Friday, December 29, 2006

Sure, it was suicide

Shining moments in journalism: when lawyer-turned-journalist Paul Sanford asked White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan if leaking Valerie Plame's name was tantamount to treason.

The Monterey County Herald is reporting that laywer Paul Sanford died Christmas Eve morning, approximately 9:30am and ruining the breakfasts of several hotel guests.

Apparently Sanford felt it was time to make the big leap from the Embassy Suites Hotel in Monterey, although he carelessly failed to leave any apparent reason for doing so.

My favorite line from the article:
"Police declined to state exactly why they ruled the case a suicide."

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

What came first: the escalation or the provocation?

I'll admit it up front - that's a trick question.

December 20, 2006
Jane's reports that for the third time since August 2006 Israel has rejected peace talks with Syria.

December 26, 2006
Meanwhile MSNBC is reporting that Israel lied to the United States about new settlements. They are building a new settlement in the West Bank even though they swore they would not.
Pretty sure the United States won't even think about cutting the aid directed to Israel.

December 26, 2006
Meanwhile, over at the Baltimore Chronicle, in their OpEd section: Crime of the Century: Are Bush & Cheney Planning Early Attack on Iran?
The USS Stennis carrier group is steaming west from the Pacific to Persian Gulf.

December 22, 2006
While all this is going on, Flynn Leverett and Hillary Mann wrote an editorial for the New York Times that was redacted by the White House. After the CIA had already concluded that it contained no classified content.
There are many things revealed in this report, not the least of which is the White House's rebuffing of all Iran offers of help.
[Ed. note: Iran borders Afghanistan and did not recognize the Taliban government. Sounds like it would have been fruitful for the U.S. to avail themselves of Iran's offers of help.]

December 25, 2006
The U.S. arrested Iranian diplomats in Baghdad - who were invited by the Iraqi government. In addition to the heavy-handed way used to provoke Tehran, the action was also illegal.

It might be time to start that pool on when the Iran War starts.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Another reason Israel bugs me

Did you know there's a formal Knesset committee by this name:
Joint Security Committee of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and the U.S. Congress?

Strangely, other than the chairman, there is no list of Knesset committee members. So it only goes to follow that there is no list of U.S. Congressmen. It's probably all 435.

The Knesset chairperson is Yuval Steinitz. This is important because Steinitz popped off 11 December 2006 about chances that the United States will abandon the military option (read preemptive attack here) vis a vis Iran and go for the diplomatic option instead.

And he's had it with the Palestinian Authority too - time to disband it.

He's also the dude who flipped out when Prime Minister Olmert accidentally admitted the open secret that Israel has nucleaer weaons and called for his resignation.

Nice allies.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

A wildcat strike by another name

It will have to break in the foreign media if and when the U.S. troops mutiny in Iraq. TBR reports a nervous Pentagon is increasingly worried about the troops in Green Zone Follies. (TBR collects political articles, mostly from abroad but with some US input (mainly from internet sites.)

The same article is cross-posted at San Francisco Indymedia, with the title slightly changed - Rumors of troop mutinies in Iraq.

This could very well show up on Project Censored next year.

Keep an eye open for reports of this. And if you think mass mutinies can't happen, then read up on the French Army and German Navy mass mutinies in World War I. The French Army's mutiny in April 1918 was their refusal to go "over the top" but rather defend their lines only. The German Navy similarly reacted in the Kiel Mutiny of October 1918. The German High Command concocted a suicidal plan to engage the British Navy, and sailors at Kiel mutinied. The mutiny spread beyond the sailors at Kiel to other ports and finally reaching the German Army. The British Army experienced mutinies in France after WW I as well. And let's not forget the misclassified and underreported mutinies of the U.S. Army in Vietnam.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Astounding beliefs

How's this for an outstanding belief: Cherry Tree, PA had a radical segment that wanted all households to keep weapons and ammunition to prevent crime. The one councilmen in favor of the proposal, Henry Statkowski, acknowledged that Cherry Tree does not have a crime problem.

When asked if he felt his position was analogous to Iran's, he left in a hurry to look up "analogous."

The Detroit Free-Press gleefully reported on this story.

In other news, Senator John McCain, who with his Cole Harbour fact-finding presidential commission, coasted to an easy 8-4 victory over Milt Romney's Cape Breton Tradesmen presidential commission in Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League action. When Senator McCain was asked why he took time out to participate in sport where he technically did not meet the requirements (senior officials who wish to remain anonymous confirmed that the Senator is taller than 4'), angrily replied that little people have the vote too. It was not pointed out that suffrage has not been extended to Canadians.

Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.
John Maynard Keynes

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Voters repudiate White House, Rahm Emanuel repudiates voters

John Walsh over at CounterPunch has a great article outlining who Rahm Emanuel chose to funnel DNC resources behind in the 2006 elections. Matt Stoller over at MyDD also does a superb job skewering Emanuel.

Out of Rahm's selected 22 races, all except one candidate were pro war.

Furthermore, only 8 of his candidates won. Keep that in mind as you run across the ever increasingly testimonials to Rahm Emanuel, Genius. [In the NY Sun, the quote actually reads "a stroke of Rovian genius." For chrissakes.]

The Dems picked up 29 seats, so it could be argued that Rahm's maneuvering hurt some Dem races. Doing some simple math, 21 of those Dem victories had nothing to do with Rahm & the DNCC. If more resources had been spent on other competitive and narrowly lost contests, defeats might have been turned into victories (see MyDD).

For instance, a lot of Democratic cash and political capital was spent on Tammy Duckworth in Illinois' 6th CD. Tammy Duckworth is pro Iraq War. Sounds a lot like Bush's position. (I'll concede that it was a cheap shot and she must have contrary views to the President, but the American public is making it very clear that they want OUT of Iraq.)

Here is an even better example of Emanuel betting on the wrong pony (and again, citing John Walsh's CounterPunch article):
In California's 11th CD primary, Emanuel backed the prowar Steven Filson who lost to the antiwar candidate, Jerry McNerney, who went on to win in the general election.
Think McNerney is going to be invited to Emanuel's office often?

The boys running the Democratic Party are just as disinterested in what Americans want as the Republicans. Emanuel didn't hestitate to claim credit for the Dems' sweeping wins in House and Senate, but Americans were voting AGAINST White House policies and Emanuel relentlessly picked candidates who SUPPORT those policies.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Think the Dems are going to save the Republic?

At least Pelosi was upfront with Americans, stating on "60 Minutes" 2 weeks prior to the elections that "impeachment if off the table."
Let the bipartisanship commence! Bush has offered to help Pelosi decorate new office. (And no, I'm not making this up.)
America: do you trust this man to pick out your drapes?

But Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) will be the chair of the Judiciary Committee, you exclaim. Who cares what Pelosi says because Conyers will kick his impeachment hearings into high gear!
Except he won't. Conyers confirmed that "impeachment is 'off the table."

But that's not how the rest of the Democrats feel, you cry! Maybe so, let's check in with the head of the DNC, Howard Dean.
Speaking to "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart, Dean said "I know your audience wants us to impeach the president but it's not going to happen."

Maybe the "Daily Show" isn't credible enough. How about Dean's statements regarding impeachment on the DNC's web page? You will search in vain for any statement on the impeachment of George Bush.

Maybe it is as simple as the fact that there is no real differenc between the parties. Denizens of such states as Illinois have been living with the reality of a one party combine for years. Polls right before the election in Illinois showed over 50% of voters didn't want to vote for Blagojevich (Dem) or Topinka (Repub). But do the dumbed down masses ever consider a 3rd party candidate? There were 3 candidates for governor, and the Green Party garnered almost 10% in Cook County.

