the planet I think we need the 'bigger hammer' approach: mandatory sterilization of Repuglicans.

'Round Up' Olbermann, Damon, And 'Put Them In A Detention Camp'

Think Progress

Yesterday on Fox News, talk radio host Mike Gallagher said the U.S. government should "round up" actor Matt Damon, "The View" host Joy Behar, and MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann and "put them in a detention camp until this war is over because they're a bunch of traitors."

Gallagher was upset over Behar's comment that Time magazine should have chosen a controversial "Hitler-type" like Donald Rumsfeld as its Person of the Year. Gallagher said Damon should also be incarcerated because he "attacked George Bush and Dick Cheney"; he didn't explain why he wanted to imprison Olbermann. Watch it:

By all means watch it.

Advocating locking up folks for utilizing their Constitutionally protected right of free speech to dissent is about what we've come to expect from wingnut gasbags. Say anything you want as long as you agree with us. Otherwise you're a traitor. I wonder if this Gallagher asshole understands the meaning of the word "irony"?

Automatic Declassification


It will be a Cinderella moment for the band of researchers who study the hidden history of American government.

At midnight on Dec. 31, hundreds of millions of pages of secret documents will be instantly declassified, including many F.B.I. cold war files on investigations of people suspected of being Communist sympathizers. After years of extensions sought by federal agencies behaving like college students facing a term paper, the end of 2006 means the government's first automatic declassification of records.

Secret documents 25 years old or older will lose their classified status without so much as the stroke of a pen, unless agencies have sought exemptions on the ground that the material remains secret.

And every year from now on, millions of additional documents will be automatically declassified as they reach the 25-year limit, reversing the traditional practice of releasing just what scholars request.

I hope there are legions of researchers lined up to get at this stuff. Inquiring minds want to know.

Billionaire Radio

The Billionaires are at it again. The lovely Encino Lady informs me via email that the Billionaires for Bush will be on the radio and streaming live on the interwebs:

Break out the eggnog nog and the gold-plated champagne flutes
and enjoy a visit with the Billionaires

Christmas Day, December 25, 2006

at 5:00 PM Pacific Standard Time

on KPFK 90.7FM Los Angeles,
98.7FM Santa Barbara

and streaming worldwide at

Mrs. F's cousin Encino Man also makes an appearance as Homer Phobe. If you're into satire, the Billionaires are not to be missed.

I told ya

God is pissed. Shouldn't a plague of locusts come next?

Who says?

'Real' Americans won't do the jobs we use illegals for? Via Xan, seems a company that was raided by immigration has more legal applicants than it knows what to do with. Imagine that. I've said many times that the only reason corporations and the government push this meme is to keep more money in corporate, and political, pockets. Pay Americans a decent, living wage, and they'll take any job you offer.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Re: Blogger upgrade

I'm gonna do it this weekend, probably at the wee hours so if I fuck something up, most folks won't see it. What the hell, if it sucks it'll give me something else to bitch about.

Thanks for all your comments.

Update 05:40 Thursday:

I don't know if anybody else noticed but Blogger has been moving Atrios since last night (I've been getting this page when I head over there). Seems to me there might be a bit of a problem? I'm sure Atrios will let us know when (if) he gets up and running again but it's making me rethink doing the move.

Science fiction goes political


In books out now, President Chelsea Clinton hosts Osama bin Laden while most of the country lives under Sharia law.

Be afraid, conservatives. If you survived the victory speeches of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and allowed yourself to think, "Things can't get any worse," get over it. They can.

Two years from now, terrorists under the banner of the "Progressive Restoration" will take over Manhattan in a larger attempt to overthrow the government. Thirteen years later, President Chelsea Clinton and Vice President Michael Moore will haul out the good White House china for Osama bin Laden's state visit. By fiddling with your radio, you may be able to catch an underground broadcast by Sean Hannity. If you own a radio, that is; folks living in states that are under Sharia law won't even be that lucky.

Remember, after use, fold the top of the barf bag toward you.

Orcinus and Yglesias weigh in on this as well.

