Thursday, June 28, 2007

US Air Guitar Championship

I have no way to describe this. It's either great and hilarious or pathetic, or most likely both.

Three Bad Rulings

Been a rough week in the supreme court, three rulings have come down in ugly ways. Attack ads by corporations and Unions are Ok because those entities have freedom of speech. People in school on the other hand do not have that freedom as they can be punished by the school for what should have been a protected act that occurred OFF school property. And lastly you and I have no right to challenge what are tax money is used for, even if it is used in a n unconstitutional manner, like for instance money going to religious institutions. Fuck.

So by democracy of by and for the people that means that the people have the right to vote, they don't have the right to ensure that their vote gets counted, or to verify that it was counted correctly, if the elected person that may or may not have won then decides to pass unconstitutional laws then you do not have the right to question that law, and while in school you have almost no rights at all, but a corporation has all of your rights but cannot be punished, are often subsidized and rarely pay any taxes at all. Ya smell that? Thats freedom baby.

Illegal Wiretapping

Thank You Democrats! I've talked a lot of shit about them in the past, even the recent past, but this week they've shown a little spirit. The big one for me is that they are finally investigating the illegal wiretapping program. USNews has a ton of links to other news sources so rather than repeat them just go to Actually to be fair there are folks on both sides of the isle that are willing to go after the office of a man who doesn't know what part of the government he's in. So far its just some subpoenas which will probably be ignored although it would talk some serious balls to try to use "executive privilege" immediately after claiming to no be a part of the executive branch, then again this is the man who shot a friend in the face then made a statement about how your friend feels bad about all the commotion that he has caused, so balls are hardly lacking. Can't wait to see where this leads, likely nowhere, but might get some entertaining moments out of the ordeal.

9/11 Clean Up

What does it say about our country when we are so good at the first steps but so bad at the follow through? We can win a war, we lose the peace. We stay strong in the fact of attack then we crumble when we try to rebuild or even just clean up. Of course the people of New Orleans might point out that some times we don't even get the first steps right.

Is Whitman at fault? Probably. Is Guliani at fault? Probably. Obviously I don't know any secret inside information but its clear that there is more than enough blame to go around. I don't know that any of those accused did anything explicitly wrong, but I know without a doubt that none of them did what was right. No one stood up and said we don't know either way if this air is safe or not, so to be one the safe side everyone please leave your respirators on while working at (I hate this term but its the one they were using at the time) The Pile. They may have passed out some masks but by the ensuing epidemic it's quite clear that enough was not done.

Whitman can go ahead and blame the terrorists, we all know that they have the blood of 2993 people (I'm including the 19 terrorists in the planes because those who guided them are still at large) on their hands and that will never wash away. Bin Laden and the others responsible for the attack would take pleasure in knowing that they killed even more and that their attack is still reeking havoc even to this day, but I refuse to give them that satisfaction. I realize that hindsight is twenty twenty its easy to judge other people as wrong when you know the outcome so I don't want to judge to harshly. But I have yet to hear remorse from these folks, if Whitman had broken down and pleaded, "I'm sorry, we thought it was safe, we knew there was some amount of danger but never envisioned it could be this bad, I'm sorry, I wish I could change the past. I wish I had fought harder but I didn't and I can't. There is nothing I can say to change what happened, I can't fix the lives of those suffering and I can't revive those lives lost. I know now that my actions could have prevented this further tragedy but I did not know it then. I am eternally remorseful, please try to forgive me." If that had happened I would say, she fucked up, but she is human, mistakes happen. To Err is Human To Forgive is Divine, but how can you forgive someone who will not admit their mistakes? Its not the failures that make people so angry, its the cover-ups.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Times Article about Murdoch

Quite the piece about Murdoch, Fox, Newscorp and the bid to buy the Wall Street Journal. This should be a frightening proposition to anyone interested in reliable news. The WSJ, while hardly my favorite source for news has always been highly respected because the business world is not interested in the social issues of the day it cares about money. This is why they must tell the truth of the world even when the truth hurts because otherwise its readers won't be informed as to where there are profitable tragedies. If Murdoch gets his hand son it we all know exactly what will happen. It won't be overnight he's not stupid he'll stay back for a little while then in a year or so, which will happen to fall around election time, he'll start pushing the editors around. He'll let them do their usual thing for a while so that conservatives can say, "see the WSJ hasn't changed." It will hang on to its name until its time to cash in, he'll use its clout to build up or more likely to destroy whom ever he wishes. Eventually editors will retaliate and the dignity of the paper will be gone but by that point he will have gotten what he wants from it.

The Onion

I've said it many times, but man I love The Onion.
Ok so there are originally three opinions but there was only one I wanted to repeat.

White House Used Third Party Email

According to a report by the oversight committee, at least 88 White House staffers used outside e-mail accounts for official business, thus circumnavigating archival requirements. What do you think?

Tom Zangara,
Delivery Driver
"Wait, I'm confused. What exactly is the difference between circumnavigating federal law and shitting all over it?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Tragic Legacy

New book I'd like to get. Ok so I'm in the middle of two books at the moment, but I have a feeling I'll be polishing off one of them in the next couple days and probably both by next week so if anyone is feeling generous feel free to buy me, A Tragic Legacy by Glenn Greenwald. It's supposed to be good, I know I've liked a few things by Mr. Greenwald in Salon. Thanks!

