Sunday, December 31, 2006

:: Naked Brunch: The Champagne Coma Edition :: for hummers . . . really!

You won't know if you are right until you're dead: The Blasphemy Challenge

"We were blown away ... But we certainly won't be naming any of the hatchlings Jesus."

Chester Zoo reptile expert Kevin Buley, on news that Flora, a Komodo dragon in the English zoo, was pregnant despite being a virgin. Reptiles can reproduce asexually, though it is extremely rare in this species.

Over at Norwegianity, Mark pays tribute and/or speed slaps to many across the blogosphere.

Billmon's Whiskey Bar, a blog I have considered quite good and useful for several years posted this last night: "That's All Folks!"

Blog Meridian: A stretch of river XXIX: Scruffy's past - that is one damned cute dog.

Unscrewing the Inscrutable: On Atheism and how we create meaning in the here and now.

And, Ron Beasley of Middle Earth Journal on dealing with his Christian family during the holidaze. I empathize Ron, I surely do - we could have traded families and had the same thing happen. That, and all the hand holding prayer business before a meal. Me, I thank all the farm workers , manufacturers and the preparer of said meal. I'm more likely to say: Mom is good, mom is great, let us thank her for this food.......hallelujah, dig in! And, even more significantly, I haven't had to enter a church since I worked the 2004 election and that was where the polling place was that I ran. That didn't turn out so good.

Man Sleeping, 1649, David Ryckaert (1612-1661)

Rip Overslept (hmmmmm .... sounds like a good way to spend a Zen Sunday Brunch)

Thoughts of an Average Woman: Good advice on making New Years' Resolutions that you can actually keep.

The Revolution will be Televised: I can't believe I have neglected to follow-up on how Josh Wolf is faring. Damned government still has him in prison.

Upcoming press conference on January 22 on the steps of San Francisco City Hall. Time and details to follow.

Please sign the coalition statement to get Josh out of jail. Contact

And, in a message from his Mom, Liz, she requests people write to Josh in support:

His address is: Joshua Wolf, 98005-111, Federal Detention Center, Unit J2, 5675 8th St., Dublin, CA 94568.

Please remember that all mail going in and out is read by guards.

Letter coming up Liz.

Tannishblog: Friday Night Zen #20 On Buddha and the teachings of inherent goodness. Tannishblog also has the coolest and most surreal banner of any site on the internets!

Sorry, but, I can not stomach, one way or the other, posting anything about executions........ of Saddam Hussein or anyone else. Not even a link. Find it elsewhere. The photograph says it all - so many for so little.

Gloom & Doom Predicted for 2007 by Americans in a new AP poll. Sheesh.

Hey, does anyone know where P! - ddjango has been? And, how about Florida's answer to good music, Mars Needs Guitars?

Mixter's Mix on recollections preceeding 2007.

Marked Hossier: Inhaling Alcohol? What the hell for? You don't get drunk enough by consuming in in the normal fashion?

Jesus' General: Conformity is Freedom according to the conservatives.

Digby: Texas Stupid is absolutely correct. What a fuckin' moron. (I really hate living in this state, it's such an embarrassment.)

Gaping Void: The "Nobody Cares" Manifesto

A Happy New Year to you all as well at Balloon Juice.

Brilliant at Breakfast has a video up of Equilibrium ... Lesson: "Violence Solves Everything"

The ever insightful and amazingly literate Chris Floyd:

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Safana Jawad Cleared

Turns out the Department of Homeland Security did make a mistake with Safana Jawad.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has apologized to a Muslim traveller strip-searched at the Pinellas County Jail after being detained at Tampa International Airport in April.

Federal agents said they denied Spanish citizen Safana Jawad entry to the U.S. on April 11 because she was suspected of being associated with someone they view as suspicious.

Jawad, 45, was taken to the jail, strip-searched according to protocol and held in a maximum security cell for two days. She was never told the identity of the suspicious person.

The bad news is that no one is sure why Jawad was detained. There are matters of national security. I can understand that argument. What bothers me is there never seems to be any accountability.

Music Goodies

Here are some music that I greatly love. Enjoy.

Pushing Rope music player..

Write A Caption: Cowboy Style

Bush and National Security Team

There is nothing that screams "Texas" and "cowboy" quite like the Bush national security team on the Crawford ranch.

Goodbye Scott 'Smoky' Harrell

I wish Scott Harrell a fond farewell from Creative Loafing. And thank you for the publicity.

Side note: Tommy Duncan slammed Harrell for writing about his band. I can't actually recall Harrell ever mentioning Nessie at CR. I do recall Tommy writing about the 80s cover band he performs at every opportunity. Before I knew he sang back-up vocals, I used to wonder what Tommy's bizarre Johnny G Lyon Band obsession was. No one cared about that band back in the late eighties. (That was when they played all originals.) I remember Paul Wood of the Woodies telling me he liked Johnny, but thought his music was really lame. Then I realized that Tommy sang in the band. What's interesting is how the Stickheads will talk about JGLB, in the comments section and posts, like they are the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Nirvana and Velvet Underground all rolled up in one. I have seen pre-Tommy JGLB twice and quickly left. The only local band I seen that was worse was Pictures of Reason.

For Tommy to diss another musician for plugging his band too much is seriously fucking lame. His blog serves as a news outlet for one of the least interesting bands in Tampa music history. He should stick with the media steals all their stories from him meme. At least that provides great fantasy-based comedy. The Sticksheads actually think Adam Smith and William March anxiously await what Tommy has to say about the Strawberry festival. That's funny.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

NRA Comic Book

NRA Comic

This is from a comic book created by the NRA. Apparently, guns are needed to protect (white people) from "Illegal Alien Gangs."

C.W. Bill Young's Pork

Congressman C.W. Bill Young brought home $90 million in pork. That's not news. But looking through the list; I have to wonder what $1.2-million for drug research on inijured soldiers is all about. The money is earmarked as a USF research grant. Exactly what kind of drugs is the University of South Florida planning to test on soldiers? If anyone has any ideas - let me know. Spare me the jokes about Captain America and the super soldier serum.

