Friday, September 29, 2006

Ding-Dong the Donkey's Dead

So we now have passed a bill that's pro-torture, anti-habeas corpus and should have been subtitled "now that we've set the Constitution on fire, we better piss on it to put the blaze out."

Thanks to this law, you or I--that is if you're reading this and are a U.S. citizen--can now be declared an "enemy combatant." Thanks to this law, we can be arrested, not told why, and be held indefinitely. Thanks to this law, we can spend time while incarcerated with "professionals" whose job it is to torture. Thanks to this law, if we are ever released, we have no recourse for what was done to us if we turn out to be innocent.

Thanks to this law, our only protection from this happening is the good sense, grace, and judgment of President George W. Bush.

But this law tells us other things, too. First we get this line quoted in the New York Times today: "'It is a kind of difficult vote [against the bill] to explain, at least where I come from,' said Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas." So at last we have evidence that Texas really isn't part of America, or at least the part that believes in justice and separation of powers and antiquated stuff like that.

Second, Joe Lieberman voted for the bill. Good thing he's part of his own party now and not embarrassing the Dems anymore. I'm stil not sure why he didn't name his new party Lieberman for Lieberman.

Third, that doesn't mean the Dems don't embarrass themselves all on their own. That NYT article begins with the sentence: "The Democratic vote in the Senate on Thursday against legislation governing the treatment of terrorism suspects showed that party leaders believe that President Bush’s power to wield national security as a political issue is seriously diminished." Huh? 12 Democrats voted for the bill--that's a quarter of their number in the Senate. They might as well be Monty Python's Black Knight claiming "it's only a flesh wound."

If Democrats can't stand up and say, "America doesn't torture. America believes in the rule of law and fair trials even for those we find the most reprehensible," then why is there a Democratic party?

Scarier still, is there still an America?

Navigator Nigel

For Dog Blog Friday: And the silly automakers at Volkswagen thought it was an arm rest.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Stealing from Cabrillo's Pad

Today is the 564th anniversary of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo first encountering California, which as yet had no name, let alone streets named after Cabrillo, so at least those of us in Santa Barbara only had to worry about Castillo, Carrillo, and "that road down by the beach." I write "encountering" because there is still a dispute as to what happened that night between the "explorer" and the "virgin land." While sailing into San Diego Bay he uttered the famous words, "Don't put an airport right downtown," but his crew just laughed for they didn't know what an airport was, let alone why he was speaking English. Upon landing he was met by Chumash Minutebraves who told him to go back to his own country, which only made Cabrillo confused as he was Portuguese but sailing under the Spanish flag, mostly because he thought the Spanish banner more attractive and its color scheme matched the way he had his ship painted.

Proof Dog Is God Spelled Backwards?

Images of the lord abound, if only ye care to look. (And I don't even mean Jack Lord on Hawaii Five-O reruns.) He is on toast. He is on tile grout.

And now, in his most amazing appearance, he proves he truly is everywhere. It's time to give the Lord a sniff and say hello.

(Hat-tip to Dependable Renegade.)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Let me introduce to you the newest members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the newsroom at the Santa Barbara News-Press! The vote today was 33 in favor of the union, 6 against. That's an 84% approval rating.

What happens now? The long haul to a contract, and you know dear old Wendy McCaw isn't going to be the most pleasant of negotiators.

And, the other question will be--how many journalists quit now that they've stuck it to Wendy and have turned her pet paper into a union shop?

Only time will tell.

That Hits the Spot

So I don't know what's worse, that someone in Gardner, Massachusetts is Googling "spontaneous, orgasm, colonoscopy" or that one of the search results leads to this blog.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A Full Court Press Conference

If only I were also a male escort and could get a White House press pass. Then I could ask some truly probing follow-up questions so I could push, push on President Bush. For instance today when he said:

"I think it's a mistake for people to believe that going on the offense against people that want to do harm to the American people makes us less safe. The terrorists fight us in Iraq for a reason: They want to try to stop a young democracy from developing, just like they're trying to fight another young democracy in Afghanistan."

I'd ask:

"Two follow-ups, if I may, Mr. President. First, the people in Iraq were trying to do us harm when we first invaded Iraq? Would that have been with their weak army, their lack of any connection to al Qaeda, or their non-existent WMDs? Second, everyone fighting in Iraq is a terrorist? Didn't someone explain the differences among the Kurds, Shiites, and Sunnis to you yet? You know, the whole civil war thing you insist isn't happening?"

And when Bush said:

"Now, you know what's interesting about the NIE -- it was a intelligence report done last April. As I understand, the conclusions -- the evidence on the conclusions reached was stopped being gathered on February -- at the end of February. And here we are, coming down the stretch in an election campaign, and it's on the front page of your newspapers. Isn't that interesting? Somebody has taken it upon themselves to leak classified information for political purposes."

I'd, in my most polite and sweet voice, question:

"In theory 16 different intelligence agencies put this report together. Is there any chance, any chance at all, that people leaked the report because they thought it was really important and that you and Donald Rumsfeld and others seemed to ignore it totally for 5 months? And if the report's findings, redacted and thereby not a risk of giving away state secrets, were released in April, when the report was completed--well, wouldn't you have been able to keep it from seeming like a campaign issue? That is, isn't your own desire for secrecy the real, uh, I'm sorry to use such a harsh word, problem?"

And when Bush gets a bit pissy, as is his wont, and claimed:

I want you to read the documents so you don't speculate about what it says. You asked me a question based upon what you thought was in the document, or at least somebody told you was in the document. And so I think, Jennifer, you'll be able to ask a more profound question when you get to look at it yourself -- (laughter) -- as opposed to relying upon gossip and somebody who may or may not have seen the document trying to classify the war in Iraq one way or the other.

I'd reply:

"First, my name is not Jennifer. Second, if I asked you a profound question you'd make a face dumber than my dog who is still coming out of his sedation from having his teeth cleaned today. Third, I am looking into my crystal ball and see you will only release 3 1/2 pages of the report. So I still won't be reading the whole document. So you can still say that I don't get it. And you'd be very right--every time I think about the decisions made by this White House, I don't get it."

And as I was dragged away by the "professionals" that now legally have the "tools" to do with me as they will without any fear of Latin (habeas corpus is so 13th century), I would shout out:

"Hey, Reuters, why are you head-lining a story 'Intelligence report is made public,' when only about 12% of the report was released? Do you call yourself naked when you roll up one of your sleeves?"

