Thursday, June 29, 2006

Like Seeing the Rolling Stones Take Up Lite Jazz ...


That's from one of my favorite lines in yet another Garrison Keillor take-down of the current Republican regime. I received this in an e-mail and couldn't locate it on the Baltimore Sun site so no linky. I know he's right about the ineptitude, I only hope he's right about the party.
With Ineptitude on Full Display, the Party's Over for Republicans

by Garrison Keillor

People who live in mud huts should not throw mud, especially if it comes from their own roofs. As Scripture says, don't point to the speck in your neighbor's eye when you have a piece of kindling in your own.

I see by the papers that the Republicans want to make an issue of Nancy Pelosi in the congressional races this fall: Would you want a San Francisco woman to be speaker of the House?

Will the podium be repainted in lavender stripes with a disco ball overhead? Will she be borne into the chamber by male dancers with glistening torsos and wearing pink tutus? After all, in the unique worldview of old elephants, "San Francisco" is a code word for "g-a-y," and after assembling a record of government lies, incompetence and disaster, the party in power hopes that the fear of g-a-y-s will pull it through in November.

Running against Ms. Pelosi, a woman who comes from a district where there are known gay persons, is a nice trick, but it does draw attention to the large shambling galoot who is speaker now, Tom DeLay's enabler for years, a man who, judging by his public mutterances, is about as smart as most high school wrestling coaches.

For the past year, Dennis Hastert has been two heartbeats from the presidency. He is a man who seems content just to have a car and driver and three square meals a day. He has no apparent vision beyond the urge to hang onto power. He has succeeded in turning Congress into a branch of the executive branch. If Mr. Hastert becomes the poster boy for the Republican Party, this does not speak well for them as the Party of Ideas.

People who want to take a swing at San Francisco should think twice. Yes, the Irish coffee at Fisherman's Wharf is overpriced, and the bus tour of Haight-Ashbury is disappointing (where are the hippies?), but the Bay Area is the cradle of the computer and software industry, which continues to create jobs for our children.

The iPod was not developed by Baptists in Waco. There may be a reason for this. Creative people thrive in a climate of openness and tolerance, since some great ideas start out sounding ridiculous.

Creativity is a key to economic progress. Authoritarianism is stifling. I don't believe that Mr. Hewlett and Mr. Packard were gay, but what's important is: In San Francisco, it doesn't matter so much. When the cultural Sturmbannfuhrers try to marshal everyone into straight lines, it has consequences for the economic future of this country.

Meanwhile, the Current Occupant goes on impersonating a president. Somewhere in the quiet leafy recesses of the Bush family, somebody is thinking, "Wrong son. Should've tried the smart one."

This one's eyes don't quite focus. Five years in office and he doesn't have a grip on it yet. You stand him up next to Tony Blair at a press conference and the comparison is not kind to Our Guy. Historians are starting to place him at or near the bottom of the list. And one of the basic assumptions of American culture is falling apart: the competence of Republicans.

You might not have always liked Republicans, but you could count on them to manage the bank. They might be lousy tippers, act snooty, talk through their noses, wear spats and splash mud on you as they race their Pierce-Arrows through the village, but you knew they could do the math.

To see them produce a ninny and then follow him loyally into the swamp for five years is disconcerting, like seeing the Rolling Stones take up lite jazz. So here we are at an uneasy point in our history, mired in a costly war and getting nowhere, a supine Congress granting absolute power to a president who seems to get smaller and dimmer, and the best the GOP can offer is San Franciscophobia? This is beyond pitiful. This is violently stupid.

It is painful to look at your father and realize the old man should not be allowed to manage his own money anymore. This is the discovery the country has made about the party in power. They are inept. The checkbook needs to be taken away. They will rant, they will screech, they will wave their canes at you and call you all sorts of names, but you have to do what you have to do.

Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion" can be heard Saturday nights on public radio stations across the country.

© 2006 The Baltimore Sun

Friday, June 23, 2006

More Chickens to Come

So Tuesday, going down on 4 of 5 counts, one little chicken came home to roost. How soon and how many more Republicans chickens are to follow?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Well, Italy did ...

their part:

But the US ...

to no one's surprise, went down in flames.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Thank You Ghana - Go Italy!

Thanks to Ghana beating the Czechs, the US has a chance to make it to the round of 16 - we just have to beat Ghana and Italy needs to beat the Czechs.

I missed the first half and was wondering wtf the US team did that they had already lost two players. Evidently a Portugese referee, Allende, gave the US two bogus red cards so they were playing shorthanded for the entire second half (9 players to Italy's 10 - as Italy received one Red card - legitimately according to both Italian and American commentators). So I missed all the action but the US team clearly was giving their all today. According to Musburger that same ref was penalized for calls in the 2002 World Cup and unable to ref in the last World Cup (which makes no sense as 2002 was the last World Cup so maybe I heard wrong) - anyway the group of commentators agreeed that it was not likely he'll ref another game this series - we'll see.

Friday, June 16, 2006

I Always Wanted To Ask You Al ...

WTF were you thinking? Lieberman?

