Various bits of flotsam that washed up on our computers, before we moved to a better blog system in November 2004. Now a repository for YouTube videos and testing new tools. Go to for more recent content.

Monday, May 31, 2004


And for His Next Feat, a Billionaire Sets Sights on Bush
George Soros, the financier and philanthropist, has given $15.8 million to anti-Bush groups and has said he will give more if necessary.

Mr. Soros has turned his considerable energy and fortune to ousting an American president.

"I have come to the conclusion," said Mr. Soros, in a recent interview from his Manhattan office with its expansive view of Central Park, "that the greatest contribution I can make to the values that I hold would be to contribute to the defeat of George W. Bush in 2004."

From playing no prior role in partisan politics, Mr. Soros has given $15.8 million to anti-Bush groups and has said he will give more if necessary. He has expressed his views in speeches, full-page advertisements, op-ed articles and a new book, "The Bubble of American Supremacy."

All that, of course, has made him a target for Republicans and campaign finance reformers who consider him as a shadowy figure trying to have an outsize influence. "George Soros has purchased the Democratic Party," said Christine Iverson, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee.

Mr. Soros says his motive is not power or position, but the decades and $4 billion he has spent to promote civil liberties in former authoritarian regimes. As a child, he survived the Holocaust in his native Hungary by adopting an assumed identify and, later, he slipped away from the Communists. Those experiences shaped his world view, both as a financier betting on uncertainty and as a philanthropist.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Kobe to Spurs?

New York Post's Peter Vescey:
"FOR those dream weavers who believe a fourth championship will entice Kobe Bryant to remain a Laker for at least the life of new seven-year contract, prepare to be disappointed.

"I know he wants out of L.A. in the worst way," swears one of the few people who would know something so serious.

By L.A., my informant means the Lakers, not the city; Kobe's thought process hasn't ruled out my Paper Clips.

"Yeah, but I don't think that's going to happen," the source added, playing a little dodge ball. "Of all the teams who own ample salary cap room, the Clippers are a long shot."

Meanwhile, Denver and Utah "have no shot," stressed the source.

"If he goes [oh, great, now it's an if] it wouldn't surprise me if Kobe chooses between the Suns and the Spurs.""

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Shaq daddy

Los Angeles Lakers news from all over, includes this - NBA Shaq filed complaints in April
Shaq knew this was coming, has known it for months, because he's refused to take the pay cut Buss wants him to take -- the same sort of pay cut Kevin Garnett bent over backwards and took in Minnesota. Shaq says the Lakers organization asked him to recruit Karl Malone last summer, asked him to recruit Gary Payton, and that it was understood they'd take care of him down the road. But they're not taking care of him, and I'm not surprised that he's just demanded a trade. He told me in late April he was resigned to the fact that it was time to go.

"Well, I've seen it before," he said as we sat alone in the team's El Segundo training complex. "I've seen it before. It happens with the Ewings and the Dominiques. But give me enough respect and enough courtesy, and let me know. And I'll make it easier for everybody.

"But just don't tell me one thing and do another. Because you insult my intelligence like that. Just tell me. I ain't tripping. But the good thing about this country we live in, somebody will want this. Someone will want the Diesel. I've got about five, six good years left in me. Because the stuff that I'm doing, I still got a whole lot of stuff in me. I'm not even allowed to really take over the game how I want to. So I'm just out there playing on fumes right now."

Shaq says the Lakers vowed to get him 'whatever you need' after recruiting Malone and Payton.
O'Neal has a lot of beefs with the franchise. They are, in no particular order:

Alternative energy sources

NYT A Different Era for the Alternative Energy Business
"The cost of wind power varies widely with the quality of the windmill site, but prime locations in the United States generate electricity at well under 5 cents a kilowatt-hour, making them cheaper than natural-gas-fired plants at current gas prices. But to compete with coal, wind power generally needs subsidies like the tax credit of 1.8 cents a kilowatt-hour that lapsed at the end of last year.

Electricity-generating solar panels, which were invented 50 years ago and cost $100 a watt in 1976 now sell for less than $3 a watt, and are expected to continue declining 5 percent annually in cost even if there are no technology breakthroughs.

For now, solar energy technology is approximately 10 times as expensive as traditional fossil fuel systems for generating large amounts of electricity, according to a recent estimate by the Sandia National Laboratories. But solar is already a cheaper alternative for powering sites that are long distances from the power grid.

The public reaction to recent price spikes in oil prices could help alternative energy by putting pressure on politicians to maintain or even increase the vast range of tax credits, grants, loan guarantees and other subsidies that stimulate investment in alternatives."

This is a key point when discussing costs of traditional sources...
Traditional fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas are major contributors to air pollution and the buildup of climate-changing gases in the atmosphere. Their environmental cost is not fully included in current prices but regulations intended to limit the damage have restricted their growth prospects.

....because if you factor in pollution and environmental costs, coal, gas and nuclear are much more expensive than solar, wind and the like.

Friday, May 28, 2004

What about the Big Board?

Dr. Strangelove, indeed

The Nation
"Consider, for example, a fun Cold War-era fact from Bruce Blair, who is president of the Washington-based Center for Defense Information.

Blair was a Minuteman nuclear missile launch officer in the 1970s, and ran through simulations of about 100 nuclear wars -- deadly exchanges in which he and his colleagues fired up to 50 nuclear missiles at the Soviet Union.

To launch a Minuteman in those days, one had to "unlock" the missile by dialing in a code -- the equivalent of a safety catch on a handgun. However, Blair reports, the US Strategic Air Command was worried that a bunch of sissy safety features might slow things down. It ordered all locks set to 00000000 -- and in launch checklists, reminded all launch officers like Blair to keep the codes there. "So the 'secret unlock code' during the height of the nuclear crises of the Cold War," Blair says, "remained constant at 00000000.""

read more here

Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut writes (In These Times)
(as noticed by Matt Bivens of the Nation)

Many years ago, I was so innocent I still considered it possible that we could become the humane and reasonable America so many members of my generation used to dream of. We dreamed of such an America during the Great Depression, when there were no jobs. And then we fought and often died for that dream during the Second World War, when there was no peace.
How about Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes?

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. …

And so on.

Not exactly planks in a Republican platform. Not exactly Donald Rumsfeld or Dick Cheney stuff.

For some reason, the most vocal Christians among us never mention the Beatitudes. But, often with tears in their eyes, they demand that the Ten Commandments be posted in public buildings. And of course that’s Moses, not Jesus. I haven’t heard one of them demand that the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, be posted anywhere.

“Blessed are the merciful” in a courtroom? “Blessed are the peacemakers” in the Pentagon? Give me a break!

Vonnegut actually makes a good point. Where are all the Christians asking to have the Beatitudes posted everywhere? Much more Christian than the Torah's 10 Commandments, right? Perhaps "Christians" are not really followers of Christ and his teachings? Ya think?


Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Pinochet stripped of immunity:
"A Chilean court stripped the country's former dictator, General Augusto Pinochet, of his immunity from prosecution today, paving the way for his trial on human rights charges.

The court in Santiago voted 14-9 to lift the immunity Pinochet enjoys as a former president.

An appeal against the decision may still be launched at the supreme court"


from the Department of Not Really News

but passed along nonetheless....

"Despite a perception that National Public Radio is politically liberal, the majority of its sources are actually Republicans and conservatives, according to a survey released today by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a left-leaning media watchdog.

"Republicans not only had a substantial partisan edge," according to a report accompanying the survey, "individual Republicans were NPR's most popular sources overall, taking the top seven spots in frequency of appearance." In addition, representatives of right-of-center think tanks outnumbered their leftist counterparts by more than four to one, FAIR reported.

Citing comments dating to the Nixon administration in the 1970s, the report said, "That NPR harbors a liberal bias is an article of faith among many conservatives." However, it added, "Despite the commonness of such claims, little evidence has ever been presented for a left bias at NPR."

The study counted 2,334 sources used in 804 stories aired last June for four programs: "All Things Considered," "Morning Edition," "Weekend Edition Saturday" and "Weekend Edition Sunday." For the analysis of think tanks, FAIR used the months of May through August 2003.

Overall, Republicans outnumbered Democrats by 61 percent to 38 percent, a figure only slightly higher now, when the GOP controls the White House and both houses of Congress, than during a previous survey in 1993, during the Clinton administration."

more here

Blogging as obsession

This is a really stupid NYT article, written by someone who obviously was assigned the story by an editor, and who had no previous experience with blogs. Yeesh. Could it be any more dismissive? If there is a hobby that millions of people participate in
"The number of bloggers has grown quickly, thanks to sites like, which makes it easy to set up a blog. Technorati, a blog-tracking service, has counted some 2.5 million blogs."
, doesn't that count for anything? The tone of this article reminds me of how early adopters to email/web surfing were compared to addictives because they spent time browsing web sites.

Can we get another metaphor please?

James Cook

James Cook and the Transit of Venus:
"James Cook and the Transit of Venus

The best reason to watch the 2004 transit of Venus is history.

Every 120 years or so a dark spot glides across the Sun. Small, inky-black, almost perfectly circular, it's no ordinary sunspot. Not everyone can see it, but some who do get the strangest feeling, of standing, toes curled in the damp sand, on the beach of a South Pacific isle....

Sea gulls fluttered upward, screeching. City odors drifted in from Plymouth, across the ship, shoving aside the salt air. Sails snapped taut. The wind had changed and it was time to go.