Same Xenophobic Tune

Dennis Prager wrote these words about newly elected Congressman Keith Ellison.

Keith Ellison, D-Minn., the first Muslim elected to the United States Congress, has announced that he will not take his oath of office on the Bible, but on the bible of Islam, the Koran.

He should not be allowed to do so -- not because of any American hostility to the Koran, but because the act undermines American civilization.

Me thinks someone is trying very hard to scare his readership. Prager has turned a ceremonial task and made it into life and death consequences. If Ellison is sworn in on the Koran then America may crumble like the Roman empire. Prager argues that if Ellison is sworn in on the Koran the terrorists will win.

But these naive people do not appreciate that America will not change the attitude of a single American-hating Muslim by allowing Ellison to substitute the Koran for the Bible. In fact, the opposite is more likely: Ellison's doing so will embolden Islamic extremists and make new ones, as Islamists, rightly or wrongly, see the first sign of the realization of their greatest goal -- the Islamicization of America.

This reminds me of William F. Buckley claiming that Southern blacks were not entitled to voting rights becuase of the "cultural superiority of White over Negro." Prager is preaching the same gospel used during segregation. Savages shouldn't be allowed to vote or freedom of religion. It's the same lyrics with a different melody.

Last time we heard the tune was during the immigration debate. The wingnuts that make up the GOP couldn't hide their xenophobia. Hispanics voted Democrat during the midterms. The RNC attempted to mend things by appointing Mel Martinez. This caused wingnuts to go irate. Live and dieby the Southern strategy.


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Project for a New American Century...PNAC

It's A Blunderful Life!....thanks Alicia!

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:: Death & Saving the Polar Bear from Extinction ::

I awoke this morning to NPR reporting the death of former President Gerald Ford.  RIP. 

For those of you too young to remember, Gerald Ford is the only President (outside of Bushes first term) unelected as President when he took over for Nixon after he resigned in disgrace.   Unfortunately, he pardoned Nixon.

Ford was the only occupant of the White House never elected either to the presidency or the vice presidency. A former Republican congressman from Grand Rapids, Mich., he always claimed that his highest ambition was to be speaker of the House of Representatives. He had declined opportunities to run for the Senate and for governor of Michigan.

He was sworn in as president Aug. 9, 1974, when Richard M. Nixon resigned as a result of the Watergate scandal.

"My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over," Ford said in his inaugural address.

"I believe that truth is the glue that holds government together, not only our government, but civilization itself. That bond, though strained, is unbroken at home and abroad."

Ford had become vice president Dec. 6, 1973, two months after Spiro T. Agnew pleaded no contest to a tax evasion charge and resigned from the nation's second-highest office. The former Maryland governor was under investigation for accepting bribes and kickbacks.

In the 2 1/2 years of his presidency, Ford ended the U.S. involvement in the war in Vietnam, helped mediate a cease-fire agreement between Israel and Egypt, signed the Helsinki human rights convention with the Soviet Union and traveled to Vladivostok in the Soviet Far East to sign an arms limitation agreement with Leonid Brezhnev, the Soviet president.


When he assumed office, Ford immediately made clear his intention to change what historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. called "the imperial president."

In retirement, former Presidents Gerald Ford and Carter created Project Vote Smart, a wonderful program of individual platforms regarding various political candidates.  I refer to them fairly often when I am trying to find information regarding different elected and hoping to be elected individuals.   Basically, Vote Smart provides tools to help inform you, the voter.  It is also nonpartisan.  Vote Smart also invites politically minded students to work with them and learn first hand about their work.


The Polar Bear, long threatened by the melting of the Polar Ice Cap (due to Global Warming), may have finally breached the gates of a government who a) doesn't believe in Global Warming and b) doesn't give a damn about critters and the nature of ecosystems.   The Bush Administration plans to list the Polar Bear as "Threatened" (with extinction) under The Endangered Specie Act at the urging of various environmental groups over the past several years. 

The Bush administration has decided to propose listing the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, putting the U.S. government on record as saying that global warming could drive one of the world's most recognizable animals out of existence.

The administration's proposal -- which was described by an Interior Department official who spoke on the condition of anonymity -- stems from the fact that rising temperatures in the Arctic are shrinking the sea ice that polar bears need for hunting. The official insisted on anonymity because the department will submit the proposal today for publication in the Federal Register, after which it will be subject to public comment for 90 days.

I will followup this evening with the Federal Register information for public comment.  I urge all of you to prepare remarks on the legislation and be very direct in your answers.  Comments are not snark or derogatory statements and care must be taken when responding officially.  Statements expressing facts for or against the legislation are necessary to receive any attention.  You can often provide such statements through interest groups such as The Sierra Club, National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Greenpeace, and others.  Groups usually have more power, but in the case of this Administration, environmental groups may have a lesser impact.

The fact of the matter is, environmental groups put pressure on the administration to do something like this to protect the Polar Bear from extinction.   Whatever is proposed by Bush, be prepared for a lot of loopholes letting them off the hook to drill for oil in ANWR or any other place them deem eligible for oil drilling. 

Identifying polar bears as threatened with extinction could have an enormous political and practical impact. As the world's largest bear and as an object of children's affection as well as Christmastime Coca-Cola commercials, the polar bear occupies an important place in the American psyche. Because scientists have concluded that carbon dioxide from power-plant and vehicle emissions is helping drive climate change worldwide, putting polar bears on the endangered species list raises the legal question of whether the government would be required to compel U.S. industries to curb their carbon dioxide output.

"We've reviewed all the available data that leads us to believe the sea ice the polar bear depends on has been receding," said the Interior official, who added that U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials have concluded that polar bears could be endangered within 45 years. "Obviously, the sea ice is melting because the temperatures are warmer."

