Saturday, June 30, 2007

breaking! markos moulitsas admits to being karl rove!

in a little known interview with, markos moulitsas, aka the great and powerful kos, admitted to actually being a future reincarnation of a clone of karl rove which came back in time to destroy the blogosphere before it could usurp george bush's power.

the interview was actually given in 2010, but the crack i t staff at skippy international was able to trace the isp footprints foward 3 years into the future (it has something to do with our servers being cross-connected with the clock radio in the break room) and was able to find kos's own words actually admitting that he's out to destroy everyone whom he purged from his blogroll earlier this year.

an except from the interview:

f:  so you're actually a clone.

mm:  yes.  i'm the 23rd generation of a karl rove clone experiment conducted in by the bill frist institute of flat earth science in the year 2525.

f:  in the year 2525?  is man still alive?

mm:  yes, and women are kept in pens for men's pleasure and to make babies.  although we don't need to make babies anymore because the grand exhalted leader jenna bush xiv has declared stem cell research legal for all white people who make more than $500 million a year.

f:  adjusted for inflation, that must be...

mm:  not all that much.  a coke costs $100,000.

f:  so, you're really karl rove, come back in time to destroy the blogosphere.

mm:  yes.  it was decided by the dick cheney 5000 computer-bot that the only way to ensure the great republican revolution had staying power was to make the left look looney.

f:  and you're doing that now?

mm:  well, first we tried sending a real fat guy who made goofy movies back in time, but that didn't work out.

f:  michael moore?

mm:  chris farley.  who knew heroin was so much fun?  so, anyway, it was my mission to come back to pre-21st century berkeley, start up a small internet concern, then convince everybody that if we banded together, we could change the world.

f:  did you?

mm:  of course.  my powers of persuasion are legendary.  and i'm incredibly charming in person.

f:  i'll admit to wanting to have sex you with you right now.

mm:  understandable.  using these great charms, my hologram jerome armstrong and i were able to convince the majority of left-leaning computer geek slackers to vote for the democratic party.

f:  as opposed to someone who would actually stand up to bush?

mm:  exactly.  we were able to stave off actual grassroots change and let the glorious republican mass mind-control take place.  now the future is one of peace and prosperity for old rich white men everywhere inside the beltway.  oh, by the way, i'm going to have to kill you, you know.

f:  i guessed.  but can we have sex first?

mm:  no.

f:  aaaaarrrrrghhhhggghhh!!!!!!  my spleen!!!
it is our sincere hope that by publishing this interview we can change the course of history, and...

arrrggghh!! our spleen!


George Wallace making his infamous 1963 stand in the schoolhouse door at the University of Alabama

Somewhere, a 94-year-old ex-Klansman is laughing his ass off. USA Today gives us the autopsy:

Setback for equal education
Students, parents and educators have good reason to be confused about mixed messages from Washington.

The federal No Child Left Behind law demands that schools reduce learning gaps between racial groups. On Thursday, however, the Supreme Court took away a key tool for achieving that goal.

The sharply divided court struck down voluntary school integration plans in Louisville, and Seattle that use race as a factor in making public school assignments. "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the 5-4 majority.

Roberts' words make for snappy rhetoric. But reality, 53 years after the historic Brown vs. Board of Education decision began to dismantle segregated school systems, is that children in many predominately minority schools continue to receive inferior educations.

If history is any guide, Thursday's ruling means Louisville and other cities will have more such schools. In 1999, for example, a judge ordered San Francisco schools to stop using race in school assignment. Since then, schools there have slowly resegregated.

"I never learned hate at home, or shame. I had to go to school for that."
--Dick Gregory, comedian and social activist

Friday, June 29, 2007

Democratic Presidential Forum - Talking loud an saying nothing

Biden Clinton
Dodd Edwards
Gravel Kucinich
Obama Richardson

The political talking heads were all there. All the Democratic candidates, You know all the names. Tavis (prime time) Smiley moderated while Dewayne Wickham, Michelle Martin and Ruben Navarrette asked questions. It was the first time a panel of journalist of color got a chance to asks questions of the candidates.

The questions were loosely based on Tavis Smiley’s book The Covenant With Black America. The outgoing Howard University President welcomed the crowd, while syndicated talk show host and party man, Tom Joyner introduced newly elected Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. YES!

The first issue for discussion was Education and matters of race.

First up, the ever condescending Hillary Clinton who gave her bogus and insincere diatribe about today’s Extreme (Supreme) Court ruling, and her need to say “there is work to be done.”

AAPP - OK, as if Black America needs you to tell us this.

