Friday, February 29, 2008

The Smellable Spectrum

Like the visible spectrum, only smellier:

The basic building blocks of the smell spectrum - 'the elemental odours' as they are called - have been known for over one hundred and fifty years. There are seventeen in total, ranging from Flowers to Poo, all arranged in order of their 'Pong Ratio'. This system was devised in 1838 by Wilbur Chuff: a Belgian chemist working in France, over a Chinese laundry, next to a Turkish bath. Chuff had observed that by combining two separate odours, he could create a third smell. Thus, by mixing Egg with Bacon, he could create Breakfast. From these experiments, he posited that all the smells in the world were made up of a small number of basic smell elements, the character of each being determined by its Pong Ratio


Bill Hartmann of the Planetary Science Institute

One of the authors of the Giant Impact Theory of the origin of our lovely moon has a humble little Web site. He has paintings for sale.



In Las Vegas hotel room.

Expect Michelle Malkin to link this to illegal immigrants in 5, 4, 3, 2...


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Crispy Frickin' Chicken!

Crispy Frickin' Chicken!


Hilarious: Tracking Device Left on Whaling Ship

Did you remember the story some weeks back about the two Sea Shephard crewmembers being taken hostage by Japanese whalers? They were held for three days, and the whalers must have had a good laugh over it.

Looks like they may not be laughing anymore.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Eye Teeth?

Early strong contestant for Lede of the Year:

An Irishman blinded by an explosion two years ago has had his sight restored after doctors inserted his son's tooth in his eye, he said on Wednesday.


Secular Islam to Get Boost From Turkey


The country's powerful Department of Religious Affairs has commissioned a team of theologians at Ankara University to carry out a fundamental revision of the Hadith, the second most sacred text in Islam after the Koran.

The Hadith is a collection of thousands of sayings reputed to come from the Prophet Muhammad.

As such, it is the principal guide for Muslims in interpreting the Koran and the source of the vast majority of Islamic law, or Sharia.

But the Turkish state has come to see the Hadith as having an often negative influence on a society it is in a hurry to modernise, and believes it responsible for obscuring the original values of Islam.

It says that a significant number of the sayings were never uttered by Muhammad, and even some that were need now to be reinterpreted.

Go get em.


Firetruck Underwear eBay Oregon Mayor

Or something to that effect.

Carmen Kontur Gronquist has lost her job as mayor of Arlington, Oregon, for posting photos of herself - posing in her bra and panties next to a firetruck - on her MySpace site. Photo below.

If she were a TV or film actress and did a scene buck naked doing the naked tango with Abe Vigoda she'd be fine - but not lingerie photos on myspace. Is it the firetruck? Does firetruck sound too much like f*****uck?

She's going to be selling posters of the harmless photos on eBay. Profits will go to the local ambulance service. I'll post a link when I find it.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Electron Filmed For First Time

Hard to comprehend.

Extremely short flashes of light are necessary to capture an electron in motion. A technology developed within the last few years can generate short pulses of intense laser light, called attosecond pulses, to get the job done.

"It takes about 150 attoseconds for an electron to circle the nucleus of an atom. An attosecond is 10^-18 seconds long, or, expressed in another way: an attosecond is related to a second as a second is related to the age of the universe," said Johan Mauritsson of Lund University in Sweden.



You Don't Know Where You Live

We have become a joke:

The nub of the case is that Siegelman allowed HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy to remain on an oversight board on which he had already served, and in return Scrushy gave money to a noble effort to improve education in the state of Alabama, an effort Siegelman approved of. That's literally the reason that Siegelman is in a jail cell right now. This is the kind of thing that, were it actually considered bribery, would put every politician in America in jail

This are the actions of a police state.

Need more?

It has been 20 months since Siegelman’s trial ended and no trial transcript has been produced by Fuller's court. This is in violation of the rules of criminal procedure which require a transcript within 30 days of sentencing. Siegelman can't appeal his conviction with out an official trial transcript


Monday, February 25, 2008

Karl Rove Misstep [Updated]

Yeah, what do I know. But this flat out denial that he knows or ever knew Dana Jill Simpson seems risky. How hard could that be to prove?

