Tuesday, December 31, 2002
Thurmond can blow it out his ass:
a Sesame Street New Year's celebration
A proud and mentionable fact about my
hometown of Teaneck, New Jersey, where
I am currently resting up once again for
the holidays: Teaneck was the first town
in the United States to voluntarily de-segregate
its public school system.
On May 13, 1964, Teaneck school superintendent
Harvey B. Scribner presided over a Board
of Education vote to integrate black children
into the white schools of Teaneck. Scribner
would later say with his hand over his
heart, "we did it because it felt in here
like we ought to do it."
away on Monday, December 23, 2002.
He died within a few weeks of this year's
last stab at political controversy, that
of a more known and more prominent politician
than that of the superintendent of some
small-town school system advocating the
greatness of a man who opposed the views
Scribner risked his career for.
It's one of those situations where you
think about the spirit of your town, which
today seems to be drifting apart from
that famous action in 1964. Teaneck is
rapidly splitting into two distinct sections,
that of lower-class minority families
north of the highway overpass, and that
of the rising percentage of the Orthodox
Jewish population- a culture that declines
sending their children to public school
and shies from mass community activity,
instead centralizing their homes around
their synagogues in the higher-class areas
of town often called in smarmier circles
as "Hebrew Hills." In short, class and
culture is voluntarily re-segregating
the first school system in America to
have voluntarily fought against it. And
then I turn on the TV for a voice and
get some asshole talking about how great
it would have been for a man who spent
a century hating change to have become
My sister works at a heath food store
in town, and my mom and I stopped in the
other day to see her. She was, at the
time we were walking into the store, helping
Bob with his purchases.
Bob McGrath. Of Teaneck, New Jeresy.
Or, to be more specific, of Sesame Street,
which he has appeared on since 1969, a
scant few years after the de-segregation
vote for the town where, if anything,
you could just say he gets his mail. I
met Bob once before when I was about four
years old. My dad was a reporter at the
time for the local paper and interviewed
him. I felt the same way talking to him
at 21 as I did when I was four. It wasn't
some weird celebrity sighting. It's something
more magical. It was Bob.
That's part of Teaneck for me, too. The
sheer presence of this gentle man who
has done pretty much one great thing for
most of his career: appearing on a show
on Public Television. Public Television
that has made children smarter, stronger,
and more understanding of things like
reading, writing... and yes, racial integration.
Public television that people like Trent
Lott and Strom Thurmond fought to destroy.
Trent Lott has tried to tell me that
the world would have been better without
Bob. Trent Lott can go tell Strom Thurmond
that I know Bob, I've met Bob, and you,
Sir, aren't fit to judge Bob- never have
been, never will be.
I understand that this is a convoluted
and irrational post here. I've made segues
that would cause a Spanish television
variety show producer to choke to death.
But what I was aiming for was some sort
of point about Teaneck, and how it's proof
that, even with the risk of its modern-day
deterioration, it represents so much of
what proves that Strom Thurmond, and what
Trent Lott thinks of him, is just so damn
wrong. Teaneck is putting black and white
children together because we felt in our
hearts it was the right thing to do. Teaneck
is Bob telling us why that's just so good.
Even if we're screwing it up now, it's
a better world because of Harvey Scribner.
And even if I graduate this spring and
move away and never set foot in Teaneck
again, it's a good thing it's there, and
what was there. and maybe what could be
there, even if that could is only a dream
in some wannabe-cartoonist's head. It's
a better place because of Teaneck. And
it's a better place because of Bob. Those
are the things that have made this country
a better place, and it's remembering things
like that which make a more hopeful chance
for the future.
Happy New Year.
Monday, December 30, 2002
Pissing on ashes for victory!
I'll make this clear right from the get-go:
I have no problem with the fact that the
wreckage of the World Trade Center is
being salvaged as scrap metal. Just as
I refute the rhetoric that the footprint
of the Twin Towers is some kind of "hallowed
ground," I refute any notion or suggestion
that the remnants of the buildings' steel,
regardless of how they became in the condition
they now are in, are in some way sacred
relics of the horrible tragedy of September
The building was destroyed leaving a
pile of wreckage (amongst other things
too gruesome to discuss,) and it's perfectly
logical to take that wreckage and salvage
it for scrap. We're not talking about
exploiting the disaster, nor are we suggesting
this is similar to tearing the gold from
a prisoner's tooth for profit. It's wreckage;
wreckage can, and should, be salvaged
for recyclable use. To look at a fallen
girder and regard it as special or sacred
is to create a ridiculous symbol, and
that's where I take issue.
So you can imagine how ridiculous I find
the recent revelation that steel from
the World Trade Center is being selected-
use in the construction of a warship
to be named the U.S.S. New York. That's
right. How cute, or without the sarcasm
how utterly, utterly obscene.
Quotes New York Governor George Pataki
in the article, "We're very proud that
the twisted steel from the WTC towers
will soon be used to forge an even stronger
national defense." He says this without
even the remotest hint of irony.
That's right. This isn't a coincidence,
nor is it merely a touching suggestion
from a victim group. Currently, only submarines
in the Navy get state names, which means
the military is making a special exception
for the battleship. They're making a special
order for the specific steel.
I have no qualm with using steel for
salvage, and to be honest I have no real
qualm with using the WTC steel to build
a battleship. My issue is the basic fact
that this article throws right in the
face of someone who watched it all go
down on 9/11: this is a symbolic gesture
of American arrogance.
Like those brain-dead soldiers who found
humor in scribbling "hijack this, fags"
and posed for pictures with a bomb to
be later dropped on Afghani civilians,
this is no act of might, nor of humility
in the eyes of the conflict and struggle
of war. This is a gesture that serves
the sole purpose of rubbing one's face
in something. The military is deliberately
emphasizing with extraneous fanfare how
they are using the wreckage of a terrorist
attack to build a piece of military weaponry.
And for an encore of insult, they are-
literally- doing it in the name
of the victim.
Saturday, December 28, 2002
Hi folks, I've come back to bash my
head into the wall
A nasty political sequel is being
played out before our eyes. "The Bureaucracy
Strikes Back" is the story flowing from
the courageous saga of Minneapolis FBI
agent Coleen Rowley, who blew the whistle
on higher-ups in the FBI's bureaucracy.
Just seven months ago she was being
heralded as a national hero for daring
to testify that top-level FBI officials
had stymied efforts by Minneapolis agents
to search records of Zacarias Moussaoui
before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
A go-ahead from Washington for a search
in Minneapolis might have yielded information
that might have prevented the horrid attacks.
A search of Moussaoui's belongings after
9/11 found clues to the plot.
Even in the midst of her testimony
in Washington early last June, the FBI
seemed to deliver a pointed message to
Rowley that she was on her own. During
a break in her testimony, Rowley had gone
to FBI headquarters. Rather than provide
a vehicle or any sort of escort for the
agent when she left the FBI building,
Rowley was left to fend for herself. She
stepped out the door and into swarms of
TV news crews. The situation was so chaotic
that Rowley was concerned that some of
the TV people might be injured by passing
Now come reports of what appears to
be another message being delivered to
Rowley and her ilk.
The Star Tribune's Greg Gordon reported
last week that at a quiet little ceremony
earlier this month, Marion (Spike) Bowman
was one of nine people in the bureau to
receive an award for "exceptional performance."
The award carries with it a cash bonus
of 20 to 35 percent of the recipient's
salary and a framed certificate signed
by the president.
What does this have to do with Rowley?
Bowman heads the FBI's National Security
Law Unit. That's the unit that blocked
Minneapolis agents from pursuing their
suspicions about Moussaoui.
The full article here,
and yes, this is the same Colleen Rowley
who deservedly earned the honor from TIME
as one of the three Persons
of the Year, an especially admirable
honor considering the outright embarassment
of last year's Rudy Giuliani cop-out.
Hope you all had a good Christmas and/or
vacation day, respective religion pending.
