Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Pope Rat Reveals True Colors at Last

Associated Press via Yahoo:

Pope: Other Christians not true churches

LORENZAGO DI CADORE, Italy - Pope Benedict XVI reasserted the primacy of the Roman Catholic Church, approving a document released Tuesday that says other Christian communities are either defective or not true churches and Catholicism provides the only true path to salvation.

The statement brought swift criticism from Protestant leaders. "It makes us question whether we are indeed praying together for Christian unity," said the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, a fellowship of 75 million Protestants in more than 100 countries.

"It makes us question the seriousness with which the Roman Catholic Church takes its dialogues with the reformed family and other families of the church," the group said in a letter charging that the document took ecumenical dialogue back to the era before the Second Vatican Council.

It was the second time in a week that Benedict has corrected what he says are erroneous interpretations of the Second Vatican Council, the 1962-1965 meetings that modernized the church. On Saturday, Benedict revived the old Latin Mass — a move cheered by Catholic traditionalists but criticized by more liberal ones as a step backward from Vatican II.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Heck of a job, Steny! You too, Harry. Yep, heck of a job!

Glad to see choosing Steny and Harry to the Leadership got us the result we elected the Democrats to produce.

The term is Majority LEADER you twits. Look to Mitch McConnell for lessons on party discipline if you must. Grow some political stones or at least take a drink before a session for some false courage. Or get the hell out of the way for some people who will do what the people elected them to do.

Can't talk about impeachment, it's not proper; can't criticize anyone, they might get angry at us come the election; can't enforce a subpoena, the mean old Vice Prezzie might get mad at me.

Sad, pathetic wimps, one and all.

The Constitution is dead.

Long live the Empire.
Fucking bastards.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I'm A Believer!

Well, I have been smote. Falwell has reached out from beyond the grave. The day after my Falwell benediction, I was diagnosed with strep throat. Two days after that, the emergency room informed that I have severe bronchitis.

Isn't it SCARY, kids?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

He's Dead!

"[T]hrowing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way -- all of them who have tried to secularize America -- I point the finger in their face and say "you helped this happen." Falwell on the 700 Club shortly after 9/11

You can still kiss my ass, you bigoted scum-sucking hypocrite. Hope you enjoy the hell out of hell!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

So it goes....

Kurt Vonnegut

Novelist, Essayist, Humanist

The 20th century's Mark Twain

Friday, March 30, 2007

It's raining 300 men.

Just the treatment this piece of fascist warporn drivel needed.

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Daily Blatt Now Banned in China!

Apparently, The Blatt is one of the many sites blocked in China.

I suspect it's really nothing we've done. Our sin is that we use a blog host (Blogger) which is probably being mass blocked.

Still, all in all a good example of how pervasively stupid and arbitrary the whole web censorship meme is.

Test your own site.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Poverty Gap in US Has Widened under Bush

People wonder why I get so angry about BushCo and its policies. These are real people living in real pain. Having grown up in circumstances similar to those described here, I can assure you that it wasn't because my Dad was lazy or didn't try' or that we were expendable. Neither are these folks.

Poverty deepens when the wealthy don't care. Poverty deepens when the super wealthy simply get greedy. No other explanation is possible.

Published on Tuesday, February 27, 2007 by the Independent / UK
by Andrew Gumbel

The number of Americans living in severe poverty has expanded dramatically under the Bush administration, with nearly 16 million people now living on an individual income of less than $5,000 (£2,500) a year or a family income of less than $10,000, according to an analysis of 2005 official census data.

The analysis, by the McClatchy group of newspapers, showed that the number of people living in extreme poverty had grown by 26 per cent since 2000. Poverty as a whole has worsened, too, but the number of severe poor is growing 56 per cent faster than the overall segment of the population characterised as poor - about 37 million people in all according to the census data. That represents more than 10 per cent of the US population, which recently surpassed the 300 million mark.

The widening of the income gap between haves and have-nots is nothing new in America - it has been going on steadily since the late 1970s. What is new, though, is the rapid increase in numbers at the bottom of the socio-economic pile. The numbers of severely poor have increased faster than any other segment of the population.

