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...
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The Carbolic Smoke Ball
Superb satire, and based in Pittsburgh!
"No religious Test shall ever be required as a
Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the
Article VI, U.S. Constitution
Geek of the Week, 7/16/2000
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Saturday, September 09, 2006
Wow. Mickey Mouse is a fascist.
Bear in mind, this is the same Disney that declined to distribute Fahrenheit: 9/11 because:
Letter to Mr. Robert A. Iger, President and CEO, The Walt Disney Company:
As you know, ABC intends to air a two part miniseries, The Path to 9/11, which purports to document the events leading up to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. ABC claims that the show is based on the 9/11 Commission Report and, as Steve McPherson, President of ABC Entertainment, has said: When you take on the responsibility of telling the story behind such an important event, it is absolutely critical that you get it right.
By ABC's own standard, ABC has gotten it terribly wrong. The content of this drama is factually and incontrovertibly inaccurate and ABC has a duty to fully correct all errors or pull the drama entirely. It is unconscionable to mislead the American public about one of the most horrendous tragedies our country has ever known.
Despite several requests to view the miniseries, we have not been given the courtesy of seeing it. This is particularly troubling given the reputation of Cyrus Nowrasteh, the drama's writer/producer. Mr. Nowrasteh has been criticized for inaccurately portraying historical events in the past. In response to previous criticism, he has even said, "I made a conscious effort not to contact any members of the Administration because I didn't want them to stymie my efforts." Indeed, while we have not been given the courtesy of a viewing, based upon reports from people who have seen the drama you plan to air, we understand that there are at least three significant factual errors:
--The drama leads viewers to believe that National Security Advisor Sandy Berger told the CIA that he would not authorize them to take a shot at bin Laden. This is complete fiction and the event portrayed never happened. First of all, the 9/11 Commission Report makes clear that CIA Director George Tenet had been directed by President Clinton and Mr. Berger to get bin Laden (p. 199 & 508-509). Secondly, Roger Cressy, National Security Council senior director for counterterrorism from 1999-2001, has said, on more than one occasion, Mr. Clinton approved every request made of him by the CIA and the U.S. military involving using force against bin Laden and al-Qaeda.
In addition, ABC's own counter-terrorism consultant, Richard Clarke, has said that contrary to the movie:
1) No US military or CIA personnel were on the ground in Afghanistan and saw bin Laden;
2) The head of the Northern Alliance, Masood, was nowhere near the alleged bin Laden camp and did not see bin Laden; and
3) CIA Director Tenet said that he could not recommend a strike on the camp because the information was single-sourced and there would be no way to know if bin Laden was in the target area by the time a cruise missile hit it.
As Clarke and others will corroborate, President Clinton did in fact approve of a standing plan to use Afghans who worked for the CIA to capture bin Laden. The CIA's Afghan operatives were never able to carry out the operation and the CIA recommended against inserting Agency personnel to do it. The Department of Defense, when asked by President Clinton to examine the use of US troops to capture bin Laden, also recommended against that option.
--The drama claims that former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright refused to sanction a missile strike against bin Laden without first alerting the Pakistanis and notified them over the objections of the military. Again, this is false.
--Using newsreel footage of President Clinton, the drama insinuates that President Clinton was too pre-occupied with the impeachment and the Lewinsky matter to be engaged in pursuing bin Laden. This allegation is absurd and was directly refuted by ABC News consultant Richard Clarke in his book, Against All Enemies: Clinton made clear that we were to give him our best national security advice without regard to his personal problems. "Do you recommend that we strike on the 20th? Fine. Do not give me political advice or personal advice about the timing. That's my problem. Let me worry about that." If we thought this was the best time to hit the Afghan camps, he would order it and take the heat.
While these are three examples that we are aware of that are utterly baseless, they are clearly indicative of other errors in the substance and bent of the film. Indeed, the overall tone in the advertisements we've seen for this drama suggest that President Clinton was inattentive to the threat of terrorism or insufficiently intent upon eliminating the threat from bin Laden. Note that the 9/11 Commission Report says:
--We believe that both President Clinton and President Bush were genuinely concerned about the danger posed by al Qaeda.
