Monday, December 17, 2007

It's the Technology, You Cretinous Nimrod

Image courtesy NSA/AT&T Joint Venture Partners, LLC
In case any one was wondering why all this NSA/Homeland Security/CIA/FBI/You Fuckin' Name It fuss about immunity for telecommunications cos. that help the gov't. insure "our" Nazional Security: The Intelligence Establishment is no longer able to send someone up the 'phone pole down the street from you & clamp a couple of alligator clips on your 'phone line. They need the telcos' help to get all your dirt, due to fiber-optics. Thus the assistance/complicity of the telcos is required. As in Room 641A. As hinted in the AP story linked above:
The White House wants a permanent rewrite of FISA, contending that changes in telecommunications technology have made the law an obstacle to intelligence gathering. FISA requires the government to obtain court approval before conducting electronic surveillance on U.S. soil, even if the target is a foreign citizen in a foreign country.

However, many purely international communications are now routed through fiber-optic cables and computers in the United States.

©2007 The Associated Press. All rights reversed. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

God Sucks, & You Just Might Too

This (left) is not the same as this (right), no matter what you've been hearing.









Christopher (Do you think he hates his "Christian" name?) Hitchens exercises his right to free speech (while, ironically, being paid for it) in today's Slate. And we couldn't have typed it better ourselves. Really.

Discussing Article VI of our glorious Constitution:

Along with the establishment clause of the First Amendment, and the predecessor-language of the Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom, it forms part of the chief glory of the first-ever constitution that guaranteed religious liberty, religious pluralism, and the freedom to be left alone by priests and rabbis and mullahs and other characters.

However, what Article VI does not do, and was never intended to do, is deny me the right to say, as loudly as I may choose, that I will on no account vote for a smirking hick like Mike Huckabee, who is an unusually stupid primate but who does not have the elementary intelligence to recognize the fact that this is what he is.
[...] And the right of Huckabee to win the election and fill the White House with morons like himself is unaffected by my expression of an opinion.
Be sure to check the bullet list of wacky candidate statements & memberships. Wish he'd identified which candidate said or identified w/ what. Hey, maybe we could have typed it better!

A Stronger, Wronger America

Mittens' Stronger America.

Every one who gives a good goshdarn (all several thousand of them) is aware that Willard Mitt Romney's campaign theme is something about a "stronger America." "Double Gitmo," etc.We're not sure how the World's Only Superpower™ is going to get much stronger, although steroids might be one approach. On the other hand, one way America won't get much stronger is tax avoidance by the already wealthy.

While in private business, Mitt Romney utilized shell companies in two offshore tax havens to help eligible investors avoid paying U.S. taxes, federal and state records show.

Romney gained no personal tax benefit from the legal operations in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. But aides to the Republican presidential hopeful and former colleagues acknowledged that the tax-friendly jurisdictions helped attract billions of additional investment dollars to Romney's former company, Bain Capital, and thus boosted profits for Romney and his partners.

Romney has based his White House bid, in part, on the skills he learned as co-founder and chief of Bain Capital, one of the nation's most successful private equity groups. His campaign cites his record while governor of Massachusetts of closing state tax loopholes; his involvement with foreign tax havens had not previously come to light.

[...]

Brad Malt, who controls Romney's financial trust, said Bain Capital organized the Cayman fund to attract money from foreign institutional investors.

"This is not Mitt trying to do something strange," he said. "This is Bain trying to raise some number of billions from investors around the world."

Gee whillikers, seems awfully strange to us that Mittens wants a stronger America, but not if it's going to take anything out of his wallet.

Just one example of the incredible hypocrisy involved:

The privately held Cayman fund does not disclose its total investment pool. But Securities and Exchange Commission records show it has invested through a Delaware partnership in a California-based network of healthcare centers...
And from Mittens' on-line position papers:

Bring Health Care Into The 21st Century. Improve quality and enhance transparency by introducing the same competitive forces that drive innovation in other sectors of the economy.

Deregulate State Markets. Encourage states to eliminate the cumbersome insurance regulations that drive costs up and providers out of the market.

Stop The Free-Riders. Use some of the money currently spent on providing expensive "free care" for the uninsured at emergency rooms to instead help the truly needy buy private insurance.

Reform The Medical Liability System. Institute federal caps on non-economic and punitive damage awards to eliminate frivolous lawsuits and bring an end to the practice of defensive medicine.
So the answer to the health care crisis (we'll assume that a "stronger America" is not a diabetic, dying of heart disease collection of morbidly obese couch potatoes who'd kill themselves merely by trying to run from terrorists) is more profit-driven insurance companies (insulated from accountability by more gov't. regulation, but freed to profit as much as possible by less gov't. regulation) whose mission statements will involve as much money coming in as they can get & as few "expenses" (health care for the insured) as possible. Sounds like a winner to us! Go Mittens!!

It Was Sixty Years Ago Today

Today is Monday, December 17th, the 351st day of 2007. There are 14 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in Personal History: The parents of Malignant Bouffant, the editor & most prolific writer at Just Another Blog (From L. A.)™ were married on this date in 1947 (they divorced in 1968, the male parent died in 1969, the female one holding on to make our life miserable until 2007) setting forth a rather unfortunate chain of events that led directly to the nihilism that is this web log. Don't blame us, blame our parents: Not only did we not ask to be born, we certainly would have chosen better & wealthier parents, even though the two often seem mutually exclusive.

Today's Highlight in [Impersonal] History:
On December 17th, 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright of Dayton, Ohio, conducted the first successful manned powered-airplane flights, near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, using their experimental craft, the Wright Flyer:Also on this date:
In 1777, France recognized American independence.
In 1807, American Quaker poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts.
In 1830, South American revolutionary Simon Bolivar died in Colombia. [The North Carolina tee vee station web site whence we steal this used the word "patriot" instead of "revolutionary." As a commie, & as it's hard to be a "patriot" to all of South America, we changed it even before seeing that the AP site also uses "revolutionary." More damn media bias. — Ed.]
In 1925, Colonel William "Billy" Mitchell was convicted at his court-martial of insubordination for accusing senior military officials of incompetence and criminal negligence; he was suspended from active duty.
In 1939, the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee was scuttled by its crew, ending the World War II Battle of the River Plate off Uruguay.
In 1944, the US Army announced it was ending its policy of excluding Japanese-Americans from the West Coast.
In 1957, the United States successfully test-fired the Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time.
In 1969, the U. S. Air Force ended its "Project Blue Book" and concluded that there was no evidence of extraterrestrial activity behind UFO sightings.
In 1975, Lynette Fromme was sentenced in Sacramento, California, to life in prison for her attempt on the life of President Ford. ["Squeaky" omitted by telebision station website. — Ed.]
In 1981, members of the Red Brigades kidnapped Brigadier General James L. Dozier, the highest-ranking US Army official in southern Europe, from his home in Verona, Italy. (Dozier was rescued 42 days later.)
In 1986, Eugene Hasenfus, the American convicted by Nicaragua for his part in running guns to the Contras, was pardoned, then released.
In 1996, Peruvian guerrillas took hundreds of people hostage at the Japanese embassy in Lima. Kofi Annan of Ghana became United Nations secretary-general.
Ten years ago: The United States and 33 other countries signed a convention in Paris aimed at eradicating bribery in international business. President Clinton's panel on race relations met at Annandale High School in Virginia.
Five years ago: Insurance and finance company Conseco Incorporated filed for Chapter 11 protection. Congo's government, rebels and opposition parties signed a peace agreement to end four years of civil war. In 2004, President George W. Bush signed into law the largest overhaul of U.S. intelligence-gathering in 50 years.
In 2005, President George W. Bush acknowledged he'd personally authorized a secret eavesdropping program in the U.S. following Sept. 11, calling it "crucial to our national security."
One year ago: Gunmen in Iraqi army uniforms kidnapped two dozen employees at the Red Crescent offices in downtown Baghdad. Searchers on Mount Hood in Oregon found the body of missing climber Kelly James; two other climbers remain missing. Dodgers reliever Larry Sherry, the most valuable player of the 1959 World Series, died in Mission Viejo, California, at age 71.
 Today's Birthdays:
Newspaper columnist William Safire is 78. Magazine publisher Robert Guccione is 77. Actor George Lindsey is 72. Singer-actor Tommy Steele is 71. Rock singer-musician Art Neville is 70. Comedian-actor Eugene Levy is 61. Actor Wes Studi is 60. Pop musician Jim Bonfanti (The Raspberries) is 59. Rock singer Paul Rodgers is 58. Rhythm-and-blues singer Wanda Hutchinson (The Emotions) is 56. Actor Bill Pullman is 54. Actor Barry Livingston is 54. Country singer Sharon White is 54. Producer-director-writer Peter Farrelly is 51. Rock musician Mike Mills (R.E.M.) is 49. Pop singer Sarah Dallin (Bananarama) is 46.
People Born on This Date Who Have Since Died: Sir Humphry Davy, chemist, physicist (1778) "He investigated the properties of nitrous oxide (laughing gas)." [Does that mean he was the first person to discover that it gives one a buzz, or that he kept messing w/ it? — Ed.]; W.L. Mackenzie King, political leader (1874) [Canadian P. M. during WWII, later sold the Canucks out to the U. S. — Ed.]; Arthur Fiedler, conductor (1894); Sylvia Ashton-Warner, novelist and educator (1905).
Dep't. of Distraction & Trivia:
On 1969, an estimated 50 million TV viewers watched as singer Tiny Tim married Miss Vicki on NBC's "Tonight Show." The event earned the show its highest ratings to that date. [Another famous wedding on 17 December! — Ed.]
Also in 1969, Chicago's first album, "Chicago Transit Authority," was certified gold.
In 1970, the Beach Boys played a command performance for Princess Margaret in London.
In 1977, Elvis Costello and the Attractions performed on "Saturday Night Live" as a last-minute replacement for the Sex Pistols, who were denied US visas. Costello was told not to play his song "Radio, Radio" because of its criticisms of the broadcasting industry, but he interrupted another song to play it.
In 1982, The Who played the last show of its farewell tour at Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens. By the end of the decade, they had reunited for another tour.
Also in 1982, bluesman Big Joe Williams died of natural causes in Macon, Mississippi, at the age of 79. His best know songs include "Baby Please Don't Go" and "Big Fat Mama."
In 1986, a jury in Las Vegas found NBC guilty of defaming singer Wayne Newton by linking him to organized crime.
In 1989, "The Simpsons" made its debut on Fox.
In 1992, Barbra Streisand signed a movie and music deal with Sony. Terms weren't revealed, but sources estimated the deal was worth $60million.
In 1997, The Presidents of the United States of America announced their breakup. They have since gotten back together.
In 2001, comedian Tom Green filed for divorce from actress Drew Barrymore after less than six months of marriage.
In 2002, playwright Frederick Knott, who wrote "Dial M For Murder" and "Wait Until Dark," died in New York City at age 86.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sunday (Light) Bondage Blogging

