Monday, December 22, 2008

Space/Time Wasted

Again, some s. o. b. who wakes up hrs. before we do beats us to the punch on Bill Kristol. And notes the cynical ploy of liberal bible The NYT.
precisely why he was hired in the first place -- not for quality insight, but for the clicks that come from hosting a weekly intellectual highway accident.
Lazy late-riser that we are, we were only going to grab the last paragraph from Bloody Bill's column & point it out as extra stupid & meaningless, but the reminder that Bill is strictly 'phoning it in makes his last chunk just a bit ironic.
I’ve never heard Dick Cheney quote Kipling. But I suspect he might like Kipling, and that Kipling would admire him — a man who has never gone out of his way to look too good, nor talk too wise, but who has always, in four decades of public service, sought “to fill the unforgiving minute/With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run.”
Poor Bill. Can't even fill the unforgiving column before Christmas w/ sixty seconds of anything.

Maybe Torture Isn't So Bad An Idea After All

It'd be funny except, just as in Depression I, all you old people are about to be eating pet food again. But for the Bush Admin., whose gross & often deliberate incompetence & non-regulation has exponentially hurried the inevitable, can't get here too soon for us, end of America, to then accuse liberal bible The New York Times of "gross negligence" is, is...oh, crap. Physical violence of the most savage kind wreaked on everyone to the left of us wouldn't be satisfying enough.

Rick Warren/B. Obama/Anti-Christ Connection?

Pastor Rick's not fooling Pastor Harry/CH of PHL-INT. And Harry may be correct. How do we know Rick Warren isn't the anti-Christ? Other, of course, than the non-existence of a "Christ." And the inability of the U. N. to do anything effective. (You'll have to check Pastor Harry's site. Something to do w/ a U. N.-appointed messiah/A-C. We're still thinking Barack Obama's the anti-Christ, but maybe he's just Pastor Rick's helper. So hard to keep up these days.) 

"Spiritual Lostness"

From Pastor Rick's personal website.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Church is everywhere in the world. There are villages that have little else, but they do have a church. Rick Warren --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Church is the most magnificent concept ever created. It has survived persistent abuse, horrifying persecution, and widespread neglect. Yet despite its faults (due to our sinfulness), it is still God’s chosen instrument of blessing and has been for 2,000 years.

The Church will last for eternity, and because it is God’s instrument for ministry here on Earth, it is truly the greatest force on the face of the Earth. That’s why I believe tackling the world’s biggest problems – the giants of spiritual lostness, egocentric leadership, poverty, disease, and ignorance – can only be done through the Church.

Let's see here. Egocentric leadership? Certainly not a problem w/ "The Church." No one could possibly get the impression that this tub of lard would just love to have a "Church" that rules the world while he's the Pope thereof, could one? This toad has such a huge ego that he can walk around decrying poverty & disease, yet obviously eats enough to feed a starving village, & hasn't the discipline to trim down a few stone. Ignorance? That's "The Church's" specialty. Promoting it, that is. We're not going near "Spiritual Lostness?" Seriously, can any one even define this alleged "spirituality?" We suspect that if it exists, it has more to do w/ spirits of alcohol than ghosts. And "lostness?" Work on your English before you start working on the rest of the world, porky.
Yet somehow, despite the "persistent abuse" & "horrifying persecution" that the Christian church has inflicted on its fellow humanoids (think Crusades & Inquisition, for starters) it has survived. 
And Rick (or his Holy Ghost Writer) states "The Church will last for eternity," then goes on to list eight "distinct advantages" the "Church" has over gov't. & business, the eighth of which is: 
8. The Church provides for God’s conclusion. Since we believe the Bible is God’s Word, we already know the end of history. Jesus said in Matthew 24: “The good news about God’s Kingdom will be preached in all the world to every nation, and then the end will come.” It is inevitable and unavoidable.
So much for the eternity of the "Church." But what is the big fucking deal? All of these freaks continually proclaim the imminent end of the fucking world (Of which we are entirely in favor, so we hate these bozos w/ an extra passion, for having led us on again & again.) so why do we have to fix the world in the first place, if it's all about to go up in flames? How these fucks will end ignorance when they can't master logic is beyond us.
It wasn't Orwell who invented Newspeak.

Gawd DAMN AmeriKKKa!!!!

From Aravosis of AMERICAblog, an excellent question:
Why is Rick Warren's work on AIDS in Africa, a mostly heterosexual disease over there, indicative of his love for American gays? And something interesting about Fat Boy Warren's Church of Hate website. It changes, just like magic! We thought the religious, the right, & the religious right were all about sticking firmly to their time-tested principles, standing up for what they believe, & so forth. Seldom do they define their principles & beliefs, but considering how much they talk about standing up & sticking to, you'd think that consistency was the greatest virtue. Right until Big Brother tells them what actually happened, & what the new principles & beliefs are.

Laura Bush: Underwhelming

The New Yorker talks w/ publishers about Pickles' potential book.

“She was not forthcoming about anything that I would consider controversial,” the publisher who met with her said. “We questioned her rigorously, but it was one-word answers. I considered it the worst, or the most frustrating, meeting of its sort that I’ve ever had.” He added, “But she really couldn’t have been nicer.” He said that his company would not be making an offer on the book, which was expected to sell for a couple of million dollars.

