Thursday, May 25, 2006

confessional

About that accordion music thing, it's actually worse than that. I own an accordion. It's just a toy, and I cant actually play it, but I did ask for it as a Christmas gift, and it makes me happy just looking at it, for some reason. My wife bought it. What do you suppose that says about her?

Sunday, May 21, 2006

it's not a tag if it's voluntary

I stole this meme from Sherry, partly because I find the subject fascinating, partly because it's short and sweet...

Three Guilty Pleasures:

1) Ponytails (sooo sexy, but wife has none, thus guilt)

2) Accordian Music. no, really.

3) Romantic Comedies. In book form.

today's quote

"We’re not mining or trolling through the personal lives of millions of innocent Americans."

Interesting quote coming from a man who describes himself as a devout Christian. Remember the exhortation from Christ: "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone". So, according to the Bible, none of us are innocent. Since Lord Bush didnt deny the existance of such intelligence gathering, what is the extent of mining and trolling, barring the return and subsequent hooking up of utilities by Jesus and his Mom?

today's reading

Here it is, in one simple post, why the Republicans will continue to win, and the Democrats will continue to loose. Read it, recognise it, and weep.

Props to Coturnix, who I've foolishly neglected of late.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

let's do the numbers

Number of soldiers who died securing the freedom and liberty of America in the Revolutionary War:


4,435

Number of soldiers who have died since then defending the freedom and liberty of the Unites States of America:


615,784

Number minus the Civil War, in case anyone wants to be picky about things:


431,190

Number of civilians required to be killed in order for We, the People to hand over our freedoms and liberties to George Bush and his Republican Cabal in order to buy our "safety":


2,752

The Bush administration, those in the public who still support him, the Republican party which has yet to repudiate him, the Democratic party which has yet to show any sign of courage or common sense; all of these people have, in five short years, done more to destroy the essential elements that make America what it is than even Joseph McCarthy ever did.

And where is our "Greatest Generation". You know, the one that sacrificed 292,131 of it's best and brightest, to save the world from tyranny, fascism, and military aggression. Are they all dead? Or have they also exchanged the dead flesh of the victims of 9/11 for a bit of responsibility-free "security".

Worst of all, though, is the general American Public, which has yet to show any real sign of alarm, or even concern, at the political sea-change happening just beyond the television they keep their eyes glued upon. Maybe this summer, when "Lost" is in re-runs, they'll notice something's up. Unless they're too busy worrying about immigration and gay marriage.

I am embarrassed.
I am sickened.
I am baffled.
I am enraged.

The military numbers can be found here. But one number they wont give is the number of soldiers per 9/11 victim whose deaths defending this country are now being rendered meaningless by the surrender of our liberties to the Lord Decider:
223.76 : 1

Sleep tight.

Friday, May 19, 2006

taste the difference

Patrick Henry, founding father: "Give me liberty, or give me death!" (March 23, 1773)

Sen. John Roberts, modern progeny: "You have no civil liberties if you are dead." (May 18, 2006)

Such progress is inspiring, no?

No. Read Henry's whole speech here, and contemplate the past, and guess at your future. And ask yourself this question: Would you rather risk death while living in freedom, or have a long life living without it?

Add this question to it: Terrorism is nothing new, whatever the Bush Cabal may say about this being a "new kind of war". Has the loss of civil liberties helped any other countries keep safe from terrorists?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

the commencement speech they ought to hear

so long, good luck, and enjoy your career in the service industryThe Phantom Professor isnt bitter.
Oh, no.
She just lives in Dallas.

confirmation of all that is bad in America

Oh, God. Listening to Senate "Intelligence" Chairman Pat Roberts (from Kansas, of course) speaking at the opening of the Hearing to confirm Michael Hayden I feel fresh dispair at the fate of America. Listening to the Leaders of this country spouting jingoistic rhetoric while stomping on the civil rights of the American people, claiming war-time powers and labeling those who leak illegal behaviors as traitorous, I cannot decide whether to cry, rage, or simply run fast and far.

