Politics, Sex, Religion, and all those impolite Human Conversations...

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Location: Oaksterdam, California

Monday, May 31, 2004

If I still worked downtown....

I might have seen this this act of divine justice. but thanks to the magic of Craigslist I get to be there:

Rave: Your Hummer:

Reply to:
Date: Mon May 24 13:48:09 2004

There you were with your red, pouty lips. Gorgeous. Your friend with her long flowing blonde hair. Blasting your thumping system at noon on a Monday. You knew we were all looking at you two in your white, flawless Hummer. You were talking on your phone, laughing as you almost knocked over the messenger as you flew around the corner from Montgomery onto Sacramento. You showed him.

As you both looked around at us peons running around on this busy Monday, throwing your snide I-think-being-head-cheerleader-five-years-ago-still-makes-me-cool looks around, we all looked to you for some guidance as to how we too could actually be *such cunts* without speaking.

You almost killed the 90 year old Asian man as you pulled into the parking garage on Sacramento. We were all shocked at your actions, hoping that someday, a couple of bitches like yourselves would get what was coming.

I guess you were going a little too fast to see the “Maximum Height 7’” sign. Maybe you should have rethought those extra large tires. But, I will say that nothing, and I mean NOTHING in this world sounds as good as the roof of a Hummer being crushed by a huge, concrete overhang.

Please, let me just say “Bravo”.

And let me say, "Encore!!!"

Remember the Other Soldiers

During Easter vacation back in 1972, I attended a week of Outdoor Education at a beautiful redwood grove retreat hidden in the mountains above Santa Cruz. The idea was to bring together many of our school district’s 6th graders before the junior high school experience. We got the chance to learn natural science, make new friends, and meet girls from other schools- there was much holding of hands and stolen kisses as we explored the great outdoors.

I shared a cabin with dozen other youngsters and a cabin counselor with a monosyllabic name, like Rick or Rob, newly returned from Vietnam. He had long stringy blonde hair and an unsuccessful attempt at a first beard. He looked like Kurt Cobain years before Cobain did.

In no stretch of the imagination would this veteran be allowed around children today.

Instead of late-night ghost stories we were entertained with vivid descriptions of helicopter gun ships that fired 3,000 rounds a minute plowing up fields and everything living on them. Or how he once saw a Vietnamese kid about our age approach his friends, outside a theater in Saigon, with a carton of cigarettes in one hand and a bag of marijuana in the other. Both were wired up through the sleeves to a string of hand grenades strapped on his chest in a manner that killed and wounded a number our counselor’s friends…

I had the unfortunate prospect of being in the bunk above his. To say he was a light sleeper would be an exaggeration as he woke from his dark dreams every time I moved in my sleep. He warned us that he was a trained killer after he was woken one night by our cabin mate who was a sleepwalker. He was staring at me when he mentioned how he wouldn’t be responsible if he accidentally killed, “one of us little mother fucks…”

No one was killed and very few of the romances survived through summer into Jr. High. I stopped playing war with my friends after school. And that summer I got a paper route. I started watching the headlines. Over the next few years, I watched the Watergate scandal unfold, watched helicopters pushed off the flight-deck to make room for more evacuees, and watched the war end.

In 1978, while attending a regional athletic competition at UCLA, my girlfriend and I took a bottle of wine down to the Santa Monica Pier to watch the sunset. We met a Korean War veteran who slept under the pier. In those days he would be called a Wino since the Reagan-esque term Homeless had not yet entered the lexicon. So we shared our wine and he shared his story. When he started to speak about Korea and the people he’d killed there tears fell down his cheeks taking on the color of the sunset…

Today is Memorial Day. A day in which we honor the dead and those who have sacrificed in the service of their country. Yet rarely do we honor those who had something die inside, or those who sacrificed part of their humanity in the service of their country. When the drums of war beat military recruiters offer the challenge of be all you can be. Maybe training to kill inherently puts the soul at risk.

So today I pray for all who have been tested and failed. I pray for those put in positions to shoot innocent women and children; to torture fellow human beings. Those who have committed such acts will have to carry them for the rest of their lives and that is what I believe to be the greatest tragedy of war. So today I pray for the living dead and walking wounded.

They say September 11th changed everything but that is not true. There is still beauty and ugliness, hope and despair, in this world. Rather there are those who would use September 11th to change everything…

Rolling in Southern Comfort...

South Knox Bubba has added me to his blog roll. Welcome to all the visiting SKB'ers...

I must say he has my favorite blog launching post:
Is this thing on? Is this thing on?

That was just a hair over 2 years ago and in blog years that is, if converted to human terms, like fast approaching middle-age.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Bush Playing with Saddam's Pistol

Both Corrente and Dohiyi Mir are comment on today's bizarre Bush revelation.

It seems that the troops that found Hussein's hidey-hole, presented Bush with the unused pistol found in Saddam's pocket possession. This prized piece of presidential memorabilia is now on display in the same room that Bill Clinton would let Monica waste her beautiful mind.

What possible good could this souvenir serve?
On November 3rd, George W is very depressed having just lost the election.

To console himself he visits his trophy room. Then in a moment of doubt and despair over whether he had made all the wrong choices by listening to the Vice-President, he sees his favorite gift from the troops: Saddam's pistol.

He takes the gun and points it to his head…

Just then Cheney enters the room and yells, "No, George, don't do it!!"

"Shut up Dick," he says, "You're next."

Special Update

The White House medic is called to the trophy room and sees Bush with a gunshot wound in his hand.

The doctor asks, "How did this happen?"

Bush replies, "Well, I was trying to commit suicide.

I stuck the gun to my head and then...just before I pulled the trigger... I thought, this is going to be really loud.

So I stuck a finger in my ear before pulling the trigger"

Further Update:
I think the joke should be amended to talk about an upcoming impeachment and drop the Kerry winning thang. Who knows it might even happen, impeachment, that is. Also, whatever happened to Saddam's shotgun?

Do you Car Pool???

Add spa jets and solar heating, you might be able to remove the pejorative...  Posted by Hello

Kevin Drum, that Political Animal, read a statistic that nine out of ten pickup truck owners never put anything in the bed of their truck and asks if that is true?

