Give a man a fish and feed him for a day....Teach him to use the internet and he won't bother you for weeks!
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Cher With A Puh
In a season chocked full of exceptional episodes, last nights' wrap-up of Rescue Me was good, but less satisfying than I had hoped for. Containing the series signature mix of humor, sex, drama, and pathos this season closer tied up a few threads and planted the seeds for next seasons shows, which just can't get here quickly enough.
Last week's episode was a masterful mix which had me crying one minute and laughing the next, with one of the best and most concise and moving death sequence I've ever seen on TV. I was hoping that this weeks' episode would be just as good, but it missed that rather lofty mark. Coming on the heels of a disappointing conclusion to Deadwood, I hadn't expected to be let down twice in one week, but that being said even the weakest episode of this show beats the pants off of most other series.
This week we saw a great, touching 9/11 tribute at ground zero which they pulled off without seeming exploitive. It would have been fine with me if they had ended the episode at that point. I thought we were going to see a season finale without the obligatory cliffhanger. But this is coming from a guy who thought Bush couldn't get elected, so I'm used to being wrong much of the time.
The only bad thing was the further degradation of Shelia's character, with another viagra/roofy cocktail that along with her alcohol fueled psychosis proved to be the driving force in the cliffhanger. I guess I should have seen that coming, since you know what they say about a woman scorned. Little doubt that Tommy will survive the blazing inferno, but the jury is out on Sheila. But with the addition of Johnny to the "ghost cast" I'd hope that this list doesn't get any bigger....again, this is coming from the guy who said they wouldn't kill off Johnny!
I was goofing off (big surprise) the other day and I started to play with Technorati. Seems like a good search tool and all that, but who knew how quickly it would become a source of frustration? How amazed was I to find out that I haven't updated my blog in 495 days! And despite pinging 'till the cows come home that status hasn't changed. After Googling to see if others might have similar problems, I get the sense that I'm not alone. It's probably the fault of my horribly outdated homemade template code, and it looks like that could be the source of my troubles, since it's not XHTML compliant. Do I care enough to switch to a new template? Probably not, but it may be time to spruce things up a bit anyhoo.
Speaking of change, and my sometimes defiant attitude towards it an interesting quote from a seminar I went to the other day: "If you don't like change, you'll like irrelevancy even less." Ouch; I got the message!
After her recent statements that separation of church and state is "a lie" and that if you don't elect her or other Christian representation government will "legislate sin" it's no surprise to see the Urban Dictionary definition of Katherine Harris crazy:
(n.) As insanely optimistic as Congresswoman Katherine Harris. Usually characterized by an overly optimistic estimation of someone's chances of achieving success.
Did you hear Jim just bought 500 dollars in lottery tickets? That boy is Katherine Harris crazy if he thinks he's going to hit the jackpot.
BAMN! tasty! (VIA Gothamist) Most of us are too young to remember the experience of the automat. But in the spirit of everything old is new again, David Leong and Robert Kwak have created a modern reimaging. Vending machines full of hot, fresh comfort foods await you in an upscale contemporary setting. Tasty entrées include burgers, mac & cheese, pizza, chicken strips, grilled cheese, hot dogs, and pork buns, all reasonably priced around three bucks a pop. Open 24/7 this looks like a great idea!
"I'm not happy. I'm not happy." Nobody's happy, ok!? Happiness comes in small doses folks. It's a cigarette, or a chocolate cookie, or a five second orgasm. That's it, ok! You cum, you eat the cookie, you smoke the butt, you go to sleep, you get up in the morning and go to fucking work, ok!? That is it! End of fucking list! Denis Leary
During the 1950s, much of the world was quivering with anticipation over the exciting prospects of nuclear power. Atomic energy promised to churn out clean, safe electricity that would be "too cheap to meter." It seemed that there was no energy problem too large or too small for the mighty atom to tackle during the glorious and modern Atomic Age.
It was during this honeymoon with nuclear energy– in 1957– that the Ford Motor Company unveiled the most ambitious project in their history: a concept vehicle which had a sleek futuristic look, emitted no harmful vapors, and offered incredible fuel mileage far beyond that of the most efficient cars ever built. This automobile-of-the-future was called the Ford Nucleon, named for its highly unique design feature… a pint-size atomic fission reactor in the trunk.
Gee, what could possibly go wrong? The GOOD news: 5,000 miles between fill-ups!
