Monthly Archives: June 2006

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Certe Toto, sentino nos in Kansate non iam adesse
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Semi-Fake News


From the Associated Press this afternoon, datelined Bristow Oklahoma:  Former Judge Donald D. Thompson, a veteran of 23 years on the bench, is on trial on charges he used a penis pump on himself in the courtroom while sitting in judgment of others. 

I have heard of being screwed by the Justice system, but this is stretching it.

From Reuters:  Condoleeza Rice calls the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov a drunken pissant.  At the G-8 meeting in Moscow, CNN was hooking their sound gear up to the PA system while Rice, Lavarov and the rest of the G-8 suit brigade were gabbing over the ice water.  Unfortunately the microphones were live and CNN recorded this exchange:

Rice:  I think it is a pity that we can’t endorse something that has been endorsed by the Iraqi’s and the UN, but ah…

Lavrov:  Condi, Condi, Condi. No one challenges the sovereign right to endorse them, but when you consider the assistance programs, the IMF, the World Bank, you do not automatically endorse what the government will endorse.  It is an important part of the exercise to consider specific features of an assistance program.

Rice:  If you think I understood one word you just said in that drunken slurred throat clearing you call a voice Sergey, you are a bigger asshole than Vladimir says you are.  Did you see the potato tractor that ran over your head when you were young, you worthless  pissant. 

The official communiqué of the G-8 was written months ago and said nothing about Lavrov actually being a pissant.

From the Dailymail.co.uk:  Inventors are on the verge of creating the first mobile ‘smellophone’, a gadget which can capture an odour and then replay it back later, just as camcorders do with images. Amateur chefs desperate to recreate perfectly a restaurant meal they have enjoyed could use the device to record its aroma.

Was I the only person who could image a group of nine year old boys random dialing a cell phone with the smellophone option, then playing back a fart?  Or adding a gut-rattling belch of beef nachos and Dr. Pepper to Mom’s outgoing message?

 

New York (AP) — Stock prices shot higher Thursday after the Federal Reserve indicated it was standing by its policy of raising interest rates as needed to contain inflation. 

“I just jackin’ wit ya” said Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, who then slapped a New York Mets baseball hat on his head and climbed into a tricked out Cadillac Escalade. 

Bernanke’s departing comments to the financial press; “Spark dat fattie up my man!” were taken to mean the measured increases in the Federal Reserve rate will continue for at least the next quarter.

 

Sacramento (AP) —  The Bush administration has been unable to muster even half of the 2,500 National Guardsmen it planned to have on the Mexican border by the end of June. 

As of Thursday, the next-to-last day of the month, fewer than 1,000 troops were in place, according to military officials in the four border states of Texas, California, New Mexico and Arizona. 

Odds are it is because they went to American Public Schools and can’t find it on the map.  The other 1,500 troopers are guarding the international borders in Utah and Rhode Island.

 

Washington (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that President Bush overstepped his authority in ordering military war crimes trials for Guantanamo Bay detainees, saying in a strong rebuke that the trials were illegal under U.S. and international law.

The ruling raises major questions about the legal status of the approximately 450 men still being held at the U.S. military prison in Cuba and exactly how, when and where the administration might pursue the charges against them.

Rumour has it the CIA is annoyed at Airbus for delaying the delivery of the A380 Super Jumbo.  The Secret Rendition Flight Division was looking for something that could take all 450 Guantanamo detainees to Romania for a ‘Happy Hour Club Jet-Away Weekend Sponsored by Corona’

 

MEMPHIS, Tenn.(AP) — Junichiro Koizumi and President Bush can hang around the Jungle Room all they want.  Japan’s prime minister can even warble another rendition of “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You,” as he did at a birthday party for Bush last year.

As a guest of the president and first lady Laura Bush, Koizumi will visit the Presley home on June 30, and they’ll pretty much have the run of the place.

But Presley’s private bedroom and the adjoining bath where he collapsed and died in 1977 will remain off-limits.  “You can’t visit the upstairs at the White House, either,” said Jack Soden, chief executive of Elvis Presley Enterprises.

We should hold UN Security Council Meetings in the Jungle Room.  The US would never have invaded Iraq if Saddam Hussein had paid a state visit to Graceland.  The Dixie Chicks CD’s would have been another issue.

 

Bristow, OK (AP) —  UPDATE Creek County jury late Thursday convicted a former judge who was accused of exposing himself by using a sexual device while he presided over court cases.

The panel deliberated more than five hours before returning a guilty verdict against Donald Thompson on all four counts of indecent exposure. The jury had requested a dinner break around 6:30 p.m. and sent a note to the judge at 8:49 p.m. that a decision had been reached.

Jurors recommended one year in prison and a $10,000 fine on each count against the judge, 59, who served more than 20 years on the bench in eastern Oklahoma before his retirement in 2004.

Sometimes the screwing you get, isn’t worth the screwing you get.

 

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Backseat Time Out


I have no fear of tackling ugly things with a pragmatic point of view.  Most things on our planet can be handled with a little compassion, some common sense and a good general knowledge of how things work. 

