Friday, May 02, 2008

McCain Dodges The Question

And so, what's the answer?:
“This is about character,” Parrish said, when reached by telephone afterward. “And in a moment of intemperance, he called his wife the most despicable name a person can call a woman.
McCain/ Bush: Can You Tell The Difference?

Oh, this is fun! I aced the preliminary round, bombed on the bonus round, and did OK on the carrot round.
Drier Than A Desert Lake Bed On A Summer's Day

Depressing. So far, just like California, Australia is into two months worth of 'this is the driest continent you could ever imagine.'
Jose Canseco Walks

And becomes another statistic:
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former U.S. baseball star Jose Canseco said on Thursday he had lost his California mansion to foreclosure -- one of the first celebrities to publicly admit being a statistic in the U.S. housing crisis.
More Conspiracy Theories

Joe The Plumber pleaded with me: "Marc, please, dear God, don't tell me you are one of those unfortunate people brainwashed by the Warren Commission. Here, watch this DVD. You will be horrified by what is going on!" So, with a brain leaking suds, I watched a Mark Phillips/ Cathy O'Brien DVD regarding the mind control freaks in charge of this country.

Mark Phillips and Cathy O'Brien apparently have a long track record. In the early 90's they started off on the cranky right, but these days, they are somewhere in the cranky middle (and edging towards the cranky left) of American conspiracy theories. Examples of their leftward evolution include Diebold election rigging (I'm totally there), and even a bit about the Housing Bubble bursting (hoo! ha! up-to-date!). But, of course, they bring their right-wing baggage along with them, so their presentation was almost like a collage of turn-of-the-century American crankery.

As might be expected these evil days, Phillips and O'Brien's galaxy of evil-doers has shifted a bit from the early 90's. These days, they are not primarily Democrats, but more like a bi-partisan coalition of intrinsic evil. For some reason, they largely leave out Ronald Reagan, and they don't mention the Clintons all that much. Their current list of evildoers consists of:
  • Former President George H. W. Bush - Evil;
  • Senator Patrick Leahy - Evil;
  • Governor Mitt Romney (and his father George) - Evil;
  • Senator Robert Byrd - Evil;
  • Bill and Hillary Clinton - Evil I and Evil II;
  • Governor Bill Richardson - Fairly Evil;
  • Vice President Dick Cheney - Ultimate Evil;
  • President George W. Bush - A Hapless Pawn; and,
  • Former President Gerald Ford - The Most Evil One Of All (who knew?)

Here's a brief description of past activities:
Since 1991, Mark Phillips and Cathy O'Brien have alternately appalled and enthralled their growing audience with tales of mind control, programmed prostitution, ritual abuse, and worse. The handsome couple from Tennessee initially told their story to a select group of writers and journalists. Now, they spread the word via right-wing periodicals and outside-the-mainstream radio programs. They've also written a book: Trance-formation of America.

Cathy claims to be a victim of the Monarch Project, an insidious CIA/military/Satanist plan to use ritual abuse victims as mind-controlled guinea pigs. Victims of the plot, almost always female, grew up within multi-generational Satanic families. Sold by their parents to government brainwashers, Monarch kids are intentionally "split" into directed multiple personalities, useful for various criminal purposes - as spies, as drug mules, as prostitutes, and so forth. The well-developed primary personality never realizes what was done by, or to, the alter personalities. Powerful individuals with a taste for sexual excess choose their playmates from the ranks of Monarch graduates, the better to avoid after-the-fact blackmailers and tattle-talers, a la Vicki Morgan and (if you believe certain writers) Marilyn Monroe. For example, O'Brien describes in detail how one important aide to Ronald Reagan enjoyed raping her anally while using a stun device to prod her body with electric convulsions. This is the sort of fetish that might cause some concern among the voters, if ever they learned the truth. Hence, Monarch.

...Mark Phillips has offered varying descriptions of how he first learned about Monarch programming. At one point, he said he had worked for an unnamed "DIA contractor," in which position he came across various materials detailing the government's mind control projects. But in a letter to me (June 1, 1991), he claimed to have discovered the operation during his "tenure in the '60s and '70s at NASA (Huntsville, Alabama) and Woodland Hills R&D (Woodland Hills, California)" I have lived near Woodland Hills most of my life, yet have never heard of any such corporation, which remains a mystery to everyone else I have consulted. (A call to Directory Assistance came up goose eggs.) Phillips seems rather too young to have worked in a sensitive position at NASA in the 1960s. He supposedly "retained" copies of classified documents detailing "harmonics, electroshock, hypnotic programming, mind/body conditioning (torture), (limited) drug applications for programming and deprogramming, and the names and backgrounds of the expendables (victims)." Peculiarly, he has never produced any of this confirming documentation. Nor has he produced any evidence that he ever worked for any government contractor. Independent background checks have revealed only that he has held far less impressive jobs, such as selling recreational vehicles.

...Mark Phillips claims that his "inside knowledge" allowed him immediately to spot Cathy's status as a Monarch victim. He therefore whisked her away and embarked on a deprogramming operation - although his description of "how to deprogram" seems unnervingly similar to descriptions I have read of how to instill programming. The couple traveled to Alaska, where, Cathy claims, they gave the FBI testimony concerning various entertainment figures involved in the Monarch drug conspiracy. In 1991, the couple began distributing "documented proof" of the scheme to their network of journalists, researchers, and interested parties - including myself.

Unfortunately, the only "documentation" I ever saw consisted of unsworn testimony written by Cathy O'Brien, in which she accused various political and entertainment figures of participation in the plot. Her two-to-ten page short-stories-from-hell detailed the horrific deeds (mostly involving sex and drugs) perpetrated by the likes of Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and Cathy's bête noir, Senator Robert Byrd. The entire program, she averred, was commanded by the occultist I have already labeled "Mr. A." Cathy also identified other putative Monarch victims, such as Country singer Loretta Lynn and Dodger pitcher Fernando Valenzuala, who, we are told, owed his baseball prowess to hypnosis. (Apparently the trance wore off.) Even comedian Jack Benny fell afoul of the Monarch conspiracy.

On one occasion (or so Cathy claims), she was taken to a rural retreat, where she serviced the eldritch sexual needs of then-vice president George Bush and one of his chief aides. This story's high point depicts Bush "kissing the sky" while strung out on heroin, as he repeatedly gurgles to his comrade: "You look just like Elmer Fudd!" (A wicked part of me almost wishes it were true)

...It is a very powerful conspiracy, indeed. We are told that Hollywood animators deliberately place hypnotic cue images into children's television shows, such as Disney's Duck Tales. Rock-and-roll Monarchists deliberately include hypnotic cue words in the lyrics of many popular songs. When asked why they don't bring civil charges against the Monarchians, Mark and Cathy explain that the Satanic plot controls the entire court system - just as it also controls the presidency, much of Congress, the entertainment industry, and large sectors of both the Mormon and Catholic churches. The Vatican looms large in the Phillips/O'Brien demonology. In their 1996 book "Trance-formation of America," the couple describe World Vision as a "Jesuit" conspiratorial group intent on bringing about a socialistic "New World Order." (World Vision is actually a conservative Protestant missionary group. ) Ever since our intrepid anti-Monarch crusaders discovered that their primary audience leans far to the Right, they have heavily emphasized the "New World Order" bugaboo and Mark takes pains to hide his atheism.

