Thursday, August 31, 2006

Davis to Campaign for Karr

The Jivester reports that John Mark Karr is not about to give up on his bid to be convicted for the murder of JonBenet Ramsey. (John Mark Karr to Seek Guilty Charge as an Independent, via Jesus' General.)

Jivester writes that Karr has sparked interest in the Lieberman campaign, since there is a possibility that the similar campaigns could confuse voters into electing Karr to Congress and Lieberman to a murder conviction.

In another development that parallels the Lieberman campaign Richard Allen Davis, convicted killer of Polly Klaas in 1996, will campaign on behalf of John Mark Karr's independent bid for conviction. Earlier this week, Jack Kemp also pulled one leg out of the grave to support his friend, Joe Lieberman.

Karr said on Tuesday he had accepted an offer of help from Davis after the former criminal recidivist contacted him this month following Karr's loss of the DNA primary to scientific fact.

"We've been good friends for a long time," said Karr, a fellow Californian obsessed with young girls. "He called me after the primary, he's a good friend, and I'm grateful."

Many investigators have turned their backs on Karr since his defeat by science, a field which the would-be convict claimed was too supportive of fact and too close to objective reality.

Karr, who is banking on pedophilia and independent support to carry him to victory over science in November, said he was not worried that campaign support by a convicted murderer like Davis would anger the public.

"I think if anyone complains about Davis coming in on my behalf, it just shows that they're still blinded by anti-pedophiliac murderer partisanship," he said. "Dick's a devoted murdering pedophiliac, I'm a devoted would-be pedophiliac murderer, and we agree on a lot of stuff. Besides, guilt-by-association can only help me get convicted."

Karr is running for his first term as an independent convicted murderer, but has promised to remain a pedophiliac if he wins.

Davis, a former incompetent drunken burglar and all-around jackass, is serving what time he has left on Death Row in San Quentin, California.

Lieberman is running for a fourth Senate term as an independent but has promised to remain a Democrat if he wins.

Kemp, a former star pro football quarterback, served in Congress from New York and was Housing and Urban Development secretary under the current president's father.

Where Were You When It Happened?

Oooooohhhh, snap!

John in DC at AmericaBlog has a rant about an ad campaign to remind us of 9/11.

But the pièce de résistance is his ad for remembering 9/11. Check the picture at the bottom of his post.

Totalitarians Is Not Us

"As veterans you have seen this kind of enemy before," Bush said. "They are successors to fascists, to Nazis, to communists and other totalitarians of the 20th century. And history shows what the outcome will be."

Via Genius of Insanity.

What makes Bush particularly different from totalitarians? I suppose we do have a Supreme Court and a Legislature, and as far as anyone knows, we are scheduled to vote Bush out of office in a couple of years. But that's only according to a "goddamned piece of paper" which he doesn't seem to have much respect for.

He ignores the two other branches as much as he can, preferring a unitary Executive; he's expressed a desire to be a dictator; he doesn't care if his policies are "popular" with the majority of the populace. All indicate a severe anti-democratic streak.

So why's he not a totalitarian?

Civic Center Redesign

Probably the best aspect of this particular design are all the large white metal structures. The crazy homeless people who currently reside here are sure to think they're giant antennas for directing alien thoughts into their brains.

Otherwise, though, I don't much care for it.

Seems the concensus of comments at Rocky are similarly negative.

Heard of Suburban Broadband in Littleton?

I got a doorhanger advertising Suburban Broadband, which offers VoiP, including all the regular phone features and keeping your phone number, and broadband for $59.99/mo. Currently we pay over $90/mo, and that's for DSL.

They've got a website, and I found a press release from January, 2003, announcing an agreement between Suburban Broadband and WaveRider to offer services all along the front range.

The Better Business Bureau has no information or complaints about it.

Anybody have any knowledge or experience with them?

Presidential Summer Reading

Bush read Camus' The Stranger and "three Shakespeares."

Otto: Apes don't read Nietsche.
Wanda: Yes they do, Otto, they just don't understand it.

NOLA interview with Brian Williams. (I've provided Bush's subtext gleaned from his body language and tone of voice).
Williams: There were reports that you had just read the works of a French philosopher, can you ...

Bush: The Stranger, [and I learned to tie my own shoe -ed].

Williams: Tell us the backstory of Camus.

Bush: The backstory of, of the book? [My Deke is rising, and it wants to pound on dweebs who ask for book reports. - ed]

Williams: Well, what what what caused, what lead you to this ...

Bush: [Okay, shut up, I undertand you. - ed] I was in Crawford and, uh, I said I was lookin' for a book to read and Laura said you oughta try Camus I also read three Shakespeares. Yeah. [Wassup? - ed]

Williams: This is a change ...

Bush: Not really.

Williams: You were just years ago reading the life story of Joe DiMaggio ...

Bush: Wait a minute. [Are you challenging my intellecuality? I know how to read books. - ed]

Williams: ... by Richard Ben Cramer ...

Bush: Which was a good book. [I killed a spider with it. - ed]

Williams: ... you've been on a Teddy Roosevelt reading kick, you remember we discussed this the last time you were here.

Bush: [Oh, you mean it's a different kind of book. - ed] I'm reading about the battle of New Orleans right now. [What the British couldn't do with a whole fleet, I did while playing a guitar and eating cake. - ed] I've got a ecelectic reading list. [See, and I can use big words, too. - ed]

Williams: And now Camus.

Bush: Well, that was a couple of books ago. [It's in my past and I try not to think about it. - ed] Let me, look, the key for me is to keep expectations low. [And that is the most truthful thing I've ever said. - ed]

End recording.

Yeah, well, I see your Camus and three Shakespeares and raise you three Joyces, two Faulkners and a Proust.

Panic Intelligently

The fact that fear of terrorism is still widespread isn't surprising or uncalled-for.

When I complain about fear making people stupid, what I mean is people are reacting stupidly and irrationally because of their fear. We need to panic intelligently. For example, don't freak out when you see brown people and Arabic lettering. That is counter-productive, as the more false alarms are raised, the less wary the populace will become when there is actually a need for alarm.

Also, the more stupidly and horribly people react to others because of superficial differences, the more injustices heaped on a certain type of class or person, the more likely it is that support for terrorism will increase and terrorists will get more clever and innovative to foil the stereotyped image. There will come a point at which scary looking brown people with electronic devices will be safer to fly with than cleancut white people with books.

If you see someone acting or looking suspiciously (not Arabic lettering, beards, or dark skin), calmly inform an official of some sort who should be able to refer the matter on to people who are qualified to deal with it. Of course, that would mean less of a "no fly list, racial profiling" mindset and more of a "comprehensive and sensible plan that will work, such as having people who are actually qualified to assess threats" mindset. We should adopt El Al's security procedures. That's panicking intelligently.

Big Ink lead me to a story (via Ishbadiddle) from a guy who dropped his iPod into an airplane toilet. TSA was contacted (before anyone knew it was just an iPod in the toilet) and a whole series of procedures then had to blindly be followed. If you look at it from the government's point of view, better safe than sorry. Even though they had been informed that it was just an iPod and not a bomb, they still had to go through their security checklist in case the guy was an incredibly talented and devious bomber, a la Hollywood Bad Guy.

As annoying as it was (the officials didn't need to be such dicks about it, but that's my opinion) I think that was a case of panicking intelligently, as well.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

More Scaredy Stoopids

A t-shirt with arabic letters scared some airline passengers and airport officials stoopid.

Raed Jarrar was wearing a black t-shirt that said "we will not be silent" in both English and Arabic. So he wasn't allowed to board a plane until he changed his shirt. (via Huffpost).

