Sunday, December 31, 2006

What To Do With Saddam Hussein's Remains?

That is the realm of poetic punditry, and awaits the graceful topuches of Calvin Trillin.

But the more prosaic Rude Pundit has some good suggestions:

And once he hangs, as he will any time now, once he's videoed pissing himself while dangling from the noose, maybe even a close-up on his last hard-on, then it's time to go to work.
Cut that fucker's head off his corpse and graft it onto George W. Bush's right shoulder, so that it rots away next to him just like Iraq, so the President can watch the decay every time he looks in the mirror and smell it constantly.
Rip out Hussein's bones and shove them up the asses of Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Paul Wolfowitz, Bill Kristol, Michelle Malkin, and more and more - Saddam's got two hundred something bones, so line up a bunch of neocons and warmongering whores, bend 'em over, and give 'em a souvenir.
Dry Saddam's organs and grind them into a powder and pour it into the water supply of the United States so we can each consume a little bit of the man who so drove our leaders crazy that they destroyed our economy, our military, our morality to topple him, yes, let us all drink that in, toasting the hanging of Saddam Hussein as a demonstration of what great and noble and righteous and merciful humans we are.
Send his cock to Tony Blair so he can go fuck himself.

I see nothing exceptionally difficult about such prescriptions, except perhaps getting the Donees to stand still for them; but I suspect the a company of M-16-wielding patriots might convince 'em, wunnit?

Thanks to HoneyBearKelly

# 3000 now has been killed in Iraq: Happy Fucking New Year

The rightwing fucktards, war-wimps, deserters and draft-dodgers ridicule the concerns of those of us opposed to the war who castigate the Regime for the growing casualty count among USer troops by claiming that "3000 is not that big a number." (That EXACT description was trolled across Eschaton this morning)

However, as one Atriot (sorry, I forgot who) wryly remarked, a slightly SMALLER number (2897: the reported number of casualties on IX/XI) was seized upon by the GOPukes/Fascists/Busheviks to propel us into this fucking shameful catastrophe, the +ICORP+ of Iraq.

But, then, as Emerson said, "A foolish consistency is the hallmark of the tiny mind."

ICORP: Used in lieu of "war" to describe the Invasion, Occupation, Occupation, Rape & Pillage

"Yo No Lucho Por Ambiciones Bastardos"

"I Don't Fight for Ignoble Causes."

So proclaimed one of the true folk-heroes of the last Century, Mexico's most famous rebel, Emiliano Zapata

Somebody ought to explain the mechanics and ethics of this position to Nick Kristoff who, in his firewalled column today in the NYTimes, offers the Busheviks--well, mebbe just the Chimp--ten "outs" from his present, perilous path, so as to 'salvage' what is left of his Presidency.

What are Kristoff's suggestions? Well, they amount to declaring that Dumble-Ewe do now for the last two years of his presidency what he was famously loathe to do during the first SIX fucking years:
First, seriously engage Iraq’s nastier neighbors, including Iran and Syria, and renounce permanent military bases in Iraq. None of that will solve the mess in Iraq. But these steps will suggest that you are belatedly trying to listen and are willing to give diplomacy a chance. They may also help at the margins: renouncing bases is a simple move that has no downside and will make it harder for Iraqi militants to argue that Americans are just out to steal Iraqi oil and grab military bases.
Second, start an intensive effort to bring peace to the Middle East. Work with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia to flesh out his peace proposals. And vigorously back the Geneva Accord approach to an Israeli-Palestinian peace, since everybody knows that is what a final peace deal will look like. Frankly, it seems unlikely that peace is going to break out anytime soon in the Middle East, but there is a huge dividend for America’s image if we at least try.
Third, confront the genocide in Darfur. President Bill Clinton has said that the biggest regret of his administration is not responding to the Rwandan genocide, and someday you — and your biographers — will rue your lame response to Darfur. For starters, how about inviting the leaders of Britain, France, China, Egypt and Saudi Arabia to travel with you to Darfur and Chad to see firsthand the women who have been mutilated and raped, the men whose eyes have been gouged out? Follow that up with a no-fly zone, an international force to prop up Chad and the Central African Republic, and a major push for an internal peace among Darfur tribes.
Fourth, encourage Dick Cheney to look pale in public. Then he can resign on health grounds, and you can appoint Condi Rice or Bob Gates to take his place. Mr. Cheney has been the single worst influence on your foreign policy, as well as the most polarizing figure in your administration. There’s no better move you could make to signal a new beginning than to accept Mr. Cheney’s resignation.
Fifth, revive the theme of compassionate conservatism by extending your excellent five-year AIDS program (while not being so squeamish about condoms in the future). And above all, work with Europe to promote incentives for business investment in Africa, modeled after the African Growth and Opportunity Act program. The best hope to raise Africa’s standard of living is to nurture factories manufacturing clothing, shoes and toys for export.
Sixth, address climate change. Nobody expects you to be an Al Gore, but you sully America’s image when you run away from any serious attempt to curb carbon emissions.
Seventh, put aside those thoughts of a military strike on Iranian nuclear sites, and make it clear to Israel that we oppose it conducting such an attack. A strike would set back Iran’s nuclear programs by only five years or so, but it would consolidate hard-line rule there for at least 25 years.
Eighth, instead of giving up on Social Security, revive the reform proposals that President Clinton urged in 1999. That does mean bringing the budget back into black ink, which will mean phasing out some tax cuts for the wealthy.
Ninth, address our disgraceful inequities in health care. You could push for comprehensive coverage for children up to age 5 (as President Jimmy Carter tried to achieve a generation ago), and for almost zero cost you could mount a public health campaign to tackle obesity in children. Mike Huckabee, the Republican governor of Arkansas, has shown how state governments can fight diabetes and obesity, and you should take his approach nationwide.
Tenth, don’t toss this newspaper to the floor and curse the press for your popularity. Instead, borrow from your playbook after you lost the New Hampshire primary in 2000 — grit your teeth, retool and steal ideas from your critics and rivals. It worked then, and it just might help in 2007.

What the fuck? Like it was a good thing, what worked in 2000? Saving the Bush legacy is the very definition of an ignoble cause...

Saturday, December 30, 2006

More Snow Job Pix

Hanna-Stella Surveys The Situation

Nota Bene: The Pile of Undisturbed Snow on Top of the Mail-box...

In The Back Yard

Snow Atop The Wood-Pile & The Back Wall

Snow Day!

It appears to have stopped snowing for the moment. We have a Winter Storm Watch in effect until midnight tonight. The local news is reporting this the largest accumulation of snow EVER rcorded in Albuquerque. I'd not bet against it: there's got to be close to a foot at my house, down at 5300 feet, in the Valley. In the lower foto, you will notice a tree-limb which fell out of the Chinese elm, borne down by the weight of the very wet snow; it is one of several down around here this morning... FYI: The snow-covered blob in the right foreground of the same foto is Boadicea...

Who said: "Victory Means An Exit Strategy"?

Think Progress points out that in 1999, Governor George W. Bush criticized then President Clinton for declining to set a withdrawal timetable for Kosovo, saying "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is."

Friday, December 29, 2006

Franken-Meat (And Not "Al's" Package)

At Eschaton, today, also there was this by

Hey everyone,

the FDA is taking comments from consumers over their plan to approve cloned meats for general consumption in the U.S. If you'd like to tell them to take their franken-meats and stuff them up their government ass, the online form is here (Mac users MUST use Safari or it won't work):
[and thoughtfully appended this link]

To which I replied--carefully, because there are folks on Eschaton who faithfully believe that "Science" is somehow ideologically pure and objectively honest:

If you take the sperm of one cow and mix it with the eggs of another cow, you're still gonna have a cow-baby...

If, however, you take the sperm of a cow, and mix it with the eggs of another cow, and mix in the dna of a tuna fish, it's a LOT more difficult to make the case that the offspring are just cow-babies...

but that's prob'ly just me...

Aim For Their Heads

On Eschaton today, we celebrated and passed around word that "Riverbend," a(llegedly) teen-age girl blogging from Bagdhad was still alive and posting--for the first time since early November.

Our children now play games of 'sniper' and 'jihadi', pretending that one hit an American soldier between the eyes and this one overturned a Humvee.


I was reminded of the cogent targeting advice to revolutionaries under assault from government functionaries and agents, offered by G.Gordon Liddy, the ex-con, former Watergate burglar, and genuine gunsel, who cautioned his listeners (yes, he had and perhaps still has a syndicated radio program, even with that resume):

"Aim at their heads. They're wearing body armor."

