Saturday, December 13, 2008

3,000 Wordsworth

He's No Patriot

Even lesbian/socialist/harridan Hillary has her paw over her heart. What have we done to This Great Nation of Ours™?

The "€700 Generation"

What up in Greece? Per The Guardian, among other things, the Greek "Cops! Pigs! [&] Murderers!" are just about out of tear-gas.
The teenagers and twenty-somethings who have come close to toppling the Greek government are not the marginalised: this is no replay of the riots that convulsed Paris in 2005. Many are sons and daughters of the middle classes, shocked at the killing of one of their own, disgusted with the government's incompetence and corruption, enraged by the broken promises of the education system, scared at the prospect of having to work still harder than their exhausted parents.
"Wooork?" We'd be rioting too. There's much more information on what an essentially Nazi shithole the country's been since the end of WWII. And what little hope there is, & that there's no reason to think the situation will improve any time soon.

B & W Line Drawings Time Again

Today in History - Dec. 13 by The Associated Press – 2 hrs 59 mins ago

Today is Saturday, Dec. 13, the 348th day of 2008. There are 18 days left in the year. Today's Highlight in History: On Dec. 13, 1862, Union forces suffered a major defeat to the Confederates in the Civil War Battle of Fredericksburg (VA). On this date: In 1642, Dutch navigator Abel Tasman sighted present-day New Zealand. In 1769, Dartmouth College, in New Hampshire, received its charter. In 1835, Phillips Brooks, the American Episcopal bishop who wrote the words to "O Little Town of Bethlehem," was born in Boston. Ninety years ago: In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson arrived in France, becoming the first chief executive to visit Europe while in office. Eighty years ago: In 1928, George Gershwin's musical work "An American in Paris" had its premiere, at Carnegie Hall in New York. In 1944, during World War II, the U.S. cruiser Nashville was badly damaged in a Japanese kamikaze attack that claimed more than 130 lives. Thirty years ago: In 1978, the Philadelphia Mint began stamping the Susan B. Anthony dollar, which went into circulation in July 1979. In 1981, authorities in Poland imposed martial law in a crackdown on the Solidarity labor movement. (Martial law formally ended in 1983.) In 1994, an American Eagle commuter plane crashed short of Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina, killing 15 of the 20 people on board. In 1996, the U.N. Security Council chose Kofi Annan of Ghana to become the world body's seventh secretary-general. Ten years ago: With a grave impeachment threat looming, President Bill Clinton told a news conference in Jerusalem he would not resign, and insisted he did not commit perjury. Voters in Puerto Rico rejected U.S. statehood. Five years ago: Saddam Hussein was captured by U.S. forces while hiding in a hole under a farmhouse in Adwar, Iraq, near his hometown of Tikrit. A summit to forge a European Union constitution collapsed in Brussels, Belgium. Oklahoma quarterback Jason White won the Heisman Trophy. Former Sen. William V. Roth Jr., R-Del., creator of Roth IRA accounts, died in Washington at age 82. One year ago: Democratic presidential hopefuls meeting in Johnston, Iowa, called for higher taxes on the highest-paid Americans and on big corporations in an unusually cordial debate. Shareholders of Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal, approved a takeover by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. Major League Baseball's Mitchell Report was released, identifying 85 names to differing degrees in connection with the alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs. Today's Birthdays: Former Secretary of State George P. Shultz is 88. Actor-comedian Dick Van Dyke is 83. Actor Christopher Plummer is 79. Actor Robert Prosky is 78. (Well, considering that he died last Monday, the 8th, let's say would have been. Well done, AP.)Country singer Buck White is 78. Music/film producer Lou Adler is 75. Movie producer Richard Zanuck is 74. Singer John Davidson is 67. Actress Kathy Garver (TV: "Family Affair") is 63. Singer Ted Nugent is 60. Rock musician Jeff "Skunk" Baxter is 60. Country musician Ron Getman is 60. Actor Robert Lindsay is 59. Country singer-musician Randy Owen is 59. Actress Wendie Malick is 58.Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is 55. Country singer John Anderson is 54. Singer-songwriter Steve Forbert is 54. Singer-actor Morris Day is 52. Actor Steve Buscemi is 51. Actor Johnny Whitaker is 49. Actor-comedian Jamie Foxx is 41. TV personality Debbie Matenopoulos is 34. Thought for Today: "My theory is to enjoy life, but the practice is against it." — Charles Lamb, English essayist (1775-1834).
© 2008 The Associated Press

Friday, December 12, 2008

Bettie Page in Motion & Memoriam

Who could imagine watching someone being dressed would be so entertaining?

Boring Statistical Extract

This was pimped to us as "scientific proof that Democrats are smarter than Republicans." Well, sure, but we thought they were joking around. We didn't know there was solid statistical evidence.
The divide between Republicans and Democrats in America continues to grow. And it isn't just about politics. The division is also between rich and poor, between those with college educations and those without. On average, Republican communities have lower incomes and less education than Democratic communities. And those differences are growing as people migrate.
To the advantage of the Donkey ShowParty, it can be assumed. Yep. 
People with fewer money-making skills are moving into counties that are voting increasingly Republican. Those with higher incomes (and more education) are moving into counties that are voting more Democratic. The more lopsided the local political victory, the greater the differences in income and education. [...] We don't pretend to understand the full meaning of how this country is dividing. We can see, however, that America is becoming more polarized not only politically but also educationally and economically—and that a country Balkanized by skills and by income has more troubles than one that is simply divided by votes.
Nothing but trouble ahead. That goofy Russki academician two items down may well be correct after all.

Color Cartoon Crap-Out

Which Way, U. S. A.?

