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August 19, 2005

linkity link lank

Friday is the day that I share my casual browsing.  (Yes, I have a cat, and, no, you cannot see a picture of him, unless you want to give him money, which he will surrender to me for room, board, etc.)

First off is a healthy dose of, "I am far too fabulous to cross swords with the gentleman," with a dash of, "How dare you disagree with me when I'm trying to agree with you, you fuck."  It's a rush transcript of Amy Goodman's "Democracy Now!" radio program, featuring a disagreement between Michael Wolff and Murray Waas over the Karl Rove/Plamegate scandal.  Wolff, media critic/rich guy most recently of Vanity Fair, believes the news industry lost the Plamegate story from the git-go, and Waas, indie investigative reporter with a growing number of Plamegate scoops under his belt, basically says no-ho to that.  It's kind of old media vs. new media, with old media walking away with it.  Via Poynter.

Next is a Paul Krugman column from today's NYTimes.  You can find it here for seven days if you register, or you can read excerpts here in a DailyKos diary.  Krugman's always been fun as his wonkery obviates the need for any flash you might otherwise miss.  Today's topic is how the last two presidential elections were tampered with and the lessons we have learned from them.

And finally, most importantly, I was going to work up the slick intro, but nothing is slicker than this:

You may be interested to know that global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of Pirates since the 1800s.  For your interest, I have included a graph of the approximate number of pirates versus the average global temperature over the last 200 years.

Only one nugget of the best stuff ever from here, about how the world was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster.  Via Boing Boing.

I now happily count myself a Pastafarian, and I didn't have to ruin some B&N wageslave's day by doing it.

Posted by mrbrent at 11:45 AM

"art" eating its young

Woke up cranky this morning.  Coherence got head off at the pass by the hell of a thousand annoyances -- no one annoyance stays in the field of vision long enough to construct a coherent thought about it.

Fortunately, I have the Internets to keep me warm.

And what could be more cheering than a little bump-set-spike action?  Boing Boing with the news of some art-pranksters (bump), Vidiot with the practical objection to said prank-artsters (set), and finally Monk with the "and I never liked you 'overprivileged douchebags who like to defend their shoplifting on political grounds' anyway" haterizing (spike!).  And then we larf.

Sure, the prart-anksters are fellow travellers and all -- every bit as communist and pinko as we are -- but we have no orthodoxy.  That's what makes us (and them) the good guys.

Posted by mrbrent at 10:45 AM


Like sands through the hourglass, these are the Headlines collected by Yahoo! and kept in a Little Box:
• Pope warns of increase in anti-Semitism

Which he has scheduled to take place in early September.

Hey, I only kid the Pope because of his well-known sense of humor.

Posted by mrbrent at 10:45 AM

August 18, 2005

yahoo! and the subtle difference

The shadowy influence of the Ohio GOP extends all the way to the Yahoo! (Pay-To-Play) Headline Container:
• Ohio gov. accused of violating ethics laws

That's not a lie inasmuch as it is true, but it is not wholly true.

Governor Taft was indeed accused of violating ethics laws.  That's not really the story.

Governor Taft was in fact charged with two criminal misdemeanors in Columbus, Ohio.  You know, by a court of law and all that.

Someone can "accuse" me of outing a covert CIA operative all they want -- it's kind of the nature of "accusations".  But once the Grand Jury hands down an indictment and I'm lookin' at conspiracy and obstruction of justice at the very least, well, that's a different tomato.  And a more newsworthy tomato, I might add.

Oh -- in that last paragraph, of course when I say "I", I mean "I hate America", so no America Supports You Freedom Walk for me.

Posted by mrbrent at 10:17 AM

August 17, 2005

holy smokes

Last Sunday in Brooklyn, the king-god of storms blew through late afternoon.  It was foreshadowed by this clear-sky cloud-to-ground lightning strike that I saw, about a quarter mile from me, while walking on an errand.  Which gave me a clear and distinct impulse to get the fuck off the street.  Twenty minutes later, black sky, sideways rain, gusts of wind, etc.

What does it matter?

Oh, it's just a lead-in to a bit of web coolness:  stills/mpgs of a plane setting hit by lightning.

Jesus, it's spookier than a hunnerd million dollars of CGI.

[Via John Rogers]

Posted by mrbrent at 6:49 PM

under pressure

Does anybody else find it a little comical that the powers-that-be in Iraq have a deadline to come up with a constitution?

It's one of those little factoids that fly under the radar until you stop and think about it.  We have the primary act that codifies the independent nation-state unfolding in a nascent Iraq, and if they don't hand that constitution in by sixth period, the prof's gonna deduct five points.  As Communist-Socialist-pinko as I am, I continue to hope for the best for the Iraqi people, but what the hell kind of "freedom" comes with some third party force exerting a time limit on the deliberative process that sets shit up?

