BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Saturday, April 30, 2005

The Clash


The Clash
Originally uploaded by blacksab67.
It's up to you not to heed the call-up
'N' you must not act the way you were brought up
Who knows the reasons why you have grown up?
Who knows the plans or why they were drawn up?

It's up to you not to heed the call-up
I don't wanna die!
It's up to you not to hear the call-up
I don't wanna kill!

Friday, April 29, 2005

Magic Johnson's TGIFriday's

Yo.

Folks in Denver is gittin' learned on th' ways o' the Preznint an' th' Secret Service, 'coz three fine upstandin' citizens were yanked from a Bush event back on March 21, yo.

By someone who was pretendin' to be a Secret Service dude.

Today, readers of the Rocky Mountain News learned the following:

"White House weighs in on ouster - Bush aide: Belief someone plans to disrupt is enough"

"Damn straight!"

Here goes:
The White House said Wednesday that SIMPLY A BELIEF that someone intends to disrupt a presidential event is enough to get the person removed.
One more time:
The White House said Wednesday that SIMPLY A BELIEF that someone intends to disrupt a presidential event is enough to get the person removed.
Um, what would lead one to BELIEVE that someone was abou to disrupt a meeting?

"Well, one: start with their outfit. If someone is not wearing Abercrombie, or khaki's, or loafers, or an oxford cloth, or a red tie...well...that's a decent indication that they are not a Republican. Two: if they're not white...that's a pretty good indication. And three: hair. If someone is not blonde, or you can't describe their hair as 'short and neat,' or not wearing a toupee...well, sir...that's a pretty good indication that they're about to disrupt the event."

"They gotta have the Christ-fish on the back of their car."

Right.
Addressing the ouster of three people from a presidential speech last month in Denver, Press secretary Scott McClellan said Wednesday, "If we think people are coming to the event to disrupt it, obviously, they're going to be asked to leave."

The White House press office did not return calls seeking elaboration on McClellan's remarks, which were made during the daily press briefing.

Since the incident March 21, White House spokesmen have repeatedly refused to say whether the man who forcibly removed the three in Denver, BECAUSE OF A BUMPER STICKER, was following White House policy.

McClellan would respond only by saying that A VOLUNTEER thought they "were coming to the event to disrupt it."

Unlike campaign events, which are deemed private and therefore could legally limit protesters, Bush's Social Security speech at the Wings over the Rockies Museum was an official White House EVENT FUNDED BY THE TAXPAYERS.
Which is, um, the nation's largest non-partisan group.
It was open to any member of the public who obtained a ticket from Congressman Bob Beauprez.
Meaning, it was open to any member of the public who was a card-carrying Republican.
Because it was a PUBLIC EVENT, considerable debate has erupted over whether it was legal to bar people over their political speech.

The controversy started when Alex Young, Karen Bauer and Leslie Weise, members of the political activist group Denver Progressives, were bounced from the event by a man who looked and acted like a Secret Service agent.

The three say they were told by the Secret Service in Denver that the man admitted to ousting them solely because they arrived in a car bearing a "No more blood for oil" BUMPER STICKER.

The Secret Service is investigating the man on possible criminal charges of impersonating a Secret Service agent.

He was wearing a dark suit, earpiece and lapel pin.
Brilliant. Good move.
The White House and the Secret Service know the man's name but have declined to reveal it.
You're kidding.
The White House has described him only as a volunteer.

Dan Recht, an attorney for the three, calls their removal a violation of their First Amendment rights, because they were punished even though they had done nothing inappropriate. McClellan's repeated statements that the three have "acknowledged that they were coming to the event to disrupt it," as he put it on Wednesday, also have raised questions from reporters about what constitutes disruption in the White House view.

The three said they considered, and rejected, showing T-shirts with the slogan "Stop the Lies." They have denied any intent to make noise or disrupt the event.
Folks, that is life in Bushworld.

Bush's public appearances have been controlled from DAY 1: Tons of tax paying citizens have been "removed" from Bush events by a mix of local police, Secret Service dudes and "over-zealous" Republican volunteers. Plus, they've been using the excuse of "9/11" to construct "free speech zones" outside of these events, so they can "legally" place non-Republicans a half a mile from the president.

Sadly, few have qustioned these moves...because most folks believe that they have the right to exclude ANYONE WHO IS NOT THEM from the process.

These stories, which are often found in LOCAL papers after the BUSH events, have been ignored by ABCNBCCBSFOXCNNMSNBC.

Spineless bastards all.

More later...

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The War on Terror

Hey, good news:

"World Terror Attacks TRIPLED in 2004 by U.S. Count"

Bring 'em on.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. count of major world terrorist attacks more than tripled in 2004, a rise that may revive debate on whether the Bush administration is winning the war on terrorism, congressional aides said on Tuesday.
Well, you could make the argument that...the increase in attacks...is evidence that...the terrorists and evildoers are...getting desperate...because they're losing the war on terror.

"Spoken like a true Bushie."

It's not that hard.
The number of "significant" international terrorist attacks rose to about 650 last year from about 175 in 2003, according to congressional aides briefed on the numbers by State Department and intelligence officials on Monday.

The State Department last year initially released erroneous figures that understated the attacks and casualties in 2003 and used the figures to argue that the Bush administration was prevailing in the war on terrorism.

It later said the number of people killed and injured in 2003 was more than double its original count and said "significant" terrorist attacks -- those that kill or seriously injure someone, cause more than $10,000 in damage or attempt to do either of those things -- rose to a 20-year high of 175.

*

Waxman's letter said that of the about 650 significant attacks last year, about 300 reflected violence in India and Pakistan, leaving some 350 attacks elsewhere in the world -- DOUBLE the total 2003 count.
No snarky comment.

More later...

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

They're Around Here Somewhere

Quickly:

CIA’s final report: No WMD found in Iraq

"Recommends freeing detainees held for weapons knowledge"

Doo bee doo bee doo.
WASHINGTON - In his final word, the CIA’s top weapons inspector in Iraq said Monday that the hunt for weapons of mass destruction has “gone as far as feasible” and has found NOTHING, closing an investigation into the purported programs of Saddam Hussein that were used to justify the 2003 invasion.
"No, no, no. Everyone knows the WMD's are in Syria."
The Iraq Survey Group believes “it was unlikely that an official transfer of WMD material from Iraq to Syria took place."
D'oh!

Here's my favorite bit from the AP report:
The addenda conclude that Saddam’s programs created a POOL OF EXPERTS now available to develop and produce weapons and many will be seeking work. While most will probably turn to the “benign civil sector,” the danger remains that “hostile foreign governments, terrorists or insurgents may seek Iraqi expertise.”
Cogito ergo sum - Saddam did not have "weapons of mass destruction," but he did create a bunch of Dr. Evils.

Really sad.

"The biggest threat to our freedom, if you ask me. That pool of experts."

CUT TO:

INT. NORTH KOREAN IMPERIAL PALACE - NIGHT

The ballroom of KIM JONG IL'S Imperial Palace is loaded with North Korean MILITARY LEADERS, MAD IRAQI SCIENTISTS, and HIGH END PROSTITUTES. Nelly's "Hot in Here" is blaring in the background...

Ah, forget it. I'm bored with this crap.

Remeber this?

Dandy Don Rumsfeld, March, 2003: From his kick ass appearance on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos"
MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. Key goal of the military campaign is finding those weapons of mass destruction. None have been found yet. There was a raid on the Ansar Al-Islam Camp up in the north last night. A lot of people expected to find ricin there. None was found. How big of a problem is that? And is it curious to you that given how much control U.S. and coalition forces now have in the country, they haven’t found any weapons of mass destruction?

SEC. RUMSFELD: Not at all. If you think—let me take that, both pieces—the area in the south and the west and the north that coalition forces control is substantial. It happens not to be the area where weapons of mass destruction were dispersed. We know where they are. THEY'RE IN THE AREA AROUND TIKRIT AND BAGHDAD and east, west, south and north somewhat.
"There was one?"

They're in Cuba, BTW. No, Venezuela. No, Iran. No, Atlantis...

Monday, April 25, 2005

The Happy Mondays

A couple of things...

Benedict Says He Prayed Not to Be Elected

Hmm.
VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI said Monday he had viewed the idea of being elected pope as a "guillotine," and he prayed to God during the recent conclave to be spared selection but "evidently this time He didn't listen to me."
Cool. The Pope prayed for something specific.

The nuns told us that we weren't supposed to pray for specific things - like the Steelers winning the Superbowl or a new bike or Colleen O'Connor. Instead, we were told to pray for strength and courage and world peace and junk like that.

But now that the Holy Father has set the precedent, I'm gonna follow his lead:
Dear God,

I'd like to sell another television project in the next few weeks, I'd like some tickets to the upcoming Pixies show at the Wiltern, and I'd like a woman who is foxy, smart, athletic, funny and relatively sane. And SINGLE. 27-37.

"Long walks on the beach" and "road trips" a plus but not important.

"I'M ON IT."

And...she doesn't even have to like The Replacements.

"WHOA. THAT'S NEW."

I'm trying to keep myself open to the prospect of meeting new people.

"DONE AND DONE, SON."

Thank you.
Now for the good stuff.

Rawstory has some crazy new info re: Jeff Gannon.

