Tuesday, November 30, 2004

And in other news today...

Cause Of Death: Stupidity

Kent Man Killed By Exploding Lava Lamp

November 29, 2004

By KOMO Staff & News Services

KENT - A 24-year-old man who placed a lava lamp on a hot stovetop was killed when it exploded and sent a shard of glass into his heart, police said.

"Why on earth he was heating a lava lamp on the stove, we don't know," Kent Police spokesman Paul Petersen said Monday.

Phillip Quinn's parents found his body in his Kent trailer home at about 8 p.m. Sunday. They went to check on him after his girlfriend reported that she couldn't get in touch with him.

The King County Medical Examiner's office estimated the time of his death at 2 p.m. Sunday.

After the lamp exploded, Quinn apparently stumbled into his bedroom, where he died, Petersen said.

Police found no evidence of drug or alcohol use. LINK


Too bad Phillip didn't google Lava Lamp and Danger:


Lava Lamp rheostat
Could it fix unhappy lava lamps?

Lava Lamps can be "moody" sometimes not flowing much at all. sometimes they are "aggravated" and show it by being all broken up in little beads. Could turning the heat up a bit bring it together? Turning it down? There must be a temperature plateau beyond which the danger of broken glass and hot released oil becomes too great.

jscottpete, Jan 14 2004


Like the ocean.

Fun to play with.

But never turn your back on it.


As Night Must Surely Follow Day...

All records surely can be broken.


Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

U.S. Death Toll in Iraq for Nov. at 134

56 minutes ago

By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer

WASHINGTON - Fueled by fierce fighting in Fallujah and insurgents' counterattacks elsewhere in Iraq, the U.S. military death toll for November is approaching the highest for any month of the war.

At least 134 U.S. troops died in November, according to casualty reports available Tuesday.

The worst month was April when 135 died as the insurgence flared in Fallujah and elsewhere in the so-called Sunni Triangle where U.S. forces and their Iraqi allies lost a large measure of control. LINK

Two more days left in November...

Heavy, heavy sigh.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Mystery News Monday

If you ever figure out today's economic news, fill me in.

Retail Results Boost Wall Street

By Michael J. Martinez The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks were mixed Monday as investors digested a decent but uninspiring start to the holiday shopping season and a warning from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. that its weekend sales were lower than it expected.

While retail sales rose from last year's levels, especially sales of electronics, investors were concerned that consumer spending, which represents two-thirds of the overall U.S. economy, might not remain strong. Wal-Mart said it would reduce its sales targets due to its sluggish weekend.

"I think the electronics sales are really helping out the Nasdaq this morning, and the disappointment with Wal-Mart is weighing on retailers," said Peter Cardillo, chief strategist, senior vice president and market analyst with S.W. Bach & Co. "We're still trying to figure out whether these sales figures were good enough or not."

In late morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 16.99, or 0.2 percent, to 10,505.24. LINK

Bond Prices Fall

The Associated Press
Published: Nov 29, 2004

NEW YORK (AP) - Treasury bond prices were lower at midday Monday.

The price of the Treasury's 10-year note was down 19/32 point, or $5.94 per $1,000 in face value, while its yield rose to 4.32 percent from 4.24 percent late Friday. Prices and yields move in opposite directions.

The 30-year bonds were down 1 3/32 point and yielded 4.96 percent, up from 4.89 percent late Friday, according to Moneyline Telerate.

Two-year Treasury notes were down 1/16 point and yielded 3.07 percent, up from 3.03 percent late Friday. LINK

Dollar Worries Prompt Wall Street Selloff

By Michael J. Martinez The Associated Press
Published: Nov 29, 2004

NEW YORK (AP) - Fears of a falling U.S. dollar pushed stocks lower Monday as investor concerns about rising inflation outweighed their satisfaction with a decent start to the holiday shopping season.

The dollar worries overshadowed a good but uninspiring showing by the nation's retailers. While most retailers had improved sales over the holiday weekend, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. warned that its sales were lower than expected.

"What we're seeing here is investors realizing that the falling dollar could prompt inflation, and that could prompt a much stronger Federal Reserve response," said Peter Cardillo, chief strategist, senior vice president and market analyst with S.W. Bach & Co. "Wal-Mart's warning is still weighing on retailers, and the bond market's response to the dollar is helping as an excuse to take money off the table."

At midday, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 93.55, or 0.9 percent, to 10,428.68.

Broader indexes were narrowly mixed. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was down 8.60, or 0.7 percent, at 1,174.05, and the Nasdaq composite index lost 7.49, or 0.4 percent, to 2,094.48.

Even stabilizing crude oil futures failed to assuage investors' concerns. A barrel of light crude was quoted at $49.50, up 6 cents, on the New York Mercantile Exchange. LINK

And, of course, there's this...

Bush Chooses Kellogg CEO to Be Commerce Secretary

By Deb Riechmann Associated Press Writer
Published: Nov 29, 2004

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush on Monday chose Carlos Gutierrez, a native of Cuba who rose from truck driver to chief executive officer of Kellogg Co., to be secretary of Commerce.

If confirmed by the Senate, Gutierrez would succeed Commerce Secretary Donald Evans, a Texas confidant of Bush's, who announced his resignation shortly after the Nov. 2 election. The president called the 51-year-old Gutierrez, 51, a "great American success story" and a visionary executive, who understands the world of business from the "first rung on the ladder to the very top."

"Carlos's family came to America from Cuba when he was a boy," Bush said in the Roosevelt Room. "He learned English from a bellhop in a Miami hotel and later became an American citizen. When his family eventually settled in Mexico City, Carlos took his first job for Kellogg as a truck driver, delivering Frosted Flakes to local stores." LINK


I guess there weren't any Nobel Prize winners (who started out as cereal delivery guys) available.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Today's Sermon

A Message From
Guest Minister,
Harvey Fierstein

Click Here
And Crank Up The Volume!

Click Here
For The Transcript!

