Friday, March 31, 2006

The Few, The Proud

Sadly, No documents more Selfless Martyrs of the keyboard. It's quite humorous.

Honestly, is there any equivalent on the left, someone who is so impressed with their own bravery and unstinting self-sacrifice for ... blogging??

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Next we'll call her a traitor and a slut

Wow! There really is no depths too low. Here's people talking on Imus about Jill Carroll:

MCGUIRK: She strikes me as the kind of woman who would wear one of those suicide vests. You know, walk into the — try and sneak into the Green Zone.
IMUS: Oh, no. No, no, no, no.
MCCORD: Just because she always appears in traditional Arab garb and wearing a burka.
MCGUIRK: Yeah, what’s with the head gear? Take it off. Let’s see.

MCCORD: Exactly. She cooked with them, lived with them.
IMUS: This is not helping.
MCGUIRK: She may be carrying Habib’s baby at this point.
Man, when it's so vile even Imus is objecting...


Josh: "Ahh, a thing of beauty. Wikipedia says there's a new noun: 'Kaloogian.' It describes "the use of a false or out-of-context image in order to advance an idea.""

First we'll call her crazy

Jill Carroll is released today after months in captivity. The first words out of conservative mouths?

It's wonderful that she's free, but after watching someone who was a hostage for three months say on television she was well-treated because she wasn't beaten or killed -- while being dressed in the garb of a modest Muslim woman rather than the non-Muslim woman she actually is -- I expect there will be some Stockholm Syndrome talk in the coming days.
That sets them up, see. They can call her a deluded traitor if she refuses to serve their purposes.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


You can't make this stuff up. The GOP candidate running for felon Randy Cunningham's seat, to show how 'peaceful' and 'prosperous' downtown Baghdad really is thanks to the US, and to make the point that the Main Stream Media slants the coverage to present a false picture, posts a photograph of happy, peaceful people calmly going about their business in a suburb of ... Istanbul.

This is how they think.

Hugh Hewitt appeared on AC360 a couple times last week on a panel report with Time's Michael Ware on the subject of whether or not the media is spinning the coverage of the war in Iraq out of some sort of anti-American defeatism. On both occasions, Ware cleaned Hewitt's clock. Of course, Ware was in Baghdad, which gives him a little more clout on the subject...

To do him credit, Hewitt subsequently had Ware on his radio program, where he interviewed him at length on how one covers a shooting war, and it is amazing reading. Not only amazing for what journalists in Iraq are having to deal with and the daily dangers they face, but for how Hewitt - inadvertently, I'm sure - reveals how the Keyboard Kommandos of Cult Bush view themselves.

At one point Hewitt interrupts Ware to tell him that because he, Hewitt, is broadcasting from the Empire State Building, he's as much on the 'front lines' as Ware, who has actually been both embedded with 'coalition' forces and has gotten inside insurgent elements and reported from there.

Hewitt also tries, fairly politely, to make the case that Ware's reporting from the insurgent side is the moral equivalent of going inside the Nazi regime to report on it (and I think most people during WWII would have found such reporting, if it could have been done, invaluable). Hewitt's point, not terribly subtle, was that there was something ever-so-slightly treasonous about Ware's reporting on the insurgency FROM the insurgency.

This to a man who has had a personalized death-threat from Zarqawi. Pretty brave, Hugh...

But there you have it; the cultists think we're fighting WWII and that they're on the front lines.

Anyway, read the whole thing for Michael's frankly hair-raising account of life as a journalist in Iraq today, his insight into the insurgency and where it sprang from, and the leavening of unintentional humor as Hewitt tries to make his role equivalent to Michael's.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Aw... baby's first protest

From today's WaPo:

About 250 Northern Virginia high schoolers demonstrated yesterday against congressional legislation aimed at curbing illegal immigration.


A group of eight middle schoolers from Edgar Allen Poe in Annandale also walked out of class in protest. They returned shortly after a discussion with the principal, school officials said.


Students said they organized the protest by posting bulletins on the Web site .


You'll have to excuse me. I get all verklempt.


And I can PROVE it:

Okay, he was reading comments from the 360 blog, but that one was mine and he even pronounced Arachnae right.

The subject I was responding to was the exorcist casting demons out of people in Oklahoma and my comment in full was:

Whatever next? burning heretics at the stake?

You know, there's a time and place for being respectful of the beliefs of others, and there's ALSO a time and place for being alarmed as the nation spirals further and further down into Middle Ages beliefs, distrust of science and apocalyptic yearnings.

We all watch in alarm as Afghanistan plans to execute a guy for converting to Christianity, and yet in our own country, there are people who would, if they could, disqualify you for a job or a loan or an adoption because you're NOT a Christian.

