Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Hallowe'en From Toonville!

There are lots of ghosties,
ghoulies, and long-leggedy beasties
in this year's Hallowe'en toons.


Time out for reality...

Maria Shriver is just plain scary! Now, back to the toons...

And my personal favorite...

Happy Hallowe'en!

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

BushCo's Consumer Safety Head: "We Don't Want More $$$ Or More Power"

Does this woman snack on lead toys?

Is carbon monoxide her recreational drug of choice?

Why else would she reject the senate's offer to strengthen her agency's ability to protect us all?

Here's the current state of the US Consumer Safety Commission:

The agency has suffered from a steady decline in its budget and staffing in recent years. Its staff numbers about 420, about half its size in the 1980s. It has only one full-time employee to test toys. And 15 inspectors are assigned to police all imports of consumer products under the agency’s supervision, a marketplace that last year was valued at $614 billion.

So what's Ms. Nord complaining about?

On the eve of an important Senate committee meeting to consider the legislation, Nancy A. Nord, the acting chairwoman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, has asked lawmakers in two letters not to approve the bulk of legislation that would increase the agency’s authority, double its budget and sharply increase its dwindling staff.

Ms. Nord opposes provisions that would increase the maximum penalties for safety violations and make it easier for the government to make public reports of faulty products, protect industry whistle-blowers and prosecute executives of companies that willfully violate laws.

How pathetic can this woman's loyalty to BushCo be?

I'm glad you asked.

She was critical, for instance, of a provision to ban lead from all toys, saying it was not practical.


She also criticized a provision that would give state prosecutors the authority to enforce the federal consumer safety laws.

Ms. Nord wants you to shut up about safety and quit your whining about lead-laced toys, cardboard in cereal chunks and the tiny fines corporations gladly pay to protect business as usual.

Of course, Nord would ask, "Ya got a problem with that, wusses?"

Just another craptastic day in Bushville.

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Monday, October 29, 2007

Our New & Improved Clockwork Orange: "Amigo Shopping"

That's what teenage attackers call it when they (a) identify their lone targets as looking like "illegals" who won't call the police, (b) beat them severely for their pocket money, and (c) video tape the attacks for future entertainment and back slapping.

Robbers Stalk Hispanic Immigrants, Seeing Ideal Prey

By Ernesto Londoño and Theresa Vargas

By the time they set upon Victor Hernandez, knocking him to the pavement and kicking him furiously, the teenagers were deep into a weeks-long spree of robbing Hispanic immigrants.

They coined a term for the assaults, one that reflected the uniformity of the victims they selected: "amigo shopping." The teenagers recorded some of the attacks with a cellphone camera, saving one of the videos under the file name "amigo," a source familiar with the case said.

Victor Hernandez, 59, of Rockville was a robbery victim on Aug. 23. Hernandez, originally from Honduras, was robbed by a group of juveniles who targeted Latinos.

Hernandez, a dishwasher in Montgomery County, was an ideal target that August night in a type of robbery that law enforcement officials say has become alarmingly common in parts of the Washington region. Hispanic immigrants are being targeted, often in gratuitously violent attacks by non-Hispanics, because they are thought to carry cash rather than use banks and to be reluctant to report crimes to police, the officials said.

Gratuitously violent attacks by non-Hispanics... Alarmingly common... Reluctant to report crimes...

The attacks are occurring with such frequency that police in Prince William County have created a task force, and Montgomery police have assigned a specialized unit to tackle the problem. The crimes are having profound effects in the neighborhoods where they occur, causing some residents to alter their routines.

This is what happens when you pass those stupid "We Hate Brown People" laws: your kids think those brown people are fair game.

The saddest part...

Hernandez, 59, a legal immigrant from Honduras who works at two restaurants on Rockville Pike, was attacked within blocks of his home shortly after midnight Aug. 23. The teenagers approached and asked him for money. He said he had none and kept walking.

"They ganged up on me, throwing punches," he said in an interview.

Curled up on the ground, Hernandez was kicked repeatedly in the face and lost consciousness. The teenagers made off with about $160, but detectives recovered a prized possession, his work authorization document, which they delivered to him in his hospital room.


Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Today's Sermon: "The Art Of The Hissy Fit"

Pass this one around:

The Art of the Hissy Fit

By Digby , Posted October 25, 2007.

Unlike the Democrats, Republicans have mastered the art of throwing hissy fits as a political tool to control political dialogue.

