Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pastor Ted's Golden Parachute

Run out of town on a rail, & doubtless paid a handsome sum to stay the hell out of town, Ted Haggard's agreement w/ New Life Church, which he founded & then was booted out of for, well you know, expired at the end of 2007, & he & his family have moved back to Colorado Springs, several yrs. in advance of his "spiritual restoration program's" expected end.
Haggard and church officials clashed last summer after Haggard sent an e-mail to a Colorado Springs television station outlining his plans to work as a counselor at a Christian-run halfway house in Phoenix. The e-mail also solicited financial support. A four-pastor team of overseers said that those plans were unacceptable and that Haggard would seek secular employment instead. Boyd said Haggard was in private business but didn't have any further details. He said there were no plans for him to work again at New Life.
Looks as if he already has a new scam going. He'd be perfect in one of those big-box electronics stores, w/ the corporate polo shirt, a lanyard reading "Pastor Ted, I'm here to serve you!" & issue khakis, wouldn't he? Curiosity compels us to ask what glibertarians think of this whole religion thing. These holy bastards rake in millions of dollars, tax-free, yet do not increase efficiency, or produce anything of value. Indeed, they probably send thousands to long-term counseling or analysis, not to mention the medication so many of their victims need. It seems to be on the same level as panhandling to us. Should this be tolerated?

Hey, Look! No, No, Over There!! It's The New Journalism!! Or "Gonzo" Something!!

Matt Taibbi belittles John Sidney McCain III in this week's or bi-week's or whatever the hell issue of Rolling Stone. Here's why we called it the New Journalism.

You'd never know it from listening to McCain, whose kickoff speech is the same election-year diatribe that Republicans have been giving for decades, one long broadside against those goddamned overgrown Sixties weenie liberals who hate the flag, love the bomb-tossing enemies of America and are bent on the twin goals of ending the system of free enterprise and placing every aspect of our lives under government control. McCain pegs Obama as a man who wants to take America "backward," to the failed ideas of the Sixties. "I'm surprised that a young man has bought into so many failed ideas!" he says, to furious applause. Then, spitting out a forced, ugly laugh that he must have practiced many (but not enough) times in the bathroom mirror of the Straight Talk Express, he adds, "That's not change we can believe in!" [...] But the idea that John McCain is kicking off his trek to the White House by fleeing at top-end speed from the faltering Republican brand is the kind of absurdly facile misperception that only the American campaign press could swallow whole. The reality is that the once independent-thinking McCain has by now completely remade himself into a prototypical, dumbed-down Republican Party stooge — one who plans to rely on the same GOP strategy that has been winning elections ever since Pat Buchanan and Dick Nixon cooked up a plan for cleaving the South back in 1968. Rather than serving up the "straight talk" he promises, McCain is enthusiastically jumping aboard with every low-rent, fearmongering, cock-sucking presidential aspirant who's ever traveled the Lee Atwater/William Safire highway.

Plus, there's pop psychology & everything. And Rolling Stone may be pathetically old-fashioned w/ lame-ass bands like R. E. M. & Metallica mentioned on the made-from-murdered-trees cover (What is this Coldplay shit anyway? We haven't consciously heard note one from them, but someone will probably say, "Oh, they're on the ___________ commercial & we'll connect the two, & think/say, "What is up w/ that shit?") but it's no New Yorker; the story's a quick read, unless of course you move your lips when you read, in which case you'll know what Coldplay sounds like.

Psychopathological Liars

The GAO (Just Another Blog™ refuses to call it by it's new & stupid name. "Accountability," our ass!) released a report stating that once again the current administration is (We know it's hard to imagine, let alone to accept as fact.) lying through its teeth. The NYT sez:
While those figures confirm the assessments by American military commanders that many of the security improvements that first became apparent last fall are still holding, a number of the figures that have been used to show broader progress in Iraq are either misleading or simply incorrect, the report says.
And adds:
Still more important, the report asserts, the administration’s plan is not a strategy at all, but more a series of operational prescriptions scattered among various documents reviewed by the accountability office. “A strategic plan should be a plan that takes you not only through the short term,” said Joseph A. Christoff, director of international affairs and trade at the accountability office. “If the New Way Forward only takes you through July 2008, then you don’t have any guidance for achieving an Iraq that can do everything on its own,” including dealing with the threat of terrorism and defending its own borders, Mr. Christoff said. Perhaps the most confounding element in the report is the sharp disagreement between the accountability office and the administration over the value of basic indicators of progress.
Let's not take the word of the "liberal Bible" alone on this. So that we've two points of view, we'll check in w/ the WaPo .
The GAO report contrasted with a Pentagon report, dated June 13 but not released until yesterday. The Defense Department's quarterly assessment to Congress, "Measuring Security and Stability in Iraq," said that "security, political and economic trends in Iraq continue to be positive, although they remain fragile, reversible and uneven." In many respects, the two reports seemed to assess wholly different realities. The 74-page Pentagon document emphasized what it called the "negative role" in Iraqi security that Iran and Syria have played. The 94-page GAO report did not mention Iran and referred to Syria only in the context of Iraqi refugees who had settled there.
As was said (over & over) in the late '60s, "What is reality?" No one, however, expected that concept to make its way into gov't. work, in the form of "Which reality?"

Palate Cleanser

Alright, alright, enough w/ the morbid & depressing reality we're drowning in. Fortunately, this is real too, an intelligent & attractive woman not being destroyed by the agony of existence.
Illeana Douglas (no relation to the Douglas acting family). Photo: Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times

After the B&W shot of Sophia Loren topless in the '50s in the referrals to this site is the Bebe Neuwirth shot to commemorate Ms. N's B-day. This is too nice to get many hits, though.

Stabbing Spree Stopped

W/o further comment:
JAPAN Police arrest man in Internet threat Japanese police arrested a 19-year-old man who they said made a threat on the Internet to go on a stabbing spree at Tokyo Disneyland. The June 15 message came a week after a man posted similar warnings before killing seven people in a downtown Tokyo rampage. Since the attack, police have arrested several people who allegedly made Internet threats. Investigators have found no evidence that the suspect, a minor under Japanese law, was preparing to carry out an assault. From Times Wire Reports

More on Mugabe & Money

Below: Power-crazed madman Mugabe.
The situation continues to deteriorate in Zimbabwe. Most telling indication? The L. A. Times stories filed from Harare now carry the byline: "By a Times Staff Writer." We're not going to recite any more grim details, but from that we can assume that no one is safe.

OK, just one "lighter side" bit, if you insist.

HARARE, ZIMBABWE -- Things have changed a lot in the land of the billion-dollar plastic shopping bag in the last couple of months.

Before the March 29 presidential election, the biggest bank note was $50 million. Now, in the wake of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai's decision to pull out of the runoff vote scheduled for Friday, there is a $50 billion bank note and one U.S. dollar buys more than 7 billion Zimbabwean dollars.

In supermarkets, customers stuck in long lines joke about the economy while cashiers count out thick wads of notes by hand. There are so many zeros on the end of the receipt that it is difficult to read.
Funny, huh?

Annals of Nat'l. Security

Below: Teeth look authentic, at least. Well, the lower set for sure. But what would you expect from one of the Undead? Photo: Chris Gardner/Getty Images
Looks as if the Republicans aren't taking any chances this election cycle. Their previous attempts at subverting democracy (& Democrats); voter suppression, the stolen election of 2000, a boost in the polls for George W(orst) Bush following the attacks of 11 September, 2001, messages from Bin Laden before the stolen election of 2004, and so on, may not work so well this time. They're keeping their cards close to the vest, except when loudmouth super-lobbyist/McCain chief strategist Charlie Black, talked to FORTUNE magazine for an article entitled "The Evolution of John McCain." ("Evolution" here is code for "how Big John is a-flippin' & a-floppin' like a catfish on a hook.")

FORTUNE says:

We wanted to know what single economic threat he perceives above all others.

McCain at first says nothing. He sits in the corner of a sofa, one black, tasseled loafer propped against a coffee table. We're in the presidential suite on the 41st floor of the New York Hilton. McCain has come here - between a major speech on the economy in Washington, D.C., this morning and a fundraiser tonight at the 21 Club - to talk to us and to let us take his picture. He is wearing a dark suit, as he almost always does, with a blue shirt and a wine-colored tie. He's looking not at us but into the void. His eyes are narrowed. Nine seconds of silence, ten seconds, 11. Finally he says, "Well, I would think that the absolute gravest threat is the struggle that we're in against radical Islamic extremism, which can affect, if they prevail, our very existence. Another successful attack on the United States of America could have devastating consequences."