--By May 1998 clearly, President Clinton's concern about terrorism had steadily risen.
--President Clinton was deeply concerned about bin Laden. He and his national security advisor, Samuel 'Sandy' Berger, ensured they had a special daily pipeline of reports feeding them the latest updates on bin Laden's reported location.
--President Clinton spoke of terrorism in numerous public statements. In his August 5, 1996, remarks at George Washington University, he called terrorism the enemy of our generation.
We challenge anyone to read the 9/11 Commission Report and find any basis for the false allegations noted above or the tenor of the drama, which suggests that the Clinton Administration was inattentive to the threat of a terrorist strike.
Frankly, the bias of the ABC drama is not surprising given the background and political leanings of its writer/producer, Mr. Nowrasteh, which have been well-documented on numerous conservative blogs and talk shows in his promotion of this film. Mr. Nowrasteh's bias can be seen in an interview he gave to David Horowitz's conservative magazine Frontpage, during which he said:
"The 9/11 report details the Clinton's administration's response or lack of response to Al Qaeda and how this emboldened Bin Laden to keep attacking American interests. The worst example is the response to the October, 2000 attack of the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen where 17 American sailors were killed. There simply was no response. Nothing."
But as Sandy Berger told the 9/11 Commission: "[T]o go to war, a president needs to be able to say that his senior intelligence and law enforcement officers have concluded who is responsible." And as the 9/11 Commission report repeatedly acknowledges, the US did not have clear evidence of bin Laden's connection to the attack on the USS Cole before the end of the Clinton Administration (p. 192, 193, 195 & executive summary).
While ABC is promoting The Path to 9/11 as a dramatization of historical fact, in truth it is a fictitious rewriting of history that will be misinterpreted by millions of Americans. Given your stated obligation to get it right, we urge you to do so by not airing this drama until the egregious factual errors are corrected, an endeavor we could easily assist you with given the opportunity to view the film.
Bruce R. Lindsey
Chief Executive Officer
William J. Clinton Foundation
Quote of the day
It was announced in England that Tony Blair will leave as British Prime Minister in May. So, President Bush has toppled yet another government.
Friday, September 08, 2006
Phasers on "stun," DVRs on "record"...
Spruced up versions of original 1960s "Star Trek" episodes will air in syndication on TV stations nationally this fall, including on Pittsburgh's WPXI at 1:35 a.m. Monday beginning Sept. 18.
The episodes have been digitally re-mastered with a title sequence that's been updated with computer-generated image effects so the Enterprise flies through space more smoothly. Other updates, per Paramount:
-- Space ship exteriors- The Enterprise will be replaced with state of the art CGI-created ships. The new computer-generated Enterprise is based on the exact measurements of the original model, housed at the Smithsonian Institution.
-- Galaxy shots- All the graphics of the galaxy, often seen through the window on the Enterprise's bridge, will be redone.
-- Exteriors- Battle scenes, planets and ships from other cultures (notably the Romulan Bird of Prey and Klingon Battle Cruisers) will be updated.
-- Background scenes- Some of the iconic, yet flat, matte paintings used as backdrops for the strange, new worlds explored by the Enterprise crew will get a CGI face-lift, adding atmosphere and lighting.
In a conference call this week, some of the artists responsible for the updates discussed the changes, promising there would be no "Greedo shoots first" moments as in the digitally updated original "Star Wars" trilogy.
"I can tell you that the purpose of this is to completely not change the story and not change the plot because we are all so passionate about the way it exists," said Dave Rossi, one of the artists. "What we're really trying to do here is just enhance the experience of watching 'Star Trek' that people can have."
Long-time "Star Trek" graphic artist Michael Okuda said every effort has been made to honor "the original production style, the style of cinematography and the style of editing."
Rossi described one update in the episode "The Naked Time."
