Monday, December 31, 2007
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Terry Pratchett has alzheimers. Words cannot express how bummed out I am about this. Not my words, anyway. No doubt Terry could do it just right. If you've never heard of Pratchett, start with Good Omens. Or The Wee Free Men. Or just about anything, really.
Friday, December 28, 2007
I warn you, this is addictive. It's an air force test, and as far as I can tell, the trick is to not move too quickly or too far.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
A question came from the audience along the lines of: "What about fascists? If you take your view, it may not be possible to say conclusively that fascists are wrong".
"No, that’s right," the speaker said, "But I don’t need to say they’re wrong. I just need to say they’re bastards."
from a comment at Big Ideas
Friday, December 21, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
What began as a troubling year for Bush, facing a new, energetic Democratic Congress, ended in triumph for the president as frustrated Democrats nursed their losses. Democrats failed in their No. 1 objective to stop the war in Iraq and bowed to Bush and his veto threats on tax policies, energy legislation, children's health insurance and general spending.This was not Lord Bush's victory, or at least, this was not a victory made by Lord Bush. This was a self-defeat for the Democratic "leadership". If there has ever been a bigger bunch of pussies in the hallowed halls of congress, it has not been during my lifetime*.
Somehow, a group of people who've risen to the top of the power food-chain have failed to grasp the role that image plays in this nation's psyche, a role that the Republicans have grasped with gusto and played to the hilt.
From the start, Democrats should have been sending Bush bill after bill, doing the job that Americans elected them to do. They should have done this regardless of any threat of veto. In the Senate, where things are often harder to get done, compromise might have been acceptable, but not the capitulation which has marked 2007.
If you watched that video from yesterday, you heard Mr. Israel worrying about how Bill Clinton shut down the government in 1994 by vetoing the budget handed him by an "entitlement"-slashing Republican congress. That veto was widely regarded as a defeat for the congress, but that's less because Clinton won than it was because the Republicans were mean-spirited asshats, and most people knew that. In 1994, Clinton was polling at around two-thirds, but in the here and now, Bush is at one third on a good day, and he is the mean-spirited asshat, not the congress.
Congress has the moral and Constitutional authority to cut off funding, to bring home the troops, to cancel tax breaks given to the Oil Companies in addition to the boondogle provided by the Iraq war, to reject candidates who are unsuitable for administering laws, and to investigate whatever it considers to be transgressions of the law, those laws having been created by congress in the first place.
I dont know how much of this the nation will take lying down. Then again, maybe the nations been doing a bit too much lying around anyway. Maybe it's time to get up and get a little loose.
* admittedly, not all that long, relatively.
So, anyway, two things occur to me:
1. How stupid do those who confirmed Mukasey as Attorney General feel now?
2. How convieniently timed is this revelation by the CIA, about inflamatory tapes that no longer exist (and so inflame passions only abstractly), which comes at a time when the White House is getting hammered by the press (hell, by everybody) over the NIE?
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Okay, now, I dont want anyone to think that my happiness revolves around food, even if it is frequently true. But I do want to give you a "recipe" today, since I recently finished off this dish, and I love it, love it, love it. It's nice, simple Guy Food:
- Get 1 box of Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni, plus a pound of hamburger, some milk and whatever else you need to follow the instructions with.
- Now follow those instructions (oh, and add some chopped onion when you brown the meat, and be sure and season it, too; salt, pepper, garlic powder, whatever).
- When the Helper is done, open up a can of Ranch Style Beans and dump them in (you might drain them first, or you might not).
- microwave a cup or so of frozen corn, then dump that in. You can use the canned stuff, but I really dont recommend it. Frozen is better.
- Stir it up (I know it seems obvious, but still).
- Dont just sit there, eat it! Have it with a nice salad, too (use Green Goddess dressing, just for fun).
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Yeah, if you want to call the richest 1% the "underpinning", then King George isnt a big, fat liar, I suppose. With forty percent of America's wealth under their belt, those 3 million folks are doing pretty darn "good".
On the other hand...
Bush tried to position himself as an advocate for working families by taking aim at his favorite target: the Democratic Congress.
"The Congress cannot take economic vitality for granted," Bush said.
"The most negative thing Congress can do in the face of economic uncertainty is to raise taxes on the American people," Bush said.
The audience of roughly 80 people listened to Bush with respectful silence. Yet a line that normally gets him applause — "I'll veto any tax increase" — drew no reaction at all.
Holy crap! No reaction to tax vetoes? Let's remember something very important here about the audience (hell, any audience) when Commander Chimp was speaking: they are a bunch of ringers. Dissent is not allowed in a Bush audience, which is generally stacked with members of the Still-Delusional Third (or whatever the number is these days). Even this audience failed to applaud his "no taxes" mantra, which may just be a clear indication that America is finally waking up to the enormous hole into which it has dug itself. Or maybe not. But you have to be pretty blind not to see at least some of our economic woes.