Hat tip to FDL for pointing out this book.

Sicko vs. The Mad Russian

I'm not talking about the Micheal Moore movie, I'm talking about my own very minor foray into the health care system of the US. First I'll say that my experience is about as minimal as anyone could hope for, I've been in a hospital as a patient a grand total of three times in my life and I'm including when I was born. Once years ago I had to go because I had sorta crushed my finger, they had to remove the finger nail. Ouch. Oh and thats the day I found out that Novocaine doesn't work on me. Lets just say ouch is a slight understatement and leave it at that. By comparison yesterday was a breeze. My injury was pretty minor. I just had this huge bruise on my arm that was a bit swollen, the injury happened on friday, and it was fine till monday when it started getting darker and then it became apparent just how big a bruise it was. I showed it to a few of the RN's I work with and they seemed fairly concerned. They all said that it might be a fracture but they couldn't be sure without an x-ray. So after a great deal of uncertainty because no one wanted to say, yes you should go to the hospital, or no you shouldn't I decided to get it checked out. I was smart enough to run home and grab a book first, definitely a good idea. So I walk into the hospital at about 5. I start reading "The Idiot" by Dostoevsky, mind you a busy hospital waiting room with an annoying TV on is hardly an ideal reading environment but I was really getting hooked by the time it was my turn to get an x-ray, at just after 8 o'clock. Yeah 3 hours in the waiting room, spent an hour listening to some young lady bitch about not being able to go and have a cigarette even though she was in BSU by choice. And for those without friends in the criminal element BSU is Behavioral Science Unit, which is generally suicidal people or people with addictions, or both. Er, maybe addictions is separate I can't remember. I did find it a bit ammusing how she was so upset that it was taking too long for them to admit her and how she was bored, I'm not sure what she expected to entertain her once she got in.
So finally the do an X-ray on my arm, then I go back and sit for a while. Eventually someone comes in and tells me that they don't see a fracture wrap an ace bandage around my arm stick me with a tetanus shot and send me on my way, at 8:45. Actually that last woman took notice of the book I was reading, although she only said Russian Literature, I'm guessing she can't say his name either, and asked if I was in school. I said no, to which she replied reading that for fun? Impressive. Its a good book I'm not sure what is impressive about reading it, sadly the most impressive part at all is probably the fact that a twenty something was reading at all. Which actually makes me think of BSU girl, she was so bored and was trying to think of something someone could bring her to entertain her, she mentioned magazines and a few other things but never mentioned books. It makes me sad how few people my own age can appreciate a really good book, or even a crappy Dan Brown book.

Now I'm glad that my arm isn't broken but after almost 4 hours I at least would have felt like I wasn't wasting my time. Eh, I got to read part one of a good book, got to see why people bitch about hospitals. Only down side was that by the time I got home I was hungry and had no ambition to go do laundry which means I'm not sitting here in long sleeves and pants instead of shorts and short sleeves and sandals on whats going to be a bit of a scorcher, 93 and high humidity. As I sat in my chair surrounded by unhappy people some of whom were trying to take it out on some member of the staff or more often on whoever was sitting with them I felt a little like Prince Myshkin, being content and courteous, and telling the absolute truth when probed about how I receive my injury I told them in honesty, with a little laughter, I'm not quite sure, I was a bit drunk on Friday and on Saturday my arm was bruised. So did no really gain valuable incite into our health care system? No not in the least, oh well.

Friday, June 22, 2007


I haven't been posting much this week. I haven't felt terribly inspired by anything in the news, nothing too exciting is happening in my personal life. I've been doing some reading, just about to finish up my first Carl Sagan book. I see why he was so loved. I picked up a couple more, one being "darwins dangerous idea" which I though I remembered as a well liked book, and I saw a review by Richard Dawkins on the back so I picked that up along with "The Idiot" by some russian guy whos name I can't pronouce (Fyodor Dostoevsky). I got both for under 11 bucks after taxes, gotta love used book stores.

I did find a cool little saying that I'll probably have up on the site somewhere at somepoint

- Ubi Dubium ibi libertas:

Where there is doubt, there is freedom
--Latin Proverb

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Stem Cell Veto

I'm out of time for the day so I'll just leave this link over to Crooks and Liars.

Good news, sorta

The wife of a soldier who was captured by Al Qeada forces will not be deported. Not theres a statement you don't ever plan on saying. I'm quite disgusted by the fact that deportation was ever on the table. Ok she was here illegally but she was married to a soldier, a soldier that is fighting in Iraq, a soldier that is now captive.

Now that it appears she will not be deported we can breathe a little easier, although the life of her husband is still very much unknown.

