Ever since I became good friends with a first generation Cuban-American whose parents fled Cuba during the revolution, my hatred for Fidel Castro has only grown. There are now reports that Castro is undergoing surgery for intestinal bleeding and has temporarily turned over power to his brother. I hope the sumbitch finally dies.
I'm not asking for a good joke you've read or heard. Instead, tell me what's the funniest thing you've ever come up with on the spot that made a lot of people crack up. Here's one of my own. (Your mileage my vary so if you feel compelled to comment rudely, realize I now have the power to edit comments...I think.)
A little necessary background first. For those of you who don't know, I'm 90-95% deaf in both ears. Some powerful hearing aids do a nice job of providing loudness but clarity is severely lacking. That's why I still have to rely a great deal on lip-reading when engaging someone in a conversation.
Anyway, a bunch of buddies and I rented a van one night to go bar-hopping and I was sitting in the front seat. Everyone was pretty hyper but since it was dark and not being able to see their lips, I couldn't understand a word. At one point, the driver motioned to me that someone in the back seat was trying to get my attention.
I then turned around and said, "Guys, would ya'll please not f'ing talk to me right now. I can't hear in the dark!"
There you have it...
While the Middle East goes up in flames (again) and my co-guest blogger deals with her Andyholicism, I know you readers would prefer to get my take on the Mel Gibson situation. If WWR is your first stop of the day and you've been asleep the past three days, click here to read all the sad details.
I've never been one to care about what Hollywood actors think about anything (unless they run for office) so this episode doesn't do much to convince me to start now. However, maybe it's my charming naivete, but I've never hated a group of people in my life so it's difficult for me to understand where Gibson's head is at. When The Passion of the Christ came out, many people felt there was a subtle anti-Semitism theme running throughout the movie. At the time, I simply dismissed such criticism as an attempt to smear Gibson. Now though, given his behavior this past weekend, I can only conclude the critics were right.
It should be fairly clear that his father's notorious Holocaust denying and unorthodox version of Catholicism had a far greater impact than he's willing to admit.
By the way, the only group of people I hate are legally blind in the left eye and have red hair. (I just recently stopped hating Canadians so someone has to take their place.)
Note: I tried watching The Passion of the Christ twice but both times, couldn't get past an hour of it.
Hello. My name is Shannon and I am an Andyoholic. (hi shannon.) I guess I have been one for going on 2 years now, although I never fully realized it until just recently.
I started out slow, just reading the occasional post. I asked Andy through email to post about a PTA fundraiser for me, which he did, even though he had no idea who I was. I began reading more and more, now that we had this "connection". Then one day I noticed something odd. If I posted pictures of boobies or talked about Supernanny, Andy would come read MY blog. That, my friends, only fanned the flames of my growing addiction. I found myself visiting his site more often than ever, sometimes even leaving comments ( I know!). One day I woke up and WWR was the first thing on my mind. I have found it hard to get enough since. I find myself stopping by at all hours of the day, just praying there is a new little nugget of snarkiness waiting there for me. Just a little something is all I need these days; a good Paul-mocking, some Jim Croce lyrics, anything really to get me through. I keep inviting people at my blog to come read his blog, maybe to make myself feel better about it. No one wants to read alone.
The bottom line for me here is that my family is beginning to suffer, my kids need me to cook them some dinner and my back hurts real bad from sitting in front of the computer hitting refresh over and over again. I don't know where else to turn. Tonight, for the first time, I told my husband about Andy. He was very supportive. He thinks that a week here, talking this out, getting it all out in the open, will do me some good. I hope that some of you who have been here with me all this time, like you, Angie (hi!!!), and where's that David (hi David!!!) can work with me to fix this, even if you aren't ready to admit you too have a problem just yet.
I am here for you. Together, we can get better. One post at a time.
Hello, World Wide Rant readers. This is my first post as a guestblogger so I'm going to just get a brief introduction out of the way. My name is Blake (no cutesy internets handle for me) and I became acquainted with Andy via Rightwingsparkles blog when we got into a lengthy back-and-forth about the existence or not of God. I was impressed with his intelligence and quite frankly, enjoyed his barbed wit that admirably reduced me to crying fits of shame. I also appeared to impress him enough to create a post dedicated to my lunacy. I was so proud! I'm now going to re-pay him by lowering the standards (if any) of his blog in the next week.
Anyway, I'm 35 years old, single (probably forever), live in the Dallas, TX area, and am a proud uncle of two great lil' nephews. I have absolutely no expertise in anything so you won't find sophisticated/detailed analysis from me (except golf.) That's a warning to not take anything I write seriously. Andy has given me free reign to post anything I want so who knows what will come up? Politically, it's seems popular in the blogosphere these days to describe oneself as a conservative with libertarian leanings. That's still too broad for me so for simplicity's sake, consider me a conservative (but not a religious one, if that helps.) I do vote Republican only because of the whole lesser of two evils thing. If the Dems can run a moderate candidate in 2008 and the Repubs control Congress, he/she will probably get my vote. Not that it matters here in Texas.
