Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Presidential Pardons

The Turkey-in-Chief "pardoned" two of his loyal buddies today, in the annual we don't even know what to call it wherein Fearless Leader is presented w/ two turkeys, then lets them off the hook. This year's duo will be sent to Disney World to appear as honorary grand marshals in the Thanksgiving Day Parade.

We certainly don't get the "pardon" part of this. The turkeys didn't seem to be guilty of anything more than being turkeys. Unlike, say, Scooter Libby, & whoever he was lying for. And the American turkey holocaust continues, to the tune of who knows how many sacrificed the fourth Thursday of each November. (We really tried to find out, too.)

Meanwhile, American humanoids, in their lemming-like rush, are trying to get "home," or to some relative's place, for confrontations w/ their drunken, abusive, & insulting relations, & several days of every possible rendition of left-over turkey. To hell w/ the entire stupid mess. Here @ Just Another Blog (From L. A.)™ we've nothing for which to give thanks, & we wouldn't give thanks to any Space Elf if we did. Screw Thanksgiving! And let's start The War on Christmas right fucking now. Bah! Humbug!!

Broken News: Prez, Veep Lying Sacks of Shit!!

Scott McClellan, former White House press sec'y., in a pathetic effort to drum up business & controversy for his book: WHAT HAPPENED Inside the Bush White House and What's Wrong with Washington, which will not be released until April, has said that five of the biggest cheeses in the current admin. lied to him, & by extension to the press & the American people.
"I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest-ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice president, the president's chief of staff and the president himself."
This was no trivial matter, but the exposure of a covert CIA agent, you might remember, & if you don't we're not going to dull you out further w/ the whole mess.

Here's the site w/ the entire three paragraph excerpt.

It's The Economy, You Cretinous Imbecile

The national fish wrapper, USA Today, reports on consumer confidence in the financial house of cards that is our economic system. 78% of those polled by Gallup think "things" are getting worse.USAT, which likes to "keep it simple," doesn't explain if this:
Overall, only 20% of Americans are satisfied with the direction of the country, the most dismal reading since May 1992, according to the survey of 1,014 adults Nov. 11-14.
refers only to economic factors, or if it reflects a general dissatisfaction w/ the socio-political course we seem to be on. Look for fewer jobs & higher prices though:
The Gallup data are also backed by a forecast released Monday from 50 leading business economists, who expect growth to slow significantly in coming months and inflation to tick up.
On a more positive note: Well, nothing. Not a damn thing. Nihil.

