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Link: The Politics Test
George W. KAKA
Dateline Germany, January 2005.
Police in the sleepy hamlet of Bayreuth are in a bit of a pickle. Someone -- or something -- is jamming miniature toothpick flag portraits of U.S. President George W Bush into piles of dog shit on sidewalks, public parks, and pedestrian thoroughfares. Josef Oettl, parks administrator for Bayreuth, said: "This has been going on for about a year now, and there must be 2,000 to 3,000 piles of excrement that have been claimed during that time."
The dog-shit-on-a-stick motif was originally thought to be some sort of protest against the US-led invasion of Iraq. When the structures survived for several consecutive seasons (weathering rain, snow, and extreme temperatures in all directions) the flags were thought to be a protest against Bush's campaign for re-election.
In 2006, the dog shit Bush parade is still going strong. Police say they are completely baffled as to who might be responsible.
"We have sent out extra patrols to try to catch whoever is doing this in the act," said police spokesman Reiner Kuechler. "But frankly, we don't know what we would do if we caught them red handed."
Legal experts claim there's no law against using dog shit as a flag stand, although Federal legal analysts warn the Constitution is vague on the issue. One possible source of all the dog shit flags has been identified only as the makeyouthink online entity, which offers downloadable PDF templates for printing, folding, and concealing in a backpack.
To be sure, dog shit is annoying and problematic in every country -- but is it really subject matter capable of depositing a huge, flaming bag of controversy on the entire world's doorstep?
Things you have to believe to be a Republican today
Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton. Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him; a good guy when Cheney did business with him; and a bad guy when Bush needed a "we can't find Bin Laden" diversion.
Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is Communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.
The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.
A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multi-national corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.
The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches, while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.
If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex.
A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our long-time allies, then demand their cooperation and money.
Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy, but providing health care to all Americans is socialism. HMOs and insurance companies have the best interests of the public at heart.
Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.
A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense, but a president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.
Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.
The public has a right to know about Hillary's cattle trades, but George Bush's driving record is none of our business.
Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery.
You support states' rights, but the Attorney General can tell states what local voter initiatives they have the right to adopt.
What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the '80s is irrelevant.
Due to a certain nutcase asshole, I will be turning on comment moderation for now. Feel free to stop by and thank this asshole HERE.
Thought for the Day
"Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else"
- Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States
Let's Make a Deal
Kyle MacDonald had a red paper clip and a dream: Could he use the community power of the Internet to barter that paper clip for something better, and trade that thing for something else - and so on and so on until he had a house?
After a cross-continental trading trek involving a fish-shaped pen, a town named Yahk and the Web's astonishing ability to bestow celebrity, MacDonald is getting close. He's up to one year's free rent on a house in Phoenix.
Not a bad return on an investment of one red paper clip. Yet MacDonald, 26, vows to keep going until he crosses the threshold of his very own home, wherever that might be.
"It's totally overwhelming, I'm not going to lie," he said by phone from Montreal, where he and his girlfriend, Dominique Dupuis, live with two roommates. "But I'm still trading for that house. It's this obsessive thing."
Read more about Kyle's story here.
America's Favorite Populist!
If you haven't heard Jim's commentary during Air America Mornings, you can see and hear more of his work by clicking his link on the left side of this page, under Progressive Links. In the meantime, enjoy this video!
Republican ChickenHawks of America
THEY'RE ALL FOR WAR...
AS LONG AS THEY DON'T HAVE TO SERVE!
See the entire deck by clicking HERE!
In Florida, Nelson Crushes Harris in Latest Poll
Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL) continues to struggle in her bid to unseat Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), according to a new Rasmussen Reports poll.
Nelson currently leads Harris by an astonishing 30 points, 57% to 27%. These numbers have Nelson “counting down the days until May 12,” the Florida filing deadline which would ensure a Nelson-Harris match-up should no other candidates enter the race.
What a wonderful Easter Egg! I now firmly beleive in the Easter Bunny once again!
Exxon Mobil, aided by strong energy prices, disclosed Monday that it had set a record for profits among American companies, reporting $36 billion in annual income. But while most companies would be proud to trumpet record profits, Exxon Mobil did everything it could to play down the news. I'd like to know how they plan on playing down the price we see at the pumps, while they have overtaken Wal-Mart as the most profitable company in the world, grossly overpaid their now ex-CEO, and grossed more profit last year than the GDP of Indonesia (The world's 4th most populous country).