The A to Z Guide to Political Interference in Science

The Union of Concerned Scientists has produced a pro-fesh-un-al scientific lookin' point 'n click chart. Go see.

Stuck in denial

Craig Crawford

There are those in the White House who are struggling to get the president to do more than listen. Perhaps that is why the planned pre-Christmas speech has been delayed: They saw the president again leaning toward a status quo speech despite their carefully choreographed efforts to show him mulling change.

Indeed, there is nothing short of an intervention under way here. And yet Bush, like so many targets of a family intervention, appears stuck in denial, unable to take that first step toward getting help.

Bush is a drunk for sure, drinking or not. I can only hope that his denial brings him jail, poverty, loneliness, sickness, and death, like it would any other alky who needs help and refuses to get it.

U.S. Not Winning War in Iraq, Bush Says for 1st Time


President Bush acknowledged for the first time yesterday that the United States is not winning the war in Iraq and said he plans to expand the overall size of the "stressed" U.S. armed forces to meet the challenges of a long-term global struggle against terrorists.

As he searches for a new strategy for Iraq, Bush has now adopted the formula advanced by his top military adviser to describe the situation. "We're not winning, we're not losing," Bush said in an interview with The Washington Post. The assessment was a striking reversal for a president who, days before the November elections, declared, "Absolutely, we're winning."

Among the options under review by the White House is sending 15,000 to 30,000 more troops to Iraq for six to eight months. The idea has the support of important figures such as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and has been pushed by some inside the White House, but the Joint Chiefs have balked because they think advocates have not adequately defined the mission, according to U.S. officials.

The chiefs have warned that a short-term surge could lead to more attacks against U.S. troops, according to the officials, who described the review on the condition of anonymity because it is not complete. Bush would not discuss such ideas in detail but said "all options are viable."

Anyone who thinks a short-term surge is the silver bullet to turn around an inevitable loss better study up on The Battle of the Bulge. Or maybe Banzai charge is closer: is considered honourable to do a last desperate charge at the enemy and perish together with them instead of dying in cowardice.

That's fine, if you ain't the one doin' the chargin'...and dyin'.

A big round of applause ...

To Brother Lurch, who we think is kickass too.

Not so big question ...

It seems Blogger is ready to move the blog to the new server, or software, or whatever they're doing to give me a better blogging experience [/sarcasm]. My question is this; have any of you folks switched over and is it worth it? Being that you can't switch back if you don't like it, I don't want to be pissed off at Blogger every time I try to post something. Any feedback would be appreciated, thanks.

The big question ...



Do the American people really want to continue to mortgage their own future and their children's futures so that George W. Bush can save face? Because that's what this escalation is all about. Every penny that's spent on this not only prolongs our involvement in this misbegotten war, exacerbating the horror for the Iraqis and robbing Americans of money that is desperately needed for other things.


You didn't think the half-trillion we spent in Iraq so far was free did you? The federal government has been cutting back in other places, selling off national assets, in order to finance this illegal adventure.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Top Ten Stories You Missed in 2006

Well, we didn't miss all of them, but enough. Not too many of these appeared mainstream that I can remember. From Foreign Policy:

Petro Powers Drop the Dollar

8. If you thought record oil prices this year were a pain in your wallet, there's more bad news on the horizon. The latest Bank for International Settlements quarterly report, which tracks the investment trends of oil-producing countries, indicates that Russia and OPEC countries are moving their holdings out of dollars and into euros and yen. OPEC cut its holdings in the dollar by more than $5 billion during the first and second quarter of 2006. And Russia now keeps most of its new deposits in euros instead of dollars.

That decrease is swift and significant - and helps to explain why the dollar recently fell to a 20-month low against the euro and a 14-year low against the British pound. Holding dollars while other currencies gain strength means less profit for oil producers. But if they rapidly divest themselves of dollars, it may weaken the currency and push up inflation in the United States. "This new trend may be bigger trouble for the United States than high oil prices and surging Chinese exports," says Nouriel Roubini, a professor at New York University's Stern School of Business. If this year's move away from the dollar is a sign of future thinking by oil producers, the pain felt at the pump may soon be the least of our worries.

