Thursday, July 29, 2004

Yup, it's football season

And today is my favorite-est day of the year. Fat guys with luggage day. As yet, the local media has no photos of the festivities. Stay tuned for details.

Now this is interesting

The Suicide's Soliloquy

Yes! I’ve resolved the deed to do,
And this the place to do it:
This heart I’ll rush a dagger through
Though I in hell should rue it!

Sweet steel! Come forth from out your sheath,
And glist’ning, speak your powers;
Rip up the organs of my breath,
And draw my blood in showers!

I strike! It quivers in that heart
Which drives me to this end;
I draw and kiss the bloody dart,
My last—my only friend!
-Abraham Lincoln

Welcome to Lib Chron

A fun and gentle site.

Convention Scorecard

The process by which our national political parties nominate candidates for President is nearly as laughable as it is shameful. The primary season is obscenely long and mostly meaningless. The candidates barely pretend to compete for the nomination based on matters of policy or even their ability to mobilize a political constituency. Rather the true contest is a kind of fashion show where the participants are judged by their overall telegeny and personal appeal to the Oprah watching set. This and, of course, the ability to attract the greatest amount of donated cash combine to bestow upon one candidate the aura of "electability" which lights his way to the nomination. All of this is decided months before the actual nominating convention which as a result becomes a weeklong gathering of people with nothing of any substance to do. So instead they stage an elaborate info-mercial where various party luminaries do their best to lead cheers for the inevitable nominee climaxing in the inevitable acceptance of that nomination and the inevitable descent upon the overjoyed crowd by a staggering number of balloons. Thus, in every sense, the distinguishing feature of the convention is a powerful bombardment of hot air.

This year, I must admit, is different. The approach of the 2004 Democratic Convention was filled with dramatic tension. A great question needed to be answered before the festivities could begin. Namely, this question was: Given the fact that, earlier this year, Cox cable finally detected and disconnected the free service I was accidentally receiving in my apartment, how the hell was I going to watch? All I can say is, thank GSUS for CSPAN. Thanks to their streaming video and my dial-up internet connection I have been able to enjoy every last blurry, sputtering, pixelated moment of this convention that I can stand. And thanks, as well, to that very same technology you may now enjoy the following scoring of the speakers who I watched.

Bill Clinton Still the best. Has there ever been a more natural performer? My favorite bit was the one about the awkward position the US finds itself in of wanting to enforce its trade laws against Japan and China who own a substantial portion of its debt. "How are you gonna enforce your trade laws against your own bank?" Unfortunately, while in office, President Clinton did nothing to reverse this situation. Clinton's rhetorical style of attack is perfect. He continually kills with kindness the other party's policies while professing to admire their conviction. I remember seeing him use the "John Kerry said 'Send me'" bit way back during the Unity dinner. I was not surprised to see him stick with it. It worked quite nicely. Score 9/10 (Would have been perfect but he's such a damn hypocrite)

Barack Obama Surprisingly underwhelming. I know I know he's already the darling of the convention and the rising star of the party. Not even Mike Ditka wants to run against him. Maybe this is why I expected something more. This was very much like a John Edwards speech. (Without all the disgusting lip smacking.) Very smooth delivery. Emotional appeal to egalitarian "values." But in the end, you feel empty because you realize there was no real policy advocacy.. just a lot of warm and fuzzies. And even though you like those warm and fuzzies, and they get you on his side, you still find yourself saying, "OK I'm with you, man, so what do we do?" Score 6/10 It probably played well to the "undecided likely voters" and that is a good thing.

Teresa Heinz Kerry Impressive. More than I expected. This is a worldly, intelligent not at all phony woman and it shows. What was bothersome was the way David Brooks and Mark Shields, commenting for PBS, ripped her afterwards for not being the empty-headed doting wife that, according to them, Kerry needs her to be. Good Christ, guys, this is 2004! Also, Brooks called the speech "wonky." I don't see how anyone could have watched that and not been impressed. Score 11/10 (extra points because David Brooks is an asshole)

Dennis Kucinich Short and sweet speech.. just like Dennis (ha!) This was my candidate during the primaries because he was the only candidate who argued for single payer national health care, an immediate withdrawal from Iraq, and cancellation of NAFTA. This speech was little more than a quick cheering exercise. Score 5/10