Tuesday, December 24, 2002
Christmas from XQUZYPHYR & Overboard
Quality (200K, faster modems and high-res
Quality (100K, slower modems and 800X600
or smaller resolutions)
Monday, December 23, 2002
Pardon me for my cynical ambivalence
President Bush has pardoned seven
Americans for an array of mostly minor
offenses, from a Mississippi man who tampered
with a car odometer to a postal employee
who stole $10.90 from the mail, the White
House announced Monday.
The seven were the
first pardons of his administration.
"What all these cases have in common
is that each pardon recipient committed
a relatively minor offense many years
ago, completed his prison sentence or
probation and paid any fine, and has gone
on to live an exemplary life and to be
a positive force in his community," said
Ashley Snee, a White House spokeswoman.
So... let's just make that clear. Bush
finally decided to have a ratio of pardons
in which humans actually outnumbered Thanksgiving
turkeys, and he did so by pardoning- the
act of compassionate forgiveness and removal
of one's necessity to attone for their
sins- a bunch of people who comitted minor
crimes... and had already done the
mandated attoning? What, would pardoning
seven dead people have seen too morbid
Big fucking deal, George. Pardon my French.
Well so much for the free exchange
A few months back, I successfully
bid on an E-Bay item, advertised as a
CD-ROM B-737 ground-school course. I was
sure that Boeing had made such a CD-ROM,
but there was no particular indication
that such an object would contain sensitive
or even proprietary information. The ad
described the manual as "siimilar to that
used by major airlines."
Last week, I received a frantic e-mail
message from the seller of the CDROM,
who wrote with some urgency that he needed
it back (with a full refund promised,
of course). Curious, I picked up the phone
and called the fellow, who works as a
flight instructor. He revealed that the
FBI had paid him a visit, warning
that the content of the CD-ROM disc material
- information on how to operate a Boeing
737 airliner - constituted "a national
security threat." The agents demanded
that my new acquaintance recover and surrender
to the FBI any and all such material that
he had distributed. Obviously, copyright
laws were also involved.
I just received a call from the local
U.S. Attorney's Office asking if I had
received the federal grand jury subpoena
concerning the B-737 CD-ROM affair. (I
had not received it, but I thanked them
for the warning.)
In this brave new post-9/11 world
- thanks to section 501 (d) of the "USA
Patriot Act" passed by Congress on Oct.
25, 2001, once someone receives such a
subpoena - if it is served in concert
with a terrorist investigation - he or
she is not allowed to tell anyone about
receiving the subpoena.
Right. So, everyone, make sure you don't
tell as many people as possible about
this. That would be bad.
Say it... Vast.... vaaaaaaaaaast....
SAY IT, TRENT! SAY IT NOW!
Sen. Trent Lott, in his first public
remarks since resigning as Senate Republican
leader, said Sunday that he had fallen
into a "trap" set by his political enemies
and had "only myself to blame."
"I don't think there's any use in
trying to say I'm disappointed in anybody
or anything. An inappropriate remark brought
this down on my head."
However, he said there were those
who had been gunning for his resignation.
"There are people in Washington who have
been trying to nail me for a long time,"
Lott said. "When you're from Mississippi
and you're a conservative and you're a
Christian, there are a lot of people that
don't like that. I fell into their trap
and so I have only myself to blame."
He wouldn't say who those political
The full story here.
Excuse me, I have to go laugh my ass off.
Once more unto the tundra, dear friends
(a.k.a. Alaska pt. 3)
I am amazed that I now have written proof
of at least two fans from Alaska. Reader
Daniel Peterson has an even-handed analysis
of the Murkowski appointment. I should
point out, as you read his e-mail, that
Daniel is fifteen years old. When I was
fifteen I spent most of my time staring
at Lauren Bence in Spanish class, which
goes to show that Alaska either has a
lot more entertaining school curriculum
or a lot less insanely hot girls wearing
clothing suitable for 70-degree weather.
The law that allowed Murkowski to
appoint his successor is less than a year
old, and was tailor made with him in mind.
When Murkowski announced his candidacy
for Governor last year, the Republican
super-majority in the state legislature
passed a bill, over then-Governor Tony
Knowles' veto, creating a minimum five-day
waiting period between the resignation
of statewide elected officials and the
appointment of their replacement by the
What's more, throughout the gubernatorial
campaign, the elder Murkowski refused
to even hint at who he might appoint at
his replacement, and didn't even release
a "long" list of potential candidates
until AFTER he won. I guess you can't
fault a man for shrewd political strategy,
but you certainly don't have to like it.
As for Lisa Murkowski, she really
was the best choice for the seat. It would
be a conservative estimate to say that
she probably has at least 30 IQ points
on her dad, and is one of the most decent
and sane Republican members of the Alaska
State Legislature (not just by default,
either, although by the standards of the
Alaska legislative Republican caucus,
Trent Lott could be among the most decent
I doubt that the newly appointed Sen.
Murkowski will last long though. She is
far too moderate for the right-wing crazies
here, and she is guaranteed to face primary
challenges from half of the Alaska Republican
Party next year. Even if she wins that,
the Democrats will be hungry enough for
that seat that they'll probably put up
former Governor Tony Knowles, a radical...ummm...centrist,
who still enjoys pretty widespread popularity
and who managed to get elected Governor
twice in a state that (over the last ten
years anyway) tends to elect Republicans
by margins of nearly two to one.
Update: Daniel informed me he's
not 15. He's a 15-year resident of Alaska,
and he's actually 20. But Lauren, you
can still call me.
Saturday, December 21, 2002
Dick Cheney is the most horrible person
Dick Cheney, the US vice-president,
last night blocked a global deal to provide
cheap drugs to poor countries, following
intense lobbying of the White House by
America's pharmaceutical giants.
Faced with furious opposition from
all the other 140 members of the World
Trade Organisation, the US refused to
relax global patent laws which keep the
price of drugs beyond reach of most developing
Talks at the WTO's Geneva headquarters
collapsed last night after the White House
ruled out a deal which would have permitted
a full range of life-saving drugs to be
imported into Africa, Asia and Latin America
at cut-price costs.
Earlier in the day America's drug
industry had expressed confidence that
its lobbying of the Bush administration
would pay off.
"The joke in Geneva this morning is
that they couldn't make a decision because
the CEOs of Merck and Pfizer were still
in bed," said Jamie Love, director of
the Consumer Project on Technology, a
US lobby group. "George Bush is arguing
that diseases his own children receive
treatment for are off limits to poor children
in poor countries."
The full article here.
Words sort of fail me on this. All I can
do is picture Cheney standing in a children's
hospital screaming "Merry Christmas" over
and over again as he strangles kittens
to death. I have to leave now.
A little more northern exposure
An update on the Frank
Murkowski's daughter story: Alaska
native Kyle Marin has informed me that
this gets even better:
I had mentioned that Murkowski's daughter
was "qualified" for the Senate seat because
she was already an elected politician-
she's serving in the Alaska state legislature.
Of course, now, she's resigning her legislature
seat to take the Federal Senate seat her
father just appointed her to.
So... wait for it... guess what Governor
Murkowski gets to do now? He gets to
pick the replacement for his daughter's
abandoned seat. No word yet on how
many other kids Frank has.
I'm not a Republican (because, you know,
it's hard to tell with all the stuff I
write here) but I'll still admit, as I
said before, that this really is just
a set of happy chances coming into play
that favored the Murkowski family. Is
it illegal? No, and it's not really that
unethical, just one of those things that
you have no choice but to look at a second
or third time. Alaskan law just simply
never accounted for a scenario like this.
But hey, Alaskan law also says it's illegal
to serve a Moose liquor.
Oh, this doesn't frighten me at all
Efforts to bolster Internet security
will not lead to increased government
scrutiny of individuals' online habits,
the White House and industry sources said
In a set of preliminary guidelines
released in September, the White House
said high-tech companies that keep an
eye on the Internet should combine their
efforts and work with the government to
better defend against computer viruses,
worms and other cyberattacks.