Sigh. It just makes me tired.

Ahmadinejad's Dance Party

"In conclusion, death to America, push the Zionists into the sea, and bring in da noise, bring in da funk."

Duh, duh, duh, duh duh ...Everybody dance now ... duh, duh, duh, duh duh ...

[Pither thought it necessary that I point out that I didn't add the ball, it was in the picture already]

Accountability in Tubes

For a few days now several bloggers on both sides of the political spectrum, notably TPM Muckraker and GOP Progress, have been narrowing down which Senator put a hold on a bill, sponsored by Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Barack Obama (D-IL), which would create a searchable database of all government spending (I guess we could be called Republicrats when it comes to government spending transparency). Bloggers were calling offices to seek confirmations or denials, an effort I thought naive given the ability of people to lie.

Now, via BlueState Blog, I learned that the lone holdout is juicy pork slurping Ted "Bridge to Nowhere" Stevens, a fact which a spokesperson for Stevens just confirmed.

Oh, BTW, FUBK. (Via Atrios)

Another Reason to Not Panic

It makes you friggin' stoopid.

(We have got a definite theme going on here today.)

I saw the story about the guy who ran over pedestrians in San Francisco yesterday on Blognonymous. Kvatch is a cyclist in SF, and knows how dangerous the streets are because of careless and reckless drivers. (And is he pissed.)

I even noted the name of the driver, Ohmeed Aziz Popal, and thought momentarily, "Oh great, someone's going to have rude things to say about Muslims."

But I had no idea.

As I learned at Mahablog, the righties, particularly Malkin, are crawling all over themselves trying to make connections to anti-Jewish Middle Eastern Muslim whatever terrorism. There was apparently a couple of Jewish temples and community centers nearby as Popal indiscriminately ran over men, women, children, Blacks, Whites, and Asians. But as Maha and commenter Steve M. of No More Mr. Nice Blog point out, one of the attacks took place right outside the Cal-Mart Bakery on California, which proves Popal hates sourdough bread. For which he should be executed.

See also:
Don't Panic
America is Obsolete and Useless
Take a few deep breaths. Read them repeatedly. Absorb them. Believe them. And calm the fuck down.

Don't Panic

To follow the previous post about why we shouldn't be so irrationally fearful of terrorism, Matt Yglesias on TPM (via Atrios) makes a good case for why we shouldn't be irrationally fearful of Iran.
So, here's Iran. Outgunned by its two leading religio-ideological antagonists, Israel and Saudi Arabia, in the region. One immediate neighbor is Pakistan, with a larger population base and a nuclear arsenal. Another immediate neighbor, Afghanistan, is occupied by soldiers under the command of an American president who has spurned peace offers and threatened to overthrow the Iranian government. A second immediate neighbor, Iraq, is occupied by a larger number of soldiers from the same country. The Iranian military's equipment is outdated and essentially incapable of mounting offensive operations. So Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons and missiles to deliver them. Under the circumstances, wouldn't you? Don't you think a little deterrence capabiity would serve the country well under those circumstances?

He also mentions how the regime that is in control of Iran has been there for 27 years, indicating likely comfortably entrenched elites who would rather simply bolster their security than stir the pot unnecessarily.

Sadly, I'm sure this is something of which the Administration is already very aware. Someone get Matt a TV pundit job. We desperately need more fact-based perspectives getting to the population and waaaay less paranoid, irrational, politically motivated fearmongering.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

America is Obsolete and Useless

While reading Glenn Greenwald's post about the conservative judge who abandoned all conservatism to nullify the Constitution because of his fear of physical threats, a question occurred to me.

What threat does terrorism actually pose to the United States?

Bush likes to tell us that the terrorists would destroy our freedoms and way of life. But those things are intangible qualities of being American that are written down into law on a "goddamned piece of paper" called the Constitution, which, incidentally, also gives us the system of government that protects those qualities. How do you blow up a freedom or cut off the head of a way of life? Not with bombs or knives, that's for sure. You couldn't even destroy our system of government by shredding the actual original Constitution. Physical threats are meaningless.

Physical threats, beyond just terrorism, are also manageable by the systems of detection and investigation which were already in place before 9/11. As long as the correct people are paying attention, the job gets done. But there is no such thing as 100% safety from anything.

But what if we do get attacked again?

Consider even the worst-case scenarios.

Terrorists detonate a sufficiently destructive weapon that kills hundreds of thousands. What then? We deal with the aftermath, just as with a natural disaster. No invasion. No occupation. We'd have another 9/11 moment, get world support and have a second chance to use that support to hunt down terrorists the right way like we started to do in Afghanistan, with international cooperation, intelligence and police work.

How about if they're backed by a larger power, like China? They'd have to launch such a significant and overwhelming attack on the U.S. that it wouldn't even be terrorism anymore. It would be invasion and all out traditional war.

Terrorists - even in possession of a couple of WMDs with the necessary ability to use them on U.S. soil - on their own have no effect on our freedoms, our way of life or our system of government, a fact of which terrorists themselves are aware. Terrorism is like building demolition, as unfortunate as that analogy is. Detonate several small, well-placed charges to weaken the structure, stand back and watch while the building's own weight collapses it. In the case of terrorism, the attacks are meant to frighten the populace into undermining their own government. The difference is, people can choose to not be weakened by the attacks, thus actually undermining the terrorists.

So I ask: what kind of threat does terrorism pose to the United States? And I answer: not much. There are all kinds of physical threats we deal with all the time, and we have ways of anticipating and preparing for them, even mitigating their effects. The same with terrorism.

But we are never going to be 100% terrorism-proof. If we live in a police state, with no checks and balances to ensure the powers of the state are not being used lightly or for political reasons; being spied on; imprisoned indefinitely; exiled; rendered for torture, we may get very close to being 100% terrorism-proof for external threats. But I guarantee the threat of internal terrorism will increase.

And that's where the actual threat to our freedoms, our way of life and our system of government lies. Internally. And I'm not just talking about domestic terrorism. I'm talking about the systematic dismantling of everything that makes us American. The system of government created by our Constitution.

Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner, who Greenwald writes about, is falling right into the terrorists' trap. He's so scared of terrorists flying a plane into his bedroom that he considers the Constitution to be"obsolete and useless in light of this grave new threat" and "nothing but 'an 18th Century document.'"

The three branches of government, their duties and limitations, checks and balances; warrants, equality under law; the rights to peaceably assemble, seek redress for grievances, worship freely, vote, be notified of accusations, face one's accuser and defend oneself in open court, not be enslaved; even the ability to amend the Constitution when any of the above structures and rights are considered obsolete and useless, are obsolete and useless?

So, basically, everything that makes this America, that makes us free, that gives us our way of life; in short, America is obsolete and useless.

Well, goddamn. The terrorists have won.

See also:
Don't Panic

Monday, August 28, 2006

Karr Won't Be Charged With Ramsey Murder

That's according to his attorney, Seth Temin, as the results of the DNA test showed Karr was not a match.
"The charges against Mr. Karr have been dropped by the DA," Temin said. "We are deeply distressed that they brought this man from Thailand with no forensic evidence and no other evidence to suggest his guilt. There will be no hearing today."

Well, considering his outstanding warrant in California for child pornography, the fact that he was working with children in Thailand and the potential for flight, I'd say it was a very good thing they brought him back.

Update: I had forgotten until Pither reminded me that, contrary to what Mr. Temin said, "they" didn't bring Karr all the way from Thailand. Thailand deported Karr after revoking his visa as an "undesireable person" for confessing to the murder. "They" merely escorted Karr back to the U.S. where he was then taken into custody.

