Saturday, April 30, 2005

The blog of despond

When did everybody get so goddam creepy?
From Justin Raimundo’s blog (
“People all across the political spectrum, encompassing all possible views on the Iraq war, stopped for a moment of rueful silence when the news broke that Marla Ruzicka was killed by a suicide bomber the other day. Well, almost everyone, that is, except for one Debbie Schlussel, a right-wing columnist who tries to market herself as a kind of third-rate Ann Coulter (complete with a bad dye job and a come-hither sulk). She is glad that Marla is dead. She said so in her column. So is David Horowitz, the neoconservative demagogue who makes $180,000 a year (and more) cashing-in on his Communist-Marxist past (he's sorry, oh-sooooooo-sorry!). He published Schlussel's hate-filled screed on his smear site. Yes, I know it's hard to believe, but the neocon crazies have reached a new low. Here's a taste of Schlussel's poisonous brew:

“‘When The New York Times, Nightline, and CNN nominate a young blonde for sainthood ahead of the Pope, it's time for a reality check. Especially when that blonde, Marla Ruzicka's sole purpose is to legitimize our enemies, cause problems for U.S. troops already in harm's way, and morally equate dead terrorists with victims of 9/11.’

“Ruzicka spent the final years of her life trying to compensate the maimed, comfort the families of civilian ‘collateral damage,’ and heal at least some of the ‘liberating’ wounds inflicted by U.S. military action in Iraq. … What's truly sickening about Schlussel's slime, however, is the sheer envy that emanates from it like a bad smell wafting up from her prose:

"’A 28-year-old San Franciscan, Ruzicka was in Iraq to help the Iraqi people, proclaim the multi-orgasmic mainstream media memorials to her. Even the Wall Street Journal's normally excellent Robert Pollock mourned Ambassador Marla for being a less gnarly America-hater than the others. … With her cascading blonde hair and youthful looks, Ruzicka didn't look like your average greasy-haired, pot-smoking, hackey-sack-playing, crunchy radical. And the media swooned over her, the newly-anointed Vanity Fair pin-up in Birkenstocks.’

“Yeah, Debbie, Marla was a real blonde – unlike your haggish self. And she was young – again, unlike yourself, in spite of the few pounds of makeup you slosh on your tired old forty-if-you're-a-day face. But recognizing the roots (if you'll pardon the expression) of Schlussel's schadenfreude would require a ‘reality check’ on Debbie Dye-job's part, which is not about to happen. Apart from outright envy, however, what exactly is Schlussel's beef? She writes:

"’Marla Ruzicka was no mere peace activist. She formed the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC), the goal of which was anything but CIVIC during the War on Terror or ever. Ruzicka's aim was to force the U.S. government to get an accurate count of innocent civilian deaths by U.S. Troops and blackmail America into paying monetary settlements for each death."

“What is truly disgusting about Schlussel's bile, however, is the ironic quote marks around the words ‘innocent civilians.’ As Schlussel puts it:

"'Ruzicka had the gall to insist that these Afghani and Iraqi dead, terrorists or not, get recognition and sympathy equal to victims of the 9/11 attacks.'

“A normal person might ask: Why shouldn't they get our sympathy if they aren't 'terrorists'? Because, in Debbie's World, there are no innocent civilians in the Middle East – except in Israel (of course!). All those damned Ay-rabs are guilty, in her view, and deserve death, or at least a good maiming. …

"’Where was Marla Ruzicka on 9/11? Hint: Not asking al-Qaeda for money to count and compensate U.S. victims of terror.’

“Talk about moral equivalence! It is Schlussel who is here equating Bin Laden & Co. with the U.S. ….

Schlussel resorts to a series of brazen lies in a frantic effort to smear the fallen Marla, starting with the canard that she was helping the insurgents in Iraq:

"’In Iraq, where Ruzicka traveled with the group, Code Pink functioned as a pro-Saddam – and now pro-insurgent – group of anti-Americans. … Remember the Americans burnt to a crisp and hung from a bridge in the Fallujah uprising? Code Pink donated over $650,000 to those Fallujah terrorists (Code Pinkos call them refugees.)"

“I want to apologize to my readers for making them wade through Schlussel's river of sh*t – but we have to look straight in the face of evil if we want to be able to overcome it. I promise you we're almost done, yet there's one last matter to attend to here. Schlussel writes:

"’While it's a sad day when any American gets killed by Islamic terrorists, it's measurably less sad when that American aided and abetted them – and belittled our troops. For Marla Ruzicka, some might call it, poetic justice.’

“Enough is enough. We're long overdue for a little spring cleaning: let's freshen the air and take this bitch down.”

Schlussel’s relish in dancing on the grave of a martyred activist is more than equalled by Raimundo’s pointless relish in trashing Debbie Schlussel’s personal appearance. What the hell does her hair color have to do with anything? I am so sick of these people.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Kill Toby blog

Toby will die.
Oh, you’ve seen that web site. Guy says he’ll kill his cute bunny and eat it if people don’t send him money. It’s an internet thing. It even made national news! Many take it seriously. I do not.

