Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Trent Lott Story

A masterpiece of the non-admittance admittance can be found @ Big Head DC:

Once, he even scolded gay escort Mike Jones for outing Rev. Ted Haggard as one of his gay escort business participants.

“You were paid for sex, Mike,”
he wrote in 2006. “The most important rule you can follow when taking people’s money in exchange for sex is that—no matter what—their lives stay their own and whatever passes between the two of you remains private. Period.”

[...]

The boy happens to be real, and his “stage name” is Benjamin Nicholas. One of the politicos Big Head DC has learned he’s alleged to have been involved with is the married Sen. Trent Lott, 66, who
unexpectedly announced his retirement on Monday. Lott is well-known to have been against a plethora of gay rights issues throughout his terms in Congress. He was
also good friends with Sen. Larry Craig throughout his time in Congress.

Nicholas told Big Head DC today via e-mail that he didn’t want to go on the record to talk about his dealings with Lott, because, said Nicholas, “Trent is going through his fair share of scrutiny right now and I don’t want to add to it.” However, e-mail and other records confirm that the two have met on at least two occasions.“All I can say at this point is no comment,” Nicholas told us. “It’s the professional thing for me to do.”


In a subsequent e-mail message, Nicholas confirmed that another publication is working on a story about a “possible relationship” between Lott and himself, but Nicholas also “politely declined” an interview for that story.

“As I said before, Lott has quite a bit on his plate right now and I don’t really want to add fuel to the embers,” Nicholas told Big Head DC.

An honest whore. Well, semi-discreet.

Then the party-poopers @HuffPo put a wet blanket on the whole thing. Responsible journalism is boring & stupid, makes little money, & doesn't topple governments or start riots in the streets.

The charge was first published by the Washington DC blog Big Head DC, which claimed to have emails where the escort, Benjamin Nicholas, allegedly playing coy, declined to go on the record because "Trent is going through his fair share of scrutiny right now and I don't want to add to it."
But in an email message, Nicholas himself said the item was false.

"There's nothing to be said, as Lott and I have no connection whatsoever," Nicholas wrote in an email to The Huffington Post. "How these 'quotes' have been fabricated are beyond me. The Senator is someone I have had no personal dealings with, ever."

In a subsequent posting on his own Web site, Nicholas wrote, "I have not, nor have I ever seen or had contact with Senator Trent Lott. It's as simple as that. It never happened."
There's always hope Trent's 'phone # will be in the latest D. C. Madam's Big List of Congressional Pervs.

(FWIW: This is Item #600.)

Like Sand Through The Hourglass...UPDATED

Today is Tuesday, November 27th, the 331st day of 2007. There are 34 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On November 27th, 1978, San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk, a gay-rights activist, were shot to death inside City Hall by former supervisor Dan White. [Again, this is a "highlight?" Twinkie™ Defense. — Ed.]
On this date:
In 1701, astronomer Anders Celsius, inventor of the Celsius temperature scale, was born in Uppsala, Sweden. [Inventor? He calls the freezing point of water 0° & its boiling point 100°, & for that he gets called the "inventor?" — Ed]
In 1901, the U. S. Army War College was established in Washington, D. C.
In 1910, the Pennsylvania Railroad began service at New York's Pennsylvania Station.
In 1942, during World War II, the French navy at Toulon scuttled its ships and submarines to keep them out of the hands of the Nazis.
In 1945, General George C. Marshall was named special U. S. envoy to China to try to end hostilities between the Nationalists and the Communists.
In 1953, playwright Eugene O'Neill died in Boston at age 65.
In 1970, Pope Paul VI, visiting the Philippines, was slightly wounded at the Manila airport by a dagger-wielding Bolivian painter disguised as a priest.
In 1973, the Senate voted 92-3 to confirm Gerald R. Ford as vice president, succeeding Spiro T. Agnew, who'd resigned.
In 1983, 181 people were killed when a Colombian Avianca Airlines Boeing 747 crashed near Madrid's Barajas airport.
In 1989, a bomb blamed by police on drug traffickers destroyed a Colombian Avianca jetliner, killing all 107 people on board. [Do not, under any circumstances, get near an Avianca plane on 27 November! — Ed.]
Ten years ago: A day after saying it would open its presidential palaces to international observers, Iraq declared that U.N. weapons monitors were not included in the invitation. Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York was marred when a gust of wind knocked part of a lamppost onto a 34-year-old woman, fracturing her skull and leaving her in a coma for almost a month. Five years ago: U.N. specialists began a new round of weapons inspections in Iraq. President Bush appointed former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to lead an investigation into why the government failed to foil the September 11th attacks. (The following month, Kissinger stepped down, citing controversy over potential conflicts of interest with his business clients.) [OK, now can we prosecute him as a war criminal? — Ed.]President Bush gave the go-ahead to open US highways to Mexican trucks.
One year ago: President Bush, stopping over in Estonia en route to a NATO summit in Latvia and meetings in Jordan, intensified diplomatic efforts to quell rising violence in Iraq and Afghanistan. Fire burned down a group home for the elderly and mentally ill in Anderson, Missouri, killing 10 residents and a caretaker.

Today's Birthdays: Ret'd. general & former Sec'y. of State Alexander Haig is 83. ("Here at the White House, I'm in control." Whatta maroon. — Ed.] TV host Bill Nye ("Bill Nye, the Science Guy") is 52. Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg is 50. Rock musician Charlie Burchill (Simple Minds) is 48. Rock musician Charlie Benante (Anthrax) is 45. Rock musician Mike Bordin (Faith No More) is 45. Actor Fisher Stevens is 44. Actress Robin Givens is 43.

Birthdays of Those No Longer W/ Us:
Chaim Weizmann, scientist and Zionist leader (1874)
Charles A. Beard, historian (1874)
James Agee, writer (1909)
Alexander Dubček, statesman (1921)
Bruce Lee, martial-arts actor (1940) Jimi Hendrix, rock musician, guitarist (1942) [Would've been 65 today, having a retirement party & copping a gold watch or something. — Ed.]

In Show Bidness Today:
In 1957, "The Chirping Crickets" by Buddy Holly and the Crickets was released. It contained the singles "That'll Be the Day," "Maybe Baby," and "Not Fade Away."
In 1967, The Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour" album was released in North America. [What is it, every day in November the Beatles did something? — Ed.]
In 1969, the Rolling Stones opened a four-night stand at New York's Madison Square Garden. Portions of the first two concerts were released on the album "Get Yer Ya-Yas Out."
In 1970, George Harrison's "All Things Must Pass" album was released.
In 1980, the sitcom "Bosom Buddies," starring Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari, premiered on ABC.
In 1985, actress Amy Irving married filmmaker Steven Spielberg. They have since split up.
In 1995, The Beatles' "Anthology One" set a record for first-week sales, selling 1.2 million copies. That record has since been broken.

UPDATE (2 December 2007 @ 0001): Looks as if Al Haig was born 2 December rather than 27 November, though infoplease still thinks both. The AP seems to have changed its mind.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Stealth Richard Roberts Resignation

Oh, look what happened over the Thanksgiving Wknd. Quite possibly as a result of another wrongful termination law suit filed against dear old ORU last Wednesday,
A senior accountant for Oral Roberts University claims in a lawsuit filed Wednesday that he was ordered to help school president Richard Roberts and his wife "cook the books" by hiding financial wrongdoing from authorities and the public.

