August 31, 2004


Animal and labor rights conflate as a bicycle riding bear tries to leave the Berlin circus.

Soros Letter to Hastert

This letter is a gem.

(A couple of days ago, on national television, Hastert accused Soros of receiving money from drug cartels.)

Bush Reverses Himself, Says Terror War Can Be Won

Yahoo! News - Bush Reverses Himself, Says Terror War Can Be Won

Thanks goodness! For about 24 hours, I was beginning to wonder whether "Can we win a war on Terror?" was a stupid question!

Dr. Z on Australians (and Rupert Murdoch)

Nice anecdote from Dr. Z's Mailbag:

How can I tell you this? I'm not the kind of person to nurse prejudices based on country, but I'll give it to you straight. For quite a while, the sound of the Australian dialect set my teeth on edge. You see at one time I worked for an Australian. His name was Rupert Murdoch. The place was the NY Post. The office was filled with his Australian henchmen. Journalistic thugs, we called them.

Toward the end of my tour of duty, it looked like a strike was in the offing. So Murdoch imported a team of strike breakers from his San Antonio paper, again, mostly Australians. Presumably we were supposed to "teach them the ropes" so that they could scab it up while we were on strike. That's the way these people thought. More journalistic thugs. One morning I found one of them going through my mailbox.

"What the hell are you doing!"

"Oh, right, mate."

"I'll right mate you!" I hollered and went for his throat. They pulled us apart.


The FBI investigation expands to cover unauthorized back channel covert operations, in the sense of working for peace by destablizing Syria AND Iran! From the Boston Globe.

August 30, 2004

Clarence Thomas? I Think Not.

Uma Thurman in Miramax's Kill Bill: Volume 1

Remind Me Again

What happens if neither candidate gets 270 electoral votes? Clarence Thomas gets to decide, right?

Guess it Was a Bad Month

Reported by the estimable Joshua Marshall:

"We have a clear vision on how to win the war on terror and bring peace to the world."
-- George W. Bush, July 30th 2004

Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, to Address Republican Convention

Ha ha, just kidding. McCain and Giuliani, of course.

Daily Kos Raising Funds for Knowels

The liberal muckraking blogger (and I mean that as a compliment) Kos is rasing money for the Kos Dozen congressional candidates, including our own Tony Knowles.

Diagram of Pentagon Spy Scandal

This actually helps, somewhat.

But can it corner?

What can I say. It's a jet-powered wheelchair.

Um ok, can I have my civil rights back now?

When asked "Can we win?" the war on terror, Bush said, "I don't think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that the — those who use terror as a tool are — less acceptable in parts of the world."

More Zany DoD Antics!

Newly published article on the Washington Monthly web site by Josh Marshall (the guy who downed Trent Lott with his blog, Talking Points Memo) and Laura Rozen, author of the War and Piece blog, and the American Prospect article Dr. X linked to in an earlier post.

Here is Rozens blog entry (with updates) on investigation that nabbed Franklin, with some very interesting facts and speculation.

More interesting speculation here.

August 29, 2004

Return of the Israeli Art Students!!

THIS MONTH - Similiar Israeli art scam in Winnipeg, Edmonton and other Canadian locales, but directed to ordinary sort of rich Canadians. Like the Winnipeg sun is making this up - complete with a weird "counter intelligence" statement that these guys are raising money for fundamentalist Islamists? Now what?

I actually wrote to the reporter in Winnipeg about this amazing parallel; stay tuned.

Just Enjoy

NYT - it was half a million diverse New Yorkers who, peacefully, in the largest demonstration in 20 years, and the largest convention demonstration ever, told the GOP to kindly fuck off.

Also, a highly encouraging but anomalous NPR poll that I'm not sure what to make off - my gut says it's in line not so much with most polls but accurate to the high D, middling R turnout I think will happen.

Oh Look, It's Growing

From that partisan journal, USA Today:

WASHINGTON — An investigation into whether a midlevel Pentagon analyst passed information about U.S. policy on Iran to pro-Israel lobbyists could expand into a broader inquiry into whether more U.S. secrets were shared with Israel, two federal law enforcement officials said Sunday.

The Bizzare Israeli Art Students Spy Mystery

This intelligence dust-up - where Israel is denying any US espionage- reminded me of an odd story I read a while back: there were dozens and dozens of suspected Israeli agents posing as woe-be-gone art students, caught and deported from the US post 9/11, where they apparantly went around to lots of semi-secret DEA offices tried to sell small paintings.

I found this long article from in 2002. Clearly this must be taken with some serious skepticism, but it resulted in real deportations, and small, lingering doubts in my mind about any sexually aggressive hot blond female Israeli art students with inexplicably poor drawing skills and a penchant for visiting federal offices with bad chinese art copies.

According to this article, referencing others in Le Monde and the AP, there were over 140 Israeli art students detained by the US. If only federal agents had basic art history training, they would have caught them so much earlier by spotting lazy, poor quality abstracts. Why isn't this a national priority?

Of course the sociopath right and the fringe left was all over this. It's a rather depressing Google search to dig up the actual news involved. But in this climate, Israeli claims of non spying are pretty non-credible.

(There was an unrelated incident at UW where my friend M- caught a particularly egregious example of plagarism from some lazy, arrogant blond sorority girl, and I want to clarify that in discussing this incident I was not the one who said "who did she have to blow to get this drawing done?" - the universal conclusion of the betrayed women instructors.)

The moral? Neglect the humanities at your national peril.


This just might be the sound bite we need to take any punch out of the Republican convention.

"Had we to do it over again, we would look at the consequences of catastrophic success, being so successful so fast that an enemy that should have surrendered or been done in escaped and lived to fight another day," -George Bush

I completly understand what he means. To compare and contrast, I have come up with some other "Catastrophic Success" stories and the men whos careers took off as a result:

Custer--Little Big Horn
German General Friedrich Paulus--Stalingrad
Mission Control--Challenger Launch
Earl Mountbattten--Dieppe
Captain Gennady Lyachin--K-141 Submarine Kursk

Some Details

Click here for the Israeli spy scandal org chart.

Here is a Feith bio from Disinfopedia.

In May the American Prospect had Feith potentially going to jail for leaking documents on the Al-Qaeda - Hussein (non) connection.

In July there were reports that Feith headed up a group that circumvented the CIA and "counter-briefed" U.S. leadership on Iraq before the war.

This guy needs to be relieved of duty, right now.

It's Not Like I Remember Much

My last meaningful stretch of time up there was in the summer of 1981. I was gone before Weird Al Yankovic kicked off a tour there, before Hickel got elected on the secession ticket, before they found oil at ANWR.

A funny thing about memory - the more you access it, the more it gets modified, altered, re-encoded. So the more you remember it, the less it becomes it and the more it becomes something else. But it's a special occasion, so...

Driving the Jeep home from work late on a snowy night and, with the advantage of a rolling start and four-wheel drive, blowing away a Corvette at a stoplight. (Really: who buys a Corvette in Alaska?)

Covering a basketball game at Service and sitting by the scorer's table. A stern, lean man with thinning hair and taut neck muscles sits at the table, filling no apparent function. Without prompting he turns to me and says "they call me The Whip."

No one believes me on this, but I saw a movie at Chugach in fifth or six grade where Pinocchio goes into space and meets Astro the Space Whale. (HOLY MOLY - they re-released it on DVD last year - check it out. This reviewer seems as perplexed as I was at the time.)

My Dad and a family friend driving me to the hospital in the middle of a snowy night. It must have been November 1972 - Hubert Humphrey talking on the radio - rapidly and endlessly.

My first movie without parents along: The Boatniks (which makes this 1970). The young Stephanie Powers made a particularly vivid impression, if I recall.

On a camping trip in the 60s a friend and I go wandering down a beach. He gets stuck in a mud puddle. I run in to help and get stuck too. Our parents hear our screams and come pull us out of the quicksand.

