Friday, March 31, 2006

Saturday Sailboat Blogging

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:28 PM Permalink

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Bush is spreading democracy in Iraq ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:26 PM Permalink

The right to fair trial:
An Iraqi cameraman working for CBS News when he was wounded and detained by the U.S. military will be tried next month, CBS officials said Wednesday.
Charges against [Abdul Ameer Younis Hussein] have not been made public.
CBS spokeswoman Sandy Genelius said Hussein has been held in Abu Ghraib prison just outside Baghdad and faces life in prison if convicted.

"All we are seeking is due process for Mr. Hussein," Genelius said.
(Ann Cooper, executive director the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, said) "So far, the handling of this case has been alarming. It's unacceptable that Hussein was held without charge or due process for so long."
The right to elect your own leaders:
Shiites Say U.S. Is Pressuring Iraqi Leader to Step Aside

Senior Shiite politicians said today that the American ambassador has told Shiite officials to inform the Iraqi prime minister that President Bush does not want him to remain the country's leader in the next government.
"How can they do this?" (Haider al-Ubady, a spokesman for Mr. Jaafari) said. "An ambassador telling a sovereign country what to do is unacceptable."
Yep, spreading democracy, spreading democracy ... oh hell, insert your own joke here.

It's official

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:56 AM Permalink

Just got back from seeing the neurosurgeon and he said "Yup. You need surgery."
So, I've provided pictures to explain what's going to happen.

At the top, you'll see a picture I found of a little kid with the same malformation (Arnold Chiari I) The bit I have circled in blue are the tonsils that hang low. Mine are about 7mm. The next picture over is a CINE Flow MRI. (Again, not mine.) When I saw mine, that totally convinced me brain was askew. On mine, you could clearly see that the CSF (Cerebral Spinal Fluid) only flowed towards the front portion and not the back. (Kinda' like this one shows. The white is the spinal fluid.) The back has that little tonsil thing and it gets in the way of the flow.

The bottom picture, I have circled the bit they're going to chip away and make bigger. This picture shows a normal brain though. That round cerebellum thing is supposed to look like that -- round. Mine looks like a bit of an eggplant or a pear or something. You could see how such a thing could get in the way of CSF flow.

Good news is that I don't have what's called a syrinx, which is like a little bubble or cyst in the spinal column. But he's pretty convinced I'd form one if I let this go too long. If I had that, I'd be in way worse shape and my prognosis wouldn't be so cheery.

So all in all, I consider myself fortunate to have a solid, convincing diagnosis and that there's a solution to the problem. (And thank heavens I took Mr. Vidiot with me. It was his idea to look at the CINE shots. I was too stunned to think too clearly. Had I not seen them with my own eyes, I may have had my doubts.)

Surgery scheduled for 4/20 or 4/21.

Mr. Vidiot will live blog the whole grisly episode, depending on whether or not there's WiFi at the hospital. And maybe, if I'm high enough, I'll let him take a picture of the incision and post it here.

Hey, why not? There are a lot more grosser things on the net. Like the Bush Administration social policies. (Or lack thereof.)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Guess who said This:

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:52 PM Permalink

"The people we're up against are vicious, and they lie," he said. "Obviously, they have media committees, they plan what they're going to do, they plan how they're going to manipulate the press, and they get out there fast and do it. And there's no penalty for that. Indeed, there's only rewards, because the information is around the world, while, as they say, truth is still putting its boots on."
Mirror, mirror, on the wall ...

And so it begins...

posted by The Vidiot @ 3:56 PM Permalink

First off, I must apologize for the lack of posting. Between the bookshelves and the impending brain treatment, I've been a little busy.

That being said, I've noticed something very interesting: eVoting issues are hitting the mainstream meme scene. The Washington Post has begun to cover the e-voting issue. On the 25th, they had an article on a Florida county supervisor who can't get the proper equipment to certify the upcoming election. Then, the next day, they had ANOTHER story about the same guy. And you might say, "well, who in the red states really reads the WaPo anyway" and you would have a valid point. But then, USA Today had a story about problems with the machines in Illinois and Texas. Now, the red states are rife with copies of USA Today. (Nobody in the blue states bothers with it.) (links via bradblog.)

So what does it tell me? It tells me that the meme has begun. That they're setting up so that the results of the 2006 elections can be questioned due to "problems with the machines."

Now, I'm not saying this will benefit the dems or the repugs. It could go either way. I'm just saying that whatever the result, if the powers that be don't like it, they'll have laid the groundwork with John Q. Public for questioning the results.

It's kind of like whipping up fear in the general public with regards to a new terrorist attack on US soil. If it happens, then everyone who's been absorbing the "terrorist" meme will believe it was a fulfillment of the meme and NOT some staged terror attack by other interested parties, like say, oh, I dunno, PNAC??

Monday, March 27, 2006

Word O' The Day

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:22 PM Permalink


Definition: To judge prematurely and irrationally [Ed: isn't that the definition of Bushco!?]

Etymology: The notion is of "preconceived opinion;" the verb meaning "to affect or fill with prejudice"

Scalia dismissed the idea that the detainees have rights under the U.S. Constitution or international conventions
Challenged by one audience member about whether the Gitmo detainees don't have protections under the Geneva or human-rights conventions, Scalia shot back [...] "it's crazy."

Just as a reference plane; Bushco appointee Chief Justice Roberts recused himself because he had previously stated his opinion on the Gitmo case coming before the court.

Innocent until ... proven innocent!?

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:32 PM Permalink

The Bush administration is asking the Supreme Court to refuse to hear an unusual petition brought by two Muslims from China who are being held at Guantanamo Bay despite the American military's determination that the pair pose no threat to America.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Intentional Harrisment

posted by The Vidiot @ 3:44 PM Permalink

U.S. Senate candidate Katherine Harris slogged through another political morass Saturday when she suggested that one of her most senior advisers had fed embarrassing information to the press.

Appearing at a gun show in Orlando, Harris said that Adam Goodman, her longtime media consultant, had told the St. Petersburg Times that he and chief strategist Ed Rollins were leaving the campaign.

The story, Harris said, was wrong.

"Ed is not leaving my campaign," the Longboat Key Republican said. "Ed Rollins is very committed to my campaign."

The two-term congresswoman, who is challenging Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, then accused Goodman of spreading the story.

"That article basically came from Adam," Harris said, "and it was not accurate."

Asked whether Goodman was still with the campaign, she said: "He is, is, uh . . . heh . . . no comment."

Harris' remarks were surprising, because Goodman has worked with Harris for years and is considered one of her closest advisers. The candidate's words became puzzling when Harris phoned the Orlando Sentinel an hour later with a different story.

She said Goodman was still with the campaign and said "it was wrong" of her to say he leaked information.

"I shouldn't have said that," she said.

Harris could not explain the change or make clear why she had first refused to say whether Goodman was still working with her.

"I don't even know," she said. "That is so not like me."
So not like her ... really!?:
Harris had hoped to get it back on track with her recent announcement that she would pour $10 million of her own money into the campaign. That money, she said on Fox News, was an inheritance from her late father.
Harris now says she never intended to use money from her father; instead, she will sell existing assets. Saturday, she could not explain why she told Sean Hannity of Fox News that she would rely on her father's money.
A source close to the campaign said Harris had planned to use inheritance money but discovered after appearing on Fox that it would not be readily available.
OK, so she's not crazy, just a liar ... but wait, there's more!:
As Katherine Harris' rocky Senate campaign takes an increasingly evangelical Christian bent, her remaining top campaign staffers are preparing to jump ship.

Colleagues say Harris' closest confidante lately appears to be spiritual adviser Dale Burroughs, founder of the Biblical Heritage Institute in Bradenton.

"Dr. Dale," as she is known among campaign staffers, describes herself as a licensed clinical pastoral counselor who counsels in behavior temperament, career, crisis and disaster, among other things.
Considering how Harris' campaign is going a disaster counselor seems appropriate. And who does 'Dr. Dale' hang out with?
She is a spiritual adviser, for instance, to members of the Arlington Group, a coalition of religious conservatives that includes James Dobson of Focus on the Family, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Gary Bauer of American Values, Don Wildmon of the American Family Association and Moral Majority founder Jerry Falwell.
Quite the rogue's gallery, Katherine should fit in well.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

See what happens when Americans can't afford (mental) healthcare:

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:00 PM Permalink

A Republican challenger to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is bizarrely claiming that the former first lady has been spying in her bedroom window and flying helicopters over her house in the Hamptons

And the response from Ms. Clinton's office:
"We at the Hillary campaign wish Ms. McFarland the best and hope she gets the rest she needs"
Wow, damned with a pained phrase!