Letter to Editor RE: Opposing Hezbollah

Letter writer Wendy D. Ruby (Opposing Hezbollah worthy of our support, August 28) claims Israel was justified in attacking the civilian population and infrastructure of Lebanon because Hezbollah, a terrorist organization, was hiding amongst the populace. However, that completely ignores international law and the facts.

Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon acts independently of the government. Before the July conflict, the U.S., in assessing Lebanon's trouble, determined that Lebanon required aid to get control of Hezbollah and intended to give the government with training and equipment. So the attacks on Israel were out of the control of the Lebanese people and their government, which already had the intent and plan to get the south under control.

Areas far in the north of Lebanon, areas which were not controlled or occupied by Hezbollah, were targeted as were civilian infrastructure such as the airport in Beirut. As the Israeli Cabinet openly admitted, the tactic and goal of attacking civilians in the north was to inflict "severe and harsh" retaliation on Lebanon to force the population and government to deal with Hezbollah themselves. Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz, Israel’s chief of staff, admitted that the intention was to "turn back Lebanon's clocks 20 years" if the kidnapped soldiers weren't returned.

Since international law forbids the purposeful targeting of civilians and requires military action to be proportional to the threat, Israel openly and purposely acted illegally.

As Ms. Ruby wrote, we should oppose Hezbollah. But Hezbollah and Lebanon are two different entities. If Ms. Ruby is truly in opposition to Hezbollah, she should know that Israel's self-indulgence in over-the-top, indiscriminate retaliation was a failure (Israel achieved neither objective of forcing the return of its soldiers or crippling Hezbollah). Even more damaging, the conflict seems to have actually bolstered Hezbollah's standing while further degrading Israel's (63% of Israel's own population supported the resignation of Prime Minister Olmert for his handling of the conflict). It also seems to have degraded relations between the U.S. and normally pro-American Lebanon.

We should take a lesson from Israel's dealings with Hezbollah. Moral outrage and overwhelming violence actually helps terrorists and makes many more victims; intelligence, cooperation and, as in the London liquid bombing case, police work are what significantly cripple terrorist organizations.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

U.S. Institutes Exile

Two U.S. citizens, a father and son, are being exiled (via Glenn Greenwald) because they traveled to Pakistan. The son has invoked his 5th Amendment rights and refused a second FBI interview without an attorney, probably because he remembered his cousin who was convicted based on a bogus FBI interview.

Being a U.S. citizen just doesn't seem to mean so much anymore under the Bush Administration.

Mumbly Grumbly Old Sots

When David Cameron, British Tory leader, repudiated the former policies under Thatcher that Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress were terrorists and that South Africa should not be sanctioned, several older grump buckets mumbled rude things about the young whippersnapper.

Commenting on his article last night, the Thatcher-era cabinet minister and former party chairman Lord Tebbit told The Observer: 'Because of his age, Mr Cameron is looking at these events as part of history. Others of us who lived through them and had input into the discussions at the time see things very differently. The policy of the Thatcher government was a success.
Another former minister, who did not wish to be named, said of the Cameron comments: 'They are ignorant.'

One wonders why they can't just acknowledge that, while they may have had a particular view of the world based on possibly false assumptions and limited information, Margaret Thatcher was simply wrong when "she described the ANC as 'terrorists'" and "said that anyone who believed the ANC would ever rule South Africa was 'living in cloud-cuckoo-land'." Those sentiments are just wrong on their face.

I am young myself, and not too familiar with the reasons for supporting, or at least not opposing apartheid in SA, but I hadn't been aware that the reason Reagan and Thatcher gave was "to urge reform on a government which they saw as a bulwark against Soviet-backed radicalism." Really? Everything came down to anti-Communism, did it? Just like today, every rationale for every irrational act is justified by WOT rhetoric.

Anyway, Atrios posted these clips of one Rowley Birkin Q.C. (Queen's Counsel, he's a barrister) drunkenly mumbling stories down at the club. Seems like a harmless old sot, but it reminded me of the images I had of unpleasant grumbly old sots grumbling about how right they are to look down on the troublesome wogs who are incapable of governing themselves, no matter that history has shown that they were wrong.

He Walks Right Into These Things

ProgressNowAction has the definitive picture of Both Ways Bob. Completely un-manipulated. Bob did it to himself.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Shame On You, Officer Iskra

(To be read with a loud inner voice)

A police officer punished a man for showing support to a person with a medical condition. That's right, Officer Kurt Iskra of Largo, Florida, gave a ticket to a man for doing nothing other than listening to Bill O'Reilly on the radio in his car. Oh, and speeding, but that was a separate ticket. (Click link to News Hounds where you can see the chilling video).

The officer claims the radio was turned up too loud and that Bill O'Reilly could be heard 25 feet away. That is simply not true. Well, it's probably true that Bill O'Reilly could be heard from 25 feet away, but not because the radio was too loud. It's because Bill O'Reilly has a recognized psycho-medical condition which you may have read about in Glad Magazine.

It's called Voice Immodulation Disorder, or VI. I know, because my name is Jacob Silj, State Department Attache for the U.S. Ambassador to China, and I have VI. All my life I have suffered prejudice and exclusion because of my condition. But never has anyone else been punished because they were simply standing there listening to me talk.

But that's what happened in Largo, and it is a darn shame. No one would ever think of punishing people for building wheelchair ramps or putting braille signs near doorways because everyone agrees that helping to enable people to live more normal lives is desireable. And yet laws are actually passed which threaten the livelihood and independence of people like Bill O'Reilly by reducing those who can listen to him.

I had hoped my appearance on Weekend Update a few years ago would have increased awareness of VI and sensitize the public to the plight of those like Bill O'Reilly who have it. But bigots like Officer Iskra and the city of Largo are determined to marginalize us by punishing those who support us.

So I say again, Shame on you, Officer Iskra.

Thanks to Julie O. for allowing me to guest blog.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Finding a Silver Lining - Not!

Lieberman's on the ticket, but he's fifth, at the bottom. Says his campaign manager, Dan Gerstein, "The good news is name recognition is not going to be a problem."

Oh, yes it will.

Via Atrios.

Here's How to be a Good Liberal Blogger

Point out the mistake, either of yourself or a fellow Liberal blogger; also point out if the mistake was about a non-issue, anyway; then turn to the real issues.

Good job, Oh Captain, my Captain. (Kos ordered me to post this).

New Coulter Attitude Works Like a Charm

I took on a new attitude about Coulter once I realized that she was attempting a bad imitation of Andy Kuafman. Given that, I devised the best way to undercut her. The interviewer or debater must immediately overlook and ignore her outrageous statements and simply go straight to the substance. Click on my link above, that's what I said.

Seems Kirsten Powers reads my blog. Crooks & Liars has video of her on Hannity & Colmes (Kirsten Powers subbing for an absent Colmes) very effectively shutting down Ms. Coulter, who seemed to have thrown a fit and stormed off when someone wouldn't play her game. (Unless there was a technical glitch, in which case the new strategy would be to always have a technical glitch; but there doesn't seem to be one).

It's glaringly obvious that Kirsten Powers could hear Coulter and was pointedly ignoring her schtick to get on with the substance.

Click on link for video, but here's the transcript:

Hannity & Michael Brown crosstalk almost throughout their exchange. I'm transcribing it as exactly as I can so you know that Hannity was talking over his guest as much as Powers.

Hannity: What will you do if elected? I don't care about Bush. (Brown incomprehensible)

Michael Brown: The best foreign policy team in this country's history ...

Hannity: And what will you do specifically ...

Brown: and all of ...

Hannity: ... tell America tonight.