Today in History: Royal Wedding, RFK

Today is Tuesday, Nov. 20, the 324th day of 2007. There are 41 days left in the year. Today's Highlight in History: On Nov. 20, 1947, Britain's future queen, Princess Elizabeth, married Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey. On this date: In 1789, New Jersey became the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights. In 1910, revolution broke out in Mexico, led by Francisco I. Madero. In 1925, Robert F. Kennedy was born in Brookline, Mass. [What if? —Ed.] In 1929, the radio program "The Rise of the Goldbergs" debuted on the NBC Blue Network. In 1943, during World War II, U.S. Marines began landing on Tarawa and Makin atolls in the Gilbert Islands, encountering fierce resistance from Japanese forces but emerging victorious three days later. In 1945, 24 Nazi leaders went on trial before an international war crimes tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany. In 1959, the United Nations issued its "Declaration of the Rights of the Child." In 1967, the census clock at the Commerce Department ticked past 200 million. [191 yrs. to hit 200 million, another 100 million in 40 yrs. — Ed.] In 1975, after nearly four decades of absolute rule, Spain's Gen. Francisco Franco died, two weeks before his 83rd birthday. [And not a day too soon. — Ed.] In 1992, fire seriously damaged Windsor Castle, the favorite weekend home of Queen Elizabeth II. [Ironic, on her 55th wedding anniv. — Ed.] Ten years ago: Prodded by Russia, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein agreed to allow U.S. arms monitors back into his country, ending a three-week crisis that had raised fears of a military confrontation with the United States. Five years ago: On the eve of a NATO summit in the Czech Republic, President Bush, recalling Europe's grim history of "excusing aggression," challenged skeptical allies to stand firm against Saddam Hussein. A German doctor conducted Britain's first public autopsy in more than 170 years, an event denounced by the British Medical Association's Head of Ethics as "degrading and disrespectful." One year ago: After a firestorm of criticism, News Corp. said it had canceled the O.J. Simpson book and TV special "If I Did It," in which Simpson was to speak hypothetically about how he would have committed the 1994 slayings of his ex-wife and her friend. (The book was later brought out by a different publisher.) Six imams were removed from a US Airways flight at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport after passengers reported they were acting suspiciously. Four students died in a school bus crash in Huntsville, Ala. Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies was voted the National League's MVP. Movie director Robert Altman died in Los Angeles at age 81. Today's Birthdays: Actress Evelyn Keyes is 91. Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., is 90. Economist Beryl Sprinkel is 84. Actress-comedian Kaye Ballard is 82. Actress Estelle Parsons is 80. TV personality Richard Dawson is 75. Comedian Dick Smothers is 69. Singer Norman Greenbaum is 65. ["Spirit in the Sky" — Ed.] Senator Joseph Biden, D-Del., is 65. Actress Veronica Hamel is 64. Broadcast journalist Judy Woodruff is 61. Singer Joe Walsh is 60. Actor Richard Masur is 59. Actress Bo Derek is 51. Reggae musician Jim Brown (UB40) is 50. Actress Sean Young is 48. Pianist Jim Brickman is 46. Rock musician Todd Nance (Widespread Panic) is 45. Actress Ming-Na is 44. Rapper Mike D (The Beastie Boys) is 42. Rapper Sen Dog (Cypress Hill) is 42. [Coincidence? — Ed.]

Please Don't Squeeze the Coffin

Dick Wilson (born Riccardo DiGuglielmo 30 July 1916 in England, served in the RCAF in WWII, became an American citzen in 1954) film & telebision actor & vaudeville comedic dancer, died @ the Motion Picture & Television Fund Hospital in Woodland Hills yesterday, at the age of 91. Poor bastard was best known as the character "Mr. Whipple," from doing those Charmin tee pee commercials from 1964 until 1985. Typecasting may be a drag, but it sho' nuff do pay them bills.
Two separate rôles as a drunk in jail, once w/ each Darrin on Bewitched.

With "the kind of pictures they're making today," Wilson told the Associated Press in 1985, "I'll stick with toilet paper." Tell it like it is, Dick. Tell it like it is.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Edsel Wrap Up

1960 Edsel Ranger
The Last Edsel
Next in line behind this 1960 Villager is a 1960 Ford Galaxie, demonstrating one of the problems with the consistency of Edsel quality. Edsels and Fords were built on the same lines all three model years, and many times the differences would confuse and frustrate assembly workers. In some cases, Ford parts were applied to Edsels, either through mistake or part availability.

This Villager was the last Edsel ever assembled. Like all 1960 Edsels, it was produced in Louisville.
From Edsel.com.
A note in passing. The passing of the Edsel, that is. On this date in 1959 FoMoCo stopped cranking them out at their Louisville, Kentucky plant, a mere two years & two months after the line's introduction, & two months & five days after production of the 1960 models had started.

Bruce W. Walker: Fountain of Misinformation

Found a new wingnut to mock, as noted in the previous item. This guy's really funny. Nice shirt. Nice Black Dye #3, too. Let's look at his suggestion for Freddie Thompson's "campaign."

Getting it straight with conservatives matters a lot. Battleground polls consistently and accurately show that about sixty percent of Americans consider themselves conservative, while only about thirty-five percent of Americans consider themselves liberal. That is why none of the Democratic candidates is campaigning as a liberal, but rather campaigning against the so-called “Far Right.” That is also why Fred Thompson, who may soon be the only serious conservative standing, is not only the favorite to win the Republican nomination but also the general election.
We don't know what the latest polls say (this mess was posted 1 November) but we're pretty damn sure that Thompson isn't a favorite for anything besides candidate most likely to need a nap every afternoon. Nor do we know what "battleground polls" are, though we suspect Bruce may be thinking of polls taken in "battleground" states, that is, states where the horse race could go either way. Which would imply that the left/right split in those states is a little closer than 35/60. And would imply that Bruce isn't getting anything too straight for his audience.

