s skippy the bush kangaroo: September 2007

skippy the bush kangaroo

Sunday, September 30, 2007

skippy's sunday nite music club

best use of violins and accordian in a rock band we've heard in a long, long time...

arcade fire - no cars go (live at rock en seine 2005!)
posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 0 comments

rock around the clark

gen. wes clark will be appearing this friday at ucla's dodd hall. our buddy ms in la writes us:

just wanted to make you all aware of an exciting and rare opportunity to meet and mingle with general wes clark next friday afternoon, oct. 5, 4:00- 5:30 pm- at ucla, dodd hall. (see details in attachmt)

general clark will be speaking about his new book; "a time to lead", doing a book signing, and probably taking questions from the crowd as well.

and the good news is... it's free!

i've worked with and supported wes and his efforts for the past 4 years now, and can promise you it will be an enriching experience if you have the time. after 34 years of service, there are very few as well-versed on foreign affairs or the war-- er, the wars... as is general clark.

bring your tough questions.

hope to see you there!


ms in la


posted by skippy at 7:46 PM | 1 comments

sam i amnesty

blue girl, red state, is having her own blogroll amnesty. so if anybody wants to get on a blogroll of a very well-written and passionate blog (and you could do much worse), drop her a line.

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posted by skippy at 7:42 PM | 1 comments

anything you condo, we condo better

some views of the skippy's new place.

the kitchen, the bathroom, the courtyard fountain outside.


posted by skippy at 10:12 AM | 8 comments

question of the day, and then some...

of all the films directed by david lynch, which one's your favorite?

for me, it's a three-way tie. try guessing which three...

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posted by Jim Yeager at 7:00 AM | 7 comments

Saturday, September 29, 2007

skippy's saturday nite music club

the byrds - i'll feel a whole lot better


posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 2 comments

skippy's saturday nite music club - bonus trax!

via susie mandrak, here's

frank zappa - or is it spike jones? - stairway to heaven - live!


posted by skippy at 11:58 PM | 1 comments

swift justice

kudos to jon swift, our pal from the right (and by "right," we mean "right funny satire"), for a week well done of guest hosting c&l's blog round up.

aside from linking to our humble site twice, and one again today on his own site, mr. swift took the approach that both skippy and lambert tried when they were guest hosting the round up, and that is: link to as many smaller, lesser known blogs, in order to create as wide a new audiece as possible for the newer voices in blogtopia, and yes, we coined that phrase!

also, let's hand it to the kids at fdl who have, having been chastized by some, including us, for ignoring some of the big stories, today have written extensively about both updats on the jena 6 and the burmese demonstrations and their bloody consequences.

add that to the recent success against rudy's buddy who wanted to dismantle the electoral college results for california (thanks for letting skippy be a part of the solution, d-day!), and this week is pretty good for blogtopia, and yes, we coined that phrase.

but you already knew that.

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posted by skippy at 7:30 PM | 1 comments

awol...becomes a uniter

he's uniting the world against the u.s.
europeans angry after bush climate speech 'charade'. george bush was castigated by european diplomats and found himself isolated yesterday after a special conference on climate change ended without any progress.

"it was a total charade and has been exposed as a charade," the diplomat said. "i have never heard a more humiliating speech by a major leader. he [mr bush] was trying to present himself as a leader while showing no sign of leadership. it was a total failure."- london guardian
forget the speech...awol is a total failure.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 6:15 PM | 1 comments

a crude awakening

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 12:29 AM | 0 comments

quote of the day

say no more, digby:

everybody's asking today, "why are the republican front runners skipping all the debates sponsored by racial and ethnic minorities? that just doesn't seem smart." i think people just don't want to admit the obvious:

the republicans are the party of racists.
'nuff said!

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posted by skippy at 12:25 AM | 0 comments

modern day robber baron

american home mortgage investment corp. said it should be allowed to go after about $23 million of its employees' retirement savings because it gave them fair warning the money could be seized if the company sank into bankruptcy. - ap

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 12:02 AM | 2 comments

Friday, September 28, 2007

skippy's friday nite music club

david grimal string ensemble - eine kleine nacht musik - allegro - wolfgang amadeus mozart

our fav mozart...


posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 1 comments

three days of the condo

housing prices dropped significantly last month, the worst fall in decades. reuters:

today’s new home sales data from the commerce department showed the number of new homes sold dropped sharply in august, and the median selling price fell by its biggest margin in nearly 37 years.

but new home sales are not merely down: they are the lowest relative to long-term sales rates than they’ve been since the 1990-91 recession.

in fact, as the chart shows, going back to 1970, when the number of new units sold in a month (the black line) drops this far below its five-year average (the red-shaded area), recession (green stripes) is near at hand.

this is bad for the country. but it's good for skippy, because he and mrs. skippy have just become home owners, as of today.

escrow has closed on a westside la condo and the skippy's are property owners for the first time. the housing slump may be unfortunate for the mortgage companies (see cookie jill's post above about american home mortgage), but the lower prices make it a buyer's market.

the skippy's were able to get the condo for considerably less than the original asking price, as well as some repairs made by the sellar to make the place pristine.

next: new carpet, painting, new appliances, and the big move!

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posted by skippy at 11:46 PM | 10 comments

what does obama have in common with these lobbyists?

national rifle association, the carlyle group, the blackstone group, monsanto, pfizer inc., united health group, sempra energy and constellation energy.

answer: his new senior advisor.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:31 PM | 1 comments

kangaroo blogging friday

is there ever a wrong time to feed a kangaroo?

apparenlty, yes...


thx and a tip of the kangaroo...uh...tail, to reader tabbox for the photo!

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posted by skippy at 6:49 PM | 3 comments

when this country gets serious about...

this, that, and the other thing, then i'll get serious about being polite.

until then... well, i don't dare repeat that here. skippy might kick my tail if i do...


posted by Jim Yeager at 3:00 PM | 0 comments

courage the cowardly repubbblican

you may remember our post about the courage campaign working to stop cal. repubbbs from trying to dismantle the current federal electoral college system on a single state level.

(our personal argument is, if you want to get rid of the electoral college, you have to do it on a federal level and do it all at once. we've have no quibble for that.)

as first alerted us by c&l, it turns out that we won! the latimes:

a proposed california initiative campaign that could have helped republicans hold on to the white house in 2008 was a shambles thursday night, as two of its key consultants quit.

unable to raise sufficient money and angered over a lack of disclosure by its one large donor, veteran political law attorney thomas hiltachk, who drafted the measure, said he was resigning from the committee.

hiltachk's departure is a major blow to the operation because he organized other consultants who had set about trying to raise money and gather signatures for the initiative. campaign spokesman kevin eckery said he was ending his role as well.

there remained a chance that the measure could be revived, but only if a major donor were to come forward to fund the petition drive. however, time is short to gather the hundreds of thousands of signatures needed by the end of november. and backers said thursday that they believed the measure was all but dead, at least for the 2008 election.

" 'shambles' is the wrong word," said strategist marty wilson, who curtailed his fundraising efforts weeks ago. "the campaign never got off the ground."
how about "stupid"? is that the right word?

skippy is proud to have had a part, however small, in helping democracy towards this victory.