What a thin-skinned asshole!
(AP) Apple Computer Inc. has retaliated against the publisher of an upcoming unauthorized biography about chief executive Steve Jobs by removing dozens of other technology books sold by the publisher from Apple stores around the world.

Apple removed the books last week from all 104 of its stores after failing in a monthlong attempt to persuade John Wiley & Sons not to release "iCon Steve Jobs: The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business," which is to go on sale within the next six weeks, the publisher said.

Finger-free chili!
Finally, our long nightmare is over.

I don’t get it.
Democrats are enemies of God because they may filibuster? What?

Another goddam study!
From ZDNet:
“A group of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Palo Alto Research Center presented a study this week outlining the behavior of the wild cubicle-dweller when using Apple Computer's digital music software.

“Sharing playlists on an office network turns out to be something like a peacock spreading his feathers for display. The researchers found that people actively work to create an image of themselves through the music they make available to others, just as they might by buying a new car or showing off a cell phone.

‘”I just went through (my playlist) and said, 'I wonder what kind of image this me,' reported one of the study's subjects. ‘I just went through it to see if there was stuff that would be...annoying, that I would not like people to know that I had.’”

What’s on Bush’s playlist again?

Monday, April 25, 2005

True Crime Blog

Good old-fashioned Church-goin’ folks. With family values.
From the NYT:
Recovery has been slow for people who drank coffee spiked with arsenic at their church in a tiny northern Maine town, and the police investigation of the mysterious poisonings two years ago appears to have stalled. But a new book airing community gossip and offering a resolution to the case has stirred up bitter memories.

State Police investigators still believe that longtime church member Daniel Bondeson, who was linked to the poisonings after he was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound five days later, did not act alone. That theory is rejected by Christine Young in her book "Bitter Brew," which hit bookstores this month.

Young maintains that an emotionally unstable Bondeson was driven by pent-up anger and resentment when he poisoned a coffee pot with arsenic at Gustaf Adolph Lutheran Church in New Sweden on April 27, 2003. She also contends that Bondeson's sister, Norma, has been unfairly accused by some townspeople as having been a party to the crime.

One church member, Walter Reid Morrill, 78, died and 15 others became ill after they drank the poisoned coffee following a Sunday service.

Bondeson's body was found the following Friday in the farmhouse where he had been living alone since his father died.

The contents of a blood-streaked suicide note are still being withheld by investigators. But Young quotes detectives as saying the 53-year-old bachelor's note indicated that he didn't mean to kill anyone but "just wanted to give some people a bellyache like they gave me."

Sources told her Bondeson wrote "I acted alone. I acted alone" and underlined the words as reinforcement.

Church members plan to observe the anniversary of the poisonings with a few minutes of silence, said the Rev. Peter Drever, the part-time pastor of Gustaf Adolph.

Young's book portrays the town of slightly more than 600 people as a hotbed of gossip and the church as riven by grudges and feuds.

"To me, the story is more about what happened in the aftermath of the poisoning, with the vilification of Norma Bondeson," Young said in an interview. "That was the story: how everybody turned on her and she became the town pariah."

More police encounters
I went down to Walgreen’s to get some milk.

On the way, I walked by the arcade, where Chinese youth gather to kill each other, virtually, via gaming systems.

A young man was getting out of a car. He said, “Garbage-ass wireless DSL.”

His friend, smoking in the doorway of the arcade, responded, “WiFi?”

I continued on my way.

Walgreen’s had a police presence. Two cops, a forty-ish, tall blonde man and a thirty-something black woman were taking a statement from the store manager. I walked by Sam, waiting in line. He runs the mom ‘n pop I usually frequent, and where I would have normally bought milk had it not been past his closing time. He said, with a huge smile on his face, "Shoplifter!”

I thought it was just a reporting of the incident, but as I approached the counter with my milk, I noticed a boy, maybe 15, sitting on the floor, under the discount DVDs.

The blonde cop was telling the store manager that he could declare the kid a trespasser, and refuse him entry to the store. If there was a picture of him (and the manager promptly waved a Polaroid), it could be posted for all employees. Apparently, the kid was being let off with a warning (“The next time it’s a felony,” the black woman told him), and the blonde cop told him, “Skedaddle!”

Marvelling that somebody still said “Skedaddle,” in this modern age, I paid for my milk, and departed. The blonde cop was saying, “Technically, it’s not a crime until he’s left the store, you know.”

As I walked back home, I noticed that the petty thief was in front of me, not looking very shook up by the experience, really. He was carrying a red duffel bag that didn’t seem to have much of anything in it. As we approached the arcade, he stopped. The young man who had asked “WiFi?” was smoking again. The petty thief said, “Hey, wanna see something?” And I was on my way.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

monkey blog

Swat monkey
This is from Reuters.
Mesa, a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona, is trying to get $100,000 from the federal government to train a capuchin monkey for use in high-risk police operations. Special Weapons and Tactics veteran Sean Truelove, the applicant, told the news service, "Everybody laughs about it until they really start thinking about it. It could change the way we do business."

Would it wear a cute little Kevlar vest, I wonder? Or one of those little organ grinder monkey outfits, you know, with the little red cap? Kind of an undercover outfit? Is there sniper training involved? Does the monkey get a rifle and scope, Just His Size?