McFarland responded with*: 'They were black helicopters, and I was fearful of their glistening, black, tumescent, black, larger than life, black, pulsating, black, gravity defying, black, turgid, black, blades of miss destruction!'

* DISCLAIMER: For the snark impaired: she didn't really say this. I made it up. She might have said it, but my understanding is on that day she wore her tinfoil hat so no one could beam their indecent fantasies into her brain.

Haven't we seen this movie before?

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:20 PM Permalink

Hong Kong firm hired to help check U.S.-bound cargo

Company cited in 1999 as a potential risk for smuggling arms
The Bush administration says it is finalizing a no-bid contract [Ed: WTF is it with Bushco and no-bid contracts?] with Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. It acknowledged the deal is the first time a foreign company will be involved in running a radiation detector at an overseas port without American customs agents present.
While President Bush recently reassured Congress that foreigners would not manage security at U.S. ports, the Hutchison deal in the Bahamas illustrates how the administration is relying on foreign companies at overseas ports to safeguard cargo headed to the United States.
But its billionaire chairman, Li Ka-Shing, also has substantial business ties to China's government that have raised U.S. concerns over the years.

"Li Ka-Shing is pretty close to a lot of senior leaders of the Chinese government and the Chinese Communist Party,"
Three years ago, the Bush administration effectively blocked a Hutchison subsidiary from buying part of a bankrupt U.S. telecommunications company, Global Crossing Ltd., on national security grounds.

And a U.S. military intelligence report, once marked "secret," cited Hutchison in 1999 as a potential risk for smuggling arms and other prohibited materials into the United States from the Bahamas.

"Giving a no-bid contract to a foreign company to carry out the most sensitive security screening for radioactive materials at ports abroad raises many questions," said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York. [Ed: Duh! Ya think?]
The Hutchison deal in the Bahamas was flagged in a report in October by ATS Worldwide Services, a Florida firm that identifies potential risks for private-sector and government clients. Company officials said they shared the report with some officials in Congress, the military and law enforcement.
At what point does the 'Repubs are better on security' meme meet reality?

From the Booby Hatch

posted by The Vidiot @ 4:11 PM Permalink

An idea I could cotton to:
Spray on dress
Points of contention:
Nip Guards
I'll take one from column A and two from column B cup:
Menus on breasts are ogled
One of these things is not like the others:
Asymmetrical breasts may be cancer risk

Via links from Fark.

Saturday Sailboat Blogging

posted by The Vidiot @ 1:05 PM Permalink

Friday, March 24, 2006

Things I've just learned

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:54 PM Permalink

Everyone knows that 2x4s aren't really 2 inches by 4 inches. They USED to be. (I know that for a fact because the feet of my 1925 letterpress machine are mounted to true 2x4 pieces of wood that are oh so old.) But they aren't anymore. Now, 2x4s are more like 1.5 x 3.5. I call it "coffee sizing." Used to be you'd buy coffee in cans by the pound. Then came the coffee crunch of the 70s and they reduced the amount in the cans but charged the same amount. The can's physical size didn't change, but the amount of coffee in the can decreased. Well, they do the same thing with wood.

So, last time I built bookshelves (in 1994), 1x12 were .75 x 11.75. Well, guess what? That was then and this is now. I recently purchased wood for bookshelves and asked for 1x12 and got .75 x 11.125!! A full half inch narrower! Which like totally messed up the final project.

Now, my questions is this: Is Loews screwing me, or is that just the way it really is now?

Also, I learned another valuable lesson: DO NOT cut corners and try to use the coloured polyurethane stuff. It glops on and drips and is uneven and smells nasty. Do the right thing. Either stain it and use clear, water soluble polyurethane, or pay someone else to do it for you.

These are valuable lessons I'm sharing with you so you don't blow your weekends like we have.

This has been a public service announcement. The more you know...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Family that does crimes together should do time together

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:51 PM Permalink

Bush's Uncle Earned Millions in War Firm Sale
The contracts, some awarded on a no-bid basis, include a $77-million deal to refit military vehicles with armor for use in Iraq.
Well, that's worked out well.

Former first lady's donation aids son
Former first lady Barbara Bush donated an undisclosed amount of money to the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund with specific instructions that the money be spent with an educational software company owned by her son Neil.
Charity begins at home, but it shouldn't end there.

Godwin, Meet Rummy

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:35 PM Permalink

Rumsfeld - "Turning our backs on postwar Iraq today would be the modern equivalent of handing postwar Germany back to the Nazis"
As delusional as that sounds, it gets better/worse:
"The terrorists seem to recognize that they are losing in Iraq."
Now for a dose of reality:
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton [in charge of training Iraqi military forces from 2003 to 2004] calls the Defense Secretary incompetent and urges his resignation.
[...]"not competent to lead our armed forces and must therefore "step down."
[...]"First, his failure to build coalitions with our allies from what he dismissively called 'old Europe' has imposed far greater demands and risks on our soldiers in Iraq than necessary. Second, he alienated his allies in our own military, ignoring the advice of seasoned officers and denying subordinates any chance for input."

It's true!

posted by The Vidiot @ 4:25 PM Permalink

Nuts really don't fall far from the tree.

Action Alert!

posted by The Vidiot @ 3:44 PM Permalink

I don't usually do this, but Drudge (ewwww, drudge) has this up on his website. Here it is in its entirety since Drudge has a tendency to blogscrub every now and again:




A top producer at ABC NEWS declared "Bush makes me sick" in an email obtained by the DRUDGE REPORT.

John Green, currently executive producer of the weekend edition of GOOD MORNING AMERICA, unloaded on the president in an ABC company email obtained by the DRUDGE REPORT.

"If he uses the 'mixed messages' line one more time, I'm going to puke," Green complained.

The blunt comments by Green, along with other emails obtained by the DRUDGE REPORT, further reveal the inner workings of the nation's news outlets.

A friend of Green's at ABC says Green is mortified by the email. "John feels so badly about this email. He is a straight shooter and great producer who is always fair. That said, he deeply regrets the sentiment expressed in the email and the embarrassment it causes ABC News."


I think we should email Mr. Green and tell him we're sick of this administration's spin as well and that he shouldn't feel bad for his normal, human reaction to bovine excrement.

Then again, if this is made up by Mr. Drudge, we'll all look silly.

Oh well, I link, you decide.

I assume my readers aren't a bunch of lemmings. If it feels real to you, email Mr. Green.

Must sees

posted by The Vidiot @ 2:30 PM Permalink

A good video on 9/11 WTC building collapses.

Charile Sheen report on CNN

Bill Moyers on fundamentalism.

Stuck in my craw

posted by The Vidiot @ 2:12 PM Permalink

This argument has been bothering me.
Excerpt: Stark called into Wilkow's show the other day and tried to pin him down on a hypothetical that touches on abortion rights and the moment that life begins: Imagine that you're in a burning fertility clinic with a 2-year-old baby and a petri dish containing five blastulas. You can't save both, so which do you save?
And now I know why.

From Mr. Vidiot:
Their argument is based on a rational choice model, their argument is weak. Human action and behavior is not just of rational choice but also of emotion. They neglect human emotion. Also the argument is based on "what if." A what if argument is discredited before it begins. You cannot base an argument on an untruth.

Man. It's like getting at an itch you can't scratch. What a relief.

And in second place...

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:15 AM Permalink

For the world's most embarassing world leader...



posted by The Vidiot @ 8:09 AM Permalink

Though I haven't mentioned the derivative market recently, I think it's time for a refresher course. Derivatives are these things that are basically an amalgam of financial instruments like bonds and things. Ostensibly designed to protect investors from fluctuations in interest rates, commodity prices and currency values (or speculate on those fluctuations.), they are, in reality, more like a house of cards. Anyway, GM's latest measure taken to save the company has sent shivers down the spines of some derivatives markets.
Excerpt: Timothy Geithner, president of the New York Federal Reserve, warned in a recent speech that the $300,000bn derivatives market had raced ahead of the infrastructure needed to support it. He said the plethora of new instruments may have led to a more dangerous concentration of risk.

If derivatives start to collapse, not even overprinting money can help us.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Hey I have an idea!

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:00 PM Permalink

Let's say I want to open a business. And let's say I assemble a team of consultants to research whether or not there's a market for the aforementioned business. But let's say some of the consultants work for companies that could potentially be vendors for the business that will open. Sound like a bad idea? You betchya.

But that didn't stop this administration from doing that very same thing.

Greasy stuff

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:40 PM Permalink

According to Greg Palast, the administration's real plan with Iraq was not to control the oil so we'd have plenty, but rather, it was to control the oil so they could control the price. Keep it high so profits could be made. Makes sense. So, Chavez isn't too far off when he accuses the US of going after Iran's oil reserves. Though he may be a little off on the "how".