I've always been a sucker for Mr. Potato Head. I can remember like it was yesterday my disappointment in discovering that it came with a plastic potato instead of the real deal.
But factor in my fondness for SciFi and it's only natural that I'd be a fan of these cute little Star Wars versions. How can you resist the a-peel of this Spud Trooper and his tuber companion Artoo Potatoo as they battle their evil nemesis Darth Tater?
That's one way to describe my self-imposed ban from blogging, which looks like it lasted just one day. Blogging isn't the source of my frustration, but just another symptom. My perspective is more balanced today, although still not back to the center where it should be. Life goes on...
Except for Deadwood, which ended it's final season last night. This too was a disappointment. All season long it has looked like the show was working it's way towards an explosive resolution. The finale had you biting your nails, thinking that the bullets would be flying any moment now, but that never happened. Instead of demonstrating defiance to the forces of evil as represented by Hearst and his thugs, everybody opted for a less confrontational approach. Preserving the peace, but resulting in many principled positions being abandoned too quickly and easily, and this just wasn't what I expected.
Not that I thought the episode was bad, but it just seemed out of character. Not at all the way I wanted this series to end, even-though I'm sure some of the loose ends will get wrapped up in the two TV movies that are tentatively scheduled. I almost hate to complain about the ending since it puts me in the camp of people who complain about The Soprano's not being very good because "they didn't wack enough people". But just as real life forces you to make choices born of expediency, these characters made choices that resulted in "real", if less than dramatic results. The raw, lawless frontier is replaced by a more "sophisticated" society where might makes right. One form or lawlessness replaces the other.
But I'm sure I'm not the only one to have experienced some disappointment over this conclusion. Ironic, since part of the reason that they are pulling the plug is over concern that the high production costs don't justify the viewer-ship it produces....like the gore-fest Rome does much better? Meanwhile HBO continues to search for the next Big Thing. Sometimes you have to give a series time to get momentum and build viewership like Cheers or L&O in their early days. But these days, the beancounters keep a focus on the bottom line, so that's not gonna happen.
Jerome Rodale, who founded The Rodale Press publishing house, was taping an interview on the Dick Cavett Talk show. He was bragging about how he was so healthy he'd live to be 100 when he slumped over, dead from a heart attack. The show was never broadcast to the public because it'd be kinda funny.
Cosmic Irony - The person who wrote the famous song, "Keep the Home Fires Burning" burnt to death when their home caught fire.
In 1970, television newsman Chris Hubbock announced, "In keeping with Channel 40's policy of always bringing you the latest in gore and guts in living color, you're about to see another first - an attempted suicide". Then she pulled out a gun and fatally shot herself in the head.
Napoleon killed over a thousand people with a cough. In 1799 he was deciding whether to release 1,200 Turkish prisoners of war when he coughed and said, "Ma sacré toux!" (my darned cough) which sounded to officers like "Massacrez tous!" (Kill them all!). So they did.
Paul Revere was the fist person to ever identify a body by dental records. He recognized the dead man because of work he had done joining two teeth together with silver wire.
The most expensive funeral so far was that of Alexander the Great. It'd cost about $600,000,000 in today's money. One of the reasons was the building of a road from Babylon to Alexandria, big enough move a jewel studded hearse the size of a small building which was pulled by 64 horses.
Mark Twain, born on a year Halley's Comet visited us, correctly predicted he would die the next time it came by.
There are times when burn-out grabs you and shakes you senseless with both hands. This apparently is one of those times. Permeating the whole kit & caboodle from work, to recreation I find myself bored and frustrated with everything, especially myself. Normally a little time to recharge the batteries coupled with a little run around the neighborhood or a session on the treadmill gives me the endorphin rush that allows me to bounce back, but my knee has been throbbing the last few days and removes that as an outlet. The rainy dismal weather on top of that is guaranteed to insure a grey mood.
The sense of boredom and frustration has also carried over to blogging, and I have barely even looked at my usual favorites, or anything else for that matter. Then when I do go on-line and start poking around the bookmarks, I stumble upon someone who has done an entry expressing the same sense of burn-out I feel, so any comments I make here now feel less sincere and in the back of my mind make me feel like I'm ripping him off.
It seems odd that I get amused by finding and posting links that I know are probably being linked to by a gizillion other bloggers. How weird is it that I take a strange satisfaction when I see that I did a post on a subject or a link way before others picked up on it? Probably a bad sign that I'm taking this too seriously. I've been at this point before and I promise myself that it's time to stop blogging, only to find myself re-energized a few days later, and the whole pointless process starts all over again. We'll see how it works out this time.
