Friday, December 28, 2007

You shouldn't keep souvenirs of a killing. You shouldn't have been that sentimental.

Dday over at Digby's place provides a good run-down of U.S. involvement in Pakistani politics and what the Bhutto assassination means to those efforts.

I refer again to my observation made last year that the United States would be much better off if Bush and company did absolutely nothing during their remaining time in office. Absolutely everything they touch turns to shit.

The U.S. should have never pushed Bhutto back into Pakistan if they weren't absolutely certain she would have adequate security while campaigning. While the Pakistani Foreign Minister points his finger at al-qaeda today it's more likely that Musharraf's directly involved.

I can't help but wonder if this is the result the U.S., at least our Vice President, was looking for.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Mankind should be our business, Ebenezer, but we seldom attend to it.

A small clip from my favorite scene of my favorite version of "A Christmas Carol."

Merry Christmas to all with a "humbug" thrown in for good measure in memory of gramps.

All I want is what I... I have coming to me. All I want is my fair share.

Oregon's "Waddling Bandit" is making national news with the FBI accidentally arresting the wrong guy.

As of today the real bank-robber with the funny gait remains at large.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Schwartz created a slight breach of etiquette by skipping the triple dare and going right for the throat!

The news that the GOP Senate minority is the most obstructionist ever is being met by the predictable response that Democratic Senators fillibustered some Bush nominees in the last session and so it's a pot/ kettle situation. It would certainly appear that way, especially if one was laboring under some sort of major head trauma or in the late stages of mad cow disease. Otherwise; not so much.

I've been spending the last several months pretty much taking the Democratic party to task and I stand my resolution that the party, especially the party leaders, are absolutely worthless. That said- the idea that the actions of both parties surrounding fillibusters while in the majority are somehow equivalent makes me want to bang my head against my desk. In fact, hold on a second....

Okay, back.

Just to review yet again- the nuclear option was basically a plan by Republican leaders to break the senate's own rules in order to stop minority Democratic fillibusters of Bush nominees. The Republicans were able to avoid throwing the Senate into disarray by breaking the rules only by the "wise" compromise agreement by the Gang of 14 that the Democrats would stop fillibustering and Bush would get all of his nominees voted on. This led to general unhappiness among the bases of both parties as the Democratic base recognized we'd been shafted once again and the Republican base still wanted blood and to kill the fillibuster forever.

In the current situation the roles are reversed and the base of the Democratic party is again very unhappy that the will of the majority of Americans is being thwarted by the determined radicals on the other side. The difference here - which is hugely telling of what sort of people are attracted in general to both major parties - is that the Democratic base isn't crying for an end to the fillibuster. The Democratic base is screaming because the Democratic leadership is refusing to make anyone but Democratic Senators (Chris Dodd) actually fillibuster.

Republicans were angry with their party because they wouldn't break the rules. Democrats are angry with their party because they won't force the other party to FOLLOW THE RULES. That's the difference.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?

Forgive me for this it's been a long day and I haven't had much sleep the last couple of days but it occurs to me that if George W. Bush were George Bailey he would awaken to a world in which he never existed in which the town was called Bedford Falls instead of Pottersville, the transport with those soldiers wouldn't have been blown-up, killing every man aboard and the people of the town weren't getting shafted by Real Estate tycoons offering crappy loans.

It'd be a wonderful life for everybody else.

We hobbits are plain, quiet creatures. Adventures make one late for dinner.

Overdroid might not like this but for the rest of us this is great news!


Los Angeles, CA (Tuesday, December 18, 2007) Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson; Harry Sloan, Chairman and CEO, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM); Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne, Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOs of New Line Cinema have jointly announced today that they have entered into the following series of agreements:

* MGM and New Line will co-finance and co-distribute two films, “The Hobbit” and a sequel to “The Hobbit.” New Line will distribute in North America and MGM will distribute internationally.

* Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh will serve as Executive Producers of two films based on “The Hobbit.” New Line will manage the production of the films, which will be shot simultaneously.

* Peter Jackson and New Line have settled all litigation relating to the “Lord of the Rings” (LOTR) Trilogy.

Said Peter Jackson, “I’m very pleased that we’ve been able to put our differences behind us, so that we may begin a new chapter with our old friends at New Line. ‘The Lord of the Rings’ is a legacy we proudly share with Bob and Michael, and together, we share that legacy with millions of loyal fans all over the world. We are delighted to continue our journey through Middle Earth. I also want to thank Harry Sloan and our new friends at MGM for helping us find the common ground necessary to continue that journey.”

Monday, December 17, 2007

That sounded terrible! The tenor section was weak.

If you're a fan of the band Nerf Herder you've probably seen this video or heard this song. If not - enjoy!

I've always had a thing for Santa Claus. In case you didn't notice. It's like some deep-seeded childhood thing.

Sometimes you just have to step back and stand in awe of how wacky our national discourse has become. Today we are supposed to take it as earth shattering news that a crazy, war-mongering right-wing Senator endorsed another crazy, war-mongering right-wing Senator in his run for the Presidency.


Friday, December 14, 2007

Hey, we're a smash let's take a bow!

Don's game looked like fun. So my band is ALPG Tour. We're female, we're Aussie, we golf and we ROCK!

Our current album is Stemmadenia tomentosa. In common lingo that would be a rare species of Mexican plant but it also means we ROCK!

