Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Friday LOLCat Blogging

In an effort to help draw some unwanted attention from our buddy Roast Beef, the so-called "Austin Mayor" blog is reluctantly posting the following cat macros:

Hope that helps, Beef.

GOP: Free Speech for Me, But Not for Thee

The Naperville Sun examines how political speech is chilled in DuPage County:
It is hard to believe that the criminal charges against Sarah M. Hartfield, 45, of Naperville and Jeff Zurawski, 39, of Downers Grove are not at least to some extent politically inspired in nature.

As an article in Tuesday's Sun detailed, the two face charges connected with their display of a banner calling for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney on the Great Western Trail above Interstate 355.

While we agree that it is illegal to put something in view from a highway that can be a distraction to drivers, we would argue that distracting billboards and, indeed, traffic signs are placed legally all the time along highways and that these are no more or less distracting than the duo's illegal banner.

We also suspect that had the banner read "Support Bush and Cheney" instead of "Impeach Bush and Cheney - LIARS" the situation would have been viewed a little differently.

As it is, three weeks after the incident in which they were told to take down the banner, the two were initially charged with disorderly conduct. Then, later on, two more charges were added to that - reckless conduct and unauthorized display of a sign in viewing of a highway.

The original charge carries a three-month county jail sentence upon conviction, while the added charges have a penalty of up to a year's imprisonment.

Originally the two had been asked to take down the sign by an Illinois State Police trooper and were doing so when DuPage County sheriff's police showed up. After some alleged conversation with the officers about the war veteran status of one of the sheriff's police, Zurawski and Hartfield left not cited. Then, three weeks later they were charged with disorderly conduct, and, in court on Monday, the charges were increased.

Naperville attorney Shawn Collins has leaped into the fray, saying he thinks the two are being prosecuted for their political views, and has taken on the case pro bono.

Frankly, we think this should have ended when Zurawski and Hartfield folded their banner and went to leave at the request of the trooper.
And you even get to vote on on the matter:
THE ISSUE: Two area residents face a trio of charges for hanging a political protest banner above Interstate 355.

OUR VIEW: The charges are overkill and we suspect relate to the nature of the protest.

Do you think the charges against two people who hung an anti-war banner on I-355 are too severe?

GOP: War For Thee, But Not For Me

From our friends at the Huffington Post:
Max Blumenthal presents
The Unauthorized College Republican Convention Tour

July 13, 2007, I visited Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery, where the bodies of American soldiers killed in Iraq were freshly interred. Afterwards, I headed across the street to the Sheraton National Hotel, owned by right-wing Korean cult leader Sun Myung-Moon, to meet some of the war's most fervent supporters at the College Republican National Convention.

In conversations with at least twenty College Republicans about the war in Iraq, I listened as they lip-synched discredited cant about "fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here." Many of the young GOP cadres I met described the so-called "war on terror" as nothing less than the cause of their time.

Yet when I asked these College Republicans why they were not participating in this historical cause, they immediately went into contortions. Asthma. Bad knees from playing catcher in high school.
Please, please, please go watch the full video.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

An Unwelcome Revelation

About half-way through this short New Yorker humor piece about the boundless lameness and self-delusion of youth, I realized that, as a youngster, I was significantly lamer and much more self-deluded than the author's examples.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Enemy's Home - While the Cat's Away...

"We cannot win a war against the terrorists if we're on the wrong battlefield. America must urgently begin deploying from Iraq and take the fight more effectively to the enemy's home by destroying al-Qaida's leadership along the Afghan-Pakistan border." -- Sen. Barack Obama, July 14. 2007

Pakistan update from the BBC:
Pro-Taleban militants in Pakistan's North Waziristan region say they have ended their truce with the government.

In a statement issued in Miranshah, the main town, the militants accused the government of breaking the agreement.

It came as Pakistan deployed more troops in the area, fearing "holy war" after the storming of the militant Red Mosque last week left 102 dead.

More than 60 Pakistanis, including soldiers and police recruits, have died in three attacks in the past two days.
Afghan update from The Sunday Times of London:
An unprecedented move by President Karzai of Afghanistan to pardon a teenage Taleban suicide bomber – and pay him $2,000 to travel home to Pakistan – has drawn stinging criticism and warnings that it will encourage such attacks.