I just realized that I don't even know 9 truck owners.

However, almost every person that I do know who has a truck works in either carpentry, landscaping, or video...

When stool pigeons start dropping names, who'll start dropping stools?

The fantastic gumshoe journalist, Jimmy Breslin, points out what should be obvious to newspaper editors everywhere:

Higher-ups beware the lowly stool pigeon

I am told that there are over 30 homicides in the prison run by Americans in Baghdad. If the averages hold up, and there is no reason they should not, there should be 30 stool pigeons who can identify people in lineups, make statements against them and appear in court as witnesses to bury the accused.

I thought of that immediately as I saw the picture of this Lt. Gen. Sanchez, who was leaving Baghdad for a post that hasn't been announced.

The administration announced that his leaving did not mean that he was being held responsible for the disaster.

I took it to mean that the man was on the dead run and probably should have been held on the site for a grand jury, complete with stool pigeons.

If the grand jury doesn't call you in, and you just sit there and wait, then you are a target of the investigation.

The most dangerous things, as deadly as a weapon, are:

"He did it."

"I was with him."

"I saw him do it."

"He told us to do it ..."
(go read the rest)

Breslin goes on to explain how professional investigators interrogating suspects never have to send them to hospital to get them roll over on the true culprits. Will any of these soldiers or contractors start pointing fingers? He seems to thinks so and that it will lead to the White House...

Saturday, May 29, 2004

What a Waste...

Army: Friendly Fire Likely Killed Tillman

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) -- Former pro football player Pat Tillman was probably killed by friendly fire as he led his team of Army Rangers up a hill during a firefight in Afghanistan last month, the U.S. Army said Saturday.

Tillman walked away from a $3.6 million NFL contract to join the Army after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Previous military statements suggested he was killed April 22 under enemy fire.

"While there was no one specific finding of fault, the investigation results indicate that Cpl. Tillman probably died as a result of friendly fire while his unit was engaged in combat with enemy forces," Lt. Gen. Philip R. Kensinger Jr. said in a brief statement to reporters at the Army Special Operations Command.


An Afghan military official told the AP on Saturday that Tillman died because of a "misunderstanding" when two mixed groups of American and Afghan soldiers began firing wildly in the confusion following an explosion.

The Afghan official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also contradicted U.S. reports that the American soldiers had come under enemy fire.

(Much More)

Dying by friendly fire(God what a stupid euphemism!) is the most wasteful way to sacrifice oneself...

Friday, May 28, 2004

George W Orwell....

While visting a Norwegian viking ranting blog, remember I surf the web so you won't have to...

I found this new site Bush-Orwell in'04

It is really unfunny!

Clashing in on the scandal...

Here's a great catch from Catch

Rock The Ghraib

Michael Moore and Rodney Dangerfield get no respect....

Michael gets death threats and...

Rodney Dangerfield — pothead? The 82-year-old comedian, famous for complaining that he gets no respect, told Rolling Stone magazine that he’s been getting high since he was 21 and got stoned at the White House when Ronald Reagan was in office. “As a kid I bought pot for $25 an ounce,” he says in the current issue of the mag. “Decent s—t [today] costs you a minimum of $500 an ounce. An ounce! Oh, everything’s insane. Oh, everything’s wild!”

See it all atMSNBC Gossip

Neanderthals Down by the Gene Pool

Posted by Hello

"The Neanderthals will be filibustered," remember Senator 'Bush Hating' Kennedy's reaction to the GOP all night whine-a-thon on the blocking of judicial nominees? The Republican response was to parade the two darkest-skin-toned-blocked-nominees and claim Ted was a racist. This was repeatedly asserted on all the Faux-News shows.

Obviously someone thinks these two are Neanderthals, those sub-humans who lost their heritage and gene pool to the dominant superior Cro-magnon. Ironically it wasn't Kennedy who identified these two.

Were Neanderthals replaced by those better in every way and probably blond? Well, all the home-school history is from films like "100 Million Years BC" (That’s a 100,000,000 years before Christ)where Raquel Welch is threatened with a fate worse than death by a pack of brutish dark, hairy clan members lusting after the blonde, blue-eyed Raquel in the bunny-skin bikini.

Or that other film where the golden-tressed Darryl Hannah, who should never get nekkid down by the river. The audience of well meaning autodidacts, yelling at the TV, "he's coming to rape you! Please just turn around and look." One wonders if that's why she kept dreaming up new weapons systems.

Let's not to forget the liteterary-millionare-GOP-agent Michael Crithton and the film, "The 13th Warrior," which really shows how those inferiors like the flesh of humans because they hate bush, berries, and grain. Thank Thor for those noble Scandinavians for saving the manor house and ridding the land from these brutish illegal-immigrants.

The message is that Neanderthals are scary, they have their own ways, want our women, and if you’re not fast enough they’ll eat you.

But what can science teach us about those who lived on the land before Mr. and Mrs. Homo Superior moved into the neighborhood. Not a whole lot. They were first brought to attention from Germany, a country with a less than sterling reputation on race relations, in the Valley of Neander. German scientists determined from a pile of bones that they were of a dark and brutish nature as it fit their preconceptions. Quite a conjecture really when all that was discovered was that they buried their dead with ritual.

What do we know about the moderns who came after? Well, there’s this recently discovered 8,000 year old Austrian who died from a spear wound and/or frostbite - connection or conspiracy theory? Were the Neanderthals killed off in the survival of the fittest or in fighting over bathing blondes?

Modern man is a very aggressive breed. We know from the earliest writings that this pinnacle of human evolution will have sex anything, i.e. vegetable, mineral, animal, best friend, best friend’s significant other, and best friend’s children.

Most likely between the two races there was a lot of interbreeding and children that didn't look like the parents.

So there is a bit of Neanderthal in everyone alive today. And that earliest of dirty secrets is probably the primal cause of racism.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Kick them off the island...

Republican Survivor!!!

God I love the internet...

Thanks Reid for the Link

Terrorist Savoir Faire is Everwhere...