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posted by skippy at 9:21 AM | 3 comments

the joy of living in this special community

we affectionately call "adobe disneyland", is that there is so many things to do, especially in the cultural corner. so much, in fact, that one often feels overwhelmed trying to make choices between great things.

this weekend is chockful of to do items. but top on my list is the santa barbara book and author festival. a couple of the panels/discussions i have noted in my filo-fax are: "what's next for newspapers" featuring some local bloggers and jerry roberts, the much beloved former editor of the santa barbara news-press and naomi klein's lecture on her new book, the shock doctrine. the best part...it's all free of charge.

what's on your schedule this weekend?


posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:32 AM | 3 comments

Thursday, September 27, 2007

skippy's thursday nite music club

human league - don't you want me baby

yes, it's the chocolate chip cookie commercial song...


posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 5 comments

phony human being


posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:10 PM | 1 comments

what, it's okay if you're a chickenhawk?

yo, republicans! rush limbaugh has called americans who have both served in the military and are opposed to continuing the war in iraq "phony soldiers". how come i don't hear any of you caterwauling about that? you people didn't keep quiet when you found out about moveon's "general betray us" ad in the new york times, did you? questioning the patriotism of anyone who's ever served in the military is flat out wrong, isn't it? isn't it?

so where's your knee-jerk outrage now?

{*even the crickets are silent*}

* * *

"now i remember the reason i still link to kos's website on my own blog" update: jon soltz of votevets.org not only takes exception to limbaugh's "phony soldiers" remark, he issues a challenge to the king of all republican shills:

...you weren't just flat out wrong, you offended a majority of those of us who actually had the courage to go to iraq and serve, while you sat back in your nice studio, coming up with crap like this.

my challenge to you, then, is to have me on the show and say all of this again, right to the face of someone who served in iraq. i'll come on any day, any time. not only will i once again explain why your comments were so wrong, but i will completely school you on why your refusal to seek a way out of iraq is only aiding al qaeda and crippling american security.

ball's in your court.

if you would like to hear mr. soltz school the lard out of limbaugh one fine day, go here. (yeah, i know, the odds are insanely good that hell will freeze over before this happens. but come on, it's an affordable bet. think of the payoff should you actually win...)

[ed. addendum: nicole belle of c&l has contact info for some dems that voted to condemn the moveon ad. why not call them and ask if they're planning to condemn limbaugh?]


posted by Jim Yeager at 8:20 PM | 2 comments

going for the gold

the scotsman reports that several countries of the european union are considering boycotting the chinese olympics next year in light of the deaths of protesting monks in myanmar:

burma's political crisis was thrust to the front of the international stage yesterday following the shooting death of a japanese journalist and an explicit threat from the eu's most powerful political grouping that china's 2008 olympics faces boycott unless it intervenes against the country's ruling junta.

following a day in which at least nine people were killed, hundreds of monks were arrested, indiscriminate beatings administered to protesters and automatic weapons were fired into crowds, the deputy foreign minister of the junta told foreign diplomats summoned to its new jungle capital, naypyidaw that "the government is committed to showing restraint in its response to the provocations".
if that's restraint, we'd hate to see them go full throttle.

for the first time yesterday, china publicly called for restraint in burma but edward mcmillan-scott, the vice president of the european parliament, said european union countries should boycott the 2008 beijing olympics unless china intervenes in burma.

the british conservative mep is backed by the assembly's largest political group - the centre-right european people's party, which includes the governing parties of france and germany - and the liberal grouping within the eu legislature.

"the consensus around the european parliament is that china is the key. china is the puppet master of burma," mr mcmillan-scott said.

"the olympics is the only real lever we have to make china act.

"the civilised world must seriously consider shunning china by using the beijing olympics to send the clear message that such abuses of human rights are not acceptable."

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posted by skippy at 6:52 PM | 0 comments

for whom the bell tolls

we are proud to say firedoglake is on top of the jena 6 issue...they report that mike bell has made bail:

mervyn marcano of color of change sends this:

mychael bell’s bail was posted today and it looks as if he will be released soon.

this is great news. this comes after the governor forced district attorney reed walters to halt his appeal of a 3rd district court decision to move his case to juvenile court.

clearly the pressure has worked and we’re well on our way to a complete victory for the jena 6…
thanks to everyone who signed the petition to governor kathleen blanco asking her to intervene.
thanks to jane for making us eat our words.

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posted by skippy at 6:44 PM | 1 comments

master debaters

clammyc is live blogging - live!- from the repubbblican debate (he got a press pass) over at booman tribune.

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posted by skippy at 6:41 PM | 0 comments

we're all star in the dope show

star simpson, who sounds like the cartoon character host of the view, was the mit student who was arrested at logan airport last week for wearing a "hoax device," which airport police thought was a bomb, but was really just geek computer art.

mit waffled its way into a non-committal condemnation of star's choice of wardrobe. the school's official reaction on the day of her arrest, en toto:

mit is cooperating fully with the state police in the investigation of an incident at logal airport this morning involving star simpson, a sophomore at mit. as reported to us by authorities, ms. simipson’s actions were reckless and understandably created alarm at the airport.
star's fellow students rallied behind her, condemning the university's condemnation of her, beginning with a demonstration on campus earlier this week:

approximately 30 students gathered yesterday afternoon to protest the administration’s handling of controversies involving students. while the majority of the protest was focused on the star a. simpson ’10 arrest, the discussion also touched on administrative reactions to the sodium fire on the charles river and the felony charges filed against hackers found in the mit faculty club.

the protest, which took place outside of pritchett dining in walker memorial, consisted of students carrying signs such as “question the media,” “wait for the facts,” and “support your student.” students also carried a protest letter that had been circulated across the campus.
the letter urges mit susan president hockfield to back simpson 100%, as opposed to its official statement:

despite the fact that many of the news reports are calling the circuit board an intentional “hoax device,” it is clear to me that star’s intentions were entirely benign. star’s own statement that the device was an artistic name tag for career fair and her complete cooperation with the authorities indicate that she had no intent of causing any trouble — she was simply going to the airport to meet her boyfriend.

...the mit news office’s press release which stated “ms. simpson’s actions were reckless and understandably created alarm at the airport” is entirely misguided in its approach. regardless of whether her actions were reasonable, naive, or even “reckless,” as the news office put it, mit has an obligation to its students — an obligation to give its students a high quality education, which includes helping students handle matters that might interfere with receiving such an education...particularly when all the facts were not in, it would have been prudent to gather information about the situation and talk directly to star before issuing an unsupportive statement.

the notion that a small exposed circuit board and a handful of play-dou warrants deadly force is foolish given the thousands of large computer circuits which pass through airport security every day. surely, mit cannot be condoning the use of deadly force against an mit student whose behavior may have been a bit eccentric but had no characteristics that were aggressive or dangerous.
the tech - mit's oldest student paper - also calls for the school to stand behind star:

simpson faces a five-year prison sentence if prosecutors prove that simpson’s sweatshirt made people reasonably believe it was a bomb, and if they also prove that she wore it in order to scare people. assistant district attorney wayne margolis should realize that the latter half of this charge — intent — is clearly missing and should drop the case.

whether or not the suffolk county district attorney’s office chooses to continue its case against simpson, the institute should support her. mit administrators are in a unique position of authority to tell the police and district attorney, the press, and the general public that the device posed no possible danger, and that, for people here, carrying breadboards, leds, wire, and batteries is hardly unusual. by remaining silent and unsupportive, mit risks losing the good will (and the dollars) of its technically inclined alumni and future alumni. worse, if mit gains a reputation for prioritizing its image over its students’ well-being, talented prospective students will be turned off by the institute.
brandon keim of wired science (no, that's not a movie starring kelly brock and michael anthony hall) takes a similar position:

are you fucking kidding me?

what happened is so grossly wrong on so many levels that i hardly know where to begin. since when did a circuit board on a sweatshirt look like a bomb? since when did suicide bombers walk around with bombs on the outside of their clothing? if the people in charge of protecting us are stupid enough to think this, how hard would it be for real bombers to fool them? more importantly, since when was it okay to blow away someone who posed such an ambiguous threat? and if she really did have an easily-detonated bomb, wouldn't shooting her -- rather than, say, paralyzing her -- pretty much guarantee its explosion?

one could argue that she should have known better. fine, she should have -- boston's already infamous for being stupidly, senselessly scared. but that's not the point. in a world full of science and technology, many more people will merit the same suspicion as her: people who use wearable electronics, researchers who let a test tube fall into their flight bag ... the possibilities are endless, and probably not something that anyone would think of until they'd been hauled off for interrogation or surrounded by trigger-happy cops.