Advice I believe either was adopted by or adapted from the Branch Davidians' tactics when confronting the ATF raid that led to their self-immolation...

And now finds its way, in practice, even in childrens' games--albeit without sourcing--in the bloody streets of Iraq.

Not that that makes it wrong, per se: the head IS the second-biggest target, after the torso.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

More: Fuck Gerry Ford!

A poster nymmed "waronBullshit" posted the following nugget at Eschaton today: Pardoning Nixon didn't heal our nation (12.27.06 - 4:11 pm)

To which I replied:

you're goddam right it didn't...
john dean told Nixon there was a cancer on the presidency.

that cancer needed to be radically excised, a complete fascistectomy...

pardoning nixon was the equivalent of telling the country to take two aspirin and call back in a decade...

only it didn't take even half that long before Raygun's bully-boy light colonels, thugs, and assorted gunsels had stolen the 1980 election by interceding between the US Govt (Carter) and the Iranians to prevent what they called "the October Surprise." Bush 41 was in on that up to his faux-patrician nose...and the unlamented william casey...

mi gawd, what a cast of vile, and vicious villains...

By The Way: Fuck Gerald Ford...By Pardoning Nixon, He Assured US Cheney & Rumsfeld

Gerry Ford, a former president, died last night. He was 93, which was long enough and then some.

Broke me the fuck up, it did. I was, like, "Did he suffer?" Apparently not much. Which I thought too bad, cuz by pardonning Nixon, Ford ensured that several of that vicious fucker's cabal of evil slime avoided facing and taking responsibility for their crimes. Fuck Gerald Ford.

Then, NPR news was at pains this morning to repeatedly label Ford the only un-elected President.

But he was only the first; subsequently, there was Bush 43, whose presidency was assured not by the vote of the People, but by the vote of Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor of the US Supreme Court (may that feculent fleshfold suffer one tenth of the misery her cowardice has afforded the rest of the nation).
Lest we forget: "the Jerry Ford doll"—wind it up and it lurches into something.
Or "The only thing between Nelson Rockefeller and the presidency is a banana peel." or: "Question: What is the President Ford tongue twister? Answer: Hello. " or: "What is the Ford economic plan? Answer: Buy a bigger car and leave it in the garage." or: "The President was loathe to help New York during its fiscal crisis because he has bad memories from the city's great blackout; he was trapped for six hours on an escalator. " or: "The Secret Service has already ruled out any possibility that Ford will toss out the first ball of the baseball season next spring. Says a Secret Service spokesman: "There is too much danger of his being beaned." or: "The President pierced his left hand with a salad fork at a White House luncheon celebrating Tuna Salad Day. Alert Secret Service agents seized the fork and wrestled it to the ground."
I will believe we are about to be rid of the vicious fascist fux now infesting the WhiteHouse and the Executive Office when the Gibbering Chimp is subject to jibes such as these; and not until...

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

It's The OIL, Stupid. And It's ALWAYS BEEN About The Fucking Oil!

For all the attention it received, it is entirely possible that you were left with the idea that the ISG (Iraq Study Group) was primarily about the distribution and dispositiopnof USer troops in Iraq.

It wasn't.

Among the 79 or so recommendations of the ISG were specific and detailed proposals about what to do to be sure that the riches of Iraq would stay within the purview (and the purses) of the USer hegemons...Note, especially, the date of this report...

A centerpiece of the Iraq Study Group's report is its advocacy for securing foreign companies' long-term access to Iraqi oil fields.
By Antonia Juhasz,

(ANTONIA JUHASZ is a visiting scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and author of "The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time." )
December 8, 2006

WHILE THE Bush administration, the media and nearly all the Democrats still refuse to explain the war in Iraq in terms of oil, the ever-pragmatic members of the Iraq Study Group share no such reticence.

Page 1, Chapter 1 of the Iraq Study Group report lays out Iraq's importance to its region, the U.S. and the world with this reminder: "It has the world's second-largest known oil reserves."

The group then proceeds to give very specific and radical recommendations as to what the United States should do to secure those reserves. If the proposals are followed, Iraq's national oil industry will be commercialized and opened to foreign firms.

The report makes visible to everyone the elephant in the room: that we are fighting, killing and dying in a war for oil. It states in plain language that the U.S. government should use every tool at its disposal to ensure that American oil interests and those of its corporations are met. It's spelled out in Recommendation No. 63, which calls on the U.S. to "assist Iraqi leaders to reorganize the national oil industry as a commercial enterprise" and to "encourage investment in Iraq's oil sector by the international community and by international energy companies."

This recommendation would turn Iraq's nationalized oil industry into a commercial entity that could be partly or fully privatized by foreign firms.

This is an echo of calls made before and immediately after the invasion of Iraq.

The U.S. State Department's Oil and Energy Working Group, meeting between December 2002 and April 2003, also said that Iraq "should be opened to international oil companies as quickly as possible after the war." Its preferred method of privatization was a form of oil contract called a production-sharing agreement. These agreements are preferred by the oil industry but rejected by all the top oil producers in the Middle East because they grant greater control and more profits to the companies than the governments. The Heritage Foundation also released a report in March 2003 calling for the full privatization of Iraq's oil sector. One representative of the foundation, Edwin Meese III, is a member of the Iraq Study Group. Another, James J. Carafano, assisted in the study group's work.

Let's see that one again, Carlos:
One representative of the (Heritage) foundation, Edwin Meese III, is a member of the Iraq Study Group. Another, James J. Carafano, assisted in the study group's work.

So in case you still ahve any doubts as to how deeply and how firmly and how irrevocably the fix was isn, you may now at least go to bed secure in the knowledge that these fuckers have been looking out for themselves and nothing and no one else for the entirety of the last 5 years. It has long since past time to pack a couple into that lawless, immoral, criminal fucker Ed Meese's ear...

Odin's Ravens: Advertizing and Public Relations

A chat about the invidious nature of Advertizing, which in turn was spawned by a discussion of Stan Freeburg, the famously talented, iconoclastic maverick ad writer/producer whose career included several recorded comedy routines...

...led me once again to the nexus of advertizing and public relations, with which I have had both practical and scholarly experience, having for a time studied and taught at the journalism school at a major southern university, subsequent to having spent 10 years doing both of them along with some journalism.

It was, I thought--and said, perhaps impolitically, too loudly and too often, given my remarkably junior status in the school--both indicative and emblematic of the problem with the relationship between 'the disciplines' the school represented and the influences that seek and sought to control and/or corrupt them that the family which controlled the biggest chunk of media outlets in that region, and was a huge player in advertizing had also arranged to have their name attached to the J'School, too...

In the late 60 and early 70s, Stan Freeberg got into a LOT of trouble with the media/advertizing/pr establishment for stating for the record that OF FUCKING COURSE all that advertising is designed to stimulate demand... I am sure it is recorded somewhere, cuz I heard it on a radio. It was regarded at the time as calamitous, because the patina of neutrality was valuable.

Up to that time, and also to a great extrent ever since, the media/advertisisng/pr mavens univocally claimed that their products were merely to supplyinformation that the customer demanded...They were emphatically NOT intended to influence consumer behavior; they were NOT written to provoke certain acts. This was an important issue in the era when tobacco litigation was beginning to be fought, because it would be evidence of pre-meditated malfeasance if cigarette mfgrs could be shown to be actually inducing smokers to use a dangerous product...You see how important this distinction was (and still is).

(It was patent bulllshit, as everyone knew....But the M/A/PR pigfuckers continued in their sham forever...You'll still hear claims of the neutrality of the media and the innocence of the advertizer every day in media seminars in j' and b' schools...I knew a couple of relatively nice people who kept themselves living quite comfortably, in tenured jobs, because they had that story down so well...)

Until Stan Freeberg blew the whistle, mebbe in a Playboy interview...It gave folks in the media academy a case of the vapors to which they are still subject...If ever you get into it with a dedicated, orthodox advertising/pr prof, you can just about cause apoplexy merely by dropping Freeberg's name into the conversational hopper...

Advertizing and Public relations are not identical, but both are septs of the same discourse...

PR amounts to not much more than 'brand'/corporate advertizing.
All of it is a division of the larger public project called propaganda...
Advertizing is product is bureaucratic advertizing.