United States Funds the Taliban

5. The Taliban's resurgence brought the ongoing war in Afghanistan back onto the front pages in 2006. From record opium production to suicide bombings, the outlook has only grown dimmer in the past 12 months. What you probably didn't hear is that some of the money the United States is spending to combat the resurgence of the Taliban is winding up in the hands of . . . the Taliban.

As recently as November, the Institute for War and Peace Reporting revealed that villagers in Afghanistan's war-torn south were handing over U.S. cash meant for reconstruction projects to Taliban fighters, who then use the money to purchase weapons, cell phones, and explosives. As part of an effort to stimulate economic development in the country, the United States had committed $43.5 million for reconstruction as of September. One Canadian officer charged with helping to distribute cash said that "millions" has already gone missing in the five years since coalition troops arrived. Why? According to the report, local mullahs have urged residents to fight the foreign occupation and hand over the money in the hopes of gaining back the security they've lost. Others say it's simple extortion from Taliban thugs. Either way, the United States may inadvertently be aiding the enemy in a fight that will almost certainly become more costly in the year ahead.

Bush's Post-Katrina Power Grab

3. When U.S. President George W. Bush signed the $532 billion federal defense spending bill in October, there were the usual budgetary turf battles on Capitol Hill. But largely overlooked was a revision of a nearly 200-year-old law to restrict the president's power during major crises. In December, Congressional Quarterly examined the changes, saying that the new law "takes the cuffs off" federal restraint during emergencies. Rather than limiting the circumstances under which a president may deploy troops to "any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy," the 2006 revision expands them to include "natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident." In other words, it's now easier for the federal government to send in troops without a governor's invitation.

Ostensibly, the move aims to streamline bureaucratic inefficiencies that left thousands of New Orleanians stranded last summer. Yet the Insurrection Act that existed when Katrina struck didn't actually hinder the president's ability to send federal troops. He simply chose not to.

Critics have called the changes an opening for martial law. Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, one of the few to raise the issue in congress, says that "Using the military for law enforcement goes against one of the founding tenets of our democracy." Is martial law more likely than before? Perhaps not. But the fact that the revisions were slipped into a defense bill without a national debate gives ammunition to those who argue the administration is still trampling on civil liberties five years after 9/11.

India Helps Iran Build the Bomb, While the White House Looks the Other Way

1. The U.S. government usually takes a hard line against countries that assist Iran with its nuclear program. In 2006 alone, Washington sanctioned firms in Cuba, North Korea, and Russia for making it a little easier for Iran to develop weapons of mass destruction. But, when the proliferator is a close American ally, the United States seems to take a different approach.

Just after the U.S. House of Representatives voted in July to support a plan to provide India with nuclear technology, the Bush administration quietly imposed sanctions on two Indian firms for supplying Tehran with missile parts. Nor was the White House forthcoming with congress about other blots on India's proliferation record: In the past two years, two other Indian companies have been penalized for allegedly passing chemical weapons information to Iran, and two Indian scientists who ran the state-run nuclear utility were barred from doing business with the U.S. government after they allegedly passed heavy-water nuclear technology to Tehran. Far from scuttling India's nuclear deal, the United States seems to have rewarded the country by overturning 30 years of nonproliferation policy in its favor.

The Bush administration says one thing out of its mouth, but speaks far differently out its neck and out its ass, all to our detriment.

The "media" ain't much help.

After Baker-Hamilton: What to Do in Iraq

Here is the report, out today, of the International Crisis Group, whoever the hell they are. Whoever the hell they are, they make more sense than Bush.

Too much stuff to excerpt out of context. Go read. You can read it in English, Frog, Rooski, Arabic and 'Other'.

The times, they are a-changin'...

Today's 'must read'. E.J. Dionne:

It wasn't all that long ago that Democrats and liberals were said to be out of touch with "the real America," which was defined as encompassing the states that voted for President Bush in 2004, including the entire South. Democrats seemed to accept this definition of reality and they struggled - often looking ridiculous in the process - to become fluent in NASCAR talk and to discuss religion with the inflections of a white southern evangelicalism foreign to so many of them.

