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Saturday, April 30, 2005
An unlimited supply.

So, I'm walking through the airport this morning after getting in from Austin, and I see rapt clusters of people around the CNN Airport news monitors. There's a grim faced sheriff-y looking guy on the screen. Obviously it's a news conference. Something terrible, important or both must have happened while I was in the air.

So, I stop to see how the world has changed today. Oh. It's the runaway bride story. As the news conference ends, they switch back to the vapid talking CNN newsreaders. The good looking young guy looks all of us in the eye and says earnestly, "We'll have continuing coverage on this developing story, so stay with us."

Developing story? Continuing coverage? There must not be anything else important happening today.


I worked with some folks over the last few days who get all of their news from cable TV, notably Foxnews. Strangely, their picture of the world seems different from mine, somehow. I just smile and nod.
Friday, April 29, 2005
Friday Fat Blogging

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A dumbass in so many ways

For David Parker, the first alarm went off in January, when his 5-year-old son came home from his kindergarten class at Lexington's Joseph Estabrook School with a bag of books promoting diversity.

Inside were books about foreign cultures and traditions, along with food recipes. There was also a copy of ''Who's In a Family?" by Robert Skutch, which depicts different kinds of families, including same-sex couples raising children.

[God forbid that legally married couples in our state should be "depicted".]

The book's contents concerned Parker and prompted him to begin a series of e-mail exchanges with school officials on the subject that culminated in a meeting Wednesday night with Estabrook's principal and district director of instruction. The meeting ended with Parker's arrest after he refused to leave the school, and the Lexington man spent the night in jail.
Parker and his wife, Tonia, 34, who was also in court yesterday, said the dispute arose because they asked school officials to notify them about classroom discussions about same-sex marriage and what they called other adult themes. They also wanted the option to exclude their boy, now 6, from those talks.

Parker said he met with school officials to gain those assurances and then refused to leave until he got them. Parker stayed at Estabrook School for more than two hours, according to Superintendent William J. Hurley, as officials and Lexington police urged him to leave. Finally, they arrested him for trespassing.

Parker, who refused to bail himself out of jail Wednesday night, said he spent the night in custody to prove a point.

"I chose to stay, which I'm not sure was a wise move,"
he said. ''But I wanted to see how far they would go for asking something simple."
Ummm no. You were arrested because you refused to leave a school building and you stayed in jail because you refused to bail yourself out.

And to make matters worse, it all boils down to your being a false fundie martyr who has mistaken your bigotry for conviction.

Sad really...
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
He sees you when you're sleeping...

This article is about Tom Delay sucking on a Cuban cigar. While most people revel in his hypocrisy because he said that he would never give a dime to Fidel, what caught my eye was this line:
Last September, the Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control tightened its prohibitions against U.S. citizens importing or consuming Cuban cigars. Even Americans licensed to bring back up to $100 worth of Cuban goods are no longer allowed to include tobacco products in what they carry. The regulation also noted that Americans are barred not only from purchasing Cuban goods in foreign countries, but also from consuming them in those countries.
Holy F***! You mean to tell me that a group of disaffected Cubans in south Florida have enough clout to press a regulation like this through?

I don't smoke cigars. Never have. But maybe I'll buy one the next time I go to Canada and send a picture to Delay.

Evidently controlling the uteri of child-bearing age women and the sexual practices of consenting adults is not enough.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Either this story is a hilarious fabrication, or it's simply a terrible piece of writing. Either way, these guys need some new writers:
"April 25, 2005 — Jordanian rebel Abu Musab al-Zarqawi — Iraq's most wanted fugitive — recently eluded capture by American troops, but left behind a treasure trove of information, a senior military official told ABC News...

...The senior military official said that just before the meeting was scheduled, a car was pulled over as it approached a checkpoint.

"Zarqawi always has someone check the waters," said the official.

A pickup truck about a half-mile behind the car then quickly turned around and headed in the opposite direction. Officials now believe Zarqawi was in the fleeing truck. U.S. teams began a chase, but when the truck was pulled over several miles later, Zarqawi was not inside. (so he must have used that al Qaeda teleportation trick, right?)...

...What the task force did find in the vehicle confirmed suspicions that Zarqawi had just escaped. The official said Zarqawi's computer and 80,000 euros (about $104,000 U.S.) were discovered in the truck.

Finding the computer, said the official, "was a seminal event." It had "a very big hard drive," the official said, and recent pictures of Zarqawi. (a big hard drive! call out the Marines! and pictures? Hahahahahaha)...

...they have since learned Zarqawi jumped out of the vehicle when it passed beneath an overpass, presumably to avoid detection from the air, and hid there before running to a safe house in Ramadi.(so, when people jump out of moving vehicles that are being pursued, nobody sees them. when people aren't in the vehicle, nobody goes back to look for them. got it. good to know the next time i'm fleeing hot pusuit).
Well badly written or not, maybe it'll boost George's sagging poll numbers a bit. Snarf.