Next up, Joe (Obama is the first bright, clean and articulate) Biden talks about what a great job he has done as a member of the Judiciary committee grilling John Roberts, and how its the Roberts court that has turned the clock back. Hey lets not forget Bill (I’m Latino don’t get my last name twisted) Richardson who stressed the next president needs to lead a dialogue on race. But provided nothing concrete other than the presidents needs to talk about race. I was feeling John Edwards, who was on of the few sincere candidates at the forum. He at least admitted that there continues to be a dual public school system in America - one for the affluent and ones for the poor. Hello, Brown V. Education 2007.

Let’s not forget brother Barack Obama who received applause every time he smiled. Yes it was clearly an Obama crowd at this Forum. but maybe not Obama’s night.

Obama tried to say there should be mutual citizen and government action to get us where we are going as Nation regarding education. OK, Obama sounds great, no strategy, no plan just smiles for the cameras. Oh yeah, there are other candidates like Dennis Kucinich who pointed out the need for universal kindergarten and day care. Hello!

Hey let us not forget about the blue eyed soul 2nd cousin, Mike Gravel. What, you ask who is Mike Gavel, hey, this is the only guy who calls it the way it is, and talks about the real issues like the alleged War On Drugs, that caused the disproportionate number of black men and women to be behind bars.

Hey, what about the silver haired “certified” liberal, Chris Dodd. Dodd who has no chance of getting the nomination, sounded like he read the playbook from his look alike Jack Kemp.

You get a sense of the discussion. Clinton with “It takes a village to raise a child..” which she stole. To clinton saying the village has failed its children. No Senator Clinton “America” destroyed its children. She makes me sick with that old school, “socioeconomically deprived” crap. But I have to wonder what type of drug Gov. Richardson and others were on when they responded to the HIV question. Did you check out how Richardson continued to talk about “Needles.” Are black teenagers throughout America using needles to cause the high numbers of HIV? My understanding is it is un-protected sex. (education) not needles dude.

Hello this man is misinformed. Hey, Obama, was on point regarding HIV and homophobia issues in our community and the need for universal health care. Kucinich was on point regarding the need for sex education.Hello, Richardson, who ever your handlers are they did a bad job about coaching you about HIV and the black community. I like Chris Dodds approach regarding school-based clinics where children can get advice on sex education. But I’m not sure Chris Dodd is up on recent events. The Extreme Court has sent us back 50 plus years. We will be glad to have a toilet in the next 5 years. Here comes Hillary, If HIV/AIDS were the number one cause of death for white women a lot more would be done.

Hap hap, people are we!. The black women scream, yes, yes, she identifies with us! Yes, I’m voting for Hillary! YES, there is a God. Great one liner Hillary you got the black women vote. At least the one’s here who gave you the evenings only standing ovation. WHAT!

Oh, hell to the no says Biden. You are not going to out do me Hillary!

Hey black guys, In my state I have gone into the black neighborhoods in Delaware talking to black men about wearing condoms. what! See Brotha’s I know whats going on in the hood. Biden even says, hey, I even got tested for HIV, hey, Barack Obama did too! Holy Shit! What the hell!

It went down hill from there.

That’s how it was for the rest of the night. Pointless.

Tavis Smiley attempted to have the Democrats come to the black community to have them address issues of importance to us. Unfortunately, the format sucked, and as usual the Democrats brought us a circus.

It was the Barnum and Bailey circus at it’s best. And black folks, lead on by aging black leaders watched the three ring circus and clapped, and watched, and clapped, and watched, and clapped.

We watched as Democrats gave us a dog and pony show, with an invisible dog and pony. I would have loved to enjoy the stupid pet tricks. No commitments just hollow words. The Covenant With Black America had no meaning at this forum. The little meaning available was Tavis Smiley (new school) and a bunch of old school black political opinion makers and civil rights icons having the opportunity to shake hands with a number of Democratic candidatess. WOW! If there is truly any meaning in that!

Hey, but guess what, we have a Latino and a African American running for the presidency of the United States. A clueless and confused group of people who proved last night, they have no idea how to truly address America’s issues that are Black, white, and gray.

The bottom line was, for me, the forum was truly just another Barnum and Bailey - Democratic Circus, with the best financed clowns money can buy. I only wish they had graduated from clown school and rehearsed their skit, so this African American Political Pundit could have at least enjoyed the show.

Tavis, maybe next time, with the Republican event you’ll ask the Universal Soul Circus to come to town. We can at least get a laugh when the bigoted Republican Circus comes to Baltimore.

Candidly, I can’t wait to see who they put in the front seats of that circus! Colin (WMD) Powell, or Clarence (you blacks stay in your poor schools) Thomas?

Will American Rise Up?

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane & My Left Wing

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The Soviets tried to bring down America over and over but there was one simple method they didn't use that would have overwhelmed the American population and opened the door for a silent Soviet Invasion - sleeping pills in the Big Macs. Why? Because I think that is what is happening now.