It's So Killin', This Costume Is So Willin'

Amy suggested I wear this for a Halloween costume, as if we don't get enough fart noises (and too much of another sense abused, too) from the dogs.

The sad part is then you need someone dressed up as a couch to be truly effective at any party.

K.O. Goes for the K.O.

I liked him way back when he was just a clever sportscaster, but I never thought he'd grow into what he is now, TV's only truth-talker*. Go check out the full 10 minute clip on Crooks & Liars and see why Keith Olbermann is a hero:

"Moreover, for the last five years one month and two weeks, the current administration, and in particular the President, has been given the greatest "pass" for incompetence and malfeasance, in American history!"

*non-sarcasm and irony division

Monday, September 25, 2006

I Do Give a Fig

Photo by Amy. Fig by tree.

Monday Hit-and-Run with Nuns

If bullet points are good enough for Larry King, and Larry King is good enough for USA Today...then I lost the point I'm trying to make.

  • How exciting for the Dodgers yesterday, another walk-off homer from Nomar (be sure to rhyme Nomar and homer when you read that), and a grandslam at that. Given the score was tied and they were at home and they're still behind the Pads for the NL West lead and the Phils for the Wild Card, the LA Times headline should have been "Too Much Too Late."
  • I was going to say the Democrats are doomed in November given Jackass 2 is the number one film in the nation but then I realized most of the jackass-loving-folks going to that piece of celluloid (you can't really call it a movie) probably don't vote.
  • Given Santa Barbara hasn't opened a good new restaurant in years, it is with much sadness I have to report how good Villa Creek is. In Paso Robles. This is just the sort of place SB needs--not too expensive, just the right friendly (a sommelier who asks, "What do we want to play with this evening?"), properly adventurous without any foam-flecked pretention, and downright delicious. I mean, SB can't support an upscale look at California cuisine that feels its Mexican/Spanish influences (and I don't mean garlic bread and jarred salsa)? And that wine list--syrah and grenache lead the way, at good prices, and the Villa Creek wines themselves are fruity, deep, and food-friendly.
  • The rally to support the staff of the News-Press was a spirited event, particularly with Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers, on hand. I'd never felt prouder to shout out a "si se puede!" than yesterday. It's also striking that someone was taking photos from one of the second floor News-Press offices, but there was no article or photo in the News-Press today about the rally. Gee, wonder what the pictures were for.
  • Sticking with the wreck of the News-Press for a minute, it was also amazing to hear that the Nipper has decided to strike back at the latest arm of the vast international conspiracy against his ever getting that ring from Wendy and actually scoring a paycheck when she dumps him. A month or so ago 20 local clergy got together and tried to place an ad in the N-P asking for fairness and for the paper to treat its employees with some respect. They never even got a "no" and had to run their ad in the Independent. So now Arthur von Wiesenberger wrote back to the clergy and attacked them for trying to place the ad. (For a copy of the letter see the PDF Craig Smith posted from his blog.) All I can think of as advice to the Nipper is this old line from Mary Hartman: you can't beat a station wagon full of nuns.

The Muse Is Always Partially Dressed in Flickr (Part II)

Originally uploaded by alibosworth.

I lived in the right apartment complex and everything but Kieslowski wouldn't let me into his film until there was a commandment: "Thou shall not show thy underwear."

The Muse Is Always Partially Dressed in Flickr (Part I)

Originally uploaded by bhoppe100.

Yet another experiment trying to prove if your top is bright enough, no one will notice you're not wearing a bottom.

Monday random Flickr blogging explained.

Friday, September 22, 2006

I'm Not One to Write Arabic, But....

Is this cool or what?

I can't imagine how my humor translates, given it's often puzzling (hey, you in the back, I heard you say "non-exsistent"--now please leave the blog) even to English speakers. And I don't even want to think about how a Fall allusion plays in Egypt.

He's Got an E-Ticket to Ride

Great observation by Jim Baker over at Baseball Prospectus today (but it's in the pay-for-play premium section, which everyone should subscribe to, anyway):

The Pirates continue to cut a wide swath across the land. Milwaukee, New York, Los Angeles--all have felt the cool steel of the Buccaneer cutlass emptying their entrails onto the blood-slicked… Sorry, just a bit of hyperbole left over from Talk Like a Pirate Day. (Something that occurred to me a long time ago when I found myself in Disney World on the decidedly joyful Pirates of the Caribbean ride: will the passage of time allow our distant descendants to make equal innocent fun of the evil doers of the 20th Century? Will 24th Century theme parks have rides that feature SS death squads cavorting about? Will September 19, 2306 be designated "Talk Like a Terrorist Day"?)

Frankly, I'm hoping it's in my lifetime we can laugh on Blabber Like a Bush Day. There's no misunderestimating the joy that will be had when everyone says "nucular" years after the last nuke was decommissioned.

Hey, it's Friday, and I'm feeling ridiculously optimistic.

What a Day That Was

For Dog Blog Friday: Mookie and Nigel in a rousing version of "Happy Birthday" for Nigel's big day last Sunday. Yes, he even sings to himself.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Witchy? Whoa, Man!

"On this day in 1692, the Salem trees hung the witches till they were
blue," is the dastardly little rhyme that every school kid learned (and
is still in therapy about). Yes, it's the anniversary of the last witch
hangings in the U.S., which wasn't united or really states yet, so
that's one way somebody like Alberto Gonzalez can claim we never did
such a thing. Although the executions were over, 150 Salemites (which
sounds close enough to Sodomites to have the whiff of guilt right there)
remained in jail through the next summer, but they got three square
meals a day and were permitted to pray to their god the devil 5 times a
day. Wife of the previous Salem mayor Barbara Goodbush said, "What I'm
hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in gaol. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the prison here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this, this is working very well for them."

Things didn't work out as well for Giles Corey, the accused witch who
was pressed to death while being interrogated. The Court asserted,
"There's an enemy that lurks and plots and plans and wants to hurt Salem
again. So you bet we will aggressively pursue them, but we will do so
under the law, or pehaps under a board with heavy rocks on it. If Mr.
Corey talked, he could have prevented this, and then we could have hung
him like a good witch."

Jackie, Dressed in Nothing

During my regular morning reading of the Shanghai Daily I come across this entertainment tidbit:

Kung Fu film star Jackie Chan yesterday admitted that he acted in a porn movie 31 years ago, responding to a report revealed by Hong Kong media, Information Times reported today.


Hong Kong netizens tipped local media that Chan was in the porn movie All in the Family in 1975, with a porn movie star who was famous at that time.