Alright, this is the last of the "Maggie Gyllenhaal pimping for Agent Provacateur underwear" pictures:
Bet you're all glad that's over. Now we'll go back to dames in their late forties (& up).

It's Just Not True

From the best source of fish-wrapping & cage-lining material in all the Southland (don't leave all the slick lithographed sections from the Sunday edition on the floor, you'll slip, fall & hurt yourself) the actual, historical roots of a more cultish than many religion that has millions of adherents & no small influence:

How did the Mormon Church get started?
In 1820, a 14-year-old boy named Joseph Smith Jr. knelt in the woods near Palmyra, N.Y., to ask God which church he should join. He later reported that he saw two glowing figures who told him that all the churches of the day had fallen into apostasy, believing false doctrines. It would be up to him to restore the truth. Over the next several years, Smith said he was visited by an angel named Moroni, son of Mormon, who directed him to golden plates buried in upstate New York and helped him translate them from a language Smith called "reformed Egyptian." The Book of Mormon was published in 1830; the church was founded that year with a handful of believers. Since then, it's grown to 13 million members worldwide, including nearly 5.8 million in the U. S.
Remember, just because your system of book-inspired delusion dates back 1400, 2000, or almost 5800 yrs., it is still cut from the same cloth of lies as Joseph Smith's upstate New York fantasy. But w/ Mormon moronicity we have the entire delusion laid out before us in the historical record. For example, those "golden plates" have never been seen by anyone not directly involved in the scam. They were lost, or taken back by the "angel" Moroni, or something. Do your own searching; it's easy to find what the "story" is.

What do Mormons believe about God?
Mormons believe the Heavenly Father is the same species as man; he has a body of flesh and bone -- only more perfect than we could imagine. He's married to a Heavenly Mother. Mormons do not accept the traditional Christian doctrine of the Trinity; they view God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as three separate beings.
Talk about "man" created in the "image of god." Or vice versa, as it truly is.

Why can't non-Mormons go into a Mormon temple?
Everyone is welcome to attend regular Sunday services in Mormon meeting rooms, known as wards. But Mormon authorities aim to keep their temples sacred by excluding nonbelievers. (They won't allow outsiders even to attend a son's or daughter's temple wedding.)
Practicing Mormons must be screened every two years by their bishops, who will ask questions such as: Do you believe in God and Christ? Are you giving 10% of your income to the church? Are you chaste? Are you honest? Do you smoke or drink? Those who pass get a "temple recommend" that allows them to participate in sacred rituals.
What are those sacred rituals?
Men and women of good standing undergo a ritual cleansing ceremony when they reach maturity, usually about age 20. They also go through an "endowment session" when they are instructed in rules for faithful living. The temples are also used for weddings and for baptism, marriage and endowment ceremonies for the dead.

Don't Mormons have to wear special underwear?
At the time of their ritual cleansing (known as "washing and anointing"), both men and women are given temple garments, which look like a boxers-and-T-shirt set embroidered with sacred symbols. Mormons are expected to wear their garments daily, though not every minute. The garments are supposed to remind them of their promises to God and thus provide spiritual protection.
Most important question for the "temple recommend:" "Are we getting 10% of your income?" Especially funny since the Mormon "bishop" (equivalent to a parish priest) is a "ward" member who isn't compensated for his (never her) services. Where does all that moolah go, if the "bishops" are unpaid? The "sacred rituals" are a variation of Masonic "temple" rituals. Again, search for yourself. And the holy underwear, of course, remind the faithful of what saps they are, & how they've sacrificed what little was left of their dignity (not to mention that tithe). Below, we see that the "garmies" have changed as much as Mormon theology over the yrs.:Note the drawstrings on the first model. Imagine wearing a set of long johns under all the clothes a typical 19th century American was already bundled up in, especially in a Utah summer.

A last bit from the LAT:

The church is led by a president who is considered a living prophet, a member of an unbroken chain of prophets including Joseph Smith and stretching back to Jesus Christ. The president governs the church with two counselors and 12 apostles, all males. All can receive divine revelation. In 1978, for instance, the church president said God revealed a need to end the practice of excluding blacks from the priesthood, even though the Book of Mormon describes dark skin as a divine mark of disfavor.

And you thought the Pope was an authoritarian patriarch?

See also.

Beethoven's Big Day. What?

Today is Sunday, December 16th, the 350th day of 2007. There are 15 days left in the year. [A mere nine shopping days until X-Mess. Have you consumed? — Ed.]
Today's Highlight in History:
One hundred years ago, on December 16th, 1907, 16 US Navy battleships, which came to be known collectively as the "Great White Fleet," set sail from Hampton Roads, Virginia, on a 14-month round-the-world voyage at the order of President Theodore Roosevelt, who wanted to demonstrate American sea power.[Speak softly & wave a big fleet. — Ed.]
On this date:
In 1653, Oliver Cromwell became lord protector of England, Scotland and Ireland.
In 1773, the Boston Tea Party took place as American colonists boarded a British ship and dumped more than 300 chests of tea overboard to protest tea taxes.
In 1809, Napoleon Bonaparte was divorced from the Empress Josephine by an act of the French Senate.
In 1916, Grigori Rasputin was assassinated by a group of Russian nobles. [Note from infoplease.com: Extra credit: Rasputin died on 30 December under the modern (Gregorian) calendar, on 17 December under the old (Julian) calendar; Russia didn't adopt the modern calendar until after the Revolution of 1917. Some sources list the death date as the 29th (or 16th) of December, on the theory that Rasputin died before midnight on the night of his murder.]
In 1920, one of the deadliest earthquakes in history hit the Gansu province in China. The 8.6 quake killed 200,000 people.
In 1944, the World War II Battle of the Bulge began as German forces launched a surprise attack against Allied forces in Belgium (the Allies were eventually able to beat the Germans back). [Really. Did we win that war, too? — Ed.]
In 1950, President Truman proclaimed a national state of emergency in order to fight "world conquest by Communist imperialism." [What a fucking tool. — Ed.]
In 1960, 134 people were killed when a United Air Lines DC-8 and a TWA Super Constellation collided over New York City.
In 1985, Reputed organized-crime chief Paul Castellano was shot to death outside a New York City restaurant.
In 1990, Jean-Bertrand Aristide was elected president of Haiti in the country's first democratic elections.
In 1991, the U.N. General Assembly rescinded its 1975 resolution equating Zionism with racism by a vote of 111-25.
In 2000, President-elect Bush selected Colin Powell to become the first African-American secretary of state.
Ten years ago: U.N. weapons monitor Richard Butler left Iraq after failing to persuade President Saddam Hussein to open his palaces to inspections. A Pentagon-appointed panel concluded that the Army, Navy and Air Force should segregate male and female recruits in their earliest phases of basic training. In Japan, at least 700 mostly young TV viewers reportedly suffered nausea and other symptoms after watching an animated "Pokemon" cartoon featuring bright, flashing colors.
In 1998, President Bill Clinton ordered a sustained series of airstrikes against Iraq by American and British forces in response to Saddam Hussein's continued defiance of UN weapons inspectors.
Five years ago: President Bush named former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean to replace Henry Kissinger as head of the panel investigating the September 11th terror attacks. [Because Kissinger was unwilling to reveal for whom he "consults." — Ed.] Senate Republican leader Trent Lott, in an interview on Black Entertainment Television, asked black Americans to forgive his seeming [Seeming? Seeming? — Ed.] nostalgia for segregation. Canada ratified the Kyoto Protocol on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. A jury in Baltimore acquitted former altar boy Dontee Stokes of attempted murder in the shooting of a Roman Catholic priest he'd claimed molested him a decade earlier.
In 2004, Britain's highest court dealt a huge blow to the Bush administration's anti-terrorism policy by ruling that it could not detain foreign suspects indefinitely without trial.
One year ago: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for elections to end his violent standoff with Hamas. Ten players, including NBA scoring leader Carmelo Anthony, were ejected for fighting during a wild brawl near the end of a game between Denver and New York. Terrell Owens spat in the face of Atlanta cornerback DeAngelo Hall during a Cowboys-Falcons game. (Owens was fined $35,000 by the NFL.)
Today's Birthdays: Author Sir Arthur C. Clarke is 90. Civil rights attorney Morris Dees is 71. Actress Joyce Bulifant is 70. Actress Liv Ullmann is 69. CBS news correspondent Lesley Stahl is 66. TV producer Steven Bochco is 64. Pop singer Benny Andersson (ABBA) is 61. Actor Ben Cross is 60. Rock singer-musician Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) is 58. Rock musician Bill Bateman (The Blasters) is 56. Actress Alison LaPlaca is 48. Actor Jon Tenney is 46. Actor Benjamin Bratt is 44.
Really Historical Birthdays:
Ludwig van Beethoven, composer (1770)
Jane Austen, novelist (1775)
George Santayana, philosopher and poet (1863)
Zoltán Kodály, composer (1882)
Noel Coward, playwright, composer (1899)
Margaret Mead, anthropologist (1901)
Philip K. Dick, writer (1928)
This Date's Show Biz Shite:
In 1905, the entertainment trade publication Variety came out with its first weekly issue.
In 1966, "Hey Joe," the first single by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, was released in Britain. The song was not released as a single in the US.In 1970, five singles and five albums by Creedence Clearwater Revival were certified gold. The songs were "Travelin' Band," "Up Around the Bend," "Lookin' Out My Back Door," "Down on the Corner" and "Bad Moon Rising."
In 1973, singer Jermaine Jackson married Hazel Gordy, the daughter of Motown Records founder Berry Gordy.
In 1974, Mott the Hoople split up.
In 1975, the Bay City Rollers got their first US gold record for the song "Saturday Night." [Doubtless the last one for the one-hit wonders, as well. — Ed.]
In 1977, the Bee Gees were awarded a gold record for "How Deep is Your Love;" the movie "Saturday Night Fever," starring John Travolta as a Brooklyn disco dancer, opened in wide release.
In 1997, singer Nicolette Larson died in Los Angeles of complications from cerebral edema. She was 45.
In 2005, actress Teri Hatcher won her libel suit against a British tabloid that printed a fake story claiming she neglected her daughter while having sex with men in a van outside her home; actor John Spencer died of a heart attack in a Los Angeles hospital, a day after checking in with a bad cold. He was 58. [Hospitals can kill you. — Ed.]

