July 31, 2002



Image by Remember John at the BC Forum




TOURING BLOGISTAN
Thanks go out to Alex at Public Nuisance for the nice mention! Be sure to check him out - news, great commentary , and a dissection of Howie 'the whore' Kurtz's treatment of guests on his vanity tv program, Fawning for Bushie.



"Ohhhhh, Karl!!"


FUN STUFF
I always enjoy reading the Robert Ludlum books - the pomposity! the nazis! the unintentioned hilarity! So when I found The Robert Ludlum Title Generator over at The Ultimate Insult I was in 7th heaven.



YOU COULD BE MINE
Honors for the greatest metal album of all time have gone to Guns N' Roses!
The short-lived rock band's 1987 debut release, "Appetite For Destruction," took pole position in Spin magazine's top 40 list, ahead of works by pioneering bands such as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.

Led Zeppelin's untitled 1971 release, commonly known as "Led Zeppelin IV" or "Zoso" was second, followed by Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" (1971), Metallica's "Master of Puppets" (1986) and AC/DC's "Back in Black" (1980), Spin's editors decreed in the magazine's upcoming September issue.

"Appetite for Destruction," which includes such hits as "Welcome to the Jungle" and "Sweet Child O' Mine," has sold more than 15 million copies in the United States. Spin said it "sounds like Hollywood at 2 a.m., only genuine and dangerous and absolutely necessary." - (Yahoo news) God, I miss them.








GENERAL TURGIDSON, YOUR MINESHAFT IS READY
US and UK commanders are 'scratching their heads' to make sense of pReznit Dumbass's insistance in going to war against Iraq.

Military commanders on both sides of the Atlantic are privately expressing deep unease about Napoleon Bonehead's plans to invade Iraq, believing they are ill thought out with the strategy to achieve the ultimate objective - toppling Saddam Hussein - far from clear. It will be a "gargantuan task" which could spark off a conflagration across the Middle East, a European military official warned yesterday.

Yep, it's the "grownups" in Washington who are advocating war - the chickenhawks rather than the military. Clear splits have emerged between America's professional soldiers and the gung ho civilian leaders in the White House and the Pentagon.

In briefings calculated to query the administration's persistent sabre rattling towards Iraq, unnamed officers told the Washington Post that the policy of containment was working well and that the alternative, a military assault, was too riddled with risk to be worth pursuing. The officers even questioned the motivation behind the administration's preoccupation with ousting Saddam as part of a wider "war on terror". One general described as being "involved in the Afghanistan war" suggested it could be a matter of settling scores for the Bush family, after an alleged Iraqi plot to assassinate the president's father during a 1993 visit to Kuwait. "I'm not aware of any linkage to al-Qaida or terrorism," the general said, "so I have to wonder if this has something to do with his father being targeted by Saddam." - Snipped from The Guardian.


'BOMB SADDAM, SAVE THE GOP'
According to Scott Ritter, former U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq and twelve-year Marine Corps veteran, there is no justification, in terms of national security, international law or basic morality, to justify this coming war with Iraq. When asked pointedly what the mid-October scheduling of this conflict has to do with the midterm Congressional elections that will follow a few weeks later, he replied, simply, "Everything."

"This is not about the security of the United States," said this card-carrying Republican while pounding the lectern. "This is about domestic American politics. The national security of the United States of America has been hijacked by a handful of neo-conservatives who are using their position of authority to pursue their own ideologically-driven political ambitions. The day we go to war for that reason is the day we have failed collectively as a nation."

"The Bush administration has provided the American public with little more than rhetorically laced speculation," said Ritter. "There has been nothing in the way of substantive fact presented that makes the case that Iraq possesses these weapons or has links to international terror, that Iraq poses a threat to the United States of America worthy of war." - Read more of William Rivers Pitt here.



July 30, 2002


Yep, something blew up...Netscape is weird.




EXCELLENT!
Bugs Bunny, Homer Simpson, Beavis and Butthead are among the greatest cartoon characters ever.

According to the latest issue of TV Guide, Bugs Bunny is the greatest cartoon character of all time. Bugs is also the only character from the pre-television animated-short golden age to make the magazine's top 10.

He's followed by Homer Simpson, befuddled father on Fox's long-running "The Simpsons"; Rocky and Bullwinkle, the heroes of Jay Ward's parodistic cartoon series of the '50s and '60s; Beavis and Butt-head, Mike Judge's dopey MTV metalheads; and the Grinch, the Dr. Seuss character who just doesn't like Christmas until he's shown the error of his ways.

Also in the top 10: Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble of "The Flintstones," the first successful prime-time cartoon series; Angelica Pickles of "Rugrats"; Charlie Brown and Snoopy of "Peanuts"; SpongeBob SquarePants; and Cartman of "South Park."






I'm experimenting with a message board thingie - right now it may be at the very bottom of the page. Here's some info:

* Easy to use: just type your name and a message, then click on "Tag."
* Smilies - Tag-Board.com has 18 smilies.
* Any Email addresses or URLs that are posted will automatically be converted to links.
* Bold, Italics, Underline - Add some formatting to your posts with bold [b]...[/b], italics [i]...[/i], or underline [u]...[/u]. You can use more than one at a time as well.

Let's see how long it takes before something blows up.




'KIN AH GO NOW, UNCA KARL?'
Not content with huge backgrounds advertising the propaganda slogan-du-jour, Karl Rove went for a smaller version of the "Corporate Responsibility' backdrop to grace the little desk used for the 'presidential' signing of the business-fraud bill (pic is at yahoo news).

"It's a concern of mine to know that there are Americans who are still looking for a job and can't find one, and we need to do something about it," Bunnypants warbled. But, he added: "I'm going on a month-long vacation, so who gives a rat's ass right now?"




YUCK !
"The Smuckers people are coming out with Uncrustables, frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with the crusts cut off. Uncrustables sound like underwear for hookers." - Leno

In the new version of Insanaquarium, whenever Prego gives birth she makes a farty-sound. I'm enjoying this game!



BUSTED !!
It's been around on the internet, but now a newspaper is publishing The Chickenhawk Database.

The nation's oldest newspaper, the New Hampshire Gazette, has published what it calls "The Chickenhawk Database."

"A chickenhawk," the Gazette explains, "is a term often applied to public persons - generally male, who (1) tend to advocate, or are fervent supporters of those who advocate military solutions to political problems, and who have personally (2) declined to take advantage of a significant opportunity to serve in uniform during wartime."

The Gazette's chart lists name, employer, age, and conflict avoided, mostly Vietnam. Topping the list are George W. Bush, who was mostly AWOL in the Texas National Guard, and Dick "Chickensh!t" Cheney, who had "other priorities."

This isn't intended to reflect on men who didn't volunteer for Vietnam. Its significance is that those on the list who have never seen blood in battle or heard a shot fired in anger are in position to start a war.

The Gazette states, "The alleged 'gentlemen' on this database are here because they share three qualities: bellicosity (a warlike manner or temperament), public prominence and a curious lack of wartime service when others their age had no trouble finding the fight."

Whoa! Bwaaaahahahahaha!





COOL!
Insaniquarium is now a PopCap game! Maybe now I'll be able to run it at work!




THIS JUST IN: TRAFICANT SENTENCED
DINO rep and dead-muskrat-chapeau'd James Traficant has been sentenced to eight years in prison for accepting bribes and kickbacks.

U.S. District Judge Lesley Wells gave Traficant a longer sentence than prosecutors had asked for, saying he had no respect for the government and that he used lies to distract attention from the charges against him. Prosecutors had urged a sentence of at least 7 years.

She said he abused the public's trust, reduced public confidence in government, obstructed justice and took a leadership role in recruiting people to further his scheme. She also told Traficant, 61, that he believes he is above the law. Despite the sentence, Traficant is running for re-election as an independent in the redrawn 17th District in northeast Ohio. There oughta be a law....







