August 22, 2003

Yes, it's official. Bill O'Reilly is whinier than a 13-year old girl.

...Caitie Casey...from Alma, Michigan writes..."Mr. O'Reilly, I am 13 and have noticed that some people are very mean to you. You laugh it off but my feelings would be hurt if that happened to me."

...Now Caitie, if people say mean things to you, remember... it means nothing unless you believe those things.

Excuse me, I just fell out of my chair.

(via BusyBusyBusy)

Posted by August J. Pollak at 10:37 PM
Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:24 PM

August 21, 2003

Insanity, Texas-style

Get Donkey!, posting out of Texas, has some good summaries of the Texas redistricting psycho power-grab.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:41 PM

Okay, that's just hilarious

Look, I'm aware that Ted Rall is a very controversial person. I've heard many things from many sides about him, and I know that his work- especially his written columns- tend to verge on a side of quasi-psychotic Leftist-stereotype unwavering over-ideology.

Then, as proven today, there are times when he does something that literally makes me spit soda across my monitor.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:11 PM

Gosh, if only we had some kind of organization that unites nations to work together or something

UNITED NATIONS - Secretary of State Colin Powell launched a new effort Thursday to broaden the American-led coalition force in Iraq. But he made clear Washington won't cede any authority, as France and other nations have demanded.

France, Russia, India and other countries have ruled out sending soldiers to Iraq unless a multinational force is authorized by the United Nations. Without U.S. agreement to cede some control to the world body, diplomats said the possibility of a robust international force appeared unlikely to attract new support.

The full article here.

So, in other words, the world is welcome to send more troops, as a peace-keeping coalition under the command of the UN is meant to do. In fact, this being one of the reasons the UN was founded in the first place.

With the American soldier death toll hitting over 250, I really don't see the U.S. in any position to claim superiority over the rest of the organized world in terms of handling the situation to the best of its ability. Sorry to be morbid, but when the U.S. announces that they want the UN to send a whole bunch of troops but to not be ordered around by the UN, the only thing the U.S. looks like they want is a larger spread of targets to help reduce their own nation's body count.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:02 PM

Well someone's got a thing for a certain graven image

The guy from the Southern Poverty Law Center pretty much gets it down flat with this case. Judge Moore is a raving lunatic and is clearly unfit to be on the bench. I say they tell him to make this choice: he has 24 hours to find a nice, privately-owned spot to put his beloved statue, or he waives his right to have it anywhere and we send in someone with plastic explosive like some kind of re-enactment of Apocalypse Now. Only without killing anyone and much stupider.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 8:48 PM

August 19, 2003

Mmmm, gatherings

Greetings to everyone who I ran into at the book sale, including Elayne who may or may not have photos depending on the IMG tag. I was also very please to run into Harold Moss again, my former boss and the guy who made the animations on a documentary you might have heard of that just happened to be released on DVD this morning go buy it now.

Oh, and I of course saw this guy who calls himself Tom or something like that. He's apparently got a book out.

If anyone reading this is somehow connected to a book-selling industry of sorts, you should note that Tom had the Barnes & Noble packed to standing room only for his presentation. Figured, you know, since it might interest you to hear about actual physical evidence of desire to purchase books of a certain theme regardless of what computers tell you people like and stuff like that. Just sayin'.

Update: Elayne has sent photos. I am, as always, goofy-looking in them. Will post whenever time permits.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 11:11 PM

August 18, 2003

Working. Or hoping to be.

I've been busy over the weekend preparing for a job interview I had this morning up in White Plains, NY with J.J. Sedelmaier, the studio that did more animation you could imagine, including Smigel shorts for SNL and the pilot episode of "Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law." What made the interview nerve-racking for me was the fact that I was in fact having an interview with J.J. Sedelmaier himself, not just another producer, as I assumed at first when I got the phone call last week saying "J.J. Sedelmaier wants to talk to you."

No point dwelling on it, since I can't go back in time and redo my interview or anything, but in short, I spent the drive back from White Plains thinking to myself exactly how unbelievably much I want a job at this place. I was somewhere around "would accept removal of no less than three major appendages" when I got home. It's a good thing there wasn't any traffic on the GWB because then I might have had time to sign contracts with various representatives from the Nether World.

Sedelmaier was actually a really great guy who seemed genuinely interested in talking to me about career prospects. I'm pretty sure he's aware of mine now, as I wasn't exactly the King of Subtlety during my end-of-interview ten-minute monologue in which I believe I used the phrase "for the love of Christ, hire me!" seventy-three times.