Then again, this little "almost news" story may have been placed by the WH to distract the masses from this story, which you might think would have a slightly higher newsworthiness value since it shows that our rationale for this lovely war was a lie.(don't bother looking for it in the headlines--Zarqawi's non-capture and the Jacko case's latest depraved development are much bigger news)
Monday, April 25, 2005
Allies for Election Purposes Only


Link (Registration required. Go to for passwords)

Big church halts support of ministries

Cites concerns about Roman Catholics, other faiths

Staff Writer

One of Charlotte's best-known churches has withdrawn support for a food pantry that serves the needy because the pantry works with Roman Catholics.

Central Church of God explained its decision in a letter March 1 from minister of evangelism Shannon Burton to Loaves & Fishes in Charlotte: "As a Christian church, we feel it is our responsibility to follow closely the (principles) and commands of Scripture. To do this best, we feel we should abstain from any ministry that partners with or promotes Catholicism, or for that matter, any other denomination promoting a works-based salvation."

Loaves & Fishes isn't the only ministry with which the Sardis Road mega-church has cut ties, and Catholics have not been the only reason they've given.

The Rev. Tony Marciano, executive director of Charlotte Rescue Mission, said Burton told him the church could no longer support the agency after it allowed three Muslim students from UNC Charlotte to help serve a meal at the uptown ministry in November. Founded in 1938 by eight businessmen, including Charlotte-born evangelist Billy Graham's father, Charlotte Rescue Mission offers Christ-centered residential care for people fighting drugs and alcohol.

Doug Hartjes, director of development for Crisis Assistance Ministry in Charlotte, said Central Church of God told them it will not provide financial support this year. Crisis Assistance provides emergency financial aid and other help to people. Hartjes said 200 congregations representing Christian, Jewish and other faiths donate money and volunteer time, as do people with no religious affiliation.

The church also ended funding for Love Inc., which provides services for the poor, elderly and disabled in Mecklenburg County.
Ah yes, some of the fundies are beginning to balk at love fest for Ratzinger Benny XVI. Of course they are resorting to their most tried and true method, bigotry. (Muslims serving food... Oh my!!!)

If Benny and the Jets ratchet up the "one church" unification rhetoric that has been prevelant in the Papal speeches, I can assure you that we will see more of this so-called "Christian" behavior.... much more.

The GOP has cynically exploited the abortion issue to bring Catholics into their religious right coalition. I wonder how long the massive theological, rather than policy, differences can remain unspoken before there is a political schism of biblical proportions.
Word Games
Senator Frist, in his speech last night at the "Justice Sunday" hatefest, described the term "Nuclear Option" as being created and propagated by those terrible Democrats. The proper term, according to the Republicans, is now the "Constitutional Option". These folks really do think that the typical American voter is a complete moron.

This is a replay of the "Private Accounts" vs. "Personal Accounts" silliness that went on earlier this year regarding Bush's Social Security plans. The voters saw through that one, so I expect they will once again prove themselves smarter than the Republicans give them credit for.

Especially since the nuclear option description was invented by Trent Lott and commonly used by Republicans until last week, when the focus group results came in. Thanks to TPM for this.
Sunday, April 24, 2005
"He will now hang up."

This morning I had an incredibly odd experience. I was chatting on the phone with my mother and we were just getting ready to say goodbye when all of a sudden a deep, kinda of electronically stilted voice came over the line and said, "He will now hang up."

We both heard it clear as a bell. My mother thought it might be someone on my line, but I was on my cell phone so there was no extension to pick up. I thought that it might have been father, but Mom assured me that he was no where near the phone.

I really have no idea what this was. It is more than a little freaky to think that your phone calls might be monitored.

Many years ago I was working for a woman whose husband was in the FBI. (No, really!) At the time, an acquaintance was under investigation by this same fine agency for some financial misdeeds.

Occasionally I would house-sit for a mutual friend of the accused and myself and would hear all sorts of weird clicking and such on the friend's phone. I joked with Cris, my boss, that her Special Agent/husband was wiretapping this line. She laughed and said I was completely "silly" and if, in fact, the line was being monitored we would never know.

A few days later, after another weird night of clicking phones while talking with a girlfriend (my future wife. She will attest to these events.) I mentioned it again to Cris. Her face became stone serious and she looked me straight in the eye. Very slowly she said, "I can *not* talk about it."

From that day on I have been completely convinced, by what I regard as reasonable evidence, that this particular phone line was, indeed, tapped.

Many years later I am currently feeling just a little bit of deja vu.

Call me paranoid, but....
Shouting into the closet to inform and entertain the 10 people who actually read this thing. In our new format as an online magazine, we take pride in our reporting and opinions. Please leave reader feedback on our online magazine message board so that we can better serve you.

“There’s a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people…and on a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years…We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.” -Paul Wolfowitz

Cost of the War in Iraq
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