Alright, at last the truth as to the end result of the financial/debt/credit/auto/bail-out/TARP/global economic & financial crisis.
As far as the fate of the USA is concerned, the aggravation of the financial crisis will destabilize the situation on both the employment market and between the states and the federal center. The political structure of the United States will become a lot more vulnerable. “There is no joint legislation on the territory of the country. The common Highway Code does not exist there either. The framework which holds the USA together is rather fragile. The armed forces in Iraq mainly consist of non-citizens of the USA. They serve there because they promise to grant them US citizenship,” Igor Panarin said. As a result, the country will split into six parts. “The first part is the US Pacific Coast. Here is an example. The Chinese make about 53 percent of San Francisco’s population. An ethnic Chinese used to be the governor of the State of Washington, whereas its capital, Seattle, is dubbed as the gateway for Chinese emigration to the USA. The Pacific Coast gradually falls under the influence of China. The second part is the south and the Mexicans. The Spanish language is widely spread there, it has almost become a state language of the territory. Texas openly fights for its independence. The Atlantic Coast represents a different ethnos and a different mindset, which may split into two. Central depressive regions make the final group. I have to remind here that five central states of the USA, where Indians live, declared their independence. It was considered a joke, a political show, but it’s a fact. Canada’s influence is strong in the north. We can claim Alaska; after all, it was granted on a lease,” the scientist said.
We're glad that political madness is not limited to our side of the world.

Long-Legged Mack Daddy

We've heard the Pastor before, but this is the first chance we've had to see him.
Wherein Pastor Manning name-checks George Jefferson.

The Associated Press Friday, December 12, 2008; 12:02 AM

Today in History - Dec. 12 By The Associated Press —Today is Friday, Dec. 12, the 347th day of 2008. There are 19 days left in the year. Today's Highlight in History: On Dec. 12, 2000, George W. Bush was transformed into the president-elect as a divided U.S. Supreme Court reversed a state court decision for recounts in Florida's contested election. On this date: In 1787, Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. In 1870, Joseph H. Rainey of South Carolina became the first black lawmaker sworn into the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1897, "The Katzenjammer Kids," the pioneering comic strip created by Rudolph Dirks, made its debut in the New York Journal. In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt nominated Oscar Straus to be Secretary of Commerce and Labor; Straus became the first Jewish Cabinet member. In 1917, Father Edward Flanagan founded Boys Town outside Omaha, Neb. In 1925, the first motel — the Motel Inn — opened in San Luis Obispo, Calif. In 1937, Japanese aircraft sank the U.S. gunboat Panay on China's Yangtze River. (Japan apologized, and paid $2.2 million in reparations.) In 1963, Kenya gained its independence from Britain. In 1985, 248 American soldiers and eight crew members were killed when an Arrow Air charter crashed after takeoff from Gander, Newfoundland. In 1988, 35 people were killed in a triple train collision during morning rush-hour in south London. Ten years ago: The House Judiciary Committee approved a fourth and final article of impeachment, this one accusing President Bill Clinton of abuse of power. President Clinton began a three-day visit to the Middle East aimed at rescuing the Wye River peace accords. Florida Gov. Lawton Chiles died in Tallahassee at age 68. Former U.S. Rep. Morris K. Udall died in Washington, D.C., at age 76. Five years ago: Paul Martin succeeded Jean Chretien as Canada's prime minister. Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger was knighted by Britain. Keiko, the killer whale made famous by the "Free Willy" movies, died in the Norwegian fjord that he'd made his home. One year ago: Republican presidential rivals gathered in Johnston, Iowa, called for deep cuts in federal spending in a debate remarkably free of acrimony. President George W. Bush vetoed a second bill that would have expanded government-provided health insurance for children. Three car bombs explode in the southern Shiite city of Amarah, Iraq, killing at least 25 people and wounding dozens. Ike Turner, the rock pioneer and ex-husband of Tina Turner, died in San Marcos, Calif., at age 76. Today's Birthdays: TV host Bob Barker is 85. Former New York City Mayor Edward Koch is 84. Singer Connie Francis is 70. Singer Dionne Warwick is 68. Rock singer-musician Dickey Betts is 65. Actor Wings Hauser is 61. Actor Bill Nighy is 59. Actor Duane Chase (Film: "The Sound of Music") is 58. Country singer LaCosta is 58. Gymnast-turned-actress Cathy Rigby is 56. Author Lorna Landvik is 54. Singer-musician Sheila E. is 51.Actress Sheree J. Wilson is 50. News anchor Maggie Rodriguez is 39. Actress Jennifer Connelly is 38. Actress Madchen Amick is 38. Country singer Hank Williams III is 36. Actress Mayim Bialik is 33. Thought for Today: "I have never known a man who died from overwork, but many who died from doubt." — Charles Horace Mayo, American surgeon and co-founder of the Mayo Clinic (1865-1939). [What the eff does that mean? Millions have died from overwork. This dimbulb couldn't invent mayonnaise. — Ed.] © 2008 The Associated Press

Buster & Grasshopper

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Don't Know How We Missed This One

We found it at one of them there "Puma" sites. There's a connection being made between the angry sexism of an MSNBC producer & MSNBC being in the proverbial tank for B. O. Whatever. Further research indicates this did not go over the satellite, but was to be used for training or whatnot, & possibly a disgruntled/laid-off MSNBC employee posted it. Oh well.

Laundry List of Bush Derangement Syndrome

¶A war intended to eliminate (what were later found to be non-existent) weapons of mass destruction in Iraq “ended up with Iran and North Korea much closer to having deployable nuclear weapons.”

¶A war intended to help combat terrorism has led to the recruitment of more terrorists and the spread of Al Qaeda to Iraq.

¶A war intended to create a bulwark against the ayatollahs in Tehran turned into a “strategic gift to Iran” and the empowerment in Iraq of pro-Iranian Shiite theocrats.

¶A war intended to make Israel more secure has made that country more vulnerable to threats from Syria, Iran and Hezbollah.

¶A war intended to showcase American power has ended up underscoring “the deficiencies of U.S. intelligence, the incompetence of American administration and the limitations on the American military.”

¶A war meant to boost America’s global leadership “has driven U.S. prestige to an all-time low” over the last five years and alienated important allies like Turkey.

Found at The New York Times. And the conclusion of the review:

The “pretense that the surge is a success and that therefore the United States is winning the Iraq War,” Mr. Galbraith contends, “is the opening salvo in a coming blame game as to who lost Iraq.” He suggests that the surge has enabled President Bush to “run out the clock on his term in office so as to avoid having to admit defeat” and that running out the clock serves the interests of the Republican Party, setting up a G.O.P. story line for 2009: “When George W. Bush left office, America was winning the Iraq War. His successor — abetted by the Democratic Congress and the faithless American people — squandered the victory and is responsible for the consequences.”
Here we go again.
Sorry, that should be Bend Over, Here It Comes Again.