One other thing. Why do Candidates bring their families to endure these hearings?

ADDENDUM: (later that day)

Repeatedly, testimony form General Hayden seems to come back to the same thing: You'll have to trust me/him.

And there's the rub, isnt it. The White House, and anyone associated with them, is tainted. They have no credibility left, not with the world, not with any of the American People, except for the most deluded. I would say, just go ahead and confirm him, what the hell. The Bush Cabal will never choose anyone that the Opposition will truly be able to trust, so we might as well save everyone a lot of trouble and just let any old appointment in.

Then, cut off it's head (the Administration, that is).

Karl's evil genius

Okay, you can forget about Democrats winning the '06 elections. Why, you ask? Well, because of the Immigration Debate, of course.
Look around.
You'll find even the staunchest of Bush-haters talking about how illegal immigrants should have the book thrown at them. If you've got lefties in favor of getting tough on immigration, what do you suppose the middle-of-the-roaders are doing? They're leaning towards whoever's got the toughest stance, that's what. And who are the toughest-talkers on this subject? Republicans.

Karl's part in all this is just speculation on my part, and maybe I'm just having a tin-foil moment. The idea, though, that Karl could be telling Lord Bush to use his unpopularity to help the Republican Party by taking a policy line that's more like that of the Democrats (thus yoking him to the Dems rather than the GOP) doesnt strike me as all that far-fetched.
Is this what's really happening? It all depends on whether you think Dubya is a meglomaniacal Leader (in which he'd never let Karl do it), or the butt-puppet of the Neo-Con Cabal (in which case he has no choice).
Yeah, this cartoon is simplistic and not entirely true, but what in this debate isnt? So many problems, and a criminal cartel running the Nation, but here we are worrying about the poor bastards at the bottom of the pyramid when we should be worrying about those at the top.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Carnival of the Liberals #13

I'll admit it, I was disappointed not to have made the Carnival of the Liberals last time I entered. I tried not to pout about it, but just couldnt help myself.

I'm all better now, though, in part because of this snazzy graphic whipped up by the host of the Carnival of the Liberals Number 13, Lucky White Girl. Well, she's sort of the host. The carnival is being held at her site, but owing to her having to go to Central America, she's going to find it difficult to fulfill her obligation to the Carnival. Which is why she's having GIL do it. Who's GIL? I dont know, but then I didnt know who Lucky White Girl was, either, until a few days ago, when I was pulled in by the graphic. All you really need to know is that GIL will be the judge, so dont make out your bribe cheques to Lucky White Girl. Make them out to GIL, G-I-L.

So go ahead, give it a try. Submit to the Carnival. But remember, many enter, but only 10 are chosen. If you try not to pout about losing, then I'll try not to pout about losing.

spurned

For stealth reasons, whenever I access this blog from work, I go by way of Google. Over time I've watched the number of results climb from a few dozen and up slowly through the hundreds. Last February or so, I was excitedly watching the magic "1000" results approach, when something extraordinary happened.
One evening, as usual, I searched for "daveawayfromhome". The results I got astounded me. I had gone from somewhat over 900, to more than 9000! I watched over the weeks as the numbers continued to climb, eventually peaking at somewhere between 15,000 and 16,000.
For the last two or three weeks, though, the numbers have been falling, just as mysteriously. At the last search, "daveawayfromhome" came in at 552 results.

I'm devastated, naturally. I feel like Sally Field at the Bizarro World Oscars. What's really odd about the falling numbers is that I seem to have just as many pages of results as I ever did. Yes, I know that they dont show you all the similar ones, but just how many similar one were there, and where have they all gone now?

Oh well, I'm not going to worry about it. I'll fall back on the tried and true blogger mantra:
I'm only writing for myself,
I'm only writing for myself,
I'm only writing for myself,
I'm only writing for myself...

