Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Triskaidekaphobia

Looks like Friday-the-Thirteenth falls on a Tuesday this month.

Tancredo Tells It Like It Is!

To hell w/ wasting time posting here (typing this is waste enough) go to Sadly, No! & look at Team Tancredo's campaign ad. They've also posted a beaut from Sick Rick Santorum's losing 2006 campaign.

And so viewers won't think we're stupid (we're just lazy) when this was on the news earlier we thought, Oh, that's funny, we could look for it on YouTube & put it up. But we didn't, 'cause we're lazy. And knew we could count on someone else to do it.

And when any of these nutjobs (Hunter, Paul, Tancredo) stick their heads out of their holes w/ a stunt like this, we like to remind all that a sitting Congressperson hasn't even been nominated for president by one of the big two parties in living memory.

Sometimes a Hot Dog Is Just a Hot Dog, But Not in This Case

Ingredients
1 hot dog, cook's choice
1 Idaho baking potato, 7 to 10 ounces
Mustard for dipping, any style
Other condiments as desired such as cheese sauce, sour cream, chili, chives, bacon pieces or black olives.


Wash and dry potato. Rub with shortening or butter. With an apple corer or small knife, core out the potato center (end to end). Push hot dog through the center. Bake until potato is cooked through.
Can you guess whose "recipe" this is? Sometimes this shit just about writes itself.

Super Tuber is a great snack that uses one of my favorite vegetables: The Idaho Potato. Of course, I suppose any type of potato could be used, but I cannot guarantee that a Super Tuber made with anything but a true Idaho potato would taste as good. Sincerely, Larry E. Craig, United States Senator
"Push hot dog through the center." Eeeww!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Angry Samoans Update

It seems they played (in TX?) a couple wks. ago, which was exciting to the 19 yr. old on whose website we found this vital info. Big question: Does Metal Mike ever change his threads, or did Anna Rexi just lift the photo from the same gig we did? The Lone Star sign & bottles may be a clue that this gig actually happened in TX.

We wonder about Metal Mike because, if he's always sporting the same costume, he may have turned into a cartoon character.

Not Just Blackwater

What the State Dep't. seems to feel is permissible for its private security contractorsmercenaries, in this case DynCorp International, to do:
Ms. Nantongo, the embassy spokeswoman, said that according to DynCorp’s own report to the State Department on the episode, the DynCorp guards first used “nonlethal means to warn the driver of the vehicle to stop.” In Iraq, the term “nonlethal means” often indicates that guards threw water bottles, waved or fired a small flare to get the attention of a driver. But DynCorp told the State Department that the vehicle continued forward, and that a guard “discharged his weapon to disable the vehicle,” Ms. Nantongo said. “There are conflicting accounts as to whether anyone was injured or killed,” she said. [...] Mr. Lagana said the DynCorp guards reported that they were unaware that they had wounded or killed anyone. “We knew that we had fired at the front of the vehicle,” he said. “We were kind of surprised that there was a death.”

In the immortal words of Gomer Pyle (who seems to have been promoted from private to "Guy in Charge in Iraq"): "Surprise, surprise!" HERE'S THE BLACKWATER PART: More on Erik Prince, from the Detroit Free Press, known as the Freep. Don't be scared, it has no relation to Fresno's finest, Free Republic. Yeah, yeah, it's over a month old, but it provides some insight into Mr. Prince's characterpersonality, whatever you want to call it.
"In Holland, there's very much a strong sense of patriotism," said longtime friend Jim Heetderks. "I think he really took that to heart more than the rest of us." Prince declined to be interviewed for this story. His mother and sisters did not respond to requests for comment. Prince was steeped in free-market, faith-based, Republican values from a young age. [...] After graduating, Prince headed to the U.S. Naval Academy, only to quit after three semesters. He told friends he was disappointed in the maturity and morality of his fellow midshipmen. "I know when he got back, he said that he thought everybody at the academy would just bleed red, white and blue like he did," the former coach, Heethuis said. "But he found out some people were just there for a free education." Prince landed an internship in the early 1990s in the White House under then-President George Bush. Again, he was disappointed. He later told the Grand Rapids Press: "I saw a lot of things I didn't agree with -- homosexual groups being invited in, the budget agreement, the Clean Air Act, those kinds of bills." But he didn't reject politics. He stumped for Pat Buchanan, and interned at Bauer's Family Research Council in Virginia, even climbing trees in Bauer's backyard to trim dead branches. Prince's connection with Christian conservatives was strengthened by another internship, with California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, who recalled talking with Prince about his ideals. "If he wanted to make money, he could have done a lot of things to make more money," Rohrabacher said. "He is an idea-driven person."

Those who know of Rohrabacher will be amused by that statement. Also, a quickie bio of Erik Prince from the Freep. And, from an interview he gave the Free Press a few days after declining to be interviewed:
WASHINGTON -- As Blackwater USA's owner, Erik Prince can rattle off reasons for its meteoric success getting work as security contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. But his family's political connections, its vast giving to Republican, Christian and conservative causes and campaigns aren't among them, he says. "I'm not a zealot," he said. "I'm a businessman."
Often the same thing. Certainly, family connections & massive donations (from the foundation he established, besides the $200,000 Prince has personally given to drooling wingnuts) have nothing to do w/ success in no-bid gov't. contracts.
Prince deflected accusations of a cowboy mentality within his company, that his contractors shoot first and ask questions later in protecting dignitaries and diplomats. "They're out there doing a very difficult job," he said, noting contractors' military and law-enforcement backgrounds.
Sure, no one in law enforcement or the military has ever acted like a fucking cowboy. From April of this yr., a look at Prince (w/ links) from Michigan Liberal.com. And all of this Michigan based stuff comes to our attention from nancynall.com, whose commentariat, & some other stuff we've seen, suggests that Western Michigan is a hotbed of crazy people. Oh, we're sorry, don't mean to be uncivil, they're perfectly normal people who just happen to hold 16th century views. And the Dutch Reformed Church (very popular around Holland, Mich.) of which Prince was a member before converting to Roman Catholicism, is one of those Calvinist outfits.

From The Obvious to The Stupid

Most "creative" types have a fair amount of contempt for their audience. Who's doing the heavy lifting, & who's just absorbing it like a sponge? Just Another Blog™ doesn't really have enough audience to be contemptuous, but we take a back seat to no blog in our contempt for this entire species we seem to belong to. (Though we still await the DNA results on that.)

Dick Locher, who got hold of the Dick Tracy© franchise following Chester Gould's demise, must think his audience are barely able to breathe through their mouths. A couple of examples from recent Crimestoppers Textbooks.

First, the obvious:No shit, stay out of dive bars, you say? Unless you're some kind of itching-for-a-fight biker or something? Really? And Dick doesn't seem to know his English too well. A "haunt" is defined as: "a place habitually frequented." It doesn't mean a bar filled w/ ghosts or crooks, or whatever scares Dick. But he wants you to be wary of the places you habitually frequent, 'cause you're too stupid to figure out what's going on in there.

This one really takes the stupid cake:First, we don't think the guy w/ the cast is faking his right arm. It's definitely injured, or a congenital defect. Thalidomide, maybe? He's lucky the hand developed at all, considering the arm stops above the elbow. The cast? Well, maybe Mr. Locher is warning us about charity scams, or that this guy isn't injured & is going to beat you on the head w/ the phony cast, or, or...well, just be on your guard. If you see someone w/ a cast, or on crutches, be ready to smack them a good one. Hey, a little libertarian philosophy there!

Another Jab at Cheney

As today is Veterans Day (Observed) & as we just found this, let's take another shot at Richard B. Cheney, courtesy of R. J. Matson.

Rudy, Pipes & Podhoretz: Not Well Liked

Rather sour-looking bastard, isn't he? No wonder haters like P & P are on Team Giuliani.
We wonder what the Mossad agents who are constantly monitoring this web log will have to say about this. From Lebanon's Dar Al-Hayat, one Jihad el-Khazen writes about Rudy "The Catholic" Giuliani & his coterie of advisors:
Rudy Giuliani is surrounded by some of the vilest and most dangerous enemies of the Arabs and Muslims, acting as advisors in his campaign to win the nomination of the Republican Party for the American presidency. If the proverb 'birds of a feather flock together' is true, 'president' Giuliani will make us long for George Bush's days since he out-Bushes him. In Israel, he referred to 'the blood bond' with the Jewish state.
Mr. el-Khazen lists the usual suspects, & then gets specific on the most dangerous:

However, a more important figure than the ones mentioned above is Stephen Rosen, a university professor and a member of The Project for the New American Century team. Since its launch, he has engaged in a campaign aimed at imposing the hegemony of an American empire all over the world. The [PNAC] members' letters addressed to Bill Clinton and George Bush urge them to wage a war on Iraq as the empire intends to dominate the entire Middle East and spread American military bases in it. The letters also urge lending support for Israel, reject a compromise with the Palestinians leading to the creation of a state of their own, and make the war on terror a pretext for hegemony.