Trent Huddleston said in the wrongful termination lawsuit that he was directed against his will to falsely list tens of thousands of dollars as expenses rather than assets — which were spent remodeling the home of Richard and Lindsay Roberts — in order to defraud the Internal Revenue Service and other agencies.

He claims nearly $123,000 was paid by Oral Roberts University and Oral Roberts Ministries for remodeling the home.
as well as an effort, no doubt, to fly under the radar (& a successful one, we didn't even notice until today) Richard Roberts quit his gig as president of the university his father, Oral, founded as another of his "prosperity gospel" scams.

Times have changed at Oral Roberts University.

The once rigid dress code has been loosened so much that, as one student puts it, aside from the lack of guys wearing earrings the campus could be Oklahoma State. The prayer tower is showing rust. Students still sign an honor code pledging not to lie, steal, curse, drink or smoke — but they also hold hands during chapel.

Oral Roberts, now 89, recently returned from semiretirement to try to quell a scandal that has shaken the flagship university of charismatic Christianity, but on Friday the scandal caused the downfall of his heir.

[...]

"I'm sure there is corruption everywhere," said freshman Ben Conners, one of a number of people interviewed before the resignation. "But if you're holding students to such a high standard, making them sign an honor code and live by these strict principles, I expect the administration to be living an even stricter set of principles. To see something like this, it feels empty, like an elaborate masquerade party."

At a university that is hardly a den of dissent, the reaction to the scandal has been striking. Before Richard Roberts stepped down, tenured faculty gave him a no-confidence vote and his hand-picked provost said he would resign if Roberts were reinstated.

"There was a time when the wagons would circle and we'd protect our own," said the Rev. Carlton Pearson, a former member of the ORU board of regents who is now a United Church of Christ minister. "But we don't know what our own is anymore. People are asking questions and questioning answers, and we're not used to it."
Those Dirty Fucking Hippies & their "Question Authority" crap from the '60s. Oh, if only we'd nipped that in the bud, we could just keep the scams going w/o any work, but now we have to keep the sheep from seeing what's going on right under their noses.

To outsiders, Oral Roberts may seem a relic, a man who drew scorn for saying in 1987 that God would "call me home" if he didn't raise $8 million in three months (he raised more than $9 million). But in the 1950s and 1960s, Roberts had brought spirit-filled Christianity into the mainstream. He took his revivals to a new frontier for religion: television.

"Here was this Pentecostal preacher who speaks in tongues, was brought up in poverty like many of us, and he builds this place that looks like it landed the night before from another planet," Pearson said. "I can't tell you the pride."

Isn't pride of those not-approved-of-in-the-Bible deals? Let alone pride in some dated '60s (there they are again) architecture that's starting to rust?

Most ORU students grow up in charismatic or Pentecostal churches. For some, the liberal arts school is the only education their parents will pay for, at a cost of almost $30,000 a year.

The rules are an endless source of curiosity. Curfew for female students is midnight on weekdays and 1 a.m. weekends, and a half hour later for men. A violation can result in a $50 fine, which helped birth the ORU saying: "The wages of sin is $50."

[...]

[Tim] Brooker is one of three former professors who sued the university last month. He accused the school of forcing him to quit after he warned Richard Roberts that requiring students to work on a Tulsa mayoral candidate's campaign jeopardized the school's tax-exempt status. Brooker traces the scandal to a distortion of the "Seed-Faith" theology pioneered by Oral Roberts, which holds that those who give to God will get
things in return.

"Instead of focusing on what can we do for God, we've been focusing on what can I get from God," Brooker said.
And is it just a coincidence that this "God" of which they speak has no PayPal acc't. or the like, so any donations to curry his favor end up in the grasping mitts of a "ministry" somewhere?

Oral Roberts' teachings influenced a whole new generation of "prosperity gospel" preachers, six of whom are the target of a financial inquiry led by the ranking Republican on the Senate finance committee. Three of those under scrutiny — Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland and Creflo Dollar — sit on the ORU board of regents.

[...]

Oral Roberts felt God used him as instrument to heal, and claimed Jesus had commissioned him to find a cure for cancer. Roberts also felt called to build the City of Faith, an enormous hospital complex that was to marry prayer and medicine, anchored by a 60-story tower. The project's collapse in the late 1980s is one reason ORU is a staggering $52.5 million in debt.
Still waiting for that cure, Oral. Wouldn't it be ironic if "God" used cancer to "call you home?"

We are, of course, terribly disappointed that Mr. Roberts & his wife Lindsay have not continued to fight these scurrilous accusations as they previously promised. (You know how that goes: First, the "this is all a hideous lie, I/we deny everything, & will fight this to my/our last breath" statement. Second, "I am temporarily stepping down from my position, as this is all too much of a distraction, & I/we will be better able to fight this to my/our last breath, & this will allow the work of the organization to continue." Then, the resignation, as quietly as possible, perhaps w/ an "I hope we can put all this behind us" statement.)

Not that we think these two hypocrites had anything to defend, we just wanted to learn more about Mrs. Roberts' sex life, as implied here. Juicy, to say the least. From the Tulsa World:

The full, unsubstantiated report now attached to the lawsuit contains new allegations that Lindsay Roberts, Richard Roberts' wife, spent the night in an ORU guest house with an underage male nine times, was photographed 29 times in her car with an underage male after midnight and after minors' curfew, visited Victory Christian School with an underage male 81 times in 2004, smoked with an underage male at her house and repeatedly moved her "male 16-year-old friend" into her family's house.

The summary of the report in the first version of the lawsuit stated that Lindsay Roberts had sent text messages to underage males late at night. She said earlier this week that one of her daughters used her cell phone and that the family sends cell phones home with the daughters' friends to ensure that they get home safely.
In case you're interested (& who wouldn't be?) here's a picture of Mrs. R.
(lovely, isn't she?) & a link from her website:

PLANT A SEED
If you would like to
plant a seed of your
faith today, click here.

We're just assuming that's how she trolls for younger dudes on the web.

"An Educational and Thought provoking site, presented as a Public Service."

That would be this site, the United Progressive Socialist States of America. If the right wing droolers don't have actual senses of humor, their ability to inadvertently make mock of themselves is never ending. As an example, they link to this "entered into the Congressional Record" speech from 1963, which outlines "Current Communist Goals." Yes, 1963. Those Godless Commies just never give up.

Content provided here is purely for provoking thought. Nothing is intended to represent positions of anybody. If you consider this a joke, try waking up to reality!

Yeah, wake up to the reality of the American Criminal Liberties Union.
Wake up before it's too late!!

More Music More Often

U. K. version of Abbie Hoffman, now an antique boho.
Mick Farren, local scribe, author, ex-pat (from the U. K.) has the patience to prowl YouTube & other sources for music vids, & he's just set up a companion web log to his DOC 40 site w/ nothing but videos.

We quote:

The regularly updated content will simply be the very best stuff I can find, although some may find it the predictable taste of a antique boho, but what the fuck. It’s something to do in the long winter evenings and some of this stuff is truly amazing.

