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Fates Worse Than Death
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30 October 2003

Severian

I will, from time to time, be posting on the diaries at Daily Kos under the handle Severian. Here's my first. I like doing it there because of the free advertising, and substantial chance of getting some nice comments.

Of course, that's only when I have something worthwhile to say.

Which isn't that often.

Oh, and Joe, Jonas isn't really a reference to you, even though we were having that conversation. Jonas is a friend of Severian's in Gene Wolf's Book of the New Sun.

posted at 8:33 PM by Chris



29 October 2003

Tort Reform

Here's a prime example.

And, I can't help but wonder whether it can really be libel when you claim that a person is something that he readily admits to being (sort of, but still...).

This is just too much. And lots of people are getting pissed off about it.

posted at 8:20 PM by Chris



25 October 2003

Yankees Lose! Yankees Lose!

Hahahahahahahahahaha!
Take that, motherfuckers!

Not that I really cared about this series. It could have been so much better. In the Cubs and the Red Sox, you would have had two teams that everyone wanted to see win, yet, at the same time, everyone wanted to see lose. With the Yankees and Marlins, however, you had one team (Yankees) that everyone wanted to see lose, and one team (Marlins) that no one wanted to see win.

Well, at least the Yankees lost.

posted at 8:10 PM by Chris



24 October 2003

Good Reading

Of course, by this point, pretty much everyone knows about Gen. Boykin's controversial comments, but something's really been bugging me about the reaction to it ever since it really hit the blogosphere. Lots and lots of commenters have taken this as an opportunity to attack Christianity--not just Fundamental Protestantism, but Christianity (and therefore, Christians, by necessary extention) en masse. As someone who considers himself a Christian, albeit a very left-wing one, this really offends me, and I get tired of hearing it from people that, politically, are supposed to be on the side of tolerance. That, after all, is a big part of why I consider myself a liberal. Anyhow, I was going to rant about this for a while today, but then I read a post by guest-poster Melanie at Kos, and found out that every argument I could make has been made in the comments section, as well as just about every argument to the contrary. Go read the comments, or as many of them as you can. There's some good reading in here.

posted at 4:47 PM by Chris



23 October 2003

Signs, Anyone?

This has got to be a joke. I mean, either the article or the act itself. The point is that someone, somewhere, is laughing.

posted at 8:56 PM by Chris



21 October 2003

Of Mice And Men

Safire has an interesting article reprinted in today's Star Tribune about (at least, initially) using mice to boost the human immune system.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- How can we best protect ourselves against the bioterror attack certain to come one day? The ultimate answer is personal self-defense -- arming the human immune system with the power to recognize, attack and defeat any germ or virus that a bioterrorist can create. Such an alliance between brain and immune cells would also defeat all other diseases now afflicting humanity.

To advance medical research without killing people, scientists a few years ago implanted human immune cells in mice and grew an immune system they can experiment with. They'll lose a slew of the little mammals, but this limited, nonreproductive crossing of the species barrier will be helpful in eradicating disease. That strikes me as ethical.

But in a recent experiment in South Korea, geneticists say they have added human embryonic cells -- stem cells, with the ability to turn into brain, sperm or any type of cell -- into the embryos of mice. That's unethical; down that road lies a chimera. In Greek mythology, that was the name of a fire-breathing monster combining lion, goat and snake; the name was adopted by modern scientists to mean "an organism with two or more genetically different types of cells."


Let's skip the arguments about whether or not this can possibly be effective. I'm not a scientist, and I don't know. It seems that any system of defense will have a weakness, and that it's usually a whole lot easier to find and exploit a weakness than it is to find and repair it. But, again, that's just the opinion of someone who doesn't know enough about the specifics of this.

Let's also skip the arguments about whether or not the initial experiments on mice are, in fact, ethical. Safire believes they are, and it's not the point I'm trying to draw attention to, so let's just assume that they're fine for now.

It's Safire's conclusion that baffles me.

Do we really want to cross a man with a mouse? Are we comfortable endowing a fellow primate like a chimpanzee with uniquely human characteristics -- and all the half-human rights that would entail -- in the name of medical research?


It's a bit of a stretch for me, and it gets worse as the article goes along. If you think the use of stem cells for anything is wrong, hey, that's fine. But it's not the argument Safire's making. He seems to be saying that experimenting in one way to produce better humans that don't die as easily is just fine, but that another isn't, and he offers no real reasons why.

So, using stem cells on animals is akin to cheating or steroid use, in that it could lead to substantially longer human lives, and all the problems that are associated with it? Fine, I can accept that. I can understand his point about the old refusing to make way for the young (although his point about pressure to reproduce seems more than a little flaky to me). But how is experimenting on mice in any other way different? It seems like selective reasoning to me--like an argument being used against stem cell research not because Safire believes it's a danger peculiar to stem cell research, but just because it can be used. Safire doesn't even seem to consider that there's more than one way to skin a cat, so to speak.

