Tom DeLay - idiot extraordinaire

DeLay issued the following statement:
"Mrs. Schiavo’s death is a moral poverty and a legal tragedy. This loss happened because our legal system did not protect the people who need protection most, and that will change. The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior, but not today. Today we grieve, we pray, and we hope to God this fate never befalls another. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Schindlers and with Terri Schiavo’s friends in this time of deep sorrow."
So now he's threatening judges, doctors and Michael Schiavo. Time for this nutjob to be run out of office. His actions seem, to me, to be nothing more than an attempt to smokescreen his impending indictment on corruption and campaign abuse charges.

Quote(s) of the day

"I tried walking into a Target , but I missed."

"I haven't slept for ten days, because that would be too long."

"I type 101 words a minute. But it's in my own language."

"I wish I could play little league now. I'd be way better than before."

"One time a guy handed me a picture of himself and he said. "Here's a picture of me when I was younger." Every picture of you is of when you were younger. Here's a picture of me when I'm older. How'd you pull that off? Let me see that camera."

"An escalator can never break. It can only become stairs. You would never seen an "Escalator temporarily out of order" sign, just "Escalator temporarily stairs". Sorry for the convenience."

"I was walking down the street with my friend and he said "I hear music" As though there's another way you can take it in. Your not special. That's how I recieve it too. I tried to taste it, but it did not work."

"I went to the park and saw a kid flying a kite. The kid was really excited. I don't know why, that's what they're supposed to do. Now if he had a chair on the other end of that string, I would have been impressed."
-Mitch Hedberg (1968-2005)
Mitch was considered a younger, edgier Steven Wright. He died today of an apparent overdose. It sucks when that happens. He was a great talent.

More Mitch Hedberg observations

What's going to happen as we start running out of cheap gas to guzzle?

Great article sent to me by Jim McPherson.
A few weeks ago, the price of oil ratcheted above fifty-five dollars a barrel, which is about twenty dollars a barrel more than a year ago. The next day, the oil story was buried on page six of the New York Times business section. Apparently, the price of oil is not considered significant news, even when it goes up five bucks a barrel in the span of ten days. That same day, the stock market shot up more than a hundred points because, CNN said, government data showed no signs of inflation. Note to clueless nation: Call planet Earth.
Read on - via Rolling Stone

Quote of the day

"To save a man's life against his will is the same as killing him."
-Horace - "Ars Poetica" - first century B.C.

Rest in Peace Terri

Terri Schiavo passed away shortly before 10:00 am. May she rest in peace. Unfortunately I don't think the right will allow her to do so.

Terri Schiavo, 41, Dies in Fla. Hospice
Username: wildsects
Password: 12345

Give 'em enough rope...

The Bush administration's appointments keep getting more and more bizarre. You'll never guess who they chose to be the acting director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. None other than Matthew J. Hogan. Hogan was formerly the chief lobbyist for Safari Club International, an extreme trophy hunting organization that advocates the killing of rare species around the world. The utter disregard that Dubya and his minions show is staggering.

Read this article via The Humane Society

Funny guy

This guy slipped into the protester's area outside Terri Schiavo's hospice. Check out his sign. Classic! Look at the girl in front of him. I would have loved to have seen her reaction right after this shot was taken.

Via truthout

Cheney's "Gestapo office"

More excellence from Maureen (yes I still her).
You'll be surprised to read who coined the title of this post.

Dick Cheney and the neocons at the Pentagon started with the conclusion they wanted, then massaged and manipulated the intelligence to back up their wishful thinking.

Dubya sez...

"You work three jobs? … Uniquely American, isn't it? I mean, that is fantastic that you're doing that."
—George W. Bush, to a divorced mother of three, Omaha, Nebraska, Feb. 4, 2005

What's Going On?

Excellent article by Paul Krugman. Thanks to Holly for the heads up. I don't know how this one got past me. I love Krugman.
Another thing that's going on is the rise of politicians willing to violate the spirit of the law, if not yet the letter, to cater to the religious right.
Read on...
Username: wildsects
Password: 12345


Even Costlier Oil Would Help U.S.

I've said it before. Americans should be paying $5.00 a gallon for gas. Maybe then we will be shocked into the reality that conservation would be an economic plus and not just an environmental one. SUV drivers apparently don't give a shit about the environment so let's hit 'em in the tax break. For those of us who already drive sensible cars the adjustment wouldn't be too great.
High oil prices would reduce overall consumption by promoting conservation: Americans would use less oil. For example, the new hybrid cars that run on a variety of fuels would become, because they use far less gasoline than standard automobiles, economically attractive. Americans (and others) would buy many more of them than they do now.
Read on...

Living will is the best revenge

Funny stuff from Robert Friedman of the St. Petersburg Times

Excellent Letter to the AJC Editor

This guy did some fascinating research. The results are, well, what we all expected.
Private accounts not a pretty picture

Since Jim Wooten (conservative AJC columnist and Bush apologist) convinced me that private accounts will save Western civilization, I went looking for more facts and figures with which to amaze and convert doubting friends ("President's savings plan easy to grasp," issue, March 29).

David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard and Poor's, said account holders may encounter "more risk than reward." How did that commie get a job at S&P? Bloomberg financial news surveyed 58 economists asking if the stock market would have returns of 6.5 percent, as used by the Bush administration in their private account calculations, if the economy grew at only 2 percent, as projected by the Social Security trustees. Thirty-nine said, "No." Well, who would trust unreliable economists who work for private businesses anyway?

Not doing so well, I turned to an evaluation of historical returns. Yale economics professor Robert Shiller ran 91 simulations with private accounts over working lives from 1871 to 2004. Private accounts would pay less than Social Security 31 percent of the time. Using projections by economists as reported in the Wall Street Journal, private accounts do worse 71 percent of the time.

Shiller must be one of those elitist professors who hate America. But Wooten says private accounts are great, so where do I sign up?

TED DARCH, Atlanta


Rall 03/28/2005

This is the man Terri Schiavo's parents chose to represent them

"I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good ... our goal is a Christian nation. We have a biblical duty, we are called by God to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism."
-Randall Terry, speech in Jackson, Miss., 4/92

Who's next?

Need a hint?

Read this article entitled U.S. to Upgrade Air Bases in Afghanistan.

Then look at this map.

Need another hint? It's right between the two pink countries we already occupy.

Dubya sez...

Taking a cue from G at RANTZILLA, Wild Sects will now offer, for your entertainment, the wit and wisdom of our fearsome leader. After all. It's not like there isn't enough material to go around :-)

... I've been talking to Vicente Fox, the new president of Mexico... I know him... to have gas and oil sent to U.S.... so we'll not depend on foreign oil...
-on the first Presidential debate, 10/03/2000
"As people do better, they start voting like Republicans...
...unless they have too much education and vote Democratic,
which proves there can be too much of a good thing."
-Karl Rove, Bush's brain

Mr. Fish

The scourge of the right

See more Mr. Fish

Quote of the day

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents,
more and more closely, the inner soul of the people.
On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land
will reach their heart's desire at last and
the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."
-H.L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)

Another story from Bizarro-World

Timothy McVeigh is officially not considered a terrorist but animal rights groups and ecology militants are.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not list right-wing domestic terrorists and terrorist groups on a document that appears to be an internal list of threats to the nation’s security.

According to the list — part of a draft planning document obtained by CQ Homeland Security — between now and 2011 DHS expects to contend primarily with adversaries such as al Qaeda and other foreign entities affiliated with the Islamic Jihad movement, as well as domestic radical Islamist groups.

It also lists left-wing domestic groups, such as the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), as terrorist threats, but it does not mention anti-government groups, white supremacists and other radical right-wing movements, which have staged numerous terrorist attacks that have killed scores of Americans. Recent attacks on cars, businesses and property in Virginia, Oregon and California have been attributed to ELF.
Read on...


This is out-fucking-rageous!

I generally try to keep profanity out of the blog but this is the most stupid thing I've read in a long, long time. In Michigan they are preparing to let doctors refuse to treat gay people. This country really is heading right back to a time when discrimination ruled the day. What the hell are these people thinking?
Michigan Preparing To Let Doctors Refuse To Treat Gays

(Lansing, Michigan) Doctors or other health care providers could not be disciplined or sued if they refuse to treat gay patients under legislation passed Wednesday by the Michigan House.

The bill allows health care workers to refuse service to anyone on moral, ethical or religious grounds.

The Republican dominated House passed the measure as dozens of Catholics looked on from the gallery. The Michigan Catholic Conference, which pushed for the bills, hosted a legislative day for Catholics on Wednesday at the state Capitol.