There are some subjects I don’t like:  Michael Moore in a pink ballet tutu, sitting on a photocopier, drinking a beer and eating stadium nachos comes to mind.  The real horror starts when he punches 99, selects double-sided and presses the green “Copy” button.  I shouldn’t have to confront that image in my lifetime, as Mike seems discreet enough, but you never know.

The Middle East is the other one that gives me The Fear.

You’ve got two sides who have brutalized each other since the dawn of time.  The real, down in the DNA hate, goes back thousands of years, passed through generations like the gene for brown eyes or a propensity for bad haberdashery.

Neither is right and neither is wrong. They’re behaving like children.

Sibling brothers, around the age of 7 to 15 years of age, behave the same way.  With three sons, my father developed that extra arm joint that would allow him to wallop all three of us in the backseat of the car, without taking his eyes off the road.  All three of us would get nailed in unison.  Then the happy and loving, “Shut up now or I’ll Stop The Car.”  We became quiet immediately. 

Father got so good at it (three sons means you get a lot of practice) that he could also take a sip of his coffee and light a smoke at the same time he was slapping us silly.  It isn’t the same skill set as playing the cello or being able to sink one from mid-court for three, but it was his talent and he was good.  I still hate sitting in the back seat of a car.

In the Middle East, it is exactly the same deal.  They all deserve a quick, firm slap of International Corporal Punishment to make them stop for a moment, if only to break the cycle of knee-jerk stupidity on all sides.  I have a possible solution though.

The UN has to do some typing:  They issue a simple press release:  The Middle East will now sit down and shut up for a week, or we, the rest of the world, embargo the whole damn area. 

Ask Dubya, Zhong and Vladimir to send as many warships as they can for next Thursday.  Line’em up in the Med, the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Suez Canal and have them all run a blue UN flag.  Canada will send our ship if we could borrow a set of jumper cables.  Holland would be in, so would Burkina Faso.

Fly a few quick sorties using the fancy ordinance.  An America J-DAM on a Chinese fighter dropped by a Russian bombardier strikes the right note of internationalism.  Shut down the electrical grid, jam the cellphones, radio and television.  Anything flying, other than the UN has ten minutes to land and park.  Nothing in.  Nothing out. 

After seven days of no electricity, no phones, no planes, no communications and no outside influences, Kofi Annan drops by and says “Shall we talk now?”  It might take a year or two, but a solution will come out when the kids see the grownups are not kidding.

Dubya, Zhong and Vladimir will do it for two reasons:  One, saving the world is a great legacy, regardless of your political stripe.  Promise the boys a Nobel if you have to, plus the cover of Time and an endorsement deal from Rolex:  Whatever it takes. 

Two, Dubya, Zhong and Vladimir know the groups in the Middle East are as crazy as outhouse rats who will blow up the world if we don’t step in.

I can come up with thousands of picayune diplomatic, logistical and political reasons why this won’t work.  There are two compelling reasons why it will work that cancel out all the others. 

First, it is international in scope and we do it fast, without spending years flapping our gums about it.  We’ve tried dialogue with these idiots and dialogue doesn’t work. 

Second, if we don’t do it, we’ll see the Middle East blow itself up in one ghastly superheated explosion.  The last thing we’ll hear is some dick yelling “See!  They started it!” 

The cynic in me says the nuclear winter will average out the global warming.

Now, all I have to do is get that image of Michael Moore on the photocopier out of my mind.

 

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Are you now, or have you ever?


I keep seeing various politicians standing up on their back legs, demanding the NY Times be drawn, quartered, shot and pissed on for breaking the story on the Department of JustUs spying on financial records.  I’ve written about the tedious events earlier. 

The rhetoric coming out of the pundits, pols, and press wanks is astounding.  You hear the same kind of mindless rehashing of White House speaking points:  Despicable.  Treason.  Execution.  Jail Time.  Giving Comfort to the Enemy.  Thwarting the War on Terror.  National Security. 

Please spare me the deluge of drama:  The NYT didn’t publish the nuclear missile launch codes.  If someone had asked the NYT, nicely, to sit on the story for a few weeks, odds are the NYT would have played along precisely for reasons of National Security.  The JustUs folks figured they could bully the New York Times and the reporters involved, because they DoJ was sloppy and got caught. 

What bothers me is that the NYT found out about the program.  Reporters find out about this kind of bad madness via a leak that says “look over here, or under that rock”.  The leak probably happened because an individual saw just how far SWIFT was reaching.  Perhaps the monitoring has crossed that line from investigating cement heads and the war on terror, into hardball domestic spying.  I don’t know. 

I do know that good security people, doing a righteous job, don’t talk about this stuff with their families, let alone reporters, unless something is very wrong and the bosses won’t stop it.  That is the little sidebar that, I hope, a reporter is chasing hard right now. 

Unlawful groups determined to wreak havoc already assume that the US government is spying on them.  Skilful criminals assume that everything is being looked at by the police.  This is rudimentary field-craft:  A mindset of complete paranoia is what a criminal has to assume to act outside the law. 

I hate to break it to the various operators from the US government, but skillful criminals don’t have a file folder on the top of the desk, labeled “Plans For World Domination”.  That is over the top, even for Austin Powers, or James Bond. 

