Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy Holidays
(Including Christmas, Channukah, Kwanza, New Years.. etc.)

On vacation. I'll be back the 3rd.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

STRIKE!!! Day One

I woke up this morning dreading it, like so many other New Yorkers. And I don't even have it the worst. I live only about 25 blocks away from where I work. But still, when I turned on the television at 7:30 and saw the "MTA Not Running" graphic at the lower right hand corner of the screen, I was not a happy camper.

Especially when the reporter on the scene announced "It's the coldest day of the year."

But we'll get through this. Cause we're New Yorkers (except for those New Jerseyans and Connecticutters).

Here's my tips for getting through the strike:

Buy a warm jacket.

Stock up your iPod with some good walking/rollerblading/bicycling music.

Wear comfortable shoes.

Yada yada yada. That's obvious stuff.

Less obvious:

Use the strike as an opportunity to make conversation with hot girls! (Note: Don't be creepy)

Example:

Guy: This strike is killlling me!

Girl: (sprays him with mace)

Guy: How far did you have to walk?

Girl: (kicks him in balls)

Guy: Yeah, I had to walk 40 blocks. Woke up at 5 am.

Girl: (Tasers him)

Guy: Wanna grab a drink?
Use the strike as a chance to do some holiday shopping. On your way back, stop into every store that looks interesting. It'll keep you warm.

Use the strike to explore the city. Take a route that cuts through one or several of the city's parks. Meander through Times Square. Enjoy NYC like a tourist would.

Generate goodwill with your co-workers. Pick up some doughnuts or coffee and bring them in. Call them "Strike Doughnuts." Bask in the love from the co-workers who previously called you "Weirdy McLamester" behind your back.

Take up unicycling. Or another strange form of transportation. You may even get pictured in tomorrow's Daily News!

Do an after-work pub-crawl! One drink at every bar you pass on your way uptown or downtown. Pretty soon, you'll be so obliterated you won't even notice the cold. Or know where you are.

Host a strike sleepover! If you have the room, invite a bunch of commuting friends to play twister and truth or dare while watching slasher-flicks/comedies in cotton pajamas in between pillow fights.

Ok, that's all I can think of for the moment. But as the strike continues, I'll post some updates and tips. Have any of your own? Comment me baby. OOh, Comment me good.

Some Strike Resources:

WNBC has a MTA Strike Blog with recent developments.

Transit Strike 2005 gets blogged on The Gothamist (They also have a bunch of reader-submitted links.)

Photos of the strike are posted on Flickr.

Gridskipper, a travel blog, has some info and links.

Amy has a list of informational links on her NewYorkology site.

This guy has a Bike Blog and wants to get a group together to bicycle to work.
Strike???

Well, I'm going to bed now, and still don't know whether there will be a strike tomorrow. The suspense is killing me. But if there is a strike, I need to get up early. I'm all for organized labor... but well. The NYU Grad Student strike was stupid and now this NYC Transit Strike is going to be even stupider. It's hard to support people when they make a huge inconvenience in your life. People could support coal miners and grocery store workers because, in the end, their strikes didn't really affect the way the general public lives their lives. But the Grad student strike immediately impacted a $35,000 education... and that got a lot of students pissed. And this transit strike, well... its gonna make a whole lot more people pissed.

Pissing off the very people who you depend on for support isn't a great strategy.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Stop, In The Name Of Law

(Warning, this is damn long)

In the novel, 1984, the main character, Winston, is assigned to the job of changing the past-- more specifically, he edits old newspapers so they support the government's new policies. For instance, when the government decides to decrease rations, Winston changes the past newspaper to make it seem as if the government has actually increased rations.

Oh, how the Bush Administration wishes it could do the same thing!

Unfortunately, while they try mightily to change the past, current recordkeeping techniques hold them back.

For Instance:

Bush insists that domestic spying, which he personally authorized, is legal.

Unfortunately...

A 1978 law, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, makes it illegal to spy on U.S. citizens in the United States without court approval.

Bush didn't get court approval.

This 1978 law, of course, in addition to the 4th amendment, makes pretty much clear that what Bush authorized was illegal.

However:

“I take Bush at his word that the order was critical to saving lives and consistent with U.S. law and the Constitution.”- Sen. John McCain

And MSNBC reports:

The president, as commander-in-chief, has certain authorities under the constitution, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said, and those were expanded by Congress to include electronic surveillance a few days after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

The president’s use of that authority is “consistent with law in my judgment,” he said.
However, Title 50, U.S. Code 1702 of our great giant law book says:

The authority granted to the President... does not include the authority to regulate or prohibit, directly or indirectly— (1) any postal, telegraphic, telephonicor other personal communication, which does not involve a transfer of anything of value;
Of course... that's really hard to understand.

And Title 18, U.S. Code 2516 reads:

The Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, Associate Attorney General,[1] or any Assistant Attorney General, any acting Assistant Attorney General, or any Deputy Assistant Attorney General or acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division specially designated by the Attorney General, may authorize an application to a Federal judge of competent jurisdiction for, and such judge may grant in conformity with section 2518 of this chapter an order authorizing or approving the interception of wire or oral communications by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or a Federal agency having responsibility for the investigation of the offense as to which the application is made, when such interception may provide or has provided evidence of....
That's a mouthful. But basically, it comes down to... "If you wanna spy, you have to present evidence to a judge first!"

Even the exceptions require an application to a judge within 48 hours of the wiretap.

Title 50, U.S. Code 1804 says:
"Each application for an order approving electronic surveillance under this subchapter shall be made by a Federal officer in writing upon oath or affirmation to a judge"
SO where, oh where does our laws state that the President can spy on whomever he likes?

My bet is that ol' Alberto was hinging his gameplan on this, Title 50, code 1805:

(f) Emergency orders

Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, when the Attorney General reasonably determines that—

(1) an emergency situation exists with respect to the employment of electronic surveillance to obtain foreign intelligence information before an order authorizing such surveillance can with due diligence be obtained; and

(2) the factual basis for issuance of an order under this subchapter to approve such surveillance exists;

he may authorize the emergency employment of electronic surveillance if a judge having jurisdiction under section 1803 of this title is informed by the Attorney General or his designee at the time of such authorization that the decision has been made to employ emergency electronic surveillance and if an application in accordance with this subchapter is made to that judge as soon as practicable, but not more than 72 hours after the Attorney General authorizes such surveillance. If the Attorney General authorizes such emergency employment of electronic surveillance, he shall require that the minimization procedures required by this subchapter for the issuance of a judicial order be followed. In the absence of a judicial order approving such electronic surveillance, the surveillance shall terminate when the information sought is obtained, when the application for the order is denied, or after the expiration of 72 hours from the time of authorization by the Attorney General, whichever is earliest. In the event that such application for approval is denied, or in any other case where the electronic surveillance is terminated and no order is issued approving the surveillance, no information obtained or evidence derived from such surveillance shall be received in evidence or otherwise disclosed in any trial, hearing, or other proceeding in or before any court, grand jury, department, office, agency, regulatory body, legislative committee, or other authority of the United States, a State, or political subdivision thereof, and no information concerning any United States person acquired from such surveillance shall subsequently be used or disclosed in any other manner by Federal officers or employees without the consent of such person, except with the approval of the Attorney General if the information indicates a threat of death or serious bodily harm to any person. A denial of the application made under this subsection may be reviewed as provided in section 1803 of this title.
This is why no senators actually read the Patriot Act when they approved it. Jesus, the Patriot Act is longer than the Bible!

Basically, I can't find anything that would authorize the President, or Alberto Gonzales, or anyone to legally spy on a U.S. citizen without the approval of a judge. If someone knows otherwise, please let me know. I'm no law scholar. Just a guy with the internet and The University of Cornell's excellent U.S. law database.

In fact, I invite everyone to search dilligently for this. Find where it allows Bush to spy on us without letting anyone know. Post the paragraph and where it appears in the comments below. And if you can't find anything... well, what penalty should Bush get for violating the Constitution and U.S. Law?

Might want to ask Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton.

------

Plus: Can Someone Explain Why We Released Saddam's Buddies From Prison?

and

Eye-opening NYTimes Piece On Teen Webcam Pornography (free regist. required)

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Sunday, December 18, 2005

We Interrupt This Program

Stewie and Brian, Make Way For Bush

Note to networks: It's not a "Special Report" when the President decides to make a PR speech in prime time.

If the President had something to talk about, ok, fine. We just got bombed. Saddam escaped. We caught Bin Laden. We landed on Mars. I choked on another pretzel. Then it's ok to interrupt our regularly scheduled programs. But to attack the Democrats? You take off Family Guy for this????

And make no mistake. Bush's speech was aimed directly at the Dems, and those wishy washy Republicans, and... well, everybody who suddenly isn't so hot on the idea of our boys and girls dying so Iraq could finally have a government Iran and Bin Laden like. There wasn't any new information. He didn't lay out a plan. All he said was basically... well, this.