Brown: ... what Democrats will do, which is different, is engage with people ...

Hannity: Michael, you'll engage with people ...

Brown: ... and talk to people ...

Hannity: Wow.

Brown: ... and keep people at the table ...

Hannity: You'll engage people ...

Brown: ... and have some dialogue. You have to engage in diplomacy first ...

Hannity: ... That's your answer?

Brown: War should be ...

Hannity: You'll engage people?

Brown: war should be the last ...

Hannity: Amazing.

Brown: ... resort. Conflict should be the last resort. The Bush policies ...

Hannity: We'll talk to Osama ...

Brown: ... haven't worked, Sean.

Hannity: ... bin Laden, that's what we'll do ...

Brown: The American people ...

Hannity: ... we'll speak to him.

Brown: ... are speaking, and you don't wanna listen.

Kirsten Powers: Alright, uh, Ann ...

Brown: It's almost like you disagree with the American people.

Powers: Let's talk about, "Let's talk to Osama bin Laden." How about, "Let's kill Osama bin Laden?" How about, "Let's find Osama bin Laden?" You're talking about how, you know, Democrats don't want to do things on terrorism, which I actually will go ahead and list in a second the things they wanna do. But how about the fact we invaded Iraq when, you know, over in Afghanistan everything was falling apart and the fact that we let Osama bin Laden get away and the president said he doesn't even think about him, he doesn't ...

Brown: What about the "Mission Accomplished?"

Powers: ... even care about him? What about that?

Ann Coulter: Um, I look forward to hearing that list ...

Powers: Okay, you will in a second.

Coulter: ... but as for catching Osama, um, it's irrelevant, things are going swimmingly in Afghanistan ...

Powers: Oh, no they're not.

Brown: Swimmingly?

Coulter: ... I mean it's like a fading movie score now.

Powers: Things in Afghanistan are going horribly. But this is interesting. Osama bin Laden is irrelevent ...

Coulter: Who do you think was ...

Powers: ...the person, the mastermind ...

Coulter: ... who kidnapped ...

Powers: ... behind the attacks on thc United States is completely irrelevent. Is that what you're saying?

Coulter: Alright, it was handed to Bill Clinton twice ...

Powers: Oh, it's Bill Clinton's fault ...

Coulter: And Bill Clinton said, "No," uh, it's irrelevent ...

Powers: Yeah, 'cause I actually think it was Bush who was president ...

Coulter: Okay, wait ...

Powers: ... in 2001.

Coulter: ... I know you're trying to imitate Alan Colmes ...

Powers: Yes, okay.

Coulter: ... but at some point he does let me answer.

Powers: Let's go, um, Michael, why don't we talk about the things that ...

Coulter: Okay, well, goodnight.

Powers: ... uh, the Democrats ...

Coulter: It was nice being here.

Powers: ... actually are doing about the fact that all of the Democrats, uh, ...

Coulter: Sean?

Powers: ... Republicans have voted against, all the things ...

Coulter: Hey, I think I can leave.

Powers: ... the Democrats have brought up, like increasing funding for border security, increasing funding for, uh, ...

Coulter: Chris, I think I can leave now.

Powers: ... for port security, increasing funding for airline security. ...

Coulter: No, seriously.

Powers: ... Isn't that true, Michael?

Cut to single of Brown, brief mumble of a couple of voices and a microphone getting brushed and cut off.

Brown: Real Homeland Security starts at home, and as long as the Repulicans continue to cut the budget relative to homeland security, this, these kinds of things are going to continue. You're exactly right with your question, that's why most of the ... remember, all of these things are getting cut and slashed to be able to pay for the Iraqi war, we're forgetting about the war on terror. And let's keep in mind, the war on terror is just not just a foreign war. We have homeland folks here that want to cause out government harm, too. We have to watch out for the Timothy McVeighs of the world as well as folks in different parts of the world.

Hannity: Alright (mumbled).

Brown: So let's keep that in mind, this is not one kind of person we're fight -

end of recording.

Peace King SMASH!

Via Crooks & Liars and I Approve This Messiah.

The Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (Moonies) broke into the newsroom of a South Korean newspaper company to smash stuff and threaten a reporter's life for not being positive happy people (about Reverend Moon).
It is very difficult to understand that the eight hours of violence and the production disturbance by the worshippers of FFWPU, who were discontent with the report in the September issue of Shindonga, a monthly publication of this company, with the title “Grand Dissection of FFWP Kingdom,” was a conduct by the worshippers of a religion which stress peace in the world.

It's not difficult to understand. It's World Peace and Unification. There can be no peace without unification, which means total obeisance to the Peace King.

Just ask Rep. Curt Weldon (PA), Rep. Elijah Cummings (MD), Rep. Danny K. Davis (IL), Rep. Harold Ford, Jr. (TN), Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (MD), Rep. Chris Cannon (UT), Rep. Sanford Bishop (GA), State Sen. Mark Anderson (AZ), Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC), State Sen. Mark Boitano (NM), Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (VA), Rep. Eddie B. Johnson (TX), and the Washington Times.

Seriously, ask them.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Jesus Was a Neanderthal

Check out the massively prominent brow ridge in this sonogram of Jesus watching over a fetus.

Why Pluto, Ceres and Xena Should Be Planets

The International Astronomical Union stripped Pluto of its status as planet. They did this by redefining a planet as “a celestial body that is in orbit around the sun, has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a ... nearly round shape, and has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit.” Pluto's path overlaps Neptune's, which previously occasionally made Neptune the 9th planet.

Of course, this doesn't explain why Neptune is still considered a planet, since it hasn't cleared Pluto from its path. But anyway ... (lame, I know).

They also declined to create any new planets, even 2003 UB303, also affectionately known as "Xena," [ed: add ululation here] which is larger than Pluto.

But here's why they're wrong. My Very Eccentric Manager, Carl, Just Sent Us Nine Peculiar Xeroxes. That's right, I made a cool mnemonic device that incorporates Ceres, Pluto and Xena.

What a waste. But whatever, you scientists who keep redefining things when mnemonic devices get too complicated. I think I'll become a creationist. They never need mnemonic devices for anything.


Update: WashParkProphet has invited us to come up with a name for the chunks of space ice and detritus that are significantly large enough to get a new name, which, for now, are being called Small Solar System Bodies, or SSSBs. Unacceptably sucky.

They are also unacceptably dangerous, a grave and gathering threat, what I would call PFTHP (pronounced pfthp) - Potential Future Threats to Home Planet.

In keeping with the foreign policy of our Administration, I think we must take a proactive policy towards those PFTHP and hunt them down, destroy them there so we won't be destroyed here. Plus, waging active war against heavenly bodies that hate our freedoms won't create more heavenly bodies that hate our freedoms.

However, though PFTHP does somewhat adequately express how I feel about them, it's simply not a specifically descriptive enough acronym, since it's only reflective of the threat and not a comforting and aggressive epithet to rally the nation to action. Plus, I keep having to wipe off the monitor screen.

So I propose the name mustbedestroids (or even MSBs) to describe small solar system bodies. Because they must be destroyed. Duh.

Friendly Bets

I've got a couple going.

The one with Pither is about what day John Mark Karr will be completely off the front page of the local paper. Every day the section for Karr on the front page has been shrinking. If I recall, he says today is the last day, though it could be tomorrow, Friday. I said Sunday would be the last day.

The other one at Square State is about when Both Ways Bob will fire his campaign manager, John Marshall, as a scapegoat for his failing campaign.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

George Allen's Apology

He's called to apologize, even though there was no reason to, and that should be the end of it.

Enjoy the George Allen Macaca blog while you can. I have a feeling it'll only be around for a few days after November 7.

