Monday, February 28, 2005

California cocktail blogging

what's Maria Shriver talking about? What does the gesture indicate? Is it related to her husband? Nancy sure looks amused. Maybe Maria's had a vodka stinger:

look at that beautiful blue creme de menthe. That's why it's the official cocktail of the democratic party.

or maybe she's had a Rob Roy:

they're often referred to as the "scottish martini"

but if you're thinking that the color of the Rob Roy makes it the official cocktail of the GOP it isn't; they're too hung up on faux moralism and faux populism to have an official cocktail; possibly they have an official beer-- I'm thinking maybe Killian's Red(which is brewed by Coors, appropriately enough.)

My point? None whatsoever. Possibly I'll post about important stuff later this week, after my midterms.

Oscar blah blah blah

Last night was the first time I watched the Oscars in four or five years, and I'll admit I only watched the 2nd half of the show. Any reasonably sophisticated adult must realize that the oscars are by no means some kind of oracular measure of quality, just a measure of the face that Hollywood wants to show the world, a sort of So Cal county fair, only ritzier, and they frown if you dig in to the blueberry pie too voraciously. That, and a statistically unlikely number of the farm girls have plastic surgeons on their speed dials. But I can't sleep and have to do something, so here are some impressions:

1. I don't know if this was the first year they've done this, because as I said I had tuned out since 2000 or so, but I noticed that with many of the awards they had the "contestants" lined upon the stage waiting to hear who won, then one or one group walked forward to accept their tiara statuette. It reminded me of beauty contests, or "reality" tv. Also,

2. One of the recipients, I think it was the short film winner, was given his oscar in the audience by one of the oscar girls and not by the presenter onstage, and he walked up to a microphone that was waiting for him in the aisle. So I guess they were saying he wasn't good enough to walk on the stage like the bigshots. More than a little uncouth on the part of the oscar people, if you ask me. Same goes for the lineup on stage. I don't care if it speeds the show up, these are tacky developments.

(Of course, If they really are so concerned about declining ratings for the oscar telecast, they should've let Chris Rock emcee like he was Chris Rock, although I suppose the FCC would've fined ABC 2 or 3 million dollars...)

3. Why did Hillary Swank kiss her husband on the cheek and her director Clint Eastwood on the lips?

3b. Speaking of Eastwood, why does he deserve two directing oscars and Scorcese deserve zero at this point in their respective careers? I haven't seen Million Dollar Baby, but I did see Unforgiven, and frankly it was one of the most overrated pieces of junk in US cinema in the past 15 years. I liked The Gauntlet and Outlaw Josie Wales and Tightrope a lot better, but what do I know.

4. I was glad to see Sidney Lumet get his honorary oscar. Years ago I had a Francophillic friend whom I occasionally miss who insisted on pronouncing his name "looh-MAY". I thought of him last night and wanted to call him up and tell him, "see? I told you it was "loo-MET!"

Saturday, February 26, 2005

yesterday's quiz

Ok, here's the answer to yesterday's quiz. First the names of the subjects of the photos:

the first one A, is of Mohammed Atta and Abdulaziz al-Omari at the Portland, Maine airport about to make their fateful connecting flight on the morning of September 11th, 2001.

the second one,B, is of Jorge Luis Borges and Bianca Jagger, taken some time in the '70s. Borges of course was one of the leading practitioners of Latin American magic realism, and Bianca Jagger is a noted human rights activist (and Mick's ex).

the third one C, is of American WW II general Curtis Le May.

The two that have something in common are A and C: Atta, al-Omari and Le May were responsible for killing thousands of civilians. There are crucial differences, of course, not the least of which was that Le May was responsible for air raids on the Japanese population as part of an ongoing, formally declared war,whereas the September 11th attacks were by stealth combatants, i.e. terrorists.

Curtis Le May is said to have been the inspiration for the character of Jack D. Ripper in Terry Southern's screenplay of Doctor Strangelove, and credited with having made the infamous statement about bombing the enemy "back into the stone age" (referring to the North Vietnamese, in the '60s.). Le May was nevertheless a more complicated and morally ambiguous character than those factoids might suggest, and I will post a little more about him shortly.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Friday quiz(learning our A-B-Cs)

the subjects of two of these pictures have something in common, whereas the third does not.
(Color vs. B&W is not it.)

the answer tomorrow.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Iraqi Museum, and the casualty count

Arvin posts about the looting of the Iraqi Museum, here.

referencing this Asia Times article(via Invisible Library.)

The plunder of Iraq's treasures
By Humberto Marquez
CARACAS - One million books, 10 million documents and 14,000 archaeological artifacts have been lost in the US-led invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq - the biggest cultural disaster since the descendants of Genghis Khan destroyed Baghdad in 1258, Venezuelan writer Fernando Baez told Inter Press Service (IPS).
"US and Polish soldiers are still stealing treasures today and selling them across the borders with Jordan and Kuwait...

Which reminded me:

I have occasionally wondered if perhaps the reason that the US plan for establishing order in Iraq in 2003 was so lackadaisical was because they were getting feedback from the field that civilian casualties were much, much worse than they'd expected, and they decided that the only way to avoid being made to account for this was to allow the ministry of information to be ransacked. And in order to not have that seem too obvious, they'd just have too appear short-handed all around. (Well, except when it came to the oil ministry, of course.)

I have to believe that Saddam probably kept pretty good records, and if they still existed, sooner or later the foreign press would've asked about them, embarassing the US press into (eventually) asking for a reckoning of who was missing too.

additional link: "Uday Hussein and the ministry of Culture and Information"

Eyes On The Prize and Copyright Law

Have you wondered why PBS hasn't shown the documentary series Eyes On the Prize in such a long time? They can't-- at least not legally, as things stand.

from Wired News,"disappearing history":

Eyes on the Prize, which debuted on PBS in 1987, can no longer be broadcast on television and has never been released on DVD due to a tangle of licensing issues. When the film was first made, each piece of newsreel footage, photograph and song used in the 14-part series had to be licensed from its copyright holder. Due to limited funding, the filmmakers could only afford to buy rights to the material for a certain number of years, and now those rights have expired.

The unavailability of
Eyes on the Prize prompted activist group Downhill Battle to organize screenings of the film across the country. About 100 screenings were planned for Tuesday[Feb 8th] in honor of Black History Month, according to the group.