Now, the conventional wisdom sees Republicans becoming merely a Southern regional party (And you're welcome to it, bitchez! - G). Isn't it amazing how quickly the supposedly "real America" was transformed into a besieged conservative enclave out of touch with the rest of the country? Now, religious moderates and liberals are speaking in their own tongues, and the free-thinking, down-to-earth citizens of the Rocky Mountain states are, in large numbers, fed up with right-wing ideology.

Only a few months ago, it was widely thought (and not just by Republican consultants) that accusing opponents of wanting to "cut and run" in Iraq would be enough to cast political enemies into an unpatriotic netherworld of wimps and "defeatocrats."

Now, the burden of proof is on those who claim that fighting in Iraq was a good idea and that the situation can be turned around. The call for a "surge" of additional troops is greeted with skepticism because Americans have been told too often that this or that new approach would transform the situation in "three to six months."

The Iraq Study Group's grim description of what's going on is the accepted definition of reality. Polls show majorities embracing the report not, I suspect, because most Americans are conversant with its every detail. Rather, they see its take as closer to the truth than the president's accounts over the last three years, and because it appears to point toward disengagement.

How durable are these changes? In both politics and culture, the side that thinks it's losing usually accommodates itself to the ascendant order. My hunch is that we will be seeing many new claims to moderation and social concern on the right, and many fewer fake NASCAR fans on the left.

Speaking as a real NASCAR fan of 20 years, NASCAR has lost a lot of its appeal to me, because it "accommodated to the ascendant order" its own damn self by pandering to a wider stick-and-ball TV audience. NASCAR is bigger than it's ever been, but it's just about lost me. It started as a Southern regional sport but it actually has nothing to do with politics other than by inference and stereotyping, like fried chicken and watermelon.

I hope Mr. Dionne's right.

The War on Hanukkah

Joel Stein

These should be good times for Hanukkah and the Jews. After all, the Christmas story offers nothing besides a guy who erases all our sins, but the tale of Hanukkah centers on a magical, super-efficient oil that causes an eightfold decrease in carbon emissions. But instead of this being our year, we had the worst run-up to Hanukkah in 62 years: Iran hosted David Duke at its Holocaust denial conference; Mel Gibson got a Golden Globe nomination; Jimmy Carter equated Israeli policy with apartheid; Ehud Olmert - the least-smooth Jew since Jerry Lewis - accidentally admitted that Israel has the bomb; and the subtext of "Charlotte's Web" is that pork is irresistible.

You have deployed your most annoying Gentiles against us: John Gibson and Bill O'Reilly. So forget Al Franken. Once we find the alley that Pauly Shore is sleeping in, he'll be singing the dreidel song outside your house. We'll force storeowners to greet you with a "Happy Hanukkah" - and not the secular version but the one with the "Ch" in front and all the accompanying spittle. We're also going to shoot you. Us Jews hear war, we take it seriously.

Because if you're going tribal, we're going tribal. And though our tribe is small and often out of shape, we're scrappy. So think twice before you spill out too much vitriol about this war on Christmas that you're winning. When the empowered convince themselves that they're under attack, they often convince themselves that cruelty to the powerless is justified. These are the scary sugar plums that dance in Lou Dobbs' head.

Oy. You should only go read...

Week One

Well,it's been a week since I stopped smoking and let me tell ya,it was WAY easier to quit drinking than this is(for me at least).

Day One:
Not as bad as you'd think,but it was a busy day and that probably helped considerably. I also ate more than one human should in a day,but it kept me at least partially sane.

Day Two: Rough. Bright light and loud noises drove me crazy and worked my last nerve,why,I have no idea. I also plotted fiendish demises for various morons on the roads,my overly nosey neighbors,and the dumbasses who plan on widening the road in front of my house. Get out of my yard damnit!

Day Three:
The Husband made some crack about"letting me"do something,which resulted in me chasing him around the dining room table. I think he was genuinely afraid for his safety,which is funny considering he's twice my size. I also allowed myself a small amount of coffee today,which has helped with the food and cig cravings.