Al Sharpton The best line of the convention, "If George Bush had appointed the Supreme Court in 1954, Clarence Thomas would never have been able to go to law school." Sharpton was outstanding during the primary season and stole the show at most of the debates. It was good to see him again and I was very happy to learn that he went off script and exceeded his allotted time by more than ten minutes. Unfortunately this was not his best effort. It wasn't bad.. but he has been better. Score 7/10

John Edwards I really hate this guy. He is smarmy and phony to the core and it shows. Luckily, I seem to be the only person who sees this. People eat his shit up. I want to be clear about this. I believe the Democrats should campaign on exactly the themes that John Edwards talks about namely, bringing hope and opportunity to the poor and working class families who have been so hugely shat upon by the oligarchs in this country for generations. Unfortunately I don't think John Edwards gives a shit about anything but John Edwards. Tonight was more of the same from him. He said the right things.. but it's the way he says them that irks me... makes me fell like someone is trying to sell me vacuum cleaner. I don't like it. Happily, most of the aforementioned "likely voters" will like it and this puts us ever closer to a Bushless White House. Score 8/10 (Hey, I may not like it but it probably got the job done)

Monday, July 26, 2004

Imperial America

The meat of Gore Vidal's latest pamphlet comes in the form of reprinted essays dating from 1972 to the present with a few new editorial embellishments. Among the highlights:
...roughly 80 percent of police work in the United States has to do with the regulation of our private morals. By that I mean, controlling what we smoke, eat, put in our veins - not to mention trying to regulate with whom and how we have sex, with whom and how we gamble. As a result, our police are the most corrupt in the western world.

For two hundred years we have had an oligarchical system in which men of property can do well and others are on their own. Or as Brooks Adams put it, the sole problem of our ruling class is whether to coerce or bribe the powerless majority. The so-called Great Society bribed; today coercion is much in the air. Happily, our neoconservative Mongoloids favor authoritarian if not totalitarian means of coercion.

Now (2004) that we have ceased to be a nation under law, but a homeland where the withered Bill of Rights, like a dead trumpet vine, clings to our pseudo-Roman columns, Homeland Security appears to be uniting our secret police into a single sort of Gestapo with dossiers on everyone to prevent us, somehow or other, from being terrorized by various implacable Second and Third World enemies.

Vidal's collection demonstrates the consistency with which the National Security State, established in 1950, has, with ever increasing intrusiveness, used fear and coercion to control public opinion and raid the treaury in the interest of conducting its several imperial wars in Korea, Vietnam, Nicuragua, Guatemala, Afghanistan, Iraq to name a few of the bigger ones. Which, of course, is why we can only shake our heads at the martial law in effect in Boston this week and wonder where does it end.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Score one for Dad

For putting two and two together regarding the latest proposal for placating Tom Benson's desire for new digs. The Governor's plan to marry the stadium project to construction of the Phase IV convention center expansion could solve two problems at one time. In addition to helping alleviate concerns be they real or imagined about Mr. Benson's potential for wanderlust, this project could relieve the legal issues currently holding up work at convention center. Stupid me didn't give this a moment's thought until this morning when Dad spelled it out thusly
...(regarding)the mess that has been made of the bidding process and award by the combined and often at odds actions of the Convention Center Board and the courts. As it stands, the Board can give the job to Broadmoor and get sued by the other bidders or it can rebid the whole thing and get sued by Broadmoor again, all the while being assured of more extravagantly expensive delays with no end in sight. Turning the project into an entirely new undertaking involving both a stadium and a scaled down convention center expansion is like a silver bullet. It necessitates a new bidding round and nullifies any avenue for lawsuits.
This project now sounds to me like more than just a pipe dream, although I suspect it may still turn out to be a bargaining ploy. I owe Dad a coke.