On August 12, 1768, His Majesty's Bark Endeavour slipped out of harbor, Lt. James Cook in command, bound for Tahiti. The island had been "discovered" by Europeans only a year before in the South Pacific, a part of Earth so poorly explored mapmakers couldn't agree if there was a giant continent there ... or not. Cook might as well have been going to the Moon or Mars. He would have to steer across thousands of miles of open ocean, with nothing like GPS or even a good wristwatch to keep time for navigation, to find a speck of land only 20 miles across. On the way, dangerous storms could (and did) materialize without warning. Unknown life forms waited in the ocean waters. Cook fully expected half the crew to perish.

It was worth the risk, he figured, to observe a transit of Venus."....

read more

Excellent hoops by Wiley

Ralph Wiley is one of the better sports writers, especially regarding the NBA (even if he doesn't respect the Sacramento Kings, who could with all their game 7 choking?) Page 2 - The Lakers' armor is tarnishing:
"This seems as good a time as any to examine the Laker Myth -- the premise that this is one the great basketball teams in recorded American history (if not the greatest team in history) because it is perhaps (and perhaps not) about to win its fourth NBA title in five years with Kobe and Shaq, the Irresistible Force and Immovable Object of basketball, and various supporting players"

Read this rumination on race, sports, and hoops, you'll be happy you did....

Now playing in iTunes: Pay Day, from the album Today by Mississippi John Hurt

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Judith Miller has Always been a hack

apparently, Miller has been a conduit for government propaganda. Via Atrios, we read....

Michael Bérubé Online:
"I just thought that this might be a good time to go back to May 2002 and revisit Judith Miller's seemingly carefully-hedged and scrupulously-attributed claims that Cuba and Iran were teaming up to hit the US with biological weapons. Of course, Ms. Miller doesn't come right out and say, "you have to understand, I'm shilling for the far-right tinfoil-helmeted Undersecretary of State John Bolton." But she doesn't really need to:

I think what you have here is a problem with how to interpret information about what Cuba is doing. Yes, there is a lot of activity that is suspicious. There's a lot of circumstantial evidence. And there are a lot of very unsavory contacts, as the administration regards them, between Cuba and especially Iranians who are involved in biological weapons.

And this kind of information led Mr. Bolton and before him another senior State Department official to say that there is a limited offensive effort. Specifically, the State Department said Cuba was experimenting with anthrax and that, of course, got our attention in the press.

But the debate is over how to interpret this information.

This is "embedded journalism" at its finest: note how Miller embeds "as the administration regards them" in that first paragraph and caps this off with a reference to "debate," as if she herself is agnostic. Note also that it's not just Bolton she's quoting here: no, there's another State Department official before him, so clearly this can't be looney-tunes saber-rattling Boltonian spin.

What about people who dispute these claims, like former President Carter? Well, Carter might be a dupe, or he might be in a "camp":

So, if you put Jayson Blair and Judith Miller in a deathcage match, with Howell Raines refereeing, who would emerge? I guess that has already been decided.....

Now playing in iTunes: Nobody's Fault But My Own, from the album Mutations by Beck

Judith Miller - hack Not fit to print:
In its editors note, the Times admitted [Judith] Miller's "informant also claimed that Iraq had sent unconventional weapons to Syria and had been cooperating with Al Qaeda -- two claims that were then, and remain, highly controversial. But the tone of the article suggested that this Iraqi 'scientist' -- who in a later article described himself as an official of military intelligence -- had provided the justification the Americans had been seeking for the invasion. The Times never followed up on the veracity of this source or the attempts to verify his claims."

Judith "Miller, who knew all of this already at the time I interviewed her, remained righteously indignant, unwilling to accept that she had goofed in the grandest of fashions.

"You know what," she offered angrily. "I was proved fucking right. That's what happened. People who disagreed with me were saying, 'There she goes again.' But I was proved fucking right.""

uhhh, no, you were proved fucking wrong. Can you resign already? Isn't there a spot reserved for you at Faux news?

Food sexuality

Funny article by Lisa Hilton:

The Observer | Food monthly | Food: Lisa Hilton on cooking for one's lover:
"The food you choose to cook says as much about you as your clothes or your bookshelves, it's often the first sensual signal you offer. So striking a balance between the licking and sucking potential of moules marinières and chocolate mousse (painfully obvious), and the neurotic implications of homemade sourdough bruschetta (obsessive perfectionist) and carpaccio of scallops (high maintenance anorexic), can be fraught.

As men judged my food, so my view of their reaction mattered equally. Frankly, I've never had good sex with a vegetarian. I like men who eat properly, who like their steak bloody, their eggs Benedict runny. Fastidiousness is as unappealing in the kitchen as it is in the bedroom; there's something emasculated about a man who lets himself be faced down by an escargot. Logically, someone as obsessed by the food/sex correlation as I am would select her lovers accordingly; but as with crème brulée, I never quite had the discipline to resist what I knew would turn out badly (hence the vegetarian. He had little round glasses and did yoga. Really). However, experience did prove that whether or not a man knows his artichoke from his elbow, when it comes to cooking, if not to sex, the clichés of national stereotypes hold true."

read more for a good laugh. Don't know how much I agree with Ms. Hilton's obsessional observations, but humorous nonetheless....

Big Promiser

but delivering less

"2006 Cuts In Domestic Spending On Table (
"The White House put government agencies on notice this month that if President Bush is reelected, his budget for 2006 may include spending cuts for virtually all agencies in charge of domestic programs, including education, homeland security and others that the president backed in this campaign year.

Administration officials had dismissed the significance of the proposed cuts when they surfaced in February as part of an internal White House budget office computer printout. At the time, officials said the cuts were based on a formula and did not accurately reflect administration policy. But a May 19 White House budget memorandum obtained by The Washington Post said that agencies should assume the spending levels in that printout when they prepare their fiscal 2006 budgets this summer."

...especially when the specific programs are named.....
Domestic Spending On:
"But the cuts are politically sensitive, targeting popular programs that Bush has been touting on the campaign trail. The Education Department; a nutrition program for women, infants and children; Head Start; and homeownership, job-training, medical research and science programs all face cuts in 2006.

"Despite [administration] denials, this memorandum confirms what we suspected all along," said Thomas S. Kahn, Democratic staff director on the House Budget Committee. "Next February, the administration plans to propose spending cuts in key government services to pay for oversized tax cuts."

Compassionate Conservative, my ass.


Pardon? (
"transcript of a phone call made by Kevin B. Wyckoff to his parents, Charles and Martha Wyckoff, a few hours after they had attended his funeral on December 22. Kevin B. Wyckoff is an inmate at the Lexington Correctional Facility in Oklahoma, where he is serving a five-year sentence for offenses including kidnapping and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Originally from Harper's Magazine, March 2004.



CHARLES: Huh. Well damn, boy. We just had your funeral today.

KEVIN: Yeah I know, I heard.

CHARLES: Well, what the hell is going on?"

read rest here

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Good summer to travel to Europe

or not

Transcript: Ashcroft, Mueller Discuss Terrorist Threat (

"Intelligence sources suggest that ideal Al Qaida operatives may now be in their late 20s or early 30s and may travel with a family to lower their profile. Our intelligence confirms Al Qaida is seeking recruits who can portray themselves as Europeans."

so, in other words, Europeans in late 20s- early 30's, with family. Could we broaden that a bit more, perhaps? Perhaps we should be on the look out for males, with or without family, possibly disguised as women. I feel much safer now.

caught by Skippy, and probably every other blogger.....

Wal-mart plays hardball

From the Trib,

On the eve of contentious City Council votes on plans to open two Wal-Marts in Chicago, the retail giant irked some aldermen by using a high-tech phone bank to connect people who said they supported the stores directly to the politicians' ward offices.

As the lobbying intensified on both sides of the issue, pollsters hired by the company called hundreds of Chicago residents Monday and Tuesday. Anyone who said they supported the stores was patched through to one of 11 aldermen, said Thom Serafin, a public relations consultant hired by Wal-Mart to lobby in Chicago.

He said all the calls that were forwarded were from Chicagoans who specifically told pollsters they want Wal-Mart to open in Chicago.

Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) said her South Side ward office was inundated Tuesday with calls from constituents saying they were forwarded there by telemarketers who had asked whether they supported new jobs in their communities.

Some of the callers appeared unaware that they were calling their alderman about Wal-Mart's plans to open stores on former industrial sites in the Austin neighborhood on the West Side and in Chatham on the South Side, she said.

Maybe its just me, but if I were an Alderman, or some sucker who answered this call and got patched through, I'd be more pissed than persuaded. In fact, this stunt could really help block Walmart from opening a Chicago store. Good deal, and good riddance I say. Is there a more slimy mass marketer than Wal-mart?

