Sunday, June 29, 2008

Wisconsin Sculptor Gets Cheesy

LITTLE CHUTE, Wis. - A Wisconsin sculptor's version of a historical painting is a bit cheesy.

Troy Landwehr has carved a version of John Trumbull's painting "Declaration of Independence" in a 2,000-pound block of cheddar.

The artist's painting of the historic signing hangs in the Capitol in Washington and graces the back of the $2 bill.

The cheesy version is to be displayed near Independence Mall in Philadelphia for July 4, then returned to Wisconsin to be shown at Landwehr's Kerrigan Brothers Winery.

The cheddar will eventually be cut up and sent to food pantries.

It is Landwehr's second project for Kellogg Co.'s Cheez-It cracker brand. Last year, he did several renditions of Mount Rushmore.

WINK News - Ft Myers

Weekend Pundit Roundup

Like I said... I'm toning down the political aspect of this site... but you can't not have a weekend pundit roundup!!!

David Broder: Breaking! I've just discovered that George Bush spent nearly eight years dumbing down the presidency. Who knew? And they say I've lost my touch. Hah! Watch me make this bipartisan.

Peter Wehner: "I am a conservative evangelical, and even I am offended by James Dobson's dishonest critique of Barack Obama's theology." And believe me when I tell you that when it comes to conservative evangelical dishonest Democrat-bashing critiques, it takes a heck of a lot to offend me.

Frank Rich: A terror attack help McCain? An urban myth, like alligators in the NY sewers.

But let’s put ourselves in Mr. Black’s shoes and try out the Rove playbook at home — though not in front of the children — by thinking the unthinkable. If a terrorist bomb did detonate in an American city before Election Day, would that automatically be to the Republican ticket’s benefit?

Not necessarily. Some might instead ask why the Bush White House didn’t replace Michael Chertoff as secretary of homeland security after a House report condemned his bungling of Katrina. The man didn’t know what was happening in the New Orleans Convention Center even when it was broadcast on national television.

Peggy Noonan: How the mighty have fallen! Reagan's people could steal your wallet right under your nose and get you to blame your Democratic grandmother. McCain's people? "What a hotbed of incompetent manipulation they have become." Rank amateurs!

Y'know McCain ought to unleash his inner "straight talk express" and start telling people what he really thinks of George Bush. He'd still lose, of course, but at least it'd be a good deal more interesting than what we're getting from McCain now.

Gail Collins: On Barack and Hillary:

Do they really like each other? I think I speak for most of the nation when I say that on the list of things that keep us up at night, it does not make the top 1,000. It is, in fact, right down there with the fate of the Clinton campaign debt.

Well, I still can't figure out why he won and she didn't (they are so very similar to my eye), but can we start talking about Obama vs McCain now? It's time to move on.

Bob Herbert:

Congress and the public do not know nearly enough about the nation’s post-Sept. 11 interrogation practices. When something as foul as torture is on the table, there is a tendency to avert one’s eyes from the most painful truths.

It’s a tendency we should resist.

Maureen Dowd:

It’s hard to fathom why Obama should be mau-maued into paying off the debt that Hillary and Bill accrued attacking and undermining him, while mismanaging the campaign and their nearly quarter-billion-dollar war chest so horribly that one Hillaryland insider told The New Republic that it bordered on fraud.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

MN girl severs fingers in tug-of-war accident

Webmaster's Note: O.J. Simpson has been vacationing in Fergus Falls all week... Possible that he is responsible for this????? :)

Courtesy of the "Freak Accident That Makes Me Wonder How Many Times I Was In Danger As A Child" Department:

FERGUS FALLS, Minn. -- An 8-year-old girl from Fergus Falls is recovering from multiple surgeries after she had four fingers severed during a tug-of-war game at a charity benefit.

Alyssa Martin was at the I-94 BMX track in Fergus Falls on June 20 for a "Race for Life" fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Her father, Cameron Martin, is the track's director.

During an intermission, Alyssa Martin was participating in a tug-of-war for kids. Her left hand was wrapped around the rope and apparently got caught, severing four fingers.

She was rushed to North Memorial Hospital in the Twin Cities, and since then has had multiple surgeries to reconstruct her fingers. Probes in her fingertips are being used to track temperature changes in the damaged limbs.

Cameron Martin said his daughter, who is right-handed, was moved from intensive care to a pediatric ward on Thursday, and that's she's feeling much better.
"Even though she's going through the pain, as a parent it's almost harder to see her have to go through this. It's really tough," Cameron Martin said.

Brent Schiefert, a family friend, said doctors are optimistic that Alyssa will get full range of motion back in her fingers but won't know for sure for another six week until the tissue heals and bones set.

The Martins are a family of active BMX racers, and Alyssa is currently ranked eighth in the nation for her age division.

Cameron Martin said her goal is to be back racing within two years.
"After they start with the rehab, I don't think it will take that long for her," Cameron Martin said. "The strength and outlook she has is unbelievable for an 8-year-old, and we knew she'd be the same fun, incredible girl no matter what happened."


Friday, June 27, 2008

MadLibs: This American Life Edition

Ira Glass' This American Life is the darling of Generation X. Its segments—first on NPR and now available (in high definition!) on Showtime—have provided a valuable census of liberal America's cultural consciousness since 1996. And honestly, Radar can't get enough of the show.

That's why we decided to create a This American Life–themed RadLib. Now, your dreams of Ira narrating some touching yet inoffensive slice of your middle- to upper-class existence can become a reality.

Try it out for yourself at Radar

It's fun

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Boy tackled by Colo. mayor gets restraining order

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) - The mayor of this northern Colorado city has a temporary restraining order against him after he was accused of throwing a 15-year-old boy to the ground when the teen refused to stop riding a motorbike.

Mayor Ed Clark, who must stay at least 100 yards away from the boy, told the Greeley Tribune he stopped the boy for his own safety and did not hurt him. He said he will fight the restraining order during a July 7 hearing.

The boy's father, Tim Stitt, plans to ask the judge to make the restraining order permanent.

Stitt said Clark forced the boy to the ground on Monday and then held him there until police arrived. Police ticketed the boy for driving without a license.

The father said Clark should be charged with assault. Greeley police spokeswoman Joe Tymkowych said Wednesday an investigation was ongoing.

Stitt said his son and Clark have been at odds for weeks after his son had a dispute with the mayor's wife. Stitt said Clark confronted his son at a basketball court and told him "bad things are going to happen" if he didn't stop showing disrespect to his wife.

Clark is a former police officer who works as a security director at a charter school and recently took a part-time job as an investigator with the Weld County district attorney's office.

Ok... One Last Political Thing... For awhile

Holy shit! I actually liked something that ol' conservative addict Glen Beck said...

"People do not have the right to jam their version of God (or no God) down anybody else's throat."

I agree with that, and that is why I choose to not mix my religion and my politics... MAYBE more of you conservatives should read the quote above and live by that from now on...



I never thought I would say the following...

?Thanks Glen Beck?

A Day in the Life of a TiVo DVR:

TiVo: "Hey, you like Three's Company, well I also recorded Square Pegs... You're WELCOME!"

-That Concludes "A Day in the Life of a TiVo DVR"

A Note From The Blogger-In-Chief of DailyDesultory:

After careful consideration and a good sized amount of reflection, it has come to my attention that the direction that this blog has been taking as of late is not the direction I intended it to go. The byline in the header states "Offbeat News... Politics... Random Stuff..." but it seems that recently I have been letting the political stuff overshadow the offbeat news items and the 'random stuff'. I understand, yes, that it is important to point out things that people need to know so that the same mistakes made in 2000 and 2004 are not made again, but I really didn't intend for this to be a heavily political blog. I have decided that there will be a very small amount of political content in future posts until further notice. I need to start getting feedback from readers about the other types of content in this blog.

Ryan Fagan

The Grand Unified Theory of Conservatism: Idiocracy

The mark of a good theory in science is it unites previously disparate facts within a single unifying explanatory framework. And here, finally, we have evidence, a final piece in the puzzle, for a heretofore suspected but not yet fully accepted Unified Theory of Conservatism: Intentional Stupidity at the highest levels of the GOP AKA Idiocracy. I posit we could explain and unite just about any of the many Bush/GOP clusterfucks in one single willfully ignorant theme so well demonstrated by this:

The White House in December refused to accept the Environmental Protection Agency’s conclusion that greenhouse gases are pollutants that must be controlled, telling agency officials that an e-mail message containing the document would not be opened, senior E.P.A. officials said last week. ...Tony Fratto, a White House spokesman, refused to comment on discussions between the White House and the Environmental Protection Agency. Asked about changes in the original report, Mr. Fratto said, "It’s the E.P.A. that determines what analysis it wants to make available" in its documents.

No doubt intentionally avoiding reports and thus not knowing what's in them makes not commenting on it a much smoother process. But I propose this head in the sand approach helps explain more, much more. For example, it predicts that when senior government leaders refuse to even hear empirical data that might challenge their precious-s-s-s extremist warped ideology, we might end up blowing a trillion dollars and expending thousands of lives and limbs needlessly in a war against the wrong fucking country while the real bad guys slip away; or that fuel prices might skyrocket leaving American families in a bleak, unending bind with little or no alternatives; or that conservatives might ignore a category five hurricane bearing down on the most vulnerable city in the nation even though it had been predicted for decades and then blame it on a parade; or a looming housing crisis leaving entire families from shore to shore homeless; it even predicts that big fat tax gifts for a few rich people won't lead to an economic Mecca for the working man as promised by neocon idiots, but only to a few richer rich people ... really, need we continue?

At some point in the near future history of this great nation, "Republican" or "Conservative" might just become a generic insult synonymous with dipshit precisely because dangerously stupid has become the premier conservative governing philosophy: Shut up, don't open emails, don't read analyst reports, dismiss empirical evidence in favor of wishful thinking, keep your heads in the sand, and don't strain your faith-based noggins worrying about stuff like some silly report back in August 2001 that might say Bin Laden determined to strike in the US until it's too late. Think about that elite asshole in the corner of the country club social with the hot date and martini; shit doesn't that dumbass piss you off? Now, watch this drive, enjoy tonight's episode of rehabilitation, and drink your Brawndo, it has what plants crave!

An Entry From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE...


Dear President Bush,

It's been awhile since we talked. Just busy, I guess.

Anyway, I want to Congratulate you. You win. In fact, you win big-time. It's time for me to admit it: you came, you saw, you kicked ass.

Over the course of the past seven and a half years, you and your wingman Dick Cheney have gotten virtually everything you demanded, much if it without a fight. You used a national tragedy to clamp down on Americans' civil liberties and launch a war against a country that neither caused that tragedy nor threatened us at all. You pretty much halted government-supported scientific research and environmental protection in their tracks. You did nothing to solve the health care crisis. You politicized the Justice Department. You worked hard to breach the church-state levee in the government, and then played patty-cake while the real levees collapsed into countless people's back yards. You gave big business (especially big oil, big finance and big military-industrial complex) free reign to "self-police." You made your elite base very, very rich, while using your shiny lapel pin to awe-strike your poorer, more ignorant base.

I mean, you are so talented that you even managed to break the Census Bureau. My gosh, even Reagan couldn’t figure out how to do that.

And through it all you avoided repercussions. Even losing GOP House and Senate majorities hasn’t slowed you down much. There's so much raw evidence to impeach your ass that it would be as easy as Dick Cheney shooting a lawyer in the face. The rap sheet is a mile long. Yet you remain 100 percent unscathed, threatened by nothing more than a pretzel getting stuck in your craw. That's amazing. My peasant hat is off to you.

Seriously, all you've "suffered" (if you can call it that) is low approval ratings. Big deal. As long as you have your 25 percent "base" that thinks you walk on water, you can do anything you want. Smirk. Dance. Ride your bike. Wave. Swagger. Intimidate the Democratic leadership with the word "Boo!", beat the traditional media so senseless that when you say "jump" they put on rocket shoes and blast off for the stratosphere. Smirk some more. Clear some more brush. Hell, you can do pretty much anything you damn well please.

So, sincerely: congratulations. You may have wrecked the country and your party, but so what? You got everything that you, George W. Bush, wanted out of your time in office. You should have no regrets, since you telescoped your intentions to everyone well in advance (yes, even back in school). And in seven months you'll retire and open up a Texas-size think tank disguised as a presidential library that will perpetuate your propaganda and your policies. ("Oh look, Heritage have a baby brother!")

Many will say your administration was a failure, but that only works if they're thinking about the welfare of the country and its 300 million citizens. Your presidency was never about them (just ask the Supreme Court)---it was about you taking care of your circle of rich, power-hungry, war-mad cronies while simultaneously setting out to prove how much the federal government can suck. On that score, you may indeed be the best president ever.

Love, Billy

Via DailyKos

Uh Oh!! Insurance Company Lacked Full Insurance

June 25 (Bloomberg) -- United Fire & Casualty Co., the Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based property and casualty insurer, said it was flooded out of its headquarters and expects to incur costs because it's not fully covered by insurance.

United Fire moved 200 workers, including Chief Executive Randy Ramlo, to a temporary office on June 20 after the overflowing Cedar River triggered an evacuation, the company said in a statement today. Floodwaters as high as six feet destroyed computer equipment and everything else in the main office's first floor.

``Everything is brown and stinky and gooey,'' Ramlo said by telephone from the office in Norway, 17 miles southwest of Cedar Rapids. Financial losses from the flood won't be of ``material financial consequence'' to second-quarter earnings, he said.

Floods and severe weather in the Midwest, especially along the Mississippi River, have killed 24 people since late May, forced more than 38,000 from their homes and inundated at least 3.4 million acres in three states, an area larger than Connecticut. The worst flooding in 15 years was the result of storms in the Midwest.

Living in RV

United Fire did have some flood insurance, said Chief Financial Officer Dianne Lyons. Flooding forced her to forsake her own home in downtown Cedar Rapids for a recreational vehicle, she said.

``We consider ourselves good analyzers of risk,'' Lyons said, declining to provide the percentage of risk taken by the company or an estimate of the cost of the damage. The main office still has three to four inches of water, she said.

United Fire is open, serving policyholders and agents in more than 41 states, according to Ramlo.

``It's functioning as it's supposed to be,'' said Beth Malone, an analyst at Keybanc Capital Markets who rates United Fire shares ``hold.'' ``The downside is that it certainly creates some logistical challenges.''

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

America Plunged Into the Horror of "The Deep V"

Even the most clueless observer will have noted a disturbing new trend emerging among the male of the species these days: the deep V-neck T-shirt. We're not talking about the ratty white Hanes with the yellow-stained armpits that your dad used to wear while cleaning the garage. No, this is a far more insidious epidemic, recognizable by its long, deep V, supple fabric, and retro color schemes. But why is it happening? And what does it say about us?

Kanye West is a Cry Baby

It looks like Kanye West is not too happy about his recent performance at the Bonnaroo festival

From his blog:

I am sick of negative people who just sit around trying 2 plot my downfall... Why???? I understand if people don't like me because I like me or if people think tight clothes look gay or people say I run my mouth to much, But this Bonnaroo thing is the worst insult I've ever had in my life. This is the most offended I've ever been... this is the maddest I ever will be. I'm typing so fucking hard I might break my fucking Mac book Air!!!!!!!! (Click here if you haven't gotten enough and want to read the whole blog entry)

Woopra: Better Analytical Tracking and it's FREE

I just downloaded it and can't wait to see how much better it is than Google Analytics!

LIVE Tracking and Web Statistics:
Woopra’s revolutionary server architecture, combined with its intuitively designed client software, enables seamless tracking of visitors. Webmasters can track over 40 different statistical events and analytics. Never before has so much information been instantaneously available to Webmasters. Most analytical and site statistics are updated once a day at the least, or several times during the day. With Woopra, you get live track of visitors coming and going and moving through your site. You get the stats now.

Real-Time Analytics:
Woopra redefines Web Analytics by enabling instantaneous information transfer combined with the ability to immediately act on each action. Woopra changes website management discussions from “how should we change things in the future” to “what should we do right now? Webmasters can respond faster to sudden influxes in traffic and help monitor trends in search and traffic patterns. Woopra helps web owners generate content based upon customer needs and trends now, not after the fact.

Woopra enables websites with both “proactive” and “reactive” chat functionality. Webmasters can remotely initiate sessions with visitors, or embed “Click-to-Chat” buttons within a site to accept inbound requests. This breaks the virtual wall between visitor and webmaster. Customer service sites could offer personal service directly through the Woopra interface, with no installation of software by the visitor. Woopra breaks down the barriers of the static web.

And so much more. I just downloaded it and can't wait to see how much better it is than Google Analytics!

Visit Woopra

I only wanted 2 see u bathing in the Purple Rain

24 years ago TODAY:
Prince's "Purple Rain" was released. Lets all take a moment to honor this day in history, because the mid-day newscasts in the Twin Cities sure are taking every effort to honor their native son and the album and movie that followed that both helped rocket him into the stratosphere of fame.

Track listing

All songs composed and arranged by Prince; except "Computer Blue," words by Prince music by Prince, John L. Nelson, Wendy and Lisa, and Dr. Fink.

  1. "Let's Go Crazy" – 4:39
  2. "Take Me with U" – 3:58
  3. "The Beautiful Ones" – 5:17
  4. "Computer Blue" – 3:56
  5. "Darling Nikki" – 4:13
  6. "When Doves Cry" – 5:52
  7. "I Would Die 4 U" – 2:56
  8. "Baby I'm a Star" – 4:24
  9. "Purple Rain" – 8:42


Lawnmower DUI

NORTH POLE, Alaska (AP) - Alaska State Troopers used lights and sirens to apprehend a North Pole man suspected of driving under the influence after he allegedly led them on a slow-speed chase that covered several lawns.

The 20-year-old man was on a riding mower. Sunday's pursuit lasted about 200 feet and reached speeds of up to 5 mph before a trooper got out of a cruiser and told the man to stop.

Troopers received a call early Sunday complaining of an intoxicated man driving a mower. They said Wyatt Lewis's blood-alcohol content was 0.18 percent, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

Driving a lawnmower while drunk qualifies for a DUI charge. Lewis was also charged with failure to stop at the direction of a peace officer.

No phone number was listed for Lewis in North Pole and a message left with the Fairbanks Correctional Center on Tuesday was not immediately returned.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Is McCain even trying? Part 455

He's proposing things he knows won't make a difference, then admits it:

At a town hall in Fresno, CA, McCain admitted that the offshore drilling proposal he unveiled last week would probably have mostly "psychological" benefits, NBC/NJ’s Adam Aigner-Treworgy notes. "Even though it may take some years, the fact that we are exploiting those reserves would have psychological impact that I think is beneficial."

In other words, "It won't do shit for you, but it'll make you feel like something is being done." That's not beneficial. In fact, it's the exact opposite of beneficial.

free logo design

American Airlines To Test In-Flight WiFi Tomorrow

You heard right, folks. American Airlines is planning to open up the world wide web to passengers on board an unspecified round-trip flight from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and Los Angeles. The Gogo service, provided via Aircell, will be free for patrons tomorrow, but will eventually run users $12.95 for flights greater than three hours and $9.95 for trips under said threshold. We're also told that more trials are expected to get going on flights between New York and San Francisco and New York and Miami, though no time frame is given for when the service would escape the beta stage and hit mass implementation. Additionally, the Gogo system is supposed to "prioritize the flow of data so that passengers downloading movies or large documents won't prevent other passengers from getting their email," so don't expect to use that excuse for not sending in those Q2 close reports.


I won't believe this until 'you know who' is out of office

Where's Waldouche?

I thought it would be good to check-in with one of my favorite sites... "Hot Chicks With Douche Bags"... Let us see what we have today....
There he is!!!! Waldouche!!!

Playing politics with stimulus checks

The announcement from the Internal Revenue Service that, for example, more than 77,000 Wisconsin residents -- most of them elderly -- will not get their economic stimulus check from the federal government if they do not file appropriate paperwork by Oct. 15 is unsettling.

Doesn't the IRS work for us?

Why is it that the federal government can find people who fail to pay their taxes but cannot find people that it owes money?

The answer, of course, is that the stimulus checks are a political gimmick, rather than a sincere effort to stimulate the economy.

The Bush administration and its congressional allies want to make Americans formally request the money so that taxpayers know they are getting a "gift" from an embattled Republican president in a difficult election year.

Bush is shameful.

But the IRS is being even more shameful when it plays along with this charade.

There is general agreement that a simple computer program could identify the Social Security number and address of everyone who is owed a stimulus check, and the checks could be dispatched quickly and with a minimum of hassle.

That's not happening for all the wrong -- read: political -- reasons.

Wisconsin Sen. Herb Kohl is right to be calling on the IRS and Social Security Administration to increase outreach efforts to let Wisconsinites know what they must do to qualify for the payments.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Minnesota Fun Fact: Saint Paul


St. Paul, Minnesota

Saint Paul began as a tavern started by Pierre Parrant, known as "Pig's Eye" (as he was blind in one eye), a man who sold liquor on the river flats below the current downtown area. The area around the tavern grew into a trading outpost known as Pig's Eye or Pig's Eye Landing, where Native Americans, European explorers, and American soldiers lived in close proximity.

Who woulda known that a town that started out as just a bar would grow to a state capital with over 287,000 people in the city proper?

If We Knew Then What We Know Now...

Invest Here

Quote of the Day:

"Republicans claim that government doesn’t work and then when they get elected they prove it."

-Al Franken, St Cloud, MN Campaign Meet and Greet 6/11/08

Pundit Round-up: Weekend Review

The weekend edition is here. Collect them all and amaze your friends.

William Kristol: That ad with that mom and the little kid is completely narcissistic. We have an all-volunteer army and she's talking about a draft. Therefore, it's all about hating the troops.

In my next column, I'll show you how 2+3=7, and how the troops (and families of the troops, and all those retired troops) that think we should start coming home hate the troops.

Paul Krugman: being a homeowner isn't a requirement to being an American citizen (that "life, liberty and property" thing got changed along the way.) Good thing, too, the way the economy is going. Bonus points for finding today's Obama swipe (I have one in every column because I may not have anything against Obama, but I really dislike U of Chicago economists.)

Fareed Zakaria: After an appropriately somber and serious hiatus of telling people what to do about Iraq, I'm back telling people what to do about Iraq. Since it looks like Obama will win, I am directing the force of my intellect towards him. I will write his speech for him, the one he must give.

God, I love my job.

Robert Novak: I've never stopped telling Republicans what to do, and as long as I'm undead, I never will. Now, the GOP is a bunch of wimpy-assed nervous Nellies, crying in their milk that they are going to lose. And they will lose, and badly. Grow up, and take your medicine like a man. Enact Paul Ryan's "Gramm-Rudman on steroids". Cut every damn tax that exists and then cut more taxes. if McCain doesn't listen to me, he'll never be Ronald Reagan.

God, I love my job.

Jay Newton-Small: Breaking. Apparently Joe Lieberman's colleagues are peeved with him. You heard it here first.

God, I'm glad I have a job.

Fred Hiatt: "Administration officials, not surprisingly, dispute the conventional wisdom that the next president will inherit a hopelessly losing hand in world affairs. Senior officials argue that they have managed well the most important relationships in Asia -- the U.S.-Japan-China triangle -- and that relations with Europe have improved since the first term, as President Bush's recent tour confirmed. Leaders in Mexico and Colombia value U.S. friendship, while Venezuela's anti-American president is on the defensive. The brightening outlook in Iraq has kindled a more optimistic outlook overall."

God, I hate my job.

Green Porno

In Green Porno, Sundance Channel's new series of cellphone-friendly short films, Isabella Rossellini singlehandedly re-enacts mating rituals of the dragonfly, spider, bee, praying mantis, worm, snail and housefly by getting it on with cardboard cut-outs.
Click HERE to view some "Green Porno"

Friday, June 20, 2008

Guantanamo Baywatch

Video Above....

Anyone who thinks giving detainees at Guantanamo the right of Habeas Corpus is a bad idea is an idiot... Especially when we know damn well that many innocent people were already held there for years only to be released when our government finally pulled their heads out of their asses and did research. By giving them a right to fair trials, etc, it will help us weed out who is bad and who is innocent, therefore we will someday not be spending so many tax dollars because there won't be as many detainees (hopefully we will just close it down someday anyway).

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Headline of the Week:

This week's winner of 'Headline of the Week' is from the June 19, 2008 edition of MSNBC's "VERDICT with DAN ABRAMS":

"McCain Camp Makes It Clear They Are Avoiding Bush in Iowa"

----Yeah, I mean, that is a smart move... Considering Bush's track record when it comes to responding to flood disasters...

---- On another note, do you think Bush purposely waited until today (Thursday) to visit Iowa and view the damage so that it matches his Katrina response? (Since he waited a long time to visit New Orleans and he heard that they were calling the current situation "Iowa's Katrina".... 'Hey! Get off my jock America!!!! It took me just as long to show up in Iowa, so all that "George Bush didn't show up in New Orleans right away cuz he doesn't care about the people of New Orleans cuz a majority of them are too poor to vote Republican" stuff can't be true, right?')

Google Street View Expands Again

A view down the road leading to my old residence in Metro Atlanta

From what I can tell, some of the other cities newly available this month in Street View include:

Knoxville Sacramento, Fresno, Oklahoma City, St. Louis, Jackson, Louisville, Columbus, Jacksonville, Columbia, Charlotte, Buffalo, Virginia Beach, Yellowstone National Park

I Can No Longer Accept the Negative Connotation of Being Associated with a Popular Arcade Game

I’d like to thank you media people for comin’ out to this here press conference today.


I called y’all out here to let it be known that I, Adam Jones, will no longer be using the nickname Pacman. I made some mistakes over the last couple years, and I wanna break free from the reputation I created. I don’t wanna spend the rest of my career chasing ghosts.

So no more Pacman, a’ight? And no Pacman spin-offs, neither. I don’t wanna be called Ms.
Pacman, even if my gameplay this year ends up being slightly improved and more nuanced. And no Pacman Plus, Baby Pacman, or Professor Pacman, neither. In fact, I don’t want ANY nickname that comes from an early-’80s arcade game. Not even Space Invade-Her.

I’m also gettin’ rid of my other nicknames and abandoning some business plans that some publicist bitch I hired didn’t like. So all y’all who IM me, I ain’t gonna use “KuntPuncher32″ as my AOL screen name no more. And to all my boys at the Indian casinos, I’m retiring my Native American name, Spits on Bitches. Oh, that reminds me: I’m halting production on Bitches on Spits, the exotic dancer rotisserie I developed during the off-season.

So that’s that. Just plain ol’ Adam Jones from here on out. Like the guitarist from Tool. Or that outfielder for the Orioles. Yeah, especially the Orioles guy. He ain’t never been in trouble with the law, right? From here on out, you guys may as well just think him and me is the same dude.

Naw, seriously. I already stole that bitch’s social security number and applied for credit cards.


Police Arrest Man Running On Trail In Thong

Lincoln, Nebraska police have a message for local joggers with exhibitionist tendencies: The thong is wrong. Police arrested a man on Saturday night for running on a Lincoln bike trail in his thong underwear.

Police say the 26-year-old man was arrested for indecent exposure.

Officers said they found him running around Holmes Lake wearing his socks, shoes and, of course, the thong.



Another P.R. Nightmare for a state GOP Party

I'm starting to see a pattern with the GOP this year... That they are full of racists and then the party has to scramble to correct things:

AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Republican Party is distancing itself from a vendor who sold campaign buttons at last weekend's state convention that asked, "If Obama is president ... will we still call it The White House?"

The state GOP party said Wednesday that it will donate the $1,500 rent it collected from the vendor,, to Midwestern flood victims.

State GOP spokesman Hans Klingler said the party does not vet the merchandise being sold, but officials plan to discuss doing so in the future. The button sales at the convention in Houston were first reported in The Dallas Morning News.

"This vendor need not apply to another Texas GOP state convention," Klingler said. "We will neither tolerate nor profit from bigotry."

The vendor, Jonathan Alcox, said he was trying to be funny and based the button on a political cartoon. He said he made 12 buttons and sold four, two of them to reporters.

"We're into humor, not racism," said Alcox, who described himself as an independent who may vote for Obama in November. "Why would I do that purposely? I thought it was funny."

The state GOP will bar the vendor from booth space at future events and "encourage him to clean up his act," Klingler said.

"The Republican Party of Texas told me I can never go there again. They're my biggest event," Alcox said. "It's pretty much put me out of business."

State GOP officials said they also have alerted the Republican National Convention so that Alcox will not be allowed to sell merchandise at the convention in St. Paul, Minn., in September.

The Texas Republican Party, whose platform is often far to the right of the national GOP, has been in hot water over diversity issues before.

In 1998, the Log Cabin Republicans, the nation's largest organization of gay Republicans, was denied a booth at the GOP state convention in Fort Worth and likened to the Ku Klux Klan by a Texas Republican Party spokesman.

"We don't allow pedophiles, transvestites or cross-dressers, either," then-GOP spokesman Robert Black said at the time.

Chi Trib

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Grand Theft Auto for PC for FREE

Rockstar Games has been offering Grand Theft Auto, Grand Theft Auto 2, and Wild Metal FREE for some time now. Download them today. They are the full versions you used to have to pay for. I have been enjoying them the way I did back in 1998 and 1999 when they came out on the market. You should too!


GTA 2:

Wild Metal:

You Know Your Pets Really Want to Get Married

    Ok... I just can't help myself...:

"Oh No! What is the Evangelical Right gonna do NOW?!?

Pet Weddings? But its 2 dogs... Not a Man and a Woman!?!?! Oh NO!!!! What are they gonna do now!!! Get Fox News on the phone!!!!!!"

From the Chicago Tribune:
My brother has selected a puppy for his family's pet—a Parson Russell terrier pup he'll call Wrigley (he's a Cubs fan)—but even before all the kids play with it I'm wondering how I'll feel the day Wrigley gets married.

Will the "bride" wear white? Will I begin to cry, like a big fat baby?

When the "reverend" performing the pet marriage says, "By the power vested in me, I now pronounce you dog and . . ."—is that when Satan pops out of the wedding cake and takes us all straight to hell?

Also, how much for the Pet Wedding Consultant?

"It varies," said famed pet counselor-wedding consultant Shirley Scott, from Walla Walla, Wash. "It could be between $500 to $1,500. But that's just an estimate."

I found Scott's name in a recent, and terrifying, news report on the American pet wedding phenomenon. Americans spend $40 billion a year on their pets, and the pet wedding industry wants its cut. There are fees for clerics to say the rites and blessings, and black tuxedos for four-legged grooms, and cakes and caterers, and beaded satin wedding gowns.

"Your little bride will be so beautiful walking down the aisle wearing this elegant, fully-lined white satin and lace wedding gown set," promises one pet wedding Web site I won't name in the hopes of staving off damnation. "The six layers of tulle can be separated to make this beautiful wedding veil very full and elegant. This set also includes a matching white satin leash."

Another dog wedding Web Site, for My Uptown Pooch, offers beaded wedding gowns for up to $10,000, tips for measuring for dog couture and also offers these suggestions:

1) Call where the ceremony will be held to be sure that your dog will be allowed. 2) Have someone standing by, in the event your dog needs to leave the ceremony. 3) Realize there is a lot of activity at a reception. Maybe your dog should be taken home where he or she can settle down. You don't want him/her trampled at the reception while everyone is dancing. 4) Do you want your dog to match your maid of honors [sic] dress or bridesmaids?

Remember when Americans were asking why Islamofascists hate us so much? Now you know.

"Marriage for an animal is almost like marriage for a human," Scott was quoted as saying in the pet wedding article. "An animal union is more like a blessing under God."

I'm always on the lookout for another sign of the Apocalypse. The last one involved reports of Americans craving $400 per pound gourmet coffee beans from the behind of a cat. Now dog unions are considered blessed events.

"Yes, an animal union is a blessing," Scott told me. "It is."

A blessing?

"Well, I am a reverend," Scott said. "If you're in a family with two animals and they want to unite in a wedding, what difference does it make? It is not a sign of the Apocalypse. It is a sign that animals often seek to form a lasting bond and have deep commitment."

When I was a kid, we owned a male cocker spaniel. He formed a lasting bond with a vinyl beanbag chair in the basement—nobody dared ever sit in it—but at least he had the decency not to propose marriage. But I didn't have the heart to tell Scott.

I also didn't have the heart to tell her what would have happened to her eyeballs if Rev. Scott could travel back in time and bring her dog marriage theology to 8th Century Constantinople, when the Empress Irene was busy battling the Iconoclasts.

Instead, we talked pet marriage. Turns out the pet marriage community isn't as tolerant as some might think. Dogs may marry other dogs, but human pet clerics frown on cross-species marriage.

"You must consider what's in their DNA first," Scott said. "It is the DNA that drives them. I have several friends who have cougars. They love their cougars. Their cougars love them. But they wouldn't turn their backs on their cougars or they'd be prey. You must respect the DNA."

So I guess that rules out the cougar-baby goat marriages, eh?

"Cougars wouldn't get married to goats, for that reason, the DNA," she said. "That union wouldn't work."

We had the same problem at our house a few years ago. It involved a pet crawfish named Boeby. He lived like a lonely bachelor in an aquarium in the kitchen. But he seemed sad, and we humans thought he needed companionship. So we tossed a goldfish in there, to live with him, in sin, just as we were having our own dinner.

Overjoyed with his new friend, Boeby immediately climbed into the green waterweeds, claws up, swaying along with the vegetation. It only took about 30 seconds for Boeby to grab the fish and snip a gigantic chunk out of its belly. Boeby kept half of it in his claws. So much for mixed marriage.

"That's why I brought up the DNA," Scott said. "You have to respect the animal differences. You have to consider the DNA of the pets, to look inside to the center, to determine if they're compatible."

And when they're not compatible, we'll have a new trend: dog divorce lawyers, ready to clean up.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Nobody Voted?

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Pillsbury Mayor Darrel Brudevold said voter turnout in the city's primary election usually is fairly high.

"I dare say a half-dozen people usually make it to the polls," he said. That represents about a quarter of the residents in the Barnes County farming community, in southeastern North Dakota.

But on June 10, no one showed up. Not even those on the ballot.

Brudevold ran unopposed for re-election. His wife, Ruth, and Dan Lindseth faced no challengers for their alderman seats.

"Everybody has got a job and they're busy," Brudevold said. "It just worked out that nobody seemed to go down there to the polls."

Only about 11 people live in Pillsbury proper, and the remainder of the residents live on farms outside the city. There is no precinct in town, so residents must drive about 12 miles to neighboring Sibley to cast their votes.

Brudevold's wife, Ruth, runs the beauty shop and is the town's postmaster. She said she was too busy with work to make it to the polls.

Brudevold said he intended to vote, but that he had crops to tend.

He said he assumed at least one person would show up to vote. But since no one did, Brudevold said he'll ask state election officials what to do next.

Brudevold, who has been mayor for a dozen years and was an alderman before that, said he doesn't think the current five-member body will change.

Barnes County Auditor Ed McGough said those in office can stay there and appoint people, including themselves, to the jobs until the next election.

"I presume things will stay the same," Brudevold said. "We're just a little village, and when you're elected to one of those jobs, well, once you get it, you got it."

The council meets about five times a year, Brudevold said. Members are each paid $48 annually, and a good portion of that goes for doughnuts at the meetings or gas to get there, he said.

Brudevold said he has no need for a gavel because attendance at the meetings is lackluster at best.

"Not everybody usually makes it to the meetings, so it really doesn't get out of hand," he said. "The only time we really get people to show up is when we want to raise taxes - then everybody shows up."


Pro-Bush Evangelical author writes pro-Obama book

More bad news for McCain:

The conservative Evangelical biographer of George W. Bush and Tom DeLay has moved on to a new subject: Barack Obama. And his new book, due out this summer, may lend credibility to Senator Obama's bid to win Evangelical Christian voters away from the Republican Party.

The forthcoming volume from Stephen Mansfield, whose sympathetic "The Faith of George W. Bush" spent 15 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list in 2004, is titled "The Faith of Barack Obama." Its tone ranges from gently critical to gushing, and the author defends Obama-and even his controversial former minister, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright-from conservative critics, and portrays him as a compelling figure for Christian voters.

"Young Evangelicals are saying, 'Look, I'm pro-life but I'm looking at a guy who's first of all black-and they love that; two, who's a Christian; and three who believes faith should bear on public policy," Mansfield, who described himself as a conservative Republican, said in a telephone interview. "They disagree with him on abortion, but they agree with him on poverty, on the war."

CELEBRATE!!!! It is the 100th DailyDesultory Post: 9 THINGS

9 things you should know about John McCain (but might not know):

  1. John McCain voted against establishing a national holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Now he says his position has "evolved," yet he's continued to oppose key civil rights laws.1
  2. According to Bloomberg News, McCain is more hawkish than Bush on Iraq, Russia and China. Conservative columnist Pat Buchanan says McCain "will make Cheney look like Gandhi."2
  3. His reputation is built on his opposition to torture, but McCain voted against a bill to ban waterboarding, and then applauded President Bush for vetoing that ban.3
  4. The Children's Defense Fund rated McCain as the worst senator in Congress for children. He voted against the children's health care bill last year, then defended Bush's veto of the bill.5
  5. He's one of the richest people in a Senate filled with millionaires. The Associated Press reports he and his wife own at least eight homes! Yet McCain says the solution to the housing crisis is for people facing foreclosure to get a "second job" and skip their vacations.6
  6. Many of McCain's fellow Republican senators say he's too reckless to be commander in chief. One Republican senator said: "The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He's erratic. He's hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me."7
  7. McCain talks a lot about taking on special interests, but his campaign manager and top advisers are actually lobbyists. The government watchdog group Public Citizen says McCain has 59 lobbyists raising money for his campaign, more than any of the other presidential candidates.8
  8. McCain has sought closer ties to the extreme religious right in recent years. The pastor McCain calls his "spiritual guide," Rod Parsley, believes America's founding mission is to destroy Islam, which he calls a "false religion." McCain sought the political support of right-wing preacher John Hagee, who believes Hurricane Katrina was God's punishment for gay rights and called the Catholic Church "the Antichrist" and a "false cult."9
  9. He positions himself as pro-environment, but he scored a 0—yes, zero—from the League of Conservation Voters last year.10

John McCain is not who the Washington press corps make him out to be. Oh, and for those of you who may be reading this and think that I am just someone whom is Anti-McCain and who didn't do any "homework" for this little post... Here are my sources:

1. "The Complicated History of John McCain and MLK Day," ABC News, April 3, 2008

"McCain Facts,", April 4, 2008

2. "McCain More Hawkish Than Bush on Russia, China, Iraq," Bloomberg News, March 12, 2008

"Buchanan: John McCain 'Will Make Cheney Look Like Gandhi,'" ThinkProgress, February 6, 2008

3. "McCain Sides With Bush On Torture Again, Supports Veto Of Anti-Waterboarding Bill," ThinkProgress, February 20, 2008

5. "2007 Children's Defense Fund Action CouncilĂ‚® Nonpartisan Congressional Scorecard," February 2008

"McCain: Bush right to veto kids health insurance expansion," CNN, October 3, 2007

6. "Beer Executive Could Be Next First Lady," Associated Press, April 3, 2008

"McCain Says Bank Bailout Should End `Systemic Risk,'" Bloomberg News, March 25, 2008

7. "Will McCain's Temper Be a Liability?," Associated Press, February 16, 2008

"Famed McCain temper is tamed," Boston Globe, January 27, 2008

8. "Black Claims McCain's Campaign Is Above Lobbyist Influence: 'I Don't Know What The Criticism Is,'" ThinkProgress, April 2, 2008

"McCain's Lobbyist Friends Rally 'Round Their Man," ABC News, January 29, 2008

9. "McCain's Spiritual Guide: Destroy Islam," Mother Jones Magazine, March 12, 2008

"Will McCain Specifically 'Repudiate' Hagee's Anti-Gay Comments?," ThinkProgress, March 12, 2008

"McCain 'Very Honored' By Support Of Pastor Preaching 'End-Time Confrontation With Iran,'" ThinkProgress, February 28, 2008

10. "John McCain Gets a Zero Rating for His Environmental Record," Sierra Club, February 28, 2008

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Famous Cow Comes Home

— Despite all the bad news the Janesville area has faced lately, one giant fiberglass cow was able to give residents something to celebrate Saturday morning.

“It’s kind of nice to have positive things going on in town,” said Tom Lasse, a partner in BLM Land, the current owners of Bessie the Cow.

Bessie the Cow, a Janesville landmark, returned from her makeover to her northeast side home next to Del Taco during a public rededication ceremony. But the 42nd birthday cake, free Bessie T-shirts, dozens of pictures and car honking from admiring fans likely won’t be the last for her.

Lasse said he hopes to have a lot of fun with her by holding events including an annual birthday party.

“I hope this isn’t the end of her celebration,” he said.

Other secret plans are in the works, he said, which promise to “make some news.”

Thanks to a location closer to Milton Avenue and fewer trees in the area, motorists on Interstate 90/39 now are able to see Bessie.

That’s welcome news for Darlene Freeburg of Janesville, who couldn’t wait for Bessie’s public return. She visited the bovine twice during her makeover by Al Utzig at Utzig’s CARSTAR.

“We went down at Christmas to see her in the snow,” said Freeburg, who attended the rededication with her husband and two sons who were in town from Port Washington and Chattanooga, Tenn. “She’s a trademark for Janesville.”

Via GazetteExtra

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Iraq Is Safer Than Detroit? Reeeeealy Ann?

In her latest syndicated column, serial nutcase Ann Coulter calls President Bush a "great president" and predicts he'll go down in history as "one of America's greatest presidents."

She goes on to write that Bush has made this country safe by keeping "Islamic lunatics" busy fighting our troops in Iraq.

Taking a swipe at Detroit, she says "Iraq is safer than Detroit."

    So, lets recap the things that show that she is a fucking lunatic:

Exhibit A: When she states that President Bush is a "great president".

Exhibit B: Predicting that (President Bush) will go down in history as "one of America's greatest presidents."

and finally,

Exhibit C: When she says "Iraq is safer than Detroit."

Hey Ann, Iraq hasn't been safer than Detroit since the dictator (who was no immediate threat to us in the first place) was still in power. And one more thing... I know damn well you had your adam's apple surgically removed... you aren't fooling ANYBODY. Even George Will, a fellow backward conservative columnist like yourself, knows you are really a male:

Large blocks of text can be analyzed by software such as the Gender Guesser, giving a prediction of whether the author is a man or a woman.

At the time of writing, here's how some of Ann's Blog entires fared on the Gender Guesser. I have only included the informal writing results (appropriate for blogs).

Dec 5, 2007: They'll Never Forgive You (816 analyzed words)
Genre: Informal writing: Verdict: MALE

Nov 28, 2007: NYT: An Undocumented Newspaper (837 analyzed words)
Genre: Informal writing: Verdict: MALE

Nov 21, 2007: NYT: Suicide Manual for Dems (840 analyzed words)
Genre: Informal writing: Verdict: MALE

There appears to be a visible trend in Ann's writing.. The Gender Guesser isn't definitive; there is room for error, but it's not biased by politics or rage. The Gender Guesser, an impersonal piece of software, thinks Ann Coulter is most likely a man.

Cedar Rapids - Historic Flood of 2008

My thoughts and prayers go out to the citizens of Cedar Rapids, Iowa and the entire state of Iowa during this horrible disasterous flood. I have friends in Cedar Rapids and former business collegues at KCRG TV and I hope that they are fine and their friends and families are fine as well. (I used to manage the KCRG website at my former employer).

For updated Flood of 2008 information, click the image above.

Friday, June 13, 2008


Spirit of Service MY ASS!!!!!

I was on the phone from 10pm to 1am last night trying to get a DSL access issue taken care of. Yep... 3 DAMN HOURS! It was quite a trip... From the US... To India... To another call center in India... and back the US...

Then... There was today's incident

Why the hell when I am in the middle of a "live chat" with a "live person" is there a 2 or 3 minute pause in the conversation followed by a "Thank you for waiting, I will be with you in a moment"? WHAT THE FUCK?! You will be with me in a moment? We've been in the middle of a conversation with each other for 10 minutes? Does the 3rd party "" service just pass conversations between multiple people pretending to be "Lucas W"? Maybe its one person sitting in a bathtub in Hoboken juggling 1000 chats at one time under a variety of assumed names? On top of that the 3rd party online chat service doesn't know shit about Qwest policies and can't actually assist you with any actual HELP.

I have never ever been 150% fed up with a company after only 24 hours as a customer, so congratulations to Qwest. Your sub-par DSL speed and connection quality, combined with your inflated monopolistic price gouging ($27 a month for 256k??? ARE YOU FUCKING NUTS! For $2 more I could get 1.5 meg speed which isn't quite as bad a price, but of course, "that speed is not currently available at (my) address" and the fact that I am "required" to have a voice line as well, so that is $18 bucks a month on top of the $27) and sub par customer service both over the phone and online have made me long for the days that I was an AT&T DSL subscriber or even my days as a CHARTER Cable internet subscriber...

Fox News Does It Again

Back in the day – you know, when presidential candidates were respectably white – news organizations called potential First Ladies “wives.” But now that black folks are running, we can get all funky fresh with the lingo, yo. So it’s basically fine for Fox News to use “Baby Mama” for Michelle Obama, slang that implies a married 44-year-old Princeton-educated lawyer is, to use an Urban Dictionary definition of the term, “some chick you knocked up on accident during a fling who you can’t stand but you have to tolerate cuz she got your baby now.” Because the Obamas are black! And the blacks, they’re all relaxed about that shit, yo. Word up. And anyway, as the caption clearly indicates, it’s not Fox News that’s calling Michelle Obama “Baby Mama,” it’s outraged liberals. Fox News is just telling you what those outraged liberals are saying. They didn’t want to use the term “Baby Mama.” But clearly they had no choice.

Meanwhile, over at her personal site, Michelle “Fox News’ Ethnic Shield” Malkin defends Fox News’ use of the “Baby Mama” phrase by essentially making two arguments. First, Michelle Obama once called Barack Obama her “baby’s daddy,” and as we all know, a married woman factually and correctly calling her husband her child’s father is exactly the same as a major news organization calling a potential First Lady some chick what got knocked up on a fling. Second, the term “baby-daddy” has gone out into the common culture; heck, even Tom Cruise was called Katie Holmes’ baby-daddy, you know, when he impregnated her and she subsequently gave birth while the two were not married, which is exactly like what happened between Michelle and Barack Obama, who were married in 1992 and whose first child was born six years later.

So by Malkin’s reasoning it’s perfectly fine for Fox News to call Michelle Obama the unmarried mother of Barack Obama’s children because an entirely different phrase has to her mind entered the common culture, and there was this one time that Michelle Obama once uttered something that sounded like that entirely different phrase, which is not the phrase that Fox News used. But wait! Malkin also points to someone in her comment thread saying that one time, Michelle Obama actually used the phrase “baby daddy”! No apostrophe! It’s in a comment thread, so it must be true. Therefore, Michelle Obama apocryphally using a piece of urban slang makes it perfectly okay for Fox News to use an entirely different piece of urban slang. And that’s why, you see, it won’t be a problem for Bill O’Reilly to refer to Barack Obama as “my nigga” on the next O’Reilly Factor.

I doubt this ridiculousness could've been mocked any better.

Via kos

A link button for the McCain supporters of the world:

And now... Here is the kind of website link button that McCain needs on his website in order to get the types of people that support him easily navigated around his website:

Your Friday Morning Abbreviated Pundit Round-up

Here's my quick summary and link to see what the wordsmiths are saying today.

EJ Dionne: All that 'no one wants to be a Republican' stuff is real.

David Brooks on education reform: Damn that Obama. He's not giving me
anything to attack. McCain, otoh, isn't even showing up to play. Damn,
damn, damn. I have a deadline.

Charles Krauthammer on Iraq: when you're delusional like I am, you
don't need stuff from Obama to attack. You just make stuff up, like
"we're winning!!" That'll win the election for McCain because even
though the American people overwhelmingly agree with Obama, it just

Stu Rothenberg: If McCain loses the GOP is screwed. If he wins, they
are more screwed. Seriously.

Peggy Noonan: "The press will be nice to him [McCain] again. When he's
17 points down."

Garrison Keillor: "That is the failure of the Current Occupant. Whenever he steps up to the lectern, public confidence drops like a rock. He's not a leader, he's just a regular feller."

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Happy Loving Day

Today is Loving Day, the anniversary of the day in 1967 when interracial marriage became legal across the United States.

The seemingly appropriate name actually comes from a court case, one started by Mildred and Richard Loving, who were forbidden from marrying in their home state of Virginia. At the time, Virginia was one of sixteen states that had laws making it illegal for couples to marry across racial lines. The Lovings were married in Washington in 1958, but as soon as they returned to Virginia, the couple was arrested. The Lovings spent time in jail for violating Virginia's state law against people of different races "cohabitating as a man and wife."

It wasn't until nine years later that the Supreme Court set aside their conviction and ruled that the Virginia anti-miscegenation laws, and all other such state laws, were unconstitutional. Loving Day is not remembered as a victory for Civil Rights, and there are commemorations of the day in several states.

Whether or not you're celebrating Loving Day, it is a good day to remember that this kind of discrimination is not the distant past. Barack Obama's parents would have been criminals in sixteen states when he was born, for the simple act of being married.

It's also a good day to remember that this kind of legislation, including the "Defense of Marriage Acts" now in effect in more than half the states, will one day be looked on with the same distaste as the law that put the Lovings in jail.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Al Franken Meet n Greet - St Cloud

Tale of Two Realities

I have often wondered how different groups of people can see the exact same thing but come to entirely different conclusions. I'm not talking about the "difference of opinion" things, or the "I disagree on a technicality" things, but the "I reject the very premise of your reality, and have built my own version down here in the dank basement of my own mind."

Let's take a look at how the Los Angeles Times covered the new Senate Intelligence Committee report on the claims made as part of selling the Iraq war, and compare it to how the editorial page of the Washington Post, by which I mean Fred Hiatt, sees the exact same report on pre-war intelligence claims.

Los Angeles Times:

In a long-delayed report, the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday rebuked President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for making prewar claims -- particularly that Iraq had close ties to Al Qaeda -- that were not supported by available intelligence.

The Washington Post, i.e. Fred Hiatt:

But statements regarding Iraq's support for terrorist groups other than al-Qaeda "were substantiated by intelligence information." Statements that Iraq provided safe haven for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and other terrorists with ties to al-Qaeda "were substantiated by the intelligence assessments," and statements regarding Iraq's contacts with al-Qaeda "were substantiated by intelligence information." The report is left to complain about "implications" and statements that "left the impression" that those contacts led to substantive Iraqi cooperation.

Los Angeles Times:

The report on the Bush administration's case for war, 170 pages long, reads like a catalog of erroneous claims. The document represents the most detailed assessment to date of whether those assertions were backed by classified intelligence reports available to senior officials at the time.

The report largely exonerates Bush administration officials for some of their prewar assertions, including claims that Baghdad had stockpiles of illegal chemical and biological weapons and was pursuing a nuclear bomb. Even though those claims were subsequently proved wildly inaccurate, the report notes, they were largely consistent with U.S. intelligence at the time.

But the report says the Bush administration veered away from its own intelligence community's conclusions in two key areas: Iraq's relationship with Al Qaeda and the difficulty of pacifying Iraq after a U.S. invasion.

Statements in dozens of prewar speeches and interviews created the impression that Baghdad and Al Qaeda had forged a partnership. But the report concludes that such assertions "were not substantiated by the intelligence" being shown to senior officials at the time. [...]

Bush officials strayed even further from the evidence in suggesting that Hussein was prepared to provide weapons of mass destruction to Al Qaeda terrorist groups -- a linchpin in the case for war.

The Washington Post, i.e. Fred Hiatt:

[T]he committee takes issue with Bush's statements about Saddam Hussein's intentions and what the future might have held. But was that really a question of misrepresenting intelligence, or was it a question of judgment that politicians are expected to make?

Los Angeles Times:

On post-war prospects, the report contrasts the rosy scenarios conjured by Cheney and others with more sober intelligence warnings that were being presented to senior officials.

Cheney's prediction that U.S. forces would "be greeted as liberators" was at odds with reports from the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency, which warned nearly a year earlier that invading U.S. forces would face serious resistance from "the Baathists, the jihadists and Arab nationalists who oppose any U.S. occupation of Iraq."

The Washington Post, i.e. Fred "I Allegedly Run A Fucking Newspaper" Hiatt:

Why does it matter, at this late date?

Basically, there are two interpretations of the report. One conclusion is that Bush, Cheney, and other war proponents drastically stretched the true meaning of what intelligence they did have in order to make a case not borne out by that evidence. They took some true intelligence, and some known-to-be-untrustworthy intelligence, and some "intelligence" that consisted of nothing more than nonsense fabricated by the administration intended to heighten the perception of imminent massive threat, and presented it to the public, and Congress, and even the United Nations in an attempt to make the case for preemptive war against a secondary power with no connection to the actual terrorist attacks we were supposedly responding to.

The other interpretation, which Hiatt elucidates masterfully, is (1) Who Cares, It's Old News, and (2) Well, They Didn't Lie About Everything, So There, and (3) You'd Better Let Them Stretch Intelligence All They Want Next Time Too Or You'll Be Sorry Because The Terrorists Will Get You.

I've largely given up trying to make sense of things like this. The same report, using the same words in the same order, and yet the conclusion it reaches is absolutely 100% divergent from... itself... depending on whether or not you are a reporter or an editorialist, or a Democrat or a Republican. Forget the politics -- it is fascinating simply as scientific phenomenon.

But I thought long and hard about this, and I believe I have finally come up with the only possible explanation for the apparent dual interpretations of political reality that have plagued us, these last years.

Somewhere in the early 1990s, I hypothesize that an invisible rogue dwarf star zoomed through our solar system. It looked like Jesus, and it smelled like pizza, and it bent the fabric of spacetime as easily as a full grown bull moose snapping a twelve-inch sapling. It radiated quantum singularities down upon all the planets, including our own, and those singularities were attracted by the principles of string theory, or yarn theory, or corduroy pants theory or something into the heads of every sentient or even half-sentient being on the planet.

And with that, the universe was literally split into two halves, according to the quantum charge of the singularity that happened to land in your head. If you got one of the quantum singularities that smelled like pepperoni pizza, your consciousness was shuffled off into one dimension, and if you got one of the quantum singularities that smelled like anchovies, you were catapulted into another.

I call this theory the Theory Of Transdimensional Scattering Jesus Pizzoid Brain Singularities, and it makes every fucking bit as much sense as anything else we have been subjected to for the past twenty years.

In fact it makes more sense, in many ways. One could argue that one of the most prestigious newspapers in America was perennially dedicated to fabricating the actual meaning of political events -- or one could simply assume that it's not we humans that are divided, at least not by choice, but that we are nothing but the sad products of a dual reality in which nothing is what it seems, and everything is in fact two separate things. We could choose to believe that absolutely flat propagandizing about events, as a news editor, is something cherished enough that it will garner you absolutely no bad consequences, ever -- or we can simply recognize that there are two distinct realities on this planet, and nobody is really ever right, or really ever wrong. It's just a matter of which dimension you inhabit.

In one reality, we're winning The Holy Goddamn Hell out of the war. In the other we're just stuck there. In one reality, our economy is dismal; in the other, we're all pooping diamonds. In one reality laws are laws, in the other, laws are like Schrodinger's Cat -- it's only a law if the President isn't the room, and if he is there then the law ceases to be a law and simply evaporates into thin air, and you're not allowed to ever actually know if the President is in the room or not because that would change the outcome of the experiment -- I mean, of the law.

It's not a matter of perspective, or rational judgement, or a sifting of facts to determine where the truth may or may not lie. It's a matter of the laws of physics being bent by a star that looks like Jesus and smells like pizza and which rains dimensional shifts softly around our ears, and denying any of it only proves you are not in one reality, but the other. The two realities are Separate But Equal. In each reality, Truth drinks at one water fountain and Bullshit drinks at another, and it is perfectly reasonable because that is the way it has always been, at least since the celestial Jesus Pizza Star trundled by.

Why the hell not? Who cares? Why should anyone presume any differently? The most defining characteristic of political reality is that there is in fact no political reality -- only things shouted into a fog. You can make anything true merely by saying it, you can make anything begin or end or continue just by believing it, you can make anything a success or a failure or a bowl of twenty four carat gold-encrusted corn flakes, and all by merely knowing how to purse your lips and knit your eyebrows in a certain way.

What the hell do I know? I am, after all, nothing but white trash -- not properly pedigreed to judge reality. I simply do not have the family ties to be able to parse words on their own and have them mean one thing, instead of two or five or twenty. I am merely a basket in a corner -- I am meant to receive the ragged wisdom of the press, not to spill it out again.

I have received one type of singularity from the Transdimensional Pizzoid, and other people have received ones with a slightly different odor, and we should simply accept that never again will our two realities meet.

It is the only thing that makes any rational sense. The only other possible interpretations are that we are all as stupid as sin. It will never, ever make sense to me, in my dimension, how glibly and smirkingly people can treat the butchering of other people's kids.


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