Tracks off of Stemmandenia tomentosa-

1. Robbins, North Carolina -- our own "Sweet Home Alabama."
2. Santa Fe 1010 -- a steam locomotive of ROCK!
3. USCGC Mellon (WHEC-717) -- we love the Coast Guard and this is our favorite cutter.
4. Bicentennial Minutes -- a patriotic metal tune.
5. Bongaigaon district -- in all of India there isn't a sweeter district. Goalpara and Kokrajhar districts SUCK.
6. Nuts & Bolts -- the primal scream of Australian profession lady golfer rockers.
7. Chatterbox -- a critical take on the commercialization of the news that ROCKS.
8. List of University of Essex people -- these people decidely do not ROCK.
9. Mike Erwin-- the voice of Speedy on Teen Titans and a dreamboat.
10. Grenada at the 2004 Summer Olympics -- we realize there are tons of songs out there about this already but thought we'd do our own version.
11. Edison Welding Institute -- our band spent our formative years there.
12. Armenian Opera Theater -- the site of our biggest concert. 36 fans showed up for that barn burner.
13. Bandiagara Escarpment -- "I gotta catch my love - strap ACME rockets to my heels - chase him through the desert - right off the Bandiagara Escarpment. Don't look down, don't look down, don't look down... or I'll fall."
14. He's Alive -- because we ROCK.
15. Fredric Hasselquist -- the dean of Palestinian Natatural History and a righteous dude.

Bonus Track: Motu River -- "When you chipped a shot into the Moto River you hit the hazard of my heart."

Golf - Australia - ROCK!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I MUST stop Christmas from coming!

Since congress is resolved to wasting our time with this crap I've written my own Christmas resolution which I expect them vote through immediately--

Recognizing the importance of Christmas to al Whos in Whoville.

Whereas all the Whos down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot, but the Grinch, who lives just north of Whoville, does not.

Whereas the Grinch hates Christmas. The whole Christmas season.

Whereas the Grinch's shoes are too tight.

Whereas the Grinch's head is not screwed on right.

Whereas the Grinch's heart is too small by the power of two.

Whereas the Grinch was a mean one, a heel, as cuddly as a cactus, as charming as an eel.

Whereas the three words that best describe the Grinch are "stink," "stank," "stunk."

Whereas the Grinch had a wonderful, awful idea to keep Christmas from coming.

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

(1) Supports Christmas toys, and noise, noise, noise, noise.

(2) Enjoys Who-pudding and rare Who-roast-beast.

(3) Will ring bells and start singing.

He's Mister White Christmas, he's Mister Snow. He's Mr. Icicle, he's Mister 10 below.

If you hadn't been following the writer's strike compulsively you might have missed that the strike took a different tone in the last few days after the last series of talks "broke down. " In actuality it's become clear that the studios are following the George W. Bush model of negotiation- "Our willingness to compromise begins and ends with agreeing to sit down at the same table with you scumbags. Don't expect anything more than that." They are trying to break the union.

Patrick Goldstein has a great piece in the L.A. Times covering this conflict.

This puts all of Hollywood on the road to perdition. That still leaves the real unanswered question: Why have the studios walked away from the negotiating table? Although it seemed hard to believe at first, the evidence is overwhelming that they never had any serious intention of making a fair deal, at least the kind of deal that, as Lew Wasserman might have put it, would've allowed both sides to come away declaring victory. There is clearly a powerful studio faction that believes that giving residuals to the writers was a fundamental mistake. Since it's impossible to put that genie back into the bottle -- not that the studios didn't try -- the next best thing would be to put a tight lid on any new media revenue streams, since they will someday become the studio's biggest new source of profit.
In the broader picture the Director's Guild and Screen Actor's Guild have contracts up soon. The Director's aren't going to stand with the writers and pretty much get everything they want anyway as Overdroid pointed out to me yesterday but the actors are in pretty much the same boat as the writers when it comes to internet revenue and residuals. The studios want to break both unions.

The thing is the "new media streams" referred to above are currently democratic and inexpensive. Writers would probably be better off to break from the studios and tap these resources on their own outside of the studio system. The studios themselves seem to be signing their own death warrant. As painful as this is to watch it's akin to a slow-motion corporate suicide. You don't see that every day.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What about santa's cookies? I suppose parents eat those too?

It's nice that USA Today has decided to be charitable and give a couple of knuckleheads from the The Politico a national platform but you'd think they'd at least vet it for, I don't know, any connection to reality before they print the sucker. "Liberal Views Could Hurt Obama." Really?

Just what are Obama's wacky, out-of-the-mainstream far-left moonbat views anyway? Why, they're all nicely summed up at the beginning of the opinion piece-

When Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., was seeking state office a dozen years ago, he took unabashedly liberal positions: flatly opposed to capital punishment, in support of a federal single-payer health plan, against any restrictions on abortion, and in support of state laws to ban the manufacture, sale and even possession of handguns.

Gasp! What a crazzzzyyyyy guy.

For those part those views could be classified as fairly centrist. I would say that most Americans would share the majority of Obama's positions on anything outside of capital punishment. But that misses the point.

Obama doesn't have a left-wing problem he has a right-wing problem. His positions in the campaign have come squarely down on the side of what the Washington village considers to be moderate these days. That means that on a whole variety of issues he solidly to the right of where most of the country is on these issues. Obviously Democratic consultants have molded the man into the sort of weak mush that the Democratic party base, and the country as a whole, don't want or need.
Obama is running for President of Washington D.C. Meanwhile- America still needs a leader.

Friday, December 07, 2007

We pledge allegiance to the Bible. The Old Testament shall be our sole and only Constitution.

Since this has been religion week here we might as well cap it off with a comparison of the speeches by one great man 47 years ago and one not-so-great man just yesterday.

On Sept. 12, 1960 John F. Kennedy gave speech on religion to a group of Protestant clergy outlining his philosophy on that subject and what he saw as the role of the church and the state

But because I am a Catholic, and no Catholic has ever been elected president, the real issues in this campaign have been obscured — perhaps deliberately, in some quarters less responsible than this. So it is apparently necessary for me to state once again not what kind of church I believe in — for that should be important only to me — but what kind of America I believe in.

