Monday, August 31, 2009

Oh, no! Say it ain't so! NYT headline: Disney to Pay $4 Billion for Marvel Comics…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:13 PM Permalink

Spider-Mickey by Robert Cook.

Update by The Vidiot: Sorry Bill. Had to add the picture and this link to a fabulous collection of Disney/Marvel mashups.

…I can just see it now: Goofy, the love-able dog takes his friend from the pound to a scientific research lab. While snooping around and taking pictures a small group of genetically enhanced spiders, captured at David Bowie's "Glass Spider" concert, slowly descends from the ceiling playing a little rag-time music until they accidentally bump into Goofy's head and lose their drummer. The Spider Band leader immediately takes revenge by leaping onto and then biting Goofy's ear. The next morning Goofy awakes to find he is now Pluto, the Spiderdog! Much fun ensues, guaranteed to get laughs from the children!

"Sergeant Duck and his Howling Commandos" would rapidly follow as the next release detailing the adventures of Donald Fauntleroy Duck [and that is his real middle name, see 1942 or 3's "Donald Joins the Army," where his middle name is revealed on his enlistment papers]. Weary of being confused for a British Duck because of his middle name and totally un-understandable accent, Donald gathers a formidable fighting force composed of Hewey, Dewey, and Lewie Duck and, along with Nick Fury wreaks havoc with the German Army. Much fun ensues, guaranteed to get laughs from the children!

Jiminy Cricket is working in his lab trying to bring life to Pinocchio when Geppetto inadvertently pulls a wrong lever, suddenly releasing incredible amounts of gamma radiation that, combined with the wax on Pinnocchio, combines to cause an explosion that totally destroys the lab, Jiminy Cricket, and Geppetto. The only survivor of this horrible event is Pinocchio who, when you pull his strings, becomes a raging giant green puppet who can only be calmed and returned to normal by kicking Mickey Mouse's ass and having his way with Minnie Mouse. Much fun ensues, guaranteed to get laughs from the children!

In the somber opening scene of a new film, the body of a beautiful lass lies in state in a glass coffin while people quietly pass, offering their condolences. Along comes a charming prince, whom we shall refer to henceforth as Prince Charming, who is not content with merely looking at the beautiful lass and is compelled to open the casket and lay a big wet kiss upon her lips. As they kiss the armor of the prince seems to liquify and begins flowing onto and converting the princess' garb into red and golden armor. The change is complete when the princess awakes, slaps prince Charming silly, and discovers that her new armored gown endows her with super-strength, vision, hearing, and has made her impervious to harm. As she dismounts the casket she finds that small jet engines in various spots on the armor enable her to fly. She assumes the identity of "IronPrincess" and commences a career fighting tyrants, criminals, and anyone passing out poisoned apples. Much fun ensues, guaranteed to get laughs from the children!

Just say it ain't so! PLEASE just say it ain't so!

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Really? Is this the change a lot of folks voted for?

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:50 AM Permalink

Holder rejects the Nuremberg Principle.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder appointed Assistant United States Attorney John Durham to investigate torture by U.S. officials since President Bush commenced the “war on terror,” but in the same act also gave political cover from that prosecutor to anyone who actually committed torture.
Holder said torturers “need to be protected from legal jeopardy when they act in good faith and within the scope of legal guidance. That is why I have made it clear in the past that the Department of Justice will not prosecute anyone who acted in good faith and within the scope of the legal guidance given by the Office of Legal Counsel regarding the interrogation of detainees. I want to reiterate that point today, and to underscore the fact that this preliminary review will not focus on those individuals.”
Wow. Way to uphold the standards of decency, dude.

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Out of the mouths of babes

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:45 AM Permalink

14-year-old Teen Vidiot gets it:
If they make it really hard for normal people to have guns, then doesn't that mean that only the bad people will have the guns?
The kid has a point. (Since he's only 14, I didn't bother pointing out the bad people who have guns aren't just the criminals, but they're the police and the government too. No reason to awaken his inner anarchist... yet.)


Is it me....

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:42 AM Permalink

or did the Ted Kennedy funeral go on FOREVER?

I swear, every time I clicked on the TV, starting in the morning, there were live pictures of the funeral. This continued on all the way through dinner. Damn thing must've gone on for 12 hours or more.

Last funeral I went to only lasted one hour, and that included a church service.

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Disappointing news

posted by The Vidiot @ 10:34 AM Permalink

The porn star will probably not be going to Congress.

Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) has no shortage of competitors in 2010. In addition to Democratic challenger, Rep. Charlie Melancon, he's always drawn improbable Republican primary challenger and porn star Stormy Daniels (and even a "conservative independent" third-party challenger you may not have heard of.).

But yesterday came word that he may be challenged in the Republican primary by retired Army Gen. Russel Honore, best known for leading the Army's deployment in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

It's too bad really. It would've been fun to have a porn star as a representative. Kind of like Italy's Cicciolina. But there's just no way Honore can't win. Even if something really bad comes out about him, the people of Louisiana will vote for him. He identifies as African American Creole and the folks in Louisiana love their creoles. That and he rode in on a tank like he was the savior of New Orleans... which is how the people see him.

UPDATE: Excellent news: Honore said he's not running. The porn star is back in the race. I repeat: The porn star is back in the race!

