Saturday, May 31, 2008

Rules are for Fools

"My momma taught me to play by the rules and respect those rules. My mother taught me, and I'm sure your mother taught you, that when you decide change the rules, middle of the game, end of the game, that is referred to as cheatin'," - Donna Brazile.

EXPOSED! McCain Daughter A Gay Terrorist

Ladies and gentleman I have some troubling news to report. As you can see in this photo, Meghan McCain, daughter of Presidential candidate John McCain, has been photographed wearing a terrorist scarf. At first I was caught unawares because it is a subtle violet color. Then I remembered, from one of the greatest Americans of all time Jerry Fallwell, that purple is the color for gays (remember tinky winky). So look what we have here. John McCain's daughter is a gay terrorist! This is more than a preacher man - this is a daughter. As a great American and your window into the world of true patriotism I bring you this warning not with glee but with concern. Do we want a man who has a gay terrorist daughter in the White House? I think not! Now I'm off to the tattoo parlor to get an American flag emblazoned on my chest.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Dangerous Denial

There is a report just released by the Bush administration confirming that the climate on Earth is changing at an alarming and dangerous rate. Note the lack of a "breaking news" label.

So why is this report just being released now? Good question.
The Bush administration released a climate change assessment on Thursday -- four years late and pushed forward by a court order --
that said human-induced global warming will likely lead to problems like droughts in the U.S. West and stronger hurricanes.
This is not new information but it's breathtaking just how difficult it was for right wingers to admit the obvious. Many people are puzzled as to why conservatives would bother to deny that the climate is changing on Earth. I think I may have it figured out. I think the delay was due to the conservatives in power having to admit things they were determined to deny. First, they had to admit the earth was round and more than 5,000 years old. Then they had to be convinced that we are dependant on a mild climate on earth to survive as a species. Then, they had to acknowledge that the climate is changing (after calling the scientific evidence liberal spin). Finally - and probably the real reason conservatives refused to go down this road at all, they had to admit that business would have to adjust their behavior along with individuals to preserve the only home humans have. Business leaders that have bankrolled the conservative movement had not planned on adjusting their operations or profits because of changes in the climate. Therefore, since this wasn't in the plans - acknowledging the truth about climate change was just not going to happen in a Republican administration. Yes, it was all to much to go against their business interests, fundamentalist religious leaders and their own disinterest in "facts" or "the truth" to even entertain information about climate change! That is why, in my opinion, all this time has gone by without any response to the most serious problem in the history of human kind.

We have all come to see how this conservative political movement was based on myths and misinformation. A vast majority of Americans now realize that this mentality got us into Iraq, damaged the economy and cause the sinking of our influence and reputation around the world. But the story of the suppression of the Climate change report by the Bush administration highlights what might be the most damaging legacy of the "Denial Years". In order to keep the Republican base happy, a program of Climate Change Denial was thought up by people like Karl Rove, spread by folks like Rush Limbaugh and believed, for two elections, by a public who just could not believe that "God fearing, flag wearing, self-proclaimed patriots" would put the public at such grave risk. But they did. And it was good for them. They won both their elections and now landed well paid jobs in the private sector. Good for them. Bad for the rest of us. Please pass the sunscreen.

Happy Friday!

I'm not big into cartoons but I do like Tom and Jerry. I came to appreciate it in Germany when it became a favorite primarily because there was no language barriers. Enjoy.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Right wing pressures company to pull ads

A few weeks ago I saw this and changed my dressing patterns. I have always loved wearing scarves. In Florida I really never did so because, even in Tallahassee, it never got cold enough. But in the winter here I wear them all the time and when I read that there were Summer scarves to be had I jumped on it! Two weeks ago I bought a pair of scarves like the one Rachael Ray is wearing in the picture here. I love them and wear them out all the time. I've also come to notice that a lot of folks doing the same, especially tourists from Europe and Scandinavia. It's all good! Right?
Well, of course from the great minds from the right wing come complaints that the scarf is "too middle eastern" and they bullied Dunkin Donuts into pulling the ad. Now I feel like I have to hate DD (but I love them) and I really hate the mindlessness that has taken over this country. Oh - I packed my scarf today and will wear it later tonight. To hell with the retards that get pissed.