Edward Bernays, Freud's favorite nephew, embedded his uncle's insights into his profitable and influential step-child as early as the second decade of the last Century. Wilson appropriated them all as tools of the official US War Department propaganda bureacracy.

John Dos Passos devotes one of the three novels in his USA trilogy to the phenomena of the victory of corporate propaganda over private truth....

Since the 50s scholars (e.g., Ellul, 1961?) have pointed out that propaganda is the only way by which the state is capable of communicating with its constituents...

Monday, December 25, 2006

WIth Taste This Bad, Saddam'd Be Safe in a Manger

Nobody ever lost money underestimating the taste of the average American, according to H.L. Mencken.

Seldom does such an insight gain so immediate, direct, and irrebuttable an affirmation.

(I pulled this link off Eschaton:
Here is a cavalcade of crappy creches.
kmymhohoho 12.25.06 - 2:16 pm )

I Totally Recommend Taking A 10-Minute Break, and Watching The Linked Video

The illusionist--one Jerome Murat, apparently a French mimo--totally redefines the territory of Mimesis...

Take a few minutes to luxuriate in the imagination, skill, and mastery of this one, folks.

Merry X-mas...

Props To Jurassicpork for this HILARITY!

O, the wonders that photo-shop affordeth...all praise the Photo-shoppe on high...

Saturday, December 23, 2006

To Paraphrase Mose Alison: Everybody's Talking 'Bout The Weather, But They Don't Know The Meaning of The Word

Unusual Weather We're Having, Ain't It?*

Number-crunchers say 2006 on track to be the sixth-hottest on record.

As 2006 bubbles to a close, it's measuring in as the world's sixth-hottest year on record. Britain is the warmest it has seen since veritable wenches were hoisting tankards of grog (er, since records began in 1659), and the third-warmest in the U.S.'s Lower 48 since 1880.

Weird weather has gripped the globe this year, from rainy Africa to droughty Australia (fatally ablaze in the grip of a timeless dry spell) and China. According to the U.K. Meteorological Office, the 10 hottest years on record have been in the last 12 years, and scientists say it ain't no coincidence. Yes, the globe has warmed and cooled over time, but the last 50 years don't fit natural patterns, and most say human behavior is to blame.

"I cannot see how else this can be explained," said U.K. climate researcher Phil Jones, who noted that changing weather patterns fit climate-model forecasts. Adding to the grim vibe, a study published in Science says sea level rise due to global warming could be 59 percent higher than previously thought.

Oh, waiter! Another grog all around, and sprightly, if you please.

straight to the source: The New York Times, Andrew C. Revkin, 15 Dec 2006
straight to the source: The Guardian, Ian Sample, 14 Dec 2006
straight to the source: New Scientist, Catherine Brahic, 14 Dec 2006
straight to the source: BBC News, 14 Dec 2006

*(c&p, from e-mail; with minor edits)

You Can Kiss Arctic Ice-dwelling Wildlife Good-bye

Santa's Gonna Be Pissed

Arctic summer ice could melt nearly completely by mid-century, study says

The Arctic Ocean could lose nearly all of its summer ice by 2040, says a study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. Research suggests that Arctic ice will begin retreating rapidly around 2024; by mid-century, far northern Canada and Greenland may claim the summer's only ice, while the North Pole will be ocean.
A different study, from the National Snow and Ice Data Center, finds that the Arctic refroze slooowly this fall, with November's average ice cover the lowest since satellite measurements began in 1979.
"It's becoming increasingly unlikely that things will be able to turn around," says researcher Walt Meier, a glass-half-empty sort of chap.
But don't worry your Conoco-dipped heart about it. The money machine will grind along as usual. While a melting Arctic sucks for polar bears and Inuit subsistence hunters, The Man will profit from new shipping lanes, more-accessible oil supplies, commercial fishing grounds, and tourism. Next week, advisers plan to urge President Bush to get busy replacing the U.S.'s aging icebreakers. We only wish we were making that up.

straight to the source: The New York Times, Andrew C. Revkin, 11 Dec 2006
straight to the source: Reuters, 11 Dec 2006
straight to the source: The Times, Lewis Smith, 11 Dec 2006
straight to the source: CBC News, 11 Dec 2006

Via Grist...

Time Is Running Out: Environmental Threats Proliferate

1) Save Alaska's Bristol Bay
The Greatest Wild Salmon Fishery on Earth Is Threatened by Poisonous Open-Pit Mining!
Alaska's Bristol Bay supports the largest sockeye salmon population in the world and is rich in wildlife including moose, brown bear and caribou. The surrounding wild lands are beautiful and pristine, which is what makes this area so uncommonly vital to wildlife and a thriving fishing and tourism economy.
But Bristol Bay is threatened by plans for the largest open-pit gold and copper mine in North America, Pebble Mine, to be situated in the Bay's backcountry headwaters. To make matters worse, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is planning to revoke existing protections on another 3.6 million acres of public lands in this watershed, thereby making them available for commercial hard rock mining. This type of mining uses cyanide, sulfuric acid, and other toxic chemicals, poisons that are fatal to juvenile salmon and trout. The development and ensuing toxic waste could be devastating to wildlife and the local fishing and tourism economy. Tell the BLM to abandon plans to open millions of acres in the Bristol Bay Watershed to mining!
Dingell stands as a testament to the improbability of anything getting done on the environmental front in Congress under the existing power arrangements. Read this interview: he seems the very soul of non-committal reasonableness, until you remember he has steadfastly refused for the past 15 years to try to get the US auto industry to grow into the requirements of the fuel-strapped 21st Century. (Courtesy of Grist).
By analyzing the isotopes of the carbon and oxygen atoms making up atmospheric CO2, in a process similar to carbon dating, scientists can and have detected a human "fingerprint." What they have found via the isotope signatures can be thought of as "old" carbon, which could only come from fossil fuel deposits, combined with "young" oxygen, as is found in the air all around us. So present day combustion of fossilized hydrocarbon deposits (natural gas, coal, and oil) is definitely the source of the CO2 currently accumulating -- just as common sense tells us.
For more of the nitty gritty technicalities straight from the climate scientists, including links to the actual research that established this, visit RealClimate's article on how we know the CO2 is ours.
Of all the pillars holding up the theory of anthropogenic global warming, the human genesis of increased CO2 is one of the most unassailable.

One Damn Good Dog

My thanks to Central Scrutinizer, over at Eschaton, for the link to this amazing video, and the introduction to this amazing dog...Skidboot!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Gore/Obama in '08? Gore/Edwards?

My ol' pal Jim Terr, up in Santa Fe, has a new site up at which he is soliciting suggestions and preparing to organize for the coming fray as the Good Guys try to wrest control of the Entire Universe away from the Busheviks and their clones.
Give him a look, and mention "Dr. J" sencha...

Target: Persia--The NEXT War In The Middle East

Yesterday, on Democracy Now, there was a very disturbing colloquy between Sy Hersh and Scott Ritter which probably ought to be required listening.

A Creation Story: On the Becoming of Dog & Cat

(Courtesy of my friend Yim)

A newly discovered chapter in the Book of Genesis has provided the answer to "Where do pets come from?"

Adam and Eve said, "Lord, when we were in the garden, you walked with us every day. Now we do not see you any more. We are lonesome here, and it is difficult for us to remember how much you love us."

And God said, I will create a companion for you that will be with you and who will be a reflection of my love for you, so that you will love me even when you cannot see me. Regardless of how se lfish or childish or unlovable you may be, this new companion will accept you as you are and will love you as I do, in spite of yourselves."And God created a new animal to be a companion for Adam and Eve.

And it was a good animal. And God was pleased.

And the new animal was pleased to be with Adam and Eve and he wagged his tail.

And Adam said, "Lord, I have already named all the animals in the Kingdom and I cannot think of a name for this new animal." And God said, " I have created this new animal to be a reflection of my love for you, his name will be a reflection of my own name, and you will call him DOG."

And Dog lived with Adam and Eve and was a companion to them and loved them.

And they were comforted. And God was pleased. And Dog was content and wagged his tail.

After a while, it came to pass that an angel came to the Lord and said, "Lord, Adam and Eve have become filled with pride. They strut and preen like peacocks and they believe they are worthy of adoration. Dog has indeed taught them that they are loved, but perhaps too well."

And God said, I will create for them a companion who will be with them and who will see them as they are. The companion will remind them of their limitations, so they will know that they are not always worthy of adoration."