The last day of old Chugach (must have been 1973). I'll be going to junior high, and the school will be torn down over the summer and replaced with a shiny new one. Everyone goes home, even the teachers and janitor. I stick around. I go out to the playground by the old swingset, with its view of the Chugach range. It's a sunny day with blue skies and a mild wind, and life is just fine.

August 28, 2004

Amazing: Seattle Times Hard Reverse

Amazing? You ask. Actually yes. In spite of the complete avalanche of support for K within the city of Seattle, the Times is a Republican newspaper, and has been for many years. They endorsed W last time, and their breathless if self-preserving contrition is why I post this editorial.

Spy Story from the GIA - Googling Intelligence Agency

Again, me citing the ultimately irreplaceable NYT - the apparant Israeli pentagon spy is a guy named Larry Franklin, described in my google "larry franklin pentagon" search as a top aide to Leith (rather than a guy with no ability to affect policy as described in some stories. - there's even Wolfowitz thanking him in a speech). Franklin may be remembered from a recent meeting, oh a little too post 9-11 recently, with IRAN-CONTRA notable Ghorbanifar - sleezebag Iranian arms dealer.

This Washington Post story goes farther, putting Franklin as a stalwart neo-con in offices generating enormous amounts of dangerous bullshit - pressuring Israel to tank Oslo, forming Iraq policy, pooping on Iranian moderates, and of course sucking up to arms dealers. If he's an Israeli agent....I mean holy poo.

This is not doing much for my view of the Israeli government, which was already at the point of giving up on it as any reasonable force for peace or secular democracy. It suggests - only suggests so far - that the right-wing elements of the Israeli government have been directly playing a predisposed neo-con adminstration into a dangerous and unsustainable Middle East policy - Feith, his immediate boss, one of the Wolfowitz Chihuahuas (to coin an expression), set up the intelligence office to find the Al Qaeda - Sadaam connection, as one particularly catastrophic example.

Stay tuned.

Keeping John Kerry Safe from Sticks

I got to shake Kerry's hand at a huge rally of around 20,000, located of all places, at the Tacoma Dome parking lot. An energetic and exciting deal, - I immediately went out and registered the random kid I bought my burrito from. (I cannot recommend keeping a couple of registration forms with you enough - I've signed up about six people in the last couple of weeks. It feels great, they appreciate it, and you can more or less multiply your vote legally.)

Excellent speech, much more full of fire than he was in March, when he was compelling but visibly worn. Kerry was the best fighter available for this election, I'm even more convinced. He is both intelligent, competitive and extremely tough, a real heavyweight, rope-a-dope candidate. He understands the stakes, and his political skills keep improving. Clark and Dean, bless him, would have snapped in two by now. Lieberman and Gephardt would have long been outflanked on all sides, and, I think, started fading fast months ago as they tried with less appeal to out-Bush Bush. It's taken a despicable, all-out Nixonesque assault to get Kerry back to dead even.

"I'm in a fighting mood, " he said, an excellent sign, if slow in coming. It also suggests his action movie catch phrase, and reflecting on his actual war heroism, it's something of a reason to duck. I have to say there was not a whiff of Dukakisness. "Everything that matters to you is on the line." said, I felt, with real conviction. The angrier he gets, the more compelling he is. Someone need to keep putting ants in his shorts.

I can confirm that he is on top of providing health care - he had to call for EMTs at least six different times as several Olympia residents withered and fainted in 12 minutes of sun and sweltering 71 degree temperatures in a pleasant breeze. It was brutal.

He was introduced by Garrison Keillor (!) ("John Kerry is the kind of guy who speaks in complete sentences, which lead to coherent paragraphs, which contain things like meaning and information...") and Wesley Clark, who was yelling like America's hair was on fire, which it is: "Bush is an incompetent and indecisive commander in chief."

Now to the moment in question. The Secret Service is as always a great source of entertainment: first, the suit cuts through, politely enough, then the totally unconvincing and completely obvious "normally" dressed agent, with jeans and a grey fleece vest (a dead giveaway in AUGUST), looking like nothing so much as a Green Beret sergeant shopping with his 11 year old daughter at REI.

Then the agents come down the receiving line, with a statement so odd I had trouble understanding it, agents pointing at Flags and pens and saying "no sticks, put the sticks away, no sticks, no pens, that stick, put it back..," which was related to the VERY REAL FEAR THAT SOMEONE WAS GOING TO POKE JOHN KERRY WITH A STICK!

Then the very tall John Kerry, who was really working the crowd well, coming my way, rather unexpectedly, quite relaxed and friendly, to the random cries of "is that his hair? which was all most people could see. A line of four agents, including a very, very short agent, whose job appeared to be to energetically scan the crowd at hand level. Sort of a human terrier.

You know, you try to be cool. What to tell our next - Allah willing - president? Stop illegal coltan mining in the Congo? Reverse the Patriot Act? You're Very Tall? Save our democracy in mortal peril? Fuck up Bush's Shit, Holmes? Please don't let the Planet Earth shrivel up into a small wrinkled gray ball of hot discarded plastic and bones? O tempore! O mores!?

A big guy, a genuine smile. (Thousands and thousands of faces to greet -I honestly cannot imagine the amount of energy running for president must take. )

Then a solid, long-fingered grip -

"Right On, Senator!"

"Thank You!"

I suppose part of my brain put together a certain equation. Kerry was a 1960's guy in spades, a vet, a guitarist in a preppy band, the very definition of the now athletic and successful, laboriously reformed political goof. Brain said "Inner Kerry wanted to be cool in 1967. Groovy..uh no. Right on."

Right on, man.

August 27, 2004

Hey Lithuania, Take Your Best Shot

Now, does anyone know how I can get a copy of "Spirit of the Wind"?

[Whomever made the title change, I can think of no more fitting title for our anniversary. George won his first Fur Rendezvous race in 1958, his last in 1982.]

14 Years Later, I'm Right!

The Alaska (correction) Court of Appeals FINALLY strikes down search warrants for small amounts of marijuana - in the run up to the passage of marijuana criminalization (thanks largely to NORML's hippie antics), I had said in the Daily News in 1990 that "constitutionally, it was dead on arrival."

O! Wheels of Vindication! Will You Not Turn In Timely Fashion?

The Spy in Rumsfeld's Pants

Well, now this is an interesting googlization. Someone on Pentagon undersecretary Feith's staff is being invesigated as an Israeli spy. Check this out from the WSJ's hand-job on neo-con ideas man Feith, 2003-08-05:

The idea that fighting the war on terrorism requires a new military "footprint" world-wide was worked by Mr. Feith's policy staff. It led to decisions to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Germany and South Korea and negotiate basing rights in more places world-wide (Central Asia, for example), closer to where they might be needed. The new basing strategy will affect the way the military fights and the way we do diplomacy for decades.

Who would a major redeployment of US troops to Central Asia help the most?

Even Sophistication Has its Limits


I had hoped that we could keep negativity out of this little online fireside chat we have, but apparently I was mistaken. I have decided to address this in an open letter to the perpetrator:

The Laird of Madrona
Laird Place
San Francisco

Dear Ex-Pal:

In a recent post you intimated that I don't own any records. This statement, as you surely are aware, is disingenuous, at best. You know better than anyone that I own a record. One record. How do I know you know? Because it is at your house. Why is it at your house? Because I can play it on your record player since I don't have one.

And knowing this, surely you also know, but are unwilling to admit you know, at least in a public forum (for reasons known only to yourself) that it is, in point of fact, one of the finest records ever made: Dawn of the Dickies

You dare deny my ownership of Dawn of the Dickies! At long last sir, have you no shame?!

You shall pay for this malicious slight. I'm a fighter, and I won't stand for these scurrilous ambush tactics. Don't bother defending yourself, John McCain has already been contacted.

Dr. X
Hunted, Despised
Living Like an Animal

I trust that clears everything up.