- Record debt
- massive trade deficit
- Negative savings levels
- devaluation of our currency
- stagnant pay rates (for most of us)
- growing poverty
- gas prices (not to mention record oil profits)
- inflation (yeah, you heard me, and you know it's true)
Maybe it wont come to that. Let's hope so, anyway. I mean, enlightened self-interest ought to say that if you have a quarter-million dollars, and have to give up, say, as much as even half through various economic policies, you've still got $125,000,000. That's enough to live fairly comfortably on, right? Or maybe not. Certainly there are days when I wonder how I get by on .05% of that.
Still, it may be a sacrifice we'll all have to make. I'm sure ol' Dubs will wave the flag just as vigorously when a bit of economic patriotism is called for, right?
* i.e., rose-colored short-sightedness
** and those little bastards are a lot stronger than they look
Hey, check out some more numbers from the Existentialist Cowboy; seems even the government knows it policies are bullshit, they just dont say it in so many words.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Two months ago, President Bush made a strong argument for updating a law which oversees the government's ability to engage in surveillance of Americans and non-citizens, which requires warrants from a secret court. He spoke of the importance to our nation's security to have a bill ready for him to sign, so as to not "limit" his administration's anti-terrorism activities.There's more, of course, but we all know how the script goes these days, dont we? There'll be lots of hand-wringing from "Democratic" leaders, a few "incendiary" comments from real liberals, some near accusations of treason from Republicans, some actual accusations of treason from a "conservative" pundit or two, and then, once more, King George will get his way, and America will slide a little bit farther down into that ditch we used to call fascism, but now have rebranded as Patriotism™.
"Congress and the President have no higher responsibility than protecting the American people from enemies who attacked our country," he said.
But underneath this urgency was a threat: Even if Congress sent him an updated Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) bill with the provisions he said were required to pursue wiretaps of individuals with a minimum of judicial oversight, Mr. Bush said he would veto it if it did not also include an extraneous provision: immunity to telecommunications companies from liability for their past participation in the administration's wiretaps.
And it's all so unnecessary. Once again, the Democrats are falling into the veto trap. You know, the one where Lord Bush says, "do what I want, or the government will grind to a halt and life as we know it will end!"
Hey! Let it. As far as I'm concerned, this government needs to grind to a halt. In fact, it cant do that soon enough, for me. I didnt choose any of the people who "represent" me in the government. Even had their opponents won, they still wouldnt have been anything more than the lesser of two increasingly obnoxious and downright sulphurous evils. So please, grind the government to a halt, end life as we know it right now.
Wouldnt that be a nice holiday* gift?
Because I gotta tell ya', life as I know it isnt all that great. I'd kind of like to go back to life as I remember it. You know, under that "bad" president we used to have. Yeah, I know, it's a pipe dream. We can never go back, we will apparently only be allowed to goose-step our way into a more "secure" future.
* Yeah, I said "holiday": fuck you, Bill O.
DALLAS (Reuters Life!) - More Americans believe in a literal hell and the devil than Darwin's theory of evolution, according to a new Harris poll released on Thursday.If you've ever wondered what will cause America to loose our world leadership position (I mean, aside from neo-con foriegn policy), look no further than our increasingly stupid attitude about science. What is the world's future (economically, anyway) going to be based on, science or philosphy?
Sunday, December 16, 2007
That's right, it's the Best of 2007 at the Carnival of the Liberals (#53), and I got into it! Yay, me! And you know what? I got in because I'm fuckin' great, man! No more false modesty for this boy, 'cause I rock. Why I'm not rolling in endorsement money is beyond me. Oh, except that I would never sell out, that's right, never. Money? Feh! Who needs it? All I require is the occassional verification that I'm not flapping my fingers in vain. All that crap about writing even if no one read it? Lies, lies, lies. But no more! This feels good, and I'm not afraid to say so. It was worth every dollar in bribery I spent... not that I did that, of course. That would be wrong.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Hell, I'd do it. If I had any money that is. But then, I'm selfish, and I really do want one of those computers, and this is the only way to get one. So if anyone out there would like make my Christmas a really kick-ass one, feel free to pay for this for me. Really, I'd appreciate it. I'll even write a post thanking you, and I'd do it using bright green keys.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Without a draft or a revitalized Reserve and National Guard that ties the military closer to civilian society, in the decades ahead American troops may become less soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen, and more purple warriors—in essence a guild in which the profession of combat-arms is passed down from father to son. It is striking how many troops I know whose parents and other relatives had also been in the service, especially among the units whose members face the highest level of personal risk. Contrast this with the fact that, at the 2006 Stanford commencement ceremony, Maj. General Lehnert, whose son was the lone graduating student from a military family, was struck by how many of the other parents had never even met a member of the military before he introduced himself.Now, one of the things that's always made me think that America was fairly immune to the kind of military coups that go down in other countries is that it seemed inconceivable that the military here would rebel against it's own people. However, if the above statement is accurate, how much longer before the disconnect between military personel and the general citizenry becomes so great that it becomes, not a case of turning on our own, but rather turning on those who "just dont understand"? David Brin has made the arguement (backed up here and there by articles within the MSN) that the military is becoming more evangelical, which further pushes them into an us-vs-them mentality.