Just be forewarned that my sense of humor is very droll and tongue-in-cheek and it sometimes doesn't come across well in text. So, once again, I ask you not to take anything I write seriously. Unless it's on a serious topic, like golf.
Andy, thank you for giving me the keys to your palace and I hope you and your family have a wonderful time in SC.
P.S. Not that anyone cares, but let's just get this out of the way. As a conservative, I condemn every stupid thing other prominent conservative pundits says. And that includes whatever I post here.
There is nothing wrong with your computer. Do not attempt to adjust the webpage. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it funnier, we will cleverly mock someone's deep-held beliefs. If we wish to make it dirtier, we will show you some boobies. We will control the politics. We will control the sarcasm. For the next week, sit tightly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your computer. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to…the guest bloggers.
Israel said it mistakenly destroyed a four-story building near a Hezbollah rocket-launching site in Qana, Lebanon, on Sunday where the Red Cross and Lebanese internal security sources at the scene said 54 people died, including 19 children.It's a tragedy, no doubt; in the fog of every war, the wrong people get killed. This is, of course, no solace to the family and friends of those who died. Their rage is wholly justified, but it would be better directed at Hezbollah:
The images, obtained exclusively by the Sunday Herald Sun, show Hezbollah using high-density residential areas as launch pads for rockets and heavy-calibre weapons.Israel looks to avoid injuring civilians, even warning them in advance; Hezbollah hides behind handicapped children, epitomizing the cowardly face of Islamofascist evil.
Dressed in civilian clothing so they can quickly disappear, the militants carrying automatic assault rifles and ride in on trucks mounted with cannon.
I'm sorry, who are the bad guys again?
Update: Found on one of the anti-Israel sites, photos of the victims. Take a look, and realize this is the result that Hezbollah wants. I guess they want me to be angry at Israel when I see these poor children; instead, I'm angry at the animals that sacrifice women and children on the altar of Allah.
Update 2: Curiouser and curiouser.
An IDF investigation has found that the building in Qana struck by the Air Force fell around eight hours after being hit by the IDF.Hmmmm.
I'm leaving for vacation early in the morning*, and I don't think I'll have reliable internet access where we're staying, so I'll be turning the blog over to a couple of guest bloggers sometime today. I'll let them introduce themselves as they see fit.
See you in a week or so...
Because I was, somewhere down below: how about some blasts from the past courtesy of David Letterman, circa mid-80s?
Scientists estimate the collective IQ of Wizbang will bounce 65% when it happens.
Ostensibly, his departure is due to "blogger burnout," but the full story would seem to be that he decided to play typical Paul games - editing and deleting comments; ironically criticizing the logic of others - with a blogger with enough of an audience for everyone to see his true nature.
However, just like a hairy mole turning cancerous on the ass of the blogosphere, I'm sure he'll be back.
See ya, Paul. The millstone around Wizbang's neck has just slipped loose.
* Noted, of course, for being anything but.
While making my way through traffic this afternoon, I spied with my little eye a flatbed tow truck with a bit of Bible verse on the side. From what I can tell, it's a paraphrasing of Isaiah 63:9, which says (KJV):
In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.On the side of the truck, this had been simplified to read:
...and he lifted them up and carried them.Ah, how beautiful. Doing the work of the Good Book.
However, I'm pretty sure God didn't charge $75 for the heavy lifting.
I'll be on vacation next week, so my plans are already set in stone, tickets paid for, expectations of family set... but if you're looking to get away in the near future, might I recommend Meade, Kansas?
For J.R. and Robin knight, owning a bed and breakfast is everything they've always wanted. "We came here in search of our dreams, my wife always wanted a bed and breakfast and I always wanted a restaurant," says California native J.R. Knight.Ah, yes, but was it his 12-year-old flaming homosexual son? Huh, was it??
But recently their dream has turned into a nightmare, all because of a flag they're flying outside. “It's a rainbow flag - to some people it means friendship to some people it means gay pride," says Knight. But for knight, it was just a souvenir from his 12-year-old son.
Anyway, so yeah, sure, some of the locals are ignorant bigots who equate homosexuality with the intentional genocidal slaughter of six million Jews and a desire for the global domination of national socialism, but maybe there's some pretty scenery or something.
Maybe a Starbucks.
Update: Nope, no Starbucks. They do, however, have a Pizza Hut.
Do gay folks eat pizza? Don't tell the people of Meade!
People say there's no time like the present.
I say there's no time like 2:47PM.
Yes, it's time for the next Rocky Mountain Blogger Bash.
Zombyboy has the scoop, even if the bar has since changed names and he's too lazy to change it.