I first noticed the right's successful use of phony sanctimony and faux outrage back in the 90's when well-known conservative players like Gingrich and Livingston pretended to be offended at the president's extramarital affair and were repeatedly and tiresomely "upset" about fund-raising practices they all practiced themselves. The idea of these powerful and corrupt adulterers being personally upset by White House coffees and naughty sexual behavior was laughable.

But they did it, oh how they did it, and it often succeeded in changing the dialogue and titillating the media into a frenzy of breathless tabloid coverage.

In fact, they became so good at the tactic that they now rely on it as their first choice to control the political dialogue when it becomes uncomfortable and put the Democrats on the defensive whenever they are winning the day. Perhaps the best example during the Bush years would be the completely cynical and over-the-top reaction to Senator Paul Wellstone's memorial rally in 2002 in the last couple of weeks leading up to the election.

With the exception of the bizarre Jesse Ventura, those in attendance, including the Republicans, were non-plussed by the nature of the event at the time. It was not, as the chatterers insisted, a funeral, but rather more like an Irish wake for Wellstone supporters -- a celebration of Wellstone's life, which included, naturally, politics. (He died campaigning, after all.) But Vin Weber, one of the Republican party's most sophisticated operatives, immediately saw the opportunity for a faux outrage fest that was more successful than even he could have ever dreamed.

By the time they were through, the Democrats were prostrating themselves at the feet of anyone who would listen, begging for forgiveness for something they didn't do, just to stop the shrieking. The Republicans could barely keep the smirks off their faces as they sternly lectured the Democrats on how to properly honor the dead -- the same Republicans who had relentlessly tortured poor Vince Foster's family for years.

It's an excellent technique and one they continue to employ with great success, most recently with the entirely fake Move-On and Pete Stark "controversies." (The Democrats try their own versions but rarely achieve the kind of full blown hissy fit the Republicans can conjure with a mere blast fax to Drudge and their talk radio minions.)

But it's about more than simple political distraction or savvy public relations. It's actually a very well developed form of social control called Ritual Defamation (or Ritual Humiliation) as this well trafficked internet article defines it:

Defamation is the destruction or attempted destruction of the reputation, status, character or standing in the community of a person or group of persons by unfair, wrongful, or malicious speech or publication. For the purposes of this essay, the central element is defamation in retaliation for the real or imagined attitudes, opinions or beliefs of the victim, with the intention of silencing or neutralizing his or her influence, and/or making an example of them so as to discourage similar independence and "insensitivity" or non-observance of taboos. It is different in nature and degree from simple criticism or disagreement in that it is aggressive, organized and skillfully applied, often by an organization or representative of a special interest group, and in that it consists of several characteristic elements.

The article goes on to lay out several defining characteristics of ritual defamation such as "the method of attack in a ritual defamation is to assail the character of the victim, and never to offer more than a perfunctory challenge to the particular attitudes, opinions or beliefs expressed or implied. Character assassination is its primary tool." Perhaps its most intriguing insight is this:

The power of ritual defamation lies entirely in its capacity to intimidate and terrorize. It embraces some elements of primitive superstitious belief, as in a "curse" or "hex." It plays into the subconscious fear most people have of being abandoned or rejected by the tribe or by society and being cut off from social and psychological support systems.

In a political context this translates to a fear by liberal politicians that they will be rejected by the American people -- and a subconscious dulling of passion and inspiration in the mistaken belief that they can spare themselves further humiliation if only they control their rhetoric. The social order these fearsome conservative rituals pretend to "protect," however, are not those of the nation at large, but rather the conservative political establishment which is perhaps best exemplified by this famous article about how Washington perceived the Lewinsky scandal. The "scandal" is moved into the national conversation through the political media which has its own uses for such entertaining spectacles and expends a great deal of energy promoting these shaming exercises for commercial purposes.

The political cost to progressives and liberals for their inability to properly deal with this tactic is greater than they realize. Just as Newt Gingrich was not truly offended by Bill Clinton's behavior (which mirrored his own) neither were conservative congressmen and Rush Limbaugh truly upset by the Move On ad -- and everyone knew it, which was the point. It is a potent demonstration of pure power to force others to insincerely condemn or apologize for something, particularly when the person who is forcing it is also insincerely outraged. For a political party that suffers from a reputation for weakness, it is extremely damaging to be so publicly cowed over and over again. It separates them from their most ardent supporters and makes them appear guilty and unprincipled to the public at large.