"That was the exact opposite of what we anticipated when we began," one of the McClatchy study's co-authors, Steven Woolf of Virginia Commonwealth University, said. "We're not seeing as much moderate poverty as a proportion of the population. What we're seeing is a dramatic growth of severe poverty."

The causes of the problem are no mystery to sociologists and political scientists. The share of national income going to corporate profits has far outstripped the share going to wages and salaries. Manufacturing jobs with benefits and union protection have vanished and been supplanted by low-wage, low-security service-sector work. The richest fifth of US households enjoys more than 50 per cent of the national income, while the poorest fifth gets by on an estimated 3.5 per cent.

The average after-tax income of the top 1 per cent is 63 times larger than the average for the bottom 20 per cent - both because the rich have grown richer and also because the poor have grown poorer; about 19 per cent poorer since the late 1970s. The middle class, too, has been squeezed ever tighter. Every income group except for the top 20 per cent has lost ground in the past 30 years, regardless of whether the economy has boomed or tanked.

These figures are rarely discussed in political forums in America in part because the economy has, in large part, ceased to be regarded as a political issue - John Edwards' "two Americas" theme in his presidential campaign being a rare exception - and because the right-wing think-tanks that have sprouted and thrived since the Reagan administration have done a good job of minimising the importance of the trends.

They have argued, in fact, that the poverty statistics are misleading because of the mobility of US society. A small number of left-wing think-tanks, such as the Economic Policy Institute, meanwhile, argue that the census figures are almost certainly lower than the real picture because many people living in extreme poverty do not answer census questionnaires.

United States poverty league: States with the most people in severe poverty

California 1.9m

Texas 1.6m

New York 1.2m

Florida 943,670

Illinois 681,786

Ohio 657,415

Pennsylvania 618,229

Michigan 576,428

Georgia 562,014

North Carolina 523,511

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Today's Spam Poem

Good day, MacAdams

That doctor offers her a bribe.
That farmer leaves her a couple of books.
That farmer rows a boat.
That farmer strikes him a heavy blow.
That flight attendant calls him a taxi.
That flight attendant finds the box empty.

That flight attendant kept the milk cold.
That flight attendant leaves the door open.
That flight attendant orders her a new hat.
That garbage man keeps the milk cold.
That garbage man lifts weights.

Your past records aren't a problem.
Furthermore, if you have owned your house
For at least 5 months,
You've already been approved.


Saturnia antifermentative

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Make my day.


Happy Anniversary!


For all my friends from the Penn State Science Fiction Society
38 years ago today we all met, and the universe (for this blogger anyway)
got a lot bigger and a lot brighter.

Thank you.

Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary
Happy Anniversary
Happy Anniversary
Haaappy Anniversary

Pour a cheerful toast and fill it
Happy Anniversary
But be careful you don't spill it
Happy Anniversary

Ooooo Happy Anniversary
Happy Anniversary
Happy Anniversary
Haaappy Anniversary

Ooooo Happy Anniversary
Happy Anniversary
Happy Anniversary
Haaappy Anniversary

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Medieval Moment

 Who would I be in MCD AD?
Seems about right....

The Monk

You scored 21% Cardinal, 69% Monk, 47% Lady, and 27% Knight!
You live a peaceful, quiet life. Very little danger comes your way and you live a long time. You are wise and modest. You have little comfort, little food and have taken a vow of silence. But who needs chatter when just sitting in the cloister of your abbey with a good book makes you perfectly content.

The Who Would You Be in 1400 AD Test written by KnightlyKnave

Poem of the Day

Sympathy by  Paul Laurence Dunbar 

I know what the caged bird feels, alas!
     When the sun is bright on the upland slopes;
When the wind stirs soft through the springing grass,
And the river flows like a stream of glass;
     When the first bird sings and the first bud opes,
And the faint perfume from its chalice steals—
I know what the caged bird feels!

I know why the caged bird beats his wing
     Till its blood is red on the cruel bars;
For he must fly back to his perch and cling
When he fain would be on the bough a-swing;
     And a pain still throbs in the old, old scars
And they pulse again with a keener sting—
I know why he beats his wing!