Not America's dependence on foreign oil? Not climate change? Not the crushing cost of health care? Eventually McCain gets around to mentioning all three of those. But he starts by deftly turning the economy into a national security issue - and why not? On national security McCain wins. We saw how that might play out early in the campaign, when one good scare, one timely reminder of the chaos lurking in the world, probably saved McCain in New Hampshire, a state he had to win to save his candidacy - this according to McCain's chief strategist, Charlie Black. The assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December was an "unfortunate event," says Black. "But his knowledge and ability to talk about it reemphasized that this is the guy who's ready to be Commander-in-Chief. And it helped us." As would, Black concedes with startling candor after we raise the issue, another terrorist attack on U.S. soil. "Certainly it would be a big advantage to him," says Black.
Though we're still wondering where Bin Laden is, this new information from the McCain campaign indicates that wherever he is, he's sitting around his cave or tent staring at the satellite 'phone, anxiously awaiting a call from his handler(s) at the CIA, Republican Party HQ, the Office of Special Projects at the Pentagon, or someone in the so-called shadow gov't. of the national security establishment. Keep watching the skies! Or the sewers! Or maybe the oceans!! Or Canada!!

McCain Puts Cart Before Horse

Below: After leaving Fresno, McCain arrives in much cooler Santa Barbara yesterday. Photo: LM Otero/AP
John Sidney McCain III (as you can tell from his "man of the people" name, he's no elitist) proposed yesterday a $300 million "prize" to whomever develops a truly functional electric battery for use in automobiles, allegedly eliminating the need for foreign oil. (Of course, the generation of electricity is often accomplished by burning foreign oil, but we won't dwell on that.) Just one problem: No matter how many perpetual motion machine developers or other All-American tinkerers are hard at work in their basements & garages
"In the battery business, you need to spend $100 million just to get warmed up," said David Vieau, chief executive of battery maker A123 Systems, based in Watertown, Mass.
Yup.
"We are the country of Edison, Fulton and two brothers named Wright," he said at a town hall event at Fresno State University's Satellite Student Union. "Think of all the highest scientific endeavors of our age: the invention of the silicon chip, the creation of the Internet, the mapping of the human genome."
OK. Fulton took the already existent concept of the steam engine & threw one in a boat. The Wright Bros. applied already known principles to a wood & canvas construction, combined w/ the already extant gasoline engine. Not exactly inventing new technologies there. Edison, well, he didn't exactly discover electricity either. "90% perspiration, 10% inspiration," remember? And he tried many different filaments before finding one that worked. Trial & error, really.

Then Big John refers to the big shit of "our age." Silicon chips, the Web of evil, lies & deception (we're proud to be even a tiny part of it, by the way) & human genome mapping. None of those were developed in a bicycle repair shop, let alone by some guy or gal in the garage.

Offering a prize? Really. How about a big tax on oil co. profits to fund serious, high tech research into functional batteries. And let's leave the automobile & oil/"energy" cos. the fuck out of it, because their corporate cultures are so stuck on essentially 19th century technology & attitudes it would be a waste of time & effort. They all have enough money to start any research they want, & their records so far have been dismal. Not that the electric car isn't 19th century technology itself.
Battery-powered electric vehicles are not a new idea. A century ago, at least half a dozen manufacturers made electric cars, and the first car to break the 60-mph barrier was powered by electricity. But with improvements in the gasoline engine, the technology was shelved. Electric cars returned in the mid-1990s as car makers produced them to comply with California laws mandating emission-free vehicles. Those programs were soon abandoned, with General Motors, the most active participant, producing scarcely 2,000 of its EV1 cars. It recalled the last models (which were leased, not sold) and by 2003 had finished destroying them. Now, with gasoline prices soaring, GM, Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi have all pledged to bring battery-powered cars to market in the U.S. between 2010 and 2012.
Oh yes, can't fool them for long. Produce a few thousand, then take them back & destroy them. That's why Detroit remains the world leader in car sales, quality, reliability & innovation.

But all it'll take is some good ol' fashioned American ingenuity. And a few billion in venture capital. That $300 mil is quite the incentive.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Hitting Us Where We (Don't) Live

A piece in the Fish Wrapper (we can at least give them the dignity of capitalization) gives a progress report on a study of homelessness in L. A. County released 18 months ago, entitled "A Reality-based Approach to Ending Homelessness in Los Angeles." More like a non-progress report. Allow us then, to briefly recap 'sup w/ this stuff for you busy people w/ your houses & cars & families & generally pathetically empty bourgeois lives that will work you all into an early grave:

* There is still not enough affordable housing. * Supportive housing remains scarce. * Emergency and transitional housing and services are in short supply.

* Government health and welfare programs remain inadequate. For more than 25 years, general relief, the county's last-resort program for unemployed and disabled people, has been $221 a month -- $2,652 a year -- for a single adult, far below the federal poverty level of $10,400 for a one-person household.

This is what's keeping our body & soul together. Barely.
* More than half the homeless receive food stamps, the most important federal emergency food program. Typically, however, food stamps, which are distributed once a month, last only 2 1/2 weeks.
Even the spoiled middle & upper classes may have noticed that food prices have been increasing of late.
* Although many homeless people are employed and are employable, their pay is far below what L.A. County defines as a living wage -- $11.84 an hour. Unfortunately, job-training programs cannot offset this market reality.
PLEASE NOTE: Our last two jobs, in expensive sections of Los Angeles County, for major corporate employers Borders & Kinko's, did not pay us as much as $9.00/hr., after about four years in each insufferable hellhole. That's about three dollars/hr. below the living wage. Now ask us why we suffer from depression. And, middle-class pigs, ask yourselves what's going to happen when the anger causing that depression is focused on YOU!!!!
* L.A.'s respect for the civil liberties of homeless people remains disgraceful. In 2006, the city and the Los Angeles Police Department instituted the Safer City Initiative, which combined aggressive policing against drug dealing, prostitution and thievery on skid row with more social services for those in need. The promised services never materialized, but more than 18,000 skid row residents have been cited or arrested since the program began in September 2006, most often for petty offenses such as littering or crosswalk violations.
The City of Santa Monica's no better. This reporter doesn't need a Community Services Officer asking us if we're schizophrenic, & then telling us to "keep taking our medication" after we advised him we suffer from depression. We shouldn't have to answer any questions like that, but of course not responding to the police or standing up for one's rights is the best way to have those "rights" violated. Listen, Mr. Community Services Officer, they may not let you carry a gun, & you may wear khaki instead of pseudo-Gestapo dark navy blue, but that doesn't make you any less of a pin-dicked fascist wanna-be.
* Most municipalities in L.A. County spend less than 1% of their operating budgets on homeless services or housing.
Here's virtually the only positive note found:
* Political leadership to combat homelessness has improved somewhat.
Funny, huh? The "political leadership" is "somewhat improved." Political leadership, our pasty white ass. There's no such thing in This Great Nation of Ours™. Thanks so fucking much for all the help, Southern California, from a would-be spree killer who, day by day, is being pushed closer to acting on his deepest, most murderous desires .

Let's Have a War

How an "adult" covers an item like Bloody Bill Kristol's Fox news Sunday appearance yesterday (First, he or she doesn't refer to the esteemed Mr. Kristol as "Bloody Bill."):
The Mother Of October Surprises? A fascinating little moment on Fox News Sunday today. Bill Kristol airs the idea that if Obama looks as if he will win the election, Bush or Israel may be more likely to attack Iran before next January. Bush could say: Obama made me do it! Kristol also raises the prospect of Saudi Arabia and Egypt going nuclear in response to an Obama presidency. I think we'll see many more of these dire warnings if Obama looks like the next president - and he's increasingly the favorite. But why do I find the hysteria not so effective this time around? Maybe it's because the period in which we could have stopped Iran's nuclear ambition is now behind us. But could it happen? Could Bush bomb Iran before the next election and create a sense of international crisis that could cause voters to swing back to McCain? From everything we know and Bush and Cheney, the answer, surely, is yes. His failed policies have left only one option to prevent Iran's going nuclear: war. And Bush must be chafing to see how his legacy could be dramatically changed if Obama wins. We could be facing the mother of all October surprises.
Saudi Arabia & Egypt going atomic? Huh? Where do we get that? Is the U. S. selling them that sort of thing?

