s skippy the bush kangaroo: June 2003

skippy the bush kangaroo



Monday, June 30, 2003

the deanster reaches his goal

thanks in part to all those out in blogtopia (y!wctp!) howard dean's campaign reached their goal of $7 mill in contributions for this quarter, including $757,896 raised today alone!

dr. dean's efforts tops all the dem candidates for this quarter. and the ap says that "a serious run for the democratic presidential nomination could cost $20 million to $25 million."

if you are so inclined, i am sure they'd still be happy to take any contribution you'd like to give.

on a related note, say hello to the central oregon for dean blog.
posted by skippy at 8:52 PM | 0 comments

katherine hepburn, rip

class, grace, humor, confidence, a light that shone off the screen into audience's secret self...all were aspects of the 4 time oscar winner (and 12 time nominee), katherine hepburn, a hollywood legend, who passed yesterday at the age of 96.

newday.com lables her "an innovative businesswoman who took charge of her career at a time when she was labeled 'box-office poison'."

the nytimes says "she seemed to have an unswerving conviction about how life should be lived, without regrets, which could bother people who were busy swerving. it was, in the end, a conviction that enlarged the lives of everyone, male or female, who watched her movies."

and the washpost comments on miss hepburn's career by quoting her own words: "life's what's important. walking, houses, family. birth and pain and joy -- and then death. acting's just waiting for the custard pie. that's all."

feminists saw her as a role model, blazing paths in a times when women were expected to shut up and be dumb. she took control of her career and never backed down. the feminist majority foundation says that even with her fashion choices she made statements:

hepburn began wearing pants in the 1930s, something that was then considered quite unsuitable for women. her fashion preference became so influential that the council of fashion designers of america awarded her a lifetime achievement award in 1986.

friends and co-stars remembered her fondly: "kate was a powerful force of nature," [ "on golden pond" co-star jane] fonda said in a statement. "all who knew her came away the better for it. i am honored to have been one of them."

the lights will dim on broadway tomorrow at 8 pm (est) in her honor. american movie classics and the turner classic movie channel will both air several of her films in the next few days.

you could do worse than watch a few of them.
posted by skippy at 8:38 PM | 0 comments

the war that keeps on giving, the official list

readers of this space know we daily (unfortunately) refer to lunaville's listing of coalition forces who have died in iraq, during and since the war. and anyone who has ever bothered to click on the "details" link on that page has already found specifics...ie, name, rank, age, unit and cause of death for all the soldiers who have fallen on that foreign soil.

now the mainstream press has followed suit. here's a similiar list from newsday, detailing all 201 soldiers killed.

we wonder if the newsday editors just clicked on lunaville's site...
posted by skippy at 3:27 PM | 0 comments

freep the beard

also courtesy of anna...go freep the beard...left hand side bar. a good one today.
posted by skippy at 3:18 PM | 0 comments

a deanster toots her horn

our favorite dean supporter in texas, anna of annatopia, points out that the governor has raised practically all of the $7 million he projected on his blog for america (he's only $235,523 short of the goal of midnight tonight).

folks are contributing at an amazing rate...so amazing that the cable news networks are starting to bash dean hard. everyone says how tim russert beat dean up on meet the press. we saw parts of that show, and we thought dean held on pretty darn well, especially considering mr. potato head had his questions written by the white house.

dean is doing so well with the rank and file, the mainstream media are already pouncing on him, making him out to be full of flip-flops, struggling for a voice, etc. etc.

they must be scared if they're jumping on him this early.

skippy has not endorsed any candidate, as of yet. however, if you were to go over to blog for america and contribute something to dr. dean, we won't mind.
posted by skippy at 3:15 PM | 0 comments

bill! we love you still

except maybe in n'arleans, where tropical storm bill is expected to dump "some of the heaviest rain you've seen isnce hurricane lili," according to the national weather service.

here's a nice video from the weather channel showing the details.

if you're anywhere on the coast of loozyanne, mississip, or alabam, get inside! and bring your computer with you!
posted by skippy at 2:52 PM | 0 comments

Sunday, June 29, 2003

congratulations!

you are the 150,000th visitor to skippy!
posted by skippy at 12:13 AM | 0 comments

just don't click on the site during dinner

the government, in a surprise move yesterday, did something that actually helps people.

the federal trade comission unveiled its new web site designed to stop those annoying telemarketing calls. log onto www.donotcall.gov, click a button or two, and you too can eat dinner in peace, according to yahoo.

"consumer registrations continue to be high as we expected," federal trade commission spokeswoman cathy mcfarlane said late saturday.

the sfchron says it was getting 1,000 hits every second at noon yesterday, and by 5 pm over 750,000 names and numbers had been registered.

unfortunately, the site is so popular, it's been flooded with applicants and is becoming bogged down. the st. petersberg times says

so many people want to get on the list to block telemarketing calls that government web servers crumbled under the strain, and [dave] carley never got through.

"everybody in the u.s. wants to sign up and get rid of the burden," carley, 75, of belleair said. "i'm very frustrated, but i'm not surprised."


now if we can do something about those emails from nigeria.

posted by skippy at 12:07 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, June 28, 2003

it's a good day to be anti-war

the san francisco d.a. dropped charges against 400 anti-war protesters, citing a lack of evidence, reports the sfchron.

the dismissals came just one week after prosecutors had refiled the cases to keep them from being dropped. prosecutors said friday that the police department had given them nothing to go on to secure convictions against the demonstrators, who were among 2,300 people arrested during more than four days of protests that tied up much of downtown san francisco.

apparently nobody could could actually provide the paperwork necessary to make the cases.

[assistant d.a. mike] menesini said prosecutors always doubted that they could secure convictions based on the underlying misdemeanor on which the protesters originally were arrested, unlawful assembly. many were also arrested for interfering with police, but defense lawyers said police simply could not prove who was guilty of what.

posted by skippy at 11:47 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to the global citizen. we have often linked to doug mcgill's stories from the mcgill report before, and we are now happy to add his blog the global citizen to our blogroll.
posted by skippy at 8:50 PM | 0 comments

terror level now raised to brown (shirts)

things are getting tighter here at home. now, apparently, sedition can be retro-active. 11 men were arrested in virginia for being part of a terrorist cell. the evidence? they played paintball (which they stopped after 9/11) and they traveled to pakistan in 2000 to listen to lectures by a group that was not labeled a terrorist group at the time, but has since been put on the terror organization list.

us officials believe that lashkar-e-taiba has no official ties to such global terrorist organizations as al qaeda, but that it may be expanding its portfolio to help in muslim conflicts elsewhere in the world, in part through recruiting, plotting and fund-raising in the united states.

that's pre-emptive justice!

and what about american citizen iyman feris? that's right, american citizen. the miami herald reports that one day, all of a sudden, he was "disappeared" from his ohio home. he was arrested, but not allowed a lawyer, or a phone call. then six weeks later, he was "allowed" to plead guilty to plotting to blow up the brooklyn bridge. but of course the trial was secret, the plea was sealed, and so was the sentence.

sure, you heard the pr reports a few weeks ago, the plot to blow up the brooklyn bridge. but you didn't hear that the guy was incommunicado, or that nobody knows where he is now. nor have you heard the government's evidence against the guy.

be afraid. be very afraid.

