Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Song for Saturday

Look at Shaq all skinny and junk! His flows aren't bad either, I must admit...

Quality hip-hop from a forgotten age:

Monday, December 7, 2009

Happy Monday

May you experience some luck today like these people did...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Song for Saturday

Behold, The beat-boxing Flautist!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thank you, Stephen.

I've been feeling this for a while:

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Song For Saturday

This girl is awesome. She's not going anywhere for a long, long time.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Palin's Book

Not surprisingly, its a little loose with the facts.

I think it'd be a fun read. Really, I do. But I just can't bring myself to do it...

A Song For Saturday

If you know me, then you know I'm not a Coldplay guy. But, this performance is a whole other story. This was the first time I had heard of them. I watched it live and was actually moved emotionally. Really good songs performed with sincerity do that to me. And maybe the violins helped...


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Thank God for Jon

Poor Beck. Its just waaaaay to easy:

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Monday, November 2, 2009

By The People

Talk about getting in low. Ed Norton (yes, that Ed Notron) and his team decided they wanted to do a documentary about Barack Obama. They made this decision in 2004 after his big speech in Boston. They had no clue he was going to run for President, at least not this soon. All they knew was that this guy was an up and coming star in the political arena, and so he'd be worth covering.

They sure nailed that one.

So, they were in first, and for that reason, they were given access that no one had.

Should be interesting.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Hollow's Eve

I don't care what you've got on tonight, this guy's costume beats it hands down.

Wait till the end of the clip. Just when you thought it couldn't get cooler...

A Song for Saturday

Friday, October 30, 2009

Thank God for Jon

Jon sorts out this White House v FOX business for us:

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Most Unbalanced

According to PEW, this is the view of most americans when it comes to FOX News:

Monday, October 26, 2009

Happy Monday

I always wondered what it would look like to see a female get trucked football-style.

Now I know.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Song for Saturday

Hip-hop belongs to everyone now.

I love the dryness of the performance. It really draws you in in some strange way.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Prank Of the Week

My, oh my. This is a quality scare reaction if I've ever seen one.

Kids, don't do it. K?


Hat Tip (Tosh)

Cartoon of the Week

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Drunkest. Guy. Ever.

Is "Drunkest" a word? If not, it should be. Just for occasions like this.

This guy has a problem. He's obviously consumed more alcohol than his body can stand, an yet he wants more. (There is a scripture reference in there somewhere...)

I've never been drunk, so, I can't tell if he's faking or not, but it seems real enough to me. The way he stumbles around reminds me of the alien bug wearing the "Edgar Suit" in the first Men In Black. Remember that?


The Remix:

Gotta love the internets...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Calling A Spade, A Spade


This "War with Fox News" is not a war. That is what the Fox folks are calling it because they feel assailed, but that is just the truth stinging them that they feel.

The White House says they're attitude towards Fox is that it has a point of view. That its not so much interested in finding truth as it is in supporting its agenda. Like a political operation.

Fox claims this accusation is baseless.

The evidence says something else:

I have a lot of friends who love Fox. One actually told me he likes it because someone is finally speaking from his point of view when (in his opinion) there had been no media outlet speaking for him in his whole life. That is the genius of Fox. "Give 'em what they want".

As a business model, it can't be challenged. But lets not pretend that their business is news. That's all I'm saying.

Held By The Taliban

This is the first installment in a five-part series offering a first-person account by David Rohde of his seven months as a captive of the Taliban in Pakistan. Mr. Rohde, a New York Times reporter, was kidnapped with two Afghan colleagues on Nov. 10, 2008, as they traveled to an interview with a Taliban commander outside of Kabul, Afghanistan.

Read them all.

Its an amazing tale we should all hear.

In part:

The longer I looked at the gunman in the passenger seat, the more nervous I became. His face showed little emotion. His eyes were dark, flat and lifeless.

I thought of my wife and family and was overcome with shame. An interview that seemed crucial hours earlier now seemed absurd and reckless. I had risked the lives of Tahir and Asad — as well as my own life. We reached a dry riverbed and the car stopped. “They’re going to kill us,” Tahir whispered. “They’re going to kill us.”

Monday, October 19, 2009

Happy Monday

Apparently, the Japanese will do anything to you if they think they can get a laugh out of it.

Too bad there aren't subtitles. Looks like a job interview to me. I bet he stays unemployed forever now.

