Friday, February 25, 2005

A Simple Request

My beloved fiancee and I are putting together CDs for the dancing after the wedding, and would love suggestions. The initial songs are as such, the first being for me and her, the second being for me with my mother, her with her father, and the next two to get things kicked off for the mob:

Magnetic Fields "The Book of Love"

Cowboy Junkies "Misguided Angel"

Abba "I do, I do, I do, I do, I do"

The Primitives "Crash"

What next? Please do tell!


Another Note from the End of Civilization

The West should fall:
Animal rights activists are disgusted by a new candy from Kraft Foods Inc. that's shaped like critters run over by cars — complete with tire treads.

The fruity-flavored Trolli Road Kill Gummi Candy — in shapes of partly flattened snakes, chickens and squirrels — fosters cruelty toward animals, according to the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.


Relaxing Catblogging

For a lazy Friday afternoon...


100 Grand Per Immigrant

The soul of America is in sad disrepair:
A University of North Texas conservative group's demonstration, in which students who captured people posing as illegal immigrants received a candy bar reward, angered some on campus and amused others Wednesday.

The university's chapter of Young Conservatives of Texas held "Capture an Illegal Immigrant Day" on campus to call for tougher enforcement of federal immigration laws.

Some members of the group wore orange shirts that said "Illegal Immigrant" on the front and "Catch me if U can" on the back.

Anyone could check in, receive a badge, search for "illegal immigrants" and receive literature and a reward – a 100 Grand candy bar.


Keeping an Eye on the Right

Zora and Tista are on it.


The American Influence

It's a good thing that we invaded Iraq, so that they could then elect leaders more in line with the theocracy of Iran! Perhaps benighted Iraq will, as a result, soon impose such morality-based actions as this:
A teenage girl and two young men in Iran have been sentenced to lashes for having sex.

The court dismissed the girl's claim that she was raped. It said she had sex of her own free will, the official Iran Daily newspaper reported.

The girl was sentenced to 100 lashes because her accusations of rape and kidnap could have landed her partners a death penalty, the Tehran judge said.

Sex outside marriage is illegal in Iran and capital punishment can be imposed.

The young men in the case were sentenced to 30 and 40 lashes each.


Thursday, February 24, 2005

Don't Ask, Don't Tell Stupid and Costly

One of the most ridiculous anti-gay policies of recent years may be on its way out:
On the heels of a new report by the Government Accounting Office showing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has cost taxpayers more than $200 million since its inception in 1993 a group of congressmembers has announced plans to introduce legislation to end the ban on gays in the military.

The GAO report was sought by more than 20 lawmakers, concerned about the cost of the policy instituted in the Clinton administration. Of primary concern to the members of Congress were the costs associated with drumming out gay service members in "critical occupations" and "important foreign language skills."

Good riddance to that little bit of Clinton's cowardly legacy.


Defeat in New York

Another setback:
A New York State judge has dismissed a challenge by 25 same-sex couples to the state's ban on gay marriage.

Judge Robert C. Mulvey ruled that same-sex marriage is the sole prerogative of the Legislature not the courts.

"Social perceptions of same-sex civil contracts may change over time, and every group has the right to persuade its fellow citizens that its view of such matters is the best," Mulvey said in his written ruling. "If that day comes, it is within the province of the Legislature to so act."


The Wages of Sin Are, Well, More Wages

The incomparably incompetent Halliburton is being rewarded for their criminally slipshod activities in Iraq:

U.S. defense contractor Halliburton, under scrutiny for its contracts in Iraq, has been given bonuses for some of its work supporting the U.S. military in Kuwait and Afghanistan, the Army said on Thursday.

Bonuses are awarded based on, among other factors, how efficient and responsive the company is to requests from the Army, she said. The award fee is an indicator of how the Army views KBR's performance in the field.

KBR's logistics deal with the Army has been fraught with problems from the outset in Iraq, with allegations by auditors that KBR overcharged for some of its work and criticism of the company's accounting procedures.

Critics, especially from the Democratic Party, have accused the Pentagon of giving special treatment to KBR because of its former ties to Vice President Dick Cheney, who ran the company from 1995-2000.

Several U.S. government departments have launched investigations into Halliburton's work in Iraq, including a probe into whether it overcharged to supply fuel to Iraqi civilians. The company has said its prices were fair and has denied any wrongdoing.


Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Finally, a Use for Spam

I find this line of thinking fascinating:
Software scientists at Microsoft Research have teamed up with biomedical researchers in Seattle, Boston and Perth, Australia, to see if computer techniques used to defeat e-mail spam can also be used to help design a vaccine that can defeat AIDS.

Today, members of this unique collaboration will announce a plan to use "machine learning" or "data mining" computational techniques to decipher HIV's wildly creative genetic ability to constantly change and disguise itself from immune system detection and deletion.

