Thursday, November 29, 2007

Quote of the Day: Blessings

I do count my blessings, but then I end up counting those of others who have more and better blessings, and that pisses me off.

--Bob Mankoff New Yorker cartoon caption

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Return of Attack of the Machines

It seems that my predictions are coming true: The machines are taking over the Earth, and, where they cannot, they KILL.

More here.

Korean man killed by exploding cellphone - Engadget

They're all out to get us, some might say it's a conspiracy, but that's giving them too much credit. You aren't that smart, Roomba!

The bastards! Keep away from my friggin Eggo's too. Goddamn toaster!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bush to Middle East: "Make peace or I'll waterboard you until you do"


It's somewhat fitting that the talks are being held at the Naval Academy. Ample water. Forget waterboarding, do the real thing!!!

"There will be peace in the Middle East! And if there isn't, I'll bomb you!"

Bush Voices Optimism on Eve of Talks - New York Times
“The United States cannot impose our vision, but we can help facilitate,” the president said in the Oval Office before meeting with Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president. “And the process will begin tonight at the State Department, and then on to Annapolis tomorrow.”
...where the torture begins.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Pownce: I have 24 invitations: Tell me why you deserve one

I have 24 invitations to Pownce, a file sharing Web 2.0 application with Kevin Rose of fame as a co-founder, so it's got to be good, right? Here's some info from their wiki:

What is Pownce?

Pownce is a social networking platform that allows one to keep up with their friends in interesting ways. You can send messages, files, links, and event invitations to the whole pownce community, or to just your friends, or to groups of your friends, or to specific people directly.

Currently Pownce exists as both a website ( and as a desktop application. There is also a public developer API.

If you want an invitation, tell me why. Make a strong enough case and I'll send you an invitation. Just comment.

I am now a whore

Yes, I am now a whore. I have signed up to Pay Per Post --

Hire Me Direct

I'm trying out the service to try to gain a little dough to keep this blog afloat. I will not post any untruths; I will tell it like it is. That's all I can promise.

Trent Lott to resign by end of year

Hurray! Another incumbent bites the dust. Time for a new Congress. And I mean new!

Lott says he'll resign by end of year - Yahoo! News
He becomes the sixth Senate Republican this year to announce retirement. Democrats effectively hold a 51-49 majority in the chamber, including two independents who align themselves with Democrats. Lott's retirement means that Republicans will have to defend 23 seats in next year's election, while Democrats have only 12 seats at stake.
Hopefully, this trend will continue. This country needs a serious breath of fresh faces. The current crop sucks. Plain and simple. All of them (Dems and Repos).

VP Dick Cheney has a heart!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Blog Carnival Announcement: Rants

I'm new to this topic: Blog Carnivals. I am not really sure how they work so I figure the 2nd best to learn about them is to join one. Not much happened after I submitted a few posts to a few different carnivals.

So I figure the best way to learn about them is to organize one. Therefore, I am in the process of starting a "Rants" carnival at Blog Carnival. We'll have to wait to see what happens with it.

I'd like to get submissions about politics or current events, but I am not limiting the posts to anything in particular. For the first few editions of the Rants Blog Carnival, I will accept almost anything (as long as it's a rant and is not in bad taste (of which I am the sole decider).

Please send me an entry from your blog with a Rant about anything!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Beware Facebook: New advertising scheme is a privacy nightmare

I use Facebook. I've found it's a nice way to keep in touch with my family and friends. I originally started using it because I thought I could leverage the social networking utility to bring in more readers to my blogs.

So far, I think I've failed in that respect.

Imagine my horror, however, when I started reading posts about people who had purchased something online, only to find that minutes later, their purchase was being announced on Facebook.

Facebook employs a "beacon" that other web sites use to share information about buying habits of its users. You buy something online, the retailer you purchased from shares the data with Facebook. I have no idea how Facebook knows who you are if you're not signed into Facebook, but it seems as though there are people out there who have had their purchasing history shared with Facebook when they weren't signed in. They might simply be using IP addresses, which brings up a whole host of other issues (as innocent as my children buying something online to something as whacked as somebody I don't know spoofing my IP and then buying a giant dildo on an adult site).

Facebook claims that no privacy issues are taking place because only your "friends" see these notices.
User privacy is extremely important to Facebook. We designed Facebook Beacon to enable effortless sharing, but we've also put in features to protect user privacy. When you send an action to Facebook, the user is immediately alerted of the story you wish to publish and will be alerted again when they sign into Facebook. The user can choose to opt out of the story in either instance, but the user doesn't need to take any action for the story to be published on Facebook.
First of all, that policy could change. Privacy policies and other policies of companies largely are one-way agreements where the company holding the agreement holds all the cards, and if you want to use the site, you have to agree with the policy.

Second, the key to Facebook success (or any other social networking site like MySpace) is getting as many friends as possible. Many of these folks are not friends, but internet acquaintances that could turn out to be stalkers, creeps, or other sorts of miscreants. Maybe even killers.