Shareholders benefited handsomely on Lee Raymond's watch. The price of Exxon's shares rose an average of 13 percent a year. The company, now known as Exxon Mobil, paid $67 billion in total dividends.
For his efforts, Mr. Raymond, who retired in December, was compensated more than $686 million from 1993 to 2005, according to an analysis done for The New York Times by Brian Foley, an independent compensation consultant. That is $144,573 for each day he spent leading Exxon's "God pod," as the executive suite at the company's headquarters in Irving, Tex., is known. At $144k per day, I guess I wouldn't mind paying $2.85 for regular unleaded either. I guess I wouldn't care much about the price of anything that I might need.
Interesting Polling Sites
The latest from the "Party of Fiscal Responsibilty"
Government spending hit an all-time high for a single month in March, pushing the budget deficit up significantly from the red-ink level of a year ago. Treasury Department reported Wednesday that federal spending totaled $250 billion last month, up 13.7 percent from March 2005.
Government receipts also were up, rising 10.6 percent from a year ago, to $164.6 billion. That left a deficit for the month of $85.5 billion, a record imbalance for March.
Treasury Department officials said that half of the growth in outlays for March represented a $15 billion shift in payments for certain government benefit programs, including Medicare, into March rather than April. The benefit payments were made early because April 1 fell on a Saturday.
The March outlay record of $250 billion surpassed the old mark of $232 billion set in February.
Even though the deficit was a record for March, it was below the all-time monthly high of $119.2 billion, which was set in February.
So far through the first six months of this budget year, which began in October, the deficit totals $303 billion, an increase of 2.8 percent over the deficit in the first six months of the 2005 budget year.
Bush agenda not good for hunters and fishers
That's the argument put forward in a recent editorial in Field and Stream:
Rod and gun in hand, and backing the Second Amendment right to own firearms, President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have won the hearts of America’s sportsmen. Yet the two men have failed to protect outdoor sports on the nation’s public lands. With deep ties to the oil and gas industry, Bush and Cheney have unleashed a national energy plan that has begun to destroy hunting and fishing on millions of federal acres throughout the West, setting back effective wildlife management for decades to come.
Cal students take it off to protest sweatshop labor
A group of University of California students say they won't wear university logo apparel made in overseas sweatshops - and Tuesday they proved it. A handful of students stripped for a protest and rally at UC Berkeley to call on UC administrators to adopt a policy that would ensure that logo apparel is produced in factories that respect workers' rights. "The naked truth is that our Cal apparel is still made in sweatshops, but we have the power to create an alternative model for the global garment industry that rewards rather than punishes good factories," UC Berkeley senior Nina Rizzo said in a statement.
United Students Against Sweatshops protested in various stages of undress in front of California Hall at UC Berkeley and asked that the university prohibit apparel from being made in sweatshops. The students, organized under a national group called United Students Against Sweatshops, have held previous protests at UC Berkeley - including one other in the buff - and rallied in front of the UC Office of the President in Oakland. Eighteen students affiliated with Tuesday's protest were cited for trespassing after they staged a sit-in in California Hall, which houses administrative offices, including the chancellor's office.
See, Andrew? Liberal chicks are alot of fun!
I'm in the mood for some swing.
After reading today's Journal Gazette, I am definately in favor of some swing time for the following people:
Right off of the front page: Judi Noe, released from prison after serving a whopping 378 days in jail for drowning her 2 year-old daughter, Brieana, on Father's Day 2004, obtained a protective order to keep the child's father away from her. If you do not recall this case, Noe held Brieana under running water in the bathtub of their Getz Road apartment until the child drowned. She then left the body there for two weeks while her two older children and herself continued to live there.
Noe alledgedly picked Father's Day on purpose, to hurt the girl's father, Brad May, all the more. May did make threats towards her after the "slap-on-the-wrist" sentencing that she recieved. Do you blame him? I certaintly do not, and a piece of paper would mean nothing to me if I were Brieana's father. Am I endorsing vigilantism? I'm not sure. . .but I feel for Mr.May.
Next up from back on page 10, Maurice LaGrone Jr. was found guilty of three counts of murder in Bloomington, Illinois. LaGrone and Amanda Hamm planned and executed the deaths of Hamm's three children, Christopher (6), Austin (3), and Kyleigh (3 mos.).The pair placed the children in their car and then allowed it to roll backwards into a lake, sending the three children to a horrible drowning death. A jury was to recommend sentencing today. May I suggest some swing time? In case you were wondering, Ms.Hamm faces identical charges at a later trial.