The New York Times in its Friday edition
reported the White House is planning a
bigger government role in the proposed
center that could possibly lead to
surveillance of individual users.
But high-tech sources who had been
briefed on the updated plans said they
were not aware of any such change, and
White House Cybersecurity czar Richard
Clarke assured high-tech firms the government
only wanted them to set up an "early warning
system" to keep an eye on the health of
The head of a high-tech trade group
said government involvement in this system
is not needed as these companies are already
in constant communication with each other.
"They already do it just fine, they
don't need government help," said Harris
Miller, president of the Information Technology
Association of America. "There are
so many people monitoring the system that
nothing's going to fall through the cracks."
Oh, well that makes everything better.
then. Plus, the government isn't going
to abuse its power, because it said it
wouldn't, and that's good enough for me.
(The full story found here)
Friday, December 20, 2002
Wait a minute....
Okay, reading the article, I guess I
can concede that she seems qualified for
the job... but I'm sorry, does it disturb
anyone else when a governor appoints
his own daughter to fill his former Senate
This isn't like a Paul Wellstone-style
tribute for the dead thing, either. Frank
Murkowski was an Alaskan senator, got
elected governor, and therefore had to
resign his seat. But, as he is now governor,
immediately gained the power to fill
his own vacancy.
I've seen weirder things happen in Congress
in my lifetime- okay, I've seen weirder
things happen in Congress since Tuesday-
but this is just odd.
Hey there! Welcome to Amer- just kidding
I saw this on the news scroll the other
day, but Alex Johansson was thoughtful
enough to provide the story link for me
(and all of you:)
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hundreds of
Iranian and other Middle East citizens
were in southern California jails on Wednesday
after coming forward to comply with a
new rule to register with immigration
authorities only to wind up handcuffed
and behind bars.
Shocked and frustrated Islamic and
immigrant groups estimate that more than
500 people have been arrested in Los Angeles,
neighboring Orange County and San Diego
in the past three days under a new nationwide
anti-terrorism program. Some unconfirmed
reports put the figure as high as 1,000.
The arrests sparked a demonstration
by hundreds of Iranians outside a Los
Angeles immigration office. The protesters
carried banners saying "What's next? Concentration
camps?" and "What happened to liberty
The full story here.
Between the time this story broke and
the time I recieved the e-mail from Alex,
the story has also been picked up by most
major sources, ranging from the
BBC to Fox
News, so go right ahead and pick you
Sadly, this news is now technically over
24 hours old, which means odds are no
one cares about it since the big story
right now is how we're apparently able
to attack Iraq if we really wanted to...
but we're not going to, nyah nyah. This
is, just a reminder, a country that all
these people apparently want to
live in willingly. Funny, huh?
Just needed to get this off my chest
Hey. Yoko. John's dead. He doesn't care.
I'm back up. More relevant stuff later.
Wednesday, December 18, 2002
Okay, two more before I go
I'd also like to point out that the President
of the United States has yet again gone
President Bush's national security
advisers are recommending that he declare
Iraq in violation of a United Nations
disarmament order, administration officials
say, but they do not consider the indictment
an immediate trigger for war.
At issue is a 12,000-page weapons
declaration required under the U.S.-backed
U.N. disarmament resolution. Administration
officials have privately said for days
that Bush considers the declaration laughably
There has been some discussion inside
the administration about immediately declaring
Iraq in "material breach" of the resolution,
which could provide Bush with what he
considers legal justification for going
The strategy gaining most support
on Bush's team is to increase pressure
on U.N. weapons inspectors to seek interviews
with Iraqi weapons scientists outside
of Iraq, a prerogative given to the international
body under the resolution.
Bush believes Saddam will resist such
demands, giving the United States a case
for "material breach" that U.S. allies
and the American public may find more
justified than hastier action, the officials
Right. In addition, Bush believes that
Saddam will jump up when sharply told
to, giving the United States a case for
noting that they did not say "Simon says-"
a material breach that technically allows
Good lord. Is this really what we've
stooped to- we need to taunt Iraq
into doing something to make us declare
war on them? The Middle East, George.
It's a global region, not a beehive. Grow
Okay, one more before I go
Just wanted to note that New York finally
passed a gay
rights bill. And gosh, that only took
A moment of peace, please
There's a 90% chance this site will be
update-free for the next 2-3 days, as
I'm packing up my things and the computer
and heading home for the winter break.
It gets hard to post anything new when
your computer is packed inside a box of
To be honest, I wasn't going to be making
any major strides this week in the political
commentary department, what with Tom
leading the field in comparison with his
little project of... oh yeah: single-handedly
ending Trent Lott's career. I, on
the other hand, could talk about my adventures
in buying Christmas gifts online. But
If you're short on time, you can wait
for the eventual movie about the work
Tom's been doing to expose Lott, starring
Robert Redford as Tom Tomorrow and, of
course, Dustin Hoffman as Sparky the Wonder
Future competition for the Trent Lott
Mass Apologies Award
A 14-year old student at a California
high school is suing the Banning, CA school
board after school administrators discovered
she was a lesbian, and proceeded to do
the obvious most rational and well-thought-out
next step in addressing the possible sexual
tension and confusion among the student's
her from the girls' locker room.
The girl seeks unspecified damages which
we can only hope are a cubic assload
save of course for the school board trying
to come up with some rational defense
in regards to the selective isolation
and discrimination of a fifteen-year-old
girl who did, according to every non-bible-related
law in the history of the North American
judiciary, absolutely nothing remotely
construed as wrong. Add that to the fact
that an emotionally violated teenage girl
is now filing a lawsuit with ACLU lawyers
in the middle of California. Wow, is THIS
"Well, we had those signs lying around
the basement since like 1967 or something
like that, and we figured we can just
cross out 'colored' and scribble in 'faggot'
and show the children hands-on active
participation in their studies about the
Civil Rights Movement," the school's principal
would of course never said publicly. Added
a German ex-Nazi official who is a complete
figment of my imagination, "seperate changing
rooms! And here we don't even need to
look at penises at all!"
The story is just one of those little
pieces where you realize just how horrible
and ignorant an entire collective group
of people we label as guardians and educators
can be as they psychologically strip any
shred of self-respect and personal worth
from a young child, then suddenly wonder
exactly why we think it's ludicrous for
people to sue people for amounts almost
as stupid as the people who made the lawsuit
necessary in the first place. Whatever.
I'm expecting a load of apologies by Friday
and a few new lines of "she's gay. Deal
with it" added to the syllibi.
Tuesday, December 17, 2002
More on Al. The rhyme would have sucked.
From ACM, ambassodor of the Land of People
Who Don't Include Full Names in Their
[I] am surprised that you say "Democrats
will have to do some soul-searching on
this one." every Democrat that I know
(and we're all the ranting anti-cabal
sort) are hugely relieved. I think that
if Gore wanted to run, he'd be pretty
much the no-brainer nominee, and after
the way that
he seemed to torpedo his own campaign
last time around (and the way in which
he's never really captured the hearts
of the progressives or
stimulated the imaginations of anybody
in the party) that would just seem like
asking for another 4 years of this nightmare.
I don't know who should or will end
up running, but hopefully the selection
process will be a chance for discussion
of positions, input from the rank and
file of the party, and a general re-examination
of why trying to look like the Republicans
isn't the way of the future...
Points taken, ACM. Just to clarfiy, I
wasn't really taking a stance on the "soul-searching"
rationale as much as applying it as part
of one of the two options as to why Gore
did what he did. Personally, I don't think
there's much room for soul-searching,
I think Al looked in the mirror after
the last few weeks of his new image, said
to himself, "well, crap, why didn't I
just do this four years ago?" and then
realized he's screwed.
Aside from that, I think Al Gore's fate
came best from Al Gore, who flat-out said
that Al Gore running would mean everyone
would be talking about how Al Gore was
screwed in 2000. (On that note, anyone
else notice, now that Gore's dropped out,
how frequently every single news report
has suddenly decided to mention how he
won the popular vote as part of their
standard copy? Or is it just me?)