Safire does briefly mention the potential harm this could do to the animals, especially if experimentation brings them to a level where they could be considered half-human. Issues such as what rights "half-human animals" would have are, indeed, important questions that should be thoroughly considered before we even start down that road. But it's clear that the impact on the animals isn't Safire's chief concern. Frankly, I doubt he cares about them much at all--this sounds to me like a throw-away comment to win over those who would side with the animals. This, to me, is the most important point--and the most valid--in the article, yet Safire only mentions it in passing.

posted at 4:45 PM by Chris


How Very Odd

Atrios has a link in which an elderly woman says that we all need to start protesting gay rights, because the gays are going to be the next Hitler.

I may need to start drinking early tonight.

posted at 3:54 PM by Chris


Tax Cuts for Dean!

I've given birth to a new blog. Well actually it's pretty much going to be a static site I think, but it's hosted by Blogger. Check it out:

Tax Cuts for Dean

posted at 5:54 AM by Joe



16 October 2003

Imminent Or Not

A reader of Tom Tomorrow says it doesn't matter;Junior screwed up either way. If Junior said the threat was imminent, he was either going on seriously (and, I would argue, intentionally) incorrect interpretations of intelligence, or he was lying about the danger. However, what if he never said it was an imminent threat? It does not bode better for him

posted at 3:35 PM by Chris


From The Department Of Irony...

Which, ironically, is rather apt.

Anyhow, here it is. Via Atrios.

posted at 3:31 PM by Chris


Fates Worse Than Death

I could be off in Iraq getting RPG's shot at me.

I could be in a North Korean prison.

I could be naked, hanging by my fingernails from a pole in Antarctica.

I could be swimming through a pool filled with double edged razor blades and Nitric acid.

But, sadly, none of these fates is mine.

I have to work on Saturday.

Okay, yes, I'm using hyperbole just a bit, but I've had an annoying day.

Pretty much everything I do at work has to be done through a program we call Lawson (Lawson is actually the name of a software company that makes, among other things, custom accounting software. This software is the antecedent, and I'm not even certain it has an actual program name. So,w e simply call it Lawson). Yesterday, the server for Lawson was experiencing problems for about half the day, and we couldn't use it for anything. I did have a few menial tasks with which I could occupy myself until it started functioning again, and I did them. Lawson came back up, and all was well. Until this morning.
Lawson experienced problems again last night. Problems that, it would seem, are more severe than the mere hiccups of yesterday. A quarter through a day of desperately trying to find work to do, we were told that Lawson would be down all day. This was not the worst news, however. Lawson had lost the previous day. Gone. All of it. True, Lawson only worked for half the day yesterday, but the lost work is really a trivial part of the problem. I don't want to go into specifics too much, but we have to reproduce--and I mean exactly--everything that was done yesterday, or everything will go to shit.

That may be the worst part, and it may not. Yesterday's gone, as I said. However, the rest of the week may be as well. I would prefer it if this were not the case, but it may be. At the very least, we're going to loose three days worth of work, if the replicating goes well. It may not sound like much, but a few days can make a difference.

posted at 3:29 PM by Chris



14 October 2003

Where Does The Science Part Come In?

So, I've been thinking about Creation Science for a few days now, probably because I was fooled by the bit of (presumably) satire I linked to a few days ago. Here are a few other sites which I feel confident are not satire. Sadly, none will have the same impact as the Creation Science Fair, but they're still fun to examine.

Now, let me say that I am not attacking Christianity here. I'm not even attacking Creationism. If someone believes the Genesis story to be the literal truth, that's fine with me, provided that they admit that they believe it in spite of science, not because of it. There's nothing wrong with that. Religion, really, by definition, isn't scientific. It's meant to explain what science can't (or, at least, what it can't explain yet). As someone who considers himself a Christian (if a somewhat unconventional one), I am loathe to deny the mystical aspect entirely.

Creation Science, however, offends me on two levels. As a rational person, I find the double standard they apply in terms of gauging theories appalling. As a religious person, I find their desperate attempts to justify something that can't objectively be justified religion to be cheapening.

Here's a breakdown of Creation Science and it's problems with evolution that's fairly concise, and is far more coherent than most others I've read.

Okay, so the Theory of Evolution doesn't answer every question. Yes, we all know that. The important parts took place billions of years ago, so it's difficult to observe. It takes place over billions of years, so it's difficult to objectively verify. While humans may have not directly observed beneficial mutations that might lead to macro-evolution, we haven't been looking for very long, have we? I'm not even going to discuss the "geologic column" issue, because it seems absurd on its face.

Because the current Theory of Evolution isn't perfect, "There is no reason not to believe that God created our universe, earth, plants, animals, and people just as described in the book of Genesis!"

So, verifiable fossil records showing some animals not existing at certain times, and then seeing that those animals do, in fact, exist later, isn't evidence, it would seem. Carbon dating isn't either. That's not even what angers me, though. What makes this so intellectually dishonest is that Creation Scientists say that the current Theory of Evolution is obviously false because of its problems, which means that Creationism must, must, be true. How do we know? It says so right here, fellas. Trust us.

