Thursday, March 29, 2007

Priceless Picture


The Greatest Political Web Videos of All Time

Clips of the best political videos ever. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Yes. It's quite a strain.

I was thinking of keeping my winter beard even though the weather is turning warmer. But it would be nice to really do something cool with it. These are the best beards from the 2007 International German Beard Championships in the southern German village of Schoemberg .

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

You Are There!

This is an amazing (and GRAPHIC) video from Iraq. It was only recently posted on YouTube. I have not seen it anywhere else. The user, who only has this single post, describes it as a "very very disturbing video, Innocent people being gunned down in their own homeland by Americans". I'm not that sure about that - but it does really bring you to the front lines in Iraq. I'm not sure how long before YouTube (or someone else) pulls this video so check it out.

Monday, March 26, 2007

This is kind of creepy

OK. So right wingers want to ban gay marriage. Personally, I think a ban on Conservatives marrying would probably do more good for the country - but who am I to prevent others from doing what they want. So I do not call for a ban on this latest craze in Red America - vows between fathers and daughters - but I will say that I find it a little creepy.
But there is no groom and the girl in the long gown is no bride. She's daddy's little girl, there to take a vow of chastity. The highlight is when the fathers and daughters exchange vows, with dad signing a covenant to protect his daughter's chastity by living an enblemished life and the daughter promising not to have sex until marriage. Many fathers at the ceremonies also slip "purity rings" around the finger of their misty-eyed daughters or offer them "chastity bracelets" and other jewelry that the girls can entrust to their husbands on their wedding night. more

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Friday, March 23, 2007

Bush Official Convicted of Lying to Congress

Of course the "Justice" Department recommended a very light sentence.

More Caveman

A couple weeks ago I told you about the Geico Cavemen possibly getting a regular TV show. I found this write up today which talks more about it and has even more video of their hilarious ads.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

They Report. You get stupid.

A study by a University of Maryland center concluded, “Those who receive most of their news from Fox News are more likely than average to have misperceptions” about Iraq. For example, in 2003, 67 percent of those who relied primarily on Fox wrongly believed the U.S. “found clear evidence in Iraq that Saddam Hussein was working closely with the al Qaeda terrorist organization.” Only 40 percent of those who relied on print media harbored this illusion, debunked thoroughly by the 9/11 Commission. In 2004 polling with Media Vote, using Nielsen diaries, we found that Fox News viewers supported George Bush over John Kerry by 88 percent to 7 percent. No demographic segment, other than Republicans, was as united in supporting Bush. Conservatives, white evangelical Christians, gun owners, and supporters of the Iraq war all gave Bush fewer votes than did regular Fox News viewers. story

Larry "Bud" Melman Dies

Sad to hear that "Bud" Melman, one of the original sidekicks to David Letterman, has died. His deadpan delivery and very un-telegenic appearance made for some awkward and funny TV. These days having unprofessional (or those pretending to be) people on television is commonplace, with reality television and "low key" personalities populating the TV screen. But "Bud" was the original. From the mandatory "quotes" around his name, to his thick glasses and halted speech, Melman was an unlikely trendsetter. Here is a clip I found for the very first late night show for David Letterman. In it "Bud" introduces the soon to be famous host in an Alfred Hitchcock kind of theme.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Regrets? He has a few.

This Iraqi man, shown using a sledgehammer to bring down the Saddam statue in Baghdad, now regrets his decision to do so. It is a fine mess indeed when the poor abused Iraqi people now wish Saddam was still in power! more
“I really regret bringing down the statue,” Kadhim al-Jubouri said on British television this week. “The Americans are worse than the dictatorship. Every day is worse than the previous day.” That’s the judgment of a man who spent nine years in Hussein’s jails, and, unfortunately, it is one shared by a majority of his countrymen, according to an authoritative poll sponsored jointly by ABC, BBC and USA Today: Only 38 percent of Iraqis believe that the country is better off today than under Hussein, while nearly four out of five oppose the presence of coalition forces in Iraq.

