Saturday, October 29, 2005

Fitz This... !

The palpable giddiness in the progressive universe over the last few weeks reached a crescendo yesterday, an event that will almost certainly go down in history, at least for the moment, as a time when the prefix Fitz had supplanted the suffix gate (as in Water). This, in honor of and directly attributable to special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who has, as no one else since Nixon's resignation had, brought to heel the Republican dogs of war & personal destruction.

I arrive upon "Fitzmas" and its etymology a bit late, having absorbed it only subliminally the last week or so while perusing the blogosphere, and just as suddenly it would dawn on me to google it. Here is the Wikopedian definition:
Fitzmas is the name given by some liberal American bloggers to the atmosphere of excitement and anticipation among Democrats and others preceding the announcement of results of Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation of the Plame affair. On October 28, 2005 Fitzgerald announced that the grand jury had indicted George W. Bush administration aide Lewis Libby. The word "Fitzmas" is a portmanteau of Fitzgerald's name and "Christmas".
Speaking of Googling, there are (as I write this) 474,000 entries for "Fitzmas," including Fitzmas Carols, Fitzmas Bingo, Fitzmas T-shirts, etc., etc. -- Go Nutz!! And now Al Franken has a piece in today's HuffPo entitled "Happy Fitznukkah, Everybody!"

Extending the hilarity in my own little way, I am reminded by all of this of my Ex-, whose more loveable moments included her laughing hysterically at her own jokes, one of which was this, uhm, gem:
"Did you hear about the two gay Irishmen?

"Yah! Patrick Fitzmichael and Michael Fitzpatrick!! HEEEEGHEEGHEEGHEEGHEE... !!"

Ahh, memories! But of course it was her laugh that always cracked me up.

And Here I Thought "Scooter" Was Gay...

... but Mr. Sulu? Mr. Sulu... ??

Help me, Spock... !!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Mr. Tomato Head

Adding the Jesus' General blog to the links over yonder for precisely this kind of coverage:
One of these days, while [Bill O'Reilly]'s in the middle of a particularly harsh diatribe, his head is going to explode. It'll be Fox's greatest moment, one that will be replayed more often than even Howard Dean's scream. Hannity will call it a Hillary plot, Hume will cite it as a reason to drill for oil in Yosemite, and Greta will declare a portion of O'Reilly's skull to be white, female and missing.

Paddy Chayevsky, call yer office!


Are these not the stupidest bastards alive?
The toll on Bush: The Plame case surely isn't the only cause for buyer's remorse, but a new Fox News poll out today says that 6 percent of Americans who voted to reelect the president in November would vote for John Kerry if they had the chance to do it all over again today. Six percent may not sound like much, but it would have been enough to turn Bush's 51-48 popular vote win into a 51-48 defeat 11 months ago.
No patience. Zero tolerance!

Faustian Bargains & The Bush Family

Sidney Blumenthal, brilliant as ever, explains how its pretty much over for the Bush presidency:
A sharp reversal of policy and turnover in personnel are the only actions that may enable Bush to salvage the shipwreck of his presidency, as they did for Reagan. But bringing in the elders, even if they could be summoned, would be psychologically devastating to Bush, a humiliating admission that his long history of recklessness and failure, from the Texas Air National Guard to Harken Energy, with rescue only through the intervention of his father and his father's friends, has reached its culmination.

Recounting their rise to power, i.e., Bush Sr. as well as Jr. (not to forget Prescott Bush and his affiliation with the Nazis), Blumenthal cites the proverbial Faustian Bargain, defined by Bartleby thusly:

(FOW-stee-uhn) Faust, in the legend, traded his soul to the devil in exchange for knowledge. To “strike a Faustian bargain” is to be willing to sacrifice anything to satisfy a limitless desire for knowledge or power.

In Dubya's case, 1 outta 2 ain't bad: Never having achieved "knowledge," he's finding the "power" he did obtain ebbing by the day. Meanwhile the irony of his shovelling Jesus 24/7, while personifying the devil's work in the form of his and his family's obvious misanthropy, I find fascinating as well as repugnant and very very scary.

And a Happy Halloween to you2... !!


I've always thought Sheryl Swoopes was kinda hot, but now I'm, like, totally diggin' 'er...

End O'Times?

Not a good month for that which name is Bush:

Schadenfreude! Wheee... !!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Al Gore For President

Full throttle, babe!!