Wonderful empirical evidence, guys. This is exactly the way science should be done.

posted at 4:38 PM by Chris



13 October 2003

Why Won't S.A.O. #3 Unmask the Leakers?

The senior administration official who really blew the CIA leak story open for the Sept. 28 Post was quoted again in yesterday's edition. As others have noted in their thorough analyses, this official's statements are remarkable for several facts they reveal:


  • Even before the CIA agent's name had been published in Novak's column, officials in the administration were actively trying to expose her to discredit Wilson and get their revenge.
  • Specifically, the senior administration officials were top White House officials.
  • A senior administration official (the Post's source) is revealing information to the press that is potentially severly damaging to the White House - especially to two officials for whom the source seems to have no love.


Here are the relevant snippets:

September 28, Washington Post:
Yesterday, a senior administration official said that before Novak's column ran, two top White House officials called at least six Washington journalists and disclosed the identity and occupation of Wilson's wife. Wilson had just revealed that the CIA had sent him to Niger last year to look into the uranium claim and that he had found no evidence to back up the charge. Wilson's account touched off a political fracas over Bush's use of intelligence as he made the case for attacking Iraq.

"Clearly, it was meant purely and simply for revenge," the senior official said of the alleged leak.

...

The official would not name the leakers for the record and would not name the journalists. The official said there was no indication that Bush knew about the calls.

It is rare for one Bush administration official to turn on another. Asked about the motive for describing the leaks, the senior official said the leaks were "wrong and a huge miscalculation, because they were irrelevant and did nothing to diminish Wilson's credibility."
October 12, Washington Post:
That same week, two top White House officials disclosed Plame's identity to least six Washington journalists, an administration official told The Post for an article published Sept. 28. The source elaborated on the conversations last week, saying that officials brought up Plame as part of their broader case against Wilson.

"It was unsolicited," the source said. "They were pushing back. They used everything they had."
Notice that the source "... would not name the leakers for the record and would not name the journalists," implying that Allen and Priest were conditionally told the leakers' names.

So the known list of those who know the leakers' identities now stands as follows:
  1. the leakers and their allies in the administration
  2. the 6+ journalists who received the leak
  3. S.A.O. #3 (the Post's source)
  4. Mike Allen, Dana Priest, and assumably Walter Pincus of the Post
  5. whomever (2) and (4) have told (presumably a number of other reporters)


Who's gonna spill the beans to the public then? Clearly not (1). (2) and (4) are sworn to secrecy. In his piece last Sunday, Newsweek's Jonathan Alter encouraged (5) to come forward as he himself did with respect to Oliver North's leak in 1987. But although he makes a compelling argument for this course of action, Alter admits this about it: "Almost all reporters still say no; it would feel scummy and violate the spirit of confidentiality."

A lot of my hope rests with (3). What's encouraging about the official's new statement is that its occurence indicates that this mysterious official is ready give the press further information and clarification to dismiss theories that attempt to diminish the significance of Plame's outing. What I don't understand is why this person hasn't named the leakers outright. He/she clearly wants the leakers' actions known and is not afraid to damage the White House. There is no journalistic confidentiality issue here - has the official sworn an oath to the leakers not to reveal their identities? It would seem that such an oath would include their criminal actions as well, and the source has been candid about the details of those. So why is this official providing crucial information to open up the scandal while at the same time containing it by protecting the leakers' identities? At least the fact that this person, who seems to know all, has spoken out twice encourages me to think that he/she will continue to contribute to the full truth's becoming publicly known.

posted at 8:37 AM by Joe



11 October 2003

Best Book Title Ever

Seriously. Best. Ever.

(some of you may suspect that I'm reading page 34 of the month's Esquire. You'd be right, but let's just keep that our little secret. Let the other people think I'm finding this stuff on my own)

posted at 1:17 PM by Chris


Pokemon Proves Evolutionism Is False

Yet another reason why I don't want to be associated with so many other Christians. Among other arguments and experiments as independent from reason as, say, someone who thinks that consensual sex is worse than sexual abuse (this is really a spectacular piece of trash, well worth reading if you've got the stomach for some world-class bullshit), was this piece:


Patricia Lewis (grade 8) did an experiment to see if life can evolve from non-life. Patricia placed all the non-living ingredients of life - carbon (a charcoal [briquette]), purified water, and assorted minerals (a multi-vitamin) - into a sealed glass jar. The jar was left undisturbed, being exposed only to sunlight, for three weeks. (Patricia also prayed to God not to do anything miraculous during the course of the experiment, so as not to disqualify the findings.) No life evolved. This shows that life cannot come from non-life through natural processes.


I'll ignore, for the moment at least, the logical fallacy of attempting to prove something can't be done. What bothers me more is that the creators of this site don't seem to be able to tell the difference between a process that took billions of years, and one that took three weeks, and that they seem to think that one single negative test is somehow indicative of all possible tests. And they're teaching this to their kids!

