Tuesday, April 29, 2008

There’s a Docket on the Rocket

I'm in a weird mood, so here's a little something from Dr. Sigmund Schadenfreude(TM)
(With profuse apologies to Dr. Seuss....)

Did you ever have a feeling

that the medjock was a RedSock?

or the peejay was a Blue Jay?

or the wankee was a Yankee?

or the nastro was an Astro?

But you wouldn’t be a codger

to think that Roger is a dodger.

It was easy to dominate

the inside of the plate

when he didn’t have to face

the opposition’s pace.

Would he be so ready

an opposing batter to plunk,

if he ever had to ward off

a fastball to his junk?

Could he throw inside heat

and the chin-high splitter

if he couldn’t pass his at-bat

to his designated hitter?

Is the Rocket a guy

who’s really really cool

or is Roger just a big,

colossal, fucking tool?

Is the so-called shoo-in

to the baseball Hall of Fame

just another brick

in the cheaters’ Wall of Shame?

Would his heater still smile,

could his slider still have funk,

if he didn’t once a while

jab a syringe in his trunk?

Would his curve still have verve,

could he throw the frozen rope,

would he still have the nerve

if he didn’t have his dope?

So a Brian takes a fryin’

And an Andy takes a bandy

From a Congress that’s a-pryin’

about tailor-made candy,

But when friend doesn’t bend

and comes clean and just ‘fesses

you know that Heater the Cheater

just multiplied his messes.

The family man, Oh who

would he throw under the bus?

To save his name, to save his fame,

the family man, would he throw us?

Would he, could he, throw his wife?

Could he, should he, for his life?

Would he, did he, throw his mother?

His lawyer, doctor, and any other?

Would he, could he, throw his nanny?

Would he even throw his granny?

But if Roger thought he was in trouble

for sticking some zass in his ass,

Boy is he going to see that trouble bubble double

if the ‘family man’ was bedding a 15-year-old lass.


Friday, April 25, 2008

Cult fiction meme

BikeMonkey tagged me with the cult fiction meme; apparently there is this list of 50 'cult fiction' books compiled by The Telegraph, and one has to list the ones one has read in bold and list those that one started but never finished in italics.

Before I get to that, something that caught my eye on the link BikeMonkey provided... I have a screencap.....click to enlarge if ya want...

"Some is classic. Some is catastrophic." WTF? Is our children learning? The Telegraph can has editurz?
Did Dubi-ya write this article? Maybe there is such a thing as cult grammar and I'm just not hip, man.

Anyways, here the list...bold, I have read; italics, I started and never finished.

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (1969) Belongs on an all time classic list, not this one.

The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell (1957-60)

A Rebours by JK Huysmans (1884)

Baby and Child Care by Dr Benjamin Spock (1946) Haven't read this one, but cult fiction? WTF? Seems illogical, captain. I am detecting large quantities of bullshit in this sector.

The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf (1991)

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (1963)

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (1961)

The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger (1951)

The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield (1993)

The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart (1971)

Chariots of the Gods: Was God An Astronaut? by Erich Von Däniken (196 8)

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (1980)

Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1782)

The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg (1824)

Dianetics: the Modern Science of Mental Health by L Ron Hubbard (1950)

The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley (1954)

Dune by Frank Herbert (1965)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (1979) Belongs on an all time classic list, not this one.

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe (196 8)

Fear of Flying by Erica Jong (1973)

The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer (1970)

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand (1943)

Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R Hofstadter (1979)

Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon (1973)

The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln (1982)

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (194 8)

If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino (1979)

Iron John: a Book About Men by Robert Bly (1990)

Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach and Russell Munson (1970)

The Magus by John Fowles (1966)

Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges (1962)

The Leopard by Giuseppe di Lampedusa (1958)

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (1967)

No Logo by Naomi Klein (2000)

On The Road by Jack Kerouac (1957)

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson (1971)

The Outsider by Colin Wilson (1956)

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran (1923) Belongs on an all time classic list, not this one.

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell (1914)

The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám tr by Edward FitzGerald (1859)

The Road to Oxiana by Robert Byron (1937)

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (1922) Belongs on an all time classic list, not this one.

The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1774) Beautiful Book.

