Thursday, September 29, 2005

Some of you may have heard that the ACLU sued the government for the release of video and still images of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib. The ACLU won.

The government is pretty pissed. I happen to see O'Reilly simply losing his mind on Fox saying the decision was basically nothing more than a unvarnished appeasement of the carinal, radical left press. I shit you not.

Five days ago, Mr. Fair and Balanced himself said:

"The ACLU is also demanding that more pictures of the abuse at Abu Ghraib be released. The Defense Department is fighting that. Everybody knows those pictures incite violence against Americans. So why should more of them be fed to the press? We already know what happened at Abu Ghraib, and people are going to prison because of it. Clearly, more pictures of Abu Ghraib help the terrorists, as do Geneva Convention protections and civilian lawyers. So there is no question the ACLU and the judges who side with them are terror allies."

The irony of brownshirts destroying the republic in order to save it is delicious.

"What the Constituion forbids is any bar to a communication system. They want nobody to abridge a right to say it one time and one time to hear it. Nothin' in the middle. Nobody to tell you beforehand that this isn't too cool. Because the information makes the country strong. Because ...a knowledge of syphilis is not an instruction to get it. And only if the country can know about ...that's why the church and the state have to be seperated all the time. Because the church only wants a certain kind of information from their government. But since we have a lot of churches and a lot of different people in this country, we gotta know about all the bad, bad shit. The worst of everything, the knowledge of it to be protected against it. Because if you don't have the knowledge of it, and you just know about the good, and they just let the good come through, seep in through, what they think is good, you end up like Hilter.

      - Lenny Bruce, Berkely Show

Monday, September 26, 2005

A customer comes in, hands me an answering machine, box and all. "I need a power adapter for this."

No problem.

I open the box, remove the answering machine itself (because I'll need to insert some test plugs so I can get the right size connector) and walk over to the plug display. A few tries reveals he needs an M-plug but all of ours are right-angles. The body of the plug itself won't fit properly.

At this point the customer is right next to me. I point out the problem, hand him the device and leave him to dick around with it for a few minutes.

Maybe five minutes later the guy comes up to the counter. "Some guy walked off with one of the cardboard inserts and my phone cord. I'll need another."

Hm. That sucks. I go to log into a machine to ring him up and it occurs to me ...this guy wants me to give him the phone cord.

"I can't give it to you."
"You don't have a choice."
"Are you bonkers? The box and it's contents are your responsibility, not mine."
"You took posession of it."
"Yeah, because you handed it to me. I took out the device, put the box down and took posession of the answering machine. You'll notice that's sitting safely on the counter."
"I'm not leaving then."
"Maybe, but you're not getting a cord, end of story."

A co-worker wound up giving him a cord. I really didn't care if he got one, I just resented being blamed for it.

Would his argument have made any sense at all if we just didn't happen to sell phone cords? Suppose he brought in a garage door opener, says the batteries are dead. He hands it to me, I unscrew the thing, remove the batteries and walk to the battery spool. He decides to follow me and in the process someone accidentally takes his keys.

That's my fault??

Does this make any sense?

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Oh, that pro-war march? The one the organizers said they were planning for 20,000?

Four hundred showed up. Ain't that a gas? So let's revisit our equation:

400 > 100,000     (t)rue (f)alse

"Moral obscurity" has a nice ring to it.

One sign on the mall read "Cindy Sheehan doesn't speak for me" and another "Arrest the traitors"; it listed Sheehan's name first among several people who have spoken against the war.

Just when you thought our country can't possibly have come to the point where speaking and disagreeing (in the same breath) is synonimous with being a traitor...

Melody Vigna, 44, of Linden, California, said she wants nothing to do with Sheehan and others at nearby Camp Casey, an anti-war site set up to honor her son, Casey, who was killed in Iraq. "Our troops are over there fighting for our rights, and if she was in one of those countries she would not be able to do that," Vigna said.

There's a novel idea.

Quick, somebody tell me what right I was able to keep thanks to the invasion of Iraq!

Right. Cheap access to oil and safe malls.

Grist, here's a mill. Mill, here's grist.
A hundred thousand protestors marched on the Whitehouse this weekend to protest the war.

Naturally there are going to be people who disagree and they've decided to stage a counter-march in support of the war. So far, so good.

But this is where it turns to shit.

The planned pro-war march is expected by it's own organizers, at best, to draw twenty thousand.

War supporters said the scale of the anti-war march didn't take away from their cause. "It's the silent majority," said 22-year-old Stephanie Grgurich of Leesburg, Virginia, who has a brother serving in Iraq.