Not to be confused with the Frank Capra series, this recent documentary Why We Fight offers up a look at how the "military industrial complex" (insert "Halliburton" here) that Ike warned us about has become integrated into the backbone of what masquerades as foreign policy these days. Interesting insight showing how our morally corrupt President handed the keys to the Treasury over to the forces of military imperialism and then unencumbered by a rubber stamp congress led us into quagmire we're in today. Probably not going to be added to the Netflix queue by the crowd who still thinks Saddam had something to do with 9-11, but should be viewed by everyone else.
Until the DVD arrives, I'll have to settle for watching afewclips from the film.
PRESIDENT BUSH travels to the Gulf Coast this week, ostensibly to mark the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Everyone knows his real mission: to try to make us forget the first anniversary of the downfall of his presidency.
As they used to say in the French Quarter, bonne chance! The ineptitude bared by the storm — no planning for a widely predicted catastrophe, no attempt to secure a city besieged by looting, no strategy for anything except spin — is indelible. New Orleans was Iraq redux with an all-American cast....
What’s amazing on Katrina’s first anniversary is how little Mr. Bush seems aware of this change in the political weather. He’s still in a bubble. At last week’s White House press conference, he sounded as petulant as Tom Cruise on the “Today” show when Matt Lauer challenged him about his boorish criticism of Brooke Shields....Like the emasculated movie star, the president is still so infatuated with his own myth that he believes the public will buy such nonsense....
Some folks call it pop, others soda, and to others it's just tooth-rotting swill. But chances are that the naming convention you use to refer to soft drinks will reflect where you grew up. An interactive map will give you the breakdown.
And back in the day, when I was a kid my parents didn't let us have much soda (which is what we called it in our part of PA.) But for some odd reason, they didn't have a problem letting us have Fizzies a sort of instant soda. Add a Fizzies tablet to a glass of water, and it would start to fizz and create a sweet soda-like drink. A favorite of the baby boom generation, like so many fads they went away, largely due to problems and concerns over artificial sweeteners. But what goes around, comes around and it looks like they're back!
Continuing this little waltz down memory lane, a few more video links of some old soda ads:
Future Cars An amazing "look forward" from the past, when the visionaries predicting the future saw us driving flying cars and using a mini-chopper for your daily trip to work. Just as well this didn't catch on, since I certainly couldn't fit one of these in my garage.
Dribbleglass brings us some Monopoly Cards We'd Like To See. And while we are living in fantasy-land, how 'bout a quick game of Dabo, one of the list of fictional games as recounted by Wikipedia. My favorite (of course) would have to be Edna Krabopoly (a fictionalised version of Monopoly).
Although I've seldom been a fan of NY underachiever Stephon Marbury, I may have to re-evaluate my point of view. The Knicks point guard just rolled out a high quality line of low cost sneakers that costs $15. Offered as an alternative to the overpriced shoes endorsed by other high profile athletes, his hope is to get good quality shoes to those who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford them. An attempt to carve out a legacy beyond b-ball stats (a good idea, based on recent seasons), Marbury plans to wear them this season to add to their appeal. But so far they've been selling out quickly and that may not be an issue.
The news that Dubya Like To Fart shouldn't be that much of a surprise since his over-grown frat-boy routine has been on constant display since day one. But why should he be having all the fun? Now, you too can have your own Pull My Finger Farting George Bush Doll. You'll have the opportunity to stink-up your own home (sound, but no smell) much like the real deal has stunk up the economy, country, etc.
It's time for the annual Beloit College Mindset List For The Class of 2010. Reminding the rest of us of the perspective that the incoming Freshman have of the world we live in, and pretty much guaranteed to make most people feel pretty darned old. A few items from the list:
The Soviet Union has never existed and therefore is about as scary as the student union.
They have known only two presidents.
For most of their lives, major U.S. airlines have been bankrupt.
They have grown up getting lost in "big boxes."
There has always been only one Germany.
They have never heard anyone actually "ring it up" on a cash register.
They are wireless, yet always connected.
A stained blue dress is as famous to their generation as a third-rate burglary was to their parents'.
They have never had to distinguish between the St. Louis Cardinals baseball and football teams.