There really needs to be a Bush Scandal Wiki somewhere - just to keep track of all the scandals and crimes against the Constitution, democracy & humanity, war crimes and out right vandalism and theft. I just can't keep up. With that much scandal and democratic disgrace the ONLY explanation I can think of as to why Americans are not rioting in the street is because the Big Macs are chocked full of sleeping pills.

The MSM and the Republicans and their "fake rage" followers almost had a coronary over Bill Clinton's brief bout of oral sex, but BushCo gets a pass? Benedict Arnold got a LOT worse for a LOT less. He planned to give up a fort and failed, Bush gave up the Constitution of the United States of America and is still in office. How is that even possible?

Maybe it isn't Big Mac doping. Maybe if this were a basketball game and not our freedom, things would be different.

And so concludes Howl Qaeda. I hope you enjoyed the series.


Gag Order

A Nebraska judge bans the word rape from his courtroom.
By Dahlia Lithwick
Usually we leave it up to the linguists and philosophers to muse on the crazy relationship between words and their meanings. In the law, words—the important ones, at least—are defined narrowly, and judges, lawyers, and jurors are trusted to understand their meanings. It's precisely because language is so powerful in a courtroom that we treat it so reverently.

Yet a Nebraska district judge, Jeffrey Cheuvront, suddenly finds himself in a war of words with attorneys on both sides of a sexual assault trial. More worrisome, he appears to be at war with language itself, and his paradoxical answer is to ban it: Last fall, Cheuvront granted a motion by defense attorneys barring the use of the words rape, sexual assault, victim, assailant, and sexual assault kit from the trial of Pamir Safi—accused of raping Tory Bowen in October 2004.

Safi's first trial resulted in a hung jury last November when jurors deadlocked 7-5. Responding to Cheuvront's initial language ban—-which will be in force again when Safi is retried in July—-prosecutors upped the ante last month by seeking to have words like sex and intercourse barred from the courtroom as well. The judge denied that motion, evidently on the theory that there would be no words left to describe the sex act at all. The result is that the defense and the prosecution are both left to use the same word—-sex—-to describe either forcible sexual assault, or benign consensual intercourse. As for the jurors, they'll just have to read the witnesses' eyebrows to sort out the difference.

Men don't rape women. Dicks do.

But dicks never take responsibility for the horrible things that they do to women. Instead, they play the sick game of Blaming The Victim. ("That stupid bitch made me rape her!") What's worse, although dicks are too stupid to understand the word "No", they're still cunning enough to manipulative the language and give themselves an alibi.

And dicks always get help from other dicks. In this barbaric interpretation of the law, Jeffrey Cheuvront proved himself to be no different than the rapist in his courthouse: That stupid bitch made me rape her again!

In this case the subtext is this: We Own You.

And property doesn't have any rights. Or a voice.

As George Orwell wisely observed, "The great enemy of clear language is insincerity". In other words, don't piss on my face and call it rain.

That's what dicks do.

Go to Slate and read the rest.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

socal drinking liberally, starring digby!

cross-posted at skippy and a veritable cornucopia of other community blogs.

last night skippy enjoyed the company of some of the finest bloggers in southern california at the quarterly drinking liberally get-together at the famous cock and bull pub in santa monica.

the event was coordinated by skippy's buddy d-day, who is working closely w/the calitics team to promote end of the quarter fund-raising (tho readers of this space know how skippy feels about giving money to dems).

economic agendas aside, however, it was a fine night of fellowship and interpersonal real-time physical space blogging, which used to be called "conversation" in the old school.

among the many friends there that skippy was happy to see: our good buddy steveaudio and his lovely wife pam; john of crooks&liars (tho skippy was disappointed that nicole belle of same was not in attendance); our old co-blogger rj eskow (actually, he's not that old, at least, not any older than skippy); and the prolific thereisnospoon and hekebolos.

but the queen of the ball was none other than the guest of honor, digby herself. since "coming out" as the premiere blogger who no longer needs pseudonymity, digby has been making personal appearances more than donald trump, or so it seems.

it was delightful to finally meet digby, as digby and skippy have been supporting each other's blogging efforts since the old days, back before anyone even knew what the word "blog" was. skippy remarked that while they weren't pioneers, they were early settlers, and digby said her husband would call them "early adapters," a silicone valley reference.

many new faces were also present, and it was a testament to the liberal cause of democracy, and to a lesser extent, alcoholism. a great time was had by all.

on a personal note, skippy personally thanked john amato for starting the tradition of nightly music on blogs, which skippy unabashedly stole from c&l. but john said it's ok.

addendum: d-day has some pics of the event up over at calitics.