The Hong Kong made movie, directed by Zhu Mu, was defined as a comedy. Dean Shek, Tien Chun, and Sammo Hung were also co-stars.

First, thank god that the film starred someone with the name Hung. Second, there's nothing scarier than imagining a porn version of All in the Family, is there? Third, later in the article Chan admits that while starring in this film he decided it would be important for him to do his own stunts. Fourth, here's a description of the porn-comedy All in the Family: "It's just after the first money shot that two young lovers find out they're actually brother and sister! Hijinks ensue."

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Ode to Simone, Simone, the Little Love Bone

Today is the 3rd anniversary of the death of dear, far from sweet, Simone, so I figured she deserved a memorial beyond the scars she left on people and fellow cats and furniture. Named after Simone Simon, star of the original Cat People, Simone was as feisty as she was beautiful, so she could lure you in and then go for the kill, the truest of feline femme fatales. I adopted her way back in Iowa, then she made the move to Pennsylvania, then the move to Santa Barbara, and along the way she's probably the only non-lost-soon-to-be-coyote-chow domestic cat to see the Grand Canyon. (It was too hot to leave her in the Ryder truck cab, so she came with us in her cat carrier and we heard the words "weird guys with a cat!" in many languages.)

She was always difficult but she was always my cat and she survived being hit by a car, hyper-thyroidism and radioactive treatment for that, and at the end failing kidneys and the need for being stuck with a big needle (really more of a spike) and getting "irrigated" to keep her fluid levels ok for her last few months.

It's incredibly fitting her last gift to me was to push me past my squeamishness like that, for I had to stab her with that needle/spike, and I'm a total medical wuss. While she was a horror at the vet (one even insisted her clawing left part of his forearm numb for 6 months), she let us jab her every other night with that intravenous contraption. Thanks, Simone, for all your lessons, and may there be endless mice in your kitty heaven. Just don't leave all the skulls on the driveway.

Luckily There's Nothing Scarier in the World than a Seven-Year-Old in a Witch Mask

The BBC reports:

Retailers who sell traditional Halloween merchandise, such as scary masks, are creating a "climate of fear", the Bishop of Bolton has said.

I have to interrupt to point out it seems journalistically irresponsible not to mention if this man is the Bishop of John Bolton or of Michael Bolton. If we're going to talk fear, we need to know if it's the "psycho at the UN" kind of fright or the "you call that singing?" scare.

"I am worried that Halloween has the potential to trivialise the realities of evil in the world and that occult practices should not be condoned, even if they are only being presented in a caricatured, light-hearted form."

Rt Rev David Gillett added: "Those in the Church supporting this move towards a more positive approach to the event are not being killjoys, but are simply reflecting the concerns of many parents and teachers across the land. "We want supermarkets to take a responsible position in relation to the products they promote for celebrating the event."

It's good to see the church, whose universal symbol is a man hanging from a cross, wants to spread a more positive image about holidays. I guess trick-or-treaters can always go around dressed as priests, although in many neighborhoods that can be mighty terrifying too.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Goleta Valley Loses Its Voice

Over at his sagacious website Craig Smith ponders the McCaw regime and its sphere of influence beyond the News-Press. After all, Wendy has gone media outlet shopping, as it were, and has purchased the Goleta Valley Voice, Blue Edge, El Mexicano and has all but in name (shh--don't tell the FCC, since they'll never realize it's called News-Press Radio 1290) acquired KZSB-AM. Unfortunately, Craig runs through reasons he can't examine whether Wendy Wrath has done in any of these properties.

Which means we should at least look at the Goleta Valley Voice. It used to be a solid, quirky paper, working hard to be something a bit more community focused than the News-Press, even in the N-P's good days. You know, more school news, local sports, person on the street interviews. It used to be bigger, but paper shrinkage seems to be a typical McCaw affliction.

But there's two more damning issues I haven't heard anyone else talk about. First, while Wendy and Arthur are listed as co-publishers (papers, to them, are like Lays Potato Chips--bet that can't ruin just one!), many names have dropped from the masthead. Managing editor Margo Kline, gone. editorial director Gerald Carpenter, gone (so gone, in fact, I heard he was on his way to Washington state). Staff writer Jeff Jones, gone. Go look at the archives and you'll see how many past articles were written by folks no longer with the paper. I wonder if they, too, were part of the pro-development conspiracy and share the secret handshake with Mayor Marty Blum.

Second, the paper doesn't really have an office anymore. It used to be right on Hollister Avenue in Old Town Goleta, and was proud of that fact. Now, its address on the masthead is 725 S. Kellogg, which just happens to be the address of the News-Press Press Facility. Sure, it probably gets physically printed there, but that's where it's written, too? Curious, I say.

In the meantime, rumor has it that in the News-Press offfices the attempt to chill the unionizers with the firings of Andrea Huebner and Kevin Colby hasn't worked. Supposedly those planning to vote no on the union have moved to maybes while the maybes have moved to yesses. September 27 will be one interesting day. The sad part is, just because the newsroom gets unionized doesn't mean Wendy will get human. The staff will still have to negotiate with her, and as someone who has sat across from the UC at contract negotiations, let me tell you they can be painful proceedings when the people you're at the table with don't understand what you do and don't really care to know.

That's why it would be great if all of us went to these events:

3-4 p.m. Sunday, September 24
De la Guerra Plaza
Prominent speakers have been invited. More details to come.

4-6 p.m. at Ruby’s Café, De la Guerra Plaza
Hors d’oeuvres and music
Suggested Donation: $20.00
Proceeds will be donated to the Journalist Loan Fund to help current and former News-Press employees who have been forced out, fired or suspended without pay.

Exchanging Pleasantries on the Poop Deck

Your Pirate Name Is...

Iron Dagger Dan

It's Talk Like a Pirate Day! If only President Bush addressed the UN with an eye patch and a parrot and said, "Shiver my sanctions!"

Monday, September 18, 2006

Why Card

So I'm watching the Dodgers-Padres game, glad to see the ever-annoying Dodgers losing, and falling a game-and-a-half back of the Pads, but also thinking how much more exciting this game might be, all the runners on base and the missed opportunities (until the last two innings), if it meant something.

Sure, the Dodgers have lost first place by losing 3 of 4 to San Diego. But unless Philly stays really hot, both teams are probably playoff bound.

Gee, the wild card sure make the season more exciting, doesn't it?