Story of O by Pauline Réage (1954)

The Stranger by Albert Camus (1942)

The Teachings of Don Juan: a Yaqui Way of Knowledge by Carlos Castaneda (1968)

Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain (1933)

Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1883-85) I didn’t get it…

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960) How does this even approach being a cult fiction book? Belongs on an all time classic list, not this one.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: an Inquiry into Values by Robert M Pirsig(1974)

This list did remind me that I need to get to it and read some books that I have been meaning to for a while.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hillary's new inevitability---The Guardian

Dylan Loewe of The Guardian nails it---People have been saying all of this in bits here and pieces there, but this is the best summary, in plain words, of the Dem primary situation that I have read so far.....

Some excerpts (emphasis mine):

...........After tonight, despite an apparent 10-point victory in Pennsylvania, Clinton is no longer electable in a general election. According to NBC political director Chuck Todd, Obama cannot lose the pledged delegate count.......Clinton's net gain of the popular vote was also woefully insufficient for her to have a reasonable chance of reclaiming the popular vote lead.....

Without the ability to win any metric that measures the preferences of the electorate, she has left superdelegates with an impossibly narrow choice. There is now no longer a rationale from which the superdelegates could possibly hand her the nomination. She will, no doubt, spend the remainder of her campaign continuing to insist that she is more electable than Obama and that electability, more than democratic preferences, should be the standard on which decisions are made.

But Clinton's electability argument has also been completely upended. There is no argument, no matter how persuasive and cogent, that can be made to the superdelegates about Clinton's electability that won't be obliterated by Clinton winning the nomination unearned....

......Since Franklin Roosevelt, no Democrat has won the White House without the loyal support of the African-American community. But having watched the potential first black president denied his rightful chance to compete by party insiders may sever that loyalty permanently. The activist base of the Democratic party, which has been at the core of the remaking of the political landscape, will likely also be rocked by a Clinton coup. If the superdelegates nominate her, it will rip the base of the party in half and destroy the extraordinary progress that the Obama movement - and the Dean movement before it - has produced. Even if she is more electable before their decision, she will be unelectable after.

Anyway, absent of a >20 point win in PA for Hillary Clinton it has been fairly obvious that Loewe's aforementioned scenario was the only logical one remaining. Her ten-point win from last night will be spun into some serious yarn, but nothing has really changed. The margin, in delegates and in popular votes, was not nearly enough. Now, will someone high up in the party have the guts to sit her down and lay it out as it is? Will anyone be able to get her to see it from the perspective of the good of the party and indeed the country?

Or, well, it won't be the first time the Party has blown a slam-dunk election.

Monday, April 21, 2008

More "breaking" news

Of all the angles in the horrific FLDS church polygamist slave camp... er...ranch story, the Associated Press decided to work up this one, and MSNBC thought it was front-page worthy.

In other news, the news is still broken.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Stephanopoulos has his own Dickipedia entry!!


And it is freaking hilarious!

Check it out

I gotta stop by 23/6 more often.

Hide behind the children!

Remember all the media hoopla about Hillary Clinton not releasing her tax returns? Well, McCain hadn't released his tax returns either but there wasn't much of a furor over that because he's just such an all around good guy and treats the press to barbecues and stuff, my friends.

Nevertheless, he eventually had to release his returns, and in typical 'Straight Talk Express" fashion released only his, and not his wife's, returns. This would be strange anyway, but is particularly significant when you take into account that his wife is heiress to a beer-distribution fortune and is estimated to be worth up to $100 million.

However, this is their prerogative and I wouldn't have made too much of it if they'd just said nothing more. But they had to go and make excuses----which, of course, contain the best part of the story, and I quote from the article:

"The senator’s campaign said it would not release her return in “the interest of protecting the privacy” of their children"

The children. Of course! Won't someone please think of the children?!

The Clintons revealed both Bill's and Hillary's earnings;

The Obamas revealed both Barack's and Michelle's earnings;

So I'm surprised the mainstream media didn't lead off the McCain tax return story with "Why don't Clinton and Obama care about the privacy of their children?". That would be typical McCain-fair coverage, wouldn't it, just like typical McCain Straight talk?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Great questions, my friends....

