Saturday, April 30, 2005

It was 30 years ago today...

On April 30, 1975, Communist tanks barreled through the palace gates in what was then Saigon, capital of South Vietnam. The city's fall marked the official end of the Vietnam War, and the United States' decade-long campaign against communism in Southeast Asia. The war claimed some 58,000 American lives and an estimated 3 million Vietnamese. LINK

Sing it with me!

Come on all you big strong men,
Uncle Sam needs your help again.
He's got himself in a terrible jam
Way down yonder in desert lands.
So put down your books and pick up the gun
We're gonna have a whole lot of fun!
And it's 1 2 3 what are we fighting for?
Don't ask me I don't give a damn!
Next stop another Viet Nam.
And it's 5 6 7 open up the pearly gates.
There ain't no time to wonder why
Whoopee! We're all gonna die.
Come on generals let's move fast,
Your big chance has come at last.
Gotta go out there and break some heads.
The only good enemy is one that's dead.
And you know the peace can only be won,
When you blow 'em all to kingdom come!
(Repeat chorus)
Well come on Wall Street - don't move slow,
Why man, this is war-a-go-go!
There's plenty of money to be made
By supplying the army with the tools of the trade.
Just look at it my way - if you drop the Bomb,
Well, it's all part of the fun!
(Repeat chorus)
Well come on mothers don't delay,
Pack your boys off to the Gulf today.
Come on fathers don't hesitate,
Send them off before it's too late.
Be the first one on your block
To have your boy come home in a box!
(Repeat chorus)
(Repeat war)

"Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die Rag" (Country Joe and The Fish, 1967)

30 years (and counting) of heavy sighs.

Friday, April 29, 2005

This Week's
Of The
Bell Curve


Republican Bloggers

Staff meeting at Republican Blogging Headquarters

Exhibit A

Presidential Press Conference

April 29th, 2005

Excellent message why optional retirement savings accounts would be objectionable to the democrats is a mystery to me. They could negotiate the details to satisfy there concerns but they seem determined to prevent a solution to worsening problem.

Exhibit B

Is It Just Me?

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Abortions For Minors: ACLU Endorsed Poor Parenting

The ACLU has decided to champion another immoral cause. A thirteen year old Florida girl is in the center of a court case because she became pregnant and went to a women's center where she "made an informed decision to abort" and was blocked in court by the Florida state Department of Children & Families from the abortion she is seeking. The girl, who is a long time ward of the state, was blocked in court by DCF because of state law which prohibits the department from consenting to an abortion for a minor in any instance. The ACLU has taken up the girls case and is fighting to lift the block on the abortion citing that the girl is being denied her constitution rights to make decisions due to her age.

Exhibit C

Ken Mehlman Calls On Democrats To End Their Obstruction of Social Security Reform

By Matt Margolis at 10:49 AM

Last night, RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman issued the following statement:

"Now that President Bush has set a clear course to permanently strengthening Social Security for future generations, the time for Democrat obstructionism is over. Progressive indexing will make Social Security a better deal for all Americans, and it is now time for Democrats to propose their own strategies if they disagree with President Bush's common sense ideas. It's no longer acceptable for Democrats to play politics with the retirements of American workers by refusing to show up at the negotiating table."

Democrats have said that personal retirement accounts have to be off the table before they will to the table... but that's just not going to work. While Americans agree something needs to be done to fix Social Security, and the Democrats refuse to work with Bush to fix it, guess who looks worse... the Democrats...

Exhibit D

April 28, 2005

An Open Letter to All Bloggers

Charles Johnson, Marc Danziger and I have been sneaking around over the last few months, trying to turn blogs into a business. We have enlisted some others with names familiar to you with the intention of working in two areas - aggregating blogs to increase corporate advertising and creating our own professional news service.

With respect to advertising, we do not wish to go into competition with Henry Copeland's BlogAds, which we fully support. (Some of us even have them!) We are working on another model that will sell ads en masse, not blog-by-blog. We expect this model to go live within a few weeks.

As for the Blog News Service, a lot of work needs to be done and a lot of questions answered. An editorial board consisting of Glenn Reynolds, PowerLine, Lawrence Kudlow, Hugh Hewitt, Marc Cooper, Wretchard of the Belmont Club and Tim Blair, as well as the founders, is already in place with other bloggers in many countries having signed on as contributors.

This is no way meant to be exclusive. We invite you all to join us. On the advertising end, any blogger -- whether political or not -- is welcome. We would be delighted to place ads on your blog and pay you for them. You may find out more and, we hope, join by simply emailing us at

If you are an advertiser, you may contact us at

UPDATE: Besides, the US, blogs from the following countries have signed up as of now -- UK, Australia, Iraq, Egypt, Israel, Spain, Germany, France, India and Malaysia.

Exhibit E (Scroll down this page for my blog entry on this subject!)

If The False Alarm Had Been Real, There Could Have Been A Lot Of Dead Reporters

Yesterday, W. was evacuated to the White House bunker after a false alarm:

President Bush was rushed to a secure underground White House bunker and Vice President Dick Cheney was whisked outside the compound Wednesday because of a ''radar anomaly'' -- perhaps a flock of birds or pocket of rain -- that was mistaken for a plane flying in restricted airspace."

This is of course the part of the news that everybody focuses on. However, there was another part that I found grimly amusing, although the press core probably won't be getting a lot of chuckles out of it:

Some White House staff members were evacuated from the West Wing. Tour groups were hustled out of the executive mansion and a park across the street from the White House was cleared.

Some parts of the compound, such as the area where the press is housed, were not notified of the threat or moved.

So there may be a plane heading for the White House and they get the President and the Veep to safety, they start getting the White House staff clear, they look out for the tour groups -- but the press? Screw those guys, they're on their own =D

In all seriousness, I guess they really couldn't notify the press because you know, 5 minutes later they'd all be on the air telling the world that they were live at the White House where the President has fled because of a possible terrorist attack! Meanwhile, if there actually were an airplane full of terrorists in the air and they heard that, they'd probably swing the plane around and head for a softer, unprepared, secondary target, which would put a lot more lives at risk.

The Bush Administration and the White House press core should discuss this and come up with some sort of gentleman's agreement to make sure that in the future, this sort of thing doesn't happen again. The White House is a target for terrorists and it could genuinely be under attack at any time. If that were to ever happen, it would be tragic if reporters were injured or killed because the White House couldn't trust them not to risk other lives by immediately blabbing what was happening on the air.

What the hell is a press core?

Exhibit F
(Guess what the F stands for! Hint: It's my favorite gerundive.)

"This is our heritage,' UDC president says
Posted by JohnPigg

On 04/29/2005 8:13:36 AM PDT · 3 replies · 29+ views

The Decatur daily ^ | 29 April 2005 | Patrice Stewart

Recalling what families and fathers who became fighters went through during the Civil War is important to Kay McCarley. "This is our heritage, and we feel it's important to get the message out, although anything Confederate gets such bad press now," said McCarley, president of Joe Wheeler Chapter No. 291 of United Daughters of the Confederacy. "This is not a racist organization, although many people try to make it out to be," she said. "Slavery may have been a part of the Civil War, but it was so much more than that. "Most of them were just ordinary people," she...