The bills now go the Senate, which also is controlled by Republicans.

The Conscientious Objector Policy Act would allow health care providers to assert their objection within 24 hours of when they receive notice of a patient or procedure with which they don't agree. However, it would prohibit emergency treatment to be refused.

Three other three bills that could affect LGBT health care were also passed by the House Wednesday which would exempt a health insurer or health facility from providing or covering a health care procedure that violated ethical, moral or religious principles reflected in their bylaws or mission statement.

Opponents of the bills said they're worried they would allow providers to refuse service for any reason. For example, they said an emergency medical technicians could refuse to answer a call from the residence of gay couple because they don't approve of homosexuality.

Rep. Chris Kolb (D-Ann Arbor) the first openly gay legislator in Michigan, pointed out that while the legislation prohibits racial discrimination by health care providers, it doesn't ban discrimination based on a person's sexual orientation.

"Are you telling me that a health care provider can deny me medical treatment because of my sexual orientation? I hope not," he said.

"I think it's a terrible slippery slope upon which we embark," said Rep. Jack Minore (D-Flint) before voting against the bill.

Paul A. Long, vice president for public policy for the Michigan Catholic Conference, said the bills promote the constitutional right to religious freedom.

"Individual and institutional health care providers can and should maintain their mission and their services without compromising faith-based teaching," he said in a written statement.

Plante 03/24/2005

Quote of the day

"Does it really matter if a bomb goes off in a car or is thrown out of an F-15?"
-Michael Franti


The predictions of Madame Bush, fortune teller

Barbara Bush Says Hillary Clinton Will Lose In 2008
MODESTO, Calif. -- One former first lady is offering predictions about another.

Barbara Bush said former first lady, and current senator, Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the Democratic candidate for president in 2008.
What else do you see in your crystal ball Madame Bush?
But Sen. Clinton won't be the nation's first female president, at least not according to Mrs. Bush.

Mrs. Bush, 79, said Clinton will lose in the next election.
What else? What else?
Mrs. Bush also predicted Condoleezza Rice won't run for president in the next election.
But wait... Rice has already stated that she wouldn't run. Not much of a "prediction".
Mrs. Bush spoke to high school and college students in Modesto, Calif. She told them she never dreamed she'd be the wife of one president and the mother of another.
Of course she never dreamed of it because it's more like a nightmare.
As for the current chief executive, his mother jokes that when he was a boy, she "just hoped he'd grow up."
Yep. We hope so too. We're still waiting.

New fuel gauge for the Bush era

Thanks to Jim McPherson

Bush administration and the Social Security administration not on the same page

A question posed on the Social Security web site wonders "Why can't I invest my Social Security taxes into an IRA plan?"

Question: I think I could do better if you let me invest the Social Security I pay into an Individual Retirement Plan (IRA) or some other investment plan. What do you think?

Answer: Maybe you could, but then again, maybe your investments wouldn't work out. Remember these facts:

-Your Social Security taxes pay for potential disability and survivors benefits as well as for retirement benefits;

-Social Security incorporates social goals - such as giving more protection to families and to low income workers - that are not part of private pension plans; and

-Social Security benefits are adjusted yearly for increases in the cost-of-living - a feature not present in many private plans.
After he was shown the passage on Thursday, a White House spokesman, Trent Duffy, said: "The president is not talking about this approach.

Apparently he isn't talking about any other approach in detail either except to say he wants to open up the possibility of allowing people to invest some of their money in the stock market. Can someone explain the difference to me?


The hardly-ever-right wing

That phrase is the funniest thing I've seen since the term Repugnicans. I found it on skippy the bush kangaroo. One of the neatest things about skippy is his lack of upper case characters. That always reminds me of Ogden Nash. G at RANTZILLA might appreciate skippy. He includes a reference to Kirk/Anti-Kirk. If you know what that means you should score higher on the nerd test.

Here's a hint:

Irony of ironies

I know. Since I stated that I was pretty much done with Terri Schiavo's terrible situation I keep adding more. But here are are a few thoughts.

When the Republicans finish shaping this country to their liking, there will be no more cases like Terri's. What has paid for her medical care these past 15 years? A million dollar settlement of a malpractice case. The Republicans want to put caps on those kinds of judgments. And how is her continuing care being paid for now? Medicare. Another program that the Republicans want to gut.
Friggin' hypocrites!

What's your nerd score?

Update: I mistakenly entered G's nerd score as 14. As it turns out that is his wife Celine's score. G's is a whopping 99! You'd never know it to look at him. No pocket protector or tape on his glasses. He doesn't even carry around an issue of Scientific American. In fact he is so un-nerdy I am floored by his high score.

Thanks to George at RANTZILLA for this. Turns out I'm one point nerdier than he is :-(

I am nerdier than 15% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Spineless Democrats

Other than Barney Frank has anyone heard from any other Democrat about the utterly moronic way the Republicans have conducted themselves regarding Terri Schiavo? Hell, even John Warner spoke up about it AND HE'S A REPUBLICAN. If the Democrats don't grow some cajones they will continue to lose and put us at the mercy of insane right-wing politicians.

This column by Richard Cohen spells it out.
User wildsects - password 12345

Say what you will about DeLay, he is not afraid to state his beliefs and fight for them. Say what you will about the Democrats, they are. That's why DeLay's called "The Hammer." What would you call the Democrats? Never mind. When they're ready, they'll call you.
David Sirota also nails it...
Democratic strategist David Sirota said the Schiavo case creates three impressions. "Firstly, Republicans are zealots," he said. "Secondly, where the hell are the Democrats? And thirdly, well, at least the zealots believe in something strongly. And that's the problem for Democrats right now on this issue, and a whole host of others. The party seems unwilling to stand up for anything controversial."

"The calculus by Democrats is that they don't want to offend anyone," Sirota said. "But in trying not to offend anyone, they lose support from everyone. What many Democrats haven't yet learned from Republicans is that it is better to be loved by some, and hated by others, than try to be liked by everyone. Because when you do that, you are liked by no one."

I STILL heart Maureen Dowd

Maureen leaves no party unscathed in her column about the Schiavo debacle.
As one disgusted Times reader suggested in an e-mail: "Americans ought to send Bill Frist their requests: 'Dear Dr. Frist: Please watch the enclosed video and tell us if that mole on my mother's cheek is cancer. Does she need surgery?'"

Read the column here.
User wildsects - password 12345

Terry Schiavo Case: Guardian at Law

This is very interesting and informative. It should be required reading for everyone regardless of your position on Terri.

It's the transcript of an online discussion with Dr. Jay Wolfson - Professor of Public Health and Medicine, University of South Florida and Legal Guardian of Terri Schiavo. This was done on Wednesday, March 23, at 11 a.m. ET to discuss his role as special guardian for Terri Schivao in 2003 and his report on her condition to Gov. Jeb Bush and the Florida courts.

One part that struck me was the fact that, in Florida, feeding tubes are considered "artificial life support". Many people have stated that Terri should have her feeding tube replaced because it isn't artificial life support. This may explain why the judges have all come to the same conclusion. They are following the law.
Alexandria, Va.: I think Terri's wishes should be followed and am pro-right-to-die. However, removing a feeding tube when she's not on any life support seems rather disturbing. Is there a harm is in allowing her to continuing to be alive, whatever that may mean?

For some reason, to me, removing a feeding tube seems a lot different than removing her from, for example a breathing machine.

Dr. Jay Wolfson: This is part of the crux of the debate -- but in florida and elsewhere, including according to the guidelines published by the American College of Cardinals, feeding tubes are defined as 'artificial life support'.
Read the transcript here.
User name wildsects - password 12345


Another worthless response from my worthless Senator

I can never seem to get a straight answer out of this guy. The reponse he gave me to my latest letter barely scratched the surface of my inquiry. This is the same guy who conducted a smear campaign against Sen. Max Cleland and won as a result. Former Sen. Cleland lost two legs and an arm in Viet Nam but "Tax-me" Chambliss ran ads stating that Cleland didn't have the courage to lead in the Senate while splashing photos of Cleland and Bin Laden on the screen. The funny thing is, Chambliss is a classic example of a chicken hawk. He beats the war drum although he has never served in the armed forces. In my opinion, he's the one who doesn't have the courage to lead.

Here's his response:
March 21, 2005

Mr. Xxxx Xxxxx
XXX Xxxxx Xx
Xxxxxxx, Georgia xxxxx

Dear Mr. Xxxxx:

Thank you for your letter regarding Talon News reporter Jeff Gannon, and the controversy surrounding his presence at White House press conferences. I appreciate hearing from you.