And finally, also from page 10, a White Plains, NY couple who were in a drug-induced stupor left their 2 and 3 year old children in a bathroom with the hot water filling the tub, and a door that was damaged and difficult to open. The children suffered a horrible death from hypothermia and third-degree burns after the water overflowed the tub, which had no overflow drain apparently, and flooded the bathroom they were trapped in. The pattern of burns on the older child suggests that he tried to stand on his toes to avoid the hot water that burned him to death.Swing time sounds too good for these two; I'm thinking more along the lines of a large kettle over an open bonfire.
Okay, rant over (For now). Nothing gets my fire lit more than the loss of innocent children. The future lives that would have been, the missed experiences, raising their own families. The list goes on and on. If your life is so messed up that you feel that you need to take a life, point the gun at your own head. I'll give you the bullet.
Billionaire and his wife in "dogfight"?
Billionaire right-wing godfather Richard Mellon Scaife — who famously funded an investigation of Bill Clinton's sex life that resulted in a presidential impeachment — is having female troubles of his own.
What comes around. . .?
Police responded to a call last week when Scaife's estranged and apparently enraged second wife, Margaret (Ritchie) Scaife, arrived at his estate in Pittsburgh. She allegedly assaulted his housekeeper, his security chief and his cancer-ridden secretary while a cook fended off her violent attempt to take the family dog.
"I fork-a da crazy bitch! She made da maid, spooked da spook, and crippled da cripple!"
"It's in a trauma. It was almost choked to death when she was grasping the leash," the 73-year-old Scaife, who almost never gives interviews, complained to Lowdown's Nicole Pesce yesterday. "She claims that the dog belonged to her because the dog is in her name on the registration papers. But she gave the dog to me nine years ago. So it's my dog." "The bitch is MINE! I'm referring to the dog, here! Are we clear? Perhaps not."
But the pooch, a golden Lab named Beauregard, seems the least of Scaife's troubles. At stake in what is shaping up as one of the nastiest divorces in American history is a fortune estimated at $1.2 billion.
He should be able to afford this after the Bush tax cuts. . .
"There's no prenup — so wish me luck!" said Scaife, who was married to the 58-year-old Mrs. Scaife for 14 years before they separated in December.
He's lucky if there were any "nups" at all at that age!
Cops were summoned just before Christmas when Ritchie Scaife allegedly showed up at Westminster Place, as the Scaife mansion is called, and banged on the windows and doors.
I wanted her to bang me behind those windows and doors!
"They led her away in handcuffs," Scaife said.
"She never let me do that"!
As for Clinton supporters, Democrats, liberals and other Scaife-haters who'll delight in his misery, Scaife said, "Let them gloat! That's human nature."
According to your Commander in Chief, that makes you guilty of aiding and abetting the enemy. You are hereby under arrest!
Ritchie Scaife's lawyer, Bill Pietragallo, told Lowdown, "You can't speak to her," but added that his client was in the right, and faced daunting odds. "Four against one in this tussle over a dog," he said. "I suggest you not be a foil for their side of this."
Well. . .his client was entered by "the right" if they can prove consumation.She was only "in the right: if he was into strap-ons and other wierd perversions as so many of these self-righteous, god-fearing pricks seem to be.
Each year the Washington Post's Style Invitational asks readers
to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding,
subtracting, or changing only one letter and supply a new
Here are the 2002 winners:
Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.
Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
Giraffiti: Vandalism painted very, very high.
Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.
Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.
Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.
Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.
Glibido: All talk and no action.
Dopeer Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
And, the winner of the Washington Post's Style Invitational:
Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole.
THE BUSH/CHENEY LEGACY:
1. Approaching 2500 American soldiers killed and well over 17,000 severely injured... not to mention the fallout to come from post-tramatic stress disorder. Additionally, Veterans' Affairs hospitals are overwhelmed, understaffed, and underfunded... ensuring that veterans themselves will receive marginal benefits at best, for their allegiance to their "commander", Bush.
2. Tens of thousands of Iraqi's servicemen slaughtered... "their young sons", who just happened to be hapless conscripts in Saddam's ragtag army... "shocked and awed" into bloody oblivion by our overwhelming War Machine... as well as tens of thousands of innocent non-combatant civilians laid waste and euphemistically brushed aside as "collateral damage".
[It is important to note that Bushcorp utterly failed in its moral responsibility to at least attempt an accurate accounting of Iraqis killed, incriminating though it would have certainly been. A study published in the British medical journal Lancet (Oct 30, 2004), conducted by Johns Hopkins School of Public Health researches, put the slaughter of civilians at approximately 100,000! Of course, since that time, those horrific numbers have substantially risen.]