Days Four and Five:
Cravings for a cig lessening a bit. Bad Mood lessening? Umm,not so much. Let's just say I've been a tad less than thrilled. Husband is still smoking ,which annoys the snot out of me,but the smell is disgusting,which,in an odd way, is actually helpful in my quest to give up cigs for good. My car doesn't stink anymore either,one more bonus. On Day Five,Hubby and I went out to dinner and finished holiday shopping,at The Mall. I was reminded Why I Hate The Mall so much. I haven't set foot in The Mall for over 5 yrs,and god willing,this was the last time. Blech,yuck,((((cringe)))). I simply must come up with a bullshit overpriced idea to sucker rich people with more money than sense. This would solve any and all financial issues I may ever have for the foreseeable future. Anyone willing to spend 140 dollars on a pair of jeans and 85.50 on a t-shirt has to be in need of a pet psychic who charges 200 dollars per house call,no?

Day Six:
Atilla the Fun was in bed, due to an oncoming nasty cold,so I spent my day taking his temp,making him tea and otherwise doing that Mom voodoo I do so well. That and 6 loads of freaking laundry. And cleaning,cooking,and cat wrangling.Busy hands help with cig cravings,but I think I'm gonna have to go hard core and do some yard work,window cleaning and other such projects to get this out of my system for good.

Day Seven:
Not a bad day,Atilla stayed home from school,the cold is hanging in tough. Ended up taking him for a haircut later in the day,and really didn't crave a cig until evening when I finally got to sit down and relax. Early mornings and evenings seem to be the toughest time for me,not coincidentally those were the times when I smoked the most.

Day Eight:
Today. I'm finding the nicotine patches do help,though the amount of nicotine in them is WAY less than my actual intake while smoking. I try to go as long as I can before putting on a new patch in the mornings(I take the patch off at bedtime,since I never got up in the middle of the night to smoke),so far I can last about two hours before I have to put one on. After week 2 has passed,I'm stepping down from a 21 mg patch to a 14 mg one. Two weeks at 14 mg and then I go to the 7mg patch and wean off that to a nicotine free existence. I'm having surgery to remove impacted teeth in January,I want to be off the patch before that happens.

So,it's been rough,but not as horrid as "cold turkey" might have been for me. The real test(s)will be times of major stresses and tribulations we all go through,but I think I might make it this time. The doctors and health pros say most people try quitting at least two or three times before they make it,I think this one might be my final attempt.

Just putting this out there for those of you who smoke and have considered giving it up. The trick is having something to do to replace the act of smoking itself. Trust me,that helps ALOT. I also had a long talk with my son before I quit,to explain to him that Mom might not be so cheerful and a delight to be around while I go through this process. The kid has been great,reminding me that the crapola mood isn't me,it's the withdrawl process. "Take a breath Mom",is his reminder to me to lighten up.

Don't know about you ...

But here on Long Island, the price of regular gas has gone up 25 cents a gallon since Election Day. Hmmmm ...

But what about the schools?


BAGHDAD - Iraq's schools, long touted by American officials as a success story in a land short on successes, increasingly are being caught in the crossfire of the country's escalating civil war.


Yeah, too bad all that new paint ain't bulletproof. Why are they even bothering to try and put a gloss of bullshit on this mess anymore? Even the die-hard Kool-Aid drinkers are under no illusions that anything good is going on in Iraq.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18, 2006 - The Pentagon's latest assessment of the security situation in Iraq paints a grim picture of the level of violence, which it said is higher than at any time since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime.

One top general categorized the spike in violence as rising at "an unbelievably rapid pace." [my em]


Let me tell you something; sending 20,000 or 30,000 more troops to Baghdad ain't gonna do shit except doom more of our kids to come home in a 'transport tube'. As out pal Atrios likes to say, nothing will unshit that bed.


The Joint Chiefs have had it too:

The Bush administration is split over the idea of a surge in troops to Iraq, with White House officials aggressively promoting the concept over the unanimous disagreement of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to U.S. officials familiar with the intense debate. [my em]


It must be going to Hell more quickly than we realize over there.

