Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Looting vs Foraging

Ah, captions. What they reveal about Amerika.

Meantime, those lovely folks at Faux have been showing images of looting in heavy rotation and one idiot asked a legal expert on the air yesterday whether it would be OK if the law-abiding citizens of New Orleans started shooting looters.

Like looting matters when nearly an entire city is under several feet of water.


(Not to mention that much of the National Guard, who usually handle emergencies like this, are getting killed in Iraq and much of the federal money that helps in cases like this is being pissed away in Iraq. Oh, and thanks Mr. Bush for finally making it clear that this war is about oil.)

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


We are getting a lottery in North Carolina. We were the only state on the eastern seaboard without one. They had to do it by some clever manipulation -- two Republican opponents "were not able to attend" today's Senate session, and the Demcrats who control the Senate pushed through the vote. It was 24-24 and the deciding vote was cast by the Democratic lt gov, obviously a lottery supporter.

Myth of Liberal Judicial Activism

I've been arguing via email today with a conservative about judicial activism. Of course, he buys the lie that liberal judges are legislating from the bench. No, what liberal judges do is the same thing that conservative judges do -- interpret law. That's the job of a judge.

I have yet to drop my big bomb which is that if you're talking about judicial activists, you can't get more activist than what SCOTUS did in the 2000 presidential election -- and those were conservatives. Who shall rot in hell forever for that fiasco.


So sad. One of my favorite cities. Sad to see it so devastated. But sorry to say, it was inevitable. Hopefully the loss of life will not be too great and the city can rebuild.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Call to Duty

I always love the General but this one made me laugh out loud.

ID = Creationism Re-Packaged

My latest letter to the editor of my local rag was published today:

Intelligent design (ID) is creationism in a new package, one that is all sophisticated marketing and absolutely no science.

The Discovery Institute has almost single-handedly put ID into the public eye over the last decade. It's basically a right-wing political organization, funded by some serious fundamentalists. A leaked 1999 Discovery Institute internal memo stated quite clearly that ID supporters have a theological agenda and intention to use ID as a "wedge" issue in the culture wars.

ID is a religious and cultural concept, but not a scientific one. Even the president's own science adviser, John H. Marburger III, says, "Intelligent design is not a scientific concept."

ID is packaged and branded to seem like science, but it doesn't pass the rigors of the scientific process. It is unproven and unprovable. Such things are matters of faith, not science.

ID can be taught in a philosophy class, but not in a biology or other science class. There, evolution is the only acceptable scientific explanation for life on Earth. There is simply no debate.

Fallacy of Originalism

Great post by Kevin Drum on the fallacy of originalism.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

No Exit -- Ever

I wonder if anyone will ever say out loud that Shrub Jr has no exit strategy because there isn't going to be an exit. The plan is, I'm sure, to have American bases in Iraq permanently. This is to accomplish three things: 1) create a base from which to protect American oil interests in the Middle East and from which to 2) protect Israel; and 3) help the Saudis by getting rid of any American presence there.

Interesting, isn't it, that number 3 was a big goal of Osama bin Laden's, his initial raison d'etre.

Streetcorner Shouters

If you've ever spent anytime in an urban area, you are familiar with those sad souls who stand on the streets shouting out their various demented notions. Then, there are the preachers who drive around with a bullhorn and shout out "lessons." No one really pays any attention to these people because their ideas are justifiably regarded as looney.

Given the wacky ideas today's conservatives seem to have, any rational media would give them that same treatment. Instead, these nutcases are the "go-to" people on what passes for TV news today and some of them have their own shows (Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly). One of those go-to guys is Pat Robertson.

So its no surprise that Robertson -- who has said plenty of incredibly insane things over the years and is still treated with respect -- can call for the assassination of a foreign leader because his country has oil it won't just hand over to the US and there is still no outrage.

Remember, this guy was recently praying for another vacancy on the Supreme Court. And he also recently said that liberal justices were worse than a couple of bearded terrorists. Then of course there's his oldie-but-goodie when he claimed he prayed away a hurricane from striking his Virginia Beach headquarters.

Only in Amerika...

Its ironically funny how we refer to radical clerics in the Muslim world and yet one of the most radical clerics in the world is right here in America: mullah Pat Robertson.