3. A country utterly devasted, and destroyed, lacking in basic sanitation, clean water, energy, and medical facilities,... with rampant unemployment and tens of thousands dispossed and homeless... many of which are children... a country plunged into a "living nightmare" of utter chaos and defacto civil war... with no real security and unrelenting factional violence and bloodshed.
[To quote the former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Zalamy Khalilzad, the invasion opened up a "Pandora's box" of religious conflicts, which may lead to a regional conflagration as well as the rise of jihadists, who "would make Taliban Afganistan, look like child's play".]
4. The gift of recruitement for the islamic jihadists as well as al-Qaeda, who have only grown stronger... the gift that just keeps on giving, due to the continued oppressive US occupation as well as our lust for military installations and a permanent presence there
5. The creation of a proverbial "blackhole" of impossible "nation-building", which candidate Bush solemnly swore he would never do... the effects of which will saddle our nation for decades, like the proverbial millstone: the U.S. is damned if it leaves, and damned if it stays.
6. The complete loss of prestige and credibility abroad, among our erstwhile allies, and a bitterly divided country at home... due to the propaganda, lies and corruption scandals of an administration that no sane person would trust.
7. DoD contractors feasting at the "no-bid" trough of largesse, wallowing in war-profiteering at tax-payer expense, and the $$$-Cheney-Halliburton-$$$ pipeline is as cozy and corrupt as it gets. Meanwhile our budget deficits approach $400 billion and our national debt is now over $8.2 TRILLION, compared to the Clinton administration, which left a budget surplus of $237 Billion and only $3.4 trillion in public debt, which was $2.4 trillion less than OMB projected! Team Bu$h is currently bloodletting the American tax-payers to the tune of $7 BILLION a month in Iraq ($6 billion alone) and Afganistan! A recent detailed analysis by a Harvard budget expert and a Nobel winning economist now puts the estimate for Bush's War at between $1-2 TRILLION!
[Recall that Larry Lindsey was in effect fired as Bush's economic advisor for having the gall to estimate the invasion would cost a mere $100-200 billion, which infuriated Rumsfeld and others, who were parotting estimates of only $50 billion. Wolfowitz revealed his utter ignorance by asserting: "There's a lot of money to pay for this that doesn't have to be U.S. taxpayer money... the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years...We're dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon." [Source: House Committee on Appropriations Hearing on a Supplemental War Regulation, 3/27/03])] Could they have been anymore wrong?
8. Sham elections, artificially imposed in the chaotic aftermath of "shock and awe", by the U.S. occupation force, which, if the country doesn't descend further into the abyss, will result in a Islamic Theocratic State, governed by Sharia law, and tightly alligned with Iran: the worst possible outcome, and a virtual haven for terrorists.
9. The architect of the terrorist strikes of September 11th, 2001, Osama bin Laden, remains defiantly at-large, apparently mocking Bush, who vowed 4 1/2 years ago to both the American public and to the grief-sticken families of the victims, to "hunt him down".
[Recall that 15 of the 19 hijakers were Saudi nationals, and that the evacuation of 140 Saudis ocurred in the immediate aftermath (about 24 of which were Binladens) on at least 8 aircraft, and has yet to be adequately explained. the "House of Saud" is closely aligned with the "House of Bush" via big oil and construction firms... known as the "Bush-Saudi Connection"... not to mention the fact that the Binladens are Saudis and have done millions in construction business with the U.S. government (via the Saudi Binladin Group)]!
10. The sad legacy of grotesque torture and systemic human rights abuses at the infamous Abu Ghraib... nearby Camp Nama's "Black Room"... and Guantanamo Bay ("Gitmo"): a grim reminder of the utter hypocrisy of Bush touting America's morally superiority. The U.S. military warehouses over 10,000 "detainees" in multiple prisons.
The founder of Army's Delta Force and author of "Inside Delta Force" , Ret. Command Sargeant-Major Eric Haney had this to say in a recent interview:
(3/28/06): Q: What's your assessment of the war in Iraq?
A: "Utter debacle. But it had to be from the very first. The reasons were wrong. The reasons of this administration for taking this nation to war were not what they stated. (Army Gen.) Tommy Franks was brow-beaten and ... pursued warfare that he knew strategically was wrong in the long term. That's why he retired immediately afterward. His own staff could tell him what was going to happen afterward.