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Mommy don't worry now teddy boys here

posted by The Sailor @ 10:58 PM Permalink

I don't normally do this, but I haven't written anything, and we haven't written anything about Senator Ted Kennedy's passing here. So I'm going to cross post what SteveAudio wrote with my humble addition:

We've lost the one sure vote for health care reform in the Senate:
Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, a son of one of the most storied families in American politics, a man who knew triumph and tragedy in near-equal measure and who will be remembered as one of the most effective lawmakers in the history of the Senate, died late Tuesday night. He was 77 .

Teddy wasn't perfect, clearly no one is. Yet he chose to leverage his family's wealth and position into a career of public service. And while he had many flaws and missteps, he had found his stride in recent years, being a champion of health care reform in the truest sense, so that the 46 million or more Americans with no access to health care might join in the American dream.

As usual, the far right Free Republic loves them some Liberal death:
Ted Kennedy is dead
The bar is open!
Drinks on the house!
Its PARTAY time

This damn traitor lived far to long.

Mary Jo: “Hey Teddy. See this button? It has only one direction: DOWN! Step right in!”

It appears that as long as a murderer of millions of people is an American, he is “great.” The glowing tribute from George H.W. Bush is stomach-turning.

The death of Ted Kennedy is no more an occasion for mourning and tributes than the death of Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Mao.

There is no indication of repentance for his career of lies, murder, theft, and oppression.

His funeral will almost certainly take place at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Boston, from where Rose Kennedy was buried, unless for some reason the family desires a “state” funeral in Washington. In any case, the orgy will be broadcast, hundreds of pro-abortion Catholics will slither forward to receive Communion on camera. Archbishop Sean O’Malley will crouch in a linen closet for a week, until the funeral is over.

You get the idea. this is why bipartisan debate is impossible. As usual, the signal-to-noise ratio for the right-wing drops below intelligible levels.

Addendum by The Sailor:>"the signal-to-noise ratio for the right-wing drops below intelligible levels."

Interesting, but understandable, that SteveAudio would phrase it that way.

My current work is in processing noisy images acquired thru translucent membranes in the retina via slightly fluorescing parts of the retina. Each image is dark. But when I align them, register them, and average them, I can clearly see the pathology. It takes time and many samples.

I've applied the same algorithms to the republican reaction to Ted Kennedy's death.

Each image is dark, but after processing them the hate shines thru. Oddly enough I thought it was just noise too, turns out the signal is loud and clear.

Noise always cancels out over time, the same frequency just amplifies.

BTW, their 'facts' are always wrong, Kennedy's service won't be at St. Stephen’s, it will be at the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. That's where he went to pray when his daughter, Kara, was undergoing treatment for lung cancer at Dana-Farber Hospital.

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Bugle Call Rag

posted by The Sailor @ 6:25 PM Permalink

Stars and Stripes, the well known leftist Pentagon funded newspaper [/snark] has donesome excellent work on the following story. Check out the timeline:
Wednesday, June 24, 2009:Army bars Stars and Stripes reporter from covering 1st Cav unit in Mosul

Asserting that Stars and Stripes “refused to highlight” good news in Iraq that the U.S. military wanted to emphasize, Army officials have barred a Stripes reporter from embedding with a unit of the 1st Cavalry Division that is attempting to secure the violent city of Mosul.

Officials said Stripes reporter Heath Druzin, who covered operations of the division’s 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team in February and March, would not be permitted to rejoin the unit for another reporting tour because, among other things, he wrote in a March 8 story that many Iraqi residents of Mosul would like the American soldiers to leave and hand over security tasks to Iraqi forces.
Additionally, Col. Gary Volesky, the 3rd Brigade’s commander, asserted that Druzin “would not answer questions about stories he was writing.”
Maybe it's just me, but I seem to remember a “goddamned piece of paper” saying something about freedom of the press.

Now fast forward a few weeks.
Monday, August 24, 2009:Journalists' recent work examined before embeds

U.S. public affairs officials in Afghanistan acknowledged to Stars and Stripes that any reporter seeking to embed with U.S. forces is subject to a background profile by The Rendon Group, which gained notoriety in the run-up to the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq for its work helping to create the Iraqi National Congress. That opposition group, reportedly funded by the CIA, furnished much of the false information about Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction used by the Bush administration to justify the invasion.

Rendon examines individual reporters’ recent work and determines whether the coverage was “positive,” “negative” or “neutral” compared to mission objectives, according to Rendon officials. It conducts similar analysis of general reporting trends about the war for the military and has been contracted for such work since 2005, according to the company.
Notice there is nothing about accuracy in their standards.

But wait, there's more!
Thursday, August 27, 2009: Files prove Pentagon is profiling reporters

Contrary to the insistence of Pentagon officials this week that they are not rating the work of reporters covering U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Stars and Stripes has obtained documents that prove that reporters’ coverage is being graded as “positive,” “neutral” or “negative.”
“They are not doing that [rating reporters], that’s not been a practice for some time — actually since the creation of U.S. Forces–Afghanistan” in October 2008, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters Monday. “I can tell you that the way in which the Department of Defense evaluates an article is its accuracy. It’s a good article if it’s accurate. It’s a bad article if it’s inaccurate. That’s the only measurement that we use here at the Defense Department.”
But the Rendon profiles reviewed by Stars and Stripes prove otherwise. One of the profiles evaluates work published as recently as May, indicating that the rating practice did not in fact cease last October as Whitman stated.