Thus Endeth Today's Sermon.

Go forth and be nice to everyone!

I mean it, damn it!

Saturday, November 27, 2004

A Scrivener's Holiday Music Guide

If you're like me, Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer and yet another cheesy version of Rudolph, The Red Nosed Reindeer by this season's Country Twang Flavor Of The Month can seriously damage your earnest desire for good will toward all...

If you long for a more sophisticated sound of low-brow holiday humor, I highly recommend the following:

For those in serious need of side-splitting laughter...

Click Here
To Listen
(And To Order)

Not quite so
in your face, yet distinctly witty and entertaining is...

Click Here To Listen
(Scroll Down)
And To Order

For Gregorian Chant lovers and Pig Latin Scholars...

Click Here
For More Info
And To Order

If you don't already own this one, you should...

Click Here
To Order
(It's On Sale!)


Serious Laughter
Could Affect
Your Ability
To Smirk At Holiday Revelers
And Wal-Mart Shoppers!

Next week, A Scrivener's Worst Holiday Gifts Guide!

Friday, November 26, 2004

This Week's
Of The
Bell Curve


Karol Wojtyla

(AKA Pope John Paul II)

Pope Concerned About U.S. Priest Shortage

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope John Paul II expressed concern Friday over the decline in priestly vocations in the United States, telling visiting American bishops that the drop presents a "stark challenge" that cannot be ignored. LINK

Gee! Ya think, JP2?

Before you start hoping that this dying pope might change the world by condemning all abusing priests to the eternal flames of woe and ordaining some devout women...

In 1994, John Paul startlingly revealed, and not for the first time, a misogynistic side to his character when he met Dr Nafis Sadik, the Pakistani head of the UN Fund for Population Activities. The pontiff had invited her to the Vatican to talk about family planning. Dr Sadik, then in her early forties and dressed in a sari, attempted to make their meeting a discussion rather than a one-sided papal lecture.

"In many societies, and not just in the developing world, women don't have equal status with men," she told the Pope. "There's a lot of sexual violence within the family." Suddenly, as Sadik recalled, "John Paul burst out angrily, "'Don't you think that the irresponsible behaviour of men is caused by women?'" This was long before his Parkinson's disease could explain such intemperance. In fact, Sadik thought he appeared "taut as a spring". She has said: "I found myself thinking: why is he so hard-hearted, so dogmatic, so lacking in kindness?" LINK ($ subscription)

Whatever you do, don't blame the priests.

Blame Eve and Pandora...

and try to keep everyone too stupid to know better.

Typical. A happy man becomes pope, sheds the humanity of his youth, and comes to embody the historical trappings of the church...

I'm beginning to change my mind about Becket's murder, too.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Turkey Day 2004

I'm traveling today.

Don't eat too much!

Psst! When you cue the stunt double...

... you're supposed to get out of the way.

It's A Sign Of The Times

One of the diversions I enjoyed most while working for the Kerry campaign in DC was manning Senator Kerry's autopen. To me, the signature machine, mounted on a drafting table and powered by a foot pedal (like an electric sewing machine) was a welcome respite from building databases, annotizing breaking news stories and editorials, and many other intense rapid-response tasks.

The autopen is usually reserved for bulk mailings: donation acknowledgements, invitations to campaign events, and solicitations. The signature choice (John Kerry or John) was always determined by the communications office, which meant that several people always knew about and approved its use.

No one expected Senator Kerry's personal signature on bulk mailing materials, but the ball point or felt tip "signature" was a nice touch.

Click Here To Watch
An Autopen Sign A Name.

I know for a fact, though, that Senator Kerry personally wrote and signed all letters to the families of fallen soldiers among his constituency and did so with sincere sympathy and regret.

Which brings us to Donald Strangelove and George W. Daughin...

‘With Deepest Sympathy’

By David H. Hackworth

Donald Rumsfeld – who’s known as a people-eating systems man – has a long history that shows he prefers technology to humans. Certainly as SecDef he’s always gone for high-tech military gear rather than giving the boots on the ground max priority when it comes to the basics: armored vehicles and vests, sufficient ammo and all the other vital stuff that helps soldiers make it through the Valley of Death.


And now, apparently, Rumsfeld’s obsession with machines and their efficiency has translated into his using one to replace his own John Hancock on KIA (killed in action) letters to parents and spouses. Two Pentagon-based colonels, who’ve both insisted on anonymity to protect their careers, have indignantly reported that the SecDef has relinquished this sacred duty to a signature device rather than signing the sad documents himself.


I then went to about a dozen next-of-kin of American soldiers KIA in Iraq. Most agreed with the colonels’ accusations and said they’d noticed and been insulted by the machine-driven signature. One father bitterly commented that he thought it was a shame that the SecDef could keep his squash schedule but not find the time to sign his dead son’s letter. Several also felt compelled to tell me that the letter they received from George Bush also looked as though it was not signed personally by the president.


Dr. Ted Smith, whose son Eric was among the first 100 killed in Iraq, notes that the letter he received “from the commander in chief was signed with a thick, green marking pen. I thought it was stamped then and do even now. He had time for golf and the ranch but not enough to sign a decent signature with a pen for his beloved hero soldiers. I was going to send the letter back but did not. I am sorry I didn’t.”

Sue Niederer, whose son Seth was also killed in Iraq, sums it up: “My son wasn’t a person to these people, he was just an entity to play their war game. But where are their children? Not one of them knows how any of us feel, and they obviously aren’t interested in finding out. None of them cares. And Rumsfeld depersonalizing his signature – it’s a slap in the face, don’t you think?” LINK

So George W. and Rummy can't find the time to sign KIA letters, which families cherish as proof their loved ones perished preserving America's ideals?


Tuesday, November 23, 2004

I was wrong about our foreign policy!

Silly me!

All this time, I thought this was funny:

Was I ever wrong!

Not only is "Yeehaw!" our official foreign policy...