(hell, just the other day i nearly carried a green goo-encrusted test tube through terminal security; it originally contained a novelty drink handed out at a biotechnology conference. and just ask steve kurtz about this sort of thing.)

what is wrong with us? what happened to common sense? will scientists and technologists soon live in fear of someone point a finger at them in a public place?
[ed. note: 10 zen monkeys tells us the story of the bioterrorism charges brought by the justice dept. against the above-mentioned mr. kurtz, after paramedics, arriving at his house to tend to mrs. kurtz's heart attack, found petrie dishes and scientific thingies that scared them so much that they called the police. also, mrs. kurtz died.]

so, because most people in charge nowadays are luddites when it comes to science and technology, suddenly the rest of us have to keep our heads down and minds firmly ensconsed in the 19th century as well? (make that the 16th century...there were actual machines at work in the victorian age, and who knows how many stereo-optic latern shows could be used to blow up america? the dept. of homeland security doesn't want to take that risk.)

unfortunately for the intelligent among us, there are plenty of people who are ready to side with those who would keep us stupid and in fear. charles memminger of the star (no relation) bulletin of hawaii (where simpson was raised) writes:

showing an exquisite lack of sensitivity for the victims of suicide bombers, not to mention an exquisite lack of concern for her own personal safety, star simpson (no relation to o.j.) apparently considered her bomb sweatshirt a piece of art. (her mother says star might have accidentally worn the sweatshirt to the airport. presumably star's "faux jar of anthrax" sweatshirt was in the cleaners.)
tho we admit to enjoying the "faux jar of anthrax sweatshirt" joke, we are appalled that mr. menninger would ascribe context of "fake bomb" to the computer circuit board jewelry that star wore, where there obviously was none.

if star were one of the code pinks or billionaires against bush or other street theater demonstrators who purposely wore a fake bomb to an airport to make a political statement, we would be less sympathetic. there is, after, common sense that needs to be attached to all communication, even political protest.

but star wasn't making a statement, at least, not to paranoid right-wing america. she was simply wearing her goofy geeky computer art. goodness, if personal fashion is now a reason to get arrested, we can think of a thousand more deserving subjects than an mit geek.

are we all supposed to go back to papayus and stylus just because those in authority can't tell what a bomb looks like? apparently so, according to the monday morning generals in the war on terra.

the students get it. the scientists get it. the luddites don't.

too bad for us the luddites are in charge.

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posted by skippy at 4:40 PM | 11 comments

$3.5 million for sports security training

compliments of homeland security.
the university of southern mississippi will use nearly $3.5 million in federal funds to train key personnel responsible for security management of college athletic events throughout the country, the state's two u.s. senators said thursday.

...the funding is provided through the department of homeland security's competitive training grant program - ap
now...how's that katrina rebuilding going
the nonprofit research organization found construction to repair or replace about 60 percent of all damaged housing had begun as of july, though the lack of affordable rental units contributed to the difficulty in attracting construction laborers and other workers needed to rebuild the region's infrastructure. - sunhearald.com 9/27/07
seems that $3.5 million could have gone to making the state "competitive" again.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 2:19 PM | 1 comments

no win in iowa...no obama in clusterf**k to whitehouse?

“iowa will make the difference,” (michele) obama said. “if barack doesn't win iowa, it's just a dream... - quad city times.

guess we'll be seeing oprah doing shows down in iowa.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:08 AM | 3 comments

oh my god-o-meter

belief net presents the god-o-meter, used to measure presidential candidates' use (sincere or otherwise) of religion in their campaigns.

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posted by skippy at 10:10 AM | 1 comments

proof the investor class wants

to keep workers down.
analysts very rarely give out "sell" ratings, but in this case a bank of america analyst did, saying that starbucks' wage increases for all hourly team members and the unit-level manager compensation increases may have had an impact on margins. - starbucksgossip.com
with that line of thinking, wouldn't the immense paypackages of ceo's have an impact on margins?

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:12 AM | 1 comments

the problem with the $9.11 fundraiser

the real reason everyone in ghoulani's campaign distanced themselves from the $9.11 pitch was it was supposed to be $911.

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posted by George at 12:32 AM | 1 comments

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

skippy's wednesday nite music club

morrissey - everyday is like sunday - live!


posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 0 comments

invasion of the stall snatchers, craig's own private idaho

sexual identity aside, sen. larry craig apparently can't make up his mind about anything. he's now not only trying to withdraw his guilty plea in the bathroom disordly conduct case, he's also withdrawing his vow to resign at the end of this month. cnn:

craig had said he would resign from the senate if he could not get the guilty plea overturned by september 30. but on tuesday, craig said he wouldn't resign until "legal determinations" are made.

in court, craig's attorneys said the guilty plea lacked a judge's signature and that the evidence did not support the conclusion that a crime occurred…

[craig’s defense attorney billy] martin said he is arguing that craig did nothing criminal. looking into a stall to see if it is available or bumping another person's foot is not a crime, he said.
the prosecutor disagrees:

prosecutor chris renz said craig, "engaged in a series of invasions of the stall next to him."

the prosecutor cited the police account of craig's toe-tapping, foot movement and the "repeated stroking of the stall divider with his left hand, each stroke showing more and more of his left hand."
[ed. note: eeewwwwwww....]

the judge is reported to have indicated he won't make a decision on craig's petition to withdraw his guilty plea till sometime late next week...which, of course, is after the self-imposed (and now rescinded) deadline for craig to step down as senator for the great state of idaho.

say, that reminds us of that gus van sant film my own private idaho. what was that about again?

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posted by skippy at 4:43 PM | 1 comments

federal employee is dead duck

or rather, he made a live, loveable duck dead.

...(scott d.) clark, 26, stunned people at the embassy suites hotel in st. paul, minn., on saturday when he cornered the duck against a wall by an atrium pond and ripped its head off, according to a criminal complaint.

he then told onlookers, "i'm hungry. i'm gonna eat it," and carried the headless fowl on the elevator up to the fifth floor, police said. hotel security agents detained him there until police arrived. - rocky mountain news

...when told that he was in trouble for killing the duck, clark told officers, "why, because i killed it out of season? big deal, it's just a [expletive] duck." - governmentexecutive.com's fedblog
this administration's entitlement aires taken to horrific extreme.


posted by SantaBarbarian at 1:51 PM | 4 comments

those who voted no

to the lie-berman/kyl amendment.
thank these folks

biden (d-de)
bingaman (d-nm)
boxer (d-ca)
brown (d-oh)
byrd (d-wv)
cantwell (d-wa)
dodd (d-ct)
feingold (d-wi)
hagel (r-ne)
harkin (d-ia)
inouye (d-hi)
kennedy (d-ma)
kerry (d-ma)
klobuchar (d-mn)
leahy (d-vt)
lincoln (d-ar)
lugar (r-in)
mccaskill (d-mo)
sanders (i-vt)
tester (d-mt)
webb (d-va)
wyden (d-or)
(mccain and obama didn't vote)

all the others apparently want to go to war with iran.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 12:11 PM | 4 comments

nooses just don't appear in jena

they've appeared in the coast guard, too.
the coast guard is launching a criminal investigation into the discovery this summer of two nooses found in the sea bag of a black coast guard academy cadet and in the office of a white faculty member at the new london, conn., campus, a coast guard official said tuesday.