Here is the Rude Ones take on this matter, this was prior to the announcement that she would be able to stay.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Computer Problems

more about the world tomorrow or later tonight

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Das Weekend

Took a long weekend and went to Pittsburgh with the 'rents to see my sister and the US Open, golf not tennis. When I first heard about it I thought tennis, not a sport I'm into but worth seeing once, plus I bet there are a lot of attractive women at a pro tennis match. Unfortunately we were going to watch golf. Ok it was fathers day and dad was happy, that was good, plus I got to spend a weekend with the fam, good enough for me. But honestly Golf is a horrible spectator sport. I know I know, not exactly headline news but I figured it would be more interesting than it was. It was fun when we finally got up next to a green and then just waited there until the top guys got to us. It was a good vantage point, we could see almost the entire hole. But without binoculars we couldn't see where their shots went so it only got interesting when the were putting. The fun came from the fact that it was a very very difficult course and the guy were challenged to sink even short puts. Its fun watching the best in the world get made to look foolish.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

More on Iraq

This is a horrible story from Iraq, the fundamentalists are insane thats all there is to it.

Among the agonies imposed on Baghdad by tormentors in the guise of self-appointed religious enforcers is the proscription of fun. Novelty, convenience, any kind of post-Quranic ease from hardship infuriates them. Ice cream is an abomination, as is mechanized garbage collection, because such delights didn't exist in the time of the prophet. A story is told that last year, on a road overtaken by jihadis, a DVD purveyor was ordered to close because DVDs didn't exist in the time of the prophet. "Neither did the BMW you drove up in," he responded. "When you come back and tell me again on a camel, then I'll listen." They shot him some days later, for his insolence.

Imagine, therefore, the onus of courage on anyone who dares open an art gallery, let alone keeps it running since January 2006 with 26 shows and as many receptions.

Then there was this article about IED's. It displays how the greatest equipment and training in the world is still no match for cheap plentiful weapons and home field advantage. The only thing sorely lacking from this was the mention of why high explosives are so easy to come by in Iraq. There was a report from the early days of this war about a munitions dump containing enough explosives that every citizen in Iraq could build an IED from what was stolen at this site. Some people claim that munitions would have been something of a high priority to defend following the collapse of saddam, but we had other priorities namely securing the oil ministry. I wish I could find that report but I just don't have that kind of time.

Iraq a wreck

With the caveat that its too early to tell if "the surge" is working the pentagon has admitted that violence has increased in Iraq in the last few months.
The report described Iraq's violence as mainly a result of illegally armed groups engaging in a "cycle of sectarian and politically motivated violence, using tactics that include indiscriminate bombing, murder, executions and indirect fire (rocket and mortar attacks) to intimidate and to provide sectarian conflict."
When can we leave?

Nuke The Whales

I'm not a fan of using the oceans as a garbage can but this is another level. they are dumping millions of pounds of chemical weapons into the oceans.
"The Army now admits that it secretly dumped 64 million pounds of nerve and mustard agents into the sea, along with 400,000 chemical-filled bombs, land mines and rockets and more than 500 tons of radioactive waste - either tossed overboard or packed into the holds of scuttled vessels."

I'm speechless.

Talkin' with God

I've often wondered what peoples conversations with "god" sound like. And now thats to a tip from Pharyngula the harvester of stillborn souls I can read an actual transcript between some doctor who's in jail and the big G to the D.

God's a bit arrogant, if he's all knowing you would think that he could figure out that people don't like condescending pricks. Oh well his problem not mine, but this parts great.

GOD: Quit griping, son. I know what I’m doing.

KH: I’ll work on that, Lord.

And for some reason god keeps quoting the bible, wouldn't you think he could think of some new material, I mean this is god were talking to after all.

Man god talks alot.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Happy News

I was in the middle of writing something about how sad our times are. The problems just seem insurmountable sometimes and I had become bitter. Then just to toss a little salt in the wound my computer decided that would be a good time to lock up because I had one program running. So at first I got more annoyed then I decided screw it I'll write something happier. So I looked for Happy News and to no big surprise there is a Even there it took me a little digging to find something that could actually make me smile but I got one.

I do love taking shots at religions and one of the most influential and easily attacked is the catholic church, but today they have given me a reason to smile. Actually I don't mind the catholics ok their organization is ridiculous but in this day they seem quite rational compared to the evangelicals. But being less bad hardly puts a smile on my face, whats the big news? No longer hating gays? Pro-choice? Speaking out against the war? Nope, but they are installing solar panels on some of the newer buildings at the Vatican. I'm a fan of history so I totally support not wanting to ruin the architecture of a historic old building with solar panels but on some of the modern buildings its a great idea. I'm happy to hear that the pope cares about the environment. So thank you Mr. Pope, not only are you setting an example of something we can do to help the environment but you also gave me some good news for the day. You even reminded me why I don't hate religion, I just wish we had something that could fill its roll without all the supernatural stuff. So theres your good news for the day.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I still hate the democrats

Oh sure I hate the Republicans but thats akin to saying I resent Hitler, big deal. But I still hold on to some hope for the dems. Not because they have inspired me to be hopeful but simply due to desperation I need to cling to the idea that maybe the Dems will actually do, something, anything. So far though they've been a disappointment. Ok so they passed the minimum wage bill, thats one check mark. But then there was that disaster of a Iraq Funding Bill, which somehow they were scared to put timetables on because when they did the president vetoed it which made the Dems look like they weren't supporting the troops. To be honest I can't believe I even have to write words as idiotic as those. If the party had a backbone they would say, "Here is your money, if YOU veto it then YOU'RE NOT SUPPORTING THE FUCKING TROOPS!!!!!" And mind you those timetables were non-binding, so even if it had passed it wouldn't have forced anything to change. So that was a major failure. What happened next, oh yes Gonzalez and the Attorneys.