And the explicit suggestions contained in the Rendon profiles detailing how best to manipulate reporters’ coverage during their embeds directly contradict the Pentagon’s stated policies governing the embed process.
“It’s troubling that the military is contracting a private PR firm, paid with U.S. taxpayer dollars, to profile individual reporters,” said one servicemember who declined to be identified for fear of official retribution. “It shows utter contempt for the Constitution, which we in the service pledge our lives to defend.”
And if you call now you'll receive:
Friday, August 28, 2009:Pentagon: Reporter profiling under review

Under fire following revelations that a military command in Afghanistan is compiling profiles of reporters covering U.S. military operations, Pentagon officials acknowledged Thursday that they were reviewing the practice even as they maintained that they were not making use of “positive,” “negative” and “neutral” grades assigned to reporters’ work by a Pentagon contractor.
[Pentagon spokesman Bryan] Whitman told Pentagon reporters that he was inquiring about the issue, but he added that the Pentagon is not launching any formal inquiry to the matter.

“I haven’t seen anything that violates any policies, but again, I’m learning about aspects of this as I question our folks in Afghanistan,” Whitman said. “If I find something that is inconsistent with Defense Department values and policies, you can be sure I will address it.”
“USFOR-A has only used this information to in part help assess performance in communicating information effectively to the public,” USFOR-A spokesman Col. Wayne Shanks told Stars and Stripes in an e-mailed statement. “These reports do not ‘rate’ reporters or news outlets themselves, nor do we keep any reports on individual reporters other than personal information, name, passport or ID number, media outlet, etc….”

Shanks also contended that the compiling of the reporters’ profiles was halted in May of this year.

But those claims run counter to the actual media profiles, the existence of which Stars and Stripes revealed earlier this week. The profiles contain ratings and pie charts purporting to depict whether an individual reporter’s work is “positive,” “negative” or “neutral,” as well as advice on how best to place a reporter with a military unit to ensure positive coverage and “neutralize” negative stories.

One Pentagon correspondent who requested and received her profile on Thursday said it included her current work up through July.
Riiiight, they never did it, and if they did do it they've stopped doing it, and if they did do what they said they didn't do and stopped doing they're still doing it and even tho they're reviewing what they didn't do they're not investigating it.

"Confused? You won't be, after this week's episode of...Soap"
Saturday, August 29, 2009: Army used profiles to reject reporters

The secret profiles commissioned by the Pentagon to rate the work of journalists reporting from Afghanistan were used by military officials to deny disfavored reporters access to American fighting units or otherwise influence their coverage as recently as 2008, an Army official acknowledged Friday.
Congratulations to the Stars and Stripes for their work in exposing lies from the Pentagon and maintaining the 4th Estate promise of keeping government honest. Unlike the stenographers of the corporate media, they did their jobs. There should be a Pulitzer in their future.
(You can go here to learn more about the history of Stars and Stripes.)

And now, the title song of this post starts at about 1:10:

Cross posted at SteveAudio

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Most Obvious Story Everrrrrr

posted by The Vidiot @ 9:22 AM Permalink

Taking a Dim View of Solar Energy Who could possibly be against homeowners using solar panels to power their homes? Utility companies.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009


posted by The Sailor @ 5:37 PM Permalink

JustUs Scalia has stated that the state murdering innocent people is Constitutional:(warning PDF)
This Court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is “actually” innocent.
While no one is innocent, some folks are not guilty of the crimes they've been charged with. To date, 241 people have been exonerated and released.

I question whether someone who is innocent of the crime, but has been convicted and sentenced to DEATH, has had a 'full and fair trial.'

Now, for some brain bleach:

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Leonard Peltier Will Remain in Prison

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:57 PM Permalink

A man that most human rights organizations consider a political prisoner and a man who MORE THAN LIKELY DID NOT murder the two men he was convicted of killing, was denied parole again.
American Indian activist Leonard Peltier, imprisoned since 1977 for the deaths of two FBI agents, has been denied parole after authorities decided that releasing him would diminish the seriousness of his crime, the Associated Press reported in mid-afternoon on Aug. 21.
I'm cutting and pasting the following from Micheal Rivero's blog because it's pretty thorough. I've read a lot about Peltier's trial and incarceration and from what I've read, travesty of justice doesn't even begin to describe what happened to him.
The FBI is covering its own ass, as always.

* FBI radio intercepts indicated that the two FBI agents were chasing a red pickup truck. The day after the shootout, the FBI director stated the FBI's intent to find a red pickup truck. Red pickup trucks near the reservation were stopped for weeks in the attempt to locate it. However, Leonard did not drive a red pickup truck. At his trial, the FBI instead claimed they had been searching for the red and white van that Leonard was sometimes seen driving[6].

* Testimony from three witnesses placed Peltier, Robideau and Butler near the crime scene. Those three witnesses later recanted, alleging that the FBI, while extracting their testimony, had tied them to chairs, denied them their right to talk to their attorney, and otherwise coerced and threatened them [7][8].

* The jury, unlike the juries in similar prosecutions against AIM leaders at the time, were not allowed to hear about the other cases, where the FBI had been rebuked for tampering with both the evidence and witnesses[9].

* An FBI ballistics expert testimony during the trial asserted that a shell casing found near the dead agents' bodies matched the gun tied to Peltier. However it was specified that an forensics test of the firing pin, which would have more definitively matched the gun to the casing, was not performed because the gun was damaged in a fire. Rather, a less definitive test was done which indicated that the extractor marks on the casing and gun match.