On February 10, 2005 White House Press Secretary, Scott McClellan, addressed the issue of Jeff Gannon with the White House Press Corps. Mr. McClellan explained that Jeff Gannon had been issued a daily pass to the White House for the past two years by providing the necessary credentials and information - he represented a news organization that is published regularly, provided a full name, Social Security number, and birth date. Mr. McClellan went on to explain that President Bush did not know Mr. Gannon and the White House did not "plant" Mr. Gannon to ask "easy" questions at the President's press briefings.

Additionally, Conrad Everett, the deputy assistant director of the Secret Service, made clear in a letter to Representatives Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and John Conyers (D-MI), that in regards to Mr. Jeff Gannon, he was given clearance under his legal name, James Guckert, and there was no deviation from Secret Service standards and procedures.

It is unlikely this issue will come before the Senate; however, I appreciate hearing your concerns. Thank you again for taking the time to contact me. If you would like to receive timely email alerts regarding the latest congressional actions and my weekly e-newsletter, please sign up via my web site at: www.chambliss.senate.gov. Please do not hesitate to be in touch if I may ever be of assistance to you.


Saxby Chambliss
United States Senate

God help me!

I am truly living in the land of the brainless. IMAX theaters in the south have refused to show a film by Stephen Low called "Volcanoes of the Deep Sea". Why? Because it mentions evolution. Oh the HORROR! Damn it! When will these neanderthals get with the program and realize that the world is not flat and does not revolve around them? I am disgusted by their sick, twisted religious views.

Story here.

Bush hypocrisy knows no bounds

UPDATE: To put it another way...
Last summer, the Bush campaign blessed religious volunteers with a 22-point instruction sheet for achieving electoral salvation. (Sample counsel: "Send your Church Directory to your State Bush-Cheney '04 Headquarters.") Around the same time, a Southern Baptist pastor delivered a sermon that critics dubbed "more like a Bush campaign commercial than a church service" to 13,000 congregants and a national TV audience. IRS response: God bless! Now, the IRS is having a crisis of faith. In Florida, it's investigating an African-American church where John Kerry spoke for five minutes at a service last October. Hallelujah! Glory be! What made the IRS finally see the light? (Alternate reading: how come the government hates Jesus so much?)
-Greg Beato Via Wonkette
A Liberty City church's tax-exempt status is in jeopardy as the IRS has launched a probe into a visit by presidential candidate John Kerry last fall. Some wonder if the probe is politically motivated.

IRS probes politics at church

The IRS has notified a Liberty City church that it is under investigation for possibly engaging in political activity -- putting its tax-exempt status into question.

The probe is related to an appearance last October by Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry and several black leaders, including U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek of Miami, the Rev. Al Sharpton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Read on...

Of course it's politically motivated. Where does the hypocrisy come in? Read this from June 23, 2004.
Bush Visits Philadelphia

President Bush, on a fund-raising trip to Pennsylvania, said Wednesday he will commit more money to a program for delivering medications to people with HIV and AIDS. The administration said it would make an additional $20 million available immediately for the drug program.

The announcement was made as Bush flew in to visit the Greater Exodus Baptist Church and to raise money for the Republican Party. It was his 29th visit as president to Pennsylvania, a crucial state in his fight for re-election.
Bush Visits Philadelphia

Bush Campaign to Invade Churches

Help society's helpless first

Another powerful letter to the editor in The Orlando Sentinel:
Bishop Thomas Wenski writes eloquently and persuasively as he points out that "the mark of a civilized society was that the helpless had the greatest claim on our protection." And I agree with that statement -- but not in the way the good bishop would like me to.

I apply his statement to the fact that there are millions of people in this society who are unprotected, but, unlike Terri Schiavo, have no protesters chanting on their behalf, have no prayer warriors roaming the halls of Congress, and have no political capital to squander. Who are these people, these unprotected masses ignored by our good government and church people?

We are the working poor -- those of us who work day in and day out at low-paying jobs, people who have no health benefits, who cannot afford health insurance, yet make a few dollars over the arbitrary limits set for medical assistance from state or local governments, thus rendering us to deal with serious health issues alone.

With this latest action, many people believe that God has answered their prayers concerning Schiavo. Perhaps he has, I don't know. I do know that Congress has decided that people like my husband, families like mine, are not worthy of protection. If they, and the good bishop, truly believe in the right to life, then they would campaign hard and long to ensure that affordable health insurance and affordable health care were realities, not political slogans.

If they believed in the right to life, then Congress and the good bishop would take up the cause of my husband's need for cancer treatment in the same way they have latched onto Terri Schiavo. But I know this won't happen -- the feeding tube will be reinserted in Terri Schiavo, and the tumor in my husband will continue to grow and grow until it claims his life.


Because the reality of this country is that we are not all equal -- some of us don't have the right to life.

Beverly McCartt

Winter Park
Makes one wonder where we are headed as a country. The idealism we shared in our youth is long gone and is rapidly being replaced by an unhealthy cynicism. With the Republicans in power it seems as if the loonies are truly in charge of the looney bin.

Big music is dead

"As soon as broadband is big enough, the record (retailing) business is over. They will have to change or die ... It's going to be about five minutes to the end. All bets are off. Music chains like Tower Records had 'let the spirit go out of it.'"
-Elvis Costello

Big Music's Last Waltz

Elvis Costello

And the Asshat of the Week award goes to...

Rick Santorum:
U.S. District Court Judge James Whittemore has defied Congress by not staying Terri Schiavo's starvation execution for the time it takes him to hold a full hearing on her case, a leading Republican senator said Tuesday.

"You have judicial tyranny here," Santorum told WABC Radio in New York. "Congress passed a law that said that you had to look at this case. He simply thumbed his nose at Congress."
No Ricky, the judge DID look at the case and determined that all the other judges before him made the right decision. Just because it doesn't agree with your position doesn't mean he "thumbed his nose at Congress."

"What the statute that [Whittemore] was dealing with said was that he shall hold a trial de novo," the Pennsylvania Republican explained. "That means he has to hold a new trial. That's what the statute said."
"What he's saying is, 'I don't have to hold a new trial because I've already determined that her rights have been protected,'" Santorum said.

"That's nice for him to say that But that's not what Congress told him to do," he added. "Judges should obey the law. And this judge - in my mind - simply ignored the law."
No, he simply ignored a Congress who stuck their nose in where it didn't belong.

Kudos to Judge Whittemore!

It looks as though there is a bit of sanity on the right after all

"This is a clash between the social conservatives and the process conservatives, and I would count myself a process conservative. When a case like this has been heard by 19 judges in six courts and it's been appealed to the Supreme Court three times, the process has worked - even if it hasn't given the result that the social conservatives want. For Congress to step in really is a violation of federalism."
-David Davenport of the Hoover Institute, a conservative research organization.

"I don't normally like to see the federal government intervening in a situation like this, which I think should be resolved ultimately by the family: I think states' rights should take precedence over federal intervention. A lot of conservatives are really struggling with this case."
-Stephen Moore, a conservative advocate who is president of the Free Enterprise Fund

"It looks as if it's a wholly Republican exercise, but in the ranks of the Republican Party, there is not a unanimous view that Congress should be taking this step."
-Senator John Warner (R-VA) who voted against the Schiavo bill

"My party is demonstrating that they are for states' rights unless they don't like what states are doing. This couldn't be a more classic case of a state responsibility."

"This Republican Party of Lincoln has become a party of theocracy. There are going to be repercussions from this vote. There are a number of people who feel that the government is getting involved in their personal lives in a way that scares them."
-Chris Shays (R-CT) who also voted against the bill

Comments welcomed

Luckovich 03/23/2005



I've decided to start selling worthless crap to Americans

Posted by Bouncy Ball
Why? They'll buy it.

I'm now understanding how companies can sell worthless, sometimes even dangerous "diet pills" in infomercials. And make tons of money doing it.

I'm understanding how America fell for the war in Iraq.

I'm understanding JUST how EASY it is to whip Americans up into a fear-filled frenzy over just about ANYTHING.

I'm understanding why crazy mass-forwarded emails with scary but untrue urban legends are so popular and why they don't die when rational people respond with factual rebuttals.

I've seen, in the media and in real life, TONS of people say that someone with no cerebral cortex can get up, walk around and talk with the proper "treatment." I've seen and heard people saying the brain can be re-grown.

Anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of what the cc is responsible for in humans has got to have a mind-boggling moment to discover that people in the year 2005 actually believe that. And would ARGUE it, no less.

I have finally and completely decided that people will believe ANYTHING.

Which means they'll buy anything and fall for anything.

It explains wealthier than God televangelists and megachurch preachers. It explains the cheap crap that keeps getting manufactured and SOLD, despite being nothing more than cheap crap. It explains the snake oil salesmen of the days of old, but I guess I thought humans had evolved a bit since then. I was wrong.

I will never again be shocked at the level of ignorance in human beings. Ever. As far as we've come, most people still don't have a basic grasp of facts. And even when that lack is pointed out, they don't seek out information to learn more.

I received a forwarded email a while back about how deoderant causes breast cancer in women. The woman who sent it to me was completely panicked. She had forwarded it to fifty other women, including me. I sent the debunking of it to her entire to: list.

Instead of reading it, instead of saying "whew, glad to know THAT!" she GRIPED ME OUT. Not for hitting reply all, but apparently for destroying her fun little fearful fantasy. How DARE I introduce FACTS into this fear fest? FEAR IS FUN!!!!

BUT. I have been encouraged. I've noticed lots of DUers in the last week or so who have gone from believing the MSM lies about Schiavo, to learning about it for themselves and coming to their own conclusions.

Via Democratic Underground

If Jesus returns, Karl Rove will kill him

by Harvey Wasserman

As we enter another Easter Season, it's become all too obvious that if Christ returns, those who hate in his name will slime him, then kill him.

Christ was a long-haired peace activist who would have been sickened to his soul by the war in Iraq. "Blessed are the peacemakers" Jesus said in his defining Sermon on the Mount. "Turn the other cheek...Love thy neighbor."

Such hippie-radical ideals are the "Christian" right wing's worst nightmare. The GOP would never tolerate an upstart like Jesus gathering a following in the face of their corporate-fundamentalist crusade. These are self-proclaimed Christians who love power but would despise the actual Christ, just as they love a Zionist Israel but believe actual Jews are doomed to Hell.
Read on...

Happy Easter!

I'm sorry but this is just too damn good

Bughouse Bedlam
by James Wolcott
The Terri Schiavo soap opera, with Senator Frist guest-starring in the role of Dr. Bob and unveiling the uncanny ability to make a long-distance telepathic diagnosis without using his mind, shows yet again how sentimentality and brutality are the Doublemint twins of American culture, ripe for exploitation. The crocodile tears over Terri Schiavo from veteran crocodiles in the Congress (and professional sob-sisters like Peggy Noonan) flood the airwaves while Judge Greer in Florida receives death threats, the hospice is condemned as a concentration camp, and Michael Schiavo is demonized.

I don't want to hear any cultural virtucrat ever again work up a lot of flatulent thunder about 50 Cent or The Game or gangsta rap when the biggest thug around is a middle-aged white man who swaggers through the House as majority leader, making his own rules, punishing his enemies, and using his power and position to lash out against a private citizen with a sneering bullying not seen since Roy Cohn rotted away. I speak of course of the Bugman Thugman. A man who uses an insecticide inhaler to psych himself up to trash his opponents and defile the rules that don't apply to an ubermensch with slush funds pouring out of his enema bag. A man who would wheel Terry Schiavo to home plate for the Washington Nationals home opener if he thought there was any political upside to it.

So dynamic, so forceful, of Bush to interrupt his weekend off to sign this phony bill the Congress rammed through. On Sept 11, he didn't pry himself from his schoolroom chair as thousands died in the WTC because he didn't want to perturb the kiddies, but for this he bolts into action with lightning hooves. I realize it's unpatriotic, perhaps even unmasculine, to concern oneself with what the rest of the world thinks (since we won WWII and all), but just imagine how hilarious Europe, Russia, Asia, the Mideast, and the penguins find this latest American spaz-out, and how horrified they must be at how the beacon of freedom and democracy has become a lashing loony bin.

As China quietly outmaneuvers us everywhere.

Guess what? Bush lied AGAIN!

Of course nobody is really surprised, right?
Health advocates say mercury is so harmful to fetuses and pregnant women that steps are needed to sharply control emissions; industry groups and the Bush administration have warned that overly aggressive measures would impose heavy costs.
New EPA Mercury Rule Omits Conflicting Data
(If you are prompted for a "username" and "password" use "wildsects" and "12345")

Ok just one more...

As I read the AJC letters to the editor I was overwhelmed by the number of people who shared my point of view. The exception being the last letter. While I believe the writer makes a good point it doesn't take into account Terri's wishes which are the basis for Michael Schiavo's actions. There is usually a pretty good mix of viewpoints but today's letters illustrate how wrong Congress was to intervene.

Since the AJC's linked pages are often flakey I copied the letters in their entirety so you could access them.

Go here.

Luckovich 03/22/2005

Sorry - I can't resist a good Luckovich

...and then there's this one by Oliphant


I didn't intend for this to become the Terri Schiavo blog so I will refrain from submitting anymore posts on the issue until the Repugnants pull another stunt worthy of your outrage.

A bad precedent

Congress should not have interfered in Terri Schaivo case.
We don't know whether Terri Schiavo really opposed having her life artificially extended if she was ever reduced to life in a "permanent vegetative state."

We don't know what motives her husband and legal guardian, Michael Schiavo, has for fighting the move to reinsert the feeding tube that has sustained his wife for 15 years. Physicians removed the tube Friday after a Florida court again deemed Schiavo to have no hope of recovery.

We don't know whether Terri Schiavo's open eyes and occasional expressions represent more than the primitive actions of her brain stem.

We don't know whether she feels, thinks or is aware of her own existence. But we have no reason to doubt the medical experts who say she is brain dead or the lower courts that have ruled against her parents' quest to prolong her life.

We do know that Congress and President Bush overstepped their bounds when they enacted a law giving the federal court system the authority to review and reverse, on alleged constitutional grounds, a decision that rightly belongs to state courts.

Members of Congress, contrary to the advice of medical experts involved in the case, say they acted to save Terri Schiavo. (Rep. Charlie Bass voted with the majority; Rep. Jeb Bradley did not vote.) In fact, their action could mean Schiavo will be condemned, against her wishes to years of additional suffering.

What Congress really did was to mock state courts and shamelessly play politics with Schiavo's life and family.
Read on...

Persistent vegetative state often hopeless, deceiving

Question: What is Terri Schiavo's medical condition?

Answer: She is in what is described as a persistent vegetative state, and people observing such a patient can be deceived by things like eye movements and reflexes, experts say.

"It creates this ironic combination of wakefulness without awareness"
-Dr. James Bernat, neurology professor at Dartmouth Medical School

Video showing Terri Schiavo appearing to interact with her family has been televised nationally. But a court-appointed doctor has said the noises and facial expressions are merely reflexes, and a state court ordered the tube removed.

Why won't people put their emotions on hold for a moment and listen to the people who know? For Terri's sake.

Read this excellent question and answer article.

I noticed that the web site shown at the bottom of the article isn't a true link. Here is a linked version.

Judge Refuses to Order Terri's Feeding Tube Reinserted

It looks as though all the Republican grandstanding was for naught. Makes me wonder what their next step will be. I predict there really won't be a next step. At least not a meaningful one. They've made their token outcry heard and that will probably be the end of it. Of course DeLay still has to come up with a way to distract us from his legal woes.

Extra, extra read all about it.


This guy is a hoot

Have a look

Jesus' General

Why the Schiavo case should worry us all...

and probably not for the reasons you might think.

Thanks to Mixter for sharing this.

Food for thought

Letter to the AJC editor:
Fear, not religion, motivates group

Those who would keep lungs breathing and hearts beating even in the absence of any semblance of personality or self-motivated activity hide behind religious language to conceal their fear of what ongoing life might lie beyond this one ("Final act in Schiavo drama?" Page One, March 18). We must conclude that those people who had been trying to keep Terry Schiavo's body ticking another day or year are motivated more by fear than by any spiritual conviction.

End-of-life decisions are best made by the next of kin in consultation with their physicans. "Next of kin" in this case means her husband, not her parents (whom, in accordance with Bible teaching, she left to marry Michael) and certainly not members of the executive and legislative bodies of Florida and the United States.

-The Rev. JIM RULE - Rule, of Atlanta, is a pastoral counselor in the Entheos Community.
Having never heard of the Entheos Community, I decided to do a little research. This is what I found:
ENTHEOS is a community of enthusiasts, scholars and scientists who share a common interest in the role of entheogens as it pertains to human spirituality. Recognizing the important role of the 'psychedelic' experience, both past and present, to the development of spiritual expression, we intend to publish the most accurate, relevant, and current research available on the subject.