Monday, May 15, 2006

no guilt here

I keep seeing the word "schadenfreude" come up in blogs lately. Here's a definition:
[n. SHAW-den-froy-duh] Schadenfreude is a German expression (from Schaden: damage, harm; and Freude: joy) meaning pleasure taken from someone else's misfortune or shameful joy. The word is often capitalized, however since all German nouns (proper or common) are capitalized it should be possible to spell it lower case in English.
I understand the use of this word. Not only is it just a pleasurable word to say, the use of it speaks to a certain feeling of guilt that any decent person must have when taking pleasure in the misfortune of others. But what we're seeing in the crumbling of Lord Bush's Cabal is not "misfortune". It is "comeuppance", or "justice", or any one of a dozen other words expressing a boomeranging effect in bad behavior.
If Big Brother Bush were a decent human being, then perhaps "schadenfreude" would be the appropriate word. But no one who has brought as much suffering to the world while supposedly serving it, as American officeholders are ideally supposed to, deserves the word schadenfreude to be applied to public reaction to their stumblings.
The Bush Administration has behaved in a criminal manner, with criminal intent, and any glee on the part of observers, whether from the Opposition, or just those who've been sideswiped during Dubya's joyride is not schadenfreude, but "just deserts".
just deserts: poetic justice: an outcome in which virtue triumphs over vice (often ironically)

Friday, May 12, 2006

The Fortune Cookie Game: the Dubya Edition

You know the Fortune Cookie game? I just learned it myself a couple years ago. It's quite simple. Whenever you get a fortune cookie, read it, then at the end, add the phrase "in bed". Hilarity follows. Take, for example, a fortune reading "your friends respect you, and wish you well"... IN BED! Here are some more examples:
•You will be fortunate in the opportunities presented to you... In bed!
•Your emotional nature is strong and sensitive... In bed!
•Your venture will be a success... In bed!
•You are very negative in words, act, and feeling... In bed!
•When it comes to helping others, you'll stop at nothing... In bed!
Okay, The Dubya Edition is roughly the same thing. Every time you hear Lord Bush or one of his Cabal make a claim about the dubious legality of their actions, simply add the phrase "in Dubya's head" (or the appropriate variation). Which makes, for instance, Michael Hayden say "Everything that the agency has done has been lawful"... "IN DUBYA'S HEAD"!
Hilarious! Enjoy these other examples:
•George Bush on NSA phone monitoring: "The intelligence activities I authorized are lawful"... In my Head!
•Scott McClellan on torture: "We do not condone torture, nor would [President Bush] ever authorize the use of torture. We have an obligation to abide by our laws and our treaty obligations, and that's what we do. That is our policy"... In Our heads!
•A senior administration official on outing Valerie Plame: "By definition, the President cannot leak," the official said. "He has the inherent authority to declassify something"... In the Royal Head of Lord Bush!
•Condoleeza Rice on torture: "The United States is a country of laws. My colleagues and I have sworn to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. We believe in the rule of law"... in Big Daddy's head!
•the Justice Department issued a "white paper" last week arguing that the president has inherent war powers under the Constitution allowing him to authorize the (domestic surveillance) program... In his head!
•George Bush again on NSA phone monitoring: "Secondly, I said, before we do anything, I want to make sure it's legal. And so we had our lawyers look at it... There's no doubt in my mind it is legal"... (oops, no need to add the phrase on this one.)
Another great thing about this game, is that you can play it every day*! With the revelations of new scandals showing no sign of abating, and The Bush Corporation showing no signs of contrition, this game could go on long after you've become sickened by it. (After all, even Chinese people dont want to eat Chinese food every day!)

Now, in order to kill the doubtlessly short time it will take while waiting for the next scandal from the Court of King George to provide a useful quote with which to play, may I suggest reading this article, wherein George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley compares The Bush Administration to the Sopranos. Convincingly.


them Alkalai types is dang'rous, you never know where they're hidin'.