We have fomented civil war in Iraq. We have probably fomented internecine war in the Muslim world between the Shias and the Sunnis, and I think Bush may well have started the third world war, all for their own personal policies."
BOTTOM LINE: This War President of the Republican War Party has breached the public trust and led our Republic and its good citizens into a dark chasm. America is more bitterly divided than ever and both morally and fiscally bankrupt... with a demoralized military stretched too thin and asked to perform impossible policing functions for which they were neither prepared nor trained ... dependent upon a depleted and now ineffective National Guard... unable to attend to border and "homeland security", humanitarian needs or neglected infrastructure... not to mention the sad fact that, after this prolonged military misadventure, we are definitely less, not more secure.
[Recall that the majority of House democrats and 22 democratic senators voted against even giving Bush the authority to invade Iraq, while those that did, trusted he would have exhausted all diplomatic means, per the legislation, which he clearly ignored.]
Laugh of the Day
Some of the extreme fundamentalist Muslim countries are now requiring all Muslim girls over the age of 18 to shave all their pubic hair as a sign of defiance to the West. Inter-national news reporters are saying that the anti-Bush campaign has gone too far.
Today in History - April 9th
1682 - Robert La Salle claimed the lower Mississippi River and all lands that touch it for France.
1770 - Captain James Cook discovered Botany Bay on the Australian continent.
1833 - Peterborough, NH, opened the first municipally supported public library in the United States.
1838 - The National Galley opened in London.
1865 - At Appomattox Court House, Virginia, General Robert E. Lee surrendered his Confederate Army to Union General Ulysses S. Grant in the parlor of William McClean's home. Grant allowed Rebel officers to keep their sidearms and permitted soldiers to keep their horses and mules. Though there were still Confederate armies in the field, the war was officially over. The four years of fighting had killed 360,000 Union troops and 260,000 Confederate troops.
1866 - The Civil Rights Bill passed over U.S. President Andrew Johnson's veto.
1867 - The U.S. Senate ratified the treaty with Russia that purchased the territory of Alaska by one vote.
1869 - The Hudson Bay Company ceded its territory to Canada.
1870 - The American Anti-Slavery Society was dissolved.
1872 - S.R. Percy received a patent for dried milk.
1914 - In London, the first full-color film, "The World, The Flesh & the Devil," was shown.
1916 - The German army launched it’s third offensive during the Battle of Verdun.
1917 - The Battle of Arras began as Canadian troops began a massive assault on Vimy Ridge.
1918 - Latvia proclaimed its independence. (For the first time)
1921 - The Russo-Polish conflict ended with signing of Riga Treaty.
1928 - Mae West made her debut on Broadway in the production of "Diamond Lil."
1940 - Germany invaded Norway and Denmark.
1942 - In the Battle of Bataan, American and Filipino forces were overwhelmed by the Japanese Army.
1945 - At Bari, Italy, the Liberty exploded and killed 360 people. The ship was carrying aerial bombs.
1947 - 169 people were killed and 1,300 were injured by a series of tornadoes in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.
1950 - Bob Hope made his first television appearance on "Star-Spangled Review" on NBC-TV.
1953 - TV Guide was published for the first time.
1957 - The Suez Canal was cleared for all shipping.
1959 - NASA announced the selection of America's first seven astronauts.
1963 - Winston Churchill becomes first honorary U.S. citizen.
1965 - "TIME" magazine featured a cover with the entire "Peanuts" comic gang.
1965 - The Houston Astrodome held its first baseball game.
1967 - The first Boeing 737 was rolled out for use.
1968 - Murdered civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., was buried.
1976 - The U.S. and Russia agreed on the size of nuclear tests for peaceful use.
1984 - Nicaragua asked the World Court to declare U.S. support for guerilla raids illegal.
1985 - Japanese Premier Nakasone urged Japanese people to buy foreign products.
1986 - It was announced that Patrick Duffy's character on the TV show Dallas would be returning after being killed off.
1987 - Dikye Baggett became the first person to undergo corrective surgery for Parkinson’s disease.
1989 - 16 civilians were killed during rioting in Soviet Georgia.
1989 - Hundreds of thousands marched past the White House in support of the right to abortion.
1991 - Georgia voted to secede from the U.S.S.R.
1992 - Former Panamanian ruler Manuel Noriega was convicted in Miami, FL, of eight drug and racketeering charges.
1998 - More than 150 Muslims died in stampede in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, on last day of the haj pilgrimage.
