Thursday, July 31, 2008
John McCain's campaign accused Barack Obama on Thursday of playing racial politics a day after the Democratic candidate predicted Republicans would try to scare voters by pointing out "he doesn't look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills."
Obama "played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck," McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said in a statement. He called Obama's remarks "divisive, negative, shameful and wrong."
Arguments like that aren't going to work for liberals or people who are already supporting Obama. But it might just attract some of the independents.
One of the things I've noticed lately - and that I'm embarrassed to admit - is when I think about Obama's behind the scenes advisors, I picture a group of bodyguards from the Nation of Islam. That picture couldn't be farther from the truth, but if I'm thinking it - as liberal as I am - I can only imagine what some of those good ol' boys (e.g. Toby Keith fans) must be thinking.
Well a man come on the 6 o'clock news
said somebody's been shot
somebody's been abused
somebody blew up a building
somebody stole a car
somebody got away
somebody didn't get too far
yeahthey didn't get too far
Grandpappy told my pappy back in my day, son
A man had to answer for the wicked that he'd done
Take all the rope in Texas
Find a tall oak tree, round up all of them bad boys
Hang them high in the street
For all the people to see
That Justice is the one thing you should always find
You got to saddle up your boys
You got to draw a hard line
When the gun smoke settles we'll sing a victory tune
And we'll all meet back at the local saloon
And we'll raise up our glasses against evil forces
singing whiskey for my men, beer for my horses
We got too many gangsters doing dirty deeds
too much corruption and crime in the streets
It's time the long arm of the law put a few more in the ground
Send 'em all to their maker and he'll settle 'em down
You can bet he'll set 'em down...
From Max Blumenthal at Huffington Post:
During the days when Toby Keith's "Grandpappy" stalked the Jim Crow South, lynching was an institutional method of terror employed against blacks to maintain white supremacy ... Felonious assault and rape (read: corrupting "the flower of white womanhood") were the two most frequent justifications for lynch mob actions.
This is the same Toby Keith that wrote Courtesy of the Red White and Blue, the same Toby Keith who does ads for Ford trucks. This is the same Texas where three racists dragged a black man to his death behind a truck just 10 years ago.
[Judge] Bates, who was appointed to the bench by Bush, issued a 93-page opinion that strongly rejected the administration's legal arguments. He noted that the executive branch could not point to a single case in which courts held that White House aides were immune from congressional subpoenas.
"That simple yet critical fact bears repeating: the asserted absolute immunity claim here is entirely unsupported by existing case law," Bates wrote.
The senior Republican on the House Judiciary Committee made a good point though. If the White House appeals and it makes it to the Supreme Court, where the judges are stacked in Bush's favor, it could lead to a long-term lost of Congressional power:
"Unfortunately, today's victory may be short-lived ... If the administration appeals the ruling, our congressional prerogatives will once again be put at risk."
• Poor babies. Exxon Mobil only made $12 billion in profits from April thru June. I say only because they were expected to make more, but it was the biggest profit from operations ever reported by any U.S. corporation. Still, they have the record for at least the top six most-profitable quarters for a U.S. company, as well as the largest annual profit.
• Reason #168 why I don't want to go Greyhound: A guy in Canada began stabbing a fellow passenger with no warning and then beheaded him. Apparently, the men didn't know each other and there was no apparent motive.
• First they charge you to check your bags at the airport. Then, the luggage handling system breaks down, your flight is delayed a couple of hours, and the plane leaves without your luggage. Ta da. That's what happened on 67 American Airlines flights departing JFK yesterday.
• One family is suing Google for driving onto their private property and posting the pictures on Street View. Google's lawyers respond:
"Today's satellite-image technology means that even in today's desert, complete privacy does not exist. In any event, Plaintiffs live far from the desert and are far from hermits."
Turn ons: Herman's Hermits - There's a kind of hush all over the world
Turn offs: Google Street View - totally creeps me out
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Exploding deer population causing billions in damage
I pictured a deer getting hit by a car and blood and guts going everywhere. Then I imagined a new terrorist plot - deer with explosive devices up their butts running through the suburbs.
Just thought I'd share.
I'll just make a list:
1) Shouldn't mentally competent adults have the right to choose what they want to eat? Why should poor people be treated like children who aren't capable of making decisions for themselves?
2) People who are poor can't afford to drive somewhere else to have access to the food they want.
3) It's so fucking condescending.
4) Supporters of the ordinance say the move will encourage other, non-fast food restaurants to move into the area. Oh really? How exactly does having fast food places keep other restaurants out?
5) Are the non-fast food restaurants going to have prices low enough that poor people can afford them?
6) Fast food joints provide jobs for people who have no experience or training, with flexible hours that suit parents or teenagers. They have management training programs that can lead to better jobs. Many of them offer health insurance and other employee benefits.
7) It's so fucking condescending.
8) When you treat people like children who aren't capable of making their own decisions, they stop making their own decisions. It's called learned helplessness - it's the same thing that happens to women who live with men who control them.
9) There are other ways to achieve the do-gooders goals:
a) Provide more outreach programs to give poor people access to healthier foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables are too expensive for many families to buy.
b) Provide low-cost community gyms where poor people can exercise and work with trainers.
c) Provide better access to health care to identify and treat people with thyroid problems, diabetes, high cholesterol, eating disorders, etc.
d) Provide tax incentives for restaurants with healthier menus to locate in these areas.
First they came for the cigarettes and I said nothing because I don't smoke. Then they came for the double cheeseburgers and I'm ready to start a riot.
But seriously, what's next? Exactly how much control should we allow the government to have over our lives? They start out small and convince us that it's for our own good, but once we start down that road, there's no turning back.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
The program that rations subsidized health care for low-income Oregonians has paid thousands of dollars over the years for Wagner's cancer care, and it will continue to do so.
It stopped short, however, of paying for a cancer drug that failed to meet the state's long-standing "five-year, 5 percent rule." It won't approve payment for treatment that doesn't provide at least a 5 percent chance of survival after five years.
In Wagner's case, administrators of the Oregon Health Plan had to make a difficult call. But that's what they do every day in performing the tough, thankless job of rationing government-paid health care to the needy.