I'm also a bit curious about just what their definition of life is, and how they scientifically verified, beyond all doubt, that it was not present. Now, I'm certainly not saying I believe that life in any form actually did come into being in this little jar, but what were they expecting? Fish? Monkeys? I mean, how long do you give evolution to prove itself? And does anyone think they accurately ruled out the presence of, say, amoeba, of germs? How did they ensure that none of these things made it into the jar in the first place?

Of course, even if it had worked, Patricia could have written it off as a miracle. She did, after all, feel the need to pray specifically for that not to happen.

If I didn't know better, I'd suggest that fundamentalist Christians were actively trying to inflict stupidity upon themselves and their young'ns.

--Update--

So, after Yar's Revenge suggested that this is probably satire, I did some checking around, and it seems others feel the same. Well Don't I fell silly.

That aside, let me assure you that people like this do, in fact, exist. I've met them. I've tried to explain things like carbon dating. People in college had never heard of it, and flat out did not believe me when I told them it existed. They demanded that I procure proof. So, yes, this site is satire. But, it's still more reasonable than some of the people it's mocking.

posted at 1:12 PM by Chris



10 October 2003

Hopes For The Future

Now, making fun of Limbaugh really makes for a Hell of a good time, no? But, it doesn't really accomplish anything. We all knew he was a hypocrite in many ways. This just makes one of them crystal clear, and possibly sorts his approving audience into two groups: "Unreasonable," and "so mind-bogglingly unreasonable that they absolutely refuse to acknowledge reality." Again, we all have our suspicions on this point. Limbaugh's admission doesn't really get us anywhere. All the Sane Folks have known something was wrong with him for some time. Now we know what, specifically. So, what comes next?

Here are some (though certainly not all) of the possibilities for the future of Rush:

1. Limbaugh overcomes his addiction (or, at least, he claims to, though who knows if he's telling the truth), and isn't prosecuted. He sets himself up as an example of willpower, since he did, after all, overcome his addiction. He continues to preach against those who have not, because they're obviously inferior to him, right? This is the end-result that I think is most probable, and least desirable. No good comes of it, and Limbaugh continues to spew his hate.

2. Limbaugh overcomes his addiction, but is prosecuted. Some of us on the Left get some temporary gratification as the world watches Limbaugh's career go up in flames that he, himself, has fanned. While this would certainly be immediately satisfying for many (myself included), it would yield little long-term good. Rush is not the Republican party, and there are still plenty of other AM radio bastards who need to be taken down. Savage, et al, are probabyl at least marginally smarter than Limbaugh, and we can't count on all of them to be drug addicts. It would be a victory, but I don't think a significant number of people are going to abandon the Republican Party because of it, which makes it little more than a moral victory. You don't get elected to office by winning moral victories.

3. Limbaugh has, to some degree, a genuine change of heart. By that, I do not mean that he suddenly stops hating Feminists, Liberals, etc. I'm not asking for miracles. However, he's now seen addiction from the other side of the coin, so to speak. He knows how hard it can be to break the habit. So, I promise to stop hating him for his anti-left rantings if he uses this experience to start a dialogue on the Right about the worthlessness of mandatory minimum sentences, and the necessity of treatment programs, and additional medical insurance coverage for addicts. Limbaugh could easily counteract all the damage he's ever done by becoming a genuine crusader for overcoming addiction. No one in America is better poised to become a leader here right now, and I sincerely hope Rush can see the need for one. I honestly hope, even if he continues to hate Liberals, that he takes up the one crusade he can lead that will do some genuine good.

All eyes are on you now, Rush. I have never been a fan of yours, but I have nothing but hope for you right now. You are in a position to do amazing things. You are in a position to help millions of people in a very tangible way. All you have to do is try.

Don't let us all down.

posted at 10:17 PM by Chris


Whole Lot of Nothing

After months of complaining, the Texas Republicans still don't seem to have a redistricting map.

Man, does anyone else think these guys are just starting to look like car thieves who've realized, too late, that they don't know how to drive a stick?

posted at 9:55 PM by Chris


Mt. Schwarzenegger

Oh, the irony.

posted at 9:42 PM by Chris


A good old-fashioned gentleman

Here's something I haven't seen mentioned yet in discussions of the Limbaugh drug addiction story. Rush's housekeeper Wilma Cline had this to recount about her former boss in last week's Enquirer:

"Then one day in 2002, when I was in his office making a delivery [of drugs], he suddenly grabbed me, and kissed me quite passionately on the lips.

"As he hugged me, he was feeling my body. It suddenly dawned on me: He was patting me down - groping me to see if I was wearing a wire!

"Another time he grabbed my blouse, on my chest, and pulled it outwards, like he was thinking he might hook his fingers around a wire.


