Saturday, November 19, 2005

Republicans: Still Petty Jerks

They even want to exact vengeance upon, of all people, The Boss:
An effort by New Jersey's two Democratic senators to honor the veteran rocker was shot down Friday by Republicans who are apparently still miffed a year after the Boss lent his voice to the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.

The chamber's GOP leaders refused to bring up for consideration a resolution, introduced by Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Jon Corzine, that honored Springsteen's long career and the 1975 release of his iconic album, "Born to Run."

No reason was given, said Lautenberg spokesman Alex Formuzis. "Resolutions like this pass all the time in the U.S. Senate, usually by unanimous consent," he said.


Friday, November 18, 2005

Ignore the Bells This Xmas

Do NOT give any money to the Salvation Army:
A Salvation Army social worker can proceed with a discrimination lawsuit in which he claims his supervisor harassed him because he is gay and Jewish and then fired him when he complained, a Manhattan judge has ruled.

State Supreme Court Justice Richard F. Braun denied the Salvation Army's motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed by caseworker Zachary Logan. The Army's lawyers argued that because theirs is a religious organization, it is exempt from religious bias claims.Braun disagreed.

He said the Court of Appeals, the state's highest, has ruled that "religious organizations, just like other employers, may not discriminate unlawfully against their employees."

The judge said Logan complained that Michelle Pallak, his supervisor, "acted hostilely toward him because of his sexual orientation and religious background. She undermined him in his job performance and treated him differently than she did heterosexual employees."

Logan, who lives in Astoria, Queens, also says in court papers that Pallak called him offensive names related to his sexual orientation and remarked to colleagues after he was fired that she hoped he "did not play the gay card."


100K Catblogging

Will this be the post that causes No Capital to exceed 100,000 hits? I daresay it might!

UPDATE: Success!! This blog is in the 100K club as of 12:52 PM.

...and congratulations to reader catalexis for being number 100K! As suggested by Thersites, you are the winner of a shopping spree, for which I shall provide, of course, no capital.


Arkansas Still Fighting the Bad Fight

I mean, come on. Give it a rest already:
The state of Arkansas has asked the state Court of Appeals of uphold a policy that bans the placement of foster children in homes with gay adults.

Last December a lower court judge ruled that the regulation is unconstitutional. Circuit Court Judge Timothy Fox said the state Child Welfare Agency Review board had overstepped its authority by trying to regulate "public morality.'' (story)

The ban was imposed by the state Child Welfare Agency Review Board in March 1999. The board said it was an effort to protect children from disease, violence, sexual abuse, neglect and instability. (story)

The ban not only includes gays serving as foster parents but households in which a gay person may live. However, while Arkansas does not permit gays to foster it does permit gays to adopt.


Idiot Abroad

The Bushites even manage to offend New Zealand. Can someone please explain the word "diplomacy" to them?
THE new US ambassador to New Zealand is trying to recover from a controversial first week in the job by claiming he's been misunderstood because of "language differences".

Bill McCormick found himself in hot water after telling New Zealanders that "the ball's in your court" in regard to improving NZ-US relations.

He expressed disappointment that a "freedom-loving country" like New Zealand had not joined the US-led invasion of Iraq. And in his first news conference, repeatedly pronounced the ANZUS Treaty as "Anzoo".

Mr McCormick, 66, owns McCormick & Schmicks, a seafood restaurant chain back in the US. He is also supporter and fund-raiser for President George Bush's Republican Party. New Zealand is his first diplomatic posting.


Oppose the War and I'll Disembowel You with My Teeth


Substitute Catblogging

While Miriam searches for the cable needed to download pictures of Tista and Zora and Gramsci from the digital camera, there is this...


More Freedom

Iraq just keeps getting freer and freer. God bless America:
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Suicide bombers killed 65 worshippers at two Shiite mosques near the Iranian border Friday, while two car bombs targeted a Baghdad hotel housing foreign journalists and killed eight Iraqis.


Falling Apart

America's will to fight this dirty, unnecessary war is, thankfully, weak. Let's take the hint and get out of Iraq now, shall we?
The Army has suspended plans to expand an unwieldy, 16-month-old program to call up inactive soldiers for military duty, after thousands have requested delays or exemptions or failed to show up.


Thursday, November 17, 2005

America in a Nutshell



That's gotta feel like one heck of a c***punch to little Bushie:
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton is "The Most Influential Man in the World," according to Esquire magazine.

The magazine has designated him as "the most powerful agent of change in the world" despite his lack of electoral standing and the fact he was laid low by a heart attack ahead of last year's presidential election.


The Deity Made Me Do It

Why does this remind me of a certain other leader and a certain nation with tens of thousands fewer civilians than a few years back...
Augusto Pinochet, the former Chilean dictator, has declared that God will pardon him for human rights abuses committed during his 17-year rule, according to newly released court documents.

