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

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Location: Oaksterdam, California

Friday, March 31, 2006

"Live Long and Single"

Please god, not another internet dating service.

Trek Passions:
A 100% free online community and SciFi personals site for science fiction lovers, including but not limited to lovers of Star Trek® and Star Wars.

(totally plagiarized from Bifurcated Rivets)

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Tom Tomorrow Today

At lunch time I skipped out the office to go to a book signing by one the best political cartoonists the Bay Area ever produced.

I arrived at Stacey's at in what was standing room only. That's because they didn't have enough chairs for the 70, or so, people who showed up. They also didn't have any AV projection equipment on hand. Which means the author could not throw up an image of the cartoon panel he was speaking to, instead he winged-it and read the text.

However, that was not so much of an obstacle because, at least for me, most remembered reading all on the ones he talked about. These were the selections spaced between the summer of 2002 and 2004. The lead up to and the aftermath of the Bush war on Iraq. Well not quite the aftermath since it is still on going.

Reading some of his cynical critical cartoonish commentary (an alliterative prognostication, even) from before the war started, it seems impossible to believe that pro-war pundits can say no one could have predicted the mess we are in today.

Tom Tomorrow put it out there in black and white - and in color...

Highy recommended that you buy the book.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Techie Tuesday: iLounge Toilet Paper Dispenser

I know people love their iPods and stuff. But is this taking it a bit too far?

In the toilet
Sporting both a USB slot for the iPod Shuffle and a dock for iPod models with dock connectors, the speakers are housed within the arms that support the toilet paper holder. Navigation buttons allow you to control your player with ease, freeing your other hand for [insert favorite bathroom reading material]. Don't forget to order your complementary RIAA toilet tissue here.

I will never think of the random ten in the same way again...

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Tom Tomorrow will be in town the day after tomorrow...

Fans of Tom Tomorrow will be happy to know that he will in the Bay Area this next week. He will be hawking his latest publication as seen right over there at the folowing locations:

March 29, Wednesday,7 PM, San Francisco
Booksmith, 1644 Haight St.

March 30, Thursday, 12:30 PM, San Francsco
Stacey's Bookstore, 581 Market St.

March 30, Thursday, 7:30 PM, Berkeley
Cody's, 2454 Telegraph Ave.

He is also a noted blogger, one I read regularly ,which makes me wonder if he would like to become a Barbarian?

Maybe he could qualify as a reader? Or as an honorary member by following the rule of, "How can you become a Barbarian? Just show up at one of our gatherings."

Hell, we're not picky...

Saturday, March 25, 2006

DeLay Disarmed

Now here is a headline that should make a lot of people breathe easier DeLay license to carry concealed handgun revoked.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Techie Tuesday: Powered Bras

I dedicate this Techie Tuesday to Avedon Carol who has brought us many a fine 'Bra of the Week' exhibits.

Who can top light-up bras?
Light-up bras make a popular addition to any outfit, and will definitely bring you attention! Here are some examples of our cleavage-enhancing creations - follow the links for more information on each style.

Is there nothing that technology can't enhance? Nothing says look at my tits more than a bra that has scrolling LED's saying, "Don't look at my tits."

Possibly this is directed at the rave crowd who have taken a dislike to glow sticks since they've been tarnished by the actions of a few bad apples in Iraq.

I know I'll never think of a glow stick again in the same light.

It seems the owners of this site have a full line of clothing that will make you feel like you are in the movie Tron.

(via The Red Ferret)

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Scaramouche's Thought for the Day

Why the Republican Party will eventually fail:
It is all about panem et circenses. They know how to run a circus for the populace, but the knowing nothing about bringing
bread to the people.

Otherwise known as the "Shit Sandwich*" -- the more bread you have the less shit you're going to eat...

*Known Side effect: May cause change of government; sometimes by violent revolution.

Now Here's a Scary Thought: If Bush Ruled the World

William Pfaff writing for the International Herald Tribune pens a scathing indictment of the Bush administration's new National Security Strategy statement:
It reveals the administration's foreign policy as a lumpy stew of discredited neoconservative ideas with some neo- Kissingerian geopolitics now mixed in.

The statement's only visible purpose is to address a further threat to Iran, as its predecessor, in 2002, threatened Iraq. The only actual "strategy" that can be deduced from it is that the Bush administration wishes to rule the world. The document is nonsensical in content, insulting to other nations and unachievable in declared intention.

If people read it to find a statement of American foreign policy's objective, they will learn that the United States has "the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world." Good luck.