As an antique boho & pathetic wallower in nostalgia ourself, we approve. DOCTUBE. Already on the Just Another Blog™ Locals Only Bogroll®.

Be sure to dig the Rolling Stones 1963 Rice Krispies™ advert!

Days of Our Lives

Today is Monday, November 26th, the 330th day of 2007. There are 35 days left in the year. Today's Highlight in History: November 26th, 1607, is believed to be the birthdate of London-born clergyman John Harvard, the principal benefactor of the original Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. On this date: In 1825, the first college social fraternity, Kappa Alpha, was formed at Union College in Schenectady, New York. [Frat-boys. Great. — Ed.] In 1832, public streetcar service began in New York City. The fare: 12 1/2 cents. In 1933, a judge in New York ruled the James Joyce book "Ulysses" was not obscene and could therefore be published in the United States. In 1942, President Roosevelt ordered nationwide gasoline rationing, beginning December 1st. In 1943, during World War II, HMT Rohna, a British ship carrying American soldiers, was hit by a German missile off Algeria; 1,138 men were killed. In 1949, India adopted a constitution as a republic within the British Commonwealth. In 1950, China entered the Korean War, launching a counter-offensive against soldiers from the United Nations, the U.S. and South Korea. In 1965, France launched its first satellite, sending a 92-pound capsule into orbit. In 1973, President Nixon's personal secretary, Rose Mary Woods, told a federal court that she'd accidentally caused part of the 18 1/2-minute gap in a key Watergate tape. [Oops! — Ed.] In 1986, President Reagan appointed a commission headed by former Senator John Tower to investigate his National Security Council staff in the wake of the Iran-Contra affair. Ten years ago: Under heavy international pressure, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein said he would allow visits to presidential palaces where U.N. weapons experts suspected he might be hiding chemical and biological weapons. In a small but symbolic step, the United States and North Korea held high-level discussions at the State Department for the first time. Five years ago: WorldCom and the government settled a civil lawsuit over the company's 9 billion-dollar accounting scandal. A United Nations report said that for the first time in the 20-year history of the AIDS epidemic, about as many women as men were infected with HIV. One year ago: In New York City, an angry crowd demanded to know why police officers killed Sean Bell, an unarmed man, on the day of his wedding by firing dozens of shots that also wounded two of Bell's friends. In Turkey, tens of thousands of protesters denounced Pope Benedict the 16th as an enemy of Islam two days before the pontiff's scheduled visit. Rafael Correa won Ecuador's presidential runoff. Today's Birthdays: Impressionist Rich Little is 69. Singer Tina Turner is 68. Singer Jean Terrell is 63. Pop musician John McVie is 62. Blues singer-musician Bernard Allison is 42. Today's Birthdays of The Dead: Sarah Moore Grimke, abolitionist (1792) Ellen Gould Harmon White, Seventh Day Adventist co-founder (1827) Mary Edwards Walker, surgeon and feminist (1832) Katharine Drexel, Roman Catholic nun and saint (1858) Willis Carrier, air conditioning pioneer (1876) Norbert Wiener, mathematician and educator (1894) Eugene Ionesco, French playwright (1909) Charles Schulz, cartoonist (1922) [Good Grief, Charlie Brown! — Ed.] Robert Goulet, singer, actor (1933) Show Biz History: In 1942, the motion picture "Casablanca," starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, had its world premiere in New York City. In 1956, bandleader Tommy Dorsey was found dead at his Connecticut home after apparently choking. He was 51. In 1962, The Beatles recorded "Please Please Me." [Beatles three days in a row. — Ed.] In 1968, Cream performed its farewell concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Guitarist Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker continued working together in the band Blind Faith. In 1976, 10cc broke up. In 1982, jazz trumpeter Miles Davis married actress Cicely Tyson in New York. Comedian Bill Cosby was the best man. In 1989, more than 45 acts participated in an earthquake relief "Rock-A-Thon" broadcast on public television and in northern California. Three concerts were held in San Francisco, Oakland and Watsonville, the town hit hardest by the quake.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunday A. M. "Stunning" Architecture

Winslow House, first major commission.
Hollyhock House, Hollywood
"Rising Mildew", PA
Storer House, 8161 Hollywood Blvd.
From the pages of MSN, a Frank Lloyd Wright slideshow. Didn't bother to check the stories, we'd no more read something there than look at Parade Magazine for anything besides that big funny dog. If you must read about FLW, try the obsessional Dr. Storrer's FLlW website.

Huckabee Hounds Mormon Mitt

For today's dip into the Old or Mainstream Media, we'll go to the Washington Post & its story on Tax Hike Mike pulling up to Mittens' station wagon, hoping that damn dog isn't still tied to the roof. The suddenness of Huck's Iowa surge past the other Republican toads & weasels has been a surprise to all.
Even Huckabee appears to have been caught unprepared by the sudden turn of events. His Iowa state director is in Costa Rica hunting snakes over the Thanksgiving weekend and will not return to the state until tomorrow. On Friday afternoon, Huckabee's Iowa headquarters at the corner of Locust and 6th in downtown Des Moines was locked and deserted.
Think he was hunting snakes for some good ol' time Bible-based snake-handling? 'Cause really, what's the challenge in shooting a dumb old snake just lying on the ground waiting for the sun to warm it up? Are there no snakes in Iowa to kill?

Looks like the Hound will be getting it from both sides of the Republican party, the stupidity wing & the insanity wing.
With just a few weeks remaining before the Iowa caucuses, Huckabee is frantically trying to organize his supporters in the Hawkeye State. They include a network of evangelical Christians who like Huckabee's antiabortion, anti-same-sex marriage rhetoric, home-school activists who appreciate the work he did for their cause in Arkansas, gun-rights groups, and advocates of replacing the income tax with a national sales tax, an idea that Huckabee has championed.

His political enemies -- no shortage of whom have popped up in recent days -- have gone on the offensive, accusing Huckabee of numerous tax increases, ethics violations and an ill-advised pardon. The Club for Growth, a conservative anti-tax group in Washington, has all but turned itself into an anti-Huckabee machine. The Eagle Forum's Phyllis Schlafly charges that Huckabee "destroyed the conservative movement in Arkansas."
Good thing to destroy, & a swell person to piss off, but he still doesn't have our vote.

History Shows Again & Again...

