Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Lift those spuds!!

Let's not end the day on a down note. Excercise lifts your spirits, as Phoebe was just blogging about, and this handy tip was just posted over on the Bibliophile list. As many of us sit at desks all day, and are past an age where physical fitness is an easy attainment, I thought I would pass the routine along.

My friend suggested doing it three days a week. Begin by standing on a comfortable surface, where you have plenty of room at each side.

With a 5-lb. potato sack in each hand, extend your arms straight out from your sides, and hold them there as long as you can. Try to reach a full minute, then relax. Each day, you'll find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer.

After a couple of weeks, move up to 10-lb. potato sacks. Then 15-lb. potato sacks, and then eventually try to get to where you can lift a 25-lb. potato sack in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full minute.

Once you feel confident at that level, put a potato in each of the sacks.

Living Dangerously

Taiwan is getting uppity. The Financial Times reports that "Taiwan's President Chen Shui-bian will this week scrap token commitments to future unification with China, ignoring US pressure to avoid angering Beijing by taking steps that could move the island towards formal independence." This is the sentence in the story that really stood out to me- "His open defiance of the US indicates that Washington will find it increasingly difficult to keep Mr Chen in check during his last two years in power."

See what creating a smoking shithole of US foreign policy for six years leads to, George? Nobody listens to us anymore. Not even fucking Taiwan. And the last thing we need right now is a blow-up (of the metaphorical or literal sort) between Taiwan and China. Can you say "Massive Global Crisis"? Can you say "$100 a barrel oil"? Can you say "Catastrophic Meltdown of the US monetary system" if China gets really pissed with us and pulls the plug on the triple-mortgages we've taken out with them using our National economy as collateral?

And speaking of that-

Earth to Taiwan: you and I both know that you are, and of right ought to be, a sovereign country. However, there are, shall we say, certain realities we all live with, and there are good times and bad times to pull down your pants and waggle your balls at them. If the shit really comes down now, just who the fuck do you think is going to defend you? Do you really think that the country that has pledged to defend you against China, but whose economy is now owned by China, will do more than raise a shrill, meaningless voice in protest? Anyone who actually believes that George Bush, given the current state of the US military and our economic reliance on China's goodwill, would do anything other than whine to stop China from conquering Taiwan is living in a dangerous dream world.

Ready, Aim... BOOM!

What's more fun than taking out the trusty .44 and shooting the crap out of something (or someone, if you're the American Vice President)? Shooting the crap out of something that goes KABOOOM!!

The Lewiston Pistol Club of Idaho, has put a whole new twist on target shooting- what would happen if your target was packed with high explosives? Well, this-

It's called "Boomershoot", and it looks like a blast (you knew I was gonna say that eventually). Thanks to JD Rhoades for first spotting this one.

Monday, February 27, 2006

It's the Little Things

The Beloved Leader is visiting India and is not going to visit the nation's greatest artistic treasure, and one of the greatest pieces of architecture ever made by Man, the Taj Mahal.

He is going to go to a cricket match instead.

Bush, predictably, refused to even be man enough to say he's not particuarly interested in artistic and architectural treasures, and instead blamed his scheduler, who is apparently the one running the country.

"Look," the Texas Man of Steel whined, "if I were the scheduler, perhaps I'd be doing things differently."

Now I may be being picky, but I'd prefer a President who has the balls to tell his scheduler that he wants to see the Taj Mahal, dammit.

Not that I blame him, I guess. Last time he stood up to her, Laura apparently bitch-slapped him but good, and he ended up with that black eye they blamed on the pretzel...

Monday, Monday...

So... you think your job sucks?"

The second in our continuing series of Monday-morning pick-me-ups for our office-bound compatriots.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Giants Passing...

RIP: Don Knotts and Darren McGavin.

Don Knotts' Barney Fife remains one of the great comedic creations of television history. Darren McGavin's Karl Kolchak, Night Stalker is a cult favorite today, but a series I remember vividly from 8th grade. My friends and I watched avidly for the short time it was on. It was camp, but it was really, really great camp. McGavin is also widely-known for his "grumpy dad" role in the movie A Christmas Story.

I gotta go lamp shopping now...

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Bond? James Bond?

Yes, that's Ursula Andress, the original Bond Girl. No, she has nothing to do with the rest of the post... why?

Bond fans are all aflutter over the casting of a blond actor, Daniel Craig, as the new James Bond. Some have even started a website as part of a "Stop Bond" movement. C'mon, give the guy a fucking break. Who cares if he's blond? Craig might turn out to be a really good Bond, a return to the original Bond persona as exemplified by the Best Bond, Sean Connery. That's what it all boils down to, isn't it? Connery or Moore? If Roger Moore was your prototypical Bond, then you probably are up in arms about Daniel Craig. If you prefered Sean Connery you probably don't see the big deal.

Moore was urbane, handsome, elegant; but Connery, while sophisticated and handsome (so my wife tells me), exuded a wiff of danger, of the unpredictable. Sean Connery's Bond would shoot a man just to watch him die. Roger Moore's Bond needed a better reason.

Craig appears to be more in the Connery mold. He's even been described as having a "thug-like" face. Good! Some of his photos remind me a bit of Robert Shaw, and Robert Shaw would have made a great Bond. I was a little taken aback to hear that Craig cannot drive a stick. That's a situation that will have to change pretty fast. I mean, yeah, Bond is many things, but all of them can drive a stick shift.

Hey, pissed-off Bond fans- just be glad that Steve Martin decided to embarrass himself this month by impersonating Inspector Clouseau instead of James Bond... now that would have been something to yell about.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Freaky Friday

Something for Friday Night...

You say Tomato...

The answers to some questions tell you a lot about a person-

Gin or vodka?
Beatles or Stones?
(and John or Paul?)
Butter or margarine?
PC or Mac?
Beach or mountains?
Sean Connery or Roger Moore?

I was working on a post related to that last question (well, actually about the brouhaha surrounding the casting of the new Bond, Daniel Craig), but I thought it would be interesting to get some more input on Questions that divide the world in two.

There are always regional variants. Around here we have-

Red Sox or Yankees?
Cape Cod or Cape Ann?
New Hampshire or Vermont?

and so on.

Jump right in. What question tells you the most about a person?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Port Update

This just gets better and better. JD Rhoades found this gem, from a March, 2004 story-

The Central Intelligence Agency did not target Al Qaeda chief Osama bin laden once as he had the royal family of the United Arab Emirates with him in Afghanistan, the agency's director, George Tenet, told the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks on the United States on Thursday. Had the CIA targeted bin Laden, half the royal family would have been wiped out as well, he said.

That would be the royal family we are selling the Port of New York to...


Is it possible that Our Beloved Leader is on the take?

