Monday, September 29, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
"We were always fighting for the check," Andretti said. "He would never give in, never in anything. One time, we settled a check by betting on how long it would take a beer bottle to hit the floor when it fell off the table. "This time, he says, 'How many people do you think are on the street now between 8th and 9th Avenue?' He says, 'At least 75.' I said, 'No way, at the most 50.' "Our wives roll their eyes and head for the ladies room. Paul and I get up and head out to the street to check out our bet. The poor maitre d' thinks we are running out on the check. "And of course, I was right. There were barely 50 people out there, even when he's trying to count a hobo three times. So we go back and the maitre d' is relieved and I won the bet. Again."
We also heard on the radio that Mr. Newman's outfit of choice at the track (the SCCA, anyway) was Bermuda shorts, flip-flops & a tee-shirt, giving rise to the nickname "Chickenlegs." NB: Actually typed & published early evening of Tuesday 30 September 2008. Just trying to fill the blank, empty space.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
The 1953 3-D western "Hondo," in which Wayne plays a dispatch rider for the cavalry who meets a woman (Geraldine Page) living alone with her young son in the middle of hostile Apache territory, screens Sunday evening. Maltin believes it's one of Wayne's finest performances. "There's one long scene early on when he is talking to her while hammering some horseshoes. He has to hammer them, he has to fire them with the bellows, cool them in the water and hang them to dry on a rack. He has important dialogue through the entire scene where he is establishing his relationship with her while he performs all of these tasks. It's like choreography. And he pulls it off flawlessly and seemingly effortlessly -- Olivier couldn't have done it better."See? There's some damn acting, philistines!
There's also an exhibition of junk through the next three mos., in a basement somewhere on the USC campus. One more thing to know:
Gretchen Wayne is thrilled at USC's tribute to her father-in-law because it "defines him as more than a movie star. There was more to him, and certainly he loved being a student at USC. He loved education." The Duke possessed a "terrific sense of humor," says Wayne. "He didn't like vulgarity. He certainly didn't like it around women."
What's your 21st century definition of "vulgarity," bee-otch? NB: Actually typed & published late afternoon Tuesday 30 September 2008. We're just trying to look as if we "create" daily.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
In an interview Monday, Alamo spoke of the allegations with a mix of denial and defiance, saying he never promoted sexual abuse but that he believes there's a mandate from the Bible for young girls to marry. "In the Bible it happened. But girls today, I don't marry 'em if they want to at 14-15 years old. Because we won't do it, even though I believe it's OK," Alamo said. In an AP interview on Saturday, he had said that for girls having sex, "consent is puberty." On Monday he bristled at descriptions of his organization as a cult, saying enemies want to cast him as a "weirdo for preaching what the Bible says." People who have left Alamo's organization say they have witnessed older men marrying girls who just reached puberty. The U.S. Attorney's Office said in an e-mail that was inadvertently sent to media last week said agents expected to find children ages 12-14 who had been abused and that they expected to file charges. The e-mail said agents believed child pornography was being produced at the compound in Fouke.Shorter Tony: The bible sez: "If they're old enough to bleed, they're old enough to breed."
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Pieces assigned to individual rooms elsewhere in the building come across more strongly, and at least three of them brilliantly. A few are archival displays, the most arresting by the collective called Critical Art Ensemble and the Institute for Applied Autonomy, which for years have operated at the intersection of art, science and politics. In 2004 a founding member of Critical Art Ensemble, Steven Kurtz, was indicted under the Patriot Act, accused of illegally obtaining bacteria samples, among other charges. The charges were eventually dismissed by a judge. But outrage over the affair is still strong in the activist art world. And the piece at the armory titled “Seized” is Exhibit A in its ethical brief: at the center of the installation is heaped-up trash, including pizza boxes, left behind by government agents who commandeered Mr. Kurtz’s home.Sadly, the shitheels at The New York Times will print photos in their dead-tree editions that are unavailable in the "on-line" edition. For example, the shot of the trash left by said agents at the art boy's house.
Alex Ross, 40, a music critic for The New Yorker and the author of a cultural history of 20th-century music, “The Rest Is Noise”; Tara Donovan, 38, who creates large installations out of everyday objects, as in “Haze,” a 2003 work in which she stacked more than two million clear plastic drinking straws against a 42-foot-long wall.Here's our book title: "It's All Fucking Noise, So Shut Your Fucking Mouths Already!!" Unless Donovan stacks her straws totally by herself, she can fuck off too. We don't have any flunkies working here. It's a labor of – OK, "hate," whatever – & it's certainly deserving of 100,000 clams a yr. for the next five yrs. Man. Whose bootie must one kiss around here to get a few thousand clams just to live on?
We again see Sen. McCain (& Gov. Palin) for the cowards they are. McCain, the surrender monkey, whose first instincts are to sell out any one he can ("Country First!!") as soon as his foolishness gets him into enemy hands, & Palin, who hasn't spoken word one to anyone since her ABC interview a wk. ago ("Bush Doctrine? Whazzat?" Look, it's Russia, right over there!!") & is still maintaining press silence. Insert the sound of chickens going "Bwok, bwok, bwok!!"
Some commie callers to squawk radio have been expressing the hope that this is the end for the McCain/Palin ticket, which only proves that hope is bullshit, but what are we to make of this huge cop-out?