Now he tells us

In the post below I direct you to the story of Former White House Spokesman Scott McClellan's new book. In it, the #1 water carrier for misinformation and lies now admits ... it was all misinformation and lies! Imagine that! Now there are still plenty on the right who are drinking this Kool-Aid, but all but the most ignorant now realize that we have been living under an Un-American regime for the past 7 years. Of course some of us have been trying to warn the public for years about this - but what did we know. We were just those nasty "liberals" that the right wing machine so successfully smeared. Much of the nation was convinced to ignore what we said, ignore what they saw and believe only what the right wing told them to believe. Their moronic obedience resulted in the disaster of the Bush Administration.

As much as I wish I could forgive and forget, I really doubt that I will ever be able to totally forgive those who backed Bush and his lies for two elections. The conservative "movement" in general and Bush/Rove specifically let their intentions be known from the start. They would not rely on facts - they would pursue the policies of their "movement". They would say anything they wanted no matter how untrue to get what they want. The relied on propaganda, smears and a general dumbing down of discourse to gain power and they would use these same tactics to push through disastrous policies - right under all of our noses. McClellan now seems to be saying - "I was lying to you and it's your fault for not calling me out". Although he should not be absolved of his behavior, he does have a point.

If someone like me could see it plain as day from the start, there is no excuse for anyone else to act surprised or disappointed now. The USA may never recover from this dark chapter in her history. Frankly, I lay the blame on everyone inside and outside of the media who should have known better, but let the destruction of this once great nation happen anyway. So while I am glad that Scotty has decided to tell all, it is far too late to undo the damaged he helped create. Riddled with guilt now, he wants to come clean. How convenient for him. Here is my favorite analysis (so far) of the McClellan book .....

Bottom line: he confirms everything that we dirty hippie bloggers were screaming about at the top of our lungs, but which the traditional media ignored because...well, because Scott McClellan stood at his little White House podium and denied it all, lying out of his fat little elitist face as the stenographers printed his crap without scrutiny. Once again, we come face to face with a White House official who could've done the right thing...but instead decided that the lives of American troops, Iraqi civilians, Katrina victims, and a network of covert CIA operatives were worth less than the luster of his master's lapel pin. When our country needed him to tell it straight, he hid behind propaganda and spin and bogus talking points and outright bamboozlement. source

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Scotty Boy Grows A Pair

Scott McClellan, the hapless Presidential spokesman who got the job in his mid thirties because of a rich, famous, Republican mom, has grown up and started telling the truth. Lord knows it is far too late, but I guess one might say better late than never. Here is the story and here are some highlights.
• McClellan charges that Bush relied on “propaganda” to sell the war.• He says the White House press corps was too easy on the administration during the run-up to the war.• He admits that some of his own assertions from the briefing room podium turned out to be “badly misguided.” • Two top aides held a secret West Wing meeting to get their story straight about the CIA leak case at a time when federal prosecutors were after them — and McClellan was continuing to defend them despite mounting evidence they had not given him all the facts.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Her "Long Shot" Strategy Exposed

Oh Hillary. You stayed in too long. You tried 1 smear too many. You just couldn't take the fact that you were beaten because you sold out to George W. Bush over the past 6 years. Why, we wondered, would you stay in the race and fan resentment toward Barack Obama. Why? What on earth do you think could happen to result in the nomination being given to you?
Oh, that! "We have seen an X-ray of a very dark soul. One consumed by raw ambition to where the possible assassination of an opponent is something to ponder in a strategic way. Otherwise, why is murder on her mind?"
I've got an idea Hillary. Go. Now. Please.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Happy Friday!


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thursday Roundup

Not much time to write but did want to get something in this week. The weather here has been unseasonable cool. Highs in the 50's or 60's and lows often dipping into the 40's. Personally, I like it but it is strange to wear sweaters and jackets in late May.

