Monthly Archives: December 2008

He’s Making a List…

Ah, Christmas. And, in the spirit of giving…
Santashrub

Santa has shoes for Shrub…
Dickstocking

Dick get lumps of coal and a fruitcake. You know, he might be the one person who LIKES lumps of coal in their stocking (“carbon-based energy commodity, mutter, mutter, grunt, grimace.”)

Happy holidays all.

Out Into The Storm

Stay warm and well, everybody. If you’re traveling, may there be room at the inn when you get there. Happy holidays.




A.

Allowed To Live

This is a horrifying story, start to finish, as horrifying as it is recognizable, but there are parts of it that stood out to me:

Things quickly got ugly. Pervel remembers aiming a shotgun at a random
African-American man walking by his home–even though he knew the man
had no connection to the theft of his vehicle. “I don’t want you passing
by my house!” Pervel says he shouted out.

[snip]

Apparently thinking they’d caught some looters, the gunmen interrogated
and verbally threatened Collins and Alexander for ten to fifteen
minutes, Alexander says, before one of the armed men issued an
ultimatum: if Alexander and Collins left Algiers Point and told their
friends not to set foot in the area, they’d be allowed to live.

[snip]

Janak, who was carrying a pistol, says he grabbed one of the suspected
looters and considered killing him, but decided to be merciful. “I
rolled him over in the grass and saw that he’d been hit in the back with
the riot gun,” he tells me. “I thought that was good enough. I said, ‘Go
back to your neighborhood so people will know Algiers Point is not a
place you go for a vacation. We’re not doing tours right now.'”

He’s equally blunt inWelcome to New Orleans, an hourlong
documentary produced by the Danish video team, who captured Janak, beer
in hand, gloating about hunting humans. Surrounded by a crowd of
sunburned white Algiers Point locals at a barbeque held not long after
the hurricane, he smiles and tells the camera, “It was great! It was
like pheasant season in South Dakota. If it moved, you shot it.” A
native of Chicago, Janak also boasts of becoming a true Southerner,
saying, “I am no longer a Yankee. I earned my wings.” A white woman
standing next to him adds, “He understands the N-word now.” In this
neighborhood, she continues, “we take care of our own.”

Jackass could have stayed in Chicago and learned the real “meaning” of the N-word just fine. The sentiments expressed in this story could have been expressed by any one of a hundred people I’ve talked to in my years living here. This isn’t about the South. This is about America, as it always has been, as we keep saying here: Our fate is your fate, and it was, and it is. Our own.

I mean it, how often do you hear this? Every day? My house, my block, my neighborhood, I live here and you don’t. Moreover, I BELONG here and you don’t. Our lives are a crazy quilt of safe areas and danger zones, in which we make snap decisions about who “looks” like they belong here and who doesn’t. But for the outright violence, but for the semi-official nature of the “militia,” is there anyplace in this country this couldn’t have happened? Neighborhood Watches and community meetings and everybody on the lookout, all the time, for what’s coming after them. It’s no wonder, no wonder at all.

And I don’t know if it’s our inherent paranoia or a constant drumbeat over 25 years that government is useless and offers you no protection so you’d better go arm yourselves to the teeth and put grates over your windows, I don’t know if it’s a sign of shallow hatred or a sign of feeling abandoned by everybody around you, that we have no responsibility for each other, that makes people feel like they have to create borders and defend them. I don’t know if it’s simple human nature or bullshit wish-fulfillment, make yourself a king in the new world after the old one, in which you were a boring loser, burns down. I don’t know if it’s some of that or all of that or a little of each of the 31 flavors of crazy going on here.

I do know it’s almost Christmas, and the story we’re going to tell on Thursday is about people on the road, seeking hospitality. Seeking that which is most valued, anywhere: a safe place to rest, to make a family, to feel at home. The story is about the Christ Child, yes, but also about the knock at the door, and the innkeepers who turned those travelers away. It’s about the stranger who arrives in the night and needs you. Will you give him a bed, even if it’s in your garage, next to the cat box, surrounded by bikes and basketballs and junk? Or will you aim a shotgun out the window, string a barricade across the street, and scream go away, and you’ll be allowed to live?

A.