Years later, after an FOIA request, the FBI ballistics expert’s records were examined. His report stated that he had performed a ballistics test of the firing pin and concluded that this bullet casing from the scene of the crime did not come from the gun tied to Peltier. That evidence was withheld from the jury during the trial[10].

* Though the FBI's investigation indicated that an AR-15 was used to kill the agents, several different AR-15s were in the area at the time of the shootout which could have caused the fatal injuries. Also, no other casings or evidence about them were offered by the prosecutor’s office, even though other bullets were fired at the crime scene[11][12].

* At the conclusion of Peltier’s trial, the prosecutor closed his argument saying, "We proved that he went down to the bodies and executed those two young men at point blank range." However, at the appellate hearing, the government attorney conceded, "We had a murder. We had numerous shooters. We do not know who specifically fired what killing shots…We do not know who shot the agents[13]."

* The Pennsylvania Parole Commission, which presides over the prison Peltier was held at in Lewisburg, denied Peltier parole in 1993 based on their finding that he, "participated in the premeditated and cold blooded execution of those two officers." However, the Parole Commission has since stated that it, "recognizes that the prosecution has conceded the lack of any direct evidence that [Peltier] personally participated in the executions of the two FBI agents.[14]"
Not to mention what this country has done -- and apparantly continues to do -- to the Native Americans. Squeaky gets out, Leonard stays in. Makes no sense.

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So, let me get this straight

posted by The Vidiot @ 8:16 AM Permalink

Updated below by The Sailor.

The Bloggers were right about there being no WMDs in Iraq. The Bloggers were right when they said that the US government had condoned torture. And now we find out that the Bloggers were right when they were screaming that the security threat levels were raised and lowered for political reasons
Ridge says that he fought against changing the terror alert and wondered at the time whether the Ashcroft- and Rumsfeld-backed request was about "security or politics," because while there was "nothing to indicate a specific threat and no reason to cause undue public alarm...Post-election analysis demonstrated a significant increase in the president's approval rating in the days after the raising of the threat level."
and they say Bloggers can't be trusted?? Really?

Update: Tom Ridge, who is now expressing doubts about his role and complicity in the politicization of terrer alerts had this to say at the time:
8/5/04 10:00 AM EST
Administration Decries Suggestion Terror Alert Was Issued For Political Purposes

The AP also reports that Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge "spent a second day Wednesday defending the warnings, which came on the heels of the Democratic National Convention and drew attention from the presidential campaign of nominee John Kerry. 'I categorically state that the none of the terror threats are politically motivated,' Mr. Ridge said."
"I regret that there's an inference that this kind of public revelation of information is. . .political. It clearly was not and it never will be." In fact, Ridge didn't discount another terror warning possible between now and the election. Said Ridge, "If we receive that kind of information again, along with other bits and pieces of information, intelligence we have. . .we would do it again. . . . It will be driven by information and intelligence solely."
Hmm, let's see "we would do it again. . . . It will be driven by information political means and [lack of] intelligence solely." There, fixed it.

And continuing Vid's theme, why is it that the folks who were proved wrong and/or hypocritical over and over are still given a national voice while the folks who were proven right over and over are still marginalized? [/rhetorical question]

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Baby Just Wrote Me A Letter

posted by The Sailor @ 5:18 PM Permalink

New letter found in lobbying scandal

A congressional investigation has turned up yet another fraudulent letter sent to U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello, this one forged to appear as if it was sent by the Senior Center in Albemarle County in opposition to climate change legislation.
The latest forgery brings the total number of bogus letters sent to Perriello and two other congressmen to 13, representing a total of nine community groups in Charlottesville and in Pennsylvania.

All of the letters were sent by a Washington “grassroots” lobbying firm on behalf of a pro-coal advocacy group
in mid-June and urged the congressmen to vote in opposition to the American Clean Energy and Security Act.
Bonner has told other media organizations that the fake letters were sent by a temporary, part-time employee who they say has been fired.
Yeeeess, a temp sent out all these letters, on all their own. And just because Bonner et al have a history of this is no reason to think that they are responsible.

And just because the major coal companies agreed on starting a PAC (RICO anyone?) and hired a lobbyist firm known for ginning up astroturf that sent out these fake letters (mail fraud anyone?) is no reason to think that they did it on purpose.

I've no doubt they'll have their own investigation and find out they're not at fault.

Cross posted at SteveAudio


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sorry for the light posting

posted by The Vidiot @ 1:40 PM Permalink

An apology meant mostly for my blogmates since they're pulling their weight and mine around here.

But I have a good reason: Mr. Vidiot and I have just inherited a 14-year-old (henceforth known as Teen Vidiot) and we have been frantically readying what WAS a closet/office/storage space for his arrival next week.

Let me tell you, trying to squeeze one more body into our apartment is no easy feat. This last weekend was spent assembling all the Ikea furniture: a wardrobe, dresser and loft bed. I managed the wardrobe and dresser just fine, but Mr. Vidiot and I spent seven hours putting the bed together. At the same time, we had a carpenter there installing a door for us (so Teen Vidiot will have something to slam when we tell him to stop playing his video games) and he was watching us and all of our mistakes and said, "You know, I'm surprised they never did a Saturday Night Live skit where a couple was assembling Ikea furniture and as they went along, they started to really fight and until at the end of it, the bed is in a shambles and they're attacking each other with hammers and screw drivers." He thought this was very funny until he realized that we might not think that it was so funny at that particular moment since we had just discovered that we had put one of the long pieces of wood in upside down and had to disassemble the whole thing and reassemble it.