Northern latitudes are warming twice as rapidly as the rest of the globe, according to a 2004 scientific assessment, and by the end of the century annual ocean temperatures in the Arctic may rise an additional 13 degrees Fahrenheit. As a result, researchers predict that summer sea ice, which polar bears use as a platform to hunt for ringed seals, will decline 50 to 100 percent. Just this month, researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research outlined a worst-case scenario in which summer sea ice could disappear by 2040.

By submitting the proposal today, the Interior Department is meeting a deadline under a legal settlement with three environmental advocacy groups -- the Center for Biological Diversity, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Greenpeace -- that argue the government has not responded quickly enough to the polar bear's plight. The department has been examining the status of polar bears for more than two years.


Scientists have not charted the same rapid decline within the U.S. polar bear populations, but federal scientists have observed a number of troubling signs. The bears have resorted to open-water swimming and even cannibalism in an effort to stay alive.

It is going to be extremely important to comment during the 90-day Administrative Rule period.  If the language of the 'Rule" is BS, then it will be even more critical to have a hell of a lot of people commenting.  Additionally, rules are interpreted by the agency administering the program - in this case, interpretation of ESA.  This administrations record of administering the ESA has been tragic and horrifying.  Therefore the rules need to be very precise and not general in nature.

More info tonight.

I have to go to work.  Rats. 

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Florida Pads Graduation Rate

Florida has been padding their high school graduation rate by including GEDs.

Florida is among the states that inflate their graduation rates by including students who pass the General Educational Development certificate. Why shouldn't the GED count as equivalent to a high school diploma? Because, according to state and federal standards as well as academic research, the GED isn't equivalent to a diploma.

Education Commissioner John Winn said the state's graduation rate is an unimpressive 71 percent. Take away the GEDs, it's 57.5 percent. Jeb Bush has had eight years to prove that vouchers and the FCAT were going to lead Florida out of the education wasteland. His education policies have been an undebatable failure.



This banner made it's way to my email inbox. Every major left-wing blogger is getting hit with it. I feel flattered to make the same spam list as Skippy and TAPPED. GDFury made the banner and urges people to use it and passit around. So have fun with it.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

:: Naked Brunch: Jazz Guitar, French Toast & Gingerbread Coffee ::

Nothing like a dose of Fiorinal and 10 solid hours of sleep to rejuvenate a person....except the headache, although muted, is still hanging on.... damnit to hell. Which makes it difficult to read and intensifies the headache. Such is life.

So, you haven't finished your holiday shopping yet? Well......Salon has the answers, and damnit, Iwish I would have found this earlier.... The Salon 2006 Gift Guide. Click on each person type for some humor and interesting ideas. I want those Maibou thigh highs please. These folks even have some nifty naughty Santas' elf outfits...

Wooing your Santa into an alternative "X"mas Eve: Santa Baby

+ Eartha Kitt (1953) ABOUT

While you are at Salon, and if you are sick to death of holiday cheeriness (yes!), check out Heather Havrilesky's It's not a wonderful life:

Tired of chirpy carols and stale sugar cookies and your whole annoying family? Here's a delectably dark holiday TV viewing guide -- an antidote for anyone burned out on holiday cheer.

Gotta Love It: Too Scared to Retire

The Republicans' stinging losses last month could be magnified in 2008 if veteran GOP Senate and House members decide to retire, including numerous lawmakers who will be 70 or older on that Election Day.

An editorial on the District of Columbia: Quasi-Freedom Agenda, For President Bush, democracy doesn't begin at home. So, it didn't for many other presidents in this instance. Unfortunately, I wish this editorial have reviewed all instances where Democracy is no longer such in the U.S. due to the Bush agenda. Then, this editorial would of had some teeth.

Lots of memes floating around this time of year. Thanks to those of you that chose to answer my tag on the Book Meme this past week and a gentle reminder to those who haven't: Blog Meridian, The Zen Cabin and Acephalous

Balloon Juice: John says to drop all the charges against the LaCrosee players, not just the rape charges. Personally, I have no clue what these guys did or did not do.

Rob Pavaronian of Dr. Demento: Pachelbel's Canon in D Rant

Cool: iPod for Book Worms

What Bushit!: "The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized regulations today that relax the reporting requirements for manufacturing plants and other industrial facilities that use toxic chemicals."

Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club of France: with Stéphane Grappelli the infamous Jazz Violinist (check out Djangos two fingered chording --- his other fingers are paralyzed)

The most beautiful instrumental rendering of a Marvin Gaye tune:"I heard it through the grapevine" by Antonio Forcione

Hailed as the 'Jimi Hendrix of the acoustic guitar', award-winning Forcione is considered one of the most charismatic and inventive performers to come out of Europe in recent years. He breaks the mould of most conventional, popular guitar sounds be it in the field of jazz, Spanish, African, Brazilian or improvised music. International tours have brought high critical acclaim from as far as Australia and Hong Kong to Russia, the Caribbean, USA and all over Europe.

His 14 albums have variously hit the top of UK and international jazz charts and he has shared the stage worldwide with some of the world's most accomplished musicians (see below), double-billing with artists such as John McLaughlin, John Schoffield and Leo Kotke.

Born in Italy in a small village along the Adriatic coast, Antonio first drew public attention at 13 when he toured with his own band throughout Italy as a guitarist, mandolinist and drummer. He got a diploma in art and sculpture from the Art Institute in Ancona, and studied music in Rome (as well as mime) before moving to London in 1983 in search of greater inspiration.

"A performer of world class status ... forceful and with an enviable technique, he takes the guitar to new levels of expression combining its melodic powers with dramatic percussive effects. Forcione boldly goes where no guitarist has gone before and the results are quite spectacular ... miss him at your peril". THE STAGE

Unable to speak English, he initially resorted to busking in the streets of London's Covent Garden, and within 2 months he had won an award which led to a BBC television appearance before being whisked off to open for the pop group Barclay James Harvest on a major European tour for over a total of 300,000, people culminating in a concert at Wembley Arena. He never looked back.