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Really stupid Doonesbury Dilemma

Bad Timing Creates a 'Doonesbury' Dilemma (
"Once again, "Doonesbury," the comic strip by Garry Trudeau, is in the midst of a controversy, this time through a coincidence of timing. A strip intended for publication on Sunday, May 23 -- but created weeks ago -- includes the image of a man being served his own head on a platter, unintentionally evoking the recent beheading in Iraq of American businessman Nick Berg."

come on! that's such a stupid fucking waste of time I cannot even start to make sense of it. I read the comic in Sunday's Chicago Trib, and didn't even consider it to be commentary upon Nick Berg. Confirmed by the Trudeau himself....

at Doonsebury's site:
As to the unfortunate coincidence of the last panel's artwork (drawn in April) with the recent grisly tragedy in Iraq, Trudeau shares your chagrin: "Most Sunday sections are prepared five to six weeks in advance, and today's strip was unfortunately overtaken by events. To 'hand someone his head' is a common expression, not normally associated with actual violence. I regret the poor timing, and apologize to anyone who was offended by an image that is now clearly inappropriate."


Comforting news

Terrorists plan major terror attack in United...
Terrorists plan major terror attack in United States this summer: official [CBC.CA]

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. officials have obtained new intelligence deemed highly credible indicating al-Qaida or other terrorists are in the United States and preparing to launch a major attack this summer, The Associated Press has learned.

The intelligence does not include a time, place or method of attack but is among the most disturbing received by the government since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, according to a senior federal counterterrorism official who spoke to The AP on condition of anonymity Tuesday.

Of most concern, the official said, is that terrorists may possess and use a chemical, biological or radiological weapon that could cause much more damage and casualties than a conventional bomb.

"There is clearly a steady drumbeat of information that they are going to attack and hit us hard," said the official, who described the intelligence as highly credible.

Now, this information has nothing to do with any political event in the next few months, no, that would be to obvious of a point. Reading a little deeper, one could argue that U.S. officials are releasing such thinly sourced threats because they received similar ones pre-9/11 and in retrospect, wished that they had been a little more proactive in preventing September 11.

Now playing in iTunes: Mockin' Bird, from the album Step Right Up: The Songs of Tom Waits by Tindersticks

MoveOn is giving it away....

MoveOn PAC:
"Get a Free Bumper Sticker!

Just over a year ago, President Bush landed on the U.S.S. Lincoln and declared "Mission Accomplished." Few presidential statements have ever been more completely wrong. Today we're offering a choice of two free bumper stickers to succinctly remind voters about President Bush's failed policies -- in Iraq and at home. Bush's misguided policy in Iraq is one of the many reasons we're coming together to elect a new President. If we can distribute enough of the stickers, we will publicly demonstrate our unity and show how many of us are working to send him home in November. Order one free sticker below, or get 10 or 500 for a small contribution."

well, free if you don't consider giving your name a cost. They already have mine, so no biggy.

Reggie Miller, big Schmuck News | King Kaufman's Sports Daily:
"Reggie Miller, goat [PERMALINK]

Reggie Miller has long been one of my least favorite players...I've disliked him because all he ever gets is praise. He's undoubtably one of the great shooters in the history of the league and a slam-dunk Hall of Famer. No argument here. But he's also one of the NBA's dirtiest, most annoying players, and nobody ever talks about it -- except to praise him for things he should be vilified for.

Miller's method of playing defense is to grab, push, trip, tickle and half-Nelson his man, then suddenly go Zapruder Film, jerking spectacularly as though he'd been shot. Offensive foul on Miller's guy.

The quintessential Miller moment for me came four years ago in the playoffs against the Lakers. Miller, on offense, trotted across the lane, lightly bumped into a Laker who wasn't even looking at him, then pretended he'd been hit by a bus, arms flailing, head jerking, staggering across the floor. Foul on the Lakers guy. "He's so good at that," said TV announcer Doug Collins, referring to Miller's ability to "create a foul."

Good grief.

I was OK with the hosannas for Miller after his winning 3-pointer in Game 1. He'd played like snot for the first 47 minutes, but a game-winner is a game-winner, and Miller has a history of those clutch buckets. But while Tayshaun Prince is rightly being praised for his spectacular, game-saving block of Miller's would-be game-tying layup in Game 2, nobody seems to want to talk about the fact that the block, athletically amazing as it was, never should have happened.

Miller was the straight-up goat of the game. On a night when every shot was contested, when the Pistons blocked an astonishing 19, when every point was bled for, Miller played it soft with a breakaway layup, allowing Prince to make up ground. Miller admitted after the game that "I saw him in my rear-view mirror" and "in hindsight, I should have dunked it."

Miller cost his team a chance to win the game and go up 2-0. You won't hear a word about that from here on out.

I guarantee it."

No skin flutes, this time

from Yahoo/Reuters
"HAMBURG, Germany (Reuters) - The sound of 40 kg (90 pounds) of finely tuned cucumbers, leeks, potatoes, radishes, peppers, aubergines and marrows entertained a German audience at a weekend concert by the Viennese Vegetable Orchestra.

The nine-piece orchestra plays a range of original compositions on instruments constructed from vegetables -- including a flute made from a carrot, a saxophone carved out of a cucumber and a pumpkin converted into a double bass."

Sickly funny

from the Dept of Sick Humor

Strip, Pix, Burn: iRaq:
"Oh, come on. You knew it was going to happen sooner or later. Photos taken on Broome St. and the subway, by Copper Greene, NYC, 2004. The captions reads, "10,000 Volts volts in your pocket, guilty or innocent."

Sperm wars

from the Dept of Time Wasters

Spermicidal Battleship (Flash w/sound @

Monday, May 24, 2004

Nelson Muntz says.....

Yahoo! News - Bush trips over Abu Ghraib pronunciation
"Two rehearsals for his prime-time speech were not enough to keep U.S. President George W. Bush (news - web sites) from mangling the name of the Abu Ghraib prison that brought shame to the U.S. mission in Iraq (news - web sites).

During the half-hour televised address, Bush mispronounced Abu Ghraib each of the three times he mentioned it while announcing U.S. plans to tear down the infamous jail and replace it with a new facility.

The prison, the scene of torture under Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) and the setting for the Iraqi prison abuse scandal under the U.S. military, has a name that English speakers usually pronounce as "abu-grabe".

But the Republican president, long known for verbal and grammatical lapses, stumbled on the first try, calling it "abugah-rayp". The second version came out "abu-garon", the third attempt sounded like "abu-garah"."

thank god for Nelson Muntz.....

Nader has a point

Nader Calls for Impeachment of Bush Over the War in Iraq
Ralph Nader, the independent candidate for president, condemned President George W. Bush yesterday as a "messianic militarist" who should be impeached for pushing the nation into a war in Iraq "based on false pretenses."

Mr. Bush's actions "rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors," Mr. Nader said in a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations in Manhattan. He said Mr. Bush had exceeded his authority in the face of widespread opposition at home and abroad.

"The founding fathers did not want the declaration of war put in the hands of one man," he said, contending that United States foreign policy goals are being hindered because the president tends to "talk like an out-of-control West Texas sheriff."

Mr. Nader said the White House should set a specific date before the end of 2004 to withdraw American troops. At the same time, he said he would advocate internationally supervised elections in Iraq.


Justices Step Into Interstate Wine Rift
The Supreme Court agreed to resolve an intensifying debate over whether states can prohibit out-of-state wineries from shipping directly to consumers. [New York Times: National]

While direct sales from wineries to consumers are growing quickly as states relax their prohibitions or lose court cases, as Texas did last year, they are still a small portion of all wine sales, $200 million out of $18 billion last year. The stakes are obviously high, however, both to the wineries, which are motivated to avoid sharing their profits with wholesalers, and to the states. The National Conference of State Liquor Administrators estimated in 2000 that states were losing tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue from interstate wine sales to consumers. Thirty-six states have joined a brief filed by Ohio in support of Michigan's appeal.

Welcome aboard

Matt has graciously accepted an invitation to post here as he sees fit. Coolio! I say the more the merrier.

Now playing in iTunes: When The Spell Is Broken, from the album Watching The Dark - Disc C by Thompson, Richard


I changed around my archives last week, so if you are looking to access my archives, the april archive is here, and march is here, etc.

Eventually, I'll figure out how to recreate them, or not.

Never Mind

Now playing in iTunes: M. E. 262, from the album Workshop Of The Telescopes (Disc 1) by Blue Öyster Cult (released 1995)


New word for me, irrupt....

irrupt \ih-RUHPT\, intransitive verb:
1. To burst in forcibly or suddenly; to intrude.

Irrupt is derived from the past participle of Latin irrumpere, from ir-, in-, "in" + rumpere, "to break." of the Day: irrupt:
"What sounds are these that sting as they caress, that irrupt into my soul and twine about my heart?
--Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls"

The Burden of Rule

Good catch, via Kos

For Republicans, a House (And Senate) Divided (
...."In a recent meeting of the House GOP caucus, Hastert, usually a team player, criticized the administration and, according to an account in the newspaper the Hill, the attendees broke into applause. On Wednesday, Hastert questioned McCain's GOP bona fides after the Arizona senator criticized Republicans for refusing to sacrifice their tax cutting and spending agendas in wartime. Hastert added that to understand sacrifice, the former POW "ought to visit our young men and women at Walter Reed [Army Medical Center] and Bethesda [Naval Hospital]. There's the sacrifice in this country."

McCain -- perhaps the most popular Republican legislator in the country, except among Republican legislators -- got the last word. "I fondly remember a time when real Republicans stood for fiscal responsibility," he said.


"It's extremely difficult to govern when you control all three branches of government," says Hastert spokesman John Feehery, a burden of which Democrats would happily relieve them."

I would comment, but really, what's the point?


There is something so refreshingly delicious about a perfectly composed salad. Especially when the ingredients are as ripe and well-formed as (insert simile of your choice).