Don't expect great things from our Dem Congress. Joshua Frank does a superb job breaking down exactly who our Dems are, why we shouldn't expect any real change. He references Blue Dog Dems - check out the link for more information.

Here's the first apologetic I've heard regarding Pelosi/Conyers: Conyers and Pelosi aren't going to tip their hand until they take control of Congress in January. Then you'll see! They'll start impeachment hearings.

Are Democrats that desperate that they'll settle for Pelosi, Dean, Conyers ignoring the massive voter anger that put them in the majority? It appears to be a good bet. After all, the Republicans ignored their base and got away with it for a long time.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Ain't So Funny When the Rabbits Got the Guns

Looking for countries that could prove acceptable escapes from this shithole dictatorship? Well, cross Iceland off the list. Seems no endangered species is endangered enough for Iceland. They've rethought their agreeement on not going after endangered whale species, and decided there are sustainable levels after all.

Iceland sucks.

I find myself thinking daily - no, almost hourly - of Huey Newton saying "ain't so funny when the rabbits have the guns."

If only we could see whales hunting whalers. And that goes for you too, Japan. And Norway.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

There goes the Republic, up in smoke

The House and Senate passed the Military Commission Act of 2006. To sum up, it codified the transition of Bush from President to Dictator.

For starters, it gives the President and Secretary of Defense the power to determine if someone is an unlawful enemy combatant (948d Jurisdiction of military commission, section (c) Determination of Unlawful Enemy Combatant Status Dispositive). Unlawful enemy combatants have no rights at all. For example, the Secretary of Defense can prescribe DEATH as the penalty.

Statements obtained from torture are prohibited - hooray! Oh, except when the degree of coercion is disputed AND the military judge find that totality of the cirucmstances renders the statement reliable AND the interests of justice would be served by admission of the statement. [Section 948r., (a) (b) (c) (d)]
How handy for Bush & Co.

Evidence obtained without a search warrant? Who cares - let it in!
[Section 949a. (b) (2) (A) (B) (C) (D)]
Oh, and statements of the accused shall not be excluded from trial... on grounds of alleged coercion or compulsory self-incrimination.
Amendment no. 5 - it was nice knowing you. And you too, Amendment no. 8.

There's more, much more, but frankly after wading through 26 pages of 96, this writer needs to go on a 3-day bender.

Military Commission Act of 2006

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Don't look now, but Kip Hawley is an idiot

While the S.S. Rep. Mark Foley (ship registry R-FL) is going down and sucking a bunch of GOPers with it (thank God), moments of levity are sorely needed.

Fortunately, the TSA steps up to the plate.

Ryan Bird was just trying to fly out of Milwaukee to somewhere else and a plastic bag holding his toiletries case miffed some security personnel. On the bag was written "KIP HAWLEY IS AN IDIOT."

He was detained 25 minutes until security personnel concluded the statement was not at threat. The obtuseness of TSA was further exemplified by a TSA spokeswoman who said it was inappropriate to joke about Kip Hawley - it's like inappropriately joking about bombs. And she added that he was only detained a few minutes. Sure, because travellers have nothing but spare time at the airport.

Ryan Bird's original posting can be found here. And it is really funny.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Shift over Pravda. Here comes the NY Post.

When the NY Post mocks Keith Olbermann allegedly getting a suspicious powder in his mail* it brings to mind the Hearst papers ginning us up for the Spanish-American War.

And the same publications mouth the bias of the liberal media – who is that liberal media? Not the NY Times. I can’t seem to avoid the functionally retarded who screech the NYT is a liberal rag when in fact it is an Administration rag. The self-same retards will decry the NYT printing leaks from the NIE – never mind that it should not have been classified in the first place. And that Bush is so whacked-out by this point that he actually though the 4 pages he released would buttress his position. For the love of God, is there some dumbing down agent in the water? (And Red Bull, and alcohol, and pop, and coffee. If you’re going to keep the masses down, you’ll have to cover all your bases.)

Just what is the demographic that reads the NY Post - coincidentally owned by Rupert Murdoch, who also has FOX News in his portfolio? And that Olbermann is ascendant while FOX/O'Reilly passed the cusp and slipping behind Pluto? Don't look now, but FOX's ratings - except for a brief blip during the post-Katrina coverage - has been declining for TWO YEARS. Not so strange that O'Reilly has amped up his relentless hyping of his radio show.

It’s getting to the point that I’m too mad to fall asleep. And interfering with my sleep makes me angrier. Insomnia does not soothe the savage breast.

*Editor & Publisher

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Must see video on WTC demolitions

Courtesy of Google video.

Princeton University joins the conspiracy theorists

And no, I'm not talking the conspiracy theorists inhabiting the White House. And Pentagon. And Congress.

To sum up, the Princeton report confirms what a sizeable chunk of people have known for a long time: the Diebold machines can flip the voter's ballot to anyone it wants - even while telling the voter the ballot has been cast and confirmed.

Salon has also picked Brad Friedman's report (of the incomparable BradBlog). His blog has done spectacular work exposing voting fraud across the country. I suggest you read it.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

By George, we can't find Osama but we've got Palast!

A snippet from Greg Palast's filed report:
It’s true. It’s weird. It’s nuts. The Department of Homeland Security, after a five-year hunt for Osama, has finally brought charges against… Greg Palast. I kid you not. Send your cakes with files to the Air America wing at Guantanamo.
Is there really any debate left that we are living in a dictatorship and the terrorists are in the White House?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Dumb gay bastards feeling sorry for other dumb gay bastards

Can it be that Heathers is as searing a political commentary now as it was in 1989? There are times when you are carelessly reading the news and the brain of its own volition starts firing the synapses and making connections.

So I'm strolling through the MSNBC headlines and run into this charmer:
Dems use ignored rule to oust gay candidate

In the interest of disclosure I must mention that it was LOUISIANA Democrats, and any blue-stater worth his LGBT sea salt would protest: but those people are not really Democrats.

Ah, I would reply, except those Dems have a much longer lineage of being Democrats than you do. And if you check your history, the LGBT troop was rather recently admitted to the Dem Umbrella. (And that's because the Dem block marches in lockstep to the ballot.)

Back to the story. Patricia Todd, openly gay woman and candidate for the Louisiana legislature, was disqualified. And for good measure, Gaynell Hendricks was booted too.

The Dem committee chairwoman, Amy Burks, said that the committee would have to select a nominee for the seat. What was unsaid is that they'd select a nominee to run in a heavily Dem district, running unopposed.

Some whippersnapper of an attorney, Bobby Segall, pointed out that if the committee was really going to boot Todd & Hendricks for failing to file a financial disclosure form, then they'd have to kick out Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley (running for Governor) and Jim Folsom, former Governor (and running for Lt. Governor - what kind of crazy merry-go-round do they have going on in Baton Rouge, anyway?).

Thinking quickly, the committee said Lucy and Jim were fine, because their races had already been certified. And that's how the cookie crumbles in Louisiana.

Now how can any self-respecting blue gay person could stand to be a Democrat, when this is how your party treats you. Poor deluded saps, pitying the poor deluded gay Republicans, as if there’s a difference.

And the Heather's tie-in? Well, there are several, but I'll restrict myself to these two:

Veronica Sawyer: No, my life's not perfect. I don't really like my friends.
JD: Yeah. I don't really like your friends either.