Internal Report: Iraq really IS a disaster
An internal staff report by the United States Embassy and the military command in Baghdad provides a sobering province-by-province snapshot of Iraq's political, economic and security situation, rating the overall stability of 6 of the 18 provinces "serious" and one "critical." The report is a counterpoint to some recent upbeat public statements by top American politicians and military officials.
"DAMN those mainstream media types and their negative reporting on the Iraq situation" said President Chimpy W. Shrub . "Now they've even infiltrated the embassy and the military command as well! This just stinks of Reid and Pelosi, those commie bastards"!
Dubya's Iran Plan Sure Has Interesting Tactics
Bush's new plans for Iran (picture at left). A long read and not for the faint of heart, but worthy of your perusal. Just remember, all of this has nothing to do with oil.
Speaking of oil, does anybody know the originally planned name for the "war" in Iraq? It was Operation Iraqi Liberation.
Oh yeah, and while we're on the subject of acronyms, go back and read the subject line of this post again. Just in case you missed it on the way in.
Today in History - April 8th
1513 - Explorer Juan Ponce de Leon claimed Florida for Spain.
1525 - Albert von Brandenburg, the leader of the Teutonic Order, assumes the title "Duke of Prussia" and passed the first laws of the Protestant church, making Prussia a Protestant state.
1789 - The House of Representatives held its first meeting.
1834 - In New York City, Cornelius Lawrence became the first mayor to be elected by popular vote in a city election.
1873 - Alfred Paraf patented the first successful oleomargarine.
1913 - The Seventeenth amendment was ratified, requiring direct election of senators.
1935 - The Works Progress Administration was approved by the Congress.
1939 - Italy invaded Albania.
1946 - The League of Nations assembled in Geneva for the last time.
1947 - The first illustrated insurance policy was issued by the Allstate Insurance Company.
1952 - President Truman seized steel mills to prevent a nationwide strike.
1953 - The bones of Sitting Bull were moved from North Dakota to South Dakota.
1974 - Hank Aaron hits 715th home run breaking Babe Ruth's record.
1985 - Phyllis Diller underwent a surgical procedure for permanent eyeliner to eliminate the need for eyelid makeup.
1986 - Clint Eastwood was elected mayor of Carmel,CA.
1988 - Former President Reagan aid Lyn Nofzinger was sentenced to prison for illegal lobbying for Wedtech Corp.
1998 - The widow of Martin Luther King Jr. presented new evidence in an appeal for new federal investigation of the assassination of her husband.
2000 - 19 troops were killed when a Marine V22 Osprey crashed during a training mission in Arizona.
2002 - Ed McMahon filed a $20 million lawsuit against his insurance company, two insurance adjusters, and several environmental cleanup contractors. The suit alleged breach of contract, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress concerning a toxic mold that had spread through McMahon's Beverly Hills home.
You might be a Dittiot if. . .
Apparently I am too damned lazy too be original at all tonight. Thank you, Craig, for this HILARIOUS link! You might be a Dittiot if. . .
The "War" on Christianity
This is an excellent transcript from Bill Maher regarding the "War on Christianity", posted by Jeremy over at Rage Against the Right.
Nods out to Jane for this one!Oil Change instructions for Women:
1: Pull up to Jiffy Lube when the mileage reaches 3000 miles since the last oil change.
2: Drink a cup of coffee.
3: 15 minutes later, write a check and leave with a properly maintained vehicle.
Oil Change $20.00
Oil Change instructions for Men:
1: Wait until Saturday, drive to auto parts store and buy a case of oil, filter, kitty litter, hand cleaner and a scented tree, write a check for $50.00.
2: Stop by 7 -11 and buy a case of beer, write a check for $20, drive home.
3: Open a beer and drink it.
4: Jack car up. Spend 30 minutes looking for jack stands.
5: Find jack stands under kid's pedal car.
6: In frustration, open another beer and drink it.
7: Place drain pan under engine.
8: Look for 9/16 box end wrench.
9: Give up and use crescent wrench.
10: Unscrew drain plug.
11: Drop drain plug in pan of hot oil: splash hot oil on you in process. Cuss.
12: Crawl out from under car to wipe hot oil off of face and arms. Throw kitty litter on spilled oil.
13: Have another beer while watching oil drain.
14: Spend 30 minutes looking for o il filter wrench.
15: Give up; crawl under car and hammer a screwdriver through oil filter and twist off.
16: Crawl out from under car with dripping oil filter splashing oil everywhere from holes. Cleverly hide old oil filter among trash in trash can to avoid environmental penalties. Drink a beer.
17: Buddy shows up; finish case of beer with him.