“It is a very silly idea to forgive such criminals. He was a volunteer,” Mullah Malang, an MP from Baghdis province, told The Times. “When he goes back to Pakistan he will tell all his friends that he deceived the Afghan Government. He is brainwashed, he will always be a Taleb.”
If the U.S. press wasn't totally distracted by Bush's War in Iraq, you wouldn't have to read this on a British website via some nobody's blog.

If the U.S. military wasn't totally distracted by
Bush's War in Iraq, Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda lieutenants would be dead.

If the U.S. populace wasn't totally distracted by Bush's War in Iraq, it would demand real answers about 9/11 and its aftermath.

Bush's War in Iraq: Mission Accomplished.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Nostalgia Just Isn't What It Used To Be...

Greg Kot, of your Chicago Tribune, has done a fine job of summing up my underwhelming concert-going experience at the opening night of the Pitchfork Fest with All Tomorrow's Parties:
[Slint] works through its disquieting, meticulously arranged songs with the look of condemned prisoners about to be led to the gallows. Their claustrophobic songs are allergic to sunshine; they’re more suited to a quiet, dimly lit room. ***

[T]he sound mix [for GZA] is poor for those of us farther back. *** [I]t’s reduced to a thump and a bump in Union Park, the backbeat for a party. Except “Liquid Swords” is anything but a party album. It’s creepy, in an utterly nuanced, carefully detailed sort of way. Like “Spiderland,” it sounds best oozing out of headphones in a basement, not booming outdoors over a dodgy sound system. ***

Sonic Youth rolls into “Teen Age Riot,” the first track from its 1988 double-album, “Daydream Nation.” The chords bring a cheer from the crowd, but the sound is muted, and the energy quickly dims. Dissatisfied, frustrated, and ticked off that what I see on stage is not translating through the speakers, I work my way from the north end of the field to the south side, and finally to the side of the stage. This should be much, much louder
Some free advice for future concert promoters:

Bad Sound = Bad Concert


Via Boing-Boing: 1952 Comic Book Predicts Bush/Cheny Mid-East Policy

Click Image to Unveil the Plot in Full!

In 1952, George W. Bush would have been six years old. If you can identify any aspect of George W. Bush's foreign policy that is inconsistent with the world-view of a six year-old boy, feel free to identify it in the comments.

Get It On!

Friday, July 13, 2007

"I'd have looked it up dear, but I didn't wanna be living in the past."

On Thursday, your Chicago Sun-Times published a column by Jennifer Hunter, the wife of Sun-Times publisher John Cruickshank, entitled "Democrats must stop living in past".

Today, your Chicago Sun-Times published the following correction:
Jennifer Hunter's column Thursday should have said that a quote from Arthur Schlesinger reflected President Kennedy's concerns. The column also should have stated that the Iraq war started more than four years ago.
But other than errors regarding issues of
who said what and when, I am sure that the piece is a thoughtful road-map for Democrats.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Monotheistic Monomania

Today, the battle for a monopoly on the One Divine Truth shifted from the Vatican to Washington, DC.

The team from Talking Points Memo reports that, for the first time in history, a Hindu guest chaplain, Rajan Zed of Reno, Nevada, delivered the Senate’s morning invocation.

But three Christian fundamentalists -- members of the right-wing anti-abortion group Operation Save America -- loudly interrupted the invocation, shouting, “Lord Jesus, forgive us father for allowing a prayer of the wicked, which is an abomination in your sight.”

Lord Ganesh was unavailable for comment.

Two Eight Two Zero Zero Zero Zero Zero Zero

The New York Times reports that guards at the Dar Es Salaam bank in Baghdad stole in excess of $282 million on Wednesday.

The quarter-billion dollar theft is sufficient to purchase at least 1,410,000 AK-47 assault rifles.

al-Qaida's Resurgence: Silly me -- I thought it was important.

An Associated Press story from page 31 -- THIRTY-F'ING-ONE -- of your Chicago Sun-Times:
A new threat assessment from U.S. counterterrorism analysts says that al-Qaida has used its safe haven along the Afghan-Pakistan border to restore its operating capabilities to a level unseen since the months before Sept. 11, 2001.