...In this paper, Cathy claims to have met then-governor Clinton in 1984, at a contributor's mountain retreat. All parties did mounds of cocaine while they discussed using a fleet of trucks, jestingly labeled "Clinton's Coke Lines," to run CIA drugs through Arkansas. Thus spake Bill, as per O'Brien: "Bottom line is, we've got control of the drug industry, therefore we've got control of them (suppliers). You control the guy underneath ya, and Uncle has ya covered - what have ya got to lose?" Soon after making this observation, Clinton insisted that Cathy (apparently brought in to supply "entertainment") had to leave the room, even though she was a "presidential model" capable of keeping state secrets.
Cathy O'Brien has some good recommendations regarding the importance of writing to help keep one's mind straight (that one reason I write this blog), and even about the importance of wearing a wristwatch (to keep oneself grounded in temporal reality). And I liked Phillips' and O'Brien's admonition that one can't run and hide from the black hats: instead, one has to stay out in the open and run right at the evildoers with the truth. That's always good advice (except maybe with South-Central LA drug gangs, and the like). But the crankery was a bit too much for me. Maybe I should become a crank myself, so I can edit out the unnecessary stuff (and who says I'm not one already on this blog?)

So, long-winded DVD, but interesting nonetheless.

And if you don't mind, I must wrap this post up, because my handlers at Area 51 are calling me on my new (microchip-implanted) cell phone and asking why I didn't even mention Roswell....

Left: Hydrobaenus saetheri is a newly discovered species of tiny fly, or midge, now known to be a major food source for young salmon when water floods the Yolo Bypass.

Who knew that the mist of mashed midges made manifest on the windshield every day by driving, between Davis and Sacramento and back, across the Yolo Causeway, were SO IMPORTANT! We live in an amazing world!

Ted Sommer, a senior environmental scientist at the state Department of Water Resources, discovered about eight years ago that juvenile chinook salmon grow faster and fatter when the bypass floods. This vast flood corridor between Sacramento and Davis seemed to be an important feeding area for salmon – when floods allow them to swim into it.

"They grew like gangbusters, often twice as fast as fish that stayed out in the river," he said.

But nobody knew what the salmon were feasting on or where the food came from.

To answer that question, Sommer put an intern on the trail. Gina Benigno, then a recent UC Berkeley biology graduate, spent the winter of 2004-2005 taking samples in the bypass: water from ponds, water flowing into the bypass from creeks and drains, and the soil itself.

The dirt went into big plastic bins in a lab at UC Davis. She flooded the dirt with water and covered the bins with screens. And then she waited.

Within a few days, insect larvae hatched in the water and the bins were buzzing with adult flies.

Sommer and Benigno couldn't identify them, so they sat down with Peter Cranston, an entomology professor at UC Davis.

It took Cranston only minutes of squinting through a microscope to provide an answer. And it was he who came away most surprised.

Cranston is one of the world's leading experts on chironomids, a family of gnatlike, non-biting aquatic flies also known as midges. He travels the world hunting for new chironomids, but never expected to find one in his own backyard.

He and Benigno co-authored a paper last year identifying the bugs from the Yolo Bypass as a new species.

"It reflects quite badly on me," Cranston confessed. "At the time this was brought to my attention, I'd been here six years and been out to the Yolo Bypass bird-watching and never observed it."

Plenty of Sacramento commuters have observed the midges, usually as carcasses on their bumpers and windshields. The adult is only about 5 millimeters long, but when it hatches, it comes in clouds over Interstate 80's Yolo Causeway.

Such species are notoriously difficult to identify, said Norman Penny, an entomologist at the California Academy of Sciences. The Yolo Bypass midge ranks as a rare find because North America and Europe have been pretty well scoured by experts looking for bugs.

Scientists have identified and named a little more than 1 million animal species worldwide, he said, and at least that many more remain to be discovered. But most come from remote corners of the globe or from unusual places, such as caves and tree canopies.

"Who knows how many thousands of people have seen this fly before, but none had the background and the knowledge to recognize it as being different and new," said Penny.

The discovery may hold part of the solution to a decline in fall-run chinook salmon that is expected to be unprecedented this year. Regulators have closed salmon fishing to protect what remains of the salmon run.

Researchers now planning the future of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta are looking at ways to expand floodplain and tidal habitat to provide more feeding and resting areas for salmon and other fish. They're also considering adding flood bypasses to the San Joaquin River.

Approved in 1917, the Sacramento River bypass system is now seen as a visionary flood control project. When the river swells, the bulk of its flow spills into the bypass and is diverted safely around urban Sacramento. But its environmental benefits were unknown until recently.

"I think we know floodplains are really productive systems, and this was just a fun way of figuring out where a lot of that productivity came from," said Benigno, now a fulltime environmental scientist at Water Resources who is completing a master's degree in biology at Chico State. "It was really interesting that it just came out of the dried dirt."

Cranston named the new species Hydrobaenus saetheri, after Ole Saether, a retired entomologist colleague in Norway.

Cranston believes this midge lies dormant as a larva in the soil, perhaps inside a cocoon, during dry periods. When a flood comes, it emerges into the water and begins growing into an adult, when it is easy snacking for salmon.

Sommer and Benigno's research shows this midge makes up most of the flying fish food in the bypass during a flood. In a paper published earlier this year, they found the new critter accounts for 74 percent of the fly species in floodplain sediment, and 99 percent in the water.

Those that survive the feeding frenzy hatch into flying adults. These live only a few days but feed birds and bats in the bypass while they do. Those that fall dead on the water feed fish again, plus waterfowl and shorebirds.

The midge also feeds another native fish, the Sacramento splittail. Sommer documented that the splittail population explodes in years with at least three weeks of flooding in the bypass, and Hydrobaenus saetheri is why.

Such a clear relationship has not been established for salmon, but Sommer said it's likely.

"If there's not enough flow in the bypass to spill out onto the floodplain, the salmon don't do that well and their survival is poor," said Sommer.
Oxygen-Starved Zones

The oxygen-starved zones form the "curtain" for those creepy Humboldt squid to mount attacks:
Oxygen-starved waters are expanding in the Pacific and Atlantic as ocean temperatures increase with global warming, threatening fisheries and other marine life, a study published today concludes.

