The real reason BushCo wants the Google records:
They heard about google-bombing and they want to try it.
The Prairie Angel returns from her galactic wandering and finds mischief afoot!
The real reason BushCo wants the Google records:
They heard about google-bombing and they want to try it.
Ya miss me?
I know, I haven't had a lot of time for you lately, PA fan. But if you really need some Prairie Angel, and have always wondered just what Cyberpunk was, check out my article here.
Prince Harry, completing his army officer training, has chosen to join a regiment which could be deployed in Iraq.Noblesse Oblige is a foreign concept to many in America - don't expect to see the Bush girls in uniform any time soon, even for the Salvation Army.
Harry, 21, third in line to the throne, has opted to join the Blues and Royals regiment of the Household Cavalry, his father Prince Charles's Clarence House residence said Wednesday.
The Household Cavalry are expected to be deployed to Iraq in the future.
The 'I' word at last
No, not that I-word... From Harold Meyerson in today's WaPo:
Bush the IncompetentHe goes on to describe how the administration has managed to make total hash out of everything they try to do.
Incompetence is not one of the seven deadly sins, and it's hardly the worst attribute that can be ascribed to George W. Bush. But it is this president's defining attribute. Historians, looking back at the hash that his administration has made of his war in Iraq, his response to Hurricane Katrina and his Medicare drug plan, will have to grapple with how one president could so cosmically botch so many big things -- particularly when most of them were the president's own initiatives.
I might take exception to this, however: "Incompetence is not one of the seven deadly sins, and it's hardly the worst attribute that can be ascribed to George W. Bush."
Incompetence is the defining flaw of this administration. While most people agree Saddam Hussein was a Bad Man and the world would be better off if he were not in charge of a country anywhere and thus supported his ouster in theory, I suspect no one thought anyone could fuck it up as badly as the Bush Regime.
A well-intentioned incompetent is arguably worse than an evil genius. (And I'm not vouching for BushCo's good intentions when I say this - I don't think they have any.) Nixon was by most accounts non-stupid, and while undeniably not a particularly nice man, actually accomplished a few good things while trying to undermine the separation of powers.
The only saving grace to the Bush Regime's global incompetence is that there's a good possibility that they will fuck up their ongoing efforts to overthrow the constitution.
This just in...
Hmm... #2 and #5 seem to be contradictory. I can vouch for #8 tho'. Yeah, I knoooow....
Sci-fi and Fantasy Fans, report!
Are you nuts about Science Fiction? Fanatical about Fantasy? Do you have a LOT to say on these topics? Then visit my Love to Know Sci-Fi site and sign up as a contributor. LTK-Sci-Fi is a wiki, and from now until Feb 28th, we're running a contest - you can win up to $150 in cash for contributing. I'm telling special friends first so you can get a jump on the competition.
Useful info du jour - how to put bunnies in a trance.
Ben cleans George's clock
From the DailyKos:
The Great Franklin-Bush debate...in 6 rounds:
Bush: America must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof, the smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud. Franklin: All wars are follies, very expensive and very mischievous ones. In my opinion, there never was a good war or a bad peace. When will mankind be convinced and agree to settle their difficulties by arbitration?
Bush: Health care reform must begin with Medicare; Medicare is the binding commitment of a caring society. We must renew that commitment by giving seniors access to preventive medicine and new drugs that are transforming health care in America. Franklin: Well done is better than well said.
Bush: There is no "trust fund," just IOUs that I saw firsthand, that future generations will pay---will pay for either in higher taxes, or reduced benefits, or cuts to other critical government programs. The office here in Parkersburg stores those IOUs. They're stacked in a filing cabinet. Imagine---the retirement security for future generations is sitting in a filing cabinet. It's time to strengthen and modernize Social Security for future generations with growing assets that you can control, that you call your own---assets that the government cannot take away. Franklin: Half a truth is often a great lie.
Bush: The fact that somebody leaked this program [of illegally spying on Americans without a warrant] causes great harm to the United States. There's an enemy out there. Franklin: Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.
Bush: I'm a uniter, not a divider. I refuse to play the politics of putting people into groups and pitting one group against another. Franklin: Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools, that don't have brains enough to be honest.
Bush: I'm not going to change my mind. Franklin: For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions, even on important subjects, which I once thought right but found to be otherwise. ... When you're finished changing, you're finished.
Final score: Bush 0 Franklin 6
That's right---the guy with the cardiovascular system of a teenager just got his clock cleaned by a 300 year-old man.
