Saturday, May 29, 2004

Unintentional Humor Department

1) What can only be described as a cheerful chain gang of overenthusiastic but underqualified gardeners is currently at work in the library's flower bed. Earlier this week, the group visited to discuss today's action which includes the removal and replacement of a kind of plant known as Wandering Jew. I asked Daisy if she really felt okay about uprooting the wandering jew. I got no reaction. Guess I deserved it.

2) A patron just returned a VHS box to which an actual library employee has affixed a homemade label which reads, "Here Come Garfield."

3) A person who works professionally in the field of communications and public relations feels perfectly fine about composing email messages which feature the imaginary word its' twice in the same sentence.

You know who I don't like? George W. Bush

And, you know, there's so much to pick from in this little episode that it's really hard to find the choice cut. I mean there's this,
"One of the prayers I ask is that God's light shines through me as best as possible, no matter how opaque the window," said Bush, a United Methodist.
Or this
Domestically, he considers his work on faith-based initiatives to be one of his most important efforts and thinks a change in the definition of marriage "will weaken civilization."
But, really, the most offensive nugget here is the part where the President badly misrepresents his job description.
"The job of a president is to help cultures change," Bush told the nine writers and executives, according to an edited transcript posted Friday on ChristianityToday.com. "Governments cannot change culture alone. . . . I understand that. But I can be a voice of cultural change."
For an actual job description for the position: President of the United States click here. Now I know that folks enjoy throwing the word facism around but... there it is. The executive officer of the government believes he has some role to play in the emotional and spiritual leadership of the populace. This is so wrong that it makes my brain freeze trying to describe the depth of its wrongitude. Somewhere in my head full of mushy, icy slush is an argument that goes something like constitutional democracy is based on the rule of law and not of messianic evangelical supermen who derive power through cult of personality. But then again why bother? Sheep like to be led and there does seem to be a surge in the bleating population these days. I think what I actually would like is to live in a bubble. A soundproof bubble. Oh but can I have some peanut butter pretzel Combos in there with me? And a helper monkey. And a copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul. And a copy of Chicken Soup for the Helper Monkey's Soul. And I think that's it.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Sox not Moving.. yet

Actually this sounds really good. The Red Sox owners aren't interested in bulldozing one of baseball's landmarks.
Principal owner John Henry said any renovations of the ballpark would add a maximum of 5,000 seats, bringing capacity to no more than 40,000 fans. "I love Fenway,'' Henry said in an interview from Fenway Park last night. "I don't think you can replicate the magic you have here. It would never feel like Fenway.''

Henry's statements are the strongest suggestion to date that the owners of the Red Sox would prefer to remain at their home for the past 92 years, rather than build a new ballpark in the same neighborhood or in another section of the city.
I'm something of a reactionary when it comes to baseball so while I am relieved to hear that they don't want to dynamite Fenway Park, the mere suggestion that this is statistically a possible outcome makes me all edgy.

Clarke is claiming he approved the bin Laden flights

This seems to contradict his earlier statement that the decision to escort members of the bin Laden family out of the country during the days following 9-11 (while all other civilian aviation was grounded) was made by the FBI.


Nerdiest Thing Ever

Here is a story about a researcher who offered his name as a co-author to the highest e-bay bidder willing to collaborate with him on a paper. The selling point of his services was, apparently, his coveted low Erdös number. What is an Erdös number? Well... read the title of this post.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Take My Mississippi.... please