A (Very) Modest Proposal (Modestly UPDATED)

In the world of celebrity "news" personalities, much chit-chat over who ("As if anyone, ever, could.") will be tossing the softballs to Dickwad Cheney & his ilk, now that Tim Russert is w/ Jeezis & Maria in the big Catholic Disneyland in the Sky. Here's our take: Rather* than go w/ yet another solo "news star" (General consensus: No one currently at NBC news has the "gravitas" – yes, they dared use that word – to fill Russert's oversized chair.) why not return to the original concept of the longest running program in telebision history, as embodied in the very title, Meet the Press, & hire someone w/ enough "gravitas" to play traffic cop, while a panel of real (print) reporters, or pundits, or bloggers (Ick!) or any group or groups that are more concerned w/ truth & facts & all that petty stuff, & less w/ their blow-driers, make-up & careers in broadcasting grill the living shit out of the lying scumbags we allow to rule us. Some of you may remember that on occasion MtP shows grainy B&W kinescopes w/ that very set-up. *No, not him, although... UPDATED (23 June 2008 @ 1801): See Xtopher Hitchens' dose of common sense about "miracles" at the Russert funeral, as well as something on the (too) close relationship between Russert & Prince of Darkness Robert Novak (Catholic Mafia, any one? Or is that redundant?).

Al Sleet, The Hippy Dippy Weatherman, Passes at 71

Some of you may have known him as George Carlin.

Below: Mugshot from Mr. Carlin's 1972 "profanity" arrest @ Summerfest in Milwaukee. Photo courtesy Milwaukee Police Dep't.
There is little or nothing we can add to what is already out there & what will follow soon in tribute to Mr. Carlin. The man was a giant; he took what Lenny Bruce started & ran w/ it all the way to the bank, & more power to him. fUSION Anomaly, whence we found the above mugshot, seems to have a good selection of Carlin quotes & audio files.

We will add (It's totally about us, remember?) that we were glad to hear Mr. C. express more than once his disappointment when early casualty estimates (bombings, spree killings, atrocities or plain natural disasters) didn't pan out once all the bloated corpses were counted. We've had that feeling many times. Few have the nihilistic intestinal fortitude to admit it, though. (Remember when the Twin Towers death toll of 11 September 2001 was along the lines of "as many as 50,000 people?" Boy, were we saddened at the less than three thousand total.)

American Dream Over? Not Soon Enough for Some

The right wing blog-o-sphere is having another swooning fit. Get out the fainting couches. You know how they are. Anything implying something other than a rose-colored future is "liberal bias."

Here's what they're swooning over, a report on pesky poll figures from AP reporters Alan Fram & Eileen Putman.
The can-do, bootstrap approach embedded in the American psyche is under assault. Eroding it is a dour powerlessness that is chipping away at the country's sturdy conviction that destiny can be commanded with sheer courage and perseverance.
Here's a Rabid Weasel foaming at the keyboard.
The article in question is a thoroughly slanted and emotional piece of crap by Alan Fram and Eileen Putman, passed off as an objective news report.

Fasten your seat belts. This could very well be the most egregious example of liberal media bias ever.

For starters, even the title and subheading are loaded with subjectivity:

Everything Seemingly Is Spinning out of Control / Out-of-control weather, gas prices, economy chip away at American self-confidence

Are you f'ing kidding me??? First of all, I'm no journalism major, but how can you use a word like "seemingly" in the body, let alone title, of an objective news story?

Well, Mr. Vocal Minority, please note that the article concerns polling results, not the absolutely objective notion that we're coming apart at the seams.

Another idjit checks in @ BizzyBlog. ('Zat like one of those Fisher-Price© Bizzy-Boxes™ for three-yr.-olds?) This is an exercise in paranoia of the first water.

Then the Disheartened Duo get to the real purpose of their piece: to convince us, now that we’re all completely miserable, that the only solution is a change in which party controls the White House (bolds are mine):

American University historian Allan J. Lichtman notes that the U.S. has endured comparable periods and worse, including the economic stagflation (stagnant growth combined with inflation) and Iran hostage crisis of 1980; the dawn of the Cold War, the Korean War and the hysterical hunts for domestic Communists in the late 1940s and early 1950s; and the Depression of the 1930s.

“All those periods were followed by much more optimistic periods in which the American people had their confidence restored,” he said. “Of course, that doesn’t mean it will happen again.”

Each period also was followed by a change in the party controlling the White House.

By the way, those familiar with the Venona Papers and the work of M. Stanton Evans know that there is a better word to describe the “hunts for domestic Communists in the late 1940s and early 1950s.” The word is “necessary.”

Yep, about as "necessary" as invading & occupying Iraq. Oh, excuse us, we forget that was vital to various oil cos. & contractors. And because history indicates that after trying times the party in the White House changes is not the most sweeping endorsement of Sen. Obama. Though Sen. McCain being Junior Bush, jr. is hardly encouraging to anyone hoping for change.

Another note: The reason Congressional Democrats are less popular than lame duck Bush is that the Dems, due to their own sheer cowardice & Republican obstructionism, haven't been able to cut off funding for Bush's elective, etc., war. If they'd been able to accomplish what they were elected for, the popularity polls would be telling an entirely different story.

Just for added fun, here's weenie Don Surber, a favorite of the Sadly, No! staff.
What I cannot understand is why AP sent out this Alan Fram/Eileen Putman analysist[sic]-feature-stream-of-consciousness-editorial called “Everything seemingly is spinning out of control.”
Yes, while analyzing the AP story, & backing up his version of how swell everything is, Don can't spell.

But he has a firm grasp of...the truth, as evidenced here.

90% of Americans have health insurance. (300 million minus 45 million — a third of whom are illegal aliens making the net uninsured around 30 million.)

Wars without end rage in Iraq, Afghanistan and against terrorism?

Actually, Iraq is tamping down, but Afghanistan has had war since the Soviet invasion 30 years ago and the jihadist terrorism has been around since the Munich Olympics in 1972. We’re working on ending both.

Better work harder. A lot harder.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Heart of Darkness

We'll leave you for today on a note of "The horror! The horror," lisped in the best Brando we can do.
Mr. Mugabe openly portrays the election in the terminology of warfare, a battle to preserve sovereignty against puppets put up by the British, the nation’s onetime colonial masters who in his view want to reclaim the land for white domination. Either he will win, he insists, or he will keep power by force. [...] Whatever the actual count, hard-liners in the governing party agreed on a “war-like/military style strategy” to recapture votes that had drifted astray and win a second ballot, according to the minutes of one of their meetings obtained from a ZANU-PF official. “This is not going to be an election,” said one senior ZANU-PF official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the plans are secret. “The election happened in March. This is going to be a war. We are going all out to win this, using all state resources at our disposal.”
Nice. Is this what we'll be seeing here in the United Snakes post-November? Oh look, it worked. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai will not participate in next wknd.'s election.
"Conditions as of today do not permit the holding of a credible poll," Tsvangirai said. "Given the totality of these circumstances, we believe a credible election is impossible. We can't ask the people to cast their vote on June 27 when that vote will cost their lives. We will no longer participate in this violent sham of an election."
Still waiting for someone to do something about this.

J. Sidney McCain III, Beer Baron: For or Against Under-Age Drunk Driving?

Put a hat on her head & it goes directly to her brain.
From the very front page of the newspaper that only the finest families in Southern California use to line their cat pans & bird cages comes the tale of Cinderella Stepford Hensley McCain, the beer heiress whose family business may cause some conflict if (Fat chance!) her hubby John were to win the presidency.

A close look at Hensley shows that the company has opposed changes that critics of the beer industry say were intended to help Americans drink responsibly.

[...]

McCain has avoided problems in the Senate by recusing himself on alcohol issues, according to executives at the Distilled Spirits Council, the liquor industry's trade association."Sen. McCain has been very, very fair to this industry," said Frank Coleman, senior vice president for the council. "He stays an arm's length away from issues that benefit the family business."
Already causing problems, if he has to recuse himself from law-making. And may cause problems w/ the "clinging to guns & gawd" base, as well.

For some, abstinence -- and a disdain for the industry -- is religion-based. Leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention, which has more than 16 million members, expressed "total opposition to the manufacturing, advertising, distributing and consuming of alcoholic beverages" in the church's most recent resolution on the matter."