Today is Sunday, November 25th, the 329th day of 2007. There are 36 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On November 25th, 1783, the British evacuated New York, their last military position in the United States during the Revolutionary War.
On this date:
In 1758, in the French and Indian War, the British captured Fort Duquesne in present-day Pittsburgh.
In 1881, Pope John XXIII was born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli near Bergamo, Italy.
In 1947, movie studio executives meeting in New York agreed to blacklist the "Hollywood Ten" who'd been cited for contempt of Congress the day before.
In 1957, President Eisenhower suffered a slight stroke.
In 1963, the body of President Kennedy was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. [See photo below. — Ed.]
In 1973, Greek President George Papadopoulos was ousted in a bloodless military coup.
In 1974, former U.N. Secretary-General U Thant died in New York at age 65.
In 1986, the Iran-Contra affair erupted as President Reagan and Attorney General Edwin Meese revealed that profits from secret arms sales to Iran had been diverted to Nicaraguan rebels.
In 1987, Harold Washington, the first black mayor of Chicago, died in office at age 65.
In 1999, 5-year-old Elian Gonzalez was rescued by a pair of sport fishermen off Florida, setting off an international custody battle between relatives in Miami and Elian's father in Cuba.
Ten years ago: Teamsters President Ron Carey announced he was taking an unpaid leave of absence to fight an election overseer's decision barring him from a rerun.
Five years ago: President Bush signed legislation creating the Department of Homeland Security, and appointed Tom Ridge to be its head. Space shuttle Endeavour arrived at the international space station, delivering one American and two Russians, and another girder for the orbiting outpost. Former State Department official Eugene V. Rostow died at age 89. Movie director Karel Reisz, who was part of British cinema's gritty 1960's renaissance, died in London at age 76.
One year ago: A police shooting outside a strip club in Queens, New York, resulted in the death of Sean Bell hours before his wedding. (Two officers were later indicted for manslaughter, and a third was charged with reckless endangerment; all three have pleaded not guilty.) Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a cease-fire to end a five-month Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip and the firing of rockets by Palestinian militants into the Jewish state.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Ricardo Montalban is 87. Actress Noel Neill is 87. Actress Kathryn Crosby is 74. [Der Bingle's daughter? Yow! — Ed.] Singer Percy Sledge is 67. Author, actor, [idiotic asshole — Ed.] and game show host Ben Stein is 63. Singer Bob Lind is 63. Actor John Larroquette is 60. Actor Tracey Walter is 60. Movie director Jonathan Kaplan is 60. Singer Amy Grant is 47. Rock singer-musician Tim Armstrong is 42. Singer Stacy Lattisaw is 41. Actress Jill Hennessy is 38. Actress Christina Applegate is 36.

Today's Dead People's Birthdays: Andrew Carnegie, industrialist and philanthropist (1835)
Carry Moore Nation, temperance advocate (1846)
Pope John XXIII, religious leader (1881)
Virgil Thomson, composer (1896)
Ba Jin, modern novelist (1904)
Joe DiMaggio, baseballer (1914) [Oddly enough, we came across this wonderful item concerning Joltin' Joe, AKA Mr. Marilyn Monroe, just a few minutes ago]:

Furthermore, elites often expressed or ignored other forms of bigotry. Anti-Italian sentiment, while less acceptable than anti-black sentiment, could still be seen in major news publications before the war. Indeed, this rhetoric appeared in descriptions of the most popular Italian-American of the day, New York Yankees star Joe DiMaggio. In May 1939, Life wrote, “Although he learned Italian first, Joe, now twenty-four, speaks English without an accent and is otherwise well-adapted to most U.S. mores. Instead of olive oil or smelly bear grease he keeps his hair slick with water. He never reeks of garlic and prefers chicken chow mein to spaghetti.” The article also included a picture of DiMaggio with Joe Louis, captioned “Like Heavyweight Champion Louis, DiMaggio is lazy, shy, and inarticulate.”
John F. Kennedy, Jr. publisher, lawyer (1960)
[So just a dad-gum minute here. If the AP & Infoplease are correct, the photo above was taken on John-John's third birthday? There's some trauma. That, & wearing an outfit that matches your older sister's to the funeral of your assassinated father. Going down in your plane is probably the best outcome to something like that. The Editor would've been a heroin addict by the age of fifteen. — Ed.]

Show Bidness History: On November 25th, 1952, the Agatha Christie play "Mousetrap" opened in London. It became the longest-running play ever.
In 1961, Don and Phil Everly were sworn in to the US Marine Corps Reserves in Nashville and later reported to Camp Pendleton in San Diego.
In 1968, The Beatles' "White Album" was released. [Beatles news two days in a row. — Ed.]
In 1969, John Lennon returned his MBE medal to Queen Elizabeth to protest Britain's support for U.S. involvement to Vietnam, among other things. The other three Beatles kept their medals, which they received in 1965.
In 1976, The Band gave its final performance in San Francisco. The concert was documented in the movie "The Last Waltz."
In 1984, the Ethiopian famine relief song "Do They Know It's Christmas" by Band Aid was recorded in London. The session was organized by singer Bob Geldof.
In 1985, Bobby Brown announced he was leaving the group New Edition for a solo career.
In 1992, Whitney Houston's first movie, "The Bodyguard," opened nationwide. The movie's theme song "I Will Always Love You" was already a number one song when the film opened.
In 1998, comedian Flip Wilson died of liver cancer at his home in Malibu, California. He was 64.
Also in 1998, actor Michael J. Fox revealed he had Parkinson's disease.
In 2002, actor Nicolas Cage filed for divorce from Lisa Marie Presley. They had been married for four months.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Paleo-Humour

Who says conservatives don't have a sense of humor? We here @ Just Another Blog (From L. A.)™, for one. But once you get past the humor-less, self-righteous drones of the RW blog-o-sphere (whose idea of a joke, let alone humor, is trying to explain their latest idiotic rant as "meant to be funny") there is moderately amusing satire available, especially from the paleo-cons who aren't in total sync w/ Fearless Leader. Of course, F. L. is a satirical gold mine, & one Leon Hadar has taken his pick & shovel & extracted several nuggets from this mine. Of course, on a certain level it's far from funny at all, it's just plain sad. Not even the staff here will be that happy if the Fall of the West actually comes to pass because of Fearless Leader Bush's knee-jerk reactions & idiotic mistakes. But we'll still be gleefully jumping up & down & screeching: "Nyah nyah, told you so!!"

Buy Nothing Day

Just Another Blog™ is proud to note that it fully participated in not consuming on the day after Thanksgiving. As a matter of fact, the staff fully participated in Don't Even Leave The House to Get The Mail Day. And today we vicariously participated in Buy Nothing Day (U. K.). International solidarity!!

Good News Down Under, Bad News Up Here

Big time Aussie asshat John Howard had his hat handed to him, along w/ an invitation to fuck off & die from the electorate.

The surge to Labor left conservative Prime Minister John Howard struggling to win even his own parliamentary seat, which he has held since 1974, putting him in danger of becoming the first prime minister since 1929 to lose his constituency. [...] A staunch U.S. ally committed to keeping Australian troops in Iraq, he offered voters income tax cuts, but few new policies, instead highlighting his strong economic record and attacking Labor's links to the trade union movement.

Typical right wing idiocy. As to economic strength:
The election was fought mainly on domestic issues, with Labor cashing in on anger at workplace laws and rising interest rates which put home owners under financial pressure at a time when Australia's economy is booming.
Sounds like "strength" for the already strong, especially w/ tax cuts no doubt aimed at the rich. The American economy appears to continue its division into two separate & unequal parts, judging from this NYT report:
With an uncertain economy, a slowdown in the housing market and high gas prices hanging over their heads, consumers flocked to discount chains like Wal-Mart, Target and Best Buy, brandishing bargain-filled fliers. In a reversal from years past, they largely bypassed more expensive retailers, including such powerhouses as Nordstrom, Coach and Abercrombie & Fitch, according to shoppers and merchants interviewed around the country. [...] Like thousands of Americans, Ms. Johnston has an adjustable-rate mortgage, and her rising payments have stolen from her holiday spending budget. “Before this, I shopped mostly at Macy’s and some at J. C. Penney, so shopping at Big Lots is, like, two big steps down for me,” she said. “This is going to be a hard Christmas.” [...] Yesterday, an employee at the Abercrombie & Fitch in Waterford, Conn., called the sparse crowds “scary.” A clerk at the Macy’s in the Westfield Old Orchard shopping center outside Chicago described the number of shoppers as no greater than a normal weekend morning.
And locally, Malibu seems to have caught fire again.

