Friday, May 01, 2009

The Game Is All About Sowing Confusion

The Bush Administration watched this pioneering effort in modern news manipulation very closely, and copied it for themselves. By taking full advantage of news media 'neutrality' norms, and sowing confusion, there is lots and lots of money. And the effort is going strong today too:
For more than a decade the Global Climate Coalition, a group representing industries with profits tied to fossil fuels, led an aggressive lobbying and public relations campaign against the idea that emissions of heat-trapping gases could lead to global warming.

“The role of greenhouse gases in climate change is not well understood,” the coalition said in a scientific “backgrounder” provided to lawmakers and journalists through the early 1990s, adding that “scientists differ” on the issue.

But a document filed in a federal lawsuit demonstrates that even as the coalition worked to sway opinion, its own scientific and technical experts were advising that the science backing the role of greenhouse gases in global warming could not be refuted.

“The scientific basis for the Greenhouse Effect and the potential impact of human emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2 on climate is well established and cannot be denied,” the experts wrote in an internal report compiled for the coalition in 1995.

...Environmentalists have long maintained that industry knew early on that the scientific evidence supported a human influence on rising temperatures, but that the evidence was ignored for the sake of companies’ fight against curbs on greenhouse gas emissions. Some environmentalists have compared the tactic to that once used by tobacco companies, which for decades insisted that the science linking cigarette smoking to lung cancer was uncertain. By questioning the science on global warming, these environmentalists say, groups like the Global Climate Coalition were able to sow enough doubt to blunt public concern about a consequential issue and delay government action.

George Monbiot, a British environmental activist and writer, said that by promoting doubt, industry had taken advantage of news media norms requiring neutral coverage of issues, just as the tobacco industry once had.

“They didn’t have to win the argument to succeed,” Mr. Monbiot said, “only to cause as much confusion as possible.”

...The primer itself was never publicly distributed.

...“I have no idea why the section on the contrarians would have been deleted,” said Mr. O’Keefe, now chief executive of the Marshall Institute, a nonprofit research group that opposes a mandatory cap on greenhouse gas emissions.

...Benjamin D. Santer, a climate scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory whose work for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was challenged by the Global Climate Coalition and allied groups, said the coalition was “engaging in a full-court press at the time, trying to cast doubt on the bottom-line conclusion of the I.P.C.C.” That panel concluded in 1995 that “the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate.”

“I’m amazed and astonished,” Dr. Santer said, “that the Global Climate Coalition had in their possession scientific information that substantiated our cautious findings and then chose to suppress that information.”

Strange Utah Dream

Two nights ago, I dreamt that a rich entrepreneur took me on a helicopter tour of the Oquirrh Mountains west of Salt Lake City. Unlike the real Oquirrh Mountains, these dream Oquirrh Mountains were vertiginous, and full of steep canyons and sheer rock faces.

Despite the forbidding terrain, the rich entrepreneur was building a city in the mountains. Tens of thousands of families had each claimed tiny lots among the rocks. The families were all hobbit-sized, and with their big bushy beards, the men looked like tiny Hasidim. All their belongings were piled into wheelbarrows (fact: unlike the Oregon Trail pioneers, many of the original settlers of the Salt Lake Valley in the 19th Century were too poor to own wagons, and thus had to push all their belongings west in wheelbarrows).

Each family also owned a fragile tiger cub. Pet the tiger cubs too hard, and they would crush - like soda cans. I crushed one tiger cub, and in the distance I could hear sirens.


No, I have no idea what it means either.

Swimming Allowed

Deborah loves the water!

Square Peg Among The Round Terror Pigeon Holes

I just dress like a woman, so I suppose none of these categories fit:
The memo, dated March 26, 2009, is titled “Domestic Extremism Lexicon,” and came after the original memo fingering right-wing groups as a threat.

Those now listed as dangerous extremists include: Mexican separatists, “black power” advocates, “racial Nordic mysticism” practitioners and black nationalists.

Homeland Security told The Daily Beast’s Benjamin Sarlin, who posted the Lexicon, that the memo had been recalled almost as soon as it had been sent out.

Notably, Sardin says the memo includes no mention of Muslim extremism.

Perhaps the most amusing item is the document’s loose definition of “skinhead,” which appears to encompass anyone who shaves their heads and wears Doc Martens. Even those skinheads who merely preach “group unity” are worrisome, the memo says.

Skinheads are “a subculture composed primarily of working-class, white youth who embrace shaved heads for males, substance abuse, and violence,” the Lexicon states. “Skinheads can be categorized as racist, antiracist, or ‘traditional,’ which emphasizes group unity based on fashion, music, and lifestyle rather than political ideology. Dress often includes a shaved head or very short hair, jeans, thin suspenders, combat boots or Doc Martens, and a bomber jacket.”

On the opposite side, the Lexicon explains “black power” as a troubling “term used by black separatists to describe their pride in and the perceived superiority of the black race.”

And “black nationalism”? “A term used by black separatists to promote the unification and separate identity of persons of black or African-American descent and who advocate the establishment of a separate nation within the United States.”

And what about racial Nordic mysticism, described as “an ideology adopted by many white supremacist prison gangs who embrace a Norse mythological religion, such as Odinism or Asatru.”

Even those on the right are sure to be displeased. The memo also identifies as a threat “anti-immigration extremism.”

Such extremism encompasses “a movement of groups or individuals who are vehemently opposed to illegal immigration, particularly along the U.S. Southwest border with Mexico, and who have been known to advocate or engage in criminal activity and plot acts of violence and terrorism to advance their extremist goals,” the memo says. “They are highly critical of the U.S. government’s response to illegal immigration and oppose government programs that are designed to extend ‘rights’ to illegal aliens, such as issuing driver’s licenses or national identification cards and providing in-state tuition, medical benefits, or public education.”

When Technology And Secrecy Collide

You get strange stuff like this:
Behind the counter of an abandoned McDonalds lie 48,000 lbs of 70mm tape the only copy of extremely high-resolution images of the moon.

These tapes were recorded 40 years ago as part of the Apollo program to map the lunar surface to plan landing spots for Apollo 11 onward. They have never been seen by the public because at the time, they were classified as they reveal the extreme precision of our spy satellites. Instead, all we have ever seen are the grainy photo-of-a-photo images that were released to the public.