DIGNITY, INTEGRITY, ACCOUNTABILITY, TRANSPARANCY
Last week, Vice President Dick "Chicanery" Cheney was spotted taking an unannounced tour of a Navy submarine off the coast of Florida. A few days later, he made an appearance at a medal ceremony for Korean War veterans in Washington – slipping in and out of the room in five minutes flat, kept from waiting reporters by a hastily drawn blue curtain.

Although Cheney continues to campaign for Republican candidates across the country, he's been greeted at recent events by protesters, and candidates have found themselves peppered with questions about the vice president's business dealings.

Cheney's office disputes the notion that he's been hiding from the press. "He's hiding from the American people and the whole known universe, if you ask me," said an anonymous staffer. "From anyone who isn't a dittospank bushmoonie, anyway." - Reprinted at smirkingchimp.com.




Ellen, have you seen the Litterbox Cam yet?! Plus there's cat haiku scrolling along the bottom!





THANK YOU, pREZNIT CLUELESS
Well duh.
Consumer confidence fell sharply in July to its lowest level in five months, undermined by a steep decline in stock prices and worries about jobs, a private research group reported Tuesday.

"The erosion in consumer confidence represents a significant deterioration in consumer attitudes" said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board's Consumer Research Center. "The continued decline in the value of stock market portfolios, coupled with ongoing reports of corporate scandals, have taken a toll on consumer confidence."

The report contributed to a decline on the stock market, which was already trading lower before the data was released Tuesday morning. In late morning trading the Dow Jones industrial average was down 150.09, or 1.7 percent, at 8,561.79. Investors were also taking profits after the Dow's 447-point gain the day before.

The outlook for jobs also soured, with 17.1 percent of consumers saying they expect fewer jobs to open up in the next six months, up from 14.3 percent. - From Yahoo news.

"Coincidentally, my retirement age is 104." - karla, at the Yahoo message board.




BUNNYPANTS' and ASHCROFT'S LOVE AFFAIR WITH TIPS
While the White House has noticeably lost its footing over the past couple of months with a series of setbacks and disappointments in the war on terror, the corporate scandals and subsequent stock market crash, this is so clearly a case of political suicide that it defies explanation.

It’s the sort of thing the voters remember. For Republican Congressmen, it’s a no-win situation, because if they support Putsch and vote for it, the voters will feed their carcasses to the crows. If they vote against it, the voters are likely to remember only that their party tried to enslave America, and the best they can hope for is that their base will stay home. Certainly fearless leader and his calico kitty won’t be of any use.

The last thing Republicans want to see is a big, messy debate in Congress over TIPS. They want to drive a stake through its heart and bury it under Richard Nixon and hope the voters dismiss it as just another damn-fool notion from that crackpot attorney general and that it doesn’t reflect on the party at all. - From Zepp's News and Commentaries.



TODAY IN HISTORY
1864: During the American Civil War, the Battle of the Crater occurred during the Union siege of Petersburg. Facing a Confederate artillery position, the 48th Pennsylvania regiment persuaded General Ulysses S. Grant to allow them to dig a tunnel and place explosives under the Confederate position. Many of these men were miners and were convinced that such an explosion would devastate the rebels. They succeeded in blasting a crater sixty feet wide in the Confederate line. After that, however, everything went wrong. Union solders rushed into the crater, but were disorganized and their commander was in the rear drinking rum. Many of the rank and file were among the first African-Americans to fight for the Union. Once in the crater they became easy targets for the Confederates, who surrounded them. Almost all of the Union soldiers were killed. The crater is still there.
1945: During World War II, the U.S.S. Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine; only 316 out of 1,196 men survived the sinking and shark-infested waters. "I'll never put on a lifevest again..."
1956: The United States motto "In God We Trust" was authorized.

- From The History Daily, via email, and Yahoo news.





New Link: Seeing The Forest, excellent political commentary and links to news that you'll probably never see on corporate-owned tv.




'THE ROADBLOCK'
Some thought-provoking, scary stuff from Carol Schiffler at YellowTimes.com:
"If you are reading this, it is because you are connected to the internet, one of the last bastions of free speech in this bogus war.

"Now if you are one of those unfortunate souls who are still getting the majority of your news from a Clear Channel radio station, let me clarify:

"The federal government is out of control. It is careening madly, like Buzz Lightyear gone bad, to Infinite Tyranny and beyond. If you think you still have rights, it is probably because you have not tried to exercise them recently. You have not yet uttered heresies like, 'Hey, wouldn't it be swell if Congress actually declared war on Iraq before we invaded it?' or 'Hang on just one second there Mister Ashcroft. I live in a sovereign state, remember?' or 'Say, shouldn't Dick Cheney be accountable for his actions?'

"George Bush now exercises absolute control over every man, woman, and child in this country. Right now; not at some unspecified time in the future when 'this thing' happens or 'that thing' happens. We hit that point flying when the PATRIOT Act passed."






The deer have been flocking to our yard like conservatives to a hate-radio talk show. It's been so hot 'n' humid that we haven't felt like clearing out the mess the tree guys left on Sunday, but the deer are enjoying it and are actually helping us out by feasting on all the leaves. We've had all sorts of visitors last couple of days - there was a beautiful huge red fox prowling around down there yesterday evening, and the BF saw the bear, sniffing around the veggie garden where the corn is just starting to form.

Ruh-roh.





And I though I was cranky: don't forget to check out this week's Top 10 Conservative Idiots at DU. It's a doozy! I never know whether to laugh or cry when I read them.




BFEE TO CREATE WORLDWIDE PROPAGANDA MINISTRY
The Warring Wonderchimp and his crooked yet clueless administration are intent on creating a permanent, fully staffed "Office of Global Communications" to coordinate Karl Rove's the administration's foreign policy message and supervise America's image abroad, according to senior officials.

The office, due to be up and running by fall, will allow the White House to exert more control over "public diplomacy." It will attempt to address the question the Ignorant Impotentate posed in his speech to Congress the week after the terrorist attacks: "Why do they hate us?" *

Headed by a yet-to-be-named "counselor to the president," the office would expand many of the responsibilities of the White House Coalition Information Center, which had booked many propaganda appearances in the Arab media after the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan began last fall. It was also responsible for laying out a uniform, daily message to high- and low-tech media outlets. It is that level of management, undertaken quickly and effectively across the administration, that the White House thinks it will be able to continue.

The new office is the brainchild of senior Bush adviser Karen 'Mommy' Hughes, architect of the administration's efforts to ensure a uniform message on domestic policy. Although Hughes returned to live in Texas early this month, officials said she will remain closely involved in the new operation. - From the Washington comPost.

*How much time do you have??




July 29, 2002


HARD AT WORK FOR AMURKA
The Boob of Kennebunkport "is scheduled to speak at a lunchtime fund-raiser at the North Charleston Convention Center today. Tickets are $500 a person for general admission to the lunch, $3,500 per couple for 'priority seating' and $5,000 for a lunch party of 10. Before the luncheon starts, there will be a private reception and photo opportunity with the president for donors willing to pay $10,000. About 1,000 people are expected to attend. Officials hope Bush's visit will raise more than $1 million." - From ABC Nooze.

For $25,000 you can get a stupid nickname. Questions regarding Kenny-Boy Lay, Harken, or Halliburton will not be permitted.


"Bush has listed the gifts he's received in office. The first one, of course, was the election." - Leno


"President Bush is taking a month-long vacation. He's the only one in the country who can afford a vacation at all. But his aides say he'll also be doing fund raising. Oh, then it's ok." - Letterman






TODAY IN HISTORY
1921: Adolf Hitler is selected to be the leader of the National Socialist Party.
1974: Mama Cass Elliot dies of a tragic sandwich overdose in London at age 32.
2001: There's a pretty good chance I was cranky.
- From rotten.com.


IN OTHER NEWS
White House: Timing of Iraq Invasion Depends on Several Factors
Dow Jones average, Harken leaks, baseball strike, among others.

