Thursday, June 30, 2005

I freaking love this

Kelo v. New London prepares to bite Bush in the ass.
The House voted yesterday to use the spending power of Congress to undermine a Supreme Court ruling allowing local governments to force the sale of private property for economic development purposes. Key members of the House and Senate vowed to take even broader steps soon.

Last week's 5 to 4 decision has drawn a swift and visceral backlash from an unusual coalition of conservatives concerned about property rights and liberals worried about the effect on poor people, whose property is often vulnerable to condemnation because it does not generate a lot of revenue.
Please, journalists, please ask Bush about this and then follow up with:
George W. Bush loves baseball. And why not? After all, baseball has been very good to the governor. When it comes to power, the governor is a true triple-threat. Consider his record: (1) His initial baseball investment of $600,000 carries the current potential of a 2,500 percent return. (2) Through savvy P.R. and political maneuvering, he and his partners have persuaded a city and the state to directly subsidize a facility for their business. (3) Not content with taxpayer subsidies, he and his fellow owners have also successfully used the power of government to take land from other private citizens so it could be used for their own private purposes...

On October 27, 1990, Bush was quoted in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about the Rangers’ real estate plans, acknowledging "the idea of making a land play, absolutely, to plunk the field down in the middle of a big piece of land. That’s kind of always been the strategy." While Bush insisted on April 11 that he was "not aware of the details" in 1990 regarding plans to condemn the Mathes’ property, he clearly did know of the plans to exploit that land—"making a land play"—for commercial purposes that would benefit himself and the owners of the Rangers.

In recent years, the use of eminent domain in Texas has grown more common. It was used to acquire land near the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, and for a controversial shopping center built in Hurst. The trend has caught the attention of Republican Senator David Sibley of Waco, one of Bush’s closest allies in the Legislature. While the Senator would not comment directly on the deal that allowed Bush and his partners to obtain the land around the Ballpark, Sibley said he is worried about potential abuses of eminent domain. "I will tell you as a butt-kicking conservative Republican, I am very concerned about it, I really am," he said. "It causes me problems."

How is Tom Delay going to tell Texas they're going to lose federal funds?

Dorgan on target

Sen. Byron Dorgan has hit the nail on the head, calling Kenneth Tomlinson's "survey" of NPR and PBS "nutty."

NPR has a bunch of stuff on the Mann Report here.

Here's my own little survey, for which I expect Kenny T. to send me $14,000. (If Mann can get paid that much for a "typo-riddled" report with shoddy methodology, I should get something for this nicely typed blog post.)
Ben Wattenberg:
Ben J. Wattenberg is a Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. He is the moderator of the weekly PBS television program Think Tank with Ben Wattenberg.

Other shows featuring Mr. Wattenberg:
-The First Measured Century
-Values Matter Most
-The Grandchild Gap
-America's Number One, What Next?
-The Stockholder Society
-A Third Choice
-The Democrats
(!)
-In Search of the Real America
(weekly series)
-Ben Wattenberg At Large (weekly series)
-There's more...
So, while Mann chose (or was told to investigate) only two PBS programs, a conservative Republican Zell Miller-like pseudo Democrat has hosted three weekly series and numerous documentaries. He does this, by the way, with the production assistance of New River Media the senior staff of which is made up of former Bush White House employees, Cato Institute hacks and more AEI flunkies. (It also lists Jonah Goldberg and Jay Nordlinger as "research assistants" for Think Tank.)

And let's not forget The McLaughlin Group, Journal Editorial Report, Wall $treet Week, &c.
*Wave*

Hi, Julia.
Hi, Elayne.
and of course...

Hi, Unka Duncan.
LieTV

Don Rumsfeld was recently interviewed by Kansas City radio wingnut Jerry Agar. Agar's just another Limbaughite zombie thrashing about in search of brains -- although the high point of his idiocy, a poem about Terri Schiavo based on Horton Hears a Who qualifies him to be a member of the Right Wing Dumbass Hall of Fame -- but I'm sure the Bushies are taking every chance they can to speak to their base lately. Any port in a political storm. Even Port Agar.