The spacecraft did not ship this film back to Earth. Instead, they developed the film on the Lunar Orbiter and then raster scanned the negatives with a 5 micron spot (200 lines/millimeter resolution) and beamed the data back to Earth using yet-to-be-patented-by-others lossless analog compression. Three ground stations on Earth (one was in Madrid) recorded the transmissions on these magnetic tapes.

Recovering the data has proven to be very difficult, requiring technological archeology. The only working version of the Ampex tape player ($300K when new) was discovered in a chicken coop (UPDATE: actually a garage/barn combination) and restored with the help of the original designer. There is only one person on Earth who still refurbishes these tape heads, and he is retiring this year. The skills to read this data archive are on the cusp of disappearing forever.

Some of the applications of this project, beyond accessing the best images of the moon ever taken, are to look for new landing sites for the new Google Lunar X-Prize robo-landers, and to compare the new craters on the moon today to 40 years ago, a measure of micrometeorite flux and risk to future lunar operations.

Finally Feeling The Pinch

Since last August, my workload has been light, sometimes vanishingly so. As a result, I've been able to blog with alarming frequency, but I knew that a reckoning would eventually come. Either a reckoning would come, or more work, but the longer things go on like this, the more the more-work option seems less likely.

J. just came in, wanting to know my flexibility regarding hours. Would a 30-hour work week be OK? Forty hours certainly seems like overkill these days!

Well, 30 hours a week is certainly a lot better than the alternative - sleeping under the stars with the pigeons. So, maybe I'll have more time on my hands - to maybe write a book or travel to New Zealand, which now has some of the lowest air fares in memory. And maybe more time to blog.

But maybe less money too. Maybe a lot less money. That'll be hard on Bill the Carpenter.

In any event, time is the most precious commodity of all. Time is ever so much more important than money.

(But if you want to spend your time in casinos, money beats time any day).

So, J. is going to take the results our conversation back to the partners for a final decision regarding my employment status....

(dang it, getting paid a prince's ransom to blog was the best setup of all....)

Anyway, in honor of my likely change in status, here's a commemorative video.

Plus, a shout-out to Nick, and hoping for a wonderful weekend for the entire JCS crew!

Monty Python - Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

David Guetta feat. Kelly Rowland - When Love Takes Over

RIP, Danny Gans

Age 52? That's my age! Ooooweeeooo!

I wonder, died from what? Seems quite young....

Experimenting With Titles

Experimenting With Titles

Experimenting With Titles

Teaching Rabbits To Jump Hurdles

I didn't realize they could do that. To teach them seems to require hours of focused attention:
The boys' mother Brenda, 46, said: 'I think the whole thing is brilliant.

'The boys love rabbits so we have always kept them and they have been brought up with them.'

Both boys have Asperger's Syndrome, a type of autism, and working with the rabbits - often for seven hours a day - has helped with their condition.

Mathew said: 'We are really excited about the finals. We just hope our rabbits don't get stage fright on the day.'

Nothing Says Terror Like The Congressional Hispanic Caucus

At 1:12 in John Boehner's video, President Obama sits with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the scariest, most-rabid terror outfit on Earth, which employs persuasion, and phone calls, and E-Mail blasts and other ruthless strong-arm lobbying tactics to get its way in the rough-and-tumble world of Capitol Hill.

Real Live Skunk Waddles Away From Skunk Corner

The corner of Sloat Way & 22nd - 3 a.m. Thursday morning.

(I don't know why they like that corner - maybe they keep skunkettes there?)

Sayonara, Squirrel #9

Taking the garbage out this morning, I startled two crows practicing amateur dentistry on a squirrel corpse by the bird seed patch next to the back alley (wow - they completely removed a canine tooth!) Those squirrels are so focused on the sunflower seeds that they don't react until the passing cars are nearly right on top of them - then they respond by running under the tires. So much for mammals representing an advance on quicker-thinking birds!

I opened the garbage bag and stuffed the still-warm corpse into the dried-out flowers and the discarded frozen dinner packages that make up my weekly refuse. Despite my interruption, the bold crows didn't fly off, but made do with scattered flesh remaining on the pavement.

"Is that a rat?" asked a woman heading to work at the DMV. No, just a cul-de-sac on evolution's remorseless path....

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Another Interesting Quote

This one is in regard to illegal sex clubs in Las Vegas:
"People want to come here to see 'what happens in Vegas' and if nothing happens, nobody's coming," Holt said.

It Wasn't ALL Bad!

Jerry brought this quote to my attention. I finally read Science's summary of the imbroglio, and I was most impressed by it! I agree - great quote!
Science has retracted a 2005 paper due to various violations of
intellectual honesty, but the group that produced the paper still has its
defenders. I love this quote:
" Even though the data and results in the
paper were fabricated, the idea of the methodology is original."
(Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?)

Marching Band Girl

Los Angeles County sheriff's Deputy Michael Rust says the Quartz Hill girl was walking to school April 24 when two men approached her from behind, tried to grab her coat and demanded money.

Instead, one got a punch in the nose and the other a kick to the groin. Rust says the girl then beat both of them with her band baton before she ran away.

The men had not been caught. But Rust says there's a clear message to take from the encounter:

"The moral to this story is don't mess with the marching band girls, or you just might get what you deserve.

Be Careful, This Woman Will Remember Everything

All that OEA:
A British nurse was refused permission to live in New Zealand because she weighed 21 stone, official documents disclosed.

...She was offered a job in a home and hospital for the elderly in a provincial town in New Zealand, documents from the country's Residence Review Board said, and applied for residence in March 2008.

But medical advisors calculated that with a weight of 21 stone and height of 5ft 1in, her body mass index (BMI) was 55.2, putting her at a high risk of developing health problems.

...The NHS says that a healthy body mass index is between 18.5 and 24.9, while an index of over 40 means the person is "very obese".

...Officials said if she reduced her BMI to 40 her application could be reconsidered.

But they found that currently, despite the woman being in good health, the family "would make a sound, but it could not be said significant, contribution to New Zealand".

All I Can Remember Is - Buffet!

Could eating fatty foods boost your memory?

Researchers at the University of California-Irvine think so. A team of scientists found that oleic acids from fats are converted into a memory-enhancing signals in the part of the brain responsible for remembering emotional events.

Oleic acid, or OEA, is found in unsaturated fats - or so-called "good fat" - such as olive oil, grape seed oil and acai berries.

It promotes weight loss and lower cholesterol, but now it may help with memory, too.

Researchers said OEAs helps animals remember where they found a nice, fatty meal.