I am sure for some individual Southern Baptists, [the McCain family's involvement in the beer business] would be a concern," said Roger S. Oldham, vice president of Southern Baptist Convention relations.

Damn, those suckers have some nerve, don't they? After they get prohibition restored, will they put an end to high school dances? (Many Babtiss are opposed to dancing as well. It's horizontal fucking, you know.)

Below: Singing "Gawd Bless America" at the ball game. That John is a shrimp, isn't he?
Cindy McCain holds the title of company chairwoman and controls about 68% of the privately held company stock with her children and the senator's son, according to records at the Arizona Department of Liquor License and Control. Cindy and John McCain keep their finances separate, and he has no stake or role in Hensley.
And yet one of his sons by Carol, the wife he dumped for Cinderella, has some company stock, and

Its executives, including John McCain's son Andrew, have written at least 10 letters in recent years to the Treasury Department, have contributed tens of thousands of dollars to a beer industry political action committee, and hold a seat on the board of the politically powerful National Beer Wholesalers Assn.
Between Andrew (Couldn't he go into the Navy too? Did he decide to take the easy way out & go into stepmom's business?) & campaign flights on the Hensley & Co. corporate plane, we're not certain that "has no stake...in Hensley" is fully accurate.

The company has opposed such groups as Mothers Against Drunk Driving in fighting proposed federal rules requiring alcohol content information on every package of beer, wine and liquor.

[...]

Hensley has run afoul of health advocacy groups that have tried to rein in appeals to young drinkers. For example, the company distributes caffeinated alcoholic drinks that public health groups say put young and underage consumers at risk by disguising the effects of intoxication.

[...]

Public interest groups have petitioned the Treasury Department in recent years to require that every container of beer, wine or liquor carry a label disclosing the amount of alcohol in one standard serving.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Marin Institute, the Consumer Federation of America and Mothers Against Drunk Driving, among others, assert that such information would help Americans drink responsibly and avoid drunk driving. The label would also contain nutrition information such as calories.

But the beer industry has argued that such labels would confuse consumers. With backing from Hensley and others, it has persuaded the Treasury Department to withdraw the alcohol content disclosure from any future label requirement.

Certainly wouldn't want to "confuse" the consumers w/ information, would we? On the other hand, the sweeter the something, & so on.

Aside from the labeling issue, Hensley has begun distributing controversial products known as flavored malt beverages, which critics call "alcopops" because of their similarity to soda pop.

The beer industry, including Hensley, tried unsuccessfully to block liquor makers from getting into the market for the drinks.

[...]

Critics say the product is directed mainly at youth and can leave them wide awake without knowing they are intoxicated. Other flavored malt beverages contain sweet fruit flavors that block the taste of alcohol."

These products are starter beverages, intended to introduce consumers to alcohol and alcohol brands," said George Hacker, director of the Alcohol Policies Project at the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
Drink up, kids. Nothing that sweet could hurt you.

Below: Millions in beer bucks & a smile aren't Cinderella's only assets.

If her husband is elected president and she retains her role at Hensley, she will set a precedent for outside corporate activity by a first lady.

The McCain campaign issued a statement Friday about the issue, saying that "any decisions going forward will be made when John McCain wins the election and takes office, and not before." Hensley executives declined to comment.

Political analysts said they were astounded that the presumptive Republican nominee had not already addressed the issue.

"You can't run a beer company out of the White House," said Samuel L. Popkin, a political science professor at UC San Diego. "You can't run any company from the White House. McCain is leaving a live hand grenade on the table, a major embarrassment."

[...]

Charles A. Hurley, chief executive of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said his organization would be watching carefully if a future McCain administration exercised influence on any alcohol issues."

I believe she would have to put that stuff in a blind trust of some kind," Hurley said, "where she would not be involved."

Other experts, however, question whether a blind trust would go far enough to insulate a McCain administration, since the ownership would still benefit the family.

"Blind" trust? Not very "blind" if the McC.s know what's in it. This whole thing is as horrid as Dianne Feinstein's husband, the zillionaire "real estate developer." Gender equality, in a way. Political spouses of both genders & both sides of the aisle are now running things & influencing the politician in the family. What the hell does spineless Speaker Pelosi's other half make money at, by the way?

Annals of Bling

From our favorite/only source of info, the L. A. Times, we are inundated w/ stories about one Cinderella Stepford Hensley McCain, wife of John Sidney McCain III, the presumptive Republican Party presidential candidate. One story says that Cinderella is "going crazy." Withdrawal from painkillers again? No, just jewelry mad.
[A] best seller is the "Liberty Eagle," which Hillary Rodham Clinton famously wore on her lapel in 1998, when she defended her husband's indiscretions on the "Today" show. The $150 gold-plated pin depicts an ornery-looking eagle perched protectively on a pearl. Betty Ford, Barbara Bush and Tipper Gore have all worn the bird, which has come to be known as the "Hillary pin."

In 2000, Cindy McCain sported the "Liberty Eagle" when her husband won the New Hampshire Republican primary and pundits wondered why she chose an accessory associated with a feisty female Democrat. The eagle pin hasn't been spotted since.

Below: The "Liberty Eagle." Defending a pearl?
From the comments:

Doesn't that particular eagle remind you more of Germany than the United States? (It's the position of the wings.) I think there was talk about that a few years ago. Compare and contrast:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coat_of_arms_of_Germany
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Seal_of_the_United_States

Enough fluff. Time's inexorable course continues, & we'll have to tell you all about Cinderella & her beer distribution conflicts of interest later, when we can get to our next stop in the never-ending search for web access.

We're Working as Hard as We Can

The issue of bloggers and fairness came to a boil recently when Leitch appeared on a television show with author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Buzz Bissinger. The discussion quickly degenerated as Bissinger launched into a obscene attack on blogs, accusing them of "cruelty," "journalistic dishonesty" and "the complete dumbing-down of our society." [...] The journalist says he hopes the medium will improve but worries that blogs such as Deadspin traffic in "snarky, obnoxious comments" while others rely on disinformation and sexual innuendo. "I think blogs pose a threat to journalism," he said. "And blogs can pose a threat to society because of the information they put out there."
You mean, a threat to the current power structure by providing accurate information about the nature of our "society"& making "snarky, obnoxious comments?" If only. We're still trying, though.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Things That Do Worry Us a Bit

Although some forecasting groups continue to debate whether or not the economy is heading into a recession, these numbers should make it perfectly clear that the state is already in a recession," Beacon Economics, a Los Angeles-based research firm, said in an analysis of the jobless data. "The only question now is, how long and how bad will it be?"
Yeah, wise up, dipsticks, we're in the proverbial toilet, the only remaining question is, "How long until the flush sends us all down the pipes?"

"Absolutely, it's getting worse," said Debbie Smith, who worked as an office manager for a real estate magazine publishing company in Ventura before being laid off last September. "There's nothing out there, believe me."

Smith said she had only one strong job possibility in the last nine months, but "it fell through, I think, because I'm 54."

How old was that? Oh, the very same age as your editor, & many of his friends & acquaintances. What do you know about that? Life begins at forty, & so does the opportunity to sue on the basis of age discrimination. Let's make it worse, here's the entire sidebar concerning Ms. Smith:

Over 50, in a jam that's 'hopeless and desolate'

Debbie Smith is a victim of California's real estate meltdown.In September, she lost her job as an office manager and marketing assistant for a chain of magazines that showcased available homes and acreage. Smith, 54, of Port Hueneme, hit all the online job sites hard but came up with nothing but responses from "bogus recruiters" seeking her personal information.

Money got tight. Smith lost her home to foreclosure and moved into a rental with her son. After her unemployment benefits ran out, Smith began selling her belongings on the Internet and baby-sat her grandchildren for $20 a day

"To me, it's hopeless and desolate," she said. "Anybody over 50 is going to struggle for a long time and end up working at Mickey D's."-- Marc Lifsher

And, unlike others stuck in her age cohort (That would be us.) she's not even suffering from depression, etc. Though that should follow soon. And the people at the fucking Mental Health Day Care for Adults want us to go to some fucking group therapy session entitled "Positive Thinking." Magical Thinking would be more like it, if you're expecting the disturbed to believe that everything's coming up roses. There's a reason we're disturbed, & it's this society, & your world we didn't ask to be born into. (Yes, it's all about us. Don't for 30 seconds try to pretend it's not all about you, either!)

That About Which We Could Not Possibly Care Any Fucking Less

Stone Temple Pilots.