Food Starch Shuts Down Nation

We assume that these now approaching large-scale mailings of various white powders to gov't. & media addresses are to soften us, to cry "Wolf!!" so many times that when the real anthrax comes, we'll all be so numb that no one will care any more. We know we won't.
We also know that a book of stamps, a lb. of flour, envelopes & some latex gloves are all one needs for fun. You'll only have to wait a few days, depending on the Postal Service.

You Think You've Seen Everything, Then...

Snow accumulates on plants at Lee Circle in New Orleans during a rare snow fall Thursday morning December 11, 2008. Photo: Brian Lawdermilk/AP

Zimbabwe Up-Date: Not Good (w/ Up-Date!)

We posted the cartoon above less than an hour ago (to free hard-drive space for ransom notes & the like) & then this appeared:

HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe announced on Thursday his government had stopped a cholera outbreak that has killed nearly 800 people, but the United Nations said the death toll was rising.

The United States, which has called on Mugabe to step down, said the outbreak was worsening and South African officials declared a stretch of the border with Zimbabwe a disaster zone because of Zimbabweans fleeing in search of treatment.

"I am happy we are being assisted by others and we have arrested cholera," Mugabe said in a speech in which he also attacked what he described as Western plans to invade Zimbabwe and topple his government.

"Now that there is no cholera there is no case for war."

Chilean Dictator Pinochet Remains Dead

Fans of the late dictator gathered to commemorate the second anniversary of his continuing death w/ a Mass. As well as worshipping the dead, they're opposed to life itself. (Alright, using McDonna as an example of "life itself" may be stretching it a little, but dig it nonetheless.)
Madonna too lustful for Chilean clergy Thu Dec 11, 1:41 am ET SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Pop star Madonna's antics are lustful, a stain on humanity and offensive to God, a retired Roman Catholic cardinal said on Wednesday during a mass for the late Chilean military dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet. Madonna performed in Santiago on the Latin American leg of her Sticky and Sweet Tour to promote her album "Hard Candy."
(Shown here in Buenos Aires.)
"The atmosphere in our city is pretty agitated because this woman is visiting and with incredibly shameful behaviour provokes a wild and lustful enthusiasm," Cardinal Jorge Medina told the congregation. "Thoughts of lust, impure thoughts, impure acts, are an offence to God and a dirty stain on our heart," Medina said in his homily marking the second anniversary of Pinochet's death. The conservative prelate is reviled by some Chileans for his close ties to Pinochet, who died in 2006 without facing trial for the fate of 3,000 people who died or disappeared during his 1973-1990 rule. (Writing by Simon Gardner, Editing by Anthony Boadle) Chilean cardinal: Madonna rouses 'impure thoughts' Wed Dec 10, 9:22 pm ET SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) – Madonna is causing "crazy enthusiasm" and "impure thoughts" on her first concert visit to Chile, a prominent retired cardinal complained on Wednesday, as he paused in a tribute to a late dictator to denounce the pop star. Roman Catholic Cardinal Jorge Medina criticized the flamboyant singer during his homily at a Mass in honor of the late dictator Augusto Pinochet, who oversaw the deaths of some 3,200 dissidents during his 1973-1990 rule. "This woman comes here and in an incredibly shameless manner, she provokes a crazy enthusiasm, an enthusiasm of lust, lustful thoughts, impure thoughts," said Medina, the cardinal who was chosen to announce the election of Pope Benedict XV. Hundreds of fans spent three days camping outside the National Stadium in Santiago to get good spots for Wednesday's concert, the first of two. About 60,000 people were expected at each performance. One of those waiting in line, Roberto Lopez, told local reporters that he had quit his job in the southern city of Punta Arenas because his boss hadn't given him time off to attend the concert.

Pinochet died Dec. 10, 2006, at age 91. Medina said that some of those who claim to seek justice for violations of human rights under the dictator are actually seeking revenge.

Human filth. The Cardinal (ret'd.) not McDonna, who has never (to the best of our knoweldge) killed anyone or supported anyone who's killed anyone. We're pretty sure.
W/ Ms. B. S. in L. A.

No Shit? That Really Happened?

We had pretty much forgotten that Camille Paglia even existed. But ignorance & oblivion, blissful as they are, cannot last forever. Just a brief selection from what TBogg has already cut to its vitals.
In sonorous real life, Cavett's slow, measured, self-interrupting and clause-ridden syntax is 50 years out of date. Guess what: There has been a revolution in English -- registered in the 1950s in the street slang, colloquial locutions and assertive rhythms of both Beat poetry and rock 'n' roll and now spread far and wide on the Web in the standard jazziness of blogspeak. Does Cavett really mean to offer himself as a linguistic gatekeeper for political achievers in this country?
A revolution, you say? W/ "street slang" & "colloquial locutions?" Damn. How'd we miss that?

Murder Rate Down in U. S.

Maybe killing as many people as possible on the other side of the world has eased domestic bloodlust. The State-sanctioned murder rate is down.
EMBARGOED until Dec. 11 at 12:01 a.m.; chart shows executions and deathAP – EMBARGOED until Dec. 11 at 12:01 a.m.; chart shows executions and death sentences since 1993; 2 c x 2 … All but four of the 37 executions this year occurred in the South and Texas, with Ohio and Oklahoma providing the exceptions. Half of the executions occurred in Texas, where 18 inmates were put to death. Virginia executed four prisoners. Georgia and South Carolina executed three each; Florida, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Ohio each executed two and Kentucky executed one. [...] But Richard Bonnie, a law professor at the University of Virginia and an expert on capital punishment, said it was expected that it would take some time after the moratorium was lifted for the normal pace of executions to resume, and he does not consider the drop in executions in 2008 as proof of a long-term decline. What is more important, Bonnie said, is the drop in death sentences. That data is unaffected by the moratorium, which banned only executions, not death sentences handed down by judges and juries. Death sentences have been on the decline more a decade. Bonnie said that while a majority of Americans still favor the death penalty, their fervor for it was waned as violent crime rates have receded. [...] Bonnie said he believes that public attitudes have softened on the death penalty in the last decade as the violent crime rate has receded. "The real test will be what happens when violent crime goes back up again, if that will lead to a reversal of these trends," Bonnie said.
Ah, according to the doctor there are other reasons for the slow-down. Perhaps so. Seems like bloodlust either way.

