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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Joe Lieberman Surprise Visit to Iraq

John McCain's DINO doppleganger imitates his friend from across the aisle. Aren't these two guys ready to become glue?

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Is Nessie back?

Gordon Holmes, a 55-year-old lab technician from Shipley, Yorkshire, shot some interesting video on Saturday that's really making some waves. While conducting some experiments at Loch Ness, Holmes was stunned to see the image of what appeared to be an approximately 45 foot animal moving through the loch at about 6 mph.




Nessie watcher and marine biologist Adrian Shine viewed the video and hoped to properly analyze it in the coming months. "I see myself as a skeptical interpreter of what happens in the loch, but I do keep an open mind about these things and there is no doubt this is some of the best footage I have seen," said Shine. As the largest inland sea in Britain, with a depth of about 750 feet, we may never know what lurks in it's depths.

"There are a number of possible explanations to the sightings in the loch. It could be some biological creature, it could just be the waves of the loch or it could some psychological phenomenon in as much as we see what we want to see," Shine said.


The Scottish media, which is understandably skeptical of most Nessie stories, believed Holmes' footage to be of such good quality that even the normally reticent BBC Scotland aired the video on its main news program Tuesday.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Bush sees Iraq as new Korea

George Bush said today that he would like to see a lengthy U.S. troop presence in Iraq, along the lines of the one that we've had in South Korea for the last fifty years. Apparently the man has an endless supply of lipstick for the solitary pig that has become the core issue of his presidency.

This president who assured the great bleating masses that he did not condone "nation building", apparently lied about that or has flip-flopped. In addition to the largest American embassy compound that the world has ever seen, this president now envisions long-term military bases in this land that he falsely and recklessly invaded.

White House lapdog,Tony Snow, said in a statement today "President Bush would like to see a U.S. role in Iraq ultimately similar to that in South Korea in which you get to a point in the future where you want it to be a purely support model." Support model, Mr.Snow? Wouldn't a "support model" involve actual support, rather than the role of "military overseer" that these permanent bases imply? Support at the end of an AK-47 is more the role of a slave-owner - "I'll take care of you, now go about your business and don't cause any trouble here". That's damned close to an actual quote from Bush himself some time ago.

Mr.President, Iraq is an entirely different scenario than what we faced in Korea in the 1950's. I know what that war was about; my father proudly volunteered to serve in that theater of war. I know what that war was about, I heard it from my father's personal perspective as a participant in that war. This is NOT Korea, and you, sir, are no Harry Truman! You are a stubborn, bullheaded, blithering idiot. A puppet who is rarely allowed to speak on his own, due to the legitimate concerns regarding what may spew from his mouth and come back to later haunt him. We have the audio and video records of what happens when you are allowed to speak on your own; the world laughs at them daily on the "internets"!

No, sir. This Iraq situation more closely parallels another war that was undertaken in much the same manner - Vietnam. By another president who "made up" accusations of hostility by another sovereign nation. Are you familiar with the "Gulf of Tonkin" incident? It was, just like this Iraq-WMD-Bin Laden scenario, a bunch of pure unadulterated bullshit designed to fleece us all into a great patriotic uproar in which we would support military action that was uncalled for. BTW, LBJ was a second cousin to my mother, so do not discount my thoughts on this; it's family. . .

Iraq had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks on our country. Actions such as yours, DO! Arabs don't want our influence in their part of the world; YOU and your peers want the oil reserves that are located there. You will never admit this, but America is growing more and more cognisant of this with each passing day. Bin Laden attacked us because of our occupation of Muslim holy lands. You KNOW this; you do not care, you have sold out to the corporatists who want Iraq's natural resources.



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Impeach Gonzales - Part II

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Overton TODAY

Yesterday I posted a series of videos from Rick Overton's 1991 HBO Special. Tonight we flash forward to March of this year; and watch more of the comedic styling of Rick Overton on today's issues:

PART ONE


PART TWO

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Political brain picking

This is an interesting Live Science article from just before the 2004 election:

"Applying some of the same brain-scan technology used to understand Alzheimer's and autism, scientists are trying to learn what makes a Republican's mind different from a Democrat's.

Brain scanning is moving rapidly beyond diseases to measuring how we react to religious experiences, racial prejudice, even Coke versus Pepsi. This election season, some scientists are trying to find out whether the technology can help political consultants get inside voters' heads more effectively than focus groups or polls.

Already, the scientists are predicting that brain scanning -- known as functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI _ will be a campaign staple four years from now, despite ethical concerns about "neuromarketing."

Brain scans measure blood flow. When brain cells start firing in a part of the brain that governs a particular emotion or activity, they need more oxygen, which is carried by the blood. During an fMRI, active regions of the brain can be seen lighting up on a computer monitor.

Last month, Drs. Joshua Freedman and Marco Iacoboni of the University of California at Los Angeles finished scanning the brains of 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats. Each viewed images of President Bush, John Kerry and Ralph Nader.

When viewing their favorite candidate, all showed increased activity in the region implicated in empathy. And when viewing the opposition, all had increased blood flow in the region where humans consciously assert control over emotions -- suggesting the volunteers were actively attempting to dislike the opposition.

Nonetheless, some differences appeared between the brain activity of Democrats and Republicans. Take empathy: One Democrat's brain lit up at an image of Kerry "with a profound sense of connection, like a beautiful sunset," Freedman said. Brain activity in a Republican shown an image of Bush was "more interpersonal, such as if you smiled at someone and they smiled back."

And when voters were shown a Bush ad that included images of the Sept. 11 attacks, the amygdala region of the brain _ which lights up for most of us when we see snakes _ illuminated more for Democrats than Republicans. The researchers' conclusion: At a subconscious level, Republicans were apparently not as bothered by what Democrats found alarming.

"People make tons of decisions and often they don't why," Iacoboni said. "A lot of decision-making is unconscious, and brain imaging will be used in the near future to perceive and decide about politicians."

Freedman came to political brain scanning through his brother Tom, who served as a consultant to President Clinton. Tom Freedman asked his neuroscientist brother if the technology could improve on how campaigns woo voters.

"No one had done fMRI with politics," Dr. Freedman said. "So we decided to see what we could find."

The UCLA researchers said they have not been contacted by any political consultants other than Freedman's brother and a collaborator, though they expect to change after the election.

Already, some companies are dabbling in neuromarketing.

DaimlerChrysler used MRIs to gauge interest in different makes of cars. Researchers at the California Institute of Technology are scanning brains for reaction to movie trailers. Baylor University scientists just published brain scans suggesting preference for Coke or Pepsi is culturally influenced, and not just a matter of taste.

"This is a story of the corruption of medical research," warned Gary Ruskin, who runs a Portland, Ore., nonprofit organization called Commercial Alert. "It's a technology that should be used to ease human suffering, not make political propaganda more effective."
"

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You tell me

Okay. . .Monday came late this week (Thanks, Robert.) It still stinks to go back to work. . .with that in mind, caption this photo:

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Monday, May 28, 2007

Rick Overton

I just ran across these clips from Rick Overton's 1991 HBO special this evening. I've been a fan since I first saw him perform on the 6th Annual Young Comedians Show on HBO back in 1980. You might not recognize him by name, but may remember him for his role as "The Drake" on the "Seinfeld Show" or as the lovable klutzy deputy from "Eight Legged Freaks".