I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
     When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,—
When he beats his bars and he would be free;
It is not a carol of joy or glee,
     But a prayer that he sends from his heart's deep core,
But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings—
I know why the caged bird sings!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Poem of the Day

 Now Winter Nights Enlarge by Thomas Campion

Now winter nights enlarge
     The number of their hours;
And clouds their storms discharge
     Upon the airy towers.
Let now the chimneys blaze
     And cups o'erflow with wine,
Let well-tuned words amaze
     With harmony divine.
Now yellow waxen lights
     Shall wait on honey love
While youthful revels, masques, and courtly sights
     Sleep's leaden spells remove.

This time doth well dispense
     With lovers' long discourse;
Much speech hath some defense,
     Though beauty no remorse.
All do not all things well;
     Some measures comely tread,
Some knotted riddles tell,
     Some poems smoothly read.
The summer hath his joys,
     And winter his delights;
Though love and all his pleasures are but toys,
     They shorten tedious nights.

Another day that will live in infamy.

 from Axis of Evel Knievel:

On 5 February 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell appeared before the United Nations Security Council to present the United States’ case for disarming Saddam Hussein. Among the many fabulous details conveyed by the general that day, Powell warned that

our conservative estimate is that Iraq today has a stockpile of between 100 and 500 tons of chemical weapons agent. That is enough agent to fill 16,000 battlefield rockets.

Even the low end of 100 tons of agent would enable Saddam Hussein to cause mass casualties across more than 100 square miles of territory, an area nearly 5 times the size of Manhattan.

Let me remind you that, of the 122 millimeter chemical warheads that the U.N. inspectors found recently, this discovery could very well be, as has been noted, the tip of the submerged iceberg.
The question before us, all my friends, is when will we see the rest of the submerged iceberg?

Powell has since described the speech as a "blot" on his record and the "lowest point in my life."

Jesus Christ on a raft!

from Lawyers, Guns & Money:

Answering questions from students at Moscow University in late May 1988, Ronald Reagan offered these observations:
Let me tell you just a little something about the American Indian in our land. We have provided millions of acres of land for what are called preservations—or reservations, I should say. They, from the beginning, announced that they wanted to maintain their way of life, as they had always lived there in the desert and the plains and so forth. And we set up these reservations so they could, and have a Bureau of Indian Affairs to help take care of them. At the same time, we provide education for them—schools on the reservations. And they're free also to leave the reservations and be American citizens among the rest of us, and many do. Some still prefer, however, that way—that early way of life. And we've done everything we can to meet their demands as to how they want to live. Maybe we made a mistake. Maybe we should not have humored them in . . . wanting to stay in that kind of primitive lifestyle. Maybe we should have said, no, come join us; be citizens along with the rest of us. As I say, many have; many have been very successful.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Molly Ivins (1944-2007)

Thorn in Bush's side

We will miss you, Ms. Molly.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Poem of the Day

Dover Beach by Mathew Arnold

The sea is calm tonight.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Ægean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Connotation Of Infinity by e e cummings

a connotation of infinity
sharpens the temporal splendor of this night

when souls which have forgot frivolity
in lowliness,noting the fatal flight
of worlds whereto this earth’s a hurled dream

down eager avenues of lifelessness

consider for how much themselves shall gleam,
in the poised radiance of perpetualness.
When what’s in velvet beyond doomed thought

is like a woman amorous to be known;
and man,whose here is alway worse than naught,
feels the tremendous yonder for his own—

on such a night the sea through her blind miles

of crumbling silence seriously smiles

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Poem of the Day

In Mars, What Avatar? by Don Marquis

“In Vishnu-land, what avatar?”

Perchance the dying gods of Earth
Are destined to another birth,
And worn-out creeds regain their worth
In the kindly air of other stars—
What lords of life and light hold sway
In the myriad worlds of the Milky Way?
What avatars in Mars

What Aphrodites from the seas
That lap the plunging Pleiades
Arise to spread afar
The dream that was the soul of Greece?
In Mars, what avatar?

Which hundred moons are wan with love
For dull Endymions?
Which hundred moons hang tranced above
Audacious Ajalons?

What Holy Grail lures errants pale
Through the wastes of yonder star?
What fables sway the Milky Way?
In Mars, what avatar?

When morning skims with crimson wings
Across the meres of Mercury,
What dreaming Memnon wakes and sings
Of miracles on Mercury?
What Christs, what avatars,
Claim Mars?