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sexy Saturday

Maggie Gyllenhaal getting her breasts pushed up for Agent Provocateur underwear fashions. A turban, some fuck-up-your-lobes earrings, & false eyelashes & you too may look '30s glamourous.

(Yes, we're totally out of ideas, & are reduced to purging photos from the hard drive. How could you tell?)

Musings on Matthew Murray

These people live among you:
The scenario fits neatly into the Pentecostal vision of the universe, Raschke points out. Pentecostals tend to view spiritual life as a battlefield, he says, with Christians warring against "the prince of darkness and his minions." About nine years ago, when Raschke was studying New Life Church, he viewed a section of the campus dedicated to such "spiritual warfare." "They had this whole command center at the World Prayer Center, down in the basement," he says. "They called it spiritual mapping. Sort of like a spiritual Cheyenne Mountain. You know, where they were recognizing where the forces of the enemy were getting ready to attack, and they were mobilizing to meet the force." In a sense, he says, Murray's attack was almost like a transfer from the spiritual battlefield to the physical one.
Cheezis K. Rist. A "spiritual" Cheyenne Mountain. What's fucking next? When do these people just start nuking us? "Bring 'em on," we say. Brought to our attention by alex constantine's blacklist.

Is It The End of History Yet?

Today is Saturday, December 15th, the 349th day of 2007. There are 16 days left in the year. [Ten days 'til Christmas is up your ass! — Ed.]
Today's Highlight in History:
On December 15th, 1791, the Bill of Rights went into effect following ratification by Virginia. [It is expected that attention to parts other than the Second Amendment will be paid around the time of the Bill's tricentennial. — Ed.]
On this date:
In 1890, Sioux Indian Chief Sitting Bull and eleven other tribe members were killed in Grand River, South Dakota, during a confrontation with Indian police.
In 1916, the French defeated the Germans in the World War I Battle of Verdun.
In 1938, groundbreaking ceremonies for the Jefferson Memorial took place in Washington, DC.
In 1939, the motion picture "Gone With the Wind" had its world premiere in Atlanta.
In 1944, during World War II, American forces invaded Mindoro Island in the Philippines. [Really. WWII, was it? No shit. — Ed.]
In 1961, former Nazi official Adolf Eichmann was sentenced to death by an Israeli court.
In 1964, Canada's House of Commons approved dropping the "Red Ensign" flag in favor of a new design.
In 1965, two U.S. manned spacecraft, Gemini 6A and Gemini 7, maneuvered to within ten feet of each other while in orbit.
In 1978, President Jimmy Carter announced he would grant diplomatic recognition to Communist China on New Year's Day and sever official relations with Taiwan.
In 1979, the deposed Shah of Iran left the United States for Panama, the same day the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled that Iran should release all its American hostages.
In 1989, a popular uprising began in Romania; it led to the downfall of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.
Ten years ago: Over Republican objections, President Clinton appointed Bill Lann Lee acting assistant attorney general for civil rights.
Five years ago: Former Vice President Al Gore, who'd come agonizingly close to winning the presidency two years earlier, said in an interview on CBS' "60 Minutes" that he would not run for the White House in 2004. Japan won golf's World Cup for the first time in 45 years.
In 2003, the late Sen. Strom Thurmond's family acknowledged Essie Mae Washington-Williams' claim that she was Thurmond's illegitimate mixed-race daughter.
In 2005, millions of Iraqis turned out to choose a parliament in a mostly peaceful election; former Sen. William Proxmire, the Wisconsin Democrat who'd fought government waste with his "Golden Fleece" awards, died at age 90.
One year ago: Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld bid farewell to the Pentagon in a splashy sendoff featuring lavish praise from President Bush. Governor Jeb Bush suspended Florida executions two days after the prolonged death of a condemned inmate because the needles had been wrongly inserted. In San Francisco, a federal judge declared California's lethal-injection procedure unconstitutional.

Today's Birthdays:
Actor-comedian Tim Conway is 74. Singer Cindy Birdsong (The Supremes) is 68. Governor of Louisiana Kathleen Blanco is 65. Rock musician Dave Clark (The Dave Clark Five) is 65. Rock musician Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge) is 61. Actor Don Johnson is 58. Movie director Julie Taymor is 55. Movie director Alex Cox is 53. Former Governor of Virginia Mark Warner is 53. Rock musician Paul Simonon (The Clash) is 52. Movie director Reginald Hudlin is 46. Actress Helen Slater is 44. "Crowd-hyper" Kito Trawick (Ghostown DJs) is 30.

The Dead:
George Romney, portrait painter (1734)
Franklin Benjamin Sanborn, journalist and philanthropist (1831)
Gustave Eiffel, engineer (1832)
J. Paul Getty, business executive (1892)
Muriel Rukeyser, poet (1913)
Edna O'Brien, writer (1932)

This Date in Meaningless Distraction:
On December 15th, 1939, "Gone with the Wind" had its world premiere in Atlanta. It starred Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable. ["Frankly, you fucking cuntmy dear, I don't give a damn." — Ed.]
In 1943, keyboardist Fats Waller died during a cross-country trip to New York. He was 39. [Travel was a lot tougher in those days, what w/ the covered wagons & all. — Ed.]
In 1944, a single-engine plane carrying bandleader Glenn Miller disappeared during a flight over the English Channel while en route to Paris. He was a U.S. Army major at the time. Forty years later, British authorities said the plane was probably hit by explosives jettisoned from British bombers. [Friendly fire killed him. Great. — Ed]
In 1959, the Everly Brothers recorded "Let It Be Me" in New York. It was the first time they didn't record in Nashville and the first time they recorded with strings.
In 1966, movie producer Walt Disney died of lung cancer in Los Angeles. He was 65. [That's not even his real signature. A total douchebag & an anti-semite. — Ed.]
In 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Plastic Ono Band made its concert debut in London. [Best band John was ever in. And a Beatle item. — Ed.]
In 1977, members of the Sex Pistols were denied visas to enter the US, two days before they were to appear on NBC's "Saturday Night Live." Their replacement was Elvis Costello and the Attractions.
In 1988, singer James Brown was sentenced to six years in prison for leading police on a chase through two states.
In 1990, singer Rod Stewart married model Rachel Hunter in Beverly Hills, California. They've since split up. [Good. We hope they're both miserable. — Ed.]