In Berkeley,
Eyes on the Prize: Awakenings, covering 1954 to 1956, was screened on a large PC monitor to the rapt attention of everyone squeezed into the living room. The film covered significant events in the beginning of the civil rights movement like the murder of Emmett Till and the Montgomery bus boycott.

"The events, images, narratives and songs of
Eyes on the Prize were not written, created or performed by the corporations who now have the copyrights under their lock and key," said Bruce Hartford, reading from a statement signed by the 20-plus members of the Bay Area Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement group.

"These folks are burying our history," said Jelinek, who spent three years in the South working for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, spending some of that time ducking gunfire. "Copyright law was never meant to interfere with the public's right to know. We expected that the experiences would be in the public domain....

Before the film, Hunt read a portion of Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, which gives authors and inventors ownership rights for a limited time "to promote the progress of science and useful arts." Then he gave a brief overview of how the length of copyright ownership has been extended many times over,
making it difficult for documentary filmmakers to "do history."

... Wazir Peacock, whose father worked on a cotton plantation as a sharecropper, talked about how he gave up a career in medicine to work in the Mississippi Delta registering blacks to vote. Peacock said he got involved in the civil rights movement after being outraged that grown black men were still treated like little boys by racist southern whites.

"It hurt me to my very soul," Peacock said.

Jimmy Rogers became involved in the movement while he was a student at Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University). He described witnessing the murder of white seminarian Jonathan Daniels in Alabama. Daniels' murderer was acquitted. He also worked alongside Sam Young, another student at Tuskegee involved in the civil rights movement, who was murdered at a gas station.
Blackside and other filmmakers who lent their talents to
Eyes on the Prize are currently working to assess the costs of re-clearing rights. An estimate of such costs is expected within weeks. Blackside's attorney said the company wants to make the series available again.

One of the reasons I felt less enthusiasm for Clinton in 1996 was the then-impending copyright reforms that were already being talked about as yet another proof of how Clinton was a "different" kind of democrat who would work with business to "modernize" copyright laws. Don't get me wrong, I think we were still better off with Clinton than Dole, but the digital millenium copyright act, passed just before the 1998 mid-term elections, is a nasty piece of work. It upped the max penalty for copyright infringement to 10 years in prison and a cool million dollar fine, and helped put commercial indie radio out of business. In addition, lawmakers passed the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act which extended copyright terms substantially. (Many at the time felt this was more properly called the Mickey Mouse Copyright Term Extension Act,as the mouse was getting ready to pass into the public domain and the Walt Disney Co. was understandably alarmed.)

Works created after 1/1/1978 - life of the longest surviving author plus 70 years - earliest possible PD date is 1/1/2048
Works registered before 1/1/1978 - 95 years from the date copyright was secured.
Works registered before 1/1/1923 - Copyright protection for 75 years has expired and these works are in the public domain.
Prior to the Sonny Bono 20 year copyright term extension, copyright protection for works registered before 1/1/1978 was 75 years; therefore, compositions registered in 1922 or earlier entered the public domain on 1/1/1998. The 1998 copyright extension did not extend copyright protection from 75 to 95 years for songs already in the public domain.

Now I couldn't care less about not being able to reproduce Mickey or Donald or any of their friends without Disney's permission. But the stranglehold that the (fewer and fewer) corporate media firms have on a huge portion of our recorded history (and effectively how we can talk about it) ticks me off to no end. Incidentally, the least expensive copy of Eyes on the Prize(1st set from '87) I could find was on Amazon for 375 bucks, albeit on laser disc. Alibris had a complete VHS set of the '87 show for six hundred dollars(!).

see also "Free Mickey Mouse", The Economist, 10 October 2002,by Lawrence Lessig.

a thursday afternoon miscellany

Arvin Hill channels Howard Kurtz, and doesn't like what he sees:

I am neither a libertarian nor a smoker, but this gave me pause:

It's not so much that I think that Michigan doesn't have a right to try to collect taxes owed to them, but the sneak attack approach of sending as a first-notice a massive bill for taxes not paid over the course of as much as 4 years with a deadline for payment only weeks away reminds me of the heavy-handedness of the RIAA.

(and no, is not the free republic, but the Detroit Free Press, and they don't require a pesky registration, at least not so far.)

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Captain Underpants needs your help

Earlier this month the American Library Association announced their list of the most challenged books in 2004:

"The Chocolate War" by Robert Cormier, for sexual content, offensive language, religious viewpoint, being unsuited to age group and violence

"Fallen Angels" by Walter Dean Myers, for racism, offensive language and violence

"Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture" by Michael A. Bellesiles, for inaccuracy and political viewpoint

the Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey, for offensive language and modeling bad behavior

"The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky, for homosexuality, sexual content and offensive language

"What My Mother Doesn't Know" by Sonya Sones, for sexual content and offensive language

"In the Night Kitchen" by Maurice Sendak, for nudity and offensive language

"King & King" by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland, for homosexuality

"I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou, for racism, homosexuality, sexual content, offensive language and unsuited to age group

"Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck, for racism, offensive language and violence

emphases mine.

[The Chocolate War]drew complaints from parents and others concerned about the book's sexual content, offensive language, religious viewpoint and violence. This year marks the first in five in which the Harry Potter series does not top or appear on the ALA's annual list.

The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom received a total of 547 challenges last year. A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness. According to Judith F. Krug, director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom, the number of challenges reflects only incidents reported, and for each reported, four or five remain unreported.

"With several news reports just in the past week of books like "Bless Me, Ultima," by Rudolfo Anaya being removed from schools, we must remain vigilant," said ALA President Carol Brey-Casiano.

I don't have an absolute objection to censorship, at least not in the educational context. An elementary school library clearly shouldn't include Tropic of Cancer, whatever its literary merit, and I don't think I was deprived way back when because my high school library didn't have a copy of Ulysses. (But it did have Of Mice and Men and Catcher in the Rye and even books with pictures of naked statues from the classical era, without Ashcroft mandated fig leaves.) Now the first example(Tropic) is obviously a straw man as schools don't make those kind of ridiculously inappropriate choices, the point being that school librarians generally do just fine without fire-breathing right-wing pressure groups trying to tell them how to do their jobs. I'm particularly curious about Michael Bellesiles's "Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture", apparently banned for its political viewpoint, as well as the "religious viewpoint" expressed in The Chocolate War. (Somehow I doubt the chocolate war expressed a dispensationalist view.)