What's unacceptable, however, is that Wagner's rejection letter included the offer of payment for doctor-assisted death. Such notification creates at least the appearance of an ethical conflict: state encouragement of dying as a cost-saving measure.
I know opponents of universal health care will point to this as proof that it won't work. But private insurance companies are already rationing health care for fun and profit.
Time for some quickies:
• Today's Jeopardy answer: Deep-fried scorpions, cow stomach, turtle brains, and seal penis.
The question: What are some of the tasty menu items available at the Beijing Olympics restaurants?
By the way, did you know Beijing has a restaurant that specializes in penises? You can choose from horse penis and testicles with chili dip or lobster with donkey penis, among other delicacies.
• The good news: You got out of jury duty. The bad news: You're under arrest for threatening to shoot the workers at the jurors' hotline.
• Did you know the First Amendment protects your right to kidnap a 17 year old girl, keep her for 2 days, and hold her down on the ground and hit her? Well, you can, according to the Texas Supreme Court. As long as you're good Christians and call it an exorcism.
• Looking for a unique gift? Check out Perpetual Kid - one of the items they offer is The Complete Manual of Things That Might Kill You:
The world's worst maladies, conveniently organized by symptom (real or imagined), will ignite even the mildest hypochondriacs fantasy life. We're all going to die of something - why not choose an ailment that's rare and hard to pronounce?
The title of this post comes from a plaque.
I mention this because 84 year old Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska has just been indicted on 7 counts of failing to disclose bribes he accepted. The indictment doesn't call them bribes but judge for yourself:
Prosecutors said Stevens received more than $250,000 in gifts and services from VECO Corp., a powerful oil services contractor, and its executives. From May 1999 to August 2007, prosecutors said, [he] concealed "his continuing receipt of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of things of value from a private corporation."
... Prosecutors said Stevens "took multiple steps to continue" receiving things from oil services company VECO Corp., and its founder, Bill Allen. At the time, the indictment says, Allen and other VECO employees were soliciting Stevens for "multiple official actions .... knowing that Stevens could and did use his official position and his office on behalf of VECO during that same time period."
This is the same Ted Stevens who sponsored "The Bridge to Nowhere," a $498 million bridge that would connect 2 small islands in Alaska. After the bridge became a national symbol for pork-barrel spending, the project was abandoned but Stevens still managed to get more than $200 million for the state for unspecified projects:
[In September 2007] presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said pet projects could have played a role in a Minnesota bridge collapse that killed 13 people ...
"Maybe if we had done it right, maybe some of that money would have gone to inspect those bridges and other bridges around the country," McCain told a group of people in a town-hall style meeting in Ankeny, Iowa.
"Maybe the 200,000 people who cross that bridge every day would have been safer than spending $233 million of your tax dollars on a bridge in Alaska to an island with 50 people on it."
This is from a Washington Post editorial in 2005:
ALASKA SEN. Ted Stevens threw the senatorial version of a hissy fit on the floor the other day. The issue was a proposal by his Republican colleague, Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, to block $453 million earmarked for two Alaska bridges in the recent highway bill and instead use some of the money to rebuild the Interstate 10 bridge across Lake Ponchartrain wiped out by the recent hurricane ...
What's most impressive about Mr. Stevens's tantrum is his ability to summon up this degree of righteous indignation -- self-righteous might be more apt -- over the alleged mistreatment of a state that benefits enormously, and disproportionately, from federal spending.
Leave aside for the moment the matter of whether these two earmarks represent a wise use of federal dollars. Okay, we can't let it go; they don't. One, a partial payment for the now infamous "Bridge to Nowhere," would link Ketchikan (population 8,900) with its airport on Gravina Island (population 50). The other, the magnificently named "Don Young's Way" -- hint: Mr. Young, Alaska's sole House member, conveniently happens to chair the transportation committee -- would be a down payment on a billion-dollar bridge across an inlet in Anchorage to a nearly deserted port.
Rather, think about this spending in the larger context: Poor, mistreated Alaska. It ranks number one in per capita federal spending ... Alaskans received $1.89 in federal help for every tax dollar they sent to Washington ...
By the way, Rep. Don Young of "Don Young's Way" was also indicted.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Women whose husbands are being detained talked about their longing to be reunited, underage workers detailed deplorable working conditions and city and religious officials lamented the impact on the community.
The speakers alternated between sharp criticism of immigration officials and the Department of Homeland Security for launching what they called an inhumane raid, and at their former employer, Agriprocessors, which they said took advantage of workers and allowed unsafe conditions. Many said they were equally responsible for the situation.
A 17 year old girl talked about working 12 hour shifts without overtime pay and a man described how he lost his hand in a meat grinder. A local union official said:
"The family that owns that place, they're the ones who should be prosecuted," he said. "They're the ones who should be deported, not the workers."
The mayor of Postville said the raid did nothing for the community but caused people to suffer. Meanwhile, Iowa Congressman Steve King, is still bragging about his part in wasting millions to build the border fence.
One of the reasons there are so many illegal aliens in the first place is because our immigration laws are so screwed up and the department is understaff and underfunded. Most of these people only want to work - they pay taxes, they pay rent, they spend their earnings here. They would gladly go through the proper channels if the proper channels were reasonable.
This is from an op-ed in the LA Times called Visas for Supermodels:
Unable to muster the political will last year to pass comprehensive immigration reform and address the dearth of both unskilled and highly skilled labor that drags on our economy, Congress is now ready to act. Standing tall in the courage of their convictions, lawmakers are proposing to give supermodels their own category of work visa. This is especially bold because while easing the way for several hundred models to work during New York's Fashion Week, they must resolutely ignore the pleas of high-tech businesses seeking more visas for well-educated workers ...
Meanwhile, the shortage of workers has inspired employers to put down roots elsewhere ...
Thankfully, Congress' reform efforts don't stop with models. Other bills in the pipeline would make it easier for athletes and entertainers to work in the United States. Our crops may go unpicked, but never again will Amy Winehouse have trouble getting a speedy visa.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
• Penis artist projects himself on buildings
• Penis theft panic
• My favorite is the huge penises of Japan, about a fertility festival that:
... involves carrying the aforementioned massive penis from one shrine to another, while in the surrounding festivities, revellers enjoy penis-shaped food and pray while rubbing stone testicles.
