Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Topical Post

There's something about people dressing up their pets that just cracks me up. So, in observance of this Halloween Holiday, I pass on to you these links sent to me from Mrs. Delano III.

Take your pick, Halloween Dogs and Halloween Cats.

All hail the Principia Absurdia!

Monday, October 30, 2006

The Omen: Part IV -- The Jitters

Well, Ill be dipped in shit. What do think this is a picture of?

A hint: Haloween aint the only thing scaring some folks right now.

Wonkette's got the answer.

Friday, October 27, 2006


The Rude Pundit pulled out an ice cold bottle of vodka for the president’s limp, uninspiring speech the other day. He clocked in with comments between frosty shots.

My favorites:

10:38 - Already bored. The Rude Pundit's thinking of the most frightening Halloween costume he could wear. Maybe it'll be a zombie Rush Limbaugh gnawing on Michael J. Fox's brain. Nah. Too much padding.

10:44 - Bush ain't "satisfied" with the situation in Iraq. Umm, gee, motherfucker, didn't you put that souffle' in the oven? If it doesn't rise, it ain't our fault.

10:49 - Oh, fuck, he's giving that creepy squint-smile. And he's off - acting like a phone psychic, predicting what people of the future will say about us. Apparently, "My mommy was blown-up in a worthless war" is not one of those things. Nor is "Boy, I'm glad we stopped using gasoline cars."

11:25 - Wonder if that burrito place is open for lunch? A burrito'd soak up all this vodka.

For the whole enchilada, er, burrito, read Live Vodka-Shot Blogging the President's News Conference.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Q4 - It's All Downhill From Here

Calamities, fiascos, and clusterfucks rule these days. I peer out from behind my mountain of paperwork and dream of a match, a match, my kingdom for a match. And I'd skip and spin down the stairs and out to door but not before watching it all catch and start to glow.

Despite the election fast approaching, I’m feeling way, way burned out on politics. Or maybe I’m just coming down with a cold… or maybe both. Anyway, for whatever reason, I aint exactly feelin’ it right now.

So, allow some of my friends to do the heavy lifting today:

*Rollie St. Bacon rolls the bones and comes up Carter. Though, if you prefer a little less milk in your coffee but are still in that 70’s frame of mind, dig his column on the day that rock and roll really died. And if rock and roll aint yr bag… Oh! Baby! You need to get out more. Maybe take a ride in a shagadellic make-out mobile.

*Mrotzie invites us along on her Roman holiday where her and her beau introduce pancakes to unsuspecting Italian villagers.

*Melissa in Ecuador keeps bringing it with stories and pics so spot on, you'd swear it was you that's been knee-deep in unruly mountain children and interesting cuisine.

*Bad News Hughes continues his zany adventure into the heart of darkness, AKA his own twisted life.

*And if all that readin’s got yer eyeballs a scortchin’ and a scratchin’, Ms. BeBe Gun’s got some excellent works of visual acuity for you to gander at.

*And finally, if all that sittin’ and starin’ at the screen’s got you ancy for some shopping, dig on Joanna Ballinger’s Red Attic handbag emporium. Do I need to remind you that them holidays are right around the corner?

Friday, October 20, 2006

Monkey Trouble

WFMU’s Beware of the Blog points us in the direction of the Best Damn Monkey Portraits Ever. As your doctor, I’d advise you have a look.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Bringing a Knife to a Gunfight

So Yahoo’s having an email Q & A forum with MoveOn.org’s director, Eli Pariser. Users can add a question to a long list sent in by readers. Apparently Yahoo, moderator Judy Woodruff and Pariser will pick out their favorites for him to answer in an upcoming column.

That’s all fine and good, I guess. MoveOn is a decent organization who, from what I’ve seen through my own involvement with them, are trying (and succeeding) to connect people of similar political persuasions. They aim, at the very least, to educate and if they can make an activist or donator out of participants, they’ll gladly do so.