(Via Fact-Esque)

Rush Endorses Tramm's Racist Sentiments

At first I thought Media Matters was going overboard in implying that Rush Limbaugh was making questionable statements about Black people while handicapping the new Survivor series that will divide four tribes along racial lines. (via Atrios)

As I read Limbaugh's comments, it seemed clear that he was intending to be humorous by making bets on which tribe would win based on well-known racial stereotypes. For instance, he said the White team might bring vials of diseases and oppress the other tribes. Obvious humor.

Given that, I thought his insinuation that the Black tribe would be disadvantaged if there were a lot of swimming tasks was rather topical and good because he was making fun of Tramm Hudson's stupidly racist remark that Black people can't swim because he knew a Black guy once who couldn't swim.

If only he had stopped there, the whole bit would have been defensible as humor.

But then a caller challenged him about his swimming comments, and Limbaugh tried to back it up with a study that shows young Black males are more likely to drown in swimming pools.

Which means he wasn't making fun of Tramm Hudson, he was agreeing with Tramm Hudson.

From Media Matters:

But the study on which the HealthDay article was based did not address the swimming abilities of African-Americans in general. HealthDay reported that "[r]esearchers don't know why black kids are at higher risk of drowning," that "[m]ost of the black [drowning] victims ... drowned in public pools," and that "[t]he study didn't examine whether the victims had taken swimming lessons or whether the pools were supervised by lifeguards." Additionally, the article noted that according to the study, "people from poorer families were more likely to drown" -- "regardless of race," and that one author of the study suggested "[f]uture research" will be done to "examine whether swimming instruction reduces the risk of drowning."

A good defense would be that, for the purposes of the joke, it doesn't matter why young Black males are more likely to drown, just that they are. And he would be right. I think most people enjoy jokes about stereotypes, as long as they're good-natured.

But after being challenged, Rush took the time to clarify that he wasn't making fun of a racial stereotype, he was making fun of a racial fact. In that way, the target of his humor became Black people themselves, not a stereotype about Black people.

Limbaugh went out of his way to prove the caller right because it's not a racial fact that Black people can't swim.

Racism is the unscientific belief that races have particular abilities or inabilities based on inherent characteristics. It doesn't require hate, just an unscientific belief.

Had Rush left it at a humorous treatment of a stereotype, that would have been one thing. Even a simple "Yeah, I know Black people can swim, but they are more likely to be unable to for whatever reason; so the joke about their disadvantage in swimming still holds" would have rendered the joke harmless. Hell, it would have rendered it a joke.

But when, in all seriousness and with a self-righteous defensiveness, he used a study to bolster his assertion that Blacks can't swim, a statement about the race itself which is not even supported by the study, he tripped stupidly into a racist assertion.

Monday, August 21, 2006

"We're Not Leaving So Long As I'm President"

Sounds like a dare.

Via AmericaBlog.

The Disillusionment is Palpable

Did you feel that? I swear I felt a pop, like ears depressurizing on an airplane or after a head cold when you can suddenly hear clearly again.

ThinkProgress (via Eschaton) has the video and transcript of Bush saying this:
[What did Iraq have to do with the attack on the World Trade Center?] Nothing.

Wait, there's more.
Except it’s part of — and nobody has suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack. Iraq was a — Iraq — the lesson of September 11th is take threats before they fully materialize, Ken. Nobody’s ever suggested that the attacks of September the 11th were ordered by Iraq.

For never having suggested it, Bush and his Administration sure convinced a lot of people. From 2003:
Seven in 10 people in a poll say the Bush administration implied that Iraq and its leader Saddam Hussein were involved in the Sept. 11 attacks against the United States.

Thankfully, a large portion of that number have already had their ears cleared. By the end of 2005 it was down to 22%. Otherwise the vibrations might have caused a mega tsunami. Oh, wait, there might already be a mega tsunami on the way, scheduled to arrive November 7, 2006.

Will the Administration be tossing out flotation devices?

Box Turtle Bulletin

Square State has a post about an anti-gay mailing by Kevin Lundberg, Colorado HD49 State House Representative (R), in which Rep. Lundberg claims
The truth is, homosexuals die young. The statistics show that their activities are about as dangerous as taking drugs. Their "lifestyle" far too often includes activities that I don't even dare to describe or list. The top six U.S. male serial killers were all gay. Homosexual men have an average of 68 partners per year (a little less for women), they prefer to live alone, and of the 2-3% of homosexuals that do choose marriage (where legal) most relationships are not monogamous and end in divorce.

Commenter janus303 (is it the commenter is Mike Ditto of Janus Online?) links to a gay propaganda debunking site, Box Turtle Bulletin. BTW, Sue Radford is running for Lundberg's seat.

To make things easier and because I have nothing else to do, I'll just use a search engine to check on one of Rep. Lundberg's "facts" (most of which he seems to have gotten from Moriel Ministries, long on "statistics," short on citations) and do my own box turtle bulletin.

The top six U.S. male serial killers were all gay.
From Moriel Ministries:
1) Donald Harvey claimed 37 victims. 2) John Wayne Gacy raped and killed 33 boys. 3) Patrick Kearney cut his 32 victims up into small pieces. 4) Bruce Davis molested and killed 27 young men and boys. 5) A homosexual sex-murder-torture ring of Corll, Henley and Brooks sent 27 men and boys to their grave. 6) Juan Corona murdered 25 migrant workers and molested the corpses.

I noticed immediately that, for some unknown reason, the infamous and prolific Ted Bundy was left off the list. And I found another heterosexual killer who preferred females, the Green River Killer, Leon Gary Ridgway.

Checking on the others:

Patrick Kearney claimed to have killed 28 victims, but there was only evidence for 21. So he's not top 6, he's #7.

Moriel Ministries is the only place I can find that claims a Bruce Davis killed 27 young men and boys. There was a Bruce Davis who followed Manson, is suspected of being the Zodiac killer, and was convicted of 2 murders. Then there's serial killer Bruce A. Davis, who purportedly hated homosexuals for an assault he suffered and sought revenge; he claimed 32 killings, was convicted of two, plus a prison guard in an escape, and four others were confirmed, for a total of 7, with authorities sure he did one more. So, not gay and not even top 6.

The real list of top 6 male serial killers in the U.S. is:
1) Leon Gary Ridgway, 48; 2) Donald Harvey, 36 - 57; 3) John Wayne Gacy, 33; 4) Ted Bundy, 29+; 5) Corll, Henley & Brooks, 27; and 6) Juan Corona, 25.

I don't know why "4 of the 6 top male serial killers in the U.S. were gay" wasn't good enough. And even if it had been stated accurately, it wouldn't prove much of anything except that homophobes like Moriel Ministries, Rep. Lundberg, and purveyor of crap anti-gay statistics Paul Campbell want to spread their phobia like a contagious disease.

The following online source (PDF) seems to be from a book about serial killers and their victims in general. It makes interesting observations concerning homosexual serial killings which undercut the implicit claim that homosexuals are more prone to be depraved violent murderers. Take the unknown source for what it's worth.
As seen earlier, the number of victims of a homosexual serial killer is large. Because homosexuals are often marginalized in the larger community, serial killers seem to be able to operate for long periods of time, abducting and killing large numbers of victims before law enforcement is forced to act.
Note, however, that homosexual serial killers appear to be feared out of proportion to their actual statistical threat.

