s skippy the bush kangaroo: August 2002

skippy the bush kangaroo



Saturday, August 31, 2002

top 10 things you won't read anywhere

thanks to robot wisdom, here's project censored's 10 biggest under-reported stories of the year.
posted by skippy at 7:42 PM | 0 comments

who's no fun? - a skippy rant

guy cabot at my daddy's blog considers various discussions about the premise that the left is not having as much fun as the right.

hate to say it, but i was wondering the same thing. again, however, i think this is just another meme (see this post on memes). it seems like, in the media, there are very few progressives who actually laugh. in fact, i can only think of one blog right off hand, and modesty prevents me from metion my own name. (ok ok, al franken, too).

when did the right get better writers than the left? and are they really better? or are they only saying they're funny? sorry, but when ann coulter and rush limbaugh are considered supreme purveyors of parody and satire, i've got to look at my dictionary to make sure i'm not in bizarro land. i, who have made a living off of comedy for more than a decade, always thought the first facet of parody and satire was, to wit: it had to be funny.

limbaugh tells us that the things he says with a straight face, the things that his listeners take as true, gospel, and factual, are really just satire. and he says it with a straight face! he can't have it both ways. is global warming junk science, or is a punchline to a joke? and if so, what was the set up? where's the humor? why am i not laughing?

example: limbaugh rants, "as i said last week, congress passed a resolution right after september the 11th of 2001 authorizing the president to use force against whomever knocked down the twin towers or helped those who did so...this is brilliant, one-of-a-kind analysis. the democrats who fear a successful war and their willing accomplices in the press, don't want you to hear it."

is that funny? where's the rhythm, the nutty allusions, the mother-in-law reference? why is rush limbaugh considered a satirist? why am i even asking this question?

and ann coulter...ok, to be fair, i saw something on her website that made me chuckle: "9 out of 10 caribou support oil drilling." (come on, that's funny!) but her routines that get her into the headlines? aside from her exhibitionist need to show us her legs, i don't find her act to be particularly humorous. "my only regret with timothy mcveigh is he did not go to the new york times building." where's the set up? what's the punch? what's the twist? there's no actual comedy here. if she had finished with "to announce a gay commitment ceremony in the weddings section," now that's funny.

boy, the old days, the left had real comics, like the smothers brothers, mort sahl, lenny bruce. laugh-in. the original saturday night cast (ok, we count murray in this). guys (and gals) who knew a pie in the face from a rubber chicken. guys with timing, style, knowledge of a joke structure.

and most of all, guys with delivery. ann continually sounds like she's trying to talk her way out of ticket, and very indignant that she's failing. and rush? please. his portentous, self-important blather makes paul harvey sound like paul reiser.

oh, how, how, how has the right has claimed fun for their own? "hey, let's kill the liberals! get it? it's a joke!" "let's forcibly convert other people to our religion! that's hilarious!" oh yeah, we bet torquemada used the same line.

i even found a fellow progressive blogger apologizing to someone who left a conversative comment on his page: "sorry, we on the left aren't known for our sense of humor." what? who says? i was astounded! (and left a quick one, off the top of my head: "two funadmenalists walk into a bar...they close it down!" see, that's got rhythm, a set up, some tension, and then a punch. it's an actual joke. see how that works?)

the left has no humor? bs! we're the only ones who still know what comedy is! like every other meme the loyal opposition has to offer, the only proof they have, is that they keep saying it over and over and over again, until their audience actually believes is. "yes vouchers will save our school system, and sean hannity cracks me up."

don't think so. it takes more than saying you're funny to be funny. trust me on this one.
posted by skippy at 4:58 PM | 0 comments

blogging around

lisa english at ruminate this! has a fine analysis of bechtel's shenanigans that look like corporate extortion of a whole country.

kevin raybould at lean left talks about a badly planned and never-executed attack against the us embassy in sweden.

taegan goddard at political wire links us to plenty of stories heralding the beginning of the campaign season.

tapped shows us dr. limerick's complete ann coulter "slander" mistake list.

les dabney at testify! has bad news for real estate investors.

our favorite crankpot, maru, muses about cheney's war talk diverting halliburton questions on wtf is it now?

buzzflash links us to this story showing ashcroft's term 'person of interest,' for steven hatfill, "is found nowhere in the federal code of conduct that guides the department of justice. a department spokesman acknowledged that 'person of interest' is an unofficial term with no legal definition." and this article claiming hatfill's offer for blood test "will not prove or disprove his possible involvement in last year's deadly anthrax mailings, according to another lsu scientist with anthrax expertise...hatfill's offer last weekend to undergo FBI blood analysis 'signifies nothing'."


posted by skippy at 4:18 PM | 0 comments

ladies and gentlemen, we now present a blog editorial

you know, everybody that doesn't believe what i do are wrong. all those people who do, are right.

thank you. this has been a blog editorial.
posted by skippy at 4:02 PM | 0 comments

drudging

thanks to matt drudge for finding these:

us news: white house rejected cnn’s offer to view al qaeda training tape

thousands of protestorsmarch on earth summit.

mtv takes back award from michael jackson they never gave in the first place

public support for iraq diminishing

posted by skippy at 3:59 PM | 0 comments

that's what google is for

we love using the site's tracking feature to tell us how well blog is doing. our thanks to to all our readers who spend time with us, for whatever reason. but we especially want to thank the person that needed to find this sentence.
posted by skippy at 3:45 PM | 0 comments

hate for sale (at deeply discounted prices!)

thanks to a post found on our bud aaron hawk's blog uppity negro, we did a little research and found out that target stores are recalling clothing with an inadvertant (or was it?) aryan white supremacist logo imprinted boldy where everyone could see.

according to the san francisco chronicle, "clothing with white supremacist symbols at nationwide target stores was recalled after a davis [california] resident realized the symbols are a code among neo-nazis for 'heil hitler' and brought it to store officials' attention."

the symbol was the number '88,' which stands for the repetition of the 8th letter of the alphabet, ie, 'hh,' or, 'heil hitler.' you can read about that bizarre code here on the anti-hate web site, or, if your stomach is strong enough, google the words "88" "hh" "aryan" "hitler" and you will find a myriad of pages by the white resistance skinhead boys explaining this in (no pun intended) black and white.

the the real kick in the shorts (this pun is intended..read on carefully) is that the target customer who first discovered the problem was continually dismissed by target officials as he went further up the store chain of command with his complaint. the chronicle chronicles:

"joseph rodriguez, a video producer for the university of california, davis, was shocked when he found the printed symbols on a pair of red shorts at the elk grove target store in june, according to the sacramento bee." mr. rodriguez, who had recently seen a documentary on hate groups that explained the importance of "88" to aryan thought, "bought the shorts and took them to the store manager. but after being told the store just sells what is shipped, he took his complaint to target's corporate office, where he said he was 'blown off'."

he had to go to the the southern poverty law center in alabama (morris dees' organization) with his story. they posted the info on their website. according to the splc: "target’s response was disappointing. 'we recognize not all of our guests will agree with our decision to sell certain kinds of merchandise,' wrote a guest relations employee identified only as 'eileen.' 'however, we feel the final decision to purchase an item is always in the hands of individual guests'."

to be fair, target finally did make the right decision to pull the offensive, if carefully obscured, message of hate from their stores. it only took really really bad publicity from a nationally known organization to do it.

them racists is like cockroaches. once they gets in, it's hell getting them out!

addendum: here's the miami herald's, the cnn, and the usa today stories.
posted by skippy at 12:05 PM | 0 comments

thanks!

to atrios at eschaton for linking to our post about mitt romney's bad imitation of gray davis.
posted by skippy at 11:35 AM | 0 comments

Friday, August 30, 2002

skippy is international!!

we are thrilled to report that skippy is listed with the fabulous british newspaper, the guardian unlimited as one of their favorite blogs from outside their country (ok, technically, we didn't make the "favorite" category, although rebecca's pocket and tom tomorrow did. but we did manage to get into "other"!)

we think we'll take the lift down to get a lorry for a spot of tea and crumpets to celebrate, what?
posted by skippy at 6:15 PM | 0 comments

movie review - one hour photo

one of skippy's staff saw one hour photo recently. you can read his review about it on our sister blog skippy junior.