Quickly: Dude had MAJOR access to the White House, and definitely spent some, uh, EXTRA TIME in and around 1600 Pennsylavania Ave - before and after the press briefings he was, uh, covering for Talon News.

Dude even spent time in the White House when there WASN'T a press briefing.

"What was he doing?"

Maybe he was, uh, doing other things.

"Like?"

Wink-wink, nudge-nudge, eh, eh, eh?
In what is unlikely to stem the controversy surrounding disgraced White House correspondent James Guckert, the Secret Service has furnished logs of the writer’s access to the White House after requests by two Democratic congressmembers.

The documents, obtained by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) through a Freedom of Information Act request, reveal Guckert had remarkable access to the White House. Though he wrote under the name Jeff Gannon, the records show that he applied with his real name

Guckert made more than 200 appearances at the White House during his two-year tenure with the fledging conservative websites GOPUSA and Talon News, attending 155 of 196 White House press briefings.
Okay. Fine. Read this next bit VERY CAREFULLY.
Perhaps more notable than the frequency of his attendance, however, is several distinct anomalies about his visits.

Guckert made more than TWO DOZEN excursions to the White House when there were NO SCHEDULED BRIEFINGS. On many of these days, the Press Office held press gaggles aboard Air Force One—which raises questions about what Guckert was doing at the White House. On other days, the president held photo opportunities.

On at least fourteen occasions, Secret Service records show either the entry or exit time missing. Generally, the existing entry or exit times correlate with press conferences; on most of these days, the records show that Guckert checked in but was never processed out.
Once again, I'd like to CUE the Smurf themesong: "La la la la la la, la la la la la."
In March, 2003, Guckert left the White House twice on days he had never checked in with the Secret Service. Over the next 22 months, Guckert failed to check out with the Service on fourteen days. On several of these visits, Guckert either entered or exited by a different entry/exit point than his usual one. On one of these days, no briefing was held; on another, he checked in twice but failed to check out.
Then this:
Guckert sometimes stayed for an extended period of time before and after press conferences, particularly early in his tenure. This was especially common during his first few months, when he might be in the White House for as long as six hours.

A White House reporter dismissed this as insignificant, noting that sometimes reporters stay between events.

“You could probably find people who stayed there for nine hours,” the reporter said.
Sure. But could you describe any of those "people" as former male prostitutes?

"That is a good question."

You be it is.

Please visit Rawstory: They have a whole chart of, uh, Gannon's ENTRANCE and EXIT times.

Hubba hubba.

I'd love to read your comments.

More later...

Hey - did I really see a full page ad for LOGGINS & MESSINA in the NY Times this weekend?

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Stoned Again

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday.

Afghanistan woman stoned to death

"Afghanistan? What's that?"

It's a, uh, small, insignificant country out there. Somewhere. Don't worry about it.

"I won't."
A woman has been stoned to death in Afghanistan, reportedly for committing adultery.

The killing is said to have taken place in the Urgu district of north-eastern Badakhshan province. The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission said the woman had been SENTENCED TO DEATH BY A DECREE FROM THE LOCAL RELIGIOUS SCHOLAR.

Correspondents say this is the second time a woman has been stoned to death since the ousting of the TALEBAN in 2001.
Rrriiiggghhhttt.

And, hey, there's the "T" word again.

Hmm.
Both events happened in the same area.

During the Taleban's rule, women were regularly stoned to death for adultery.
Didn't we liberate the "women of Afghanistan?"

"Who said that?"

The First Lady.

"Yeah, right. Yeah...no. We, uh, liberated the women who live and work in the fortified area of Kabul --"

"The gals who work for the multi-nationals and stuff --"

"But not, you know, not the whole country, man. It's a big place."

I thought it was a "parking lot."

A woman is stoned to death: What year is this, anyway?

"2005. BC."

In other news:
Local Man Swallowed By Whale: Jonah Recovering

New Invention on Fire: Is 'the Candle' too Hot to Handle?

DeLay to Dems: "Go Fuck Yourselves"
Here's the latest:

DeLay Airfare Was Charged To Lobbyist's Credit Card

Cue SMURF themesong: "La la la la la l a, la la la la la."
The airfare to London and Scotland in 2000 for then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) was charged to an American Express card issued to JACK ABRAMOFF, a Washington lobbyist at the center of a federal criminal and tax probe, according to two sources who know Abramoff's credit card account number and to a copy of a travel invoice displaying that number.

DeLay's EXPENSES during the same trip for food, phone calls and other items at a golf course hotel in Scotland WERE BILLED to a different credit card also used on the trip by a SECOND registered Washington LOBBYIST, Edwin A. Buckham, according to receipts documenting that portion of the trip.
Totally legal, right?

"If you've accepted Christ as your personal Lord and Savior."

But...I'm...an...Irish Catholic. We don't do that.

"Then you shouldn't worry about being a United States Congressman."

I won't.

More later...

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Bruce


brucegreetings
Originally uploaded by blacksab67.
The Boss has the scoop re: Rick Santorum and his buddy at AccuWeather. (PLEASE READ YESTERDAY'S POST.)

Actually, Rawstory is on the case.

Quickly: Dude has received nearly $4,000 from the bunch that wants him to privatize weather reporting.

"That's good for us, right?"

Everything the government does is good for us.

More later...

Friday, April 22, 2005

Privatization

Alright, Repubs - just get the whole "privatization thing" over-with, will ya?

From the the Palm Beach Post:

Feds' weather information could go dark

Meaning...it ain't gonna be free no mo' if RICK SANTORUM has his way. Important excerpts:
Do you want a seven-day weather forecast for your ZIP code?

That information is available for free from the National Weather Service.

But under a bill pending in the U.S. Senate, it might all disappear.

The bill, introduced last week by Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., would PROHIBIT federal meteorologists from COMPETING WITH COMPANIES such as ACCUWEATHER and The Weather Channel, which offer their own forecasts through PAID SERVICES and free ad-supported Web sites.

A spokesman for Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said the bill threatens to push the weather service back to a "pre-Internet era" — a questionable move in light of the four hurricanes that struck the state last year. Nelson serves on the Senate Commerce Committee, which has been assigned to consider the bill

But Barry Myers, AccuWeather's executive vice president, said the bill would improve public safety by making the weather service devote its efforts to hurricanes, tsunamis and other dangers, rather than duplicating products already available from the PRIVATE SECTOR.

"The National Weather Service has not focused on what its core mission SHOULD BE, which is protecting other people's lives and property," said Myers, whose COMPANY IS BASED IN STATE COLLEGE, PA. Instead, he said, "It spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year, every day, producing forecasts of 'warm and sunny.'"
Awesome: A classic example of a BUSINESSMAN deciding what a government agency's mission SHOULD BE.
Santorum made similar arguments April 14 when introducing his bill. He also said expanded FEDERAL SERVICES THREATEN THE LIVELIHOODS OF PRIVATE WEATHER COMPANIES.
And that just can't be.

Santorum is from Pennsylvania, BTW.

What are the chances that dude has played golf with the dude from AccuWeather?

"None."

Glad we cleared that up.
"It is not an easy prospect for a business to attract advertisers, subscribers or investors when the government is providing similar products and services for free," Santorum said.
Please read that again.
"It is not an easy prospect for a business to attract advertisers, subscribers or investors when the government is providing similar products and services for free," Santorum said.
And that, my friends, is Republicanism 101.

So, let's turn our attention to another "free thing" - PBS.

PBS Scrutiny Raises Political Antennas

What's going on?
Liberal commentator Bill Moyers is out on PBS stations. Buster the animated rabbit is under a cloud of suspicion. And right-wing yakkers from the Wall Street Journal editorial page have been handed their own public-television chat show.

Some observers, including people inside the Public Broadcasting Service, see these recent developments as troubling. PBS, they say, is being forced to toe a more conservative line in its programming by the Republican-dominated agency that provides about $30 million in federal funds to the Alexandria-based service.
Repubs have been after PBS for YEARS, and have been threatening to cut funding since they regained control of the government purse. (Newt Gingrich wanted to get rid of PBS.) They hate PBS, because it generally provides programming, like "Now" and "Nova, that encourages people to think for themselves --

"No, no, no. PBS teaches our children to be gay. Bert and Ernie lived together for three --"

Shut up.
Officials at the AGENCY, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, say they are merely seeking to ensure BALANCE and FAIRNESS in the network's presentation of POLITICAL NEWS AND IDEAS.
Trumpet blast.

There it is, folks: PBS needs to be more FAIR and BALANCED.

I can now say, with all certainty, that the definition of that wonderful FOX SLOGAN is, "News and ideas that are conservative, and news and ideas that are never liberal."
Appointees of President Bush currently control the majority of seats on CPB's eight-member board. Each board member serves a six-year term.

PBS officials were unaware that the corporation intended to review its news and public affairs programs, such as "The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer" and "Frontline," until the appointments were publicly announced.

In negotiations with PBS earlier this year, the corporation also insisted, for the first time, on tying new funding to an agreement that would commit the network to strict "objectivity and BALANCE" in each of its programs -- an idea that PBS's general counsel described in an internal memo as amounting to "government encroachment on and supervision of program content, potentially in violation of the First Amendment."