Thirdly, now the "beacon" shares purchasing history. But it could share browsing history. Imagine how you might feel if you type in the wrong URL and instead of going to visit the White House, you instead visit a porn site (typing in "" used to take the surfer to a porn site, now it takes you to an election-type site that is in no way affiliated with the White House).

In any event, I, for one, do not wish to share what I do outside Facebook with Facebook, true friends or not. This newfangled advertising money grab is just too creepy for me to accept. So, I stumbled upon the Idea Shower, a site whose author, Nate Weiner, dreams up solutions to problems. Sometimes, he devises the solution himself, like in Read it Later; other times, he finds an existing mechanism that then may need to be tweaked a bit.

"Block Facebook Beacon" is one of those instances where Nate employs an existing piece of code and applies it to a specific use. The details, and how-to solution, are featured in this post.

I highly recommend you install the Firefox extension in every computer you use. I also recommend setting up your Facebook preferences (External Websites) to not share any third-party information with Facebook.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Just what the fuck do people think when they smoke?

I am the last guy to infringe on anyone's ability to have a good time, ruin their body, have sex with other consenting adults or themselves, but what is it with smokers who think existing laws and corporate rules do not apply to them?

For example, a guy goes outside the workplace to smoke, where there's an ashtray right outside the door. So everybody walking in that door has to smell the smoke or go around and find a door where somebody isn't smoking outside.

Furthermore, the sign on the door says "No smoking outside this door." But the ashtray is RIGHT THERE!!!! How stupid is that?

Smoker finishes his cigarette, throws it on the ground and walks away.

So not only did he pollute our air, he has now LITTERED AND COMMITTED ATTEMPTED ARSON.

Seems to me smoker dude has committed at least two crimes for which laws are already on the books: Littering and attempted arson.

The next smoker who starts a goddamned fire ought to burn in hell. And then, and only then, has to pay restitution to those for whom he caused a loss. And if he can't, he needs to spend his remaining life in jail with Bubba.

Supreme Court to rule on D.C. gun ban

It's kinda strange, don't you think, that a gun ban has been in effect for quite some time (31 years), in our nation's capital, but our politicians all run around spewing "right to bear arms" speeches all over the country, especially during election time?

For example, John Kerry made a big deal over his hunting prowess during the 2004 campaign.

And Mitt Romney lied profusely about his love of hunting, just so he could get the guns portion of the "guns and butter" vote.

So it seems really odd to me that the politicians are all for guns except in their own neighborhoods. Is this just one more example of totally out-of-control hypocrisy? I think so.

High court to rule on D.C. handgun ban | U.S. | Reuters

One other thing: The Supreme Court seems even more ineffectual than our President and Congress:
The Supreme Court has not ruled on the scope of the Second Amendment since a 1939 decision when it upheld a federal gun control law but did not definitively resolve the constitutional issue.
When is the last time you've been able to NOT do your job for nearly 60 years without getting fired? These ladies and gentlemen are worthless.

Monday, November 19, 2007

80-year old pastor of Atlanta church in sex scandal

An 80-year-old pastor of a so-called 'megachurch' is in big trouble with his family, the law, and -- I guess -- God.

One could say that there may be hell to pay.

The pastor fathered a child with his brother's wife. That's at least a Ten Commandments' two-fer.
The 80-year-old leader of a suburban Atlanta megachurch is at the center of a sex scandal of biblical dimensions: He slept with his brother's wife and fathered a child by her.
Additionally, he gets 'bonus' points for another sexual affair he had with a church worker, where he told her the only way to salvation was to have sex with him.

She gets idiot points because she believed him.

Religion may not be the root of all evil (money is), but it sure helps evil along, doesn't it?

My favorite quote from the story:
"It was a necessary evil to bring us back to a God-consciousness," said the younger Paulk, explaining that the church had become too personality-driven and prone to pastor worship.
God-consciousness? WTF? Isn't that why people go to church? To find God?

Sex scandal hits Atlanta-area megachurch - Yahoo! News

Rudy Giuliani is a virtual idiot, as well as a physical idiot

Presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani promotes virtual fence. To that I say, he's a virtual and physical idiot!

Here's proof enough:
Gov. Rick Perry, who has endorsed Giuliani, opposes construction of a 1,200-mile wall along the U.S-Mexico border. Instead, he supports fencing at strategic points, such as in bigger cities, along with more border patrol agents and high-tech monitoring of the kind Giuliani seeks, spokesman Robert Black said Monday.
"Good Hair Perry" (as Molly Ivins used to call him, is about the biggest doofus on the planet: Doing the opposite of what he says he'd do would do wonders for anyone wishing to win an election.

Further, don't we have a virtual fence already? Isn't it virtually ineffective?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Redacted: Blacking out PDF text does not delete it. Idiots.

This is old news, but I found a cartoon that needs this story. So, here it is.

It seems that a lot of folks, including the stellar legal team at AT&T, think that overlaying black or some other color on a PDF will cover up the text. Which it does.

Only if you select the covered-up text with your cursor and then paste it into another tool, like Notepad, viola, the text magically shows up.

Here's the initial story that prompted my search for a relevant photo. Sadly, it took me a year to find it! (I really wasn't looking.)

But now, many PDF creators allow one to properly redact information in a PDF file. One is the source of the picture above: ScanSoft.

AT&T leaks sensitive info in NSA suit | CNET "AT&T's attorneys this week filed a 25-page legal brief striped with thick black lines that were intended to obscure portions of three pages and render them unreadable (click here for PDF). But the obscured text nevertheless can be copied and pasted inside some PDF readers, including Preview under Apple Computer's OS X and the xpdf utility used with X11."

Thursday, November 15, 2007

How our Senate voted on the Mukasey confirmation

The recent vote on the confirmation of new Attorney General Mike Mukasey is illustrative of a few things.

First, the vote was mostly along party lines:
  • No Republican voted against the confirmation
  • All but 10 Democrats voted against the confirmation
  • Final tally was 53 for, 40 against

But here's the bigger issue. None of the senators in the 2008 presidential race voted!

  • Joe Biden
  • Hillary Clinton
  • Christopher Dodd
  • Barack Obama

  • Evan Bayh
  • Thomas Carper
  • Dianne Feinstein
  • Mary Landrieu
  • Ben Nelson
  • Chuck Schumer
  • Joe Lieberman (he's an infidel because he voted for the confirmation AND because he abandoned his party)
I think the Cowards identified above need to be held to account for their inaction. The infidels can go fornicate themselves.

110th Congress, 1st session, Senate vote 407 | Congress votes database |

Monkey injures several during rampage

Okay, let me state right away that children being injured is never funny.

That out of the way, let me also say that monkeys on a rampage is hilarious.

Monkey injures several during rampage
As New Delhi's forest cover shrinks, rhesus macaque monkeys have overrun its government buildings, temples and residential areas, occasionally biting passers-by or snatching food from them. A government official died last month when he fell from his balcony during an attack by wild monkeys.
Okay, that's not funny either.
Part of the problem is that devout Hindus believe monkeys are manifestations of the god Hanuman and feed them bananas and peanuts, encouraging them to frequent public places.
Religion IS the root of all carnage.
Last year, the Delhi High Court reprimanded city authorities for not doing enough to stop the animals from terrifying residents. City authorities have experimented with using langurs — a larger and fiercer kind of monkeyto scare or catch the macaques, but the problem persists.
Nothing like stopping a bleeding finger by cutting off your arm.

Surfer dude may have found key to the universe

This is quite an astonishing story. Brilliance always seems to come out of the most unlikely places. I once knew a guy who had absolutely no knowledge of sub-atomic particles, yet he fully fleshed out a description of a quark in a Freshman physics class.

Needless to say, our professor was dumbfounded (this before the internet, where finding crap is easy).

At the very least, my friend knew how to look stuff up in the library, which in itself exhibits some sort of intelligence :)

He claims he didn't. He was just postulating.

Anyway, that is nothing near this. This "surfer dude" may have found the unifying theory for the entire physical universe.


Maybe not.
Lisi's breakthrough came when he noticed that some of the equations describing E8's structure matched his own. "My brain exploded with the implications and the beauty of the thing," he tells New Scientist. "I thought: 'Holy crap, that's it!'"
But it's quite a story nevertheless.

I like that he might just say "dude" after every hypothesis.

Surfer dude stuns physicists with theory of everything - Telegraph

one laptop per child

This is the coolest little laptop I've ever seen!

Buy one and an impoverished child gets one, PLUS you get one for yourself, for $399, $200 of which is tax deductible, making your net cost somewhere a little less than $350.

one laptop per child

David Pogue's review of OLPC:
No, the biggest obstacle to the XO’s success is not technology — it’s already a wonder — but fear. Overseas ministers of education fear that changing the status quo might risk their jobs. Big-name computer makers fear that the XO will steal away an overlooked two-billion-person market. Critics fear that the poorest countries need food, malaria protection and clean water far more than computers.

(The founder, Nicholas Negroponte’s, response: “Nobody I know would say, ‘By the way, let’s hold off on education.’ Education happens to be a solution to all of those same problems.”)

But the XO deserves to overcome those fears. Despite all the obstacles and doubters, O.L.P.C. has come up with a laptop that’s tough and simple enough for hot, humid, dusty locales; cool enough to keep young minds engaged, both at school and at home; and open, flexible and collaborative enough to support a million different teaching and learning styles.
Sounds like a wonderful product and a great concept.

Santas warned 'ho ho ho' offensive to women

Good bye sweet existence!