“I chose not to meet with her,” a publisher at another company said. “I got the impression that everyone was totally underwhelmed by her. That’s why there’s so little buzz.”

This Date in History - Dec. 22, by The Associated Press

The Associated Press
Monday, December 22, 2008; 12:01 AM
Today is Monday, Dec. 22, the 357th day of 2008. There are nine days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
In 1858, opera composer Giacomo Puccini was born in Lucca, Italy.
On this date:
In 1775, Esek Hopkins was appointed the commander-in-chief of the Continental Navy.
In 1808, Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67, and Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68, also known as the "Pastoral Symphony," had their world premieres in Vienna, Austria.
In 1864, during the Civil War, Union Gen. William T. Sherman wrote a message to President Abraham Lincoln which said in part: "I beg to present you as a Christmas-gift the city of Savannah."
In 1894, French army officer Alfred Dreyfus was convicted of treason in a court-martial that triggered worldwide charges of anti-Semitism. (Dreyfus was eventually vindicated.)
In 1922, M. "Chas." Bouffant's immediate male ancestor was born.
In 1944, during the World War II Battle of the Bulge, U.S. Brigadier General Anthony C. McAuliffe rejected a German demand for surrender, writing "Nuts!" in his official reply.
In 1968, Julie Nixon married David Eisenhower in a private ceremony in New York.
In 1977, three dozen people were killed when a 250-foot-high grain elevator at the Continental Grain Company plant in Westwego, La., exploded.
In 1984, New York City resident Bernhard Goetz shot and wounded four youths on a Manhattan subway, claiming they were about to rob him.
In 1988, Brazilian environmentalist Chico Mendes was shot and killed. (A rancher, Darly Alves da Silva, was sentenced in 1990 to 19 years in jail for ordering Mendes slain.)
In 2001, Richard C. Reid, a passenger on an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami, tried to ignite explosives in his shoes, but was subdued by flight attendants and other passengers. (Reid is serving a life sentence.)
Ten years ago: A Chinese dissident (Qin Yongmin) was sentenced to prison for trying to organize an opposition party. (Qin remains in prison.)
Five years ago: A magnitude 6.5 earthquake hit California's central coast, killing two people. A federal judge ruled the Pentagon couldn't enforce mandatory anthrax vaccinations for military personnel. Colombian rebels freed four Israelis and a Briton held hostage for 101 days.
One year ago: A jury in Riverhead, N.Y., convicted John White, a black man, of second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Daniel Cicciaro, a white teenager, during a confrontation outside White's house. (The 17-year-old was shot in the face after he showed up with two carloads of friends to confront White's son after a dispute at a party.)
Today's Birthdays: Former House Speaker Jim Wright is 86. ABC News correspondent Diane Sawyer is 63. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Steve Carlton is 64. Baseball All-Star Steve Garvey is 60. Golfer Jan Stephenson is 57.
Thought for Today: "Anger makes dull men witty, but it keeps them poor." — Attributed to Queen Elizabeth I of England (1533-1603). [Holy crap, how'd she figure us out? — Ed.]
From the World of Distraction on Today's Date:
In 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono met for an hour with Canada's prime minister. Earlier that day, they had met with Canada's minister of health to discuss drug abuse.
In 1973, Stephen Stills lost a paternity suit brought on by a Mill Valley, California, woman. The child had been born about two years earlier.
In 1976, singer Isaac Hayes declared bankruptcy.
In 1978, Kenney Jones became the drummer for The Who, replacing Keith Moon, who died four months earlier.
In 1979, the first of four "Concerts for the People of Kampuchea" was held in London. Performers included The Clash, Paul McCartney, The Pretenders and The Who.
In 1983, actors Parker Stevenson and Kirstie Alley got married. They have since split up.
In 1988, Morissey performed for the first time as a solo act in England.
In 1990, Pearl Jam performed for the first time together, under the name Mookie Blaylock, as the opening act for Alice In Chains in Seattle.
In 1995, actress Butterfly McQueen died of burns suffered when her house outside Augusta, Georgia, caught on fire. She was 84. She's probably best known for playing Prissy in "Gone With The Wind."
In 2000, Madonna married Guy Ritchie at a church in Scotland.
In 2002, singer-guitarist Joe Strummer of The Clash died of sudden cardiac arrest at his home in southwest England. He was 50.
Today's Show Biz Birthdays: Actress Barbara Billingsley is 93. Seen below trying to look sexy on the "Beaver" set, & some yrs. later, still w/ the pearl necklace.Actor Hector Elizondo is 72. Country singer Red Steagall is 70. Rock singer-musician Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick) is 62. Singer Robin Gibb is 59. Actress BernNadette Stanis is 55. Rapper Luther Campbell is 48. Country singer-musician Chuck Mead (BR5-49) is 48. Actor Ralph Fiennes is 46. Actress Lauralee Bell is 40. Country singer Lori McKenna is 40. Actress Dina Meyer is 40.
Associated Press

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Resource Competition Divides Along Religio-Fascist Lines

How did this happen?

Aleosan, Philippines – On a muddy, shaded track between fertile farmlands, 30 men lounge in flip-flops and tattered camoflauge [sic], displaying their beaten-up M-16 and AK-47 assault rifles.

They call themselves ilaga or "rats" in a local Philippines dialect. They're vigilantes: Christian farmers who have taken up arms to protect their land and families against Muslim rebels in this troubled corner of the southern Philippines.