Via Norbizness: Tom Burka over at Opinions You Should Have removes the veil from the latest terrorist threat blitz...
Certain Higher Terror Threat To U.S., Says Washington; Threat Level Raised From Yellow To "Yellower"

Today the Department of Homeland Security warned of a much higher risk of a terrorist attack over the coming months, which prompted them to raise the threat level from Yellow ("Elevated") to Yellow ("Still Elevated"). "The threat level remains fundamentally the same," said Tom Ridge, "Except that it is definitely, certainly much threatier."

In response, the FBI pledged to step up its random arrest program, used most recently to such great effect with Portland lawyer Brandon Mayfield last week, who, although not a terrorist, "was unable to mount a terrorist attack during his two weeks in captivity, had he really been one."

Although unable to supply a date, time, place, method, situation, guess, hope, or random thought for the expected attack on the U.S. by al Qaeda, Ridge said there was "credible intelligence" corroborated by lots of "chatter" that, while not "actionable," provided a firm basis for scaring the bejesus out of an otherwise complacent U.S. populace.

"We don't want people to panic," said Ridge. "But it could be any place, at any time, and it could be either a nuclear explosion that flattens the coast or a biological attack that could make "The Day After Tomorrow" look like a high school picnic."

"Or not," he added.

Ridge cut his remarks short to make a trip to Capitol Hill to get the Department of Homeland Security renamed the "Department of Scaring The Pants Off People While Not Offering The Slightest Help Whatsoever."

Go read the piece in it's original form as it has a lot of links that make it even funnier...

Are you worried? Are you on the Web?

The incomparable Mark Morford asks the really important questions today. Does Not Know Me

Here, have my credit card info. And my data profile. And my shoe size. What do you really know?

I am a walking time bomb.

Like millions, I live deep deep deep in the digital storm, aswim in the electronic morass, irrevocable and irreversible and never to return to the ways of old because, as everyone knows, once you step foot into the rushing miasma of Net commerce and e-communication, you are imprinted onto the digital Void pretty much forever.

The Net, it washes over your life in a tidal wave of logins and passwords and cookies and AutoFill forms and account summaries and credit card numbers and semisecure Web sites, each promising on a stack of ridiculously defective Windows software that they won't sell or share your personal data, even though most of them do because otherwise how do you explain the 600 goddamn spam messages I receive every day? I'm looking at you, SBC.

I pay all my bills online. I bank online. I have accounts at probably 50 online merchants, everyone from the big boys like iTunes and Amazon and eBay and AdultDVDEmpire to scrappier shops like Teeccinno and VitaminShoppe and, along with a whole plethora of e-joints I've long since forgotten about because I set up an account there once to buy a Christmas gift only to change my mind at the last minute because I found the same item for three bucks cheaper plus free shipping from some other site that I purchased from once and then completely forgot about.

It's just a matter of time before my data is exposed and the hackers and thieves and government agents come and steal my very being and my life is ruined. Right? Well, sort of.

MapQuest. Neiman Marcus. Erowid. Car & Driver. PayPal. UPS. Evite. TinyURL. Chicago Trib. Good Vibrations. Psychology Today. Ofoto. L'Occitane. Southwest Airlines. The Ugg Store., MacConnection, My Web browser's AutoFill list reveals either a massive and frightening amount about me and my purchasing habits and my predilections for acrylic sex toys and French incense and cars, or ... nothing at all.

This is the gist. I have left an enormous e-trail of purchases and site visits and account data. My credit card number is lodged in a hundred different company servers, if not more. I have doubtlessly generated some sort of meta-profile somewhere that indicates which ads I'd like to see more of and which products might interest me and I'm probably the target of a thousand advertisers who think they can reach me in some significant or profound way.

But this is what gets lost in the morass of e-commerce and credit cards and alarmist privacy concerns: They cannot touch me. They cannot actually reach me in any significant manner, ever. I am protected and secure and absolutely, thoroughly immune, forever. And you know what? So are you.

Look. They can clog the Internet with spam and slam us all with a thousand targeted gender-specific demographic-intensive ads per day. They can go so far as to steal my credit card numbers and my Social Security number and make my life a living logistical hell. It's true. And it's goddamn scary and obnoxious and wrong on a hundred different levels.

But is this really me? Is this truly any sort of real danger to what I truly value, those things that engage my spirit and fondle my soul and melt the heart of my cockles? What sort of threat is some marketer's data sheet to my ability to laugh and love and lick my lover, to enjoy dog parks and bath salts and huge ancient trees? Answer: nada.

Go read the rest...

Please God let me get a severence like this...Otherwise, just help me get a job...

I was a BofA employee back when they sold out to merged with Nations Bank. The new management in Charlotte instituted an unwritten policy of not hiring people with San Francisco accents which meant "no gays allowed"

But this story really gets my Goat:

BofA exec takes $25 million in severance
Former Fleet executive to leave in June
by RICK ROTHACKER -Staff Writer

After less than two months on the job, Bank of America Corp.'s president on Monday announced plans to resign next month, and he'll take a $25 million severance package with him.
The Charlotte company said Monday that Eugene McQuade, 55, plans to resign June 30 to pursue "new challenges." He previously had been president and chief operating officer at FleetBoston Financial Corp. before helping engineer the April 1 merger with Bank of America.


From the Fleet contract, he gets $7.8 million in severance, partly in cash and stock grants, and another $4.6 million under Fleet's former retirement plan. From the Bank of America agreement, he gets a $2 million pro-rated bonus for his work through June 30 and $10.5 million in severance, which is two times his base salary and highest annual bonus in the last three years.
McQuade also receives office and administrative support through year's end.
McQuade was one of four Fleet executives to sign an employment agreement with Bank of America and the highest paid, making a salary of $1.25 million. Under the agreement, he was eligible to receive his severance package if he was terminated other than for "cause," death or disability, or if he left for "good reason." A Bank of America spokeswoman said his departure was deemed "good reason."
In the merger, Bank of America is eliminating 12,500 jobs, or 7 percent of its combined work force, to cut costs. Some Bank of America employees have been angry that former Fleet workers are receiving better severance pay.

(Emphasis Mine)

Don't worry! The economy is experiencing faster growth than ever before. If you don't believe that: Alertalertalert, there are terroists already in the U.S. planing to attack somewhere, sometime, somehow, and with something...