Happy 300th, Ben
Not to take anything away from Martin Luther King, Jr., whose birthday is today, but I wanted to give you all a heads-up. Tomorrow Benjamin Franklin turns a venerable 300, and it's gonna be big. If you're planning to go out, get reservations - the whole town will be partying.
The only Founder who signed not only the Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Paris that ended the War for Independence and the Constitution of the United States, Ben was a notable diplomat. But I love him for his inventions.
And here's a latter-day namesake:
Little Bitty Ben
That's what we always called Walter Chronkite, only partly ironically, when I was growing up. Today's question is, can Uncle Walter once again turn the tide of opinion against an inept 'war president'?
Former CBS anchor Walter Cronkite, whose 1968 conclusion that the Vietnam War was unwinnable keenly influenced public opinion then, said Sunday he'd say the same thing today about Iraq.Story.
"It's my belief that we should get out now," Cronkite said in a meeting with reporters.
I <3 Richard Dawkins
On page one of The Ancestor's Tale, he writes: "Evolutionary history can be represented as one damn species after another."
Okay, he's on the Prairie Angel's Boyfriends List.
A Religion for the Rest of Us
There's an interesting note at the bottom of their homepage:
Marc Perkel, the founder of the Church of Reality is now listed on the American TSA list as a terrorist suspect. The TSA (US Transportation Security Administration) maintains a "selectee list" which lists people who are flagged for heightened security screening. This list, which has not caught a single real terrorist, is used mostly as a political enemies list against activists who are speaking out against government abuses of power.
"In some ways this is a badge of honor", states Marc Perkel, First One of the Church of Reality. In this environment of repression of non-Christian religions in America, if you aren't on the TSA list you aren't getting your message out. I consider it to be an acknowledgement that I'm doing my job."
This selectee list is not the worst list that the TSA has. Marc is not on the no fly list which would have prevented him from flying at all. This is just a harassment list that the US government keeps to intimidate activists.
As a result, the United States of America is now on the Church of Reality list of nations who are hostile to Realism and Realists and the US is a nation that is moving in a dangerous direction towards oppressing religious freedom.
Got your cloak right here
I mentioned below the story about the 'satanist' who's running for Governor of Minnesota. Wonkette (who's now MALE and how he gets away with calling himself WONKETTE beats the hellouta me, but I digress) also has the story, with a pic.
I rush to point out that the candidate is tastefully clad in an Open Circle cotton cloak in the burgundy 'dragon' print. And if you want one, you can get it right here.
(Hey. My store. My blog.)
Oprah and Mary Sue
I've been kind of immersed in Sci-fi lately and have only been paying minimal attention to the James Frey story playing out on the periphery of my attention, but I did love Anderson Cooper's description of him: "If in fact he's pretending to be this badass... crack-slinging, police-punching guy, you know, all of a sudden, he's not. He's this guy who brings his mom to "LARRY KING."
Anyway, I finally figured out why Frey and Oprah piss me off so much in spite of my lack of overwhelming interest in the story. He essentially 'Mary Sued' his own life. And Oprah's cool with that. Sheesh. (If you don't know what a Mary Sue is, visit the wikipedia definition and see if that doesn't resonate.)
Particularly noisome was Oprah's insistence that his fictitious bio doesn't change any 'essential truths' - hey, you can find essential truth in fiction, Oprah. There's any number of Essential Truths in Moby Dick, or Anna Karenina.
But nonfiction sells better than fiction, so pretending fiction is nonfiction for profit is ... well, fraud.
I usually hate these, but Some Watery Tart has the Best Blonde Joke Ever.
Got MY vote.
Looking for something really, really different in a political candidate this year?
Take a gander at Jonathon (The Impaler) Sharkey, who will launch his gubernatorial campaign in Princeton, Minn., on Friday the 13th as a "satanic dark priest" and the leader of the "Vampyres, Witches and Pagans Party."
Since there's nothing but a $300 filing fee to stop anyone from running for statewide office, campaigns in Minnesota typically attract colorful and eccentric characters looking for attention. And of course, former Gov. Jesse Ventura broke the mold and got elected. But Minnesota may never have seen a more outside-the-box politician than the Impaler, also a former pro wrestler.
The 13-point platform on his extensive website (www.jonathonforgovernor.us) offers a number of conventional policy initiatives, including emphasis on education, tax breaks for farmers and better benefits for veterans.
Quite some distance from the mainstream, however, is his pledge to execute -- by impalement in front of the State Capitol -- terrorists, rapists, drug dealers, child abusers, repeat drunken drivers and anybody who preys on the elderly.
"I'm going to be totally open and honest," he said. "Unlike other candidates, I'm not going to hide my evil side."
