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presidential candidates tag clouds


Interesting. Republicans here, Democrats here. Via Vark.

Sorry posting has been slow. I’m about to break out another site, announcement soon.

Colbert Rapport

“People who regularly watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report could correctly answer more political trivia questions than those who watch CNN or Fox News or especially the teevee network news — those people were only barely cognizant of their own arms.”

Via Wonkette.

Brownback Remembers!

Apparently the following is a real post from Senator Brownback’s real website. This man wants to be your president!

Why is memory not taught at every level of our educational system

April 11, 2007

The greeks believed in such a discipline and the best became Roman slaves, who taugh the Romans. All around the med this was true. Then Atilla must have given all the slaves their freedom, put them on his payroll, send them to Austria to discover Mozart, and guess what, Rome with out Nomenclators (you look it up) Yep Rome fell.

Consider the alternative, teach memory to everyone … this country has always been built by the poor and those in power do not want to continue to lose their advantage.


It seems so right somehow

Cheney video set to Radiohead’s “Creep.”

Orwell Saw the Writing on the Wall

No, wait, it’s a camera.

Orwellian Evening Standard article on surveillance cameras around Orwell’s home via exploding aardvark

Are We Evolving?

the divine touch

Not much sign of it in this Newsweek poll. Among its findings:

  • Nearly half of all Americans believe that evolution is not well supported by evidence and is not widely accepted within the scientific community (despite numerous expressions of scientific support from Nobel Prize winners, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the United States National Academy of Science, the American Geological Institute, and many others)
  • The same percentage (and nearly three-quarters of evangelical protestants) believe God created humans in their present form within the past 10,000 years (in other words, they were created more recently than many known human artifacts — I mean, even freaking Fox News acknowledges that).

To accommodate this kind of information I’ve added the a new blog category called “sigh.”

Where (and How) Evolution is Taught in the U.S.

John McCain Supports Gay Marriage, “Particularly Between Passionate Females”

… according to his website. Explanation: he was stealing images (ripping off bandwidth) for his myspace site and the image host retaliated with a little prank.

I know how the guy (Newsvine Founder and CEO Mike Davidson) feels. What is it about myspace sites? Lately a lot of myspace pages have been using my bandwidth by linking to images from this site without attribution. I wouldn’t mind if they credited the link, but I’ve been getting dinged every time their pages load and getting nothing back in return. So I’ve had to put a little code in my .htaccess file to serve up a different image instead. (Maybe after a while I’ll try removing this and see if it gets to be a problem again.)

Original story and screenshots here.

Related: Horking Vark.

Mayas Perform Critical Purification Ritual

juan tineyI returned recently from el mundo maya, where I visited several sacred sites. As far as I am aware, no purification ritual was required after my visits.

The same is not true of President Bush, who is visiting the ancient site of Iximche near my old home town of Mixco. Following Bush’s visit, Maya priests will perform rites (involving chanting and burning incense, herbs, and candles) to eliminate “bad spirits.”

“That a person like him, with the persecution of our migrant brothers in the United States, with the wars he has provoked, is going to walk in our sacred lands, is an offense for the Mayan people and their culture,” said Juan Tiney, director of a Maya NGO.

Juan Tiney photo by Antonio Jiménez, from Prensa Libre


related post: The Indonesian Curse Is Working


read more at Salon
this item via Exploding Aardvark

Absurd Headline of the Day

Bush Heads for Latin America to Counter Appeal of Chávez

The headline appeared in the Guardian (where they actually put the diacritic in Chávez’s name). I mean, Bush currently has a record low approval rating here in the U.S. Imagine what his approval rating is in Latin America. How many hearts is this guy going to win us with this trip?

What he really wants, I suppose, is to skip town, since the heat is on. No doubt he’ll be traveling in an airtight circle of security and just meeting a few carefully chosen leaders for minutely scripted photo ops.

If we were serious about countering the appeal of Chávez we would send Los Lobos on a good will tour, not some rich oil guy who has spent his entire career transfering the world’s wealth to his little coterie of buddies.

brazil protest

Protesting Bush’s visit in Brazil

Angry Black People Not Welcome at Wikipedia?

angry black womanThe Wikipedia gestapo have struck again. Some idiot named “Acalamari,” who is a big Christina Aguilera and Star Trek fan, believes that “having race and an extreme emotion in one username … is likely to cause problems.”

Shortly after signing up for Wikipedia ABW found her name the subject of an extensive discussion. Read all about it in her post “the people over on Wikipedia is crazy, yo.” I hope that Acalamari‘s activities on Wikipedia will henceforth be thoroughly scrutinized by concerned citizens.


This item via Exloding Aardvark, an “irascible woman of indeterminate ethnicity.”

Kissinger confesses, says it really is a case of blood for oil

In a startling admission, Henry Kissinger, writing an op-ed piece in — of all places — the Khaleej Times (Dubai), says:

American forces are … in Iraq not as a favour to its government or as a reward for its conduct. They are there as an expression of the American national interest to prevent the Iranian combination of imperialism and fundamentalist ideology from dominating a region on which the energy supplies of the industrial democracies depend.