Here's a bit from the interview:
Agar: Another area where there seems to be a disconnect, perhaps what you would see, and what you would tell us, and what much of the media is carrying, is Guantanamo Bay. Has anything happened at GTMO that you're embarrassed about?

Rumsfeld: You know, the Guantanamo Bay situation is an interesting one. There's so much misinformation flying around on that subject.

There have been a few allegations of misbehavior down there, but they have all been investigated and in any instance where it was validated, the people were convicted and punished. But for the most part I've heard people on television say there have been a hundred people killed at Guantanamo. It's just utter nonsense. There hasn't been anyone that I know of that's died at Guantanamo of anything other than a natural death and I don't know of anyone who's died of a natural death.
While the question is stupid and the response just the same old Rumsfeld, I want to show you how this kind of stuff gets filtered and fed back to the military.

This is how that section got summarized in a press release by the American Forces Press Service:
The secretary also told Agar he is amazed at the "misinformation that's flying around" in the media concerning detainees at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

He admitted there have been a "few allegations" of misbehavior at the prison, but added, "they have all been investigated, and in any instance where it was validated, the people were convicted and punished."

He also said reports by the media that a hundred people have been killed at the prison is just "utter nonsense." (Emphasis Nitpicker's)
Of course, not even Rumsfeld said that claims were "report by the media." Instead, he said he had "heard people on television say there have been a hundred people killed at Guantanamo." Guess what? Everyone from Chris Matthews to the kooks who call into your favorite local access gardening program are "people on television." Rumsfeld, of course, meant his statement to be ambiguous, but I doubt that he could point to even one tinfoil-hat-free person on television who had said a hundred people were killed at Guantanamo.

The American Forces Press Service is made up of guys who, like me, were trained by the Defense Information School to work as journalists and public affairs specialists for the U.S. Military. When I served throughout the Clinton administration, military public affairs specialists were repeatedly ordered to leave our politics at home and, except for coffee room arguments, we did. I think a perfect example of the apolitical nature of military journalism and broadcasting is that, back in the early 90s, the Clinton administration allowed Rush Limbaugh to begin airing on American Forces Radio.

Things have changed and pro-administration press releases are the least of the problems.

American Forces Network has existed in one form or another since 1942. While its internal newscasts have always been a bit slanted, it's relied, since the 1970s, on mostly commercial news. When I served in Iceland (1993-1995), there were basically two channels and from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on Channel 2, you could watch all three of the major network newscasts in a row.

Now there are 10 AFN channels, one of them being Don Rumsfeld's multi-million dollar propaganda organ, The Pentagon Channel (If you have DirecTV or subscribe to certain cable providers, you can see your
tax dollars being used for propaganda with your own eyes). Along with the creation of the channel early last year, the other AFN channels began getting "Pentagon Channel Reports" in the middle of football games and sitcoms and, yes, even political shows. Throughout last year, every time Bush would get within 50 feet of a soldier, these "reports" would be dropped into shows, usually with a soundbite of Bush saying something like "I, for one, think that the United States Army is the best Army in the history of the universe." Rumsfeld, Cheney, Feith and Wolfowitz were all similarly covered.

John Kerry's speeches were never covered. He could have promised to provide every soldier $100,000 and it wouldn't have earned a "Pentagon Channel Report." This despite the fact that the regulation for the management of military broadcasting (DOD 5120-20R) states that
AFRTS-BC and AFRTS outlets' news policy shall be guided by the principle of fairness. This principle applies to issues rather than persons and does not require "equal opportunities." It does require outlets to provide "reasonable opportunities" for the presentation of conflicting views on important controversial public issues. All AFRTS news programming shall be characterized by its fairness. (C4.7.2. Principle of Fairness.)
And:
AFRTS-BC and AFRTS outlets shall maintain the same "equal opportunities" balance offered by these sources. Outlets should make extensive use of such programming, especially during presidential election years, and should provide their audience with the political analyses, commentaries, and public affairs programs provided by AFRTS-BC. (C4.8.2. Free Flow of Political Programming.)
The propaganda attitude has seeped in. Now, in the military public affairs community circling Washington, D.C., it's second nature to weave political spin into what was once relatively-unbiased military reporting. The end result is that American military members are getting fed pro-Bush propaganda on a daily basis.