Following the money, which is the ostensible excuse for fishing in the SWIFT banking transaction database, is sensible.  It is sound reasoning and a good investigative tool.  Not The Only Tool, just A Tool.  Informants are a tool.  Perusing websites are a tool.  Reading the paper is a tool.  Surveillance on a house, a person or an apartment is a tool.  Wiretaps are a tool.  Opening snail mail, or email is a tool. 

With one pesky caveat, I don’t mind the security forces using the tools.  If a warrant is required, then you have to get a warrant that details exactly what you’re looking for, where, when and why.  A judge eyeballs the warrant and says yea or nay.  Any judge looking at that kind of warrant will keep it quiet.  If an investigator can’t find a suitably compliant judge to sign off on it, then they’re pathetic, lazy and  the kind of pud who should be guarding the torn tickets at an Andy Williams matinee concert in Branson, Missouri. 

If the DoJ has asked for a warrant to go fishing for two months to see what they could shake out, I could live with that, barely, but I’ll let it slide as it is time-limited.  There are no absolutes here.  Occasionally the rules might have to be bent, or stretched a bit and each case on its merits. 

I’ve heard the argument of “If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear from the government, as they’re trying to protect the world from terrorists”.  I can’t buy that for a Mississauga Minute, which is about 11 seconds, for those who don’t know how long a minute is in Mississauga. 

This is the same argument that the Senator Joe McCarthy and the House Committee on Un-American Activities used to drag anyone they didn’t like into open Senate Committee session.  McCarthy used the waving of paper at witnesses as his ‘proof’ that the witness was a Communist.  He never actually let people see the evidence on the paper, only the waving of paper for newsreel and television cameras. 

Anyone called by the Committee was asked, in closed session, to name all their friends, relations, acquaintances, or passers-by whom they thought might be suspect.  If they couldn’t come up with names, their career was over, as they were a ‘hostile’ witness and Sen. McCarthy would start the paper waving and ranting.  This was later quoted in Hollywood as “Not only must you have talent, but you must have informed too!". 

There was a certain Ioseb Jughashvili used to do the “You have nothing to fear” and paper waving act too.  You might know Ioseb Jughashvili by his more common, westernized name:  Joseph Stalin. 

A vigorous, slightly suspicious media will keep tabs on the bullies who wrap themselves in the flag and ask citizens to swallow that kind of poison from the buffet.

 

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Legal Gerrymander


The US Supremes have put their dribbling rubber stamp on the Texas electoral redistricting as pushed by disgraced Rep. Tom DeLay, he of the Gumby hairstyle.

Gerrymandering is the purposeful redrawing of electoral districts to make sure that your candidate gets all the votes in the district, while your opponent gets none.  This harkens back to voter profiling and I’ll apologize up front if you’re offended by the stereotypes associated with ethnic and racial groups:  These aren’t my conclusions.

African-Americans tend to vote for liberal Democrats.  So do Hispanic-Americans.  Volvo-drivers who wear Birkenstocks tend to vote Green or Libertarian.

Rich white folks tend to vote for Republicans.  If your congressional district includes only rich white Topsider scum and you’re a Republican reptile, then you have a beautiful district that you’ll probably win.

If you have some yacht pigs, some poor folks and recently-beaten then-laid-off middle class minivan meat in your district, then count the numbers.  You might not win, or you might have to actually work hard to win as a Republican.  The Democrat might very well win, if you can be painted as a bought-and-paid-for-limousine-jumpseat-slut for Lockheed.  That isn’t too hard a picture to paint, especially when dealing with Texas Republicans.

DeLay jiggled the Texas electoral map so that Hispanics were underrepresented in as many districts as he could get away with.  District boundary lines were drawn through whole neighbourhoods to split the Hispanic vote into as many parts as could be rigged.

Still, the Supremes let it stand. Unfortunately the Supremes also said that Texas could fiddle with the maps any time they felt like it.  Texas Democrats wanted re-districting limited to once every ten years, as noted in the Constitution, not every time some incumbent was in danger of losing his seat.  Texas jiggled the map twice in 2000. 

This makes me doubt the wisdom of the Supremes.  Gerrymandering is the crudest form of election rigging known, aside from Nicaraguan “Dignity Battalions” shooting at voters with automatic weapons. 

This also tells me if an aggressive media finally catches Cheney and Dubya cuttin’ up the cash in the East Wing, then the Supremes won’t do jack.

 

 

Story Placeholder


I’d love to put an article here about Senator Charles Grassely and his provision, being voted on today, regarding tax law and sex trade workers.  I can’t, as certain words contained are prohibited by the Rules of Conduct of MSN Spaces.  Fair enough, as it is their rules and their ball and bat.  I can live with that. 
 
Suffice to say the story is intellligent and well written.   It deals with a house of ill repute in Heidelberg Germany called Lulu’s and those who work in that industry not doing it for pleasure.  The industry is all about power, over you, or over someone else.  Just like politics. 
 
If you post a trackback to here, I’ll email you the story.  Or, you could slide over to the Blog List and click on Road Dave Website, where I have posted the original story.
 
Cheers!
David