Sit back, relax, and prepare for some gut laughs! I've posted all six parts of this performance (roughly six minutes each), so if you're short on time. . .watch what you can and come back later for more! Enjoy!:

PART ONE


PART TWO



PART THREE


PART FOUR

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Charles Nelson Reilly dead at 76

Charles Nelson Reilly, famous for his long stint as a regular panelist on the television game show Match Game, has died from complications of pneumonia. Reilly was the longest running guest on the show, and often engaged in petty arguments with fellow regular Brett Somers. Reilly typically offered sardonic commentary and peppered his answers with gay-themed double entendres that pushed the boundaries of 1970s television standards.



Reilly did not publicly come out as a gay man until his one man show "Save It for the Stage". However, much like fellow game show regular Paul Lynde, Reilly played up a campy on-screen persona. In many episodes of Match Game, he would lampoon himself by briefly affecting a deep voice and self-consciously describing how "butch" he was. He mentioned in a 2002 interview with "Entertainment Tonight" that he felt no need to come out of the closet and that he never purposefully hid his homosexuality from anyone.

Patrick Hughes III, a set decorator and dresser, was Reilly's partner; the two met backstage while Reilly was appearing on the game show Battlestars. They lived in Beverly Hills.


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Sunday, May 27, 2007

I Grieve

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"Ad Fontes Fort Wayne" Debuts

Charles Langley, candidate for Fort Wayne City Council in the Fourth District, has launched a new online initiative at www.fwadfontes.blogspot.com :

"This is a serious time for Fort Wayne and we need serious discussion about the challenges and opportunities facing our community.

The purpose of this blog is to foster discussion regarding the current course and future path of Fort Wayne. Other writers have joined with me in this online pursuit and will also post on an occasional basis. All readers are encouraged to comment and respectfully post their thoughts as new posts are created. Comments will be moderated out of necessity, but I will post all honest and respectful replies.

Ad fontes is a Latin expression which literally translates "to the sources." This expression was given popular meaning during the Renaissance as a call to the government and others to return to their original, fundamental principles. With the current trend in government and politics, I am reviving the phrase as I firmly believe our community would be best served with a return to fundamental principles and ideas. More on this topic as posts are created."

Langley for City Council

5260 Coventry Lane

Fort Wayne, Indiana 46804

langleycml@verizon.net

260.432.1323

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Rush, rush

Dedicated to my wife, Jody! Our original song, courtesy of Paula:



Thank you for sharing your life with me!

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Hollywood Squares

If you remember The Original Hollywood Squares and its comics, this will bring a tear to your eyes. These great questions and answers are from the days when game show responses were spontaneous and clever, not scripted and (often) dull as they are now. Peter Marshall was the host asking the questions, of course.

Q. Do female frogs croak?
A. Paul Lynde: If you hold their little heads under water long enough.


Q. If you're going to make a parachute jump, at least how high should you be?
A. Charley Weaver: Three days of steady drinking should do it.


Q. True or False, a pea can last as long as 5,000 years.
A. George Gobel: Boy, it sure seems that way sometimes.


Q. You've been having trouble going to sleep. Are you probably a man or a woman?
A Don Knotts: That's what's been keeping me awake.


Q. According to Cosmo, if you meet a stranger at a party and you think that he is attractive, is it okay to come out and ask him if he's married?
A Rose Marie: No, wait until morning.


Q. Which of your five senses tends to diminish as you get older?
A. Charley Weaver: My sense of decency.


Q. In Hawaiian, does it take more than three words to say "I Love You"?
A. Vincent Price: No, you can say it with a pineapple and a twenty.


Q. What are "Do It," "I Can Help," and "I Can't Get Enough"?
A. George Gobel: I don't know, but it's coming from the next apartment.


Q. As you grow older, do you tend to gesture more or less with your hands while talking?
A. Rose Marie: You ask me one more growing old question Peter, and I'll give you a gesture you'll never forget.


Q. Paul, why do Hell's Angels wear leather?
A. Because chiffon wrinkles too easily.


Q. Charley, you've just decided to grow strawberries. Are you going to get any during the first year?
A. Charley Weaver: Of course not, I'm too busy growing strawberries.


Q. In bowling, what's a perfect score?
A. Rose Marie: Ralph, the pin boy.


Q. It is considered in bad taste to discuss two subjects at nudist camps. One is politics, what is the other?
A. Paul Lynde: Tape measures.


Q. During a tornado, are you safer in the bedroom or in the closet?
A. Rose Marie: Unfortunately Peter, I'm always safe in the bedroom.


Q. Can boys join the Camp Fire Girls?
A. Marty Allen: Only after lights out.


Q. When you pat a dog on its head he will wag his tail. What will a goose do?
A. Paul Lynde: Make him bark?


Q. If you were pregnant for two years, what would you give birth to?
A. Paul Lynde: Whatever it is, it would never be afraid of the dark.


Q. According to Ann Landers, is there anything wrong with getting into the habit of kissing a lot of people?
A. Charley Weaver: It got me out of the army.


Q. While visiting China, your tour guide starts shouting "Poo! Poo! Poo!" What does this mean?
A. George Gobel: Cattle crossing.


Q. It is the most abused and neglected part of your body, what is it?
A. Paul Lynde: Mine may be abused but it certainly isn't neglected.


Q. Back in the old days, when Great Grandpa put horseradish on his head, what was he trying to do?
A. George Gobel: Get it in his mouth.


Q. Who stays pregnant for a longer period of time, your wife or your elephant?
A. Paul Lynde: Who told you about my elephant?


Q. When a couple have a baby, who is responsible for its sex?
A. Charley Weaver: I'll lend him the car, the rest is up to him.


Q. Jackie Gleason recently revealed that he firmly believes in them and has actually seen them on at least two occasions. What are they?
A. Charley Weaver: His feet.


Q. According to Ann Landers, what are two things you should never do in bed?
A. Paul Lynde: Point and Laugh.

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Stretching things. . .

While she was "flying" down the road yesterday (20 miles over the limit), a woman passed over a bridge only to find a cop with a radar gun on the other side lying in wait.

The cop pulled her over, walked up to the car, and with that classic patronizing smirk we all know and love, asked, "What's your hurry?"

To which she replied, "I'm late for work."

"Oh yeah," said the cop, "what do you do?"

"I'm a rectum stretcher," she responded.

The cop stammered, "A what?A rectum stretcher?And just what does a rectum stretcher do?"

"Well," she said, "I start by inserting one finger, then work my way up to two fingers, then three, then four, then with my whole hand in. I work from side to side until I can get both hands in, and then I slowly but surely
stretch, until it's about 6 feet wide."

"And just what the hell do you do with a 6 foot ass hole?" he asked.

"You give him a radar gun and park him behind a bridge..."


Traffic Ticket $95.00
Court Costs. $45.00
The Look on Cop's Face. -- PRICELESS

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Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow!