And
Kurt's Dad: My son's a homosexual, and I love him. I love my dead gay son.
JD: Wonder how he'd react if his son had a limp wrist with a pulse.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Mark it, Horatio!

Bush eschews the signing statement in favor of the veto.

It crossed the President's moral boundary (you know the one, drawn in the sand during a wind storm).

The Senate passed it with a substantial majority but not large enough to override a presidential veto. (Senate 63-37 on 7/18/06, House 238 - 194 on 5/24/05.)

I wonder if the NSA has a way to track those stem cells - to make sure they don't wind up in the wrong place - like a Democrat. In other news, three more organizations that have been tapped to help in Bush's War on Everyone Not Like Us:

BOLERO: Bill Of Lading Electronic Registry Organization. A digital database of bills of lading, those things that record shipments of goods.

CHIPS: Clearing House Interbank Payment System. Bank-owned corporation that clears international USD transactions.

FedWire: The Fed's wire transfer service. I bet there is some pretty information to be had here, too.

If the Feds just happen to gather information on citizens (corporate and otherwise) not engaged in terrorist activity (whatever that is), then that's just the cost of doing business.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Firmly planted on the ledge

Baseball fans can fall into roughly one of two camps:
Never say die,
and
We're so dead!

There are White Sox fans in both camps. And with the White Sox losing the last 5 of 6 to the Red Sox and Yankees, I'm really ready to kill the Never Say Die crowd. Today I opted to follow world news instead of sports radio because it was more upbeat. (Note: Israel started World War III last week, and the news was feverishly following the ultimatums and counter ultimatums.)

The White Sox team batting average is .288. Second only to the Toronto Blue Jays. They are first in the majors with home runs (136).

The Cubs have more stolen bases than the White Sox. (65 v 57)

The White Sox have drawn 301 bases on balls. That's good enough for 15th in the majors. (The Red Sox, who are first, have 400 BB.)

The Really Bad News
The White Sox team ERA is 4.57. The Tigers is 3.54. The Tigers are first, the White Sox are 17th. Keeping it just to the AL, the Sox are 9th (out of 14).
We suck.
Is there any good news here?
The Sox are 2nd in saves. (Thank YOU Bobby Jenks.)

Finally, the fielding stats.
The Red Sox lead the majors at .990. The White Sox are 9th (at .986). They've turned the 3rd fewest double plays (74). The worst, the Washington Nationals, have turned 67.

What I'd really like to do is jam pom poms down the throat of one of those fans who are chastising us for panicking.

Thank God the Sox have an off day.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Brewing them dumber in Colorado

Senate candidate and Coors pitchman Peter Coors gets arrested for drunk driving in May.

When you're that rich AND peddle beer for a living, was it the stupidity or the deep-seated vein of cheapskateness that led him to to opt for driving himself rather than getting a taxi?

Friday, July 07, 2006

Pope Benedict XVI breaks out the Prada boots

In a classic misread of the situation, Pope Benedict XVI is on a mission to halt 'eclipse of God'.

Is he going to develop some leadership and tackle the illegal wars the United States (and associated allies) launched and continue to fight?
Or leadership on the return of torture as a viable tool for governments? (re: United States)
How about the rapaciousness of corporations that steal, poison the planet, undermine societies and cultures, and promote illegal wars?
Something, anything, on the planet's detoriating climate due to man-made causes?
The steady degradation of most of the planet's population to slave status to serve multi-national corporations (the stripping of civil rights, economic power, access to healthcare)?
Acknowledgement that the Church was wrong, wrong, wrong on its stance regarding pedophile priests? And maybe follow their own preachings of Christian conduct and fix the problem?
Baseball's substance abuse problems?
Ozzie Guillen called someone a fag?

None of the above. To follow Benedict XVI's latest counter-assault, we go to Spain.

The Vatican's on-the-ground intelligence in Spain is reporting that Prime Minister Zapatero's government is launching direct attacks on the Roman Catholic Church. (Italics mine.)

In reality, Zapatero and other critical thinking people are rising up against Rome's oppression.

Madrid has legalized gay marriage. Benedict XIV is scandalized. The only church-sanctioned homosexual relationship is that between priest and minor.

Madrid now allows the adoption of children by gay couples. Rome doesn't even want them to adopt dogs (citing the well-known scientific fact that gay couples turn pets gay).

Spain now allows fast track divorce. The Church prefers the "Waiting For Godot" separation. This is where the couple stays married, but live in two different places. And patiently wait for Rome to tell them when it's okay to get divorced (i.e. never).

Compulsory religious education has been abolished in state schools. I seem to recall the Vatican wasn't too keen on compulsories when Muslims were running the show in Spain.

Spain's economic performance has taken off, while church attendance has plummeted (along with the national birth rate). If the priests moved the Mass along and gave decent homilies - well, that's a pipe dream.
Anyway, sounds like God doesn't like countries with high church attendance. (See "Ireland.")

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Cheats the system again

Ken Lay is dead. Here are some of the headlines:
Disgraced boss Ken Lay dies at luxury ski chalet (UK Guardian)
Enron founder Ken Lay dies awaiting sentencing (Australia National Nine News)
Lay's Conviction: Gone With Him (Time Magazine)

That last headline reminds me of the greatest sequel never written: The Wind Done Gone

So that rotten bastard dies and cheats the system. Again.

In other news:
All day I referred to AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" as "Thundersticks." And not one person corrected me. You think you have friends, and then they let you do this.

In still other news:
Never go to a White Sox game on a holiday. First off, there were be plenty of other people who will go in our place. Second, it's the holiday crowd. They were jumping up and down, traipsing the aisles during play but when it was between innings - watch out! They all settled in to watch the entertainment on the jumbo screen. (Pepperoni pizza won.) The George Lopez Experience was going on to the left, where a conglomerate of 2-3 families took up seats. The fathers (3?) were focused on securing beer supplies. The kids (uncountable) had to have one of everything every vendor was selling.
Oh, and the Sox lost to the Orioles 8-1.
And some stupid &($&@# shouted on every Oriole home run: "Throw it back!" They clearly need GPS and sobriety.

Tangentially:
Way back I had a plan to slick into IIT's Financial Markets graduate program. All I had to do was finish the graduate certificate program and transfer into the grad program. That way I didn't have to take the GRE (again).

But then I went on hiatus. For four years. And IIT has tightened up some loopholes in the meantime. Such as slicking into the graduate program. I have to take the GMAT now. And calculus. And statistics.

And that is the sound of the other shoe dropping.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

It would be irresponsible not to speculate

The story:

Rush Limbaugh, radio host, returns from a vacation in the Dominican Republic, and is detained at Palm Beach International Airport for 3.5 hours when prescription bottles labeled Viagra in someone else's name are found.

Hmmmph.

Monday, 26 June 2006
The
initial reports stated Limbaugh was held for having prescription drugs (Viagra) in someone else's name. Illegal, and in this case, it was in Limbaugh's physician's name. Limbaugh's attorney claimed that was done for "privacy purposes."

Hmmmph.

Monday, 26 June 2006, later that same day
The reports change to
Limbaugh Detained for Drugs at Airport. Now we're not sure what was in those Viagra-labeled bottles.

Well, well, well.

Tuesday, 27 June 2006
Limbaugh continues to make ass out of self. Talking about the incident on his radio show, says "I had a great time in the Dominican Republic. Wish I could tell you about it."

Maybe you will, in a court of law.