Peter Berkowitz is considered the team theoretician. He is founding member and the director of The Israel Program on Constitutional Government. He is a neocon Jew who gives priority to Israel's interests over any other interests, including those of his own country, the United States.

Despite the above, Martin Kramer, Daniel Pipes, and Norman Podhoretz remain the worst and the most dangerous for Arabs, Muslims, and international peace.

Kramer and Pipes founded Campus Watch to persecute any professor criticizing Israel and to launch campaigns against any university curricula tending to doing justice to Arabs and Muslims. Their efforts are part of the Israel lobby activities.

Yet, Pipes is more despicable than his partner. He created the Monitoring Islamist Media Weblog and he claims that the confrontation is with Islamofascism. As I have frequently referred to him in this column, I chose some self-defense excerpts from his books that indeed condemn him. Replying to a Newsweek article, he said that advisors do not hold common views and that he personally objected to the expression 'war on terror', because in his opinion, it is a war against Islamofascism. He asserted his opposition to Bush's policy in the Middle East and rejected the idea of a Palestinian state as it represents a reward to terrorists. He also considers democracy in the Middle East an exaggerated ambition and a useless one because it will result in the Islamists' domination.

This man is poisonous and venomous. I can accuse him of being a Fascist promoting war while denying Israel's crimes and offering it blind support that increases hatred for the Jews, which in turn means that he is an anti-Semite.

My opinion of Podhoretz is much lower than the above. This radical has double all of Pipes' attributes. His recent book
World War IV: the Long Struggle against Islamofascism is racist and anti-Semitic. The man prays so that George Bush attacks Iran. He also wishes to see the attack involve Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf countries, Egypt, and even Pakistan and countries in central Asia. This will result in increasing hatred for the Jews around the world.

Podhoretz is a radical
par excellence, and in case Giuliani becomes president and takes into consideration his advice, another war or destructive wars will erupt.

(Several minor changes were made to the text, as Mr. el-Khazen is not a native English typer. We left the Limey reversed quotation marks though. The whole thing isn't much longer, you could go read it yourself.)

And a tip of the Bouffant chapeau to alex constantine's blacklist, where we found this. Mr. Constantine is always digging up dirt, & we here @ Just Another Blog (From L. A.)™ are more than happy to spread that dirt around.

More on the "poisonous and venomous" Pipes: As expected, while our initial comment was posted, our second one, where we really went to town on the bastard, has not appeared yet. Surprise, surprise!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Help, We Can't Stop Ourself

Just one more Althouse quote, which should tell anyone anything they need to know about her critical or cognitive faculties. It's from her comments section, & is in response to this comment:
Peter said... I was twelve or thirteen when I read The Naked and the Dead. I thought it was a great novel. Then, at age eighteen I went over a bow ramp at Chu Lai, May the 7th, 1965. After fghting [sic] a war I had the chance to read that book again and discovered how utterly lame and inane it was. As for the picture of our hostess, perhaps it is because I am an adult but I kind of like the Ann of today, speaking of reletive [sic] hotness. 8:16 PM
To which she replied:
Ann Althouse said... Thanks, Peter, both for fighting a war for us and for being an adult. I'm 19 in that picture. 8:30 PM
"Fighting a war for us?" Vietnam? That was fought for us? For America or the American people? Fought for the benefit of the Catholicized elites of Vietnam, the inheritors of French colonial power, perhaps. Fought for delusional reasons of "stopping communism," & then fought so that the United States (& Lyndon Baines Johnson & Richard Milhous Nixon) wouldn't appear "weak," yes. But fought for "us?" The last war fought for "us" was WWII, & that really was self-defense. Wars of choice, wars fought for rulers unable to lead their own countrymen, or wars to "show the world we mean business," Michael Ledeen-style, are never wars for "us," you foolish person. Are you truly allowed to teach anyone anything? Has idiotic patriotism blinded you to the simplest, most obvious truths? Or was it just the unthinking rote recitation: "Thank you for your service?" And has it ever occurred to you that if people didn't fight wars for "us," there would be no armies w/ which to start wars? And a note to Peter: Perhaps had you waited for the bow ramp to be lowered, you could have gone down it or across it, rather than having to go "over it." And learn to spell & punctuate; then we'll pay attention to your literary criticism.

Veterans Day Truth

Big, empty talk from political types:
The White House had said Bush was going to also [sic] use his Veterans Day speech to scold Congress for not sending him a veterans spending bill. But the president finished without any reference to the bill or Congress.
And Vice-President Other Priorities & Five Deferments dishonors the fallen by being in the same cemetery w/ them. What's really up w/ veterans & the country they served:
Veterans make up one in four homeless people in the United States, though they are only 11 percent of the general adult population[.] [...] Some advocates say such an early presence of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan at shelters does not bode well for the future. It took roughly a decade for the lives of Vietnam veterans to unravel to the point that they started showing up among the homeless. Advocates worry that intense and repeated deployments leave newer veterans particularly vulnerable. [...] Historically, a number of fighters in U.S. wars have become homeless. In the post-Civil War era, homeless veterans sang old Army songs to dramatize their need for work and became known as “tramps,” which had meant to march into war, said Todd DePastino, a historian at Penn State University’s Beaver campus who wrote a book on the history of homelessness.
Use 'em up & throw 'em away. A great American/capitalist tradition. Isn't hypocrisy grand?

Senator Babs, Hard at Work

From the in-box:
Dear Friend:

Most of us have come to understand the sometimes deadly consequences of the increasing reliance on private defense contractors in Iraq. More than at any time in our nation’s history, private contractors are doing jobs previously done by our military. These private contractors operate in a grey area of U.S., Iraqi, and international law, making it difficult to address any egregious action or unlawful use of force. In addition, the lack of accountability in the wartime contracting process has resulted in the waste, fraud, and abuse of billions of taxpayer dollars.

Following a shooting incident on September 16, 2007 in central Baghdad involving Blackwater guards that left 17 Iraqi civilians dead, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates recently announced an agreement requiring that all State Department security convoys will now fall under military control.

Although I am pleased with this agreement, I believe that Congress must act to generate new, more stringent rules to ensure that any lawbreakers are held to account for their actions. That is why I am co-sponsoring S.2147, the Security Contractor Accountability Act. This legislation grants the U.S. government the legal authority to prosecute crimes committed by all U.S. contractors working in war zones by clarifying the language of the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act. It would also establish Theater Investigative Units of the FBI to investigate allegations of criminal misconduct by private defense contractor personnel and would require the Department of Justice to report on the number of complaints, investigations, and criminal cases involving contractors.

I believe that Congress has a responsibility to help repair the damage caused by the Bush Administration’s reliance on private contractors and no-bid contracts. Please be assured that I will work to see that the Security Contractor Accountability Act becomes law.

Sincerely,


Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

Well, Mme. Senator, that's all well & good, but just a little bit late, wouldn't you say? The 16 September slaughter was hardly the first atrocity of its kind. Why is it never until something horrible happens that our gov't. or our representatives respond? Why no planning, no forethought? Why no awareness of what the fuck is going on?

Would the senator's head still be firmly lodged in her ass if Blackwater & other private defense contractorsmercenaries had only been killing two or three people per "incident?" This shit has been going on since this un-Constitutional war was started. Democrats have been in the majority in Congress since January of this year. Yet it is just now that Senator B. throws her tiny frame against the forces of waste, fraud & abuse represented by Catholo-fascist private army Blackwater. Better late than never, but never better late, Babs.

Armistice Day

You'd barely know today is the former Armistice Day if you were getting all your info from the comic strips. La Cuchracha comes through though.

Wealth Xfer

Once again, it's good when private cos. do it, bad when gov'ts. do it, even when it's done by representative democratic republics. But what's the glibertarian/wingnut view when it's entire nations grabbing it from other nations? Is the oil-addicted nation actually to blame for making the "wrong choice?" A WaPo article brings these questions to mind. Here are the highlights for nihilists:

High oil prices are fueling one of the biggest transfers of wealth in history. Oil consumers are paying $4 billion to $5 billion more for crude oil every day than they did just five years ago, pumping more than $2 trillion into the coffers of oil companies and oil-producing nations this year alone.
[...]
"There's never been anything like this on a sustained basis the way we've seen the last couple of years," said Kenneth Rogoff, a Harvard University economics professor and former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund. Oil prices "are not spiking; they're just rising," he added.
[...]
Britain's national average gasoline price topped 1 pound per liter, or about $8 a gallon, for the first time this week because of record oil prices.
[...]
But new oil wealth can trickle away even more easily than it comes. Last month, Standard & Poor's downgraded Kazakhstan's credit rating after the country's banks lost billions on purchases of subprime mortgages.
That's right, soon you'll be paying through the nose for the privilege of stewing in your own waste, as the financial house of cards falls around you. And while the technical term is house of cards, that's not pasteboard, it's bricks & other hard heavy stuff that'll be falling on your head, while your nether regions are being boiled away.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Anti-Althousiana

This is more fun than picking on Megan McArdle. Much easier, anyway. Seen anything this dopey recently?
Oh, yeah, I remember those hippies. Remember:

Give me down to there hair
Shoulder length or longer
Here baby, there mama
Everywhere daddy daddy

What was the "there" there, if not... "the ladygarden"? It says everywhere. Could it be any plainer?