It seems that George Bush was correct all along with his warnings about "fighting them over there or fighting them here". Midway through a Rose Garden news conference yesterday, Al Quaida bombed the president via sparrow! Precisely between the president's 10th and 11th reference to Al Quaida, the bird flew over the president and deposited a wet, white dropping on the upper left sleeve of his jacket. Bush wiped the mess off with his bare hand.

Although no clear evidence has been presented that Osama Bin Laden was behind the attack,just about everything else that came up during the hour-long news conference was traced to Bin Laden's terrorist network. Then again, with all of the bullshit spewing from the president's mouth, the sparrow may have merely honestly mistaken him for a waste repository. Video HERE.

Here are a few highlights of the fertilizer that emerged from the president's mouth at that conference:

- To NBC's David Gregory: "They (Al Quaida) are a threat to your children, David".

- "It's a danger to your children, Jim," Bush informed the New York Times' Jim Rutenberg. This last warning was perplexing, because Rutenberg has no children, only a brown chow chow named Little Bear. It was unclear whether Bush was referring to a specific and credible threat to Little Bear or merely indicating there was increased "chatter in the system" about chow chows in general.


- Rutenberg to Bush (regarding Bin Laden) "Mr. President, why is he still at large?"

"Why is he at large?" Bush shot back. "Because we haven't got him yet, Jim."

I think that settles it. Not an actual terrorist attack; merely a rightfully confused sparrow hitting an improbably pertinent target. I imagine that the Rose Garden has bloomed extraordinarily well after this president's deposits in it. . .

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Friday Nite Retro

Good evening, and welcome once again to the little "rock opera" that I call Friday Nite Retro. That is truly a fitting descriptor this evening as I am featuring the work of the godfather of shock-rock, the role model for Marilyn Manson, the founder of the heavy metal genre: Vincent Damon Furnier!

Okay. . .you're probably more familiar with his stage name - Alice Cooper. With a stage show that featured guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood and boa constrictors, Cooper drew equally from heavy metal, garage rock, horror movies and vaudeville to create a theatrical brand of rock music that had never been seen before. A Detroit native, Cooper moved to Phoenix when still a teen. He and some friends took part in a local high school talent show there. Not knowing how to play any musical instruments at the time, they called themselves the Earwigs, dressed like the Beatles, and mimed their performance. After winning that contest and enjoying the on-stage performance, they immediately proceeded to learn to play instruments.

Furnier could sing and would learn the harmonica, Glen Buxton - lead guitar, John Tatum - rhythm guitar, Dennis Dunaway - bass guitar, and John Speer - drums. Musically, the group were inspired by artists such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, The Who, The Kinks, Pink Floyd, and The Yardbirds. In 1966, with Cortez High footballer Michael Bruce replacing John Tatum on guitar, the members of the Earwigs graduated from Cortez High School and renamed themselves "The Spiders". The band scored a local #1 radio hit with "Why Don't You Love Me", an original composition from their first single release.

In 1967 the band renamed themselves "The Nazz" and drummer Jim Speers was replaced by Neal Smith. However, upon learning that Todd Rundgren also had a band called The Nazz, the band was again in need of another stage name. Furnier recognized that the group needed a gimmick to succeed, and that other bands were not exploiting the showmanship potential of the stage. He subsequently chose the band's name to be "Alice Cooper" and adopted this stage name as his own. Early press releases claimed that the name was agreed upon after one of Cooper's Ouija sessions, and learning that he was a reincarnation of a 17th century witch of the same name. However, Cooper in later interviews has said the name actually came out of thin air conjuring an image of "a cute, sweet, little girl with a hatchet behind her back." It was once said to be an inside joke associated with a Mayberry RFD character. Alice Cooper is also the name of Betty Cooper's mother in the Archie comic strips. Nonetheless, at the time Cooper and the band figured that the concept of a male playing the role of an androgynous witch, wearing tattered womens' clothing and make-up would definitely have the potential to cause quite a social controversy.

After moving to Los Angeles, California in 1968, the band enlisted Shep Gordon as their manager, who managed to strike an audition for the band with composer and renowned record producer Frank Zappa, who was looking to sign up bizarre music acts for his new record label, Straight Records. For the audition Zappa told them to come to his house "at 7 o'clock", and the band mistakenly assumed he meant 7:00 AM. Waking Zappa up from his slumber, a band that was willing to play that particular brand of psychedelic rock at 7 in the morning, a time unbeknownst to most in the rock music world, impressed him enough to sign the band to a three-album deal. Alice Cooper's first album Pretties for You was released in 1969 and, though it touched the US charts for one week at #193, was ultimately met with critical and commercial failure.

Even though the band incorporated theatrics into their stage act from the outset, a chance case of the press misreporting an unrehearsed stage routine involving Cooper and a live chicken led to the band changing, tack—capitalizing on tabloid sensationalism, and creating a new sub genre, shock rock. Cooper claims that the "Chicken Incident", which took place at the Toronto Rock 'n Roll Revival concert in September 1969, was an accident. A chicken somehow made its way on stage during Alice Cooper's performance, and not having any experience around livestock, Cooper thought "Chickens have wings, so they must be able to fly" so Cooper picked it up and threw it out over the crowd, with the intention of having the chicken fly away. But chickens cannot fly particularly well, and the bird plummeted into the crowd and was reportedly ripped to shreds by the rowdy audience. The next day the incident made the front page of many national newspapers. Zappa phoned him shortly afterwards to ask if the story, which reported that Cooper had bit the head off the live chicken and drank its blood on stage, was true. Cooper denied the rumor, whereupon Zappa told him, "Well, whatever you do, don't tell anyone you didn't do it". Zappa considered that kind of publicity priceless for the band.

Despite the infamy the band received from the Chicken Incident, their second album, Easy Action released in 1970, met with the same fate as its predecessor. Warner Bros. Records then purchased Straight Records from Frank Zappa and the Alice Cooper group was set to receive a higher level of promotion with this major label. It was around this time that the band, fed up with the Californians' indifference and general dislike to their act, relocated to Cooper's birthplace, Detroit, where their bizarre stage act was much better received. Detroit would remain the act's steady home base until 1972. "LA just didn’t get it. They were all on the wrong drug for us. They were on acid and we were basically drinking beer. We fit much more in Detroit than we did anywhere else..."

In 1970, after their first two albums on Straight Records, the band was teamed up, by the insistence of their new label master Warner Bros. Records, with fledging producer Bob Ezrin for their third album, the final of three in their original Straight Records contract, to be entitled Love It to Death. This album would be the first of 8 Alice Cooper group and solo albums done with Ezrin who is credited with having helped create and develop the band's definitive sound. Their first hit single soon followed, 1971's "I'm Eighteen":

18


The follow-up album Killer, released in late-1971, continued the commercial success of "Love It To Death" and included further singles success with "Under My Wheels", "Be My Lover" in 1972, and "Halo Of Flies" which was a Top 10 hit in the Netherlands. Thematically, "Killer" expanded on the villainous side of Cooper's androgynous stage role with its music more becoming the soundtrack to the group's morality-based stage show, which by then featured a Boa Constrictor hugging him onstage, the murderous ax chopping of bloodied "dead babies", and the choice of execution had developed into death by hanging - The Gallows. By mid-1972 the Alice Cooper show had become infamous, what they really needed then was a smash hit. That summer saw the release of the appropriately-titled single School's Out. It went Top 10 in the US, was a #1 single in the UK, and remains a staple on classic rock radio to this day. Their smash hit had arrived. School's Out the album reached #2 on the US charts and sold over a million copies.