Leaders around the world have to be scratching their heads wondering if Bush will seriously repeat the mess that that he brought on by invading Iraq. Well, folks they're trying to market the idea of the "The Long War" as a way of returning to those Halcyon days of the Cold War where GOP found their mission of being strong on security. Really, do conservatives ever come up with a new idea, or is only the New and Improved old product with a spanking brand new label?
One asks if its authors foresee a 50- year struggle against Iran? Or with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in the Iraqi desert and Osama bin Laden in his cave in Waziristan? Or against febrile and fanaticized young Muslim men in European ghettos, already repudiated by the immigrant populations from which they come? Surely the great American nation will have better things to do during the next 50 years.

Somehow, like spoiled children, it looks like they're losing interest in their batterd old toy (since it's not so much fun anymore) and are moving on to playing with the Greatest Evil Iranian Mullah Monster Action Figure, Now With Kung Fu Jihadi Grip ™.

Other threats will be underplayed, but kept in sight.

In addition, we are told that the United States today "may face no greater challenge from a single country than from Iran," and that it reserves the right to take "anticipatory action to defend ourselves, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy's attack." Whose attack? Iran's? Under what conceivable circumstances would Iran attack the United States, even if it possessed nuclear weapons?

Finally there is North Korea, which the national strategy document seems to assume already has nuclear weapons. Pyongyang is simply enjoined to "afford freedom to its people," and the North Koreans are warned that the United States will protect itself "against adverse effects of their bad conduct." The Iranian government in Tehran will surely note that pre-emption is not mentioned in connection with North Korea.

In a world that sill has nuclear weapons of which we hold a full deck, actually a peck of decks, there is little being done to dismantle existing weapons (like those of the former Soviet Union) with most of this administration's energy being devoted to not yet existing ones. It's as if the imaginary ones are more real and more threatening. Well they are easier to fight against --it's a matter of resolve, and hard work, very hard work, did I say it's hard work?... For this administration it's almost as if Plato's Cave is today's metaphor for a bomb shelter

I just don't trust this Philosopher King, or his philosphy to rule the world because he is the blind man in a world of one-eyed men.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Wasting Time at Work

No, I'm not talking about 'Surfing the Web' or blogging from the work place.

Where I'm recently employed, at a small office, one of my responsibilities is to catch incoming calls.

I would say over 50% of the calls fielded are not related to our businees but rather sales calls, or if you prefer, telemarketing calls.

There is the the strident voice asking to speak to the owner of the business but will not say why they are calling. They always ask for the boss by first name, in a familiar manner, but decline to leave a message.

This pissed me off back when they called me at home but thank god there was legislation to put a stop to that.

Yet, nothing was ever passed to stop the phone banks from harrassing small businesses.

I think billions of dollars are lost each year anwering the phones, wasting time to devine the reason for the call, and then telling them you're not paid to take telemarketing messages.

Which is why I think this article is flawed.Workus Interruptus

I'd Like a Menu Please...

In all my travels I've seen some truly horrible menu translations, but this is the most hysterical I've ever heard of: May I take your order?.

I can't decide between the "Fragrant bone in garlic in strange flavor," or, "Cowboy Leg Beautiful Pole."

Maybe with a starter of, "Man fruit braise the north almond."

I'd Like a Menu Please...

In all my travels I've seen some truly horrible menu translations, but this is the most hysterical one I've ever heard of: May I take your order?.

I can't decide between the "Fragrant bone in garlic in strange flavor," or, "Cowboy Leg Beautiful Pole."

Maybe with a starter of, "Man fruit braise the north almond."

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Flawed Allen

If you've been following the story Claude Allen, the president's former domestic policy adviser's arrest for refund fraud, some may give him the benefit of the doubt, sort of.

The most interesting development is the new legal theory of the Evil Twin. Floyd or Claude?

Since I saw the term The Refundamentalist as a description of his Christian beliefs. I thought I'd look it up in the Good Book, or any a rececent version or translation therof.

Searching for the term refund in the Bible came up nada in the King James Version, and most other versions as well. However I did find reference to the word refund in the New American Standard Bible (how appropiate) namely a couple of verses in Leviticus, so beloved by our bible thumpers:
27 then he shall calculate the years since its sale and refund the balance to the man to whom he sold it, and so return to his property.

The funny part is this part of the Bible is talking about returning property to the poor man. Will that be his defense?

Or is bibical socialism no longer acceptable to the White House?

Techie Tuesday: How to catch a mouse...

I think I may have a mouse in the house. And if there's one, then you know there's many more.