No, bitch, it isn't.

If the anti-war movement managed to get 100,000 shiftless, dope-smoking, frisbee-throwing chiba monkeys to show up, and you only got one fifth as many SUV-driving oil addicts to support the war, then you are the "vocal minority."

If you doubt the claim, ask any third grader. Phrase it like this:

     20,000 > 100,000
     (t) (f)

You tried that "moral majority" bullshit back in the 80's. It was transparent then. It's doubly so now.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

My paycheck was bigger than expected.

A client has been semi-placated, I picked up a simple web job for a few hundred.

Got a headhunter calling me out of the clear blue. Maybe I'll take the job but it would have to be pretty entertaining to warrant leaving where I am. Some weeks I make as much from the referrals I get from my coworkers as I do working there.

I don't think she knew what to use for a carrot on a person whose sole criteria for being interested in a job is how interesting the position is.

Now for the mice; Rick James was running on the wheel so fast that when Peaches tried to get on, she only caught the side and spent the next five very fast rotations hanging on to the edge by her fingernails, ass-out.

Ella came by today. I can't even remember the last time I was that happy to see someone or get a hug. Just riding around in her car was the best time I've had all week. And this has been a week of Good Things.

My days have been spent working my normal hours. It's a dirt-easy job that is over before I know it, generally. I come home, maybe catch a nap, maybe not. Head over to Taylor's, play Grand Turismo 3, play Go, get blazed, chat about anything and everything. Head home, watch some downloaded shows (Battlestar Galactica, Threshold, old Twilight Zone eps). Then I turn off all the lights except for the fish tank. Put on some Marley or Miles Davis, smoke a few Camels and fall asleep whenever I get tired.

Life has a funny way of landing in your lap just when you take a seat, tired of chasing it all the time.
If I could snap my fingers and make hurricane Rita go away, I would. But having said that, it's gonna be one bitch of a situation for Bush, don't you think?

If he does a good job it looks like favoritism (oil, home state, buddies!) and like he was asleep at the wheel for Katrina. If he does a crappy job people might, maybe, begin to wonder why we have an idiot at the helm.

I'm a big fan of the silver lining folks, try to work with me here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

"Winston, Look! A Savannah Sapphire!"

              (only one person will ever get that line)


"I just caught a whiff of [redacted]'s pussy..."

"You go to Walmart, I want you to go on the Internet, you get me that fan. I want that fan! You're out of your element, Donny!"

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Bush says he "takes responsibility" for the failure of the federal government to respond to the Katrina disaster.

Bull. Shit.

What does that mean, anyway? "Take responsibility." Is he resigning? I think criminal court would be more appropriate. Why?

Well, lessee. Where should we start?

  • Michael Brown, hired under bush as director of FEMA, spent the 90's as commissioner of the International Arabian Horse Association.
  • Brown padded his resume with bullshit about "overseeing the emergency services division" from 1997 to 1980 when in actuality he was an intern to whom nobody answered.
  • Brown listed "Outstanding Political Science Professor, Central State University" when he was only a student.
  • Brown now says he's going to get some well-earned R&R by "go[ing] home [to] walk my dog and hug my wife and, maybe get a good Mexican meal and a stiff margarita and a full night’s sleep."

    Poor, poor beleagured "Brownie."

    Call me cold-hearted, but I have a very hard time feeling sympathetic for a guy who didn't have the ethics to say "really, I'm not qualified to protect hundreds of thousands of people from natural disasters. I'd rather not turn down such a prestigious position but my ego can take a backseat to my respect for human life."

    If obtaining his favorite mixed drink is Mike's biggest concern he can go fuck himself. If there is a god, maybe he'll choke on some ice.

    Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, Mike's boss, "did not allow reporters to ask Brown questions directly and would not respond to the Time magazine report Friday that Brown’s official biography overstated his emergency-management experience."

    "Full responsibility" my ass. What a bald-faced joke.

    We've been lied to by the federal government about what happened while Bush didn't say a bloody thing. Nothing.

    First Bush himself claimed that such a scenario was not foreseen. "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees." That's a quote.

    I know Bush prides himself on not paying any attention to the news. Maybe he should start. He're a little blast from the past:

    "A major hurricane could decimate the region, but flooding from even a moderate storm could kill thousands. It's just a matter of time."

          - Times-Picayune, 2002

    Then the government claimed the breach actually occurring was a surprise despite the fact that Bush didn't seem to know until a full twelve hours after it was all over every news outlet. Fuck, turn on your goddamn television you inbred, pampered jackass!