This was a big blunder by the Repubs. If they were slick this could have eased right passed everyone. But they stumbled and stumbled hard but did the Dems pounce on Alberto they way the Repubs pounced on, well everyone? No. They tried to do another symbolic act, a vote of no confidence, the kind that sends a clear message, "we know whats right and wrong, but we refuse to stick our necks out for whats right." Great job, but wait they couldn't even pass that. Hey if your going to fail, at least fail at an impeachment. Then you can say you tried and failed, right now you can barely claim to have even tried.

So thats a couple of not-so-minor failures, one means that the top level of our justice department will continue on its quest for ineptitude while the other means that my friends will continue to be shot at and others will die to fight a war that cannot be won, I consider those important. But I'm not done yet the latest calamity that I just caught wind of was this. The Dems just INCREASED funding for Abstinence only sex-"ed" programs. Now I'll ignore some of the points made at the end of the article about how the money is then filtered back into the hands of major GOP contributors because that is minor compared to the fact that these programs just don't work. There's been plenty of studies and the results seem to range from they're ineffective to they, "threaten fundamental human rights to health, information and life." So that seems like something we should be increasingly using right? OH and then there is this.
When Democrat Henry Waxman was the ranking minority member on government oversight back in 2004, his staff did a report on the content of abstinence-only programs that showed over 80 percent of the programs contained "false or misleading information." All the way back in 2000, the Institute of Medicine, the nation's leading authority on public health, had called for the termination of abstinence-only programs because they represent "poor fiscal and public health policy."
So don't fund them. I would think that would have been the point of that investigation. If they work then increase funding, if they don't then stop funding, like DARE. And again this is the lesser of the two evils... I wonder how much warning the Romans had before their empire collapsed?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Good Weekend

Went to a concert on friday, a hippie jam band, I got bored quickly plus I was feeling rather bokononist at the time, so I went to a keg party instead. Let me explain, earlier in the day I saw a picture of someone doing a keg stand, my first thought was, wow I haven't done a keg stand in years. Later that day I get invited to a keg party. And in the words of Bokonon "Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God." I only feel comfortable referencing god in the context of a religion that openly admits its all a bunch of lies.

So the hippie band is pretty good if your into 10 minute solos and cover songs, oh and hippies. Sure they are probably a lot more "talented" musicians than what I prefer but its just dull by comparison. I'll get back to music later.

So the kegger was fun. A ways out of town, a keg and a fire, what more do you need? How about drunk people on a four wheeler? How about two drunk people on a quad doing small wheelies. Man I love drunken stupidity, mind you I wasn't that drunk or stupid so I merely watched the stupidity in action. Luckily no one fell off, no one got hurt at all which surprised me a little. Talked to a hot british girl for a while. She was cute but that accent just drove me wild, and I was hardly alone with that sentiment. She fearlessly rode the quad on several occasions. Good times were had.

Saturday was a small benefit concert for a local kid thats battling with cancer and medical bills. We did what we could but the reality is if it went really well we might have covered a day or two in the hospital, and rest days at that. But at least we did something and we had a damn good time doing it. The highlight of the evening was the first show of Don't Look In The Basement. Just some local idiots but for a first show it was freaking great. Their lyrics are funny, they can tear up the frets when they need but their willing to do dorky breakdowns which makes it all the more fun. Plus we has some decent little moshing going on at a bar that really wasn't expecting it. Obviously my friends in EPD played as well which was also good, but I've seen them many times before. Good times.

Then of course is the party after the show, lots of people in a not terribly big apartment. More drunken stupidity but other than spilled beer not damage to persons or property. Although I did think a fight was going to break out at one point because Johnny Drunk-O was earning his title by drunkenly insulting everyone in the room. A couple of us stepped in a said hey, we call him Drunk-O because hes always wasted and this is no exception, its not worth it, don't do it. At about 5 I caught a ride home and cabs came for the rest. Good times were had.

Sunday I slept a lot, and I got a ride to go get my truck. Which constituted a good time as well because all I wanted was to sleep a bit and do some reading. Oh and I'm reading a new to me Carl Sagan book, its my first from him. I was also happy to buy it from a local Used Book Store for $4, can't beat that. So that also earns a, good times. Hope everyone else had a fun weekend too.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Kilgore in a nutshell

Help Help What am I doing in this giant nutshell! Sorry bad rip off from Austin Powers. Last night was interesting. Starts off pretty normal, hang out with some friends, play badminton for a while, grill some food, watch a crappy movie pretty standard issue evening. Also should throw in my worst timed joke ever, my friend was getting a shovel out of the back of her car and as a natural instinct I say, "ya burying some bodies?" "Just one" she replies, I had forgotten that they had put their dog down that day, shit. I felt like an ass to say the least. Just wanted to get that out there for some reason.