Here's video of last night's 60 Minutes report on this story. And Scott Horton of Harper's has been the point man on this story for a while now.

An overview of the entire story is here.

Update: Interesting how Rove keeps saying, "I never worked on any campaign with that woman," in what is an obvious attempt to discredit Simpson's credentials as a "Republican operative." The thing is - this isn't about a "campaign," unless you call what he is accused of doing a campaign of sorts. That seems like avoidance.

On top of that, Simpson's "Republican operative" credentials seems to be pretty well documented:

A month before his sentencing on bribery charges, a Republican lawyer named Dana Jill Simpson, from Rainsville, in the northeast corner of Alabama, wrote and signed a sworn affidavit that claimed the case had been directed from the White House and the governor's mansion from the outset.

Simpson had volunteered to work for many Republican candidates over the years, including Alabama Gov. Bob Riley and Ten-Commandments Judge Roy Moore. She even got involved with Karl Rove's good friend, William "Bill" Canary, who now runs the conservative Business Council of Alabama, through the governor's son Rob Riley. She has known Riley since running against him for Student Government Association president at the University of Alabama in 1987. While Riley has publicly denied being closely associated with Ms. Simpson, she has boxes full of records to prove they worked side-by-side on legal cases over the years.


N. Korean Nuke Plant Becomes Taco Bell

This is a nuclear reactor? It looks like a fast food joint:

Jokes aside: very good news from danger land.


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Secret Pentagon Climate Change Report

Devastating, and, of course, suppressed by the White House:

Climate change over the next 20 years could result in a global catastrophe costing millions of lives in wars and natural disasters..

A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a 'Siberian' climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world.


The findings will prove humiliating to the Bush administration, which has repeatedly denied that climate change even exists. Experts said that they will also make unsettling reading for a President who has insisted national defence is a priority.

The report was commissioned by influential Pentagon defence adviser Andrew Marshall, who has held considerable sway on US military thinking over the past three decades. He was the man behind a sweeping recent review aimed at transforming the American military under Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Climate change 'should be elevated beyond a scientific debate to a US national security concern', say the authors, Peter Schwartz, CIA consultant and former head of planning at Royal Dutch/Shell Group, and Doug Randall of the California-based Global Business Network.

[My highlights]


Warrants are a Grave Danger to Your Life

President George W. Bush, Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell, and Attorney General Michael Mukasey are lying to us.

Piture it this way:

• The police need a warrant before they can break into your house. They need to have a judge view evidence and agree that you deserve to have your house broken into. This is one of the very basic rights we have as citizens, one that is specifically listed in our Constitution. It has been law since this country was founded.

• George Bush and company secretly told the police that they don't need warrants to break into certain houses. The police broke into those houses. This was and is against the law.

• George W. Bush, Mike McConnell, and Michael Mukasey are now saying that we are in grave danger...if we go back to the way it has been for more than 200 years. We are in grave danger if we go back to police needing a warrant to break into your house.

• George W. Bush, Mike McConnell, and Michael Mukasey are now saying that we are in grave danger if we follow our Constitution.

There are differences, but they do not change the issue regarding the Constitution and the lawbreaking of the Bush administration.

President George W. Bush, Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell, and Attorney General Michael Mukasey are lying to us.


Health Insurer Must Pay $9 Million to Woman Dropped During Chemo

Raw Story:

A woman who had her medical coverage canceled as she was undergoing treatment for breast cancer has been awarded more than $9 million in a case against one of California's largest health insurers.

Patsy Bates, 52, a hairdresser from Lakewood, had been left with more than $129,000 in unpaid medical bills when Health Net Inc. canceled her policy in 2004.

On Friday, arbitration judge Sam Cianchetti ordered Health Net to repay that amount while providing $8.4 million in punitive damages and $750,000 for emotional distress.


Why Does the Pentagon Hate the Troops?