As far as ACM's idea that this will lead
to "general re-examination," I share the
(lack of) optimism of the San Francisco
Gate's Mark Morford, who mentioned in
Monday's news feed the Gore story as such:
Al Gore left the field of potential
2004 Democratic presidential candidates
in a surprise move that immediately raised
the stakes for a half-dozen others pondering
a run for the White House, but also completely
annihilated all hopes that the rumor might
be true and that Gore was planning on
running a funky, loose, alternative, completely
different style of plainspoken, relaxed,
aggressively progressive campaign that
might've gone a long way to highlight
the embarrassing string of humiliating
and soul-curdling and life-defeating moves
by the Geedubya administration. Now we
are stuck with either the nice boring
East Coast WASP John Kerry, or the weirdly
uncharismatic albino Gephardt, or the
dry wonk Daschle. Meanwhile, flowers struggled
to survive and animals hunkered down in
caves and the warm human soul, battered
and slapped by warmongers and corporate
slugs and sodomitic priests, worked to
survive the cold, hard winter, whee.
The Great Wipe
Apologies to some for not getting to
their e-mails, and apologies to everyone
for current and possible future posting
lags. Sometime this week I am heading
home for the holidays. Before I go I need
to pack and prep my computer for some
winter work, part of which includes wiping
the entire hard drive clean and re-installing
everything to make sure I'm literally
starting the next phase of some projects
from scratch. I'm a complicated man, don't
ask me why I do things this way.
Plus, I need to remove all the traces
of porn before the computer goes to the
house where my mother sleeps. Just kidding.
But anyway, I can almost guarantee that
I'm going to accidentally let a few things
slip into the ether over the next day
or so, your e-mail- yes, you, right there,
in the shirt with the thing on it- might
be among those. Yet another pre-emptive
Monday, December 16, 2002
I am writing this as the deadline for
the MTA strike is passing, so I have literally
about three minutes to get my last few
points across before either possible deal
is sealed. But I'm just going to wrap
up- or attempt to wrap up- all three of
the "big issues" going on right now. Here
Gore not running. Frankly, I don't
have much to say about this. There's really
only two reasons Gore made this decision,
neither of which put Democrats or their
punditry in a good light. Either Gore
simply knew something we didn't (i.e.
internal polls, secret deals, etc.) or
we all knew too much about this that we
were in a complete state of denial. Democrats
will soul-search for a bit about this,
but ultimately it comes down most likely
to the latter: in other words, Gore simply
didn't see a strong chance of winning
in two years, and just doesn't want to
risk losing to Bush twice in a row.
Are we going to see Gore in 2008? Will
he have to compete with Hillary Clinton?
Will they have to face Condoleeza Rice?
Christ, I don't even know what I'm having
for breakfast on Wednesday.
Trent Lott. All Trent, all the time.
Well, that didn't take long: the Wall
Street Journal has officially played both
the Byrd card and the Jesse Jackson card
the same time in their Sunday editorial
to accuse the Democratic Party of outright
hypocrisy for having the gall, THE GALL,
to chastise Trent Lott. Which means, of
course, that essentially the leading mainstream
position among conservatives is likely
going to shape into "look! YOU'VE got
racists too!" As if A. that makes everything
better and B. that was actually remotely
an equivalent comparison. And even if
it was, it hardly adds to the tone of
rational debate about inherent racism
in our nation's political leaders. To
use either A or B as some kind of excuse
is like trying to gain ground by bending
over, pulling down your pants, and demanding
to see if the the other party has a bigger
The difference, of course, albeit not
an attempt to forgive the past actions
of Jackson and Byrd, are obvious to anyone
who, oh, let's say reads above a fifth-grade
level: Jackson was hardly near the level
of elected office and/or legislative power
as Trent Lott, and Byrd, shameful as his
past was, didn't address a crowd less
than two weeks ago and say that it would
have been better today if he was STILL
in the Klan, nor have any Democrats held
a party in honor of Byrd in which the
keynote speaker casually mentioned how
much they wished Byrd's views from fifty
years ago were active today.
Lott has still not publicly stated the
one thing that needs to be made clear:
he was absolutely incorrect. Strom Thurmond,
in 1948, ran on a campaign of racial segregation,
and had he won the presidency the country
simply would have been scores worse than
it is now, considering the racial separation
that STILL exists today even under the
aura of some kind of regulated equality.
Until Lott simply admits that he was thinking
like a racist, acting like a racist, and
declaring his support for a racist presidential
campaign, there isn't going to be much
forgiveness, only whitewash.
Much of this is also noted by Joe Conason
in his latest Salon
Journal posting (Premium, subscription
or brief homage to Mercedes-Benz required),
but I'll note the important Byrd issue
A convenient diversion from that fact,
for Republican voices such as Rush Limbaugh
and Sean Hannity, is to call attention
to Senator Byrd's KKK membership. They
both mention it frequently, as if he had
just quit the Klan last week. (The Wall
Street Journal editorial page deems it
necessary to bring this up again today
as well, in an editorial demanding that
Lott quit for the sake of the conservative
agenda.) They speak as if they have no
idea when Byrd was in the Klan or when
he left, so let me clue them in. As a
young man, Byrd was a Klan member briefly
during the 1940s. He quit more than a
decade before his first election to the
Senate in 1958. He is now 84 years old.
In 1993, CNN anchor Bernard Shaw asked
Byrd to name his worst mistake. "That's
easy," he replied. "The greatest mistake
I ever made was joining the Ku Klux Klan.
And I've said that many times. But one
cannot erase what he has done. He can
only change his ways and his thoughts.
That was an albatross around my neck that
I will always wear."
The strike. Great. As of now,
everything's tentatively postponed. Which
seems like there might be a contract out
of all of this after all. Sorry that the
one topic I was going to get into isn't
going to be much of one. Oh well.
Sunday, December 15, 2002
And now, the political understatement
of the century
Screenshot taken from the conservative
Republic upon the breaking news
on CNN that Gore will not seek the presidency
Update: And speaking of controversial
quotes, for added effect this recent announcement-to-be
from Gore is being discussed on MSNBC
as I write this with a panel that includes
former Senator Bob Dornan... you know,
the guy who threatened to kill the
President. Irony, apparently, is viewed
as dead the same way Micheal Meyers is.
Saturday, December 14, 2002
Well, that was an interesting 24 hours
A lot of you jumped on the events of
the last day a lot quicker than I did.
Cardinal Law resigns, and all of a sudden
Kissinger does to. Basically, I think
we all saw the logic in this: Kissinger
didn't want his client lists revealed,
so he backed away from his chair position.
I mean, honestly. And here I was thinking
Henry was a man of accountability. Riiiiiiight.
The strike rhetoric is heating up, as
Mayor Bloomberg decided to make his next
move towards a reasonable, cordial settlement
by complaining that the city had to spend
$5 million drafting up contingency plans
that they would have to use on the grounds
that they chose to ignore the Transit
Workers union completely, to which the
head of the TWU responded, and I quote,
"Mayor Bloomberg should shut up." Now,
a judge has ruled any potential strike
illegal, and the TWU doesn't necessarily
care and might do it anyway. And how can
you argue with them when you've got this
guy for a mayor:
I mean, Jesus Christ. Just stop
it, Mike. You look like an asshole.
That out of the way, a very interesting
e-mail that came in since the last post
as well. Kristopher Nordstrom had this
influential piece to say about Trent Lott,
who, as Nordstrom points out, just keeps
sinking deeper and deeper the more people
actually bother to afford him even a fraction
of scrutiny some (ahem) other prominent
politicians recieved under Lott's watch:
I won't get into criticism of Lott.
He's obviously retarded and what he said
about Thurmond (on what's looking like
at least 3 different occasions)is obviously
inexcusable. I'm interested in the resurfacing
of Lott's connection to the Council of
Conservative Citizens and want to share
my personal story regarding the CCC.