Scared yet?

George W. Panophobia

Today's Phobia:

Nephophobia- an abnormal and persistent fear of clouds

D.C. Alert Triggered By Clouds

By Sara Kehaulani Goo and Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writers

The mysterious flying object first blipped across U.S. security radar 20 miles south of Reagan National Airport at 10:40 a.m. yesterday and appeared headed swiftly toward the District.

About 15 minutes later, President Bush was in an underground bunker at the White House and Vice President Cheney was escorted off the White House grounds to a secure location, officials said. --snip--

"Out of an abundance of caution, the appropriate security measures were taken," said Brian Roehrkasse, spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security. --snip--

"We appreciate the precautionary steps that the Secret Service took," McClellan said. "They do an outstanding job." LINK


Up in the sky!

They're coming to get you, George W.!

Thursday, April 28, 2005

There Be Zombies!

Maybe. While I've always believed that horror story inspired fantasies have natural, scientific explanations, I never thought I would see a case of "zombism" reported as fact by the BBC...

Cambodian Troops Quarantine Quan'sul

Cambodian troops moved into Quan'sul
after Malaria victims attack populace.
There has been a small outbreak of “zombism”
in a small town near the border of Laos
in North-Eastern Cambodia.

The culprit was discovered to be mosquitoes native to that region carrying a new strain of Malaria which thus far has a 100 percent mortality rating killing victims in fewer than 2 days.

After death, this virus is able to restart the heart of it’s (sic) victim for up to two hours after the initial demise of the person where the individual behaves in extremely violent ways from what is believe to be a combination of brain damage and a chemical released into blood during “resurrection.”

Cambodian officials say that the outbreak has been contained and the public has no need to worry.

General Ary Serey had this to say, "We have obtained samples of this new virus and plan to learn how it starts the heart and other major organs of the deceased. We intend to use this to increase the quality of life for all."

US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice opposed the plan saying that the Cambodian government holds a great biological weapon and should destroy it immediately. Cambodian officials have yet to comment.

A United Nations team will be dispatched to Cambodia to confirm the safety of biological research in Cambodia. LINK


The UN wants to guarantee the safety of important biological research, and Condi Rice wants to destroy the virus before it can even be studied.

Condi would probably advocate ceasing studies of
lycanthropy and vampirism, too.

Let's send Condi to that town in Cambodia for an extended stay and see how fast she changes her tiny little mind.

Heavy sigh.

Just in case this is a hoax, I'm submitting this story to Snopes.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

My Big Fat Beef With Politics

Here's what I hate about politics...

Remember My Big Fat Greek Wedding? When Toula Portokalos couldn't change jobs without her father's consent, her mother had to make him think it was his idea. The result: Old man Potokalos thought he was brilliant; Toula went to work in the travel agency; and her mother sported a knowing smile.

That's politics. Slower than a molasses- soaked Christmas...

Gallup: 50% of Americans Now Say Bush Deliberately Misled Them on WMDs

By E&P Staff
Published: April 26, 2005 11:45 AM ET

NEW YORK Half of all Americans, exactly 50%, now say the Bush administration deliberately misled Americans about whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, the Gallup Organization reported this morning.

"This is the highest percentage that Gallup has found on this measure since the question was first asked in late May 2003," the pollsters observed. "At that time, 31% said the administration deliberately misled Americans. This sentiment has gradually increased over time, to 39% in July 2003, 43% in January/February 2004, and 47% in October 2004."

Also, according to the latest poll, more than half of Americans, 54%, disapprove of the way President Bush is handling the situation in Iraq, while 43% approve. In early February, Americans were more evenly divided on the way Bush was handling the situation in Iraq, with 50% approving and 48% disapproving.

Last week Gallup reported that 53% now believe that the U.S. invasion of Iraq was "not worth it." But Frank Newport, editor in chief at Gallup, recalled today that although a majority of the public began to think the Vietnam war was a mistake in the summer of 1968, the United States did not pull out of Vietnam for more than five years, after thousands of more American lives were lost. LINK

Politics is the art of the possible.

Otto Von Bismarck, remark, Aug. 11, 1867

While it's possible that Toula's father might have drawn a different conclusion and decided against allowing his daughter to change jobs (and thereby advancing the film's plot)...

No lives would have been lost, the national treasury would not have been looted, and our global reputation as the good guys would not have been destroyed.

Heavy sigh...

But too many lost lives for a knowing smile.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Hey, George W.!
Who Ordered The
Pizza Gay Hooker?

An excerpt from the response letter written by US Reps. Conyers and Slaughter, regarding the Secret Service's Bush White House Guckert/Gannon entry/exit logs, raises more questions...

While your office and the White House have claimed Gannon was treated as just another reporter, the records we have obtained affirm that Gannon was granted access to the White House which appears to be unusual for any reporter. Out of concern for not only security, but also avoiding White House dissemination of propaganda, we request an explanation to the following:

1. The Department of Homeland Security's records indicate that Mr. "Gannon" entered the White House Complex 196 times in the past two years. He attended 155 of the 196 press conferences held at the White House in the two year period. This is disconcerting considering that your office and "Mr. Gannon" have maintained that his access was sporadic. At what point is a "hard pass" required?

2. The records show that Mr. "Gannon" was allowed access to the White House 38 times when no public press events occurred. He also spent hours in the White House both before and after press events took place. With whom did he meet on those occasions and what was the subject matter of those meetings?

3. On 13 occasions there is a record where he checked in with security, but is never registered as leaving the White House complex. How do you explain this?

4. Your Media Assistant, Lois Cassano, requested a total of 48 day passes for Mr. "Gannon" which helped facilitate his access for nearly 200 times over the last two years. It is nearly impossible that she would have made Gannon such a priority without direction from a supervisor. Would you like to revise your claim that, "I don't involve myself in that process, it's handled at a staff level."

These records appear to confirm our concern that Gannon was treated in a manner that deviated from standard White House procedure for determining who receives press credentials, and to what degree members of the press and public are granted access to the White House complex. In fact, these entry and exit records only raise more questions, as your office has issued conflicting statements about his activities and apparently abused the press pass policy to avoid a full-fledged background investigation and allow Republican propaganda to be disseminated through a counterfeit media operation and a fake reporter.

Mr. McClellan, we have yet to receive any direct communication from your office in response to our repeated requests for information. The American people deserve to know what is happening in the White House Briefing room. It is unacceptable that you continue to deny them this information. LINK

Ahem, McClellan.

One of these is not like the other...

So many questions.

Too many White House secrets.

If Monica was a security threat because of her blackmail potential...

What do you call Guckert/Gannon?

Guaranteed Delivery in 30 minutes or it's free?

And who knew that "8 Inches Uncut" was a topping choice?

Monday, April 25, 2005

News From Planet

Pope 'prayed not to be elected'

Benedict XVI meets other faith leaders

Monday, April 25, 2005 Posted: 9:05 AM EDT (1305 GMT)

God's Rotweiler works the crowd.
He'll thrice refuse the crown
any minute now.

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI has revealed he prayed to God during the conclave not to be elected pope but that "evidently this time He didn't listen to me."