U.S. Recruiting Americans to Act as Domestic Spies
Proceeding in accord with generally accepted police state practices.


HOW US FOREIGN POLICY IS MADE
Step 1: An international crisis is identified.

Step 2: A team of foreign policy experts with experience in the area is assembled at the State Department.

Step 3: The team gathers information and analysis from here and abroad, debates all policy options, and presents a comprehensive summary to the Secretary of State.

Step 4: The Secretary reviews the options, consults with the team, draws up a final draft and makes his recommendations.

Step 5: The draft is given to the President, who uses it to start a backyard barbecue. Then Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and a few pals from Halliburton decide to invade Iraq.

- From ironictimes.com.



NEW JACK-THE-RIPPER THEORY
Jack the Ripper was not a serial sexual killer but an occultist called Robert Donston Stephenson who terrorised London's East End while indulging in a sadistic form of Satanic worship. According to a new book that claims to prove conclusively the identity of the mass murderer, the Ripper's true motive was to kill four prostitutes as the occult decreed and, in so doing, profane the Christian cross.

Three new books speculating on the killer's identity will be published this autumn, while films, including last year's From Hell, starring Johnny Depp and Heather Graham, are based on the crimes. Patricia Cornwell, one of the world's most successful crime novelists, is working on a BBC Omnibus documentary that will conclude the killer was artist William Sickert. Her belief is based on his obsession with the subject - his depiction of what was believed to be the last murder led to speculation that he was the Ripper.

But in Jack the Ripper's Black Magic Rituals, author Ivor Edwards claims that despite being repeatedly overlooked by Ripperologists, Stephenson, alias Roslyn D'Onston, was the killer. 'Certain points in relation to these crimes have never been satisfactorily explained and, in fact, many have been ignored,' said Edwards, who has spent the past nine years investigating the murders.

'One avenue, which was never explored by the police of the day, mainly due to their ignorance, was occult ritual murder, including the doctrine that certain organs should be removed from murdered prostitutes, killed at pre-arranged sites, which were to be located at the four points of the compass.'

During his research Edwards realised that the victims were carefully laid facing north, east, south and west. 'How do you calculate the probability of finding four bodies randomly distributed in a city so that they form the precise points of a cross?' he asked.

He then did what no other researcher has done before: measure the distances from victim to victim and take compass bearings to discover if there was a pattern between the sites where the women were murdered. - Read more here.

The book From Hell, by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell, in comic form, was excellent. They put a good case together for the Ripper being William Gull, Physician to the Royal Family.



July 28, 2002


THE CRETIN OF CRAWFORD SYMBOLICALLY FLIPS OFF SUFFERING AMERICAN PUBLIC
While many of us little people are struggling to make ends meet, working overtime and throughout the weekends, Squinty the Boilfaced Bonghead gets a head-start on his upcoming month-long vacation.

The former governor of Texas, GW Bush, looked to sharpen his golf game today in advance of a long weekend in Maine, where he typically hits the links with his famously competitive father, Bush-the-only-slightly-smarter.

For the second day in a row, pReznit Dumbass was heading to the golf course, undaunted by a forecast of a 99 degree high and heavy humidity (they're on the Maine coast, for petessake - there'll be nice offshore breezes). Bunnypants also golfed Saturday with three Republican House members.

The Clueless Cowstalker starts a monthlong vacation Friday in Kennebunkport, Maine, returning to Washington briefly for his annual physical examination before going to his Texas pig farm, Compound W. - From the NY Times.






The tree guys are here today. :(




BILL CLINTON RIPS BUNNYPANTS A NEW CORNCHUTE
And the hypocritical, laughable response from the people who promised to bring accountability to the WH? "A typical Clinton response: Attack and politicize." How f*cking childish.

Former president Bill Clinton has chastised the Bush administration for suggesting he bears part of the blame for the corporate accounting scandals and said Hopalong Noodlehead made a mistake with his first-year Middle East policy.

Clinton, who made the remarks to WJLA-TV Channel 7 as he left a memorial service in Washington on Friday, breached the tradition recent presidents have maintained of refraining from criticizing their successors (though it's obviously OK for sitting "presidents" to criticize their predecessors).

Bush administration officials have suggested that corporate practices got out of hand under the Clinton administration's Securities and Exchange Commission.

"These people ran on responsibility, but as soon as you scratch them, they go straight to blame," Clinton said. "Now, you know, I didn't blame his father for Somalia when we had that awful day memorialized in 'Black Hawk Down.' I didn't do that."

Clinton said Republicans on Capitol Hill had impeded his proposals for protecting investors. Referring to Bush, Clinton said, "There was corporate malfeasance both before he took office and after. The difference is I actually tried to do something about it, and their party stopped it."

"I think it's a mistake for them to try and blame us for it, though, because we actually have a clear and unbroken record of trying to clear up a lot of these corporate abuses." - From the Washington comPost.

July 27, 2002

Well, CRAP, that was weird. Hold on...


Don't mind me, I'm testing to see how much I can screw up my html codes...


ONE OF THESE WOULD LOOK STUNNING IN THE FOYER
Thanks to my blogpal at 2 Odd Sites A Day, I found this: Chia Pubes. "In the beginning, there was Chia Pet, the houseplant & animal hybrid that took the world by storm! Then came Chia Head, the international sensation that brought the wonder of Chia to an artificial human scalp! Now, we bring you Chia Puberty - five enchanting Greco-Roman figurines guaranteed to fill your home with the magic of puberty!" LOLOL.







THIS WEEK IN HISTORY
941 AD: King Ethelred the Impaler is First to Count Neighbor's Serfs as Revenue -
Invents generally accepted accounting practices.

- From ironictimes.com.


WHY DOES ZEPP HATE AMERICA?
(For the finest in liberal/leftist commentary, go to Zepp's Commentaries.)
George is going on vacation, which means Wall Street can heave a sigh of relief. Their problems aren’t over, not by a long shot, but every time George gives a speech about how he’s going to solve the problems the market is having, the market drops like a butterfly in a flame thrower.

It’s got to be embarrassing, for those Republicans capable of embarrassment. Here they are, they are supposed to be the party that is friendly to big business and capitalism, and very supportive. Remember all the self-congratulatory caws from the White House about how now we had a guy in charge who was a CEO (really clawed his way up the corporate ladder to get there, you understand) and understood the needs of businessmen. “The adults have returned to Washington” was the refrain.

Now, Wall Street looks at George and says, “He’s one of us. We are SO screwed...”

Remember, George promised to run America like a business. It would be just our luck that this would be the one campaign promise that he kept. - Read more at link above.


WEIRD FIND AT IRON-AGE FORT
The most baffling settlement ever unearthed from iron age Britain was revealed by English Heritage archaeologists yesterday, inside a prehistoric fort on former marshes by the Humber estuary.

Eerily spick and span, the rows of rectangular wooden buildings have yielded an almost complete lack of artefacts, remains or even litter, apart from one macabre find - fragments of crushed human skulls.

Guarded by stone and wooden pallisade defences, the complex also had a ceremonial gateway, vast by the standards of 600-400BC when it was built by the largely farming tribes of what is now South Yorkshire.

"It is extraordinary, like a kind of ghost village which can scarcely ever have been inhabited," said Robert Van der Noort, of Exeter University, whose students are excavating the site at Askern, near Doncaster, with a team from Hull University's archaeology department.

The £200,000 dig at Askern, a former pit village, has also established that the defences form the biggest marshland fort in Britain. Henry Chapman, of Hull University, said: "The building techniques and architecture of the ramparts closely resemble those of early iron age hill forts. But there are no hills here, so the impassable wetlands were used instead, to create an impregnable site."

Whether the silent, scrubbed central buildings were quiet religious shrines, or something more sinister, may be established by further trenches due to slice through the flat, formerly agricultural turf. David Miles, chief archaeologist of English Heritage, said: "We will fund further excavations next year with the aim of resolving the enigma of this site." - Read more here.