Most of these zones remain hundreds of feet below the surface, but they are beginning to spill onto the relatively shallow continental shelf off the coast of California and are nearing the surface off Peru, driving away fish from commercially important fishing grounds, researchers have found.

The low-oxygen, or hypoxic, zones may also be connected to the Pacific coast invasion of the Humboldt, or jumbo, squid. These voracious predators, which can grow 6 feet long, appear to be taking advantage of their tolerance for oxygen-poor waters to escape predators and devour local fish, another team of scientists theorizes.

Researchers believe these phenomena are linked to subsurface layers of hypoxic water in the tropical Pacific and Atlantic oceans that have been thickening over the last 50 years, according to the analysis published today in the journal Science.

The study, led by Lothar Stramma at the University of Kiel in Germany, warns that the spread of hypoxic waters that suffocate marine life is consistent with climate models forecasting what would happen as greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere.

The trend, the study points out, eerily echoes a scenario that unfolded about 250 million years ago, when 95% of life on Earth went extinct after heat-trapping carbon dioxide spewing from volcanoes warmed the planet and the oceans became stripped of oxygen.

...More importantly, Johnson said, the lighter warm water creates a cap over the colder depths, making it less likely that oxygen-enriched surface water will mix with colder water. Other biogeochemical processes also rob oxygen from deeper waters, such as the decomposition and re-mineralization of dead plankton as it settles to the seafloor.

These vast low-oxygen zones that stretch far out to sea differ from the "dead zones" at the mouth of the Mississippi River and in near-shore waters around the world. These localized low-oxygen waters typically form after fertilizer-rich river discharges produce thick blooms of algae that suck the oxygen out of water after they die and decompose.

..."Most fish and other marine animals have to move or die," Sprintall said. "They cannot live in these low-oxygen conditions."

The findings impressed Steven J. Bograd, an oceanographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Pacific Grove, Calif. Bograd, who was not part of the study, said it reflected the dropping oxygen levels that he and other scientists have found off California.

These low-oxygen waters are swept from the tropical Pacific by an unseen midwater "undercurrent" that snakes up the coast, at the edge of the continental shelf.

Some of that oxygen-deprived water has been edging onto the shelf and into key fishing grounds, according to Bograd's study, which has been accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters. Plunging oxygen levels have been detected off British Columbia.

...Humboldt squid apparently have been eating hake off California, just as they do off Peru, Field said. Some scientists believe the squid have expanded their range due to over-exploiting of sharks and other predators.

But squid expert William Gilly of Stanford's Hopkins Marine Station theorizes that this expanding minimum-oxygen zone gives them a convenient cover.

"They are hidden in this safety zone where the big predators cannot get them," Gilly said. "The squid are just hanging down there, emerging from the curtain to suck down all of the fish."

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Wintertime Smokestack Plumes In Fairbanks

Left: The small plume visible on the left can't puncture through the inversion; only the big plume in the center has enough punch to do so.

During winter months, the early-morning surface temperature inversion in Fairbanks, Alaska can be so strong as to act like a perfect lid over the city, inhibiting mixing with the free atmosphere above. Only plumes from powerful sources of heat, like from power plants, can possibly puncture through the lid.

Here are some great pictures of Fairbanks smoke plumes, from a number of different sources (credited when known).

Left: Ice fog over Fairbanks, Alaska in winter 2005. Temperature approximately minus 30F. Joseph N. Hall. Note the mirage at the base of the Alaska Range.

The plume overshoots its final plume rise height, then sinks a bit (I wonder if rapid cooling of the plume due to infrared radiation is responsible for this somewhat unusual behavior - meaning the plume is behaving like a high-temperature flare's plume would behave, and buoyancy flux tends not to be conserved, as it would be at warmer temperatures).

Photo by Eric Engman.

The exhaust from the Aurora Energy power plant breaks through an inversion layer as seen from the Hagelbarger Road pullout off the Steese Highway on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2008.

Left: Photo by Frank DeGenova.

Some signs of a sinking plume here too. Perhaps there are other explanations of the sinking plumes, like the gravitational fall of the large ice crystals contained within the plume.

Left: Photo by Frank DeGenova.

Tough Times This Spring

Scarcely any moisture in March and April, and things from now on are likely to be very dry anyway, until November.
Stark Swimming Gap

Speaking of canals and hurricanes and the like:
NEW YORK (AP) - Nearly 60 percent of African-American children can't swim, almost twice the figure for white children, according to a first-of-its-kind survey which USA Swimming hopes will strengthen its efforts to lower minority drowning rates and draw more blacks into the sport.

Stark statistics underlie the initiative by the national governing body for swimming. Black children drown at a rate almost three times the overall rate. And less than 2 percent of USA Swimming's nearly 252,000 members who swim competitively year-round are black.

...The study found that 31 percent of the white respondents could not swim safely, compared to 58 percent of the blacks. The non-swimming rate for Hispanic children was almost as high—56 percent—although more than twice as many Hispanics as blacks are now USA Swimming members.

The lead researcher, Professor Richard Irwin, said one key finding was the influence of parents' attitudes and abilities. If a parent couldn't swim, as was far more likely in minority families than white families, or if the parent felt swimming was dangerous, then the child was far less likely to learn how to swim.
McCain's Maverick-Style Misfires

Speaking off-the-cuff may not always work well for John McCain. His message gets clouded in error. And I don't know what he's talking about with this New Orleans canal thing. Hurricanes certainly don't need Congress' assent to cause trouble for New Orleans. And the canal-building along the lower Mississippi is Army Corps of Engineers work of long-standing duration, and not due to earmarks as far as I'm aware:
Republican presidential candidate John McCain on Thursday backed off his assertion that pork-barrel spending led to last year's deadly bridge collapse in Minneapolis.

With Democrats criticizing him for citing wasteful spending as the cause of the disaster, McCain told reporters in Cleveland, "No, I said it would have received a higher priority, which it deserved."

That statement was in contrast to McCain's remarks to reporters aboard his campaign bus as it rolled through Pennsylvania on Wednesday: "The bridge in Minneapolis didn't collapse because there wasn't enough money. The bridge in Minneapolis collapsed because so much money was spent on wasteful, unnecessary pork-barrel projects."

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board suspect a design flaw - undersize steel plates - and heavy loads of construction materials as the cause of the disaster Aug. 1, according to preliminary findings.

Democrats accused McCain of using a tragedy that killed 13 people and injured 145 others to make a political point.

"The last thing we need is a misinformed presidential aspirant posturing at our expense," said Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn. Rep. Jim Oberstar, D-Minn., said, "He is manipulating a tragedy that took 13 lives in order to advance his election campaign."

Even Republican Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota said McCain was wrong.

