Wednesday, February 28, 2007

His Imperial Toadiness

Billie Collins' (former Poet Laureate of the US) poetry is soooooo much fun to read aloud. Cast your voice in the deepest possible register and repeat:

I never mind them
reminding us
that we use only a tiny fraction
of our brains,
a section the size of a small toad
according to some.
It is enough every day
to hear the soft commotion
of his tumbling
through the lawn within,
a lump of brown moving in the grass,
and every night,
to sense his stillness
as he sits on a dark, wet rock
hour after hour,
looking so imperial,
blinking into the rain
I am thinking of reading this as an audition piece for a voice-over job.



Halospam just sucks soooooooooo bad...

I'd happily pay a modest premium--say $5/mo--and I'm pretty sure other regulars would too, just to be rid of the constant aggravation provided by the turgid servers, crappy connections, and overrburdened operations inflicted by the "free" ride at hell-o-spawn...

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Why Are The Bushevix Purging US Attorneys?

Cuz that's what it is: A purge.

And strangely, the US Attorneys being purged have been active investigating and prosecuting mis and malfeasance among the Busheviks themselves.


You're fucking kidding, right?

Here's how Adam Cohen, writing in the NYTimes described it:
It is hard to call what's happening anything other than a political purge. And it's another shameful example of how in the Bush administration, everything - from rebuilding a hurricane-ravaged city to allocating homeland security dollars to invading Iraq - is sacrificed to partisan politics and winning elections.

U.S. attorneys have enormous power. Their decision to investigate or indict can bankrupt a business or destroy a life. They must be, and long have been, insulated from political pressures. Although appointed by the president, once in office they are almost never asked to leave until a new president is elected. The Congressional Research Service has confirmed how unprecedented these firings are. It found that of 486 U.S. attorneys confirmed since 1981, perhaps no more than three were forced out in similar ways - three in 25 years, compared with seven in recent months...

That's right. In the last 8 months, the Busheviks have fired and replaced more than twice the number of US attorneys who have EVER been fired and replaced for cause of ANY kind.

...The politicization of government over the last six years has had tragic consequences - in New Orleans, Iraq and elsewhere. But allowing politics to infect U.S. attorney offices takes it to a whole new level. Congress should continue to pursue the case of the fired U.S. attorneys vigorously, both to find out what really happened and to make sure that it does not happen again
You can say that again...

Friday, February 23, 2007

Paragons of Paradigmatic Presidential Poltroonery: Who's "The Worst Ever"?

By Nicholas Von Hoffman, political gadfly

A question that seems to be on everybody's mind these days turns out to be: Is George Bush the worst President in American history?
But how do you judge? Is he the most morally disgusting? The worst mangler of the English language? Ever since the atom bomb was dropped, we've had a whole string of bozos who cannot pronounce the word "nuclear." How much should that count against them?
A pretty good case could be made that James Madison, one of the Founders and also one of the authors of the Constitution, really tubed the pooch as President about as badly as anyone up to, and possibly including, the Dim Son. At least nobody's burned down the White House (yet) under the Gibbering Chimp, though the destruction of the Twin Towers, on his watch, is a feat of sufficient magnitude to probably qualify him for historical obloquy.

So who is it?

The article, to which you may link by clicking on the headline, above, provides some meaty speculation. Enjoy .

Gnarly Charlie Barkley: Dems Didn't "Win," The Pukes Lost

NBA Hall of Fame player, Charles Barkley announced his intentions last July to run for Governor of Alabama, perhaps in 2010.
In a talk with Wolf Blitzer on CNN this afternoon, Barkley may have begun to sketch out a platform on which to launch his political career. "I was a Republican until they lost their minds," said Barkley at the time.

"I want to be a politician," Barkley said. "I think I understand how the system works, I think a lot of politicians are corrupt, and it's about time we put some people in there who are going to look out for the majority of the people instead of the rich people."

When asked about the war in Iraq, Barkley replied that the situation was simple, "It's an easy call for me. We've got to get out of Iraq. [Saddam Hussein] is dead. That situation hasn't gotten better. So, anything that the Republicans say about the war in Iraq -- it's just bogus. I mean, it's a terrible situation. We've got a lot of innocent kids getting killed over there, and we're never going to be safe over there."