Sunday, D&I spent most of the day doing our favorite outdoor activity, 'hood hopping. I really need a catchy name for our hobby; we drive around looking at real estate, and then walk in whatever diverse neighborhood we end up in, and grab a bite somewhere nearby. Sounds prosaic in my description, trust me it isn't. Chicago has such a diversity of locale that multiple trips are rewarding.

Anyway, we spent several hours up in the northern most eastern edge of Chicago, and in fact even walked a few hundred yards into Evanston. Had never really explored this area, it was much nicer than I expected.

Ate Persian food at Cafe Suron

Devil in the White City

'ey, did any of you (especially the Chicagoans) read Erik Larson's "Devil in the White City". I just finished it and it was an excellent nonfiction (after a fashion) read. It is basically two different stories taking place concurrently--one of which is a macabre (but based on facts--about a serial killer)--and the other story (the one I was more interested in) about the 1889 Chicago World's Fair. I can't remember when I last read something that so caused me to want to do followup research on an event or the historical figures surrounding it (especially Frederick Law Olmsted, whom I was already interested in by virtue of living in NYC for 8 years).
The architects involved in desiging the World's Columbian Exposition (as the fair was called): Olmsted, Meade, McKim, Sullivan, Root, Daniel Burnham, Hunt and the painter Francis Millet. The exhibition structures/grounds: otherworldly white and surrounded with rich green plantlife, colorful flowers, manmade lagoons, all against the background of Lake Michigan. At night the tableau of enormous white neoclassical buildings were illuminated by hundreds of thousands of artificial electric lights (what we today flippantly call bulbs, but which at the time--and in such quantity--were a great glorious wonder). Not to mention the first Ferris wheel (weighing 1. 2 million pounds when loaded with passengers). And they built this wonderland in only 2 years time from a swampy wasteland by the lake.

Well read the book yourself if you're interested in more, or perhaps there's another book about the Fair out there (sans serial killer side story) that someone can recommend.


ps: Did the Chicagoans out know that Burnham Park is named after the mastermind/director of the World's Fair's construction?

pps: Shout out to Seth P. Swanksalot! Sho-E Sin-E--matching pair free!

bumped upwards

Sunday, May 23, 2004


I' m Here
I Sneer
Get Juiced in It!
...hallo all...

Frank Rich on Moore

NYT's Frank Rich: Michael Moore's Candid Camera:
"Whatever you think of Mr. Moore, there's no question he's detonating dynamite here. From a variety of sources — foreign journalists and broadcasters (like Britain's Channel Four), freelancers and sympathetic American TV workers who slipped him illicit video — he supplies war-time pictures that have been largely shielded from our view. Instead of recycling images of the planes hitting the World Trade Center on 9/11 once again, Mr. Moore can revel in extended new close-ups of the president continuing to read "My Pet Goat" to elementary school students in Florida for nearly seven long minutes after learning of the attack. Just when Abu Ghraib and the savage beheading of Nicholas Berg make us think we've seen it all, here is yet another major escalation in the nation-jolting images that have become the battleground for the war about the war.

"Fahrenheit 9/11" is not the movie Moore watchers, fans or foes, were expecting. (If it were, the foes would find it easier to ignore.) When he first announced this project last year after his boorish Oscar-night diatribe against Mr. Bush, he described it as an exposé of the connections between the Bush and bin Laden dynasties. But that story has been so strenuously told elsewhere — most notably in Craig Unger's best seller, "House of Bush, House of Saud" — that it's no longer news. Mr. Moore settles for a brisk recap in the first of his film's two hours. And, predictably, he stirs it into an over-the-top, at times tendentious replay of a Bush hater's greatest hits: Katherine Harris, the Supreme Court, Harken Energy, AWOL in Alabama, the Carlyle Group, Halliburton, the lazy Crawford vacation of August 2001, the Patriot Act. But then the movie veers off in another direction entirely. Mr. Moore takes the same hairpin turn the country has over the past 14 months and crash-lands into the gripping story that is unfolding in real time right now."

and from Ms. original "rhymes with witch"
"But why should we hear about body bags, and deaths, and how many, what day it's gonna happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Or, I mean, it's, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that? And watch him suffer."
— Barbara Bush on "Good Morning America,"
March 18, 2003"

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Transit of Venus

Next June 8th, the planet Venus will trek across the disc of the sun. Apparently happens every century or so (last occurence was 1882, quick back of wrist calculation: that's every 124 years).Details here , among other places. Will happen approximately 12 am CST, so either fly to Germany, or watch a webcam. Still pretty cool, and I'll probably stay up for it.

Local building

out in BFE, namely near Wood Dale.

Saudi love child

From today's NYT

Earlier this year, Mr. Unger's book became the latest casualty of Britain's tough libel laws when his British publisher, Secker & Warburg, canceled publication, saying that it was afraid of being sued. British publishing has long been notoriously hamstrung by the country's libel laws, which place the burden of proof on the defendant and often make it prohibitively difficult for authors to win their cases if they are sued. But what is causing particular consternation in publishing and legal circles now is that Mr. Unger's case may be yet another example of how wealthy Saudis are increasingly using British laws to intimidate critics.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Long Haired Sucker

Fucking around with a new (freeware) program that uploads images, called imagewell, so probably going to post a few golden oldies, such as this self portrait taken in a Frostpocket mirror a few years ago.

Now playing in iTunes: California Über Alles, from the album Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables by Dead Kennedys (released 1980)


I finally figured out what was going wrong with this sites RSS feed (here): I was using an outdated newsreader that didn't understand Atom at all! Doh! Upgraded, and voila. Of course, this may not affect you at all if you are just looking for Tinsley Mortimer gossip.

water news

Why so Dry?:
"People often greet the first warm days of summer with eager anticipation for the sunny weather to come. But for many people in the western U.S., the arrival of warm weather this year is an harbinger of hard times ahead.

Drought has gripped some parts of the West for as many as seven consecutive years, causing one of the worst dry spells in decades. Soils are dry; reservoirs are low. Farmers and golf course managers are vying for irrigation water, residents face water rationing measures, and the politics of water "seniority" rights is heating up between cities and between states."

In modern times "there's more to drought than simple lack of precipitation," adds Roger Pielke Sr., a state climatologist for Colorado and a professor of atmospheric sciences at Colorado State University. "You have to consider human factors like the amount of water being drained from rivers for crop irrigation and drinking water. In absolute terms, the ongoing dry spell is not yet as severe as the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, but the impacts have been relatively severe because the demands that people place on the water supply are so much greater now than they were back then."

This makes a complicated situation even more complicated. Land-use and water-use by humans; large-scale atmospheric circulation changes caused by ocean temperatures; feedbacks between the land and atmosphere: they all play a role. Climatologists can't yet put these factors together to predict what will happen many years in advance. Next winter is mystery enough. Will it bring much snow ... and relief? No one knows.

And locally, Daley has proposed installing water meters for the first time in Chicago's history. Enronization of water resources is coming to a neighborhood near you! Drink deep! and forget about those English-garden style grass lawns, they soon will be untenable.....

Now playing in iTunes: Gamblers Blues, from the album Blue Lightnin' by Lightnin' Hopkins


May Dayz:
"Haymarket snaps"

If you ask me, the Haymarket plaque can't be replaced soon enough as it is a travesty. The alley is run-down as well. The plants are actually for the roof, and not for the front of our building (not enough sun after all).


Dorothy Parker words to live by

Hey, Dorothy Parker is infinitely more interesting than Tinsley Mortimer, by far.....
B12 Partners Solipsism on Tinsley Mortimer:

"I love a martini at dinner,
or possibly two at most;
but if I have three
I'm under the table,
and after four
I'm under my host.

Dorothy Parker"


Google Search: define:solipsism :"Belief that only I myself and my own experiences are real, while anything else?a physical object or another person?is nothing more than an object of my consciousness. As a philosophical position, solipsism is usually the unintended consequence of an over-emphasis on the reliability of internal mental states, which provide no evidence for the existence of external referents."

Belief that one can know nothing but oneself and that the self is the only thing that is real.

, the view that all that exists or can be known to exist are one's own mind and its thoughts. Although solipsism seems incredible, philosophers have found surprisingly strong arguments in its favour. Such arguments illuminate the nature of knowledge and the mind, even if their conclusion is unacceptable.

the view confining reality to oneself and one's experiences.

The belief that no one exists other than oneself.The belief that no one exists other than oneself.

The view that all we know is our own consciousness and we cannot be sure that anything exists outside of our own minds. In other words, we might be just imagining that each other, the chairs we sit in, the tea we drink, is real.

an extreme form of subjective idealism, contending that only I exist and that everything else is a product of my subjective consciousness

(philosophy) the philosophical theory that the self is all that you know to exist

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Tinsely Mortimer Free Zone

Hey, slackers, if you are looking for Tinsley Mortimer information, this probably isn't the place for you. I know my page comes up in search engines, but it's only because a Bush daughter was humping a dry bone in a dance club, and Tinsley Mortimer sponsored it or something. Really, this is a pretty dryasdust blog; I focus on the Haymarket Riot, on Chicago news or food; or on Green Party/Trotskyesque political news. No more, much less. Most of my personal observations go elsewhere, so no Wonkette type comments are to be found here.