Asked by Chilean judge Victor Montiglio about the killing of 3,000 Chilean civilians during the military government, Mr Pinochet, 89, said: "I suffer for these losses, but God does the deeds; he will pardon me if I exceeded in some, which I don't think."


Lemurs on the Line!

I'll need to keep this in mind the next time I'm late to work:
Weary commuters the world over are used to hearing all sorts of reasons for their train being late, but officials in Lisbon have come up with a seemingly unique excuse: a lemur on the line.


More on God and Football

As if not to be outdone by New Zealand's love of rugby, as evidenced by the large-screen TV set up in a church to show the All Blacks playing, the Church of England is taking measures to ensure the faithful do not have to miss the World Cup soccer finals:
Forty years in the wilderness has huge significance in the Bible but senior clergy in the Church of England hope it will also be relevant for England's football team, The Times reported.

Church officials have been urged to make enquiries about football coverage at the venue for the Anglican "parliament" the General Synod's 2006 summer session because the date clashes with the World Cup final in Germany, according to the newspaper.

If England qualify for the final, the venue -- York University in northern England -- should be asked to ensure "adequate viewing facilities" for delegates, the synod's current session in London heard.
"While praying it does not go to penalties... in the interests of the Church engaging in culture for the sake of the Gospel, this (watching the World Cup final) could be a useful seminar for synod members to be engaged in," he said.


Great Timing

Because lord knows that hurricanes are not a major concern these days:
The United States could face gaps in forecasting and tracking hurricanes and other severe weather because of $3 billion in cost overruns and a three-year delay in a new satellite program, officials said Wednesday.


Get Ready

Another idiotic "gay rage" trial is in the offing:
A 52 year old Alabama man is clinging to life in a Jackson hospital after what police call a homophobic attack.

A 26 year old man is charged with attempted murder in the beating Billy Sanford.

Police said that when he was arrested Marcus Dewayne Kelley confessed saying that he attacked Sanford with a hammer because the slight older man had made sexual advances toward him.


A New Low

Bush is in freefall:
President Bush's positive job rating continues to fall, touching another new low for his presidency, the latest Harris Interactive poll finds.

Bush's current job approval rating stands at 34%, compared with a positive rating of 88% soon after 9/11, 50% at this time last year, and 40% in August.


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Authentic Indian Names!

Done here before, and drawn of course, from Thomas King's "Dead Dog Cafe,"--to which I am listening right now, and cracking right the fuck up--the most hilarious radio show I've ever heard, produced, while it lasted, by King, a mixed-blood Cherokee and one of the premier Canadian authors:

Find out your authentic Indian name! And post it in my comments.

My own: Wallace Trivial Chocolate.


The American Way

The spirit of Truth or Consequences lives on, in Texas:
A Texas town has changed its name to DISH in exchange for 10 years of free satellite television service.


Big Fat Stupid

This was the woman who determined how the 2000 presidential election should be handled in Florida?

No wonder Bush won:
Florida's citrus crop contributes billions of dollars to the state's economy, so when that industry is threatened, anything that might help is considered. Back in 2001, when citrus canker was blighting the crop and threatening to reduce that vital source of revenue, an interesting — if not quite scientific — alternative was considered.

Katherine Harris, then Florida's secretary of state — and now a member of the U.S. House of Representatives — ordered a study in which, according to an article by Jim Stratton in the Orlando Sentinel, "researchers worked with a rabbi and a cardiologist to test ‘Celestial Drops,' promoted as a canker inhibitor because of its ‘improved fractal design,' ‘infinite levels of order,' and ‘high energy and low entropy.'"

The study determined that the product tested was, basically, water that had apparently been blessed according to the principles of Kabbalic mysticism, "chang[ing] its molecular structure and imbu[ing] it with supernatural healing powers."



My god. Can we please have a president who is not a complete blithering idiot and an absolute fucking embarrassment? Please?
Bush, opening a week-long visit to Asia, took off his shoes with his wife Laura and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi as they took a morning tour of Kinkakuji, the revered Temple of the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto.

Koizumi showed Bush, a devout Christian, how to bow in prayer before an idol of the Buddha, said Raitei Arima, the temple's head priest.

But the US president, clad in a suit ahead of a summit, also had other concerns.

"What was most interesting was that Bush said, 'I wonder if my socks have any holes.' And Laura said not to worry," the priest said.


Bloody Hell

Could this be the stupidest thing Bush has ever said? I know, there is a lot of competition, but in the history of America's diplomatic relations, this incident stands tall as an example of arrogant idiocy.