(warning, this review contains major spoilers, not only for one hour photo, but also the upcoming hannibal lecter film, red dragon).
posted by skippy at 6:10 PM | 0 comments

bluebird731 gets a bad mark for not mailing the check for my hanging chad collection

mr. bush's boyhood home is for sale on ebay.

the west texas house where president george herbert walker bush raised his boys, including dubya, is now for sale for $250,000. it is item # 1759497191.

"houston resident mackey ervin and his wife, ann, put the four-bedroom, three-bathroom midland home up for sale on ebay on aug. 17. it has been appraised at $103,500. the ervins decided to sell the home after ann ervin's mother, wilma haynes, moved out recently to be near children and grandchildren. haynes' late husband had bought the home from the bushes."

also on sale, a first edition of "fortunate son" by j.h. hatfield (hard cover). currently the bid, starting at $4.99, is at $5.00. as of this writing, there was a little over 9 days and 3 hours to get your bid in.

before bidding, you may want to read the feedback forum rules, and we quote (we swear we are not making this up, check the link yourself):

"for example: skippy (125) means that this member's user id is skippy and he/she has received positive feedback comments from at least 125 other ebay members."

we would expect no less.
posted by skippy at 5:06 PM | 0 comments

hasn't this guy ever heard the phrase "pick your battles"?

the atheist who would wanted to spend the american court's resources on changing the pledge of allegiance, has now decided to sue to get chaplains out of congressional sessions. oh yeah, this is a great use of the justice system.

the san francisco chronicle is reporting that "in a suit filed in u.s. district court here this week, [atheist michael] newdow said house and senate chaplain positions compromise a constitutional ban on government-sponsored religion and religious requirements for public servants. the suit names as defendants the congress and other administrators." we might call it a class-action suit, except it involves congress, which has no class whatsoever

apparently mr. newdow doesn't think there's any other problems with the government as pressing as letting some people say the word "dog" backwards. we at skippy thinks that this sort of suit, while constitutional, is unnecessary, distracting, and sets our side up for needless arguments with people of religious persuasion.

for one thing, if there is no god, it's not hurting anybody for congress to invoke his/her name, much like whistling past a graveyard. on the other hand, if there is a god, congress is certainly one place that could use the supreme being's help as much as it can get.

for the record, skippy believes in the supreme being. skippy also believes that god answers all prayers. usually, however, the answer is "no."
posted by skippy at 4:26 PM | 0 comments

as goes gray davis, so goes mitt romney

taking a page from the playbook of gray "attack ads against riordan to assure a bumbling opponent" davis, mitt "never even heard of utah" romney has taken out ads pummeling his main democratic opponent for governor of massachusettes.

the boston globe reports "in an unusual effort to shape the outcome of the opposing party's primary, mitt romney's media strategist has unleashed a series of ads attacking shannon o'brien, with the latest spot urging voters to back 'anyone but' the democratic front-runner."

although the ads are sponsored by the republican party of massachusettes, and romney's campaign has sought to distance itself from them, the globe states "because the spots were produced by his own media strategist, they carry at least the tacit approval of the republican gubernatorial nominee."

it's a sneaky, dirty, low-down, unethical trick. and it worked for the democrats in california. gov. gray davis spent an unprecedented $10 million dollars on ads during the opposing party's primary, to disparage former los angeles mayor richard riordan, a moderate (and presumably, someone with a brain in his head). the result? bill "hold on, i've still got more bullets and another foot left" simon has the republican nomination for candidate for that state's governor.

will it work for mr. romney? "immediately after he joined the race for governor in march," says the globe, romney told reporters: 'this is a campaign about positive issues, positive ideas, and not a campaign about looking for dirt'."

however, mitt, the only figure in national politics named after a baseball glove, apparently has changed his strategy: "the latest 60-second radio ad...bitingly criticizes o'brien's record as state treasurer and implies that she forces treasury employees' relatives to work for her campaign...[and] also refers to her leadership of the state pension fund, which lost $4.7 billion over the past two years, in part due to the plummeting value of stocks that included enron."

looks like mitt doesn't mind playing in the dirt.


posted by skippy at 4:16 PM | 0 comments

safe!

the gawking heads on cnn are making noises as if the baseball strike has been adverted.

at last, our long national nightmare is over.
posted by skippy at 9:10 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, August 29, 2002

one strike and you're out

looks like baseball's going on strike.

how much do we care?
posted by skippy at 11:38 PM | 0 comments

just for the record

arbitrary designations aside, the rittenhouse review is a super blog. really super. we mean it. if we were falling from a building we hope the rittenhouse review would fly in and save us from lex luthor, it's so super.
posted by skippy at 6:11 PM | 0 comments

the font-en head

we are experimenting with new fonts here at skippy (and we apologize for the weak ayn rand pun in the title of this piece. as groucho said in animal crackers, "they can't all be gems folks!)

let us know if you like this new size and type. leave a comment or send an email.
posted by skippy at 5:58 PM | 0 comments

fun with punditry

one of the more enjoyable games on the internet can be played with the alta vista babel fish translation page (fans of douglas adams know about the babelfish).

when we are feeling mischevious, we like to play with the words of a famous person, who shall remain nameless for purposes of this experiment. so, we go to this famous person's website (where we could not find the quote that she wished that tim mcveigh had targeted the new york times building), and we copy some of her words from one of her columns. we then paste it into the babelfish translation page, and translate it: first from english to french, then french to german, then german back to french, and finally, french back to english. and voila! (or mein gott! or whoopee!) the results:

The liberals carped also pointlessly with regard to the war in Afghanistan the last autumn. Your principal complaint was that we connect to lose. Under, of Chronist Maureen Dowd liberally have much vielem by others the spectrum of Vietnam rectified and Afghanistan called "quagmire the other." It said that Hinter Admiral John Stufflebeem "the end can be, to know that Afghanistan is a place sture and durable."

After we led later Taliban approximately during five minutes, Dowd what one calls, "the release of Afghanistan is a marvelous thing, natural." Naturally. And something that you said to us, could not make.

"naturally, we all do not agree" we mean liberal always agree however, totals under step of illusions with regard to the popularity which they really believe.


then we wonder: it really makes as much sense as before, doesn't it?
posted by skippy at 5:26 PM | 0 comments

weight a minute

our libertarian friend jane galt has been discussing the pro's and con's of the atkins diet. in fact, she is seriously considering going on the diet herself.

(an interesting side note: jane, heretofor, has not eaten meat for a while, which makes her a vegetarian libertarian. we wonder what would happen if we all had to have our dietary habits rhyme with our political bent? would you be an al gore carnivore, or a ralph nader tofu-hater? a buchanan bananan? or a dubya grubbier? it's not as easy as it looks).

we wish jane luck, and have no doubt she'll drop that 10 to 15 pounds in no time. but as to diets, skippy recommends the participation of your family physician for any extended and serious attempt to change your dietary intake. and to that end, we wondered what db's medrants had to say about it. and apparently, db says, it's simple: "weight control requires 2 things, eat less and exercise more."

we said simple. not easy. simple. (db also recommends reading these bullet points for some food for thought [ed. note: bad pun intentional] ).

several of the skippy staff has tried the atkins diet, and swear by it. but it takes real commitment, and time, and a cool head, as do most diets.

one other idea: maybe if we weren't all sitting in front of our stupid computers blogging all day long, we wouldn't get that large lard butt in the back. just a suggestion.
posted by skippy at 4:26 PM | 0 comments

a skippy koan

we always try to be non-partisan here at skippy. really, we try. in fact, skippy has always maintained that he would rather vote for an honest republican than a corrupt democrat.