"By helping mammals remember where and when they have eaten a fatty meal, OEA's memory-enhancing activity seems to have been an important evolutionary tool for early humans and other animals," Dr. Daniele Piomelli said.

"Remembering the location and context of a fatty meal was probably important survival mechanism for early humans."

Michelle Bachmann Switching Parties?

Dammit, I knew that affirmative action would finally bite me in the ass!

Can A Little Drama Stop The Gambling Bug?

Are you kidding?:
Back in February, Tamara Gillespie was mad at her husband, police say. After all, he had just taken all the money they had been saving for a new car and was headed to the Muckleshoot Casino in Auburn to gamble it away.

So she picked up her cellphone, dialed the casino and told them her husband was headed there with a fertilizer bomb to blow the place up, according to King County prosecutors.

Now Gillespie, 43, of Enumclaw, who has a history of causing problems at the tribal casino, has been charged in King County Superior Court with making a bomb threat, a felony. She has been summoned to arraignment May 7 in Kent and remains free.

When reached on her cellphone today, Gillespie laughed and denied making the call. "That's just ludicrous," she said. "That whole thing is just ridiculous."

...The casino was unable to identify the phone number of the caller. Auburn police were alerted and security measures were stepped up, but there were no problems at the casino, the court papers say.

...Police obtained Gillespie's cellphone records and found that Gillespie called directory assistance at 12:51 a.m. and then two minutes later called the casino, prosecutors allege.

...She said she had been in a serious accident recently and takes a lot of medication, leading her to frequently lose her cellphone. She presumes someone might have found it and phoned the threat to the casino.

She said she wasn't worried about the charge. She was more upset that police had obtained her telephone records, "violating my civil rights and my privacy."

"I thought this was still a free country," she said.

Prosecutors say Gillespie, who is also known as Tamara Lapenckas, has been arrested at the casino for trespassing, assault and resisting arrest. In addition to those convictions, she has convictions for drugs, drunken driving and defrauding a public utility.

Karl Rove Looks Askance At Obama's 100 Days

I was baffled by what Karl Rove seems to regard as a key weakness of Obama's presidency, to date:
Another emphasis in the Obama 100 days talking points is that the president is a decisive leader. However, Mr. Obama is enormously deferential to Democrats in Congress and has outsourced formulation of key policies to them. He appears largely ambivalent about the contents of important legislation, satisfied to simply sign someone else's bill.

On the $787 billion stimulus package, he specified less than a quarter of the bill's spending and let House Appropriations Chairman Dave Obey decide the rest. On cap and trade, Mr. Obama is comfortable to let Democratic Reps. Henry Waxman and Edward Markey write that legislation with virtually no White House guidance. On health care, the White House is providing very little detail. Mr. Obama tees up an issue, but leaves its execution to congressional Democrats.

This leadership style may be a carryover from his Senate years, when he was unusually detached from the substance of legislation. Mr. Obama's focus on broad descriptions of a goal will produce laws, but handing over control of the process may produce deeply flawed products.

...Democratic congressional leaders are ecstatic about Mr. Obama's willingness to outsource major legislation to them. They thrive on sausage making and, with the president's popularity high, they appreciate that his strengths are not their strengths. Yet Mr. Obama clearly did not gain their respect for his legislative abilities during his Senate years.

Mr. Obama is a great face for the Democratic Party. He is its best salesman and most persuasive advocate. But he is beginning to leave the impression that he is more concerned with the aesthetics of policy rather than its contents. In the long run, substance and consequences define a presidency more than signing ceremonies and photo-ops. In his first 100 days, Mr. Obama has put the fate of his presidency in the hands of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He may come to regret that decision.
In many ways, though, Obama's approach is simply the traditional, old-fashioned way of doing things in Washington, D.C. Obama is the executive: he doesn't have to know everything about what's in the legislation and he certainly doesn't have to treat Congresspeople as errand runners.

Leave sausagemaking to the sausagemakers par excellence! The ones in Congress, not the ones in the White House! Legislation can be tailored and targeted better when Congressional representatives actually write the stuff, and because they now have a personal stake, they fight for it better too! That's the traditional American way! Teamwork!

More importantly, legislation done the traditional way tends to endure. "Decisive leadership" produces "substance and consequences," but it's all ephemeral unless it can be made to survive at least a decade.

(Methinks Karl Rove took the example of the 20th-Century Imperial Presidency just a wee bit too far....)

Feelin' For Lady Gaga

Interesting quote in the Sun (via The Evil Beet):
“I am totally confident that I am an incredible artist and performer. I am extremely confident about my body, the way I dress, the way I want to look. But I have no confidence when it comes to men. Men are a disaster area for me. It’s so weird because I believe I am super sexy. I believe I am incredible, but I have absolutely no luck with boyfriends.”
Dear, dear, I know exactly what you are talking about! From one incredible person to another, I feel your pain!

That Doggone Hysterical Media

Somebody ought to do something!

Last night, I briefly turned on Talk Radio (KFBK 1530 AM - George Noury Coast-to-Coast AM) and listened to a portion of an interview with Dr. Mark Segal regarding the swine flu.

Dr. Segal compared this year's reaction to the swine flu problem with 1976's hysterical overreaction, and blamed showboating by the CDC and the media for the resulting problems in 1976, and by extension, in 2009.

George Noury was very censorious regarding the media's role in all this. He could not grasp how the media could be so irresponsible in its duties to the public (this just two days after he was warning of UN takeovers and camps for vaccine rebels).

Curious About The Crickets

I was wondering why there had been no response to my post regarding Bev's review of "Jesus Christ, Superstar", but then I was directed to Bev's blog, where the responses have been numerous.

One mystery of Bev's review was determining exactly what she didn't like about Nick's performance. It was as if she considered the problem to be self-evident (but the problem nevertheless escaped me).

Bev makes her distaste clearer in comments:
Nick, you were off key. Consistently throughout the show. The more emotional you became, the farther off key you went. It was painful to listen to.
Well, at least that's clear. As I've already mentioned, I didn't notice any such problem - only, possibly, an energy problem. If listening to Nick is painful, then call me a masochist.

Unfortunately, you can't please everyone in theater. And maybe it's better that way too. There are many ways to interpret shows and disapproval is always a hazard, especially when the character is way out there (and Judas IS way out there!) Myself, I'm looking forward to listening to Nick for the rest of the run....

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Might It Be The Pig Megafarm?