Friday, June 20, 2008

We're Havin' an A-War/A Nuclear A-War

Alternate title: "Let's You & Him Fight!" Saber-rattling time (again) at the O. K. Corral. (Mix those metaphors!)
The United States protested the Israeli strike against Iraq in 1981, but its comments in recent months have amounted to an implicit endorsement of the Israeli strike in Syria. Pentagon officials said that Israel’s air forces usually conducted a major early summer training exercise, often flying over the Mediterranean or training ranges in Turkey where they practice bombing runs and aerial refueling. But the exercise this month involved a larger number of aircraft than had been previously observed, and included a lengthy combat rescue mission.
What's the scenario now? This happens before the election, or just before Bush & Cheney leave office, just ahead of the sheriff w/ an eviction notice?

Marlboro Man/Male Model

Due to circumstances & systems beyond our control, we are currently unable to imbed videos. Please click directly to Fire Megan McArdle to look at a funny one. Yet it's not supposed to be funny. Ah, schadenfreude.

Flip-Flop Is Such an Ugly Term

John Sidney McCain III, & more of his position changes. By two commies. (They might both be Jooos too, which makes this comment even more amusing.)
As long as he's not an anti-white, anti-semitic racist he has my vote. I'm shocked to find myself voting Republican, but I cannot stomach racism, and I believe BO is a perfect example of it. Submitted by: Amelia
You believe Amelia might be indulging in a little sexism because of perceived attacks on Sen. Clinton?

Summertime, & the Livin' Is Sweaty

Summer will be here at 1659 PDT, though it seems to have arrived a day early. Temps in the triple digits in, as we said, the less-sophisticated (i. e., farther from the coast) areas of the Southland. Cooling centers are open, for wretches sans air conditioning or giant blocks of ice, Mayor Cheat-On-His-Wife opened the L. A. City public pools yesterday, old people are warned to vegetate, rather than to do anything, all mad dogs have already been euthanized by Animal Control, & Englishmen are cooling off at Ye Olde King's Head, even closer to the beach than the library. Let's hear how it snowed & was cold & icy in some areas last N. Hemisphere winter, so climate change is a hoax. Come on, you know you want to say it. Also, Bugger™ has scheduled yet another outage today, this one @ 1500, which is fast approaching. We'll see how long this one lasts.

Bobo Removees Head from Hidey-Hole, Wipes Doody from Eyes

Apparently the author & columnist has done a bit of research & thinking, or perhaps an intern or the like pointed to the obvious. "Gee, Mr. Brooks, Senator Obama's a politician like everyone else running for president. Who'd have thought that?"
And Fast Eddie Obama didn’t just sell out the primary cause of his life. He did it with style. He did it with a video so risibly insincere that somewhere down in the shadow world, Lee Atwater is gaping and applauding.
Is Bobo implying that Lee Atwater's immortal human soul is currently residing in the theological place of eternal damnation? Brooksie does imply that the CommiesRooskies are still the number one threat to the American Way of Life.
If we’re going to have a president who is going to go toe to toe with the likes of Vladimir Putin, maybe it is better that he should have a ruthlessly opportunist Fast Eddie Obama lurking inside.
Really, what is it w/ these people? They screech for hours about "individual initiative," "entrepreneurialism" & the "free market." And, of course, how high taxes for the lucky &/or pre-privileged will destroy American enterprise. But if someone is perceived as a good speaker, inspirational, blah, blah, blah, is pimped by the media & so seizes that opportunity (uses some individual entrepreneurial initiative, that is) & decides to run for president while the iron is hot, he's a Hillary Clinton, filled w/ nothing but blind Chicago-style ambition. John McCain isn't an opportunist? Since the Bush/Rove machine ran him out of the primaries w/ a sack full of lies eight years ago, he's been sitting around pretending to be a maverick, awaiting his turn to be president mostly on the basis that the press loves him. Thrown any of his "primary causes" under the bus? Um, lessee, campaign reform (Imagine that!) & immigration come to mind immediately. Whatta ya know?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Now We Hate Slate

Not just for Mickey Kaus, either. (Look, he's discussing the same baggy pants Muse Megan is!! But she sort of knows what she's talking about. Certainly in comparison to the Mick.) To keep us from losing it (any more than we already have) by only having the L. A. fishwrapper to steal fromcomment on, we subscribe to Slate's "Today's Papers" feature, to know what other giants of the industry are saying. (Giants in question: NYT, WaPo, WSJ & USA Today.) So we figgered we'd subscribe to another of Slate's services, a daily web log round-up. No sooner had we signed up than they stopped sending it; there's just too much hot action in the blog-o-sphere for them to keep up w/, they said. And one other thing they 'll send to your in-box: A daily political piece from their stable of typists. Here is today's in its entirety:
Obamamania: The English language, Barackafied Introducing Obamamania! A new Slate book and a daily dose of Obamaisms. By Chris Wilson Updated Thursday, June 19, 2008, at 2:54 PM ET Since Slate first launched its Encyclopedia Baracktannica in February, more than 800 readers have written in with their own Obamaisms, from "Barack Ness Monster" to "Post-Baracalyptic." The best of these entries, along with Slate's original Obama neologisms, are collected in a new book: Obamamania! The English Language, Barackafied, available June 24. In conjunction with the publication of the book, we will be publishing a new Obamaism every morning and adding it to the Obamamania widget below, which you can add to your Facebook or MySpace profile or Web site. Today's Obamaism: Obamalaise (oh-BAH-ma-LEYZ) n. The emotional hangover resulting from repeatedly watching "Yes We Can" montages. Example: Though they are reluctant to criticize him publicly, aides blame will.i.am for the increasing Obamalaise in the You Tube-watching demographic.
Slate is very, very lucky this isn't costing Just Another Blog™ any fucking money. Though our time is precious as well.

Sweatin' Like A Pig to the Oldies

In Southern Cali, summer is already here, several days early. Be ready for six months of whining about the heat from this reporter. It's already hitting over 100 Fahrenheit in less sophisticated areas, & even here at the S. M. Central Library, a mere six blocks, strip of parkland & a coastal highway from the beach it's almost insufferable outside. As our usual hot months are Sept. & Oct., this seems an obvious indication of climate change, & not for the good, either. Bugger™ has skedded an "outage" for 1400 today, so y'all may not be seeing us again until tomorrow. And we quote:
Blogger will be unavailable Thursday (6/19) at 2:00PM PDT for about 10 minutes for maintenance.
WTF? Can't they do this at 0330 or something, when the janitors are working? Oddly enough, the local Google™ operation occupies one quarter of the block this library is on. (Verizon has the other quarter. It's the hi-tech center of SaMo.) Maybe we'll go over & ask, or just heave a rock through some glass on general principles.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

W/ Bated Breath

John Sidney McCain III's former evangelical endorser, Pastor John Hagee, firmly believes the non-existent Gawd made a pre-emptive hurricane strike against New Orleans in 2005 because there was going to be a gay parade that would be, per "Heart-Attack" Hagee at least, the naughtiest ever. Here in the Golden State tensions are mounting. If Gawd didn't set off the San Andreas fault and burn WeHo to the ground last month at the very moment the California State Supreme Court's momentous decision was announced, what horrifying, blood-curdling punishment awaits us from the vengeful war gawd of the Hebrews now that the "Sodomites" have dissed Him good by taking out licenses & marrying each other? Sacred hetero-marriage itself seems to have withstood the onslaught. No indication in the L. A. Times, at least, that any of yesterday's same-sex marriages (insert old joke here) were performed in a church or otherwise religious setting, although the liberal bias of the Times is evident throughout the story (meaning that there was no call for the deaths of any one involved in any of this). We can therefore assume that the liberal media is covering up the weakening of "sacred" institutions. And while the Times crowed gleefully that well over 2,300 licenses had been issued yesterday, as opposed to the usual average of 460 per June wkdy., it neglected to mention how many divorce suits were filed yesterday. Where's the most hitching going on? (I. e., which cities should Gawd-fearing non-Sodomites vacate ASAP?) Before we tell you, be advised that you're probably safe in Bakersfield. Between the County Clerk & Bakersfield Citizens Opposed to Obscenity and Lewdness, you should be safe, but make like a Mormon & have a couple yrs. of canned goods in the pantry just in case. Chances are good, however, that even residents of the various Neo-Sodoms in our midst will be struck down no matter where they flee, especially should they look back on the devastation, Lot's Wife stylee. (Hey, any of you bible scholars out there know her name or if she even had one? We always hear "Lot's wife," but she never has an identity of her own – no surprise, really, w/ the patriarchal bullshit of the bible – but the story would be much more effective if we knew her as a person rather than merely another of Lot's holdings.) Then you may be forced to do it w/ your daughters to continue the human race, or something. (Just why was that necessary, anyway? They weren't the last humanoids left, were they? It wasn't one of those Adam & SteveEve deals where everyone had to poke their siblings, if not their own offspring, to get our sad little species of frightened primates going, was it?) Your number is probably up already if you are a resident of any of these Sodomite-tolerating communities:
Among the biggest meccas for same-sex couples were the courthouse in Beverly Hills, a makeshift wedding center in a West Hollywood park, the clerk's office in Norwalk and San Francisco City Hall. On the Los Angeles City Hall lawn, City Council President Eric Garcetti presided at a wedding of two women, Shane Goldsmith and Monica Granados, who met and fell in love while working in his office.
Run!! Run like hell!!!