That's the only way I can figure out GWB wanting to sell American port terminals to United Arab Emirates, a known supporter of terrorists. I know Bushy says they are a "loyal ally in the war on terror", but let's look at their track record- they allowed money that funded 9/11 to be funneled through their banks; two of their citizens were among the 9/11 attackers; the UAE government has been implicated in smuggling nuclear technoloy to Iran and North Korea; UAE was one of only a few countries to recognize the Taliban government of Afghanistan.

With "allies" like that...

So the fact is that they are not the sort of folks you want to hand your security to. But hey, why not sell them our ports? Bush assures us that he has passed this scheme through Homeland Security, the NSA, etc., etc., and they all gave it the big thumbs up.

Funny thing about that- to begin with, who the fuck even believes it? With this Administration's record of distorting data and intelligence to suit its ends, and supressing concerns from knowledgable experts in favor of assurances from the few who support their programs, it would not surprise me a bit to learn, a year from now, that analysts at the NSA and HSA are competely bullshit about this and are being muzzled and ignored, in favor of the one analyst who said "hey, no big deal".

And even if the guys and gals at the NSA and HSA do think there is no danger- are these the same guys and gals who thought there were WMDs in Iraq? Who thought that the Iraqis would welcome us by throwing flowers? Who thought Hussein had a nuclear arms program? Who thought that the insurgency was no big deal? Who told Condi Rice that Hammas had no chance to win the Palestinian elections? Even if they are really saying this sale is not a problem, with that sort of track record, I'm not sure I feel very reassured...

But port security will continue to be run by Americans, won't it? Well, that much is true. Americans do the "hands-on" running of the ports, and will continue to. But running a port is a big business. Port security is notoriously under-funded, and the situation is getting worse. I am not suggesting that Ahmed Terrorist will be checking cargo containers in... it's actually much worse-

Remember all the stories about how the Administration is classifying plans for nuclear and electrical plants, chemical plants, and all sorts of other plants and facilities as "top secret" because we don't want terrorists to be able to get hold of them to see what their weaknesses and vulnerabilities are? Remember the Entebbe raid, back in the '70s, when Israeli troops rescued hostages being held at an airport in Uganda? Know why they were able to do that so well? It was because an Israeli company had built the airport, and had the plans... for fuck's sake, if you go bird watching near an airport with a pair of binoculars these days you will be arrested!

Well then why would you hand over the plans to our ports to the terrorists? C'mon guys- if they own the ports, then their functionaries have access to the plans, security measures, and everything else you do not want terrorists or their allies to have access to. And if you can get inside, then you can figure out how to circumvent security, and there is always a way to get around security, especially security in a place as complicated and hard to secure as a busy port.

So, selling our main ports to an Arab country that supports terrorists is, well, just plain stupid. Worse than that really- it's traitorous.

And why do most folks who sell out their countries do it? MONEY. Hence my question at the start as to whether Our Beloved Leader is on the take. He must be. That's the only rational explanation I can see for his actions here.

What makes this all the more alarming is the juxtaposition of this news story with news stories about the continued violence in the Middle East being perpetrated by militant islamics. I am not one to condemn entire religions based on what a few fruit loops do, and I continue to believe that Islam is inherently no more violent than Christianity, but we really seem to be entering an era where the looney-toon fringe elemnets have taken control, and just as you can find plenty of calls to violence in the Bible if you look, so you can also find them in the Koran. And the guys who find those calls to violence in the Koran appear to be running the agenda.
Yesterday an important mosque was destroyed by a bomb in Iraq and the reaction by the competing sect was to burn a dozen other mosuqes and beat their members to death in the streets. In response to a few cartoons hundreds of thousands march in the streets demanding people's heads be cut off. In one country they actually burned people alive over this last week.

Is this really a good time to be selling these guys our ports?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Drinking & Shooting...

OK, admit it- it's something we all suspected. An experienced hunter "mistakes" a 175-lb man for a quail? Let's just say what we were all thinking- the Vice President of the United States was drunk as a skunk when he blasted his hunting companion with a shotgun.

And now we have proof. Capitol Hill Blue talked with folks who have seen the Secret Service report which describes the Vice President as "clearly inebriated", complete with "slurred speech" and "erratic behavior".

"This was a South Texas hunt," says one White House aide. "Of course there was drinking. There's always drinking. Lots of it."

An interesting story.

The Creepy Veepy gets tanked on weekends and shoots people at random and the President sells our ports to Arab terrorists.

God Help America.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Olympics -Those were the days...

For anyone who has missed what Google is doing with their logo during the olympics, it's worth checking out. I like this one. If you right-clik on the image and tell your browser to open it in a new window it will show you all eight of the logos.

Is it my imagination, or are the Olympics not as fun as they used to be back when the Evil Empire was still in business? I mean, sure, we still follow the medal count charts in the papers and get really upset when the Good Old US of A is not tippy-top in total medals and gold medals... but still. There's no sport in it now. Back when we were squaring off against the ol'USSR the medal counts meant something. Our guys and gals were winning medals for Freedom, Apple Pie and General Motors, and soundly trouncing Godless Communism and The Red Menace.

Now who do we beat- Latvia?

Well, actually, our hockey team tied Latvia, but never mind. The point is, who are we competeing against now? Canada? France? Oh sure, there's always China, but it's just not the same. Our real enemies, like Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (you know them -they're the guys who financed 9/11 and help smuggle nuclear technology to North Korea, and whom our Beloved Leader is about to sell our port facilities to) and so on... they don't even do the fucking Olympics. Did you see any Saudis snowboarding the half-pipe?



Monday mornings can be hard, especially when they come on Tuesday. Here's something for all our friends who have to trudge to the office this a.m. ...

Monday, February 20, 2006

RIP Curt Gowdy

Say "Hi!" to Teddy Ballgame for us.

The Washington Candlesticks Which Killed G.D. Smith

On this President's Day we turn to the tale of a pair of "George Washington's" candlesticks which killed a leading rare book dealer.

In early 1917 a man named William Lanier Washington showed up at the doors of Mitchell Kennerly's Anderson Galleries, a leading New York auction firm. A “direct descendant of two of George Washington’s brothers”, William Lanier Washington arrived with cartloads of Washington-family memorabilia at an opportune time.

The craze for all things Colonial-related was reaching new heights, and in the first auction of this material, held in April, 1917, he offered many interesting and rare Washington busts, portraits, mourning items and other Washington-related memorabilia. He also offered personal relics, including George Washington’s shoe and sword buckles, wine glasses, snuff boxes, coat buttons, pants, a pair of Sheffield candlesticks from Washington’s Mt. Vernon desk, and many more items.