I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference; and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.

Yesterday Gov. Mitt Romney outlined his own philosophy on religion in our society and though it was meant to echo Kennedy's words, at least in form, in truth it stands in stark contrast to Kennedy's views.

We separate church and state affairs in this country, and for good reason. No religion should dictate to the state nor should the state interfere with the free practice of religion. But in recent years, the notion of the separation of church and state has been taken by some well beyond its original meaning. They seek to remove from the public domain any acknowledgment of God. Religion is seen as merely a private affair with no place in public life. It is as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America – the religion of secularism. They are wrong.


I would not look with favor upon a president working to subvert the First Amendment's guarantees of religious liberty. Nor would our system of checks and balances permit him to do so. And neither do I look with favor upon those who would work to subvert Article VI of the Constitution by requiring a religious test — even by indirection — for it. If they disagree with that safeguard, they should be out openly working to repeal it.


Americans acknowledge that liberty is a gift of God, not an indulgence of government. No people in the history of the world have sacrificed as much for liberty. The lives of hundreds of thousands of America's sons and daughters were laid down during the last century to preserve freedom, for us and for freedom loving people throughout the world. America took nothing from that Century's terrible wars – no land from Germany or Japan or Korea; no treasure; no oath of fealty. America's resolve in the defense of liberty has been tested time and again. It has not been found wanting, nor must it ever be. America must never falter in holding high the banner of freedom.

To sum up and paraphrase both speeches:

Kennedy- "I am a religious man but my greater loyalty is to our constitution. The separation of church and state is absolute. The government protects our liberties including our freedom to worship as we see fit."

Romney- "I am a religious man and acknowledge that there is a separation of church and state but it shouldn't be enforced in any meaningful way. Liberty is derived from religion and not the other way around.

Forgive me but I'll take Kennedy's America over Romney's any day of the week.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Doesn't it do anything but snow up here? We've had a blizzard every day for the past two months.

Amongst the myriad of proof signifying the increase in global warming I'd like to point you towards a couple of stories. The first was in today's Big O entitled Big, wet storms may become new 'normal.'

The steamy tropical belt around Earth's midsection, birthplace of the powerful storm that pounded the Northwest this week, is expanding much faster than scientists studying global warming expected.

It's now as wide as climate models suggested it would be at the end of this century, new research shows. The rapid growth is another sign that bigger storms carrying more rain may become the new "normal" in the Northwest, especially in fall and early winter.
Snabby's been blogging about the recent Storm of the Century(tm)
this week.
Apparently those of us in the Northwest are going to see more of this. So we got that going for us.

Perhaps more troubling are the findings of NFL Meteorologists- NFL Meteorologists Warn Steaming Black-Guy Heads Occurring Later Every Year.

NEW YORK—Steaming black-guy heads, the traditional sign of approaching winter for generations of football fans, have been occurring later in the season with every passing year, a fact that may be evidence of a climatic change with long-term effects on football itself, top scientists in the meteorological department of the National Football League said in a study released Monday.

"The phenomenon of weather-related African-American supracranial vaporous emission, or 'Steaming Black-Guy Heads,' as it is colloquially known, occurs when cold dry winter air comes into contact with hot, humid, shaven heads of football players, causing their personal water vapor to condense and rise on a column of heated air," the statement read in part. "It is then observed by network cameramen, who overwhelmingly choose to film African-American players due to the dramatic contrasts that result—especially when the player in question is backlit—and beamed to millions of households during time-outs, replay reviews, and other stoppages of play. The viewers then realize that winter has come to America."
Will it be possible for even George W. Bush to ignore this latest scientific evidence? Only time will tell.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I know. I also know that anyone who disputes the verdict of an Inquisitor is guilty of heresy.

The great thing about despising the League of Morality Poobas & Religious Whiners that seem to be everywhere these days is there are so many different ways that we lesser angels can stick it to the man. Whether you're driving them bonkers by insisting on using the phrase "Happy Holidays," or spending a few hours refreshing your children's understanding of the science of evolution you're really spending very little effort or energy in the pursuit of driving the Ratzingers, Dobsons, O'Reillys and Donohues of the world absolutely bonkers.

Personally I plan on doing my part this holiday season by taking my kids to see the film "The Golden Compass" which opens this weekend. The protests/ calls for boycott by the "Catholic League" make it THE film to catch for those of us who A) recognize Bill Donohue is a crazy son-of-a-bitch and B) recognize that our children's moral upbringing doesn't hinge on the vigorous application of dogmatic religion. Apparently we aren't alone in that last observation. There are even some Catholics who recognize this as relected in this review of "The Golden Compass."

I want my children to understand that human beings and institutions are fallible. That sometimes those who claim moral authority can traffic in corruption and abuse. I want them to be angry at every wrong perpetuated in the name of God. To question authority. To be feisty troublemakers for positive change. I've told my daughters that no one knows for certain that there's a God or a heaven. I always thought that was the beauty of faith -- that it rests on our willingness to believe in the things we can't prove, to consider, when we look up at the stars or contemplate the elegance of a DNA sequence, the possibility of a higher architecture. I hope that my daughters will find contentment and community in their religion. But I would rather they grow up to be kind, generous unbelievers than sanctimonious, blindly dogmatic Christians.

Amen to that last sentence and pass the popcorn. I'm going to the movies.

Friday, November 30, 2007

These dances and this kind of music can be destructive.

While I'm on the subject of religion-gone-wacky I'd point you towards Ratzinger's latest example of stupidity.