Now we hear that CBS ("IBM when I CBS") late night host David Letterman, who had McCain booked on tonight's Late Show until the "suspension," had some rather mean things to say about John Sidney III. One may want to tune in later. 2335 E & P, 2235 Central, on your local CBS station.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
The boats will be controlled by sailors at a safe distance on a much larger ship. [...] The first of the two boats, developed and stuffed with sonar-detection gear, cost $197 million. In the future, the price is slated to drop to $46 million per boat.Whew, that's a relief. We were thinking this might be some kind of boondoggle.
The boats are meant to be launched by the so-called Littoral Combat Ships, shallow-draft ships that can maneuver close to shore.Also known as Oil War Command & Control Ships.
"With the way the world is now, with terrorists just sitting around looking for new ideas to attack us, it's very important we have a way to protect our sailors as they transit through the shallow waters," said Thomas Mulkeen, one of the contractors working on the project, whose motto is "Detect, deter, defeat."Perhaps not having "our sailors" in these shallow waters while they perform duties that Big Oil should be paying Blackwater to do would be the best way to "protect our sailors." And no fucking tax exemption for the oil outfits. They (& Europe & Japan, who get most of that Persian Gulf Oil) can pay for their own damn security for once. This former taxpayer will no longer be footing their bill.Above: This Unmanned (You ain't kiding!! Nothing manly at all going on here.) "Submarine" Hunter seems to work quite well in the shallow waters off San Diego. Hmmm.... Photo: Karen Tapia-Andersen/LAT.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Political Play: McCain gets "American Chopper" 2 hours, 3 minutes ago John McCain picked up a surprise gift Tuesday, an Orange County Chopper motorcycle, courtesy of the stars of the "American Chopper" reality TV series who roared in to present it to the Republican presidential hopeful. Father and son co-stars Paul and Paulie "Junior" Teutul, whose show about building custom bikes together is a popular Learning Channel staple, appeared at McCain's rally in this Philadelphia suburb to honor him with a special bike they'd built to recognize Vietnam-era prisoners of war. McCain, a former Navy pilot, spent five and a half years in a Vietnam prison camp after being shot down in 1967. His running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, introduced the Teutuls and noted that Paul Sr., like McCain, is a Vietnam veteran. The elder Teutul briefly addressed the crowd. "How many people out there love their country and the military?" he asked to loud cheers. McCain clearly was pleased with the gesture. "Sarah and I are going to get on that chopper and ride it straight to Washington!" he said. Staffers to the Arizona senator later said the chopper would remain with the Teutuls and continue to serve as a tribute to all POWs. ___ Compiled by Beth Fouhy.Empty gesture? Of course: All of human existence is a collection of empty gestures, & stop pretending otherwise. But the extra-emptiness comes from the aforementioned Mr. Hewitt, whose conclusion from this is that he can see John McCain on a "chopper." But he can't see Barack Obama on a "chopper." And therefore McCain has the "chopper vote" locked up. We might wonder about Sen. McCain on a "chopper," as his PW injuries leave him unable to use a fucking Blackberry™©, f'r c'rissakes!! We've seen shots of Sen. Obama on his bicycle, not that much of a stretch to imagine him on a different two-wheeler. The prospect of Mr. Cindy (who, we also heard today, owns 13 cars – two of them "furrin" – in conjunction w/ Mrs. McCain) on a chopper is pretty funny. He can't even lift his arms to ape-hanger level, can he? That's why he deserves to be president, y'know? His poor arms. Mr. Hewitt, after this embarrassment, went on to play a long rant from a conference call held by Steve Schmidt, strategerist for the McCain embarrassment, & Mark Davis, John Sidney's campaign manager. One of those champions of honesty & fair play went on for some time, in response to a question from Massa Hewitt concerning alleged e-mail smears of veep-wanna-be Sarah Palin coming from a firm somehow related to some guy named Axelrod who works for Obama, w/ a load of unsubstantiated smears about this Bill Ayers guy who has actually been in the same bldg. w/ Obama on several occasions. Mr. Ayers, who set off a couple of piffling pipe bombs in Washington D. C. in the late '60s & early '70s, was the guy right behind Osama Bin Laden on the FBI's terror list, according to whichever of these paid liars was earning his money. And since Sen. Obama hasn't marched Ayers into the nearest FBI office for a little enhanced interrogation, even though they seem to live in the same neighborhood, there must be a greater connection between the two of them, & we've got to get to the truth about this. Oddly enough, Catholic cretin/Nixon speechwriter Pat Buchanan stated earlier in the day that Sen. Obama only has to "prove to the American people that he's not a left-wing radical in order to win the election." (Paraphrase.) That's right, just disprove the (sadly) baseless accusations of the right that Sen. Obama is anything more than a centrist, corporate, Democrat In Name Only type. How do they get these people? Pat Buchanan, isn't one of those commandments not to lie? But Mr. Hewittt continued, having on a couple of callers from the heartland who were both the mothers of special needs children & liked playing w/ guns. So, naturally, they both think Gov. Palin is some hot shit. One of them was very proud that she'd kept shooting until she couldn't get her shooting jacket buttoned over her grotesquely distended abdomen, stuffed w/ a four & a half month-developed fetus. She didn't make it entirely clear (nor were we listening that closely to such a mindless stereotype) which child it was, but we can't help but wonder if lead poisoning might have had anything to do w/ baby being a little slow. (Didn't walk until he was ten, she said.) So there's the right wing. Like guns? Have a couple uteri? Offspring not the sharpest knife in the drawer? You're a natural to vote for Sarah Palin. Love your country, its military, & posing atop a "chopper?" Then Big John McCain III is your man. Think that Barack Obama might be a good choice because you've got a touch of the tarbrush yourself? Well, you're some kind of racist hater who's never voted for anyone except on the basis of un-American "identity poolitics." Also from Hewitt's mouth, before we had to change the channel: "All smart-thinking, law-abiding Americans who have concealed carry permits & pack heat will be a lot safer." Keep believing that, Folk. Right until you shoot yourself. Or your mutant offspring finds it & plugs itself or you. Thin the herd. Please. Also in the mere 20 mins. we spent receiving Mr. Hewitt: Team McCain must have talked to the do-nothing Democrats in Congress today, because there was no vote on the bail-out bill. "He wanted people to lose more millions today." Not mentioned was how many trillions the glibertarians in Congress would like to hand over to those already responsible for the financial crisis, w/o the slightest apparent control or oversight.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
"Less taxes and more war," he said, smiling. He said the U.S. should "bomb the hell" out of Iran because the country threatens Israel. Asked by the interviewer how America would pay for a military confrontation with Iran, he said the U.S. should take the country's resources. "We should plant a flag. Take the oil, take the money," he said. "We deserve reimbursement." A few hours after the interview, an unknown woman helped herself to Schwartz's resources.We'll take any scrap of justice we can get. Or a peek at this toad on video.