    Next we have the assertion that evacuees are being given shelter and food when in actuality they were turned away from shelters they were directed to and, in some cases, stranded for days without food or water. Some were turned back from evacuating to other cities by police with leveled shotguns.

    Then the piece de resistance -- the tried and true bureaucratic "blame the victim" tactic. If they didn't leave then it's their own lookout, right?

    Do you suppose nobody in this administration was willing to throw themselves on their sword and tell Bush that not everyone has a summer home in the Hamptons? Bush has a habit of killing the messenger.

    Next, the good-for-a-belly-laugh "Every person in that convention center, we just learned about that today."

    "Today," of course, being September 1, three days after the hurricane hit and at least twelve hours after the evacuees were already there.

    A more recent squirm has been the assertion that FEMA is subordinate to the local government.

    This is the worst lie of the lot if for no other reason than it insults the intelligence of every person in this country. Anyone with enough brain power to prepare scrambled eggs can figure out that it would make no sense whatsoever to vest the power of disaster management command and control in the people who are going to be hit by the disaster.

    In fact the Department of Homeland Security's own "Guiding Principles for Proactive Federal Response" will operate independently to provide assistance, rather than simply supporting or cajoling state authorities.

    I'm tired of this. I'm tired of Bush and his lies. I'm tired of people supporting him. Their contortions to explain his idiocy do not even come close to the defense mustered by Democrats on Clinton's behalf.

    Want to take honest, sincere responsibility? Resign.

    "Where's your moral outrage?"
    "I don't have any."
    "I know."

         - Jon Stewart vs. Carson Tucker on Crossfire
  • Tuesday, September 13, 2005

    My father was 37 when he passed away, I'm 33. Smoking, check. Drugs, occasionaly, check. One child, separated from mother. Both recovering from crappy job situations but recovering nonetheless. Both into progressive rock. He was into Yes, I'm into Ozric Tentacles ...and Yes.

    One teenager each.

    I find myself chilling out, smoking, playing Go (he was into Chess), listening to amazing music and just digging life. Him, he did all those things but I don't think my father let himself really relax enough to enjoy it all. For him life boiled down to some amalgam of ego, pride, alpha male-ness and a kind of anachronistic, 60's-era chauvanistic libedo.

    Not a good combination with coke. Not a good combination with eating steak and eggs for breakfast all the time when your family has a history of heart disease.

    So I guess I'm finding myself in a place I wish my dad could have found too. For most of my life I've felt that I would have been a disappointment to my father but frankly I didn't really care. These days I feel like my father would have been proud of me.

    But I still don't care.

    Sunday, September 11, 2005

    I sometimes find myself talking to people in other countries. Sometimes it's playing Go online, sometimes it's calling cellphone support. Regardless, I always feel compelled to apologize for the monkey that, in a sense, represents this country.

    (Likely) thousands dead because of Bush's cronyism in his latest round of fuckups.

    I used to get excited about the fourth of July. I don't anymore.

    What does it take for a guy to get fired around here?
    you and I,
    we’re two of a kind
    I hate to say it but you’ll never relate
    what makes you tick?
    it makes me smile.

         - pete yorn (just another)

    Friday, September 09, 2005

    For the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and for the White House, Michael Brown has become a real problem.

    Mr Brown, who was appointed head of Fema by President Bush two years ago, has a background which is open to some question.

    He is the former head of the Arabian Horse Association but his official biography says he was also in charge of emergency services in the city of Edmond, Oklahoma, in the late 1970s.

    However, a spokesman for the city told Time Magazine that his role was really that of an intern - nobody reported to him.

    According to the Washington Post, five of the top eight officials at Fema came to their posts with hardly any experience of handling disasters.

    The top three, including Mr Brown, had ties to President Bush's election campaign in the year 2000.

    Mr Bush chose last week to single out Mr Brown for public praise.

    "Browny, you're doing a heck of a job," he said.


    Nepotism, meet 5,000 dead folks. Dead folks, meet a doornob, leader of the free world.

    "Family values" probably looks a lot different when you're observing it from 30,000 feet.

    Jesus. Why can't his plane be the next one to lose all it's oxygen at altitude?

    Hey, whose bright idea was it to give the pyro the Zippo? How's he look now, red states?

    Is he still your man?

    Thursday, September 08, 2005

    Please describe your current life situation. Structure these vignettes in haiku form. Do not let themes bleed across poem lines.

    Thank you for your cooperation.

    Addendum: Rabbi: Katrina [is god's] punishment to the U.S. for supporting [Gaza] pullout

    Oh, my favorite! Religion; the doubled-edged sword. I don't suppose it ever occured to that idiot Bush that he might someday stand accused of being on the business end of god's wrath.