It would appear that we have another case where the Bush Pentagon, particularly the Office of Public Affairs is forcefully inserting itself into the civilian election process. Earlier today I referenced Barack Obama's anecdote from Thursday night's Democratic debate about an Army Captain in Afghanistan who said his unit had had to get from captured Taliban ammunition they weren't able to get quickly enough through standard Army supply channels. ABCNews' Jake Tapper talked to the soldier in question, who confirmed the story he'd told Obama. Now NBC News also appears to have confirmed the story by talking to the Army Captain in question.

But Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman is telling reporters he doesn't think it's true and that of course they can't confirm it unless the soldier -- still on active duty -- comes forward to discuss the issue with the Pentagon brass, a step that would surely do wonders for his future in the Army.

Stay classy, Pentagon spokesman, stay classy.

FOX News, no surprise, sides with the spokesman and against the soldier. Buried in the article, however, they do give the Army Captain's story:

The Army captain Obama mentioned later told FOX News that in fact he and his platoon were fighting near the Pakistan border with only three Humvees, one of which had no doors and no roof.

The captain, who asked not to be identified, said his mounted machines guns stopped working and without the proper parts to repair them the troops were forced to scavenge for Taliban weapons. The captain said he met Obama in 2003 and later told his story to an Obama staffer.


Call it "Keating 6"

Or Keating Five 2
, or The Return of the Keatings, or something. In any case, just get out the jam for this piece of toast:

Broadcaster Lowell "Bud" Paxson yesterday contradicted statements from Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign that the senator did not meet with Paxson or his lobbyist before sending two controversial letters to the Federal Communications Commission on Paxson's behalf.

Paxson said he talked with McCain in his Washington office several weeks before the Arizona Republican wrote the letters in 1999 to the FCC urging a rapid decision on Paxson's quest to acquire a Pittsburgh television station.


But Paxson said yesterday, "I remember going there to meet with him." He recalled that he told McCain: "You're head of the Commerce Committee. The FCC is not doing its job. I would love for you to write a letter."

McCain's lawyer's explanation:

"We understood that he [McCain] did not speak directly with him [Paxson]. Now it appears he did speak to him. What is the difference?" Bennett said.


Friday, February 22, 2008

Report: Rove Wanted "Compromising Sexual Position" Photos of Gov. Siegelman

C&L and AP on what's coming Sunday on 60 Minutes:

According to the CBS statement, Simpson says Rove approached her at a 2001 meeting, when Siegelman was still governor.

"Karl Rove asked you to take pictures of Siegelman?" reporter Scott Pelley asks.

"Yes," Simpson replies.

"In a compromising sexual position with one of his aides," Pelley says.

"Yes, if I could," she responds.

Simpson was a Republican operative in Alabama who broke ranks because, she says, of the injustice done to Siegelman (there's some background on that in the story). Further on:

Says Grant Woods, the former Republican attorney general of Arizona and one of those who petitioned Congress, “I haven’t seen a case with this many red flags on it that pointed towards a real injustice being done,” he tells Pelley. “I personally believe that what happened here is that they targeted Don Siegelman because they could not beat him fair and square,” says Woods.

Rove refused to appear on the 60 Minutes episode. Should be interesting TV.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

The New York Times Endorsed McCain

Too fearking hilarious. The MOST LIBERAL NEWSPAPER IN ALL OF GOD'S CREATION, the one that is trying to kill John McCain with their Liberal lies, endorsed John McCain for the Republican presidential nomination in January.


John McCain is Toast

McCain admitted that he screwed up in the Keating Five Scandal in the 1980s - yet it looks like he did something very similar in 2000. Good story on this from 2000:

In the presidential campaign, McCain had confided that his intervention with bank regulators on Keating's behalf was the worst mistake of his adult life, one that caused him as much anguish as spending five years in a North Vietnamese prisoner-of-war camp. The Arizona Republican said the incident taught him that "the appearance of impropriety" can be as damaging as actual wrongdoing.

Hey John, this has the "appearance of impropriety":

On Nov. 17, 1999, McCain wrote to FCC chairman William Kennard and asked that the FCC vote promptly on the three-way transfer of a Pittsburgh TV station to Paxson. The application had been pending since May 30, 1997, more than two years. McCain claimed that most decisions take about 418 days.