In his interview on LinkTV, Schwartz seemed opinionated and passionate. He said an attack on Iran was needed to protect Israel, and he offered how it could be accomplished through "strategical airstrikes." "Hopefully, just bomb the hell out of them from the sky. No troops," he said. Schwartz was asked if he had a message to the protesters who filled the streets of downtown St. Paul. "Get a job," he replied.No wonder women tell him to get undressed all the time. W/ a sense of humor like that, he must be catnip to the ladies.
Giant blue-chip financial institutions swept away in a matter of days. Banks refusing to lend to other banks. Russia closing its stock market to stop the panicked selling. Gold soaring $70 in a single trading session. Developing countries' currencies in a free fall. Money-market funds warning they might not be able to return every dollar invested. Daily swings of three, four, five hundred points in the Dow Jones industrial average. What we are witnessing may be the greatest destruction of financial wealth that the world has ever seen -- paper losses measured in the trillions of dollars. Corporate wealth. Oil wealth. Real estate wealth. Bank wealth. Private-equity wealth. Hedge fund wealth. Pension wealth. It's a painful reminder that, when you strip away all the complexity and trappings from the magnificent new global infrastructure, finance is still a confidence game -- and once the confidence goes, there's no telling when the selling will stop.Yep, the whole thing based on humanoids & their simian emotional responses. That's an excellent idea, isn't it? We can't tell you how happy we are that many have lost trillions of $ (on paper). If only there were a way to extract lbs. of flesh from these con men & women. Hell, let's start w/ kilograms rather than lbs. How's the entire ugly mess going to end? Not well.
In the end, however, there is only so much the government can borrow and so much the government can do. The only other choice is for Americans to finally put their spending in line with their incomes and their need for long-term savings. For any one household, that sounds like a good idea. But if everyone cuts back at roughly the same time, a recession is almost inevitable. That's a bitter pill in and of itself, involving lost jobs, lower incomes and a big hit to government tax revenues. But it could be serious trouble for regional and local banks that have balance sheets loaded with loans to local developers and builders who will be hard hit by an economic downturn. Think of that, says Dugger, as the inevitable second round of this financial crisis that, alas, still lies ahead.Are you ready to suffer for your sins yet, AmeriKKKan sheep?
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
The new product will be launched Monday. The company touts the toilet tissue as "ultra-soft" and says it plans to market the product to women 45 and older who view their bathroom as a "sanctuary for quality time." Industry analyst Bill Schmitz is skeptical. He said extra layers make toilet paper stronger, not softer, although he said Georgia Pacific may have added extra fibers for softness.Imagine: You are a woman. (Or any other sort of humanoid.) You are 45 (or older). Your bathroom is your "quality time" sanctuary. This, by the way, is why assisted suicide is not popular w/ the power structure. If your life were thus, you'd be first in line at the euthanasia center, wouldn't you? Thereby ending your usefulness to the corporate or small business structure. Of course, you 'd have to be fairly intelligent, or at least unable to lie to yourself, to realize how horrid your life was.
"I broke my promise to always tell the truth," McCain said. Now he has broken that promise so completely that the John McCain of old is unrecognizable. He has become the sort of politician he once despised.That's where one may first notice that Mr. Cohen is a Broderesque fool. There's only one sort of politician, and that would be a "politician." Their very motives (greed, lust, power, self-aggrandizement, ad nauseum) are suspect, as are those of an op-ed writer who thinks some of them are somehow special or different. Ninny!!
I am one of the journalists accused over the years of being in the tank for McCain. Guilty. Those doing the accusing usually attributed my feelings to McCain being accessible. This is the journalist-as-puppy school of thought: Give us a treat, and we will leap into a politician's lap. Not so. What impressed me most about McCain was the effect he had on his audiences, particularly young people. When he talked about service to a cause greater than oneself, he struck a chord. He expressed his message in words, but he packaged it in the McCain story -- that man, beaten to a pulp, who chose honor over freedom. This had nothing to do with access. It had to do with integrity.Can Mr. Cohen can even define "integrity" any more, let alone point to anyone, in any sort of public life, who can stake the slightest claim to said quality? (Which, regular readers of this screed will recall, is one of those vague concepts such as "honor," "courage" & "patriotism" that have never truly meant much, & have had most of their actual meaning taken from them through their constant repetition by those who should be the very last to invoke them.)