By The Associated Press – Thu Dec 11, 12:02 am ET

Here we go again. It really never ends, does it? You can stand athwart it all you want, but it will sweep past you so damn fast that before you know it, it's already...

Dec. 11.

Today's Highlight in History: On Dec. 11, 1936, Britain's King Edward VIII abdicated to marry American divorcee Wallis Warfield Simpson. [Gave up a lot, didn't he, what w/ having to work at Marks & Sparks & all.] On this date: In 1792, France's King Louis XVI went before the Convention to face charges of treason. (Louis was convicted, and executed the following month.) In 1816, Indiana became the 19th state. In 1882, Boston's renamed Bijou Theatre, the first American playhouse to be lighted exclusively by electricity, gave its first performance, of Gilbert and Sullivan's "Iolanthe, Or The Peer and the Peri." In 1928, police in Buenos Aires, Argentina, announced they had thwarted an attempt on the life of President-elect Herbert Hoover. In 1941, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States; the U.S. responded in kind. In 1946, the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was established. In 1981, the U.N. Security Council chose Javier Perez de Cuellar of Peru to be the fifth secretary-general of the world body. In 1983, Pope John Paul II visited a Lutheran church in Rome, the first visit by a Roman Catholic pontiff to a Protestant church in his own diocese. In 1997, more than 150 countries agreed at a global warming conference in Kyoto, Japan, to control the Earth's greenhouse gases. Ten years ago: Majority Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee pushed through three articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton over Democratic objections. The Mars Climate Orbiter blasted off on a nine-month journey to the red planet. (However, the probe disappeared in September 1999, apparently destroyed because scientists had failed to convert English measures to metric values). Five years ago: U.S. health officials reported an early flu outbreak had hit all 50 states and was widespread in 24. A German court freed a Moroccan accused of supporting the Sept. 11 al-Qaida cell in Hamburg, saying there was new evidence he did not know about the plot. A new second home for the National Air and Space Museum opened in Chantilly, Va., some 28 miles west of the original's home in Washington, D.C. One year ago: Two car bombs in Algeria, including one targeting the U.N. refugee agency's offices, killed 37 people, 17 of them U.N. employees; Al-Qaida's self-styled North African branch claimed responsibility. The Senate Intelligence Committee took closed-door testimony from CIA Director Michael Hayden on how videotapes of terror suspect interrogations were made, then destroyed. Today's Birthdays: Actor Jean-Louis Trintignant is 78. Actress Rita Moreno is 77.Former California state lawmaker Tom Hayden is 69. Pop singer David Gates (Bread) is 68. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., is 67. Actress Donna Mills is 66. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., is 65. Singer Brenda Lee is 64. Actress Lynda Day George is 64. Music producer Tony Brown is 62. Actress Teri Garr is 60. Movie director Susan Seidelman is 56. Actress Bess Armstrong is 55. Singer Jermaine Jackson is 54. Rock musician Mike Mesaros (The Smithereens) is 51. Rock musician Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue) is 50. Rock musician Darryl Jones (The Rolling Stones) is 47. Singer-musician Justin Currie (Del Amitri) is 44. Rock musician David Schools (Gov't Mule,Widespread Panic) is 44. Actor Gary Dourdan is 42. Actress-comedian Mo'Nique ("The Parkers") is 40. Rapper-actor Mos Def is 35. Actor Rider Strong is 29. [Is that some sort of porn name? Shit.]
Thought for Today: "A technical objection is the first refuge of a scoundrel. " — Heywood Broun, American journalist (1888-1939).

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

2008 Punditry Wrap-Up

From the exclusive web pages of Foreign Policy, led by The World's Wrongest Weasel, William "Butcher" Kristol at Number One. (Who else?)
Prognostication is by far the riskiest form of punditry. The 10 commentators and leaders on this list learned that the hard way when their confident predictions about politics, war, the economy, and even the end of humanity itself completely missed the mark.
Scott Gries/Getty Images
“If [Hillary Clinton] gets a race against John Edwards and Barack Obama, she’s going to be the nominee. Gore is the only threat to her, then. … Barack Obama is not going to beat Hillary Clinton in a single Democratic primary. I’ll predict that right now.” —William Kristol, Fox News Sunday, Dec. 17, 2006 Weekly Standard editor and New York Times columnist William Kristol was hardly alone in thinking that the Democratic primary was Clinton’s to lose, but it takes a special kind of self-confidence to make a declaration this sweeping more than a year before the first Iowa caucus was held. After Iowa, Kristol lurched to the other extreme, declaring that Clinton would lose New Hampshire and that “There will be no Clinton Restoration.” It’s also worth pointing out that this second wildly premature prediction was made in a Times column titled, “President Mike Huckabee?” The Times is currently rumored to be looking for his replacement.
Holiday justice. Everyone gets something this yr.

B. O. Already Hard at Work, Doing Good

President-in-waiting Obama has earned the eternal gratitude of our nation by resigning his Senate seat following his election. Look at what his resignation has done to clean up the culture of corruption in Ill., & he won't even be in office for another 40 days. (During which the nation is left to wander in the wilderness.)
And we can contrast Gov. Blagojevich & Pres.-to-be O. for "arrogance." Have accusations of "arrogance" (read: "Negro") ever been applied so wholeheartedly to a honky candidate? Not to mention that he's an "uppity usurper." Had his father been an Anglo-Saxon subject or colonial national or whatever of the British Crown, we really have to doubt that quite as much curiosity about his Hawai'ian birth & general OUTRAGE1!1!!11 would be heard.