EXHIBITION OF ELIZABETHAN OBJECTS TO OPEN
The secret which Elizabeth I carried to her deathbed is finally to be publicly revealed, after 400 years. The beautiful diamond ruby gold and mother of pearl ring, taken from her body in 1603, and unveiled yesterday at the National Maritime Museum, will go on public display for the first time next year in an exhibition at the museum - built on the south London site of Greenwich Palace, where she was born.

Her diamond initial concealed a secret compartment with a portrait of her mother Anne Boleyn, who lost the king's love and her own head when Elizabeth was just two. The little girl would later be declared a bastard by her brother Edward, then jailed and threatened with execution by her sister Mary, as each in turn ascended the shaky Tudor throne.

According to legend, the ring was taken from her finger when she died at her palace at Richmond upon Thames, south-west London, in 1603, by Robert Carey. He then rode non-stop, reaching the Scottish border in three days, to bring the news to James VI of Scotland that he was now James I of England.

The ring is now part of the collection at Chequers, the country mansion reserved for the use of the prime minister of the day, and has never before been loaned. - More at The Guardian.








I just can't seem to wake up today. The cats had a pretty active night last night, and when they weren't chasing each other around the house, Egon would attach himself like a limpet to my neck. I'd pry him off but he'd come right back, and if I fell asleep for a second he'd be at my eyelids, leaving a trail of drool dripping down my face. He's downstairs sleeping now, and I'm on my 4th cup of coffee.


A big thank you to skippy for the nice mention on his site! And while some of my links may have been posted elsewhere, they're ones that have either caught my imagination or have really pissed me off, or they're things you'd never know about if you rely on CNN or Faux for news. Plus it's rough to do punditry when you've been banned from the internet at work!





July 26, 2002



THE SECRETS OF ROSLYN CHAPEL
Some of the greatest artefacts in archaeological folklore are said to exist under Rosslyn Chapel, the ancient home of the Knights Templar in the village of Roslin near Edinburgh. If speculation is to believed, its musty, undisturbed vaults may contain fantastic holy relics, including early gospels, the Ark of the Covenant, the Stone of Destiny, even the mummified head of Christ.

Now, in an attempt to end the speculation, and to throw further light on exactly what lies beneath the historic chapel, the Rosslyn Chapel Trust is seeking the opinion of Historic Scotland to allow a team of archaeologists access to conduct a sophisticated non-invasive survey of its vaults.

The foundations of the nave are said to have excavated in the 19th century and found to extend 91 feet beyond the chapel's original west door, under the existing baptistery and churchyard.

In 1962, an Edinburgh schoolmaster claimed that the Holy Grail was hidden in the Apprentice Pillar. He believed it contained a lead casket, containing the legendary cup used by Christ at the Last Supper and later used to collect His blood.

The Hiram Key, a book published in 1996, and its sequel The Second Messiah argued that the Apprentice Pillar concealed holy manuscripts as well as the Holy Grail. Its authors said there were credible grounds for suggesting Rosslyn was built as a shrine for the holy scrolls. - Read more here.



BAD BOYS, BAD BOYS, WHATCHA GONNA DO...
The legal group that's made a name for itself by filing numerous lawsuits against the nation's leaders is having trouble serving its latest complaint against Dick "Chickensh!t" Cheney, one of the people who promised to bring 'accountability" to the White House.

Judicial Watch says a process server was threatened with arrest when he went to the White House on Monday, July 22, to deliver a copy of the legal complaint against Dick Cheney on behalf of Halliburton shareholders. Judicial Watch accuses Cheney, the former chairman of Halliburton, of overstating company revenues. The Securities and Exchange Commission announced it is investigating how Halliburton accounted for cost overruns on construction jobs.

According to Judicial Watch, a White House security officer refused to accept any papers for the vice president. The process server said he was told he would be arrested if he simply dropped the federal court summons and complaint on the ground and left.

Judicial Watch notes it is a crime to interfere with the "service of process." - Via email.





A COUPLE OF GOOD REVIEWS FOR 'GOLDMEMBER'
here and here. Does Shirley Bassey sing the title song, though?


WILL THEY PROTECT ME FROM BLACK HELICOPTERS?
Cute, cuddly, fleece-covered alpacas don't quite fit the image of a snarling guard dog - but Australian sheep farmers are finding the llama-like creatures to be the perfect weapon against foxes. Bob Richardson, vice president of the Australian Alpaca Association, said on Thursday that in the past year the miniature camels from the high Andes have developed a reputation as highly protective sheep guardians and sales are taking off.

"They race at it and scream at it and the fox is not used to animals attacking it of course and generally speaking the foxes disappear." It is not known how many of Australia's 35,000-strong alpaca herd -- the largest outside Peru and Chile -- are patrolling the island continent's grazing lands. But alpaca breeder Geoff Fysh from Gidgegannup in Western Australia said that he had sold around 200 in the past two years, most as sheep, goat or even geese guardians.

Male alpacas can develop so-called "fighting" incisor teeth designed to castrate their opponents. But Fysh said that only weathered, or castrated, alpacas, which do not tend to grow the teeth, were suitable for protecting sheep. They also need to be at least two years old, "a few life experiences under their belt, a bit more streetwise," Fysh said. The alpacas bond easily with sheep and are extremely protective, often sacrificing themselves to save their charges.

When they sight danger, alpacas emit an ear-piercing shriek that alerts the sheep and also the farmer. They then tend to try and corner the attacker. "Usually a fox is too quick and will get over a fence...but there are a handful of anecdotes of alpacas actually catching up with a fox and they ill kill them if they get a chance," said Fysh.
"That's usually by trampling on them with their front feet which would be a pretty slow death...they don't have a hoof or anything," he added. - From Yahoo News.








OPERATION TIPS ISSUES HANDY HOME-SPYING CHECKLIST
Saying that “now is the time for all good Americans to snoop on their neighbors,” Attorney General John Ashcroft today unveiled what he called a “helpful home-spying checklist” as part of the Justice Department’s Operation TIPS (Terrorism Information and Prevention System):

1. Go through your neighbor’s garbage, looking for suspicious foreign food containers. Good foreign food: pizza, chop suey, fish and chips. Bad foreign food: everything else. Hard to tell: French food.

2. Put on a fake moustache and wig, ring your neighbor’s doorbell, and tell him that you are collecting signatures for a petition to insert the words “under God” into “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.” If he refuses, contact the Department of Justice immediately.

3. When your neighbor isn’t looking, attach a miniature Geiger counter to his poodle. When the dog runs into the house, put your ear against the door and wait for that distinctive ticking sound.

4. Get outfitted in scuba gear and hide at the bottom of your neighbor’s pool. When your neighbor dives in, check to see if he is merely swimming for recreation or practicing for a scuba-based terror attack on the Eastern seaboard.

5. Shimmy up your neighbor’s rain gutter and peep through his bedroom window to see what he’s watching on TV. If he is desperately channel surfing to avoid seeing Ann Coulter again, contact the DOJ.

6. Impersonate a postal employee and wait behind the service window of your local post office. When your neighbor arrives with a package, nonchalantly say, “Shipping any hummus today?”

7. Repeat steps one through six, only this time, perform them on yourself. You’ve been acting awfully fishy lately.

- Andy Borowitz, in Bushwatch.


'ABUSING THE PUBLIC INTEREST'
"Let me get this straight. Last week, while standing in front of a specially prepared backdrop with the words 'Corporate Responsibility' plastered all over it, President George W. Bush told Wall Street he is outraged by the kind of corporate malfeasance that is now causing the stock market to tank. Then Monday, standing in front of a special backdrop that said 'Strengthening our Economy,' he promised to crack down on corporate greed.
"Greed, eh? Corporate responsibility, eh? How about cashing in on family influence, insider trading, running with con men, and stealing the taxpayers blind? Can you write all that on a fancy backdrop, George?

"What is he going to do? Put his entire family and most of his friends in jail?" - Read more of Joyce Marcel at the American Reporter.