We left fairly early which was fine by me as I had just pick up my first Carl Sagan book at the used book store for 4 buck, sweet. So I had a plan, go home lie in bed and read Sagan till I fell asleep. Also in that thought process was the fact that I hadn't made it to work on time yet this week so crashing a little early seemed good. Then I get a call from a friend saying that another friend was going to the bar/outdoor club for retro night. Yeah a bunch of dancing to 80's music. So I call the girl and am happy to get the voice mail, said thanks for the offer but not tonight, we'll hang out tomorrow. At this point I think I'm in the clear, but no. She calls back and says that I really need to go blah blah the short of it is I'm a sucker. I told her I wouldn't go, kept reading for a few minutes then cursed loudly and hoped in the shower to wake up and headed over.

So I get to the... club? and there is a line thats honestly 50 yards long and not even close to any sort of order, there are a couple hundred people waiting to get in and two people checking IDs not an ideal system, then again its a ways outside of town so no one is going to turn around and go somewhere else, and it makes it feel like your going somewhere special if you're forced to wait. Then I find out that the spot where the line really becomes a crowd is because there are two lines, one that I was in thats very long, that was the under 21 line, the short mob of people, thats the over line, I walk towards the mob. Its a small town so I soon find myself in line next to an attractive woman who was a friend from elementary schools little sister. We bullshitted for a while as the line slowly moved past the bouncers. I listen to the kid in front of me desperately memorizing the date of birth on his ID. I laugh.

So I run into my friend, now I should explain quickly, this is a friends girlfriend and shes real cool, she has a friend that thinks I'm interesting. I hate to say it but I'm a little shallow. I want to say that I'm like a womans mind and her personality, and I do, without an attractive mind they could have an incredible body but I wouldn't want them. But at the same time I've never had a girlfriend and again to be a little shallow (or a lot?) I'd like to have at least one physically attractive girlfriend. Back to my story. Run into a few people I know, as soon as I walk in the door I see someone who I simply despised as a kid, I won't get into why, but I walked up laughed, asked if he remembered me, chatted for 20 seconds and moved along. I'm not going to suddenly be his friend but might as well bury the hatchet. We were kids who cares. Run into another friend who's a bit odd but he's alright. I bullshit with him for a few then go off to find the girl I'm there to meet. We find each other and we go inside the bar where it quiet (I know that sounds funny) and have a beer. We talk for a while then realize that we should probably go find the rest of her friends. We wander around running into people we know, she says hi to a really attractive redhead (the irish in me loves the red) I introduce myself, as we have met before at the same location a long time ago. We continue our search and run into other ladies, I dance with one. How can you not dance to Come On Eileen? We find her friends and make our way onto the dance floor. I end up with my friend on my right and the friend that might like me to my left as part of a ring of about 7 ladies, and myself. On the other side from me is a familiar face that I just can't place. I reach out and say as much, she agrees, I ask highschool, she says no, she names my old church. Holy shit, thats it. I remember her when she was a little kid, now shes out at the bar, and her sister is next to her. Then my friend who's a little drunk shoves me into the middle of this crowd of girls and gets me to dance. Thats a bit of an ego boost when your dancing in the middle of 7 girls.

But here's my problems summed up in a single moment, I'm dancin like a fool, not givin a shit, Ive got a um large girl that might be interested in me to one side, to another side I've got a twig of a girl that I vaguely know that I might be interested in, but I'm actually dancing with the one person I know to be unavailable. Damn.

Oh the high point was when someone randomly slapped my ass, I'm honestly not sure who it was, but from the direction I was facing I don't think it was the big girl, which means my dancing must have impressed someone. I see no issue with dancing with friends girlfriends, its just dancing, even when it gets nasty. And if my friends girlfriend is going to be dancing inappropriately with a guy, it seems better that its me than some random guy who's trying to hit on her. Of course one friend disagreed when I was grinding with his wife, at their wedding, ha!
I feel bad giving descriptions like large, and twig but seriously the one is a big girl, the other couldn't be 100 lbs and while I didn't notice her shoes she was just about eye level, meaning damn near 6 foot. Almost 6 foot and 100 lbs is a twig, if I hadn't known her as a kid that would freak me out and I would assume problems, but she's always been like that, as is her sister who was also there. You know what, I'm not sure that I feel bad about being a little shallow, because physical attraction matters. It takes time to figure out if you like someone's mind, you very quickly find out if you like someone physically. Maybe being a little shallow is just being realistic.

Well I guess I'll find out more tonight, the same crew plus a bunch of other people are hanging out tonight. The beer will flow, which has a tendency to remove my shallowness which can get awkward when sobriety re-appears. Have a good weekend everyone.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Did Romney really say that?

I didn't watch the GOP debates, I spent my time in a more productive manner, I slammed my head against the wall until I collapsed, causing minor brain damage. This was both more productive and apparently less damaging to the mind as even I recall how Hans Blix and his cohorts did a bit of searching for WMDs just prior to the Iraq war thats still going on. But it seems that one of our lovely GOP candidates has forgotten that not-so-minor piece of trivia. Seriously this guy wants to be president and he can't even remember how we entered the war that were still fighting. Seriously Romney, go take some history lessons. I can't even fathom how this can be, unless of course he hasn't forgotten shit and was simply lying. Which seems like a far more likely scenario. He knows that America as a whole has about a 1 minute attention span, and I'm giving us credit, our collective conscious has forgotten everything that happened before Paris went to jail. At this point we could probably spin a globe let your finger land on a country and say, its their fault they started the war, hell at this point we could blame Somalia...