That would be a silly suggestion. The Smithfield pig megafarm is associated with the acute respiratory disease that floored 60% of the population of the neighboring town, not (until maybe now) the swine flu:
A Mexican village whose inhabitants were overwhelmed by an outbreak of respiratory illness starting in February has emerged as a possible source of the swine flu outbreak which has now spread across the world.

The state government of Veracruz in eastern Mexico has confirmed one case of swine flu in the village of La Gloria with the sufferer named locally as a four-year-old boy, Edgar Hernández Hernández. The federal government said tonight that he tested positive for the same strain of the virus which has claimed lives in Mexico.

The boy's case earlier this month came amid an outbreak of respiratory illness in the area in which around 400 people requested medical help. The boy was treated in hospital and survived. But two babies from the same village died during the outbreak. Sufferers complained of symptoms including fever, severe cough, and large amounts of phlegm.

"The symptoms were exactly like the ones they talk about now [with swine flu]," said a local resident. "High fevers, pain in the muscles and the joints, terrible headaches, some vomiting and diarrhoea. The illness came on very quickly and whole families were laid up."

It remained unclear tonight whether the illness was swine flu but the Mexican government appeared to cast doubt on its original diagnosis of the outbreak as a more typical H2N3 flu virus when it revealed that the only sample it sent to North America for swine flu tests came back positive.

"The sample of one of the cases, that of a four-year-old boy, was kept," said federal health minister José Ángel Córdova. "It was among the samples sent [to labs abroad] and that came back confirmed."

...Early today the US owner of an industrial pig production facility around 12 miles from La Gloria said it had found no clinical signs or symptoms of swine flu in its herd or Mexican employees. The world's biggest pig meat producer, Virginia-based Smithfield, said it is co-operating with the Mexican authorities' attempts to locate the possible source of the outbreak and will submit samples from its herds at its Granjas Carroll subsidiary to the University of Mexico for tests.

"Based on available recent information, Smithfield has no reason to believe that the virus is in any way connected to its operations in Mexico," it said in a statement. "The company also noted that its joint ventures in Mexico routinely administer influenza virus vaccination to their swine herds and conduct monthly tests for the presence of swine influenza."

The statement came after Mexico's national public health authority, the Mexican social security institute, raised concerns that waste from the Granjas Carrol facility may be responsible for the outbreak of illness, according to local media.

"According to state agents of the Mexican social security institute, the vector of this outbreak are the clouds of flies that come out of the hog barns, and the waste lagoons into which the Mexican-US company spews tons of excrement," reported Mexico City newspaper La Jornada.

...On 6 April it reported local officials had declared a health alert. According to its dispatch: "Sources characterised the event as a 'strange' outbreak of acute respiratory infection, which led to pneumonia in some paediatric cases. Health officials recorded 400 cases that sought medical treatment in the last week in La Gloria, which has a population of 3,000; officials indicated that 60% of the town's population, approximately 1,800 cases, has been affected."

Local health officials established a health cordon around La Gloria and the monitoring company reported that officials launched a spraying and cleaning operation that targeted the fly suspected to be the disease carrier. "State health officials also implemented a vaccination campaign against influenza, although sources noted physicians ruled out influenza as the cause of the outbreak," it said.


You are the weakest link:
Bank of America Shareholders Remove Kenneth D. Lewis From Chairman Post
P.S.: But weak, or not, he lives on, remaining as CEO but losing the chairmanship to Walter Massey.

You Say Hoot-Smalley, I Say Smoot-Hawley - Let's Just Call The Whole Thing Off

Excitable Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) mixes up names, dates, and any number of other facts on the floor of the House of Representatives today.

Plus this:
"I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out then under another Democrat president Jimmy Carter. And I'm not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it's an interesting coincidence."
Except, of course, that Republican Gerald Ford was President in 1976, not Democrat Jimmy Carter.

Joseph McCarthy-lite, she is. Richard Nixon, without the smarts.

Bad Time To Be An Egyptian Pig

The hysteria continues:
Egypt began slaughtering the roughly 300,000 pigs in the country Wednesday as a precautionary measure against the spread of swine flu even though no cases have been reported here yet, the Health Ministry said.
And here in the U.S., the health authorities are going to try a name pullback:
The deadly disease formerly known as "swine flu" is now called the "2009 H1N1 flu," US officials said Wednesday as they battled against a worldwide clampdown on US pork exports.

Bidding to distance the hybrid influenza from pigs, which are responsible for only one part of the strain, US officials again insisted that people could not catch H1N1 from eating pork.

...Pig farmers in the United States, Canada and Mexico -- the disease's epicenter -- are reeling from bans on their exports of live swine and pork meat imposed by several nations including Russia and China.

Despite the name swine flu, no pigs in the United States are reported to be suffering from the disease, which also has components from influenza strains afflicting people and birds in three continents.
We should call it the 2009 swine/people/birds in three continents flu, because it's a handier name than "2009 H1N1 flu", but somehow I think the name pig has already slipped free from its poke, and swine flu it will remain.

Ercola Feat. Daniella "Every Word"

Karaoke At Stoney Inn

"Joe" (who seems to have the perfect voice for the song) sings AC/DC's "Back In Black"

Jetta sings "Cabaret"

The Bad News Is Good News

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Davis Enterprise "Superstar" Review Out

Hmmm....... Bev really didn't like Nick Thompson's performance!

I wonder why she didn't like Nick's performance? My only issue with Nick's performance was that it requires a heroic level of energy, and I thought Nick was at, say, 90%. but other than that, I had no problem with it: Nick's performance was not an embarrassment. One has to allow that Judas sings in the rock style, not the typical Broadway style. It's an error-intolerant role, but I thought Nick delivered just about as good a performance as any human could do..... Maybe it's just so error-intolerant a role that any error - cannot be tolerated! But I didn't see or hear errors (even accounting for the fact that I know quite little about singing).

In any event, I liked the seriousness of the show, and Nick does much to bring the show that earnest quality.

Here is the review:
Musical theater has a tradition known as the '11th hour number.'

It comes about midway through the second act, when the audience may be getting tired of sitting for so long. It may be bright and funny, or emotionally stirring. It's designed to make you sit up and start tapping your toes, or perhaps whisper 'Wow!' to your companion.

If a show isn't doing well, the 11th hour number can make you forget all the bad stuff that came before.