The Yankees are struggling so far this year. I was at the game Sunday night and it was a disaster. I hope that with A-Rod back we can get on a roll. Got tickets to Sunday's contest against the Mariners.

As soon as I ease back on my "Hillary Hating" she does it again. Clinton is still pressing for a rule change to include Florida and Michigan even though she has admitted in the past that they don't count! Not only that, she is making it sound like she is a champion for disenfranchised voters rather than a crass politician just trying to change the rules of a game she has loss. The Clinton's, over the past 6 months, have destroyed their legacy - at least in my mind.

The media has just noticed that John McCain's campaign is full of lobbyists, people with questionable international connections and a preacher that makes Rev. Wright look sane. Let's hope they begin to focus on this as they did with Barack Obama.

It''s sad the hear about Ted Kennedy's brain cancer. I've never been a huge fan of his but you can't deny his impressive legislative history. I also respect wealthy people who dedicate their lives to helping those ... who need help. For the past generation the Republican establishment (politicians, media, think tanks) have developed an attitude of "I got mine .. screw you". Kennedy reminds us that selfishness does not have to rule this country. I also feel bad for my Republican friends who may be losing their favorite excuse for their own poor behavior. Anyone who follows politics knows that any time a Republican has been caught doing something wrong they scream "Chappaquiddick"!! For more than 40 years Ted Kennedy's car accident has served as a shield that right wingers have used to confuse many in the public to their own hypocrisy. Now that Kennedy is dying, they will have to ease back on that - at least for a while. However, I think that 100 years from now they will still be bringing that up in order to distract the public from their own sleaziness.

Well I'm off the brave the chilly rain and make my way to work. It's my Friday so I depart with a smile on my face and a beer on my mind.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Crowd Goes Wild!

Barack Obama spoke to the biggest crowd of his campaign (video) an estimated 65,000 people packed into a riverside park for an afternoon rally at a sun-splashed scene on the banks of the Willamette River in Portland, Ore. Another 15,000 were left outside, fire officials estimated.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Friday, May 16, 2008

Happy Friday

Every Friday could be happy if right wing crazies like this continue to be mocked and embarrassed for being confident yet so damn stupid.

Here is a bonus Happy Friday video. The language is very bad - not suitable for work - but it is a dance re-mix of the Bill O'Reilly meltdown of some 20 years ago that has been flying around the Internet this week.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Not in the mail

After publicly announcing that the special rebate checks would be arriving earlier than expected we get this news. Promises made, the opposite of the promise happening. Too familiar.
There's a glitch in the government's plans to pump $150 billion into the economy by sending taxpayers a rebate: The rebates aren't arriving. Potentially, millions of taxpayers who were expecting to have their money by Friday will be waiting for their checks until June or July.

The Hoffman Protests

The ongoing story about Rachael Hoffman in Tallahassee has me missing that town for the first time. That probably sounds strange but what I miss is taking my little tape recorder out and doing stories for the radio. If I was there now, I would certainly pick up some press credentials and be all over this case. All hyperbole aside, I was damn good at interviewing people and I think uniquely able to get under the skin of the TPD.
There are many examples of this. One, when they started the now famous "party patrol" I was the only sceptic in the city. I remember taking a new journalism student with me for an interview with the TPD spokesman about this new program to cruise the city looking for private parties to bust up. Of course we sat there and politely listened to the spiel about how the "party patrol" would lower noise and the improve quality of life in Tallahassee. When he exhausted that line of PR I went in for the kill. I asked how many officers were involved in the Party Patrol, were they being paid overtime, and just what the dollar figure was for having hundred of cops looking for house parties. The spokesman dodged the question for a good half hour while I simply repeated the questions over and over. She didn't want to tell me and I wasn't going to be denied this public information. Needless to say the student with me was impressed when the spokesman finally called in a bookkeeper and figured out, probably for the first time ever, the astronomical price of this preemptive policing program.