Friday, December 14, 2007

Annals of Self-Promotion & Self-Absorbtion

"The divine Ms. Althouse," looking not unattractive in a low-angle, chin-up shot w/ the tiniest bit of digital foolery.
Taken in its entirety:

It's Grande Conservative Blogress Diva time again.
Vote for me if you're so inclined. Vote every day for a week if you really care. Now, maybe you're thinking: "Grande Conservative Blogress Diva," what is it, and is it really Althouse? You could discuss that here. I recommend devising a definition that will make it crushingly obvious that I should win. You know, it can't possibly mean: Who's the most conservative female blogger. It's more like: Who's the biggest diva blogger for conservatives? Think about it.
Golly gee, "Divine Ms. A.," we thought you were a self-proclaimed moderate. Actually, you're more of an unknowingly self-proclaimed ninny:

I sat down to talk about it with someone who was also planning to vote for Carter, and the two of us changed our vote to Ford. It wasn't so much Ford. It was Carter. I'd decided he was a small man. He didn't fit the Presidency. Did Ford? But Ford was already President. In truth, no one deserves to be President. But Ford did not select himself as President. He had only selected himself to represent one legislative district. I found that appealing.
Umm, did it occur to you that Ford could have given up his stewardship Presidency & returned to Congress, or Grand Rapids, but instead decided to try to hold onto the office? Or that if anyone was a "small man," it was Ford? Of course, we can't have any "small" people leading us on to glory, we need giants, or those who believe themselves to be giants, like George Bush or Rudy Giuliani. Do tell us, Ms. Althouse, have you ever made a rational political decision in your life? Or are all your decisions based on the "size" of the man, or now much fun it would to have a beer w/ him? Or Clinton Derangement Syndrome?

St. Nick on a Stick, we are insanely, bitterly jealous of this woman & her readership & advertising revenues. And absolutely contemptuous of the fools who read her crap, let alone the dimbulbs who comment on her web log.

Mitt Romney & Friends to Buy Clear Channel

We probably shouldn't worry. Bain Capital owns Marriot & there are still naughty movies for the tired businessman in those inns. One can't really imagine that the man who wants to be president so we can build a "stronger" America would interfere w/ programming for political purposes. Can one? Can one say "Silvio Berlusconi?"

"War on Christmas" Finally Gets Underway!!

It's on!! At last. And all it took was a few drinkie-poos. From the AP:

Santa Barbara, CA -- Watch out for the Christmas tree! It's that big one with all the lights!

Police in Santa Barbara, California, report Linda Teague Goggin slammed her 1993 Lincoln into the city's 50-foot tall Christmas tree.

Police Lieutenant Paul McCaffrey says apparently Goggin mistook the lights on the tree for lights strung between buildings. She drove the Lincoln through a ring of traffic cones and crashed into the tree's metal stand. The car was heavily damaged but the tree's fine.
[Damnit! — Ed.] Investigators say Ms. Goggin [Rhymes w/ egg-noggin'! — Ed.] is facing drunken
driving charges.
Get the Christ out of X-Mess & put Santa back where he belongs!

More Stabs From The Past

Today is Friday, December 14th, the 348th day of 2007. There are 17 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History: On December 14th, 1799, the first president of the United States, George Washington, died at his Mount Vernon, Virginia, home at age 67.
On this date:
In 1819, Alabama joined the Union as the 22nd state.
In 1861, Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, died in London.
In 1911, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and his group became the first men to reach the South Pole, beating out an expedition led by Robert F. Scott.
In 1939, the Soviet Union was dropped from the League of Nations.
In 1946, the United Nations General Assembly voted to establish U.N. headquarters in New York.
In 1962, the US space probe Mariner 2 approached Venus, transmitting information about the planet.
In 1967, DNA was first synthesized. [It's mutants on parade now!! — Ed.]
In 1975, six South Moluccan extremists surrendered after holding 23 hostages for 12 days on a train near the Dutch town of Beilen.
In 1981, Israel annexed the Golan Heights, which it had seized from Syria in 1967.
In 1985, Wilma Mankiller became the first woman to lead a major American Indian tribe as she took office as principal chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.
In 1986, the experimental aircraft Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, took off from Edwards Air Force Base in California on the first non-stop, non-refueled flight around the world.
In 1989, Nobel Peace laureate Andrei D. Sakharov died in Moscow at age 68.
In 1993, a Colorado judge struck down as unconstitutional the state's voter-approved ban on gay rights laws.
In 1995, Presidents Alija Izetbegovic of Bosnia, Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia and Franjo Tudjman of Croatia signed the Bosnian peace treaty in Paris.
Ten years ago: Iran's new president, Mohammad Khatami, called for a dialogue with the people of the United States -- a nation reviled by his predecessors as "The Great Satan." Cuban President Fidel Castro declared Christmas 1997 an official holiday to ensure the success of Pope John Paul II's upcoming visit to the communist country.
In 1999, U.S. and German negotiators agreed to establish a $5.2 billion fund for Nazi-era slaves and forced laborers. [Better late than never, but never better late. — Ed.] Charles M. Schulz announced he was retiring the "Peanuts" comic strip. [But it still hasn't stopped! — Ed.]
In 2000, the Federal Trade Commission unanimously approved the $111 billion merger of America Online and Time Warner. [That's worked out quite well, hasn't it? — Ed.]
Five years ago: Jordanian police announced the arrest of two alleged al-Qaida members in the October killing of American diplomat Laurence Foley.
One year ago: South Korea's Ban Ki-moon was sworn in as the 8th secretary-general of the United Nations. A British police inquiry concluded that the deaths of Princess Diana and her boyfriend in a 1997 Paris car crash were a "tragic accident" and that allegations of murder were unfounded.

Today's Birthdays:
Jazz musician Clark Terry is 87. Former "60 Minutes" executive producer Don Hewitt is 85. Actor-playwright George Furth is 75. Actress Patty Duke is 61. Pop singer Joyce Vincent-Wilson (Tony Orlando and Dawn) is 61. Tennis Hall of Famer Stan Smith is 61. Entertainment executive Michael Ovitz is 61. Actress Dee Wallace is 59. Rhythm-and-blues singer Ronnie McNeir (The Four Tops) is 58. Rock musician Cliff Williams (AC/DC) is 58. Singer-musician Peter "Spider" Stacy (The Pogues) is 49.

No Longer a Birthday, Merely a Birthdate:
Nostradamus, astrologer and physician (1503)
Tycho Brahe, astronomer (1546)
John Mercer Langston, public official, diplomat, educator (1829) [Never heard of him. Yet 178 yrs. after his birth, someone remembers. Oh, no wonder we'd never heard of him. Click & see why. Busy guy. — Ed.]
James Doolittle, aviator, military leader (1896)
Shirley Jackson, writer (1919)

This Date in Show Bidness "History:"
In 1947, Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman separated.
In 1961, Jimmy Dean's "Big Bad John" became the first country single to be certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.
In 1963, singer Dinah Washington died of an overdose of sleeping pills in Detroit. She was 39.In 1972, Alexander's department store in New York stayed open late so singer Alice Cooper could do his Christmas shopping.
In 1977, the movie "Saturday Night Fever" opened in New York.
In 1978, the movie "Superman," starring Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder, opened in Los Angeles.
In 1979, the Clash's "London Calling" was released.
In 1980, fans around the world paid tribute to John Lennon, six days after he was shot to death in New York City. Hundreds of silent vigils were held at 2 p.m. Eastern time for ten minutes at the request of Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono. [More Beatle stuff. Every day. — Ed.]
In 1984, Madonna had her first number-one hit when "Like a Virgin" hit the top of the "Billboard" singles chart.
In 1998, actress Linda Hamilton filed for divorce from director James Cameron. They were married a year and a half.
In 2006, Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun died in New York at age 83. Actor Mike Evans, who'd played Lionel Jefferson on "All in the Family" and "The Jeffersons," died in Twentynine Palms, California, at age 57.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Words to Live By

From today's spam: "Do not be shame because of of your male device size" We would be "shame" were we using a "male device," let alone "because of of" its size.

Lester Bangs

Somehow it missed the attention of both the AP & infoplease, but today would have been Mr. Bangs' 59th B-Day, as TBogg notes. (We already noted today is The Nuge's & "Skunk" Baxter's 59th as well.)

A mess of quotes ('though we believe they may work better in context) that seem to be from interviews rather than published stuff.

And something by Richard Hell. Haven't read it, but it's possibly good.

Do your own searching from here on. And we note that there are indications that Lester (birth name: Leslie) was born 14 December 1948. All, however, are sure Mr. Bangs died 30 April 1982. (Just Another Blog's™ most recent ex-girlfriend's birthday, oddly. The 30 April part, not the 1982 part.)