Story here. Follow link for great pic of His Undeadness. Thanks to the Space Ace for TEH tip.
I used to have a bumpersticker that said "Vote for Chthulu. Why choose the LESSER of two evils?"
Son of WTF??
Okay, what's going on? It's like Norman Bates time out there... First there's this:
Woman Who Died in '03 Left in Front of TVThen there's this:
The mummified body of a woman who didn't want to be buried was found in a chair in front of her television set 2 1/2 years after her death, authorities said.
Son seals mother's body in wardrobeThen there's this:
An Italian man 'mummified' the body of his 71-year-old mother when she died, stashing it away in the bedroom wardrobe three years ago and sealing it with silicone gel.
Woman offers her dead body for displayIs this something like Missing White Chicks? something that always happened but is suddenly of High Media Interest?
A Toronto woman, not content with having merely a dusty demise, has become the first Canadian to donate her body for public display after she dies.
Been kind of busy, but I couldn't not share this:
Heh. Context is all
So blogger TBogg says: "As I have said before, I'm as hetero as the next guy (providing of course that he's, you know, also hetero) but I'm not that hetero..."
What's he talking about? Click here; it makes sense if you know.
It's someone's BIRTHDAY!
Yes, cubby Tai Shan is Six Months Old!
Not to inflict a bummer on anyone, but this means that one full QUARTER of our time with Tai Shan has drawn to a close. I hope someone is working with the State Department to get him political asylum in the next eighteen months...
Blue-Eyed Thousand Yard Stare, or When Well-Bred Boys Go Native:
Thanks to Dancing Nancy for the photomanip; girl's a genius.
Insisting that God "certainly needs to be involved" in the Supreme Court confirmation process, three Christian ministers today blessed the doors of the hearing room where Senate Judiciary Committee members will begin considering the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito on Monday.I'm going to have to insist that in the interests of equal time, they allow a medicine man to do a 'cedaring' of the area, a feng shui consultant perform a space clearing, a Buddhist do a Jivamala meditation and a Wiccan High Priestess do a purification ceremony.
Capitol Hill police barred them from entering the room to continue what they called a consecration service. But in a bit of one-upsmanship, the three announced that they had let themselves in a day earlier, touching holy oil to the seats where Judge Alito, the senators, witnesses, Senate staffers and the press will sit, and praying for each of the 13 committee members by name.
"We did adequately apply oil to all the seats," said the Rev. Rob Schenck, who identified himself as an evangelical Christian and as president of the National Clergy Council in Washington.
Bodies still being found
Barry Cowsill, of the 60s pop group The Cowsills, has just been identified as among the dead in New Orleans. The most alarming part of this story is that his body was just discovered on Dec 28th, a full four months after Katrina. And it's not that it was buried under debris or hidden in a building that hadn't been searched - apparently it was laying out on a wharf! He was identified, obviously, by dental records...
This raises the question (no, it doesn't BEG the question - see below), how many other bodies are just laying around in unexplored parts of the devastated region? What's Katrina's total death toll? And will this figure be buried as completely as Katrina's victims themselves lest it grow to overshadow the sacred cow that is 9-11 death toll?
Begging the Question
You may have missed the Great Begging the Question Debate over at Kevin Drum's Political Animal. To recap, Kevin used the Phrase to mean, 'raising the question'. He was immediately pounced upon by purists (yes, I joined the howling mob) who insisted that the Phrase meant 'you have proved nothing, because you have assumed your consequent', or that what you were pretending to prove was in fact buried in your assumption and you have committed a logical fallacy. Kevin said something to the effect that okay, okay, the phrase has a strict logical meaning but since most people now use it to mean 'raising the question', his usage is equally correct. This didn't appease the mob.
Today he good-naturedly points us to this, which settles the debate once and for all, I hope.
NSA wiretapping Amanpour???
Americablog's John-in-DC is all over this story; follow link and then see more links in left-hand nav-bar.
NBC's Andrea Mitchell appears to be investigating the story. Girl Power!
What's particularly interesting about this is that when the NSA wiretapping first arose, it was said that to challenge it in court, you would have to have been a victim of wiretapping, and since it was secret, you could be a wiretapping target and never know it. Will NBC's investigation (and I would hope CNN is investigating as well) lead to a number of people who actually know they have been wiretapped through this program? And if so, will they challenge?
I've always had a bit of a straight-girl crush on Amanpour, and I gotta say, she would not be the first person I'd want to piss off, if I needed to piss off someone.
Could become very interesting...
Round up the usual suspects
The usual blogs on left and right are rushing to blame the media for rushing their reporting on last night's developments in the mine disaster. The typical complaint is that they should not have reported that the families believed that the miners had survived until they had gotten independent confirmation.