I kinda knew his Jacksonian-less declarative was the usual poli-jibber jabber. Ostroy reports:
Forget that half-hearted declaration Al Gore gave at an economic forum in Stockholm, Sweden two weeks ago about having "absolutely no plans and no expectations of ever being a candidate again." According to friends, family and political advocates, Gore's playing it coy and has every intention of entering the race.
P.S. Sign the Draft Gore Petition.

Lest We Forget

Just about three weeks to Veterans Day. But it is today that marks the 2,000th American soldier to die unnecessarily for having been sent to Iraq by a fool telling lies.

And lest any one of us forgets the cost of a fool's duplicity...

With thanks to DailyKos for the link...

Monday, October 24, 2005

Word Up - #11

scha-den-freu-de (shad'n-froi-de) n. [G. : schaden, damage + freude, joy.] Enjoyment derived from the misfortunes of others.

Used in a sentence:
"Everytime Bush steps on his johnson, I get a tingle of schadenfreude."

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Cogito Ergo Sum

George Carlin has what I consider a healthy contempt for what he calls a "child fetish" endemic in American culture. Everything we do is for the children! He summarizes with an amusing snear to the American Parent: "I've got news for you folks: You've got a few winners -- a whoooole lotta losers!"

The good news, he offers, are kids who swallow marbles don't grow up to have kids of their own.

Not having raised a child, of course, allows me the luxury of empathy for the sentiment, particularly when I view the extremists in our culture as justifying every affront to our collective intelligence on behalf of how they would want their children to be protected, i.e., from truth and concurrent information that would undermine their perception thereof.

Best example I can think of was while riding home on the subway last spring. Sitting down next to me was a girl, approximately 14 years of age. She was a tourist with her family, who were sitting on the opposite side of the car, her slightly younger brother standing between us.

The conversation was congenial and as one might expect from one seeing the nation's capital for the first time in her life. She was sweet, excited and upbeat. I asked where they were from, Oklahoma; what grade she was in, a freshman in high school - or the equivalent thereof; what she was studying... She was "home-schooled," she said.

It was a long ride to our respective destinations; in their case, at the end of the line. The conversation faded in periods, then picked up again. We spoke about playing softball, and then it diverged into verboten territory: Evolution. I don't remember the thread.

"I don't believe in Evolution," she volunteered.

I wasn't surprised, given her being home-schooled -- in Oklahoma, but was nonetheless astonished. To see and hear, right in front of me, that which I absorbed only peripherially from television and the internet, that which goes on only in distant lands called Red States: the resultant and very malignant dumbing-down of our youth. And I am realizing, my territory is being overrun by ignoramouses.

I looked at her, this otherwise intelligent-looking waif, and wondered aloud if she was being taught any of the sciences. Her look was that of lacking recognition. "Biology? Physical Science? Anthropology? Not even Astronomy?" She shook her head each time.

Well of course not. Anybody made to suffer through schoolbook-learning, classroom lectures, quizzes, tests, paper-writings and presentations, for even a semester, are, by definition, made to think. And if you think about Evolution, and the inevitable conclusions brought to bear by, yes, natural selection, then belief doesn't enter into the equation. You reach a point in imperical study where you say, "Here's what I know" and "Here's what I have yet to learn". . . "What I believe," in this context, is immaterial.

I thought about this for some time after. And it made me angry. I mean who are these people to interfere with the growth of a human mind? Yes, they have rights as parents to influence the form and shape of their child's learning -- yadda -- but only to a point; say, turning off the T.V. and making 'em go upstairs and crack a textbook. But this girl was entering high school (or, again, the equivalency thereof), and she hadn't touched a science book in her life?? To call it an outrage is to grossly understate it.

So I am made to wonder: Is this not de facto child-abuse? I would say that it is, but far too many of those with far too much power in this country only encourage it. This, the moronification of America. And taken to the Nth degree, you have this:

Lynx and Lamb have been nurtured on racist beliefs since birth by their mother April. "They need to have the background to understand why certain things are happening," said April, a stay-at-home mom who no longer lives with the twins' father. "I'm going to give them, give them my opinion just like any, any parent would."

April home-schools the girls, teaching them her own unique perspective on everything from current to historical events. In addition, April's father surrounds the family with symbols of his beliefs — specifically the Nazi swastika. It appears on his belt buckle, on the side of his pick-up truck and he's even registered it as his cattle brand with the Bureau of Livestock Identification.