And God created CAT to be a companion to Adam and Eve.And Cat would not obey them. And when Adam and Eve gazed into C at's eyes, they were reminded that they were not the supreme beings.

And Adam and Eve learned humility. And they were greatly improved. And God was pleased.

And Dog was happy.

And Cat didn't give a shit one way or the other.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Education Vs. School

The purposes of 'education,' and the purposes of 'schooling' are quite different.

Education is the process whereby people learn to craft and use the tools of intellectual life which they will apply to their life's problems and the issues which will occupy their attention for their entire lives.

The purpose of schooling, on the other hand, is almost entirely assimilative: to induct 'students' into the culture of obedience, acquiescence, and complicity with the interests of corporations.

One does not "get" an education; one MAKES an education out of the appreciation, interpretation, and analysis of experience. One does, on the other hand, get 'schooled' in the needs of the status quo ante.

Schooling exists to prepare students to become drones in the marketplace; education exists for the purpose of integrating the learner as a critical reader into the shared texts of shared civilization.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

In The Spirit of Giving, with ZeFrank

For those with a weakness for Holiday-Mafia-Romantic-Comedy Films

USA Network will show The Three Wise Guys twice this holiday season:

1) December 22, at 2 pm EST
2) December 23, at 3 am EST

My appearance comes in the last sequence in the first hour, which occurs in a church where a Nativity Play is in rehearsal in preparation for the seasonal festivities. If seeing me is your heart's desire, and all the rest can go pound sand, turn it on at about 2:40 pm/3:40 am, and watch til the top the hour. I appear, in the costume here previewed, on the right-hand side of the frame, glaring menacingly from behind the communion rail, at a lectern, at the strangers who have pursued the obviously pregnant madonna into our sacristy.

Here's a plot summary covering the rest:
‘Twas the night before Christmas and Murray Crown (Tom Arnold), owner of the Regal Crown Casino, is spreading anything but Christmas cheer. To keep his accountant Leo (Arye Gross) from ratting him out to the feds about his not-so-legal financial reporting, Murray directs his ‘Wise Guys’ George (Judd Nelson), Vincent (Nick Turturro) and Joey (Eddie McClintock) to permanently shut him up -- and to find out where Jake Marley (Josh Berry), his partner in crime and the casino's drummer, is hiding out.

On their way back from burying Leo in the desert, the Three Wise Guys swerve to avoid hitting a stranded motorist, an eight-and-a-half-month pregnant stunner named Mary (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe). Her tale of woe tugs at the heartstrings of the hired thugs. They drive Mary to the bus station, give her some money for her trip home and see her off. But not everything is the way it seems. They soon learn that Mary is at the heart of their mission and Murray wants her back. George, Vincent and Joey track her down, but the expectant mother is crafty and manages to give them the slip.

The next time they catch up with her, however, Joey is one step ahead and makes sure she'll lead them straight to her boyfriend, the "drummer boy." She does, but the situation soon takes a perilous turn and Murray's wife Shirley (Katie Sagal) gets caught in the fray. The Wise Guys then find themselves playing hero as they try to save Mary and Shirley so they’ll live to see the sun rise on Christmas morning.

See whatch'all will be missing?

O, yeah, and be SURE to watch the trailer: it is signally awful!

Once Again, Hollywood Has NOT Called, Alas...

Back from my second day in a week, and last until after the first on In The Valley of Elah, with Tommie Lee Jones and (eventually) Susan Sarandon, whose fair shape and comely face adorn the post below. Will/shall/can/may I requite my one desire, to see her up-close?

Sadly, no...

Apparently some of the film will be shot in Tennessee, which is where Sarandon's scenes will occur. I am morally certain that I will not be accompanying the company on that move; hence, my pessimism over my prospects of meeting Susan.

I was called late for today's shoot: about 7:30 am for a 9:30 call, with three outfit changes. I got into one scene. The camera was over Tommie Lee Jones' shoulder, and I'm pretty sure the focus was close enough to the front of his head that I, some 20 feet distant, will be nothing but a blur; though the PA/Extras Wrangler told me my hat read "real good."

I'll be out on a movie today: The Valley of Elah

Starring Tommie Lee Jones...

Among his costars: the divine, the sexy, the lovely (did i say the SEXY!) Susan Sarandon...
There all day, probably...
I hope I just get a glimpse of her...though the scenes in which I shall be in the background do not sound promisinig: a coffee-shop...But hope springs eternal...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Seasonal Amusements of the Adult Variety

(Thanks to my irredoubtable correspondent Mike K.)

T'was the night before Christmas, and God was it neat,
the kids were both gone, and my wife was in heat.

The doors were all bolted, and the phone off the hook,
it was time for some nooky, by hook or by crook.

My wife in her teddy, and I in the nude,
had just hit the bedroom, and reached for the lube.

When out on the lawn, there arose such a cry,
that I lost my boner, and my poor wife went dry.

Up to the window, I sprang like an elf,
tore back the shade, while my wife played with herself.

The moon shown on the crest, of the snowman we'd built,
showed a broom up his ass, clean up to the hilt.

When what, to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a nasty old sleigh, and eight mangy reindeer.

With a fat little driver, half out of his sled,
a sock in his ear, and a bra on his head.

Sure as i'm speaking, he was as high as a kite,
and he yelled to his team, but it didn't sound right.

"Whoa Shithead!, whoa Asshole!, whoa Stupid!, whoa Putz!,
either slow down this rig, or i'll cut off your nuts!"

"look out for the lamp post, and don't hit the tree,
quit shaking the sleigh, 'cause I gotta go pee!"

They cleared the old lamp post, and the tree got a rub,
just then Santa leaned out, and threw up on my shrub.

And then from the roof, we heard such a clatter,
as each little reindeer, now emptied his bladder.

I was donning my jacket, to cover my ass,
when down the chimney, Santa came with a crash.

His suit was all smelly, with perfume galore,
he looked like a bum, and he smelled like a whore.

"That was some brothel!!!", he said with a smile,
"The reindeer are pooped, so i'll just stay here awhile".

He walked to the kitchen, and poured himself a drink,
then whipped out his dick, and pissed in the sink.

I started to laugh, my wife smiled with glee,
the old boy was hung, nearly down to his knee!

Back in the den, Santa reached in his sack,
but his toys were all gone, and some new things were packed.

The first thing he found, was pair of false tits,
the next was a handgun, with a penis that spits.

A box filled with condoms, was Santa's next find,
and six pair of panties, the edible kind.

A bra without nipples, and a penis extension,
and several other things, that I shouldn't even mention.

A fuck ring, a G-string, and all kinds of oil,
and a dildo so long, it lay in a coil.

"This stuff ain't for kids!!! Mrs. Santa will shit!!!
So i'll leave em here, and then i'll just split."

He filled every stocking, and then took his leave,
with one tiny butt plug, tucked under his sleeve.

He sprang to his sleigh, but his feet were like lead,
thus he fell on his ass, and broke wind instead.

In time he was seated, and took the reins of his hitch,
and cried out, "Take me home Rudolph, this night's been a bitch!!!"

The sleigh was near gone, when we heard Santa shout,
"the best thing about sex, is that it never wears out!!!!"

(I am in the dark as to the authorship of this gem, but must give thanks for small favors...)

The idea that marijuana is a "gateway" drug has been once again squelched by two new scientific studies.

I post this in light of the piece posted below in which it is revealed that marujuana is the highest-value cash crop in the US of A.

Why Smoking Marijuana Doesn't Make You a Junkie

By Bruce Mirken, Marijuana Policy Project. Posted December 19, 2006.

Two recent studies should be the final nails in the coffin of the lie that has propelled some of this nation's most misguided policies: the claim that smoking marijuana somehow causes people to use hard drugs, often called the "gateway theory."

Such claims have been a staple of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy under present drug czar John Walters. Typical is a 2004 New Mexico speech in which, according to the Albuquerque Journal, "Walters emphasized that marijuana is a 'gateway drug' that can lead to other chemical dependencies."

The gateway theory presents drug use as a tidy progression in which users move from legal drugs like alcohol and tobacco to marijuana, and from there to hard drugs like cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. Thus, zealots like Walters warn, marijuana is bad because it leads to things that are even worse.

It's a neat theory, easy to sell. The problem is, scientists keep poking holes in it -- the two new studies being are just the most recent examples.