Benedict made the comments at an audience Monday with German pilgrims, who enthusiastically greeted the first German pope in centuries.

A smiling Benedict shook the pilgrims' hands and blessed a child given to him before taking his seat in the audience hall and starting his speech.

Speaking in his native German, Benedict told the audience that during the conclave, or papal election, when it became clear he was getting many votes, a cardinal passed him a note reminding him what he had preached about Christ calling Peter to follow him even if he was reluctant to go.

Benedict, 78, said he hoped to spend his last years living quietly and peacefully.

"At a certain point, I prayed to God 'please don't do this to me,"' he recalled. "Evidently, this time He didn't listen to me." LINK

Prayers and passing notes...

Now we know what goes on during a papal conclave.

Sounds like a typical grade school classroom on test day to me.

Whatever you do...

Don't throw Br'er Benedict into the briar patch!

Heil Mary, y'all!

What's In A Name?


If your name is Monica, every millisecond you spent inside the White House would be vivisected, dissected, and preserved in major media formaldehyde.

If your name is James D. Guckert Jeff Gannon, obviously the US Secret Service lets you hang around the White House indefinitely for who knows what reason, and they don't even bother to make you follow the rules for entering and exiting.

As you read the report on the Guckert/Gannon Secret Service logs, replace "Guckert/Gannon" with "Lewinsky." Then tell me why our mainstream media is strangely silent on this story...

Secret Service records raise new questions about discredited conservative reporter

By John Byrne| RAW STORY Editor


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. --snip--

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.

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. LINK


2/25/03 11:46 - 1:25 (briefing 12:26-1:03)
2/26 9:56 - 2:17 (unusually long) (briefing 1:25-1:53)
2/27 11:49 - 1:34 (no briefing)
2/28 11:20 - 1:26 (briefing 12:35-1:10)

3/3/03 9:51 - 1:32 (unusually long) (briefing 12:21-1:00)
3/4 11:48 - 1:45 (briefing 12:46-1:20)
3/5 11:56 - 1:57 (briefing 12:21-1:00)
3/6 11:58 - 12:42 (no briefing)
3/6 9:11 pm exit - no entry (Bush press conference, 8 pm)
3/7 3:22 pm exit -- no entry (briefing 2:20-3:00)
3/10 12:47 - 3:11 (briefing 1:23-2:10)
3/11 12:25 - 1:47 (briefing at 12:38 - no end time given)
3/12 12:55 - 2:40 (briefing 1:20-1:59)
3/13 12:12 - 1:55 (briefing 12:40-1:19)
3/14 12:02 - 1:49 (briefing 12:35-1:06)
3/17 12:01 - 1:30 (no briefing)
3/18 12:09 - 1:31 (briefing 12:21-1:05)
3/19 9:38 - 3:27 (unusually long) (12:15-12:59) (Bush speech, 10 pm)
3/20 12:19 - 1:38 (briefing 12:32-1:15)
3/21 10:52 - 12:31 (briefing 2:31-3:12 -- doesn't match)
3/24 1:02 - 2:43 (briefing 1:00-1:44)
3/25 1:45 - 3:30 (briefing 2:30-3:15)
3/28 12:34 - 3:51 (unusually long) (briefing 12:35-1:15)

4/4/03 12:18 - 1:31 (12:20-12:59)
4/9 1:48 - 3:48 (2:32-3:20)
4/10 12:14 - 2:00 (12:20-1:03)
4/11 12:24 - 1:52 (12:15-12:45) (arrives late)
4/14 12:34 - 1:46 (12:30-1:15) (arrives late)
4/21 3:33 - 4:19 (no briefing)
4/22 11:36 - 1:37 (12:30-1:14)
4/23 12:16 - 2:26 (1:17-1:55)
4/25 11:21 - 1:25 (12:19-1:00)
4/28 3:01 - 4:40 (11:08-11:23 -- doesn't match)
4/29 11:25 - 1:10 (12:23-12:58)
4/30 11:37 - 3:14 (unusually long) (12:32-1:19)

5/6/03 11:27 - 12:56 (11:50-12:30)
5/7 11:53 - 1:29 (12:30-1:10)
5/8 1:09 - 7:10 (unusually long) (1:45-2:26)
5/9 9:49 - 11:38 (no briefing)
5/14 12:02 - 1:47 (12:35-1:15)
5/14 5:15 pm - 6:56 pm (second evening visit)
5/15 12:27 - 2:25 (1:08-1:47)
5/16 12:05 - 1:40 (12:35-1:19)
5/20 12:27 - 2:04 (12:55-1:34)
5/27 11:56 - 1:31 (12:23-1:05)
5/28 11:50 - 12:53 (12:05-12:44)
5/28 3:26 - 4:53 (second visit)
5/29 11:42 - 1:43 (12:20-1:00)

6/10/03 12:13 - 1:19 (12:33-1:12)
6/17 12:29 - 1:41 (12:32-1:11)
6/18 12:16 - 1:42 (12:50-1:34)
6/22 3:32 - 4:49 (no briefing)
6/23 1:41 - 2:21 (no briefing)
6/25 12:16 - 1:01 (12:30-12:55)
6/26 11:32 - 12:35 (11:45-12:24)

7/1/03 11:25 - 1:42 (12:50-1:26)
7/2 11:50 - 1:20 (12:35-1:12)
7/3 3:04 - 4:16 (Condi Rice briefing, 3:40-4:10)
7/14 11:33 - 1:32 (Ari's goodbye party) (12:03-12:56)
7/15 12:15 (no exit) (12:38-1:23)
7/16 12:26 - 2:05 (12:50-1:20)
7/17 4:43 - 6:13 (12:36-1:17 -- doesn't match)
7/22 12:23 - 1:53 (12:58-1:35)
7/23 12:21 - 2:23 (1:17-2:07)
7/25 2:08 - 3:30 (2:39-3:15)
7/27 3:08 - 5:24 (no briefing)
7/28 12:53 - 2:04 (briefing 10:12-10:23 -- doesn't match)
7/30 12:13 - 12:45 (no briefing) (Bush press conference earlier than that)

8/1/03 12:18 (no exit) (12:24-12:54)
8/1 12:39 - 1:20 (two sets of times if put together seem to match the briefing)

9/2/03 12:37 (A4 HC Entry Lane, no exit) (12:42-1:23)
9/3 12:10 - 1:18 (12:30-1:10)
9/10 12:17 - 1:32 (12:49-1:23)
9/16 12:23 - 1:59 (1:00-1:39)
9/17 12:12 - 1:55 (1:00-1:41)
9/22 1:54 - 3:06 (no briefing) (Bush meets with Iraqis, remarks end 4:35)
9/25 12:49 - 1:53 (12:48-1:35)
9/26 12:09 - 2:24 (12:36-1:15)
9/29 12:09 - 1:10 (12:18-1:03)

10/1/03 11:51 - 1:37 (12:44-1:30)
10/2 11:52 (no exit) (12:47-1:26)
10/6 12:58, 6:10 (no exit; checks in twice but doesn't check out)
10/7 12:46 - 2:03 (12:58-1:46)
10/8 12:10 - 1:27 (12:16-12:42)
10/14 12:22 (no exit) (12:40-1:14)
10/27 12:32 - 1:33 (12:39-1:15)
10/28 10:54 - 12:22 (Bush press conference 11:15-12:03)
10/29 12:20 - 1:08 (12:20-12:57)