(big thanks to antiwar.com for the links!)
posted by skippy at 1:09 PM | 0 comments

the temps are high; the morale, low

time.com has a story this week which says that republican senator richard lugar, chairman of the foreign relations committee, called the white house and urged them to to "level" with the american people about iraq.

fresh from a visit to baghdad, lugar warned: "the idea that we will be in just as long as we need to and not a day more — we've got to get over that rhetoric. it is rubbish! we're going to be there a long time."

and that's not so good for the troops who are still there.

average daily temperatures in baghdad now are upward of 110 degrees, and u.s. troops who had hoped to be home in time for july 4th cookouts instead find themselves facing an enemy indistinguishable from the (often hostile) civilian population. and the enemy's strategy is to avoid ever presenting himself as a visible target, hoping to sap american morale and alienate the u.s. from the local population through hit and run attacks, and sabotage of reconstruction efforts.

and for some reason, other countries are not lining up to help the u.s. by deploying their own troops into iraq. hm. hey, awol, does the word "karma" mean anything to you?

meanwhile, in an effort to spread democracy, the occupations forces have halted free elections in iraq, says the washpost:

the decision to deny iraqis a direct role in selecting municipal governments is creating anger and resentment among aspiring leaders and ordinary citizens, who say the u.s.-led occupation forces are not making good on their promise to bring greater freedom and democracy to a country dominated for three decades by saddam hussein.

oh, that'll make things so much easier for the troops over there.
posted by skippy at 1:02 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to the people's republic of seabrook, a fine, fine blog, very popular in blogtopia (y!wctp!) and we at skippy are quite remiss in not having linked to it earlier.
posted by skippy at 12:41 PM | 0 comments

the war that keeps on giving part the next day

the bodies of two missing soldiers who were missing in iraq since wednesday have been found north of baghdad, reports the sfchron.

the soldiers' remains were found 20 miles northwest of the capital, the military said.

sgt. 1st class gladimir philippe, 37, of linden, n.j., and pfc. kevin ott, 27, of columbus, ohio, had disappeared along with their humvee on wednesday from the town of balad, 25 miles north of baghdad. no further details were immediately available


the chronicle now puts the death toll of americans since the war began over "the grim milestone of 200."

the deaths bring to at least 63 the number of u.s. troops killed in iraq since major combat was declared over on may 1. the military has confirmed the identities of 138 soldiers killed before that date, while the names of several other casualties have not yet been made available.

in addition, some 42 british troops have died in the current conflict. the american death toll was still far below the 382 u.s. troops killed in the 1991 gulf war.


let's hope we don't reach that number this time.

posted by skippy at 12:34 PM | 0 comments

more fun with google

anyone can do it.
posted by skippy at 12:28 AM | 0 comments

the war that keeps on giving part one killed, four wounded

breaking news early saturday morning in iraq: one us soldier killed, four others wounded in northeast baghdad attack, says abc news.

attackers opened fire on a u.s. convoy in northeast baghdad, killing one american soldier and wounding four others, the u.s. military said saturday. the attack occurred just after 11 p.m. friday night in the thawra neighborhood, military spokesman sgt. patrick compton said.

the hour is late as we write this, and therefore have tragically lost count of the coalition forces dead since the end of the war, but know it's substantial.
posted by skippy at 12:24 AM | 0 comments

Friday, June 27, 2003

"people have died, bush lied"

the guy actually got the rhythm pretty wrong, but at least this little rhyming meme has made the mainstream news.

or at least the san jose mercury news. in this article talking about awol's fundraising in california, the protesters are given the lead paragraph:

although the northern california weather was warm, president bush's welcome to the bay area this morning was not as hundreds of protesters lined the streets near the burlingame marriott hotel where bush spoke at a gop fund-raising event.


then, during a trip down south to los angeles (sorry, skippy was unable to attend this function, either inside or out) awol was greeted by about 2000 protesters outside the century city hotel where he raised more money, says the san jose mercury in another article.

and the local southland fox affiliate says code pink screwed up the meme even worse:

five women from a group called code pink women for peace got a room at the hotel so that they could protest inside. they wore pink bridesmaid-style dresses with hot pink sashes protesting the u.s. involvement in iraq. carol norris, 41, a political writer from san francisco, carried the message: "bush lied how many died?"

ok, people, once more, keep it simple: bush lied, people died, bush lied, people died (repeat ad nauseum, or until you get nauseated yourself).

notice that abc news puts the number of protesters for the entire west coast at "hundreds," which is technically correct. 2000 is 20 hundreds.

we are not surprised. abc is run by hundreds of idiots.
posted by skippy at 9:22 PM | 0 comments

confidence up, stocks down, irony all around

in spite of news that personal income, spending, and consumer confidence were all up (plus the fed cutting interest rates again), the market dropped almost 90 points at the last possible moment in trading today.

many people will (accurately) tell you that the second quarter of this year showed amazing gains: 17.6 percent, the first double digit gain in 18 months.

but remember, a percentage is just a comparison of two numbers. without knowing the two numbers, percentages are practically meaningless (which is why mainstream news and repubbblicans love them so much).

that 17.6% gain is from the low point of the last 3 months: 7400 (approximately) in the middle of march (iraq war). now the market is at 9000 or so. the 1600 gain from 7400 to 9000 is 17.6%. ok, that's nice.

what nobody is mentioning is that, if you compare the market to about a year ago, we're basically back to square one. that's right. we are at about 9000, which is where the market was at in july/august '02.

so the percentage there, or the comparison of last year to this year would be...that's right...zero percent. nada. nil. naught. squat. zot. zip. zilch. null set. nothing. goose egg. shut out. love. void. (more synonyms available here)

the truth is, this upward trend looks suspiciously like another bounce of the dead cat for the last two years.

and you don't want to look at the 5 year chart.

posted by skippy at 8:07 PM | 0 comments

blogging around

on tom tomorrow's site, bob harris has a link to a video of awol sitting in the florida classroom for 5 full minutes after being informed the second tower was hit on 9/11.

over at eschaton, leah points out that terry mcauliffe called the daily kos to thank him for kos's idea of epatriots. (we hope terry didn't reverse the charges! he can afford it!) kos is putting together a memo to send to mcauliff with ideas about how blogtopia (y!wctp!) can help the dems, so go over there and leave an idea.

also at the kos: awol's continuing disrespecting of the military, where it counts (ie, benefits, telling the truth, bringing people home, etc) is not going unnoticed by the armed services.

susan, at easy bake oven, links to a report on people who email each other to meet and perform weird interactions in public - very performance art, very new york.

william saffire writes to the rittenhouse review.

plucky punk had the same trouble with blogger this week that we did.

unknown news reports on torture by the us in afghanistan.

talkleft reports on the supreme's overturning of a death sentence because of ineffective councel.

both busy busy busy and south knox bubba have silly pictures of michael weener (are there any other kind?)

according to silflay hraka's theory, our blog is read a little more than 9 and three quarters hours every day. hm.

conrad is traveling, but don't worry, the gweilo diaries are being manned by giles ward in the meantime.

the skeptician has the latest on the anti-crime bill in the senate...including the toasters that electrocute people who try to unwedge slices with a knife.

maxspeak correctly predicted the top two winners in the moveon.org primary (what, carol mosley brown didn't place?)
posted by skippy at 7:38 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to a rational animal.

also, say hello to a nickel's worth of free advice.
posted by skippy at 6:17 PM | 0 comments

the war that keeps on giving part june 27

a u.s. soldier was killed in the town of kufah, south of baghdad today, says the australian broadcast corp. this is of concern to coalition authorities, because until now, the south of iraq was considered to be relatively peaceful, free of the insurgency problems of late.

and another soldier was shot in the neck while buying dvd's in baghdad, reuters reports.

