Monday, December 31, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
The Reason For The Season
I'm talking, of course, about the War on Solstice.
When was the last time anyone wished you a "Happy Solstice" or a "Joyful Solstice" or just told you, "Have a good Solstice"? You never hear that any more. You don't see banners in the store windows proclaiming "Merry Solstice." No one sings Solstice carols or sends Solstice cards or gives Solstice presents. Apparently there's been a very successful, well-financed and concerted effort to surgically remove the Solstice from the holiday season and banish it altogether.
Personally, I think it's tragic. I mean, it's not like we can simply deny that, early tomorrow morning, the sun will be at its lowest southern point. Any damn fool can look in the sky and see that. The Winter Solstice will be upon us. We'll experience the shortest day of the year, but how many people will blithely just go on shopping like nothing's happened? No one will mention it, for fear of... what? Getting the Galileo treatment? Being out of step with the majority? What a shame.
So in the interest of looking out for the little guy, here at The Generik Brand, we -- meaning I, me; there's nobody else here -- want to wish all of you a very Happy Solstice, and may your days get increasingly longer every day from tomorrow until some time about six months from now, when we can celebrate the Summer Solstice in June. If it hasn't been outlawed by then.
...And don't even get me started on the War on Equinox!
There Are No Easy Answers
1. If I ventured in the slipstream, between the viaducts of your dream, where immobile steel rims crack... Astral Weeks; Van Morrison
2. I was walkin' down the street on a sunny day, hubba hubba hubba hubba hubba. Happy Boy; Beat Farmers
3. May seem peculiar, how I think of you. If you want me, darlin', here's what you must do. Room To Move; John Mayall
4. Well, ain't the sun surely takin' its time this morning (Don't you know)... Cool Metro; David Johansen
5. Well, a poor boy took his father's bread and started down the road, started down the road... Prodigal Son; Rolling Stones
6. There's a problem, feathers iron, bargain buildings, weights and pullies. Fall On Me; R.E.M.
7. They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom for trying to change the system from within. First We Take Manhattan; Leonard Cohen
8. Well, Annie's pretty neat, she always eats her meat, Joe is awful strong, bet your life he's putting us on. John, I'm Only Dancing; David Bowie
9. I remember one night the kid cut off his right arm in a fit to save a bit of power. He got fifty thousand watts in a big acoustic tower. So It Goes; Nick Lowe
10. As I walk this land with broken dreams, I have visions of many things... What Becomes Of The Broken-Hearted; Jimmy Ruffin
**Bonus** Sorry babe, but I won't be home, won't be home tomorrow. Sorry darlin', but I gotta let you, gotta let you down. Dear Jill; Blodwyn Pig
Back with a new quiz on January 8th!
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Fight Media Consolidation
**UPDATE** Related to this, our pal Snave at Various Ecstasies has a good post up defining the "Liberal Media" and demonstrating how this new FCC ruling will help to crush it. Once you're there, also check out the photo essay about the War on Christmas just below it. Good stuff!
(Seriously now, anyone who truly believes the media in America are "liberal" in any way, shape or form -- especially those who believe that they get their marching orders from George Soros and/or Media Matters for America -- is simply too fucking stupid to live.)
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
It has been 50 years since scientists first created DNA in a test tube, stitching ordinary chemical ingredients together to make life's most extraordinary molecule. Until recently, however, even the most sophisticated laboratories could make only small snippets of DNA -- an extra gene or two to be inserted into corn plants, for example, to help the plants ward off insects or tolerate drought.
Now researchers are poised to cross a dramatic barrier: the creation of life forms driven by completely artificial DNA.
Scientists in Maryland have already built the world's first entirely handcrafted chromosome -- a large looping strand of DNA made from scratch in a laboratory, containing all the instructions a microbe needs to live and reproduce.
In the coming year, they hope to transplant it into a cell, where it is expected to "boot itself up," like software downloaded from the Internet, and cajole the waiting cell to do its bidding. And while the first synthetic chromosome is a plagiarized version of a natural one, others that code for life forms that have never existed before are already under construction.
The cobbling together of life from synthetic DNA, scientists and philosophers agree, will be a watershed event, blurring the line between biological and artificial -- and forcing a rethinking of what it means for a thing to be alive.