Friday Random 10

1.   *New Orleans - Lewis Black
2.   Hey Kind Friend - Indigo Girls
3.   Bella Luna - The Rippingtons
4.   Are You Going To Go My Way - Lenny Kravitz
5.   Rendezvous - Jim Brickman
6.   Miles Away - Jackson Browne
7.   The Tide - Blue-eyed Son
8.   Still I Run - Tres Chicas
9.   Somehow Our Love Survives - Michael Franks
10. You're The Apple Of My Eye - Louis Armstrong w/ Velma Middleton

*A few of my favorite lines ...

"Barbara Bush stunned to realize there are poor people. But that's her permanent fuckin' look. It's always like ... why I didn't know we ... they're still around? Boy, I thought we had a bake sale for 'em."

Local Lunacy

So, a 50 year-old guy, Alofa Time (whose name and ethnicity are important only if, like one of my neighbors, your primary concern on hearing this bizarre and tragic tale is whether or not he's an illegal alien), decides he no longer wants his estranged wife around - not so unusual.

He apparently decides that ending her life prematurely is the way to rid himself of her. A tad more unusual but, unfortunately, not uncommon. But what notches this story up on both the tragic and bizarre scales is how his crime came to be discovered.

Early yesterday morning (~6:30) there was a traffic accident at a major intersection here in Boise in which eyewitnesses claimed that a pick-up truck (Dodge) was intentionally driven head on into a small sedan (Nissan). The driver of the sedan, a 36 year-old mother, and her 4 year-old daughter were dead at the scene; the 8 year-old daughter survived and was taken to the hospital.

A decapitated female head was found on the road at the scene but there was no corresponding body. Alofa, the driver of the truck is, of course, intact albeit 'shaken' (God certainly does work in mysterious ways). The body of his estranged wife was back at home where he left it before deciding to take her head along for the ride in his attempt to commit suicide by driving a full-size pick-up into a tiny car thus claiming two additional innocent lives neither of which was his.

Go Ecuador!

HAMBURG, Germany (AP) -- While the vanquished Costa Ricans hung their heads in bewilderment, Ivan Kaviedes pulled a Spiderman mask from his shorts -- in Ecuador's team color of yellow, of course -- stretched it over his head and ran around like a schoolboy.

If anyone deserved to celebrate, he did, after scoring two minutes into injury time and putting an exclamation point on a 3-0 victory that put Ecuador in the second round of the World Cup for the first time.

His masked-man stunt was a tribute to Otilino Tenorio, a teammate killed in a May 2005 car crash in Ecuador, just three days after he played for his country in an exhibition game at New Jersey's Giants Stadium.

"He is a partner, a friend, a brother who was with us and is a part of us," Kaviedes said. "He was with us a long, long time, and he transferred to us this joy that was very contagious."

Tenorio, whose nickname was "Spiderman," used to pull the mask from his shorts during his goal celebrations.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Cannibalism: Another stop on the path ...

to extinction.

We already know that polar bears are drowning as melting polar ice affects their migratory patterns, now there's evidence that, with their habitat and prey receding, they are resorting to cannibalism for survival.
The study reviewed three examples of polar bears preying on each other from January to April 2004 north of Alaska and western Canada, including the first-ever reported killing of a female in a den shortly after it gave birth.

..."During 24 years of research on polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea region of northern Alaska and 34 years in northwestern Canada, we have not seen other incidents of polar bears stalking, killing, and eating other polar bears," the scientists said.

Environmentalists contend shrinking polar ice due to global warming may lead to the disappearance of polar bears before the end of the century.
While the independent actions of various states to reduce greenhouse gases may be laudable - it is insufficient. That our nation has not only failed to lead but to participate to any significant degree on this issue is deplorable. That this magnificant creature, along with so many other species, may disappear as a result is a tragedy.

With the mid-term elections coming up, we need to make addressing global warming a priority - vote for individuals who will do so and pressure those already in congress to take action.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

About 6

So my baby girl sent me this in an e-mail the other day and asked - did it remind me of anything?

I responded that it really hadn't (affirming her belief that I never remember anything) but included this with my response.

It's funny but there are fixed images in my head that come to mind whenever I think about each of my kids, images that don't change over time and have absolutely no connection with their current chronological age.

Time goes by so quickly and we didn't spent enough of it just enjoying them and we didn't take enough pictures but I'm not sure either is really a possibility (from a parent's perspective).

But (about 6) the ages between 4 and 8, were my favorite.
about 6
the labor pains are
a distant, if vivid,
as are
the nights of lying awake
listening for
their breathing
the anxiety over fragility
never exhibited

beyond the spittle
the dirty diapers
and the loudness
of the lack of reasoning

about 6
a time of tears but
mostly laughter
and self-certain

before the states of
know it all
don't kiss me in public
the nights of lying awake
listening for
the key in the lock
and the anxiety over independence
always exhibited

yes, i think
about 6
is best.
I guess maybe we've come full circle now as my enjoyment of them as adults is approaching that of about 6. But while they're damn fine looking young adults(?), in my mind's eye they're much cuter.

It sure is quiet around here. Mr. CJ is out in the field working and all three of our babes adventurers are out of the country. I've really got to get working on digitizing more of our pics and slides.