In one National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded study, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh tracked the drug use patterns of 224 boys, starting at age 10 to 12 and ending at age 22. Right from the beginning these kids confounded expectations. Some followed the traditional gateway paradigm, starting with tobacco or alcohol and moving on to marijuana, but some reversed the pattern, starting with marijuana first. And some never progressed from one substance to another at all.

When they looked at the detailed data on these kids, the researchers found that the gateway theory simply didn't hold; environmental factors such as neighborhood characteristics played a much larger role than which drug the boys happened to use first. "Abusable drugs," they wrote, "occupy neither a specific place in a hierarchy nor a discrete position in a temporal sequence."

Lead researcher Dr. Ralph E. Tarter told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "It runs counter to about six decades of current drug policy in the country, where we believe that if we can't stop kids from using marijuana, then they're going to go on and become addicts to hard drugs."

There's more. Follow the link in the headline above...right after ya twist yerself a fat one...


Click on the headline...this is funny...

then go to

an download the whole catalogue...

Screw "You"! E.J. Dionne Says Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert Should Have Been "Persons Of The Year"


When the right seemed headed to dominance in the early 1990s, the hot political media trend was talk radio and the star was Rush Limbaugh, a smart entrepreneur who spawned imitators around the country and all across the AM dial.

Now the chic medium is televised political comedy and the cool commentators are Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Their brilliant ridicule of the Bush administration and conservative bloviators satisfies a political craving at least as great as the one Limbaugh once fed. Stewart and Colbert speak especially to young Americans who rely on their sensible take on the madness that surrounds us. The young helped drive their popularity, and the Droll Duo in turn shaped a new, anti-conservative skepticism.

It wasn't all that long ago that Democrats and liberals were said to be out of touch with "the real America," which was defined as encompassing the states that voted for President Bush in 2004, including the entire South. Democrats seemed to accept this definition of reality, and they struggled -- often looking ridiculous in the process -- to become fluent in NASCAR talk and to discuss religion with the inflections of a white Southern evangelicalism foreign to so many of them.

Now the conventional wisdom sees Republicans in danger of becoming merely a Southern regional party. Isn't it amazing how quickly the supposedly "real America" was transformed into a besieged conservative enclave out of touch with the rest of the country? Now religious moderates and liberals are speaking in their own tongues, and the free-thinking, down-to-earth citizens in the Rocky Mountain states are, in large numbers, fed up with right-wing ideology.

I wish I could believe that latter statement, but living within 400 miles of Colorado Springs, it is difficult to credit...

Reuters Reports: Marijuana is top U.S. cash crop, policy analyst says

A lotta reports like this are fine as far as they go; especially, where do they get the "$1606/lb" number? Dat's GOTTA be de killer, chronic bud, de 'hi purple, sticky stuff.' Basic Mexican brown bud can be had around here for less than half that--retail...

WASHINGTON, Dec 18 (Reuters Life!) - U.S. growers produce nearly $35 billion worth of marijuana annually, making the illegal drug the country's largest cash crop, bigger than corn and wheat combined, an advocate of medical marijuana use said in a study released on Monday.

The report, conducted by Jon Gettman, a public policy analyst and former head of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, also concluded that five U.S. states produce more than $1 billion worth of marijuana apiece: California, Tennessee, Kentucky, Hawaii and Washington.

California's production alone was about $13.8 billion, according to Gettman, who waged an unsuccessful six-year legal battle to force the government to remove marijuana from a list of drugs deemed to have no medical value.

Tom Riley, a spokesman for the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy, said he could not confirm the report's conclusions on the size of the country's marijuana crop. But he said the government estimated overall U.S. illegal drug use at $200 billion annually.

Gettman's figures were based on several government reports between 2002 and 2005 estimating the United States produced more than 10,000 metric tons of marijuana annually.

He calculated the producer price per pound of marijuana at $1,606 based on national survey data showing retail prices of between $2,400 and $3,000 between 2001 and 2005.

The total value of 10,000 metric tons of marijuana at $1,606 per pound would be $35.8 billion.

By comparison, the United States produced an average of nearly $23.3 billion worth of corn annually from 2003 to 2005, $17.6 billion worth of soybeans, $12.2 billion worth of hay, nearly $11.1 billion worth of vegetables and $7.4 billion worth of wheat, the report said.

Gettman said the 10-fold increase in U.S. marijuana production, from 1,000 metric tons in 1981 to 10,000 metric tons in 2006, showed the country was failing to control marijuana by making its cultivation and use illegal.

"Marijuana has become a pervasive and ineradicable part of the economy of the United States," he said. "The contribution of this market to the nation's gross domestic product is overlooked in the debate over effective control."

"Like all profitable agricultural crops marijuana adds resources and value to the economy," he added. "The focus of public policy should be how to effectively control this market through regulation and taxation in order to achieve immediate and realistic goals, such as reducing teenage access."

Riley said illegal drug use was a "serious part of the economy," but he rejected the notion of an economic argument for legalizing marijuana.

He said marijuana use was an "inherently harmful activity" with serious physical and mental health consequences. He said more American teens were in treatment centers for marijuana dependency than for all other drugs combined.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Just Sayin': If There's ANY Evidence That The USofA Is EITHER Safer OR Less Safe

today than it was on Sept. 10, 2001, I haven't seen it.

Have you?

Searchin' Fer A Little Love? You Can Help Homeless Kids...

...If ya wanna.
My best friend is the executive director of an NGO here in Albuquerque named Cuidando Los Ninos (con tilda) and she has happened onto a nice little fund-raising service that takes advantage of the "intertubes'" most universally appealing feature: Searching...

An outfit called GoodSearch ( donates a piddling penny to Cuidando for everytime a signed-up goodsearch user uses goodsearch to search.

How much good would a goodsearch do, if a goodsearch could do good?

I have signed up. It's easy. Go to the page and follow the instructions. If ya wanna, cut-and-paste the following:

Cuidando Los Ninos (Albuquerque, NM)

Thanks...and here's wishing everyone absolutely As Happy A Holiday Season As Is Possible, here in the super-heated winter of Bush-Year #6...


This amusing musing comes from a pal of mine in Santa Fe...


Apart from the issue of whether a soul
Ever peruses this sweet doggerole
Or whether it bugs ‘em or cheers ‘em at best
It’s something I must now get off of my chest.

Back in the winter of 2003
A big bunch of cynics and lefties like me
Had the good sense, upon brief self-reflection,
To turn on their sensors for b.s. detection

And see that the claims of the WMDs,
The claims of a cakewalk that would be a breeze,
Of a war to stop terror right there in its tracks,
Was a vinegar enema given by quacks.

I watched for three years while the chaos ensued,
While soldiers in caskets all red, white and blue’d
Returned, while excuses for why we were there
Were floated and bloated and vanished in air,

While billions were stolen or frittered away
On projects with virtue and some just for pay,
The madness, the mourning, the suicide bombs,
Til now most Iraqis would rather Saddam!

So now that you Bushies are finally waking
To the reaming you’ve gotten, the lying, the faking,
Think for a moment of the buckets of tears
Of we who have watched this for SIX FRIGGIN’ YEARS!!

Jim Terr

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Hyar Come De New Boss, Jis' Lahk De Ol Boss, Part-Continuing

For those of you who were hoping (against all hope, I know) that the Dumbos would actually change anything in the conduct of, or attitudes about, the on-going Iraq clusterfuck, regardez vous:

WASHINGTON - Incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Sunday he would support a temporary troop increase in Iraq only if it were part of a broader strategy to bring combat forces home by early 2008.
"If the commanders on the ground said this is just for a short period of time, we'll go along with that," said Reid, D-Nev., citing a time frame such as two months to three months. But a period longer than that, such as 18 months to 24 months, would be unacceptable, he said.
"The American people will not allow this war to go on as it has. It simply is a war that will not be won militarily. It can only be won politically," Reid said. "We have to change course in Iraq."
President Bush is considering several options for a new strategy in Iraq, such as a proposal backed by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., that would send tens of thousands of additional troops for an indefinite period to quickly secure Baghdad. There are about 134,000 U.S. troops in Iraq now.
That plan would run counter to recommendations by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, which set a goal of withdrawing combat troops by early 2008 in support of more aggressive regional diplomacy.
Retired Gen. Jack Keane, a former Army vice chief of staff who is advising Bush to send an additional 30,000 to 40,000 U.S. troops, said it would take at least 1 1/2 years to secure Iraq.
"It's impossible," Keane said, responding to Reid's suggestion that the troop surge be limited to two months to three months.
"It will take a couple of months just to get forces in," he said.