Friday, August 19, 2005

My Favorite Teacher

My favorite teacher, Julia Smith, died Aug. 1. I just found out yesterday. She was a great teacher and is the reason I've tried to make sure that every job I've had allowed me to write.

Sad News

From the LA Times (sub required):

Joe Ranft, one of the key creators of Pixar's hit animated features and the voice of Heimlich the Bavarian caterpillar in "A Bug's Life" (1998), was killed in an automobile accident Tuesday afternoon. He was 45.

Ranft was widely respected as one of the top story artists in the animation industry. He was one of seven writers nominated for an Academy Award for best original screenplay for 1995's "Toy Story."

"Joe was the undisputed storyboard master at Pixar: His boards were just inspiring," said "Monsters, Inc." director Pete Docter. "On 'Toy Story,' his boards for the 'army man' sequence, which went into film pretty much unchanged, became the model we aspired to on the film."

Docter added: "On 'Monsters,' he was a great mentor: constructive and supportive and always a pleasure to be around. Joe was really a major part of Pixar's soul. He was one of the key players who made all the films what they are."

At Disney, Ranft worked on "Oliver & Company" (1988), "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" (1988), "Beauty and the Beast" (1991), "The Lion King" (1994) and "Fantasia/2000." He oversaw the story on "The Rescuers Down Under" (1990) and was co-writer and supervising animator on "The Brave Little Toaster" (1987).

More recently, he served as executive producer on "Tim Burton's Corpse Bride," due this fall.

SCOTUS: Roberts

Get this:
Supreme Court nominee John Roberts disparaged state efforts to combat discrimination against women in Reagan-era documents made public Thursday, and wondered whether "encouraging homemakers to become lawyers contributes to the common good."
And as Eric Alterman notes:
And finally, what’s with the media not making a big deal about the Roberts documents in re affirmative action that happen to go missing after a visit from the Bush White House? Personally, and I have no evidence whatever, it sounds to me like a cover-up of a non-P.C. racial reference of the kind that people use all the time in private but could sink a Supreme Court Justice nomination. Seems worth looking into to me.
The Dems need to fight this one not because we can win (we can't) but because we have to make a stand, appear to represent some kind of values and ideals. We have to expose this guy Roberts as the ultra-conservative, non-mainstream guy that he is -- and along with him the brainless moron who nominated him.

Yo Yo Yo Laura Bush is in the Hiz-ouse

Whatever happened to Laura Bush's anti-gang initiative? Perhaps gone the way of her hubbie's mission to Mars? Google Laura Bush and gangs and nothing much comes up, certainly nothing recent. Idiots.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Garner Tribute

I love James Garner and I see that TCM is doing a tribute to him and showing a bunch of his movies. His TV work is great and much of his movie work is also very good. One reason why I like him is that Garner has twice fought back against Hollywood types attempting to screw him and won both times. The one and only maverick...

Catching Up

I moved and was without the internet (and cable, so no TV) for several days. I'm just catching up. My favorite story so far was the idiot who mowed down the crosses of dead soldiers at the Camp Casey protest in Crawford. What a maroon -- how could he ever think that this was going to be interpreted as more patriotic than Cindy Sheehan's actions? Idiot.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Siberia Melting

This article from New Scientist is on the melting of permafrost on peat bogs in Siberia due to global warming. The problem is, as the bogs thaw they release methane which actually speeds up global warming. Its a major tipping point.

Conservative Movement Defined

Furthering the interests of corporations and the rich over those of working people, they have subordinated the Republic to the marketplace and overseen a concentration of wealth and power recalling the Gilded Age. Carrying on culture wars, they have divided the nation and undermined the wall separating church and state. And lying, prevaricating, and obfuscating, they have corrupted American politics and jeopardized our standing in the world.

In other words, morons (to quote "Blazing Saddles.")

From today's Altercation.

Bush Vacation Deathcount

Tbogg is on it.

PS It was at 43 as of last night.

Cindy Sheehan

I heard her on Ed Schultz's show yesterday afternoon. Of course, I totally support her peace initiative in Crawford. I wish I could join her. Here's her diary on Daily Kos.

Unfortunate Lesson Learned

I posted a comment on my local newspaper's blog yesterday. When I checked back this morning (having had no internet access last night -- I was at work at my second job), I discovered that someone had appropriated my name and had posted several comments designed to make me look incredibly stupid. Childish, eh? Anyway, I'll no longer visit those blogs and certainly will never make another comment there.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

It's Your Birthday...


