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?

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.