...on july 15 a black third class cadet aboard the training barque eagle found a noose inside his sea bag. on aug. 2, a female diversity instructor found a noose on the floor of her academy office during a break in instruction.

..the july 15 incident occurred less than 24 hours after two members of the eagle’s crew — a white third class female cadet and a black enlisted crew member — were allegedly assaulted while on liberty together in veracruz, mexico. - military times

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:36 AM | 1 comments

and reagan didn't want to pay these guys

at&t wires were cut...and fortunately no planes went down, thanks to the hard work of the air traffic controllers.
u.s air traffic controllers used personal cell phones to sort out flights on tuesday when a major communications systems failure in memphis knocked out radio and radar, officials said.

..there were 150 planes in the affected air space at the time of the outage around 12:30 p.m. EDT, the faa said. the agency could not say how many aircraft were affected, but the air traffic controllers union said the number exceeded 1,000.

...the outage was the latest in a string of embarrassing air traffic equipment and other problems this past spring and summer that spotlighted the aging system that handles thousands of flights daily. - reuters
oh, and the faa wants to consolidate all these air control centers into one or two giant centers. wonder what would happen if this outage occurred at one of these mega-centers?

and let's see if the faa congratulates the controllers or reprimands them, as they have a relatively new rule of not having personal cellphones in the workplace.

another example of crumbling infrastructure and this administration wanting to run things "on the cheap."

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:08 AM | 2 comments

politicians and the voters who enable them...

there aren't all that many significant differences between democratic politicians and republican ones. the dems are a lot more attractive in theory than they are while in session, while the republicans seem to suck no matter how or from what angle i view them. but that's not a significant difference. it's a chronic nuisance for those who tend to vote democratic.

this nuisance stems from a tactic common to virtually all politicians, regardless of whether their names are followed by an "r" or a "d": telling voters exactly what they think we want to hear to make off with our votes, if not our money. what they think we want to hear goes like this: "there is a sky-castle with your name on the front door, and i have the key." crafting the ever-elusive perfect message from this notion is just a small part of the endless campaigning. the messenger must exhibit a fair measure of charisma, much like the way grace radiates from a showhorse. the messenger must also harbor a comparable share of cynicism, since the message itself is obviously intended for public consumption, not the allocation of funds for sky-castle construction. from there it follows that the messenger should possess at least three of these four items: a cast-iron stomach, brass testicles*, a heart of granite, and a barrel-full of gall -- crowds of angry constituents waving deeds to non-existent sky-castles don't materialize over how crappy the redskins are playing again this year. the messenger does not have to be telegenic, but in such an instance, given that we americans are as television-driven as we are easily distracted and bored stiff while waiting for our sky-castles to materialize, the messenger better be amusing, at least in the early stages of the multi-year lie. (consider awol.) and above all, the messenger has to fulfill, repeatedly and convincingly, the three cardinal requirements of campaigning: cunnilingus, analingus, and fellatio fundraising, fundraising, and fundraising. those who fail to do so will inevitably drift away from whatever sky-castle bull session they've taken part in with a bad taste in their mouth. {*groan*}

all the same (surprisingly), sky-castle talk points to one of the few salient differences between the dems and the gop. we who voted democratic last year got mad when they didn't deliver this year. but think it over -- there they were promising us that they'd pitch in with the construction of our sky-castles last year, and we went and bought that nonsense with little if any afterthoughts! is it the dems' fault we're that freakin' dumb? we knew better than to believe in that tripe, and we believed in it anyway. shame on us!

but at least we're not as pathetic as the republican voters. the democrats merely inferred that they would help up build our own sky-castles. the republicans insisted then (and insist now) that we can actually live in our sky-castles, our whole sky-castles, and nothing but our sky-castles.

here is where it comes down to what politicians think you want to hear in 2008. if you don't really believe in sky-castles, but you're willing to entertain the possibility that they're real if only because you're a sentimental fool at heart, then you're gonna vote democratic. but if you're so desperate to believe that your sky-castle is real that you'll structure the rest of your life on that idiotic premise, then you're gonna vote republican. everything else concerning this two-year root canal is utter moonshine.

if anyone has any ideas about forming a viable third party for future elections, i'm all ears...

(*: hillary owns a pair of brass testicles. they're attached to bill...)

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posted by Jim Yeager at 10:01 AM | 0 comments

el arbusto del george

se parece haber fijado los hechos alrededor de su plan para la guerra. o por lo menos, ése se parece el gist de este artículo del el pais de la información escapada.
"quedan dos semanas. en dos semanas estaremos militarmente listos. estaremos en bagdad a finales de marzo", le dijo a aznar - el pais (espana)
josh has more about these leaked "downing 'calle' memos"... en ingles.


posted by SantaBarbarian at 12:54 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

skippy's tuesday nite music club

los lonely boys w/willie nelson - cisco kid

old school and new school do an old standard


posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 0 comments

down the penrose lane


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posted by skippy at 6:39 PM | 1 comments

lost in myspace

let's see if this works...

industry leading pollsters john mclaughlin and geoffrey garin to facilitate real-time user interaction via email, myspaceim and mtv.com

los angeles & new york--(business wire)--myspace, the country's most trafficked website, and mtv, the leading global youth brand, today announced details of their first presidential candidate dialogue - featuring former senator john edwards (http://www.myspace.com/johnedwards). the inaugural event will take place on thursday, september 27, at 12:00 pm et on the university of new hampshire campus - an affiliate in mtvu's network of more than 750 colleges and universities - and will be moderated by mtv news correspondents suchin pak and gideon yago as well as washingtonpost.com political reporter, chris cillizza. industry-leading pollsters john mclaughlin and geoffrey garin will oversee the real-time polling data and audience questions being submitted via myspaceim and mtv.com. the kick-off event also marks the first flektor application integration since its acquisition by fox interactive media in may 2007.
stay tuned for more.

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posted by skippy at 6:29 PM | 0 comments

(really) supporting the troops

we received this email:

you don’t have to agree with the iraq war to support the brave men and women in our armed forces. you don’t have to agree with the politics. the way i see it, it all comes down to that oath, and what it stands for.

these soldiers took a simple oath, they stood up and said that the ideals of america were bigger than they were, and that for those ideals, they would without question sacrifice their lives.

that’s what this is all about. from one day to the next we can bicker and argue over whether a certain war is right or wrong, but at the end of it all, there must be an understanding that men and women like sgt. gray and sgt. mora, despite the partisan battles that go on back home, continue to day in and day out perform their duties as soldiers.

remember the closing words of their oped, “as committed soldiers, we will see this mission through.”

we as americans have much we can stand to learn from soldiers such as yance and omar. least of which is that this very same spirit of fidelity fuels not only the flame from which this country was born, but exists to this day.

this taken into consideration, i do not wish to honor their service, i am compelled to. i cannot personally look at myself in the mirror unless i have been a part of something to commemorate their passing, and show my gratitude for their service.

as a result, we at comments from left field, in cooperation with conservative thinking, are as of this day beginning a fund drive in honor of sgt. omar mora & sgt. yance t. gray.

after exploring several options, we have decided to donate 100% of the funds to the fisher house charity, an organization we have worked with in the past. fisher house has a simple goal; to build houses near military medical facilities. here loved ones of those who have been injured in the line of duty can stay free of charge while their service member undergoes necessary treatment.

we urge you to give what you can to this noble cause for only in this way can omar and tell continue to make the lives of their fellow soldiers better even after their passing. i can think of no honor more fitting of a soldier.