School's Out


Billion Dollar Babies, released in February 1973, was the band's most commercially successful album, reaching #1 in both the US and UK. "Elected", a 1972 Top 10 UK hit included on the album which inspired one of the first MTV-style story-line promo videos ever made for a song (three years before Queen's promo video to "Bohemian Rhapsody"), was followed by two more UK Top 10 singles, "Hello Hooray" and "No More Mr Nice Guy", the latter of which was the last UK single from the album; it reached #25 in the US.

No More Mister Nice guy


With a string of successful concept albums and several hit singles, the band continued their grueling schedule and toured the US once again. Attempts by politicians and pressure groups to ban their shocking act only served to fuel the myth of Alice Cooper and generate more audience interest. Their 1973 US tour broke box office records previously set by The Rolling Stones and raised rock theatrics to a new level. The multi-level stage show by then featured numerous special effects including Billion Dollar Bills, decapitated baby dolls and mannequins, a Dental psychosis scene complete with dancing teeth, and the ultimate execution prop and highlight of the show - The Guillotine. The guillotine and other stage effects were designed for the band by magician James Randi, and during some of the shows, Randi appeared on stage as the executioner. By this stage, the Alice Cooper group had reached its peak in every way and were the biggest band in the industry. Cooper's stage antics would influence later bands like Kiss, Blue Öyster Cult, and W.A.S.P.

Muscle of Love, released at the end of 1973, was to be the last studio album from the classic line-up. As some of the band members had proceeded in recording solo albums, Cooper decided to do the same. Collaborating with producer Bob Ezrin and Lou Reed's guitarist Dick Wagner, and supported by Lou Reed's backing band, the project eventually resulted with Welcome To My Nightmare. Spearheaded by the US Top 20 hit "Only Women Bleed", a ballad, the solo album was released by Atlantic Records in March 1975 and became a Top 10 hit for Cooper. It was a concept album, based on the nightmare of a child named Steven, featuring narration by classic horror movie film star Vincent Price (several years before he guested on Michael Jackson's "Thriller"), and served as the soundtrack to Cooper's new stage show, which included more theatrics than ever (including an 8-feet tall furry Cyclops whom Cooper decapitates and kills). Accompanying the album and stage show was the TV special "The Nightmare", starring Cooper and Vincent Price in person, which aired on US prime-time TV in April 1975 and was regarded as another groundbreaking point in rock history as the first rock music video album ever made.

Only Women Bleed


Adding to all that, a concert film, also called Welcome to My Nightmare and filmed live at London's Wembley Arena in September 1975, was released to theaters in 1976. Though it failed at the box office, it later became a midnight movie favorite and a cult classic. Such was the immense success of this solo project that Cooper decided to continue as a solo artist and the original band was defunct. It is during this time that he co-founded the drinking club The Hollywood Vampires, contributing to his ample appetite for alcohol.

Following the 1976 US Top 20 hit "I Never Cry", another ballad, two albums, Alice Cooper Goes to Hell and Lace and Whiskey, and another ballad hit, the US Top 10 "You and Me", it became clear from regularly shambled performances on his US tour of 1977 that the musician was in dire need of specialized help with his alcoholism. Following the tour, Cooper had himself hospitalized into a New York sanitarium for treatment, during which time the live album The Alice Cooper Show was released. At his alcoholic peak some fans rumored that he was up to two cases of Budweiser and a bottle of whiskey a day.

I Never Cry


You and Me


His experience in the sanitarium was the inspiration for his 1978 semi-autobiographical album From The Inside, which Cooper co-wrote with Bernie Taupin. The release spawned another US Top 20 hit "How You Gonna See Me Now", yet another ballad, based on his fear of how his wife would warm to him after hospitalization. The subsequent tour's stage show was based inside an asylum, and was filmed for Cooper's first home video release, "The Strange Case of Alice Cooper", in 1979:

How You Gonna See Me Now?


Cooper's albums from the beginning of the 1980s, Flush the Fashion, Special Forces, Zipper Catches Skin, and DaDa, were not as commercially successful as his past releases. Flush the Fashion, produced by Queen producer Roy Thomas Baker, has a sparse, edgy musical sound that was so unexpected as to have been truly baffling to long-time fans, but yielded the US Top 40 hit "Clones (We're All)":

Clones (We're All)


In 1983, after the recording of DaDa, Cooper was re-hospitalized for alcoholism. In a deathly state of health Cooper relocated back to Phoenix, Arizona, to the support of family and old friends and to save his marriage from falling apart. Alice was finally clean and sober by the time "DaDa" and "The Nightmare" home video (of his 1975 TV Special) were released in the fall of that year, however both releases performed under expectation. Even with "The Nightmare" scoring a nomination for 1984's Grammy Award for Best Long Form Music Video (he lost to Duran Duran), it wasn't enough for Warner Bros. to keep Cooper on their books. In 1984 Alice Cooper was, for the first time in his career, a free agent.

After a year on hiatus, and starring in the Spanish B-grade horror movie production Monster Dog, Cooper sought to pick up the pieces of his musical career and, in 1985, met and began songwriting with guitarist Kane Roberts. Cooper was subsequently signed to MCA Records, and appeared as guest vocalist on Twisted Sister's song "Be Chrool To Your Scuel". A video was made for the song, featuring Cooper donning his black snake-eyes make-up for the first time since 1979 and for the first time sober, however any publicity it would have given to Cooper's return to the music scene was cut short as the video was promptly banned due to its graphically gory make-up, by Tom Savini, of the innumerable zombies which starred in it and their appetite for human flesh.

In 1986, Megadeth was asked to open for Alice Cooper during current US tours. After noticing the hardcore drug and alcohol abuse in the band, Cooper personally approached them to try and help them control their "demons", and stayed close to front man Dave Mustaine ever since. Mustaine considers him his "Godfather".

In 1987, Cooper made a brief appearance as a vagrant in the horror movie Prince of Darkness, directed by John Carpenter. His role had no lines and consisted of menacing the protagonists and impaling one of them with a bicycle frame. Cooper also appeared at WrestleMania III, escorting wrestler Jake "The Snake" Roberts to the ring. After the match was over, Cooper got involved and threw Jake's snake Damien at The Honky Tonk Man's manager Jimmy Hart. Jake considered the involvement of Cooper to be an honor, as he idolized Cooper in his youth and has remained a fan of Cooper.

In 1988 Cooper's contract with MCA Records expired and he signed with Epic Records. Then, in 1989, his career finally experienced a real revival with the Desmond Child-produced album Trash, which spawned a hit single "Poison", which reached # 2 in the UK and #7 in the US, and a worldwide arena tour.