I Love the Idea but Where’s the Myth?

One wise man to another: We can just have some fun! It’s Christmas.

Noel


A.

Happy Holidays

I find something wonderfully disturbing and entertaining about this photo and video.

Santa

“Respect Christmas” performed by Nightwork (possibly offensive)

And speaking of “disturbing”, Dangerblond informed us about the Catalonian Christmas tradition known as a “caganer.”

Your Mistletoe Is No Match For My TOW Missile

So, it’s Xmas music you want, eh? I’m including a shout-out to home with Aaron Neville, and some other stuff that I like. The Tori Amos “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is just haunting. I heard that one cold, cold December night in New Hampshire ten years ago, and I had to pull to the side of the road to listen to the whole thing. Also, the Drifters kick all kinds of ass. Since we don’t get enough hip hop around here, I threw in some old school Run D.M.C. Finally, what would Christmas be without the Pogues? So enjoy the videos!





The Earth Might Stop Turning

Soooo cold.



My three-year-old goddaughter was here the other day so, since my house is kid-proof but not necessarily kid-fun (I need a box of toys for visiting moppets or something) we broke out the Fraggle Rock DVDs. She liked the singing and the dancing and Red’s flappy pigtails, but her mother and I, having not seen the show since we were kids ourselves, were kind of weirdly fascinated and horrified. The Henson workshop must have been powered by the finest hallucinogens known to man or beast, because holy hell, this stuff was weird.


Yet, fun. I always loved the Fraggle pseudo-Yule-Christmas-Thing, where all the Fraggles have to ring their bells or the Great Bell won’t ring and their rock will go cold and spring won’t come. But Gobo, known in my house as the Fraggle Most Like My Baby Brother, decides he has to go see the Great Bell for himself, accompanied by the strangeoid priest-like dude, and he can’t find the bell:




A.

Someone Get Some Valium for Athenae


She’s headed for this town.

Once again, a newspaper columnist gets it wrong, wrong, wrong.

Hey, dumbshit: blogs aren’t your problem. In addition, you don’t even really address how they might be in your stupid column. And can we cut out this stupid shit about the Golden Age of Journalism, please?

I got three words for you, fucko: William. Randolph. Hearst.

Instead of whining, try doing your fucking job. Schmuck.

Sorry, A. I’ll get the good Scotch out for when you’re in town next, I swear. 

Cheney vs. The Shark

I’m betting on Joey, mostly on account of his not being, you know, an evil robot overlord:

Cheney, in the interview, also said that Biden would be a less relevant
player in the Obama administration, sharply suggesting that his
successor would revert the office to the traditional, and far less
central, place it had been in past administrations.

“I think that President-elect Obama will decide what he wants in a vice
president and apparently from the way they’re talking about it, he does
not expect him to have as consequential a role as I have had during my
time,” Cheney said.

Asked if he had any advice for Biden, Cheney replied with a chill.

“Well, he hasn’t asked for any, so I won’t go beyond where I’ve been,” Cheney said.

In his own Sunday morning interview, on ABC’s “This Week,” Biden eased
back some on his campaign red meat against Cheney but, with some
prompting, offered shots of his own

Reminded of his “dangerous” quote, Biden initially sought to laugh it
off, saying with a smile and chuckle: “I still don’t agree with the
vice president.”

But after host George Stephanopoulos pressed Biden, the vice
president-elect went further, saying Cheney “has been not healthy for
our foreign policy, not healthy for our national security, and it has
not been consistent with our Constitution, in my view.”

“His notion of a unitary executive, meaning that, in time of war,
essentially all power, you know, goes to the executive, I think is dead
wrong. I think it was mistaken,” Biden added.

000ppfab

A.

Great line…

from Sadly No! …writing this of Confederate Yankee:

It looks like he’s gone intoabandon New Orleans mode again, only this time he’s saying it was a stupid idea to build a country where a recession could get it.

Today on Tommy T’s obsession with the Freeperati – We’re running out of things to be cheery about

Good Monday morning, everyone – and a chilly one it is, too.

Let’s warm ourselves by the fire of stupidity, shall we?

Suits on – airlock door open – let’s go!