Santas warned 'ho ho ho' offensive to women

My favorite quote from the story:
"Leave Santa alone."
Unbelievable. I'm calling for Don Imus to play Santa this year and add two words to the familiar Santa phrase "Ho ho ho."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hillary refuses to answer paper or plastic question

“This paper-or-plastic business is one of those ‘gotcha’ questions that I’m not going to get into,” Mrs. Clinton said. “I don’t want to be in a situation where I’ve chosen one and that takes the other one totally off the table.”
The Borowitz Report .com

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Then-Governor Bush leary of Iraq war

From Military:
"There are a lot of Americans (who say), 'Why didn't you go get him?'' Bush told the San Antonio Express-News, referring to Saddam Hussein. 'Well, I'm confident that losing men and women as a result of sniper fire inside of Baghdad would have turned the tide of public opinion very quickly.'"
I guess things change when you become king.

Redistributing wealth the Republican way: A new socialism

(Cross-posted at Independent Bloggers' Alliance)

So it seems that the oil men running our country (Bush, Cheney, and Rice!) have had something up their sleeves that we didn't know about: They're all for redistributing wealth. They want your money in their pockets! You see, they're Republican Socialists. Don't ever let them tell you otherwise! They say the proof is in the pudding. Here's the pudding.

The link below takes you to a Washington Post article that tells the story of oil wealth gone wild.

Oil Price Rise Causes Global Shift in Wealth -
In the United States, the rising bill for imported petroleum lowers already anemic consumer savings rates, adds to inflation, worsens the trade deficit, undermines the dollar and makes it more difficult for the Federal Reserve to balance its competing goals of fighting inflation and sustaining growth.
Our dependence on oil has been foisted on us by a government that likes it. From not raising CAFE fuel economy standards since the early '90s to starting a war in an oil-rich nation that could only lead to higher fossil fuel prices -- and threatening another -- we've been duped into giving our money to members of the government rather than the government itself.

Rather than being "handled" by "tax and spend" Democrats, we're being molested by "don't tax but raise our cost of energy and spend more" Repugnicans.

It's time to take our country -- and our money -- back.

The first step: Take them to task for paying for their ill-conceived and carried-out war -- a war -- at least Iraq's reconstruction -- that was to be paid for by Iraq oil revenues! In this sense, we're being taxed twice: Once in terms of tax dollars to pay for the war and a second in terms of higher prices at the pump, at home, in the grocery store, at the hotel, on the plane, and every conceivable place possible.

I'll leave the second step for another day and another post. Rant over.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Torture of Democratic Incompetence

I'm posting an entry from one of my favorite blogs, Just a Girl in short shorts talking about whatever, about the Democrats' latest puss-out, the Mukasey confirmation hearings. First, Dianne Feinstein turn-coated and voted for him in the subcommittee hearings, then a bunch of Dems voted for him in the full session.

It's so sad how the Dems publicly castrate themselves every time an important vote comes up. Pretty soon, the only balls left will be the ones dangling from Feinswine, the transgendered senator from wacky California.

Just a Girl in short shorts talking about whatever: The Torture of Democratic Incompetence

Hillary Clinton: When flag poles attack

Over the weekend, apparently flagpoles holding American flags took exception to Mrs. Clinton's stance on the Patriot Act, the war in Iraq, and more of her other inane political and social positions; said flagpoles fell over, trying to knock her down a notch.

They failed of course. So, too, might the nation, if she is elected. Won't happen, though. There are enough people out there who despise her that we won't ever elect her.

Unless hell freezes over.

Which is a distinct possibility, given all the other stuff that's happened the last 7 years. - CNN Political Ticker When flag poles attack �

Google Options Make Masseuse a Multimillionaire

Does the next google need a meddling jerk who blogs all day?

Google Options Make Masseuse a Multimillionaire - New York Times:
After five years of kneading engineers’ backs, Ms. Brown retired, cashing in most of her stock options, which were worth millions of dollars. To her delight, the shares she held onto have continued to balloon in value.

Conservatives Have No Clothes

The article below is from the Independent Bloggers' Alliance, a site for which I am now a contributor. This article, and linked podcast, was written by Robert Ellman, a fine contributor to the IBA. The subject of the article and podcast is a book written by Greg Anrig called The Conservatives Have No Clothes: Why Right-Wing Ideas Keep Failing.

I have not read the book, but I did listen to the podcast today. Mr. Anrig is a thoughtful man who is obviously left-of-center, if not far left. He is pragmatic and easy to listen to. I hope to read his book soon.

Conservatives Have No Clothes: An Interview With Greg Anrig

Independent Bloggers' Alliance

I am now a proud potential contributor to the Independent Bloggers' Alliance. I say "potential" because I haven't posted anything there -- yet.

There is a good representation of liberal and progressive thinkers there, and I hope to lend some libertarian and conservative views. I know that most people really are of the same ilk, deep down, and that lending a slightly different perspective on things makes us think, grow stronger, and understand each other just a little bit better.

One thing I do have in common with the group over at IBA is our disdain for the Bush administration and the utterly useless and ineffective war in Iraq.