Although Republicans respect Rudy, they still have reservations about him. They will vote for him because he is a good guy and because he could beat Hillary.
Sure. You bet. Seems like a wonderful human being. "They still have reservations about him. They will vote for him." Huh?

Brownback and Tancredo have already left the race, and Hunter is probably not far behind. That leaves Huckabee, and the more we learn about him, the more some conservatives are going to mistrust him.
Of course you all remember Tancredo's tearful announcement that he was "leaving the race." No, wait a minute, that was Tancredo's campaign commercial, which was premiered 13 November, two weeks after Bruce W.

said Tancredo had left the race.

The laughs get bigger though. Don't go anywhere.

Huckabee appears to have been very soft on illegal immigration as Governor of Arkansas, and his conservatism sounds, often, more like the Populism of William Jennings Bryan than the conservatism of Ronald Reagan. Mike has gotten a bounce, and he has worked hard for it, but the closer inspection he gets, the more conservatives may shy away from him.
Bruce, we're begging you here, is there any rationale for any of these sweeping statements you're coming up w/? Anything?

Thompson, by contrast, is the real deal. He has taken genuinely courageous stands, like telling President Bush that he should pardon Scooter Libby and raising money for his legal defense or like tackling Social Security – the program that seems to make all Republicans into sheep – and actually calling for a limitation on benefits. Moreover, Thompson is perceived as
conservative more than any of the top tier Republicans.

No amnesty for non-citizens here w/o papers, but convicted lying criminals should all go free. Courageous isn't the word. Outrageous, maybe. And remind us who perceives Freddie as "conservative more." And if Freddie's "the favorite to win the Republican nomination," why isn't he one of the "top tier Republicans?"

Nationally, Fred continues to run just about even with Rudy in the Rasmussen Poll, and it is logical that the support which went to men like Tancredo and Brownback will probably end up with Thompson.
Sure, that Tancredo support is all going to Freddie. Because the "immigrants, illegal or otherwise, scare the living shit out of us" people are going to hop on the Thompson bandwagon once they find out Freddie's a tool of the corporate interests who want indentured illegal laborers. If Tancredo leaves the race. (Twice this ninny has typed that Tancredo is out of the race. And he hasn't bothered to come back to correct it either.)

But here's the big suggestion we've all been waiting for:

For his unconventional campaign, I have an unconventional suggestion: normally the presidential nominee, after winning the nomination, picks his running mate and announces it to the world. No one has voted to [sic] this guy (or gal) and so the running mate is up to whomever happens to win the nomination. Fred, why not announce right now who your nominee will be? That would immediately focus attention back on the Thompson campaign and catch all the pundits and journalists off balance.
At least one self-perceived pundit makes this suggestion every election yr. "Oh, do tell us who your veep will be. You'll revolutionize the entire process, & get so much attention, blah, blah, blah." Yet no candidate has ever done this, for many practical reasons. This year, there is the possibility that the Republicans may have an old-fashioned convention w/ actual wheeling & dealing in smoke-filled rooms, & you can bet that no candidate will lock himself into a vice-president.

Not only is Bruce making a silly suggestion, he has a silly selection:

I would pick John Kasich as my running mate, if I were Thompson. He is well known, well liked, rightly considered decent and down to earth. The name of his Fox News program, “Heartland,” conveys exactly the sort of values and persona that those of us in Flyover Country, who will election [sic] Thompson as president a year from now, want.