We have an old cat that's going toothless and the dog just had surgery, so they've been no help at all. Therefore, it's left up to me to find a solution.

So with the power of Google I found a low-tech solution worth trying:
How to catch a mouse without a mousetrap:
- Get a toilet paper tube and crease two lines to form a flat sided tunnel.
- Put a treat on one end of the tube: A cracker and dab of peanut butter works great.
- Get a tall (at least 20 inches) bucket. A trash can works well.
- Balance the tube precariously on the edge of a table or counter with the treat hanging directly over the tall sided receptacle.
- The mouse will scurry to the treat (they like tunnels) and fall into the trap.

Now this approach appeals to me. Not because I'm squeamish, but rather, well, to tell the story...

Many years ago, in a land far, far away, I was trying to learn to speak Nederlandse where I learnt a very cute children's rhyme. The story is about a family of mice going for a ride in their mouse limousine. There not going to the beach, nor the forest, but rather to a special place called zwoertjes land. That where the bacon trees grow and the cheese flowers bloom. But sadly their adventure is derailed by a flat tire and the children wail. However the the mother mouse promise that on the very next day the wil once again set off for zwoertjes land

For those who prefer it in the original:
De muizenford
Met z,n tienen met z,n tienen
in de muizen limousine.
Vader roept om te beginnen;'
kinderen houd je staarten binnen!
Alle kinderen roepen moe,
waar gaat de reis vandaag naar toe?
Piep zegt moe, nou dat je het zegt.
Niet naar de Veluwe niet naar de Vecht.
Niet naar het bos niet naar het strand.
Maar wij gaan naar zwoertjes land.
Waar het spek aan de bomen groeit.
Waar de leidse kaasboom bloeit.
Ieder huis en ieder hek,
is van boterhammen spek.
En daar tussen ruist een stroom,
niet van modder maar van room.
O, wat kan ik er naar verlangen
om met m,n staart in de room te hangen.
Rijden pa, pas op die paal.
Vader drukt op het gaspedaal.
Dan op eens een reuze knal.
Piep piep piep,
Daar heb je het al.
Midden op de grote weg
hebben de muizen banden pech.
Later als het donker wordt
slepen ze de muizenford
heel verdrietig weer naar huis.
Pech gehad zegt vader muis.
Morgen met een nieuwe band.
gaan we toch naar zwoerdjes land.(bad translation here)

All cuteness aside, if the homemade trap doesn't work then I'll get The victor Electonic Mouse trap that zaps em dead.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The War on Avian Flu

Breaking News: Inside sources tell me that Bush is about to announce his plans for The War on the Avian Flu.

His first step will be to launch a preemptive attack on the Canary Islands...

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Could We Lose Our Army in Iraq?

In a thoughtful, historical opinion piece Gary Hart warns that US Army in jeopardy in Iraq:
IN 1812, Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Russia and, after success at the battle of Borodino, marched on and occupied Moscow. Napoleon and his generals took over the palaces of the court princes and great houses of the mighty boyars.

Sadly for Napoleon, the Russians had different plans for their nation. Within days after abandoning their city to the French army, they torched their own palaces, homes, enterprises, and cathedrals. They burned Moscow down around Napoleon. Denied his last great triumph, the disappointed emperor abandoned Moscow and started home. Along the way, he lost the world's most powerful army.

Recently one of Islamic Shi'ites' most revered sites, the golden mosque in Baghdad, was destroyed by sectarian enemies. By this act and the reprisals that followed, Iraq moved a substantial step closer to civil war. Though a remote, but real, possibility, an Iraqi civil war could cost the United States its army.

Hopefully, leaders are planning for this possibility. If sectarian violence escalates further, US troops must be withdrawn from patrol and confined to their barracks and garrisons. Mass transport must be mustered for rapid withdrawal of those troops from volatile cities in the explosive central region of Iraq. Intensive diplomatic efforts must be focused on preventing an Iraqi civil war from spreading to Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Syria. Such a potential could make the greater Middle East a tinder box for years, if not decades, to come.

But the first concern must be the safety of US forces. It is strange to contemplate the possibility that the greatest army in world history could be slaughtered in a Middle East conflagration. But prudent commanders have no choice but to plan for this danger.

I'm not so sure that we have any prudence left with these civilian masters at the Pentagon. There appears to be no disaster recovery plans in case the shit heads south, because there seems to be no realisation that's the direction things are headed. I's possible that's being kept out of the public eye while they paint rosy pictures of 'last throws' and deny that cvil war is taking place. I mean most civil wars do not start with an announcent. Not at least since Fort Sumter.