Penis souvenirs are also available.
• And then there's this actual headline: Important news: woman rides giant penis thingy.
All from the Metro U.K. - they're even more obsessed with penises than I am.
"I happen to have been privileged enough to be in on the fact that we've been visited on this planet and the UFO phenomena is real ...
"It's been well covered up by all our governments for the last 60 years or so, but slowly it's leaked out and some of us have been privileged to have been briefed on some of it.
"I've been in military and intelligence circles, who know that beneath the surface of what has been public knowledge, yes - we have been visited. Reading the papers recently, it's been happening quite a bit."
Mitchell is a PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics. He's also 77 years old, so he probably feels like it's about damn time to tell the truth. According to him, the ETs are little people with big eyes and a big head. He also says, "had they been hostile ... we would [have] been gone by now."
"This is really starting to open up. I think we're headed for real disclosure and some serious organisations are moving in that direction."
Which reminded me of an article I read a couple of months ago:
The Vatican's official newspaper has endorsed the possibility that the universe could contain intelligent life beyond Earth, while insisting that aliens would be "our brothers" and "children of God" as much as human beings are.
The Pope's astronomer, José Gabriel Funes, a Jesuit priest, told L'Osservatore Romano that there would be nothing surprising about the existence of intelligent extra-terrestrials.
"Just as there is a multiplicity of creatures on Earth, so there could be other beings created by God ..."
There have been a lot of UFO sitings in the U.K. recently, along with a lot of new crop circles including the one in the picture. An astrophysicist says it's a perfectly coded image representing pi.
Another recent crop circle is said to represent chaos theory. Check out Google Earth pictures of the Top 10 British Crop Circles.
And I don't quite know what to make of this rock, which was found near Roswell, NM. It has strange magnetic properties and a design that resembles some of the more intricate crop circles.
Meanwhile, NASA is releasing more and more data that indicate life can or did exist on Mars. I've always believed that Martians destroyed their own planet through nuclear war or global warming or some combination of disasters and migrated to Earth. Maybe they see us headed down the same path and they're here to save us.
Look at the bottom 2 Mars photos here - they remind me of a vulva, which is after all, the real source of life.
Panspermia = the theory that life on Earth arrived from space, as organisms rained down inside tiny meteors or giant comets.
Maybe the aliens who are visiting us today are farmers and all of Earth is their field.
Friday, July 25, 2008
That may have been unintentional, but it underscored the degree to which Obama has controlled the message -- and, more important, the pictures -- during his exhaustively chronicled trek across the Middle East and Europe. Obama meeting the troops, meeting the generals, meeting prime ministers and kings, drawing a huge crowd in Berlin yesterday -- the images trump whatever journalists write and say ...
Beyond the images, most journalists and pundits have depicted the trip as an unalloyed triumph. "A slam-dunk success," in the words of Time's Joe Klein; "a real grand slam," as Salon Editor Joan Walsh put it on "Hardball."
... the tone of the coverage sometimes bordered on gushing ...
Hmm, ya think? This is what I and a helluva lot of other Hillary Clinton supporters have been complaining about all along. The press isn't treating the big O any different now than they treated him during the primaries.
Not everyone is drinking the Kool-Aid. Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass wrote of the coverage: "McCain is now cast as the crabby uncle who visits and shrieks there's no gin in your house," while Obama is "busy fighting off throngs of reporters, a cast of thousands as urgent and impassioned as in those old Hollywood biblical epics."
Ralph Begleiter, a former CNN correspondent who is now journalist in residence at the University of Delaware, says the notion that Obama was making real news -- as opposed to exploiting pretty backdrops -- is "a sham argument. Of course it's a photo op. If he wanted to go to Afghanistan as a senator, he could have done it."
As time goes on, I think more and more reporters are going to start taking that tack. But, according to Kurtz:
Some journalists defend the coverage as a matter of marketing: Obama is hot, McCain is not.
"The Obama phenomenon is so much the better story -- an obscure African American senator from Illinois, little known to most Americans two years ago, emerges as very probably the next president," says Terence Smith, a former correspondent for CBS and PBS. "That is a fantastic story. Of course it's going to get two or three times the space and attention and airtime of John McCain, who, while he may be a very appealing semi-maverick on his bus, is a much more conventional candidate."
The press seems to forget that it's not their job to tell us who's hot and who's not or to decide which candidate is more interesting.
Here's what Obama's trip was really all about. On Wednesday, the campaign bought $5 million worth in ad time during the Olympics. And what do you think we'll be seeing in those commericals? Maybe the cheering masses in Berlin. The Big O shaking hands with world leaders. Obama with Petraeus in the helicopter.
He doesn't come across to me as presidential. He comes across to me as a poser - he doesn't have the credentials so he substitutes photo ops instead. And he's still too damn smug! Six out of six former Hillary supporters surveyed by me despise him.
And get this - Obama already has a team working on the transition for when he becomes president. More than 3 months before the election. A little too sure of yourself there, Barry? Anyone else smell a whiff of deja-Mission Accomplished?
All this is going to turn around and bite Obama in the ass. Americans don't like to be told who to vote for. And the Republican machine excels at attacking the "mainstream media" and making themselves look like the victims. McCain is an expert at portraying himself as the heroic underdog who can prevail against all odds.
And this is how the Democrats will lose the election.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Donnelly treated the panel to an extraordinary exhibition of rage. She warned of "transgenders in the military." She warned that lesbians would take pictures of people in the shower. She spoke ominously of gays spreading "HIV positivity" through the ranks ...
Her written statement added warnings about "inappropriate passive/aggressive actions common in the homosexual community," the prospects of "forcible sodomy" and "exotic forms of sexual expression," and the case of "a group of black lesbians who decided to gang-assault" a fellow soldier.
At the witness table with Donnelly, retired Navy Capt. Joan Darrah, a lesbian, rolled her eyes in disbelief. Retired Marine Staff Sgt. Eric Alva, a gay man who was wounded in Iraq, looked as if he would explode.
Inadvertently, Donnelly achieved the opposite of her intended effect. Though there's no expectation that Congress will repeal "don't ask, don't tell" and allow gays to serve openly in the military, the display had the effect of increasing bipartisan sympathy for the cause.