"This raises a range of big questions about what nature is and what it could be," said Paul Rabinow, an anthropologist at the University of California at Berkeley who studies science's effects on society. "Evolutionary processes are no longer seen as sacred or inviolable. People in labs are figuring them out so they can improve upon them for different purposes."
Read more on the subject, if you're interested... The last few lines of the story were very thought-provoking:
"It could be that synthetic biology is going to be like cellphones: so overwhelming and ubiquitous that no one notices it anymore. Or it could be like abortion -- the kind of deep disagreement that will not go away."
The question, if the abortion model holds, is which side of the synthetic biology debate will get to call itself "pro-life."
I tried to find the one where they came up with a new campaign slogan for the Huckster ("Huckabee? Fuck me!"), but I have a feeling that it's no longer available. However, you can see more of Jackie and Dunlap expounding on politics and current events here.
Moron The Same
And if so -- why?!?
Whose Opening Line Is It, Anyway: Now In HDD
And who knows, there may just end up being a theme in here after all. (Or is there...?)
1. If I ventured in the slipstream, between the viaducts of your dream, where immobile steel rims crack...
2. I was walkin' down the street on a sunny day, hubba hubba hubba hubba hubba.
3. May seem peculiar, how I think of you. If you want me, darlin', here's what you must do.
4. Well, ain't the sun surely takin' its time this morning (Don't you know)...
5. Well, a poor boy took his father's bread and started down the road, started down the road...
6. There's a problem, feathers iron, bargain buildings, weights and pullies.
7. They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom for trying to change the system from within.
8. Well, Annie's pretty neat, she always eats her meat, Joe is awful strong, bet your life he's putting us on.
9. I remember one night the kid cut off his right arm in a fit to save a bit of power. He got fifty thousand watts in a big acoustic tower.
10. As I walk this land with broken dreams, I have visions of many things...
**Bonus** Sorry babe, but I won't be home, won't be home tomorrow. Sorry darlin', but I gotta let you, gotta let you down.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Early Random Flickr Blogging, Featuring Nude Ann Coulter
Friday, December 14, 2007
Why Does Harry Reid Hate America?
Harry Reid's FISA gamesThe Senate majority leader appears poised to ensure that the Bush administration gets everything it wants on telecom immunity and new FISA eavesdropping powers.
Dec. 14, 2007 | (updated below)
The Senate is going to take up debate today on the new FISA bill -- including the provisions for telecom amnesty and presidential surveillance powers -- and Harry Reid is apparently bringing the bill to the floor (a) in precisely the way designed to help the administration's goal of ensuring there is telecom amnesty and fewer surveillance oversight protections and (b) contrary to the way his office has been assuring everyone concerned that it would be done.
I am traveling today (the last day for some time, thankfully) and will not be able to write more until much later today. FireDogLake and others will undoubtedly have updates throughout the day, more thorough explanations than I can provide now, and suggestions as to what can be done.
The summarized version is that there were two competing bills which Reid could have brought to the floor -- the Senate Intelligence Committee version engineered by Jay Rockefeller and Dick Cheney which gives the administration most of what it wants, and the Senate Judiciary Committee, which does not contain telecom amnesty and contains far more extensive oversight protections. Reid could have brought the bill to the floor using whatever process he wanted, and he has decided -- contrary to weeks of assurances -- that the SIC bill will serve as the "base" bill, meaning that improving it (by removing amnesty and increasing oversight) will require 60 votes, rendering such efforts virtually impossible. In doing so, Reid is brazenly ignoring the demands of 14 Senators -- including all of the Democratic presidential candidates -- to have the Judiciary Committee bill be the base bill.
Worse still, Reid is completely disregarding the "hold" placed by Chris Dodd on any amnesty bill -- simply refusing to honor it, even as he respectfully honors literally scores of "holds" from GOP Senators such as Tom Coburn. And while Dodd is interrupting his campaigning to fly to Washington to lead the filibuster he vowed, Reid has ensured with scheduling manuevers that the filibuster will take place only over the weekend -- when all of the members are away raising money anyway and journalists aren't paying attention -- with the intent to try to force cloture once everyone returns on Monday.