The second example was at a press availability at City Hall. I think the story was about the break up of a protest that turned a little ugly when it was discovered that the cops were secretly taping protesters. I was with the college station at the time and all the mainstream media went first with their lame questions. They asked what the situation was and dutifully took notes as the police spokesman's told his tale. At the time, I noticed that there were a couple people in the corner of the room with video cameras taping us in the media! I walked right over to the cameramen who were trying to blend in with the rest of the media, with my microphone, (which can be an impressively powerful weapon) and asked the cameramen who they were and why there were there. One foolishly admitted he was with the police department (although disguised as the media). I then quickly and loudly asked the name of the officer who ordered them to tape us, how frequently this was done and where we could look at any tapes from months and years past. Well the spokesman ran over from his spot, stopping the press conference in mid-sentence and ushered the cameraman away from me and my little microphone and out of the room alltogether. In the next week the rest of the media picked up the story.

I am a supporter of law enforcement, don't get me wrong. Especially here in new York City, I see how their presence keeps things under control. But police departments have so much power that the checks and balances on their actions must be more thorough than almost any other government agency. Police departments these days are just terrific in manipulating the news media. They give them all the blood and guts they need to make their news shows exciting and the media looks the other ways as departments expand their budget, their powers and their discreet methods of supervising the American people. My hope is that this current case of Rachael Hoffman (who I did not know personally) finally opens the eyes of the media and the public to the abuses that can occur when a law enforcement agency is allowed to grow and expand it's powers without the proper oversight by the media and the public.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Hillary's Shallow Victory

A confluence of groups customarily inclined toward Hillary Clinton was voting in the West Virginia primary, with less-educated, lower-income Southern whites predominating. Racially motivated voting appeared to be running higher than usual: Two in 10 whites said the race of the candidate was a factor in their vote, second only to Mississippi. And only a third of those voters said they'd support Obama as the nominee against John McCain, fewer than in other primaries where the question has been asked. ABCnews

Poor Grammer

Sorry to hear this. They did a lot of re-tooling of the show but I guess the geniuses at FOX didn't think "Back To You" should come back.

Kelsey Grammer said Tuesday that Fox is dropping his sitcom "Back to You," calling the decision a surprise and a shame. "They have let it go," Grammer told The Associated Press. "We were told all this time we were in good shape and we were coming back."

Religious Debate of the Future: Neural Buddhism

David Brooks is a politically conservative commentator who is sometimes called the "Liberals Favorite Conservative". He not only writes for the New York Times but also appears weekly on PBS. He is NOT a movement conservative and is therefore open minded enough to welcome ideas outside of the predetermined right wing ideology. That's probably why he is respected on both side of the aisle.

Today he took on a non political subject and ventured into an area of thought that I ponder extensively. Brooks talks about the unmistakable Spirituality people feel and now can be measured scientifically. Brooks predicts (correctly, I hope) that future debates over Spirituality will NOT be about God or Spirituality but about modern religious organizations and belief structures. He welcomes the scientific evidence that shows that Spirituality is real and understands how, for many, the specific teaching of the Bible and Christianity inadequately addresses it. He predicts a convergence of science and Spirituality and calls it "Neural Buddhism". His description of this way of viewing things amazingly corresponds with what I have had running around my mind for years. Bravo David Brooks!!

Here is an excerpt of his article but you should read the entire thing here.
If you survey the literature you can see that certain beliefs will spread into the wider discussion. First, the self is not a fixed entity but a dynamic process of relationships. Second, underneath the patina of different religions, people around the world have common moral intuitions. Third, people are equipped to experience the sacred, to have moments of elevated experience when they transcend boundaries and overflow with love. Fourth, God can best be conceived as the nature one experiences at those moments, the unknowable total of all there is.The real challenge is going to come from people who feel the existence of the sacred, but who think that particular religions are just cultural artifacts built on top of universal human traits. It’s going to come from scientists whose beliefs overlap a bit with Buddhism. In unexpected ways, science and mysticism are joining hands and reinforcing each other. That’s bound to lead to new movements that emphasize self-transcendence but put little stock in divine law or revelation. Orthodox believers are going to have to defend particular doctrines and particular biblical teachings. They’re going to have to defend the idea of a personal God, and explain why specific theologies are true guides for behavior day to day.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Monday Roundup