Where to Throw Your Next Party

When we started typing here, we hadn't planned on giving advice to terroristsprotesters, strikers, rioters & the like. (We hadn't crossed it off the list, either.) One never knows how one can best serve the public. And today's public service tip is: Have your next function at the nearest international airport.
Last month, a massive group of Thai anti-government protesters invaded Bangkok's two main airports, leaving more than 300,000 travelers stranded and paralyzed the nation's tourism industry. For the protesters, the airport siege ended in triumph: A Thai court last week ordered the dissolution of the ruling People's Power Party for electoral fraud. It was too early to tell whether the Thai protest would inspire others elsewhere, but, in Britain at least, activists vowed to keep up the pressure on the country's airports. The Stansted demonstrators — speaking to British media during the protests — said they had Heathrow,Europe's biggest airport by passenger volume, in their sights. One industry-watcher said that was no idle threat. "This is not the last we'll see of them," said David Learmount, of industry journal Flight International.
Commerce be dammed! Closing an airport is much more effective than breaking shop windows.

Rug or Not? You Decide

We can't quite figure it out what's on Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich's head. Or his mind.
December 8, 2008, 1:19 PM Overheard Leaving Iraq By STEPHEN FARRELL “I like Bush. He made America weak.” Taxi driver in Amman, Jordan. Dec. 8 2008

Today. History. Dec. 10. By The Associated Press – Wed Dec 10, 12:01 am ET

Today is Wednesday, Dec. 10, the 345th day of 2008. There are 21 days left in the year. Today's Highlight in History: Fifty years ago, on Dec. 10, 1958, National Airlines opened the era of U.S. domestic jet passenger service as it began flights between New York and Miami using Boeing 707s leased from Pan Am. On this date: In 1520, Martin Luther publicly burned the papal edict demanding that he recant, or face excommunication. In 1817, Mississippi was admitted as the 20th state. In 1869, women were granted the right to vote in the Wyoming Territory. In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt became the first American to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, for helping mediate an end to the Russo-Japanese War. In 1931, Jane Addams became the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (the co-recipient was Nicholas Murray Butler). In 1948, the U.N. General Assembly adopted its Universal Declaration on Human Rights. In 1950, Ralph J. Bunche was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the first black American to receive the award. In 1964, Martin Luther King Jr. received his Nobel Peace Prize. In 1967, singer Otis Redding, 26, and six others were killed in the crash of their plane in Lake Monona, Wis. In 1978, movie director Edward D. Wood Jr. ("Plan 9 From Outer Space") died in North Hollywood, Calif., at age 54. Ten years ago: Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee lined up one by one in favor of impeaching President Bill Clinton; Democrats vowed opposition after lawyers clashed in closing arguments over alleged "high crimes and misdemeanors." Six astronauts jubilantly swung open the doors to the new international space station, becoming the first guests aboard the orbiting outpost. The Palestinian leadership scrapped constitutional clauses rejecting Israel's existence. Five years ago: A divided Supreme Court upheld the broadest restrictions on campaign donations in nearly 30 years. An appeals court ordered a new trial for Lionel Tate, a Florida teen sentenced to life for causing the death of a 6-year-old playmate, Tiffany Eunick. (Lionel, who'd originally been convicted of first-degree murder, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and went free in January 2004.) Iranian democracy activist Shirin Ebadi, the first Muslim woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, accepted the award in Oslo, Norway. One year ago: Suspended NFL star Michael Vick was sentenced by a federal judge in Richmond, Va., to 23 months in prison for bankrolling a dogfighting operation and killing dogs that underperformed. Madison Square Garden and New York Knicks coach Isiah Thomas reached an $11.5 million settlement of a sexual harassment case brought by former team executive Anucha Browne Sanders. Cristina Fernandez was sworn in as Argentina's first elected female president. Former Vice President Al Gore accepted the Nobel Peace Prize with a call for humanity to rise up against a looming climate crisis and stop waging war on the environment. Today's Birthdays: Actor Harold Gould is 85. Former Agriculture Secretary Clayton Yeutter is 78. Actor Tommy Kirk is 67. Actress Fionnula Flanagan is 67. Pop singer Chad Stuart (Chad and Jeremy) is 67. Actress-singer Gloria Loring is 62. Pop-funk musician Walter "Clyde" Orange (The Commodores) is 62. Rhythm-and-blues singer Ralph Tavares is 60. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jessica Cleaves (Friends of Distinction) is 60. Country singer Johnny Rodriguez is 57. Actress Susan Dey is 56. (Are we sure this isn't Lindsay Wagner?)Actor Michael Clarke Duncan is 51. Jazz musician Paul Hardcastle is 51. Actor-director Kenneth Branagh is 48. Actress Nia Peeples is 47. TV chef Bobby Flay is 44. Rock singer-musician J Mascis is 43. Country singer Kevin Sharp is 38. Rock musician Scot Alexander (Dishwalla) is 37. Rock musician Meg White (The White Stripes) is 34. Violinist Sarah Chang is 28. Actress Raven-Symone is 23. Thought for Today: "It is only in romances that people undergo a sudden metamorphosis. In real life, even after the most terrible experiences, the main character remains exactly the same." — Isadora Duncan, American modern dance pioneer (1878-1927).

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

How Exactly "The Surge Is Working, Damnit!"

Our constant intake of what passes for lefty media in AmeriKKKa has let us know that Pres. Bush, besides dodging the softball questions of such notable cowards as the three symps who anchor the night-time network news 'casts, has had his 20%ers out trying to burnish his legacy. We have heard, & will hear again & again, that "we should wait 10 or 15 yrs. & see what the Middle East looks like then."
Good idea? Sure, but why not look at how the Middle East is trending, democracy-wise? (By "Middle East," of course, they mean Iraq, as American influence doesn't go much farther in the region.) It wasn't too long ago that this reporter went to the effort of linking to the Washington Post on current trends in liberty & democracy.
And after further (& arduous) investigative work, we've discovered a short item at the New York Times'
I told her: “You did not live the Islamic experience we lived in during the last five years, there was no freedom, no democracy, and no ambition for women, because Islamic movements do not allow women to work and mix with men.”
Democracy takes root!! Thank you, George Bush. We'll get to work on that statue of you where Hussein's used to be. Check back in 10 or 15! 'Bye!

