Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one.

-C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Shit sandwich

I will hazard to say that negative album reviews may be the most inherently hilarious form of English prose in which it is possible to express oneself.

A towering achievement of sludgy, mid-tempo homogeneity, Chapter V exists in a time warp where dead-serious, loud n' grandiose music still reads as affecting, and where blunt, graceless lyrics that shill their author's pedestrian pop-psych worldview don't bludgeon the senses -- like they do in real life. Big time.
This one's not exactly a knee-slapper, but hopefully you get my drift. Anyway, they make me laugh.

Highly Anticipated Release

You better believe...

...that Radiohead is recording.

Enigmatic as always, Greenwood only makes a quick nod to Radiohead's recording duties with the opening line, "We're back in the studio and all is well."
To say that I eagerly await this record is kind of like saying a hyena eagerly awaits tearing into the flesh of a newly killed zebra.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


I am so tired of hearing about intelligent design. Don't these idiots have anything better to do other than embarrass me and my country?

Monday, September 26, 2005

Mike Brown: FEMA Consultant

Leave no crony behind!! Brownie's back!

What's he going to consult on anyway? How to tie a half-windsor? If the Bush White House's credibility was yesterday a mere tiny gnat, today that gnat is just a greasy black smear on the windshield.

Who's Mainstream?

The difference between Barbra Streisand and Pat Robertson?

One gets phoned for advice about potential Supreme Court nominees, one doesn't.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

George W. Bush: Socialist

What an astonishing failure George W. Bush has been as president. Not only has he pulled a reverse Midas and turned nearly everything he's touched to shit, he's even failed to be much of a conservative. Not that this bothers the "true believers" out there. So sad. I know I'm not supposed to dismiss the huge southern block of Republican voters as stupid rubes who don't know decent policy from a bucket of slop, but sometimes it's too hard to resist.

I can see how they might not want to vote for Ted Kennedy or anything, but how about demanding a little accountability from their representatives? I'm not sure these guys actually are conservatives. I read somewhere that a majority of Bush voters thought their guy came down on the Democratic position on a whole host of issues. Heck, they don't even know who they're voting for! Is the little (R) next to the name really that important? Let's face it, if the Republican Southerners who vote these jokes into office actually had their conserviative wishes come true, their highways would be spalling, pot-holey rubble in about 3 years. Note to Georgia: Don't spend Illinois' tax money all in one place.

FDA vacancy

FDA chief resigns. Bush is now officially on "crony-watch." I wonder if any former big pharma lobbyists are looking to make a career change?

Sunday Random 12

  1. Homecoming (Green Day, American Idiot)

  2. Nightmares By The Sea (Jeff Buckley, Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk)

  3. Hey Hey What Can I Do (Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin Box Set)

  4. Green Shirt (Boss Hogg, Boss Hogg)

  5. Rotten Apple (Alice In Chains, Jar Of Flies)

  6. Allison (Elvis Costello, My Aim Is True)

  7. Computer Blue (Prince And The Revolution, Purple Rain)

  8. Wrapped Up In Books (Belle & Sebastian, Dear Catastrophe Waitress)*

  9. Square One (Coldplay, X & Y)

  10. Natural Anthem (Postal Service, Give Up)

  11. World In My Eyes (Depeche Mode, Violator)

  12. God Only Knows (The Beach Boys, Pet Sounds)

I will say a prayer just while you are sitting there
And I will wrap my arms around you cause I know it will be fine

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Debt Relief

Truly fantastic news from the IMF. Debt relief for the 3rd world is long overdue. But once we get these guys back to zero, no more slush funds for corrupt governments loans, OK?

A deal to erase billions of dollars of debt for poor countries cleared an important hurdle Saturday, winning the endorsement of the International Monetary Fund's steering committee.
The only question now is: How long until John Bolton and BushCo. try to put the brakes on this one? I'm going to give them about a week.

New Ghettos

Newt Gingrich (can't believe I'm saying this) is exactly right here. What a terrible policy idea from a administration that has a seemingly endless store of terrible policy ideas.