In a second letter on Dec. 10, 1999, McCain asked Kennard "that each member of the commission advise me, in writing" before their next open meeting on Dec. 15 "whether you have already acted upon these applications" and, if not, why not. McCain added that his "purpose is not to suggest in any way how you should vote -- merely that you vote."

FCC chairman Kennard bristled. "I must respectfully note that it is highly unusual for the commissioners to be asked to publicly announce their voting status" on a pending matter, he wrote back. After the exchange, the FCC did approve Paxson's application, but it was unclear what, if any, influence McCain's letter had on the FCC's ruling.

Though less dramatic than five senators sitting down with banking officials, the Paxson intervention did have parallels to the Keating case.

Company chairman Lowell Paxson and McCain had become personal friends, with Paxson and his executives lavishing more than $20,000 in campaign donations on McCain. McCain also enjoyed the convenience of flying around on Paxson's corporate jet, including one flight on Dec. 9, a week before the Claremont summit. A planned Paxson fund-raiser for McCain was canceled when the story broke in January.

Keating also was generous with campaign support for McCain, giving the senator $112,000, still McCain's all-time highest contributor, according to the Center for Public Integrity -- money that McCain later paid back to the U.S. Treasury.

More from Digby.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Hydrazine Bomb

The crashing satellite:

Experts continue to debate the threat posed by a device containing 1,000 pounds of hydrazine that could crash almost anywhere in the world, and China and other nations remain unpersuaded that shooting it down is wise, with Russia saying there’s not “enough arguments” in favor.


Hydrazine is highly toxic and dangerously unstable, especially in the anhydrous form. Symptoms of acute exposure to high levels of hydrazine in humans may include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, dizziness, headache, nausea, pulmonary edema, seizures, coma, and it can also damage the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system. The liquid is corrosive and may produce dermatitis from skin contact in humans and animals. Effects to the lungs, liver, spleen, and thyroid have been reported in animals chronically exposed to hydrazine via inhalation. Increased incidences of lung, nasal cavity, and liver tumors have been observed in rodents exposed to hydrazine.[


Mr. Lowest Approval Rating Ever: 19%

The American people are officially (and finally) pissed.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Dear Supreme Court: The American People Think You're a Joke

And believe it or not, that matters.

You can't sue us unless we tell you that we were breaking the law, and we can't tell you that.

Why respect any law at all anymore? Why not just rob and murder and mayhem for all?


Brit Pre-War WMD Claim Made Up

One of the crucial lies about Iraq, the infamous "45 minute" claim, does not appear to have come from actual intelligence on the issue.

An early version of a British dossier of prewar intelligence on Iraq did not include a key claim about weapons of mass destruction that became vital to Tony Blair's case for war, the newly published document showed Monday.

The 2002 document insisted Saddam Hussein's regime had acquired uranium and had equipment necessary for chemical weapons, but does not contain a claim that Iraq could launch weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes -- an allegation crucial to Blair's push to back the 2003 U.S.-led invasion -- that later was discredited.

Campaigners allege that the 45-minute claim was inserted into later drafts of the document on the orders of Blair's press advisers, who were seeking to strengthen the case for invasion -- a claim the government has strongly denied.


Monday, February 18, 2008

The Meat Recall and Abu Ghraib

Just a few bad apples were guilty of abuse, right? Didn't have anything to do with higher-ups. Right?

Federal officials suspended operations at Westland/Hallmark after an undercover video from the Humane Society of the United States surfaced showing crippled and sick animals being shoved with forklifts.

Two former employees were charged Friday. Five felony counts of animal cruelty and three misdemeanors were filed against a pen manager. Three misdemeanor counts - illegal movement of a non-ambulatory animal - were filed against an employee who worked under that manager. Both were fired.

Authorities said the video showed workers kicking, shocking and otherwise abusing "downer" animals that were apparently too sick or injured to walk into the slaughterhouse. Some animals had water forced down their throats, San Bernardino County prosecutor Michael Ramos said.