The Journal ENTHEOS will provide a much-needed forum for specialists while encouraging a wide popular readership. It is our intention to provide a balanced and respectful perspective on this widely misunderstood and politically volatile subject.

It is also our intention to help remedy the lamentable under-representation of entheogenic phenomena in mainstream scholarship. Broad discussion of the role of entheogens in human history can only widen the scope of humanity's collective pursuit of understanding.

Though the journal will have a strong 'Wassonian' slant toward academic questions in anthropology, religious studies, art history, and history, ENTHEOS will include topics ranging from contemporary issues and current events to health and healing, the politics of entheogenic spirituality, discoveries in chemistry and biology, and the history of psychedelic scholarship.
Very interesting

Group disables Apple iTune restrictions

I can't afford an iPod. Or more accurately, iPods aren't worth to me what they cost. I'm perfectly happy with my Creative MuVo 512. I do, however, like iTunes quite a bit. Imagine my chagrin when I downloaded several songs on iTunes only to discover that they come in a MP4 format. MP4 is not compatible with my MP3 player. What to do? I now own songs that I can only hear on my computer.

PyMusique to the rescue!
A group of US and Norwegian programmers have joined forces to crack Apple's digital rights management software when downloading iTunes. They have developed a program called PyMusique, which allows users to legitimately enter the Apple site and buy iTunes, but then strip out the blocks that restrict the use of those tunes.
Now I'll be able to convert those MP4s into MP3s.

Read about it here.

Download it here.

Bear in mind that I haven't tried it yet. I was just so excited by the prospect of being able to actually use music files I paid for that I decided to post this now.

Bush signs law on right-to-die case

UPDATE: It just occurred to me that Bush ended his vacation early so he could jet back to D.C. and sign this mess into law. I wonder why the following situations didn't warrant the same attention:

1. The tsunami victims -- More than 100,000 people died in the worst natural disaster of our lifetime. Millions were left homeless. It happened just after Christmas and hit hard our staunch ally, Thailand. (Many, many Muslims were devastated by this disaster.) Bush couldn't be bothered to step outside for FIVE minutes and offer his heartfelt sympathy to an event that had the rest of the world riveted and shocked. It took Bush DAYS to do anything, even after his aides had bungled our first offer of aid.

2. Investigating 9/11 with Congress -- Bush spent months hemming and hawing and avoiding having to meet with the bipartisan panel trying to look into the worst attack on US soil in history. He finally, grudgingly, spent a few hours but insisted he appear with Cheney by his side, cause they were busy and needed to get this over with.

3. Heck, 9/11 itself -- On the day of the worst attack on US soil in our history, Bush spent hours and hours flying around the country when he could have just spent a few minutes to get in front of a camera and reassure the nation that he was in charge and we'd get through this.

4. Military funerals -- Bush is the first President in US history during wartime (and presumably peacetime as well) who has refused to attend a SINGLE military funeral to honor one of our fallen soldiers. It's not just the couple of hours he can't be bothered to spend; Bush thinks it would be bad politics to remind people that young men and women die in war, so why bother honoring them? They can take a hit on the battlefield, but Bush won't risk taking a hit in the polls. And if things are going so swimmingly in Iraq, why does he STILL refuse to honor our military?

President Bush said: "Today I signed into law a bill that will allow federal courts to hear a claim by or on behalf of Terri Schiavo for violation of her rights.
The courts and a team of doctors have already determined that Terri will never recover from the persistent vegetative state she is in. According to her husband and her closest friends, Terri never would have wanted to be in the position she is now in.

Don't let Congress fool you into thinking that their motivation for intervening is Terri's rights. What happened to her right to die and not be kept alive artificially? Here is their true motivation:
ABC News has obtained talking points circulated among Republican senators explaining why they should vote to intervene in the Schiavo case. Among them: "This is an important moral issue and the pro-life base will be excited..." and "This is a great political issue... this is a tough issue for Democrats."
Seems to me that the Republican members of Congress feel a special kinship to Terri. They all seem to be in a persistent vegetative state as well.


Bo Gritz - nutjob extraordinaire

The Terri Schiavo case is bringing all the bat-shit crazies out of the woodwork.
Former Green Beret Commander Bo Gritz is trying to conduct a citizen's arrest of Terri Schiavo's husband and the judge who ordered the brain-damaged Florida woman's feeding tube removed so she can be legally starved.
More here.

More excellent reading...

Apparently Don Gilliland has been very busy lately. He's added many more stories and photos to his web site. Don has to be one of the most descriptive writers I've ever had the pleasure to read. I've never told him this but his photography skills are nothing to sneeze at. He captures the essence of the wonderful people in that part of the globe very well. Visit his world. You won't be disappointed.

Bangkok Digest (by Don Gilliland)

With the kids at Preah Khan temple

Huot and friend at West Baray

Bush Claims War in Iraq 'Inspiring Democratic Reformers

That's like saying "crazy neighbor with a shotgun inspires families to stay inside and enjoy quality time".
Without mentioning the issue of weapons of mass destruction that was the original justification for the war, Bush argued that the occupation had made America safer and was inspiring change across the Middle East.
Story here.

Wolfowitz brings baggage to post

This week's Q&A is with Enrique Carrasco, University of Iowa professor of law and director of the UI Center for International Finance and Development.

Q: Last week, President Bush appointed U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz to replace World Bank President James Wolfensohn, who retires in May. How do you think Wolfowitz will do at the job?

A: Nominating Wolfowitz is disastrous. Wolfowitz is a warmonger. The World Bank is a development institution, and development is about peacefully creating conditions in which the human being can flourish within his or her community and nation. There's no doubt that Wolfowitz is an expert in international relations -- having been dean and professor of the School of Advanced International Studies as well as ambassador to Indonesia and assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs -- and he obviously has government experience. But his nomination is a slap in the face to member countries of the World Bank, given his role in orchestrating the war against Iraq -- a war that is highly unpopular in the eyes of most people in the world.
With all that's going on in Dubya's administration, why am I still amazed at this appointment? Maybe because Wolfowitz is such an illogical choice for the post. I suspect that maybe when Bush was considering his list of nominees, he thought it would save money on signage and stationary if they only had to change "Wolfensohn" to "Wolfowitz". Makes as much sense as any other reason. The man is clearly not the man for the job.

Compromise bill may put Schiavo case in federal court

Washington -- Congressional leaders reached a compromise Saturday on legislation to force the case of Terri Schiavo into federal court, an extraordinary intervention intended to prolong the life of the brain-damaged woman.

Top lawmakers in both the House and the Senate said they hoped to pass the compromise bill as early as today. They said it would allow Schiavo's parents to ask a federal judge to restore her feeding tube on the grounds that their daughter's constitutional rights were being violated by the withholding of nutrition needed to keep her alive.

President Bush changed his schedule to return to Washington from his Texas ranch today to be on hand to sign the legislation in the event it passes Congress.
I'm glad there aren't any more pressing issues to be dealt with like a war or the economy.


Bush signd a law to cut life support over a families objection

A patient's inability to pay for medical care combined with a prognosis that renders further care futile are two reasons a hospital might suggest cutting off life support, the chief medical officer at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital said Monday.
Read more here...

So apparently there is plenty of cash somewhere to continue Terri Schiavo's care indefinitely. Otherwise the Republicans wouldn't be so adamant about keeping her tethered to machinery. I KNEW there had to be money involved somewhere. Otherwise DeLay and his minions would have turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to her situation just as they did to little Sun Hudson.

But if money isn't their motivation what could it be? Try this on for size:
ABC News has obtained talking points circulated among Republican senators explaining why they should vote to intervene in the Schiavo case. Among them: "This is an important moral issue and the pro-life base will be excited..." and "This is a great political issue... this is a tough issue for Democrats."
Ahh - that explains it.

Quote of the day

"I was raised Catholic, but I gave it up for Lent...."

How about a little consistency?

Where were DeLay and Frist when they killed this baby Tuesday?

Republican morality: If a business wants to remove the breathing tube from a baby against the wishes of his mother, the Republicans are nowhere to be found.

I hear that they're expecting a freeze in hell

I've often stated that I'll agree with Neal Boortz "when hell freezes over". I actually agree with his take on the Terri Schiavo case. Up until a couple of days ago I didn't know too many of the details. Now that it's been thrust upoon us in the recent media frenzy I thought I should see what all the fuss is about and have read quite a bit about it.