Poison


Alice Cooper Trivia:

* Melody Maker magazine once published a satirical concert review of Cooper in the form of a mock obituary, causing confused readers to think he had died. Once he had been tracked down, Alice Cooper reassured them: "I'm alive, and drunk as usual".

* Alice Cooper performs "Welcome To My Nightmare", "You and Me", and "School's Out" in The Muppet Show (episode # 3.7) 28 March 1978. He brings what many believed to be his own monster puppets (Cooper later stated in a radio interview that these were created by the Muppeteers for the show, not brought by him) and plays one of the devil's henchmen trying to dupe Kermit the Frog and Gonzo into selling their souls.

* Cooper became part of Kyle MacDonald's one red paperclip project when he agreed to offer an afternoon with himself as a trade for one year of rent for an employee at his restaurant. [11]

* Alice Cooper has said that "I look at Mick Jagger and they're on an 18-month tour and he's six years older than me, so I figure, when he retires, I have six more years. I will not let him beat me when it comes to longevity." [12]

* In May 2004 Cooper received an honorary doctoral degree from Grand Canyon University.

* Is referred to in the song "Planet Earth" by Devo: I saw a man on a stage / scream, "Put me back in my cage!" / I saw him hanged by his tie / I saw enough to make me cry.

* For quite some time during his peak in the 70's, there was a rumor floating around that Cooper was Eddie Haskell from Leave It to Beaver.

* The Cortez High School track coach, Emmit Smith, who also was the journalism teacher, is made reference to as "The Reverend Smith" in No More Mister Nice Guy.

* Cooper's song 'I Am The Future' was the theme song of the cult film Class of 1984.

* On the UK rock channel, Kerrang!, Cooper presented the shows; "The Ten Commandments of Rock" and "The 20 Greatest Rock Deaths"

* "The Chicken Incident" ranked #12 in VH1's 100 Most Shocking Moments in Rock and Roll in 2001. The incident also was parodied in Ray Stevens' "The Moonlight Special" where the second verse features Agnes Stoopa (a takeoff on Cooper) and his pet chicken.

* Alice Cooper also made VH1's "40 Freakiest Concert Moments" in 2007 for having an audience member throw a cake at Cooper's face while performing his audience hypnotism routine.

* Alice Cooper appeared on the first episode of ABC In Concert in 1972.

* On the TV series Scrubs, Dr. Elliot Reed, upon seeing how her mascara had run down her face, said "I look like Alice Cooper!"

* A theme tune was recorded, and appears on Muscle of Love, for the James Bond film 'The Man With The Golden Gun'. However Alice was seen as being too outrageous for James Bond and the track by Lulu was chosen instead.

* Cooper was a suspect in a fictional murder on an episode of the NBC television show Monk.

* Aired on June 20, 2005 ahead of his June–July 2005 tour, Cooper had a wide-ranging interview with interviewer of celebrities Andrew Denton for Australian television's Enough Rope[13]. Cooper discussed: his cure and subsequent abstinence from alcohol for 24 years and subsequent obsession with golf; the shock value of his shows (saying that "all the rest were Peter Pan and I decided to be Captain Hook"); being a Christian; and the nature of his friendships with Groucho Marx, Mae West, (both saw his shows as a kind of vaudeville revue) and Salvador Dalí (who saw his shows as "surrealistic"),and his social and work relationship with his family.

* Cooper donated $27,700 to help redo the third "O" of the Hollywood Sign along with eight other donors. Cooper donated his letter to the memory of Groucho Marx.

And that, my friends, is a wrap on this week's FNR. Have a GREAT Memorial Day Weekend!!




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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Crap! I almost forgot!

It was 30 years ago today that Star Wars debuted on the big screen across America; and added expressions such as "may the force be with you" to the permanent fabric of our language.

A RARE Star Wars Trailer:


Seriously, I remember going to the preview with my brother-in-law and his best friend. We saw it at the Southtown Cinemas (The locals are laughing right now). I was 13 years old (Wow - two posts about my thirteenth year in just one week!)I couldn't take my eyes off of the screen! I was just thinking that I have pictures of the old Southtown Cinemas sign and building, but they are on my old pute, and I haven't transferred those files over as of yet.

And here's the REAL original trailer:


Thank you, Mr.Lucas, for thirty years of entertainment! May the force be with you always! We have no doubts that it will. . .

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Dr.Laura's good boy's "gone bad"

Dr.Laura spends most of her time lecturing people on how to live their lives, and deriding them for their personal decisions. It's how she earns her living; being the overbearing, family values espousing know it all who tells Iraq war wives to "stop whining"and get over it. Well, that and writing books such as the one to the right.

It's always been my understanding that in order to write well about any given subject requires that you have some definite and often extensive knowledge of that subject. Especially when you are giving "life advice" to others as your chosen topic for your books.

Where am I going with this you ask? Well, I have just discovered some information that leaves me with the impression that Dr.Laura knows absolutely nothing about that which she regurgitates over and over on the air and in print. Or maybe she's just a hypocrite.

You see, Ms.Schlessinger has a 21 year-old son, Deryk, who is a paratrooper serving on active duty in Iraq. Since we haven't heard her "whining" about this, you might assume that she's merely following her advice to those other Iraq-vet mothers. Nah. . .I'm pretty sure it's out of embarrassment. Allow me to fill you in regarding the "problem behaviour" of her son:

Deryk Schlessinger is currently under investigation for a graphic personal Web page that one Army official has called "repulsive, at best". The MySpace page, publicly available until it disappeared from the Internet last Friday, included cartoon depictions of rape, murder, torture and child molestation; photographs of soldiers with guns in their mouths; a photograph of a bound and blindfolded detainee captioned "My Sweet Little Habib"; accounts of illicit drug use; and a blog entry headlined by a series of obscenities and racial epithets.

"Yes . . . F---ING Yes!!!"read one blog entry on the Schlessinger site. "I LOVE MY JOB, it takes everything reckless and deviant and heathenistic and just overall bad about me and hyper focuses these traits into my job of running around this horrid place doing nasty things to people that deserve it . . . and some that don't. Godless crazy people like me have become a generation of apathetic killers."

The site indicated Schlessinger's team has survived numerous mortar, rocket and roadside bomb attacks. It also included several graphic cartoons. In one of the stick drawings, a top-hatted man laughs as he rapes a bound and bleeding woman in front of her family. In another depiction, a man forces a boy to perform oral sex at knifepoint as the child's mother pleads for her son's life.

The Salt Lake Tribune learned of the Web page earlier this week from a former schoolmate of Deryk Schlessinger and alerted Army officials about the site last Thursday. Salt lake City is home to
570 KNRS, the home for "Family Values Talk Radio" and "The Dr.Laura Show". At least the newspapers there can still be counted upon to report the truth. Perhaps Dr.Laura should put down her microphone, pick up a telephone, and finally practice some of what she preaches to the great soiled masses. But, then again, had she already been living the lifestyle she has dictated to others all of these years. . .we might not be discussing such disturbing behavior from her son today.