11/6/03 12:09 - 1:09 (12:35-1:04)
11/12 12:09 - 1:58 (1:10-1:47)
11/14 12:54 - 2:07 (1:36-2:00)
11/21 5:25 - 6:49 (no briefing)
11/24 8:49 - 9:43 (no briefing)

12/2/03 2:08 - 3:29 (no briefing)
12/3 12:03 - 1:11 (12:32-1:06)
12/7 3:25 (no exit - entry via A4 HC Entry Lane) (no briefing)
12/9 12:33 - 1:45 (12:55-1:21)
12/10 12:05 - 1:23 (12:35-1:15)
12/12 11:51 - 1:35 (12:15-12:52)
12/15 10:45 - 12:42 (Bush press conference 11:15-12:03)
12/18 12:44 - 2:28 (2:05-2:43)
12/19 12:21 - 12:56 (B4 Entry Lane 2) (12:30-12:50)
12/19 1:36 - 2:13 (second visit)
12/22 12:15 - 1:23 (12:28-1:01)

1/14/04 12:30 - 1:33 (12:41-1:15)
1/16 12:08 - 12:48 (12:11-12:44)
1/23 11:52 - 1:12 (12:33-1:06)
1/28 11:53 - 1:26 (12:50-1:20)
1/30 12:30 - 1:23 (12:37-1:09)

2/2/04 12:32 - 1:35 (12:48-1:28)
2/3 12:44 - 1:55 (12:54-1:20)
2/4 11:50 - 1:38 (12:56-1:36)
2/6 11:58 - 1:44 (Bush announcement 1:32-37)
2/10 11:50 - 1:55 (12:53-1:38)
2/11 11:57 - 1:09 (12:30-1:02)
2/13 12:07 - 1:08 (12:30-1:02)
2/18 12:04 - 1:29 (12:36-1:08)
2/19 12:05 - 1:30 (12:37-1:14)
2/20 12:32 - 1:29 (12:33-1:03)
2/23 12:55 - 1:17 (12:43-1:10) (arrives late)
2/24 12:06 - 1:52 (1:00-1:36)
2/27 1:55 - 3:39 (2:18-2:48)

3/1/04 12:50 - 2:04 (1:20-2:00)
3/2 12:29 - 1:23 (12:46-1:14)
3/9 12:40 - 1:49 (1:03-1:37)
3/12 12:54 - 1:00 (unusually short) (no briefing)
3/16 12:43 - 1:52 (1:10-1:46)
3/17 12:18 - 1:56 (1:26-1:50)
3/22 12:03 - 2:10 (1:24-2:04)
3/23 12:03 - 1:34 (12:47-1:10)
3/24 12:17 - 2:03 (1:10-2:02)
3/30 exit only, 12:04 (no briefing)
3/30 4:22 - 4:55 (no briefing)

4/1/04 12:42 - 1:57 (1:25-1:53)
4/13 9:42 - 10:29 (no briefing) (Bush speaks to reporters on the WH lawn)
4/13 6:59 pm - 9:49 pm (Bush press conference)
4/16 10:51 - 3:08 (2:41-3:09) (Bush/Blair press conference)
4/21 12:14 - 1:00 (12:31-1:00)
4/27 12:10 (no exit, entry via A4 HC Entry Lane instead of Entry Lane 2) (12:27-12:59)
4/28 12:26 - 1:47 (1:20-1:47)
4/29 11:10 no exit (well before briefing) (Bush and Cheney testify to 9/11 commission)
4/29 2:15 - 2:57 (2:23-2:56)
4/30 1:24 - 2:47 (2:22-2:45)

5/5/04 12:02 - 2:25 (1:38-2:16) (arrives unusually early)
5/6 12:01 - 3:35 (12:20-12:54) (stays unusually late)
5/10 1:22 - 2:50 (2:02-2:33)
5/12 11:56 - 1:03 (12:34-12:55)
5/24 no entry, exit logged twice, 2:04:43 and 2:04:51 (1:14-1:46)
5/26 12:09 - 1:51 (1:15-1:51)
5/28 2:17 - no exit (3:02-3:34)

6/1/04 9:20 - 12:03 (Condi Rice briefing, 9:45)
6/3 9:02 - 10:32 (no briefing)
6/14 10:02 - 11:45 (no briefing)
6/15 11:03 - no exit (2:25-2:52) (there well before briefing)
6/15 5:19 - 6:38 (B4 Exit Lane instead of usual A4 Exit Reader) (after briefing)
(Bush and Karzai in Press Availability)
6/16 2:50 - 4:34 (no briefing)
6/17 11:57 - 1:25 (12:47-1:20)
6/21 9:27 - 10:03 (no briefing)
6/22 12:13 - 5:04 (unusually long) (Al Gonzales briefing, 3:12-4:55)
6/24 1:27 - 2:13 (Condi Rice briefing, 1:51-2:03)
6/30 12:21 - 1:55 (1:15-1:55)

7/1/04 12:22 - 1:36 (1:01-1:37)
7/2 9:43 - 11:53 (no briefing)
7/6 12:15 - 12:58 (12:33-12:48)
7/8 1:07 - 2:21 (1:53-2:22)
7/15 12:48 - 1:48 (12:54-1:23)
7/19 1:04 - 2:24 (1:52-2:22)
7/21 12:22 - 2:02 (1:10-1:40)
7/22 10:11 - 10:47 (no briefing)
7/29 6:03 - 6:21 (no briefing)

8/2/04 10:59 - 1:47 (1:02-1:39) (there 2 hours early)
8/9 12:07 - 1:03 (12:31-12:59)
8/17 11:06 - 12:31 (no briefing)
8/27 9:10 - 9:37 (no briefing)

9/10/04 11:19 - 12:55 (no briefing)
9/15 12:17 - 1:56 (1:11-1:45)
9/22 11:57 - 12:34 (no briefing)
9/23 11:19 - 1:14 (Bush press conference with Allawi)

11/2/04 1:31 - 2:20 (no briefing) (Election Day)
11/4 9:16 - 12:11 (Bush press conference 11:17-11:57)
11/8 11:50 - 1:08 (12:20-12:52)
11/10 12:35 - 12:58 (12:26-12:45) (arrives late)
11/12 10:57 -- no exit (Bush press conference with Blair)
11/16 12:26 - 1:51 (12:20-1:32) (arrives late)
11/17 12:07 - 2:14 (12:38-1:10)
11/29 12:23 - 1:49 (12:56-1:32)

12/6/04 12:37 - 1:59 (1:03-1:36)
12/8 12:07 - 1:41 (1:05-1:39)
12/10 12:32 - 1:51 (1:06-1:32)
12/13 12:18 - 1:36 (12:50-1:18)
12/14 12:46 - 1:53 (12:48-1:23)
12/17 12:16 - 1:48 (12:47-1:14)
12/20 10:05 - 11:49 (Bush press conference, 10:32-11:25)
12/21 12:00 - 2:04 (12:35-1:10)
12/22 12:04 - 1:08 (no briefing)
12/23 12:31 - 1:26 (no briefing)

1/18/05 12:05 - 1:36 (12:28-12:57)
1/19 12:26 - 1:38 (12:48-1:19)
1/25 12:19 - 1:04 (12:23-12:53)
1/26 9:54 - 10:56 (Bush press conference, 10:00-10:47)
1/31 12:27 - 1:24 (12:45-1:16)

2/1/05 12:11 no exit (12:18-12:47)
2/7 12:10 - 3:00 (1:45-1:06)

What's in a name?