Kasich could also start campaigning all over the country right now and very effectively. He and Thompson could each start separately campaigning in key states, multiplying the power of campaigning time. Kasich, critically, is also from Ohio and could help Thompson carry Ohio in the general election. Picking Kasich now would make Thompson’s unorthodox campaign even more unorthodox, and I bet Americans would love it.
What is the deal w/ Walker? Why would he suggest Kasich, managing director of Lehman Brothers' investment banking division since 2001, host of a wknd. show on Fox News Channel (hardly a typical resident of "Flyover Country") would be much help in Ohio now? Does he really think a managing director @ Lehman Brothers is "down to earth?" Does he know Kasich, or is he just impressed w/ his tee vee persona & the fact that his telebision show is called "Heartland?" Bruce does seem simple enough to be sucked in by that sort of thing.

A LOOK AT THE POLLS From PollingReport.com:
USA TODAY/Gallup Poll Favorability Ratings 2-4/11/07: Giuliani 55%, Freddie 29%.

Looking at "Who would you vote for in the Republican primaries?" (none of these have a huge sample) in the most recent polls, taken over the last two mos., Giuliani comes in anywhere between 25% & 33%. Thompson between 12% & 23%. McCain is about the same as Thompson, & Romney anywhere from 8% to 21%. Huckabee got 10% in one poll, single digits in all the others. Romney had single digits in several of the polls too. None of the other buffoons, including Ron Paul, got out of single digits. Margins of Error between ±3.8% & ±6%, most of them ±4.5% & above. So who's the obvious leader here, especially after Mittens gets tired of spending his own money on his campaign?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Mental State: Numb Yet Anxious

For various reasons, we here @ Just Another Blog (From L. A.)™ are especially numb yet anxious today, & just can't find anything to blather about. (Note post below for a good indication of our current intellectual bankruptcy.) Yesterday, we contemplated responding to a letter to the editor in the "Liberal Fascism" vein extruded @ The American Thinker, which appears to be a Christian Zionist site, among other things: "National security in all its dimensions, strategic, economic, diplomatic, and military is emphasized. The right to exist and the survival of the State of Israel are of great importance to us." The letter was based on its author finding books on Nazis in the "Nationalsozialismus" section in German bookstores. See? Socialism! Nazis were all leftists!! Case Closed!!!

The letter responded to an article entitled "The Nazis and Christianity," by one Bruce Walker, which we didn't get around to reading. Mr. Walker, we might add, has written a book entitled: Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie,
(Scary, isn't it?)
which may have been an inspiration for Jonah Goldberg's long-awaited Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, from Mussolini to The Politics of Meaning. (Previous subtitles: The Totalitarian Temptation from Hegel to Whole Foods, The Totalitarian Temptation from Hegel to Hillary Clinton, The Totalitarian Temptation From Mussolini to Hillary Clinton. Make up your mind, goateed toad!)
(Not frightening at all, just plain stupid.)
We are surprised that Mr. Goldberg didn't adopt the more Hitlerian Happy Face (Is Mr. Happy WalMart Symbol supposed to represent the left in some way? We thought it was the hammer & sickle.) as sported below by Lynx & Lamb of acoustic hate-folk duo Prussian Blue:Fortunately, the heavy lifting of rebuttal & refutation has been done for us, & for you, the viewer as well, by Alex Constantine of alex constantine's blacklist. Also of interest @ the blacklist: Xtian Nazi Photos, Blackwater as Distraction, Nato & the PNAC, and the "temporarily missing" nukes of a couple of months ago, which Just Another Blog™ mentioned in September.