Short version: August 25. Beverages. Delightful company.
PBS, probably fearful of some religious conservative backlash (consisting of 7 people writing 234 letters) or the vague whims of the angry FCC gods, has fired kids' show host Melanie Martinez for a satirical video she made, once upon a while back:
The PBS Kids Sprout network has fired the host of "The Good Night Show" after learning she had appeared in videos called "Technical Virgin."Sounds pretty damning, doesn't it? Sounds like maybe there's some pr0n on the loose in her video history.
In the two "Technical Virgin" videos -- made before she landed the children's show job -- she spoofs PSAs about how young women can keep their virginity.Or maybe it's just the equivalent of Saturday Night Live humor. The horror!
Airing for three hours each evening, "The Good Night Show" airs soothing stories and cartoons designed to get an audience of 2-to-5-year-olds ready for bed...A few thoughts:
"PBS Kids Sprout has determined that the dialogue in this video is inappropriate for her role as a preschool program host and may undermine her character's credibility with our audience," said Sandy Wax, network president.
My suggestion is they tell them that PBS killed her.
Because she wouldn't eat all of her vegetables! Muwahahaha!
Update: Someone named Melanie, who may or may not be the Melanie in question, left this comment:
If you want something done, go to the top...by calling PBS Kids Sprout President Sandy Wax. Her phone number is 215-667-2750.The situation presents a bit of a pickle... would you want to go back to work somewhere that is run by someone so incompetent when it comes to moral sensibilities? I suspect Ms. Wax will shore up her defenses and claim she "did it for the kids!"
Well, thank you very much, but I'll be the one deciding what is and is not appropriate for my children.
Here's hoping that this little incident results in Martinez getting offered a bigger and better position soon; I'd offer a co-blogging gig here at the WWR, but - well - the pay sucks and I'm far too self-centered to share the limelight again.
Update 2: The PBS Ombudsman says:
Nevertheless, there is something very disturbing about firing somebody for something done many years ago that was not illegal, that is not hard to imagine as the kind of thing that young actors will do at the start of a career, and that was clearly a spoof. Was it a mistake in judgment? I don't know. But who hasn't made mistakes? Again, it's easy for me to say these things, but it would have been a greater bow to freedom of expression and against guilt by association for the program and PBS to stick by her.
A New Mexico woman on a commercial rafting trip in southwestern Colorado was pierced in the lip by a fishing hook - possibly on purpose.Officials have said the woman is most upset in the knowledge that everytime the fisherman tells his buddies the story, her weight will go up.
Deputies said Monday that witnesses think it was done deliberately by a disgruntled fly fisherman on the banks of the Taylor River.
During the nearly thirty-five years I've spent here on Planet Earth, in between seeing a million faces and rocking them all, I've learned a thing or two, those little gems we call "life lessons"...those nuggety bite-sized chunks of wisdom that we will someday bore our grandkids with while wetting ourselves, probably in a public place.
So, before it comes to that, and before aged incontinence becomes a visual and olfactory distraction, I figure I'd share a few of these tips with you, right here on the blog:
"How do I join? And do I have to strip myself of any vestiges of personality and originality first?"Let's put aside that special level of incongruency of thought that somehow cloning me would (a) make me more special and (b) would add personality and originality simply by copying my (admittedly delightful!) genetic goodness.
It seems evident that was done for you at birth, but you go right along thinking that you are special - maybe they'll clone your sorry ass.
Did you put it aside?
If you're having difficulty, just imagine that you're a wingnut and it's some pesky part of the Constitution that, oh, says gay folks are equal. Or, maybe you're a moonbat: in that case, pretend it's some wee, secondary part of the Constitution that you're convinced was really about the joys of taxidermal relations with bears.
Now, that out of the way, let's get to the crux of the matter:
The blogger in question was upset that I didn't want to join Michelle Malkin's rabidly conservative group that thinks Lee Greenwood and John Ashcroft are the the next generation of Dylanic wordsmiths, sonic torchbearers for the New American Century.
I'm not sure if this is supposed to upset me. Is it? I mean, it... sounds... you know, like a good thing of which not to be a part.
Groucho Marx once said that he didn't want to belong to any club that would have him as a member... I'll go one step further and say that if you join a club that really grooves on Greenwood's a-blessin' and Ashcroft's eagle a-soarin', you should immediately engage in self-sterilization.
Maybe some music appreciation lessons while you convalesce.
But, at the very least, definitely self-sterilization (perhaps see: hammer, ball peen, below).
A note to new readers, or long-term readers who to this day wonder about me: I've got nothing personal against Michelle Malkin. I mean, it's not like I was some Japanese-American interned in World War II or anything. In fact, sometimes she's actually quite amusing (the Moonbat Fast video being one example).
I like good poems.
Little hippie car.