but since "corrupt democrat" is a redundancy, it's a good thing that "honest republican" is an oxymoron.
posted by skippy at 3:54 PM | 0 comments

two publicists walk into a bar

latest update on the comedy wars being fought by jackie mason and palestinian-american comic ray hanania, first reported on in this space here.

now jackie is claiming that it wasn't he who canceled ray as his opening act, but the club, zanies, according to the chicago tribune: " 'it never involved me,' said mason, who is jewish, at a news conference at zanies...he added that remarks made by fledgling comedian ray hanania to the contrary were an 'out and out lie'."

the report goes on: "united arab american league president ali alarabi said he would huddle with lawyers about legal action against zanies for bumping hanania."

suing over getting bumped from a comedy show? why didn't skippy think of that in 80's! his career could have really taken off! and boy, that's sure one way to get club owners to hire you, that's for sure!

the whole fracas has generated plenty of publicity for both comics, none of it very flattering to either gentleman.

we are tending to agree with john kass, also writing in the chi-trib, who says "humor is supposed to make us laugh, so we can forget about the ugliness of the world. i don't want these two comics to solve the israeli-palestinian conflict. they'd only make it worse. we'd end up having to ask saddam hussein for help."

yesterday, we were of the opinion that ray had a pretty good case, if not legally, then at least morally and ethically, to be incensed and outraged against jackie and his manager. however, it has come to light that ray has only been doing stand up for less than 9 months.

now, we saw ray on curtis and kuby yesterday, and he made us laugh for the 5 minutes he was on. then, we read the transcripts of a donahue show which ray also was on (skip down past the fifth commercial break). we noticed he told the same jokes that he told on frick and frack, sorry, we mean, curtis and kuby. and we saw in mr. kass' piece: "hanania kept telling the same joke at his many media appearances: when he and his wife got married, 'we needed a un peacekeeping force to separate the jews and the arabs.' get the hook."

(to be fair, or at least, disparaging, to both sides, mr. kass stated that jackie was not funny in this whole mess, either).

and our point is, we thought about young comics of 9 months' experience. usually by then, they have a dynamite 5 minutes. but to be an opening act, especially for a major national comic like jackie mason (whom we don't find particularly funny, but grudgingly admit, is a major national comic), you have to have more than a dynamite 5 minutes. you need at least 15 solid minutes.

does mr. hanania have 15 minutes? we don't know. we are only saying, that cnn reported "zanie's general manager linda moses said hanania's inexperience contributed to the cancellation. she said hanania was replaced by a comic who has opened for mason several times in the past. 'it's just the fact that he is an unknown,' moses said. '(mason) is just not comfortable with having an unknown act. it's understandable'."

and, we can see the sense in that.

bottom line is, it's not such a big deal to get bumped from a club. it's happened to many of the staff at skippy. it's certainly nothing to sue over. and it's definately nothing to have dueling publicists over, either.

take this whole jackie mason-ray hanania fracas. please.




posted by skippy at 12:49 PM | 0 comments

breaking news

abc news is reporting that kennedy cousin michael skakel was sentenced today to 20 years to life in prison for the 1975 murder of 15-year-old martha moxley.

and in other important news, brandy elliot won two tickets to an elton john concert from a skatchewan radio contest by catching more than 38,000 grasshoppers.
posted by skippy at 10:38 AM | 0 comments

florida poll update

kathie k, our florida correspondent, writes:

"skippy, since you're interested in the florida election, this might make you smile."

it's a story from the florida times-union, quoting the results of a poll that shows bill mcbride in a statistical dead heat with janet reno for democratic nominee for governer. and, the same poll shows that jeb bush would garner less than 50% of the vote if mcbride were running against him, with mcbride getting 33%, and 21% undecided. that's a lot of undecided, we think. we're not sure. no, we're undecided.

kathie is doing a great job for us in florida, keeping us up to date on the latest from that state. but if we may borrow a page out of the daily kos' play book, we'd love it if our readers from around this great country of ours would send us emails with the latest in what's going on in their home state politics. you'll get a credit, and, best of all, our undying gratitude!
posted by skippy at 10:25 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

gotta go

american idol is on!
posted by skippy at 8:56 PM | 0 comments

blogging around

seeing the forest has some thoughts about daily howler's research into the anti-nea meme that has been making the rounds (beginning in the washington times, and commented on in this space when george will got a hold of it at the washington post). seems that little things like disclaimers ("please note: links to organizations and indidvuals (sic) that have a political perspective do not necessarily represent the position of the nea on any issues discussed" says the nea web page) have nothing to do with logic or the construction of a viable argument to these people.

both inkgrrl and devra at blue streak talk about the problems of having a mind-numbing job and being creative. (they should do what skippy does! stay unemployed and glued to his computer, blogging all day).

les over at testify goes into the specifics of oil as national security (and we do mean specifics. oh that we could be as meticulously erudite!)

susan at easy bake coven announced her new sister blog, susan jayne.

sciatica is linking us to the world's largest vending machine (will it eat my world's largest quarter and give me the world's largest nothing in return?) he then examines the pre-cognitive abilities of mad magazine.

we are too old to party all night long these days. in fact, if we make it past the monologue without falling asleep, that's a party! but we agree with jeralyn merritt over at talk left that the rave act pending in congress is just plain wrong.

aaron, our favorite uppity negro links us to a story detailing the fact that kids wearing the symbol "88" are inadvertantly displaying a white power logo (this is true, i had heard this elsewhere. this is scary).

and finally, lest we bloggers take ourselves too damn seriously, ann salisbury over at two tears in a bucket ponders the recent examples proving that bloggers seem to be sooooo sensitive, and wonder if it's necessary. we would agree with ann, it's full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

posted by skippy at 7:16 PM | 0 comments

why i don't get involved in all this david horowitz nonsense

because watchful blogger is so much more eloquent at it than i.
posted by skippy at 5:44 PM | 0 comments

much ado about jackie

over at the rittenhouse review, they are talking about a comedian of palestinian-decent who was unceremoniously dropped from the bill opening for jackie mason a mere 3 hours before showtime.

the staff at skippy watched curtis and kuby on msnbc today, and they interviewed ray hanania, the comedian in question. first of all, he is an american, born and bred here. second of all, he's married to a jewish woman, so, apparently, at least one jewish person thinks he's funny (but if she's anything like mrs. skippy, she doesn't think he's funny as much as he does). and thirdly, ray is funny. he was very funny and his material on curtis and kuby was very self-depreciating and non-threatening (unfortunately, msnbc does not provide transcripts for that show; we are not sure why, it must be something about the pony tail and beret).

ray explained to curtis (or was it kuby?) that indeed, "zanies", the clubhe was booked to work at, had told mr. mason's people that ray was of palestinian heritage, and, as of a week before the show, everything was fine with all parties concerned. then, 3 hours before the show, mr. mason's manager called the club and said it was unacceptable for ray to open for the borscht belt superstar [ed. note: irony intended].

according to ray, it was his booking originally; he was slated to work the whole week, and jackie was going to come in for a "guest set."

some of us at skippy have been stand up comedians, and we think this is an outrage. not because of the jewish-palestinian thing, but because if you've got relatives and friends coming to see your show, it's pretty damn embarrassing not to actually perform.

ray mentions on his web site: "one of my role models is jerry seinfeld, who is a jewish-arab comedian. his mother is from a jewish family from damascus, syria and grew up in the syrian jewish community in bensonhurst section of brooklyn. after the tragedy of september 11th, 2001, seinfeld did several comedy appearances to help raise nearly $1.9 million for mayor guiliani's twin tower's fund. in his biography, seinfeld notes 'it (comedy) identifies us as americans ... what I would call classic american behavior, an act of defiance and a way of striking back. ironic humor ... people coming back with a vengeance, returning to our lives with great glee'."

we ask, who is the bigger person here? and, is that a banana in your pants or are just glad to be reading skippy the bush kangaroo?
posted by skippy at 4:55 PM | 0 comments

factor this!

thanks to atrios, over at eschaton, we found this article on about.com, which outs bill o'reilly (not his sexuality, his views on sexuality):