Monday, January 22, 2007

Poem of the Day

 The Dead Man Walking by Thomas Hardy

They hail me as one living,
But don’t they know
That I have died of late years,
Untombed although?

I am but a shape that stands here,
A pulseless mould,
A pale past picture, screening
Ashes gone cold.

Not at a minute’s warning,
Not in a loud hour,
For me ceased Time’s enchantments
In hall and bower.

There was no tragic transit,
No catch of breath,
When silent seasons inched me
On to this death …

—A Troubadour-youth I rambled
With Life for lyre,
The beats of being raging
In me like fire.

But when I practised eyeing
The goal of men,
It iced me, and I perished
A little then.

When passed my friend, my kinsfolk,
Through the Last Door,
And left me standing bleakly,
I died yet more;

And when my Love’s heart kindled
In hate of me,
Wherefore I knew not, died I
One more degree.

And if when I died fully
I cannot say,
And changed into the corpse-thing
I am to-day,

Yet is it that, though whiling
The time somehow
In walking, talking, smiling,
I live not now.


There she goes... : The McNaught comet is seen early morning from Pucon, Calafquen Lake sector, Chile. (AFP/David Lillo)

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Poem of the Day

New Dreams For Old by Cale Young Rice

Is there no voice in the world to come crying,
“New dreams for old!
New for old!”?
Many have long in my heart been lying,
Faded, weary, and cold.
All of them, all, would I give for a new one.
(Is there no seeker
Of dreams that were?)
Nor would I ask if the new were a true one:
Only for new dreams!
New for old!

For I am here, half way of my journey,
Here with the old!
All so old!
And the best heart with death is at tourney,
If naught new it is told.
Will there no voice, then, come—or a vision—
Come with the beauty
That ever blows
Out of the lands that are called Elysian?
I must have new dreams!
New for old!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Via Boing Boing

 Sinister Ducks

Sheep Ringtone

Some people definitely have too much time on their hands.....

My Inner European is Dutch

Your Inner European is Dutch!

Open minded and tolerant.
You're up for just about anything.

Well, I do love Amsterdam a whole lot. Though I remain a Scot in my heart and soul.

Poem of the Day

Alone by Edgar Allan Poe

From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were—I have not seen
As others saw—I could not bring
My passions from a common spring—
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow—I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone—
And all I loved—I loved alone—
Thou—in my childhood—in the dawn
Of a most stormy life—was drawn
From every depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still—
From the torrent, or the fountain—
From the red cliff of the mountain—
From the sun that round me roll’d
In its autumn tint of gold—
From the lightning in the sky
As it passed me flying by—
From the thunder and the storm—
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Edgar Allan Poe
(1809 –1849)

Poet, short story writer, editor, critic

Leader of the American Romantic Movement.

Best known for his tales of the macabre, Poe was one of the early American practitioners of the short story and a progenitor of detective fiction and crime fiction. He is also credited with contributing to the emergent science fiction genre.


from Think Progress:

Yesterday, during Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales claimed there is no express right to habeas corpus in the U.S. Constitution.

Gonzales was debating Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) about whether the Supreme Court’s ruling on Guantanamo detainees last year cited the constitutional right to habeas corpus. Gonzales claimed the Court did not cite such a right, then added,

“There is no express grant of habeas in the Constitution.”

Specter pushed back. “Wait a minute. The constitution says you can’t take it away, except in the case of rebellion or invasion. Doesn’t that mean you have the right of habeas corpus, unless there is an invasion or rebellion?” Specter told Gonzales, “You may be treading on your interdiction and violating common sense, Mr. Attorney General.” (more)

What mail order law school did this idiot buy his diploma from? Has he never heard of the Magna Carta?

Cheap, safe drug kills most cancers

 from New Scientist:

It sounds almost too good to be true: a cheap and simple drug that kills almost all cancers by switching off their “immortality”. The drug, dichloroacetate (DCA), has already been used for years to treat rare metabolic disorders and so is known to be relatively safe.

It also has no patent, meaning it could be manufactured for a fraction of the cost of newly developed drugs.

