Saturday, March 10, 2007

Fox Has Santorum; CNN Is Hammered

What the hell are they thinking?

Mr. DeLay isn't letting the indictment block him from political involvement. This month, he started the Coalition for a Conservative Majority, which he sees as an information clearinghouse on what he calls the "great threat posed to our nation by the organized forces of the radicalized left."
He told me he is about to sign on with CNN as a commentator. "I may be their only conservative on air, but someone has to do it."


Friday, March 09, 2007

Catblogging II: Electric Tistaboo

Damn right I got Mardi Gras beads. What's it to you?

Zora, glad to be back home. (Her partly-shaved leg over to the left side of the picture is the legacy of last week's drama.)


Outlaw Abortion and All Is Well!

Thus spake Zell Miller, in his infinite wisdom:

It hasn’t gotten widespread play yet, but former U.S. Sen. Zell Miller made a little news this week in Macon when he declared that abortion has contributed to the military’s manpower shortage, the Social Security crisis, and the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States.

“How could this great land of plenty produce too few people in the last 30 years? Here is the brutal truth that no one dares to mention: We’re too few because too many of our babies have been killed,” Miller said.

“Over 45 million since Roe v. Wade in 1973. If those 45 million children had lived, today they would be defending our country, they would be filling our jobs, they would be paying into Social Security,” the former Georgia governor said. “Still, we watch as 3,700 babies are killed every single day in America. It is unbelievable that a nation under God would allow this.”

If you doubt us, check out the video at the Macon Telegraph’s web site. The comments were made at a Tuesday night fund-raiser for a local anti-abortion counseling center.


Catblogging: Squirrel in the Carport Edition

Gramsci takes his squirrelwatching very seriously.

The next picture is taken from underneath him as he crouches on a windowsill MUCH too small for his large self.

Zora and Tista to follow later!


Mayan Priests to Clean Up after Bush

A wise move, I have to say:
Mayan priests will purify a sacred archaeological site to eliminate "bad spirits" after President Bush visits next week, an official with close ties to the group said Thursday.

"That a person like (Bush), with the persecution of our migrant brothers in the United States, with the wars he has provoked, is going to walk in our sacred lands, is an offense for the Mayan people and their culture," Juan Tiney, the director of a Mayan nongovernmental organization with close ties to Mayan religious and political leaders, said Thursday.


Sometimes, Sorry Isn't Enough

Are they kidding? An apology? And a vow not to do it again?

Is the American populace suffering from battered spouse syndrome or something?
The nation's top two law enforcement officials acknowledged Friday the FBI broke the law to secretly pry out personal information about Americans. They apologized and vowed to prevent further illegal intrusions.


Fox Dem Debate Crumbling

The Nevada State Democratic Party is pulling out of a controversial presidential debate scheduled for Aug. 14 in Reno and co-hosted by Fox News, according to Democratic insiders.


Time Is in Your Side

Another step towards making the lower classes into spare parts:

Inmates in South Carolina could soon find that a kidney is worth 180 days.

Lawmakers are considering legislation that would let prisoners donate organs or bone marrow in exchange for time off their sentences.


After All, "Eugenics" Is Just Greek for "Good Genics"

The Southern Baptists never disappoint:
One of the nation's leading Southern Baptists has called for a policy that would support medical treatment, if it were to become available, to change the sexual orientation of a fetus inside its mother's womb from homosexual to heterosexual. This latest assault on our dignity and existence comes from no less a personage than Rev. R. Albert Mohler, the president of the prominent and influential Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world.


White House Caves

And this, as far as I'm concerned, is tantamount to admission of miscreance:

The Bush administration, bowing to an uproar over its firing of eight federal prosecutors, won't oppose legislation changing the rules for replacing them, senators said Thursday.

"The administration would not object to the bill," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., referring to legislation to remove the administration's power to fill the vacancies without Senate confirmation.


You've, Um, Come a Long Way, Baby?

Oh, for the love of...

I mean, at first glance... I mean...

The first black Disney heroine?

In New Orleans? Now?

And: The Frog Princess !?!?

I'm rendered speechless
The Walt Disney Co will introduce the first black animated heroine of its lucrative Princess line in its upcoming film "The Frog Princess," the company said at its annual meeting on Thursday.

The film, scheduled for release in 2009 by Disney Feature Animation, also is the first hand-drawn film the company has committed to since pledging last month to return to the traditional animation form that made it a worldwide brand.

"The Frog Princess", a musical scored by composer Randy Newman, is "an American fairy tale" starring a girl named Maddy who lives in the French Quarter in New Orleans, said John Lasseter, chief creative director for Disney and Pixar Animation Studios.