Historical Today Not Actually Uninteresting

Today is Saturday, November 24th, the 328th day of 2007. There are 37 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:On November 24th, 1963, Jack Ruby shot and mortally wounded Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President Kennedy, in a scene captured on live television.
On this date:
In 1784, Zachary Taylor, the 12th president of the United States, was born in Orange County, Virginia. [OK, that's a bit dull. — Ed.]
In 1859, British naturalist Charles Darwin published "On the Origin of Species," which explained his theory of evolution.
In 1944, during World War II, US bombers based on Saipan attacked Tokyo in the first raid against the Japanese capital by land-based planes.
In 1947, a group of writers, producers and directors that became known as the "Hollywood Ten" was cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions about alleged Communist influence in the movie industry.
In 1947, John Steinbeck's novel "The Pearl" was first published.
In 1950, the musical "Guys and Dolls," based on the writings of Damon Runyon and featuring songs by Frank Loesser, opened on Broadway.
In 1969, Apollo 12 splashed down safely in the Pacific.
In 1971, hijacker "D.B. Cooper" parachuted from a Northwest Airlines 727 over Washington state with $200,000 dollars in ransom, his fate remains unknown.
In 1987, the United States and the Soviet Union agreed on terms to scrap shorter- and medium-range missiles.
Ten years ago: President Clinton and Pacific leaders began meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, to discuss ways of calming the Asian economic crisis. That same day, Japan's Yamaichi Securities closed its doors, becoming the third Japanese financial company to collapse in a month. Space-walking astronauts from the shuttle Columbia grabbed a spinning satellite with their hands, enabling the cockpit crew to use the shuttle's robot arm to return it to the cargo bay. [Remember the Columbia. — Ed.]
Five years ago: In a letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the Iraqi government complained that the small print behind upcoming weapons inspections would give Washington a pretext to attack. [No shit! — Ed.]Lucio Gutierrez, a populist former army colonel who'd led a coup in 2000, was elected as Ecuador's sixth president in six years. Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel's conservative party dominated parliamentary elections in Austria.
One year ago: Shiite militiamen in Iraq doused six Sunni Arabs with kerosene and burned them alive and killed 19 other Sunnis, taking revenge for the slaughter of 215 Shiites in Baghdad's Sadr City the day before. Belfast's most infamous Protestant militant, Michael Stone, stormed into the Northern Ireland Assembly headquarters with a bagful of pipe bombs; he was quickly subdued. Opera singer Robert McFerrin Senior, the father of Grammy-winning conductor-vocalist Bobby McFerrin, died in suburban St. Louis at age 85.
Today's Birthdays: Columnist William F. Buckley is 82. Country singer Johnny Carver is 67. Rock-and-roll drummer Pete Best is 66. Rock musician Donald "Duck" Dunn (Booker T. & the MG's) is 66. Actor-comedian Billy Connolly is 65. Former White House news secretary Marlin Fitzwater is 65. Motion Picture Association of America President Dan Glickman is 63. Singer Lee Michaels is 62. [As in Lee Michaels, who played the organ & was accompanied only by "Frosty" on drums? "Do You Know What I Mean?" Lee Michaels? Huh. — Ed.] Actor Dwight Schultz is 60. Actor Stanley Livingston is 57. Rock musician Clem Burke (Blondie; The Romantics) is 52. Record producer Terry Lewis is 51. Actor Ruben Santiago-Hudson is 51. Actress Denise Crosby is 50. Actress Shae D'Lyn is 45. Rock musician John Squire (The Stone Roses) is 45. Actress Lola Glaudini is 36. Actor Colin Hanks is 30. Actress Katherine Heigl ("Grey's Anatomy") is 29.

On November 24th, 1966, The Beatles began recording sessions for their album, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." However, the song they recorded on this date, "Strawberry Fields Forever," did not make it onto that album.In 1972, ABC premiered the late night rock show "In Concert," which was produced by Don Kirshner. Guests on the first show included Chuck Berry, Alice Cooper, Poco and Seals and Crofts.
In 1985, singer "Big" Joe Turner died of a heart attack. He's known for the hits "Shake, Rattle and Roll" and "Honey Hush."
In 1991, Queen singer Freddie Mercury died of complications from AIDS at his home in London. He was 45. He had sent out a statement confirming rumors that he had AIDS only two days before his death.
Also in 1991, former Kiss drummer Eric Carr died of cancer in New York. He was 41.
Also in 1991, singer Cyndi Lauper married actor David Thornton in New York.
In 1992, lawyers for musician Bill Wyman and his ex-wife Mandy Smith announced the terms of their divorce settlement. She got to keep their house and its contents, plus legal fees.
In 2005, singer Scott Stapp and members of the band 311 got into a fight at a hotel bar in Baltimore.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Transparent Society

If you doubted whatever previous references we've made to the forces of terror & repression keeping track of your physical location w/ that little GPS chip in your mobile, you can stop doubting. Those of you who, like us, receive most of our knowledge about the criminal justice system from Law & Order re-runs may already have noticed that Benson & Stabler have little or no problem tracking a "suspect" by his 'phone, & we don't hear much complaining about it from token civil libertarian Munch.
And it's not just the gov't. that'll be keeping a closer eye on you. In the name of profit, your privacy & safety are being eroded by the same corporate entities that are so willing to coöperate w/ Uncle Sam (who conveniently made it possible in the first place):
The issue is taking on greater relevance as wireless carriers are racing to offer sleek services that allow cellphone users to know with the touch of a button where their friends or families are. The companies are hoping to recoup investments they have made to meet a federal mandate to provide enhanced 911 (E911) location tracking. Sprint Nextel, for instance, boasts that its "loopt" service even sends an alert when a friend is near, "putting an end to missed connections in the mall, at the movies or around town."
Face it, you are no longer safe from anyone, anywhere. Gov't., spouse, significant other, parental units, irksome relatives, casual acquaintances; if they have your literal number, they have your figurative number as well. Or your latitude & longitude.
With Verizon's Chaperone service, parents can set up a "geofence" around, say, a few city blocks and receive an automatic text message if their child, holding the cellphone, travels outside that area. "Most people don't realize it, but they're carrying a tracking device in their pocket," said Kevin Bankston of the privacy advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation. "Cellphones can reveal very precise information about your location, and yet legal protections are very much up in the air."
The specific thrust of the WaPo story is that warrants for tracking by mobile 'phone are being requested & given w/o what some Nervous Nellies say is "probable cause."
"Law enforcement routinely now requests carriers to continuously 'ping' wireless devices of suspects to locate them when a call is not being made . . . so law enforcement can triangulate the precise location of a device and [seek] the location of all associates communicating with a target," wrote Christopher Guttman-McCabe, vice president of regulatory affairs for CTIA -- the Wireless Association, in a July comment to the Federal Communications Commission. He said the "lack of a consistent legal standard for tracking a user's location has made it difficult for carriers to comply" with law enforcement agencies' demands. Gidari, who also represents CTIA, said he has never seen such a request that was based on probable cause. Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd said field attorneys should follow the department's policy. "We strongly recommend that prosecutors in the field obtain a warrant based on probable cause" to get location data "in a private area not accessible to the public," he said. "When we become aware of situations where this has not occurred, we contact the field office and discuss the matter." "Law enforcement has absolutely no interest in tracking the locations of law-abiding citizens. None whatsoever," Boyd said. "What we're doing is going through the courts to lawfully obtain data that will help us locate criminal targets, sometimes in cases where lives are literally hanging in the balance, such as a child abduction or serial murderer on the loose."
Absolutely no interest. Sometimes. Don't forget they're already doing their best to keep you even stupider than you already are w/ mobiles.