Tuesday, 27 June 2006, later that same day
The press starts reporting
"Limbaugh Under New Investigation." They also enjoy including in their reports that Viagra "treats erectile dysfunction." And news outlets are also starting to report that while Florida law permits doctors to write prescriptions in a third party's name (as long as all parties are aware and is documented in the doctor's files), Limbaugh and/or his doctor did not follow these strictures.

Why does Limbaugh take Viagra and Oxycontin together?
To keep from rolling out of bed.

Monday, June 26, 2006

It took a week

But I finally dreamed about "WKRP In Cincinnati." I can't understand the delay either. Went to Cincinnati June 17-19 to catch the White Sox - Cincinnati series and what happened? Nothing except a White Sox sweep.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Austrian right-wing politician calls Bush "war criminal"

If that ain't the pot calling the kettle black.

Reuters reports from Vienna that Austrian populist Joerg Haider called President Bush a war criminal.

Even better, he said this Saturday, 17 June 2006, just days before Austria hosts Bush and other European leaders.

[By the way, Haider isn't a peripheral whacko - his group is part of the governing coalition.]

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Really should understand that Moral Turpitude clause

Perhaps Jason Grimsley (the damned departed middle reliever of the Arizona Diamondbacks) should have thought about the Morals Clause before he asked, and received, his unconditional release from the D'backs.

The D'backs were happy to grant it. And then
announced that they were not paying the rest of his $825,000 salary.

Grimsley is peeved.

Me, I'd go with the Morals Clause. But there might not be one in his contract. The D'backs argument is that Grimsley was unfit to play and should not be compensated for the remainder of the season. Especially as he might be cooling his heels in some federal joint.*

Meanwhile, in an effort to prove they are not irrelevant, Gene Upshaw of the NFL Players Union said that there was no way they would allow blood testing. The paternity suits alone would bankrupt them.

The
news broke Wednesday, June 7 on Grimsley. To sum up, he was cooperating with IRS agents in a performance-enhancing investigation into MLB. Until they asked him to wear a wire, at which point he balked.** So, the feds dropped the hammer on him, and swarmed his home on Tuesday (6 June 2006). Apparently the BALCO investigation is an IRS investigation, which up until Grimsley got popped I thought was an FBI gig. So not only is Grimsley in trouble with the feds, but it is the IRS.

And somehow,
Ozzie Guillen and DL'd reliever Jeff Nelson felt compelled to share some half-baked thoughts on this.
Guillen had this to say: "Only thing I can say is that a former player should shut up and go. Shut up and move on."
And Jeff Nelson, whose career is over (that DL trip is just a stopping point) strangely is really ticked off: "For him to get caught and then basically throw other guys under the bridge [sic], that's just wrong."
I'll make this short. Ozzie and Jeff, a guy whose moral center is an existential afterthought, just got nabbed by the feds. Which means he is in the Real World and out of the baseball fraternity. And he's going to sing like a canary because he is a cheater, a sneak, and a loser. And this wildly inappropriate reaction makes us think a little more about you two.
So, Ozzie, Jeff: shut up and move on.

*Okay, okay - I know there is no chance of him doing time this season. But it sounds good.
** He's a pitcher, for chrissakes! I couldn't help myself.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

When did the right foot start hurting?

Another way to enjoy those extra-inning heroics resulting in a White Sox winner - over Cleveland, which is even better - is reading about them on the Spanish White Sox web site.

Dye contribuye en la victoria

Walking home from the train Friday my right foot started killing me. The whole right side of the right foot went out on strike. Diagnosing myself, I concluded that it was referred pain. Referred from the horror which is my haircut.

Last Wednesday I'm in the chair for highlights. While the hair was getting dried, the stylist asked why I had my hair one length. That was a stumper. I knew there was a good reason, but I couldn't recall why. So I told him "I can't remember." And he said, "Your hair is too thick for that. How about I add some layers." And I said, "What the hell, go ahead."

It wasn't until I was home walking the dog when barometric pressure and humidity crushingly reminded me why I have one length: women with curly hair should never, EVER have layers. And because I have so bloody many layers the growing-out period looks like a long term growth project.

Oh, and I don't like the highlight color. (It's blonde. I should have done all over lightish brown with RED highlights. Note to self: don't EVER make these hair mistakes again.)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

If you start in Bizarro World, then where the hell are we now?

This is why we drink. How we refrain from assaulting the 29% who still like Bush is a testament to our restraint. Or it's the drunken stupor that prevents eye-hand coordination necessary to carry out a thorough thrashing.

The
Dept of Justice (ha!) announced today they’re calling off the NSA wiretapping investigation because of national security. To wit, the DoJ lawyers had been denied security clearance. How handy.

Then Congress – who finally got a good whiff of what America’s thinking outside the Beltway, got scared and started bringing bills to the floor to protect us & our cell phone records from the government.* And then the
second bill suddenly disappeared.

Rupert Murdoch
co-hosts a fundraiser for – wait for it – HILLARY CLINTON. The Fox News spin machine getting geared up for that psycho witch. The silver lining is that it has EVERYONE as freaked out as I am.

*WAY too late in the game for this. A Congressional bill infringing on Bush’s theater of movement? The infrastructure is there and they’re going to keep on spying on us. Has anyone heard from that
AT&T whistleblower since he outed AT&T?

Things that make you go "hmmm." Or maybe "holy sh*t!"*

Iran, whose march to a bourse trading oil in Euros was postponed in March, announced today (11 May 2006) that they will start in July. (Saddam was talking about doing the same thing in 2000.)

Raw Story, also today, reports that two carrier groups are steaming to the Middle East.

Cheney baits Putin, who bites back and tells us that the Cold War is not over but rather is accelerating.

Hmmm.

Now, I’ve been wrong on a lot of things. I thought for sure there would be a draft by January 2005. However, excepting the military draft, I UNDERESTIMATED the gravity of the crisis and crimes against people committed by BushCo.

Then again, maybe I’m just cranky because the White Sox game got rained out.


*In a perverse sense of humor, I linked back to myself.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Goss hotfoots it out of CIA, Cubs interested

Porter Goss, former Representative of Florida's 14th district, skipped out on the CIA last Friday (5 May 2006). At least he had the decency not to trot out that tired line "spend more time with the family." On the other hand, he didn't give a reason at all. His no. 2, CIA Executive Director Kyle Foggo is in hot water as the defense bribes investigation is turning his name up more and more.

And old
Porter's name is rumored to be turning up in ever-expanding Duke Cunningham investigation. That the Duke is convicted hasn't stopped the investigation, which allegedly involves such stalwart players as the Watergate Hotel, hookers, drugs, and limos.

Chicago Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry immediately expressed an interest in signing Goss. "We need a good left-handed starter." Hendry was not appraised of the fact that Goss is right handed.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Back from the brink

Two outs. Bottom of the 11th inning.

In extra innings, Pablo Ozuna (Pablo Ozuna!) hits a double. Taking advantage of the Mariner outfielders playing deep, at the warning track.

Then little Juan Uribe, o-for-4, comes up. And hits a single, bringing in Ozuna. Ozuna!

FINAL
Mariners 5
White Sox 6

Thank you, and good night.

The Sox are going to kill me

[Updated]
White Sox are going to extra innings. Pablo Ozuna!

-------------------
But I'll take it.

2 outs, bottom of the 9th.

Pablo Ozuna hits a home run.

Seattle 5
White Sox 5

Pablo Ozuna!

Bottom of the 8th

Bottom of the 8th.

Thome's up.
Maybe we should offer up Southpaw as a sacrifice. Baseball likes sacrifices.
Thome grounded out to 2nd.
Fire up the grill.