Bush To Block Investigations

President Bush won't dare let his people testify under oath. Instead, Democrats investigating the politically motivated firings of US Attorneys are told by Bush to "put politics aside" and take the unsworn word of Karl Rove on his deep involvement in this fiasco. Yeah, right. So instead of coming clean - we have Bush's familiar refrain of "don't force me to be as asshole .... do things my way or risk a confrontation" That attitude has worked so well for the past 6 years hasn't it. I presume that is is only response to ANY difficult situation: Claim to be wanting to cooperate but then go to battle if things don't go exactly the way he outlines. Play by his rules or face the consequences. Isn't that attitude precisely how we got into Iraq? The Republican don't want to cooperate with this or any investigations into their shady behavior. That want to make a small effort to appear to cooperate to give their flock something to parrot, and then continue on doing whatever the hell they want. As Americans, we are subject to any number of domestic spying opportunities. We are told that not to worry unless "we have something to hide". Of course if you are a well placed member of the Republican Party the rules do not apply. Never have. Never will.

Here are some questions that I feel need to be answered under oath:
Why were the original stories about the Attorney firings false? We were first told that it was because of job performance. Once there was even the simplest investigation we found out that was a lie. Gonzales admitted it within a couple days. Also a lie was that Harriet Miers came up with the plan. Now, they say it wasn't only her. Why the initial set of lies? They must have been trying to hide something.
Why was the new power to allow the Attorney General to appoint the Attorneys without Congressional oversight slipped into the Patriot Act? No one seemed to know it was there. For what purpose was it put in? There is already evidence that it was done purposefully for the reasons we see now. To replace non partisan judges with right wing sympathisers. If they used the tragedy of 9-11 to slip this into law then it really shows their unAmerican intentions.
Why were so many of the Attorneys fired working on criminal cases against Republicans? If the firings were done to punish and intimidate then there are some serious issues. Refusing to allow this to be answered under oath would seem to illustrate the Administrations fear that release of these set of fact would show the deep corruption of the White House and the Republican party as a whole.
Why was Karl Rove so deeply involved in the firings and hirings? Does this guy run the country? Sure looks that way to me. Rove seems to have handled this issue without Gonzales' knowledge and even placed a crony of his into one of theses important positions. The Republicans live by a spoils system. Loyalty leads to rewards. Did a dirty trickster get paid off with a high profile position in order to beef up his resume for future advancement in the Red machine. Youbetcha!
What about the Attorneys that remain? My God, if Republicans were fired just because they weren't Red enough - who did they leave on?!? Must be some real Republicans operatives out there attacking enemies and rewarding friends. Congress should launch into an investigation of the remaining attorneys to learn what damage this Red spoils system has done to our system of justice.

Meanwhile our idiot in chief says:

"It's not too late for Democrats to drop the partisanship and work together. Democrats now have to choose whether they will waste time and provoke an unnecessary confrontation, or whether they will join us in working to do the people's business." speech

Monday, March 19, 2007

Guest Blogger: beachmom

I don't like to repeat myself and even though this is yet ANOTHER post about the FOX News bias - is is in fact new. A new low, that is.

OK, here's the scoop: John Kerry was on FOX News Sunday this weekend and caught host Chris Wallace in a lie. Kerry called him out on the spot and Wallace confidently denied it - even though everyone watching saw and heard him. "Check the transcripts" urged Senator Kerry.

Well, blogger beachmom did just that and found that the transcripts showed that Wallace did NOT lie. Hmm. She knew what she saw. She knew what she heard. So she checked the video. Not only did Chris Wallace say the lie in question - but the transcribers for the FOX News website scrubbed any reference to it. Yup, they simply removed their hosts' lie from the official transcript of the show! Read her report and please understand that this genuine enemy of America will do anything to maintain their stranglehold on the United States.

The Red Legacy that will keep on giving (aid and comfort to our enemies)

During the years of Republican domination we heard constantly about how much they loved our country support our troops. What sweet talk. Unfortunately, the real Republican legacy on the military is misuse, overuse and the failure to grow the military despite our increasingly dangerous post 9-11 world. This will have serious long term repercussions which puts America and Americans at serious risk for the rest of our natural lives. Nice job Reds!