Pope Benedict XVI strongly criticized modern-day atheism in a major document released today, saying it had led to some of the "greatest forms of cruelty and violations of justice" ever known to mankind.

Uh-huh. Because it was atheists who flew those buildings into the Twin Towers. It was an atheist President who saw it as his moral duty, ordained by God, to invade Iraq leading to hundreds of thousands of deaths. It's atheists who deny the importance of stem-cell research or the human contributions of global warming or the dignity of women or who refuse to acknowledge that the advancement of science can indeed ease human suffering.


Benedict sharply criticizes Marx and the 19th and 20th century atheism spawned by his revolution, although he acknowledges that both were responding to the deep injustices of the time.

This is going to sound trite but it shouldn't come as a shock to anyone that a former Hitler Youth has a problem with Marxism. I write this only to point out that maybe, just maybe, his moral objections to Marxism have a longer, more personal history than Ratzinger's ordination so many years ago.

As for lumping Nazism in with Marxism I have no doubt that Hitler was an atheist but I would like to point once again how much he co-opted Christianity into the Nazi state. (See here.)

Update- More religious craziness. Whether it's a blasphemous book, movie or name for a teddy-bear the faithful certainly do a good job of getting in every one's face when they don't fall into line.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Um... Evolution?

If you've been following the drama of Teddy Bear Trial of a British national in Sudan then you may be wondering as I am why any sane person would consider religion, any religion, a reasonable framework to hang one's moral framework. Whether it's naming a stuffed animal after a prophet or insisting that the ten commandments belong in civil courtrooms the commonality of insensitivity to the broader society they inhabit shared by many people of faith is undeniable. Is there really that much difference between the office clerk in Sudan that ratted out this poor British teacher or the fundamentalist nutjob in Kansas that insists evolution is controversial?

A pox on all their houses.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hey laddyyyy!

Issue #423 as to why we should tell Senator Clinton to take a flying leap: She suggests she'd nominate Colin Powell as an Ambassador to "restore the reputation of the United States."


There was a time when I found the idea of such bipartisanship appealing. We're all Americans, after all. That was view was completely naive obviously.

Powell was the king of playing the coy, non-partisan soldier before the 2000 election. Then he joined the Bush team after Bush "won" office and the rest is history. He can pretend now that he was misled. He can say the intelligence was wrong even though we know the intelligence team at State had it exactly right. He can pretend he was just being a good soldier in serving the Commander in Chief. None of that matters. None of it.

When it became clear publicly that there were no WMD and that, under the best of circumstances, the administration took us to war for the wrong reasons, the honorable thing for Powell to do in that situation would've been to draw an "X" on his chest and pull a General Tojo.

Powell has the blood of U.S. soldiers and Iraqis on his hands and he's never apologized. Never.

I know that in the fantasy world of Washington Powell is still considered to be some sort of hero because he resigned long after the point he could have actually done anything and where it would cause the least political damage to our Boy King, but Powell is nothing but a dishonorable toady to an incompetent administration. His legacy is lying dramatically to the United Nations. Period.

It says a hell of lot about Clinton that she would even float this nonsense. I'm all for bipartisanship but anyone that had anything to do with this administration should be automatically disqualified. Powell, Rice, Rumsfeld, etc. are just too stupid or too incompetent or both to be involved on any level with our government in the future. The stakes are just too important.

Look at me - underestimated from Day One. You'd never think I was a master of the universe, now, would you?

With regards to Cheney's irregular heartbeat just a couple of thoughts-

+ If, God forbid, something happens to Cheney does Bush become President?

+ I would recommend to any parents of small children in the D.C. area that they keep a close eye on their kids in the next couple of days. If Cheney's condition is serious he'll have to sacrifice something more important than a goat to the Dark Lord in order to keep his ticker going.

+ Could this just be Presidential politics? Cheney steps down and Bush puts Giuliani in office so he's got the inside track in the election?

Monday, November 26, 2007

And he, he himself, the Grinch, carved the roast beast.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Me - I had a ton of fun playing RPGs with Swinebread and Overdroid. One character mostly insane and the other sacrificed to save the world. Woohoo!

I saw a couple of flicks and thoroughly enjoyed both despite the fact they were worlds apart. "The Mist" was a brave horror film on a lot of levels as it had a LOT of talking and character development but what really sets it apart from current big stream horror was a cynical, kick you squarely in the nuts ending that echoed "The Illustrated Man" from years ago.

But the film I absolutely LOVED was "Enchanted." I'm serious. The thing has a strong "Princess Bride" vibe to it with lots of plays on Disney storytelling and faerie tales. Very funny, happy movie that's a lot better than the trailers make it look.

I don't know about you but I'm turkey'ed out. Bring on the Christmas Roast Beast!


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

He's right. No bucks, no Buck Rogers.

When I add this to Barack Obama's inability to take a strong stand, silly "moderate" positioning on issues like homosexuality (Centrism means taking a position somewhere in the middle between the view that gays are functioning members of society and those that think that gays are evil and must die now) and lack of progressive street cred I have to say there is no way in hell I'd support the guy.

Space exploration, which accounts for about half of 1% of the general budget, should not even be on the table when it comes to cutting spending or changing priorities. Finding and facing a challenge is in our fundamental make-up as a species, not to mention our identity as a nation. The problem is that those without imagination (i.e. conservatives) continue to try and create challenges in pushing for war and creating enemies whether it's the USSR* or Islamofascists.

We need leaders with the foresight to recognize this and the courage to inspire us to face the challenges of saving our environment, fighting hunger and poverty, curing fucking cancer and, yes; exploring the unknown in space and the world's oceans. We need leaders that recognize we're wasting resources in fighting false challenges (Space Shield, anyone?) and that the defense budget should be the first place we look when when we need to tighten our belt. Obama is not such a leader.