The DOD argues tht it doesn't edit any of the military briefings it airs on the Pentagon Channel and, therefore, it's not selling propaganda but the straight scoop. "It would be propaganda if we tried to spin it," Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Allison Barber told the Washington Times. Of course, when the briefing themselves are filled with propaganda, then spinning is unnecessary.

Public relations spending more than doubled overall under Bush (including payments to Armstrong Williams, Maggie Gallagher, etc.). In Afghanistan we used two satellite broadcast systems to send stories directly back to the states to be marketed to local and national television stations, often revoiced and uncredited to the military. Each system cost $1.5 million each, with the time on the satellite running about $1,500 per hour.

In other words, Rumsfeld is proving not only adept at blaming "people on television" for the faults of his leadership, but is proactively undermining the integrity of media. He's lying to you and American service members and you're paying for it.
Put on your sleuthing hats, kids!

In a laundry list of the TSA's fraud, waste and abuse, we find this nugget:
$5.4 million claimed for nine months' salary for the chief executive of an "event logistics" firm that received a contract before it was incorporated and went out of business after the contract ended.
$303 million dollars was called into question in the audit, but we need to find a name for this CEO. I'm taking bets that he's either a) a Bush donor or; b) is connected to Richard Perle's Trireme Partners.

Let's bust these fuckers.

Update: As was pointed out to me in comments , the person's name is already in the frickin' article, so I'm an idiot. It's a Ms. Sunnye Sims of Carlsbad, CA. Poster Walden writes:
Sunnye Sims, 42. "Sims is a travel industry entrepreneur who now serves as a program director at an Evangelical Free Church in southern California. She served as marketing and sales director for a group called the International Travel Directors Association in Orlando" [Florida].

It says she also granted herself a $270,000 pension.

All the contract stuff was handled by WJS consulting Inc, which she formed with Nita Sullivan.

Sims was unavailable for comment as she is "on a mission trip" in Africa.
While she is a minor Republican donor -- $300 to the National Republican Congressional Committe in 2003 -- I think there's something more here.
Two women


















Natalee Holloway


Natalee Holloway, 18, of Mountain Brook, Ala., disappeared while on a chaperoned five-day class trip. Local and U.S. authorities have led a search for her; local authorities have detained two former hotel security guards and three students in her disappearance.
Number of stories listed on Google News as of June 30: 11,200















Corporal Ramona Valdez

She wanted to serve her country and make her immigrant mom proud.
In the end, Cpl. Ramona Valdez did so much more - before making the ultimate sacrifice.

Valdez, a Bronx native, was one of six U.S. military personnel - four of them women - killed in Iraq when a suicide bomber struck their convoy near Fallujah last Thursday.

All her life, Valdez accomplished things ahead of her time. She graduated from a Bronx high school at 15. She joined the U.S. Marine Corps when she was 17 - her mom co-signing the papers because she was too young to commit herself.

She married at 18, finding love in a fellow Marine, Cpl. Armando Guzman.

And when she died, she was only three days from her 21st birthday.

Number of stories listed on Google News as of June 30: 90

Somehow I doubt that there will be over 11,000 stories about Cpl. Valdez in two weeks' time.

Lest we forget.
This one hits too close to home











It's Salon, so you'll have to get the pass to see the whole thing.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Now they're just making it up as they go along

So Rep. Robin Hayes, the Republican vice chairman of the House subcommittee on terrorism, has just decided that he can lie all he wants.

In an interview about the president's Iraq speech, North Carolina Rep. Robin Hayes told CNN this morning that Saddam Hussein was "very much involved in 9/11."