George W. Moron marches around the world with his fly open.

Heavy sigh.

Monday, November 22, 2004

I just looked around
and he's gone.

Candy Condi Ass Or Flying Squirrel?

Heavy sigh, y'all!

World eschews* Rice

By Eric Margolis

Condoleezza Rice may be the apple of U.S. President George W. Bush's eye, but in Europe her nomination as Secretary of State is being met with disappointment and dismay.

The long-anticipated resignations of the respected state secretary, Colin Powell, and his tough, able deputy, Richard Armitage, leave U.S. foreign policy in the hands of bellicose VP Dick Cheney and his neocon Pentagon allies. The new National Security Adviser, Stephen Hadley, is a bland functionary well known for being under Cheney's thumb.

Powell, an honourable soldier and gentleman, was humiliated, ignored, and cynically used to sell the Iraq war. He made a fool of himself before the world with his UN presentation about Iraq's supposed arsenal of death.

In my view, Rice, an academic Soviet expert, has been the worst national security adviser since the Reagan administration's bumbling William Clark, whose only foreign affairs experience, wags said, came from eating at the International House of Pancakes.


The image of Condi Rice and George Bush sitting at the White House piano singing Onward Christian Soldiers is unsettling Europe, which thought Bush II might restore America to its traditional multilateral foreign policy. Even Bush's faithful British retainer, Tony Blair, is looking increasingly unhappy. LINK

And what's up with that photo?

Am I the only one who immediately thought of...

* eschew (v)- 1. To shun; to avoid, as something wrong, or from a feeling of distaste; to keep one's self clear of.

2. To escape from; to avoid.

Way to go, Margolis!

As if The Backside Of The Bell Curve would actually read an article with the word eschew in the headline!

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Today's Sermon

It's beginning to look a lot like Satanmas!

Satan's Grotto stunt in bad taste, warns Shadowmancer author

Mark Branagan

Best-selling author and retired vicar Graham Taylor yesterday accused a Yorkshire tourist attraction of making a mockery of Christmas by opening a "Satan's Grotto", which he condemned as being in very bad taste.

Mr Taylor – author of Shadowmancer – said he was "outraged" by the display at York Dungeon which replaces the traditional Santa with a dark, cloaked figure, with a red face and horns.

Sprawling on a throne, Satan will be handing out gifts such as severed fingers and other body parts, and practical jokes. He will wish revellers a Horrible Christmas and present them with a scroll to sign their souls away.

Elves impaled on spikes or with their heads chopped off, and robins roasting over an open fire will also greet visitors to the Clifford Street attraction, while Santa himself boils in a witch's cauldron.


Mr Taylor is author of two worldwide best-sellers on the dangers of the occult, Shadowmancer, which is to be filmed by Universal Studios, and Wormwood. He said: "The grotto is in very bad taste. Satanism is a very real thing."
Satan's Grotto will be open for business from December 13 to 16 inclusive and is described by the Dungeon as a sideswipe at the Christmas celebrations, providing an alternative to the traditional grotto.

"We're not out to offend anyone, just to provide some welcome relief from an experience many people find even scarier than anything we have here at the Dungeon," said Dungeon boss Helen Douglas.

Why the outrage?

Everyone knows that you can't spell SANTA without the letters S*A*T*A*N.

Satan's Grotto in Yorkshire seems pretty lame to me, but what do I know?

I'm still stuck on the fact that the God of Abraham either wasn't able to destroy Lucifer in the first place or chose not to.

Hm. The rules of logic dictate that there is, indeed, something miraculous afoot:

Jesus was born on Christmas and died on Easter.

What are the odds in that happening? That's a miracle in my book!

And on both days, kids get candy.

Thus Endeth Today's Sermon.

Go forth and google "yin and yang."

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Some Things To Do
Before The Inauguration

Got this in my email inbox today:

1. Get that abortion you've always wanted.

2. Drink a nice clean glass of water.

3. Cash your social security check.

4. See a doctor of your own choosing.

5. Spend quality time with your draft age child/grandchild.

6. Visit Syria, or any foreign country for that matter.

7. Get that gas mask you've been putting off buying.

8. Hoard gasoline.

9. Borrow books from library before they're banned - Constitutional law books, Catcher in the Rye, Harry Potter, Tropic of Cancer, etc.

10. If you have an idea for an art piece involving a crucifix - do it now.

11. Come out - then go back in - HURRY!

12. Jam in all the Alzheimer's stem cell research you can.

13. Stay out late before the curfews start.

14. Go see Bruce Springsteen before he has his "accident."

15. Go see Mount Rushmore before the Reagan addition.

16. Use the phrase - "you can't do that - this is America."

17. If you're white - marry a black person, if you're black - marry a white person.

18. Take a walk in Yosemite, without being hit by a snowmobile or a

19. Enroll your kid in an accelerated art or music class.

20. Start your school day without a prayer.

21. Pass on the secrets of evolution to future generations.

22. Learn French.

23. Attend a commitment ceremony with your gay friends.

24. Take a factory tour anywhere in the US.

25. Try to take photographs of animals on the endangered species list.

26. Visit Florida before the polar ice caps melt.

27. Visit Nevada before it becomes radioactive.

28. Visit Alaska before "The Big Spill."

29. Visit Massachusetts while it is still a State.

Four more years of "You've got to see this!" and "Have you seen this yet?" and "Forward this to everyone you know!"

Sometimes an ice pick in the ear doesn't sound so bad.

The Only Way To Verify Your Vote:
One Precinct At A Time

Having yet another Claude Rains Moment* here...

I'm shocked! Shocked, I tell you, to discover that the exit polling in 2000, 2002, and 2004 turned out to be so different from the actual votes counted in those election years!

I'm also shocked that the only 3 times in our country's history that such shocking disparity occurred were years when GHW Bush's sons were on ballots, and Republicans controlled congress!

Don't you find it interesting that we never had any problems with exit polling before the era of the Bush Boys?