Anyway, this last weekend will be spent cleaning and scouring the place so that Teen Vidiot will know how I like things to look and will then understand why I freak out when I see his things scattered all over the place.

Posting will be sporadic until we're all on a routine.

Wish me luck. I've never spent more than a week with anything under the age of 18 since I was, well, under the age of 18. This should be interesting, but don't worry, I won't make my postings about parenting unless of course it's politically relevant.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Insomniac Music

posted by The Sailor @ 1:18 AM Permalink

Tuesday Genius 10:
Cry Me a River - Diana Krall
At This Moment - Billy Vera and the Beaters
You Send Me - Otis Redding
People Get Ready - Rare Earth
I Wanna Get Next To You - Rose Royce
How Can You Mend A Broken Heart - The Bee Gees
I Wish It Would Rain - The Temptations
Feeling Alright - David Ruffin
Slow Jam Sweet Thing - Rufus with Chaka Khan
Day Is Done - Norah Jones

What can I say, my iPod knew what I wanted to listen to even before I did.

And one more for the road:


Monday, August 17, 2009

Just Farking Around

posted by The Sailor @ 5:11 PM Permalink

A cop wrecked 'em:
Hollywood officer has history of crashes
An officer involved in an alleged cover-up of a wreck has had several accidents on duty, his file shows.

The Hollywood police officer involved in a rear-end crash that allegedly was covered up by fellow officers is no stranger to road accidents. His personnel file, obtained by the Sun Sentinel, shows he was involved in eight other crashes while driving his patrol car.

Joel Francisco, 36, an 11-year veteran of the force, was ordered to attend Driving Training School three times. Early in his career, he was suspended for being in three crashes within a year's time that were deemed preventable, the file says.
9 crashes and 3 mandated driving schools in 11 years. Mr Magoo has a better driving record.

Death Rules!
A Texas Judge on Trial: Closed to a Death-Row Appeal?

Soft-spoken and a devout Christian, Judge Sharon Keller presides as chief justice of Texas' highest criminal court. She's also known as "Sharon Killer" by her opponents, who are going to see her in court next week on charges of judicial misconduct.
Keller finds herself at this pass because of a four-word sentence she uttered on Sept. 25, 2007: "We close at 5."
Keller was reportedly at her home dealing with a repairman that afternoon when she got the request — and made her reply. Richard's lawyers failed to meet the deadline, and at 8:23 p.m. Richard was declared dead following a lethal injection.
After confessing, Richard claimed he was innocent, but his appeal centered on a history of alleged family abuse and his supposed IQ of 64.
A devout christain once again condemns a retarded man to death because she couldn't be bothered.
I hope when she gets to those pearly gates she believes in it goes something like this: "Hey, Saint Peter, this woman arrived late and her excuse is she got caught in traffic."
"Sorry, we close at five."

Pay for Play:
Supporters: Sex shop limits not dead

Opponents of sexually oriented businesses in Kansas aren't giving up on trying to limit their operations, even though the state attorney general says he won't enforce a law restricting their signs along highways.
The bill drafted by Kinzer's committee would prohibit adult stores within 1,000 feet of schools, libraries, public parks, private homes, day care centers, houses of worship or even another adult store.
"The adult entertainment businesses make the most money by far where there's legislative and social repression," he said. "Why do you think adult entertainment places come to Kansas?"
And as a corollary, why do you think conservatives buy the most porn online? Because they're too stupid to find it for free.

Mr.Peabody, set the Way, Way Back machine:
Charter school to teach creationism theories

A new public charter school under scrutiny because of plans to use the Bible as a primary source of teaching material says students will also explore several different theories of creationism.
School headmaster Val Bush says students will also explore several versions of creationism as part of their studies.
This is a public charter school, using taxpayer funds and teaching the bible. Their excuse that's it's just teaching about religion or history is patently false since they incorporate no other religious texts. Good luck with getting into college.

Irony alert!!!
Angry area man becomes face of health care debate

Has the angry man who confronted U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter at Tuesday's town hall meeting in Lebanon become the "Joe the Plumber" of health care?
Miller, 59, a blue-collar worker now living on disability, rushed toward Specter and yelled, "You're trampling on the Constitution! ... You and your cronies do this all the time" before leaving the hall.
Where the f**k is it written in the Constitution that we should pay his non-working a$$ for being disabled?

I'm not sure why I was reminded of this song, but here's some brain bleach:

Cross posted at SteveAudio


Friday, August 14, 2009

You Better Call Me A Doctor!

posted by The Sailor @ 6:01 PM Permalink

Sometimes this (voluntary) job breaks my heart. I know I'm just preaching to the choir, but I'd like to point out a few things, in the form of Republicans v. reality.

Republicans: The health care bill says ...


Sorry for shouting, but there was no debate in the full Senate and what debate there was was being stifled in the Senate committees. It has yet to make it thru the House committees, and the multiple versions being offered change from committee to committee. Those have to be reconciled, then the House and Senate bills will have to be reconciled. And the way it's going the bastards who take the most money from health care corporations are going to kill it.