I'm not a big fan of war, and I think "patriotism" is a suckers game that our leaders use to manipulate us. That said, I also think we've got a serious problem in this country with our pride in the nation. Oh, sure, people claim to "proud to be American", but when it comes to sacrificing something, anything, for that nation, well, forget it.
Taxes to pay for the improvement of the nation? Read my lips! Buy American? But the Chinese stuff is cheaper and I cant buy that 42" LCD TV if I spend an extra 25% on U.S.-made socks. Drive a smaller, more fuel efficient car? But how will I haul all my stuff?
Folks, it's time for the return of a National Service requirement. Not necessarily into the military, but some form of service. Maybe it'd be miltary service, maybe it'd be something more like the old WPA, maybe it'd be something like the Peace Corp, either abroad or at home*. Whatever it was though, dragging our youth out of their shells, out of the comfortable little worlds that they've built for themselves in their first 18-24 years (we can be flexible), and making them interact with parts of America that they havent before can only be beneficial to the nation, right?
We dont want to pay taxes? Fine, I can understand that. But how about we pay with some sweat? How about we get off our lazy, entitled asses, and actually do something to make this country great, rather than trying to buy it that way through the Free Market.
If you want something done right, do it yourself. Because you cannot get anything done as well through delegation as you can through personal interest.
* there's a name for this organization, actually, but I cannot remember what it is.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Now here we are running up to the 2008 presidential race, and it's starting to like like we're going to have to choose the candidate which frightens us the least, and that's just sad.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Want proof (other than trying to blog-surf yourself): look at your sitemeter stats, and tell me if you see any indicators that people showed up from the next blog button. They used to appear right after you posted, but it's been a while since I've seen any sign of someone showing up that way.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Frank Miller rocked, by the way.
I also just discovered that the Des Moines Register was bought by the Gannett "News" Corporation, which explains why it wasnt nearly as good when I visited Iowa this November as I remember it being when I was a kid.
Friday, December 07, 2007
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
I love a good TV show, but they rarely love me. Frank's Place, Wonderfalls, and, after the fact, Dead Like Me and Firefly. Or maybe it's not me, maybe it's the networks.
Anyway, this is the first* part of the pilot of "Cupid", a briefly aired show which showcased the manic charms of Jeremy Piven. It's fun, it's clever, and it disappeared leaving a lot of loose ends. Watch them all (the episodes, not the loose ends) on YouTube.
Here's the story: Jeremy Piven is a man being held on a psych charge because he believes himself to be Cupid, the god of Love. He is released in to the care of a psychologist, Paula Marshall, who also happens to write a well-know Chicago advice column to the love-lorn and run a singles therapy group. How's that for a set up? Cupid claims that he wont be allowed back to Olympus until he unites 100 couple in "true love" without the aid of his magic darts, which he then proceeds to attempt (with varying success) for the course of the show.
Is he really Cupid? I dont know, and if it's contained in the first 9 minutes of the pilot, we may never know, because it's missing. I'm not going to say that it's a great show, but it is highly entertaining.
* part 2, actually, part 1 is here, but part 2 is better
Props to Bill, by the way, for pointing me to it.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Do you think the Iraqis would have done it? I dont know either, but I think for many Iraqis, 10,000 $US would be nothing to sneeze at. I know I wouldnt sneeze at it. Hell, here in America we gave away millions to our own rich for a mere 600 pieces of silver, and that was more of a payday loan than anything.
It would have been a bargain, though. We've since spent over twice that, to say nothing of the lives lost on both sides. We all would have benefitted from such a plan, excepting perhaps Halliburton.
The crazy thing is that this is America, a land where most people are actually convinced that they can buy whatever it is that they want. I guess what we wanted more than anything was a bar fight.
Yee-ha. Be careful what you wish for young country, or you shall surely get it.
Incidentally, using the figure given in the link above, so far the war has cost us a mere $1500+ for every man, woman and child in America. How's that for a bargain? Isnt it better than some boring old bridges, or an affordable college education, or health care for everyone?
previously posted with smaller numbers
Monday, December 03, 2007
"Note to Red Staters"
"Next shareholder's meeting: no more proxy voting!"
"Joining the Blogstorm"
"Another War Casualty"
Also, I need to have it in by midnight, so, no pressure.
Addendum: well, it's after midnight (EST) and I made my choice, so, never mind.