I can't be the only one to find it ironic that we're fighting Islamic fundamentalism abroad while ignoring the very real dangers of Christian fundamentalism at home.

Edited for space, I guess, heh. Still. Anderson Cooper. Said. My. Name...

Monday, March 27, 2006

Ya miss me?

If you're missing the eight-legged one, here's a little something I wrote for a movie site recently: Snakes on a Plane!

Sunday, March 26, 2006


Agreeing with Newt Gingrich, that is.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who masterminded the 1994 elections that brought Republicans to power on promises of revolutionizing the way Washington is run, told Time that his party has so bungled the job of governing that the best campaign slogan for Democrats today could be boiled down to just two words: "Had enough?"

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Finding plagiarism

Since finding plagiarism is in the news and all around the blogosphere right now, I thought I'd share something some of you haven't seemed to have discovered yet: Copyscape It's cool - you enter a URL and it tells you if the page is significantly duplicated anywhere online. Of course, since most blogs quote extensively (and the legitimate ones provide citations), you will see a lot of returns from the average blog page. Still, for people trying to protect their copyright, it's a godsend.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Sidewalk art

This guy does amazing stuff on sidewalks. See my pastel site to see bigger pics.

Whiny kids grow up to be conservatives

Come on, we knew this:

How to Spot a Baby Conservative

Remember the whiny, insecure kid in nursery school, the one who always thought everyone was out to get him, and was always running to the teacher with complaints? Chances are he grew up to be a conservative.

At least, he did if he was one of 95 kids from the Berkeley area that social scientists have been tracking for the last 20 years. The confident, resilient, self-reliant kids mostly grew up to be liberals.

... In the 1960s Jack Block and his wife and fellow professor Jeanne Block (now deceased) began tracking more than 100 nursery school kids as part of a general study of personality. The kids' personalities were rated at the time by teachers and assistants who had known them for months. There's no reason to think political bias skewed the ratings — the investigators were not looking at political orientation back then. Even if they had been, it's unlikely that 3- and 4-year-olds would have had much idea about their political leanings.

A few decades later, Block followed up with more surveys, looking again at personality, and this time at politics, too. The whiny kids tended to grow up conservative, and turned into rigid young adults who hewed closely to traditional gender roles and were uncomfortable with ambiguity.

The confident kids turned out liberal and were still hanging loose, turning into bright, non-conforming adults with wide interests. The girls were still outgoing, but the young men tended to turn a little introspective.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Welcome to a Handmaid's Tale

In Missouri, House GOP Bans County Health Clinics From Providing Birth Control.

It's not just abortion, people. The theocrats want women out of the workforce and back birthing babies and they mean it.

Not warp drive

... but maybe eventually transporter beams??

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Great Moments in Fatherhood

What is it with all the deadbeat dads lately? Witness:

Ted Gambordella dislikes the idea that his only son, a Highland Park High junior, is a Democrat. He loathes it so much that he has flat-out refused to pay for his son's college education unless he becomes a Republican.

"Yeah, I'm serious," said Mr. Gambordella, a 57-year-old martial arts expert. "He's got to earn his own way."

That suits Teddy just fine.

The 17-year-old said there's no way he'll switch to the GOP just to get his father's financial backing. He recently started a Web site – – to raise money for college.

Go buy pixels today...

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Okay, okay...

I know I said a guy couldn't be a wonkette, but I have to admit the new Wonkette(s) are growing on me:

(E)ven if Moussaoui had mailed in a notarized letter to the TSA in early September, 2001, letting them know that a bunch of guys were going to run airplanes into buildings next Tuesday, please see attached pictures and Orbitz itineraries, the government still would’ve found a way to fuck it up.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Cronkite Moment?

I keep hoping and hoping for the definitive "Cronkite Moment" of this pathetic adminstration. Here's another candidate:

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill met with reporters to talk about their upcoming tour, but ended up venting their frustration with the cleanup efforts along the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.


When asked by reporters during Wednesday's round table about the government's slow progress, Hill, 38, said, "It's wrong. It's embarrassing. It really gets us fired up. That's our homeland."


The 38-year-old country singer also criticized President Bush, who visited the devastated Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans on Wednesday.

"There's no reason why someone can't go down there — who's supposed to be the leader of the free world — and say, `I'm giving you a job to do and I'm not leaving here until it's done. And you're held accountable,'" he said.


When asked what their fans could do to help, McGraw said: "Vote."

Whoa. If it's safe for country stars to finally be able to criticism the administration, it might actually be on its last legs.

Analog for an Administration

I found this tale too too piquant:

A former adviser to President Bush was arrested this week in Maryland and charged with swindling two department stores out of more than $5,000 in a refund scam.