Found this great post, my friends, about John McCain, my friends, and the press treatment of him, my friends, via Crooks and Liars:

"Do you think if Barack Obama had left his seriously ill wife after having had multiple affairs, had been a member of the "Keating Five," had had a relationship with a much younger lobbyist that his staff felt the need to try and block, had intervened on behalf of the client of said young lobbyist with a federal agency, had denounced then embraced Jerry Falwell.....

Take the two minutes to read the entire short, sweet, brilliant post by Cogitamus.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

It's a shame all right

This from today's news....

Pope calls church abuse scandal a 'deep shame'

So I have some questions for ol' Natzinger:

1) How many of your guilty 'priests' are serving, or have ever served, serious jail time for their child-abuse?

2) How many of the priests you 'transferred' to other places have been required to register as sex offenders (and be blacklisted) in their residential communities like other pedophiles and sex-offenders are required to ?

3) How many of your unpunished pedophiles are still working as priests or in other positions of authority in some church or another?

4) Now, just suppose that if a chain of day-care centers or schools or any other non-religious institution had the same track record of serial child abuse, then, with respect to the guilty individuals in such a case what do you think the answers to the above-stated questions would be?

Yeah, not everyone gets the get-out-of-jail-for-free god defense, huh?

It is a goddamn shame all right.

So Herr Pope, for starters, send all the guilty bastards to jail and then maybe I'll think of considering that you may be sincere or serious. If not, I think it will be pretty clear that what all of you are ashamed of is not the abuse but rather of the fact that you got caught and took a massive image hit that also cut into your revenues ---which is why you're now on the damage-control PR tour.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Stop Breaking the News

The past decade or so has seen two concurrent phenomena relating to news organizations:

1) Major (traditional) news outlets have consistently dropped the ball on responsible and investigative journalism; basically most of them have been happy to be Tass-and-Pravda-ized and to serve largely as administration and corporate mouthpieces, and

2) Most of them have actually been fairly honest about it, in a way. They've plainly stated that they're all about 'Breaking News'. Traditional TV news stations are in love with the term 'Breaking News'. I’ve heard local stations refer to themselves as “The leader in breaking news”. You can’t glance at a screen on a traditional news channel without seeing “Breaking news” emblazoned across it. This extends to the net---Check into CNN.com or CBSNews.com or MSNBC.com etc., and you'll see the header "Breaking News and blah blah blah". Granted, it is often news that is critically important to public well-being---I remember back in 2006, on the day of the mid-term elections (one of the more crucially important elections in recent memory), around midday I checked in to see early reports on exit polling or public mood/sentiment etc, and discovered that CNN.com had decided to lead off its main page with “BREAKING NEWS----BRITNEY SPEARS FILES FOR DIVORCE!” (or something to that effect--I can't be absolutely certain, as e-news & TV cover so many such national crises every week---but you get the idea).

Getting back to the point, it is your fault if you thought 'breaking' was an adjective and not a verb. When you see "Breaking News" you should know (by now, anyway) that it is not so much a promo/slogan as it is a confession.

However, I think it is time that they can stop with the headers/slogans now, don't you? After all, they have truly done a heckuva job and 'the news' as we used to know it is effectively, and possibly irreparably, broken. Traditional 'news' has been a joke, a Weapon of Mass Distraction, for some time now; It is all about selling advertizing, ya know, so the programming is either newsertainment or parroting the party line. One of the heaviest ironies of recent times is that while most entertainment TV has shifted to a 'reality' (mostly unscripted) mode, much of 'the news' on TV has been increasingly following a script (mostly a feed from the Ministry of Truthiness, I guess).

Over the past few years the most relevant facts and insight on significant events has been provided by non-traditional news models such as The Daily Show (yes, a humor/parody show has done more than any traditional news outlet to raise public consciousness about the unbelievable assault on democracy that we have seen in recent years) and blog pages such as Talking Points Memo, DailyKos, Huffington Post, Truthout and so on (though HuffPo claims to be breaking news too, so I regard them with a certain suspicion).

Anyway, here are some headlines, from some recently broken news, that needed fixing---so I fixed them.

Firstly, the horrific story of the Fundamentalist Church of the Latter Day Saints (FLDS). I think I got the first screencap from MSNBC and the other from CNN, but every major outlet basically ran it in the same tone. I altered it to reflect more reality.