Just for the Halibut

It's been a while since I just blogged about food, what with the News-Press ever-melting and Bush ever-revolting, but last night's dinner was just too good not to share. Of course, we didn't share, really, but someday we will have people over for dinner again. In the meantime, it's cyber-dinner-party: all the deliciousness and none of the calories!

To kick off while we were in baking/cooking mode, we enjoyed our new favorite cocktail, the Pama-politan. Sort of like a Cosmo, but instead of cranberry juice we sub in Pama Liqueur (don't take it for pomegranate!), which leads to supreme tastiness and a beautiful grey-pink color.

The meal itself features something I think I came up with on my own, but after reading so many cookbooks I'm often the Jayson Blair of the kitchen without knowing it. I wanted to try to crust Alaskan halibut, but that seemed too hard to pull off. So instead I make a "hash" of chopped shiitakes and macadamia nuts. They get cooked in tangerine olive oil, a tiny bit of butter, some minced shallot, salt, peper, some orange zest, and the juice of half a small orange. That gets a sprinkling of Grand Marnier. Let it get a bit crunchy. Serve with the fish you pan cook in some of the tangerine olive oil. For sides we made orzo and fresh lima beans in butter and shallots.

The wine was a delightful and spritely Cold Heaven 2005 viognier. None of that froot loop-y character in this wine, so don't fret.

Dessert, well, you've been introduced up top. Our brown turkey fig is figging out, so the tart is a cornmeal rosemary crust (some crunch, some forest floor zip), a lemon-zabaglione custard, and the figs, sliced, never cooked, painted with some honey-red current glaze. As if we needed anything else, a glass of Williams Selyem 2001 port (yep, in addition to all those killer pinots they make a very viscuous port) sealed the meal.

What Lurks in Flickr IMG_1272

Originally uploaded by Captain Smurf.
Cindy Lou waits for the day when she has saved up enough of her allowance to pay for that paternity test.

(Monday Random Flickr blogging explained.)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Puppy Is a State of Mind

Our little puppy has gone from this:

To this:

Happy fifth birthday, "little" guy!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Knowledge in the Past Tense

In his introductory remarks to his press conference today, President Bush offered this example to show how important it is for the CIA to keep the terror in interrogate:

For example, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed described the design of planned attacks of buildings inside the U.S. and how operatives were directed to carry them out. That is valuable information for those of us who have the responsibility to protect the American people. He told us the operatives had been instructed to ensure that the explosives went off at a high -- a point that was high enough to prevent people trapped above from escaping.

Now, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was captured March 1, 2003. He is generally believed to be the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, which happened in 2001. One of the most horrible fates (if ranking terrible ways to die makes any sense at all) for those who were killed was to be trapped in the upper floors of the WTC towers with nowhere to go.

Our President, the leader of the free world, the man leading the defense of "civilization and liberty" against "hateful ideology," directly says we need to waterboard to get crucial information. OK, he has never owned up to the waterboarding, but go look at his nasty grin when Matt Lauer interviews him about it--it's a Karla Faye Tucker moment. After all, without waterboarding we will never find out the terrorists' plans FROM TWO YEARS AGO.

Does he think we're all as dumb as he is?

Let's Start Happy Hour Now--I Could Use the Extra Bucks

The AFP reports:

People who consume alcohol earn significantly more at their jobs than non-drinkers, according to a US study that highlighted "social capital" gained from drinking.

So, I'm waiting for my raise. Or at least someone to pick me up off the floor.

Dumping an Agency Is Easy

Having not been paid $20 million in sum for all the jobs I've ever worked throughout my entire life (even before taxes), sure, I get bitter thinking that Jim Carrey makes $20 mil a movie for acting like a doofus improvising brilliant comedy of the highest order. The one thing that does strike me funny about him is that now that his star seems to be eclipsed, he's decided to dump his long-time agency, as, of course, they're the problem. The San Francisco Chronicle reports:

Hollywood star Jim Carrey has ditched the agency that launched his career over 10 years ago after a string of big-screen let-downs.

The actor has parted company with the United Talent Agency following a tough summer -- two big-budget films he was connected with, Used Guys and Ripley's Believe It or Not, were shut down after exceeding their $100 million-plus budgets.

No longer able to command $20 million per picture, Carrey's most recent signings have been for low-budget productions.

Carrey is not blaming the agency for the split. His publicist Marleah Leslie says, "Mr. Carrey has shared an enormous amount of success with UTA over the years for which he is truly grateful. It was a difficult decision to make, but he felt it was time to move on."

A spokesperson for UTA says, "With the possible exception of today, Jim Carrey is among the true geniuses of our generation. We wish him eternal sunshine."

I guess they can't really wish him a "spotless mind" can they?

But I do have to wonder--do they see his generation numbering maybe four, and the other three members are Rob Schneider, Adam Sandler and Carrot Top?

I hereby propose a ban on the word genius for a decade or two. At least until people look the word up.

This Blog Is Younger Than We Are--Can We Catch It and Eat It?

For Dog Blog Friday: Mookie and Nigel watch as the old design on INOTBB rides off into the sunset as this blog celebrates its second anniversary! Thanks to Amy for all the CSS coding.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I Drunk Up All My Money That I Borrowed Every Time

It was 176 years ago this Friday that William Huskisson left his stamp on history by leaving most of his left leg on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway line. Huskisson is now referred to as the first person to be killed by a train, thereby inspiring a Psychedelic Furs song and, evidently, generations of English schoolboys who discovered the best mnemonic for trivia is a bit of blood. Of course, he wasn't really the first person the nascent rail industry did in--some workers bought it, but they were, how do you call them, workers, and Huskisson was a MP (who only get to talk when you get 3 of them in a room--MP3, get it?). And now some of you are wishing I might get hit by a train.

Please don't be steamed at my humor from the unfunny side of the tracks. Of course, the irony of Huskisson's death is he was very pro-railroad, which just goes to show that what you love can kill you. Especially when it's going 15 mph and weighs a few tons.

Without Richards and for Poorer

So how in the world did we end up with this...

And not this?

Alas, as the old saying goes, the only thing certain is Death and Texas. RIP, Ann, you will forever remain an inspiration.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Slump on Over and Stir My Shuffle Down

As if her terrific voice, brilliant songs, and easy-on-the-eyes-ness weren't enough, Neko Case has to go and have a greyhound, too. If you're a Neko fan, be sure to check out her recent in studio performance on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic. It's a lovely and lilting eight song set that includes a cover of Dylan's "Buckets of Rain," Neko cracking herself up and flubbing the intro to "Wish I Was the Moon"--twice--and steel guitar player Jon Rauhouse wearing a skort, or so Neko says. Luckily, there's no video.