Welcome to my House all the readers from

Special thanks to folks over at Blah3 who've 'BlahRoll'ed me. They're one of the daily must vist sites. Go check them out -you won't be sorry.

For all those who came over from there, I offer my special Tommy Welcome:

Come to my house,
Be one of the comfortable people.
Come to this house,
We're drinking all night,
Never sleeping.
Milkman come in!
And you, baker,
Little old lady, welcome,
And you, shoemaker.
Come to this house,
Into this house!
Come to my house,
Be one of the comfortable people.
Come to this house,
We're drinking all night,
Never sleeping.
Milkman come in!
And you, baker,
Little old lady, welcome,
And you, shoemaker.
Come to this house,
Into this house!

Come to this house,
Be one of us.
Make this your house,
Be one of us.

You can help
To collect some more in.
Young and old people,
Let's get them all in.
Come to this house,
Into this house!
Ask along that man with a big red carnation.
Bring every single person
From Victoria Station.
Go into that hospital,
And bring the nurses and patients.
Everybody go home and fetch their relations...

Can't find a Distrubiton Deal?

Look no further. If you are a Filmmaker/Documentarian/Video Artist and you write/direct/produce, why not add distributor to the many hats you wear?

In this Washington Post article (registration required) there are some very goodbusiness ideas. Here are the good parts:

In the Era of Cheap DVD's, Anyone Can Be a Producer
Sports events may seem an unlikely subject for distribution by DVD, but football games are far from the only discs in the mail carrier's bag these days. Independent filmmakers, specialty magazine publishers, artists, educators - all those with a video to sell, no matter how narrow the niche - are turning out DVD's and distributing them through the mail. It's a trend that began in the era of videotape but has accelerated with DVD's because they are inexpensive to duplicate and ship.


Poetry Television, for example, a San Francisco-based group devoted to verse, sells a DVD of readings, "Weapons of Mass Production: The Spoken War" for $20 through its Web site, The DVD is part of a planned subscription series.


For $29.95, fans of mountainboarding (a sport best described as all-terrain skateboarding) can subscribe to a year of Mountainboard Video Mag on three DVD's (www Each installment contains video of daredevil runs and spills, interviews and features on the sport's culture.


Beyond Netflix, lots of individuals and groups are producing videos in a market that is as varied and heterogenous as the book industry. The market has even spawned companies like CustomFlix (www, the equivalent of a custom book publisher, which for a fee will duplicate DVD's in small runs and help distribute and sell them.
Consider Jimi Petulla, a man who says he invested $400,000 of his own money to produce "Reversal," a semi-autobiographical film he wrote and starred in.


I've met so many people who've done good little movies, and they've never seen a penny from their distributors," he said. "It's insane what these companies can get away with."
Instead, Mr. Petulla began making the DVD's himself. To date, he said, the film has grossed about $650,000 and continues to bring in $15,000 to $18,000 a month. The discs sell for $29.95 at
John Geyer, the vice president for marketing at CustomFlix, tells the story of a customer who made "RoadRace," a movie about people who race motorcycles on weekends. "He's an accountant," Mr. Geyer said. "I think he works for a Fortune 500 company and he races motorcycles on the weekend. He went around and put five video cameras on his bike. In two months he sold $10,000 worth of his product."


Both Mr. Petulla and Mr. Brereton showed a knack for marketing. The DVD for "Reversal," for example, includes testimonials from celebrities like the gymnastic gold medalist Shannon Miller and the track and field star Carl Lewis. Once he received these endorsements, Mr. Petulla paid college students $10 an hour to spread the word about the film by e-mailing wrestling groups, electronic newsletters and Web sites.
The Internet is more cost-effective as a medium for advertising and selling DVD's that are delivered by mail than as a video distribution network. Andrew M. Odlyzko, a professor at the University of Minnesota who studies the evolution of broadband, says that it would cost $5 to $10 to deliver the four gigabytes of data on a standard DVD over the best high-speed Internet connection.
Discs, on the other hand, cost between 60 cents and a dollar to fabricate and can be sent through the mail for the price of a first-class stamp. Moreover, some DVD's contain 9 or even 18 gigabytes of data. These cost slightly more to duplicate, but no more to ship.


CustomFlix and a number of other companies are hoping to help serve niche markets in a similar way. Amazon, for example, stocks DVD's and videotapes from small companies alongside films from major studios. The DVD creator must produce the duplicate DVD's. Amazon collects 55 percent of the list price for the service.
CustomFlix offers a more sophisticated service, bundling manufacturing, order processing, payment collection and shipping. A filmmaker pays $50 to open an account and $9.95 for each film that is produced on demand. The filmmaker receives any revenue beyond that. If the title is popular, the profits can rise because CustomFlix's price drops to $7.95 per disc after 20 copies and $6.95 per disc after 50 copies.
While these companies can help deliver the discs to a niche marketplace, they can't do much for the greater challenge of finding a large audience. It is still difficult for small productions to break into the larger marketplace.


"It's hard to get into a store," said Ms. Healy of DVD News. "It's the same problem that we've always had with this industry. The studios dominate the distribution.''
"You can sell it online," she said, "but then you've got to get your Web site out there."

Now I only need a disc burner...

Eye in the Sky Traffic Report.

This morning I went to check my traffic stats at Extreme Tracking (see the icon way down at the bottom of the page)and I've had 259 Unique Views for the 1st week in busines.

Checking the refferer log I see that I had a lot of views from LGF - Little Green Footballs. Sorry, I refuse to provide a link!

LGF is a Neanderthal site. No, Neaderthal is not the appropiate description (I'll explain in another post), rather an extreme group that finds Free Republic (again no link) too tame for their rants.

So maybe the bug with the comments was a blessing in disguise...

Can you comment?

I just found a bug that I hope I fixed. It seems that when trying to leave a comment here it was asking you to register with Blogger.

That would explain the dearth of comments (who am I kidding?. So, if you notice that the problem persists please email at:

If you comment just remember this my clubhouse - So, no feet on the furniture and use the spitoon rather than the floor...

Thanks in advance.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Still Techie Tuesday

Have you ever wanted a Submarine?