Evangelos Michelakis of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and his colleagues tested DCA on human cells cultured outside the body and found that it killed lung, breast and brain cancer cells, but not healthy cells. Tumours in rats deliberately infected with human cancer also shrank drastically when they were fed DCA-laced water for several weeks. (more)

Poem of the Day

The Mystic by Cale Young Rice

There is a quest that calls me,
In nights when I am lone,
The need to ride where the ways divide
The Known from the Unknown.
I mount what thought is near me
And soon I reach the place,
The tenuous rim where the Seen grows dim
And the Sightless hides its face.

I have ridden the wind,
I have ridden the sea,
I have ridden the moon and stars.
I have set my feet in the stirrup seat
Of a comet coursing Mars.
And everywhere
Thro’ the earth and air
My thought speeds, lightning-shod,
It comes to a place where checking pace
It cries, “Beyond lies God!”

It calls me out of the darkness,
It calls me out of sleep,
“Ride! ride! for you must, to the end of Dust!”
It bids—and on I sweep
To the wide outposts of Being,
Where there is Gulf alone—
And thro’ a Vast that was never passed
I listen for Life’s tone.

I have ridden the wind,
I have ridden the night,
I have ridden the ghosts that flee
From the vaults of death like a chilling breath
Over eternity.
And everywhere
Is the world laid bare—
Ether and star and clod—
Until I wind to its brink and find
But the cry, “Beyond lies God!”

It calls me and ever calls me!
And vainly I reply,
“Fools only ride where the ways divide
What Is from the Whence and Why”!
I’m lifted into the saddle
Of thoughts too strong to tame
And down the deeps and over the steeps
I find—ever the same.

I have ridden the wind,
I have ridden the stars,
I have ridden the force that flies
With far intent thro’ the firmament
And each to each allies.
And everywhere
That a thought may dare
To gallop, mine has trod—
Only to stand at last on the strand
Where just beyond lies God.

Comet McNaught


Comet McNaught is the brightest comet to appear in centuries. 
Only visible in the Southern Hemisphere, this photo gallery compiled by gives us in the North a hint of the beauty.

One more reason I should have immigrated to New Zealand in 2002.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Poem of the Day

 I Wake And Feel The Fell Of Dark, Not Day by Gerard Manley Hopkins

I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day.
What hours, O what black hours we have spent
This night! what sights you, heart, saw; ways you went!
And more must, in yet longer light’s delay.
With witness I speak this. But where I say
Hours I mean years, mean life. And my lament
Is cries countless, cries like dead letters sent
To dearest him that lives alas! away.

I am gall, I am heartburn. God’s most deep decrees
Bitter would have me taste: my taste was me;
Bones built in me, flesh filled, blood brimmed the curse.
Selfyeast of spirit a dull dough sours. I see
The lost are like this, and their scourge to be
As I am mine, their sweating selves, but worse.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Well, this should just about do it....

from MSNBC:

Saudi Arabia believes the Iraqi government is not up to the challenge and has told the United States that it is prepared to move its own forces into Iraq should the violence there degenerate into chaos, a senior U.S. official told NBC News on Tuesday.

Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal made no effort to mask his skepticism Tuesday about President Bush’s proposal to send 21,000 more U.S. troops to Iraq to stem sectarian fighting.

“We agree with the full objectives set by the new plan,” Saud said at a joint news conference in Riyadh with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who is traveling in the region selling Bush’s plan. “We are hoping these objectives can be accomplished, but the means are not in our hands. They are in the hands of the Iraqis themselves.”

But he knows so much more than we do...


From Coherent Babble, this LIST with text of all the signing statements the Resident has used to claim authority to ignore and twist the intent of laws passed by Congress. Complete with annotations.

Frightening. And awe inspiring in its abilty to produce  anger.

Poem of the Day

Absence  by Amy Lowell

My cup is empty to-night,
Cold and dry are its sides,
Chilled by the wind from the open window.
Empty and void, it sparkles white in the moonlight.
The room is filled with the strange scent
Of wistaria blossoms.
They sway in the moon’s radiance
And tap against the wall.
But the cup of my heart is still,
And cold, and empty.

When you come, it brims
Red and trembling with blood,
Heart’s blood for your drinking;
To fill your mouth with love
And the bitter-sweet taste of a soul.