But what are our alternatives? Nuclear energy. I hardly think so. Historically, we have 3-mile Island and Chernobyl, and more recently, we have a fire in a Japanese nuclear plant that THEY SAY didn't spew radiation, and now we find out that Indian Point, just north of New York City, is leaking radiation into the Hudson River and local groundwater. So, nuclear energy is out.

What about biofeul. Well, I tend to think that's a bad idea. Only because fuel will then have to compete with food as a commodity. And that can't possibly turn out well.

What about taxing carbon use, you know, something like carbon credits. Well, that's all well and fine for me. I live in NYC and our public transit system is awesome. But what about those people in the red states who have to drive everywhere. (Though, it can be argued that perhaps they should be punished for the whole GW fiasco.)

Solar is great, but for some reason, real solar cars are just not being proposed. (Solar boats, however, are available.)

Nope. As near as I can tell. We're screwed. Maybe that's why the evil cabal that runs the world has created bird flu. To reduce the demand on energy resources.

He said, she said.

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:11 AM Permalink

Here's a good parsing of this article by USA today on the labor protests in France.

It's so hard to get good information on this from our media. For some reason, I watch the news and after a report on France, I'm more confused than I was before I saw the report.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Dear Republicans ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:36 PM Permalink

When you voted for Bush ... again ... you doomed thousands of Americans to their deaths. Not just our soldiers in Iraq, who still don't have body armor, not just our Moms and Dads who can no longer afford health care or medicine, our children who no longer can get loans for colleges, our babies who no longer get prenatal care or Head Start programs, your votes kill kittens.

We know you don't care about our troops, our children or our babies, but what about the kittens?

Nobody is paying attention.

posted by The Vidiot @ 2:59 PM Permalink

This story has been largely ignored by the media:
Excerpt: A congressional watchdog group filed a suit on Tuesday in federal court challenging the constitutionality of a $39 billion spending-cut law that passed each chamber of Congress in different forms.
But it's the second paragraph that's the kicker:
Under the U.S. Constitution, the president signs into law only bills that are passed in identical form by both chambers.

Read that last bit again.

So, let's just get this straight: Bush swears to uphold the constitution. He swears on the bible, and to a born-again like Bush, that's a big deal. And since then, he has done nothing but do an end run about that very constitution he swore to uphold. This last affront, though seemingly small, is actually the clearest of all his constitutional indiscretions. There's no "well, FISA is this, and the President can do that" crap. There's no gray zone. The rules are clear. Both houses have to sign the same thing and THEN the president can sign it.

Impeach this bastard already. What the hell is everybody waiting for!? For Bush to reach behind his head and peel his skin off, revealing himself as the lizard overlord he really is?


posted by The Vidiot @ 1:50 PM Permalink

While I'm all for more people, even celebrities, coming over to the side of questioning the official 9/11 story, I'm sort of ambivalent about Charlie Sheen coming over, only because, well, he's Charlie Sheen. He's got a pretty bad rep you know.

Update: It's not just me attacking the messenger. He's so easily marginalized.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again.

posted by The Vidiot @ 1:48 PM Permalink

Whenever I hear that the US is protesting some election results in another country, I alway think the same two things:

Did the wrong guy win?
Do they understand the concept of irony?

Update: Methinks the wrong guy won:
Excerpt: "Bush is terrorist no. 1 on the planet," Lukashenko told reporters after voting in Belarus's presidential election.

"To crush a state openly and then to go ahead and kill presidents. What is there to say?"

Monday, March 20, 2006

Starr Chamber: The Final Episode

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:34 PM Permalink

Court Rejects Last Whitewater Appeal

"It has been drawn out a long time," said W. Hickman Ewing*, who was a chief deputy to Whitewater special prosecutor Kenneth W. Starr. "It just shows you people can keep things going."
You mean like your boss who spent $79.3 Mil of MY money, (to be fair, not all of the money was mine, most of it was yours), and it all ends, not with a bang but a whimper. You know, if I had that kinda money I'm sure my last date would have been the other way around.
Tucker has long argued that he would never have been pursued by prosecutors if not for Clinton. Ewing said Monday: "It's probably true."
Can you say 'witch hunt?' I thought you could.

* How bad does your first name have to be that you would use 'Hickman' instead?

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Cheney refuses parole and intends to serve out his sentence ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:54 PM Permalink

Well, not exactly:
Cheney says he won't resign, will serve out term
"I made sure both in 2000 and 2004 that the president had other options. I mean, I didn't ask for this job. I didn't campaign for it. I got drafted," Cheney said on CBS television's "Face The Nation."
Well, not exactly:
In the spring of 2000, Cheney’s two worlds—commerce and politics— merged. Halliburton allowed its C.E.O. to serve simultaneously as the head of George W. Bush’s Vice-Presidential search committee. At the time, Bush said that his main criterion for a running mate was “somebody who’s not going to hurt you.” Cheney demanded reams of documents from the candidates he considered. In the end, he picked himself—a move that his longtime friend Stuart Spencer recently described, with admiration, as “the most Machiavellian f***ing thing I’ve ever seen.”
'nuff said.

Usually it's the reporters who seem to act like Bush employees

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:22 PM Permalink

Advance Workers for Bush Impersonated Reporters

A Mississippi couple whose home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina said two men who later identified themselves as Secret Service agents pretended to be Fox News journalists when surveying their neighborhood in advance of a March 8 visit from President Bush.
"They didn't show any cards or anything," Akins said. "They just came up and said they were with the media, and then they said they were with Fox. They just talked to us and asked us about rebuilding our house. Then, after everything was over with, they approached us and they were laughing, and they said: 'You know, we really weren't with Fox. We're government, Secret Service men.' "
Tom Mazur, a spokesman for the Secret Service, said he did not know who the men were but they were not Secret Service officials.
The men eventually revealed their identities and displayed blue lapel pins bearing the presidential seal.
Ken Lisaius, a White House spokesman, said the employees were out of bounds.

"This incident has been brought to our attention, and this is clearly not appropriate, nor is it part of our standard operating procedures," he said. "The individuals involved will be verbally reprimanded."
Verbally reprimanded? FREAKIN' REPRIMANDED!? It's a federal crime to impersonate SS agents! And it isn't the first, second or even the third time this misAdministration has played this trick.

The Dark Side of the Goon*

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:18 PM Permalink

Breathe, breathe in the air ...
Court Rejects Bush Power Plant Pollution Rule

The court said the EPA's rule that has the 20 percent replacement cost trigger would require that Congress's definition of modification in the Clean Air Act include a phrase such as "regardless of size, cost, frequency, effect" or other distinguishing characteristic.

"Only in a Humpty Dumpy world would Congress be required to use superfluous words while an agency could ignore an expansive word that Congress did use. We decline to adopt such a world-view," the court said in its ruling.
... Don't be afraid to care ...
Torture Is A Moral Issue

Torture violates the basic dignity of the human person that all religions hold dear. It degrades everyone involved --policy-makers, perpetrators and victims. It contradicts our nation's most cherished ideals. Any policies that permit torture and inhumane treatment are shocking and morally intolerable.
... And when at last the work is done ...
President Bush on Saturday braced Americans for more bloodshed in Iraq
"In recent weeks, Americans have seen horrific images from Iraq: the bombing of a great house of worship in Samarra, sectarian reprisals between Sunnis and Shias, and car bombings and kidnappings," Bush said [...] "But the reaction to the recent violence by Iraq's leaders is a clear sign of Iraq's commitment to democracy."
...Don't sit down, It's time to dig another one
Bush: Iran helping Iraq insurgents build bombs

WASHINGTON -- President Bush yesterday blamed Iran for helping kill American troops in Iraq, saying they are supplying some of the ever-more-lethal explosives that insurgents are using against coalition forces.
"Tehran has been responsible for at least some of the increasing lethality of anti-coalition attacks by providing Shi'a militia with the capabilities to build improvised explosive devices in Iraq," Mr. Bush said, adding that troops have seized IEDs "that were clearly produced in Iran."
US general says no proof Iran behind Iraq arms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top U.S. military officer said on Tuesday the United States does not have proof that Iran's government is responsible for Iranians smuggling weapons and military personnel into Iraq.

* Apologies to Pink Floyd

The Acme of Corruption ... or ... Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight?

posted by The Vidiot @ 1:32 PM Permalink

When last we saw our two intrepid zeroes they were attempting to try and take over the world. While suffering from the same ignominies that beset all evil ...uhhh ... geniuses, they continue to strive for their main objective, MONEY ... oh, and to try and take over the world! (They're not mutually exclusive ya know.)