"according to michael giltz, a freelance reporter...who conducted the interview live in o'reilly's manhattan office, o'reilly not only reiterates his previous support for gay adoption, but he goes on to call the us military 'homophobic'...says that gays should have the right to visit their same-sex spouses in the hospital...thinks every state should have laws protecting gays and lesbians from discrimination in the workplace...and opposes the repeal of a gay rights ordinance in florida's miami-dade county...

on gay marriage..[o'reilly] finally concedes: 'look, i couldn’t care less, to tell you the truth... you want to get married? knock yourself out. go to vegas; have a good time... if you can get that changed, i’m not going to jump up and down and say i think it’s wrong, because i don’t."


does roger ailes know about this?

posted by skippy at 4:13 PM | 0 comments

honestly, we read the unablogger for the articles!

mucho thanks to the unablogger for the link, and for leading us to this tech support page.
posted by skippy at 3:51 PM | 0 comments

more anthrax dialogue

kim, over at free pie, offers up her reasons for thinking that steven hatfill might be the anthrax guy. i wrote my opinion in her comment section, and will reprint it here, with some embellishments:

i too had been assuming that hatfill was the guy, based on various different articles written by nicholas kristoff (of the nyt) outlining the type of guy who was doing this, and claiming that kristoff had a specific individual in mind ("mr. z".) kristoff was so specific that it was evident to people in the bio-weapon community whom he was talking about.

the problem i had was when hatfill, in his second press conference, said that he wanted the fbi to release the results of his handwriting and blood tests. this, plus the nyt's atrocious reputation for publicly indicting innocent people of horrendous crimes (see: wen ho lee) made me want to step back, and rethink my position. i did not want to become like mr. bush and mr. ashcroft, and judge someone guilty without a fair trial and hearing the evidence. so i am not saying hatfill is not the anthrax guy; i am saying that he sounds pretty sure of his innocence, and that we ought to let our system of jurisprudence do its work.

here is a fine on-air piece by brookes gladstone of npr's on the media quoting kristoff, newsweek's dan klaidman, and wsj's ronald kessler, examing the role the media has played in the accusations against hatfill.

as i told kim, there's no right or wrong side of the issue. the circumstantial case against hatfill is large, but, may i reiterate, it's cirucmstantial. i can see logical people come down on both sides of the issue.

blogs are for opinions and dialogue! i enjoy free pie, and and i her blog to everyone.
posted by skippy at 3:25 PM | 0 comments

update from our florida correspondent

our plucky gal in florida, kathie k, did something that we all should be doing: she went and met with her representative (in this case, senator bill nelson). here's her report:

"skippy, i just got back from a meeting with a senior aide to florida senator bill nelson. it was organized by the moveon.org pac, and apparently there were 100 meetings all over the country with senators and staff. there were about 40 people at my meeting and we each expressed our opposition to an iraqi war. i was amazed by the eloquence of the speakers (i am unfortunately not as good a speaker as I am a writer!) [ed. note: don't sell yourself short, kathie! we bet you are a great speaker!]. there was a wwII veteran, a few vietnam veterans, a nun, two clergy, two children, a man whose wife escaped the south tower on 9/11, a couple of professors and the rest of us, various and sundry professionals. i expressed the frustration i feel knowing that i am being railroaded by this adminstration, against whom over 50 million Americans voted, and that no one is speaking out in opposition. i told him we needed the democrats in the senate to speak out against this war and that not one serviceman or woman should die over junior's personal vendetta against saddam. it was an extraordinary show of the democracy we are losing each day under this regime and it gave me some hope. now, a mcbride-jones ticket taking out jeb would make my entire year!!

kathie"

folks, skippy recommends you visit the moveon site and sign up for action updates. and, if anyone else attended a meeting with their representative through moveon.org, please write and let us know!

the only way democracy works is if we put the time and energy into making it happen!
posted by skippy at 2:46 PM | 0 comments

view from the florida press

although we already had an up-to-the-minute review of last night's florida democratic gubernatorial debate by reno-mcbride-jones here on our sister site skippy junior, we thought we'd share with you what the florida papers are saying:

"florida's three democratic candidates for governor joined forces tuesday to pledge party unity and took turns pounding at republican gov. jeb bush in their only scheduled debate before the sept. 10 primary," says the orlando sentinal.

"the debate offered democrats their only chance to compare their candidates side-by-side. but the format virtually ensured little drama, and the candidates were unwilling to challenge one another," remarks the st. petersberg times.

"the harmonious nature of the hourlong debate mirrored a campaign in which personality has trumped public policy: reno, the longtime public servant and miami native compelled to seek the leadership of the state she loves. mcbride, the hard-charging candidate itching to take on bush. and jones, the policy wonk who quickly spits out facts and figures to bolster his claims," says the miami herald.

"mcbride, in a race against time to overcome reno's lead, was expected by many to use the debate to challenge her, but instead challenged bush...seemingly at ease - unlike the nervous rookie who was once so stiff on the campaign trail that some called him 'mcboring'' - mcbride was the only candidate who made the audience laugh," states the tampa tribune.

" 'hurricane jeb has wreaked havoc and destruction across the state of florida,' said state sen. daryl jones, d-miami, in his opening gambit. jones, who briefly put on a hard hat with his campaign logo on it as he summed up his program to 'fix florida,' was the only candidate to offer even mild criticism of his competitors," reported the brandenton herald

boring, appeasing, non-confrontational democrats? what else is new?

slight update: here's taegan goddard's take on it over at political wire, including a new poll showing mcbride behind reno by just three points.

posted by skippy at 12:18 PM | 0 comments

idol chatter

for those of you that care (and we are pretty sure we are in the minority because we do) tamyra gray, the fantabulous singer that got unexplainably voted off of american idol last week, has signed a management contract.

" 'this girl is a star. she has a very bright future,' said tom ennis, producer of the fox reality series. ennis has picked up the option to manage the career of the 23-year-old songbird, who was dismissed in a controversial vote last week as the tuesday and wednesday episodes earned their highest ratings ever."

so we like good singers. so sue us.
posted by skippy at 11:02 AM | 0 comments

a big thank you

to an interesting blog rhanda's journal, for mentioning our take on steven hatfill and his very adamant and believable claim of innocence. rhanda is a journalist, and a prolific writer about the national scene and other petty interests, and a pretty smart cookie (even aside from linking to us, we mean). thanks, rhanda!
posted by skippy at 10:28 AM | 0 comments

headlines

from the army times:

arab neighbors urge iraq to relent on inspection issue
"if the united states hits iraq, no arab ruler would be 'able to curb popular sentiments. there might be repercussions and we fear a state of disorder and chaos,' [egyptian president hosni] mubarak said...the governments of lebanon, oman, yemen, and the united arab emirates, along with non-arab iran, have all repeatedly expressed their opposition to a u.s. military strike against iraq."

reporters tour reported suspected iraqi weapons facility
"it was the third such visit by reporters this month as iraq tries to ward off possible u.s. attack — though it has stopped short of allowing u.n. weapons inspectors to conduct a comprehensive and informed review."

rumsfeld mum on iraq plans
" 'i’ll leave that to the president and the vice president,' rumsfeld said monday at the army’s national training center."

and apparently mr. bush and cheney are busy making those plans:
u.s. may not wait for allies' support before attacking iraq
" 'it’s less important to have unanimity than it is making the right decision and doing the right thing, even though at the outset it may seem lonesome,'...rumsfeld said tuesday."

brownlee visits bragg, voices concern
"the army’s no. 2 civilian leader visited fort bragg, expressing concern about recent murders involving military couples."

mine injures soldier
"a special operations soldier and a swiss land mine clearer were wounded when ordnance exploded while they were clearing mines in central afghanistan."

recruiter accesss irks some vermont parents
"a provision of a new federal education law that gives military recruiters access to student information is meeting resistance from some parents...the no child left behind act requires schools receiving federal funds to make the names, addresses and telephone numbers of their students available to the military."

apparently mr. bush believes 'no child left behind' refers to the invasion of iraq.











posted by skippy at 10:16 AM | 0 comments

these are the fax

this is your weekly reminder to use the phone company link on the right side of this page to send free faxes to your congressjerks in washington, from your computer using the email system in your browser.

also, another request of our dear readers, to please click the bright green smiley face square (for 'excellent') at the top right of this page to rate me on bloghop! also, right under it, be sure to click clix me on clix. the more clicks we get, the more people see our fine journalistic efforts.
posted by skippy at 9:53 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

report on the reno-mcbride-jones debate

kathie k., our florida correspondent, sent us an analysis of the janet reno-bill mcbride-daryl jones debate for democratic candidate for governor of that fine state. you can read the whole report here on skippy junior, an addendum to this blog. but here are some of the highlights:

"actually, mr. jones did very well in this debate, often outshining the other two candidates in the specifics of his plan for florida, as well as his energy, enthusiasm and legislative experience (12 years in the florida legislature). unfortunately, i think he’s polling at fewer than 15%, but we can dream, can’t we?"