Shining, gleaming,
Streaming, flaxen, waxen

"Waxen" didn't mean you should be waxing your hair off. It meant it was fine for it to be waxy.
From the Get a Fucking Clue Bin: These are lyrics for a stupid Broadway musical, w/ some internal rhyming. Waxy hair? "Fine for it to be waxy?" Who has waxy hair? Not even dreadlocks are "waxy." Maybe the lyricist meant "wax" in the "wax & wane" sense of being on the ascendant. Or maybe it just rhymed & didn't sound too bad.

And what is the point here, anyway? Was someone claiming "there" didn't mean "there?" Or, or...we're stupefied. A common reaction to The Divine Ms. Althouse.

Ann Althouse & Name Use/Abuse: Illegal, Immoral, Unethical, Unscrupulous, Pusillanimous, Shameful, Embarrassing & Probably Fattening

We don't pay much attention to the Divine Ms. A. (Well, just a little.) If we hadn't seen her on bloggingheads.tv once (not even the infamous Garance "diavlog") &, as The Only Man in Southern California Interested in Dating W/in His Own Age Group©, found her not unattractive, we probably wouldn't pay any attention to her at all, let alone play "Poke the Encaged Blogger w/ a Stick." But when you see something this inane, it takes a bettter person than us to resist:
I've set up a Google alert to keep track of the use and abuse of my name, so I received the text in my email.
And just what has irked her majesty?
TRex put up a post at the high-traffic blog Firedoglake exhorting his readers: "Please feel free to post your comments on this post under the name 'Ann Althouse'. I've done it before. It's totally fun."
Great Gobs of Goo!! The nerve of the little bastard! How dare he? And at a "high-traffic blog" yet!! Because he knows it'll get a rise out of her?
How shameful and embarrassing! At least he had the wits to think better of it and try to hide it. Or maybe he's just afraid of getting into trouble for impersonating me. What an unscrupulous, pusillanimous little twerp!
Ms. Althouse™®© (Mercy sakes, we hope we don't get sued for even mentioning her name) has labeled her item under: "ageism, anti-Althousiana," & a couple of other labels. So, anything that has something to do w/ her is ageist? Even if it doesn't mention her age? The only "ageism" we see here is a person old beyond her yrs. who takes herself entirely too seriously. (Note the self-promotion in her blog header.) We're AARP eligible too & honestly, where's the ageism here? Lighten up, you old biddy, or the kids won't let us play w/ them any more & our mental faculties will really start to decline!! Is the "sexism" label automatically assumed under "Anti-Althousiana?" Granted, Just Another Blog (From L. A.)™ isn't a "high-traffic blog" (Is that the only kind Ms. A. deigns to recognize?) & we haven't received too much notice, but even our colossal ego (note our constant use of the "royal" or "editorial" second-person plural) hasn't considered a "They're Out to Get Us" category. We just assume that under the "Militarized Society" & "Police Terror" categories, & we don't even think it's personal, more political. Last clue: No one @ Sadly, No! or anywhere else thinks it's really you commenting, Ann. They're making fun of you, because you lend yourself so well to amusement at your expense. Perhaps were you to climb off your high horse of self-righteous indignation people wouldn't be poking fun at you all the time.

Hot Off the Presses


Biographer: Norman Mailer Dead at Age 84
By RICHARD PYLE – 49 minutes ago
NEW YORK (AP) — Norman Mailer, the macho prince of American letters who for decades reigned as the country's literary conscience and provocateur with such books as "The Naked and the Dead," died early Saturday, his literary executor said. He was 84.
Mailer died of acute renal failure at Mount Sinai Hospital, said J. Michael Lennon, who is also the author's official biographer.
From his classic debut novel to such masterworks of literary journalism as "The Armies of the Night," the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner always got credit for insight, passion and originality.
Some of his works were highly praised, some panned, but none was pronounced the Great American Novel that seemed to be his life quest from the time he soared to the top as a brash 25-year-old "enfant terrible."
Mailer built and nurtured an image over the years as pugnacious, streetwise and high-living. He drank, fought, smoked pot, married six times and stabbed his second wife, almost fatally, during a drunken party.
He had nine children, made a quixotic bid to become mayor of New York, produced five forgettable films, dabbled in journalism, flew gliders, challenged professional boxers, was banned from a Manhattan YWHA for reciting obscene poetry, feuded publicly with writer Gore Vidal and crusaded against women's lib.
But as Newsweek reviewer Raymond Sokolov said in 1968, "in the end it is the writing that will count."
Mailer, he wrote, possessed "a superb natural style that does not crack under the pressures he puts upon it, a talent for narrative and characters with real blood streams and nervous systems, a great openness and eagerness for experience, a sense of urgency about the need to test thought and character in the crucible of a difficult era."
Norman Mailer was born Jan. 31, 1923 in Long Branch, N.J. His father, Isaac, a South Africa-born accountant, and mother, Fanny, who ran a housekeeping and nursing agency, soon moved to Brooklyn — later described by Mailer as "the most secure Jewish environment in America."
Mailer completed public schools, earned an engineering science degree in 1943 from Harvard, where he decided to become a writer, and was soon drafted into the Army. Sent to the Philippines as an infantryman, he saw enough of Army life and combat to provide a basis for his first book, "The Naked and the Dead," published in 1948 while he was a post-graduate student in Paris on the G.I. Bill.
The book — noteworthy for Mailer's invention of the word "fug" as a substitute for the then-unacceptable four-letter original — was a best-seller, and Mailer returned home to find himself anointed the new Hemingway, Dos Passos and Melville.
Buoyed by instant literary celebrity, Mailer embraced the early 1950s counterculture — defining "hip" in his essay "The White Negro," allying himself with Beat Generation gurus Jack Kerouac and Allan Ginsburg, and writing social and political commentary for the leftist Village Voice, which he helped found. He also churned out two more novels, "Barbary Shore" (1951) and "Deer Park" (1955), neither embraced kindly by readers or critics.
Mailer turned reporter to cover the 1960 Democratic Party convention for Esquire and later claimed, with typical hubris, that his piece, "Superman Comes to the Supermarket," had made the difference in John F. Kennedy's razor-thin margin of victory over Republican Richard M. Nixon.
While Life magazine called his next book, "An American Dream" (1965), "the big comeback of Norman Mailer," the author-journalist was chronicling major events of the day: an anti-war march on Washington, the 1968 political conventions, the Ali-Patterson fight, an Apollo moon shot.
His 1968 account of the peace march on the Pentagon, "The Armies of the Night," won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. He was described as the only person over 40 trusted by the flower generation.
Covering the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago for Harper's magazine, Mailer was torn between keeping to a tight deadline or joining the anti-war protests that led to a violent police crackdown. "I was in a moral quandary. I didn't know if I was being scared or being professional," he later testified in the trial of the so-called Chicago Seven.
In 1999, "The Armies of the Night" was listed at No. 19 on a New York University survey of 100 examples of the best journalism of the century.
Mailer's personal life was as turbulent as the times. In 1960, at a party at his Brooklyn Heights home, Mailer stabbed his second wife, Adele Morales, with a knife. She declined to press charges, and it was not until 1997 that she revealed, in her own book, how close she had come to dying.
In 1969, Mailer ran for mayor on a "left conservative" platform. He said New York City should become the 51st state, and urged a referendum for "black ghetto dwellers" on whether they should set up their own government.
Mailer had numerous minor run-ins with the law, usually for being drunk or disorderly, but was also jailed briefly during the Pentagon protests. While directing the film "Maidstone" in 1968, the self-described "old club fighter" punched actor Lane Smith, breaking his jaw, and bit actor Rip Torn's ear in another scuffle.
Years later, he championed the work of a convict-writer named Jack Abbott — and was subjected to ridicule and criticism when Abbott, released to a halfway house, promptly stabbed a man to death.
Mailer had views on almost everything.
The '70s: "the decade in which image became preeminent because nothing deeper was going on."
Poetry: A "natural activity ... a poem comes to one," whereas prose required making "an appointment with one's mind to write a few thousand words."
Journalism: irresponsible. "You can't be too certain about what happened."
Technology: "insidious, debilitating and depressing," and nobody in politics had an answer to "its impact on our spiritual well-being."
Mailer's suspicion of technology was so deep that while most writers used typewriters or computers, he wrote with a pen, some 1,500 words a day, in what Newsweek's Sokolov called "an illegible and curving hand." When a stranger asked him on a Brooklyn street if he wrote on a computer, he replied, "No, I never learned that," then added, in a mischevious aside, "but my girl does."
In a 1971 magazine piece about the new women's liberation movement, Mailer equated the dehumanizing effect of technology with what he said was feminists' need to abolish the mystery, romance and "blind, goat-kicking lust" from sex.
Time magazine said the broadside should "earn him a permanent niche in their pantheon of male chauvinist pigs." Mailer later told an interviewer that his being called sexist was "the greatest injustice in American life."
Two years later, he wrote "Marilyn" and was accused of plagiarism by other Marilyn Monroe biographers. One, Maurice Zolotow, called it "one of the literary heists of the century." Mailer shot back, "nobody calls me a plagiarist and gets away with it," adding that if he was going to steal, it would be from Shakespeare or Melville.
In "Advertisements for Myself" (1959), Mailer promised to write the greatest novel yet, but later conceded he had not.
Among other notable works: "Cannibals and Christians" (1966); "Why Are We in Vietnam?" (1967); and "Miami and the Siege of Chicago" (1968), an account of the two political conventions that year.
"The Executioner's Song" (1979), an epic account of the life and death of petty criminal Gary Gilmore, whom Mailer never met, won the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. "Ancient Evenings" (1983), a novel of ancient Egypt that took 11 years to complete, was critically panned.
"Tough Guys Don't Dance" (1984) became a 1987 film. Some critics found "Harlot's Ghost" (1991), a novel about the CIA, surprisingly sympathetic to the cold warriors, considering Mailer's left-leaning past. In 1997, he came out with "The Gospel According to the Son," a novel told from Jesus Christ's point of view. The following year, he marked his 75th birthday with the epic-length anthology "The Time of Our Time."
Mailer's wives, besides Morales, were Beatrice Silverman; Lady Jeanne Campbell; Beverly Bentley; actress Carol Stevens and painter Norris Church. He had five daughters, three sons and a stepson.
Mailer lived for decades in the Brooklyn Heights townhouse with a view of New York harbor and lower Manhattan from the rooftop "crow's nest," and kept a beachside home in Provincetown, Mass., where he spent increasing time in his later years.
Despite heart surgery, hearing loss and arthritic knees that forced him to walk with canes, Mailer retained his enthusiasm for writing and in early 2007 released "The Castle in the Forest," a novel about Hitler's early years, narrated by an underling of Satan. A book of conversations about the cosmos, "On God," came out in the fall.
In 2005, Mailer received a gold medal for lifetime achievement at the National Book Awards, where he deplored what he called the "withering" of general interest in the "serious novel."
Authors like himself, he said more than once, had become anachronisms as people focused on television and young writers aspired to screenwriting or journalism.
When he was young, Mailer said, "fiction was everything. The novel, the big novel, the driving force. We all wanted to be Hemingway ... I don't think the same thing can be said anymore. I don't think my work has inspired any writer, not the way Hemingway inspired me."
Lennon said arrangements for a private service and burial for family members and close friends would be announced next week, and a memorial service would be held in New York in the coming months.

Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

More Kerik Crap, Slung Like Mud

No baldo has been elected president since that dude in the '50s. The guy after Nixon was appointed or something. (Has Giuliani had his peepers "done," or is he just going for the Freddie Thompson "I'll be dead before my first term is up" cadaver look?)
John McCain, the so-called war hero who had his plane shot out from under him, couldn't avoid capture, then milked his prisoner of war experience & a fortunate marriage to a flight attendant who's the heiress to the fortune of the largest beer distributor in Arizona, is slinging mud at Rudy Giuliani, who made his fortune from the deaths (many of them directly attributable to his incompetence managing the City of New York) of the victims of 11 September 2001. Or perhaps we should say McCain is slinging Bernie Kerik at Giuliani. Same thing, really.

Proving that Bernard Kerik is a walking political attack ad, Sen. John McCain blasted the former NYPD chief yesterday as an "irresponsible" deserter in Iraq - and a big reason to doubt Rudy Giuliani's judgment.
McCain seized on Kerik's new national notoriety after his indictment to launch a harsh broadside against Republican rival and front-runner Giuliani, questioning whether the
ex-mayor is "qualified to lead."

[...]
McCain charged Kerik all but went AWOL in his 2003 stint in Baghdad as head of training for Iraqi police.
"He stayed two months and one day left - just up and left," McCain told reporters in New Hampshire.
Broadening his attack to include Giuliani's later endorsement of Kerik to head Homeland Security, McCain went on, "That's why I never would've supported him" for that job - "because of his irresponsible act when he was over in Baghdad to try and help train the police.
"One of the reasons why we had so much trouble with the initial training of the police was because he came, didn't do anything and then went out to the airport and left."
McCain's jabs marked the beginning of a day-long, verbal brawl - mostly waged by aides and advisers - between Team Giuliani and Camp McCain.
Yes, these fucking jag-offs think they deserve to be the president (or the president's very important helpers) of This Great Nation of Ours™. I beg to fucking differ. (Yeah, we split an infinitve. It's for dramatic effect.)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Rudy & All His Pals & Cronies

Rudy's good buddy, former driver, NYPD & Corrections commissioner (that's always a good indication of sheer corruption, when a flunky receives high level appointments) & business partner Bernie Kerik was formally indicted by a Federal grand jury today "on conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, and substantive counts of wire and mail fraud, under a statute often used in corruption cases, according to people briefed on the vote. The panel also voted to charge him with lying on a mortgage application and his homeland security application and with several counts of tax fraud." —New York Times

All well & good, but the real fun is from Fox News, & Rupert Murdoch's personal fish-wrapper, The New York Post, from almost three weeks ago. Who's got Rudy's back on this one? Why, it's little Marc Mukasey, who's Rudy's law partner &, oddly enough (or not, for we all know there are no coincidences) the son of the just sworn in Attorney General of the United States, Michael Mukasey. And little Marc seems to be readying himself for some big-time gubmint lawyering:
A source said Mukasey has "made it impossible" for Breen "to interview witnesses" who work at Giuliani Partners, the consulting firm founded in 2002 by the former mayor after he left office. Kerik had been a key player in Giuliani Partners before his fall from grace. Mukasey is "basically shutting them down," the source said.
Also from the NYT, Rudy's excuse:

So Mr. Giuliani once again said that he had made “a mistake in not checking him out more carefully.” He pointed out the successes he had in New York. And almost lost in the mix was Mr. Giuliani’s effort to highlight a less well-known aspect of his own biography, and to talk up his new endorsement from Pat Robertson to Iowa voters.
That's really believable, Rudy. He was your driver, your Police & Corrections commissioner, your partner in your post-September 11th security consulting scam, you recommeneded him for director of DHS, & the only thing you can say is you should have "checked him out more carefully." From Wikipedia:

After campaigning on behalf of George W. Bush in the 2004 election, he was reportedly the top choice for Secretary of Homeland Security after the resignation of Tom Ridge. When suggestions were made that Giuliani's confirmation hearings would be marred by details of his past affairs and scandals, he turned down the offer and instead recommended his friend and former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik. Kerik, in his pre-announcement interviews with the White House, failed to disclose facts in his past that were certain to disqualify him.
After the formal announcement of Kerik's nomination, information known for years to local reporters, but unreported, became widely known (most notably, that Kerik had ties to organized crime, but also that he had been sued for sexual harassment and had employed an undocumented alien as a domestic servant). The political fallout was damaging to the perception of competence in the White House
vetting process and doubts as to Giuliani's ethics and political judgment in recommending Kerik in the first place.
And on an even deeper level of idiocy:

He was a speaker at the 2004 Republican National Convention, where he endorsed George W. Bush for re-election by recalling that immediately after the World Trade Center towers fell, "Without really thinking, based on just emotion, spontaneous, I grabbed the arm of then-Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, and I said to him, 'Bernie, thank God George Bush is our president.'"[117]
That statement alone, if true (and it's just the kind of homo-erotic 300 horseshit that these kinds of clowns would make up) should disqualify Giuliani from running for any office above ferret-catcher.
Rudy & Bernie getting all 300. Hey, try getting names that don't end in an "e" sound, now that you're both over 50.