If yes, then check out U.S. Submarine's catalogue of:

-Luxury Subs
-Tourist Subs
-Manned Submersibles
-Used Subs

The also make underwater habitats - ideal for a Sea Bed n' Breakfast...

More Techie Tuesday...

I'm doing the job search and need to get a cel phone. Apart from the cost what features do I want? This post from Endgadget gives me some ideas:
I personally think best application on the market for making ring tones for the average non-uber geek is “Xingtone” add to that, they work with the record companies, carriers and do a great job empowering the “do it yourself” crowd.

What is Xingtone? From the site: “Xingtone’s desktop software is easy-to-use, legal, and allows you to create mobile phone ringtones using digital audio files on your computer - music clips, sound effects, your child’s laugh, your dog’s bark, or any sound you like!”

So now I know that the phone needs to be mp3 compatible. I didn't really need the camera function anyway...

Time for Techie Tuesday...

Put it on your key-chain... Posted by HelloWow!

I found this hot item over at Gizmodo.

I've had small Swiss Army Knives on my key-chain for years now. The one I have now has an LED that acts like a mini laser pointer. But this new puppy has 64mg of portable memory which fits into USB devices. Talk about cutting edge...

Monday, May 24, 2004

Bush Planted in the Ground -or- Where the Dubya' Meets the Road

Looks like Terra kicked his ass,,, Posted by Hello

By now everyone has heard that while at his Texas ranch Bush fell off his bike face-first into the dirt. He fought the terra and and the Law (of gravity) won.

A White Spokseman claim it was the recent bad weather that made the ground so treacherous.

However the astute folks over Corrente caught that lie. They've posted the weather report and it hadn't rained there for over a week before accident. And very little for the whole month.

The always snarky TBogg comments on Bushes biking accessories:
Okay. I'm no cyclist, but is wearing a mouth guard really part of the normal equipment?

Bush, who was wearing a safety helmet and mouth guard when the mishap occurred, declined the offer of a car ride home from Secret Service agents and instead pedaled the remaining mile to his house, Duffy said.

"It's been raining a lot. The topsoil was loose," the White House spokesman noted.

Bush was the subject of a presidential safety scare in 2002, when he fainted after choking on a pretzel while watching a football game on television.

I'm just so darn proud of this president and the way he confronts everyday dangers. Next week: he gets his head stuck in one of his desk drawers looking for a dropped Tootsie Roll. Hilarious hijinks ensue...

Josh Marshall follows up with analysis Kerry's off-the-cuff response:

Drudge reported the following about John Kerry's alleged response ...

Kerry told reporters in front of cameras, 'Did the training wheels fall off?'... Reporters are debating whether to treat it is as on or off the record... Developing...

Let me translate this: Off the record John Kerry quipped "Did the training wheels fall off?" But the quote was so good that several reporters couldn't resist and passed it on to Drudge.

Bad politics? Maybe.

But I have to admit that it made me laugh and think of these two grafs from a post from Thursday afternoon ...

According to several participants, President Bush told Republicans that the Iraqis are ready to "take the training wheels off" by assuming power.

That's a bit of a condescending thing to say about a country which encompasses what is generally considered to be the cradle of civilization. But the thought that an extra set of training wheels may now be available prompts the question of whether the Iraqis might be willing to hand their pair off to the White House.

On the other hand, giving it more thought, perhaps what he needs is not so much a pair of training wheels as a set of brakes ...

The whole episode and spin borders on the absurd, however Kerry's quip made me smile. Eventhough he doesn't look French, his wit leans in the direction of Voltaire...

Important Update: Jay at Folkbum's Rambles and Rants wants you to send training wheels to the White House. Go give him your support! Hop to it...

Sunday, May 23, 2004

America hardly seems like America any more...

Terry Jones, former Python, puts the squeeze on both Blair and Bush in the Guardian.

Go read the whole thing. Here's my favorite bits:
Tony Blair tells us that we should do everything we can to support America. And I agree. I think we should repudiate those who inflict harm on Americans, we should shun those who bring America itself into disrepute and we should denounce those who threaten the freedom and democracy that are synonymous with being American.

That is why Tony's recent announcement that he wishes to stand shoulder to shoulder with George Bush is so puzzling. It's difficult to think of anyone who has inflicted more harm on Americans than their current president. Since he assumed the title of most powerful man in the world, 4 million Americans have lost their health insurance and 2 million jobs have disappeared. According to a CNN report, "half of all Americans are living from paycheque to paycheque - effectively one paycheque away from poverty". And Mr Bush's latest budget proposes to withdraw support of all kinds for working families earning less than $35,000 a year. At the same time the national debt has rocketed to more than $26,000 for every family.

As for bringing America into disrepute, Mr Bush scores a high rating here too. No American president has been so successful in making Americans ashamed of being American. According to a Gallup poll last year, the majority of Americans - 64% - "cite a fear of unfriendliness as the top concern of travelling abroad". And that was before the photos.


President Bush has successfully turned America into a byword for man's inhumanity to man: from torturing its prisoners to massacring over 40 people, including 15 children and 10 women, at an Iraqi wedding party. The president has left no stone unturned in reversing the good name of Americans throughout the world.


As for the freedom of which Americans have always been so justly proud, has any president ever done more to undermine it? The American Civil Liberties Union tells us that the patriot act alone, which was rushed through Congress in the name of the "war on terror", puts at risk the first, fourth, fifth, sixth, eighth and 14th amendments.

Thousands of men, mostly Arabs or south Asians, have now been secretly imprisoned in America without charge, and the government has refused to publish their names or whereabouts. They have been "disappeared". Don't cry for me, Argentina. In fact, the more I think about it, America hardly seems like America any more.

If Tony Blair really were concerned about helping Americans, he would surely be helping them to reclaim their country and institutions from this catastrophic presidency.

You know, when you have the gift of laughter you see the world a whole clearer...

Palme d'Or for Michael Moore

sans chapeau de baseball Posted by Hello

Last night I watched the Cannes Film Festival award ceremony on the Independent Film Channel (one of the guilty pleasures of having satellite TV) and saw Michael Moore for the first time at a loss for words and choking back tears.