I may write about some of these books in a future post(or posts). Dav(?) Pilkey's Captain Underpants drew my attention(how could it not?):

Kidsread.dom calls him an "elastic-waist adventurer fights for Truth, Justice and all that is Pre-shrunk and Cottony."

Dav Pilkey, who really does spell his name that way, has a website, where you can see the all-new captain underpants video, if you feel so compelled.

from A healthy Place

Sally Shaywitz, Yale University professor of pediatrics and author of the critically praised Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Reading Problems at Any Level, notes that Pilkey's "own experiences as a dyslexic child growing up no doubt gave him sensitivity to the imperfections in all of us."

In her book, she urges that parents point out to their children that Pilkey, among many other achievers, struggled to learn to read. "Dyslexic children can imagine and dream and grow up to be wonderful authors like Dav Pilkey," she observes. "The ability to write and imagine has little to do with being dyslexic."

One of the most unusual aspects of Pilkey's books is his periodic use of phonetic spelling in the comics that George and Harold create. (They write words like "pore" for "pour.") Pilkey says he deliberately uses this kind of writing to encourage his readers to try writing and drawing themselves. "I'm hoping that kids will read George and Harold's comics, notice the mistakes and realize that creativity doesn't depend on proper spelling, flawless grammar or even perfect artwork. I'm hoping these 'less than perfect' comics will encourage kids to try being creative on their own, without the often paralyzing fear of 'messing up.' "

I fail to see what is so offensive about Captain Underpants. Parents have struggled for ages to get kids to read "edifying" works, generally to no avail. I'm reminded of that scene in Major League where Tom Berenger is sitting on the bus reading a "classics illustrated" comic of Moby Dick because he hopes to win back ex-girlfriend Rene Russo who had urged him to read it years earlier. The non-illustrated version, that is.

Finally, the ALA is selling a banned books t-shirt, which has a captain underpants logo on the front and says "elect to read a banned book" on the back. Supporting the American Library Association is one way to support intellectual freedom, and it could use a little support right now.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

(Ms.) Samukeliso Sithole

Ms Sithole said she was born with both male and female sexual organs and a traditional healer had made the penis disappear but it had since regrown.

She told the court that the penis had returned because the healer had not been fully paid for his services.

She said that she had already arranged to pay the healer on 3 March, the day her trial is set to start, and so she expected her penis to disappear once more, according to the state-run [Zimbabwe]Herald newspaper.
that'll show 'em.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Hunter S. Thompson

As you've probably heard by now, Hunter S.Thompson is dead, apparently by his own hand. Many on the left had a great fondness for him, and based on the descriptions I've read of so-called gonzo journalism, with its emphases on subjectivity and eccentricity, it sounds like blogging is a descendant of sorts. For my part I've never read any Thompson, and my admittedly incomplete impression is of a personality who tweaked the establishment in an ultimately comforting sort of way, of a writer who was "safely" subversive, someone who might appear on tv-news cable and say something superficially provocative and have the big-haired reporter-type react by tut-tutting him and saying, "oh, you" or something like that. Two Thompson quotes, both of which reinforce this impression:

"I do not advocate the use of dangerous drugs, wild amounts of alcohol and violence and weirdness - but they've always worked for me."

"Today, the Panzer-like Bush machine
controls all three branches of our federal government, the first time that has happened since Calvin Coolidge was in the White House. And that makes it just about impossible to mount any kind of Congressional investigation of a firmly-entrenched president like George Bush. The time has come to get deeply into football. It is the only thing we have left that ain't fixed."

The second is from his last published book, "Hey Rube: Blood Sport, the Bush Doctrine, and The Downward Spiral of Dumbness." My impression of him may of course be grossly unfair, and it may merely be reflective of the mainstream media's tendency to reduce complicated things and people to easy to grasp cliches.

My condolences to his family at this difficult time. It seems his son found him, which must be really tough.

Kaus and Kerry

I happen to agree with Jeap Paul("pvt pyle") of Everything is Ruined about the "general dickishness of Mickey Kaus."

via Avedon.

Kaus: Anyone with a good idea for how to tell Kerry "We're just not that into you" would be doing the Democratic Party and the press a service by publicizing it.

Although I agree with the first half of what Kaus says in this sentence. (I couldn't care less about doing the press any favors.)

Mickey Kaus is an exdemocrat just like his former employer TNR is an exliberal rag. He did write a flawed but interesting book years ago, but it amazes me that anyone still thinks he's a democrat, and that he sees fit to pretend that he's one.

Nevertheless, why would we on the left want Kerry to run again? Because he rolled over when the swift boat guys attacked him? No thanks.

Candidates who operate on the naive assumption that just because a right-wing attack is spurious the national media will promptly do their job and say so are delusional, or stuck in 1973.

I want a democrat who makes the right wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat after they attack him because they know what's coming their way.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

truly lazy blogging

1.Arvin Hill, from "the loanership society"(see also zencomix):
As we all know, Bush says "ownership society" because he can't pronounce oligarchy. Well, that, plus the fact his half-wit constituency has no idea what an oligarchy is. Come to think of it, Bush may not know either...

2.Digby, from "Who Are They Kidding?":
George W. Bush's carefully crafted mystique is built entirely on his manufactured masculinity. In fact, the Republican Party has based its whole image upon the idea that they are the party of macho straight men and the fawning traditonal women who love them. They have spent the last 35 years impugning the manhood of every male Democrat and portraying every Democratic feminist as a manhating bitch --- and winning the national security issue pretty much on the basis of what that implied to their bigoted neanderthal base.

3. Bryan at Why Now puts the much hyped Alan Greenspan in his place:
And we should listen to him because Jimmy Carter appointed Paul Volcker to straighten out the inflation problem in the American economy and Volcker gave Greenspan the 3X5 card that said: you bring inflation down by raising interest rates, and you lower interest rates to the point at which inflation is minimal or if the economy slips into a recession. There was no fine print on the card that said: unless you need to help a Republican.

Greenspan did nothing about the tech stock bubble; he was telling people to get adjustable rate mortgages when mortgage rates were at historic lows; he has no clue as to why no jobs are being created; he has made no stand on the budget and trade deficits; he links Medicare and Social Security to justify talking about a problem.