There's more, but it is no less depressingly the same...

Friday, December 15, 2006

I Wonder What My Friend Hecate'd Have To Say About This Piece of Dreck

Yet another screed attacking "feminism" by blaming it for the rise of the culture of "Friends With Benefits" This is "Baaaad" because"Another generation of girls is growing up with the idea that they can choose from a cornucopia of "sexual choices" --and so long as they don't get pregnant or catch an STD, it's fine, it's great!--as healthy as working out at the gym."

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Hey, Hey, Hey! Let's Fuck-Up Bob Ney: Make Yourself Feel Better and Help Protect The Country?

From the WaPo:

Rep. Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio) pleaded guilty (in October) to corruption charges arising from the influence-peddling investigation of lobbyist Jack Abramoff, becoming the first elected official to fall in a scandal that may (have) damage(d) his party's chances in (last) month's elections.

Ney, 52, ...appear(ed) in federal court in Washington, where he admitted performing official acts for lobbyists in exchange for campaign contributions, expensive meals, luxury travel and skybox sports tickets. Ney also admitted taking thousands of dollars in gambling chips from an international businessman who sought his help with the State Department.

Now Ney's very expensive attorneys, Mark Tuohey and David Hawkins of (the elite DC firm) Vinson & Elkins, according to the Belt-way blog, The Hill, have

urged (Ney's) friends to write letters of support in advance of the former Ohio Republican representative’s sentencing on corruption charges in January.

The attorneys hope to show the judge that the actions that led Ney to plead guilty to corruption charges in October were an aberration in a professional career otherwise dedicated to public service. Ney was a member of the House at the time of his guilty plea, but later resigned his seat.

“Letters of support are a very important part of the sentencing process, and, we hope, will give Judge Huvelle a clear picture of the kind of person Bob is, the contributions he has made, and the support that he continues to enjoy from his friends and others in the community,” wrote Ney attorneys ... in a Dec. 6 letter obtained by The Hill.

The attorneys have recommended some guidelines for the letters Ney's friends might send:
“Things that are important for the judge to know are your feelings about Bob’s character, his work for his constituents in Ohio, his work on national issues, his integrity, his dedication to public service, and anything else that you think will give the judge a full understanding of who Bob is and the work he has done.”
Call me a vindictive, cold, heartless bastard if you will, but it seems to me that, if Ney's attorneys think letters from Ney's friends might help to ameliorate the sentence he's accorded (the Govt. asked for a wrist-slap: a mere 27 MONTHS) , then maybe letters from people who loathe and detest the corrupt, criminal, co-opted, crooked cocksucker might work either to off-set some of the more 'positive' letters the Judge in the case--Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia--and persuade her to throw the fucking book at the slimy, crooked, contemptible fucknozzle. And might I also suggest you follow the advice of the lawyers, and touch on those aspects of Ney's corruption which will help the Judge to a 'full understanding" of who he is, who he has betrayed, and the full scope of his corruption.

That address is:
Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle
United States District Court for the District of Columbia,
333 Constitution Ave., N.W.

Washington, DC 20001

Sometimes, NPR Is Still Worth Listening To...

...Though less and less for the quality of their reporting (Danny Zwerdling being the single, glaring counter- example) , than for this sort of thing:

Listener John Bullit of Somerville, MA, adds his seismographic recording of the Planet Earth to our series SoundClips. He speeds the audio up so that what is normally inaudible to the human ear can be heard.

It's just about the most evocative audio you can imagine:
Ol' Momma Earth, as she clunks and bangs her various parts around,
each sound an earthquake somewhere...

Izzis A Great Fuckin' Economy, Or What?

The answer, as with so much else, is: "It depends."

If you are one of the top five percent--$200,000/yr income, from whatever source--things have seldom looked better. For the rest of us, though, according to Paul ("The Shrill One") Krugman, ummmm, not so much:
"Although wages have stagnated since Bush took office, corporate profits have doubled. The gap between the nation's CEOs and average workers is now ten times greater than it was a generation ago. And while Bush's tax cuts shaved only a few hundred dollars off the tax bills of most Americans, they saved the richest one percent more than $44,000 on average. In fact, once all of Bush's tax cuts take effect, it is estimated that those with incomes of more than $200,000 a year -- the richest five percent of the population -- will pocket almost half of the money. Those who make less than $75,000
a year -- eighty percent of America -- will receive barely a quarter of the cuts. In the Bush era, economic inequality is on the rise

The rest of the piece is compelling and well worth your reading, and you should check it out, by clicking on the link in the title-line of this post. (I picked this link up from Atrios, btw...)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Brittney & K-Fed, Tom & Katie, Branjolina, and Madonna

I have noticed in reading site-meter that I catch some hits (usually lasting less than 5 seconds) from Googlers. This post is by way of a test to see how many hits I can entice by salting the 'title' line with the names of celebrities typically of interest to quotidien Google (of Dogpile, or Ask, or Yahoo, etc.) searches.
It is a cheap, shameless tactic to try to stimulate traffic, and simultaneously to test the attraction of those celebrity monikers.
It may develop that I include celebrity monikers in Title lines whether they're appropriate or not. Hence my next post about the fascist GOPukes or the meliorating Dems in Congress waffling o n global climate change legislation might read something like this: Tom & Katie's Baby May Not Die in Coming Global Warming Events, But Mauritius Will Be Swallowed By The Indian Ocean...or Brittney's Coochie Not Subject of Congressional Filibuster...Madonna's Sudanese Child Escapes Genocide In Darfur...stuff like that

Is Expending Enough Lead To Drop A Water-Buffalo Legally Excessive Force?

I gotta applaud some of our friends in the colonies for their acumen. A Brit blog called Lenin's Tomb posed the following conundrum today (h/t to Moonboo @ Eschaton):

Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Fifty Shots.
posted by lenin

You have to laugh at the media coverage of the murder of Sean Bell (and the injuring of Joseph Guzman and Trent Benefield) by police.
There are serious debates going on about whether fifty shots is excessive force or not.
I don't recognise the concept of 'excessive force' when you've just shot an innocent man's brains out. Nevertheless, the whole matter now apparently hangs on whether the jury is willing to accept that the cops "reasonably" could have believed that the men they shot at were an immediate threat.
Also, there is a miraculous theory known as "contagious shooting": this explains that fifty shots were fired because, well, one shot was fired and everyone else couldn't help but join in the fun. The police have a good sense of rhythm, you know.
But then why stop at fifty?
And now there's surprise - surprise, mark you - that the police's story seems to be different from that of the victims.
Because the police claim, of course, that they only started blasting when the Sean Bell put his foot on the gas and tried to drive off, thus crashing into a police van. Benefield says the spur for accelerating away was the sudden appearance of an undercover cop shooting through the wind screen.
The police have distinguished themselves once again by leaking irrelevant and very probably fictitious claims to the media about the criminal past of the men who were shot. How reassuring to know that it isn't solely a hobby of the British policeman. Aside from that, the police have conducted a number of raids on those who knew the victims in an attempt to prove their guilt. In the course of this, they have managed to pull a gun on a seven year old girl and threatening her with five years in jail. All this because they have to explain fifty shots directed at innocent men to a jury.

B-B-Born in the USA!!!! An' Im' so proud...

Ze-Frank Gets Into The Spirit Of The Season

Retail, that is...

We Don't Do Much Cat Blogging Here @The Pond

For one thing, we don't have any cats around the Konopelli Kennel/Casa.
And it's not even Friday.

But: Check This Out

Courtesy of The Last Ex-Mrs WGG...

It's gotta satisfy even the most obdurate Kitty-Blogging fanatic...