So yeah, I'm pissed my Sunday night Family Guy fix was pre-empted for nothing. Listening to Bush speak doesn't move me as much as when Stewie calls Brian out on his novel writing.

Friday, December 16, 2005

To Hell With The Fourth Amendment

Bill of Rights

Bush Authorizes Searches Without Warrants

Eh, our rights were overrated anyways. Who cares if the NSA can now spy on any American at any time without having to answer to a judge or oversight committee? Whats the worst that can happen?

Big Brother

I'm all for catching terrorists. And apparently some plots have been stopped due to the NSA's vigilance (according to the same people who admit to creating fake news reports). But to authorize this kind of thing under Presidential order, with no oversight by Congress (or knowledge of anyone, it seems, before the NYT article) lends the whole process to potential abuse. I can understand keeping investigations secret; you don't want to tip off the person being investigated. But why keep the whole policy secret?? It seems to me there's only one answer.

Because if we, the people, knew about it, we'd never let it happen.

Why is the government so afraid of us?

I've said it before and I'll say it again. The terrorists have won if we begin to sacrifice our liberties. This is Number 4 in the Bill of Rights. The BILL OF RIGHTS!!!! Surely we're not willing to let this one go?

Maybe it's just my liberal-commie-pinko-hippie viewpoint, but shouldn't violating the constitution be illegal? Isn't this a bit more impeachable than... oh... say a BJ in the oval office?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Two TSA Employees Help Themselves To Holiday Bonus

Caught Red Handed

Add these two TSA screeners to the ranks of phenomenally dumb criminals. They took a retired New York City firefighter's wallet when he was screened at a JFK airport security checkpoint-- in full view of surveillance cameras they certainly had to know were there.

They then went on a shopping spree.

On their Christmas list? An iPod.

Might want to get some brains for the holidays too. They'll have plenty of time to take a correspondence course while behind bars for grand larceny.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

False Advertising

Soldier Gets Used

How the GOP doctored footage to make a political ad

And, check out:

Casualties of the Bush Administration
A "Virtual Wall" honoring those who lost their administration jobs for telling the truth.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Dear John...

Woman with new husband

Woman replaces soldier husband with mannequin.

I was a big fan of the show "Today's Special," but... well. Everyone deals with absence in their own way I guess.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Merry Hiltonmas?

Those people angry at the Happy-Holiday-ification of Christmas will not be happy with how this Rhode Island resident decorated his home...

Paris For Christmas

Go Dasher, Go Dancer.. Go.. Paris

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

So Now We're Shooting The Mentally Ill

Air Marshall Shoots Man, While Wife Pleads

In this time of terror, is it ok to shoot first and ask questions later?

When the London police killed an innocent man, initial reports that said the man resisted proved false.

Will it be the same in this case?

Too early to tell. But is it likely that a REAL terrorist would go screaming OFF a plane, YELLING ABOUT a bomb?

REAL terrorists blow themselves up without a sound. They don't announce they have a bomb, then blow themselves up.

Was there reason to believe this man was a terrorist?

Or was it an itchy trigger finger that took the man down?

Was he black? White? Would that have mattered?

When is it right to shoot?

[UPDATE:] Let The Conflicting Reports Begin

Says Rep. John L. Mica in the Washington Post:
"This shows that the [air marshall] program has worked beyond our expectations. This should send a message to a terrorist or anyone else who is considering disrupting an aircraft with a threat."
Except... this guy didn't have a bomb. And he was killed. So that's a success in Rep. Mica's book? Yikes.

The only message this seems to send to terrorists is... Don't run around screaming before you blow the plane up.

[Update II]

Wow. That's a lot of comments! Thank you all for posting. And thank you trix foley for your passionate defense of my work. Although you may want to be on the look out for pissed off 15 year old girls.

Of course I wasn't blaming blogs for the murders. That's rediculous. What I was saying is that a blog or online profile can provide a window into the mind of a teenager.

I was not aware of the Switchfoot song.. thanks for bringing it to my attention. Reading the lyrics though... I'm not convinced I read into this the wrong way.

Mike, I agree with you... check my response to the guy who had a similar comment a couple posts below.

Scott... if blogs are so gay, why you reading them?

Anyways, regarding this air marshall shooting... its just tragic. It didn't really do anything to prove we have good security. Some people's comments to the contrary, if someone is gonna blow up a plane, they don't go running OFF it. The fact is, an unarmed man got shot. We should feel sorry for his wife and family, rather than say the guy deserved it. That said, you can't judge the air marshalls either. They made a split second decision.

I ask these questions only to point out the difficulty a shoot-to-kill policy creates.

Undoubtedly, some innocent people may be caught in the line of fire.

Something like this shouldn't be celebrated, or lauded as "success," but rather, lamented.

It's sad whether you believe the air marshalls were right or wrong, or whether the shoot-to-kill policy is right or wrong.

Anyways, thanks for writin in.
All The News That's Fit To Print

The Bush administration, obviously feeling that condoning torture didn't go far enough in perverting the ideals of our democracy, has paid a PR firm to put positive news items into Iraqi newspapers.

Otherwise known as propaganda.

So for those of you keeping score:

Pre-emptive war, check.

Top-Secret "Camps" where "Enemy Combatants" are held without trial, check.

Government-Sanctioned Torture, check.

Propaganda, check.

Last time I checked, the above list wasn't a bunch of things a Democratic- freedom-loving country should be taking part in.

America shouldn't be involved in this sort of stuff. We should be literally spreading freedom, like butter on a piece of toast. Not regurgitating some chewed up idea of freedom and forcing it down their throats.

Can our government start acting like Americans again? Please?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

One Reason We Shouldn't Outlaw Flag Desecration

Cheerleaders in flag outfits.

Because we wouldn't be able to see old glory wave over those majestic mountains.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Bush Makes Peace With Robots

Bush & Robot Friend

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Concert Tonight

Sickabod Sane Live @ Sullivan Room, 10:00pm, 218 Sullivan St. $7 $5 with flyer

So my friend Sickabod Sane is performing tonight at the Sullivan Room in Greenwich Village, NYC. 10 pm, free vodka and redbull, cheap beer. He's on a bill with Yah Supreme and Brohemian and some other other DJs. If you're around, and want to see an fun hip-hop show, come check it out.

He was profiled in Underrated Magazine. They called him "One Bad Ass Nursery Rhymer." You can hear some of his tracks here: www.SickabodSane.com.

He's also on MySpace, which I wrote an article about for MSNBC. What sets MySpace apart from Friendster and Facebook, other fun social networking sites, is that MySpace has a large emphasis on music. Everyone from major artists like Weezer to unknowns like Pallas Athena have pages where fans can check out the latest releases and get info directly from band members. I realize I sound like an ad for MySpace here, but it's really done the best job of bringing big acts down to a personal level with fans, while allowing unknowns to collect a groupie base as well. Purevolume, Soundclick, and the former MP3.com all allow independent artists to present music to the masses (and they pull it off well). But MySpace is more interactive, even if they did sell out to media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

Ok, well. So that's all the selling I'll be doing today. See you at the show.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

My Strategy For Winning The War

by George W. Bush

My Fellow Americans,

Congress told me that I need to communicate with the American people about how we're going to win this war in Iraq. They told me people don't understand what we're doing there. So I'm here to tell you what we're doing, and share with you the detailed strategery that will accomplish our mission.

Step 1: Work Hard.

I know I've been working hard. And so has Dick Cheney. And Donald Rumsfeld. And all our troops over in Iraq. Spreading freedom is hard work. And we need to work hard to make it happen.

Step 2: Keep Working Hard.

This is an important addition to step one. We must keep working hard. Even if it gets hard to work hard. I'll tell you, it was tough this summer to stay focused, with all the hard work that had to be done on my ranch. But I kept working hard. That's the most important thing. We can't cut and run. If we don't keep working hard, how are the Iraqis supposed to?

Step 3: Make Fun Of People Who Say We Don't Work Hard

I haven't been to too many hospitals, visiting wounded troops. In fact, I haven't gone to any. But when someone who has gone to those hospitals, and fought in a war (I didn't do that either) starts to say we're not working hard, we have to make fun of that person so people think he's not working hard. Because we're the ones working hard. No one works harder. I don't have time to visit memorial services or listen to soldiers complaining. I'm too busy working hard.

Step 4: Take A Vacation

The thing about hard work is, it makes you tired. So those of us who work so hard need a vacation. No, not our troops... Me. I've spent more time on vacation than any other President. That's because I work harder than any of them ever did. Especially that Clinton guy. He barely took any vacation. Because he didn't work hard.

Step 5: Success

If we keep working hard, and making fun of those people that say we don't work hard, then Iraq will be a beacon of freedom in the Middle East, and the world. And Jesus himself will return to Earth and gather up us hard workers, leaving behind only the Democrats, the Log Cabin Republicans and John McCain. And then we won't need to work hard anymore. Because in heaven, coke is good for you and there are no dirty stinking lying journalists poking fun of your bad vocabularization.