I'm crazy for Antonio, even if he is married to the creepy Melanie Griffith.

Fool Me Twice...

When I heard Rumsfeld say yesterday that weapons recently confiscated in Iraq were "clearly, unambiguously from Iran", I screamed at my car radio "and why would we believe you when you said the same thing about WMDs?" I mean, it is almost the same phraseology. LIARS!

Just Shoot Me

(Can't top Atrios' headline on this one.) A DC rally and country music concert for the Sept 11 anniversary sponsored by the Defense Dept is being planned.

Meanwhile, there's an anti-war march scheduled for September 24.

Get Real

The up-is-down, black-is-white world of right wingers never ceases to amaze me. I was wasting time on my local newspaper's blog today and saw the editor post about her response to right wing assholes berating her for not running a story about some kind of scandal involving Air America, and of course screaming about the paper's supposed left wing bias.

Of course, the comments on the piece were typical moronic BS. Were I to bother to respond, this is what I would say:

Ooooo, a "scandal" involving $875,000! What about the $8 BILLION missing in Iraq or the $187 BILLION already down that shithole because of this administration's lying and incompetence. Then of course there's the 2,000 dead soldiers and what, maybe 25,000 Iraqi lives lost. You right wing dumbasses need to get a grip on reality.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Peter Jennings

Here's my seven degrees of seperation story about Peter Jennings: back in the '70s, I worked in radio in Detroit. An on-air guy was a lovesick puppy type who had a crush on me which was annoying as hell. Anyway, it turns out that this guy's wife (an Iranian woman, if I remember correctly) dumped him for Peter Jennings.

I always liked Peter Jennings, even though I didn't think much of ABC News (still don't). Besides, I haven't watched network news in decades.

Friday, August 05, 2005

His Noodly Appendage

If you're gonna teach creation myths in schools -- which is what Intelligent Design is -- then you have to teach all of them. Including the one about the Flying Spaghetti Monster who created all things, according to a belief system. Be sure to check out the illustrations and comments.

Oh, and I love the graph about the relationship between the decline in the # of pirates and global warming. Which makes me want to go into one of my rants about how no one should graduate from high school without a thorough understanding of statistics and how they can be manipulated.

The big problem with ID, of course, is that it is not science. So it can't be taught along with evolution, which is science. End of discussion.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Time Waster

Spent a good bit of time today perusing this site: Airline Meals

Bushco as the Sopranos

Very interesting analogy.

Senator Friend-of-Lobbyists

Its embarrasing to have two of the worst senators in Washington representing my state, but one of them, Richard Burr, really takes the cake sometimes. He is so in the back pocket of corrupt business. Get this:

A provision tucked into the 1,724-page energy bill that Congress is poised to enact today [July 29] would ease export restrictions on bomb-grade uranium, a lucrative victory for a Canadian medical manufacturer and its well-wired Washington lobbyists.

The Burr Amendment -- named for its sponsor, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) -- would reverse a 13-year-old U.S. policy banning exports of weapons-grade uranium unless the recipients agree to start converting their reactors to use less-dangerous uranium . . .

The amendment is just one of dozens of obscure special-interest provisions included in the energy bill...

More from the WaPo here.

As Rep Ed Markey said, "To save one Canadian company some money, we're willing to blow a hole in our nonproliferation policies."

One Canadian company with some heavy duty lobbyists and a half-wit, business-first-at-any-cost senator.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Unfreaking Believable

Bush endorsed the teaching of intelligent design in public schools.

Comments at the great website Panda's Thumb.

Wonkette says:
Teaching it as "alternative" to evolution is a little like teaching "magic" as an alternative to physics, which at least would at least explain the president's belief in the missile defense program.

End Around Democracy

Important point about Bush's recess appointment of John Bolton: it is NOT, Bush is claiming, because the Senate would not vote on Bolton -- it is because the Bush administration refused to provide the Senate with the documentation it asked for. If those documents had been provided, the vote would've happened. More here.

Monday, August 01, 2005

More Vacation Than the French

Bush is at the ranch for the 50th time in 5 years. He gets more vacation than the French.


MTV debuted on this day in 1981. I guess that makes it 24 years old. You probably remember the first video they played -- but do you know the name of the group? (scroll down)

First MTV video: "Video Killed the Radio Star" by the Buggles