A few weeks ago a story came out further detailing how the Bush administration intentionally mislead this nation into war. I know most people have moved on from this Administration even as we wait out this last year of it, but it's important to know how some politicians (sorry, but it is the "conservative" movement) use propaganda techniques that would make the most fascists of world leaders proud. Never forget that these movement conservatives must and will create a false reality in order to fool the people into supporting them:

"So the Pentagon would maintain a team of 'military analysts' who reliably 'carry their water' -- yet who were presented as independent analysts by the television and cable networks. By feeding only those pro-Government sources key information and giving them access -- even before responding to the press -- only those handpicked analysts would be valuable to the networks, and that, in turn, would ensure that only pro-Government sources were heard from. "Meanwhile, the 'less reliably friendly' ones -- frozen out by the Pentagon -- would be 'weeded out' by the networks. The pro-Government military analysts would do what they were told because the Pentagon was 'their bread and butter.' These Pentagon-controlled analysts were used by the networks not only to comment on military matters -- and to do so almost always unchallenged -- but also even to shape and mold the networks' coverage choices.
I have been reading a very disturbing story in the Tallahassee paper. Seems a young woman was arrested for selling drugs and was given a choice. Go to jail or become a secret police informant. Frightened of prison, this 23 years old went undercover and was promptly killed. This will probably blow up into a big story and I hope it does. The Tallahassee Police Department unfortunately tends to veer out of control from time to time. They are overpaid, overmanned and act like they patrol the streets of Baghdad rather than the sleepy town of Tallahassee. If there is trouble they are good at getting to it - but too often they are out looking for things to do to justify their huge numbers. This may be another example of them going overboard to justify their bloated budget. I'll keep on this story.

Hoffman, a 2007 Florida State University graduate, had recently become an informant for the Tallahassee Police Department after multiple drugs were found in her apartment, police said. She was also in a diversion program after a 2007 drug charge. Her attorneys and the State Attorney's Office say they were not aware she was working with police. "My job is to keep her out of harm's way, but I didn't have an opportunity because I didn't know," Devine said.

State Attorney Willie Meggs said it's common practice for his office to be notified when someone already in the justice system is recruited as an informant. "I am not aware of that ever happening before," Meggs said of not being notified. "Typically, we do know."

TPD spokesman David McCranie said police limit the people who know who their informants are. He said Meggs' office is informed when someone on probation is recruited, but Hoffman was in a drug diversion program. "We did not feel her participation as a confidential informant would in any way impede her ability to complete the diversion program," McCranie said. "If we need to make changes, we'll do so."

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Thursday, May 8, 2008

You are what you eat

While browsing the Internet I came across this story about how to eat healthy. This is of particular interest to me for a number of reasons. First, I was brought up eating home cooking every single day. I can count the number of times we got fast food as kids on my 10 fingers. It wasn't so much that we were against it for any particular reason, it's just that my mom and my dad both know how to shop, cook and put together a meal that is filling and delicious. This made me an unmistakable food snob to this day. I'm not a very demanding person but when it comes to food I do demand quality!

Second, and possibly related, I have worked quite a bit in the health food industry. I was pushing tofu before most people had ever heard of it and organics before there were any major grocery stores selling it. I have been eating this stuff for years. Having said that I do admit to being a proud omnivore. While I just love vegetarian food and tofu and all kinds of other stuff that sounds gross but is healthy - I also will wolf down a double cheeseburger, fried chicken, cheesy lasagna and any sweets that Little Debbie or Mr. Entenmann will make. (including my new favorite dessert of all time) I have always thought that it was important to have as wide of a diet as possible.