Carl D. Grossman of Joplin, MO is a dick.
Rumor has it that he also likes to streak in the vicinity of retirement homes.
If you need more proof that the Republican Congressional leadership has lost its mind, look no further than this.
Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) is leading the opposition to the H.R. 810, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act. Yesterday, during debate on the bill, he held up a picture of an embryo drawn by a 7-year-old girl. Relaying a conversation with the girl’s mother, Brownback said the embryo was asking the Senate, "Are you going to kill me?"I realize that actual science is beyond the grasp of most right-wingers in positions of national responsibility, but this is mind-bogglingly sad.
You don't say:
The second option, invoking the soul, is like explaining gravitation by extolling the wonders of Gravity Elves, even if they are cute with their little feathered caps and lederhosen. That is, it's even more irrelevant to anything approximating reality.
Anyway, philosophically speaking, we really can't prove that anyone other than ourself has a sense of individuality. We could just be the proverbial brain in a jar.
But I bet my jar is shinier and prettier than any dumb ol' clone's.
* And if that were the case, they'd all be wingnuts and moonbats.
Senator Bill Frist has started a group medicine blog. He can do that, see, because he's a doctor.*
Just think, all you have to do is go there, leave a comment, and the good doctor will diagnose what ails you via the magic of the Intarwebs.
Hey, if it was good for Terri Schiavo's liquified brain, it's good enough for you.
* There are additional, unconfirmed reports that he is a baby-eating space lizard too, but - as I said - that's really just hearsay at this point.
Michelle Malkin has started a conservatives group over at YouTube.
What videos do they think are representative of the conservative movement?
How do I join? And do I have to strip myself of any vestiges of personality and originality first?
While battles rage across the Israel / Lebanon border; while lives are shattered on each side; while the political complexities, be they an ineffectual Lebanese government or the nature of the Israeli response, are being discussed; CNN makes this its headline:
Open mic catches Bush expletive on Mideast...ooh! ahhh! with video even!
CNN, are you trying to prove the wingnuts right by making as big a joke of yourself as possible?
Wow, President George Bush, speaking privately, used a curse word. Next you'll tell us he poops behind closed doors too.
This is your press corps. The President has a potty mouth is a more pressing story than the President believe sufficient pressure on the sovereign nation of Syria could be the key to ending an intensely volatile war in the Middle East. What a proud day for my profession.Hey, maybe they're learning: Brad Pitt's "fatherhood is a true joy" story is about to drop below the fold at CNN.
What's everyone having out there?
Me, I'm thinking a nice bacon sandwich with a side of crazy.
Maybe if I write a post blasting The Weekly World News for leaking the truth about aliens and werewolves I can get my fifteen minutes too.
It's the stuff of webby fantasy and urban legend: a reader who takes an Onion story seriously. Last week, a speedy and vicious blogosphere watched its collective wet dream made real when "Pete," proprietor of antiabortion blog March Together for Life, posted "Murder Without Conscience," a furious excoriation of a 7-year-old fake column in the Onion titled "I'm Totally Psyched About This Abortion!"The article details how "Pete" tried more spin than even a typical episode of The O'Reilly Factor:
Pete eventually wrote five entries about the Onion piece and its aftermath, each trying out a slightly different approach to defusing the issue.He's the blogospherical Land Shark, is what he is.
Update: PZ Myers points out that the "idiot nutjobs" link to the Rapture Ready message board is dead; the board admins pulled the thread. What used to be there was a lot of religious wackos getting moist over the current hostilities in the Middle East, joyful that - while people die - Jesus is that much closer to coming back!
I guess they're ashamed of their God, what with hiding their witnessing. For shame.
Michelle Malkin undertakes the self-imposed suffering of Cindy Sheehan's Moonbat Fast.
I suspect, if Sheehan ever attempted self-immolation, it would look more like sitting in a sauna than dousing herself in gasoline and lighting up.
Note: If you'd like to join the moonbats in dieting on delicious shakes, ice cream, and Jamba Juice, you can sign up here.
I wonder if throwing steak, mashed potatoes, gravy, and green beans in a juicer would count?
My favorite bear, Paul Farrell, sites 8 major studies, all of them pointing to about 2/3 of Americans being totally unprepared to shoulder the costs of retirement.The post goes on to quote those eight studies, each indicating that the majority of Americans are, upon retirement, going to get caught with their DependsTM down.
If you're middle class and not living below your means, not taking full advantage of matching in your employer's 401(k) or other plan, not contributing to either a traditional or Roth IRA, and not putting aside a "rainy day" fund, you're asking for trouble.
And, you know, as much as I like you, I really don't want to have to support your sorry ass come 2036. So, get with the program, ok?
Thanks. You're a peach.
Well, that's potentially no good.