The last time I checked, the White House was neither Hotel California nor the setting for Sartre's No Exit.

Had the name been
Monica, the mainstream media attention would have eclipsed the New Pope (not to be confused with New Coke), the DeLay/Abramhof (I have no idea how those junket charges showed up on a lobbyist's credit card!) shenanigans, and even the non-stop Florida face-painted fascist fundie performance (Cue the media microphones & roll cameras!) .

But the name was Jim Guckert/Jeff Gannon.

Nothing to see here.

Move along.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Justice Just Us Sunday

Who are they trying to fool with these Justice Sunday shenanigans?

Fascist fundies, in an attempt to paint ¾ of the country as Hellbound Heathens, will simulcast their idea of Must See TV tonight: Their rightwing grade school pageant rendition of The Mayberry Miracle of Mary's Offspring Wants More Fundie Judges On The Bench.

They're calling it "Justice Sunday," and they're exploiting your neighborhood churches for political gain. Their biggest gun, Senator Bill Frist (R- Cat Killer), will address the multitudes via the Boob Tube and issue a call to arms against the 200 year old tradition of the secular Senate filibuster.

Why now? And why Frist?

Frist is the rightwing poster boy for the God of Abraham's supposed desire to seat as many fascist fundie judges on the bench as humanly possible.

Never mind that Republicans have used the filibuster numerous times to block the Democrats. Never mind that our founding fathers fought and died for a secular democracy, which was designed to protect our right to worship as we see fit, without federal government interference. Never mind that most fascist fundies enjoy the same rights to privacy (in secret) that everyone else isn't too cowardly to admit. These "pillars" of fundie churches live like kings and Frat Boy pResidents, while scolding the faithful for their misguided belief in the American judicial system.

Iesus ben Joseph wasn't exactly a pillar of his childhood church, now was he? Sadly, he would probably be labeled a "radical cleric" by today's standards. Love, acceptance, rendering unto Caesar, yada yada yada...

What was the Lamb of God thinking? He'd never be accepted by the folks over at Focus On The Family. And what was the God of Abraham thinking when he didn't dictate Thou shalt not filibuster to his stone cutting (by trade) stenographer, Moses?

'Justice Sunday' Event Sparking Protests

Associated Press Writer

April 23, 2005, 12:50 AM EDT

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A church is hosting a political event Sunday to protest Democratic lawmakers' use of the filibuster to block President Bush's judiciary nominees, a moved that's prompted an outcry from Democrats and some religious leaders.

"Justice Sunday" at Highview Baptist Church, organized by the conservative Family Research Council, will feature a videotaped speech by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist rallying churchgoers to protest the filibuster tactic.

Other conservatives are scheduled to speak at the church, including R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, and James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family.

It is slated to be simulcast on Christian television and radio, and to churches across the country. LINK

If you honestly believe that ¼ of the population should control your life, there's nothing I can say or do to change your mind. All I can do is dangle my banjo over your personal railroad bridge (alluding to the Deliverance River Styx allusion) and hope you're prepared for the Dobsonite/ Fristian future you're creating: back to a future of silent oppression.

Back to the days of dying in childbirth (unless you're rich); Back to the days of bastard labels on birth certificates (unless you're rich); back to the days of the church controlling your entire life (unless you're rich).

The Puritans are smiling today-- except for that whole "Catholics are OK" thing-- while those who fought and died for your freedom are weeping.


Go forth and read my Blog Box column, Faith Fatigue. And reread The Age Of Reason. Your life just might depend on it.

I mean it, damn it!

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Hyde & Seek(ing Absolution)?

Henry Hyde (R-Hypocrisy Heights) is finally retiring.

Oh, Henry! is obviously feeling some guilt; otherwise, he wouldn't be voicing his second thoughts to a Chicago TV news interviewer, Andy Shaw...

In an ABC7 exclusive, the eloquent 81-year-old conservative from DuPage County said he has second thoughts about leading the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1998 on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice in connection to the Monica Lewinsky affair because the process led to the embarrassing disclosure of Hyde's own extramarital affair in the 1960s. Hyde referred to his affair as a "youthful indiscretion."

Henry Hyde, whose youthful indiscretion
included an extra-marital family, which Hyde
kept secret until Larry Flynnt found them.

"Would you do it again?" asked ABC7's political reporter Andy Shaw.

"That is a very good question. I'm not sure. I'm not sure. I might not," said Hyde.

The veteran republican is also admitting for the first time that the impeachment of Clinton may have been in part political revenge against the democrats for the impeachment proceedings against GOP President Richard Nixon 25 years earlier.

"Was this pay back?" asked Andy Shaw.

"I can't say it wasn't." LINK


After Bill Clinton was elected in 1992, Nixon took some glee from the scandals that began engulfing the new administration. Nixon was particularly glad to see that Hillary, who had been a staffer for the Watergate committee that sought Nixon's impeachment, was a key figure in the new scandals. LINK

Let's do the math...

Nixon broke the law. Period.

The Clinton impeachment fiasco was payback for exposing Nixon's criminal conduct.

$70 million worth of lies and payoffs to avenge a criminal administration.

And Hillary was the actual target.

Oh, by the way...

Hell called, Henry.
Your room is ready, you pathetic bastard.

Friday, April 22, 2005

It's The Crotch, Stupid!

Sometimes the caption is the funny part...

Chicago Cubs' Nomar Garciaparra lies on the ground after hitting into a third-inning double play against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, April 20, 2005, in St. Louis. Garciaparra took a few steps toward first base before falling to the ground. He was carried off the field. The nature of Garciaparra's injury was not immediately clear. (AP Photo/Kyle Ericson)


This Week's
Of The
Bell Curve


George W.'s Gal Pal
And (Hopefully)
Loose Lipped Pseudo-Linguist

Dr. Condoleezza
(Da, I'm running for President!)

Rice Announces Presidential Run by Mistake

AP Diplomatic Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- It was a long interview in Moscow, and maybe she was tired from her travels, but for just a moment Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice declared Wednesday that she would seek the U.S. presidency.

"One day you will run for president?" Rice was asked on Ekko Moskvy Radio.

"President, da, da," Rice readily replied.

That, as nearly everyone knows, even if they are not fluent in Russian as Rice is believed to be, means yes.

"Nyet, nyet, nyet, nyet," Rice quickly added, taking herself out of the race as fast as she'd gotten into it. LINK

OK. Here's the deal.

I have an MA in French and German (double major), along with undergrad Russian, grad level Italian, and HS Latin.

Da and Nyet answers demand that you understand the question posed. To understand the question posed, you have to know what the words in the question mean.