Millions of people in Taiwan just ducked and covered:
Challenging China just days before meetings with its leaders, President Bush on Wednesday held up the self-governing island of Taiwan that Beijing claims as its own as a model of freedom "at all levels" that the communist giant should emulate.


Cure for a Stalled Economy

Take a lesson from Britain:
British same-sex couples have embarked on a spending frenzy, getting ready for the start next month of civil unions in the UK.

Companies that specialize in helping couples tie the knot say that from early indications gay and lesbian couples match their heterosexual counterparts in lavish affairs. That would mean laying out an average of $25,000 for rings, tuxedos, caterers and reception halls, and honeymoons.

"We are receiving calls from clients who wish to spend anything from a few thousand to over 150-thousand pounds ($260,000 US)," said Lancelot Fougere, of Modern Commitments a company specializing in gay nuptials.


Katrina Horrors Continue

Why the hell was the search called off?

Imagine returning to your ruined home only to find the body of your grandmother, sitting there neglected for weeks and weeks...
The search for victims of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana officially ended more than a month ago, but survivors returning to their homes continue to find bodies.

This has raised the death toll by another 104 people since Oct. 3 when the official search ended, reports USA Today. As of Oct. 3, the official death toll was 972.

The report said many of the newly discovered victims are elderly people who climbed into attics and upper floors to seek refuge from the rising waters throughout New Orleans' devastated 9th Ward.

New Orleans coroner Frank Minyard said: "Some people are just now getting back to their homes and to the homes of their relatives. The bodies are still coming in." He said there is no way to tell how many more are left.


Georgian Family Values: Knock 'er Up!

Just lovely. This, from the state that doesn't allow sales tax on bibles:
Ever since her 13-year-old niece wed a 14-year-old boy last year, Sharon Cline has sent lawmakers a slew of letters begging them to change a Georgia law that allows children of any age to marry -- and without parental consent -- as long as the bride-to-be is pregnant.

"Some of the lawmakers just didn't believe this could happen," said Cline, who lives in Weston, Fla. "It was very frustrating."
They're believers now.

Lisa Lynnette Clark, 37, was charged last week in Gainesville with child molestation for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old friend of her teenage son. Just days before her arrest, she wed the boy under a Georgia law that allows pregnant couples to marry regardless of age and without consent.


Screw You Guys, We're Going Home

And you, Katrina victims, are going homeless. Another bright spot in the history of FEMA.

Merry Christmas!
FEMA is stepping up the pressure on some 53,000 families left homeless by hurricanes to leave government-paid hotel rooms and find long-term housing.

The agency said Tuesday that it will stop paying hotel bills by the end of the month for most of the families devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, even though housing advocates fear they won't have enough time to find other places.

Most of the people still staying in hotels and motels are in Texas, Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi.


Big Fat F***ing Duh

That they even bothered to deny this is really rather surprising:
A White House document shows that executives from big oil companies met with Vice President Cheney's energy task force in 2001 -- something long suspected by environmentalists but denied as recently as last week by industry officials testifying before Congress.


Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Tax the Bible!

I'd rather do that, personally, than exempt all religious texts from taxation. Actually, come to think of it, I'd rather have all books exempt, to promote literacy...
Acting on behalf of a seller of spiritual books, the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit arguing that a Georgia law exempting the Bible from sale taxes is discriminatory and should be extended to all publications dealing with the meaning of life.

``If they're not taxing someone's holy scriptures, they shouldn't be taxing anyone's,'' said Candace Apple, who owns the Phoenix and Dragon Bookstore in the Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs. ``I'm not willing to stand at the counter and tell someone, `Oh, sorry, your religion is wrong.'''


Myanmar Madness

After much research, I have located a government even weirder than Bush's:
The first video emerged yesterday of the new Burmese capital, Pyinmana, located deep in the jungle, 250 miles north of the long-time seat of government, Rangoon. It shows drab, grey buildings, few people in the streets and lots of construction in progress.
Virtually everyone outside the tiny ruling clique finds it either bizarre or, more usually, as with most things associated with the regime in recent years, completely unfathomable.

The two main questions regime watchers are groping with are why move at all and why move now considering so much of the fortified compound is unfinished?

In true Orwellian fashion, the government justified the upheaval it cannot afford in a terse and ambiguous statement. "Due to changed circumstances, where Myanmar [the regime's name for the country] is trying to develop a modern nation, a more centrally located government seat has become a necessity."

But the only changed circumstances many people can identify are the junta's growing isolation and the nation's continuing spiral down into economic chaos.
Rumours swirling around Rangoon explaining the move usually begin with the generals' paranoia about a US invasion, making Rangoon, which is near the sea, an easy target. The fact that the US military is already overstretched and that Washington has much higher priorities than wading into Burma appears to have escaped attention.
Astrology is also thought to have played a significant part, although more in the timing of the move.
Foreign diplomats wanting to contact government officials were told to "send a fax" but they have no idea where to.