Four years after the invasion of Iraq, the high and
growing demand for U.S. troops there and in Afghanistan has left ground forces in the United States short of the training, personnel and equipment that would be vital to fight a major ground conflict elsewhere, senior U.S. military and government officials acknowledge. More troubling, the officials say, is that it will take years for the Army and Marine Corps to recover from what some officials privately have called a "death spiral," in which the ever more rapid pace of war-zone rotations has consumed 40 percent of their total gear, wearied troops and left no time to train to fight anything other than the insurgencies now at hand.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Cartoon Commentary

Happy St. Patricks Day!

Nothing says St. Patrick's Day like a pint of Guinness. These days there are cans with "widgets" inside which can give you a pretty good pint of the dark brew. But to really taste Guinness the way it was meant to be enjoyed then it has to come from a draught and has to be poured in a certain way. It takes a couple minutes, but when drawn correctly - nothing can compare to the creamy goodness of a Guinness Stout draught beer. Yum!

Guinness Brewmaster Fergal Murray explains the process of
pouring the perfect pint.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Happy Friday Mom!

Here's a song that will have you singing from the table tops! Enjoy.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

REVIEW: Fab Faux plays "Last" Beatle album NYC 3.13.07

As you all know I was very excited to see the Beatle cover band the Fab Faux perform on Tuesday night. Overall it was a good show, but I have to tell you it was a little bit of a disappointment. Not terrible or not even bad - just not great. I expected great.

Door time was scheduled at 8:00pm and I arrived at the venue about 8:10. I was a bit late and unsurprisingly the line was so long it stretched all the way around the block. I got in the back of the line and noticed two things. One, the line wasn't moving. Two, the line was right next to an Irish pub. Well, you can guess what followed. I went into the pub to have a couple pints of Harp while keeping an eye on the ever lengthening line. I may be the last one in, I thought, but at least I will have a beer or two in me. Finally the line moved and I got into the place just before 9. The venue, Webster Hall, is absolutely beautiful. There are numerous bars in the five story establishment and while the line seemed infinite, once I got inside there was loads of room to watch the show. The only down side was that the place smelled. It didn't stink of trash or sewage or anything but it had that too familiar New York City scent of undiluted Pine Sol. Let me tell you, they don't use Pine Sol here as an additive to water when they mop.They don't mop the way I was taught: First with soapy water, then a clean mop and finally with another clean mop again. Nope. They use it straight up here to saturate floors in a single coat. When I walked in my eyes were delighted by the amazing club (absolutely beautiful) but the overpowering chemical smell went straight to my (soon to be throbbing) head.

The music sounded fantastic, but the band really seemed somewhat unprepared for the opening night show. Keep in mind, this was the first time they had played this particular show in public. While these musicians are among the most talented in the world, the band as a whole lacked organization and gave the impression of being unrehearsed. (Somewhat understandable since they only get together for these special shows - but I expected more professionalism from the front men). On at least 3 occasions they stopped playing a song after misfiring at the beginning. The musicians - including the singers - almost never let their eyes stray from the sheet music in front of them. And while they are not a "wigs and noses" band it would have been nice if they had coordinated their attire or at least worn something that didn't look like they had just rolled out of bed. Only Erin Hill, who played multiple instruments and sang back up, seem to be feeling the music and provided the only visually appealing sight on stage. Also worth noting was the excellent drumming and (John) vocals by Rich Pagano. The horns section and the back up players also did exceedingly well. Sadly, the main band members looked as if they were goofing around in their garage. I expected a serious tribute performed by serious musicians. After all, they were paying respects to the best band in history (IMO). The Fab Faux has a great concept and a plethora of talent but on this night they did not put it all together in a cohesive way. An edited album of the night's music would make for entertaining listening. But to see the sometimes amateurish mishandling of the set was a surprise to me. I have seen hundreds of concerts but this was my first in New York City. I was surprised at the lack of organization and stage presence.

So if the sound was great and the show was so-so is it possible to determine how that "next" Beatle album would have turned out? I think so. From the opening song "Photograph" by Ringo to the various solo releases by the other members, the 2 hour show recreated and improved all those familiar tracks released in the immediate aftermath of the Beatles' break up. Well, while I enjoyed hearing every song I am surprised to find myself thinking - for the very first time in my life - that the Beatles may have spilt up at the right time. The music was good, but compared to Rubber Soul or Sgt Pepper's or even Let it Be, this "next" album fell far short of that standard. So I will say this only once in my life - Thank you Yoko Ono.