At least in the case of housing, critics say that the president's unwillingness to rely on existing programs could raise costs. Instead of offering $10,000 vouchers, FEMA is paying an average of $16,000 for each trailer in the new parks it is contemplating. Even many Republicans wonder why the government would want to build trailer parks when many evacuees are now living in communities with plenty of vacant, privately owned apartments.

"The idea that — in a community where we could place people in the private housing market to reintegrate them into society — we would put them in [trailer] ghettos with no jobs, no community, no future, strikes me as extraordinarily bad public policy, and violates every conservative principle that I'm aware of," said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Republican.
Well, it certainly doesn't violate the "afraid of black people" conservative principle.

Hat tip: Andrew Sullivan.

Demand Results

Paul Wolfowitz says that he will be demanding tangible results from World Bank anti-poverty programs. Fair enough. I suppose that if a thing isn't working, best to find out about it and try something else. Possibly even a counter-intuitive approach. To me, giving money to poor nations is sort of like a fat person not eating fatty foods in an effort to lose weight. Both approaches make sense rhetorically. If a nation has no money, give them some. If a person doesn't want to "be" fat, he shouldn't "eat" fat. But other variables, like that corrupt government or all that sugar-loaded pop you're drinking, always end up upsetting all your best laid plans. In the end, the solution isn't as simple as it first appears. So sure, Paul, I'm on board with your idea. Demand results.

My only issue with this, however, is how poverty almost always seems to bring out the conservative in a guy. Demand results from anti-poverty programs, demand results from inner city schools, demand results from Head Start programs, demand accountability and oversight for Katrina funds. Again, I'm not arguing with any of these efforts to make sure money is spent wisely. I'd argue that's the U.S. Congress's only real job. Funny though, how you never hear the call to demand results (on a macro level) from agricultural subsidies, from corporate welfare, from laws easing pollution restrictions, from wars in Iraq. Why does it seem that conservatives care more about the 10 dollars going to the lady in the nursing home, but could care less about the 10 million being overcharged to the US by contractors in the Middle East?

Kate Moss

So everyone's piling on Kate Moss these days. I suppose she deserves it to a certain extent, but this whole "shocked and appalled" act that H&M and Chanel and the rest are pulling is really too much. I mean, who'd've thunk it? A rail-thin supermodel? Doing lines of coke? Say it isn't so! Truth is, about 90% of these ladies powder their noses, from Naomi Campbell to Hillary Duff. Just once, I'd like to see on the cover of Cosmo, "What's her beach body secret? Blow!" The fashion industry will huff and puff and act all blindsided, but all this spat of indignation proves is that once again, the biggest sin is getting caught.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Take Their Mics

One of my first executive decisions as Ruler Of All The Universe would be the immediate and permanent silencing of all football referees. I wouldn't remove their vocal cords or larynx or anything, I'd just take away their microphones. Then we wouldn't have to listen to idiotic and meaningless phrases like "The down remains first" ever again.

I Can't Keep Up

How do these bloggers do it? How do they find the time to post so often? How are their posts so consistently well written and well researched? I can understand Atrios and Kos and Josh because that's their living. I'd have to think that the guys like Yglesias and Drum get paid by their respective publications, so blogging is sort of their job, too. I get the big group sites like Crooked Timber, because the time investment is split up between all the contributors. But how does a site like Majikthise manage? How the heck do Jesse and Amanda post so much? What's Echidne's secret? Does Steve Gilliard have a Time Turner? Is there a 1985 Delorean under a tarp in Billmon's garage? Do they have jobs? Do they blog at work? I mean no disrespect here. I'm honestly asking how they do it. Can 5,000 hits generate a living wage?

The Dodeca-job and the Dodeca-wife and the Dodeca-baby take up a lot of my time. I barely have the time to read the newspaper let alone compose thoughtful essays. Even more strange is the fact that the weekend seems like the time for light blogging for most of these guys. Heck, Saturday and Sunday are my most productive days. If it wasn't for the weekend, I'd never post! I don't mean to rant and rave but flipping Google just kicked me off AdSense for some reason that I don't understand and took away the 45 odd dollars I thought I'd earned. Oh well. Easy come, easy go.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


  1. The Legend Of Zelda

  2. Mike Tyson's Punchout

  3. Metroid

  4. Excitebike*

  5. Tecmo Bowl

Irish Riots

I must plead ignorance on this one. I have no idea why so much violence has erupted in Northern Ireland. Why now? What's the big deal? If one of my dozen or so loyal readers has a clue, please do fill me in.