They grew up with and have outgrown faxing as a means of communication.
"Google" has always been a verb.
Text messaging is their email.
Bar codes have always been on everything, from library cards and snail mail to retail items.
Madden has always been a game, not a Superbowl-winning coach.
Phantom of the Opera has always been on Broadway.
Reality shows have always been on television.
They have no idea why we needed to ask "...can we all get along?"
They have always known that "In the criminal justice system the people have been represented by two separate yet equally important groups."
Television stations have never concluded the broadcast day with the national anthem.
Disposable contact lenses have always been available.
And of course, if you want to turn back the clock just a bit, McSweeney's brings us an older version prepared for the class of 1918.
cover all your food in barbeque sauce OR eat everything with a toothpick?
know how to throw a lasso with perfect accuracy OR be an expert trombonist?
smell like pickles OR walk like a penguin?
touch your finger to your nose everytime somebody says the word "know" OR laugh uncontrollably whenever somebody says the word "but"?
As much as I love BBQ sauce, I'm sure I'd grow sick of it, so eating with a toothpick becomes the easy choice. It would probably make me slow down and eat less which wouldn't be a bad thing at all. And since I used to play trumpet, and dabbled at the trombone once or twice I'd have to opt for the expert musical skill. I don't see myself walking like a penguin, and really...who DOESN'T like pickles? But the final choice is the easiest, since who wouldn't choose to laugh?
Sorry, Mr. Bush, but No Never one to be much bothered by troublesome facts or details, the Shrub's recent statement that “I may be the only person, the only presidential candidate who never carried the state in which he was born” can be added to the list of inaccuracies and misrepresentations.
The precursor to the popular Naked Gun flicks, Police Squad! still ranks as one of my favorite TV series of all time. Too bad that they pulled the plug after only six episodes, since the movie was a watered down, stretched out re-cycling of the original. The problem (as the boneheads at ABC saw it) was that the show required the viewer to pay too much attention to get the jokes.
I can't wait for the upcoming release of the series on DVD, scheduled for November 7th. Too bad that the DVD won't include deleted material (like special guest star John Belushi's appearance as a corpse, removed from the series when he actually became one) because as Co-creator David Zucker put it "In those days, they just threw stuff away."
Don't you just hate when the internet grinds to a screeching halt? The 404 Not Found error message is an attempt to let you know the file or page your browser ask for isn't available. Some of them are more creative than others...
Crummy Church Signs (VIA metafilter) This sign beat out the original choice "The Lord’s Supper: Great Taste, Less Filling". A wonderful collection of questionable choices with critical analyses of where they went horribly wrong.
"iPods are the coolest invention since fuzzy dice." Actually I think iPods beat the pants off fuzzy dice, but that's just me. But the iPod Playlist Generator allows you to share a five song playlist as a jpeg. Doesn't give you the artist, though...
The River In Reverse; Elvis Costello
Gone for Good; The Shins
Zak and Sara; Ben Folds
I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor; Arctic Monkeys
No, it's MADtv's Deadwood, with some insightful comments from Larry King. If you can get past the swearing and the violence, Deadwood has to be considered one of the best shows on the tube. As we near this season's conclusion, a few more takes on this frontier phenomenon:
It’s not as if the White House didn’t pull out all the stops to milk the terror plot to further its politics of fear. One self-congratulatory presidential photo op was held at the National Counterterrorism Center, a dead ringer for the set in “24.” But Mr. Bush’s Jack Bauer is no more persuasive than his Tom Cruise of “Top Gun.” By crying wolf about terrorism way too often, usually when a distraction is needed from bad news in Iraq, he and his administration have long since become comedy fodder, and not just on “The Daily Show.” June’s scenario was particularly choice: as Baghdad imploded, Alberto Gonzales breathlessly unmasked a Miami terror cell plotting a “full ground war” and the destruction of the Sears Tower, even though the alleged cell had no concrete plans, no contacts with terrorist networks and no equipment, including boots.
What makes the foiled London-Pakistan plot seem more of a serious threat — though not so serious it disrupted Tony Blair’s vacation — is that the British vouched for it, not Attorney General Gonzales and his Keystone Kops. This didn’t stop Michael Chertoff from grabbing credit in his promotional sprint through last Sunday’s talk shows. “It was as if we had an opportunity to stop 9/11 before it actually was carried out,” he said, insinuating himself into that royal we. But no matter how persistent his invocation of 9/11, our secretary of homeland security is too discredited to impress a public that has been plenty disillusioned since Karl Rove first exhibited the flag-draped remains of a World Trade Center victim in a 2004 campaign commercial. We look at Mr. Chertoff and still see the man who couldn’t figure out what was happening in New Orleans when the catastrophe was being broadcast in real time on television.