The 11th hour number in the Davis Musical Theatre Company production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's rock opera, 'Jesus Christ Superstar,' is 'Herod's Song.' Paul Fearn's Herod - dressed in an outlandish zoot suit that must be seen to be believed, and backed by a colorful assortment of dancers - easily steals the show.

Following tradition, 'Herod's Song' actually marks a turning point and seems to rouse everybody on stage.

This is one of the things to like in this production, which covers Jesus' life from Palm Sunday to his crucifixion.

Steve Isaacson's direction is satisfactory and appropriate: The action takes place on an essentially bare stage with a platform, all in front of the onstage orchestra, which has been let out of the pit. The production has some beautiful moments, such as the Last Supper and the final tableau, which is breathtaking.

Rand Martin's choreography is delightful; all the ensemble numbers work and are executed quite well. The Palm Sunday number, 'Hosanna,' is a lot of fun.

Jean Henderson's costumes always enchant, and she has outdone herself with Herod and his entourage.

The chorus members are well rehearsed and sound quite good, and we're willing to forgive the fact that most of the Apostles are female.

Some of the minor players are excellent. Eimi Stokes draws great applause as Simon, in 'Simon Zealotes.' Adam Sartain's Annas is noteworthy, and Andy Hyum (Caiaphas) has a marvelous bass voice ... although the music occasionally dips too low even for him.

Tony Osladil is memorable as the anguished Pontius Pilate, who wants to wash his hands of the whole business - 'If this man is harmless, why does he upset you?' - but ultimately is forced to send Jesus to his death.

All that said, this show's success rests on the big three: Jesus of Nazareth, Judas Iscariot and Mary Magdalene.

Judas is falling apart, because he fears that this man he has followed and loved is becoming a stranger, and is being influenced by the adulation of the crowds. Judas also is concerned about the deepening relationship between Jesus and Mary, a woman of questionable virtue.

Judas comes to believe the only way he can stop what he sees happening, is to collaborate with the enemies of Jesus and assist in his capture.

I've wrestled with how to handle my commentary about Judas. Given that this is community theater, with a volunteer cast of amateurs - people doing this for the love of it - it may be best to give this particular actor the benefit of the doubt, and hope that I caught him at a bad time.

The opening night performance was so bad that I've decided not to embarrass the actor by publishing his name.

I imagine this is what Jesus would have done, under similar circumstances.

I wanted so badly for this actor to be good ... or at least to get better, as the show progressed after its excruciatingly painful opening number. But he didn't, and it hurt to listen to him, although he certainly put heart and soul into the character's anguish.

David Holmes' Jesus is best during his quiet moments. His voice is beautiful and controlled, but during the more intense scenes he tends to shriek, often winding up off-key. Holmes did, however, improve throughout the opening night performance.

One can only hope, as he settles into the role, that he'll control his musical emotional outbursts as well as he handles his tender moments. He obviously has the ability to do so.

Emily Cannon-Brown makes a lovely Mary Magdalene, obviously in love with Jesus, but not certain how to handle a relationship with this man, the likes of whom she never has encountered. Sadly, Cannon-Brown also tends to be shrill, and she occasionally wanders off-key during her songs' most emotional moments.

Actually, even the technical end of things seemed not quite ready on opening night, with a body microphone or two that went off and on with irritating regularity, and some steps that initially weren't anchored; I worried every time someone used them.

All told, this show is uneven. I'm hard-pressed to say whether the good outweighs the bad. If Holmes can better modulate his more intense moments, he and Fearn (Herod) would make this 'Jesus Christ Superstar' worth seeing.

And let's just hope Judas improves as the run continues.

Psychic Helps Locate Wind-Tossed Chihuahua

Waterford Township -- Two days after Tinker Bell, a six-pound chihuahua, blew away in high winds at the Dixieland Flea Market, her owners found her safe and sound about three-quarters of a mile away. The Rochester couple credits a pet psychic for the discovery.

"We were shocked when we found her," said Dorothy Utley, 72, Tinker Bell's mother. "You don't know how happy we were. We love her so much."

More than 50 volunteers helped Utley and her husband, Lavern, search for their dog, who blew away in 70 mph per hour winds Saturday.

After speaking with a pet psychic from Holly, Utley said she and her husband headed to a wooded field on the opposite side of Dixie Highway. There, they found Tinker Bell. The black and brown long-haired dog was very dirty and hungry.

"That dog was so happy," Utley said. "She just went wild. She was so hungry and we had to bathe her."

Best, Worst, And Most Ridiculous Tattoos

Let your inhibitions go.....

Senate GOP Thins Out

The GOP is now basically a Southern party with diminishing power, something like the Democrats were in the 1870's or the 1920's.

Having Specter jump ship is not everything, of course. Like Atrios says:
I'm obviously not very optimistic that this will lead to good. I've lived under the wanktitude of Specter long enough to know that he rarely actually does anything positive. As Harry Reid said to a small group of bloggers last year in Denver, (quote from memory) "Arlen Specter's with us except when we need him."
but the sight is encouraging to behold nonetheless:
Republicans are now down to 40 senators, distributed in these states: AK: 1, AL: 2, AZ: 2, FL: 1, GA: 2, ID: 2, IN: 1, IA: 1, KS: 2, KY: 2, LA: 1, ME: 2, MS: 2, MO: 1, NE: 1, NH: 1, NV: 1, NC: 1, OH: 1, OK: 2, TN: 2, SC: 2, SD: 1, TX: 2, UT: 2, and WY: 2.
  • Republicans are present in 26 states, which doesn't sound so bad. But it means that almost half the country doesn't have any Republican Senators. Only 14 states lack a Democratic Senator.
  • Ohio, Missouri, New Hampshire, and North Carolina (and maybe even Florida if Crist doesn't jump in for the GOP), are all top candidates for sending two Democrats to the Senate after the 2010 elections. That would further shrink the GOP into its deep South and Mormon Corridor strongholds.
  • Of the GOP's remaining 40 senators, 17 of 24 come from the South (FL, NC, SC, AL, MS, GA, VA, TN, KY, LA, AR, TX). That's up from 15 after the 1998 election.
  • Of those remaining 40 senators, only 3 of 24 come from the Northeast (ME, VT, NY, MD, PA, CT, DE, MA, NH, RI, WV, NJ). That's down significantly from 9 after the 1998 election.
  • Of those remaining 40 senators, only 10 of 26 come from the West (NM, CA, OR, WA, AK, HI, MT, ID, UT, NV, AZ, WY, CO). That's down from 16 after the 1998 election.
  • Of those remaining 40 senators, only 10 of 26 come from the Midwest (IL, MN, MI, OH, WI, IA, MO, KS, IN, ND, SD, OK, NE). That's down from 14 after the 1998 election.