"he took out dollars from his pocket and as i looked at the money i heard a bang. he froze and then fell backwards," the owner [of the store where the soldier was shot] told reuters television. "two other soldiers came in, picked him up and took him away."

this latest incident is one in an increasing amount of violence and sabotage directed against the coalition forces. the boston globe says:

the past two days have seen a torrent of guerrilla-style ambushes that have killed at least two u.s. soldiers, with a third dying in a non-combat accident. two u.s. soldiers remained missing friday night, three days after their apparent abduction from a guard post north of the capital.

saboteurs also have been attacking baghdad's power grid and oil pipelines, foiling coalition efforts to restore services to the iraqi people as temperatures climb as high as 117 degrees.


and, says the canadian globe and mail, an army truck struck what appeared to be a landmine friday, the latest in a series of attacks raising concern that the united states could be confronting a guerrilla war in iraq.

the kansas city star reports neutralizing baathist resistance is proving to be more difficult than the pentagon calculated, and the continuing violence is becoming an embarrassment, said a u.s. official in baghdad.

and nobody's feeling particularly comfortable in baghdad. the boston globe says that sabotage has turned up the heat in that city, or least turned down the air conditioning:

sabotage against baghdad's power grids has blacked out much of the city for days on end, forcing residents to sleep on roofs, fan infants and study by candlelight.

the electric outages are also fueling anti-u.s. sentiment at a time occupation forces are seeking to quell a worsening insurgency that has seen a sharp rise in attacks on american troops.

with temperatures reaching 117 degrees, life has been almost unbearable.


but, don't worry. donald rumsfeld thinks all the violence is just the iraqi criminal element running amok after being released from prison. msnbc reports:

in many cases, attackers were common criminals, [rumsfeld] said, citing ousted president saddam hussein's decision to free ''something in the neighborhood of 100,000'' from prison shortly before the u.s.-led invasion in march.

''those people are out there,'' rumsfeld told reporters on capitol hill after a closed-door meeting with senate members. ''they're doing things that are unhelpful to the iraqi people.''


pretty damn unhelpful to the u.s. soldiers getting shot, too. but rummy doesn't have to worry.

he's back here in the good ol' usa.
posted by skippy at 6:09 PM | 0 comments

move on to the election

the results of the moveon.org primary are in, and to nobody's surprise (at least here at skippy international headquarters) howard dean walked away with it, to the tune of almost 44% of the votes, compared to dennis "the menance" kusinich's second place showing at just below 24%.

(we like cursor.org's line: "joe liberman bests al sharpton to take 8th place").

here's a press release about the primary. and here's the press coverage the primary received. but most importantly, at least in the mind of howard dean, is a page asking for contributions.

(we include this at the personal request of martin sheen...we know it's personal, because he addressed the email to us "dear friend"!)
posted by skippy at 5:48 PM | 0 comments

blogging around

gail davis on line has some stirring excerpts from privatized hell and nation of victims, among other things.

bushies suck! examines the disparity of income between the top and the bottom.


scrapple face is looking for a literary alchemist-agent.

body and soul muses on children's books.

crowgirl looks over strom thurmond's career at magpie.


over at from the inside looking out, lorelei appears to be a genius to us.

the internet ronin discusses his experiences with zealotry, and why it wasn't pretty.

steve gilliard over at the kos looks indepth into the war that keeps on giving.

morons.org looks at the moronic response to the supreme court decision in the texas sodomy case.

peace tree farm is also following the brett bursey case.
posted by skippy at 12:02 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, June 26, 2003

we get letters

doug mcgill, of the mcgill report, sends us a heads up to his latest on a possible invasion of iran: give pistachios a chance.
posted by skippy at 6:40 PM | 0 comments

the war that keeps on giving part june 26 part two

we have never been so sorry to create an addendum to a post before. but it seems that news of another u.s. soldier's death in iraq came over the wires since we first wrote about the situation this morning.

abc news says 4 people were killed today, including 2 american soldiers and 2 iraqi's, and another 2 u.s. troops were abducted, in a series of attacks.

bomb and grenade ambushes and hostile fire thursday killed two american soldiers and two iraq civilians, signaling increased anti-american resistance in iraq despite u.s. claims of mopping up opposition. two american soldiers also were apparently abducted.

in the latest reported attack, a member of a u.s. special operations force was killed and eight were injured thursday morning by hostile fire southwest of baghdad, the u.s. military said, giving no further details.
posted by skippy at 1:36 PM | 0 comments

we forgot to mention...michael weener is a weener

today is savage michael weiner day in blogtopia (y!wctp!) in which all participating blogs should make fun of michael weener, because he is suing some of our friends, including those guys at take back the media. so, here goes:

mike...you're a doody head! bite us!

hey, we're just rising to his level...
posted by skippy at 1:13 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to morons.org.
posted by skippy at 12:39 PM | 0 comments

let's hear it for the supremes!

sometimes life goes and surprises you just when you least expect it.

the supreme court struck down the texas sodomy law, says abc news, handing down a decision that landed squarely on the side of privacy rights, something we thought was unconstitutional under john ashcroft's justice department these days.

the christian science monitor explains it:

in a landmark 6-to-3 decision announced yesterday, america's highest court commanded the states to get out of the business of attempting to regulate what can or can't happen within private, intimate relationships between consenting adults. instead, five of the six majority justices ruled that americans enjoy a fundamental right to conduct the most personal and private aspects of their lives free from the prying eyes of government officials.

this ruling reinforces one of the basic tenants of roe v. wade, relationship privacy, making it very difficult for future courts to weaken that law. "roe v. wade is inviolable for all time," says david garrow, a legal historian and author of the book "liberty and sexuality."

the ruling also is win for people everywhere who enjoy sex and don't particularly want their neighbors to stick their noses into it (unless that's what gets your rocks off).

the data lounge reports that the dissenting judges were (here's a surprise) rehnquist, scalia and thomas.

in an unusual move, justice scalia read his dissent from the bench, a move many felt was intended to underscore the depth of his disagreement with the majority. "the court has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda," scalia said.

"the court has taken sides in the culture war," scalia said, adding that he has "nothing against homosexuals."


oh yeah, sure. i bet some of his his vice president's best daughters are gay.

addendum: for a much better analysis of what the supremes did yesterday, visit our friends talkleft and how appealing, who are actual lawyers and know what they're talking about (and talkleft reminds us to take a quick peak at is that legal, another fine law blog).
posted by skippy at 12:35 PM | 0 comments

the war that keeps on giving part june 26


another u.s. soldier has died in an ambush in isouthwest of baghdad today, raising the total of coalition forces killed since the day the statue died to a whopping 93.

msnbc says:

one american special forces soldier was killed and eight others wounded on thursday by hostile fire in southwestern baghdad, the u.s. military said.

the uk independent says two iraqi's that were traveling with an american convoy were also injured in a separate attack:

an apparent explosive device on the dangerous road between baghdad and the airport killed the soldier and wounded another. the iraqis were in an american convoy when they died in a grenade attack.

amid spiraling assaults on coalition forces, arab satellite station al–jazeera reported today that it had received a statement and videotape from an alleged iraqi resistance group that claimed responsibility for attacks and threatened more.


we agree with the title of this report from the asia times: hell starts now.

the british still don't get the point. minister of defense geoff hoon stressed that his priority was "the security of british forces" - so more reinforcements ultimately will be sent to iraq. but since the "official" end of the war, security for westerners has only been translated into insecurity for the locals. an expert from the royal united forces institute, quoted by agence france presse, admitted that the "honeymoon" between the british and the shi'ite population in the south was over: among other reasons because their aspirations have not been met and there has been no improvement in their lives.