He has performed in festivals and theatres from as far as Australia and Indonesia to the USA, Canada, Caribbean, Turkey, Lebanon and all over Europe, especially in France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the UK. His festival appearances include Womad, Glastonbury, Edinburgh, Melbourne, Koln, Verona, Granada, Hong Kong Arts Festival, Singapore Arts Festival and the Machoire d'Or in Montreux amongst others, as well as most major International Guitar festivals.

"Forcione plays unstringed parts of the guitar other players can't hope to reach" (The Independent)

Antonio's constantly innovative approach to life have also led him to explore the realm of music comedy performance resulting in invitations to perform at comedy festivals throughout the world. He has performed with other comedians such as Boothby Graffoe, Django Edwards, Stephen Frost, Tanderika and Ursus & Nadeschkin, acted as musical director and performer for the award winning trio Ole, and formed the duo 'Acoustik Maniaks' with guitarist Neil Stacey, as well as appearing in variety shows as a Solo comedy artist.

In 2001 he won the 'Best Spirit of the Fringe Award' at the Edinburgh Festival with a resulting tour of Australia, doing both straight music and music-comedy. "After 100 years of guitar playing is there anything left to do? Forcione proves that there is. Not content to be just a guitar genius, he injects his playing with physical comedy of unparalleled ferocity. This renowned musical performer has changed the way we look at the humble acoustic guitar". (Three weeks)

Artistic, intense, and formidably inventive, Antonio is a performer of genuine distinction. Ever unpredictable, his is a celebration of the unexpected elements in life, a music of rare delicacy, humour and, not least, passion.

Waltz for Django

Antonio Forcione 'Acoustic Revenge' (

I became a bit distracted by the back to the roundup....

Speaking of music, Gaping Void recommends Sufjan Stevens 'Illinoise' .... "Cat Stevens meets William Blake. Amazing. Genius." Bonus: Pic of Hugh in Paris looking thoughful and yummy.

Brilliant at Breakfast:> So what did the Crawford Corleones do, put horse's heads in their beds?

You have to wonder what kind of dossiers the Bush Administration has on every military leader in this country, that they all eventually back down and adopt policies they know are insane.

Hullabaloo: Ye Olde Dysfunctional Family Xmas

Jesus' General: Republican Jesus loves the little children

Marked Hossier: "Get To Know Me Better" Meme

The Wege provides the Santa Decathalon: Bad Santa's bad-ass bad end

Later. Things to do........

BTW: French Toast, Gingerbread Coffee, and that's all folks.

BTW2: A hope for us all --- peace, love and understanding.

Best wishes and joyful holidaze.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Dill Weed

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This comic goes out to the Ghost of Peter Boyle...

Also, Kiss my Democratic Ass

The Greatest Terrorism

Wars, Pictures, and Reality

The Invisible Dead

The War on Christmas Confucious

The Virgin Mary

And finally, A Huge round of applause for hosting the Zappadan Festival....Flies all green and buzzin'

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Food Biz Pharmacopeia

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Buy an Otis Taylor Band CD for the Blues Lover's Christmas Gift. You will not be disappointed. A Wendy Woo CD would also make a great gift. Buy a copy for yourself while you're at it!

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Single Payer Health Plan

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Animation Giant Joseph Barbera passed away. RIP...

The Nitpicker on Rightwingers whining about their beloved "Free Market"

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:: Morning Muse: Bush, War, Domestic Agenda, White Lies, Intolerance, NASA & Google ::

Sometimes, the headlines say it all:


U.S. Not Winning War in Iraq, Bush Says for 1st Time

President Plans to Expand Army, Marine Corps To Cope With Strain of Multiple Deployments

President Bush acknowledged for the first time yesterday that the United States is not winning the war in Iraq and said he plans to expand the overall size of the "stressed" U.S. armed forces to meet the challenges of a long-term global struggle against terrorists.

As he searches for a new strategy for Iraq, Bush has now adopted the formula advanced by his top military adviser to describe the situation. "We're not winning, we're not losing," Bush said in an interview with The Washington Post. The assessment was a striking reversal for a president who, days before the November elections, declared, "Absolutely, we're winning."

In another turnaround, Bush said he has ordered Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates to develop a plan to increase the troop strength of the Army and Marine Corps, heeding warnings from the Pentagon and Capitol Hill that multiple deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan are stretching the armed forces toward the breaking point. "We need to reset our military," said Bush, whose administration had opposed increasing force levels as recently as this summer.

But in a wide-ranging session in the Oval Office, the president said he interpreted the Democratic election victories six weeks ago not as a mandate to bring the U.S. involvement in Iraq to an end but as a call to find new ways to make the mission there succeed. He confirmed that he is considering a short-term surge in troops in Iraq, an option that top generals have resisted out of concern that it would not help. (more)

On the War, Determined to Go His Own Way

...what else is new. 

Bush Sees 'Opportunities' on Social Security, Immigration

President Bush said yesterday that he intends to work with the new Democratic majority in Congress on a broad range of domestic issues, declaring that despite the impending power shift there are "some wonderful opportunities" to address concerns that have long festered without a political solution.

Signaling a new flexibility on issues in the wake of the Democrats' wins, Bush said he is willing to discuss Democratic ideas for solving the Social Security problem, including tax increases. "I don't see how you can move forward without people feeling comfortable about putting ideas on the table," Bush said when asked about the prospect of tax increases to keep Social Security solvent. "I have made it clear that I have a way forward that can do it [without raising taxes] and I want to hear other people's opinions."

 I think I'm choking to death........

A Bright Ribbon of White Lies

Under the Holiday Wrapping, A Gift to All for Their Faux Pas and Forgetfulness

A Search for Ourselves

User-Generated Content Dominates Google's 2006 Hot List

Episcopalians Against Equality

Read will make you sick.  


In slamming the door on their American co-religionists, the two largest parishes, which are in Fairfax City and Falls Church, also announced their affiliation with the Episcopal Church of Nigeria. The presiding Nigerian archbishop, Peter Akinola, promotes legislation in his country that would forbid gays and lesbians to form organizations or to eat together in restaurants and that would send them to jail for indulging in same-gender sexual activity. Akinola's agenda so touched the hearts of the Northern Virginia faithful that they anointed him, rather than Jefferts Schori, as their bishop.