God Has Abandoned Us!

An unknown number of new U.S. $1 coins bearing the image of George Washington are missing the words "In God We Trust" and other lettering along the edges, the U.S. Mint said on Wednesday.


Fair and Speedy

Yes, I'm sure the secret "trials" will be as fair as they will have been speedy:
U.S. military officials will start hearings on Friday for 14 prisoners transferred to Guantanamo Bay from secret CIA jails, including the alleged mastermind of the September 11 attacks on the United States.

Reporters will not be allowed at the hearings at the prison camp in Cuba and will have to rely on edited transcripts, defence officials said on Tuesday, citing concerns that the suspects could reveal sensitive security information.



Just shocking. Or something:
The FBI underreported its use of the USA Patriot Act to force businesses to turn over customer information in suspected terrorism cases, according to a Justice Department audit.


Thursday, March 08, 2007


Why do I suspect that Bush gets some manner of twisted, perverse pleasure out of this sort of thing:
President George Bush last night started a five-nation tour of Latin America in an effort to salvage Washington's reputation in the region and counter the influence of Venezuela's president, Hugo Chávez.

Violent clashes were taking place between police and masked protesters in the financial centre of Sao Paulo, the president's first stop. Rioters threw rocks at police who answered with rubber bullets and tear gas bombs. Bystanders fled the smoke-filled streets outside the art museum as running battles erupted. Several loud explosions shook the area.

Earlier protesters in Brazil signalled widespread hostility to the US leader by briefly shutting down an iron mine, invading an ethanol distillery, occupying a bank and unfurling a banner in parliament.


Capitalist Utopia

If only the workers would cooperate and BE HAPPY DAMMIT!

Employee dissatisfaction is at an all-time high, according to a national survey released Monday by the Conference Board, a New York-based private research group.

In a survey of 5,000 U.S. households, more than half of all respondents said they dislike their current jobs, compared to less than 40 percent in a similar survey conducted 20 years ago.

These days, the lowest levels of job satisfaction are among younger workers, the survey found. Only 39 percent of respondents aged 25 and younger said they liked their current jobs -- the lowest level in the survey's 20-year history -- compared to 45 percent for workers between 45 and 54.


Well Put

Rep. Patty Murray of Washington gets it right:
"With minimal amounts of sleep, our service men and women work longer days than you and I can imagine. They see things none of us should ever witness: bodies blown to pieces, mutilation, the blood of their fellow soldiers on the streets of a country we have no place being," said Murray on Tuesday. "All of this is for a war we were misled into supporting. There were no weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein was never connected to al Qaeda, and nobody can say we are spreading democracy to Iraq today."

"In truth, we are fighting a war with no cause."



Bush is monomaniacal, erm... "determined":
US President George W. Bush would veto legislation, crafted by Democrats, calling for a withdrawal of US troops from Iraq by late 2008, the White House said Thursday.


International Women's Day

Take a moment to reflect on and feel good about all the good things that you do to help gender equality. Then think about all the things you do to harm it. Then think about what you are going to do next to make things better:
Men in Bangladesh vowed to fight disfiguring acid attacks, as the United Nations and European Union marked International Women's Day on Thursday with calls for an end to violence and discrimination.

In India, a Mumbai company launched a new taxi service for women, with female cabbies at the wheel to make the customers feel safer.

Prices of flowers doubled in Vietnam as men presented bouquets to their girlfriends and wives in the communist country's version of Valentine's Day.

While countries such as Afghanistan reported progress in improving women's access to education and to political office — with two million girls returning to school since the fall of the ultraconservative Taliban regime — widespread discrimination and domestic violence continue.


What a Sense of...

Non-closure. No, no closure at all. It's more reminiscent of the way, I'm told, people who are about to have strokes smell burning grass or bread or some such before they keel on over.

Just booked the flights that'll take me back to Albuquerque for my diss defense, in case you were wondering about all the foo-fa-rah.

Closure does apply, I suppose. In the sense of a person's fate being sealed.

And with that, I close.


The Brits Get Sense

Well, in this study, which will affect nothing, one can only imagine:
Illegal drugs can be "harmless" and should no longer be "demonised", a wide-ranging two-year study concluded today.

The report said Britain's drug laws were "not fit for purpose" and should be torn up in favour of a system which recognised that drinking and smoking could cause more harm.

The RSA Commission on Illegal Drugs ,set up in January 2005, also called for the main focus of drugs education to be shifted from secondary to primary schools and recommended the introduction of so-called "shooting galleries" - rooms where users can inject drugs.