Most people can memorize enough words in a language to ask, "Where is the bathroom?" The problem is knowing enough vocabulary words to understand the answer to the question. Trust me. Your bladder will thank you for learning the words!

Condi says that the Russian language "is difficult."

Of course, it's difficult...
If you don't know what the words mean.

Let's face it. The world laughs at us Americans because of our national disdain for learning world languages. Sadly, most of our current ambassadors and envoys can't speak the native languages of the countries where they're supposedly representing US interests. They're BushCo Biz friends.

George W. can't even speak English. I'd bet an analysis of his language usage would demonstrate a basic 1500-3000 word vocabulary.

When Dr. Condoleezza Rice can't answer a simple future tense Da or Nyet question in her doctoral level language major, not only does she perpetuate the Stupid American image; she disgraces our entire higher education system, as well.

It's one thing to explain that you studied a language but don't claim to be proficient (or your skills are rusty). Most native speakers will applaud your attempt and forgive all errors.

It's quite another, however, to claim you're fluent in a language and proceed to humiliate the USA by botching the one word answer to a simple question.

I would prefer to believe that Condi answered the question correctly when she replied, "Da! Da!"

As frightening as that prospect may seem, at least it's not as embarrassing as the alternative.

Heavy sigh, either way.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

In The Eye Of The Beholder

My friend, Vinnie from Indy, has located the original Ann Coulter Time Magazine Cover photo!

Here's the original photo, before the touchup artist was called in...

There's something in my eye.

And it's definitely NOT beauty.

Don't Shoot The Messenger

When BushCo needs to fool the public on the state of the economy (or hint at future bad news-- which means that it's already hit the fan), they always trot out Alan Greenspan (Mr. Andrea Mitchell).

Remember, you can't shoot him; he's just the messenger.

Here's the Greenspan Report from two short months ago, on Feb. 16th...

Fed policymakers have a positive outlook for economic performance in 2005-2006

Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan delivered the Federal Reserve’s semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress on Feb. 16 (to the Senate) and Feb. 17 (to the House of Representatives). Greenspan painted an optimistic picture of the current condition of the economy as well as near-term prospects. In general, Greenspan talked about solid economic fundamentals, good economic growth, declining unemployment and modest increases in core measures of consumer prices.

The Fed’s report to the Congress also presented economic projections by monetary policymakers (Federal Reserve governors and Reserve Bank presidents) for the 2005-2006 period. The central tendencies of those projections show solid growth in real GDP, a gradually declining unemployment rate, and maintenance of core consumer price inflation below 2%. These projections, which can be interpreted as Federal Reserve intentions, are quite similar to NAHB’s forecasts for 2005-2006. One thing we don’t know, of course, is the monetary policy assumptions behind the Fed’s own projections.

Solid growth.

Declining unemployment.

Inflation below 2%.

Fast Forward to today's Greenspan Report...

"Under existing tax rates and reasonable assumptions about other spending ... projections make clear that the federal budget is on an unsustainable path, in which large deficits result in rising interest rates and ever-growing interest payments that augment deficits in future years," Greenspan told the Senate Budget Committee.

He said that while the U.S. economy was "doing well," the danger was that deficits would keep rising as a percentage of total national output.

"Unless that trend is reversed, at some point these deficits would cause the economy to stagnate or worse."


Do you believe for one minute that our economy went from solid growth to Danger, Will Robinson! level in 2 months?

Had BushCo ever told the truth about their plans for the economy, millions of trusting taxpayers might have made vastly different choices during the last 5 years.

Not the least bit funny, but that Unabomber Shack may become the new rage in real estate investment very soon. It might be the only type of house millions of people can afford.

Heavy sigh.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

New Pope Gift Idea
(Hurry! It's On Sale!)

What do you give someone who's celebrating the election of a new pope?

Pope Soap On A Rope

£5.00 £3.50
Europe/US Size Conversion

* Comedy Pope soap on a rope
* Conveniently hangs in the shower
* Will wash away the most stubborn sins

This Pope on a rope soap is guaranteed to cleanse even the grubbiest of souls! Hang it in the shower and let it wash your sins away, or it could make the perfect present for a particularly dirty individual - a brother perhaps?

Product Code: BGINO6087

Click here to order

Products marked with (+) are non-returnable for hygiene reasons.

Or you could opt for a nice prayer book.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Nuntio vobis gaudium
magnum, habemus Papam

Just remember...

John Paul II elevated all but 2 of the 115 Cardinals who elected his replacement today.

(Pope Benedict XVI)

RATZINGER, Joseph (1927-

Birth. April 16, 1927, Marktl, diocese of Passau, Germany. Besides his native German, he speaks English and Italian.

Education. Superior School of Philosophy, Freising; University of Münich, Münich (doctorate in theology).

Priesthood. Ordained, June 29, 1951, by Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber, archbishop of Münich und Freising. Further studies, 1951-1952. Faculty member, Superior School of Philosophy and Theology, Freising, 1952-1959; University of Bonn, 1959-1963; University of Münster, 1963-1969; University of Tübingen, 1966-1969; University of Ratisbon, 1969-1977; vice-president, University of Ratisbon, 1969-1977, expert, II Vatican Council, 1962-1965. Member, International Theological Commission, Vatican City, 1969-1977.

Episcopate. Elected archbishop of Münich und Freising, March 24, 1977. Consecrated, May 28, 1977, Münich, by Josef Stange, bishop of Würzburg.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of June 27, 1977; received the red biretta and the title of S. Maria Consolatrice al Tiburtino, June 27, 1977. Attended IV Ordinary Assembly of World Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 30-October 29, 1977. Participated in the conclave of August 25-26, 1978. Special papal envoy to 3rd National Marian Congress, Guayaquil, Ecuador, September 16-24, 1978. Participated in the conclave of October 14-16, 1978. Attended I Plenary Meeting of Sacred College of Cardinal, Vatican City, November 5-9, 1979; V Ordinary Assembly of World Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 26-October 25, 1980; relator general; member of general secretariat, 1980-1983. Prefect of S.C. for Doctrine of Faith, president of Pontifical Biblical Commission, and president of International Theological Commission, November 25, 1981. Resigned pastoral government of archdiocese, February 15, 1982. Attended VI Ordinary Assembly of World Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 29-October 28, 1983; president delegate; member of general secretariat, 1983-1986. Attended II Extraordinary Assembly of World Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, November 24-December 8, 1985; member of general secretariat until 1987. Attended VII Ordinary Assembly of World Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, October 1-30, 1987; member of general secretariat, 1987-1990. Attended VIII Ordinary Assembly of World Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 30-October 28, 1990; member of general secretariat, 1990-1994. Attended Special Assembly of World Synod of Bishops for Europe, Vatican City, November 28-December 14, 1991. Bishop of title of suburbicarian see of Velletri-Segni, April 5, 1993. Attended Special Assembly of World Synod of Bishops for Africa, Vatican City, April 10-May 8, 1994; IX Ordinary Assembly of World Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, October 2-29, 1994. Attended Special Assembly for America of World Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, November 16-December 12, 1997; Special Assembly for Asia of World Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, April 29-May 14, 1998. Vice-dean of College of Cardinals, November 9, 1998. Attended Special Assembly for Oceania of World Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, November 22-December 12, 1998. Special papal envoy to 12th centenary celebrations of creation of diocese of Paderborn, Germany, January 3, 1999. Attended II Special Assembly for Europe of World Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, October 1-23, 1999; X Ordinary Assembly of World Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, September 30-October 27, 2001. Special papal envoy to the jubilar celebrations in the diocese of Regensburg, Germany, October 6, 2002. Dean of the College of Cardinals and bishop of the title of the suburbicarian see of Ostia, added to Vellteri-Segni, November 30, 2002. Papal legate to the celebrations of the 750th anniversary of the canonization of St. Stanislaus, bishop and martyr, Kraków, Poland, May 11, 2003.