Today in Human History

Today is Sunday, Nov. 18, the 322nd day of 2007. There are 43 days left in the year. Today's Highlight in History: On Nov. 18, 1928, Walt Disney's first sound-synchronized animated cartoon, "Steamboat Willie" starring Mickey Mouse, premiered in New York. On this date: In 1820, U.S. Navy Capt. Nathaniel B. Palmer and his crew discovered the frozen continent of Antarctica. In 1883, the United States and Canada adopted a system of Standard Time zones. In 1903, the United States gained the rights to build the Panama Canal in a treaty with Panama. In 1936, Germany and Italy recognized the Spanish government of Francisco Franco. In 1966, U.S. Roman Catholic bishops did away with the rule against eating meat on Fridays outside of Lent. In 1978, California Congressman Leo J. Ryan and four other people were killed in Jonestown, Guyana, by members of the Peoples Temple; the killings were followed by a night of mass murder and suicide by more than 900 cult members. In 1987, the congressional Iran-Contra committees issued their final report, saying President Reagan bore "ultimate responsibility" for wrongdoing by his aides. Five years ago: U.N. arms inspectors returned to Iraq after a four-year hiatus, calling on Saddam Hussein's government to cooperate with their search for weapons of mass destruction. Actor James Coburn died in Beverly Hills, Calif., at age 74. Today's Birthdays: Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, is 84. Actor Brad Sullivan is 76. Actress Brenda Vaccaro is 68. Actress Linda Evans is 65. Country singer Jacky Ward is 61. Actor Jameson Parker is 60. Actress-singer Andrea Marcovicci is 59. Rock musician Herman Rarebell is 58. Singer Graham Parker is 57. Actor Delroy Lindo is 55. Comedian Kevin Nealon is 54. Actress Elizabeth Perkins is 47. Singer Kim Wilde is 47. Rock musician Kirk Hammett (Metallica) is 45. Rock singer Tim DeLaughter is 42. Actor Owen Wilson is 39. Singer Duncan Sheik is 38. Actress Peta Wilson is 37. Actress Chloe Sevigny is 33.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Annals of Living Vicariously: Meltdown or Trainwreck?

Bride of Finkelstein
Amy Winehouse has a smoke (or three) in the bathroom on the plane to Glasgow, & The Sun (The Limey paper, not the celestial object, moron!) throws a fit, & provides a mobile 'phone video of Ms. W. pulling something out of her towering 'do & snooting it, while performing. Rock rock rock'n'roll!!

As inspired by TBogg. If not for his item we might have let Ms. Winehouse off the hook. Instead, we were inspired to wander the web looking for more scurrilous items. And we found them!!

"Fagots Stay Out"


"Heckuva Job, Cookie"

Most interesting thing from an AP story about the Brothers Krongard, who apparently don't speak much to each other :
In addition to recusing himself from matters related to Blackwater, Howard Krongard also said he is no longer involved in corruption investigations related to the flawed construction of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, a $600 million project that is beset by logistical delays and security concerns.
From a statement released by BW founder & chief war profiteer Erik Prince:
"The publicized allegation of an 'apparent conflict of interest' against his brother Howard, with whom Buzzy has not been close for years, is just that, an allegation," Prince's statement said.
The Bush administration may not be getting the best value for its money if the State Dep't. Inspector General has to recuse his ass from half the shit he should be working on. Even if he has recused himself, are we to believe that he'll have no influence on anyone in his office?

Friday, November 16, 2007

"Huge Talent, Troubled Soul"

United Snakes Talent (Young Female Division): Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, blah blah, most of them best known for being known, some of them introduced to the public eye by careers in telebision & movies for 'tweens, others by dancing better than they sing, sporting school girl costumes & being the vocal tools of production whizzes. Some, we just have no idea why they're known or continue to be known.

Other Side of the Pond Talent (Same Division): Lily Allen, Amy Winehouse. Actual talent. Which doesn't always keep those possessing it out of the news.
Not exactly a schoolgirl costume, but not unfetching. And it goes w/ a performance a little more career-damaging than B. S. @ the MTV Video Awards. This might even link to some mobile 'phone video.

Looking slightly stunned, Miss Winehouse dropped her microphone, fell into the guitar stand, and screamed: "Let me tell you something. First of all, if you're booing you're a mug for buying a ticket.
"Second, to all those booing, just wait til my husband gets out of incarceration. And I mean that."
She then shocked remaining audience members by referring to them as "monkey c****".

Just Another Blog (From L. A.)™, who's been a fringie/freak/punk since the mid-'60s, is completely in favor of abusing one's audience. You passive bastards. Get your own fucking web log if you don't like this. It'll take you five minutes to set it up & start blogging away (& months & months to figure out how to do anything w/ it). Monkey cunts, all of you.