"i think maybe janet reno has the south beach dance party endorsement locked up, but mcbride is kicking her ass in this department. mr. mcbride has an impressive résumé himself: successful lawyer, decorated u.s. marine, philanthropist and community activist who was not born with a silver bush spoon in his mouth. and his two kids attend public school and haven’t been caught illegally drinking or taking prescription drugs!!"

"i thought mcbride stressed the educational issue the most and seems to have a strong, detailed plan for it...reno spoke in more sweeping terms about the importance of education, and jones incorporated it into his call for a better-educated workforce...overall, any of these three candidates can whoop bush’s candy ass on education (fyi: before jeb and family moved to tallahassee in 1998, his children attended a $13,000 a year private school in miami – one that doesn’t take his crappy vouchers)."

it's a fine report from kathie m, and we recommend a complete reading of it. thanks, kathie, we'll look forward to more of your reports in the future!
posted by skippy at 10:22 PM | 0 comments

a skippy quiz

which one has rocks in his head?
posted by skippy at 6:03 PM | 0 comments

truly good news

a man thought killed in the 9/11 attacks last year, has been found, alive but disoriented, in a new york hospital, according to reuters.

"gamily members of george sims, 46, who was believed to have been near the twin towers on sept. 11, learned earlier this month he was alive when they were contacted by an undisclosed health center.

we wish him and his family good luck and a speedy recovery.
posted by skippy at 5:57 PM | 0 comments

business: everything's down except unemployment

well, we are exaggerating. the amount that andersen worldwide, the umbrella organization that includes arthur andersen, has agreed to pay to settle lawsuits from enron corp. investors and employees is up to $40 million.

but not only did the market drop today, so did consumer confidence for the second month in a row, to its lowest level since last november.

also down: the forecast, by the congressional budget office, of the next decade's worth of budget supluses (by 80%). "congress' nonpartisan budget watchdog projected cumulative surpluses of just $336 billion from 2002 through 2011, down from the $1.7 trillion it last forecast in march."

also down: retail sales are running below expectations, and retail stocks, "after merrill lynch analysts issued sweeping downgrades of companies from high-end clothier nordstrom to discount grocer shopko."

however, according to manpower, inc's quarterly survey of 16,000 companies, hiring levels will remain relatively stable (another way of saying, they're not going up. so if you're looking for a job, your optimism might be what's going down).

also down: the dollar.

now for the ups: amount of money taken out of mutual funds in july ($49 billion, a record).

also up: william buckley's dander over such important issues as the simulated sex antics by opie and goofy, or whatever those djs in new york are called.

now, truly good news. existing home sales are up. that's good. (unless you think there's a real estate bubble developing. then it's not so good).

and finally, also up: employee anger over bathroom breaks at the jim beam distillery in kentucky (only 4 per 8 hour shift, and only one of those can be unscheduled). what, doesn't jim beam think people ever drink anything?
posted by skippy at 5:47 PM | 0 comments

at least the bush administration is good for world lit classes

tired of all those dreary 1984 metaphors when reading about mr. bush and his assault on our rights? so are we, even though we've been guilty of trotting out that old literary chestnut ourselves. so imagine our delight to find talk left referring us to a kafka allusion in reference to john ashcroft. it fits so much nicer.

james bamford, in the new york times, says "with increasing speed, the justice department of attorney general john ashcroft is starting to resemble the 'always vengeful bureaucracy' that crushed josef k." [protaganist of kafka's the trial, a truly scary read]. mr. bamford goes on:

"the justice department argued that it is within the president's inherent power to indefinitely detain, without any charges, any person, including any united states citizen, [emphasis ours] whom the president (through the justice department) designates an 'enemy combatant.' further, the person can be locked away, held incommunicado and denied counsel. finally, mr. ashcroft argues that such a decision is not subject to review by federal or state courts. this situation is beyond even kafka, who in his parable of punishment and paranoia at least supplied josef k. with an attorney."

"in the end," mr. bamford writes, "kafka's josef k. becomes so fatigued in his fight to find out why he was arrested that he just loses his will to resist." let us hope the american jurisprudence system has a stronger constitution [ed. note: pun intended].




posted by skippy at 4:40 PM | 0 comments

must-see democratic tv

our florida correspondent tells us that the janet reno-bill mcbride-daryl jones debate for democratic candidate for governor of florida will be shown tonight on c-span 2 at 9 pm eastern (that's 6 pm real time). other debates of interest will be shown before and after this very important florida deliberation.
posted by skippy at 4:15 PM | 0 comments

breaking news

according to cnn, some unknown white powder fell out of a letter when it was opened in al gore's tennessee office. mr. gore is in california, and was not near the incident. cnn television is reporting that hazmat detail have quarantined the staff of the office. we cannot find any details on the web at this time, and will have to report on it later.

update:

cnn now reports that "an fbi official told cnn that investigators believe the white powder was sent as a hoax, but the bureau has not confirmed that officially."

mr. gore's offices in the loews vanderbilt hotel in nashville will remain closed until the official results of the tests on the powder are in, which will be four days.

we wonder if this will help or hinder steven hatfill's case.


posted by skippy at 1:13 PM | 0 comments

hot links

we at skippy are happy to report that taegan goddard's political wire now has permanent links! (we humbly assume that our correspondence with taegan on the matter may have had some bearing in the decision).

so to make good use of this new feature, check out the blurb about mark pryor distancing himself from the clintons; and this piece about the new york times' assesment of oliver stone's new political intrigue novel; but especially this report about how mr. bush seeks to keep secret the inside stories about the clinton pardons.

now if taegan would just bring back the comment system, we'd be on cloud nine!
posted by skippy at 9:13 AM | 0 comments

Monday, August 26, 2002

beating the war drums

dick cheney "warned monday that the united states could face devastating consequences from any delay in acting to remove saddam hussein as president of iraq," according to abc news.

speaking in front of a veterans of foreign war convention in nashville, tennessee, mr. cheney said, "what we must not do in the face of a mortal threat is to give in to wishful thinking or willful blindness. we will not simply look away, hope for the best and leave the matter for some future administration to resolve."

at least he's leaving open the possibility of a "future administration." that's a relief.

democrats, of course, wanted in on the act, too. house democratic leader dick gephardt of missouri said "the president has to get congressional approval. he must have a debate on this issue and a vote in the congress." and senator patrick leahy of vermont, said that the decision to go to war "should not be treated like a technicality."

going to war may not seem like a technicality to the 14,000 national guard members and reservsits who have just been notified by the air force that they may have to serve a second year of acitve military duty in the war against terror (whatever that phrase means) according to cbs news.