There was also the usual shit about how they are all trying to bring down the US, as if people who are in the midst of a civil war are united. Of course if you want to unite them then all you need to do is create a greater enemy than the one they are currently fighting, I would suggest invading Iran, its probably the quickest way to get the terrorist attacks on US soil that the GOP so desperately need.

Whats left to do. When politicians simply lie to our faces and no one holds them accountable. All I can think of is the most patriotic words ever written by an American when we first became Americans,
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government
Does that make me an anti-american rebel, or a patriot?

Run Away Run Away!

For some odd reason the GOP candidates don't seem to be talking about how great thing have been under the republican administration, I mean they could at least talk about all that they accomplished when their party had total control. Oh wait, now I get it, it's cause the republican agenda has failed, thats probably why they aren't talking about the last few years. But Oddly they've talked about the Regan era which was pretty despicable as well, but at least the economy was good, and we were a bit quieter about our illegal wars back then.

Freeway Blogger

Wow this guy deserves more than a simple online award.

What are prisons for?

This seems like a very straight forward question, that I would bet most americans would get wrong. The purpose of a prison is supposed to be to remove from society people who cannot be rehabilitated. Thats it. It is NOT supposed to be punishment for a crime. First of all positive reinforcement works far better than negative.

I really want to continue with this post. I read some Howard Zinn last night that got me fired up. Prisons are terrible terrible things. Yes any civilization is going to need some, a few. But when a small town like mine 30,000 ppl, has count 'em TWO maximum security prisons its a sign that something is wrong. Yeah most of the prisoners aren't from here, many come from The City, and many times their families follow which many residents blame for the town going to shit. But thats off topic, the problem is our justice system seems to have forgotten or maybe simply never learned about human behavior. If you have a person with a drug problem who robs a store to buy drugs, the solution isn't to punish them for the robbery its to get them off drugs. Which leads to a bigger issue of giving people enough hope so that they don't want to numb themselves with drugs. Thats just a quick example, our drug policies are unconscionable thats all there is too that. But even more serious criminals need to be taught a better way, they need education, they need a chance to do better legally. Few people want to be criminals but many people will go to that if they feel they have no other choice. This isn't even getting into the massive inequality between the rich and the poor.

The quick of it is that the US has more prisoners than any other country in the world, and it doesn't matter if you weight it for population or not. Think about that China has a billion people more than us and less of them are in jail, I'm not saying we should emulate China but they must be doing something better.

I'm spent. Too much bitterness at the political world of late and not enough good going on elsewhere.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Who is Ron Paul?

It's a question I'd really like to get sorted out. So far he seems like the only republican I could theoretically vote for without without having to sell my..... shit this is when its a pain to know that souls don't exist and I can't sell it. Need new metaphors. Anyway Ron Paul is something of an enigma, he's a republican and I'm sure there are many many issues on which I would dislike him. But at this moment I love the guy. He's getting all the other republicans in a tizzy, he made Guiliani look stupid which alone earns praise around here. Well I assume other people think Rudy sounded pretty stupid when he said that he had never heard the idea that 9/11 was retaliation for the countless bombings of Islamic holy lands. Seriously Rudy you need to pay more attention, shit the event happened in your city, you never thought to ask why? I mean it wasn't even hard to find out Bin Laden said thats why he did it. Jackass. So anyway I like some things Ron Paul stands for, foreign policy at least. I would spend some time learning more about this interesting character but it doesn't matter much what things I dislike about the guy, the reality is he's never going to win the republican primary so it just doesn't matter. He can be a terrible candidate but still be great for the progressives because at least on some issues hes going toe to toe with the big name republicans and showing that not everyone has a hard on for Regan, he was despised by the lower class started numerous illegal wars against our neighbors on this side of the pond. For me Regan's only saving grace is the fact that he was so hated that he gave rise to American Hardcore Punk, if the president at the time wasn't such a bastard we might never have had bands like the Bad Brains, DK, Minor Threat, DOA, MDC and many others. So Thank You Ron, Your not going to win, but at least you'll might make a few repubs back home thing about what they are really voting for if they vote for the other guys.

Heres an article from The Raw Story about Ron Paul
Heres what Ron has to say about Himself.
And finally here he is on the Daily Show (from his own site).

Irony in the shape of a Mushroom Cloud

This could suck. Pakistan a nation that does have nuclear weapons, and is currently run by a pro-US dictator is in trouble. If the government falls then it will most likely be succeeded by a not-so-pro-US government that may well be fundamentalist like their neighbors Iran. So how's this great war on terror going? Terrorism has increased, Al Qaeda has more money and recruits than ever before, our military is stretched thin, Iran is working on WMDs, and now a country that has WMDs may just join in the party. Oh and lets not forget its been 2094 days since 9/11 and we still haven't captured Bin Laden. Heck of a job shrub.

Who said you could?