"HIV mutates like crazy, but it does show a pattern," said Dr. David Heckerman, a physician and computer scientist at Microsoft Research.

"It isn't completely random," added Heckerman's colleague Nebojsa Jojic. Just as a spammer can add only so much nonsense or other disguising characters without obscuring the message, Jojic said, so can the AIDS virus vary only so much without disabling itself.


It's Just Martha

But when I saw this headline at The Raw Story, I thought of Jon, and laughed out loud at the notion:

Stewart to star in 'Apprentice' spinoff



I think that's the operative word in the European journalist's question, though Bush obviously chose to believe otherwise:
Speaking of charm, Bush was a master at spinning a question about lingering European doubts about him into the conclusion he is being warmly received on his continental tour.

"Thank you. I appreciate it. First time I've been called charming in a while," Bush said to laughter.

Problem is, the reporter had said just the opposite.

"The wider European audience — it won't be a surprise for you — is still skeptical about the policies of your administration, often being considered as being dictating or unilateral," the reporter said, continuing to ask Bush how those policies might change after his "major charm offensive."

But Bush persisted in seeing the question — and Europe's views of him — his way.

"Now is the time to unify for the sake of peace," he said. "And I believe that message — forget the charm part — I believe that message is a message that people can understand. And they're beginning to see that the strategy is working."


Bush Cowers, Flees Germans

This is rather amusing, given all the inane talk produced by the hawks, comparing the anti-war movement to "appeasers" along the lines of Chamberlain:
During his trip to Germany on Wednesday, the main highlight of George W. Bush's trip was meant to be a "town hall"-style meeting with average Germans. But with the German government unwilling to permit a scripted event with questions approved in advance, the White House has quietly put the event on ice. Was Bush afraid the event might focus on prickly questions about Iraq and Iran rather than the rosy future he's been touting in Europe this week?


Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Gays=Evil, Abortion=Holocaust

I'm sorry if this offends, but to coin a phrase, "Fuck the Pope":
Homosexual marriages are part of "a new ideology of evil" that is insidiously threatening society, Pope John Paul says in a new book published Tuesday.

In "Memory and Identity," the Pope also calls abortion a "legal extermination" comparable to attempts to wipe out Jews and other groups in the 20th century.


No Ben-Wa in Birmingham

It looks like Alabamans will have to continue to rely on this site for sex toys.

And, can anyone tell me what on earth they might mean by sales of a sexual device "for a bona enforcement purpose"? What kind of laws are they enforcing down there?

The U.S. Supreme Court (news - web sites) rejected on Tuesday a constitutional challenge to an Alabama law that makes it a crime to sell sex toys.

The high court refused to hear an appeal by a group of individuals who regularly use sexual devices and by two vendors who argued the case raised important issues about the scope of the constitutional right to sexual privacy.

The law prohibited the distribution of "any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs." First-time violators can face a fine of up to $10,000 and as much as one year in jail.

The law, adopted in 1998, allowed the sale of ordinary vibrators and body massagers that are not designed or marketed primarily as sexual aids. It exempted sales of sexual devices "for a bona fide medical, scientific, educational, legislative, judicial or law enforcement purpose."


Georgie's European Vacation

I can make weak men fade by the sheer strength of my will, coupled with the all-powerful stinkeye!

You doubted me?

The secret is out! Tony Blair is The Joker!

Chirac to Berlusconi: Don't try to kiss me.

Bush to Berlusconi: One day, you'll be as bald as Gannon! Then, the sky's the limit!


"It's Not a Good Thing to Criticize Iran These Days"

That's the word from the Baghdad street. As usual, you should read the entire piece from riverbendblog.



In the spirit of the Roman Catholic Church's list of banned books (Index Librorum Prohibitorum), which eventually had to include itself on the list because it was such a handy resource for finding evil texts, I hereby direct all high school students who happen by No Capital to this site, where you can find books that include "the f-word" and "vulgar and sexually stimulating passages." Yes, if you want books that involve "humping her down," "putting drugs into every orifice," or "my introduction to lesbianism," this site is your ideal directory!

Thanks, concerned parents of Kansas City! You've been a big help!


Site found via King of Zembla.


Pot, Kettle, Etc.

Bush, spouting off again about things of which he knows nothing, like democracy. What an embarrassment:

US president George Bush has issued a blunt warning to Russia, saying it "must renew a commitment to democracy and the rule of law" if it is to join the European and trans-Atlantic communities.

Mr Bush's admonition to Moscow came on Monday during the keynote address of his four-day, fence-mending trip to Europe, in which he called for "a new era of trans-Atlantic unity".

But the President's strong rhetoric on Russia came as a surprise because excerpts of his speech released by the White House on Sunday did not include criticism of Moscow.