Konerko up.
Seattle's switching pitchers.

And now to the top of the 9th.

Contemplating suicidal tendencies

Still top of the 8th inning, but now it is

Seattle 5
White Sox 4

And Carl "There Are No Dinosaurs" Everett is getting an intentional walk.

Will the pain ever stop?

And back onto the ledge

Seattle just tied it up, 4-4, top of the 8th inning.

Stupid Jake Gyllenhaal.

Freddy Garcia spots Jake Gyllenhaal

Freddy Garcia spotted Jake Gyllenhaal in the stands and had Ozzie take him out. The Sox are up 4-2, so what the hell. If that Venezuelan lunatic wants to run amuck in the stands chasing Gyllenhaal, let him.

Climbing back in from the ledge

Bottom of the 7th inning.
Crede just hit a grand slam.

Mariners 1
White Sox 4

Brought in Thome, Konerko, and AJ.

I'm starting to think about coming in from the ledge.

Oh, and Ross Gload just singled. And stole second base.

What is it about Jake Gyllenhaal that cracks me up?

If the Gilded Moose has something on Jake Gyllenhaal, it's guaranteed to crack me up.

Check out the link to see what Jake does with bicycle shorts.

Right now, the Sox are losing to the Mariners

Sure, it's only the 7th inning, and the score is 1-0, and Carl "The Are No Dinosaurs" Everett is batting and getting booed, but it's never too early to climb out onto the ledge and panic.

On the other hand, tomorrow I'm taking a 1/2 day to catch the game AND it's dollar dog day. (Limit 4 per purchase.)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

And first out of the gate: ILLINOIS!

Even sneakier than a Stealth bomber, Illinois State Representative Karen Yarbrough introduced HJR0125 on Friday, 21 April 2006 to impeach George Bush. A careful reading reveals that being a jagoff was NOT one of the counts. Pity.

Since I learned of this revolutionary movement (If Congress Won't Do It, Then We Will) around noon today, Rep. Yarbrough's bill had 3 co-sponsors:
Rep. Sara Feigenholtz
Rep. Eddie Washington
&
Rep. Cynthia Soto

At the time of this writing, there are now THIRTEEN MORE!

I am perturbed to see that my state rep, Barbara Flynn Currie, is not among them. Yet.

Back to the storyline. I found out about this resolution in the context of California's legislature planning on doing the same as Illinois. What! When did this bold move out of Springfield happen? Well, I gave that one away in the opening paragraph. Vermont's state government is also working up an impeachment bill.

How do you like those states' rights now?

Illinois makes it short and simple (it helps our intelligence-challenged President). The opening salvo is a smart "whereas, Section 103 of Jefferson's Manual of the Rules of the United States House of Representatives allows federal impeachment proceedings to be initiated by joint resolution of a state legislature."

Then it gets to the heart of the matter.

WHEREAS, President Bush has publicly admitted to ordering
7 the National Security Agency to violate provisions of the 1978
8 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a felony, specifically
9 authorizing the Agency to spy on American citizens without
10 warrant;
Reeling yet? Here's charge no. 2:
WHEREAS, Evidence suggests that President Bush authorized
12 violation of the Torture Convention of the Geneva Conventions,
13 a treaty regarded a supreme law by the United States
14 Constitution
Take that!
WHEREAS, The Bush Administration has held American
16 citizens and citizens of other nations as prisoners of war
17 without charge or trial;
Try wriggling out of that one.
WHEREAS, Evidence suggests that the Bush Administration
19 has manipulated intelligence for the purpose of initiating a
20 war against the sovereign nation of Iraq, resulting in the
21 deaths of large numbers of Iraqi civilians and causing the
22 United States to incur loss of life, diminished security and
23 billions of dollars in unnecessary expenses;
Kicked off the first genocide of the 21st Century.
WHEREAS, The Bush Administration leaked classified
25 national secrets to further a political agenda, exposing an
26 unknown number of covert U. S. intelligence agents to potential
27 harm and retribution while simultaneously refusing to
28 investigate the matter;
President Bush can certainly understand this charge. Why, he wants to prosecute the CIA employee who leaked classified data showing he authorized torture prisons in Eastern Europe.

He doesn't get that revealing information to expose criminal conduct is NOT against the law. In fact, not doing so is aiding and abetting. And can get you caught up in a CONSPIRACY CHARGE. [Ed. note: That was for those who denigrate conspiracy theories.]


Now let's get out there and show some support for Springfield, Sacramento, and Montpelier.*

*That would be Vermont's capitol.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Another botched purchase

On the 36th anniversay of Earth Day I (finally) bought a DVD player. While the average gas price in Chicago crested $3.00, I set up my DVD player only to discover that my TV is pre-DVD.

Worse, this discovery turned into an "oh $&(@#. I ran into this 4 years ago when I tried to hook up Pop's DVD to my television. Nuts."

Meanwhile, Freddy "The Beetle" Barnes is writing that Bush needs to shake up the staff more than ousting minor staffers. Perhaps, uh, Cheney could go. Condi would probably agree to step up. And Cheney caught napping at a meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao provides pretty good cover for a resignation due to health issues. (See NY Post for article.)

At least the White Sox beat the Twins tonight. (Again.)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Hey everybody, is that Otto Kerner?

No - just George Ryan's uncanny impersonation of him.

The White Sox are winning, the sun is shining, and life is grand in the Great State of Illinois.

George Ryan. Guilty. On all counts.

Not only did Ryan lose, but so did his attorney Dan Webb. Dan Webb of (former Governor) Jim Thompson's firm Winston & Strawn.

And they were beaten by US District Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. I wonder if I. Scooter Libby was following this trial?

I wonder if Richie Daley was following the trial. The trial for his former patronage chief, Robert Sorich, kicks off in 3 weeks.

And going for the hat trick, was Rod Blagojevich keeping tabs?

On a side note, a news search on Google was very disappointing, only turning up local news (for me) stories: WBBM-TV CBS, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, the Waukegian (really? The Waukegian?)

A news search on Yahoo! was more gratifying:
Bloomberg
India Daily
And from a city that knows something about corruption: Cleveland

Monday, April 10, 2006

Would Jesus file Chapter 11 or 13?

The Christian Coalition is in hock. More than $2 million. Pat "let's get that Chavez guy" Robertson and Ralph Reed have split.

Things are so bad that those nutty water-walkers, the Christian Coalition of Iowa, cut the ties that bind and renamed themselves The Way. Just kidding - they're going by the moniker Iowa Christian Alliance.

For the gnostics out there, yes, it IS just a coincidence that usury has become a hot topic once again.

Roberta Combs, current head of Coalition (and I don't mean Catholic) has a humdinger of a fundraiser planned, in conjunction with the World Wrestling Federation:
THE ULTIMATE CAGE MATCH: Islamofascists and the Christofascists. Let's get ready to crusade!

Meanwhile, the Christian Coalition still fights the good fight:
Internet sales of wine raise concerns
Specifically, copyright infringement. They don't like it when you poach on JC's patrimony. They're still steamed that they can't nail the Catholics to the wall on that whole transubstantiation thing.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

If we're not going to swing together, then we will separately

It looks like I may go out of this world dancing. At the end of a rope. If George Weinert V of Chicago has anything to do about it.

George, of the
American Jihad blog, is pretty worked up over traitors. And he can identify them by what they write and read. Some of the entries on his hit parade include:
Counterpunch
Dissident Voice
Uruknet

And George has some ideas on what to do about it:
LET THEM MEET A CITIZEN FIRING SQUAD or the END OR A NOOSE!!!
Why? George spells it out:
THESE DIRTY BASTARDS ARE ENEMIES OF THE USA AND MUST FACE THE FIRING SQUAD!