    The ferret is currently having a full-on, standing up boxing match with ...a garbage bag. With leaping. All with the leaping. SO much leaping. Hold on! He's now saving the universe from ...his own ass!

    Ferrets, I'm sure ...I hope ...are the only animal that will confuse it's own ass for the enemy.


    Tuesday, September 06, 2005

    "What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality," she said during a radio interview with the American Public Media program "Marketplace." "And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them."

         - Barbara Bush on the displaced Hurricane Katrina victims

    Monday, September 05, 2005

    Those shoes that were given to me? The ones that Stu chewed up a little bit? I just looked 'em up -- they're deerskin. Retail for $265.

    Luckily the damage is super light. I can either ignore it or probably have it repaired inexpensively.

    I have a week worth of vacation coming up this month. Might save it for February. Sales suck in February. On the other hand I'm really kind of dying to have one right now.

    The way my company calculates your pay for you vacation week is to average your last six weeks of pay. So timing can easily cause a hundred dollar swing either way.

    Decisions, decisions.

    My life is seriously coming together. The last free six hours have been spent cleaning this room. Six hours. Came home, slept for three hours, I've been cleaning ever since. But the business is picking up. The next two days I'll be looking at college classes in the spring. Hell, I might even start paying off all my personal loans this week.

    The mice have a new cage. One is terrified. The other is running on the wheel. I'm pretty sure most of the pets in this house have some sort of behavioral disorder. Except maybe the fish.

    But how would I know?

    Speaking of which, the ferret just learned how to open the door. This means I have to lock it. Complete pain in the ass.

    An observation; people are used to displaying dissatisfaction in a largely non-oral way. Body language, facial inflection, etc. If you don't look at someone who is irate, or someone you expect to be irate at what you just said, but you pay strict attention, it throws them RIGHT off.

    Really, what are they going to do? Point at their face and grimmace? All you have to do is look at the ground and nod at the appropriate times.

    Ok. Time to drag the laundry upstairs, doing the dishes, crashing out. Another six glorious hours of shut-eye.

    Sunday, September 04, 2005

    [House Speaker J. Dennis] Hastert was still reeling from reaction to his comments earlier this week about the storm-ravaged city. "It looks like a lot of that place could be bulldozed," he said in an interview with the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. Asked whether it made sense to spend billions of dollars rebuilding a city that lies below sea level, he told the paper, "I don't know. That doesn't make sense to me."

    Former president Bill Clinton, when told of the remarks said that if he were present when Hastert made the comments, "I'm afraid I would have assaulted him."

    Wow. That's no joke, Clinton actually said that.

    Have you heard the conservative chattering skulls patting Bush on the back for looking out his jet window a few thousand feet above New Orleans? It's impressive. Bush had better not sit down too quick or else he might break one of their noses.

    Have you heard that the Red Cross was repeatedly turned away from providing aid? The reason given is that such help might hinder the exodus?

    Did you hear that Condoleeza Rice -- Bush's Secretary of State -- spent the other day playing tennis then capped it off with some New York City boutique shoe shopping? A customer started screaming at her. By nightfall she was headed back to Washington.


    I know that this administration thinks that accountability is an ephemeral thing. If there is an attempt at accountability too soon, it's finger pointing. If there is an attempt at accountability too late, then it's something you should get over. There is just a moment for accountability. Mr. Speaker, tell me when that moment will be. Tell me precisely when the moment will come for accountability for the failures of our response, for the failures of our planning that have led to the devastation and the hardships that we are see now. And Mr. Speaker, tell me where the line forms to ask hard questions.

    I strongly urge everyone to head over to Sisyphus Shrugged for some hardcore spin rebuttal.

    "On Saturday, [Homeland Security Secretary Michael] Chertoff defended the U.S. government's response to the storm, saying that planners did not predict such a disaster ever could occur. Chertoff said government officials did not expect both a powerful hurricane and a breach of levees that would flood the city of New Orleans."

    In a more detailed article:

    Chertoff, fielding questions from reporters, said government officials did not expect both a powerful hurricane and a breach of levees that would flood the city of New Orleans. "That 'perfect storm' of a combination of catastrophes exceeded the foresight of the planners, and maybe anybody's foresight," Chertoff said. He called the disaster "breathtaking in its surprise."

    What a load of history revisionist bullshit. I'd say around 10% of the general population knows that New Orleans sits below sea level. I remember seeing several documentaries in my lifetime detailing the danger posed by a severe storm.