There are two key objectives for today: (1) do as much possible to pressure Reid to honor Dodd's hold and (2) do as much possible to encourage the presidential candidates and others to actively support Dodd's filibuster, not merely in a cursory way, but through authentic leadership. At least as of now, Reid is the clear villain here, doing everything possible to enable the Bush/Cheney FISA agenda on telecom amnesty and surveillance powers, and doing everything possible, yet again, to ensure that Senate Democrats stand up to nobody except their voters and their base who put them in power.
Reid is extremely vulnerable in Nevada and if he follows through with his stated plans, those vulnerabilities ought to be exploited to the fullest, whether it be with anti-Reid ads in Nevada to drive his numbers even lower or concerted, all-out support for a serious primary challenge to Reid's re-election bid in 2010, etc. Until Congressional Democrats know that there are consequences from siding with the administration and attacking their actual suppoters, they will continue to do that. Anyone interested should continue to check in with FDL and others for further updates today.
UPDATE: The availability of wireless airport internet service permits me to make this additional point: Whenever complaints are voiced about Congressional Democrats, invariably there arises in comments and elsewhere protests that complaints should only focus on Republicans, that most everything is their fault, and that Democrats are doing the very best they can but are simply helpless due to GOP tactics and the constraints of their own caucus. I rarely answer such protests because I know that Democrats will soon provide an answer with their actions far more compelling than any I could construct with words.
Today, they provide but the latest iteration of the answer as to why there is so much dissatisfaction and anger towards them, including from those who fully recognize the pragmatic constraints involved. This isn't a case where they are trying to oppose Bush's demands on telecom amnesty and warrantless surveillance powers but are sadly thwarted by a lack of votes. Rather, Harry Reid is doing everything he can to thwart those who are attempting to impede Bush's demands and thus doing everything he can to ensure that the White House is liberated from the prospect of accountability for past lawbreaking and vested with vast, new eavesdropping powers with as little oversight as possible -- just as Mitch McConnell would be doing if he were Majority Leader (though even McConnell might lack the audacity to simply run roughshod over Dodd's hold, as Reid is apparently doing -- while treating Tom Coburn's holds as sacred).
Put another way, the issue isn't that they're failing to impose limits on the President. It's not even that they're failing to do everything they can to do so. The issue is that they are devoting their efforts and energies -- again -- to ensuring that the White House wins, its radicalism enabled and bolstered, and the people who support them thwarted in what they believe.
The criticism isn't that Harry Reid is being insufficiently aggressive in opposing the White House. It's that he's doing what he can to support the White House, serving as their key ally. I suppose one option is to cheer on Democrats anyway, no matter what they do. But I can't understand how anyone who actually believes in anything other than partisan power for its own sake would consider that option to be an attractive one.
"Crime? What Crime? I Dont See Any Crime."
"Destroyed CIA tapes? Politics as usual. Nothing to see here, folks, move along."
Thank you so very much, Senators
All Hail These Answers, There's Something About Them (Go Long!)
Of course, it was a rather easy quiz this week... *cough cough!* And the theme was readily apparent. Right? Right.
Okay then, for anyone who still doesn't know them all, here are the answers (including the one obscure one that everybody missed):
1. Every time I think that I'm the only one who's lonely someone calls on me. Along Comes Mary; The Association
2. After all the jacks are in their boxes and the clowns have all gone to bed... The Wind Cries Mary; Jimi Hendrix
3. A screen door slams; Mary's dress waves. Like a vision she dances across the porch as the radio plays... Thunder Road; Bruce Springsteen
4. Left a good job in the city, workin' for the man every night and day. Proud Mary; Creedence Clearwater Revival
5. Some other girls are fillin' your head with jive, so now you're acting like you don't know that I'm alive. The One Who Really Loves You; Mary Wells
6. I love the tone that's in your laugh, gasping for an extra breath... Mary; Scissor Sisters
7. Baby, one breath away, I'll find the words to say. I'll sit and light the bong. I'll hold my hit in real long. Mary; Sublime
8. Between Marx and marzipan in the dictionary, there was Mary. The Short Answer; Billy Bragg
9. His friends say stop whining, they've had enough of that. His friends would say stop pining, there's other girls to look at. There's Something About Mary; Jonathan Richman
10. When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me... Let It Be, The Beatles
**Bonus** If I could, I surely would stand on the rock that Moses stood. Oh, Mary, Don't You Weep; Traditional (recorded by various artists including Pete Seeger, The Kingston Trio and, most recently, Bruce Springsteen)
As Melville pointed out, the Bonus line appears in the song When You Awake by The Band. It's also featured in the song Linin' Track by Taj Mahal, and I suspect that, like many lines from many older, traditional songs, it has made its way into quite a few other works as well.