A senior FCC official, who would not speak for attribution because he must rule on issues affecting public broadcasting, went further, saying CPB "is engaged in a systematic effort not just to sanitize the truth, but to impose a RIGHT-WING AGENDA on PBS. It's almost like a right-wing coup. It appears to be orchestrated."

In an interview yesterday, CPB board chairman Ken Tomlinson called such comments "paranoia," and said critics of CPB's initiatives should "grow up."
Tomlinson ran the "Voice of America" for Reagan, and is the former "editor-in-chief" of READER'S DIGEST.

You can expect nothing but CUTTING EDGE PROGRAMMING from this guy.
"We're only seeking BALANCE," said Tomlinson. "I am concerned about perceptions that not all parts of the political spectrum are reflected on public broadcasting. [But] there are no hidden agendas."

Asked for specific examples of slanted or unfair programming, Tomlinson declined to name any. "You've heard the same complaints of bias that I have in congressional hearings year after year," he said.
"Like Bert and Ernie."

Okay, okay, okay.

Two quick suggestions? Go back and use that fancy digital tecnology to remove the "colored people" from Sesame Street, and RE-DUB Mister Rogers. That will help to put "our children" on the right path. For example:

OLD PBS VERSION:

MISTER ROGERS - When I meet a new person, I like to shake their hand and say, "Hi, how are you?"

NEW PBS VERSION:

MISTER ROGERS - When I meet a new person, I like to shake their hand and say, "Have you accepted Christ as your personal Lord and Savior? You're going to Hell if you haven't."

Why stop there? It's time to RE-DUB "Nova."

OLD NOVA NARRATION: "The Earth is over 4.5 billion years old. This dramatic footage of an erupting volcano shows what the Earth may have looked like as it spent those first few billion years in formation."

NEW NOVA NARRATION - "The Earth is SIX THOUSAND YEARS old. This dramatic footage of an erupting volcano shows what the Earth may have looked during its first TWENTY-FOUR hours, right after God said, "Let there be Light."

Sounds good to me. Hopefully, we'll have to pay for it.

"We already do. Part of my Adelphia Premium Plus Package!"

More FAIR AND BALANCE later...

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Our Kid

"Our Kid" went new-cu-ler on Fox News Radio yesterday.

From the Washington Post:
DeLay, speaking from his district in suburban Houston, stuck to his vow to increase the congressional oversight of federal judges after they refused to intervene in the Terri Schiavo case. "We have the opportunity to set up courts; we can also dismantle courts and reorganize them," DeLay told Tony Snow on Fox News Radio.
"We" as in the wing-nuts who are trying to take us back to the 19th century.
Asked if he would include any Supreme Court justices among those he considers activist and isolated, DELAY SINGLED OUT JUSTICE ANTHONY M. KENNEDY, WHO WAS NAMED TO THE COURTS BY PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN.

"Absolutely," DeLay replied. "We've got Justice Kennedy writing decisions based upon international law, not the Constitution of the United States. That's just outrageous. And not only that, but he said in session that he does his own research on the Internet? That is just incredibly outrageous."
Does his own research on the internet?! That is TOTALLY outrageous!

(Research, or playing "punch the monkey?")

What? Fox News is not good enough for you, Justice Kennedy?!

Bet he's printing pamphlets, too.

"Should we send a truck fro him, sir?"

Not yet.
In an interview that ran for nearly half an hour, DeLay also lashed out at journalists who have produced stories raising questions about his past relationships with lobbyists and the sources of funds for his overseas travel.

"You talk about judicial activism," DeLay said. "We now have JOURNALISTIC ACTIVISM."
Journalistic activism? Whoa.

"What dat mean?"

I guess "journalistic activism" means...reporting the truth...or news that Tom doesn't like...or news that isn't on Fox.

"Or just...news."

Right.

Hey, speaking of journalistic activism:

"Lobbyist Gave DeLay a Skybox for Donors"

Ooops!
House Majority Leader TOM DELAY treated his political donors to a bird's-eye view of a THREE TENORS concert from an arena skybox leased by a LOBBYIST now under CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION.
Are we to assume that the Hammer enjoys...music?

That doesn't make sense.
DeLay's political action committee did not reimburse lobbyist Jack Abramoff for the May 2000 use of the skybox, instead treating it as a type of donation that didn't have to be disclosed to election regulators at the time.

The skybox donation, valued at thousands of dollars, came three weeks before DeLay also accepted a trip to Europe — including golf with Abramoff at the world-famous St. Andrews course — for himself, his wife and aides that was underwritten by some of the lobbyist's clients.

Two months after the concert and trip, DeLay voted against gambling legislation opposed by some of Abramoff's Indian tribe clients.

House ethics rules require lawmakers to avoid the appearance of any conflict of interest...
But do nothing if they can't avoid that "appearance."

More journalistic activism later...

Ratzinger


ratzinger
Originally uploaded by blacksab67.
I'm sorry, but...

The new Pope looks warm & fuzzy in this photo, but in others? Dude looks like he's just gone Ozzy on a bat.

I'm Catholic, so I can say that. Irish Catholic, but Catholic nonetheless.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

American Air Force Academy

Quickly, from the AP:

"Air Force Cadets See Religious Harassment"

Religious harassment in Colorado Springs? No. Come on.
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. - Less than two years after it was plunged into a rape scandal, the Air Force Academy is scrambling to address complaints that evangelical Christians wield so much influence at the school that anti-Semitism and other forms of religious harassment have become pervasive.
Um, if Evanglical Christians wield so much power at a place that was "plunged into a rape scandal," then...what part did the Evangelical Christians play in that rape scandal?

"None. All the raping was done by cadets under the control of Satan."

Meaning?

"The ones who weren't born again."

Right.
There have been 55 complaints of religious discrimination at the academy in the past four years, including cases in which a Jewish cadet was told the Holocaust was revenge for the death of Jesus and another was called a Christ killer by a fellow cadet.
"Well, it was and he is."

Okay, Iceman.
The 4,300-student school recently started requiring staff members and cadets to take a 50-minute religious-tolerance class.
A 50-minute class to educate someone who's been steeped in hatred since the womb?

Good luck!
More than 90 percent of the cadets identify themselves as Christian. A cadet survey in 2003 found that half had heard religious slurs and jokes, and that many non-Christians believed Christians get special treatment.

"There were people walking up to someone and basically they would get in a conversation and it would end with, 'If you don't believe what I believe, you are going to hell,'" Vice Commandant Col. Debra Gray said.
"Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be" is such a good AC/DC song. Man.
Two of the nation's most influential evangelical Christian groups, Focus on the Family and New Life Church, are headquartered in nearby Colorado Springs.
You KNOW that James Dobson just LOVES his cadets. Bet he calls them, "Soldiers for Christ," or something like that.

"Onward Christian Air Force Cadets!"

Following the premise from yesterday's post, they'll just have to rename the place "The American Air Force Academy."

We'll open ours out by Edwards AFB.

More later...got a meeting in Burbank.

BJS

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The United States & America

When are we gonna see this headline?
Final Transports Leave Texas: Operation North American Separation Complete

DALLAS (Reuters) - The final transports left America today, filled with happy "liberals" who are anxious to begin their new life in the United States. The massive caravan of buses, cars and moving trucks, which left Dallas under the joint protection of American and US troops, completes the five year project to create two "separate but equal" nations on the North American continent.

"It'll be hard, you know, because I'm a third generation Texan," said Mike MCCarty, 37, of Plano. "But at the same time, I'm excited. New job, new home, new country. Plus, I won't have to worry about going to jail for watching 'Deadwood' and, uh, dating."

"I'm glad to see them go," said Bo Riddle, 45, of Lubbock. "It didn't make sense for all of those people to live here. Now, they have their own place, and we have ours. Can't wait to see who's more prosperous. My bet is on God's people."

US President John Edwards and King Jeb Bush of America will continue their efforts to re-negotiate the terms of NAFTA.
Hey. Come on. Why not?

We won't have to deal with this crap anymore:

"Coach says she was fired for being lesbian"

Key words - rural Texas town, girl's basketball coach, lesbian, Bible, school board:
BLOOMBURG, Texas - In this rural East Texas town, where news spreads among the 375 residents through phone calls and gossip-gathering trips to the Shell Mart, Merry Stephens knew the rumors about her.

Stephens is a lesbian, the townsfolk whispered.

Though it was true, Stephens denied it for five years while she was a teacher and the coach of a championship girls basketball team at Bloomburg High School, afraid the truth would cost her a job.

Last December, the board of the Bloomburg Independent School District, in a 4-3 vote, began proceedings to fire Stephens for what she said was homophobia veiled in unfounded allegations of insubordination. She was put on administrative leave.

*

Craig Hale, who owns an oil company, said he doesn't want a lesbian teaching his children and possibly influencing the way they think. His daughter, Kaitlyn Cornelius, played for Stephens last season and said she felt uncomfortable around the coach, though she said Stephens never did anything inappropriate.

"I had nothing against her as a person," Hale said, but if he stood up for "one lesbian" that would mean he was "for them adopting kids, and my morals and the Bible doesn't allow that."
Say what?
"I had nothing against her as a person," Hale said, but if he stood up for "one lesbian" that would mean he was "for them adopting kids, and my morals and the Bible doesn't allow that."