A counterterrorism official familiar with a five-page summary of the document -- titled ''Al-Qaida better positioned to strike the West'' -- called it a stark appraisal. The analysis will be part of a broader meeting at the White House on Thursday about an upcoming National Intelligence Estimate.

The official and others spoke to The Associated Press on condition they not be identified because the report remains classified. ***

Al-Qaida is ''considerably operationally stronger than a year ago'' and has ''regrouped to an extent not seen since 2001,'' the counterterrorism official said, paraphrasing the report's conclusions. ''They are showing greater and greater ability to plan attacks in Europe and the United States.''

The group also has created ''the most robust training program since 2001, with an interest in using European operatives,'' the official quoted the report as saying.

At the same time, this official said, the report speaks of ''significant gaps in intelligence'' so U.S. authorities may be ignorant of potential or planned attacks.

John Kringen, who heads the CIA's analysis directorate, echoed the concerns about al-Qaida's resurgence during testimony and conversations with reporters at a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Wednesday. ***

''They seem to be fairly well settled into the safe haven and the ungoverned spaces of Pakistan,'' Kringen testified. ''We see more training. We see more money. We see more communications. We see that activity rising."

Although the AP excerpt above was pulled from the Sun-Times website, the story in the print edition of the S-T was just three paragraphs long.
By contrast, the story about the dangers of using an iPod in a thunderstorm -- also on page 31 -- merited four paragraphs.

Your Chicago Tribune covered the story in the fourth paragraph of a page four piece about the White House backing away from Michael Chertoff's intestinal rumblings regarding summer time threats from Al Qaeda.

The Sun-Times dedicated its front page to the days-old story of Amy Jacobson in a bikini. The Tribune's front page story was the death of a former First Lady at the age of 94.

On an unrelated note: The ongoing drop in newspaper circulation and readership remains unexplained.

Perjury Means Prison... For Guys Named "Muhammad"

From your Chicago Sun-Times:
A Chicago medical van driver accused by the government of providing money to Hamas terrorists was sentenced Wednesday to 21 months in federal prison for lying under oath in a civil lawsuit.

Muhammad Salah, 54, was also fined $25,000 by U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service.

"Telling the truth is the bedrock of our judicial system and a slap on the wrist will not provide a deterrent," St. Eve said, turning down emotional appeals from the defense for probation instead of a prison term. ***

[A] jury on Feb. 1 acquitted Salah and Ashqar of taking part in a racketeering conspiracy aimed at bankrolling the terrorist group Hamas.

The same jury, however, did convict Salah of a single count of obstruction of justice for lying under oath on a written questionnaire involving the shooting death in Israel of an American teenager, David Boim. The Boim family had sued Salah and a number of Islamic charities, claiming that they had funneled money to Hamas.

Among other things, Salah omitted mention of ties to Hamas.
Someone needs to tell Judge St. Eve about President Bush's the post-Libby judicial system.

As an experiment, let's apply some of the Libby arguments to the Salah case:

Libby supporters argued that the defendant should not be imprisoned because there was no underlying crime. In the case of Scooter Libby, no underlying crime was proven due to Libby's perjury and obstruction of justice. In the Salah case, there was no underlying crime because the oath was administered in a
civil lawsuit.

Libby backers said that his perjury was merely his faulty memory regarding the facts behind the leak of the identity of a covert CIA agent to punish the White House's political enemies. Salah's perjury was an omission on a questionnaire.

If perjury is going to be a crime in the United States, perhaps it should be a crime for all Americans.

Spike Up. Taper Down. Repeat.

From your Chicago Sun-Times:
Gasoline prices, which had held steady recently, soared unexpectedly this week -- shooting up 20 to 40 cents in some parts of Illinois.

Experts blame the price increase on recent shutdowns at Midwest refineries, among other factors.