Referring to her assertions about the HIV menace, Arkansas Rep. Vic Snyder said:
"By this analysis . . . we ought to recruit only lesbians for the military, because they have the lowest incidence of HIV in the country."
In a related story, an Oklahoma county commissioner who's up for reelection designed a homophobic comic book that equates gays with "pedifiles" which he plans to send to his Republican constituents. He's such a fine, upstanding citizen that's he's already up on felony charges for campaign finance violations in 2004.
Oklahoma is also the home of gay-bashing and gun-toting State Representative Sally Kern.
And while I'm on a theme, this is from Wonkette:
This may come as a shock, but a prominent anti-homosexual Republican attorney general has apparently been caught having homosexual sex intercourse with his homosexual gay male assistant. Bonus: The dude’s wife caught him, in their bed. This is the rumor that the AG’s office has officially denied, so now of course everybody is spilling the sordid details.
AG in question is Troy King, who, of course, is only interested in outlawing homosexuality and sex toys. His gay lover is either a college “buddy,” or a very young youngster and “Homecoming King” from Troy University. What are the odds of a dude named Troy King getting caught in bed with a Homecoming King from Troy University?
My oh my. What? Is the world coming to?
By the way, the gay rodeo star got voted off of Big Brother last night.
Turn ons: gay cowboys
Turn offs: fear and self-loathing
From the Nat Enq:
At 9:45 p.m. (PST) Monday, Edwards appeared at the hotel, and was dropped off at a side entrance. NATIONAL ENQUIRER reporter Alan Butterfield witnessed the ex-senator get out of a BMW driven by a male companion and stroll into the hotel.
Said Butterfield: "Edwards was ... looking around nervously before he entered the hotel."
"Once inside, he interestingly bypassed the lobby and ducked down a side stairs to go to the bottom floor to catch the elevator up - rather than taking the elevator in the main lobby. He went out of his way not to be seen."
Meanwhile, Rielle had reserved rooms 246 and 252 under the name of the friend who had accompanied her from Santa Barbara, Bob McGovern ...
The only mention I've seen of it anywhere except gossip sites is on Slate, where they're asking why the press isn't covering the story, comparing it to how the press "handled" Larry Craig. (Yeah, pun intended.) Slate says:
... are they observing a double standard that says homo-hypocrisy is indefensible but that hetero-hypocrisy deserves an automatic bye?
Maybe the Craig reference came to mind because of what happened when the reporters ambushed him after his tryst:
Edwards went out of the hotel briefly with Rielle, they were observed by the NATIONAL ENQUIRER and then went back to her room, where he stayed until attempting to sneak out of the hotel unseen at 2:40 a.m. (PST). But when he emerged alone from an elevator into the hotel basement he was greeted by several reporters from the NATIONAL ENQUIRER.
Senior NATIONAL ENQUIRER Reporter Alexander Hitchen asked Edwards why he was visiting Rielle and whether he was ready to confirm that he was the father of her baby.
Shocked to see a reporter, and without saying anything, Edwards ran up the stairs leading from the hotel basement to the lobby. But, spotting a photographer, he doubled back into the basement. As he emerged from the stairwell, reporter Butterfield questioned him about his hookup with Rielle.
Edwards did not answer and then ran into a nearby restroom. He stayed inside for about 15 minutes, refusing to answer questions from the NATIONAL ENQUIRER about what he was doing in the hotel. A group of hotel security men eventually escorted him from the men's room, while preventing the NATIONAL ENQUIRER reporters from following him out of the hotel.
Whether or not Edwards is guilty (I think he is - The National Enquirer usually relies on anonymous sources but this time they names their own reporters as the witnesses), he's damaged goods.
Update: Did Edwards' people plant a cover story? The NE put their story online Tuesday. Today's Page Six posted this under We Hear:
THAT John Edwards has been having meetings in Los Angeles to find financing for a documentary about poverty along the lines of the film Al Gore made on the climate.
His alleged baby momma is a filmmaker.
So all in all, I was in a great mood until I got home and saw the pest control truck in the parking lot. This is the 3rd month in a row that the manager failed to give us 24 hours notice that they were coming. And I was pissed.
The pest control guy is actually pretty nice but I'm fed up with my landlord and his employees acting like they can just waltz into my home anytime they want. Iowa law requires 24 hours notice unless it's an emergency. The last landlord scheduled pest control for the same day every month. Simple enough.
This morning when the bug guy knocked on the door, I told him he couldn't come in. He looked very weary and said, "I know - he says he forgot to give notice." I told the guy I knew it wasn't his fault and it was nothing against him - it's just a matter of principle.
If I don't stand up for my rights, nobody else will. It's bad enough I've got the FBI reading my email and tracking which websites I visit.
Back to my good mood. Now I'm just hoping my labs from this morning come back right. My A1C (which measures blood sugar) was high last time. The doc wanted me to go back on one of my meds and I didn't because I thought I could get it back down by controlling my diet. Which still hasn't been great, but I'm not eating fudge and ice cream and frosting every day like I was for a couple of months before the last test was done.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
You know what? I am actually not that much into voting. I think it’s kinda crazy that awoman is running, because I think that women deal with a lot of emotions and menopause and PMS and stuff. Like, I’m so moody all the time, I know I couldn’t be able to run a country, 'cause I’d be crying one day and yelling at people the next day, ya know?
But experts on the Middle East andreporters who've traveled there often say it's a bizarre order. Green is also associated with Islam, so most think Obama didn't want to give right-wingers more ammunition.
Meanwhile, one British op-ed points out that getting enthusiastic greetings in foreign countries might not work in Obama's favor. The Republicans are sure to use it against him to get out the xenophobe vote. Jonathan Freedland says:
If Europeans really want to help Barack Obama next week they should repress their enthusiasm for him – and stay home. Ensure those crowds are thin and lethargic; maybe even offer the odd heckle, perhaps while brandishing a hostile placard. Let the travelling US press report that Obama is not so popular with foreigners after all: nothing will endear him more to the American public.
By the way, Obama's folks denied The New Yorker reporter's request to accompany him. Wonder why.
Obviously, Kermit wasn't invited either.