Back in my sophmore year at Wake Forest
(it was either fall 96 or spring 97),
my fraternity was doing a community service
project at a state park outside Winston-Salem.
Me and one other dude were walking around
and saw signs pointing to "Eurofest" sponsored
by the Council of Conservative Citizens.
Curious, we followed the signs until we
saw a large picnic area.
We could smell burgers on the grill,
so my friend and I decided to go down
there and try to weasel a free lunch out
of them. The first thing I noticed were
the bumper stickers on the cars: "American
by birth, Southern by the grace of God",
"Don't blame me, I voted for Jefferson
Davis", and plenty of confederate flags.
Being a Rhode Islander, I just figured,
"hey, that's NC."
We walked up and asked what was going
on and they said that they were just a
group of people getting together to celebrate
their European heritage. I still hadn't
made the connection until I walked by
the literature table. There I saw books
on how immigration is killing America,
newspapers with headlines that said "CLINTON
HAS A NEGRO SON!", books about Jewish
conspiracies and lots of other blatantly
racist propaganda. I talked briefly with
a guy who had a radio show that tried
to "look at the news from a Biblical perspective
and shed the 'liberal bias' of mainstream
media." Ohhhhkaaaayyyy. At this point
I had put two and two together. But the
food looked damn good, and we had been
invited to eat lunch, so we stayed.
We sat down at a table with a doctor,
a lawyer and various other professional
people. And they were not scared at all
to let the N-bomb fly. That's what really
scared me. You'd think this behavior would
be expected from a bunch of rednecks,
but these were "normal" looking, white
collar people. As soon as we were done
eating, we got up, grabbed one of their
newspapers and hightailed it out of there.
It was one of the craziest experiences
of my life. I was scared to even tell
them I was from Rhode Island ("uh...but
I love life in the South now...really,
So, the moral of the story is this:
CCC=KKK. They're VERY forthright in what
they stand for. If Lott's claiming otherwise,
he's lying through his teeth.
Friday, December 13, 2002
Rounding up and wrapping up
Thursday was, technically, the end of
the year for me. I have turned in the
Fall course requirements for my senior
film, and I had, sadly, my last day at
my internship at Nickelodeon.
It consumed two days out of my week, and
was an interesting experience, but in
the long run I enjoyed it, and walked
away with a little more knowledge in Flash
and an armful of some promotional swag-
including an Invader ZIM T-shirt that
was made only for MTV networks staff and
isn't sold in stores. I believe the term
I am looking for would be "rox0rz."
(If anyone uses or more likely has small
children in tha family that uses the nick.com
site, the only thing I can think of that
you might be able to see that I made during
my intenship can be found if you play
the "Wild Thornberrys Wildlife Refuge"
game. It's this big ongoing game where
you "collect" and take care of wild animals,
all of which are animated as they appear
in little pens in your game. I animated
the giraffe, the hyena, and the elephant.
Anything else I did would be various graphics
that I'd have to be standing next to you
pointing them out. So I would recommend
concentrating your interest in envying
my Invader ZIM shirt.)
I wanted to mention before I forgot that
one of the guys I worked for, Andrew Bell,
has a fantastical site called Creatures
in my Head, where he posts a daily
sketch of just that- a little creature
he thinks up and draws. The artwork is
simply delightful or delightfully simple
or something like that and if they had
actually paid me at this internship I
probably would have spent it all on his
t-shirts. So go enjoy the site and if
you leave a positive comment tell him
August sent you.
But I digress. Odds are you didn't come
here to hear yet another post about my
daily work activities. You came here for
what you usually come for: the hottest
barely-18 webcam action on the net. I
mean the political commentary. Sorry,
don't know what I was thinking there.
On with the first run of a weekend roundup.
I don't know really what else to say
about the whole Trent Lott issue that
hasn't been covered to a meticulously
brilliant degree by Tom
Reid, among others. Frankly, Mikhela
made a point similar to a commentary
on BuzzFlash the other day that reflected
the less-noted issue of my interest: that
Tom Daschle, as the alleged leader of
Senate Democratic rhetoric, has basically
been a complete and total wimp about all
of this. His initially response to the
allegations were ambiguous in the very
notion of actually accusing Lott of having
said something wrong, and even after Al
Gore and John Kerry both publicly denounced
Lott's remarks, Daschle still didn't make
any statement of a furor remotely close
to when he defended Max Cleland a few
weeks ago. In other words, as a Democrat
I'm not really concerned as much with
arguing Lott's leadership fallacies as
I am Tom Daschle's right now. I already
knew that Lot was a racist ass who shouldn't
be managing a Wal-Mart let alone the United
States Senate. Tom Daschle, on the other
hand, is actually exceeding my expectations
of just how pathetic and excuse for a
party leader he can be in this. Daschle
should not have allowed two lower-ranking
Democrats, not to mention the President
of the United States at this point, take
a stronger stance than him on an issue
that basically should have handed public
favoritism to the Democrats on a platinum-coated
And now a few e-mails. Kevin Wohlmut
has addressed the appointment of Henry
Kissinger in the only way one can make
it lighthearted- with a link to an MP3
of the classic Monty
Python song about the former Secretary
of State, current September 11th investigator,
and future convicted war criminal (a man
can dream.) Seeing as how it's a MP3 of
a copyrighted song and Kevin's probably
not the highest bandwidth magnate in the
land, I should probably say YOU SHOULD
not GO TO IT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
And here's an e-mail from Jennifer Marino
about the story coming from Georgia about
the abortion story I linked to earlier:
The thing about that psycho Franklin
true: This guy is, however, clearly
completely nuts, since he's trying
to eliminate Georgia's income tax (HB
2 and 4-9), and unless I'm completely
mistaken, to hold all federal taxes and
use them as blackmail in the event the
federal government finds anything about
Georgia's laws unconstitutional (HB 3)
Well, I feel safe knowing that this guy's
an elected government official. And to
think, he's under the prominent leadership
of Trent Lott.
Thursday, December 12, 2002
A slightly colder day in Hell
Now, what gets me about this one is that
there's almost no way George Bush doesn't
look evil with this. I mean, for Christ's
sakes, the actual headline of the
article is "Bush
Administration Proposes $300 Million Heating
Cut to Needy." (Okay, well at least
it was on Yahoo!'s front page, now inside
it's less sensational)
So it's one of these stories that is
pretty much clear in the content: Bush
wants to cut funding for programs that
help the poor pay their heating and electric
bills. Sadly, this message is going to
likely be used by the Democrat pundits
as nothing but the aforementioned sensationalistic
slew, leaving the actual important issue-
the people themselves- literally in the
Straphangers and strapped budgets
For those not in the local news area:
there's the possibility of a city-wide
transit strike here in New York come Sunday.
The unions, demanding
a pay increase and benefit security,
are up against the city, which is deep
in debt as it is and refused to offer
anyone anything. According to state law,
the city can technically sure to have
an injunction made against the union from
striking. (Well, sort of. What is does
is fine unions for damages incurred from
declaring a strike that is declared illegal
by the courts- in this case, shutting
down the a city government-controlled
As always, the local city tabloid press
has invoked it's long-standing spirit
of illogical thought by publishing their
"appeals to the common man New Yorker"
headlines that essentially blame the labor
union for anything that could remotely
be construed as bad. I swear, pick up
a copy of the Daily News today and even
the movie reviews will somehow find a
way to attack the transit union.
And thus begins the great two-step one
makes to fight a union in such a big battle:
city is going to outright declare the
union powers as illegal, while the
media is going to attempt to stir up utter
hatred for the union in the usual way.
As always, we have to be reminded that
anyone who ever asks for more money at
their job is automatically an unskilled
union-controlled greedy bastard who should
just be fired and replaced by someone
willing to work for even less. It's compassionate
conservatism well at work.