That they’ve become downright demonized in the right wing media is sheer testimony as to how effective they’ve become at raising both consciousness and capital—and how much they scare the pants off “conservatives” and the GOP faithful.

After reading down the “what would you like to ask Eli Pariser” message board, one fact become glaringly, pitifully obvious… (And forgive the polarization here, I tend to despise lumping regular folks’ personal politics in to one camp or the other. It’s become a lazy, divisive technique of the base-catering goons on AM radio and cable news, but it serves to set the stage here.) … As I said, after reading down the message board, one fact just jumps right out and boxes your ears.

It seems that one side of this fight comes armed to the teeth with facts and has a strong grasp on issues and the players involved. By and large, they’re willing to consider the opinions of others and even attempt to bridge some of those great empathic gaps we all seem to keep falling in to these days.

The other side in this fight paints with strokes as broad as their sentences are short. They toss out characterizations about catchphrases without a hint of shame. They offer little in making their point beyond the petty mocking of opinions and ideas that they plainly don’t understand. There is little substance and less good will. They give us a clear look at the ass-end of the echo chamber. Manufactured outrage distilled to its basest, most simple sentiment.

Perhaps not surprisingly, these folks are made up of the blindly pro-Bush, the GOP grunts, and the "with-us-or-against-us" crowd. Nevermind that the torchbearers of the ideology that they're still clinging to have been unmasked and exposed as the plunderers and swindlers they've been all along.

Not that the “left-leaning” comments are spun entirely of gold. There’s plenty of knckleheaded brain farting and party-line lockstepping. But the genuine, thoughtful, knowledgeable, heart-felt sentiment comes overwhelmingly from that “left.”

I don’t know how long this is gonna be up, or how much you can stand, but if you feel like wading into those particular waters, check out Talk to Eli Pariser of MoveOn.org.

The King's Eyes and Ears Are Now Bionic

As the mid-term elections creep closer, and we find that Rove and the GOP are about to light the fuse on a one hundred million dollar advertising and propaganda blitz, and dictator-in-chief Bush signs in to law a regressive, twisted piece of legislation that strips every US citizen of their right of Habeas Corpus, the ever-floundering Department of Homeland Security has sunk a couple million into a data trolling service hoping to snare and analyze even the most inane of anti-American sentiment from across the globe.

Truthout’s Chris Floyd explains this latest insanity shat from the “with us or against us” mindset.

Why is the United States government spending millions of dollars to track down critics of George W. Bush in the press? And why have major American universities agreed to put this technology of tyranny into the state's hands?

As with so many of the Bush measures that have quietly stripped away America's liberties, this one too is beginning with a whimper, not a bang: a modest $2.4 Department of Homeland Security million grant to develop "sentiment analysis" software that will allow the government's "security organs" to sift millions of articles for "negative opinions of the United States or its leaders in newspapers and other publications overseas," as the New York Times reported earlier this month. Such negative opinions must be caught and catalogued because they could pose "potential threats to the nation," security apparatchiks told the Times.

This hydra-headed snooping program is based on "information extraction," which, as a chipper PR piece from Cornell tells us, is a process by which "computers scan text to find meaning in natural language," rather than the rigid literalism ordinarily demanded by silicon cogitators. Under the gentle tutelage of Homeland Security, the universities "will use machine-learning algorithms to give computers examples of text expressing both fact and opinion and teach them to tell the difference," says the Cornell blurb.

Read the entire article: Sentimental Education: Academia Signs Up to Track Down Dissent.

Friday, October 13, 2006

So Un-Punk

ESPN color columnist Bill Simmons has a good rundown of the remaining three quarters of the NFL season. He’s consistently the only decent thing about the god-awful, wretched, tax write-off, waste of ink and paper that is ESPN The Magazine. If you’ve ever been tempted to pick one up or, heaven forbid, purchase a subscription, for fuck’s sake just don’t do it—Unless you’re a fifth grader with some extra allowance money. At least then, you’ll be reading something written for your age group.