One of the few points of happiness I’ve seen in Freeperville over the last few weeks is the joyous piling-on that occurred when they found out that Jesse Jackson, Jr. was the shadowy (get it?) figure identified as “Candidate number 5”, proof positive that the Dems were going down over Blago’s corruption.

Since JJJ was a proxy for the man they love to hate (his father), hearing of his possible involvement was like a fine Cuban cigar for them – something to be looked forward to and savored in its fullness.

ExplodingCigar

Jesse Jackson Jr. ratted on Blagojevich
NY DAILY NEWS ^| Wednesday, December 17th 2008, 12:23 AM | CELESTE KATZ

Posted onWednesday, December 17, 2008 2:06:11 AM byFred
Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has been dropping dimes on his state’s disgraced governor and other corrupt local pols for years, a spokesman said Tuesday.
Jackson, a longtime congressman and son of the famed civil rights activist, has been pulled into the controversy surrounding Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s alleged attempt to auction Barack Obama’s now-vacant U.S. Senate seat.
A Jackson spokesman, Kenneth Edmonds, said the congressman had spoken to the feds about Blagojevich and others.
He wouldn’t provide details, but Chicago’s WLS-TV reported the congressman told investigators Blagojevich refused to make Jackson’s wife director of the state lottery because Jackson would not pledge $25,000 to the governor’s campaign fund.
“Blagojevich went out of his way to say, ‘You know I was considering your wife for the lottery job and the $25,000 you didn’t give me? That’s why she’s not getting the job,'” a source told The Associated Press.
Federal prosecutors declined to comment.
Jackson has acknowledged meeting with Blagojevich about his interest in Obama’s Senate seat one day before the governor was arrested on federal corruption charges.
The congressman has admitted to being “Senate Candidate 5” in the federal complaint against Blagojevich. Blagojevich claimed the candidate’s emissary agreed to fund-raising in exchange for the seat, according to the complaint. Jackson said he never authorized any intermediary to make deals.

(Excerpt) Read more atnydailynews.com

You can almmost hear the mental gears stripping from here. There’s really no way for them to spin this one as Good News For Republicans, so they just kinda go all sulky and start mumbling under their breaths about snitches.

Now, bear in mind, these are the same Freepers who go ballistic when gangs paint the word “snitching” under the word “Stop” on stop signs:

To: Fred
Truly there is “no honor among thieves” is there?

2 posted onWednesday, December 17, 2008 2:08:08 AM by2ndDivisionVet (Barack Obama: In Error and arrogant — he’s errogant!)
Truly there isn’t any shame among Freepers, is there?
Fortunately they get it all figured out and manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of…defeat.

To: Fred
Sounds like Jr. cut a deal with the Feds.They must have had the goods on him but needed his information to get others.
3 posted onWednesday, December 17, 2008 2:11:33 AM byRocky
(Snarf – chuckle – snort)
If William Of Ockham were still alive, that would have killed him.

To: Fred
Interesting that the press characterizes reporting crimes as “ratting.” It strikes me as very similar to black kids being harassed by their peers for getting good grades.

5 posted onWednesday, December 17, 2008 2:19:33 AM byTigersEye (Mohammed licks my shoes but the Allah won’t come off.)

That darned press! It’s all their fault!!

To: Rocky
Sounds like Jr. cut a deal with the Feds Whatever it takes to protectthe chosenOne!

6 posted onWednesday, December 17, 2008 2:24:45 AM byLas Vegas Dave (Illegitimi non carborundum – “Don’t let the bastards grind you down”)
Yeah!That’s it! Because them darkies stick together!
And of course, there’s always the good old, reliable “I don’t believe it lalalalala” thing to fall back on when the real world gets too depressing:
To: The Cajun
anyone else think the Jackson’s floated this fake story to get ahead of the charges
8 posted onWednesday, December 17, 2008 2:41:01 AM byPacothecat
Of course! Why didn’t I see it before? Jackson’s lying about working as an informant with the Feds’ operation to bust crooked politicos because if the fake story gets ahead of the real story, the Feds will be so impressed they’ll drop all charges against him. And they will get so angry at Jackson for lying about working for them that they’ll send him to jail for impersonating an informant, except that they are not doing that, possibly because Martians are involved, and the Illuminati, and *spark* *fzzz* *crackle* *zzzt* EEErrrrrrr r r r r r r (clunk)
Dangit. Now I’ve sprained my brain trying to think like a Freeper.
Don’t try this at home, kids. Maybe I’m not taking enough drugs?