This guy was---

(*I am not arguing that the USSR was not a real threat to the security of the United States and western Europe but only that the response in terms of dollars spent on defense was disproportionate to the extent of that threat.)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

So laying eggs all your life and then getting plucked, stuffed and roasted is good enough for you, is it?

Before I type out what's about to follow let me get this out of the way - I love my animals, particularly my dogs.

Having said that -

Ingrid Newkirk of Peta is a scumbag.

Yes, PETA has done some great things in ending the use of animal testing in cosmetics but Newkirk herself is clearly a person of which the elevator doesn't reach the top floor.

I've disliked Newkirk for a long time. In college I wrote a letter to the school paper attacking Newkirk for her idiotic statement "Six million Jews died in concentration camps, but six billion broiler chickens will die this year in slaughterhouses." In keeping with Newkirk's inanity I sarcastically compared Hitler to Colonel Sanders. I'm proud to say that my letter was one of the top 10 most despised letters to the editor that year. It was Eugene, after all.

Of course years later Newkirk and Peta elevated the concept of comparing the holocaust to the meat industry to an even more unimaginable level of absurdity in their Holocaust on your Plate campaign. Peta's faux-surprise at the predictable outrage that resulted just demonstrated once again that their organization seems to be largely composed of those that are only capable of empathy towards animals but, when it comes to their fellow humans, they could care less.

Call it species-ism, call it prejudice against animals, call it whatever you choose but I simply refuse to identify with the Newkirk and the people that make-up Peta. I am very much a Humanist. My sympathy towards PEOPLE informs and motivates my progressive politics. I would love to live in a world where the biggest issue we faced was the conditions of broiler chickens on their path to the table. That would be a world where every child was fed, armed conflict was a thing of the past and we weren't destroying the environment. Until that time Newkirk can bugger off.

Friday, November 16, 2007

If God had wanted us to fly he wouldn't have taken away our wings.

Bad luck for the Ducks. There wasn't a person following this team that wouldn't admit that Dixon was the thing keeping them going. Once he went down their season was pretty much over.


Maybe next year...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

There you are, right back in the jungle again.

Kung Fu Monkey has done some terrific stuff on the screenwriter's strike (he's a screenwriter himself) but I'm really of fond of this latest post because he tears apart not just the giant production companies that are jobbing writers regularly but the libertarian rubes that support them.

This is where I'm always amused at libertarians, because they so love markets but never seem to understand how business actually works. If you, my fine libertarian friend, decide to forego the union and negotiate your own contract vis a vis residuals (or pretty much anything else), you will find that unless you are one of the maybe eight out of 12,0000 most famous and profitable writers in Hollywood, you will get exactly the same deal from each studio, or slightly worse. Because what possible motivation would they have to share their profits, relative to each of the other five competitors? That's just common sense.

Asking why writers don't just go start a new United Artists instead of negotiating for a fair residual on new media is like asking why autoworkers, if unhappy with their current contracts, don't just go start their own car companies. Sure, some of us are actually trying -- did anybody notice, in my posts on the pilot, any mention of a studio? -- but what the hell are the rank and file writer supposed to do in the meantime? And how does the remote possibility this could be done in any way justify the AMPTP's position, that they will reuse our material for free for the foreseeable future? And AGAIN, people, try to be clear on this -- we have intellectual property rights on this material. If you believe authors and songwriters should get royalties, then you believe screenwriters should get residuals. Period.

One of the odd things about libertarianism is it can include some of the smartest people on the planet who, at the same time, can also embody an almost child-like naivete about how business works. Free-markets left to their own devices without the interference of the state do not remain free as businesses tend to naturally consolidate. Free markets don't remain that way for long.

Anyhoo - it's hard to think of what we can do to support the screenwriters other than sign a petition.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Who can deny the snazzy of that?

Don't forget to watch Overdroid on "Rules of Engagement" at 9:30 on CBS. Word on the set is that he was quite the Diva...

Friday, November 09, 2007

I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.

Happy birthday Carl. The world could really use a billion or so more yous right about now.

Don't screw around with me Maverick.

I get why several candidates from both parties missed the Mukasey vote and I find it inexcusable in all cases but the one person who you would think would know better would be John McCain.

Apparently Maverick doesn't have a problem with torture. Go figure.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

This means something. This is important.

Wormer's Oregon election scorecard-

WINNER: Measure 49 Supporters - A convincing win like yesterday is great but we need to remain vigilant. The pro-sprawl, anti-Oregon land use knuckleheads Oregonians in Action have already promised they'll be back. They won't rest until the entire state consists of Ikeas so let's not forget that.

LOSER: Kids Without Health Insurance - the constitutional amendment issue raised by Measure 50 proved troubling even to progressives. I'm sympathetic but as far as I'm concerned that ship has sailed. The constitution's already a mess and we aren't going to fix it without rewriting the whole damn thing.

WINNER: Smokers - although I still get offended when they refer to themselves as a minority. Smoking, like religion, is a choice.

WINNER: $$$ in Politics

LOSER (S): People Who Watch Television in October/ November - We had our own little version of the Harry and Louise ads sponsored by the tobacco industry and I don't think I'm alone in saying they were supremely annoying. I don't know about you but any couple that spends every waking moment sitting at a laptop worrying about baloot initiatives needs to face 30 lashes with a wet noodle. In order for a commercial to be effective it would have to invoke empathy and I HATED that couple too much to identify with their tobacco-industry message.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant.

It somehow escaped me yesterday that it was Guy Fawkes Day. Luckily Crooks and Liars weren't as absent-minded.