Kenai my dog and I took another of our famous walks down the inside of Ediz Hook, the spit that cuts out into the Strait of Juan De Fuca. We had the beach all to ourselves except for the seals and some sea lions (the arrival of the sea lions is a sure sign that fall is coming). Not far down the beach, Kenai spotted a huge Malemute, husky and made immediate friends with the big dog. His name was "Kodiak" the son of an Iditarod sled dog. Kenai was completely smitten with the blue-eyed monster and they played on the beach until exhausted and covered with sand, salt.

What has this got to do with Herbie Nayokpuk? As I spoke to Kodiak's owners, I attempted to explain just why I loved seeing Kodiak play with Kenai on the beach. I explained 4th Avenue, the smell of dog shit mixed with fresh snow, the sound of 100 dogs howling to be let loose and the excitement at the start of the last great race on earth.

I explained that one night, while visiting Tom Begich in Juneau, Alaska, I had to sleep on the floor, because the comfy couch in the living room was the exclusive domain of Kazak. Kazak was a retired lead dog and the pet of the home owners for whom Tom was housesitting. Kazak did not approve of my attempt to take the couch from him. I told Kodiak's owners that I missed the dogs and the individuals who ran them through the toughest winter landscapes imaginable, places like Teller, Rampart, Rainy Pass, White Mountain and Half-Way house. Kodiak's owners listened to my "old man" stories with polite, glossed-over eyes. They adored Kodiak, and adored the fact that Kenai and I liked their dog, but they just didn't get the Iditarod thing.

After Kenai and I continued our walk, I kept thinking about the Iditarod, about the Channel 2 news reports along the trail. I thought about frozen salmon, frosty beards, steaming pots of stew, mittons, Susan Bucher, Martin Buser, Libby Riddles and that unscrutably evil Rick Swensen. I thought about the half-way prize of thousands of silver dollars and a full, professionally cooked meal in a warm cabin. I thought about the winning musher, crossing the finish line in Nome and posing with their calm, happy lead dog, a wreath of flowers around the fuzzy dog's neck.

Lastly, I thought of Herbie Nayokpuk, not the most successful Iditarod Musher, but probably the most loved. His time in the sun (now nearly gone), coincided with my first memories of the Iditarod, and I remember Herbie, storming up the coast to Nome, on his way to victory (Never first but always near the top). Where hard work, fortitude, tradition and sportsmanship are concerned, Herbie set the bar unimaginably high. He also rightfully holds the title of "Guy with the greatest nickname of all time". So here is to the "Shishmaref Cannonball", may he slide all the way to heaven on iced runners towed by 100 huskies (He's not dead yet, I'm just being poetic!). The Iditarod wouldn't be "The Iditarod" without Herbie Nayokpuk.

Sophia Loren: Incontrovertible Evidence

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The consideration of Brittany Spears as an unusually sexy contemporary celebrity cannot be disputed as strong evidence of the decline of western civilization. I blame George W. Bush, and the growing and unqualified acceptance of marketing that pushes out the classic humanist values of shameless lust for stunning Italian sex kittens.

I ask you to examine this photo closely.

Spies on Rumsfeld's Lap

Apparantly, an Israeli spy has been nabbing our plans for U.S. policy regarding Iran from the desks of Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz. (The Israelis deny it. Since they never spy on us, I guess.)

Funny. I had no idea we had any policy for dealing with Iran.

No wonder Rumsfeld finally shut up.

Polls and Public Movement

This Annenberg poll in the NYT, on the perception of Bush involvement in the Swift Boat ads, gives an interesting impression about the relationship between media events and the time lag in public opinion. Which is why I'm concerned but not horribly worried about the damage done to Kerry with the most naked, despicable lies we've seen in presidential politics since 1972. That must be their best shot, but now a plurality of Americans believe that the Bush campaign was behind a really vile attack.

The pessimist in me says that the damage (though it's all pretty much in the margin of error, and note the always strongly conservative running Gallup polls lack of effect) is real, but I think that's the surly comfort of cynicism. My best guess is that a plurality of Americans will connect the wink and nod at lies between these ads and Iraq, which adds up to a very effective indictment of the administration- I think we see the beginings of this in the above poll.

What has not changed at all is the strong bias among undecided voters that the country is on the wrong track, a historically powerful indicator that they will vote for the challenger. Kerry has the advantage in a dead heat.

"Americans LOVE a winner, and WILL NOT TOLERATE a loser."

The New York Times: Argentina Beats U.S. Men's Basketball Team: "The US team will play for bronze Saturday against the Italy-Lithuania loser."

August 26, 2004

Today's Tomorrow's Headlines #45 in Seattle

According to this website, Today's Tomorrow's Headlines is #45 in the top 100 blogs in Seattle. Although this site, which somehow makes trading pretend money on the incoming links to blogs more fun than I can imagine, is rather curious, I am strangely honored.

And Right Away With Dr. K

Instant coincidence - NYT: Kissenger winks and nods 30,ooo Argentinians to death.

Another Milestone

Today is the 101st birthday of the late Jimmy Rushing.

You know that gag where the old-time star steps up to a modern microphone - and sounds exactly like he did on the old radio show? That was Jimmy Rushing. His classic takes were the Decca sides with Basie before WWII. But the Basie band had a reunion concert at Newport in 1957 and Jimmy Rushing came - and sounded on the modern equipment exactly like he did on the old records.

That Basie CD is pure gold. Mr. Lester Young, a mainstay of the Old Testament band, came, played his heart out, and went home to die a couple years later. And Illinois Jacquet is in the band, with a fine solo on One O'Clock Jump.

So Jimmy Rushing, thanks for the memories! Saaaa-LUTE!

Surreal NYT Interview With W in the Cinder Block Dressing Room

W with the New York Times in small room, sounding like a minor league baseball manager explaining away a shittythree or four seasons, and underconcerned that this year's playoffs feature a pitcher with a 100 mph fastball and a nutty right fielder with thermonuclear weapons.

This Just In- Nudity Increases Traffic

An immediate effect today from posting Gerhart Richter's creepy and depressing photo-realist naked girl painting on Today's Tomorrow's Headlines - traffic tripled. Which is interesting - Richter's work is the dark german anti-Warhol, a minutely accurate painter's recording of well-choosen damaged or "poor" quality photographs (I quote my flip review of his SF MOMA show "It was brilliant, but it wasn't wonderful.")

The beautiful nudes of classical painters do not have that effect on traffic, so we might loosely conclude that the cues (I'm trying not to say signifiers - the semiotic storm troopers are really driving me up the wall) of degraded photography are more erotically compelling to random internet viewers. Which suggests an uncomfortable, demeaning relationship between technology and real sexuality; a surprise, I am sure, to no one.

My next sticker: Photography Kills.

The Bennifer We'd Like to See

And before you tell me dumpy American diplomats don't make the grade with classy women like J. Lo, I'd like to call Henry Kissinger to the stand...


Ranks of Poor, Uninsured Rose in 2003: "It was the third straight annual increase for both categories. While not unexpected, it was a double dose of bad economic news during a tight re-election campaign for President Bush."

Not to mention the 1,300,000 newly impoverished persons.

August 25, 2004

What Ever Happened To...

Long ago (1992) I read an article in The New Yorker about a couple of Russian mathematicians who built a supercomputer in their Manhattan apartment to help calculate pi. I just thought about the article, "The Mountains of Pi", again today, though I can't say why.

I wondered what happened to these two characters - it turns out they're teaching at Polytechnic University in Brooklyn, at "the Institute for Mathematics and Advanced Supercomputing, directed by the acclaimed mathematicians, brothers David and Gregory Chudnovsky."

But what are they doing? Google and Wikipedia searches were fruitless. There is, however, a French article, which when translated concludes:

"The Chudnovsky brothers are very discrete, they do not have a personal site. It is thus difficult to obtain information on their subject."