Now playing in iTunes: Scandal Ska, from the album Foundation Ska - Disk Two by Skatalites

Not quite Chicago news

and in a slow news day....

Yahoo! News - Ill. Lawnmower Driver Charged With DUI

"FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. - When authorities warned Paul Schwarztrauber Jr. not to drink and drive, it may not have been entirely clear to him that the prohibition also applied to lawnmowers.

The 46-year-old was pulled over this week and charged with riding his lawnmower on a public street while intoxicated and with a revoked license.

Police said Schwarztrauber, who had two previous DUI convictions, had his 1-year-old daughter on his lap. He refused to stop and shouted obscenities when a patrol car arrived responding to complaint about a man driving a lawnmower erratically in the street, authorities said.

"He kept driving for a few moments. One of the officers then walked up to the mower (and) turned off the ignition," said Lt. David Fellows.

It is illegal to drive any motor vehicle while intoxicated and to drive one on a public road without a license, Fellows said."

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Casino-no? or Kassino-yes?

From the Trib's John Kass:

Why build just one measly mega-casino on the lake?

That's what Mayor Richard Daley wants. And though this will surprise him, I'm thinking he should get more than one.

Chicago might be better off with five casinos.

That's one casino for each of the big downtown hotels.

I'm not a proponent of gaming, but if we're going to dance, then let's dance.

There are five downtown hotels that have about a thousand rooms each.

They are the Hyatt Regency Chicago, the Hilton Chicago & Towers, the Palmer House Hilton, the Marriott Chicago Downtown and the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers.

A few of their parent companies are already in the gambling business.

They're huge, modern, grand hotels. They have the staffs. They have the space in gigantic ballrooms to accommodate casinos. New casino space with garish Atlantic City style lettering isn't required. The ballrooms are big enough, and they've already been wired and are waiting.

Conventioneers and tourists could reach them. This might even reduce those huge crowds in the Wrigleyville neighborhood during Cubs games.

Like I wrote earlier, I have no interest in attending such places, but if building them creates a good revenue stream for the City of Chicago, I'm all for it.

"It makes sense," said one executive who intimately understands the hotel business here, and off whose brain I bounced this idea.

"The casinos could be up and running tomorrow," he said. "You've got so many things in place, the restaurants, the sleeping rooms, entertainment venue. And each would be comparable to the riverboats. They wouldn't be smaller than the riverboats. They'd be easy to get to."

This is my favorite quote:
It's time for the governor and the state legislature to stop the phony pieties about gambling--since the state government already benefits from state casino license revenue--and give Chicago the same consideration it would give a small town or suburb. It's time to be fair to the mayor of Chicago and city taxpayers.

Whoo hoo! Where's Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn when ya need em?

more Bike paths! free money!! free (Old Style)Beer!!!


for some reason, won't update. not sure why.

I've changed my directory structure, and so forth

alleged feed


Now playing in iTunes: The Things That I Used To Do, from the album Sufferin' Mind by Guitar Slim

Subscribe to my feed

Officials knew of abuse last November

From today's WSJ:
Senior U.S. military officials in Iraq, including two advisers to the top commander there, reviewed a strongly worded Red Cross report detailing the abuse of prisoners at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison last November -- but the Army did not launch an investigation into the abuses until two months later.

The senior legal adviser to Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the top U.S.
commander in Iraq, helped draft a formal response to the Red Cross's
November report, according to one senior Army official. Brig. Gen. Janis
Karpinski, who oversaw the military police guards at the prison, signed
that response and sent it back to the Red Cross. Gen. Karpinski said that
she also discussed the report with Gen. Sanchez's top deputy, Maj. Gen.
Walter Wojdakowski, in a late November meeting.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Gen. Karpinski said
officials at first generally disbelieved the Red Cross report. One military
intelligence officer at the meeting in late November drew laughs, she said,
when he joked, "I've told the Commander to stop giving the Victoria's
Secret catalogues to detainees"
-- a reference to the Red Cross's complaint
that some prisoners were being forced to wear women's underwear on their

The late November events show that top military commanders were alerted
to the abuses by the Red Cross earlier than they so far have publicly
acknowledged. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld testified before the Senate
recently that officials at the Pentagon learned of the abuses after a
soldier alerted them in mid-January. The Defense Department then launched
an internal investigation.

According to Gen. Karpinski, the Red Cross report was addressed to her
but was "intercepted" by more senior officials. She said the first time she
learned about the report was when she was summoned to the late November
meeting with Gen. Wojdakowski and Col. Marc Warren, the top legal adviser
to Gen. Sanchez, to discuss a response.

Gen. Karpinski said at that meeting she was told by Col. Warren "not to
worry about the response because his officers were working on the response
for my review." That was the meeting at which officers expressed disbelief
in the allegations, Gen. Karpinski says.

Gen. Karpinski and another officer who attended some meetings in Iraq
about the report also said that instead of focusing on the abuses being
reported, some military intelligence officers argued that they needed to
limit the Red Cross's future access to cell blocks where interrogations
were taking place. The officers worried that agency officials didn't have
appropriate security clearances and that their presence could disrupt
efforts to put pressure on prisoners by placing them in complete

Gen. Karpinski and the second officer said the U.S. wanted the Red Cross
to give advance warning of visits to two sensitive cellblocks where
prisoners were interrogated and some of the worst abuses occurred. ...

Read the whole report here


I couldn't even watch the 4th quarter of the NBA Kings v. Wolves game. Not only am I still ill from the lingering effects of a travel-induced virus, but the first half was such a brick-fest. I have the game TiVoed, but I really don't think I can bear to watch. Sports events don't really have a long shelf life, unless your team wins in a close game.
I'm also conflicted by a secret desire to see K.G., Spreewell and the rest go on to the Finals. I think this is the last gasp of the Sacramento team, and it's too bad.

Now playing in iTunes: El Medahey, from the album Apocalypse Across The Sky by The Master Musicians of Jajouka Featuring Bachir Attar (released 1992)

Peter Vescey weighs in

on the stupid no-call on K.G. that Anthony Peeler retaliated to.....New York Post Online Edition: sports:

" In other words, just when we hope we've seen it all we're mistreated to another un-amusing miscarriage of justice in our eternal quest to forget about life for a while.
* And another. Only this next travesty, perpetrated Sunday during the Sacramento Kings NBA series-tying wicked win over the T'Wolves, wasn't nearly as grave as the above tragedy. Still, it certainly has at least one dominant similarity; Danny Crawford again was the lead official, aided and abetted by Joe DeRosa and Bill Spooner.
In the final moments of play in the third quarter, Wally Szczerbiak and Kevin Garnett set picks on Anthony Peeler in rapid succession. The first caught him in the mouth. The second, moving at worst, blindsided him. He retaliated by elbowing the league's MVP in the solar plexus, sending him sprawling to the floor in pain.
The refs can't always see what precipitates a hostility but normally are cagey enough to catch the payback. This time they were the only ones in ARCO Arena to miss the fender bender between two suburbans and a hearse. Nary a whistle was heard. I'd say, "You can't call what you don't see" except refs make a living out of doing just that.
On the Kings' very next trip up court Garnett greeted his ex-teammate and, I assume, former friend, with a forearm shiver in the chest. Anthony instantaneously struck back, nailing K.G. in the jaw with a vicious forearm. At which point Anthony began shuffling like Ali. Or, in this case, dancing with Wolves.
Somehow Garnett kept his composure and his distance; he didn't flinch or even fake a move toward his opponent.
Personally, I'm tired of Stu Jackson having to clean up his officials' mess. In the eyes of the league's VP of Violence Anthony's 'bo is equivalent to a punch, thus he earned an automatic one-game suspension and gained an additional one for his previous dirty blow.
That leaves the Kings without an established third guard for Game 7 tomorrow, that is, unless Bobby Jackson decides he wants to risk re-injuring his chronically torn abdomen. Otherwise we're talking Rodney Buford, a licensed offensive threat, as long as the Kings don't have to cross customs."

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Another interesting take on Moore

Guardian Unlimited Film | Features | Peter Bradshaw on Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11:
I suppose I will have to see Fahrenheit 9/11 now, just to witness the comb licking part....

"It does not have a big "showdown" moment, like Moore's encounter with Charlton Heston, although the director shouts out questions to the president he derisively calls Governor Bush and is rewarded by him with a snarling suggestion that he should get a real job, which takes some effrontery coming from the slacker fratboy head of state who makes Ronald Reagan's workload look Stakhanovite.

Fahrenheit 9/11 cheekily begins with "feed" footage of the major players - Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice and Paul Wolfowitz - smirking, and preening themselves as they prepare to go on TV. Wolfowitz even has a habit of licking his comb before running it through his hair, which got a deafening "eeeuuuuuwwwww" from the audience."

Chicago in the Summer

when the weather is sultry, like it is tonight, it's nigh impossible to sleep at my normal times. I'd much rather be out, even if I'm not doing any specific thing.

Now playing in iTunes: Ed Is Dead, from the album Come On Pilgrim by Pixies (released 1987)

Monday, May 17, 2004

Bitch in a Box

from Cursor

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | US forces were taught torture techniques:
"Soldiers' accounts reveal widespread use of sleep deprivation and mock executions

Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington
Friday May 14, 2004
The Guardian

They called it "bitch in a box". On a baking hot day last August, a black Mercedes sedan pulled up at the US army base in Ramadi and two US interrogators dragged an Iraqi man out of the boot. He was gasping for air.

