Conceived above a saloon, delivered into this world by a masked man identified by his heavily sedated mother as Captain Video, raised by a kindly West Virginian woman, a mild-mannered former reporter with modest delusions of grandeur and no tolerance of idiots and the intellectually dishonest.


network solutions made me a child pornographer!
The sordid details...


Anniversary


Requiem for a fictional Scotsman


Oh my God! They killed Library!! Those bastards!!!


Elegy to a Mostly Maine Coon


It's a Hap-Hap-Happy Day


A Pittsburgher in the Really Big City


Da Burg Annat


I Have Issues


Yeah, yeah, I'm inspired


At least the rivers freeze in Pittsburgh


He knows if yinz is a jagoff


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Saturday, November 12, 2005

Pat Robertson: Osama's Mini-Me

From The American Chronicle

By Robert Paul Reyes
November 11, 2005

In Pat Robertson's twisted theology the Almighty is a bounty hunter he can summon at will to slay evildoers. Robertson's God blew up the World Trade Center to cleanse America of pagans, homosexuals, abortionists, liberals and other evildoers. When a hurricane is headed his way, the good Reverend will beseech the Lord to steer it away, that it might destroy the wicked instead.

In 1998, the controversial televangelist warned the city of Orlando, Florida that it risked hurricanes, earthquakes and terrorist bombs after it allowed homosexual organizations to put up rainbow flags in support of gay rights.

When Robertson is not begging the Supreme Being to slay the wicked, he is advising President George W. Bush to assassinate foreign leaders who won't bend to America's will.

In his latest outrage against civility, Robertson told citizens of a Pennsylvania town that they had rejected Providence by voting their school board out of office for supporting "Intelligent Design".

"I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover: if there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city," Robertson said on his "The 700 Club" TV show.

"And don't wonder why He hasn't helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I'm not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that's the case, don't ask for His help because he might not be there," he said.

Pat Robertson is nothing more than Osama's "Mini-Me", making terrorist threats against those who don't subscribe to his Neanderthal religious beliefs.

Though most Americans have evolved away from viewing God as a tribal deity who delights in smiting sinners, it's a shame that atavistic clowns like Pat Robertson still thrive.

The citizens of Dover made the right call in voting their school board out of office for supporting "Intelligent Design", fundamentalists have no right to invade the public realm with their creation myth.

The people of Dover don't have to strain their ears, waiting to hear the approaching hoof beats of the "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse." Robertson's cruel and vindictive God only lives in crumbling pages of parchment.

I was born in San Francisco, where citizens not only fly rainbow flags, but march in the hundreds of thousands in support of sexual diversity. The enlightened citizens of the City by the Bay don't cower under the threats of money-grubbing, headline-chasing televangelists.

Hopefully, the day is coming soon, when the likes of Pat Robertson won't be able to have much influence even in small towns deep in the Bible Belt.

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Friday, November 11, 2005

Observation of the Day

Aside from production values, the only difference between an Al Qaeda terrorist tape and the 700 Club is that Al Qaeda doesn't ask for contributions.

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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Worse than bird flu: you can catch schizophrenia from your kitty

Well, I suspected it. Looks like the verdict is still out, though...

(From ABC News)

Nov. 10, 2005 - Can your cat make you crazy?

Dr. E. Fuller Torrey, president of the Stanley Medical Research Institute in Bethesda, Md., has been studying whether a parasite found in cat droppings called Toxoplasma gondii can trigger an onset of schizophrenia later in life.

"Most people have not thought of schizophrenia as being caused by a virus or bacteria or a parasite," Torrey said. "This is a relatively new idea."

It's long been established that the parasites found in cat droppings are a health risk to pregnant women and young children, but whether the cat can be directly linked to schizophrenia remains to be seen.

Torrey's study found a 53 percent increase in risk for schizophrenia if you owned a cat during childhood, but he also found a 51 percent increase in risk if you were breastfed. Statisticians believe the increase in risk has to be above 200 percent for there to be an actual association between something like owning a cat and schizophrenia.

"We haven't proven anything," Torrey said. " Infectious agents, virus, etcetera really need to be looked at very carefully in these cases."

In the meantime, Torrey is still cautious of cats.

"Personally I would not buy a kitten for a small child," he said. "I don't think we know enough to be able to say there's no risk."

ABC medical contributor Dr. Tim Johnson said he is skeptical of the study, but said there are diseases people can get from cats, the most serious being toxoplasmosis. Johnson said millions of people are affected with this parasite, but their immune system fights it off.

Johnson added, however, that pregnant women, women who are about to become pregnant and people with weakened immune systems, including those who are undergoing chemo or have AIDS, should avoid cats and cat litter.

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Quote of the day

The only really bad press is your obit.
Gail Bracy

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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Quote of the day

Elsewhere, after telling an audience in Panama City that Americans "do not torture," President George W. Bush amended his remarks somewhat, saying that he had momentarily forgotten the film career of Pauly Shore.
-Andy Borowitz, The Borowitz Report

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Signs of intelligent life in Pennsylvania

DOVER, Pa. Voters in a Pennsylvania town wracked by a debate about adding intelligent design to a science curriculum have cleaned house.

Eight Republican school board members who ordered a statement on intelligent design read in biology class were voted out and replaced with Democrats who oppose the policy.

The election unfolded amid a landmark federal trial involving the Dover, Pennsylvania, public schools. Eight Dover families sued, saying a required statement on intelligent design promotes the Bible's view of creation and violates the constitutional separation of church and state.

One member of the nine-person school board was not up for reelection.