The first complaint, of course, is against
the union's salary requests: the news
is already stating the union demands a
24% pay increase. That's not even misleading,
it's just wrong. The union's initial demand
was an increase of 8% each year for the
three years of the contract. Perhaps it's
high, but it's a bargaining point, not
to mention a reasonable request in terms
of cost-of-living math in New York. Since
then, the union has lowered their offer
to 6% each year. The city, however, stands
by its demand that the union gets nothing.
The other major complaint is my favorite,
which is the fervent anger that these
subway and bus operators- who do
they think they are- don't deserve whatever
high salaries they are already getting.
To which I address as follows:
You don't want their job, though.
Everyone complains that the subway drivers
are making too much money. No one suddenly
gets up and decides to quit their job
at the firm and start operating subways.
Maybe because deep down inside you know
it's a hard laborious task, with insane
hours and almost no recognition- as the
local papers have so generously reminded
You're proving your own lie. The
strike, like most other New Yorkers, will
affect me greatly. Mayor Bloomberg has
already released the possible
contingency plans for a strike, which
makes my options for commutes home for
Christmas rather difficult. Likewise,
everyone else around here acknowledges
that the transit workers basically control
the city's transportation grid. There
is no argument that a transit strike will
cripple the city. So where's the supply-and-demand
argument here? We, as residents, have
already proven in our own complaints against
the union that we need them to such a
degree that they could ask for anything
and get it. How come when it's a bunch
of blue-collar transit workers using "the
genius of Capitalism" it's considered
a horrific sign of unions with too much
The workers deserve their salary,
period. New York City has, despite
its appearance, a highly efficient transit
system. The subways and busses keep good
schedules. Trains keep coming in, even
with the budget limiting construction
and new trains. It's a feat of skill that
the system runs efficiently, because even
one train stalling or shutting down can
screw up and entire line across all of
Although the trains run on time, there's
frequent overcrowding, no results in the
idea of re-opening the much-needed 2nd
Avenue line, and an upcoming 33% fare
increase. The problem is the Transit Authority
giving the commuter the shaft, not the
efficiency of the system itself. Ironically,
the biggest benefit of the system is that
the efficiency: something which should
be credited to the transit employees...
the people we're now all announcing should
be run out of town on the very rails they
run for us.
The fact is, this isn't the workers'
faults, and we shouldn't make the workers
our problem. The problem is an overall
apathy towards the funding and structure
requirements of the transportation needs
of the largest city in the world. Bloomberg
may very well get a victory in the courts,
but that's just going be temporary. The
general crisis that's going to explode
in the New York transit system is only
going to cause a bigger explosion if we
relegate all the problems with the infrastructure
towards blaming the workers- the fact
is they're probably the most well-oiled
cog in the machine.
So to put it all together, I don't enjoy
the idea of the potential strike, but
I certainly understand it. Public transit
is under-funded, and if we gave the city
or any state-wide ground transport system
even a fraction of the funding we'd give
toward another airline bailout we wouldn't
need to blame the unions for fairly reasonable
linked to me with probably the perfect
analogy of the coverage of the potential
strike: "the sort of hysteria which
really should be reserved for the news
that a large meteor is hurtling directly
toward 34th Street and 5th Avenue."
It reminded me how I forgot to mention
just that, the more easily identifiable
example of which would be the New York
Post's web site, which now has a constantly
updating sub-site devoted just to the
strike, complete with countdown timer.
Because the New York Post, apparently,
needs to appear more sensational or something.
So as you view the NY
Post Countdown to Chaos remember that
this and the Daily
News are the bastions of rational
journalism that bring us such front page
headlines as "Bush to Saddam: WE WILL
NUKE YOU" and "Al Quada's Got Gas" and
try to grasp their respective editorial
departments' explanations that the unions
are really the ones who are, in fact,
completely out of their minds.
Wednesday, December 11, 2002
Oh for FUCK's sake what the hell is
McMurray, via TBogg:
Georgia legislators will introduce
a bill early next month that refers to
abortion as an ''execution'' and will
require any mother seeking an abortion
to go to court to obtain a death warrant.
Once a mother filed for a death warrant,
a guardian would be appointed to protect
the rights of the unborn child. That guardian
would be authorized to demand a jury trial
in which the rights of the unborn child
would be balanced against the rights of
the mother seeking to have the ''execution''
The court would be able to hold a
trial within 30 days of the filing of
the petition and a death warrant would
be signed only if the court finds that
the rights of the person seeking to have
the abortion are superior to the right
of the unborn child to live. Either side
The full article here,
via World Net Daily, whom I'm sure is
just so objective about this one.
Folks, this is beyond insane. In fact,
I don't even see a legal issue here. This
is a law proposal that should be treated
like one of those things from 1824 that's
still on the books that say you're not
allowed to name your pig "Horace" or something
like that. Seriously. Screw the Georgia
legislature, you know how you kill this
bill? A few thousand women storm onto
the floor, say very politely and graciously
that there's no way on earth you're fucking
doing this to us, you fascist dominating
ass-backwards cro-magnon pencildicks,
then leave. And then we never speak of
this low point in human evolution ever
Really, just sick about all of this
Yeah, I'm sure the last thing you want
from me is another personal excuse for
not providing you with countless seconds
of free entertainment today. That said,
I'm slightly exhausted having accumualted
roughly three hours of sleep overall,
as a result of pulling an all-nighter
to finish the first draft cut of my senior
film. When making your senior film doesn't
involve shooting and editing, but rather
scrunching over a lightboard, followed
by hunching over a scanner, followed by
munching on every part of your fingernails
as your only source of nutrition as you
spend twelve straight hours piecing things
together, drawing by drawing, the sudden
reailzation that you are temporarily finished
doesn't give cause to any major desire
to sit right back at the computer and
radiate your eyes even further. Between
the light board, the monitor, and the
overheads at the deli where I found myself
standing in at two in the morning last
night to get something- ANYTHING remotely
edible to sustain myself, I've been starting
into some form of flourescent lighting
way too much already. Hence nothing new
To top it off, the torrential rain outside
mixed well with a complete lack of sleep
to jump-start what I assure you come Friday
or so will be a massive winter cold, complete
with the sore throat I can already feel
coming. The only relief I take in this
is that tomorrow is the last day of my
internship at Nickelodeon, and therefore
the last technical day of anything school-related
for the Fall semester.
Unfortunately, I still have a few odds
and a handful of ends to take care of
before I go home, which is great because
if you haven't heard on the news already,
there's a potential city-wide transit
strike on the horizon. I actually do have
a few thoughts on this; bear with me and
you'll hear them a little later.
Tuesday, December 10, 2002
This article from the Washington
Post was written about three weeks
ago in regards to the plea by the GAO
to get vital information from Dick Cheney
about the activities of his "Energy Task
Force." Since this article was written,
as you know, the Federal judge has since
ruled against the GAO, and Cheney's documents
are pretty much rendered secure now.
The article should have been highlighted
more, then, seeing how interesting one
might consider that the Federal judge
in question has been on the bench for
only a short amount of time after leaving
his previous job- assisting Kenneth Starr
in suing to have vital information released
to them from President Clinton's office.
In other words, when the shoe's suddenly
on the other foot you suddenly seem to
care about wiping all the dirt off it.
Exhausted from Goredom
Arg, redux. The next two days are hectic
for me, finishing up a few projects before
taking a break to start a new one before
coming home for Christmas. I've been so
busy numerous things have slipped by me.
Such as the ticket mailed to me over a
month ago from Comedy Central to attend
Monday's Daily Show taping, which
I suddenly remembered I had sitting on
my desk since late October literally midway
through the interview with... oh did I
manage this one right... Al Gore. I'm
not too upset: frankly, I need to get
these projects done, and to be honest,
I sincerely doubt this will be the last
time over the next year or so that Al
Gore's doing an interview somewhere in
the New York City area.
Gore didn't come off as well as I, or
for that matter Gore, expected him to.