Which concludes the plot exposition and brings us to today's psychotic episodes:
Army to Pay Halliburton Unit Most Costs Disputed by Audit

The Army has decided to reimburse a Halliburton subsidiary for nearly all of its disputed costs on a $2.41 billion no-bid contract to deliver fuel and repair oil equipment in Iraq, even though the Pentagon's own auditors had identified more than $250 million in charges as potentially excessive or unjustified.
Figures provided by the Pentagon audit agency on thousands of military contracts over the past three years show how far the Halliburton decision lies outside the norm.
About $208 million of the disputed charges was mostly related to the cost of importing fuel [Ed: See 'the iraq war will pay for itself' AKA 'we will be greeted as liberators.']
In answer to written questions, a spokesman for the Defense Contract Audit Agency, Lt. Col. Brian Maka, said the settlement of the disputed charges was based on "broader business case considerations" beyond just Pentagon audits.

And the kicker:
more than $11 billion had been disbursed to Kellogg Brown & Root by mid-January, according to the Army Field Support Command
While the above makes one want to Blanche, this misAdministration has always depended upon the kindness of strangers:
Hints of Corruption Lead Some to Urge Blair to Resign

LONDON — Compounding woes for Prime Minister Tony Blair, his Labor Party acknowledged Friday that it had received more than three times the amount it had previously reported in secret campaign loans.
which contrast sharply with Mr. Blair's pledge when he took office almost nine years ago that his party would be "purer than pure." [Ed: See 'restore dignity to the White House.']
In an editorial on Friday, a liberal daily, The Independent, said that of 23 people who had donated more than $175,000 to Labor, "17 have been granted a peerage or a knighthood."
In The Daily Mail, whose politics are on the right wing, the columnist Max Hastings wrote Friday, "This is the world not of British politics but of Tammany Hall," adding that Mr. Blair's dealings "convey a stench that would cause an American congressman to hold his nose."
Lord meet Duke.
He don't know us very well, do he?

The Sacred and the Newfane

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:56 PM Permalink

Newfane residents voted Tuesday to call for the impeachment of President Bush.
We the voters of Newfane would like Town Meeting, March 2006, to consider the following resolution:

Whereas George W. Bush has:

1. Misled the nation about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction;

2. Misled the nation about ties between Iraq and Al Quaeda;

3. Used these falsehoods to lead our nation into war unsupported by international law;

4. Not told the truth about American policy with respect to the use of torture; and

5. Has directed the government to engage in domestic spying, in direct contravention of U.S. law.

Therefore, the voters of the town of Newfane ask that our representative to the U.S. House of Representatives file articles of impeachment to remove him from office.
Not to mention*:
the Dubai port deal
the Iraq war
the boneheaded plan to restructure Social Security
the Katrina debacle
the confusing Medicare bullshit
the huge and growing national debt
the Japanese sub incident
The Chinese spy plane incident
Ignoring the Aug 2001 PDB 'Bin Laden to attack inside the US'
Continuing to read My Pet Goat after Bin Laden attacked the US
'Lucky me, I hit the trifecta'
Letting Bin Laden escape at Tora Bora
Opposing the 911 Commission investigation
Opposing the creation of the DHS
NYC air 'fine' after 9/11
Stiffing the first responders
'Fuck Saddam! He's going down!'
'Weapons of mass destruction program related activities'
You're either with us or with the terrists
Abu Ghraib torture
Gitmo torture
Outsourcing torture
Outsourcing jobs
Outsourcing jobs a 'good thing'
Calling the Constitution a 'Goddamned piece of paper'
'If I were a dictator it would be a hell of a lot easier'
'Catapulting the propaganda'
'Oh, do you have blacks too?'
McCain's black baby
Terri Schiavo
'Mission Accomplished'
Looking for Iraq's missing WMDs under his sofa
'No one could have imagined terrorists flying planes into buildings'
'No one could have anticipated a breach in the levees'
'Bring 'em on'
Still no armor for troops
Botched anthrax investigation
The Moussoui trial
'You work three jobs? Uniquely American, isn't it? I mean, that is fantastic that you're doing that." - to a divorced mother of three.
Gas prices
Home heating prices
We'll be greeted as liberators
Most vacation time ever
Jeff Gannon
Armstrong Williams
Judith Miller
Fake news videos
Aluminum tubes
Yellow-cake from Niger
Censoring government scientists
Our vanishing liberties
Spying on the Quakers
Secret energy meetings
'Saddam involved in 9/11'
Swift-boating critics
Hiring incompetent cronies
First Amendment Zones
'There ought to be limits to freedom'
Plastic turkey photo-op
Fake teleconference interview with troops in Iraq
Lying about firing any leakers
Plot to bomb Al Jazeera
No-bid Halliburton contracts
Conducting illegal NSA wiretaps
Raising terror alert status when poll numbers dropped
Kenny-boy who?
Abramoff who?
'Heckuva job, Brownie!'
Harriet Miers
No-talent assclown John Bolton
Iran-Contra criminal John Negroponte
'Slam Dunk' Tenet's Medal of Freedom
Dick 'dick' Cheney
Wiretapping the United Nations
Calling Pakistanis 'Pakis'
Calling Pakistanis 'Arabs'
Trying to escape press conference through locked door
Mars, bitches
Supporting teaching 'Intelligent Design' in public schools
Arsenic in drinking water
'Clear Skies'
'Healthy Forests'
Stiffing No Child Left Behind
Stiffing troops and veterans
Stiffing the poor and middle-class
Stiffing homosexuals - well, you know what I mean
Firing everyone who disagreed with him
Those stupid backdrops
Karl Rove still under investigation, still has security clearance
Arrest/charging of WH Procurement Chief David Safavian
Arrest/charging of Cheney chief of staff Scooter Libby
Arrest/charging of Claude Allen

*A good artist borrows, a great artist steals. I stole and adapted the list from WTF Is It Now??

Freedom of Religion?

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:21 PM Permalink

Pentagon Hired Contractor to Advise on Collecting Information on Churches, Mosques, Other US Sites

WASHINGTON - A Pentagon intelligence agency that kept files on American anti-war activists hired one of the contractors who bribed former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Calif., to help it collect data on houses of worship, schools, power plants and other locations in the United States.

MZM Inc., headed by Mitchell Wade, also received three contracts totaling more than $250,000 to provide unspecified "intelligence services" to the White House, according to documents obtained by Knight Ridder. The White House didn't respond to an inquiry about what those intelligence services entailed.

MZM's Pentagon and White House deals were part of tens of millions of dollars in federal government business that Wade's company attracted beginning in 2002.
MZM was to "assist the government in identifying and procuring data [on] airports, ports, dams, churches/mosques/synagogues, schools (and) power plants," said the statement of work.
CIFA recently has come under fire following disclosures that it maintained information on individuals and groups involved in peaceful anti-war protests at defense facilities and recruiting offices.
In a March 8 letter to Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., a senior Pentagon official said that a review of the Cornerstone database had identified 186 "protest-related reports" containing the names of 43 people that were mistakenly retained in the database.
The administration's domestic eavesdropping program and FBI monitoring of environmental, animal rights and anti-war groups have also fueled such fears.
Here comes the money quote:
The administration contends that its programs are legal and insists that they're designed to ensure civil liberties while protecting national security.

Freedom of the Press?

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:04 PM Permalink

Pa. Prosecutors Seize Paper's Hard Drives

State prosecutors seized four computers from a newsroom as part of a grand jury probe into whether a county coroner gave reporters his password to a secure law enforcement Web site, the newspaper said Wednesday.

The Intelligencer Journal of Lancaster had offered to provide the information sought through less intrusive means or to search the computers in the newsroom, newspaper officials said. But prosecutors won a court battle to take the hard drives.
Prosecutors have pledged to limit their search [Ed: Yeah, right.] to items related to the Lancaster County-Wide Communications' Computer Assisted Dispatch Web site, which contains details about criminal investigations.
Investigators believe reporters used information from the Web site to write stories or help them ask specific questions.

Lancaster Coroner G. Gary Kirchner has denied giving reporters access to the Web site. No criminal charges have been filed in the case.

Freedom of Speech?

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:36 AM Permalink

Olean resident escorted away

Olean resident Brenda Snyder went to Canandaigua on Tuesday to talk to President Bush about health care. What she got was a lesson in message control.

Mrs. Snyder said no one at the meeting was given an opportunity to speak to the president and many, including herself, were prevented by security at the event from talking to the press after the president’s town meeting.
“We were answering questions and this big guy in a suit came along and said, ‘move along,’” she said. “I said, ‘Why can’t we answer questions?’ And he said, ‘I have been given my orders.’” [Ed: Does 'just following orders' sound familiar?]