Another was a guy who got attacked by a bear:
Regardless, with his scalp hanging in huge flaps from his skull and bleeding heavily, Brent managed to get up and go for help. He got back to his car and drove 15 miles, covered in blood and bear bites. Death could only stand on the side of the road and shake its fist.
• From the stupid ways to die department: A guy in the U.K. electrocuted himself by peeing on the train tracks.
• From the stupid ways to lose your balls department: A guy in California passed out and 2 of his buddies set fire to his crotch.
• You have to laugh over this one: Bill O'Reilly put up a poll on his "No Spin Zone." The poll asks, What's the most biased news outlet in America? The only choices you could vote for were The New York Times, MSNBC, Associated Press, & NPR. Yup - no spin whatsoever.
• NY Post gossip columnist Cindy Adams says George and Laura Bush will divorce after he's out of office. Pravda ups the ante: They say it's because Dubya's having an affair with Condoleeza Rice.
• Because I haven't written about a penis for awhile: Check out this statue. It's a bronze stallion that stands in front of a hotel in Russia. Its genitalia looks very human:
Yana Chernyshova, the hotel’s director, said that she liked this sculpture very much. She said that the artist exceeded her expectations. When she saw the sculpture she realized that it was exactly what she wanted.
• The picture is Jon Bon Jovi. Just because. Commentary added by Perez.
Turn ons: Bon Jovi manscaped instead of waxed
Turn offs: Nortons Antivirus - IT SUCKS!!!
When the power went off, there was a tremendous humming/buzzing sound and a glowing white/blue light. This happened three times before the transformer(s) blew out.
One of the neighbors said the glow was like you always picture the sky would look when an atomic bomb goes off. I always have a scenario running in the back of my mind - what would I do if ...
I knew this wasn't the bomb so I didn't go through my whole disaster plan. I forgot I'd put my flashlight in my purse a couple of weeks ago when the tornado sirens went off. But I knew exactly where the candles and the matches were.
It probably would've been safer to stay in my apartment since I don't know most of my neighbors and we've had some violent and creepy people living here the last couple of years. But I was too nervous - and it was too frigging hot - to stay in.
I walked up and down the halls several times. Stood at the back door watching the storm. Stood at the front door watching the storm. Tried to get a good look at the house across the street where a tree had gone down but it was too dark.
I was laying awake when the power came back on around 4:30 a.m. Which was a damn good thing because you can hear every cough, every snore, every creak of the bed springs when we all have our windows open. It's like living in a prison dorm.
For the first hour without electricity, I felt so cut off from the rest of the world. Then I remembered that my clock radio can run off batteries and got that going. It made me realize how dependent I am on TV and the internet - some days, those are my only connections to reality.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Finally, this morning I decided to tackle it. I spent more than an hour trouble-shooting the problem then another hour downloading and installing the program to repair it. Then more than 3 hours downloading and installing all the new virus definitions. All that with high speed internet - imagine how long it would take on dial up.
And it still wasn't working right. I finally had to go into live chat with the AV vendor, download another program, and let the guy take over remote control of my computer.
Very eery to sit there and watch my cursor move around, watch files opening and closing, and other files being deleted, downloaded and installed by a guy in India.
Let America produce once again. And when we do ...
the American family will fear less, our national security
will be more assured, and we won't let the Venezuelas
or the Nigerias or the Saudi Arabias or the Irans
jerk us around by the gas nozzle
the way they are doing it now.
~ Sen. Larry Craig, a.k.a. the toe tapper,
an expert on getting jerked off
That's the joke John McCain told in 1986. In front of a crowd at a National League of Cities and Towns convention.
And here's the one he told in 1998: Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because her father is Janet Reno.
In 2007, he sang Bomb bomb Iran to the tune of The Beach Boys' "Barbara Ann.
In 2008, he said the reason we're exporting so many cigarettes to Iran is to kill them.
You could dismiss all this as the guy just having a misguided sense of humor. But there's that thing about how he voted against a bill that would require insurance companies who cover Viagra to also pay for birth control. And how he can't remember whether or not he's pro-choice. And he's not sure if condoms help prevent the spread of STDs. And the fact that he support Bush's foreign policy, which may lead to bombing Iran.
I was reminded of that when I read this story. An elderly Canadian couple were in bed one morning when a lightning bolt rang their doorbell.
Tornados don't ring first - they just storm right in.
• Actual headline from a New Jersey paper: McMansion flame-broiled; 2 cars fried; shakes up neighborhood. I don't think so many newspapers would be going under if they all had headlines like this.
• Simply brilliant: An 18 year old from Philadelphia posted his mugshot on his MySpace page and bragged about his exploits with a profile that: brags of his exploits with pot, alcohol, graffiti and fast cars.
On top of everything else, the genius can't spell. Oh, and the reason he got his picture taken? He's charged with homicide and DUI after killing one pedestrian and injuring another who's in critical condition.
• "We read him his Miranda rights and asked him if he wanted to remain silent. Then we woke him up." That's what a California police chief said about the guy who broke into a car and fell asleep with the car's stereo in his lap. The chief was joking.
• Good advice from Fark: You never want to be roommates with a guy who hears voices in his head and gets boxes of knives in the mail. The story is about a stabbing in Buffalo.
• Aye-aye, cap'n: The Denver zoo is trying to breed a pair of aye-ayes - a rarity with the body of a monkey, the tail of a squirrel and the face of a rodent. I only included this item because I thought of a cute title. At least I thought it was cute.
• Kind of creepy: Okay, a lot creepy. A guy on eBay is selling the bloodied hair of Abraham Lincoln. The ad claims the doctor clipped it from the area around the wound while Lincoln lay dying. If that's a little too morbid for you, 6 hairs from Lyndon Johnson's head are also for sale.
• If you're traveling on I95 in Massachusetts, you might want to avoid Amesbury. There's a bridge with a similar design to the one that collapsed in Minneapolis that has:
Rotting holes in steel support beams, enormous rust patches, small splits in steel girders and broken bracing ...
But the chief engineer say it's safe - "If it wasn't safe, it would have been closed." You know, just like they closed the I35 bridge before if collapsed.