News Groups Will Delay Future Exit Polls

By DAVID BAUDER, AP Television Writer

NEW YORK - The consortium of news organizations that runs the election exit polls has voted to delay distribution of data for several hours on future election days.

Exit poll data won't be distributed until after 4 p.m. EST to the organizations that have paid for it: ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News Channel and The Associated Press, NBC's elections director Sheldon Gawiser said Thursday.

On Nov. 2, the companies conducting the polls, Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International, distributed the first wave of exit poll data at 1 p.m. _ and the numbers were immediately leaked on the Internet and to the campaigns.


It's the third straight major election in which problems have cropped up with exit poll data. Edison/Mitofsky was hired for this election after a previous organization failed to deliver usable exit poll information on Election Day 2002 and provided information that resulted in the television networks blowing calls on the election in 2000. LINK

We all know how that computerized voting idea turned out: all 4 voting machine companies belong to major Republican donors, and the data inside those machines can be accessed and manipulated remotely by untraceable cell phones (I'm visualizing well-paid hackers with the ethics of Tony Soprano here).

So that didn't work.

Some people are calling for mail-in voting (like Oregon), but I don't trust Republicans as far as I could throw them, and we've seen how capable they are at voiding millions of so-called spoiled absentee and overseas ballots. If the entire country tries to vote by mail, you can bet the ranch that BushCo will find yet another way to cheat us out of our votes.


I propose

The Great American Precinct-By-Precinct
Vote Verification Project

Let's set up booths (à là Lucy Van Pelt's 5¢ Neighborhood Psychiatry Practice) in view of, but slightly beyond the designated legal distance from each polling entrance and offer each voter a receipt for each vote.
Disgruntled future voter,
Lucy Van Pelt

Sounds daunting, but all it takes is a little organization and a few dedicated human volunteers on election day:

After casting their official ballots, voters can visit our booths and fill out a postcard size replica and get a receipt for their effort.

The completed postcards will be sealed inside locked containers and counted in plain sight after the polls close in each precinct. Results of major races will then be faxed that night to all local news media outlets. Down ticket results will take more time, but should be verified the following day.

Those voters not choosing to take advantage of this service will be counted as they exit the polling place, and their number will also be reported.

Why will this work?

Exit polling worked beautifully before the Bush Boys and the Republicans took over our government. In fact, exit polling results have never been been outside a 2% margin of error.

Of course, there are many problems to work through, but I firmly believe that this is our only Obiwan-level hope.

Humans, indelible markers, some paper, a few well-placed video cameras, and some organization could return our voting process to its traditional American greatness, which is, of course, based on the Australian secret ballot method of voting.

Hey! It worked for 108 years, didn't it? Thanks, Vermont! LINK

But for the Bush Boys and their hostile takeover of America, Inc., we wouldn't have to rage against the machine.

* Use the site search (top left on this page) to see my previous Claude Rains Moment entries.

Friday, November 19, 2004

While we're on the subject of Ass Clowns...

MILC program set to expire

Conferees of the Homeland Security appropriations bill removed a two-year extension of the Milk Income Loss Contract program, which will expire at the end of the 2005 fiscal year. MILC provides funding to small dairy farmers when the price of milk falls below a certain specified level.

The amendment didn’t survive, despite a kick-start from President Bush, who endorsed it on the campaign trail. The cost of the amendment would have been $2.5 billion over 10 years, although some senators argued that the program did very little for larger dairy producers. LINK

Hey, all you Ass Clown Farmers who voted for bush!

This is what happens when you trust George W. and vote Republican.

I especially like the "despite a kick-start from President Bush" part.


As if George W. were fighting an opposition party in control of congress!

And I really loved this part: "some senators argued that the program did very little for larger dairy producers."

Not good for corporate farmers?

Not going to be extended... even if it was specifically written to protect small farmers, and George W. promised during the campaign to safeguard it.

Case closed.

They're all Republicans, Ass Clown Farmers!

They all just cheated you out of a ton of money.

So sorry we can't do anything to help you now.

P.S. I hope voting to discriminate against gays was worth every penny, Ass Clown Farmers.

Nice Try, Ass Clowns!

Of course, I know that no one would ever hire me to write headlines...

But here's how damned dumb the Republicans think we are: they had this nifty little plan to have Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson give up his senate seat to become the new Secretary of Agriculture, but Ben has more than half a reptilian brain and politely declined the "spirit of bipartisanship" offer.

And, as usually happens on Planet OH RIGHT SURE, as soon as it looks like BushCo is about to be embarrassed, they loose the flying monkeys onto a docile media and muddy the waters...

Nelson reportedly declines Cabinet job


WASHINGTON - Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson has told the White House he is not interested in becoming President Bush's agriculture secretary, a congressional source told The World-Herald on Thursday.

Senator Ben "My Mama didn't raise no fools" Nelson
(D, Nebraska)

The source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said White House political adviser Karl Rove called Nelson last Friday and asked if he would take the job if President Bush offered it. After consideration over the weekend, Nelson said no Wednesday evening, the source said.

Nebraska's other senator, Republican Chuck Hagel, said Thursday that he doubted whether Nelson ever was under serious consideration, and a second congressional source said no formal job offer had been extended to the Democrat.

"The White House has told this congressional staffer that reports that Nelson was offered the job of secretary of agriculture are inaccurate," said the second source. LINK

BushCo thinks we're stupid enough to give up a senate seat (thereby helping the Republicans move closer to a super majority) so Ben Nelson can happily co-sign government checks to Monsanto.?

Ass Clowns, the lot of them.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Quote of the Week George W. Era

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned
by a downright

H.L. Mencken
(1880 - 1956)

This Week's
Of The
Bell Curve

Georgia's State Superintendent
Of Schools

And Documented Drama Queen

Linda Shrenko

Schrenko surrenders

In handcuffs, former state school chief pleads innocent to stealing $614,000

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

It was an entrance that might have seemed better suited to a red carpet than a federal courtroom.