no improvement in their lives? sounds like america during the last 2 years to us.
posted by skippy at 12:12 PM | 0 comments

sorry for the delay

blogger was down for maintenance yesterday, so the staff at skippy was not able to blog. we hope to continue with our fine work today.
posted by skippy at 10:09 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

and we're going to film 'oklahoma' as a musical!

miramax announced plans to make "damn yankees" into a movie...and says it still has plans to film "guys and dolls" as well, says yahoo.

uh, harvey...we got some bad news for you...
posted by skippy at 9:11 PM | 0 comments

paying the piper for the right to assemble

25 anti-war protesters, who blocked the docks at the port of oakland in april, were charged with failure to disperse today, says the oakland tribune.

many of the people charged claim it's the government's pre-emptive strike against those who have filed claims against the city and police for injuries sustained in the melee.

jack heyman, 59, the elected weekend business agent for the international longshore and warehouse union local 10, was charged with failure to comply with the order of a police officer and resisting or obstructing a police officer. police said he was arrested after he refused to move his car as ordered..."i think it's a cynical pre-emptive strike by the local authorities to shield themselves from a soon-to-be-pending class-action lawsuit on behalf of my client," [attorney ted cassman] said.

police used bean bag guns, rubber bullets and wooden dowels to break up the protest that day.

owch! freedom hurts!
posted by skippy at 9:05 PM | 0 comments

entertainment reviews

just have to take time out from our usual rants about awol to weigh in on a couple of pop culture phenoms we like.

skippy was incredibly happy when, for his 50th b-day, mrs. skippy presented him with "how the west was won," the 3-cd set of live performances by led zeppelin.

even without the 24 minute "whole lotta love" psychadelia which includes detours into "hello marylou, goodbye heart" as well as john lee hooker's "boogie chillun," "goin' down slow" and jerry lieber's "let's have a party;" even without 25 minutes of "dazed and confused" (which reminds us that the 70's were really what stereo was invented for...jimmy's notes alternate from speaker to speaker, like it was, man, stereo!); even without the standards "rock and roll," "stairway to heaven," "black dog" and the "bron-yr-aur stomp;" even without all those, john bohham's 17 minute drum solo on "moby dick" define what heavy metal is all about.

you heard us right. 17 minute drum solo! faaaaaar out, man!

eat your heart out metallica!

and, on tv, the entire staff at skippy international headquarters is addicted to hbo's "the wire." this isn't television, folks, this is a filmed novel; it's a 25 hour movie; it's life on the docks and in the ghetto and in the precincts and in the jail cells, and we're just flies on the stinkin' walls privvy to the depths of human behavior.

we said last year it's "war and peace" on crack...brilliant writing. but it's not easy watching, people. you are required to pay attention, and think, and feel. you can not read a book or converse or make a snack while perusing "the wire." you'll miss something, and every single thing is important, and something you won't understand in one episode will come back and bite you on the ass 3 episodes later, just like reality.

in fact, if you haven't been watching "the wire" since the beginning of last year (because this season picks up exactly where last season left off), forget it. you're way behind. you'll never catch up.

just wait for the sopranos to come back on.
posted by skippy at 8:57 PM | 0 comments

total recall

we can't say we are enamored of gov. gray "is that a contribution in your pocket or are you just happy to see me" davis any more than the next guy (unless the next guy happens to be bill simon), but this recall effort underway now smacks of one more attempt on the part of the rich to buy politics.

the sfchron reports that about half of the signatures needed to get the recall effort qualified for a ballot have been collected by now (although our fav newspaper named after an insect, the sacto bee, says the fraction is closer to one third).

though we are not happy to pay any more for our car registration, we agree with davis when he calls the recall effort "partisan mischief by the right wing." specifically, darrell issa, the san diego repubblican who has funneled $1.5 million of his own dough into the effort, hoping to get the state's top job as a result.

wait a minute, we just read that article about the car fees going up...tripling, even...mr. issa, where do we sign?
posted by skippy at 8:19 PM | 0 comments

blogging around

we heartily support ampol's campaign to help tucker carlson eat his clothing! (though personally, if we had to watch a right-winger play strip atkins, we wish it was d.a. nancy grace on court tv).

thanks to buzzflash, we found howie kurtzman reporting about right wing blogs taking on bill o'reilly, and cheered each and every one one of them!

speaking of howie, eric alterman takes him on (as well as asserting that, contrary to what timothy noah thinks, awol may be a liar, but he ain't stupid!).

freepie wonders how far away impeachment can be.

on the third hand, kathy kinsley is warning us about "smarter" spam.

the hamster links you to a weatherman who didn't know his live mic was picking him up while using the bathroom (talk about "news leaks"!)

forewarned is forearmed...instapundit tells us anne coulter will soon be blogging (there goes the neighborhood).

the smirking chimp tells us about one teacher's answer to the america's most wanted deck of cards: operation hidden agenda.

talkleft compares dean and kucinich on the issues.
posted by skippy at 7:38 PM | 0 comments

the chicks are all right

much like the war in iraq itself, the dixie chicks are still going strong, despite what the repubbblicans say.

forbes magazine lists the chicks as the 30th most powerful celebrities in the world, cbs 2 of chicago says (full disclosure: skippy is nowhere on that list).

the boston globe reports that, despite 6 lonely protesters, the chicks' concert at the fleetcenter went wonderfully (except for some "sound glitches," due to the performance in-the-round, which "only neil diamond has truly mastered").

newsday.com says that the song "travelin' soldier" at the new york concerts were met with ovations that were "enormous - in part because maines' delivery was so strikingly beautiful, in part because the chicks' faithful wanted to show their support."

meanwhile, toby keith takes the high road in the supposed "feud" between him and the chicks, says yahoo launch. we're glad somebody does.

posted by skippy at 7:23 PM | 0 comments

benton harbor update

we are glad to see that the riots in benton harbor of last week are not going to be swept under the rug and forgotten.

wndu-16 of michigan reports that many groups are calling for investigations into the death last week of motorcyclist terrence shurn, including all the benton harbor city commissioners which asked the u.s. justice department to look into the matter.

the southwest michigan coalition against racism and police brutality is asking michigan governor jennifer granholm for several things. they are asking for: an independent commission to look into shurn's death, a special prosecutor to figure out if police violated shurn's civil rights and legislation eliminating high-speed police chases between towns. they are also asking for financial compensation for shurn's family and the family of 11-year-old trenton patterson, who was struck and killed during another police chase nearly 3-years ago.

the rev. edward pinkney (first brought to our attention by cyndy of mousemusings) is the leader of the black autonomy network community organization (banco), which maintains that the racial biasis in court sentensings are the root of the riots last week.

