Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Just say no to porn-induced rudeness

Yes, another great idea from the folks who bought you the Taking A Hit Out on Leaders More Democratically Elected Than Ours. Yup, they want to regulate Everwood, a TV show on the WB channel here in the States. Evidently on Everwood, they scandalously discuss the use of that cutting-edge contraceptive device, the condom. Perhaps Everwood should just edit their scripts a bit more thoroughly. Those conversations would be great (please stand-by for totally fictitious transcript from a non-real episode of Everwood. (By the way, would they have to change the name of the show from, perhaps, Everwood to, I dunno, Everbark or Ever-the-primary-component-of-a-tree because of the connotations of wood? I'm thinking no because probably Republican sex knowledge is fun and euphemism-free, they wouldn't know of the double entendre of wood. Shhhhhhh, let's not tell them. So anyway, yes, back to the fake transcript from the non-existent episode of, um, Everwood.)

"Oh Sarah, do you think tonight should be the night?"
"Hmmm, sure, why not?"
"I don't have a condom."
"Oh, it doesn't matter, I'm 17 and it's not like I have my whole life ahead of me...."

Thank you, this has been a completely crap transcription of a fake episode of Everwood. So to summarize, perhaps talking about condom use is not necessarily the worst thing. I mean, it's not like kids are having sex these days anymore. Not with the success and the utter lack of hypocrisy emanating from the White House. Yeah, we don't even need to talk about condoms any more because no one is interested in sex anymore. Heck, I think the Rapture is tomorrow afternoon. So I'm just off to read my Bible a bit more. Out like Kobe Bryant at a support group meeting for victims of sexual violence. And learn how to use your v-chips you Christian fundies. Or bake a cake. Or play baseball or something. Let me watch the crap I want without being disturbed.

Happy belated birthday, Bird

Charlie Parker would have been 85 yesterday. It was through Jack Kerouac's hyping of him in On the Road that I got into jazz. I bought a generic label Parker album and I must say, I've been very fortunate in getting great deals on amazing jazz albums via un-traditional albums. My best Coltrane album is one I spent 25 pesos on on the streets of Mexico City. And the Parker one, well it is the very prestigious "Gold" label (because some of the words on the cover of the album are in, you guessed it, gold. Anyway, I can't fault the musical choices on the album-great takes of A Night in Tunisia, A Dizzy Atmosphere, Groovin' High, Ornithology and others. Anyway, when I first bought it, I listened to it, to the exclusion of any other CDs for proably the better part of ten days. In the last several years I've listened more to 'trane but still, given this anniversary, I think I'll hafta put Charlie back in the CD player and give him a spin. He was a genius whose music-making was light-years ahead of anyone else. He was just that innovative and gifted. It's a pity he wore himself out so early but thank God we have recordings of him. Charlie, thanks for your music.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

We Support Our Troops (As Long As We're Not Expected To Go Over There Too)

Troubletown gets it very right. I think Patriot Boy would approve.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Read this...


a mixed bag....