Y'all this is soooo cute. The folks at ChristianExodus.org are mad as hell (mostly about gay marriage) and they aren't gonna take it anymore.
The efforts of Christian activism have proven futile over the past five decades and, whereas desperate times require desperate measures, we are now in the most desperate of times. The federal government is considering whether marriage, the foundation of civilization since Creation, should be reserved solely to a man and a woman. Christians must now draw a line in the sand and unite in a sovereign state to dissolve our bond with the current union comprised as the United States of America.
Yep, you heard that right, kids. Things have gotten so out of hand that it's time to gather 50,000 righteous living GSUS loving rednecks and move them to (actual state yet to be chosen) in order to affect the removal of that state from the United States of America thereby "redeeming" it and bringing about "....an independent Christian nation where people may once again worship God under the protection of a friendly government. In addition, such a nation will be free of burdensome taxation and federal meddling in local affairs. Matter of factly, the liberties we have lost to liberalism over the past century will be restored in one fell swoop."
Excited? Great! All you have to do is join according to your appropriate commitment level pack your stuff, pull the kids out of school(they probably can't pray there anyway), and stand by to move to.. well it hasn't gotten that far yet.
ChristianExodus.org is researching three candidate states: Alabama, Mississippi and South Carolina. These states were chosen because of their relatively small populations, their coastal access and their Christian-conservative citizenry. In addition, each of these states possesses a rich history of standing up for its rights. Our board of directors considers the values of these three states to be very similar to the values held by our membership.
Coastal access? Must have something to do with this.
Anyway, once you arrive in the promised land, you'll probably need a job. Don't worry, that's all taken care of.
ChristianExodus.org understands that the most important concern to our membership will be employment in our destination state. To help our members find employment, we will establish an employment service once our target state is chosen. ChristianExodus.org will recruit employers to hire our members as they emigrate. Different programs and incentives are currently being evaluated in the hope that we’ll be able to find desired employment for all members who need help. Check our Employment page occasionally for updates and new opportunities (many will be added once our destination is chosen).
Note: Employment page not yet available, but they haven't chosen a state yet so I'll give them some time. Personally, I promise to do as much as I possibly can to help this happen. You should too.

Choose Lib Chron for Action!

Google searcher landed here looking for "pictures of exploding things." I'm all about me some pyrotechnics.

So... is he eligible for little league or no?

Baby born from 21-year-old sperm

Monday, May 24, 2004

Laziness may yet pay off

Alas, this bill looks dead in the water.
Futrell's bill would do away with the annual inspection every Louisiana vehicle owner is required to have. He said 29 other states have eliminated similar inspections, meaning 60 percent of the nation's vehicles aren't inspected. Futrell said there was no proven correlation between the inspections and safety.
It would be nice, though, since my brake tag expired in February and I have done nothing about it due only to my own entropy. Question: Why am I just learning about this now? Must have been on Timshel at some point.

Election 2004 Bicycling Update

Apparently they are both retards.

More Cassandra News

The trees are all gonna die!!

Suppose You're a Beetle

What would you read? Frivolous line of questioning you say? I think not. You see this summer we are all Buggy About Books. As a result, I am arranging to have various species of insect serve as reader's advisors to the locals. Part of this process involves quizzing the staff on entomological literary tastes. This morning we considered the beetle. Here's what we learned:

Me: You are a Beetle. What do you like to read?
Irene: I don't know. Books about leaves?
Me: So... Leaves of Grass?
Irene: That's a poem.
Mary Poppins: It depends on what kind of Beetle you are. If you're a dung beetle, you'd probably read a lot of crap.
Me: So... Nora Roberts.
Random Patron: What if you're a B-e-a-t-l-e?
Me: Depends on which one. If you're George it's eastern philosophy, if you're Paul it's vegetarian cookbooks, if you're Ringo it's coloring books.

So I think we've learned a lot already.
Question: What would John read?

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Faith Based Campaigning

Reuters: WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush asked fellow Republicans on Capitol Hill on Thursday to "keep the faith" as he sought to ease their jitters about Iraq and his lowest approval ratings ever.



They are retards who
Still download reams of spyware
As though they don't care

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

A State of Hate

Here is Ricky promising not to spend much time on and then getting off on an out and out rant about the fact that the enlightened representatives of the good citizens of the Gret Stet came together to respond to Massachusetts by passing their very own hate amendment and then high fiving each other in exultation. I could go on myself, but you should really just read Ricky's post.

