Thursday, March 31, 2005

Michael Jackson: I never copped a feel

Check out this Flash movie featuring Michael Jackson titled I Never Copped a Feel.

Terri Schiavo is dead

RIP Terri is what it says on my Firefox extension. RIP indeed. Terri Schiavo died a couple of hours ago. Details.

Remember that war in Iraq?

Tas asks, whatever happened to Iraq? There's still some scary stuff going on there. Terri Schiavo isn't going to make it past tomorrow, so I guess we'll start hearing about real news by the time her funeral ends. So we have another week or so of All Terri, All the Time.

Make love, not war: What we could do with a spare $160B

I looked at the Cost of War scroll on the right side of this page this morning. It's about to rollover to $160B. And it made me think, what would happen if we'd spent that money on a campaign called Make Love, Not War? $160B is a lot of love. There are other images of Make Love, Not War. Some aren't good for the kids to see. I decided it wasn't right to put the first in the search up on the front page. Consider yourself warned.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Terri Schiavo protest

Truthout called this Best. Picture. Ever. Will Pitt says, "I love this man." Kudos, Will, for finding this one.

Save Terri Schiavo Bear

These scumbags are making money on Terri Schiavo's tragedy. I felt guilty about posting that Terri Blog reference right up until I saw their Save Terri Schiavo tote bag. Maybe they can use that when they go to the green grocer.

Boy Scout leader arrested on porn charges: If I had a nickel for every time I heard that

Yep, another Boy Scout leader was indicted on porn charges. The beauty is that Douglas Sovereign Smith, Jr. was a national director of the Boy Scout's youth protection league. Gee, if I only had a nickel for every time I heard that a Boy Scout leader was a creep. Oh yeah, the BTK Killer was a Boy Scout leader, too. I'm sure there are lots of good people involved, but it always gives me the creeps when grown men are just a little too into hanging out with adolescent boys who aren't their own. Then again we do have Michael Jackson as well.

Here's my Michael Jackson joke: Michael Jackson asked for a court delay because he said he had to entertain the troops. The judge denied the request. Jackson meant entertain the Boy Scout troops.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Terri Schiavo Hypocrisy Races

Tom DeLay is the in the lead of the Terri Schiavo Hypocrisy Races. Senator Bill Frist, in red, is in second. Jeb Bush, on the left, is in third. And bringing up the rear is Dennis Hastert (image unretouched).

Creative outlet

The Tattered Coat has a little "caption this" game this morning. Have anything to say about the Michael Jackson case?

Monday, March 28, 2005

Terri Schiavo's blog

I really am going to hell. Here's Terri Schiavo's blog.

Michael Moore was right

O-Dub has the scoop. Maybe Michael Moore wasn't making up conspiracy theories about Saudis being jetted out of the country right after 9/11.

Pulling the plug on Tom DeLay's hypocrisy

What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Or, in this case, The Hammer. Semidi has a story about the incredible hypocrisy of Tom DeLay, who pulled the plug on his own father. His Terri Schiavo angle is politics, and what he did for his father was right. As Semidi says, "At least we know [DeLay] did something right and for the right reason —at least once in his life."

Terri Schiavo receives last rites

This terrible situation with Terri Schiavo is almost over. I suppose that things like the Iraq War and fact that six more American soldiers were killed (along with countless Iraqis) during the last 10 days when all the news has concentrated on Terri Schiavo. It was Joseph Stalin who said, "One dead person is a tragedy, a million dead is a statistic." George Bush lives by those words.

Post-Easter sugar coma: the research

Okay, I'm in post-Easter a sugar stupor. That's why this Peep Research site caught my attention. It's good for a laugh this morning.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Lynne Cheney gets an Easter goose

Second Lady Lynne Cheney got an Easter goose at the White House Easter Egg Hunt today. "Whew," Mrs. Cheney said. "That'll get this little bunny hopping."

While a goose is typically a Christmas tradition, that has sadly been missing at the Vice President's residence. Here's why.

In related news, a group of Christian protesters disrupted the Easter festivities when they chanted, "Murderer, killer. Times a tickin'. Those ova coulda been a chicken."

In other related news, TV psychic John Edward appealed to George Bush and Jeb Bush in the Terri Schiavo case, saying, "Those eggs are definitely clear about what's going on around them."