The report, compiled by a panel of academics, politicians, drugs workers, journalists and a senior police officer, also called for the Home Office to be stripped of its lead role in drugs policy.

It recommended the Misuse of Drugs Act be scrapped in favour of a wider-ranging Misuse of Substances Act, and the current ABC classification system be abandoned in favour of an "index of harms".


Thank You, John Edwards

The big WTF? question a while back was: Why on earth would the Democrats agree to have one of their primary debates on...FOXNEWS!?!?!?

Edwards says, "No thanks."
We will not be participating in the Fox debate. We're going to make lots of appearances in Nevada, including debates. By the end of March, we will have attended three presidential forums in Nevada - and there are already at least three proposed Nevada debates. We're definitely going to debate in Nevada, but we don't see why this needs to be one of them.


Criminal Prosecutor

Only Bush. First, highly suspect firings of a number of prosecutors across the country.

And now? Replacing one of these prosecutors with a man involved in a voter fraud scheme:
Timothy Griffin, Karl Rove’s assistant, the President’s pick as US Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. Griffin, according to BBC Television, was the hidden hand behind a scheme to wipe out the voting rights of 70,000 citizens prior to the 2004 election.

Key voters on Griffin’s hit list: Black soldiers and homeless men and women. Nice guy, eh? Naughty or nice, however, is not the issue. Targeting voters where race is a factor is a felony crime under the Voting Rights Act of 1965.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A Man Who Truly Lives to Serve

Poor, upstanding, righteous corporal, treated so badly by anti-war students:
If you are familiar with Cpl. Matt Sanchez, you probably know him as the handsome 36-year old Columbia University junior and USMC reservist who recently made the rounds of right-wing talk shows like O'Reilly Factor and Hannity & Colmes, where he received praise for coming forward and complaining about his treatment at the hands of Columbia's "radical anti-military students" who called him names and mocked his military service. Sanchez was then feted at the CPAC conference where Ann Coulter made her "faggot" remark. Sanchez wrote an op-ed piece on the Columbia experience for the NY Post and began a blog and MySpace page chronicling his media exposure.

Now, if you're like me, you might think, "Hmm, 36 years old and he's a junior in college and only a corporal in the Marines?" Odd, but not totally implausible. But Sanchez' face tinkled a few gay bells out there in fairyland, and last night I began to get emails letting me know that his rather late appearance on the Ivy League scene was because Sanchez has had a lengthy career in gay porn, working under the names Rod Majors (NSFW) and Pierre LaBranche, starring in such art films as Jawbreaker, Donkey Dick, and Glory Holes Of Fame 3, where his "11-inch uncut monster cock" earned him a devoted following.


Some Papers Come to Their Senses

Publishing bilious filth is neither noble nor profitable:
At least two more daily newspapers -- The Oakland Press of Michigan and The Mountain Press of Sevierville, Tenn. -- have dropped Ann Coulter's column. A daily in Pennsylvania had dropped the column two days ago.

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Campaign gay-rights organization announced a campaign late this afternoon to get other Coulter newspaper clients to drop the columnist. This comes a day after HRC started a letter-writing effort that resulted in what it said were more than 20,000 messages urging Universal Press Syndicate to stop distributing Coulter.

Oakland Press Editorial Page Editor Allan Adler, when reached this morning by E&P, said Coulter's use of the word "faggot" in a Friday speech was "definitely a factor" in his newspaper's decision. He also read a statement from his paper that went as follows:

"When we picked up Ann Coulter, it was because we felt we needed a conservative columnist ... and we knew she had a following. She certainly no longer represents conservatism and apparently is more interested in being a celebrity. We are searching for a new columnist and will no longer be running Coulter."


Borat Is a Human Rights Victim

It's true. And way too meta:
Fictional Kazakh TV reporter Borat has made an unexpected cameo appearance as a victim of censorship in a heavyweight annual human rights report issued by the State Department.

The 2006 report, released in Washington on Tuesday by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza, criticized the real Kazakhstan, a vast oil-producing Central Asian state, for increased restrictions on freedom of speech and other abuses.

The State Department, which says Kazakhstan has no independent judiciary, also listed the murder last year of Kazakh opposition politician Altynbek Sarsenbaiuly, his bodyguard and driver as "unlawful deprivation of life."

The report cited Borat's loss of his Kazakh webpage in late 2005 alongside court cases and limits on free speech faced by the few domestic media critical of Kazakhstan's long-serving President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

"The government deemed as offensive the content of a satirical site controlled by British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen and revoked the .kz domain," the report said.