In related ignorance news, a patron donated a copy of the exceedingly vapid Sex And The New Single Girl by Helen Gurley Brown; a dating guide for women which is well.. pretty much what it looks like. A quick scan of the text of the work revealed the following passage:
Suppose you like girls
You've already worked out a way of life for yourself to which I could contribute no helpful advice. I'm sure your problems are many. I don't know about your pleasures. At any rate, it's your business and I think it's a shame you have to be so surreptitious about your choice of a way of life.
I'm confused. Do you think that was actually an attempt at empathy or condescension? Either way it's hilarious.

Sports Page

Cox really needs to accidentally turn my free cable back on. Without TV my personal news cycle is completely out of synch with the rest of the world's. Case in point, last night Randy Johnson throws a perfect game and I don't have a clue until I pick up a Time-Pic at the coffee shop this morning. This is unacceptable. Maybe I need to sign up to have information broadcast directly into my brain like the characters in M. T. Anderson's Feed.

The Cubs are drifting about in the injury doldrums. This one particularly seems to fit their idiom. Thank God it's only May.

Finally, it's springtime, it's time for fat guys running around in shorts. Mini-camp is open. Today's earth shattering news: A man comically named Cie has a knee problem and Devery Henderson dropped two balls. The more ominous developing football story is this one. The slowing New Orleans tourism economy is making it difficult for the state to make it's ransom payments to the Saints. If the situation is not remedied, the team could leave as early as next year. r and I are making the most of it and buying season tickets, hopefully not for the last time.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Gambit Hot Seven compilers know where the party's at.

Testaverde opens for Trans Am Wednessday night at Howlin' Wolf.

Tooting my own horn department (so to speak)

And you know, some people out there actually kind of hate me. But I still do nice things occasionally.

My Tercel and I aren't so unsexy these days are we?

Image from CNN

Also see Krugman: A Crude Shock

News from the blogosphere

There I've done it. I've actually used the word blogosphere in a sentence. Are you happy, world? I officially suck.

First the good news: Via biblioblog
Coffee and Caffeine Consumption Protect Against Liver Injury in the United States Population Researchers from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease of the National Institutes of Health are reporting that among people who are at high risk for liver problems, coffee drinking and consumption of other caffeinated beverages may reduce risk of liver disease.
Typically, I stumble into a healthy living pattern by cultivating a pair of vices which happily cancel each other out.

In other news, Oyster Gmails this bit from BBC
Archaeologists have found what they believe to be the site of the Library of Alexandria, often described as the world's first major seat of learning.
In another two thousand years they'll excavate this place and discover a well preserved copy of Cane Juice Defecation

Note: You guessed it. Blogger spellcheck does not allow "blogosphere."

Note: Edited subsequently for spelling

So I slept about three hours

And now I'm very lonely. I had to get up at 6:00 AM to put Consuela on a plane. She is off on a romantic getaway and won't be back for two weeks. On the bright side, I can finally start bringing strippers home again.

Monday, May 17, 2004


Ok so everyone knows this by now. But not everyone has seen the funniest blog post of the day. Or the most colorful.

Link updated. Carol moves fast.

Tarantino Bond Film

Might be worth seeing.

Term of the day

I've just learned that it is acceptable to refer to your ex-wife's new husband as your "husband in-law"

Things coming back to me

Daisy has just reminded me of another high moment from last night. She, committed vegetarian that she is, actually ended up grilling twelve hamburgers. She also managed to give names to several of the crawfish before witnessing their demise.

On a hazy day in 2000 something and four

Best party ever last night. The whole world gathered to celebrate the graduations of Jersey Girl and Nurse Mama (who is actually a nurse now... weird.) The highlight was either the best batch of boiled crawfish I have ever been privilidged to experience or the fact that I was able to strike up a conversation simply by quoting Ballzack lyrics. I'm in a certain degree of pain today, but it's ok because for some reason I love everybody.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Reference Interview of the Weekend