Ah, here's how it happened: Indigenous suck-ups to the Spanish colonizers (to the extent of adopting the imperial religion & even "Christian" names) did a bit of colonizing themselves.

The town of Aleosan lies on the faultline of communal divisions in Mindanao. The Moros – as Muslims here call themselves – regard this and surrounding areas as part of their ancestral homeland. But much of Aleosan's land has now been owned and farmed for decades by Christians from the central Philippines, who settled here after World War II with government encouragement.

To add to the fun, 

Hundreds of thousands of Muslim civilians remain in makeshift camps, afraid to return to their homes. And Malaysian monitors who helped enforce a cease-fire left Nov. 30 after their mandate expired.
Remind anyone of anything?

A very tiny bit of humor in all of this.

After being burned by the Supreme Court, the MILF now has little faith that the Philippines government is a reliable negotiating partner. "We can resume talks," said MILF spokesman Eid Kabalu. "But we doubt very much [that] we can achieve a satisfactory and viable outcome."

Uh, that's Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Mr. Cabaya agrees. He says he can accept giving the Muslims more land and autonomy, but he thinks the proposed deal went too far. "I think the conflict will be worse if demands of the MILF are met, because their demand is [for] a separate state," says Cabaya. "It's being disguised as autonomy, but in essence it's a separate state."

Break up old colonial borders? Bad idea. For some.

Religio-Fascism On Its Jackbooted March Across The Face of Humanity

(0:53) of "raw" video of Hindu nationalists trashing a Nokia store somewhere in India, because a Nokia mobile navigation system shows Kashmir as Pakistani territory. Who says Mooooslims are the only crazy religious group? 

Closely consider the phrase "Hindu Nationalists." Anything wrong w/ that? 

More Fun w/ Shoes & Pies

...No Shoes, & Then I Met A Man Who Had No Feet.

AP Counts It, Then Announces It as "News." The Treasonous Perfidy!

US military deaths in Iraq war at 4,210 AP - Sat Dec 20, 8:25 PM ET As of Saturday, Dec. 20, 2008, at least 4,210 members of the U.S. military had died in the Iraq war since it began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.
Non-U. S. forces in Iraq: After the Dec. 31 expiration of the U.N. mandate authorizing military operations in Iraq, the only coalition troops to remain will be the U.S., Britain, Australia, El Salvador, Estonia and Romania. Britain plans to withdraw its [4,000] troops by the end of May.

Australia has 1,000 troops in Iraq, followed by Romania with 501, El Salvador with 200 and Estonia with 40.

Does the phrase "Coalition of the Willing" come to mind?

The Lighter Side of Two Wks. of Demonstrations

The youth, & otherwise ("Otherwise? Otherwise, who has the time, or the energy? Ay.")* have been at it in Greece for two wks. now. There, value is assigned to human life. Plenty talk of valuing life in America, yet murder, by the police & everyone else, is a daily, hourly occurrence in the land of the free. The general reaction? "Meh, whaddaya expect?" (Abortion, of course, is another matter.)
And people, just look at the fun they're having in Greece! This is just the overnight report:

Hundreds of people gathered late Saturday in the Exarchia district at the site of the December 6 shooting of 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos for a protest organised by youths occupying Athens Polytechnic.

Protesters hurled firebombs at police who responded with tear gas. A group threw stones and Molotov cocktails at police and set fire to garbage bins, acts often seen in Exarchia since the boy's killing.

You're saying that it's become performance art, somewhere on the formalized to ritualized scale?
Police also clashed with protesters after a separate demonstration against racism that was attended by around 200 people in Syntagma Square.

"Migrants are killed, schoolchildren are killed," said banners carried by the protesters who marched to the Greek parliament.

Protesters threw garbage at police who ringed a Christmas tree on the main square. The tree was brought in last week after the original was torched at the height of unrest following the schoolboy's death.

Later, a group threw a petrol bomb at a building housing a banking services company, although there was only minor damage and the fire was quickly brought under control.

In Nea Philadelfia, a western suburb of Athens, demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails at the police academy and torched six police vehicles parked nearby, without causing any casualties, police said.

Another group of youths set fire to garbage cans in the northern suburb of Aghia Paraskevi.


In the northern city of Thessaloniki, youths occupied a hall being used for a film festival while others pelted the city mayor with pastries, police said.

Masked youths Friday attacked the French cultural institute in Athens after about 1,000 students and communist activists staged a march to condemn a second shooting on Wednesday in which the son of a teacher's union official was slightly wounded.

Protesters demanding justice over Grigoropoulos's death continue to occupy hundreds of schools and many universities across Greece.

The Athens Polytechnic, site of a 1973 student uprising that hastened the fall of military dictatorship in Greece, is among the occupied campuses.

And Europe is becoming a true community.

German police on Saturday arrested 10 people and suffered four injuries in fighting with demonstrators staging a rally in Hamburg in support of the Greek protests, officials said.

About 1,300 police were mobilised to monitor the approximately 1,000 demonstrators who marched to the Greek consulate in the northern port city.

Tear it up, righteous youth from the cradle of democracy! (It needed a cradle for some time after the ancient Greeks birthed it, as it was a weak & fitful concept.) Squash the fascist insect!! At least keep pelting police w/ garbage & mayors w/ pastries. And don't let that new X-mess tree go unburned. 
Hoping this advice is worth every drachma you paid for it, we remain,
M. Bouffant, Armchair General of the Revolution,
*who appears to be channeling an inner wretch rather than an inner child. Or may be channeling a second childhood sort of an inner child. 

It's That Wonderful Time of the Year

Inflated Telebision

As people who are actually paid (we're betting not as much as guessed) for public typing say, "expect light blogging." The management at the Neon Motel has installed a digital telebision set in the monastic cell whence we type, which may be distracting for a day or two. 
Or not. The greatest result of this technological marvel seems to be an addition to the already infinite-seeming supply of infomercials, more Korean, Japanese & Chinese drama (not nearly enough of it w/ English sub-titles) at least two channels offering PBS quality (pablum for two-yr.-olds) animated programming for children, added channels for public television offerings too boring to have been shown on general broadcast before, & two local weather channels. Inflation at work.

Bouffant's Believe It Or Shove It!

Take it or leave it, Alley Oop is still published, after 75 yrs. And he still has friends, as he has to remind us each wk.

Today in History - Dec. 21

By The AP - 1 hour 53 minutes ago
Today is Sunday, Dec. 21, the 356th day of 2008. There are 10 days left in the year. Winter will arrive at 7:04 a.m. Eastern time. The Jewish Festival of Lights, Hanukkah, begins at sunset.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Dec. 21, 1620, Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower went ashore for the first time at present-day Plymouth, Mass.
On this date:
In 1804
, British statesman Benjamin Disraeli was born in London.
In 1940, author F. Scott Fitzgerald died in Hollywood, Calif., at age 44.
In 1945, Gen. George S. Patton died in Heidelberg, Germany, of injuries from a car accident.
Sixty years ago, in 1948, the state of Eire, or Ireland, passed an act declaring itself a republic.
Fifty years ago, in 1958, Charles de Gaulle was elected to a seven-year term as the first president of the Fifth Republic of France.
Forty years ago, in 1968, Apollo 8 was launched on a mission to orbit the moon.
In 1971, the U.N. Security Council chose Kurt Waldheim to succeed U Thant as Secretary-General.
In 1976, the Liberian-registered tanker Argo Merchant broke apart near Nantucket Island, off Massachusetts, almost a week after running aground, spilling 7 1/2 million gallons of oil into the North Atlantic.
Twenty years ago, in 1988, 270 people were killed when a terrorist bomb exploded aboard a Pam Am Boeing 747 over Lockerbie, Scotland, sending wreckage crashing to the ground.
Ten years ago: Israel's parliament voted overwhelmingly for early elections, signaling the demise of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's ailing hard-line government. A Chinese court sentenced two dissidents (Xu Wenli, Wang Youcai) to long prison terms for trying to organize an opposition party. (Xu was released in December 2002; Wang, in March 2004.)
Five years ago: The government raised the national threat level to orange, indicating a high risk of terrorist attack. (It was lowered back to yellow on Jan. 9, 2004.) More than 150 people were killed in mudslides in the Philippines. Soviet diplomat Oleg Troyanovsky died at age 84.
One year ago: A suicide attacker detonated a bomb at a mosque outside the home of Pakistan's former interior minister, killing at least 50 people.
Today's Birthdays: Country singer Freddie Hart is 82. Actor Ed Nelson is 80. Talk show host Phil Donahue is 73. Movie director John Avildsen is 73. Actress Jane Fonda is 71. [Here she is in Cleveland, Oh., a bit over 38 yrs. ago, resisting. 5' 8" & 126#. Mm. — Sexist Pig Editor.]Singer Carla Thomas is 66. Musician Albert Lee is 65. Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas is 64. Actor Samuel L. Jackson is 60. Movie producer Jeffrey Katzenberg is 58. Singer Betty Wright is 55. Tennis Hall-of-Famer Chris Evert is 54. Actress Jane Kaczmarek is 53. Country singer Lee Roy Parnell is 52. Entertainer Jim Rose is 52. Actor-comedian Ray Romano is 51. Country singer Christy Forester (The Forester Sisters) is 46. Rock musician Murph (The Lemonheads; Dinosaur Jr.) is 44. Actor-comedian Andy Dick is 43. Rock musician Gabrielle Glaser is 43. Actor Kiefer Sutherland is 42. Actress Karri Turner is 42. Actress Khrystyne Haje is 40. Actress Julie Delpy is 39. Singer-musician Brett Scallions is 37.
Thought for Today: "Many human beings say that they enjoy the winter, but what they really enjoy is feeling proof against it." — Richard Adams, English author.
And in the World of Entertainment on This Date:
On December 21st, 1933,
five-year-old Shirley Temple signed a movie contract with Fox. Her age was later changed to make her appear a year younger. 
In 1937, Disney released the movie "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," the first full-length animated film in Technicolor. 
In 1964, the book "Ode to a High-Flying Bird" by Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts was published. It was a tribute to jazz great Charlie Parker.
In 1968, Janis Joplin made her first appearance after leaving Big Brother and the Holding Company. She performed in Memphis at the second annual "Yuletide Thing" event sponsored by Stax-Volt Records. Also in 1968, Crosby, Stills and Nash performed together for the first time. 
In 1970, Elvis Presley paid a visit to President Nixon at the White House. 
In 1979, Chicago, The Eagles and Linda Ronstadt played the first of two concerts to raise campaign money for California governor Jerry Brown, Ronstadt's then-boyfriend. 
In 1991, actress Jane Fonda married broadcasting executive Ted Turner on his ranch in Florida. It was her 54th birthday. They've since split up. 
In 1996, singer Tony Bennett was rushed to a hospital in Washington after his hernia erupted while visiting the White House for a holiday dinner. He had to have emergency surgery but recovered without problems. Also in 1996, singer Lionel Richie married former dancer and fashion designer Diane Alexander in New York. 
In 2005, Elton John and his longtime partner, David Furnish, held a civil union ceremony in Windsor, England, the first day that same-sex partnerships became legal in Britain. Also in 2005, singer Howie Day was arrested for rowdy behavior on a flight from Dallas to Boston. He was sentenced to probation and rehab and was ordered to write letters of apology to the crew and passengers. [Who the fuck is Howie Day? — Ed.]

Saturday, December 20, 2008

By David Horsey

Confidence Builder

Holy crap, we're even more not-scared now. We're circling the drain, says Joseph Biden, future vice-president of these United Snakes, in an interview w/ tiny George Stephanopoulos to air Sun. Little George was so fucking excited, though, that he had to spill the beans in one of those "web-boy" things the kids have now.
Vice President-Elect Joe Biden said the U.S. economy is in danger of "absolutely tanking" and will need a second stimulus package in the $600-billion to $700-billion range. "The economy is in much worse shape than we thought it was in," Biden told me [.] [...] "There is no short run other than keeping the economy from absolutely tanking. That's the only short run," Biden told me.
That Ross Perot sucking sound has become the gurgling of a toilet about to be firmly flushed.

I Invoke You, Azrael, O Prince Of Darkness

We'd never heard of Linda Hirshman until she & that Megan McArdle we specifically mock (rather than the all-purpose but scattershot mockery here) got into some sort of public disagreement, though merely "Internet public," so there was no physical confrontation, hair-pulling or any of that other stuff, voyeuristic pigs. On the basis of her having complained to Mlle. McA. about a mis-spelling, we'll link to Ms. Hirshman's imaginative compilation of Big Rick Warren's various statements into what his (imaginary) Inaugural invocation might be. If he weren't a big fat coward hiding his insane beliefs from the larger, semi-rational public, that is. (It's no wonder we'd never heard of Hirshman before: she seems to be stuck at a site called the HuffingPost, which to us just sounds dangerous to brain cells. Maybe some exposure here will help her career, even in this economy. We're always giving back, you know.)

A Doll's House

This photo looks like a horror movie is about to break out. What's really going on here?
Marie Osmond holds her "Adora Pink Flamingo Belle" doll (L) and "Baby Elvis Military" doll during a doll signing event at the Flamingo Las Vegas, December 12, 2008. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images
The concept of the "Baby Elvis Military" doll is alien to us &, we fervently hope, to all other decent Americans as well. The JonBenet number on the left is too hideous even to contemplate.

Cinema Corner

Hey there film fans, today we have allegedly Marxist film criticism to keep you busy until Mommie wakes up. We shall look at what the author terms "Sagebrush Noir," & try to figure if he's cracked or what. Not that it would be astonishing & unprecedented for a studio hack to re-hack a gangster script as a Western. If you'd wanted to read anything you'd have clicked away by now, so let's look at posters of three of the four flicks Mr. Shepler (Dare we say it?) deconstructs. Most of the traffic here is for images anyway, not the cleverwriting; so here, we give up. Three out of four isn't bad, unless one of the three is the cover of the sound-track album.Of course, one wouldn't be much of a Marxist film crit w/o a French poster.Here in Gawd's own English, big & colorful, the best known of the four.

Invocation of My Demon Brother

Lotsa stink about goateed bloviator Rick Warren giving the Inaugural "invocation," whatever that might be. Are they summoning demons? What is being invoked then, good weather? Does the new high-tech green economy require witchcraft to get rolling? Here's a bit of the stink, from TIME.
He then helpfully added that he's also "opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that a marriage." The reporter, who may have been a little surprised, asked, "Do you think those are equivalent to gays getting married?" "Oh, I do," Warren immediately answered. I wish the reporter had asked the next logical follow-up: If gays are like child-sex offenders, shouldn't we incarcerate them?
Reminds us of the "If abortion is murder, do you want to lock up women & doctors for life?" question. John Aravosis of AMERICAblog is on this like wrinkles on a cheap suit, & has a link to audio of Big Boy Warren extolling Syria. You know, the terrorist supporting, Israel-hating Syria. We also present your president-to-be, 28 yrs. ago.

Today in History - Dec. 20 by The Associated Press – 2 hrs 22 mins ago

Today is Saturday, Dec. 20, the 355th day of 2008. There are 11 days left in the year. Today's Highlight in History: Two Hundred & five yrs. ago, in 1803, the Louisiana Purchase was completed as ownership of the territory was formally transferred from France to the United States during ceremonies in New Orleans. Not as High a Light, According to the AP: In 1790, the first successful cotton mill in the United States began operating at Pawtucket, R.I. In 1860, South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union. In 1945, the Office of Price Administration announced the end of tire rationing, effective Jan. 1st, 1946. In 1963, the Berlin Wall was opened for the first time to West Berliners, who were allowed one-day visits to relatives in the Eastern sector for the holidays. Forty yrs. ago, in 1968, author John Steinbeck died in New York at age 66. In 1976, Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley died at age 74. Thirty yrs. ago, in 1978, former White House chief of staff H.R. Haldeman was released from prison after serving 18 months for his role in the Watergate cover-up. In 1987, more than 4,300 people were killed when the Dona Paz, a Philippine passenger ship, collided with the tanker Vector off Mindoro island. In 1989, the United States launched Operation Just Cause, sending troops into Panama to topple the government of Gen. Manuel Noriega. In 1999, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled that homosexual couples were entitled to the same benefits and protections as wedded couples. Ten yrs. ago: Nkem Chukwu gave birth in Houston to five girls and two boys, 12 days after giving birth to another child, a girl. (However, the tiniest of the octuplets died a week later.) Five yrs. ago: Spain's prime minister, Jose Maria Aznar, paid a surprise visit to Spanish soldiers in Iraq. Friends and relatives of Michael Jackson descended on his Neverland Ranch to show their support for the entertainer as he fought child molestation charges (Jackson was later acquitted). One yr. ago: Police used chemical spray and stun guns on protesters outside a New Orleans City Council meeting where members unanimously supported demolition of 4,500 public housing units for redevelopment. Thieves broke into the Sao Paulo Museum of Art in Brazil and made off with paintings by Pablo Picasso and Candido Portinari. A British judge acquitted the only man charged with murder in Northern Ireland's deadliest terror attack: the 1998 car bombing that killed 29 people in the town of Omagh. Utah opened the bowl season with a wild 35-32 victory over the Navy Midshipmen in the Poinsettia Bowl. Today's Birthdays: Actress Audrey Totter is 91. Comedian Charlie Callas is 81. Actor John Hillerman is 76. Actress Kathryn Joosten is 69. Rock musician-music producer Bobby Colomby is 64. Rock musician Peter Criss is 63. Psychic/illusionist fake & con-man Uri Geller is 62. Producer Dick Wolf ("Law & Order") is 62. Rock musician Alan Parsons is 60. Actress Jenny Agutter is 56.
Actress Blanche Baker is 52.
Rock singer Billy Bragg is 51. Mike Watt (The Secondmen, Minutemen, fIREHOSE) is 51.[Mike is apparently enjoying his special day in Tokyo. — Ed.] Thought for Today: "There are two days in the week about which and upon which I never worry. Two carefree days, kept sacredly free from fear and apprehension. One of these days is Yesterday. ... And the other ... is Tomorrow." — Robert Jones Burdette, American clergyman and author (1844-1914). [Stupid is as stupid does — Ed.]

Supposedly Entertaining History: On Dec. 20, 1958, George Harrison, Paul McCartney and John Lennon performed as The Quarrymen at the wedding reception of Harrison's brother, Harry. ["It was 50 yrs. ago today..." — Ed.] In 1967, singer Ian Anderson and bassist Glenn Cornick formed Jethro Tull. Also in 1967, singer Jimmy Rodgers was beaten during a roadside attack in Los Angeles. He had to have three brain operations and had a steel plate put into his skull. In 1973, singer Bobby Darin died during open heart surgery. He was 37. In 1975, former James Gang member Joe Walsh joined The Eagles. He replaced Bernie Leadon, who left The Eagles for a solo career. [How'd that work out for ya, banjo boy? — Ed.] In 1981, the musical "Dreamgirls," which was loosely based on the career of Diana Ross and the Supremes, premiered on Broadway. In 1986, Randy Travis joined the Grand Ole Opry. In 1995, the members of The Drifters were forbidden to leave Guyana after a series of concerts. They owed about $4,000 in entertainment taxes. In 2006, Eminem and Kim Mathers were divorced for a second time. They had first married in 1999 and divorced in 2001. They remarried in January 2006 and he field for divorce again that April. In 2007, Eddie Van Halen and Valerie Bertinelli settled their divorce. [Why & how could anyone possibly give a hoot? — Ed.]

Associated Press

Friday, December 19, 2008

While We're At It, Let's Screw Up 36,000 Lives Directly, & Who Knows How Many Others Indirectly

Kenneth Starr & the Sex Police are back. How much is the LDS Church (Mormon) paying Creepy Ken for this?
The Yes on 8 campaign filed a brief arguing that because the new law holds that only marriages between a man and a woman are recognized or valid in California, the state can no longer recognize the existing same-sex unions. The document reveals for the first time that opponents of same-sex marriage will fight in court to undo those unions that already exist. "Proposition 8's brevity is matched by its clarity. There are no conditional clauses, exceptions, exemptions or exclusions," reads the brief co-written by Kenneth Starr, dean of Pepperdine University's law school and the former independent counsel who investigated President Bill Clinton. [...] Both Attorney General Jerry Brown, whose office is scheduled to submit its own brief to the court Friday, and gay rights groups maintain that the gay marriage ban may not be applied retroactively. The Supreme Court could hear arguments in the litigation as soon as March. The measure's backers announced Friday that Starr, a former federal judge and U.S. solicitor general, had signed on as their lead counsel and would argue the cases. Salon provides breaking news articles from the Associated Press as a service to its readers, but does not edit the AP articles it publishes. Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Instant Karma, or: Death By Spite

Below: Paul Weyrich, not long before his death.
Eventual karma, if not instant, but what's a head-line for?
The cause of death was not immediately known, but Weyrich had faced a number of medical crises over the last dozen years, including diabetes and the amputation of both legs in 2005. [...] In 2001 he was roundly attacked from the right and left for writing in an Easter letter to supporters that "Christ was crucified by the Jews." One critic, a writer for a conservative publication, called him a "demented anti-Semite." Weyrich said his comment was misconstrued and he apologized.
We're absolutely certain that his statement was entirely out of context. That's why he was able to clarify it rather than apologize. Huh? Read it again?