Montgomery County police said Claude Allen, 45, was arrested Thursday and charged with carrying out a felony theft scheme at Target and Hecht's stores. He was released on his own recognizance.


Authorities accuse Allen of going to stores on more than 25 occasions and buying items, taking them to his car and then returning to the store with his receipt where he would carry out the alleged scam.

"He would select the same items he had just purchased, and then return them for a refund. Allen is known to have conducted approximately 25 of these types of refunds, having the money credited to his credit cards," a statement from Montgomery County police said.


Allen resigned without explanation in early February as Bush's top domestic political adviser. Allen had long been a darling among the conservative right -- and Bush had even nominated him to be a federal appeals court judge in 2003, but Democrats blocked the move.

In announcing Allen's resignation, Bush called him a "trusted adviser" who helped "develop policies that will strengthen our nation's families, schools and communities."


Allen made $161,000 in his role as Bush's top domestic policy adviser, according to government records.

Explains a lot about Bush's domestic policy, doesn't it?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Dirty minds

Well, I took the dirty mind test but didn't score high enough to brag about it so I won't. Still, if you want to know if you have a dirty mind, click here. I do SO have a dirty mind...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


National Weather Service To Give Hurricanes Full Names

SILVER SPRING, MD—The National Weather Service announced Friday that, in response to the increasing number of hurricanes, it is revising its naming system. "The hundreds of hurricanes we expect in the North Atlantic in 2006 will receive both proper and surnames," Max Mayfield of the weather service said. "In fact, tropical storms Alberto Fergus, Beverly Stenwick-Brown, and Chris Stubbs Jr. have already received names under the new system." After all possible first and last names are exhausted, storms will be given titles, beginning with Hurricane Assistant Accounts Manager Alexander Epps, CPA.

The Jumping Cats of Myanmar

In the mood for cute animal stories. In a Buddhist monastery in Burma, the monks have taught the cats to jump through hoops. Seriously.

Is not that the cutest tabby you've ever seen? Well, outside your own personal pets, of course.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Read Me

Prairie Angel Reviews the Oscar Show.

Dual outrage

No, not Crash winning best picture... but this:

NEW DELHI - Hindu priests who look after the memorial of Indian independence leader Mohandas Gandhi conducted a purification ceremony at the shrine after a visit from President Bush. But it wasn't the president who offended them, it was the sniffer-dogs who scoured the area ahead of his visit.


The dogs, flown in from the U.S., were part of the intense security surrounding the president, but the Hindu priests believe they tainted the site.

Outrage # 1 - that the Incompetents can't secure a site without breaking local taboos.

Outrage # 2 - that the Hindu priests blame impurity on some innocent dogs, instead of the walking sack of corruption that the poor things were securing the site for.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Stealth Christians back in action

Just in:

State bill proposes Christianity be Missouri’s official religion

Missouri legislators in Jefferson City considered a bill that would name Christianity the state's official "majority" religion.

House Concurrent Resolution 13 has is pending in the state legislature.

Many Missouri residents had not heard about the bill until Thursday.[emphasis mine]

Karen Aroesty of the Anti-defamation league, along with other watch-groups, began a letter writing and email campaign to stop the resolution.

The resolution would recognize "a Christian god," and it would not protect minority religions, but "protect the majority's right to express their religious beliefs.

The resolution also recognizes that, "a greater power exists," and only Christianity receives what the resolution calls, "justified recognition."

State representative David Sater of Cassville in southwestern Missouri, sponsored the resolution, but he has refused to talk about it on camera or over the phone.

KMOV also contacted Gov. Matt Blunt's office to see where he stands on the resolution, but he has yet to respond.

I wonder why they're not proud to shout out their intentions?

Jack-booted thugs redux

Don't mock us, sneers DHS.

George Barisich, president of the United Commercial Fisherman's Association, has been selling anti-FEMA T-shirts since last fall, a reflection of his frustration with the federal government's response to the storm that left him homeless and unemployed.

But on Feb. 1, when he handed a shirt to a fellow Katrina victim as he was picking up canned goods at a charity's relief tent, Barisich found himself in trouble with the government.

He was cited by a group of Homeland Security officials for selling a T-shirt on federal property - in this case, near a FEMA center in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart in Chalmette, La.

Barisich, 49, says he didn't sell the shirt, which said: "Flooded by Katrina! Forgotten by FEMA! What's Next, Mr. Bush?" He says he gave it away.

The government is sticking to its guns. "If we ignored this violation, you could have potentially 20 to 30 people standing out in front of the (FEMA) center, obstructing things," says Dean Boyd, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spokesman. "We've got a duty and a job under the law."

This should come as no surprise. I mean, if you name an organization Fatherland... I mean, Homeland Security, it's only to be expected that they eventually develop that SS swagger.