A spokesman for the winning slate of candidates has said they won't act hastily. The judge expects to rule on the suit by January and the new school board members will be sworn in December 5.

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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

If you voted for change, you better start counting it.

Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates.~Gore Vidal

Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.~George Bernard Shaw.

Corruption is nature's way of restoring our faith in democracy.-Peter Ustinov

Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.-George Bernard Shaw

Do you ever get the feeling that the only reason we have elections is to find out if the polls were right?~Robert Orben

Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.~H.L. Mencken

Get all the fools on your side and you can be elected to anything.~Frank Dane

If pigs could vote, the man with the slop bucket would be elected swineherd every time, no matter how much slaughtering he did on the side.~Orson Scott Card

In nature, stupidity gets you killed. In the workplace, it gets you fired. In politics, it gets you re-elected.~Bill VanRemmen

Democracy is like a raft. It won't sink, but you'll always have your feet wet.-Russell Long

Ninety-eight percent of the adults in this country are decent, hard working, honest Americans. It's the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then, we elected them.~Lily Tomlin

Our elections are free, it's in the results where eventually we pay.~Bill Stern

The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work; then they get elected and prove it.~P.J. O'Rourke

The next time they give you all that civic bullsh.t about voting, keep in mind that Hitler was elected in a full, free democratic election.~George Carlin

The organization of American society is an interlocking system of semi-monopolies notoriously venal, an electorate notoriously unenlightened, misled by a mass media notoriously phony.~Paul Goodman

Only a government that is rich and safe can afford to be a democracy, for democracy is the most expensive and nefarious kind of government ever heard of on earth.-H.L. Mencken

We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both.-Louis Brandeis (in 1939)

Florida's number three industry, behind tourism and skin cancer, is voter fraud.~Dave Barry

Give voters a choice between a Republican and a Republican, and they will choose a Republican every time.~Harry S Truman

Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good.~H.L. Mencken

I voted for the Democrats because I didn't like the way the Republicans were running the country. Which is turning out to be like shooting yourself in the head to stop your headache.~Jack Mayberry

Nothing can so alienate a voter from the political system as backing a winning candidate.~Mark B. Cohen

Son, if you can't take their money, drink their whiskey, screw their women, and then vote against 'em, you don't deserve to be here.~Senator Sam Rayburn

Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule-and both commonly succeed, and are right.~H.L. Mencken

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Bambi and Flower and Beanie, oh my.

Today began in its typical exciting way: putting on a pot of coffee, stumbling down the cellar steps, letting the dog out, and watching her relieve herself. Substitute train for cellar and wino for dog, and mornings in Pittsburgh are much like mornings in Chicago.

Anyway, after her morning constitutional, Beanie generally smells around the perimeter of the yard to see if anything interesting happened overnight. This morning, though, she stood at the top of the yard, thrust her nose toward the sky, and began sniffing. Something interesting was going on.

Our yard's surrounded by a fence which, fortunately, obstructed her view. For in the adjacent woods I spotted a young deer and a skunk sedately patrolling the area for edibles.

If the skunk hadn't been there, I would have let the dog run down the yard and bark at the deer, an activity that would have pleased her to no end and also tired her out so she would have slept for the rest of the day.

But we've endured prior encounters with canines and mephitis mephitii, so I used my secret weapon: I told Beanie I had a cookie for her in the house, and she bounded inside for her treat. Bambi and Flower wandered off together into the trees.

Catastrophe averted. Nothing will get your heart started in the morning like an encounter with a skunk. Or a wino.

At least the skunks don't hit you up for loose change.

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Monday, November 07, 2005

And here's the pitch...

"...the last time the White Sox won a World Series (1917), there was an influenza pandemic the next year."
-Zay N. Smith, in his QT column, Chicago Sun-Times

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Sunday, November 06, 2005

Photo of the day

I say, Mr. DeMille old chap, Laura's ready for her close-up...
(AFP Getty Images)

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Violators will be prosecuted.
So there.  
The kgb@kgb.com e-mail address is now something other than kgb@kgb.com saga.
kgbreport.com used to be kgb.com until December, 2007 when the domain name broker Trout Zimmer made an offer I couldn't refuse. Giving up kgb.com and adopting kgbreport.com created a significant problem, however. I had acquired the kgb.com domain name in 1993, and had since that time used kgb@kgb.com as my sole e-mail address. How to let people know that kgb@kgb.com was no longer kgb@kgb.com but rather kgbarkes@gmail.com which is longer than kgb@kgb.com and more letters to type than kgb@kgb.com and somehow less aesthetically pleasing than kgb@kgb.com but actually just as functional as kgb@kgb.com? I sent e-mails from the kgb@kgb.com address to just about everybody I knew who had used kgb@kgb.com in the past decade and a half but noticed that some people just didn't seem to get the word about the kgb@kgb.com change. So it occurred to me that if I were generate some literate, valid text in which kgb@kgb.com was repeated numerous times and posted it on a bunch of different pages- say, a blog indexed by Google- that someone looking for kgb@kgb.com would notice this paragraph repeated in hundreds of locations, would read it, and figure out that kgb@kgb.com no longer is the kgb@kgb.com they thought it was. That's the theory, anyway. kgb@kgb.com. Ok, I'm done. Move along. Nothing to see here...

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Laugh while you can, monkey-boy


I am a professional. Do not try this at home.


I canna change the laws of physics


As a matter of fact, I *am* the boss of you.
(as a matter of fact, i AM the boss of you.)


Truly great madness cannot be achieved without signficant intelligence


I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.


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Flies spread disease. Keep yours zipped.


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If my answers frighten you then you should cease asking scary questions.


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