'NO CLOTHES, NO BRAIN, NO MORALS'
"I've never been one to say 'I told you so,' but in this case I can't help it. As a matter of fact, over 50 million Americans spoke up on November 7, 2000, and said the same thing I've been saying: George W. Bush is unfit to be President of the United States. And now, finally, the people, the press, and even the businesses that supported Bush are realizing what the rest of us knew all along—that shoehorning an incompetent moron into the oval office wasn't such a good idea after all.

"Way back in the campaign, in the early days of 2000, we heard the press telling us how 'likable' George W. Bush was, as opposed to 'stiff' and 'uptight' Al Gore. Nothing I have seen of Bush, from the early days of his campaign up until now, has suggested anything 'likeable' about him. He comes off as an uninformed, ignorant child who has lived his entire life with a silver spoon in his mouth, and that might be the nicest thing I can say. But the press kept telling us how 'down to earth' he was. So they said.

"At this point, I don't think George W. Bush's performance as president can be rated against anyone else's; there just isn't another case of such breathtaking incompetence to compare it to. He has managed to take a country that was in fine shape, maybe the best shape it's been in decades, and drive it into the ground in 18 short months. Under Clinton we had peace, prosperity, unprecedented growth, and some sense of security. Under Bush we have had horrific terrorist strikes, war without end, curtailed civil rights, skyrocketing unemployment, recession, federal deficits instead of surpluses, and a stock market that has lost more than a third of it's value since Bush's ascension to the Oval Office." - And I thought I was cranky. Read more of Frederick H. Winterberg here.



'HITLER YOUTH' GROUP FORMED?
What color are their uniforms? Billed as one of the nation's first "homeland security training summer camps for teenagers," a program called Secure Corps in Bucks County, PA is drilling 92 young men and women in "essential skills" to help fight any vile evildoers that may be climbing into cropdusters that don't belong to you in order to unleash anthrax-laced "You may already be a winner!" letters to unsuspecting liberals.

The idea was born in mid-September, when millions of Americans were itching to take up arms ('itching to take up arms'????), but had little idea where to begin. In Bucks County, teenagers were calling the offices of county government, wondering how they could join the ranks of police, fire and emergency personnel. So the county created Secure Corps. When the eight-week program ends Aug. 23, graduates will be certified in first aid, CPR (both human and animal), and what organizers call "terrorism response."

Each corps must contact real government agencies to develop response strategies, and present their findings at an Aug. 22 session to which Tom Ridge, Reichsmarshall of the Office of Homeland Security, has been invited.

- What? Am I overreacting? Secret military tribunals, the USA Patriot Act, bringing back posse comatose (thanks, skippy!), the TIPS program, and now this - those Parisian catacombs are looking better and better.







Now I've done it. The other night I watched a SNL rerun with Ricky Martin as the musical guest, and I've had She Bangs playing in my head ever since.


HE LIED! IMPEACH HIM!
Chimpy the Red-nosed Boozer played an active role in Harken Energy Corp's business decisions and consulted with the head of the company shortly before a controversial 1989 transaction which drew scrutiny from the SEC, documents released on Thursday show.

According to a June 15, 1989 letter from Harken President Mikel Faulkner, obtained by the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity, Bunnypants frequently advised Harken management on "organizational and strategic matters."

In the letter, Faulkner praised the Drooling Sockpuppet for "the positive image you have helped create regarding Harken Energy Corporation, the intuitive analysis you have provided on our various acquisitions, operating decisions at the board level and the personal suggestions and ideas you have shared with me over the past two years on a CEO to CEO basis."

"I consider the role which you play at Harken Energy Corporation to be a very meaningful and significant role and look forward to a continuing relationship," Faulkner said in his letter to the Crook of Crawford.

Documents show the two met just two weeks before Harken's controversial sale in 1989 of its Aloha Petroleum subsidiary, a transaction which critics have compared to the accounting irregularities at bankrupt energy trader Enron Corp. - Well, well, well. Go figure. I may have to take back all my comments disparaging him for being an utter bonehead. Nah. From Reuters.



July 25, 2002


WORD!
This nation has come a long way from its origins, 226 years ago today, when our rights were being violated by an unelected, mentally deficient, hereditary dictator named George.

Fly your flags proudly!

- - found in my email box just now



HONOR, INTEGRITUDE, FREE PARKING
At a time when the Pentagon is starving for money, retiring Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-Decomposing) has quietly secured a hefty $8 million for the construction of a new parking garage at an Army medical center.

But there's a new twist to the traditional game of pork-barrel politics: rather than steer the cash to South Carolina, Thurmond has dished the dough out to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in D.C., where the 99-year-old Senator lives because of ill health.

Thurmond's amendment, which was slipped into the Defense authorization bill last month, has rankled Hill staffers who say it's extremely difficult these days to secure military projects in their home states because the limited resources are supposed to be going to help the nation fight the war on terrorism. The amendment to the bill, which is awaiting conference committee action, decrees that the money for the parking garage be offset "with a reduction in operation and maintenance for the Army in amounts available for Base Operations Support (Servicewide Support)." - From Roll Call.




TODAY IN HISTORY
1917: Margaret Zelle, also known as Mata Hari, is found guilty of spying and is sentenced to death. There is no actual evidence that she is a spy.
1956: 51 people died when the Italian liner Andrea Doria sank after colliding with the Swedish ship Stockholm off the New England coast.


NOOZE FROM THE BUSHMOONIE HOMEWORLD
According to noozemax, James Traficant, who was convicted on 10 counts of bribery, tax evasion and racketeering in a federal prosecution this past April, was expelled from the House of Representatives not because he broke the law, but because of - you guessed it - Janet Reno and Bill Clinton.






Hey, it's Ari!



CHIMPY McDUMBASS'S NURSEMAIDS JUST DON'T GET IT
Responding to criticism from Republicans in Congress and nationwide that pResident Evil has not acted aggressively enough against corporate corruption, White House officials moved on several fronts today to demonstrate they're serious, goldarnit, before Bunnypants skips off to Rancho Boguso for a one-month vacation.

First, they took credit for the arrest of executives charged with looting one of the nation's largest cable television companies (What, like Ari 'the Liar" Fleischer charged into the boardroom a la Elliot Ness, waving a .45?). They told Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill to cancel yet another trip out of the country and focus on the domestic economy, dammit. And while they insisted that Reznit Clueless was not changing any of his plans to visit 12 cities in August from his Texas pig farm, White House officials said they expected him to stress economic security as frequently as national security and said they were still examining what themes he would strike. Maybe the poor cows at the Lazy W will have some thoughts on the matter.

The maneuvering appears to reflect a deepening anxiety within the White House and the Republican Party that candidates seeking election in November could be in peril in the wake of accusations that the party is too close to big business.

Never mind the fact that taking an entire month off while people are so jittery over the stock market, while we're 'at war', while the anthrax killer is still at large, while a lot of people are now having to face putting off their retirement while CEO crooks are still free to build their $35 million mansions seems a bit insensitive. And while Ari says Bunnypants will be 'commenting on the economy' on his little tour, he'll actually be campaigning and fundraising for repug candidates. - Snipped from the NY Times.



QUOTE:
"He is a lifelong beneficiary of crony capitalism, as were his father and grandfather before him. He has no quarrel with that system and is blind to its defects. He cannot raise his hand against what Teddy Roosevelt called the 'malefactors of great wealth,' because they’re his backers, his colleagues, his friends and his family." - From "Bush’s Tangled Past Is Relevant Today" by Joe Conason, at the NY Observer.



HAVE SOME CHEESE WITH THAT WHINE
Key Senate Democrats are weighing hearings on the past business dealings of Laura's Little Liar and Dick 'Chicanery' Cheney unless they are more forthcoming about their roles as executives of two Texas-based corporations.

Sens. Joseph Lieberman (Conn.) and Carl Levin (Mich.), the two top ranking Democrats on the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, say they want more information on Bunnypants' questionable activities as a director of Harken Energy Corp. and Cheney’s highly paid position as chief executive of Halliburton Co.