Apparently now the GOP and Tom DeLay want to determine the outcome of this case. To hear them tell it, they (her husband and those "activist judges") want to murder this happy, healthy, vivacious woman because her husband wants to get rid of her and get rich. Then Dr Frist puts in his two cents. He said "I question it (Terri's condition) based on a review of the video footage ...."

His comments raised eyebrows in medical and political circles alike. It is not every day that a high-profile physician relies on family videotapes to challenge the diagnosis of doctors who examined a severely brain-damaged patient in person.

Some medical professionals questioned the appropriateness of Frist challenging court-approved doctors who have treated Schiavo. "It is extremely unusual -- and by a non-neurologist, I might add," Zoloth said in an interview.

Were Frist rendering an official medical judgment, she said, relying on an "amateur video" could raise liability issues. After 15 years, "there should be no confusion about the medical data, and that's what was so surprising to me about Dr. Frist disagreeing about her medical status," Zoloth said.

At a recent news conference, this exchange took place:
George: You're a doctor. Do you think tears and sweat can transmit HIV"
Frist: I don't know...I can tell you..
George: You don't know?
Frist: I can tell you things like,like..condoms..
George: You believe that tears and sweat might be able to transmit aids?
At least now we know why Frist changed careers.

Welcome to 1984

Exerpt from an excellent Letter to the AJC Editor
Orwell described a society based on misinformation, suppression of truth, distortion of reality, calling something the opposite of what it is and playing on fear to manipulate people's perceptions. The Orwellian society is also characterized by loss of personal freedoms, egregious intrusions into private life and complete state control by an elite who believe they alone are qualified to lead. This describes what is happening now in America with the radical corporatization of the state.

In the Orwellian state, the basis and purpose of government is to serve the ideology and interests of the wealthy and powerful. In this country, the parallels are sobering.
-William Jordan

Amazing! One would think that Dubya is using George Orwell's 1984 as a playbook.


Cool perspective!

Oriental Pavilion, Prospect Park - Brooklyn, New York
(click image for larger view)

Photographer Frank Lynch has an excellent good eye and uses it to photograph scenes in and around NYC. If you're a fan of good photography, check it out. Hit "previous" and just keep going.

Really not worth archiving... really.

File this under WTF?

A model presents an outfit by portuguese designer Dino Alves in Lisbon during ModaLisboa.

More here if you can stand it

"Compassionate Conservatism" is on the march

During his first term, Mr. Bush issued a mere 31 pardons and sentence commutations. This is less than any modern president. In fact, you have to go back to Zachary Taylor, twelfth president of the United States, to find a similar number.

No Mercy

No, it wasn't about oil - wanna buy a bridge?

The Bush administration made plans for war and for Iraq's oil before the 9/11 attacks sparking a policy battle between neo-cons and Big Oil, BBC's Newsnight has revealed.


Would Someone Tell Fox "News" That President Bush Doesn't Have a Social Security Plan Yet?

Hilarious take on the fact that Dubya has yet to reveal his "plan". When he was asked at his press conference yesterday about such "plans": "First of all, Dave, let me, if I might correct you, be so bold as to correct you, I have not laid out a plan yet, intentionally."

So Dubya has put forth his minions to sell a plan he "intentionally" won't share. Oh what the hell. We don't need to know what the plan is. After all, we're just AMERICAN CITIZENS.

Via The Rude Pundit
Warning: Harsh language

Bush's way of saying

"go screw yourself"

* Proposed FDA director who has overseen recent scandals
* Wolfowitz to head the World Bank
* Bolton to the UN
* Drilling in ANWR
* Planned cuts in Social Security
* Bilking tax payers of millions in Iraq via Halliburton

It just seems to go on and on. Sometimes I feel as if we've awakened in an alternate universe. Up is down, black is white and insanity is sane.

Wake me when it's over.

Why outsource?

We're perfectly capable of handling our own torture. Except for the fact that the prisoner tends to die as a result.

"Despite the military's own reports of deaths and abuses of detainees in U.S. custody, it is astonishing that our government can still pretend that what is happening is the work of a few rogue soldiers. No one at the highest levels of our government has yet been held accountable for the torture and abuse, and that is unacceptable."
-Anthony D. Romero, ACLU Executive Director

More Than 100 Die in U.S. Custody in Iraq

Goss defends "rendition"

In layman's terms that means "outsourcing dirty work". U.S. authorities have flown at least 100 foreigners to countries including Egypt and Saudi Arabia. We all know what bastions of human rights these places are.

Read the article.


Oil Climbs to a Record $57.50 as Demand Outpaces Supply Growth

I may be wrong but it seems to me that if the Bushians were to trade in their Ford Exorbitants and GMC Subdivisions for more sensible, environment-friendly cars and vans prices just might go down. It's a simple case of supply and demand. A huge SUV demands more fuel than a sensible vehicle. Therefore less demand and more supply. More supply, less cost.

Another thought: Less demand may then result in less oil production. Less production, higher oil costs. Hybrids anyone?

Story here.

Wesley Clark has a new blog

I thought Wesley Clark would have made an excellent Commander in Chief. His only problem was that Americans, as a rule, tend to base their decisions on the cult of personality. Wesley is a no nonsense guy and that didn't seem to play well with mainstream Americans.

WesPAC Securing America


There's a new religion in town...
Bushianity is really all about power and wealth -- the divine right of the haves to get more of each, in order to better supervise the have-nots. Bushianity is quietly (discretely, always discretely) hostile to Jesus’ teachings, but loudly praises his birth (before he could teach) and his death (after he could teach). Nothing between those two events in Jesus’ life is of interest to Bushians, who greatly prefer the fire-breathing biblical writers advocating ruthless wars, slavery, female submission, the masses’ unquestioning obedience of rulers, and the death penalty for homosexuals and rebellious children.

The faith-based Bush administration, disinterested as usual in "that poor-people stuff", is working fast and furious on a number of fronts to put working and financially strapped Americans in their place. Its hallmark strategy for stealing from the poor to give to the rich is to overwhelm the public with multiple simultaneous changes, thus pre-empting time to think about, pray about, or oppose them.

Read on


I just uncovered a highly classified photograph of the new Homeland Security detail guarding Bush.

CLASSIFIED: Do Not Distribute

WORJ T-shirt

It looks like I'm the first one on my block to have my photo added to the WORJ web site wearing my new shirt. What a nerd I am sometimes. At least I've never had a wedgie.

WORJ (click on the WORJ Store link)


New Joe Perry DualDisc coming May 3

On May 3 one of my all time favorite guitar heroes is releasing a new solo cd. I can't wait! I've always loved Aerosmith but lately (since re-hab) they seem to have lost their edge somewhat. They tend fall back on power ballads entirely too often. Of course one of their very best early songs was a great power ballad entitled "Dream On". They still rock with the best of them though. I expect Joe's new offering will be more gritty than what the band has done in the last decade or so. The exception being, of course, "Honkin' On Bobo". That cd took me back to the glory days.

Joe's is going to be a DualDisc featuring a CD on one side and a DVD on the other. The DVD side features the full album in 5.1 surround sound, an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the making of the new album in Joe's home studio, along with candid on-the-road footage of Joe and his family. It will also include 2 tracks using UmixIt technology.

If you pre-order ($13.99), like I did, you'll get a free 2 oz. bottle of Joe's own brand of hot sauce. I'm still a sucker for that type of crap.


ANWR now open to pillaging

The Senate, by a 51-49 vote, rejected an attempt by Democrats and GOP moderates to remove a refuge drilling provision from next year's budget, preventing opponents from using a filibuster - a tactic that has blocked repeated past attempts to open the Alaska refuge to oil companies.

(Even though) they acknowledge that even if ANWR's oil is tapped, it would have no impact on soaring oil prices and tight supplies. The first lease sales would not be issued until 2007, followed by development seven to 10 years later, Interior Secretary Gale Norton said.

Story here.

Kerry's crystal ball

Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry accused President Bush on Sunday of planning a surprise second-term effort to privatize Social Security and forecast a "disaster for America's middle class."

Republicans denied the charge as scare tactics with little more than two weeks remaining in a tight election. "It is just flat inaccurate," said GOP chairman Ed Gillespie.

Bush's campaign spokesman was more blunt,

"John Kerry's misleading senior scare tactics are just another example of a candidate who will say anything to get elected," said spokesman Steve Schmidt, "no matter how false his accusations or how contradictory they are with his record of repeatedly voting for higher taxes on Social Security."

Read the October 2004 article here.

