Saturday, November 05, 2005

Truth Rears Its Ugly Head in the Senate 

In the face of a vast act of Senatorial (read: Republican) arrogance and greed purported to "save" $35 billion over the next five years by cutting federal spending on prescription drugs, agriculture supports and student loans, and opening Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling (titled the "Deficit Reduction Omnibus Reconciliation Act 2005" and known to its friends as S.1932), the Democrats show a hint of their long-forgotten Fanfare For the Common Man / Civil Disobedience roots:

Lautenberg's Rhetorical Missile

Just two days after Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) forced a closed session to highlight an alleged lack of progress into a probe of pre- Iraq war intelligence, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) staged another act of political disobedience today.

Lautenberg filed an amendment to change the official name of the "Deficit Reduction Omnibus Reconciliation Act 2005" to the "Moral Disaster of Monumental Proportion Reconciliation Act."

"Let's call this bill what it is -- a moral disaster," explained Lautenberg. "This bill would close the door of opportunity and cut critical services to the poor, elderly, sick and hungry."

. . . . .

You go, Frank!! Tell the truth and shame the devil...

Friday, November 04, 2005

Is It That Obvious?? 

Sure, she was (& still is, for all I know) a Republican flack, writing speeches for the Great Communicator - but she sees it, and appears to be as good at telling the scary truth as she was at spinning glowing "Morning in America" fantasies.
In any case, she does a good job of articulating what is scaring the crap out of all of us inarticulate masses ('We' inarticulate masses??)

A Separate Peace
America is in trouble--and our elites are merely resigned.


It is not so hard and can be a pleasure to tell people what you see. It's harder to speak of what you think you see, what you think is going on and can't prove or defend with data or numbers. That can get tricky. It involves hunches. But here goes.

I think there is an unspoken subtext in our national political culture right now. In fact I think it's a subtext to our society. I think that a lot of people are carrying around in their heads, unarticulated and even in some cases unnoticed, a sense that the wheels are coming off the trolley and the trolley off the tracks. That in some deep and fundamental way things have broken down and can't be fixed, or won't be fixed any time soon. That our pollsters are preoccupied with "right track" and "wrong track" but missing the number of people who think the answer to "How are things going in America?" is "Off the tracks and hurtling forward, toward an unknown destination."

. . . . .

Of course, being a Republican (even an observant, articulate Republican), she doesn't offer any helpful advice...
But maybe they've done so much damage that there is no helpful advice to be offered.

Rosa Parks Would Have Whupped His Ass 

How Bush Visit Became the Siege Of Howard U.

It was Soul Food Thursday at Howard University last week, and many students were looking forward to their favorite meal: fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, collard greens and cornbread. At lunchtime, however, students discovered that much of the campus had been locked down and that the school's cafeteria was off limits.

Apparently, many of them did not know that President Bush and first lady Laura Bush had arrived for a "youth summit" at the Blackburn Center, where the dining hall is located. Stomachs began to growl, tempers flared, and, eventually, a student protest ensued.
. . . . .
During the protest, dozens of students locked arms around a flagpole in the Quadrangle, a designated forbidden zone at the center of the campus, and refused to move despite warnings from campus security that Secret Service rooftop snipers might open fire on them.
. . . . .
But the visit went from bad to worse. On a day when the U.S. Senate passed a resolution paying tribute to civil rights icon Rosa Parks, who died last week, campus security guards were telling students that if they wanted to eat they'd have to come back when the president and first lady were gone, then go to a service door at the rear of the dining hall and ask for a chicken plate to go. Never mind that a student meal plan at Howard can cost as much as $2,500 a semester.

**Idle Speculation Alert**
Duhbya's interior monologue:
"...I don't understand what everyone's getting so excited about - So some uppity college darkies had to wait til the white folks left before they could go around to the back door and ask for a handout...
It was good enough for the darkies in New Orleans, it should be good enough for them."