I Love The Caffeine And It Loves Me

Researchers reported on Monday that drinking coffee cuts the risk of cirrhosis of the liver from alcohol -- by 22 percent per cup each day -- but they stopped short of saying doctors should prescribe coffee for that reason.
At that rate my risk of cirrhosis is reduced to less than -10% ... daily.
The report did not suggest alcohol users increase their coffee consumption or seek out drinks like Irish coffee that combine booze with coffee.

"Even if coffee is protective, the primary approach to reduction of alcoholic cirrhosis is avoidance or cessation of heavy alcohol drinking," the researchers said.
Yeah, sure, whatever.

What's Next?

Poll numbers still in the tank ...


*Dropped a bomb-tonnage to kill an al Queda terrorist reject who could have been killed or captured on numerous previous occasions.


*Another secret Photo Op with troops in Iraq (minus the additional turkey).


Raise terror alert level to neon fushcia?

Hmmm - perhaps that's been overplayed.

So, what's next?

As *PR stunts go I'm not sure they'll have the desired effect - maybe the preznit should try suicide.

UPDATE: Here we go ... Bush the conservationist.


So it appears Rove will be free to interfere with midterm elections.
"On June 12, 2006, special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald formally advised us that he does not anticipate seeking charges against Karl Rove," Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, said in a statement.[my emphasis]
On the other hand, I didn't anticipate a little old lady separating me from my motorcycle last summer either (I don't get how he could have only hurt his head - what, he didn't wear a helmet but he wore his pads. etc.?) and for a prosecutor who seems so meticulous maybe this is just his never say never caveat or maybe it isn't - perhaps it all depends on how well little Karl plays ball. Bigger fish (or major league asshole).

Ken I like the boys but they don't like me Mehlman is demanding an apology from Democrats on Rove's behalf because he's too stupid to comprehend that not being indicted is not being "cleared of any wrongdoing".

In related news, another innocent is still searching for the real killers.

Monday, June 12, 2006

It's All About Consistency

In getting routed 3-0 by the Czechs, our World Cup team maintains its record of never winning a match on European soil - yay team!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Sunday Sports Round Up


Roger Federer remarked that while all the dust and grunting were distracting, the match was his to lose and he did so admirably.

Commenting on his second consecutive French Open win Nadal merely said "umngaaaah, and now if you'll excuse me I need to visit the locker room - this match took a bit more out of me than usual if you get my draft".


Iran couldn't eliminate those pesky Mexicans either.

Retaliation: U.S. Bombs Canada & Venezuela

In brazen acts against U.S. marines in Guantanamo Bay, three suspected terrorists (two from Saudi Arabia, one from Yemen) committed suicide by hanging themselves.
*Rear Adm, Harry Harris, commander of Joint Task Force-Guantanamo, said Saturday that every prisoner at Guantanamo is considered "dangerous."

Harris said a guard early Saturday "noticed something out of the ordinary" and discovered one man had hanged himself early Saturday. Upon checking on other detainees, guards found that two others had hanged themselves as well, he said.

"I believe [the suicides were] not an act of desperation, but of warfare", Harris said. The military, he said, is committed to the safety of detainees.
He also commented that while these actions could not go unpunished that the bodies of these terrorists would be treated with the "utmost respect" something we never would have done had they lived.

When asked to comment regarding air strikes on two countries apparently having no connections with the suspected terrorists Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said, "Look, for reasons of national security, I, of course can't discuss what our response was about or the terrorists will have won but I can tell you what it was not about and that's oil. Besides, in case you haven't noticed, things are already a bit unstable in the Middle East."

Bush had this to say of the 'act of warfare' perpetrated in Guantanamo: "Well, I feel vindidacted. See these were just the kind of suiciders I was talkin' 'bout when I said, bring 'em on. I mean no harm no foul, right? That means, it's kind of a sports chronology you know, if someone fouls you and the play still comes out okay for ya' there's no penalty see ... he-he".

In related news an emergency meeting of Cheney's energy task force has been called for this week as many of the members anticipate being unavoidably detained for the foreseeable future.

What a difference a day makes. Somehow I knew that the story would be modified from its initial reporting so I took a few screenshots ...

Saturday evening CNN reports an act of warfare:

On Sunday CNN's Act of Warfare becomes a 'planned event':

I guess the Rear Admiral must have thought better of his original comments - the quote was taken from Saturday's article.

Friday Sunday Random 10

1.   You've Changed - Eva Cassidy
2.   All My Love Is Gone - Lyle Lovett
3.   Outside Help - B.B. King
4.   This - K.D. Lang
5.   Circle Game - Joni Mitchell
6.   Same Difference - Spyro Gyra
7.   God's Own Drink - Jimmy Buffet
8.   Sometimes - Erykah Badu
9.   Mean Business - Savoy Brown
10. Spill The Wine - Eric Burdon

Time Away From The Keyboard

I've had this very large project (converting old LPs to digital) which necessitated so many hours in front of the computer that I just couldn't bring myself to hang around the desktop further to make my usual blog rounds let alone post myself. The project's not complete but the end is in sight so I can afford to break away for intermittant bloggercise now.