I am sure that many of my topics posted there will be cross-posted here and will concentrate on this shared disdain.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Fox News renamed to Fox Nudes

Should it be called Fox Nudes, rather than Fox Noise -- I mean -- Fox News?


PollingPoint | A Nationwide Network of Millions of People Inspiring Public Debate

Here's some poll results on how various segments of America believe the US is doing in Iraq.

Short story: Not so good
Long story: Republicans think we're doing moderately well while Democrats think things are going badly.

Why is that? How can two sets of people see things so drastically differently? I'm not sure...

PollingPoint | A Nationwide Network of Millions of People Inspiring Public Debate

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Friday, November 09, 2007

Health insurer tied bonuses to dropping sick policyholders - Los Angeles Times

How topical is this? I had, up until September, one toddler and one on the way. Consequently, my wife and I had to care for 3 people: My wife, my son, and my unborn child.

Late August, my almost-two-year-old had a febrile seizure and we took him to the Emergency Room of our local hospital, after hours, of course (who ever has an emergency medical condition in the middle of a business day after all?).

I'm starting to get the bills in from all the various parties: The hospital, the lab, the physicians. The lab results, the medications.

ER visit: $5000
DR: $330
Hours in ER: 3.


Now, here's a story about health insurance where the employees of the company received incentives for cutting people off. Nice.

It's time for a revolution in the healthcare field. OR we're all moving to Canada or Mexico.

Health insurer tied bonuses to dropping sick policyholders - Los Angeles Times:
One of the state's largest health insurers set goals and paid bonuses based in part on how many individual policyholders were dropped and how much money was saved.
Absolutely criminal. Burn in hell, insurance companies!

Bernie Kerik pleads not guilty to charges

Ex-NYC top commish not guilty to charges - Yahoo! News
Kerik, the police commissioner under then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani and a failed nominee for homeland security secretary, was indicted Thursday on 16 counts including conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and lying to the IRS. Authorities say that over a six-year period, from 1999 through 2004, Kerik failed to report more than $500,000 in income.
But Rudy didn't know anything about any of this. His police commissioner and nominee for DHS head is a crook and he doesn't even know it. If President, Rudy might hire Osama bin Laden as his anti-terrorism czar "for his familiarity with al Qaeda."

What a dumbass.

More on Rudy Giuliani and Bernie Kerik.

Did credit card companies collaborate with the FBI's grocery data mining program? | Surveillance State - CNET Blogs

Is nothing sacred any more? I can't even go to a small Mexican foodstore to buy real tortillas without getting my name put through the FBI's surveillance?

My god. I am so sick of this. Why don't we just shut the whole goddamned country down, lock it, throw away the key, and start jailing anybody who doesn't look white?

(Sounds like Nazi Germany, no?)

Now the freakin' credit card companies are serving up records to our "intelligence" community.

Did credit card companies collaborate with the FBI's grocery data mining program? | Surveillance State - CNET Blogs:
The program, however, was short lived and was quickly "torpedoed by the head of the FBI's criminal investigations division, Michael A. Mason, who argued that putting somebody on a terrorist list for what they ate was ridiculous -- and possibly illegal."
I have this theory.

Bush called up Pakistan and told them to "try marshal law. Lock down your country. Quell dissent. Imprison anybody who may be a threat."

Because it's going so well in Pakistan might Bush try to replicate the experiment here? I really doubt it, but I bet I'm not the only guy to have thought of this. I would bet a lot of money -- if I had any -- that some in the Bush administration have fantasized about this for years.

I am really beginning to seriously think about moving out of this country. I know, some of you might think that's a good idea -- get the commie out of our country. But I, for one, LOVE what this country used to be and cry like a native American seeing his landscape littered, totally out of his control, when I see our democracy being flushed down the toilet.

I don't normally say such things, but "God bless America." We need all the other-worldly help we can get.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Oil oozes in San Francisco Bay after ship hits bridge - Los Angeles Times

A ship collided with a stationary bridge, the Oakland Bay Bridge, the one that somewhat survived a freakin' earthquake.

How can you run into a bridge?

Oil oozes in San Francisco Bay after ship hits bridge - Los Angeles Times:
Authorities also laid more than 18,000 feet of log booms around the 810-foot container ship Cosco Busan, which was towed to an anchorage off Candlestick Point in San Francisco after it nudged the Bay Bridge in early-morning fog. No more fuel was leaking from the vessel, Hauck said.
58,000 gallons spilled out of the vessel. Already, the fuel has shown up on 8 local beaches. Amazing ineptitude.

Man killed in wood-chipper accident - Los Angeles Times

...and you thought you had a bad day at the office...