Back on subject:
The Sun reported today that doctors found heroin in Mr Stone's system after he inhaled it passively on Amy's tour bus.
The tour manager is said to have produced a doctor's note which revealed traces of the class A drug in his blood.
“He insisted to the management team that the only way that could have happened would have been through inhaling it from Blake and Amy. Thom just had it up to here. It was a nightmare job,” the paper reported.
WORLDnews Network has several pages of stories to pick from, you mugs.

There's One in Every Convoy

Blackwater guard 'lost it' Blackwater guard 'lost it' Yet another unwarranted attack on Blackwater. We're always proud & happy to present them, here at the Internet's primary source for calumny & unprovoked attacks.

From Today's Papers

From today's papers & telebision news, we bring you: STUFF THAT WE REALLY DON'T GIVE ONE SHIT ABOUT Barry Bonds; Last Night's Democratic "Debate;" Bush Easing Airspace Restrictions to Make Thanksgiving Travel Easier; Stocks End Volatile Day W/ Comeback; Indoor Tanning Season; Retailers Face Uphill Battle; Lindsay Lohan Spends 84 Minutes in Jail; Senators Want Back Taxes Collected; Rice's Mideast Legacy; Bishops Condemn Giuliani on Abortion; Madonna, Gucci, Team Up for Malawi Charity; Woman Finds Jesus on Pancake; Exploring the Geography, Glories of Oysters; Toyota Sees a Drop in Reliability Ratings. To mention just a few.

Please, No Pussy Jokes
(Species UPDATED)

You might not want to find this fellow when visiting the W.C. in the middle of the night. Don't know if he uses it or just likes it as a perch.Note ordinary Felis silvestris catus. Our command of Russian is limited to determining that the larger one weighs 15 kilos & is 30 centimetres at the shoulder.
Chicken Before:
Chicken After:
More photos. P. S.: Can't these Russkies keep their clothes on?

UPDATE (17 November 2007 @ 0135 PST): Thanks to Antipodean Herr Doktor Bimler, who advises us of Catzilla's exact species in the comments.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Special Ed

In visual form, so that even the slowest among us (i. e., Reichtards) may be able, at long last, to get it, by the somewhat popular TBogg.

The Peacock Network: 9²

Wouldn't ordinarily bother w/ a non-divisible by five anniversary, but these NBC logos (left: 1943, upper right: 1956, lower right: 1954) have been sitting in the devil box for a while, so we'll take this opportunity to note that the first NBC broadcast occurred 81 yrs. ago.
RCA formed a new corporation on September 9, 1926, known as the National Broadcasting Company. The new company was owned by RCA, as well as two of its parent companies, Westinghouse and General Electric.

NBC's first broadcast on the WEAF network took place November 15, 1926.

[...]

In the beginning, NBC was "National" in name only, as its programs reached only as far west as Denver. In its first years, NBC was unable to set up a coast-to-coast hookup. AT&T had not yet installed broadcast quality telephone lines across the Rocky Mountains.
That's right kids, in the Golden Age of Radio it went over the 'phone lines, replaced by microwave xmission from one land station to the next, & now you & every other living & inert thing on the planet are under constant microwave bombardment from satellites. More detail, & the story of NBC Orange (news to us too) from The Broadcast Archive, who don't want us infringing on their copyright, but we're going to go fair use nuts anyway.

Local yokels may be amused by these postcards of the NBC studios at Sunset & Vine, now occupied by the Home Savings bldg., which is no longer Home Savings, but a WaMu branch.

Meet The Neocons

Let's see if this Bugger™ "load a video" thing will work, as we couldn't get the video to embed from the site. Waiting...waiting...still waiting...7 of 41 MB loaded...8...11...33...38...39...

Here's a surprise. It didn't work!! Fortunately, a bit of research @ the blip.tv site led to the suggestion to paste it into "Edit HTML" rather than "Compose" or "Add Image" or trying to upload it w/ the Bugger™ "add video" featurebug.