"The bridge didn't collapse because there wasn't enough money," Coleman said during a conference call with reporters.

"I understand Senator McCain's deep concern about earmarks," he said. "In this instance, I simply think he's wrong if he somehow ties the collapse of the bridge to a funding issue. Let's get the full data."

The remarks also put Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty - a national co-chairman of McCain's campaign and potential vice presidential running mate - in an awkward position. In January, Pawlenty had admonished critics to "quit exploiting the bridge tragedy to advance their political agenda."

Pawlenty struck a more cautious tone Thursday. "I don't know what he's basing that on, other than the general premise that projects got misprioritized throughout time," he said. "We have to let the NTSB weigh in on this before anybody can make a final conclusion."

On Thursday, McCain said he was worried most about safety.

"All I can do to respond to those critics is, my job is to make America as safe as possible," he told reporters. "My job is to prevent those tragedies, such as the canal that was dug in New Orleans that brought the hurricane up and did more damage to New Orleans."

The New Orleans project was paid for with a congressional "earmark," funding that lawmakers slip into spending bills outside of the regular funding process.

McCain promises to rid the federal budget of earmarks if he is elected, because he says earmarks take money away from much-needed transportation projects and other priorities.
Prison Break

For the dog:
WILSON, Okla. (AP) -- Two men have been charged with second-degree burglary after they and a teenager were trying to bust a dog out of the city pound for its owner's memorial service.

The mixed-breed dog, Luke, was picked up April 22 while roaming the streets of the tiny Carter County community of Wilson. One day later, his owner, 53-year-old Saundra Vickers, died from health complications, Police Chief Felix Hernandez said.

A rumor began spreading that authorities planned to euthanize Luke. So early Sunday, 17-year-old Willie Justin Miller, 18-year-old James Thompson and 22-year-old Matthew Gonzalez broke into the pound in an attempt to free the dog, Hernandez said.

During the break-in, Hernandez said, they turned off security lights and cut the lock at the pound with wire cutters.

The goal of the trio was to allow Luke to attend his owner's memorial service later that day, Hernandez said. But a Wilson officer caught the three as they tried to leave the pound with the dog.

"The door to the pound was wide open and there was a guy with the dog in his arms," Hernandez said. "The guy said that his dog had run away and he found him sitting in front of the pound. The officer knew the dog had been picked up (and) that the guy wasn't the dog's owner."

As it turns out, Hernandez said, authorities had no plans to put Luke to sleep. He said Vickers' family understood that as soon as a fence was built to contain Luke, the dog would be returned to the family.

Gonzalez and Thompson posted bail after being booked into the county jail. They were formally charged Monday, records show.

Miller was cited and released to his mother.
Madonna Candy Shop live Roseland 2008

From Madonna's appearance last night at Roseland, in New York City.
"Mission Accomplished" - Five Year Anniversary

Are we out of Iraq yet?

Didn't think so.
Funny Follies At Fox

In discussing the Lincoln/Douglas debates, the dimrods over at Fox apparently couldn't make the distinction between Stephen Douglas and Frederick Douglass.

Ha! Ha! Ha!
Performance Preview

In the Davis Enterprise:
The Davis Musical Theatre Company Young Performers Theater production of 'The Music Man' opens Saturday and continues through May 18 at the Hoblit Performing Arts Center, 607 Peña Drive, Davis. Curtain times are 2:15 p.m. Saturday, May 3; 7 p.m. Sunday, May 4; 11:15 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. Saturday, May 10; 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 16; 2:15 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 17; and 2:15 p.m. Sunday, May 18. The production is directed and choreographed by Jan Isaacson, with music direction by David Chan. The story concerns a traveling con man who plots to sell band instruments and uniforms to the unsuspecting citizens of River City, Iowa, but finds that he has fallen in love. The cast members waiting for the 'Wells Fargo Wagon' are, from left, William Forkin, Kennedy Wenning, McKinley Carlisle, Madelyn Robinson, Luc Luzzo and Cody Craven. Tickets, at $7, are available at (530) 756-3682 or
Shoes To Die For

One of the legacies of "La Cage Aux Folles" has been a heightened sense of what's important, and what's not.

Last night, I addressed a young woman leaving the stage after an ecdysiasical act and said "I really like your shoes!" And the shoes were just to die for: immense plexiglass platforms with tall, sharp stilleto heels. She seemed surprised by the compliment and at a loss for for words for a second or two. She then said, with a pleased smile: "Thanks. I just bought them today. I'm glad you noticed!"

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tim Russert Disses Arianna Huffington

Tim Russert compels NBC to cancel all her appearances on the network, because she's not a Russert fan:
It seems that Arianna Huffington has run up against the impenetrable wall that is Tim Russert's ego. Huffington, who is currently on tour for her new book Right Is Wrong: How The Lunatic Fringe Hijacked America, Shredded The Constitution, and Made Us All Less Safe, will be appearing on CNN, ABC, and CBS. She had been booked on Morning Joe and Countdown with Keith Olbermann as well, but those bookings were suddenly and inexplicably cancelled.

NBC confirmed that Huffington wouldn't be booked on any NBC-affiliated show to promote her book, but refused to explain why. Huffington's people say that this is Tim Russert's doing, that Russert is out for revenge because Huffington called him a "conventional wisdom zombie" in her book and devoted seven pages to faulting Russert for allowing his Meet the Press guests to go unchallenged (not to mention HuffPo's RussertWatch).
Name Game

If all I do is think of women, doesn't it make me the real lesbian?:
RESIDENTS of the Greek island synonymous with the love verses of an ancient woman poet have launched a legal case against a gay group insisting that they are the real Lesbians.

Two inhabitants of the island of Lesbos along with a member of a nationalist pagan association today launched a legal case to ban the Greek Gay and Lesbian Union (OLKE) from bearing the name "lesbian".

Lesbos was the home of the poet Sappho, who expressed her love of other women in lyric verses written in the early sixth century BC.

Lesbos residents now suffer "psychological and moral rape" from the "seizure" of their island's name by gays, said the activist Dimitris Lambrou, in a text titled The Misfortune of Being Lesbian, published on his website.

Lambrou believes the case will be judged in Athens in June.

"This affair is totally ridiculous," said OLKE spokeswoman Evangelia Vlami. "But if we are summoned by the courts, we will be heard."

Lesbos is often referred to in Greece as Mytilene, the island's capital. The resort of Eressos is a popular tourist destination for lesbians visiting the Aegean island in the north-east of the Orthodox Christian country.
They Found The Pig

I was getting worried there:
A giant inflatable pig which floated away during a Roger Waters concert at the weekend has been recovered in tatters in California.

The pig, which measured the width of two buses, was found by two families on their driveways in La Quinta.

They will split the $10,000 (£5,090) reward offered by the Coachella music festival, from where the pig was lost.