Ricky, we hardly knew ya

So Ricky Williams retired. Good move. You're young strong and rich. Why would you want to continue to live the life of an NFL player any longer than you had to? Why deal with having every aspect of your private life scrutinized intrusively not only by your employer but also by the public at large just for the privilege of colliding dangerously with plastic clad fat men for the next seven to ten years. No thanks, I think I'd hop a plane to Asia too.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

House Cleaning

Do not try to adjust your set. I'm moving a few things around, mostly updating the old blogroll by adding some things that I regularly read and removing some things that look like they've become good candidates for the Museum of Abandoned Web Sites. Unlike most of the cool kids, I've decided not to undergo a major template redesign. This place feels too much like home to the nearly 20 people who accidentally land here each day while searching for "pictures of exploding things" and I'm too loyal to those folks to start messing with their heads now. A few more minor changes may or may not be noticeable or at all important to your life in the next few days. You may now return to your regular broadcast.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Hurry up, Sven, we're trying to make last call at Bath and Body Works

In Sweden, where it can sometimes take over three months to change apartments, it now turns out that folks can't even get liquored up properly without first making sure it is a squeaky-clean event. Magnus, were you out past curfew again? Oh my god you smell like a laundromat! Son, you need to lay off the suds!
I could go on really I could.

We're all gonna die Vol. 2

Tropical system has good chance to become first depression

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Election 2004 Summary

Courtesy of John Scalzi.

This is about that e-mail I was supposed to forward isn't it.

Microsoft to Pay Stockholders Special One-Time Dividend

Aaron Brooks Wears Pajamas

Like, out in public and stuff. No really, like, even in front of huge crowds of children. I'm sure the authorities at this event would have said something but he's a lot bigger than they are. Besides, get a load of the jackass they weasled into warming up the crowd for them. Obviously we are not dealing with a top of the line operation here.

Ha ha War is Peace

Way to keep their heads spinning.
Poor George Orwell. If he were alive today, he'd be the most sought after talking head on the globe. Someone would have to tatoo the words "told you so" to his forehead. He'd fry up a peanut butter and banana sandwich and shoot the TV set. What? Do I mean that's what would happen if Elvis were still alive? No no I mean Orwell. That's exactly how bloated he would be from the constant fawning. It would happen to you too.

So when did...

Maureen Dowd start writing Krugman's column for him?

Joking for GSUS

The audience is practically in rapture! Ha ha! See? I can do it too. And that one the about meek inheriting the earth and all. That was another good one.

Today's Prison Abuse Episode

NEW YORK - An investigator for an animal rights group captured video showing chickens being kicked, stomped and thrown against a wall by workers at a supplier for Kentucky Fried Chicken, which has been under pressure since last year over the treatment of animals.

Well, you know, whatever as long as it's working, right?

Also, um... "Yum! Inc."? Good Christ!

Monday, July 19, 2004

Yep.. Pretty much

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- A 36-year-old man led police on a brief car chase, driving on sidewalks, through parking lots and even against traffic on a busy boulevard, so he wouldn't get caught with stolen library books, according to police.


Ah yes, I remember this place

Irene: "So when you send somebody an e-mail, is it like instant?"

Back to life.. such as it is

Well I'm back in the library after perhaps the most trying week long vacation in human history.  In the interest of reestablishing normalcy this morning, here is yet another reason to fear your cell phone.

Panic at Nigerian 'killer calls'
Update:  Stop the presses!  Killer calls attempt to occupy consecrated ground.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Today I am 30

That's right. The world works in strange ways. 1974: I am born and one month later Nixon resigns. Certainly this is no mere coincidence.
I was so afraid that today would be some sort of emotional catastrophe that I actually took the whole week off from work in order that I may age properly and in my own space. However, I have been 30 now for a good nine hours plus and as yet it has not been a disaster.
I am very satisfied with the fact that this milestone was greeted properly last night by r and myself at the biker bar where we drank lite beer and redheaded sluts (if you don't know don't ask) until the sun came up. There is nothing quite like the early morning streets of the French Quarter where the local denizens are more than happy to offer you their advice on the best place to eat garbage or perhaps, if you are lucky, sell you some stolen contruction equipment. It kind of makes today a bit of an anticlimax but I may still manage to get myself arrested or something. Stay tuned.
Also on July 15:
Rembrandt van Rijn born 1606
Crusaders capture Jerusalem 1099