Michael Shirk, Stephens' lawyer from the Texas State Teachers Association, took depositions from community members, including the school-board president, Derous Byers, who was opposed to the effort to fire Stephens.

Byers said in the deposition that another board member, Ronnie Peacock, told him that Stephens "doesn't deserve to work here" because she is a lesbian. In that deposition, Byers recalled Peacock saying: "We're bonded or insured for a million dollars apiece. We ought to fire her and see what happens."

In a telephone interview, Peacock denied making that statement, although he favored Stephens' dismissal. "I liked coach Stephens personally, and I thought she was a great coach and teacher, but we had reasons to fire her that I can't tell you," he said.
Gee. I wonder what those reasons were.

Next up:

"Debate rising over denying prescriptions"

As in birth control prescriptions, and you know where this is going:
A growing number of pharmacists across the country are refusing to dispense prescriptions for birth control and emergency contraception, claiming it is against their religious or moral beliefs to do so.

At some pharmacies, the owners refuse to offer certain birth-control products. At others, there are individual pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions or distribute them only to married women. Some believe birth control is immoral and equate emergency contraception, also known as “morning-after pills,” with abortion.

The debate — surfacing nationwide in legislatures, pharmacies, state medical boards and occasionally the streets — is another round in the battle between religious and civil liberties.
And that...is life in America.

KnowwhatImsaying?

More later: me 'ed hurts....

Monday, April 18, 2005

The Spirit of the Wild

The "Spirit of the Wild" was running through the annual NRA convention in Houston this past weekend.

Ted Nugent to Fellow NRAers: Get Hardcore

Uh oh.

"Terrible Tedley's" comments:
HOUSTON (AP) - With an assault weapon in each hand, rocker and gun rights advocate Ted Nugent urged National Rifle Association members to be "hardcore, radical extremists demanding the right to self defense."

Speaking at the NRA's annual convention Saturday, Nugent said each NRA member should try to enroll 10 new members over the next year and associate only with other members.

"Let's next year sit here and say, 'Holy smokes, the NRA has 40 million members now,'" he said. "No one is allowed at our barbecues unless they are an NRA member. Do that in your life."
No one is allowed at our barbecues? Is that an effective threat?

"Ha. Clearly, you've never been to an NRA barbecue, man."

I haven't.

"They...are...awesome, man."

Can't wait.
Nugent sang and played a guitar painted with red and white stripes for the crowd at Houston's downtown convention center.
Wango Tango? Stranglehold? Terminus Eldorado?

"Can you take me high enough...to fly me over...yesterday?"
He drew the most cheers when he told gun owners they should never give up their right to bear arms and should use their guns to protect themselves if needed.
Get ready, here he goes:
"Remember the Alamo! Shoot 'em!" he screamed to applause. "To show you how radical I am, I want carjackers dead. I want rapists dead. I want burglars dead. I want child molesters dead. I want the bad guys dead. No court case. No parole. No early release. I want 'em dead. Get a gun and when they attack you, shoot 'em."
Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

You tell 'em, Ted!

'Coz I want rapists dead, too! And child molesters! And carjackers! And burglars! And bad guys! And evil-doers! And...and...and liberals! And women! And the gays! And mud people! And...and Tommy Shaw! And Sammy Hagar! And Kevin Kronin from REO! And that one stripper from Crazy Girls in LA! Aaaggghhh!!!

"Can we attack Sammy Hagar before he attacks us?!"

YES! Kill him! Kill him with your gun, and get him out of Van Halen!

And kill Peter Frampton! And the fake Steve Perry that's in Journey right now!!!

Ted! Ted! Ted!

"Spirit of the wild!"

I'm sure that Ted will be touring the State Fairs and "Indian" Casinos all summer long.

Choice dates:

July 23 - Ft. Yates, ND - Prairie Knights Casino

Aug 13 - Hermiston, OR - Umatilla County Fair

Sept 23 - Reno, NV - Silver Legacy Casino

The Umatilla County Fair is not quite Madison Square Garden, but hey, this ain't 1977.

(Please check the previous posts if you haven't already.)

More later...

Sunday, April 17, 2005

MUST READ

Phenomenal article from Naomi Klein today. (In my opinion, she's been writing the best stuff re: Iraq and the new wave of American Imperialism.)

The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

Cliff note version: the STATE DEPARTMENT has an office entirely devoted to planning the RECONSTRUCTION & PRIVATIZATION of about 25 COUNTRIES around the world.

Countries that aren't in conflict.

Yet.
Last summer, in the lull of the August media doze, the Bush Administration's doctrine of preventive war took a major leap forward. On August 5, 2004, the White House created the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization, headed by former US Ambassador to Ukraine Carlos Pascual. Its mandate is to draw up elaborate "post-conflict" plans for up to twenty-five countries that are not, as of yet, in conflict. According to Pascual, it will also be able to coordinate three full-scale reconstruction operations in different countries "at the same time," each lasting "five to seven years."
Let's guess: Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran? Syria, North Korea, and Cuba?
Gone are the days of waiting for wars to break out and then drawing up ad hoc plans to pick up the pieces. In close cooperation with the National Intelligence Council, Pascual's office keeps "high risk" countries on a "watch list" and assembles rapid-response teams ready to engage in prewar planning and to "mobilize and deploy quickly" after a conflict has gone down.

The teams are made up of private companies, nongovernmental organizations and members of think tanks--some, Pascual told an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in October, will have "pre-completed" contracts to rebuild countries that are not yet broken. Doing this paperwork in advance could "cut off three to six months in your response time."
PRE-COMPLETED CONTRACTS?!!

"Yeah. Like, I'm gonna draw up a contract so your company can, uh, run Venezuela's oil. You know, in the event that the Venezuelan people need someone to, uh, do that for them."

Right.

"They don't now. But they might."

Right.

"So we might as well draw up the contracts."

Right.

Please check out Klein's original article on the Bushies' push to PRIVATIZE Iraq:

Baghdad Year Zero - Pillaging Iraq in Pursuit of a Neocon Utopia

The general neo-con idea?
A country of 25 million would not be rebuilt as it was before the war; it would be erased, disappeared. In its place would spring forth a gleaming showroom for laissez-faire economics, a utopia such as the world had never seen. Every policy that liberates multinational corporations to pursue their quest for profit would be put into place: a shrunken state, a flexible workforce, open borders, minimal taxes, no tariffs, no ownership restrictions.

The people of Iraq would, of course, have to endure some short-term pain: assets, previously owned by the state, would have to be given up to create new opportunities for growth and investment. Jobs would have to be lost and, as foreign products flooded across the border, local businesses and family farms would, unfortunately, be unable to compete. But to the authors of this plan, these would be small prices to pay for the economic boom that would surely explode once the proper conditions were in place, a boom so powerful the country would practically rebuild itself.

The fact that the boom never came and Iraq continues to tremble under explosions of a very different sort should never be blamed on the absence of a plan. Rather, the blame rests with the plan itself, and the extraordinarily violent ideology upon which it is based.
She goes on to say that many Iraqi "insurgents" are just dudes who went ballistic on the day they lost their factory job to the CPA.

"No. They're evil-doers."

Right.

Hey, strong words for Bill Frist in the New York Times (Bill Frist's Religious War) today re: his dealing with the Family Research Council.
Senator Frist and his backers want to take away the sole tool Democrats have for resisting the appointment of unqualified judges: the filibuster. This is not about a majority or even a significant number of Bush nominees; it's about a handful with fringe views or shaky qualifications. But Senator Frist is determined to get judges on the federal bench who are loyal to the Republican fringe and, he hopes, would accept a theocratic test on decisions.

Senator Frist has an even bigger game in mind than the current nominees: the next appointments to the Supreme Court, which the Republican conservatives view as their best chance to outlaw abortion and impose their moral code on the country.
Will we have a mandatory "national pancake breakfast" every Sunday? Hope so.

Please read Saturday's post for more info on that particular story.

Out.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Joshua, JUDGES, Ruth

Seriously, we'll just give you guys your own country: the South big enough?

Judicial fight heads to church

D'oh!
Conservative Christian leaders will be in Louisville next weekend for a national telecast in which they plan to accuse Senate Democrats of blocking "people of faith and moral conviction" from being confirmed as federal judges.

Senate Majority Leader BILL FRIST will join the telecast through a four-minute videotaped speech, his spokesman said, a move that has prompted criticism from many Democrats.
Hope Bill will "speak in tongues." That would be rad.
Organizers said the April 24 event will be taped at Highview Baptist Church and simulcast to more than 1,000 churches and a million "VALUES VOTERS" nationwide, in hope of rallying support for dropping a Senate rule that has allowed Democrats to block 10 of President Bush's judicial nominees.
Because those judges are crazy and will work to return the rest of us to the dark ages.
In a flier promoting the event, its sponsor, the FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL, says that "for years, activist courts, aided by liberal interest groups like the ACLU, have been quietly working under the veil of the judiciary, like thieves in the night, to rob us of our Christian heritage and our religious freedoms."
While we've been working like "thieves in the night," they've been working to create a theocracy, ie, a world in which you are fucked if you're not "born again."
Other speakers will include Dr. JAMES C. DOBSON, founder of Focus on the Family, which produces a religious radio program broadcast in more than 164 countries; and CHUCK COLSON, the born-again Watergate defendant and founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries.