Category: Nouns
The caller established the category after confirming that he had indeed called the library. Every other phone call begins with a question like "This the liberry?" People, apparently are highly suspicious of what they read in the phone book. They are also reluctant to believe us when we identify the library immediately upon answering the phone.
Guy on the phone: Is a train a place or a thing?
Me: Well, you know, that is a matter of perspective. I guess you can describe someone as being located "on a train." In this case, the train does indeed qualify as a location, but I would generally be inclined to conceive of a train as a thing.
Guy on the phone: OK ok then what about the Sun
Me: Similar situation. I mean the Sun is a thing.. a very large thing...
Guy: Right because it's a planet.
Me: Actually it's a star.
Guy: Right, it's like the star of the planets.
Me: Close enough... and I suppose one could go to the Sun although I don't think that would be very.... Are we supposed to be identifying the nouns in sentences or..?
Guy: Well they want to know if these nouns are like people or places or animals or whatever.
I told him to use his own judgement but that he seemed to be doing fine. Meanwhile, Daisy is listening to me but doesn't realize I'm on the phone and assumes that I'm just having another conversation with the invisible gnomes. She was wrong, of course. They didn't show up at all today.

Ah beautiful bitchyness

I want to print it out and have it framed. Blender's 50 worst songs ever. (Complete list this time.)

Sunday Reading

Sy Hersh's latest New Yorker piece about Abu Ghraib. We learn from Hersh that responsibility for the prisoner abuses goes straight to the top here, the result of a decision to apply an extra-legal interrogation program (Special Access Program) to the Iraqi prison system.
Rumsfeld and Cambone went a step further, however: they expanded the scope of the sap, bringing its unconventional methods to Abu Ghraib. The commandos were to operate in Iraq as they had in Afghanistan. The male prisoners could be treated roughly, and exposed to sexual humiliation.

"They weren't getting anything substantive from the detainees in Iraq," the former intelligence official told me. "No names. Nothing that they could hang their hat on. Cambone says, I've got to crack this thing and I'm tired of working through the normal chain of command. I've got this apparatus set up-the black special-access program-and I'm going in hot. So he pulls the switch, and the electricity begins flowing last summer. And it's working. We're getting a picture of the insurgency in Iraq and the intelligence is flowing into the white world. We're getting good stuff. But we've got more targets-prisoners in Iraqi jails-than people who can handle them."

Cambone then made another crucial decision, the former intelligence official told me: not only would he bring the sap's rules into the prisons; he would bring some of the Army military-intelligence officers working inside the Iraqi prisons under the sap's auspices. "So here are fundamentally good soldiers-military-intelligence guys-being told that no rules apply," the former official, who has extensive knowledge of the special-access programs, added. "And, as far as they're concerned, this is a covert operation, and it's to be kept within Defense Department channels."
Meanwhile let's check Matt's Blame Game to see just how far any of this has sunk in. Hmmmm that's not so encouraging. Also I should mention that last night, one of my dinner companions said to me, "Why are those people attacking us? I don't understand why they hate us." The sad point is that most of America remains soundly asleep and I remain certain that Bush will win this fall.

Yankees Suck!!

Red Sox 4 Blue Jays 0 Arroyo and Foulke combine on a four hit shut out. Sox move back into first place.

Cubs Win!!

Cubs 7 Padres 5 Sammy Sosa passes Mike Schmidt and moves into ninth place in career home runs with 549.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Gimmicky web design award of the day

Goes to the Washington Post for this interactive graphic which allows you to explore the Bush Campaign's vast funding sources. Reminds me a bit of visual thesaurus. Don't click on visual thesaurus. You may never leave.

Update: Ha ha! Need a clear illustration of Bush's penchant for cronyism?According to the Wa Post graphic, Bush considered Roger Staubach for Navy Secretary in 2001.

Man, Fuck

So the T-Verde rocked predictably (see lightweight Daisy's account.) Ballzack explained: Some guys get high one day and decide they are old school Beastie Boys.. but not good. Their act was preceded by a nearly impenetrable home movie entitled Man, Fuck which featured the following description of Baton Rouge, "It's like a big west bank but like with a college."

More Fark Photoshop Stupidity

Unlikely Harry Potter Sequels
via laughing librarian

Friday, May 14, 2004

URL of the day

Oyster posted this a couple of days ago. I'm only now finding out what it is.