*game ends Jan, 2009**

**in the event of coup or martial law, gameplay may continue.





Something in my links has been giving the code in Blogger fits, so after the sixth time rebuilding this post, I've decided to just put them at the bottom here and let you cut and paste. Never let it be said that I dont document.

the first three fortunes from : http://www.wisdomportal.com/JS/RandomFortunes.html
the bad fortune : http://www.badcookie.com/
the frowny fortune : http://www.fal.net/html/misfortu.html

Bush/NSA - http://uk.news.yahoo.com/11052006/325/bush-denies-spying-infringes-privacy.html
McClellan/torture - http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2005/10/26/
mccain_fights_exception_to_torture_ban/
Plame - http://www.abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=1815938&page=1
Rice - http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2005/57602.htm
Justice dept : http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/23/AR2006012300754.html
Bush, again - http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/01/20060126.html

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Today's quote

"If you vote Republican, does that make you an accomplice to their crimes?"

Matt Groening, from the Life In Hell comic

today's lexagraphical suggestion

Well, if you cant get the Public to demand Bush's impeachment through richly deserved outrage, how about through mockery? Use the following phrase "liberally" whenever talking about our Lamprey-In-Chief:

"Lord Bush and his Cabal"

Use it a few dozen times, see if the phrase doesnt spread. The day you hear it on television... Victory!
A cabal is a number of persons united in some close design, usually to promote their private views and interests in church or state by intrigue. Cabals are secret organizations composed of a few designing persons; a political cabal is often called a junta. The term can also be used to refer to the designs of such persons. The term also holds a general meaning of intrigue and conspiracy. ...(from Wikipedia)

Dave's BlogTroll, v.3.0

Well, it's been four months (or more, I cant be bothered to do the math right now) since my last BlogTroll list, so let me explain it's purpose.
Remember the Golden Age of MTV? Back when Music Television actually meant that they played music? Remember watching videos for hours, enduring the bad ones because the good ones were so good?
That's kind of how I feel about the "NEXT BLOG" button, up there in the right corner. And so I go, from blog to blog to blog to blog, seeking the really good ones. Not everyone is as patient as I am, though. Just as they would've like some service that took them straight to Peter Gabriel so they wouldnt have to sit through Vandenberg, they also would rather skip those blogs in foriegn languages, or written almost entirely in little square boxes, or, worst of all, covered in Japanese-style cartoons (you know the ones, where the blog itself is stuffed into a little box, with the multicolor text which alternates between theatrical dispair and giggling).
Well, this isnt that service. But, it works out about the same, because I like to keep a list of potentially entertaining blogs I find while surfing, and see if any of them pan out. And because I'm lazy enough to want to avoid cutting and pasting from a list everytime I want to check out one of those blogs, I've created this collection, and posted it for my amusement, which you too can share in. Now, I'd like to point out that while many of the blogs listed are perhaps described by pithy little one-liners, those descriptions are just first impressions. They may be wrong, and so if you've followed some tracking program back here and you look at my description of your blog and I've got it completely wrong, leave a comment, and I'll change it.

Addendum: I've updated this list, sort of:
* indicates a blog that's still there, but no longer in business.
* indicates a blog that's just plain gone

Impeach Bush, some more

Go on over to Rude Pundit, where he presents part II of his reasons why Democrats should include impeaching Bush as a major part of their platform. Is he right? I dont know, but I like the sound of it. And the Rude Pundit manages to be almost PG-13 rated.

A note to Rude Pundit, on the unlikely chance that he follows the link here: Where's Zogby in all this polling? If anyone would ask your question, it would be them.