Linda Schrenko, the fashion-conscious former Georgia school superintendent, smiled for the television cameras while wearing a dramatic camel-colored coat with fur-looking collar and cuffs when she showed up Monday morning to surrender to authorities.

Two hours later, Schrenko appeared somber as she was led before a judge in handcuffs to face charges of stealing $614,000 in federal education funds, much of it allegedly diverted to her failed campaign for governor — and $9,300 for a face-lift.

Schrenko pleaded innocent and was released on $40,000 bond. She was also ordered to submit to drug tests after she disclosed that she takes a variety of prescription medications for neck and back pain from an auto accident more than a decade ago.


In 1994, Schrenko, a former teacher, became the first woman to win statewide elected office in Georgia and the first Republican to run the state's education agency. She was re-elected in 1998 and was considered a leading candidate for governor in 2002.


Schrenko's attorney, Pete Theodocion of Augusta, said after the hearing Monday that he regrets so much attention has been paid to "a face-lift," which Schrenko had around the time of the 2002 elections.


Feldman ordered Schrenko to submit to drug tests after he was handed a list of the prescription medications she is taking. "You're taking some strong medication, as you well know," the judge said.

He also ordered Schrenko to turn over a firearm she owns to her daughter, who lives in Evans. LINK

Ms. Shrenko isn't hooked on phonics anymore.

She's hooked on prescription drugs, cosmetic updating, Republican politics, and stealing from school children.

But she looks great, doesn't she?

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


What would Victoria and Albert say?

They gave us the term white meat (the word breast supposedly gave Victoria a case of the vapors).

They also wrote the book on public morality.

But privately...

Body art has been around for centuries. The practice of tattooing, painting, branding, modifying and piercing various parts of the body was used by different cultures worldwide as indicators of a person's social, marital, or membership status, as rites of passage, or as aesthetic art forms. Evidence of body art has shown up on a 2,000-year-old Russian mummy with tattoos on her biceps.

Even Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, of the extremely conservative Victorian fame, supposedly sported tattoos (Victoria) and piercings (Albert, the famed penile piercing that is now named after him).

In today's society, body art, the most popular form being piercings and tattoos, is so commonplace that it is no longer stigmatized in societies that did not use body art as a routine practice, such as American culture. LINK

Which brings us to this:

Most pierced : Elaine Davidson, the most pierced woman in the world, shows off some of her 2,520 piercings at the 50th anniversary of the Guiness World Records in London . (AFP/Nicolas Asfouri) LINK

Color me curious...

But yellow.

I'm satisfied looking at Ms. Davidson's photo and reading the current Guiness List of Top Ten Feats:

10. Furthest Eyeball Popper - Kim Goodman of Chicago, Ill., who can pop her eyeballs to a protrusion of 0.43 inches beyond her eye sockets. 1998.

9. Richest Living Person - Microsoft mogul Bill Gates. In 2004, Forbes magazine estimated his wealth at $46.6 billion. Gates' wealth peaked at $92.5 billion in December 1999.

8. Largest Pizza - Norwood Hypermarket, Norwood, South Africa. It measured 122 feet and 8 inches in diameter. 1990.

7. Full Body Ice Contact Endurance - The longest recorded time spent in direct, full-body contact with ice while still surviving, is 1 hour and 8 minutes, set by Wim Hof of the Netherlands in 2004.

6. Highest Shallow Dive - Danny Higginbottom of the United States dove from 29 feet and 4.3 inches into 11.8 inches of water, 2004.

5. Most Lightning Strikes Survived - Virginia park ranger Roy C. Sullivan is the only known human to live through seven separate bolts of lightning, from between 1942 and 1977.

4. Highest Fall Survived Without a Parachute - Vesna Vulovic, a flight attendant from Yugoslavia, survived a fall from 33,330 feet when the DC-9 airplane she was traveling in blew up over Czechoslovakia on January 26, 1972. A terrorist bomb was thought to be the cause, and no other passengers survived. Vesna broke both legs and was temporarily paralyzed from the waist down.

3. Most Current Guinness World Records Held - Ashrita Furman of Jamaica, New York, holds 20 official world records, including milk-bottle balancing, lunging, skipping, forward rolling and glass balancing.

2. Tallest Man - Robert Pershing Wadlow of the United States, born in 1918, was 8 feet and 11.1 inches. 1940.

1. Oldest Woman - The oldest fully authenticated age to which any human has ever lived is 122 years and 164 days, by French-born Jeanne-Louise Calment. She died on August 4, 1997. LINK

I had a scathingly brilliant idea for a tattoo 12 years ago, but I'm just too chicken to make an appointment and follow through.

My idea?

Printed neatly (and spelled correctly) on the bottom of the big toe on my right foot:


Can you think of a better way to have the last laugh?

By the way, I hope that #3 guy has figured out a way to make a living using his many valuable talents.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Minute, Sticky, Or Dirty:
Any Way You Like It, It's Rice!

From Uncle Tom to Uncle Ben?

The US media hairdos are acting like replacing Colin Powell with Condoleezza Rice is perfectly normal.

They're all sporting that What're you lookin' at? façade.

Bush counts on Rice to 'unstick' problems

WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush has a nickname for Condoleezza Rice, his choice as the next secretary of state: "The unsticker."

Bush put the name on Rice, his national security adviser for the past four years, because he said she helped "unstick" problems in Iraq that got caught up in the gears of government.

Assuming the Senate will confirm Rice to replace Colin Powell as secretary of State, her job will be to keep U.S. diplomacy running smoothly across the globe.*

Ever since Bush walked into the Oval Office, Rice has been busy keeping Powell and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld from butting heads; orchestrating a North Asia policy designed to get North Korea to let go its nuclear ambitions; helping the president deal with the nuclear weapons threat in Iran; and shepherding work on the Middle East peace process. LINK

In case you missed it, "Dr." Rice's resumé boasts her experience in the first Bush administration's Russian Studies program.