It seems that according to the conservative icon, this is an acceptable way for a married man to treat a married woman who is not his wife. The above claim hasn't been verified like other components of the story, but then again not one specific piece of information from the Enquirer articles has been disproven or denied by either the media or Limbaugh himself (to my knowledge).

posted at 3:28 PM by Joe


Shorter Rush: "I am a junkie."

Rush Limbaugh in 1995:

"And so if people are violating the law by doing drugs, they ought to be accused and they ought to be convicted and they ought to be sent up."

In 2003:
"I am addicted to prescription pain medication."

Unless the Enquirer articles turn out to be largely lies, which appears almost impossible given that Limbaugh didn't imply it in his statement today and given that the Enquirer fears lawsuits and held this story for 2 years to make sure it was for real:

1995 + 2003 = "I ought to be convicted."

Then go to the police with a full confession.

Note: I don't agree with the War on Drugs, tough drug sentencing, etc. I'm just pointing out this bigot's hypocrisy. Also wishing rich white junkies like Rush Limbaugh were treated the same way as poor black junkies by our judicial system.

posted at 1:29 PM by Joe


Will Rush Be Arrested?

From today's National Enquirer:

A source close to the investigation involving Rush told the Enquirer ... "Investigators from the State Attorney's Office in West Palm Beach expect to file several more cases shortly as a result of the drug ring probe. This will result in several more arrests.

"As a result of the Limbaugh connection to the drug probe revealed by the Enquirer, a number of people have contacted the office of Assistant State Attonrey James Martz with yet more information that needs investigation.

"This probe is far from over and will be followed wherever it leads."


I do recall reading in at least one article that it was unlikely Limbaugh would be charged - that the authorities were looking to target the sellers in the ring, not the buyers.

posted at 11:41 AM by Joe



08 October 2003

Inevitability

What fools! California has defied the will of Galactus! Puny Earth will now fall before the might of the Devourer!

But, seriously, I don't think the outcome of this election has been in serious doubt since Schwarzenegger threw his proverbial hat into the ring. It's not the end of the world. There are any number of reasons why I didn't want Schwarzenegger in office, but at least he's a moderate, and probably won't do any serious damage.

Here's what I am worried about, however. I worry that Schwarzenegger's success will be horrible misinterpreted by decision makers; that is, I worry that the success of this particular centrist will make leaders of the Democratic party think that centrist is the way to go.

Sound far fetched? It's not. There was a great deal of recall election coverage on MPR and NPR today (go figure), including any number of political analysts, and I heard more than one Democratic analyst say that this clearly shows that the party had moved too far to the left of the California population, and that they needed to reverse that trend.

Excuse me? Gray Davis and Cruz Bustamante? Too far to the left? For California?

This isn't about Right/Left at all. That really should be obvious to anyone, anywhere in the country. This is about possibly the biggest movie star in history running in an election so short that the public barely had time to realize he had no idea what in Hell he was doing!

I'm eagerly awaiting all the final numbers, so I can see whether or not the will of the people was actually served. I doubt it'll be possible to tell, really. I mean, the easiest way to check would be to see if more people voted "No" on the recall or voted for Schwarzenegger, but that's not really an accurate assessment. What would be great is if I could find a cross section of voters who voted "No" on the recall, but also voted for S on the second question. To see if the will of the majority (or, plurality, as is more accurate) has truly been served, those votes must be deducted from S's total votes, and then compare "No" to S. My guess is Davis actually gathered the most support.

Edit--Here's RonK, Seattle's take on this.

posted at 3:45 PM by Chris


The S.S. Oval Office

A better-than-average This Modern World this week. Go see!

posted at 10:06 AM by Joe



07 October 2003

A Song For California

(Some German characters don't display well here, so forgive me for missing umlauts and essets)

Schwarzenegger uber alles
Uber alles in der Welt,
Wenn es stets zum Hatscheln und Frauenhass
Bruderlich zusammenhalt.
Vom LA nach San Diego
Von Compton zu Anaheim
Scharzenegger uber alles
Uber alles in der Welt.

Arnold's Frauen, Arnold's Muskeln
Arnold's Orgie und Nazisympathien
Sollen in der Welt behalten
Ihren alten schoenen Klang,
uns alle anzuspornen, zu gehen Stimme
fur diesen erstaunlichen Osterreicher.
Deutschland, Deutschland uber alles,
Uber alles in der Welt!


posted at 3:51 PM by Chris


Last, Best Hope

How...I mean, what in hell?

It seems many voters (from what I can tell, mostly Schwarzenegger supporters, though that could turn out to be a bit premature) are voting for their candidate of choice on question two, but forgetting to vote on the recall itself!

posted at 3:35 PM by Chris



06 October 2003

The Big Fat Idiot Opens Up a Can of Straight Talk

Just so we're clear: let's all remember that unlike Rush, Clinton was evasive when confronted with allegations of impropriety. Here's Mr. Limbaugh to show us the moral path:


Based on some things that I have read, things that people have written - and I understand it, what people have said - let me try one more time, ladies and gentlemen, on the story about me and drug use. When I said Friday that I didn't yet know what I was dealing with and that when I did I would tell you everything, I meant exactly that. Some people are interpreting that to mean, well, in fact, let me just be blunt. People are saying that I'm being Clintonesque, that I'm waiting until I know everything I have to deal with so that I can figure out what I have to lie about. That's what I said that Bill Clinton always did when we were waiting for him to come forth.