Mrs. Snyder said she felt threatened by the security officer.

“He kept saying ‘move along’ and kept blocking my way and I kept saying, ‘I’m a U.S. citizen I have a right to answer some questions,’” she said. “It felt like if you were out of order at all, someone was going to take you away. It was very threatening.”
“I think America is going in a very scary direction. I felt like I was in a police state and that as a citizen I don’t have many rights,” she said.
White House Spokesman Ken Lisaius [...] said it isn’t the White House’s policy to prevent people from talking to the press.
Mr. Lisaius said he talked to members of the White House Press Office who were at the event and they assured him that standard procedures were followed and that no one was told to prevent people from talking to the press.
Well at least I believe them when they say it is SOP.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Word O' the Day

posted by The Vidiot @ 4:53 PM Permalink

antinomianism n. (an ti no' mi an ism)

Definition: The doctrine or belief that the Gospel frees Christians from required obedience to any law, whether scriptural, civil, or moral.

Synonym: The Bush regime.

Saturday Sailboat Blogging

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:17 AM Permalink

Friday, March 17, 2006

Unnatural Causes, Update redux:

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:57 PM Permalink

We've covered this before here , and here but the case reaches a new low. Instead of admitting he took one for the team the ME continues lying in the face of facts.

This would almost be funny ... if it wasn't an excuse for killing a 14 year old kid. This 'doctor' is maintaining that the child's death had nothing to do with the videotaped beating he suffered:
"My conclusion, based on more than a decade of practice, is that the exertion from exercise triggered Mr. Anderson’s sickle cell trait which caused Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC), resulting in hemorrhaging," Dr. Charles Siebert said in a statement.
And again this would almost be funny ... no, this could never be funny. If anyone wonders how the abuses at Gitmo or Abu Ghraib could happen, it's because this is how we treat our own prisoners:
The five guards shown on the surveillance video were involved in at least 63 other instances using knee strikes, hammer-fist blows, 'pressure point' restraints and other physical encounters with detainees, according to Florida Department of Juvenile reports filed in 2004 and 2005.
It gets so much worse. The kid collapsed, and how did the guards respond?
"I ordered offender Anderson to stop resisting and relax his arms. When (he) refused to comply with those instructions, I applied a knee strike to his left thigh and escorted him to the ground," Garrett wrote. "After reaching the ground, I applied a bent wrist to offender Anderson’s left wrist for approximately 7 seconds."
Garrett said the guards continued to "counsel" Anderson by applying knee strikes, pressure point blows and bending his wrists backward until he stopped responding.
They killed a kid. The nurse watched it happen. They aren't in jail.

Whether it's the Army, the White House or a juvenile facility in Florida, the buck stops long before the bucks stop.

Do you feel safer punk, well do ya?

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:36 PM Permalink

The GAO conducted a test at 21 airports. This test consisted of smuggling in easily available bomb components onto airplanes. They succeeded 21 for 21.
Airline screeners fail government bomb tests
In all 21 airports tested, no machine, no swab, no screener anywhere stopped the bomb materials from getting through. Even when investigators deliberately triggered extra screening of bags, no one discovered the materials.
Obligatory statement from TSA:
Detecting explosive materials and IEDs at the checkpoint is TSA's top priority.
Well, OK then. I feel much safer. How about you?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

It takes one to know one.

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:56 AM Permalink

What's good for the goose:
Excerpt: "President Bush plans to issue a new national security strategy Thursday reaffirming his doctrine of pre-emptive war against terrorists and hostile states with chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, despite the troubled experience in Iraq," begins a story slated for the front page of Thursday's Washington Post, RAW STORY has learned.

Is good for the gander:
Excerpt: North Korea has the right to launch a pre-emptive attack against U.S.-backed South Korean forces because the two Koreas are technically still at war, the communist state's official media said on Tuesday.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Dubaious Security

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:18 PM Permalink

Dubai Firm Accused of Breaking Pledge to Divest Itself of U.S. Port Operations
Eller & Co., now a partner with DP World in a Miami operation after DP bought out a British firm last week, shared an e-mail that said the Arab company's sale of U.S. assets "would probably take a while."

The e-mail from Robert Scavone, a vice president for the port company now owned by DP World, also told managers in Miami to assume for now "ownership … is not going to change."
And now we come to our beloved politicians and their take.
"It is the American people's understanding that Dubai Ports World promised to relinquish control of all U.S. ports," Schumer told the AP on Monday. "If that is not the case, we will move our legislation immediately and force them to do just that."
"I don't see how the deal would have to be canceled" Frist said."
At this point I generally feel compelled to deliver some snark, or at least have a pithy comment, but the above, while SOP for Bushco, is just another example of the depressing 'business as usual' for this misAdministration (sigh.)

Good Golly Ms. Molly!

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:24 PM Permalink

Enough of the D.C. Dems
By Molly Ivins
Mah fellow progressives, now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of the party. I don't know about you, but I have had it with the D.C. Democrats, had it with the DLC Democrats, had it with every calculating, equivocating, triangulating, straddling, hair-splitting son of a bitch up there, and that includes Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Take "unpatriotic" and shove it. How dare they do this to our country? "Unpatriotic"? These people have ruined the American military! Not to mention the economy, the middle class, and our reputation in the world. Everything they touch turns to dirt, including Medicare prescription drugs and hurricane relief.
Well she obviously sees the problem, now how about a solution?
We can raise our own money on the Internet, and we know it. Howard Dean raised $42 million, largely on the web, with a late start when he was running for President, and that ain’t chicken feed. If we double it, it gives us the lock on the nomination. So let’s go find a good candidate early and organize the shit out of our side.
Damn right! Molly Ivins gets it, Howard Dean gets it, and the majority of the American people finally get it.

Now let's do something about it! As Molly says:
This is not a time for a candidate who will offend no one; it is time for a candidate who takes clear stands and kicks ass.

Free Advertising

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:07 PM Permalink

I just want to put a plug in for a printer on a letterpress listserv I belong to. His company is called Manifesto Press and they're in Massachusetts. He did a listserv faux pas this morning and posted and off-topic article on the recent FOIA proof that people were spied upon for their political views.

Well, what a flame war that started. Someone responded:

The answer to your questions is "Yes." For example, if you make threats on the life of the President, you will most certainly be investigated and could face serious trouble. Even freedom of speech has its limits.
Then he responded:
Is calling for the impeachment of Bush a threat? If you listen to Bill O'Reilly it is. The interesting part of the article is that the FBI had noted a group was handing out printed brochures calling for his impeachment. Any use of the FBI for political gain is easily a crime.

Then someone woman responded (and this is priceless)

find some local political party and get

involved. Or at least find some other way to grow up.

To which I responded:

Honestly, this board can get so out of hand. I would normally not venture into the fray here, but telling someone to "grow up" is inappropriate.

Yes, maybe he shouldn't be using a letterpress board to spout his political beliefs (I learned that myself the hard way), but at least he has a strong opinion, and is supporting that opinion with action, which is a great deal more than the majority of people in this country do. His activism, whether you agree with his political point of view or not, should be admired, not denigrated.

I wonder if you would've told Tom Paine to "grow up". He was a printer. He "postered". He had strong political beliefs and went around town talking about them to everyone he could. Childish? I think not.

Which led to much discussion as to how Tom Paine's postering was very different because he used words and didn't run from the police. (No, he didn't use images cause it was friggin' 1776 and he ran from the red coats for Pete's sake.)

Oy. Back and forth it went, with the righties using name calling as their weapon. Why is the right can only denigrate to win an argument? And the other frightening aspect of the whole flame war: This listserv, I suspect, is a decent cross section of white middle class. If they're still battling in Bush's defense, well, I can't begin to fathom how deep the well of ignorance runs in this country, especially its fly-over section.

Anyway, they guy's rabid and tiresome, just like me so if you need something pretty printed on a letterpress machine, I'd say use this guy and tell him the vidiot sent you. (His stuff looks pretty damn good as well.)

Picture=1,000,000 words

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:40 AM Permalink

The headline reads: Iraqis Say 11 People Killed in U.S. Raid

However, the picture and first paragraph says a lot more:

U.S. forces flattened a house during a raid north of Baghdad early Wednesday, killing 11 people — mostly women and children, while insurgent attacks elsewhere left four dead, police and relatives said.

Go ahead, look at the picture and then tell me who but a complete amoral asshole would support this stupid, damned war.

(AP photo/Bassim Daham)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

... Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:21 PM Permalink

Saying that President Bush misled Americans about the legality of his domestic-eavesdropping program, Sen. Russ Feingold said Sunday he would introduce a resolution to censure him.
But then:
Feingold introduced censure legislation Monday in the Senate but not a single Democrat has embraced it.
No wonder Bush is so afraid of stem cell research. Maybe then Dems could grow a spine.