"Scotty is trying to cut through the bulkhead outside of engineering with a phaser and while there are sparks on the way, there's no phaser beam," Rossi said. "In a case like that, we're going to go in and add a phaser beam. But as far as just replacing the effects that are currently there just for the sake of replacing them, no, we're not going to do that."
(From Rob Owen's blog in the Post-Gazette)
Defending free speech might get a lot more expensive...
Americans United for Separation of Church and State today blasted the House Judiciary Committee's approval of a bill that would make it more difficult for Americans to challenge church-state violations in court.
The so-called "Public Expression of Religion Act" targets those who stand up to church-state infringements by government officials. The measure, H.R. 2679, denies legal fees and out-of-pocket expenses to plaintiffs who win lawsuits under the First Amendment's Establishment Clause, which bans the government from promoting religion.
The committee passed the bill on a voice vote today, and it is now headed to the House floor.
"It's remarkable to me that at a time when our country faces so many serious issues, the Judiciary Committee has nothing better to do than pander to the Religious Right with this mean-spirited bill," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. "It's another sad example of how this 'do-nothing Congress' earned its name."
Lynn charged that the bill erodes individual rights. Under current law, Americans whose church-state rights have been violated by the government are free to file lawsuits. If the lawsuits are successful, the law allows for the recovery of reasonable attorneys' fees and out-of-pocket expenses from the government. If H.R. 2679 were to become law, however, that will no longer be the case.
The measure is being touted by Religious Right groups as a way to discourage lawsuits challenging religious displays on public property. But, in fact, it is much broader than that and would deny reimbursement in conflicts ranging from government-sponsored religion in public schools to taxpayer funding for religious schools and other ministries.
Lynn said if the bill passes, it will set a precedent for Congress to deny attorneys' fees in other types of litigation. Currently, attorneys' fees are recoverable in a wide range of successful cases against the government involving constitutional and civil rights violations.
"This bill is nothing more than an attempt to scare people away from having their day in court," Lynn said. "The House Judiciary Committee should be ashamed of itself for passing such a blatantly un-American scheme."
Several national organizations that support civil rights and civil liberties have joined forces to oppose the measure.
Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom. (See link on the left of this page.)
Quote of the day and some observations
Let's get this straight, Katie; Reuters' outsourced photo lab in Singapore sends out doctored smoke swirls and someone is canned, but CBS's flacks knock two salamis off your waistline and they get off with an apology?
-Charles Stough, The BONG Bull
Charlie also has this to say about the great state of Texas:
WHERE TO PUT THE BIG WALL. It had to happen that BONG eventually would join the immigration controversy, that phony issue that displaced gay marriage and flag burning to get out the base. The Security Issues and Jobsite Purity Committee has rendered its recommendation that we don't build a huge wall along the Mexican border. Build it on the Texas state line. Keeping Texans out of the United States is a better idea because:
-- Texans bring low wage and lifestyle expectations to workplaces in the civilized world. They think an hour should get you three bottles of beer or two gallons of gas and what else matters? That makes it hard on the rest of us, who must buy soap and toothpaste.
-- Look at how much of downtown Houston doesn't even have sidewalks and ask yourself: What must their bathrooms be like?
-- Civilized Americans are much more likely to be confronted by a wife beater, tax evader, illegitimate parent (or child, for that matter), corporate polluter, violent criminal, drunk driver or road rager from Texas than from any Latin country.
-- Minority disclosure: We are grateful for the advance warning about Texas drivers in Chevy or GMC pickup trucks, who signal their approach with one front light burned out.
-- Even more than Hispanics on parade, Texans love waving a foreign flag. For some reason Texans glorify a republic that didn't even last long enough to print postage stamps.
-- Politicians in Texas are chosen by the height of their boots. There's a reason for that.
-- Texans scoff at laws against slaughtering horses. There are enough dead horses just lying around Texas to make chili; who needs to slaughter them?
For the above reasons, plus the fact that American jobs are threatened much more by India, Malaysia and China than by any Hispanic country, the committee favors an impenetrable wall at the Texas state line. This guarantees approval by New Mexico, Oklahoma and Louisiana.