I'll see if I can't come up with one that's a little more difficult next week.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Yet Another Blogspot Stop
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
George Bush Hates America
Why does he persist? He's already got the Worst President Ever title sewn up, hands down, he's miles away from the competition with no hope of ever relinquishing it (well, perhaps unless Giuliani somehow gets elected...); what's the point at this point? It seems like piling on.
We get it, George. We're convinced. You're a heartless, dim, incompetent, cruel, bullying, evil, lying sack of festering demon manure, who couldn't be any worse for the country if you began a campaign of personally knocking down every old lady and kicking every small child and dog you see from now until the end of your term. How about if you give it a rest?
So after posting a couple hundred black and white photos over at Flickr, I've gone all, like, color 'n' stuff (including a few color versions of previously posted b&w images). Check it out, if you're so inclined. More pictures of buildings and food!
Top 10 Bushisms
10. “And there is distrust in Washington. I am surprised, frankly, at the amount of distrust that exists in this town. And I’m sorry it’s the case, and I’ll work hard to try to elevate it.” –interview on National Public Radio, Jan. 29, 2007
9. “I fully understand those who say you can’t win this thing militarily. That’s exactly what the United States military says, that you can’t win this military.” –on the need for political progress in Iraq, Washington, D.C., Oct. 17, 2007
8. “One of my concerns is that the health care not be as good as it can possibly be.” –on military benefits, Tipp City, Ohio, April 19, 2007
7. “Mr. Prime Minister, thank you for your introduction. Thank you for being such a fine host for the OPEC summit.” –addressing Australian Prime Minister John Howard at the APEC Summit. Later, in the same speech: “As John Howard accurately noted when he went to thank the Austrian troops there last year…” –referring to Australian troops as “Austrian troops,” Sept. 7, 2007
6. “My relationship with this good man is where I’ve been focused, and that’s where my concentration is. And I don’t regret any other aspect of it. And so I — we filled a lot of space together.” –on British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Washington, D.C., May 17, 2007
5. “You helped our nation celebrate its bicentennial in 17 — 1976.” –to Queen Elizabeth, Washington, D.C., May 7, 2007
4. “The question is, who ought to make that decision? The Congress or the commanders? And as you know, my position is clear — I’m a Commander Guy.” –deciding he is no longer just “The Decider,” Washington, D.C., May 2, 2007
3. “Information is moving — you know, nightly news is one way, of course, but it’s also moving through the blogosphere and through the Internets.” –Washington, D.C., May 2, 2007
2. “There are some similarities, of course (between Iraq and Vietnam). Death is terrible.” –Tipp City, Ohio, April 19, 2007
1. “As yesterday’s positive report card shows, childrens do learn when standards are high and results are measured.” –on the No Child Left Behind Act, Washington, D.C., Sept. 26, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Whose Opening Line Is It, Anyway: Full Of Grace
1. Every time I think that I'm the only one who's lonely someone calls on me.
2. After all the jacks are in their boxes and the clowns have all gone to bed...
3. A screen door slams; Mary's dress waves. Like a vision she dances across the porch as the radio plays...
4. Left a good job in the city, workin' for the man every night and day.
5. Some other girls are fillin' your head with jive, so now you're acting like you don't know that I'm alive.
6. I love the tone that's in your laugh, gasping for an extra breath...
7. Baby, one breath away, I'll find the words to say. I'll sit and light the bong. I'll hold my hit in real long.
8. Between Marx and marzipan in the dictionary, there was Mary.
9. His friends say stop whining, they've had enough of that. His friends would say stop pining, there's other girls to look at.