... About a lucky man who made the grade ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:46 PM Permalink

Former Bush top domestic policy adviser Claude Allen was arrested for felony theft.
Police say Allen carried out similar transactions at other stores, receiving refunds to his credit cards of more than $5000 last year.

Bush's reaction? Well it's ironic, but not original; "he was shocked", shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!

IOW, Claude Reigns!

I read the news today, oh boy ...*

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:47 PM Permalink

Rumsfeld and Pace Say Iraq Mission Is Succeeding
That statement cums in the face of reality:
The bodies of more than 85 men have been discovered across Baghdad in the past two days in both Sunni and Shiite neighborhoods ...
A constant stream of bushkakke lies have stained our national heritage. Mixing the rock and roll metaphor from the title, we've become the 'devil in the blue dress*.'

*Apologies to The Beatles, Mitch Rider and Monica.

Unnatural Causes: Update on Florida boot camp death

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:30 PM Permalink

Quick synopsis: Florida boot camp guards murdered a 14 year old boy, shipped the body to a neighboring county for a 'friendly' autopsy and got it. That ME decided that the boy died of natural causes due to sickle cell trait ... and the videotaped beating had nuttin' to do wit' it.

Which brings us to today:
A noted pathologist said Tuesday that results from a second autopsy seem to indicate a 14-year-old boy died from a beating by guards captured on videotape at a juvenile boot camp, not from a blood disorder as a medical examiner initially ruled.
The guards and nurse still haven't been charged or arrested.
Bonus fun fact:
Prosecutors confirmed Tuesday that the 14-year-old boy who was beaten and kicked by guards in a juvenile boot camp did not die of a blood disorder as a medical examiner initially ruled.
For the learning impaired, let me repeat: The guards and nurse still haven't been charged or arrested. The honest Doctor says it wasn't natural causes. The prosecutors know it was murder. The Feds are investigating civil rights charges. And yet no one been charged or even lost their job.

Some links

posted by The Vidiot @ 4:10 PM Permalink

REALLY old pre-BMX tricks.


How to deal with those telemarketers. My favorite: For persistent sales callers, ask them to talk like a pirate or Yoda or you won't buy anything.


Puh-leeze. Ok. Well. The doggy kimonos are cute.


Space is already weaponized.


What is it with me and robot pets?


posted by The Vidiot @ 2:32 PM Permalink

Update: I can't find any confirmation of this anywhere but that single link on i-newswire. I hope it's a hoax.
Update 2: Seems to be a hoax. Thank heavens!


We've lost one of the funniest guys out there.

Will Farrell died in a freak accident.

Crap he was funny. Damn it!

One can only hope it wasn't the BFEE and their weather controlling machine that blew him off course as punishment for that spot-on impersonation of GW that he did.

I will always rememer two things about Will Farrell:

Him (as GW) playing with a ball of yarn on the couch and the cow bell thing from SNL.

Rest in peace dude.

Feingold his own party!

posted by The Vidiot @ 1:34 PM Permalink

It's bad enough that I have this problem with my brain that makes for a nasty sense of pressure in my skull, but in addition to that, I have deal with cranial pressure that is caused by the endless flaccid machinations of the democrats in action.
Excerpt: Democrats' hesitancy was a sign they remained reluctant to challenge Mr. Bush on some national security questions even as he was struggling in public opinion polls and set back on the transfer of some American port operations to an Arab company. Though polls on surveillance are mixed, Republicans say the public generally backs the idea of eavesdropping on people suspected of being in contact with terror suspects.

Hey dumb asses! I've got some news for you:

A clear majority of the people think this country is headed in the WRONG direction, DISAPPROVE of this pResident, LOATHE his vice pResident and contrary to what the illustrious gray lady says, the public DOESN'T like the idea of spying on American citizens, ESPECIALLLY when there's proof it's being used on people who merely oppose this administration and its policies. Just where does "reluctant" fit into all of that??

If I were the incredible hulk, I'd break out in some serious angry green, stomp on up to Capitol Hill and bash some freakin' heads in.

Jeebus! My head

Monday, March 13, 2006

The new media darling.

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:38 AM Permalink

I'm not sure what to think about this woman.
Excerpt: In the interview, which has been viewed on the Internet more than a million times and has reached the e-mail of hundreds of thousands around the world, Dr. Sultan bitterly criticized the Muslim clerics, holy warriors and political leaders who she believes have distorted the teachings of Muhammad and the Koran for 14 centuries.

On one hand, she makes a lot of sense. On the other hand, she's not going about it very well. No matter what you feel about Israel and it's politics, I can't imagine going on Arab TV and saying that Arabs are backward and violent and, in practically the same breath, then saying Israel is great and peaceful. I'm not sure how many muslims will actually listen to what you have to say if you're pissing them off from both sides.

Here's the video. Decide for yourself.

(Though, notice one thing on the video. The conservative fellow has taken a page out of the GOP public debate handbook. When met with an argument you can't logically counter, label that person and declare that person unable to be reasoned with.)

Kucinich was right.

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:36 AM Permalink

Remember when Dennis Kucinich was one of the dem candidates for president back in 2004? Remember how people made fun of him for being too far left, elfin and well, just a little strange? Funny thing though. More people, in the end, identified with his point of view than actually voted for him (mostly due, I'm sure, to the negative media narrative, but that's a 'nuther post.) Part of his reputation was due to the fact that when he was mayor of Cleveland (the youngest mayor as well) he stood up to electric deregulators. He said "Hell no. Electricity is a public service and it will stay that way." Well, the corporations and the banks then conspired against him and forced Cleveland into default. (To be fair, Cleveland was on the ropes financially anyway, but the angry bankers and corporations poured salt on the wound.) From then on, the poor guy has had to really fight to get his word out. See. Dennis understood (and still does) that corporations have one reason to exist and that's to turn a profit. That motive runs counter to the public good when it comes to providing a necessary service. But noooooooo. He was viewed as a maverick, a crazy man, a shrill little elf.

Well, funny thing. He was right.

Excerpt: Maryland and District consumers angry at the record electric bills they will receive this summer might want to recall the promises made by proponents of deregulation seven years ago. If they do, they'll be even angrier.

Of course, when you have public officials profiting from public policy, like, say, Don Rumsfeld's profiting from the Bird Flu scare, well, people like Dennis Kucinich are just too few and far between to NOT be marginalized by the media.

Kucinich. He should've been president. Or at least speaker of the house.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Word O' the Day

posted by The Vidiot @ 4:54 PM Permalink

floccinaucinihilipilification, noun
Definition: an act or instance of judging something to be worthless or trivial
Etymology: the parts of the word each mean `at nothing' or `with a small price.'

In past the "Used in a sentence" would come at this point, but for the first time in vidiotspeak history, we open this category up to our readers. You know who you are, and we expect thousands ... would you believe 'hundreds' ... how about Gunga Din on a donkey to comment.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Forget plastic and duct tape, our safety lies in a pork barrel ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:47 PM Permalink

Homeland Security gives tiny town a lot of camera power
Dillingham is a quiet fishing village in Southwest Alaska, home to 2,400 people and not a single streetlight.
What it does have, however, is 80 surveillance cameras, focused on the port and the town, courtesy of a $202,000 Homeland Security federal grant.

Dillingham Police Chief Richard Thompson said the cameras could stop terrorism in Southwest Alaska someday. More to the point, they may also put an end to the drinking, deaths and drug deals.
The residents of Dillingham are a bit more sceptical:
“There are no jihadist sockeyes swimming into our bay, no militant moose, no bomb-bearing belugas"
Obviously, like so many of Bushco's Anti-Terrerist policies, it ain't about terrorists, it's about draconian abuses of Americans' rights.

Haven't we seen this (disaster) movie before?

posted by The Vidiot @ 5:03 PM Permalink

Former White House staffer named to head DHS policy committee
The department announced that a 28-year-old former White House staffer is heading a policy committee that gathers expert advice -- on behalf of the president and the Homeland Security secretary -- on key areas of homeland security, including threats to infrastructure and preventing terrorist attacks that use weapons of mass destruction.
Hoelscher has no management experience[...] He came to government in 2001 as a low-level White House staffer, arranging presidential travel
In 2004, Hoelscher worked for the RNC. [...] During Katrina, he helped deploy volunteers from the department to the Gulf Coast, she said. The congressional report on Katrina noted that some of those employees had trouble making it to the region because of departmental miscommunications.
A guy in charge of Presidential travel can't arrange a trip to the Gulf Coast!?
One congressional staffer defended the appointment[...] "There's plenty of adult supervision" at the department.
Wow! Talk about damned with faint praise!
Bushco has more hacks than a Microsoft security update.