It's interesting that no TV commentator has called for any of the rioters to be shot on sight, though.

Monday, September 12, 2005

David Paulison

Credit where credit due. At first glance, Bush's choice for the top post at FEMA looks to be a pretty qualified individual. Then again, opening up the Sunday paper and seeing the number 38 next to your name tends to knock a little bit of sense into you.

Best Ever

Prediction: Roger Federer will go down in history as the greatest tennis player ever to inhabit the planet earth.

Federer absolutely cannot be stopped. Funny thing is that his opponent always seems to be "the fan favorite." That's fine, I guess, but it really is high time this dude got some love from the gallery.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Sunday Random 12

  1. Bodyrock (Moby, Play)

  2. Mountains O' Things (Tracy Chapman, Tracy Chapman)

  3. Seconds (U2, War)

  4. The Beautiful Ones (Prince And The Revolution, Purple Rain)

  5. Under Pressure (Queen & David Bowie, Classic Queen)

  6. Commissioning A Symphony In C (Cake, Comfort Eagle)

  7. Missing (Beck, Guero)

  8. Train In Vain (The Clash, London Calling)

  9. Bigmouth Strikes Again (The Smiths, The Queen Is Dead)*

  10. Bye Bye Baby (OK Go, OK Go)

  11. Track 7 (Sigur Ros, ())

  12. It's Alright (Jay-Z, Vol. 2...Hard Knock Life)

Now I know how Joan of Arc felt
As the flames rose
To her Roman nose
And her iPod started to melt

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Heck yes!

Note to all would-be Pedro delegates: the "Vote For Pedro" t-shirt was cool last September, not this September.

More Katrina Blogging

Two points about Katrina:

1. Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco certainly made some mistakes. They should have evacuated the city earlier than they did, and they should have done so using all those waterlogged buses that we've seen on the pictures. But there is no moral equivalence between their poor, and probably fatal decisions and the fact that Bush and the federal goverment, with full knowledge that people, babies, were going without water for days at a time, sat on their hands, did nothing and let them die.

2. We've heard much from conservative commentators (Google it yourself) that it is the responsibility of the local first responders to handle disaster relief. How does that square with the fact that the Bush administration has done nothing but cut the budgets of regional first response teams all over the country? It's not the conservative approach (locals handle it) that I necessarily disagree with. It's the fact that their actions totally belie their stated preferences.


  1. All The President's Men

  2. Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid

  3. Three Days Of The Condor*

  4. The Sting

  5. The Candidate

Friday, September 09, 2005


Just got Set Yourself On Fire by Stars, a group from Montreal. In fact, I am listening to it at this very moment. Very good stuff. I can’t even tell you how much I love bands that have more than one lead singer. They sound like if you took The Arcade Fire, Belle & Sebastian and all their instruments and mixing boards and threw them into a special blender designed not to grind up its contents, but instead to combine mellifluously each band’s musical strengths. Good lyrics too. I forgot to say that the blender does that as well.


  1. Terminator 2

  2. The French Connection

  3. Kill Bill Vol. 1

  4. The Fugitive

  5. Die Hard
Best scene in Terminator 2: when the time lapse camera shows the Arnold terminator standing watch over young John Connor all night long without moving.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Hardball Vs. No Balls

This gem from a e-mail to Andrew Sullivan that he posted to his blog:

And frankly, I'm stunned that not a single prominent Democrat has called for Bush's resignation. Apparently, the Democrats are just too cowed by their electoral losses, but it's still stunning. Not that Bush would actually resign, of course, but calling for his resignation would force Republicans up and down the line into the unenviable position of defending this indefensible incompetence. How long do you suppose the GOP would have waited to call for President Kerry's resignation?
How true it is. I wish there was just one truly fearless Democrat in all of Washington. God knows the attack machine would come to get them, but what more do they have to lose?

Gasoline on the Fire?