Monday, December 18, 2006

No they weren't

Pic courtesy of Maru. Click to embiggen.

This one made me choke...

E-mail from Mrs. G. Liquid alert.

[Two hillbillies walk into a restaurant. After ordering their cornbread and beans, they talk about the latest addition to their junkyard business.

Suddenly, a woman at a nearby table, who is eating a sandwich, begins to cough. After a minute or so, it becomes apparent that she is in real distress.

One of the hillbillies looks at her and says "Kin ya swallar?" The woman shakes her head no.

"Kin ya breathe?" The woman begins to turn blue and shakes her head no.

The hillbilly walks over to the woman, lifts up the back of her dress, yanks down her drawers and quickly gives her right butt cheek a lick with his tongue.

The woman is so shocked that she has a violent spasm and the obstruction flies out of her mouth. As she begins to breathe again, the hillbilly walks slowly back to the bar.

His partner says, "Ya know, I'd heerd of dat dere 'Hind Lick Maneuver', but I ain't never seed nobody do it."]

Methodists don't like Bush's methods...

Think Progress

Bush is attempting to raise $500 million to build a library and think tank at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, the alma mater of First Lady Laura Bush. "The more [money] you have, the more influence [on history] you can exert," one adviser said. Much of the money will be used to build a "legacy-polishing" institute:

The legacy-polishing centerpiece is an institute, which several Bush insiders called the Institute for Democracy. Patterned after Stanford University's Hoover Institution, Bush's institute will hire conservative scholars and "give them money to write papers and books favorable to the President's policies," one Bush insider said.

Now, SMU faculty, administrators, and staff are speaking out. In a December 16 letter to R. Gerald Turner, president of the Board of Trustees, members of SMU's Perkins School of Theology have urged the board to "reconsider and to rescind SMU's pursuit of the presidential library."

We count ourselves among those who would regret to see SMU enshrine attitudes and actions widely deemed as ethically egregious: degradation of habeas corpus, outright denial of global warming, flagrant disregard for international treaties, alienation of long-term U.S. allies, environmental predation, shameful disrespect for gay persons and their rights, a pre-emptive war based on false and misleading premises, and a host of other erosions of respect for the global human community and for this good Earth on which our flourishing depends.

The letter concludes, "[T]hese violations are antithetical to the teaching, scholarship, and ethical thinking that best represents Southern Methodist University."

Mrs. G is a Methodist, and she agrees.

It'll take a hell of a lot more than cubic money to polish the turd that is Bush's legacy.

On the bright side, a Bush library won't take up much space and the books won't cost much.

Pot is No. 1


For years, activists in the marijuana legalization movement have claimed that cannabis is America's biggest cash crop. Now they're citing government statistics to prove it.

A report released today by a marijuana public policy analyst contends that the market value of pot produced in the U.S. exceeds $35 billion - far more than the crop value of such heartland staples as corn, soybeans and hay, which are the top three legal cash crops.

Shameless local plug:

California is responsible for more than a third of the cannabis harvest, with an estimated production of $13.8 billion that exceeds the value of the state's grapes, vegetables and hay combined - and marijuana is the top cash crop in a dozen states, the report states.

Nationwide, the estimated cannabis production of $35.8 billion exceeds corn ($23 billion), soybeans ($17.6 billion) and hay ($12.2 billion), according to Gettman's findings.

When Archer Daniels Midland finds out about this, pot may be on the road to legalization. We assume they have more lobbyists and political clout than the DEA.

Good on Sears

Technobabe via Brother D:


I assume you have all seen the reports about how Sears is treating its reservist employees who are called up? By law, they are required to hold their jobs open and available, but nothing more. Usually, people take a big pay cut and lose benefits as a result of being called up...Sears is voluntarily paying the difference in salaries and maintaining all benefits, including medical insurance and bonus programs, for all called up reservist employees for up to two years. I submit that Sears is an exemplary corporate citizen and should be recognized for its contribution. [my em]


Show Sears some love because they know what it means to 'support the troops' as opposed to sticking a stupid magnet on your car and saying you do.