Ladies and gentlemen, that's not what is going on here at all. I am waiting to find out just exactly what I am facing legally. And until I know that, I'm not going to say anything, I can't. But as I said Friday, I asked you to trust me, and I'm asking you again to trust me now and today. When such time comes, fear not; what there is to be known will be known, and I will tell you. But until it is permissible and makes sense for me to tell you that, I can't, and I won't. But I'm not holding anything back, and I'm not determining what it is that down the road I'm going to have to lie about. Believe me, I don't even have any desire to do that, and I haven't. So this is simply a matter of waiting until it is permissible. And when - as I say - until I know what I'm dealing with, I mean exactly that.


posted at 11:01 PM by Joe


More On Tigers

(well, not on tigers...at least not on stage)

It's hard to reconcile a man who insists that the tiger than just mauled him not be killed with a man who, just moments earlier, had hit it upside the head with a microphone five times. I'm certainly not saying Roy got what he deserved, mind you, but if the 600 lb. tiger doesn't want to cooperate...well, don't fuck with it.

posted at 8:38 PM by Chris


Note to Maria

"Look at my husband, not the camera. Look at my husband, not the camera. Look at my husband, not the--Oh, shit!"

(picture may have changed by the time you view this page, but trust me, it was funny.)

posted at 8:30 PM by Chris


Graham Officially Out

I know it was mentioned before, but it was only speculation then. Not, it's for real.

Lieberman should realize he's done and drop out next. Granted, he's got more of a shot than Kucinich or Moseley-Braun do, probably, but Lieberman's numbers have been falling for months, and nothing he does seems to make it any better. Maybe, just maybe, it's because nobody wants him to be president! Anyhow, having some of the more left-leaning candidates around makes for a good race, in my opinion, because it doesn't allow most other candidates to drift too far to the center. Lieberman may have just the opposite effect. So, I'd be quite happy to see him get his ass kicked by, well, any of the other candidates.

posted at 8:26 PM by Chris


Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!

The more I read it, the funnier it gets!

It's almost like Republicans are just so damned obsessed with fighting, that it just doesn't occur to them that, at some point, the fight will be over, and they'd better start planning for what happens next.

Of course, in Texas, no one's really suffering because of the Republicans lack of foresight. It's just making them look stupid.

posted at 4:33 PM by Chris


One More Day

On the off chance that someone from California's reading this, and that said person hasn't made up their minds yet about the vote tomorrow, vote no on the recall, and yes for Galactus. Seriously. Shwarzenegger's refusing to even address things like this until after the election. If he had even a speck of hope he'd be believed, he'd be yelling from the mountain tops that he's innocent. Instead, he's just putting off all questions until after the election. Accusations are coming out of the woodwork, and he can't muster a flimsy denial.

All of this is tangential, of course. Schwarzegger's complete lack of political experience isn't really the reason to vote no on recall, or to vote for Bustamante. The real reason, of course, is because I said so, and you're all my mind-slaves.

Oh, you aren't? Shit.

I wonder if this is how the rest of America looked at Minnesota after we elected Ventura. But hey, at least Jesse'd held public office before.

posted at 4:09 PM by Chris


Dude, Where's My Country? #1 on Amazon

Here's hoping it unpacks its bags there for a nice long stay. The book goes on sale tomorrow and Moore will be in Minneapolis for a speaking event on Saturday.

posted at 10:59 AM by Joe


The Lame 'Name Plame' Blame Game of Fame and Shame

To the right, I've added a section of links to some of the most important and informational articles and opinion pieces relating to the CIA leak scandal. The first four are particularly significant:

Mission to Niger by Robert Novak was the original piece that revealed Valerie Plame's identity, citing 'two senior administration officials.' [Chicago Sun-Times]

David Corn's A White House Smear identified the outing as a felony. [The Nation]

Columnist Blows CIA Agent's Cover by Timothy M. Phelps and Knut Royce confirmed that Plame was an undercover agent based on an interview with a 'senior intelligence official.' [Newsday]

Mike Allen and Dana Priest reported that a 'senior administration official said that before Novak's column ran, two top White House officials called at least six Washington journalists and disclosed the identity and occupation of Wilson's wife' in Bush Administration Is Focus of Inquiry. [Washington Post]

See the full list over on the right. Happy reading! I'll continue to add links as the story unfolds.

posted at 10:45 AM by Joe



05 October 2003

Damn Yankees

Have I mentioned lately just now much I do not like the Yankees? Because I don't. Not at all. Baseball needs to get a salary cap. Now. That way, those damned bastards couldn't just go out and buy all the players they want with no regard for smaller markets.