Peer pressure played a role, too. Explaining the decision to leave the American church, Vicki Robb, a Fairfax parishioner and Alexandria public relations exec, told The Post's Bill Turque and Michelle Boorstein that the church's leftward drift has made it "kind of embarrassing when you tell people that you're Episcopal." It must be a relief to finally have an archbishop who doesn't pussyfoot around when gays threaten to dine in public.

The alliance of the Fairfax Phobics with Archbishop Restaurant Monitor is just the latest chapter in the global revolt against modernity and equality and, more specifically, in the formation of the Orthodox International. The OI unites frequently fundamentalist believers of often opposed faiths in common fear and loathing of challenges to ancient tribal norms. It has featured such moving tableaus as the coming together in the spring of 2005 of Israel's chief rabbis, the deputy mufti of Jerusalem, and leaders of Catholic and Armenian churches, burying ancient enmities to jointly condemn a gay pride festival. The OI's founding father was none other than Pope John Paul II, who spent much time and energy endeavoring to reconcile various orthodox Christian religions and whose ecumenism prompted him to warn the Anglicans not to ordain gay priests.

NASA Launches Google Collaboration

Web Giant Will Make Images From Space Agency's Missions Accessible to Public

Very cool! 

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Copper Kettle Health Plan C

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Secret NSA Update from the Heretik

7th Day Ramblings at Ripley's Zencabin

That Colored Fella is back, with a piece about Barack Obama

Iran wants to replace the dollar with the Euro

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Site Notes

Blogging will be lite for the next couple of weeks. Things will be back to normal in 2007.

:: Naked Brunch: Seasonal Madness ::

Dear Santa,

I've been unable to post my Sunday Naked Brunch the past couple of weeks, and this Sunday will be a short one, ....postus-interruptus I must decorate my parents home today for them. This seasonal madness combined with my workload has been a bitch of exhaustion with a few fun things thrown in the mix I should have enjoyed much more than I did, with a few exceptions.

So, I want to thank you for those exceptions:

  • My C, .......all of him, ....period.
  • My friends, here in the world wide web all over the world, who have brought me varying insights and points of view that have expanded my vision in a variety of ways. I appreciate them more than they know now or in many cases, will ever know.
  • For allowing me the benefit of a new employee (the one I wanted to begin with) to help me at work (oh, hallelujah!) come January 17. You can not imagine how happy (relieved) this makes me.

That is all.

  • Ummm....well, there is one more thing. Thanks for the iBod and my friends who sent me amazing playlists. Oh, baby!

Best regards,

P.S. I don't want much myself on a material level, besides which, material possessions are pretty inconsequential 'things.' But, I would like a little more peace in the world, C., and a bit of harmony and happiness now and again. Thanks.

Last night, the Ripped One of Zen Cabin broadcast live:
Oh, thrill of thrills! In the future, go herefor the schedule and archives:
You can call in and have a live chat on the air, or send Ripley instant messages via AOL or Skype at HailRipley. I plan to do one of those three things next time. I would have done so last night, but I was at my brothers house. Who knows what I will come up with to say in a future broadcast. Also, you can get podcasts of the shows via iTunes subscription. Ripleys BlogTalkRadio site, Subliminal Radio, tells you how to get hooked up and takes you directly to the iTunes subscription (free).

Note to Ripley: You are nothing like Goldstein and your voice is magic. Really.

BTW: I've always loved to listen to Michael Franks (infamous for Popsicle Toes, among many others) on an early Sunday morn. His stuff is timeless. So is Chet Baker.

Here's a wonderful Chet Baker and Elvis Costello video:

Now for some day brightening Michael Franks "Eggplant"

And you can listen to a bunch these favorites from Michael Franks "Passion Fruit".... in my estimation, perfect Naked Brunch in bed my place. The follow

"You" have been named as Time magazine's Person of the Year for the growth and influence of user-generated content on the internet.

Time to decorate the house....oy!

Saturday, December 16, 2006


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The Dark Wraith, dba The Big Brass Blog, on John McCain leading the charge for internet censorship.

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Friday, December 15, 2006

Orlando Homeless Documentary

Jackie Dowd posted this video. She is also a lawyer and homeless activist. Go check her site out.

Happy Birthday To Me

Get Your Own Voice PlayerManage

Today is my birthday. Feel free to leave me a voice message.

Via Lauren

Goodbye Shelly Brantley

The Jeb Bush cronies are disappearing. I couldn't be happier.

Shelly Brantley of Agency for Persons with Disabilities refused to pay $360 for thermal blankets for Kevin Estinfil. She did have for agency spend thousands of dollars litigating the case in court.

Little Kevin cannot regulate his body temperature. He also suffers from blindless, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and seizures. Charlie Crist read about Kevin's plight and personally paid for the blankets. By no coincidence, Brantley decided to resign. The official story is that Brantley was planning to resign to whole time. Color me skeptical on the timing.

Rape Is An Equal Opportunity Evil

Melissa McEwan (Shakes) received this comment at her blog. "No one wants to rape you, Shakes. Sorry to inform you." I have my reservations about giving nutcases a platform, but Shakes has several good points about warped perceptions about rape. Some men think it's only the pretty girls. Someone should tell that to the men in prison, elderly women or children who are raped each year.

Friday Cat Blogging

Was This Karl Rove's Idea?

Iraq is now getting hit with robocalls. This administration only know a few tricks and they will keep using them. Damned the results.

20,000 Troop Bluster

The Decider has a plan. It's to do what the Iraqis and Americans don't want.

The Bush administration is leaning toward temporarily sending as many as 20,000 additional U.S. troops to Iraq, even as the Democrats taking charge of Congress demand a drawdown of forces.