Pat Robertson's endorsement? Robertson, the protein powder scam artist & dealer in conflict diamonds, who has to apologize for virtually every statement that comes out of his mouth, even though he supposedly has a direct line to the Space Elf he claims to worship? That Robertson? Hoo boy.
And Daniel Pipes? (Item just below there.) Why, he's one of Giuliani's advisers, along w/ Norman "The Case for Bombing Iran" Podhoretz.

An all-star line-up:
Mr. Kerik isn't the only Giuliani intimate facing questions about unethical or illegal actions. The common thread in these relationships is Mr. Giuliani's unswerving loyalty to people who have earned his trust. "Clearly there's a bond that he has with some people, as most of us do," said Fran Reiter, a former deputy mayor to Mr. Giuliani who now supports Hillary Clinton for president.

Many of the people in Mr. Giuliani's White House campaign and his business are longtime friends who worked with him in his mayoral administration. Some could be expected to be the initial brain trust a President Giuliani would draw upon if elected to the White House. Others might serve as an informal "kitchen cabinet" of friends to offer advice and discuss ideas.
Sound like a certain President currently occupying the White House? All about loyalty, & buddies, & cronies? Is this the sort of thing we need another four yrs. of? Are these the kind of people we need in charge of anyone's life or money?

Msgr. Alan Placa, a childhood friend of Mr. Giuliani who is now a consultant to Giuliani Partners LLC, the candidate's consulting firm, went on administrative leave from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre, N.Y., in 2003 after allegations surfaced that he had conspired to protect priests accused of improper sexual contact with boys.
Msgr. Placa has acknowledged he is the person described as "Priest F" in a 2003 Suffolk Country, N.Y., grand jury report. The grand jury alleged that "Priest F" tried to grope teenage boys three decades ago and, in the 1990s, used hardball legal tactics to keep allegations of sexual misconduct against other priests out of public view.

No charges have been filed against Msgr. Placa, and Mr. Giuliani has said he stands by his friend. "I know him really well, and I have confidence in him. And the fact is, he hasn't even been formally accused of anything," Mr. Giuliani said in an interview with a Massachusetts television station last month.

Sure, most of the campaigns have corrupt politicos, bribing & stealing businessmen & convicted or accused drug smugglers, but we're pretty sure the Giuliani campaign is the only one w/ its own Molesting Monsignor!

Another close friend of Mr. Giuliani, Ken Caruso, a partner in the candidate's law firm, Bracewell & Giuliani LLP, is accused in a lawsuit pending in a New York state court of professional misconduct toward a client.
J. Virgil Waggoner, a wealthy Texan who lost $10 million in the 1990s investing with a now-defunct offshore bank that a Senate investigative report identified as fraudulent, described Mr. Caruso in the suit as being in league with the people who defrauded him. Mr. Waggoner accused Mr. Caruso of helping the people who defrauded him escape liability, even as he charged Mr. Waggoner for legal advice that went against his interests. Also named in the suit is the Bracewell & Giuliani law firm, where Mr. Caruso is a partner in the New York office headed by Mr. Giuliani.


As New York mayor in the 1990s, Mr. Giuliani weathered other scandals involving people in his political orbit.
Charles Hughes, a major union supporter of Mr. Giuliani, went to prison after pleading guilty in 2000 to stealing $2 million from union members.
Russell Harding, the son of a lobbyist and close political adviser to Mr. Giuliani, went to prison in 2005 for embezzling $400,000 from the New York City Housing Development Corp., where he was president. Mr. Giuliani had appointed him to the post.

And profiting on the dead of 11 September! A total winner. We're joining the campaign tomorrow morning. joinrudy2008.com

Neo-Commentary (UPDATED)

Here's something we submitted to one Daniel Pipes' website, in response to this wonderful item. As Mr. Pipes' comment policy is:

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Comments are screened for relevance, substance, and tone, and in some cases edited, before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome, but not hostile, libelous, or otherwise objectionable statements. Original writing only, please.
we had a certain suspicion that our comment might not make it through the "moderation process." Free speech: it's not on the wingnut menu any more. And there's nothing more "hostile" to a drooling neo-con monkey than flinging said monkey's own shit back in its face. Not wanting to waste a good rant, we figured we'd better reproduce it here in case it didn't make the cut chez Pipes:

Since April 2003, I have argued that this shouldering of responsibility for Iraq's domestic life has harmed both Americans and Iraqis.

Yet in December 2001 you were completely Gung Ho for invading Iraq, and managed to shoot down all the rational arguments against it. Do you still think that Hussein was connected to September 11th?

The U.S. priority is to win the war against terrorism, not make new friends.

And we'll win this "war against a tactic" by making enemies of everyone who might actually be able to help us against the fundamentalist Islamic maniacs who are our real enemy?

And Turkey appears to be on board: Defense Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu recently said that his government might reconsider the "Iraqi question," indicating Turkey's possible willingness to help America.

Wrong again. "Appears to be on board." "Possible willingness." Self-delusion & wishful thinking.

Better yet, the Iraqi National Congress (waiting in the wings) gives signs of setting up a democratic government.

You'd better go back to your crystal ball. Whatever signs you were getting seem to have been wrong.

Collateral damage: An attack on Iraq would cause civilian casualties, Britain's Foreign Ministry and Saudi Arabia's Prince Turki bin Faisal both tell us. True, but collateral damage pales in comparison to the damage Saddam inflicts on his own people, whether gassing 5,000 of them on one day in 1988 or assaulting the Shi'ites in Iraq's south for over a decade.

As in Afghanistan, an attack on Iraq would be a
humanitarian operation that the local population will celebrate.

It takes a certain kind of person to consider an attack a "humanitarian operation." The "collateral damage" was a bit more than 5,000, wasn't it? And now you want to deny any American responsibility for anything that's happened in Iraq over the last four years.

U.S. military efforts are judged primarily by the benefits they bring to the defeated enemy, rather than to Americans.

Here's the clue that you & your ilk seem to miss: The Iraqis are not a "defeated enemy," in the sense that Japan & Germany were. The Iraqis did not attack us, or declare war on us, nor were they supporters of Hussein in the way the Germans & Japanese backed Hitler & Tojo. Therefore, they don't see themselves as a "defeated enemy" as the Japanese & Germans did, but as victims of unwarranted aggression & occupation. And most of the rest of the Arabic & Islamic world see it the same way.

If you can't grasp the most basic, common sense facts, please leave the foreign policy recommendations to others & read tea leaves or palms for a living, where your inability to see the future will harm only those foolish enough to take your advice, not entire nations & regions.

I hope this isn't too "hostile" for someone of your refined sensibilities. Certainly you have no hostility toward the Iraqi people.
Check Pipes' Wikipedia entry. He's never met a war he didn't like. Compare & contrast this:


Pipes suggested that radical Islam is the problem and moderate Islam is the solution. "Is it not telling that great numbers of moderate Muslims see danger where so many non-Muslims are blind? Do developments in Pakistan and Turkey not confirm my oft-repeated point that radical Islam is the problem and moderate Islam the solution? And do they not suggest that ignorant non-Muslim busybodies should get out of the way of those moderate Muslims determined to relegate Islamism to its rightful place in the dustbin of history?"[12]
w/ the "fuck the Iraqis" attitude he expressed. A very complex (or lying, hypocritical, paranoid hate-mongering) man, wouldn't you say?Mr. Pipes, doing his best to ignore photo prankster/wannabe right-wing fellatrix Pam, w/ her thumb up signature move. (WARNING: Pam's website is so full of literal & figurative typed & other crap it might take several minutes to load, even w/ broadband, & MAY CRASH YOUR BROWSER!)

UPDATE (9 November 2007 @ 1650 PST):
Actually, we submitted two posts to DanielPipes.org. The first, somewhat less hostile & offensive one was approved a mere 12 hrs. after submission. The second one, above, is still waiting. We'll see.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

J. A. B. (F. L. A.)™ MARKET WRAP & WORLD UPDATE (UPDATED)

Your editor's recent forays into the world of econoblogging @ the popular Firing Miss Megan web log have given us the insight to note that George W. Bush has given the American economy the same treatment he's given Iraq. Indeed, it may well be that the W. approach to international relations is threatening our economy. Of course it's not all Bush's fault, the usual scams/poorly considered schemes (Which is which? Is there a difference?) are always in play in the "free market;" this time it's sub-prime mortgages, last time it was Enron & "Kenny Boy" (Huh? Never heard of him.) Lay. There's always a scam or a bubble waiting to burst in the world of stock trading. (Wait a minute. Trading? Are we talking geeks swapping baseball cards, or real people's real money being fooled w/ by ass wipes who'll make money from commissions no matter the fate of the stock being "traded?")