So...wait a minute - here's an article that sheds some light...

Did I Mention...

...that I HATE Pennsylvania Nazis?

This Song is Your Song, This Song is My Song

The copyright's lapsed, so kiss my _____....

Somewhere Woody Guthrie is having a good laugh.

BOLLENBACH's End of The Republic ODDS

Shockingly Large Anti-Bush NYC Rally 3-2

NYC Protests Turn into Riots 1-4

Attempted Presidential Election Tampering without significant result 2-1

Successful Presidential Election Tampering 1-3 (Declines to 1-10 if spread by state is greater than 5%)

Florida Riots on Contested Bush Victory 5-2

Multi-City Riots on Contested Bush Victory 3-2

Electoral Loss, Attempted US "Soft" Coup By Bush Adminstration 1-11

Electoral Loss, Attempted US Violent Coup by Bush Administration 1-15

Bush Victory Catalyst for US Civil War Within 12 years 2-9


Yes you've been showered in human waste, but that was Dave Matthews' human waste. Turn that effluent trauma into an eBay opportunity!


What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas -- And Gets Posted on Eisengeiste!

I've finally recovered from this weekend's festivities in Las Vegas (for those who don't know, I was throwing a bachelor party for a friend, let's just call him "Dr. O"). For those who know me well, you know how much I hate Las Vegas. It may come as a disappointment to you, but I no longer hate it -- nor do I love it. I just understand it better, and at the same time am more mystified by it.

Las Vegas is like a pinball machine. You, the visitor, are like the ball. If you are determined to, you can pay your "quarter", get shot up to the top of the machine, and will yourself to drop straight down to the bottom hitting as few bumpers as possible, and when you do saying "ow." It'll suck, and you're out a "quarter". But if you've got a big wad of "quarters" (preferably in $100 increments) and are willing to be bounced around that machine for a while, you may have a really good time (though you will still say "ow", only much more loudly).

I have to hand it to the group of people (whoever they are) who decided to face reality and stop pretending that Vegas was a tourist destination for families. It's no place for kids, probably never was, and probably should never be. The idea is that it's a Disneyland for adult (or, more appropriately, post-adolescent) compulsions, desires, and dreams.

The Joy of Gambling

I used to think that gambling was simply the most expensive form of entertainment invented by man. Now, I realize that this is a vast oversimplification. (Also, there is a more expensive form of entertainment that takes place in establishments that have signs in the front that say "Prostitution is Illegal", but I'm not going to go into that.) I've only gambled in casinos maybe four times in my life previous to this trip. Ever time, I lost. Everyone who loses like I do has a moment when they try to rationalize the losses as money paid for entertainment. If you do the math, or try to imagine how much more entertaining entertainment you could have had for that much money, the rationalization doesn't cut it, and you think maybe you shouldn't do it again.

Something was different this time that changed my entire view of gambling: I won. In the course of an hour I turned a $100 into $650 at the craps table, along with two of my companions, who both won much more money. Now, when losing, you make rationalizations about how you paid for entertainment. I am happy to say that when you win there is no converse rationalization about how you "earned" this money, and thus should save it like money you earn. $550 does not make you a rich man, but for one night, at least, it makes you spend like a big shot. And, in Vegas, if you spend like a big shot, friend, you are a big shot. And one night in Vegas lasts as long as you can stay awake.

I stayed awake until 7:00am, after drinking until 6:00am, and walked two miles up the strip to my hotel, to get three and a half hours of sleep before it was time to drive back to San Francisco. After 1.5 days of wondering through endless theme-park casinos, all I could visualize in my waking dreams during the drive home were bigger, bolder, and more endless theme-park casinos -- like visions into a sprit-world of Las Vegas where no dream or scheme was too big, too tastless, or too bizarre to be made reality.

August 24, 2004

What He Said

Don't forget Odalys Garcia and John Tyler.

Finally Found an Example of the "Liberal Media"

I suppose that what all conservatives say about the media is true. Just look at this news story published by the Korean Central News Agency of the DPRK.

"[These remarks by Bush] can not be construed as remarks made by a politician with sound reason and sensibility to reality but as a base tongue-lashing that can be made only by the stupid. "

Quality Cheescake and Mediocre Presidents III

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Beyonce and Chester A. Arthur

Quality Cheescake and Mediocre Presidents II

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A Big Thank You

To KSAN San Mateo (107.7 The Bone - "Classic Rock That Rocks") for playing this set during my drive home tonite:

Foghat - Slow Ride (long version)
Van Halen - Where Have All the Good Times Gone?
George Thoroughood - One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer
Budweiser Commercial

This may be the only non-NPR station in America that doesn't suck. I swear to God if they ran a pledge drive I'd send money.

Quality Cheescake and Mediocre Presidents

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Gwen Stefani and Millard Filmore

Sign Me Up

Yes, I'd like to make an appointment to have these here brain toxins drained...


Thank God Woodward & Bernstein didn't have to contend with cat fleas!

At one point, a cat fell through the roof and landed on someone's head., Said a distraught radio announcer who chose to remain anonymous. We are proposing the cats either get vaccinated or gotten rid of. he said.

In a testament to the seriousness of the situation, the announcer added, The dog should also go.


Could this be the opening of an exit strategy for the veep shortly before the convention? I believe Dr. X was the first to float this idear. A fine Guinness to him if he is correct.


Chaplin's speech from the Great Dictator.

Nice summary; why we won that war, and what we're forgetting.

On the Other Hand

"I have never under any circumstances made the slightest effort to do anything original." - Mozart

Kerry on The Daily Show Tonight

Washington Post -- Seriously: Kerry on Comedy Central

August 23, 2004

Please View This

Will Ferrell doing a fake Bush ad for the benefit of America Coming Together.

Dr. X's Secret

"I think we are genetically programmed to be fearful of BMW drivers in the same way that we are programmed to be just a little bit frightened of Scottish people in pub lavatories."

In addition to narrating the "456 goes boom" clip from (go back and see it if necessary), Jeremy Clarkson writes pithily on things automotive for The Times of London.

Be Very Afraid

Barbara's practice chanter has arrived.

The Father of Compassionate Conservatism

"I don't know much about Americanism, but it's a damned good word with which to carry an election."

John Dean has written a book on Harding, which, if I were immortal, I might take a few moments to peruse. He concludes that Harding was mediocre, not terrible.

Harding has one vociferous defender: Pat Buchanan's impassioned defense of the Harding presidency is here.

[Sorry to post in old bean, but there is an internal error. Mrs. Harding's review of his performance was less kind. She poisoned him. Reputedly that is - on the way back from a trip to Alaska. -FSL]

So I walk into my office and this book is sitting on my desk...

I knew right away who had lent it to me unbidden. Having the right co-workers can really make a job.

[After filming Seven Samurai]

Chiaki's house.

He and Kurosawa are drinking; both are rather drunk.

Kurosawa: Hey, Chiaki. You probably got more for appearing the in the picture than I got for directing it. You're too expensive!
Chiaki: (Frowning silence. Then his inner-voice speaks, though no one hears:) It isn't that I'm too expensive; it's that you're too cheap.

At the golf course.

Kurosawa and Chiaki are playing golf. Kurosawa hits the ball. It goes off to one side. Chiaki hits the ball. It goes high and straight--a beautiful shot.

Kurosawa: (Dejected.) Why is it I'm so lousy?
Chiaki: When you are making films you are a demon of strength; when you can't hit the golf ball you are like some little girl. Where is this strength; where does it go?
Kurosawa: It is quite enough if a human being has but one thing where he is strong. (As though to console himself.) If a human being were strong in everything it wouldn't be nice for other people, would it?

-From a word-portrait of Akira Kurosawa by Minoru Chiaki

August 22, 2004


I think of Ferraris the way a monk thinks of Britney Spears, and probably also like the monk, I watch the video, muttering "tut-tut."