If a tree falls in a forest...

Bob Harris has a very interesting and disturbing post on his blog. As some of you may remember, Bob is a world traveler whose stories were posted on Tom Tomorrow's site a while back. Great stuff. This post deals with the timber industry in Tasmania. Sounds like the type of tactic Bush's friends would try if given half a chance.

Read it here.

Check out his travel stories under Main Menu too. Very entertaining.

Quote of the day

“The only gay people conservatives are willing to embrace are Mary Cheney and a hooker (GannonGuckert). Perhaps someday they’ll embrace the rest of us.”
-John Aravosis, AMERICAblog

Narrow Majority vs. Mandate

So Bush's 51%-48% "victory" in November was cause to declare a mandate but in this poll by the Washington Post they claim 53%-47% is nothing more than a narrow majority of people who think that the war in Iraq was not worth it. Ya gotta love the "liberal" media.

Click image for larger view (you may have to click larger view to enlarge)

Thanks to AMERICAblog

Luckovich 03/16/2005

White House defends use of fake news reports


got milk?

"As you know, I have, over the years, written critically about the U.N., but I always make sure I have my milk. It has the nutrients and protein I need for plenty of energy to butt-whoop other countries." So make sure it's icy cold. 'Cause John Bolton said so.

Rice Introduces Hughes As New Diplomat

Aren't these two of the the most pleasant faces you've ever seen?

Rice said that the United States "must mobilize young people around the world to shatter the mistrust of past grievances and to foster a new spirit of tolerance and mutual respect." President Bush, via a written statement, suggested "an aggressive effort to share and communicate America's fundamental values..." Not to be outdone, Hughes tenderly added, "We need to stab these SOBs in the eye with the generosity and compassion of the American people!"

Story here.

Drilling for oil

Excellent Letter to the Editor in The Orlando Sentinel:

Regarding your Thursday article, "Senator plans new arctic-drilling tactic": There are so many reasons why drilling should never be allowed in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. ANWR is home to a huge abundance of diverse wildlife (such as caribou, rare musk oxen, grizzlies and migratory birds) that deserve to have a place to live and breed.

The mean estimate of economically recoverable oil available in ANWR is just 3.2 billion barrels, or less than what the United States consumes in six months. By increasing the fuel efficiency of cars and trucks by three miles per gallon, we could save five times the amount of oil that the refuge might produce. Also, 95 percent of Alaska's Arctic coastal lands are already available for oil exploration and development.

But the most important reason is this: Some things are just intrinsically wrong, from a moral and ethical standpoint. Wrong like partial-birth abortion. Wrong like human cloning. Destroying 1.5 million acres of pristine Arctic habitat just so President Bush can do a favor for his oil industry cronies and so automakers don't have to raise the fuel efficiency of their vehicles is one of those things. It's morally wrong, period.

Jennifer Thomas-Larmer


'Wedgie' Added to Webster's Dictionary

Via my friend Jim McPherson in Orlando who says:
"If you have to look it up---
you really are a nerd. And if
you are a nerd you've
probably got first hand
experience with it anyways!!!"

By Associated Press

March 15, 2005, 11:56 AM EST

CLEVELAND -- Wedgie, a teenager's locker-room nightmare, has made it into the dictionary. Webster's New World College Dictionary based in Cleveland said wedgie was among its new additions to its latest edition.

The new edition will carry this listing: wedgie: noun. a prank in which the victim's undershorts are jerked upward so as to become wedged between the buttocks.

The dictionary also carries the tradition wedgie definition of a type of shoe.

"`Wedgie' was always a part of the high school terminology that you sort of never thought about later," said Editor in Chief Michael Agnes.

"It never really entered the mainstream until the '90s. It broke out of high school and, boy -- if you don't know what it is, you're absolutely at a loss."

The new edition will reach bookstores by May and has 58 new entries, plus another 20 new senses of existing words (such as wedgie).

The additions include Al Qaeda, blog, cargo pants, irritable bowel syndrome and partial-birth abortion.

Farewell to Lazy Mango

I was saddened to hear of the demise of Lazy Mango book shop in Siem Reap, Cambodia. It was owned by my friend Don who now owns Dasa Book Cafe in Bangkok.

Don is an excellent writer and I always looked forward to the updates on his web site describing in wonderful detail daily life in Siem Reap and the surrounding areas. I often felt as if I were there. As if I had gotten to know some of the characters he described so well. The story about his journey to an alternative entrance into the temple Angkor Wat is fascinating. I am now determined to travel there and visit Don some day. I hope he has a spare cot :-)

You can read Don's current stuff here. He explains some of the events that led up to the closing of Lazy Mango.

I suppose the Lazy Mango t-shirt Don sent me is now a collector's item :-)

Ben Sargent

I really enjoy this cartoonist's work. He works for the Austin-American Statesman in Texas. Enjoy!

Click images for larger view

Another day, another DeLay scandal

The Center for American Progress has a handy reference list so you can keep track. I wonder how long this list will get before the right, or the left for that matter, catches on and actually does something about it.

Here's the list.

And then there's this from Newsweek:
The FBI is trying to trace what happened to $2.5 million in payments to a conservative Washington think tank that were routed to accounts controlled by two lobbyists with close ties to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, NEWSWEEK has learned. The payments to the National Center for Public Policy Research were meant for a PR campaign promoting Indian gaming, center officials said. But internal e-mails obtained by NEWSWEEK show the lobbyists, Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon, DeLay's former press secretary, never documented any work performed or explained what they did with the money despite repeated requests. "We're disappointed and frustrated," said Amy Ridenour, the center's president. The group's records have been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury. One focus of the FBI probe, legal sources say, is whether the payments, as well as tens of millions of dollars in other fees collected by the two lobbyists from Indian tribes, were used for political contributions or to pay for trips and gifts to members of Congress....



Bush's "Destroy Social Security" Tour

Ok, I admit it. I had to Photoshop this image to improve the accuracy.

Quote(s) of the day

"First, (Iraqis) would say, they were glad that Saddam (Hussein) was gone. But they would always follow that up with, 'At least under him, we had security.' "

"One of the most important things veterans can do, like myself, is come out here and present a true picture of Iraq, because the American media isn't letting people have that true picture."

"If you look at this fuel truck," showing a photograph of a vehicle, "what you see are three sandbags. That's the only armor on that vehicle."

-Specialist E-4 Patrick Resta, who served as an Army medic in Iraq for eight months before returning to the United States in November, speaking to an audience of about 80 Brown University students.

Let's call it propaganda

On Sunday, March 13th, The New York Times broke a major story outlining how the Bush administration has used millions of dollars of taxpayer money to produce and disseminate fake news programs that support a partisan political agenda.

These government-produced segments have frequently aired on broadcast TV stations across the country without proper disclosure.

Not only is this unacceptable, it is also illegal.

Let's put an end to fake news propaganda.

Please go here and sign the petition.

Great column by David Sarasohn

A wedding photo shot from the Right

Almost exactly a year after their marriage, Richard Raymen and Steven Hansen got a belated wedding present Thursday.

A federal judge thinks their wedding picture may be their own business -- even if you're a right-winger who figures that what President Bush's Social Security campaign really needs is some gay-bashing.

As presents go, it beats a fondue set.
Read on...

FOX News "one-sided"

Gee, ya think?

In their study entitled “State of the American News Media 2005”, The Project for Excellence in Journalism had this to say:
Fox News was the most one-sided of all major outlets....

There are clear differences between Fox versus its cable rivals. Fox News stories contain more sources and reveal more about them than those of its competitors, but its stories are also more one-sided and are more opinionated.

Indeed, Fox journalists offer their own opinion in seven out of ten stories on the news channel, versus less than one in ten stories on CNN and one in four on MSNBC.

The Project for Excellence in Journalism is affiliated with the Columbia University School of Journalism. The study was funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Read the Editor & Publisher article here.


Asshat of the week

and it's only Monday!

Letter to the Editor - AJC

Others lie, not Bush

Atlanta Journal-Constitution letter writers really have it right (Letters, March 11): Instead of castigating Dan Rather for lying to the American people and using fake documents to attack an elected official in an attempt to sway an election, we ought to pat him on the back.

Walter Cronkite, as much as I disagree with him on many issues, would never have shown so little integrity as Rather. Also, Cronkite acknowledges his liberal bias, while Rather refuses to.

President Bush never lied. Rather lied. Bill Clinton lied.

BEN SKOTT, Atlanta

My response as submitted to the AJC this morning. I'll let you now if they decide to print it. I'm not sure if the allotted time has passed since they printed my last letter.