    Hell, here's the blurb from Wikipedia:

    "Hurricane and flood preparedness in New Orleans has been an issue since the city's early settlement, as the city was built on a delta marsh, many parts of New Orleans are below the level of neighboring water bodies."

    "There were many predictions of hurricane risk in New Orleans before the strike of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. Due to the city's unique geography as well as its levee system and the decrease of surrounding marshland, there have been various plans to mitigate or prevent such an event from being catastrophic, but none were carried out at the time of Katrina. Ongoing strengthening and raising of levees in the area, such as along the outer Mississippi, is primarily intended to contain river flooding."

    But wait, there's more:

    "A category 5 hurricane directly striking New Orleans was calculated to be a one in 500 year event by the Army Corps of Engineers [1]. The Corps of Engineers, along with Louisiana State University (LSU), and the authorities in Jefferson Parish have modeled the effects and aftermath of a Category 5 strike on New Orleans. The outcome was an unprecedented disaster, with extensive loss of life and property. The key problem is an effect called "filling the bowl", when the hurricane drives water into Lake Pontchartrain, which overwhelms weaker levees bordering Pontchartrain and canals leading to it and flows into the below-sea-level city accompanied by water overtopping the levees along the Mississippi on the south side of the city center."

    And Chertoff has the nerve to say "planners did not predict such a disaster ever could occur." What FUCKING universe does the director of Homeland Security live on?

    I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that members of Bush's cabinet know how to add. The levee system was designed to handle a Category 3 storm. I know this is really complex shit, Mike, but did you know that Category 4 and 5 storms exist?

    Mike, are you aware that the number 5 is larger than the number 3?

    I can't believe I'm even writing this post.

    The second Katrina strengthened to a Category 2, Bush should have been on the horn getting people planning and getting vehicles moving.

    Planners didn't predict it, Mike?

    Fuck. You.

    Saturday, September 03, 2005

    I actually found someone who has listened to Mos Def's Black on Both Sides more than me. I'm serious.

    Saw two eagles today. That was cool.

    Ping is literally rearranging my room. Dragging shit to and fro. I think I'm going to change his name again. A pet's name should cook.

    His name doesn't cook.

    Maybe Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg. "Zorg" for short. Hm. I'll have to sleep on that.

    Two more appointments on the books. That's nice. Because I'm broke as hell.

    And that's about it. Downloading the latest BSG episode, downloading Stakes is High on request. All while listening to Lindsey Buckingham.

    Oh! And my drum chops are improving. Slowly.

    Friday, September 02, 2005 is reporting that Bush cut $30 million in funding to renovate the levee system in New Orleans.

    Do you think they'll let Bush keep his testicles?

    I think that impeachments should now come in two flavors. You Get To Keep Your Balls and You DON'T Get To Keep Your Balls.

    Thursday, September 01, 2005

    When hurricane Katarina hit, Bush responded with a fairly authoritative, respectable "we will move heaven and earth"-style speech. I thought to myself, "fine, let Bush have his 9/11esque moment if it means helping the people crushed by the storm." I laugh when people bitch about politicians "playing politics" with issues, because what else do you expect politicians to do? But this is different.

    Well apparently not since he's fucking that up too.

    Yes I know there are impossible situations, but not so impossible that you can't C-130 sandbags over instead of taking ships up a mangled waterway or diverting helecopters for life-saving efforts. Not so impossible that you can't stop snipers from shooting at a hospital. Dude, bring in the national guard.

    Oops. They're gone.

    Ain't that a bitch?

    Note to our illustrious mis-leader; you could fuck up a ham and cheese sandwich. Choke on a pretzel. You know, while I'm at it, choke on two if it speeds up the process.

    I can't wait for a reporter to ask Bush if he feels that our involvement in Iraq has cost lives post-Katarina. It'll never happen because our so-called "free press" is too afraid to ask anything that could be labeled as unpatriotic.

    Really, if you were in the Whitehouse press corps, would you risk a job you busted your ass for through college and ten years of shit jobs just to ask the president a pointed question that Americans deserve an answer to?

    Tonight, just as I was leaving a friend's house to head home, I saw a meteor. Not your average, run-o-the-mill Leonid here, I'm talking close enough and large enough to see the flames and the smoke contrail pass through a 20° swath of sky.

    Never seen anything like it. I'm almost certain that it made it to the ground and if my calculations are correct, it hit around mid-Gloucester.

    And if the folklore holds true, a friend of mine will do OK. =)

    Good luck, baby. I don't know if it'll work out but I'm sure you'll do your best.

    *hug on cheek