Monkey redux
No monkey. Mesa police chief Dennis Donna, told the East Valley Tribune: "The purchase of a capuchin monkey has not been considered by executive staff." Spoilsport. The drug-sniffing giraffes has probably been nixed as well.

Why do they do it? Because they can.
Reuters: “Mice forced to breathe hydrogen sulfide…go into a kind of suspended animation, U.S. researchers said on Thursday….”

One half of a conversation overheard last night: two young men about to get into a car after leaving a party.
Dude, I swear to you.
Dude, I swear on the life of my son.
Dude, I am so drunk.

Almost a haiku, isn't it?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The dictatorship of relativism blog

Schwarzenegger apologizes.
"We have a terrific relationship with Mexico. I filmed four movies in Mexico, I love to go on vacation to Mexico. We have a great trade agreement with Mexico."

When the Governor said that the border between the U.S. and Mexico should be closed, he really meant “secured.” He also loves tacos, serapes, and margaritas.

DeLay, unleashed.
On Fox News Radio: “We've got Justice Kennedy writing decisions based upon international law, not the Constitution of the United States? That's just outrageous. And not only that, but he said in session that he does his own research on the Internet? That is just incredibly outrageous."

He uses the Internet? Stone him!

Good news from Mormon country!
Researchers at BYU have developed a new form of spectography that may allow us to decipher previously unreadable manuscripts, perhaps even works by Sophocles and Euripides.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Obesity reduced.
The Center for Disease Control has downgraded obesity as a preventable cause of death from Number 2 to Number 7. So chow down.

Britney exalted!
From Britney’s blog, March 30, 2005”

Dear False Tabloids,
As you read this letter, I bet you are asking yourself: Who? Who, me? Am I a false tabloid? Well, I don't know. But after this posting, I hope you are asking yourself a lot of questions. Your employees are a reflection of your magazine. Do you, Us Weekly, In Touch, Star and other desperate magazines want employees who are honest, or those who are liars? It seems to me that you'd prefer the latter. I'm really concerned about the people you hire to work at your companies. I'd like them to ask themselves the question, "What am I lying to myself about?" Is it that you are 50 pounds overweight? Is it that your children aren't making wise decisions? Or is it maybe that your husband or boyfriend is cheating on you? Until you face what is going on in your life, I guess you'll remain a false tabloid.
P.S. People Magazine is great in my book!

Britney seems to be worried that the employees at “false tabloids” may be “50 pounds overweight.” Well, thanks to the CDC, false tabloid employees (and Britney) need worry no more! Chow down! And use more scare quotes!

Celebrity blogs.
An interesting article in the Ottawa Sun tracks the blogs of various celebrities (including Britney!): “Stars from A-list to C are blogging like crazy to connect with their fans, often tossing aside grammar, punctuation, capital letters and concern for their image in the process. Their blogs are sometimes fascinating, often banal and frequently embarrassing.”

Bloggers cited include Ian McKellen, David Duchovny, Pat Sajak, Rosie O’Donnell, Bruce Willis, Melanie Griffith, Zach Braff (?), and Tom Green, who appears to have some kind of feud going on with fellow Canadian Martin Short. The world trembles before their rage.

Sam Donaldson speaks.
On network news: "I think it's dead. Sorry." I think his toupee killed it.

Does Zacarias Moussaoui have a blog?
He intends now to plead guilty to…what is he accused of again?

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Pry my blog from my cold dead fingers.

The Nuge!
Ted Nugent at the NRA convention: "Remember the Alamo! Shoot 'em! To show you how radical I am, I want carjackers dead. I want rapists dead. I want burglars dead. I want child molesters dead. I want the bad guys dead. No court case. No parole. No early release. I want 'em dead. Get a gun and when they attack you, shoot 'em."

What's the Alamo got to do with child molesters? That's my only question. Other than that, Mr. Nugent presents a cogent, well-reasoned argument for the second amendment.

Tom DeLay and the NRA!
"When a man is in trouble or in a good fight, you want to have your friends around, preferably armed. So I feel really good.”

Maybe he and Ted Nugent can go on a rapist-shooting rampage together. Wouldn't that be heartwarming!

William Kennedy, sinister satanist commie.
The NRA Convention stole their thunder, but conservative leaders met in Washington on April 8 to discuss "Remedies to Judicial Tyranny.” Their target was Reagan-appointed Justice William Kennedy.

According to the Washington Post, Phyllis Schlafly said that “Kennedy's opinion forbidding capital punishment for juveniles ‘is a good ground of impeachment.’ "

Michael P. Farris, chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association, said Kennedy “should be the poster boy for impeachment.”

Author and lawyer Edwin Vieira “told the gathering that Kennedy should be impeached because his philosophy, evidenced in his opinion striking down an anti-sodomy statute, ‘upholds Marxist, Leninist, satanic principles drawn from foreign law.’”

From foreign law. Horrors.