Poor guy...

Terrifying Sniper Prank on Japanese TV - Watch more Funny Videos

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The True Tip of the Spear

An amazing special done by Richard Engel, NBC news correspondent. He is embedded with some of our troops in Afghanistan and reports on what he finds. I've posted part 1 of 6. I encourage you to watch them all. Pray for the safety of these people. Pray also for the President, he needs wisdom now more than ever.

Thank God for Jon

Oh, what would we do without the Fair and Balanced brigade?

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Andrew's take:

Jon Stewart busts Fox News bad on their non-coverage of a march of around 75,000. This is not just an ideological problem for them; it's a news problem. What happened last weekend in DC was a great story - large and colorful protests, a big fight between the grassroots of the gay movement and its DNC bosses, a presidential speech. Where was Fox? Some will say it's pure ideology. They just ignore stories that do not fit their GOP base audience. The speeches at the march were so emphatic on the core message of equality and the marchers so obviously regular Americans of all stripes, shapes and colors, perhaps Fox simply did not know how to fit the images into the notion that the gay rights movement is some bunch of evil freaks trying to destroy the family.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Maddow. Best Pundit on TV?

At least one person thinks so:

But what really endears her to American liberals is the way she takes her job and the authority it gives her seriously. Maddow is less interested in the shouting fests that dominate most cable news and instead favours in-depth interviews with experts who are permitted to show their expertise on air without being interrupted. Hers may be the only show on cable news were feminists come on air to speak their minds without being paired off with belligerent sexists who dominate the conversation by yelling over their points.

But Maddow isn't opposed to fair-mindedness. She often brings on conservatives for the same kind of in-depth interviews, and even when she strongly disagrees, she always gives them a chance to air their views (and generally hang themselves with those views). Her show is the exact opposite of Bill O'Reilly's show. Where he cuts people off for saying things he doesn't like, Maddow digs in deeper.

I agree. So, I guess that makes two people...

Happy Monday

A piano that uses musical notes to mimic a human voice was presented at at the World Venice Forum this year. The segment's in German, but fortunately the piano speaks English.


I'm not kidding.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Song for Saturday

Accordions Rock.

At least this one does:

Rock on, accordion dude. Rock on...

Nobel, Maddow Style


Its a wonderful thing:

Friday, October 9, 2009



So, everyone seems to be freaking out about this. I have to admit, my first thought when I heard the news was "Wow. I wonder what they're basing that on". Now, having said that, I think, after 8 years of our last government in which no prizes were thrown but instead shoes were thrown. If you think this in some way diminishes the man or America, then I'm not sure what I could say that would change your mind.

The main complaint here seems to be that he hasn't yet brought peace on earth, and therefore is unworthy. The peace prize is about progress and work towards peace. No one ever achieves peace.

I think the President put it best:

I am both surprised and deeply humbled by the decision of the Nobel Committee. Let me be clear: I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments, but rather as an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations.

To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who've been honored by this prize -- men and women who've inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace.

But I also know that this prize reflects the kind of world that those men and women, and all Americans, want to build -- a world that gives life to the promise of our founding documents. And I know that throughout history, the Nobel Peace Prize has not just been used to honor specific achievement; it's also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes. And that is why I will accept this award as a call to action -- a call for all nations to confront the common challenges of the 21st century.

You see what he did there? Using it as a launching pad for his efforts towards peace. That was the whole point...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Case Against Death

Last night Keith devoted his entire show to a Special Comment making the case for health reform. It was as impassioned I've ever seen the man, and that's saying something. He related powerful anecdotes relating to his mother dying in the spring and his father being confined to the hospital right now. He speaks from the perspective of a man that has the money to pay for the best care anywhere for anyone he wants to. He then tried to imagine the horror that millions face daily when they have to figure out if they have enough money to live.

He also asks: "What is more valuable than our health? If we agree that the government should provide for the common defense, how much more the common health???" (paraphrase)

Good question, Keith.

This is 45 minutes well spent.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Song for Saturday


I don't like Lady Gaga...usually. But this song grabbed me for a few reasons: 1) This performance is artistically powerful and very ambitious, which I respect. 2) She seems to be singing it live, which no one does any more. So, she get my respect for that. 3) She seems a little unstable, and crazy people keep the world interesting.

