Thursday, November 17, 2005

Freefalling

You'll enjoy this.
And this will remind you that you're not insane. Well, probably.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

... And Then Gradually Back to Apes

An embarrassment. From CNN:

At the risk of re-igniting the same heated nationwide debate it sparked six years ago, the Kansas Board of Education approved new public school science standards Tuesday that cast doubt on the theory of evolution.

The 6-4 vote was a victory for "intelligent design" advocates who helped draft the standards. Intelligent design holds that the universe is so complex that it must have been created by a higher power.

Critics of the language charged that it was an attempt to inject God and creationism into public schools in violation of the separation of church and state.

All six of those who voted for the standards were Republicans. Two Republicans and two Democrats voted against them.

"This is a sad day. We're becoming a laughingstock of not only the nation, but of the world, and I hate that," said board member Janet Waugh, a Kansas City Democrat.

Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die

Fans of Hunter S. Thompson will get an inside view of his elaborate memorial service in a film directed by Wayne Ewing.

"When I Die" will be shown Saturday at the Starz Denver International Film Festival. The hour-long movie depicts the creation of the 15-story tower that was used to blast Thompson's ashes into the sky at a closed memorial service on his Woody Creek property in August.

Take One for the Team

From my Florida connection.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Bush Defends Interrogation Practices

"Our country is at war and our government has the obligation to protect the American people," Bush said. "Any activity we conduct is within the law. We do not torture."

Somehow, this sounds like "We are above the law." I know I'm deliberately misunderstanding these words, but I also feel the words are deliberately misleading. Electrodes on your testicles by any other name ...

Read it all here.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

"Beer is proof that God loves us ...

... and wants us to be happy." -- Ben Franklin

Desperately in need of a change of pace. I read this article at SFGate.com about a gang of brewers who went barhopping in the San Francisco Bay area in search of exotic beers, pleasing ambience and opportunity for memorable storytelling. It was like 10 minutes in San Fran in the middle of an otherwise deadly day in the cube.

Loved the quotations, such as the one above, that introduced the review of each bar. Two others:

"Pay day came and with it, beer." -- Rudyard Kipling

"Beer he drank -- seven goblets. His spirit was loosened. He became hilarious. His heart was glad and his face shone." -- Epic of Gilgamesh

Libby Pleads Not Guilty

From NYT:

Libby entered the plea in front of U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton, a former prosecutor who has spent two decades as a judge in the nation's capital.

Once the charges were read and the judge asked for his response, Libby said: "With respect, your honor, I plead not guilty."


Looking forward to seeing Cheney testify.

Like Bush, Like Crony

If you're here you've almost certainly seen this. If you haven't seen it, well, you should. It's not often that a national disgrace is revealed so plainly and clearly. E-mail messages from former FEMA director Michael Brown during the Hurricane Katrina disaster. A sample:
... two days after Katrina, Marty Bahamonde, one of the only FEMA employees in New Orleans, wrote to Brown that "the situation is past critical."

"Here are some things you might not know. Hotels are kicking people out, thousands gathering in the streets with no food or water. Hundreds still being rescued from homes," Bahamonde said.

"The dying patients at the DMAT (Disaster Medical Assistance Team) tent being medivac. Estimates are many will die within hours. Evacuation in process. Plans developing for [Superdome] evacuation but hotel situation adding to problem. We are out of food and running out of water at the dome, plans in works to address the critical need.

"FEMA staff is OK and holding own. DMAT staff working in deplorable conditions. The sooner we can get the medical patients out, the sooner we can get them out. Phone connectivity impossible."

Brown's entire response was: "Thanks for the update. Anything specific I need to do or tweak?"

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

One More Piece of Advice ...

Or Smirk could simply ignore everything in the previous post and just fucking STEP DOWN. I had hoped to avoid histrionics here, but when I saw this diary at dKos it made my blood boil. From an interview yesterday with Latin American reporters in advance of his five-day trip to the region ...

Q What I want to know -- sources of the government told me that they would ask you about more cooperation on support for Argentina, you know, in the IMF fund --

THE PRESIDENT: IMF.

Q Exactly.

THE PRESIDENT: Please don't tell me that the government leaks secrets about conversations to the --

Q Well, I have my sources in the government.

THE PRESIDENT: You do? Okay, well I'm not going to ask you who they are, of course. (Laughter.)

Q No, please.

THE PRESIDENT: Inside joke here, for my team. (Laughter.)

(Link to a story on Yahoo News that also mentions the "joke.")

It's impossible to read anything about this president without becoming absolutely outraged.

Advice for POTUS

CNN.com asked readers to pose as advisers to the president and offer suggestions for ways the administration could get back on track. Here is a sampling of those responses.

It's what you might expect: Get out of Iraq, find alternative fuels, address issues of the poor and more.

Here is my offering, which is advice I would also give myself:

1. Listen.
2. Consider how your actions affect other people.
3. Admit your mistakes.
4. Start taking your job seriously.
5. Be humble. You are a servant.

Fat chance, huh?

Pride and Frustration

First of all, Harry Reid is the man. And I'm proud of the Dems today. Forcing the closed session of the Senate was no stunt, it was a bold and dramatic move -- which is exactly what is needed sometimes.

Second, I'm frustrated and exhausted from having to parse every single word that comes from the Bush administration. It is nearly overwhelming; nothing can be taken at face value. Every word gives off the odor of fresh horseshit. The announcement of a national plan for the bird flu pandemic: a dodge and cover scheme. The nomination of an obviously wingnutty SCOTUS justice: yet another smoke screen. And speeches like this one that sound like warmed-over horseshit from 2002. The situation will only intensify as the '08 elections approach. Well, it's better than letting the crap just wash over you while you drown in it.

I suppose conservatives have exactly the same feeling about anything that comes from the opposing camp.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Bush to Reveal Bird Flu Strategy

Today, at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., President Bush will outline the national strategy for combating bird flu. Some advance details:

"Well, y'see, we're gonna give everyone a 9-inch square of cotton cloth, understand? An' here's what ya do with it. Ya put it over yer mouth, see, an' that keeps the germs out. The germs stay out. An ya don't get the flu, see? Heh, heh, heh. Now here's the beauty part: If ya do get the flu, ya can use it as a HANKY."