Virtually every news outlet called it a 'ranch', a 'compound', run by a 'polygamist group' or 'breakaway sect'. Why this sanitization of the facts in the headlines? When you have a culture of ritualized oppression and exploitation of women (to the point of isolation, forced marriage, rape and other kinds of abuse), why soften the words? These people belonged to a CHURCH. The men treated their women this way because they truly believed that the Word of God mandated it. They brainwashed many of the women into believing this garbage. They forced early-teenaged girls to 'marry' lecherous bastards three or four times their age (and who had several dozen other 'wives', no less) and raped these children immediately after the 'marriage ceremony'. So I've fixed the headlines to call it what it is---Ritualized rape and slavery, sanctioned by their view of religion.

Particularly these days, when religious fundamentalism is disturbingly and increasingly gaining traction in this country, it is important to emphasize the fact that wacked-out Christo-fundies can be just as fucked-up as other-religion-fundie-wackos, and that Christianity can be interpreted to perverted extremes just as effectively as any other organized religion---not sanitize this fact with euphemistic language.

Speaking of sanitizing language, we arrive at our second 'headlines-that-need-fixing' issue. You know, when Granpa McCain repeatedly mixes up his Shia and Sunni when talking Iraq policy, it isnt a 'gaffe' or 'misstep' or 'stumble'---even if he treats reporters to private barbecues and stuff.
So this headline from the NYTimes (representative of many headlines across the traditional news spectrum) needed to be fixed as follows:

And finally, not so much from the 'headline fixing' department, but rather the 'lets try and run this side of the story' department......
When CNN runs pieces like "McCain calls temper a very minor thing" or "McCain courts women voters", is it too much to ask them to follow up and grill McCain on this story? Here's a charming excerpt:

Three reporters from Arizona, on the condition of anonymity, also let me in on another incident involving McCain's intemperateness. In his 1992 Senate bid, McCain was joined on the campaign trail by his wife, Cindy, as well as campaign aide Doug Cole and consultant Wes Gullett. At one point, Cindy playfully twirled McCain's hair and said, "You're getting a little thin up there." McCain's face reddened, and he responded, "At least I don't plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt." McCain's excuse was that it had been a long day.

And no, it isn't trash journalism to follow that up. The major news outlets recently spent a couple of weeks playing the story that Hillary Clinton may have been in the White House during Bill's tryst with Monica Lewinsky---if that is considered to be even remotely relevant to her current campaign, this McCain story should be a front-page lead. Besides, that story, if true, may be very pertinent. The character of a man is not revealed in his broad, expansive, public persona; it is revealed in little everyday actions in ordinary situations. It is pretty bad for a man to speak to any woman in that fashion---even in private---but for man to say that to his wife, in the presence of others, may be indicative of how routine that kind of language, and that kind of attitude/thinking, is to him.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Economy, by Ben Dover and C. Howitt Feels

First, a couple of reports stating what should have been obvious for a while now to those who have been paying any attention at all:

From the NYTimes, For Many, a Boom That Wasn't.

An excerpt:

The bigger problem is that the now-finished boom was, for most Americans, nothing of the sort. In 2000, at the end of the previous economic expansion, the median American family made about $61,000, according to the Census Bureau’s inflation-adjusted numbers. In 2007, in what looks to have been the final year of the most recent expansion, the median family, amazingly, seems to have made less — about $60,500.

This has never happened before, at least not for as long as the government has been keeping records. In every other expansion since World War II, the buying power of most American families grew while the economy did. You can think of this as the most basic test of an economy’s health: does it produce ever-rising living standards for its citizens?

A similar message from this article in CNN Money.

An excerpt:

Unlike what happened during the economic boom of the 1990s, lower- and middle-class families did not share in the prosperity of recent years, the report found. In fact, the United States has had its longest jobless recovery and slowest rate of payroll growth during this decade........

........The income gap between the rich and the rest of the population is widening. In 22 states, the top fifth of families made more than seven times what the poorest fifth took home, according to the report. In the late 1980s, only one state - Louisiana - had such a spread. Meanwhile, in more than two-thirds of the country, the wealthiest saw their income grow more than twice as fast as the middle-class over the past two decades.