The New Aristocrats

Glenn Greenwald's research staff in Salon on incestuous nepotism among the powerful.
WEDNESDAY DEC. 3, 2008 07:21 EST Nepotistic succession in the political class (updated below) Bill Clinton yesterday was forced to deny speculation that he would be appointed to replace his wife in the U.S. Senate. Leading candidates for that seat still include John F. Kennedy's daughter (Caroline), Robert Kennedy's son (RFK, Jr.), and Mario Cuomo's son (Andrew). In Illinois, a leading contender to replace Barack Obama in the Senate is Jesse Jackson's son (Jesse, Jr.). In Delaware, it was widely speculated that Joe Biden would be replaced by his son, Beau, and after Beau took his name out of the running because he's now serving in Iraq, the naming of the actual replacement -- lone-time (Joe) Biden aide Ted Kaufmann -- "upset local Democrats who believe the move was a ham-handed attempt to engineer the election of Biden’s son, Beau, to the Senate in 2010." Meanwhile, in Alaska, Lisa Murkowski, who was appointed by her father to take his seat in the U.S. Senate when he became Governor, yesterday warned Sarah Palin not to challenge her in a 2010 primary, a by-product of tension between those two as a result of Palin's defeat of Lisa's dad for Governor. In Florida, Mel Martinez's announcement that he won't seek re-election in 2010 immediately led to reports that the current President's brother, Jeb, might run for that seat. And all of that's just from the last couple of weeks. The Senate alone -- to say nothing of the House -- is literally filled with people whose fathers or other close relatives previously held their seat or similar high office (those links identify at least 15 current U.S. Senators -- 15 -- with immediate family members who previously occupied high elected office). And, of course, the current President on his way out was the son of a former President and grandson of a former U.S. Senator. Isn't this all a bit much? It's true that our political/media class in general is intensely incestuous and nepotistic. Virtually the entire neoconservative "intelligentsia" (using that term as loosely as it can possibly be used) is one big paean to nepotistic succession -- the Kristols, the Kagans, the Podhoretzes, Lucianne Goldberg and her boy. Upon Tim Russert's death, NBC News excitedly hired his son, Luke. Mike Wallace's son hosts Fox's Sunday show. The most influential political opinion space in the country, The New York Times Op-Ed page, is, like the Times itself, teeming with family successions and connections. Inter-marriages between and among media stars and political figures -- and lobbyists, operatives and powerful political officials -- are now more common than arranged royal marriages were among 16th Century European monarchs.
You needn't add much to that, though Greenwald does, as is his wont.

Gawd DAMN AmeriKKKa!

Tribune Co. Ruptures Itself

Why it sucked so fast:
Having failed to find any greater fools, Tribune filed for bankruptcy on Tuesday.
Reaction from T. J. Simers in the L. A. Times:
TODAY'S LAST word comes from Ron Hartman: "...You're a fraud and you will soon be writing want ads for the Penny Saver." The way things are going around here, that's something.

From The Beeb in Athens

A "story,"raw footage. Text, if you're "that way."

Pictures Just In!!

Christmas tree burns in front of the Parliament in Athens, 8 December 2008. Photos: John Kolesidis/REUTERS

This Date in History - Dec. 9

This seems to happen every December. We become dulled out & bother w/ nothing beyond copying factoids & making snide remarks. This yr., we're leaving out the snide remarks. Why bother? By The Associated Press Tue Dec 9, 12:01 am ET Today is Tuesday, Dec. 9, the 344th day of 2008. There are 22 days left in the year. Today's Highlight in History: Four hundred years ago, on Dec. 9, 1608, English poet John Milton was born in London. On this date: In 1854, Alfred, Lord Tennyson's famous poem, "The Charge of the Light Brigade," was published in England. In 1892, "Widowers' Houses," Bernard Shaw's first play, opened at the Royalty Theater in London. In 1940, British troops opened their first major offensive in North Africa during World War II. In 1941, China declared war on Japan, Germany and Italy. In 1942, the Aram Khachaturian ballet "Gayane," featuring the surging "Saber Dance," was first performed by the Kirov Ballet. In 1958, the anti-communist John Birch Society was formed in Indianapolis. [Not even this elicits a snicker — Ed.] In 1965, Nikolai V. Podgorny replaced Anastas I. Mikoyan as president of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. In 1987, the first Palestinian intifada, or uprising, began as riots broke out in Gaza and spread to the West Bank, triggering a strong Israeli counter-response. In 1990, Solidarity founder Lech Walesa won Poland's presidential runoff by a landslide. In 1992, Britain's Prince Charles and Princess Diana announced their separation. (The couple's divorce became final Aug. 28, 1996.) Ten years ago: Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee drew up four proposed articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton, all stemming from his sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky and long campaign to cover it up. Five years ago: The owners of a Rhode Island nightclub and the tour manager for the rock band Great White were indicted on charges related to a fire the previous February that killed 100 people. A suicide bomber killed five victims outside an exclusive Moscow hotel. Former Vice President Al Gore endorsed Howard Dean for the Democratic presidential nomination. Former Sen. Paul Simon died in Springfield, Ill., at age 75. One year ago: A young man once affiliated with a missionary school shot nine people at the school near Denver and a megachurch in Colorado Springs; four victims died and the gunman, Matthew Murray, killed himself. Pig farmer Robert "Willie" Pickton, accused of being Canada's worst serial killer, was convicted of six counts of second-degree murder, which carried a mandatory sentence of life in prison. Republican presidential candidates sought to embrace Hispanics in a Spanish language debate in Coral Gables, Fla. The first summit between Europe and Africa in seven years came to an acrimonious end in Lisbon, Portugal. Today's Birthdays: Actor Kirk Douglas is 92. Actor Dick Van Patten is 80. Actor-writer Buck Henry is 78. Actress Dame Judi Dench is 74.Actor Beau Bridges is 67. Jazz singer-musician Dan Hicks is 67. Football Hall-of-Famer Dick Butkus is 66. Actor Michael Nouri is 63. Former Sen. Thomas Daschle, D-S.D., is 61. Singer Joan Armatrading is 58. Actor Michael Dorn is 56. Actor John Malkovich is 55. Country singer Sylvia is 52. Singer/game show host Donny Osmond is 51. Rock musician Nick Seymour (Crowded House) is 50. Comedian Mario Cantone is 49. Actor Joe Lando is 47. Actress Felicity Huffman is 46. Country musician Jerry Hughes (Yankee Grey) is 43. Rock singer-musician Thomas Flowers (Oleander) is 41. Rock musician Brian Bell (Weezer) is 40. Rock singer-musician Jakob Dylan (Wallflowers) is 39. Country musician Brian Hayes (Cole Deggs and the Lonesome) is 39. Actress Allison Smith is 39. Songwriter Kara DioGuardi is 38. Country singer David Kersh is 38. Rock musician Tre Cool (Green Day) is 36. Rapper Canibus is 34. Rock musician Eric Zamora (Save Ferris) is 32. Rock singer Imogen Heap is 31. Thought for Today: "Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties." — John Milton, English poet (1608-1674).