Marshmallow Peeps in Space

I saw this on Suburban Guerrilla and thought it was a fun one for today. Sorry, dragonballyee, I searched all over the web this morning but I couldn't find a Cadbury Creme Egg game for you. Happy Easter, friends.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Ride a bike in Manhattan on Fridays, get arrested

Vince at NJ IndyMedia brings us this story of a group of Critical Mass bike riders who got together in Manhattan yesterday, read the First Amendment out loud, and then started a bike ride. Guess what happened? The police cordoned off the area with orange fencing and arrested them. Seriously. Herded them up like cattle. Here's the story. Guess they should have gone the pious route and read from The Bible. Then they would have been prominently featured on CNN and FOX as "Terri's Angels."

UPDATE: Check out this first-person account of what happened on Dark Days Ahead in this post titled They Fought the Law and the Law Won. An excerpt from what's in the post (and in the comments here - I thought this would make it easier to promote this to the front page):
Here's the scoop: walking through the park at about 7 p.m., I saw a number of police striding by, and didn't think much of it (other than that I shouldn't be afraid to stop singing my Lauryn Hill just because the police were walking by). Then I heard the bullhorn. The NYPD had a van parked at the northeast corner of Union Square that loudly proclaimed from a recording something along the lines of "If you choose to ride, you will be arrested and your bicycle will be confiscated. Processions that obstruct traffic without permits are not permitted. There is no permit for a procession tonight." Repeat. A lot.
Can you say police state?

The Terri Schiavo case: Bloodsport series on Kos

These bloodsport articles on Kos are scary - and telling. They describe how the extreme right wing is advocating taking the law into their own hands, how they plan to kidnap Terri Schiavo, and how they're putting up money for the murder of Michael Schiavo. Now there's the Republican Party for you, friends. It's what that mandate bought us.

Condi Rice continues her diplomacy in Japan

Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice first stepped out in her dominatrix outfit last month in Prague. Now she's showing her diplomatic skills by wearing the Rakuten Eagles Bra. The Eagles are Japan's first new baseball team in 50 years, and Condi Rice wanted to show her international team spirit.

Friday, March 25, 2005

George Bush is going down

Well, at least his approval rating is. George Bush's approval rating is at 45 percent, the lowest of his presidency. Wonder if that Social Security/Terri Schiavo invented crisis one-two punch had anything to do with it? 2006 is going to be so fun.

Terri Schiavo status bar for Firefox

I'm probably going to have to spend a few extra years in purgatory for this, but the Terri Schiavo status bar extension for Firefox is humming away on my computer right now. It says, "Alive."

William J. Bennett says Jeb Bush should violate the law and make Florida a police state for Terri Schiavo

This is sick. I thought that invoking the police state idea was the idea of a few on the fanatical right. Now William J. Bennett, Book of Virtues author and gambling addict, says the same thing in a piece w he co-wrote with Brian T. Kennedy in The National Review:
The "auxiliary precautions" of Florida government — in this case the Florida supreme court — have failed Terri Schiavo. It is time, therefore, for Governor Bush to execute the law and protect her rights, and, in turn, he should take responsibility for his actions. Using the state police powers, Governor Bush can order the feeding tube reinserted. His defense will be that he and a majority of the Florida legislature believe the Florida Constitution requires nothing less. Some will argue that Governor Bush will be violating the law. We think he will not be violating the law, but if he is judged to have done so, it will be in the tradition of Martin Luther King, Jr., who answered to a higher law than a judge's opinion. In so doing, King showed respect for the man-made law by willingly going to jail (on a Good Friday); Governor Bush may have to face impeachment because of his decision.
And, Bennett invokes Dr. King, as if this case is parallel. Why didn't he equate it with storming the Bastille (oh, that's right, those guys were French, and righties don't like the French)?

It's nuts. These guys are invoking a riot. They want elected officials to break the law, to create a police state. Isn't there some law against that? Like going against the orders of the Supreme Court kind of stuff? Like treason?

And why does William Bennett care? Because he has the over-and-under on Terri Schiavo. He's probably got a small fortune bet on April 1. And knowing what a great gambler Bennett is, I'm in.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Supreme Court won't hear the Terri Schiavo case

It's over. The United States Supreme Court refused to order Terri Schiavo's feeding tube be reinserted. It's the fifth time they've said no.