Conservative Christians are calling for the Senate to change its rules and allow an up-or-down, majority vote on judicial confirmations.

The Democratic minority has blocked confirmation of 10 of Bush's judicial nominees, while confirming 204, by preventing Republicans from gaining the 60 votes needed to close debate.
Grrr.

And this bit from the UK's Independent on the same story:
The (FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL) is one of several Christian organisations trying to use the Republican domination of Washington to pass conservative and right-wing legislation. The battlegrounds for such groups are the issues of gay marriage and abortion.

The group's website declares: "The FRC champions marriage and family as the foundation of civilisation, the seedbed of virtue, and the wellspring of society ... Believing that God is the author of life, liberty, and the family, FRC promotes the JUDEO-CHRISTIAN worldview as the BASIS for a just, free, and stable SOCIETY."
Again, and I can't say this enough, they want the US to be a theocratic nation - based on their extreme version of Evangelical Christianity - with Biblical Law over "Man's Law."

That will not leave a lot of breathing room for those of us who are Catholic, moderate, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Irish Catholic, non-denominational, gay, Rastafarian, Muslim, Klingon, not "born again," single in our 30's, Mormon, Irish Catholic, punk, goth, dorky, and just plain American.

"What about me? I'm a Scientologist."

You, too, Tom.

I draw your attention to "Jesus Plus Nothing, a phenomenal Harper's article about THE FELLOWSHIP, a right-wing organization dedicated to creating such a theocratic nation. It's members include many American business leaders and US POLITICIANS.

Don't know if Frist is a member...but me knows a bunch of his friends are.

May the Force be with you.

"And also with you."

More later...

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Armageddon Time

No comment on NBC's "Revelations."

Actually, I'm glad that Bill Pullman has found some work.

I will say this:
Dear Jesus,

Please come back ASAP and get this "Rapture" thing overwith so the rest of us can get on with our f*ing lives.

Thanks,
B
Hey, speaking of Armageddon:

"Karzai to ask Bush for security deal"

As in Hamid Karzai, the President of Unocal-Afghanistan.

(Note to the big companies - you guys should seriously think about sponsoring whole countries. Like you do international sport teams. Would really help to raise public visibility. In a good way. Hallibuton-Iraq. Nike-Philipines. Fox-America. Yada yada. Think about it.)
April 13, 2005  |  KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- President Hamid Karzai said Wednesday he is preparing a formal request to President Bush for a long-term security partnership that could include a PERMANENT U.S. MILITARY PRESENCE.
"Afghanistan? What's that?!"

Don't worry about it.
At a joint news conference with U.S. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Karzai said he had consulted many of his country's citizens in recent weeks about "a strategic security relationship," with the United States that could help Afghanistan avoid foreign interference and military conflicts.
Yes, a PERMANENT U.S. MILITARY PRESENCE would help Afghanistan avoid FOREIGN INTERFERENCE.

Man.
"The conclusion we have drawn is that the Afghan people want a long-term relationship with the United States," Karzai said. "They want this relationship to be a sustained economic and political relationship and most importantly of all, a strategic security relationship to enable Afghanistan defend itself, to continue to prosper, to stop the possibility of interferences in Afghanistan."
Translation: "If we're gonna build this pipeline, we gotta have the US military. You know, to kick some ass for us, to protect the workers, and to gun down any dudes who, you know, might try to blow the thing up."
Rumsfeld was asked about America's willingness to offer security guarantees to Afghanistan and to establish permanent military bases here. He said this was a matter for President Bush to decide.
Rrriiiggghhhttt.

More later...

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

It's On

Here's how it works, people: A perfect example of the CONSERVATIVE MEDIA at work - as it cranks up to protect one of its biggest and bestest buddies.

"DeLay Urges GOP to Blame Dems Over Ethics"

Fine, great, there was a meeting, DeLay made his case, talking points were distributed, strategies discussed, yada yada:
WASHINGTON - House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, hoping to hold support among fellow Republicans, urged GOP senators Tuesday to blame Democrats if asked about his ethics controversy and accused the news media of twisting supportive comments so they sounded like criticism.
Snore.
Officials said DeLay recommended that senators respond to questions by saying Democrats have no agenda other than partisanship, and are attacking him to prevent Republicans from accomplishing their legislative program. One Republican said the Texan referred to a "mammoth operation" funded by Democratic supporters and designed to destroy him as a symbol of the Republican majority.
I wish.

So what are the chances of "mammoth operation" funded by CONSERVATIVES to protect DeLay? After all, dude has spent the last few weeks demanding that his pals (both in and out of the government) come to his defense.

Here's the headline from this morning's Drudgereport:

"Sanders paid wife, stepdaughter for campaign efforts"

Didn't take long, did it?
WASHINGTON -- Rep. Bernard Sanders used campaign donations to pay his wife and stepdaughter more than $150,000 for campaign-related work since 2000, according to records filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Yes, Sanders is an "evil DEM."
Jane O'Meara Sanders, his wife, received $91,020 between 2002 and 2004 for "consultation" and for negotiating the purchase of television and radio time-slots for Sanders' advertisements, according to records and interviews.

The ethics of lawmakers paying their families jumped into the spotlight on Capitol Hill last week, following reports that House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas had paid his wife and daughter more than $500,000 for campaign-related work.

Jim Barrett, chairman of the Vermont Republican Party, used Sanders' family payments to highlight what he said is Democratic "hypocrisy" for fiercely attacking DeLay. "It's the standard hypocrisy from the left," Barrett said. "When a Republican does it, it's inappropriate and front page news. But now it turns out, our own Bernie Sanders has been doing it for a long time.
Yawn.

This little article comes to us from Vermont's "Bennigton Banner," a seemingly "small town" newspaper that is actually owned by the MediaNews Group Inc, THE NATION'S SEVENTH LARGEST NEWSPAPER CHAIN.

"And who owns the MediaNews Group?"

Gee. I wonder.

Here.
Many of the newspapers WILLIAM DEAN SINGLETON'S MediaNews Group owns likely aren't known outside the county where they publish.

The Deming Headlight in Deming, N.M.; the Humboldt Sun in Winnemucca, Nev., to name a few. But roll about 150 small and regional papers together and top them off with major dailies like The Denver Post, The Oakland Tribune and The Los Angeles Daily News and you're looking at the seventh-largest newspaper chain in the country.

Singleton, 47, is a TEXAS NATIVE who runs the Post and MediaNews Group from its corporate headquarters in Denver. He and partner Richard B. Scudder, 87, formed MediaNews Group in 1983 to purchase and manage U.S. newspaper companies.
"And Singleton's political leanings?"

Duh.

Google "William Dean Singleton, conservative." Just for fun.

"Owning a newspaper chain would come in handy at a time like this, wouldn't it?"

You bet.

More later...

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

But Does He Have the U2 iPod?

Good news - 43 has an iPod.

'Boomer rock' keeps Bush's heart in tune

Feel good excerpts:
WASHINGTON - Between his return Friday from Pope John Paul II's funeral in Rome and his meeting Monday with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel, President George W. Bush spent an hour and a half Saturday riding a mountain bike at his Texas ranch. With him, as usual, was his indispensable new exercise toy: an iPod music player loaded with country and popular rock tunes aimed at getting the presidential heart rate up to a chest-pounding 170 beats per minute.

Which brings up the inevitable question. What, exactly, is on the First iPod?
Place your bets!
First, Bush's iPod is heavy on traditional country singers like George Jones, Alan Jackson and Kenny Chesney.
No. You're kidding.
He has selections by the folk-rock singer Van Morrison, whose "Brown-Eyed Girl" is a Bush favorite -
And the biggest frat song of all time -
And by John Fogerty, most predictably "Centerfield," which was played at Texas Rangers games when Bush was an owner and is still played at ballfields all over America.
"Centerfield" nearly ruined the "Vote For Change" show in Philly. God it was painful...watching Fogertty hop around with that baseball bat-guitar...singing one of the lamest songs from the 80's. Even Bruce was bummed.

Any other stadium hits, 43?
Bush, as leader of the free world, does not take the time to download the music himself; that task falls to his personal aide, Blake Gottesman, who buys individual songs and albums, including greatest hits by Jones and Jackson, from the iTunes music store.
I want that job. I want that job. I want that job.

"What ya got fer me, Brandomania?"

"Maiden, sir. 'Murders in the Rue Morgue.' From Killers."

"Rad."

"And the original version of 'Rubber Biscuit' by The Chips."

"Hey bubba, hum bubba shib-uh-wubba!"
(George) Jones, (Rolling Stone's Joe) Levy said, was nonetheless an interesting choice. "George Jones is the greatest living singer in country music and a recovering alcoholic who often sings about heartbreak and drinking," he said. "It tells you that the president knows a thing or two about country music and is serious about his love of country music."
It also tells you that the president might know what George Jones, "a recovering alcoholic," is talking about.

I just downloaded Hall & Oates' "Private Eyes" and Iggy Pop's "Tell Me a Story."

On a more serious note, PLEASE check out this article from today's New York Times:

Videos Challenge Accounts of Convention Unrest

Not so feel good excerpts:
Dennis Kyne put up such a fight at a political protest last summer, the arresting officer recalled, it took four police officers to haul him down the steps of the New York Public Library and across Fifth Avenue.

