Fine Dining

Trying to eliminate poultry from your diet due to Bird Flu concerns? Head over to Cambodia and try the latest taste sensation: rat.

According to a recent wire service article, eating rat has become a regular staple for discriminating Cambodian diners. “Rice paddy rats eat only rice, so they are very tasty,” insists Chea Thouen, a rat meat vendor in Battambang. “Everybody enjoys a good rat, especially deep-fried and served with a good wine.”

One man, who grew up during the horrific Khmer Rouge era (1975-1979) and was forced to eat things like rats just to survive, says that he has since acquired a taste for the little rodents. “I think rats now taste even better than they did 30 years ago. They are better fed nowadays.”

Another rat meat vendor, Bun Khuny, sells a good portion of his products to local crocodile farms. “Crocodile farmers buy as much as I can provide,” he said. “They say their crocodiles like rats better than fish or snakes, and they get fatter on rat meat than on any other food. Who can argue with crocodiles?”


Friday funny

Quote from an Atlanta area teacher:

As a seventh-grade teacher, I’ve concluded that my students and Republicans have a lot in common. They’re both oblivious to their own ignorance, easily led and manipulated, and determine their priorities completely in a self-centered way. The good thing is we don’t let students choose their principal.



It'll be here March 14

Left Hanging

Suicides in Thailand are not the sole domain of locals. Every month of the year you can read accounts in local newspapers about some distraught foreigner that decided to end it all while living or vacationing here in the “Land of Smiles.” They take flying leaps off balconies, overdose on drugs, or fire bullets into their head; the usual variety of popular choices. But if news reports in the Bangkok papers this week are to be believed, there is yet another popular method that foreigners use to off themselves.

An unidentified foreign man was found In Bangkok this week hanging from an electric power pole. The fully clothed gentleman’s head was covered with a plastic bag and tied with masking tape. A nylon rope was tied around the man’s neck, hanging from a 25-metre-high electric pole. Near the body police found three bottles of water and a plastic bag from 7-Eleven.

“We suspect suicide, partly because Westerners usually kill themselves like this,” said Lumpini police superintendent, Colonel Suphisarn Pakdinarunart.

Must have been that 7-Eleven bag that convinced them.


Propaganda in the heartland

The ad was produced by the conservative advocacy group Progress for America Voter Fund, which is a national tax-exempt 527 organization closely linked to the Bush administration. The ads that for now are airing only in Minnesota supposedly feature Midwest families, but half of them are from Oregon. One woman, who is labeled as the mother of a fallen soldier, talks about finishing the job in Iraq for her son, but in reality she is the stepmother of the fallen soldier - the real mother is against the war because she believes her son died for a lie.

This manufactured propaganda once again showcases the Bush administration's utter contempt for real democracy and the level it will sink to to sell their failing policies.

Read the article here


Today's Cool Site

How do you discover new music? If you're like most people, you probably rely on the radio or television to find new music artists.

Or, you may use listening stations in record stores. But that's a hit-or-miss approach – you'll have to wade through a lot of music you don't like!

Well, developers have been working on software to help you find new music. You start by specifying a song or musician that you like. The software analyzes elements in the music. It matches patterns to other music in its database.

At Pandora, you can give it a try and see if this kind of software works for you. It creates your own personal playlist, so you can hear the recommendations in their entirety.

Music has always been something that stirs deep emotion so this isn't an exact science but it's a good place to start in maybe finding something new that you didn't know existed.


Burma or Myanmar?

I just returned from a two-week trip to Myanmar, visiting a short-list of the country’s more famous cities such as Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan. I was very impressed with the sights and overwhelmed by the polite and friendly people. I will definitely go back. Even though there are now direct flights to Yangon from many Asian cities, and travel within the country is very safe, Myanmar still doesn’t get many tourists. The reason for this boils down to the controversy surrounding the current government. This regime – an unelected military junta - has been accused of various human rights violations, most notably the detention of Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who remains under house arrest.

The name of the country is also another source of controversy: Is it Burma or Myanmar? The origin of the name, like the country’s history, is complex and confusing. Many people mistakenly think that Myanmar is a new name conjured up the military junta that rules the country. That is not the case at all. The name Myanmar dates back to the 12th century, and that is what the natives have always called their country.

For purposes of the English language, the name was changed to the more tongue-friendly “Burma” by the British when they came along in the 1800s and started annexing chunks of the country. Even after Myanmar attained its independence in 1948, the name Burma remained until 1989 when the new rulers finally got around to changing the name back to Myanmar. Many western governments, news media, and “Free Burma” organizations have stubbornly refused to accept the name change and still insist on calling the country Burma. I don’t agree with what the current government has done, but I find it tiresome when people insist on using the old name. Politics aside, the name of the country is now Myanmar. Use it. Even the United Nations recognizes this fact. And what do the people say? During my time in the country, I never heard a single person refer to their country as Burma. It was nothing but Myanmar this and Myanmar that.

If you are interested in knowing more about the history of the name dispute, type: “Myanmar Burma country name” into an Internet search engine and check out some of the results on the first page. That will give you a pretty good overview of how convoluted the name debate can get.


Right Wing Humor, It's funny when people die.