Sen. Levin, who chairs the Government Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, said if Emperor Snippy and Bunker Boy Cheney do not make public documents that shed light on their private-sector activities, Congress might have to step in.

“I think they need to turn over all the documents that relate to the issue,” Levin said. If they do not, he said: “It seems to me there is a potential, at least for Halliburton, of possible hearings.” However, Levin said he would not make a final decision until after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has had more time to probe the company (The SEC launched an "investigation" of Halliburton in May).

Congressional hearings that deal with the prior business activities of a sitting president and vice president are extremely rare. However, the Republican led Senate-conducted extensive hearings on President and Mrs. Clinton’s business dealings, known as Whitewater.

Repugs are already foaming at the mouth: Tom DeLay (R-Insane) denounced Democrats on Wednesday for practicing "the politics of economic destruction." Oh, there's a good one. Nice soundbite, you miserable, hypocritical weasel. Boo-f*cking-hoo. - From here and here.



"I'M GOING ON VACATION - LOSERS!!"
The Moron of Midland and his top handlers have decided to take a page from the Vietnam War era in their handling of the current stock market turmoil and economic jitters: they declared victory and went home.

In interviews Wednesday, senior administration officials made clear the White House thinks it has done all it can - and should - to calm the markets and buoy the economy. All that's left is to convince people the results are a victory, something Bunnypants' economic team fanned out to do in a burst of speeches, interviews and TV appearances.

However, in arguing, in effect, that the steps he has already taken are enough, Squinty McSquirtypants runs the risk of appearing to be headed down the same path as his father, whose popularity after the Persian Gulf War vanished when the economy soured in the early 1990s, leaving him vulnerable to political attack by Bill Clinton. - Snipped from Peter G. Gosselin's column in the Los Angeles Times. That plus lots more good stuff here .



July 24, 2002


"President Bush will be away from the White House for a month. His parents are dropping him off at summer camp." - Leno







BUK BUK BUK! CHICKENSH!T CHENEY HIDES FROM PRESS, AMERICAN PUBLIC
Dick 'Bunker Boy' Cheney made a secret trip to Florida yesterday, taking a ride on a Navy submarine to "watch a rocket test."

'Chicanery' arrived late Monday from Montgomery, Ala., and wasn't expected to make any public appearances, said a spokeswoman for the vice president. She said the visit did not involve any personal reasons such as campaign stops or fund-raisers - you know, anyplace where he might have to answer questions or face skeptical, possibly furious investors.

Cheney left Port Canaveral at about 7:45 a.m. Tuesday on the nuclear submarine USS Wyoming to watch a rocket launch. His exact itinerary was not released for security reasons, the White House press office said. Security from whom? The pissed-off public? From the Miami Herald.

And from the NY Daily Nooze: Cheney isn't exactly disappearing - he has several events each week and a heavy schedule of campaigning for GOP candidates. But as for media appearances and the Sunday talk show circuit, a second source said he's becoming invisible: "He's not going to be doing anything for a while."

His handlers have alerted local Republican organizers that 'Big Time' won't be holding any "press avails" and have instructed his advance staff to make sure his movements don't bring him near the media. Yeah, why should he have to answer to the American people for anything, for petessake...



skippy, I tried to leave comments on your site twice last night but for some reason it didn't pick them up.


OH, SO NOW YOU HAVE A PROBLEM??!
Many religious conservatives who were most instrumental in pressing pReznit Poopypants to appoint Jesus John Ashcroft as attorney general now say they have become deeply troubled by his actions as the leading public figure in the law enforcement drive against terrorism.

Their dismay comes as several Bush advisers have begun complaining that Mr. Ashcroft, with his lifelong politician's fondness for attention, has projected himself too often and too forcefully. More significantly, they say privately that he seems to be overstating the evidence of terrorist threats. Most striking, however, is how some conservatives who were Mr. Ashcroft's biggest promoters have lost enthusiasm. They cite his anti-terrorist positions as enhancing the kind of government power that they instinctively oppose. "His religious base is now quite troubled by what he's done," said Grover "the Gerbil" Norquist, conservative strategist.

Ken Connor, the president of the Family Research Council, said that while he still applauded Mr. Ashcroft's stands on abortion and child pornography, he and many other religious leaders were dismayed by the changes instituted at the Justice Department. Beyond the conservatives' concerns, some White House advisers say Mr. Ashcroft and his two closest aides have behaved as if his personal political standing was a central priority. Well, duh. Idiots. Read the whole thing in The NY Times. And release the calico cats!



Interesting article: 'How Your Tax Dollars Are Helping To Reelect The President's Brother' - at TNR.



QUOTE OF THE DAY!
"Earth to Clinton-haters, come in please: Bill Clinton is not – I repeat, not – the president of the United States any longer. This is your man in the Oval Office now, and while he might not have gotten any blowjobs from interns, he certainly seems to have gotten quite a few from oil company executives at Harken Energy and elsewhere. And Cheney – well, it seems he may have gotten blowjobs, handjobs, every-kind-of-job from Halliburton..." - Michelangelo Signorile at the NY Press.



MESSAGE: I CARE
ARGONNE, Ill. -- Bunnypants expressed sympathy for the little people who are suffering financially, in what his nursemaids say is an effort to avoid one of the mistakes of his father, the elected, only slightly less clueless President George H.W. Bush. For instance, pResident Dumbass said his biggest concern about Sunday's record bankruptcy filing by WorldCom Inc. is the effect on the employees. "I worry that people will lose work," he said.*

Daddy's Widdle Doofus had come to Illinois to give a speech** about homeland security, to remind the public that hey, there's a war on! the evildoers are still out there! your swarthy neighbor could be getting into a strange cropduster at this very moment! I'm the commander-in-chief, dammit! the economy is not the only pressing issue facing the country. He spoke nearly two hours, while the Wall Street trading session numbers headed decisively downward, closing off 234.68 points. - From the Washington comPost.

*What a guy! And did I mention that now I won't be able to retire until I'm 78? If my job doesn't disappear, that is.
**Did anyone happen catch what the backgound-slogan-du-jour was? It wasn't something like "Lying to the American People", was it?!








Unca Dick's weekend bunker



25 RULES FOR BEING A REPUBLICAN
by gop_r_greedy_odious_pigs, at the Yahoo message boards:

1) You have to believe that the nation's recent, and sorrowfully-missed 8-year prosperity was due to the work of Ronald Reagan and George Bush, but that yesterday's gas prices are all Clinton's fault.
2) You have to believe that those privileged from birth achieve success all on their own.
3) You have to be against government programs, but expect Social Security and farm subsidy checks on time.
4) You have to believe that government should stay out of people's lives, yet you want government to ban same-sex marriages and determine what your official language should be.
5) You have to believe that pollution is ok, so long as it makes a profit.
6) You have to believe in prayer in schools, as long as you don't pray to Allah or Buddha.
7) You have to believe that only your own teenagers are still virgins.
8) You have to believe that a woman cannot be trusted with decisions about her own body, but that large multinational corporations should have no regulation or interference whatsoever.
9) You believe Jesus loves you, and by the way, Jesus shares your hatred of AIDS victims, homosexuals, and President Clinton.
10) You have to believe that society is colorblind and growing up black in America doesn't diminish your opportunities, but you still won't vote for Alan Keyes.
11) You have to believe that it was wise to allow Ken Starr to spend $50 million dollars to attack Clinton because no other U.S. presidents have ever been unfaithful to their wives.
12) You have to believe that a waiting period for purchasing a handgun is bad because quick access to a new firearm is an important concern for all Americans.
13) You have to believe it is wise to keep condoms out of schools, because we all know if teenagers don't have condoms they won't have sex.
14) You have to believe that the ACLU is bad because they defend the Constitution, while the NRA is good because they defend the Constitution.
15) You have to believe that socialism hasn't worked anywhere, and that Europe doesn't exist.
16) You have to believe the AIDS virus is not important enough to deserve federal funding proportionate to the resulting death rate and that the public doesn't need to be educated about it, because if we just ignore it, it will go away.
17) You have to believe that biology teachers are corrupting the morals of 6th graders if they teach them the basics of human sexuality, but the Bible, which is full of sex and violence, is good reading.
18) You have to believe that Chinese communist missiles have killed more Americans than handguns, alcohol, and tobacco.
19) You have to believe that even though governments have supported the arts for 5000 years and that most of the great works of Renaissance art were paid for by governments, our government should shun any such support. After all, the rich can afford to buy their own and the poor don't need any.
20) You have to believe that the lumber from the last one percent of old-growth U.S. forests is well worth the destruction of those forests and the extinction of the several species of plants and animals therein.
21) You have to believe that we should forgive and pray for Newt Gingrich, Henry Hyde, and Bob Livingston for their marital infidelities, but that bastard Clinton should have been convicted.
22) You have to believe that 50,456,169 is more than 50,996,116.
23) You have to believe that “having a mandate” is defined as “losing the popular vote.”
24) You have to believe a woman should be “pretty and in her place,” unless she is a rightwing spokesperson or radio advice show hostess, in which case she should be “petty and in your face.”
25) You have to believe that even though you attack scientists and the “intellectual elite” as godless, and try to prevent their discoveries and theories from being discussed in the public schools, you should take advantage of their labors to extend your life and improve its quality.