Back on the subway, I looked over at her parents. On the surface, they looked to be rather decent. Very nice, clean-cut, attractive and smiling middle-American. They had to be stopped. And my time was short.

I turned back to the girl. "Evolution is not something to be believed. It is to be studied and either understood or plausibly refuted." She furrowed her brow.

"For example," I continued, "when you were born, were you this big or did you enter the world as a baby." The latter, she acknowledged, of course. "And you grew for over 14 years, until you became this big, right?" Right again, she nodded. "And you'll continue to grow in size until you become an adult, and then you'll continue to grow older, right?" More nodding.

"That's an evolutionary process. That's evolution!" She looked up at me as though experiencing a revelation.

It was then her brother sat down behind us. He leaned forward, elbows along the roll-bar atop our seats. His grin was mischievous and inches from my face. At first I thought he was sent by Mom & Dad to disrupt my heresy. No, it turned out he was just grooving on the conversation. I looked over at the parents. They were still smiling but with far less enthusiasm.

The subway came to my stop. I got up, turned to the kids, and stated in my most authoritative but reassuring voice: "The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know."

I didn't look back, feeling like Johnny Appleseed as subversive.

It felt gooood.

"Barking Up Trees" Worth $564.54

And here I thought I was offering only my two cents. Will have to find the time to examine this further, not being a Jonah who can process this kind of data over a sandwich, but anyway... !!

How much is your Blog worth?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

All Judy All The Time

Josh Marshall at TPM gets to what's been the underlying current of this whole Judy Miller/Plamegate/NYT dick-stomp, and it's precisely that: an underlying current. Marshall likens it to a black hole in that we know it's there because the gravitational constant of the quantum singularity -- in this case, the kid gloves treatment of Miller -- indicates such, even if we cannot see it because no light can escape:
When you read the Times Sunday article plus Miller's apologia, there's too much there that is simply inexplicable in terms of what we already know. Going into this mess Miller's reputation was already severely checkered and her journalistic judgment very much in question. And yet Sulzberger and Keller (the first in the van, the second following with an odd passivity) staked the reputation of the Times itself on her and went along for this whole ride without even getting the most basic information from her about what had happened?

Simple poor judgment doesn't explain that for me. Something else is up.

I'll tell you what it is, Josh: Judy Miller is the greatest lay since the Virgin Mary. That's it! It's gotta be!! Why else would grown, professional men fall all over themselves only to be impaled on the swords of integrity and professionalism?

You think I'm kidding? Ask any man: What's the only thing in the world worth taking the risk of screwing up your career over? Answer: A righteous piece of ass!! It's only the history of mankind.

Now Judy Miller is no Eva Longoria, granted, but she's not bad -- that is, if you can get past the rictus-grinning megalomania and a penchant for ball-cutting the likes of which'd make a man beg for the rusty hedge-clippers as a pleasureable alternative. And we're talking about upper-middle-aged men (Pinch the Publisher notwithstanding; although, dollars2donuts, he's getting some too). Ahmad Chalabi, Scooter Libby, Karl Rove, Rummy, Bill Keller, Lou Dobbs, Thomas Friedman -- she's done 'em all, and better than they've had in too Goddamned long (the history of middle-aged mankind).

And there it is! End of mystery. The fall of the greatest newspaper in the world, or at least its credibility, and of the Bush administration, which never had any:


Monday, October 17, 2005

Monday Monday

Late night at the office again, an apparent manifestation of having a cool space and a new desktop. Consequently I spend considerably more time here after hours than I would've anticipated after starting a month and some days ago. Conversely, on the homefront, I'm not particularly enjoying the removed existence that is suburban living, or the feng shui, or lack thereof, in my corner of the universe.

So I'm in search of new digs by November 1, and I'm fairly distracted from having fun with the latest nonsense of DubyaWorld. Am also dealing with other more personal issues, which I won't get into here just now.

At any rate, my postings are likely to be sporadic -- more than usual -- over the next couple of weeks.