One sentence to sum it up:

The stock market, often lauded for its resiliency, is suddenly finding it difficult to put an optimistic spin on a lethal convergence of negatives: still-unquantifiable losses in the banking sector caused by the housing bust and credit crunch; the inflationary implications of a steep drop in the value of the U.S. dollar; and fears oil will soon fetch $100 a barrel.
More detailed (boring) info from the NYT, WaPo & LAT, if you give a shit.

WORLD UPDATE:
On the international scene, anything can happen in nuclear-armed Pakistan, where large demonstrations against the latest fascist oppressions of Pervis "Mushy" Musharraf are planned for tomorrow. A "state of emergency" has been declared in Georgia, termed a "beacon of democracy" by one George W. Bush. Local reaction to that statement?

Tina Khidasheli, an opposition leader, said in an interview that she had been beaten and hit with a tear gas canister when police moved in. She blamed the violence in part on the United States' "unconditional support" for Georgia's ruling party, adding that she thought her country's leadership would have respected the rule of law more if U.S. officials had insisted it be upheld.
"For four years they did not question anything Saakashvili was doing," she said. "Beacon of democracy? The shining of democracy was in the streets today."
We'll note that Mr. Bush is behind "Mushy" as well, not having gotten around to calling ol' Pervis & telling him to resign his position as Army Chief of Staff & hold elections until yesterday.

CULTURE & CONSUMPTION: On a more positive note, the X-mess advertising season is underway; soon consumption will give the economy a boost. It's not completely pervasive yet, but after Veterans Day we're guessing the suicide rate will be right where it belongs during the X-mess advertising period. Remember, cut length wise, not across your wrists.

MARKET UPDATE (Updated 8 November 2007 @ 1718 PST): John O. commenting @ S,N! has a good take on this:
If you have money, move it to cash. My guiding principle on this is that George “Bizarro Midas” Bush has screwed everything he’s touched up; how can the economy not be next? It’s not a very sophisticated analysis, sure, but I’ll bet my assets, because I already have, that I’m right. The only question is whether or not everyone will be able to blame the new Administration.
Disclaimer: I am NOT a financial advisor.
"Bizarro Midas." Wish we'd thought of that.

And local "g" responds to that:
Heck, even cash isn’t any good anymore - Gisele Bündchen wants to be paid in Euros instead of dollars because the dollar isn’t worth anything anymore.
The Canadian dollar (the loonie) by the way, is worth more against the US$ than at any time since 1950!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Click Here for Our "Privacy " Policy

Oh, we're sorry, we don't have a "privacy" policy. Neither does any Internet Service Provider, E-Mail provider, on-line shopping outfit or any other entity you may use or encounter in the vast wasteland of webbery, no matter what they may claim.

That may be a little harsh, actually. Of course there are policies. If information gathered may be sold, it will be, & if the gov't. comes knocking, companies will roll over & play dead w/o profit, or even a doggie treat.

Yang and Callahan defended Yahoo during the hearing, arguing that the company was doing its best to compete in China's notoriously difficult business environment. They noted that Yahoo must respond to lawful requests by authorities for information about Internet users -- just as they must when served with subpoenas in the United States.
But Tuesday's performance by Yang and Callahan could give a boost to the legislation.
[...]
Committee Chairman Tom Lantos (D-Burlingame) and other lawmakers pilloried Yang and Michael Callahan, Yahoo's executive vice president and general counsel, for providing Chinese officials with Shi's identity from his e-mail address in 2004, then misleading lawmakers last year about what it knew about the case.

"While technologically and financially you are giants, morally you are pygmies," Lantos said, scolding Yahoo executives.

Don't forget, of course, the various telephone cos. in the U. S. of A. that are more than happy to build "secret" rooms, fully-equipped for spying, in their facilities, which they then hand over to the government to use as it will. (Do the telcos charge the government for the service, equipment & space, or does it come out of the shareholder's wallet? Might be worth looking into for a stockholder lawsuit.)That being said, let this web log once again call for the overthrow, by any means necessary, including force, of the United States Government, & all other governments worldwide!! Fucking now!!

Words Are Fun

You are encouraged to read this comment. You may never want to read anything "serious" again.

More Maggie

Typing as we just were about females named Maggie, we still have some underwearlingerie shots of Maggie the Gyllenhaal in the hard drive, right next to the ones of Maggie the Elephant. Isn't the alphabet wonderful?

Last Living Elephant Leaves Alaska

Last week, the U. S. Air Force flew Maggie, an elephant, from Elmendorf AFB, near Anchorage, to Travis AFB in California aboard a C-17 Globemaster III (above). Maggie & her too big for a commercial freighter travel crate at right. Frolicking in the snow in Anchorage, below.
Treadmill the Anchorage Zoo came up with. Elephants who aren't imprisoned walk a lot. If they're prisoners & don't walk enough they get depressed.
In the winter of 2004 a new problem arose. Veterinarians diagnosed Maggie with depression.
The story hit the national media and even late night talk shows.
"In Anchorage, Alaska, zoo officials are trying to figure out what's been making an African elephant who has been in the Alaska Zoo since 1983 depressed," joked Jay Leno. "They are trying to figure out why the elephant is depressed. I don't know -- the fact that she's an elephant in Alaska! Do you think that has something to do with it?"

(It's a shame & a pity the tee vee writers are on strike, isn't it?)
Maybe not completely "free at last, free at last!" but at least in California, & w/ some other elephant friends (not seen in picture).

"Hopefully, she will soon realize how wonderful life can be with four devoted friends to share important elephant experiences: the joy of mud bathing, dusting, grazing, browsing and, most importantly, moving freely over the hills of sunny California."
The Coast is the most because the surfing's the best!
Another shot of a C-17.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

She Was Only In It For The Money

As Slave Girl Moolah:
The Fabulous Moolah (born as Mary Lillian Ellison) Women's Wrasslin' Champ for the longest time ever, has made her last drop kick, at the age of 84.Above: Moolah at work.

We guess what they say about Baltimore is right (Edgar Allan Poe, John Waters, John Doe) 'cause the Baltimore Sun has a wrasslin' blog, which debunks the urban legend that Moolah held the belt continuously from the '50s to the '80s.Most impressive? She went out w/ Hank Williams (the real one, not Bocephus):
"He had just gotten divorced from Audrey, and we started dating. But after about a year I could tell it wouldn't work out. He was on the road seven days a week and under a lot of stress. It was hard on him. When he would get to drinking and mix it with other stuff, he would get really. . .demanding. What broke us up was, he said, 'Lilly, when you become Mrs. Hank Williams, you can forget about this damn wrestling.' I said, 'I beg your pardon.' It was over after that. A lot of times I feel sorry that happened, but it was for the best."

Sometimes that's the way it goes in show bidness, if you're dedicated to your art.Moolah later in life. She last regained the title at the age of 76. What a trouper.

Just Wondering: Is the Richard Goldstein who wrote Moolah's NYT obit the same Richard Goldstein who writes for The Nation, & was executive editor of The Village Voice & author of The Poetry of Rock?

E Minus 365, & Holding Our Nose

Just a year now 'til the big election. Don't know if this is the only gubernatorial race going on today, but the results may mean something for next year. Or may not, esp. as we here @ Just Another Blog (From L. A.)™ know absolutely nothing about any of the candidates, & not much about Kentucky itself, other than as the home of both bourbon whiskey & our late cousin Norma.
There is more electoral action: Haley Barbour was apparently reëlected in Mississippi, because somehow Federal funds for Katrina relief were a lot easier to get to Mississippi than to Louisiana, which of course would 'splain a Republican grabbing the governorship there a wk. or two ago. This is a bloated toad, not to be confused w/ Gov. Barbour, though it'd be easy to do.

Pakistan's Problem? Privatisation!

From Pakistan's leading English newspaper:
KARACHI, Oct 16: Eminent labour leader Habibuddin Junaidi on Tuesday said that the policies of privatisation and downsizing imposed by the present rulers had rendered more than 0.8 million labourers jobless. In a statement issued here on Tuesday, he said that workers had been suffering for past 10 years due to the privatisation and downsizing which had affected hundreds of thousands of families as the policies had resulted in the closure of more than 4,000 industrial units.
He said that promulgation of Industrial Relation Ordinance-2002 and inclusion of Article 27-B in the Banking Companies Ordinance were hanging over workers like a sword.

He appealed to all labour organisations and every worker to join hands against privatization and downsizing.—PPI
Commenting @ Sadly, No!, Mandos indicates that the story we are not getting is that the Pakistani courts are not going along w/ Mushy's privatisation plans. I think we all agree that making sure there's profit (on the backs of workers, of course) involved is the best way to stop terrorism & keep Pakistan's nuclear weapons out of the hands of the Taliban or Bin Laden. Don't you?