They're There, They're Square, Not That Anyone Cares

The North Carolina legislature is doing the smart thing and ignoring the stupids:
Five thousand screaming, chanting evangelical Christians demonstrating at the North Carolina Capitol have failed to convince lawmakers to take up a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage.

Protestors from more than 100 churches across the state demonstrated in front of the legislature Tuesday. State Police estimated the crowd at more than 10-thousand and then downsized it to fewer than five-thousand.

For the past three years the Democratically-controlled legislature has refused to take up the amendment issue.


Haggard Gets High, Church Takes a Dive

Couldn't have happened to a more willfully ignorant buncha folks:
In the wake of a scandal involving its founding pastor, the Rev. Ted Haggard, the New Life Church in Colorado Springs has been forced to lay off 44 of its 350 workers to offset a sharp drop in donations.


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Pilgrims Killed, Bush to Surge Yet Again

Yes, let's keep doing what we've been doing and hope for different results:
The US could send an extra 7,000 troops to implement President George Bush's controversial Iraqi security plan, it emerged last night as the country suffered one of its worst recent days of bloodshed when at least 110 Shia Muslim pilgrims were killed and scores more injured. Most died in Hilla, south of Baghdad, in a twin suicide bombing blamed on Sunni extremists.

Gordon England, deputy secretary of defence, revealed that army commanders were requesting reinforcements beyond the 21,500 personnel already earmarked for the so-called "surge" into the capital.

"At this point, our expectation is the number of ... troops could go above 21,500 by about 4,000, maybe as many as 7,000," the official told the House of Representatives Budget committee in Washington.


Wishful Thinking

Except, of course, that it would mean VP Condi:
Dick Cheney has been diagnosed with a blood clot in his left leg, leading to speculation he will be forced to resign as U.S. Vice-President.
There has been widespread speculation that if Mr Cheney is unable to complete his term in office through ill health he will be replaced by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, another personal friend of Mr Bush.



More success in Iraq!
Dozens of al Qaeda-led militants stormed an Iraqi jail in the northern city of Mosul on Tuesday and freed up to 140 prisoners in one of the biggest prison breaks since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, police said.

As many as 300 militants led by Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, leader of the self-styled Islamic State in Iraq, attacked Mosul's northwestern Badoush prison just after sunset in the ethnically mixed city and overwhelmed police, who were forced to call the U.S. military for backup, officials said.


Texas Now Against the Abuse of Minors

This turnaround shows the power of public outcry:
Police went to 22 Texas Youth Commission facilities and the agency headquarters Tuesday to investigate claims that young inmates were sexually abused and that agency officials covered it up.



Scooter Libby is guilty on four of five counts.

One obstruction, one making false statements to the FBI, two perjury.

A bit of justice.


Always Read the Final Paragraphs

These are from the very bottom of a WaPo story on hearings about the situation at Walter Reed:
Before yesterday's hearing, a patient with a prosthetic arm tried to get in but was stopped by a guard, who asked if the young man was supposed to be in the hearing. "I'd like to be," the soldier said.

"It's preselected, unfortunately," the guard replied. The young amputee walked away. Inside, three rows of seats had been reserved for the Army; almost all were empty.


Killing Liberal Ideas in Iraq

Sigh, again
Two firemen emerged from the thick curtain of black smoke that covered the pavement on Monday, carrying a soft, shapeless corpse wrapped in a green tarpaulin.

In their path was what was left of Mutanabi Street, Baghdad's literary heart. Bookstores in ruins. Balconies torn from oatmeal-colored buildings, some still on fire. Mangled cars with cracked windshields. The sounds of weeping mingled with the smell of burned flesh, as shards of paper seemed to flutter endlessly down from the sky.

At 11:40 a.m., a car bomb exploded on this storied street, killing as many as 26 people and injuring dozens, according to police officers at the scene. It shattered an area once known for liberal ideas, an intellectual haven that in the heady days after the U.S.-led invasion pulsed with the promise of freedom.


Heartland Newsbriefs

Teen girls rob a bank in Georgia:

The mother of a 19-year-old arrested in a bank robbery in the US says that her daughter isn't a bandit, she just fell in with the wrong crowd and made a bad choice.

Joy Miller said her daughter, Ashley Miller, is sorry for what she did.

Ashley Miller and Heather Johnston, both 19, were videotaped wearing sunglasses and laughing as they appeared to rob a Bank of America in an upscale suburb in Atlanta, Georgia on February 27.