McCain has soiled all that. His opportunistic and irresponsible choice of Sarah Palin as his political heir -- the person in whose hands he would leave the country -- is a form of personal treason, a betrayal of all he once stood for. Palin, no matter what her other attributes, is shockingly unprepared to become president. McCain knows that. He means to win, which is all right; he means to win at all costs, which is not.Here's where you don't get it/them at all, Mr. C. (This is also a condition that occurs in law-enforcement & security/intelligence agencies. The country must be saved, and we are the best agency/group/person to do it, therefore it is as important to national survival to jostle for precedence, not share information, & so on, w/ competitors on our side, as it is to deal w/ the enemy without.) Sen. McCain probably believes that Sen. Obama really is a stealth Marxist-Muslim dying to turn us over to the Saudis (oh, wait...) & whatever he does against Obama is justified. Or he's yet another Republican simpleton who's turned his campaign over to clowns who'll only be remembered if they "win," not how. Either way, he's a lying sack of shit. Sen. Obama? They haven't caught him in any whoppers yet. Except when he denies his Muslim Marxism.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
In the 2007 presidential election, Mr. Besancenot won 4.1 percent of the vote with the slogan, “Our lives are worth more than their profits.” But in the year since, as the Socialist Party has squabbled over its leadership and Mr. Sarkozy has picked off a few Socialist figures for his own cabinet, the young radical has become almost mainstream — serious surveys show that more than 60 percent of the French regard him favorably. [...] So he is trying to gather other small, left-wing parties into a new grouping: the New Anti-Capitalist Party, which is intended to provide an umbrella voting list for those unhappy with the impact of capitalism and globalization on the poor, the environment, the third and fourth worlds, and on the rights of women and homosexuals.Huh? "Fourth world?" We were recently wondering what exactly had happened to the "second world" of "communist" gummints, now we find a "fourth world?"
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
“The Civil War” is an exquisite miniature (unfortunately padded out by some battle sequences lifted from “Raintree County,” an earlier MGM Civil War film) that consists of only three scenes: a mother (Ms. Baker) sends a son (Peppard) off to war; the son has a horrible experience as night falls on the battlefield of Shiloh; the son returns and finds that his mother has died. The structure has a musical alternation: day, night, day; exterior, interior, exterior; stillness, movement, stillness. In the first and last scenes the famous Fordian horizon line extends the entire length of the extra-wide Cinerama frame. In the aftermath of the battle the horizon line disappears in darkened studio sets. The sense of the sequence is profoundly antiwar — Generals Sherman and Grant, played by John Wayne and Henry Morgan, briefly appear as a couple of disheveled, self-pitying drunks — and it gradually becomes apparent that the elderly Ford is revisiting one of his early important works, the 1928 drama “Four Sons.” The expressionistic middle sequence, with its studio-built swamp, refers to F. W. Murnau, whose “Sunrise” was one of the great influences on the young Ford, while the open-air sequences that bracket it, with their unmoving camera, long-shot compositions and rootedness in the rural landscape, recall the work of the American pioneer D. W. Griffith. When, in the final panel of Ford’s triptych, a gust of wind tousles Peppard’s hair in the foreground and then continues across to the forest in the middle distance and on to the stand of trees in the most distant background, it seems like a true miracle of the movies: a breath of life, moving over the face of the earth. No less formidable a filmmaker than Jean-Marie Straub has called “The Civil War” John Ford’s masterpiece; for the first time, thanks to this magnificent new edition, I think I know what he’s talking about. Birth, death, rebirth.Damn. Of course, we've not seen HTWWW ("Won," that's almost amusing.) on the really big screen since 1963 (we've caught it a couple of times on TCM) but if we ever live anywhere again we'll definitely be renting & re-examining it. And for the straight ladies & gay guys in the crowd, here's Jimmy Stewart saying "How" to a redskin.
On Wednesday, South Carolina Democratic Party Chairwoman Carol Fowler told a reporter for the website Politico that Sen. John McCain chose a running mate "whose primary qualification seems to be that she hasn't had an abortion."Tell it as is, Chairwoman Fowler.
Also on the call was Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who alleged that Fowler's remark was part of a sexist pattern by the Obama campaign, starting in May when Obama addressed a reporter as "sweetie."We've seen Rep. Blackburn on telebision. She's an active drooler. How these fucking creeps in the Republican party can say word one about sexism or racism when they're the ones who took over the political South w/ their "Southern Strategy" of barely-coded racism, and have been consistently opposed to rights & freedom for the fairer sex is beyond us, but at this stage of the game, what isn't?
For future generations, this memorial will be a place of learning. The day will come when most Americans have no living memory of the events of September the 11th. When they visit this memorial, they will learn that the 21st century began with a great struggle between the forces of freedom and the forces of terror. They will learn that this generation of Americans met its duty -- we did not tire, we did not falter, and we did not fail. They will learn that freedom prevailed because the desire for liberty lives in the heart of every man, woman, and child on Earth."Did not fail." Nope, just neglected ever to find Bin Laden, & managed to create more enemies & bring them together by invading a country that had nothing to do w/ the attacks, but was weak & oily. And another juicy piece of stupid from a juicer:
10:08 A.M. EDT THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. Mr. Vice President; Secretary Gates; Madam Speaker; Justices of the Supreme Court; members of my Cabinet and administration; members of Congress; Admiral Mullen and the Joint Chiefs; Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, a first responder on September the 11th, 2001; directors of the Pentagon Memorial Fund -- Mr. Chairman, congratulations; families and friends of the fallen; distinguished guests; fellow citizens: Laura and I are honored to be with you.Yes, Donald Rumsfeld, SecDef, who was a "first responder" when the nation was under physical attack for the first time since Pearl Harbor. But, instead of getting to a secure location, taking command of air defense, or doing anything along the lines of his position, he was running around like a chicken w/ its head cut off, trying to push gurneys around, & probably just getting in the way. Fortunately, his later conduct of the illegal & stupid invasion of Iraq & the following occupation was letter perfect.
From the commentariat @ Sadly, No!, we are reminded by Qetesh the Abyssinian (even as we watch MSNBC re-running the Today show of six years ago, w/ the whole mess) of a previous 11 September, in Chile. Let's go to Qetesh:Should you wish some sort of editorial comment on this all-AmeriKKKan mess, the Incredible Shrinking Newspaper™© has some, although it's weak-kneed, & acts as if economic success is worth it, even at the cost of the lives of thousands, & most of the success is reserved for those who were already successful. And Timothy Garton Ash, a "senior fellow" (Does that sound gay or just queer?) at the Hoover Institution, nonetheless has an op-ed concerning "authoritarian capitalism." No, he doesn't think that's redundant. Manufactured consent is just as good as natural consent to him. His closing line, by the way?Finally, let’s not forget the other September 11th. I just wish that some idiots would realise that behaviour like the first leads to behaviour like the second.She spells in that cute way because she's a cat, & lives in Australia. Below, the last photo of Salvador Allende before his murder at the hands of fascist thugs supported & financed by the CIA, on the orders of Richard "Murderhous" Nixon & Henry "Killer" Kissinger.
Pessimism of the intellect must be matched by optimism of the will.If not an outright triumph thereof. Remember when the "free market" guaranteed that political democracy would follow, as sure as night follows day? Believe you us, we knew better then, & now it may be occurring to those who spread that particular big lie, as well. (They're not stupid, they're just slow, & blinded by their ideologies.) Indeed, we recently heard some fuckwad on the right (perhaps from the Bush Administration itself) spewing some crap about how a democracy somewhere would soon lead to a free market. Isn't it the other way around? We only wish we had a better recall of the country to which the clown in question was referring. Note (If you give a shit.): Due to the deadline restraints mentioned immediately below, we made some additions & changes to this item, @1257 PDT, rendering it slightly different from the version posted @1143.
The delegates settled on a list of principles they called the Chattanooga Declaration. "The deepest questions of human liberty and government facing our time go beyond right and left, and in fact have made the old left-right split meaningless and dead," the declaration read. "The privileges, monopolies and powers that private corporations have won from government threaten ... health, prosperity and liberty, and have already killed American self-government by the people." The answer, it went on, was that the American states "ought to be free and self-governing."Yet another clue is offered to these clowns. (We really should charge for our clue-providing services). If you think that the United Snakes are dominated by corporations, just imagine how well your piddly little state (or its legislature & executive branches) will resist further corporate depredation. Look, for example, at our own beloved California & how it was under the thumb of the Southern Pacific Railroad at the turn of the last century. Frank Norris wrote a book about it, referring to the SP (on whose commuter trains the editorial staff here used to ride to school each day, up & down the San Francisco peninsula) as The Octopus. If you're so fucking worried about fascist corporations, step one is public financing of all political campaigns. Try working on that before you decide to try to secede. (Not very nihilistic of us, we know, but common sense can prevail, even here.)
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Woodward's appraisal is more nuanced. He argues that the current situation was created by the confluence of three forces of which the troop surge may be the least consequential. More important is a hyper-secret new program (by inference, a combination of technology and operational techniques) that has allowed U.S. forces to identify, locate and kill huge numbers of the insurgency's leaders, including members of Al Qaeda. When military and White House officials learned that Woodward knew of the secret program, they asked that he withhold any details because publication would endanger the operation and compromise its use elsewhere. Responsible though Woodward's decision may be, it lends a fairly frustrating opacity to what is "The War Within's" biggest revelation. The author also argues that the diminution of violence in Iraq owes a great deal to the so-called Anbar Awakening, in which the tribal sheiks in that crucial Sunni-dominated province have turned on Al Qaeda and aligned themselves with the U.S. and the new central government. Woodward points out that the success in Anbar began long before the surge with the Marines' successful counterinsurgency efforts on the Syrian border. The result of those efforts reached critical mass at about the time the surge began. In fact, Woodward quotes a memo from one of Gen. David H. Petraeus' counter-insurgency experts, musing that the troop surge has had the opposite effect from the one intended, which was to give the Maliki government a safe space into which it could extend its influence as a national regime. Instead, the memo argues, the presence of additional U.S. troops has allowed the tribal leaders to assert themselves and their influence not only locally but also on the Baghdad government in an evolving but specifically Iraqi expression of civil society.Not to mention, as many pundits/loudmouths/blowhards more widely circulated than we are (Bitter? Sure we are!) has, now that Baghdad has pretty much been segregated into all-Sunni or all-Shia neighborhoods, there's no one left to kill. As well as the United Snakes, filthy materialists that they are, having begun to pay the various tribal leaders not to shoot at AmeriKKKan troops, but to shoot w/ us, against all those terrorists, or patriots, or whatever they are. So the surge is as meaningless as virtually anything else Bush has told us, & somehow Obama, when confronted w/ "the surge" by Bill O'Reilly recently on FOX News Channel, didn't refer to this book (Is he so fucking busy on the campaign trail he doesn't know what's going on?) but said "Oh, beyond our wildest dreams," or crap to that effect. Loser.