Homosexuals who become serial killers represent less than 5 percent of all known serial killers—even though their ranks include some of the most prolific slayers in modern times. Notorious homosexual serial killers include Donald Harvey (37 convictions; confessed to over 50 victims), John Wayne Gacy (33 convictions), Dean Corll (27 deaths; died after arrest), Juan Corona (25 convictions), Patrick Kearney (21 convictions; confessed to 28), Jeffrey Dahmer (17 convictions), William Bonin (10 convictions), and Randy Kraft (16 convictions; suspected in the deaths of 51 more victims).

Sunday, August 20, 2006

So Many Things Wrong with Sowell Column on Gay Marriage

Thomas Sowell wrote a column entitled, "Gay-marriage advocates ignore history, reality" in which he defends the rights of the states to forbid homosexual marriage. (via Cap'n Dyke)

The "equal protection of the laws" provided by the Constitution applies to people, not actions. Laws exist precisely in order to discriminate among different kinds of actions.

I agree. And since homosexuals are people, and marriage is an action ... Anyway, he goes on to say,

Analogies with bans against interracial marriage are bogus. Race is not part of the definition of marriage. A ban on interracial marriage is a ban on the same actions otherwise permitted because of the race of the particular people involved. It is a discrimination against people, not actions.

Notice how he says, "race is not part of the definition of marriage?" That's so he can ignore the reality of the history of the definition of marriage in North America. Race certainly was a part of the definition of marriage in many states (or colonies) for centuries, and interracial marriage was forbidden. For centuries.

The limitations of sexuality and gender have also been part of the definition of marriage. What does he think it means when a law says marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman? Such language prohibits an action (marriage) for certain types of people (homosexuals).

In other words, a ban on homosexual marriage is a ban on the same actions otherwise permitted because of the sexual orientation of the particular people involved. It is a discrimination against people, not actions.

And when he says,

They argue against a "ban" on gay marriage, but marriage has for centuries meant a union of a man and a woman. There is no gay marriage to ban.

he's running in logical circles.

There is no gay marriage to ban because it has always been banned! I bet that's not even true. Somewhere, at some time, some culture had to have allowed gay marriage.

Still, his argument makes some sense when you realize that he believes sexual orientation is a choice, not an inherent part of human existence, like the "legitimate" human reality of race. It also makes sense when you realize that he thinks homosexuals are inanimate objects or sexual acts rather than actual people like everyone else.

When the law permits automobiles to drive on highways but forbids bicycles from doing the same, that is not discrimination against people. A cyclist who gets off his bicycle and gets into a car can drive on the highway just like anyone else.

To Sowell, being homosexual is like riding a bicycle; it's what you do, not who you are. There was that moment in your life when you could choose to either ride a bicycle or have sex with someone of the same gender. If you never have sex with anyone ever, you are a default heterosexual, no matter who you are attracted to and fantasize about. You chose unwisely, so stay off the Freeway of Love.

Here's another problem with that analogy; gaycyclists can't even have their own bike lane.

But to cover his illogical ass, Sowell quotes Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., who "said that the life of the law has not been logic but experience."

Here's the entire quote: "The life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience. The felt necessities of the time, the prevalent moral and political theories, intuitions of public policy avowed or unconscious, even with the prejudices which judges share with their follow-men, have had a great deal more to do than the syllogism in determining the rules by which men should be governed. The law embodies the story of a nation's development through many centuries, and it cannot be dealt with as if it contained only the axioms and corollaries of a book of mathematics."

There is, of course, great practical truth in this. Rights, privileges; what is considered right, wrong, good, bad; notions of fairness and equality and who are entitled to them change over time. And laws are determined by those prejudices of legislators and jurists. That's why the Constitution is, in fact, a living document. It says the people have rights. But "certain groups" don't receive equal rights until a majority believe that those "certain groups" are actually people, and not bicycles.

So at least Sowell recognizes - if only on a subconscious level - that there is no logic to forbidding homosexual marriage; there is only a history of prejudice, discrimination, bigotry, and twisting oneself into pretzels trying to come up with reasons for opposing it.

See also:
No Gay Marriage Amendment This Year
I Agree With a Conservative!
A "For the Children" Plea I Can Get Behind

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Ugh, Denver Post Tomorrow

If is any indication, tomorrow's print copy is going to be packed with Ramsey stuff.

Currently the website has more than three dozen related stories. Check this shit out.

I think I'll stick with Opus and Sudoku.

Look No Further Than the Abs

No pilonidal cysts or "other priorities," and if he ever crapped his pants, he kept it to himself. And getting on with his life included serving in the military knowing he'd be sent to war.

Okay, look further than the abs, to Jim Webb's campaign website. You know, Jim Webb (the guy on the right), who's running for Senate against Sen. George "macaca" Allen in Virginia.

He's got an actual plan for Iraq, too.

Also, see his interview on the Colbert Report.

Filthy Scots

Julie is rather proud of her Scottish heritage and I wanted to taunt her with the mental image I have of modern Scotland. It was burned into my grey matter in the 80's from classic MTV. Now I can show her the bagpipe band being run over by filthy Scottish yobs in the courtyard of a medieval castle while dancing to a grungy guitar riff is not just a demented dream.


NSA Case Goes to Conservative Court

There's not much reason to think the conservative 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will side with Bush, however, since Bush isn't conservative, and neither is violating the plain language of the Bill of Rights.

As the article says, whatever the Appeals court decides, the next stop is the Supreme Court. I smell a 5 - 4 decision.

Hang on Stevens, Stevens hang on. (mp3)
Via Eric Hananoki's Al Franken blog.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Macaca Allen

I made a few products on Cafe Press, in case anyone is insane enough to walk around with this pasted on a t-shirt.

"I Know a Muslim When I See One"

A woman caller actually just said that to Randi Rhodes, talking about profiling Muslims at airports.

Randi kept asking her how you profile for a religion, since people of aaaallllll colors are members of aaaaallllll religions. And the woman's answer, "I know a Muslim when I see one."

So Randi suggested the woman do her patriotic duty and get a job at TSA teaching screeners how to recognize Muslims by sight.

Nice job, Bush Administration. Nice job.

Bush Checked by the Other Branch

Via Big Ink. A U.S. District Court Judge ruled Bush's NSA spying on Americans is contrary to some goddamned law someone wrote down on some "goddamned piece of paper."

Of course WashParkProphet covers it more indepth.

Update: The President does have influence on weak, frightened minds. Yesterday on the radio I heard a caller say the Constitution was an outdated piece of paper. The host, who I think was substituting for Randi Rhodes, very neatly pointed out why it wasn't, at least.

Previous to the Constitution, systems of government were like a pyramid, with the warlords, the wealthy and the privileged on top. The Constitution turned the pyramid on its head, giving basic rights and power equally to all people (in theory).

Now, things like corporations have been given status as if they were individuals, but they have privileges, not rights. By a simple act of Congress, corporations can be stripped of their individual rights. Not so the people.

The Constitution has to be altered in order for the President or anyone else to strip us of our rights, such as the right to be secure in our persons, our papers, and our personal effects, save by due process of law, which is an oath or affirmation to a court that there is a good reason to look into people's private business. That's the 4th Amendment.

I really don't know what that caller thinks he would replace the "outdated piece of paper" with. And of all the times one might have said, "I prefer an authoritarian system of government where my unaccountable leader will do whatever he thinks is best, without question" why during Chimpy McShitstain's presidency?

Ramsey News Conference

I first turned to local CBS, and heard the anchor say two times, "We heard the DNA matched, but that's not confirmed," as well as a couple of other things they heard which were not confirmed. Since local CBS was engaging in the type of sensationalistic journalism that destroys humans, I changed to MSNBC where Dan Abrams was being much more responsible. He reminded me of why I used to like watching Court TV, before Nancy Grace and Judge Napolitano (and others) soiled it with their partisanship and sensationalism.