I wonder if you can get riding crops with the Department seal on the handle?

Saturday, March 04, 2006

More Owen and Mzee

AKA the Hippo and the Tortoise. Owen is all grown up now:

He seems to like to chew on Mzee a little bit. It should come as no surprise that the pair have their own blog.

It's like Incredible Journey, only different!

Remember the Tsunami-surviving Tortoise and Hippo? They've inspired a movie.

Oscar-winning special-effects maven John Dykstra is set to make his directing debut on "Tortoise and Hippo," a film inspired by a photo that circulated following the Asian tsunami.

The snapshot documented a baby hippo and 100-year-old tortoise comforting each other at a wildlife sanctuary after being rescued from the Indian Ocean.

"The actual event that inspired the movie captured the imagination of the world," said Alex Schwartz, executive VP production at Walden Media, one of the producers of the film.

"We're going to create a movie inspired by it that we hope can tell a story everyone can relate to, which is that you can be different but still belong to the same family."

One of the director's main challenges will be depicting the tsunami onscreen, which brings with it computer-graphic and storytelling challenges.

"The tsunami is a critical component in the telling of this story," Dykstra said. "It's a sensitive storytelling issue."

Here's the synposis from the Movie Insider:

An unlikely friendship forms between a cranky old tortoise in India and a baby hippo. The tortoise tolerates the baby hippo at first because it is a chick magnet, but then develops patriarchal feelings and takes the baby on a dangerous journey home to Africa.
The baby hippo is a chick magnet!!

Not terribly surprising, I guess.

But it's sad that our formerly great nation has come to this... For the women of South Dakota, a Do It Yourself Abortion Manual. Welcome to the Handmaid's Tale.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Art Buchwald

Editor and Publisher has this sad little piece about the last days of Art Buchwald. I found this somewhat arresting:

Renowned columnist Art Buchwald has refused dialysis, and it's only a matter of time, maybe a short time, before he dies. For a man awaiting The Reaper, he's in unusually fine fettle.

I spent two days by his side to find Buchwald doesn't see himself as courageous, nor does he feel shored up by supernatural spiritual strength. To fade away naturally is the decision he made when faced with the alternative of being hooked up to a dialysis machine three times a week, for five hours at a stretch for the rest of his life.

I know it's totally his decision but I think I'd spend the fifteen hours a week to gain the rest of the week, which is 168 hours, after all. Fifteen hours is less than ten percent of the whole week. I figure there must be more to his decision than this?

I know, I know, none of my business. But what would you do?

I think we knew this

Citibank et al are just arms of Big Brother:

He was referring to the recent decision by him and his wife to be responsible, to do the kind of thing that just about anyone would say makes good, solid financial sense.

They paid down some debt. The balance on their JCPenney Platinum MasterCard had gotten to an unhealthy level. So they sent in a large payment, a check for $6,522.

And an alarm went off. A red flag went up. The Soehnges' behavior was found questionable.

And all they did was pay down their debt. They didn't call a suspected terrorist on their cell phone. They didn't try to sneak a machine gun through customs.

They just paid a hefty chunk of their credit card balance. And they learned how frighteningly wide the net of suspicion has been cast.


They were told, as they moved up the managerial ladder at the call center, that the amount they had sent in was much larger than their normal monthly payment. And if the increase hits a certain percentage higher than that normal payment, Homeland Security has to be notified. And the money doesn't move until the threat alert is lifted.

Walter called television stations, the American Civil Liberties Union and me. And he went on the Internet to see what he could learn. He learned about changes in something called the Bank Privacy Act.

"The more I'm on, the scarier it gets," he said. "It's scary how easily someone in Homeland Security can get permission to spy."

They want you to keep high balances and continue to pay exorbitant monthly fees. And they've paid for the privilege of making it uncomfortable for you to get free. Welcome to the Bank State.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition

(Kind of obvious title? Oh well...)

Out of the Great State of Florida comes this:

If Domino's Pizza founder Thomas S. Monaghan has his way, a new town being built in Florida will be governed according to strict Roman Catholic principles, with no place to get an abortion, pornography or birth control.

The pizza magnate is bankrolling the project with at least $250 million and calls it "God's will."

Civil libertarians say the plan is unconstitutional and are threatening to sue.

Kind of like the Amish, you ask me, and as such, I'm not sure I'm unalterably opposed to this. Let 'em enclave, if you ask me. I think they'll find, over time, that the town per se loses citizens as kids grow up and move to more enlightened surrounding communities, but hey. A Catholic geriatrics ghetto. Isn't that special?

This whole concept really has legs. PuritanTown could bring back stocks in the public square. And OldTestamentTown could make a fortune in tourist dollars, especially on Stone the Adulterers Day.