According to the transcript of the interview, CNN's Carol Costello told Hayes, "But there is no evidence that Saddam Hussein was connected in any way to al-Qaida." Hayes' response: "Ma'am, I'm sorry, but you're mistaken. There's evidence everywhere. We get access to it. Unfortunately others don't. But the evidence is very clear." Costello asked, "What evidence is there?" Hayes responded: "The connection between individuals who were connected to Saddam Hussein, folks who worked for him, we've seen it time and time again."

Of course, that would mean that the 9/11 panel -- which supposedly had access to a shitload of information -- was just lying then when they wrote:

(T)o date we have seen no evidence that these or the earlier contacts ever developed into a collaborative operational relationship. Nor have we seen evidence indicating that Iraq cooperated with al Qaeda in developing or carrying out any attacks against the United States.

Costello tried, but more people in the press need to start calling bullshit on these guys.
I'm back

It was a long year in Afghanistan, though it was punctuated by great moments like the one you see below. I had talked glassmaker Sultan Hamidy into playing something for me (there's more about Sultan in the comments), but he'd only play if I took up the drums. Forgive the "helmet hair."
















What made the year even longer was the fact that I felt disconnected and unable to comment on the election as it unfolded. What was worse is that I saw so many of the proper responses to the Rovian campaign tactics tossed up on blogs, but ignored by the campaigns of the good guys*. That's why I knew that, though I would eventually return to blogging, it was more important that I make a difference to the country than it was for me to have this blog be what it had been: a venue to get things off my chest so that I wasn't kept up all night.

When I returned to find my state rejecting science, my senators abandoning their institution's rules and Kansas' Democratic party doing nothing about any of it. When I contacted the state party chair, he all but patted my head and said I might understand how politics work when I'm a big boy. I was sick of the bullshit. Blogging wasn't going to be enough. I think that, while a great tool, the internet alone will not help us turn Kansas around.

After talking to many of my fellow Kansans, I was struck by how many life-long Republicans are growing disgusted by the actions of their party. I would chat with them a bit and, after a while, it would dawn on me that these people had never really been Republicans at all. Their beliefs were pure liberalism, but they'd been distracted by the clanging of the Republican noise machine. I mean, honestly, "mainstream" thought doesn't normally include the likes of Todd Tiahrt and Sam Brownback's friends who want to pattern the Christian church after the mafia or the Third Reich. And, for God's sake, why didn't my state party send out press releases saying that both of our Senators voted for filibusters against Clinton judicial nominees?

Long story short: I'm pissed. I got with some like-minded fellow Kansas (this guy and this guy for starters) and, very soon, we will be kicking off a new organization designed to counter the right-wing co-opting of midwestern values. Once I got that ball rolling, I felt that I could come back to blogging.

So I'm back. I'm ready to kick some ass.


* Although I don't know why no one pointed out that the best argument against the Swift Boat assholes was to point out that the Navy's records were very explicit about Kerry's service and have everyone who spoke about it say, simply "I believe the Navy." It's concise, easy to remember and goes well on a t-shirt.
The game and how two can play it

So Cal Thomas has caught on to the "Karl Rove wasn't talking about Democrats" defense:

In a speech last Wednesday to the Conservative Party of New York, Rove drew what he said was a distinction “between conservatives and liberals” in the area of national security. He said, “Conservatives saw the savagery of 9-11 and the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9-11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers.”

Rove added, “Conservatives believed it was time to unleash the might and power of the United States military against the Taliban. ... Liberals believed it was time to submit a petition.”

Democrats cried foul, and worse, but Rove wasn’t talking about Democrats, not all of whom are liberal. He was talking about liberals — and he was right, at least about some of the more prominent ones.

OK. Fair enough.

Then I expect Cal and the others making this specious argument then they shouldn't complain when Howard Dean or George Soros or I give the following speech:

Liberals saw what happened to us on 9/11 and said: we will defeat our enemies. Conservatives saw what happened to us and said: the deaths of Americans is an excellent excuse to revisit old battles. Liberals see the United States as a great nation which must engage its enemies nobly for its cause to be considered noble; conservatives feel that achieving the goals of their agenda allows them to drag our nation into darkness at their leader's whim.