One More Reason Capitalism Must Fall

This is just...wrong:
For beverage connoisseurs tired of turkey-and-gravy or green-beans-and-casserole flavoured sodas, there's a new choice being offered this year by speciality U.S. soda maker Jones Soda Co.: salmon.

Jones Soda, the Seattle company that scored a hit during the last two holiday seasons with its turkey and gravy-flavoured sodas, said it is offering the orange-hued fish-flavoured drink this year in a nod to the Pacific Northwest's salmon catch.

"When you smell it, it's got that smoked salmon aroma," said Peter van Stolk, chief executive of Jones Soda.

The salmon-flavoured soda will be offered as part of a $13 "regional holiday pack" that also includes other unusual sodas such as turkey & gravy, corn on the cob, broccoli casserole and pecan pie.


Alito: Proud to Be Intolerant

Just grand:
Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito boasted about his work arguing that “the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion” while trying to get a job in the Reagan administration as a deputy assistant attorney general, according to documents released Monday.
“I am particularly proud of my contributions in recent cases in which the government argued that racial and ethnic quotas should not be allowed and that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion,” he wrote.


Monday, November 14, 2005

Farewell, Vine Deloria Jr.

On Sunday, indigenous scholar, author, and perhaps above all activist Vine Deloria Jr. (Standing Rock Sioux) passed away. If you know him and his work, you'll know what a loss this is to the community working for Native American rights. If you don't know him, now is a good time to read one of his books: Custer Died for Your Sins, Behind the Trail of Broken Treaties, and Red Man's Land, White Man's Laws are good places to start.
"Western civilization, unfortunately, does not link knowledge and morality but rather, it connects knowledge and power and makes them equivalent. Today with an information `superhighway' now looming on the horizon, we are told that a lack of access to information will doom people to a life of meaninglessness -- and poverty. As we look around and observe modern industrial society, however, there is no question that information, in and of itself, is useless and that as more data is generated, ethical and moral decisions are taking on a fantasy dimension in which a `lack of evidence to indict' is the moral equivalent of the good deed."

Rest in peace.


Natural Selection at Work

Get this guy a Darwin Award:
Tyler Poulson was riding with his brothers last night when he became offended by one of them using profanity. Poulson, who recently returned from an LDS mission, threatened to get out of the truck if he continued.

One of the men, not thinking he would, told Poulson to.

Earlier police said the car was going about 35 miles an hour when Poulson opened the door and jumped. He was pronounced dead on scene.



Wow. According to at least one radical senator, Bush's actions might actually lead to our leaders thinking before going to war!

The Republican chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said yesterday that one lesson of the faulty prewar intelligence on Iraq is that senators would take a hard look at intelligence before voting to go to war.

"I think a lot of us would really stop and think a moment before we would ever vote for war or to go and take military action," Sen. Pat Roberts (Kan.) said on "Fox News Sunday."


Bush Heads to Asia

Calling to mind the immortal lyrics by punk band Abducted:

i can't believe that you're still alive
nothing going on behind your eyes
just shut up & go away
seeing your face f*cks up my day


O'Reilly: Still a Tremendous Asshole

Pathetic. How is it, again, that it's the Left that "hates America"?
Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly is under fire for suggesting that al-Qaida should "blow up" Coit Tower, one of the San Francisco's most famous landmarks, because voters backed a resolution discouraging military recruiters on public high school and college campuses.

The proposition passed by a healthy majority last Tuesday. It does not ban recruiters, but it does urge schools to reject them.

The proposition is not binding but its let the Pentagon know how the city feels about 'don't ask, don't tell' the military's ban on gays serving openly.

On his Fox television show O'Reilly called for President George W. Bush to withdraw any military protection for the city.

"...If al-Qaida comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it. We're going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead," O'Reilly said.

City supervisors reacted angrily to O'Reilly's comments.

"Coit Tower's a monument to San Francisco's firefighters," said Supervisor Chris Daly. "They put out the fires in San Francisco after the great quake. American heroes -- they were there on Sept. 11 and now you want al-Qaida to blow up Coit Tower? Give us a break. You are out of line."


America Loves Torture

Bush's National Security advisor, Stephen Hadley, confirmed recently that the Bush administration will not disavow the use of torture:
In an important clarification of President George W. Bush's earlier statement, a top White House official refused to unequivocally rule out the use of torture, arguing the US administration was duty-bound to protect Americans from terrorist attack.

As though he sensed the need to lighten the mood when proclaiming the United States a barbaric rogue nation, Hadley then launched into an impromptu impression of President Chimpy McTorture, and good times were had by all: