Thursday, September 29, 2005

Fun with George Revisited

"The terrorists have a history of escalating their attacks before Iraq's major political milestones. Two key elections are fast approaching. As these milestones approach, we can expect there to be increasing violence from the terrorists. They can't stand elections. The thought of people voting is an anathema to them. You see, democracy and freedom are the exact opposite of what's in their mind, in their vision."

Announcement from the White House

The White House

Washington, D.C.

As a result of the destruction caused recently by Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita, the federal government is announcing a major change in policy.

Henceforth, hurricanes will no longer receive single male or female names. All storms will be named after Democratic presidential contenders. The next Category 4 or 5 storm will be named "Hillary Clinton." I can see it now, "Hillary Clinton slams Florida, hundreds feared dead!" Just think, "Severe economic disruption expected from Hillary Clinton!"

Lesser storms will be named accordingly, such as "Joe Biden downgraded to a Category 1," "Little impact expected from John Edwards," or "John Kerry not as strong as expected."

All tropical depressions will be named "Dennis Kucinich."

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Intelligent design is anything but....

OK, that was just to get your attention. By way of full disclosure, I happen to be a very religious person, and I want the religious education of my children to be MY responsibility. I do not want this version of "Creationism for Dummies" taught in my public school. If I paid to send my kids to parochial school I wouldn't want this nonsense taught. I would like science taught in science class.

Besides, I have ironclad proof against the notion of intelligent design:

About my earlier post on Cindy Sheehan's celebrity protester credibility

Cindy Sheehan
Mother, Anti-War Hero

Cindy Sheehan has re-energized the nation's anti-war movement with her unflagging desire to meet with President Bush to ask: "What is the noble cause for which my son died in Iraq?"

Cindy Sheehan is now available for speaking engagements exclusively through Speaking Matters LLC.

Book Early for Preferred Dates

Hastert to Pick Closet Straight Guy as Majority Leader

Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Hastert to pick Closet-Heterosexual David Dreier as Majority Leader

by John in DC - 9/28/2005 01:26:00 PM

Ok, this is sweet. The Speaker is reportedly going to pick Congressman David Dreier (R-CA), an avowed, well, an avowed nothing, as the next Majority Leader of the House. This is pretty historic since Dreier refuses to respond to ongoing rumors that he's gay, but even more importantly, I was sitting next to Dreier last summer at the GOP Convention when Mike Signorile was interviewing him, and Dreier refused to answer a direct question from Signorile about whether Dreier was heterosexual.Here's what Dreier said:

SIGNORILE: There have been a lot of rumors that you yourself are gay. People feel it’s hypocritical of you not to speak on the subject of same-sex marriage.

DREIER: I have spoken out very, very vigorously in opposition to amending the U.S. Constitution, which is really the key question and the key issue here.

SIGNORILE: Any comment on the rumors about your own sexual orientation?

DREIER: No. You know, there are an awful lot of people out there who try to do harm to a lot of individuals, and I believe it is absolutely wrong. And so I’m not going to get into anything like that.

SIGNORILE: So you are, are you saying you’re heterosexual?

DREIER: No, I’m not going to talk about this issue.

Other than Ken Mehlman, Dreier is the only "closet heterosexual" I've ever met in my life.This is a great day for ambiguously gay heroes. Ken must be so proud.I wonder how the religious right is feeling just about now? They can kiss their anti-gay constitutional amendment goodbye, and much more. If the religious right doesn't think we can pressure Dreier to stop their anti-gay crap, then they really haven't been reading up on their gay agenda. :-)

Extreme Makeover--First Lady Edition

Coming soon to
Extreme Makeover

First Lady Laura Bush will visit Extreme Makeover, the show in which our talented crews fix up dilapidated wrecks and turn them into something wonderful. Don't miss this special episode, where you will see this remarkable transformation:



A real stand-up guy

It was inspiring to see Michael Brown, an appointee of the "accountability administration," blame everyone but the local weatherman for his incompetence. Even Republican Rep. Chris Shays said that Brown's deer-in-the-headlights look showed he wasn't capable of doing that job.

I usually give flowers.....

Gift of bull semen gives relations a boost

September 28, 2005

SINGAPORE -- Singapore said Tuesday that relations with the Chinese province of Shandong grew after it presented officials there with a "unique" gift: quality bull semen.

"Bilateral ties between Singapore and Shandong received another boost Monday, this time with Singapore presenting a unique gift of 200 straws of bull semen," International Enterprise Singapore said in a statement.

The gift of semen was part of a pact to help the eastern Chinese province "improve the quality of cattle breeding and dairy products," said IE Singapore, the external economic wing of the government.

The semen was pooled from dairy bull from the United States and Canada, the statement said.

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy!

A Texas grand jury today charged Rep. Tom DeLay and two political associates with conspiracy in a campaign finance scheme, an indictment that could force him to step down as House majority leader. His attorney says DeLay was accused of a criminal conspiracy along with two associates, John Colyandro, former executive director of a Texas political action committee formed by DeLay, and Jim Ellis, who heads DeLay's national political committee.

And a thought from Teddy Roosevelt

"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."

The Wisdom of Thomas Jefferson

“A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to its true principles. It is true that in the meantime we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public debt. If the game runs sometimes against us at home we must have patience till luck turns, and then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are at stake.”

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

An addendum to the question below

I still wish comment on my Cindy Sheehan question below, but I posit for your consideration a letter from Rep. John Conyers about what happened at the protest:

September 27, 2005

Office of the Chief
United States Park Police
Dwight E. Pettiford
1100 Ohio Drive S.W.
Washington, D. C. 20242

Dear Chief Pettiford:

I am writing to request information regarding the treatment of individuals arrested on September 26, 2005 in front of the White House and processed at the United States Park Police Anacostia Station.

Yesterday 384 protestors, including peace activist Cindy Sheehan, were arrested outside the White House and were brought to United States Park Police Anacostia Station. I was very surprised to learn that many of those arrested were kept handcuffed in vans and buses for up to 12 hours before they were charged and released. Some of those were released at 4:30 in the morning after being arrested at 4:00 the previous afternoon. Many of those held captive the longest were grandmothers and senior citizens. Those released after midnight were unfamiliar with Washington, DC and had no means to travel back to their hotels once the metro had closed. Anacostia is not frequented by taxicabs after midnight.

I have the following questions regarding the treatment of those arrested yesterday:

1. Why was the Anacostia Station chosen as the sole location to process all 384 arrestees when there were several other Park Police stations in the greater Washington, DC area?

2. In what other circumstances have arrestees been detained by U.S. Park Police for periods exceeding twelve hours before being charged with a crime?

3. In what other circumstances have arrestees been detained by U.S. Park Police, and kept handcuffed on buses for periods exceeding ten hours?

4. What is the established U.S. Park Police procedure for processing large numbers of arrestees in the Washington, DC area?

Please respond to the Judiciary Committee Minority Office at 2142 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515, telephone number 202-225-6504, fax number 202-225-4423.

John Conyers, Jr.
Ranking Member
House Committee on the Judiciary

A serious question

I am treading on thin ice here, but there is a question I want to ask.

The question involves Cindy Sheehan. I wholeheartedly supported her quest for the answer to the question of why her son died. I am a parent, I hope I never have to face that pain and I don't dare to question how any parent deals with that grief. I also agree that this war is a misbegotten disaster that kills for nothing. My only concern, though, is that she is moving from a grieving mother with a powerful message to the celebrity protester du jour and will forfeit her credibility with every interview and photo op. Thoughts?

Acting Commissioner of Baseball

I have led an armed coup and our forces have overthrown Bud Selig and removed him as commissioner of baseball. Because of the incompetence with which he has managed our beloved game, I am sure that the president will appoint him to a sensitive, high-ranking national security position.

As acting commissioner, I have issued the following edicts:

1. Home field advantage in the World Series will be awarded to the team with the most wins. Period.

2. No team from the National League West will participate in this year's playoffs. Sorry, Padres, at this point you are 1/2 game ahead of THE CUBS. The playoff spot will be awarded to the wild-card runnerup in the American League.

3. No teams shall use a designated hitter in the playoffs or henceforth and forever more.

4. On Saturdays and Sundays, all World Series games will be played during the day.

5. All night playoff games will begin at an hour early enough and the number of commercials will be limited so that 48-year old men may watch the games in their entirety and not wake up at 2 A.M. in front of a Craftmatic adjustable bed infomercial.

Let it be written, let it be done.

Rumsfeld Briefs the President

Donald Rumsfeld is giving the president his daily briefing. He concludes by saying: "Yesterday, 3 Brazilian soldiers were killed."

"OH NO!" the President exclaims. "That's terrible!"

His staff sits stunned at this display of emotion, nervously watching as the President sits, head in hands.

Finally, the President looks up and asks, "How many is a brazillion?

Monday, September 26, 2005

You knew it would happen

My daughter is a sophomore at the same college that I attended. Given that fact, this was bound to happen.

I was (am) a member of a fraternity, Alpha Tau Omega to be specific. Fraternities annually have "composite" pictures of the members taken and occasionally, chapters display the old composites. It just so happens that my old house had the picture from 1977 on display right in the front hall on one of her recent visits.

OK, for anyone close to my age. Do you remember 1977? Bad clothes? Bad hair? BAD composite pictures?

I will never live this down.


Please remember to click on an ad to the right, be kind to the sponsors!

Why is it I wake up every day,,,,,

First of all, let me welcome Dr. Magoo, a man far more intelligent and handsome than I, to the blog.

He raises an interesting point in his first post when he remarked "I hate that man with the passion I could only hold for, say, to put it in a sports context, if Steve Garvey, Bill Laimbeer, and Gary Barnett merged into the same being who then ran for president and became the worst ever to hold that office."

That prompted me to think about why I have such an undying hatred for this man and why I wake up every morning hoping that rabid wombats have gnawed all the skin off his face. After all, I never felt this way about Richard Nixon, even though I was sent home from 7th grade for wearing a black arm band after Kent State. Despite the horrible abuses of the office and the public trust perpetrated by Nixon, honestly, most days, I never thought about him.

I went from being a law student to a father under Ronald Reagan. I despised that man. He wasted Marine lives in Lebanon and then tried to make amends for that debacle by invading poor little Grenada. Now admittedly, he did keep the world's strategic supply of nutmeg safe from the godless commies, but...Grenada? He supported a war waged by Somoza's thugs in one of the poorest parts of the Americas and had the gall to compare these death squads to our founding fathers. I was disgusted by the soft-focused hagiographic remembrances and overblown panegyrics upon his death. Honestly, though, other than a few fits and spurts, Ronald Reagan's existence did not cause me this kind of emotional distress.

Bush Sr.? He did represent much of what is wrong with American politics, as the man believed in nothing. Remember "voodoo economics" and his abortion pirouette? Of course, he screwed up the Iraqi-Kuwaiti thing horribly, with the whole April Glaspie mess. But once he screwed it up, he had the sense to fix it in a limited fashion by getting international support and defining the objectives.

But his idiot son? Yes, I do hope each morning that he has a bootful of scorpions and a torso devoured by fire ants. I tried to figure out why, and I came up with these ideas.

The first is the question of the legitimacy of his presidency. Antonin Scalia has voted to invalidate a state action based on the equal protection clause ONE TIME in his judicial career. Guess when? Add that into the fact that this drunken, drug-addled, draft-dodging, insider trading miscreant has no qualifications for the job seals that "legitimacy" question!

The second is that he shamelessly exploited tragedy and the fears of good people.

Third, you know, the whole lying through his teeth thing.


Fifth--betraying everything this country should stand for by waging an unholy war

And finally, above all this, the thing that causes me to wake up every morning and curse this man is that 56,000,000 Americans said he deserved four more years. That simple fact caused me to question my fellow citizens, the press and the very nature of this country.

More fun with George

"My point is, is that the storm affected the ability to get gasoline to markets. I know the governors of Florida and Georgia have done some creative things to try to anticipate what will be a temporary problem. Governor Perdue of Georgia I thought did a -- showed some leadership by saying we've got to -- anticipating a problem, here's what we need to do to correct it. There's going to be some -- by the way, and here's what we have done and will continue to do."

Brilliant, just brilliant. I laughed, I cried, it was the feel-good nonsensical rambling of the season.

I'm offended, even if he's not

61 points? Zook doesn't take offense

Published September 25, 2005

CHAMPAIGN -- Illinois coach Ron Zook wasn't upset when Michigan State coach John L. Smith kept his Spartans on the attack after it became obvious Saturday's game was no longer a contest.

Well, Zook may not have been upset at 61 points BUT I WAS! And I wasn't upset at Michigan State, my hostility is directed at an inept Illinois team that allowed the Spartans almost a half mile's worth of offense and looked like they didn't know that you would get four more downs if you moved the ball 10 yards!