Texas teens teach toddlers to smoke pot:

Two US teenagers were arrested after police in Texas found a video of them showing two children, including one just two years old, how to smoke marijuana.

Fort Worth Police found the video on February 22 while investigating Demetris McCoy, 17, and Vanswan Polty, 18, in connection with some burglaries.

An Indianapolis man takes his daughter along as he crashes his plane into his former mother-in-law's house:
A pilot and his 8-year-old daughter were killed when their small plane crashed into his former mother-in-law's house near a southern Indiana airport, authorities said.

A preliminary crash investigation leads "us to believe that this was an intentional act," Indiana State Police spokesman 1st Sgt. Dave Bursten said.
And, not to be outdone, a Michigan man kills and dismembers his wife with the kids in the house:

A man authorities tracked down in a snow-covered wilderness confessed to killing and dismembering his wife, and described the "horrific" details surrounding her death, a sheriff said today.

Stephen Grant, arrested yesterday (Monday AEDT) in northern Michigan, has been released from a hospital where was recovering from hypothermia and has been taken to jail.


Another Postmodern Moment

From communist refuge to tourist trap:

Laos has opened up to tourism a complex of caves that once sheltered communist guerrilla leaders from the most intense bombing campaign ever unleashed by the United States.

Initially only five of the caves will be open to the public, the Laos National Tourism Administration (LNTA) said.

Laos was drawn into the Indochina War between 1964 and 1973, when the land-locked country fell victim to the US's so-called "secret war" to wipe out Viet Cong troops who used northern Laos as part of the Ho Chi Minh Trail to funnel men and armaments to South Vietnam.

More than two million tonnes of bombs were dropped on Laos over the nine years, more than the amount that fell on all of Europe during World War II.

War tourism has proved a boon in neighbouring Vietnam and Cambodia, where thousands of visitors flock to such sites as the Khmer Rouge "Killing Fields" near Phnom Penh and the Cu Chi tunnels near Ho Chi Minh City.


Monday, March 05, 2007

Another Promising Development

A possible way to impede HIV transmission yet further:
Researchers have discovered that cells in the mucosal lining of human genitalia produce a protein that "eats up" invading HIV-- possibly keeping the spread of AIDS more contained than it might otherwise be.

Even more important, enhancing the activity of this protein, called Langerin, could be a potent new way to curtail the transmission of the virus that causes AIDS, the Dutch scientists added.


FEMA Creating Disasters Now

Well done. Our government is doing well in adding to the suffering of Katrina victims:
Dozens of families evacuated from a FEMA trailer park that had been plagued by sewage leaks and power outages were in temporary homes Monday, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency said it had requested work permits to dismantle the site this week.

"They know how to put me out, but they don't know how to help me out. That's how I look at it," said Tobias, who lost his New Orleans home in Katrina's flooding and then was told to leave his Hammond trailer over the weekend. He and about 20 relatives, including 10 children, lived in four trailers, and were anxious about being split up.

"Pack and pray. That's what they told us," he said.

FEMA abruptly closed down the mobile home park because of ongoing problems with raw sewage that pours onto the grass. FEMA said electricity was cut off last week for the third time since Oct. 12; Broussard said the landowners hadn't paid bills on time, while Frank Bonner, a co-owner of the site, said FEMA hadn't paid on time.

A 48-hour deadline to leave fell on Sunday night, and FEMA scrambled to find new places for the 58 households.


More on the "Endearing" Army

Prince Pickles has a lot to answer for, it would seem. Vivisection of women for sex education...

Simply horrifying

Mr Makino was stationed there during the war. What he never told anybody, including his wife, was that during the four months before Japan's defeat in March 1945, he dissected ten Filipino prisoners of war, including two teenage girls. He cut out their livers, kidneys and wombs while they were still alive. Only when he cut open their hearts did they finally perish.

These barbaric acts were, he said this week, "educational", to improve his knowledge of anatomy. "We removed some of the organs and amputated legs and arms. Two of the victims were young women, 18 or 19 years old. I hesitate to say it but we opened up their wombs to show the younger soldiers. They knew very little about women - it was sex education."

Why did he do it? "It was the order of the emperor, and the emperor was a god. I had no choice. If I had disobeyed I would have been killed." But the vivisections were also a revenge on the "enemy" - Filipino tribespeople whom the Japanese suspected of spying for the Americans.

Mr Makino's prisoners seem to have been luckier than some: he anaesthetised them before cutting them up. But the secret government department which organised such experiments in Japanese-occupied China took delight in experimenting on their subjects while they were still alive.