Case also offers what might be my favorite song of the year, "Maybe Sparrow," which leads me to coin a meme (forge a meme? hatch a meme? watch burst out of my chest like I'm John Hurt and my meme is some alien?)--songs that make you cry. Now, I'm secure enough in my masculinity to admit a man-crush on Johan Santana--hunky Venezeluan, ace pitcher, lefty, star of my fantasy baseball team--so being able to say, "Sure, that song tends to mist me up a little," isn't the hardest thing in the world. That said, here's a five-pack from the top of my head and the bottom of my lachrymal glands:

Neko Case, "Maybe Sparrow"
Sure, the song itself is sad--there's no maybe for the poor little birdie; it's a goner long before the song's end. But it's Case's voice itself that gets me, the set up of those "la-di-da-di-da-di-das" that are anything but "la-di-da" light, such casualness and such force confused, and then the three repeats of the words "maybe sparrow" at the very end, the very last her voice rising and missing, something that might sound like a crack if her voice wasn't so richly round-toned. A little rush runs up my spine and my eyes dampen every damn time that damn note signals the sparrow's damnation.

Talking Heads, "This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)"
"I'm just an animal looking for a home
Can we share the same space for a minute or two
Love me till my heart stops
Love me till I'm dead"
OK, the lyrics aren't the same without perhaps the one time David Byrne isn't being un-ironically ironic (or is that ironically un-ironic? Listen to "Don't Worry about the Government." Discuss). This might be the one song where he just sort of means it. Any time a mask slips that's worth a ratcheting up of the emotions, isn't it? Notice I haven't even mentioned those sweetie birdie keyboard parts.

Lucinda Williams, "Like a Rose"
The most straightforward love song of all time. Plus anybody who knows or can guess the in-joke about "rosebud" from Citizen Kane (it had something to do with Hearst's indelicate nickname for a delicate part of Marion Davies) knows this is one sexy forever love song, too. Lucinda doesn't even have to get all obvious like she did years later on "Essence" (which, as blatant as it is, is still darn hot--doesn't make me cry, except when I compare it to something stoopid like Liz Phair's "WHC"--look, Liz, guys don't want to think their semen is a product from Aveda).

Iris DeMent, "Our Town"
True enough, with her sad country yodel Iris DeMent could probably set Monty Python routines to music and make one cry. But "Our Town" is filled with so much nostalgia, so much loss, so much sun-setting, so much dobro. And sweet Jesus, how can any eye stay dry with the lines, "Hold on to your lover cause your heart's bound to die"? Don't think that love is even brief comfort either, for by the end of the tune it's my town, not our town--the singer stands alone. Those "goodnights" at the end of each chorus are one mighty code.

Magnetic Fields, "It's Only Time"
It shares the stop-start instrument bed of Eno’s “Everything Merges with the Night,” making each measure more fully measured. But it’s Stephin Merritt’s vocal (not the words) that tells the story, as the melodic line forces his narrow tenor out past its point of comfort, striving for something more, and yes, this a love song (just try singing along and see how hard it is). All of this from the acidic cynic, told by his mom at 2½ that the fun of love would be done at 3. Then the bridge, the voice rising faintly for those fragile “Marry Me”s as the snowflake piano faintly falls—-all of this originally released in a year (2004) when gay marriage replaced Bin Laden as our nation’s greatest terror. Breaks your fucking heart, breaks your goddam country.

Gee, just thinking about all these songs has left me reaching for the Kleenex at the computer for a reason different than I ever have before. (How's that joke for ruining a mood?)

Seriously, I now tag Christy at Folly's House of Mirth (I know, you probably don't take requests), James at Coyote Mercury, and Tom at If I Ran the Zoo. And if all three of you don't write about songs that make you cry and then make others do the same, I'll throw a hysterical bawling fit.

P.S. No jokes about how "Tiny Dancer" makes you cry because you hear it over the cubicles every day.

The Night They Drove the News-Press Down

There's basically bumbling, there's malicious, and then there's head so far up your ass you might as well be a hemmorhoid, or the News-Press. Or so the case must be, as breaking news says the paper has fired its behind-the-scenes-soul, Life Editor Andrea Huebner. It's hard to imagine the paper actually coming out with her gone, she's done so much work for Life, Arts, Scene, the copy desk, special tabs, you name it. Through all the turmoil over the past few months, people would turn to Andrea and say, "Well there's hope-you're still here." Now she's the first person to actually be fired in this whole mess, which is kind of like someone--oh, let's call her Wendy--managing to get off the Titanic, (poor Nipper left behind, alas, but at least Travis is used to ending up in the drink), surveying her lifeboat and saying, "I think you're the problem," and then scuttling the boat. I picked that marine metaphor since Mad, Mad, Millionaire McCaw seems to like yachting, if you can call a ship with its own helicopter (plus passengers Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones) a yacht and not an aircraft carrier. (Oh, unlike, say, the News-Press's current regime, I will point out my conflict of interest here, as Andrea is a dear friend, having gone to college with Amy and actually, with her equally cool husband Barry, was one of the people I talked to the most at a party of Amy's before we began dating 12 years ago that made me say, "This woman must be great--she has such interesting, intelligent, fun friends!")

My guess is Andrea got it because she let Healthspan columnist Michael Seabaugh get in a polite and accurate--and therefore punishable by death--shot in on Dr. (of Physiology) Laura. The paper ran an apology to Dr. (of Physiology) Laura, without even notifying Seabaugh, and no doubt Andrea got the brunt of not catching his indiscretion, or worse, seeing it and not playing suck up to the powers that be. This terrible faux pas, of course, comes after her letting Starshine Roshell run a column in support of those who had left the paper, too. They took Starshine's column away to get even there, but Andrea had just been piling up the strikes (I mean baseball, not union strikes, but who knows, maybe the News-Press spies, uh, internal security, saw her in the crowd at rallies supporting the workers who actually respect the fading corpse of the paper.)

It's more than fitting that Wendy McCaw's "yachting" partner in Europe while the mess went down was Michael Douglas. She might want to rent, or sue Blockbuster to get a copy for free, Douglas's film War of the Roses. Because the ending of that film will give her a hint as to what's going happen to her and the paper. Soon.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A Homer Is A-Gloating

From the AP report about the Mets' come-from-behind victory tonight, giving them 89 wins, the most of any team in baseball (that's including the Yankees):

New York's victory also eliminated the Braves from the NL East race, ending their record run of 14 straight division titles.