OH CRAP!! You still have to download an "FLV player." And it's too big for this template anyway. Fuck it, here's the link to the page, play it on their site. It's amusing enough that we've wasted quite some time on it. Like about two fucking hours.

P. S.: Didn't they kick Rummy out of the band about a yr. ago?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

In Case You Thought We Were Joking: Room 641A

Room 641A, Folsom St. AT&T Facility, San Francisco, CA
Whistleblower saw AT&T assist Bush administrationWhistleblower saw AT&T assist Bush administration.

To find out for yourself (from WIRED's Threat Level):
If you're a Windows user, fire up an MS-DOS command prompt. Now type tracert followed by the domain name of the website, e-mail host, VoIP switch, or whatever destination you're interested in. Watch as the program spits out your route, line by line.

In the above example, my traffic is jumping from Level 3 Communications to AT&T's network in San Francisco, presumably over the OC-48 circuit that AT&T tapped on February 20th, 2003, according to the Klein docs. The magic string you're looking for is sffca.ip.att.net. If it's present immediately above or below a non-att.net entry, then -- by Klein's allegations -- your packets are being copied into room 641A, and from there, illegally, to the NSA. Of course, if Marcus is correct and AT&T has installed these secret rooms all around the country, then any att.net entry in your route is a bad sign.

Interlocking DoS I. G. & Blackwater Advisory Board Member

Blood is thicker then Blackwater
Blood is thicker then Blackwater
Please note that the incorrect "than" is entirely the fault of MSNBC, which, especially in this case, really does stand for Mighty Sorry, No Body Cares. The brothers Krongard are known as "Cookie" & "Buzzy." As noted in the photo caption of this item, now that you're both over 60, get names that don't end w/ an "e" sound. P. S.: The Constitution of the United States says: no nobility in our country. How about an amendment to deal w/ the de facto nobility/aristocracy of wealth & privilege that is slowly strangling this country?

Federal Blackwater Investigation

You know it's serious stuff when a Blackwater spokesweasel actually has a comment on something, even if it's pretty much a "non-comment comment." Let's examine the process: First, the NYT has a story that Mme. Spokesweasel won't comment on:
Anne E. Tyrrell, a Blackwater spokeswoman, said she would have no comment until the F.B.I. released its findings.
Then, the AP does a story on the NYT piece, & Mme. has a platitudinous response:
Responding to the Times report, Anne Tyrrell, a Blackwater spokeswoman, said the company “supports the stringent accountability of the industry. If it is determined that one person was complicit in the wrongdoing, we would support accountability in that. The key people in this have not spoken with investigators.” She added that the company will withhold further comment “until the findings are made available.”
The NYT story, based on statements from anonymous sources (DoJ & FBI spokespeople didn't comment either) indicated that once one of Blackwater's "private security contractors" started firing, all the others started as well. Hey, why not?
Investigators have concluded that as many as five of the company’s guards opened fire during the shootings, at least some with automatic weapons. Investigators have focused on one guard, identified as “turret gunner No. 3,” who fired a large number of rounds and was responsible for several fatalities. Investigators found no evidence to support assertions by Blackwater employees that they were fired upon by Iraqi civilians. That finding sharply contradicts initial assertions by Blackwater officials, who said that company employees fired in self-defense and that three company vehicles were damaged by gunfire. Government officials said the shooting occurred when security guards fired in response to gunfire by other members of their unit in the mistaken belief that they were under attack. One official said, “I wouldn’t call it a massacre, but to say it was unwarranted is an understatement.” [...] A separate military review of the Sept. 16 shootings concluded that all of the killings were unjustified and potentially criminal. One of the military investigators said the F.B.I. was being generous to Blackwater in characterizing any of the killings as justifiable.
When Blackwater's mouthpiece spoke to the AP, she had this to say:
“Without a doubt, the teams were faced with deadly force that day,” the Blackwater spokeswoman said.
Any possibility we could make P. R. flack a profession that's just plain illegal, like pimp or contract killer?

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

Popularity. Like Junior High. This is mostly because I'm curious. You should all be ashamed.