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Simpson for President!

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

It's all relative

Discipline1The following is an example of a coping skill for job stress that I would like to share with you.

When you have had one of those TAKE THIS JOB AND SHOVE IT days, try this. On your way home after work, stop at your pharmacy and go to the section where they have thermometers. You will need to purchase a rectal thermometer made by Q-Tip. Be very sure that you get this brand.

When you get home, lock your doors, draw the drapes, and disconnect the phone so you will not be disturbed during your therapy. Change to very comfortable clothing, such as a sweat suit and lie down on your bed. Open the package containing the thermometer and remove the thermometer and carefully place it on the bedside table so that it will not become chipped or broken.

Take the written material that accompanies the thermometer and as you read it you will notice in small print the statement that “every rectal thermometer made by Q-Tip is PERSONALLY tested.”

Now close your eyes and say out loud five times, ‘I am so glad that I do not work in quality control at the Q-Tip Company.’

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Life is cruel

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

$4.00 Per Gallon??

Received today from MoveOn.Org:

As of yesterday, gas prices are the highest in U.S. history—we just passed the 1981 record, even adjusted for inflation. Prices could reach $4.00 per gallon in parts of the country, just in time to crimp summer vacation plans. As consumers suffer, the oil industry continues to reap the windfall—breaking profit records on an almost quarterly basis.

It's outrageous! Enough is enough. Hearings start today on H.R. 1252, a House bill that would make gas price gouging a federal crime, punishable by 10 years in prison. Speaker Pelosi has said she'll move the bill to a vote this week— there's the two-thirds majority required to fast track the bill through the process.

Oil company lobbyists are frantically trying to stop the bill. Your representative needs to hear from you today. "Gasoline price gouging should be made a federal crime before the summer price increases hurt more American families.Rep Bart Stupak (D-MI), sponsor of the House bill said this of his motivation to introduce the legislation: "In April ... crude oil was $7 a barrel cheaper than last year (but) gas prices were almost 50 cents a gallon higher. Clearly there's more at play than simply the world crude oil market."

In April, more than two-thirds of Americans reported that their gas bills were causing financial crunches, with a full third saying it was having a "serious" impact on their families.That same month, the top two US companies, Exxon-Mobil and Chevron-Texaco, announced a combined $14 billion in first quarter profits.It seems like even the oil industry has gone too far this time, and it's time to balance the scales. The Senate passed a price-gouging measure out of committee last week, and the House bill now has over 100 co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle.

The oil industry is nervous. They've sent their lobbyists to the Hill in full force to stop—or at least weaken—these bills, and they're pulling out all the stops. The American Petroleum Institute, an industry front group of more than 400 oil and gas companies, even threatened that new laws could increase gas prices more.

Enough is enough. This summer, we can stop Big Oil from profiting at the expense of American families. Can you sign the petition to ask your representative to make gasoline a price gouging a federal crime now?
Clicking here will add your name:

http://pol.moveon.org/stoppricegouging/o.pl?id=10386-3519438-GiMYwm&t=4

Don't forget to pass this on to your friends and family - this week is an historic opportunity to send Big Oil a message that we've had enough.

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GOP fundraising scam

I (Stan Matuska) had a phone message for me at the office today. It was very unusual. It said: "Please call Wilma Stevens - Congressman Tom Cole @ 888-383-8065".

What? A Congressman wants to talk to me? Did I blog something that's going to get me in trouble? Maybe he enjoyed a post and wants to put me on CNN with him! But who is Congressman Tom Cole? Before calling, I went to the internet and Google'd him. He is a U.S. Representative in Oklahoma's 4th District. Why would he want me to call him???

I got even more curious and did some more Googling and found out why. It's a scam!!!

My name is listed as a business owner (which I am not), but I get a lot of credit card requests for "my business". I think this came about when the company I work for put me on their checking account in case of emergency. Anyway, apparently they want to honor me with a National Leadership Award! I'm flattered, but I came across a website that details the scam and I decided not to call the number.

Read this post and let me know what you think. Heck, call the number and pretend to be me if you want!

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Aboite New Trails - Scott Rd. Dedication

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You tell me

Monday morning is truly for the birds, and so goes today's "make yer own caption" photo:

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Fate's Right Hand

A comment on another post just jogged my memory of this awesome song by Rodney Crowell. The best video is the official SonyBMG one which is unembedable so, click Rodney's picture to the left to watch it!

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Dr.Phil

Dr. Phil was conducting a therapy session with four young mothers and their small children. "You all have obsessions," he observed.

To the first mother he said, "You are so obsessed with eating you've even named your daughter Candy."

He turned to the second mom: "Your obsession is with money. Again, it manifests itself in your child's name, Penny."

He turns to the third mom: "Your obsession is alcohol. This, too, manifests itself in your child's name, Brandy."

At this point, the fourth mother gets up takes her little boy by the hand and whispers, "Come on Dick, we're leaving."

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Gonged!

Sherman, adjust the Wayback Machine for August of 1977. . .Philadelphia. . .Independence Hall:

Okay. . .actually I was flipping through some old photo albums this evening, and ran across a picture and autograph from a celebrity encounter I had at the tender age of 13. Okay, maybe "troubled" is a better term to use when discussing an early teen! But, anyways, we were on a two-week family trip exploring everything from Maine to Virginia and all points in between.

I had BEGGED to undertake this trip the prior summer (1976), but my father (Being the wise man that he was) refused to go anywhere near the original thirteen states during the Bicentennial Celebration! He also refused to drive in New York City, which was probably just as well since it was the "Summer of Sam". . . but I digress. And damned if I aint gonna do it s'more. . .

My favorite shows from that year were, in no particular order, Charlie's Angels, Happy Days, and The Gong Show. Hmmm. . .sex, school, and juvenile humor. What strange picks for a 13 year old. How does this all tie together with our family trip that summer long ago? Well, you see, I was an extremely patriotic youth and insisted on seeing EVERYTHING there was to see regarding our country's history on the east coast (Looking back, my Dad must have had the patience of God himself!).

So, of course, we HAD to visit Independence Hall in Philly so that I could set my eyes upon the Liberty Bell. I merely wanted to see if it was all that it was cracked up to be! Okay, come back! I promise I won't do that again!! ;) After we had exited Independence Hall, I spotted a VERY familiar face walking towards us on the sidewalk! It was MY HERO, Chuck Berris, from the Gong Show! As it turns out, he's a Philly native, one hell of a nice guy in person, and agreed to not only an autograph but even a picture with a geeky teenager:





Yes, the highlight of my voyage of exploration of our nation's creation was a chance meeting with the "Game Show King". If you were a fan, then I know you can relate.

Just in case you missed it, here's the episode that got the Gong Show taken off the air. The fact that it's widely available today on the internet, and probably considered quite tame by today's standards, speaks volumes about what three decades can change in public opinion and standards of decency:

"The Popsicle Twins"


If you're too young to remember the Gong Show, do a YouTube search for it. . .I guarantee you will laugh yer ass off! If you recall the show, you will STILL laugh yer ass off!!