We now return you to your regularly scheduled rants!

Meanwhile, back in Frostbite Falls......

Freedom is on the march!

Insurgents dressed as police kill 6 teachers

Three U.S. soldiers killed by homemade bombs

Monday, September 26, 2005; Posted: 1:05 p.m. EDT (17:05 GMT)

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Insurgents dressed as Iraqi police shot and killed six teachers Monday, while violence claimed at least 10 other lives, including three U.S. soldiers, authorities in Iraq said.

The teachers were slain at an elementary school in the southern town of Muwalha on Monday, sources from the emergency police of Babil province said. Insurgents drove to the school in two vehicles, took the teachers into a classroom and killed them, the sources said.

More at

Another one from President Crony

In case you missed it:

The woman above (next to the gesturing idiot) is Karen Hughes. She was Bush's political nursemaid in Texas, spokesperson, hatchet person, purger of National Guard and DMV records, but now, with all that international and diplomatic experience, her business card now says

Undersecretary of State

God help us.

Just once, I'd like to be surprised

First of all, thanks to Pete for inviting me to join this group of illustrious ranters.

So I see this headline this morning. "Bush Turns to Rita's Hit on Oil Industry" - AP. Would it kill that man to once, just once, not do something that was predetermined by those who bought him? (A - well, he might get kneecapped) Is there anyone out there with anything vaguely resembling brain functions higher than "breathe" who can't see this?

I hate that man with the passion I could only hold for, say, to put it in a sports context, if Steve Garvey, Bill Laimbeer, and Gary Barnett merged into the same being who then ran for president and became the worst ever to hold that office. I think William Henry Harrison did more good for this country.

But just once, I'd like to wake up and see a headline like "Bush asks for more aid for poor ", "Bush wants corporations to pay a higher percentage of taxes", "Bush shoves own head in garbage disposal after tearing out Dick Cheney's throat with his teeth - doctors say cocaine was involved". Wouldn't you?

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Fun with George

Curious George on Iraq: If you look at the organizational structure of al Qaeda right after September the 11th and look at it today, you'll see a lot of people have been brought to justice -- Khalid Shaykh Muhammad, al Libbi. I mean, there's a series of these folks that had been plotting and planning and ordering attacks. And we have found them -- we being a coalition. So step one is there is a coalition. A lot of people around the world understand the stakes, that this is global war against people who've got a dark vision and a strategy to achieve that vision.

Curious George on Hurricanes: Part of the reason I've come down here, and part of the reason I went to NORTHCOM, was to better understand how the federal government can plan and surge equipment, to mitigate natural disasters.

The country and the world has seen the great compassion of the Texas people after Hurricane Katrina. Over 300,000 people moved east to west, and they found home here in Texas. And the city of San Antonio, Mr. Mayor, and Judge, was -- really rose up with great compassion.... thank all the houses of worship and community groups and individuals who love their neighbor like they'd like to be loved themselves. We're now dealing with another storm, and the state of Texas is prepared for and is now responding to the storm that's affecting East Texas. I briefed today up in Colorado.I know for a lot of folks in the states, these are miserable times. I hope you can take some comfort knowing there's a lot of people - like the people in this room who are working overtime to save you and to help you; and that I think you'll be amazed by the extraordinary compassion of the people of Texas as they rise up to help their fellow citizens in need.

Poetry, sheer poetry. The Gettysburg Address, the fireside chats, Kennedy's inaugural all pale when compared to this great American.

Do as I say, not as I do

If you look at the mess in Iraq, you cannot help but be struck by some very perplexing questions. The first is why did the United States and the United Kingdom, the democracies that won World War II and memorialized international law into the United Nations charter so blatantly disregard and trample all over international law and diplomacy? Why did these nations, supposedly committed to order and stability, engage in reckless unilateral actions that have destabilized the Middle East and brought chaos to the region? Again to quote Barbara Tuchman, it has become necessary "to see ourselves as the `bad guys' in the world's polarity."

I think I can cynically answer the two above with simple references to greed and ideology, but the one below has me completely stumped. After all, I understand the neo-conservative agenda and their perverse view of Middle East re-engineering. I also of course understand the harsh realities of Halliburton, Bechtel and no-bid contracts.

But what I do not understand is the role played by Tony Blair in this mess. Why did a dynamic, progressive Labour leader decide to become George Bush's pet poodle? I cannot figure that one out, because Blair, and certainly Britain, seems to have so little to gain and so very very much to lose.