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posted by skippy at 6:21 PM | 1 comments

while our troops are being slaughtered

the house apparently has time to discuss rap lyrics.
two rappers, sitting side-by-side in a house hearing room, went in different directions tuesday on the need for hip-hop artists to expunge their work of sexist and violent language. - sfgate
fisa. blackwater. torture. attorney-gate. katrina...still. healthcare. crumbling infrastructure. occupation of iraq. environmental devastation of the middle east. spreading cholera outbreaks in baghdad. americans losing their jobs; losing their homes. and these congresscritters want to talk about freakin' rap lyrics?

i think we need to expunge some morons in congress.


posted by SantaBarbarian at 3:12 PM | 2 comments

prez-i-duhnt ej-oo-key-shuhn

apparently needs "ri-mee-dee-uhl" help.

apparently, a marked-up draft of the president's speech popped up on the u.n.'s website as president bush delivered his remarks this morning before the general assembly, usa today's david jackson reports. the draft included phonetic spellings of some names and countries, and the cellphone numbers for bush speechwriters.

press secretary dana perino downplayed the incident, and said phonetic spellings are used to help interpreters. asked if the president has trouble pronouncing some country's names, perino deemed it "an offensive question." - ustoady

no, dana. awol is the offensive thing here.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 1:44 PM | 2 comments

what's good enough for moveon....

should be good enough for rotten rudy, too.
in the fallout from the ad, rudolph giuliani, the former new york mayor and a republican presidential candidate, demanded space in the following friday’s times to answer moveon.org. he got it — and at the same $64,575 rate that moveon.org paid.
according to the new york times’ own policy, mr. giuliani should have paid the fixed-date rate instead of the standby rate. therefore, the difference, $77,083 is an in-kind corporate contribution, which far exceeds the limits allowed by law. now that he has knowledge that his campaign is in receipt of an illegal $77,083 contribution from the new york times, it is incumbent on mr. giuliani to repay the difference. if he does not, that is not just a violation of the law but a betrayal of the public trust at a time when americans want integrity from our leaders. - lane hudson on "news from the left"
oh, by the way, the sobriquet "general betray us" was also used by a retired u.s. general.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:21 AM | 2 comments

general dissatisfaction

via juan cole via think progress via makethemaccountable, we find the san diego union tribune reporting that 20 non-active generals have spoken out against the iraq war, much to the detriment of their own careers:

in op-ed pieces, interviews and tv ads, more than 20 retired u.s. generals have broken ranks with the culture of salute and keep it in the family. instead, they are criticizing the commander in chief and other top civilian leaders who led the nation into what the generals believe is a misbegotten and tragic war.

the active-duty generals followed procedure, sending reports up the chain of command. the retired generals beseeched old friends in powerful positions to use their influence to bring about a change.

when their warnings were ignored, some came to believe it was their patriotic duty to speak out, even if it meant terminating their careers.

it was a decision none of the men approached cavalierly. most were political conservatives who had voted for george w. bush and initially favored his appointment of donald rumsfeld as defense secretary.

but they felt betrayed by bush and his advisers.
[ed. note: who hasn't?]

maj. gen. paul eaton…said his frustration began festering in 2003, when he was assigned to build the iraqi army from scratch. his internal requests for more equipment and properly trained instructors went unheeded, he said.

while on active duty, eaton did not criticize his civilian bosses – almost to a man, the generals agree active-duty officers have no business doing that. but he was candid in media interviews. building an iraqi army, he warned, would take years, and the effort might never succeed.

in 2004, he was replaced by gen. david petraeus – now the military commander in iraq – and reassigned stateside. sensing his once-promising army career had foundered, eaton retired jan. 1, 2006.
eaton, of course, wrote the now infamous op-ed piece in the nytimes, decrying the iraq war and calling for rumsfeld's resignation.

some of eaton's colleagues, both active and retired, endorsed his decision to speak out. others thought he had stepped out of bounds. he became persona non grata with ethics instructors at the u.s. military academy, his alma mater.

eaton said he has no regrets.
we have several regrets, most of them beginning with "w."

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posted by skippy at 9:35 AM | 1 comments

mad about giuliani taking phone calls from his wife while making speeches

mad kane, that is!

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posted by skippy at 9:27 AM | 2 comments

project censored has their list out

of the top 25 censored stories. some of our favorites....

behind blackwater inc.
bush recently hired fred fielding, blackwater’s former lawyer, to replace harriet miers as his top lawyer; and ken starr, the former whitewater prosecutor who led the impeachment charge against president clinton, is now blackwater’s counsel of record and has filed briefs with supreme court to fight wrongful death lawsuits brought against blackwater. cofer black, thirty-year cia veteran and former head of cia’s counterterrorism center, credited with spearheading the extraordinary rendition program after 9/11, is now senior executive at blackwater and perhaps its most powerful operative.

the us neoliberal invasion of india
farmers’ cooperatives in india are defending the nation’s food security and the future of indian farmers against the neoliberal invasion of genetically modified (gm) seed. as many as 28,000 indian farmers have committed suicide over the last decade as a result of debt incurred from failed gm crops and competition with subsidized us crops, yet when india’s prime minister singh met with president bush in march 2006 to finalize nuclear agreements, they also signed the indo-us knowledge initiative on agriculture (kia), backed by monsanto, archer daniels midland (adm), and wal-mart.

privatization of america’s infrastructure
we will soon be paying wall street investors, australian bankers, and spanish contractors for the privilege of driving on american roads, as more than twenty states have enacted legislation allowing public-private partnerships to build and run highways. investment firms including goldman sachs, morgan stanley, and the carlyle group are approaching state politicians with advice to sell off public highway and transportation infrastructure. when advising state officials on the future of this vital public asset, these investment firms fail to mention that their sole purpose is to pick up infrastructure at the lowest price possible in order to maximize returns for their investors. investors, most often foreign companies, are charging tolls and insisting on “noncompete” clauses that limit governments from expanding or improving nearby roads.

north invades mexico
the number of north americans living in mexico has soared from 200,000 to 1 million (one-quarter of all us expatriates) in the past decade. with more than 70 million american baby-boomers expected to retire in the next two decades, experts predict “a tidal wave” of migration to warmer—and cheaper—climates. baby-boomers are not simply feathering nests for eventual retirement, but also increasingly speculating in mexican resort property and gated communities, complete with hooters, burger king, and starbucks. the land rush is sending up property values to the detriment of locals whose children are consequently driven into slums or forced to emigrate north, only to face increasing “invasion” charges.


posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:13 AM | 1 comments

bubble blogger

that's the new sobriquet for those on the internet(s) who warned of the problems of the housing market. the sfchron highlights one bubble blogger in the really bubbly market of sfbay area.

three years ago, plenty of folks considered patrick killelea to be a loony tune raving about real estate armageddon.

while most americans - and especially people in the bay area - swore by the gospel that investing in real estate was a sure road to riches, killelea, a disenchanted house hunter, peddled a heretical counterview: the housing market was a gigantic bubble ready to burst. through his blog, reality parser (www.patrick.net), he expressed his view that home prices were grotesquely overinflated.