Other than turning the cameras off completely, it's not clear to me what they could have done. If there's any point to 24-hour news at all, it's to have cameras wherever news is breaking. If the cameras see/hear bells ringing, hugging, happy people and general scenes of jubilation, are they supposed to not record it? or record and not transmit it? People were running up to reporters telling them that mine officials had told them that 12 miners were found alive. The CNN reporters at least (I can't watch Fox; it makes me nauseous) repeatedly said they were awaiting official confirmation of this.
The first reports of survivors turned out to be untrue, but to say that they never should have aired it until they'd received official confirmation from mine officials is like saying they should only print/air news from the war that had been confirmed by the Pentagon; should only print/air White House news confirmed by Scott McClelland. Should report, in fact, that Michael Brown was doing a heck of a job.
The weirdest part of the story was that the company knew twenty minutes after initial reports that they were not true, and didn't contradict the errors, because they didn't know exactly who was dead and alive. How hard would it have been to stick someone in front of cameras to say, "We believe there are more casualties than originally reported", without getting into details?
If anything, this story showed the danger of sequestering the media away from the story. People from the community were seeking out reporters to tell them, in so many words, 'the world needs to know that they (the company) are lying to us'. First word that the original reports of twelve survivors was wrong came from a member of the community walking up to Anderson Cooper and telling him what was going on in the church. I guess the purists should have had him shut off the camera and tell her he couldn't take her report, because it was 'unconfirmed'...
License to Steal
The following is from a reader of Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo. I want to make sure you understand - This is NOT Josh Marshall here. TPM reader LH compares Abramoffukah to ABSCAM and says:
If you recall "Abscam" was a DOJ sting operation that offered bribes to congressmen. It turned out that it was a very successful sting and several members of Congress were prosecuted. But then the operation was terminated although if anything was learned it was that there were more opportunities for success. It was terminated precisely because of its success. The DOJ determined that they might be able to unseat as much as a third of the sitting Congress if they continued. DOJ determined that if they did continue then what began as a law enforcement project could alter the political balance within the Legislative branch. The DOJ decided, rightly I believe, that it was not their place to fundamentally alter that political balance.So the point that LH seems to be making here is that it's okay to steal, as long as you can insure that a sufficient number of your colleagues are stealing as well. Which, coincidentally, seems to be the exact situation we're in now.
And so it will be with TAM (the Abramoff Matter; I prefer Abramoffukkah myself - ED). At some point TAM will become a potent enough matter to be profoundly political in nature and those involved in the legal system will have to withdraw. To do otherwise would be to improperly engage the legal system in a political contest and undermine the foundational premise of an independent judiciary.
DUH. They already think elective office is a license to steal. Do we really need to do anything to encourage this?
The entire impeachment process is the legislature attempting to alter the political balance through the exercise of the law. If you do a little reducio ad absurdum on LH's argument, once elected to office, anyone becomes above the law, because they have be appointed by the political process and the judiciary must keep out of politics. Give me a tiny little fucking break.
Um. I don't buy LH's argument, in case you missed my point.
I can't recall if I ever sent you all to my favorite online song. Go here. Then come back and tell me if you don't think that's the funniest ever. Much funnier than badgers.
Running Down the Road Trying to Loosen My Load
The store was open for business yesterday, so I was driving home circa 9 PM. Leaving Leesburg, going maybe 45 in a 35 MPH zone... flashing lights in the rear view!
I pulled over and waited for the infant boy in uniform (where DO they recruit them these days?) He said something like 'going kind of fast there'. What can you say? I said, as I handed him license and registration, "Sorry, the Temptations were on the radio and I was singing along." Perfectly true, btw. He probably had no idea who the temptations were.
He flashed his flashlight on the windshield and kindly neglected to notice my expired safety inspection sticker. I think he was embarrassed to discover he had pulled over a seven-year-old Plymouth Breeze. He told me to slow down and sent me on my way.
I drove 52 MPH in the 55 zone the rest of the way home. Still singing along though, but by now it was the Eagles...
Looking for a lover who won't blow my cover, they're sooooo hard to fiiiind.
I'm feeling particularly intergalactic lately (tell you why in a bit), so I thought I'd let my Prairie Angel logo shake loose the bonds of earth for a while. Ahhhhh. Feels gooooood.
What He Said II
Yay, Kevin's back! And he says: "Look, if even John Ashcroft had qualms about the NSA's secret domestic spying program, as Newsweek reports today, I think it's safe to say that something is seriously wrong here."
TRex Speaks for Many.
Heh. What he said.