Who knew there was good Dick in D.C.?

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane & My Left Wing

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When did GOP Senator from Indiana, Dick Lugar get a voice? Lugar came out swinging on the Senate floor yesterday in a full frontal assault (for him) on the Bush Administration's folly in Iraq.

Believe it or not, CNN said it best:

Two respected senior GOP senators this week publicly asked the president to look for a way out of Iraq. One of them -- Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana -- is the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"When Dick Lugar comes out against your foreign policy, it means your dam is breaking, and it means we're far more likely as a country to move from Plan A to Plan B this fall, when it comes to Iraq," said David Gergen, who has advised both Republican and Democratic presidents.

Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, is jumping straight to what he calls Plan "E" for "Exit."

"It's time for the United States to put together a comprehensive plan for gradual disengagement in Iraq," Voinovich said. "We're running out of time and I don't think it's fair to the next administration to say, 'Hey by the way, we're leaving this baby for you guys to figure out.' "

In a letter to the president, Voinovich, also a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, called for military disengagement and increased diplomatic engagement.

I am still picking myself off the floor. Voinovich's "Plan E" statement was a ball bat, studded with nails - he hit the carcass that is BushCo right out of the park.

Where did THEY get the courage to say no to Bush? Oh, I know. They must have found Pelosi's - ya know, she dropped hers a few weeks back!

Childhood TV nostalgia

I have the coffee hour thread from the other night on Street Prophets (especially commenter Marko who posted the YouTube video) to thank for this discovery.

Which shows do you remember fondly from your childhood?

P.S. Just FYI, but I've added a few new links to my Google Reader shared items, and Demetrius and I have some new designs up at Cafe Press.


Cousin seen as accidental killer of boy, 8
Police focus on gun, reject talk of attack
By Suzanne Smalley and Raja Mishra, Globe Staff
In a tragic turn for a violence-prone Boston family, 8-year-old Liquarry Jefferson was shot to death in his Roxbury apartment, and his relatives' initial account that armed intruders had gunned him down was a lie, police and city officials said last night.

Officials said a 7-year-old male cousin playing with a loaded gun accidentally shot Liquarry, a first-grader who loved basketball, pro wrestling, and pizza. His death early yesterday made him the city's youngest fatal shooting victim in five years.

Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis said last night that police have recovered the weapon used in the shooting. Earlier yesterday, two law enforcement officials with knowledge of the investigation said that detectives were testing a gun found hidden in a stairwell inside the Seaver Street apartment building. Investigators are trying to determine who brought the gun into the apartment, Davis said.

"It's hard to call anybody a suspect in this case, except for the person that brought that gun into the house," Davis said at a press conference last night at Logan International Airport, where he met Mayor Thomas M. Menino, returning a day early from a conference of mayors in Los Angeles.

Menino and Davis declined to identify the boy, other than to say he was a cousin of the victim. Under state law, Davis said, the boy is too young to be charged.

Reading Liquarry's tragic story reminded me of a disturbing incident that happened to me years ago when I visited my parents in New York.

It was an early Saturday afternoon and my family and I were in the living room watching wrestling on TV. Even though we knew the matches were fake, we had fun anyway.

Jake the Snake was beating the snot out of some helpless nobody when suddenly we heard four or five loud popping noises followed immediately by the scream of tires biting into asphalt.

The laughter stopped, and everybody in the room was still and quiet. I felt like a deer in the woods frozen by the sound of the unseen hunter's boot stepping on a branch.

Then the voice of my 3-year-old niece eagerly jumped into the silence. "Listen, everybody! Listen! Shooting! Shooting!"

Looking back on that day, I think what disturbed me more than anything was the fact that instead of fear in my niece's voice there was a joyful excitement. My niece was a proud student who was happy because she guessed the right answer.

My God, I thought. When I was her age, the only gunshots I ever heard were on TV cop shows or westerns. This is crazy. People shouldn't live this way.

But years later, people still live this way. And still die. There's too many guns, and it's easy to get 'em. Listening to gunshots isn't the worst thing that can happen to children these days.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

It is good to find a deal killer

Without a doubt, one of the biggest issues of the day is global warming. The Earth is averaging higher and higher temperatures time passes, and not many respectable scientists doubt it, though there may be a few. Consequently, the wiser of the global warming skeptics don't much argue that the Earth is getting warmer. With ice sheets the size of cities sheering from their moorings and with satelite images showing rather convincingly that such in no mere freak occurance, it is difficult to deny global warming with a straight face.

So the cleverer of the skeptics-- who often also seem to have curious ties to the power industry-- instead deny that we mere humans have anything to do with said warming, and so we may as well go ahead and burn whatever fuels we like... etc. etc. The climate is going to do its thing and we have little to say about it. Good so far.