Classifying himself as an Independent, Barkley told Blitzer, "I think the Republicans are terrible, and the Democrats are not much better. ... But I think the Republicans have took the country in a terrible situation. And let's get one thing straight about the last elections: the Democrats did not win, they won because the other team wasn't any good. They've got to get their act together, because this country right now is in serious, serious turmoil."

Thin gruel but anyway it's an improvement from the kool-aid...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Sing Along! You Know You Want To: "I'm About To Whip Somebody's Ass"

A ZeFrank project

As all SportsRacers are painfully aware, ZeFranks daily bouts with reality will terminate once and for all on March 17...What will all the rubber duckies do?

Monday, February 19, 2007

"The laws of this country do not prevent the strong from crushing the weak."

Nor even offer much in the way of impediments.

Still, ever hopeful, Bill Moyers writes: "The salvation of democracy requires a public aroused by the knowledge of what is being done to them in their name. Here is the crisis of the times as I see it: We talk about problems, issues, policies, but we don't talk about what democracy means - what it bestows on us - the revolutionary idea that it isn't just about the means of governance but the means of dignifying people so they become fully free to claim their moral and political agency."

And this:
We cannot build a political consensus or a nation across the vast social divides that mark our country today. Consensus arises from bridging that divide and making society whole again, the fruits of freedom and prosperity made available to the least among us. What we have to determine now, as Wilson said in his day, "is whether we are big enough ... whether we are free enough, to take possession again of the government which is our own. We haven't had free access to it, our minds have not touched it by way of guidance, in half a generation, and now we are engaged in nothing less than the recovery of what was made with our own hands, and acts only by our delegated authority."

Saturday, February 17, 2007

FAIR: The "Grey Lady" Girds For WAR, MoFos...

NYT Breaks Own Anonymity Rules
Paper pushes Iran threat with one-sided array of unnamed officials

In the wake of its disastrous pre-war reporting on Iraq, the New York Times implemented new rules governing its use of unnamed sources. Its lead story on February 10, promoting Bush administration charges against Iran, violated those rules.

In the report, "Deadliest Bomb in Iraq Is Made by Iran, U.S. Says," Times reporter Michael R. Gordon cited a one-sided array of anonymous sources charging the Iranian government with providing a particularly deadly variety of roadside bomb to Shia militias in Iraq: "The most lethal weapon directed against American troops in Iraq is an explosive-packed cylinder that United States intelligence asserts is being supplied by Iran." According to Gordon:

In interviews, civilian and military officials from a broad range of government agencies provided specific details to support what until now has been a more generally worded claim, in a new National Intelligence Estimate, that Iran is providing "lethal support" to Shiite militants in Iraq.
Repeatedly citing the likes of "administration officials," "American intelligence" and "Western officials," the article used unnamed sources four times as often as named ones. Only one source in Gordon’s report challenged the official claims: Iranian United Nations ambassador Javad Zarif, who was allowed a one-sentence denial of Iranian government involvement..

On the central charge of the article--that the Iranian government is providing the weapons to Shia militias in Iraq--not a single source was named. Instead, Gordon offered a peculiar, seemingly second-hand citation of an intelligence document:
An American intelligence assessment described to the New York Times said that "as part of its strategy in Iraq, Iran is implementing a deliberate, calibrated policy--approved by Supreme Leader Khamenei and carried out by the Quds Force--to provide explosives support and training to select Iraqi Shia militant groups to conduct attacks against coalition targets." The reference was to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Iranian leader, and to an elite branch of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Command that is assigned the task of carrying out paramilitary operations abroad.
Five days after his original report, Gordon published another story ("Why Accuse Iran of Meddling Now? U.S. Officials Explain," 2/15/07) that defended the Bush administration against critics' charges they were publicizing two-year-old charges in order to establish pretexts for attacking Iran, or to blame Iran for coalition failures in Iraq. Once again, Gordon's follow-up piece was almost totally dependent on unnamed sources. As Editor & Publisher put it (2/15/07), Gordon, "aim[ing] to quiet the skeptics, cit[ed] only the following sources: 'American officials'…. 'one military official'…'military officials' …'American officials'…'American military officials.'"