I agree with Josh that giving nearly all of the $50 bil.+ in disaster relief aid to FEMA seems like a truly terrible idea. It certainly goes against most of these "principles of reconstruction," especially #6 and #7.

  1. Don't confuse poverty with stupidity: trust people to make good decisions about how to put their lives back together.

  2. Give people freedom of choice: let them have cash and vouchers for transportation, food, clothing, housing, and then let them make choices about where to go and what to do.

  3. Don't winnow the group of the afflicted down through a complex sorting of who was where, and how damaged, and so forth. Be generous and broad in providing reconstruction aid.

  4. Take the opportunity to design and build the most efficient and secure and environmentally sound transportation, port, oil and gas, business and residential communities in the world. For example, build the best communications network in world to replace the old one -- Bell South allegedly lost 20 switches, which is a staggering number;help this great company rebuild the most efficient modern network in world. For example, deploy a wireless data network across whole region for first responders and also for commercial users.

  5. Have all reconstruction efforts be transparent to the public, doing all planning and contracting on the Net.

  6. Don't confuse reconstruction with emergency relief. Whatever reforms are necessary at DHS, it is clear that DHS should have nothing to do with reconstruction because its mission is to protect the rest of America from the next calamities and to provide emergency relief when necessary.

  7. Don't build a permanent reconstruction bureaucracy. Every reconstruction agency or authority should be managed by real managers, not political appointees, and should go out of business when the work is done.

  8. Set high and explicit goals, and meet them. Don't talk about "years and years": be specific about what is to be done and when.

  9. Involve the affected people and empower them; don't manage from Washington.

  10. Be open and honest in all planning, decisions, and execution.

I'm afraid the reconstruction process will become a mini-Iraq with millions and millions of dollars being basically "looted" from the taxpayers by overcharging contractors. Maybe this is why the eleven Members of Congress voted against the relief package? That would be a good reason, at least. I think more likely their votes were to safeguard a high score on one of those conservative "report cards."

I suppose there's not much we can do about it now, though. The much needed funds are in FEMA's hands. Even more reason to fire that nincompoop, Michael Brown. Now it won't be mainly a symbolic gesture. Getting Brownie out of there will directly benefit the reconstruction efforts. We're waiting, George.

The Bootstrappin' Eleven

Just eleven Members of the House of Representatives voted against House Resolution 3673, which appropriated funds for Hurricaine Katrina disaster relief.

Joe Barton R-TX
Jeff Flake R-AZ
Virginia Foxx R-NC
Scott Garrett R-NJ
John Hostettler R-IN
Steve King R-IA
Butch Otter R-ID
Ron Paul R-TX
Jim Sensenbrenner R-WI
Tom Tancredo R-CO
Lynn Westmoreland R-GA

I will be calling all of these Representatives over the next few days to find out why they voted the way they did. Details to follow...

Writing Assignment

First of all, Michael Brown should be fired immediately.

Now, here’s a little assignment for some of my right-of-center readers. I’d like to hear, for my own personal amusement, your justification for the following items: 1) George W. Bush's appointment of Michael Brown, a man with exactly zero disaster management experience, to the top spot at FEMA (by the way, even Michelle Malkin agrees with me) and 2) the ongoing, Soviet-style attempt to prevent newsmedia from reporting on the aftermath of this domestic natural disaster as well as the colossal mismanagement of the recovery effort.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


I don’t say one way or another whether New Orleans being predominantly a black city contributed to the slow and in some cases non-existent federal response, but I find it a bit hilarious that dopes like Bill O’Reilly would so loudly scoff at such an idea. Don’t they read history? Don’t they recognize the jaw-dropping injustice that our Black countrymen and women have had to endure over the history of our country? It may be unlikely that racism slowed help from arriving, but it’s hardly unthinkable.


The most frightening thing about the federal response to the flooded city New Orleans is that we knew this would happen. FEMA is headed by a crony, a political loyalist who got the job as reward for services in the past and/or expected in the future. I’m not surprised that when it came time to coordinate an extremely complex rescue and recovery effort, he was totally out of his league. If important government offices are staffed by inexperienced hacks, what else can we honestly expect? If I appointed my three best buddies to first chair violin, first chair clarinet and first chair cello in the local orchestra, they may look nice parading about in their tuxedos, but what would one expect to hear when it came time to play?