I know our regular readers have seen it, but for the uninitiated, the subtitle for the blog is explained here.


Here is the plot of the Icelandic movie mentioned below, which is called A Man Like Me, and is, according to a reviewer at IMDB, "Best Icelandic film ever":

"A postal worker has some lunch in a chinese restaurant and falls in love with the waitress, who happens to be chinese. They start dating and quickly fall in and out of love, the waitress returning to China. The young man looks for comfort in his father, but he's to occupied with winning the Eurovision song contest. After listening to looser friends talk about what Sylvester Stallone would do in his situation, the postal worker decides to buy a ticket to China and follow his love to her home."

Now, I thought there were really only three ethical algorithms worth reviewing - the Golden Rule, the Categorial Imperative, and Utilitarian reasoning. But there is a fourth - What Would Sylvester Stallone Do?

August 21, 2004

Rising Star

Relegated as I am to the periphery of cinematic enjoyment by my refusal to watch anything made in Hollywood since 1980, I go a bit further afield. Arguably the finest Chinese actress to appear in a recent Icelandic movie, Stephanie Che Yuen Yuen has also been a mainstay of the legendary Virtues of Harmony Hong Kong television series. In the original VOH, set in medieval China she played the evil concubine - in the second series, set in modern Hong Kong, she plays...the evil office manager. Them VOH guys are geniuses.

I think one reason I like her is that she has a very rare quality in a beautiful Asian woman - most of the time, without really trying, she exudes menace.

Words of Sanity From the Distant Past

Senator Robert "Fightin' Bob" LaFollette defends free speech in wartime, Washington, D.C., October 6, 1917 [he voted against U.S. entry into WWI - full speech is here]:

"...[I]f every preparation for war can be made the excuse for destroying free speech and a free press and the right of the people to assemble together for peaceful discussion, then we may well despair of ever again finding ourselves for a long period in a state of peace. ... The destruction of rights now occurring will be pointed to then as precedents for a still further invasion of the rights of the citizen. ...

"Mr. President, our Government, above all others, is founded on the right of the people freely to discuss all matters pertaining to their Government, in war not less than in peace.

"It is true, sir, that Members of the House of Representatives are elected for two years, the President for four years, and the Members of the Senate for six years, and during their temporary official terms these officers constitute what is called the Government. But back of them always is the controlling sovereign power of the people, and when the people can make their will known, the faithful officer will obey that will. Though the right of the people to express their will by ballot is suspended during the term of office of the elected official, nevertheless the duty of the official to obey the popular will continue throughout his entire term of office.

"How can that popular will express itself between elections except by meetings, by speeches, by publications, by petitions, and by addresses to the representatives of the people? Any man who seeks to set a limit upon those rights, whether in war or peace, aims a blow at the most vital part of our Government. And then as the time for election approaches and the official is called to account for his stewardship--not a day, not a week, not a month, before the election, but a year or more before it, if the people choose--they must have the right to the freest possible discussion of every question upon which their representative has acted, of the merits of every measure he has supported or opposed, of every vote he has cast and every speech that he has made.

"And before this great fundamental right every other must, if necessary, give way, for in no other manner can representative government be preserved."


Lithuania? Lithuania!? Lithu-fucking-ania??!! Lithuania.


Time to patch the patch, guys.

August 20, 2004


Require that all art be anonymous.

Or, Be Like The Proletarian Nuclei for Communism

An odd, almost endearingly old-school bomb plot possibly involving Berlusconi, splitter anarchists, Tony Blair, and, the supposedly "unrelated" story of Berlusconi's hair transplant surgeon. I believe it involves an actual Wile-E -Coyote stick of Acme dynamite.

For my part, I bank at the Proletarian Nuclei For Communism Building & Loan.

Be Like Boris

This interesting article points out that winners need not be jerks, even in a chess, a game notorious for its disfiguring effect on the egos of its practitioner. There are very few classy winners left in western culture, so the author offers some Russian role models: "Those who insist that only super-arrogant, insufferable egotists triumph in the real world overlook the beloved Mikhail Tal for one, the calm and assured Boris Spassky for another. Does anyone think Paul Keres was a conceited, churlish oaf? [No! -Dr. X] Is Smyslov an abrasive, abusive whiner? [NO!!! - Dr. X]"

But then, reflecting on the bizarre behavior of Bobby Fischer, the author asks a really interesting question:

"Is near-perfect chess worth this sacrifice? If we were to learn, nightmarishly, that Beethoven was an arsonist, or an abuser of children, would his string quartets still thrill and lift us? It’s a bit of a dilemma. What can we legitimately excuse for the sake of art?"

Okay, NOW The Gloves Come Off

Kerry files suit as his rating among vets drops.

August 19, 2004


The Bear that drank 36 beers and passed out here in Washington tried Busch first and didn't like it, then moved on to delicious Rainier.

Sensitive Swift Boat Vets With Memory Issues

Here's NYTs fairly devastating history of the swift boat ad. It's had a small effect, but I still think that this ad is likely to backfire in a big way, particularly now that its run is through - forcing Bush's service to the agenda and more careful examination of the despicable Republican machine, just as Iraq re-re-explodes, the economy stumbles, and the 800 pound $50 crude oil gorilla is set to unleash during the GOP convention.

Recent 24" by 24" 'arctic abstract' for your mild amusement.

Attention Brave Parents [link fixed]

New for Halloween.

Cheese Factory Workers Unable to Contain Election Enthusiasm
(photo: NY Times)

I can't begin to tell you how happy this photo makes me, from the "Oh, look, more cheese" expression of Wisconsin cheeseworker #1 directly above the cheese, to the "Life is a pendulum between Cheese and Nothingness" expression of the folded arms guy to the left, to the "Huh, nice cheese, fuckin' president dude" expression on the complexion challenged guy above, to the beard doily, to the idea that lead to a presidential presentation of cheese as a great photo op, to it's doom on the rocky shores of cheese workers seeing yet more cheese, to it's final expression of the President of the United States as Blue Shirt Cheese Presenter.

A Lie Too Far

Recent BBC story captures, I believe, the fundamental erosion of trust by ordinary Republicans in the presidency that that has been underreported, and is likely to be decisive.

August 18, 2004

How to Blow Your Extra Campaign Funds

The disposal of primary campaign funds issue came up briefly during the recent salon in Seattle. There's a nice summary of the rules here, from Cox news service. I know what you're thinking: they should trade names.

My learned colleagues were correct on the convention rule, but the point that the money is not exactly lost (it goes to DNC and the state parties) is also correct.

Standard Text: Karl "Turd Blossom" Rove Insult

(Following the success of the Rush Limbaugh characterization, I am moved anew to attack Karl Rove, so, to wit:)

Karl "Turd-Blossom" Rove's career began with dirty tricks for Dick of Dicks Nixon and launched through the pretend victory of 2000 directly into the George Bush Pineal Gland, who you may remember as the source of the nickname "Turd-Blossom."A prime specimen of necrotizing fasciitis, this Stay-Puff Marshmellow Machiavelli, so right-wing he makes Caligula look like Susan Sarandon, is a disappointed traitor lacking only a more powerful nation to sell out to, although Bob Novak will do in a pinch. As a child in texas dreaming of Ming the Magnificent and itching to lay waste to the earth, he laced a friend's peppermint tea with arsenic for correctly spelling "canoe."

In person he resembles Himmler with creme filling, and his erotic fantasies of Snidely Whiplish never distract from the day to day responsibilities of fucking America in lather on a swing. If the Rovian idea honor is hiding in Alabama and still running away, he later showed us that Max Cleland betrayed his country by selfishly keeping a remaining limb as a souveneir.

Rove is an all-you-can-eat buffet nazi and pooh-pigeon, who has buffed both snivelling and dissembling into standard ethics, and reeks of ozone from a malfunctioning cell phone, which is suspected of destroying the part of his brain responsible for empathy. This is false, as an self-performed ethictomy was performed in June of 1972 with a 5/9 handdrill and a pair of tweezers that originally belonged to Roy Cohn.