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Just Pretend It's All Okay... 

Welcome to the latest national delusion - one pronounced enough to qualify for inclusion in the DSM-IV:

The $25 trillion land grab
Ten megapolitans are poised for a boom that, by 2030, will dwarf America's post WWII buildout.

NEW YORK (Business 2.0) - There has been an impressive amount of construction in the United States over the last three centuries: All told, we've built more than 300 billion square feet of homes, offices, factories and other structures.

But according to new studies from the Brookings Institution and Virginia Tech urban planning professor Robert Lang, we're about to pick up the pace -- it will take just 25 years to erect the next 200 billion square feet, which we'll need to accommodate 70 million more people and to replace homes and offices erased by everything from disasters like Hurricane Katrina to plain old obsolescence.

Be sure to check out their "Treasure Map of Opportunity", which includes such gems as:

Trade with China through the country's largest port, Los Angeles, will fuel a boom in logistics, warehousing and distribution centers for companies like Target. New military and space programs will do for the Southland what the Internet did for NorCal in the 1990s.

Key demographic shift: By 2020, male illegal immigrants from Mexico will likely make up more than 10 percent of the Southland's workforce; no other megapolitan comes close to having this supply of cheap labor.

Best commercial real estate bet: Parking lots in downtown Los Angeles for tomorrow's high-rise redevelopments.

Government carrot: Billions in local, state and federal funding that will be used to build 150 miles of truck-only express lanes in Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire by 2020.

Wow - by 2030, military programs will have saved our economy, "illegal immigrants" will be just another term for "cheap labor", we'll have almost doubled the amount of construction we've inflicted on this continent in the last 300 years, and we'll have freeway lanes Just for Trucks!!!

Yaaaayy, Civilization!!!

For a slightly less deluded take on the next 25 years, and if you happen to have a new DVD player & nothing to play on it, check out The End of Suburbia. Or maybe you have a sister who would be happy to send you her copy...!

A Small Peek Into a Tiny Mind 

Tweak *this*, you arrogant murdering nitwit...

'Can I quit now?' FEMA chief wrote as Katrina raged
E-mails give insight into Brown's leadership, attitude

Two days after Katrina hit, Marty Bahamonde, one of the only FEMA employees in New Orleans, wrote to Brown that "the situation is past critical" and listed problems including many people near death and food and water running out at the Superdome.

Brown's entire response was: "Thanks for the update. Anything specific I need to do or tweak?"
. . . . .
"In the midst of the overwhelming damage caused by the hurricane and enormous problems faced by FEMA, Mr. Brown found time to exchange e-mails about superfluous topics," including "problems finding a dog-sitter," Melancon said.

Melancon said that on August 26, just days before Katrina made landfall, Brown e-mailed his press secretary, Sharon Worthy, about his attire, asking: "Tie or not for tonight? Button-down blue shirt?"

A few days later, Worthy advised Brown: "Please roll up the sleeves of your shirt, all shirts. Even the president rolled his sleeves to just below the elbow. In this [crisis] and on TV you just need to look more hard-working."

On August 29, the day of the storm, Brown exchanged e-mails about his attire with Taylor, Melancon said. She told him, "You look fabulous," and Brown replied, "I got it at Nordstroms. ... Are you proud of me?"

An hour later, Brown added: "If you'll look at my lovely FEMA attire, you'll really vomit. I am a fashion god," according to the congressman.
. . . . .
Melancon used an e-mail sent September 2, four days after the hurricane hit, to illustrate his point. On that day, Brown received a message with the subject "medical help." At the time, thousands of patients were being transported to the New Orleans airport, which had been converted to a makeshift hospital. Because of a lack of ventilators, medical personnel had to ventilate patients by hand for as long as 35 hours, according to Melancon.

The text of the e-mail reads: "Mike, Mickey and other medical equipment people have a 42-foot trailer full of beds, wheelchairs, oxygen concentrators, etc. They are wanting to take them where they can be used but need direction.