Has there been a more revealing moment this year than when Repbulican Senator Rick Santorum, speaking on the Senate floor, compared a political argument with what was done by Hitler -- one of the most brutal and malevolent figures in the 20th century? Meanwhile, other conservatives argued that it wasn't enough to fight the Taliban, but that "We should invade (Muslim) countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."

Let me put this in fairly simple terms: the internet now spreads to the region the words of these conservatives, certainly putting America’s men and women in uniform in greater danger. No more needs to be said about the motives of conservatives.

Now who could have a problem with that?

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Time Zones

Between my incorporating the fixes to recovery the original blog format and my latest post, Terry, who hadn't yet seen the 'fix' went in and changed templates to correct the problem. Imagine my surpise when I 'published' my last post and a whole new template appeared ...WTF? Luckily, I checked my e-mail and Terry's message solved the mystery and ... he'll be back blogging very soon!
Just One Question

Well, I won't be able to hear the pReznit tonight (okay, I could record it but why buck a trend - I've never seen one moment of his primetime flatulence and I have no intention of changing course now - wouldn't be prudent). I'm sure he'll touch on things like the amazing feat one-year of Iraqi sovereignty represents (from a man that knows a little something about sovereignty), our success in spreading freedom and democracy in Iraq, the hard work that presidentin' is and that but for the libruls the last throes of the insurgency would be but a memory. He'll surround himself with his favorite props, men and women in uniform (something he knows a little less about), but the question everyone wants answered is what will the banner say?

a. Fighting For Freedom and Democracy

b. Stamping Out Insurgents

c. Spending Capital

d. It's Hard, We Y'all Must Sacrifice

e. Iraq: Mission Accomplished in 2-3, 6-12 30 years

or

f. I'm the pResident,

Monday, June 27, 2005

White Space

For anyone else whose blog had Blogger-induced empty space between the date header and post, the fix is in.

Update: Although with this template, I had to play with the Post margin as well - making the right margin 185px.
T - I -double Geh - eR



The wonderful thing about Tigger, was that Tigger was a wonderful thing.










'night, Paul.

[cross-posted at Synaptic Sync]

Friday, June 24, 2005

Hello, Hello, Anybody Out There?

We're back online. I don't quite know why we went offline sometime between my last post on Thursday night (last week) and my attempting to post on Friday morning. Of course, now we have the new bug that has afflicted many but, hey, I'll take it - at least they were able to recover this blog.

In the interim, I started a new blog that I had plans for in anticipation of Terry's return here (and no, sorry, I haven't heard any news from him) and it seemed no time like the present. Of course, that blog also has caught the new contagion.

In addition, I started a blog documenting the process of attempted blog recovery - why not, right? You can see from the last correspondence I received from Christine at Blogger support, the blog had been compromised (hacked?) but it won't happen again. All right, then.

Anyway, in the course of my start-a-new-blog-a-minute activities, I came across a new template that I like for it's stark simplicity (and bonus - it doesn't appear to be affected by the latest bug) so I'm going to convert the Synaptic Sync blog this weekend.

Given the timing, I suspect the new bug may have something to do with their new blogger images function (which is a handy feature) but then again, I suppose it could be merely a coinky-dink of timing.

Well, more later. While I wasn't able to blog on it, I did e-mail Senator Durbin and told him that many thought his only mistake was to apologize for something for which no apology was needed.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Perspective


Humiliation



torture,




and lynching



but NOT desecration!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Reality Bites

It's not enough that network television consists only of the CSIs, the Laws and Order and every conceivable idiotic reality scheme, now 20/20 is looking for a few self-conscious extremists ...
Have you gone to extreme lengths in order to look good? "20/20" wants to talk to you, especially if you have done any of the following:

* Have an elaborate beauty routine involving special creams, injections, peels, and other procedures in order to look younger