I find myself thinking how many other Michael Browns are there lurking about within our government. How many other political hacks occupy positions that should be staffed with experts. But don’t we already know the answer to that question too? It’s sad that Bush thinks it’s more important to reward his donors and his donors’ friends than make sure he delegates tasks to capable and responsible people, but this is how the Bush White House does everything. I remember the second presidential debate when Bush was asked if he could name any mistakes he had made. I think he mentioned having made some “bad appointments.” But is Michael Brown who he was talking about? I think it’s much more likely that he meant instances where he misjudged the appointees loyalty. Larry Lindsey, Paul O’Neill, and Richard Clarke come to mind. To Bush, loyalty is not just the most important quality in an appointee, it is the only quality valued at all. How else can one explain the appointment of Michael Brown to the FEMA post? In the final analysis, what other qualities did he possess?

Sometimes I want to agree with Kanye West when he says “Bush doesn’t care about […] people.” Most times, though, I find it hard to believe that our president just flat out doesn’t care about his fellow Americans. I think the truth lies, as it so often does, somewhere in the middle. There’s a scene in the Graduate where Mr. Robinson, having found out about his wife’s affair, waits for Ben in his apartment. Mr. Robinson tries to determine why Benjamin loathes him so utterly. Ben pleads with Mr. Robinson saying that it had nothing to do with him, that he doesn’t hate him. “But you don’t respect me too much, do you?” counters Mr. Robinson. All Ben can do at this point is agree. There’s a fine line between malicious intent and reckless disrespect. I’m sure that Bush didn’t mean for New Orleans, or any other city for that matter, to be destroyed. But he clearly didn’t respect his office enough to realize that when you surround yourself solely with cronies, performance and ability will suffer and someone somewhere will most definitely be the worse for it.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Sunday Random 12

  1. Drive My Car (The Beatles, Rubber Soul)

  2. Know That (Mos Def, Black On Both Sides)

  3. My Darling (WILCO, SUMMERTEETH)

  4. Space Beatle (The Beta Band, Heroes to Zeroes)

  5. Girl Let Me Touch You (Dr. Octagon, Dr. Octagonecologyst)

  6. Bop Scotch (Stereolab, Margerine Eclipse)

  7. One More Cup Of Coffee (Bob Dylan, Desire)

  8. Crash Into Me (The Dave Matthews Band, Crash)

  9. Trouble (Coldplay, Parachutes)

  10. Asleep (The Smiths, Louder Than Bombs)

  11. Calm Like A Bomb (Rage Against The Machine, The Battle Of Los Angeles)

  12. Miss Being Mrs. (Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose)

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Bush Personally Sees to Foodlift Delay

More evidence that George W. Bush is a repellent loaf of dung. Just throw it in with the rest, I suppose.

Three tons of food ready for delivery by air to refugees in St. Bernard Parish and on Algiers Point sat on the Crescent City Connection bridge Friday afternoon as air traffic was halted because of President Bush’s visit to New Orleans, officials said.
How else was he supposed to get there? What the hell do I care. Getting food and water to starving people is just a tad more important I think. Oh, and to answer the inevitable question: Would I have been pissed if Bush stayed away and didn't show up at all? Damn right. What's a fella to do, then? Figure it out, dickhead.

Via the globetrotting Upyernoz.

Now or Never

Colbert, after reading your editorial in today's Washington Post I have a few things to say.

Now, I didn't think it was completely terrible. For example, this was a particularly good point that caught my eye.

First, to state the obvious: The people caught stealing on camera in that majority-black city weren't doing it because they were black. Just as raiders of corporate treasuries don't do it because they are white. Skin color has nothing to do with the urge to take what doesn't belong to you.
But regarding the thesis of your column, the contention that this isn't the time for outrage, I've got exactly two words for you.