Here's a quick question, under what authority did we attack Somalia on friday? or the other two times we've attacked that impoverished nation this year? Seems like a fairly straightforward question, one that should probably be asked publicly to the president, but sadly it was asked in a favorite left wing magazine of mine, The Nation. Will anyone bother to ask "the commander guy" I'm not holding my breath.

Politics and Terror

This is quite the video segment from today's wannabe Edward R. Murrow, I'm speaking of course of Keith Olbermann. The video is the Nexus of Politics and Terror and I hope this link works if not go here scroll down to More Countdown Video then find Politics and Terror. Its about 16 minutes long and is quite impressive. He shows that every time there has been a terror plot averted or some other scare has just happened to occur at a time when the dems were looking good in the media or the republicans were looking bad, and obviously a terrorist attack beats all other stories. If this happened once or twice it would be a coincidence when its happened repeatedly then it starts looking sinister, and its not like the republican party has any qualms against using terror to further political gains or plain dirty tricks in general.


I think I'm going to need to buy this one.

Who wants to move to Vermont?

So apparently there is a small but growing secession movement in the Vermont. I don't think this will go very far but if it can at least be heard in the state senate there then maybe a few people at the national level will finally see just how pissed off people are at the national government. They wouldn't actually need to succeed to make their point.

I love the irony of the DC Law expert who completely missed the point of this,
"I always thought the Civil War settled that," said Russell Wheeler, a constitutional law expert at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. If Vermont fought and won a war with the federal government, "then you could say Vermont proved the point. But that's not going to happen."

They want to END VIOLENCE, fucking idiot. How exactly does one earn the title of "expert" on a subject? Not to mention that the constitution never says that the state must remain in th union, I always thought the Civil War proved that you twit. Anyway I'm not expecting to have to sing about 49 states any time soon but I love the concept, I think we should start one for NY state as well. Great non-violent way to take a stand, three cheers to Vermont!!!

UPDATE: This is gaining traction it made it onto The Onion: America's finest News Source.

I love this Man

If I were gay I'd be begging scientists to figure out a way to make little Rude-Trout bastard children because this man writes like no one else. I'm of course talking about the Rude Pundit. One of several blogs that I check up on every day. His latest one covers the latest court rulings, the FCC case and the Gitmo cases. While I talked about these briefly yesterday I wasn't able to come up with words that conveyed the true sense of what was going on, The Rude Pundit found those words. And defines the exact difference between a person thats being an asshole vs being a dick, it's really quite informative.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Nigeria Sues Pfizer

My first reaction was "Ha, get the bastards" I didn't even know why they were being sued. It turns out its because of some possibly illegal testing of drugs during an epidemic. Obviously I have no idea if the tests were done legally or not, only Pfizer and someone in Nigeria know that for certain. But while I was initially happy at the idea of socking back against a giant corporation by a third world country, I am already thinking of the consequences. Pfizer will probably retaliate by simply moving on to some other nation who's people won't complain when they test drugs on them. Then they will turn around and raise the price of the drugs they sell to recoup the losses from the law suit which could be serious when talking about a $9 Billion lawsuit. So in the end will Pfizer learn a lesson (assuming they are found guilty) no probably not. I don't want to be cynical but sometimes its tough. Oh and this whole story reminds me a lot of the movie "The Constant Gardener" then again considering this lawsuit is based on things that happened 10 years ago maybe it is the inspiration for the movie.

There's always room for Jello

So I found this via Down With Tyranny which I was at because I had been strolling along Crooks and Liars, gotta love the web. Anyway DWT had some things to say about Diane Feinstein, a name that immediately makes me think of Jello Biafra and his description of her as, "dragon lady to a T." And low and behold DWT says he voted for Jello and even had a video of when Jello ran for Mayor of San Fransisco. Sweet. I'm not sure why I gave all that info, the only part I cared about at this point was embedding this video.

Fuck your censorship

Court rebuffs FCC on fine for indecency. Ok this is kinda minor because its not free speech, its broadcasting. The court said that if a person says a vulgar word in a non-vulgar context then the FCC can't fine them. Its funny that the defense said well if Bush can swear to Tony Blair, and Cheney can tell Leahy to go fuck himself on the senate floor no less then why can't Bono blur out a four letter words when he wins a gloden globe. The court would have been correct to say that U2 sucks and doesn't deserve the award and so his outburst is irrelevant but instead agreed with the industry. Basically this is a pretty weak case about major corporations getting fined and therefore I'm not terribly concerned although I'm always interested in the first amendment rights. The fact that the used the Pres and VP's potty mouths as examples is funny but here was my favorite part of the article.
“I completely disagree with the court’s ruling and am disappointed for American families,” he said. “The court says the commission is ‘divorced from reality.’ It is the New York court, not the commission, that is divorced from reality.”
Ah yes the famous, "no you're stupid" defense I haven't seen this classic used since the Smith v. Brown argument of 4th grade at which time it was deemed juvenile. Seriously read that, I'm not divorced from reality you are, in so many words. I mean this is a member of the FCC commission in question, that should tell you something about the folks running the FCC.