Today the world is one step closer to producing an actual James Bond movie style super-villain.
First Privately-Built Rocket Reaches Space, L.A. Times Reports
May 14 (Bloomberg) -- The SpaceShipOne rocket became the first privately-funded rocket to reach the edge of space when it hit 211,400 feet yesterday, an altitude only astronauts and military pilots usually reach, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Question of the day: If you were a James Bond super-villain, how would you take over the world and what would you do with it once you had it?


Testaverde opens for Ballzack at Tipitina's uptown. Webcast available here!

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Hey Blogger

If I were designing a spell check function for a blogging application, I would allow the word "blogging." But, you know, that's just me.

Cult of LA Blogging Continues to Grow

Already digging the music references on this one.
Your Right Hand Thief
Pointed out by Ricky who apparently knows everything that ever happens in the "Gret Stet."
By the way the answer to this question is, of course, Robert Pollard.

Rummy Running?

Political Wire points to this nugget in the WaPost
"Administration sources say Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is still considering resigning, which would rupture Bush's war cabinet in the middle of a war."

Is it time to pull out?

This is worth a look. The Guardian asks Jonathan Schell:
President Bush said recently of the Iraqis, "It's going to take a while for them to understand what freedom is all about." Hachim Hassani, a representative of the Iraqi Islamic party, a leading Sunni Muslim group on the so-called governing council, might have been answering him when he commented to the Los Angeles Times, "The Iraqi people now equate democracy with bloodshed."

Under these circumstances, staying the course cannot benefit Iraq. On the contrary, each additional day that American troops continue to fight in Iraq can only compound the eventual price of the original mistake. More lives, American and Iraqi, will be lost; the society will be disorganised and pulverised; and any chances for a better future will be reduced, not fostered.
Noam Chosky:
Occupying armies have responsibilities, not rights. Their primary responsibility is to withdraw as quickly and expeditiously as possible, in a manner determined by the occupied population.
Howard Zinn:
The history of military occupations of third world countries is that they bring neither democracy nor security. The laments that "we mustn't cut and run", "we must stay the course", our "reputation" will be imperilled etc are exactly what we heard when, at the start of the Vietnam escalation, some of us called for immediate withdrawal. The result of staying the course was 58,000 Americans and several million Vietnamese dead.
and William R Polk:
The world press has reported that very little real authority will be handed over to the Iraqis or the UN. If the UN is to be of any value in pacifying Iraq, it cannot simply be used by the US as a fig leaf. It must show Iraqis that it is truly independent, and so a worthwhile step forward for them.

For all that, some form of UN trusteeship appears to be the best answer now available. It seems to me that the best form of trusteeship is minimal, not much more than attempting to keep order. Anything more will certainly raise fears in Iraq that outsiders - the United States or the UN - really intend to stay.

That will create the only unity there now is in Iraq - hostility to foreigners.


Is still a fucking genius.

go read

More Veepstakes

Here is Kos handicapping this morning based on this Bloomberg story.
So the word is that Kerry's veep choice has to be a sort of Cheney -- someone who will retire once Kerry leaves office. That way, all the factions and interested parties could sign on to the ticket wholeheartedly without fear that their own presidential plans would be impeded by an incumbent or failed veep candidate (a la Lieberman).
This logic would appear to knock my pick, Bill Richardson, out of the running. But then, I haven't predicted a single thing correctly this year. Why start now?

Irene Says

"That car had a radio that tells you the name of the song playing and the name of the person singing it. It's like it was reading my mind. I never had a radio that did that."

Monday, May 10, 2004

Concert Info

They've been called prog-punk-surf. They're a happy thrash band.. sort of. Someday they'll be really big in Japan. They're Testaverde and they've scarcely been seen since 2001. But you can catch them Friday May 14 at Tip'sopening for hip hop act Ballzack and then again on May 19 at the Howlin' Wolf opening for Trans Am. Updates as they become available.

That makes three

library patrons in the last hour who have asked me to lend them money. What is going on here? If they only knew who they were asking.