I Want to Know Who the Idiots Who Sent 600 Bucks Are!!

Bush plea for cash to rebuild Iraq raises $600

Mark Townsend in Houston
Sunday September 25, 2005 The Observer

An extraordinary appeal to Americans from the Bush administration for money to help pay for the reconstruction of Iraq has raised only $600 (£337), The Observer has learnt. Yet since the appeal was launched earlier this month, donations to rebuild New Orleans have attracted hundreds of millions of dollars.

The public's reluctance to contribute much more than the cost of two iPods to the administration's attempt to offer citizens 'a further stake in building a free and prosperous Iraq' has been seized on by critics as evidence of growing ambivalence over that country.

This coincides with concern over the increasing cost of the war. More than $30 billion has been appropriated for the reconstruction. Initially, America's overseas aid agency, USaid, expected it to cost taxpayers no more than $1.7bn, but it is now asking the public if they want to contribute even more.

It is understood to be the first time that a US government has made an appeal to taxpayers for foreign aid money. Contributors have no way of knowing who will receive their donations or even where they may go, after officials said details had be kept secret for security reasons.
USaid's Heather Layman denied it was disappointed with the meagre sum raised after a fortnight. 'Every little helps,' she said.

In the past 12 months, Americans raised some $250bn for charity, including other foreign causes such as the Asian tsunami victims. Layman said: 'There is no financial goal. People are looking for a way to help rebuild Iraq and this is a way to facilitate that.'

The fundraising comes amid concern that some US projects in Iraq will be scrapped or only partly completed because of rising costs. Some officials fear that money may run out before key projects are completed.

Last week, the number of US troops killed in Iraq rose above 1,900.

Serving Size

Nutritionists tell us that our average portion sizes are too large. They suggest that a serving of meat should be no larger than a woman's hand. I wholeheartedly agree--if that woman is Ann Coulter.

Let's eat!!!!

Marching Back to Folly

I have previously mentioned one of my favorite books, Barbara Tuchman’s The March of Folly. As I noted in an earlier post, she defines "folly" as the KNOWING pursuit by governments of policies contrary to self-interest. It is not enough that governments made bad decisions--governments are made up of fallible humans who make mistakes and bad choices. Folly requires the knowledge that the course taken is wrong AT THE TIME and involves not only a failure, but also a refusal, to learn from experience.

At the end of her chapter on Viet Nam, she summarizes the tragically flawed misadventure. “The follies that produced this result begin with continuous overreacting: in the invention of endangered `national security,' the invention of `vital interest,' the invention of a `commitment' which rapidly assumed a life of its own, casting a spell over the inventor.”

"A second folly was illusion of omnipotence…a third was wooden-headedness and `cognitive dissonance,’ a fourth was `working the levers’ as a substitute for thinking.”

“In the illusion of omnipotence, American policy-makers took it for granted that on a given aim…American will could be made to prevail. This assumption came from a can-do character of a self-created nation and from the sense of competence and superpower derived from World War II….it was failure to understand that problems and conflicts exist among other peoples that are not soluble by the application of American force or American techniques or even American goodwill.”

“Wooden-headedness, the `don’t confuse me with the facts’ habit, is a universal folly never more conspicuous than at upper levels of Washington.”

“A last folly was the absence of reflective thought about the nature of what we were doing, about effectiveness in relation to the object sought, about balance of possible gain as against loss and against harm both to the ally and to the United States. Absence of intelligent thinking in rulership is another of the universals, and raises the question whether in modern states there is something in political and bureaucratic life that subdues the functioning of intellect in favor of `working the levers’ without regard to rational expectations."

She concludes this section with a quote from William Pitt, reflecting on England’s 18th-century folly in its dealings with revolutionary America. He described a nation’s self-betrayal “by the arts of imposition, by its own credulity, through the means of false hope, false pride and promised advantages of the most romantic and improbable nature.”

In her final chapter, she states that “the question is whether or how a country can protect itself from protective stupidity in policy-making.”

“Aware of the controlling power of ambition, corruption and emotion, it may be that in the search for wiser government we should look for the test of character first. And that test should be moral courage."

"...the problem may be not so much a matter of educating officials for government as educating the electorate to recognize and reward integrity of character and to reject the ersatz."

She wrote this in 1984.