.. "nobody calls me crazy now," killelea said. "i haven't changed; it was just a matter of waiting for the fundamentals to catch up." - sfgate

we weren't calling him "crazy."

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 6:37 AM | 3 comments

Monday, September 24, 2007

skippy's monday nite music club

the dandy warhols - the last high

now, where have we heard that before? oh, yes...

david bowie - ashes to ashes


posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 2 comments

awol doesn't care about global warming

just the warming dish

bush to skip u.n. talks on global warming. president bush is skipping all the day’s events but the dinner. new york times.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:19 AM | 5 comments

today's question

are you smarter than a republican?

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posted by George at 1:37 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, September 23, 2007

angels in the outfield

let's hear it for the los angeles california angels of anaheim, california!


posted by skippy at 11:10 PM | 2 comments

skippy's sunday nite music club

phil collins - in the air tonight - live! from his farewell tour


posted by skippy at 7:59 PM | 0 comments

marcel marceau, r.i.p.


[ed. note: carnacki took the words right out of our mouths. but we'd also like to give pause for the passing of bewitched star alice ghostley, who is now, well...ghostley]

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posted by Carnacki at 7:33 PM | 4 comments

jena 6, big box bloggers 0

via jon swift guesting at c&l, we find pam's house blend having a quite astute realization that none, that would be zero, zip, zilch, nada, goose egg, null set, absence of anything, of the big box blogs have had anything to say about the jena 6:

chris kromm of the institute for southern studies and its blog facing south, is appalled, rightfully so, at the sparse coverage of the historic march for justice in jena, lousiana.

it's not to say that it isn't being covered in the blogosphere at all -- black bloggers have largely been responsible for the high profile of this case, picking up the ball where the melanin-challenged blogs of influence have dropped it. you'd think that the events today, which are being covered by the msm, would mean that the story is now mainstream blogworthy, but you would be wrong. chris:

dailykos features a handful of posts about injustice in iraq today -- but not a single entry on its main page, or even its user-generated "diaries," about this important case.

* talkingpointsmemo, a favorite of the dc wonk set, is similarly incensed about foreign policy, but apparently not about racial justice in the south -- nothing there either.

* long-time progressive blogger atrios doesn't have a lot of posts up,but found time to touch on paul krugman, iraq and the state of the euro -- but not this major issue.

* surely talkleft -- which has positioned itself as the leading progressive blog about criminal justice issues -- would have something? think again -- not a single mention, not even in the quick news briefs!

* what about another progressive favorite, firedoglake? a rant about republicans being "little bitches," but nothing on the jena 6.
when the jena 6 does make an appearance on progressive blogs today, it's little more than a passing nod. huffington post has a blog post buried below the fold; thinkprogress gives it a two-sentence news brief.
[ed. note: the today pam refers to is last thursday, the day of the huge march and demonstration in jena]

however, many of these blogs are eagerly pointing to news stories which suggest the republican candidates don't care about black issues.

[btw, nothing's up at americablog either, to be fair. my guest blogging stint is by and large up.] what is the explanation? oh, i could think of several, but overt racism isn't one of them. i have a couple of theories.
her theories are not kind (not that they should be), but worthy of thought. we suggest you go read her rant en toto (and dorothy, too), and the comments left thereon.

we admit we were late to the party ourselves, at first employing the instapundit excuse (duh! too complicated fer our little brains! hyuk! hyuk!), but then we found (via susie madrak) the great background piece by gil kaufman on mtv news, which was succinct, thorough, well-laid out, and easy to follow.

(commenters on pam's blog also point out msnbc's piece, also quite comprehensive.)

now, it is, to be fair, 4 days after the massive march, but some of those big box blogs have jumped on the bandwagon:

talkleft has three posts, including one "jena six thread";

c&l, our fav bbb, has seven posts, three of which are blog round-up compilations, all guested by non-staff members [ed. note: it turns out blue gal has been promoted to front page status at c&l, making our assertion of "guested by non-staff members" wrong, and our congratulations to her overdue];

tpm has one, count 'em, one story, about how fred thompson is out of the loop on the jena six (hello, pot? this is kettle...)

tpm cafe has one;

dkos (aside from the facing south cross-post pam alluded to) has three front page stories which include the words "jena six," two of which are open threads (but several, upwards to 50, diaries by members, including some asking why blogtopia* is so lax about this story);

fdl has one story, but at least it is from the ground at jena, and pam reports that jane told her there were technical difficulties getting the report from the blogger in jena;

huffpo cross-posted susie's piece, and had another post;

way down at the bottom of the list, americablog has zero, still; and, to a lesser extent, duncan.

go back to the comments section on pam's house blend and there you will find plenty of smaller blogs plugging their own efforts. it does seem to us that here the smaller entities in blogtopia* have picked up the ball dropped by the bbb.

another reason to keep clicking those links to the esoteric blogs you've never heard of before.

now, we're not about to accuse anybody in blogtopia* of unconscious bigotry. that would be easy. and we hate unconscious bigots. we'll never rent to them, or let them into our schools.

but it seems to us, that if we are to call ourselves progressives, it behooves us all to make the extra effort to be inclusive. and for god's sake, how hard can that be in this case? all you have to do is do some reading, and make a frickin' link, and voila! your readers become a little more aware of a tragic situation that the mmm is refusing to delve deeply into.

*and yes, we coined that phrase!

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posted by skippy at 3:39 PM | 10 comments

no need to say "alleged"

all the stories about the blackwater murderers include the word "alleged". there is no need for it because that convention is part of the presumption of innocence before and during a trial. there will be no trial. ever.
it is doubtful that foreign security contractors could be prosecuted under iraqi law. a directive issued by u.s. occupation authorities in 2004 granted contractors, american troops and many other foreign officials immunity from prosecution under iraqi law. security contractors also are not subject to u.s. military law under which u.s. troopers face prosecution for killing or abusing iraqis.

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posted by George at 11:12 AM | 2 comments

why bother having healthcare insurance

when there are no hospitals to go to?
nearly two dozen private hospitals in los angeles and orange counties, accounting for up to 15% of beds in the region, are in dire financial straits and in danger of bankruptcy or closure, according to hospital administrators, industry experts and state data.

the troublesome development follows the closure of community clinics and hospitals in recent years that has left the healthcare system seriously overburdened.

if even a few other hospitals close or reduce costly critical-care services, it could mean longer ambulance rides to hospitals, additional delays in emergency rooms and less access to care, especially for poor and uninsured people. - latte times

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:04 AM | 0 comments

less is moratorium

the freeway blogger celebrates iraq moratorium day.


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posted by skippy at 9:51 AM | 0 comments

they're hellbent on bomb, bomb, bomb

bomb bomb iran.

the united states air force has set up a highly confidential strategic planning group tasked with “fighting the next war” as tensions rise with iran.

project checkmate, a successor to the group that planned the 1991 gulf war’s air campaign, was quietly reestablished at the pentagon in june. - timesonline uk

project checkmate? geez. didn't they see war games and the message that wopr gave.... "a strange game" where "the only winning move ... is not to play"

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:47 AM | 0 comments

mmm knows quality

skippy's own political cartoonist, brett penrose, got this cartoon published in the kansas city star today!

brett's proud wife monica alerts us to the fact. the online star, unfortunately, doesn't have the toon, so you'll just have to fly to kansas to buy a paper.

congrats, brett!

