Tuesday, March 29, 2005


It doesn't exactly warrant death threats, but the new Fox News blocker is a silly idea at best.
Kimery figures he's sold about 100 of the little silver bits of metal that screw into the back of most televisions, allowing people to filter Fox News from their sets, since its August debut.

Suckers. I got a Fox News blocker for free when I bought my TV. It's called a remote. I'm trying to imagine the poor fool who needs this because he just can't resist the seductive lure of the right-wing echo chamber. No matter how many back issues of the Nation he reads, he just can't keep that snake-charmer,Sean Hannity, off his TV set. Alas, he cannot avert his eyes, so steps must be taken...

Here's a money saving tip from your Uncle Jiminy: Bill O'Reilly doesn't shoot invisible microwave heroin beams from his eyes. Really. All you have to do is not turn it on. No assenbly required.

Integrity's for wussies

Certainly hypocrisy can't be said to be the worst of Tom Delay's ethical transgressions, but it does occupy a prominent position on the list. The latest instance is a doozy. The ever-trenchant William Saletan lays out the bill of particulars at Slate.com.

It's Official

I guess it isn't officially an American media circus until this clown shows up. You can almost hear the calliope music.

The damn shame of it is that Jesse Jackson has done a lot of good in the past and will likely do some more in the future. It's increasingly difficult, however, to pay attention to a man whose chief vocation seems to be getting his name and face inserted into every worthless media frenzy that comes down the pike.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Are they kidding?

Is it possible that the people who run CNN.com are this sloppy?
Option 1: They were trying to honestly and accurately present their polling data in graphic form, and botched the mission spectacularly.
Option 2: They were intentionally trying to misrepresent the data. To make the party-split look more dramatic? To make Democrats look bad? To make them look good?
Whatever the reason, the verdict is the same: Terrible, sloppy journalism CNN should be ashamed of.

Monday, March 21, 2005


Or maybe this post should be titled "Hannity-larity". Or not. Either way, it seems that Sean Hannity, right wing radio host, Fox News Channel mainstay, author, and blowhard par excellence has jumped into the matchmaking game. On the "Hannidate" section of his website, you can find pics and profiles of lovelorn conservatives from hither and yon looking for some chaste, prayerful lovin'. Now, call it shooting fish in a barrel, or piling on, if you like, but I just have to point out how wonderfuly entertaining these profiles are. A list of the shinier gems would include:

Aaron, a 23 year old former marine and tattoo enthusiast who WILL NOT HESITATE TO BEAT YOU TO DEATH!!! (or, at least, that's what his charming photo seemed, to me, to imply).

Jessica H., a lovely young realtor and recent addition to the Florida panhandle's dating scene. She enjoys Ann Coulter, upscale entertainment, and seems to be looking for a traditional type of man who's not afraid to mete out a swift elbow to the clavicle, should she be foolish enough to back-sass him.

The cavalcade of conservatives craving companionship doesn't end there, so, do yourself a favor and go check out all of the succulent cuts on offer at Hannity's right-wing meat market. If you don't find that special someone, you might laugh so hard you shoot coffee out of your nose-I know I did!

Yay for spring

Maybe it's in anticipation of Camille Paglia's forthcoming book, or maybe I'm just feeling a little sweet lately (quit yer gigglin', dammit!), but for one reason or another I've been on a little poetry kick. On that note, and in honor of the dawning of spring (which, after all the rain here in California this winter, should be spectacular), I post for your enjoyment Shel Silverstein's "The Garden":
Ol’ man Simon, planted a diamond,
Grew hisself a garden the likes of none.
Sprouts all growin’, comin’ up glowin’,
Fruit of jewels all shinin’ in the sun.
Colors of the rainbow,
See the sun and rain grow,
Sapphires and rubies on ivory vines,
Grapes of jade, just
Ripenin’ in the shade, just Ready for the squeezin’ into green Jade wine.
Pure gold corn there,
Blowin’ in the warm air,
Ol’ crow nibblin’ on the amethyst seeds.
In between the damonds, ol’ man Simon
Crawls about pullin’ platinum weeds.
Pink pearl berries,
All you can carry,
Put ‘em in a bushel and
Haul ‘em into town.
Up in the tree there’s
Opal nuts and gold pears –
Hurry quick, grab a stick
And shake some down.
Take a silver tater,
Emerald tomater,
Fresh plump coral melons,
Hangin’ in reach.
Ol’ man Simon,
Diggin’ in his diamonds,
Stops and rests and dreams about
One… real… peach.