Damn it, I'm pissed off right now.

posted at 7:30 PM by Chris



04 October 2003

I Am Not Particularly Fond Of The Yankees

And after being in the Metrodome for their regrettable 3-1 loss nearby several New Yorkers, I'm even less fond of their fans.

Man, I hope Santana puts them in their place tomorrow.

The Twins are doing pretty well on defense, and good on pitching--holding the Yankees to a combined 7 points over three post-season games is nothing to laugh at. However, they may as well be bringing herrings with them to the plate, because their bats aren't doing them any good.

posted at 3:28 PM by Chris


Submitted For Your Approval:

Here's another Tom Tomorrow catroon from 1999.

It just makes me laugh.

posted at 3:20 PM by Chris


Novak Just keeps Digging Himself In.

Now, not only is he responsible (in aprt, along with those two senior White House folks) for blowing the cover of a CIA agent, he's also exposing their front companies!

What is it going to take to shut this guy up?

posted at 2:33 PM by Chris


You've Got To Be Fucking Kidding

Okay, this is just too much.

The Drudge Report says it's not okay to pick on Schwarzenegger because the negative publicity is making his wife feel sick.

Granted, our media can be sensationalistic, which may or may not be a good thing, but Schwarzenegger had to have known he'd be subject to a higher-than-average degree of scrutiny when he threw his hat in. And, I have to believe Shriver mad at least some say in the decision. If they weren't prepared for this, it's as much their own fault as the media's.

Plus, if we had a right to know Bill Clinton's consentual sex life--in fact, to be bombarded with it as if it were the most important story in human history--than it seems Schwarzenegger's non-consentual sex life is fair game.

I expect, from anyone who takes this argument by Drudge seriously, public and sincere letters of apology to Hillary Clinton.

posted at 2:32 PM by Chris


But It Did Happen...

Now, if you were to see something like this on TV, you'd probably just say, "Well, I don't believe it."

posted at 2:17 PM by Chris


Roy of Siegfried & Roy Attacked

Holy shit! This would suck.

Wait a minute, Roy is 59 years old? Really?

posted at 6:53 AM by Chris



03 October 2003

Rush Limbaugh Is A Big Fat...Oh, It's Not Even Fun Anymore.

I'm going to make a few assumptions here that, over the course of time, may or may not turn out to be valid. I'm going to assume (at least in part since he hasn't denied it) that Limbaugh does, in fact, have a drug problem. I'm going to assume that it will come into the public eye. I may make some others along the way, but those are the two big ones.

So, is it right to poke fun at Limbaugh's misfortune? As I mentioned yesterday, he doesn't seem to have a problem with doing it to others. Granted, much of what he does isn't mocking, per se, but it's definitely deriding and making little of the situation of an addict with no compassion whatsoever, and doing it for ratings. So, I was feeling just a little bit pleased when his blatant hypocrite was exposed. Of course, after reading Atrios' post on how addiction wasn't funny and all, I found myself forced to agree.
But this still didn't really satisfy. Why should Limbaugh get a free pass? He doesn't believe in addiction? Fine. Let him come out and say that it was a personal choice every time he reached for a pill. Let him say it wasn't a disease, that he didn't need them. Let him say that.

Somehow, however, I doubt he will.

This is, for me, one of those times when Christianity becomes difficult, because part of me really wants to actively take joy in this. But addiction, of course, really isn't funny, and I just find myself hoping that he can get treatment. No one deserves addiction.

Damned lousy moral code...mumble mumble...

Well, maybe Limbaugh will change his ways in the future and start working to help other people with addiction.

Though, to be honest, I'm not holding my breath.

posted at 9:17 PM by Chris


Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo.

Tickets to the December 16 Lord of the Rings marathon are going on sale October 9th. At selected theaters:

3:00pm: The Fellowship of the Ring extended edition
7:00pm: The Two Towers extended edition
11:00pm: The Return of the King premiere

posted at 3:32 PM by Joe



02 October 2003

Top Stories

MSNBC Top Story as if right now: Weapons Search: Kay Tells Congress Little Evidence Of Iraqi WMD.

ABCNews Top Story as of right now: U.S. Expert Says No WMD Found In Iraq yet.

CNN Top Story as of right now: No WMD, But Evidence of Programs Found. [and remember, kids, we went to war not over WMD's, but over WMD programs! Oh, we didn't? Well, shit]

Fox News
Top Story as of right now: Schawrzenegger's Sorry.

Because that's the most important story of the day, after all. Right? Not that Rove and Libby are probably guilty of Federal offenses (if not outright treason). Not that Limbaugh's a bigot (and who didn't know that already), or that he resigned from ESPN, or even that he's taking a whole lot of prescription pain pills for which he doesn't have a prescription (let's not make any mistake about this, kids--this means he's addicted to illegal drugs--and as Atrios said, this isn't something to make fun of him about--oh wait. He's made fun of other people about it a lot, as recently as this Sept. 23 quote, so maybe it is. I can't decide), nor that Schwarzenegger has admitted to three decades of sexual abuse. Even the report that Kay, the expert who was supposed to go in and find all the WMD's, found nothing but sand isn't the biggest story of the day to Fox News. The biggest story of the day is that Schwarzenegger is sorry.