(Sorry, Mexico, you'll have to build your own.)
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Somewhat more cheerful quote of the day
By the age of fifty, you have made yourself what you are, and if it is
good, it is better than your youth.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
TV Listing of the week
7 p.m. "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones."
Fearful of terrorist activity, the Republic builds up a vast high-tech army and grants unlimited power to a lone leader who uses the public's fear to impose his will on all who question him. But that's just something we saw on CNN. This is another Star Wars movie. (2002) Fox.
Quote of the day
Whenever morality is based on theology, whenever right is made dependent on divine authority, the most immoral, unjust, infamous things can be justified and established.
Quotes of the day
The Brendan Behan edition:
The most important things to do in the world are to get something to eat, something to drink and somebody to love you.
Critics are like eunuchs in a harem; they know how it's done; they've seen it done every day; but they're unable to do it themselves.
I am a drinker with writing problems.
The world is a madhouse, so it's only right it's patrolled by armed idiots.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Khan!!! uh.... Katie!!!
James Horner is an Academy Award-winning composer who has written scores and songs for more than 100 movies, including "Titanic"- one of the best-selling soundtracks in history. (And also "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," which, along with his previous score for "Battle Beyond the Stars", contains virtually all the themes and signature phrases he's used in his career.)
But for the past three months, Mr. Horner has been working on what he says is one of the biggest challenges of his career: Writing a 10-second clip of music that will introduce Katie Couric each weeknight on the "CBS Evening News." The process has been strenuous, in large part because Ms. Couric and CBS brass wanted him to pour an ocean of imagery into a musical teacup.
"It must be urgent and serious, yet light," says the program's executive producer, Rome Hartman. "Flexible, yet memorable. Regal and encompassing the grand history of CBS News, yet moving forward."
The music couldn't sound too similar to the "Roman fanfares" of NBC and ABC, Mr. Horner says, adding, "Katie told me she wanted something that reminded her of wheat fields blowing rather than Manhattan skyline." Even CBS Corp. President and Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves weighed in on the tune, which will hit the airwaves for the first time tonight with Ms. Couric's debut in the anchor chair.
(Personally, I'm voting for the theme from Sledge Hammer, which is actually a pre-Batman/Beetlejuice/Simpsons Danny Elfman piece. Might as well start the show off with a bang.)
(from the Wall Street Journal)
Quote of the day
Greater love hath no man than to attend the Episcopal Church with his wife.
-Lyndon B. Johnson
Monday, September 04, 2006
Quote of the day
It was extraordinarily bad luck. It's not easy to get spined by a stingray and to be killed by one is very rare.
-University of Queensland marine neuroscientist Shaun Collin, commenting on the nature of "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irvin's untimely death.
No smart-ass remarks by me here. I always liked the guy, at least his public persona. He had a marvelous, self-deprecating sense of humor and a love for his career that was inspiring. What really got to me, though, was this piece from one of his shows.
No worries, mate. When people think of you, they'll break into a smile and truly feel your absence. There's no greater legacy.
They obviously never met my mother...
(If someone tried to pull this with my mother, a former school teacher capable of terryifying high school football players three times her size through her sheer force of will, the world's best CSI team wouldn't be able to locate any remains...)
Cory Doctorow: Carphone Warehouse, a UK chain of communications stores, refuses to sell Internet services or other contract-based plans to people over 70 unless they are accompanied by a young person. They say that septugenarians are too old to understand the terms of telecoms contracts.
Mrs Greening-Jackson, who sits on the board of several charities, said: "I was absolutely furious. The young man said, 'Sorry, you're over 70. It's company policy. We don't sign anyone up who is over 70.'
"Later a young lady said company policy is that anyone over 70 might not understand the contract. She said, 'If you would be prepared to go to the shop in town and take a younger member of your family we might give you a contract.'
"I have just completed a visa form to go to Russia. Last year we did one for walking the Wall in China and here is this person saying I would not be able to understand a basic form- and it was basic. It is pure ageism.