But please do keep checkin' back. It's kinda lonely at the middle.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Word Up - #10

ex-pli-ca-ble (ek'spli-ke-bel) adj. Capable of being explained. -ex'pli-ca-bly adv.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Nobel Laureates and Illiterates

I'm beginning to truly dig Hunter at the DailyKos. With respect to the Nobel Prize:

See, I just don't understand this. Rightwingers make it a point to be both anti-science and anti-intellectual, so it hardly takes an, er, rocket scientist to figure out why righties don't typically win the awards. What, did they really think the Discovery Institute was in the running this year, for their condemnation of every major scientific advancement of the last four hundred years in favor of the theory that Adam and Eve milked dinosaurs and sold the resulting DinoCheese in Cain's chain of God*Mart retail outlets?

On the other hand, I don't much like Harold Pinter neither.

Teddy Roosevelt Knows George Bush

T.R. via the DailyKos:

"The president is merely the most important among a large number of public servants, Roosevelt explained in 1918. "He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able and disinterested service to the nation as a whole.

"Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile.

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or anyone else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else."

This harkens the other, perhaps overused reference to Will Rogers, who famously said, "I never met a man I didn't like." And of course, "Will Rogers never met George Bush!"

And In Other News...

A little too much cream in the coffee?

Now I Can Sleep

Just heard on the Olbermann repeat this evening that NASA has concluded, through close-up fly-by studies, that comets are icy dirt-balls, not dirty snowballs.

And rounding out the syllogism, all Republicans are comets.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Gore Speaketh

For the record, the seat behind the desk in the Oval Office belongs to Al Gore, as the American people clearly intended that Bucknernian night in November 2000. And how would the world be different?

"We would not have invaded a country that didn't attack us," [Gore] said, referring to Iraq. "We would not have taken money from the working families and given it to the most wealthy families."We would not be trying to control and intimidate the news media. We would not be routinely torturing people. We would be a different country."
By the way, Markos gets a little loose in the scoop here, stopping short in ackowledging this:

"I don't completely rule out some future interest, but I don't expect to have that," Gore said.
Which is, of course, no Jacksonian declaritive: "If nominated I will not run; if elected I will not serve."

America needs to reverse course badly.

America needs the likes of Al Gore! Funny as that sounds.

Wesley Clark as VP.

Hillary can go kiss Bill.

Impeach Bush!

[D] All of the above.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Update: Gore For President

Huff-Baby's on the case again...

She made Ah-nold fight for his seat in California.

She continues to cause great consternation in Times Square at the Gray Lady. (That was no lady, that was Judy Miller!!)

And now she's calling attention to Hillary's playing both ends against the middle:
Even though they backed both of Bill Clinton's White House runs and Hillary's Senate campaign, they've had enough of Hillary's attempt to rebrand herself as a fence-straddling DLC Dem. They're tired of the relentless strategic triangulating, the all-too-predictable attacks on video games (Sistah Soljah, meet Grand Theft Auto), the willingness to go along with President Bush's missile defense fantasies (one of only six Dems to do so), and the endless photo-op-ready partnerships with the likes of Bill Frist, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich.

But most of all, they are put off by her bellicose support for the war in Iraq -- which has, at times, left her sounding more like a White House shill than a viable opposition candidate.

And just as succinctly, she illustrates why Gore's the better candidate:
"He's been strongly against the war since the beginning," a big Dem donor who is hoping to convince Gore to run told me, "and with gas prices going through the roof and killer hurricanes wreaking havoc, he's the gold standard on global warming, alternative energy, and the environment. What's not to like?"

And Lawrence Bender, who after producing "Kill Bill" is now producing what I hear is a killer documentary featuring Gore and his fight to get our country to take action on global warming, told me that the former VP "would be a hell of a candidate. Unlike 2000, he's now clearly very comfortable in his own shoes. Bold, passionate, committed, and very funny. It's been amazing working with him."
No kidding: Al Gore For President!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Which State Is That Again?

Ol' Mitt Romney sittin' in a tree...

Ee-aye ee-aye ohhhh...

So we're talkin' the Massachusetts governor here, who's really from Michigan by way of Utah. He's running for president, primarily by running down his "home" state (because Mass. jokes play big w/the Red State yay-hoos, don'tcha y'know!), and now he's peddling this shit:

''We're under attack, as you know, militarily," Romney told about 150 people gathered at an exclusive Raleigh country club. ''They're not just intent on blowing up a little bomb here and there at a shopping mall, awful as that would be. They want to bring down our government, bring down our entire economy. They want to put in place a huge theocracy."