CLEAN AND LOAD YOUR GUNS BOYS AND BUY PLENTY OF HEAVY ROPE!!!
George, if a zealous patriot uses hemp rope to lynch some - and I quote verbatim here - "DIRTY HIPPIE/MUSLIM/COMMIE/QUEERS" does that make him a dope pusher? I only ask because hemp is really strong stuff and perfect for a lynching.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

UPDATE - Closing in on the body, Easter Egg Hunt still cancelled

Big Tom Wilson finds body, makes Easter cancellation announcement. Note that the body can't actually be seen. Developing. . .

Image hosting by Photobucket

UPDATE - Easter back on, but Easter Egg Hunt is off

The newsroom has just received the following update on the whole "Easter is cancelled" story:
Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens Easter Egg Hunt cancelled due to inclement weather.
To reiterate, Easter is still on, but the Easter egg hunt is kaput.


Tracking down what happened to the body. Developing. . .

This just in - Easter cancelled

They found the body.

Well, I'll be damned - and don't bother praying for me either

Can it be that prayer benefits those saying the prayers rather than those getting prayed for? That’s been my suspicion for awhile, and now a long-awaited study on the power of prayer has been released.

There could be some elements that the study didn’t address, such as maybe some of those pious church-going people cheated and did not say prayers as often or as fervently or as sincerely as they should have.
[Ed. note: Their minds might have drifted to strategies on getting out of the church parking lot first.]

Or maybe pedophile clergy were among those saying prayers. What patient would want to be the recipient of those prayers?

How about this - were the patients allowed to pray for themselves?

And did they break down the source of prayers by denomination? Maybe Catholic-sourced prayers had a positive effect on patients. Maybe those patients did the worst.

The anti-clerical Irish put it bluntly:
Study on power of prayer finds it may actually do more harm.

You'll have to read the study to find out the answers to these and other questions. Except for the one question does praying help. NOPE. Maybe the religious should take a page out of the physician's credo: First, do no harm.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

We sent our boys over there

To create Islamic republics so we don't have them here. And to cover Israel's flank.

House Majority Leader, John Boehner (R-OH), courageously stood before THE Israel lobby AIPAC* and announced


“As the new House majority leader, I can assure you that under my leadership, legislation that is in any way perceived as anti-Israel will not be considered in the House of Representatives,” Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio).
Nothing about his stance on anti-American legislation.

And the U.S. press held up their end of the bargain by not covering the speech. By the way, that little declaration was made 6 March 2006. Of course, the Dubai Ports World flap was going on at the time - I wonder what was AIPAC's take on that?

Do a Google search on John Boehner. The Jewish Telegraph covered it. The
Collectif Bellacio (France) covered it - although you can't access the page.

If you do a search on "anti-Israel" though, you get plenty of U.S. coverage on the Harvard study that Israel has undue influence on American policy. (See Boehner's comment above for glaring example.)

Yahoo isn't much better. Search on "Boehner anti-Israel" and you get results on the Harvard study group's paper. Search on "Boehner AIPAC" and you get 4 (four!) measly results.
1. Common Dreams on the Harvard study.
2. From Asia Times - Study blasts US pro-Israel lobby
3.
CNN - The Situation - a daily column, which outlines the speaker schedule for the AIPAC conference. Boehner was scheduled to speak between 9:00am ET and 10:30am ET - with former Senator John Edwards. Hmmm.
4. Press release from AIPAC about their annual conference (released 1 March 2006). So, no actual link to Boehner's statements.


I'm deducing that it is good politics to reaffirm to AIPAC that they're no. 1, but bad politics to let Americans know about it.

*American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Life in the great state of baseball

Big Baby Bonds can't bully court
From the Chicago Tribune: Judge Denies Bonds' bid to freeze book's profits
Bonds' attorneys argued that the authors used "illegally obtained grand jury transcripts. Judge James Warren cited free speech and threw out the request.
[Ed. Note to Bonds: Probably should have autographed Warren's son's baseball when you were asked.]

In a separate story, while leaving the courthouse, Bonds' was asked about the U.S. Post Office's new set of stamps honoring baseball's greatest hitters - and he's not one of them. Bonds was restrained by his lawyers and whisked into a waiting car.

The set of four stamps feature Roy Campanella (Brooklyn Dodgers), Hank Greenberg (Detroit Tigers), Mickey Mantle (NY Yankees), and Mel Ott (NY Giants).
[Ed. note: I don't know how a non-New Yorker slipped in there either.]
And the feckless NY Yankees will take advantage of the presence of the World Champion Chicago White Sox to unveil the stamps at their July 15 game.

This just in - the Chicago White Sox are still World Champions.

From the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram: Ex-Rangers pitcher, Kenny Rogers can avoid jail if he completes an anger management couse. It is rumored that he got a referral from Bonds. If Rogers, now with Detroit, can finish the course without popping his top, his Class A misdemeanor will be reduced to a Class C.
[Ed. note: Rogers is already looking forward to "cutting loose" on Devil Night in Detroit. It is not known if Rogers is aware what time of year Devil Night happens.]

For the baseball junkie who still won't admit he has a problem, tell him about MLB's online game package. For only $79.95 you get over 2,400 out-of-market games this season. And spring training games are thrown in for free. Whoopee!
[Ed. note: Did you catch that little qualifier? Out of market games. What World Champion White Sox fan wants to watch the Kansas City Royals and the Tampa Day Devilrays whale away on each other?]
Straight from MLB:
MLB.TV LIVE BLACKOUT RESTRICTIONS
• Local Live Blackout: ALL LIVE MLB.TV games will be blacked out in both teams'home telecast markets and in Japan.
• National Live Blackout: Live games marked with grey icon will be blacked out in the U.S., Japan, South Korea, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Additionally, postseason live games will be blacked out in Canada. Blackout restrictions do not apply to any other country than those listed above.
MLB helpfully provides a list of zip codes, by team, that are subject to the blackout. The White Sox list runs from 46001 through 68001.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

War would be great if it weren't for the civilians

Did US Soldiers Execute Iraqi Family? Including Children?

A senior Iraqi police officer reported that autopsies on the bodies, which included five children, showed each had been shot in the head.
US Raid on Home Killed 11 Family Members
From the Jamaico Obsever:

"Troops were engaged by enemy fire as they approached the building," US spokesman Major Tim Keefe said. "Coalition Forces returned fire utilising both air and ground assets.
"There was one enemy killed. Two women and one child were also killed in the firefight. The building ... (was) destroyed."
Thank God they got the building. Those things are dangerous.

Looks like everyone is covering this story except for the U.S. media.

Here's a puzzler: if you try to provoke someone into attacking you, so that you can claim you were attacked and then attack them, does that count as a provoked attack? And how ticked off was Bush & Blair when Saddam Hussein didn't read the signs correctly? Note to Cabinet staff: send Saddam some articles on Milosevic's death.

Here's another puzzler: how can people here at home simultaneously believe themselves to be Christians and support the war? The premise of the war is a lie. That violates Christian tenets. We're killing civilians. That violates tenets. We're using chemical weapons - that violates every sense of natural order. We're killing our own troops with depleted uranium - so much for supporting the troops.

I'm not surprised that dirt-eating rubes in Kansas can severe critical thinking apparatus in the brain to allow them to inhabit that paradox. But what about all the other Bush/war supporters? Can it be that so many self-inflicted lobotomies have been performed? And if that's the case, shouldn't these dangerous automatons be tagged in some way so we know who they are?