Ritual defamation and humiliation are designed to make the group feel contempt for the victim and over time it's extremely hard to resist feeling it when the victims fail to stand up for themselves.

There is the possibility that the Republicans will overplay this particular gambit. Their exposure over the past few years for incompetence, immorality and corruption, both personal and institutional, makes them extremely imperfect messengers for sanctimony, faux or otherwise. But they are still effectively wielding the flag, (or at least the Democratic congress is allowing them to) and until liberals and progressives find a way to thwart this successful tactic, it will continue. At this point the conservatives have little else.

What do you suppose today's enforcers of proper decorum would say to this?

Americans too often teach their children to despise those who hold unpopular opinions. We teach them to regard as traitors, and hold in aversion and contempt, such as do not shout with the crowd, and so here in our democracy we are cheering a thing which of all things is most foreign to it and out of place - the delivery of our political conscience into somebody else's keeping. This is patriotism on the Russian plan. -- Mark Twain

Thus endeth today's sermon.

Go forth today and consider the term "ritual defamation."

And know full well that once a Democrat is elected president, the press will suddenly start "speaking truth to power" again. That is, the press will attack constantly because Democrats have historically played the "underdog-as-victim" characters in this American drama we call politics.

Here's hoping Dems will learn a few things from being brutally victimized so often and so effectively:

1. Republicans have NO MORAL AUTHORITY pot to piss in, and they never had one to begin with

2. Any reporter who enables and/or encourages ritual defamation is aiding and abetting "personal terrorism" and needs to be treated as such

3. The American people want victims to triumph (and kick the shit out of bullies): Bill Clinton triumphed over the relentless rightwing attack machine merely because everyone knew he was capable of beating the holy hell out of any one (or all) of them in an alley. Consequently, we all felt safer knowing Clinton was in our corner.

Think about it, Dems.

I mean it, damn it!

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Saturday, October 27, 2007

FEMA: "We're Truly Sorry... That We Got Caught"

Add to that headline: "And we'll be more careful (not to get caught) next time!"

Ahem. Did FEMA think no one would notice that they held a press conference sans the press?

US agency apologizes for news conference on fires

WASHINGTON, Oct 26 (Reuters) - The U.S. government's main disaster-response agency apologized on Friday for having its employees pose as reporters in a hastily called news conference on California's wildfires that no news organizations attended.

This time they can't blame Heckuvajob Brownie, either.

No actual reporter attended the news conference in person, agency spokesman Aaron Walker said.

Questions included this zinger: "Are you happy with FEMA's response so far?"

And check out White House spokesmodel Dana Perino's idiotic handling of an actual reporter's question during yesterday's briefing:

Q Will anybody be reprimanded?

MS. PERINO: You'll have to ask FEMA.

By the way, the answer to the question (Q Who's responsible?) is...

Michael "Lapse of Judgment" Chertoff.

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Numbers Guy Returns!

From Salon:

Number of the Day

41: Percentage of Americans who, when asked to name a Republican running for president, couldn't.

Eighty-one percent of Americans polled by the Pew Research Center could name at least one Democrat running for president. And if you need one more sign that the Republicans are just a little obsessed with Hillary Clinton, here you go: When asked to name a Democratic candidate, 78 percent of Republicans named Clinton, but only 57 percent of Republicans could name their own front-runner, Rudy Giuliani.

Overall, 62 percent of Americans could volunteer the name of Barack Obama. Twenty-eight percent remembered that John Edwards is running, but no other Democrat cracked the double-digit barrier.

Asked to name any GOP candidates in the race, 45 percent of Americans named Giuliani; 30 percent said Mitt Romney; 27 percent I.D.'d Fred Thompson; and 24 percent mentioned John McCain. Only eight percent of Americans volunteered the name of Mike Huckabee. Seven percent did the same for Ron Paul.
Will those not paying attention today (namely, Republicans) wake up on election day and wonder why their party's candidate is so weak? Remember this guy?

Do the math.

Do I care if Republicans are ignoring their candidates?

Let's see...

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Thursday, October 25, 2007

What Does God Need With A Baseball Team?

Seriously, what's up with this?

...the Rockies received a $161 million subsidy from Colorado taxpayers to build Coors Field, which opened in 1995. It’s doubtful those taxpayers knew they were supporting a private organization whose membership would be restricted to Christian extremists.

Or with this?