• A CNN reporter did a story criticizing the TSA. Two months later, his name showed up on TSA's no-fly list. Homeland Security guy Michael Chertoff (Atta-Boy-Brownie's boss) claims it's purely coincidence.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Jesse Helms, the man who in 1987 described AIDS prevention literature as "so obscene, so revolting, I may throw up."
Jesse Helms, the man who in 1988 vigorously opposed the Kennedy-Hatch AIDS research bill, saying, "There is not one single case of AIDS in this country that cannot be traced in origin to sodomy."
Jesse Helms, the man who in 1995 said (in opposition to refunding the Ryan White Act) that the government should spend less on people with AIDS because they got sick due to their "deliberate, disgusting, revolting conduct."
Jesse Helms, the man who in 2002 announced that he'd changed his mind about AIDS funding for Africa, but not for American gays, because homosexuality "is the primary cause of the doubling and redoubling of AIDS cases in the United States."
I'm not sure if Dole is trying to rewrite history or if she really hated Jesse Helms. He's probably rolling over in his grave - he would be horrified to have his name associated with AIDS.
1) Noam Chomsky, "It's the oil, stupid!" - about how American oil companies are profiting from the war & what's motivating Bush to want to build permanent bases in Iraq.
2) A website that tracks the human cost of the war in Iraq
3) NYT op-ed compares the administrations of Nixon and Bush. From the article:
... in 2004 two conservative Republican Justice Department officials had become “so paranoid” that “they actually thought they might be in physical danger.” The fear of being wiretapped by their own peers drove them to speak in code.
The men were John Ashcroft’s deputy attorney general, James Comey, and an assistant attorney general, Jack Goldsmith. Their sin was to challenge the White House’s don, Dick Cheney, and his consigliere, his chief of staff David Addington, when they circumvented the Geneva Conventions to make torture the covert law of the land. Mr. Comey and Mr. Goldsmith failed to stop the “torture memos” and are long gone from the White House. But Vice President Cheney and Mr. Addington remain enabled by a president, attorney general (Michael Mukasey) and C.I.A. director (Michael Hayden) who won’t shut the door firmly on torture even now ...
So hot is the speculation that war-crimes trials will eventually follow in foreign or international courts that Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s former chief of staff, has publicly advised Mr. Feith, Mr. Addington and Alberto Gonzales, among others, to “never travel outside the U.S., except perhaps to Saudi Arabia and Israel.”
The rest of the article is worth the read.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Now the phone call that led to the raid - a female claiming to be an abused and pregnant teen - has been traced to a woman who had a prior conviction for telling police she was a suicidal 16 year old who had just given birth.
I'm not in favor of teenage girls being forced into marriage but the authorities overreacted and did more harm than good. There's an excellent profile of the case at the London Times online.
• It's happened again: suicide by chain saw.
• The Fark headline tells the story: Woman attacks crack-smoking boyfriend with toilet seat
• Best Fark headline of the day: Robber caught flushing money down toilet, is given seat in congress
• Another Fark headline: Iran announces discovery of new billion-barrel oil field on their territory. It's almost as if they're *asking* to be invaded
• Again with the making me paranoid stuff:
More manufacturers are outfitting greater numbers of laser printers with technology that leaves microscopic yellow dots on each printed page to identify the printer's serial number — and ultimately, you ...
Privacy advocates worry that the little-known technology could ensnare political dissidents, whistle-blowers or anyone who prints materials that authorities want to track.
• What Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love and Marriage. It's a book.
• Mud wrestling is so over. Jello wrestling is tired. If you want to run with the 'in' crowd, try mashed potato wrestling.
• If you want to have an oral sex competition, don't do it in Greece. Nine British women were arrested for prostitution.
• The right-to-lifers love stories like this: A British woman regrets her 7 abortions.
• And finally, you expect it from the right wing but the New Yorker? Satire my ass.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
“The absolute gravest threat is the struggle that we’re in against radical Islamic extremism, which can affect, if they prevail, our very existence.”
Not so much. Glenn L. Carle, who worked for the CIA for 23 years and spent years studying the jihadist threat, says:
The "Global War on Terror" has conjured the image of terrorists behind every bush, the bushes themselves burning and an angry god inciting its faithful to religious war. We have been called to arms, built fences, and compromised our laws and the practices that define us as a nation. The administration has focused on pursuing terrorists and countering an imminent and terrifying threat. Thousands of Americans have died as a result, as have tens of thousands of foreigners ...
We do not face a global jihadist "movement" but a series of disparate ethnic and religious conflicts involving Muslim populations, each of which remains fundamentally regional in nature and almost all of which long predate the existence of al-Qaeda.
Osama bin Laden and his disciples are small men and secondary threats whose shadows are made large by our fears. Al-Qaeda is the only global jihadist organization and is the only Islamic terrorist organization that targets the U.S. homeland ... The organization, however, has only a handful of individuals capable of planning, organizing and leading a terrorist operation ... but its capabilities are far inferior to its desires ... For the medium term, any attack is overwhelmingly likely to consist of creative uses of conventional explosives ...
Why are these views so starkly at odds with what the Bush administration has said since the beginning of the "Global War on Terror"? This administration has heard what it has wished to hear, pressured the intelligence community to verify preconceptions, undermined or sidetracked opposing voices, and both instituted and been victim of procedures that guaranteed that the slightest terrorist threat reporting would receive disproportionate weight ...
We must not take fright at the specter our leaders have exaggerated. In fact, we must see jihadists for the small, lethal, disjointed and miserable opponents that they are.
Sad to say, but our own government scares me more than al Qaeda. My life is far more likely to be disrupted by an economic collapse than by terrorists.
- Robert Redford told student's at Dublin's Trinity College on Friday
Sadly, I think he's right. And we can kiss the Constitution goodbye as well.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
What I want to know - would they also deny citizenship to her husband and male relatives who expect her to be submissive?
• JFK airport in NY has had 2 near miss incidents in the last week. But we don't call them near misses or near collisions anymore - they're proximity events. Because in Bushland, nobody will die as long as we pretend there's not a problem. Just ask the Katrina survivors and the polar bears.
• If you're stupid enough to store child porn on your computer, at least be smart enough not to keep it in under "My Documents" in a file called "preteen gay porn." And if you do have a file like that, it's probably not a good idea to take your computer in for repairs. I'm just saying.
