Friday, July 21, 2006

Transparent Pride Mug wins two Zazzle Awards.

Transparent Pride customized mug from

This was a total surprise - I didn't even know Zazzle kept track of such things!

Anyway, I have a lot more things to put this design on. A stamp is pending. I'm thinking that a long, thin poster/print might be interesting.

Mostly, though, I'm bragging. :P

Thursday, July 20, 2006

My favorite shirt.

My favorite shirt.
Originally uploaded by Bob King. forestalls so many tedious conversations...

Ten bucks at my cafepress store. Worth every penny.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Is it time to shoot the messenger?

Media Matters - "[Anne Coulter], who has now responded to an inquiry from a columnist at Women's Wear Daily, who wondered if she might still think her comments about The New York Times were funny after that newspaper got sent another envelope full of suspicious powder, which fortunately turned out to be corn starch. Ann Coulter wrote back: 'So glad to hear that The New York Times got my letter.'"

Now, I'm just spit-balling here .... of course. But there does come a point where threats become public enough and precise enough that one should make a point of taking them seriously; if not to the point of preemptive return fire, than certainly to the point of a very, very serious investigation that would ideally involve cavity searches and a great number of blood and syrum tests to determine what sorts of uncommon antibodies (i.e. say, anthrax, smallpox, Ebola) Coulter may have somehow acquired.

While it is now nearly impossible to take Coulter seriously, we do ourself no favors to dismiss how extremely well-connected Coulter is to the power elite; how she can appear in nearly any public forum at any time, when colleagues such as Savage are restricted to their own shows, and perhaps a phone-in to Art Bell on a slow night.

You see, the web has a long memory, especially when it comes to WMD - and in this entire tragicomic shadow-play of a "war on terror," the only weapons of mass destruction deployed could have come from our own arsenals.

Scientists estimate that the letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle originally contained about 2 grams of anthrax, about one-sixteenth of an ounce, or the weight of a dime.

But its extraordinary concentration - in the range of 1 trillion spores per gram - meant that the letter could have contained 200 million times the average dose necessary to kill a person.

Dugway's weapons-grade anthrax has been milled to achieve a similar concentration, according to one person familiar with the program.

While there is enough wiggle room to say that it may not have come directly from Dugway, that is certainly the most plausible explanation. It is almost certain that the person who put the spores in the envelope did it within a Level Three biohazard facility, and they either had to have access to the spores or know how to grow and process them - using a strain identical to the Army Reference Strain.

Oddly enough, it would seem to me that if you were trying to "send a message" that "WE have the keys to this and we WILL use it," it would make sense to use a strain that could be tracked back to the Army. It is also curious how little actual investigation was done, and how little fuss there was about what was an apparent assassination attempt on an extremely important public figure. That causes one to seriously consider the possiblity that the same people who did it were ultimately responsible for the investigation.

Anthrax itself is not that difficult to come by and there are many, floating around and distressingly available. There would be no need to use such a conspicuously identifiable strain unless it was intended to tell Majority Leader Tom Dashchle and Russ Feingold to "shut up and do as we say."

To his credit, Russ has not and for that, I think every American should consider the contrast between a man unbowed by having been really attacked with a weapon of mass destruction and a woman that thinks making threats about using them to be the sine qua none of Conservative wit.

In that summation, I find I agree; it is the sum total of Neoconservative wit! It is no more than bared teeth misrepresented as a smile when it is merely the rictus imposed by an intellectual strain of rabies.

Her words are nothing more and nothing less than a direct attempt to intimidate the press with the implication that that COULD have been anthrax, and if they don't shut up, it will be next time. Is it wises to presume that she's simply making random threats? As a rational paranoid, if someone makes a big hairy deal about telling me how much better I would look with a large smoking hole in my cranium, and then reaches into their pocket, I do not wait to see if it's a gun or a chocolate bar. I shoot back first. I really do not see any other assumption that it would be wise or prudent to make.

But there are many possible responses to acts of attempted terrorism. The most sensible is to not be terrified. Just get quietly vaccinated, hire some mercenary investigators and security people beholden to none but you - and see what transpires.

Let us see if there IS a man behind the curtain - and if there is, whoever it is - drag them into the light of day to be tried and convicted.

But as for Coulter, there is really only one prudent response for an organism carrying rabies and threatening to bite you.

For specifics, consult "Old Yeller."

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Feingold for President? I could live with that.