I Miss Monica is a little ditty from Dean Friedman and is just one of the great things to be found at the Huffington Post's Contagious Festival. Original, user submitted pieces get voted on by readers in an attempt to flag the next Jib Jab type craze. A few more of the top entries:
I have to admit, I spend way too much time tooling through You Tube, trying to separate the the wheat from the chaff. But when you find a gem, its' luster is hard to ignore. Such a wide variety of material is on display so that there's gonna be something for every taste.
But the quirky and/or specialized interests that get represented there are great fun as well. Sure, not everybody is gonna' appreciate watching people pinstriping or enjoy looking at the 732 videos of people ridinganescalator, but different strokes for different folks.
Urban Dictionary: SoaP: A simple existential observation that has the same meaning as "Whaddya gonna do?" or "Shit Happens". Taken from the upcoming Samuel L. Jackson movie of the same name, and immortilised by screenwriter Josh Friedman on his blog post of Wednesday, August 17, 2005.
Guy 1: (irate) Dude, you just ran into the back of my SUV!
Guy 2: (calm) Snakes on a plane man. Snakes on a plane.
It's not like today's release of Snakes On A Plane needs any more hype. In fact, it seems that bloggers are to blame for the buzz that took what would have been a forgettable "B-movie" and made it the most anticipated film of the summer.
Blacklight Tattoos (VIA linkfilter) A new process that uses UV ink which allows for a tattoo that remains invisible until exposed to a blacklight. After the healing process of 10-18 months, the tattoo is invisible under natural light. I'll pass on this, but if I get the urge I'll try to find a temporary "rub-on" version. A hip club kid, I'm not.
I see that the illusionist David Copperfield claims to have discovered the fountain of youth. In the past he's gained much attention for his stunts like making large objects disappear. Some say he also created the illusion of dating uber-babe Claudia Schiffer, but the jury is still out on that one.
Today, I found out that I too can perform similar feats of magic. After coming home to what should have been a cool and comfortable house, I walked into a steambox, with hot air pouring out of the a/c ducts. One quick phone call to the HVAC service guy, and voilà, my pending big screen TV purchase turned into a new heating/cooling system! I'll have to work my way up to sawing someone in half!
A new McDonald's promotion has them including toy Hummers with every Happy Meal. (And believe me, it takes much self control not to point out that any meal that includes a hummer is a VERY happy meal, but I'm gonna stick to the high road.) If you want to voice your displeasure that the chain creating the fattest kids on earth is promoting super-sized gas guzzling SUV's you can make a protest sign or vote for your favorite.
A few of the points the site makes as part of the reasons MickeyD should drop the Hummer toy:
Hummers emit high levels of smog-forming chemicals that cause or worsen asthma, which hits hardest among children.
Hummers are the worst example of the lack of commitment to cleaner and more efficient vehicles by General Motors and other American automakers.
Hummers spew the pollution that causes global warming, contributing to killer heat waves and hurricanes.
Hummers are gas guzzlers, helping keep America dependent on oil from the Middle East and threatened by the region's extremist politics.
At current gas prices, filling up a Hummer H2 costs almost $100 — money parents could spend on healthier food for their kids.
Because who ever heard of a good piece of elephant? And if you want to Annoy a Conservative be sure to order one of these attractive buttons or bumper stickers. Plenty of other good choices of activities as well.
I see that The Perry Bible Fellowship website has been redesigned. If it's dark humor you seek, this is one to bookmark. The simple, yet elegant art compliments, yet acts as a stark contrast to the usually bizarre humor focusing on topics most cartoonists wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. A great interview with it's creator Nicholas Gurewitch to give you some more insight. Great news to see that we can look forward to a book.
And in a season that has been fantastic so far, last night's episode really blew me away. Although they occasionally pursue the obvious, for the most part they have masterfully done the unexpected, and no more so than last night. You think it's a filler episode, moving us towards an explosive season ending conclusion. Then suddenly at the end you wind up with two of the characters looking like they might buy the farm. As much as Johnny has been a dick this season, you've got to hope that this isn't the end.