He doesn't seem ready just yet to run
his latest software version against someone
as prone to spontaneous improv as Jon
Stewart. If he doesn't adjust this month's
Al Gore attitude to handle interviews
well, Letterman's going to tear him a
new one. Keep in mind this man is supposed
to host Saturday Night Live in
My only other tidbit for the moment is
that the complete antithesis of the next
bastion in political discourse that was
Colin Quinn's new show came on after Jon
Stewart tonight. In short, it's Politically
Incorrect but instead of a panel of
four people, one of whom is always a semi-talented
politically-vacant irritant with a penchant
for racist and/or sexist humor making
up 90% of their act who makes no actually
beneficial contributions to the dialogue
but rather makes feeble attempts at humor
in light of their blatant apathy to the
actual issue, it's a panel of four people,
all of whom are semi-talented politically-vacant
irritants with penchants for racist and/or
sexist humor making up 90% of their acts
who make no actually beneficial contributions
to the dialogue but rather make feeble
attempts at humor in light of their blatant
apathy to the actual issue. Opening with
Quinn promising "straight and honest debate"
then turning to a panel of debaters that
resembled a "straight and honest" Fox
News roundtable discusion (only with less
credibility), the first ten minutes about
the topic of the recent Central Park rape
conviction overturnings devolved into
four hacks plus Colin spewing handfuls
of racist, sexist, ignorant one-liners.
This thing made Crank Yankers look
Tom Tomorrow talked at a panel I attended
once about how he disliked PI because
of the hackneyed format it presented passed
off as legitimate political and cultural
debate. Tom, if you're reading this, do
me a favor and never watch this new Colin
Quinn show, because frankly it makes Bill
Maher look like Walter freakin' Cronkite.
Monday, December 09, 2002
Oh, this just gets better and better
Kudos again to Tapped
for this great find:
A vote for Truman electors is a direct
order to our Congressmen and Senators
from Mississippi to vote vote for passage
of Truman's so-called civil-rights program
in the next Congress. This means the vicious
FEPC - anti-poll tax - anti-lynching and
anti-segregation proposals will become
the law of the land and our way of life
in the South will be gone forever. If
you fail to vote you are in fact casting
a vote for Truman and his vicious anti-Southern
You know what that's taken from verbatim?
1948 Southern Democrat ticket- the
one that Trent Lott said only last week
should have been elected so we "wouldn't
of had all these problems over all these
Gosh, Trent, what color would all those
problems you've had over the years be?
Sunday, December 08, 2002
It's an exploding head weekend!
One of the more interesting chapters
in Michael Moore's last book Stupid
White Men was in regards to the weakness
of the Democratic Party. In the chapter,
Moore gave a rather large list of the
unabashedly un-liberal actions of former
President Clinton, in which Moore concluded
that Clinton was "the best Republican
president we've ever had."
Of course, it's a bit of over-dramatic
emphasis. The point was not that Clinton
is really Republican, just that Clinton's
agenda is vastly different from that of
the media's and the punditry's perception
of it. Despite the attacks on his character
and persona, Clinton is is no way a "liberal."
Whereas Moore provided a list of initiatives
taken by Clinton, Ted Rall this week wrote
a profoundly intelligent column about
how George W. Bush is. That's right:
George W. Bush, Liberal:
In 2000 Democrats ridiculed the first
part of Bush's "compassionate conservatism."
Little did they suspect that the last
half would turn out to be the real joke.
By every measure, Bush the Younger
has pursed an agenda that attacks everything
conservatism stands for--looking out for
America first, smaller government, lower
taxes, balancing the budget, respecting
privacy rights. Even the neoconservatives
who took over the GOP's ideological base
during the 1980s--defined in the Dorsey
Dictionary of American Politics and Government
as opposed to "government regulation of
personal behavior in areas of morality,
school prayer, abortion and so on"--have
been left out in the cold.
Hoover, Eisenhower and Goldwater were
conservatives. George W. Bush is not.
He's a radical right-winger applying selective
liberalism in order to create an expansionist
military empire centered around an oppressive
Bush has given us the worst of both
political worlds: the wasteful tax-and-spend
big government of wild-eyed liberalism
without any of the compassion or desire
for justice that normally goes along with
bleeding-heart bureaucracy; the most tyrannical
aspects of right-wing demagoguery--scapegoating,
depriving people of basic rights, domestic
spying, warmongering--without any of the
positive attributes that usually accompany
it, such as attention to reducing waste
and balancing the budget.
The full article is here,
and I suggest you all read it right now.
Saturday, December 07, 2002
Son wanted on charges of attempted
murder of NRA official's career
Police believe David Michael Keene,
21, shot a gun from a BMW on Sunday afternoon.
The bullet shattered the window of a Mercedes
Benz and became lodged in the driver's
seat, just inches from the driver's head.
He was charged with use of a firearm
during a crime of violence. A conviction
carries a mandatory sentence of at least
10 years behind bars.
Keene is the son of David A. Keene,
who is on the board of directors for the
National Rifle Association. Keene
is also a conservative political consultant
and lobbyist who has worked in the White
House and in Congress.
"An armed society is a polite society."
-Charlton Heston, NRA President
(Spits drink across the room)
It's quote time:
"I want to say this about my state:
When Strom Thurmond ran for president
we voted for him. We're proud of it. And
if the rest of the country had of followed
our lead we wouldn't of had all these
problems over all these years, either."
"All of these problems" wouldn't be here
if we voted for Strom Thurmond in 1948.
I no longer feel clean.
Who said it? Trent
Lott. Who reported it? Virtually no
one. There's hardly any mention of Lott
essentially advocating the support of
1950's segregationist presidential platform
in the major media in Lousiana, which
just so happens to be having its runoff
election today. As The
American Prospect points out in their
blog, there's certainly room to make front-page
posts about the "Right to Life" movement,
a group favoring the Republican candidate.
Tapped also notes that there seems to
be little likelihood of Rush Limbaugh,
who only a week or so ago ran a ridiculous
attack against Tom Daschle for questionable
quotes, although the conservative Weekly
Standard has already gone on to refer
to Lott's quote as "ludicrous," adding,
"Oh God." Which exactly what Lott should
be saying when God comes down and castrates
him with lightning for saying the most
horrible thing to ever come out of his
Friday, December 06, 2002
This is the saddest thing ever.
Yes, we've said that before. Well then
it's the newest saddest thing ever. So
brace yourself, because this is all real.
Counter-Clinton Presidential Library.
The "Counter Clinton Library" is necessary
to refute the many spins and lies that
will be the theme of the "official" Clinton
We - a group of concerned Americans
who are appalled at the Clinton's atrocious
behavior - have joined together to build
- within walking distance of the Clinton
Library - a monument to the Real Truth
about the Clintons: THE COUNTER CLINTON
One of the Counter Clinton Library's
exhibitions will be the National Insecurity
Hall in which we detail - often in the
Clintons' own words and actions as captured
on video - their systematic destruction
of our military and intelligence capability,
their hatred for the military uniform
and flag of the United States, their cozying
up to Red China, their tolerance of 'leaking'
Top Secret information to our enemies
- and their total devotion to undermining
America's superpower status.
In the Counter Clinton Library we
are also going to feature in the Grifter
Gallery each and every instance of the
Clintons grubbing for money, 'losing'
incriminating documents, then suddenly
'finding' them, perverting the confidentiality
of FBI files, selling presidential pardons
for cash, using White House coffees and
sleepovers to raise soft campaign money
and 'selling' access to Saturday morning
presidential radio addresses for cash
contributions to their campaigns. Also,
the thefts and outright stealing by the
Clintons of White House furnishings and
It goes on, but I just decided to stop
there, you can go read the rest if you
want. Sadly, they haven't opened the gift
So let's get right to it. I'm aware,
since it's happening with myself, of the
vast number of smarmy mentions of outright
hypocrisy this entire concept entails.
So please, you don't have to send me e-mails
about this one. Whatever thought you have
in your head related to Nixon or Reagan
or Bush Sr., I assure you, I've already
had it too.