Controversial political appointments at the department include Michael Brown, the former FEMA director, who was a longtime friend of Bush's 2000 campaign director, Joe Allbaugh; Julie Myers, who's married to Chertoff's chief of staff and heads the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau despite lacking law enforcement credentials; and Eduardo Aguirre Jr., a career Texas banker with Bush family ties, who was director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
And the list goes on, ad nauseum.

Fristed Ethics ... or ... The Doctor and his Hypocritic Oath

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:44 PM Permalink

Frist Suspends Senate Ethics Debate After Losing on Dubai Vote
March 9 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist suspended debate on overhauling lobbying rules after the chamber refused to prevent a vote on blocking a state-owned Dubai company from taking over terminals at six American ports.
After the vote, Frist, a Tennessee Republican, said he would delay action on the lobbying and ethics legislation until the Senate sponsors approved a list of amendments and blocked unrelated proposals. He gave no date for resuming debate, and the sponsor of the ports amendment, Senator Charles Schumer, said he still wanted a vote on that issue.
Dodd said Schumer would withdraw his motion on the ports if Frist promised a separate vote later. Frist refused.
Anyone else notice that Frist (R-Kitten Killer) sounds like Eric Cartman? 'Screw you guys, I'm going home!'

Do as I say ....

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:32 PM Permalink

Bush Warns Iran, Syria on Iraq Meddling
"If the Iranians are trying to influence the outcome of the political process, or the outcome of the security situation there, we're letting them know our displeasure," Bush said. "Our call is for those in the neighborhood to allow Iraq to develop a democracy, and that includes our call to Iran as well as to Syria."

... not as I do
Rice wants funds for democracy initiative in Iran
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice asked Congress yesterday to fund a sweeping initiative to promote democracy inside Iran that would expand satellite broadcasts to enable Washington to ''engage" directly with the Iranian people. The initiative also would lift US restrictions to allow US funding for Iranian trade unions, political dissidents, and nongovernmental organizations.

Saturday Sailboat Blogging

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:54 AM Permalink

It's almost spring and time to go fly a kite!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Seeing the light

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:22 PM Permalink

Remember the FAA saying how damaging laser pointers were to pilots and the subsequent crackdown hysteria? At the time I knew it was BS, because the low strength, frequency and distance make it impossible for a class 2 laser to cause damage.

I work in the field so I thought it was a no-brainer, but lack of brains never stopped the Feds from over reacting. They even leveled charges of terrorism for shining a laser pointer at an aircraft, the penalty for which is up to 25 years in prison and fines of up to $500,000.

So guess what method the Feds are using to warn pilots away from restricted airspace in DC? Ahh, you guessed it, lasers that are more powerful than those allowed to civilians.

As usual, the government refuses to see the light, but they don't mind subjecting us to it.

Abortion privileges

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:34 AM Permalink

What is going on in this country?!

First South Dakota, then Mississippi, now Tennessee. WTF?

I've had this ongoing discussion with Mr. Vidiot. He thinks, and rightly so, that there's no difference between the dems and the repugs. And up to a point, I agree with him. But I compare the difference to the butterfly effect (and I'm not necessarily talking about the Ashton Kutcher movie.) The difference between the two parties lies in the miniscule variants between them. Both parties are money whores. Both parties have ceased to represent anybody but their own institutions. Both parties suck. However, (and I hate starting a sentence with however, but there you have it), little things like the dems protecting the right to choose, and the repugs breaking down the wall between church and state, things like that are reflected in the judiciary. I believe that the real playing fields are not the legislative branch or the executive branch. No, the real playing field is the judiciary branch. It's like draft rounds in sports. Whomever does the picking, makes the team. And depending who's picking, that's the team you get. It's very simple. So, sure, you can blather on and on about the lack of difference between idiot one (dem) and idiot two (repug) but when it comes to picking the team that actually plays the game that effects our lives, there's a huge difference between them.

Does anybody think for an instant that if it were Gore or Kerry in the White House, and they got to pick a Supreme Court justice, that any of those states would even dare to THINK about challenging Roe v. Wade? Why would they run the risk of having SCOTUS re-affirm the decision? They wouldn't. But because Bush has appointed who he has appointed to SCOTUS, not to mention the myriad of conservative federal judges he's been able to appoint, that the playing field has been altered enough to allow a challenge to occur.

So to all those who didn't vote because they thought that there wasn't any difference between the two, and to all of those who voted for Bush because even though they're pro-choice, they always vote republican without thinking about, fuck you very much. Because of you, we've travelled back in time, to a place where women will have to take matters into their own hands.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Walocaust conspiracy

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:17 PM Permalink

Wal-Mart In Court Fight Over 'Wal-ocaust' T-Shirts
ATLANTA -- A Georgia man has filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart in federal district court in Atlanta in a fight over his T-shirts that compare the retailer's business practices to the Holocaust.

Charles Smith has been marketing shirts that read, "I (heart) Walocaust" T-shirts. Wal-Mart filed a cease-and-desist order in an attempt to make him stop printing the shirts.

The company said Smith is engaging in trademark infringement.
It seems they might have been offended at his Munch-ing their logo. Or perhaps they're screaming about his "Walocaust-The world is our labor camp" slogan. Regardless of Walocaust's Wal-Mart's motives, you might want to donate to Public Citizen who is helping this entrepreneur fight the Man ... or at least the Man' heirs and board of directors.

Computer Science 101 ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:58 PM Permalink

Suffolk University professor accused of pornographic violation
BOSTON -- A Suffolk University professor is under investigation by university officials following accusations of alleged pornographic misconduct.

According to Emily XXXXXX, a student in the class, Professor XXXXXX, allegedly watched porn on his computer, which was unknowingly connected to a monitor that was behind him.

The class ended half an hour following the display, and the students never tried to intervene.
Aside from the fact that one could make a good argument that porno and college kids go together like cherries and jubilee, my heart bleeds for Emily.

This poor creature had to endure these images, having them seared into her nubile, young, impressionable brain, until she thought she'd go mad ...

Finally the bell rang, and Emily was able to escape from the classroom and hurried back to her dorm to relive the hideous pressure that had built in her loins.

Horrors! Her roommate was home! She rushed to the showers, but they were occupied also! She knew she would be too loud to risk a stall, so she continued her subcutaneous search for haven, eventually leading back to her room.

Thank god! Her roommate was off the phone and grabbing her purse! Moments after the door shut Emily was under the covers and in touch with her inner self. "Oh, God" she ejaculated, and swooned with incredible pleasure.

But with incredible pleasure came incredible guilt. And the next day, realizing the cause of her evil thoughts, she ratted the prof out.

Poor Emily.

Republicans support the troops ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:43 PM Permalink

Cheney Tries to Reassure Veterans About Health Care Concerns

"The President and I came to office determined to enhance the quality of veterans' health care, to significantly increase the resources going to (Veterans Affairs), to modernize VA facilities, to improve service to veterans' families and to trim the backlog in processing disability claims," Cheney said.
And while his nose attained even greater dimensions, the truth is:
The Associated Press reported Monday that under a White House budget proposal, tens of thousands of veterans with non-critical medical issues could see delays or even denial of care.

Republicans are better on security ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:05 PM Permalink

Homeland Security headquarters not secure, guards contend
WASHINGTON — The agency entrusted with protecting the U.S. homeland is having difficulty safeguarding its own headquarters, say private security guards at the complex.

The guards have taken their concerns to Congress, describing inadequate training, failed security tests and slow or confused reactions to bomb and biological threats.
For instance, when an envelope with suspicious powder was opened last fall at Homeland Security Department headquarters, guards said they watched in amazement as superiors carried it by the office of Secretary Michael Chertoff, took it outside and then shook it outside Chertoff's window without evacuating people nearby.
"I had never previously been given training ... describing how to respond to a possible chemical attack," Daniels told The Associated Press. "I wouldn't feel safe nowhere on this compound as an officer."
The Bushco obligatory denial:
Wackenhut President Dave Foley disputed the allegations, saying officers have a minimum of one year's security experience, proper security clearances and training in vehicle screening, identification of personnel, handling of suspicious items and emergency response.

"In short, we believe our security personnel have been properly trained, have responded correctly to the various incidents that have occurred ... and that this facility is secure," he said. He declined, however, to address any of the current or former employees who have become whistleblowers.
Well apparently this Dave Foley is also a comedian. But seriously folks, if Bushco outsources DHS security to a private company called 'Wackenhut', how serious can they be about protecting US!?