Multiple mutations have been found in the H5N1 bird flu virus that killed seven family members in Indonesia although scientists are unsure of their significance, a leading science journal said on Thursday.But don't worry, evolution isn't real. There's absolutely no chance that you will wake up to find your bloodstream infected with little monkeys or the like.
But researchers believe the findings reinforce the need for bird flu data to be more widely available to improve understanding of the deadly virus.
"The functional significance of the mutations isn't clear -- most of them seem unimportant," the journal Nature said in a report in the latest issue on Thursday.
(As an aside, this is yet another example that creationist canard of "most mutations are harmful" is false. I don't want to suggest anything improper, but it's almost like they lie on purpose.)
I wonder... seems the WaPo is looking for stories of faith:
The world is home to many spiritual stories, and we'd like to hear yours. Tell us, in 400 words or less, about a time of crisis that tested your faith, the person who most influenced your beliefs, a life-changing event that shaped your spiritual identity, or a religious teaching or ritual that you find especially moving. E-mail your comments to email@example.com and include a daytime phone number.I think of equal interest, if they're truly looking for some sort of balance along the way*, would be tales from atheists. Go on, e-mail them, my brothers and sisters, and tell them how a crisis broke your faith... tell them who influenced your non-belief.... tell them what you find moving about our existence, all without the need for a deity.
I doubt you'll get called, but you never know.
* I think that's a lyrical line from 7Seconds. Or close to one anyway.
There's a crime that is taking place, right this very minute, right under our noses.
Somewhere in the world, there's a factory. A factory that manufactures DVDs. DVDs for public consumption.
And, on some conveyor belt in that factory, there's a DVD case. Or two. Or six thousand. Or sixty thousand.
And in those cases?
But - oh no no no! - my friends, the worst is yet to come, for this is but half of the contemptible videographic villainy. For, while these shiny-backed bastardizations of a once mildly amusing cartoon cat are cranked out with senseless abandon, the production line has yet to turn out even one disc containing a certain masterpiece of modern cinema.
A prophetic work that envisioned how important computers would be to our everyday lives, how they would help us do our work faster and better, how they would let us create our own music and movies, and how they might someday fall in love with a hot, young Virginia Madsen in the apartment upstairs.
I speak, of course, of the 1984 movie "Electric Dreams."
So, while we wait with growing impatience for Hollywood to remedy this grave injustice, I present the following to calm your tempers:
Jeff Lynne - Video
Culture Club - Love is Love
Giorgio Moroder - The Duel
Giorgio Moroder - Madeline's Theme (played by some dude)
I wonder if I can find it on BitTorrent...
Note: You can see the movie preview here (popup).
Note 2: Yes, I can find the movie on BitTorrent.
Note 3: And, as cool as this movie was, I still think Electric Dreams was better. You know, except for the glaring lack of lightcycles.
"Magic mushrooms," used by Native Americans and hippies to alter consciousness, appear to have similar mystical effects on many people, U.S. researchers reported on Tuesday.The spiritual is chemical; the chemical is physical; the physical is actual; and God becomes ever more unnecessary.
More than 60 percent of volunteers given capsules of psilocybin derived from mushrooms said they had a "full mystical experience."
* Bonus points for naming the band and song I've gone all klepto on.
Given the choice between having the compressor on your 5-year old refrigerator die and not having it die, my vote is on the "not having it die." Your wallet will thank you.
Just so you know.
(And let's not even mention the entire freezer of food that thawed and had to be thrown away...)
Update: Here's some more useful advice - how to turn $100 into $1500.
When you believe in things like deities and angels and the power of prayer, is it really that much of a leap to believe the Onion is a legitimate source of news?
(found at Pharyngula)
Looks like somebody went and pissed off God, as evidenced by this obvious example of "Intelligent Falling."*
A four ton piece of rock came off the canyon wall in Golden and fell directly on a car parked along the shoulder of Highway 6. The Toyota Camry was no match for the massive boulder.Or maybe God finally did get around to creating a rock so heavy he couldn't lift it. A divine case of butterfingers.
The car was so smashed that some people passing by didn't even see it at first. Only the left front tire and the front bumper were recognizable. Sharon Knox said, "I hope that they weren't in that car. That rock looks like a boat."
Oh, that's nice. Which sport was that again? And is that the country shaped like a boot?I, however, am very happy for whomever is very happy about the win, and equally heartbroken for those whose team did not win.
Oh, it was France that lost?
Well, I'm still happy for the winners anyway.
Orrin Hatch was for the drug war:
Sen. Hatch said that President Clinton's drug policy is "in utter disarray," not putting enough emphasis on law enforcement and interdiction....before he was (apparently) against it:
U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, a musician in his own right, helped secure the release of Atlanta R&B producer Dallas Austin from a United Arab Emirates jail after a drug conviction, the senator's office confirmed Saturday.Hey, maybe Austin can produce my song about hypocrisy in politics!