As the former Senator continues:
In greatest danger are the units in the Sunni central region cities. They are in real jeopardy if tens of thousands of angry Sunni and Shi'ite citizens, supported by their sectarian militias, surround and then overrun those units before they can be withdrawn.

If the whole iraqi populace of 25 million plus turn on our forces they would be overwhelmed. No doubt about it. The slaughter would be horrible. The question is would the US use its nuclear arsenal to prevent that? Is that the ace up the sleeve?

Now some may say this defeatism. There is no way the the best military in the world can be defeated. History will tell us differently. That Rome lost legions in the forests across the Rhine. That the British lost a continent to people willing to die for the land they lived on. It is always possible. Is anyone at the Pentagon considering that possibility?

The United States lost one war not too long ago in Vietnam. Conditions are taking shape that could result in the same outcome in Iraq. Not to plan now for this apocalyptic possibility would be tantamount to criminal neglect on the part of our political and military leadership.

A major part of the dilemma we have created is the result of failure to know the history and complex culture of Iraq. As we refused to learn from the French experience in Indochina, we also failed to learn from the British experience in Iraq. We are on the cusp of religion and antique hatred overtaking whatever latent instincts toward democracy we may have relied on or tried to instill. We face the reemergence of 11th-century Assassins and 17th-century ethnic fundamentalism arising to replace a century of ideology -- imperialism, fascism, and communism.

The character of warfare and violence is being transformed. The warfare of the future is not World War II, or even Korea or Vietnam. It is Mogadishu and Fallujah -- low-intensity conflict among tribes, clans, and gangs. We are not prepared for that kind of warfare.

It saddens me that we have blind politicians who went along with this foray into Iraq. Don't they know when you let loose the Dogs of War there's always a chance of getting bit in the ass?

So could we lose our Army in Irag? Only the Gods of Wars know for sure...

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Quote of the Day - Abramoff

"I have more pictures of Newt than I have of my wife," says Jack Abramoff about the fallen congressional leader Newt Gingrich in a story at Vanity Fair

First of all, that sounds plain kinky. Second, does any of those pics involve goats? Pictures and political favors smacks of blackmail.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Barbarian Ides of March

Be There or be square.

Sorry, I've waited a long time to use that pun...

Liberal Founding Fathers

I have long held the belief that the Founding Fathers were liberal and progressive. Hell, they were revolutionary, even.

Not bad company to keep if you didn't want hang out separately.

Normally I don't swipe a whole article but this one by Paul Lewis is worth the risk -The nattering nabobs of ... patriotism?
Declaration of Independence: The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations.

Samuel Adams: If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.

Thomas Paine:What is called the splendour of a throne is no other than the corruption of the state. It is made up of a band of parasites, living in luxurious indolence, out of the public taxes.

Press briefing, St. James's Palace

Scott McClellan, Esq.: Following a brief comment on criticism of the administration from across the Atlantic, I'll take your questions. I need hardly remind you that these are perilous times. Times when Indian uprisings in the colonies and challenges to commerce on the high seas make security concerns paramount. In this context, we welcome constructive ideas, but, alas, hear nothing but negativity from our critics. Do they have any ideas, any positive agenda? I don't think so.

The McLaughlin Group, PBS

John McLaughlin: Look, there are many leaders in America, but you've got to wonder if they are ever going to get their act together. Watch this clip. [Shows Jefferson, Adams and Paine making the comments above.] OK, so we've heard the latest round of potshots fired by these so-called revolutionaries. I ask YOU, Pat Buchanan, what you make of these comments.

Eleanor Clift: Now, John, am I ever going to ...

Pat Buchanan: John, it's the same mean-spirited attack we've been hearing for decades from places like Boston and Richmond. How much easier it is to call the King's appointees "vain and aspiring" than it is to advance a positive agenda.

Tony Blankley: Pat's right, John. It's easier to whine about supporting "parasites" than to see how the monarchy stimulates economic growth by employing throne builders and gourmet chefs.

Eleanor Clift: But, John, John ...

John McLaughlin: Bye, bye!

Royal press conference, St. James's Palace:

Q: Your Majesty, would you care to comment on the recent pointless and purely negative attacks by the Americans?

King George III: I'm glad you put that question on the table, Wolf, where it can be carved up and batted around. There are those who say that when it comes to the development of agendas, negativityness, or negativitude, or negativitality will never convince those who are themselves not as negative as the agenda developers. And I think I'll just leave it there, heh, heh. Now, where are my parasites?