Mr. Greenspan is a totem, not a wise man. Anyone who talks about increasing the rate of savings for Americans by switching to private accounts while knowing that it will increase the deficit should not head a local credit union, much less the Federal Reserve system. As one of my great aunt's used to say, he has outlived his brain.

4. and finally, from a musical-cum-opera that Ayn Clouter has been working on in her spare time:

Act II -
Scene 1 – A salon in Jacquot's house; several months later.
Scottie and Jacquot are now happily living together. Scottie has now been promoted to press secretary himself, and "Geoffrey Garçon" is tossing him easy questions based on GOP talking points. One day when Scottie leaves for work...

(Sample stanza:)

Saddam had bombs
We found not one
And nerve gas too
No, there was none
Ah oui! I remember it well.

Friday, February 18, 2005


"POWERLINE (Hindrocket)

Dean Smackdown Update
We posted yesterday on the debate in Portland last night between Richard Perle and Howard Dean, which we predicted would be the most one-sided affair since the Little Big Horn. Reader John Arcari has a report:

I just read an account of the debate held last night between Richard Perle and Howard Dean wrritten[sic] by a left winger who attended the debate. The highlight of the report is when some 52 year old Democrat threw a shoe at Richard Perle while screaming "mother f****** liar" numerous times as the police dragged him out of the debate hall. He missed Mr. Perle, who took the incident in light fashion. I believe there were local TV stations there, so I would think the whole episode would be on tape. Ah, the Democrat Party at work!!!

There is simply no plumbing the depth to which the American left has fallen. We understand that the "debate" will be televised on Cspan a week from tomorrow.


I googled the h*** out of "John Arcari", "52 year old democrat," "Richard Perle", "Howard Dean", "debate","shoe", "shoe-throwing in Oregon", "Portland", even "screaming mother f******liar" (both with 5 astrices and with six, just in case our shoe-thrower had sloppy diction and dropped the g when pronouncin the mystery word(I'm making a guess, which is very wrong. Even wronger than poor grammer or spellin.)

But I found nothin. I thought this was curious, because the POWERLINE blog was much ballyhooed this past fall when they ruthlessly exposed that wantonly scurrilous Dan Rather for not realizin that those Killian memos were fakes, created on a computer, and not a 70s era typewriter. All the upstanding journalists at CNN and MSNBC and ABC , et al immediately accepted this mantra, and it rapidly became the received wisdom. (Even though if you really wanted to create fake memos from the 1970s all you'd have to do is go to a Goodwill or Salvation Army thrift store in any major city and pick up an old IBM from that era for ten bucks or so. They were pretty robust and nobody wants them so finding one that's cheap and still functioning is easy. And even though Cory Pein of the Columbia Journalism Review effectively demolished the technical "proofs" offered up by POWERLINE and others in the fall, the august editors of CJR waited until the Jan/Feb '05 issue to print the piece, at which point the upstanding journalists at CNN, MSNBC, et al were no longer interested and probably didn't want to risk not gettin an invite to the inauguration. But I digress.)

So I was a bit taken aback when I saw this post at the newly-Salonized Daou Report, which seemed to have no documented attribution. I checked the actual post at POWERLINE, and sure enough, no attribution.(What left wing blogger? If you are loath to link to her, just write the name of the site; that's better than nothin. And how did Mr. Arcari know the guy was 52 years old? Was it his Uncle Larry? Or did someone say "look at that one-shoed 52 year old man being dragged out by the police. Isn't that disgraceful?" Pretty fishy, if you ask me. Sounds like the calculated making-uppedness of veristic detail by which to lull the casual dummy republican blog reader into believing an account is real when it isn't. Yes, I know I'm makin a shockin allegation without any documentation. And unlike Mr. Hindrocket, I post under the name Hugo Zoom, which probably isn't a real name. Well, I'm going to post the Zoom family coat of arms as my url faviconicon some time next week, so that'll show you, you skeptical types.)

Anyway, back to the incredibly germane points I wanted to make:

(1)I get the impression that either the POWERLINE blog people are just making stuff up, or
(2)even if they're not, if there really WAS a cursing 52 year old shoe-throwing radical at the event , it's a sloppy and grotesquely disingenuous rhetorical device* to suggest that he is somehow representative of the American left as a whole, even if throwing a shoe at Richard Perle does sound like fun. I knew the right was mistrustful of science, but even statistics?

So,I have come to an epiphany: from now on, I'm going to adopt the POWERLINE style of posting. It also looks like a lot of fun, and I was getting tired of looking stuff up and fiddling with that pesky html and imbedding all those bothersome hyperlinks. I think it'll save me a lot of time, even more than not capitalizin and droppin g's.

* * *
According to a right wing website I don't frequent, Hindrocket is really ex-child actor Fred Savage. Reporters swarmed around his Mercedes at a certain posh eatery in Chevy Chase, Maryland, asking him to comment. "You guys make me sick. What do you wanna do, ruin my career in Hollywood? I guess this is what the right has sunk to in this country.. These allegations aren't worth my time. I refuse to comment on them." He got in and angrily sped off.

* * *

I tracked down John Arcari. He's a chiropodist right here in Denton, Texas. It would be wrong to post his address or e-mail like Bill O'Reilly might, so I' ll just post his business phone: 940-387-0212. Office hours are 9:30am to 3:30 pm. Must be a sweet gig, being a chiropodist and getting to leave early all the time like that. Anyway, don't call him collect, cause he'll get mad.

* * *

Epiphany number two: It doesn't work. I'm having difficulty coming up with overblown, distorted, and obviously ridiculous stalking horses that the right wouldn't actually use. I can't even resist the occasional hyperlink. Man, no wonder the POWERLINE blog is so popular. Making crazy sh*t up about the Depths the Right Will Sink To is hard work, to paraphrase what's-his-name.

* I think I'll denounce any statement I don't care for by saying that from now on.

[addendum, Dec 2005: Ok, so Hindraker no longer publishes under a pseudonym, and may have, in fact, stopped before me. But as of 12/26/2005 he still hasn't corrected the typo.]

Thursday, February 17, 2005

spca (dallas area)"Neuter Scooter for a Nickel,"

via Wendi of dfw blogs:

In an aggressive effort to curb pet overpopulation, the SPCA of
Texas and the Humane Society of the United States' local spay/
neuter clinics are partnering to host "Neuter Scooter for a Nickel,"
an annual campaign in association with Spay Day USA that invites cat
owners to get their male cats fixed for life--for just FIVE CENTS on
Tuesday, February 22nd.