Gitmo Cases Thrown Out

Well the good news is that "enemy combatants" do have rights under the geneva convention. But if they are "unlawful enemy combatants" then they do not. So far the courts have said that the detainees are only "enemy combatants" and therefore cannot be tried in the newly created court. Of course they are appealing this but the court they are appealing to doesn't even exist yet. So at the end of the day the good news is that the prisoners may eventually get a fair(ish) trial, the bad news is it won't be anytime soon and until then they'll stay locked up in gitmo, so nothing really changed at all.

Obama on Religion

Obviously separation of church and state is very important to me and to democracy, so it's good to finally hear a presidential candidate being up front about their stance on religion. Here are Obama's words.

Given the increasing diversity of America’s population, the dangers of sectarianism have never been greater. Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.

And even if we did have only Christians within our borders, whose Christianity would we teach in the schools? James Dobson’s, or Al Sharpton’s? Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Levitacus, which suggests slavery is ok and that eating shellfish is abomination? How about Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount – a passage so radical that it’s doubtful that our Defense Department would survive its application?

This may be difficult for those who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, as many evangelicals do. But in a pluralistic democracy, we have no choice. Politics depends on our ability to persuade each other of common aims based on a common reality. It involves the compromise, the art of the possible. At some fundamental level, religion does not allow for compromise. It insists on the impossible. If God has spoken, then followers are expected to live up to God’s edicts, regardless of the consequences. To base one’s life on such uncompromising commitments may be sublime; to base our policy making on such commitments would be a dangerous thing.

I think that pretty well says it all. Thank you to my friends at B4B for showing me this, and to watch the 40 minute video this is from go here.

Monday, June 04, 2007


"What if this isn't a rhetorical question?"

More Terrorism in the US

The New Chairmen for the Arkansas Republican Party actually said this, (go to the bottom of the page)

He said he’s “150 percent” behind Bush on the war in Iraq.

“At the end of the day, I believe fully the president is doing the right thing, and I think all we need is some attacks on American soil like we had on [Sept. 11, 2001 ], and the naysayers will come around very quickly to appreciate not only the commitment for President Bush, but the sacrifice that has been made by men and women to protect this country,” Milligan said.

I'm fuckin speechless.

H/T to Buzzflash.

Never mind I've found the words, I congratulate this man, he's the only republican I've heard who is actually willing to say what he truly feels and that is that this country needs to be attacked again. I mean every foreign policy of late seems driven by that singular goal but they always claim that they are bombing innocent people to prevent terrorism and not to create it. At least this guy has the nuts to say no we don't want to prevent it, we need to have american blood spilled on american soil because that would help the party. And whats more important that protecting the integrity of the republican party? Obviously not american lives, so for being an honest republican I thank you Dennis Milligan. I still dislike you for being a fucking bastard, but at least you're an honest bastard.


Quite the article in Rolling Stone called Giuliani: Worse Than Bush. Thats quite the statement but Matt Taibbi does a pretty good job laying out the reasons. He starts by taking some cheap shots at the guys appearance but then again this is Rolling Stone.

The basic argument is that this is a man with a price tag pure and simple, he can be bought and is more than happy to be bought, so long as the price is right, and he's not cheap. But then again he's a politician you can buy any of them if your pockets are deep enough. He's just a bit more obvious about it than others. So Taibbi goes a step further he attacks Giuliani not at his weakness but at his strength. He takes on Giuliani for his handling of 9/11. Credit is given where its due, on that fateful day Giuliani was there, he was the leader that the country needed and was sorely lacking from the federal government. On that day Giuliani shined, but he's been riding that wave for too long. Yes he was great on that day, thats one day where he was a leader that cannot make up for all the other failures. There were internal failures like the lack of communication that kept fire-fighters from getting out before the towers collapsed, but that can hardly be blamed on any one person. The big failure that was caused by Rudy was the WTC cleanup. This is an important part of the article, and should be looked at by the country at large now that he is running for president. After the continued failure of Katrina we need a president that can do more than make an impassioned speech at the site of a catastrophe, we need a president that cares enough about the people to put his weight behind fixing problems as they arise. We would like to prevent disasters but they happen, we try to be as well prepared as possible to minimize death and damage but they will still happen, and when they do we need leaders who will make sure that our country get put back together again. So with those thoughts in mind lets take a quick look at Rudy's work at cleaning up the WTC site. First he did it himself rather than get federal help, I don't know enough about it to know if this was a good move or not. He gave the contracts to those with connections to him, this is corruption at its most blatant but its also par for the course so we can let this slide.

The big issue was the air in lower Manhattan following the attack. I was an inebriated sophomore in college on that day and yet I remember hearing about how toxic the air was. There were a lot of things burning and it only made sense that some of those burning things would be bad for you. As I said I was usually not sober at that time some my memory is missing some details but I distinctly remember hearing actual numbers for the carcinogens in the air, it was clear to a layman that this was an area that should probably entered with a haz-mat suit, or at least a full respirator. In those early days when so much was unclear I heard that report along with a warning that this information was being suppressed, and I never heard about it again for the most part. Now many people have died because of the cleanup, the article even says that its possible that more people died in the cleanup than the attack. Reminds me of Iraq, won the war, lost the peace. No need to get off topic on this one. I'm not nearly as well informed about all of the candidates as I would like to be but I think I can say with a clear conscious that I know enough about Rudy, and unlike the movie I hope he never runs onto the field with a gold helmet.