Okay, not really, but still. His studio is fantastic, and if I get offered a job there it would let me do three very important things:

1. Work in animation.
2. Work in Flash, a style I enjoy using and actively seek any opportunities to spend more time working in.
3. Work.

So, with any luck I'll find out soon if I'm ever going back there again, and if I find out I'm not, you'll know by the sudden increase in the percentage of expletives in my posts.

I mention all this because it's somewhat relevant to anything new you see on the site, like the various ad-like thingies on the right. I'm working on more little Flash doodads for the site as we speak; you know how I like hidden stuff on this site. And I, of course, know how much some of you miss the Page of Mystery.

Also, to anyone in the New York area: I highly recommend you get in your car and drive around the Hudson Parkway right now. I am amazed that after living my entire life in the shadow of New York City, there are, in fact, scenic highways. I killed eight deer with my car on the drive up alone.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 1:19 PM

Well, you don't see that everyday.

The Right-wing conservative Republican governor of Alabama has proposed taxing the rich to take care of the poor because... get this... he realized via his right-wing Christian faith that it's the right wing to do.

In a stunning subplot to the fiscal crises roiling the states, Alabama Gov. Bob Riley (R) -- who for three terms in Congress boasted that he never voted for a tax increase and was elected governor on a promise not to raise taxes -- is proposing to raise state taxes by a record $1.2 billion, eight times the largest previous increase and almost twice what is needed to close a $675 million budget deficit.

Seizing Alabama's crisis as an opportunity to right historic wrongs, he says the state should act to improve schools funded at the nation's lowest level per child and to lift the tax burden from poor people, who pay income taxes starting at $4,600 a year for a family of four while out-of-state timber companies pay $1.25 an acre in property taxes. The changes would move Alabama from 50th to 44th in total state and local taxes per capita, he says.

The born-again Baptist governor is telling voters in this Bible Belt state that their tax system, which imposes an effective rate of 3 percent on the wealthiest Alabamians and 12 percent on the poorest, is "immoral" and needs repair. "When I read the New Testament, there are three things we're asked to do: That's love God, love each other and take care of the least among us," Riley said in his office in the antebellum state Capitol.

So, anyone want to place a bet as to what side the Right will take in having to choose between actually supporting the claim to be moralistic and supporting the political base of their party? Well, who else to make such a decision that lovable furry old Grover:

Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform, who gave Riley as congressman his group's Friend of the Taxpayer Award every year from 1997 through 2002, vowed to make Riley "the poster child for Republicans who go bad. I want every conservative Republican elected official in the United States to watch Bob Riley lose and learn from it."

The American Conservative Union, Citizens for a Sound Economy, National Taxpayers Union, Eagle Forum, Family Research Council and other grass-roots conservative groups signed a letter with Norquist denouncing Riley for a "grab for the special interests and unions" that "will burden every segment of society."

So there you have it. No praise of the governor's "compassionate conservatism." No support for upholding his moral, deeply religious-based convictions. Nope, instead, let's flat-out state we're going to destroy him. Conservative radio is- get this- essentially prepared to label the governor of Alabama a liberal commie because he's doing what the Bible tells him to do.

Realizing this, the article notes that the governor recieved a somewhat tepid endorsement from the Christian Coalition. Which means the battle for Alabama's social structure is now being fought between fanatic economic nutcases and fanatic religious nutcases.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:56 PM

August 17, 2003

Quote of the day

Via The Hamster:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. TOM DELAY (R-TX), MAJORITY LEADER: Frankly, what irritates me the most are these blow-dried Napoleons that come on television and, in some cases, have their own agendas. General Clark is one of them that is running for president, yet he's paid to be an expert on your network. And he's questioning the plan and raising doubts as he becomes this expert. I think they would serve the nation better if they would just comment on what they see and what they know, rather than putting their own agenda forward as an expert.


BLITZER: Well, pretty strong words from Tom DeLay going after you. What do you say to that criticism?

CLARK: Well, first of all, I'd be happy to compare my hair with Tom DeLay's. We'll see who's got the blow-dried hair.

Prithee, Horatio, wouldst thou concur a declaration of "Oh, snap!" behest the court?