The President of the Jury, Quentin Tarantino, had just announced Fahrenheit 911 as the winner of the Palme d’Or, the world’s most prestigious film award outside of an Oscar (though some would disagree, saying it’s much more important than Hollywood’s golden gift).

Moore had hurried back to Cannes from his daughter’s graduation after a cryptic call from festival organizers. He dedicated the award to his daughter and thank the attendees profusely for helping ensure that the US will get to see the film…

More news is up on the Michael Moore website.

Update: MaxSpeak has more on Moore.

Update (part deux):Wa Po's got more info on the story...
Final Update: The International Herald Tribune out of Paris has more coverage...

I don’t hate America...

I don’'t hate America- I'’m just wondering does it exist anymore?
And wondering about the tortured flesh and gore.

I don’'t hate America- I’'m just wondering does anyone know where it went?
And wondering about the blood we'’ve spent.

I don'’t hate America- I'’m just wondering has anyone seen it of late?
And wondering about turning into a country of hate.

I don'’t hate America- I’'m just wondering has it no shame?
And wondering about what'’s been done in our name.

I don'’t hate America- I'’m just wondering does it exist anymore…

I don’'t hate America- I'’m just wondering.

I don'’t hate America!

I don’'t hate...

You can be Heroes (in error), if just for one day...

Chalabi, our man in Iraq, was on "Meat the Press" today to defend himself.

He said he's ready to testify before Congress -I hope it's the same day Russert will have testify in the Valerie Plame investigation.

He then dissed Negroponte about bringing covert Central American tactics to Iraq.

He went on to say that he did not drag us into war, but it was a decision made by the US. I think he meant to say the gut of George W Bush, but that would have been impolitic.

Did Bush ever look ito Chalabi's soul? Did he find one?

Saturday's for Houscleaning...


I spent the day finding new tools and making changes to the blog:
-Added blog rolling and a blog me link (see left sidebar)
-Added link to my Kinga digest (click icon to go there)
-Added Extereme Tracking, Sitemeter, and Feedburner (find at bottom of the page)

Thanks to Mike, who's notoriusly nice in providing Marketing tips for beginning bloggers, I submited the blog for:

Expect more changes as I tweak the template and try new HTML trick. If the site loads slow let me know as I want to keep this a streamlined site.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Just planning for the future...

Via Demagogue I got this piece from Human Rights News that the Adminstration is trying to:

Without prior notice to members of the U.N. Security Council, the United States yesterday demanded an immediate vote to renew contentious Security Council Resolution 1487. This measure grants immunity to personnel in U.N. authorized or approved operations from states that have not ratified the International Criminal Court (ICC) treaty, including the United States and Iraq.

Go read the rest.

By the way is Negroponte still Ambassador to the UN until he goes to Iraq? If he is, this beyond irony

Fun with Photoshop...

Will get you high? Posted by Hello

Another Photoshop Smorgasbord at Worth 1000\'s Artificial Fruit Contest

He's back to save the day...

Remember Andy Kaufman the guy who sung the Mighty Mouse theme song for his first appearence on SNL? He also did the best Elvis impersonation I ever saw. It was like he was channeling the spirit of the King.

He also used to joke that he'd fake his death and return 20 years later. Well boys and girls that time is upon us...

Thanks to The Presurfer, I find out he's back and he blogs at Andy Kaufman Returns

I'm finally on a roll...

A very special thanks to Elayne Riggs for putting me on her blog roll. Since it's my first, I can say it feels good.

Go visit: Her writing is quite lovely and she always manages to put out a "Silly Site o' the Day."

Tough On Crime...Tough on Kids

If you're not Respectful of Otters you shoud be. Read some of the latest:
Controlled studies show that it results in 54% fewer juvenile arrests and 69% fewer juvenile convictions and probation violations. And for every dollar it costs, four dollars are saved in future costs. Why aren't tough-on-crime conservatives all over it?

Probably because it doesn't involve more cops or more juvenile detention centers or harsher punishments or religious indoctrination. Instead, it's all about nurses.

The program started in my hometown - my mother is now the program coordinator; yay Mom! - and has since spread to 22 other states. It's a simple concept: "high-risk" prospective parents get visited at home by a nurse, beginning as early in pregnancy as possible and continuing until the baby is two years old. The nurses provide prenatal care, support, advice, and parenting education. It's a voluntary program, but more than 90% of parents approached recognize a good deal when they see one.

In a 13-year follow-up of the program, researchers found that it reduced child abuse and neglect by 79 percent. Treated mothers (most of them teenagers) had 33% fewer additional pregnancies. The kids, at age 15, were not only less likely to commit crimes (as cited in the first paragraph), but had 58% fewer sexual partners. As someone who has read a lot of intervention studies, let me assure you that these numbers are phenomenal. They're almost unheard-of. This is a program that works, and it has snowball effects long after the active intervention is over.

It also languishes in obscurity, with barely enough funding to keep the doors open. The registered nurses (who, keep in mind, have a 79% effectiveness rate at preventing the extremely expensive social problem of child abuse) get paid salaries more appropriate for nurse's aides. They cast apprehensive eyes towards Albany every time the Republican governor is looking for new ways to trim the budget. Strangely enough, budget-trimming time never seems to affect the prison guards at the Supermax prison down the road.

No matter how much "compassionate conservative" rhetoric comes out of the White House, we remain a country much more comfortable with punishment than prevention. We're also more comfortable with quick fixes than with long-term social changes, and more comfortable with the rhetoric of personal responsibility than we are with creating a genuine social safety net.

How else to explain the chronic neglect of a program that effectively fights some of our most pernicious and recalcitrant social problems? We do, genuinely, deplore child abuse and adolescent promiscuity and juvenile crime - and yet there is somehow never enough money and resources for programs to prevent them, even when those programs have been proven to pay for themselves.

You hear a lot about the sins of the father but rarely hear about the blessings of a mother...

I Don't Do Friday Cat Blogging

Roxi Smiling... Posted by Hello

Because Cats Are Like Republicans:
1) Cats hate 'RATs...
2) They are selfish.
3) They are not rubbing on your leg out of friendship, they're marking you with their glands...
4) They are known to hang out with some real witches..
5) They like to be worshipped...
6) They don't like you reading the newspaper...
7) It sounds like they have really horrible sex...
Bonus- I never heard of a cat saving someone's life unless self-interest was involved!