Monday, March 06, 2006

S80s, DFW, and American Airlines

Things I hate.

S80. I flew it from Chicago O'Hare to Tucson Intl. Hated it. Flew it back, Tucson Intl to DFW, and then DFW to O'Hare. It's a crappy, stingy plane with the narrowest aisles. The rollerboard banged from side to side walking down the aisle to row 22 (to Tucson), row 26 (Tucson to DFW), and row 28 (DFW to O'Hare).

Dallas Fort Worth Airport. It is so montrously expansive that once a plane lands, the pilot has to drive the plane up and down lanes, across a highway, and then you can start thinking about getting to the gate. This takes a long time. And when you're sitting in row 26 with your carry-on in row 29, it's going to take even longer.

Once you get to the gate, you don't just spring out of the jetway into the gate area. First, you wander through a "Alice Through the Looking Glass" maze. You know you're in the airport, but you're not quite there.

When you get on the inside of DFW, you look for monitors to find your connecting flight, there aren't any. But I was told on my flight to DFW that my connecting flight would be Gate 20. I popped out at Gate 33. Without corrobating evidence, I took the
Skylink (that's what it's called, the SKYLINK) to another part of the obscenely large airport. In a lucky break, my flight to O'Hare actually was at Gate 20.

Then the flight was late because of snow in Chicago. It doesn't matter. I still hate DFW.

American Airlines has this thing where you board by group number. I can't figure out how the group numbers are assigned. It's not row number, it's not time of check-in - a tricky system. I checked in at 6:00am in Tucson and got my boarding pass there for DFW to O'Hare. I was assigned Group Two. Hmmm.

Here's what is wrong with this system: people are too stupid to put their carry-on baggage in the overhead above them. Instead, some knuckleheads throw it in overheads towards the front of the coach cabin, then mosey back to where they are sitting. Then the unassuming passenger, such as myself, comes on board and the only place to put my bag is 3 rows behind me. So I get to stay on board that crappy little S80 even longer. I hate American Airlines.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

It's not insidious, it's electoral posturing

UPDATE, 23 Feb 2006 12:38 CT - Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Mehdi Safari, in India to discuss oil pipelines, heard the news and commented "The two sides had a comprehensive review of bilateral relations, and agreed to continue cooperation in all areas of mutual interest and beneft, including in the energy field." Noting the confused looks on the reporters' faces, the translator asked Safari to repeat his statement, and the correct version came out like this:
I could live in a state like South Dakota.

BYLINE Pierre, South Dakota. (It's the end of February - So. Dakota is just as likely to do something stupid as anyone else.)

South Dakota Senate passes abortion ban bill
Legislation passed by the SD Senate bans nearly all abortions in the state.

Now some of the cynics might think the great state of South Dakota was tapped to fire the opening salvo on Roe v Wade.

But that's not it at all. The movers and shakers in Pierre have been stuck on 3 electoral votes since the state's inception. It finally dawned on them that they need to bump up their population to grab another electoral vote. So they don't execute people anymore - but they could if they wanted to! - and the abortion ban is another avenue to the same goal.

Four in 2010!

Not as ringing as "Tippicanoe and Taylor Too" or "Fifty-Four Forty or Fight" but it's something to rally around.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Look at who's in bed together

The U.S. and Iran. Wait - it's an orgy. China, Russia, and Pakistan are there too.

Iran made a motion at the U.N. to deny consultative status to organizations that protect the rights of gay/lesbian/transgender people. The United States, in a reversal of policy, backed the Iranian initiative.

Condaleeza Rice could not be reached for an explanation (as usual).

Others backing Iran's grand idea include China, Russia, Sudan, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe. Just imagine the cocktail parties these guys throw.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

We're all brothers under the skin, after all

There's something about carbs that brings the super patriot out in us.

Dateline Tehran, Iran. Iranians now ask for "Roses of the Prophet Muhammad" when they swing by the bakery to pick up some danish.

I am not making this up.

Some Iranians enthusiastically embraced the new name. Some were indfferent. Zohreh Masoumi, a simple Iranian with a sweet tooth, was interviewed at a bakery, "I just want the sweet pastries. I have nothing to do with the name."

After consultation with Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC)*, the mullahs decided to stone Zohreh.

It's great how all those mouthy pious sanctimonious types quickly retrench and become class A apologists when it's their government who is violating every tenet of their religion.

And I'm not talking about mullahs.

America's very own Bible belt is in full swing defending Bush & Co. Why do they feel compelled to do this? Who knows? How far do the depths of their stupidity go? Science doesn't know that answer either. I strongly suspect it is immeasurable.

Ask them if they're okay with our troops committing torture? The feeble rebuttals are that happened only once, or it isn't that serious, or those new reports are really just recycled photographs. These people better change their prayers to "God, I really really hope that afterlife is not what I've been spouting on about, because if it is, I'm in heap big trouble."

My fear? That their version of afterlife doesn't exist. I will be sorely disappointed if there is no hell.

*That would be Walter Jones of Freedom Fries fame.

Monday, February 06, 2006

When you absolutely, positively, have to bury someone

This can be a treacherous world to maneuver. Your editor wanted to check on the high cost of mattresses. And then I realized there were some frequently asked questions I had about caskets.

For instance, does Costco sell caskets?
YES

Do caskets come with operating manuals?
YES

Why does Costco sell caskets?
According to Costco, and I quote "As a service to our members." It's nice to know that even when you're dead, Costco still considers you a member.

Do funeral homes let you BYOC?
The Federal Trade Commission requires funeral homes to accept any casket purchased from an outside source. (You should probably notify the funeral home ahead of time instead of strolling in with one.)

Is this good for all 50 states?
No. But Illinois is one of them.

How fast can I expect the casket, once I order it?
Overnight and standard shipping is available. (If you're wondering, standard shipping is 3 business days.) And Costco does add "acts of God, weather-related conditions, and states of emergencies can delay delivery." In other words, all the stuff that put you in a position to require a casket are the same ones that can prevent you getting buried in one.

What goes on at the checkout?
Don't space out on the Shipping Address form. Remember to fill in the Deceased's information in SHIPPING ADDRESS. And don't be a funny guy and put the Deceased's information in the BILLING ADDRESS.

Does the winner need to be present to collect?
No. Universal Casket Co. will notify the funeral home of delivery.

Can you return the casket?
I wouldn't try it.

Where do caskets come from?
The storks aren't telling.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Housework

What happens when you take a wrong turn and get stuck on the floor of the House of Representatives for a whole day.

Dawn breaks, the birds sing, the gates swing open, and boobus Americanus (aka Congressmen) stroll into the chamber. [Ed. note: Actually, there is a significant time lapse between dawn and the boobies showing up to work.]

10:00am A brand new day to legislate and scare the bejeesus out of all of us. As the boobies stroll in, they stick their faces up close to the C-SPAN camera and say "We're in session. Are you scared yet?"

[Ed. note: This happens after the daily prayer done by some Baptist minister.]

10:02am Straws are drawn and the honorable Rep. Poe lost, so he has to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

10:03am A gaggle of Congressmen make noises about having things to say. The House decides to give 15 1-minute speeches to both sides of the aisle. Doing the math, this correspondent figures out 30 minutes of 30 different boobies spouting off. The horror!

10:12am The Speaker couldn't take any more and called a recess.

[Ed. note: In a severe miscalculation, I stayed in the chamber because I thought they'd be back in 15-30 minutes.]