(outside the dfw area I would think it's still worthwhile to check w your local SPCA and/or Humane Soc. to see if they're doing somethinglike this, and when)

The Road to Damascus:

will it be paved with the bones of a bunch of young Americans and Syrians who probably didn't know that they were put the on this earth to give George W. Bush a chance to show the world what a godly, liberating, and all-around swell guy he is? Our state department's homepage presently has this quote from Condaleeza Rice:

"The spread of freedom is the work of generations, but it is also urgent work that cannot be deferred."

That doesn't strike me as promising, especially after last month's creepily Orwellian inauguration speech.

A racheting up:
Monday: former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri killed by Feb. 14 car bomb in Beirut.(along with 16 others killed.)

Tuesday: the Bush Administration demands that Syria withdraw its troops from Lebanon,

Wednesday: the US recalls its ambassador to Syria to protest what it sees as that country's role in the murder of the former prime minister of Lebanon.,

And today: "Rice Says Syria Is at Least Indirectly Responsible for the Blast"

I'm really getting tired of this.

Some additional links:

1. the US embassy in Syria,

2. a fairly useful timeline of events from Lebanon's history (Newsday-AP),

3."The assassination of Rafiq Hariri: who benefited?" from the World Socialist News; this was on google news' 1st page of results for "demands syria withdraw troops" so maybe I've been too hard on them in the past.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

a wednesday evening miscellany

forgive me for not having posted much lately, but it's because I'm lazy. ok, I don't really think I'm lazy, but I recently came across this blog, duckdaotsu by one lisbeth west, which is interesting. according to her blogger profile, she writes an average of 72 posts per week, which makes me feel like I'm lazy. I work and go to school part-time, but this lady makes me think that I should also be taking an extra 6-9 hours a semester and working on a novel, and maybe studying Russian in my spare time. perhaps it's a question of implementing time-saving strategies, like not capitalizing.(I notice that lisbeth doesn't care for capitalizing that much. maybe that's her secret.) still, I can't bring myself to not capitalize proper names or "I"; it just doesn't feel natural.

did you know there's a group called Psychoanalysts for Peace and Justice? they have an "Iraq
Occupation and Resistance Report" page of links
related to the war. via Micah Holmquist.

If you are unfamiliar with Micah, you might note that on his homepage it says

he is bothered by his own sarcasm, and that he usually means the opposite of what he says.

if you were that evil computer in that star trek episode where william shatner loses control of his ship, I suppose you might blow up if you thought about that too much. yes, I know, I should capitalize william shatner, but it doesn't feel natural.

Micah also has a unique approach to hyperlinking. I think he comes closest to saying how he really looks at things in this post.

are you familiar with Haroun Moghul? he has a very amusing post, here.

I haven't really had a chance to look at this site yet, what with being lazy and capitalizing stuff, but Copyright NewsWatch looks interesting.

leave lots of comments, or the psychoanalysts for peace and justice will get you.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Tariq Ayoub

Undoubtedly you have heard about CNN canning bigwig Eason Jordan for remarks he made at the recent Davos conference that he knew of specific incidents of the US military deliberately killing journalists in Iraq. Jordan almost immediately backtracked, but the rabid right blogosphere had already got their fangs in him, and apparently that was enough. On the left Arvin Hill is particularly unsympathetic, and so is Slate's Jack Shafer*, coming at it from vastly different perspectives. I'll admit I haven't watched any teevee in a few days, so strictly speaking, I don't know if CNN, MSNBC, Fox, et al ever examined his statement in any other way besides repudiating it. They may have.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Ha.

Ok, so it's a feeble joke.
Jordan didn't lose his job because he made a rash and false assertion then recanted. More likely he lost his job because he made a rash and truthful assertion, at which point his recanting was only a favor he did for the rest of the media whores, because it "absolved" them of having to do any reporting about it.
[*or the ostensible left, as the case may be, since all journalists are no-good lefties.]

If you don't believe me, look at this Guardian story from 2001(ok, so that was Afghanistan.).

Or, this Al-Jazeera report from the first battle of Fallujah, from April of 2004.

Or this, from Australia's Sydney Morning Herald:.

Commentary by Antony Loewenstein
June 9, 2004 05:46 PM

The targeting of journalists and media organisations now appears to be standard practice by elements of the American military. Too many reporters have been injured or killed during the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts for these incidents to be dismissed as mere accidents. Serious questions remain, and US military reports into the bombing or shooting of unarmed journalists leave the disturbing impression that the "war on terror" means more than we've been told so far.

"Management had already given them the co-ordinates of our offices [in Baghdad]," Abdullah said. "Despite all the negative references to al-Jazeera in the American official’s press conference, we thought we were safe in dealing with a democracy that respects freedom of the press. Then came the 8th of April [2003] when early in the morning our offices were hit by a couple of air-born bombs. Our colleague,
Tariq Ayyoub, died instantly and our assistant cameraman was injured by shrapnel going into his neck.

"This was the third “accident” that happened to al-Jazeera. The first was in Kabul during the war in Afghanistan when four rockets accidentally hit our offices there. A few days before the hit on the Baghdad offices, another rocket accidentally hit the hotel at which our Basra team was staying. What was interesting about the accident in Basra is that it came when Tony Blair and his officials were telling the British public that the people of Basra were dancing in the streets celebrating their liberation. To this day, we havn’t receive any apology for any of these accidents."

[Lowenstein quotes Mahir Abdullah, senior correspondent for al-Jazeera.]

Abdullah continues:

"American politicians were full of praise for al-Jazeera when it was highlighting the shortcomings of some Arab regimes”, he says. They used to say we are furthering the cause of democracy when we were critical of Arab policies and politics. We still do the same today. Nothing changed as far as we can see. The only difference is that now the American media was overwhelmed by patriotism after the 11th of September."

It’s a view echoed by Arthur Neslen, former London correspondent for "Many al-Jazeera journalists have American passports, I’m sure," he tells me,
"People unable or unwilling to distinguish between concepts of a ‘country’ and a ‘country’s foreign policy’ should not be setting the terms of the debate."