10. When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me...
**Bonus** If I could, I surely would stand on the rock that Moses stood.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Random Flickr Blogging The Day After Sunday
Friday, December 07, 2007
Olbermann: The NIE Reflects An "Unhinged, Irrational Chicken Little Of A President"
We have either a president who is too dishonest to restrain himself from invoking World War Three about Iran at least six weeks after he had to have known that the analogy would be fantastic, irresponsible hyperbole — or we have a president too transcendently stupid not to have asked — at what now appears to have been a series of opportunities to do so — whether the fairy tales he either created or was fed, were still even remotely plausible.
A pathological presidential liar, or an idiot-in-chief. It is the nightmare scenario of political science fiction: A critical juncture in our history and, contained in either answer, a president manifestly unfit to serve, and behind him in the vice presidency: an unapologetic war-monger who has long been seeing a world visible only to himself.
You go, Keith.
While in other, even less surprising news, it appears that Preznit Pants On Fire is getting another rug pulled out from under him by losing support even among military families. Gee, there's a shocker -- the folks that he is sending off as cannon fodder for his misguided and illegal Desert Dance with Bullets (and their families) are finally waking up to the fact that he has been playing them all for chumps for the past five years.
The views of the military community, including active-duty service members, veterans and family members, mirror those of the overall adult population, a sign that the strong military endorsement that the Bush administration often pointed to has dwindled in the war's fifth year.
Nearly 6 in 10 military families disapprove of Bush's job performance and the way he has run the war, rating him only slightly better than the general population does.
And among those families with soldiers, sailors and Marines who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan, 60 percent say the war in Iraq is not worth the cost, the same result as all adults surveyed.
There's not much more to the story than that, other than who conducted the poll, when and how many people participated, etc., but it's still worth looking at if only to read the comments and catch the one from a typical Bush apologist who dismisses the whole thing as a "bogus poll, as would be expected." How do these people who still, in the face of all evidence of his mendaciousness, incompetence and complete disregard for the laws of our land, support the president manage to feed and dress themselves every day? Given what we've all seen from him since the Supreme Court installed him in the White House, isn't someone who still thinks he's doing a good job by definition too fucking stupid to live? Oy.
All Aboard These Answers
Here are the answers:
1. Don't say what you mean, you might spoil your face. If you walk in the crowd, you won't leave any trace. Jumping Someone Else's Train; The Cure
2. The walls are built up, stone by stone, the fields divided one by one. Driver 8; R.E.M.
3. Two train tickets into L.A., one round trip the other way. Hitchcock Railway; Joe Cocker
4. Why should I care, why should I care? Girls of fifteen, sexually knowing, the ushers are sniffing, eau-de-cologning... 5:15; The Who
5. I'm always running behind the time... Just Like This Train; Joni Mitchell
6. I lost everything I had in the '29 flood, the barn was buried 'neath a mile of mud... 2:19; Tom Waits (I'm also partial to the very fine cover version done by John Hammond, Jr., on his Waits-tribute album Wicked Grin)
7. Well, I ride on a mailtrain, baby, can't buy a thrill. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry; Bob Dylan (what, no Dylan fans here?)
8. Outside there's a box car waiting, outside the family stew... Here Comes Your Man; Pixies
9. L.A. proved too much for the man, so he's leaving the life he's come to know. Midnight Train To Georgia; Gladys Knight & the Pips
10. Say you stand by your man, tell me something I don't understand. Train In Vain; The Clash
**Bonus** I can settle down and be doin' just fine, 'til I hear an old train rollin' down the line... Ramblin' Man; Hank Williams
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Robert Greenwald's War On Greed
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
New Local Site
There's now a link to it here along with the other BARBARian links on the right. Check it out, won't you?
Here's A Damn Good Idea
Of course the plutocrats and the corporate-supporters in both parties will cry foul at this, and the term "class war" is bound to be bandied about by demagogues and obfuscators appealing to the baser emotions of people who should know better, but the truth is that it is that very class of wealthy elites who have been waging a highly successful class war against the poor and the middle class for years now, and it's past time the American people woke up to what is happening to them. If you want to add your voice in support of this bill, go here and fill in the blanks.