Fox News crawl: King George decries "negativitude" ... Britannia continues to rule waves ... Music reviewer Lord Slumber calls "Yankee Doodle" a "stupid song," others agree ... Philadelphia overrated as tourist attraction ... George Washington flatulent ...

The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News

Tom Paine: These are the times that try men's ...

Bill O'Reilly: Will you just shut up! Look, I have one question for you. First, it's the King you smear with your negativity, calling his court a "band of parasites," then it's God. Did or didn't you say that Jesus was a "virtuous and amiable man"? A man, is that all? When are you liberals going to end your war on ... No positive agenda. No positive agenda. Shut up! - Top Stories

Americans Surprise Themselves by Having an Original Idea

"Positive Agenda" Ranges from Insult to Invective

Paine's Latest Line of Attack: "Rich people suck"

The Rush Limbaugh Show, EIB Network

Rush Limbaugh: My friends, we've been hearing this for years and years from these witless Americans. Hating the rich, cryin' crocodile tears over the poor, why it's nothing but class warfare. Do they have a positive agenda or is their best shot whining about vague "injuries and usurpations"? Recent attack lines from American liberals are all too familiar. Usually the nonsense they spout is kind of cute, but in times of danger their instinctive idiocy is life-threatening. And, as for threatening lives, maybe it's time to dump some of them in Boston Harbour. And where, I for one would ask, is their positive agenda?

I wonder if the pamphleteers of yore had pamphelteer wars between the right-wing, executive loving, and the left-wing, for the people, pamphletersphere?

Good Golly Miss Molly - Don't Stop Makin' Sense

Few good idea seem to come out of Texas, but Molly Ivins is on fire with this piece: Molly Ivins: Enough of the D.C. Dems :
Mah fellow progressives, now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of the party. I don’t know about you, but I have had it with the D.C. Democrats, had it with the DLC Democrats, had it with every calculating, equivocating, triangulating, straddling, hair-splitting son of a bitch up there, and that includes Hillary Rodham Clinton.

I will not be supporting Senator Clinton because: a) she has no clear stand on the war and b) Terri Schiavo and flag-burning are not issues where you reach out to the other side and try to split the difference. You want to talk about lowering abortion rates through cooperation on sex education and contraception, fine, but don’t jack with stuff that is pure rightwing firewater.

I can’t see a damn soul in D.C. except Russ Feingold who is even worth considering for President. The rest of them seem to me so poisonously in hock to this system of legalized bribery they can’t even see straight.

Look at their reaction to this Abramoff scandal. They’re talking about “a lobby reform package.” We don’t need a lobby reform package, you dimwits, we need full public financing of campaigns, and every single one of you who spends half your time whoring after special interest contributions knows it. The Abramoff scandal is a once in a lifetime gift—a perfect lesson on what’s wrong with the system being laid out for people to see. Run with it, don’t mess around with little patches, and fix the system.

As usual, the Democrats have forty good issues on their side and want to run on thirty-nine of them. Here are three they should stick to:

1) Iraq is making terrorism worse; it’s a breeding ground. We need to extricate ourselves as soon as possible. We are not helping the Iraqis by staying.

2) Full public financing of campaigns so as to drive the moneylenders from the halls of Washington.

3) Single-payer health insurance.

Every Democrat I talk to is appalled at the sheer gutless.(read the rest)

What we need is firebrands, I tell ya, firebrands!

Comic Books and Juvenile Delinquency

This some how relates to the prior post: 1954 Senate Interim Report - Comic Books and Juvenile Delinquency.

A lot of the congressional report is about sex. Plus ca change, plus reste le meme.

(via Information Junk)

What is the Religion of Comic Book Characters

I try and write about religion every now and then. But some people have too much time on their hands.

Now this is plain odd, Religion of Comic Book Characters, yet fascinating all the same.

-Superman a Methodist?
-Batman an Episopalian?
-Captain America a Protestant? Well, that figures...

(via Incoming Signals)

Pure Artistry.

Some people are so gifted and can do magical things and that's why I want to share The most amazing ukelele playing you will ever see!

It's really unbelievable.

(via Hot Links)

Monday, March 06, 2006

Back Online Redux

Finally the new modem is hooked up. Well, for all the good things I've been saying about SBCglobal I now have my reservations. I asked that the modem be sent to my office. I was told it would be. But no, it was sent to the house which UPS can never find and required a trip to the UPS distibution center. What an inconvenient waste of time...