"Mickey specializes in ventilator patients so can be very helpful with acute care patients. If you could have someone contact him and let him know if he can be of service, he would appreciate it. Know you are busy but they really want to help."

Melancon said Brown didn't respond for four days, when he forwarded the original e-mail to FEMA Deputy Chief of Staff Brooks Altshuler and Deputy Director of Response Michael Lowder.

The text of Brown's e-mail to them read: "Can we use these people?"

If you have Acrobat, be sure to check out the original emails... if you're in the mood for some righteous wrath.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Why Petulant, Willful Children Shouldn't be President 

Bushies feeling the boss' wrath

Monday, October 24th, 2005

WASHINGTON - Facing the darkest days of his presidency, President Bush is frustrated, sometimes angry and even bitter, his associates say.
. . . . .
"He's like the lion in winter," observed a political friend of Bush. "He's frustrated. He remains quite confident in the decisions he has made. But this is a guy who wanted to do big things in a second term. Given his nature, there's no way he'd be happy about the way things have gone."

Bush usually reserves his celebrated temper for senior aides because he knows they can take it. Lately, however, some junior staffers have also faced the boss' wrath.

"This is not some manager at McDonald's chewing out the help," said a source with close ties to the White House when told about these outbursts. "This is the President of the United States, and it's not a pleasant sight."
. . . . .
Presidential advisers and friends say Bush is a mass of contradictions: cheerful and serene, peevish and melancholy, occasionally lapsing into what he once derided as the "blame game." They describe him as beset but unbowed, convinced that history will vindicate the major decisions of his presidency even if they damage him and his party in the 2006 and 2008 elections.

At the same time, these sources say Bush, who has a long history of keeping staffers in their place, has lashed out at aides as his political woes have mounted.

"The President is just unhappy in general and casting blame all about," said one Bush insider. "Andy [Card, the chief of staff] gets his share. Karl gets his share. Even Cheney gets his share. And the press gets a big share."

The vice president remains Bush's most trusted political confidant. Even so, the Daily News has learned Bush has told associates Cheney was overly involved in intelligence issues in the runup to the Iraq war that have been seized on by Bush critics.

Bush is so dismayed that "the only person escaping blame is the President himself," said a sympathetic official, who delicately termed such self-exoneration "illogical."
. . . . .
Despite the turmoil, Bush is determined to soldier on, already preparing for two major overseas trips in November and helping shape next year's legislative agenda.

"I've got a job to do," he told reporters last week. "The American people expect me to do my job, and I'm going to."

The only part of his job the Murkin people expect him to do now is the part Nixon did after he saw the writing on the wall...

Say goodnight, Duhbya.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Why We're the Greatest Nation on Earth 

Moms! Dads!! The moment you've been waiting for - the opportunity to take your obese, lethargic, ADHD, overcaffeinated, cholesterol-saturated McSpawn into a greasy plastic padded cell to "play" and "eat" at the same time, without having to interact with either a single human being or anything remotely resembling nutrition:

Eat hamburgers and play Mario Kart online at McDonald's across the nation.
by Matt Casamassina

October 17, 2005 - Nintendo of America on Tuesday will announce a groundbreaking partnership with Wi-Fi provider Wayport to make available free Internet access to DS owners at McDonald's restaurants across the nation. Nintendo and Wayport will offer complimentary Wi-Fi hotspots at McDonald's establishments, enabling DS owners to use the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, which launches November 14 in the states, to play online games with or against each other.

This agreement with Wayport will bring countless people together to play games in a single, simultaneous wireless community," says Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of sales and marketing. "Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection is simple to use. Beginning with free access at participating McDonald's, we have removed one of the major barriers that have kept people from going online to play games."

Barriers like oh, say, not being able to simultaneously stuff our faces with McGreaseburgers and fixate on a small beeping obsession-machine until the saturated fat, sugar, caffeine, and blinking electronic lights turns brains around the country into flabby, twitching lumps to match the bodies that contain them?