Though the "third party" is a mystery == a mystery largely unquestioned by our traditional media outlets.  The question begged is, "Whose deadline?"  If it's a US-set deadline, well, then, while the Iraqis are forging their constitution, they might as well revise the definition of "freedom" in the dictionary.  I don't remember the British setting a time limit for the United States to come up with a controlling document when they signed the Treaty of Paris.

Besides, what will the U.S do if they miss the deadline?  Invade them again?

Obviously this is just another point in the long rant of our lives, and every time another one is raised, I feel you might as well be typing, "And another thing...  What is up with airplane food?  Can someone explain this to me?"

It's just a little galling that we're fed the bare fact of this fershlugginer deadline and none of its implications.

Hey, I typed "fershlugginer"!  Now I am happy again!

Posted by mrbrent at 6:10 PM

"walken" for president

I'd like to follow up on the Walken for President story.  Apparently, it's been confirmed that the Christopher Walken candidacy is in fact the "Christopher Walken" candidacy.  (Which is no less interesting, but harder on all those punchlines you guys have been working on.)

So, yeah, I'm sure some are dissappointed, but the spirit of Pat Paulsen still blows through this country, as do the invisible robots in the teeth of Ross Perot.  There will be many preposterously amusing and amusingly preposterous candidates for president before it's fat lady singing time.  Like Bill Frist.

Until then, run like the wind, "Christopher Walken"!

[Hat tip to Monk, for the bazillionth time]

Posted by mrbrent at 11:24 AM

August 16, 2005

post down

Sometimes, it's good to bring the bad news.  After public and internal pressure, the Washington Post has withdrawn its sponsorship of the Pentagon's morbid patriotic America Supports You Freedom Walk, scheduled for September 11 of this year.

The Post decided that ASYFW was crossing the line separating public events and partisan events, even though "Pentagon officials have maintained that the event is intended to be a non-political homage to the victims and a salute to veterans past and present, devoid of commentary on the merits of the war in Iraq."

Silly Pentagon officials, always answering a question that wasn't asked!  Just because an event is "devoid of commentary on the merits of the war in Iraq" doesn't make it non-political!  Oooh, those brave and mendacious warriors of the Pentagon!

The real victims here, sadly, are all the veterans of foreign wars who were looking forward to having a day honoring them piggybacked on the commemoration of the worst terrorist attack on US soil -- now they'll have to "I Raq And Roll" on someone's dime other than the Washington Post.

And congrats to the Post for only taking a week to make this decision.  I owe somebody two dollars.

Posted by mrbrent at 8:54 AM

August 15, 2005

i can too handle the truth

Further to this post on the Walken for President phenomenon:

There has been some speculation that the campaign is a prank of some sort.

As far as I'm concerned, speculation is for losers.  We will consider the Walken campaign a great progress for a world that refuses to allow for weirdness and novelty -- which would hold true even if the Walken campaign is a fraud.

Weird wins either way, which is how we like it, oh yeah.

Posted by mrbrent at 4:38 PM

"dessert" would have been safer -- yum!

Old friend Monk raises in interesting issue regarding the headline of a NYTimes article, as follows:
G.I.'s Deployed in Iraq Desert With Lots of American Stuff

The issue being, of course, "Noun or verb?"

Our zeitgeist!  She is bleeding through the malaprops!

Posted by mrbrent at 11:28 AM

August 14, 2005

jesus hates us

All the leaders of the social conservative movement threw a party on Sunday, and we weren't invited.  The party was called "Justice Sunday II", and it was a little end-run around the tax-exempt status that churches are afforded in this country.  Because, you know, they're politicking, which they're not supposed to do, etc.  There are many fine examples of outrage over this event that are available for your perusal, all over the internets.

But if you look over here, you'll see a little A.P. story about the event, the lead paragraph of which I'd like to print here for discussion:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Thousands of people filled a church Sunday night for "Justice Sunday II," an event organizers said wasn't necessarily about pushing for the confirmation of John Roberts for the U.S. Supreme Court, but more about supporting justices who don't have radical agendas.

See, I am not only the enemy of the Justice Sundays and any other egregious misapplication of dogma as public policy, I am also the enemy of shitty reporting.  I'm quite fond of reporters and the work they do, and every shitty reporter is breathing the air that could otherwise be used to give life to a reporter who is not shitty.

So, just for the record, if you are writing a story about a maniacal and short-sighted organization that is unable to realize that a "faith-based government" is just a turn of the head away from sharia, then you do not lead with the specious, bullshit apology from such organization about why the organization is not maniacal like everyone says.

You don't do this anymore than you would lead a story about PETA with how PETA says they're not so much opposed to eating meat as they are in favor of eating grains and vegetables.

Nor would you lead a story on the Klan with how the Klan has proclaimed that they're not so much against minorities as they are huge fans of white people.

Also you would not tug on Superman's cape, but that's a whole 'nother.

Posted by mrbrent at 10:27 PM