I said a flip flop to the flippie flippie
To the flip flip flop, you don't stop...
In short, apparently bipolar and sans meds left-wing 9/11-conspiracy-lovin' kook goes after Jeff Goldstein, making a litany of vulgar comments on Jeff's blog that could easily be construed as not just Grade A Whacko but threatening to his two-year old son. Turns out said kook teaches pscyhology at the University of Arizona, making her behavior even more bizarre; did she not know she was showing signs of obvious mental issues?
Jeff's readers, numbering roughly one gazillion, in turn decide that the kook had pooped quite enough in the sandbox and go on the offensive.
Now, Ms. Frisch (aka "kook") wants to raise the white flag of woe-is-me victimhood. It'd be funny if it weren't so sad.
(P.S. Jeff's site is currently under DoS attack, unknown if it's related to this incident, but just lettin' you know in case you can't reach his site)
Update: Euphoric Reality is documenting the whole ugly affair, as Ms. Frisch deletes comments from her blog and Jeff's remains unreachable.
Much of the unhinged portion of the right-wing blogosphere, apparently off its meds for more than a few days, is rallying around a call-to-arms over the New York Times publishing information about the St. Michaels, Maryland homes of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.
"Why, they've pointed the terrorists right to them!" they cry in unison. "Crucify the traitors! Crucify them!"
OK, all well and good, but first we'll have to start with right-wing darling pseudonews site NewsMax, as back in 2005 they wrote:
Vice President Cheney is buying a house in posh St. Michaels, Maryland - he is, that is, if you believe the rumors swirling around this Eastern Shore community on the shoreline of the Chesapeake Bay.Not to be outdone by flippity-flopper John Kerry, however, they're indignant about it all.
Then again he and his wife may not be in the process of buying a luxurious $2.9 million mansion thought to have been built by one of Thomas Edison's daughters back in 1930.
According to the Washington Post, it's set amidst nine lush bayfront acres and includes extensive gardens, ornamental pools and spectacular views of the bay behind it - and it boasts among its neighbors Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
Beware of travel feature stories posing as invitations to terror...NewsMax was in favor of this story before it was against it.
Times Travel section writer Peter Kilborn even makes sure enemies of the two men will know such details as where Mrs. Rumsfeld shops in the eastern shore town of St. Michaels, Md. where the two administration officials have weekend retreats.
He even lets the curious know what street the Cheneys and Rumsfelds have to use to get to their own road.
St. Michaels is a town of 1200 people, a town where the median income is $39K per year... I don't think it's going to be any well-kept secret where the rich people in town live.
Don't misunderstand me: The New York Times has done stupid, stupid things (e.g. reporting on the SWIFT program after being asked by multiple government sources to reconsider - but then they weren't the only ones to report it). However, when the right-wingnutters grasp at things like this as if they were the end all be all of traitorous behavior from the media, they just look stupid.
Very, very stupid.
The Sunlight Foundation is hosting a poll. Your thoughts are valuable (to someone, probably - I'd be willing to bet on it).
You know what I like about this show?
Very, very little.
Well, ok, so Brooke Burke's finer points aren't so little, but in the grand scheme of things, they're
teeny tiny small bigger than a breadbox, but not by much.
You know, like maybe a box in which you'd keep a nice ciabatta.
Note: Not that I believe in such things, but isn't it tempting fate to name your new band after a dying star? Although, when you see Tommy Lee... Jason Newsted... the guy who replaced Izzy in G'n'R... maybe it's rather appropriate.
The Hollywood elite: desperately out-of-touch with how the other 99.9% lives.
Star Hollywood actor-activists including Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon and anti-war campaigners led by bereaved mother Cindy Sheehan plan to launch a hunger strike, demanding the immediate return of US troops from Iraq.I suppose when you live, work, and breathe La-la Land and have enough money to, hell, pay someone to eat for you, giving up eating for 24 hours seems like a huge sacrifice*.
...supporters, including Penn, Sarandon, novelist Alice Walker and actor Danny Glover will join a 'rolling" fast, a relay in which 2,700 activists pledge to refuse food for at least 24 hours, and then hand over to a comrade.
This is little more than an insult to those who undertake serious hunger strikes (even if I don't see the point, much as with self-immolation) and those who go without food for 24 hours because such are the circumstances of their lives.
If becoming rich and famous means being this insufferably detached from reality, then I don't want to be rich and famous.
I'll settle for rich.
And maybe just the subject of office watercooler gossip.
* Maybe for some of them it really is; note that Michael Moore is not listed
Yup, that's our Earth - the pinnacle of creation, the center of everything.
This page shows a scale model of the solar system, shrunken down to the point where the Sun, normally more than eight hundred thousand miles across, is the size you see it here. The planets are shown in corresponding scale. Unlike most models, which are compressed for viewing convenience, the planets here are also shown at their true-to-scale average distances from the Sun. That makes this page rather large - on an ordinary 72 dpi monitor it's just over half a mile wide, making it possibly one of the largest pages on the web.And they're not kidding.