The obvious irony, of course, is the governor's audience was likely lousy with those who really do want to make America a theocracy. But consider also Ol' Mitt "happens to be" (thank you, George Carlin) Mormon, which is relevant because he presumably wants the GOP nomination rather than run as an independant [by the way, somebody really oughta give John McCain the heads-up on how well he's received by the Jumbo Shrimp party bouncers, or will be], and for that he will have to literally scare up "the faithful" about how the Islamic terrorists have all these plans of turning our churches into mosques, that is after they finally extricate themselves out from under the oppressive thumb of Yankee imperialism.

Meanwhile, the betting is heavy you'll not hear anytime soon a plan to break bread with the other 99% of the Muslim peoples, who comprise one quarter of the world's population. Presumably any "win" against terror would require their cooperation and not their resentment. Please note those are mutually exclusive conditions.

As any presumptive candidate for '08 ought to consider, winning the hearts & minds of the Muslim street is the only way to win the War On Terror. Instead, Romney's the usual suspect baiting on faith and race, playing to the lowest common denominator and to the paleolithic evangelitans (redundant, I know). They will, of course, lap it up, leaving a growing and very wearying general electorate to seek nutrition elsewhere.
''Thank heavens we have a president of the United States who recognizes this for what it is and has declared war on it."
Nope! That ain't it!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Word Up #9

sub-vert (seb-vurt') vt. -vert-ed, -vert-ing, -verta. [ME subverten < OFr. subvertir <>subvertere : sub-, from below + vertere, to turn.] 1. To destroy completely : RUIN. 2. To undermine the character, morals, or allegiance of. 3. To overthrow completely <"economic assistance . . . must subvert the existing . . . feudal or tribal order" -Henry A. Kissinger> -sub-vert'er n.

Word Up #8

sub-ver-sive (seb-vur-siv, -ziv) adj. Intended or serving to subvert <subversive political activity> -n. One who advocates or is regarded as advocating subversive means or policies. -sub-versive-ly adv. -sub-ver'sive-ness n.

60s Sit-Coms2Life

You live long enough, certain pop-culture references to the follies of Bush make sense. You post-Boomers, meanwhile, will just have to watch TVLand to keep up.

Bill Maher, for example, recently likened former FEMA director Michael Brown and SCOTUS nominee Harriet Miers to "Goober and Aunt Bea," harkening the more distant but still appreciated reference by John DiIulio, the former head of Bush's effort to aid religious charities, to senior White House staff as "Mayberry Machiavellis."

James Wolcott's getting a similar drift, but he has another 60s sit-com in mind:
Harriet Miers is George Bush's Miss Jane Hathaway. Miss Hathaway, archeologists will recall, was Mr. Drysdale's prim, devoted secretary on the Beverly Hillbillies. When not bailing her boss out of jams, Miss Hathaway's hobby was birdwatching, which in those unenlightened days was considered the solitary pastime of harmless eccentrics. But infused with the infectious stylized foolery of Nancy Culp, Miss Hathaway was more than a spinsterish stick figure; a subversive imp amid all those load-bearing hillbillies and lacquered Beverly Hills matrons, Miss Hathaway was sitcom's first lesbian heroine.

Leaving aside Miss Jane's goofy if less subliminal crush on Jethro, Wolcott is more correct when he trots out what I also had surmised to be the underlying theory behind the Jumbo Shrimp's current high-dudgeon:
After listening to their rending of garments and gnawing of bark over the last week, it is clear that they were hoping Bush would pick a Federalist Society stalwart that they could use like a club with which to beat Democrats and feminist organizations into whimpering mush. They longed for a climactic showdown, the desire to overturn Roe v. Wade beats harder in their blood and means more to them than winning in Iraq, and instead Bush trots out one of his surrogate mommies, a loyalist of insignicant stature.

Again, it is as I had thought but was late in presenting: It isn't enough that Miers likely will give them everything they want in an evangelical rubber stamp, they also had to rub our noses in it -- all the way up to confirmation. Dubya deprived them that pleasure, and that is what triggers their sense of having been betrayed. And watching them recoil, as though they were tasting their bile for the first time, is a moment of unmitigated and primitive delight -- if however shortlived.