“one particular group of people, the african americans, usually gets the maximum amount of time a judge can give them. and usually if you're caucasian or white you get the least amount that's available to you."

we hope that authorities will not let this matter fade away.
posted by skippy at 6:55 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to sick of bush.
posted by skippy at 6:46 PM | 0 comments

old hippie's trial postponed due to a technicality

no, it's not the technicality of the first amendment, though we wish it were that simple. brett bursey, who readers of this space will know, was arrested for holding a sign saying "no blood for oil" at a south carolina airport where awol was slated to appear, was set for trial today.

though he was denied a jury trial, because, after all, who needs a jury of your peers to judge your rights (what do you think this is, a democracy?), mr. bursey was supposed to go before a magistrate today to learn his fate. however, his lawyers found a technicality in, of all things, the punctuation of the original statute he was being charged under, says the associated press.

part of the technicality has to do a difference in punctuation in the government's complaint and the 500-word statute that bursey is being charged under, said attorney c. rauch wise, who also represented bursey when he was arrested in 1969 during a visit by then-president richard nixon.

the trial has now been postponed for at least a month. you can hear amy goodman interview mr. bursey (before his trial was postponed) at the democracy now page.

posted by skippy at 3:09 PM | 0 comments

the war that keeps on giving part six

in some of the highest casualty numbers per incident yet, 6 british troops were killed and 8 others wounded in two separate attacks in iraq today, says the bbc.

they mark the heaviest losses to enemy action suffered in a single day by us-led coalition forces since the war in iraq was declared largely over on 1 may, after the toppling of saddam hussein's regime.

it is also the heaviest loss of british life in a single hostile incident since uk forces entered iraq at the start of the war in late march.


bloomberg.com says

godric smith, a spokesman for prime minister tony blair, told reporters in london that the incident took place near the town of al-amarah, north of basra, in southern iraq. he declined to give any further details about the incident.

the killings were followed by a second incident in the same area, in which eight british soldiers from the parachute regiment were injured, three of them ``seriously,'' the ministry of defense said in a statement.


that raises the death toll in iraq of coalition forces to 89 since the day the statue died.

and americans are getting concerned. a new poll by abc news and the washington post shows a rising number of americans find the deaths in iraq since the end of the war to be unacceptable:

while 51 percent of americans in a new abcnews/washington post poll call the current level of u.s. casualties "acceptable," that's down from 66 percent in early april, when baghdad fell with little organized resistance. and the number calling casualties "unacceptable" has jumped by 16 points, to 44 percent.

and in the midst of it all comes this story from yahoo, about two army doctors who refused to help three iraqi children who were burned when they set fire to a bag of explosive powder left over from the war. the children's injuries, according to the doctors, were not "life threatening," nor were they "inflicted by u.s. troops."

that's not the way to win friends and influence people.
posted by skippy at 2:56 PM | 0 comments

Monday, June 23, 2003

correction

the lovely anna, the prettiest dean supporter in texas, wants us to know that, although we we cited a poll earlier showing kerry ahead of dean by 9 points, most other polls have the two statistically tied. and she says dean leads kerry among indys by 18 points (and we suppose she doesn't mean race car tracks).

that's what we get for using google.
posted by skippy at 10:57 PM | 0 comments

fun with google

sometimes it's too easy.
posted by skippy at 10:55 PM | 0 comments

blogging around

aside from the regular good stuff on eschaton, lambert has taken to capitalizing the 'w' in 'yawn.' (go see for yourself, our style sheet prohibits us from showing you a proper example.)

sullywatch is deconstructing david brooks on the weekly standard.

peace tree farm eulogizes the greats that fell last week, something we were remiss in doing, especially the wonderful hume cronyn, and the nutty george axelrod.

eric at the hamster warns of the beginning onslaught against dean by the conservatives.

the daily kos explains the growing westar/tom delay scandal.

spade hammer links to all the stories about iraq which make you think of the word "quagmire."

dr. carol agrees with jimmy breslin: this isn't your country anymore.

norm over at onegoodmove presents a good graphic (courtesy of tom tomorrow).

talkleft reports on federal judge john s. martin, jr., and his decision to quit the bench because sentensing has become so unfair.

and finally, suckful is on vacation. have a good one, suck!
posted by skippy at 10:50 PM | 0 comments

ways and memes

is our head getting big? memeufacture (who assures us it's more about links to urls than actual influence) listed our blog as the third most influencial blog on the left.

we are humbled. if we are so influencial, we must use it for good, and not evil

kids, don't drink when you drive. you could spill some and really stink up the car.
posted by skippy at 10:27 PM | 0 comments

wow

no clue how joe 6 pack got this page, but it's pretty damn neat. links to everything and everyone you want.
posted by skippy at 9:54 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to society's memory bank, who currently is as astonished as we are that george will said something worthwhile.
posted by skippy at 9:50 PM | 0 comments

new, improved flavor

we were quite pleased to see a comment by the watchful babbler on our site. doxagora is one of the better, and certainly more well thought out, blogs on the right side of the aisle. and we like the bright new look doxagora is sporting these days!

check it out! watchful does not follow partisan platforms of any stripe, and is actually more independent-minded than a lot of the folks on either side of the aisle. we highly recommend his blog.
posted by skippy at 9:49 PM | 0 comments

vote early and often

remember, the moveon.org primary is tomorrow! be sure to vote! and go here to find out about the candidates!
posted by skippy at 2:47 PM | 0 comments

he's a dean among men

it's official! vermont guv howard dean has announced his candidacy for president. we didn't watch the announcment, but you can here (and then let anna know what you think). we were, however, happy to see it was broadcast over msnbc and parts of it over cnn, thus displacing awol talking to biotechies about making money for the sky box class.

and dean seems to be making some in-roads. although kerry leads him by 9 points in new hampshire, dean is kicking repubbblican butt elsewhere. in an informal poll taken in wisconsin by greenbay gazette, dean got 47% to awol's 36%.

joe klein, showing his primary colors, says in time magazine that dean isn't going away:

dean is a master of the snappy formulation. he tells audiences, for example, that the president's tax cuts will "raise local property taxes and reduce services." this has the virtue of being accurate — there will be less money to cities and towns — and accessible. in any case, dean has unlocked a fairly new and vibrant democratic constituency that transcends his left-wing peacenik stereotype. it is young, middle class, white and wired.

[ed. note: switch to decaf!]
posted by skippy at 2:38 PM | 0 comments

support our troops, now more than ever

funny how two or three months ago, all the dixie chicks cd burnings and shouting down of janine garafalo seemed to indicate a huge ground swell of patriotic support for our troops overseas.

we say it's funny (as in 'odd,' because there is certainly nothing 'humorous' about this), because nowadays you don't hear anything about the troops. nobody seems to care about the men and women who are stuck over there, still putting their lives on the line everyday, for awol's america (update: 77 u.s. troops killed in iraq since the day the statue died).

the boston globe puts it well:

now, no one seems to care, said leemon, whose husband is among thousands of u.s. servicemen and servicewomen still stuck in the sand and sweltering sun, trying to rebuild a smashed country without getting killed first.

''they say there isn't a war,'' [sheryl] leemon said. ''they don't understand. it was a little bit easier when the signs were flying, support our troops.'' leemon is among a legion of wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters still waiting for their loved ones to come home.


it can't be easy over there. the san diego union-tribune says

guerrilla-style attacks continue and many of the soldiers are chafing at their role as peacekeepers as their stay in iraq is extended into the summer and temperatures inside their armored vehicles soar as high as 130 degrees.

the good news is, we may have killed saddam...again! we certainly wounded some syrians.

sorry about that, syria!

posted by skippy at 2:23 PM | 0 comments

another change of address!

joe sixpack's elegant blog has a new name and new address, kids, it's now simply joe 6 pack, found at http://joe6pack.blogeye.com/.

make a note!
posted by skippy at 2:08 PM | 0 comments

don't let overtime get under done

the afl-cio is warning us that the 40 hour work week is in danger of being expanded, with overtime cut away. this site will tell you more.
posted by skippy at 2:04 PM | 0 comments

Sunday, June 22, 2003

the war that keeps on giving, part the next part

we knew our luck couldn't hold out. after two days of no fatalities in iraq, another u.s. soldier was killed in a grenade attack, says the san jose mercury news.