To: Fred
Perhaps it’s just me. It’s late and my pills are kicking in BUT, I think this is truth being woven with lies.
I knew it. I knew it!
There’s no way anyone could be that stupid without chemical assistance!
Speaking of which, I hope everyone took their anti-dumbassery pills before we go on, because any of you guys caught the dumbass dropsy while in the inner chamber, we’d either have to put you down, or get you a radio talk show.
More after the juuuuuuuuummmmppppppp!

Continue reading

Friday Ferretblogging: Synchronized Grooming Edition

Squirrelfur

Fall shedding season has begun. Puck is losing all his fur at once, poor thing, and Riot has started growing a new coat but just on his tail. They’ll look raggedy for a couple of weeks and then be poofed out in no time.

A.

Weekend Question Thread

What’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever done for you?

A.

Catching Up On A Few Things


I’ve been like one of these. But with less venom.

Hey hey, everybody! It’s me again. What? You’ve forgotten about me already?

Dang.

Well, I’m really busy these days, and the job I’ve got now has no Internets, so I don’t have enough time for readin’ and thinkin’ as in the past. That should change sometime in the future, but for now, I’m afraid I just can’t post as much as I would like to.

Anyway, I’ve got a roundup of a few things that have caught my eye, but I haven’t had the time to write about. First of all, as we all know, Mark Felt died. Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine.
Et lux perpetua luceat eis, etc., etc. And we all appreciate what he did. But, of course, the news coverage is wretched. I’ve avoided TV news on this topic, but I have been listening to NPR. And why, in the name of all that is holy, are they talking to G. Fucking Gordon Fucking Liddy about what he thinks? Attention all:That asshat is a convicted felon. When we start hearing what Joe Massino thinks of Joseph Pistone, or what Jeffrey Skilling thinks of Sherron Watkins, then we can talk to G. Fucking Gordon Fucking Liddy about his views on Mark Felt. In case you didn’t know, I’m not a big fan of Liddy.

Also, the death of Felt means that we see a lot more of Bob Woodward, who’s been coasting for the rest of his life on one good deed. Enough of this guy already.He said something a few weeks ago that really pissed me off (Warning–PDF. And it’s hard to imagine me pissed off, right?). It made the rounds on the blogs, but nobody that I read mentioned what got to me:

BOB SCHIEFFER (host): Bob Woodward, the
president, if all goes as expected, at 10:50 Eastern Time tomorrow will announce his new national
security team, to be headed by Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state.

WOODWARD: She never goes away, she
and her husband. It’s an amazing national security team that Obama appears to
have selected. It’s kind of like “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” You’ve got too cool, which
might be — or at least appropriately
cool — General Jones
as the national security adviser; Gates is kind of just right, in the middle;
and Hillary Clinton, hot.

This is going to be a whole new
center of gravity for the news media, for the world.My assessment — without having any
knowledge, really
— is
that the economists and the economic team around Obama convinced him that the
economic crisis is so deep and going to require so much time, go ahead and give Hillary and
Bill the world.

Emphasis mine. And that’s what’s wrong with our elite press in a nutshell. When you don’t have any information about a topic, keep your fucking mouth shut. Your opinion in such a case is worthless. Even if Woodward hadn’t admitted his total ignorance, his dumb-ass fairy-tale analogy should be enough to disqualify him from all future public opining .

In other dumb-ass news, George Bush is still President, and, since these people can’t go five minutes without being total dicks, he’s deciderated to implement a “conscience clause” by executive fiat. Of course, this is just cover for religious nuts to deny women reproductive health services. And we’re not only talking about abortions here–these fools can now get away with refusing to dispense birth control because they (doctors or pharmacists) don’t approve of it. WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK? If you have a moral objection to dispensing certain medicines, don’t become a pharmacist. It’s not like your choices are:

  1. Be a pharmacist
  2. Homelessness

See, all the jobs I’ve ever held, if I refused to do some of the work because I “didn’t believe in it,” I’d have gotten fired. And with good cause. You know what I’m waiting for? A Muslim doctor refusing to treat a cirrhosis patient, because the Qu’ran says we should avoid alcohol. That’d go over like a fart in church, wouldn’t it? I know these fundie assholes are short-sighted, but don’t they understand anything about unintended consequences? When you open the door for people to refuse their professional obligations based on personal beliefs, you destroy the very concept of professionalism. Or, as Chief Lyman used to say, “You fuckers don’t have to like it, but you do have to do it.”