When arguing, or when simply reflecting quietly-- otherwise known as thinking for oneself-- on some topic, it is nice to run across a deal killer. That is, it is nice to come across an idea, or a piece of evidence, that more or less conclusively kills one or more of the options under consideration. For the hypothesis that humans are not, or do not, play a significant role in changing climate, that deal killer comes in the form of contrails-- the thin clouds trailing behind high altitude jets. These trails, tenuous as they may be, result in measurable changes in surface temperature.

If these wispy clouds cause noticable changes in weather patterns, it becomes very difficult to argue that our many times more massive total output of gasses does not have an effect.

Cross-posted at Hell's Handmaiden.

If you are a Gore Fan, Soprano fans feel your pain.

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane & My Left Wing

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There is a whole groundswell of people who lean into the TV when Al Gore is on. Endless blog entries are made over the tiniest nuance of Gore's expression, body language and SWEET GOD ALMIGHTY - his actual words.

But at the end of every show, every clip, every soundbite, every video on the Gore-strained YouTube server farm, we never hear "I am running."

The bandwidth used on the nuanced "I have not ruled it out" is utterly amazing. There are only so many ways you can put it, yet the wordsmiths over at the Gore compound have written that phrase in such a way that it means more and more that he will run. At first it was the "I have no plans to run" and that has morphed into "I don't need a 500 day campaign."

And that brings us to today's question, what, Al, do you need? What is Al Gore's decision tree?

Is there a Hillary element? Of all the books I have read, there is not a lot of love shared between the Clinton and Gore household. Yes, Al and Bill had a kumbaya moment after 9-11, but that was Al and Bill, not Al and Hillary or Tipper and Hillary or Tipper and Bill. If Hillary looks to be poised to win the nomination, will Gore jump in to save We The People?

Is there a GOP metric? Would Al be watching the contenders to see what he would face? Would sleepy-headed Fred Thompson (also from Tennessee) raise the ire of Al to push him to Iowa?

Is there a "the world is cooking on high and no one is in the damn kitchen" meme that Al watches? No one else seems to be able to do anything about global warming in our current government and frankly, the current crop of 2008 candidates doesn't seem that worried about it. Yes, they all mostly have somewhat passionate position papers on the environment, with, IMO, Edwards on top, but no one that I have seen has Al's presence on the issue and it is a WEIGHTY issue.

Is there a war switch? By the looks of our current Defeatocrat Congress, the troops aren't coming home until we get a new President. Will Gore get fed up with the sorry state of international affairs compared to the condition he and Bill left the world in 2000? Could it be as simple "screw this, I'm in?"

There are probably a great many factors that would go into this. But my bet, our Larry King Moment won't come until October.

Special Note: Today's strip has two new characters; Larry King and Al Gore.

Your Kiss Is What I Miss

Hostel II is offensive to me.

The tattooed skinhead freak who shot a cop yesterday in Salt Lake City is offensive to me.

And the ongoing slaughter happening in Darfur while the world stands by with Eyes Wide Shut goes beyond offensive, and leaves me speechless.

But two guys kissing? Naw. Be serious, alright?

Too bad a narrow-minded swamp creature from New Jersey thought differently.

Newark school district apologizes for censoring gay kiss yearbook photo
NEWARK, NJ -- The Newark School District Monday said that it had made a mistake when it censored a photograph of a gay kiss in the 2007 yearbook at East Side High School.

In a statement the district said that Superintendent Marion A. Bolden has apologized to student Andre Jackson, 18, and would reissue an "un-redacted version'' of the yearbook to any student at the school who wants one.

"Superintendent Marion A. Bolden personally apologizes to Mr. Jackson and regrets and embarrassment and unwanted attention the matter has brought to him,'' according to the statement.

But the teen told a Newark news conference that he is not satisfied. At no point before issuing the press statement did Bolden or other school district officials speak to him Jackson told reporters and said he is "deeply hurt" by having had to learn of the apology through a press release.

Jesus, talk about turning this diseased pimple on his ass into a mountain, huh? Didn't we have this same dumb conversation about interracial relationships fifty years ago? Same game, just different pieces on the board. I can't wait for the lawsuits.

Anyway, maybe they got upset because it was the wrong guys.

Yeah, that's what tied their jockstraps in a knot. How about these two?Is that better, Mr. Bolden?

Holy s--are you O.K.? Hello? Hello?

Damn. I think he's dead.

Ah well.