Terri Schiavo and the lying neurologist

Media Matters has a piece about Hannity and Colmes touting a doctor as a Nobel Prize nominated neurologist. Not quite. The guy was nominated by someone who cannot nominate another for a Nobel Prize. Yeah, yeah, did I tell you I'm a Nobel Prize nominated blogger? Yeah, heh-heh. I'm going to have a friend of mine write a letter to the Nobel committee and nominate me for a Nobel Prize in Literature.

Bunny rap

A little laugh never hurts. Did you see this bunny rap?

Terri Schiavo and the Hypocrites of the Right

At the risk of this being totally tasteless, here's my favorite cartoon panel from a series about Terri Schiavo on Get Your War On. I bet this isn't far off - where's the feeding tube lapel pin?

Update: Philly has a take on why political hypocrites are doing this.


Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Federal appeals court does the right thing in the Terri Schiavo case

They said there's no case. Terri Schiavo is heading toward a peaceful end. Of course, Tom DeLay and George Bush are still trying to make political hay over this family's tragedy.

Progressive evangelism

Atrios point us to a piece by Chris Hayes that he says is must reading. It is. CC has said several times to me that we need to stop preaching to the converted and if we really want to do something constructive, we need to create a constructive dialog with the unconverted. He was right. In How to turn Your Red State Blue, Hayes outlines how to help righties make the switch to progressivism. (Side thought...ever see those Switch ads on Apple? I'm going to get working on that.)

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Rick Santorum is going down

Susie says it looks like Man-on-Dog Senator Santorum is going down. He's neck and neck in polling with state Treasurer Robert P. Casey, Jr. While Santorum has been humping for the religious right he's been getting dogged by his hypocrisy. Ruff, ruff.

Federal judge refuses to reinsert Terri Schiavo's feeding tube

A federal judge rejected a request this morning to reinsert Terri Schiavo's feeding tube. The Republicans still won't give up.

I'm ashamed of my prime minister

From Yahoo Photos comes this story:
A motorist drives by one of 30 billboards depicting Czech Prime Minister Stanislav Gross with a caption reading 'I am ashamed of my Prime Minister,' which appeared across Prague suburbs.
I think we might want to start an "I'm ashamed of my president" campaign. Anyone out there handy with Photoshop?

70% of Americans think Congress overstepped in the Terri Schiavo case

This Terri Schiavo issue is going to backfire on the duplicitous Republicans. In an ABC News poll on Sunday, 70% of Americans said they think the Terri Schiavo life-or-death decision is a private one and that the U.S. Congress has no right to violate our Constitution. Let's see, our economy is tanking, terror is on the rise, we're in a war in Iraq, yet George Bush thinks the top national priority in this case that's been adjudicated in 19 different courtrooms. George, go back to Texas and apply your "I will continue to stand on the side of those defending life for all Americans" standard to other Texans you said it was okay to starve to death if they couldn't afford care.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Sick and twisted: The Terri Schiavo scenario explained

Andrew Cohen writes Trial by Legislation, which is a clear and readable explanation of what will happen in the Terri Schiavo case. From his powerful article:
QUESTION: What does that concept do the regular give and take between the court systems, the idea of comity and cooperation between judges?

ANSWER: It destroys it. But that's the whole point of this Congressional action. Not liking a particular result in a case that has been litigated fully and completely by a court with competent jurisdiction, Congress now has said that the game must be re-done with new rules that heavily favor one side over the other. The implications of this move are astonishing. Just think about it. Anytime Congress doesn't like the result in a particular case, it could swoop in and call a "do-over," which is essentially what this legislation represents. And this from a Congress that has for a decade or so tried to keep all sorts of citizens-- including disabled employees-- out of federal court. If this law is declared valid, no decision in any state court in the country will be immune from Congressional second-guessing. It would throw out of whack the entire concept of separation of powers. The constitutional law expert Tribe calls it "trial by legislation" and he is right.
George Bush came back early from his vacation in Texas. This life is precious. The 135+ prisoners and the 1,500 American soldiers in Iraq he condemned to death don't count.

George Bush plays god for a day in the Terri Schiavo case

George Bush signed a law that could lead to Terri Schiavo's body being reanimated once again. Since it's so close to Easter, the president thought it would be a good magician's trick to have Schiavo rise from the dead. "Heal, heal, heal!" Bush said.