• When the governor of Florida wants to justify the death penalty, they trot out a case like this: A man abducted a woman and her daughters, age 7 and 3, from a grocery store. He raped the mother on the trunk of the car while the girls were in the back seat, then he shot all three. The mother survived. He's been on death row since 1994.
It's hard to get anyone to listen to arguments against capital punishment when they're picturing 2 little girls who saw their mother raped right before they died.
• "You can purchase anything off the Internet except common sense." That's what a Kentucky zoo director said after more than 100 snakes - including copperheads, rattlers and cobras - were confiscated from a guy's home. The owner was the pastor of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name, where people play with snakes to prove they're true believer. His name is Reverend Coots.
• Speaking of the internet, I just saw an article about the kinds of comments people post on websites. They mentioned a You Tube video of a gerbil that received comments like "why dont u shove that gerbil up yur ass and quit posting stupid videos." The Time article said:
The horribleness of commenters isn't really a mystery: Internet anonymity is disinhibiting, and people are basically mean anyway.
I suspect the smile thing is because her wrinkles will show. Her forehead is so smooth that it's obvious she uses botox - esp. when you compare it to her old lady hands. She usually keeps her neck covered because a neck will always give away a woman's age.
So I had to smile when I ran across this quote from Tim Gunn of Project Runway:
"From a fashion viewpoint, Michelle Obama looks so comfortable and relaxed in her style and her fashion, and she exudes that. She has a presence that gives you confidence in her. Cindy McCain looks like someone has twisted her pony tail into a knot and tried to give her a face lift."
Until recently, most of the time it seemed like she wore her hair up and tight against her head. All this week in every appearance I saw, she had her hair down. Looks like the campaign wants to soften her image. A recent First Lady preference poll said Michelle Obama is leading by 9 points.
With a quick-from-the-lip repartee, broadcaster's good looks and a relentlessly bright outlook — if not always a command of the facts — he became a popular figure around the country to the delight of his White House bosses ...
As press secretary, Snow brought partisan zeal and the skills of a seasoned performer to the task of explaining and defending the president's policies. During daily briefings, he challenged reporters, scolded them and questioned their motives as if he were starring in a TV show broadcast live from the West Wing.
Critics suggested that Snow was turning the traditionally informational daily briefing into a personality-driven media event short on facts and long on confrontation. He was the first press secretary, by his own accounting, to travel the country raising money for Republican candidates.
... Obama's case is more challenging than the typical candidate's post-primary adjustment. For one thing, he is more opaque than the usual nominee. No one in recent decades has emerged as the party standard-bearer from so truncated a political career: four years in the U.S. Senate, during which he has yet to lead on any major domestic or foreign policy issue, preceded by largely anonymous service in the Illinois state Senate.
There have been few occasions when Obama's professed beliefs could be tested against his action. And in the fight for the nomination, virtually no issues emerged on which Obama's stands were seriously challenged by his opponents.
He won by convincing a narrow majority of Democratic voters that he could mobilize otherwise distrustful and alienated citizens with his promise to change Washington and to introduce a more open and less partisan brand of politics. Because his personal credibility was such a key to his success -- and remains so -- the changes now occurring in his positions have a significance far beyond themselves ...
Obama is making it hard for the Republicans to figure out how to attack him. The risk for him is if he also frustrates the voters who need to understand what makes him tick. They don't elect enigmas to the Oval Office.
Duh. That's why so many of us didn't vote for him. He won the game by faking people out and heading straight for the hoop. The problem is, all he's got is a jump shot. He can't slam dunk the way his adoring fans expected.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
The American leader, who has been condemned throughout his presidency for failing to tackle climate change, ended a private meeting with the words: "Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter."
He then punched the air while grinning widely, as the rest of those present including Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy looked on in shock.
Today Nancy Pelosi suggested that the House Judiciary Committee may hold hearings on Dennis Kucinich's impeachment resolution.
Meanwhile, Phil Gramm who is McCain's main economic advisory and has been mentioned as a possible Secretary of Treasury, said:
"You've heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession ... We have sort of become a nation of whiners ... You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline."
Mother Jones on Gramm:
Who's to blame for the biggest financial catastrophe of our time? There are plenty of culprits, but one candidate for lead perp is former Sen. Phil Gramm. Eight years ago, as part of a decades-long anti-regulatory crusade, Gramm pulled a sly legislative maneuver that greased the way to the multibillion-dollar subprime meltdown ...
Gramm's long been a handmaiden to Big Finance ...
Details at the link.
It was just my imagination, once again
Running away with me
It was just my imagination
Running away with me
~ lyrics from The Temptations
So I was more than a little pissed when I read this - CEOs from ExxonMobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips were paid from $15 to $22 million dollars last year. The article says they "earned" it but we all know damn well that nobody "earns" that much.
The average pay for CEOs of other companies listed on the S&P 500 is $9.9 million. The oil guys are making so much because their income is tied to the companies' stock prices and profits.
Now, veering from rage to paranoia. Because I'm moody like that.
Ever heard of EMP? Me either, although I think it might be what some of the 9/11 conspiracy theorists are talking about when they say the towers were brought down by magnetic impulses.
EMP stands for electomagnetic pulse. According to William R. Graham, Reagan's top science advisor, who was to testify before the House Armed Services Committee today, about Iran's testing of ballistic missiles. Back in 2005, Graham said that:
... there was no other plausible explanation for such tests than preparation for the deployment of electromagnetic pulse weapons – even one of which could knock out America's critical electrical and technological infrastructure, effectively sending the continental U.S. back to the 19th century with a recovery time of months or years.
Republican Senator John Kyl says:
"No need for the risk and difficulty of trying to smuggle a nuclear weapon over the border or hit a particular city. Just launch a cheap missile from a freighter in international waters – al-Qaida is believed to own about 80 such vessels – and make sure to get it a few miles in the air."
I don't know which is worse - believing this capability exists, or believing the warmongers are making this crap up to build support for an attack on Iran.
I don't fix them all - I'm sure I don't even see them all. But when I notice a mistake and don't fix it right away, I lay in bed at night thinking about it.
I'm a freak.