In his original February 10 report, Gordon wrote, "Administration officials said they recognized that intelligence failures related to prewar American claims about Iraq’s weapons arsenal could make critics skeptical about the American claims." While "critics" are surely skeptical, shouldn’t reporters for the New York Times, given their recent record on similar matters, be even more so?

ACTION: Please contact New York Times public editor Byron Calame and urge him to look into why the paper's rules about anonymity are not applied to Michael Gordon--especially considering how Gordon's pre-Iraq War reporting embarrassed the Times.


New York Times
Byron Calame, Public Editor
Phone: (212) 556-7652

I'm happy to shill for FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting), anytime!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Mr. Deity's Presser

The next/extra installment of what is now a quintet in six parts.

I really wish somebody'd tell me how to put the YouTube panel, with the graphic kink onto Blogspot...

Just sayin'...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

There's Two Kinds of Catholics in this World

And Rude Pundit does a JOB on both of 'em...

Since self-proclaimed spokesperson for Catholics and a man whose ass is so tight he shits dental floss, William Donohue, took it upon himself and his faux organization, the "Catholic League," to drive Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan to resign from John Edwards' presidential campaign for being, in his words, "anti-Catholic vulgar trash-talking bigots," the Rude Pundit thought, "Huh, they're writing pointed, occasionally obscene, criticisms of specific Catholic doctrines, especially those that affect women. Perhaps people would like to see some real anti-Catholic vulgar trash-talking." Thus:

See, the Rude Pundit grew up partly in a heavily-Catholic area of red state America, and he was subjected to every variation of hypocrisy, condemnation, and outright fucktardery from so-called religious people. They fall into two camps: liar Catholics and Pope-up-the-ass Catholics. Your liar Catholics are the kind who proclaim themselves Catholic while fucking anyone they want, using condoms and pills and sponges, with men sucking cock and women licking cunts like crazed mongrels with itchy balls, having abortions, but not eating fish on Fridays, and then saying stupid shit like, "Well, I'm a Catholic because I was raised a Catholic," or "I'm a Catholic, but I don't have to follow what the Pope says," which is a little like saying, "I'm a ten buck a fuck crack whore, but I don't like it when my pimp beats me," pathetic losers who show up every now and then for church because the guilt that's been fucked into them by their male-only priests gets the better of them. You could add a variation of the liar Catholic, which would be the bullet-dodging Catholics, who do whatever the fuck they want and then go to confession to feel cleansed of their sins - yeah, Jesus has forgiven them after they stumblefuck recited a few prayers, but the wives they've beaten are still bruised.

Your Pope-up-the-ass Catholics are the ones who believe it all, anything that a man selected by men for political reasons, tells them, no matter how batshit Alzheimer's-ridden insane or Nazi-related that man might have been, married women who, after raising all their kids, get pregnant in their forties and keep that baby even if it's gonna kill them, literally, to do it, who so batter their kids with dogma that they're assuring the world a new generation of serial killers and alcholics, who pray all the fuckin' time, to God, to Jesus, to the Holy Fuckin' Ghost, whatever the fuck that is, to Mary, to saints, thinking their faith is just soooo fucking superior to the pagans of old and their array of mad gods; god, the Rude Pundit knows people whose priest had fucked the altar boys and the hierarchy kept it hidden for fuckin' years because pedophilia and Catholicism go together like punch and cookies, and those people still went to church and gobbled eucharists like an Iowa farm boy gobbles cum on his first trip to Saugatuck, praying on their rosaries for all they're worth, donating money for more gold crosses, more whiskey for the Father, more diapers for the Pope.

Catholicism is a sickness, a derangement, a pseudo-cult that lets its members wander freely until it needs to make them feel that nausea in the pit of their guts to drag them back to repent, beg forgiveness, and hope for absolution. He knows criminals, people who have hurt others so goddamn bad that they'll never recover, who have been been granted absolution. It's a fuckin' joke, a farce, a well-fed hog engorged on the guilt of its parishioners.