These relics were eagerly snapped up by the preeminent collectors of the day, including William Randolph Hearst and G.D. Smith, the man who single-handedly helped Henry Huntington assemble the famous Huntington Library and one of the greatest American book dealers of all time.

All seemed well until William Lanier Washington showed up at the Anderson Galleries with yet another cartload of Washington relics, at which point Mitchell Kennerly had the sense to send him packing. Not to be so easily discouraged, William simply switched venues and took his “relics” to the American Art Association, through which he held another sale in February, 1920.

He also sold his offerings door-to-door, and it was this which brought about the premature demise of G.D. Smith. On March 4th, 1920, William Lanier Washington arrived at Smith’s door, attempting to sell him yet another set of Sheffield candlesticks used by George Washington on his desk at Mt. Vernon. Smith, who had already bought “the” pair at the 1917 auction (lot 27), questioned just how many candlesticks George Washington kept on his desk, got into a heated argument with Washington, and dropped dead on the spot.

Thus ended the career of one of America’s greatest booksellers. William Lanier Washington would hold one more Washington-relic sale at the AAA, in February, 1922, which finally seemed to exhaust his supply. He died in 1933, but the legacy of his auctions, which contained at least some authentic memorabilia, and a whole lot else, continues on through the auction catalogs and an interesting tale.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Blog Pong & ADVISE

Blogging sometmes resembles a game of Pong. [I just realised there are readers out there too young to know what the Hell Pong was... codswallop!]. Anyway, yeah, Pong. One blogger hits the ball, and another takes up the theme and hits it back, and then the original blogger hits it back again. BlogPong.

Well, a day or two ago I posted about a few Homeland SooperDooperSecurity Matters, and then CKW referenced that post in his blog, which is a very clever re-writing of the American Consitution. And that got me musing...

All this crapola about the FISA Act and secret wiretapping- everything being said by the Administration and the Republicans in Congress is one big shell game of mis-direction. On the face of it, the Administration's explanation that it does not "have time" to go after warrants is absurd. The FISA Act provides for retroactive warrants. Many critics have attributed the Administration's reluctance to comply with FISA to a power-grab by the Bushies, led by the Dikster, and that may well be part of it.

But it seems to me that the real reason they are ignoring FISA is that they can't comply with it for a completely different reason, and they don't want to say why. The most obvious answer is that they are data-mining on a scale so vast that it would be an immense scandal were it to be revealed. Such revelations would not endanger National Security -Hell, if you're a terrorist and you don't already assume that you may be being monitored, then you're incredibly stupid. But such revelations would provoke an outpouring of anger among Americans about their privacy being invaded and rights ignored, and it would set off yet another round of questions about the Constitutionality of the program. What the program probably really entails is now beginning to surface- ADVISE, the "Analysis, Dissemination, Visualization, Insight, and Semantic Enhancement", was reported on in the Christian Science Monitor and several other papers this past week. It is nothing more than a massive data-minig operation designed to shred every last piece of privacy your average American citizen retains.

To the geeks who designed it I'm sure it looks incredibly cool. To the NeoNazis in the Bush Administration I am sure it looks incredibly cool. But if such a program is really going to be put into place, then it needs to be fully revealed and discussed by the American people. And that is the very last thing this Administration, with it's "Don't worry your silly little heads, We'll take care of you" attitude wants.

And that's quite probably what the whole warrantless wiretapping brohaha comes down to. The actual program in place at the NSA is related to ADVISE, and the Bushies don't want to have anything come out about that, so they are misdirecting everyone's attention.

Or not. My Evil Twin has a pretty good imagination sometimes... better not to muse too publicly or ask too many questions.

Saturday, February 18, 2006


While the Bush Administration is busy trying to prepare to defend the country against partisan bloggers and putting Administration critics on the secret "no-fly" list because, God knows, you never know when somebody who doesn't agree with the President is going to decide to fly an airplane into a skyscraper... while all that is going on to keep us all "safe" from terrorists...

The Bush administration is pushing the sale of six of America's most important port facilities in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Miami, Baltimore, and New Orleans, to an Arab country that openly supported Afghanistan's Taliban government, funneled money to the 9/11 hijackers, had two citizens among the 9/11 hijackers, and which has been implicated in the smuggling of nuclear components to North Korea and Iran.

That sounds totally absurd, right?

I wish it were, but it's all true.

Bush is selling our ports to Arab terrorists and it's the publisher of Capitol Hill Blue who winds up on the No-Fly list...

I must have stumbled into an alternate universe while I was sleeping.

Well isn't that special...

I guess we're all potential terrorists and threats to America now.

Most of last week's news reports on the DHS's Cyberstorm excercise missed a very interesting piece of information about the program. Alongside legitimate concerns about cyber-terrorists hacking into nuclear power plants, disrupting financial institutions and power grids and so forth, the Associated Press reports that-

"Participants confirmed parts of the worldwide simulation challenged government officials and industry executives to respond to deliberate misinformation campaigns and activist calls by Internet bloggers, online diarists whose "Web logs" include political rantings and musings about current events."

That's worth repeating-

"Participants confirmed parts of the worldwide simulation challenged government officials and industry executives to respond to...activist calls by Internet bloggers, online diarists whose "Web logs" include political rantings and musings about current events."

Well, excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me!

My thanks to Beekslayer Karen for alerting me to this little tidbit. It is certainly a sobering one, especially considering recent stories about blog hosts like Yahoo and Google stifling free speech and rolling over on bloggers for the Chinese government. Do you think they'd raise one finger to protect an American's free speech rights if the American government told them not to? How long would all our blogs be around if George Bush yelled "terrorist!" at them? I know damn well Yahoo wouldn't have the balls to stand up for American values, but I used to think Google might. But now I tend to doubt it.

By the way, I didn't write any of that. My evil twin did. Damn, he keeps getting on here and writing bad stuff about the government. Bad evil twin, bad!

If any government agents are interested, I can give you his address. Or Google can. They probably already have.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Final Friday Musings...

OK, I started out today pretty pissy, and what with no fucking email coming in all day it didn't get any better as we went along. However, let us not leave the week on a down note. So I offer the following Friday Night Pick-Me-Up from the Beekslayer Archives-

Fair is Fair...

I spend a lot of time slagging GWBush-style neocons and their fellow-traveler Republicans as a bunch of anti-American, Neanderthal, know-nothing, freedom-hating war-mongering chickenhawks... which they are. But even I have to admit- this is pretty funny:

Friday musings...

Iran has officially changed the name of the breakfast pastry known to the rest of the sane world as a "Danish" to "Roses of the Prophet Muhammed". Before you make fun of how stupid that is, have a Freedom Fry...

