Thursday, June 29, 2006

Dennis the Menace

One of the most outspoken members of the Congress -- a member with a long record of standing up to both Democratic and Republican presidents when they have abused the Constitution -- has answered with a stirring speech on the House floor.

On Wednesday, Congressman Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, said:

"This Administration is angry that the media leaked the story about it snooping into the bank records of millions of Americans. It supporters in Congress want to formally condemn the New York Times. What a bunch of baloney.

"It is about time the media did its job of protecting the public interest. If the media and this Congress had shown some independence from the party line of this Administration, the claims of WMDs would have been dismissed, and fact there was no connection between Iraq and 9/11 would have been well established and we would not have gone to war against Iraq.

"A few years ago, a movie, Wag the Dog, told of how a US administration misused its communications power to create phony stories to put the nation into an international conflict. This Administration not only wagged the dog in Iraq, but, with the help of its fabricators at the Rendon and Lincoln groups, it has wagging a whole kennel.

"In a free society the media cannot be a lap dog of any Administration. The First Amendment states, 'Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech', except of course, under this Administration."
Always has time to scare you

The worthless president had this to say about today's supreme court ruling on military tribunals for Gitmo hostages: "The ruling won't cause killers to be put out on the streets," he said. "I'm not going to jeopardize the safety of the American people." He's amazing. There is not a situation that can come up that he can't use to scare people. Of course, he says they are killers but we'll never know because this fascist won't allow these people to go to trial. We will just have to take his word on it and since he's been right so often I guess we can all just relax.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Our idiotic Senate

I can't believe these people are actually debating an amendment to our constitution that would ban flag burning. George Bush might at as well make his signing notes and interpret the law as he wishes because our legislative branch is worthless.

In protest on July 4th I am going to burn an American flag in my back yard, photograph the event and post it here.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


She was one of the first people who taught me how to work in a library when I first started as a part-time shelver back in 1993. She was in her late 40's, had been working circulation at this small branch for years and really knew how to manipulate the old Dynix software. She taught me a lot of the tricks I used over the years.

When my family moved away and her delinquent son became my roommate and friend she invited me to join her and her family for holidays. One of my favorite Thanksgivings was with her and Chris at a buffet place not long after she was on her own again. A whole of mediocre food was consumed but we laughed a lot.

Mary died a couple of days ago. It sucks, there isn't much to say other than how much it sucks. Chris wrote a nice obituary for her on his blog.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Going after her like she's made outta ham

Just found this nice short article about Fred Willard at the New Yorker website.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

The FBI and the Seven Knuckleheads

You can't help but wonder why the gov'ment would crow so much about the yahoos they framed in Miami. The only contact they had to Al Killya was through an informant posting as a member of the terrorist group? How ridiculous is that? I am sure there has got to be other more dangerous homegrown groups out there than these guys. They are colored and they did study Islam a little bit, that is much more frightening than crazed hillbillies in the midwest with actual weapons?

Stop, you are making me more apathetic

I've heard about this before. The Daily Show is making kids more cynical and less apt to vote? I would think John Stewart's willingness to show government at its worst is a good thing. If some of the humor is lost on someone and then they don't participate then I think we are better off. He's got to be doing more good than harm.

Besides if this is the result of viewing the Daily Show's coverage of politicians then the Daily Show is doing its job: "The results showed that the participants rated both candidates more negatively after watching Stewart's program. Participants also expressed less trust in the electoral system and more cynical views of the news media, according to the researchers' article, in the latest issue of American Politics Research."

Sounds like it's causing people to question their government and those than run it. Thank god. Only in George Bush's America would questioning your government be considered bad for your country.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Political collateral damage

I found this link on another website but I think this shows you how our president is completely full of it.

"But people who attended a series of high-level meetings this month between White House and Congressional officials say President Bush's aides argued that it could be a politically fatal mistake for Republicans to walk away from the war in an election year."

Getting elected is hard work. Dying so a Republican can get re-elected is even harder.
Obviously annoying

I've had a google news alert running on Donald Hall for a year or so now. Since he's been appointed poet Laureate of these United States I have discovered one thing that had eluded me. What I discovered, thanks to every podunk newspaper who has written an article about Hall is that Hall uses 'deceptively simple' language. I guess that makes him a poet. Criminy.

Lewis Black

I finally watched the most recent Lewis Black HBO special last weekend. I watched on "HBO on Demand" because I have suuuuuuper cable. I still like Lewis Black but I felt there was something missing in this performance. I felt a couple of times that he was falling back on catch phrases too often. Maybe that's because I am intimately familiar with his material and style. His views on politics were spot-on as usual and when he compared a hunting ranch to Auschwitz for quail I almost fell off the couch laughing. Honestly, if you are hunting on one of those ranches on a guided hunt, that's not hunting, that's traveling a long ways and paying big bucks for the thrill of killing an animal with your gun. I loved how he opened his discussion of Cheney by just saying the vice president's name in just the right way to bring down the room. It was masterful timing.