pop quiz

So, one year to go before the next Congressional elections, and Republicans have pushed through yet another tax cut for the wealthiest Americans.
Democrats also cited a joint study by the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution that shows taxpayers with incomes greater than $1 million per year winning tax cuts of $42,000 under the bill while families with incomes of $50,000 a year would average a $46 tax cut.
“The Republican Party ... is sending all the millionaires on an all-expenses-paid vacation — for $41,000 a year,” said Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash. “The rest of America is being forced to choose between filling the gas tank or stocking the refrigerator.”
So, what do you suppose those lucky millionaires will do with their winnings?
  • Hire a full-time domestic servant at a living wage with benefits, thus proving that trickle-down economics really do work.
  • Hire two full-time illegal alien domestic servants, thus proving the "trickle" in trickle-down economics.
  • Go to Disneyland! EuroDisney, that is!
  • Give half to the RNC, and half to K-street, to ensure the continuing increase in the wealth of the 1%. It's a better investment than stocks!
  • Buy their teenager a Hummer for extra safety while driving to and from raves.
  • Make America a better place for all its citizens through wise investments in small businesses
The answer? Why, all of the above, of course, except that last one, which is merely a talking point. Oh, and the first one, too. As if!

Next time: What will the average American do with his $46?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A question

Do the haves benefit more from the have-nots, or do the have-nots benefit more from the haves? If it is indeed the haves who benefit more, doesnt it seem appropriate that they should give back a larger amount into the system? Isnt this is supposed to be a Nation, not a collection of individuals?
This is the thing I find most disturbing about the current configuration of the Republican Party. Using the doctrine of Individual Responsibility, they are willing to let everyone in the Nation suffer, simply to avoid sharing something they could never have acquired alone.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

(412) 381-1218

This number keeps calling my phone. Since I have caller ID and a machine, I never answer it. According to Dohiyi Mir, it's the DNC.
I'm still not going to answer it. If they want to talk to me, they can leave a message. And make it more than empty rhetoric, please. The lesser of two evils is still evil.

Impeach Bush Now, before it's too late

Go read the Rude Pundit. After a lengthy analogy (and you know how I love analogies) he makes a good point:
When Democrats scramble around, pledging that they'll investigate President Bush but not impeach him, should they be in the majority in one or both houses of Congress, they are promising weakness masked as strength. Instead, Democrats should make impeachment the center of the Congressional campaign because that's what the American people want.
So here's my solution, whenever you go to listen a Democratic candidate for Congress (or, hell, even a Republican one), ask this question:
Considering the incompetence, and the over-reaching of power that have been the hallmarks of the Bush Administration, do you consider it your duty to the Legislative Branch, the Constitution, and the American People to institute impeachment procedings against President Bush?
Do this during the primaries, especially, because it needs to be clear from early on that the Bush Power Grab need to come to an end (or to a head, perhaps).

Monday, May 08, 2006

know when to hold'em, redux

So, was everybody impressed by Hurricane Katrina? I know I was. Are you ready for more? Well, of course not, who is. Is it obvious that I'll be ranting here about global warming*?
Quit that! Take your fingers out of your ears and stop that damn humming!
I'm still not totally convinced that this is a case of global warming, or that global warming is even happening (in a man-made sense). Fairly convinced, but not totally. I say this because there's still some debate going on (even though it seems to be very lopsided, and not terribly convincing on the con side), and because this is a global question.
In case no one noticed, the globe is a really, really, really big place. I'm not sure that 5, 10, 20, or even 100 years is enough time to tell what's going on. Of course, the release of millions of years worth of CO2 which was once stored away in the form of the organic matter which we now call fossil fuel is a pretty good arguement for global warming being our fault (CO2 apparently being the cause of global warming). Still, there is some possibility that the projections are wrong (or that the reasons for them are).

But see, to me the science here seems pretty irrelevant. Whatever it is that's going on, we need policy to deal with it anyway.

Imagine this: You're cold, and you need a sweater, so you go to the store to buy one (this is America, after all). They have two choices.
One is a wool sweater. It'll keep you warm, but you know it's going to be a bit itchy.
The other is incredibly, magically soft, and is guaranteed never to be too warm or too cold; the drawback (and you knew there was one) is that there's about a 50/50 chance that the sweater will suddenly sever your head from your neck.
Which sweater do you choose?