Republicans believe in states' rights ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:36 PM Permalink

House Votes to Dump State Food Safety Laws
WASHINGTON - The House approved a bill Wednesday night that would wipe out state laws on safety labeling of food, overriding tough rules passed by California voters two decades ago that require food producers to warn consumers about cancer-causing ingredients.
Several critics argued that the bill was rushed through the House without complete hearings as a favor to a specific industry -- at the same time that members are talking about the evils of lobbying and proposing stricter ethical rules.
The vote Wednesday was a sign of the tremendous power of the food industry in Congress. Corporations and trade groups that joined the National Uniformity for Food Coalition, which backed the bill, have contributed more than $3 million to members in the 2005-06 election cycle and $31 million since 1998, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.
the House defeated an amendment by Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, that would have let states keep laws that warn consumers about exposure to substances that could cause cancer, birth defects, reproductive health problems or allergic reactions associated with sulfites.

So the FDA, which has the same problems with Bushco political hacks repressing research as every other government scientific office will be in sole charge of what warnings Americans get.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Practice makes perfect.

posted by The Vidiot @ 4:28 PM Permalink

Seeing as I have to practice thinking positively, I'm going to begin my practice.....


Cute Overload

Happy News

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Let Them Eat (Yellow)Cake

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:53 PM Permalink

Millionaire 'Dick' Cheney (R-Halliburton) has seen fit to advise us po'folks that it's our fault we can't achieve the American Dream.
Vice President Cheney:
"The American dream begins with saving money and that should begin on the very first day of work [...] Too often, workers are living paycheck to paycheck and are not saving sufficiently"
It gets worse. At the same conference:
Commerce Secretary Don Evans, said that a poll conducted for the lobby group found that nearly three out of five Americans between the ages of 35 and 49 are saving less than $10,000 a year. "For most, this will prove too little to support a comfortable middle-class retirement"

The Fed minimum wage is $5.15 an hour. At $5.15/hr, 40 hours/wk, 52 weeks/year a minimum wage worker earns $10,712. Well, I guess a responsible person would live on $712 a year ... WTF!
What does the White House have to say about minimum wage:
raising the minimum wage hurts the poor. It takes away jobs, keeps people on welfare, and encourages high-school students to drop out.
This 'Dick' needs a chainsaw bris.


posted by The Vidiot @ 1:40 PM Permalink

One of the saddest things about this dumb brain thing is I sorta' have to give up my motorcycles. In the words of my neurosurgeon "Any idiot can fall off a bike. If you fall off a bike, however, you'll be really screwed up." But the flip side of that is I get to read on the subway. Right now, I'm reading a book called "The social construction of reality. A treatise in the sociology of knowledge." by Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann. (Mr. Vidiot turned me onto it.) Anyway, it got me thinking.

This article in the WaPo is touting the same old tired line: the Democrats are struggling.

Excerpt: News about GOP political corruption, inept hurricane response and chaos in Iraq has lifted Democrats' hopes of winning control of Congress this fall. But seizing the opportunity has not been easy, as they found when they tried to unveil an agenda of their own.

Yet, whatever I read, I see that Bush's numbers are low (Cheney's are even lower), Dem numbers are on the rise, and Dean is raising buttloads of cash. Does that sound like a party in trouble to you? No.

Now, the book is all about construction of reality. I'm not all the way through it yet, but it's very interesting with regards this story. We all have heard the left-leaning blogosphere going on and on about how the media gets things wrong. How they create a narrative and stick to it, no matter if they've been proven wrong -- Gore as liar; Republicans better on security. They create the reality. We have to stop letting them create the reality. And don't let the media call you crazy either. ..."any radical deviance from the institutional order appears as a departure from reality."(Berger: pp66)

Near as I can tell, according to Berger, society creates reality, and the reality, in turn, creates society. (I'm just now beginning to grok the concept of a dialectical effect (which Berger and I think Marx are big on)). So, if these "woe are the democrats" articles become more frequent, you can bet that whomever is behind them is frantically trying to shore up the "dems will fail" reality with the hope that people believe it. A self-fulfilling prophecy sort of thing.

Don't let them do it.

Brain Damage...

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:48 AM Permalink

I feel terrible not posting very much. But I have a very good reason.

So, funny thing, I've been feeling like crap lately and I went to the doctor, and guess what? I have a brain malformation. Well, OK, anyone who knows me might've suspected that right off the bat. But, it gets better.

Not only is it getting worse, the only way to make it stop getting worse is to {gulp} operate. It's called decompression surgery. Yeah, so, I'll basically have the same haircut I had during my 'punk years' during the 80s.

So that's why I've not been posting much. Just trying to deal with what's been going on. Surgery will probably happen mid to late April. I have a few nasty MRI-type things to go thru between now and then. I'll be posting until then and while I'm out of it (and I'll be quite the shrew, I imagine. Woe to my caretaker.) The Sailor of course will be able to manage things and I'll find someone to fill in a bit for me as well.

No worries. I'll be fine. Full of piss and vinegar as always.

And we can be sure that that the powers that be won't be taking a vacation from from screwing things up.

Monday, March 06, 2006

'Katrina, Katrina' ... or 'Another day, another lie'

posted by The Vidiot @ 7:49 PM Permalink

Lt. Gen. Carl Strock, head of the Army Corps, told Bush in a private briefing that 100 miles of the 169 miles of levees damaged by the Aug. 29 hurricane have been restored.
Good news! Right!? Well, maybe not:
Strock took issue with findings from two teams of independent experts who said the Corps was taking shortcuts and using substandard materials, leaving large sections of the system substantially weaker than before the hurricane.

The findings [...] were made by engineers on a National Science Foundation-funded panel and by a Louisiana team appointed to monitor the rebuilding.
And the money quote:
"We are using the right kind of materials," Strock said. "There is no question about that."
Well, that's a lie, because 2 independent groups are questioning it. And who are ya gonna believe, Bushco and the Army Corps of Engineers, with their 'proven' track record, or 2 separate groups of real scientists?

It gets worse: White House spokesman Scott McClellan sez:
"The Corps of Engineers is using modern design and construction methods, which have greatly improved the last four years, which is the time when those levees were originally built"
NEW ORLEANS (Feb. 24, 2006) - The HNTB Federal Services Corporation has been selected by the New Orleans District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide general design support services to assist in rebuilding critical infrastructure that was demolished during the twin punches of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
And who was this no-bid contract awarded to?
retired General Robert B. Flowers, who was the Corps' Chief of Engineers from 2000 until 2004, a period in which the Corps pursued questionable navigation projects in New Orleans at the expense of flood and hurricane protection. In addition, Flowers was the commander of Corps' Mississippi Valley Division from 1995 to 1997 which was directly responsible for construction, operation, inspection, and maintenance of New Orleans flood and hurricane protection projects.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Turning a Corner ...

posted by The Vidiot @ 11:21 PM Permalink

... 3 times.

On Sunday the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Pace said
"I do not believe it has deep roots," Pace said of the insurgency. "I do not believe that they're on the verge of civil war."
"I wouldn't put a great big smiley face on it, but I would say they're going very, very well from everything you look at."
"No matter where you look at their military, their police, their society things are much better this year than they were last,"
Where to start with such bold faced lies?
Well, here:
The Interior Ministry, meanwhile, denied involvement in fighting in a Sunni mosque in west Baghdad that killed three people Sunday. Police had reported that commandos from the Shiite-led Interior Ministry stormed the mosque, leading to a 25 minute gunbattle.
And here:
"We have found one of the death squads. They are part of the police force," US Maj Gen Joseph Peterson said.
Of course last year:

The number of Iraqi army battalions that can fight insurgents without U.S. and coalition help has dropped from three to one
And this year:
A recent Pentagon assessment of Iraqi troop readiness concluded the country currently has no army battalions capable of standing up to insurgents and terrorists on their own
Well, let's see what other lies are on Pace:
March 4, 2006 BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A mortar round killed seven people and wounded 15 others at a busy market in a southeastern Baghdad suburb early Saturday, said an emergency police official, one day after a daytime curfew brought relative peace.

Five other people were killed in bombings and shootings outside Baghdad, adding to the more than 500 lives lost in the wave of sectarian violence since the February 22 bombing of the Shiite Al-Askariya Mosque in Samarra.

The worst offending statement was "I do not believe it has deep roots" Actually, the roots go back to Iraq's founding by the British in the 1921.
Sunnis collaborated with the British, who supported the Sunni Arab monarchists. Shiite insurrectionists heeded the calls of their clergy and fought a jihad, or holy war, against the British, who crushed them and reaffirmed their second-class status. Kurdish nationalists unsuccessfully sought independence, first by diplomatic channels, later by the gun.