I love me some YouTube.
Monte Montgomery ripping out his own take on Little Wing:
That is all.
By the look of things, his mom has a walk-out basement.
Yes, folks, after much discussion, cleverly disguised as a couple of e-mails containing no more than 2-3 sentences each, David J and I have decided that August 25, 2006 shall be the date of the next Rocky Mountain Blogger Bash.
Not to be confused with this RMBB, although we welcome one and all, the time has come to gather, converse, drink, and generally do any number of things that might lead to varying states of swiss-cheesed amnesia the morning after.
Or not. Hey, whatever your speed is cool with us. We're nifty like that. Warm and accepting. Fuzzy and huggable.
So, yeah, anyway, the scoop:
Rocky Mountain Blogger Bash (RMBB) 5.5Details soon.
Location: To Be Determined, Somewhere in Denver
Time: Usually around 7, although the regulars show early
Dress: Something Slinky, Maybe Low-cut
Update: OK, so maybe August 26. We'll let you know.
Those of you with young children may have had the displeasure of watching the modern incarnation of Sesame Street... I've only caught it once, and it was an episode about the evils of talk radio. I kid you not. Oscar had a talk radio show in which he was just rude to everyone who disagreed and wasn't that ever so awful and oh my you don't want to grow up like that, now do you?
Whatever happened to teaching our kids how to add, subtract, multiply, divide, read, write, and get their groove on?
Imagine my delight when I discovered, on YouTube, this glorious, seven-minute-long live performance of "Superstition," by Stevie Wonder, from the early 1970s...
On Sesame Street.
Update: Speaking of the way we were, albeit some 10 years or so later, I really used to dig the animated series "MASK." Looking back on the opening sequence however, I would like to make note that the theme song from Star Trek: Enterprise still reigns supreme in cheese.
Zimbabwe, often in the news for being politically backwards courtesy of thug-in-charge, Robert Mugabe, is now boldy stepping into the 17th century.
Zimbabwe has unbanned the practice of witchcraft, repealing legislation dating back to colonial rule.Well, yeah, because supernatural powers do not exist. It's equally as difficult to prove that the invisible pink unicorn, blessed be her name, is the cause of jock itch.
From July the government acknowledges that supernatural powers exists - but prohibits the use of magic to cause someone harm.
The new Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act will demand proof that a person has supernatural powers and that they are using them to harm others.
"It's not going to be easy task," says Custom Kachambwa, a judge with years of experience in the legal field.
Pardon me. Must scratch.
What I find most sad is that nowhere in the article does anyone say that it's all so much horsepuckey. Instead we have a social commentator saying the claims should be investigated before assigning causes to witchcraft, and a Christian leader declaring witchcraft is the work of Satan.
Look, if you believe in witchcraft and charms and crystals and mystical ooga-booga talkity-talk, well, bully for you. I would say you're rationalizing, explaining away all the times your so-called magic did nothing and focusing on the few times chance blessed you with the results for which you hoped.
It's rather like me saying I'm the next Warren Buffett just because I identified WEBX as a good stock to buy and it shot up 25% in two weeks. It may very well be true, but unless you look at the rest of my stock picks, you'd be a damned fool to give me your money to put in the market.
But, uh, feel free to do it anyway. I've got some tea leaves spelling out ticker symbols as we speak.
...which I was, a couple of days ago, for reasons that remain inexplicable even to me, I present this.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the latest Israeli action in Gaza:
Abbas said he worried Israel would proceed with the offensive.Then you might want to, oh, I don't know, consider not attacking and kidnapping Israeli soldiers... or kidnapping and murdering Israeli teens... or saying you'll recognize Israel's right to exist if they give back land they took the last time you and your friends tried to eradicate the Jews... or electing avowed terrorist organizations to run your government.
"I am afraid that what is to come is going to be dangerous because we can't bear another serious aggression and another occupation," he said.
Just some food for thought.
After 30 minutes of mumbo-jumbo from Mary Gordon (see post below) on Bill Moyers' "On Faith and Reason," the next interview was with British philosopher (and atheist) Colin McGinn.
Sounds pretty good to me...
I'm not sure if the wish-factor or fear of death are the origins of religious belief in the modern individual. I think it's more related to the way religious ideas are pounded into the heads of children from an age where they do not question much of anything.
God-belief, or at least the willing acceptance of a faith-based concept on the word of those around you, must have some survival value. The child that learns from the parent tends to live longer than the one who crosses the street without looking both ways.
However, it does make sense to me that giving up theistic belief may be made difficult by the psychological factors McGinn proposes. To be an atheist is to realize that the universe doesn't care about us, that death is the end of the self, that deceased loved ones are gone forever, and that all we have is each other.