What the Thirteen Worst Dressed Cars Will Be Wearing This Year

P. S.: If you're picky & want to read these, click to enlarge.

Sports Update: Lakers Bandwagon Crashes, Burns in Bumfuck by the Bay

We had been about to climb on the Lakers bandwagon, whooping & hollering all the way, but cooler heads prevailed, fortunately. Now that the BoSox are the reigning World Champions & the Boston Leprechauns are the best in the NBA, we can only effusively thank the New York Jints for soundly beating the cheating, illegally spying New England Patriots (Hey, has anyone else noted this? PATRIOT Act, illegal espionage, etc., and the Patriots football team illegally spying on their opponents?) in this year's Stupor Bowl. St. Nick on a stick, if the Pats had won that & Beantown were literally on top of the world of American sports...Well, the mind boggles. People from Bosstown are already insufferable.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Faith, Fuel & Fuckwads

They never stop. Nor do they come up w/ anything original. (Nor do we. This is from the LAT.)
One pastor, Ed Black of Arena Christian Church in Lincoln, Calif., told his flock on his blog Sunday that the car -- and the fuel it rode in on -- might be one of the roots of modern society's ills. "With the invention of the car," Black wrote, "young men would change the dating scene, picking up girls, and taking them away from their parents, without supervision, dropping [them] off later after who knows what went on."
They've been against the modern world since before it became modern. Kinda like the Moooooslims, who are having trouble as well. You'd think one of those fellers who wears his tablecloth on his head over there in the Middle East could find a few spare dinars to help his brethren get to the mosque five times a day.
At the Islamic Center of Southern California, it was common before the surge in gasoline prices to see people visit five times a day to find fellowship and pray. Now, coordinator Ahmed Mohamed says, many people come "just two or three times a day and sometimes less. They can't afford to drive here as often. I've never seen anything like it."
Condemned to hell by oil profits. Kissing gawd's ass five times a day is important, but the kids aren't going to overrun both the non-breeding Xtians & whiteys in general if they can't eat something.
The problem is affecting even the holy business, driving down attendance at churches, synagogues and mosques. Religious leaders are struggling to help their members cope, spinning new themes about a society that has become almost sinfully reliant on motorized transport.
The vast Just Another Blog (From L. A.)™ empire is proud to have eschewed owning or operating motorized transport since it had to drive the car of a girlfriend who was overloaded on 'ludes sometime in the early '80s.
At the St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Valley City, Ohio, Pastor D. Murawski's message Sunday was simple. By all means, cut back on your driving but not your driving to church. "Yes, it may be more difficult at the end of the month to pay our bills and fill our tanks," he wrote on the church's website, "but one thing that hasn't diminished one iota is the commitment of God to love you, forgive you, and watch over you."
We fail to see any commitment to "love, forgive, & watch over" any one, if the pastor (sheep herder) has to beg people to continue to come to church to kiss Holy Ass.
In houses of worship nationwide, preachers are railing against the forces of energy evil, and congregations are praying for lower fuel prices.
Three reactions to that & we're history. 1) There is no gawd, & if there ever had been one, it's sure as fuck dead now. 2) "You cannot petition the Lord with prayer." 3) Even if it existed & were answering your prayers, you don't really believe gawd could do anything to stop the oil cos., do you?

Lazy (Or Not)

Look for (don't look for) fewer (any) items here for a day or two. It's all good, not to worry.

Better Late Than Never, But Never Better Late

There's a reason we refer to ourself as "The Editor" most of the time, rather than as a "reporter." We're just made for sitting at a devil-box criticizing people for their own good, as opposed to doing anything, or working, or chasing down a story, or exerting any effort whatever concerning anything at all. Case in point: Last night's big deal Scott McClellan book-pimping "event" at the nearby Barnes & Ignoble, which we mentioned in this very space, & then stated we would attend, implying, at least some sort of informative report on Mr. McClellan's event. Well, we did, but even though we'd been sitting in the three-level chain bookstore for a good hour before reading pulp sci-fi from the '30s, we managed to be late to said event. Here's the criticism part: Because every single retail establishment on the Third Street Promenade (For those who don't know: the City of Santa Monica closed four blocks of, yes, its own Third Street to vehicular traffic, making an instant mall, w/ what passes for "upscale retail" in middle-class America having taken over what once were no doubt failing Mom-&-Pop businesses.) has closed its restrooms (Guess who they don't want using the facilities?) one must leave the Promenade & wander through an already piss-soaked alley to a City parking structure to answer nature's call. And by the time we'd returned from pre-event bathroom (Caused by a "venti" coffee @ the Starbucks inside the B&N to prevent our collapsing on our face during the "event") & nicotine breaks, the author reading room at B&N was jam-up & jelly-tight, & we were unable to get any nearer than two people away from the door. Which was fine while Mr. McClellan was speaking, but once question time started, we were unable to hear the questions, & Scott kept going off mic to answer them. So, in our dedication to duty, we just gave the hell up & went back to the Northwest Smith story collection we'd been perusing. Not that we'd expected to hear (let alone actually learn) anything new. And what we did hear of Puffy McMoonface's talk was the same old same old that's already been bandied about the webs, radio, dead-tree media, etc. I. e., who gives a shit, really? It should be obvious by now that we don't.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Pen & Sword One Thing, Ball Point & Gun Quite Another

Per Robert Mugabe, anyway. He's quite the resistance fighter, holding off the Western-allied so-called Movement for Democratic Change in an effort to keep his righteous revolutionary movement going. (And the $$$ pouring into his Swiss bank account.)

We shed a lot of blood for this country. We are not going to give up our country for a mere X on a ballot. How can a ball point pen fight with a gun?" the Herald, a government mouthpiece, quoted Mugabe as saying.
Gotta love it when the AP identifies the newspaper as a "mouthpiece."
Below: Mugabe Going through the motions.

Blackwater Worldwide Update

Blackwater Worldwide expert Jeremy Scahill op-eds in the LAT today that BW has essentially wormed its way into the structure of the "defense community," is looking to become a vital part of the "Secure Borders" myth, & is offering its espionage services to the gummint & (You guessed it!) Fortune 1000 corporations. And it won't matter who's in the House of Whiteness after noon on 20 January 2009. Never forget the "War on Drugs," either. (You think the "Global War on Terror" is "The Long War?" Think again.)
Blackwater was asked by the Pentagon to bid for a share of a whopping $15-billion contract to "fight terrorists with drug-trade ties" in countries such as Colombia, Bolivia, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. Analysts say it could be the company's "biggest job" ever.
How long 'til their bully-boys are breaking down doors in your neighborhood, under some sort of contractual deal that limits their liability & your Constitutional rights? Go ahead & hold your breath, because it won't be that long.

Bush Admin Wrap-Up

(Don't we wish the entire sordid mess were wrapped up, w/ those who deserve it in the prisons where they belong.) Cheney Lies, No Surprise Dick Vader caught w/ foot in mouth & hands in Big Oil's pocket again.

Vice President Dick Cheney, in a speech Wednesday to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, picked up the refrain. Cheney quoted a column by George Will, who wrote last week that "drilling is under way 60 miles off Florida. The drilling is being done by China, in cooperation with Cuba, which is drilling closer to South Florida than U.S. companies are."

In his speech, Cheney described the Chinese as being "in cooperation with the Cuban government. Even the communists have figured out that a good answer to higher prices means more supply."