The increase in gas prices varies across the state, AAA spokeswoman Nicole Niemi said Wednesday. But Chicagoans might be hit with the 40-cent price spike, said Dave Sykuta, executive director of Illinois Petroleum Council. ***

One Midwest refinery that has suffered recent production problems is the BP refinery in Whiting, Ind. After it shut down a 235,000-barrel-a-day processing unit, the Chicago area's supply of gas suffered, Sykuta said. ***

A source at the refinery said Wednesday that the unit that has been shut down should be up and running by the end of the week and reach normal productivity by next week.

After which, we can no doubt expect Chicagoland's gasoline prices to plunge.

UPDATE - Are you starting to notice a pattern?
People in Kansas City woke up Wednesday to see gas prices 10-cents higher than they were Tuesday night.

In Minneapolis, the overnight spike was 8-cents.

Gas prices at some St. Louis area stations jumped to $3.20. from under $2.80 the night before.

Analysts say much of the blame belongs to last week's floods that closed this refinery in Kansas.

The Coffeyville Resources Refinery produced more than 100,000 barrels of gasoline a day, about one-seventh of the supply for the Great Plains.
Summertime + Gas Prices Too Low = Fuel Refinery Failure

FINAL UPDATE - From your Chicago Tribune:
The massive BP oil refinery in Whiting, Ind., is planning to dump significantly more ammonia and industrial sludge into Lake Michigan, running counter to years of efforts to clean up the Great Lakes.

Indiana regulators exempted BP from state environmental laws to clear the way for a $3.8 billion expansion that will allow the company to refine heavier Canadian crude oil.
First they screw you, then they take a dump on you.

It's worse than an R. Kelly video.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Second Amendment Porn

Yeah, baby! You're so bad -- Eject those rounds!

July 11: Cut, Paste, Post

From boing-boing.net:
Happy Fair Use Day: July 11

Cory Doctorow: Happy fair use day! Go quote something!

Fair use is the smallest part of the public's side of copyright. Sure, we have the right to quote, time-shift, format-shift, transform and so on. But the big piece is all the stuff that copyright shouldn't/doesn't touch: selling used media, watching your movies no matter what country you're in, the right to privacy in the books you read, and so on. All these are under fire in the copyright wars (I once had an argument with a MPAA vice president who wanted to make it impossible to watch a movie anonymously).

If you want to do something to preserve the public's side of the copyright bargain, check out the Access to Knowledge Treaty, a proposed treaty that the UN's World Intellectual Property Organization has recently green-lighted.
Like grandma always said, "Use it or lose it."

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Pope: Methodists Suck.

From the Washington Post:
The Vatican said on Tuesday Christian denominations outside Roman Catholicism were not full churches of Jesus Christ. ***

A 16-page document by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which Pope Benedict once headed, described Christian Orthodox churches as true churches, but suffering from a "wound" since they do not recognize the primacy of Pope.

But the document said the "wound is still more profound" in Protestant denominations.

"Despite the fact that this teaching has created no little distress ... it is nevertheless difficult to see how the title of 'Church' could possibly be attributed to them," it said.
Lord Ganesh was unavailable for comment.

UPDATE - Local religious leaders respond in your Chicago Sun-Times:
The Rev. Paul Rutgers, a Chicago-area Presbyterian leader, said that claims about absolute religious truth aren't unique to Catholics and may be one of the "great theological battlegrounds" of this century.

"We're seeing a resurgence of those claiming absolute truth," he said. "It gives them a refuge against the storms of the modern world." ***

Malik Mujahid, who heads the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, said "This is a matter for our Christian brothers and sisters to dwell on."

And that confusing Sunni/Shiite schism is starting to look kinda familiar...

Monday, July 09, 2007


love it or leave it, she with the deadly bite
quick is the blue tongue, forked as lighting strike
shining with brightness, always on surveillance
the eyes, they never close, emblem of vigilance
-- Don't Tread on Me, Metallica (1991)

Big news from the front lines of the So-Called War Against Terror:
Metallica frontman James Hetfield was denied entry into Luton airport yesterday, when security officials pulled him over.

The rocker was prevented from leaving the airport terminal once he got off the plane because of his 'Taliban-like beard', The Times [of London] reports.

After a brief interrogation in which Hetfield explained he was in a world-famous rock band, officials apparently let him go.
Actually, if I were forced to chose between backwards religious sects, I think James' beard looks a bit more "Amish" than "Taliban".