"We picked him up and we carried him while he squirmed and screamed," the officer, Matthew Wohl, testified in December. "I had one of his legs because he was kicking and refusing to walk on his own."

Accused of inciting a riot and resisting arrest, Mr. Kyne was the first of the 1,806 people arrested in New York last summer during the Republican National Convention to take his case to a jury. But one day after Officer Wohl testified, and before the defense called a single witness, the prosecutor abruptly dropped all charges.

During a recess, the defense had brought new information to the prosecutor. A videotape shot by a documentary filmmaker showed Mr. Kyne agitated but plainly walking under his own power down the library steps, contradicting the vivid account of Officer Wohl, who was nowhere to be seen in the pictures. Nor was the officer seen taking part in the arrests of four other people at the library against whom he signed complaints.
Really?
For Mr. Kyne and 400 others arrested that week, VIDEO RECORDINGS PROVIDED EVIDENCE THAT THEY HAD NOT COMMITTED A CRIME or that the charges against them could not be proved, according to defense lawyers and prosecutors.

Among them was Alexander Dunlop, who said he was arrested while going to pick up sushi.

Last week, he discovered that there were TWO VERSIONS OF THE SAME POLICE TAPE: the one that was to be used as EVIDENCE in his trial HAD BEEN EDITED at two spots, removing images that showed Mr. Dunlop behaving peacefully. When a volunteer film archivist found a more complete version of the tape and gave it to Mr. Dunlop's lawyer, prosecutors immediately dropped the charges and said that a technician had cut the material by mistake.
"Hey, commie. The police were just doin' their job, keepin' you libs from attacking Madison Square Garden. Why don't you just keep your damn mouth shut?!"

I will.

"When they kick at your front door, how you gonna come? With your hands above your 'ed, or on the trigger of your gun?"

More later...

Monday, April 11, 2005

$100,000 Golf

Superior article on the Jack Abramoff - Lobbying Scandal (and the continued saga of Tom DeLay) in the NY Times today:

"Inquiry on Lobbyist Casts a Shadow in Congress"

Excerpts:
WASHINGTON, April 10 - Jack Abramoff, one of Washington's most powerful and best-paid lobbyists, needed $100,000 in a hurry.

Mr. Abramoff, known to envious competitors as "Casino Jack" because of his multimillion-dollar lobbying fees from the gambling operations of American Indians, wrote to a Texas tribe in June 2002 to say that a member of Congress had "asked if we could help (as in cover) a Scotland golf trip for him and some staff" that summer. "The trip will be quite expensive," Mr. Abramoff said in the e-mail message, estimating that the bills "would be around $100K or more." He added that in 2000, "We did this for another member - you know who."
That "you kow who" is Tom DeLay. alledgedly.

Quick question - and maybe a golfer can answer this: What kind of golfing vacation goes for A HUNDRED GRAND?!

"Um, one that involves about five six "$10,000 a night girls?"

Dunno.
Mr. Abramoff did not explain why the tribe should pay for the lavish trip, nor did he identify the congressmen by name. But a tribe spokesman has since testified to Congress that the 2002 trip was organized for Representative Bob Ney, an Ohio Republican and chairman of the House Administration Committee, and that "you know who" was a much more powerful Republican, Tom DeLay of Texas, the House majority leader and old friend of Mr. Abramoff's. Both lawmakers have said they believed that the trips complied with House travel rules.
Rrrriiiigggghhhhtttt.
The e-mail message of June 7, 2002, is part of a mountain of evidence gathered in recent months by the Justice Department, the Interior Department and two Senate committees in influence-peddling and corruption investigations centered on Mr. Abramoff, a former college Republican campaigner turned B-movie producer turned $750-an-hour Washington super-lobbyist.

Disclosures about Mr. Abramoff and the grand jury investigation in Washington have come at an especially awkward time for Mr. DeLay, who is facing scrutiny by a state grand jury in Texas that has indicted two of his chief political operatives, including the director of his political action committee, on charges of illegal fund-raising. Mr. DeLay has blamed Democrats and the "liberal media" for stirring up old - and, he says, discredited - ethics accusations against him.
"I bet, if they looked hard enough, that the liberal media - and George Soros - brainwashed these fine upstanding men into taking the golfing trips."

Sure.
In the House, several Republicans have been forced to explain why they and their senior staff members accepted gifts from Mr. Abramoff, including the use of his skyboxes at Washington sports arenas, trips to the Super Bowl, and meals at Signatures, Mr. Abramoff's restaurant on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Do we know if Signatures is any good? Gonna check the DC Zagat Guide.
Mr. DeLay played golf with Mr. Abramoff at St. Andrews Links in Scotland in 2000 as part of a $70,000 trip that included Mr. DeLay's wife and staff. The trip was paid for by a conservative group close to Mr. Abramoff, who was once described by Mr. DeLay as being among his "closest and dearest friends."
I wonder if DeLay is describing Abramoff as one of his "closest and dearest friends" today?

"Probably not."

Probably not .

More later...

Friday, April 08, 2005

Corporate Media, 101

Here's how it works, kiddos:

"GM Pulls L.A. Times Ads"

Yes, General Motors.

Big babies:
NEW YORK (Reuters) - General Motors Corp.'s decision to yank its advertising from the Los Angeles Times in a DISPUTE OVER COVERAGE could dent the profit of parent Tribune Co. at a time when the media company is trying to bolster ad sales after a slump.

The world's largest automaker, in a rare move for a major corporation, said late on Thursday it was pulling its ads from one of the country's biggest dailies over what it called factual errors and misrepresentations in the L.A. Times' editorial coverage.
You've got to be kidding.
GM's move came a day after the L.A. Times published a column by its Pulitzer Prize-winning auto critic, Dan Neil, about the automaker's brand strategy.

The column's headline called the Pontiac G6 "a sales flop." It also said the automaker should "dump" Chairman and Chief Executive Rick Wagoner and "let the impeachment proceedings begin."
That's why GM flipped out.

I'm sure they've already figured out how much that editorial "hurt them." What? Maybe...thirteen people in SoCal decided not to buy the G6 after reading the editorial?

"Eh. More than that."

Who cares.
GM spokeswoman Ryndee Carney said the move to withdraw advertising was not spurred by any specific story but by "concerns over accuracy and misrepresentations with the paper's editorial coverage over a period of some time."
Yeah, right.

That's how it works, people. The Tribune Co will completely bendover to mend realtions with GM on this one, because "the lost advertising would amount to roughly $10 million to $15 million on a full-year basis."

That's a lot of dough. Think it will affect future coverage?

More later...

School Daze

Former Harvard Biz School Prof Yoshi Tsurumi has another editorial in the Harvard Crimson today re: his fond recollections of a student named GEORGE:
Thirty years ago, President Bush was my student at Harvard Business School. In my class, he called former president Franklin D. Roosevelt, Class of 1904, a “socialist” and spoke against Social Security, unemployment insurance, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other New Deal innovations.

He refused to understand that capitalism becomes corrupt without democratic civic values and ethical restraints.
Don't think GW "refused" to understand: He couldn't understand, because the belief that "capitalism becomes corrupt without democratic civic values and ethical restraints" is a CORNERSTONE of LIBERAL thought.

And GW ain't a liberal.
In those days, Bush belonged to a minority of MBA students who were seriously disconnected from taking the moral and social responsibility for their actions. Today, he would fit in comfortably with an overwhelming majority of business students and teachers whose role models are celebrated captains of piracy.
And Gordon Gecko.
Since the 1980s, as neo-conservatives have captured the Republican Party, America’s business education has also increasingly become contaminated by the robber baron culture of the pre-Great Depression era.
Right.

This is a drag because the vast majority of Americans (who aren't robber barons) will never admit that they are RABBLE (they're just future billionaires in training). Methinks we have to start thinking like rabble again if we wanna pay less than $2 for a gallon of gas.

"Good luck!"
Meanwhile, American economics study has increasingly become a pseudoscience of mathematical formula manipulation that is devoid of humanity. This economics has conquered America’s business education and become fused with the robber baron culture of greed supremacy.
Hmm.

Let's got back to one of Tsurumi's first points - that GW called former president Franklin D. Roosevelt a “socialist.”

I can absolutely hear a young GW (in one of his rare appearances in class) saying that kinda thing.

I can also hear the young GW, Biz School 2.0, saying the following:
"My parents have a place up in Maine. I have a huge bedroom up there. I'd like to see you in it."

"Man, that's good stuff. Where'd you get it?"

"Wait. Did I sign up for that class?"

"7&7?! Heh heh. Only faggots drink 7&7's."

"Leemee 'lone. Course I can drive."

"Take that off, would 'ya?"

"Ringo, John...and the other two homos."

"Just paid a guy $200 for the mid-term. Boo-ya-ka-shah!"

"Well...Yale...ever since they started admitting girls...I mean...you know...downhill."

"C'mon. Gimme a kissssss."
Great piece in The Onion: Local Fox Affiliate Debuts Terror-Van

More later...

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Cell Phones

So...

The ONLY CREEPY MOMENT from last night's U2 concert at the Staples Center was when Bono asked the crowd to "light up the night" with their CELL PHONES...right before he launched into "One" and a promo-speech for his new non-profit, www.one.org, a group designed to raise awareness for the continued plight in Africa.