Dawn again:
HYDERABAD, Oct 23: Employees of Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (Hesco), on the call given by Pakistan Wapda Hydro Electric Central Labour Union, staged demonstrations and rallies across the province (CBA) on Tuesday in protest against proposed bifurcation and privatisation of Wapda [Water And Power Development Authority - Ed.] and growing joblessness, price hikes, lawlessness and terrorism in the country.

In Hyderabad, hundreds of Hesco employees led by central chairman of the CBA, Abdul Latif Nizamani, provincial secretary Iqbal Kaimkhani, Malik Sultan and Qazi Saleem Anwar staged a procession, which started from Labour Hall and terminated at the press club after marching on different roads.

Mr Nizamani said that 150,000 Wapda employees would not tolerate the authority’s bifurcation at any cost. The administration of Wapda in Sindh paid half month’s salary to employees as Eid advance although the Punjab government had paid full salary to all its employees, he complained. He demanded that the half month salary should be counted towards bonus else the employees would refuse to accept salary of current month. The employees would stage rallies throughout the country on Oct 30 on this issue, he said.

Mr Nizamani blamed government’s inefficiency for growing terrorism, lawlessness and unemployment and condemned bomb blasts in Karachi on Oct 18.

He warned that if the authority did not revise pay-scale of all the non-clerical staff on the pattern of clerical staff the employees would resort to tool down strike.

Hesco employees in Shikarpur staged a rally and a demonstration at Lakhi Gate Tower Chowk. Labour leaders demanded shelving Wapda privatisation policy and urged the government to accept their demands.

They said that there seemed to be separate laws for Wapda employees in Punjab and Sindh. Presently, Wapda had no power generating unit due to which there would be more load-shedding during next summer, they said.

They offered fateha for the innocent people killed in Karachi blasts and expressed grief over the sad demise of revolutionary poet Sarvech Sujawali.

In Nawabshah, members of CBA staged a rally and a demonstration at Manuabad.

The union leaders Fazal Shaikh, Inamuddin Qureshi, Saleem Taj and Anwar Chandio said that the half salary was given to them on the directives of Wapda chairman before Eid but it was not being converted into bonus and was being deducted from their salaries.They demanded that the deduction of Eid bonus
from their salaries should be stopped and Ordinance 2000 and privatisation policy should be withdrawn.
From Dawn, Oct. 29:
The senior vice-chairman of the union, Ali Said, said the international financial bodies had been pressurising the government to privatize profit-earning units at throwaway prices to multinational corporations.

He warned that Wapda workers would not tolerate the plunder of national assets. He said the privatization of Wapda would translate into an increase in the energy charges.

He called upon the government to control the deficit in Wapda by initiating rightsizing in the officer cadre.
Further from Dawn:

CHARGE-SHEET AGAINST JUDICIARY: While it started with what it called “visible ascendancy in the activities of extremists and incidents of terrorist attacks” as grounds for the action, the proclamation contained a long charge-sheet against the superior judiciary some of whose members, it said, “are working at cross purposes with the executive and legislature in the fight against terrorism and extremism, thereby weakening the government and the nation’s resolve and diluting the efficacy of its actions to control this menace”.

[T]he proclamation contained a long charge-sheet against the superior judiciary some of whose members, it said, “are working at cross purposes with the executive and legislature in the fight against terrorism and extremism, thereby weakening the government and the nation’s resolve and diluting the efficacy of its actions to control this menace”.

“... (T)here has been increasing interference by some members of the judiciary in government policy, adversely affecting economic growth, in particular,” it said, adding that there was “constant interference in executive functions.”
Well. No government in its right mind can put up with that sort of thing for very long. Checks & balances, our ass! And here's a real beaut, a gov't. official sucking up at the IMF & World Bank:

Pakistan economic aide stresses more privatization WASHINGTON, Oct 23 (Reuters) Pakistan is eager to deepen economic reforms that have delivered historic growth in the country despite political turmoil, Salman Shah, an aide to Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said Monday. He said Islamabad was eyeing “second-generation reforms” to follow a bank privatization program that helped power five years of 7 percent growth and doubled Pakistan's GDP during the seven-year tenure of President Musharraf. “These second-generation reforms would mean a leaner government and a much more active and aggressive private sector,” he said in Washington, where he attended the semi-annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Shah appealed to foreign investors and governments to maintain interest in Pakistan, and said: “In the war on extremism, it's very important that we succeed in Pakistan and that's for the entire world.” “On our own, we are not going to be able to sustain it.” (Posted @ 11:15 PST)

Some sort of editorial:

The people are witness to what happens when the government tries to use unrestrained power to achieve its narrow political ends at the cost of independent institutions so badly needed for improved governance. Or when it ignores official rules for the benefit of the privileged with its negative outcomes.
[...]
It is the beneficiaries of reforms and the strength of public opinion that can provide support to formal changes in rules and regulations to make them effective. The masses, however, would only rally for governance reforms if they perceive them to be gainful for themselves.What do they care for free market, privatisation or institutional reforms, if it does not help them improve their lot? No matter how prudent, if free market means offering free hand to powerful market players to squeeze vulnerable customers and increase their profit margins, people’s opposition is but logical.

If privatisation put them out of job in a shrinking labour market no amount of theoretical argument will convince them to back it. If an autonomous central bank fails to make commercial banks share the gains of financial reforms with their depositors, the SBP will have to contend with the support extended by commercial banks in its favour.

Nothing convinces better than personal experience. The gains of institutional reforms in the economy will have to reach people for them to understand their relevance to progress.Reforms should not lead to consolidation of the traditional elite and the renter class at the cost of equality of opportunity, competition and economic efficiency.

So. Bush bought the same load of crap from Mushy as from Putin. Just look Bush in the eye & he's yours, like a rodent hypnotized by a snake, or a deer caught in headlights. Perhaps that explains his sparkling business career. Slick Texas oilmen looking him in the eye: "Shore, George, they's plenny uh earl here. Jes' keep drillin'."

And slick Pervis "Mushy" Musharraf has fooled Bush into giving him money to buy weapons that will be more useful against Pakistan's permanent enemy, India, than against the fanatical Islamic terrorists Pakistan allows to stay in Waziristan.

It'd be pretty damn funny if this libertarian "privatisation" crap resulted in A-Bombs in the hands of people even crazier than libertarians. In an ironic way, of course.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Time Shifting

Is any one else as disturbed/confused as the staff @ Just Another Blog (From L. A.)™ (now now, smart-asses, let us finish the question) by the reversion to "Standard" time? Sign of aging, perhaps? We've only noticed this the last two or three years. And it may have someting to do with our habit of sleeping much later than the average American go-getter anyway, & suddenly w/ standard time we have even less exposure to sunlight. (Well, less awareness that the sun is out there, beyond the blinds.)
Maybe we'll go on strike in solidarity w/ our sister & brother writers who are unionized. (And still getting screwed.)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

This One Is About Dr. Ron Paul (Ratpublican-Texas)

Dr. Paul's wacky fan base is having a virtual fund-raising event tomorrow, the Fifth of November. That's Guy Fawkes Day in the U. K. We can probably trust Wikipedia on this one:

Guy Fawkes (13 April 1570 – 31 January 1606), was a member of a group of English Roman Catholics who attempted to carry out the Gunpowder Plot, an attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill King James I of England, to destroy Protestant rule by killing the Protestant aristocracy, on 5 November 1605.
(Guy Fawkes was hanged, then drawn & quartered for his anti-gov't. troubles. Can we recommend anything less for Dr. Paul & some of his more, shall we say, active supporters?)

Dr. Paul is a veritable Rudy "The Catholic" Giuliani, invoking terrorism for fund-raising. It's just that the Doctor goes back to the 17th century for his favorite attempt at terrorism. Not the only trip he takes far into the past for positions & policies. The good doctor (& especially his barely post adolescent fan-base) are nonetheless wise to the weasel-wide web. For example, some of the Internet denizens who favor Ron are credit card scammers. (Isn't Lyndon LaRouche in the big house for credit card fraud w/ the card numbers of his supporters?) From KXAN in Dallas:

"She said, 'Somebody by the name of Ron Paul has been trying to take $5 out of your account using this number,'" Ruffino said. As it turns out, credit card thieves used Ruffino's card to run a test charge, with the money going to the Ron Paul presidential campaign fund.
Here's how it works: Thieves gather stolen credit card numbers online and run the test charges to see which numbers work. If the charge goes through, they know they have an active card.
Representatives for the Ron Paul campaign said they have discovered more than a dozen mysterious $5 contributions in the past three days. They said they're working with banks to return the money.
We see true libertarianism here, don't we? No, not Doc P.'s actual employees, but his card scamming fans: "I'm getting mine, & I don't need any gov't. regulation to tell me how to get my money!"