UPDATE - When a man lies, he murders some part of the world. James Hetfield: 'Airport Story False'

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Republican Elephant Crap Thrills Wheaton

sym·bol (sĭm'bəl) n. - Something that represents something else by association, resemblance, or convention.

The Naperville Sun covered the Wheaton Independence Day parade:
Big Queenie [a 10,000 pound Barnes and Bailey Circus elephant sponsored by the Republican Party of DuPage County] definitely got the attention of the crowd just before the corner of Main and Wesley streets, when she stopped and relieved herself.

One woman, not wishing to be identified, said it was the highlight of the parade.

"She stopped, took a dump and everyone cheered."

And that, dear friends, sums up the last 50 years of DuPage County politics in a nutshell.

Update - If you are incapable of relatively simple symbolic thought
due to head trauma, mental disease or brain defect, please read the urgent disclaimer posted in the comments.

L'Asshole? C'est Moi?

"No wonder no one came to my birthday party." -- Nelson Muntz

Gretchen Rubin, recovering attorney and author of the
Happiness Project blog, has developed a quiz to answer the musical question:

  • Do you often find that when you do something nice for people, they do a lot of grumbling? Do they seem ungrateful or uncooperative? Do they seem reluctant to accept your generosity?
  • When you join a group of people, does the mood often shift? Does a group tend to break apart after you join it?
  • When you do something generous for others, do you think it only right that your generosity will allow you to make decisions for them or direct their actions?
  • Do you find it hard to get your calls and emails returned by just about everyone?
  • Are you often puzzled because the people around you seem dramatically to over-react to little mistakes, oversights, jokes or casual remarks you make?
  • Do you often find yourself saying defensively, “It was just a joke!”
  • Do you find that people seem resentful and angry when you offer objective, helpful criticism or advice?
  • Do you often find out that something you’ve done or said has caused an argument between two other people? (E.g., your son tells you that he and your daughter-in-law have been arguing about the lovely plans you’ve made for Thanksgiving.)
  • Do you find that even when you’re trying to be helpful by explaining something or providing interesting information, people don’t want to seem to listen to you?
  • Do you feel annoyed because people tend to refuse to acknowledge your greater experience or knowledge in an area, and instead, ignore your suggestions?
  • Do people tend to gang up against you – when you’re arguing one side, everyone takes the other side, or when one person criticizes you, everyone else chimes in?
  • Do you find it funny to see other people squirm?
  • If someone asks for your opinion, do you think it's right to tell them frankly what you think?
  • Do you go out of your way to point out to people their mistakes or areas of incompetence – if possible, in front of others?
  • If good fortune befalls others, do you feel that their good fortune makes it somehow less likely that something good can happen to you?
  • Do your peers seem to have social lives that are very different from yours? Is everyone talking about going to weddings, to surprise fortieth birthday parties, to baby showers, to Christmas parties, but you’re not often invited to these kinds of occasions?
  • Is it fairly common for one person to tell you that he or she will speak to a third person, so that you need not speak to that third person directly? In other words, do people volunteer to act as intermediaries for you, rather than let you do your own talking?
There are two ways to interpret your results:
  1. The half-empty Absolutist interpretation: Rubin says even a single “yes” may be a red flag that you’re a source of unhappiness for others, i.e. an a**hole.
  2. The half-full Relativist interpretation: I'm happy to saw that I have fewer "yes" answers than I would have truthfully answered at the same time last year, i.e. I'm not as big an a-hole as I was last year.
Huzzah for me!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Pumpkin Squashes Indie Retailers

I like Greg Kot.

I like his work in your Chicago Tribune. I like his public radio show, Sound Opinions. I liked his book about Wilco.

And I loved the way that Kot took on the issue of media consolidation when few others in the corporate press had the brains to understand it and fewer still had the guts to write about it.

But I don't like his examination of Billy Corgan's latest marketing stunt:
The great Pumpkin took some more credibility hits when it was announced two weeks ago that "Zeitgeist" would be released in no fewer than four configurations. Best Buy, Target and iTunes each would stock a version of the album with an exclusive bonus track.