Republicans: Death Panels will decide whether you, your child or your parents will die.

reality: Getting medical advice when you have a terminal condition, (and life itself is a terminal condition), on how much you want to put up with when it's still your choice is a sign, the ultimate sign, of freedom and freewill.
It's only advice, the government doesn't get to make the decision. Unlike in Texas.
BTW, many Republicans, including Gov. Palin, have either authored or signed bills for this very choice.

Republicans: You'll be forced into ObamaCare!

reality: Nope. If you like your health care insurance and providers, keep 'em! If you don't or you are uninsured, the gov't plan may turn out to be an option for you. (See above, there isn't a final bill yet.)

Republicans: Obama's gonna cut Medicare!

reality: This is true, but in a way that only Republicans can spin it. Obama's plan cuts bureaucratic waste but benefits won't decrease. Let me repeat that, YOUR BENEFITS WON'T DECREASE.
That means more money can go to your health care.

Republicans: Your taxes will increase!

reality: Not unless you make over a quarter of a million dollars per year. Not that your business makes that, but that you make that personally. And even then the higher tax rate only applies to how much you make after you make 1/4 million dollars per year. Even then it's a pittance compared to what you make.
If the 'public option' is included and passes it means there is a wider insurance pool that includes younger people. Then everyone's taxes can go down.

Republicans: We already have the best health care system in the world.

reality: No, we don't. We rank 37th in the world. Our life expectancy is 24th. And we pay the 2nd highest percentage of GDP of any nation in the world for our 37th best corporate health care.

Republicans: It's socialism!

reality: I don't even know what that means when they say that. We already have gov't funded health care.
If any republicans actually believe that then they should get off our gov't funded health care, our gov't funded health care, our VA, our Medicare, our Medicaid, our CHIPS and try to find a private insurer that will accept you and do it cheaper. e.g.
Michigan insurance regulators have approved a 22 percent increase for group and individual Blue Cross Blue Shield health policies in the state
Blue Cross originally sought to raise individual rates by 56 percent and group rates by 41 percent.

Republicans: It would be unfair competition between private and public health insurance.

reality: So what? Corporations already decide what health care we deserve. Sure, an emergency room might have to treat you, in some places, but they don't have to provide medicine or aftercare or wheel chairs or crutches or dialysis. A faceless bureaucrat decides whether you 'deserve' that treatment. After paying in thousands of dollars over the years, their paycheck depends on your dying before you can collect.

Republicans: This isn't what the founders of our country envisioned.

reality: The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution say different:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

It's kind of hard to promote the general welfare, have life and pursue happiness if you're sick and can't afford health care.

Somebody get me a doctor!

Cross posted at SteveAudio

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Headline from HuffPo: Grassley Voted For So-Called "Death Panel" In 2003…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 3:15 PM Permalink

…wow! Big surprise there!

Who would have ever guessed that Assley and other grand old prevaricators like Boner and crew would LIE to all of America with their bare, shameless faces hanging out:
Time Magazine's Amy Sullivan pointed out last night that, for all of his ardent demagoguery on the so-called "death panels," Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) voted for just such a provision in 2003.

Remember the 2003 Medicare prescription drug bill, the one that passed with the votes of 204 GOP House members and 42 GOP Senators? Anyone want to guess what it provided funding for? Did you say counseling for end-of-life issues and care? Ding ding ding!!

So either Republicans were for death panels in 2003 before turning against them now--or they're lying about end-of-life counseling in order to frighten the bejeezus out of their fellow citizens and defeat health reform by any means necessary. Which is it, Mr. Grassley ("Yea," 2003)?

Reps. John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.), who both claimed end-of-life consultations could result in "government encouraged euthanasia," also voted for similar policy in 2003.

Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) tried to call Grassley on Friday and tell him he was wrong about health care reform. He got the senator's voicemail.
Man, you can tell a republican is lying when his/her lips move and/or they start refusing to take the calls of fellow Senators, although in Assley's case all you need do is LOOK at him and you know he's probably just another in-bred, psychopathic, red-necked hillbilly that don't need no health care.

"Pass that bottle of moonshine over here Ma 'cause I ain't feelin' no good," appears to be Assley's preferred method of health care.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

You know...

posted by The Vidiot @ 12:36 PM Permalink

When I see stuff like this, I feel like I've been duped.

I mean, if you look at both of the videos (there's a part two), it certainly seems like we're not alone. (I never really thought we were, but that's besides the point.) If they are real and true, then why aren't we being told? What right do our illustrious leaders have to keep that sort of thing from us? Why do they get to have all the fun? Why am I trapped down here on this planet? Why can't I go up there and play?

These are things I want to know. They're silly things to be sure. But nonetheless, I want to know.


Friday, August 07, 2009

Around Blogtopia*

posted by The Sailor @ 5:46 PM Permalink

skippy, in skippy's snark tank asks "is it obama's economy yet?"

Cookie Jill, in skippy's arboretum has a great rundown of the 20 largest cases of companies bilking the government
Hint: The 1st 3 are 'health care' companies.

Extra bonus feature: stan by your lee for folks like me who grew up Marveling at comics books.

Crooks & Liars has the goods on repub lies about Health Insurance Reform: Grover Norquist Distributes Lies - Uh, Helpful Talking Points on Health-Care Reform

And last, but never least, WTF?!?
From the GOP harassment memo, entitled “best practices”:

Artificially Inflate Your Numbers. The objective is to put the Rep on the defensive.