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Okay, admittedly, putting this video on my blog to help raise the Rev's stats is a little Barry Bonds-ish, but it's for a good cause, so I'll do it anyway.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Here's what I can imagine: Suppose, instead of destroying an oil-producing country (or two) in what will probably be a futile effort to ensure a steady supply of (environment destroying) oil and gasoline, we had built an infrastructure for recharging electric cars? Set up a sytem so that every restaurant and every park and every mall, hell, every parking lot had a recharge station. No, they wouldnt be free, you'd swipe a card through, or feed quarters or something like that, but you could do it everywhere.
As more and more people switched over to electric cars (or modified hybrids), business owners would perhaps notice that sales were increasing as people, having stopped for a while to charge their cars, look for things to do including shopping at the retail outlets next to the charging stations. Parks, which should be among the first places that charging stations are set up, would also see increased usage (and I bet there would be a drop in accidents and incidents of road-rage as people are forced to take breaks every few hours to recharge their batteries (literally and figuretively). GM's EV-1 proved that the electric car can be a viable option (despite the destruction of all the cars and what I suspect is a bit of the Assasination Effect), and I'll bet right now that GM is perhaps rethinking their earlier strategy (had GM continued to develop, market and build the EV-1, imagine the position they'd be in right now).
Unfortunately, that hasnt happened. But hey! Dont dispair. One of the advantage of America having spent decades building crap cars is that there's plenty of rolling stock out there just waiting to be converted to electric. Sure it's a pain in the ass, but it'll be your gasoline avoiding, non-carbon emitting, I'm-greener-than-you-so-suck-it-neighbor pain in the ass.
Oh, and for anyone who'd like to extoll the virtues of the hybrid engine, I'm with you and all, but I'd also point out that a hybrid engine is even more complicated (and therefore prone to breakdown and profitable repairwork) than a regular internal combustion engine. The primary reason that people prefer a hybrid over a straight electric vehicle is range, and the lack thereof in a vehicle powered solely by battery.
Oh, and here's a question for any engineering types out there: Why cant you have an electric car that has an auxillary gas-powered generator sending juice to the batteries? I assume that there is a good reason why no one seems to set up a car that way, so what is it? Just curious.
Friday, November 30, 2007
All great empires and nations decay from within. By the time they hobble off the world stage, overrun by the hordes at the gates or vanishing quietly into the pages of history books, what made them successful and powerful no longer has relevance. This rot takes place over decades, as with the Soviet Union, or, even longer, as with the Roman, Ottoman or Austro-Hungarian empires. It is often imperceptible.
Dying empires cling until the very end to the outward trappings of power. They mask their weakness behind a costly and technologically advanced military. They pursue increasingly unrealistic imperial ambitions. They stifle dissent with efficient and often ruthless mechanisms of control. They lose the capacity for empathy, which allows them to see themselves through the eyes of others, to create a world of accommodation rather than strife. The creeds and noble ideals of the nation become empty cliches, used to justify acts of greater plunder, corruption and violence. By the end, there is only a raw lust for power and few willing to confront it.
The most damning indicators of national decline are upon us. We have watched an oligarchy rise to take economic and political power. The top 1 percent of the population has amassed more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined, creating economic disparities unseen since the Depression. If Hillary Rodham Clinton becomes president, we will see the presidency controlled by two families for the last 24 years.
Massive debt, much of it in the hands of the Chinese, keeps piling up as we fund absurd imperial projects and useless foreign wars. Democratic freedoms are diminished in the name of national security. And the erosion of basic services, from education to health care to public housing, has left tens of millions of citizens in despair. The displacement of genuine debate and civil and political discourse with the noise and glitter of public spectacle and entertainment has left us ignorant of the outside world, and blind to how it perceives us. We are fed trivia and celebrity gossip in place of news.
An increasing number of voices, especially within the military, are speaking to this stark deterioration. They describe a political class that no longer knows how to separate personal gain from the common good, a class driving the nation into the ground.
“There has been a glaring and unfortunate display of incompetent strategic leadership within our national leaders,” retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, the former commander of forces in Iraq, recently told the New York Times, adding that civilian officials have been “derelict in their duties” and guilty of a “lust for power.”
The American working class, once the most prosperous on Earth, has been politically disempowered, impoverished and abandoned. Manufacturing jobs have been shipped overseas. State and federal assistance programs have been slashed. The corporations, those that orchestrated the flight of jobs and the abolishment of workers’ rights, control every federal agency in Washington, including the Department of Labor. They have dismantled the regulations that had made the country’s managed capitalism a success for ordinary men and women. The Democratic and Republican Parties now take corporate money and do the bidding of corporate interests.