Well, regardless of the desire of the American Legion to prohibit protesting, the American people are fortunately much more sensible, on this item at least. I was a little surprised at these poll results, to be honest because there are so many out there who claim that protests and a non-uniform level of support for the troops is hurting America. Oh well, at least they are comfortable with protesters stating their points of view, even if Rumsfeld called us "Stalinists" and Orrin Hatch called us "nutcakes" (see previous post). As usual, the common man has a bit more sense than Cons (-men). It's like people who claimed that Ralph Nader was responsible for Al Gore not winning the Presidency in 2000. No. Al Gore failed to campaign on the basis of a historically healthy economy. He declined to give Bill Clinton a prominent role in his campaign because Clinton was so disliked in parts of the country. (What about the parts of the country where he was very popular?) He was dull. And he campaigned defensively, defining himself in terms outlined by the Monkey Gov. Had he aligned himself with his President and held up the US economy as evidence of the success of the Clinton administration, he would have won no problem. But he was too chicken, too vanilla to do so. For whatever reason, he was averse to really defining himself in bold and persuasive ways. His loss, not Ralph Nader's. If Gore really had run on the strength of the US economy, sure, many of Nader's supporters would have stood by Nader, but some of the borderline Nader voters would have been swayed and there's no way he would have hindered Al Gore's election. Similarly, people who say that protesters are hurting America need to remember who is (ostensibly) running the country. The policies that expose our troops, that alienate Muslims, that run roughshod over the wills and policies of our former allies, that diminish the rights and abuse prisoners, that claim to be representative of democracy while imposing an American sheen on sovereign international countries; that bully and badger poor countries for more favorable trade terms, that stiff countries which fail to endorse US business policies, that render prisoners to countries where they can be tortured while proclaiming that "freedom is on the march", that continue to reward the rich while imposing an increasing tax burden on the lower-middle class and the poor in this country; that stiff US veterans, that fail to properly arm our troops who serve bravely and patriotically, who fail to train US troops in dealing sensitively with Muslims; that continue to link 9/11 and Osama Bin Laden and demonize mourning war mothers while outing folks with ther nerve to call them out, who continue to reject calls for full inquiries on what happened in response, and also what failed to prevent 9/11, while harassing small, oil-rich countries with the cojones to reject neo-con business as usual and continuing to reject calls for deadlines on pulling out troops (even though we're supposedly making progress) while re-inforcing ever larger military bases, that is what is hurting America. Were it not for protests and those holding Monkey Prez' feet to the fire, well, I dread to think where we'd be. Unfortunately, the difference between where we are and where we would be would not be as big as one might hope, so far have we come down the wrong path. Nevertheless, onward.

And here is an excellent article about the long-term dangers of encroaching, creeping, consumerism. A sign that this is still a big problem is that the MSM still hasn't even broached the topic. Nevertheless, the cost, in terms of a recession as a result of a debt-ridden economy, not to mention the increasing looking out for #1 and the ideas that promotes, are fearful. We are going to reap a bitter harvest and an economic meltdown if we continue on this path. And finally, one more article with lots of unanswered questions.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Ah, good to see freedom of speech is alive and well

Nice to see senior leaders like Rummy and Oral Hatch can tolerate dissenting opinions maturely.

And I swear I'm not making this up. And it's not April 1st, right? That's right Jimmy, if you put your tooth under your pillow, make sure your head stays on your pillow or liberals will come and take it and put an estate tax on it.

Oh well, here's Jon Stewart to make it all better...

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Oh dear Lord protect us from advertising that makes us uncomfortable and doesn't promote some crap to buy.

Heaven forbid we have practical, ethical advertising; less time to promote the latest Who Wants to Marry a Survivor Apprentice Simple Life Millionaire?

Something for Monkey Boy to think about on the treadmill

It is the woman whose child has been eaten by a witch who best knows the evils of witchcraft. Nigerian proverb via this page.

Quotations are great because you can actually hear conservatives processing their thoughts about them and coming up with....you Commie-loving, B.O.-having, hippie, pothead, um....did I miss any stereotypes? caricature.

Monday, August 22, 2005

God Bless Keith Olbermann

As well as being the best Sportscenter anchor in history, along with Mr. Smug, Craig Kilborn, he answers Rush Limbaugh's bullshit. No wonder I don't really watch too much MSM TV. I try to make myself but it just ends up raising my blood pressure. At least Olbermann calls Limbaugh on the fact that his claims about Sheehan being a complete fraud are obvious BS. This is evidenced by the fact that what Limbaugh had originally touted by way of featuring it in an e-mail he sends out to his supporters has now been removed from his site. And with cunning worthy of Hitchcock, he's "proved" he didn't say such things (though I've already seen them posted at Media Matters and The Huffington Post Dope.

But here's perhaps the most abhorrent quote from Mr. Oxycontin:

“But the longer the Sheehan thing goes on and the longer she's treated as some sort of super-celebrity by the press and the more outrageous things she says, trust me on this, the more people are going to get fed up with it. She's going to become the next Natalee Holloway before it's all said and done.”