That kind of barrier??

You want to Supersize that?

The Mark of the Beast - Literally 

Who better to beta-test the mark of the Beast than animals?? It's almost poetically, ironically, perfect...

I haven't checked the sourcing yet (hey, it's 1 a.m., what do you expect?!), but the link in the article below is to, and Kos is generally very good about his sourcing.

And anyway, why not believe it, doesn't it sound like something They would do??

Why You Should Oppose the USDA's Mandatory Property and Animal Surveillance Program

For several years, the USDA has been working with the largest-scale animal industry organizations (for example, the National Pork Producers, Monsanto Company, and Cargill Meat) to develop a mandatory "National Animal Identification System" ("NAIS").
. . . . .
On April 25, 2005, the USDA released "Draft Program Standards" ("St.") and a "Draft Strategic Plan" ("Plan") concerning the NAIS. If you think the description below sounds too bizarre to be true, please go here, read the Standards and Plan, and check the citations.

By January 1, 2008, the NAIS will be mandatory. (Plan, pp. 2, 10, 17.)

Every person who owns even one horse, cow, pig, chicken, sheep, pigeon, or virtually any livestock animal, will be forced to register their home, including owner's name, address, and telephone number, and keyed to Global Positioning System coordinates for satellite monitoring, in a giant federal database under a 7-digit "premises ID number." (St., pp. 3-4, 10-12; Plan, p. 5.)

Every animal will have to be assigned a 15-digit ID number, also to be kept in a giant federal database. The form of ID will most likely be a tag or microchip containing a Radio Frequency Identification Device, designed to be read from a distance. (Plan, p. 10; St., pp. 6, 12, 20, 27-28.)

The plan may also include collecting the DNA of every animal and/or a retinal scan of every animal. (Plan, p.13.)

The owner will be required to report: the birthdate of an animal, the application of every animal's ID tag, every time an animal leaves or enters the property, every time an animal loses a tag, every time a tag is replaced, the slaughter or death of an animal, or if any animal is missing. Such events must be reported within 24 hours. (St., pp. 12-13, 17-21.)

Third parties, such as veterinarians, will be required to report "sightings" of animals. (St., p. 25.) In other words, if you call a vet to your property to treat your horse, cow, or any other animal, and the vet finds any animal without the mandatory 15-digit computer-readable ID, the vet may be required to report you.

If you do not comply, the USDA will exercise "enforcement" against you. (St., p. 7; Plan, p. 17.) The USDA has not yet specified the nature of "enforcement," but presumably it will include imposing fines and/or seizing your animals. There are no exceptions -- under the USDA plan, you will be forced to register and report even if you raise animals only for your own food or keep horses for draft or for transportation.

And, since it will all be For Our Own Good, don't try to fight it, or even criticize it - or the Terrorists Will Win...

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Duhbya Puts His Credo Into Action 

As the Repugnican mantra goes: "It's better to be strong and wrong, than right and weak".

While that makes a catchy little motto, what happens when you're so devoted to being seen as strong that you're willing to be a strong, wrong, greedy, deceitful, megalomaniacal thug who causes death and misery in the name of your own self-glorification?

Bush Feared 'Looking Weak' on Iraq

Less than two months before invading Iraq, George W. Bush fretted that his war plans could be disrupted if United Nations weapons inspectors succeeded in gaining Saddam Hussein’s full cooperation, possibly leaving Bush "looking weak," according to notes written by a secretary to British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
. . . . .
At the time, Blair wanted Bush to seek a second resolution from the U.N. Security Council that would have judged Iraq to be in violation of U.N. disarmament demands and would have authorized military action. According to the notes, Bush agreed that "it made sense to try for a second resolution, which he would love to have."