Curiously, Vieira then said that his personal ‘bottom line’ for dealing with the Supreme Court comes from Joseph Stalin. Vieira said, “He had a slogan, and it worked very well for him, whenever he ran into difficulty: 'no man, no problem.' "

The Post reporter, Dana Milbank, perhaps revealing his MSM liberal bias, then shared the full Stalin quotation: "Death solves all problems: no man, no problem."

We do not know, of course, if Edwin Vieira actually believes that Justice William Kennedy should be dragged into a clearing and shot, but he also said that “five people on the Supreme Court” have a “revolutionary agenda,” rooted in foreign law, situational ethics, and “primordial illogic."

I don't know how you can be revolutionary, situational, and primordial all at the same time, but apparently William Kennedy and his cronies are able multi-taskers.

Ann Coulter
Drudge says she’s going to be on the cover of TIME Magazine this week. I think she’s going to be in next month’s PLAYBOY as well. And watch for her special line of monogrammed panties, called Annties, with useful slogans hand-embroidered on every pair. Samples include: “Fuck the judiciary, not me,” “Hey liberal! Hands off!” “God’s own pussy,” and “Kill Mumia (if you want some of this).”

Friday, April 15, 2005

Coming soon to a blog near you.

What Rush had to say.
So Rush was talking about Al Gore’s new cable venture that supposedly reflects “the point of view of young people: "What the hell is that, Al? What the hell is the point of view of young people? Blow jobs, that's what they're doing out there. They're out there getting oral sex all day long, that's what they're talking about."

The kind of people who are offended by that sort of thing were perhaps offended. And I’ll bet some who saw the tactical value in being offended by that sort of thing feigned offense. At any rate, Rush later responded to whatever outrage he had engendered with: "I am going to apologize not for saying what I said, but I'm going to apologize if it offended anybody."

He also called Al Gore’s new cable channel a “bj network.” I always thought Al was more of a wanker myself. Rush ought to know what a wanker is.

A random memory
I was watching television with my daughter, who must have been around five or six at the time. A commercial touting a movie appeared, at the end of which the announcer said, “Coming soon to a theater near you.” So my daughter asked me, “How do they know that?”

Okay, another random memory.
I was watching television with my daughter, when a commercial touting a doll called “Angel Barbie” appeared. So my daughter asked me, “Does that mean Barbie’s dead?”

Thomas Friedman
I listened to him plugging his new book, THE WORLD IS FLAT, on FRESH AIR the other day, and found myself, once again, extremely irritated. His thesis is that the world is now “flat,” meaning (I think) that we can create empires over the Internet.

He’s one of those guys who want to be deep and crowd-pleasing at the same time. All of his metaphors and examples seem more appropriate to PowerPoint than prose. He compared 9/11 to 11/9 ( the date that the Berlin Wall fell), saying these events illustrate the up and down sides of living in a flat world. He called the age of exploration, “Globalization 1.0.” The 21st Century is “Globalization 3.0,” shrinking the world from “size small to size tiny.” It’s also “levelling the playing field,” a goddam phrase I would love never hearing again. He also said, “More people than ever now can plug and play.” Give them an iPod, and they will come.

Who said that?
"As the liberal, anti-Christian dogma of the left has been repudiated in almost every recent election, the courts have become the last great bastion for liberalism. For years activist courts, aided by liberal interest groups like the A.C.L.U., have been quietly working under the veil of the judiciary, like thieves in the night, to rob us of our Christian heritage and our religious freedoms."

I like the idea that the ACLU is a thief hiding under the veil of the judiciary. It’s kind of hard to visualize, but it can be done. But what does the thief do with our Christian heritage and religious freedoms once they’ve been stolen? Is there a favorite pawn shop? A black market for morals? Is there some kind of religious freedom laundering scheme that has yet to come to light?

Thursday, April 14, 2005

tax time blog

Doing taxes. I have been a bit, um, lax. Write me a letter in prison, okay? I’ll shiv somebody for you! I’m actually looking forward to prison. I’m a little too old for the macho rape thing (I think), and I look forward to being the kindly scribe that helps my fellow sociopaths with their appeals. Maybe I’ll raise birds. Start a Dickens seminar. Send some young tattooed “gangsta” (scare quotes!) on the path to redemption. I can’t wait!

Or maybe I’ll just fill out the forms…..

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Primitive Orwellian Blog

Hey look, it’s David Copperfield!
In Charles Dickens’ home town, Chatham, plans are being laid to create an “entertainment complex including rides with a Dickens theme.” This is from the New York Times. Opening is scheduled for 2007.

I remember visiting Oxford a few years back. For the benefit of tourists, the city had provided an old-school Disney-type ride, in which one was placed in a conveyance and hauled around to various tableaux (with audioanimantronic figures), illustrating various periods in Oxford’s rich history. Unlike Disneyland, where the conveyance might have suggested a teacup, the conveyance at Oxford resembled an old-fashioned school desk.

From David Horowitz’ new website,, a guide to the political left.
“But Cronkite's heyday ended before the Internet and conservative talk radio and the Fox News Channel. Back then, Americans got their news from only a tiny handful of sources, almost all of which were controlled by liberals in Washington, D.C. or New York City. That primitive Orwellian era of information monopoly by liberal Big Brother is gone forever.”