Yuk that didn't feel very good at all.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Chiquita has agreed to a $25 million fine after it paid a Colombian terrorist group

The story is somewhat interesting but this commerial is a classic.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Beating a dying Fox

I want to direct you to this website which has an impressive collection of screen grabs from FOXNews. Here are just two examples showing why real Americans are so concerned about the success this propaganda source has had in disguising itself as a legitimate news channel.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

It's worth a try

After all this time, the Defense Department is getting desperate to find Osama bin Laden. While so many of our troops are tied up in Iraq this new approach sounds pretty good to me. Let's hope it works and that any capture of bin Laden, even after he has now had 5 years to set up future attacks against us, will somehow make us safer. I'm not sure any of that will actually happen, but it is worth a try.
An elite group of Native American trackers is joining the hunt for terrorists crossing Afghanistan's borders. The unit, the Shadow Wolves, was recruited from several tribes, including the Navajo, Sioux, Lakota and Apache. It is being sent to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to pass on ancestral sign-reading skills to local border units. The Pentagon has been alarmed at the ease with which Taliban and al-Qa'ida fighters have been slipping in and out of Afghanistan. Defence officials are convinced their movements can be curtailed by the Shadow Wolves. Harold Thompson, a Navajo Indian, and Gary Ortega, from the Tohono reservation, are experts at "cutting sign", the traditional Indian method of finding and following minute clues from a barren landscape. They can detect twigs snapped by passing humans or hair snagged on a branch and tell how long a sliver of food may have lain in the dirt.

I'm going! Yeah, yeah, yeah.

The Beatle cover band The Fab Faux is performing a show this week here in New York. As soon as I heard I snatched up tickets to go see it. I featured them here, after I saw them for the first time on David Lettermen. As a massive Beatle fan I was blown away. I have seen many Beatle cover bands before and I almost hate to compare the Fab Faux with the others. If you saw the video I posted - you would have to agree with band member Jimmy Vivino when he claims:
"We're not a wigs and noses Beatles band. The band's obsession with detail sets them apart from mere pretenders. We look at it totally, totally from the music side, the way a chamber orchestra does Mozart or Beethoven."

Interestingly the band will not be playing Beatle songs in this show, Instead they will be doing something quite intriguing and imaginative.
[They will] do what the Beatles never did -- perform the songs the Fab Four might have recorded as their final album had they stayed together just a little longer. [They] will perform the songs they think would have been on that album ... The performance at New York's Webster Hall consists of material from the original Fab Four's early solo careers.

I can't wait!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Cover blown, FOX News loses Democratic Debate

I have been following this story with some interest and delight. This could really be the beginning of the end of the right wing propaganda machine. For too long they have been granted legitimacy. No more. Believe me, they will fight to the bloody end to maintain their echo chamber. This will get ugly - and that will be a good thing for America.

Here's the story. The Nevada Democratic party asked FOX News to host a Presidential forum. Their long time bias, leadership by Republican operative and recent treatment of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other non conservatives had activists calling for Democratic candidates to withdraw. One by one they did until they were none. Frankly, am pleasantly surprised at how it turned out. After the pressure from the grassroots, growing encouragement from Democratic candidates, and then an outlandish comment just the other day by Roger Ailes, the Nevada Democratic party finally dropped FOX from their plans. Hurray! Roger Ailes immediately launched into an attack on Democrats and told them not to abandon his Propaganda network - or do so at their own peril. ...Bullshit! Or as John Edwards put it more articulately:

Fox News has already proven they have no intention of providing "fair and balanced" coverage of any Democrat in this election. In recent weeks they have run blatant lies about Senator Obama's background. And Fox was only too happy to give Ann Coulter a platform to spew more hate a few days after her bigoted attack on Senator Edwards and the gay community.Now it's time for Democrats to stand together and send a clear message to Roger Ailes, Fox News and all the rest of them: bias isn't balance, but turning tables is fair.
You all know how I have been railing against FOX news for years for their obvious tilt and propagandist techniques. They are not presenting another side of the truth - they are creating a false reality - one that proves right wingers always right and non conservatives, always wrong. I'm thrilled at the outcome. I say isolate FOX so that they can focus on being GOP TV and have none of the false legitimacy they now claim as an actual news organization.
This is a nice little video compilation that helps illustrate the way FOX News operates and why I think it was a great move for Democrats to separate themselves from this Faux News Network. Enjoy!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Report Says FBI Violated Patriot Act