A Spectre Is Haunting Australia

Didn't win, but she'll be back:
She was hoping to represent her country in the Miss Universe contest, and she certainly had a figure that turned heads.

...Critics said the 19-year-old was just skin and bone. With her 31-25-35 measurements she seemed to have trouble filling her already skimpy bikini as she paraded before the judges at the Australian finals of the pageant in Sydney.

...She weighs only 7st 7lb and has a Body Mass Index of 15.1 - and that, by World Health Organisation standards, means she is malnourished.

...Deborah Miller, director of the contest, said the model blamed her Macedonian heritage for her thin appearance.

'The women do have long, lithe bodies and small bones,' she said. 'It's their body type, just as Asian girls tend to be rather small.

'She doesn't have an eating disorder or anything like that. There's nothing wrong with her.'

But nutritionist Susie Burrell said: 'Macedonian body? I've not seen anything like that anywhere to support that.

'What I see in the photos is muscle wastage on the upper arm and legs.'

Miss Naumoska was beaten in the final by 21-year-old TV presenter and model Rachel Finch, who at 5ft 9in and measuring 34-24-34 appeared to have just a little more flesh than her skinny rival.

Securitization Means Loss Of Information

Here is a real interesting paper by Keys, et al., (via Yglesias) showing that low documentation mortgages with FICO scores just above the ad hoc securitization cutoff of 620 defaulted at higher rates than those just below. The authors explain:
Comparing characteristics of the loan market above and below the ad-hoc credit threshold, we show that a doubling of securitization volume is on average associated with about a 20% increase in defaults. ... While we cannot take a stance on what the optimal level of screening at each credit score or in the economy ought to be, we conclude from our empirical analysis that there is a causal link between securitization and screening.

...The results underscore the role of illiquidity in preserving banks’ willingness to adequately assess borrowers’ creditworthiness.

...Second, in a market as competitive as the market for mortgage-backed securities, our results on interest rates are puzzling. Lenders’ compensation on either side of the threshold should reflect differences in default rates, and yet we find that the interest rates to borrowers are similar on either side of 620. The differences in defaults despite similar compensation around the threshold suggests that there may have been some efficiency losses.

...It is often asserted that securitization improves the efficiency of credit markets. The underlying assumption behind this assertion is that there is no information loss in transmission even though securitization increases the distance between borrowers and investors. The benefits of securitization are limited by information loss, and in particular the costs we document in the paper. More generally, what types of credit products should be securitized? We conjecture that the answer depends crucially on the information structure: loans with more “hard” information are likely to benefit from securitization as compared to loans that involve “soft” information.

Arlen Specter Bails

Specter decides to jump, as the North effectively shakes off the Republican Party from its birthplace. There are now almost no Republican Congressmen or Senators left in New England, and mighty few anywhere north of the Ohio River.
It really comes down to electability -- specifically electability as a Republican. Specter's own statement acknowledged that his support for the stimulus bill has made his position untenable with the GOP:
It has become clear to me that the stimulus vote caused a schism which makes our differences irreconcilable. On this state of the record, I am unwilling to have my twenty-nine year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate. I have not represented the Republican Party. I have represented the people of Pennsylvania.
Probably the most important point is here is the demographic changes going on in Specter's home state. Pennsylvania is a closed-primary state, and the ranks of registered Republicans, the folks eligible to vote in the GOP primary, shrunk last year. In 2008, between 150,000 and 200,000 registered GOPers switched to the Democratic Party in order to vote in the contentious primary between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Let's take a look at the deeper numbers -- and how the state's reduced GOP electorate has pulled harder to the right, making this move necessary as a simple matter of political survival.

Those people tended to be moderate voters -- Specter's people -- and without them he cannot win a primary. But with them staying as Democrats, he could actually start with a leg-up as a Democrat, just in case any liberal challenger might try to take him on in the Dem primary.

And the other side of this coin is that the folks who remain as registered Republicans are now proportionally much more conservative than the state GOP was before.

Remember that Specter only won his 2004 primary against conservative challenger Toomey by a 51%-49% margin -- and that was with the full backing of the Bush White House. So if we just made that demographic adjustment, Pat Toomey would have probably won the 2004 primary with all other issues being the same. And the stimulus is the final nail. The stimulus vote, and the lack of a powerful Republican establishment these days, made a defeat in the primary seemingly inevitable.

...And finally, it's important to remember another aspect of Pennsylvania politics: If he had run in the Republican primary and lost, he would not have been able to pull a Joe Lieberman and run as an independent. They have a "Sore-Loser Law" that forbids that very maneuver. So his choices other than retirement were to run as a Republican and probably lose the primary, run as an independent and face some serious structural disadvantages, or to take a chance on going over to the Democrats. And given those sets of probabilities, switching to the Dems became the obvious choice.

Javelinas Hit The Road

Left: Map of the range of the javelina. Bosque del Apache, in the middle of NM, is nowhere near the range indicated.

Walt recently visited New Mexico, and among other places visited the Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge near Socorro. He saw something quite remarkable there:

We saw javelinas at the Bosque del Apache! Back in the 70s, I never heard anybody talk about them – I do not believe there were any in Socorro County. The only one I ever saw was in the extreme SW corner of the state, in Hidalgo County. They spread into the Refuge about 7 years ago, and they have also moved into San Antonio. A woman there told us that they kill dogs and cats.
The same Web Site where I got the range map states:
The collared peccary, or javelina, is common in the southwestern United States, as shown by its range on the map. The javelina is also common in Mexico, Central America, and South America. Javelinas moved northward into Arizona about 200 years ago.
If this statement is correct, the javelina are continuing to move north!

That’s astonishing about javelinas at Bosque del Apache! Myself, I don’t know if they are expanding their range, or reclaiming former range. As the big cottonwoods die out along the Rio Grande, and fewer new ones establish themselves (because flooding is required) there seems to be a creeping desertification in the Rio Grande Valley. I’ve noticed more mesa-type plant life in the Alameda area very close to the river, and thought that strange. I’ve also wondered whether the creosote would expand north. In the 70’s, their northern margin along I-25 was at about Los Lunas/Belen. It would take very little change to push the northern margin into Albuquerque, but to my knowledge it hasn’t happened yet. But still – javelinas! Who woulda thought?