Philadelphia is a textbook example. The city has seen a precipitous decline in manufacturing jobs, jobs that allowed households to live comfortably on one salary. The city had 35 percent of its workforce employed in the manufacturing sector in 1950, perhaps the zenith of the American empire. Thirty years later, this had fallen to 20 percent. Today it is 8.8 percent. Commensurate jobs, jobs that offer benefits, health care and most important enough money to provide hope for the future, no longer exist. The former manufacturing centers from Flint, Mich., to Youngstown, Ohio, are open sores, testaments to a growing internal collapse.
The United States has gone from being the world’s largest creditor to its largest debtor. As of September 2006, the country was, for the first time in a century, paying out more than it received in investments. Trillions of dollars go into defense while the nation’s infrastructure, from levees in New Orleans to highway bridges in Minnesota, collapses. We spend almost as much on military power as the rest of the world combined, while Social Security and Medicare entitlements are jeopardized because of huge deficits. Money is available for war, but not for the simple necessities of daily life.
Nothing makes these diseased priorities more starkly clear than what the White House did last week. On the same day, Tuesday, President Bush vetoed a domestic spending bill for education, job training and health programs, yet signed another bill giving the Pentagon about $471 billion for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1. All this in the shadow of a Joint Economic Committee report suggesting that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been twice as expensive than previously imagined, almost $1.5 trillion.
The decision to measure the strength of the state in military terms is fatal. It leads to a growing cynicism among a disenchanted citizenry and a Hobbesian ethic of individual gain at the expense of everyone else. Few want to fight and die for a Halliburton or an Exxon. This is why we do not have a draft. It is why taxes have not been raised and we borrow to fund the war. It is why the state has organized, and spends billions to maintain, a mercenary army in Iraq. We leave the fighting and dying mostly to our poor and hired killers. No nationwide sacrifices are required. We will worry about it later.
It all amounts to a tacit complicity on the part of a passive population. This permits the oligarchy to squander capital and lives. It creates a world where we speak exclusively in the language of violence. It has plunged us into an endless cycle of war and conflict that is draining away the vitality, resources and promise of the nation.
It signals the twilight of our empire.
I thought that the article was important enough, and gave its message with such clarity, that I had to dump it whole on my blog. It's depressing as hell, I know. Will things come to pass as Hedges predicts? I hope not, but I dont hold out too much of it. The longer the People sleep, the harder our awakening will be.
On the other hand, there was a nice (more hopeful, I thought) comment by a fellow named TAO Walker:
"This old Indian encourages our domesticated Sisters and Brothers to stay calm, let go of the chains of fear binding them to the foundering pyramid-scheme, take care of one another, and start travelling Light. There is a wonderful Story unfolding in these “interesting times,” and they are all in it."Let's hope so. Let's hope for the spirit shown by the people of New York after 9-11, and hope that government "leadership" doesnt create another fiasco like that which followed Hurricane Katrina. I especially love the idea of "travelling light", because if there's any root cause for all this mess we're in right now, it's our obsessive need for more stuff.
props to Kel at the Osterly Times
Thursday, November 29, 2007
How powerful is this piece?
This* is what our soldiers should be fighting for, not a shit-ton of oil that'll just further kill the planet (or, rather, the part of the planet that supports us; the planet will live on, whatever we do to it, whether we live on or not).
Here's another good one, though it's really just cool, rather than powerful.
*art, not Jesus or gold
props to ALR for leading me to it.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Now I'm hungry. But when I'm done, I'll be happy.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Demonbaby's output is erratic at best, but even when it's truly bizarre it's generally entertaining. So I was pleased to find this post about the Music Industry in my seasonal sojourne to his site. An exerpt follows:
For the major labels, it's over. It's fucking over. You're going to burn to the fucking ground, and we're all going to dance around the fire. And it's your own fault. Surely, somewhere deep inside, you had to know this day was coming, right? Your very industry is founded on an unfair business model of owning art you didn't create in exchange for the services you provide. It's rigged so that you win every time - even if the artist does well, you do ten times better. It was able to exist because you controlled the distribution, but now that's back in the hands of the people, and you let the ball drop when you could have evolved.I'd heard somewhere just recently that only 75% (or maybe it was 95%) of musicians never see more than an advance check from their record labels, and that most of the profits recording artists make comes from touring and merchandise. So tell me again why anyone needs the Reocord labels? Read the whole thing, it's terrific, and it makes me hope for the future of music.
Monday, November 26, 2007
I wonder a bit about the trustworthiness of these things sometimes, but I suppose that at worst they're at least as trustworthy as anything we get from the News.
Does it seem to most of you out there that people treat politics the way they do entertainment? It would certainly explain a lot. Maybe people need to be convinced to treat politics like a health insurance policy, instead. Sure, they're all lousy (unless you're a politician), but you've got to look carefully and choose the one that meets your needs the best. Picking the one with prettiest brochure isnt going to do you much good at all.