U.S. officials say the increase is needed to make a new push to stabilize Baghdad and to bolster efforts to train the Iraqi army. The emerging plan is facing opposition from Iraqi officials adamant that more U.S. forces aren't the answer. U.S. military commanders in Baghdad have drawn up plans for the country that don't require any new personnel. The debate over whether to send additional U.S. forces to Iraq is the most visible manifestation of the high-level tumult roiling the Bush administration as it works to find a way forward there ahead of a presidential address to the nation early next year.

The problem is the military does not have 20,000 troops to spare. The Washington Post reports that has "The active Army has close to zero combat-ready brigades in reserve." The National Guard is in worse shape. The troops don't exist. There are either two things at play. The White House, John McCain and Joe Lieberman are just talking tough or they want to send ill-prepared troops to look tough. Judge for yourself which is worse.

Update: John McCain is now floating the idea of sending 35,000 more troops.

“Five to 10 additional brigades is what is being discussed,” Mr. McCain said, outlining an increase that could bring overall American troop strength to the highest levels since the invasion in March 2003. While American combat brigades vary, Pentagon officials say they average about 3,500 soldiers. At present, there are 15 combat brigades in Iraq, amounting to about 50,000 of the total American force of about 140,000.

The Army is so desperate that they have lowered aptitude standards to make recruiting goals. 35,000 battle-ready troops aren't just going to appear. That doesn't stop McCain's rhetoric.

Keith Olbermann on

We now know Tom Delay uses a ghost writer on his blog.

Cruel Punishment

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Eighth Amendment

I have strongly mixed feelings about the death penalty. I be the first to say that I didn't shed any tears for the passing of Ted Bundy. I certainly would want Osama bin Laden to face the same fate. I don't believe that the system is infallible or that the death penalty is about justice. It's about revenge. Pure and simple.

Jeb Bush has appointed a four member panel to look into Angel Diaz's execution. Diaz's death clearly violated the eighth amendment.

The intercom clicked off at 6:02 p.m. Normally, the condemned inmate stops moving within a few minutes and they are pronounced dead within 15 minutes.

But Diaz kept moving for 24 minutes, sometimes appearing in pain. He grimaced, coughed, tried to talk and licked his lips. His head eventually slipped to the right, but he kept breathing heavy, his chin bobbing and his mouth flexing like a fish out of water.

It wasn't until 6:26 p.m. that he stopped moving. He was pronounced dead 10 minutes later.

The state is attempted to spin Diaz's slow death as his liver disease, making the first shot less potent.

"If anything, it would make you more susceptible to it, not more resistant," said Dr. David Varlotta, a Tampa anesthesiologist.

That's as lame as the sickle cell trait excuse for Martin Anderson's death.

Greg Dulli On Post-Katrina New Orleans


Greg Dulli is very familiar with New Orleans. He has lived and recorded several albums in the city. He explains the city's current state.

Q: You recorded your last album, Powder Burns, in New Orleans shortly after

Dulli: Hurricane Katrina hit. Why didn’t you record it somewhere less chaotic?
Because I have a home there and my friends needed me. If you bail on your friends in their time of need, you’re not much of a friend. I stayed there and persevered with everyone else.

Q: What’s New Orleans like now?

Dulli: It’s ugly. The crime is out of control. There are murders every day. There’s a creeping sense of the unknown but I remain staunchly aligned with the city. I’ve lived there for nine years. I’ve been all over the world but it’s by far one of the most unique cities I’ve been to. I really like the village aspect of it. I can walk everywhere.

Q: Has enough been done to sort out the problems?

Dulli: George Bush hasn’t done anything. The inaction in New Orleans is another in a long line of that guy’s ineptitudes. The fact people sat on roofs five days after the hurricane with no food or water says everything you need to know about what a piece of sh*t that guy and his administration is. All the help that’s coming to New Orleans is coming from within. It’s the people in the city that are doing the work. That’s why I won’t leave.

Dulli wrote the song Underneath the Waves about Katrina.

Underneath the Waves MP3

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Tony Snow Apologizes to David Gregory

I'll give credit where credit is due. Tony Snow apologized for saying that David Gregory's question was partisan.

Q I just want to be clear. Are you suggesting that I'm trying to frame this in a partisan way?

MR. SNOW: Yes.

Q You are? Based on the fact that --

MR. SNOW: Because --

Q Wait a minute, wait a second. Based on quoting the report and the Chairman, and I'm asking you a straight question, which you're not answering straight, you're actually --

MR. SNOW: No, I am --

Q -- you're trying to answer it by --

MR. SNOW: No, here's the --

Q -- nitpicking it.


Q You're suggesting that by quoting the report, I'm trying to make a partisan argument?

Snow was correct in not following the path of Scott McClellan and becoming a jerk. The White House Press Corp expects Snow to spin. If he starts acting like McClellan then he loses all the good will he built.

Drinking Conservatively

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You're doin' a heckuva job, Tinsley!

I couldn't let this go without commenting.The Nitpicker is holding a contest, and the prize is a Bloom County Book.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Quote of the Day

“I never understand that question, you have a President that’s in deep shit. He got us into the war, and all the reasons he gave have been proven invalid, and the whole electorate was so pissed off that they got rid of anyone they could have, and then they ask, ‘What is the Democrats’ solution?’”

Rep. Charles Rangel

It's Good to Be Speaker.

Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio is finding interesting and expensive ways to use taxpayers money.

Memo to Mr. Rubio: You were chosen by your colleagues to be speaker of the House, not governor. In fact, Mr. Rubio is paying his chief of staff $40,000 more than Gov.-elect Charlie Crist will make when he's sworn in. Three members of Mr. Rubio's staff also will make more than the $132,932 salary of the governor, who leads the nation's fourth-largest state.

And we realize that trying to explain crazy policies like this to the public must require amazing skill and verbal dexterity, but does Mr. Rubio's spokesman really deserve to be paid $119,484? That's $23,000 more than the governor's spokesperson.

That is not counting the $559,000 in renovations. Including a new dining room for House members. It's good to be Speaker.