You May Have Missed This

At yesterday's Thanksgiving fest (featuring The World's Only Edible Turkey™, juicy & tender to a "tee" 'cause it was brined & cooked perfectly by Mr. Mike, of the Clash City Rockers) we were made aware that a certain photo of one Pat Boone "showing off" may not have been made clearly available here. Frankly, we draw the naked parts line just past nipples here, though we aren't promising you might not see some bush at some time in the future. So you'll have to click to see this Not Safe For Work item. From Hustler, via Boing Boing.

The March of Time-Life, Inc.

Today is Friday, November 23rd, the 327th day of 2007. There are 38 days left in the year.
[Dull fucking day, as far as history goes. — Ed.] On this date:
In 1804, the 14th president of the United States, Franklin Pierce, was born in Hillsboro, New Hampshire.
In 1889, the first jukebox was installed at the Palais Royal Saloon in San Francisco.
In 1903, singer Enrico Caruso made his American debut at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, appearing in "Rigoletto."
In 1936, LIFE, the photojournalism magazine created by Henry R. Luce, was first published.
In 1943, during World War II, US forces seized control of Tarawa and Makin atolls from the Japanese.
In 1945, most US wartime rationing of foods, including meat and butter, was set to expire by day's end.
In 1963, President Johnson proclaimed November 25th a day of national mourning following the assassination of President Kennedy.
In 1971, the People's Republic of China was seated in the U.N. Security Council.
In 1980, some 2,600 people were killed by a series of earthquakes that devastated southern Italy.
In 1996, a hijacked Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 767 crashed into the waves off Comoros Islands, killing about two-thirds of the 175 people on board.
Ten years ago: Iowa mother of septuplets Bobbi McCaughey left the hospital and returned home while her seven babies stayed behind in intensive care. Artillery shells fired by Lebanese guerrillas accidentally struck a village near the Israeli border, killing eight Lebanese.
Five years ago: President Bush visited Vilnius, Lithuania, and Bucharest, Romania, where he vowed to defend hard-won freedoms behind the former Iron Curtain. [Heck of a job, Bushie. — Ed.] Miss World organizers moved the beauty pageant from Abuja, Nigeria, to London after about 100 people died in violence triggered by a newspaper's suggestion that the Islamic prophet Muhammad would have liked the event.
One year ago: Former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko died in London from radiation poisoning after making a deathbed statement blaming Russian President Vladimir Putin. Car bombs and mortar rounds struck a Shiite slum in Baghdad, killing 215 people. Death claimed Broadway librettist Betty Comden at age 89; jazz vocalist Anita O'Day at age 87; and French actor Philippe Noiret at age 76.

Today's Birthdays: Broadway composer Jerry Bock is 79. [No other even slightly interesting birthdays today. Jerry's is interesting only because of the next item. — Ed.]
In 1959, the musical "Fiorello!," with music by Jerry Bock and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, opened on Broadway. It was based on the story of New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia.
In 1964, the BBC banned the Rolling Stones from its airwaves after the band arrived late for two radio shows.
In 1974, singer-musician Gary Wright left the band Spooky Tooth for a solo career. He went on to have success with "Dream Weaver." [Suck Fest. — Ed.]
In 1976, Jerry Lee Lewis was arrested outside of Elvis Presley's Graceland mansion in Memphis. Authorities said he was brandishing a pistol and was demanding to see Presley. Lewis was charged with public intoxication and possession of a weapon.
In 1983, actress Mary Tyler Moore married cardiologist Dr. Robert Levine in New York.
In 1989, Paul McCartney began his first North American tour in more than a dozen years, playing the first of several shows in the Los Angeles area.
In 1992, country legend Roy Acuff died in Nashville at age 89. He had joined the Grand Ole Opry in the 1930's and appeared regularly up until several months before he died.
In 1995, director Louis Malle died at his home in Beverly Hills, California, of complications from lymphoma. He was 63. He's known for films like "Pretty Baby" and "My Dinner with Andre."
Also on that day, singer Junior Walker of Junior Walker and the All-Stars died of cancer in Battle Creek, Michigan.
In 1996, Bob Hope set a record for the longest continuous contract in the history of radio and television when his last TV special aired. Hope had been with NBC for 60 years.
Also in 1996, actor Woody Harrelson and eight other environmental activists were arrested after scaling the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco as a protest to save redwood trees in Northern California. They were accused of tying up traffic for hours.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Death in The Suburbs

For a completely bogus holiday, here's one from the "people are no damn good" file.

For nearly a year, the families who live along Waterford Crystal Drive in this bedroom community northwest of St. Louis have kept the secret about the boy Megan Meier met last September on the social networking site MySpace. [...] "All we feel is frustration, anger," neighbor Kriss said. "For months, we've been asking ourselves, 'What mother in her right mind would do this? And why won't the cops do anything to punish them?'

"We just want them gone."

Imagine living along "Waterford Crystal Drive." In the suburbs of St. Louis.

1 Picture = 1,000 Words





Therefore, several pictures should really save us some time & words!

More Bu'shit Concerning Mushy Pervis

We've picked the most damaging & insulting quotes from this WaPo article. Go ahead, click & read the whole mess if you're interested in so-called "objectivity." But it'd be a waste of your time. The good stuff is right here.

President Bush yesterday offered his strongest support of embattled Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, saying the general "hasn't crossed the line" and "truly is somebody who believes in democracy."

Bush spoke nearly three weeks after Musharraf declared emergency rule, sacked members of the Supreme Court and began a roundup of journalists, lawyers and human rights activists. Musharraf's government yesterday released about 3,000 political prisoners, although 2,000 remain in custody, according to the Interior Ministry.

The comments [...] contrasted with previous administration statements -- including by Bush himself -- expressing grave concern over Musharraf's actions. In his first public comments on the crisis two weeks ago, Bush said his aides bluntly warned Musharraf that his emergency measures "would undermine democracy." [...] Several outside analysts and a key Democratic lawmaker expressed incredulity over Bush's comments and called them a sign of how personally invested the president has become in the U.S. relationship with Musharraf. "What exactly would it take for the president to conclude Musharraf has crossed the line? Suspend the constitution? Impose emergency law? Beat and jail his political opponents and human rights activists?" asked Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a presidential candidate. "He's already done all that. If the president sees Musharraf as a democrat, he must be wearing the same glasses he had on when he looked in Vladimir Putin's soul."