P. S.: Seems as if everyone likes TBogg's pull, some earlier than others.

Charity Begins at Home, & Ends Up Who Knows Where

If your earplugs or blinders weren't available, you may have heard or read the spewing from 18th century minds who favor the workhouse & debtor's prison (not that the contemporary economic system of wage-slavery & easy credit rip-offs is a huge improvement) & decry the "immoral" coercion of taxes, & gov't. assistance for individuals & families (as opposed, of course, to corporate welfare) whining about how wonderful the old days were, when the churches & private charities provided all the help any one could ever possibly need. Fine, we'll let their fantasy world go undisturbed. But could someone answer these questions for us: What's the deal w/ "charities" for veterans? Are we (via the gov't. & our tax dollars) not "morally" obligated to provide every possible assistance to those who have sacrificed life, body parts, & mental health in the defense of (among others) those who would whine about the gov't. helping people? Are we not even more obligated when these sacrifices have been made in vain, as part of foolish, macho adventures that have not increased our safety, security, or international standing, but only wasted our proverbial blood & treasure? Just Another Blog™ was astonished that charities for veterans, & their families, were needed at all. Why is even one penny of their needs not provided by all of us? Sadly, knowing a little of the nature of "giving" & non-profit organizations, we were not the least bit surprised by this:
Eight veterans charities, including some of the nation's largest, gave less than a third of the money raised to the causes they champion[.] [...] One group passed along 1 cent for every dollar raised, the report says. Another paid its founder and his wife a combined $540,000 in compensation and benefits last year, a Washington Post analysis of tax filings showed.
Bear in mind,these are not dirty, poor druggies in the inner-city these organizations claim to help, these are people & families who have made the ultimate sacrifice, or the sacrifice of body parts &/or mind, for all of us, or so these outfits will no doubt tell you. [Typed in whiny "glibertarian" voice]: It seems to me that it's still an excellent idea to privatize all charity & giving. It's still "immoral" to "coerce" any one, it's much better to donate to someone who's clever enough to get his (& his wife's) needs met, to the tune of several hundred thousand smackers a year, before any funds trickle down to any one who might need a hand (or an arm, or a leg, or a new eye). Although coercing the recipients of giving into some sort of religious establishment may not be such a bad idea. More of your tax dollars to "faith-based initiatives," less to groups that won't make the indigent listen to a sermon (at least) before they get that bologna sandwich with the government cheese. That's called coercing "morality," and it's good coercion. Enough of that & the poor will realize it's their fault they're poor, the veterans will realize it's their own fault they didn't duck fast enough under fire, and all the problems will go away. More of these losers should be falling on their swords:
[T]he military’s suicide rate is still lower than that of the general population. After leaving the military, however, veterans appear to be at greater risk for suicide than those who didn’t serve. Earlier this year, researchers at Portland State University in Oregon found male veterans were twice as likely to commit suicide as their civilian counterparts.
We need more of that, and less whining with outstretched hands. Thank you, and God bless the Free Market. [End whiny "glibertarian" voice.]

Treasonous Cracker Slavers Win One, 145 Yrs. Ago

Today is Thursday, December 13th, the 347th day of 2007. There are 18 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Decmeber [sic] 13th, 1862, Union forces suffered a major defeat to the Confederates at the Battle of Fredericksburg. [Just Another Blog™ steals most of "Today in History" from the website of a telebision station in the "Triad," which apparently is the cities of Greensboro, High Point & Winston-Salem, in the state of North Carolina. Yes, cracker central. Note the crummy English in the sentence. Not the way the AP phrased it. But the AP's "Highlight in History" today was Saddam Hussein's capture in his spider hole. Our other primary source, infoplease, doesn't mention Fredericksburg. And notice the photo the tee vee station ran w/ their "highlight." Which fucking country do you losers live in again? If you need a reminder, it starts w/ "United," not "Confederate." — Ed.]On this date:
In 1577, Sir Francis Drake of England set out with five ships on a nearly three-year journey that would take him around the world.
In 1642, Dutch navigator Abel Tasman sighted present-day New Zealand. [Laying the ground for commenter Herr Doktor Bimler to live there, hundreds of yrs. later — Ed.]
In 1769, Dartmouth College, in New Hampshire, received its charter.
In 1835, Phillips Brooks, the American Episcopal bishop who wrote the words to "O Little Town of Bethlehem," was born in Boston.
In 1862, Confederate forces dealt Union troops a major defeat at the Battle of Fredericksburg. [Note the AP's better phrasing. — Ed.]
In 1918, President Wilson arrived in France, becoming the first chief executive to visit Europe while in office.
In 1944, during World War II, the US cruiser Nashville was badly damaged in a Japanese kamikaze attack that claimed more than 130 lives.
In 1978, the Philadelphia Mint began stamping the Susan B. Anthony dollar, which went into circulation in July 1979.
In 1981, authorities in Poland imposed martial law in a crackdown on the Solidarity labor movement. (Martial law formally ended in 1983.)
In 1988, PLO chairman Yasser Arafat addressed the U.N. General Assembly in Geneva, where it had reconvened after the United States refused to grant Arafat a visa to visit New York.
In 1989, South African President F.W. de Klerk met for the first time with imprisoned African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela, at de Klerk's office in Cape Town.
In 1994, an American Eagle commuter plane crashed short of Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina, killing 15 of the 20people on board.
In 1996, the U.N. Security Council chose Kofi Annan of Ghana to become the world body's seventh secretary-general.
Ten years ago: A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in Los Angeles for the 1 billion-dollar Getty Center, one of the largest arts centers in the United States. Michigan Wolverine Charles Woodson was named winner of the Heisman Trophy, the first primarily defensive player so honored.
In 2000, Republican George W. Bush claimed the presidency 36 days after Election Day; Democrat Al Gore conceded defeat.
In 2001, the Pentagon released a captured videotape of Osama bin Laden in which the al-Qaida leader said the deaths and destruction achieved by the Sept. 11 attacks exceeded his "most optimistic" expectations; five suspected Islamic militants killed nine people in an attack on India's parliament before being killed themselves; President George W. Bush served formal notice that the United States was pulling out of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russia.
In 2003, ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was captured by U.S. forces while hiding in a hole under a farmhouse in Adwar, near his hometown of Tikrit.
Five years ago: Cardinal Bernard Law resigned as Boston archbishop because of the priest sex abuse scandal. President Bush announced he would take the smallpox vaccine along with US military forces, but was not recommending the potentially risky inoculation for most Americans. The U.N. Security Council condemned "acts of terror" against Israel in Kenya and deplored the claims of responsibility by the al-Qaida terror network.
In 2005, Crips gang co-founder Stanley "Tookie" Williams, whose supporters argued he had redeemed himself inside prison, was executed in California for killing four people in robberies.
One year ago: President Bush held high-level talks at the Pentagon, after which he said he would "not be rushed" into a decision on a strategy change for Iraq. Senator Tim Johnson (Democrat, South Dakota) underwent emergency surgery after suffering bleeding in his brain. Lamar Hunt, the owner of football's Kansas City Chiefs who coined the term "Super Bowl," died in Dallas at age 74.

Today's Birthdays:
Former Secretary of State George P. Shultz is 87. Actor-comedian Dick Van Dyke is 82. Actor Christopher Plummer is 80. Actor Robert Prosky is 77. Country singer Buck White is 77. Music/film producer Lou Adler is 74. Movie producer Richard Zanuck is 73. Singer John Davidson is 66. Singer Ted Nugent is 59. Rock musician Jeff "Skunk" Baxter is 59. [Double dose of right-wing libertarian guitarists. Maybe there is something to astrology. — Ed.] Actress Wendie Malick is 57.Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is 54. Country singer John Anderson is 53. Singer-songwriter Steve Forbert is 53.Singer-actor Morris Day is 51. Actor Steve Buscemi is 50. Actor Johnny Whitaker is 48. Actor-comedian Jamie Foxx is 40.

This Date's Birthdays:
Heinrich Heine, poet (1797)
Werner von Siemens, electrical engineer and inventor (1816)
Mary Todd Lincoln (1818)
Emily Carr, painter (1871)
Ella Baker, civil rights activist (1903)
Archie Moore, prizefighter (1913)
Ross Macdonald, novelist (1915)

Show Bidness Today:
In 1928, George Gershwin's musical work "An American in Paris" had its premiere, at Carnegie Hall in New York.
In 1974, former Beatle George Harrison visited the White House at the invitation of Jack Ford, the president's son. Harrison was the first rock musician to be invited to the White House. [Uh, what about The Turtles, who were there in 1969 at the invitation of one or both of The Nix's daughters, & got high on the roof or in a closet or something? And more Beatle stuff. — Ed.]
In 1985, singer Phil Collins made his TV acting debut in the US with an episode of "Miami Vice."
In 1988, singer Bruce Springsteen and model-actress Julianne Phillips divorced.
In 1992, an estimated 150,000 people showed up for a free Scorpions concert in Frankfurt, Germany. The concert was aimed at protesting violence by radical rightists.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Alan Keyes Is Heard From

We thought he'd fallen off the edge of the world, which he no doubt believes is flat, but big-time loser (electoral & in almost every other sense of the word, except that he manages to pay himself from his campaign funds) Alan Keyes somehow qualified to be in today's debate. Here's seven minutes & 23 seconds you'll never get back:
If you feel like keeping those precious minutes, here's a shot of Al pretending he's Cowboy Ron Reagan.
"Git along, little dogie."

Huckabilly/BatesPerkins '08?