Monday, December 8, 2008

Celine Dion Upskirt

Photo: Lori Shepler/L. A. Times, who, we're sure, had no vulgarity in mind.
If it weren't for the fucking Internet we would never have known what "upskirt" meant. Hell, there'd be no "upskirt" if not for technology anyway. Ick.

No Prez Left Behind

The alleged product of Yale & Harvard education speaks.

MCFADDEN: So, you can read the Bible and not take it literally. I mean you can -- it's not inconsistent to love the Bible and believe in evolution, say.

Photo: President George W. Bush and
President George W. Bush and ABC News' Cynthia McFadden at a "Youth Focus" event in North Carolina. The president spoke to McFadden about the importance of faith-based programs.
(White House )

BUSH: Yeah, I mean, I do. I mean, evolution is an interesting subject. I happen to believe that evolution doesn't fully explain the mystery of life and ...

MCFADDEN: But do you believe in it?


BUSH: That God created the world, I do, yeah.

MCFADDEN: But what about ...

BUSH: Well, I think you can have both. I think evolution can -- you're getting me way out of my lane here. I'm just a simple president. But it's, I think that God created the Earth, created the world; I think the creation of the world is so mysterious it requires something as large as an almighty, and I don't think it's incompatible with the scientific proof that there is evolution.

It Is a Disaster

We just love the living shit out of forums w/ all the features: the smaller-than-a-postage-stamp picture/avatar (in most cases, a representation of an animated character, because these volk are probably as ugly as their opinions, & are pretty much living cartoons) very colorful, boxes, your individual quote, & a signature quote, how many posts you've made, some sort of ranking based on that number, u. s. w.  Just as stupid & ugly as fug. 
This being the land of the obvious & literal, the typing matches the display.
Full Member ***Posts: 174 View Profile
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2008, 06:18:17 PM »

Is this guy an idiot or what?   Give me a break. Oh I killed someone 40 years ago but hey I have lived a good life since and well the government never caught me before now, so hey, I shouldn't be bound by the law. Does this twit realize how many illegal immigrants have social security numbers and driver's licenses?
Well of course, as if getting a counterfeit Social Security card w/ a dead person's SSN on it is the same as getting a U. S. Passport. Indeed, were he not a Yankee pig, he would have had to obtain a visa or residence permit to get into the U. S. after his madrassa yrs. in Indonesia. (Good thing we're pretty much preaching to the choir here. We'd hate to send the conspiracy theorists on a wild goose chase.)

Rockefeller Center, Here We Come, W/ Torches!

In Athens, rioters torched the capital's huge Christmas tree in central Syntagma Square. As the hooded youths moved on, some protesters posed for photos in front of the blaze, and others sang the Greek version of "Oh Christmas Tree."
Go, cats & kittens, go!! 
In the spirit of the season, over three days of national tearing-it-up there have no been reported deaths. Congrats to the liberating forces of anarchy, & to the murderous pig cops who are managing to holding themselves in check (this time). We can only hope this has already taught them a lesson. And only wish Americans would stand up for themselves like this.
And would like to hear more from the defenders of Commercial Christmas about this sort of thing:
With the global financial crisis hitting Greek consumers, shop owners worried the violence would hurt consumer confidence. "It comes at a time when we have been trying so hard to establish a Christmas spirit in the market," said Vassilis Krokidis, head of the Piraeus Traders' Association. "Our challenge remains getting through the economic crisis and saving the jobs of those who work in regular businesses."
Yep, Geezis Hussein Christ's miracle birth, etc., has long been perverted to give retailers hope for profit this year. But there's no more complaint about that. The traditionalists lost the "Put the Christ Back in Xmas" war long, long ago. Now it's "Atheists are forcing stores to tell their wage-slaves not to say 'Merry Christmas,'" as if the continuation of the faith depended on sales associates' greetings. Na'gonna happen, anyway, as the only faith observed in the chain stores is that oldest of them all, commodity fetishism.

The Obama "Recession"

Fat shithead Rush Limbaugh (& doubtless all others on the "talking points" fax list) had already pronounced the current economic mess as being all Prexy-to-be Obama's fault because his secret Muslim Marxist policies were scaring the money weasels. (Or something. Mostly just picking on B. O., no matter what.)
Wrong again. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Again, etc., etc.
[I]nvestors bet that President-elect Barack Obama’s plans to increase spending on public works projects will help lift the economy back to health. 
The real problem (Hey, pay some attention here, AmeriKKKa, we're schoolin' ya!!) is that our economy or financial system or whatever all this bullshit is relies on investors literally betting that something's going to happen (or not) seldom based on anything more than hunches. Is that any way to run anything?