Decide to finish oil change tomorrow so you can go see his new garage door opener.
18: Sunday: Skip church because "I gotta finish the oil change." Drag pan full of old oil out from underneath car. Cleverly dump oil in hole in back yard instead of taking it back to Kragen to recycle.
19: Throw kitty litter on oil spilled during step 18.
20: Beer? No, drank it all yesterday.
21: Walk to 7-11; buy beer.
22: Install new oil filter making sure to apply a thin coat of oil to gasket surface.
23: Dump first quart of fresh oil into engine.
24: Remember drain plug from step 11.
25: Hurry to find drain plug in drain pan.
26: Remember that the used oil is buried in a hole in the back yard, along with drain plug.
27: Drink beer.
28: Shovel out hole and sift oily mud for drain plug. Re-shovel oily dirt into hole. Steal sand from kids sandbox to cleverly cover oily patch of ground and avoid environmental penalties. Wash drain plug in lawnmower gas.
29: Discover that first quart of fresh oil is now on the floor. Throw kitty litter on oil spill.
30: Drink beer.
31: Crawl under car getting kitty litter into eyes. Wipe eyes with oily rag used to clean drain plug. Slip with stupid crescent wrench tightening drain plug and bang knuckles on frame
32: Bang head on floorboards in reaction to step 31.
33: Begin cussing fit.
34: Throw stupid crescent wrench.
35: Cuss for additional 10 minutes because wrench hit bowling trophy.
37: Clean up hands and forehead and bandage as required to stop blood flow.
40: Dump in five fresh quarts of oil.
42: Lower car from jack stands.
43: Accidentally crush remaining case of new motor oil.
44: Move car back to apply more kitty litter to fresh oil spilled during steps 23 - 43.
46: Test drive car! .
47: Get pulled over: arrested for driving under the influence.
48: Car gets impounded.
49: Call loving wife, make bail.
50: 12 hours later, get car from impound yard.
Impound fee $75.00
Total - - $4,165.00
But you know the job was done right!
Today in History - April 7th
1798 - The territory of Mississippi was organized.
1862 - Union General Ulysses S. Grant defeated Confederates at the Battle of Shiloh, TN.
1864 - The first camel race in America was held in Sacramento, California.
1888 - P.F. Collier published a weekly periodical for the first time under the name "Collier’s."
1927 - The first long-distance TV transmission was sent from Washington, DC, to New York City. The audience saw an image of Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover.
1930 - The first steel columns were set for the Empire State Building.
1933 - Prohibition ended in the United States.
1940 - Booker T. Washington became the first black to be pictured on a U.S. postage stamp.
1945 - The Japanese battleship Yamato, the world’s largest battleship, was sunk during the battle for Okinawa. The fleet was headed for a suicide mission.
1948 - The musical "South Pacific" by Rogers and Hammerstein debuted on Broadway.
1948 - The United Nations' World Health Organization began operations.
1953 - IBM unveiled the IBM 701 Electronic Data Processing Machine. It was IBM's first commercially available scientific computer.
1957 - The last of New York City's electric trolleys completed its final run from Queens to Manhattan.
1963 - At the age of 23, Jack Nicklaus became the youngest golfer to win the Green Jacket at the Masters Tournament.
1963 - Yugoslavia proclaimed itself a Socialist republic,and
Josip Broz Tito was proclaimed to be the leader of Yugoslavia for life.
1966 - The U.S. recovered a hydrogen bomb it had lost off the coast of Spain.
1967 - Israel reported that they had shot down six Syrian MIGs.
1969 - The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously struck down laws prohibiting private possession of obscene material.
1970 - John Wayne won his first and only Oscar for his role in "True Grit." He had been in over 200 films.
1971 - U.S. President Nixon pledged to withdraw 100,000 more men from Vietnam by December.
1980 - The U.S. broke diplomatic relations with Iran and imposed economic sanctions in response to the taking of hostages on November 4, 1979.
1983 - Specialist Story Musgrave and Don Peterson made the first Space Shuttle spacewalk.
1985 - The Soviet Union announced a unilateral freeze on medium-range nuclear missiles.
1987 - In Oklahoma a 16-month-old baby was killed by a pit bull. On the same day a 67-year-old man was killed by another pit bull in Dayton, OH.
1988 - Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to final terms of a Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. Soviet troops began leaving on May 16, 1988.
1989 - A Soviet submarine carrying nuclear weapons sank in the Norwegian Sea.
1990 - In the U.S., John Poindexter was found guilty of five counts at his Iran-Contra trial. The convictions were later reversed on appeal.