I guess all this whole thing proves is that Mulim Loonies are just as nuts as our own Christian Loonies, only more violent. Dusty Rhoades had a good column about that this week. He points out that the Muslim Loonies need to take a few lessons in agitation tactics from our own All-American Loonies. Don't pillage, burn and riot. Write letters and go on talk shows. Write a book.

Hey, it got people to take this stupid "War on Christmas" thing so seriously that Target actually took down their "Happy Holiday" signs. Letter-writing campaigns by Fundy Xians often succeed in getting craven network execs to yank tv shows off the air. So don't burn embassies- go on Oprah. Or Pat Robertson. I lost the story, but apparently he agrees with you that there ought to be laws against saying anything that causes offense to any religion. As Rhoades suggested, maybe we should send Robertson to Teheran to talk with the mullahs. They are all birds of a feather...

Update: An Islamic cleric in Pakistan has just offered 1 million dollars to whoever kills "the cartoonist" (he doesn't appear to know there were 12) who drew those Muhammed drawings. Now that's the way to get folks to respect your religion- kill them if they don't. Hey, that's what the Crusades and Inquisition were all about. Good track record there. You go, guys.

Genentech/Roche is going to charge lung and breast cancer patients $100,000 a year for their drug "Avastin", a colon-cancer drug they have already made billions from, simply because that's what they figure the market will bear. "As we look at Avastin and Herceptin pricing, right now the health economics hold up, and therefore I don't see any reason to be touching them. The pressure on society to use strong and good products is there." according to a spokesman. Considering that US taxpayers paid about half the development costs of the drug, you might think we would have a say in how it's priced, or at least the chance to use it if we need it to save our lives, but apparently not. Even with insurance, the co-pay cost is estimated at $20,000 a year, out of reach of most patients. And of course the rest of us will end up paying anyway, in the form of higher health insurance premiums. So i guess if you're not rich you can just go and die, simply because Genentech thinks it can make a bigger profit. At least they admit they put profit ahead of lives...

That's more than Yahoo and Google do, with their "we're censoring our content in China because we think it will help free China" crap. Oh please.

Speaking of human rights, the UN came out with a report that says we're running a gulag down in Guantanamo (ever notice how that looks a lot like "guano"?). The US State Dept., as personified very crsiply by Condi Rice, says the UN report is a bunch of hooey; obviously you can't trust the UN, unless they are reporting on Iraq or Iran. But today Tiny Blair said the gula... I mean Guantanamo, was an "anomaly" that would "have to be dealt with". Tiny and Condi better get their stories straight. Or Tiny has to get better briefings before he opens his mouth, or Dik Cheney will be inviting him hunting...

The Greeland glaciers are melting twice as fast as originally thought, due to Global Warming, but let's look on the bright side. As the story points out- "Greenland is probably contributing more and faster to sea level rise than predicted," says glacier expert Eric Rignot of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. So it's Greenland's fault! And here all those tree-hugging psuedo-science America-hating Democrats have been blaming the US for spewing all those greenhouse-causing gases into the air. We'll it's not our fault. Blame Greenland!!

And have another Freedom Fry.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

It depends on what your definition of "shot" is-

OK, so the Creepy Veepy came out of his Batcave yesterday and said it was all his fault. So why did his office spend two days saying it wasn't? Somebody at the White House has been lyyyyying again...

The point isn't that the Vice President of the United States shot a friend in the chest with a shotgun -hey, haven't we all had weekends like that? You know, if I had a nickel... anyway, the point is that his office lied about it and tried to cover it up.

You know, like Clinton.

When folks complained that it was unreasonable to impeach the President of the United States for getting his dick sucked, Republicans responded that they were not impeaching him for having sex with a horny intern, but for lying about it.

But never mind.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A Sordid Business...

Somehow or other one of Mike's latest posts got us around to the seamy side of Sesame Street and, by extension, the Muppet Show.

Please, folks, can't we keep any innocent illusions? I know, I know, there was Miss Piggy's scandalous tell-all bestseller followed by her trip to, and subsequent escape from, rehab.

There was Gonzo's conversion to Fundamentalist Christianity and his cable tv show, and then the scandal when it all came crashing down after the 60 Minutes story about the week he spent in that hotel room with 3 Albanian hookers...

Did anything prepare us for the revelation about Kermit and Scooter? Yes, Kermit was Scooter's "uncle", but not the kind we thought...

I will never forget the sadness I felt when I was clicking around cable one Sunday morning and found Cookie Monster selling excercise bikes on one of those low-budget infomercials.

And don't get me started on "Big Bird -the Fragrance" (available at K-Mart).

It's all very sad. Especially Miss Piggy. I mean, what was she thinking when she agreed to go on last year's taping of "Survivor -Stranded on a Desert Island"? Did she stop to think about what might happen if somebody upset a raft and all the food was spoiled?

Did she suspect anything when they started building the barbeque pit?

I suppose her memory lives on in her epitaph. How many of us, when the Final Bell rings and we go to that Big Barbecue Pit in the sky, will have it said of us that we were "crispy and delicious"?

You Go, Willie!

Willie Nelsom has released a gay cowboy song. According to the BBC story-

Nelson said the release, 'Cowboys Are Secretly, Frequently (Fond of Each Other)', was timed to coincide with Oscar hopeful Brokeback Mountain. The song, originally written in 1981, was played for the first time on Howard Stern's radio show on Tuesday. "The song's been in the closet for 20 years. The timing's right for it to come out," said Nelson.

Speaking to the Dallas Morning News, Nelson's manager David Anderson, who revealed that he was gay two years ago, said he wanted the song to reflect well on the singer. "I want people to know more than anything - gay, straight, whatever - just how cool Willie is and ... his way of thinking, his tolerance, everything about him," he added.

The song will be available exclusively through the Apple iTunes music store.

Something to Think About

The Human Stain blog reported a few days ago on a speech by Jim Marcinkowski, who is running for Congress in Michigan's 8th Congressional District. Here is the speech, National Security: The Attack on the Constitution,
but it contains a portion I am going to paraphrase & edit slightly:

State of the Union, America in 2006:

-Our government is always right and never apologizes.

-Dissent is suppressed, ridiculed or banned.

-The torture of captives is openly condoned.

-State incarceration is, in some cases, not subject to the checks and balances of the courts.

-Economic plans, such as for oil, are established in closed sessions between politicians and industry, far outside public view.

-Government agents have access to your medical records, your library records, your telephone, and your e-mail.

-The Constitution is a mere facade, ignored by the nation's leader.

-Dissent, debate and protest are called "unpatriotic".

-The public media serves as a lackey to the government.

-Wrong is declared right.

-Tapping a phone is like tapping a pencil.

-Lying is considered a patriotic skill.

-The extraction of natural resources overrides any concern for the environment and the impact on the health of people.