Courtesy: Department Of Defense

So that's the plan. It's not a timetable. No war has ever been won on a timetable. The only way to win a war is through hard work. And we're working hard. We are. A lot harder than Osama. What's he done recently? Bring it on!!!
If The Election Was Tomorrow

Instead of last year... it would be a quite different story.

The map below, courtesy of DailyKos:

Bush Approval Ratings:

Look at all that Blue

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Bush's Crusade

There's something deeply disturbing about this New Yorker article:

Current and former military and intelligence officials have told me that the President remains convinced that it is his personal mission to bring democracy to Iraq, and that he is impervious to political pressure, even from fellow Republicans. They also say that he disparages any information that conflicts with his view of how the war is proceeding.

Bush’s closest advisers have long been aware of the religious nature of his policy commitments. In recent interviews, one former senior official, who served in Bush’s first term, spoke extensively about the connection between the President’s religious faith and his view of the war in Iraq. After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the former official said, he was told that Bush felt that “God put me here” to deal with the war on terror. The President’s belief was fortified by the Republican sweep in the 2002 congressional elections; Bush saw the victory as a purposeful message from God that “he’s the man,” the former official said. Publicly, Bush depicted his reĆ«lection as a referendum on the war; privately, he spoke of it as another manifestation of divine purpose...

“The President is more determined than ever to stay the course,” the former defense official said. “He doesn’t feel any pain. Bush is a believer in the adage ‘People may suffer and die, but the Church advances.’ ” He said that the President had become more detached, leaving more issues to Karl Rove and Vice-President Cheney. “They keep him in the gray world of religious idealism, where he wants to be anyway,” the former defense official said. Bush’s public appearances, for example, are generally scheduled in front of friendly audiences, most often at military bases. Four decades ago, President Lyndon Johnson, who was also confronted with an increasingly unpopular war, was limited to similar public forums. “Johnson knew he was a prisoner in the White House,” the former official said, “but Bush has no idea.”
Congrats America. You wanted a moral leader-- you got a nutcase who will sacrifice our troops for his own personal crusade.
Don't Let The Bedbugs Bite

Terrifying

Monday, November 28, 2005

Supporting Our Troops

Excellent L.A. Times piece about the suicide?/murder? of a colonel in Iraq.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Big Smoke

No, the Marriot Marquis in Times Square was not on fire.

Yes, there was a fireman there, looking slightly dazed. And yes, it was hard to see much of the sixth floor through the thick cloud that hung like a veil from the choking florescent lights. But fires don't attract a group of leatherfaced middle aged men in suits. Only The Big Smoke does.

Smoking for charity

Since 1993, more than 250,000 thousand cigar-loving lugs have gathered together in New York City to sample some of the world's best stogies, scotches and rums while dining on tender cuts of Del Friscos steak and oggling scantily-clad women puffing on Monica Lewinsky's signature smoke.

The event was the brainchild of Cigar Aficionado editor and publisher Marvin Shanken, in the days before smoking became a nasty six letter word in many locales: B-a-n-n-e-d.

Mayor Rudy however, carved out an exemption in the smoking ban, specifically allowing smoking at tobacco-industry events. Hence, the surreal sight of the Marriot Marquis's sixth floor, obscured in a dreamy, toxic haze.

I went there with my Uncle and my Dad, not quite knowing what to expect. For some reason, I pictured a dark, swank nightclub, like the ones you see in the movies, red-velvet lined booths and a sultry singer on top of a grand piano. Maybe some girls walking around with those trays of cigars. Instead, it was really a trade show... with booze and smokes. The girls were trayless... but fortunately, mostly naked. One of them gave me a temporary tattoo:

I don't know what it is.

If you can't tell by now... I did not bring my camera to the event.

But this should give you some idea:

Some picture off google

some guy's photo

While most of the crowd would make Tony Soprano feel right at home, it was a surprisingly diverse bunch. Of guys. There was one group of five girls I saw, who was clearly in "defense mode." You know what I mean. Like if a guy started talking to them, he would be immediately kicked in the balls by five shoes at once. I did, however, lift one woman onto my shoulders to help her get a better shot of the stogie-sluts. Cause I'm helpful. Yes, I was sufficiently drunk and stoned at this point.

I'm sorry, not stoned, "buzzed."

Everyone receives a coupon book, which you take from vendor to vendor, getting free cigars, and making jokes to the hot women handing them out. Jokes they won't laugh at. But they will smile.

Coupons!

I got about thirty cigars, including one from "Kahlua." I asked the vendor if it tasted like coffee. My uncle responded, "it tastes like crap."

Smoke Em If You Got Em

My uncle did teach me some things about cigars. Which I would have remembered if it hadn't been for the several glasses of scotch, wine and tequila. But as I understood it, the best cigars were from the Dominican Republic, then Honduras, then Guatemala. And Brazil was breaking into the action.

Some of the cigars boasted "Connecticut Wrappers," which I found very odd. The Dominican, Honduras.... Connecticut? What did it mean? Were the Hondurans hiring Yale grads to wrap cigars? Were they sending the cigars to New Haven to be gift-wrapped? Or were the little labels wrapping the cigars printed on a press in Mystic?

Turns out, I was way off. "Connecticut Wrapped" means that the outer leaf, or "wrapper" of the cigar was grown in the Construction State.. I mean Constitution State. Their leaves have a black, oily appearence, probably due to the fact that the Northeast is polluted as shit.

Who knew?

To add to the confusion, some people call "Connecticut Wrapped" Cigars, "Spanish Market Selection," obstensibly because they hate America. Those commie bastards.

I got this information from Wikipedia, by the way. Which also provides this tidbit:

According to Pierre Salinger, then [John F.] Kennedy's press secretary, the president ordered him on the evening of February 6 to obtain a thousand Petit H. Upmanns Cuban cigars; upon Salinger's arrival with the cigars the following morning, Kennedy signed the executive order which put the embargo [of Cuba] into effect
JFK! That Rapscallion!

But I digress (a lot). The Big Smoke was fun, and I even enjoyed the two cigars I smoked while there. Now I have 28 cigars, hanging out in an old plastic twizzlers container, along with a wet sponge. Who knows if this will work as a humidor. (I think I just heard the sound of a thousand cigar-lovers screaming "nooooooooo!")

Anybody like cigars? Anybody want one? Shoot me a comment and I'll see what I can do.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Uncanny Valley

Nice article on ESPN about how the more realistic something gets, the more we tend to recognize it's flaws, and reject it.

A prime example is Jar Jar Binks. And Pam Anderson's chest.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Well, Most Of Em Were Guilty

Texas Executes An Innocent Man

Normal Reaction: I can't believe we did this! We should re-evaluate the death penalty. Good, moral Americans cannot murder innocent people!

Predictable Republican Reaction: So what? Everybody makes mistakes. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go to church.

Of course, the death penalty is small potatoes compared to our brand new form of justice, which the CIA lovingly calls, "'unique' methods to obtain 'vital' information."

Hmm. "Unique." Interesting. What's a synonym for "unique"? How about "Unusual"? As in "Cruel and Unusual Punishment"?

Oy. Let me just respond to the spin for a moment. No one likes murderers, and no one likes terrorists. In fact, we hate murderers, and hate terrorists. But, I mean, who's a murderer? Who's a terrorist? Sometimes it's difficult to tell. Which is why we have trials, and why we have a legal system. We don't torture or inflict unusual punishment upon prisoners because to do so would be sadistic and morally reprehensible. And... they might be innocent.

John McCain was tortured. His captors asked him to reveal the names of his fellow cellmates, his fellow soldiers. Rather than endure another moment of brutal pain, McCain gave them names. Of the Green Bay Packers offensive line.

Are we busy following up on the names of Iraqi soccer players? Intelligence gleaned from a wounded and desperate man's attempt to end the pain?

Are we ok with executing innocent people, just because we like to execute guilty ones? And are we ok with torturing innocent people, just because it MIGHT give us some intelligence?

Every totalitarian dictator in history was ok with it.

So are Bush and Cheney.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Can We Just Get Rid Of Congress?

Seriously, who has the stomach for this stuff anymore. What would Washington, Jefferson and all the rest of our forefathers say if they could see the sorry state of our leadership today.

Our elected congressmen and senators, republican and democrat alike, have made a mockery of our political system. And we shouldn't stand for it. Come 2006, every single congressman and senator up for election should be voted out of office.

Because of things like this:

A Vietnam Veteran who visits soldiers EVERY DAY in the hospital calls for a non-binding resolution, that Bush seek to withdraw troops from Iraq as soon as it's logistically possible. Instead, they would maintain a presence around the middle east, and work through diplomacy to solve Iraq's problems.

The Republicans, in response, trash the Vietnam Veteran, calling him a fat documentary maker (Michael Moore) and a coward. Then, they write an absolutely stupid resolution, calling for withdrawal of troops tomorrow, the poisoning of kittens, and the slaughter of every person with a name starting in X. Hoping of course, that the resolution they propose will be soundly defeated, and settle once and for all the question of whether or not our troops should still be in Iraq.