The inflatable pig bore the image of a ticked ballot box for US presidential hopeful Barack Obama on its underbelly.

The animal's flanks carried the slogans "fear builds walls" and "don't be led to the slaughter", with a cartoon of Uncle Sam holding two meat cleavers.

Former Pink Floyd star Waters said "that's my pig" as it drifted away during Sunday's gig.

Coachella spokeswoman Marcee Rondan said: "It wasn't really supposed to happen that way."

The pig was tethered to the ground with ropes and floated away as Waters was playing Pink Floyd song Pigs on the Wing.
Schadenfreude Watch

Lorita Doan finally forced out at GSA:
Early this evening I was asked to submit my resignation, and I have just done so. It has been a great privilege to serve with all of you and to serve our nation and a great President.
Ionosphere Check

For those of you with Google Earth, there is a new application whereby one can check the status of the ionosphere. For example, just click 'Total Electron Density' on this Web Page and see what the Total Electron Density is (higher today above the eastern tropical Pacific).

More information here:
Today, NASA-funded researchers released to the general public a new "4D" live model of Earth's ionosphere. Without leaving home, anyone can fly through the layer of ionized gas that encircles Earth at the edge of space itself. All that's required is a connection to the Internet.

"This is an exciting development," says solar physicist Lika Guhathakurta of NASA headquarters in Washington, DC. "The ionosphere is important to pilots, ham radio operators, earth scientists and even soldiers. Using this new 4D tool, they can monitor and study the ionosphere as if they're actually inside it."
More About Why Obama Joined Wright's Congregation

Reasonable speculation. I just feel sorry about the whole situation.

From David Mendell's biography regarding Obama:
Wright remains a maverick among Chicago's vast assortment of black preachers. He will question Scripture when he feels it forsakes common sense; he is an ardent foe of mandatory school prayer; and he is a staunch advocate for homosexual rights, which is almost unheard-of among African-American ministers. Gay and lesbian couples, with hands clasped, can be spotted in Trinity's pews each Sunday. Even if some blacks consider Wright's church serving only the bourgeois set, his ministry attracts a broad cross section of Chicago's black community. Obama first noticed the church because Wright had placed a "Free Africa" sign out front to protest continuing apartheid. The liberal, Columbia-educated Obama was attracted to Wright's cerebral and inclusive nature, as opposed to the more socially conservative and less educated ministers around Chicago. Wright developed into a counselor and mentor to Obama as Obama sought to understand the power of Christianity in the lives of black Americans, and as he grappled with the complex vagaries of Chicago's black political scene. "Trying to hold a conversation with a guy like Barack, and him trying to hold a conversation with some ministers, it's like you are dating someone and she wants to talk to you about Rosie and what she saw on Oprah, and that's it," Wright explained. "But here I was, able to stay with him lockstep as we moved from topic to topic. . . . He felt comfortable asking me questions that were postmodern, post-Enlightenment and that college-educated and graduate school-trained people wrestle with when it comes to the faith. We talked about race and politics. I was not threatened by those questions." ...

But more than that, Trinity's less doctrinal approach to the Bible intrigued and attracted Obama. "Faith to him is how he sees the human condition," Wright said. "Faith to him is not . . . litmus test, mouth-spouting, quoting Scripture. It's what you do with your life, how you live your life. That's far more important than beating someone over the head with Scripture that says women shouldn't wear pants or if you drink, you're going to hell. That's just not who Barack is."
Noam Scheiber's comment:
So, if you buy Wright's account--and it rings pretty true to me--it was his intellectualism and social progressivism that won Obama over. Certainly it's hard to imagine that someone like Obama, who came from a progressive, secular background, would have felt genuinely comfortable in a socially conservative, anti-intellectual church. The problem for Obama is that the flip-side of these virtues was a minister with a radical worldview and a penchant for advertising it loudly.
JUSTICE † perform "D.V.N.O." Live at Coachella 2008

Pretty chaotic camera views of the French electronic music duo, but fun.
Larry Niven Disappoints

I used to like this sci-fi writer. No more. This Teapot Dome trust fund baby is irresponsibly cruel with his public policy suggestions, and oughta just shut up:
Among the group’s approximately 24 members is Larry Niven, the bestselling and award-winning author of such books as “Ringworld”. Niven said a good way to help hospitals stem financial losses is to spread rumors in Spanish within the Latino community that emergency rooms are killing patients in order to harvest their organs for transplants.

The FNMOC Weather Maps are completely offline, like they've all been instantly classified. I wonder if there's a military action in progress?
The Eyes Have It

Big, for collecting mighty dim light:
Marine scientists studying the carcass of a rare colossal squid said Wednesday they had measured its eye at about 11 inches across -- bigger than a dinner plate -- making it the largest animal eye on Earth.

One of the squid's two eyes, with a lens as big as an orange, was found intact as the scientists examined the creature while it was slowly defrosted at New Zealand's national museum, Te Papa Tongarewa.
As Texas Goes....

So goes New Mexico (although not nearly to the same extreme). Because of its remoteness, the Southwest, in general, is host to a number of breakaway sects with oddball (though usually not harmful) beliefs:
State police have removed four children from an apocalyptic church whose leader claims to be the Messiah and acknowledges having sex with some of his followers.

The three girls and one boy—all under the age of 18—were taken from the northeastern New Mexico compound following an April 22 investigation, Romaine Serna, spokeswoman for the state Children, Youth and Families Department spokeswoman, said Wednesday.

The children were taken into state custody because of allegations of inappropriate contact between minors and the adult leader of The Lord Our Righteousness Church, Serna said.

"I understand that it was very calm and they (state police) did not meet with any resistance," she said. Serna said she wasn't aware of any other youths at the compound.

...Wayne Bent, who is in his 60s and is known in the church as Michael Travesser, established the church at a rural site called Strong City, north of Clayton in extreme northeastern New Mexico. It has at least 70 members, Serna said.

Bent, on an April 27 posting on the church's Web site, accused the state of kidnapping the children. "My children are kidnapped because some demon wrote a letter to people in authority accusing me of some crimes," he wrote.

"When the state came against our children (seed), the state came against God, and this will NOT ever be forgiven them," he wrote.

He acknowledged having sex with the wives of two of his followers.

Jeff Bent, who Serna said is Wayne Bent's son, denied in an April 29 letter to Gov. Bill Richardson and posted on the Web site that any child had been abused or neglected at Strong City.

The group educates its children "to avoid the slavery you seek to impose on them, and to experience the freedom they have in God," Jeff Bent wrote.