-Anything embarrasing to the government is hidden away as an item of “national security”.

-"Secrecy" and "national security" are used to control debate.

-The "legislators" are simply mouthpieces and rubberstamps for the President.

-Foreign policy is more important than domestic concerns.

-Fear is used as a political weapon and an acceptable means of control.

-The best medical care is reserved for the influential.

-Wealth is concentrated in the top 5%.

Sound like America 2006? I thought so too; any thinking, knowledgable American (even Republicans) would recognize these as accurately representing America in 2006. Even the President has admitted, or proudly trumpeted, many of these thngs as acomplishments. Marcinkowski, a 30-year veteran of the FBI and CIA, is actually describing the Soviet Union of the 1950s and 60s.

Oh well...

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Here's the thing...

Bad news today about the guy Cheney shot. Folks with good taste are taking their Cheney hunting jokes off their blogs. So, of course, I'm leaving mine right where they are. I look at it this way- nobody wishes anything except good stuff for Cheney's latest victim. And none of us were making fun of him. We were going after the Dikster. And the Dikster has already killed tens of thousands of people. He's a fucking mass murderer and war criminal. He was last week, and he was yesterday, and this morning, and he is now.

So the jokes stay. Humor and Tragedy are the Siamese twins of human existence. The ancient Greeks understood that, and so does Garrison Keillor. You laugh or you cry. Cheney has given us so much to cry about, I will take the opportunity to have a laugh at his expense, while sincerely hoping that his latest victim recovers.

Such is life in 2006. You laugh, you cry, you go on.

Perfect Last-Minute Valentine's Gift-

Forget to buy those roses and now the store has sold out?

Never fear, there are alternatives...

There should be a country song about these...

Your duct-tape roses were just the start,
of all the ways you broke my heart.
You broke it bad, and by the time you were through,
I couldn't even mend it with super glue.

Dik Cheney's Hunting Song

OK, just one more.

With apologies to Tom Leher...

My story isn’t scary,
'Twas just this February,
I went out to hunt some game,
‘Cause to not kill is a shame.
I went and shot the maximum the game laws would allow:
Two reporters, seven liberals, and a feminist from NOW.

I was in no mood to trifle,
I took down my trusty rifle
And went out to stalk my prey.
What a haul I made that day!
I tied them to my fender, and I drove them home somehow:
Two reporters, seven liberals, and a feminist from NOW.

The law was very firm, it
Took away my permit,
The worst punishment ever known to man.
It turned out there was a reason,
liberals were out of season,
And the feminist was someone named “Friedan”.

People ask me how I do it,
And I say "There's nothin' to it,
You just stand there lookin' cute,
And when something moves, you shoot!"
And there's ten stuffed heads in my trophy room right now:
Two reporters, seven liberals, and a feminist from NOW.

Monday, February 13, 2006

The First Day of Spring

Yes, Boston got two feet of snow yesterday, and New York got its 2nd highest snowfall ever from one storm, but today is the first day of Spring. How, you ask, could that be? Well, today the truck carrying the Boston Red Sox Spring Training equipment pulled out from Fenway Park and headed for Florida.

Yes, later on pitchers and catchers will report, and there will be the first Spring Training game, and then Opening Day, and so on, but Today was the start of Spring for Red Sox fans. My Grandpa Cole was a Red Sox fan, and passed the gene on to me. He and my grandmother had season tickets to Spring Training every year back when Spring Training wasn’t cool. They had cable tv at their summer house in New Hampshire back when nobody had even heard of cable, but that was the only way to get the weekend Red Sox games on tv. I bought my first copy of the book “Yaz” at age 6 and was listening to games on my radio by age 7.

A year and a half ago, the week after the Sox won “It All” for the first time since 1918, our family took a morning off to raise a toast at my grandfather’s grave-

Left to right: yours truly, my mother Betty, her sister Pat, her brother Bill, Pat’s son (my cousin) Matt, and Pat’s husband Charlie.

So, I’m not sure what all this has to do with anything, but amidst the snow and cold, the relentless journey towards Spring has really started, and I can hear my Grandfather complaining about Red Sox pitching even before they have thrown a ball...


The Australian Courier-Mail reports that Dick "Deadeye" Cheney will be questioned by law enforcement authorities investigating the shooting of a fellow hunter over the weekend.

Word in the blogsphere is that the "official" story that the man Cheney shot was at fault for walking in front of Cheney's gun is "crap". Speculation is that Cheney was walking around with a loaded shotgun with the safety off and either tripped or dropped it.

But hey, why stop there? The "Dikster" never does anything halfway, eh? Are we really saying that our Beloved Vice Leader is so clumsy that he shot somebody by accident? Let me have my little dreams...

Random Thoughts on "Deadeye" Dik Cheney...

His friend can at least be glad Cheney dodged the draft during Vietnam- in the Army they'd have taught him to shoot straight.

Thank God poor Johnny Cash is dead. If he wasn't he'd have to change the song lyric to: "I shot a man while hunting quail, just to watch him die".

The Secret Service is vehemently denying rumors that when Cheney whirled around and shot off both barrels he screamed "Take that, George!!"

Forget the UN inspection teams or Israeli Commandos- send Dik to Iran with a six-pack of shotguns and a bag of hand grenades... he'll clean up their act.

I thought Dik hired professionals to shoot people for him.

The White House is denying reports that Dick has invited "Scooter" Libby hunting next weekend...

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Dick Cheney Shoots Man

BREAKING NEWS: Well, yeah. Dik Cheney shot a 78-year old friend while hunting at his ranch in Texas.

I can't make crazy stuff like this up.

Remember: Guns don't kill people.

Vice-Presidents do.

Study Shows Venus Made of Coleslaw

Well, not really, but it's a good headline so we'll run with it. I am still baffled and amazed by the misleading headlines and stories that are being written "reporting" the latest study about low-fat diets and health. Even publications that are taking a sensible look at the story, such as this one in Newsweek, fall prey to the simpletons, with a link to another story, headlined- Study: Low-fat diet doesn't reduce cancer, heart disease. If you're getting confused by all this, try this story, a more balanced take.

The most fascinating aspect so far is that the low fat/high fat brouhaha is turning political. Over on Fox they are positively triumphant, with stories about the "busting" of the "fat myth" which has been perpetrated on good-old steak-and-fry-chawin' America by a bunch of Lefties, scientists, social do-gooders and other Anti-American types. I suppose this is no surprise- the story has nuance, and nuance is something the Fox & Bush types are afraid of. Right or wrong. For us or against us.

Nuance? That's a French word, isn't it?