That clip in which V commandeers the television station and broadcasts a call to arms to the nation is one of my favorite moments in the film. I believe I posted it myself last November. (yup.)

I remember how moved I was by that speech when I saw the movie. How it so closely paralleled our own country and the paralytic fear that had held us back after the 9/11 attacks. How V mixed the gentle understanding of how we could acquiesce our constitutional birthright to the mini-tyrants in our government with a call to overthrow those same tyrants. How empowering the whole thing was. Especially with an election just around the corner. We would be HEARD.

Then the Democrats were swept into control of congress and there was a moment, just a moment mind you, where a little sunlight shone through the clouds. It was fleeting and illusionary, of course. The DLC. corporatist wing of the Democratic party were still very much in charge and weren't going to let REAL Democrats have a say in anything congress would do, especially if it involved having to confront the tinpot bully in the White House.

With that in mind when I watch V's speech today it just makes me sad. The people roared. The government changed hands. And nothing changed. Nothing.

I've always considered myself moderate-left but can't remember a time in my life when I've been this radicalized. The entire government - both major parties - is one big steaming turd. I'm not alone. As one example - anybody that's read Daily Kos knows Markos Moulitsas is very often pro-establishment. He's spend a hell of a lot of time defending the Democratic powers-that-be against the progressive barbarians. Yet, yesterday he wrote this...

But D.C. is a funny place. No one seems to have gotten that resounding message, certainly not Bush and the new Republican minority. More surprisingly, Democrats also failed to get the message. On issue after issue, the Democratic norm has been to capitulate to the slightest pressure from the GOP. And while the public has meted record-low approval ratings for this Congress in response, the lesson apparently remains unlearned.

Whether it’s Iraq funding or the Michael Mukasey confirmation, Democrats continue to give away the store without receiving any concessions in return. It’s a one-way street in a town that has ceded Article I of the Constitution for a unitary, non-compromising executive. The public is sick of this administration’s betrayals. Why aren’t Democrats?

Indeed. I can't think of a single issue that George W. Bush has lost on with Democrats in control of congress. From nominees to foreign policy the Democratic congress capitulates without so much as a whimper. The country is sick, perhaps terminally so, and Democrats refuse to be part of the solution.

Monday, November 05, 2007

"Yours truly, Donald Duck. Amen!"

On Friday I sent off a cocky email to a bunch of coworkers in Arizona entitled "Ducks 32 Sun Devils 24."

The final score was Ducks 35 Sund Devils 23.

Now, I'm not saying I'm a genius when it comes to college football.

But I'm not saying I'm not.

Go Ducks, Go PAC!

Friday, November 02, 2007

They say he has grit. I wanted a man with grit.

I was trying to figure out why this debate over the democratic debate this week was leaving me so bummed-out. I've always considered that these sorts of arguments over the candidates are the very essence of democracy. That's certainly the first thing that drew me to the democratic party many years ago.

I guess the first thing that I find off-putting is the concentration on Clinton's gender as a point of contention for both sides. We should first ignore the fact that the fact that Clinton's a woman as a question of governance should really remain the province of the Republican party flat-earthers and not something progressives should be arguing about. Republicans are really the guys the miniature units that should be threatened by a female president. On this side of the aisle we shouldn't need to compensate.

With this in mind I find it more than a little offensive that any Clinton supporters would resort to gender framing to defend Clinton in her debate performance a couple of nights ago. In presidential politics the person leading in the polls is going to take the most hits in a debate with the other candidates. That's the simple political reality and has nothing to do with what position the candidate takes while peeing (I'm personally fond of the "leaning drunkenly against the wall of the police station position" myself.)

I don't want Hillary Clinton to be the democratic candidate for President. I've said it many times and remained more convinced of that position as the campaign has progressed. She's not alone, however, on the list of democrats I don't want to see nominated. All of the declared candidates are less than inspiring IMHO. Obama, Edwards, Dodd, Richardson, etc. leave me flat.

In 1984 when I was just a pup when it came to politics I went and saw Jesse Jackson on a campaign stop in his own run for the presidency. I'll never forget that speech. I remember distinctly how he started out slowly, speaking in an almost monotone voice. I was initially disappointed and wondered if Jackson was really the firebrand he'd been portrayed as on television.

Jackson slowly became more animated and changed his cadence until, by the end of the speech, he was essentially preaching to the crowd. We went nuts. We were on our feet screaming our agreement as he ticked of problem after problem that Ronald Reagan had failed to address and how we could do better. My favorite line was when he said he'd take "Franklin Roosevelt in his wheelchair over Ronald Reagan on his horse any day of the week." I left that rally exhilarated, full of hope and convinced that politics could be used to changed the world for the better.

What Americans are screaming for is this kind of leadership. The vast majority of us want the war in Iraq to be brought to an end. We want the the problems of health care and inequity to be addressed. We want action on global warming. We want America's role in the world, as a partner not a bully, restored. We want hope.

I don't give a rat's ass about the gender, race, sexual orientation, religious orientation or whatever the hell else even progressives seem to be debating as qualifications for the presidency. We have real problems. Until a candidate can give me that kind of hope I and millions of others crave then I refuse to give them my attention or my support.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

My last girlfriend was a feminist, vegan punk who broke up with me because she thought I was too angry.

Thank goodness Fred Phelps and his horrible Westboro Baptist church finally have to face the music. It couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of bigoted, homophobic jerks.

Having said that I'm not personally sure that protesting at the funerals of soldiers, as reprehensible as it is, rises to the level of yelling fire in a crowded theater. I do think there are first amendment questions here that I'm not willing to ignore just because Phelps is an A-grade asshole. It appears to me that Phelps and his church do have a 1st Amendment argument.