Really useful today. Not.

How about her years of experience as a university provost?

Her actual job description: scheduling classes and meetings in various buildings for the academic year.

Oh so useful as our new US Secretary Of State. Not.

But she has served as our National Security Advisor!!!

We all know how that job turned out.

The real reason George W. plans to stick his unsticker into the world of high stakes diplomacy?


Dirty Rice.

Eat it, world!

Monday, November 15, 2004

Monday Musings


Sinking ship.

Or the work of Supply Side Jesus?

Secretary Of State, Colin Powell, is resigning.

Powell and Three Others to Leave Cabinet

By GEORGE GEDDA and DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites) and three other Cabinet members submitted their resignations, a senior administration official said Monday, as the shake-up of President Bush (news - web sites)'s second-term team escalated.

Powell Resigns as Secretary of State

Besides Powell, who had argued Bush's case for ousting Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein before a skeptical U.N. Security Council in February 2003, others whose resignations were confirmed Monday included Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman, Education Secretary Rod Paige and Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham.

The departures of Attorney General John Ashcroft and Commerce Secretary Donald Evans had been announced last week. The resignations revealed Monday bring to six — out of 15 — the number of Cabinet members to leave so far.

Bush already has chosen White House counsel Alberto Gonzales to succeed Ashcroft. LINK






Attorney General.

According to rumor, Labor is next.

Rats or infidels?

Time will tell.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Today's Sermon: Sacrifice

Rock my soul in the bosom of Abraham!

When Isaac became a young boy, God spoke to Abraham and commanded him to take his son to Mount Moriah and offer him as a sacrifice to God. This was God’s test of Abraham’s faith. Abraham loved his son very much, but did not hesitate to follow God’s words for he was a man whose faith in God was strong. As Abraham and his son reached the place where the sacrifice was to be performed, Isaac said to his father, “Father, where is the lamb that is to be sacrificed?” Abraham replied, “My son, God will provide the lamb”.

It is not known how eventually Abraham told his son that he was to be the sacrifice, but Isaac courageously laid on the sacrificial place ready to be sacrificed for god. As Abraham was taking out his knife, his hands were trembling. He was about to sacrifice his son when heard the voice of God saying, “Abraham, Stop! Do not hurt your son. You have proven your faith and shown how much you love Me by willing to sacrifice your son for Me. Therefore, I shall bless you and your family, and through you, I shall bless all the nations on earth”. God also provided a lamb for the sacrifice. Abraham went home along with his son, and their hearts full of love and faith. LINK

And they enjoyed an abundance of lamb chops and mutton that night, and Isaac thought it was pretty cool that his father would disembowel him to appease an invisible cloud being! Good times, indeed!

Give me that old time religion!

Police: Couple Planned to 'sacrifice' Three Children on Church Altar
The Associated Press

Published: Nov 13, 2004

ROCHESTER, N.H. (AP) - A woman and her boyfriend are accused of plotting to sacrifice the woman's three children on a church altar.

Nicole Mancini, 29, and John Thurber, 35, were arrested at St. Mary's Church on Wednesday after workers said they heard the woman say she wanted to sacrifice the boys.

"We could tell this woman was not right," said church secretary Donna Landolfi. "She said, 'Let's go make the sacrifice.'"

Mancini and Thurber were in jail Saturday on more than $25,000 bail. They were arraigned Friday on three counts each of misdemeanor child endangerment. Thurber was also charged with marijuana possession.

The children, ages 9, 7 and 2, were not harmed and were placed in state custody. Police said Thurber is the father of the youngest boy. LINK

What is wrong with these people?

Everyone knows that you sacrifice children and lambs in the Spring!

Back to Bible School, Mancini and Thurber! You two are an embarrassment to The God Of Abraham, Inc.!

Heavy sigh.

Thus endeth today's sermon.
Go forth and make joyful noise and mint jelly!

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Spiro T. Cheney?

The official story is that Dick Cheney has the flu.

Good thing The Dick got his flu shot (when your loved ones couldn't)!

Wait a minute!

Isn't that what they said before Yasser got Arafat-ed?


George W. may finally be a heartbeat away from the presidency.

This is the official AP photo and story today:

Vice President Dick Cheney conducts a roundtable discussion in Charleston, W.Va., in this Oct. 18, 2004 file photo. Vice President Dick Cheney, who has a history of heart trouble, was being taken to a hospital on Saturday Nov. 13, 2004 for tests after experiencing some shortness of breath, a White House spokesman said. (AP Photo/Bob Bird, File) LINK

"Dick Cheney describes the size of his heart"

...would be a better caption!

Sharpen your stakes, steal some holy water, and begin the deathwatch.

This one is evil to the core.

And I wouldn't put it past The Dick to resign for health reasons in order to avoid an indictment in the Valerie Plame case, either.

But there could be a worse one waiting in the wings.

No Gerald Fords available this time.

Friday, November 12, 2004

It's time to replace
that Kerry-Edwards
bumper sticker!

I recommend this one, which shows the world what our country stands for:

Right Click Image; Click "View Image" To Enlarge

Lick this? I think not!

The new Ronald Reagan postage stamp
was unveiled this week in honor of his
still being dead.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

This Week's
Of The
Bell Curve

IN THE 1990s AND 2000s


The chances are excellent that Reverend James Dobson has contempt and loathing for you: if you have an opinion different than his; if you worship God in a slightly different way than he does; if your skin tone is not like his; if you do not have a penis.... it is the belief of Reverend James Dobson that you do not know what is best for yourself and your community, but he, and only he, does.

Ignore for the moment the fact that America's "founding fathers" were mostly atheists, Humanists, and Deists who loathed and despised Christianity, even though most of them belonged (but did not attend) State churches. Even if Reverend James Dobson's lie that the founders were neo-fascist Fundamentalist Christians such as himself was true, that does not mean America should become the theocracy Reverend James Dobson desires.