Almost A Dead Lift, Direct from Grist

Plumb Crazy
U.S. EPA considers delisting lead as an air pollutant

(Thud! Thunk! Crash!) That sound you hear?
It's jaws dropping everywhere in response to the U.S. EPA's announcement that it might stop regulating lead as an air pollutant.
Citing the fact that concentrations of the toxic heavy metal in the air have dropped 90 percent since 1980, and using logic we can only assume was supplied by EPA administrator Stephen Johnson's six-year-old granddaughter, the agency says lifting the national standard may be justified "given the significantly changed circumstances since lead was listed [as an air pollutant] in 1976."
In other words, listing it worked so well, we might as well delist it. (WTF?????)
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), who's set to take over the House Committee on Government Reform, told Johnson "this deregulatory effort cannot be defended" and urged the agency to "renounce this dangerous proposal immediately."
Meanwhile, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is recommending that lead be banned from children's jewelry. Why? Because. Lead. Is. Poisonous.
Now close your mouth; it's not polite to gawk, even at such patent stupidity.

straight to the source: San Francisco Chronicle, Associated Press, John Heilprin, 06 Dec 2006

straight to the source: Scientific American, Reuters, Timothy Gardner, 06 Dec 2006

straight to the source: The Washington Post, Annys Shin and Juliet Eilperin, 07 Dec 2006

Monday, December 11, 2006

Fisrt Draft Post Mortem of the Fabulous 109th Congress

Ze-frank, back from the weekend and another excursion on the fire-danger-eagle.

Once You Start With Poetry, The Fun Never Really Stops

Like, did you know that Margaret ("Meg") Atwood, along with being an astonishingly talented novelist, polemicist, speaker and generally incredible human being, is also a poet? It SOOOOO ain't fair. The following example has contemporary political resonances, imho:

Backdropp Addresses Cowboy

Starspangled cowboy
sauntering out of the almost-
silly West, on your face
a porcelain grin,
tugging a papier-mache cactus
on wheels behind you with a string,

you are innocent as a bathtub
full of bullets.

Your righteous eyes, your laconic
people the streets with villains:
as you move, the air in front of you
blossoms with targets

and you leave behind you a heroic
trail of desolation:
beer bottles
slaughtered by the side
of the road, bird-
skulls bleaching in the sunset.

I ought to be watching
from behind a cliff or a cardboard storefront
when the shooting starts, hands clasped
in admiration,

but I am elsewhere.
Then what about me

what about the I
confronting you on that border
you are always trying to cross?

I am the horizon
you ride towards, the thing you can never lasso

I am also what surrounds you:
my brain
scattered with your
tincans, bones, empty shells,
the litter of your invasions.

I am the space you desecrate
as you pass through.

Margaret Atwood

Speaking of Poems, Do You Know Billy Collins' Work?

Quirky, brilliant, sardonic, funny, and


Here's one; try it:

Another Reason Why I Don't Keep A Gun In The House

The neighbors' dog will not stop barking.
He is barking the same high, rhythmic bark
that he barks every time they leave the house.
They must switch him on on their way out.

The neighbors' dog will not stop barking.
I close all the windows in the house
and put on a Beethoven symphony full blast
but I can still hear him muffled under the music,
barking, barking, barking,

and now I can see him sitting in the orchestra,
his head raised confidently as if Beethoven
had included a part for barking dog.

When the record finally ends he is still barking,
sitting there in the oboe section barking,
his eyes fixed on the conductor who is
entreating him with his baton

while the other musicians listen in respectful
silence to the famous barking dog solo,
that endless coda that first established
Beethoven as an innovative genius.

Billy Collins

Of Conspiracies and Conspirators.

Folks of the 'rational' bent of mind tend to want to dismiss 'conspiracy' theories. Too much has to go just so for a conspiracy to prosper, they'll say; and no one could rely on the other conspirators' silence, they'll say. "NASA Faked the Moon Landing" is a claim which often is offered to provide evidence of the improbability or implausibility of such claims.

I do not dismiss out of hand the possibility of conspiracies, even elaborate, seemingly impossible ones. Okay, I happen to think NASA didn't 'fake' the moon landings. But they could have, easily. Here is my take on the phenomenon:

Several years ago, iirc, some poor, demented soul began contaminating packages of over-the-counter medicines (was it Tylenol?) with poisons; several people died, and several more were injured.

When investigating these seemingly random crimes, the police uncovered a plot: the demented person had adulterated several random packages and caused several random deaths and injuries for one reason only, and it wasn't mere homicidal mischief: the medicines were poisoned whch strangers would be taking in order to provide cover for the intentional act of murder, by the same means--i.e., poisoned OTC medicines--within her/his own household.

This case has served me as a paradigm for trying to understand and interpret other, seemingly randomly associated events.

There are billions of people in the world, and room for all manner of coincidences to occur. It's just that, sometimes, folks try to manipulate the appearance of coincidence to cover intentional acts...and you might never know, unless you looked...

When USer 'citizen/consumers' are "the Enemy," how do you destroy the village to save it?

Silly you, you probably didn't think that normal, average, USer citizens were
"the Enemy."

But then, probably you haven't been paying attention to the latest utterances of former Atty. Gen. "Bloody" John Ashcroft, or retired Vice Admiral Lowell E. ("Jake") Jacoby, the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and now a professional protector for CACI International. According to William Arkin, recently in the WaPoBlog, the people whom the citizens of the USofA must needs beware aren't the "Islamo-fascists" (whatever the fuck they are); no indeed, the folks most dangerous to our freedoms are our "protectors": Bush, of course; but the whole Protection Industry, including current and former Busheviks, and the aforementioned Adm. Jacoby. If they have their way, they'll protect us right the fuck outta our Constitition.

I commend this article to your attention and suggest that you be extremely wary of folks who say they'll protect you from the perils of the world of which they are the only ones who really understand it...

Anyone Who Needs a Good Reason NOT TO Patronize Wal-Mart/Sam's/Walton Crap

Here is one for all seasons: The Company regularly and serially violates US Child-Labor Laws, and profits handsomely from those violations:
A recent investigation by the National Labor Committee revealed children, some only 11 years old, were making Wal-Mart clothes in a Bangladesh factory. The
children report being routinely slapped and beaten, forced to work 12 to 14 hours a day, often seven days a week, for wages as low as 6 and a half cents an hour.Right here in the United States, Wal-Mart's own internal audit found 1,371 instances in which minors worked too late at night, during school hours, or too many hours in a day. It also found 60,767 instances of workers missing breaks and 15,705 instances where employees were forced to work and miss meal times.Despite all of this, Wal-Mart refuses to adopt a zero tolerance policy on child labor! Our children deserve better from Wal-Mart. This holiday season, tell Wal-Mart to adopt a zero tolerance policy on child labor.

I do not EVER shop Wal-Mart or Sam's, and will not ever knowingly support any commercial endeavor in which the Walton's grubby, blood-stained fingers have dabbled. I would not shop there, whether or not they were child-friendly, as long as they manifest their profound hostility to the organizing efforts of their workers.
But that's prob'ly just me...

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Happy Days Are Here Again! @ The NLRB

On the economic front, today's LATimes has the following good news:
Thanks in part to the National Labor Relations Board, most American workers haven't seen their share of the booming economy
By Dmitri Iglitzin and Steven Hill
(DMITRI IGLITZIN is a labor law attorney in Seattle. STEVEN HILL is a director at the New America Foundation.)
December 9, 2006
WHILE President Bush points to low unemployment and a resurgent stock market as signs of a strong economy, most Americans don't feel so bullish. Median incomes are flat, healthcare costs are soaring, pensions are being de-funded and corporate employers are threatening to shred the social contract with their employees that has prevailed for 60 years.
and, oh yeah, We don't need no steeenkeen unions:

A nationwide study by the University of Illinois at Chicago found that:

• 30% of employers fire pro-union workers.

• 49% threaten to close a work site when workers try to unionize.

• 82% hire consultants to fight union-organizing drives.

• 91% force employees to attend anti-union meetings with supervisors.

There is a bill languishing in Congress, the Employee Free Choice Act, which already has 215 co-sponsors in the House and 43 in the Senate, which might go a ways toward rectifying these abuses. We'll see how the "new bosses" feel about their labor constituency by the fate it enjoys...

To read the whole piece, click the link in the headline of this post...

Somebody Please Tell Me Why Cynthia McKinney Was BAD For Democrats?

Other than she makes 'em look like the gutless, ineffectual puss-buckets and douchebags they truly are.