Actually, here's what the duplicitous war-mongering, execution minded, Darfur ignoring president of the United States said:
[I] stand on the side of those defending life for all Americans, including those with disabilities.

In cases like this one, where there are serious questions and substantial doubts, our society, our laws and our courts should have a presumption in favor of life.
He stands on the side of those defending life for all Americans. Tell that to the 1,521 Americans soldiers who have been killed so far in Iraq. Or the 135+ death row inmates in Texas he ignored as they were lethally injected. I feel there's a sick joke in here somewhere, but I just don't have the energy for it when George Bush is playing god.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Rita's Water Ice Giveaway: The First Day of Spring

Those of you on the East Coast, especially in Philly, know Rita's Water Ice. To honor the first day of spring, the company is giving away free water ice to all visitors today. They expect to give away over half a million cups of water ice. It's gray here in Philly today, but I'm going anyway. I think I'll go with root beer. Or maybe cherry. Then again, I like lemon.

The Streets of Killadelphia

Here's something you don't like to read in your local newspaper:
Last year there were only 11 days when no one was shot in Philadelphia.

On average, more than four people a day were struck by bullets. About one in six died. On one day alone - Oct. 22 - 19 people were shot, one fatally.
That's the lead story in the Philadelphia Inquirer today titled Shootings Ravage City Neighborhood. The article discusses gun deaths in the city and the heightened awareness of the dangers because there have been 22 gun deaths in the last 11 days in Philly. I love this city. I hope it's not going to become Killadelphia.

Update: Young Philly Politics has a list of Philly murders by year and a well-done analysis.

If Terri Schiavo only had a living will

If Terri Schiavo only had a living will, her family - hell, the entire country - wouldn't be going through this tumult. I got to wondering about a living will and considered what it would take to move beyond water cooler talk. The U.S. Living Will Registry "stores directives and makes them available to healthcare providers 24 hours a day." I'm going to look into it. Here's another resource, what the American Bar Association says about advance directives.

Update: If you want to read about the sick politicization of this issue by the Republicans, check out Tom's post on corrente.


Saturday, March 19, 2005


This one made me laugh: shouting Freebird in a crowded theater.

Protest the Iraq war

Maya at SG points us to this piece that outlines the over 700 student protests going on this weekend as we head into the second anniversary of the Iraq war. Remember that Mission Accomplished banner? [In the voice of Edward G. Robinson] Where's your mission, noooow?

Friday, March 18, 2005

Terry Schiavo is subpoenaed, she couldn't make it to the hearing

Blatherskite has a look at the travesty surrounding the Terry Schiavo case. As she says, "Sometimes one just has to let go." I could rant about the duplicity of those who scream about state's rights and activist judges only to invoke the opposite when it suits them. And where were those same people when George Bush was killing over 135 prisoners on Texas's death row? Okay, I did rant a little. I just hope Terry Schiavo slips away quietly and all the people in her vegetative life get some peace.

The tragedy in Darfur

Darfur is undergoing a cataclysmic humanitarian tragedy, yet front page news is about steroid use in baseball and the Michael Jackson case. David at ISOU brought this photo and action by Tas to my attention. Tas is making it easy for us to contact NYT and tell them to pay attention to the suffering in Darfur. Click here to fill out the simple form. As David says, "Can we take a moment from our political sniping and bullshit and try to do some good for once?"


What's a traditional second anniversary gift for invading a country? George Bush's Iraq quandary

Cotton is the traditional second anniversary gift. What's an invading president to do when he needs to buy an invasion gift on the second anniversary of shock and awe in Iraq? Saturday is the when George Bush's democracy starting raining down on Iraq. Philly brings to our attention a peace vigil at the Art Museum. I'll be wearing cotton.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Robert Blake doesn't have to do the time since he didn't commit the crime

Baretta is clean, man, clean. Robert Blake was found not guilty of murdering his wife. The only question in the jurors' minds was why Blake's fingers always look like they're curled around the trigger of a gun. No, you don't do the crime if you can't do the time/no, don't do it.