Man killed in wood-chipper accident - Los Angeles Times: "The Anaheim resident was working with a tree-trimming crew in Tustin. He was throwing branches into the machine one moment, authorities say, and then suddenly 'he was gone.'"

unsubscribe me from the war on terror

Congress hands Bush first veto override - Yahoo! News

Congress hands Bush first veto override - Yahoo! News

The Republicans joined the Democrats in overriding, for the very first time, Bush's veto of a giant water projects bill. The White House was quick to respond:
Bush's spokeswoman portrayed the issue as a divide between a budget-conscious president and a big-spending Congress.
"The president is standing up for the taxpayers," White House press secretary Dana Perino said. "No one is surprised that this veto is overridden. We understand that members of Congress are going to support the projects in their districts. Budgeting is about making choices and defining priorities — it doesn't mean you can have everything. This bill doesn't make the difficult choices; it says we can fund every idea out there. That's not a responsible way to budget."
So is Dana suggesting that all the bills filled with pork barrel projects that Bush signed into law when the Repugnicans were in control of Congress were responsible?

Is she suggesting that the President -- all of a sudden -- has become fiscally conservative?

Naw. She's just playing word games and politics. At least she's doing her job, unlike Bush.


Rush Limbaugh is a bigger, fatter idiot

After Rush Limbaugh, after having called unidentified Iraq military personnel "phony soldiers," I signed a petition requesting that our senators call him out on it, since he is a quasi arm of the Bush administration (and any other Repugnicans), by calling him a "bad boy." You know, slap him on the wrist like I'd like to slap him in the face. Big idiot.

This is the letter I got back from my (not) esteemed senator, Dianne Feinstein.

It's good to know that she employs edumacated slave laborers to ghostwrite her letters ("I do not believe that our peoples in uniform should suffer the bombast of Mr. Limbaugh.")

Gotta love demockracy.

Study: 1 out of 4 homeless are veterans - Yahoo! News

Here's a dilemma: Die-hard Republicans (or Conservatives) may say let the homeless live without a home; it's not our fault. They can pull themselves up by their bootstraps, just like I did.

But these are the same folks who get all indignant when a liberal doesn't support the troops (forget for a moment that the ultimate in troop support would be to minimize their chances of getting in harm's way by not sending them to wars that are stupid).

So, since 1 in 4 homeless are veterans, what's a guy like Giuliani, Romney, McCain, Paul, Thompson, et al, to do?

Don't you think we ought to at least give them the mental help they need to get back on their feet, and perhaps -- just perhaps -- give them something so that they can afford at least the minimum housing (4 walls, a ceiling, water, sewer, heat)?

That would show some troop support.

Or, is it that they support the troops, but not the former troops. As in, what have you done for me (your country) lately?

Here's some more startling news about our most recent veterans, those who have served in Iraq and/or Afghanistan:
“We’re beginning to see, across the country, the first trickle of this generation of warriors in homeless shelters,” said Phil Landis, chairman of Veterans Village of San Diego, a residence and counseling center. “But we anticipate that it’s going to be a tsunami.”
Well, we know how unprepared this country is for natural disasters (as well as unnatural disasters)!

You're on your own, soldiers!

Study: 1 out of 4 homeless are veterans - Yahoo! News
NY Times

Pat Robertson says Giuliani presidency appears in Book of Revelation


The Borowitz Report .com
Pat Robertson Says Giuliani Presidency Appears in Book of Revelation Rudy Would Usher in Biblical ‘End Days,’ Evangelist Says One day after endorsing former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani for president, televangelist Pat Robertson explained his decision, saying that a Giuliani presidency features prominently in the Book of Revelation.
I think they both believe this.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Pain at the pump: Gasoline rises on rapid oil price hikes

Kucinich introduces Articles of Impeachment against VP Cheney

Republicans turned the tables on the Democrats -- AGAIN! -- by opening the floor to debate the issue, whereupon the Dems decided that wasn't such a great idea and buried it in the judiciary committee.

Debate on Cheney Impeachment Averted -
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said "impeachment is off the table" and Congress is focused on responsibly getting U.S. troops out of Iraq, covering 10 million uninsured children and meeting national priorities long neglected by the Bush administration, said her spokesman Nadeam Elshami.
fPelosi is doing such a bang-up job that she can cross everything off her to-do list and go on a taxpayer-paid (permanent?) vacation.

She is such a failure as leader of the House that she ought to cede her post to somebody who can do some good, like the shoe salesman at the Payless ShoeSource on The Mall (I made that up -- pick any profession other than politician and it could do better).

She's such a sorry waste of space.

Washington DC politicians don't play with their own money you and me, and we don't play with it, but you know what I mean. The AMT is killing middle-class Americans while the hedge fund managers pay 15 percent on their earnings. It's a joke that pokes working-class stiffs right in the eye.

I'm getting to the point of chanting "Taxation without representation..." and we know where that lead last time around.

Democrats Split Over Bill Affecting Backers -

Today's Dilbert

Dilbert is always so topical! While on the phone, I received this cartoon, talking pretty much exactly what my business partners were talking about!

Gonzales approved at least 3 torture memos

...that included waterboarding. I think he needs a taste of his own medicine, now that he's a private citizen like you and me.