Russ Feingold For President - Home: (quoting Russ Fiengold)

"'What we have done by becoming mired in Iraq, and by deciding to change the balance of power in that region, is enable Iran and Syria to be much more open in tormenting Israel, the United States and our allies,' Feingold, a longtime supporter of Israel, said in an interview Sunday. 'They don't have any restraints on them. They know that we're tied down. They see a window of opportunity being created by the fact that we are stuck in Iraq.'"

Wow! A politician who doesn't have shit for brains! I could vote for that!

I have a higher opinion of him than implied by such ironic faint praise - given his past track record, I like him a lot better than I like EITHER Clinton. Still, it's amazing how LITTLE praise is needed to raise him above the common herd.

UNlike the Clintons, he considers the Constitution to be his guide to doing the right thing, not an obstacle to accomplishing a well-intentioned but ultimately foolish (and doomed) agenda. Indeed, if it comes down to it, I think he stands head and shoulders above Al Gore. In a metaphorical sense of course.

Oh, Al, please don't take this the wrong way. I think you are absolutely WASTED in politics. Keep on speaking truth to power and helping people smart enough to LISTEN to you get elected. You are at your best when you are unconcerned with the specter of political consequence and unfettered from "handlers."

My fellow libs may be concerned with his left-leaning ways - but then I think leaning left in favor of individuals is no sin, and he's a budget and deficit hawk, so I'm better satisfied than one might otherwise think.

And more to the point, I do believe that a hard shove leftward to get the government back somewhere close to the middle would be a good thing all 'round. I don't know about others, but I'm really, really tired of being called a "Liberal" for saying things that suggest that a government that doesn't operate on primitive spinal reflex to Pavlovian triggers might just be a better option for all Americans.

Especially those of us concerned about, oh, not being vaporized, drowned, crushed under falling buildings or starving in the dark, when oil hits 200 bucks a barrel - and there's still no alternatives.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Dark Sun is Too Modest

Dark Sun » John Dean on Authoritarianism:

After you view the clip, go to Dark Sun and read the whole damn thing. It's seminal.

Crooks and Liars has posted an amazing absolutely must-see clip of an interview of former White House Counselor (under Nixon) John Dean by Keith Olberman of MSNBC in which he discusses his new book Conservatives Without a Conscience which I intend to read as soon as I make into a book store later this week.

Dean began working on this book in 1994 after speaking with his old friend Barry Goldwater, who was dismayed at the direction the Republican Party began to take after both the House and Senate were taken under the mantle of the Newt Gingerich “Contract with America.” As Dean explains to Olberman:

I ran into a massive study that had really been going on for 50 years now, by academics. They‘ve never really shared this with the general public. It‘s a remarkable analysis of the authoritarian personality, both those who are inclined to follow leaders, and those who jump in front and want to be the leaders.

It was not the opinion of social scientists, it was information they drew by questioning large numbers of people, hundreds of thousands of people, in anonymous testing, where they conceded, you know, their innermost feelings and reactions to things. And it turned out that these people were—most of these that came out of the testing were people who had been prequalified to be conservatives, and then they found that this, indeed, fit with the authoritarian personality.

And I Feel Fine... And I Feel Fine...

graphic courtesy of this site's Cafepress store"Are you tired of zipperheaded god-bothering twaddlepates messing with your life, reproductive organs and trying to get you to take idiotic doomsday-prophecies seriously?

The tile is cool, but the Black Tee-Shirt is AWESOME!

When people persist on thumping you with their Bibles, you need something of convenient size and heft to respond. Such as, say, a breezily-documented and cheerfully contemptuous, reality-based chronology of the Fleecing of the Flock. In the words of the terror of Trailer Trash Tribulationists, Alma-Gedden:

..In the theory favored by those whose idea of the Universe is a small, cramped space consisting primarily of ghosties and ghoulies and long-leggedy beasties and things that go bump in the night, the world ought to be coming to a screeching halt any day now. So imminent is the End, in fact, that you may not even get to finish reading this sentence before being either whisked away to glamorous Paradise or plunged into Eternal Damnation. Assuming you're still with me, let me make clear that the supporters of this concept are all absolutely sure that Armageddon is at hand and that we are living in the very Last Days. The signs are all there, they say, the omens and portents are in place, the numbers are right and all the USDA prime grade prophecies are coming true. No doubt about it, the End is seriously nigh. So, ha-ha to everyone who just had their car washed.