a grenade attack on a u.s. military convoy south of baghdad killed one soldier and wounded another, the u.s. military said. after the attack in khan azad, just south of the capital, two soldiers were evacuated by ambulance to a combat support hospital, the military said in a statement.

the mercury news reports that the serviceman was the ninth soldier to die of hostile action this month in iraq.

and, abcnews says another pipeline explosion looks like sabotage.

a fuel pipeline exploded and caught fire west of baghdad, a possible act of sabotage that sent flames high into the sky, as iraq returned to world oil markets sunday with its first crude oil exports since the u.s.-led invasion.

we're unsure if abc means sunday was the day of the explosion or the day iraq returned to world oil markets. skippy's staff would write such an unclear sentence.

posted by skippy at 9:01 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, June 21, 2003

benton harbor update

you won't find any updates in the news. no, everything looks hunky-dory now, according to all the news reports. things have settled down and folks will look into the "problems." go back to your tv's people, there's nothing to be seen here.

luckily, one of skippy's interns thought of googling for "benton harbor" and the rev. edward pinkney. the rev. pinkney has apparently been an activist in the benton harbor area for some time now. here's a message from the freedom-lawyers group on yahoo! (you may have to register to access the board):

rev. pinkney told me the following:

1. an fbi report states that b.harbor men aged 12-28 are fourteen times more likely to be killed by police than the nat'l. average.
2. recently the police have started taking the boys/men/women/girls they pick up directly to jail, bypassing the police station altogether.
3. police used to run the drug ring in the area and would plant drugs in cars to get people convicted, therefore qualifying bh for more federal money. (the money goes to towns with serious drug problems.)
4. police know the judges and lawyers are all bad, so they can do whatever they wish.>
5. judges in bh decide who the public defenders will be - this is not done anywhere else. it causes the defenders to keep judges happy so they can continue to get their $72,000 to $420,000 salaries!!
6. rev. pinkney invited former state atty. general , now gov., jennifer granholm to bh a couple years ago. she vowed she'd help him. instead, she sabotaged a situation he was involved in. there is no one at the state level who will oversee bh, help rev. pinkney, act as watch dog, etc. no one.
7. the jail now has over 500 inmates. the legal limit is 373. 80% are black. the bonds are higher for blacks.
8. blacks always get the maximum sentence, whites always get minimum.
9. not one case has been dropped because money from court costs and fines is what the power structure is after.


it sounds as if the cyclist who died in the police chase was just the straw that broke the camel's back.
posted by skippy at 11:47 AM | 0 comments

at least they're starting to admit it

the washpost reports that the rising death toll in occupied-iraq is starting to worry some administration officials:

inside the bush administration, where top officials resolutely emphasize postwar progress in iraq while playing down the setbacks, the rising american death toll and the increasing number of attacks on u.s. troops are causing increasing worry.

they'd better worry about getting a good lawyer; independent on line says that belgium is filing war crimes lawsuits against various and sundry people, including our favorite absent without leave jet pilot:

brussles - war crimes lawsuits had been filed in belgium against eight top officials including united states president george bush and british prime minister tony blair, said the belgian authorities

and things are pretty bad on the front lines. when they aren't getting killed, the us troops face boredom, depression, general malaise reports the fort wayne news-sentinel.

“we had our hopes so high, thinking we were going home in june. we'd talk about it every day, about going home, having a barbecue. then it was, `you're going to fallujah,'" said pfc. derrick thomas, 21, of bensalem, pa. "it's time for 3rd id to go home. we fought the war, we won the war and we're still here."

and the pr war here at home is not going much better. even nicholas kristoff of the nytimes is beginning to suspect the pfc lynch story was not all it was cracked up to be:

"i met the americans at the hospital entrance," said dr. hussein salih, adding that mr. abdulrazak then led the americans to private lynch. the staff members all said that there was no resistance, and that they welcomed the americans. is this account the truth? i don't know, but every time i voiced skepticism, the doctors and staff all insisted: "go ask jessica! she'll tell you." the u.s. military has refused to make private lynch available, although that may be out of respect for her privacy; in any case, she is said to have no memory of her capture.

and how's that commission investigating 9/11 coming? not so good, says david corn of the nation:

six months after its birth, it is unclear whether this bipartisan commission is on a path to success. washington is littered with the remains of blue-ribbon panels that were more bust than blast. this commission could be overwhelmed by its task. it could end up thwarted by an administration more eager to stonewall than to share information.

nervous yet? well, you could always do what scientist ronald bailey in reason magazine did: join the aclu:

look people, we are far from living in a police state, but it is time to roll back the encroachments on our liberties that we have already endured. many americans are alarmed at what they regard as an erosion of their civil liberties, so it's not surprising that the aclu's membership is the highest it's ever been, totaling over 400,000 and growing. the aclu recognizes, as do most americans, that there is no tradeoff between liberty and security.

(thanks to antiwar.com for these links...it's a great site to visit, we recommend it daily!)
posted by skippy at 11:34 AM | 0 comments

back in kansas, toto

our bud and frequent reader laura newton has just returned from what she describes as "power point hell" from some kind of seminar in some kind of midwest town somewhere for some reason.

she brings our attention to july's vanity fair, where an article ("bush's brain trust") talks about wolfowitz and the decision to invade iraq. unfortunately, laura says, this article is not available on line, so go out there and buy some dead trees.

instead, she links us to this piece from the associated press: nigeria orders psychiatriac tests for bad drivers, and also this one: independence (missouri) man sells testicular implants, now with id chip.

thanks laura! those stories are actually more informing than anything about wolfowitz!
posted by skippy at 11:17 AM | 0 comments

Friday, June 20, 2003

the war that keeps on giving...intermission

thank god for small favors. no american troops were killed today in iraq.

however, two u.s. soliders were injured when saboteurs blew up a transformer with rocket-propelled grenades near the city of fallujah, reports foxnews.

the u.s. military said one of the suffered a concussion and the bruises from the impact of the rockets exploding near two bradley fighting vehicles at the gate [sic]

we're not sure, but apparently saboteurs knocked out one of the nouns from the above sentence, found on foxnews.com .
posted by skippy at 11:45 PM | 0 comments

the truth hurts

talkleft has a great graphic from a new zealand tv station.
posted by skippy at 4:51 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to the american times, chronicle of the 21st century.
posted by skippy at 4:47 PM | 0 comments

benton harbor update

rev. jesse jackson went to benton harbor to meet with community leaders following two nights of riots, sparked by the death of a motorcyclist during a police chase, says abcnews.

and michigan gov. granholm has promised to help, says the lansing state journal.

after surveying the area and attending what she described as a powerful, frank meeting with community leaders, granholm said, "the state must wrap its arms around this community."

asked why it took so long for officials to pay attention to the problems, she said: "it should never have to take violence to have elected officials pay attention, but we are paying attention and we are moving forward."




though jesse jackson was criticized by some benton harbor activists thursday for coming too late to their cause, on friday he was generally embraced for bringing more focus to their needs.

last night was the second of relative calm, stark contrast to the previous two nights when arson fires and rioting raged. the nation learned about the long simmering problems between affluent, mostly white st. joseph's and benton township, and the small city of benton harbor with an extremely high unemployment rate among its mostly african american population and rocky relationship with the police department.


posted by skippy at 4:42 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to onegoodmove.
posted by skippy at 12:18 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, June 19, 2003

more on the michigan riots

cyndy at mousemusings wrote in our comments section that we should check out bob's links and rants for some indepth coverage on the benton harbor riots up in michigan.