That's Karl Rove, baby, don't get in his way. Cause he's rolling down the Beltway, evil, proud, and gay. (In the sense of happy. And cocksucking. )


Microsoft has announced that certain popular software "may behave differently" after the application of Service Pack 2. I submit a a partial list here in the name of hillarity. Note the prevalent Microsoft applications listed Read the full list and knowledgebase article here.

Star Trek StarFleet Command III
Medieval Total War
PageMaker (German)
Photoshop Elements
Nero 6 Ultra
Nero Burning ROM
AOL Toolkit
Dead Man's Hand
Unreal II
Unreal Tournament 2003
Unreal Tournament Game of the Year Edition
Command Antivirus
AutoCAD 2004
Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos Collector's Edition
Patrol for Windows 2000
Word Perfect
Citrix ICA client
FileMaker Pro (German)
ArcServe 7.0
Corel Draw 9 - PhotoPaint (German)
WordPerfect Office
Retrospect Client
Command & Conquer Generals
Command & Conquer Generals Zero Hour
SimCity 4
NBA Live 2000
Chess Advantage III: Lego Chess (look out Dr. X!)
Cute FTP 5.0
ViaVoice for Windows Personal Edition 10
TurboCAD Professional
Quicken 2003 Premier Home and Business
Quicken Deluxe 2001
McAfee Internet Security Suite 2004
McAfee Parental Controls
McAfee VirusScan 4.51
Netshield 4.5
VirusScan 7
Age of Empires II: Age of Kings
Combat Flight Simulator 3
Microsoft Operations Manager 2000 SP1
MS License
MSN 7.02
MSN 9 QFE1 and 9.1 beta
Office - Power Point 2002 (German)
Office Access 2002
Office System - Power Point 2003
Office XP Access
Office XP Professional Excel 10.0 SP2
Office XP SP2 - PowerPoint
Office XP Standard
Outlook 2000
Outlook 2002
Outlook 2003
Outlook Web Access
Revenge of Arcade
Server Administrator Tools
SMS 2003 SNA Server 4.0 SP4
SQL 2000a SP3
TaxSaver 1999
Virtual PC 2004
Visual Basic 6
Visual C++
Visual Studio 7
Visual Studio 97
Visual Studio .NET Enterprise 2003
Visual Studio 98
Windows Sharepoint Services
Word XP
Works Suite 2004
Musicmatch Jukebox
McAfee Remote Desktop 32
Norman Personal Firewall 1.40
KaZaa Media Desktop
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield
Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne
Ghost Corporate Edition 7.5
Norton Systemworks 2003 - GoBack Personal Edition
Norton Systemworks 2003 Professional Edition
Norton Systemworks 2004 - GoBack32
PCAnywhere 11
Symantec Antivirus Corporate Edition
Winfax Pro
Roller Coaster Factory v3.0
Backup Exec 9
Backup Exec 9.1.4691
Backup Exec 8.6.1
Backup Exec 9.1
Backup Exec 9.1
Command and Conquer Red Alert 2
Yahoo Messenger


The addition of Windows XP Service Pack 2 to the automatic updates feature of windows has been delayed at least a week. Review the details here

August 17, 2004

Then They Came for the First-Person Shooters

The face of tyranny.

A nation of drunk-driving gun owners, and we're going to regulate video game parlors? WTF?

A Really Good Book on Economics

I cannot recommend this slim volume highly enough. As I have perhaps mentioned in this blog, Dierdre McCloskey (formerly Donald) is arguably the finest conservative transsexual economist writing today.

The Donald-Dierdre transition may have affected her economic thinking a bit, as this work has a decidedly humanist bent. She offers three critiques of modern economics: First, that it has elevated statistical significance to a level of importance that defies any common sense application of the concept. Second, that its application of mathematical values of axiom and proof relegates most recent economic work to abstract, sterile irrelevance. And third, that social engineering is doomed to failure (well, what do you expect, she taught at the University of Chicago when she was he).

Now how much would you pay? But wait! There's more! A bonus chapter on ethics and economics, citing everyone from Jeremy Bentham to Aristotle to Adam Smith! The outrageous suggestion that economics should try to solve the problems of actual people!

It's a fine book. Everyone should read it. Then general equilibrium theorists would be mocked in the streets, and graduate students in econometrics tarred and feathered when the populace was in a particularly ugly mood.

Such a day may be far away (Aunt Dierdre, as she calls herself, estimates 10 years at least), but I shall continue to dream in the meantime.

Your Helpful FBI

Watching Keith Olberman right now. The guest, Sarah Bardwell, works for the American Friends Service Committee. She just had a nice visit at her home from the FBI and Denver Police, who wanted to know if she was planning any illegal activities to disrupt the political conventions.

Keith Olberman is the interviewer, and with a straight face he intoned: "and were you planning any illegal activities to disrupt the political conventions?"

August 16, 2004

And the Gloves Come Off...


Didn't We Learn This Lesson Already?

WASINGTON, Aug. 15 - The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been questioning political demonstrators across the country, and in rare cases even subpoenaing them, in an aggressive effort to forestall what officials say could be violent and disruptive protests at the Republican National Convention in New York.

"The message I took from it," said Sarah Bardwell, 21, an intern at a Denver antiwar group who was visited by six investigators a few weeks ago, "was that they were trying to intimidate us into not going to any protests and to let us know that, 'hey, we're watching you.' ''

Damn right, Sister.

August 15, 2004

An Ancient Lesson in an Ancient Land

Hubris is usually followed by nemesis.

Useful Reference

List of world religions by popularity. A little hard for me to believe there are 2 billion Christians though.

August 14, 2004

In Case You Thought Apple Was Different

I log onto my Mac about once a week for music and web surfing purposes. Tonite: 6 software updates totalling 70 mb+, each requiring that I type my password (hint: it's "password") and requiring that I click some bogus "accept" box attached to a billion words of legalese.

What really sucks about this is that the Panther OS is fine! Fast, secure...but they won't stop updating until it's slow and doesn't work properly.

I suppose the theory is that I will run out and buy a new computer. It's a bad theory.

This Cheered Me Up

In these dark and uncertain times it's nice to know that some things are valued. In this one case, the universe is exactly as it should be.

August 13, 2004

I Didn't Think So

“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.”

George Bush at the signing ceremony for a $417 billion defence-spending bill. Associated Press, August 5th

“The really rich people figure out how to dodge taxes anyway.”

George Bush on why high taxes on the rich don't work. Daily Press, August 9th

August 12, 2004

Well, Bowl Me Over With a Subatomic Feather Particle

Recent tax cuts, according to the NYT, apparantly, now get this, overwhelmingly favor the very wealthy, while not helping poor people very much. Not great for the economy, exactly, but stand up business for banking in the Caymans, I'm assuming.

If He Were Republican This Would Have Been Funny

In a stunning declaration, Gov. James E. McGreevey acknowledged that he had an extramarital affair with another man and announced his resignation Thursday. "My truth is that I am a gay American," he said with his wife by his side at a televised news conference.

...The former suburban mayor took office 2 1/2 years ago, and despite inheriting a $5 billion budget deficit, he steadfastly refused to boost income taxes for most New Jerseyans, instead raising taxes on millionaires, casinos and cigarettes.

Golub - Mercenaries Posted by Hello

Death of Leon Golub

Leon Golub has died - a rare breed of serious painting and effective politics, and an early inspiration from a 1984 show in Portland - a voice that will be sorely missed in dark, lying times. His paintings are enormous, on raw, unstretched linen, and have a kind of gut shock impact in person.

Do not miss if you have the chance to see them.

WAL MART Scientists Hard at Work

Gene Therapy to make monkeys work harder.