Posted by August J. Pollak at 11:49 PM

Weekend mailbag

Even if the power hadn't crippled half my weekend, I wouldn't have the time to get into how much stuff I've got to do. Lots of things goin' on tonight and tomorrow morning. So, as always, here's a whole bunch of your e-mails that serve the double purpose of me not having to write my own post and me not having to reply to all of the e-mails directly. I'm lazy and an asshole! Enjoy the feedback.

Hanan Levin sent a link to this page that provides all your necessary resources for the sillier candidates for California governor. Now, in one page, you have access to famous Guido Sarduci monologues, Arnold Schwarzenegger sounds, and so forth. Start your Monday at the office by hitting a button that makes your computer go "I'm a COP you IDIOT" over and over again until you get fired.

As expected from my daring suggestion via the Ted Rall column link the other day that Howard Dean, great a guy as he is, may (gasp!) not in fact heal Lepers as part of his medical expertise, I got some responses. From Dustin Collins:

I'm pretty far-left. I support socialized medicine, legalization of marijuana, and the utter demolition of gender roles, among other causes. I voted Nader in 2000, and I've done my time at the anti-war protests. I've also decided to support Howard Dean for president.

And frankly, I'm already getting sick of being told I'm going to regret it. Yes, I'm well aware (and already was, before I read Mr. Rall's column) that Dean isn't much of a liberal. I disagree with Dean on quite a few issues. You see, the thing is, it's not that my support of Dean is a result of being misled or ignorant. It's the result of a thing called "compromise," which I believe used to be considered an important part of the political process.

I'm supporting Dean not because I think he's the second coming, but because I think he's the best choice for president out of the ones who've stepped forward. I mean, Joe Lieberman? Dick Gephardt? John "My platform is that if you nominate me I will do nothing you won't like, whoever you are" Kerry?

Dennis Kucinich is tempting (and admittedly more liberal that Dean on most issues with the glaring exception of abortion rights), but I just don't see it happening. I'm no slave to electability, but I think in an election this crucial to our future, electability should be at least part of the issue. And let's face it, Kucinich is a little gnomey man who let his city go bankrupt when he was mayor and has a tendency to be self-righteous. He'd get eaten alive.

So, in conclusion, I am a radical left-winger, and Howard Dean is a moderate, and Bush is a radical right-winger. I know Dean won't make this country into my dream of what it could be, but I have confidence that he'll at least nudge it back in my direction. And I don't appreciate being called deluded when I know full well what's going on.

And from Kevin Wohlmut:

Hey, August, it was only yesterday that I shotgunned out an overlong message citing an AlterNet article where a Dean supporter tried to make the case that Dean's un-Liberal positions were actually more Liberal at second glance than at first.

Then today you link to a Rall article where Ted makes the case that the AlterNet guy was trying to refute.

I just sent some commentary to Ted, but here's only the most obvious way that I think Dean will be different from Clinton: Dean ultimately _signed_ that Domestic Partner Act, regardless whether it was forced on him or not. He signed it, six months before an election, when polls said 2/3 of Vermonters opposed it. Whoever it was that put the legislation on his desk, signing it still took cojones.

Remember Bill Clinton in 1995? As his pen was tracing across the Defense of Marriage Act, he LITERALLY said words to the effect of: "I disagree with this legislation, but I have to screw over the gays in order to get re-elected next year."

I just don't see Dean morphing into THAT.

This one is just plain weird. But in a good way. I mean, you don't get jokes about Ann Coulter, Utah, and religious nuts all at once that often.

Amidst all the blame-throwing over the weekend power crisis, or as all the news channels have named it, "DEATH LIGHTS '03" or some dumb shit like that, I ironically came across confessions of guilt from multiple sources. J.P. Trostle confessed as follows:

All right, I admit it : *I* was the one that caused the Big Blackout. In fact, I caused the big one back in '65 too, okay?

I was using this cheap time travel device to go back 40 years and take out a registered trademark on "Fair & Balanced" so I then could return to the present and sue Fox News' sorry ass for violating my copyright.

Even though the instructions said to plug the dimensional warp generator into a grounded outlet, all I have here are 2-pronged outlets so I had to use an adapter. Next thing I knew, *bam,* I was in Manhattan in 1965 and all the lights were out. (I must have overloaded the continuum on both ends.) Adding insult to injuring, the copyright office was closed because of the blackout, so I didn't even get my damn trademark registered.

Anyhoo, sorry for the inconvenience.

And, within the same hour, I discovered that Andrew Bell claims responsibility for the power crisis as well. Aww, I want one.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 10:16 PM