Fucking idiot.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

master debate

cross-posted at skippy and a veritable cornucopia of other community blogs.

it's refreshing that several democratic candidates have pledged to boycott the fox noise debate next september. not only has john "crossing over" edwards vowed to avoid it, but also barak "to the future" obama and hillary "not necessarily the sopranos" clinton, as well.

one reason (well, the only reason, actually: e.g., fox's bias; but one example of that reason) was fox's insistance that obama studied muslim extremism as a 6 year old child, without anything to back up such an assertion.

so at least some dems show some spine and refuse to attend the congressional black caucus institute-sponsored debate on fox noise next fall.

but some in the multi-millionaire media just can't see the logic in this. scott collins, writing in the latimes, says the dems should just buck up and show up:

so it needs to be said: the democrats are dead wrong not to debate on fox news. and it's hypocritical for the supposedly nonpartisan media to stand by and do nothing while a tv network — even one with an obvious rightward tilt whose fairness and balance deserve every bit of the scrutiny they're getting — is trashed by mega-million-dollar political campaigns in the heat of a white house primary battle. when politicians, one of whom may very well be the next president of the united states, start using their platforms to lob missiles at news-gathering organizations they don't like, it's hard to see how that's much different than president nixon's infamous "enemies list."

well, here's the difference, scott: nixon's list were people whose careers he, as president, wanted destroyed...boycotting fox news is a representation of the free market system. if candidates thinks they won't get a fair shake from somebody, and that somebody has been proven to be biased and subjective, why should those candidates validate that somebody as fair and objective? let's start calling them as we see them, shall we?

fox is unfair and unbalanced. think progress points out (as does c&l) that last night on hannity and colmes, both hannity and guest annthrax coulter did another one of their famous hit jobs on obama:

coulter remarked, “anyone named b. hussein obama should not use the words ‘hijack’ and ‘religion’ in the same sentence.” host sean hannity added that obama’s remarks were part of a “black separatist agenda.”

the timing was not lost on us, so we wrote a letter to the latimes:

sirs and madams:

it is deliciously ironic that the same day the l.a. times presents scott collins chastizing the democrats for boycotting presidential debates on fox news, ann coulter and sean hannity make the democrats' case for them.

on the hannity & colmes show on june 25, coulter accused sen. barak obama once again of being a terrorist, while sean hannity accused him of having a "black separatist agenda."

and yet scott collins would have the democratic candidates overlook such slurs and bigoted vitriol and lend credence to fox news as an "objective" journalistic organ.

scott collins' premise is completely wrong. fox news is not a "news-gathering organization" that just happens to tilt one way or the other. it is a platform for right wing innuendo, smears and agenda that just happens to report a news item now and then.

we would hope that the entire democratic party would refrain from appearing on that very subjective channel.

Can Gore save the Earth and John Edwards?

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane & My Left Wing

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I am truly saddened about Edwards' message not being as well embraced as I had hoped. He is running a vastly different campaign than I recall seeing before. He has made it a point to bring activism to the issues instead of the same tired message of "vote for me." I was especially impressed how he went to the mat on the war funding bill. His message of send it back was strong, well received and really did separate him from the rest of the hand wringers who waited to the last minute to vote "no" on the funding bill.

The activism thing is the part of Edwards that reminds me of Gore. Gore has obviously been against the war from the start and has undertaken a great many activities to bring awareness to global climate change.

So if Gore were to run, would Edwards make a good match? Would Gore even pick Edwards? If offered, would Edwards sign on for the second seat again?

Running On Empty

Hey, "Pacman"?

Do you finally get it? You better.

Look what happened to a friend of yours:

Bears Pull Plug On Tank
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Bears waived troubled defensive tackle Tank Johnson on Monday after he was pulled over for speeding in Arizona last Friday.

Johnson already is suspended for the first eight games of the 2007 NFL season after violating probation on a gun violation.

"We are upset and embarrassed by Tank's actions last week," Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said.

"He compromised the credibility of our organization. We made it clear to him that he had no room for error. Our goal was to help someone through a difficult period in his life, but the effort needs to come from both sides. It didn't and we have decided to move on."

Some jocks at the end of their careers either become legends or pontificating talking heads on ESPN and call it success.

Others are human crash test dummies who can't miss hitting brick walls. What happens to them? They die tragically young (Len Bias), are goddamned lazy and piss away their talent (Derrick Coleman), turn into boozy losers (Vin Baker), go to jail (Denny McClain), or become manipulative assholes that betray both their fans and their legacy (Pete Rose). Then again, you have unique fuck-ups like "Tank" Johnson who do a little bit of everything.

Usually, idiots like "Tank" live in a bunker that keeps the real world outside. Once in a while, though, when they finally Go Too Far, the walls protecting them become as flimsy as a soap bubble and disappear. Poof.