No wonder some of 'em are making death threats against Marcotte and McEwan. They exist in a realm of barely repressed violence. You can see it seething every time Bill Donohue shows up on television to spout all about God's hatred. Fuck, how he must weep as he masturbates, jacking off on a picture of the two bloggers as he calculates with each yank how many "Hail Mary" and "Our Father" prayers his orgasm is worth.
That's some guuuuud anti-Catholicism, friends; quality stuff, finest kine, number ONE primo shit...

(H/t to Supreme Commander Thor at the crack den)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Grist: Bush administration put on the defensive over climate change

After six years of dodging the climate issue, the Bush administration is finally having to face it head on. They aren't changing policy -- don't be silly! -- but they are changing rhetoric.
By Lisa Hymas
09 Feb 2007

Over the past month, climate change has become impossible for the White House to ignore: more than 2,500 of the world's top climate experts confirmed with at least 90 percent certainty that humans are to blame for rising global temperatures; the new Democratic leadership in Congress has made global warming a priority and swiftly launched hearings on the topic, some quite embarrassing for the administration; and every week brings more corporate leaders pleading for serious federal action.

President Bush gave a nod to the climate problem in his State of the Union address last month, but the clearest sign that he's feeling the heat is a defensive letter put out by the White House on Wednesday, Feb. 7. "Following last Friday's release of a new report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a number of media reports perpetuated inaccuracies that the president's concern about climate change is new," the letter begins. "In fact, climate change has been a top priority since the president's first year in office. Beginning in June 2001, President Bush has consistently acknowledged climate change is occurring and humans are contributing to the problem."

(MORE: Follow the link, above)

Monday, February 12, 2007

This Is Fucking Insane

Dynamite-Surfing in Copenhagen.
Normally you wouldn't find many surfable waves in the DANISH CAPITOL.
But surfers are nothing if not monomaniacal.
So somebody dreamed up the idea of tossing a bundle of dynamite into the harbor.
Voila: Waves...
And just plain bat-shit crazy...

Ten Ways to Prepare for a Post-Oil Society. Hint: It's NOT Going To Be Easy

The best way to feel hopeful about our looming energy crisis is to get active now and prepare for living arrangements in a post-oil society.

By James Howard Kunstler, Posted February 10, 2007.

Out in the public arena, people frequently twang on me for being "Mister Gloom'n'doom," or for "not offering any solutions" to our looming energy crisis. So, for those of you who are tired of wringing your hands, who would like to do something useful, or focus your attention in a purposeful way, here are my suggestions:

1. Expand your view beyond the question of how we will run all the cars by means other than gasoline. This obsession with keeping the cars running at all costs could really prove fatal.
2. We have to produce food differently. The Monsanto/Cargill model of industrial agribusiness is heading toward its Waterloo.
3. We have to inhabit the terrain differently. Virtually every place in our nation organized for car dependency is going to fail to some degree.
4. We have to move things and people differently. This is the sunset of Happy Motoring (including the entire US trucking system).
5. We have to transform retail trade. The national chains that have used the high tide of fossil fuels to contrive predatory economies-of-scale (and kill local economies) -- they are going down.
6. We will have to make things again in America. However, we are going to make less stuff.
7. The age of canned entertainment is coming to and end. It was fun for a while. We liked "Citizen Kane" and the Beatles.
8. We'll have to reorganize the education system. The centralized secondary school systems based on the yellow school bus fleets will not survive the coming decades. The huge investments we have made in these facilities will impede the transition out of them, but they will fail anyway.
9. We have to reorganize the medical system. The current skein of intertwined rackets based on endless Ponzi buck passing scams will not survive the discontinuities to come.
10. Life in the USA will have to become much more local, and virtually all the activities of everyday life will have to be re-scaled. You can state categorically that any enterprise now supersized is likely to fail -- everything from the federal government to big corporations to huge institutions.

Read the whole piece. It was up on Alternet since Saturday...

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Lisbon, 1755: The Problem of Theosophy

Mr. Deity Meets Evil.

There's a whole series, at least 4. This one is very funny.

H/t to Max Planck, Atriot!, and proud member of the reality-based community.