The trouble with this theory is that it's been espoused many, many, many times before. Near-countless times before. Over thousands of years. By millions of people. Ad nauseum. And yet, to state the thuddingly obvious, they've all been wrong. However widespread the belief, however devout the believer, however precise the calculations, however unshakable the certainty, the promise of Doomsday's arrival has remained stubbornly unfulfilled. And yet, here we are in the dim, dun dawn of the 21st century, going at it again like post-modernist Chicken Littles. And if anything, cock-a-doofus-dooming with greater gusto than ever before.

The why, the what, the where, the when, the who and the how is what this site is all about. This peculiar obsession humans have for watching the clock when we should be enjoying the party has been going on for millennia. And despite an utterly abysmal historical record of failure upon failure and reality's willful refusal to call time-out, it's one that never seems to lose its dubious charm or go mercifully away.

The following pages contain the most comprehensive collection of apocalyptic prophecies I could compile. Plus, discussion about the various types of Doomsday warnings and obsessions, quirks of the calendar, predictions of apocalypse from around the world and assorted other related stuff. So, if you think you have time to look them over before the Big One hits, the UV rays fry you, the nuclear winter freezes you, the Rapture captures you, the aliens abduct you, the earth opens up to swallow you, the black helicopters come to get you or the dreaded Satanic computer pixies plant a bar code in your forehead and plunge the world into commie-pinko conspiracy chaos, then, by all means, enjoy!

Ruthless reality-checking of this sort that cured me of my native credulity, despite being given every opportunity by my betters to spurn the snares and delusions of skeptical inquiry, the scientific method, the process of reason, rhetoric and of course, THE Great Satan; Reading the bits of the Bible the church would rather you didn't.

I present this site and it's fund-raising appendage as a commendation to you to go, read, laugh and get over your botheration. Because these are the same people that take Anne Coulter seriously. When Coulter says that she is a Christian, this is the sort of Christianity she's talking about. Or in other words, if you happen to actually be a follower of Christ, you can stop being embarrassed; there's absolutely no correspondence between the words of Christ and her sort of religious bigotry.

Weekly World News - Free of Liberal Bias since it's Inception!

are the people that take Bill O'Rielly at his word. I can understand that; compared to the nonsense and outright delusional "pie in the sky" lunatic-fringe theology they are used to consuming, O'Rielly IS "fair and balanced," while Coulter - Colter is little different in content than any fire-and-brimstone preacher - particularly given her obsession with anal sex and fisting.

Relax. Take a deep, deep breath and center yourself. Then "Click Here" and spend the next little while chuckling at the credulity of your fellows as you read through the various accounts of false prophets (many of whom profeted handsomely) by underestimating the intelligence of the American People.

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Sunday, July 16, 2006

White House Could Use a Director of Irony

Now, that's a keeper.

Dems Ignoring Constitutional Crisis

Dave Lindorff: Ten Reasons To Impeach

Each one of these offenses (and it is not meant to be a complete list) would be sufficient on its own to require the president's removal from office, and in some cases, where an actual statutory crime can be charged, his subsequent indictment and trial. Together they cry out for impeachment and removal.

There are those, like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who argue against impeachment, claiming that it would be a diversion from the "important agenda" of the Democratic Party. Aside from the fact that there is not much "there" in the so-called agenda of the so-called opposition, the reality is that the Democratic Party, should it manage to win a majority in House and Senate in November, will be unable to accomplish a single thing with President Bush in the White House, since the president has already claimed that he has the power to violate and ignore 750 acts and laws passed by a Congress led by his own party. Before the Democrats can count on a single bill of theirs becoming the law of the land, they will have to remove this usurper from office. Even ardent conservatives should be afraid of leaving stand actions that, if unchallenged, will set a precedent for all future presidents, Republican and Democrat, making American presidents into tyrants answerable to no one.

The problem here is that the Democrats are trying to play "politics as usual." But this is not politics as usual, we are faceed with a mulit-faceted constitutional crisis in the middle of a glaingly illegal war initiated by a president who may well have committed wide-spread electoral fraud to gain and keep office.

So we damn well need to get rid of this administration ASAP. Merely voting them out is insufficient; we need to address the damage done by his exeutive orders and visibly punish all those responsible for their sins against the United States and the rest of the world.

That might buy us enough credibility to recover from the financial hole we have dug for ourselves.

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So here's what I did today...

Think of it this way. Not one word about Anne Coulter, Enron, George Bush, the word "treason" and to what it might apply...

Simple Methane Generation Unit


A little something to grace your discussions of alternate fuels. Download your own copy, please don't hotlink. Posted by Picasa


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