The Raw Story | ACLU learns of third 'secret' torture memo from Gonzales Justice Department

GOP Lawmaker Resigns Amid Sex Scandal - News Story - KIRO Seattle

Man #1 has sex with Man #2 in a hotel room. Man #2 expects payment of $1,000. Man #1 doesn't want to pay. Man #2 takes Man #1's wallet.

(Here's where it gets good.) Man #1 calls police. Admits he has sex with Man #2. Claims Man #2 is extorting him.

Man #1 was, at the time, a Republican state legislator. He has since resigned, claiming, like Larry Craig, that he "is not gay."

What the hell is wrong with Republicans? Why are they so anti-gay while being gay? And why are they so stupid?

You agree to have sex with a dude for money and you're too cheap to pay for it? Then you call the police and claim extortion?

My gosh, this guy, and his Republican bed buddies, are so pathetic.

GOP Lawmaker Resigns Amid Sex Scandal - News Story - KIRO Seattle

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Nomination of Mukasey Sent to Full Senate - New York Times

Well, well, well, a guy who cannot tell torture when he sees it. There's some level-headed, Constitution-watching guardian of our legal system.

I'm hopeful, for comedic purposes only, that he turns out half as stupid and inept as "Alberto" Gonzalez, that pillar of legal stewards.

Nomination of Mukasey Sent to Full Senate - New York Times

“As Judge Mukasey’s answers mirror the president’s on this issue, and defy common sense, we are forced to question his independence as well,” Mr. Kohl said. “The attorney general’s loyalties must be to the Constitution, to the American people, and to the law. Too much doubt on this point is disqualifying.”
More on the wackos charged to lead our Department of Justice.

GAO: Thousands mistakenly allowed into U.S.

It's good to know that our borders are secure. 90% is not very good. In the world of security, missing 10% is not an A-; it' more like an F+.

Thanks for spending our tax dollars so wisely, big government.

GAO: Thousands mistakenly allowed into U.S. - U.S. Security -
"The GAO’s findings are based on a statistical estimate of the number of people who could have passed through the entry points, Customs and Border Protection’s deputy commissioner, Jayson P. Ahern, said Monday. In reality, the government does not know exactly how many people passed through checkpoints who should not have been allowed in the country."

Monday, November 05, 2007

Who the hell is John Bootie?

Apparently, John Bootie is a trucker-turned-politician. Quite possibly, he is the most unqualified, ignorant, and foolish candidate EVER to run for office.

He talks about the importance of education, but he himself is so undereducated that it's near-impossible to follow his meanderings on his web site. If his writing skills are any indication, he never finished grade school.

I really don't like to beat up on guys, and he's probably a really nice guy. And I am not beating him up because his views are different than mine. I'm writing this because he needs to get a clue:

Nobody's going to listen to him
Nobody's going to take him seriously and
Nobody's going to vote for him

John Bootie

Pakistan unrest's effects on US foreign policy

What the hell happened in Pakistan?

LRB Jim Holt: It’s the Oil

I've said it before: It's about the oil. Once an oil man, always an oil man.

Sheesh, of course we're still in Iraq. It's like the old bank robber story:

"Why do you rob banks," the bank robber is asked.
Says bankrobber, "That's where the money is."

LRB Jim Holt: It’s the Oil

ABC News: High-Flying Ex-Con Steps Down From Thompson Campaign

UPDATE to last post:

Well, there you have it, one of Thompson's campaign managers resigns after his criminal past is exposed.

ABC News: High-Flying Ex-Con Steps Down From Thompson Campaign

Thompson Adviser Has Criminal Past -


One day, won't we all have criminal backgrounds? I mean, seriously, aren't we all just one slip of the tongue away from going to Gitmo right now?

One of Fred Thompson's 4 (count them, four!!!) campaign managers has a criminal background of drug trafficking and conspiracy that dates back almost 30 years ago. Maybe he's turned over a new leaf.

Or maybe Thompson really isn't the most conservative candidate after all. Condoning drug possession and distribution is only for Liberals right?

Nevertheless, this just shows Thompson's laziness and lackadaisical attitude towards just about everything, doesn't it?
"There's not a campaign in the world that has the ability to research every one of its supporters going back more than 20 years," Harris (Thompson's communications director) said.
Thompson Adviser Has Criminal Past -

Bush Gives Musharraf Tips on Eliminating Democracy

The Borowitz Report .com:
Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One, Mr. Bush said that while he commended General Musharraf’s impulse to eliminate democratic institutions, he felt that the military strongman was going about it the wrong way: “When you’re getting rid of democracy, the last thing you want to do is tell people you’re doing it.”
“If I had gone on TV one day and just ended democracy like Pervez did, I would have caught holy hell from Maureen Dowd,” Mr. Bush chuckled. “You’ve got to be crafty about these things.”
Last one:
He also criticized the Pakistani dictator’s firing of the chief justice of the Supreme Court: “Trust me, if you’re going to get rid of elections, a Supreme Court could come in handy.”
Yes, it's satire, but how close to the truth is it?

Friday, November 02, 2007

Is a college education worth the money?

I think it's indisputable that college graduates, in the aggregate, get better pay than non-college graduates.

But what about Harvard graduates versus Arkansas State grads? Maybe not. Seth's Blog argues for maybe not.

Bush vetoes water projects bill - Yahoo! News

President Bush has been busy with the special "veto pen," having vetoed more bills in the past few months than he did -- EVER! Remember, during the Republican-controlled Congress, he vetoed one bill, if memory serves (the stem cell bill).

Now, he's vetoed bills that would essentially shore up our dilapidated water projects, including fortifying the Gulf Coast (had this been passed, say, 4 years ago, Katrina might not have been such a disaster).

Congress has the votes to override his veto, too, since both sides of the aisle have vested interests in getting this legislation passed into law.

So, one has to wonder what Bush has up his sleeve. What's he trying to prove? Anything? Or is he just being the punk we all know he is?

Bush vetoes water projects bill - Yahoo! News:
But Bush never vetoed spending bills under the Republican Congress, despite budgetary increases then, too. Attempting to demonstrate fiscal toughness now, in the seventh year of his presidency, carried the risk being criticized for doing too little, too late or as waging a transparently partisan attack against the Democrats who now run Capitol Hill.
It's sad that his presidency has come to this ridiculous conclusion. A few more combative stunts like this, and you may hear the drum beat of impeachment get seemingly closer. Piss off the Dems, it's okay. Piss off your own, they'll turn on you.

Duncan Hunter recommends war veterans replace State Department personnel -- ThatPoliticalBlog

Kudos to Duncan Hunter for recommending a solution to a real problem: State Department officials who have been ordered to Iraq yet refuse to go.

Hunter has recommended wounded warriors, those folks in the military who have served already.

My only recommended addition to Hunter's idea: Fire those State Department officials who refuse to do their jobs.


Thursday, November 01, 2007

ScrappleFace — News Fairly Unbalanced. We Report. You Decipher.

Pretty funny...

ScrappleFace — News Fairly Unbalanced. We Report. You Decipher.

S.C. Dems reject Colbert candidacy

I can't wait for Colbert's show tonight. He'll be on fire!

A wag of the finger may be in order for the Democratic party in South Carolina. They might even get on a list. Dead to me, anyone?

S.C. Dems reject Colbert candidacy - Kenneth P. Vogel -

Question about 9/12 shuts Giuliani's pie hole


“Can you name one thing that happened on September 12?”

Mr. Giuliani seemed taken aback by the question, clearing his throat and drinking from a glass of water as if to buy time before responding.

“That’s a good question,” Mr. Giuliani said. “September 12 happened one day after September 11 -- and we must never forget the lessons of September 11.”

The Borowitz Report .com

Rice to staff: Iraq postings are mandatory - Conflict in Iraq -

Rice to staff: Iraq postings are mandatory - Conflict in Iraq -
"It's one thing if someone believes in what's going on over there and volunteers, but it's another thing to send someone over there on a forced assignment," Crotty said. "I'm sorry, but basically that's a potential death sentence and you know it. Who will raise our children if we are dead or seriously wounded?"
Um, the taxpayers? We've begun to pay for all this Iraq mess already haven't we? In terms of misdirected taxes (going to the war effort rather than, say, educating our children), higher energy prices (don't say that the price of oil has nothing to do with Iraq), higher prices all around (inflation is the ultimate tax), a dollar whose value has fallen precipitously (imports cost us more now), etc.

We're all paying for this war. I hope to hell nobody ever says we haven't sacrificed for this war.

Perhaps most of us haven't made the ultimate sacrifice, but to suggest that we've had it easy is not owning up to the facts: A war of stupid choice has grim consequences.

The Gapminder World 2006, beta

Very cool visual map of income per capita. You can choose to view many countries or just one or a handful. Very neat time-waster from which you just might learn something.

The Gapminder World 2006, beta

Hillary Clinton reportedly had a bad night during the last Democrat debate

I didn't watch it, but Hillary Clinton may have had her worst performance yet (thus far, all accounts had been that she had done well), but I'll leave that to the pundits and the 6 people who may have watched.

Obama, Edwards attack; Clinton bombs debate - Roger Simon -
Perhaps just as bad was her general tone and demeanor. All of her opponents seemed passionate about one issue or another. But Clinton seemed largely emotionless and detached, often just mouthing rehearsed answers from her briefing book.
Sounds like she was just going through the motions.

Debates are so 1980. There hasn't been a good one for 30 or so years. I think Reagan threw out some zingers that stuck.

However, debates are supposed to be civilized arguments, no? A question is posed and all the candidates get a chance to discuss it. Viewers are able to see not only their candidates' views, but also their thought process.

Hardly any thought goes into these things. Basically, Candidate 1 says X which may not even be related to the question, and then Candidates 2-50 jump on one silly statement.

It's asinine.