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

McCain drops the "F" bomb

Click the pic for the details:

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Friday Nite Retro

It's Friday at last and time for another edition of my musical history "plays". Allow me to set the stage for tonight's presentation:

Six of the most sought-after studio musicians of the 1970's have established a reputation for their uncanny ability to transform so-so recordings into studio gold. After contributing to the successes of artists such as Steely Dan, Seals & Crofts, Boz Scaggs, and Sonny & Cher, they decide to pool their talents and form their own little group. And in '77, production began on the band's first album.

Once all of the songs were written, and the first album was recorded, the band and record were both as of yet unnamed. After viewing the name that one of the band had scribbled on the demo tapes to differentiate them from the tapes of other artists working in the studio, the group's bassist explained that the word in Latin translated to "all encompassing".Since they believed that they could play on any record and play any type of music, the band adopted the name as their own. . .and Toto was born! Toto hit the charts quickly, earning instant acclaim with "Hold the Line" ,"Georgy Porgy", and "I'll Supply The Love". The band was nominated for a Grammy for "Best New Artist," and for these six studio musicians, their careers were propelled into fast forward.

Hold the Line


Georgy porgy


I'll Supply The Love


Despite the fact that the band were now focused on their own careers, the long list of studio accolades continued to grow. However, between sessions, the band recorded and released their second album Hydra in 1979. The album yielded the hit single "99", based off of George Lucas' cult film THX 1138. However, the album did not sell nearly as well as their first album.

99


Following Hydra's release and in between their extensive studio work, Toto released Turn Back in 1981. However, Turn Back failed to earn the radio play or critical acclaim of either of the previous two records and ended up a commercial disappointment and no hit singles were produced from it. The song "Goodbye Elenore" was the only official single to be released worldwide from Turn Back. Due to the failure of Turn Back, no tour was planned either.


Goodbye Elinore


1982 marked the beginning of Toto's most successful era. After the frustration of Turn Back, the band would have to deliver above and beyond in order to continue. With Toto IV, the band struck back at critics and disenchanted fans alike, delivering one of the most commercially successful records of the 80s. Producing the smash-hits "Africa" and "Rosanna", Toto IV rocketed the band into instant international stardom. Toto IV was awarded 6 Grammy Awards, including "Record of the Year" for "Rosanna", "Album of the Year" for Toto IV, and "Producer of the Year" for the band. "Africa" topped the charts in February of '83 and was a constant presence on radios across the globe. Toto IV gained even more success with 3 other singles being released, "Make Believe", "I Won't Hold You Back", and "Waiting For Your Love".



Africa


Rosanna


I Won't Hold You Back


Amid inner turmoil and changes to the band's line up, "Isolation" was released in late 1984. Not surprisingly, it produced no singles. At the close of the Isolation tour, Joseph Williams, son of famous film composer John Williams signed on as the new lead singer for the band. Williams wrote and recorded "Fahrenheit", released in October 1986. Featuring the hit in "I'll Be Over You", Fahrenheit was a much softer release for Toto, featuring an instrumental piece performed with Miles Davis.

I'll Be Over You


After numerous other changes to the band's lineup, Toto regrouped and recorded Tambu in 1995. Quite a departure from Toto's polished, almost over-produced sound of the 80s, Tambu was a very organic release and featured the hit, "I Will Remember" which received a lot of radio play.

I Will Remember


In 1997, the band searched through a bunch of old tapes and demos for an album release of unreleased songs to celebrate the band's 20th Anniversary. In 1998, it was released as Toto XX. After the Toto XX tour, Bobby Kimball (the original lead singer), rejoined the band as after a 15 year absence. The band released "Mindfields" in early 1999 and went on the Reunion Tour. Later that year, a live album entitled "Livefields" was released. The tour continued into 2000.

In early 2006, Toto released Falling In Between, their first album of new material since 1999. With very positive reviews from critics and fans alike, Toto release the successful single, "Bottom of Your Soul", which hit #1 on many single charts in Europe. Since the record's release, Toto has embarked on an extensive world-wide tour.


Bottom Of Your Soul



Check out everything else you may want to know about Toto at their official website! And join us once again next week for a Friday nite journey through time. . .

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Deceit, deception, and de Gonzales

In early March of 2004, the Terrorist Surveillance Program that the Bush administration had secretly launched after the Sept. 11 attacks was set to expire. Attorney General John Ashcroft, Asst. AG James Comey, and Justice Department legal counsel, Jack Goldsmith, began raising concerns about whether it violated the law, and decided to oppose it's recertification due the legal problems it had presented. Shortly thereafter, Mr.Ashcroft fell ill and was admitted to the hospital for gall-bladder surgery, and Mr.Comey was placed in the capacity of acting Attorney General.

With the program set to expire on March 11, 2004, and Ashcroft in the hospital, administration officials approached Comey to get the Justice Department’s blessing for re-authorization, but he refused to give it. That touched off the flurry of late-night maneuvering on March 10 that ended up in Ashcroft’s hospital room and, later, at the Justice Department and White House:

Comey was being driven home when he received an urgent call from Ashcroft’s chief of staff, David Ayres. Ayres relayed the fact that Ashcroft’s wife, Janet, had just received a call from the White House that Gonzales and then-White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. were en route to the hospital. Mrs. Ashcroft was upset because she had forbidden visitors and phone calls; her husband was recuperating from surgery the previous day.

Suspecting that an end run was in the works, Comey ordered his security detail to head for George Washington University Medical Center, contacted FBI Director Robert Mueller to meet him there, and raced there himself, with lights flashing, to protect Ashcroft from any efforts at coercion. “I was very upset. I was angry,” Comey told a Senate panel Tuesday. "And I was determined to get to the hospital first".

I raced to the hospital room, entered, and Mrs. Ashcroft was standing by the hospital bed. Mr. Ashcroft was lying down in the bed, the room was darkened,” Comey said. “And I immediately began speaking to him, trying to orient him as to time and place, and try to see if he could focus on what was happening, and it wasn’t clear to me that he could. He seemed pretty bad off.”

Comey said he stepped out into the hallway and spoke by phone to Mueller, who instructed the FBI agents not to allow Comey to be removed from the room “under any circumstances.” Two other senior Justice officials soon joined Comey and the Ashcrofts in the room.

Shortly thereafter,
Alberto Gonzales, carrying an envelope apparently containing the presidential spying order, arrived with Andrew Card.

They greeted the attorney general very briefly. And then Mr. Gonzales began to discuss why they were there: to seek his approval for a matter, and explained what the matter was,” Comey said.

And Atty. Gen. Ashcroft then stunned me,” Comey continued. “He lifted his head off the pillow and, in very strong terms, expressed his view of the matter, rich in both substance and fact, drawn from the hour long meeting we’d had a week earlier, and then laid his head back down on the pillow, seemed spent, and said to them, ‘But that doesn’t matter, because I’m not the attorney general right now.’

Card and Gonzales then left, he said.

According to Comey, Card called later to angrily demand that he meet him at the White House. “I responded that, after the conduct I had just witnessed, I would not meet with him without a witness,” Comey said. It was a close call, Comey said. “I had just witnessed an effort to take advantage of a very sick man”.