[emphasis mine.]

In case you are curious, this is what Tariq Ayoub looked like:

I don't feel too bad for Eason Jordan either. I imagine him at breakfast with his wife:

"I guess I'm gonna have to go on the lecture circuit or something. I'll have to get an agent."

"You already have one dear."

"Oh. Yeah."

Gannon/Guckert [II]

Why did they need this guy? Aren't there tons of two bit reporters all over red state america, real reporters(well, let's not get too philosophical here-- let's just say they've been to journalism school, or at least have radio-tv-film "telejournalism" degrees, and therefore meet the statutory definition), who'd gladly prostitute themselves(yes, yes, I know...) for a chance to ask Scott what's-his-name softball questions in hopes of getting an audition with Fox News? Could it be this white house doesn't even trust right-wing toady journalists? That's sad. And amusing., I take it back; it's beginning to look like another setup, like Hatfield and Fortunate Son in 1999 and Dan Rather in 2004. Perhaps it's a matter of time before Guckert admits he's some kind of crazy Kerry-loving-liberal, and then the pundit payola from last month will have been dry-cleaned.

links filched from Skippy's "Gannonization":

from Editor and Publisher,

and AmericaBlog: "a man called Jeff"

Schwarzenegger Updates

from the King of Zembla, Sunday:

"Long-Range Planning"

(1)2003: Schwarzenegger still won't respond to questions about why he was at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills two years ago where he, former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan and junk-bond king Michael Milken met secretly with former Enron chairman Kenneth Lay, who was touting a plan for solving the state's energy crisis
Bush agreed to meet with Davis at the Century Plaza Hotel in West Los Angeles on May 29, 2001, five days after Lay met with Schwarzenegger, to discuss the California power crisis.

At the meeting, Davis asked Bush for federal assistance, such as imposing federally mandated price caps, to rein in soaring energy prices. But Bush refused, saying California legislators designed an electricity market that left too many regulatory restrictions in place and that's what caused electricity prices in the state to skyrocket...
(2)Here's the story Arnold doesn't want you to hear. The biggest single threat to Ken Lay and the electricity lords is a private lawsuit filed last year[i.e., 2002- HZ] under California's unique Civil Code provision 17200, the "Unfair Business Practices Act." This litigation, heading to trial now in Los Angeles, would make the power companies return the $9 billion they filched from California electricity and gas customers . . .

So the Bush commissioners cook up a terrific scheme: charge the companies with conspiracy but offer them, behind closed doors, deals in which they have to pay only 2 cents on each dollar they filched. Problem: the slap-on-the-wrist refunds won't sail if the governor of California won't play along. Solution: Recall the Governor.

Peter Byrne has a Schwarzenegger story in today's Salon:

"The truth about Arnold":

...overall, people bought into his seeming moderation -- fully two-thirds of the state's general public favored his governorship. No California governor in modern times has enjoyed such a broad-based mandate to tinker with the government of the world's fifth-largest economy.

But with his defiantly immoderate State of the State speech in early January, when he proposed to drastically cut back education and social services in lieu of taxing the rich, Schwarzenegger blindsided liberal Californians with his nakedly Republican agenda.

Zembla quotes "Arnold's Enron Connection", Jason Leopold, Utne, (1)

"Arnold's Enron Secret," Greg Palast, Alternet.Org, (2)

and also these two San Francisco Chronicle articles: here, and here.

Sunday, February 13, 2005


If you haven't been following the story stories about fake reporter Jeff Gannon(who may also be a fake Jeff Gannon to boot), there's

1.this Salon story from last week(which is rather subdued about crowing about the fact that one of the lefty bloggers who was in the forefront of uncovering this was their own World o'Crap(here).) The Salon story also has links to the sundry sex sites associated with Mr. Guckert. (Salon is a subsrciption site, but you can get free access for 24 hrs if you watch an ad-- it's less than 30 seconds with my 56k connection, and it's a pretty decent article.)

2. Arvin Hill's "De-scandalizing Bush" and

3. the Reverend Myreru's "the Age of the Ten-Dollar Whore"
which Wolf Blitzer would probably enjoy reading.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Arthur Miller 1915-2005

Richard Luscombe, of The Scotsman:

ARTHUR Miller, one of the 20th century’s greatest playwrights best known for Death of a Salesman and The Crucible, has died aged 89 after a battle against cancer and heart disease. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author was also in the spotlight for his turbulent five-year marriage to the actress Marilyn Monroe, who died of a drugs overdose in 1962, a year after they divorced. Miller died late on Thursday of heart failure at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut, surrounded by his family and his 34-year-old girlfriend, the artist Agnes Barley, according to his assistant, Julia Bolus. He had been receiving hospice care in New York for several weeks as he battled a variety of ailments. His last request was to be taken home to the 18th-Century farmhouse he bought with Monroe, whom he once described as "the love of my life but the saddest woman I ever met".

In keeping with Broadway tradition, theatre lights were dimmed last night in tribute to the three-times married writer considered by many to be the greatest playwright of the last century. "He represented the top ten of American playwrights," said the director and producer Douglas Urbanski. "Everybody else started at number 11."

Miller’s plays, often dark and moralistic in tone, transformed American theatre in the years immediately following the Second World War, an era dominated by anti-Communist paranoia and unrest among the working population...

I'm sorry to hear he's gone but,
1.Making it to 89 is a pretty good go of it,
2. I would be a frigging delirious 89 yr old if I had a 34 yr old girlfriend, even if her name was Agnes.
3. "Everybody else started at number 11?" He was a great writer, and deserved the acclaim he got, but come on. Someone should tell Mr. Urbanski about that Eugene O'Neill feller. I think he wrote a play or two.

I also wonder what Miller thought of our current era of paranoia and unrest. Anyway, goodbye Arthur Miller, and thank you for your life and work.