"the call-ups are under what the military calls a 'partial mobilization,' which was ordered by president bush after the sept. 11 attacks," says cbs. "during this, the president can activate up to one million reservists and guard members to serve up to two years."

we at skippy with them godspeed.








posted by skippy at 8:41 PM | 0 comments

who needs a constitution anyway?

according to the washington post, mr. bush's aides say that he does not need congressional approval to attack iraq. of course, it looks like he's not going to get anybody's approval at this stage of the game, but apparently mr. bush's minions have found a way around congress. the post says:

"lawyers for president bush have concluded he can launch an attack on iraq without new approval from congress, in part because they say permission remains in force from the 1991 resolution giving bush's father authority to wage war in the persian gulf, according to administration officials."

ah, a loophole! good thing for mr. bush his dad was also named mr. bush; now every document that president george herbert walker bush signed, can be attributed to w! sneaky. (yikes! i hope he doesn't try to oust nicaraguan strong man manuel noriega!)

apparently, though, mr. harold hongju koh, a professor of international law at yale law school who was an assistant secretary of state in the clinton administration, agrees with us: " 'the constitutional structure tries to make war hard to get into, so the president has to show leadership and make his case to the elected representatives,' koh said. 'this argument may permit them to get us into the war, but it won't give them the political support at home and abroad to sustain that effort'."

yeah, what he said.

the post goes on: "white house press secretary ari fleischer said congress 'has an important role to play'." thanks for remembering, ari! it's a little something we like to call the constitution. we distinctly remember article 1, section 8, saying "the congress shall have power to..." [do a whole bunch of stuff here, like levying taxes and borrowing money and making post offices and things, leading up to point number 11, which says] "to declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water."

now, we'd be willing to spot mr. bush a letter of marque here and there, but we can't abide this constant disabuse of our nation's foundational document. and neither can jacob g. hornberger, of the libertarian future of freedom foundation, who writes about mr. bush's escapades in that publication:

"what does our constitution say about war? our founders divided war into two separate powers: congress was given the power to declare war and the president was given the power to wage war. what that means is that under our system of government, the president cannot legally wage war against another nation in the absence of a declaration of war against that nation from congress."

mr. hornberger goes on to quote james madison (remember him, ari?):

"the constitution expressly and exclusively vests in the legislature the power of declaring a state of war [and] the power of raising armies. a delegation of such powers [to the president] would have struck, not only at the fabric of our constitution, but at the foundation of all well organized and well checked governments. the separation of the power of declaring war from that of conducting it, is wisely contrived to exclude the danger of its being declared for the sake of its being conducted.”

yeah. what he said.
posted by skippy at 5:28 PM | 0 comments

smirking surfing

from our buddies at smirking chimp come two interesting reads:

this editorial from the san francisco chronicle, expressing doubts about attorney general ashcroft's tendency to not answer questions from anybody, even those he is constitutionally obligated to:

"rep. james sensenbrenner, r-wis., the house judiciary committee chair, has threatened to subpoena attorney general john ashcroft if he continues to resist requests for the administration to disclose how often it has used its new investigative powers."

and this essay from the yellow times, discussing the validity and relavance of cnn's new all-terror-tape-all-the-time format as of late:

"rarely emphasized in these reports are the details - the weapons caches, for example, having consisted of small piles of outdated arms, poorly stored, likely left over from the 1980s conflict with the russians, and whose owners are unknown. the devil, as they say, is in the details."




posted by skippy at 4:50 PM | 0 comments

extremism in defense of a good punchline is no vice

witness this bit, found on bartcop.

and this, found on silflay hraka [ed. note: read several of silflay's posts. each one is funnier than the last].

not for the weak of stomach (literally): found on sciatica.
posted by skippy at 3:57 PM | 0 comments

muchas gracias

we at skippy would like to thank jeralyn merritt of the fine law blog talk left, for mentioning our humble site (while discussing our least favorite attorney general, and that includes john mitchell, kids!).

aside from maintaining her fine blog examining the politics of the law, and which, in her words, "is intended for the public, journalists covering crime-based news and politics, policy makers and of course, the criminal defense community," ms. merritt is the kind of attorney skippy would want if he were arrested by the government and allowed contact with an attorney (not necessarily a given these days). we recommend you check talk left out.
posted by skippy at 3:36 PM | 0 comments

florida news

taegan goddard, over on his site political wire, has news about the mcbride v. reno race for democratic gubernatorial candidate. however, what he doesn't have is permanent links (or a comment section, but that's another story) so we are forced to repost his entire blurb here. however, we strongly recommend a daily visit to his site, because it has the most up-to-date, and the most, news about politics in blogtopia (yes! i coined that word!)

taegan writes:

"in florida, mcbride has momentum over reno
set to face off against janet reno (d) tuesday night in their only televised debate, bill mcbride (d) "has won a clean sweep thus far in the editorial endorsements of florida's major newspapers for the democratic nomination for governor," the miami herald reports. the st. petersburg times, tampa tribune, orlando sentinel and the bradenton herald endorsed mcbride over "his better-known democratic rival." in addition, positive profiles of mcbride in the tampa tribune and st. petersburg times could give mcbridge the lift he needs before the september 10th primary."

also, check out the story about senator john edwards' run for the 2004 presidential nomination.
posted by skippy at 11:49 AM | 0 comments

letters, we get letters

here's one from kathie, who has been noticing how the media has been fudging mr. bush's vital stats lately:

"i wrote this and I am passing this along so you can use it, modify it, whatever you want to do, for your website. it may sound trivial, but the fact that the press is even lying about w.'s physical stature is such freakish propaganda. so steal away!

my head is spinning trying to digest george w. bush's fabulous running times and his most excellent physique. this washington post story referred to the "6-foot, 189 pound president" (to whom are they referring? back during the campaign, dubya barely hit 5'11") and then this runner's world article said he lost 15 pounds in the last year. so a year ago, he was 6-foot, 204 pounds?? this guy is a little pipsqueak, in the most literal and figurative sense of the word, so the press now has to lie about his physical stature?

and as an american citizen who helps pay the salaries of the dedicated secret service men and women, i am pretty concerned about the so-called "100 degree club" mentioned in the runner's world article. this is the more dubya's taunting, frat-boy persona that puts other people in danger to make himself look better. even professional football coaches don't treat their players this way.


keep up the great work!

kathie"

thanks kathie! although, we must make a minor correction: we at skippy never steal, we do research! our lawyers tell us there's a difference!

folks, we at skippy would encourage everyone to email the washington post (letters@washpost.com) and let them know we caught their little fudge!
posted by skippy at 9:27 AM | 0 comments

take your liberals where you can find them - a skippy action alert

folks, many of us have bemoaned the lack of liberal voices on the electronic media today. that is why we at skippy are encouraging everyone to send an email to msnbc to thank them for their attempts to provide both left- and right-leaning voices on their channel. it seems to skippy that they are the only cable channel to provide people from both sides of the aisle as permanent fixtures on many of their programs. granted, the liberals representing us are not the most erudite, or clever, or passionate, but they are at least giving the non-conservative side of things. and we can assure you, bill press is a tried and true liberal, as is phil donahue. (we're still not sure about the curtis and kuby show...we often can only tell the difference between the two by the pony tail and red beret).

send an email to cable@msnbc.com. here is a copy of the one skippy sent:

sirs and madames,

this is to let you know that i have become a regular viewer of msnbc over cnn and fox news since you have decided to show both the left as well as the right side of policies in your opinion shows.

i watch sliwa and that weird guy with the pony tail in the morning, however i must say i much prefer nancy skinner or jeff cohen to represent the left side. i also watch press and buchanan, and i am a faithful fan of donahue. i will always watch donahue over connie chung and bill o'reilly. if you replace donahue with some right wing nut job (see: alan keyes) i will not watch your channel at that time.

i sincerely hope you will keep attempting to make the left wing of american politics represented on your channel. as long as you do that i will watch your channel over the other two.

skippy


posted by skippy at 9:22 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, August 25, 2002

bush is gone, simon is happy

actually, make that, bush is gone, california is happy. simon is merely encouraged. the san diego union-tribune reports that simon said "i feel good. i feel optimistic,"after a fund-raising breakfast with mr. bush at a westwood high-rise. "there's so much excitement. people are hungering for leadership." but probably not pancakes, because they had just eaten.

the union-tribune goes on: "the friday fund-raisers in stockton and dana point and yesterday's in los angeles raised an estimated $2.6 million for simon. it could not come at a better time for a campaign that has not had the financial wherewithal to respond to davis' withering attacks on television and was forced to lay off more than 30 staff members to stay afloat."

and the san francisco chronicle reports that simon told their reporter that "despite his campaign's recent troubles he is a fighter who'll be 'taking gray davis on' with 'a very hard-hitting campaign' that returns to the real issue: the governor's record."

the chronicle also talks about "reports circulated that tickets to [simon's] $1,000-a-head fund-raiser in orange county had been deeply discounted to fill the house. some say tickets have even been given away for free."

also, actor kelsey grammar attended the los angeles fund raiser and sang mr. bush's praises ("president bush comes from a place that is sincere"). however, the chronicle states, "but when it came to simon, his campaign, his future, the actor drew a blank. 'i really don't know him,' he said."

that makes 34,501,130 of us.
posted by skippy at 8:56 PM | 0 comments

california dreamin'

the bakersfield californian has this story about the 300+ boeing aircraft being stored in the desert at the mojave airport, due to falling airline ridership since 9/11.