And That's The Way It Is
Our Troops Must Leave Iraq
The American people no longer support the war in Iraq. The war is being carried on by a stubborn president who, like Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon during the Vietnam War, does not want to lose. But from the beginning this has been an ill-considered and poorly prosecuted war that, like the Vietnam War, has diminished respect for America. We believe Mr. Bush would like to drag the war on long enough to hand it off to another president.
The war in Iraq reminds us of the tragedy of the Vietnam War. Both wars began with false assertions by the president to the American people and the Congress. Like Vietnam, the Iraq War has introduced a new vocabulary: “shock and awe,” “mission accomplished,” “the surge.” Like Vietnam, we have destroyed cities in order to save them. It is not a strategy for success.
The Bush administration has attempted to forestall ending the war by putting in more troops, but more troops will not solve the problem. We have lost the hearts and minds of most of the Iraqi people, and victory no longer seems to be even a remote possibility. It is time to end our occupation of Iraq, and bring our troops home.
This war has had only limited body counts. There are reports that more than one million Iraqis have died in the war. These reports cannot be corroborated because the US military does not make public the number of the Iraqi dead and injured. There are also reports that some four million Iraqis have been displaced and are refugees either abroad or within their own country. Iraqis with the resources to leave the country have left. They are frightened. They don’t trust the US, its allies or its mercenaries to protect them and their interests.
We know more about the body counts of American soldiers in Iraq. Some 4,000 American soldiers have been killed in this war, about a third more than the number of people who died in the terrorist attacks of 9/11. And some 28,000 American soldiers have suffered debilitating injuries. Many more have been affected by the trauma of war in ways that they will have to live with for the rest of their lives - ways that will have serious effects not only on their lives and the lives of their loved ones, but on society as a whole. Due to woefully inadequate resources being provided, our injured soldiers are not receiving the medical treatment and mental health care that they deserve.
The invasion of Iraq was illegal from the start. Not only was Congress lied to in order to secure its support for the invasion of Iraq, but the war lacked the support of the United Nations Security Council and thus was an aggressive war initiated on the false pretenses of weapons of mass destruction. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Nor has any assertion of a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda proven to be true. In the end, democracy has not come to Iraq. Its government is still being forced to bend to the will of the US administration.
What the war has accomplished is the undermining of US credibility throughout the world, the weakening of our military forces, and the erosion of our Bill of Rights. Nobel Laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz calculates that the war is costing American tax payers more than $1 trillion. This amount could double if we continue the war. Each minute we are spending $500,000 in Iraq. Our losses are incalculable. It is time to remove our military forces from Iraq.
We must ask ourselves whether continuing to pursue this war is benefiting the American people or weakening us. We must ask whether continuing the war is benefiting the Iraqi people or inflicting greater suffering upon them. We believe the answer to these inquiries is that both the American and Iraqi people would benefit by ending the US military presence in Iraq.
Moving forward is not complicated, but it will require courage. Step one is to proceed with the rapid withdrawal of US troops from Iraq and hand over the responsibility for the security of Iraq to Iraqi forces. Step two is to remove our military bases from Iraq and to turn Iraqi oil over to Iraqis. Step three is to provide resources to the Iraqis to rebuild the infrastructure that has been destroyed in the war.
Congress must act. Although Congress never declared war, as required by the Constitution, they did give the president the authority to invade Iraq. Congress must now withdraw that authority and cease its funding of the war.
It is not likely, however, that Congress will act unless the American people make their voices heard with unmistakable clarity. That is the way the Vietnam War was brought to an end. It is the way that the Iraq War will also be brought to an end. The only question is whether it will be now, or whether the war will drag on, with all the suffering that implies, to an even more tragic, costly and degrading defeat. We will be a better, stronger and more decent country to bring the troops home now.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Joe Biden Comes On Strong
Finally, someone besides Dennis Kucinich and Barbara Lee is willing to bring up the I-word. You go, Joe. Are you listening, Ms. Pelosi? Can we get you a new table for Christmas, one that will hold some Constitutional checks and balances?
In October, when President Bush raised the specter of World War III with Iran because of its pursuit of a nuclear weapon, he knew that our own intelligence community had concluded months earlier that Iran had halted its weapons program in 2003.