Well, it looks like Blogger will be getting a long awaited update. This has been long overdue and it includes some New Features and promises to improve usability as well. Probably still not as as well executed as Wordpress, but any improvement is welcomed. And after playing with it, this beta version looks like it's not quite ready for prime time, but still looks promising.
The recent twenty-fifth anniversary of the IMB PC wasn't that big a deal, except that it gave us a chance to get nostalgic about our computing past. Although I almost bought a Timex/Sinclair, I wound up waiting for the "more sophisticated" Windows 3.0 interface until I let the computer bug bite again.
Prior to now, when you thought of the phrase "spectacular failure" you were of course thinking of the Edsel; these days it's likely to bring up thoughts of Dubya. But back in the days of tail-fins, when the adage that "what's good for General Motors is good for the country" was true, The roll-out of the Edsel was a colossal snafu. An example of corporate leadership being out of touch with what the market wanted, rolling out a car riddled with quality issues, as well as having quirky and unpopular styling. It was an example of a conspicuous consumption land yacht, in a more modest era introduced during a recession when small cars were in demand.
An ill fated attempt to move Ford upscale to compete with the multitude of brands produced by General Motors, the car was in many ways before it's time but failed to catch on with consumers, nonetheless. It has become a textbook case of how NOT to market a product.
I'm not sure why I find this piece of history so fascinating (the Wikipedia piece had tons of information that I wasn't aware of.) Is it because this story has parallels to the current problems facing Detroit? Perhaps. Or maybe it's just because I'm a car nut. But could it be that a small part of me takes joy in seeing others fail to boost my own self-esteem? I hope not, but let's not rule that out.
I'm sorry, I can't look at the pictures coming out of Cuba recently without thinking that we are looking at Weekend at Fidel's. But then I see that the weasel Tony Snow makes the accusation that they are Photoshop pictures, and the joke gets much less funny.
Just two days after 9/11, I learned from Congressional staffers that Republicans on Capitol Hill were already exploiting the atrocity, trying to use it to push through tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. I wrote about the subject the next day, warning that “politicians who wrap themselves in the flag while relentlessly pursuing their usual partisan agenda are not true patriots.”
The response from readers was furious — fury not at the politicians but at me, for suggesting that such an outrage was even possible. “How can I say that to my young son?” demanded one angry correspondent.
I wonder what he says to his son these days.
We now know that from the very beginning, the Bush administration and its allies in Congress saw the terrorist threat not as a problem to be solved, but as a political opportunity to be exploited. The story of the latest terror plot makes the administration’s fecklessness and cynicism on terrorism clearer than ever.
Fecklessness: the administration has always pinched pennies when it comes to actually defending America against terrorist attacks. Now we learn that terrorism experts have known about the threat of liquid explosives for years, but that the Bush administration did nothing about that threat until now, and tried to divert funds from programs that might have helped protect us. “As the British terror plot was unfolding,” reports The Associated Press, “the Bush administration quietly tried to take away $6 million that was supposed to be spent this year developing new explosives detection technology.”
Cynicism: Republicans have consistently portrayed their opponents as weak on terrorism, if not actually in sympathy with the terrorists. Remember the 2002 TV ad in which Senator Max Cleland of Georgia was pictured with Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein? Now we have Dick Cheney suggesting that voters in the Democratic primary in Connecticut were lending aid and comfort to “Al Qaeda types.” There they go again.
More fecklessness, and maybe more cynicism, too: NBC reports that there was a dispute between the British and the Americans over when to make arrests in the latest plot. Since the alleged plotters weren’t ready to go — they hadn’t purchased airline tickets, and some didn’t even have passports yet — British officials wanted to watch and wait, hoping to gather more evidence. But according to NBC, the Americans insisted on early arrests.
Suspicions that the Bush administration might have had political motives in wanting the arrests made prematurely are fed by memories of events two years ago: the Department of Homeland Security declared a terror alert just after the Democratic National Convention, shifting the spotlight away from John Kerry — and, according to Pakistani intelligence officials, blowing the cover of a mole inside Al Qaeda.
But whether or not there was something fishy about the timing of the latest terror announcement, there’s the question of whether the administration’s scare tactics will work. If current polls are any indication, Republicans are on the verge of losing control of at least one house of Congress. And “on every issue other than terrorism and homeland security,” says Newsweek about its latest poll, “the Dems win.” Can a last-minute effort to make a big splash on terror stave off electoral disaster?