Of course, as the Good Reverend pointed out, it helps to have good health insurance to recognise it.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
A few "facts" about bears, from my comments in an amusing "Bearskin Rug" post "about" bears:
- It seems that in the last century or so, bears have achieved an understanding of human art, one of the few animals to do so. They generally practice a form of scrimshaw, a medium for which their claws are handily adaptable to. Their work is largely of the magical-realistic style, and mostly concerns issues of ecology, climate, and an ongoing debate having to do with nuts in chocolate.
- Bears are actually largely hairless, much like humans, having little hair on their bodies except for on their heads. The so-called "bearskin" is actually a jumpsuit-like covering that bears weave using their own head-hairs. It may be due to the decrease in popularity of the "bearskin rug" that bears have taken up carving, since they are no longer having to spend all their time stockpiling and making new coats to replace those stolen by bearskin hunters.
- Bears could save themselves a lot of trouble if they would wear clothes, instead of their woven bearskin suits (fleece sweat-clothes would work admirably), but refuse to for aesthetic reasons. They also find depictions of bears in clothing, such as in Maurice Sendak's "Little Bear" stories, to be highly offensive. There is a rumour that they had contacted legal council, but the contact seems to have advanced to the eating stage and they have been since black-balled by all reputable advocacy agencies.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Well, maybe in theory. A lot of "liberals" are no more liberal than "conservatives" are conservative.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
If it doesnt use gasoline, and costs less than $40 a week to feed, I'm ready for it.
This is a Gahan Wilson cartoon I cut out of something (probably a Playboy) years ago. I thought I'd heard that Wilson was dead, but apparently not.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Good golly yes, the Bush Administration loves our boys in uniform. That's why they've been dismissing them in greater numbers* than before (often sans benefits), because they dont want army units to be tainted by crazy people. That's got to be it, right? How else would you explain the rise? Is it the lowered standards for getting into the military in the first place that has resulted in over 28,000 soldiers being kicked out since the war began? Would it be fair to say that this number is about how many people got in who wouldnt have before? If so, then what was the point? (Huh, what was the point, indeed?)
I've got a suggestion: let's go back to the way it was during the Viet Nam War. You know, instead of "supporting the troops" by cutting their funding, denying them mental care for combat-derived craziness, farming out their services to lowest-bidders making a buck off of them, and generally sending them into harms way for anther barrel-full of petro-profits, let's just spit at them when they come home and call them baby-killers, but give them the services, care, equipment and institutional respect they deserve, no, have earned.
Sure it's a lousy choice, but words hurt far less than the "support" that this nation, in the guise of the government, has shown to those who do (and die) it's bidding. If it was me, I'd take the words and the services. After all, I'd rather wish that a bunch of hippies (or whatever) go fuck themselves than that the government I was fighting for did so.
* Dont give me any bullshit about it being the army rather than the administration. Middling army brass dont give a shit about whether some fuck-up soldier gets benefits or not, just so long as he gits. Benefit denial is almost exclusively a Republican trait.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
No More Parents: this blog goes with the
Elephantitis of the Mind cartoon blog.
Bearskin Rug: cartoons, etc, kind of like a magazine.
Mr. Toledano: terrific photos.
Joe Irvin's Blog: political blog by former newspaper editor
SlovinskySculpture: an art blog
The Cartoon Blog: a reasonable christian blog.
Consider This: musings on modern life
Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence: indescribeable, but eloquent
Gus Van Horn: not a "conservative", not a "liberal", worth a read.
Pinky Tailors Bag everywhere: a fake ad blog. I think.
Stupid Enough Unexplanation: a liberal blog
Clusterfuck Nation, a blog by former journalist Jim Kunstler. Also located here.
Millard Fillmore's Bathtub: a liberal blog.
Corrente: a liberal blog by the Senior Fellows of The Mighty Corrente Building
Have Coffee, Will Write: another liberal blog (can't have too many).
xkcd - a webcomic
Culinary Annotations: a recipe blog.
Nate's Fargo Fixer-Upper: a house repair blog.
Bits and Pieces: random stuff. (new site here)
Book Dragon: a book-lover at Word Press, or the old one here.
The 4th Avenue Blues: an ex-addict's blog
The Divided States Of bu$hmeriKa 2: an anti-bush blog
Beam Me Up: Science & Science Fiction news.
Pass Me a Diet Coke: the blog of a female law student
Workshop: Paul Kane, artist
Pascal Campion: artist, cool illustrations.
individual posts of note:
An amusing "story" w/ LOTR.
Some cool Red/Blue maps.
A fascinating set of graphs about about the national debt.
Then there are these blogs which may be defunct, which you might look at once anyway:
No: an odd one, I think it changes.
I Think In Maps: a theology dude.
Red Dirt Design: a design blog (duh).
Ótimas Oportinidades de Negocios: a brazillian architecture blog, I think.