* Have had, or are considering having, plastic surgery to improve appearance on discrete body parts such as ankles/feet/private areas/buttocks/elbows/knees
Paging Tammy Fay Baker, Joan Rivers ... I hear Michael's available now as well. Hey, they didn't say the operation(s) had to be successful. And another thing, they really need to change the name of this show. They haven't shown exceptional vision in advance or in hindsight since, well, definitely since -they added him. Give us a break.
California Dreamin'

Here's a suggestion. Your Governator wants a special election this November? Why don't you give it to him and make sure it's a really special one. Hey, it takes less than 900,000 valid signatures, surely you can oblige him - you're going to foot the bill for his 'election' regardless.
Sometimes Love Don't Feel Like It Should

James. He hurts so good.
Good Neighbors
Canadians believe U.S. President George W. Bush is almost as great a threat to our national security as Osama bin Laden, according to a government opinion poll obtained by the National Post.

The 1,500 people contacted for the poll, conducted last February for the Department of National Defence, listed "International Organized Crime" as the top danger, with 38 per cent ranking it as a great threat to security concern and another 50 per cent listing it as moderate.

But tied for second in the poll were "U.S. Foreign Policy" and "Terrorism," with 37 per cent rating it a great risk. Just behind those worries came "Climate Change and Global Warming."[Nitpicker emphasis]
Gotta love those Canucks, heh? Of course they shouldn't really be worrying about global warming because, according to US [Foreign?] Policy, that doesn't exist. Just ask Phil Cooney.
Malpractice

Bill Frist March 19, 2005:
Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), a renowned heart surgeon before becoming Senate majority leader, went to the floor late Thursday night for the second time in 12 hours to argue that Florida doctors had erred in saying Terri Schiavo is in a "persistent vegetative state."

"I question it based on a review of the video footage which I spent an hour or so looking at last night in my office," he said in a lengthy speech in which he quoted medical texts and standards. "She certainly seems to respond to visual stimuli."[Nitpicker emphasis]
Schiavo Autopsy findings June 15, 2005:
The collapse 15 years ago that left Terri Schiavo profoundly brain damaged may not have been caused by an eating disorder, according to Dr. Jon Thogmartin, the medical examiner who today announced the results of Schiavo's autopsy.

The collapse left her completely blind and most likely in a persistent vegetative state, Thogmartin said.[Nitpicker emphasis]
So, we're clear on that issue now, heh?

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Chain Saw Massacre Revisited (or Welcome to America)
On the morning of April 25, Gregory Despres hitchhiked to the Canadian border crossing at Calais, Maine, carrying a homemade sword, a hatchet, a knife, brass knuckles and a chain saw stained by what appeared to be blood.
Bet he got stopped at the U.S. border though - after all, we're livin' in a post-9/11 world now.
Customs officials confiscated the cache of weapons and fingerprinted Despres, but allowed him to enter the United States -- not knowing the gruesome scene about to unfold in the hitchhiker's hometown.[Nitpicker emphasis]
Boy, was I wrong (Well, it's not like he had a rocket-powered grenade launcher or anything).
The following day, in the village of Minto, New Brunswick, the decapitated body of a well-known country musician named Frederick Fulton was discovered on his kitchen floor. Police found the 74-year-old man's head in a pillow case under a kitchen table and the body of his common-law wife, Veronica Decarie, stabbed to death in a bedroom.

... While authorities on the Canadian side of the border await his return, a question for customs officials lingers: At a time when the U.S. is tightening its borders, how could a man toting a bloody chain saw be allowed to enter the country?[Nitpicker emphasis]
Imagine if we weren't 'tightening' our borders - feelin' safe now?
If I Could Save Time Trust in a Bottle ...