"We have given everything to prepare them for an eternity with God. We haven't oppressed them with your atheistic globalist curriculum, socialist indoctrination, and 'alternative lifestyles' dogma that comprise modern public education. We have taught them higher values than the values of your slave-state, and have sought to shield them from the abuse that is institutionalized in your system," he wrote.
A Fork In The Road

The same interesting people were there as last week - the pretty Vietnamese restauranteur (supposedly from Southern California); the loud black man who insisted he was about to leave Sacramento on a trip (like he said last week), and the irritable Asian man (much mellower, though, so he must have been winning) - but the story was different.

Loss: $1,878.00, minus $6.00 ATM fees = $1,884.00.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

MGMT - "Time To Pretend" Music Video

Interesting psychedelic imagery.

(Use this link)

I'm feeling rough, I'm feeling raw, I'm in the prime of my life
Let's make some music, make some money, find some models for wives
I'll move to Paris, shoot some heroin and f*ck with the stars
You man the island and the cocaine and the elegant cars

This is our decision to live fast and die young
We've got the vision, now let's have some fun
Yeah, it's overwhelming but what else can we do
Get jobs in offices and wake up for the morning commute?

Forget about our mothers and our friends
We were fated to pretend
To pretend
We were fated to pretend
To pretend

I'll miss the playgrounds and the animals and digging up worms
I'll miss the comfort of my mother and the weight of the world
I'll miss my sister, miss my father, miss my dog and my home
Yeah, I'll miss the boredom and the freedom and the time spent alone

But there is really nothing, nothing we can do
Love must be forgotten, life can always start up anew
The models will have children, we'll get a divorce
We'll find some more models, everything must run its course

We'll choke on our vomit and that will be the end
We were fated to pretend
To pretend
We were fated to pretend
To pretend

I said yeah, yeah, yeah
All right yeah, yeah, yeah
I said yeah, yeah, yeah
Ah yeah, yeah, yeah

Her Dreams Were Brightly Lit

New, from Deborah McMillion-Nering.
The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony - live Coachella 4/25/08

Longer version...
Hard To Keep Up With McCain On Iraq

(From The CarpetBaggerReport) Consider:

* In 2005, McCain decided Iraqis resent our military presence, so we should reject a Korea-like model for long-term troop deployment. He insisted that “U.S. ‘visibility’ was detrimental to the Iraq mission and that Iraqis were responding negatively to America’s presence — positions held by both Obama and Clinton.”

* In 2006, McCain reversed course, and embraced the Korea model for a long-term military presence.

* In 2007, McCain reversed course again, saying the Korean analogy doesn’t work and shouldn’t be followed. “[E]ventually I think because of the nature of the society in Iraq and the religious aspects of it that America eventually withdraws,” McCain told Charlie Rose last fall.

* And in 2008, McCain reversed course yet again, deciding that we should be prepared to leave troops in Iraq, even if it means 100 years or more.

At each step, McCain was not only convinced that he was absolutely right, but dismissed anyone who dared to disagree with him as uninformed and unreliable.

Now, I should clarify that the point here is not just to embarrass McCain by exposing a spectacular series of flip-flops. Rather, the point is to highlight the fact that McCain apparently doesn’t have any idea what he’s talking about. He does 180-degree turns without explanation, and then insists that he’s been consistent the entire time.
"Houston, We Have A Problem"

I had a dream where Joshua Smith, Jabriel Shelton, and Michael McElroy were sealed within the cozy confines of an Apollo space capsule, and launched on a months-long journey to the Asteroid Belt, and Jupiter.

Unfortunately I cannot remember how the rest of the dream turned out....
So Who Was Fulton Lewis?

Interesting. My aunt's ashes are interred at the site of Fulton Lewis' summer home:
Fulton Lewis, Jr. (b. April 30, 1903 in Washington D.C. - d. August 20, 1966) was a famous television and radio broadcaster from the 1930s to the 1960s. He broadcast from the Sheraton Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. over the Mutual Broadcasting System. When Lewis died, he was succeeded on the air by his son, Fulton Lewis III, who kept the broadcast running for another twelve years. The younger Lewis now lives in Florida.

Lewis's program ran fifteen minutes, from 7:00 to 7:15 p.m. Eastern time. His audience liked Lewis's folksy broadcasting style. At his commercial peak, Lewis was heard on more than 500 radio stations and boasted a weekly audience of sixteen million listeners.

The site where the summer home of the Lewis family stood in Washington, D.C. is now the site of the National Cathedral.

Lewis's signature closing was "That's the top of the news as it looks from here."

Lewis was a conservative commentator who supported Barry Goldwater for President, supported limited government and federalism, and opposed liberal leaders such as John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson and their policies.

Fulton Lewis Jr. made his mark by opposing the New Deal policies of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Lewis was a strong supporter of Senator Joe McCarthy. He was one of the first broadcasters to expose Julius and Ethel Rosenberg as the Communist spies that the Venona papers prove they were.

After attending the University of Virginia and George Washington University, Lewis found a job with the Washington Herald newspaper. Within three years, he was the City Editor. He left the Herald to join Universal News Service, run by the Hearst family. Between 1933 and 1936 Lewis wrote a newspaper column called The Washington Sideshow which was syndicated by King Features.

He got started in radio by volunteering to fill in for vacationing broadcasters. The head of WOL was impressed with Lewis's "on-the-spot" reporting and offered him a full-time position. Shortly his commentaries were picked up by the Mutual Broadcasting System.

Lewis was influential in persuading the U.S. Congress to allow radio broadcasting of Congressional activities.
Obama On Wright

Wright's attention-bating tour finally gets the attention it deserves:
The person I saw yesterday was not the person that I met 20 years ago. His comments were not only divisive and destructive, but I believe that they end up giving comfort to those who prey on hate, and I believe that they do not portray accurately the perspective of the black church.

They certainly don't portray accurately my values and beliefs. And if Reverend Wright thinks that that's political posturing, as he put it, then he doesn't know me very well. And based on his remarks yesterday, well, I might not know him as well as I thought, either.
Interesting commentary here about Wright's National Press Club event yesterday:
While MSNBC was waiting to go live to the event, an anchor asked Mr. Obama’s chief strategist, David Axelrod, why the campaign had allowed Mr. Wright to refocus attention upon himself. “He is doing his own thing,” Mr. Axelrod said wearily by telephone. “There’s not a thing we can do about it.”

By the time Mr. Wright had finished speaking, he had proved Mr. Axelrod’s point. And also one made by Chuck Todd, the NBC political director who summed up Mr. Wright’s apologia by paraphrasing a Carly Simon song: “You’re so vain, I bet you think this campaign is about you.”

Monday, April 28, 2008

Living The Healthy Life...

Pepper seemed disappointed in our squats today. Instead of squatting like our lives depended on it, people like myself tried to squirm out from the effort, and just kind-of rebounded off our legs, without getting full squats in there.