But honestly, its a good song and well executed.


(To my SYTYCD nerds, there's a hidden gem in here for you too.)

America loses! Yipee!

Today the United States lost is bid to host the 2016 summer games in Chicago. This was the reaction at a gathering of conservatives at the Americans For Prosperity, one of the main organizing groups behind the tea party protests. You'll notice they erupted in applause. They cheered once more after they were told that Chicago had been eliminated during the first round of voting.

Since when is America losing a good thing for Americans?

Many of them think that this Olympic bid was just a scam to get Obama's buddies rich. My guess is that they don't know much about the history if this bid:

It was barely noticed at the time, but in January 2008, then-President George W. Bush met with the Chicago 2016 Bid Committee and U.S. Olympic Committee members about bringing the 2016 summer games to the city. "They say that the Olympics will come to Chicago if we're fortunate enough to be selected, but really it's coming to America, and I can't think of a better city to represent the United States than Chicago," Bush said.

He added, "This country supports your bid, strongly."


Thursday, October 1, 2009


As the looming MNF showdown between the Packers and the Favre-led Vikings approaches, I'm having a hard time sorting out my feelings. The sadness is great within me. I rooted for the man every game since I was 12. And now I'm forced to cheer for his head to be served up on a platter. Its so wrong, I hardly have the words...

It doesn't get much worse for a football fan.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Thank God for Jon

What will they make up next? This is a fun game...

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Happy Monday

Happy to be alive? This guy would say he was... This video captures his burial and rescue from an avalanche. Amazing stuff. He was only buried for four minutes. He's a very lucky man...

Avalanche Skier POV Helmet Cam Burial & Rescue in Haines, Alaska from Chappy on Vimeo.

A full account of his ordeal can be found here.

A sample:

This was a decent sized avalanche. 1,500 feet the dude fell in a little over 20 seconds. The crown was about 1 - 1.5m. The chute that he got sucked through to the skier's right was flanked on either side by cliff bands that were about 30m tall. He luckily didn't break any bones and obviously didn't hit anything on the run out.

He was only buried for 4 and a half minutes which is incredibly short. I cannot stress these next sentences enough; that in and of itself to be unburied in ONLY 4:28 is miraculous if you have any understanding of being caught in an avalanche and what it takes to be found. It could literally be some kind of "world record" just on how good the guide and supporting cast of other skiers was in getting to him. It also shows why you should ALWAYS be going with people trained in avalanche rescue / first well as why you'd want to be going with a guided heli operation. Sure this was terrifying for him, but he would've probably been dead if not for going with a guide.

He also got very lucky to be honest. In the time that he's buried, you can hear his breathing already accelerate. The ruffling noise back and forth is his chest rising and falling and the noise that his jacket makes. The intermittent whimpering noise you hear is him trying to swallow and get some air since the avalung wasn't fully in his mouth and instead just to the corner of his mouth. Still sends chills up the back of my neck. Oh...the luck? They located him so fast because his right glove came off just before he came completely to rest and there was an excellent visual of course.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Song for Saturday

I'm not a huge Jay-Z guy, but every once in a while he hits a home run.

To me, this is his best song in years. It makes me wish I felt a bond to a place as much as he does.

I love this performance of it mainly for the entrance. Its grand in its simplicity.


The lyrics, if you don't have a hip-hop ear:

Yeah, Imma up at Brooklyn,
now Im down in Tribeca,
right next to DeNiro,
But i’ll be hood forever,
I’m the new Sinatra,
and since i made it here,
i can make it anywhere,
yeah they love me everywhere,
i used to cop in Harlem,
all of my dominicanos
right there up on broadway,
brought me back to that McDonalds,
took it to my stash spot,
Five Sixty Stage street,
catch me in the kitchen like a simmons whipping pastry,
cruising down 8th street,
off white lexus,
driving so slow but BK is from Texas,
me I’m up at Bedsty,
home of that boy Biggie,
now i live on billboard,
and i brought my boys with me,
say wat up to Ty Ty, still sipping Malta
sitting courtside Knicks and Nets give me high fives,
N-gga i be spiked out, i can trip a referee,
tell by my attitude that I most definitely from…

[Alicia Keys]
In New York,
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
Theres nothing you can’t do,
Now you’re in New York,
these streets will make you feel brand new,
big lights will inspire you,
lets here it for New York, New York, New York