He replied, ‘What conduct? We were just there to wish him well,’ ” Comey testified. “And I said again, ‘After what I just witnessed, I will not meet with you without a witness.” Comey then tracked down Solicitor General Theodore Olson at a dinner party, and Olson agreed to be the witness. After meeting with other Justice officials at department headquarters, Comey said he and Olson headed to the White House about 11 p.m. but that nothing was resolved.

The White House renewed the program the next day without his, or anyone else's approval. With the White House disregarding the Justice Department’s legal advice, Comey,Ashcroft, Mueller and several other senior Justice officials made plans to resign. They relented only after Bush agreed to restructure the program after meetings with Comey and Mueller the next day.

It has some characteristics of the ‘Saturday Night Massacre,’ ” said Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, referring to the Watergate-era episode in which the attorney general and his deputy resigned rather than fire a special prosecutor investigating wrongdoing by the Nixon White House.

I would say what happened in that hospital room crystallized Mr. Gonzales’ view about the rule of law: that he holds it in minimum low regard,” Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), a leading Gonzales critic, said at the hearing. “It’s hard to understand after hearing this story how Atty. Gen. Gonzales could remain as attorney general, how any president - Democrat, Republican, liberal, conservative - could allow him to continue.”

Some observers said Comey’s testimony reinforced the view of Gonzales as someone who is loyal to Bush and little else. And it leaves one amazed over a story in which Ashcroft was the "good guy", as well as to wonder if Alberto Gonzales recalls the events of that evening four years ago. . .I'm guessing that he won't.

Related: No Confidence vote on Gonzales expected.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Letting it all hang out in Vermont

It's officially spring in the small town of Brattleboro, Vermont. The trees are sporting leaves, lawns are turning green, and Bill, Mary and Crazy Old Ted just walked by the downtown diner sporting nothing but a smile! In what's apparently becoming an annual tradition in this small town, which has no ordinance against public nudity, located in this small state that also has no laws against same, the locals are letting it all hang out.

Local youth began congregating in downtown parking lots sans clothing last year, starting a local trend that some people aren't too happy about. Some are just plain offended by the public display while others are worried about the town's image.

"How do you want to be viewed as Brattleboro?" asked the Rev. Kevin Horion. "We want to welcome families with small children." Nudists could pop up anywhere, he said. "I am concerned we don't know where they are going to strike."

I'm not entirely sure what a nudist "strike" would entail. . .perhaps this video will offer up some pertinent information on the subject:


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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Jerry Falwell

I labored over whether or not to do a post on Jerry Falwell's passing. I knew I would likely end up with a long rant that would please some, and piss off some others. . .

As fate would have it, I found the following post after reading through the comments on another blog that I found via a post from Paddy on Cliff Schecter's blog. Fate works in strange ways. . .but this AMAZING post not only demonstrates that fact, but is quite insightful regarding the state of "Christianity" in our world today. My attention span can run short late in the evening, but I hung on every word of this rather long tale:

Pat and Jerry meet Jesus


Do leave this guy a comment and link to this piece if you agree with my assessment of his work!

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What this war could have funded. . .

The Boston Globe recently ran this enlightening piece on the true cost of the Iraq war:

While there is some disagreement on the idea of troop deadlines for US soldiers in Iraq, all sides seem to be on board with the amount included in the bill to fund the war.

Including the $124.2 billion bill, the total cost of the Iraq war may reach $456 billion in September, according to the National Priorities Project, an organization that tracks public spending.

The amount got us wondering: What would $456 billion buy?

Tagged as the most expensive high school in Massachusetts, at $154.6 million, Newton North High School could be replicated almost 3,000 times using the money spent on the war.

At almost $15 billion, Boston's Central Artery project has been held up as the nation's most expensive public works project. Now multiply that by 30 and you're getting close to US taxpayer’s commitment to democracy in Iraq… so far.

US drivers consume approximately 384.7 million gallons of gasoline a day. Retail prices averaged $2.64 a gallon in 2006. Breaking it down, $456 billion could buy gasoline for everybody in the United States, for about 449 days.

With just one-sixth of the US money targeted for the Iraq war, you could convert all cars in America to run on ethanol.

TheBudgetGraph.com estimates that converting the 136,568,083 registered cars in the United States to ethanol (conversion kits at $500) would cost $68.2 billion.

At published rates for next year, $456 billion translates into 14.5 million free rides for a year at Harvard; 44 million at UMass.

In fiscal 2008, Medicare benefits will total $454 billion, according to a Heritage Foundation summary.


According to World Bank estimates, $54 billion a year would eliminate starvation and malnutrition globally by 2015, while $30 billion would provide a year of primary education for every child on earth.

At the upper range of those estimates, the $456 billion cost of the war could have fed and educated the world's poor for five and a half years.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Local tastes?

DATELINE - Elderon, Wis.

Around here, it may be tough to pass up anything deep-fried. Wisconsinites have deep-fried cheese curds, candy bars and Twinkies. They now have deep-fried livestock testicles, too.



Won't this cause a hot dog shortage somewhere? Or is that merely a "related" issue?



More than 300 people paid $5 for all-you-can-eat goat, lamb and bull testicles Saturday at the ninth annual Testicle Festival at Mama's Place Bar and Grill in Elderon in central Wisconsin.



MILFH (Mother-In-Law From Hell) - If you are reading this, I aint going anywhere NEAR this town! I don't care WHAT the family event is!



"Once you get over the mental (aspect) of what you're eating, it's just like eating any other food, and it tastes good," Buster Hoffman said.



Note that Buster resides in the same state where Jeffrey Dahmer had a similar opinion on "vittles"! And another guy wore his mother's "skin"!



Festival founder Nancy Fenske said the festival grew out of her late husband Roger's birthday party 12 years ago. They decided to have "a nut fry" at Mama's Place after bringing back lamb fries from a trip to Montana.



"Late" husband? I'm wondering about the hors-d'oeuvres at his wake! aaaahhhhh!!!!



The event grew every year and now they fry up to 100 pounds of testicles, she said.



100 POUNDS?? Mine are shrinking back into my inner body cavity right now!



"What else can you do in a small town?" Fenske said.



You people ever heard of a bake sale, chili cookoff, 4-H fair??



Butch Joubert, 58, likes the parts sandwiched between bread with tartar sauce. They're not so different from regular meatballs also served at the festival, he said.



The HELL they aren't, Butch! You're eating something's BALLS!!!



"After a few beers, you can't really tell the difference," Joubert said.



Aaaahhhhh. . . nice try, Butchie. But all the beer in Milwaukee couldn't persuade me to eat balls! If it's an acquired taste, I aspire to NOT acquire! YOU have at 'em, and pass me some deep-fried cheese curds - that's more in line with my Hoosier values of death by heart attack. . .

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Toot Tones

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You tell me

Don't be petrified by this picture! It's merely another Monday morning opportunity for you to spread joy to all with your woody witty captions:

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Your name in lights


I got my name in lights with notcelebrity.co.uk

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HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!!!



My mother was an "A-Team" fanatic. Go figger.

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