Happy Birthday

Shari Lewis
(1933 – 1998)
Ventriloquist, puppeteer, and children's television show host

The programs featured such characters as Hush Puppy, Charlie Horse, Lamb Chop, and Crowie. Lamb Chop, (pictured here) served as a sort of sassy alter-ego for Shari.

Ms. Lewis may have been my earliest crush. Certainly she is one of the reasons I so much wanted to be a puppeteer.


Latest from the Profound Grasp of the Obvious Department

 from The New York Times:

There are worries that Sunni-Shiite tensions in Iraq could start to balkanize the Middle East.

Ya Think?!?

Climate change moves 'Doomsday Clock' closer to midnight

from BBC:

Experts assessing the dangers posed to civilisation have added climate change to the prospect of nuclear annihilation as the greatest threats to humankind.

As a result, the group has moved the minute hand on its famous "Doomsday Clock" two minutes closer to midnight.

The concept timepiece, devised by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, now stands at five minutes to the hour.

The clock was first featured by the magazine 60 years ago, shortly after the US dropped its A-bombs on Japan.

Not since the darkest days of the Cold War has the Bulletin, which covers global security issues, felt the need to place the minute hand so close to midnight. (more)


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Poem of the Day

Eurydice by H.D.

Why did you turn back,
that hell should be reinhabited
of myself thus
swept into nothingness?

Why did you turn?
why did you glance back?

So you have swept me back—
I who could have walked with the live souls
above the earth.
I who could have slept among the live flowers
at last.

so for your arrogance
and your ruthlessness
I am swept back
where dead lichens drip
dead cinders among moss of ash.

What was it that crossed my face
with the light from yours
and your glance?

What was it you saw in my face—
the light of your own face,
the fire of your own presence?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Poem of the Day

Chicago Poems. 1916. Carl Sandburg

At a Window

GIVE me hunger,
O you gods that sit and give
The world its orders.
Give me hunger, pain and want,
Shut me out with shame and failure
From your doors of gold and fame,
Give me your shabbiest, weariest hunger!

But leave me a little love,
A voice to speak to me in the day end,
A hand to touch me in the dark room
Breaking the long loneliness.
In the dusk of day-shapes
Blurring the sunset,
One little wandering, western star
Thrust out from the changing shores of shadow.
Let me go to the window,
Watch there the day-shapes of dusk
And wait and know the coming
Of a little love.

Martin Luther King's Other Message

from Jesus' General

...I am as deeply concerned about our troops there as anything else. For it occurs to me that what we are submitting them to in Vietnam is not simply the brutalizing process that goes on in any war where armies face each other and seek to destroy. We are adding cynicism to the process of death, for they must know after a short period there that none of the things we claim to be fighting for are really involved. Before long they must know that their government has sent them into a struggle among Vietnamese, and the more sophisticated surely realize that we are on the side of the wealthy and the secure while we create hell for the poor.

Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of Vietnam. I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted. I speak for the poor of America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home and death and corruption in Vietnam. I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours.

This is the message of the great Buddhist leaders of Vietnam. Recently one of them wrote these words:
"Each day the war goes on the hatred increases in the heart of the Vietnamese and in the hearts of those of humanitarian instinct. The Americans are forcing even their friends into becoming their enemies. It is curious that the Americans, who calculate so carefully on the possibilities of military victory, do not realize that in the process they are incurring deep psychological and political defeat. The image of America will never again be the image of revolution, freedom and democracy, but the image of violence and militarism."


The world now demands a maturity of America that we may not be able to achieve. It demands that we admit that we have been wrong from the beginning of our adventure in Vietnam, that we have been detrimental to the life of the Vietnamese people. The situation is one in which we must be ready to turn sharply from our present ways.

In order to atone for our sins and errors in Vietnam, we should take the initiative in bringing a halt to this tragic war.

There is no  need to point out the obvious, is there?

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Robert Anton Wilson

from the San Jose Mercury News

Robert Anton Wilson, author of 'Illuminatus' trilogy, dies at 74

CAPITOLA, Calif. - Robert Anton Wilson, co-author of the cult classic "The Illuminatus! Trilogy," a science-fiction series about a secret global society, has died. He was 74.

Wilson died peacefully of natural causes at his home Thursday in Capitola in Santa Cruz County, his daughter Christina Pearson said Saturday.