I made you hot n-gga,
Catch me at the X with OG at a Yankee game,
sh-t i made the yankee hat more famous than a yankee can,
you should know I bleed Blue, but I aint a crip tho,
but i got a gang of n-ggas walking with my click though,
welcome to the melting pot,
corners where we selling rocks,
afrika bambaataa sh-t,
home of the hip hop,
yellow cap, gypsy cap, dollar cab, holla back,
for foreigners it aint fitted they forgot how to act,
8 million stories out there and their naked,
cities is a pity half of y’all won’t make it,
me i gotta plug Special Ed "i got it made,"
If Jesus payin LeBron, I’m paying Dwayne Wade,
3 dice cee-lo
3 card marley,
labor day parade, rest in peace Bob Marley,
Statue of Liberty, long live the World trade,
long live the king yo,
I’m from the empire state thats…


In New York,
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
Theres nothing you can’t do,
Now you’re in New York,
these streets will make you feel brand new,
big lights will inspire you,
lets here it for New York, New York, New York
Welcome to the bright light..

Lights is blinding,
girls need blinders
so they can step out of bounds quick,
the side lines is blind with casualties,
who sipping life casually, then gradually become worse,
don’t bite the apple Eve,
caught up in the in crowd,
now your in-style,
and in the winter gets cold en vogue with your skin out,
the city of sin is a pity on a whim,
good girls gone bad, the cities filled with them,
Mommy took a bus trip and now she got her bust out,
everybody ride her, just like a bus route,
Hail Mary to the city your a Virgin,
and Jesus can’t save you life starts when the church ends,
came here for school, graduated to the high life,
ball players, rap stars, addicted to the limelight,
MDMA got you feeling like a champion,
the city never sleeps better slip you a Ambien


In New York,
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
Theres nothing you can’t do,
Now you’re in New York,
these streets will make you feel brand new,
big lights will inspire you,
lets here it for New York, New York, New York

[Alicia Keys]
One hand in the air for the big city,
Street lights, big dreams all looking pretty,
no place in the World that can compare,
Put your lighters in the air, everybody say yeaaahh
come on, come,


In New York,
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
Theres nothing you can’t do,
Now you’re in New York,
these streets will make you feel brand new,
big lights will inspire you,
lets here it for New York, New York, New York

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

This is what football does to us...


Sports Videos, News, Blogs

Monday, September 21, 2009

New Website of the Week.


"Press one for English." Here's a better idea: use Fonolo. It makes the call to that large, impersonal corporation, presses the right buttons and stays on hold for you until a human comes on the line. Then your phone rings and voilĂ , you can talk to a live person about your account. Fonolo even gives you the option to record your conversation as an MP3, just in case your chat with customer support becomes an argument. Is this for real? Totally! How does it know what you want it to accomplish? Fonolo shows you a visual map of the phone trees of various big companies and allows you to pick your point of entry. A computer does the rest.

Happy Monday

(A 2-year-old pug named Bentley competes in the fourth annual Helen Woodward Animal Center Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon in Del Mar, Calif.)

May your Monday be as happy as this dog looks.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fox feeling left out

Check out the statement from the White house! Ouch!

Whats funny is the idea that they can sit around a table "debating" the merits of the President's strategy, as if anyone there would have the guts to say "You know what? Obama has a point. Him leaving us out is a great move."

And if we all can agree that that statement will never be uttered on Fox, than all we have here is some ego stroking at the President's expense. But hey, this is America. Thats what we do.

Party on, Fox.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Song for Saturday

I can't explain why I like this band so much. I just do.

Sometimes you just feel it...

Friday, September 18, 2009

"You Lie" Explained

Also, this guy does a great James Carville:

Only Bush Can Fix It

Andrew's letter to the former President.

