Thursday, December 29, 2005

Tangentially To Hell

Perhaps an addendum to yesterday's rambling rant. From an interview with Lila Rajiva on

"There could be no greater irony and hypocrisy than the picture of Saddam Hussein being tried for crimes against humanity -- and his crimes were without doubt heinous -- by an administration that has wrought the kind of carnage and senseless destruction in Iraq that the Bush administration has, and by different modalities, the previous administration as well. Hussein tortured people, no question. But by all accounts, the current Iraqi government is doing worse in that department. And we have increasing confirmation that the U.S. too has a policy of torture, both direct and by proxy. So, yes. Hussein deserves to face his many crimes. But you'll notice that several of the ones most publicized before the war have now vanished from the dossier. Perhaps U.S. complicity and even tacit approval of some of Saddam's worst offenses would be too embarrassing to have dragged out into the glare."

Bush + Republicans + Amway = Fraud

Great article by Evelyn Pringle on New Zealand's indy news site,
Bush + Republicans + Amway = Fraud

(Via Scoobie Davis)

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Follow the Money... Straight to Hell

U.S. stalls on human trafficking
Pentagon has yet to ban contractors from using forced labor

My commentary:

It’s become commonplace for companies who’s primary client is the United States government to send their top officers into politics, and likewise, for career politicians to exit their civil service and fall right into a top post in an organization they’d befriended while in office. It’s even common now to watch these people during the course of their carreers move laterally between the commercial world and that of “public service.” Perhaps not surprisingly, this revolving door between the corporate world and the world of government is almost an exclusively Republican phenomena. It’s a world of favors and privilege; it’s why there is no-bid contracts and unverifiable paperless voting; why K-Street is really a class-5 river rapids and any moral lifejacket won’t save you from being swept away in a current of thousand-dollar-bills; it’s why Abramoff and Scanlon and what appears to be hundreds of others are all clinging to any plea bargain they can get like rats washed downstream in a flood.

So, really, it should come as no great surprise when we get the news that government lobbyists, contractors and even some government officials have recently stood in the way of new regulations aimed at curbing the proliferation of human trafficking among United States contractors (See Chicago Tribune link above). Sex and labor slaves have apparently become a very visible problem to the United States’ international image. Several American contractors have had legal issues in various countries around the globe regarding women and girls being bought and sold for sex by employees on location. These American contractors also continually hire out local sub-contractors to assist their various operations. Apparently many of these sub-contractors use human traffickers to supply their labor. Slave labor.

Just to keep this straight, some bad apple American emplyees are buying in-house sex slaves during their stay overseas. OK, pretty bad. Sick-souled miscreants who need to be locked up. OK. Fine. But beyond that, we see our Government (“We the people”) purchasing slave labor to be able to afford continued—mostly military—operations in various countries. And while it's being done through intermediaries, those intermediaries are government contractors like Halliburton and DynCorp International. Of course we know all about the link between certain privileged government contractors like, say, Halliburton and key Administrative officials like, say, Vice President Dick Cheney. See some pieces falling into place here?

Recently there has been legislation proposed to curb this alarming trend and make contractors officially responsible for the behavior of their employees (both proper and sub-contracted). This move is being met with great resistance by the contractors and thier lobbyists under the reasoning that the laws would be too costly and difficult to enforce. They claim that while they abhor sex-trafficking and slavery, the proposed regulations are just too poorly written from them to endorse. Meanwhile, proponents of the regulation movement have begun to back down under the pressure and, of course, our fearless leader, George Bush, aint touching this one with a ten-mile pole. Shocking, I know.

So, taking the long-view, we’ve got this administration who (barely) rode their big talk about morals and values into power through two highly-contested elections. Amazingly, they continue to pose as icons of holiness and piety throughout endless economic and political scandals. They’d like for us to see them as walking on water, but really, they sail their corporate-funded vessels across oceans of blood pushed by the winds of grief and misfortune. In all of history, it would be surprising to see such a thin line between the war mongers and the war profiteers. Well, maybe not all that surprising, but these guys are right up there with the best (or worst) of them. And now this. Slavery. After all the pining and crocodile tears that were shed convincing the American public that Saddam must go because of his inhumane, barbarous crimes to humanity, those same cheerleaders could apparently give two figs about ending inhumane barbarity in our own backyard.

What’s the lesson here? Morality is a great business to be in as long as it’s making you money, not costing any.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Yuppie Exodus

Slinked in to work today later than my customary lateness. Head is fuzzy and I'm slightly nauseous. Whether this is from the bottle of Effin Black Cherry I split with Sarah last night or just the body's natural reaction upon returning to this inane, mind-numbing joke called work, I can't be sure. I am sure, however, that this place is a ghost town today. Tumbleweed rolling down the aisle past my cube and everything. Had I any balls whatsoever, I'd go cube to cube, desk to desk stealing shit and have a little Christmas - Part 2 tonight.