Post-polio syndrome had severely weakened Wilson's legs, leading to a fall seven months ago that left him bedridden until his death, Pearson said.

Wilson wrote 35 books on subjects such as extrasensory perception, mental telepathy, metaphysics, paranormal experiences, conspiracy theory, sex, drugs and what he called quantum psychology.


Wilson's Illuminatus books were the main source for the group mythology of my fannish cohort in the late 70's.

Life was frequently  explained by a reference from the books. 

I know I for one will never look at the number 23 in the same light again.

Thanks for the mindfuck, Mr Wilson.

Friday, January 12, 2007

National Delurking Week

Chris at Creek Running North reminds us that it is National Delurking Week. Time to 'fess up folks. If there is anyone out there, please feel free to identify yourself in as much detail as you would like, then curse  us, praise us or laugh in our bloggish faces if you wish. From the visitor logs, I know we have a few regular visitors. Why not say hello?

Oh, but it was never about the oil.....

from Mother Jones:

Big Oil Wins Iraq's Petroleum Resources

The long discussed plan to hand over most of Iraq’s oil assets to big foreign oil companies is about to happen. When people can't figure out what Bush means when he claims victory in Iraq, this is what he is talking about.

According to the Independent, the companies are looking at terrific profit potentials. "The US government has been involved in drawing up the law, a draft of which has been seen by The Independent on Sunday. It would give big oil companies such as BP, Shell and Exxon 30-year contracts to extract Iraqi crude and allow the first large-scale operation of foreign oil interests in the country since the industry was nationalized in 1972."

The plan envisions production sharing agreements among the oil companies and the Iraqi government. Such agreements are unusual in the Mideast. The production sharing agreements would run for 30 years with companies taking an initial 75 percent of all profits to cover costs and then 20 percent of all profits. According to the Independent that’s twice the industry average.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Monday, January 08, 2007

Retirement Gift for El Chimpo?

via the Houston Chronicle:

Flying banana may reach new artistic heights

Artist wants to float 1,000-foot balloon over Texas

The French gave us the Statute of Liberty, Mexico sort of gave us Texas and now Canada wants to give us a giant helium-filled yellow banana.

More specifically, Montreal artist Cesar Saez hopes to send a 1,000-foot long banana dirigible into the southern sky next year to make giant loops over the Lone Star State.

"I want to bring some humor to the Texas sky," said Saez, 38, well known in Quebec for his public works of art.

"It's an artistic statement and a spectacle. One thing I love is the issue of truth or hoax, and I love the ambiguity," said the Argentina-born artist. (more)


Thursday, January 04, 2007

Great News

 From Rep. John Murtha's Blog:

I will be recommending to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense that we begin extensive hearings starting on January 17, 2007 that will address accountability, military readiness, intelligence oversight and the activities of private contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We will be demanding substantive answers to questions that have gone unanswered for far too long.

The war in Iraq and its effect on our military and our nation's future remains the most crucial issue facing the new Congress. I will be recommending an aggressive pursuit of action that will allow us to reduce our military presence in Iraq at the soonest practicable date.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Saddam's Dog executed


from Our source, Inside the mind of a Geordie Monkey comes this retraction. Obviously, we retract the story as well.

Saddam Dog Faked
by The Trained Monkey on Thu 04 Jan 2007 08:11 GMT | Permanent Link
I posted a story about Saddam Dog being Executed last week,

I have now found that the story is FAKE.......the picture has been faked 

The photo is found on DOGS DESERVE BETTER website which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to freeing the chained dog, and bringing our ‘best friend’ into the home and family.

warning distressing pictures
the orginal picture is on

the orginal picture is here


They killed his dog.

His DOG?


from Inside the Mind of a Geordie Monkey

Saddam's Dog executed

Shortly after the execution of the dictator Saddam Hussein, his dog Blondi followed the same fate to the gallows. Contrary to Saddam, Blondi’s execution was broadcast live in full length. Some minor complications arose, which dragged out the death struggle to unbearable lengths. Animal activist group PETA has filed a formal complaint to the Iraqi Foreign Ministry.

warning the link is rather unpleasant. Despite extensive monitoring of iraqi media by the likes of the bbc, they seem to have ignored it.