Don’t you miss that tiny “handful of sources” though? It was so cute and itty-bitty. Cronkite shares a place on the (alphabetical) list with Roger Ebert and Osama Bin Laden

A review of the Duck’s Breath DVD! From Canada!
This is a temporary page. I will e-mail them with comments.

Monday, April 11, 2005

April 11

All the news….
Associated Press Headline: “Giant Thermometer Puts Calif. Town on Map”

But where did the Calif. Town put the thermometer?

The Sunset District Represents!
From the Police Blotter, Sunset Beacon:

Two officers on duty witnessed a black truck accelerate so much that its wheels were “peeling out” very loudly for 6-8 seconds…. The officers followed the truck and pulled over the 28-year-old suspect, (who) said, “Well, I’m only 28. I got this new truck and I wanted to peel out. I should have known I was gonna get caught.”

Miss America.
From the New York Times:
“Organizers of the pageant are considering a number of plans to resuscitate the 85-year-old contest and bring it back to television this September. The mildest plans include tweaking the broadcast program slightly by eliminating the talent portion, which the ABC network had complained about before dropping the show in the aftermath of last year's disappointing ratings.”

Eliminate the talent portion? No wonder America’s going to hell in a handcart.

Three funerals and a wedding.
From, miracles attributed to John Paul II:

“An American Jew cured of a brain tumor after attending Mass with Pope John Paul II. A Mexican boy stricken with leukemia who recovered after a papal kiss. Even a cardinal who regained his ability to speak after John Paul touched his throat.”

Entertainment news
I don’t go out to movies much any more (too expensive). But Bill Allard’s son works at a theatre in San Francisco, and got us all (Bill, me, and wives) into SIN CITY for free. He even gave us popcorn!

This movie seems to have gotten quite a negative backlash from those who don’t like these kinds of movies. As for me, any movie that contains cannibalism, decapitations, two swirlies, and hookers with automatic weapons (not to mention samurai swords) is aces in my book.

A tip: if you decide to go, don’t take the kids.

Ann Coulter, my favorite loon
“It's been a tough year for the secularist crowd. There was Mel Gibson's 'The Passion of the Christ,' the moral values election, the Christian hostage subduing her kidnapper by reading from 'The Purpose Driven Life,' and the Christian effort to save Terri Schiavo. Not only that, but earlier this year, James Dobson insulted the Democrats' mascot, SpongeBob SquarePants, with impunity.”

Say, whatever happened to that guy in Wisconsin who shot up the worship service, supposedly because he disliked the sermon of the previous week?

Michelle Malkin, my other favorite loon
“Jane Fonda just won't shut up. And her crocodile tears will not stop flowing. She has contracted an acute case of Aging Celebrity Hippie Syndrome -- and it's going to land her tell-all memoir on The New York Times best-seller list in no time. There she is on ‘60 Minutes,’ simpering about her failed relationship with her stoic father.”

Oddly enough, I agree with her.

I’ve never really liked Jane Fonda’s work (though I jumped out of my chair with unholy glee when Bruce Dern screamed “Slope cunt!” at her in the awful COMING HOME).

Still, Jane Fonda was present at a remarkable number of bizarre cultural moments. I’d be more interested in a story of her life than, say, Michelle Malkin’s. Randy Newman said she’s worthy of an opera. She has certainly had a Life. Lighten up, Michelle! Ms. Fonda’s autobiography will be showing up in Goodwill stores within the year, I predict. Let that be your revenge.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Blog Flog

Somebody shoot me.
Advertising copy for “hugms.”
“once hugms is connected to your mobile phone all you have to do is send it the phone number of the person you'd like to hug and then squeeze. sensors inside the device read how long and how hard you have squeezed and will format a text message based on your hug.
for example, a long squeeze would look like
while a short and hard squeeze would look like


Because they can
“…[S]cientists have genetically modified fruit flies to jump or beat their wings when flashed with lasers.
‘This is a new approach to neuroscience,’ said Gero Miesenbock from the Yale University School of Medicine. ‘We can not only passively observe but actively control behavior.’”

O Brave New World!
From the Washington Post:
“Companies such as Genelex are pushing medical science into territory that was once the realm of gods and horoscope writers. They are making predictions about what someone's health might be in five, 10, 20 or more years. Other testing facilities around the country offer genetic assessments of what they claim is people's future propensity towards diabetes, liver disease, blood clots, dementia -- even alcoholism and gambling.”

And whether you will be prone to humming tunelessly in public places, or if you will like peanut butter and banana sandwiches, or if you leave the seat up, or will develop an ear-piercing shriek for a laugh, or jiggle your leg nervously in social situations, or vote Republican.

Bless the Associated Press.
Thomas P. Budnick was on trial for trying to poison his pal by lacing beer with nitric acid. He was cleared on the serious charge of attempted poisoning, because the acid spilled on his friend’s pants before he could drink it, but he was convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon.

Budnick is trying to get the conviction overturned because he claimed his lawyer was incompetent.

He was representing himself.

Previously Budnick had filed mining claims on Mars, and threatened to sue NASA for trespassing. He also has tried to get mineral rights on several asteroid belts and the moons of Jupiter.