In his speech, Mr Bush said the US had supported Russia's membership in the WorldTrade Organisation "because meeting WTO standards will strengthen the gains infreedom and prosperity in that country".
But he added: "Yet, for Russia to make progress as a European nation, the Russian Government must renew a commitment to democracy and the rule of law. We recognise that reform will not happen overnight.
"We must always remind Russia, however, that our alliance stands for a free press, avital opposition, the sharing of power and rule of law.
"And the United States and all European countries should place democratic reform atthe heart of their dialogue with Russia."


Modern-Day Secession: It Ain't Just Southern Anymore!

Just weird. If this goes through, I expect a couple of Coloradoes, at the very least:
If Sen. Bob Morton has his way, he'll soon be a resident and lawmaker in the 51st state of the United States.

To Morton, the Cascade Mountains are more than just the dividing line between wet and dry Washington. They are the indisputable wall between political ideologies that only became more apparent during the recent contested governor's race.

The Republican from Orient is the prime sponsor on a joint memorial in the Senate that asks President Bush to create a new state east of the Cascades that would comprise 20 of the current state's 39 counties. Nine other Republican senators have signed on in support. Similar measures have been introduced in past years without success.

"It's not sour grapes," Morton said. "It's common sense. People who think alike should be united."


Using Jesus

The Christians in (how'd you guess?) Virginia are attacking Jefferson for having done just that:
The new religious group, which recently built a complex on a hilltop overlooking Interstate 64 at Tinkling Spring Road, pronounced Jefferson “the anti-Christian” and George Washington’s opposite.

Jefferson, they said, “feigned belief in God to achieve his own political ends and came to sever Jesus Christ from his divinity.”
“Jefferson came disguised as an angel of light by appealing to reason instead of faith - to works instead of the cross,” Humphries said.

“His purpose … was taught by Voltaire, Locke, Paine and Priestly. They become … wolves in sheep’s clothing,” he said.

Meanwhile, let's have another little glance at those tapes made during some conversations with Bush, focusing on areas other than his admission of having broken the law by smoking the devil weed:
Preparing to meet Christian leaders in September 1998, Mr. Bush told Mr. Wead, "As you said, there are some code words. There are some proper ways to say things, and some improper ways."

Hmm... using God to achieve political ends? Heaven forfend!


Monday, February 21, 2005

Iraq Is Bad Enough to Make The Bushies Try X

It's really rather amazing to watch how reality can kick back in, in the interests of evil intent.

The "Just Say No" party is willing to try anything to fix the kids they've broken:
American soldiers traumatised by fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan are to be offered the drug ecstasy to help free them of flashbacks and recurring nightmares.

The US food and drug administration has given the go-ahead for the soldiers to be included in an experiment to see if MDMA, the active ingredient in ecstasy, can treat post-traumatic stress disorder.

I am very much in favor of this. I believe that this particular drug may very well have tremendous rehabilitive value, in conjunction with therapy (presuming this administration will deign to pay for such therapy). The sad thing is that it takes such exigent circumstances to bring people to reason when it comes to certain classes of drugs.

Via The All Spin Zone.


The Swift-Boat Scum Do Not Disappoint

Amazing. Just a few hours ago, I posted on the absurdity of siccing these people on the AARP.

And already, American Spectator has the ad up. (I got it via attaturk.)

That's right. Those evil America-hating commies at AARP hate our soldiers and love gay marriage.

This is getting weirder by the minute.


Being Republican Makes You Stupid

Or maybe it's the other way around. Determining cause and effect when it comes to human intelligence is notoriously difficult and complex (just ask the President of Harvard. No, wait, don't.).

But there's a clear correlation:

If George Washington returned from the dead and attempted to recapture the presidency of the United States, he would beat an incumbent President George W. Bush by nearly 20 percentage points, according to a new national poll conducted for Washington College by the public affairs research firm of Schulman, Ronca & Bucuvalas, Inc. Asked to choose between George Washington and George W. Bush, Republicans in the survey supported Bush by a margin of more than 2 to 1, while Democrats and independents overwhelmingly favored Washington.

However, the survey—commissioned to honor the first president’s birthday on February 22 and the inauguration of a major new history book prize co-sponsored by Washington College—found that by some measures, Washington’s status as a national icon is slipping. Only 46 percent of the 800 adult Americans surveyed could identify him as the general who led the Continental Army to victory in the Revolutionary War. When asked who they thought was America’s greatest president, only 6 percent named George Washington, ranking him seventh among all presidents.

Via metacomments and The Poor Man.


AARP Didn't Earn Its Purple Hearts

And, um, they threw medals belonging to... the NRA--that's it, the NRA!--back at the White House.

Or something:
Taking its cues from the success of last year's Swift boat veterans' campaign in the presidential race, a conservative lobbying organization has hired some of the same consultants to orchestrate attacks on one of President Bush's toughest opponents in the battle to overhaul Social Security.