In what was likely her final legislative act in Congress, outgoing Georgia Rep. Cynthia McKinney introduced a bill Friday to impeach President Bush.
The legislation has no chance of passing and serves as a symbolic parting shot not only at Bush but also at Democratic leaders. Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has made clear that she will not entertain proposals to sanction Bush and has warned the liberal wing of her party against making political hay of impeachment.
McKinney, a Democrat who drew national headlines in March when she struck a Capitol police officer, has long insisted that Bush was never legitimately elected. In introducing her legislation in the final hours of the current Congress, she said Bush had violated his oath of office to defend the Constitution and the nation's laws.
In the bill, she accused Bush of misleading Congress on the war in Iraq and violating privacy laws with his domestic spying program.
McKinney has made no secret of her frustration with Democratic leaders since voters ousted her from office in the Democratic primary this summer. In a speech Monday at George Washington University, she accused party leaders of kowtowing to Republicans on the war in Iraq and on military mistreatment of prisoners.

Go On, Read This, I Dare Ya. Then Tell Me...

...the "new" boss is gonna be ANY different from the "old" boss...

Check out the vote margins...These Dumbocrap fuckers aren't gonna upset the ass-hole cart...

Have You Ever Wondered About Life in Central Asia?

A pretty good buddy of mine is in teaching in Biskek, Kyrgystan, and blogging from there.

He's teaching American Studies at the American University of Central Asia. These are some of his students.

Friday, December 08, 2006

I Haven't Figgered Out The Trick To Embedding You-Tube Links With Kewl Graphics

So just click the link in the headline, above.

Vote for the Grinch of the Year

Jobs With Justice's annual contest to name the corpoRat Grinch of the Year.

Vote now in the sixth annual online Grinch of the Year election to determine the national figure who does the most harm to working families. The candidates are:

  • SMITHFIELD Tar Heel Division CEO Joseph Luter III
  • GOODYEAR Tire & Rubber Company
  • OR Write in your own candidate


Why those two?

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company forced 15,000 USW members out on strike at 16 plants across North America on October 5, 2006. Despite concessions given by United Steelworkers (USW) members and retirees in 2003 to insure that Goodyear remained in business, Goodyear is now insisting on additional plant closings and even deeper concession in this round of bargaining.


  • USW concessions in 2003 contributed to a billion dollar turnaround at Goodyear;
  • Goodyear wants to turn their backs on the USW retirees who built their company;
  • Goodyear is now recruiting and using scabs to staff their plants even though experts say that tires built by scabs contributed to the 271 deaths associated with rollovers of Ford Explorers;
  • Goodyear wants to outsource more American jobs to China where Goodyear workers earn only 42 cents an hour;
  • Goodyear is abandoning America’s workers, retirees and communities;

Goodyear deserves to be awarded the “Grinch of the Year” award, reserved for the most despicable company in North America.

Smithfield's Tar Hell Division CEO Joseph Luter III

Smithfield operates the largest pork slaughterhouse in the world. Located in Southeastern North Carolina, Smithfield’s Tar Heel plant employs 5,500 workers and kills and dismembers over 32,000 hogs each day.

But that’s not all Smithfield does. Smithfield operates a dangerous workplace, forcing its workers who have not been adequately trained to work at exceedingly fast line speeds while making repetitive hand motions in processing the pork. Every day, workers are injured, harassed, intimidated, and threatened by Smithfield management.

Smithfield maintains an environment of fear and intimidation. For over ten years now, workers have fought relentlessly for a voice on the job. In 1994 and 1997, workers tried to hold a union election but were met with the coercive fist of Smithfield. After the vote count at the 1997 election, one union supporter and one union organizer were dragged out of the plant, beaten, insulted with racial epithets, and arrested.

For five years, from 2000-2005, Smithfield had it own police force with the state police power to make arrests on Smithfield property. And arrests it made. During its brief stint as a police force, the Smithfield Company Police arrested over 90 workers.

Smithfield is also known to have exploited racial tensions, having in the past physically segregated African-American and Latino workers in the plant. In 2004, the Company threatened Latino workers with arrest by federal immigration authorities. Although Smithfield was brought to court over their labor abuses and found to have committed violations of the National Labor Relations Act, Smithfield continues to deny the legitimacy of the 2004 National Labor Relations Board decision and order which was affirmed by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.

As Smithfield pays poverty wages to its employees and fails to provide adequate treatment to injured workers, Former CEO and current Chairman of the Board, Joseph Luter III, takes in $83,333.33 each month in a base salary just for consulting Smithfield. Under the terms of Luter’s contract, he is also entitled to use the company jet and receives cash incentive awards. Even in retirement, Luter is afforded a lavish lifestyle.

While Luter revels in the benefits granted to Smithfield’s upper echelon, the workers in Tar Heel are forced to bear the burden of Luter’s indulgent activities. For this reason, and countless others too numerous to mention, Joseph Luter III of Smithfield deserves the title of Grinch of the Year.

Make your voice heard. VOTE!

AAR Is Circling The Drain: Stream KPHX

For, among other reasons:
Mike Malloy, Peter B Collins, Thom Hartmann and--

Action Point
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Written by Cynthia Black
12-10-2006: Join us LIVE as we broadcast from Rosie McCaffery's! The Palast Report, our Blue Christmas Special Segment and YOU (Be There)!!

Greg Palast and YOU!!

12-17-2006: On the core problems of terrorism (i.e. the political struggle that ends in acts of terrorism) and economics there is an intersection. Find out where and what you can do about both with influential Foreign Policy magazine editor Moises Naim as we discuss his new book How Smugglers, Traffickers,And Copycats Are Hijacking The Global Economy. BBC journalist and author of The Armed Madhouse Greg Palast brings us The Palast Report, and more!

The Paradigmatic Condition Called "Aporia"

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Not For Everyone, The Show Tonite May Best Be Described As '-Referential'

Who doesn't love a rubber duckie???

especially one that looks like you.

Ray McGovern, ex-CIA, Blows Taps for the Constitution

Embarrassed by and disgusted with the mewling, puling, gutless fucks on the US Senate Armed Services Committee (join the crew, Ray)--both Pukes who should know better, and Dumbs who should have used the opportunity to show their 'new' chops--McGovern bemoans the 'fearless fawning' of the officials charged with oversight upon Robert Gates, the'dirty' nominee for Defense Secretary of the 'failed' Regime. McGovern, who has known Bobby Gates since their days together in the Agency, is corruscating in his criticism of the committee's gutless, feckless handling of the nomination of someone he regards as terminally damaged goods. has the original. As am I, McGovern is near despair already over the meliorating, conciliatory antics of the soon-to-be-empowered Dems

Salient Points: The Opening Blast

It felt yesterday like paying last respects to the Constitution of the United States at the wake orchestrated by the Senate Armed Services Committee, the very reverend John Warner, gentleman for Virginia, presiding. On the surface, the ceremony was about confirming Robert Gates to be secretary of defense. But at a deeper level, it was quite a sorry spectacle, as pretentious heads and patrician manners once trumped courage, and vitiated the prerogative carefully honed by the framers of our Constitution for the Senate to advise and consent...

That Gates would be given a free pass without serious probing was already clear in ranking member Carl Levins's (D-Mich.) deference to lame-duck chairman John Warner's (R-Va.) plan for a carefully scripted hearing, at which senators could disregard new, documentary evidence of Gates's deception of Congress and the independent counsel for Iran-Contra. Holding the hearing so quickly after Gates's nomination also made it possible for him to say, in effect, "Gosh, I just got here; didn't know about that; haven't read that, but I'll put that on the top of my reading pile."

Fully expecting that Levin's Democratic colleagues would join him in acquiescing in the charade, anti-war activists told me before the hearing began that they had come prepared with a chant:

You won the elections. Now ask real questions!

And he finishes with a flourish:

Yesterday's charade at the Senate Armed Forces Committee included repeated allusion to the biblical injunction to "speak truth to power." This has never been Robert Gates's forte. Rather, his modus operandi has always been to ingratiate himself with the one with the power, and then recite - or write memos about - what he believes that person would like to hear. Thus, while CIA Director Bill Casey's "analysis" suggested that the Soviets would use Nicaragua as a beachhead to invade Texas, Gates pandered by writing a memo on December 14, 1984, suggesting US air strikes "to destroy a considerable portion of Nicaragua's military buildup."

This makes me wonder what may be in store for Iran, if Cheney solicits help from Gates in making the case for bombing.

Gates may have "fresh eyes," but if past is precedent he will add but marginally to the flavor of the self-licking ice cream cone that passes for Bush's coterie of advisers. What Bush has done is substitute Sugary Gates for Rumsfeldian Tart. Otherwise, the Cheney/Bush recipe is likely to remain the same as the US draws nearer and nearer to the abyss in Iraq..

"The Self-Licking Ice-Cream Cone". I like that.