Be Disruptive Early And Often

Try To “Rattle Him,” Not Have An Intelligent Debate

Notice the complete lack of anything resembling "have your facts well-prepared for Q&A sessions."
Gosh, it's nice to know that all the 'conservative', corporate funded 'grass roots' folks are disrupting meetings where members of congress can talk to their constituents and then answer questions.

* y! wksctp! (yes, we know skippy coined that phrase!)

Cross posted at SteveAudio


Thursday, August 06, 2009

We all live in a Russian submarine, a Russian submarine…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 9:27 AM Permalink

…a Russian submarine just like one of the two Russian attack subs stationed off the east coast of America in international waters, just cruising, observing, and who knows what else.

Any of our regular readers should remember that I have long been writing of the possibility of something just like this for some time now.

As America continues to grow weaker and weaker from the travesty of the bush/cheney years and now the senseless, crude, rude, and idiotic actions of the republican party signaling the greatest inner turmoil in at least two generations of Americans does not bode well for our future.

We're broke, with record unemployment, a broken military, massive numbers of foreclosed upon homes, a citizenry aroused by the frustration of finally electing a better government only to have the gop, in a fit of pique, stall congress, file endless amendments to bring needed legislation to a halt, stage phony 'citizen' protests of the health care bill we so desperately need, and actually openly praying for the government, under and because Obama is president, to fail and fail as badly as possible in order to attempt resurrection of their republican party.

A perfect recipe for allowing nations like Russia and China to begin planning an attack on America now while we are clearly at our weakest in generations.

See this article titled:
Russian Subs Patrolling Off East Coast of U.S.

A pair of nuclear-powered Russian attack submarines has been patrolling off the eastern seaboard of the United States in recent days, a rare mission that has raised concerns inside the Pentagon and intelligence agencies about a more assertive stance by the Russian military.

The episode has echoes of the cold war era, when the United States and the Soviet Union regularly parked submarines off each other’s coasts to steal military secrets, track the movements of their underwater fleets — and be poised for war.

But the collapse of the Soviet Union all but eliminated the ability of the Russian Navy to operate far from home ports, making the current submarine patrols thousands of miles from Russia more surprising for military officials and defense policy experts….

The submarines are of the Akula class, a counterpart to the Los Angeles class attack subs of the United States Navy, and not one of the larger submarines that can launch intercontinental nuclear missiles.

According to Defense Department officials, one of the Russian submarines remained in international waters on Tuesday about 200 miles off the coast of the United States. The location of the second remained unclear. One senior official said the second submarine traveled south in recent days toward Cuba, while another senior official with access to reports on the surveillance mission said it had sailed away in a northerly direction.

One of the submarines is the newer Akula II, officials said, which is quieter than the older variant and the most advanced in the Russian fleet. The Akula is capable of carrying torpedoes for attacking other submarines and surface vessels as well as missiles for striking targets on land and at sea.

Defense Department officials declined to speculate on which weapons might be aboard the two submarines.

“We’ve known where they were, and we’re not concerned about our ability to track the subs,” the official added. “We’re concerned just because they are there.
So, on the one hand we know where one sub is parked, and on the other hand, officials have no idea if the second sub is headed north to areas unknown or if it headed south towards Cuba. You just can't have it both ways: you either know where the second sub is or you don't, and from the mealy-mouthed manner in which officials are speaking they have no idea where the second sub is and no idea what armaments either or both subs may be carrying.

I don't know precisely how long it would take a nuke launched 200 miles off our coast to hit the ground somewhere in America, but I would guesstimate more than fifteen minutes but certainly less than a half-hour.

It is also entirely possible that the Chinese have subs parked off our west coast, but we wouldn't know as they have developed stealth submarines capable of approaching very, very close without being detected. Don't believe that? Read:
American military chiefs have been left dumbstruck by an undetected Chinese submarine popping up at the heart of a recent Pacific exercise and close to the vast U.S.S. Kitty Hawk - a 1,000ft supercarrier with 4,500 personnel on board.

By the time it surfaced the 160ft Song Class diesel-electric attack submarine is understood to have sailed within viable range for launching torpedoes or missiles at the carrier.

According to senior Nato officials the incident caused consternation in the U.S. Navy.

The Americans had no idea China’s fast-growing submarine fleet had reached such a level of sophistication, or that it posed such a threat.

snip…..The lone Chinese vessel slipped past at least a dozen other American warships which were supposed to protect the carrier from hostile aircraft or submarines.
The republican party is openly fomenting and advocating for what amounts to mini-riots to shout down democratic congressmen and senators at the behest of greed-obsessed corporations. These acts from a party openly advocating for the failure of Obama and, by extension, a lawfully elected American government may get their wishes in the form of thermonuclear weapons fired at us from such close range as to almost immediately disable our defenses. Thanks to republicans America does not have even ONE combat ready force stationed here in our own country while we spend endless sums of money and depleting our forces so badly as to almost render them completely useless.

Why does the republican party, neocons, gop, compassionate conservatives, and the religious right hate America so badly? Why don't they put their energy into helping improve government instead of tearing it down? Why is the gop now the 'hate party' seeking to drag America down with them as they sink into the mire of war and fear-mongering, deprivation of help for the ill, the poor, the infirm, and the children that are our future?

Where do they find the energy to be such total bastards?

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

A perfect example of why America will never again be…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:32 PM Permalink

…considered a friend, ally, a country to be respected or emulated, a defender of the oppressed, or a country of compassionate, kind people striving to improve both America and the world.