Of course it will never be required by the government. Only if you want the job.

"I'm not the first to have a problem with an invisible rage synthesizer."

(Abstracted from an email I received on Tuesday.)

Subject: Petition: Invisible Rage Synthesizer [Incident: 040810-003104]

From: NC Interactive Support

Recently you requested personal assistance from our on-line support center. Below is a summary of your request and our response.

We are continuing to work on your issue. If you have more information, update your question here

Petition: Invisible Rage Synthesizer

Server: Liberty

I cannot find the last Rage Synthesizer in the the "Defeat all Tsoo in the Rage lab" mission. From what I've read on the CoH official bulletin board, I'm not the first to have a problem with an invisible rage synthesizer. Could you help?

August 11, 2004

Raw Data

Cool chart, too.


In the final minute of this excellent NPR report on China (the first in a series), NPR's Rob Gifford reaches the high point of his or any other radio journalist's career.

The Onion Nails It

Kerry unveils One-Point Plan for a Better America.

Colonel Mustard Will be the Triggerman

Terrorists will try to disrupt the election by assassinating a world leader using tainted drugs, probably in a financial center in the southern U.S.

Or so they have led us to believe.


Since Dr. X's post peaked my interest, I have done some looking into Windows XP Service Pack 2 issues and here is what I have found so far:

First, SP2 is a major upgrade, "a-damn-the-torpedoes" patch mainly targeted at internet and network security holes. It has some other stuff too mostly as enticements.

The service pack is currently only available by download via Microsoft, but will be added to the Windows Updates site starting 8/16.

Starting 8/16, if you have automatic updates enabled, you will get SP2 whether you like it or not. If you don't want it, but want to continue running automatic Windows Updates, there is a site where you can download a registry hack that will delay the automatic download for 120 days.

Here it is

After 120 days, the registry hack will stop working. This registry hack is not for casual users or people who are computer phobic.

As Dr. X mentioned, this service pack sounds buggier than most, and all service packs are buggy. My company's rule of thumb has been to wait a minimum of 6 months to a year, before installing a new service pack so that we could learn about problems from other peoples hellish experiences. Around the campfire, we still tell horror stories about the dreaded Windows NT4 Service Pack 4.

The most amusing part about service pack 2 is that I hear tell that it enables the Windows firewall. This means that it may automatically block any internet or network connection it finds. If you apply the service pack (and you will) remember this little tip. Your computer may immediately stop connecting to networks or the Internet.

Mac users, don't get too glib. Apple is starting to have chinks in their security and update infrastructure too.

Good luck.

Who's the Real Pussy?

Flight Turns Back After Cat Scratches Pilot

Turns back?

The only thing that would have made this story more entertaining (and tragic) is if pilots carried guns.


Who's your caterer?

August 10, 2004

Go Ahead, Install It, You Know You Want To...

IBM advises employees not to install the new Microsoft service pack (also known as "where compatibility goes to die").

How To Be Idle

Minimally employed and sick, this came in handy:
Book extract: How To Be Idle by Tom Hodgkinson



Today's Tomorrow's Headline Searches

Sitemeter catches some of the search terms that resulted in a visit to your site, under "referrals."

It may or may not say something or nothing about the searchers or the searchees. Here are some for TTH:

Can the moon be knocked out of orbit?


Supercolliding superconductor

9/11 Commissioner’s Report

cicada invasion

half-life of sodium pentathol

ed gillispe sued

afghan navy

tomorrows headlines

Shania twain wedgie

nostradamus raises alert levels

tacoma "stuck of the month"

cures for pulled inner thighs

pussy wagon sticker


Even I'm tempted. For $1000, you can get a question on the Zogby national poll.

OK, the floor is open to suggestions (edit in directly):

  1. Which of the following TV news outlets do you believe is most likely to just make things up?
  2. So, all in all, on scale of 1 to 10, 10 being best, how are you?
  3. In a space battle between the Evil Empire of Star Wars and the Federation of the Original Star Trek, who would win?
  4. Who do you believe is more capable of leading America through difficult times, George W. Bush, or a decorative topiary hedge portraying George W. Bush?
  5. Now I'd like you to imagine you are listening to country-pop radio station. Is the music you are hearing more likely to A. Relax and entertain you or B. Force you to go on a multi-state shopping mall killing spree?

This Deserves Its Own Headline

Edgar Martinez Announces Retirement

I remember seeing him play with the Mariners, in the Kingdome, when I lived in Seattle. He was playing when Griffey Jr. was with the team -- hell, when Griffey Sr. was with the team! He played in the I-can't-even-remember-what-they-looked-like-but-gosh-were-they-ugly uniforms!

October 2 will be designated "Edgar Martinez Day" at Safeco Field. I propose that on that day, Eisengeiste be titled "Edger Martinez Geiste."

August 09, 2004

Technological Fascism Debut

I am not pleased to introduce you to our immediate future, making a debut at the Olympics.

The ACLU also released a related memo today on the "Surveillance Industrial Complex."

On a related note, let me just say what a fine job the National Security Agency is doing protecting us from any plots to overthrow the United States.

On the positive side of technology, meaning as opposed to the unholy sucking out of our fundamental autonomy and dignity as human beings, in servile humility only before the Almighty, note the easy new post editing feature.


Ardentian Prince: We, the people of Ardentia, we have suffered since you blasted our kingdom. I can offer you nothing this year except my loyalty
Klytus: Excellent, we prize nothing more highly. And tell us, how great is this loyalty to your emperor?
Ardentian Prince: Without measure.
Ming: We are delighted to hear that. Fall on your sword


This Man, finally coming into his own will lead his team to the Superbowel. The Viceroy has spoken.

Even Philadelphia Would Be Destroyed

Giant wave to wipe out eastern seaboard. SF real estate investment lookin' better and better.

Vatican: It's Never Too Late to Say You're Sorry XXXII

Um, sorry about that sack of Constantinople 800 years ago.


Boy, I sure hope a random gang doesn't suddenly burst into my kitchen and start beating me on the head with hammers.

August 08, 2004

Planning for the Big Day

August 29 will mark a full year since the first post on this blog.

How shall we celebrate?

I sincerely hope we can all meet some time and read some choice selections. Some of my favorites:

The late Potentate Without Portfolio's impassioned defense of Rush Limbaugh's rights;

The Laird's friend of a friend who really got a wrong number (as well as his frequent messages from Europe);

The General Correspondence Secretary's succinct explanation of why the blog should be named what it is/was named (that and the marthambles);

The Viceroy's poignant warball confession.

The Undersecretary is more of a counter-puncher and dispenser of bon mots, such as suggesting the First Sea Lord name his boat Challumbia.


Netherlands puts foot down, bans toe-licking. Parlement conservatives slip up, leaving toe-sucking loophole intact.

August 07, 2004

The Washington GOP in Action

[GOP auditor candidate] Baker, a 41-year-old roadside flower salesman and self-styled political activist, has been arrested at least 19 times since 1992, mostly for refusing to stop speaking at Tacoma City Council and Pierce County Council meetings. He was last released from jail less than two months ago.

Adorable Kitten More Amphibious Than Expected

And the subject of a heroic rescue...

Nader Doesn't Get on California Ballot

"...but his campaign said Saturday it will keep trying to get the consumer activist's name before the state's voters in November."

I think Nader's obnoxious behavior in this election is actually going to hurt his memory more than in 2000. We now know his Coke vs. Pepsi argument in that election was specious. And yet he soldiers on, accepting funds from the GOP.

His behavior in this election is drawing attention to his behavior in the last. And making it blindingly obvious how amoral and self-serving his candidacy is.