"from the air, they look like a fleet of toy planes lined up in gleaming silver rows and colorful clusters -- a 10-year-old's dream playground. but they're not toys. they're huge passenger airliners and commercial freight carriers, more than 300 at last count...the massive rows of boeing 737s, 747s, DC-10s and other airliners bear silent witness to the lingering economic drought air passenger carriers have suffered since last year's sept. 11 attacks."

skippy and mrs. skippy have often driven past the mojave airport, and it is a strange, surreal sight to see all those huge planes out in the desert. although we haven't been past there since 9/11, we can only imagine the lonely vision of all those huge machines sitting in the desert sun, the wind howling as if it were blowing through the holes in an empty economy.

the desert always makes us wax poetic.
posted by skippy at 8:40 PM | 0 comments

where there's a will there's a george

patio pundit reports that george will "is not happy about the nea's ideas about what to teach about 9-11." then he goes on to quote mr. will:

"the nea says the lessons to be learned from the terrorist attacks are: 'appreciating and getting along with people of diverse backgrounds and cultures, the importance of anger management and global awareness.' let's see. some seriously angry people murder almost 3,000 people in america and americans need to work on managing their anger? and on getting along with others? did little mohamed atta's report card in third grade say he 'plays well with others'?"

patio pundit ends with a "must read" endorsement of mr. will's essay.

sigh. ok, although i posted this on patio pundit's comments section, i'll do it here:

but of course, the nea is not saying that at all. i suppose i should address these comments to mr. will, instead of patio pundit, but since he brought it up:

those remarks are found on one of hundreds of pages linked to on one of the nea's pages, clearly labeled "outside links." also, on the bottom of the nea page, is a disclaimer, that clearly states: "please note: links to organizations and indidvuals (sic) that have a political perspective do not necessarily represent the position of the nea on any issues discussed. these links are presented as background and to assist you in researching the topic cited."

as well as the fact, that at the bottom of the page that contains those remarks (by some guy named brian lippencott) is another disclaimer, by the university that mr. lippencott worked for, saying essentially the same thing, ie, the opinions are mr. lippicott's and not the university's.

moreover, the original washington times story from whence this whole nonsense came, attributes all the lesson plans to mr. lippencott, ignoring, apparently the input of the other organizations giving lesson plans for the nea, such as the red cross, walk for america, the smithsonian institute, etc etc etc.

mr. will's essay might be a must read, but it's also a must take with a grain of salt.

he's better when he writes about baseball.


posted by skippy at 6:12 PM | 0 comments

stranger in a strange blog

but while i was perusing instapundit to find the article for the post below this one, i came across this rambling about recent leftist blogs and their enthusiasm over the almost-universal disapproval by prominent military minds against mr. bush's plans to attack iraq.

professor glenn and andrew stuttaford, one of the boys at the national review on line (i didn't call them girly boys, ann!) and a few others on the other side of aisle seem to take delight in comparing the left's position to the philosophy of sci-fi great robert heinlein in starship troopers:

one of the more peculiar notions to emerge in the last few weeks has been the suggestion by the left that only those who are - or who have been - in the military have the moral authority to commit the nation to war. it's a zany, profoundly undemocratic argument and it also sounds like something out of heinlein's starship troopers (a book liberals often criticize as 'fascist' ) a novel in which, if I recall correctly, the only people entitled to full citizenship were those who had completed a period of military service. what's next? will liberals be calling for our rule by a dynasty of warrior kings?

may i take these points on, one by one:

first, the left - whoever they are - have not said "only" the military have moral authority to commit us to war. i never found one example of writing to suggest this. what the left - whoever they are - have been saying, is, mainly, it's good to consider the opinions of those whose expertise it is that we are talking about. that is to say, if professor glenn and the boys at nro would say, hey guys, we're going to wire the electrictrical conduits through the water pipes in our house; then we might say, hey, boys, maybe you want to talk to a plumber and an electrician first. that's all. except, of course, war is not plumbing, because the difference is, in war, millions of people die.

secondly, just because it reminded mr. stuttaford of heinlein, and just because mr. stuttaford ascribes the 'fascist' description of heinlein to 'liberals,' doesn't mean (a) liberals are hypocritical, because after all, the connection was made by mr. stuttaford, and not the left - whoever they are - and (b) the book not necessarily fascist. the society in the book may have been, but i don't think mr. heinlein was necessarily so. if i remember correctly, in stranger in a strange land, mr. heinlein said that the army should be made up of homosexuals because they're angry. not so sure if that's a popular neo-nazi stance.

but we digress. because generals powell, snowcroft and schwartzkopf agree with the left this time, doesn't mean that the left thinks only the military has the right to take us into war. but truth be told, the military, as we have said in this space before, will be the ones that have to clean up the mess that the professors of law and writers of on line essays are endorsing. so it might behoove us to listen to them.
posted by skippy at 5:47 PM | 0 comments

the end times must be near

because i am agreeing with norah vincent. in this post on her blog (found via instapundit) norah says we should concentrate on pakistan before we even think about iraq.

"what the hell kind of hypocritical crap are we pulling in central asia? surely we can bring ourselves to make more of an effort to square the moral politics of the war on terror with the logistical maneuverings we feel we have to make to fight it? pakistan has been an ally since 9/11 for obvious reasons, but we cannot therefore turn a blind eye to obvious injustice. don’t the people of pakistan deserve a move toward, not away, from self-governance? shouldn’t they hear our condemnation of the blatant move musharraf has made in the other direction?"

(my answers, in reverse order the questions were asked: yes they should, yes they do, we really had better, and rotten, stinking bush crap!)

norah ends with a resounding, "at present, the pakistanis deserve our help more than the iraqis deserve our wrath. bush needs to buck up and get on it." you go, girl!
posted by skippy at 5:00 PM | 0 comments

bush wishes he had these in portland

thanks to testify! for bringing this to our attention:

guard batallion called to service

"fort dodge (ap) - the iowa army national guard's 1st battalion, 194th field artillery, will be ordered to federal active duty, the department of defense and the national guard bureau in washington, d.c., have announced.

the battalion, headquartered in fort dodge, will deploy to locations within the united states for homeland security missions [ed. note: emphasis added] as part of operation noble eagle II, col. robert king, public affairs officer for the iowa national guard, said wednesday in a news release. the battalion includes units in algona, estherville, spencer and storm lake.

duty locations are not being announced.