Faux quote of the day.
“Oh boohoo, Michael Jackson tickled me.''

Well, King, this case is closed.
The infamous “Schiavo memo,” the anonymous memo that circulated among Republicans on the Senate floor, suggesting “talking points,” and enthusing that the Schiavo case would be “a great political issue” of great appeal to the party's base.

Because it was anonymous, and contained typos, rightwing bloggers immediately deemed it a set-up. Michelle Malkin called it “fishy.” John Hineraker of the WEEKLY STANDARD wrote: “A reasonable conclusion would be that the ‘talking points memo’ might be a fake, created by Democrats to cast aspersions on the motives of the Republican leadership.” The Key Monk is self-congratulatory: “ABC and the Washington Post 'broke' the story alleging that Republicans were using the Schiavo legislation for political gain. The blogosphere, once again, has investigated these memos and forced the MSM to backtrack on the story.” Free Republic claimed that “…this whole issue really stinks of fraud.” Captain’s Quarters said it looks “fishier” all the time.

Well, the legal counsel to Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) has confessed that he is the author. Brian H. Darling, 39, offered his resignation and it was immediately accepted, Martinez said.

Does this alter your travel plans?
A study out of Lima’s San Marcos University claims that 40 percent of the taxi and bus drivers in Peru exhibit psychopathic tendencies.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Stop the Presses Blog

Stop the presses!
One of today’s headlines: “Analysts say media could influence views on pope's legacy, selection.”

Got porn?
Google’s co-founder Larry Page announced that the company wants to post homemade videos. In response to a question at the National Cable and Telecommunications Show in San Francisco, he said, "There might be an adult section, or something like that. I don't think that is going to be a big issue."

I don’t know if you knew this, but pornography is the primary reason people log on to the Web. I’ll bet you thought it was for the information.

Stop the journalist!
Hunter S. Thompson's ashes are going to be blasted from a cannon.

Stop Ted!
Ted Nugent, rightwing rocker, is suing concert promoters for cancelling his June 2003 concert in West Michigan. They cancelled his concert, allegedly, because he had done an interview in Colorado in which he used the word “nigger.”

In court, he admitted this, saying that it had been used as a compliment towards him by a “famous” black player: "…He said if you keep playing guitar like that, you're gonna be a ["N" word] when you grow up, with a broad smile on his face."

Nugent wants 100,000 bucks. He has several African-American and Latino players in his band.
He is also the author of KILL IT AND GRILL IT, which contains this: "Wild game meat has no equal. Tribe Nuge has not bought domestic flesh since 1969, and the quality of our average meal is nothing short of awe inspiring. When one responsibly procures his family's dinner by hand, each meal becomes a sacred rite, and the reality of life and death is undeniable. It is good, and so is the feast!"

Once you pick the BB’s from your teeth, take it from me, eating wild game is an excellent dining experience. I want to belong to Tribe Nuge! I want to reject domestic flesh!

Stop thief!
From AFP:
“Florida's legislature has approved a bill that would give residents the right to open fire against anyone they perceive as a threat in public, instead of having to try to avoid a conflict as under prevailing law.”

Stop Warren!
Warren Beatty may soon have a blog.

Stop energy!
James Howard Kunstler in ROLLING STONE:
“The term ‘global oil-production peak’ means that a turning point will come when the world produces the most oil it will ever produce in a given year and, after that, yearly production will inexorably decline. It is usually represented graphically in a bell curve. The peak is the top of the curve, the halfway point of the world's all-time total endowment, meaning half the world's oil will be left. That seems like a lot of oil, and it is, but there's a big catch: It's the half that is much more difficult to extract, far more costly to get, of much poorer quality and located mostly in places where the people hate us. A substantial amount of it will never be extracted.”

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The But Seriously Folks Blog

When my mother was a child, a man killed another man in a drunken fight, and then ran and tried to hide on the prairie. Since there aren’t many places to hide on the prairie, the sheriff easily found him the next morning, and ordered him to surrender. The man then reached for something, and the sheriff shot him dead. What the man had been reaching for, apparently, was a handkerchief. He had no weapon.

I recount this story stripped of all detail, turning into something elemental and universal, or perhaps the Cliff’s Notes version.

When my mother told it, however, it was rich with detail, and polished to a high gleam through many years of remembering, and re-telling. The sheriff had a name (Torgerson, or something like that), and was well-regarded by the people in the country. The man he shot had a history of trouble, as did the man he killed. They were hapless ne’er-do-wells, reduced to drinking with each other, because nobody else would drink with them. They were famous for their fights, and every family in the area, snug in their winter-blasted houses, knew that one day, disaster would come to them. There was nothing to be done. After a long series of embarrassments, they had separated themselves from the community. They had made their bed, as the saying goes, and would one day die in it.

My mother could even describe the handkerchief, which the sheriff had saved, and would carry with him, and display on occasion. It was both a souvenir and a reminder of the deadly mistake he had made. As I said, the sheriff was well-regarded, and a decent man (according to other stories my mother told about him). He was saddened by what he had done, but not so saddened that he couldn’t get what glory there was lingering in the deed. My mother had seen the handkerchief many times. She even said it smelled faintly of lavender and whisky. The man’s initials had been sewn into a corner, in blue thread, by his poor dead mother.