"They kind of had to prop him up to carry him in. He looked like he had been there for a while," said a US soldier who witnessed the Iraqi's arrival in the custody of American interrogators wearing desert camouflage but no identifying insignia.

Such coercive interrogation techniques are widespread in Iraq. The Guardian has learned of ordinary soldiers who were instructed to use sleep deprivation on prisoners, and taught to perform mock executions"

Hey, hey, EPA, how many kids did you kill today?

More "politics" as usual.

Fundraiser Denies Link Between Money, Access (
"Cintas said in a statement that the rewritten rule will prevent pollution because "reusable shop towels are friendlier to the environment" than disposable paper towels.

The proposed shop towel rule is but one example of a policy change by the Bush administration that favors a company controlled by a Bush Pioneer or Ranger, who as a group have helped the president bank a record $200 million for the 2004 election campaign. The shop towel case reflects the subtle interactions between corporations and an administration determined to roll back what it considers to be regulatory overkill. For many big donors, getting "the right guy elected," as Farmer puts it, is an end in itself."
how an industry has used the regulatory process to gain a market advantage:
"Paper industry officials say that the EPA is ignoring its own studies showing that laundries create 30 percent more waste than paper towels in the form of sludge -- lint, debris, toxics and other substances extracted from laundry wastewater -- sent to municipal landfills.

"This is a case study," Solarski said, "for how an industry has used the regulatory process to gain a market advantage."

Direct quid pro quos:
"Direct quid pro quos -- specific benefits in exchange for cash -- are illegal. There is nothing illegal, however, about the adoption of broad legislation or regulations benefiting sectors of the business community -- such as laundries disposing of wastewater containing toxic chemicals -- that happen be a source of major fundraisers and donors.

For example, securities and investment banking firms have benefited enormously from reduced capital gains and dividend taxes initiated by the Bush White House. Six produced 17 Pioneers and Rangers this year, and employees in those firms have raised $2.53 million. Altogether, finance industry employees have raised $19.68 million for the 2004 election campaign, according to an analysis produced for The Washington Post by Dwight L. Morris & Associates.

Twenty-four Rangers and Pioneers are either drug industry executives or lobbyists whose companies stand to get more business from the administration's Medicare drug benefit bill passed last year.

Twenty-five energy company executives, along with 15 energy industry lobbyists, are either Pioneers or Rangers. Many have been deeply involved in developing the administration's energy policy. Seven of those Pioneers served on the Bush energy transition team. The administration's energy bill, which remains stalled by a largely Democratic filibuster in the Senate, would provide billions of dollars in benefits to the energy industry."

Much More Moore

The New York Times
A Film to Polarize Along Party Lines
"The Michael Moore documentary the Walt Disney Company deemed too partisan to distribute offers few new revelations about the connections between President Bush and prominent Saudi Arabian families, including that of Osama bin Laden.

But this film, "Fahrenheit 9/11," which is scheduled to make its debut today at the Cannes International Film Festival, contains stark images of civilian casualties and disillusioned soldiers from the Iraq war zone that have rarely, if ever, been shown on American television. And the muckracking craft evident in this nearly two-hour attack on President Bush's tenure in the White House is likely to have a galvanizing effect among both conservatives and liberals should the film be widely distributed this summer.

A reporter for The New York Times was invited to a screening of the film last week. "Fahrenheit 9/11" focuses on longstanding ties between the Bush family, its associates and prominent Saudis and on whether those ties clouded the president's judgment in recognizing warning signs before the Sept. 11 attacks and hampered his response afterward.

Mr. Moore extends his critique of the president to his conduct of the war in Iraq, arguing that the war is victimizing not only Iraqis but also the lower-income enlisted Americans who are fighting in it. In addition he attempts to make a case that the government's terrorism alerts at home are being used to repeal some civil liberties.

These are the subjects that have made "Fahrenheit 9/11" such a political hot potato. Icon Productions, Mel Gibson's company and the original primary investor in the film, backed out last spring, and Miramax Films, a Disney division run by Harvey and Bob Weinstein, stepped in."

Michael Moore - Moore's 'Fahrenheit 9/11' Stirs Debate at Cannes:
"Film Festival on Monday with its relentless critique of the Bush administration in the post-Sept. 11 world.

The movie reiterates other critics' allegations concerning the Bush family's financial connections to Saudi oil money and the family of Osama bin Laden.

Mr. Moore also repeats others' condemnations that the White House was asleep at the wheel before the Sept. 11 attacks and then used fear-mongering of future terrorism to muster support for the Iraq war.

If Mr. Moore can get the movie into U.S. theaters this summer as he hopes, it could become a rallying cry for Democratic voters in the fall election between President Bush and expected Democratic opponent John Kerry.

The timing of the movie's U.S. opening has been thrown into question after Miramax parent Walt Disney Co. said it won't distribute the film because of its political overtones. Last week, Disney said Miramax co-Chairmen Harvey and Bob Weinstein would be allowed to buy out Miramax's investment in the controversial documentary. Miramax, which financed the bulk of the $6 million movie last year, will find other distribution for the film. Mr. Moore hopes to have it in theaters by the Fourth of July weekend."

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Cocksucker Blues

Hearing this 'kiss-off' song to Decca Records (Cocksucker Blues), piqued my interest....

The Rolling Stones in COCKSUCKER BLUES (1972):
"Stones '72 tour exposed - With the release of their definitive album Exile on Main Street, the Stones sought to document their own burgeoning celebrity and self-mythology by hiring renowned photographer / filmmaker Robert Frank (known for his documentary study of madness Me and My Brother as well as the brilliant cover photography for Exile itself).  The resulting movie was at once so dreamy and harsh -- crowded with scenes of the Stones nodding out, roadies balling groupies, and assorted tour hangers-on shooting up -- that the band refused to permit its release.   Eventually Frank secured right to screen it once a year, but it has only appeared on video in bootleg form. -  Marshall Crenshaw, Hollywood Rock"

I'll have to look for this movie, sounds fun.

Now playing in iTunes: Cocksucker Blues [long version], from the album Sucking in the 70s by Rolling Stones

Daily Bushisms

the Tribal Messenger Bushisms - are you a Bushwit?:
""I was proud the other day when both Republicans and Democrats stood with me in the Rose Garden to announce their support for a clear statement of purpose, "You disarm, or we will.'"
-- Bush, speaking about Saddam Hussein"

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Nicholas Berg

Nicholas Berg Murder Story:
Tinfoil hat enthusiasts or? I really hope this is not some CIA planned gimmick. Read the links and decide for yourself.....

Knucklers crack me up

In general, I'm not much of baseball fan, but I do like the fact that you don't have to be an Adonis to play; I especially like overweight pitchers, and crafty knuckleballers even more.....

The New Yorker: Project Knuckleball:

"The Yankees and the Red Sox are engaged in what is often called an arms race. This past off-season, the two teams, already possessing stratospheric payrolls, went about adding more firepower to their rosters. The Sox, most notably, added a couple of hard-throwing All-Star pitchers (New York allowed fewer runs last season), while the Yanks added a couple of All-Star sluggers (Boston scored more). In Fort Myers, on the first Sunday in March, the Yankees arrived at City of Palms Park (Florida’s Fenway) to play the Red Sox in a meaningless early spring-training game that was nonetheless billed by various players and writers as “Game Eight”—the continuation of last fall’s epic series, which seemed merely to have paused for the winter. Before the game, several fans paraded around the grandstand carrying signs taunting Alex Rodriguez, New York’s studly new third baseman (he’d recently posed with his wife for Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue), and alluding to the simmering steroids controversy (the Yankees’ new right fielder, Gary Sheffield, was among those called to testify before a grand jury). Obscured by all the commotion was the fact that, in this cold-war buildup, the weakest arm may still make all the difference.

Two miles down the road, at about the same time, a twenty-four-year-old former art student named Charlie Zink was throwing from a practice mound at the Red Sox’ sprawling Player Development Complex, while the rest of the hundred or so minor-leaguers in the Boston organization, spread out over five diamonds, took batting practice and shagged fly balls. Zink was twelve when he first saw Wakefield—then a rookie with the Pittsburgh Pirates—pitching in the National League playoffs, in 1992. Now, although he is capable of throwing standard-issue jock heat, Zink was trying to mimic the Wakefield delivery as well as he could, right down to the apparent lack of exertion and the junior-varsity speed. From a side view, there was nothing at all remarkable about Zink’s pitches, except that occasionally the catcher didn’t catch them. In those instances, the coach who was standing behind the mound tended to exclaim, “That is outstanding!” Zink, who went undrafted as a fastball pitcher, is, at the Red Sox’ urging, reinventing himself as a rare specialist: a knuckleballer. With Wakefield, one of only two knuckleball pitchers currently on a major-league roster, and now Zink, the Red Sox are cornering the market on low-grade weaponry. Project Knuckleball is only just beginning its second year, but, according to Baseball Prospectus, a leading baseball-analysis Web site, Zink is already the Red Sox’ top-rated prospect."

I'll let you read the rest yourself. And this probably will conclude all sports talk on this channel for the next several months (unless the Kings pull off a miracle).


New York Post's Peter Vescey sez:
"For some reason, team executives expect Tracy McGrady to notify Magic management within the week of his plans regarding the escape clause in his contract. My source maintains he won't divulge his decision until after The Finals.