The premise:

I have come to accept that it would be too damaging and polarizing to the American polity to launch legal prosecutions against you, and deeply unfair to solely prosecute those acting on your orders or in your name. President Obama’s decision thus far to avoid such prosecutions is a pragmatic and bipartisan one in a time of war, as is your principled refusal to criticize him publicly in his first months. But moving on without actually confronting or addressing the very grave evidence of systematic abuse and torture under your administration poses profound future dangers. It gives the impression that nothing immoral or illegal took place. Indeed, since leaving office, your own vice president has even bragged of these interrogation techniques; and many in your own party threaten to reinstate such policies in the future. Their extreme rhetoric seems likely to shape—to contaminate—history’s view of your presidency, indeed of the Bush name, and the world’s view of America. But my biggest fear is this: in the event of a future attack on the United States, another president will feel tempted, or even politically compelled, to resort to the same brutalizing policy, with the same polarizing, demoralizing, war-crippling results. I am writing you now because it is within your power—and only within your power—to prevent that from happening.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Devil's Pool

How cool is this:

(Oddee:Victoria Falls is on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. It is 360 feet tall. At the top is a natural rock pool, called Devil's Pool, where the water is relatively calm. From September to December, when the water level is low, you can swim in Devil's Pool. The pictures are bound to make you just a little nervous. Or a lot.)

More amazing pics here.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Loyal Opposition

Fredomworks, Glenn Beck, and a host of other groups organized a march in washington on saturday to protest big government, high taxes and, well, see for yourself:

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Song for Saturday

Haunting. This is a cover of NIN done right before Cash passed away...

Friday, September 11, 2009

An Inconvenient Truth

(Rep. Joe Wilson, yelling "you lie!" at Pres. Obama during his speech to a joint session of Congress. 9/9/09)

I'm not sure what the most disturbing part of this story is, so, I'll lay out the problems as I see them and you can decide:

1)The simple rudeness of it all. If this guy is supposed to be a leader in our country, what hope can we really have for civil and productive discourse in our country? The disrespect shown here is shameful. This is not the way to disagree.

2)This Wilson fellow is now a folk hero in conservative circles. They've made this guy a poster-child for speaking the truth to power. They're even making t-shirts!! And this probably wouldn't be so bad except for the fact that...

3) WILSON IS DEAD WRONG ON THE FACTS!!! There is no grey area here. The administration has gone to great lengths to make sure this cannot be misinterpreted. It is as clear as day. The fact that we can elect people in this country who seem to be able to operate in some nebulous fact-free universe troubles me deeply.

The ironic thing is that, by shouting out a lie about the president lying, Wilson has forced hundreds of articles to be written about this. And all of them that choose to do any fact checking have to conclude the same thing: Wilson is wrong, Obama was right. Thereby spreading the president's message even further.

He's done Obama's work for him.

In fairness, Wilson apologized for his outburst. To me, he should be apologizing for his ignorance.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Consider yourself indoctrinated...

This is what the nutty fringe was all worked up about. Madness...

When even Newt can't find a bad thing to say about an Obama speech, you know he hit it out of the park...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Monday

Another internet classic:

The Grape Lady.

Its the noise she makes. I'm sorry if this makes me a bad person, but its one of the funniest things I've ever heard:

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Song for Saturday

The King was buried this week. This song is one of his most powerful pleas to the world, in my opinion. You can say all you want about his short-comings and faults, but there is no denying the world is better off while he was around. His death was a loss for us all.

The third verse in this song is its best, Mike asks us a series of questions that need answering:

What about yesterday?
What about the seas?
The heavens are falling down
I can't even breathe
What about empathy?
I need you
What about nature's worth?
It's our planet's womb
What about animals?
We've turned kingdoms to dust
What about elephants?
Have we lost their trust?
What about crying whales?
We're ravaging the seas
What about forest trails?
Burnt despite our pleas
What about the holy land?
Torn apart by creed
What about the common man?
Can't we set him free?
What about children dying?
Can't you hear them cry?
Where did we go wrong?
Someone tell me why
What about baby boy?
What about the days?
What about all their joy?
What about the man?
What about the crying man?
What about Abraham?
What about death again?
Do we give a damn?

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Gonzales Cantata

Make sure you hear the "I don't recall" Aria.


Broadstreet review:

Melissa Dunphy’s Gonzales Cantata uses actual transcripts of a 2007 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to transform the tedious machinations of politics into a brilliant work of art. The only thing missing, alas, is a point. Alberto Gonzales facing Arlen Specter isn’t exactly Christ confronting Pontius Pilate.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Your News, Auto-tuned...

And, yes, he really took a chart with a dragon on it to the floor of the Senate...

Marshall. Still the Illest.