Pat Robertson Disputed

from the comments at Eschaton:

Great - now my dog is talking in tongues and skooching a pentagram on the floor with her ass. I think the devil is getting ready to rebut Pat.

General Zod


Avedon gets it exactly right.

 from Sideshow:

Digby warns that the Stepford Press is going all-out to tell each other how important it is that Nancy Pelosi rein in the partisanship in Washington. Every time a pundit says something like this, a little bell should go off in your head that says, "I must ask this person immediately how Pelosi is supposed to stop the Republicans from being so viciously partisan."
It wouldn't hurt to start reminding people that "what is partisan" and "what is good for the country" are two different issues, and it is the latter that matters. If the Republicans oppose programs that are good for the country, the Democrats have no choice but to appear "partisan" - because this isn't about being a Democrat, it's about being an American.

She has it right. We CANNOT fall for the BS that disagreeing with The Chimp and his gang of thieves is somehow partisan and expecting us to do everything he wants is not. As I've said before, we need to grab these neocon pukes where the sun don't shine and kick them hard and long. Kick them until they think twice about taking this country to war for profit. To think long and hard before sending our young people to die in some hellhole so the vice president's friends could get a bigger golden parachute. And to think  forever before allowing a sociopathic loser to resolve his issues with his Daddy by playing toy soldiers with real lives.

Never Again.


Garrison Keillor in Salon:
Here we have a slacker son of a powerful patrician father who resolves unconscious Oedipal issues through inappropriate acting-out in foreign countries. Hello? All the king's task forces can gather together the shards of the policy, number them, arrange them, but it never made sense when it was whole and so it makes even less sense now.

American boys in armored jackets and night scopes patrolling the streets of Baghdad are not going to pacify this country, any more than they will convert it to Methodism. They are there to die so that a man in the White House doesn't have to admit that he, George W. Bush, the decider, the one in the cowboy boots, made grievous mistakes. He approved a series of steps that he himself had not the experience or acumen or simple curiosity to question and which had been dumbed down for his benefit, and then he doggedly stuck by them until his approval ratings sank into the swamp.

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise.

from Bloomberg:

Exxon Mobil's Biggest Oil Spill? Look in Brooklyn, Not Alaska

By Matthew Leising

Jan. 3 (Bloomberg) -- The biggest oil spill Exxon Mobil Corp. has to answer for isn't the cargo that gushed from the Exxon Valdez tanker into Alaska's Prince William Sound. It's the fuel soaked into the ground beneath a working class section of Brooklyn, New York.

The pressure is rising on Exxon Mobil to expand its cleanup of oil that seeped into the soil over many decades in the Greenpoint neighborhood. The New York State attorney general's office is threatening legal action, and two suits in the past year seek billions of dollars for alleged damage to property values and possible health risks. (more)

It's easy to post record profits when other people are paying the real price for the way you do business.

Scum.  Not even worthy to breathe the same air as the rest of us.



What he said......

from MSNBC via Crooks & Liars:

Keith Olbermann  spits in The Chimp's smirk ridden face, removes his pointy little head and hands it back to him. 

A bravura performance that speaks truth to power the way all of us, the media included,  should be doing all the time.

Watch it.

Pass it forward.

Draw strength from it, the time  for direct action may be coming soon .

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

My God, What Have We Done?

 from the New York Times:  

A listing, with photos, of the 3000 plus American service personel who have died so far in Iraq.

Do your duty. Call up the dead from your state. Memorize their faces. Salute them for their sacrifice. Do not forget them in the coming years.

From Pennsylvania:

144 lives, 141 men, 3 women. 
Ages 19 to 51. 
Mainly Army. Some Marines. A few Navy.

Mostly they come from small dead or dying ex-industrial burghs scattered all over the state. Strangely, none are from the rich suburbs of Philly or Pittsburgh.

Many of these brave and wonderful people were probably looking for the way out of poverty so gloriously promised by the lying ass recruiters. They didn't live long enough to find those promises turning to ash in their mouths.

And for what in the end? So that a psychopathic narcisistic loser could show the world that his dick was bigger than his Daddy's?

Sadly, there are not many websites large enough to post the pictures of the half a million Iraqis who have died as a result of our "Liberation. 

Not that anyone would make the effort to do so in any case.

It is to weep.