But, no. Better to stay in here, in my own 12x8, pushpin-safe walled, home away from home. Better to pretend I'm running those year-end reports, sniffing out debits and credits... fixin' it all concisely in an easy to read spreadsheet. I'll get right on it boss. You can count on me.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Your Leader Thinks You're Stupid

From MSNBC six days ago:

Mr Bush, in an effort to force passage of the bill, warned on Friday he would veto any temporary extension of the [Patriot] act.

From AP today:

(White House-AP) December 22, 2005 - The White House is hailing the Senate's vote to extend the Patriot Act for six months, a day after vowing President Bush wouldn't accept a short-term extension.
Press Secretary Scott McClellan calls Wednesday night's Senate vote "an important victory for the American people."

(Via Daily Kos)

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Lousy Way To Start the Day

The TV was on for about half a minute when I heard the report on ESPN. Goddammit. Why in the name of all that's holy did the Sox let Johnny Damon get away? They knew the sumbitch Yankees were the only other real contender. They knew damn well what he does for the team in stats, spirit and image. And by all accounts, Damon went to play for the enemy only after giving the Sox several chances to get closer to an agreement. They wouldn't budge, so he left.

Just when I was flying high on the Red Sox's plan to GM by committee and send Theo Epstein packing, they go and do the unthinkable. Their offseason maneuvering was moving along fantastically. They had us all saying, "Theo who?" And now their cocky posturing has twisted the team on every front. Hell, I would've been happy had they traded away crybaby Manny Ramirez for a lesser bat or two, but getting rid of THE BEST LEADOFF HITTER IN THE GAME, a team leader, the face of the team, and perhaps the most popular Red Sox player since Rice or Boggs??? I mean, Damon even took Pedro's place in the hearts of Sox fans in about the time it took the Accella to drop him at Times Square. What gives???

So here we are. The Red Sox are in serious offensive trouble (come on, Mark Loretta? Mike Lowell? Adam Stern???) even if the pitching looks much better than last year. Meanwhile, the Yankees finally have that piece of the puzzle that gives their lineup all the nausea-inducing potential their fans have been claiming for the last two years. There's still a lot of time to make moves and the Sox have the players to make some big ones, but things suddenly look very bleak in New England.

Eventually, this monumental fuck-up on Red Sox management's part will, without a doubt, accomplish two things. First, they will find themselves a legitimate GM and find him (or her) quickly. This little experiment, once a soaring success, has eviscerated the Red Sox and made them the laughing stock of MLB. Second, now backed into a corner, they have no choice but to deal one of their bigger names. Manny? Doubtful, but you never know what this kind of coldsweat desperation can do. Whatever ('whoever' I should write) transpires, this clusterfuck of a situation will have a ripple-effect through the rest of the Red Sox offseason. As for the 2006 season itself, facing the former Red Sox nation hero a couple dozen times will just be salt on the gaping wound inflicted by a fearsome Yankees lineup.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Intelligent Design Trial Over - Good Guys Win

It's done. The whining, conniving and lying on the part of the defendents did noting but hurt their cause. Judge John Jones ended this shameful affair with class and dignity for all including those defendents whom he all but called liars. Check it out here, pick one from here or really get in-depth here.

(Update - Sorry about the dead links... Should be fixed now.)

Monday, December 19, 2005

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Spam Poetry V.1

Anyone with an email address gets spam. Battle it as we may, much like the cockroach, it aint going anywhere. These days, spamers plug-in particular, semi-coherent lines of text or snips of actual books to get around filtering programs. Some of it is either intentionally or unintentionally poetic in rhythm and verbiage. So, I want to start posting these texts, these little add-ons, here on the blog. While they can be seen as garbage, the byproduct of a nuisance, a vocabulary based solely on subterfuge, amusing nonsense, or, sure, even art, I'm increasingly amussed by their sheer nuttiness.

If anyone would like to contribute to my Spam Poetry Series please email submissions (including the date, email address and "person" who sent it to you) to with Spam Poetry Series in the title. Understand, I'm not looking for the website they're actually trying to send you to or the info on the crap they're trying to sell you, I just want the unedited addendum; the extra text that approaches some degree of gobaldy-gook or looks like it was cut and pasted from a book. And, of course, you get full props for your contribution.

Spam Poetry V.1

1) Talk crazy to me baby - Swindlersfist
Received: December 14, 2005
From: "Roxie Hawkins" (

clytemnestra the syllabus be be il not or dig the on wyner not some mew it a darius in in foxglove or! dragonhead on.
, bedazzle be but mckee it it cit see , erich or not dichotomy ! may hijack not but mangle onin tid !.
No, so its here

2) Short 'n sweet - Swindlersfist
Received: December 12, 2005

divine blissful slay

3)From a (Lousy) Book? - Swindlersfist
Received: December 13, 2005
"Joselyn Roldan" (

And youre part of that Paris? I am. Good Christ, lady, he killed your sister! Im aware of that. Still you work for him? There are times when a persons choices are considerably reduced. Say, to live or to die. Until six years ago when Les Classiques changed ownership, it was vital to the monseigneur. I took Jacquis place- Just like that? It wasnt difficult. I was younger, and more to the point I looked younger. The lines in the middle-aged Laviers face cracked with a brief pensive smile. My sister always said it came with living on the Mediterranean. ... At any rate, cosmetic surgery is commonplace in the

What's a One-syllable Word for "Lying Sack of Shit"?