Citizen Game Trailer

Interesting! Trailer for the new Gerard Butler movie "Citizen Game", set to be released in September, and filmed in freakin' downtown Albuquerque, of all places! (dubbed incongruously in Italian).

Stephanie Skewes Demo Reel

The House of the Devil - 2009 Trailer

Greta Gerwig does a horror film.

Like Swine In Clover - Conspiracy Theorists Are All Over This New Bug

Talk radio this evening was an interesting study in contrasts.

Down at the generally-irresponsible end of the conservative radio dial (650 AM) the talk was very reasonable; about how one shouldn't panic, but instead, take a deep breath, and just keep an eye on things and see what happens.

Meanwhile, at the generally-responsible end of the conservative radio dial (KFBK 1530 AM - George Noury Coast-to-Coast AM) the talk was very lurid indeed. About how swine haven't been infected by this swine flu. About how the bacterium, composed of three separate kinds of flus, must have been engineered. About how the infection was set up to take our minds off of torture and bad banks. About how the Greens want to cut the world's population by half, right now, and about how the UN is making a power grab. About how the media is being manipulated to stampede people into taking the "vaccine", and about how vaccine dissenters will be herded into camps.


As a child, I never went to camp. I'd like to go to camp. Wouldn't you? Maybe the time is now? Even if it's a camp run by the Greens, where I'll be forced to eat tofu and ride bicycles and recycle soda cans, whether I want to or not?

Diving Signs

Deborah likes nothing better than a refreshing dip in the pool!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Cry Me A River

It's an odd fact, but very unlike the British, Americans in high position will do anything to avoid resigning. They'll endure any humiliation, suffer any pain, to avoid saying "I'm outta here!"

Ken Lewis had options. He chose to stay. Boo the freakin' hoo!:
The cavalier use of brute government force has become routine, but the emerging story of how Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke forced CEO Ken Lewis to blow up Bank of America is still shocking. It's a case study in the ways that panicky regulators have so often botched the bailout and made the financial crisis worse.

In the name of containing "systemic risk," our regulators spread it. In order to keep Mr. Lewis quiet, they all but ordered him to deceive his own shareholders. And in the name of restoring financial confidence, they have so mistreated Bank of America that bank executives everywhere have concluded that neither Treasury nor the Federal Reserve can be trusted.

Mr. Lewis has told investigators for New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo that in December Mr. Paulson threatened him not to cancel a deal to buy Merrill Lynch. BofA had discovered billions of dollars in undisclosed Merrill losses, and Mr. Lewis was considering invoking his rights under a material adverse condition clause to kill the merger. But Washington decided that America's financial system couldn't withstand a Merrill failure, and that BofA had to risk its own solvency to save it. So then-Treasury Secretary Paulson, who says he was acting at the direction of Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke, told Mr. Lewis that the feds would fire him and his board if they didn't complete the deal.

Mr. Paulson told Mr. Lewis that the government would provide cash from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to help BofA swallow Merrill. But since the government didn't want to reveal this new federal investment until after the merger closed, Messrs. Paulson and Bernanke rejected Mr. Lewis's request to get their commitment in writing.

"We do not want a disclosable event," Mr. Lewis says Mr. Paulson told him. "We do not want a public disclosure." Imagine what would happen to a CEO who said that.

After getting the approval of his board, Mr. Lewis executed the Paulson-Bernanke order without informing his shareholders of the material events taking place at Merrill. The merger closed on January 1. But investors and taxpayers had to wait weeks to learn that the government had invested another $20 billion plus loan portfolio insurance in BofA, and that Merrill had lost a staggering $15 billion in the last three months of 2008.

...Let's hope they treated their government colleagues better than they've treated Ken Lewis, whom they hung out to dry. After making him an offer he could hardly refuse, they've let him endure a public flogging from shareholders and the press, lengthy discussions with prosecutors, plus new hiring and compensation rules that limit his bank's ability to compete.

No wonder no banker in his right mind trusts the Fed or Treasury, and no wonder nobody but Pimco and other Treasury favorites is eager to invest in the TALF, the PPIP, or any of the other programs that require trusting the government as a business partner.

The political class has spent the last few months blaming bankers for everything that has gone wrong in the financial system, and no doubt many banks have earned public scorn. But Washington has been complicit every step of the way, from the Fed's easy money to the nurturing of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and since last autumn with regulatory and Congressional panic that is making financial repair that much harder. The men who nearly ruined Bank of America have some explaining to do.

Dyer In Lake Valley, NM

Dyer writes:
This photo is looking from the Lake Valley cemetery at the townsite. Lake Valley is south of Hillsboro and north of Nutt on NM 27.

Slow Loris Loves Getting Tickled

Don't we all!

Music Monday

I noticed a parking lot attendant at 17th & J Streets tacking an 'Event Parking' sign over his usual list of rates. What was the event? Apparently "Death Cab For Cutie" is playing this evening at the Memorial Auditorium. There are already people lining up outside the hall.

Meanwhile, near 7th & J Streets, at 'Image' nightclub, a KBMB-103.5 radio van signalled something was up. Passing by the club, I could hear women inside screaming in approval. What was happening? Apparently "Day 26", an R&B group, was conducting a meet-and-greet with a chosen clientele at 'Image'. Looked like fun!

A Study Of "Colbert"

News you can use, from Ohio State:
This study investigated biased message processing of political satire in The Colbert Report and the influence of political ideology on perceptions of Stephen Colbert. Results indicate that political ideology influences biased processing of ambiguous political messages and source in late-night comedy. Using data from an experiment (N = 332), we found that individual-level political ideology significantly predicted perceptions of Colbert's political ideology. Additionally, there was no significant difference between the groups in thinking Colbert was funny, but conservatives were more likely to report that Colbert only pretends to be joking and genuinely meant what he said while liberals were more likely to report that Colbert used satire and was not serious when offering political statements. Conservatism also significantly predicted perceptions that Colbert disliked liberalism. Finally, a post hoc analysis revealed that perceptions of Colbert's political opinions fully mediated the relationship between political ideology and individual-level opinion.