Happy St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day is always happy. If you want a couple of smiles, check out some pictures on Philly and dragonballyee from Philadelphia's St. Patrick's Day parade. I really love the top one on dby of the little baby. It made my Irish eyes smile.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Gas prices are going up in flames; George Bush's oil buddies holding the match

This is the gasoline price in Malibu, CA on March 15, 2006. The AP photo might be showing the highest price in the country, but gas prices are high everywhere. So George Bush and his oil cronies are getting rich while the economy suffers. George "Nero" Bush.

Philly bloggers are meeting up tonight

Although I'm sadly in Chicago this week and won't be able to join them, but the Philly Bloggers will be having a meetup tonight at 7PM at Independence Brew Pub. Karl has been moving this forward, along with his great drive on Philly Future. I look forward to being there the next time. Cheers, friends.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Why doesn't the Left cooperate?

David Scott Anderson poses an important question on In Search of Utopia about lefty blog cooperation that I found very interesting. Check out Open Letter to the Whales of the Lefty Blogosphere. And share a link or two, my friends.

Italy says arrivederci to Iraq

Italy is leaving Iraq in September. Arrivederci, George Bush and the Coalition of the Killing.

AIM stands for All Intimate (conversations) are Mine according to AOL

Big Brother is watching you from Reston, VA. AOL's new service terms allow them to record, own, and use your AIM conversations. Here's a reasoned look at what they're doing. As a point of reference, I'm deleting this service from my PC today. Bastards.

Beware the Ides of March

No, I don't feel particularly gloomy, I just wanted to write Beware the Ides of March. Here's the quick explanation of what it's about from About:
If you've heard the warning, "Beware the Ides of March," then it's probably due to the works of William Shakespeare. The Roman ruler, Julius Caesar, was assassinated on the Ides of March - March 15, 44 B.C.E. In Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar, a soothsayer tells Caesar who is already on his way to the Senate (and his death), "Beware the ides of March." Caesar replies, "He is a dreamer; let us leave him. Pass."
Hey, yesterday was Pi Day (3.14) and I forgot to mention that - so here's a link for you math geeks out there.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Conflictus interruptus: Ukraine pulls out of Iraq

Jim has an interesting post on The Rittenhouse Review titled The Coalition of the Withdrawing. It talks about the Ukraine pulling out of the war in Iraq. And as Jim says, "Who's left?"


Israel plans to bomb nuclear plant in Iran

Yes, the George Bush plan is working with the warhawks in Israel. From The Times:
Israel has drawn up secret plans for a combined air and ground attack on targets in Iran if diplomacy fails to halt the Iranian nuclear programme.

The inner cabinet of Ariel Sharon, the Israeli prime minister, gave “initial authorisation” for an attack at a private meeting last month on his ranch in the Negev desert.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

The Bogeyman Cometh: al Qaeda sleeper cells are shadows in the night

What if al Qaeda is just a bogeyman, put out to scare little American kiddies at night? Attytood wonders if Muhammed Ali Atta and Friends were the whole lot:
What if al-Qaeda shot its wad that sunny morning? What if the reason that 19 people took part and hijacked four planes was because those were the only al-Qaeda cells that ever existed. What if Mohammad Atta and his despicable crew were the only 19 folks on the planet with the skill to pull off a 9/11 and also the will to kill themselves?
Well worth the read...look at the comments, too.

Friday, March 11, 2005

One year anniversary of the Madrid train bombing

One year ago today I wrote my friend Manuel to make sure he was okay after I heard word of the Madrid train bombings. Here's what he wrote back to me that day:
Dear Frank,
Fortunately, everyone I know is safe and sound -thanks god. I have been very lucky since I took the train 15' earlier than the bomb attack at the same rail station. A terrible tragedy. Thank you, my friend, for having me in your thoughts.

USA Next has its next day in court

Kos talks about the USA Next case, where that group used a private photo to drive its anti-AARP, anti-Social Security drive:
A federal judge in Washington, DC just granted the gay couple's request for a temporary restraining order against USA Next, requiring the organization to cease and desist from further use of the couple's photos for any purpose. This is a big deal because it means the judge has found that the guys have a very good chance of winning their case, and he also said he could see how they could get damages.
In case you haven't been following this one, USA Next stole a gay couple's wedding photo and then used the unauthorized photo on a website implying that the AARP's agenda was against American troops and for gay marriage. Incredible.