Speaking of Bush and fundies, guess what? He made a bunch of their heads explode about ten days ago. Turns out thathe doesn’t think that the entire Bible is literally true. Which anyone with three functioning neurons can tell you. However, when we’re talking about fundies and freepers, they can’t get over that astonishingly low bar. I know Tommy T usually polices Freeperville for us, but I think this one slipped by him. For the full, hilarious ride, go here. It’s fun to watch them do a 21st-century, extremely dumbed-down attempt at St. Thomas Aquinas’ Scholastic metaphysics. Yes, I did just make a theology reference. Without even swearing. But I won’t talk about angels dancing on the head of a pin, ’cause Aquinas never talked about that, you see. Seriously. Check it out.

Finally–about this new job. It’s crummy, but there’s one really, really astonishing thing. An older white guy in a cube near mine listens to Christian music in the morning and Rush Limbaugh in the afternoon. And he sits right next to a black man. How much of a dick can one person be? Stay tuned, and we’ll find out.

The beverage police have arrived…

The jeans in my dresser fit a little more snugly this time of year and the belt is usually a notch looser. It’s winter and like most other mammals, I find the need to eat too much to ward off the cold. So, I sit here pounding out this missive with a bag of pretzels nearby with a giant package of Nibs to wash them down.

I’m fat. Or overweight. At least that’s what the charts and diagrams tell me. At 5-foot-9, 166.5 pounds (usually it hits about 170 in the winter before I start seriously getting back on the track and treadmill and anything else the Y can throw at me), I’m overweight by 6.5 pounds. I should be between 147 and 160, I’m told, although only in my most anti-eating, living in a hot-as-hell climate days did I ever come close to the low end of that scale.

I thought about my burgeoning gut the other day when I ran across this. For those of you who haven’t been following this, Gov. David “Man, I wish Spitzer hadn’t gotten caught until after the budget was fixed” Paterson is proposing a tax on beverages. The point of the tax is to help fix a $15.4 billion budget gap while simultaneously passing this off as a necessary step in fighting childhood obesity. Paterson compares this to the way in which we’ve taxed cigarettes in an attempt to get people to quit smoking.

OK, here’s my problem with this. In many cases, we do things that are bad for us that really have no impact on others. Smoking isn’t one of those. You smoke a pack and a half of Lucky Strikes near me each day, you make me smell like an ashtray, irritate my lungs, increase my chances of asthma and essentially play a game of “pin the tumors on my soul.”

Same thing with drinking. We don’t have laws that prevent me from opening every bottle of booze I have in my house, pouring them into one giant glass and drinking from it as I watch the ESPN Classic replay of my Indians losing the 1997 World Series to the FloridaCarpetbaggersMarlins. However, the minute I’m still thirsty and get in my car, then I’m totally screwed (unless you live in Wisconsin where being shithammered behind the wheel draws you very little in the way of punishment). The idea is pretty clear: Mess yourself up all you want. The minute you hurt other people, that’s when we’ve got a problem with it.

I’m not going to get fat by watching a guy pound a gallon of Coke out of his backpack-sized 7-11 mug. The kid who can’t breath because his neck has succumbed to 88 chins doesn’t hurt me by ordering a giant vat of PowerThirst. I’m not somehow harmed when the giant woman in oompah loompah pants decides to order everything to the left of the bacon cheeseburger on the McDonald’s scoreboard menu (of course, if you’ve ever been in one of these places, you know what actually happens here: “Uh, yeah… I’d like a Big Mac Extra Value meal, with six extra cheeseburgers, three extra large fries.” And to drink? “Yeah, give me a Diet Coke please…”)

I guess this really brings home the point for me. While we consume an insane amount of calories from high-calorie beverages, many of them appear to be uncovered. Anyone want to guess how many calories are in a vanilla shake and Mickey D’s? How aboutmore than half of what the average woman is expected to take in during a single day… What about those great candy coffees Starbucks has been pumping at us lately? A white chocolate mocha is packingmore than twice the calories of a can of fully leaded Coke, with almost half of those calories coming from fat.