Slowdown in terror chatter prompts fears. As opposed to an increase in terror chatter which causes fears and a stability in terror chatter that causes fears. Small gerbils cause fears. Popcorn causes fears and lets not forget the dreaded, beany baby plot to destroy America. Here is my list of things that cause fears:

Driving on highways
Going to Hospitals
Driving on Highways on the way to the hospital
Being hit by the wreckage from a crashing plane (This is a recurring dream of mine)
Neighbors with guns
Drivers with guns
Atkins products
Dying on the toilet
Tom Ridge
John Ashcroft
Dick Cheny
Clarence Thomas
oh yes, and that flesh-eating virus thingy

Tonite on the Beheading Channel

You can't make this stuff up.

August 06, 2004


CHIEF JUSTICE Clarence Thomas.

This Water Tastes Funny- RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!

A promising earthquake prediction hypothesis that has to do with the amount of metals in subsoil water.

Take That, Fresno

Napa wine must be made with Napa grapes (mostly). Bakersfield is right out. However I am told that, contrary to what you might think, Bronco Wine Co. makes excellent wine.

This Just In

Guy Fawkes was framed!

No Bush for You!

Many more days like today and it becomes very unlikely Bush will recover from the small but solid democratic bump. Iraq is sinking, badly - (note Coulter's nightmare Robert Fisk), and if I may use a painting metaphor, the varnish is peeling in such a way that further application of varnish will only lead to additional cracking. Fair or not, recent terrorism warnings only contributed to the totally fair mistrust of the administration.

Ironically, the final nail in the coffin (which is admittedly like stuffing Dracula in unpierced by a stick, but there you are) will be oil, or more particularly, the combination of gas prices that hurt most people and most of the economy. Or, saying, turning the corner but not signalling and getting T-Boned by a large Chevy pickup. This oil price peak will sift out soon to at the very least another temporary nasty gas price spike, not perhaps helping the Dow/jobs fizzle for the year.

Kerry now leads even the Fox poll (!), not by much, but consistently, and consistently with an extremely motivated base. More telling are the favoribility ratings - Bush runs at about 50 or under, Kerry around 57-58, a likelyhood that undecideds will strongly favor the challenger. Florida just broke for Kerry by about 7, as did Michigan, and Kerry is showing no signs of the 1988 power relax fatal error.

The GOP convention is unlikely to make a new case for Bush that will switch many voters - I say this only because no new angles have been floated, and the president will only do what he always does: reiterate ad nauseum, which doesn't produce new adherents. (A very minor factor is that Swartzenegger was recently betrayed, and insultingly, by the White House on environmental policy on federal lands in California. Expect little of his speech to the convention.) The latest vile attack on Kerry's war record backfired badly when McCain rushed to his defense. But I have no more similies for this paragraph, like a writer exhausted by a lack of food for several hours.

Why point this out? Only this: fight happily, and carry a few voter registration forms with you. It's good luck. (I signed up three in the last couple of days, and have the reemergence of a particularly fetching girlfriend, no further spider attacks and I already have a substantial art paint endorsement/ publicity/ swag offer. More on this later).

What To Do if You Are Attacked with Fresh Fruit

Based on email impliing a terrorist threat, the Coast Guard seizes a bunch of lemons.

August 05, 2004

About Damn Time

They're sexing up Archie comics.

August 04, 2004

Tomorrow's Today's Tomorrow's Headline

Chicken Wins

Nutmeg, At The Ramp

Finishing up a few pleasant hours of sailing today, I brought the Nutmeg in far more handily than I lead her out, tied her off, retrieved the trailer (by hand, as required) and snappily arranged the Nutmeg above her trailer.

Here was the awkward moment. You have to personally drag the quarter ton of trailer and boat up a short ramp originally designed for the PBY Catalinas that used to be stationed there at Sand Point. I held the painter and the trailer in one hand, and the snap and line for the block in the other, trying to connect the two as the trailer was sliding back down into the lake, my footing was like oiled oil, and some wag, I noticed as I looked up, had shortened the line six inches too short.

"Golly," I thought, struggling to maintain my footing as the fleshy linkage between boat, water, trailer, lines and land, "This would sure be an awkward moment for a very large spider to drop on my eye and crawl down my face."

Adieu to Cartier-Bresson

The great photographer has passed. Having not seen work from him for decades, I was shocked that he was still alive - apparently he quit photography at 75 to take up drawing...

Anachronistic, Nostalgic Perhaps

Did anyone else, upon reading the CNN headline "Al Qaeda suspect reveals Web strategy" think: "mindshare"?


I don't splutter often, but this...have you ever...I have all my life...[begins spluttering].

August 03, 2004

And now, for something completely other

Pauline joins the language of construction sites, the logic of the 1980s video game Donkey Kong, and themes of love and death.

Weather for Seattle: A Bit Arsony

And for a bit of alarming local news, some clown is burning down my neighborhood, hitting a dozen spots in three days.


USA Basketball Team is handed lunch in a hat--I guess solid defense and teamwork really does trump selfish, narssistic, lazy-ass, cherry picking, dunkmunsters.

I Trust You are All Quite Ready

I see that we've gained a little publicity for the latest expedition, and although the pseudonynms have held, I cannot sufficient stress the danger of talking to the press! Here they've once again stressed over-romantical notions of historical connection over the very important scientific work of the expedition. Although this sort of Johhny Cock-Crow does very well with Ladies' Aid, I cannot sanction this self-glorification of certain team members who shall in the interests of team cohesion, remain unnamed.

Now with that out of the way, I suggest we get back to the work and hand and make certain a sufficient quantity of dried seal meat is in store, and the new radium locator is operational. I know I don't have to ask about the supply of whiskey. Or do I?

Nice Poll Parse From Slate

Confused by bounce headlines? Take note of this analysis from Slate.

What a Surprise

The New York Times: Reports That Led to Terror Alert Were Years Old, Officials Say

Who would have expected the Bush administration to time terror alerts for political purposes?

August 02, 2004

The Coolest Superhero

The Laird will soon post an update on the latest super-guy taking the City of Heroes by storm:

Ice-assin: "License to Chill"

A special forces sniper left behind during an arctic exercise, he lost his hands and feet, but not his will to kill! Endowed with icy super powers, he also wields a mean assault rifle with his robotic claws. His favorite tactic is to freeze enemies in their tracks, then blast them into Sno-cones.

Whomever comes up with the best taunt for Ice-assin to deliver as he fights will receive a free box of eskimo pies.

Some suggestions:
"As a matter of fact, I DO have ice water in my veins."
"Chill, buddy!"
"When I say 'freeze' I mean it!"
"My heart is ice, but the bullets are tungsten."
"Cold enough for ya?"
"Freeze, baby, freeze!"
"Hold on, I'll call you a're a Zamboni! Ha ha..."
"It's not the heat, it's the frigidity!"

- and the #1 Ice-assin taunt -
"Would you like cocoa with that?"

August 01, 2004

A July Surprise - Can't Hardly Wait for October

From The New Republic:

"The Bush administration denies it has geared the war on terrorism to the electoral calendar. 'Our attitude and actions have been the same since September 11 in terms of getting high-value targets off the street, and that doesn't change because of an election,' says National Security Council spokesman Sean McCormack. But The New Republic has learned that Pakistani security officials have been told they must produce HVTs by the election. According to one source in Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), 'The Pakistani government is really desperate and wants to flush out bin Laden and his associates after the latest pressures from the U.S. administration to deliver before the [upcoming] U.S. elections.' "

The whole story is here.

Chinese "Charm Offensive" Involves Lots of Troops

"Thousands of Chinese troops will parade in Hong Kong on Sunday in a show of might aimed at boosting Chinese nationalism and the appeal of pro-Beijing candidates ahead of key legislative elections in September.

"Fearing it could lose control of the city if pro-democracy forces win the September elections, Beijing abruptly changed tack a few months ago and extended olive branches to the democracy camp and even suggested face-to-face meetings.

"Analysts believe the parade is part of Beijing's new charm offensive before the elections for the Legislative Council, the city's top lawmaking body, though the PLA has denied the move was politically motivated."