Still, it's hard for rationale people not to be smugly satisified at this judgement. Besides gays Phelps has railed against jews, hate speech, patriotism, the Irish and even Swedes. Althhough it's hard to fault him for this last bit. Who would disagree that the world would be a better place with fewer lutefisk-eating death metal-listening Swedes to kick around?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

It's Halloween, everyone's entitled to one good scare.

Have fun tonight and remember to save the worst candy to trade with your little brother.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Everybody out of here, everybody out! The Air Force will take care of these babies now.

Rudy Giuliani; crazy neocon whack-job or simply crazy whack-job? That seems to be the only real question.

"Suppose Hillary Clinton and John Edwards' new position was their position back then, that it was a mistake to take him out," Giuliani said, referring to former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. "Wouldn't we be dealing with Saddam Hussein becoming nuclear right now?

Saddam would become nuclear? He's been watching too much "Heroes." Apparently crazy Rudy thinks Saddam would start glowing and then BOOM, he would turn into a giant thermonuclear explosion.

On Iran, Giuliani criticized Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., also a candidate for president, for saying they would engage in diplomatic relations with Iran.

Obama or Clinton would actually negotiate instead of just blowing stuff up? Clearly they are insane and must be stopped.

"This is the world we live in. It's not this happy, romantic-like world where we'll negotiate with this one, or we'll negotiate with that one and there will be no preconditions, and we'll invite (Iranian President Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad to the White House, we'll invite Osama (bin Laden) to the White House," Giuliani said.

No, it's the world YOU live in. It's a world where the President can sprinkle magic pixie dust on the economy and it can fly. It's a world where John Rambo could actually go back and win the Vietnam war. It's a world where bunnies talk, all food tastes like ice cream and a flat-out certifiable nut-job like Rudy Giuliani could actually be elected President of the United States.

(I was working my way up through the decades on horror flicks but had to jump back to War of the Worlds since today is the anniversary of Orson Welles supreme punking of the U.S.)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Surprise, Sidney.

Just left a rubber ducky on the chair of a coworker who happens to be a USC fan.

Bring on the Sundevils!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Morality sucks.

Abraham Lincoln was a lefty Moonbat?

But then we always suspected that anyway, didn't we?

Philip, get me another body.

In the tradition of the FEMA presser from this week here's a short interview I did with myself.

Question: Have you always been this imposingly tall?

Wormer: No, when I was younger I was shorter.

Question: How about the rugged good looks?

Wormer: Unfortunately the Tom Selleck features are something I'm cursed with.

Question: With regards to your job- some classify you as a super-genius who will ultimately wind up running the company while others say your simply smarter than 98% of your coworkers and will wind up running the company. Which is it?

Wormer: My momma taught me modesty. I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Question: Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions, and can I just say you're terrific?

Wormer: Shucks.

Friday, October 26, 2007

They caught A shark, not THE shark. Big difference.

I've been trolling the college football boards after Boston college's lame win last night (neither team should've been Top 10 IMO) and I thought I'd pull out my little sports translator to clarify some of the comments made by fans --

"Defense wins championships" As do offenses. And Special Teams. The "defense wins" argument is usually advanced by teams with so-so quarterbacks who somehow pull out wins.

"Good teams find a way to win" translated this means" my team has an easy schedule which lets us go undefeated but I won't admit it."

"You want to play in the Big Show you got to win every game." The road to a Championship means scheduling powder puffs.

"Your conference (insert PAC 10, Big 12, SEC here) sucks." Translates to "I really don't watch any games by the teams in that conference but I just know that our conference is the toughest.

Playoffs. Please.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A little unexpected what happened down there, huh?

With respect to Albus Dumbledore coming out of the closet this week I really don't know what to think other than to observe that when a wizard loves another wizard it's a magical thing.

Dave, look at me! Do I look like somebody's playing a practical joke?

Oh, for Chrissakes...

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- House Republicans are fuming over Democrats' decision to hold the next vote on the State Children's Health Insurance Program on Thursday -- when many Republicans will be in California as President Bush tours areas hit by wildfires.

"Five to seven members are going, all of whom would be 'no' votes, and [Democrats] know it," House Republican Whip Roy Blunt told CNN. "This is clearly designed to minimize the Republican opposition to this bill."

President Bush vetoed the proposed five-year expansion and $35 billion spending increase for SCHIP on October 3.

How anybody can see the whiny little punks that make up the GOP as anything more than spoiled children is beyond me.

They all asking Pelosi to postpone the vote as "fellow Californians."

Fuck 'em.

It's not like California somehow needs the pompous Republican windbags to somehow recover.

I'd take it a step further and introduce anything else that looked like it might be a close vote. This is how they ran the place for six years - no comity and no mercy for these weasels.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

This is no dream! This is really happening!

This can not end well.

ANKARA, Turkey - Turkish warplanes and helicopter gunships attacked positions of Kurdish rebels along the rugged Iraqi-Turkish border on Wednesday, the country's official Anatolia news agency reported.

Several F-16 warplanes loaded with bombs took off from an air base in southeastern city of Diyarbakir, private Dogan news agency and local reporters said.

Earlier, Turkish artillery units were shelling rebel positions as late as Tuesday night in northern Iraq, according to a government official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

But aren't those members of congress who think they're smarter than George W. Bush at foreign policy just silly?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

'And there shall be destruction and darkness come upon creation and the beasts will reign over the earth.'

Pete Stark apogized to the President on the floor of the House today for remarks in which he accused Bush of "sending kids to Iraq to get their heads blown off for his own amusement.*"


I think I can attribute my high blood pressure whenever I focus on politics to the fact that, unlike the elected Demcoratic representatives in congress, I don't function under a severe form of ADD.