Christopher Ketcham contributes to GQ, Vanity Fair, Harper's and many online publications. He is writing a book on American secessionism. christopherketcham.comwrites on the "all-American" subject of state secession, in conjunction w/ Sarah "The Moose-Eating Barracuda"Palin's affiliation w/ & appreciation of the Alaskan Independence Party in today's L. A. Times. He thinks secessionism is a American as
Secession worries the staid opinion gatekeepers of the major media. Sarah Palin's "flirtation" with the AIP should make us "uneasy," as Rosa Brooks warned in these pages. Palin's secessionist ties raise "serious questions," averred the New York Times. A more honest assessment is that the separatism of the Alaskan Independence Party is not so weird or wacky -- or out of keeping with what appears to be a sentiment rooted in that loveliest of American predilections, our crotchety contrarianism.Maybe so. It wouldn't kill us (immediately) here at Just Another Blog (From L. A.)™ to secede from these United Snakes. (Imagine: gay marriage, reasonable dope laws, general pinko West Coast freedom of & from the repressive whatnot of the dolts living too far from the oceans. Also imagine China/Russia/India/Brazil deciding to help themselves to California. Just whose army, navy, air force & marines are going to stop them?) But the point w/ slimy Sarah P. is that she's on the ticket w/ überpatriot John McCain, whose slogan is "Country First." Well, sometimes it's "Reform, Prosperity, Peace." ("Mr. Orwell, to the white courtesy 'phone, please. Mr. Orwell, paging Mr. Orwell.") Seems somewhat odd for Mme. Moosemurder to be all for the AIP, while claiming to place "Country First," doesn't it, Mr. Ketcham, you fucking dolt?
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Terrorism analysts say that Americans--and American media outlets--are ignoring al-Qaida messages at their own peril. For many Americans, terrorism concerns are "falling off the radar, as al-Qaida has been silent in the USA (and much of the West) since 9-11," said Michael Sheehan, the former counter-terrorism official for the State Department and the City of New York. "Foreign attacks are mostly background noise. This is troublesome, for if we lose our focus they will attack us again at home," said Sheehan, who is now an NBC News terrorism analyst.Does this mean that Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri is waiting for the average AmeriKKKan pig-dog to stop quivering in fear before the next attack? (Which, if successful, will probably kill a much smaller of people than the annual AmeriKKKan gunshot & automobile deaths.) Is our safety somehow predicated on alert AmeriKKKans "keeping their focus?" Is it the loathsome AmeriKKKan media outlets, who've managed to ignore international events for many yrs. now? (We could point out that if AmeriKKKans had known or cared what was occurring in the Mid-East in order to assure them cheap gas for the drive to Wal*Mart to buy cheap plastic shit something might have been done to change that, & the Islamic nutjobs might not have felt it necessary to attack. But that's a fucking pipe dream.) Or is Sheehan speaking of the "counter-terrorism community?" Are they starting to lose their focus because media outlets aren't reminding them of their duties? What weak-minded ninnies they must be, then. Some of the other experts consulted for this piece have opinions of AmeriKKKa almost as low as the one held here at Just Another Blog™.
Ben Venzke, who analyzes videotaped terrorism statements for IntelCenter, said that Americans are becoming dangerously complacent about terrorism. He said he is reminded of the weeks before the 9-11 attacks, when the public (and media) were focusing on shark attacks and the latest turns in the Chandra Levy murder mystery. "If there's an attack, it's going to be out of the blue and blindside us," Venzke said. "If we could just manage to keep our attention span," he said, Americans would be better able to put any possible terrorist attack into perspective." They [terrorists] stay patient and focused, and we become an easier and easier target," Venzke said. NBC News terrorism analyst Evan Kohlmann says, if Americans have become blasé about terrorist statements, it's partially Zawahiri's fault. "He keeps rehashing the same set of basic issues over and over again," Kohlmann said. "Given a country like the U.S., which has a collective attention span of 5 minutes, it is easy to see why people get bored."Is it worth the effort to secure a people w/ the national attention span of a gnat? Though we still don't get how AmeriKKKans are so vital to all this. Most of them can be distracted by any shiny object. Show them anyone wearing a turban or the like, & their pants are wet & the "furriner" is dead meat. Remember the Sikh gas station attendants killed in Texas immediately after 11 September 2001? That's what you can expect from this country. Not unlike G. W. Bush. Attack people who had nothing to do w/ the original attack. If the counter-terrorism crowd expects savvy, alert 'Murkins to help defend the rest of us, their confidence is sorely mistaken. Two guys w/ beards & their underwear wrapped on their heads, speaking anything but English, would be enough of a distraction for some of “the white men of Waziristan” to do anything they wanted to. Yes, imagine that, "white people," glorious members of the greatest "race" on the face of God's Green Golfball, & they are traitors to whiteness!! Oh, the shock, the shame, the horror!!
Black holes aren't Wagner's only worry: He also is concerned that when the collider creates a soup of free-flying quarks, some of those quarks might recombine in a hazardous way — creating a stable, negatively charged "strangelet" that could turn everything it touches into more strangelets.
The lawsuit also suggests that magnetic monopoles — basically, magnets with only a north or a south pole, but not both — could be created in the collider and wreak havoc.
General scientific consensus is "no," but we can hope, can't we?