In fact, watch MSNBC for coverage on this case. Both the female anchor and Abrams were expressing serious skepticism, not only because of the potential alibi, but because of the report that Karr claimed he drugged JonBenet when the autopsy didn't show signs of any drugs, as well as, so far, the lack of any other evidence.

I was very pleased with the news conference itself. DA Mary Lacy has certainly shown that Boulder law enforcement learned their lesson.

She made it very clear that John Karr is presumed innocent and was arrested because of exigent circumstances - a fear for public safety and a fear of flight. She said the investigation is not "substantially complete," that a lot of work still has to be done, and would not comment on any evidence.

She implored the media and the public not to jump to any conclusions or to speculate, and to please allow law enforcement to do its job thoroughly.

They did confirm there had as yet been no charges filed, that both John Ramsey and John Karr are presumed innocent, and that Boulder law enforcement will be backing away from media attention so they can do their job of investigation.

Back to Dan Abrams, reading between the lines of the news conference, the Boulder officials are "putting on the brakes" of this story. Again reading between the lines, this investigation is in a very early stage, all officials have at this point are Karr's statements, and they don't have enough to file charges. Karr was arrested because of exigent circumstances - his outstanding charges of child pornography, he had just gotten a job teaching 2nd graders, and his own father thought he was dead.

Abrams also said that in high profile cases many whackos claim guilt for the attention, which is why everyone should be very careful about this story. However, as Abrams pointed out, whether or not Karr is guilty of killing JonBenet, it sounds like it's probably a good thing that he's not free.

Then I switched to Court TV where Rikki Klieman said that an AP report out of Bangkok reported that Karr said he drugged JonBenet, but that drugs had not been found in her system. Another talking head then speculated that it could be a mistranslation, that it could be that Karr claimed to have stunned JonBenet with a stun gun (there was evidence of that), or that it could be that Karr is lying.

They then pointed out how Karr seemed to be enjoying himself at his own news conference.

Yeah, watch MSNBC.

There are still lots of questions to be answered. Everyone, including myself, needs to heed the Boulder DA and back off this story. Will it happen?

Update: Of course not. But as I said, watch Dan Abrams on MSNBC, and not just because he's cute. TalkLeft says he has a special tonight 10 - 11pm (probably 9 - 10pm, CST/MST).

JonBenet's Killer Has an Alibi?

Will the media show greater restraint in reporting on John Mark Karr? Yes, he admits to killing JonBenet accidentally. But his ex-wife, Lara Karr claims he was in Alabama with her at the time of the slaying.

It will be interesting to see if the media learned any lessons after swarming all over the Ramseys. We all remember the sideshow, the speculation, including the insinuations that JonBenet's older brother, a child himself, might have beaten and strangled his sister. It's devastating to be falsely accused, and even moreso to be so publicly falsely accused.

Looking at today's Rocky Mountain News - the entire front page covered with the beauty queen's photo - it's not quite looking promising. The headline: Arrest.

Underneath, next to Karr's photo, it says "Teacher nabbed 10 years after JonBenet's murder"/ "Exclusive: how they cracked the case." And an invitation to check RMN's archives on the story at

Sounds pretty conclusive. The killer was nabbed, and the case was cracked. It's done, according to the front page.

Of course, Lara Karr probably made her statement after the paper went to print, and I did find her statement online at RMN. But it was small, in a sidebar, and not on the "front page" of the website. Even before learning of a potential alibi I had doubts about this confession. Shouldn't the media have doubts, as well?

Mike Littwin, also in RMN, writes a column asking this question: "How do you undo a public lynching?" And he answers it: "You don't."

Will the media treat Karr more carefully than the Ramseys?

The news conference is in a few minutes, so we'll see what the DA has to say about the evidence. I hope she mentions the alibi. I hope someone in the press asks her about the alibi.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Maybe He Did Mean "Mohawk"

Via Ezra Klein.

Ramsey News Conference Tomorrow

At 10 am Thursday, August 17, 2006 about JonBenet Ramsey's suspected murderer, arrested in Bangkok.

Press release through the Boulder District Attorney's website.

Dance Like a Monkey

New York Dolls - (video clip)

With a couple of FSM cameos. Via Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Airport Security is in Your Hands

It's not just explosive liquids.

Come on, people. Does DHS really have to waste the millions of dollars it costs to make posters for this kind of thing?

Use your common sense. No explosive liquids, no snakes, no fingernail clippers.

(What about explosive diarrhea? Oh great, there goes another $million on posters and bins.)

Update: Kvatch at Blognonymous had the same idea.

Is It My Dirty Mind?

The advertisement for the new Woolite Oxy Deep Pod made me laugh out loud.

"Squeeze, rub, groom and done."

Somehow I don't think that slogan will be too long-lived, though Kleenex might consider taking over the slogan when Woolite is done with it.

Monday, August 14, 2006

I Don't Think Fringe Means What You Think It Means

The fall-out of Lieberman's primary loss is the rabid, but expected, overreaction of rightie propagandists. As Joe Conason says (via Big Ink),

The fundamental argument of the propagandists is that opposition to the war in Iraq represents an obsession of the far-left fringe, and that the Democrats will be destroyed by any attempt to extricate our troops from the quicksand.

But let’s look at the numbers found by recent surveys.

[An] ABC/Washington Post poll found 59 percent felt the war had not been worth the cost, 64 percent felt the Bush administration had no clear plan for victory, and 53 percent felt the number of U.S. troops in Iraq should be decreased.

If more than half of the public supports withdrawal from Iraq, and nearly two-thirds disapproves of the President and his policy, then that must be the “mainstream” position.

What follows is a visual representation of left-wing vs. right-wing fringe - as used in rightie propagandist vernacular - in

The Political Fringe Hat.

Hmm, that's a lot of fringe.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Going to Family Reunion

It's somewhere in eastern Nebraska (we'll be visiting in Omaha, as well), so we'll have about 8 hours of driving with a toddler in searing heat that will just get more and more humid the further east we go.

But there will be horseback riding, mini-gold, waterslides, and a stop at Ole's for lunch.

I'll probably blog again Monday.

Both Ways, Either Way: Billboard Contest

I spent all this time using Photoshop to design a Both Ways Bob billboard for ProgressNowAction's billboard contest, only to find that in their contest I have to choose from a selection of pictures and then caption it.

Oh well, here's my billboard, anyway.

Yeah, my husband didn't really get it, either. The point is, it doesn't really matter which side of any issue Bob comes down on, he's gonna f&*# up Colorado. The right side is the cash cow of the capitol, the left is a breadline, and I'm making fun of him as a dairy farmer who cries with sentiment and a calculating banker who will line is own pocket.

But I did something similar for the contest using their prepackaged images.

Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Letter to Sen. Salazar RE: Support for Lieberman

According to TakeBackTheHouse at DailyKos, you said, "'We would see what is going to happen soon in Connecticut.' Later he broadened that to, 'We will see what they do, perhaps in the next days or weeks or perhaps months, we'll see.'"

And when TakeBackTheHouse said, "I hope that Connecticut plays out in a way so that you are able to support the Democratic nominee, however that might happen," you answered, "Well, we'll see."

Now, I understand that Senator Lieberman believes himself to be standing on principle by sometimes standing against the party, and that, having been on the receiving end of criticism yourself, you appreciate that.

But what Senator Lieberman is doing by running as an independent after being rejected by his constituents is a much different matter than voting against the party on occasion. He is actively turning his back on the party in its entirety.