But I'm here today to tell you McGrady positively plans to opt out at the end of next season. "That's a fair assumption," allows the same source. Meaning, the bidding for his hallowed services is about to commence. As soon as Magic management is convinced its solitary treasure is prepared to abscond next July, and the danger of losing him without compensation is as real as it gets, Orlando operators will be standing by to inventory all gracious offers.

In fact, management already is being deluged with calls from other teams. The media, of course, already is throwing out unconfirmed proposals. One such report has the Suns ready to swap Olympian Shawn Marion, Joe Johnson and a No. 1 pick for McGrady."


Now playing in iTunes: A Habibi Ouajee T'Allel Allaiya, from the album Apocalypse Across The Sky by The Master Musicians of Jajouka Featuring Bachir Attar (released 1992)


Now playing in iTunes: Caledonia, from the album 10th Anniversary-New Orleans J by Clifton Chenier & His Red Hot Louisiana Band

Friday, May 14, 2004

Is it Rolling, Bob?

that's a great title for an album....

Boogie on, reggae Dylan

There has always been a cross-cultural appeal to Bob Dylan's music, as recent country and gospel tributes illustrate. Is It Rolling, Bob? A Reggae Tribute to Bob Dylan, in stores Aug. 10, marries Dylan's music with the heirs of another famous Bob.

"I've always believed that people who listened to Bob Dylan in the '60s and got a message from his music naturally gravitated toward Bob Marley and reggae in the '70s," says RAS Records founder Gary Himelfarb, who handpicked artists for particular songs.

He gave the spiritual Luciano Knockin' on Heaven's Door, while crooner Beres Hammond sang Just Like a Woman. Other artists include Toots Hibbert, Michael Rose and the Mighty Diamonds.

Dylan also allowed the label to use a rare remix of 1983 album track I and I. The remix features legendary drum and bass duo Sly & Robbie.

from USA Toady, of all places

Home Court

From Steve Kerr (via the often interesting King Kaufman in Salon)
we read this humorous anecdote, which I had not heard of because I was in Guam at the time for my grandparents 50th anniversary bash....
Yahoo! Sports - NBA - No place like home:
"When I was with the Bulls in the 1997 finals, the Utah Jazz came to Chicago for Games 1 and 2 and failed to register under assumed names at their hotel. On the morning of the first game, a local Chicago disc jockey decided it would be a good idea to give the Utah players wake-up calls – at 5 a.m. Whether lack of sleep was a factor or not, we won those two games at the United Center.

When we flew to Utah for the middle three games of the series, we were prepared for payback. Every player had an alias – I think I was Ruben Kincaid, the band manager from my favorite TV show as a kid, "The Partridge Family."

But the Jazz fans were one step ahead of us. Ruben Kincaid and the rest of the Bulls were startled out of our slumber at 5 a.m. by a marching band just outside our hotel windows. The Jazz won the next two games to even up the series. Coincidence? Of course it was.

No player on either team blamed early wake-up calls and marching bands for losing road games. But at the same time, it sure was nice to sleep comfortably in our beds when we returned to Chicago for Game 6, which we won to clinch the championship."


brief note: Thanks to his Royal lowness, G. Bush the Third, and Prince Bandar bin Sultan, gas prices are officially high!
Just payed nearly 40 dollars to fill my tank (16.8 gallons) - that's $2.38 per gallon, if you are feeling math challenged today. I almost feel European.


From my new Bushisms calendar, I'll quote as I giggle, ie sometimes.

On the campaign trail in South Carolina while pursuing the Republican nomination in January 2000, Governor Bush spoke before 2,000 loyal Republicans at a well-attended oyster roast held on a plantation outside Charleston and mystified his audience when, during his discourse on the need for a strengthened U.S. military, he made reference not to "mental" losses (which itself would have sounded odd in the given context), but to "mential" (pronounced "men-shul") losses:

During his visit to South Carolina this week, the first Bushism exploded as the governor painted a passionate picture of the military dangers facing the US, and the pressing need for protection against rogue missile launches.

"This is still a dangerous world," he told more than 2,000 supporters at an oyster roast. "It's a world of madmen and uncertainty and potential mential losses." Bush's spokespeople could not immediately explain what a mential loss was, but it seemed only distantly related to missile launches.-
The Financial Times.   "Bushed Again."
    14 January 2000.

confirmed via Snopes

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Freeway blogger

A banner depicting the abuse of a hooded Iraqi prisoner is seen Tuesday, May, 11, 2004, on an overpass over the Interstate 10 West Freeway in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All right reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

posted by the mighty Freeway Blogger

many more pictures here

Manifesto here

Now playing in iTunes: John Walker's Blues, from the album Jerusalem by Steve Earle (released 2002)

Haymarket news, parenthetically

D& I will have to go take a look at this park, and get a few photos for the archive.

Chicago Tribune: Honored by city, still disdained by cops:

"Chicago park will be named for Lucy Parsons, who helped launch the modern labor movement but is linked to 1886's Haymarket bombing
During a lifetime of soapbox oratory for myriad radical causes, Lucy Parsons loved to bait the cops. So it's only fitting that police chose to continue the fight six decades after her death, objecting to naming a vest-pocket park on the Northwest Side in her honor.

Over the vigorous protests of the local police union, the Chicago Park District's board on Wednesday named the park after Parsons, a woman long associated with the notorious Haymarket bombing of 1886.

...Parsons was indeed known for her firebrand rhetoric. Her signature essay, "To Tramps," ends with an imperative to the downtrodden: "Learn the use of explosives!"

The property named after Parsons, currently a parking lot at 4712 W. Belmont Ave., is flanked by factories--which is nicely fitting, noted Bill Adelman, one of a number of scholars and history buffs who joined Mayor Richard Daley in support of the district's initiative.

"That means that there will be workers around," said Adelman, a professor emeritus of labor history at the University of Illinois at Chicago. "She and her husband Albert led a parade of tens of thousands of workers along Michigan Avenue in 1886."

That demonstration was part of a campaign for reducing the workday to eight hours, from the 10 and 12 employers then demanded. It took place on May 1, which afterwards made May Day labor's holiday around the world, but ironically not in Chicago or the rest of the U.S.

According to Leslie Orear, president of the Illinois Labor History Society, the Lucy Ella Gonzales Parsons Park will, in its own small way, restore her role in history in the city where she helped launch the modern labor movement.

"She represents a strain of radical and working-class political thought that has been totally ignored and deserves to be acknowledged," said Orear.

Shortly after that original May Day, a bomb went off at a union rally at the Haymarket Square, just west of the Loop, and eight police officers were killed in the explosion and ensuing chaos. Local radical leaders were rounded up, tried and convicted of inciting the violence. Four were hanged, among them Lucy Parsons' husband, Albert Parsons.

Until her own death in 1942, Parsons devoted herself to vindicating her husband. She unceasingly preached that he and the other Haymarket defendants were martyrs for the sake of a better society to come.

"Rest, comrades rest. All the tomorrows are yours!" she wrote in one of her annual commemorations of Nov. 11, 1887, the day of the executions.

Most scholars agree that the Haymarket defendants were unjustly convicted because of their political philosophy. Albert Parsons wasn't present when the bomb went off. Three of his fellow defendants who received prison terms were pardoned in 1893 by Gov. John Peter Altgeld.

Lucy Parsons also continued to struggle for the causes for which she and her husband had fought. She helped found the Working Women's Union No. 1 and the Industrial Workers of the World--a movement to organize unskilled laborers who had been ignored by the conservative craft unions of the day.

"She was dedicated to improving the lives of women, minorities and working people," said Park District historian Julia Bachrach.

Parsons numbered among labor's enemies the police, who closely monitored her appearances before those opposed to the established order.

She was repeatedly arrested and just as frequently targeted the police with stinging invective. "I don't care how many fly cops are in this hall listening to me," she said at an annual memorial for the "Haymarket martyrs," as Albert and the others came to be known on the left. "I'll say what I think. If they don't like it, let them come and take me and send me where they sent my husband."

Lucy Parsons was born in 1853 in Texas, possibly the offspring of slaves. She claimed Mexican and Indian as well as African ancestry.

Lucy and Albert Parsons advocated anarchism, which she defined as a philosophy of freedom from what she saw as the oppressive hand of government. "Freedom to discover any truth, freedom to develop, to live naturally and fully," she once said....


Karen Hughes, disturbing bitch

several excerpts from Salon show the true nature of the psychopathic liar, who some might think is a little closer to Bush than Laura. They probably haven't had sex, as usually thought of, but the gruesome twosome are certainly joined via several other orifices. Read the article (yes, you can click through a 30 second ad if you don't subscribe to Salon) for more. | One minute from abnormal:

"The first time I noticed an indication of a radio frequency bouncing between the brains of Bush and Hughes was during Gov. Bush's initial State of the State speech in Texas. Still a simple press hack, Hughes did not take to the riser in the Texas House of Representatives, instead standing off to the side, behind the shiny brass railing rimming the chamber's floor.

"Look at Karen," I said, nudging a colleague.

"Oh, my God. You've got to be kidding me."

As Gov. Bush read the text of his speech from a teleprompter, his communications director was silently mouthing the words along with him. The synchronized delivery suggested a parent sitting in the audience of an elementary school pageant while mouthing forgotten lines as her child stood dumbstruck onstage.