"Somebody has decided when you turn 70 you lose a lot of your mind. I find this is ridiculous."
original article from Daily Mail.
(via Liz Ditz on Dave Farber's Interesting Persons list.)
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Quote of the day
What do our opponents mean when they apply to us the label "Liberal?" If
by "Liberal" they mean, as they want people to believe, someone who is
soft in his policies abroad, who is against local government, and who is
unconcerned with the taxpayer's dollar, then the record of this party
and its members demonstrate that we are not that kind of "Liberal." But
if by a "Liberal" they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind,
someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who
cares about the welfare of the people- their health, their housing,
their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties-
someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions
that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a
"Liberal," then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal."
-John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Essential knowledge re: females, #43
This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.
If she is getting dressed, this is half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.
This is the calm before the storm. This means "something," and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with "Nothing" usually end in "Fine."
This is a dare, not permission. Don't do it.
This is not actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you over "Nothing."
This is one of the most dangerous statements that a woman can make to a man. "That's Okay" means that she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.
A woman is thanking you. Do not question it or faint. Just say you're welcome.
It's a woman's way of saying *!#@ YOU!
(via Steve on the alt.quotations usenet newsgroup)
Next time you make a donation to your volunteer fire company...
...you might want to throw in some extra cash and ask them about this:
APPLETON, Wis. (AP) - Pets here will be breathing a little easier now that local rescuers will be carrying oxygen masks designed for animals.
Six Appleton fire trucks and 13 ambulances will be equipped with masks intended for use on dogs, cats and other small animals.
Alderman Richard Thompson initiated the program after he saw a newspaper photograph of a firefighter in Superior giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a cat rescued from a house fire.
"A pet is family to most people," he said. "I know I wouldn't want to lose Maggie, my collie, or Lucy, my Tabby cat, to a fire, carbon monoxide poisoning or Lord knows what else."
The money to pay for each $49 mask came from donations by local animal lovers.
"It was something to see," Thompson said. "There was no organized solicitation effort. People and community groups just read or heard about the program and stepped up to the plate."
The masks, which come in three sizes, will be distributed to each of six fire stations and to the Appleton Police Department K-9 unit, he said.
The Madison Fire Department carries similar masks on its seven ambulances, said Lori Wirth, the department's community education officer.
The Madison department also bought its masks with money raised from unsolicited donations, she said. In fact, the department raised so much money it was able to buy mask kits for several neighboring communities.
Wirth said the department's firefighters haven't had to use the masks yet but they're trained and willing.
"What we've done so far is use the masks as a way to remind people to get out of their residence in the event of a fire and don't go searching for pets," she said. "Firefighters will care for any pets we find in the event they suffer from smoke inhalation."
[A]nimals possess a soul and men must love and feel solidarity with our smaller brethren.
-Pope John Paul II
Copyright © 1987-2018 by Kevin G. Barkes
All rights reserved.
Violators will be prosecuted.
The firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail address is now something other than email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org as my sole e-mail address. How to let people know that email@example.com was no longer firstname.lastname@example.org but rather email@example.com which is longer than firstname.lastname@example.org and more letters to type than email@example.com and somehow less aesthetically pleasing than firstname.lastname@example.org but actually just as functional as email@example.com? I sent e-mails from the firstname.lastname@example.org address to just about everybody I knew who had used email@example.com in the past decade and a half but noticed that some people just didn't seem to get the word about the firstname.lastname@example.org change. So it occurred to me that if I were generate some literate, valid text in which email@example.com was repeated numerous times and posted it on a bunch of different pages- say, a blog indexed by Google- that someone looking for firstname.lastname@example.org would notice this paragraph repeated in hundreds of locations, would read it, and figure out that email@example.com no longer is the firstname.lastname@example.org they thought it was. That's the theory, anyway. email@example.com. Ok, I'm done. Move along. Nothing to see here...
440 pages, over 11,000 quotations!
get kgb krap!