July 23, 2002


'EXPECT A WAR SOON'
"I believe people have taken a step back and asked, 'What's important in life?' " said the 'president' two weeks ago in Minneapolis. "You know, the bottom line and this corporate America stuff - is that important? Or is serving your neighbor, loving your neighbor like you'd like to be loved yourself?"

"...should we really expect more from men who never had to take out the garbage, let alone worry about paying the mortgage? Men for whom the making of money was a game without real risk or purpose? Enron, WorldCom, Global Crossing? Heck, what's the big deal? When a big corporation goes under, those with connections get tipped off long before Joe Shmoe and his pet portfolio. If a Bush loses liquidity, friends will come running, checkbooks open, as they did for George W. to pay for his string of failed Texas investments. Besides, the family trust fund is where the 'real' money is kept

"The Bushes are, as a matter of breeding, terminally irresponsible. And while being a loose cannon can sometimes be useful in making war, it is stability and pragmatism that breed prosperity." - Read more of Robert Scheer here.



"The Securities and Exchange Commission is going to start investigating Dick Cheney - as soon as Congress finishes investigating the Securities and Exchange Commission." - Letterman





WILL THE DEMS FINALLY TAKE OFF THEIR PINK TUTUS?*
"...These bullheaded good old boys prate about patriotism but see no problem with moving corporate headquarters offshore to avoid taxes. They prate about fiscal responsibility yet guarantee vast deficits by protecting billionaires from inheritance and other taxes. They declare war on terrorism yet arrange buddy-buddy deals with the same Saudi ruling caste that turned a calculated blind eye to Al Qaeda and America-hating madrasas. They talk ''under God" but they walk under oil. Is the pattern not obvious? These are the leaders who are going to lead America out of grave trouble?" - From 'Connecting the Dots', an LA Times editorial.

*Ha ha ha ha ha. As long as the media whores keep telling them that "62%" is a "soaring" number for a presidential approval poll, my guess is NOT. Pussies.









I used to love thunderstorms: the energy in the air, the way everything seemed to turn green, the sound of the thunder. Nobody told us when we bought our house that we were moving into Lightning Lane. Last year our wellhead was hit and it took out most of the power/appliances in the house. A few weeks ago something in the yard was struck and we lost the furnace. Last week one of the neighbors got hit and he's had all sorts of repair vans in his driveway. The guy next door was hit two years ago. We're supposed to get strong thunderstorms this evening, and my twitch is back.

Our previous house was in Tornado Alley. Before we moved in a twister had taken out most of the trees in what would be our yard - a fluke, you figure, right? Puh. We had three tornados in the nine years we were there, all during thunderstorms in the middle of the night. We'd wake up to the sound of freight trains barrelling through and trees cracking. Except for a few locust trees that had been trimmed like show poodles by the earlier tornado, our yard was pretty empty, but people around us lost some real beauts. This is NJ, for petessake - you just don't expect tornados to become a habit around here!

Egon is still giving me hickeys. I woke up last night to find him draped across my head and latched onto my neck like a remora, suckling and doing that kneading thing with his paws. I'd pry him off me, only to have him return, like the Terminator. At least he's leaving my eyelids alone now - it took almost a week for the swellings to go down.





'FORBIDDEN TRUTH' and THE PATHETIC LAPDOG MEDIA
"To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, 'Journalists who would give up some credibility for a little government access deserve neither.' Too many members of the Washington press corps have become nothing more than toadies for the current administration. While every administration can be expected to have its fair share of loyalists penning favorable pieces on the news, editorial, and op-ed pages, what is amazing in the current environment is the lemming-like rush by a number of heretofore liberal and progressive reporters to support the Bush II administration's extreme right-wing policies. These modern day quislings in the media even provide the White House with helpful cover from investigations by more independent-minded journalists.

"Such has certainly been the case with the recent publication in English of "Forbidden Truth: U.S.-Taliban, Secret Oil Diplomacy, Saudi Arabia, and the Failed Search for Bin Laden." Written by French journalists Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, the book's first French language publication in Europe caused a major furor. Brisard and Dasquie provide concrete evidence how this same self-serving approach to business permitted the Taliban to negotiate with senior members of the Bush administration on a lucrative pipeline deal just weeks prior to the al Qaeda terrorists slamming commercial jetliners into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon.

"....once again, the Bushes are up to their asses with corruption and questionable business partners and acquaintances. "Forbidden Truth" highlights some of these. But it is only a start. But the Washington-based sell outs in the Fourth Estate cannot be counted on to expose the rest of the Bush dirty business deals. And they extend far and wide: The Caryle Group and Barrick Gold, on whose boards Daddy Bush serves -- the first company does business with the Bin Laden Group while the second is involved with questionable CIA-backed regimes in Africa; Scowcroft Associates, headed by Daddy Bush's National Security Adviser and Dubya's Chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board -- it is involved with shady deals from the privatization of South Africa's state-owned telecommunications company to the CentGas deal; JNB International, an oil firm that along with Enron used Bush influence to get oil and gas contracts in Argentina; M&W Pump and its partner Bush-El, Florida firms that used Jeb Bush to intercede with it in military-ruled Nigeria in 1989; and the list goes on and on." - Snipped from Wayne Madsen's column, reprinted here.






July 22, 2002


Don't forget to check out this week's Top 10 Conservative Idiots at Democratic Underground!





TODAY IN HISTORY
1376: The Pied Piper of Hamelin makes off with the town's rats and children.
1587: Roanoke, the colony founded by Sir Walter Raleigh, is found to be missing.
1934: John Dillinger is killed by the FBI at the Biograph Cinema in Chicago. After seeing this picture, many people came to believe that he possessed an enormous schlong. Actually, it is his arm in rigor mortis. - Thanks to rotten.com.








THEY NEVER FALL ON CRAWFORD...
MERNA, Neb. (AP) - A mysterious mile-wide dent in the earth has generated a debate among scientists about whether the depression was the catastrophic creation of a meteorite, or the patient work of Mother Nature. Wakefield Dort Jr. - yes, that really is his name - a retired University of Kansas geology professor, will make his case for the crater's unearthly origin at the annual Meteoritical Society meeting in Los Angeles on Tuesday. According to Dort's theory, the depression was formed by the impact of a large meteorite that packed an explosion with the force of several hydrogen bombs between 3,000 and 500 years ago.