Huckabee Hound, still denying evolution & a lot of other science as well, keeps trying to weasel out of his 1992 questionnaire answers by saying "it was 1992."
Huckabee said his statements reflected the state of knowledge about AIDS at the time, even though the U.S. surgeon general had by then reported that the disease could not be spread through casual contact. [...] "I would tell them that we've come a long way in research and treatment, and I certainly never would want to say anything that would be hurtful to them or anybody else," he said at a morning news conference in Council Bluffs. Huckabee said he "would have great regret and anxiety if I thought my comments were hurtful or in any way added to the already incredible pain that families have felt, regardless of how they contracted AIDS."
("Even if they contracted AIDS from dirty, aberrant, unnatural sinful homo sex, posing a dangerous public risk, I wouldn't want to be hurtful. Much.") No, he'd never want to make hurtful comments, certainly nothing like:
AIDS patients should be isolated from the public and [...] homosexuality was an “aberrant, unnatural and sinful lifestyle” that posed a “dangerous public risk.”
Again from the LAT:
Prominent conservative Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, took to the Internet and the airwaves in recent days to defend Huckabee. Perkins said the candidate was being asked about long-ago statements about AIDS, homosexuality and morality because of his faith, and he predicted that more conservative religious voters would rally to Huckabee's side if the criticism continued. "I predict that Bible-believing Christians will step over policy differences they have with Mike Huckabee to stand by and support a candidate who is being attacked because he believes, as they do, that their Christian faith should actually impact the way they live," Perkins wrote in his Internet newsletter.
Mr. Perkins, perhaps better described as a prominent douche-bag, wants to have it both ways, as do Huck & Mittens. "Don't you dare question my superstitionsfaith, it's private & personal, but I'm a god-fearing Xtian, my Xtian faith will actually impact the way I live, so vote for me 'cause I'm an ordained Babtiss minister." If their firmly held superstitions (and these people are supposed to have consistent, long term, never changing beliefs & "first principles," it's part of their "character") can be dismissed as "long-ago statements" that shouldn't concern anyone, what does this say about the "character" of these bible thumpers? And if your superstitions will "inform" your presidency:
I will also offer perspectives on how my own faith would inform my Presidency, if I were elected[,]
how can we not examine your "faith?" The two biggest god-squadders in the Republican race to the sacrifice (excepting Alan Keyes, whom we may get around to later) are Romney the Mormon & Huckabilly the Babtiss. We note that the full official name of the Mormons is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Latter-day means they believe we are living in the "end times." (It's much easier to suck the sheep into your cult if you have them scared that Jeebus is about to call them home & they'd better be ready. Added bonus: You can sell them shit so they'll be ready for the tribulations!) Huck-a-buck, as a Babtiss, probably believes the whole Book of Revelations thing. These two are the ones w/ the least foreign policy knowledge or experience. Do you want them making decisions based on bringing about the apocalypse? "Will this speed up Gawd's holy plan to destroy the earth?" "How can we get all the Jews to move back to Israel, setting the stage for Jesus Christ's return to Missouri or upstate New York or Jerusalem?" "It says here that Allah is the Arabian Moon God, who's really the devil. I was praying last night, & Gawd told me to kill every Muslim on the planet, or I won't be getting into heaven. Call Halliburton & Blackwater, tell 'em to turn the electricity & gas on in the camps." America shouldn't be asking any questions about anyone's Bible-based faith. That would just be wrong. We must take it on faith that these clowns spilling out of the car are good loving Xtians, no matter how absurd or potentially dangerous their beliefs may be. Mustn't we? Bonus notes: Chris "Tweety" Matthews, whose Hardball (he wishes) program is usually in the background as we type, has been harping on the "Don't you dare question anybody's faith" thing at least since Mittens' "Faith in America" speech. "Tweety" is a cradle Catholic, fully indoctrinated by a completely Catholic education, & likes to mention "transubstantiation" & "exorcism" as two Catholic thingies that could be looked at as silly, if any one looked. Is Chris afraid the spotlight may be turned on his cult soon? We know he's afraid to ask the really hard questions, if he won't bring up the issues of what someone's religion may mean to their presidency, especially for Middle East policy. He also harps on Mittens' father George's presidential campaign 40 yrs. ago, and incredulously states that no one brought up Mormonism then, w/o mentioning that George Romney pretty much sabotaged his own primary campaign by admitting that he was "brainwashed" by U. S. military press relations people on a tour of Vietnam. If that hadn't happened, & the elder Romney had posed serious opposition to Richard Nixon & his staff of dirty tricksters, is there any question that Romney's religion would have become an issue? Matthews also conveniently forgets that in 1968 evangelicals & fundamentalists were not very involved in politics, especially nationally. Then, as a reaction to progress made in the '60s, the tee vee preachers realized they could amass more money & power by reversing the "not in this world" tradition of the bible believing buffoons & getting them involved in politics, polarizing this country to a degree not seen since the War Between the States. Now virtually every Republican candidate whines about faith, virtue, Judeo-Christian values, prayer in the schools, "this is a Christian nation," secularists will make your children gay & take Santa out of the Malls, ad nauseum. And the usual gang of political preachers/influence peddlers are whispering very loudly about Mittens' Mormonism, & how they may not be able to vote for him. Probably more an attempt to gain more power & influence than a real threat, but we see the results: candidates' superstitions are fair game. Apparently Chris Matthews, seasoned political observerwould be political horse-race caller, can't see this. Piling on the Huckabee mess, we'd like to point out that while Dukakis was slimed & smeared for having supported a Massachusetts wknd. furlough program that allowed a convict serving a life sentence to commit armed robbery & rape while furloughed. The Huckmeister, on the other hand, seems to have actively intervened w/ the Arkansas parole board in the case of a convicted rapist who claimed to have "found God" (What, was He missing? We didn't see an Amber Alert.) while in stir, & who was thought (by early sufferers of Clinton Derangement Syndrome) to have been sentenced harshly because the victim was a distant cousin of then-Gov. Clinton, & her father was a contributor to Clinton. Full scoop from the NYT. So, Dukakis supported a program that, unfortunately, allowed a killer back on the streets, where he committed armed robbery & rape. Huckabee involved himself directly in an already politicized case, resulting in the parole of a convicted rapist (who had also been involved in the murder of a fellow soldier in Oklahoma, but escaped a severe sentence by going the state's evidence route against his two fellow murderers) who killed a mother of three in a suburb of Kansas City while on parole. DuMond, who died in prison in 2005, was also suspected in the murder of another woman in the K. C. area. While on bail in the Arkansas rape case,
Mr. DuMond said men forced his way into his home and castrated him, but the authorities said they thought he might have castrated himself in a play for sympathy.
Yep, that's stability plus. But all you have to do is "find God," & get a bunch of Xtian evangelicals to put pressure on the Babtiss minister/governor, & you're out to kill again. Is there any sign of how religious faith, & prejudice for those of that faith, might have a bearing on someone's presidential fitness? See also the LAT. And a 2001 story (Had those glibertarian assholes already taken it over then?) from the Village Voice (We'll bet they're sorry about it now.) that is rather sympathetic to DuMond, and paints Clinton as Lucifer incarnate. Well, not completely off there.

Well-Known Wife-Beater Dies in Dago Suburb

The Mainstream Media is announcing that Ike Turner shuffled off this mortal coil this morning at the age of 76, passing in his sleep at his crib in the San Diego suburb of San Marcos. Career & life dope from his website.

Dig the conk job & pimp 'stache.

One of the originators of rock 'n' roll, Turner was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi, 5 November 1931, the same town in which Muddy Waters was raised. W/ personal punching bag Tina. Also note the big clock around her neck, pre-dating Flavor Flav by a decade, at least.

Mitt Heil!

TBogg has an item on Romney's endorsement by Nazional Review. Rather than steal the very nice graphics, we'll refer our readership there.

E-Mail From Norman Bates

Tony Perkins (left) big cheese of the Family Research Council, proves himself to be as psycho-sociopathic as the character played by his namesake, the actor Tony Perkins, in the Hitchcok classic Psycho: Norman Bates (right).

Tony, in an e-mail sent to FRC subscribers (gotta give the rubes something for their money) checks in on the wknd. shootings in Colorado, & while he doesn't really want to get into it right now, he manages to use the dead for his unholy purposes:

It is hard not to draw a line between the hostility that is being fomented in our culture from some in the secular media toward Christians and evangelicals in particular and the acts of violence that took place in Colorado yesterday. But I will say no more for now other than that our friends at New Life Church and YWAM are in our thoughts and prayers.
We'd like to see that line he's drawn. Pretty shaky, & neither continuous nor straight, like a two-year old's crayon scratchings. A slow two-year old's.

Considering that the shooter was a home-schooled mental case from a "very, very religious family," seeking revenge on the Youth With A Mission organization, which had told him to get lost, it's hard to see how the "secular media" had much influence on him.

But holier than thou Tony "will say no more for now," once he gets his dig in. Oh, & "our friends" are "in our thoughts and prayers." What are the chances that the prayers for this not to have happened, or for the dead to be brought back to life, will be answered? Slim to none. Special treatment is reserved for God, jr. All others can fuck off & stay dead.

More blather from The Carpetbagger Report & Talk To Action. And other sites.