But Bush’s deeper worry was that chief U.N. arms inspector Hans Blix would conclude that Hussein’s government was cooperating in the search for weapons of mass destruction, thus delaying or blocking U.S.-led military action. Bush’s "biggest concern was looking weak," the British document said.

Blix indeed did judge that Iraq was cooperating with the inspectors, who weren’t finding any WMD even at sites pinpointed by U.S. intelligence.

Look around you - This is what happens...

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Hyperbole of Delusion 

Pay special attention to the Mayor's quote...:

Florida town plans to use eminent domain

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla., Oct. 4 (UPI) -- Officials of a poor, predominantly black Florida town plan to relocate about 6,000 residents to make room for a billion-dollar yachting and housing complex.

The coastal community of Rivera Beach in Palm Beach County may use eminent domain, if necessary, to claim 400 acres of land for the project, The Washington Times reported Monday.

"This is a community that's in dire need of jobs, which has a median income of less than $19,000 a year," Mayor Michael Brown said. "If we don't use this power, cities will die."

And think of all the jobs that will become available for all those poverty-stricken darkies who don't live here anymore - cleaning condos, picking up trash, fetching & carrying, serving drinks at the Yacht Club...
They'd rather have cities die.
Those ungrateful savages.

"This is Over the Line"...?? 

What line??

Homegrown controversy
Gilbert man's neighbors not enthusiastic about garden

Cary Aspinwall
The Arizona Republic
Oct. 4, 2005 12:00 AM

Thompson and the owners of the house at 602 W. Rawhide Ave. in Gilbert, his mother and stepfather, Ann and Richard Carlisle, say they are proud and enthusiastic about their homegrown organic produce. They say it's the key to their health and longevity, the reason they don't need any prescription or over-the-counter drugs.

Some of their neighbors are less-than-thrilled, however, and have complained to Gilbert officials. One Town Council member, Dave Crozier, asked the town attorney to rule whether Thompson's garden is a code violation. If that fails, Crozier has talked about changing the ordinance that allows it.

"The question always comes down to where do you draw the line?" Crozier said. "This is over the line. I don't blame (the neighbor) for complaining - I would have, too."

The home is in Madera Parc, one of Gilbert's rare neighborhoods without a homeowners association governing what the family can plant in its own yard.

Growing food in your yard?? And he doesn't even poison the bugs or the weeds?
The barbarians! They're obviously not fit for civilized society.

Actually, they're a threat to civilized society, not helping strengthen our economy by supporting the interstate produce truckers,or all those suffering American produce pickers, or our poor struggling diesel industry, or Monsanto... and I bet they don't have a single "Support Our Troops" sticker on their SUVs, either.

They hate our freedom.

Friday, October 07, 2005

That's the NYC We Know and Love 

False alarm at Penn Station amid security alert

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Police shut down parts of New York's busy Penn Station Friday morning after an unknown substance was found in a soda can near Amtrak's ticket counter, authorities said.

The incident came a day after authorities warned of a specific terror threat against the city's subway system.

A police source told CNN's Jeanne Meserve that initial tests on the green bubbly substance found in the can indicate it is a green dye mixed with sodium hydroxide -- also known as caustic soda or lye. It appears to be a hoax, the source said.

Sheesh, that's what we call Performance Art, 'round these parts...
If you're in a circus, you might as well join the Freak Show.

Blah Blah Blah..... 

Your lips move, but I can't hear what you're saying...

Hey, who would've guessed? In an amazing coincidence, on the very same day that Duhbya gives his latest stirring, wardrum-banging, "we've got to persevere so that we don't have to face these evildoers in our own condo complexes" harangue to his fellow Murcans, NYC is reminded once again that Terror Lurks Around Every Corner:

New York subway system on alert
Same intelligence led to U.S. raid in Iraq, military source says

NEW YORK (CNN) -- New York City's subway system was put under heightened alert Thursday after officials received information from the FBI about a "specific threat," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

A well-placed U.S. military official told CNN on Thursday that the same intelligence also led to a raid against suspected al Qaeda operatives in Iraq.