From Rapbassment:

Ever since the new "Forever" [listen here] track debuted online last week, since it features Drake, Kanye West, Lil Wayne and Eminem, everyone has been talking about who had the best verse. As we previously reported, the track's producer, Boi-1da, said he felt Drake had the best verse, although he felt Eminem was very close. "Really it’s between Drake and Eminem," he said. "I’ve never seen anybody hold up on a song with Eminem, like usually Eminem blows out. Drake's my dude, and he’s my favorite rapper, but knowing Eminem I thought he was gonna blow by everybody, but Drake came strong. It’s like a toss up. And like that’s never been done before, I never heard a toss up between Eminem, it’s always just Eminem cause he’s a monster."

Well it seems that fans do not agree with producer. In a new poll through XXL Magazine, after only five days and 3500 votes, fans overwhelmingly think that Eminem had the best verse on "Forever" [listen here]. Eminem got 69 percent of the votes while Drake came in second with only 13% followed by Kanye at 10 and Lil Wayne in last with only eight percent. What do you think? Listen Here and let us know! The new song will be featured on the soundtrack to the upcoming LeBron James documentary titled "More Than A Game."

I do like Drake's verse, myself. I've just grown accustomed to Marshall killin' it. Em's verse is superior, but Drake's is a lot of fun to listen to.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Picture of the Day.

(President Barack Obama jokingly points out cake crumbs that Vice President Joe Biden dropped on the floor in the Oval Office following a birthday celebration for the President on Aug. 4, 2009.)

My caption bubble: "Joe! You're not allowed in here anymore! Look at this crap!"

Leave you're own caption in the comments section. The writer of my favorite caption will win a prize...

Rachel Interviews Tom Ridge

Must see stuff.

First off, hats off to Tom. Most republicans want no part of Maddow. You may be tempted to think that is because she's unapologetically liberal, but that's not what I think. I think its because she's very smart, very well prepared and forces you to know what you're talking about if you're going to disagree with her. She won't be snowballed.

Secondly, I love how civil their conversation is. Even when debating really touchy things, they maintain a mutual respect that I've learned to crave in my public discourse. Kudos to both of them for that.

A couple of stand out moments in this interview: 1) He contradicts his own book's desk jacket, which is supposed to be a description of what is in the book. Rachel actually gets him to denounce it. 2) While he's defending the Iraq, Rachel looks him in the eye and tells him "That's why people won't trust you. Because of what you just said." Gutsy.


(I've only posted 2 of 3 parts. The 3rd segment on Katrina can be found here.)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Picture of the Week

Justin Sullivan / Getty
(The Station fire in the mountains north of Los Angeles, one of several blazes currently burning throughout Central and Southern California, has decimated more than 85,000 acres.)

I can't imagine the terror that the people there are dealing with in the face of this monster.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Who do you believe?

Only one man can be correct here:

I think the interrogations were in violation of the Geneva Conventions and the convention against torture that we ratified under President Reagan.

-Sen. John McCain


Former VPOTUS Dick Cheney in an interview on Fox:

WALLACE: So even these cases where they went beyond the specific legal authorization, you're OK with it?


And just in case you're having a hard time grasping the significance of what he just admitted to, Andrew breaks it down for you:

The former vice-president of the United States is here backing torture techniques that even his own hack lawyers believed were illegal. He is basically saying that the law had no salience or relevance in his program of torturing prisoners. He is attacking the rule of law in its entirety. Let that sink in: we had a vice-president who had contempt for the rule of law.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Eulogy

Standout passage:

We cannot know for certain how long we have here. We cannot foresee the trials or misfortunes that will test us along the way. We cannot know what God's plan is for us.

What we can do is to live out our lives as best we can with purpose, and with love, and with joy. We can use each day to show those who are closest to us how much we care about them, and treat others with the kindness and respect that we wish for ourselves. We can learn from our mistakes and grow from our failures. And we can strive at all costs to make a better world, so that someday, if we are blessed with the chance to look back on our time here, we know that we spent it well; that we made a difference; that our fleeting presence had a lasting impact on the lives of others.

-President Barack H. Obama


Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Song for Saturday

If you've ever seen this movie then this song is unforgettable for you. I don't know if its the music itself or the story thats being told while its playing, but every time I hear it, I'm moved.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Where is the Right on Torture?

Andrew makes a great point:

It is not the amoral discussion of torture that appalls me; it's the amoral discussion proffered without any moral discussion ever being offered.