Monday, September 8, 2008
On Oct. 26, 1967, in the air over Hanoi, an alarm signaled that a surface-to-air missile had locked onto his plane. He should have tried to evade the missile but decided to release his bombs first. The missile took off the plane's right wing; McCain ejected. He landed, with a broken leg and two broken arms, in a lake in the middle of Hanoi. After he was pulled from the water, he was bayoneted in the ankle and groin.Did you get that? Sid, who took a free education from the U. S. Navy & managed to come in fifth from the bottom of his class, & who caused the destruction of several aircraft (not sure of the numbers, we hear many different stories) in training & otherwise (Note well, waste-fighters & reformers: Those planes cost millions of your taxpayer dollars each!!) was more interested in dropping a couple of 500-lb. dumb bombs that probably wouldn't have hit anything anyway than he was in saving his expensive aircraft & himself (mostly worthless, but a good chunk of money invested in his Annapolis education & flight training) from falling into the hands of the North Vietnamese. We in no way excuse the rotten treatment Fly-Boy Johnny received from Uncle Ho's minions (Reflect, however, so-called patriot, on your possible reaction if, say, a Chinese aviator had been bombing your neighborhood & you got a chance to have a few moments alone w/ the high-altitude baby killer.) but it's not "heroism." It's pathetic survival. If McCain had evaded the NVA SAM he would have continued to fly missions, rather than letting his flight training molder in solitary confinement for five-and-a-half yrs. Nor would we have been out an A-4. That's not serving your country. That's serving yourself, George W. Bush-style; G. W. being another great waster of the military resources of This Great Nation of Ours™© , both by his lack of service during the Vietnam adventure, & his essential destruction of our armed forces since 2003. Do we want a Mr. Macho type w/ the common sense & long-term view of an amoeba running Our Great Nation©™? Bombs away!!
Scientists say there's a chance that the LHC could create microscopic black holes, a phenomenon never before observed on Earth. They hasten to add that the tiny singularities will instantly pop out of existence, but that hasn't stopped critics from trying to block the collider's startup. Two of the critics have filed suit in federal court in Hawaii, seeking the suspension of LHC operations until more studies are done. Responding to the critics, CERN has issued a series of reports explaining why the LHC will pose no threat. Ellis was one of the report's authors. "If the LHC were to make microscopic black holes, it would be tremendously exciting — and no danger," he said.Darn the luck. But there's always that chance that Mr. Science & his pals are wrong wrong wrong. And although the (European, need we add?) scientists are going to start whipping those particles around the LHC come Wednesday, it will be months before the particles are moving at virtually the speed of light, so we can't rationally expect not to wake up Thursday a. m. (Well, not because of a microscopic singularity anyway. There are many reasons not to awake Thurs. a. m., from cardiac death in one's sleep to just plain sleeping past noon.) Another "future holocaust" denier is heard from here. Now we notice that MSNBC (from whom we steal many of our story "inspirations," ha ha) is keeping the good stuff until tomorrow, when they promise us "doomsday scenarios." Can't wait.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
By mid-2006, Casey, a stout four-star general with wire-rim glasses, had been the commander in Iraq for two years. As American military units rotated in and out, Casey remained the one constant. He had concluded that one big problem with the war was the president himself. Since the beginning, Casey felt, the president had viewed the war in conventional terms, repeatedly asking how many of the various enemies had been captured or killed. Casey later confided to a colleague that he had the impression that Bush reflected the "radical wing of the Republican Party that kept saying, 'Kill the bastards! Kill the bastards! And you'll succeed.'" Casey was troubled by the thought that the president didn't understand the nature of the fight they were in. The large, heavily armed Western force was on borrowed time, he believed. The president often paid lip service to winning over the Iraqi people, but then he would lean in with greater interest and ask about raids and military operations, grilling Casey about killings and captures. Months earlier, during a secure video conference with top military and civilian leaders looking on, he told Casey that it seemed the general wasn't doing enough. "George, we're not playing for a tie," Bush had said. "I want to make sure we all understand this, don't we?" Later in the video conference, Bush emphasized it again: "I want everybody to know we're not playing for a tie. Is that right?" In Baghdad, Casey's knuckles whitened on the table. The very suggestion was an affront to his dignity that he would long remember, a statement just short of an outright provocation."Mr. President," Casey had said bluntly, "we are not playing for a tie." Asked later about Casey's perceptions, Bush insisted in an interview that he understood the nature of the war, whatever Casey might have thought. "I mean, of all people to understand that, it's me," he said. But several of his on-the-record comments lend credence to Casey's concern that the president was overly focused on the number of enemy killed. "I asked that on occasion to find out whether or not we were fighting back," he said during the May interview. "Because the perception is, is that our guys are dying and they're not. Because we don't put out numbers. We don't have a tally." He said his overall question to his military commanders was, "Are we making progress in defeating them?" "What frustrated me is that from my perspective," he said at another point, "it looked like we were taking casualties without fighting back because our commanders are loath to talk about our battlefield victories."Never in human history, since some of the inbred, retarded Roman emperors, has there been as obvious a cretin in a position of such power. (Maybe George III of Britain, when his brain was being eaten away by syphilis or whatever his problem was.) Perhaps had Bush served or paid any fucking attention during AmeriKKKa's adventurism in Vietnam he would have been slightly aware of the trouble "body counts" led to in that all-AmeriKKKan failure.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
She took him square on, fearlessly, by which I mean in part that she showed no awkwardness connected to race, or racial history. A small town mayor is kind of like a community organizer only you have actual responsibilities. He wrote two memoirs but never authored a major bill. They've hauled the Styrofoam pillars back to the Hollywood lot.Gov. Palin isn't awkward about race at all. She's ready to bring it right out there. We all know what "community organizer" means in the world of the Rabid Weasels. It means "niggers being stirred up by outside agitators." It means "Remember George Wallace or whichever cracker Governor brought the phrase 'outside agitators' up." This is red meat, & it will not meet w/ as much disapproval as liberal wusses hope. Another fabulous rumor about Mme. Moosedropping is at a local (we guess) site, LA Progressive. You remember the children's story about Little Black Sambo & The Bitch, don't you? Time, like sands through the hourglass, runs out. One more from PN, however.