Pepper asked: "How many calories does a pound of fat have?" We had even fewer ideas about this subject than we had about squats. After a few hesitant numbers were offered, Pepper answered: "3,500!"

Then I remembered something I saw on the old "Jack LaLanne Show" when I was a kid. It made such a vivid impression then, I've never forgotten it.

Jack was sitting in a chair, facing the camera. On a little table beside him sat a package in a brown paper wrapper. "So, you tell me that you are just five pounds overweight. Just five pounds overweight. Today I went to the butcher and I got five pounds of fat. And this is what it looks like." LaLanne then ripped open the package and startling amount of blubber popped out, and spilled onto the floor. "So, you tell me that you are just five pounds overweight," Jack reiterated with a steely smile.

Pepper replied that he had once shared a stage with LaLanne. Jack did his trademark fingertip pushups. "Even though he was in his 80's, he didn't compromise his form in any way," Pepper said. "He is older now, and some things have changed. He doesn't have his white German Shepherd anymore, for example." "The dog wasn't living the life," I said. Pepper laughed....

Jack will be 94 years old in September....

Here's a video of Jack LaLanne persuading his audience to 'stop being so tired.'

Southland Surprises In Store

Keeping up with demand (and there's just that one major power line between Northern and Southern California):
The risk of electricity blackouts in Southern California during the hottest days this summer is more than triple that of previous years because power plant additions have failed to keep up with demand, the state's grid manager said.

The likelihood of a Stage 3 emergency, when reserves dip below 3% and power is cut to some customers to prevent a system collapse, rose to 10% for Southern California from 3% in last year's forecast, the California Independent System Operator said in a report Monday.

The state will have 489 megawatts of new generation in time for peak demand in July or August, some of that replacing a 122-megawatt plant that's being retired. Southern California will need to rely on imports from Arizona, Nevada and Mexico, as well as conservation, to avoid blackouts.

Demand probably will increase by 1,000 megawatts this year over last year, Cal-ISO Chief Executive Yakout Mansour said during a conference call. Power demand peaked at 48,615 megawatts in 2007.

...Northern California should escape shortages, Cal-ISO said.
Upward Ratchet

Inch by inch, step by step...., California gas prices climb....

Looking for more energy? Here's a solution waiting to be tried....
New DNC Ad

I like it!

Now, the RNC has been complaining about this ad, suggesting it takes McCain out-of-context:
MIAMI - The Republican National Committee demanded Monday that television networks stop running a television ad by the Democratic Party that falsely suggests John McCain wants a 100-year war in Iraq.

The ad says President Bush has talked about staying in Iraq for 50 years, then plays a clip of McCain saying, "Maybe 100. That'd be fine with me."

The announcer then says: "If all he offers is more of the same, is John McCain the right choice for America's future?"

Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan said the ad deliberately distorts what McCain, the likely GOP presidential nominee, said.

The committee's chief counsel, Sean Cairncross, said he sent letters Monday to NBC, CNN and MSNBC insisting that they stop airing the commercial.

At issue is McCain's answer, in January, to a question about Bush's theory that troops could be in Iraq for 50 years.

McCain said: "Maybe 100. As long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed, that'd be fine with me, and I hope it would be fine with you, if we maintain a presence in a very volatile part of the world where al-Qaida is training, recruiting, equipping and motivating people every single day."

Democratic Party chief Howard Dean said "there's nothing false" about the ad.

"We deliberately used John McCain's words. This isn't some ominous consultant's voice from Washington. This is John McCain's own words. And we've been very upfront about everything that he's said."
Well, like they say, politics ain't beanbag. By leaving out McCain's caveat, it makes him sound callous. But the fact that McCain places a caveat there at all suggests that McCain is living in a fantasy world, where it is possible to have American troops in Iraq without bloodshed, like we currently have in Germany. And that will never happen. Because these two different troop deployments have nothing in common!

The ad is fair enough, and germane as well. Keep it!
A Few More "Pajama Game" Images

Left: Sid Sorokin (Joshua Smith) and Babe Williams (Amber Jean Moore).

From the weekend.....

Left: Hines (Herb Shultz), Mabel (Dannette Vassar), and Gladys (Lauren Miller).

Left: Mabel (Dannette Vassar), Babe Williams (Amber Jean Moore) and Sid Sorokin (Joshua Smith).
John Ewing On Celluloid!

John Ewing writes:
Last year, a friend of mine in the Bay Area wrote, directed and produced a small independent film, and asked if I would like a small part.

Long story short, I have six lines in one scene, and the film will make it public premiere on Saturday, May 17 at the historic Victoria Theatre in San Francisco.

If you're a fan of indy films and quirky comedies, I encourage you to check it out. They do expect a sellout by show date, so if you're interested, make your reservations soon. There will only be one more showing in the foreseeable future (5/24) until they can get a distributor.

More info on the film follows.

John :-)


Announcing the world premiere of a new film:

"Weekend King"

Rupert is awkward, friendless, and loveless. He's also rich. In a quest to overcome his loneliness, Rupert buys a small bankrupt town in Utah. He expects to lord over the populace but ends up contending with people who don't buy into his newly invented confidence. But grappling with his bad investment turns out to be the key for finally finding friendship and love.

(Unrated, but the equivalent of an 'R'.)

When: Saturday May 17th and Saturday May 24th - Doors open at 6:30

Where: San Francisco's Historic Victoria Theatre - Mission Street at the 16th Street BART Station

Cost: $10

Please Pre-purchase tickets at:

View a trailer and learn more about the film at:
Peace Crimes

Every year, satire gets harder and harder to write:
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND—An international peace-crimes tribunal commenced legal proceedings against former U.S. President Jimmy Carter for alleged crimes against inhumanity Monday.

"Jimmy Carter's political career includes a laundry list of anti-war-making offenses," said chief prosecutor Charles B. Simmons. "Carter's record of benevolence, diplomacy, and respect for human life is unrivaled in recent geopolitical history. For millions, the very sight of his face evokes memories of his administration's reign of tolerance."

Carter awaits trial for acts of peace committed between 1976 and the present.
The former president, whom Simmons described as "relentless in his naked pursuit of everlasting global peace," has been sought by peace-crimes officers in the international war-making community for decades. Police apprehended Carter on July 25 in South Florida, where he was building low-income housing as a part of a Habitat For Humanity project. Shortly thereafter, he was extradited to Geneva, where he will be prosecuted for "grossly humane acts against all nations."

..."Carter is one of the worst enemies the forces of destruction have known since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his non-violent rampages of the '50s and '60s," Simmons said. "Even today, in his capacity as an ex-president, [Carter] continues his pursuit of non-aggression. He must be stopped now, before another terrible war is avoided and more lives are saved."

Prosecutors have linked Carter to a number of international humanitarian organizations, including Red Cross and Amnesty International, both of which fund compassionate, non-military efforts around the globe.