If one wishes to see the results of Reverend James Dobson's plans for America, one need only look at the nation of Iran: there one will see the future of Reverend James Dobson's dreams. Freedom to worship as one please will be revoked, and the "real, true" version of Christianity will be inflicted upon the citizenry--- if not overtly, then covertly via "school vouchers," "equal time" for Creationism occult beliefs, and "school prayer."

Reverend James Dobson used his political influence (i.e. $$) to PREVENT the password blocking of "900 number" so-called "phone sex" phone numbers. Now, "thanks" to Reverend James Dobson, children may call these numbers and listen to "phone sex" without parental knowledge--- something the password system would have prevented, if only Reverend James Dobson had not fought against the password plan.

Why did Reverend James Dobson oppose password protection against so-called "phone sex" phone numbers? That's obvious: the password system would have put the supervision of a family's children squarely in the hands of the parents and not in the hands of Reverend James Dobson and his cult, where he wants it most. You see, along with Reverend James Dobson's other beliefs about people different than him, he also believes you and almost every other American are not competent enough to raise your children: he wants that to be his job, not yours. LINK


Click the pic to meet the real James Dobson.

Many Names, Many Deaths

Rahman Abdel-Raouf Arafat Al-Qudwa

Also known as
Abu Ammar

Also known as Al-Hussaini
Also known as Yasser Arafat
Also known as Muhammad Abdul Raouf Arafat
al-Qudwa al-Husseini

(1929 - 2004)

Mohammed Yasser Abdul-Ra'ouf Qudwa Al-Husseini, more commonly known as Yasser Arafat was the fifth of seven children born to a Palestinian textile merchant on August 24, 1929. According to Arafat and other sources, he was born in Jerusalem; however, French biographers, Christophe Boltanski and Jihan El-Tahri revealed in their 1997 book, Les sept vies de Yasser Arafat, that he was actually born in Cairo, Egypt, and that is where his birth certificate was registered. The Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs also lists Arafat’s birthplace as Cairo. Ian Pacepa, a former Romanian intelligence official, disclosed that the KGB had invented a background for Arafat with a birthplace in Jerusalem.

Claims that Arafat was related to the Jerusalem Husseini clan through his mother have been disputed by the Palestinian historian Said Aburish. In an unauthorized biography, Aburish claims that “The young Arafat sought to establish his Palestinian credentials and promote his eventual claim to leadership... [and] could not afford to admit any facts which might reduce his Palestinian identity. ...Arafat insistently perpetuated the legend that he had been born in Jerusalem and was related to the important Husseini clan of that city.”

Arafat’s childhood was divided between Cairo and Jerusalem, where he lived for four years with an uncle following the death of his mother when he was five. Arafat attended the University of King Faud I (later renamed Cairo University).

During the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, Arafat left the university and, along with other Palestinians, sought to enter Palestine to fight for Palestinian independence. He was disarmed and turned back by Egyptian military forces that refused to allow the poorly trained partisans to enter the war zone. After returning to the university, Arafat joined the Muslim Brotherhood and served as president of the Union of Palestinian Students from 1952 to 1956. By 1956, Arafat graduated with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and served as a second lieutenant in the Egyptian Army during the Suez Crisis.

After the Suez War, Arafat moved to Kuwait, where he found work as an engineer and eventually set up his own contracting firm. In Kuwait, he also helped found Fatah in 1957, an organization dedicated to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in place of Israel and Jordan (i.e., historic Palestine).

In 2003, a team of American accountants hired by the PA finance ministry began examining Arafat’s finances. The team determined that part of the Palestinian leader’s wealth was in a secret portfolio worth close to $1 billion — with investments in companies like a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Ramallah, a Tunisian cell phone company and venture capital funds in the U.S. and the Cayman Islands. The head of the investigation stated that “although the money for the portfolio came from public funds like Palestinian taxes, virtually none of it was used for the Palestinian people; it was all controlled by Arafat. And none of these dealings were made public.”

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) conducted an audit of the Palestinian Authority and discovered that Arafat diverted $900 million in public funds to a special bank account controlled by Arafat and the PA Chief Economic Financial Advisor. It was, therefore, not surprising when Forbes ranked Arafat sixth on its 2003 list of “Kings, Queens and Despots,” estimating his personal wealth at a minimum of $300 million.

In 1990, Arafat, a Sunni Muslim, married Suha Tawil, a Palestinian Greek Orthodox Christian who converted to Islam before marrying him. At the time, Arafat was 62 and Suha 28. Suha's mother, a Palestinian activist and writer, introduced Arafat to her daughter, who was then studying at the Sorbonne. Arafat subsequently hired Suha to work on his personal staff in Tunis. In July 1995, the couple had a daughter Zawha, named after Arafat’s deceased mother. After the start of the second uprising, Suha moved to live with her mother and daughter in Paris.

Arafat, who survived several assassination attempts over the years, as well as a helicopter crash, had been in failing health for some time when his conditioned worsened in October 2004. Israel agreed to allow him to be transferred to a hospital in Paris on October 29 where his wife stayed by his side. He died November 11, 2004, at age 75. LINK

Say, have you heard the one about Yasser Arafat...?

One day Yasser Arafat dresses up in disguise and goes to see a Jewish soothsayer. He enters her shop and says, "I just have to know — when am I going to die?"

The soothsayer looks into her crystal ball and says,
"Yasser, Yasser ... You will die on a Jewish Holiday."

Arafat looks up startled and says,
"A Jewish Holiday? Which one? Purim, Rosh HaShanna, Chanukah?"

The soothsayer looks him right in the eye and says,
"Yasser, Yasser, any day you die will be a Jewish Holiday."

The real punchline...

Mr. Al-Qudwa/Al-Hussaini/Arafat's life story will forever be written in the blood and the tears of innocents.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Whatever You do,
don't think about
Sharon Stone!