No charges have been filed against Westland, but an investigation by federal authorities continues.


George W. Bush Followers are a Cult!

Consider this the first of a series in response to the now pervasive Republican charge against Barack Obama supporters - that they get so darned excited it's like they think he's a god or something!

I give you (interspersed with humorous observances) George W. Bush at the 2000 Republican convention...and the hordes of his mind-controlled zombie followers.


Don't Lie To Kids

Or you'll go to hell. Honest.


They're Protecting Billionaires, Not Telecoms

The FISA legislation story needs to be framed differently: the Bush administration is not trying to protect telecoms from legal action for breaking the law, which is bad enough - they're trying to protect the people who own and run those mega-corporations, people they've dined with, sipped sherry with on $25 million yachts, and had a jolly good time hunting quail with on gajillion acre Texas ranches.

They're not trying to protect telecoms, they're trying to protect their lawbreaking billionaire friends.


Friday, February 15, 2008

Bush Admin. Invoked 1863 Law To...

Just go read. Predatory lending; lack of banking oversight; Elliot Spitzer...

When history tells the story of the subprime lending crisis and recounts its devastating effects on the lives of so many innocent homeowners, the Bush administration will not be judged favorably. The tale is still unfolding, but when the dust settles, it will be judged as a willing accomplice to the lenders who went to any lengths in their quest for profits. So willing, in fact, that it used the power of the federal government in an unprecedented assault on state legislatures, as well as on state attorneys general and anyone else on the side of consumers.


"It's Not Like Putting Hot Coals on People's Bodies?"

Joe Lieberman shows that special kind of wisdom that makes one U.S. Senate material. On waterboarding:

It's is not like putting burning coals on people’s bodies. The person is in no real danger. The impact is psychological.

Hey Joe, so it's okay to force them to masturbate and take photos of them doing so? And it's okay to rape them?

The person is in no real danger. The impact is only psychological.


Barack Obama is Hitler

A few posts ago we learned that Barack Obama is the Anti-Christ. Well now we find out from FOX's Tom Sullivan that he's also Adolf Hitler:

He was just talking about how Hitler got the crowd all excited, and Barack Obama got the crowd all excited.” Sullivan then stated that he would do a “side-by-side comparison” of a Hitler speech and an Obama speech. Sullivan then introduced the “comparison” by stating: “So, ladies and gentlemen, from the past, a little archive, a little walk down Der Fuehrer’s memory lane. Here he is, the one, the only, Adolf Hitler!”

People at political rallies for Obama get excited. UNBELIEVABLE! Those little Hitlers!

This from the people who creamed their jeans when George Bush put on a codpiece and pretended to fly a fighter jet.

Expect a lot more of this from these desperate clowns.


Saudis Threatened Brits With Attack?

From the Guardian (Via):

Saudi Arabia's rulers threatened to make it easier for terrorists to attack London unless corruption investigations into their arms deals were halted, according to court documents revealed yesterday.

Previously secret files describe how investigators were told they faced "another 7/7" and the loss of "British lives on British streets" if they pressed on with their inquiries and the Saudis carried out their threat to cut off intelligence.

Prince Bandar, the head of the Saudi national security council, and son of the crown prince, was alleged in court to be the man behind the threats to hold back information about suicide bombers and terrorists. He faces accusations that he himself took more than £1bn in secret payments from the arms company BAE.

He was accused in yesterday's high court hearings of flying to London in December 2006 and uttering threats which made the prime minister, Tony Blair, force an end to the Serious Fraud Office investigation into bribery allegations involving Bandar and his family.

Another read:

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) believed the UK was powerless to resist the threats of Saudi Arabia that it would end co-operation on security issues unless a corruption investigation into a BAE Systems arms deal with Saudi were dropped, a court was told today.

Who needs enemies....


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Arrested For Addiction...and Pregnancy


Shekelia T. Ward gave birth Jan. 8 at Andalusia Regional Hospital, and the next day she was arrested, jailed and charged with chemical endangerment of a child, a felony.