1,500 deaths ago

Joseph Galloway writes a thought-provoking piece titled Remember All Those Arguments Made 1,500 Deaths Ago? Wow.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Retirement roulette

Check out this Social Security retirement roulette on As they say on their site about strengthening Social Security:
No matter what lies those soldier-hating, homo-worshipping wrinkle-Nazis at the AARP may spout, Social Security is in trouble – careening wildly down an ice-slicked toboggan chute towards certain violent annihilation against a jagged concrete wall of convincingly simulated reality. Fortunately, decades of study by Americas's most brilliant conservative economists/banking executives have devised four ultra-viable CURES to the impending retirement apocalypse. Please review these options below, and VOTE FOR YOUR PREFERENCE!

Saddam Hussein's capture was a fake

So, George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld lied again. Saddam Hussein wasn't found hiding in a "spider hole" according to an ex-Marine who was there. He said:
I was among the 20-man unit, including eight of Arab descent, who searched for Saddam for three days in the area of Dour near Tikrit, and we found him in a modest home in a small village and not in a hole as announced.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

David Brooks goes leather queen

The Tattered Coat has a funny picture called A Salute to David Brooks.

41 corpses found in Iraq

41 corpses found in Iraq. Remember that war in Iraq that George Bush would like you to forget? It's still there. And people are dying.


Guiliana Sgrena found out what Iraq's checkpoints are like, you can too

Guiliana Sgrena was nearly killed at a US checkpoint in Iraq. Here's a story about what Iraq's checkpoints are like. A journalist there says, "You're driving along and you see a couple of soldiers standing by the side of the road - but that's a pretty ubiquitous sight in Baghdad, so you don't think anything of it. Next thing you know, soldiers are screaming at you, pointing their rifles and swiveling tank guns in your direction, and you didn't even know it was a checkpoint."


Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Blogging from Bolivia

Dragonballyee's friend Austin is right in the middle of the action in Bolivia. Check out what's going on in a place where real political change is fomenting. Spend some time reading and looking at the articles. As it says on his site, South America: Hey, look Travelsters - There's an entire hemisphere down here!


President Bush's Native American Agenda

President Bush was invited to address a major gathering of the American Indian Nation last weekend in Arizona. He spoke for almost an hour on his future plans for increasing every Native American's present standard of living. He referred to his career as Governor of Texas, how he had signed "YES" 1,237 times - for every Indian issue that came to his desk for approval. Although the President was vague on the details of his plan, he seemed most enthusiastic about his future ideas for helping his "red brothers". At the conclusion of his speech, the Tribes presented the President with a plaque inscribed with his new Indian name - Walking Eagle. The proud President then departed in his motorcade, waving to the crowds. A news reporter later inquired to the group of chiefs of how they came to select the new name given to the President. They explained that Walking Eagle is the name given to a bird so full of shit it can no longer fly.

Monday, March 07, 2005

What it's really like to be in Iraq

Here's a story from Electronic Iraq about what it's really like to be on the ground there. One of the scary observations: The Fallujah neighborhood looks like the wreckage of sand castles or abandoned ruins.


Outsourcing torture: CIA interrogates terror suspects outside the US

Laws against torture in the U.S.? No problem. Just torture suspects held by the U.S. outside the country. From CNN:
The CIA has been allowed to secretly transfer terrorism suspects overseas for interrogation, a former U.S. official said Sunday, but a White House spokesman denied that the United States used the practice to "export torture."
By the way, this practice is supported by George Bush and Alberto Gonzalez. Scary.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

The Toothpick Gates

For a little Sunday fun, check out The Toothpick Gates. I know The Gates are dismantled in NYC, but these have a dual use - they are art and they clean broccoli from your teeth.


Where's Donald Rumsfeld?

Donald Rumsfeld has been off camera for a while. The Secretary of Defense is seen in this recent portrait by artist Dorian Gray.

Ruling: Blog journalists aren't protected by the Constitution

In a scary turn of events, a ruling this week in Superior Court said that blog journalists are not protected by the Constitution. Earth Times writes:
A tentative ruling yesterday by Superior Court judge James Kleinberg is likely to have serious implications for the online publishing industry. In a preliminary ruling on a case filed by Apple Computer against three website publishers, the judge said Apple can force the three website publishers to surrender the names of their sources who disclosed confidential information about the company’s upcoming products.
I love Apple products and I love their ingenuity. But I don't like it when that ingenuity starts violating the open environment that they profess to support. Again, from ET:
By his preliminary ruling, judge Kleinberg had refused to extend to the Web sites the same protection that shields journalists from revealing their unidentified sources or surrendering unpublished material.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation argued their position that the web publishers are journalists and their sources are entitled to protection by the California Shield Law and the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Both protect journalists from being forced to disclose their sources.