And to go straight to the amoral argument without dealing with the fact that the government secretly and illegally, walled, froze, beat, contorted, stripped, shaved, near-drowned, near-suffocated, and denied sleep for hundreds of hours to unknown numbers of prisoners and murdered 100 of them that we know of - this befuddles me. It was illegal; it was unethical by any standard of ethics; it was immoral and indecent; it required a conscious subversion of democratic norms to accomplish; and it is a terrifying precedent in a country allegedly founded on the rule of law. I do not understand how a libertarian cannot stand up against this and be counted - for once and for all on the grounds that is remains the greatest violation of individual liberty and dignity and due process in recent times in America.

Where are the "values voters" on this? Where is the religious right? Where are the civil libertarians? Where are the advocates for the rule of law that demanded the head of a President caught lying under oath about his sexual exploits? Was it ever about the rule of law? Is it all politics all the time?

If even one of the things on this list was done to an American by another government, can you imagine the response you'd get from them then?

What were you doing at 17 years old?

This guy sailed around the globe alone. He's the youngest to ever do it:

Mike Perham suffered knockdowns and damage to his yacht during the 24,000-mile (38,700-km) trip and the teenager from Hertfordshire, southern England, said he was now looking forward to a "good meal and a very good night's sleep."

Fewer than 250 people have sailed solo around the globe, but his record is already in jeopardy if a 13-year-old Dutch girl persuades a court to allow her to set sail.

Perham, who started sailing aged seven, was the youngest person to sail across the Atlantic Ocean, aged 14, in 2007.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

For My Favorite Reader

Whoever-You-Are, I would suggest never citing this woman ever again. Here she is getting destroyed by Jon for fifteen excruciating, but quite amusing minutes:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Betsy McCaughey Extended Interview Pt. 1
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealthcare Protests

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Betsy McCaughey Extended Interview Pt. 2
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealthcare Protests

R.I.P Teddy

"The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die."
— Ted Kennedy, addressing the Democratic National Convention in New York City on Aug. 12, 1980, just months after his own bid for the presidency ended in failure.

Lets pray he was right...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Quote for the day

If this program passes, one of these years we will tell our children and our children's children what it was like in American when men were free.

One of the traditional methods of imposing statism, or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It's very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project. Most people are a little reluctant to oppose anything that suggests medical care for people who possibly can't afford it.

-Ronald Regan, talking about the end that Medicare would bring to America during his run for Governor.

Sounds like something off of Hannity's show doesn't it? This was the early 60s people...

What's changed? The opponents to health reform have quite literally cut and pasted 45 year old arguments and are presenting them as new by replacing "Medicare" with "Obamacare".

Its just for decoration, man. Just for decoration...

Oh Bub Rub and Lil Sis. How I've missed you....

Whoo Whoo!!!

Picture of the Week

(People wait to receive free medical treatment during the Remote Area Medical health clinic in Inglewood, California. The non-profit has been providing free healthcare services to remote areas of the U.S. since 1985.)

Is the truth relative?

Have you stopped to ask your self: Why do people believe crazy, outlandish theories? In an interesting article in Newsweek, Sharon Begley takes on the mental state of the "Bush knew about 9/11, Obama was born in Kenya, Death Panel/Book" crowd.

The heart of the piece:

For an explanation of this behavior, look no further than the psychological theory of cognitive dissonance. This theory holds that when people are presented with information that contradicts preexisting beliefs, they try to relieve the cognitive tension one way or another. They process and respond to information defensively, for instance: their belief challenged by fact, they ignore the latter. They also accept and seek out confirming information but ignore, discredit the source of, or argue against contrary information, studies have shown.

Which brings us back to health-care reform—in particular, the apoplexy at town-hall meetings and the effectiveness of the lies being spread about health-care reform proposals. First of all, let's remember that 59,934,814 voters cast their ballot for John McCain, so we can assume that tens of millions of Americans believe the wrong guy is in the White House. To justify that belief, they need to find evidence that he's leading the country astray. What better evidence of that than to seize on the misinformation about Obama's health-care reform ideas and believe that he wants to insure illegal aliens, for example, and give the Feds electronic access to doctors' bank accounts?

I have found this as a major frustration in my debates with friends and readers. If you come to an debate unwilling to concede that your opponent has good, reasoned, and well though out points that you may need to incorporate into your thinking, then you won't learn very much and you'll just frustrate each other.