We had a little excitement yesterday when a wasp got in through one of the gaps around my air conditioner. The cats went nuts trying to catch it. Probably the most exercise they've had in months and they - and I - thoroughly enjoyed it.
The wasp disappeared. I don't know if they ate it or it found its way back out. Maybe it's lurking somewhere.
And apparently, boy cat loves my new skin cleanser. Last night when I went to bed, he started licking my face - cheeks, forehead, chin, even my eyelids. I pushed him away but he kept coming back for more. Guess I should check the ingredients. What's the scientific name for catnip?
• Another reason I don't wear stilettos: A guy in Seattle got PO'd because a woman wouldn't give him a BJ, so he stabbed her in the hand with her own heel. She developed a bacterial infection that required "immediate invasive surgery."
• Gay rights supporters and union members are boycotting a hotel in Sacramento because the owner gave $125,000 to Proposition 8, which would ban gay marriage in California.
• Californians they take this shit seriously: Actor and alleged comedian Dane Cook is on trial for not cleaning up after his dog when he poops on the grounds of the apartment complex where they live. The landlord presented video evidence of Beast (yeah, that's the dog's name) doing his business and the "business" left behind afterwards.
• The monkey trial: Check out this NPR story that gives a history of The Scopes Monkey Trial and the teaching of evolution vs. creationism.
• Misadventure: That was the coroner's verdict in the case of a man with muscular dystrophy who died after eating rubber gloves. The man's brother disputed allegations that it was suicide because there were easier ways to kill himself.
• Speaking of misadventure: A guy in Illinois with 3 prior convictions for stealing women's socks has been caught in the act again.
• Yesterday I posted about how marketing researchers say economic stimulus payments have stimulated the online porn industry. Today, the owner of a Florida strip club says his business is down 25% because of the economy. I blame the gas prices - it's cheaper to stay home to get your perv on.
• Speaking of the economy: Remember that episode of "Roseanne" when she didn't have enough money to pay the bills? She sent the check for the electric company to the phone company, the phone check went to the insurance company, and so on.
Well, that scam doesn't work anymore. A California woman "accidentally" sent AT&T a check made out to Dell and vice versa. Both companies cashed the checks. Now, her AT&T bill is paid for the next several months, but she still owes Dell $900.
• Aisle rage: Two elderly women were arrested for repeatedly ramming into each other's mobility scooters in a British supermarket.
Have you been to Walmart lately? Yesterday, I almost got run over by 3 different people riding those damn things.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
The video's not online yet, but check out Will and Jessica from last week. Gorgeous routine, gorgeous dancers.
• Fat men have bad sperm. That was the conclusion of a study of 5,000 men in Scotland. Maybe the headline should be "Fat Scottish men have bad sperm." The researchers said skinny men have the same problem:
"But there were not many underweight men in Scotland."
• Sex on the beach? Not in Dubai. A British woman is facing 6 years in prison for having sex outside of marriage, indecent behavior, public intoxication, and assaulting the police officer who caught her in the act. Great way to promote yourselves as a vacation capital, Dubai.
• People love MILFs, at least according to a poll on tmz.com. Readers voted for who was hotter - Christie Brinkley in 1973 or Christie today. The results were 71% in favor of Christie at 54.
• Speaking of old people, ABC may not have appreciated Ted Koppel but BBC does. They just hired him to be a commentator on national and international news, as well as the presidential election.
• Eisotrophobia - fear of your own reflection
But the alternative is more stuff like this:
Vice President Dick Cheney's office pushed for major deletions in congressional testimony on the public health consequences of climate change, fearing the presentation by a leading health official might make it harder to avoid regulating greenhouse gases, a former EPA officials maintains.
When six pages were cut from testimony on climate change and public health by the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last October, the White House insisted the changes were made because of reservations raised by White House advisers about the accuracy of the science.
The EPA's senior advisor on climate change resigned because of it. We might not be in Iraq, or despised by the world for torturing people, if more of Bush and Cheney's serfs had taken a stand.
By the way, did you know polar bears have been added to the endangered species list? Not only are they threatened by global warming, but also by proposed offshore drilling in Alaska.
Today, I saw one of McCain's newest commercials that brags about his support for offshore drilling. And more nuclear energy plants.
What do they call rubber necking when you do it on the 'net?
• You know you're living in a police state when they send 6 cop cars to Walgreens to arrest the assistant manager for fire code violations. After the violations have been corrected. When he arrives in court, the case is dismissed. Then the cops show up at his home a month later at 6:45 a.m. and drag him out in handcuffs in front of his wife and kids and all the neighbors. On the same charge. Happened in Staten Island.
• Meanwhile, in the same city, a man convicted of aggravated rape of a 13 year old boy served less than half his 8 year sentence. A month after he was released, he raped and murdered an 11 year old.
And yet, the cops have the time and resources to arrest a store manager twice for a crime that never happened?
• Today's Jeopardy answer: Sonograms, a blonde wig, 18 human teeth in a film canister and a machete. The question: What was found in the van of the guy arrested on a Florida dirt road?
• The next Jeopardy answer: Not a bird but possibly an invisible alien spacecraft. The question: What banged into the plane carrying 200 people at 18,000 feet and caused a big dent in the nose cone?
• Final Jeopardy answer: Lipstick on the sink, a toaster hung from the shower railing, an electric shower cord around her neck, clothespins attached to her genitals, and a note saying "Beware of Kiwi John." The question: What did Aussie police find at the death scene of an American actress?
• Stimulating the economy and the pervs: A marketing research company says that the economic stimulus checks have created a boom in the online porn industry. Discretionary spending indeed.
• You might be a redneck if ... You try to kill the mice in your trailer house with a .44 Magnum. And shoot yourself and your friend in the process. This story keeps on giving:
The bullet went through the woman's right kneecap, then hit keys hanging on the belt loop of a 42-year-old man in the trailer, officials said. The bullet glanced off the keys and tore a hole in the man's pants.
The bullet grazed the man's groin before stopping in his coin pocket, where it was recovered for evidence ...
• Don't tase me, Big Bro: According to the Washington Times, the Department of Homeland Security is considering a bracelet that would be worn by all airline passengers. The bracelet would replace boarding passes and contain personal info about the traveler, monitor the whereabouts of each passenger and his luggage, and shock the wearer on command.