Tomahawk chop that, Braves fans!

What a Tangled Web Wendy Hopes to Leave

From Santa Barbara internet meeting place Edhat we learn:

On Monday, Edhat received a CEASE and DESIST notice from David J. Millstein, an attorney for the Santa Barbara News-Press, with instructions to remove any unauthorized links to the website from the website; specifically the obituaries.

As many of you know, Edhat has been placing links on the Edhat News page to the obituaries in the Santa Barbara News-Press. While most of the News-Press website is subscription-only, the obituaries are not. The dedicated staff of speculated that the reason the obituaries are not password protected is because they are written and paid for by the families of the deceased.

Today lawyer David J. Millstein (Motto: Somebody Would Take the Case, So I Might as Well Cash Wendy's Checks) made the following statement:

"Ampersand Publishing and the Santa Barbara N___-P____ have placed a cease and desist notice on the entire internet. The rest of you can have you "World" Wide Web, but the N____-P____ is no longer part of it. We're too busy being published by a bottled water expert who once led his high school newspaper (it was a private school, btw) and hiring reporters who have excellent experience as part-time photographers and full-time conspiracy nuts (they make the most perceptive journalists). Sure you can visit us using a browser--if you have paid for our sterling content--but do not link with us. What do you take us for, something common?

Furthermore, we have placed a second cease and desist on anyone even using our name, which is ours, you know, not yours. From now on, no one except for Wendy McCaw herself may use our name and you may only refer to us in writing as the Santa Barbara N____-P_____. And we reserve the right to sue you anyway if we think you've looked at us funny or have the cojones to preach against our tolerating diversity. Now go be diverse and leave us alone."

Monday, September 11, 2006

Enough, Enough, Enough, Enough

I come not to praise 9/11; I come to bury it. For as horrible as that day was, practically everything that has happened since has only made the day worse. Thousands died in the most shocking way and since then thousands more have died in one of humanity’s most ordinary ways—sheer stupidity and over-reaching hubris. That’s the human cost. Then there’s the cost to our Constitution, the cost to our hope. As someone who is deeply proud to be American—if so very often I am deeply ashamed by what might country does in my name—I see all of that as human cost, too.

I refuse to fight terror as I refuse to wage war on a feeling. Look, I can be as frightened as the next person, maybe more so. If I didn’t have my own mass of fears I might be the writer I should be, the activist I needed to be, and not some poor fool 9-5ing and pecking away at a pitiful blog. But the whole point of having a country is there’s strength in numbers. And the whole point of having an America is those strong numbers believe in something, and it sure as hell isn’t “let’s get them before they get us, even if they don’t want to get us…and why is it all of a sudden everybody wants to get us?”

So while too much of the rest country “honors” 9/11, I prefer to remember other days, of equally somber seasons, one of the many when things turned wrong. I might opt for 12/11, the day the Supreme Court picked George W. Bush to be president. Or 1/17, the day W. took over as Texas governor and thereby got a foothold into politics after failing at everything else he’s done. Or 12/25, not to celebrate Christmas, but to remember the day the Soviet Union rolled into Afghanistan, thereby helping lead to the Afghan resistance and the glorification of one Osama Bin Laden. Or 8/19, the day the U.S. and the Brits kicked out Mossadegh from Iran so the oil fields wouldn’t be nationalized. Or maybe 10/11, the day Gertrude Bell got re-posted in Baghdad in 1920 and she then decided on a map that roped together the Shiites, Kurds and Sunnis, leaving us all hanging till this day.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Politics and the Blogish Language

The good news is that the more coarse thinking becomes in this country, the sharper the smart people seem to get in pointing out how things have gone wrong. Case in point is Katha Pollitt in The Nation the past few issues, as she deftly dissects the new Bush Bogeyman term Islamo-fascism. Here's a taste of what she's written:

"Islamo-fascism" looks like an analytic term, but really it's an emotional one, intended to get us to think less and fear more. It presents the bewildering politics of the Muslim world as a simple matter of Us versus Them, with war to the end the only answer, as with Hitler. If you doubt that every other British Muslim under the age of 30 is ready to blow himself up for Allah, or that shredding the Constitution is the way to protect ourselves from suicide bombers, if you think that Hamas might be less popular if Palestinians were less miserable, you get cast as Neville Chamberlain, while Bush plays FDR. "Islamo-fascism" rescues the neocons from harsh verdicts on the invasion of Iraq ("cakewalk...roses...sweetmeats...Chalabi") by reframing that ongoing debacle as a minor chapter in a much larger story of evil madmen who want to fly the green flag of Islam over the capitals of the West. Suddenly it's just a detail that Saddam wasn't connected with 9/11, had no WMDs, was not poised to attack the United States or Israel--he hated freedom, and that was enough. It doesn't matter, either, that Iraqi Sunnis and Shiites seem less interested in uniting the umma than in murdering one another. With luck we'll be so scared we won't ask why anyone should listen to another word from people who were spectacularly wrong about the biggest politico-military initiative of the past thirty years, and their balding heads will continue to glow on our TV screens for many nights to come. On to Tehran!

Indeed, nothing like a political debate that paves over any nuance and reduces ideas into "they're Evil!" Islamo-fascism is just the stand-in for Communism, which stood in for Nazism. And all god's children in the military-industrial complex are blessed.

Dogs Ride in Hot Cars

For Dog Blog Friday: Never-shy Nigel hogs the foreground while safety-first Mookie "belts" his nose into the armrest. (And Homestar Runner lurks in the background.)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Far from Random if Close to Friday Music Blogging

Bloglodyte that I am, I play on the internets yet buy CDs and make mixed cassette tapes. I like the physical clicking of the buttons. Here's the latest, featuring a mini-Robert Quine fest (I still don't believe he's dead, probably because all his playing lives on) and four likeably unlikely covers.