No More Shoes!

Well, three more. And some Republican shoe "humor."

Annals of Anti-Theism (One of Quite a Few)

C. Hitchens, at it again, on the bloated Rick Warren. (Show some compassionate X-ianity & let a starving wretch have one of your second or third helpings sometime, Dick. Oh, it's Rick? Sorry, natural mistake, heh-heh.) Although the sub-head is a fine shortening. If we must have an officiating priest, surely we can do better than this vulgar huckster.

Meth Capital of Alaska?

When Sarah Palin first appeared on the national scene, there was mention that her hometown of Wasilla was the "meth capital of Alaska." This was not further explored by the national media, what w/ Gov. P., her interviews, wardrobe and enthusiastically greeted campaign stops being more than enough to keep that ol' blah blah blah "media" distracted. And what if Wasilla is Alaskan Meth HQ (other than The Gov.'s having been the mayor)? The criminal element, even in a crime "capital," is a minuscule part of the population. As a resident of Los Angeles, we're certain that every heinous activity known to man & beast is occurring w/in ten miles of us; probably a 'phone call away if we knew the number. (Probably w/in five miles, too, but we're being conservative.) This, however, is a different deal entirely. We hope, guess & assume that the Palins, & illegitimate father Levi Johnston (the next generation of Heath-Palin-Johnstons is due Sat., by the way) have nothing to do w/ any of this, but they're just a few degrees of separation short of veep material here. One heart-beat from the presidency, but two or three from the meth lab? We think not. NB: The accused are presumed innocent until proven guilty. No charges had been filed by end of business yesterday, Ms. Johnston is out on bail, & for all we know, the only thing even remotely resembling criminal activity on her part may have been giving a Midol© to a 13 yr. old, or growing some you-know-what in the back yard. But speaking of the Johnston backyard, it's the middle of December in Alaska (we're assuming this is a picture of the bust Wednes., as Ms. J. looks to be "hiding" some bracelets behind her back, although she doesn't have much of a "Holy fuck, I've just been busted, & I'm in handcuffs!" expression) & there's no snow on the ground? Snow in Malibu or not, global warming/change is here.

Or maybe not. Further investigation reveals this to be an "archive" shot: "AL GRILLO / Associated Press archive 2008 /" Maybe she was practicing going around in handcuffs earlier this yr. Or simply has dishpan hands.

Shoes for Industry! Shoes for the Dead!! (In Contrasty B&W)

Note how the artist has drawn Dear Leader as a turkey:And the Grand Prize winner, for both the B&W & Color divisions, is:

Another Triumph of Colonialism

Top envoy for Africa: Zimbabwe has collapsed
U.S. official warns of impending Somalia-scale chaos, worsening disease
Updated 2:30 p.m. PT, Thurs., Dec. 18, 2008
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) - Zimbabwe has collapsed, and the world must act now to keep it from deteriorating into Somalia-scale chaos, the top U.S. envoy for Africa said Thursday. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer said questions about how much longer Zimbabwe can withstand hunger, disease and political stalemate before disintegrating ignore that "there is a complete collapse right now."

Operation Bringing Democracy to Iraq, Or Else

Watch this, wherein, after jarhead Scott Ritter, cross-eyed Ron Christie, flag lapel pin firmly attached, assures us that "democracy is flourishing" or some such crap in Iraq.
Is that the spin on the arrest of the 35 Iraqi Interior Ministry people accused of plotting to bring back the Baath party? That democracy has triumphed? Here's the clearest indication that democracy isn't exactly blooming in Iraq:
[O]fficials also said that the arrests had come at the hand of an elite counterterrorism force that reports directly to the office of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki.
You see, Ron Christie & others who spout the party line, when the P. M. of a nation has "an elite counterterrorism force that reports directly to [his] office" that is a secret police force, whether it's called a "counterterrorism forcee or the plumbers. And when 
Rumors of coups, conspiracies and new alliances abound in the Iraqi capital a month before provincial elections. Critics of Mr. Maliki say he has been using arrests to consolidate power.
Iraq is a nation where leadership has often changed by coup, and as next month’s provincial elections approach, worry about violence is increasing. So are accusations about politically charged detentions.
The only thing flourishing is instability.

Matt Bors Item

Below is what we anxiously await, as mentioned in the nihilistic feature two items down.

He Said It, He Meant It

George W. Bush:
"I've abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system." — Washington, D.C., Dec. 16, 2008
Per Slate, see him say it at 1:40.

"So Tired, Tired of Waiting..."