Dogs are like Democrats:
1) Dogs don't understand why cats don't like them...
2) They invented brown-nosing...
3) They are loyal friends. No one is ever happier to see you come home...
4 )They are at home with Bums or Kings...
5) They will follow to the ends of the earth...
6) They will only go on the paper when you lay it down...
7) They'll have sex with anything, and then they are stuck with the consequences...
Bonus- I've heard of dogs saving lives at the expense of their own.

Furthermore, a dog will pine away and die when their heart is broken. Contrariwise, cats have no heart to break.

You Don't Know Jack, Right?

Then you should go visit Rack Jite. Here's a sample quote:

“If you doubt that crap personality is the driving force behind conservative politics, look back to your childhood. I’ll bet a dollar to a doughnut that every one of your friends and acquaintances who was an asshole then, is a conservative today.” - Rack Jite

I like him better than Jack Handey:

"I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it." - Jack Handey

Thursday, May 20, 2004

My first endoserment...

Lambert over at Corrente has posted about this blog. Go visit him. He has written much about the death of Nick Berg and put a human face on the story... Maybe the he's next Breslin???

To quote: "The test of a good idea is its ability to last through a hangover" --Jimmy Breslin

I wonder if Bush will change his stance on the death penalty?

In the lead up to the War in Iraq the Bush Adminstration spent more time seeking US exemption from the International Criminal Court than seeking a consensus of the UN Security Council or building a coalition of countries that count. Well here is a story that will explain that:

Memos Reveal War Crimes Warnings
Could Bush administration officials be prosecuted for 'war crimes' as a result of new measures used in the war on terror? The White House's top lawyer thought so

By Michael Isikoff
Investigative Correspondent
Updated: 9:14 a.m. ET May 19, 2004

The White House's top lawyer warned more than two years ago that U.S. officials could be prosecuted for "war crimes" as a result of new and unorthodox measures used by the Bush administration in the war on terrorism, according to an internal White House memo and interviews with participants in the debate over the issue.

The concern about possible future prosecution for war crimes—and that it might even apply to Bush adminstration officials themselves— is contained in a crucial portion of an internal January 25, 2002, memo by White House counsel Alberto Gonzales obtained by NEWSWEEK. It urges President George Bush declare the war in Afghanistan, including the detention of Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters, exempt from the provisions of the Geneva Convention.

In the memo, the White House lawyer focused on a little known 1996 law passed by Congress, known as the War Crimes Act, that banned any Americans from committing war crimes—defined in part as "grave breaches" of the Geneva Conventions. Noting that the law applies to "U.S. officials" and that punishments for violators "include the death penalty," Gonzales told Bush that "it was difficult to predict with confidence" how Justice Department prosecutors might apply the law in the future. This was especially the case given that some of the language in the Geneva Conventions—such as that outlawing "outrages upon personal dignity" and "inhuman treatment" of prisoners—was "undefined."
One key advantage of declaring that Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters did not have Geneva Convention protections is that it "substantially reduces the threat of domestic criminal prosecution under the War Crimes Act," Gonzales wrote.
"It is difficult to predict the motives of prosecutors and independent counsels who may in the future decide to pursue unwarranted charges based on Section 2441 [the War Crimes Act]," Gonzales wrote.

The best way to guard against such "unwarranted charges," the White House lawyer concluded, would be for President Bush to stick to his decision—then being strongly challenged by Secretary of State Powell— to exempt the treatment of captured Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters from Geneva convention provisions.

"Your determination would create a reasonable basis in law that (the War Crimes Act) does not apply which would provide a solid defense to any future prosecution," Gonzales wrote.

The memo—and strong dissents by Secretary of State Colin Powell and his chief legal advisor, William Howard Taft IV—are among hundreds of pages of internal administration documents on the Geneva Convention and related issues that have been obtained by NEWSWEEK and are reported for the first time in this week's magazine. Newsweek made some of them available online today.

(emphasis mine)

What more can I say... Posted by Hello

Added some links

The list of links on the left is be no means complete. I started checking on adding a blog rolling sevice rather than enter them manually with html.

Anyway, I got sidetracked into installing a new browser, Firefox, from the folks at Mozilla. It's only in beta right now but it has some neat features. One extension allows for saving posts one makes on blogs or websites. I think this will be one of the best browsers available. However,I'm having a problem exporting my bookmarks into it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Via Bifurcated Rivets

Childless couple told to try sex

A German couple who went to a fertility clinic after eight years of marriage have found out why they are still childless - they weren't having sex.

The University Clinic of Lubek said they had never heard of a case like it after examining the couple who went to see them last month for fertility tests.

Doctors subjected them to a series of examinations and found they were both apparently fertile, and should have had no trouble conceiving.

A clinic spokesman said: "When we asked them how often they had had sex, they looked blank, and said: "What do you mean?".

"We are not talking retarded people here, but a couple who were brought up in a religious environment who were simply unaware, after eight years of marriage, of the physical requirements necessary to procreate."(empahsis mine)

The 30-year-old wife and her 36-year-old husband are now being given sex therapy lessons while the university clinic undertakes a study to try to find out if there are more couples with a similar lack of sex education.

Dosen't this remind you of home schooling?

Kerry and Nader Splitting Hairs

Big Picnic has an exclusive on the Nader correspondence to Kerry:

-KERRY, you can save a lot of money by cutting your own hair. I do it, and it looks fine.

- KERRY, take it from me, if you say the goal of your election is something like "sending a message" then you can claim you're winning no matter what happens. Your problem is that you stick to the boring old way of thinking about elections.

- KERRY, to win the election you need to embrace an inclusive "big tent" strategy that includes all different kinds of Americans: from Phish groupies, to vegans to the band members in Phish.

-KERRY, if you go behind Bonanza Bagels on 14th Street around 11:35 they throw out all the old ones from the day before. Completely Free!

- KERRY, I notice you haven't been taking my advice. Bad move.

- KERRY, add "corporate" to any insult to make it much better. For example, when you say "Bush's disastrous education plan" or "The failed war planning of this presidency has led to quagmire" instead say Bush's disastrous corporate education plan or The failed corporate war planning by this corporate presidency has led to a quagmire.