Many political analysts think it will. But even on terrorism, and even after the latest news, polls give Republicans at best a slight advantage. And Democrats are finally doing what they should have done long ago: calling foul on the administration’s attempt to take partisan advantage of the terrorist threat.
It was significant both that President Bush felt obliged to defend himself against that accusation in his Saturday radio address, and that his standard defense — attacking a straw man by declaring that “there should be no disagreement about the dangers we face” — came off sounding so weak.
Above all, many Americans now understand the extent to which Mr. Bush abused the trust the nation placed in him after 9/11. Americans no longer believe that he is someone who will keep them safe, as many did even in 2004; the pathetic response to Hurricane Katrina and the disaster in Iraq have seen to that.
All Mr. Bush and his party can do at this point is demonize their opposition. And my guess is that the public won’t go for it, that Americans are fed up with leadership that has nothing to hope for but fear itself.
Let's hope he's right, although I want to believe this I'm not completely convinced.
And as an anthem for our times, MadKane offers up some new lyrics to Dubya's favorite hymm, Amazing Disgrace.
The company that makes Dickies jeans is retooling their product so that they will be producing Jeans That Stay Up. With a design that includes a lower waist and a more generous seat, the result is that they won't slip down when you bend over.
This certainly isn't the first time this problem has been addressed. But if this catches on, future generations may be denied the opportunity to see the kinda ass cleavage we know as "plumber's crack". Another tradition discarded in the name of progress; sad, so very sad.
I couldn't help myself from chuckling when I read this on the Sell This House Discussion Board: "I watch your show each week. I am a redesign decorator and I enjoy watching tricks or the trade and transformation where I get ideas. However, Tanya Memme's clothing is embarrassingly revealing for the position she has. The November 29, 2005 episode, Wilmington staged house,was the worst outfit she has ever worn on the show. No wonder, Daniel, the teenaged boy took such a liking to her. I couldn't take my eyes off her breasts either! And I am a woman! Perhaps she can tone it down a bit and dress like the professional she is."
Hey, just keep this to yourself, and don't ruin it for the rest of us! (And can somebody send me a tape of the Nov. 29th episode?) It's not that I don't enjoy seeing strangers descend upon an open house and make all kinds of rude remarks about how the house is cluttered or hideously decorated. How could that NOT be fun? But Tanya takes what could be a pretty tense situation, and as a result of her charm and good humor defuses these potentially awkward moments in a very entertaining fashion. Oh, and she's completely "babe-o-licious" and wears some pretty hot outfits, which keeps me tuning in again and again. And she has her own blog, so what's not to like?
Since there's nothing more satisfying than seeing white guys rapping (insert sarcasm HERE), check out Lazydork is Better Than You. Apparently done in response to the stuff being posted by lonelygirl15.
The big question that I want to ask Dr. Z is "do you really think this series of commercials is working for you?" Hey, on paper it's a great idea. Have a charismatic spokesperson deliver a message that we are selling a product that's a result of American engineering and German technology, and mix in a healthy dose of humor. How could this go wrong?
Well, let's start out with the cardboard like stiffness and lack of warmth that the good doctor brings to the table. Maybe somebody finds this endearing or funny, but it doesn't work for me. And the humor is pretty strained, making me nostalgic for what I thought at the time was a pretty lame series of commercials featuring Snoop Dog and Lee Iacocca. In retrospect, those were masterpieces.
And I've got to think that the whole "German connection" is a bad idea as well. In the red states, you're just reminding some redneck that he's buying a car from a company that isn't an American concern. And in the blue states, you risk reminding people that the legendary Mercedes quality hasn't been up to par recently. Seems like a real "lose/lose" situation.
But thank goodness in the one commercial when he drives the vehicle head-on into the wall, they superimpose the warning dramatization; do not attempt on the screen. Yea, like I had planned to try that.
It was great news to see that there will be a 6th season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Not everyones cup 'o tea, this dark and quirky comedy allows us to follow Larry David as he maneuvers through the minefields of everyday life, with a "no holds barred" persona and a propensity to offend. Trouble, and laughter usually follows.
I had thought that the series "jumped the shark" during the fourth season, and I see that there are plenty of others who would say the same. Season five bounced back nicely, even if it seemed a little more obvious and predictable, but it still managed to pack in the funny. Let's hope that the new season isn't the one that makes us say it stuck around too long.