See this article from the NYT:
Four people, including a wife of the Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, were killed Wednesday by what local residents said was a missile strike from an American drone.

The missile struck a house in the remote Zanghra village in South Waziristan about 1 a.m. Wednesday. Local residents reached by telephone confirmed that one of the wives of Mr. Mehsud, the leader of Tehrek-e-Taliban Pakistan, was among those killed. Her name or age could not be confirmed.

Five others, including four children, were reportedly wounded in the missile strike.…

Publicly, Pakistani officials condemn the drone strikes, saying they result in anger and resentment against the United States.
Geez, ya think? Once again, instead of having the military capture or kill the single person whom they are hunting, America has chosen to use the blunt and indiscriminate weapon of a precision guided missile fired from an unmanned aerial drone, which is certain to unleash a justifiable rage and continuing hatred of Americans and the supposedly 'good' intentions of a supposedly honorable country.

To the primitive tribesmen of these desolate areas this simply demonstrates and confirms beyond doubt that America will freely commit war crimes, cross borders at will, and use weapons of mass destruction to slaughter totally innocent women and children while attempting to kill a single man. Oh, what cowards have we become? How can anyone reasonably believe that America is a good nation, composed of people of good will, when America continues to kill and kill and kill anyone who, not guilty of any crime, just happens to suffer the misfortune to be in the area where a suspected terrorist is 'thought' to be?

America, thanks to bush/cheney policies and the continuation of those illegal policies by the Obama administration, demonstrate to any thinking and compassionate person that America is no better, fairer, or concerned with the welfare of its own people than any of the 'evil empires' about which so much has been said. We are becoming a nation of cowards committing one illegal act after another and, morally speaking, no better than the 'terrorists' we claim to be fighting.

Terrorism has won, America has lost sight of every single bit of honor we formerly possessed and we have become no better, and in many ways, worse than those whom we pursue so recklessly and immorally. Indiscriminate killing is murder, and nothing good will ever come from murdering innocent women, children, and the ill and infirm. Especially using a coward's way of killing by using bombs incapable of discerning who is innocent or not.

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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

No Matter What You Do

posted by The Sailor @ 6:27 PM Permalink

No matter what the Dems do the Grand Obstructionist Party will just say no. If legislation might be successful, they want to kill it, if legislation is successful, they definitely want to kill it.

If a former president actually gets Americans released from a communist country, they'll spin that as a bad thing.[Pfft, Bolton has such a great track record.]

See, it's OK for Nixon to make deals with China, it's OK for Reagan to make deals with Russia, it's OK for Rumsfeld to make deals with Saddam. It's always OKIYAR.

And, according to the wingnuts, everything a Dem does is by definition wrong.

In my fantasies I think that this a strategy on the part of Dems to let the party of fail just get wackier and torpedo themselves. In reality, I don't think Dems are that smart and they are in a race to the bottom with the repubs.

Here's an open letter to all elected Dems: You can't argue with crazy, you can't fix stupid, and you can't bargain with repubs whose only goal is to make the country fail so that they can win the next election.

Cross posted at SteveAudio

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posted by The Vidiot @ 4:51 PM Permalink

Just like an episode of "24":
A former Blackwater employee and an ex-US Marine who has worked as a security operative for the company have made a series of explosive allegations in sworn statements filed on August 3 in federal court in Virginia. The two men claim that the company's owner, Erik Prince, may have murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals who were cooperating with federal authorities investigating the company. The former employee also alleges that Prince "views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe," and that Prince's companies "encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life."


Monday, August 03, 2009

Ain't no smilin' faces, Lyin' to the races

posted by The Sailor @ 9:36 PM Permalink

Bumped and updated:
Officer who sent 'jungle-monkey' e-mail: 'I am not a racist'

The Boston police officer who sent a mass e-mail in which he compared Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. to a "banana-eating jungle monkey" has apologized, saying he's not a racist.
Hey, some of his best friends are "banana-eating jungle monkey[s]."

And just because he cried when he offered his non-apology apology i.e. "I am not a racist. I did not intend any racial bigotry, harm or prejudice in my words. I sincerely apologize that these words have been received as such."

That's no reason to think he's a racist! After all, it's all the "banana-eating jungle monkey"[s] who are practicing reverse-racism that have caused this problem.

He cried because he might lose his job, health insurance and retirement. Dude, man up! You said what you think, own the words. That's what free speech is all about.

But free speech also means that citizens don't have to pay your bigoted, racist, stupid, stupid, (did I mention stupid), salary, or your retirement, or your health care.

Gosh, if Congress enacts health care reform you and your family will still have health care.

And then you can holler your bigoted screed from whatever street corner you want to.

And you and your family will still have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

BTW, I know a place:

Cross posted at SteveAudio

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Do bears crap in the woods?

posted by The Vidiot @ 6:50 PM Permalink

Is America building a purely military economy?

In the past nine years, non-industrial production in the US has declined by some 19 percent. It took about four years for manufacturing to return to levels seen before the 2001 recession -- and all those gains were wiped out in the current recession.

By contrast, military manufacturing is now 123 percent greater than it was in 2000 -- it has more than doubled while the rest of the manufacturing sector has been shrinking.

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Saturday, August 01, 2009

Alright, I'll be the one to say it.

posted by The Vidiot @ 2:52 AM Permalink

A foot-long baby crocodile wriggled out of a passenger's hand luggage and caused panic on a flight departing from the United Arab Emirates, an official at Cairo airport said today.