One part of the show I could have completely done without was his account of his appearance last year at the correspondents dinner in Washington D.C. It just wasn't that funny. I guess he didn't want to talk politics all night. The routine would have been better if it had been shorter.

Ebert Quote

It's been a while since I've quoted Roger Ebert here. This is from his review of Wordplay: "we observe that to be a crossword champion, you have to be incredibly intelligent; be capable of intuitive, lateral thinking; know everything, and focus your knowledge into a narrow and ultimately meaningless pursuit. Yes, that makes you an obsessive eccentric, but they're really the only interesting people left, don't you sometimes think?"

Thursday, June 22, 2006

He's a good liar

Love this quote from Santorum followed by facts that trump his BS.

'"This is an incredibly -- in my mind -- significant finding. The idea that, as my colleagues have repeatedly said in this debate on the other side of the aisle, that there are no weapons of mass destruction, is in fact false," Santorum said.

A Pentagon official who confirmed the findings said that all the weapons were pre-1991 vintage munitions "in such a degraded state they couldn't be used for what they are designed for."'

I hardly think pre-1991 weapons are cause for crowing like a retarded rooster with a pair of scissors stuck in his bottom.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

God Bless 'em

A couple of weeks ago I sent another futile email to my Senator, Elizabeth Dole. It was about immigration and pretty much how I thought this whole debate was complete bullshit and the only way to cut down on illegal immigration was to work with our brothers to the south in order to make their countries more desirable. A huge undertaking but the only true solution. Think a re-united Germany. Of course all she sent me was a letter full of Republican talking points. That's a confidence builder, having a senator who just votes down party lines and spews her party's talking points in a form letter when responding to one of her constituents. If I wanted to read that shit I could have gone to the Republican party's website. Why waste paper? She hasn't responded to my letter about net neutrality yet. She probably has her people working right now on a polite way to tell me to get bent when addressing that topic.

Shit Bag Advisor

I see the two soldiers that were missing have turned up dead and early reports say they may have possibly been tortured to death. I guess this is the kind of of staying the course sacrifice the draft dodger Karl Rove was referring to recently. The video of this disgusting bloated career politician preaching to a sympathetic crowd about the cowardice of his opponents is enough to make a gentle soul want to put that spongy fat head in a vice and squeeze until he suffered as much as those two dead American soldiers. What a piece of crap.

Monday, June 19, 2006

President Bush still sucks ass

I haven't mentioned our shitty president lately. This quote by Robert Dreyfuss from a recent column sums up the Iraq debacle nicely.

"The war in Iraq was not a "mistake." It was a deliberately calculated exercise of U.S. power with a specific end in mind - namely, control of Iraq and the Persian Gulf region. It was illegal and remains so. It was a war crime and remains so. Its perpetrators were war criminals and remain so. Its goals were unworthy and remain so."
Music music music

I bought the most amazing album today. It's the Allen Toussaint and Elvis Costello collaboration called "The River in Reverse." I'm playing it right now while writing this and played it earlier today while cleaning up before I had guests over. If you just like music you will like this album. It's angry, it's joyful. The production is amazing. Elvis' vocals have never sounded better. There's even a song with a borrowed melody from Professor Longhair's "Tipitina" and the give 'Fess songwriting credit, which is nice. I'll be playing this sucker in my car for the next few weeks.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

In my back yard

Well, it's not my yard. It belongs to all the knuckleheads that live in my building. But I was out there alone a short while ago and saw one of the most beautiful green anoles I have ever seen. He must have been six inches long and he was eyeballing me the whole time I was trying to take his picture. He even expanded his throat a couple of times. I wish I could have caught that before he scampered away. Beautiful animal.

More information on my little green friend can be found here.

Satan's sugar water

For the longest time I have been addicted to Mountain Dew. Today is day two of my attempt to not drink caffeinated sugar water. Mountain Dew is a monster. I may allow myself a Mountain Dew squishy every now and then at the convenience store on Selwyn. I'm pretty sure god drinks Mountain Dew squishes. I've been trying to drink more geen tea to offset the cravings. I have a whole cupboard full of various green teas I purchased at the Asian market on North Tryon St. I am going to make a dent in that collection over the next few weeks.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Crappity crap crap crap

Chris just sent me an email that informed that Tiger Stadium is going to be torn down. They got that backwards. They should tear down that horrible new stadium and then do what they should have done years ago, refurbish Tiger Stadium. I guess it's not to be. I always thought there were three things in the sports world that were untouchable: Tiger Stadium, Wrigley Field and Fenway Park. Thankfully the people in Chicago and Boston have done what they could to save those fields and change the structures enough to satisfy whatever desire for change that exists also. Putting seats atop the Green Monster at Fenway is a great example of modernizing an old park instead of destroying like in Detroit. Probably the biggest reason Tiger Stadium wasn't saved was the fact that Detroit doesn't have a vibrant center city like Chicago. Detroit has areas that are a wastelands and they didn't have the attendance at Tiger Stadium they needed in order to keep using it.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