this, along with the administration's habit of disappearing american citizens without charges, or access to lawyers, makes us wish for the good old days of richard nixon and kent state.
posted by skippy at 3:51 PM | 0 comments

mr. bush's left coast visit

thanks to buzzflash for these pertinent stories:

the battle of portland by william rivers pitt;

independent media report of portland protest;

video of portland protest;

hundreds of protestors meet bush at stockton airport (site may shut down due to requests volume);

picture of protesters outside mr. bush's los angeles appareance;

another picture of same.
posted by skippy at 2:21 PM | 0 comments

gotta say thanks

we'd like to say thank you to eric over at the hamster (a wonderful, under-appreciated liberal blog, doing the work the likes of buzzflash or altercation in his scope and prolific output). eric kindly put a link to our blog on his page, and we gladly have one to his on ours! (check out his story on the tiny texas town that unfairly arrested and indicted 10% of its black population on bogus drug dealing charges).
posted by skippy at 1:30 PM | 0 comments

conspiracy updates

a big skippy thanks and tip of the bush kangaroo hat to readers lisa (of ruminate this!, who has a great rant on corporate media today) and adam (of we-don't-know-because-he-didn't-leave-an-email-or-homepage) for providing some interesting websites concerning flight 77, the plane that crashed into the pentagon on 9/11 (cue dramatic music: or did it? da da da da daaaaaaa!!!!)

here's the fun game called hunt the boeing. then, here's the snopes.com (urban legends) page debunking the whole idea, using the explanations provided by the pentagon itself.

personally, we're still stuck on the grassy knoll theory. back, and to the left...back, and to the left...
posted by skippy at 1:26 PM | 0 comments

elder abuse

the boston globe has an article about the importance of voters over 65 in the upcoming elections, and how both parties are trying to court the elderly.

'' 'this election will be a referendum on social security. as the stock market declines and americans become more concerned about their retirement security, Republican candidates across the nation are in full retreat on the issue,' said a recent memo from the democratic congressional campaign committee, which provides guidance and support for the party's house candidates.

on the other hand, we have four fingers and a thumb:

'' 'there is certainly a backlash to democrats talking down the economy and the stock market. it is a question of ethics that the democratic party would politicize this issue of corporate scandal, and then trying to tie it into social security,' said lee ann mcbride, a spokeswoman for the national republican campaign committee, which supports the party's house candidates."

funny how the national parties care about seniors around the fall of an election year, but whenever it comes time for medicare relief or prudent social security legislation, they are no where to be found.
posted by skippy at 1:10 PM | 0 comments

i'm not the anthrax killer either, and i denounce ashcroft

stephen hatfill, the scientist whom the fbi is calling a "person of interest" in the anthrax letters case, adamantly denies anything to do with the deadly mailings last year, reports usa today in this story: hatfill says he's not the anthrax suspect, denouces ashcroft.

hatfill says that the "fbi has agreed to his offer to provide blood and writing samples. he said he wants the results released and has offered to waive privacy rules to allow that."

sounds like a man sure of his innocence. dr. hatfill goes on: "this assassination of my character appears to be part of a governmental effort to show the american people that it is proceeding vigorously and successfully with the anthrax investigation."

six words come to mind: wen ho lee and richard jewell.






posted by skippy at 1:01 PM | 0 comments

Saturday, August 24, 2002

wanted: a fitting memorial

the army times is reporting that the army corps of engineers is accepting suggestions for a memorial specifically for the people who were killed at the pentagon on 9/11.

"some 1,600 people already have met friday’s deadline to register for a design competition. proposals must be submitted by sept. 11, with a winner announced on dec. 23," the army times states. "under the corps plan, the winning design will occupy nearly two acres about 165 feet west of the point where American Airlines flight 77 slammed into the facade."
posted by skippy at 6:34 PM | 0 comments

some light reading

we were amazed to see cnn reporting the other day on the upcoming american publishing of the french book about a supposed 9/11 conspiracy called 'horrifying fraud" by thierry meyssan (the american version will be called "9/11 the big lie").

this book purports that the american government itself flew the planes that did all the terrible destruction on that day -- and did it by remote control. the book goes on to allege that a plane did not fly into the pentagon, but rather a missle fired by -- get this now -- the pentagon.

we are no fan of the current administration, but we are at least fond of logic and rationality. which is why we wondered what cnn was doing giving valuable tv time to something as ludicrous as this. they could have used that time for something far more relevant (showing more of tucker carlson's ties from the wally cox collection, for instance).

then it struck us. why didn't cnn report about the forbidden truth, another french book (available at amazon.com)? this book explores the connections between the bushes, the saudi royal family, the carlyle group, and other insidious relationships. and this book sounds plausible.

last february, salon interviewed the authors, jean-charles brisard and guillaume dasquie. the resulting article states:

"the book...also alleges that the bush administration was bargaining with the taliban, over a central asian oil pipeline and osama bin laden, just five weeks before the september attacks. The authors...see a link between the negotiations and vice president dick cheney's energy policy task force, with its conclusions that central asian oil was going to become critical to the u.s. economy. brisard and dasquie also claim former fbi deputy director john o'neill (who died in the attack on the world trade center, where he was the chief of security) resigned in july to protest the policy of giving u.s. oil interests a higher priority than bringing al-qaida leaders to justice. brisard claims o'neill told him that 'the main obstacles to investigating Islamic terrorism were u.s. oil corporate interests and the role played by saudi arabia'."

it couldn't be that cnn wanted to innoculate the american public against french investigations into 9/11 by hawking the extreme nonsense, and ignoring the plausible ones? nah, we are getting too paranoid.
posted by skippy at 6:18 PM | 0 comments

with endorsements like this who needs apathy?

how well did mr. bush do for bill "met a pieman going to the fair" simon during the whirlwind california campaign tour? judge for yourself by the headlines (thanks to rough and tumble):

the oakland trubine: president doesn't mention simon at stockton rally

san diego union-tribune: bush hails simon from a distance

contra costa times: bush silent on simon

the sacramento bee: bush stumps state for simon (but the president doesn't mention his fellow republican in his first appearance

san jose mercury news: bush muted in support of simon

san francisco chronicle: bush stumps for simon, but from a safe distance/gop guvernatorial candidate conspicuous by his absence

orange county register: bush cool to simon

gee, why would mr. bush try to distance himself from bill simon? could it be the recent $78 million judgement against simon's investment firm? and, according to this story in the chronicle, the judge who will be hearing simon's appeal of the judgement next month, "may want to pick up a fascinating book called, 'how to think like the masters of m&a' -- as in mergers and acquisitions."

simon is confident the judgement against him will be overturned, "because his former business partner hid his past as one of the country's biggest pot dealers." however, in the book just mentioned, simon "tells author curt schleier that his business success stems from doing his homework on potential business partners -- the all-important 'scrub' of their backgrounds. 'one thing I learned as a u.s. attorney was to be thorough -- the importance of asking questions,' simon said. 'you can't ask too many questions, even if you annoy people'."

at this point, we are sure simon is an expert on annoying people.


posted by skippy at 5:57 PM | 0 comments

the backlash grows

cnn is reporting that a florida man has been arrested "after police found more than 15 homemade explosive devices in his home [and he had] allegedly drafted a detailed plan to blow up an islamic educational center, according to court documents filed in the case friday."

one dr. robert j. goldstein apparently had plans to blow up mosques around florida, as he had a list of 50 islamic worship centers around the tampa bay-st. petersburg area, and other locations around the state.

"attached to the criminal complaint against goldstein was a three-page 'mission template' for an attack on an unidentified 'islam education center,' which included a map of the center showing where bombs would be placed. the document said the objective was to 'kill all rags at this islamic education center -- zero residual presence -- maximum effect."

ok folks. we are totally in favor of getting osama bin laden, and destroying al qaeda. we are even open to listening to reasons to get saddam hussein out of there. and we will cheer every time a proven terrorist is hauled off to jail. but let's not turn this into a race war.

"deputies also found books on how to make explosives and devices that could be used to explode bombs by remote control, along with homemade c-4 (a type of explosive), hand grenades and homemade military mines, the sheriff's department said. authorities also recovered 30 to 40 weapons, including semi-automatic weapons and a .50-caliber sniper rifle, the sheriff's department said.

remember, guns don't kill people. people with guns kill people. but, on a lighter note, the teddy bear turns 100!
posted by skippy at 5:19 PM | 0 comments