"But Congress says no to drilling in ANWR, no to drilling on the East Coast, no to drilling on the West Coast," Cheney added.

Excuse the hell out of us here on the left Coast for not wanting massive oil spills on our beaches. What a bunch of tree-hugging fairies we are.

The next day:

Cheney's office said in a statement to The Associated Press that the vice president had erred.

"It is our understanding that, although Cuba has leased out exploration blocks 60 miles off the coast of southern Florida, which is closer than American firms are allowed to operate in that area, no Chinese firm is drilling there," according to the statement.

Will this give Darth Cheney an excuse to attack Cuba now, in a pathetic last ditch attempt to curry favor w/ the crypto-fascist Cuban refugee-voters who've been ruining South Florida & Jersey for the last forty yrs.?

Scott McClellan to Lie or Tell the Truth in Santa Monica Tonight When Scott McClellan's book finally dropped (thus say the kids) the RW talking point was: "Who is this? I don't recognize him. This isn't the Scott McClellan I know," ad nauseum. Perhaps they can only recognize him when he's spinning or outright repeating the lies he was told to tell, but can't recognize him when he's telling the truth. Decide for yourself tonight at the Barnes & Ignoble on the Third Street Promenade @ Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica tonight @1900, when Mr. Mc. will be reading, signing & answering questions. This reporter may even be there. Look for the homeless weasel w/ a greasy ponytail & a black messenger bag stuffed w/ junk. Compare to the illustration at right for confirmation, but please, no autographs!!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Ocular Knitting Needles Wanted

You may remember the Maggie Gyllenhall whoringadvertising underwear pix we were running last yr. Or you may remember the "Alien" photo of Posh we ran. (Sadly, we don't remember when, & can't remember what we wrote, so we can't search for it.) Here are the two ladies together, at their very best. Photo: Retna

That About Which We Could Not Possibly Care Any Fucking Less

1. Fathers Day (No father.) 2. Flag Day (No flagpole.) 3. Most other "Days" (No Valentine, for example.) 4. Most days, period. (Just plain apathy.)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

21st Century Valerie Solanas

Another woman who hates sports.
BAGHDAD - A female suicide bomber targeted a crowd of soccer fans celebrating Iraq's win in a World Cup qualifier on Saturday, wounding at least 34 people near a cafe north of Baghdad, police said. The young woman, who was covered in a traditional black Islamic robe, was dropped off by a car shortly before the attack as dozens of cheering young men poured out onto the streets after watching Iraq beat China 2-1 on TV in the cafe in the town of Qara Tappah. [...] "The female bomber has spoiled our joy and celebration."
Like, whatever dude. Go Iraq!! Go Lakers, too. They may need a bomb threat to win another game.

Last Two Words on the Subject: Cheney & "Scooter"

Below: Mr. Serious. We wish this crummy library computer had even MSPaint on it, as there is much blank empty space to the late Mr. Russert's right, which (to us) screams to be filled w/ something. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images
Although some have sympathy for the dead, & for those who survive them, we're cold-hearted here, as well as lazy as all get out. So for "our" last words on the subject, we'll turn to the L. A. Times again. (Please remember, we no longer have the luxury of spending 16+ hrs. a day on the webs of deceit & fabrication, searching for ideas or buffoonery on which to comment, as the up to 4.5 hrs. a day available to us on those webs allows only for checking e-mail & then wasting the rest of our time compulsively typing & retyping this mess you're reading. Once we stop being depressed & murderous/suicidal, we'll work on the anal retention issues. In the meantime, we absorb the dead-tree Times on our bus ride to adult day care for the ill in the head, & while waiting for breakfast at adult day care for, etc. We realize no one else under the age of 65 reads the Times anyway, so we'll continue to pretend we're doing all concerned a favor by picking the very best parts & passing them along.)

We'd planned to say only: "This is all you need to know about Tim Russert:" & copy & paste this:

Early last year, during the perjury trial of Bush administration aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby, a former press aide to Vice President Dick Cheney testified that she often tried to get officials on Russert's show."

Meet the Press" was "our best format," she said, where the administration could reliably "control the message."
But while looking for that, we came across an expansion on the theme by Tim Rutten, who is, we believe, the Times' "media critic." We actually believe that "criticism" should come out of the barrel of a gun, Chairman Mao-stylee, but we'll just have to settle.

Watching the cable news networks in the hours after his death, one was struck by the outpouring of admiration and affection from across the political spectrum and from journalistic colleagues of every sort. It was impossible not to be struck -- once again -- by just how incestuous and claustrophobic the Washington-based nexus of politics and journalism has become.

Thus, in all that gush across four networks in dozens and dozens of voices, hardly a word was spoken concerning Russert's role in the recent trial of Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. That's odd because Libby's conviction on perjury and obstruction of justice charges was, in some large part, based on Russert's testimony. Like former New York Times reporter Judith Miller, Russert was one of the high-level Washington journalists who came out of the Libby trial looking worse than shabby.

Libby testified before the grand jury investigating the leak of CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity that he first learned she worked for the intelligence agency from Russert during a phone call on another matter. Russert took the stand to contradict Libby only because he'd been subpoenaed -- a summons he and NBC had strenuously resisted on grounds of journalistic privilege.

As it emerged under examination, however, Russert already had sung like a choirboy to the FBI concerning his conversation with Libby -- and had so voluntarily from the first moment the Feds contacted him. All the litigation was for the sake of image and because the journalistic conventions required it.

If Russert's legacy stands for anything, it's that journalists have an obligation to preserve as complete a record as possible -- and to hold those responsible for that record accountable. In the outpouring of grief, affection and fellow-feeling that followed his sudden death, that didn't happen. Perhaps that's understandable under the circumstances, or perhaps it's another insight into the limitations of the sort of "insider" journalism of which Russert was an exemplar.
So there. Speak ill of the dead? Of course! They don't care any more. And we never did.

Slap Leather, Punk!

Senator McGun at the NRA annual meeting, 16 May 2008, Louisville, KY. Photo: Scott Olsen/Getty Images
An L. A. Times article on the NRA's declining clout (mostly because Democrats are so cowardly they barely raise the issue of gun control any longer, even as more states allow more morons to carry guns anywhere, at any time) refers to Senator Barack Obama's April "comments about 'bitter' voters who 'cling to guns or religion.'" If anything, they cling to guns as a religion; there's certainly a lot of faith that packing solves all problems.

And Wayne LaPierre (Wayne, favorite name of serial killers, from John Wayne Gacy on, & LaPierre, what is he, a cheese-eating surrender monkey trying to prove his manhood by playing w/ guns?) confirms the "clinging" thesis:
"Voters have proven election after election that this issue is one of their first freedoms," NRA Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre said in a recent interview. "When people feel uncertain, when people feel unsafe, they run right back to the 2nd Amendment."
Run right back to it, like you run to Jeezis. "What a friend we have in Jesusdevices designed for murder."

Reaction from readers about the Times' earlier story on exercising your rights by walking around like Roy Fucking Rogers (Are these retards going to take up riding horses everywhere too? Uh, maybe not such a bad idea for the poor white trash losers who have to carry guns to feel manly, as most of them won't be able to afford gas much longer.) is amusing as well.
The Times portrayed a woefully underrepresented group of law-abiding people who choose to arm themselves for protection and to keep the tradition of personal arms alive in this country.

As pointed out in the article, these people are no more likely to harm anyone with their guns on than without, and they are exercising their rights -- something more of us should do.

Nathan Plant
Santa Clara
Well, certainly tradition is the most important thing. And these "law-abiding people" are "law-abiding" right up to the point where they wig out & turn their hoglegs on someone.
In the article, Utah's Travis Deveraux says, "What we're trying to say is, 'Hey, we're normal people who carry guns.' " Is it normal in Utah to fear for one's safety so much that one needs to be perpetually and publicly armed? I thought we had progressed from the times of Wyatt Earp.

Arnie Moore
Sherman Oaks
Wise up, Arnie. These people haven't progressed since Brigham Young led them to Utah.
Your article about people openly carrying pistols was full of color and sympathy for the nuisances suffered by today's gunslingers, but it ignored the extreme dangers created by the practice.

What happens when an "open carrier" is tired, having a bad day, collides with someone on the sidewalk, and finds himself only two easy steps away from firing his weapon? What about when a criminal sneaks up behind with his own knife or pistol and steals that openly carried pistol? And how about when an open carrier blows cigarette smoke in your face or mine? Who'd dare to complain?