Dort began studying the site in 1991 after he and some colleagues discovered the unusual dent on a topographic map - a nearly perfectly round formation smack dab in the middle of Nebraska. Dort has collected samples from the site and claims he found thousands of minute black magnetic particles not native to Nebraska. He also notes that Pawnee Indian legend tells of a "thundering cloud" that appeared over the area "leaving behind children of black stone." Dort's team also found a layer of crushed glass about three feet below the surface with a pocket of gray soil underneath. - From Yahoo News.



GIANT SQUID FOUND
And it's not dick Cheney. A giant squid that washed up on an Australian beach could be a previously unknown species, scientists said today. The 550-pound creature was found dead Saturday on a beach in Hobart in Tasmania state and was transported Monday to the Tasmanian Museum. Experts were studying its unusual characteristics, which include long, thin flaps of muscle attached to each of its eight arms.

"What we've seen on this animal we haven't seen on other squid, and it's a significant feature," said zoologist David Pemberton. "It's basically like having a pile of muscles on your own body that nobody else has ... and I think it will rewrite the taxonomy." The squid had lost its two tentacles, which Pemberton said would have been about 50 feet long. - From Yahoo News.



WHAT, NO 'TALES FROM TOPOGRAPHIC OCEANS'?
The "One Hundred Albums You Should Remove from Your Collection Immediately" list practically decimates my music library. See how your's fares at Jaguaro.

Selections include Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti: "The primary inspiration for This Is Spinal Tap, and that's not a compliment. All the years of Quaaludes and teenage groupies culminated in this plodding, faux-blues double LP. The moronic 'Kashmir' is ten minutes of pure torture and is symbolic of the entire affair" and The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band: "Nearly killing rock and roll in the name of 'psychedelia' by adding strings and excessive
production. You pretentious Limeys, Sinatra had been doing the same thing for years!!"






FUN STUFF
Don't know what to call your new band? Need a name for a song you just wrote? A backdrop slogan for Chimpy's next speech? Check out the Metal Song Title Generator. It creates a totally random line that can be a band name, song title, album name, or BFEE sound-bite such as "Impurity of the Anal Fistula - of Evil!".


Who were you in a past life? Find out here. I was a weaver, born in 1125. Now if I could only find a site that'll tell me what I'll be next!


Don't get mad, get even - with Instant Voodoo. 'Because you are that petty and mean-spirited'!






DEJA VOODOO
A call for a special prosecutor to investigate the 'president' and top Republicans was among the notes sounded on the first day of Rainbow/PUSH Coalition Conference 2002 on Saturday.

Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, said 'President' Bush's trading in corporate stock and Vice President 'dick' Cheney's tenure as chief executive of Halliburton., as well as activities by other high-ranking administration figures, were questionable enough to merit a Ken Starr-type federal investigation. - From the Chicago Sun-Times.



MORAL LEADERSHIP, HONOR, INTEGRITUDE, part 2
How WorldCom woes were laid out last year - but dismissed by a Republican judge with deep ties to the party.

Before aggrieved Republicans complain again that linking them to the corporate malefactors is unfair, they (and everyone else) should read Neil Weinberg's fascinating Forbes scoop on the WorldCom implosion.

Weinberg reveals that the fraudulent accounting maneuvers now considered so shocking by everyone from WorldCom directors to SEC chairman Harvey Pitt were exposed more than a year ago in a shareholder lawsuit that included copious evidence. The board ignored that evidence, which included statements from at least a dozen former WorldCom employees and scores of others knowledgeable about the company's dishonest practices.

The plaintiffs who filed the complaint against WorldCom management were obliged to do so in the U.S. District Court in Jackson, Miss., where the company is located. By some unfortunate coincidence, the judge to whom the case fell was William H. Barbour Jr., a Reagan appointee -- and first cousin of Haley Barbour, the supersmooth K Street lobbyist, political strategist and former Republican National Committee chairman.

Judge Barbour might have thought about recusing himself from the WorldCom case, since he no doubt owed his appointment to the influence of cousin Haley, who is also the judge's former law partner. The Forbes article only suggests the multiple connections between Haley Barbour and WorldCom, which include massive donations from WorldCom to GOP causes over the years, and a $1 million donation to the notorious "Trent Lott Leadership Institute" at Ole Miss, for which Haley Barbour served as chief fundraiser. Also overlooked is another significant bit of information about Haley Barbour's relationship with WorldCom. Three years ago, when the Mississippi telecom giant swallowed SkyTel, Haley was a member of the SkyTel board who voted for the merger. I can't help wondering how many shares of WorldCom Haley might have received as part of that deal, and whether he sold them or held them. - From Joe Conason's column at Salon.


BONEHEADED, INSENSITIVE QUOTE OF THE DAY
'If people don't like what I'm doing, I don't give a damn. I could be sailing around on a yacht or driving around the country.' - Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill. To add insult to injury, with the stock market plunging and Americans increasingly worried about the way the administration is dealing with the economy and corporate fraud, Paul O'Neill, the administration's main voice on economic issues, was in Kyrgyzstan (from the NY Times).





"IF" ???!
[I]t is hard to imagine an administration in a worse position to deal with the crisis of confidence in American business. George W. Bush himself is a product of the cowboy end of the Sun Belt economy, and if Americans look at him and see the shadow of Enron ethics and WorldCom accounting, his effectiveness as chief executive will be undermined. Yet so far Bush has done little to separate himself from the excesses of some of his friends and campaign contributors. Vice President Dick Cheney continues to be mum about his role as chief executive of Halliburton. The secretary of the army continues to be a former Enron executive whose attempts to vindicate his behavior as a businessman have been more embarrassing than convincing. The Securities and Exchange Commission continues to be run by the former lawyer for the accounting industry.

The most chilling result in last week's New York Times/CBS News Poll was that 45 percent of respondents said they thought "other people are really running the government" - exactly the percentage that said the president was in charge. That is no way to run a White House when the nation's worst domestic problem is a lack of confidence in its economic and political leaders. - From the NY Times, reprinted here.






'THIS DOG IS NO LONGER WAGGABLE'
Rich-kid and lousy businessman George W. Bush, would-be oil baron and Texan securities law breaker, is bailed out in possibly illegal ways by his dad's ever so shadowy friends, several times. George Bush in this story is at best a puppet, at worst a criminal.

Meanwhile anyone with their eyes open can see that many of his puppeteers, his so-called friends, (Cheney, White, Ken Lay, Herbert Winokur to name just three) are involved with fleecing millions of members of the public (shareholders) out of trillions of dollars of their savings. To add insult to injury more people involved integrally in the thievery (SWAT team chief Larry Thompson, Worldcom investigator and Poppy Bush's buddy Richard Breeden, and Accountancy Lobbyist now SEC Commissioner Harvey Pitt, again just three of a long list) have been appointed by George W. Bush to protect us from being further ripped off further by unscrupulous insiders.

The savings bank has been robbed, the Mayor and police chief are closely tied to the principle suspects, and the local Mafia bosses have been hired to supervise the investigation. - See article and links from Alastair Thompson at The Scoop.



MORAL LEADERSHIP, HONOR, INTEGRITUDE
Bush and Cheney, our commanders in the war on terrorism, our cheerleaders on the economy, our ethicists on public life, our gurus of volunteerism, call for "transparency" in business, which means the stockholders are supposed to know what's going on. But they are less keen on divulging who knew what when during stock transactions that proved beneficial to them. Like, really beneficial.

Bush still has job approval ratings in the 62 percent to 72 percent range because we have no choice - he's the only president we've got. But he's getting tiresome. Even his boyish crinkly-eyed winks at "press conferences" are becoming annoying.

He's been out raising over $100 million dollars in political fund-raising. His speeches about the war on terrorism have degenerated into boring pap, childish in message and delivery. He zigzags confusingly and almost routinely, both on domestic policy and foreign affairs. His demands for cleaning up business are undercut by his own self-serving behavior 12 years ago. And when asked for details to clear up doubts about whether he had insider trading knowledge at Harken Energy Corp. when he made $850,000 on stock sales, he rebuffs the request. - Ann McFeatters, at the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.