It's not exactly pep-rally material, is it? Of course, just because you attend a pep rally doesn't mean you're cheering for the winning team.
My own experience is that my life became richer when I dropped belief in god. I could see people in new ways, appreciate them as fellow humans muddling through this thing called life the best they know how. Old biases had to come up for evaluation and were soon jettisoned.
The universe became more awe-inspiring and curious. There was no more "goddidit" fairy tale belief to explain the beauty of existence at both its most massive and microscopic scales. The mystery of the reality around me had currents that ran deeper than any myth.
I agree, and see it on both sides of the political spectrum. Free speech is essential, even if it means mocking God, gays, Allah, or atheists. In many countries, this blog would be putting my right to walk around freely at risk.
God bless America (so to speak).
I agree that comparative religion classes are fine in the school. If nothing else, maybe it will make clear that we humans are fine myth makers, each group dedicated to the proposition that only their myth was created equal. It might also help some to realize that basing the meaning of your life, as well as your ethics, on a myth with nary a shred of evidence to support its assertions, is - well - pretty silly.
Revelation from a god didn't tell us that the Earth goes around the Sun; reason did.
Not much for me to add there...
An uncomfortable truth is still the truth, folks. I don't like the idea that someday I will lose my wife and children, by my death or theirs; that my friends and family will pass into oblivion; that when their eyes close for the last time, their last conscious moments will be entirely alone within the confines of a dying brain.
But, you know what? That's life (and death). Suck it up like an adult and enjoy the life you do have while you've got it.
Last night, while flipping from this channel to that, I happened to land upon the local PBS airing of an episode of Bill Moyers' On Faith & Reason. The two guests were American author Mary Gordon and British philospher Colin McGinn, Catholic believer and deconverted atheist, respectively.
After watching each of the half-hour interviews, I think that "insane" and "sane" might apply just as well. Respectively. But, you be the judge... here are my notes on Mary Gordon. Thoughts on McGinn to follow soon.
This, of course, is theology at the level of a child, perhaps a rather impaired one at that. For most believers, I suppose, she's appropriately targeted her audience; however, for those of us, believer or atheist, who actually spend time to doubt and think on such matters, such a comparison of differing faiths is silly.
We believe the #4 bus will arrive on time because we know that buses exist. Because we know that public transportation needs to keep to timetables as much as possible. Because we know that the #4 bus in particular, more often than not, arrives on time.
We have, I would hope, a grounding in experience, open to all, to support such a belief in the #4 bus. It's essentially the scientific method at work. If the #4 bus was late every single day but you believed it would arrive on time, you're either naive or a little slow on the uptake.
This is nothing like the faith so many have in their deity of choice. If the #4 bus was an ineffable mystery, beyond the boundaries of the universe, beyond objective verification, and took apparent pleasure in seeing its creation fight about what octane gas it most prefers, we might at least having the start of a valid comparison.
Either way, it strikes me as creepy.
She cites the problem of evil (a complex theological conundrum which the child theologian dismisses with some baseless comment about free will). She bemoans the behavior of religious institutions through time, and sums up by saying that religious belief appears to make no difference when it comes to virtue, and that when such belief is connected to power, corruption arises.
Maybe it's me, but I think the apologetic gun went off and her stigmatic foot started bleeding right after the first sentence.
Why, of course it is: wanting to make money and live the good life is inexplicably harder to understand than the desire to kill thousands of innocent people and be a martyr so you can get funky with 72 imaginary virgins.
But, fear not, her religious belief is what keeps her from doing it. She has to see Jesus in her fellow human beings. She's actually surprised she's not a murderer.
She, uh, is also about 90 miles the far side of crazy.
When she decided she didn't want to die a painful death, it actually caused a religious crisis for her.
Because all the cool kids long for agony in death, don't you know?
Uh, if you're not providing answers, then you're not explaining anything. I believe the opposite of an answer is a question. Perhaps she meant, in a larger sense, that the nonsensical answers which religion provides will lead the thinking individual to more questions... such as "God made humans." Well, who made God?
At this point, for most believers, they turn off the mental light and go to bed. Sweet dreams!
Is religion a language? I suppose each religion may provide new concepts to its adherents, but they're empty constructs, meaningless fluff, all without a whiff of evidence behind them. Souls. Reincarnation. The Godhead. You name it.
Further, I could put speakers of five languages into a room, give them a cup, and within a matter of minutes they could probably agree on what it is, how to use it, and what to call it such that each understands.
Do that with five religions talking about their core belief and it'll be hours of gibberish until finally someone kills the other for not seeing just how theirs is the One True God.
Well, sue me if I don't thank God for suffering then, ok, Ms. Gordon?
Remember, folks: I used to be a believer, but I got better. Let's hold out some hope for Ms. Gordon as well.