New kid in town

Wow, I just saw this news story. Donald Hall is going to be the nation's new Poet Laureate. He's a superb poet and a great commentator on poetry. He's one of my favorite writers. One of my prized possessions is a letter from him from about ten years ago. It's a deserving honor for Mr. Hall.
Chris' beautiful table

I was horribly mistaken when I referred to the cheap table I threw away the other day as a cheap table. That table was a rock. It was a the apartment living version of the great wall of China. It was a plant stand and friend for almost ten years. We did not shame the table by using it merely to hold our food. It was used to hold the plants that contributed fresh oxygen to the poisonous air of our dank apartment. That table was atlas, our plants the world. That table was parachute infantry, bad air was the German army. The table was bedrock on which the soil of our life-giving houseplants rested. The table was a launching pad, our plants space shuttles that spewed out sweet O2 instead of thousands of tons of pollutants like the real space shuttles. So it was made of cheap pressboard and rocked dangerously if you bumped into it and so what if it was covered in ten years of cat vomit, dust and soil and was bleached by the sun, it was not cheap. It was merely falling apart. A crumbling piece of shit eyesore that needed to be burned years ago.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Space, beautiful open space

Since I have lived in my current apartment for about 37 1/2 years now there seems to be less space available than before. For years there has been a cheap dining table sitting next to the back window that has functioned as a bulky plant stand. Saturday during a trip to Home Depot I bought a metal shelf kit for about thirty bucks. Put it together (no tools required, except for a mallet), broke the table into pieces, threw the pieces into the dumpster, slid the 72 inch high shelf next to the window and placed my plants on it. Woila, thirty plus feet of space free. Now I don't have to turn sideways to get past my bike and into the kitchen. If I can only get Wendell to throw that broken television in the dumpster then even more space will open up.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Holy Crap

I can't believe I got in. I'm sure what I am writing right now will be lost once I try to post it.

I watched the first two episodes of the new season of Dennis Leary's firemen show, Rescue Me. It's not bad. It's no Sopranos but what is? Sometimes on the show it seems like the characters are just spouting Dennis Leary type lines. He gets writing credit so it makes sense but it takes away from...uh...characterization. It can seem like there is a whole room of Dennis Leary's hurling insults at each other. Kinda scary, a whole room of Dennis Leary's. Also, both episodes have ended with a whole lot of melodrama. I know the Sopranos can have pretty strong endings but they are trying a little too hard on Rescue Me. Each ending was laugable after a while. That really can take the air out of the previous fifty minutes that were pretty good. Why do that? Stupid TV, be smarter.

Beth mentioned that she hasn't been to crazy about the author who wrote that book about the Cold War I just finished and I can see why. In the book I thought he gave Ronald Reagan way too much credit. I just can't accept that Ronald Reagan was a visionary. Maybe he was a realist when it came to dealing with the Soviets and maybe he got lucky that the Soviet Union was so weak by the time he got into office so what he did worked but calling him a visionary is a too much for me to swallow. Pope John Paul II? Sure, he had vision. Lech Walesa? He put his ass on the line, a true hero. Reagan? No way, man. Perhaps the only thing he did right was dealing with the Soviets. I think he got lucky.

Monday, June 05, 2006


I've been on vacation for the last ten days. You may have noticed from the lack of postings that, not only was I on vacation from work, I took a break from the blogging thing. I've probably lost the five readers I do have because of that. But like, Troy has said before, keeping up with a blog can be a bit of a monster sometimes.

What I did on my late spring vacation:

1) Got some good sleeping in.
2) Didn't read enough. I don't know what's up with that.
3) Went to Target and bought a new fan and a small grill.
4) Saw the new X-man movie (not all that good, to be honest).
5) Watched the Pianist finally. That movie is pretty darn good. What was especially harrowing to me in that movie was the randomness of the killings of Jews in the Warsaw ghetto. Late night raids of homes and the pulling of men from formations after a day of forced labor.
6) Grilled out about four times. I had shrimp last night. Harris Teeter has shrimp on sale for $4.99 a pound right now. You can't eat much better for five bucks than that. The smoky flavor in the shrimp after grilling them is truly a treat.
7) Golfed twice.
8) Played croquet twice.
9) Read some of The Cold War by John Gaddis. I'm really enjoying it. You can't beat history written well.
10) Watched Memoirs of a Geisha on DVD. It had a good sountrack and we all agreed that it would have been better if it was less of a soap opera and showed us more of the day to day life of a geisha (which is what I expected).
11) Bought and played the Godfather game for the Xbox.
12) Watched a good bit of the NASCAR race at Dover.
13) Went and saw Lenny at the Comet Grill.
14) Watched Wendell consume a couple of martinis at Fairview Grill.
15) Played guitar one evening.
16) Spent a little too much money.