- KERRY, I've had enough of your corporate candidacy this week, so I give you NO ADVICE!

- KERRY, just say you're going to bring the troops home, that will encourage the terrorists to bomb the way to victory for you.

- KERRY, you're never going to win an election if you have to run against a third party candidate. Bad move.

- KERRY, keep an extra candy bar in your back pocket for a quick boost of energy in between speeches. But remember, Hershey's is a corporate candy bar, so I prefer to buy independent organic candy that tastes like shit.

- KERRY, back when you were in Vietnam you shouldn't have thrown out your medals.

- KERRY, on the third level in Super Mario 3 you can get the magic flute by getting the raccoon tale and ducking on the white block until you drop into the background.

- KERRY, like anything politics takes practice. Before running for president, I went to the Bush daughters' high school and sabotaged anyone running against them.

- KERRY, you shouldn't have said that thing about meeting with foreign leaders back at the beginning. That really made you look bad.

- KERRY, Pick me as VP because I already have some NADER/kerry 04' bumper stickers I made on my computer.

- KERRY, constantly remind people that Bush does stuff for oil.

- KERRY, those pants you wore on Russert made your ass look HUGE.

- KERRY, a lot of things are racist.

- KERRY, in a lot of cases the person who smelt it didn't delt it. That's a corporate lie.

- KERRY, oh man! That speech I gave last night made you look like a total asshole! I wouldn't blame you if you didn't want to show your sorry face today. I'm just saying, I'm going call you out on your shit, dude.

- KERRY, I saw what your spokesman said about me. not cool, Kerry. NOT cool.

Sir Winston Churchill: Wise Words

I wonder if our "War President" ever read the words of the man that Fox News compares him to? I wonder if anyone at Fox News ever actually read the Great Man.

Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events. Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965)

I guess that'd be a no...

In a way you gotta' admire the tenacity...

Josh Marshall really lays into a column by Bill Safire over at the Washington Post. It seems that Safire still believes that we will eventually find WMDs in Iraq and other such nonsense. This graf jumped out a me:

Now Safire has a new theory. "In a sovereign and free Iraq, when germ-warfare scientists are fearful of being tried as prewar criminals, their impetus will be to sing — and point to caches of anthrax and other mass killers."
To use a much-overused line, you can't make this stuff up. It transcends self-parody.

Someone should let Safire know that torture will loosen men’s tongues and overcome their fear of being prosecuted…

They didn't really lie! Really! Not at All...

I have a theory about Iraq

Bush and Cheney didn’t really lie about their incontrovertible evidence.

The reason is we have a number “guests” at an undisclosed location which is also known as the Al Queda Spa for Arrest & Relaxation of Int’l Conventions Center. I hear that Dick Cheney often visits this undisclosed location where he learns a lot.

By the pool he overheard the life guard ask, ”So one more time, did you have ties to Iraq?”, (Sound effects: Gurgle, gurgle, gasp…) and the Guest responds, ”Yes, it’s true, spluarggh.”

In the salon he overhead the Electrolysis Specialist asks, “Where are the Weapons of Mass Destruction?” (Sound effects: Sparkle, snap, sizzle…) and the Guest responds, “Around Tigrit. I swear, owww.”

In the workout room he overheard the Physical Trainer ask, “How will you attack with those WMDs.” (Sound effects: Thump, thwack, thud…) and the Guest responds, “De plane, de plane- Boss, ouch, I mean un-manned aerial vehicles…”

While sitting for Tea and Crumpets he over heard the British Butler ask, “Hungry, Old Chap? Tell me about that Uranium from those Nigers,” (Sound effects: Growl, grumble, gurrrgle,…) and the Guest responds, “Yellow Cake, hmmm…”

So you see, they didn’t really lie, not at all. It’s just like the time, young George W could not tell a lie, “Honest Mom, I didn’t torture no frogs (Inside voice-‘I just done blewed them up’). Or the time Cheney told the press, “I didn’t go to ‘Nam because I had a family (Inside voice-‘because we all know life starts at tumescence’).

It’s not a lie if you don’t tell the whole truth!

I Didn't Choose this Class War...

Posted by Hello

In what is one of the best historical fictions about the French Revolution, Sabatini paints a picture of a cynic turned patriot by his passions. You can read it here for free: Scaramouche

Story in a nutshell: A young man of bastard birth swears vengeance upon a noble, the Count, who cold-bloodedly killed his best friend an innocent, progressive liberal in a set up duel. Afterwards, our hero begins a new life hiding out in a theatrical company where he plays Scaramouche on stage. He falls in love but as fate would have it, said Noble seduces his fiancé! After inciting a riot on the Count and the nobles during his last performance in the theater, he escapes to a Parisian fencing academy where he becomes more than proficient.

Later when asked to duel with those nobles who are using duello to kill the progressive delegates to the French National Assembly. He cynically agrees and enters politics where it ultimately allows him to confront his arch-nemesis, the Count, with sharpened steel.

He later finds out his illegitimate birth is a result of an affaire between ...

But that would be telling!

Starting a Blog: Where's the dummy's guide...? My journey...

So, I threatened all my friends that I would start a blog during my EDD ( Employment Dysfunction Disorder) vacation. So while visiting Suburban Guerilla I wanted to leave a comment and the choice was “Anonymous” or as a member of Blogger. I’m tired of being “Anonymous” So I signed up to Blogger…

And that's where the adventure begins…

First off, it is the usual sign up stuff: Name, rank, & serial number- so far ok. Then pick a template. So I pick one that has a picture on the left side of the page (I’m a left justified kind of guy), and then it get interesting. I make a post and it works, I post a comment and it works-- all of this on Matt Yglesias’ birthday to boot…

But I want to post this picture fromthe book that inspired the name of this blog. Which has been my online pseudonym for the past several years. Thus I was introduced to, an image hostoing service which is also a bastard member of the Google/Blogger clan.

Reading the all help pages is like sinking into a morass…Hell, I need a beer...

Tuesday, May 18, 2004


Why Scaramouche?

The reasons are legion...

- I love the story written by Rafael Sabitini...

- The book had an influence on my life...