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posted by skippy at 9:41 AM | 1 comments

Saturday, September 22, 2007

skippy's saturday nite music club

jill jones - mia bocca

jill was a protege of the artist formerly known as the artist formerly known as prince, and it shows.


posted by skippy at 11:59 PM | 3 comments

who medicare?

bad tux the snarky penguin has a great chart comparing and contrasting the romneyhillarycare vs. medicare for all.


posted by skippy at 9:44 PM | 1 comments

mad about democrats betraying their base

mad kane, that is!

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posted by skippy at 5:05 PM | 1 comments

documentary time

the birds of britain

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posted by skippy at 4:33 PM | 1 comments

skippy writes a letter

skippy was perturbed when headline news anchor linda stouffer wrapped up a report about mike bell, the only defendant of the jena 6 to reamin in jail, with the remark that the black students beat up a white student leaving the white student "badly hurt."

skippy wrote to headline news:

on headline news today, linda stouffer claimed that mike bell, the only of the jena 6 still in jail, was involved in a beating of a white teen who was left "badly hurt."

in fact, according to gil kaufman reporting on mtv news, (http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1570075/20070919/id_0.jhtml), the white student, justin barker, was knocked out by one punch thrown by the black students, and then kicked in the head (leading to the assault with a deadly weapon charge; the weapon being the tennis shoe on bell's foot).

yes, that sounds like "badly beaten;" however, barker was treated at the hospital and released, and then attended a party that same night.

sorry, but without that mitigating context, i am afraid that you present a lop-sided view of the confrontation, leading viewers to believe the white student was savagedly attacked, when it was more like a school yard fight.

also, barker precipitated the fight by bragging on campus that the black students (involved in the fight) had been previously "whipped" by a white student in a previous fight.

ms. stouffer's short version, along with most of the media's condensed snippets, fails to provide the hostile acts perpetrated by the white students, and leaves one with the impression that the blacks are simply out of control.

i respectfully request that you do a larger, longer, more in-depth story on the background leading the incarceration of the jena 6.

thank you.

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posted by skippy at 12:23 PM | 4 comments

question of the day...

would somebody please explain to me why anyone's campaign for the presidency must, must, must drag on for almost two whole years? please?


posted by Jim Yeager at 10:31 AM | 4 comments

my super sweet s.e.c. investigation

the harsh reality of being featured on a reality show. . . you could get caught for bilking your investors when they see what you're spending their money on.
a new federal lawsuit reveals more information about the finances of a kentucky oilman who investors say swindled them out of millions at the same time he was throwing his daughter an extravagant 16th birthday party on a reality tv show.

the complaint alleges milby raised more than $19 million from more than 300 investors between february 2005 and september 2006 in a fraudulent oil-and-gas investment scheme that was based out of tennessee and kentucky.

during this time, milby and his daughter ariel were featured on an episode of "my super sweet 16," an mtv reality show about spoiled rich kids and their outrageously opulent birthday parties.

investors saw milby on the show giving his daughter a private helicopter ride, a new bmw and a shopping spree. - ap
in addition to the bankruptcy, public records in two states show that milby has multiple tax liens and a civil court judgment.

searches of records show three federal tax liens totaling $359,091 in tennessee and kentucky.

...besides arizona and pennsylvania, california also has a cease-and-desist order against milby. texas last year hit him with penalties for failing to maintain an oil well and banned him from owning oil interests in the state for seven years.- arizona republic
"i love oil! oil means shoes and cars and purses!" - ariel milby.

my suggestion for little miss milby is that she enroll in the army so she can go fight for some. her father will be waiting for her to come back, wearing the all too fashionable orange jumpsuit.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:10 AM | 3 comments

when squirrels attack

Flashy Squirrel
Originally uploaded by Sun Chaser
kamuston alerts us to "little grey assailants" (al squirrelaeda, if you will...)
if anyone cares to take notice, it seems to me that the wake up call for doomsday has been given. it’s time to roll out of bed and meet your maker. and i think he’s pissed. and he may be a squirrel...a great big, grey one, with sharp bitey teeth and maybe a bazooka.
kamuston is probably a member of the squirrel defamation league.


posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:33 AM | 0 comments

a civil action....two

appeals court sides with prosecutors in libby asbestos case. federal prosecutors won a substantial victory thursday when the ninth u.s. circuit court of appeals restored key elements to the criminal indictment against w.r. grace & co. and seven of its top or former officials. - billings gazette


posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:18 AM | 0 comments

is there a chill in the air?

nine months until the summer solstice


posted by George at 1:11 AM | 2 comments

even a stupid clock is right twice a day

certainly, the press is making much of awol's assertion that saddam killed nelson mandela.

but james taranto of the wsj opinion journal makes the assertion that awol was speaking metaphorically, and that, given the context of his entire speech, it was actually quite an astute thing to say.

so, what did president bush actually say? here's the quote in context, from the white house transcript:

part of the reason why there is not this instant democracy in iraq is because people are still recovering from saddam hussein's brutal rule. i thought an interesting comment was made when somebody said to me, i heard somebody say, where's mandela? well, mandela is dead, because saddam hussein killed all the mandelas. he was a brutal tyrant that divided people up and split families, and people are recovering from this. so there's a psychological recovery that is taking place. and it's hard work for them. and i understand it's hard work for them. having said that, i'm not going the give them a pass when it comes to the central government's reconciliation efforts.
in this context, it is clear that the literal meaning of "where's mandela?" is "where is the iraqi who will play the role in his country that mandela played in postapartheid south africa?" this was a pithy metaphor, not an "embarrassing gaffe."
taranto goes on to insist that the story making the rounds of the press is either the result of stupidity, laziness, or dishonesty.

the problem taranto has to overcome is that, for anybody else in the world, this might be a viable argument. and we are not being snarky here. but awol has proven himself, over and over again, to not be deep enough to comprehend even what a metaphor is, let alone how to make one.

make the pie higher? is our children learning? fool me once, you won't get fooled again? awol has a limited grasp of not how words themselves work, but how the images words are used to create, work.

plus, on more than one occasion the white house transcripts have cleaned up awol's gaffes. so even if this lofty mandela metaphor is what the original speech writer intended, we are quite sure that awol managed to mangle it into the twainistic greatly exaggerated death report of a world leader.

let's suppose awol did say what he meant, and he meant to create a poetic, if sad, image. that still makes him about 1 for 732 in terms of successful metaphor batting average.

so, unfortunately for taranto's argument, even if the blind pig did for once stumble onto a truffle, the table has been set awol by himself to let the world feast on his dinner of malapropisms, which has been 7 years in the making.

yes, we mixed our metaphors terribly in the last paragraph. but, at least, we know what a metaphor is.


posted by skippy at 12:44 AM | 2 comments

Friday, September 21, 2007

i'll spare them the trouble

i take cookbooks to read on trips. i generally travel alone. i have a makeup kit and i use aveda products. i even take a stuffed animal to sleep with. my current favorite right now is a crow handpuppet.

the u.s. government is collecting electronic records on the travel habits of millions of americans who fly, drive or take cruises abroad, retaining data on the persons with whom they travel or plan to stay, the personal items they carry during their journeys, and even the books that travelers have carried, according to documents obtained by a group of civil liberties advocates and statements by government officials.

the personal travel records are meant to be stored for as long as 15 years, as part of the department of homeland security's effort to assess the security threat posed by all travelers entering the country. - wapo
what next....being tagged as a terrorist for reading greg palast? oops...we already know that reading greg could get you "tazed."

and, who the h**l collects this stuff anyway? have they no shame?