Sure, Tank will get another chance with a new team--at a substantial discount, of course. Maybe next time, he'll hire a driver.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Billboard Campaign Against Negative Rap Music launched

Put Your Money Where Your Moaning Is- Help Spread the ” Stop Listening to Trash” Billboard Campaign

If you will send your eyes to the top right corner of the page, you will see what we bloggers like to call a widget. It is keeping track of a campaign initiated after reading this post that I wrote about a church in Chicago putting up 20 billboards urging people to “Stop Listening to Trash.” Several people commented that they wished they could do that in their city. I responded, “ Open up the yellow pages and call the billboard company.”

The folks over at African American Opinion decided to start a “Chip-In” campaign to duplicate the Chicago billboard campaign. I’ve decided to promote their effort here at What About Our Daughters. Now the organizer has given folks until November 30, 2007 July 31st, I‘m not waiting that long. This goal can be reached by the 4th of July. Time’s a-wasting!

I went to Nashville and all I got was a spine.

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane & My Left Wing

click to enlarge

I should not be surprised at the lackluster and scampering dances of the Democrats that avoided taking a position on anything substantial during this past Sunday's morning political talk shows. Poof and fluffery was all I heard, especially from the overly-distilled ex-firebrand Ted Kennedy. For example during his interview with George Stephanopoulos, Kennedy said in response to the lack of support for the immigration bill, "There are groups that are opposed to this." Ya think? Way to tell him Ted! Glad to see so MUCH fight left in you!

As I scan the tube and the web, the only person, and I do mean ONLY one standing up for the America I once knew is Al Gore.

Will he or won't he? Who knows. But I do know the Democratic Party's answer to the question of bringing the troops home. "Ain't gonna happen."

Mr. and Mrs. Seven of Nine

Sorry, boys and girls, but it's time to put those naughty fantasies away for good. Jeri Ryan is now officially off the market:

Actress Jeri Ryan Marries French Chef

Jeri Ryan married French chef Christophe Eme in the French countryside over the weekend, her rep confirms exclusively to PEOPLE.

"There was so much love in the air," says wedding planner Lisa Vorce of Oh, How Charming! event production. "They are so happy together."

Ryan, 39, who stars in CBS's legal drama Shark, wore a Vera Wang gown as she and Eme, 37, exchanged vows Saturday in a castle in Eme's hometown outside Angers in the Loire Valley.

"It's breathtakingly beautiful," Ryan told PEOPLE in November of the wedding venue. "I pulled in and just started crying."

As a big-time Trekkie, I've had a warm fondness for Jeri Ryan ever since I saw her for the first time in Voyager, and I believe that the introduction of Ryan's Seven of Nine character single-handedly saved the series from cancellation. Voyager wasn't the worse Star Trek spin-off (no, that dubious honor goes to the infamous Enterprise), but it was an ambitious, ill-conceived and doomed experiment, and it precipitated the slow decline of the franchise.

The bad luck began when Geneviève Bujold dropped out, and the dull Kate Mulgrew was cast as Captain Janeway. Oops. As awful as that misfire was, it got worse. The cross-eyed and tone-deaf producers of Voyager continued to unerringly hit our collective thumbs squarely with a hammer by giving us an African-American Vulcan with an ugly haircut, The Dullest Klingon In The Universe, a guy who had Mike Tyson's facial tattoo, and a motley crew of assorted non-entities in starfleet uniforms. Add a few tasteless plots left from The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, toss in the microwave, and serve. Blah.

But the addition of Seven of Nine changed everything for the better.

A drone captured from the Borg collective, Seven of Nine became a member of Voyager's crew and, other than Robert Picardo's sly, charming and graceful portrayal of the ship's doctor, was the program's most compelling character. Bitterly resented by Mulgrew, and unfairly maligned as cheesecake in a skintight suit, I thought Ryan gave Voyager humor, mystery, sensuality, and a subtle and tragic poignancy that wasn't there before.

As with Spock, Data, and Odo, Seven of Nine was an alien being misplaced in a world of humans searching to find her own identity. In return, these intriguing characters made us question our own assumptions about what humanity was. Oboy, now we're cooking. With so much to work with, the stories practically wrote themselves. For example, a gentle and heartfelt scene where The Doctor teaches a quizzical Seven of Nine to sing "You Are My Sunshine" is wonderful. Who cares if Mulgrew was pissed off? I'm sure David Caruso didn't like it when Andy Sipowicz didn't stay dead like he was supposed to because Dennis Franz was so good in NYPD Blue, people didn't want to see him go. Jeri Ryan did the same thing, and deserved her success. Presently, Jeri is trying her best not be be devoured by the crazed scenery-chewing of James Woods. She was better in Voyager.