Gargling Oligarchies & Oligopolies

Sidney Blumenthal succinctly summarizes the Republicans and their economic Final Solution:

Under Ronald Reagan, the unanticipated consequences of supply-side economics - instead of tax cuts fostering increased government revenues, they blew a black hole in the budget - has under Bush been a conscious policy following the Reagan lesson. The reason is to apply fiscal pressure on government, making its regulations more pliable for manipulation in the interest of oligopoly and therefore the Republican political class. Just as macroeconomic policy is the plaything of politics, so is microeconomic policy. Environmental degradation, lowered public health and urban neglect are indifferent byproducts.

The Republican system is fundamentally unstable. Bush has no economic policy other than Republicanism. As the economic currents run toward an indefinable reckoning, the ship of state drifts downstream.
Or to put it another way: the body America has cancer and the prognosis is grim. Any successful treatment would necessitate radically alternative remedies, and soon...

... or we could cut the fuckin' thing out!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Eat Any Good Books Lately?

Rainy Saturday. We've been needing a good wet lately. Conversely, the humor around here has been anything but dry. Be all that as it may, my doing very little, other'n buying books at the local Borders and putting in an hour at the gym, makes for a productive day I should think.

I bought three books, two from the New Paperbacks section and a third when I came out of the men's room in the back and just in passing, effectively judging it by its cover. The Mother Tongue -- English and How It Got That Way by Bill Bryson. An excerpt:
But there are other factors at work, such as history and geography. The colonists along the eastern seaboard naturally had closer relationships with England than those colonists who moved inland. That explains at least partly why the English of the eastern seaboard tends to have so much in common with British English -- the tendency to put a "yew" sound into words like stew and Tuesday, the tendency to have broader and rounder "a" and "o" sounds, the tendency...
Hmm. Maybe I'll just return this one. Kidding. I'm convinced I need something a little highbrow to plug into my information corticals -- beyond, say, Desperate Housewives (although that'll do). Not unlike having a salad between every fourth Mickey McCheese, and one without the pasta because I like to think I'm a good boy.

I suspect, however, that I'll read the other two first. Par example, Noam Chomsky's Imperial Ambitions - Conversations on the Post-9/11 World:
In a new documentary The Fog of War, Robert McNamara makes a rather interesting admission. He quotes General Curtis LeMay, with whom he served in the period of the firebombings of Japanese cities in World War II, as saying, "If we'd lost the war, we'd all have been prosecuted as war criminals." Then McNamara says, "I think he's right . . . . But what makes it immoral if you lose and not immoral if you win?"

Indeed, but then McNamara would wonder given he's the cat who lost Vietnam. A lesson unlearned by today's sociopaths at the Pentagon.

I did say highbrow, yes? But I've been wanting to read something by Chomsky for a while, especially since he gets the chickenhawks so exorcised. Makes him must reading in my book.

Then there's The Know-It-All -- One Man's Humble Quest to Become The Smartest Person in the World by A.J. Jacobs. What grabbed me was the backcover summation by Joel Stein of Time Magazine:
A.J. Jacobs turns the act of reading the entire Britannica into a hilarious memoir . . . . It's a stunt of the book itself that allows the funny, touching memoir to be so stuffed with nutritious bits of trivia that you feel smart for reading it.

An example of Jacobs' endeavor:

Ooze, I learn, is sediment that contains at least 30 percent skeletal remains of microscopic floating organisms. You've got to marvel at the specificity of that. Thirty percent; 29 percent and you're out of luck, buddy. You may be sediment, but you're no ooze.


They can be experienced from infancy. What? Did I have orgasms when I was an infant? Did I smoke a tiny cigarette afterward.

And one more:

The famous 18th-century lothario ended his life as a librarian. Librarians could use that to sex up their image.

Those are just some of the shorter bits. Not in the mood for keying in pages of the stuff. And that's the other thing, there's no cutting & pasting from paperback to hardrive. Thank the Godlings I can type.

Of course reading books is something I've gotten away from since in my day, what with the advent of newspapers and television. The internet's been a boon inasmuch as fewer and fewer people are buying newspapers, which presumably means fewer trees need to be cut down, i.e., beyond the heinous ruination of our old-growth forests merely to add to industry's jollies. But I'd like very much to get away from the computer too as I just know it's boiling my eyeballs.

And with that in mind...

Friday, October 07, 2005

The Hose Are Hosed

This just in...

Now if we can shed a shabby Manny and a Jesus Freak or three, we can go back to being likeable.

Next year... ! Uhm, if next year is 2090!