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II poses at Howe Barracks in Canterbury, England, with the 1st Battalion of The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, Tuesday Nov. 9, 2004. The Queen presented soldiers with Operational Service Medals for their service and was expected to meet some of the families of those currently serving with the battalion.
(AP Photo / Michael Dunlea, Pool)

Some images are just too horrible to imagine.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Cue Chevy Chase!

Yassar Arafat, the first person American Network News Hairdos ever referred to as a "Terrorist" is dead.


Wait! Maybe not.

Dead again.

Hold on a minute!

Nope. Dead once again.

"He is dead," one Palestinian source said. "He died after bleeding in the brain began last night. His bodyguards started hugging and kissing and telling each other to be strong."

Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath, in a strenuous denial, said the Palestinian president, 75, was "very much alive."

Arafat's aides said they hoped to bury him at his West Bank headquarters in Ramallah. But an Israeli political source said Israel, which occupies much of the West Bank, would only allow him to be laid to rest in the Gaza Strip.

Shaath described Arafat as "very ill," but said his brain, heart and lungs still functioned. A spokesman for French medical services said earlier: "Mr. Arafat is not dead." LINK


Very ill.


It just doesn't matter anymore.

Does anyone really believe this guy would ever be allowed to return to power?


If Mrs. Arafat is already getting a $100,000 per month living allowance, and there are reports that she stands to inherit $3 Billion upon his eventual death, why are Palestinians still starving to death? LINK

$3 Billion could go a long way toward feeding the people, building an infrastructure, and thinking about finding some kind of peace.

A $3 Billion investment in the Palestinian people would at least let the world know that Yassar's heart is (or was) finally in the right place.

A Scrivener's

Disclaimer: I am not and never have been "cool."

Yes, I live at the corner of Smart Ass and Bleeding Heart Liberal.

I waver between "Bite me, Bitch!" and sending Martha Stewart-Approved gift baskets to Holy Rollers who piss me off royally.

But I am not "cool."

Which brings us to www.pornolize.com, a nifty little site where programmers with more time than sense can "pornolize" your blog (or any website) in short order.

Click Here To View
The Pornolized Version Of
A Scrivener's Lament

(Warning! Graphic Language
doesn't even begin to describe
what this program does to my blog!)

Way too cool for color TV...

Way too cool for me!

But it's really fun to read the porn version of ...

Monday, November 08, 2004

Story Problems...

... The stuff of the math anxiety sufferer's nightmare.

Multiplication is vexation,
Division is just as bad;
The Rule of Three perplexes me,
And Practice drives me mad.

– Old Rhyme

Solve the following:

Imagine that you lived in a county that had 30,000 registered voters, of whom 10,000 were registered as Democrats, 10,000 as Republicans, and 10,000 as independents. Suppose you further knew that polls had shown that 91% of Republicans planned to vote for the Republican, and 88% of Democrats planned to vote for the Democrat. Among the independents, 60% planned to vote for the Democrat. (Less than 1% of all voters planned to vote for third party candidates in this scenario.) We’ll pretend that 100% of these voters actually voted, although in reality, the turnout would have been closer to 75%.

No brainer, right?

Given that data, you would expect a fairly sizeable win for the Democrat. If the polls were accurate (and exit polls are VERY accurate, to within one half of one percent of the actual vote totals), then the Democrat would have gotten 8,800 votes from Democratic voters, about 900 from Republican voters, and 6,000 from independents, giving him 15,700 votes to 14,300 votes for the Republican.

After class, when you compare answers and discover that a few students think you must be learning impaired...

If you looked in your paper the next day and saw that the Republican won, you might be surprised.. Typically, 7% of voters actually decide in the last day, which is why polls are sometimes off by up to 3%. But exit polls interview people who have already decided.

If you learned that the Republican got 22,000 votes and the Democrat just 8,000, you might be very suspicious.

This is what happened in Florida. It didn’t happen in just one county. It happened in a large number of counties, and the discrepancy between the vote totals and the voting demographics is far bigger and more egregious than my fictional example above. LINK

When you get your test paper back with a big red F on it, do you...

A. Bitch and complain loudly (forever guaranteeing your academic Bad Attitude label)?

B. Seethe with anger (but say nothing because you saw what happened to the kid who bitched and complained loudly)?

C. Rip it to shreds (and decide to cheat next time)?

D. Sob quietly and ask the teacher what you did wrong?

Correct Answer:

Your teacher now realizes that you have a healthy respect for authority!
As a reward for your self-deprecating candor,
The Marvin Bush Mathematical Test Grading Company® suggests that you and your parents take advantage of one of their many Neil Bush Remedial Math Study Guides®, offered directly through your school at the low, low price of $29.99 + shipping and handling!

Heavy sigh.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

To Jim Belushi,
Thanks for nothing!
Julie Newmar

Belushi sues actress neighbour for 4 Million

17:50 AEST Sun Nov 7 2004

AP (AU) - James Belushi has sued his next-door neighbour, actress Julie Newmar, accusing her of a "campaign of harassment" to drive him from his home.

In a lawsuit filed on November 2, the 50-year-old actor claims Newmar vandalised his estate by destroying a fence and landscaping.

He also contends she bad-mouthed him to neighbours and friends, spied on his family and caused a nuisance by playing loud music directed at his backyard.

"Newmar has engaged in a malicious and premeditated campaign to prevent and destroy Belushi's quiet peace," the suit says. A telephone number for Newmar, who played Catwoman in the 1960s television series "Batman," was not immediately available. A call to Belushi's lawyers was not returned. LINK

Birthday: August 16, 1933
Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, USA

# Julie will always be remembered as the Catwoman on "Batman."
# She is a Blonde now in 2003. LINK




Holy Property Rights, Jim!

I think it's time to activate the...

2 Questions before you activate the signal, Jim:

1) Will young Master Dick Grayson remember to be polite?

2) Will Batman lose the struggle against his libidinous desires for Catwoman?

Tune in next time!

Same Bat Time!

Same Bat Channel!