Whether open or concealed, carrying a firearm puts a person within easy reach of tragedy and provides no security one cannot obtain from nonlethal weapons such as mace or Tasers.

Mike Ceaser
Bogota, Colombia
The voices of reason. We'll bet Mr. Ceaser in Bogota has a good idea of what guns everywhere can do to a society.

Flame On!!

Burn the United States Flag!Today is Flag Day, just another indication of how shallow & superficial these United States are. Appearances are all that count in the home of the brave. (No other people are brave?) Do we have a Constitution Day? Probably, but much more fuss is made about Flag Day. You tell us which is more important, a piece of colored cloth or the very document whence come our "freedoms?" Does the President-to-be swear to preserve, protect & defend the Flag or the Constitution at the inaugural? Does the First Amendment to said Constitution guarantee the right to free speech & expression? You bet it does!

By the way, these colors may not run, but they certainly fade.

Click the flag at top to burn, baby, burn!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Won't Have Him to Kick Around Any More

Per MSNBC, Tim Russert keeled over & died at work today, aged 58. One less big-headed Catholic of Irish descent to monopolize the airwaves.

Just Wondering

Below: MorganTsvangirai supporters cheer his bus as the opposition leader pulls into Harare Weds. Photo: STR, EPA
Here's a country that has some tradition of democracy (they had a presidential vote & it was close, as opposed to S. Hussein's 98% approval the last time he ran in Iraq). But it looks as if democracy is getting the Orwellian boot in the face over & over & over. Where are the forces of democracy? Britain, as "creator"/former colonizer of Zimbabwe, & the United Snakes, as loudmouthed advocates of "liberty," "freedom" & "democracy," should be right there insuring the upcoming run off election is at least as fair & impartial as American elections. (Little joke there, people.)

Perhaps there isn't enough oil to make it worthwhile. But the invasion & occupation of Iraq wasn't about oil, it was about freeing the Iraqis or something, wasn't it? (Been so long we can't remember.) Golly, it hardly seems possible, but could the "English-speaking peoples," to use Churchill's phrase, be hypocrites?

The secretary general of the party opposed to Mugabe, Tendai Bati, was taken into custody on treason charges Thursday. We suggested above that the U. S. & U. K. might want to help a bit before we even got to this part:

"The treason charges arise from a document he authored, 'The Transition Strategy,' while the other charge is about his inflammatory statements he made after the March 29 harmonized elections," Bvudzijena said.
Authorities allege that in the document, Biti calls on Britain and the United States to topple Mugabe's government. The opposition denies Biti wrote any such document.

Two great minds, one single thought.

World opinion is generally (Mostly? Completely, except for the Chinese hoping for resources from Zimbabwe?) anti-Mugabe, although our cynical view of rightist opinion makes us think that those on the right are actually pretty happy about Mugabe's hideous rule; they think it makes a case that Britain should have kept its empire & that the duskier-skinned among us just can't rule themselves.

They certainly know how to help themselves.

Meanwhile, U.S. officials said Thursday that Zimbabwean authorities had seized a truckload of food aid meant for schoolchildren and distributed it to Mugabe supporters at a political rally.

The U.S. Agency for International Development, which contracted the truck, said in a statement that a group of military and police officers, as well as war veterans, threatened the driver, who fled to a nearby police station for protection.

"This unconscionable behavior must stop," said USAID administrator Henrietta H. Fore. "It is unacceptable for the government of Zimbabwe to steal food from hungry children."

State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos said he did not know when the embassy first reported the June 6 incident or when it was made public.

Last week, Zimbabwe's government banned aid organizations from distributing food in the country, with Mugabe accusing the groups of inciting rural voters to bring down his government. About 4 million Zimbabweans, a third of the population, are dependent on food aid.

"We call on the government, the Zimbabwean authorities, to immediately reinstate permission for all aid agencies to resume their life-saving assistance," Gallegos said. "Failure to do so constitutes the government of Zimbabwean complicity in the assault, suffering and deaths of innocent citizens."
Ooooh, strong talk. Too bad all of Britain's & America's military might is bogged down occupying Iraq & losing Afghanistan (while bombing Pakistan) to do anything about the outright theft of American tax-payer dollars. Where's the outrage? This is worse than Reagan's (mythical) welfare queens!!

Today in History

Friday the Thirteenth comes on a Friday this month.

More from Valerie S.

Just for Friday 13 June 2008:

Money, Marriage and Prostitution, Work and Prevention of an Automated Society: There is no human reason for money or for anyone to work more than two or three hours a week at the very most. All non-creative jobs (practically all jobs now being done) could have been automated long ago, and in a moneyless society everyone can have as much of the best of everything as she wants. But there are non-human, male reasons for wanting to maintain the money system:

  1. Pussy. Despising his highly inadequate self, overcome with intense anxiety and a deep, profound loneliness when by his empty self, desperate to attach himself to any female in dim hopes of completing himself, in the mystical belief that by touching gold he'll turn to gold, the male craves the continuous companionship of women. The company of the lowest female is preferable to his own or that of other men, who serve only to remind him of his repulsiveness. But females, unless very young or very sick, must be coerced or bribed into male company.
  2. Supply the non-relating male with the delusion of usefulness, and enable him to try to justify his existence by digging holes and then filling them up. Leisure time horrifies the male, who will have nothing to do but contemplate his grotesque self. Unable to relate or to love, the male must work. Females crave absorbing, emotionally satisfying, meaningful activity, but lacking the opportunity or ability for this, they prefer to idle and waste away their time in ways of their own choosing -- sleeping, shopping, bowling, shooting pool, playing cards and other games, breeding, reading, walking around, daydreaming, eating, playing with themselves, popping pills, going to the movies, getting analyzed, traveling, raising dogs and cats, lolling about on the beach, swimming, watching TV, listening to music, decorating their houses, gardening, sewing, nightclubbing, dancing, visiting, `improving their minds' (taking courses), and absorbing `culture' (lectures, plays, concerts, `arty' movies). Therefore, many females would, even assuming complete economic equality between the sexes, prefer living with males or peddling their asses on the street, thus having most of their time for themselves, to spending many hours of their days doing boring, stultifying, non-creative work for someone else, functioning as less than animals, as machines, or, at best -- if able to get a `good' job -- co-managing the shitpile. What will liberate women, therefore, from male control is the total elimination of the money-work system, not the attainment of economic equality with men within it.
  3. Power and control. Unmasterful in his personal relations with women, the male attains to masterfulness by the manipulation of money and everything controlled by money, in other words, of everything and everybody.
  4. Love substitute. Unable to give love or affection, the male gives money. It makes him feel motherly. The mother gives milk; he gives bread. He is the Breadwinner.
  5. Provide the male with a goal. Incapable of enjoying the moment, the male needs something to look forward to, and money provides him with an eternal, never-ending goal: Just think of what you could do with 80 trillion dollars -- invest it! And in three years time you'd have 300 trillion dollars!!!
  6. Provide the basis for the male's major opportunity to control and manipulate -- fatherhood.

The People Speak (Or Type)

In response to the John Bolton op-ed piece we dealt w/ earlier, the masses have responded in the pp. of the Times itself. Our favorite:
Bolton may or may not be correct about Nikita Khrushchev's assessment of John F. Kennedy after their first meeting. Interestingly, Bolton conveniently ignores the fact that if Kennedy had listened to Bolton's neocon predecessors, especially Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay, we would have initiated a nuclear conflagration. But let's stick with the roaring success of Iraq and our non-diplomatic, preemptive posture. It's worked so far, and at a cost of thousands of U.S. and Iraqi casualties, along with a few hundred-billion dollars and counting.

Tom Fleishman
Valley Glen
Couldn't have put it better ourselves. (Apparently weren't able to, either.)

Photo courtesy Associated Press

Thursday, June 12, 2008

More Car Dealer Democracy

The link you may not have bothered w/ in the previous item, to an item in The Consumerist, indicates the Ford dealership rescinded their half-assed apology. We suppose in shitholes like Mojave & Rosamond, where all of life's losers cling to their guns, gawd & queer-bashing, this approach may bring in more customers, but the double-wide demographic is probably not shopping for a new or "pre-owned" pollution device right now, what w/ the price of meth going through the roof along w/ most other commodities. Or, you could refer to The Underground Unbeliever, which apparently first brought this to the world's attention. But if you're like us, you're just going lie down w/ a cold compress on your forehead & eyes, hoping the world goes away.