Blame Game

Now that the Cheerleader in Chief has reassured us the Rummy is doing a "super job" and with Sy Hersh and Lynndie England's lawyers blaming prisoner abuses on official Pentagon policy, it is time to start thinking about who will ultimately be held responsible. Luckily we have Matt around to keep score for us.


Is I believe the term which applies to a power structure in which a military force is directly responsible to a private interest rather than to a national government. This kind of power unchecked by clear rule of law just begs to be abused.
Peter Singer of the Brookings Institution in Washington, the authority in the field, says clarification is essential.

"There's no international law that controls this industry right now - that's a gap that needs to be filled."

"The second is that the clients in this industry - mainly in the US - need to re-evaluate what roles are appropriate to outsource and what roles are simply too important to the public interest to hand over to the private market."

A lack of clarity may have helped governments in the past.

Private companies might be able to do things government forces found unacceptable and deniable.
Is this really what we want?

But I thought he didn't watch the news.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush has told Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld he was "not happy" that he learned about photos of Iraqi prison abuse by watching television, a senior administration official told CNN.
The rest of this story is nothing new. We all know by now that our current government has betrayed its responsibility to represent its founding principles and values in every conceivable way. The prisoner abuse scandal is just a gross characiature of this. By the way, I wonder if this is not a good time for the mainstream press to start taking another look at what has been going on at Guantanamo.
As for me I think I've hit the wall. I can't possibly be any more embarassed or outraged than I am at this point. Remarkably, the majority of the electorate is out to lunch. The race is still a dead heat. This may have something to do with the fact that the "opposition" party has nominated the biggest dud possible. But also there's this. 48% of the American people actually approve of Geroge Bush. I don't care how much lower that number is from what is was last month or last year that's still a double shitload of mouth breathers. And I guess that's what has me banging my head against the wall. I know without a doubt that Bush will be (re?)elected and that, yes, things can and will get worse.

I started to post this on Wednessday and was about to delete it. But then today I found this Atlantic feature by Jack Beatty which basically says what I'm thinking when I say with some degree of certainty that Bush will win this election.
The Red State electorate is not fooled. They may not know the details of Bush's crony-capitalist raid on the treasury but would they reject the GOP if they did? They vote for values, strength, guns, and righteous ferocity abroad—and the GOP delivers. The rest comes under the heading of keeping government off our backs.
In other words, they can do whatever they want and as long as the Democrats fail to take up populist causes in earnest the yahoos will keep voting these jokers in.

Oh, blogger

Man I go away for five days and you change the whole freaking world on me. Ok give me a half a day and I'll catch up.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

I wanna puke

NYT has this account from an Abu Ghraib prisoner.

Like a Damn Kid With a Credit Card

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Bush administration will request an additional $25 billion to cover military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, administration and congressional sources said Wednesday.
Of course of course.


To the five Republican senators who broke ranks and helped block the new overtime rules.
  • Ben Nighthorse Campbell (Colo.)
  • Lincoln D. Chafee (R.I.)
  • Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)
  • Olympia J. Snowe (Maine)
  • Arlen Specter (Pa.)

Monday, May 03, 2004

Hey ladies

Are you between the ages of 18 and 34? Have a sense of adventure? Like long walks in the desert? Posses any special skills of note? You may be interested in answering this little personal ad from the eligible bachelors at Selective Service.
WASHINGTON -- The chief of the Selective Service System has proposed registering women for the military draft and requiring that young Americans regularly inform the government about whether they have training in niche specialties needed in the armed services.

The proposal, which the agency's acting Director Lewis Brodsky presented to senior Pentagon officials just before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, also seeks to extend the age of draft registration to 34 years old, up from 25.
Makes for a rather macabre version of Elimidate doesn't it?
link via nosey online

Cubs Win!!

Cubs 7 Cardinals 3 We fell out of first but are still hanging in there. Tonight, hopefully, Schilling will get the Sox back on track in Cleveland.

Wilson Naming Names

Talk Left has the book.