San Francisco Giants first baseman-outfielder Mark Sweeney, who spent 2003 and 2004 with the Rockies, said, "You wonder if some people are going along with it just to keep their jobs. Look, I pray every day. I have faith. It's always been part of my life. But I don't want something forced on me. Do they really have to check to see whether I have a Playboy in my locker?"

Alas, it must be attitudes like Sweeney's that caused God to abandon the team last night. Maybe, just maybe, if they pray hard enough, they can win one for the Jahweh- ster before The World Series ends.

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Count The Smiling Women

From The New York Times:

Maybe Laura is smiling for both of them.

We'll never know.

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hurry! Before Somebody Shuts It Down!

Sorry, the video only works with TypePad, and won't allow the code. Here's the link.

It has a beat.

You can dance to it.

I'd give it a 95, Dick!

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Monday, October 22, 2007

Couric Proves She's CBS' FOXiest Interviewer

Riddle me this: Why are there 2 versions of Katie Couric's Wilson-Plame interview?

There's this one, which aired last night on 60 Minutes and this one containing Plame's references to her work thwarting Iran's nuclear research progress.

Hm. Why would CBS relegate the explosive Iran section to its website only?

If you have to ask, you've learned nothing from the FOX "News" model.

In case you've forgotten how manipulative FOX "News" is...

Get it?

Got it?


Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Images In The Flames: Miracle?
Or Consigned To The Flames Of Woe?

Some people see images
in flames.

And in clouds.

Some people even see them
in mashed potatoes.

Look carefully at this pope-in-the-flames photo.

The image is said by many to be that of the late Holy Father with his right hand raised in a blessing.

It appeared during a commemoration ceremony to mark his death.

Details of the figure in the flames have appeared on the Vatican News Service - a TV station which specialises in religious news broadcasts.

If this is a true sign of a miracle, wouldn't the image last longer than a single frame?

Look again: The flaming pope image depicts a figure stooped over, not sitting in a car waving to the faithful. It looks more like this...

Thus endeth today's sermon.

Go forth today and ponder:

If the pope is still stooped over...

and ON FIRE...

Does a pope's afterlife still seem like such a good deal to you?

And... if the image looked like Elvis, would it still be considered a miracle?

Or would the faithful assume that The King had been consigned to the flames of woe?

Pass the marshmallows and think about it.

I mean it, damn it!

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Friday, October 19, 2007

Hershey's Kiss Of Death Decision Bites Milton's Company In The Ass

Why is this Hershey's kiss suicidal?

Here's the "official" story...

Hershey Profit Falls 66% as Costs Increase

Hershey on Thursday posted a 66 percent drop in quarterly profit
, hit by higher costs for ingredients such as milk, restructuring charges and falling sales amid aggressive competition from Mars.

Hershey shares were down about 4 percent Thursday, as earnings from operations were below analysts' estimates and the company also said 2008 will continue to be challenging.


Sales were hurt by tighter credit conditions for distributors and slower-than-anticipated improvement in convenience store sales, the company said.


Remember this from May?

Archer Daniels Midlands, Nestle’s and Hershey’s are lobbying under the cover name of the The Chocolate Manufacturers Association and The Grocery Manufacturers Association are trying to get the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Department of Agriculture to change definitions and standards of all food products, INCLUDING CHOCOLATE.

To be called Chocolate in today’s food and candy market in the USA the manufacturer MUST use Coco-butter sometimes called Coco Fat, or Cocoa into the product. The more of this put into a chocolate bar, like the Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Bar, (which is 60% Coco Fat,) the richer the flavor. Yes it is expensive but in my opinion it’s worth it when I want a treat.

Now if the FDA goes along with the change the definition of Chocolate (and other foods,) this will allow manufacturers to substitute things like vegetable fat in place of Coco fat if they wish without telling us what is in it. Check out the FDA Appendix C where they stated the following, “use a vegetable fat in place of another vegetable fat named in the standard (e.g., cacao fat).” Oh hell no!

Ahem again.

In 2002 the Hershey Trust attempted to sell the company (but was stopped by public opinion). Currently they are downsizing, consolidating and outsourcing.

Sure, the Bush economy sucks, and everything (including milk) is more expensive; but millions of us are still buying "good" chocolate.

So, let's recap:

The Hershey Trust tried in vain to sell and has done everything possible to cut costs.

The company decided to embrace vegetable fat in place of cocoa butter. (Fortunately, they haven't replaced the cocoa butter yet.)

The Bush economy is further hindering Hershey's stockholder profits because everything costs more now.

How much profit is enough, Hershey's?

You made your fortune by riding piggyback on the American dream for a century.