To support our troops, Republicans insist, we must continue to undersupply them, cut veteran's benefits, provide poor leadership, and incite terrorists with violent rhetoric. To support our troops they say, we must continue this war as long as possible, and if we need to do things that make it longer, then so be it.

The thing is, a pull out of troops from Iraq would be the best thing possible for the Republican party. You would think they'd be all for it. To pull out and wash themselves clean from the mess they created, you'd think they'd be happy. Suddenly, the democrats wouldn't be so vocal anymore. Bush's poll numbers would go up. Maybe they could actually focus again on ripping apart social security and banning gay marriage.

When Congress starts to act like a bunch of schoolchildren, using dirty tricks to rouse the support of sheep-like followers, this country is seriously in trouble.

Oh, by the way... The Congressmen followed up their very productive day by voting for their own pay raise.

I love America, and don't want to see its institutions degraded like this.

Man I wish we had elected Gore. (Oh wait, we did!) I'd prefer boredom to this soap opera any day of the week.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

They're All Corrupt

33 Senators Get Paid By Lobbyist, Then Coincidentally Vote How He Wants

Does anyone even believe their denials anymore?
It's Called a PeePee

I know we're supposed to be so progressive and all... but this really disturbs me:

Sex-Ed For Toddlers

I mean, yikes. I don't want a three year old knowing more about sex than I do. What's next, Kindergarden Kama Sutra?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

From Hero To Chump

Bob Woodward

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Once upon a time, long ago, Bob Woodward was a reporter. He was a reporter who happened to stumble into the greatest moment in modern journalism: the Watergate scandal. Deep Throat came to him, and next thing he knew, he had become the stuff of legend. He was portrayed on screen by Robert Redford.

I would argue that his articles on Watergate were the primary reason Woodward rode up the ranks at the Washington Post, and became one of the most respected journalists in the nation. Nothing he has done since has come close. But that's ok. Plenty of people coast on the glory from a single accomplishment. Woodward had earned the right.

So it's sad to see him become the next Judy Miller.

Judy, for those of you living in caves (Osama), hid the idenity of the man responsible for outing an undercover CIA agent, Valerie Plame. She inexplicably went to jail, even though that man had released her from promises of confidentiality. Then, she inexplicably reversed her stance, obstensibly because she had finally signed a hefty enough book deal.

Though a notebook with interview notes from her talk with Cheney crony Scooter Libby mentions Valerie "Flame," Judy claims she doesn't remember Scooter saying the name to her, and insists she doesn't know how it got there. Possible theories include:

1) Aliens Wrote It

2) It appeared "by magic"

3) Michael Moore altered the notebook when she wasn't looking.

Libby was indicted anyway. Not content to be the sacrificial lamb, he denied revealing Plame's name. And that was that. He prepared for trial, Judy and fellow Times reporter Maureen Dowd worked out the financial details of their pay per view jello wrestling match.

Then Bob Woodward decided it wasn't fair for Judy to be the only disgraced reporter around.

This morning's Washington Post admitted that Bob Woodward learned Valerie Plame's name from a high-ranking government official waaaayyyy before Judy did. Then Woodward dropped the bombshell... IT WASN'T LIBBY!!!!!

Who was it?

Well, Bob Woodward is just a reporter. It's just his job to tell the news. So he's not going to say who told him. "My source requested he or she be called 'Harriet Fagina,' after the character in the 80's porn flick 'Josie and the Pussies.'"

He seemed to suffer the same memory problems that afflicted Judy Miller (strange, dontcha think?):

Woodward did not share the information with Washington Post Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. until last month, and the only Post reporter whom Woodward said he remembers telling in the summer of 2003 does not recall the conversation taking place.

[Woodward testified,] "I told Walter Pincus, a reporter at The Post, without naming my source, that I understood Wilson's wife worked at the CIA as a WMD analyst."

Pincus said he does not recall Woodward telling him that. In an interview, Pincus said he cannot imagine he would have forgotten such a conversation around the same time he was writing about Wilson.

"Are you kidding?" Pincus said. "I certainly would have remembered that."

Woodward also told Fitzgerald [the Republican special prosecutor assigned to the case by Republicans] that it is possible he asked Libby about Plame or her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV. He based that testimony on an 18-page list of questions he planned to ask Libby in an interview that included the phrases "yellowcake" and "Joe Wilson's wife." Woodward said in his statement, however, that "I had no recollection" of mentioning the pair to Libby. He also said that his original government source did not mention Plame by name, referring to her only as "Wilson's wife."

According to his statement, Woodward also testified about a third unnamed source. He told Fitzgerald that he does not recall discussing Plame with this person when they spoke on June 20, 2003.
Earlier this year, Woodward went on Larry King and said he didn't think outing an undercover CIA officer in order to discredit a critic of the administration was a big deal.

"If putting a CIA officer at risk is what it takes to force this country into an ill-advised war, I'm all for it," he said... in not so many words.

So Woodward has gone from someone revealing a massive government coverup to someone who, well... is participating in a massive government coverup.

Robert Redford would be ashamed.

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Food For Thought:

Poor Getting Poorer, Rich Getting Richer, The Middle Getting Poorer

Oil Execs Deny Getting Cozy With Cheney

CPB Chair Tried To Make Elmo Republican

Congressional Indian Givers Stiff 9/11 Victims $125 Million, No Word On Bridge To Nowhere (Somehow, I don't think this is what Glenn Reynolds meant when he pushed congress to cut pork spending)

New Jersey: We'll Win You Over???? That's The Best They Came Up With? I personally like "New Jersey: You Gotta Problem With That?"

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Monday, November 14, 2005

From MySpace To Murder

When The News And Social Networks Collide

Kara @ MySpace David @ MySpace

Early in the morning of November 13th, 2005, Kara Borden, a 14-year-old from Lititz, Pennsylvania, logged onto MySpace. The young, bubbly, blonde-haired, brown-eyed homeschooled high school freshman had a profile on the popular networking site, brightly colored with pink-lined black boxes listing her friends and hobbies, a rainbow striped white background and a picture of her in a pink top, smiling with lips closed to hide her braces. She listed her interests as soccer, talking on the phone, the beach and partying. "Books are gay," she wrote. She lied about her age, listing it as 17.

A few hours later she stood by as her boyfriend, David Ludwig, 18, shot and killed her parents.

David was on MySpace too.

Just after noon the next day, Police were able to track the two teens down in Indiana, capturing them after a high speed chase. But before that, as the story of the double murder and the two missing teens hit the news, hundreds of curious, saavy web-surfers soon found Kara and David's MySpace profiles and Xanga blogs. It didn't take long for reporters to begin doing the same thing. A photo used by numerous news web sites was also from the MySpace profile of Kara's best friend. MSNBC was first to report the teens' interests found listed online.

Next to Kara's profile picture is a quote. "...Cause I need you and I miss you," obstensibly from Vanessa Carlton's "A Thousand Miles." A reference to David? Or just a favorite song? Strangers commenting on Kara's MySpace blog perused every little detail.

David's MySpace profile, last visited by him on November 12th, provides little to suggest a day later he'd murder two people. Like many other users, he lists his religion, Christian, and his job, Product Specialist at Circuit City. He says he doesn't smoke but does drink. Messages left by his friends include one asking if he's "going to help the smiths move on the 12th." Kara leaves a message, happy that he's signed up for MySpace, and asks him to leave a comment on her page. "<3Kara<3", she signs off.

In a October 24th blog entry, David writes about going to see the new Wallace and Gromit movie, and about visiting a college with his parents. "I did get to go and see Were-Rabbit (the new Wallace and Gromit movie) with a bunch of friends...I enjoyed the movie even if a bunch of ppl didn't..lol it did have some crude humor...but some of it was reeeally funny! lol *wicked grin*"

"So yes and now today I shall be doing school and tomorrow I'm going to visit stupid York Tech school complemints [sic] of my loverly parents lol But yes now I must run and do school so ya'll have a good day. God bless!!"

David's Xanga site states that he enjoys "soft air gun wars" and "getting into trouble." He provides a link to his pictures. An album full of pictures of only him, and an album of hunting photos. Several show the teen gutting a deer.

Kara's messages to David on MySpace are brief, harmless, seemingly frivolous. She disagrees with his statement that he's a bit overweight. "Very skinny babe..get that through your little head!! heh otay ttyl."

"How is school and crap?" She asks a mutual friend of her and David's. "Mine is really boring..sigh...oh well ttyl."

Her blog talks about soccer, bands she likes, and getting baptized. She posted several pictures that have since been taken down due to the high amount of web traffic the site was receiving.

But perhaps far more disturbing are the messages left by voyeuristic web browsers, who wasted no time offering their take on events.