Jeff Jacoby, the Boston Globe's in-house right-wing nutcase, blames science, and points out that scientists are always changing their minds, so you really cannot trust them. That's a view that plays well with the crowd who consider all science suspect to begin with, want Evolution banned from the schools and are convinced that all this talk of Global Warming is simply an anti-American plot.

Quite frankly, the current mis-reporting and politization of the low-fat diet story shows the same knee-jerk anti-intellectual, anti-science, anti-intelligence bias, and the same disregard for anything approaching real reporting by the press, that got us George Bush in the White House and American troops in Iraq.

Do you want fries with that?

Mike wrote a powerful blog about choices-made yesterday that got me musing about all that sort of stuff. Roads not taken, and the "what-ifs" of life. Made me think of this Robert Frost poem-

The Road Not Taken
-Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Saturday Musings

Gee, whoda thunk it? Bush is lying again, this time about an alleged plot to attack Los Angeles two years ago. Odd that he just happened to bring the story up as he is going around the country tyring to sell his illegal Spying-on-Americans program; odder still that the "plot" he told us about is as ficticious as those WMDs we flattened Iraq for...

From the same Fantasy Island base camp that President Pretzel inhabits, come new headlines trumpeting that a low-fat diet has no beneficial medical effects. If one ever had any doubt that the chief concern of the news media is not to report even the most basic story accurately, but instead to jump on the best cheap headline they can find, this dispells them. The story about an 8-year study on over-50 women which found "little" beneficial effects from a "low-fat" diet is being shamefully, and dangerously distorted. The fact remains that saturated and trans fats are very bad for you, while polyunsaturated fats can have beneficial effects -but this study, designed over a decade ago, did not take that into account, and so on; read here for a more balanced report on the meaning of the study, and stay away from those McDonald's fries- they are still bad for you.

The head guy of Hezbollah is really upset over what he sees as the religious intolerance shown by the Danes and the rest of “The West” when they published those cartoons satirizing Muhammad. And they say irony is dead. Here's a guy whose blood-soaked, terrorist organization regularly blows up, shoots, crushes, spindles and mutilates people who they hate simply because they are the wrong religion, and he's upset that people are being intolerant of his religion because they drew some cartoons. He said it was up to "The West" to pass laws banning free speech when that speech might anger Muslims. I think that's a great idea, and I know what the head of Hezbollah can do to help it along- he should hold his breath until we all pass laws like that.

And another thing (now that I’m on the topic)- I just heard yet another Muslim fundamentalist going on about how “The West” has no respect for Islam and “The West” has to pass laws to restrict freedom of speech, and “The West” “will not be allowed” to do anything disrespectful of Muslims… –except he didn’t say “The West”, he kept using the phrase “The Infidels”. There's tolerance and respect for you.

Earth to "outraged" Muslims- they were cartoons. Frankly, the last thing we have seen practiced by your religious fanatics in the last 50 years or so is “tolerance”. In the name of your religion you murder and pillage, enslave the female half of your population and muzzle Free Speech. And then you have the balls to lecture other folks on “religious tolerance”. Go fuck yourselves. When you give women equal rights, and stop harrassing and killing Jews for being Jewish, we will listen to you lecture about respect and tolerance.

That also applies, btw, to the whacko Religious Christian Right here in America who want to do more or less the same things- you can all go fuck off too. This has nothing to do with whether you worship Mohammed or Jesus or Yoda- it has to do with Religious Fanatics of all stripes who insist that everyone else has to be just like them. It especially applies (and this is what really pisses me off about the Muslim fanatics now in the news) to hypocritical, murderous religious fanatics- that is, those who feel perfectly justified murdering, or supporting murder and violence, in the name of their religion and then get all hot and bothered when other people "disrespect" them. This month it's radical Muslims, next month it could be the freakazoid Christian Holly Rollers who gun down doctors who perform abortions.

As Eric Bogle wrote-
Oh I wish I could be there,
the day you go to meet your God.
When you lift up your bloody hands and cry
'I did it all in your name, Lord!'
That age-old obscene lie,
lifted up as a prayer.
When your God looks deep, deep inside your soul,
I wish I could be there.

Those of you not from New England may have missed this story, but a few weeks ago a young mother and her baby were found shot to death in their bed, and the husband suddenly flew to England. Well, no prizes for what happens next- the husband was arrested by British police yesterday and will be extradited back to Massachusetts. Turns out that he was despondent over his business going bad, and it is alleged he decided to do a murder-suicide thing, but chickened out between "murder" and "suicide". Here's a suggestion for pricks thinking the same thing- when you do it, do the suicide part first.

Gotta Watch Them Boobies...

Oh my oh my oh my-o... Advanced Book Exchange has really put their foot in it now. Fresh from pissing off half the Bookselling World by raising fees last week ("The Great Credit Card Processing Brouhaha") yesterday afternoon they emailed their weekly "Bookseller Bulletin" to all 10,000 of their member booksellers. Except this time it was titled "Boobseller Bulletin"...

I was going to add something here, but I guess I won't.

That pic, btw, comes from the official Beekslayer Duct Tape Adoration page which needs updating. If anyone has any good images, send us a link.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Bullshit Bingo

This appeared over on Biblio this morning and I thought I'd reprint it here for our office-bound compatriots-

How to Stay Awake at Meetings

Do you keep falling asleep in meetings and seminars? What about those long and boring conference calls? Here's a way to change all of that.

1. Before (or during) your next meeting, seminar, or conference call, prepare yourself by drawing a square. I find that 5" x 5" is a good size.

Divide the card into columns-five across and five down. That will give you 25 one-inch blocks.

2. Write one of the following words/phrases in each block:

* synergy
* strategic fit
* core competencies
* best practice
* bottom line
* revisit
* expeditious
* to tell you the truth (or "the truth is")
* 24/7
* out of the loop
* benchmark
* value-added
* proactive
* win-win
* think outside the box
* fast track
* result-driven
* empower (or empowerment)
* knowledge base
* at the end of the day
* touch base
* mindset
* client focus(ed)
* paradigm
* game plan
* leverage

3. Check off the appropriate block when you hear one of those words/phrases.

4. When you get five blocks horizontally, vertically, or diagonally stand up and shout "BULLSHIT!"

TESTIMONIALS from satisfied "Bullshit Bingo" players:

-- "I had been in the meeting for only five minutes when I won.." -
Adam W., Atlanta

-- "My attention span at meetings has improved dramatically." -
David T., Orlando

-- "What a gas! Meetings will never be the same for me after my first win."
Dan J., New York City

-- "The atmosphere was tense in the last process meeting as 14 of us waited for the fifth box."
Ben G., Denver

-- "The speaker was stunned as eight of us screamed 'BULLSHIT!' for the third time in two hours. The Bullshit Bingo Championship will be played at the next meeting."
Rod H.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

TV Nation & Other Immoral Pursuits

Over on the Biblio list they got into a discussion this morning about "what do booksellers watch on tv?" Predictably, there were half a dozen posts from the folks who declared "I don't have a tv" or "I haven't watched in years". Well, ok, good. I'm proud of you. The question, however, obviously does not apply to you, so why chime in, except to impress us with your upstanding tv-less morality?