And Halloween 2007 is less than two weeks away.

Every kid's dream is still the full-size Hershey bar on Halloween.

Stop the greed, Hershey's!

Enough is enough.

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Smackdown: H. L. Mencken v Michelle Malkin

Today's Malkin mess: Little Bethany, who suffers from serious heart problems, is a “new toddler-aged human shield" in the S-CHIP War. Malkin also implies that Bethany's parents "made a bad choice" by not aborting her because they "chose" jobs with no health insurance and then "chose" to have Bethany.

H. L. Mencken replies:

“The demagogue is one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots.”

H. L. Mencken

Thanks for that description of Michelle Malkin, H. L.!

Today, congress will attempt to override Bush's veto.

Sixty-one percent said Congress should override Bush's veto of a bill expanding the program, according to a CNN-Opinion Research Corp. poll released Wednesday.

Funny that Malkin has no problem with Bush getting free government healthcare for life. But she thinks little Bethany should just die and decrease the surplus population?

Mencken says:

“In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.”

H. L. Mencken

Stay tuned. Morally-bankrupt Malkin's probably not finished smearing toddlers.

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Asshattery Alert: Another "Non-Violent Ethnic Cleansing" Measure Passes In Virginia

Who wouldn't want to live in Crackerville, Virginia? Especially now that more and more Virginia counties are passing "non-violent ethnic cleansing" measures. What's not to love? Plenty of empty houses for sale. Lots and lots of white people with "traditional American values." What's everyone waiting for?

There are currently so many houses and condos for sale in Virginia (1921 in Manassas alone) that one can only imagine how desperate builders and individual sellers are right now.

So it's damned funny (as in weird) to see a handful of Crackers, namely some Republican candidates diverting attention away from their party's dismal record, rile up their fellow Crackers so much about "illegals" that they can't even see what's going to happen as a result.

Louden and Culpepper counties have already passed "No Services For You Brown People" measures, and now Prince William County joins them in this non-violent ethnic cleansing charade.

The measures approved yesterday improve cooperation with federal immigration authorities and direct police to check the immigration status of anyone accused of breaking the law if the officer suspects that person is an illegal immigrant. They also would deny certain county services to illegal immigrants, including drug counseling, some elderly services, and business licenses.

With the Nov. 6 election approaching and all of the supervisors up for reelection, the county's illegal-immigration policies have become a dominant campaign issue. Stewart (R) has pushed hard for the county's new measures to be approved before Election Day, angering fellow board members.

At least they didn't pass the "Let's Build Our Own Concentration Camp Illegal Immigrant Detention Center" measure. Probably too expensive.

Real estate blogger JC Manlapaz writes:

My two cents on this matter:

Anti-Illegal Immigration Law will definitely affect the future of Real Estate. Think about this for a minute. If the anti-illegal immigration law is passed by US government without provisions to protect the law abiding immigrants that pay their taxes, that respect and believe in the law and the Constitution, and that have invested in owning their dream homes, I think will have grave economic impact to the Real Estate Market. These people will either start selling their property and flood the market increasing the inventory or worst case scenario leave the country and stop paying their mortgage and property tax, which then could lead to more foreclosure. Thus, it may effect the current prices of homes in the future far more worst than are currently seeing now. I hate to be the pessimist but when reality bites, it may hurt.

Here's my opinion, JC:

There are scads of us legally-born pale-skinned Americans who choose not to live surrounded by bigots; hence, there's absolutely no incentive whatsoever for us to help Virginia solve its real estate crisis, even if sellers are practically giving their homes away.

And you have to wonder...

If the building boom were still in progress, would you even be hearing Crackers complaining about cheap labor?

And I'll bet people as white-skinned as I am don't get questioned about legal status in Crackerville. Ask any of the estimated 500,000 illegal Polish immigrants in Chicago.

'Tis a puzzlement, this weird, weird "illegal immigrant" debate.

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

You Can't Make This Stuff Up: 6-Year Old "Grafitti Menace" Cited

Meet Natalie Shea. Looks innocent, doesn't she? Well...

Brooklyn: A 6-year-old Park Slope girl is facing a $300 fine from the city for doing what city kids have been doing for decades: drawing a pretty picture with common sidewalk chalk.

Obviously not all of Natalie Shea’s 10th Street neighbors thought her blue chalk splotch was her best work — a neighbor called 311 to report the “graffiti,” and the Department of Sanitation quickly sent a standard letter to Natalie’s mom, Jen Pepperman.