In the interest of opening a window after closing a door, I’d suggest The Sporting News if you’re looking for a good sports magazine. While they do get a little long in the tooth covering the NASCAR circuit, and their NBA section rarely goes over 3 pages, their football and baseball coverage is always outstanding, even in the offseason. It’s written well and is typically devoid of Sports Illustrated-esque, human interest fluff.

Anyway, if you’re a football fan, read Bill Simmons’ Putting the Sleeper to Bed.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Melissa In Ecuador

Yowza, does time fly. I've been meaning to send out a word on and a link to this for over a month now. Ooops. My apologies.

My friend Melissa is down in Ecuador for four months. She's living with a host family and teaching wild mountain children at a run down school house. By all accounts it's been a hell of an adventure. She's got a blog up and running now with incredible pictures and stories. Check it out and get your vicarious on.

Melissa In Ecuador - "This is the blog of Melissa Resh while teaching in Ecuador. I arrived on August 4th, and I should be here until the beginning of December."

PS - The picture above is of a local dish called Cuy. It's basically a deep fried guinea pig.

Coffee, Microscope, Monkeywrench

New job duties have required being here more hours of the day and staying busy while I am here. With any luck I’ll pull in enough dough on the next paycheck to buy a Caribbean bungalow… or at least a case of Corona and tickets to that Naked Raygun / 7 Seconds reunion show in November.

Some recent observations:

  1. Woke up to snow in Chicago this morning. My god. Snow already.

  2. Payroll snafu has had my pay all goofed up for the last month. I was sure I never got one particular paycheck. Had payroll office put a stop payment on it. They said someone cashed it and had me come down to take a look. The signature on the back of the check was, of course, my own. I still don’t understand what happened. I’m gonna blame this one on the chemo. You bethca.

  3. Death knell or not, right wingers and republicans will be pulling out every dirty trick from their nefarious bag in these next few weeks before the election. At the very least, it’ll make for some serious avant-garde theater. Grab some popcorn and enjoy.

  4. These Chicago Bears are going to the Super Bowl. No doubt about it.

  5. Meatballs are the future. My lovely lady made pasta with meatballs last night as the temps dropped and the wind howled. Just perfect. Though, the accompaniment (new episode of LOST) left a lot to be desired.

  6. After rereading ReSearch’s book on Pranks in anticipation of next month’s publication of Pranks 2, I’ve got a spring in my pre-winter step. While we Americans may or may not be hopelessly fucked as prisoners of our own affluence, it’s good to know that there’s still a lot of good, wicked fun out there to be had. Sometimes I forget that.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Another Florida Fish Fry

Man-O!-Man, am I starting to get homesick. Well... not really. It's more like just plain old sick. Retching, heaving, collapsed in a heap sick. Hey, I'm kinda like the state of American Democracy. Weird.

Now watch this video.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Slack Friday

The merciful end of another wicked work week...

Well class, in lieu of any mildly-enlightened commentary or cranky foot-stomping, today we'll be watching a film. Make sure and take notes. You'll be quizzed about it on Monday.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

RE: The Foley / Hastert Affair

I've got nothing to add to all this.

The Daily Show's been a gleeful recipient of the GOP all but writing the jokes for them lately. And in that kinda feeding frenzy they're at their best.

But for a slightly more studious look, take the time to read Glenn Greenwald's commentary. It cuts all the bullshit and makes no DC-esque pretenses. Highly recommended.

Read: Mark Foley and the Unmasked Republican Party.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Lube Job For Your Head

Stop what you are doing. Take a few deep breaths. Relax a little. Do that thing with your knuckles or your neck bone. Close your eyes and count to ten.

Now read this:

"Why normals are hideous." Excellent 1994 anti-normal rant from "Nenslo."

Repeat once every work week or as needed.

(Via the mighty Boing Boing)

Monday, October 02, 2006

GOP Hack Gettin' Served

While the substance of this little back and forth couldn't be more relevant, the video itself is for amusement purposes only.

(Props to Scoobie Davis and Atrios of course.)