Big Day in Rolling Stones History

Today is Wednesday, December 12th, the 346th day of 2007.
There are 19 days left in the year. [Two wks. 'til X-Mess, suckers! — Ed.]
In 1787, Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the US Constitution.
In 1870, Joseph H. Rainey of South Carolina became the first black lawmaker sworn into the US House of Representatives. In 1897, "The Katzenjammer Kids," the pioneering comic strip created by Rudolph Dirks, made its debut in the New York Journal.
In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt nominated Oscar Straus to be Secretary of Commerce and Labor; Straus became the first Jewish Cabinet member.
In 1913, authorities in Florence, Italy, announced that the "Mona Lisa," stolen from the Louvre Museum in Paris in 1911, had been recovered.
In 1914, the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its worst percentage drop in history - 24.39 percent - on the first day of trading in more than four months. (The New York Stock Exchange had shut down when World War I began in July.)
In 1917, Father Edward Flanagan founded Boys Town outside Omaha, Nebraska. [Perv Central, no doubt. — Ed.]
In 1925, the first motel -- the Motel Inn -- opened in San Luis Obispo, California. [Followed by the opening of the No-Tell Motel & The Snooty Fox on Figueroa not too much later. — Ed.]
In 1937, Japanese aircraft sank the US gunboat Panay on China's Yangtze River. (Japan apologized, and paid $2.2 million in reparations.)
In 1946, a United Nations committee voted to accept a six-block tract of Manhattan real estate offered as a gift by John D. Rockefeller Jr. to be the site of U.N. headquarters. [The first step to world domination by the CFR & The Trilateral Commission. — Ed.]
In 1963, Kenya gained its independence from Britain. [It takes a Mau Mau. — Ed.]
In 1975, Sara Jane Moore pleaded guilty to trying to kill President Gerald R. Ford. [Had she killed him, Nelson Rockefeller would have become President & who knows what would have happened? — Ed.]
In 1985, 248 American soldiers and eight crew members were killed when an Arrow Air charter crashed after takeoff from Gander, Newfoundland.
In 1998, the House Judiciary Committee approved a fourth and final article of impeachment against President Bill Clinton and submitted the case to the full House.
Ten years ago: Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, the international terrorist known as "Carlos the Jackal," went on trial in Paris on charges of killing two French investigators and a Lebanese national. (Ramirez was convicted, and is serving a life prison sentence.)
In 1999, "Catch-22" author Joseph Heller died at age 76.
In 2000, a divided US Supreme Court reversed a state court decision for recounts in Florida's contested election, transforming George W. Bush into the president-elect. The Marine Corps grounded all eight of its high-tech V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft following a fiery crash in North Carolina that killed four Marines.
Five years ago: President Bush publicly rebuked Senate Republican leader Trent Lott for his statement that appeared to embrace half-century-old segregationist politics, calling it "offensive" and "wrong." A defiant North Korea said it would immediately reactivate a nuclear power plant that US officials suspected was being used to develop weapons. Actor Nick Nolte pleaded no contest in Malibu, California, to one count of driving under the influence of drugs; he was sentenced to three years' probation.
In 2003, Keiko, the killer whale made famous by the "Free Willy" movies, died in the Norwegian fjord that he'd made his home.
One year ago: A suicide bomber struck a crowd of mostly poor Shiites in Baghdad, killing some five dozen people and wounding more than 200. A two-day conference questioning the existence of the Nazi Holocaust ended in Tehran.

Today's Birthdays: TV host Bob Barker is 84. Former New York City Mayor Edward Koch is 83. Singer Connie Francis is 69. Singer Dionne Warwick is 67. Rock singer-musician Dickey Betts is 64. Actor Wings Hauser is 60. Country singer LaCosta is 57. Gymnast-turned-actress Cathy Rigby is 55. Actress Sheree J. Wilson is 49. Singer-musician Sheila E. is 48. Actress Jennifer Connelly is 37. Actress Mädchen Amick is 37. Country singer Hank Williams III is 35. [Talent seems to skip a generation in the Williams family. — Ed.]

Born on This Date & Dead Already:
John Jay, statesman (1745); William Lloyd Garrison, abolitionist (1805); Gustave Flaubert, novelist (1821); Edvard Munch, painter (1863); Edward G. Robinson, actor (1893); Patrick O'Brian, novelist (1914); Frank Sinatra, singer, actor (1915)
Ol' Blue Eyes & Ava Gardner in Amsterdam, 14 December 1951
Entertainment Events on This Date:
On December 12th, 1967, Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones successfully appealed his nine-month jail sentence for a drug conviction. He was placed on probation instead.
In 1968, "The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus" was filmed in London, featuring the Stones, Eric Clapton, John Lennon and The Who. It remained unreleased for 28 years.
In 1974, the Rolling Stones announced guitarist Mick Taylor had left the band. That same day, the band began work on the "Black and Blue" album.
In 1981, singer Smokey Robinson was honored on an "American Bandstand" special.
In 1991, actor Richard Gere and model Cindy Crawford eloped in Las Vegas. They have since divorced.
In 1997, Autumn Jackson, who tried to blackmail Bill Cosby by claiming he was her father, was sentenced to two years in jail.
In 2001, actress Winona Ryder was arrested for shoplifting more than $5,000 worth of merchandise from a department store in Beverly Hills, California; Actress Ashley Judd married racing driver Dario Franchitti in Scotland.
In 2003, Mick Jagger was knighted by Prince Charles.
In 2006, actor Peter Boyle died in New York at age 71.
[If it's not the Beatles, it's the Stones. Stones win today. — Ed.]

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Shorter AEI (Literally)

From AEI's "Short Publications" section:
The other night over martinis, someone asked me which GOP presidential candidate I like the most. Like many [sic] my fellow conservatives, I'm not very enthusiastic about any of the three putative, pre-Thompson frontrunners. A mid-martini moment of insight, however, sparked the following idea: The problem with this field is that it is too much like the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Lest you think this is some doofus in his early thirties (yes, we mean Jonah Pantload, & he'll be mentioned soon) take a good, long look at the pictured pantload. He must've been a doofus in his thirties when the show debuted 20 some yrs. ago. One Steven F. Hayward, F. K. Weyerhauser Fellow at AEI. Wingnut welfare at its finest; sloshing down the martoonis (hic!) thinking about Star Trek, & then typing it up the next morning, once the hangover subsides. Of course, it wouldn't surprise us at all if, rather than doing the actual typing, it was dictated to an intern w/ computer skills who then posted it. Who knows how things "work" at AEI?
The major premise of my argument is that Ronald Reagan was Captain Kirk. I know, I know, Kirk's character was said to have been loosely modeled on JFK, but don't forget that Reagan inherited the mantle of JFK's Cold Warriorism (as well as JFK's income tax cuts). The similarities, at least in these regards, make the comparison tenable.
Other tenable comparisons: Both bad actors, though Kirk/Shatner at least had a recognizably bad & mockable style. Kirk/Shatner: toupee; Reagan: hair color that he denied using. Kirk/Shatner: goofball; Reagan: amiable dunce, later amiable dunce w/ senile dementia. He's right, there are tenable comparisons. Just not the ones he made.
Having grown up with Kirk (and Governor Reagan), I hated--hated--Star Trek: TNG when it came on in the 1980s. The first of many reasons for hating TNG was that they actually obeyed the stupid Prime Directive, which is the epitome of cultural relativism. Half the plot lines of the original Star Trek involved Kirk wantonly violating the Prime Directive in what constituted acts of democratic statesmanship. Recall, for example, the episode called "The Apple," in which Kirk revels in destroying the planet's oppressive false god Vaal, and then explains to the stupefied inhabitants that their lives are going to change:
"That's what we call freedom. You'll like it a lot. . . . You'll learn something about men and women--the way they're supposed to be."

(Shorter: Original Trek: juvenile, good. Next Generation: adolescent, no fun any more. Don' wanna gwooow up! Stamps foot.)

So, "cultural relativism" is leaving people alone to live their own lives, not butting in to re-do everything to your standards. Especially when their planet (Iraqanus?) has oil, or whatever the power structure is lusting after this week. We're sure, of course, that the "false god Vaal" was false, & not absolutely true like the god Jesus, that some of us consider oppressive & false. How do you think Hayward would respond to Just Another Blog™ destroying his false god? Not to mention if we showed him the way men and women are "supposed to be."

More to the point--the problem with TNG was that it split Kirk's character into three people: Piccard [sic] the authoritative but rule-abiding commander; First Officer Will Riker as the impetuous and womanizing swashbuckler, and Counselor Deanna Troi representing analytical reason and intuition. No one of them alone could effectively lead the Enterprise. The result was unwatchable. (How many times did Picard surrender the Enterprise in that first season? Kirk would never have done that.)
Right. Never surrender. "Stay the course." Even if the ship is blown to smithereens. By Jove, bullheadedness is the most important quality in a leader! One might note that the Enterprise (Oh, now we get it! "Enterprise." Heh heh.) survives no matter which tack either captain takes. Because it's a tee vee show!!

This lack of sufficiency in individuals sounds very much like our GOP frontrunners. The parallels are not exact, of course, but they generally parse out in the following way: Giuliani is Picard, with his brusque, "make-it-so" personality; McCain is the impetuous and volatile Riker; and Romney is clearly an analytical Betazoid. Each, by himself, has obvious limitations and defects, and thus appears incapable of effectively leading; combine the strengths of all three and the result would be a success.
Getting beyond the screamingly obvious (It's a tee vee show! A sci-fi tee vee show! In the 24th century! Somebody — a committee even — writes it! The villains are all straw men! Next Generation was a more authentic — but still creatively licensed — version of how a ship is run! Ronald Reagan was about the luckiest son-of-bitch in the U. S., & should have been impeached for Iran-Contra! Etc.) we can only laugh that the party of alleged leadership (or FührerPrinzip, if you prefer) can't come up w/ anyone who satisfies their desire to be led by the rings in their noses. And not just the bloated, balding, literally white-collared element (check the picture again) of the party is dissatisfied w/ the crop of candidates. Even the "answers the 'phone when pollsters call & answers their questions" element of the party isn't too happy, and that's very recently, w/ Huckster Huckabee now in more serious consideration. As in, the most popular Republican candidate remains "None of the Above."