This prompted an outcry from the ubiquitous purity police; Internet bloggers and e-zines accused the band of disrespect for independent music stores and, in the words of pitchforkmedia.com, "bleeding their fans dry" by "making" them buy four versions of the album. ***

The issue isn't about greed (fans who want the bonus tracks won't have any trouble getting them for free on the Internet), but about marketing. At a time when shelf space is shrinking for CDs at many big stores, "Zeitgeist" will be prominently positioned at three of the top five music retailers in the U.S. That's a smart business move, if not a particularly popular one with the hipsters.
Kot's analysis of the controversy seems woefully misguided. The issue isn't that Billy Pumpkin is doing a favor for two Big Box retailers and Apple Inc. by giving them exclusive tracks. It's that he's screwing independent music retailers by shutting them out of the whole"bonus track" game and giving them a substandard product to sell.

If Billy wants to make twenty versions of his album with twenty different track lists, I couldn't care less. But what he's done is made the version of his album for sale at mom and pop stores less valuable -- one less track = objectively less valuable -- than the albums sold by the corporate retailers.

But Kot seems to believe that Corgan's hosing of independent retailers can be dismissed because it is only a concern for the "ubiquitous purity police; Internet bloggers and e-zines". Although we are clearly supposed to dismiss the worries of such cranks, let's not do so until we consider four quick questions about Kot's list of gripers:
  1. If the "purity police" are ubiquitous, why haven't we heard of them before?
  2. If disapproving bloggers must be modified with the word "Internet" does that mean that quill-and-velum bloggers approve of Corgan's stunt?
  3. Since word of the "exclusive track" stunt only reached the masses at the end of June, aren't e-zines the only zines that had time to address this? And finally,
  4. Isn't Kot's list a nearly comprehensive roll-call of 21st century rock music fandom?
Seriously, who else could be expected to even have an opinion on this matter?

Professional critics and professional musicians, I guess. And if Greg Kot is any indication, professional rock critics feel that undermining local mom and pop record stores is just okee dokee as a rock 'n' roll marketing tool.

But what do musicians think?

I imagine a multi-millionaire jackass o'lantern like Billy Corgan thinks hosing independent music retailers is a perfectly fine way to get his album noticed by Big Box stores -- but what do musicians actually worthy of respect think about local record stores?

An interview with the Waco Brothers' Dean Schlabowske -- in your Naperville Sun -- gives us a hint:
Like so many independent bands, the Wacos struggle to remain financially viable in today's music market.

"It's hard to ignore the stranglehold the major media corporations have on distribution of records at this point," Schlabowske said. "It's hard for little Mom and Pop record stores to stay in business. Those are the kind of outlets that people looked for interesting music like ours."
Sorry Greg -- when it comes to choosing up sides, I'll aways side with purity policemen like Dean Schlabowske and the Waco Brothers.

It's Still a Work in Progress...

Friends in Low Places

"There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice." -- Charles de Montesquieu (1689 – 1755)

A few quick thoughts on President Bush's commutation of the prison sentence for convicted felon, I. "Scooter" Libby:
  • Libby was convicted of deliberately, criminally thwarting the federal investigation of the leak of a covert CIA agent's identity during a time of war. We should always keep that basic fact in mind.

  • For years, when asked about the leak, the White House has said that it would not comment on an ongoing criminal proceeding. Now that President Bush has effectively destroyed that criminal proceeding with his virtual pardon of Libby, the press should resume asking the Bush Administration who leaked the agent's name, who ordered the leak of the agent's name and why.

  • Patrick Fitzgerald's rebuttal of Bush's excessive sentence claim is a subtle masterpiece:
    The sentence in this case was imposed pursuant to the laws governing sentencings which occur every day throughout this country. In this case, an experienced federal judge considered extensive argument from the parties and then imposed a sentence consistent with the applicable laws. It is fundamental to the rule of law that all citizens stand before the bar of justice as equals. That principle guided the judge during both the trial and the sentencing.
    And that principle is the latest victim of the Bush Administration.