Television and movies are a lot like books- there's a lot a dross and a few gems. I'm not sure why folks feel so proud declaring "I never watch" -if you never watch, how the fuck do you know there's nothing on? It's like declaring you never read any modern fiction because there are no good modern novelists; well, how do you know?

But the question got me to make a list, which Joyce posted on Bibliophile Bullpen this afternoon, and which I will now expand on a bit-

The Office. If you enjoy reading Evelyn Waugh for his subtle but deadly satire then you will enjoy The Office. It is well written and superbly cast. It's like a chapter of Waugh a week, but brought up to date and set in a modern corporate office. Great fun. Why not just read Waugh, I hear you ask? Well, I've read all of them. Twice.

My Name is Earl. A wonderfully quirky show, which reminds me a bit of a Vladimir Voinovich novel, and which definitely draws on the influence of Magnus Mills' "The Restraint of Beasts" and "All Quiet on the Orient Express".

Project Runway. Good [fill in name of your favorite trash novelist here]-type fun. And, as I said here last week, what's not to like about a show where most of the women are hot and only partially clothed?

Desperate Housewives. OK, no good excuse. The moral equivalent of reading 'People' magazine. Sue me. Marcia Cross is a babe. And it's always interesting (in a creepy way) to see how thin poor Terry Hatcher can get. The woman needs to start eating again, this month, if possible. And this season we get to watch Alfre Woodard look devious, which she is really good at.

History Channel. Last night they had an interesting show on building demolition. You can read all the history and tech you want, sometimes it just pays to have moving pictures to go along with the story. I mean c'mon, when things go Boom, that calls for video and sound.

Arrested Development. What do you get when you combine elements of Fernando Arrabal's "The Compass Stone", William Monahan's "Lighthouse", Evelyn Waugh's "The Loved One", along with a pinch of Edgar Allan Poe, and make a television series out of it? That's right- something quirky, confusing and brilliant which very few people care to watch.

Boston Red Sox - anyone who follows their seasons on tv often finds themselves descending into something resembling a Kafka novel along about mid-August/early September.

Oops. Gotta go. It's almost time for "The Simpsons".

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Checking in

It's been a few days since I checked in. Sorry about that. Yesterday was my birthday, or "barfday" as we Beekslayers put it. I got a couple of emails that I have to record for posterity, as they seem to sum it all up for me-

Julie, our own Goddess Empress Babe, wrote-

Hippo Birdie Two Ewe, Kernel!

I don't know what to wish you for your barfday. I mean, you already live in a beautiful place, have a great job, and are married to an amazing woman. What more do you need?

Oh, I know. Here's wishing you the spontaneous combustion of the entire Bush administration. Except for Cheney. We'll have to do something else about him cuz if he spontaneously combusted, it might let out a toxic plume that could take out a small city.

Happy day, and may all your dreams come true!

-GEB the Barfday Fairy

And then DSA (Dear Sweet Aimee) added-

Snappy, Snappy,
Birfday from us here at the
Volume One Beeks Central HQ.
We bestow such loverly wishes
upon your head, that we hope you
can get up and out of bed,
let it never not be said
that Col.F. is one to dred
because somedays you might
find him out behind the shed
banging his head,
until he's really red
or perhaps has fled
back to his cozy
warm and fluffy wuffy bed
to be with one to whom he
has lovingly been wed.

We luff you muchly Colonel Flambed d Cherry Tartuffe
yours forever and all the days after that

Well, yeah. That means a lot to me.

I was sorta bummed out about 44. Don't know why exactly. It's not a "big one", as most people count them, but still. That's fucking Middle Aged... Maybe what really shook me was that a week ago I heard a story on the radio about a high school radio station that I knew of when I was in HS, and I got to thinking, yeah, my old station probably has a website, I think I'll go over and see. So I Googled and sure enuff, they have one. That was 1978-79-80. My friend Ned was my co-Student General Manager back then; he went into radio as an engineer and has been working as a radio engineer ever since, and after a while became the faculty advisor to the station we were both student GM's at. There was a picture on the website of Ned, their Station Manager, but it was not Ned... it was a slightly paunchy, slightly balding, middle-aged dude, the sort of guy we used to have as teachers.

But I saw Ned under there. It freaked me out, a little. I get these anxiety/panic attacks- have every once in a while since Bush was "elected" (not a joke) and I've been in and out of them for a week now. But GEB and DSA put it all in perspective. I have about everything I could really wish for- I work for myself in an industry in turmoil and have some idea what the fuck I am doing, I have a good family I get along with, a wonderful, beautiful, understanding wife, a wonderful house, and what more can I really ask?

Nothing. I guess I just don't believe how lucky I am, or that I deserve it.

I dunno.

My best friend in High School became the manager of a semi-big-name Rock band and jumped off a bridge. Another girl I knew there got breast cancer and died at 26. But I am here and continue to plug away, with much more than I could ever have hoped for. For that I am grateful.

All of the faces
and all of the places
I wonder how they all disappear.

If it suddenly ended tomorrow,
I could somehow adjust to the fall,
good times and riches,
and sons of a bitches,
I've seen more than I can recall.

Yesterday's over my shoulder
so I can't look back for too long;
there's too much to see
waiting in front of me,
and I know that I just can't go wrong.

It's those changes in latitudes,
changes in attitudes,
nothing remains quite the same.
Through all of our running,
and all of our cunning,
if we couldn't laugh,
we would all go insane.



Monday, February 06, 2006

Stones too cocky for ABC...

Well, it was as bad, if not worse, than I had feared. Not only did the “hope I die before I get old” boys embarrass themselves and their entire generation by hopping around like geriatric Energizer bunnies on the Super Bowl stage last night, but ABC network (one assumes at the behest of the FCC) embarrassed themselves by censoring not one, but two of the Stones 3 songs. OK, “You’d make a dead man cum” is a little racy, though how many people who don’t know the line already (and would presumably not be offended) would really catch what was being sung? But now we can’t have any mention of male chickens on the public airwaves? I did not catch it, but Undercover .com reports “The line from their current song ‘Rough Justice’ seemed to have had audio problems just as Mick was about to sing the word “cocks”. The lyrics go “once upon a time I was your little red rooster/now I’m just one of your cocks”..