I often think about how stories spread in those days. People in South Dakota lived a hard life, miles from each other, only seeing each other on Sundays (if they were church-going people), or on the road once a month or so. Perhaps they might run into each other in town, or catch up on what was going on with a merchant, mailman, or bartender. There were dances, several times a year, festivals, socials. That was it. And yet they all knew what was needed to know about each other, to help in a time of crisis.

When telephones came along, those who had telephones shared the line. Owners would work out codes – two longs and a short meant the call was for the Monseruds, say, two shorts and a long was for the Kelgaards. Of course, people eavesdropped. That was a given. But people didn’t need to watch what they said in the country. Talking on the phone was an event, and its ring, in the early days, usually meant bad news: “Your brother’s been thrown by his horse. Better get into town right away.” You WANTED everybody to know your business - within reason.

There’s no way of knowing how much is true of what my mother remembers about that shooting. I have probably embellished on what she told me as well. That’s what happens to stories.

But as I was cruising the blogs the other day, the story popped into my mind, unbidden. Because the blogs are full of stories, not many of them the bloggers’, stories of corruption in high places, of cover-ups, dark deeds, false consciousness, base motives, with strong opinions on all. And the bloggers link to each others’ blogs, so you can read a variation of the angry hundred words you have just read, and then another, with links to offending passages from bloggers who believe the opposite of what they believe.

And suddenly, you’re lost in a world of links and short angry paragraphs, and you forget what everybody was talking about in the first place.

There is much deriding of the Mainstream Media (MSM) in the Blogosphere, and certainly there’s much to be derided – the self-importance, the laziness, the sense that we’re just getting received information, as filtered through overpaid suits.

But what the Blogosphere hates about MSM is what I cynically relish about it: it speaks from above, a rarefied atmosphere of fact-checkers and lawyers, and gleaming steel buildings. Anchormen and reporters are not of us. They are out there in the world of news, deep-voiced men, assertive women with scary hair, cherry-picking the earthshaking tidbits of the day and presenting them to us in a format that is at once both soothing and vaguely alarming.

My trouble with the Blogosphere is that it’s relentlessly alarming without the soothing bits. It’s all sneer and no tongue. And the Blogospheroids are every bit as self-important as Dan Rather ever was. And in the MSM, he was just one guy. In Blog World, there are thousands of Dan Rathers.

Some of them are obsessed with fake reporter Gannon, say, some with the fake Bush letter. But nobody has the resources to see if fake reporter Gannon really was fake, or if the fake Bush letter really was fake. The Blogosphere is full passionate intensity, but lacks the follow-through. MSM has resources to do a follow-through, but just doesn’t care. They’d rather make sure that the death of the pope, the war in Iraq, and the massacre in Minnesota are covered.

Terry Schiavo, however, seems to have brought things to some kind of head. It’s the kind of story MSM loves, full of angry crowds, DC soundbites, spewing pundits, insane spouting on the Hill, blithering experts, and Larger Social Issues.

And in the Blogosphere, it’s brought out unmediated rantings, thoughtful commentary, ignorant spewings, morally-infused rage – a cacophony of voices cancelling each other out. It used to be called white noise. Now the voices make a vast sludge in the gray expanses of the Blog.

And most of these stories are really none of our business. The poor dead man reaching for a handkerchief – that was everybody’s business. Duncan and Brady. Frankie and Johnny. Those stories meant something to the neighborhood, and expanded from there.

It was bad enough when the reporters starting streaming in to ask the sheriff how he felt after shooting an unarmed man. Now we have bloggers weighing in. The handkerchief was planted! They didn’t even HAVE that design in 1930! Did somebody pay off the sheriff to shoot the man? Is the man really dead?

It’s a new media, they say, a new dawn. Well, gee, I’ve heard that before. It seems to me we used to own our own stories, and ride them til they dropped. Now the stories ride us, in circles, never-ending circles. Blinkers on, we gallop ever faster, secure in the illusion that we’re actually going somewhere.

Monday, April 04, 2005


Quote of the day.
"It used to be when you saw someone who's a non-Indian coming on the reservation, there's only one reason -- he's either an FBI agent or a Mormon."

When a pope passes…
Useful info for non-Vatican residents, from the Associated Press:

“When a pope dies, the prefect of the papal household… tells the camerlengo, or chamberlain…. The camerlengo… must then verify the death- a process which in the past was done by striking the forehead of the pope with a silver hammer. The camerlengo then calls out to the pope three times by his baptismal name…. When the pope does not respond, the camerlengo then announces ‘the pope is dead.’ The camerlengo uses the silver hammer to smash the pope’s rings… to preclude forgery of official documents.”

And “…there is also the symbolic shutting of the Bronze Door… that is closed when a pope dies and is kept shut until a new pontiff is elected.”

If it’s white smoke, remember, that is a new pope indicator; if it’s black, the pontificators are still pontificating.

Martha’s woes.
"I wish it were removable, but it is not. I am not allowed to take it off at any time, and I am not allowed, while in my home, to have any padding under the strap. I hope none of you ever has to wear one."