1998 - Mary Bono, the widow of Sonny Bono, won a special election to serve out the remainder of her husband's congressional term.
1999 - Yugoslav authorities sealed off Kosovo's main border crossings to prevent ethnic Albanians from leaving.
2000 - U.S. President Clinton signed the Senior Citizens Freedom to Work Act of 2000. The bill reversed a Depression-era law and allows senior citizens to earn money without losing Social Security retirement benefits.
2002 - The Roman Catholic archdiocese announced that six priests from the Archdiocese of New York were suspended over allegations of sexual misconduct.
John Mellencamp for governor
(From a column in the Indy Star - Nods out to JQP for this one)
That little ditty kept moving through my brain Sunday as I watched our state's premier rocker rock Monument Circle.
Now, I'll admit I was lost in the buzz of Mellencamp's concert. And listening to "Jack & Diane" had me waxing nostalgic about my high school years.
But something serious became clear during that hour of rock 'n' roll. Mellencamp understands Indiana and its struggles better than any politician I've interviewed.
I'm only half-kidding.
Defending family farms, for instance, Mellencamp sang, "This land fed a nation. This land made me proud. And, son, I'm sorry there's no legacy for you now." Of war, he sang of "Droppin' our bombs in the Southern Hemisphere. And people are starving that live right here." He sang about small-town kids seeking a better life and about racism.
I know what you're thinking -- "Mellencamp for governor? Yeah, right, and how about Letterman for mayor?"
But think about it.
California elected a puffed-up movie star as its governor. So let's consider the 1980s, when Mellencamp and Arnold Schwarzenegger were atop their professions. On screen, Arnold was flexing his biceps and saying little beyond "I'll be back," while Mellencamp was helping organize Farm Aid and documenting Middle America's woes.
"So many lonely people. Damn those broken dreams," he once sang. In another song, he says, "Racism lives in the U.S. today. Better get hip to what Martin Luther King had to say."
Mellencamp's lyrics have long talked of restlessness. "I ain't ever satisfied," one song says.
Clean up the grammar, and that's a killer campaign slogan.
Questions abound. Is he electable? Is this silly? Is Tully just desperate for a column idea?
Perhaps. But think about it.
Mellencamp could fund a campaign with a concert tour. He is Indiana's top ambassador, and he has stayed loyal to the state long after he could have left.
Critics will argue he has no political experience.
That's not a bad thing. Plus, 30 years of his lyrics provide plenty of talking points.
If asked whether he'd compromise with lawmakers, he could sing, "Who am I to say what needs to be done? I'm just nobody, another lost one."
On negative campaigns: "They try to get you in a compromising position. They like to get there and smile in your face. . . . I think it's a total disgrace."
I'm not saying Mellencamp should challenge Gov. Mitch Daniels in 2008. As a columnist, I dream of four more years of the raucous Daniels era.
Anyway, Mellencamp doesn't appear quite ready to retire his guitar -- and he might be too liberal for this state.
But it'd be fun to watch.
Remember, Daniels campaigned like a small-town guy in an RV in 2004. Mellencamp topped that with a song 20 years earlier.
"I was born in a small town, and I can breathe in a small town," he could remind voters. "Gonna die in this small town. And that's probably where they'll bury me."
Mellencamp for governor? Sounds like a hit to me.
Wise Old Wombat
Listen to the Wise Old Wombat. He makes an important statement that you would do well to heed. Nods out to Human for the link!
Man Held as Terror Suspect Over Punk Song
British anti-terrorism detectives escorted a man from a plane after a taxi driver had earlier become suspicious when he started singing along to a track by The Clash, police said on Wednesday. Detectives halted the London-bound flight at Durham Tees Valley Airport in northern England and Harraj Mann, 24, was taken off.
The taxi driver had become worried on the way to the airport because Mann had been singing along to The Clash's 1979 anthem "London Calling," which features the lyrics "Now war is declared -- and battle come down" while other lines warn of a "meltdown expected."
Mann told British newspapers the taxi had been fitted with a music system which allowed him to plug in his MP3 player and he had been playing The Clash, Procol Harum, Led Zeppelin, and the Beatles to the driver.
"He didn't like Led Zeppelin or The Clash but I don't think there was any need to tell the police," Mann told the Daily Mirror.
A Durham police spokeswoman said Mann had been released after questioning -- but had missed his flight.
"The report was made with the best of intentions and we wouldn't want to discourage people from contacting us with genuine concerns," she said.