and sure enough, we find the kalamazoo gazette reports a different version than the official, cleaned-up, police report. to wit:

shurn died after a chase of his motorcycle, initiated by the berrien county sheriff's department, reached 100 mph, patterson said. the benton township police took over the pursuit and called it off, but "the rider had no way of knowing that and continued on his way. he was not able to maneuver the corner" and crashed, patterson said.

the people in the six-block neighborhood where shurn died see things differently. many say he was bumped by the township police car, causing the crash, which they contend is part of a pattern of brutality from several area police jurisdictions that has gone on for years against poor people.


and, the nytimes says it is only one in a recent series of fatal incidents between the police and the residents of this community.

they were still simmering, many said, over 7-year-old trent patterson, who died in a police chase a few years back, and arthur partee, who was strangled by police officers only two months ago. they said they were still seething over a teenager's mysterious drowning in the st. joseph's river in 1991, and the man who was shot in the back by an officer the year before.

cyndy provides the rev. edward pinkney's phone number (269-925-0001) for anyone who wants to get details.
posted by skippy at 7:33 PM | 0 comments

honey, have we paid our health insurance premiums?

sars update! 120 misdiagnosed cases in canada do not necessarily mean a new outbreak. well, that's a relief.

monkey pox update! 87 cases reported in the u.s.!

irritiable bowel syndrome update! drug used to treat alcoholics may help ibs sufferers (and those standing right next to them).

posted by skippy at 7:11 PM | 0 comments

freedom's just another word for nothin left to lose

remember, next tuesday, june 24, is brett bursey's day in court! (you'll remember, mr. bursey was arrested for refusing to leave the south carolina airport where he was holding a "no blood for oil" sign, because awol was expected to arrive, and doesn't like to think anyone in the whole world could disagree with him).

the economist says

mr bursey's supporters note that mr ashcroft's men have decided to test their anti-protester law in a conservative stronghold, where the armed forces tend to be viewed more generously than elderly hippies and where the case will be heard by a judge without a jury. it is easy to see how mr ashcroft might not warm to mr bursey, who heads a “progressive network” of liberal organisations, used to edit an alternative newspaper, and has organised protests against, among other things, american war policy, nuclear power, racism and the confederate flag.

yikes! we're not taking any book on mr. bursey's freedom...
posted by skippy at 7:04 PM | 0 comments

the war that keeps on giving part 190

another us soldier was killed in iraq today. this time, a medic in a military ambulance was ambushed, says the nytimes.

in the latest in a series of attacks on american troops here, a soldier from the 804th medical brigade was killed today when the military ambulance in which he was traveling came under fire from a rocket-propelled grenade. two other soldiers were wounded, according to a statement from the united states central command.

this brings the total of american dead in iraq since we went to war to 190.

meanwhile, voice of america news reports that a mortar attack on a coalition-run office in baghdad killed 1 iraqi, and wounded 12 others.

a u.s. military statement says a mortar was fired at the civil military operations center in the town of samarra. the center is a coalition-run office that coordinates humanitarian assistance between the military and civilian, non-governmental agencies.

in another incident earlier this week, gunmen fired at the mayor's office and courthouse in the town of fallujah, west of baghdad, and at a police station in khaldiyah.


why are the iraqi's so upset? could it be the complete lack of electricity in baghdad?

could it be the iraqi's distrust of u.s. administrator paul bremer's agenda?

could it be donny rumsfeld downplaying the recent violence in iraq, equating it to everyday violence in american cities? (which in itself should be frightening).

whatever it is, paul wolfowitz is finally admitting we're in the middle of a guerrilla war.

and don't worry about it. we're sending troops to azerbaijan, too. you know, the place the russians couldn't hold onto?

well, at least we know we were justified in invading iraq in the first place.
posted by skippy at 6:47 PM | 0 comments

don't make me ang lee. you wouldn't like me when i'm ang lee

not that skippy really enjoyed comics featuring the big green gallut in the first place, but advance word on the street is that the movie "the hulk" is a bore. we've heard that adults think the film is totally unwatchable when the cgi monster is on the screen, and little kids hate the "sensitive, adult" parts that director ang lee (director of "flying actors, hidden wires") infused into the flick.

foxnews says of "ang lee's grouchy hulk, sleeping audience"

the hulk is dark — soooo dark! and gloomy. it's also mind-blowingly slow for the first 40 minutes (i missed the first nine, but i'm assured nothing vital happened).

the nytimes says "tall and green, but no ho ho ho"

like the raging hulk himself, a computer-generated gumby on steroids who comes into full daylight view only after what feels like a whole mini-series' worth of earnest exposition, the movie is bulky and inarticulate, leaving behind a trail of wreckage and incoherence.

msnbc likes it, with a caveat:

“hulk” is more ponderous than it needs to be. it has overscaled emotions and steroid bulges of text too obvious to stand so much morbid emphasis. it isn’t for kids, given the freight of death and father/son strife.

but the seattle post intelligence hates it:

[director ang lee] gives the movie much more weight than it can bear. it's amazingly static and talky for a $150 million popcorn movie, and it misses the zip, the lightness of being and the heart-pounding exhilaration that gave last summer's "spider-man" all that repeat business.

as we said, we aren't particularly interested either way. skippy does have tickets (free) to go see it at the end of the month, so we'll let you know his opinions.

we just wanted to use that terrible pun in the headline to this post (which, full disclosure, we heard at a meeting last night; it's not original with our offices. but then, what is?)
posted by skippy at 6:25 PM | 0 comments

those old borrow and spend repubbblicans are at it again

nathan newman sends us a link to his post on bush's fiscal mismanagement. complete with a chart, it's bound to make you depressed.

and, speaking of the depression, in spite of a rise in the leading economic indicators, things just don't look good if you don't have a job and want one. yahoo reports:

three out of four employers expect to cut jobs or hold off on hiring this summer, contributing to the worst employment market since the early 1990s, a new survey said tuesday.

about two-thirds of employers said they don't expect to hire any additional workers and 9 percent plan to eliminate jobs during the july-to-september quarter, according to the survey by manpower inc.

"let's try not to get anyone too depressed,
[ed. note: ha ha! good pun, jeff!] but the facts are the facts," said jeffrey joerres, chairman and chief executive officer of manpower, which surveys 16,000 businesses for its quarterly survey.

to make matters worse, even though unemployment is not as high as it was in the 80's, the standard for full employment has been lowered, making the discrepency between how many are out of work and how many should be out of work, even greater. cnnmoney says:

in fact, 6 percent unemployment was -- in the early 1990s -- considered by many economists to be "full employment," or labor-market nirvana, the level at which the economy was growing strongly, but not so strongly that it fueled inflation.

that level is probably much lower today, however -- the congressional budget office, for example, believes 5.2 percent unemployment is the new standard for full employment.


so with unemployment at 6.1% or so, that's almost a whole percent above the new "full employment" standard. to add to the bad news:

and the labor force has grown much larger; 6.1 percent unemployment in 1994 meant 7.9 million people were out of work; now, 6.1 percent unemployment means 9 million people are jobless...

and today's unemployment rate could be much higher -- if the 4.7 million people who want a job but have given up looking all started looking for work again, thus rejoining the labor force, the unemployment rate would skyrocket to 9.1 percent.
posted by skippy at 6:11 PM | 0 comments

bush really does have balls...at least one of 'em!

thanks to the lovely crinkle of crinkle cutz, we were directed to george w. bush's magic war ball on the zug site. this explains a lot.
posted by skippy at 5:56 PM | 0 comments

hussein's personal secretary behind bars

the globe and mail is reporting that saddam hussein's personal secretary has been captured in iraq. this, of course, could spell crushing defeat for any saddam loyalists left to oppose the coalition forces.

without saddam's personal secretary, nobody will be able to remember anyone's birthday. appointments will be missed, and all copying (including collating) in iraq will come to a complete stand still.