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:33 PM | 4 comments

el arbusto del george

Lorenzo - The Curious Peruvian Paso
Originally uploaded by santa barbarian
"el decider"....se asusta de caballos.


posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:32 PM | 1 comments

skippy's friday nite music club

waylon jennings - amanda


posted by skippy at 11:31 PM | 0 comments

return of the mooninites invades boston!!

boston is apparently still a little skittish 6 years after the fact. an mit student wearing home-made computer jewelry on the outside of her jacket was arrested at logan airport today. asspress:

an mit student with a fake bomb strapped to her chest was arrested at gunpoint friday at logan international airport, officials said.
except that it wasn't "strapped to her chest," but pinned to her coat.

photo ap/lisa poole

star simpson, 19, had a computer circuit board, wiring and a putty that later turned out to be play-doh in plain view over a black hooded sweat shirt she was wearing, said state police maj. scott pare, the commanding officer at the airport.
except that other reports have the play-doh in simpson's hands, not on the circuit board.

pare said authorities had not determined a motive. simpson was charged with disturbing the peace and possessing a hoax device, and was to be arraigned in east boston district court later in the day.
gee, could the motive be, "wearing neat art that stodgy old people don't understand"?

"she's extremely lucky she followed the instructions or deadly force would have been used," pare told the associated press. "and she's lucky to be in a cell as opposed to the morgue."
this we have to agree with. tho it's obvious to anybody with a healthy sexual identity (that leaves most repubbbs out) that the young woman was only wearing geek jewelry, we do question her common sense.

even before 9/11, skippy, a stand-up comic by profession, refrained from doing hi-jacking jokes while going thru airline security (he wouldn't even say hello to anybody named jack). tho it's obviously the same out-of-touch paranoia that allowed cartoon characters to bring bean town to a halt earlier this year, one would do well not to tempt or provoke that simmering outrage.

what we are amazed at is the cornucopia of headlines labeling the geek computer art as a "fake bomb." that pre-supposes motivation in simpson's mind, and the commanding officer of logan security said himself that we don't know her motivation.

of course, this would have taken an open mind and sophistication of generational fashion beyond anything any repubbb could achieve, but we like c-net's approach - it was computer fashion:

simpson was wearing a black sweatshirt that had a circuit board with wires, green led lights and a 9-volt battery attached to it. when an airport employee asked about her shirt, simpson walked away without answering so the employee called the authorities, the boston globe has reported.
[ed. note: therein lies simpson's mistake]

the back of simpson's sweatshirt said "socket to me...course vi," a reference to mit's electrical engineering and computer science program.simpson is a second-year student in the electrical engineering and computer science department of mit's school of engineering, according to the mit web site.
salon's machinist blog (from whence we got the pic) has this to say:

this is my speculation only, but it seems quite possible that rather than intending to deliberately walk into logan with a fake bomb, simpson might instead have rolled out of bed with an art jacket she often wore around campus and slipped it on in a rush on her way to pick up a friend -- forgetting that she was heading into the all-fear-all-the-time black hole that is u.s. aviation.

what's the evidence for this? for one thing, as xeni jardin points out in boing boing's marvelous roundup on the story, simpson is much into making cool, out-there techie stuff, things like a jacket that lights up. her own web site is currently offline -- click here later -- but you can check out some of simpson's handiwork at her instructables profile and look here for one of her recent school projects.

simpson describes herself this way on the web:

in a sentence, i'm an inventor, artist, engineer, and student, i love to build things and i love crazy ideas.

in a paragraph; i'm currently studying computers and how they work at mit. i play at a student-run machine shop called miters. before that, i lived for a long time in hawaii, while traveling the world and saving the planet from evil villains with my delivered-just-in-time gadgets.
a woman from instructables.com who knows simpson tells boing boing that simpson's friends at mit "say she wears the hoodie on a regular basis -- it's just unfortunate that she had it on while trying to pick a friend up at the airport. mit students don't really do mornings, or worry about what they're wearing, so i can't imagine she'd even think about her clothes before heading out to pick up a friend at the airport before 8 a.m."
we don't do mornings either, and we also wander around in a daze, caring less what we look like until about 5 pm, when we actually become aware of our surroundings and look in the mirror.

if she did it to provoke a response (and that doesn't seem to be the case), she certainly got one, and we can't really condone her actions. however, if she was just wearing some weird crap that computer geeks wear, then we say, call the aqua teen hunger force as character witnesses for her trial.

addendum: bad tux the snarky penguin has a "bomb not-bomb" visual guide for the law enforcement of boston over at mockingbird's medley.

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posted by skippy at 6:47 PM | 4 comments

they all look alike to new yawkers

remind us again...how many iranians were on those planes that flew into the twin towers?

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posted by skippy at 6:38 PM | 0 comments

flunking out of electoral college

the lovely jane at fdl reminds us that while at steveaudio's annual blogger bash, a group of your fav bloggers volunteered for d-day's public service video to raise awareness of the california gop's dirty tricks for the electoral college vote:

the courage campaign wants everyone to be aware of this manipulation.

and skippy wants half the bloggers in the video to be aware of looking in the camera instead of at their lines when doing the speech (exceptions: jane, john, tom, rj and dave).

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posted by skippy at 6:27 PM | 2 comments

hey, they asked for wire tapping

now, they caught a big "alaskan" fish.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 4:59 PM | 0 comments

generalissimo franco

is still dead.

"well, mandela’s dead because saddam hussein killed all the mandelas." - awol

ah...actually...nelson mandela is still alive.


posted by SantaBarbarian at 4:53 PM | 0 comments

89.6 million and 82

numbers that make you go "hmmmmm...."

one-third of people in the u.s. under 65 (89.6 million) went without coverage for some or all of the last two years, reports an advocacy group. - latte times

"for the first time in history, we're leaving billionaires behind," magazine associated editor matthew miller said. "there are 82 american billionaires who do not make the forbes 400 this year." - cbs


posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:09 AM | 11 comments

one senator is working on serious issues

senator harking (d-ia) has his eyes set on food safety
senator tom harkin (d-ia) today introduced legislation to establish an effective national food safety framework for all fresh produce. the bill comes one year after a large-scale outbreak of food-borne illness caused by a virulent strain of e. coli in fresh bagged spinach sickened more than 200 people and killed three. since then, u.s. consumers have been bombarded with repeated cases of contaminated food – everything from peanut butter to seafood to pet food. just this week, there was a recall of a dole bagged salad product because of e. coli contamination.

“it seems these fresh-produce recalls have become the rule rather than the exception in the united states – and that is unacceptable,” said harkin. “it is increasingly clear that the food and drug administration lacks the resources – and the authority – to ensure the safety of the u.s. food supply. the american people need to have confidence that their fruits and vegetables are produced and handled in a safe and wholesome manner.”

...the bill would also require rulemaking to ensure that
imported produce has been grown and processed with the same standards that we will have in the u.s. - tom harkin's website
import standards the same as our national standards. i whole heartedly agree with the senator on this. next step, country of origin labels on everything.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:48 AM | 2 comments