Under David's blog entry, one user jokes, "I have a bad feeling about this guy, i'd stay away if i were you." Another adds, "You know what inmates do to guys like you?" One girl writes, "U HAVE SERIOUS PROBLEMS U SICK FREAK!!! ON THE NEWS IT SAID U WERE A CHRISTIAN MY ASS U WOULDNT HAVE KILLED HER PARENTS IF U WERE!!!!" A debate on the godliness of Christians follows. The comments grow progressively angrier and more vulgar than can be printed here.

Recent posts included a "Free David" graphic and an invitation to the "David Double Homicide Fan Club."

The comments on Kara's profile arent much better. Many express sympathy and belief in her innocence, but others accuse her of being David's partner in crime, and helping him plan the murder.

Some MySpace users even travelled to the pages of Kara and David's friends, glutting their comment space with hate-filled invective. One friend of Kara's cancelled her account.

"I know you are ALL worried about my best friend Kara and even David," Kara's friend writes on her profile page, "Yes it true what happened, the muder [sic] and abduction - as far as anything else..I am not sure at the moment. I would greatly appriciate it if you ALL stopped messaging me and Kara and even David. Thanks for your prayers -its greatly appriciated! But - the constant overflow of messages is too much on top of all this! Thanks though for caring!"

Another friend reveals far more aggrivation with the flock of rubberneckers visiting her page. "I do NOT know where she is and i have NOTHING to do with her being missing," she writes. "ALL IN ALL, STOP SENDING ME MESSAGES JUST TO ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT KARA. I GOT OVER 65 MESSAGES WITHIN AN HOUR LAST NIGHT AND I ONLY RESPONDED TO THE FIRST 3. SO MORE THAN LIKELY, YOU ARE WASTING YOUR TIME SENDING ME ONE."

Shortly after Kara's page began to attract attention her profile was set to private (meaning only her friends can access it) and most of its content was taken offline. But not before someone corrected her age to 14.

It's unclear whether authorities are aware of Kara and David's online presence, but it was reported in a local Lancaster, Pennsylvania paper, and investigators have confiscated both teens' computers.

It's not the first time MySpace has had a surreal role in popular news stories. At times it's been a colorful sounding board, other times space for a grim eulogy.

Earlier this summer, Zach Stark, a gay 16-year-old from Bartlett, Tennessee made headlines when he wrote in his MySpace blog about his parents' decision to send him to Camp Refuge, a camp aimed at setting homosexuals straight. Gay rights activists picked up on Zach's blog and rallied to his side, protesting the group running the camp, Love In Action. Earlier this month, a federal judge upheld the State of Tennessee's prosecution of Love In Action for running a mental health facility without a license.

And in September, Mellie Carballo and Maria Pesantez, two teenage New York City college students, died in a well-reported wave of heroin overdoses. Both had MySpace profiles. Friends and strangers visited to leave notes of condolence, as well as a few scathing diatribes against the way heroin use had wasted two young lives. Both girls profiles' contained numerous drug references.

On the MySpace profile of Taylor Behl, 19, a college student allegedly murdered by a web pornographer she had become friendly with, friends and strangers posted pleas for her safe return before police made the gruesome discovery of her body.

While the news may not have a long shelf life, these online profiles do. New messages from friends still appear on Maria's MySpace page every so often. So do spam ads from the clubs she used to frequent. On Taylor's profile, friends relayed condolence letters strangers had sent them. Several MySpace tributes to Taylor's memory have been created. Since returning from Camp refuge, Zach erased his old blog and strangers' comments, but updates readers of his situation. "I miss my old life," he wrote in a recent entry.

Sometimes a MySpace profile is created after a news story takes place. Hoax profiles often appear for celebrities when they arise to the top of the News. The Olsen Twins, for example, have numerous entries pretending to be them on several different networking sites. Kara and David's profiles were not, however, hoaxes.

What does a MySpace profile reveal? And what, if anything, could parents do if they knew about them earlier? If the parents had been aware of the numerous drug references present in Mellie and Maria's profiles, could they have provided them counselling before it was too late? Would Kara's parents have talked to their child earlier, once finding out she was representing herself as a 17 year old who likes to party? Would they have been more aware of David's capacity for violence if they had seen his xanga site?

Hindsight is 20/20. What might look obvious to someone looking back on a profile now, may have seemed innocuous before. But clearly, what MySpace and others like it do provide are windows into the private and complex mind of a teenager. The pages are not always frivolous fun... they may also be a cry for help.

On MySpace, users write headlines above their photo to attract people to their profiles, to show off who they are and sum up how they feel. Kara's headline is eerily ironic and utterly familiar, to anyone who knows the frustrations of being an overprotected teenager.

Kara Borden's headline was "meant X to X live."
Outrage, Blobs, and Torture

If its one thing I've learned as I've grown up, its that there is no absolute truth. There's "takes." Some people see blue and call it blue. Others see blue and call it perriwinkle (They are not cool).

So it shouldn't surprise me when the Washington Post reveals we torture people in secret Eastern European prisons, and those on the right and left have wildly different reactions.

Lefty: Our government is torturing people is secret prisons?? I'm OUTRAGED!!!

Righty: The Washington Post revealed that our government tortures people in secret prisons?? I'm OUTRAGED!!!

Reading the blobs, (typo?) you'd think that the fact people are being tortured by us is no big deal. Rather, the fact that the Washington Post did not reveal which countries the prisons were located in was more important. Or, the real story was the fact that unnamed government officials "leaked" this info to the Post.

Democrats called for an investigation into the secret torture prisons. Republicans called for an investigation to find out who the whistleblowers are.

Its been a while since we've seen those pictures of naked prisoners with bags over their heads (which, according to some, are not even the worst pictures that exist). But does that mean we should just let it slide? Forget about the fact our leaders are torturing people? It used to be that when the terrorists claimed we were the great satan, we could be like "Great Satan? What did we ever do to you? We've just been playing Madden 2005." But now, thanks to Bush and his cadre, its like... "well.. we did torture some of you guys. We did bomb your village. We did make you lose your job and forced your family into abject poverty. But please, don't take your revenge."

It's not that I, or any liberal, feels sorry for terrorists. Who we do feel sorry for are those innocent people who inevitably get swept up, shipped to Eastern Europe, and are tortured until they forget they're human beings anymore. There is never a guarentee that every suspect is guilty. Our legal system is based on the fact that the innocent are sometimes the accused. Do we trash that belief just because the accused has a different color skin and eats shwarma?

I don't think we should. I don't think its right that this government runs any "secret prison." The government should have its secrets, sure. But for those secrets to involve things that slaughter the ideals of our constitution, things that are paid for by our tax dollars, is a crime. And the men responsible for committing that crime should be investigated. Not the ones that reveal it.

I hope that everyone, right and left and all those inbetween, know that torture is never acceptable.

That is a truth. Not a take.

I should hope so. For all our sakes.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Hero Pup Saved Cats From Catastrophe

Best Friends

If only we could learn from Ginny.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

What's the Media's Obsession With Lesbian Cheerleader Sex Scandals?

Every Man's Fantasy

If anyone thought the media was run by liberals, they're wrong. It's run by men. Who else would make sucha big deal about two cheerleaders, having wild passionate sex in a bathroom stall?

I mean, it's not really news. This stuff has happened for years. Hasn't anybody ever watched "Naked Cheerleaders Volume One?" You'll never look at a cartwheel the same way again, trust me.

This may be news now, but in a month, it'll be a Playboy spread.

They just got out on bail. Their fellow cheerleaders posted bond. Now that's team spirit!

Unfortunately, their intimate moment has caused the two to be kicked off the cheerleading squad. The Panthers Cheerleaders have always had a strict rule: No sex with the players. They've now amended that rule. No sex with each other either.

Why they gotta hate?

I betcha disgruntled and suspended wide receiver Terrell Owens wishes he was a Carolina Panther and not an Philadelphia Eagle. In fact, word is, he's been practicing for a spot on the cheerleading squad:

T.O. Likes Pom Poms

So has former Presidential candidate John Kerry:

Where Was That Energy During The Campaign?

And we all know Bushie can relate to the hectic life of a cheer queer:

Give me an W! Give me a M! Give me a D!

Anyways, if it's anything this whole sordid business has taught us, it's that every so often, God throws the horny sportswriters a bone. How else do you explain how Anna Kournikova got into tennis?

Girls, I sympathize with you. All this attention must be humiliating. You deserve some privacy.

You're welcome to stay at my place.


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Update: Fugitive Cheerleader! And Footage Of The Woman She Beat!
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Silly String Saves Our Soldiers

For real.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Letting The Terrorists Win

If Bin Laden's goal was to destroy our American ideals, and pervert everything we stand for, then he's succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.

Example No. 1: The White House, our beacon of democracy, is run by men who believe torture is a-ok. Who can we torture? Well, anybody. Anybody who they think is a terrorist. Nevermind that many of the "enemy combatants" have been released with no explanation as to why they were held. Where in the constitution does it say prisoners deserve a trial? Where does it say we can't torture people?

Oh wait... it's there, Amendments VI and VIII.