The lobbying group, USA Next, which has poured millions of dollars into Republican policy battles, now says it plans to spend as much as $10 million on commercials and other tactics assailing AARP, the powerhouse lobby opposing the private investment accounts at the center of Mr. Bush's plan.


Night Is Day, Black Is White...

and Big Oil doesn't want to rape the earth!

Actually, this does make sense, because it's all about the bottom line, which has never been good when it comes to ANWR:
George W. Bush first proposed drilling for oil in a small part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska in 2000, after oil industry experts helped his presidential campaign develop an energy plan. Five years later, he is pushing the proposal again, saying the nation urgently needs to increase domestic production.

But if Mr. Bush's drilling plan passes in Congress after what is expected to be a fierce fight, it may prove to be a triumph of politics over geology.

Once allied, the administration and the oil industry are now far apart on the issue. The major oil companies are largely uninterested in drilling in the refuge, skeptical about the potential there. Even the plan's most optimistic backers agree that any oil from the refuge would meet only a tiny fraction of America's needs.

A Bush adviser says the major oil companies have a dimmer view of the refuge's prospects than the administration does. "If the government gave them the leases for free they wouldn't take them," said the adviser, who would speak only anonymously because of his position. "No oil company really cares about ANWR," the adviser said, using an acronym for the refuge, pronounced "an-war."

Wayne Kelley, who worked in Alaska as a petroleum engineer for Halliburton, the oil services corporation, and is now managing director of RSK, an oil consulting company, said the refuge's potential could "only be determined by drilling."

"The enthusiasm of government officials about ANWR exceeds that of industry because oil companies are driven by market forces, investing resources in direct proportion to the economic potential, and the evidence so far about ANWR is not promising," Mr. Kelley said.


T-Minus Four Months

Scott Ritter is claiming that Bush has the attack on Iran all lined up:
(Scott) Ritter said that President George W. Bush has received and signed off on orders for an aerial attack on Iran planned for June 2005. Its purported goal is the destruction of Iran’s alleged program to develop nuclear weapons, but Ritter said neoconservatives in the administration also expected that the attack would set in motion a chain of events leading to regime change in the oil-rich nation of 70 million – a possibility Ritter regards with the greatest skepticism…

..Scott Ritter said that although the peace movement failed to stop the war in Iraq, it had a chance to stop the expansion of the war to other nations like Iran and Syria. He held up the specter of a day when the Iraq war might be remembered as a relatively minor event that preceded an even greater conflagration.



Back in the day, weren't these sorts of things called "posses"? Or was that "lynch mobs"?
Intent on securing the vulnerable Arizona border from illegal immigrant crossings, U.S. officials are bracing for what they call a potential new threat this spring: the Minutemen. Nearly 500 volunteers have already joined the Minuteman Project, anointing themselves civilian border patrol agents determined to stop the immigration flow that routinely, and easily, seeps past federal authorities.

They plan to patrol a 40-mile stretch of the southeast Arizona border throughout April when the tide of immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border peaks.

"I felt the only way to get something done was to do it yourself," said Jim Gilchrist, a retired accountant and decorated Vietnam War veteran who is helping recruit Minutemen across the country.

"We've been repeatedly accused of being people who are taking the law into our own hands," said Gilchrist, 56, of Aliso Viejo, Calif. "That is an outright bogus statement. We are going down there to assist law enforcement."



So, a gay prostitute can waltz in and out of the White House lobbing softball questions to the president, but the British royal family is somehow offensive?
The Bush Administration's attacks on same-sex marriage have now been expanded to include unmarried heterosexuals and divorced people - resulting on a ban of Camilla Parker Bowles from the White House.

The Administration is pushing its traditional marriage initiative aimed at keeping straight families from breaking up and banning gay marriage.

London's Sunday Mirror and Sun reports that the White House has scuttled plans by Prince Charles to take Camilla on a Royal tour of the US later this year after they marry in a civil ceremony.

The papers report that the Royal household was told that Camilla, who will have the title Her Royal Highness Princess Consort after Charles becomes king, is not welcome at the White House because she is a divorcee.

The reports do no[t] mention that Charles is also a divorcee.

The President, according to sun told palace aides it was "inappropriate" for him to be play host to the newly-weds.


Thompson Kills Himself

After all those years of blowing his mind with drugs, he finally called it quits. The fear and loathing won in the end:
Hunter S. Thompson, the author who popularized 'Gonzo Journalism' and wrote 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' has died. The 67-year-old Thompson apparently took his own life in his home in Aspen, Colorado with a gunshot to the head.

Gonzo journalism is a style in which the writer makes himself a part of the story. Instead of writing about the event, the reporter writes about how it feels to be at the event or the essence of the event. Thompson found this style of writing to be more truthful.