DEVELOPING! The FBI repeatedly failed to follow the strict guidelines of the Patriot Act when its agents took advantage of a new provision allowing the FBI to obtain phone and financial records without a court order.
ABCNews exclusive

Thursday, March 8, 2007

But, Don't Call him a hypocrite

In fact, Newt thinks it was kind of noble of him to pursue the Clinton Impeachement while he simultaneously engaged in an extra marital affair himself:
"I drew a line in my mind that said, 'Even though I run the risk of being deeply embarrassed, and even though at a purely personal level I am not rendering judgment on another human being, as a leader of the government trying to uphold the rule of law, I have no choice except to move forward and say that you cannot accept ... perjury in your highest officials."

Most pundits are saying this kills any chances Gingrich had at the Presidency in 2008. I don't buy it. Those who like Gingrich, despite his already well known life of immorality, clearly have no concept of hypocrisy.

Soldier Under Fire For Controversial Decal

Sgt. Matthew Gonzalez said the message is in no way meant to dishonor the military or other soldiers. He says it's simply a message he came up with to show his beliefs about what he did in Iraq. story

"Are You Being Served" actor dies

Actor John Inman' name best known for his role as camp shop assistant Mr Humphries in the long-running BBC comedy "Are You Being Served?" died aged 71 on Thursday.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Scooter Libby Found Guilty of 4 out of 5 Charges (UPDATED)

Fortunately, my fears were not realized. Scooter Libby was found guilty of all but one of the charges against him. Add this to all the other shenanigans we are finally learning about and the corruption of the Bush Administration should be plain to see to even the most partisan Republican.
Count 1 (Obstruction): GUILTY Count 2 (Perjury): GUILTY Count 3 (False Statement): NOT GUILTY Count 4 (Perjury): GUILTY Count 5 (Perjury): GUILTY
UPDATE: I stand corrected about the obviousness of it all. The fair and balanced FOX News Network decided to present "the other side" of the story to their flock. God help us. They still have the largest ratings on Cable News. It's shrinking, but still the biggest. With all due respect - Fox News viewers are (expletive deleted). And after all this time I can only assume that they like it.

UPDATE II: The National Review is one of the longest running and most influential mouthpieces for the conservative movement. Of course, during the Clinton years, they called for his head (?) for lying about his indiscretion. So, what's their response to the Libby Verdict? HINT: It's easy to guess.

UPDATE III: I found the final paragraph of the National Review editorial especially interesting. It's the mandatory mantra that the "world is biased against conservatives" but the sentence that I bolded seems to be a complaint that the Bush team failed to make sure everyone got their story straight. Theses young repubs in the wing aren't just Bushies. They're also Nixonians! Nah, I'm just reading too much into it. Right?

There should have been no referral, no special counsel, no indictments, and no trial. The “CIA-leak case” has been a travesty. A good man has paid a very heavy price for the Left’s fevers, the media’s scandal-mongering, and President Bush’s failure to unify his own administration. Justice demands that Bush issue a pardon and lower the curtain on an embarrassing drama that shouldn't have lasted beyond its opening act.

UPDATE IV: OK, this is the last one. I just couldn't resist this report on Tuesdays Rush Limbaugh show. He started off, before the decision, booming with confidence about the outcome. "advisorjim" chronicles Rush's three hour gyrations explaining away the verdict and gives a helpful guide on what to expect from the dittoheads in your life tomorrow.