Usafari: a traveller's blog.
Berto's Blog: a science site, more or less.
You have to see this to believe it. Republican "humor".
previous blogtrolls: no. 4, no. 3, no. 2, or maybe it's no. 1, I cant actually find 2 more in the archives. Troll \Troll\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Trolled; p. pr. & vb. n. Trolling.] [OE. trollen to roll, F. tr[^o]ler, Of. troller to drag about, to ramble; probably of Teutonic origin; cf. G. trollen to roll, ramble, sich trollen to be gone; or perhaps for trotler, fr. F. trotter to trot (cf. Trot.). Cf. Trawl.]
1. To move circularly or volubly; to roll; to turn.
To dress and troll the tongue, and roll the eye.2. To send about; to circulate, as a vessel in drinking.
Then doth she troll to the bowl. - Gammer Gurton's Needle.4. To angle for with a trolling line, or with a book drawn along the surface of the water; hence, to allure.
Troll the brown bowl. - Sir W. Scott.
5. To fish in; to seek to catch fish from.
With patient angle trolls the finny deep.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I wonder if perhaps you could spend one day dedicated to what makes you laugh rather than being angry at the obvious decay of our nation?I've thought about this (she's not the first to ask, either) and decided to try and be a bit more positive. And let's substitute "happy" for "laugh".
I'll start out small, but I'll try to make this a regular feature.
This is something that makes me happy. It is a Baby Einstein product which is, sadly, no longer available. I got it at my favorite thrift store. I dont remember the kids being particularly enamored of it, but I thought it was great. It plays only four (brightly-colored) notes, but each of those notes has four different tones, none of which sound like typical (annoying) electronic sounds, plus it plays a half dozen or so fairly complex classical pieces at the touch of a button. It is one of the few electronic toys that I've encountered in raising my kids that I'd actually recommend to anyone for their own kids.
I know, it's not much, but it is a pure and unadulterated happiness.
Monday, November 12, 2007
It's also absolutely infuriating.
If you dont feel like watching what I'll admit is a very propagandistic-style film, then try reading this book review from the Guardian. Or google her.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
This is from Cectic. Try it, you'll enjoy it... unless you're an easily offended religious type.
There arent a lot of cartoons yet, but my favorites are here, here, here and here.
(whoops! forgot to give credit where credit is due!)
Friday, November 09, 2007
Senator Chuck Schumer
After this whole Mukasey thing, I find myself wondering, what did Schumer get for his part in this nomination? I believe he was the one who brought Mukasey to everyone's attention, "suggested" him to the Administration. What form did his 40 pieces of silver take? Surely, especially the way Washington runs today, he didnt play the part of Dubya's rent-boy unwittingly or for free. So what does he get out of it? Keep an eye on Schumer, 'cause it'll be something.
Seriously, after one year of the Democrats being in power, I'm really starting to wonder what the point of having elections in 2006 was. Some people worry about Lord Bush staging some sort of coup to remain in power, but it seems to me that all he'll need to do is go to Congress, regardless of who runs it, and say, "Hey Guys! I really like being the Big Chief, so I want you to make me President-For-Life."
Democrats will make a fuss, a Republican or two will express misgivings, and then they'll make him our Emperor.
And what the hell, why not. I've seen it said that the Military Industrial Complex that runs our nation now wont loose its grip until we have a major crisis of society. Unpleasant as that sounds, how much worse can it be than this slow death by civil strangulation we're slipping into now? So bring it on! Let's descend into third-world barbarism and dispair. Let's become the downtrodden masses that our Republican masters have been working us towards for decades.
And while you're at it, why dont you check out some Buddhist literature? It might come in handy later on.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
"History teaches us that underestimating the words of evil, ambitious men is a terrible mistake..."
George W. Bush
Once again, Herr Dubya says something about his enemies that might just as easily have been said about him. Does nobody pay attention to what that man says?
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
The only winners here have been the oil companies. Everyone else is the loser.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
1) George Bush sucks dick.
2) Dick Cheney sucks dick.
3) The guys at the NSA in charge of watching blogs suck dick.
4) "How did you know there would be an attack on September 11, 2008?"
5) Iran is not interested in killing the Great Satan America, but they would really like for us to get our soldiers and weaponry out of their back yard.
6) There is no god but the Flying Spagetti Monster.
7) George Bush is wrong.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Dont think so? Read this, courtesy of Kel, who lives in a place where information about what an unmitigated asshole George Bush continues to be is actually considered to be news.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Some days I feel that way about blogging.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
The Authoritarians, by Bob Altemeyer
I'm going to hell for linking this
"Commander Guy" action figure!