Yeah, people are going to become tired of a woman who wants some sort of explanation for the pointless death of her son from a Monkey who can barely ride a bicycle. And comparing her simple request for answers over this pointless war to the overkill coverage the MSM gives to missing blonde teenage girls (sounds a bit voyeuristic n'est-ce pas?). And if the billions of radio stations airing his junk wouldn't feature so much of the blather about Ms. Holloway (with all due respect to her loved ones and to her, but would focus on real news...well...then, we might have something. Then people might hear real news and might realize just how Oxycontin-ified he was and would decline to listen to his nonsense.

And one more thing. I'm not a fan of Saddam. And Bush has been a disaster. But I'm still not willing to choose Saddam. One has to believe that there's the possibility of democracy in Iraq, however far down the line Bush might have booted it now. With Saddam, I don't know that there was. Maybe, I dunno. It's just sad that Bush has actually even made this a question.

Two countries separated by a common language

This quote, regardless of its origin, speaks to the close relationship that the United States and Britain have had since the separation anxiety which made for a rather unpleasant war of independence leading to the foundation of the US.

For better or worse (often worse), the two countries have been tied particularly closely, both by their shared language and shared love of being insulted by comedians of another nation (see Izzard, Eddie). The last several years in this close relationship have been particularly ignominious for Britain as it has been tied ever more closely to the Monkey Boy's war on an idea. Why Tony Blair drug my home country into this war I'm not sure. Was it Monkey Boy's superior persuasive abilities? His peculiar charm and sophistication? I don't know. I would imagine there's something in it for some British oil companies down the road though.

However the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes by the London Met. Police just adds a bitter tarnish to the similarities between the US and the UK. Obviously the differences and similarities are more complex and more facile at the same time, but the behavior of the Met (offering a paltry sum as compensation for his death, Tony Blair affirming his faith in Met chief Ian Blair, despite the fact that the Met chief initially resisted an inquiry, and the support of the military in neutralizing Mr. de Menezes) seems eerily similar to that of the Cheney administration in their response to revelations that they'd lied about the threat of WMDs. They first withhold, and then gradually, removing their finger from the dam, the water rushes out and out, eventually engulfing and sickening those who trust public services.

Also, John Roberts certainly doesn't seem to be the best candidate for the Supreme Court. His claims that abortion was a tragedy do not seem the "fair and balanced" views of a prospective Supreme Court justice. Even more alarming are his views, detailed in the same Washington Post story, that a funeral for the fetus was the appropriate response to this "tragedy". While choosing to have an abortion may be a grueling process for the woman (and man) concerned, denying women this right should be dismissed out of hand. And documents that Roberts wrote while working for 41 should be made available to the public if this man wishes an opportunity to serve on the Court for the remainder of his life. If you wish the opportunity to serve on the Supreme Court, you better be ready to answer questions about your opinions to a high level of detail because you will be shaping life in these United States for a long time.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

We don't like instability (unless it's our instability)

Several things concern me today...not necessarily related to one another, although really, aren't we all connected, somehow? Anyway, continuing...

  • So Rummy's doing the imperial tour of South American Countries That Aren't Dangerous And Aren't Called Venezuela, decrying the chaos and supposed authoritarianism in The World's Most Dangerous Country, Venezuela (copyright). That's right, while everything's going hunky-dory in Iraq Pharmacist clears throat loudly Rummy reminds the leaders of Paraguay and Peru that they need to keep a safe distance from those dangerous Venezuelans. Oh, btw, had I mentioned that Venezuela is being run by Hugo Chavez, a leader who won't be controlled by the White House? Yeah...funny thing...forgot to mention that. Dja think Rummy's South American Badmouthing Tour of '05 and Chavez' refusal to play by Monkey Prez' commands, um, decisions, are related???!!?? Oh yeah, and the fact that large amounts of lovely black gold are nestled comfortably under Venezuela's warm, moist earth. Yeah....but I'm sure it's just a huge coincidence. Anyway, just wanted to rain on that parade a little bit.