There were indications that a terrorist attack on New York's subway system is possible "in the coming days," said New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.
. . . . .
Law enforcement sources told CNN the threat information came from Iraq and that it included claims that a group of 15 to 20 people were in the United States to carry out an attack against New York's mass transit system.
. . . . .

Nice to see how well our Dept of Homeland Security is doing at protecting our borders, ain't it? Our hats are off to you, Mike Chertoff!!

. . . . .
Kelly said that briefcases, baby strollers, luggage and other containers will draw particular attention, and he asked the public to curtail their use if possible.
. . . . .

Briefcases, baby strollers, luggage, the ever-popular backpacks, and "containers"... Let's see, that's businessmen, moms, tourists, kids, and anyone who shops. Basically, anyone with possessions.
The public is being asked to curtail the use of possessions - if possible.

. . . . .
In a speech Thursday, President Bush said that since September 11, 2001, the United States and its allies have thwarted 10 al Qaeda attacks worldwide, three of them inside the United States.

And what, we're supposed to take their word for this?

The word of "a well-placed U.S. military official" and "law enforcement sources" who chose to go unidentified?


Saturday, October 01, 2005

Tasty Tidbits From 

Surfing is fun...
I just stumbled across this site, & these were the first items lying in wait for the unwary surfer:

Fish, the Last Wild Meal in the Human Diet, Being Harvested to Capacity

In 2004, marine scientists estimated that industrial fleets have fished out at least 90 percent of all large ocean predators, including tuna, marlin, swordfish, sharks, cod, halibut, skates, and flounder, in just the past 50 years.


Americans Make More Than 14,000 Roundtrips to the Sun a Year

In 1950, U.S. drivers covered some 588 billion kilometers (365 billion miles) in 40 million cars, or almost 14,600 kilometers per car. By 2003, the average distance driven per year had grown to more than 19,000 kilometers. Multiplied by the far-larger number of vehicles now on U.S. roads, the total distance traveled had grown more than seven-fold, to 4,281 billion kilometers. That’s equivalent to 14,308 roundtrips from Earth to the sun.

Now there are a couple eye-openers for you!!
Don't have any way of knowing if they are statistically (&/or mathematically) accurate, but I don't see why they wouldn't be. If they were just in the business of inflaming hysteria, there's *much* more fertile territory available out there...

The site offers lots of similarly evocative snippets, and if you sign up for their free email-newsletter service, you get (also free) access to a fairly extensive pdf library.

Share and Enjoy!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

News From Non-Hurricaney Fronts 

Good old New York.
Maybe we *need* a good hurricane - get our minds back on what's actually important...

Woman Ticketed for Sitting on a Playground Bench with No Kids

(New York-AP, Sept. 27, 2005) - It's an only in New York story. A woman was given a ticket for sitting on a park bench because she doesn't have children.

The Rivington Playground on Manhattan's East Side has a small sign at the entrance that says adults are prohibited unless they are accompanied by a child.
Forty-seven-year-old Sandra Catena says she didn't see the sign when she sat down to wait for an arts festival to start. Two New York City police officers asked her if she was with a child. When she said no, they gave her a ticket that could bring a one thousand dollar fine and 90 days in jail.


Vote to Impeach Bush

On This Blog
We now seem to have our archives back; in body, if not in spirit (See archive links below). The posts themselves are there, but the formatting is almost non-existent, and not very pretty. We hope to have that fixed as soon as we figure out why my computer suddenly won't have anything to do with FTP. Sigh...
Cost of the War in Iraq
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To see more details, click here.
Something to think about
"Of course the people don't want war... Naturally the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders... All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
- Hermann Goering, Nazi Reichsmarshall and Luftwaffe-Chief
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  • ...about the new, recently released, Austin Lounge Lizards Album,

    If the song NPR played the other morning is any indication, they haven't lost their taste for political mockery.

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