Keeping Up With Newt Gingrich

Two years ago, Newt loved cap-and-trade markets. Today, Newt hates cap-and-trade markets.
"Imposing stunningly high taxes on an economy in the middle of a recession is fundamentally wrong, and guarantees that our economic competitors in the global marking will be in a dramatically better economic position. They recognize that artificially capping their economy is the wrong approach for developing their societies."
It's not clear why the change of heart, except that there has been a change of Administrations. So, maybe it's not so much cap-and-trade markets, per se, but who implements them, that's important.

How the rules are determined for markets is oftentimes just as, or more, important than anything that actually happens in the markets themselves. That was something the folks at ENRON realized with California's 1996 electricity deregulation: control the market rules and you control the world! Once California's (lamentably late) Governor Gray Davis finally (tremblingly) asserted California's authority to make long-term electricity contracts, the crisis ended instantly. Because, as ENRON understood, lack of that long-term contractual power was the single key to the entire crisis, and the single source of their Niagara of money.

Decentralized control makes the Internet function much like a market. I just hope that the politicos never fully-control the Internet, and that Internet management remains much as it is now. God knows, the politicos will try to rein the Internet in. And it wouldn't be that hard to do either.

Matt Taibbi Parses Tom Friedman Again

It always makes me cry, it is so funny:
* p.s. to be fair I think what Friedman might have been thinking here is “Negotiating without leverage in the Middle East is like trying to hit a baseball without a bat.” He wasn’t off by much, but that’s the thing about metaphors, they’re like DNA — make one little change to one little section and suddenly you’re giving birth to a dolphin instead of a baby boy.

See, Diet Soda IS Good For You!

I drink a gallon of it a day, and even though my forgetful brain is pickled in aspartame and even though I'll probably spend retirement standing in front of a urinal, I'll still live to be 155:
Rarely do health experts admit that drinking soda may be good for you. Here's an exception: People who are prone to kidney stones may develop fewer stones by drinking diet soda.

The body needs to maintain a proper alkaline pH balance for healthy functioning. Increased alkalinity is known to be a factor in the development of kidney stones. A study presented today at the annual meeting of the American Urology Assn. meeting in Linthicum, Md., examined 15 popular diet sodas for their citrate and malate content, substances in soda that may help dissolve kidney stones. They found the sodas probably have enough of these substances to inhibit the formation of calcium stones. The researchers, from UC San Francisco, said Diet Sunkist Orange contained the greatest amount of total alkali and Diet 7-Up had the greatest amount of citrate alkali.

Of course, this doesn't give kidney stone sufferers a license to drink up. Kidney stones may be caused, in part, by dehydration, and people with recurring stones are advised to drink a lot of water.

"This study by no means suggests that patients with recurrent kidney stones should trade in their water bottles for soda cans," said Dr. Anthony Y. Smith, a spokesman for the American Urological Assn., in a news release. "However, this study suggests instead that patients with stone disease who do not drink soda may benefit from moderate consumption."

Ireland Gives Up On E-Voting

Just too expensive:
Ireland has already put about $67 million into building out its e-voting infrastructure, but the country has apparently decided that it would be even more expensive to keep going with the system than it would be to just scrap it altogether.

In a statement, Ireland's Environment Minister John Gormely blamed the decision partly on the economic crisis, which has had an impact of nearly Icelandic proportions on the country's real estate market and banking system.

...Ireland's decision that it can't bear the continued costs of e-voting is merely the latest in an ongoing string of such decisions, in which states like Ohio and Florida have said that it's just too expensive to limp along with what is, in essence, a failed, poorly planned, large-scale IT infrastructure deployment. Few governments that scrap their existing e-voting systems go all the way back to paper like Ireland, though. In the case of Florida, for instance, the state moved totally to optical scan machines (and then it still managed to screw up an election).

M.I.A. - Bird Flu @ Coachella 2009 (stage invasion!)

I could hardly believe that gutless wonder, Governor Rick Perry of Texas, who wanted to secede just two weeks ago, is now trying to hog the federal government's supply of Tamiflu:
Gov. Rick Perry of Texas asked the C.D.C. to send 37,430 doses of Tamiflu
but only after his allies gutted pandemic protection in the stimulus bill:
The attack on pandemic preparation became so central to the GOP strategies that AP reported in February: "Republicans, meanwhile, plan to push for broader and deeper tax cuts, to trim major spending provisions that support Democrats' longer-term policy goals, and to try to knock out what they consider questionable spending items, such as $870 million to combat the flu and $400 million to slow the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases."
Where, oh where, do we find true leaders, rather than these swine, when the microbes are afoot?

Could do worse than starting with M.I.A. (hit the HQ button)....

Here are lyrics to "Bird Flu":
Big on the underground, what's the point of knocking me down?
Everyone knows I'm already good on the ground
Most of us stay strong, shit don't really bound us
Then I go on my own making bombs with rubber bands

I have my hard down so I need a man for romance
Streets are making 'em hard so they're selfish little roamers
Jumping girl to girl, make us meat like burgers
When I get fat I'll go pop me out some leaders

A protocol to be a Rocawear model?
It didn't really drop that way, my legs hit the hurdle
A protocol to be a rocker on a label?
It didn't really drop that way, our beats were too evil

But I put away paper for later so I'm stable
A better something better come so I could get cable
Ghetto pops, food drops, I store them in my stable
Cook 'em up, pop 'em down, eat 'em off my table

The village got on the phone said the street is coming to town
They wanna check my papers, see what I carry around
Credentials are boringm, I burnt them at the burial ground
Don't order me about I'm an outlaw from the badlands

Put away shots for later so I'm stable
Live in trees, chew on feet, watch "Lost" on cable
Bird flu gonna get you, made it in my stable
From the crap you drop on my crop when they pay you

Amanda Palmer - I Google You

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Cost Her The Crown

E.: (Reading the newspaper) MMMAAARRRCCC! Look here - "Miss California says she stands by her gay-marriage comments" MMMMMAAAAAAARRRRRCCC! Miss California is a gay!

M.: That's not quite right - take a bit closer look....

E.: (Squinting this time) "Miss California says she stands by her anti-gay-marriage comments, even if they may have cost her the Miss USA crown."

Well that's what I think too! Freedom - that's what made this country the best in the world!

God Bless America!
Stand beside her, and guide her
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans,
God bless America, My home sweet home!

God Bless America!
Stand beside her, and guide her
God bless America, My home sweet home!

Opportunity Knocks

Image from Peregrin at B3ta.

(Which reminds me: several people have already remarked that Jetta looks remarkably like Susan Boyle...)