Bibliography. Allen, John L. Cardinal Ratzinger : the Vatican's enforcer of the faith. New York : Continuum, 2000; Ratzinger, Joseph. Milestones. Memoirs: 1927-1977. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1998.

By the way...

Tomorrow is Hitler's birthday.

White Smoke

The crowd has gathered in St. Peter's Square.

White smoke billows.

The bells are ringing.

Black Smoke (Day II)

(AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Is it my imagination, or does that look more like a concentration camp roof than the Vatican?

And what's the deal with the Custodians For Christ (aka the conclave) not being able to squirt a little oil in that damned stove to guarantee black smoke?

Yesterday, confused Catholics saw the initial puffs of white smoke and jockeyed for the perfect prayer position in St. Peter's Square in anticipation of being among the faithful first to see the new pope.

“"e bianco! e bianco!” “It’s white! It’s white!"”— rippled through the crowd. But the cries quickly gave way to sighs of disappointment as the smoke blackened. LINK

OK. So they had a little trouble getting the black smoke thing right on the first day.

Today, they surely got it right ...

"It wasn't clear. It looked white, then black, but I guess any amount of black means they have not chosen. It's disappointing," said Briton Justin Fox in the square. LINK

Time to Cop A Cardinal Clue...

Heavy sigh.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Black Smoke

(AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

The suspense is killing me.
I hope it lasts.

Willy Wonka

White Smoke Watch:
Papal Conclave, Day One

Ah, sweet mystery of divine inspiration!
Cardinals Seek Divine Inspiration for Conclave

By Philip Pullella and Crispian Balmer

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Roman Catholic cardinals held a solemn Mass praying for divine inspiration to help them pick a successor to Pope John Paul II at a secretive conclave starting later Monday.

The Mass in St. Peter's Basilica was led by 78-year-old German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Vatican's doctrinal chief who is seen by some as a leading candidate for the papal throne. "Above all at this time we pray ceaselessly to the Lord so that after the great gift of Pope John Paul II, he gives us another pastor after his own heart," the silver-haired Ratzinger said in his homily before a packed church. --snip--

In his homily, Ratzinger stressed that the new pope must not be distracted by modern trends but protect the heritage of the Roman Catholic faith.

Protect the heritage?


The GOLDEN SPIKE is an award given each year, by the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, for the best cartoon that was killed by an editor. The purpose of the prize is to shame timid editors who are afraid to run hard-hitting cartoons.

The 2002 GOLDEN SPIKE was awarded to Kirk Anderson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, whose cowardly editor refused to run the cartoon that is shown above. Congratulations to Kirk for a great killed cartoon!


The cardinals, who will deliberate under Michelangelo's masterpiece frescoes in the Sistine, will decide only after they are locked up whether to take a first vote Monday night or wait until Tuesday morning. --snip--

As in medieval times, the cardinals will be banned from communicating with the outside world, but the Vatican has taken new high-tech measures to ensure secrecy in the 21st century.

Mobile phones, newspapers, television, radio and the Internet will be banned. A false floor has been built in the chapel to accommodate electronic counter-bugging measures. LINK

So much for divine inspiration...

1. Shall we pretend that there aren't delivery guys, chamber maids, personal assistants, and caterers moving in and out of the Sistine Chapel and the cardinals' private quarters 24/7 during this papal conclave, who haven't already made lucrative deals with reporters?

2. Should we assume that the papabili (through the centuries) haven't already devised non-verbal methods of sending daily communications to their campaign camps outside the Vatican?

3. Does anyone honestly believe that a progressive cardinal-- or even a moderate-- will be elected to protect the heritage of the Holy Roman Church?

I suppose there's still hope that the church will do the right thing and elect a pope who will apologize for protecting its pedophile priests, but...

We all know the meaning of the code word,

Enter The Pope's Door,
And Ye Shall Be
Divinely Inspired!

... And ye shall then join me
in a solemn, heavy sigh.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Today's Sermon: Eureka!


What once was lost has now been found...

Or, at least, a way to read what was once considered to be lost forever!

Decoded at last: the 'classical holy grail' that may rewrite the history of the world

Scientists begin to unlock the secrets of papyrus scraps bearing long-lost words by the literary giants of Greece and Rome

By David Keys and Nicholas Pyke
17 April 2005

For more than a century, it has caused excitement and frustration in equal measure - a collection of Greek and Roman writings so vast it could redraw the map of classical civilisation. If only it was legible.

Now, in a breakthrough described as the classical equivalent of finding the holy grail, Oxford University scientists have employed infra-red technology to open up the hoard, known as the Oxyrhynchus Papyri, and with it the prospect that hundreds of lost Greek comedies, tragedies and epic poems will soon be revealed.

In the past four days alone, Oxford's classicists have used it to make a series of astonishing discoveries, including writing by Sophocles, Euripides, Hesiod and other literary giants of the ancient world, lost for millennia. They even believe they are likely to find lost Christian gospels, the originals of which were written around the time of the earliest books of the New Testament.

The original papyrus documents, discovered in an ancient rubbish dump in central Egypt, are often meaningless to the naked eye - decayed, worm-eaten and blackened by the passage of time. But scientists using the new photographic technique, developed from satellite imaging, are bringing the original writing back into view. Academics have hailed it as a development which could lead to a 20 per cent increase in the number of great Greek and Roman works in existence. Some are even predicting a "second Renaissance". Much, much more...

400,000 fragments of priceless texts tossed in a rubbish dump!

Among the works now legible:

Parts of a long-lost tragedy - the Epigonoi ("Progeny") by the 5th-century BC Greek playwright Sophocles

Part of a lost novel by the 2nd-century Greek writer Lucian

Unknown material by Euripides

Mythological poetry by the 1st-century BC Greek poet Parthenios

Work by the 7th-century BC poet Hesiod

An epic poem by Archilochos, a 7th-century successor of Homer, describing events leading up to the Trojan War

Additional material from Hesiod, Euripides and Sophocles

Why am I so excited about this discovery?

One man's Last Supper Cup is another's Decoded Papyrus Scrap.

And, in the end, isn't it all about illumination?


Go forth and ponder...

And celebrate the scientific advances which made this discovery possible.

I mean it, damn it!

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Separation Of Church And Pharmacy

Courtesy of The Illustrated daily Scribble

Angry yet?

Fasten your Margo Channing seatbelts...

Bad Medicine: Prescription For Theocracy?