When Christian values meet film noir.
“Filmmaking virtuosity aside, SIN CITY has a sociopathic thirst for violence and contains a cynical, extremely hostile view of religion. Also disturbing is the movie’s philosophy that each man is utterly alone and pitted against the rest of society. That is the lie of Romantic individualism. The Bible tells us that we are part of the body of Christ and, consequently, we should exist in communities. The dangerous individualism of SIN CITY teaches us that we cannot trust man, and it results in the amorality and paranoid violence exhibited in the movie.”

That is from Ted Baehr’s, which attributes shades of green, yellow, and red to the movies it reviews, and a short description for eac: Good, Wholesome, Caution, Extreme Caution, or Abhorrent. The excellent (but not Wholesome) Korean movie, OLDBOY, got the “Abhorrent” tag, and also earned this two word review, “Annoying and Abhorrent.”

Crude oil hit $58 a barrel today.

Tell it to Clinton.
Twenty per cent of American teenagers, according to a new study, don’t consider oral sex to be sex.

Lawfare: A new word that pundits will use until we all get sick of it.
From SLATE: “America is fighting a new kind of war, against a new kind of enemy, who will use unconventional methods to attack our nation and way of life. Extending constitutional protections to these foes might give aid and comfort to the enemy or give them some strategic or tactical advantage. This is the theory of ‘lawfare,’ most recently articulated by the Pentagon's March 2005 National Defense Strategy for the United States of America: ‘Our strength as a nation state will continue to be challenged by those who employ a strategy of the weak using international fora, judicial processes, and terrorism.’”

In other words, terrorists are going to start using… lawyers! How low will they go?

Friday, April 01, 2005

Friday’s blog is full of it.

No Sex Please, We’re British.
Erotica Manchester, an erotic sex festival in Manchester, England, opened on Friday, but it has been poorly attended, and will not return. A spokesman told Reuters, “We thought Manchester was an open minded city but maybe we were wrong.”

A New Game.
My wife and I have come up with a new game. You must say the following in a low-voiced monotone:

“I want to see Carrot Top and Yahoo Serious as….” (You don’t have to be stoned to play this, by the way, but it probably helps.)

You follow that with a scenario you think would best display the talents of Carrot Top and Yahoo Serious. The entire sequence MUST be uttered in an affectless voice, otherwise it loses its effectiveness as a Personal Humor Vehicle.

I want to see Carrot Top and Yahoo Serious as camp counsellors in an all-girl camp that’s plagued by zombies.

I want to see Carrot Top and Yahoo Serious as two wacky Mideast peace brokers who really mess things up with their zany antics when they try to broker peace in the Mideast.

I want to see Carrot Top and Yahoo Serious as two tennis rivals who find a newfound respect for each other when an evil businessman threatens to shut down their beloved funky rundown tennis court.

I want to see Carrot Top and Yahoo Serious as two bungling vampire hunters who win a free trip to Transylvania. Then the fun begins.

I want to see Carrot Top and Yahoo Serious as two buddy cops who exchange wisecracks as they bust up a South African diamond smuggling operation in East L.A.

I want to see Carrot Top and Yahoo Serious as goofy forensic pathologists.

I want to see Carrot Top and Yahoo Serious as rival lawyers who realize that their clients are trying to kill them and are forced to steal a truck and drive across America.

I want to see Carrot Top and Yahoo Serious as two former Presidents who realize that a corrupt senator is trying to kill them and are forced to steal a truck and drive across America.

I want to see Carrot Top and Yahoo Serious as top secret spies.

Try it! It’s fun! And it will help you deal with your ambivalence about American popular culture. Believe me.

April Fool?
MPR’S Future Tense had a story about a guy, Amal Graffstra, a consultant in Bellingham, who decided to implant a radio frequency ID chip in his hand. Why? Because he could. (He has a website, here: And there’s an interview with him here:

He has used the RFID chip to get his computer to “recognize” him, and turn on when he’s around, and off when he’s not. Also his front door opens at a touch. He’s hoping to do the same with his car.

So he's kind of a Million Dollar Man Lite. Very Lite.

My child bride is a gardener, and subscribes to many gardening-related publications. One of them (Organic Gardening) informed me (well, the wife informed me that the information was there, if you follow me) that there is a National Grand Skunk Championship, in which “pet skunks are judged for their appearance and personality.” Classes include “Chocolate Chip, Apricot/Blonde, Champagne, and Smoke.” Past competitions have been held in Orlando, Florida. Grab your skunk and sign up today!

Not Disabled Enough.
“Ms. Wheelchair Wisconsin has been stripped of her title because pageant officials say she can stand - and point to a newspaper picture as proof. Janeal Lee, who has muscular dystrophy and uses a scooter, was snapped by The Post-Crescent newspaper standing among her high school math students. The photo was not an expose.

’I've been made to feel as if I can't represent the disabled citizens of Wisconsin because I'm not disabled enough,’ Lee said Thursday."

Note to Ted
Not only can someone like you blog, it will soon become compulsory to blog. And I do not sing show tunes when I pick my nose. It’s Ramones all the way, baby! Have we had sex?