The reason: Ward and her newborn both tested positive for cocaine, and the hospital reported the information to authorities as evidence of possible child abuse.

Ward's experience is the product of a new law that has some prosecutors, particularly in southeast Alabama, arresting new mothers who test positive for illicit drugs. The prosecutors began filing these charges after the state Legislature in 2006 made it illegal to "chemically endanger" a child.

These are undoubtedly addicts. They are sick. Arresting them and charging them with a crime is inhuman. God.

And look at this:

But he acknowledged the law has some problems and needs clarification. Originally proposed to prosecute parents who exposed children to toxins associated with methamphetamine production, it doesn't mention pregnant women or their babies.

"It's obviously a close call under the law," Gambril said.

It's a close call? Like charging some with battery for having a pack of Evereadys. Unbelievable.


"Our Torture Was Kinder and Gentler"

Holy crap. Just when you think they've covered every possible variation of dishonesty and truth-twisting possible, they go through the wormhole to a whole new universe of What The F**k?:

The CIA's use of waterboarding was legal and not torture, a Justice Deparment official argued this morning, because it was a "procedure subject to strict limitations and safeguards" that made it substantially different from historical uses of the technique by the Japanese and the Spanish Inquisition.

Aw - ah - oh- no - please - please make it stop. The truth can only be tortured for so long before we all lose our minds. I's a different kind of procedure than the Japanese and Spanish Inquisition techniques. That's our new American standard. We're not as bad as the really bad torturers.

I wonder if they devised kinder and gentler rape techniques. And friendly fingernail extraction.


Too Chicken to Take My Comments

Far Right columnist and blogger Don Surber wrote yesterday about the Senate banning waterboarding: 

Waterboarding banned

Now if only we could get al-Qaida to quit beheading people.

Stunning logic. I left a tiny comment: "So you think of the United States as the equivalent of Al Qaeda. Brilliant."

He refused to post it. Chickenshit.

Aside from the nutjobbery of comparing the United States Congress to the murdering extremists that make up Al Qaeda - imagine Surber's argument from a more domestic direction:

Medical experiments on U.S. prisoners banned

Now if only we could get prisoners to quit breaking the law.

Surber seems to be in complete lack of ability to view and question his own or our own actions. It is impossible for him to find anything like a "wrong" coming from within - it's invisible unless someone else is doing the wrong.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I Can't Wait to Do a Tracheotomy for Valentines

Need a special song for your special friend tomorrow? Might I suggest one from the LT iTunes catalogue? "I Can't Wait to Do a Tracheotomy" is hands down the best love song I've ever penned. Hands down. Like tied down. It's possibly the best love song ever penned (containing references to salmon, windpipes, and cotton balls).

If you prefer an online establishment other than iTunes, such as Rhapsody or Bitmunk for your digital music purchasing, please acquaint yourself with the "Vital Links" on the top right of the page.

And a very blissful Valentines Day to you.


Jonah Goldberg: Obama is the Anti-Christ

Not really, he just posts an email from one of his fans, without comment: 


Now this is a phrase I don't use in general public, but Obama's talk of making a "new creation" and his treatment by Oprah as "the one" would qualify him as an anti-Christ, at least if you use a translation of anti- from the Greek to mean "as if" or "in place of," "substitute." This is the translation a number of Eastern Orthodox priests use (I'm EO) when they refer to certain pursuits in life as "anti-Christic." Just to be clear, I certainly don't think Obama is the Devil.

I can't stand seeing Christianity used on the political stump, and Mike Huckabee bothers me almost as much as Obama (perhaps more, I don't know him well enough). That said, no Christian who understands anything about his faith would ever suggest that any of us men can make a "new creation" the way Obama did in one speech (I can't remember the exact words, but he clearly borrowed his language from the New Testament).

I would just say there's a huge difference between believing that God sent you to be his President (Pat Robertson, maybe Huckabee), or using Christian language to promote yourself as a kind of Christ (Obama), and a President who is also a Christian (Bush or Reagan). If Bush has put thing in the terms you describe (I don't know), then you are certainly right about a line being crossed. But its one thing to say it's America's role versus saying its America's Christian responsibility, which would be way off base.