Quote of the Day

Steve Soto on Iraq's legal system and what it's become:


We have obliterated their infrastructure, and failed to rebuild it; we have blown up their historical legacy and cast it to thieves and looters; we have destroyed their public health system and failed to rebuild it; and we have destroyed their security and left them to ethnic cleansing. And the best we can do is to leave them a court system like this, which treats women deplorably, as a sign of what they can reap from being "liberated"?

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Ack ...

I seldom use the desktop computer in the house, mostly working with the laptop since I set up the WiFi. I notice that now my laser mouse is doing something very annoying. Double-clicking when I want single-click ... intermittently but getting more regular. Not good when attempting to steal quotes or make links. Back to the laptop. A new mouse can wait until after the holidays.

More whoring ...

Not for me this time. I realize that since I started posting over at The Practical Press, my long-winded chapters really glom up the page. Most of the folks who submit stuff are short story writers [and poets, can't forget them, and songwriters too] and that gets sandwiched in between my crap. So, to that end, below are links to the short stories and musical creations in between the chapters of my saga of war and intrigue in the 22nd Century. Good stuff and I urge you to click on the links.

  • Farquiar, the Dragon.
  • The Preacher's Son
  • Small Town Boys - Chapter 39
  • I got a hold on you tonight.
  • Ode to Lost Flakes
  • Airplane Story
  • University. Of Massachusetts, please.
  • Just Like Looking Through Heaven. Or something.
  • A Fable
  • Parking Lot
  • Fine detective work!
  • Mouse Story
  • Visibility
  • Presidentials

    Right now, I don't give a shit who's running for President in '08. But Bill Richardson raised his score a few points:

    The leading advocate for escalating the war is Senator John McCain. I have served with John in Congress and I respect him. But John McCain is wrong, dead wrong to think that we can solve Iraq's political crisis through military escalation.

    Anybody who'll call bullshit on that spineless weasel gets a pat on the back from me.


    Paraphrasing Gen. Jack Keane on Little George: "We should put together a socio-economic package for Iraq that will help them get on their feet."

    Me: And who's gonna pay for it, twit? A half-trillion dollars already and we have nothing to show for it. I don't know about anybody else, but I'm sick of throwing my hard-earned money into that sandpit.

    It would have been nice if we put it in place as soon as we got to Baghdad but we blew that chance. Doing it now won't make a damn bit of difference. No more money, no more American lives, no more stalling. Bring 'em home and STFU.

    What he hath wrought ...

    Brother Bulldog has two family members home from Iraq for whom he's trying to get help. As I've said here many, many times, just because you come home physically intact doesn't mean you're okay:


    Now, he's been home for some time and is struggling with that incident. It repeats itself over and over in his mind's eye all day long and into the night. He gets barely 3 hours of fitful sleep a night. He has broken up with his girlfriend over fears that he'll end up hurting her. He, like many combat veterans before him, tries to drown these thoughts and memories in alcohol each and every weekend and most every night as well. For those of you who've seen combat, be it Vietnam, Iraq during Gulf War I, any of the lesser campaigns over the years, and even some of you old-timers from Korea, you know the hell this kid is going through. How do you deal with something like this?


    Bulldog's doing the right things but until someone with PTSD wants to get a handle on it, there's nothing he can do. Unfortunately, once someone is on the downhill spiral of drugs and alcohol, their judgment gets worse and worse. I hope ... pray ... these guys get the help they need and, with a relative like Bulldog on their side, they've got a good start.

    The thing, having been down this road myself, is that none of this was necessary. All these young men and women, ours and theirs, suffer needlessly to make a few extrememly rich people even more wealthy. This is what George W. Bush and the Neocons have wrought.


    It's stories like these that will be Bush's legacy when his presidency ends, be it by impeachment or end of term. These are the things that I hope will haunt him the rest of his life, not to mention the thousands upon thousands of dead and wounded Americans and Iraqis. Yet he will never know the pain of dealing with PTSD first-hand or having to adapt to using a wheelchair for the rest of his life because his legs were blown off in a land far away for a cause that was unjust and unneeded...