For all you "that only applies to U.S. citizens" crowd... read the language. No citizenship necessary. Oh.. there's also those Geneva Conventions that we agreed to that say we're not allowed to torture people.

How can we be proud of ourselves as a nation if we believe in torture? Jesus was tortured. Where are all those evangelicals screaming about how we shouldn't play Romans?

Dick Cheney would have you believe that torture is necessary to get us the vital information we need to prevent another 9/11. Nevermind that torture has been proven as a rediculously unreliable method, often producing false confessions that end up wasting our defense resources. Then again, maybe Cheney likes false confessions. They allow the government to declare "Level orange" and distract from whatever scandal the administration finds itself in.

Nevermind that some of the people being held and tortured are innocent. All they did was be in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong color skin. Is it ok to torture someone if they're muslim?

Sanctioned torture will destroy this country more than any terrorist bomb ever could. It makes us into the terrorists. It turns our soldiers into the sexual perverts and twisted masochists we are sickened by when we watch the evening news.

Bin Laden is free, thousands of Americans are dead, and Bush, Cheney and Co. are hard at work dismantling our constitution (under the guise of saving it!). We can all own guns, as long as the government can tap our phones, arrest us without cause, and read a list of our library books.

The terrorists haven't won yet, but we're doing them so many favors, it's no wonder Bin Laden hasn't been found.

Bush is working with him.

Friday, November 04, 2005

DeLay Tactics

(yes, it's a pun)

Who wants to play a game of musical judges?

Yes, DeLay can't trust those Democrat judges to be impartial. Only Republican judges can give him a fair verdict. Makes sense. If I ever go to trial, I'll insist my judge be Jewish, a Democrat, and a fan of video games. Anything less, and I'll cry injustice.

Seems like, for an innocent man, DeLay sure wants to set himself up for an easy aquittal. After all, Judges don't base their cases on evidence, they base it on who they voted for. At least that's what DeLay seems to believe.

By the time DeLay chooses a judge he wants, he'll be out of office and the whole ugly stain on the Republican party will be forgotten about.

And he'll keep on smiling along.
Which Cheater Do We Vote For

I don't usually comment on New Jersey politics, but since it is my home state, I guess I should throw in my two cents.

Can't New Jersey come up with better than this?

Forrester just ran an ad quoting Jon Corzine's soon-to-be-ex wife. The ad is an intensely personal attack, taking advantage of Corzine's impending divorce to score political points. Corzine was cheating on his wife with a union boss. Whether this says anything about his political credentials is up to debate, but quoting his wife is a pretty low blow, one that will not exactly galvanize the electorate in Forrester's favor.

And Forrester has some 'splainin to do himself.

From NBC:

"Have you ever cheated on your wife?" [reporter] Thompson asked.

"I'm very proud of my marriage," Forrester said. "Thirty years of marriage and I expect that I will be married for another 30 years, so I'm very proud of my conduct."

"But... have you ever?" Thompson asked.

"I have not, if, if what you're asking is if I have sex with somebody else -- no," Forrester replied.
Sound a little Clinton-esque to you?

Just once, I want a Jersey governor I can be proud of. Governor Bruce Springsteen? Governor Jon Bon Jovi? Governor Sly?

Sly: A Governor We Can Be Proud Of

Ah. If only.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Surprise Surprise

Who the heck is running this thing?

Top Al-Queda Detainee Escapes... Can't Testify Against Abusive Guard

Friday, October 28, 2005

I Get Freaked Out By Horoscopes

Usually because they're pretty accurate, but sometimes because they talk about impending doom. Todays scary screed from the stars:

You might find yourself in a difficult situation, dear Gemini, when you are faced with a person who does not necessarily approve of how you are handling yourself in certain situations. It could be that one of your offhand remarks was misinterpreted by someone who is now violently overreacting to what you said. Be careful of shooting back caustic remarks that only aggravate the situation and elevate it to a damaging level. Your words will be taken more seriously than you think.
So if I said, or did anything today, to anyone: I'm sorry. I didn't mean it.

Let's go grab some milkshakes.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Fed Up With Federline

K-Fed's Clothing Collection, Coming To The Back Of A Truck Near You

Britney Spears Alexander Federline may be getting tired of husband Kevin's antics, reports MSNBC's The Scoop.

Apparently, Kevin just recorded an album. Britney laughed at it. The album was not, at least not intentionally, a comedy album.

Also, apparently, Kevin's been spending money and getting his hair braided while Britney tends to the chil'umns.

Hmm. weird. I thought Kev would make a great father. I mean... look how good he is with his first girlfriend's kids. He sometimes remembers their names.

Let the inevitable sex video come out and lets get this over with already. It's painful. Even ex-bf J. Timberlake's gotta be sad hearing this stuff.

Let this be a lesson to pop princesses and girls everywhere. Just because he may look good in a trucker hat, doesn't mean he'll make a good husband.
Pot Is Good For You

...in moderation

New Study Finds Wacky Tobacky Better Than Cancer-Sticks

Apparently, a joint is better for you than a cool, smooth menthol. Exactly what Dr. Cheech has been saying all along.

Of course, most things are better for you than smoking cigarettes. Like shocking yourself repeatedly with exposed wires, and the ever-popular "all-funnelcake" diet. So this isn't exactly huge news. But don't you get the feeling that sometime, way in the past, a fledgling big tobacco (then called, "little weed") was like... do we sell the addictive plant or the groovy one? And they went with Nicky Nicotine?

How did icky sticky become illegal while a product that paints your lungs a shade that Sherman Williams calls "Obsidian" stay legal? I'm not making the argument for legal marijuana here---i don't think anything that can make a Pauly Shore movie seem like a good idea should be legal--- I'm making the argument that The Marlboro Man, Joe Camel, The British Parliament and Harry Winston all should become relics of the pre-cigarette ban age.

[UPDATE: I've been informed that, contrary to popular opinion, the British Parliament does not manufacture cigarettes.]

[UPDATE II: Harry Winston claims he's just a jeweler. But I'm suspicious of anyone with that many diamonds.]

It's already happening throughout the world. Smokers are being forced to fringes. The aforementioned British Parliament banned smoking in public buildings around the country. A recent report said that New York's smoking ban has been so effective only 18% of New Yorkers now smoke (Apparently, only 18% of New Yorkers are "the cool kids"). Smoking laws and restrictions are on the books or being considered throughout the U.S. Sales of Nicorette have never been better.

Next thing you know, Phillip Morris will stop selling cigarettes and start selling Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.

Now, I have friends who are smokers. I know they may resist the end that is coming. What smoker wouldn't? There's something so wonderfully fulfilling about a small leaf filled cylinder that fills your lungs with noxious chemicals, shortening your lifespan in exchange for a 3-4 second buzz and a somewhat socially acceptable way to fulfill your oral fixation. I sympathize. I really do. But it's clear there will soon be a healthy solution.

Pot.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Mind Control

Remote-Controlled Humans

Is This Harmless Fun? Or The Bush Administration's Plan To Subdue Their Opposition? You Decide.

In all seriousness, I don't know how well a device that's designed to send electric pulses through your brain will sell. Then again, we're ok with cell phones. Maybe our kids will someday make fun of us for living in an age when we didn't have remotes that could control people. Us old geezers.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

C Is For Cookie, Q is for $75 Dollar Fine

Turkish ABC Police Fine 20 For Using Illegal Q and W

I was trying to think of a word using Q and W, so I could make a joke out of how the Turks can't spell it.. but none comes to mind.

But Turkish Sesame Street better be careful.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Sad Fan

Sad Fan

Courtesy of Samantha

Friday, October 21, 2005

Why Is This Man Smiling?

Just Happy To Be Here, Folks

What is he thinking??

Do you think Delay's smile exudes confidence? Or is it a cover for fear? What's going on inside that diabolical head? Fill in the bubble.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

While New Orleans Drowned

"Sir, I know that you know the situation is past critical," The FEMA Regional director (at the Superdome) wrote to FEMA chief Mike Brown, on August 31st.

The response, from Brown's Press Secretary came three hours later:

"[Mike] needs much more than 20 or 30 minutes [to eat his dinner, at a Baton Rouge restaurant]..."

"We now have traffic to encounter to go to and from a location of his choise (sic), followed by wait service from the restaurant staff, eating, etc. Thank you."

Should Mikey-boy have had a sit down dinner at a restaurant of his "choise" while thousands were running out of food and water at the Superdome?

I don't know. Should Bush have continued to listen to "My Pet Goat" being read while thousands died on 9/11?

The insensitivity of these people boggles the mind. Hundreds of local officials dropped everything they were doing to help those in dire need after Hurricane Katrina (and after 9/11). Meanwhile, the Feds lagged behind, valuing photo ops and fine dining over people's lives (anyone get the name of the restaurant Mike Brown was at? Did he order an appetizer??)