  • So, hot from its space in the file under Duhhhh comes this gem from the Old Decrepit Grey Lady. It turns out that "the perception that the war was faltering was providing a rallying point for dispirited Democrats". Reaaallllllllly? How exactly does a war falter? Is it that we're killing less? Killing more? Killing the wrong people? Getting killed more? That's a dreadfully vague phrase. And one fine district in NY has a particularly useless representative, Thomas Reynolds, the chairman of the Repub Congress. Campaign Committee who blithely insists that there's plenty of time until elections and that things could be markedly better by November 2006. Or not. Well, that's fine, we'll let this obviously very bright Congressman hew to that position, see how long it lasts.

  • Another great cartoon from Ted Rall-two show-stoppers in a row. Again, at risk of seeming bloodless in laughing at these cartoons, this is dark humor. But if one doesn't laugh, one's going to cry. So anyway, I think Rall is right on with this cartoon.

  • A great column from Bob Herbert in the NY Times. Speaks to the increasing disconnect and immense callousness of the Cheney administration.

  • And finally, please, please, if you like great American songwriters, go out and see Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers on tour. I saw them Sunday night at the Verizon Ampitheater, third time I've seen them and again they didn't disappoint. Tom and his band are entertainers in the most rewarding sense of the word. If one doesn't feel a bit of a bond, a bit of optimism, some inspiration, encouragement, after seeing them, well, I don't know what to say. The band played some of their old chestnuts-opening-against bets going on around me for "Refugee" or "Free Fallin'"-with "She Don't Need You" and also playing "Runnin' Down a Dream" with some fantastic guitar work by Mike Campbell, "Free Fallin'" and "Won't Back Down", along with a rollicking "Refugee" featuring more great guitar work from Campbell and excellent drum work also. They played "Don't Come Around Here No More" and featured a new song, "Melinda" which has a rootsy, country hint to it, and picks up as it goes along. Their encore was "You Wreck Me Baby" which just tore the joint down. Really a great, great show. I should have splurged on decent seats-well, should I guess is irrelevant coz I would have if I could-but anyway, the place was really really packed and seemed even more full for Jackson Browne's opening. Disappointingly Tom didn't have the jumbotron turned on, so those of us well back on the lawn had to strain to see him or perhaps, if we'd thought of it, use binoculars. Anyway, these are minor complaints and Tom is always worth paying to see. And he won't gouge you on ticket prices also. Just a wonderful night, I highly recommend.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

some great cartoons

Don't know if it's coincidence, but I imagine that some of the great cartoons I've seen in the last couple weeks speak to the increasingly surreal, schizophrenic nature of the American identity. As Mr. Oxycontin himself, Rush Limbaugh is now left to criticizing a war mother's story to the point that he compares it to that of Bill Burkett, the Texas Air National Guard officer who provided documents supposedly proving the falsehood of Monkey Prez' service in aforementioned group, but which documents turned out to be false. (Incidentally, the cowing of Democrats on the accuracy of Burkett's claims, if not the documentation, was just another sad display of the well-developed backbone of the "opposition" party on matters of highest principle (that is, if by opposition you mean a complete caving to the slightest claim that you might be soft by a fascistic party with whom Americans really don't agree). But that's another rant for another day. Burkett's claims were actually not refuted and while the documents were not originals, evidence suggested that the documents had been typed out as facsimiles of the originals. But again, I digress.