The writer has learned Jonah's escape hatch technique well: "Obama's talk of making a 'new creation' and his treatment by Oprah as 'the one' would qualify him as an anti-Christ." And: "Just to be clear, I certainly don't think Obama is the Devil." Uh huh.

And Jonah doesn't think liberals are fascists, he just wrote a book titledLiberal Fascism.


Attack Canada Now

Because it is never too early to fight to defend freedom.

Tell some lies about Ottawa's weapons of mass destruction and Fight to Defend our Freedom! I'm sure plenty of people will say "Support the Troops!" if anyone objects.


Fired from CNN for Blogging

Chez Pazienza, producer and writer (at HuffingtonPost regularly), fired for not having his personal blog content approved by CNN brass:

Yesterday afternoon, I was fired from my job at CNN.

I was hired as a Senior Producer for the network four years ago, and had spent the past three years as a member of the American Morning staff.

What was the reason for my abrupt and untimely dismissal?

You're reading it.

More to come soon.


According to Chez, he was terminated for violating network policy by not running what he was writing through their vetting system. So he was fired not for blogging but for the content of his blog. “It’s not that I’ve been writing,” he wrote in an email. “It’s WHAT I’ve been writing.” That may be the official decision, but the truth is he was fired because he had the balls to write about the industry without telling CNN. I would add that there is no mention of his connection to the network on his site, and as a producer, it’s hard to justify the notion that he’s in any way a public figure or publicly connected with the company.


The Military is Not Behind John McCain

Don't believe him. He'll say it every day from now until Novemeber, but, really and truly...don't believe him.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Australian History Taking Place Today

I just got a call from my Aussie other half and she said the Australian parliament is just about to begin a session in which the new (dirty freaking hippie) PM Kevin Rudd will officially apologize to the Aboriginal people.

She'd gotten a call from her sis, in tears, and called me in tears just to let me know. Goddam, moments like these remind me why I'm on this side of the political sphere.

National Indigenous Times. AFP. (Wish I could find a video link. Anybody?)

Link to link for live video.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd signalled a shift in mood in Canberra Tuesday when he invited Aboriginal elders to stage a welcome ceremony for his centre-left government, the first such event in the parliament's history.

He followed up by releasing the much-anticipated text of the formal apology to Aborigines he will deliver to parliament Wednesday, going much further than the highly qualified statement initially expected.

The apology is being viewed as a watershed in Australia, with major television networks airing it live and huge screens being erected in major cities to allow crowds to watch as it happens.

A great giant Aussie Aussie Aussie! Oi Oi Oi! to Kevin Rudd and the good people of Australia today.

Update: Link to a DKos diary with the text of the apology [which I'll now put here, also]:

Today we honour the Indigenous peoples of this land, the oldest continuing cultures in human history. We reflect on their past mistreatment. We reflect in particular on the mistreatment of those who were Stolen Generations – this blemished chapter in our nation’s history.

The time has now come for the nation to turn a new page in Australia’s history by righting the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence to the future.

We apologise for the laws and policies of successive Parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians.

We apologise especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their country. For the pain, suffering and hurt of these Stolen Generations, their descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry.

To the mothers and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters, for the breaking up of families and communities, we say sorry. And for the indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a proud people and a proud culture, we say sorry.

We the Parliament of Australia respectfully request that this apology be received in the spirit in which it is offered as part of the healing of the nation. For the future we take heart; resolving that this new page in the history of our great continent can now be written.

We today take this first step by acknowledging the past and laying claim to a future that embraces all Australians. A future where this Parliament resolves that the injustices of the past must never, never happen again. A future where we harness the determination of all Australians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to close the gap that lies between us in life expectancy, educational achievement and economic opportunity. A future where we embrace the possibility of new solutions to enduring problems where old approaches have failed. A future based on mutual respect, mutual resolve and mutual responsibility. A future where all Australians, whatever their origins, are truly equal partners, with equal opportunities and with an equal stake in shaping the next chapter in the history of this great country, Australia.