"We" did. And it was bizarre.

Becuase the number of cell phones (held high in the air) dwarfed the number of Bic lighters. Dwarfed the biggest number of Bic lighters I've ever seen - Journey in '81, REO Sppedwagon in '83, Prince, yada yada. It was crazy.

Because EVERYONE has a cell-phone, and everyone was using it last night:

To take fuzzy pictures of Bono. To take blurry photos of the stage. To tease friends who were not at the show ("Listen! Can you hear this?! Bullet the Blue Sky!). To call people in the arena ("Im in section 119. I'm waving!"). To record bits and pieces of "Sunday Bloody Sunday" for the voice mail. To text. To take more fuzzy photos of Bono.

And to be annoying.

I swear to God, the dude standing in front of me? Held his f*cking camera-phone in the air for the whole g'damn show - taking pictures, taking pictures, being annoying - so I couldn't help but think, "They own us. They f*cking own us. We're slaves to our cell phones. We pay $80 a month to to take bad photos and to annoy people at U2 concerts."

Well, not me at least: I don't have a cell phone. Because I have "issues." Because it just feels like the man has figured out ANOTHER WAY to take our $ from us. By upgrading our favorite toy, the phone, and turning it into a camera and a TV. Yes, I know; they come in handy, single ladies need one, what if you break down on a road trip, blah blah blah.

But I have my own silly issues and those arguments haven't changed my mind.

Sadly, I have to deal with the issues of self-esteem that crop up from time to time when people criticize me for not having one ("Jesus, what's your problem?!"), but at the end of the day, it's nice to know that I'm not beholden to VerizonSprintCingular.

That might not last for long:

"Mobiles to replace TV as prime ad medium"

Uh oh.
Mobile telephones and other wireless communication devices will soon become the most important medium for advertisers to reach technology-savvy consumers, one of the world's leading advertising executives said on Wednesday.
Translation: The idiot box is about to be replaced by the idiot device.
The forecast by Andrew Robertson, chief executive of Omnicom's BBDO advertising agency, the world's third-biggest, underscores the uncertainties facing advertisers in developed markets as they shift from their traditional dependence on television.
Translation: You were put on this Earth to buy stuff, and advertisers have the right to bombard you with ads, 24/7.
The PROBLEM FOR ADVERTISERS is that technological developments such as the spread of digital video recorders are giving consumers the ability to avoid TV commercials.
Glad to know that someone is worrying about THE ADVERTISERS. I was beginning to think that no one cared about their plight.
Mr Robertson said he believed the way forward for advertisers to reach consumers would be to use wireless devices such as mobile phones, laptop computers and the BlackBerry e-mail devices favoured by travelling corporate executives on the go.

"We are rapidly getting to the point where the single most important medium that people have is their wireless device," he said. "It's with them every single moment of the day. It's genuinely the CONVERGENCE BOX that everyone has been talking about for so many years."
Convergence box?

Convergence box?!

Wow.

Bet the guy who made up that term got a nice bonus.
The survey found that mobile phones users like to stay connected even while they are asleep. More than 60 per cent said they kept their phones on and within reach 21 to 24 hours a day, and 15 per cent said that figure was 16 to 20 hours a day.
Yep.

More later...

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Nerds

I need to take a quick time-out from DeLay, Curveball, the Pope, Schiavo, Jacko, Iraq, Afgahnistan (4 US soldiers killed today), Halliburton, Ken Lay, gas ($2.57 here in Los Hollywood), John Bolton, Condi, Rummy, Wolfie, et al., 'coz me can't take it anymore.

That...and the fat hobbit is being mean to me.

That's why I'm happy to report that the nerds, currently standing in line outside Mann's Chinese for the opening of Star Wars on May 19th, are STANDING IN FRONT OF THE WRONG THEATER.

From Variety:

Inside Move: Fanatics laying it on the line - 'Star Wars' fans stew in queue

Brilliant:
If a movie isn't playing at a theater, will its fans still line up outside? For "Star Wars" fans, the answer is a befuddling yes. Saturday, 46 days before "Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith" opens on May 19, the trilogy's enthusiasts began their vigil outside Grauman's Chinese Theater.

Problem is 20th Century Fox doesn't plan to open the film at the Chinese, opting instead for the ARCLIGHT a few blocks east.
Hmm. Not really.

The Vine is a few blocks east, the Testing Center is a few blocks east (wink wink, nudge nudge), but not the ArcLight.
"Star Wars" or no, the diehards are resolute about keeping their line on Hollywood Boulevard. "We've heard all this before," said Sarah Sprague, one of the designated spokesmen for the group. In 1999 and 2002, there were plenty of rumors (ultimately false) that the previous two pics weren't going to open at the Chinese.

This year the rumors seem to be true. Fox and the ArcLight haven't finalized their "Star Wars" deal, but execs on both sides say they expect "Revenge of the Sith" to play the ArcLight and not the Chinese.
Something tells me that we might see the first $15 movie ticket if "Sith" opens at the Arclight.

Drag.

I'm kinda down with the nerds on this one. Better stuff around of Mann's - Hooter's, Baja Fresh, and so many cool homeless people. Plus, you get the endless parade of movie-characters (Spongebob, Princess Fiona, the three different Spidermen, yada yada) who work the crowds for dollar bills. (It costs a buck to take your picture with Batman.) God I love those people. I don't like the bad Homer Simpson (dude, stay home, please - your outfit blows), but I do like the new Legolas from "Lord of the Rings." Great costume - I'm pretty sure that Legolas is a 21 yr old girl.

Yeah, camping out at the ArcLight puts you next to Amoeba Records - but it also puts you close to the SPOTLIGHT, and that's not good. The Spotlight (arguably a portal to Hell) is a bar frequented by transvestite, boy meat, and men who've been, uh, compromised in prison. Madness 24/7.

The nerds in front of the Chinese are raising money for a group called "Starlight Starbright."

More later...

Monday, April 04, 2005

The Real Brandoland

Well...

Now that we know that the Pope is gone - and Terri's gone - and Saddam's whole "mobile lab" thing was made up by a CRAZY DRUNK named "Curveball" (please read Saturday & Sunday's posts) - and Oil is up to a record high ($58.28/brl) - we can turn our attention to something that really matters:

"Jacko could beat it to BRANDO paradise"

No, not my Hollywood one-bedroom, Marlon Brando's Polynesian paradise:
If Michael Jackson ever left the country, he could live out his days on a tropical island paradise - thanks to his friend Marlon Brando.

A notarized deed obtained by the Daily News shows that on June 5, 2003, Brando granted Jackson sanctuary on one of the Pacific islands he owned "for the rest of [Jackson's] natural life."

According to the deed, Brando transferred use of a half-acre on the islet of Onetahi, in the French Polynesian atoll of Tetiaroa, "in consideration of gratitude and affection."

"I can't easily describe the pleasure that has come our way with your invitation to Neverland," wrote Brando, who signed the letter "Love, Dad."

But the deed raises the question of whether Brando, who died last July, may have intended Onetahi as a possible refuge for the embattled singer.

At the time of the property transfer, child welfare groups were pressing Santa Barbara District Attorney Tom Sneddon to investigate Jackson, who had admitted on TV that he shared his bed with a then-12-year-old cancer survivor.
I'd like to CUT TO the EXT. SANTA MONICA AIRPORT, but I'm not...because I'm not sure where "they" keep the plane gassed and ready.

Hey, speaking of Neverland:

"Al Qaeda Says 7 Suicide Bombers Struck Iraqi Prison"

Al Qaeda? Could've sworn the attack on Abu Ghraib was the work of Mujahadeen Without Borders.
DUBAI (Reuters) - Al Qaeda's wing in Iraq said on Sunday seven suicide bombers spearheaded its brazen overnight raid on Abu Ghraib prison that wounded 44 U.S. soldiers, according to an Internet statement.

In a statement on Saturday's raid on the notorious facility outside Baghdad, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's group said its fighters killed "dozens of Americans," destroyed more than 15 vehicles and shot down an Apache helicopter.

It said 57 fighters attacked watchtowers from four sides and "silenced them" as seven suicide bombers detonated vehicles laden with explosives around the facility.
"What does that have to do with Michael Jackson?"

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Regular Unleaded is up to $2.51 at the Mobil on Sunset & Fairfax.

"In BizzarroAmerica, gas is $.99 a gallon, on account of our quick, death-less victory in Iraq and our superior deal with the New Iraqi Oil Ministry."

More later. I swear to God...

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Wait. WHAT?!

Great news from Crazytown.

The headline on MSNBC.com:

"Insurgents attack Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison"

Again:

"Insurgents attack Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison"

And again:

"Insurgents attack Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison"

WHAT THE F*CK?!!
A group of 40 to 60 insurgents ATTACKED THE ABU GHRAIB PRISON in Iraq late Saturday in a well-coordinated assault that inflicted 18 AMERICAN CASUALTIES, U.S. military officials told NBC News.
Wha'chu talkin' 'bout, Willis?!
A group of 40 to 60 insurgents attacked the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq late Saturday in a well-coordinated assault that inflicted 18 AMERICAN CASUALTIES, U.S. military officials told NBC News.