So Mr. Family Values Drug Addict is left to bash a mother pre-deceased by her son. Nice one. This is all that's left now for the nutjobs on cable news and polluting talk radio. As the war gets worse and worse, watch them disassemble more and more in an increasingly bizarre and disconnected effort to hold on to their supporters. So anyway, this brings me nicely to This Modern Life for this week. In a sense, it's sad that we need such trenchant cartoonists as the wonderful Tom Tomorrow and Ted Rall, but if we are to retain our moral compass, they are the ones who remind the populace of just how backward the Cheney administration and all the dittoheads (incidentally, one would think that would be a rough insult, right? I don't like to be called unoriginal or plagiaristic, but apparently it doesn't bother Oxycontin's fans. Innnnnnteresting.) see the world. So anyway, that is a great cartoon, and Ted Rall who is absolutely fearless also nails it with his latest cartoon. It really is sad that even if Bush or some of the bigwigs in the Cheney administration were uninvolved in so many of these scandals that he wouldn't distance himself from them. That's the truly disturbing part. After Sept. 11, 2001 there were so many calls for Muslims to denounce the evils of Osama Bin Laden and there have been other editorials calling on them to denounce the evils of extremists who claim to be Islamic. (I don't call them Muslim extremists because I feel they are not Muslims, just as Pat Robertson is not a Christian. Christians don't say the sorts of things he does.) But yet when I haven't heard of any Republicans calling for Monkey Prez to fire-or at least discipline-Satan, um, Karl Rove. I've looked on Google and couldn't find one mention of Repubs demanding this. Karl Rove claims that after Sept. 11, Democrats just "wanted to understand" the doomed planes' hijackers. More bullshit. But Monkey Prez is silent on this also. Anyway. It speaks to the man's scruple-free zone. I have known many Christians throughout my life but never have I seen such a callous, hypocritical, cold-blooded man as Monkey Prez. Excellent article about that recently by Arlie Hochschild. Anyway...and of course, just recently, Monkey Prez has the nerve to say that he understands Cindy Sheehan's perspective but that he just needs to have a life. What, after his nap each day, Monkey Prez has become an Oprah devotee? (with all due respect to Oprah) You're on vacation. That means you have a lot of time (unless there really is a lot of brush you have to sweep away, I guess). You are getting totally pimped, for once, in the PR wars, which is really funny. All you'd need to go and do is tolerate Cindy Sheehan bending your ear for a little while and this problem would, well, at least dented. But no, you live in a spin-free zone. Well, certainly a truth-free one anyway. And it's so ironic that your very detachment from reality is what is finally destroying you in the polls. Oh yeah, and The Onion is very funny this week, detailing how Bush is not quite so high on (no pun intended...well...) fossil fuels and has a plan for the US to be off them by 4920. Anyway, that's it for now.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Let the man rest

Glad to hear that Monkey Boy is getting a nice break down there in Crawford. Wouldn't want him to stress himself out too much because, as the Daily Show pointed out yesterday it's only been four months since his last vacation and he'd really been looking forward to this one. So he says that he's President and he feels Cindy Sheehan's pain-and that of the other family and friends who have lost loved ones in this wretched war. Uh huh. That's why he hasn't been to one funeral of a service member. That's why he's forbidden pictures of coffins swathed in the flag returning from Iraq and points elsewhere. It's because he feels so much pain that he said, in spite of Rove's admission that he "said too much" to Time reporter Matt Cooper that Monkey Man has not so much as even publicly offered a blanket condemnation of leaking within his administration-in spite of the fact that said leaking has endangered intelligence officers around the world. Even when seasoned intelligence men sign a petition protesting how tepidlythe President has dealt with leaks about the identity of Valerie Plame. Yeah, all these signs point to a Monkey President who is really overwhelmed by the demands of running an illegal war in Iraq and failing-for the 1436th day since Sept. 11-to find Osama Bin Laden. So yeah, the man really has a lot of brush to clear from his ranch and, um....yeah, he's got, um, Little League to go to and Condi to talk to and also it's very hard ignoring Cindy Sheehan. But he's working on it.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


I must say, there is something tired about. So Monkey Prez honors the dead in Iraq by fighting on and trying to honor their deaths.....by?....more deaths? Uh huh. Hmmm...so...nothing new from Monkey Prez then. Sounds about par for the course. And he has a plan and we're going to train the Iraqis and defeat this "ruthless" enemy. Good to know. Glad the President's on top of this one coz I guess I don't have to worry about it. Good thing, coz I'm kind of tired....