I didn't post this because I wanted to
start a debate or get feedback... I just
was feeling a little depressed about various
stuff this week, and it occured to me
that all of you out there might be feeling
a little down about something too. So
now, you can look at this site, and feel
just a little bit bit better about yourself.
Because you now know, without a doubt,
there's at least a few people out there
who are smaller, pettier, and less signifcant
than you or anyone you've ever known.
Have a hopefully happier weekend.
Thursday, December 05, 2002
- "Cover us while we
step outside for a bit."
I say that reluctantly and with slight
sorrow, because as the comic itself notes,
this is the last comic for the Washington
Square News' Fall print run. The strip
will now take a five- or six-week hiatus,
where it will return in the end of January
for it's (at least at this point) final
semester. Where we go from there, I've
no friggin' clue, and I have no desire
to talk (or hear) about that bleak future
for at least a few more months.
Don't worry, the site is still going
to be updated, and you'll still get your
somewhat-daily feed. In fact, if I can
make the time (which should be easy since
I'll be doing... nothing over the
vacation) I might even have some non-WSN
comic content for you. No promises though.
There's also lots of stuff with my Senior
film, my internship hunt, and more updates
I have to add to the site archives. I
just hate not having new comics for you,
since as always, I reiterate that I'm
a cartoonist who blogs, not a blogger
who draws cartoons. Unless, of course,
I can more easily find a Way to Somehow
Get Paid For All ThisT.
Hence, of course, the irony of the strip,
seeing as how I am joking about how I
need to cover my lack of coverage of any
topics over the strip hiatus when, in
fact, I have a blog that covers exactly
that problem. Enjoy.
Oh, and until a week or so from now when
I find some cheap way to make hints about
it, this is techincally my last legitimate
chance of the year to remind you all to
vote for me, you bastards on the
PlanetCartoonist Top 100 Editorial Cartoonist's
link. I get a few hundred hits a day and
you can vote every 24 hours, so I fail
to see how I'm not registering a few thousand
votes a week here. Come on, folks... initiative.
I figure if I hit the Top 10 someone out
there might actually think about hiring
me. I suppose I could take the long way
and "become a better artist" too. Hey,
I've got a vacation coming up.
Tuesday, December 03, 2002
Profits before Patriotism
From a column by Arianna
Huffington via Salon:
As the war on terror shows troubling
signs of becoming a war of error, the
Bush administration is waging a far more
successful war on behalf of its corporate
backers. The latest victory comes courtesy
of Congress' 11th hour reversal of a provision
in the Homeland Security Bill banning
government contracts for companies that
move offshore to avoid paying U.S. taxes.
The sleazy backroom maneuvering that
yielded this year-end dividend for expat
corporations offers a perfect -- and perfectly
nauseating -- case study in how Washington
works. The same leaders who never miss
a chance to be seen tearfully singing
"God Bless America" with their hands over
their disloyal hearts have allowed profits
to trump patriotism, even in a time of
That barely muffled cheer you might
have heard came from the Caribbean-based
corporate offices of companies such as
scandal-ridden Tyco, Arthur Andersen progeny
Accenture, and Ingersoll-Rand, a corporate
chicken that, in a show of national mourning
and solidarity, flew the coop a mere three
months after the Sept. 11th attacks. All
have avoided paying tens of millions in
taxes by reincorporating offshore while
pocketing tens of millions in federal
contracts. And now, thanks to their good
friends in Congress, they'll continue
to do so. Not only do they not have to
help pay for homeland security, but they're
helping themselves to the spoils of the
Homeland Security Act.
Monday, December 02, 2002
Staring at my inbox I am well aware of
the large supply of e-mails that you,
my dearest readers, have sent me, that
I have allowed to lay fallow and waste
away from sheer lack of time to answer
all of them.
This is, to be sure, going to be one
of the busiest (and consequentially light-on-the-blogging)
next few days for me, what with it being
the start of the last two weeks of classes.
Likely a larger-than-usual sampling of
you are going to get the e-mail cold shoulder
from me simply because I'm away from my
computer to go run off and do something
somewhere, and I apologize in advance
for that. Once the end-of-semester rush
wanes and my final projects are completed
I'll have more time to appease all of
There is, of course, the historically-possible
chance that I'm completely wrong about
the workload and you'll see just as much
new content, if not even more, right after
I make a post about how I won't have a
lot this week. But don't count on it.
There are only so many hours in the day,
many of which, tragically, the forces
of nature require me to waste sleeping
in between large periods of time spent
hunched over a light board animating monkeys.
Yes, I've been animating monkeys. You'll
find out more about it next year if you're
It begins. Or continues to begin.
Or began but only now is noticed
John Kerry has formed
a presidential exploratory committee,
one of the usual first steps in declaring
candidacy for president- a move which,
when Kerry ultimately makes it, will surprise
three small dogs and a small enclave in
Pennsylvania Amish country, those being
the only forms of organic life that haven't
already figured out for about 18 months
now that he's running for president.
Kerry has a strong presence within his
own party: he's a war veteran who later
became a war protestor, giving him a unique
advantage of being able to play both sides
of the war card. He's a staunch advocate
of many core left-wing Democratic ideals
(I am happy because I got to use the word
"staunch" today) and has a prior history
of taking on corporate fraud- something
which hopefully could be used as a 2004
campaign strategy seeing how it's all
nice and fresh from no one using it
in the 2002 elections, you stupid,
stupid, stupid Democrats. Stupid.
Kerry carries a few disadvantages, of
course, far from the simple "he's not
Al Gore and will therefore have no chance
the moment Al decided to enter the race
and ruin this for everyone." One is the
simple fact that he's from Massachussetts...
note that with the exception of Reagan*
(who was from California) pretty much
every president since Kennedy was from
a Midwestern or Southern region. Translation:
losing touch in the heartland. Hell, George
W. Bush didn't seem very interested in
noting that the "proud noble Texan" was
born in Maine (or New Hampshire or something
like that, I really don't care enough
to look it up right now.) With Trent Lott
looking to cast the stigma of evil liberals
on the coasts, that could be a problem.
Let's not even say it's a chance. It's
a basic fact: if and when Kerry runs,
the Right is going to do nothing but attack
Kerry for being an "East-Coast LiberalT."
Hopefully the flak they give Nancy Pelosi
about this will reduce the damage early
enough for the Republicans to switch to
other attempts at demeaning anti-Kerry
tactics... like, you know... the whole
The story did note the other disadvantage
for Kerry, that being his lack of "natural
warmth." This is something I noticed on
my own months ago, but didn't sugar-coat
it the way the press did: John
Kerry has a very funny-looking head.
Now, I understand that that's hardly a
demeaning of any of Kerry's qualifications,
but come on, people, you can see how that
can bother enough people to not want to
vote for him. I mean, come on, look at
him. "Natural warmth" is a problem when
you're potentially frightening small children.
You think Bradley didn't lose a few points
because it looked like something was taking
over his neck?
Update: * = and Nixon. I suck.
Sunday, December 01, 2002
My friend Christine is applying to law
school. She told me the other day that
she didn't apply to NYU Law because, according
to her, she "wouldn't get in."
The fact that Christine is one of the
smartest and most creative people I know
only amplified that statement when I came
back today from Thanksgiving break to
find the usual tradition that is the damage
done to my dorm room door over the holiday.
This year was a festive array of all my
posters torn down and the dry-erase marker
stolen with a charming holiday note left
on the board, "Thanks for the pen, fag."
These people, Christine, got into NYU.
But I digress. Today is World
AIDS Day, and it's that you should
be focusing on, not my petty aggravations.
I've already applied the NYC-Subway-standard
of cleaning up graffitti and mess the
minute it's discovered. I can rest in
the knowledge that the damage was minute,
and that all it really did was make me
feel much better about myself and perhaps
even the very size of my own penis in
comparison to the bastions of academic
thought that defaced my door. If anything,
I'm reminded that today is a day where
you should remember a lot harder than
usual that there are a lot of people out
there with a hell of a lot larger problems
Happy Thanksgiving. You have a lot to
be thankful for.