Who should decide what religious doctrines you obey? You or your pharmacist? In a move that troubles many civil liberties advocates, some pharmacists across the nation are refusing to fill certain prescriptions, claiming a First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion. --snip--

The Religious Right's First Amendment claims have produced a raft of state bills, some of which have been enacted. Illinois, for example, has a law that allows health care professionals to refuse any medical procedure they find morally repugnant. Some observers say the statute would allow a fundamentalist nurse who believes AIDS is God's punishment for gays to refuse treatment for AIDS patients. At least nine other states are contemplating laws similar to the one in Illinois.

According to a study by the American Bar Association, exemption laws for pharmacists and other medical professionals have resulted in several troubling incidents. Cancer patients, pregnant patients, patients near death and rape victims have all been harmed by such practices.

Religious Right lobbyists have been overreaching for many years now. And they are emboldened by the 2004 elections and the media-hyped conventional wisdom that evangelicals played a major role in the election of social conservatives. But like the whole of the Bill of Rights, the free exercise clause of the First Amendment is not absolute. The First Amendment strongly protects religious beliefs. But federal courts have ruled on a number of occasions that religious expression that can cause physical harm to others must be restricted. LINK

Frankly, I don't give a Rhett Butler sized damn what my local pharmacist believes or doesn't believe. However...

If s/he wants my greenbacks, s/he'd better by damn treat all customers with the respect and dignity they deserve.

Your homework, dear readers, is to ask your local pharmacist to hang a sign on the door, informing customers of his/her willingness to (or Bible-based decision not to) uphold the law of the land and sell birth control pills along with the Viagra, the Ephedra, and the lottery tickets.

Now pop some corn and enjoy what's left of your Saturday night.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Forget Soylent Green!

Yeah, everyone is smiling today...

Whale-Dolphin Hybrid Has Baby Wholphin
By JEANNETTE J. LEE, Associated Press Writer

Friday, April 15, 2005
(04-15) 04:50 PDT HONOLULU, (AP) --

Baby Wholphin has two mommies.

The only whale-dolphin mix in captivity has given birth to a playful female calf, officials at Sea Life Park Hawaii said Thursday.

The calf was born on Dec. 23 to Kekaimalu, a mix of a false killer whale and an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin. Park officials said they waited to announce the birth until now because of recent changes in ownership and operations at the park.

The young as-yet unnamed wholphin is one-fourth false killer whale and three-fourths Atlantic bottlenose dolphin. Her slick skin is an even blend of a dolphin's light gray and the black coloring of a false killer whale.

The calf still depends fully on her mother's milk, but sometimes snatches frozen capelin from the hands of trainers, then toys with the sardine-like fish.

She is jumbo-sized compared to purebred dolphins, and is already the size of a one-year-old bottlenose. LINK



Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

I'm sure there's a team of eager McMarketers already hard at work!

Introducing The McWholphin!

(Cue the token Rappers!)

Two all-Wholphin Patties, Special Sauce, Lettuce, Cheese, Pickles, Onions On A Sesame Seed Bun!

It is, after all, the Mclogical McAmerican thing to do in situations like this!

Science Schmience!

Weirdos have been trying to figure out how to get around that "Let's not eat intelligent mammals" thing for decades.


They're bigger than tuna, and they're easier to catch.

And McMarketers know that McPeople will eat McAnything...

If it comes with a special sauce.

Heavy, heavy sigh.

This Week's
Of The
Bell Curve


Champion Of Yellow Journalism

Rupert (Blog Hater) Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch
Don't cry, Rupie!
Just go away!

We ignore internet at our peril,
Murdoch warns editors

Chris Tryhorn, City correspondent

Murdoch: internet is 'emerging medium that is not my native language'

Rupert Murdoch has admitted he "didn't do as much as [he] should have" to confront the digital challenges faced by his newspaper business, which owns the Sun, Times and News of the World in the UK as well as titles in the US and Australia.

In a speech to American editors in Washington, Mr Murdoch issued a stark warning to the industry, arguing that the web was "a fast-developing reality we should grasp".

He said consumers wanted "control over the media, instead of being controlled by it", pointing to the proliferation of website diaries known as "blogs" and message boards.

He goes on to note that his newspapers are losing out to the net: The migration of readers online was also affecting advertising revenues, Mr Murdoch said. "The threat of losing print advertising dollars to online media is very real. In fact, it's already happening, particularly in classifieds." LINK


The man who currently brings you The Simple Life, Stacked, American Idol, Nanny 911, The OC, and Cops-- along with his truly weird definition of a "News" Network-- now wants to grasp the the fast-developing reality of the web?

I'm sure King George III's men also wanted to grasp the fast-developing reality of the portable printing press in the 18th Century, too.

The passion of Revolutionary literature is found in pamphlets, the most popular form of political literature of the day. Over 2,000 pamphlets were published during the Revolution. The pamphlets thrilled patriots and threatened loyalists; they filled the role of drama, as they were often read aloud in public to excite audiences. American soldiers read them aloud in their camps; British Loyalists threw them into public bonfires.

Thomas Paine's pamphlet Common Sense sold over 100,000 copies in the first three months of its publication. It is still rousing today. "The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind," Paine wrote, voicing the idea of American exceptionalism still strong in the United States -- that in some fundamental sense, since America is a democratic experiment and a country theoretically open to all immigrants, the fate of America foreshadows the fate of humanity at large. LINK


It was in this form -- as pamphlets -- that much of the most important and characteristics writing of the American Revolution appeared. For the Revolutionary generation, as for its predecessors back to the early sixteenth century, the pamphlet had peculiar virtues as a medium of communication. Then, as now, it was seen that the pamphlet allowed one to do things that were not possible in any other form.

The pamphlets include all sorts of writings -- treatises on political theory, essays on history, political arguments, sermons, correspondence, poems -- and they display all sorts of literary devices. But for all their variety they have in common one distinctive characteristic: they are, to an unusual degree, explanatory. They reveal not merely positions taken but the reasons why positions were taken.

One of the surprising aspects of the American writings is the extent to which they include the stylistic modes associated with the great age of English pamphleteering. Of satire...irony...parody...sarcasm.
Bernard Bailyn, 1967
The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution

The pamphlet is a one-man show. One has complete freedom of expression, including, if one chooses, the freedom to be scurrilous, abusive, and seditious; or, on the other hand, to be more detailed, serious and "high-brow" than is ever possible in a newspaper or in most kinds of periodicals.
George Orwell, 1948
British Pamphleteers
Bloggers, today's pamphleteers, could, I suppose, go completely underground if the Rupert Murdochs of this world force the issue.

As I type this blog entry, I know that my personal IP address can be found easily by today's internet-savvy Red Coats...

Which could, in a truly dystopic world, bring a
Marat knock at my door.

I could, however, establish multiple false web identities and post from numerous public library branches and Internet cafés...

As if what I post on this blog could possibly threaten Rupert Murdoch's publishing empire!

What a crock!

Rupert is just another fascist Cry Baby!

Like his Republican political allies, He has more wealth and power than most can only dream of.

Yet he whines and cries when he imagines a threat to his ability to squeeze the last dime out of the masses.

How sad it must be to have everything...

And yet nothing.