Apparently, gas prices could peak at around $4 per gallon this summer (I was way off....I guessed it will not stabilize till it hits $5). And I know, some people will come at me with "Well, in many other countries people pay upwards of $7 per gallon, you know...." True, but in all those countries, public transportation is a realistic and often efficient alternative. In most places in the USA, you don't have a choice but to drive.

If you're looking for a great collection of euphemisms for "You're fucked!", look no further than this article entitled "Fed members worried about deep recession"
Some beauties excerpted here:
....."prolonged and severe” economic downturn....
....."Signals from the economy continue to come in on the weak side"....and...
(my favorite from this article)....."evidence that an adverse feedback loop was under way"....

And, for what it is worth:

In the beginning of 2000, you needed 1.0131 US Dollar to buy one Euro; as of March 1, 2008, you need 1.5520 USD to buy one Euro.

In the beginning of 2000, you needed 1.4486 Canadian Dollars to buy one USD; as of March 1, 2008, you only need 1.0029 Canadian Dollars to buy one USD.

The British Pound is at a 26-year high compared to the USD; you can now get more than two USD for every pound sterling.

Good thing the fiscally responsible GOP has been in power for much of the recent times, huh? Can you imagine how bad it would be if the godless tax and spend liberals had control of economic policy-making? That is probably the reasoning by which fully half of the middle-class families referred to in the earlier links will vote republican come this fall.

And in closing, this Doonesbury, from a couple of days ago, is worth reading.....I'm kinda surprised Trudeau has not been shipped off to Gitmo or at least been subjected to another audit or something recently.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Song chart meme

I was recently tagged with the Song Chart Meme.

So here goes....

Click to enlarge if necessary.........Filename reveals it, in case it is undecipherable.....

Friday, April 4, 2008

Fortunate Son Chronicles--Updates

Some updates on what happens when people can’t tell the difference between fortunate-sperm-ocracy and meritocracy:

If you were curious to know how many people were either

1) Enduringly stupid or

2) Making too much hay to let moral compunctions interfere with their views and deeds in these conflict-of-interest ridden, taxpayer-looting, law-bending, nepotism-driven, war-profiteering times,

well, this latest NYTimes/CBS poll has the answer: About a fifth of this nation.

On the bright side, this number is down --- it was about 31% last year.

Top officials from the Fed, the Treasury and the SEC defend the bailout of Bear Stearns, while the Senate rejected a proposal to let bankruptcy judges modify mortgages on primary residences to help financially distressed homeowners.
Moral of the story: If you borrow only enough to ruin yourself, you’re screwed and you belong in debtors’ prison. If you borrow enough to ruin everyone around you, you’ve got it made in the shade. This, incidentally, was the basic strategy by which an egomaniacal piece of shit like Donald Trump became rich and powerful.

From the “I will restore honor to presidency” department:

Boos appear to outweigh cheers as Dubi-ya walks out to throw the first pitch at a ballgame. Olbermann’s report on this is nice.

There is a move afoot to change the name of the Oceanside Wastewater Treatment Facility to George W. Bush Sewage Plant.

From the less-egregious fortunate son nonsense dept:

Sean Sutton resigns his position as the head-coach of Oklahoma State men’s basketball team. This doesn’t mean that he is not, or cannot be, a good coach. My only problem with his being head-coach there was that the whole “inheriting the job from your father when you haven’t proven anything independently” concept is wrong, that’s all. Still, it is hard to feel too bad for him; he’s worked for over a couple of years at $750,000 a year, and I’m sure the final handshake won’t be an empty one. Every child should get such a start in life.

I’m sure Pat Knight will also bank a few million before he gets his ass canned at Texas Tech; not due to any fault of his of course, just that (as he has made abundantly clear and as I’ve written before) his players are brainless, gutless and heartless.


DrugMonkey suggests a soundtrack for these posts (see comments). I agree. Thanks DM; one of my favorite voices and bands, BTW.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Dude, W T F ?

I came upon this via Hyphoid Logic and Respectful Insolence.

Of course, I had to try it out myself.
This is what it says..........

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?
Created by OnePlusYou


At first, I was like

Then I was like

The pics aren't mine.....they're internet vagabonds.....I'd cite if I knew whom to cite....