No Dentist Left Behind

My dentist is great!
He sends me reminders so I don't forget checkups.
He uses the latest techniques based on research.
He never hurts me, and I've got all my teeth.
When I ran into him the other day, I was eager to see if he'd heard about the new state program. I knew he'd think it was great.
"Did you hear about the new state program to measure effectiveness of dentists with their young patients?" I said. "No," he said.
He didn't seem too thrilled. "How will they do that?"
"It's quite simple," I said. "They will just count the number of cavities each patient has at age 10, 14, and 18 and average that to determine a dentist's rating. Dentists will be rated as excellent, good, average, below average, and unsatisfactory. That way parents will know which are the best dentists. The plan will also encourage the less effective dentists to get better," I said. "Poor dentists who don't improve could lose their licenses to practice."
"That's terrible," he said.
"What? That's not a good attitude," I said. "Don't you think we should try to improve children's dental health in this state?"
"Sure I do," he said, "but that's not a fair way to determine who is practicing good dentistry."
"Why not?" I asked. "It makes perfect sense to me."
"Well, it's so obvious," he said. "Don't you see that dentists don't all work with the same clientele, and that much depends on things we can't control? For example, I work in a rural area with a high percentage of patients from deprived homes, while some of my colleagues work in upper middle-class neighborhoods. Many of the parents I work with don't bring their children to see me until there is some kind of problem, and I don't get to do much preventive work. Also many of the parents I serve let their kids eat way too much candy from an early age, unlike more educated parents who understand the relationship between sugar and decay. To top it all off, so many of my clients have well water which is untreated and has no fluoride in it. Do you have any idea how much difference early use of fluoride can make?"
"It sounds like you're making excuses," I said. "I can't believe that you, my dentist, would be so defensive. After all, you do a great job, and you needn't fear a little accountability."
"I am not being defensive!" he said. "My best patients are as good as anyone's, my work is as good as anyone's, but my average cavity count is going to be higher than a lot of other dentists because I chose to work where I am needed most."
"Don't' get touchy," I said.
"Touchy?" he said. His face had turned red, and from the way he was clenching and unclenching his jaws, I was afraid he was going to damage his teeth. "Try furious! In a system like this, I will end up being rated average, below average, or worse. The few educated patients I have who see these ratings may believe this so-called rating is an actual measure of my ability and proficiency as a dentist. They may leave me, and I'll be left with only the most needy patients. And my cavity average score will get even worse. On top of that, how will I attract good dental hygienists and other excellent dentists to my practice if it is labeled below average?"
"I think you are overreacting," I said. "'Complaining, excuse-making and stonewalling won't improve dental health'...I am quoting from a leading member of the DOC," I noted.
"What's the DOC?" he asked.
"It's the Dental Oversight Committee," I said, "a group made up of mostly lay persons to make sure dentistry in this state gets improved."
"Spare me," he said, "I can't believe this. Reasonable people won't buy it," he said hopefully.
The program sounded reasonable to me, so I asked, "How else would you measure good dentistry?"
"Come watch me work," he said. "Observe my processes."
"That's too complicated, expensive and time- consuming," I said. "Cavities are the bottom line, and you can't argue with the bottom line. It's an absolute measure."
"That's what I'm afraid my parents and prospective patients will think This can't be happening," he said despairingly.
"Now, now," I said, "don't despair. The state will help you some."
"How?" he asked. "If you receive a poor rating, they'll send a dentist who is rated excellent to help straighten you out," I said brightly.
"You mean," he said, "they'll send a dentist with a wealthy clientele to show me how to work on severe juvenile dental problems with which I have probably had much more experience? BIG HELP!"
"There you go again," I said. "You aren't acting professionally at all."
"You don't get it," he said. "Doing this would be like grading schools and teachers on an average score made on a test of children's progress with no regard to influences outside the school, the home, the community served and stuff like that. Why would they do something so unfair to dentists? No one would ever think of doing that to schools."
I just shook my head sadly, but he had brightened. "I'm going to write my representatives and senators," he said. "I'll use the school analogy. Surely they will see the point."
He walked off with that look of hope mixed with fear and suppressed anger that I, a teacher, see in the mirror so often lately. If you don't understand why educators resent the recent federal NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT, this may help. If you do understand, you'll enjoy this analogy, which was forwarded by John S. Taylor, Superintendent of Schools for the Lancaster County, PA, School District.
Be a friend to a teacher and pass this on.

(thanks to my good buddy, suzanne, for sending this to me)