It's the purgatory of limbo in here, & we aren't referring to our eating habits. There's the between administrations limbo, & the nihilist's anxious waiting for tangible, visible evidence of the upcoming economic horror. As far as we can determine, there's plenty of media blather, but other than a distinct lack of restaurant patronage, easily noted by the expectant faces atop white shirts peering out the windows of eateries all over, the country hasn't yet fallen apart, & the sheep are still taking it. 
In Greece, the entire fucking country goes nuts for more than a week over the police murder (alleged) of an unknown teen-ager. In AmeriKKKa, the national treasury is poured directly into the pockets of the financiers, even as the auto workers & their pig manufacturing bosses are left to twist in the wind as certain Southern Senators plot to sell American workers to the Japanese & Kraut automakers our boys died to kill a mere 60 odd yrs. ago, and the story is "covered" on the op-ed page, not reported as news or information that might be of use to someone.
The late Jimbo Morrison wanted to "get my kicks, before the whole shithouse goes up in flames." We've had our kicks, how much longer must we wait for the flames?

For The Widows & Orphans

There's been enough time for the cartoonists to get their shoes on, & for us to collect a few. (Just a few, believe us.)

Show Biz Today (In History)

In 1955, Carl Perkins recorded "Blue Suede Shoes" at Sun Records in Memphis. In 1957, the musical "The Music Man," starring Robert Preston, opened on Broadway. In 1975, the C.W. McCall single "Convoy" went gold in the US. In 1980, Dolly Parton's first movie, "9 to 5," opened nationwide. In 1985, country singer Johnny Paycheck was arrested for shooting a man during a fight in Hillsboro, Ohio. He was released from jail in 1991. In 1991, Oliver Stone's controversial film "JFK" premiered in Dallas, where President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. In 1995, one person was killed and several others injured on the set of the Disney movie "Gone Fishin'." A boat used in a stunt went out of control and landed on a group of people. In 1997, the movie "Titanic" opened. It was the most expensive movie ever made. In 2000, musician Pops Staples of The Staple Singers died at his home outside Chicago at the age of 84. He had been recovering from a concussion suffered four weeks earlier. That same day, guitarist Rob Buck of 10,000 Maniacs died of complications from liver failure. He was 42.
Associated Press

Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh!
NLF is Gonna Win!!

Today in History - Dec. 19

By The Associated PressAP - 1 hour 16 minutes ago
Today is Friday, Dec. 19, the 354th day of 2008. There are 12 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
In 1843, "A Christmas Carol," by Charles Dickens, was first published in England.
On this date:
In 1777, Gen. George Washington led his army of about 11,000 men to Valley Forge, Pa., to camp for the winter.
In 1813, British forces captured Fort Niagara during the War of 1812.
In 1907, 239 workers died in a coal mine explosion in Jacobs Creek, Pa.
In 1932, the British Broadcasting Corporation began transmitting overseas with its Empire Service to Australia.
In 1946, war broke out in Indochina as troops under Ho Chi Minh launched widespread attacks against the French.
In 1957, Meredith Willson's musical play "The Music Man" opened on Broadway.
In 1972, Apollo 17 splashed down in the Pacific, winding up the Apollo program of manned lunar landings.
In 1974, Nelson A. Rockefeller was sworn in as the 41st vice president of the United States.
In 1986, Lawrence E. Walsh was appointed independent counsel to investigate the Iran-Contra affair.
In 1997, a SilkAir Boeing 737-300 plunged from the sky, crashing into an Indonesian river and killing all 104 people aboard.
Ten years ago: President Bill Clinton was impeached by the Republican-controlled House for perjury and obstruction of justice (he was later acquitted by the Senate). Two days after his confession of marital infidelity, Bob Livingston told the House he wouldn't serve as its next speaker. President Clinton halted airstrikes against Iraq after a fourth day of attacks.
Five years ago: Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi agreed to halt his nation's drive to develop nuclear and chemical weapons. Design plans were unveiled for the signature skyscraper - a 1,776-foot glass tower - at the site of the World Trade Center in New York City. Death claimed actress Hope Lange at age 70 and actor Les Tremayne at age 90.
One year ago: President George W. Bush signed legislation increasing fuel-efficiency standards for vehicles and requiring wider use of ethanol. An explosion and fire at a chemical plant in Jacksonville, Fla., killed four workers. An express train derailed in southern Pakistan, killing at least 40 people. Former Hyundai CEO Lee Myung-bak won South Korea's presidency. Rescuers found Frederick Dominguez and his three children, who had been lost in the mountains for three days during a snowstorm, in a northern California ravine.
Today's Birthdays: Country singer Little Jimmy Dickens is 88. Composer-lyricist Robert Sherman ("Mary Poppins") is 83. Actress Cicely Tyson is 75. Rhythm-and-blues singer-musician Maurice White (Earth, Wind and Fire) is 67. Actor Tim Reid is 64. Paleontologist Richard E. Leakey is 64. Rock singer Alvin Lee (Ten Years After) is 64. Actress Elaine Joyce is 63. Musician John McEuen is 63. Singer Janie Fricke is 61.Jazz musician Lenny White is 59. Actor Mike Lookinland is 48. Actress Jennifer Beals is 45. Actress Kristy Swanson is 39. Model Tyson Beckford is 38. Actress Amy Locane is 37. Actress Rosa Blasi is 36. Actress Alyssa Milano is 36. Actor Jake Gyllenhaal is 28. Actress Marla Sokoloff is 28. Rapper Lady Sovereign is 23.

Thought for Today: "Politics is the art of preventing people from taking part in affairs which properly concern them." - Paul Valery, French poet and critic (1871-1945).