We'll leave you w/ Hayward's last paragraph:

Unfortunately, there is not yet a candidate who has effectively shown himself as just such a combination of strengths. So let's forget about this Fred Thompson boomlet--I have a better idea. Let's elect Captain Kirk for President. Okay, so he's Canadian, but maybe that's the excuse we need to execute Jonah Goldberg's takeover plan (from the tyrannical reign of the tyrannical editor K-Lo).
Really, we've no idea what any of the last sentence means. It may be a requirement in wingnut circles to mention Goldberg if one brings up Star Trek. Perhaps Jonah had been having a few of those martoonis w/ J. G. at a wingnut weenies & cocktails get together, & a few drinks in Jonah started whining about how he should be NRO editor 'cause his mother blew everyone on the '72 Nixon campaign. Or something. As to electing Cap't. Kirk, except he's Canadian, the actor who played him is Canadian, yes. The character was from Iowa. Though never identified on the show as "American." State's rights? Hayward knows the actor's from the Great White North, but thinks Shatner really is Kirk? They're making their own reality again at AEI? Truly, few can comprehend the minds of the mad.

As to that first sentence? Simple. The Republicans are bankrupt. They're not raising money like they used to (for the first time in recorded history, it seems, the Democrats are out-raising them) and those who would lead them are bankrupt as well. Not a complete man (nor even one woman) among them, as Hayward admits. They've been too busy fooling around in men's rooms & diapers, corrupting the government, giving no-bid contracts, selling themselves to lobbyists & earmarking the Federal budget to pay attention to their next generation of little Hitlersleaders. They'll be moping around for another Reagan for quite a few more yrs., until the verdict of history comes in & they realize what a complete crock his "legacy" is.

Heroine Ex-Cop/Jesus Freak: Liar

Jeanne Assam: Why doesn't she love God enough to keep the eyebrows & hair color that He gave her?
She loves Jeebus, but those commandments don't matter that much. Especially that little one about lying:

Also Tuesday, Minneapolis police Sgt. Jesse Garcia said Assam was fired from the Minneapolis force in 1997 for lying during an internal investigation. Sgt. John Delmonico, president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, said police were investigating a complaint that Assam swore at a bus driver
while she was handling an incident on a city bus.

So why should we believe that the "holy ghost" (or a leprechaun, for that matter) was guiding her hand (especially as she hit Murray "multiple times" but he was still the one who finished the job)?

Of course the real question in this is why weren't the father, son or holy ghost (Casper?) directing Matthew Murray to some help for his madness, especially since said madness was directed against the "Lord's" holy people?

Authorities also believe Murray authored an anti-Christian diatribe online that closely repeated a rant by one of the Columbine killers, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

The most recent post to the site, a forum for people who have left evangelical religious groups, was Sunday morning in the hours between his attacks in Arvada and Colorado Springs, according to KUSA-TV in Denver, which first reported on the writings.

"You Christians brought this on yourselves," Murray wrote, according to the station, which did not identify the site. "All I want to do is kill and injure as many of you ... as I can especially Christians who are to blame for most of the problems in the world."

The language in the post is almost identical to the text of a manifesto written by Eric Harris, one of the teens who carried out the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School.

The online posts, under the pen name "nghtmrchld26," spanned several weeks, and in an earlier one, Murray appeared to reject offers of psychological help.

"I've already been working with counselors. I have a point to make with all this talk about psychologists and counselors `helping people with their pain,'" he wrote, according to KUSA.

Isn't the giant Space Elf supposed to help people w/ problems, rather then let his minions make them worse?

Oh, right. It's easy to forget, in this "Christian nation," that there is no invisible man in the sky watching you.

Further snark from an eyewitness. (To the press conference, not the shootings).

Nitrous Oxide in History

Today is Tuesday, December 11th, the 345th day of 2007. There are 20 days left in the year. [And two wks. & a day 'til X-Mess. We can't wait. Santa's bringing us a big lump of coal. Maybe we'll be able to use it to cook on. — Ed.]
In 1792, France's King Louis XVI went before the Convention to face charges of treason. (Louis was convicted, and executed the following month.) [Off w/ his head!! — Ed.]
In 1816, Indiana became the 19th state. [It's where HRH Prince Charles spent his first honeymoon. — Ed.]
In 1844, nitrous oxide was used for the first time in dentistry. [Like booze, but w/ none of the sloppiness. — Ed.]
In 1872, America's first black governor took office as Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback became acting governor of Louisiana.
In 1882, Boston's Bijou Theatre, the first American playhouse to be lighted exclusively by electricity, gave its first performance, of Gilbert and Sullivan's "Iolanthe."
In 1928, police in Buenos Aires announced they had thwarted an attempt on the life of President-elect Herbert Hoover. [Was Hoover there at the time? — Ed.]
In 1936, Britain's King Edward VIII abdicated the throne in order to marry American divorcee Wallis Warfield Simpson.
In 1937, Italy withdrew from the League of Nations.
In 1941, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States; the U.S. responded in kind.
In 1946, the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was established. [Eventually ruining Halloween for millions of American children. — Ed.]
In 1957, the movie "Peyton Place," based on the novel by Grace Metalious, had its world premiere in Camden, Maine, where most of it had been filmed.
In 1961, a U.S. aircraft carrier carrying Army helicopters arrived in Saigon - the first direct American military support for South Vietnam's battle against Communist guerrillas.
In 1972, humans landed on the moon for the last time during the Apollo 17 mission.
In 1981, the U.N. Security Council chose Javier Perez de Cuellar of Peru to be the fifth secretary-general of the world body. [Waitta minute, does the Security Council pick the Secretary-General? — Ed.]
In 1991, a jury in West Palm Beach, Florida, acquitted William Kennedy Smith of sexual battery, rejecting the allegations of Patricia Bowman.
In 1994, thousands of Russian troops rolled into the breakaway republic of Chechnya in a failed bid to restore Moscow's control over the region.
Ten years ago: More than 150 countries agreed at a global warming conference in Kyoto, Japan, to control the Earth's greenhouse gases. Henry Cisneros, President Clinton's first housing secretary, was indicted on charges of conspiracy, obstructing justice and making false statements about payments to his former mistress. (Cisneros, who later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, was eventually pardoned by President Clinton.) Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams became the first political ally of the IRA to meet a British leader in 76 years as he conferred with Prime Minister Tony Blair in London.
In 1998, the House Judiciary Committee approved three articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton. [That worked out pretty well, didn't it? Republican morons. — Ed.]
In 2000, shortstop Alex Rodriguez agreed to a $252 million 10-year deal with the Texas Rangers, the most lucrative sports contract in history.
Five years ago: The United States let an intercepted shipment of North Korean missiles proceed to the Persian Gulf country of Yemen a day after the vessel was detained. A congressional report found that intelligence agencies that were supposed to protect Americans from the September 11th hijackers failed to do so because they were poorly organized, poorly equipped and slow to pursue clues that might have prevented the attacks.
In 2004, doctors in Austria determined that Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko had been poisoned with dioxin, which caused severe disfigurement and partial paralysis of his face.
One year ago: In his farewell address, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan criticized the Bush administration's leadership on the global stage, warning that America must not sacrifice its democratic ideals while waging war against terrorism. Iran hosted Holocaust deniers from around the world at a conference examining whether the Nazi genocide had taken place. After a two-day journey, space shuttle Discovery reached the international space station for a weeklong stay.

Today's Birthdays: Nobel Prize-winning author Alexander Solzhenitsyn is 89. Actor Jean-Louis Trintignant is 77. Actress Rita Moreno is 76. Former California state lawmaker Tom Hayden is 68. Pop singer David Gates (Bread) is 67. Senator Max Baucus (D-Montana) is 66. Actress Donna Mills is 65. Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) is 64. Singer Brenda Lee is 63. Actress Lynda Day George is 63. Music producer Tony Brown is 61. Actress Teri Garr is 59. Movie director Susan Seidelman is 55. Actress Bess Armstrong is 54. Singer Jermaine Jackson is 53. Rock musician Mike Mesaros (The Smithereens) is 50. Rock musician Nikki Sixx (Motley Crüe) is 49. Rock musician Darryl Jones (The Rolling Stones) is 46. [Hey, a Stone younger than we are! And about 20 yrs. younger that anyone else in the band. — Ed.] Actor Gary Dourdan is 41. Actress-comedian Mo'Nique ("The Parkers") is 39.

Birthdays of the Less Lively: Louis-Hector Berlioz, composer (1803); Robert Koch, bacteriologist, discovered the microorganisms causing anthrax, wound infections, tuberculosis, conjunctivitis, cholera, and other diseases (1843) ; Annie Jump Cannon, astronomer (1863); Fiorello Henry LaGuardia, mayor of New York City (1882); Naguib Mahfouz, novelist (1911); Carlo Ponti, producer (1912?); Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton, blues singer (1926). ["(You Ain't Nothing But a) Hound Dog." We saw her rock the house @ the San Gabriel Civic in the mid-'70s &, in our best Negro voice, shouted out "Good Gawd A-mighty!!" causing her to stop for a moment & look for the African-American in the audience. — Ed.]

This Date in the Business of Show:
In 1946, country singer Hank Williams made his first recordings.
In 1957, Jerry Lee Lewis secretly married his 13-year-old cousin, Myra Gale Brown, in Hernando, Tennessee.
In 1964, singer Sam Cooke was shot and killed at a Los Angeles motel.
In 1972, Genesis performed its first U.S. concert at a university in Massachusetts. [Too bad they couldn't have nipped that in the bud. — Ed.]
Also in 1972, police in Knoxville, Tennessee, arrested singer James Brown for disorderly conduct. The charge was dropped after Brown threatened to sue the city.
In 1992, former talk show host Johnny Carson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.