1:05pm The House convened, continuing the legislative day of 1 February 2006.
[Ed. note: Oh yes, that is exactly what they put into the record!]

1:10pm House gets around to talking about HR 648. For 40 minutes.
[Ed. note: What's HR 648? To eliminate floor privileges and gym access to lobbyists. At the 35 minute mark I held up an impromptu sign "Remember Abramoff?"]

1:50pm The Chair, sensing which way the wind was blowing, postponed a vote on HR 648.

1:54pm Some mumbo-jumbo in Robert Rules of Order jargon. Meanwhile I found a discarded NY Times and worked on the crossword.

2:35pm After making some noises about HR 653, they looked at me, whispered something to the Speaker, who announced that it is now considered a privileged matter.

4:31pm After more chatter, the Chairman rules it unfinished business.

5:07pm Some Senate bills were brought up for reconciliation. And some Senate amendments to House amendments. After catcalls and frankly, some pretty blue language describing the deficits of Senators, the House agreed to table all Senate stuff.

5:15pm HR 664 "electing a certain Member to a certain standing committee of the House of Representatives."
[Ed. note: Like I care if I don't know who they're talking about for some stupid committee.]

5:16pm The "honorable" Rep. Ney (R-OH) submitted his resignation as chairman of the Committee on House Administration.
[Ed. note: What Ney failed to mention is that he's being investigated in the Abramoff affair and needs the time to find a really good criminal attorney.]

5:59pm The House pats itself on the back because it "concluded" all anticipated legislative business. Now they'll listen to Special Order Speeches.

8:50pm The House adjourns.
[Ed. note: Since the official record doesn't have it, I'll report on those Special Speeches. The first hour was taken up with Super Bowl squares. The sticking point was the payouts. Then the white Representatives mouthed sanctimonious crap to the black Representatives on the death of Coretta Scott King. After that, they tried to find the Danish political cartoon lampooning Muhammad that has the Middle East in an uproar. That segued into trying to find Iran on an atlas. And finally, wrapped the whole thing up with idle speculation on the Oscars. One thing Diebold can't fix.]

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The enemy of my enemy is my what?

Maybe the equation for Sun Tzu and von Clausewitz worked like this: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Certainly that's how the Irish read it. They read it that way in 1798 (it didn't quite work out). They read it that way in 1848 (it didn't work). And they read it that way in 1916 (didn't work out then either).

But I'll be damned if it didn't pan out this time.

Byline: Tehran, Iran.
Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr announced that his Mahdi Army is ready to come to Iran's aid if attacked.

How about that? We got Iraq and Iran to stand shoulder to shoulder, united, against a common enemy. That the common enemy is us we won't dwell on.

Iran and Iraq, as well as several other nations, are somewhat perturbed by Israel's saber-rattling. Naturally, the United States has not been remiss in antagonizing its erstwhile allies - the United Kingdom and Israel. Washington is ticked off at London for slipping that we wanted to bomb Al-Jeezera to kingdom come because we didn't like their reporting. Israel is mad at us for not muzzling Pat Robertson and his "I've come down from the mount and God told me he's mad at Ariel Sharon and that's why God smote Ariel."

The rest of the world is busy setting up one colossal entente, and keeping us out of it.

Friday, January 20, 2006

News from around the world with scant regard for punctuation

Greenpeace and Sierra Club have proposed adding Iraqi minorities to Endangered Species List.

Pat Robertson on the rebuttal:
And so it was foretold in the Book of Judges!
It came to pass that United States Army said unto the British Army, Come up with me into my lot, that we may fight against the Canaanites, er, terrorists, and I will likewise will go with thee into thy lot. By the way, what is your lot?
And the British Army said, We will tell thou later.

So the two armies went up and the LORD delivered the Canaanites, er terrorists. (How about this - we'll just sticketh with Canaanites for the purpose of this homily/rebuttal.) They found Al-Zarqawi in Wahdah district in Baghdad, and cut off his thumbs and his great toes.
It wasn't Al-Zarqawi. And the armies said Whoopeth, pardon us. And left note with thy insurance information.

So it came to pass a little later that spies saw a man coming out of Capitol Hill and they said unto him, Shew us the entrance into Capitol Hill and we will shew you a goodeth time. Ask for Abramoff. And the man shewed them the entrance, and they smote the Capitol with the edge of the sword. But they letteth go the man. And his family, even though they weren't parteth of the original deal. And the man said what a bunch of welshers.

And then the children of United States did evil in the sight of the LORD and filibustered Pres. Bush's Supreme Court nomination. And he delivered them into the hands of the spoilers that spoiled them.
Okay, I'm not really what that line means either.

And the LORD left those nations, without driving them out hastily, neither delivered he them into the hands of Al-Zarqawi.

And the LORD doesn't like fat men.

All of this is in Judges 1- 3.

Go, rest in peace.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Support your (campaign) donors

Lt. Col. Maginnis (Ret.) is concerned about Pinnacle Armor's Dragon Skin. Dragon Skin is the body armor that troops getting deployed to Iraq/Afghanisan are buying with their own money. (That would be $5000-$6000 a pop.)

Maginnis' evaluation? Let's go to his appearance on Jim Lehrer Newshour:
Maginnis: And, you know, the contracting people as well as the Army scientists say, look, be careful with dragon skin because it's good for a knife fight but we don't want to take it to Iraq because of the ballistic issues.
(Reporter) Margaret Warner: What do you mean the ballistic issues?
Maginnis: Well, I can't tell you the exact because it's classified.
MARGARET WARNER: And what's your very brief explanation of why 80 percent of these soldiers did suffer wounds that went into the gaps?
LT. COL. ROBERT MAGINNIS (Ret.): You know, those that were, you know, yes, there are places that you can shoot them. And it depends upon their position and so forth.
One follow up, from Soldiers For The Truth - if troops are wearing Dragon Skin (which they would have purchased on their own) and get killed, their beneficiaries might not get the death benefit.

Read the article to believe it.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

To sum up

I'm tired, so I'm going to lay out my argument for withdrawing the troops - immediately - in a few words.

WE, the United States, are killing most of the Iraqis.
WE, the United States, are conducting torture throughout Iraq.
WE, the United States, are using weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
WE, the United States, are levelling cities of Iraq.

Right. Iraq would be so much worse off if we withdrew in total and immediately.

*Link is to the Irish Independent, which requires a (free) subscription.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

I knew Cardinal Richelieu, and Pat Robertson, you're no Richelieu

The holy-rolling Reverend Pat Robertson, who went off his remaining meds some months ago and is free-falling into full-tilt dementia, came out with a pronouncement on the gravely ill Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

In a nutshell, it goes something like this:
He had it coming.


Robertson elaborated, as much as one can when one is non compis mentis, "He's dividing God's land. And I say 'Woe unto any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the E.U., the United Nations, of the United States of America.' God says 'This land belongs to me. You better leave it alone.'"

God's office put out a brief comment:
For the last time, my land is Hawaii. I cursed Israel and every godforsaken fool that wants it, lives in it, or makes pilgrimages to it, and I'll curse it again.


In a not-so-surprising turn of events, the Bush White House has belatedly realized that Robertson is a bad pony and they're not betting on him anymore. Bush, who is on a first name basis with God, is praying for Sharon's recovery. That crazy Bush - always willing to put himself out there for his friends.

The Israeli ambassador, Daniel Ayalon, compared Robertson to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The same guy who said the Holocaust never happened, and maybe all of Israel should be transplanted to Europe. Just calling it like it is.