Anyone who blames local officials is an absolute idiot. I'm sorry, but it's true. A CITY GOT WIPED OFF THE FACE OF THE PLANET. If this isn't an instance when maybe the federal government should get involved, I don't know what is. Does a whole state have to be destroyed before the Feds respond? Oh... actually, put the landmass affected by Hurricane Katrina together and you have a state-sized area right there. Shouldn't we expect more? State governments get their operating budgets from their residents. The Federal Government gets its funds from all of us. Shouldn't the Federal government be better equipped? Should the members of the federal government, at least, maybe... grab a sandwich or something instead of sitting down at a restaurant? Jesus. Let's not be partisan for a moment here and just recognize that something is seriously wrong when people in charge sit on their asses.

But hey, Mike Brown was hungry. GWB didn't want to worry the young-uns.

Gimme a break.
The World's Most Elusive Rat

(No, it's not Karl Rove.)

Bating A Rat Trap With... "Fresh Penguin"???

Scientists Are Weird.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Al Shamshoon

All-American Family

In order to conquer... i mean.. liberate the Muslim world, it is necessary not only to export our manpower, but also our culture. Insurgents may not be quelled by our armies, the thinking goes, but maybe we can lull them into submission with a few good episodes of Laguna Beach.

Which brings me to today's topic: The Simpsons. After 17 seasons of beer-swilling, bacon munching, donut downing and downright hilarious political and religious satire, the American classic is making it's way to the Middle East. Minus the beer, bacon, donuts, and political and religious satire.

Homer Simpson becomes Omar Al Shamshoon. Instead of downing Duff beer in superhuman quantities, he'll chug soda. Instead of bacon he'll eat Egyptian beef sausage. His beloved donuts will be changed to a popular arab cookie, called kahk.

That's right, Homer is now a kahk muncher.

Hee hee.

Moe's bar is gone too. Will Moe find a way onto the Al Shamshoon show? Maybe, but he'll need a more Islamic-friendly profession. Any suggestions?

No word on whether Reverend Lovejoy will become an Iman.

An Artist's Rendering

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Victoria's Secret Plan To Destroy Humanity

I never knew underwear could be so insidious.

That is, until G. Tracy Mehan III pointed it out to me.

Right there amidst the new restaurants, a 16-screen theater, Baby Gap, Talbot's Kids, and other outlets targeting young families and teenagers, were new window and floor displays, compliments of Victoria's Secret, entitled, "Backstage Sexy." According to the local NBC affiliate, it featured "bare-bottomed mannequins in provocative poses and suggestions of bondage." They were tarted out with rhinestone garters, fishnet stockings, and feathery thongs.

There were also two female mannequins lounging on a bed (one was removed after the first wave of protests). The Washington Post described a scene in which "one scantily clad female mannequin crawling toward another who reclined on a left hip and leaned back on both hands." All this was in immediate proximity to hordes of teenagers who were mall-walking in the newly expanded shopping center.
Naked Mannequins!!!! The Horror!! The Horror!!!

Make sure the kids leave the room:
Pornography!!!!

Ok, just kidding. The mannequins "III" is so amped up over look like this:

They're Fake, and they're spectacular

Finally, A Girl Who Won't Leave Me

Don't Turn Away... I Won't Bite.. Hard.

"III" writes: "Slut ware" was the term used by one father, who noted that the "feathery-thong-clad mannequin bent over as if she were adjusting her spike heels."
You mean, this one?

The NBC article reported this resident's words:

"I've already tried to get security to arrest them for indecent exposure and I've talked to the managers in there," said Tim Cutler. "They don't care. They're just more happy they're getting the exposure and the marketing."
I checked, and was outraged to find out there are no laws on the books preventing mannequins from going out in public dressed in only lingerie. In fact, I was shocked to find there aren't any laws governing mannequins- AT ALL!! How could this happen? Why do the rules not apply to these "mannequin people?"

I went to a local Victoria's Secret to find out.

My interviews with the mannequins were short. Well coached by their lawyers, i'm sure, they refused to answer any of my questions. Something to hide underneath that lycra and nylon? This reporter, for one, thinks so.

I spoke with the store manager, who tried to assure me the mannequins are not a threat.

Manager: "They're not real. They're plastic."

Me: "They're corrupting our youth."

Manager: "How?"

Me: "They're showing their hoo-hahs and uh-ohs."

Manager: "They don't have hoohahs and uh-ohs, they're all plastic."

Me: So is Pamela Anderson.

Is Pam A Mannequin Person??

These mannequins need to be stopped before they corrupt our youth. Girls may start to think that wearing something other than white cotton granny shorts is ok. Who knows, they may even think it's alright to spice up a boring marriage with a little display of crotchless panties.

We all saw what happened in Italy when Michaelangelo's David was first displayed at the Coliseum Mall. All the guys started going naked. Is that what we want?

Clearly, teenagers are going to look at these "fake, plastic" mannequins and assume that they should copy them. Next thing you know, they'll be bending over to fix their shoes and start lying on couches. What has happened to our ideallic 1950's America, when the streets were clean and there weren't any problems at all??

A simpler time

"III," (who's name doesn't sound elitist at all), writes: "As a father, I spend a fair amount of time intercepting commercials, mailings, and unsolicited shower gifts generated by and purchased from this purveyor of provocative undergarments.
Alliteration aside... "shower gifts?" How old is this man's daughter? He's intercepting her baby shower gifts? I hope I'm misunderstanding this.

But obviously he's doing the right thing. I intend to gouge out my daughter's eyes to make sure she can't see anything that may convert her into a slut. That's true parenting.

As "GTM III" gets more riled up, he says, "How Dare They...":

Reflecting on this degradation of the moral ecology, in former Confederate territory at that, it is worth reconsidering many of the old libertarian bromides. Victoria's Secret's outrages may not be crimes, but neither are they victimless. You have to be some kind of Cartesian, mind-body dualist to think that what people think, say, or otherwise communicate has no impact on how they behave, use, or abuse their own bodies. If ideas have consequences — for adults, children, and families — it is time to challenge those ideas, championed by Limited Brands and Victoria's Secret, and enabled by landlords, mall owners, and feckless consumers.
Beautifully written. Someone owns a Thesaurus, and a dusty old book about Rene Descartes. The nerve of Victoria Secret moving into A FORMER CONFEDERATE TERRITORY with this filth. Don't they know Confederates are morally superior? What did Confederates ever do that was immoral? Nothing as bad as Liberals and that Clinton blow job thing.

"III" makes the great point that ideas are evil. So we shouldn't have them. Or, we should have his ideas, and not ours. This seems like a better alternative to thinking rationally. A ration person might think, "THEY'RE PLASTIC!!! AND ITS JUST UNDERWEAR!!!!!!" But those people should be killed before they make the Theory of Evolution a constitutional amendment.

He continues:

The family is the paramount human society which is threatened by the licentiousness (there is no other word for it) promoted by businesses such as Victoria's Secret, Hollywood film studios, breweries, and Super Bowl promoters.
Note: the thesaurus lists "wantoness," and "proligacy" as other words. But you know who wrote the Thesaurus: That's right. Baby Killers.

Super Bowl Promoters??? At first, I was perplexed. But obviously "III" is referring to the fact that many football players have wives that wear Victoria's Secret.

"III" hopes that the consumers of Virginia will force VC out of business. I don't know why it hasn't gone out already. I mean, it's just so morally objectionable, it's hard to believe they're doing great business. If everyone's complaining... who's buying?

My guess? The mannequin population.

In summation: We need to stop these mannequins, before it's too late, before we find ourselves in a nuclear wasteland fighting off evil cyborg mannequins with lasers for eyes.

Scared? You should be.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Are Jews Smarter??

Yes.

New York Magazine Asks The Question.
It Sucks To Be Madonna's Kids

Guy Ritchie Wants You

Not only has the entire world seen your mother naked, and you belong to a creepy pseudo-Jewish religion, but also this:

MSNBC - Madonna says she's the disciplinarian with 9-year-old Lourdes and 5-year-old Rocco.

The former material girl told Newsweek that she doesn't let her children watch TV or look at magazines. She says milk and ice cream are also off-limits.

"When Daddy gets home, they get chocolate," Madonna said. "I'm the disciplinarian."

She's also strict about laundry duties: If Lourdes leaves dirty clothes on the floor, "we take all of her clothes and put them in a bag, and she has to earn all of her clothes back by being tidy," Madonna said. "She wears the same outfit every day to school until she learns her lesson."
Plus, their names are "Lourdes" and "Rocco." Does Mrs. Cone-Tits want her kids to be porn stars?

Then again, they are living in a mansion. So it ain't all bad.

Friday, October 14, 2005

BREAKING NEWS: MARY-KATE DUMPS NYU

Mary-Kate

The skinnier and more drug addicted of the two former Full House twins has dropped out of NYU.

Mary-Kate Olsen cited her responsibilities as DualStar Entertainment co-president as her reason for leaving. DualStar Entertainment is the Olsen twins' multi-million dollar media and girlie clothing empire. However, her co-president, Ashley Olsen, remains enrolled at NYU. This fact led some to believe Mary-Kate's decision was prompted by a rift between the two twins.