Other activities his unofficial supporters appear to be up to:

Spam supporting presidential hopeful Ron Paul filled inboxes this week as zombie computers spewed thousands of messages to recipients, according to spam experts. The spam supporting Paul was sent using the same illegal spam methods used to distribute masculinity enhancement products and pump-and-dump penny stock schemes.
[...]
In this case, the Ron Paul 2008 Presidential Campaign Committee vigorously denies sending the spam, approving its distribution, or having any ties to its senders. Security experts analyzing the deluge agree the official organization is likely not the source.
Or, as everyone discussing the deluge noted, the spam may have been sent by someone trying to make Paul look bad by associating him with spamming.
As the saying goes, w/ friends like these you don't need enemies. But it's all good, they're just refusing to knuckle under to pernicious gov't. regulation. "If I know how to send spam from someone else's computer & they haven't made the choice to educate themselves on how to defend their computer and taken the steps necessary, that's just too bad for them. An' we don' need no stinking gummint makin' no regulations 'bout it, neither nohow!!"
Halloween Wrap-Up:
Which do you find more frightening, the jack o' lantern above, or the Official Portrait from The 109th Congress, on the right?

Not Ron Paul, Paul Tibbets

We used the "Sucky Google™ News Feed" to look for poop on Ron Paul, who's grubbing for money tomorrow. Nothing for Ron under "Paul." (We also have "Gravel" in the News feed. Guess what sort of stories appear?) Paul McCartney, yes. And this from CBS & Bob Schieffer, about Paul Tibbets, & his death. We didn't bury it, it was right on the front page here.Above: Reassembled Enola Gay @ the SASM hangar.

Help Screw Megan McArdle (Over)

As first run @ Firing Miss Megan: Democracy in Peril!! Not Pakistan, ninnies, the blog-o-sphere! Mme. McA. has made a plea for votes, obviously in direct opposition to the earlier entreaty here, and probably through the haze of a hangover, as it was posted @ 1403 EST. Clever, that, allowing for an extra hour of boozing. (I know the few blackouts in my drinking career occurred when I was safely ensconced chez moi & didn't have to worry about getting home, strangers, or such.)
[A]n (extremely successful, to judge by all the empty bottles and the ottoman we set on fire) housewarming party[.]
My criterion for success was the number of wymyn in my bed the next afternoon, but to each their own. If drinking & vandalism are more important to you than desire & affection, I can only pity you. Now get out there & vote for what you know to be right! And remember, you can vote once every 24 hours, or more if you've different IPs available to you. Make Megan cry. brad adds:
As longtime readers know, what happens when I do not win these things, is that I cry. [sic]* Huge, wet tears rolling out of my enormous green eyes and searing the lightly freckled, yet delicately translucent skin of my fair face. No one wants that, do they?
.... fair? *- "As longtime readers know, ..., is that I cry." No, I cry. Hmmm, actually, does the [sic] go after the second comma or at the end? Me not know Posted by M. Bouffant at 5:41 PM 0 comments Vote for tbogg. Or don't, but you should. Just DO NOT VOTE for "Asymmetrical Information." Democracy Now!!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Strongness Through Strength

Ann's hair has done some color flip-flopping since high-school.Mittens Romney has taken his business acumen & marketing skills & applied them to his campaign, along w/ a good portion of the fortune he made on the backs of people who work for a living, by buying & selling their companies out from under them. (This, of course, is why his five spawn are so anxious to get him elected; if he spends their inheritance they'll need plenty of that good old fashioned Republican cronyism to save them from working for a living.)
And what is Mittens' big marketing push? One word: Strength. That's it. All you need to know.
“I think we’re at a point in time in American history where we’re going to see America change course,” Romney said. “I think the key to America’s future is a philosophy, an ideology of strength.”
Absolutely. Certainly we've been looked at as the weak sister on the international scene until now, what w/ surrendering to Castro in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and only being able to lose 58,000 American lives, & a few limbs & eyes & souls & minds on top of that in Vietnam. Oh, there were Panama's & Grenada's successful invasions of Florida & Georgia during the '80s, & that whole mess when Saddam Hussein ran us out of New England in 1990. Who could ever forget?
But no more of that when "Double Gitmo" Romney is the man.
In Orange County, California:
Strength was the recurring theme of Romney's stump speech. Creating a strong military, ensuring a strong economy and facilitating strong families, he said, would guarantee a safe and prosperous future for America.
Talking to old fool Bill Schneider of CNN, about strength. Yes, you see, "strong families" (?) will be better able to compete, especially once free trade zones are established. What we'll be competing in is beyond us. China seems to have the cheap & dangerous toys, toothpaste, & other goods market locked up. India's about to be a software giant, & they already have a larger film industry then we do.
From Mittens' website:
MR: "Well, first it's important to communicate as you do to your audience that the trade and opening markets to American goods is essential. The only way America is going to remain the world's superpower is if we can compete globally, so I want to open more markets to our goods and I will negotiate with other nations to do so. At the same time I want to make sure that our trading with other nations is done on a fair basis, and when a nation like China does not honor our intellectual property rights then we're going to have to get serious with our Chinese friends and say guys you just can't do that or you're going to suffer consequences in our markets. So we're going to have to fight to make sure that our products are protected and our technology is protected but also to not close down foreign markets, open them up, we can compete around the world."
Maybe it's a good thing that he can hold two conflicting ideas in his mind at once. Maybe it's not.
From the traditional stomping ground of the Republican businessman, a country club:
He called for giving the president the authority to open foreign markets to American products before a crowd of approximately 120 people at the Mason City Country Club.
[...]
Strengthening the military is another goal of Romney’s.“You can’t be the world’s military superpower without being the world’s economic superpower,” he said.
Or vice versa. Back to the Greenwood, SC Index-Journal:
"It’s almost as if the Democratic contenders for president are living in a fantasy world,” he said. “They’re nice folks, they’re just wrong. It is critical America remains strong, and I think if the three Democratic leaders become president, they will not strengthen our military because they will declare defeat (in Iraq).”
Instead of declaring "Mission Accomplished" over three yrs. ago & sticking around for an occupation. And "declaring defeat" & bringing the occupation forces home certainly won't strengthen the military. You have to declare "Mission Accomplished, Occupation Over!!" & then bring them back. And bingo, the military is rejuvenated, because it's not being overextended.
In addition to cutting taxes and strengthening education in science and mathematics, Romney said one goal he would have if elected is to open the nation’s trade markets and provide training to workers to compete in those markets.
"We need to train, assist and empower U.S. workers to succeed in a global economy,” he said. “I’d like to audit all of the existing training and education programs and see which ones work.”
Oh yes, audits...This reporter has worked for a living (not the same as being a businessman, by the way, it involves actual work) too, & "audits" are a total joke, an exercise in bullshit & ass-kissing, in knowing what the boss wants to see & showing it to him. It couldn't possibly be any better in gov't.
Romney’s solution to the trade dilemma is creating what he called the “Reagan Zone of Economic Freedom.”
“The Reagan Zone is a group of nations engaging in trade and living by higher regulations and safety standards,” he said. “Let’s create a global zone of economic freedom to create the large free-trade area in the world. We can promote American goods and services on a global scale if it is fair.”
The zones would create a “true level playing field” for trade, he said, and involve enforcement of regulations and currency exchange.
“I am optimistic about this country,” Romney said. “I’ve been across the country and met a lot of people. The American people have the heart to succeed in anything we put our minds to. I want to make sure America remains the economic power of the world so we can also remain the military power of the world.”
Sheer fucking crap, from the invocation of St. Ronnie of Alzheimer's to this fantasy zone of indeterminate, undefined nations, goods & services. What the fuck do we still manufacture in this country? Oh yes, crappy cars w/ lousy mileage. The world is beating a path to our door for that better mousetrap. We do sell arms everywhere we can. No reason not to be optimistic about that. Americans seem better at destruction than anything that might create good. We want to sell crap to furriners so we can have a powerful military to threaten the furriners with. Or: "The Iraqi oil will pay for the war." Heard it all before.
Here's a clue, Republicans: Reagan was nothing but an amiable dunce, & suffering from Alzheimer's before he left the White House. He will have been gone from the political scene for 20 yrs. by the time the election arrives (Hey, exactly one yr. to go, as of Sunday!!) & no one who didn't vote for him 24 yrs. ago is going to vote Republican because of his name this time around. Many people who voted for him 28 yrs. ago will be voting for any one but a Republican this time around.
Face it Mittens, the Republicans are the ones living in the fantasy world of "free trade," & a new improved manufacturing base, selling imaginary widgets to fantasized nations. Just not gonna happen. How many American-made products are sold by the one successful business w/ which you were involved, Staples™? Got a percentage, Mittens?