Anyway - Michael Pollan, an acclaimed author, has put down some basic tips about eating that seem to jive with what I know and think. Here they are:

* Eat food. Don't eat anything your great-great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food.
* Avoid even those food products that come bearing health claims.
* Especially avoid food products containing ingredients that are a) unfamiliar, b) unpronounceable c) more than five in number — or that contain high-fructose corn syrup.
* Get out of the supermarket whenever possible, and try and buy local.
* Pay more, eat less.
(italics mine)
* Eat mostly plants, especially leaves.
* Eat more like the French. Or the Japanese. Or the Italians. Or the Greeks. People who eat according to the rules of a traditional food culture are generally healthier than we are.
* Cook. And, if you can, plant a garden.
* Eat like an omnivore.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

His Time Has Come

It was a great night for Barack Obama. He creamed Hillary Clinton in North Carolina and is much, much closer in Indiana than expected. I think this might finally be the end of the Clinton campaign. Watching her speak I could see sadness on the faces of Bill and Chelsea - I think they know. The most indicative clue is the fact that she cancelled all her Wednesday appearances. She's on the way out.

I think the turning point of this weeks contests was the gas tax proposal Clinton joined McCain on. Voters saw that as pandering and it reminded them of the 'politics as usual' BS that they want to see go. Think of it - a presidential candidate refused to back an immediate tax holiday and benefited! If true, it tells me that people are thinking on a different level than they have in my the past. We're thinking things through. We are looking beyond our initial impression. We're remembering broken promises that sounded so good but proved to be meaningless or worse. It's time for change and Barack Obama's time has come.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Loud-Mouthed Red Sox Fan Silenced

Eye in the Sky (Myanmar)

Satellite images taken by the NASA MODIS program show the Irrawaddy region on April 15(L) before Cyclone Nargis and May 5 (R) after Cyclone Nargis.

Another Primary Day

Here we go again! Indiana and North Carolina hold their primaries today and it's another opportunity for Barack Obama to close the deal. Unfortunately, it looks like another split decision. Indiana is leaning Clinton while NC seems to be going for Obama. If this is the case then the misery will go on as we have to witness Hillary Clinton smearing her opponent in a misguided effort to sway super delegates. If she should win both than that will only be more intensified. However, if Obama should pull off the sweep this evening I look for a flood of super delegates to commit to him and put him over the top!! Yes - he can put it away tonight - but it will be tough.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Grand Theft Auto

This seven year old stole his grandmother's car. His response is simply unbelievable. Comments?

Friday, May 2, 2008

Happy Friday!

On Friday I usually post videos to make your Friday happy. Today I post a song and a LINK of songs that will probably make you grimace. Here's a selection from the WORST MUSIC VIDEOS OF ALL TIME! Enjoy - or not.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Thursday Round Up

Yes, I'm alive. The end of month is non stop work and April came to an end last night. While not easy, (it never is) it turned out to be a good month. I survived, got the two possible bonus' and even an extra bonus for being extra productive. That is nice for sure but exhausting. Also, I sure wish my bonus' were in thousands rather than hundreds but maybe in the months and years to come.

Did you notice that Rev. Wright was a complete nut case? I sure did. I think he may be getting senile or something because he seems crazy in the chemical sense as well as nutty in his outlook of the world. I'm glad Barack repudiated him and I hope that it doesn't seriously hurt his campaign.

All my favorite shows are back. Look for them on a TV near you: The Office, Lil' Bush and Back To You. Looks like the Caveman show is done though.

It was five years ago that the President declared Mission Accomplished. It seems like 20 years to me. I was living in Las Vegas preparing to move east. The whole spectacle on the ship that day made me sick. First, I saw it as a premature photo-op by a classless commander in chief. Everyone pretty much agrees with me now, but back then I felt sick because the American people ate it up. I felt like it would send Bush to a second term (which it may have done). If the USA or the planet for that matter survives another 50 years, people will look back and wonder how so many were fooled by such superficiality. This election will show just how much we have matured and grown.

Well I'm off to get ready for work. Have a great day everyone!!!!!