Oh for God’s sake… Double meanings aren't allowed now? The folks at the FCC just have dirty minds, that's all there is to it.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Going to the Dark Side

I, I feel a great disturbance in The Force. It is as if thousands cried out in terror, and then were suddenly silenced...

Reading the bookseller email lists this morning, you'd think that we are entering The End of Time. The Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse has shown up, riding over the hill on a fiery steed.

But he's blowing bubbles.

Mein Gott, what a furor over nuttin'. Advanced Book Exchange has announced that in future it will be processing all MC and VISA charges for books sold through their website itself, rather than passing the numbers on to individual booksellers to process. They will charge the bookseller 5.5% to do this, which is about 2.5% higher than the discount rate many booksellers get from their own credit card processors. So it will cost your average ABE bookseller an additional 2.5%. In benefit, it will certainly result in increased sales on the site, as folks are more comfortable using their credit cards to purchase books when they know the numbers will not be sent out to someone they do not know.

But to read the lists, you'd think that that 2.5% or so is evidently going to put all the internet booksellers right outta business. uh...

sorry, I'm all verklempt.

But seriously, anytime you guys want some real things to worry about, I can make a list. ABE processing credit card orders ain't gonna be on it though.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Freedoms Ain't Free

So now the Pakistani Parliment has gotten into the act, trying to shut down Freedom of Speech in the West. For anyone who has not been following this story all week, last week a Danish newspaper printed several cartoons caricaturing the Prophet Muhammed. Picturing Muhammed in any way is forbidden in Islam, but then again, Denmark is not an Islamic nation. Since then all Hell has broken loose in the Middle East, with mass demonstrations, wholesale condemnation of Denmark, the closure of embassies, bomb threats -the whole shebang (Jessica Simpson has so far not been involved, so FOX News may not yet have carried the story).

The "incident" has had profound economic and diplomatic effects for Denmark. Many Middle Eastern countries have quite literally pulled all Danish goods from their shelves, and apparently Denmark did a lot of business in the Middle East -hundreds of Danish workers have been laid off. Danish government officials have now met with ambassadors from 70 Muslim countries, but as the Egyptian Ambassador said, the feeling is that Denmark needs to do a lot more to "appease the Muslim world". The Danish government, they say, must take steps to make sure this never happens again, and the offending newspapers must be thoroughly "punished".

Well, I don't think so...

Earth to "Muslim World"- go [flick] yourselves. You can make picturing your prophet illegal in your own country, but here in the West we will damn well do what we please. It's called Freedom of Speech, and it's worth defending because there are always folks out there who want to stifle other people's.

Just ask Salman Rushdie.

These cartoons may well have been offensive. I don't care, that's not the point. Literature, art and speech, satire, what have you, exist for the purpose of spreading ideas, even of offending people, and of puncturing balloons. And that scares many people, in many socities (including our own -the West is far from guiltless regarding censorship). And so you get people who want to restrict everyone else's ability to express themselves. It's always the other guy's ideas that are scary, or offensive, and are not to be tolerated. In a heartening show of support, the newspapers in many other European countries have reprinted the offensive cartoons. Good for them.

I don't care what religion, nationality or whatever you are, keep your hands off other people's Freedoms. I'm sorry you are offended, but I am not sorry someone offended you. The world will be a better place when people learn to live with the fact that no matter how much you believe you have a direct pipeline to God, you have to leave others alone to find their own way, and that includes some of our own home-grown Christian whack-jobs who are every bit as self-righteous, bigoted and scary as the Muslims now burning Danish flags in Iran.

All of you- get off my Freedoms! I'm not done using them.

UPDATE- The US State Dept. has weighed in- on the side of censorship. spokesman said-

"Anti-Muslim images are as unacceptable as anti-Semitic images, as anti-Christian images or any other religious belief."

I guess he hasn't check out the schoolbooks they use in Saudi Arabia, the Palestinian Authority, Iran, etc., where there have always been anti-Semitic images. Those are the same people now protesting that we need to repect their reeligion. What's Arabic for "hypocrites"? I've got a Biblical quote for them -you reap what you sow.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Sicko Plush Alert

Prof. Orange Crate just posted this link to Beekslayers. Anyone with any sort of twisted sense of humor must go to Patricia Waller's Plush Toy site right this minute. Yes, it's in German, but I don't think you need to read German to enjoy these. Warning- if you never found the song "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" amusing, never mind.

What's Hot, and what's not

OK, time to fess up- I am a huge Project Runway fan. I mean, hey, what's not to like? Hot women running around in varying states of undress every week, and some of the designers are pretty hot too. And at some point Heidi will pop the kid out and stop wearing pillowcases.

It's interesting to watch how the different designers grow, or don't grow, as the show goes on week after week. Daniel is my pick for winner right now; he's in a groove and seems to be one of those who get better as the weeks go by. Santino will be in the Final 3 Just Because- can you imagine a Final 3 without him? Chloe will be the third finalist. I think Kara is the next to go, followed by Nick -neither of them have as much talent as Daniel, Santino or Chloe, though at this point a single mis-step can really screw you. Just a week after blowing everyone's minds with his fabulous "gutter water pebbles" dress, Andre put his model into a roll of astroturf last night and got the boot.

The thing that is really annoying me at the moment is that I canna get onto the Bravo website to read Tim's f'ing blog. Bravo's website gives me a message saying I need to download the latest Flash component or summat, and I'll be damned if I'm going to do that. C'mon people! I know that lots of websites like to load up on the Flash graphics and other crap, but they almost always will also let you look at pages without those components. Bravo's site won't let me go anywhere. So it's a standoff. I sit here and curse and refuse to upgrade, and Bravo's site tells me I'm an ingorant, backward hillbilly, unworthy to view their fine website.

Fine. See if I invite them to this fall's Corn Husking. Heidi can come, though. And Tim. Tim's cool.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Not that there's anything wrong with that

All right, now I'm just the tiniest bit sorry I didn't watch last night, because I missed seeing this gem-

"Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to prohibit the most egregious abuses of medical research: human cloning in all its forms; creating or implanting embryos for experiments; creating human-animal hybrids; and buying, selling or patenting human embryos."

Creating "human-animal hybrids"???

WTF is up with that?

And, WTF is wrong with that, anyway...

Sane Peoples Rebuttal to Crazy President's State of the Union Address

My fellow Americans,

your President lies like a rug. He's nutty as a can of Planter's. If his IQ was 20 points higher he'd have to be watered twice a week; if his IQ ever hits 50 he should sell. Since his last State of the Union he hit rock bottom, and then started to dig. He would be in over his head in a puddle in the White House parking lot. It is my opinion that he has been working with solvent too much. Let's face it folks, the gates are down, the lights are flashing, but there's no train coming. When Dik Cheney stands close to George Bush, he can hear the ocean.

Thank you and goodnight.