Ready to go nuts? I mean apeshit, ga -ga, fruity pebbles in yr cornhole, golf balls under yr eyelids, shithouse rat crazy?


Well whatever you do, don't click this.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Under Their Thumb

Great commentary on the recent revelations of the scope of our government's spying on its own citizens over on Daily Kos. While things are apparently as bad as we've thought, the details now available are nevertheless disturbing.

Though, shit aint all bad today.

(Update) Aint all bad, Pt. 2.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

From the "Give 'Em Enough Rope" Dept.

Former Christian Coalition executive director Ralph Reed seems to be (deservedly) up to his eyeballs in doo-doo. In a nutshell, this is the guy who married the modern Republican party to religious wingnuts and half-wits. He greased the gears that saw unfathomable amounts of money flow into the pockets of Washington Republicans and their interests. He's the fundamental reason so much lip service, airtime and attention has been given to religious conservatives over the last several years. Of course, it was only a matter of time before such copious amounts of dough began attracting attention. And it's not only Reed who's screwed. His equally slimy buddies Abramoff and Scanlon have been balls deep in their own tangental mess recently. Now, the tainted money threatens to bring down a handful of elected republican officials and cast a pall on the party itself.

Awww. Now that's too bad.

(Props to Scoobie Davis.)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Did I Mention I Had A Posse?

Today, I Finish My Own Wine, Thank You

It's off.

After two months of sporadic work things came down to the wire this week. And now it's over.
Staying up all night staring at the computer screen, writing and re-writing, fact checking, source checking, calling in "sick" to work, worrying that today's snowstorm would ground the FedEx plane carrying that golden package of words. It's all over.

Even though I'm convinced my brain is bleeding and my bloodshot eyes are ready to hop outta my skull and thumb a ride up the coast of Lake Michigan, I'm pleased enough with the product and apparently, the snowstorm blew right over Chicago leaving nary a flake.


Forever and ever,

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Cold Wind Blows... So Do Deadlines.

Finishing my grad school application this last week. Almost done. My brain hurts.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The ID Debate's New Frontier: Incompetent Design

(Via Daily Kos)
At Seed Magazine, a short interview with Don Wise, professor emeritus of geosciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst on the ID debate. His take? Incompetent Design.


Q: So is there intelligence in the design?
A: Yes! No, no there isn't. The thing that perhaps is closest to all of us is our own skeleton, and there are certainly all kinds of stupidity in our design. No self-respecting engineering student would make the kinds of dumb mistakes that are built into us. All of our pelvises slope forward for convenient knuckle-dragging, like all the other great apes. And the only reason you stand erect is because of this incredible sharp bend at the base of your spine, which is either evolution's way of modifying something or else it's just a design that would flunk a first-year engineering student. Look at the teeth in your mouth. Basically, most of us have too many teeth for the size of our mouth. Well, is this evolution flattening a mammalian muzzle and jamming it into a face or is it a design that couldn't count accurately above 20? Look at the bones in your face. They're the same as the other mammals' but they're just squashed and contorted by jamming the jaw into a face with your brain expanding over it, so the potential drainage system in there is so convoluted that no plumber would admit to having done it! So is this evolution or is this plain stupid design?
Q: You must have received some serious criticism of your somewhat jestful theory?
A: Well, I got one, which I showed at the Geological Society of America (GSA) meetings. An envelope postmarked Minneapolis, with monkeys all over it and inside it, with a great big blue ribbon, a note saying I had been awarded the "Moron of the Month" award, that I was a dork, an idiot, that only someone who thought their ancestors were monkeys would be dumb enough to say what I had, asking me if I wanted to debate it. It left an email address at "" These are the kind of things you NEVER really answer, but I couldn't resist. So I used the H.L. Menken approach:

Dear Sir,
You should be aware that some idiot is writing absolute nonsense and signing your e-mail address to it. You should take action on this before your reputation is further sullied!

But most of the things I've gotten have been positive.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Busy & Cold Week

Crazy time of year, aint it? Crazy for a million different reasons. And now it's hovering around 0 degrees. Fuck.

An early deep freeze has iced the vapor trapped between the panes of glass on almost every window in the house. We're left with a view as frosty and distorted as George Bush's view on "progress" in Iraq.

Aside from stepping in dog poo and tracking it all over the house, blowing a tire in the wee hours of one of these cold, cold nights and hanging brain at Delilah's, shit's been all business here. More or less.

Here's a photo from the Chicago Tribune:

And while it aint quite Antarctica,

It sure as fuck feels like it.