Bush To Resign

... that is, before January '09 -- It's hawrd werk!!

Yah! Too hard for that fuck. Clearly the heavens are opening up and the end is nigh.

You heard it here first.

Any takers?

Now This Is [Messed] Up!

We're talkin' Alligator

But it be also Allegorical

Wit'dem reptiles

Bush & Cheney & Rove & Delay

et al.

(All together now... !!)

A New Correction

We're now talking about the utterly stupid 37%.

T-minus . . . and counting...

Reprise: Gore For President

I think if we can cut though the crap, there are precious few choices. Al Gore talks about the threat to American democracy:
Are we still routinely torturing helpless prisoners, and if so, does it feel right that we as American citizens are not outraged by the practice? And does it feel right to have no ongoing discussion of whether or not this abhorrent, medieval behavior is being carried out in the name of the American people? If the gap between rich and poor is widening steadily and economic stress is mounting for low-income families, why do we seem increasingly apathetic and lethargic in our role as citizens?
while Dubya talks the talk the talk the talk... (P.S. Note the quotation marks.)

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

A Hose Is A Hose Is A Hose

What a comment by the Kos:
What a crop of teams I can't root for. The Angels are arch-enemies of my A's, as the Cards and Astros are to the Cubs. I hate the Yankees, and I'm over the Red Sox (who I find completely unlikeable).
I'd say I was offended except the brothers and I are on board with the "I'm so over the Red Sox" part. Well Rick is. Heard nary a discouraging word from Jeff. Interesting nonetheless: Could it be the end of the Red Sox Nation pathology? Personally, I'm good for the next 85 years. And given the Carmine Hose's performance this afternoon against the Greasers, it's a good bet it'll take that long.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Mad Monday

My new job keeps me cranking in assembly line fashion; take a daily flood of raw prospects and polish them into a more refined status of "customers" or "clients." At the end of the shift, everyday, there are still more trickling in. At first that annoyed me, thinking of them as loose ends yet to be tied. Now its, like, pro forma, and my attitude is the next guy can have 'em. 'Cause Lord knows I have my own stack at the start of the day.

All of this, of course, makes the hours fly by, and that's a double-edged sword -- temporally speaking. I do like looking up, surprised, suddenly realizing, "Wow! I'm done." At the same time, the effect is that of an accelerated timewarp shortening my life -- great when you're 20, not so hot at middle age. Like that screwy character in Catch-22 who savored boredom for it slowed his day while lengthening his life.

Or something...

Just catching up now on the new Dubya nominee for Sandy Baby's chair on SCOTUS. Simply put, the right-wingnuts are bullshit because she doesn't eat raw meat. Meanwhile, I cringe because she's apparently a corporate whore, which apparently fits nice & comfy for the bought & paid-for Dems, who are already grabbing their ankles. All of which makes for a delicious irony as now some of the Repos are talking... the, uhm, "Constitutional Option":

The Constitutional Option? Why Filibuster Of Course - by Armando
Mon Oct 3rd, 2005 at 14:57:51 PDT

More evidence of Republican "principles," via
Billmon and atrios:

From the American Spectator blog, via Bull Moose:
Just spoke with a staffer for a conservative member of the Judiciary Committee whose boss is extremely unhappy about the nomination of Harriet Miers . . . There is now talk among some conservatives about a filibuster of the Miers nomination . . .
Let us be candid: the Dems are a mightily dimwitted bunch, far outpaced in the scum of corruption. But they as enablers are just as corrupt. They were the good men and women who did nothing, thus allowing the malignancy in American government to matasticize. And their short-sighted maintenance of only THE ONE issue -- Abortion -- allowed Bush to get what he really wanted all along: the pro big business rubber stamp.

This means you can say goodbye forever to environmental protections, consumer safety & choices, while they clamp a brake on any future Congress' ability to pass laws protecting our individual rights or inhibiting The Oligarchical commercial government from befouling further our lives or our environment, be it physically, psychically or spiritually -- short of passing a smorgasboard of Constitutional amendments.

In the mood for a mad cow steak & cheese... ? Coming right up!

Would you like a little extra mercury in your tuna... ? Get in line!

Your prescription medication too expensive... ? So die already!

Step aside, we're paving this forest.

Everybody away from the beach -- both sides... This is now private property!

Care for some Spotted Owl stew... ?