the first thing that I'd like to do is to develop beneficial applications for treating mental disorders (and establish world peace of course).[my apologies to the late, great, Jim Croce]
Swiss and American scientists say they have successfully manipulated subjects in an experiment to take risks they might not otherwise take by giving them a squirt of the hormone oxytocin to stimulate trusting behavior.
A less trusting individual, or conspiracy theorist, could think of other, shall we say less altruistic, uses for this drug.
Of course, this finding could be misused," said Ernst Fehr of the University of Zurich, the senior researcher in the study, which appears in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature. "I don't think we currently have such abuses. However, in the future it could happen.[Nitpiicker emphasis]
Ya' think? Imagine if Chimpwit starts putting this in the 'kool aid'; he won't have to find 'friendly' crowds for his photo ops. Social Security? - history. Our only defense is to plant 3rd trimester pregnant women in the audiences as detection devices. If you start to feel uterine cramping ladies, give a shout. Of course, since all of us lefty females have abortions, we're totally screwed.

As an interesting aside, I found this site when googling for a general oxytocin reference -because oxytocin is also the touch hormone (as referenced). In fact, the bridge between touch and sex according to the fine folks at The Marriage Bed: Sex and Intimacy for Married Christians. Lots of good stuff here about touching, others or yourself. But I think they just might be promoting pedophilia.

First they get us all hot and bothered ...
Touch causes our bodies to produce a hormone called oxytocin. Not only does touch stimulate production of oxytocin, but oxytocin promotes a desire to touch and be touched: it's a feedback loop that can have wonderful results. Oxytocin makes us feel good about the person who causes the oxytocin to be released, and it causes a bonding between the two persons.

... There's more. Oxytocin plays a significant role in our sexuality too. Higher levels of oxytocin result in greater sexual receptivity, and because oxytocin increases testosterone production (which is responsible for sex drive in both men and women) sex drive can also increase. Moreover, this hormone does not just create a sexual desire in women, coupled with estrogen it creates a desire to be penetrated (that is, it makes her want intercourse). Oxytocin increases the sensitivity of the penis and the nipples, improves erections, and makes both orgasm and ejaculation stronger; it may even increase sperm counts.[Nitpicker emphasis]
with all the touching an penetratin' an orgasm an ejaculation an such, then they go on to tell us to do as much touchin' as we can, lookin' for touchin' opportunities. Then, they end with ...
And don't forget your kids, they need touch too!! [their emphasis]
Now that just don't seem right. Well, I gotta go an find out whether or not masturbatin's a sin -see ya'.
Port Authority
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff also announced last week that the nation's busiest seaports, Los Angeles and Long Beach, will have enough drive-through radiation monitors to screen every container by year's end.

... Homeland Security also is buying hundreds of radiation detectors to screen 26,000 cargo containers from abroad as they are unloaded at 314 ports each day. More than 500 of the $250,000 machines are at ports around the country. The monitors are notorious for false alarms, set off by innocuous products.[Nitpicker emphasis]
That would be innocuous products like kitty litter. Well, that's bound to be an efficient process, heh? Feeling safer yet?


'night, Anne
Nothing to Hide

John Kerry now looks extremely stupid for, apparently, not wanting to appear merely stupid, or lazy or disinterested. Sheesh, he could have just said, like many, Vietnam had been a springboard for his maturation (unlike someone else who didn't even sober up 'til his forties). I guess that wouldn't have been nuanced enough for him though.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Heatin'on Up

I guess this is to be expected when the television series you've appeared in for years comes to a close and you're hit with the realization that, given your acting ability, it's likely you'll be relegated to performing in ads for the slumlord of major grocery chains for what remains of your career. So, you need a platform, right? These are important issues and yours is an important voice.

First Heaton goes off on her Terry Schiavo soapbox. She pulls a Frist-plus in that she can diagnose long distance, as does he, but she even does it without the benefit of a medical degree. "She is not in a comotose state and she is not suffering from terminal disease", said Heaton at the time and I said nothing. Okay, I laughed but I didn't comment in a post. I did find her idea of this as a feminist issue interesting (translated ludicrous) - "A husband should not be granted absolute control over his wife's fate." Because well only your parents should retain that right -I guess. We've come a long way there - heh, baby. At least, appropiately enough, her interview was on Entertainment Tonight and not some news program (Do we still have those?). But, you know, I left it alone because Heaton also said that "Terry may no longer be perfect or complete" and I figured well ... she knows where of she speaks.