MarketPlace interview with Goldman Sachs Vice Chairman Robert Hormats about War debt
A really wild optical illusion which I'd embed if I could.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Heh, you can tell it's an old cartoon because it uses a typewriter in the picture. I'm not sure who the cartoonist is, perhaps Mike Lane.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Anyway, dont be surprised if things are a little thin round these parts.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
At a campaign stop (in New Hampshire), Hillary Clinton sparred verbally for several minutes with a man who pressed her on her recent vote to call Iran's army a terrorist organization.Okay, maybe this is so obvious that Clinton cannot see it for the trees, but maybe the reason that she's been asked the same question in three different places is because it's a question that voters really care about!
Randall Rolph, from nearby Nashua, asked why he should support Clinton's candidacy when she did not appear to have learned any lessons from having voted to authorize force in Iraq.
Clinton thanked him for the question and explained her Iran vote would lay the groundwork for using diplomacy and sanctions to pressure that government.
Clinton accused the man of being a plant who had been sent to ask the question, to which he took exception, saying the question was a result of his own research.
"I apologize," Clinton said, explaining that she had been asked the very same question in three other places.
She doesnt get that, and yet, we* are still apparently going to choose her for the Democratic nominee.
* I use "we" in the loosest sense here.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
to Less People, Less Idiots, though it's not really gone.
to A Quiet Noise, now a headphone dealer.
to Rebecca at Harpowoman Honks.
to Twitz and his twisted Bunny.
and to Pops at his Bucket, who just simply stopped.
I've enjoyed them all, but they've all ceased to be updated (if they're even still there), so they're coming off the sidebar. I'll miss them.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
props to Kel
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
- "Uncle Jay Explains The News", something shown to me by Saur, and which I just had to have a link to here on my own blog, because it's very funny.
- "Blogger Play", which you may have already discovered if you ever bother to look at the Dashboard after you sign in. I rarely do, but I'm glad I did today. Blogger Play is basically a slideshow of stuff being uploaded to put onto blogs, and it's kind of mesmerizing. If there's a way to make it your screensaver, make it so.
Here's the idea: legalize recreational drugs, with heavy regulation, high taxation, and fixed low(ish) prices. Republicans are always talking about how regulation is so horrible for business, and yet recreational drugs are one of the most unregulated businesses on the planet (making something illegal is not regulation, not for drug dealers, and not for CEOs). Anyone who wishes to deal in recreational drugs will have to be licensed (for a fat fee), and their product will have to conform to standards (and I mean for the purposes of consistancy, not dilution). There will be a heavy tax rate, but, by regulation, prices will be kept fairly low in order to make crime less necessary in order to get money to pay for the drugs with and to make the current black market unprofitable.
But you're saying, "Dave, we've heard all this before, it's not original."
Maybe this part will interest you: The manufacturing of drugs will be placed in the hands of the Pharmaceutical Industry. In exchange for this constant supply of money, Big Pharma will agree to have strict controls placed upon the prices of medicine. They will also cease and desist all advertising and marketing of drugs, especially for non-FDA approved uses.
- no R&D on recreational drugs.
- any new rec drug formula becomes property of the State.
- any pharma company found developing or colluding with development of new rec drugs is heavily fined and loses privledge of rec drug trade.
- selling drugs without a license becomes a really hard-time penalty.
- rec drug stores set up with same kind of rules as liquor stores: age limits, distances from schools, etc.
- the same kind of rules will apply to driving under the influence as now apply to drunk driving (yeah, I know...)
- much stricter penalties will apply for repeat offenders and those caught driving after they've lost their licenses for a DUI.
Let's face it, the war on drugs has been a dismal failure, costing billions of dollars, and has almost nothing to show for it, except overcrowded prisons. Let's repeal the laws against it, declare amnesty for all but the biggest dealers (for instance, those who were busted on tax charges), and save ourselves billions of dollars per year, which we can then put to better use, like paying for pointless wars half way around the globe.
* And how many states passed lotteries under the guise of raising money for "education"? HA!
Monday, October 01, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Gabe was my first pet, a classic Morris orange tabby. He was one of the sweetest, most patient cats I've ever known, and even though he'd spent over half his life making it impossible for us to own any rugs, he still easily qualified as a Good Cat. If cats go to a place after they die, Gabe's will be a Valhalla-like spot, and he'll deserve it.
* There's Harry, The Black Prince, also, but he's a dog and cat protocol prevents his mention.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
Did you find it as wierd as I did watching them talk about the now-dead Reesha? And the description of him being a "con-man" makes me wonder who really killed him.
props go to Khalid
Thursday, September 13, 2007
YOU KNOW YOU ARE LIVING IN 2007 when...
1. You accidentally enter your PIN on the microwave.Okay, the emoticon thing doesnt apply to me, but I'm forwarding this to everyone.
2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.
3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three.
4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.
5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses.
6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.
7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen.
8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't even have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.
10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.
11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )
12. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.
13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.
14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.
15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on this list.