I wish Jeri Ryan and Christopher Eme all the best in their marriage. Sob. The lucky bastard.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Workers Have the Right To Remain Silent: A Podcast Interview With the ACLU's Bruce Barry

The topic below was originally posted in my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal as well the Peace Tree and Worldwide Sawdust.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
So reads the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. However, the Constitution does not prevent employers from encroaching upon the free speech of their employees. Even so, most Americans assume their right to free speech is protected in all aspects of their life – including their jobs. The reality is quite different.

A factory worker named Lynn Gobbell was fired in 2004 when her employer, a George Bush supporter, objected to her John Kerry bumper sticker. Edward Blum, a stockbroker with Paine Webber in Houston during the 1990s was fired because he actively opposed affirmative action on his own time. A flight attendant with Delta Airlines lost her job when the airline disapproved of her personal blog. Those are but a few examples cited by Bruce Barry, the author of Speechless: The Erosion of Free Expression In the American Workplace, published by Berrett-Kohler.

Barry utilizes case law and history to illustrate how freedom of speech has diminished for Americans at their jobs. A Professor of Management and Sociology at Vanderbilt University as well as president of American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, Barry contends the legal concept known as “at will” is perversely imbalanced in favor of employers. In his introduction Barry writes,
“Work is where most adults devote significant portions of their waking lives, and where many forge the personal ties with other adults through which they construct their civic selves. Yet work in America is a place where civil liberties, including but not limited to freedom of speech, are significantly constrained, even when the exercise of those liberties poses little or no threat to the genuine interests of the employer.”
As the 21st century progresses, a whole generation entering the workforce have public personalities from the Internet and blogs. Increasingly, ordinary citizens through online access are having their opinions published in editorials and websites that employers may find objectionable or potentially damaging to their business. Meanwhile, traditional free speech issues on the job remain such as union organizing and lifestyle discrimination.

Barry respects the desire of employers to maintain efficiency and preserve the profitability of their business. He also doesn’t believe employers are conspiring to undermine the First Amendment. Rather, Barry contends that American civil society could benefit from a conversation about the imbalance that currently exists in favor of employers. He further advocates that employers themselves would benefit from not reflexively terminating employees based upon speech.

Barry agreed to a podcast interview with me about his book and the issue of free speech in the workplace. Among the topics covered during our conversation were the different protections for public and private employees, his opposition to the "at will" doctrine and how free speech in the American workplace differs with our counterparts in other democracies. I also asked him about the specific risks to bloggers and what we can do to strengthen our rights.

Please refer to the media player below.

This interview can also be accessed via Itunes by searching for Intrepid Liberal Journal.

Net Neutrality is upon us

What is Net Neutrality?

Well, right now what we have is net neutrality. What in means in a nutshell is that everyone pays the same fee for the same access to the same lines that make the web work. Anyone who wants to build a website can build one and be sure that it will load for most people most of the time. Small voices compete with large ones. Large voices have to compete with small ones. That is net neutrality.

The nation's largest telephone and cable companies — including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner — want to be Internet gatekeepers, deciding which Web sites go fast or slow and which won't load at all.

Save the Internet, FAQ

Well they own the lines don't they? Yes. Yes they do.

Imagine, though, that you were to apply for telephone service and find that you could not get such service because the telephone company executives do not like the business you run? Suppose that you could get service but it only works during non-business hours-- unless you want to pay $1,000 instead of $100? Suppose your connection is so rich with static that it is nearly usable-- unless, of course, you upgrade for hundreds of thousands of dollars?


Imagine that your CD player only played CDs produced by particular companies? That you had to buy your television according to which channels you want to watch? And color TV costs more?

Sit back and think through the consequences.

Save the Internet has a list of US Senators who support, and who do not support, Net Neutrality. As it stands, around twice as many Senators support Net Neutrality as oppose it. However, the stance of more than half of the Senate is currently unknown, as listed on the table referenced. That concerns me. I am old enough to remember a world without the internet, with the tremendous access to information that it provides. I do not feel like loosing that access. I do not feel like living in a world where access is restricted. It wouldn't be restricted by the government, as in China, but if we loose net neutrality it would be restricted nonetheless.

Among those listed as "Unknown" are both of my Senators for Colorado, Sen. Wayne Allard (R-CO) and Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO). I'll be contacting them both. I suggest you check the map, and contact your own Senators, or we may end up living in a world where information flow is dictated by the whims and the greed of a few executives.

Hat tip to "My view of 'It'"

Cross posted at Hell's Handmaiden.

Coming Attractions

There's this grinning assassin named Coffee In Hell who has a Live Journal page called "Proverbs for Paranoids", and she's a good writer who sometimes likes to do quirky things with movie posters. Visually, it's what happens when Photoshop meets Mad magazine, and the odds are good that they're probably gonna be funnier than the movies themselves.

Huh? Michael Bay's upcoming Transformers isn't a comedy? You mean he's serious?