"Do you suppose she has any idea how odd that looks?" my friend asked."
....In the ensuing years of Bush's political development, Hughes was spotted many times as she pursed her lips and moved her jaws to each word her employer was stammering in the front of the room. After a while, those of us in the traveling press corps became so accustomed to her mannerisms that we were no longer amazed.

During an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN, Hughes appeared to compare pro-choice supporters to terrorists, then later denied precisely what she had said.

"And President Bush has worked to say, let's be reasonable, let's work to value life, let's try to reduce the number of abortions, let's increase adoptions," she told Blitzer. "And I think those are the kind of policies that the American people can support, particularly at a time when we're facing an enemy, and really the fundamental difference between us and the terror network we fight is that we value every life. It's the founding conviction of our country, that we're endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights, the right to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Unfortunately our enemies in the terror network, as we're seeing repeatedly in the headlines these days, don't value any life, not even the innocent and not even their own."

Nick Berg

Scary thought re: the beheaded American in America (from Break for News)
The family firm of beheaded American Nick Berg, was named by a conservative website in a list of 'enemies' of the Iraq occupation. That could explain his arrest by Iraqi police --a detention which fatally delayed his planned return from Iraq and may have led directly to his death

read the rest for yourself

Fair Trade Coffee

coming to a venue near you....

Oxfam launches fair trade coffee chain
Society: Aid agency Oxfam is to open a chain of high street fair trade coffee shops in a venture that will be part-owned by growers' co-operatives in the developing world. [Guardian Unlimited]

Aid agency Oxfam is to open a chain of high street fair trade coffee shops in a venture that will be part-owned by growers' co-operatives in the developing world.

The Progreso cafe chain, launched by Oxfam and independent coffee company Matthew Argie, will buy coffee at a fair trade price from growers in the developing world who have been hit by a 70% slump in coffee prices since 1997.

Customers at Progreso cafes will be able to sip espresso made from a blend of premium quality coffee beans grown at co-operatives in the Honduras, Ethiopia and Indonesia. The growers' co-operatives will not just be able to promote their products, but will share ownership of the Progreso chain.

"Coffee growers will win three times with Progreso. They'll be selling their coffee at a fair trade price; they'll share directly in the profits and will also showcase their coffee to the UK," said Chris Coe, Oxfam trading director and one of the founders of the Progreso concept.

no word when this will make it to the States....

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Haymarket plaque

I found (while looking through my site logs) a site which contains the wording of the current Haymarket Plaque. In the picture, the plaque is readable, unlike real life (see my photo, here). More pictures to follow.

"A decade of strife between labor and industry culminated here in a confrontation that resulted in the tragic death of both workers and policemen. On May 4, 1886, spectators at a labor rally had gathered around the mouth of Crane's Alley. A contingent of police approaching on DesPlaines Street were met by a bomb thrown from just south of the alley. The resultant trial of eight activists gained worldwide attention for the labor movement, and initiated the tradition of "May Day" labor rallies in many cities."

Designated on March 25, 1992
Richard M. Daley, Mayor

from the Dept. of "No Shit Sherlock"

Executive Calls Vote-Machine Letter an Error
The top executive at Diebold Inc., which makes voting machines, said that it had been a "huge mistake" for him to express support for President Bush's re-election in a fund-raising letter. [New York Times: Technology]
Reading carefully from a statement, Mr. O'Dell said, "Diebold intends to fully cooperate with the attorney general in his investigation of the secretary of state's concerns."

I feel so much better now.

Now playing in iTunes: Shah of Persia, from the album Zuriff Moussa by Muslimgauze (released 1997)

Tuesday, May 11, 2004


word o' the day

heteroclite (HET-uhr-uh-klyt) adjective

1. Deviating from the ordinary rule; eccentric.

2. (In grammar) Irregularly inflected.


1. A person who is unconventional; a maverick.

2. A word that is irregularly formed.

[From Middle French, from Late Latin heteroclitus, from Greek heteroklitos,
from hetero- + klinein (to lean, inflect). Ultimately from the Indo-European
root klei (to lean). Other words derived from the same root are decline,
incline, recline, lean, client, climax, and ladder.]

Casino Blues

I don't really have a dog in this Chicago casino fight, with these thoughts:
Please don't put it on Grand & Halsted! Traffic is already bad to the point of congestion around here. The secondary proposed spot, Van Buren & Canal St. area, isn't much better. I say slum it over by McCormick.
Why is gambling such a controversial issue? is it all those Godfather-esque movies? is it because of the Temperance league remnants of years ago? Or what?

[Daley] said he was open to the possibility of converting the oldest and easternmost building of the McCormick Place complex to gaming use. City sources said other possible locations could be a railroad right-of-way west of the Chicago River near Grand Avenue and Halsted Street, and a mostly vacant tract near the old post office building.


Daley's announcement was greeted with vehement opposition from two groups.

Tom Grey, executive director of the National Coalition Against Gambling Expansion, raised questions about how the city could own the casino license and prevent organized crime from getting involved.

"The city couldn't oversee a truck enterprise without the mob getting involved," Grey said, referring to recent revelations about the Daley administration's scandal-plagued Hired Truck Program. "And now they want to own a casino and they say they won't let the mob get involved? Come on."

Doug Dobmeyer of the Task Force to Oppose Gambling in Chicago, asserted that additional revenues may flow into governmental coffers "but the social cost will be monumental to the citizens of this city."

Labor and business leaders applauded Daley's proposal.

Gambling would be one more attraction for visitors, and one that they already can get in other cities, said Christopher Bowers, chief executive of the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau. "The most important thing is, from a competitive standpoint, we need to have something like this," he said.

I have no interest in gambling, so don't really care what happens, as long as the City of Chicago can pay for more bike paths, I'll be happy.

Monday, May 10, 2004


Playing Old Records (No Needle Required)
Two physicists in California have developed a way to hear and preserve sounds without cranking up that old Victrola. [New York Times: Technology]

The traditional way to preserve old sound recordings is to play them, typically with a stylus, and then convert the sound into a file that can be stored digitally. But two physicists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California have developed a new way to preserve the contents of old discs and wax cylinders: they take pictures of the groove instead of dropping a needle into it.

The team shoots thousands of precise sequential images of the groove and then stitches the images together, measuring the shape of each undulation and calculating the route a stylus would take along the path.

"We grab the image and let the computer model what the stylus would have done if it had run through the surface," said Carl Haber, a senior scientist at the lab who led the research team in collaboration with Vitaliy Fadeyev, a postdoctoral researcher there

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Peanut Gallery

I guess I have found a new name for this blog, if it doesn't already exist. Odds are it does, but I'm too busy to look right now.

...these seats attracted an impecunious class of patron, with a strong sense of community, often highly irreverent and with a well-developed ability to heckle, hence the modern figurative meaning. A significant difference between the American and British theatres is that American patrons ate peanuts; these made wonderful missiles for showing their opinion of artistes they didn’t like.

and from the Straight Dope

The audiences in the cheap seats, typically lower class than the orchestra section, were the rowdiest in the theater, and in late 19th century vaudeville, disapproving audiences did more than just heckle the performers. In addition to the clearest view of the stage, patrons in the upper levels also had the clearest shot, and a bad performer would often find himself showered from the upper deck with the most common theater snack of the time, peanuts sold by the concessionaires.


from the Department of "Really, who gives a shit

Bush Tour Bus Made in Canada (AP)
AP - President Bush rode across Ohio on Tuesday in a bus emblazoned, "Yes, America can." It turns out the bus was made in Canada. [Yahoo Oddly enough]

The front of the bus bore another label: Prevost Car, jointly owned by the Swedish Volvo Bus Corp. and Britain's Henly's Group PLC. Prevost's manufacturing facility is in St. Claire, Quebec.

Foreign-made vehicles are a touchy topic in the job-strapped industrial Midwest — states like Michigan and Ohio, which Bush has been touring for two days.

"Seeing the president drive around in this Canadian-made luxury bus is just another reminder of George Bush's failed economic policies and underscores that it's time for a change," said Phil Singer, a spokesman for Democrat John Kerry

There are actual issues one could dispute with the Resident-select, but come on. This is more of a tempest in a Blue-Bird.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Ted Rall

Censorship? what's that?

Ted Rall must have known that this particular cartoon would cause some controversy, since football players like Pat Tillman are as close to American Royalty as sitcom stars.

I bet he didn't expect this reaction, nor this one pulled a cartoon by syndicated political cartoonist Ted Rall on Monday.

Rall’s cartoon, distributed widely by Universal Press Syndicate to scores of newspapers and Web sites, concerned the late Pat Tillman, the NFL player who quit football to join the Army. Tillman was killed last month in Afghanistan.

The cartoon, like others on, is published daily on the site via an automated syndication feed. Such feeds are rarely reviewed. However, Editor in chief Dean Wright concluded Monday’s Rall item did not meet standards of fairness and taste.

Now playing in iTunes: Scenery, from the album Mirrorball by Young, Neil (released 1995)

May Day

More May Day celebrations,

from the Blue line/Diversey stop, taken when I lived in the Ukrainian Village a couple years ago.


Added a new link to my Haymarket Memorial page. I plan to have some photos of the construction this summer, if it goes as planned. Also, plan to add a little history lesson, which in all likelihood will just be stolen from another web site. Kidding!