The fast food industry has been oversizing and overfattening us for decades. Why not drill them to shore up the budget? Actually, New York City, the heart and soul of the state, has beensupporting these businesses with tax breaks which seems to run contrary to the health initiatives at the state and city level.

The governor has two very good intentions here: fix a foundering budget and keep kids from becoming obese. That said, using the beverage tax to try to do this makes little sense. It has the likelihood of having little to no effect on the obesity epidemic and will likely force the poorest among the state’s citizens to once again pony up for something that brings a little joy into their lives.

The only way to get people to slim down is to offer alternatives and let them make the choice. I know eventually I’ll hit the point where I’m back to that one pair of 36 x 30s and I’ll be sick of washing them so I’ll hit the gym and get back into shape. When I was really out of shape a few years back, the relatives who told me at family gatherings, “Wow, you’re a little heavy, aren’t you?” only made me want to say “Fuck you. Please pass the potatoes.” Taxing my soda wouldn’t have had much affect either (I was a 54-can a week guy on regular soda until I switched to diet a few years back).

Would taxing high-priced hookers have made the governor’s predecessor reconsider a roll in the hay with Ashley Dupree?

Yeah, that’s what I thought…

For the Liberal Gun Owners

Following up on Jude’s post below, something I saw at Kos last week:The equivalent of the NRA without the Republican fellatio and the paranoia.

A.

Love Isn’t Feelings

Yeah:

I don’t care if these people have gay friends. Because if these
folks think that their friends are perverts out to destroy the world,
they’re probably pretty shitty friends anyway.

So it’s done. If you have a friend who’s gay, it doesn’t get you off
the hook anymore. You still have to take responsibility for your
beliefs, actions, and words. And if you can’t do that, then your
friends are putting up with a lot of crap from you, and you should just
be grateful that you have any friends.

This movement isn’t about people being friends. It’s about autonomy,
safety, and equality, but definitely not making friends. And if you’re
flapping your mouth about the sinfulness of a group of people, and that
group of people is getting shot down in the streets, you really need to
look up the definition of friendship in the dictionary. Because you’re
doing it wrong.

This is the problem with the whole “love the ‘sinner'” stance a lot of fundies have adopted in order to not look like hateful bigots anymore. Love isn’t that kind of snide condescension. Love isn’t a platitude and it isn’t a statement and it isn’t even an expression. You can sit around all you want, feel warm and fuzzy and get that sensation that your chest is about to burst and jump up and down with joy and smile until your face splits in half. That isn’t love. That’s not even close to love, so stop thinking it gets you out of anything.

Love is action. Love is work. Love is DOING STUFF. Love is picking somebody up at the airport, bringing somebody a beer, sending somebody a care package, wrapping somebody up in a blanket, even though with every fiber of your being you’d rather be doing something else, even though you’re too tired and there’s good TV on andgod damn it’s too cold to go out and get you half and half for your coffee just drink the goddamn milk already.

Love is resisting every urge to be an asshole and treating someone else with great and good care. Love is listening to someone even though you have your own stuff going on. Love is letting someone get away with something you could make a big deal out of. Love is not letting someone get away with something even though you could. Love is posting bail. Love is calling the doctor.

Love is cooking dinner. Love is doing the dishes. Love is showing up at the party. Love is taking the pet to the vet. Love is picking up the phone. Love is grocery shopping. Love islaundry. Love is changing the oil. Love is scraping all the snow off the car even though you’re not the one driving it that day. Love is vacuuming.

And feeling something gets you off the hook for exactly zero. “But I love you” doesn’t mean shit. Love is what you do. Love is how you act. And if you act hatefully toward someone, if you demean him and punish him and strip him of his rights, if you say that you don’t want for him the same protection — much less the same joys — that you have, you don’t love him. I can tell that from your actions. I don’t care how youfeel.

A.