This is the logical diving board Rush jumped off of during the show today. It sort of sounded like a last cry of the truly desperate. Point 1 – This was a witch hunt. Point 2 – It wasn’t even a crime. Point 3 – And even if he did it, so what? Rush’s final point was to say that, even if Libby was guilty (and it seems that the last remaining shadow of doubt was removed at around 12:03 p.m. EST) what’s wrong with defending the administration from a bunch of liars.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Democratic Congress & Fed Up Voters Made the Difference at Walter Reed

The daily whine from the mainstream media is that Democrats are not doing anything since they took power. Of course, they are just parroting the right wing - in the media's never ending attempt to appease those who accuse them of liberalism. But the recent story about the Water Reed Army Medical Center by the Washington Post and the sudden interest by the White House and Defence Department is due to the fact that Democrats control Congress.

If they had not won, Don Rumsfeld would probably be still Defense Secretary and the Republican Congress would surely be letting the Bush Administration run free. Rumsfeld knew of the problem there because of a report saying so 2 years ago! Back then, the Bush administration claimed it just was liberal lies. Now, however, they leap into action (after first falsely claiming ignorance of the problems - we can get them to act now but it is probably too much to ask that they be honest with the American people).

Thank God the Democrats are providing some oversight of the Bush administration. Thanks to the great reporting at the Washington Post too. They are often smeared as a leftie paper but where was the right wing Moonie paper the Washington Times? They could have investigated. Instead they just continued to do whatever they could to perpetuate the myths that hold together this so-called "Conservative" movement.

Let us hope that our country can still be salvaged after this dark period of lies, neglect and incompetence of Red Americans. The Democrats have not changed everything that is wrong with the United States in the past three months, but I feel that the Walter Reed revelations are an important and illustrative first step foreword.

Geico cavemen may get own TV series

ABC said Friday it had ordered a pilot for a comedy, tentatively titled “Cavemen,” that features the characters used in a series of ads by the insurance company. In the ads, cavemen appear insulted by a Geico pitchman’s claim that the company’s Web site is so easy to use that “even a caveman can do it.”

The potential series features the cavemen as they “struggle with prejudice on a daily basis as they strive to live the lives of normal thirty-somethings in 2007 Atlanta.”
more on possible series
video of caveman commercials

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Friday, March 2, 2007

Rainy Day - Whatever day it is

The wall calendar says Friday. My work calendar says Monday. Whatever it is - it's miserable outside today in New York City.
UPDATE 10:45 AM: What a mess. I walked to the train station - getting completly soaked. When I arrived there were about 1,000 people waiting on the platform, in the station and on the staircases going into the station. I pushed myself over to the platform and waited. And waited. Finally after about an hour there was an announcement that a train would be there in 10 minutes and everyone should get on it because they didn't know if and when the next train would be. When the train arrived, it was already packed to the max!! Of the thousand people at my station maybe 1/3 could squeeze on. Maybe. I thought about shoving myself ahead of the pack - I am surprisingly good at that - but didn't for a number of reasons. 1) It would not make me a popular guy with those who arrived before me 2) I imagine most of the people there at my Harlem station had jobs where they would be fired or docked pay for being late. I saw real panic in people's eyes as they waited on the train. I'm sure most of them need every single dollar they earn. If I shoved my way ahead - I could be taking the space of someone who's very livelihood depends on making it to their job, and 3) I am so very lucky that I can work from home under special circumstances. I have all my work on my laptop so it is easy to be so generous to my fellow travelers when I have the option of going home, getting out of my wet clothes and working out of my apartment. I feel bad for the 2/3 of the folks who didn't get on that train and I hope they eventually get to where they need to be. As for me, I'm sipping tea, trying to dry off and warm up (this New York rain really chills you to the bone!) and getting a lot done in my quiet and dry apartment.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Top Underground Transit Systems of the World

#8 Montreal, Canada I ride the New York City subway every day so it was interesting to see this comparisons of the worlds best subway systems. There are some incredible photos and cool videos of subways from around the world. (BTW, according to the list, the NYC subway ranks # 7. )

#6 Seoul, Korea

Heeeeeeey Chief! (Happy Friday)

I am going to give occasional shout outs to my regular readers. I'll start off with this classic video for my ole buddy Vito! Happy Friday Chief!

UPDATE: I posted this on Thursday. I tell you - I have been working crazy hours and really late shifts. Wednesday was MY Friday and Friday will be MY Monday. I posted this after work on Wednesday. So it really kind of makes sense if you (don't) think (too much) about it.