(In related news, I was in khaleej once, and all I got was a crummy post-graduate degree.)

Pardon me?

Okay, here’s the deal. I conned the country into electing me, but I’m a crook, and the feds have got the goods and are looking to lock me up. You’re a plodding pol who could never get elected to this job. I know you want it. So I’ll resign, and then you’ll give me a full and unconditional pardon for anything and everything I’ve done. I’ll go build myself a big library and work on repairing my reputation. You’ll take some heat, but you’ll get to be president. But you’ll have to move fast — I figure I can hold them off for maybe three or four weeks.

Your reputation? Hey, no worries. We’ll call it “healing the nation.”


Zugzwang is among several excellent words that come to us from the game of chess. Others … oh hell, I hadn’t intended to, but I might as well list a few:

  • en passant: taking a pawn even though it has seemingly sped to the square next to its captor by moving forward two squares
  • en prise: a piece being left open for capture
  • family fork: a knight attacking more than two pieces simultaneously
  • finachetto: placing a bishop on the second row (where it commands a lot of the board)
  • gambit: sacrificing a piece (usually in the opening) for later gain
  • luft: creating an escape square for a castled king
  • perpetual check: obtaining a draw by placing the king in a position where he can never escape check
  • zwischenzug: making a delaying move, often to force …

zugzwang, the situation where any move that can be made weakens the player’s position. This is a good word to know, because that’s where GWB has put us in Iraq — in the position where we’re screwed no matter what we do.


Link: The Smirking Chimp on Zugzwang and Iraq policy

Experts Weigh In

In an otherwise rather dry article by Marc Sandalow, Washington Bureau Chief, in today’s San Francisco Chronicle (the topic is the administration’s Iraq “policy”), one encounters this astonishing sentence, delivered apparently without a hint of irony:

“Yet, some experts say it would be foolhardy to assume, just because Bush said it, that the statement is true.”

Well, damn! Who would have guessed? Thank heavens for the experts! Without the experts I would probably just have gone on assuming it was all gospel. But now my eyes have been opened.

So, thank you, experts.

Inside the Lair

Cheney residence

Wonkette alertly snagged these photos from the Official Residence of VP Dick C before the Flickr gallery was switched to “private.”

The Indonesian Curse Is Working

Ki Gendeng Pamungkas

I don’t know much about Ki Gendeng Pamungkas’s curse on GWB, except that it required the blood of a snake, a goat, and a crow and, according to the shaman, “will make him bloat like broccoli.” The image (from the Daily Kos) shows Ki Gendeng Pamungkas drinking sheep’s blood during an anti-Bush rally.

But I can report this: In Buenos Aires first daughter Barbara Bush had her purse and cell phone snatched at a restaurant, despite being guarded by a contingent of Secret Service agents at the time. And, in a separate incident, once of the agents got mugged. Plus, the director of the White House travel office was robbed in a nightclub.

Meanwhile, in Honolulu, three of the Uniter’s motorcyble escorts were involved in an accident at Hickam Air Force Base, and two were transported by ambulance to Queen’s medical center.

Bush and blood: maybe there’s some potent connection there after all.

Dick Cheney inks book deal with Judith Regan

If I Did It: Faking the Case for War

More Bad Ministration

So the Bushies appointed a guy who doesn’t believe in family planning to be head of the agency in charge of family planning.

Well, what’s new, the outgoing Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (James Inhofe, OK), says we don’t have to worry about global warming, and isn’t that a relief?

Why not? Because “God’s still up there.” (And I guess Inhofe’s message is that he’s still on the side of the fat cats and big oil guys.)

Transcript and video at Think Progress, which concludes “Despite Inhofe’s repeated efforts to muddy the picture, there is no real scientific debate over whether global warming is manmade or naturally caused.”

Tony Blair calls Iraq a “disaster”

But not for any lack of intelligent planning.

No, it was just one little unexpected thing.

Who is Eric Keroack?

I’m learning lots of new names lately. I just mastered Ted Leonsis, and now the Bush badministration is pushing Eric Keroack at us.

No dharma bum, Keroack is a gynecologist who has been appointed head of the federal Office of Population Affairs. Even this office is new to me, but it has a budget of $283 million. What does it do with all that money? Well, it “oversees federally funded teen pregnancy, family planning and abstinence programs.”

So what’s the problem? It seems this guy is the head of a Christian group called A Woman’s Concern, and he “opposes premarital sex, contraception and abortion.” So we have a guy in charge, bascially, of family planning who doesn’t believe in family planning, in any sense that most people think of it.

“The appointment of anti-birth control, anti-sex education advocate Dr. Eric Keroack to oversee the nation’s family planning program is striking proof that the Bush administration remains dramatically out of step with the nation’s priorities,” Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement.

The quotes are from a CNN article on this appointment.

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