Letter write Ben Skott seems to have his head in the sand or in FOX News which seems to be the same thing these days.

Mr. Skott: "...Cronkite acknowledges his liberal bias, while Rather refuses to."

I suppose, in his view, FOX News is genuinely fair and balanced. When you agree with the message it's difficult to fault the messenger.

Then Mr. Skott went on to say: "President Bush never lied. Rather lied. Bill Clinton lied."

Ok so just where are those weapons of mass destruction? Not only did President Bush lie and mislead but he continues to do so on a regular basis. Social Security "crisis" anyone? Dan Rather didn't lie. He was telling the truth. Just because his documents were allegedly forged they contained truthful information. I'm always amazed at what lengths conservatives will go to excuse the sins of their side.

By the way. Of course Bill Clinton lied. We on the left have ackowledged that. Let's see the right do the same when it comes to the lies coming from the Bush Administration.

JOHN ASEFF, Marietta


Nice photographs of William S. Burroughs

I like these images a lot. The second one is a little strange considering.
(click images for large view)

J.G. Ballard on William S. Burroughs


to a White House press conference near you!


President's 'Conversations' on Issue Are Carefully Orchestrated, Rehearsed

Hmmm, sounds an awful lot like his other campaigns...

MEMPHIS, March 11 -- It sounded as if all of Graceland were clamoring for President Bush's plan to restructure Social Security.

The mostly white audience in this mostly black southern city clapped wildly as Bush took what he called the "presidential roadshow" to its 14th state Friday. He was greeted like Elvis -- adoring fans hooting and hollering, and hanging on his every word.

The few dissenting voices in the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts were quickly silenced or escorted out by security. One woman with a soft voice but firm opposition to Bush was asked to leave, even though her protests were barely audible beyond her section in the back corner of the auditorium. The carefully screened panelists spoke admiringly about Bush, his ideas, his "bold" leadership on Social Security.

If the presentations sound well rehearsed, it's because they often are. The guests at these "Oprah"-style conversations trumpet the very points Bush wants to make. Seniors on stage express confidence that Bush's plan to create private investment accounts would not eat into promised benefits, and the granddaughter of one spoke hopefully on Friday of a richer retirement if the president prevails.

Bush's refreshing honesty

Even the highly scripted moments of the Bush Propaganda Tour are open to revealing insights:

THE PRESIDENT: Let me ask you something about the Thrift Savings Plan. This is a Thrift Savings Plan that has a mix of stocks and bonds?

MS. WEBSTER: Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: Now, how hard was that to learn how to do that?

MS. WEBSTER: And I chose the safe plan, government bonds. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: That's all right. Well, not so safe, unless we fix the deficit.

Not only does this hand picked woman say that she would not invest in one of Bush's accounts because it wouldn't be "safe," Bush himself goes on to say that the US is on the brink of defaulting on its debt because of his insane budgets.

President Participates in Social Security Conversation in Alabama

See what the world thinks about us

I don't care what the braindead half of the country says. IT MATTERS! Bush really has alienated vast swaths of humanity, and the only place that isn't screamingly obvious is within our own borders.

It's a bit like having to live in an alcoholic household. Inside the house, Dad's really a good guy who just needs us to love him a little more and work a little harder and meanwhile the "good" kids are the ones enabling him. The ones who actually see that he's just a selfish f***ing drunk are very, very bad.

I suppose this puts people like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh in the enabling-mother role, unable to see the faults in the man they love, no matter how obvious, and willing to lash out at anyone who asks why he's picking fights, not taking care of the house, and running up enormous debts.

Seems about right.


Thanks to Bob Harris

The poor need to watch out for snipers

I found this gem imbedded in a letter to the AJC editor.

"I swear to God, I thought they were going to shoot poor people."
-William F. Buckley's quote about President Johnson's War on Poverty

I think poor people need to watch out for snipers with the Bush administration.
-CATHY SCHNEIDER, Cartersville

Luckovich 03/12/2005


What the hell is he saying?

Former NC Sen. Jesse Helms had this to say about the new Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton:

"The kind of man with whom I would want to stand at Armageddon, if it should be my lot to be on hand for what is forecast to be the final battle between good and evil in the world."

Geez - what a nutjob.

From the horse's mouth

"Never vote for Republicans again -- we lie."
-unnamed Senior Republican Senator

Bad advice to Bush blamed for Social Security struggle

Arab Spring

Via Tom Tomorrow at This Modern World

I've noticed that the premature triumphalists of the right have lately adopted the phrase "Arab Spring." I assume this is a reference to the "Prague Spring" of 1968--the brief period of political liberalization in Czechoslovakia which, as you may recall, was brutally supressed in August of that same year.

Small suggestion to my friends on the right: if you're going to come up with a clever nickname for your triumphalist fantasies, you might want it to refer to, you know, an actual triumph.

The Irony of Bush's Assault on ANWR

by Jim Hightower

George W. has shown again and again that he won't ever let reality get in the way of ideology – whether the issue is his Iraq attack, global warming, privatization of Social Security, tax cuts for the rich ... whatever.

Now the Bushites are even pushing ideology over geology. Bush Cheney & Company are determined to win congressional approval of their plan to allow oil companies to drill and pump in the pristine reaches of ANWR – the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. George has even played the security card, declaring that "our national security makes it urgent" to open this unspoiled wilderness to the oil giants.

But, in a gusher of political irony, guess what? The oil giants have little interest in drilling there! Even a Bush advisor on this issue confided that "No oil company really cares about ANWR," adding that "If the government gave them the [drilling] leases for free they wouldn't take them." Indeed, Chevron Texaco, BP, and ConocoPhillips have so little interest in ANWR that they have withdrawn from Arctic Power, the chief lobbying front behind Bush's push to open the refuge.

Why the corporate disinterest? Because, unlike George, companies have to base their decisions at least partially on reality, and the geological reality is that ANWR doesn't hold enough oil to make private investment there worthwhile. Only one actual test of the refuge's oil potential has been done – a secret test by Chevron Texaco and BP, two of the giants that have now backed away from Bush's ANWR scheme. If it had real production potential, these profit-seekers would be lobbying hard to get in there.

What's really behind the Bushites' insistence on drilling in a wildlife refuge is nothing but their reactionary, knee-jerk laissez-faire ideology. They hate the idea that the public can protect any piece of nature from corporate intrusion – even if the corporations don't choose to intrude. ANWR is a case of their ideological loopiness.


Quote of the day

"You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image, when it turns out that God hates the same people you do."
-Ann Lamott, novelist


There aren't many of you who will remember WORJ. For those of you who do, here's a pic of me in my new 'ORJ t-shirt. I ordered it from the new WORJ web site. Check it out when you get a chance. They have old photos of the DJs, etc. It's a nice trip down memory lane.

I received a nice note from Lee Arnold (former DJ and Program Manager) asking me to send him a pic of me in the shirt for the web site. Seems like I had more hair the last time I wore a shirt like this :-)


Tequila Mockingbird

Is this not the best name you've ever heard for a blog? Sheer genius!

Tequila Mockingbird

The Lizard King Lives Again!

TALLAHASSEE -- Before Jim Morrison made it as a singer with The Doors, he wanted to make films.

Now, 34 years after his death, the state of Florida has found and restored what it believes to be the earliest film of Morrison, shot in 1964 when he attended Florida State University.

(click image for video - be patient)

Dubya's New Homeland Security Agents

"What's your name? Who's your daddy? Is he rich? Is he rich like me?"
-Apologies to The Zombies

We're Halliburton...

...we care.


Jon Stewart rocks!

If you didn't get a chance to see The Daily Show last night, watch this video. It's a riot!

(Click on the image to watch the video)


Dubya has announced a new pronunciation of Lebanon. Apparently we've all had it wrong.

Jesus is not the exclusive property of the right

One tough looking koala bear


Santorum's web site censors his own poll results

Evidently Santorum recently took a poll on his web site concerning who supported personal accounts as part of Dubya's "reworking" of the Social Security system. Go look at his site and you WON'T find the results. But you will find the results on the web site of one of his challengers, Chuck Pennacchio, who had the foresight to make a screen capture.

Santorum doesn't have the stones to give us the results of a poll from HIS VERY OWN WEB SITE! Instead, he boasts about the wonderful reception he's getting around Pennsylvania on the subject of Social Security reform. Even that is a lie, as Santorum has been greeted by hecklers at nearly every stop on his Town-hall speaking tour. A witness at Drexel University says that Santorum was received by a raucus crowd against his proposal.