With respect, here they are:

1. Screw
2. You

Kanye West

Speak it, Kanye. God, I hate scripted TV emoting. Homeboy took one look at the stupid script for the stupid celebrity congratul-a-thon and went off on his own blasting Bush's hapless response to the hurricaine. What did he say? Just what everyone was thinking but too afraid to actually say. I hope NBC raised a lot of money and I hope that money will make it to those people and projects that need it most, but do we need all the sugar-coated crap about spirit and profundity? I mean, the people wading in the sludge right now can't be watching, so it sure as hell isn't for them.

Instead of this ridiculous emotional masturbation, what we need is for some heads to roll over this. Because as long as we sit back and accept this pageant of bungling as a-o-k, it will happen again and again.

Friday, September 02, 2005


Via the spot-on Mustang Bobby, we have the $64,000 question. Seeing that the Bush administration has utterly failed to adequately respond to the flooding in New Orleans, who gets promoted?

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Carnival of Bad History

Nothing changes more constantly than the past; for the past that influences our lives does not consist of what actually happened, but of what men believe happened.

- Gerald W. Johnson (1890-1980)

So you wanna be startin’ something? If you’re Bad History, see if you can imagine Billie Jean and Dirty Diana catching Smooth Criminal breaking into their second floor walk-up (betcha didn’t know they were roommates). Talk about a smackdown. That’s about how it’s going to be for you today if you try anything, B.H. So take a good look at the man in the mirror and ASSESS. The shocktroops have arrived. My advice to you? Just beat it. And don’t even bother taking that rock with you, it won’t do you any good.

But enough of this bullocks. Welcome to The Carnival of Bad History! Make yourself at home in this the lastest Bad History debunk-a-thon where bloggers will attempt to snuff the fuses of yet another batch of historical stink bombs. Since today’s Bad History becomes tomorrow’s Braveheart, this may be the most important Carnival of the Blogosphere! We must be strong in the face of blatant inaccuracy, self-serving historical analogy and empty suits talking nonsense. So once more into the blogs, my good fellows! Read, friends, and don’t stop till you get enough!!!

Where did martyrdom first come into style? To kill or to be killed? Dr. Jim Davila at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland (where they call it "GOF" without the "L") sorts out the mess.

Are you a Godwin's Law enthusiast? Do you keep a log every time someone makes an ill advised Holocaust comparison? Orac breaks down some pretty egregious Nazi era analogies. And he tells us what to do about it. Whacking Bad History over the head with a blackjack is fun, innit?

Where are the moustache-twirling Arab villains? Certainly not in the movies, regardless of what one reporter would have us believe. Logical Meme explains.

As Jonathan Dresner tells us again and again, Paul Harvey is wrong. Sometimes, you've just got to tell it like it is.

Think you're reliving a piece of our history when you turn on that oven light, peer through little holes in the oven door window film and watch the turkey roast and toast? Think again. Jeremy D. "She" Bangs at has it covered. This is the definitive debunking of the pop history (how often is it Bad History!) surrounding one of the USA's best holidays.

Looks like British History's not much better. Can't seem to agree on when they were last invaded. You'd think they'd remember something like that.

Just when you though that Intelligent Design supporters had reach the point of wrongness singularity, they burst into the world of, you guessed it, Bad History. Carl Zimmer at Corante channels Newton to keep us all from spiraling down a vortex of Badness.

When blogs attack!! Sometimes a blog, in the midst of an attempt to debunk Bad History, finds itself the target of a debunking all its own! Is no one safe?!?! Never let it be said that Professor PZ Myers takes prisoners. He doesn't.

The movies are a veritable mushroom patch of Bad History, with new and improved distortions springing up almost overnight. Browse around this collection of posts where they put movie versions of history under intense scrutiny. Enough to break a movie, really.

Here are 10 fun questions to ask your history teacher. Try them out and watch the smoke come out of their ears.

Could this be the Unifying Theory of Bad History? Sometimes it all just makes sense.

Enough carnage for now!! Your insatiable thirst for Bad Historical blood will have to wait. The next carnival will be held in about three months at a time and place to be announced. But don’t let that stop you from continuing to de-bunk Bad History in the meantime. Do the world a service and prepare your post for the next Carnival of Bad History!

(moonwalks off stage leaving only the glare of track lighting)

This blog is based on a true story.