I have to admit, I’ve never understood Right Wing Humor. I just didn’t get it and I often don’t find it funny.

For example, the Running Joke among conservatives this week is that they would rather go hunting with Dick Cheney, than ride in a car with Ted Kennedy.

I have to admit, I didn’t think it was funny. You see, the joke is a reference to a car accident in which a woman in the car with Ted Kennedy died. And the more I thought about it the more I realized the Republicans think death is funny. It’s funny when people die. There’s the joke.

Once I realized this simple truth it became much easier to understand Republican Humor. For example when Ann Coulter said of Arab Nations, “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity”, I finally understood the joke. You see, killing people is funny. It’s funny when people die.

Coulter also said “We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens' crème brulée." She followed the statement by saying, "That's just a joke, for you in the media." See, it’s just a joke. Funny. I get it now. It’s funny when people die.

And after I figured that out it was so much funnier to listen to new CNN host Glenn Beck when he said, “I’m thinking about killing Michael Moore.” You see that is comedy folks. It’s not that the guy telling the jokes isn’t funny, it’s that you just don’t “get it.” You see, in a Republican World, It’s funny when people die.

So armed with my new found understanding of what Republicans consider funny, I’ve decided to try my hand at writing jokes like them. Here we go:

I’d rather go hunting with Dick Cheney, than ride in a car with Laura Bush. You see why it’s funny? Laura Bush killed a guy in a car accident when she was 17. It’s funny when people die.

I’d rather go hunting with Dick Cheney, than be an intern for Joe Scarborough. Joe’s intern died mysteriously in his office in 2001. It’s funny when people die.

I’d rather go hunting with Dick Cheney, than be a U.S. soldier in Iraq. Ha, Ha, Ha. It's funny because 2,200+ soldiers have died in Iraq. Now there’s Republican Humor on a grand scale. It's funny when people die.

I’d rather go hunting with Dick Cheney, than be a coal miner during the Bush Administration. You see why it’s funny? It’s funny because Bush cut enforcement of mine safety regulations and appointed people to investigate violations who think corporate profits are more important than mine safety. And coal miners died. You see, it’s funny when people die.

I’d rather go hunting with Dick Cheney, than be a poor person in New Orleans during a Hurricane with George Bush as President. Again, with Bush appointing political hacks to important government positions instead of competent people with experience, people died. Again, it’s funny when people die.

You see, armed with my new found understanding of Right Wing Humor, I can now laugh it off when Ann Coulter says, “When contemplating college liberals, you really regret once again that John Walker is not getting the death penalty,” Coulter said in an address to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). “We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed too. Otherwise they will turn out to be outright traitors.” You see, it’s funny when people die.

The Obfuscation Report

RNC to Chicago: "How about hosting our 2008 convention?" Chicago to RNC: "How about no? Does no work for you?"

Chicago Not Interested In 2008 RNC

Friday Humor

Click image to enlarge


Don't like a particular law? Just say it's irrelevant.

So Cheney now asserts that he has the power to declassify information, making the Valerie Plame leak legal. That and Dubya's assertion that he is legally able to perform illegal wiretaps makes a mockery of our "rule of law".

Cheney says he has power to declassify information

Democracy only when it's convenient

The democratic elections by the Palestinians didn't have the results that Dubya wanted, so he is "conspiring" with Israel to change those results.

We might as well admit it to the Middle Eastern countries that the Bush version of "democracy" only works when the results are sanctioned by the U.S. and Israel's best interest and not theirs.

Asshat Quote of the day

"One of the things I'd learned over the years was first reports are often wrong and you need to really wait and nail it down."
-Dick Cheney explaining why he waited so long to come forward after shooting his hunting partner.

It seems to me, Dick, that you should have followed this course of action as well concerning the intelligence that lead to invading Iraq.


Dubya's little speech to the people

In his speech last night, Dubya defended his decision to allow electronic surveillance of U.S. citizens without getting judicial approval as required both by federal law and the U.S. Constitution. He and his minions falsely imply that his critics oppose the surveillance needed to protect us from attack. As he did in drumming up support for his silly war, he wants to portray himself as a man of action compared to critics too faint of heart to do what is necessary.

In truth, his critics merely argue that the surveillance be conducted in accordance with federal law, the same law the he has sworn to faithfully uphold and that other presidents have followed in much tougher times.

In 1978, during the heart of the Cold War and under threat of potential nuclear annihilation, Congress passed a law allowing surveillance of overseas targets, but with checks and balances built into the law to protect our liberties against government encroachment. In effect, Dubya has taken it upon himself to repeal that law.

By doing so, he becomes the legislative branch, claiming for himself the sole power to set national policy no matter what federal law states. He becomes the judicial branch, claiming for himself the power to decide whether spying on U.S. citizens is reasonable and justified.

Legal advisers such as Attorney General Alberto Gonzales argue that Dubya is acting within the Constitution, but the opinion of the man who actually wrote much of that document, James Madison, should be given greater weight. And Madison called it "a fundamental principle of free government that the legislative, executive and judiciary powers should be separately and independently exercised."

Our Founding Fathers understood from experience that unchecked power soon goes awry. In his five years as president, Dubya has confirmed the wisdom of that insight time and time again, and nothing he said last night can erase that record.