Toots: Time Tough

By The Associated Press 2 hrs 9 mins ago Today is Monday, Dec. 8, the 343rd day of 2008. There are 23 days left in the year. Today's Highlight in History: On Dec. 8, 1941, the United States entered World War II as Congress declared war against Japan, a day after the attack on Pearl Harbor. On this date: In 1776, during the Revolutionary War, George Washington's retreating army crossed the Delaware River from New Jersey into Pennsylvania. In 1854, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception, which holds that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was free of original sin from the moment of her own conception. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln announced his plan for the Reconstruction of the South. In 1886, the American Federation of Labor was founded in Columbus, Ohio. In 1949, the Chinese Nationalist government moved from the Chinese mainland to Formosa as the glorious Peoples Liberation Army forces led by Chairman Mao ZeDong pressed their attacks. The East is Red!! In 1978, former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir died in Jerusalem at age 80. In 1980, rock star John Lennon was shot to death outside his New York City apartment building by an apparently deranged fan. In 1982, a man demanding an end to nuclear weapons held the Washington Monument hostage, threatening to blow it up with explosives he claimed were inside a van. After a 10-hour standoff, Norman D. Mayer was shot dead by police; it turned out there were no explosives. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev signed a treaty at the White House calling for destruction of intermediate-range nuclear missiles. In 1993, President Bill Clinton signed into U.S. law the North American Free Trade Agreement, which went into effect at the start of 1994 Ten years ago: Struggling to stave off impeachment, President Bill Clinton's defenders forcefully pleaded his case before the House Judiciary Committee. The Supreme Court ruled that police cannot search people and their cars after merely ticketing them for routine traffic violations. San Francisco and several suburbs suffered a power blackout; it was more than seven hours before electricity was fully restored.

Five years ago: President George W. Bush signed a $400 billion Medicare overhaul bill that included a prescription drug plan for seniors. Congress approved legislation to stem the flood of unwanted junk e-mail known as "spam." U.S. Rep. Bill Janklow resigned from Congress just after being convicted in the traffic death of a motorcyclist, Randy Scott, in South Dakota. A Greek anti-terrorism court convicted 15 members of the November 17 cell for their roles in a nearly 30-year killing campaign.

One year ago: The Justice Department and CIA announced a joint inquiry into the spy agency's destruction of videotapes of interrogations of two suspected terrorists. Talk show host Oprah Winfrey publicly endorsed Barack Obama for president during appearances in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Skiers, fire-eaters and an ice sculptor joined in worldwide demonstrations to draw attention to global warming. Florida quarterback Tim Tebow became the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy. Today's Birthdays: Actor-director Maximilian Schell is 78. Actor David Carradine is 72. Actor James MacArthur is 71. Flutist James Galway is 69. Singer Jerry Butler is 69. Pop musician Bobby Elliott (The Hollies) is 67. Actor John Rubinstein is 62. Rock singer-musician Gregg Allman is 61. Reggae singer Toots Hibbert (Toots and the Maytals) is 60.Actress Kim Basinger is 55. Rock musician Warren Cuccurullo is 52. Rock musician Phil Collen (Def Leppard) is 51. Country singer Marty Raybon is 49. Rock musician Marty Friedman is 46. Actor Wendell Pierce is 45. Actress Teri Hatcher is 44.Rapper Bushwick Bill (The Geto Boys) is 42.As is Sinead O'Connor.Thought for Today: "So long as governments set the example of killing their enemies, private individuals will occasionally kill theirs." #0151; Elbert Hubbard, American author (1856-1915).

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Oligarchs, State & Disaster Capitalism

It's been said that the Soviet Union's economy was mere "state capitalism," rather than actual socialism. There's a version of our "bail-out" ("Rescue?" "TARP?")  going on in Russia where it's certain that the tax payer gov't. will be repaid every kopeck & a tidy profit. State & disaster capitalism at it's finest.
Mr. Putin, the former president and current prime minister, has long maintained that Russia made a colossal error in the 1990s by allowing its enormous reserves of oil, gas and other natural resources to fall into private hands. [...] Now, the Kremlin seems to be capitalizing on the economic crisis, exploiting the opportunity to establish more control over financially weakened industries that it has long coveted, particularly those in natural resources.

Last month, for example, the government assumed greater influence over Norilsk Nickel, the world’s biggest nickel producer, whose large shareholders, two billionaire oligarchs, have ailing finances. And Mr. Putin said Thursday that he was considering other such interventions.

Who said Ayn Rand is anti-statist?
At the forefront of these efforts is Mr. Sechin, 48, a deputy prime minister who has been a Putin confidant since the two served in the St. Petersburg city government in the early 1990s. Mr. Sechin almost never gives interviews or speaks publicly, but he is believed to spearhead the use of the secret services and other government arms to capture companies. “He is the state’s main raider,” said Olga Kryshtanovskaya, a prominent Kremlin expert at the Center for the Study of Elites in Moscow. “He organizes these raider seizures, sometimes to the benefit of the state, or sometimes to the benefit of companies that are friendly to him.” Mr. Sechin’s role in the Uralkali inquiry immediately caused analysts and investors to presume that the company was in peril. Uralkali’s stock, once highly prized by fund managers, has plunged more than 60 percent since the inquiry began, far more than the broader Russian stock market. That has caused steep losses for Mr. Rybolovlev, 42, a former medical student who is known as Russia’s fertilizer king because of his dominance of the business of mining potash, a principal fertilizer component. Last June, when Uralkali was soaring, the otherwise low-key Mr. Rybolovlev attracted attention by buying Donald J. Trump’s mansion in Palm Beach, Fla., for $95 million.
Sounds like an ideal Objectivist scenario.
With the financial crisis jolting economies around the world, Russia is hardly alone in taking ownership stakes in corporations these days. But many governments seem to view this as an uncomfortable role that has been thrust upon them. Russia’s rulers, however, appear to perceive the crisis as a chance to further expand their control over the economy, concentrating ever more power and wealth in the Kremlin. “We will put capital directly into major companies, in cases when it would be beneficial to the state and eventually to the taxpayer, and in those enterprises that are the basis of the economy of the Russian Federation,” Mr. Putin said in a television appearance on Thursday. “We do not exclude that these tools may be used in a large-scale way.”
Plus ça change, plus c'est...

Pictures That Move? You're Mad, I Tell You, Mad!

W/o the Intarwebz, there'd be no reason for this to move. The question, if any, is whether it was conceived as moving or a "still."Rain Deer 
Rain Deer This one must have started w/ motion in mind. Holy Plow
Please excuse the advert. You can't stop it but you can mute it.