This is as outrageous as it is irresponsible. It's exactly what he did in the run up to the war in Iraq in consistently exaggerating intelligence suggesting that Iraq had WMD while failing to tell the American people about intelligence concluding that it did not.
For many reasons, war with Iran is not just a bad option, it would be a disaster. So I want to be crystal clear on this: if the President takes us to war with Iran without Congressional approval, I will call for his impeachment.
The President's actions further undermine America's credibility around the world -- and the government's credibility here at home -- at a time when that credibility is at an all time low. And it injects more tension and instability into the Middle East at a time when we should be doing everything in our power to prevent that region from spiraling out of control.
BARBARians And An Outsider
(Cross-posted at the BARBARian Blog.)
Eight Things You May Or May Not Know Or Care To Know About Me
1. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
2. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged write their own blog post about their eight things and include these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged and that they should read your blog.
5. 8 is a magic number. Not three.
I'm an iconoclast and a rule-breaker from way back, so I'm choosing to ignore rule #4. If any of you folks out there reading this want to participate, consider yourselves tagged.
1. I moved to San Francisco in 1981 with less than $200 in my pocket, and spent the first three nights here sleeping in my car in the Safeway parking lot on Market Street.
2. For reasons that had more to do with tagging than with procurement or pandering, I was known to a select group of people in high school as "Willie the Pimp" (after the Frank Zappa/Captain Beefheart song).
3. My great-aunt Elinor Donahue was a regular on the old TV show Father Knows Best (she played Betty, the older daughter), and has appeared in many other shows and movies before and since. My favorite of these is Girls Town, with Mamie Van Doren, Mel Torme and Paul Anka.
4. I got kicked out of a private Lutheran school in the fifth grade for arguing with the principal (who was also the pastor of the church). I asked him why the school had a dress code (because my hair was getting long, and they objected to that). He said, "All the other schools have dress codes." I said, "If all the other schools jumped off a bridge, would you?" It was a shining moment for a 10-year-old.
5. When I was 16, I was in a band with some older guys who worked with my mother at the local state hospital. I played guitar, very badly. The band was called Chuck Wagon and the Rolling Wheels.
6. I've been an extra and had a bit part in two porno movies, back when they were still shot on film. I did not have sex with that woman... or that man, or that dog or that gerbil or anyone or anything else on either set. In fact, I kept my clothes on the entire time.
7. I was also an extra in a Sony handycam commercial a number of years ago, and saw myself on TV quite a few times afterward. I got paid a flat fee, no residuals.
8. I worked for Culligan Soft Water for a few years in Southern California (yes, I was the Culligan Man). During that time, I grew a big, bushy beard. I had many regular customers that I would talk to on my deliveries. One day I shaved off the beard. The next day, I went to the home of one of my regular customers, and he asked, "What happened to that Mexican boy that used to deliver the water?" "You mean the one with the beard?" I asked. "Yeah," he said. "He was a nice kid." "Oh, he's on another route now," I told him.
That's it, and it's more than enough, don't you think?
Whose Opening Line Is It Anyway: Where Do You Get Off?
1. Don't say what you mean, you might spoil your face. If you walk in the crowd, you won't leave any trace.
2. The walls are built up, stone by stone, the fields divided one by one.
3. Two train tickets into L.A., one round trip the other way.
4. Why should I care, why should I care? Girls of fifteen, sexually knowing, the ushers are sniffing, eau-de-cologning...
5. I'm always running behind the time...
6. I lost everything I had in the '29 flood, the barn was buried 'neath a mile of mud...
7. Well, I ride on a mailtrain, baby, can't buy a thrill.
8. Outside there's a box car waiting, outside the family stew...
9. L.A. proved too much for the man, so he's leaving the life he's come to know.
10. Say you stand by your man, tell me something I don't understand.
**Bonus** I can settle down and be doin' just fine, 'til I hear an old train rollin' down the line...
Answers Friday (though I expect most of these will already be identified by then).
Monday, December 03, 2007
Blonday Blandom Blickr Blogging
It's taken over 35 years, but outtakes from the photo shoot for Joni Mitchell's Blue are finally starting to see the light of day.