It is my hope that anyone I converse with on subjects of wildly differing opinion will feel like I considered their point of view fairly and without prejudice. And I hope the same courtesy will be returned back to me.

We'll all be better for it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What exactly is the Republican party right now?

When your chairman is out promoting demonstrable nonsense like this, you're in big, big trouble as a serious political party:

And if you want an example of bad public policy, just look at the situation with our veterans, when you have a manual out there telling our veterans stuff like, 'are you really of value to your community,' you know, encouraging them to commit suicide. I mean, this is crazy coming from the government, and this is exactly what concerns people and puts them in fear of what the government control of health care will look like.

I get loyal opposition.

This is something else altogether...

The Big Kahuna

You can read the whole thing (although still heavily redacted.) here.

You should. This stuff was done in your name. We're all responsible for it in a way.

The report reads like something out of the Inquisition.

A revealing quote found within:

"One officer expressed concern that one day, Agency officers will wind up on some 'wanted list' to appear before the World Court for war crimes stemming from activities [redacted],"

He was right about that.

We conducted mock executions, we threatened to kill peoples children and rape their wives in front of them. All of which is expressly forbidden by federal law. No reasonable person can dispute that.

This happened. In America, this happened. Let that sink in for a bit....

Once you see whats in there and you see how much is still redacted, you wonder "if this is what they're willing to let out, what in the world could they be hiding?".

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Glorious, Inglorious Bastards!

Just got back from Inglorious Bastards, Tarantino's latest classic.

The guy is the master. He's a big music fan, so, I love his use of music in film. The movie also stars my favorite actor, Brad Pitt. He plays this Sgt. Slaughter lookin' guy from Tennessee who's in the Nazi killin' business and, as his character says, "business is a-boomin'". It can be best described as a Nazi Revenge Fantasy Film. And, boy, is it wild. You'll be on the edge of your seat for most of it, because you know its about to go down, but you never know when.

Well worth the price of admission.

So much so, I'm going to pay to see it again. A personal honor I bestow on very few films.

Peep it.

Torture Nation

The Big Kahuna of CIA reports is due out Monday after having its release delayed four times. This is supposedly the report that, once filed, put a halt to the Bush torture program. People who have read it report that it will turn stomachs. Much will probably be redacted, but here is a sample of what you can expect to find:

...the report describes how one detainee, suspected USS Cole bomber Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, was threatened with a gun and a power drill during the course of CIA interrogation. According to the sources, who like others quoted in this article asked not to be named while discussing sensitive information, Nashiri's interrogators brandished the gun in an effort to convince him that he was going to be shot. Interrogators also turned on a power drill and held it near him. "The purpose was to scare him into giving [information] up," said one of the sources. A federal law banning the use of torture expressly forbids threatening a detainee with "imminent death."

Emphasis mine.

Again, the question isn't IF we broke the law, the question is how far up did it go.

Imagine if you read this had been done to our girls just freed from N. Korea. How would you feel about it then? Is this any different?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Song for Saturday

I love this band. They make me wish I had, at 13 years old, gotten together with my 2 best musically inclined friends and made sweet music together.

Friday, August 21, 2009


From the looks of it, this movie will be a watershed moment in the history of cinema.

Truly stunning stuff.

You heard it here first...

What ever happened to "majority rules"?

Matt takes a stab at what this might mean:

It seems, though, that the GOP has decided that if they use filibusters to obstruct congressional action that the press will keep reporting this in a "congress fails to do X" kind of way rather than a "GOP obstructionism" kind of way, which makes filibusters a win-win for Republicans. Be that as it may, the filibuster is a bad idea and should be done away with. Given how hard the Democratic caucus whined about the "nuclear option" just a couple of years ago, they couldn't do it without being called hypocrites, but that's just further evidence of what a bad idea the "Gang of 14" deal was.

It seems clear to me that this current minority doesn't like being a minority very much. While this is a perfectly legal way to go about doing things, the unprecedented way its being trotted out is troubling. Remember in School-house Rock how they sang about how a bill becomes a law? Well, that's no longer true. The majority doesn't get to rule. Now you need a Super-majority to rule. I heard a smart person liken it to playing basket ball on a 12-foot hoop. You make scoring 20% more difficult. Same thing is happening in the US Senate right now. They're playing on a 12 foot hoop because the minority wants to...