Friday, March 18, 2005

For Future Reference

I'm with Harry Shearer, who's guest-blogging over at TPM today, on the silliness of pitching my two useless cents in on the pathetic Terry Schiavo circus.
I will, however, take this opportunity to publicly (or at least as publicly as a blog that nobody reads can be said to be), affirm my desire not be be kept alive by tubes and machines if I am ever in a similar condition. That is all.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

La Maison, C'est Moi

This interesting quote appeared in The Washington Post yesterday in a story about Tom Delay defending himself against a massive and growing pile of ethics charges:
"It is very unfortunate that the Democrats have no agenda. All they can do is try to tear down the House and burn it down in order to gain power."
Uh...actually, Tommy, they aren't trying to tear down the house so much as trying to smoke a big rat out of it-a process with which you, of all people, should be well acquainted.
You almost have to respect the size of the stones on a man who would equate efforts to hold him accountable for bribes cash-flow irregularities, with destroying the House of Representatives. Perhaps we should call him Tom DeLouis XIV? Non, monsieur. La Maison, ce n'est pas toi. That's French freedom-talk for "zip your cake-hole, Tom."

Happy St. Patrick's Day

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, here's one of my favorite poems. It really has nothing to do with St. Patrick's Day, but its composer, Seamus Heaney, is Irish (and a Nobel Prize winner, at that), so that sort of counts, right? It's called "Digging":
Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests; as snug as a gun.

Under my window a clean rasping sound
When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:
My father, digging. I look down

Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds
Bends low, comes up twenty years away
Stooping in rhythm through potato drills
Where he was digging.

The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft
Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked
Loving their cool hardness in our hands.

By God, the old man could handle a spade,
Just like his old man.

My grandfather could cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner's bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, digging down and down
For the good turf. Digging.

The cold smell of potato mold, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I've no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I'll dig with it.
SlĂ inte!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


I would like to extend my heartfelt personal congratulations to the editors of the Des Moines Register for printing the single most pointless article in the history of newspaper journalism. Some highlights:
A Cedar Rapids service station attendant's penchant for "air drumming" has cost him his job.

"My drums are not a joke; they are a part of me," he said. "People used to come into the store and say, 'Dude, you're so good with those drumsticks.'"

Yes folks,
The Onion truly is redundant.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

And not a moment too soon...

Well, huzzah for Oaktown:
As of this week, the Port of Oakland will be the first major seaport in the nation to screen all incoming cargo containers for radiation. Four years and at least $3.2 million in the making, the port's eight radiation portal monitors are advanced models of devices used in former Soviet bloc countries to prevent the spread of nuclear materials.

It's imperfect, but it's an important step and it's about damn time. For a full explanation of the system, imperfections and all, read the whole thing.

Eww, gross...

So let me get this straight: A CourtTV reporter alerts the Santa Barbara county DA to some evidence for the Michael Jackson molestation case, including "soiled Calvin Klein briefs", in the possession of a New Jersey businessman. And the DA or Diane Dimond, the reporter, are supposed to be embarrassed? What about the guy with MJ's "soiled" (*shudder*) tighty-whiteys in his attic? Hell, I feel dirty having just typed that out!

UPDATE: It turns out that the businessman in question came into possession of the foul undergarments when he was "awarded a warehouse full of Jackson family memorabilia in a bankruptcy settlement..." Truth be told, I'm not sure that isn't even stranger.

Here's Hoping

A quick question: Since Judge Richard Kramer, who yesterday held California's law against same-sex marriage unconstitutional, is a Republican (and Catholic, to boot-yee-haw!!!), are we going to be spared another round of yelping about judicial activism?

No, I'm not holding my breath either, but a fella can hope can't he?