U.S. officials, who spoke with NBC News in Washington, said insurgents attacked with two car or truck bombs, 40 mortars and an intense ground assault.
Aaaggghhh!!!

Okay. I know the Pope died and all, and the whole Terri Schiavo thing is really sad, BUT WHY ISN'T THIS THE BIGGEST STORY EVER? HUH?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! COME ON!!!

Hello? McFly?!

Once again:

A group of 40 to 60 insurgents...attacked the Abu Ghraib prison...in Iraq late Saturday...in a well-coordinated assault...that inflicted 18 AMERICAN CASUALTIES.

Not just any prison: THE ABU GHRAIB PRISON!!!

Home of Chuck Graner, Lyndie England and hooded Iraqi dudes: The International Symbol of American Craziness.

"Sounds like Agent Smith got the best of Neo."

Look. Just give Neo a chance, okay.

More later...

(Note: Maureen Dowd referred to "Curveball" as the relative of an AIDE to Ahmed Chalabi. I was close. And please take a look at Saturday's post if ya haven't already.)

Saturday

Good morning, Captain, won't you come on out and play?

"Religious Charities in 10 States Get $1B"

Cool.
WASHINGTON - Religious charities in 10 states got 40 percent of the $2 BILLION in taxpayer money available to groups deemed "FAITH-BASED" by the White House in 2004, according to figures the White House provided Thursday to The Associated Press.
How much we spending in Iraq each month?
The president says religious organizations often do a better job of serving the poor and meeting other social needs. Unable to win passage of legislation to accomplish his goal, BUSH has BYPASSED CONGRESS and made MORE TAXPAYER MONEY available to such groups through executive orders and regulations.

According to the White House figures, grants of more than $100 million for religious groups went to New York, Illinois and California. The other states rounding out the top 10 were New Jersey, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas, Georgia and Ohio.
I wonder if the CHURCH of Scient*logy got some cash from the Bushies?

"I hope they did."

Ditto. The "Psychiatry Kills" Museum on Sunset could use a new coat of paint.

"And the Author Services building at Hollywood and Orange."

Right.

Here's the latest (from the LA Times) on my main man CURVEBALL, the Iraqi "chemical engineer" who MADE UP the excuse we used to bomb the bejesus out of Iraq.

"Curveball Debacle Reignites CIA Feud"

Of course.
WASHINGTON — A bitter feud erupted Friday over claims by a presidential commission that top CIA officials apparently ignored warnings in late 2002 and early 2003 that an informant code-named "Curveball" — the CHIEF SOURCE of prewar U.S. intelligence about Iraqi germ weapons — was unreliable.

Former CIA Director George J. Tenet and his chief deputy, John E. McLaughlin, furiously denied that they had been told not to trust Curveball, an Iraqi refugee in Germany who ultimately was proved a fraud.
I'm gonna stop it right here.

SO WHAT?! That ain't the story! The REAL story is buried in paragraph one, and here it is:

"The CHIEF SOURCE of prewar U.S. intelligence about Iraqi germ weapons was unreliable." And a CRAZY DRUNK. And "ultimately proved a fraud." (See yesterday's post.)

Capice?

Unfortunately, The Man is spinning the story, protecting the Bushies, and setting up Tenet "et al" to take the fall for this disaster.
The CIA's internal battles over Curveball were revealed Thursday in a scathing report by a PRESIDENTIAL COMMISION examining U.S. intelligence on Iraq and other key targets.
Which will find that the Bushies were responsible for NOTHING.
The Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency, which handled Iraqi refugees in Germany, furnished the engineer with the Curveball code-name. He soon began providing technical drawings and detailed information indicating that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein secretly had built lethal germ factories on trains and trucks.
CUT TO:

INT. SOME STRANGE OFFICE IN GERMANY - NIGHT

A group of American and German INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS are standing around CURVEBALL, the key DIA informant, who is sitting at an easel and drawing furiously.

An American official tops off Curveball's giant glass of Chivas: Curveball is hammered.

AMERICAN OFFICIAL - And the main chemical lab is...where?

CURVEBALL - (drunk) - In th' ca-boose. Ca-BOOZE! Ha!

AMERICAN OFFICIAL - Can you draw it?

CURVEBALL - You fuggin' know it, dawg. Choo choo!

AMERICAN OFFICIAL - How much...chemicals can that lab make?

CURVEBALL - (indicating) This much. No, this much. No --

Curveball falls out of his chair.

CURVEBALL - D'oh!

More later...

Praying for the Pope?


16917393
Originally uploaded by blacksab67.
"Dear Jesus,

Can you make it so Iron Maiden only plays really old songs when they go on tour this summer?"

Funny you should ask: They're only playing songs from the first four albums; Iron Maiden, Killers, Number of Beast, and Piece of Mind.

"Cool. Thanks."

No worries, mate.

Up the Irons!

Friday, April 01, 2005

Curveball?!

(PLEASE READ THE PREVIOUS POST ON THE MICHIGAN MILITIA IF YA HAVEN'T ALREADY)

Okay.

Here's the latest from the Guardian UK:

"US intelligence on Iraq chaotic and incompetent, says Bush commission"

Actually, the headline shoud read, "US bases its entire rush to war on info from a crazy guy"
A presidential commission investigating the intelligence debacle that preceded the Iraq invasion reported yesterday that the damage done to US credibility would "take years to undo."
Fine - great - dry set up - we've heard that charge before.

Get ready: It's time to take another drive through Crazytown.
The incompetence described in the report occasionally descends into farce, particularly over an Iraqi defector codenamed CURVEBALL, whose FABRICATED TALES about MOBILE biological LABORATORIES and their influence on US decision-makers were reminiscent of Graham Greene's accidental spy in Our Man in Havana. Despite warnings that he was "CRAZY", "a waste of time", and that he had not even been in Iraq at the time of an event he supposedly saw, his claims became the subject of almost 100 Defence Intelligence Agency reports and a focus of the National Intelligence Estimate in October 2002.
"What's the guy's name again?"

"Curveball, sir."

"Why? He throw a mean one? Heh heh."

"Don't know, sir."

"Nolan Ryan. He threw a mean curveball. But he was all about the fastball. (Pause) Colin ready to talk to the UN people?"

"He is, sir."
Most critically, Curveball's description of MOBILE LABORATORIES provided one of the highlights of COLIN POWELL'S ADDRESS to the UN security council on February 5 2003, in which the then US secretary of state laid out the JUSTIFICATION for the INVASION.

Curveball's story has already been told in part, but yesterday's account is the most comprehensive. He was an IRAQI CHEMICAL ENGINEER who was first debriefed in 2000 by a foreign liaison service - not named in yesterday's report but elsewhere reported as being German intelligence.

Before the war, the Germans refused to let US interrogators question Curveball directly, saying that he "would refuse to speak to Americans"; they just passed on his claims, according to the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Warning signs emerged in MAY 2000 when a military intelligence officer was allowed to visit Curveball.
Wait. May 2000? May 2000?!

"That's a long time before the War on Terror."

Yep.
He reported: "I do have a concern with the validity of the information, based on Curveball having a terrible HANGOVER the morning of [the meeting]."
"I will not talk to the Americans until somebody brings me a bottle of Chivas!"
The warning fell on deaf ears, but by autumn 2002 the CIA was growing increasingly nervous, knowing it had not met an important source. So a meeting was arranged between the local CIA division chief and German intelligence officers. When the division chief asked whether US agents could question the defector, "the foreign intelligence service responded with words to the effect of 'You don't want to see him because he's CRAZY' - furthermore, the [German] representative said that he worried that Curveball was 'a FABRICATOR'."

The division chief passed on this alarming news to his superiors, but George Tenet, then CIA chief, and his deputy, John McLaughlin, both denied having been told of it.
Good move.
Curveball is reportely related to a senior member of the Iraqi national congress (INC), then an exile group. However, the commission found that the INC had not brought him forward.
Gee. I wonder who Curveball is related to?

"Any chance it's that Chalabi guy?"

YA THINK?
THE REPORT is another nail in the coffin of Mr Tenet's reputation and CLEARS THE WHITE HOUSE AND PENTAGON of trying to shape intelligence to justify war.
You're kidding.
It concludes: "The commission found NO EVIDENCE OF POLITICAL PRESSURE to influence the intelligence community's prewar assessments of Iraq's weapons programmes."
No evidence of political pressure. Right. Glad that's been cleared up. I was beginning to think that the Bushies were gettin' good at putting political pressure on their peeps.
It warns only of the dangers of intelligence leaders becoming too close to the president and risking the loss of objectivity. In other words, the commission found that Mr Tenet had been TOO EAGER TO PLEASE.
Wow.

I hope Mr. Tenet walked away from the Bushies with some steak knives. ("Always be closing!")

Read between the lines: The Bushies wanted to go to war with Iraq...long before 9/11. They just needed a good EXCUSE, and didn't care where they found "it."

PART OF THAT EXCUSE CAME FROM A DRUNK CRAZY GUY.

Grrrrr.

"This info is from a drunk crazy guy?"

"Years of...torture...under Saddam...turned him to the bottle, sir."

"I hear that. Hey, what's his poison? Let's send him something, you know, for his efforts."

"Right away, sir."

LAST THING - Curveball? Come on, people. You've got to come up with some better nicknames.

More later...