How else can one explain the Democratic leadership's capitulation in the face of resolution censuring Stark introduced by none other than Republican John Boehner? The same John Boehner who just last month refused to apologize for saying soldiers killed in Iraq were paying a "small price" for our freedoms?

I just played a little game on Google. I took the name of leading conservative media personalities and congressman and did a search with their name plus the word "apologize." The results? "Democrats call for Limbaugh apology." "Democrats demand Boehner apologize for 'small price' remarks." "Critics call Coulter religious remarks insensitive."

Missing from all of that is an actual apology from any of those jackasses. Not to mention a "moveon" type censure.

What a bunch of spineless wimps the Democratic leadership is. It's just pathetic.

* That is not to say I agree with Stark's comment that Bush was getting soldiers killed for his own amusement. I think it's well established that Bush could care less one way or the other when our soldiers are killed.

The boys around here call it "The Black Lagoon"; a paradise. Only they say nobody has ever come back to prove it.

I somehow missed that Garry Trudeau had been running a little milblog called The Sandbox.

There are some really moving stories written by our troops in Afganhistan and Iraq talking about what they face day to day chronicled there.

This bit by LT Carl Goforth writing about a return from Iraq really choked me up-

"Saturday morning landing in Cherry Point, North Carolina. The cheers and clapping bring the plane to a roaring good touchdown. Flight crew laughing and clapping right along with us. After unloading and loading our gear several more times on the flight line, we board buses for the hour ride to Camp Lejune.

Families are there waiting. We coordinate to make sure new Dads get off the buses first. And there we are: exhausted, soaked in sweat, and smelling up the bus like a petting zoo.

Nobody cares. Buses roll up. Wives are holding their cheeks, crying and trembling in their beautiful summer dresses. Dads rush off first with laughing and running children jumping into their arms. Moms join the fray. A few parents make it too, and they stand patiently in the back waving little American flags. I hang back a minute or so, just taking it all in. A Rockwellian moment comes to life outside my little bus window.

And right here, right now: all somehow seems right in the world."

More than anything I wish that story could be repeated 140,000 plus times in the months ahead.

Monday, October 22, 2007

My mind is my own, and nobody's going to change it! I'm not going into that room!

A little upbeat Monday quote from an essay my oldest just wrote on patriotism:

"I love the people in this country. The facts are that if you're drowning a stranger will save you, if you need blood people will donate it for you, if there's a war someone will fight for you to make your life safer. These people do these things and many more for you everyday without even having to know you. These people make up this countries's personality. They make this country glow with a kindness that seems surreal. As a teen what I've noticed is that giving back and thanking these great people, these fellow Americans even just cheering them on defines patriotism. These people have inspired me to become a patriot and work harder on becoming a better one. This is the thing that has influenced me the most. "Kind words may be short but their echoes are endless."- Mother Teresa"

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Wonder what they'd have done to Columbus if he'd discovered America, and then mislaid it.

Unintentionally funny quote of the day from Victor Davis Hanson in today's opinion page in the Big O:

"Too often Congress and it's wayward members decide they're smarter at foreign affairs than President Bush. "

The problem in which members of congress decide they're smarter than Bush on foreign affairs isn't limited to wayward members of congress. It's extends to small children, other primates and certain inanimate objects including pencils.

In fact; had we simply flipped a coin at every important foreign policy juncture over the last six years we would've been better off as a country than having the drooling moron in the oval office and his track record of utter, complete failure make foreing policy decisions.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Power - to make the multitudes run squealing in terror!

Just sent off to the Oregonian:
Dear Mr. Caldwell,

Like so many of your readers I avoid reading columns by David Reinhard as a general rule. Please understand it has nothing to do with Reinhard's political affiliation. There are many fine conservative columnists including George Will and Debra Saunders who put forth valid, intellectually honest arguments advocating the conservative position on the issues of the day.

No, the problem with Mr. Reinhard is that is writing is always predictably pedestrian and completely without nuance. Reinhard writes his columns as if he's playing a game a scrabble with the text of the daily G.O.P. blast-fax. Add an adjective here, move a sentence around there and voila! Send this baby to print. For most of us it's simply easier to skip Reinhard and go directly to the source.

Against my better judgement I opened my morning paper and decided to give Reinhard yet another chance. Maybe I was missing something in those hundreds of other columns I've read. Maybe he wasn't as intellectually squishy as I remember.

In reading today's column imagine my surprise to find out that Reinhard is not only just as bad but, surprisingly, has actually regressed in his skills as a columnist. I had to read through the column twice just to confirm that Mr. Reinhard was indeed making-fun of a twelve-year-old boy. A new low for someone like Mr. Reinhard who regularly feeds on the bottom.

The Living section of the Oregonian allows for annual voting on the comics pages where readers are allowed to choose which strips the paper will run and which strips they should drop. I would like to suggest you provide this same opportunity for the readers of the Oregonian's Forum section. I realize this would mean David Reinhard would quickly be out of a job, but a bright guy like himself would surely be able to land on his feet. Or pull himself up by his bootstraps or what ever.

I would hope that you will take my suggestion in consideration,


Dean Vernon Wormer

I understand. But if we don't use your device against Godzilla, what are we going to do?

Matt's spot on of course. When the President says "So I've told people that if you're interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon," he's playing a rhetorical game that goes something like this--

We will prevent Iran from deploying a nuclear weapon.


We will prevent Iran from knowing how to make a nuclear weapon.


We will prevent Iran from watching the movies "War Games," "The Day After," "Terminator 2" or any other films that contain depictions of nuclear weapons.


We will prevent Iran.