Jose Fuentes explains that Rubio's staff is highly experienced. What Fuentes fails to explain he is the highest paid public PR man in Tallahassee. Ofcourse, he would say he's highly qualified. What we are seeing in Tallahassee is the same sense of entitlement that damaged the Republicans on Capital Hill. With gerrymandered districts - that isn't going to change soon.

:: Sharing the same Oxygen as Tom DeLay ::

I was just informed that the company I use for my website is also the one Tom DeLay's new website and PAC (GAIN) are using.

It's difficult enough to share this man's oxygen (Texas just isn't big enough) without having to share the same bandwidth.

Just makes me shudder.

And, consider this. You have to fill out an application to join!!!

People are apparently still giving money to this guy.

I guess he has to make a living somehow?

The cockroaches need you back Tom. They miss their King.

Tim Johnson Has Stroke

Bad news for Democrats.

Democratic Senator Tim Johnson's office said he was undergoing tests at George Washington University Hospital.

The Democrats captured control of the upper house of Congress by a single seat in elections last month.

If Senator Johnson, 59, stands down, the Republican governor of his state, South Dakota, will name his successor.

Update: Johnson's office is saying that it is not a stroke or heart attack.

Out of Iraq

Here is your chance to email Congress and state that you support a withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

Write A Caption: Charlie Crist

Charlie Crist

Ronda Storms Update

Ronda Storms just gets more politically powerful. She will chair the Florida Senate Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee.

The Greasy Badge of Courage

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Why does everybody hate America?

Hard Times in The Land Of Plenty

Ding Dong The Witch is Dead

As always, The Progressive Blog Digest has a good round up of news.

Small Men, Big Cars, and Soy Based Food Products

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Kevin Drum On ISG Report

Kevin Drum charts Bush's probable reaction to the Iraq Study Group report. Short answer: Bush isn't biting.

The Loneliest of Blogging

Mr. G says something that bloggers on both sides of the political spectrum can relate to.

I keep asking several of my Conservative friends why they don't get online and join the good fight. They almost respond with "Because I have a life." That always hurts a little bit inside, but I never let it show.

For the record: I like the G Man a lot. We agree on practically nothing. We do try to promote new bloggers. I urge other bloggers to do the same.

In other news: I am tied with State of Sunshine for most linked Florida blog that isn't by one of the newspapers. I am now the 600 pound gorilla in the living room. Mr. G wishes more conservatives would blog in Florida. I wish there actually was a Tampa progressive blogging community. There isn't. There used to be Norwood Orrick. (He has gone into semi-hiatus.) Things were so bad that Sticks of Fire and Kate's all-about-me rants (with negative comments taken out) were considered progressive. Gene Smith does a lot of activism and never gets mentioned. The same can be said for the Feminist Student Alliance. If these girls don't blog then they should. They have much to contribute.

Part of Pushing Rope's mission is to promote progressive policy and bloggers. G does the same thing on his side. I could really give a rat's ass about using blogging like others use Myspace networking. The inside jokes and flames wars. (I leave that to BitchLab.) I can't stand bloggers who whine that they are being picked on because someone disagrees with their opinion. People disagree with me and they're entitled to. It's not the end of my world or theirs. What always happens is the best ideas win in the end. The important thing is to get smart people to engage in the blogging conversation. Florida has a litany of growth management and economic problems that need solving. The who's-the-coolest-kid-in-high-school stuff is secondary.

The Magical Mystery Tour

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Onward Christian Soldiers

Tom Delay Blogs?

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Monday, December 11, 2006

:: Ding Dong the Witch is Dead ::

Augusto Pinochet, the former dictator of Chile from 1973-1990 died yesterday (Dec.10) ,and he was a very very very "bad" witch. One, the United States supported by assisting him in his military coup to overthrow the government and taught all his nasty little tricks. Yeah, just a wonderful little dick-tator. Thank goodness that hideous excuse for a human being is dead, on International Human Rights Day no less. (Biography with his historical record before and after the coup.)

Gen. Augusto Pinochet, 91, the former Chilean dictator whose government murdered and tortured thousands during his repressive 17-year rule, died yesterday at a Santiago military hospital of complications from a heart attack, leaving incomplete numerous court cases that had sought to bring him to justice.

Pinochet assumed power on Sept. 11, 1973, in a bloody coup supported by the United States that toppled the elected government of Salvador Allende, a Marxist who had pledged to lead his country "down the democratic road to socialism."

First as head of a four-man military junta and then as president, Pinochet served until 1990, leaving a legacy of abuse that took successive governments years to catalogue. According to a government report that included testimony from more than 30,000 people, his government killed at least 3,197 people and tortured about 29,000. Two-thirds of the cases listed in the report happened in 1973.

An austere figure who claimed to be guided by "the spiritual force of God as a believer," Pinochet regarded himself as a soldier rather than a politician.


Among the crimes attributed to Pinochet during his reign were several high-profile murders that stretched beyond Chile's borders, many carried out by the Directorate of National Intelligence, or DINA, a fear-inspiring secret police agency that Pinochet organized in 1974.

All in the name of Democracy, we supported this horrible man over Communism.

The United States double standard track record on Human Rights is pitiful

Human Rights Education, including links on torture and various topics such as poverty and Human Rights Here & Now: Celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Study guide on Torture, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment (HREA)

Westboro Baptist Church On Video

I wrote about the Christian hate group the West Baptist Church here, here, and here. Their views should not be viewed as reflecting all Christians. What they do is protest the funerals of fallen troops. They foolishly believe that the U.S. military is pro-gay.

They filmed this video of a protest. They managed to leave before a mob could get to them. Obviously, violence against forms of protest (even hateful ones) is wrong. The Westboro Baptist Church is not helping matters by telling families that their loved ones deserved to die and go to hell. I really fear someone is going to get hurt from this stupidity.

Westboro Baptist Church

This Divided State

Here is the trailer to the movie This Divided State. The Sean Hannity clip is also worth checking out.