Monday, February 11, 2008

Bush: Rich People Cheat on Taxes - So We Shouldn't Bother Taxing Them

An unbelievable moment during Bush's recent interview on FOX:

BUSH: Because there’s two big issues. One is, who’s going to keep your taxes low? Most Americans feel overtaxed and I promise you the Democrat [sic] party is going to field a candidate who says I’m going to raise your tax.

If they’re going to say, oh, we’re only going to tax the rich people, but most people in America understand that the rich people hire good accountants and figure out how not to necessarily pay all the taxes and the middle class gets stuck.

That needs a couple reads to get the full impact of the meaning. He's doing the regular R thing about taxes (Rs = lower taxes; Ds = eat your children with taxes), but goes off script into an area I've never heard a Republican go before. He admits what has been known forever: that the very wealthy find ways to get out of paying some part of their taxes, and do it in a way that the less well off can't (they "hire good accountants" in Bushspeak).

Remember what this was in response to: "If they’re going to say, oh, we’re only going to tax the rich people." In Bush's thinking, apparently, wanting to tax the wealthy is a bad idea because they find ways to not pay taxes anyway. so the proper thing to do is...lower their taxes.

We're doomed. This is just one of so many obviously perverted and screwed up things about our country right now, things so obvious that any self respecting person should be pissed off enough to want to do something to stop them. But no. Not only are such things not condemned, they're defending by hordes of followers.



Friday, February 08, 2008


Dave Neiwert on Liberal traitors:

But this particular form of scapegoating is one with a history. In fact, it's commonly referred to as "Dolchstosslegende":

The stab-in-the-back legend ... refers to a social myth and persecution-propaganda theory popular in Germany in the period after World War I through World War II. It attributed Germany's defeat to a number of domestic factors instead of failed militarist geostrategy. Most notably, the theory proclaimed that the public had failed to respond to its "patriotic calling" at the most crucial of times and some had even intentionally "sabotaged the war effort."


A Reasonable Conservative on John McCain

Jon Swift:

Townhall columnist Lee Culpepper believes that McCain doesn't have the character to be President. "None of us know for sure what McCain experienced during his time as a POW," wrote Culpepper. "All we know is that he survived and came home while many other POWs did not. What was it about McCain that was different? Was it family heritage or was it his proclivity for compromising to get what he wants?" It's a good question.


They Say "Unhinged" a Lot

They think it makes them sound smarter. You've gotta understand the compulsion.

No More Mister Nice Blog is so unhinged.


Waterboarding: Not Just For the Khymer Rouge Anymore

The General reads the Warblogger' Handbook to find out when it's okay to torture:

1) Jack Bauer waterboards Wiley J. Coyote and learns of a plot Mr. Coyote hatched with the Clintons to murder a portion of the population of Mena, Arkansas by rigging at least 732 ACME anvils to fall on their heads.

Ruling: Not torture. The anvils could have killed a lot of people so waterboarding does not "shock the conscience."

2) Jack Bauer waterboards J. Wellington Wimpy and learns that he never pays anyone on Tuesdays for the hamburgers he eats today.

Ruling: Not prosecutable because the Inquisitor General isn't sure what "shocks the conscience" means.

3) Jack Bauer waterboards Bugs Bunny and learns that he often dresses like a really hot female bunny and kisses men.

Ruling: Not prosecutable because the previous Inquisitor General was OK with it.


Harry Made a Bareback Rider

Dire Straits - the album, not the band - has moved into my car, set up its tent, and won't leave. I've even started rewriting songs for Mark Knopfler: "Hey Mark, donchu think it should have been 'Harry made a bareback rider / Mona Lisa - on a horse...'?" Arrogant, I know, but it just happened by accident the thirteen hunredth time I heard it.

But that's not why I'm here.

I learned a snappy little version of "Wild West End" the other day, and I learned it by watching a video on YouTube. Took me a while to figure out what the tuning was (DGDGBD), but I finally got it and even debuted it at a tiny gig on Monday night. I don't know this guy, but I like his style.