Look, I understand youthful indiscretions. I'm guilty of a few myself. However, I also understand that they don't last for thirty years. I mean, Schwarzenegger, by this measure, has been misjudging appropriate sexual conduct for longer than I've been alive be a good five years. And for much of that time, he's been married.

Okay, I was willing to admit that Clinton was a bit of a sleaze fairly early on. I wasn't clear on exactly what happened back in the day, but I knew it was more than what he'd admit to. I didn't much care, because consenters sex isn't that relevant to one's ability to lead. However, I didn't much feel like voting for him. I coalition;t very well vote Republican, however, so I voted for Perot (I will never in my life not vote in a major election unless I'm hospitalized). But, the point is, I realized he wasn't being truthful, and I held him accountable in the best way an average citizen can: I cast my vote for someone else.

Now, I want to make this clear: Sexual abuse, by definition, is not consensual. And three decades is a long time. So, I'm looking forward to hearing some world-class rationalization from the Right over the next few days. I'd be happy if they just said, "He's a dick, but he's out dick, so we're going to vote for him anyway," because that's what the situation is, plain and simple. Clinton was a bit of a sleaze, but he was our sleaze, and we agreed with a lot of his policies, and the whole world loved him. So, we supported him (I didn't so much, but you get where I'm going, and I certainly would have supported him over a Republican). Still, there was the line during Monica-Gate, "What the President did was wrong, but it does not rise to the level of impeachment." I'd love to read a prominent person on the Right saying " What Bush/Limbaugh/Rove/Schwarzenegger did was wrong, but not so bad that we need to abandon him."

Won't happen. They'll stick by their own until they no longer have a choice.

Gosh, where was Fox when Clinton was in office? If all he had to do was apologize...Well, you see where I'm going with this, no?

posted at 8:28 PM by Chris


And Then There Were Nine...

Graham's probably out. And even if this story's bogus (is it on Fox News, after all), he's no longer relevant. Nuff said.

posted at 8:12 PM by Chris


Speaking Of Santa

The horrid, immoral, habitual actions of this administration are finally being brought into light; Schwarzenegger has admitted to thirty years of sexual abuse; and Rush Limbaugh really is on drugs!

It's like Christmas...

Who knows if any of it'll pan out, but I'm having fun for now.

posted at 4:07 PM by Chris



01 October 2003

Top Story!

Top Story on MSNBC as of right now: Gathering Records: White House Could Allow Use of Lie Detectors in CIA Probe

Top Story on CNN.com as of right now: White House Won't Rule Out Lie Detectors [refering to CIA/Plame probe]

Top Story on ABCNews.com as of right now: Outside Look? An ABCNEWS/Washington Post poll finds a majority of Americans think a special counsel should investigate whether the White House leaked a CIA officer's identity.

Top Story on Fox News as of right now: US Circulates New Resolution on Iraq.

Again, no comment is necessary.

posted at 8:01 PM by Chris


Also Turns Water Into Wine

I heard this wonderful little radio commercial on AM The Patriot on the way home today.

(yes, I occasionally listen, but I defy any of you to find someone more amusing on a regular basis than Michael Savage)

Anyhow, it went something like this.

"I'd been living with pain for the last fifteen years, I have Fibro Mialgia, and I was taking eleven to fifteen [insert name of prescription pain killer here] just to try to control it. I also had terrible headaches, incapacitating headaches, as well as arthritis from two stress fractures.
Then, I started taking [insert name of non-drug product that probably hasn't been tested by the FDA, and almost certainly can't stand up to any real scientific scrutiny here]. Within two weeks, I noticed my pain was gone. The headaches had gone away, and I had more energy. Now, I feel better than I've felt in fifteen years. My gray hair has also started to darken, and I've noticed that a bald patch on my hair is filling in!"

I don't really think any comment on this is necessary.

posted at 7:53 PM by Chris


Dean For America & Minnesota For Dean

So, I just got back from one of the local Dean Meetups. One of the most noteworthy things about the evening, in my opinion, was the attendance of the man who started this site, which, it seems, has gained national attention. It was refreshing to hear a Republican talking (albeit briefly) about how Bush has abandoned many of the principles conservatives cherish, and really no longer represents any party, except maybe PNAC.

Anyhow, it was a good time. Check it out, everyone. www.deanforamerica.com of www.minnesotafordean.com

posted at 7:44 PM by Chris


Santa Claus is coming to town

Michael Moore is set to speak and sign copies of his new book,
Dude, Where's My Country?:

Saturday, October 11
6:00pm
University of Minnesota Sports Pavilion

posted at 9:30 AM by Joe


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