Bush Administration Uses Google For (Un)Intelligence

Words fail me. And I'm not just saying that.

When the State Department recently asked the CIA for names of Iranians who could be sanctioned for their involvement in a clandestine nuclear weapons program, the agency refused, citing a large workload and a desire to protect its sources and tradecraft.

Frustrated, the State Department assigned a junior Foreign Service officer to find the names another way -- by using Google. Those with the most hits under search terms such as "Iran and nuclear," three officials said, became targets for international rebuke Friday when a sanctions resolution circulated at the United Nations.

Turns out that the power of Google isn't that reliable. The CIA doesn't believe none of the 12 men singled out by the CIA has anything to do with Iran's nuclear program. The State Department used Junior Officers, with only a few month experience, to perform the Google searches. Somewhere in here is a joke about monkeys and typewriters.

Gatordem On Talking to the Media

Gatordem has a post on how activists should talk to the media. (Note: I don't use MSM.) I have no major points to add. Except that it's harder then it sounds. Just getting bloggers to discuss my David Caton Challenge was frustrating enough. Shakes and Mustang Bobby helped greatly by linking to it. It still didn't go nowhere. I don't have the resources and blogging clout to take on Caton. It was a good lesson in how online activism works.

The truth is you are not going to win every fight. The lefty bloggers fought against the bankruptcy bill and lost. Badly. Democrats in both houses caved. But if you believe in what you are doing is right then you should continue to try and make improvements in this country. It's the right thing to do. That sounds cheesy, but many people are too apathetic to care.

That kind of disregard helps the self-serving and callous. Imagine if the Left didn't fight to regain both Houses. We would have Speaker Hastert again. Or perhaps Speaker Delay. Ponder that last sentence for a moment.

Villalobos May Have Judiciary Committee Under Oath

It appears that Alex Villalobos still holds some animosity over losing the Senate Presidency and sate Republicans running Frank Bolanos against him.

But he won't forget what happened, either. "I don't owe anything to anybody," Villalobos said.

One idea he plans to float this year: Putting everyone under oath when they appear before state lawmakers. By doing just that in 2003 during the medical malpractice special sessions, he earned the enmity of some in the insurance industry.

The Judiciary Committee has just gotten more interesting. Boy, payback is a bitch.

I'm Not Evil

How evil are you?

Readers, how evil are you? Mixter is much more evil than me.

The Hammer Is Back

I got this from The Hill newsletter. Tom Delay is starting the rightwing version of Delay is calling the group GAIN (Grassroots, Action, and Information Network.)

GAIN is a growing national network of conservative grassroots activists united for the common goal of restoring American government to its constitutional roots and advancing the conservative first principles of order, justice and freedom.

I don't recall Delay fighting for justice or freedom when he was House Speaker. Delay did help start the K Street Project.

Lobbyists were invited into DeLay's office and shown their place in "friendly" or "unfriendly" columns. ("If you want to play in our revolution," DeLay told The Washington Post, "you have to live by our rules.")

Goodbye revolution. K Street is rushing to hire Democrats now. Lobbyists aren't about ideology. They're about money.

The Tampa Tribune Loves Bad Downtown Projects

Wayne Garcia asks, "Does the Tribune really believe that a tucked away art museum that isn't doing much to improve its holdings, an ill-conceived Riverwalk and some bushes along Ashley Boulevard are going to transform downtown Tampa??"

This is the same newspaper that said paying needless dollars to bring the USS Forrestal would help bring tourism to downtown. Nevermind that the channel was too shallow or Edwin A. Roberts's conflict of interests. The Trib sold the stadium tax as needed funding for schools and roads. Dangle the carrot and then whack the taxpayers with the stick.

The answer is the Trib loves poorly-conceived pork projects. Whether they will work or not is secondary. The fact that the Tampa Bay Lighting were bankrupt didn't stop Tom McEwen from telling the City Council that the team was financially solvent. Up went the arena for the Lightning. Tom would continue to have the Lightning as a client.

The downtown civic leaders aren't any better. They hired Tom Murphy to help advise on how to downtown Tampa. As Mayor of Pittsburgh, he turned downtown Pittsburgh into a homeless haven. Columnist Eric Heyl documents the good deeds Murphy has done for the downtown district.

The front of the boarded-up G.C. Murphy building might never have received the fresh coat of eye-appealing black paint it sports today.

The long-abandoned Revco drugstore building on Fifth Avenue might never have discovered new life as, er, a long-abandoned Revco drugstore.

The wig stores, nail places and check-cashing marts that sprung up in the Fifth-Forbes Avenue corridor during Murphy's tenure might have fled for tonier suburban locales.

The scent of urine along McMasters Way, the narrow alley linking the panhandlers of Market Square and the nearly deserted Fifth Avenue, might not be nearly so pungent.

There's nothing like the smell of urine in the morning to bring in the tourists. Heyl told a Pittsburgh resident that Murphy was being paid by Tampa because of his downtown rebuilding efforts.

"What development?" said Sherri Schrader. "He didn't do a damned thing."

The city of Tampa and the Trib both know how to back a loser.

Update: A classic Edwin A. Roberts, Jr op-ed on how a used ship would help tourism. I found that Roberts wrote about the Forrestal 24 times. I love Nexis.

Too, we have the good offices of the Tampa Port Authority and its expert staff. And we have exactly the right mayor to cheer on the project. Although understandably determined to keep Tampa's taxpayers safe from any financial liability, in a letter to Tampa's Forrestal group he declares: "I commend all of you for the hard work you have done and are doing to make this endeavor come to pass. My office certainly supports and encourages anything that will bring new visitors and make Tampa more of a destination city. It is unquestionable that the USS Forrestal would add to our economy, employment of our citizens and, I am certain, be a favorite spot for tourists and locals alike.

"I thought it quite interesting to find that we have a location at the Port where the USS Forrestal would fit like a glove. Also, the location could not be more perfect as it would be right between the convention center hotel, the Florida Aquarium, the hockey arena and the great historic district of Ybor City."