..."Prosecutors will have no difficulty establishing Carter's willful intent to pursue and maintain the aim of peaceful intervention in international affairs when they cite his formation of The Carter Center, an organization whose three publicly stated aims are 'Fighting Disease,' 'Building Hope,' and 'Waging Peace,'" Halloway said. "Carter will be forced to answer for his reign of tranquility before the entire world community."

If found guilty, Carter could face permanent exile in a nonviolent nation such as Norway.

On behalf of the Bush administration, Vice-President Dick Cheney expressed regret over Carter's alleged crimes.

"We are all aware of the missteps that occurred during the placid days of the Carter administration," Cheney said. "It was simply a matter of bringing the justice to light. Thankfully, the process has begun, and this chapter in our nation's history is finally being brought to a close."
Keeping An Open Mind

Via Hilzoy. Politicians, and their questionable judgements:
U.S. Congressional candidate Tony Zirkle is facing criticism from one of his primary opponents, and a host of people on the Internet, for speaking at an event over the weekend that celebrated Adolf Hitler's birthday.

Zirkle confirmed to The News-Dispatch on Monday he spoke Sunday in Chicago at a meeting of the Nationalist Socialist Workers Party, whose symbol is a swastika.

When asked if he was a Nazi or sympathized with Nazis or white supremacists, Zirkle replied he didn't know enough about the group to either favor it or oppose it.

"This is just a great opportunity for me to witness," he said, referring to his message and his Christian belief.

He also told WIMS radio in Michigan City that he didn't believe the event he attended included people necessarily of the Nazi mindset, pointing out the name isn't Nazi, but Nationalist Socialist Workers Party.

The Crown Point Republican spoke in front of about 56 "white activists" at an event honoring the birth of Hitler. The German leader was responsible for the genocide of millions of Jews and others during World War II.

Zirkle said the group asked him to speak to discuss the effect of pornography and prostitution on young, white women and girls.

Zirkle is running against Republican Luke Puckett of Goshen and Joseph Roush of Plymouth in the May primary. He lost twice before in primaries to former U.S. Rep. Chris Chocola and has made doing away with pornography and prostitution his top campaign plank.

"I told (Channel 16, WNDU in South Bend) in the beginning that I'd speak to any group that wanted me to speak," Zirkle said Monday. He said he's also recently spoken on the subject to a pair of black journalists.

"I'm keeping my promise. I'll speak to any group. (The National Socialist Workers Party) was interested in the targeting of white people for prostitution."

Puckett spokesman Kyle Bailey said Monday that Puckett was in "disbelief" when he saw a story on the Internet from a Web site called

It detailed Zirkle's speech in a story about the gathering, called not only to honor Hitler but to "fight America's economic collapse and reinvigorate the white working class."

At the event, Hitler's birthday was observed with a cake with a photo of Hitler and the words "Seig Heil."

"I can't believe, in 2008, someone could have such backward opinions," Puckett said.

Zirkle said he told the group about his days as a prosecutor in Indiana, during which time he prosecuted gangs involved in trafficking prostitutes and pornography from Eastern Europe.

The Crown Point lawyer, who also has an office in South Bend, has in all three of his primary races pointed to pornography and prostitution as the downfall of society. He said Monday that he agrees with the group's notion the trafficking of "young, white women should be stopped," he said.
No Pain, No Gain...

I felt ambitious yesterday, so I went to Step One Health Club's Sunday morning "Boot Camp" fitness class....

Patient: "Doctor, it hurts when I do this."
Doctor: "Well, don't do that."
Weed, And The Feds

I cannot believe the federal government is this stupid:
WEED – The federal government has said no to Weed.

Or at least to the bottle caps on beer brewed at a popular local brewery in this small Siskiyou County town, which has a name that no doubt would have kept 1970s pot-smoking duo Cheech and Chong giggling.

Weed brewer Vaune Dillmann faces possible sanctions or fines from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau if he continues to brew and sell beer with bottle caps printed with the label "Try Legal Weed."

Bureau spokesman Art Resnick said Monday that the bottle caps tell consumers to support an illegal drug – a policy that violates rules of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau as well as the agency's predecessor, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms.

Dillmann, who says his bottle caps promote both his beers and the community in which he brews them, has appealed the decision.

After all, he said, the labels on his beers have a picture of the Weed arch and the city's founding father, Abner Weed, on the label.

Dillmann's bottle caps also say a "A Friend in Weed is a Friend Indeed."

"We're dealing with a surname that's been used for hundreds of years," Dillmann said.

The owner of Mount Shasta Brewing Co. said he's also outraged that his beer is being singled out for using a possible pot play on words when Anheuser-Busch has used "Bud" – another name for marijuana – to promote its Budweiser line of beers.

"What's the difference here?" Dillmann said. "They sell Bud – we sell Weed."
"I Like Your Jewelry!"

Odd, and strangely interesting. Amy Winehouse at a London McDonald's drive-through window.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

"Pajama Game" - Saturday Night

Left: Babe Williams (Amber Jean Moore) and Sid Sorokin (Joshua Smith). Also pictured are Kris Farhood, Amanda Yount, Kristine Hager, and McKinley Carlisle.

Left: Jonathan Cagle-Mulberg, Jabriel Shelton, and Joshua Smith.

Left: Jan Isaacson, Lisa Curtis, Joshua Smith, Amber Jean Moore, Jonathan Cagle-Mulberg, and Jabriel Shelton.

Sitting, left to right: Stacey Sheehan, Cari Porter, Lisa Curtis, Amber Jean Moore, Jan Isaacson, and McKinley Carlisle. Departing, Herb Shultz. Standing, Kristine Hager and Amanda Yount.

Left: Mr. Hasler (Dustin White) and Sid Sorokin (Joshua Smith).

Left: Gladys (Lauren Miller), Mr. Hasler (Dustin White), Mabel (Dannette Vassar), and Sid Sorokin (Joshua Smith).

Left: Sid Sorokin (Joshua Smith) and Babe Williams (Amber Jean Moore).

Left: Sid Sorokin (Joshua Smith).
Left: Sid Sorokin (Joshua Smith) and Babe Williams (Amber Jean Moore).

Left: Sid Sorokin (Joshua Smith) and Babe Williams (Amber Jean Moore).

Left: Lisa Curtis, John Ewing, Jabriel Shelton, Jan Isaacson, and Amber Jean Moore.

Left: Hines (Herb Shultz), with women's ensemble, left to right: Amanda Yount, Kristine Hager, Cari Porter, Sarah Pivonka, and Kris Farhood. Obscured, Stacey Sheehan and McKinley Carlisle.

Left: It's a Morloch! No! It's Stacey Sheehan playing around backstage with the Hernando's Hideaway candles!