[...] Bush replied, according to an ABC transcript[:] ". . . We didn't necessarily agree with his decision to impose emergency rule, and . . . hopefully he'll get . . . rid of the rule. Today, I thought, was a pretty good signal, that he released thousands of people from jail." Tom Malinowski, Washington director of Human Rights Watch, said that "it's hard to imagine how the administration will be able to achieve anything in Pakistan if the president is so disconnected from reality." "Almost everyone in Pakistan who believes in George Bush's vision of democracy is in prison today," Malinowski said. "Calling the man who put them in prison a great democrat will only discredit America among moderate Pakistanis and give Musharraf confidence that he can continue to defy the United States because Bush will forgive anything he does." [...] Although the current crisis has prompted the administration to launch a review of its aid to Pakistan, officials said yesterday that they are looking favorably at continuing most economic and military aid, which has surpassed $10 billion since 2001. Musharraf has provided extensive assistance to the United States in its efforts to seize high-profile al-Qaeda suspects, but his devotion to the fight has been increasingly questioned by some U.S. officials and outside experts. Musharraf "is not only not indispensable; he is a serious liability" to U.S. policy, a new report by the International Crisis Group said.
We're just copying this part so we may show you the successor to Tony Snow, who was the successor to Scott McClelland.
White House press secretary Dana Perino
said in an e-mail message that the president was sincere in his comments to ABC. "He does believe that President Musharraf believes in democracy, and there is evidence to that fact based on the reforms he'd put in place over the last several years," she said. "Musharraf has made a mistake and took a detour -- we are hopeful that he will restore the constitution and get the country back to that path to democracy."

[...]

"Unless the opposition parties can mount some kind of street campaign, it looks like Musharraf will stay in power for the near future," said Stephen P. Cohen, a Brookings Institution scholar and an authority on South Asia. "It is now up to the generals. When you have no effective state, no rule of law, it's only people with guns who can remove a leader -- and that means the generals."

Husain Haqqani, a longtime adviser to former prime minister Benazir Bhutto who now teaches at, Boston University, said Bush's comments yesterday suggest that "the president of the United States does not grasp the situation in Pakistan correctly," adding: "Musharraf's support and significance to the United States is overestimated by a White House that is bogged down by other concerns."

[...]

"He's been a loyal ally in fighting terrorists. He's also advanced democracy in Pakistan," Bush said. "He has said he's going to take off his uniform. He's said there will be elections. Today he released prisoners, and so far I've found him to be a man of his word."

Let's take a page from the original inhabitants of this continent, to whom honkies give thanks today, though we suspect the O. I.'s descendants may not be so thankful: "White man & Pakistani speak w/ forked tongue."

All Sorts of Events, Some Already Mentioned

Today is Thursday, November 22nd, the 326th day of 2007.
There are 39 days left in the year. This is Thanksgiving Day.
Today's Highlight in History:
On November 22nd, 1963, President Kennedy was shot to death while riding in a motorcade in Dallas. Texas Governor John B. Connally, in the same limousine as Kennedy, was seriously wounded. Suspect Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested. [Again, highlight? And what about Dallas P. D. Officer J. D. Tippit? — Ed.]
On this date:
In 1718, English pirate Edward Teach, better known as "Blackbeard," was killed during a battle off the Virginia coast.
In 1890, French president Charles de Gaulle was born in Lille, France.
In 1928, "Bolero" by Maurice Ravel made its debut in Paris.
In 1935, a flying boat, the China Clipper, took off from Alameda, California, carrying more than 100,000 pieces of mail on the first trans-Pacific airmail flight.
In 1943, President Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek met in Cairo to discuss measures for defeating Japan.
In 1943, lyricist Lorenz Hart died in New York at age 48.
In 1965, the musical "Man of La Mancha" opened in New York.
In 1967, the U.N. Security Council approved Resolution 242, which called for Israel to withdraw from territories it had captured the previous June, and implicitly called on adversaries to recognize Israel's right to exist.
In 1975, Juan Carlos was proclaimed King of Spain.
In 1990, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, having failed to win re-election of the Conservative Party leadership on the first ballot, announced her resignation.
Ten years ago: U.N. weapons experts resumed work in Iraq, searching eight sites for signs the Iraqis might have worked on biological, chemical or other banned arms during a three-week forced halt in inspections.
Five years ago: At the NATO summit in Prague, Russian President Vladimir Putin told President Bush the United States should not wage war alone against Iraq, and questioned whether Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were doing enough to fight terrorism. [Who's smarter, Bush or Putin? — Ed.] The Bush administration eased clean air rules to allow utilities, refineries and manufacturers to avoid having to install new anti-pollution equipment when they modernized their plants. [That's the Clear Skies Act, right? — Ed.]
One year ago: A chemical factory explosion in Danvers, Massachusetts, destroyed the surrounding neighborhood but caused no deaths or serious injuries.

Former Senator Claiborne Pell (Democrat, Rhode Island) is 89. Movie director Arthur Hiller is 84. Actor Robert Vaughn is 75. Actor Michael Callan is 72. Actor Allen Garfield is 68. Animator and movie director Terry Gilliam is 67. Actor Tom Conti is 66. Singer Jesse Colin Young is 66. Astronaut Guion S. Bluford is 65. Tennis player Billie Jean King is 64. Rock musician-actor Steve Van Zandt (AKA Little Steven) is 57. Rock musician Tina Weymouth (The Heads; Talking Heads; The Tom Tom Club) is 57. Former baseball player Greg Luzinski is 57. Actor Richard Kind is 51. Actress Jamie Lee Curtis is 49. [Bullshit!! — Ed.] Rock singer Jason Ringenberg (Jason & the Scorchers) is 49. Actress Mariel Hemingway is 46. Tennis player Boris Becker is 40. Actress Scarlett Johansson is 23.

In 1955, RCA Records signed Elvis Presley after buying his contract from Sun Records. Elvis got a five-thousand-dollar bonus for signing.
In 1965, the musical play "Man of La Mancha" opened in New York.
Also in 1965, Bob Dylan married former model Sara Lowndes. The marriage was not made public until the following February.
In 1967, Arlo Guthrie's 22-minute song "Alice's Restaurant" was released.
In 1980, actress Mae West died at her Hollywood residence at age 87. [The Ravenswood on Rossmore. Ed.]
In 1989, actor Martin Sheen was arrested for blocking entrance to the Los Angeles federal building. He was part of a protest against U.S. support for El Salvador's government.
In 1992, "60 Minutes" aired an interview with Woody Allen, who said Mia Farrow had threatened to have him killed after she learned he was having an affair with her 21-year-old adopted daughter.
Also in 1992, Paul Simon opened his first tour of South America in Brazil.
In 1997, singer Michael Hutchence of INXS hung himself with a belt in a hotel in Sydney, Australia. He was 37.