Sorry, Kid. It's the law, you know.

Since when is a kid’s chalk drawing “graffiti”? Since the City Council passed local law 111 in 2005, which defined “graffiti” as “any letter, word, name, number, symbol, slogan, message, drawing, picture, writing … that is drawn, painted, chiseled, scratched, or etched on a commercial building or residential building.”

So some pesky neighbor decided to drop a dime on a 6-year old's chalk drawing?

“The report came in as ‘graffiti,’ and, as you know, the city is trying to crack down on graffiti on private property,” said agency spokeswoman Cathy Dawkins.

“It’s a standard warning letter,” added Dawkins. “The property owner has 45 days to remove it or ask the city to remove it. We’ll inspect after that, and if the graffiti is still there, the property owner has another 60 days before we’ll write a summons.”

For sidewalk chalk that would dissolve at the first rain? Dawkins said the law is on her agency’s side.

“The instrument used — whether it’s paint or chalk — does not matter,” she said.

Got that, kids?

No more Hopscotch.

No more Four-Square.

And don't even think about doing this someday...

Truly heavy sigh.

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Monday, October 15, 2007

The TSA Now Wants 72 Hours To "Verify" Your Ass

Heads up, business travelers, family-emergency fliers, and funeral attendees!

If you're not on the list, you don't get to fly:

Under new rules proposed by the Transport Security Administration (TSA) (pdf), all airline passengers would need advance permission before flying into, through, or over the United States regardless of citizenship or the airline’s national origin.

Currently, the Advanced Passenger Information System, operated by the Customs and Border Patrol, requires airlines to forward a list of passenger information no later than 15 minutes before flights from the US take off (international flights bound for the US have until 15 minutes after take-off). Planes are diverted if a passenger on board is on the no-fly list.

The new rules mean this information must be submitted 72 hours before departure. Only those given clearance will get a boarding pass. The TSA estimates that 90 to 93 per cent of all travel reservations are final by then.

The proposed rules require the following information for each passenger: full name, sex, date of birth, and redress number (assigned to passengers who use the Travel Redress Inquiry Program because they have been mistakenly placed on the no-fly list), and known traveller number (once there is a programme in place for registering known travellers whose backgrounds have been checked). Non-travellers entering secure areas, such as parents escorting children, will also need clearance.

The TSA held a public hearing in Washington DC on 20 September, which heard comments from both privacy advocates and airline industry representatives from Qantas, the Regional Airline Association, IATA, and the American Society of Travel Agents. The privacy advocates came from the American Civil Liberties Union and the Identity Project. All were negative.

The proposals should be withdrawn entirely, argued Edward Hasbrouck, author of The Practical Nomad and the leading expert on travel data privacy. “Obscured by the euphemistic language of ’screening’ is the fact that travellers would be required to get permission before they can travel.”


It just gets weirder and weirder, doesn't it?

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Today's Sermon: Honk If You See Jesus and/or Mary

I was going to address the Vatican's release of the Knights Templar documents, "misfiled" for 700 years. Right. Like I'm supposed to believe that one; however, when I came across these photos of actual Jesus and Mary sightings, I thought they deserved attention.

Christ on Shrimp Carcass...

Mary on the Bathroom Mirror...

Jesus of the Asparagus Fern Root...

Madonna of the Rock and Tree Branch...

Our Savior of the Dog Butt...

Thus endeth today's sermon.

Go forth today and watch out for sneaky saviors and holy virgins. Apparently, they like to mess with you.

Either that or their power is extremely limited by you know who.

Think about it.

I mean it, damn it!

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Congrats, Utah! You're The Last Red State!

And even Utah is turning a nice shade of pink...

Have a great day!

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--

Friday, October 12, 2007

Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Al Gore, Says...

I am deeply honored to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. This award is even more meaningful because I have the honor of sharing it with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change--the world's pre-eminent scientific body devoted to improving our understanding of the climate crisis--a group whose members have worked tirelessly and selflessly for many years. We face a true planetary emergency. The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity. It is also our greatest opportunity to lift global consciousness to a higher level.

My wife, Tipper, and I will donate 100 percent of the proceeds of the award to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a bipartisan non-profit organization that is devoted to changing public opinion in the U.S. and around the world about the urgency of solving the climate crisis.

Thank you,

Al Gore

What a man! What a man! What a mighty fine man!

Best bar bet in the world: Delilah didn't do it.
Judges 16:19--