Dangling Towards Demise

side A

Howe Gelb "But I Did Not"
Neil Young "After the Garden"
Drive-By Truckers "Daylight"
T Bone Burnett "I'm Going on a Long Journey Never to Return"
Robbie Fulks "Mad at a Girl"
Rhett Miller "My Valentine"
Fountains of Wayne "Maureen"
Regina Spektor "Better"
New Pornographers "The Jessica Numbers"
Matthew Sweet "I Wanted to Tell You"
Dim Stars "Monkey"
Yo La Tengo "Baseball Altamont"

side B

Grandaddy "This Is How It Always Starts"
Submarines "Peace and Hate"
Sufjan Stevens "Casimir Pulaski Day"
Breeders "Wicked Little Town" (Hedwig Version)
Neko Case "Star Witness"
Wilco "Thirteen"
Replacements "Skyway"
Guster "One Man Wrecking Machine"
Jon Langford "Gold Brick"
Jenny Lewis & the Watson Twins "The Changing Sky"
Raincoats "Lola"

Please Don't Squeeze the Jesus

I can't imagine I'm the only one who reads the line "The toys that love you back" on a website and instantly think of Dennis Hopper's "girlfriend" in River's Edge or Roxy Music's "In Every Dream Home a Heartache," but that's just me--both degenerate AND obscure.

I certainly didn't think of a talking plush Jesus doll, but that's why I'm not a brilliant businessman like Cliff Rockwood, creator of Holy Huggables, not to be confused with the Holy Huxtables dolls Bill Cosby still tries to sell when he isn't busy berating black people for not being successful as he is. Nope, Holy Huggables feature a talking Jesus, Moses and Esther. No, not Aunt Esther from Sanford & Son, but the Biblical Esther. I guess they figured they needed a female doll, and the temptation to have a Mary doll say, "I'm a virgin, are you?" was too great to resist, so they avoided the Holy Mother all together.

Esther has it easy, though. Poor talking Jesus only gets to say 3 things the gospels said he said, and for his other 4 lines is stuck quoting Old Testament scripture, as if his own message wasn't good enough. No doubt Dr. Laura is fighting for the next edition of the doll to quote Leviticus and scare the kids straight.

Me, I wish at least the Moses voice was done by Mel Brooks in 2,000 Year Old Man mode. That would give those commandments a bit of vim and vigor. The current guy sounds so goyishe he couldn't seem Jewish if you circumscised him and spotted him an "Oy!"

The AFP article about the toys insists, "The website calls the dolls 'a wholesome alternative to teddy bears and stuffed animals,'" but I can't find that quote on the site. Which is too bad, since I didn't know things had grown so bad that even teddy bears had become unwholesome.

But I can quote the following--verbatim--from the website:

These dolls are great for parents, grandparents, any age family member, Sunday school teachers, CCD volunteers and just about anyone who wants children to explore and know the bible more. These dolls are great for parents, grandparents, any age family member, Sunday school teachers, CCD volunteers and just about anyone who wants children to explore and know the bible more.

These dolls are great for parents, grandparents, any age family member, Sunday school teachers, CCD volunteers and just about anyone who wants children to explore and know the bible more. These gifts are a great way to introduce children to the bible!

Let's not forget somewhere in the Bible it says the first rule of marketing is repetition, repetition, repetition. Plus repeating 3 times reminds people of the Trinity. It might also make people forget the dolls are made in China, most likely by kids not getting paid enough to afford their own huggable talking Jesus. Oh well, they're probably not Christians anyway.

Please Pull the Wool over My Eyes

The Lompoc Record (motto: "We might be in Lompoc, but at least we're not owned by Wendy McCaw") reports:

Santa Barbara County sheriff's deputies found a bizarre scene Wednesday morning when they stopped outside the La Purisima Mission to investigate an empty car.

Thinking they would find a suspect trespassing on state park property, deputies discovered 69-year-old Alfred Thomas Steven of Huntington Beach naked and coated in olive oil and oats in the sheep enclosure.

Be sure you read the end of that sentence slowly; each of those 4 details kind of makes the one before it even stranger--I mean, wouldn't you probably go with a canola oil if you were going to roll in oats, too? Or go for a Woody Allen hommage and bring the Woolite?

When deputies confronted Steven, they found that he had a loaded .357 revolver, officials said.

Maybe he figured he would suddenly realize how insane he was and he might have to shoot himself in self-defense.

Steven also allegedly admitted that he was enacting a fantasy and he drove up to the mission, at 2295 Purisima Road, from Huntington Beach for that purpose.

So at no point in a three hour plus drive did this guy pull over to side of the road and go, "Hey, I'm one sick mofo!" My guess is this is one fantasy that won't land on the approval list for Make-a-Wish.

Steven was arrested on misdemeanor charges of trespassing on state park property, animal cruelty, sexually assaulting an animal, and possession of a loaded firearm, deputies said.

It seems the oats and olive oil will have to press civil charges.

Park rangers were called to help with the investigation, and Steven was eventually released with a citation, officials said.

No animals were hurt in the incident, according to deputies.

So he sexually assaulted an animal but no animals were hurt? Was one of the ewes dressed sluttily and asking for it?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Giving Birth to Another Tortured Mash-Up

Born September 11, secret CIA prisons had not previously appeared in any published photos, prompting some public speculation about their very existence.

Leading up to the frenzy over the prisons, "We were just living our lives, being a world power," President Bush says. "Actually, we were taking our own prisoners and always planned to release those at the right time."

But "then all the craziness began," Vice President Dick Cheney says. "This 'where is Khalid Sheik Mohammed?' controversy. George and I looked at each other and said, 'What's going on?' We weren't trying to hide anything."

Cheney also explains their purchase of a waterboard device, saying he and Bush were followed by paparazzi and as a result, his "doctor" had to make house calls.

"The waterboard was for his use!" he says.

Cheney says of the program: "It's a glorious baby."

'Cause Two Out of Three Ain't Bad

Proof if you say three sentences in a row, and the first two are true, the third one isn't, necessarily:

"The American people want us to be safe and secure. They recognize it takes bold leadership," Senator Bill Frist said on NBC's Today show. "I strongly support Don Rumsfeld."

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A: Especially Worrisome, Particularly Pesky, Tremendously Troublous, Impressively Irksome
Q: What is Iran?

The AFP reports that:

US President George W. Bush called Iran's leaders "tyrants" as dangerous as Al-Qaeda terrorists and said they must not be allowed to get nuclear weapons -- "the tools of mass murder."

When someone reminded him about the nature of the 9/11 attack (it seems Karl Rove wasn't in earshot of the podium at this particular speech), Bush replied, "Well, I guess they can't have planes, neither."

National Strategy for Combating Democrats Terrorism

Attorney General Alberto "Justice Isn't Blind, It's Just Hard" Gonzales announced today that the U.S. government has begun a weekly program of uncovering a terrorist plot in America. The program, scheduled to end with a final announcement on November 6, is part of the Bush Administration's "There Are Many Ways to Shout 'Boo!' Between Safer and Safe" Campaign.