Coincidental Irony

The Cats won eventually, as one might expect.
And a cheerful good morning to you all! Today, as well as "Turkey Day" (Thanksgiving Day to our viewers over eight) is the 44th anniversary of the assassination of U. S. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and the killing of Dallas Police Officer J. D. Tippit by the coward Lee Harvey Oswald & a still indeterminate number of others. This is the sixth time the holiday & the anniversary have coincided in 44 yrs. How fortunate we were that Lyndon Johnson was there to take the reins of gov't. & compensate for his fear of being called a sissy by increasing our involvement in Vietnam, laying the groundwork for the current Texas macho bullshit quagmire & waste in Iraq.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Turkey Trots

Bush forces Campfire Girl to "touch the turkey."

The WaPo gives the full story on the president/turkey connection. (Well, they didn't admit that every president in Just Another Blog [From L. A.]™'s living memory has been a turkey, & that as far back as William Howard Taft they've all been gobblers, but that would be a little too much to expect from the Old Media. It's true, though.)

And the story gives us a chance to use the following quote. In response to the poll to name the two gobblers, Bush perpetuated Cheney's image as a "tough guy," w/ this line:
These names were "certainly better than the names the vice president suggested, which was 'Lunch' and 'Dinner,' " the president joked.
No photos of Veep Cheney lurking about the Rose Garden, shotgun in hand, were made available. Shame, really, as these two birds had been raised w/ plenty of human contact, so they wouldn't wig out in the stressful photo-op situation. Perfect targets for Dead-Eye Dick, in other words.

More from the Republican spin machine:

In 1987, Ronald Reagan deflected questions about pardoning Oliver North in the Iran-contra case by joking about pardoning the turkey Charlie, who was already heading to a petting zoo.
Not an "actual" pardon, just deflection. And older Bush must have been so happy not to be caught in the Iran-contra mess ("I was out of the loop," remember?) that he decided to keep distracting the nation w/ the turkey pardon.

The [George Herbert W.] Bush library is no help; staffers there are as surprised as anyone to hear that their president pardoned the first turkey. "Until this morning we didn't know that he started it," archivist Zachary Roberts says. He'd always thought, in fact, that it was Truman. Roberts will make note of the presidential first. But it probably won't make a difference to the public, who has grown used to swallowing flexible history.
[...]
"The poultry board gave [Truman] turkeys every year," Kelly adds, "and we think they probably ended up on the dinner table."

Harry S. Truman & The Naked, Still-Living Lunch
The turkey tale is the same over at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, where the records of the destination of each turkey in each year of the Ike presidency read, "Turkey to be dressed" -- and we ain't talking tuxedos -- then delivered to the president's table.
[...]
At some point in presidential Thanksgiving history, the turkeys presented annually stopped heading for the White House table and headed off to petting zoos.
If only we could say the same for most of our presidents.

Historical Filler: 21 November

Today is Wednesday, November 21st, the 325th day of 2007. There are 40 days left in the year. Today's Highlight in History: On November 21st, 1927, picketing strikers at the Columbine Mine in northern Colorado were fired on by state police; six miners were killed. [This is a "highlight?" — Ed.] On this date: In 1789, North Carolina became the 12th state to ratify the US Constitution. In 1922, Rebecca L. Felton of Georgia was sworn in as the first woman to serve in the U.S. Senate. In 1934, the Cole Porter musical "Anything Goes," starring Ethel Merman as Reno Sweeney, opened in New York. In 1942, the Alaska Highway was formally opened. In 1967, President Johnson signed the Air Quality Act. In 1969, the Senate voted down the Supreme Court nomination of Clement F. Haynsworth, the first such rejection since 1930. In 1973, President Nixon's attorney, J. Fred Buzhardt, revealed the existence of an 18 1/2-minute gap in one of the White House tape recordings related to Watergate. In 1979, a mob attacked the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, killing two Americans. In 1980, 87 people died in a fire at the MGM Grand Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ten years ago: U.N. arms inspectors returned to Iraq after Saddam Hussein's three-week standoff with the United Nations over the presence of Americans on the team. President Clinton signed a law giving the FDA new powers to speed the approval of drugs to combat a host of killer diseases, including cancer and AIDS. Five years ago: In a historic eastward shift, NATO expanded its membership into the borders of the former Soviet Union as it invited seven former communist countries under its security umbrella. In Nigeria, deadly rioting erupted after a newspaper suggested Islam's founding prophet would have approved of the Miss World beauty pageant, scheduled to be held in the Nigerian capital, Abuja (the event was moved to London). Eleven bus passengers were killed in a suicide bombing in Jerusalem. One year ago: Kathryn Johnston, 92, was killed in a hail of bullets during a botched drug raid by Atlanta police. Lebanon's industry minister, Pierre Gemayel, scion of Lebanon's most prominent Christian family, was assassinated in a brazen daytime hit. A methane gas explosion at the Halemba coal mine in southern Poland killed 23 people. Justin Morneau won the American League's Most Valuable Player Award. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Stan Musial is 87. Actor Joseph Campanella is 80. Country singer Jean Shepard is 74. Actor Laurence Luckinbill is 73. Actress Marlo Thomas is 70. Actor Rick Lenz is 68. Singer Dr. John is 67. [Gris Gris Gumbo Ya Ya!— Ed.] Actress Juliet Mills is 66. Comedian-director Harold Ramis is 63. Television producer Marcy Carsey is 63. Actress Goldie Hawn is 62. Movie director Andrew Davis is 61. Rock musician Lonnie Jordan (War) is 59. Singer Livingston Taylor is 57. Actress-singer Lorna Luft is 55. Journalist Tina Brown is 54. Actress Cherry Jones is 51. Rock musician Brian Ritchie (The Violent Femmes) is 47. Actress Nicollette Sheridan is 44. Singer-actress Bjork is 42. Football player Troy Aikman is 41. Baseball player Ken Griffey Junior is 38. On November 21st, 1934, the Cole Porter musical "Anything Goes" opened in New York. In 1960, George Harrison was deported from Germany after The Beatles had moved to Hamburg to play clubs there. Authorities were tipped off that he was not yet 18 and was therefore not allowed to be in a nightclub after midnight. In 1974, the Kiss Army fan club officially formed in Terre Haute, Indiana. In 1980, an estimated 83 million TV viewers tuned in to the CBS prime-time soap opera "Dallas" to find out who shot J.R., played by Larry Hagman. It turned out to be Kristin Shephard, played by Mary Crosby. Also in 1980, singer Don Henley was arrested after a nude 16-year-old girl was found in his Los Angeles home suffering from a drug overdose. Henley was fined and given probation. In 1982, Liza Minelli, Willie Nelson, Smokey Robinson and Andrew Lloyd Webber were honored as the first group of Grammy Living Legends at a gala in Los Angeles. Also in 1982, singer Joni Mitchell married her bassist, Larry Klein, in Malibu, California. In 1987, actor Bruce Willis married actress Demi Moore in Las Vegas. They separated after ten years. In 1990, Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall were married after being together for 12 years. They have since divorced. In 1995, singer Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day was arrested for dropping his pants at a concert in Milwaukee. He was fined 141 dollars.

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?

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