"this is a coup for america," said mrs. hilda olsen, donald rumsfeld's personal secretary. "with that bitch out of the way, now maybe some work will get done around baghdad. she was always taking extra long lunches, and her hoity-toity attitude was really pissing all the other secreataries off. plus, she had a little you-know-what problem," mrs. olsen said, making a poorly-mimed gesture of drinking from a glass.

next on the most wanted list: chemical ali's stock room boy.
posted by skippy at 12:19 AM | 0 comments

chicks update

the country music channel is doing a special on the spat between the dixie chicks and toby keith. it will air this friday at 10 pm, according to media daily news:

cmt is planning a special on the public battle between the dixie chicks' natalie maines and toby keith called natalie vs. toby: both sides of the war. it will premiere at 10 p.m. friday. featuring interviews, photographs and news coverage, cmt explores the issue's impact on country music and how americans are taking sides.

the miami herald reports that the feud started long before nataline maines told the truth about awol when she was in england last spring:

the feud began in 2002, when maines criticized keith's song "courtesy of the red, white and blue," but it escalated when keith displayed a doctored photograph at his concerts, of maines with saddam hussein.

then maines appeared at the 2003 acm awards, wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the letters "futk," which she says stands for "freedom, understanding, tolerance and knowledge."


yeah. yeah, that's what it means. sure...

yahoo launch, however, reports that toby feels differently:

"who knows? i mean, if it was the first incident--run-in--i had had with her, you know, maybe, but she's a very miserable person and must lead a complete miserable existence,” keith said.

we should lead such miserable lives. but whatever the acronym stands for, we agree with dan deluca,of n the philadelphia inquirer, when he says support free speech: give the dixie chicks a break.

bashing and blackballing the chicks is a bad thing for country music, for a whole bunch of reasons. for starters, let's talk aesthetics. as anybody who loves merle haggard, dolly parton and johnny cash knows, country radio is bad, a slick assemblage of assembly-line cowboy-hatted hunks and airbrushed babes who, more often than not, are singing reheated pap and calling it "country." take a listen to such homestead homilies as lonestar's "my front porch looking in" or diamond rio's elevator-music gospel "i believe," and see if you're not repelled.

true enough. but enough bland-music bashing, dan, let's get constitutional:

second, let's talk free speech. i'm tired of high-on-their-horse defenders of the american way spouting off about how they believe in the first amendment, but only in some situations…

hey, guys, get this: if you're free to speak your mind only in "reasoned and principled" ways, and only in certain situations, then you're not free to speak your mind. you're either for free speech in the extreme, or you're against it.


futking right!
posted by skippy at 12:06 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

a pox on your monkey!

don't go to indiana!
posted by skippy at 6:38 PM | 0 comments

the war that keeps on giving part 74

upon further examination of lunaville's chart mapping out the coalition deaths in iraq (which is now a permanent link on our left hand side bar, right under the theme song for george w of the bush), we made a startling discovery.

the death rate since the end of the war (april 10, the day the statue died), just for u.s. soldiers alone has been more than 50% of fatal casualties during the war (117 during the war, 74 since the end).

spacewar.com puts it this way:

"more americans have been killed in iraq since april the 14th than have died in year we've occupied afghanistan.

"this morning -- like most recent mornings -- we awoke to the news of another servicemember killed in iraq," [missouri representative ike skelton] said. "that makes 51 deaths since may the 1st -- in other words, one dead american each day."



posted by skippy at 6:30 PM | 0 comments

don't get mad mad!

uh oh! instapundit has raised madkane's hackles, when, in this article about the differences between good and bad blogs, he made this off the cuff paranthetical:

(and when did lefties become "staid"? about 20 years ago, i'd guess.)

after listing a parcel of un-staid lefty bloggers (including a certain bush kangaroo, thanks, mad!) ms. kane has this to say:

i could go on and on listing far-from-staid voices on the left, but that could be construed as a rant, and we staid lefties never rant.

of course not. we're too boring.

ps. if you want to comment on instapundit's article at tech central, you must register and log in.

addendum: upon receipt of an email from our offices, prof. reynolds admits, quote "you aren't staid." he even capitalized the word "you" (which, as you all know, is not in our style sheet).

we will sleep easier tonight.


posted by skippy at 4:08 PM | 0 comments

talk about a battle creek!

the michigan town of benton harbor is under a state of emergency, following two nights of rioting after a motorcyclist was killed in a high speed police chase.

at least five buildings and several cars -- including four police cruisers -- were set ablaze, a woman and her 6-year-old child were hospitalized, and protestors hurled rocks and bottles at police as hundreds of protestors took to the streets tuesday night, according to police reports. there were also news reports that protestors injured two firefighters, and motorists were dragged from their vehicles and beaten.

observers say that tension between police and residents is nothing new in this impoverished southwest michigan community of about 12,000 people. the latest clash was triggered when 28-year-old terrance shurn was killed monday after losing control of his motorcycle following the chase by benton harbor police. the chase exceeded 100 mph, according to police.
posted by skippy at 11:11 AM | 0 comments

blogging around

be sure to check in with madkane's dubya's daily diary. it's blogoriffic!

the kos is in good form today: why we know it's a quagmire, and the troubles for tony blair just beginning.

thanks to lunaville, we have an update on the deaths of coalition forces in iraq.

k-marx considers class size in florida and how gov. jeb bush lies about it.

congratulations to jo fish, the democratic veteran, who logged in his 20,000th visitor last saturday!

tom tomorrow talks about awol's blocking of a 9/11 investigation.

antiwar.com is full of stories about regime change in iran (because it went so well in iraq).

unknown news finds evidence we are headed towards mass extinction.

from the chimp: what are americans dying for now? and heavy hand of america fans the taliban embers to life and having trouble finding people.

alterman's picking some fights.

and talkleft is worried patriot act ii will become the law of the land, and nobody will ntoice.
posted by skippy at 10:41 AM | 0 comments

once a weener, always a weener

thanks to cursor.org, we find an article by an old high school class mate's of michael weener. some weeners never grow up.
posted by skippy at 10:37 AM | 0 comments

say hello

to wallybrane's martian adventures.
posted by skippy at 10:33 AM | 0 comments

america's policy in iraq is taking a ba'ath

one us soldier fired into a crowd of baghdad protesters today, killing two. meanwhile across town, a drive-by shooter killed another american soldier, says reuters.

u.s. military officers said the soldier had acted in self- defense after a military convoy came under a hail of stones as it drove through the crowd into the former presidential compound now housing iraq's new rulers.

many observers think that first laying off, then killing off the populous is not the way to win the hearts and minds of the iraqi people.

critics say [u.s. administrator of iraq paul] bremer's sweeping "de-baathification" policy fails to distinguish between the hard men who enforced saddam's orders, the many who joined the party out of expediency and some genuine adherents to its arab nationalist ideology.

they say the policy has w who may turn to crime or to fighting the u.s.-led occupation, perhaps as part of a baathist underground.


addendum: bloomberg says agence france-presse reports two us soldiers killed in a grenade attack in southern iraq today.
posted by skippy at 10:25 AM | 0 comments