He is abandoning the Democratic party while seeking to divide the Democrats of Connecticut at a time when wresting control from an irresponsible Republican majority to counter the bad and illegal decisions of a rogue President is of utmost importance. Dividing the Democrats could hand his seat to a Republican, undercutting the possible gains at this crucial time.

Senator Lieberman's defeat is being touted as a bellweather of the sentiments of the general populace about the unrest and dissatisfaction over the President, his policies, and the cowering Legislature which has given President Bush free reign and no oversight. Senator Lieberman is one of those Legislators.

By considering supporting Senator Lieberman you are signalling to your constituents that you are another of those Senators, more interested in helping your buddy than serving the interests of the United States to reign in a wayward Executive.

I urge you to stand with the Democratic nominee from Connecticut.

DailyKos link at

Julie O.

via SquareState

Lieberman ... Party of One

This was the winning slogan for the Lieberman campaign on Al Franken's show today. The winner had posted the slogan on his blog, which I couldn't hear clearly (if this was your idea, please let me know, and of course feel free to use the poster).

Now the Other Kiss

Conway Luau

Kathleen Conway, candidate for Arapahoe County Clerk, is having a fundraising luau tonight from 5:30 - 8 pm.

There will be roast pig (or a vegetarian option) and Polynesian fire dancers. I'll see if my husband feels like going tonight. I think the roast pig might convince him, but I'm looking forward to fire dancers.

The other day while munching on BBQ'd pork ribs (fatty and covered with sweet and tangy sauce for me), my husband and I were discussing the cruel irony of the most delicious meat on earth also being forbidden by God. If there's any reason to abandon the old religions - or at least their unnecessarily restrictive and arbitrary rules - it's pork.

Anyway, bring some cash to throw in the campaign warchest and enjoy a luau. I haven't been to one in decades.

It's at Westlands Park, 5701 S. Quebec St., Greenwood Village located between Belleview and Orchard. The sponsors are Pat Waak, Morgan Carroll, Michael Garcia, Nancy Todd, Bill Winter, Suzanne Williams, Colorado Vets For America, Ron Clark, Ann Don, and Joe Rice. I presume that means they will all be there. I hope I will be, too.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Letter to Harry Reid RE: Sen. Lieberman's Betrayal

I'm not a constituent, but you are the Minority Leader and your decisions do have a strong overall effect on the entire Senate, thence on all of America. So I am writing to ask you to strip Joe Lieberman of his committee assignments and to fully back Ned Lamont as the Democratic nominee.

In selfishly deciding to run as an independent, Sen. Lieberman has turned his back on the Democratic Party and is in fact no longer a Democrat. He does not deserve to have any voice in the Senate as a Democrat.

But he hasn't just abandoned the party, he has decided to split the vote and hand his seat to a Republican, undercutting any potential gains the Democrats might have in November. That is an utter betrayal, it is insupportable, and so is Sen. Lieberman.

Regardless of what good he may have done for his party and his constituents in the past, his bitterness that he and his constituents have gone separate ways is no excuse for undoing all of the good in one stunning act of betrayal.

Please send a clear message, that while dissent may be desired and respected (and you and his other colleagues have shown him that respect), betrayal will not be tolerated.

Julie O.

Update: I just heard a caller on Randi Rhodes say she called Harry Reid's office to say that if Lieberman no longer wants to be a Democrat he needs to be yanked off all the committees. Randi agreed, since now Joe might decide to vote with Republicans even more often.

BTW, I think I got the idea for pulling Lieberman off committees from a DailyKos diary. I don't remember. That's what happens if you don't provide a link right away.

Example of Badly-Written News

Here's a story about Lieberman's campaign blaming Lamont for their website being down, probably written by someone concentrating more on getting bites of a roast beef sandwich, monitoring the competition and listening to newsroom gossip:
The Joe Lieberman campaign claims it's been victimized by computer hackers who support his challenger Ned Lamont for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate.

The senator's official campaign Web site,, is down and has been down since Tuesday morning. An alternative site,, has also been offline.

The site has been hacked and apparently it has been so thorough that the senator's campaign can't even use e-mail.

It starts okay with the claim by Lieberman's campaign that their website was hacked. Then it goes to the fact that the website is down. Next, it reports as fact that the site was hacked.

As far as we know, the site shut down because Lieberman is a cheap ass. In fact, further down in this same story it is reported that Lieberman's own campaign released an email from its webhosting site that they had a DNS - denial of service - which means the site was overwhelmed with hits, not that it was hacked.

But the story quickly redeems itself, otherwise. It reports Lamont's denial of involvement; that a DNS might not be an attack but a natural consequence of having too little bandwidth and too many hits; that Lieberman's site shut down earlier in the year because of too little bandwidth and too many hits; and that Lamont offered to help Lieberman's website.

Too bad, as most people know, it's what's at the top of the story that's most important.

Fake TV News

The Center for Media and Democracy did a study of video news releases (VNRs), such as used by the Bush Administration to sell some of its policies, and found widespread use in television stations, large and small, across the nation.

But it didn't explain why television stations use them. The easy answer: because it's the easy answer.

There is a lot of laziness in television news. A lack of zeal for integrity, but a great deal of zeal to stack the show with interesting stories in an interesting way and squeeze in a dinner or lunch break, mainly focusing on pulling off a flawless performance.

But there's also some severely overworked and underpaid employees. I recall my husband telling me about an exchange he had with a producer (many years ago) who was retyping a news release to be read by the anchor. He noticed a piece of information which he was pretty sure was a mistake and pointed it out so the producer could check on it. The producer said, "I don't have time to check."

And it's true. There is often a lot of chaos that goes into putting on a newscast (which always has to air at the same time, right on time), a lot of cogs turning the big wheel, and often an assumption that all the cogs are working the way they should be at the proper time, including the accuracy of information. In the rush and bustle to churn out a product, the very reason for churning out the product (you know, accurately informing the public about facts) often drops way down to the bottom of the checklist.

Local news stations don't usually produce their own national news stories, anyway, so they're used to throwing someone else's story on the air. However, usually it's from sister stations and networks or the wire (my husband once got footage from a story he shot onto the wires, aired nationally, and reporters from around the country came to our station to use our equipment and cover the local story - it was exciting). So it probably doesn't seem that odd to use VNRs to help stack the show and free time for more local things. (Not all stations use VNRs, at least not in their entirety; often stations will use them for B-roll and get the information from other sources). And as bloggers know, it sometimes takes a long time to factcheck stuff and comprehensively cover a story. And even if they did try to factcheck a national or government VNR, they most likely wouldn't be able to get an official to give them a soundbite.

So I sincerely doubt there's a whole lot of intentional bias and coverup going on, such as happened at Fox's O&O, WTVT, in Tampa.

Of course, that doesn't change how wrong and unethical it is to air what are basically infomercials as if they are news - better to not air anything about them at all. Just thought you'd like a little insight into television news, and why I don't watch it much anymore.

BTW, I had my husband factcheck this post since I haven't worked in many years and don't have first-hand knowledge anymore.

Lieberman Cyberattack

Is there any reason to think that Lieberman's campaign didn't take a page from his buddy Karl Rove's playbook and sabotage his own website so they could try to blame it on Lamont? (Kos agrees, so it must be true). Actually, Kos thinks it's because Lieberman's too cheap to pay for quality hosting.

It's Lieberman's supporters who've been playing dirty (MyDD), not Lamont's. In fact, firedoglake reports that Lamont's campaign offered to help Joe's campaign with their website problems, and even to host Joe's site on their own.

Plus, Lieberman's campaign said the attack stops their get-out-the-vote campaign, but TalkLeft reported on August 4 that Lieberman had abandoned a get-out-the-vote campaign.

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