Don't like your arbitrarily lowered minimum wage or the fact we've decided not to give you your pension after all... ? Well have a happy Fuck You!

Uhm, gee... !! Sorrrry, California, but General Motors thinks your CAFE standards are not in its best interests and has received a federal waiver.

Say a prayer for the children. We insist!

Don't like your cable company merging with the satellite provider? Again, have a Fuck You! on us.

Oh, and the multitude of criminal conspiracy charges against the White House and certain members of Congress... ?? [crumple crumple] ...

Rick Santorum! C'monnnn dowwwwn!! You are the next President of the United States!!

And on... and on...

By the way, nobody in Alabama can get an abortion anyway.

What, you didn't get off a shot?

Ruefully amusing through it all is I learned only recently what FUBAR means. And this whole business is.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Word Up - #7

dis-ci-pline (dis'e-plin) n. [ME < descepline < disciplina < discipulus, pupil < discere, to learn.] 1. Training expected to produce a specific type or pattern of behavior, esp. training that produces moral or mental improvement. 2. Controlled behavior resulting from disciplinary training. 3. A systematic method to obtain obedience. 4. A state of order based on submission to rules and authority. 5. Punishment intended to train or correct. 6. A set of methods or rules, as those regulating the practice of a church or monastic order. 7. A branch of knowledge or of teaching. -vt. -plined, -plin-ing, -plines. 1. To train by instruction and control. 2. To punish or penalize. 3. To impose order on < discipline one's work habits > -dis'ci-pli-nal (-ple-nel) adj. -dis'ci-plin'er n.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Selig As Rodney

Not that I miss so much of otherwise having had to endure the Yanks clinching the AL East this afternoon, but it's the redundant lack of awareness by Major League Baseball, or more specifically the suits that run it, or more specifically Bud F'ing Selig, that makes this fan scratch his head more than should be necessary.

Here it is: The Nats were supposed to play at 7:05 p.m. and Fox Sports was supposed to cover the Sox v. Yanks this afternoon. With me so far?

Fox then says it wants the Nats v. Phillies pushed to 4 o'clock (see previous post link) so that game, presumably, can smoothly tag with the opener of what is now a broadcast double-header while at the same time not chop up their evening programming.

But Channel 5 in D.C., the Fox affiliate, apparently has some deal with the Nats to not broadcast other games that could overlap their game -- Fine! Pro forma agreement between any major sports team and its local media, par for the course -- and, instead, plugs in a rerun of Stargate IV - Up Yours! followed by infomercials.

Mmm-mm, Mustn't See TV!!


The Nats are owned by Major League Baseball. And wouldn't you think Major League Baseball would prefer not to have its two marquee teams -- arguably at the most heightened moment in at least 27 years (not including playoffs) of their century-old rivalry -- blacked out in a Top-10 media market? I mean, advertising dollars and all that. And wouldn't somebody in New York, with the ability to think a half-day beyond his nose, might call Channel 5 and say, "Hey dummies, we waive the black-out! Broadcast the fucking Sox/Yankees already!!"?

The reverse wouldn't necessarily be true. Channel 5 (again presumably) loses nothing in advertising revenue when a network program is nixed, and likely they made a little green by queing up a local spot or two into a syndicated show previously unscheduled.

Maybe the commissioner should be taking steroids... for his brain!

Another Reason To Utterly Despise Fox

Another reason why being a consumer advocate is a passionate but fruitless endeavor. Sox/Yanks were blacked out in the D.C. area today -- and why? Because Fox Sports preferred the D.C. Nat'ls game against the Phillies be bumped up from their 7:05 start time. So what, right?

Because Channel 5 is committed to showing the Washington Nationals' game against the Philadelphia Phillies at 4 p.m. . . . it cannot also show the earlier Yankees-Red Sox game, which could help decide the champion of the American League East division.
Do you know there are more Sox fans and more Yankees fans respectively in this town than there are Nationals fans? If it's any consolation, area bars weren't privy to the change in listings until organized fans showed up only to be disappointed they would be made to watch Maryland against Virginia, or, better yet, Stargate re-runs and infomercials. And how many people will in turn show up at 4 o'clock to catch their precious but oh-so eliminated Nats? Do shut-ins travel?

Fantasizing now about how the French had it right, with respect to the bourgeoisie (or in my case, television & cable Suits, and members of Congress who take money from media corporations while allowing cable monopolies to flourish), during the Bastille.