Gonzales claimed, "We have foiled a plot featuring self-proclaimed militant religious leaders who referred to themselves as royal poobahs, talked of establishing their own city inside Los Angeles, called their headquarters a 'He-Arab American Haters Club,' and discussed plans to train their recruits to use tons of already pulrloined silver polish to bring the Walt Disney Hall to such a level of shine one night that when the sun rose the next morning, the heat reflected from the controversial Gehry design would set fire to much of downtown LA."

"We really didn't buy them the chamois," Gonzales insisted. "Not to mention the FBI had absolutely nothing to do with any of the upcoming plots we will stop--well, except for the stopping part. They didn't buy the pea-shooters for the bunch in Baton Rouge, they didn't provide the thousands of flaming bags of dog feces for the Bangor big bad ding dong ditch, and they didn't supply the Mentos, even if they might have chipped in for the Diet Coke, for the great Biloxi splashdown."

Don't Dicker with a Random Flicker

A new clever weekly meme from If I Ran the Zoo:

And I had an idea: random Flickr-blogging.

So now I'm recruiting bloggers to participate.

Here's how it works:
  1. Every week, we all start with the same randomly-generated four-digit number (call it ####).

  2. Go to Flickr and search for "IMG_####". There should be anywhere from a few hundred to a couple thousand results.

  3. Choose an image from among the results, post it to your blog (be sure to include attribution and a link back to the page where the image appears--this is done automatically if you use the 'blog this' feature in Flickr).

  4. The rest is up to you. Write about the place shown in the image. Make up a story about it. Connect it to some issue you care about. Or just post it as an image you really like. Do whatever you want.
I'm going to start doing this on Mondays (because Mondays really need more amusement). If anyone is interested in participating, post in comments or e-mail me at tvhilton [AT] gmail [DOT] com. The more bloggers we get on board, the more interesting it'll be.

INOTBB will start next week--didn't seem right to begin a new labor on Labor Day, even if it's the neutered American labor day meant to separate us from the rest of the working world's May Day.

Better Buckle Up in Bismarck, Birmingham and Boston

So the Administration today says:

While the United States government and its partners have thwarted many attacks, we have not been able to prevent them all. Terrorists have struck in many places throughout the world, from Bali to Beslan to Baghdad.

Gee, our Defense Department isn't very smart. Why aren't we defending all the places that begin with a "B"?

Monday, September 04, 2006

Late for the Blog

Hiya. Was in Escondido this weekend celebrating my mother-in-law's birthday, playing pool badly, and drinking and eating well. I will write stuff soon.

P.S. The traffic wasn't bad either way, so the gas prices have scared folks off the roads?

Friday, September 01, 2006

Full Court (News-) Press

The latest sadness from the News-Press saga....

It seems some of the reporters hoped to deliver a note to Wendy McCaw and were told they couldn't. Make sense to me--no way that the common employee should ever get to see, let alone talk to, the boss.

What did the News-Press then do? Suspend a bunch of writers for trying to get a signed letter to McCaw. How reasonable.

Get all the details, including a look at the employees' release calling for an action on Tuesday, over at BlogaBarbara.

My Life in the Ghost of Bush

Brilliantly tone deaf to popular culture as always, the right's going to get its red-white-and-blue panties all in a bunch over the new film Death of a President which

uses archive footage, actors and computer effects to portray the president being shot dead. UK broadcaster Channel 4, who made the mock documentary, said it explored the effects of the War on Terror on the US.

For just one example, The Anchoress titles her screed "The Day 'Bush Hatred' Jumps the Shark." First, what are the quotes around "Bush hatred" all about? Is it just so reprehensible to her that the notion has to be held at punctuational arm's length? Perhaps it's a hint she knows she's created a classic strawman argument. Look, I dislike Bush's policies as much as the next lefty. I don't think he's fit to be president and am embarrassed he is. Do I hate him? That's kind of strong, and what's worse, couches my voluminous disagreements with him in emotional terms. Call me funny, but I like to think we should make political decisions--both as voters and politicians--with our brains and not our guts. Of course, doing that sort of rules out the "swaying the public through fear" approach so beloved by Karl Rove.

Second, "jumps the shark" as a phrase has sort of jumped the shark itself--it's so late-90s. Beyond it not really being the hippest way to put something anymore, it's not what she means to say in the first place. Something has to have some value to begin with to get to the shark jump moment, and one assumes that nasty Bush hatred never had much value to the Anchoress, ever eager to point out how hate consumes the hater. (I'm going to assume that Happy Days had some value originally, ok?)

Third, as she preaches love to those of us rankled at her dear president, she gets to this sentence so myopic that using the lens from the Hale Telescope at Palomar wouldn't help her:

Those were just little appetizers to the great hunger of Bush hatred which has been fed for five years on forgettable books, tired jokes and Bill Maher.

I'm sorry, dear Anchoress, but here's what feeds the anger at Bush:

Ignoring the PDB that might have stopped 9/11 from happening
Reading My Pet Goat and looking paralyzed
Cutting taxes for the rich and bloating the budget
Messing around with a ridiculous Social Security plan
Leading us into the Iraq War
Not being able to get us out of the Iraq War
Whittling the First and Fourth Amendments away
Running an economy where real wages stagnate
2,500 dead U.S. soldiers, 75,000+ dead civilian Iraqis
Abu Ghraib

List incomplete due to rising ire. But if you're really going to preach about how hate breeds hate, it isn't that far a leap to consider how all the things that Bush has done could come back and bite him personally, as opposed to just killing thousands of American soldiers braver than he ever was.

Of course, I'm asuming those on the right can make mental leaps. For in the BBC article linked to above, we get this moment:

John Beyer of UK TV pressure group MediaWatch said the film was "irresponsible". He said it could even trigger a real assassination attempt and told the Daily Mirror: "There's a lot of feeling against President Bush and this may well put ideas into people's heads."

Yep, nobody ever killed anybody till the advent of movies. After all, it was in a theater that John Wilkes Booth shot Abraham Lincoln, as if we need further proof.

Ad"mitt" You're an Idiot

Reuters reports:

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a 2008 Republican presidential hopeful, said on Thursday his administration's new restrictions on stem cell research are aimed at heading off an "Orwellian" future.

First, it's Huxleyian--prove you've read a book, you twit.

Second, if it ever gets discovered, no cure for your dementia. And you could use it.

Mook the Mets, Mook the Mets

For Dog Blog Friday: sometimes the tension of a baseball game is too much for Mookie, and he has to turn away.
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