Cable news shows that had people insinuating Palin, whom America had not yet even met, was a bad mother, and that used her daughter's circumstances to examine Republican views on abstinence education? That was ugly.Ugly? WTF? Used the slutty daughter to illustrate the sheer idiocy of "abstinence education?" (Where's the "education" in that, BTW?) What better illustration than the chickens coming home to roost in Wasilla? Read the remainder of the piece, & you'll for whom it's "over." The bell tolls for thee, Peggy.
Friday, September 5, 2008
McCain's father, Jack, was a deeply ambitious sailor. Nicknamed "Good Goddamn McCain," he was a binge alcoholic who tried fitfully toward the end of his life to control his drinking. "When he was drunk," wrote McCain, "I did not recognize him." Jack married a charming woman who would be indispensable to his rise in the Navy. Roberta Wright was one of two beautiful identical twins, rich young women whose father had retired at 40 after making a killing as an oil wildcatter. Jack and Roberta eloped to Tijuana and were married in a room above Caesar's, the restaurant where, some say, the famous salad originated.If marrying an heiress was good enough for Daddy, why shouldn't it work for Trey? We have a vague sort of idea about George W. Bush's relationship (Oedipal) w/ his "Poppy." Do we need another fucked-up psychiatric basket case working his problems out on the world stage? Not to go out on a limb here, but perhaps not. Another exciting factoid from the Liberal Hymnal™©:
In fact, McCain lives by a series of honor codes, instilled in him by his father (an admiral) and his father's father (also an admiral). To boil them down to their simplest formulation: One must never lie, cheat or steal. McCain would be the first to admit that he has failed, sometimes spectacularly, at all three. But he also has perfected the familiar American ritual of coming clean and moving on.Wouldn't it be nice if someone, somewhere were held accountable for something & publicly shamed, fired, etc., rather than being forgiven over & over, as the religio-hypocrites love doing? Let alone getting a "Medal of Freedom" for allowing attacks on New York & the Pentagon. (We mean you, George Tenet.) But back to McCain & his "moral code." We're pretty much doubled up laughing. "Don't lie, cheat or steal." Wow, that's a new one. Very strict too. Dropping bombs on civilians from the relative safety of a jet aircraft is no moral or ethical problem. And allowing the torture of others in your name is cool. Really, the only "moral code" (of course the filthy, non-ending hypocrisy of those who chant "morality, morals, blah blah blah" incessantly has taken all value from the word "moral") one needs is "Do unto others as, etc." as first espoused by Gautama Buddha some 500 yrs. before the best part of the sky-fairy Jeezis ran down Joseph's leg. Or, to put it in terms even AmeriKKKans can understand: "Don't be a fucking asshole, asshole." Even his buddies admit he's a weaselly fuckwad.
"He is the best apologizer in politics," said Dan Schnur, who was McCain's campaign spokesman in 2000 and now directs the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC.One doesn't become "the best apologizer" w/o much for which to apologize. Let's be nice for thirty seconds, or at least note something interesting & possibly decent.
In his biography, "John McCain: An American Odyssey," Timberg wrote that McCain began cheating on Carol while serving in a training squadron in Florida. "Off duty, usually on routine cross-country flights to Yuma and El Paso, John started carousing and running around with women," he wrote. Carol McCain told Timberg, the only writer to have interviewed her extensively about the breakup, that McCain's imprisonment had nothing to do with their divorce: "I attribute it more to John turning 40 and wanting to be 25 again." But there is no question she was devastated. And their three children, Doug and Andy -- Carol's sons who McCain had adopted -- and Sidney, their daughter, were wounded as well. None attended their father's wedding. "I was certainly mad and disappointed at Dad," Andy McCain told the New York Times in 2000. "I hold him responsible. I don't hold Cindy responsible one bit." Andy, 46, is chief financial officer of Cindy McCain's beer distributorship.Pretty amazing that Andy, not even J. Sidney's biological son, has a job w/ Cinderella's beer company. That would seem at first glance to be a nice thing, but who knows what or who is being paid off? You can imagine that Andy could have been quite a bit of trouble for his step-father's various political campaigns, like Giuliani's son. And surprise, he doesn't hold Cinderella, his employer, one bit responsible for the whole ugly mess. No cheating, remember? (Hey, we can't be nice for even thirty seconds. What do you know?) A last question, raised by the photos in the Times piece. If this is Sid meeting his wife (The first one, Carol, in case you're confused.) after getting off the plane (no dates more specific than 1973, thanks mucho, Times) at Travis AFB, say, directly from Hanoi or a stop-over in Hawaii, & he's moving under his own powerthen what's the dilly-o that he manages to be gimping it up on crutches (Remember the days of wooden ones?) when he meets The Nix, also in 1973? We get a very slight impression from the Senator that he thinks his interminable (for him, sure, but in the telling thereof over & over as well) imprisonment has entitled him to be President of these United Snakes. Guess again, Mr. "Moral Code."
Popularity. Like Junior High. This is mostly because I'm curious. You should all be ashamed.
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