But now, now she's speaking out on abortion alternatives:
Dressed in a slim dark-blue suit, she said a lack of resources often robs pregnant women, typically those in college or with little money, from being able to consider other options beyond abortion. The problem is stark at the collegiate level, she said.

"Students rarely see pregnant students," said Miss Heaton, whose highly successful "Raymond" series run ends this year. "They'll never associate having their children with education."[Nitpicker emphasis -what the hell does that even mean]
But okay, we can argue about college women and whether or not they're robbed of resources or have (or should have) the wherewithal to identify these resources and their need of them for themselves but that's not the point. The point - and it's that feminist angle again -is ...
"The early feminists found abortion to be the ultimate exploitation of women," she said.

That message mutated during the 1960s, a decade when women were told they had to "become men to compete," she said.

"We bought into that. We're smarter today," she said. "It's more empowering to go through with your pregnancy." [Nitpicker emphasis]
Excuse me? I had three pregnancies and three kids. To be frank, abortion was never an option for me. After all, I don't think it's legal anywhere, under any circumstances after the 52nd trimester and it didn't really occur to me before that time. But while I could characterize my pregnancies in a variety of ways, "empowering" does not come to mind. I mean, if it's your first child this period is just a prelude to the approximate 20-year interval in which you have no identity other than that of so and so's mom (it should be noted that this is a gender neutral phenomenon in that he becomes so and so's dad as well). If you're crazy enough to repeat the process you're merely further postponing the return of your independent identity. Empowering, my ass.

Now Heaton's hanging out over at the Huffington Post urging her fellow artists to come together in "supporting our mutual concerns". After all, although they accomplish nothing, she and her liberal friend, can at least talk with one another and Patricia doesn't worry about her reputation being "sullied" in the neighborhood when her friend's car, complete with Recall Bush bumper sticker, is parked outside her home. Okay, in southern California ... sullied - right. But I will give credit where it's due and at least she's consistent - she's anti-abortion and anti-death penalty. So, yeah Patricia, let's "split the difference", you don't interfere with the reproductive rights of other women and they won't interfere with yours - can we get your "support" on that?

Oops - in my rush to get out the door to a meeting I forgot one little notable detail - Heaton and her gal pal were inspired by a David Brook's column. I guess that's all you really need to know about Heaton's thought processes -but Bilmon has a wee bit more to say about their source of inspiration.
Recruitment ... Full Circle

Okay, so U.S. military recruitment is growing more and more difficult even as freedom and democracy march to successfully squelch the insurgency in Iraq. And meanwhile (back at the ranch) the Chimpwit is going around exploiting kissing former blastocysts in an effort to rouse support for his new no embryo left behind program. Now, generally, I find Miss Molly not only highly entertaining but also insightful. However, in her last column Ms. Ivins admits that she doesn't get "the disconnect in Bush's mind" as he catapults the propaganda (a euphemism for hurling the bullshit) about his refusal to support "the use of federal dollars to destroy life" when it comes to the waste of a homeless embryo but thinks nothing of the death and destruction in Iraq. In reality it's not the 'disconnect' she misses but rather the 'connect'. Dubya's "no spare embryo" has nothing to do with his understanding of the in vitro fertilization process (it's science after all and we certainly know something of his limitations in that arena) but rather it relates back to the recruitment difficulties in his great Iraqi adventure. That is, we're going to be in Iraq for quite some time to come and, well, today's blastocyst is tomorrow's recruit. But I digress because this relates only tangentially to the recruitment I was going to write about today.

I really just wanted to pose this question: Don't these silver-spooned buffoons have sufficient numbers of dysfunctional, completely useless offspring of their own without having to recruit additional heirs? Of course, I do realize the importance of knowing, when you have three forks staring up at you, the order in which they should be used. Because, with this informaiton in hand, the life you save could well be your own. 'nough said.