Idiotic Campaign Photo of the Day

Along with equally stupid campaign story of the day. Kerry falls off bicycle.

I do silly silly things

Like sign up for Gmail. Always striving to be less unreachable.

May Madness

CNN has devised a new and ingenious way to acquire my email address for spamming purposes. If you are also interested in submitting all of your personal information along with a DNA fingerprint to CNN's "Member Services" then you too will enjoy playing the Veepstakes Bracket Game.
Remember, kids, it's Bill Richardson.

Interview of the week

George Carlin on ESPN
5. Clearly, you're not crazy about our president. What would you like to do to fix it? Or him?

Bush needs to be removed in a peaceful way. ... Yes, you can change presidents, but you don't get much choice in this country about important things. They have all the guns. They have all the tools. They have all the power. We call it freedom of choice. There is an illusion of choice. Americans are led to feel free through the exercise of meaningless choices. There are only two political parties. There is a reduction of the number of media companies. Banking has been reduced to only a handful of banks. Oil companies. These are important, and you're given very little choice.

Oh, but the flavor of jellybeans? The flavor of muffins? A bagel? You can get a Pina Colada bagel. We're given the illusion of choice by the meaningless of choices of trivial things. You know what your freedom of choice in America is? Paper or plastic, buddy? That's it. After you've said cash or charge, maybe it's Pepsi or Coke? Window or Aisle? Smoking or No?. Everything else you're kinda guided towards by focus groups and marketing research.
Go read

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Why am I paying $2.00 a gallon again?

I mean didn't we send like the whole armed forces into Iraq last year so that I wouldn't have to scrape all the change off the floor just to make sure my Tercel can make it to work every day? I mean, geez, what are all these soldiers doing over there? Someone should check on that.

Meanwhile I have to buy two less lottery tickets a week at the Exxon station because all that impulse purchase money is going into the gas tank. Why is this happening? Here's a clue. WSJ Dec. 2003
"China is having an incredible influence on energy flows, not just in Asia but on a worldwide basis," Peter Davies, chief economist at BP, told reporters on a recent trip to Russia, from where BP hopes to supply China with Siberian gas. "The whole centre of gravity of the world energy market is changing."

So far, the most obvious impact has been on prices. In recent years, China has drawn fire in the US and Japan for exporting deflation, as its factories pump out cut-price T-shirts, sneakers, radios and other goods. In the $US1 trillion-a-year ($1.36 trillion) market for oil, the opposite is happening. This year and next, China is expected to account for about a third of the increase in global oil demand. China's purchases are an important reason the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries has been able to keep the cost of a barrel of oil at or above $US30 a barrel for much of this year.

This high demand for oil is driven by the enormous increase in capital investment in China which has taken place over the last decade. International markets have taken advantage of China's ample cheap labor supply and lax environmental standards to create a petro-guzzling manufacturing giant. This week, the Chinese government announced that it will take measures to combat inflation indicating a general slowdown in economic growth. However, oil prices are expected to remain buoyant.

So I guess, I'll just have to go without a powerball entry this week. At least I can still buy food.... oh wait a minute.
US environmentalist Lester Brown warned Wednesday that sudden food price hikes in China could be the sign of a coming world food crisis brought on by global warming and increasingly scarce water supplies among major grain producers.
Uh oh.

Saturday, May 01, 2004

I don't feel so good

When is this day gonna be over?

Bush/Cheney 9-11 Testimony

Transcript available after all. Click here.

I haven't the energy

to deal with this effectively this morning. But you see, today is May Day. May Day is Labor Day throughout most of the world largely in memory of the 1886 Chicago Haymarket incident, a landmark moment in the history of labor relations and a keen example of a long American tradition of injustice, police brutality and hostility to labor. It is not insignificant to note not only that the importance of May 1 is lost to most of the population of this country, but also that some jackass in the Bush Administration has a keen sense of irony.

Also, since the appropriate excerpt from James Loewen's Lies across America is not available online, you're just going to have to get a copy of the book for his excellent treatment of the Haymarket Monument.