  • By waiving the prison sentence and insuring that Libby will never serve a moment in jail, President Bush has stripped Fitzgerald of any leverage that he might have had to coerce the felon Libby to cooperate with the investigation of the war-time leak of a covert CIA agent's identity. Bush's virtual pardon is a deliberate obstruction of justice. Although Bush's obstruction of the administration and due process of law via his presidential pardon power is legal, never the less, it is obstruction of justice.

  • Save some outrage for after the 2008 elections -- Anyone who thinks that President Bush won't fully pardon Libby on his way out of the White House should think again.
I miss the rule of law.

Monday, July 02, 2007

"Stiffen the sinews, Summon up the blood"

"Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood." -- Daniel Hudson Burnham (1846 - 1912)

Although I've never hosted paid political ads, long-time readers may recall that I sometimes use the right-hand column for buttons linking to the campaigns of favored candidates.

Although they are not supporting a particular candidate right now, I do favor and support Operation: Turn DuPage Blue's campaign to make our fair county safe for Democratic candidates by 2008.

Give 'em a click.
Pay 'em a visit.
Get yer blood stirred.

Duuuude -- What if they're right side up and we're upside down?

In your Sun-Times, Abdon Pallasch reports that Judge Posner feels he was falsely portrayed as advocating "secret trials" and other "big brother" programs to fight terrorism.

Mr. Pallasch hints that he thinks the Aussie press doesn't know what it's talking about:
It describes the widely published Posner as "a supposedly liberal-leaning jurist regarded by many as a future U.S. Supreme Court candidate."

Actually, Posner is a Republican-appointed, free-market-oriented jurist with a libertarian streak, regarded as too conservative to be nominated to the Supreme Court by a Democrat, but not reliably conservative enough to be nominated by a Republican.
Actually, Posner is both a "liberal-leaning jurist" and a "free-market-oriented jurist with a libertarian streak".

In most of the English-speaking world -- including Australia -- "liberal" means "economic liberal", i.e. a "free-market libertarian". And, therefore, an Australian newspaper would correctly describe a "free-market-oriented jurist with a libertarian streak" like Posner as a "liberal-leaning jurist". But don't believe me, in 2005 the Aussie Liberal Party head, Prime Minister John Howard, said:
The Liberal Party is a broad church. *** Australian Liberals should revere the contribution of John Stuart Mill to political thought. We are also the custodians of the conservative tradition in our community. And if you look at the history of the Liberal Party it is at its best when it balances and blends those two traditions. Mill and (Edmund) Burke are interwoven into the history and the practice and the experience of our political party.
If they aren't teaching political history, political science or how to use the Google, just what are they teaching kids in journalism school these days?

Uhh... You got any with Jughead in 'em?

An observation from Tom Spurgeon of The Comics Reporter:
Hey, Kids! Comics!

Who doesn't remember those summers past?

You'd take a trip with one of your parents into town, wearing your swimsuit and a t-shirt and maybe flip flops. You'd stop by the Ben Franklin's and with the quarters you'd been saving in the tube sock from your clothes drawer you'd walk past the toys and past the candy and even past the fireworks right to the comic book section, just for the chance to buy 32 pages of wall to wall, cover to cover, morose reflection on death.

Life was never better!
The Hindustan Times reports that comic book writer Joseph Loeb wanted to use Captain America’s demise to help people who have lost their children relate to comic books.

"So many people have lost their sons and daughters over the years, for the greater good or to cancer or other horrible things. *** I wanted this to be something people would identify with."

And Cap thought he had it rough when his social mission was merely battling Hitler and the Nazi menace.


I'll Sleep When I'm Dead.

Got a coffee monkey
On my back
Love to drink that coffee
Black, black, black
Got a coffee monkey
On my back
Can't get enough of that coffee in my mouth
No, I cain't!
-- Coffee Monkey (wmp), The Bottle Rockets

The Blogfather,
Eric Zorn, has ensured an unproductive Monday by posting a new Land of Linkin' from which I learned the following:
I probably would have scored higher, but their maximum consumption topped out at "a pot or more".

My grandma drank her weight in coffee every 72 hours and she taught me that if you don't drink a pot of coffee every day, you're merely a coffee dabbler not a coffee drinker.


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