"Everyone knows they're drifting apart. It was so obvious," said Mike Muldoon, a student who does not attend NYU and has never met the Olsen twins.

"Mary-Kate's been out partying and Ashley's been spending late nights at the study lab," Muldoon said. "I actually hooked up with Ashley in Bobst."

No word on whether or not Mary-Kate dropping out will have an adverse effect on the NYU community. Several Facebook.com groups at NYU are devoted to the Olsen twins, and NYU's Washington Square News (which got scooped by MSNBC) has written several articles about the Olsens on campus.

According to Mary-Kate's Facebook.com profile, the NYU freshman is a female and was a Photography and Imaging major.

Other notable people to drop out of college include Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, and Bud "Beerface" Williams, a crack addict in Union Square Park.

"I hope she doesn't get addicted to crack like I did," Gates said.

-Click Here For An EXCLUSIVE MK OLSEN PHOTO!!!-
Get Your Ark Ready

Jersey Underwater

Just found out they closed Ocean Township schools because of flooding. To give you an idea of how rare this is, Ocean Township (my home town), despite its name, does not touch the ocean.

The biggest water sources around are small lakes and tiny streams.

But all this rain has deluged the area. Belmar and Spring Lake have been evacuated. Even in New York City, where I am not, streets are starting to shimmer with thin, quickly flowing rivers.

I can't remember when it's rained this much, for so long. It's clear there's only one explanation:

The remnants of Tropical Storm Tammy sticking around due to a low pressure system in the area.

BUT ALSO, more likely, the end times are upon us.

The biblical flood is back to catch those it didn't get the first time.

So build your arks, and take two of every animal. Except tarantulas. They're on their own.

These guys can help: Noah's Ark Rebuilt!!!
Martha Stewart Makes Homes For Katrina Victims Out Of Giant Pumpkins

Stewart's Got Some Giant Pumkins

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Desperate Measures

Yeah, I know, this is more than $2.97

It's hard to get people to join the military. Especially in a time of war. Especially in a time of utterly unnecessary, badly planned war. Especially in a time when U.S. defense contractors make their bulletproof vests out of swiss cheese and silly putty. So it's understandable that the U.S. military should have trouble recruiting fresh blood.

Luckily, the U.S. Army National Guard is offering a stellar, hip way to get those recruits they need.

Offer them $2.97.

Yep. That's right. All you have to do is listen to a recruiter, and you'll get a whopping TWO DOLLARS AND NINETY SEVEN CENTS. How's that for a brilliant recruiting tactic?

Of course, this isn't just a measly two bills and change... this is iTunes money. That's right. The U.S. National Guard is so hip and "with it" that they're offering three (count em!) 3 free iTunes music store downloads (a 99 cents per song value!), just for coming in and giving them a moment of your time.

Read about the amazing offer here.

If this isn't desperation, I don't know what is.

I've got a better idea. How about we start winning this thing. How about we start planning better and start actually listening to the Iraqi people. They have a good suggestion. Leave. But yeah, apparently the idea of leaving is so abhorrent that the right feels it's necessary to bash the grieving mother of a dead soldier. We can't leave, not unless we want to take the blame for what we fear Iraq will devolve into without us.

Ok, well how about a slow pullout? Make it harder for the terrorists to attack us because... they can't find us so easily anymore. Time to maintain a low profile. Maybe change the Army uniforms to muftis.

I personally believe that the terrorists attack us in Iraq because... we're in Iraq. I think if we left, they'd stop. And the Iraqi government would be forced to take charge, instead of running to tell Daddy Bush everytime Bobby Insurgent throws a rock on the playground.

It's stubborn to stay. It's noble to know when we can't win.

Manage the military with a little more common sense, instead of braindead $2.97 offers, and you'll solve your recruitment problem.

Of course, sex always sells too.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Blame The Media/Global Warning

Accidentally say that aborting black babies will reduce crime? You know who to blame... The MEDIA

This guy is pretty unbelievable. The fact that 4,500 people would come out to listen to him speaks volumes about ongoing racism in this country.

Oh, but it's not his fault. It's OUR fault. For reporting his comments. Yeah. Right.

As long as we're talking about "liberal conspiracies," lets talk about global warming, which, of course, every self-respection Republican knows is about as real as Santa Claus.

So the polar ice cap is smaller this year than ever before. And scientific data from experts throughout the world (hogwash, of course) predicts the caps will get even smaller... potentially flooding coastal areas throughout the globe.

Of course, there are positives to this. Philadelphia suddenly has an ocean view. And, according the the New York Times, people are already taking advantage of the improved shipping lanes ice-free arctic sea travel will provide.

Personally, I'm not too thrilled about New York City becoming the Venice of the West, nor am I excited about the possibility of my childhood home becoming a houseboat. But hey, it may be time to invest in some prime "perma"frost... Today polar bears, tomorrow wet t-shirt contests at the Arctic Seaside Pool Club.

Those Eskimos might start needing air-conditioning after all.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Lesbians In Space

Xena and Girlfriend

10th Planet And Moon Named After Warrior Princess And Sidekick

They say they're going to decide "Offical" names at a later date, but this is a huge accomplishment for the lesbian community/overweight sci-fi channel fans everywhere.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Cruisin For A Bruisin

We should boycott Carnival Cruise Lines.

In a time of national disaster, Carnival took advantage of the government's sloppy planning and desperation to overcharge for three cruise ships to be used in the relief efforts.

The ships are barely used, and are costing far more than they would if booked for a full cruise, including entertainment.

There's no trivia and bingo on the lido deck.

Of course, the sad story of how the government even came to purchase these ships encapsulates the policy of the Bush administration so well.

Screw up-- no problem! Just make a huge, unnecessary gesture that doesn't make any sense.

Ignore intelligence reports and get attacked by mostly Saudi terrorists? START A WAR IN IRAQ.

Took three days to respond to a well-predicted Hurricane? BUY CRUISE SHIPS?????

Did they think the survivors were just going to live on the ships? Have you seen the size of the average cabins? Think a family of five can live there for months?

Oh, wait, I forgot. Bush cruises first-class. He's never even seen a standard size cabin. Probably assumes they all have balconies and walk-in closets. Instead of being the size of one.

It was such a bonehead move. It feels like something that came up in a brainstorming session, that, upon further reflection, would have been tossed out. But that's the thing... there is no "further reflection" with these people. To Republicans, "reflection" and "thought" are for wimpy liberals. Republicans bomb first, resist asking questions later. Nevermind those bombs may have made the situation worse.

Mike Brown is a hoot. No one's attempted to pass that much blame since, well, Raffy P. You had to feel bad for Brownie. It's not often that the people who approved you unanimously for a position you weren't qualified for give you an "F-minus" for your work. He's one guy who could desperately use a cruise.

I hear there's three ships available.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

One More Little Detail

Remember that woman in Georgia who was taken hostage by the man who escaped from a courthouse and killed several people? Remember how she talked with him about her faith and got him to let her go and turn him into authorities? One little thing she didn't mention at the time....

She gave him some of her meth.

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PLUS: China Spies On Panda Sex
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Terror City

Baghdad, After Mission Accomplished

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PLUS: Bush's Response To Katrina Vs. Other Presidents' Hurricane Responses

And: Not Quite Sharks With Laser Beams, But Close
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Monday, September 26, 2005

Taking Advantage Of The Situation

From the Washington Post:

Louisiana's congressional delegation has requested $40 billion for Army Corps of Engineers projects in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, about 10 times the annual Corps budget for the entire nation, or 16 times the amount the Corps has said it would need to protect New Orleans from a Category 5 hurricane.

Louisiana Sens. David Vitter (R) and Mary Landrieu (D) tucked the request into their $250 billion Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief and Economic Recovery Act, the state's opening salvo in the scramble for federal dollars.

The bill, unveiled last week, would create a powerful "Pelican Commission" controlled by Louisiana residents that would decide which Corps projects to fund, and ordered the commission to consider several controversial navigation projects that have nothing to do with flood protection. The Corps section of the Louisiana bill, which was supported by the entire state delegation, was based on recommendations from a "working group" dominated by lobbyists for ports, shipping firms, energy companies and other corporate interests.

The bill would exempt any Corps projects approved by the commission from provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Water Act. It would also waive the usual Corps cost-sharing requirements, ensuring that federal taxpayers would pay every dime.
Not to mention:
It also includes hefty payments to hospitals, ports, banks, shipbuilders, fishermen and schools, as well as $8 million for alligator farms, $35 million for seafood industry marketing, and $25 million for a sugar-cane research laboratory that had not been completed before Katrina.
Of course, it also shouldn't suprise anyone that there was no competition for contracts to rebuild New Orleans. Those contracts went to corporations with ties to the Bush administration.

Nice to know that our leaders remain corrupt, even in times of tragedy.

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PLUS: A gripping example of when foreign policy goes wrong: Black Hawk Down
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