Apple’s attorney Riley countered by saying that free speech protection applied only to legitimate members of the press and not to website publishers. Freedom of the press was for the press, meaning the traditional media, he said.
Note to bog journalists: Get press passes. I have one. We need to move toward greater professionalism and legitimacy if we don't want to see more of this browbeating (you probably know that Jeff Gannon aka Jim Guckert is planning to sue a few bloggers who outted him using publicly-available information).


Saturday, March 05, 2005

The 14 Characteristics of Fascism

Look at this post on etherealgirl: The 14 Characteristics of Fascism. This one really makes you think. And while you're at it, read a few other posts on one of my favorite blogs -- she makes you think and she entertains. Great mix.

Ari Fleischer on Jon Stewart's show

Here's a fun video of Ari Fleischer on Jon Stewart's The Daily Show. Jon, of course, does a very good job of asking pointed questions. Ari says the White House press corps is more about posturing and making points than being good journalists. Sounds about right.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Italian journalist gets released in Iraq, then gets shot by American troops

How does this kind of stuff happen?
American forces fired on a car carrying freed Italian hostage, Giuliana Sgrena, as it approached a checkpoint in Baghdad on Friday, killing an Italian intelligence officer and wounding at least two others, including the just-released journalist.

US works on a 'maximum pain' bomb

As if torture and kidnapping isn't enough for the US military and intelligence agencies, now they're working on a bomb that when it doesn't kill, hurts people. Really hurts them. Look at this from an article in New Scientist:
The US military is funding development of a weapon that delivers a bout of excruciating pain from up to 2 kilometres away. Intended for use against rioters, it is meant to leave victims unharmed. But pain researchers are furious that work aimed at controlling pain has been used to develop a weapon. And they fear that the technology will be used for torture.

1,500 American soldiers have now died in Iraq

Here's the coffin of number 1,500. One thousand five-hundred American families torn apart. Countless Iraqis lives altered, and not for the good.


Thursday, March 03, 2005

Immigrants in chains

O-Dub has a story today about the Department of Homeland Security requiring "immigrants in 8 cities who are in the process of applying for residency to wear electronic monitoring ankle bracelets 24/7." Scary, indeed. Witch hunts and the scarlet letter cannot be far behind.

Meet three teenagers George Bush has killed

Attytood has a story called Meet the three teens George Bush had executed. Scary. All life is precious, says George the Evangelical...unless it's actual living people. Or Iraqis.


Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Global warming in pictures

I found this picture courtesy of Karl at paradox1x that clearly shows some sort of global warming going on. There's a set of pictures on BBC here about how the world is changing in lots of places.


Rummy sued for being Secretary of Torture

Donald Rumsfeld is being sued for torturing prisoners off American soil. Wonder what the Secretary of Torture has to say for himself now.


Tuesday, March 01, 2005

George Bush's support for privatizing Social Security is waning

Buh-bye, George. George Bush tried to ram Social Security privatization down America's throat. It didn't work. Now support for Bush's plan is down to 33% and dropping fast. Support is 33%. 56% oppose. You would think for a man who called 51% a "mandate," he would understand when 56% say no that's a goddam landslide.


Why Republicans want to dismantle Social Security

The Left Coaster has a brilliant piece about why Republicans want to dismantle Social Security. It's their take that Social Security creates a dependence on the government, ergo more Democrats (their take, mind you). A good read.


Another bin Laden threat

Remember Osama bin Laden? George Bush would like you to forget about him. Hell, he'd like you to forget about the Iraq War in favor of Social Security crisis talk. Now we hear that new threats from Osama bin Laden are coming out. From CBS News:
[CBS] reports that intelligence analysts believe bin Laden is calling on al-Zarqawi to go after American targets both overseas and in the United States.

Bin Laden was in contact with al-Zarqawi within the past two months in an effort to enlist him in attacks, said an official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The move may reflect the al Qaeda leadership's desire to involve al-Zarqawi in activities outside Iraq, the official said.