Friday, February 11, 2005

I have a lot of work to do today, so here's stuff for you to read:

"Women Find It Really Hot When You Hate America"

"The unteachable ignorance of the red states."
By Jane Smiley at Slate,from November(in case you missed it)

Stupidity as a Firing Offense
Why is Bill O'Reilly chairing our faculty meetings?
By Dahlia Lithwick , who says that "Ward Churchill shouldn't be punished, but the people who hired him should (be)." Huh?(For my part,I fail to see why anyone needs to be punished, but hey,what do I know.)
also at Slate

incidentally, the now-notorious essay can be found here.
(also linked by Slate) article on scientology and the irs
(yes, I read other things beside Slate):

Thursday, February 10, 2005

God loves George Bush and the Patriots

I rarely curse on my blog, because as most of you know I have a very delicate sensibility. Nevertheless, I just did a google news search ( for "bush poll" and while the first result was from the Guardian, which is o.k., the second result was from the powerline blog, and the third was from Newsmax...I'm sorry, but that is fucked up. Possibly they should appear as news sources in, but as far as I know that sub-URL is not active (yet). I'll just note that GWB's approval numbers are up, now that the supposedly liberal media has told us how well the Iraqi elections turned out.(see previous post)

According to CNN,(the 4th result):

In the January 7 survey, 42 percent of respondents said they approved of how Bush is handling the situation in Iraq, and 56 percent expressed dissatisfaction. But, last week Bush gained 8 percentage points in his approval rating, with 50 percent giving him a nod and 48 percent disapproving." Moreover, "On the question of whether sending U.S. troops to Iraq was a mistake, 52 percent said 'yes' and 47 percent said 'no' during the week of January 14. But last week, the numbers flipped [actually better than flipped] with 45 percent saying 'yes' and 55 percent saying 'no.

Finally, 57 percent of those just surveyed said it should be a high or top U.S. priority to support the growth of democratic governments. Forty-two percent said it should be a low priority or not one at all.

And so when his numbers went up when they caught Saddam (12/2003)he was doing a good job, but I guess he was doing a bad job a few weeks later when his numbers went down again. But there's no way that's gonna happen this time, right? I wonder how closely the 55 per cent who said that "sending troops was not a mistake"* correlates with the 57 per cent who want us to "support the growth of democratic governments" and how many of them

a. supported invading Iraq in 2003,
b. would support invading Iran,
c. would support, say, increasing our foreign aid budget(what?),
d. would change their minds if you showed them something shiny?

*note how even the question has to be scrubbed before supposedly liberal CNN can ask it; as opposed to "was invading and occupying Iraq a mistake?"

Red-state republican voters vote the way they do because New York and DC don't represent America to them, and they secretly feel assured that another attack would also be on NYC or DC,or maybe Chicago or LA, other "not-America" places.** They're comfortably delusional, laughing at those silly "experts" who tell them that we're creating the conditions for terrorists to recruit more followers by our agressions in the middle east. If al-qaeda or a similar organization figured this out and attacked a medium-sized suburban community in a southern or mountain state, the heartland would freak.

**Our most famous home-grown terrorist, Timothy McVeigh, understood this.


Apropo of this zencomix cartoon, I wrote:"I've come to the conclusion that at least half the channels on basic cable are basically nonstop infomercials for the military industrial complex. Who cares what your government is doing in your name, pal, watch some celebrity poker or some guys installing 500 watt speakers in their Mustang."


from the inimitable micah holmquist:
How God decides who wins the Super Bowl:
Kurt Warner was on MSNBC yesterday explaining that God looks at the quality of the people on each team and then decides who wins. I think He looks at who is betting on what team.

What I think is interesting is that the Patriots won 3 super bowls in four years, and they basically won ugly each time, whereas George W. Bush won the last two elections, and he...oh, never mind. I guess we live in an ugly age.

This is a successful election?

from South Africa's Business Day. Harder to find in the US press because it might make you frown:

BAGHDAD — Iraqi officials said yesterday that they had to recount votes from about 300 ballot boxes because they were not properly sealed, delaying final results from landmark national elections.

Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of other ballots were declared invalid because of alleged tampering. Postelection violence mounted, raising fears that the January 30 balloting had done little to ease the country’s grave security crisis....

...The most recent figures showed a coalition of Kurdish parties in second place behind a Shiite-dominated ticket endorsed by Iraq’s most revered Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.

The ticket of interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, a secular Shiite, was a distant third among the 111 candidate lists.

Allegations of voting irregularities, especially around the tense northern city of Mosul, have complicated the count. Some leading Sunni Arab and Christian politicians alleged that thousands of their supporters were denied the right to vote.

Election officials blamed the problems in the Mosul area on security, which prevented fewer than a third of the planned 330 polling centres from opening. Gunmen seized some of the ballot boxes, officials said.

I know what you're saying: Bush's hand-picked democrat Lieberman Allawi only came in third, and that proves the election wasn't engineered by the US.

I say Dubya is just concerned about Allawi getting cocky.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Sundry Blogging Notes

I think it's interesting that HZ is listed on the first page of results of a dogpile search for french actress Isabelle Adjani.

Maybe I should contact my old correspondent NBB and see if he wants to do more movie reviews.

(If you'd like to see more of his reviews, leave me a note in the comments.)

Every once in a while I get someone referred to HZ by a search for something plus "boobs" thanks to the word being in my blog description phrase
just below the title(see above). The phrase comes from a Simpsons episode, although I suspect most of you are clever enough to either recognize this already or realize you can google the phrase, in which case you'd find this out for yourselves. Now regarding my "boobs" searchers: I imagine these people aren't searching for political commentary, so for them here's a bone, albeit a non-hardcore one:

Search For the Spiderpool

It's free(for now), is hosted on blogspot like me, and features cheesecake nudie photos from the 40s and 50s. I may add spiderpool to the "miscellany" part of my blogroll, which isn't finished, in case you were wondering. I've put up the blogs part, courtesy blogrolling, but I mean to expand the journalism entries a bit and
add a section of indy media, which is where I'm moving the invaluable Cursor.Org* to. My blogroll will be divided in sections, like this:

1.Mostly Lefties
2. Journalism
3. Indy Media
4. Other resources

As soon as I can figure out how to add the above titles to my template. The astrices, in case you were wondering, are for people and groups that link to me. It's not as meaningful a reward as getting some Lorna Doone cookies, but if you link to me and I'm aware of it I'll probably link to you and give you an asterix. I also got a nice little blog button for a lefty directory link courtesy Arvin Hill, who was kind enough to make one for me. I'm adding that, as well as a button linking me to dfw blogs. I'm nabbing a button for the latter from Dean Terry's alt7. I asked him if it was ok in an e-mail last week but haven't heard from him.