Personally speaking, I'm wearing wool.
Maybe politicians are made of sterner stuff. After all, almost nobody (except maybe really rich kids) ever get to the heights of power without taking a few big chances. Maybe they would take the magic sweater. But in theory, this is supposed to be a representive government. If they want to wear the magic sweater, that's OK with me, a 50% decrease in politicians would suit me just fine. But I dont appreciate them making me risk my neck, too.

Too much analogy for you? Okay, here it is in a nutshell: If there is a chance that we are making life unlivable on this planet (the only one we have so far), wouldnt it be wise to stop doing the things that may be destroying it?
Years from now, if further studies show we're wrong, that we havent been warming the planet, then we can all slap ourselves on the forehead and have a good laugh with our grandchildren. Then we'll all go out, get into our electric hum-vees (charged with solar power) and go have a picnic someplace in the clean air.

One last thing. (Put on tin-foil hat now.) Perhaps we should support the BushCorp in their plans to use a nuclear device or two in Iran. After all, if the planet is getting warmer, perhaps even uncontrollably warmer, then what better antidote than a nice nuclear winter?

*In the interest of full disclosure, I should admit that this is a reworking of a post from last August.

yet more comedy



Okay, so maybe that (below) wasnt the best image to pull you in. How about this one?

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Saturday, May 06, 2006

copying homework

Okay, here's something you can try that just sounds like a lot of fun. If you've gotten tired of being rejected from the Carnival of the Liberals (or maybe you're bored with getting in, I dont know), try sinking your teeth into this writing contest from the Morning News. The object is to write a story that consists entirely of phrases, sentences, or whole paragraphs lifted from other sources. No original words whatsoever. You must use at least five sources, and you must cite all of them. 750 words. Be there, or be square. Contest deadline is midnight on May 12th.

Proper credit should go to The Phantom Professor, where I saw this news first.

Friday, May 05, 2006

today's quote

Against a diseased imagination demonstration goes for nothing.

Mark Twain

Thursday, May 04, 2006

sidebar update

I was way past due for this, and so I've finally updated my sidebar. I put my frequently read links (that dont link with me) back on because I've found that I didnt read them if they werent right there to click on. Besides, I'd only banished them to a seperate page to make my Blogshares value go up, which is really stupid (as is the whole concept of Blogshares, really). So, it's back.
Watch for the next edition of Dave's Blogtroll List, coming whenever I get around to building it out of the huge (overdue) list I've got (the last list was over four months ago).

time out

please, please, just go away, I beg you.

You've experienced A Day Without An Immigrant. Now consider, A Day Without A Republican.

Ahhh. bliss.

props to Limbo

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

life choices

Let me just say that I believe that life was the proper verdict in the Zacarias Moussaoui case. A long, long, safe, unmartyred life in prison, that's what Moussaoui needs. Not deserves, NEEDS. Let's hope that his fellow prisoners understand this also. Whatever Moussaoui's involvement, I suspect he did everything he could think of to be provocative, hoping to get himself a death sentence, and so join his comrades in glorious martyrdom.
Well, fuck you, Moussaoui. Burn (metaphorically) in a prison cell. Dwell on your Earth-bound existance. Everyday, feel the houris slipping farther and farther from your grubby, twisted paws. And some day, years from now, die a sad, lonely death, long after this dumb-ass, manufactured (on both sides) conflict has settled down, and ordinary people can get back to their ordinary lives.

addendum:
One phrase, preferably uttered by a very large, entreprenurial man:
"Welcome to prison. You're my bitch now."

apologies

My apologies to those of you who check in from time to time to see if I've said anything of interest or amusement. I'm afraid I simply have nothing to say at this time. This may change tomorrow, or it may go on for weeks, I dont know. Partly, it's a time issue, partly it's a weariness issue (the end of the school year usually coincides with my zombification), partly I'm just feeling a bit blank. I'll probably keep up with my comments on other blogs, but I've just got nothing for this one.

(I've said this before though, then ripped out a half dozen posts in less than 36 hours, so who knows.)