Finally, I note that the last time I checked my site meter stats, the combination of mozilla/firefox/netscape 7x accounted for 53 per cent of my visitor's browsers. My understanding is that overall web penetration for the firefox browser and its variants is closer to 7 per cent, so you readers seem to be ahead of the trend. I have the free version of site meter, and it only keeps in-depth stats on the last 100 hits at any one time, but I'm impressed and I'm not complaining. If you have a blog and don't have one of the popular free counters, you're depriving yourself of access to all sorts of neat demographic stuff. I know that with the paid version of sitemeter you can block public access to your stats if you'd like. I may add another counter, Nedstat,as that tells me more specifically where, geographically, I'm getting hits from, although sitemeter does have a handy chart of the breakdown of the last 100 hits according to time zone. (Incidentally, I note that takes you to a completely different outfit than, which is the one that provides an ongoing freecounter, as opposed to a mere 30 day free trial,as the one with the hyphen does.)

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Xymphora contest update

Holly of Youngstown,Ohio(or so she says) didn't go by the rules, e-mailing me at my yahoo address. Her entry is very amusing, although the others were quite amusing too.

from Holly's e-mail: "Xymphora has to be my husband Darrell. He's very intelligent and well-read, works in IT here in Youngstown, and is the most paranoid person I've ever known. He even password-protects his precious Mac from me. What kind of man won't let his wife use his computer? I know it's not because he's cheating on me. If he went out on a date on the sly and found out his new girlfriend subscribed to say, US New and World Report, he'd lecture her about what right-wing corporate drivel she was reading for a good half hour."

My initial thought was to declare Holly the winner, but instead it's a draw, as all the entries were great. Another round of Lorna Doone cookies for everybody, barkeep.

post revised, 9 Feb.

“If you don’t behave, democracy will get you."

an ad I saw at Tacitus.Org:

at the site itself, Bet On Iraq.Com,there is this verbiage:

Above and beyond the vast oil reserve, agriculture, and highly educated population, there is now liberty in Iraq. We believe that where liberty is sown, prosperity blooms. We understand that liberty is always challenged. It's challenged regularly in our own country. Why should a fledgling democracy, on the heels of a 30 year dictatorial rule, be immune? We simply trust that the seed of freedom, implanted more than a year ago with the fall of Saddam's regime, has germinated in the hearts of the majority of the Iraqi people. We see this as a wondrous thing, with tremendous possibilities...

The "seed of freedom" has germinated in the hearts of...the Iraqi people? Really? If not for the magnanimity of the Americans who attacked her country I guess it never would have occured to your average Iraqi that she might want to live in a democratic society. That "seed" simply wasn't there before we showed up, hmm? I seem to recall someone far cleverer than me once called this "Christopher Columbus Syndrome". So now we can pat them on the head and coo with glee at what good little democrats they're becoming. (Just in time,too, because we have other countries to liberate.* And if Iraq falls apart if we leave too soon after wrecking her, we can react like disappointed parents who just knew that she would come to a bad end if she didn't listen. Paternalism is a fog that protects your screwed-up world-view in any contingency...)

But back to Bet on Iraq: the purpose of the site is to sell American speculators Iraqi currency, in bulk, at fire-sale prices. Not currency contracts, or Iraqi treasury notes, but actual paper currency. If an American company offered to broker Iraqi treasury notes to US investors, this would actually help Iraq and ordinary Iraqi people. As far as I can see, however, this company is exploiting Iraqis, both indivduals and probably small banks, and buying up large quantities of dinars, probably at less(maybe MUCH less) than the going rate(and if this is the case they're contributing to the dire straits off of which they wish to make a killing, right? )

*Linda Heard last week, from Arab News:
Iraqis are preparing to receive their version of democracy on Sunday by sealing their borders, closing down the airport, restricting travel, applying curfews, keeping candidates and the location of polling stations secret and planning to surround them with US tanks. ...

...Is “freedom” going the way of “democracy”, a word, which has replaced the “bogeyman” in the vocabulary of some harassed Iraqi mothers?
“If you don’t behave, democracy will get you.”

via Abdusalaam.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

My uncle, a retired architect, died this past Sunday. He was at home with his family, 77 years old, dying of a heart attack just like his father did. In the overall scheme of things this is hardly a tragedy, especially in Iraq, especially in Baghdad where he lived, where there is so much tragedy every day. I am told by my aunt no. 1(his younger sister in San Antonio) that my uncle and his wife tried to walk to the hospital after he started having chest pains, but then he decided he was too tired and they went back. Then he lay down on the sofa in the living room, fell asleep and that was it. My uncle and aunt have a car, but decided it was too dangerous, especially on election day, to try to drive to the hospital. My aunt no. 1 in San Antonio called her brother just a week earlier to see how things were going, and asked if they were going to vote: "No, of course not. Nobody in this neighborhood will go vote. It would be crazy." He was in good spirits, I am told. He also joked about persons who might be listening in, since over the years we have always wondered about this. (Phone service wasn't 100% throughout the 90s, but most of the time, from 1990 through March of 2003, my aunt was able to get through, although it was always understood under Saddam that it would be bad for an Iraqi family to call the states, not so bad if they just received the phone call.)

My uncle's joke: "now that we live in a democracy, I am not concerned about who's listening in, because it's only democracy listening." You can decide for yourself how to take that.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Yesterday I found out that my elder uncle died Sunday. I was not particularly close to him, and had not seen him in over thirty years. Nevertheless I know the news is something my aunts, his younger sisters, are taking very hard, and I am close to them, one of them having helped raise me. I will post again in a couple of days.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Harry of Pierrot's Folly, formerly at blogspot, has moved to blog harbor, an outfit of which I was previously unaware. The look is very clean, and he very kindly takes note of my last Lorna Doone post, although I now realize I should have made it clearer that you enter the contest by posting a comment under the terrier.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

I'm not going to post until Friday, about the Iraq election, Bush's SOTU speech and social security, once I've digested what the liberal media tells me what to think about it all. I already know that I must tell you the Iraq election went well. I just don't know if the reporters were safely ensconced across the border in Jordan like the international observers, but this is a niggling detail of no great importance.

I know that tonight he'll tell us how he'll fix social security, without raising taxes, and he'll backtrack(not lie) about reducing benefits, and it won't be his fault when some other republican a couple of days later tells us that he didn't mean it. If we let him have his way he's going to fix social security. He'll fix it good.