Saturday, July 10, 2004

God Bless Carlos Delgado

Rare is it that today's pampered athletes show some actual guts. You'd think all that money would make them less afraid to have unpopular opinions.

link via Michael

Election at a glance

Ok I admit it. I enjoy following the horse race aspect of political campaigns. While it may be true that the practice of reporting politics only in terms of polls and avoiding coverage of actual issues is a fault of the major news media, this does not mean that I don't eat up every second of it. And, of course, so do you. And since I know this about you, I know also that you probably like to visit electoral-vote.com on a near daily basis. Political Wire is another great place to get your fix, including this poll in which voters were asked which candidate has the best hair. Real Clear Politics seems to have something of a rightist editorial lean but is itself another excellent place to go for the latest meaningless numbers. But, you know, when you really need to know which way the wind is blowing out there, there really isn't any approach that even comes close to getting out in the streets and asking the crack whores.

Posted without comment

Summer is mean season in New Orleans
Arguments, accidents increase, police say


Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Reference Question

Is there somewhere in the world where one can place a wager on who will be the last Beatle to die? Must be so.. but I can't find it.... yet.

Change of Scenery

Should this have been a Python sketch or a Kafka novel? You figure it out.

My Blogger Code

Bound to come along sooner or later.

B5 d- t- k++ s+ u- f i o x-- e l- c

Here you can, of course, participate in this too, you big geek.

When I'm 64

Happy birthday, Ringo.

Word of the Day


Now, thanks to genetic research, here's a restaurant where all descendants of Genghis Kahn can eat for free. God knows he sure would have.

Only one week left

Until my 20's are over! My God what have I done?
Anywhoo in case you are interested, I would be very happy with either the Red Megaman or the Green Megaman or even the Yellow Megaman.

Too much excitement

So I'm back from yet another major danger adventure. Destin, FL on Fourth of July weekend is not exactly the relaxing vacation getaway one would expect. Yeah I know it's pretty and the harbor is the color of raspberry Laffy Taffy and all but I was nearly killed several times. First I had to sleep one night out on the beach like a homeless person. While that may sound all romantic and rugged to you, I want you to sing this song over and over again and then think about what it means for someone waking up all nasty and hung over at 9 AM. Also I was made to set out to sea in waters I knew to be heavily traveled by pirates. I have no idea what to do when pirates attack. What if I had to hoist the jib or list the cargo or squeeze the orange or whatever. I don't get nautical terms. Luckily, we didn't see any pirates but there were dolphins and that was pretty damn scary too. Just because something is cute does not mean it isn't evil; women, for example. Then, of course, there was the baby shark problem. A perfectly innocent swim in the Gulf was interrupted by an angry horde of baby sharks.. or little fish who were nonetheless angry and hordelike I didn't get a good look at them... who drove me back onto the beach. Turns out, viscous baby sharks are everywhere on the Emerald Coast. In fact, there is a thriving jewelry industry based on this fact.
Additional hazards abounded. No matter which direction we turned or how fast we drove we could not escape the shadow of Waffle House. The Waffle House people must own something like 70% of the real estate along the Gulf Coast. I was nearly maimed by defective fireworks. The hotel room smelled like butt. I was once forced to eat something called a Whataburger. And worst of all, there was the 4 hours drive time each way during which I barely survived the constant harangues of a nurse who can't stand me. Other than that it was pretty nice. I think I'll be back next year.

Jeb Bush: Readers' Advisor

Weird dark humor here. It kind of reads like an Onion story.
Jeb Bush not anxious to read Clinton book

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Krugman On Farenheit

There has been much tut-tutting by pundits who complain that the movie, though it has yet to be caught in any major factual errors, uses association and innuendo to create false impressions. Many of these same pundits consider it bad form to make a big fuss about the Bush administration's use of association and innuendo to link the Iraq war to 9/11. Why hold a self-proclaimed polemicist to a higher standard than you hold the president of the United States?

And for all its flaws, "Fahrenheit 9/11" performs an essential service. It would be a better movie if it didn't promote a few unproven conspiracy theories, but those theories aren't the reason why millions of people who aren't die-hard Bush-haters are flocking to see it. These people see the film to learn true stories they should have heard elsewhere, but didn't. Mr. Moore may not be considered respectable, but his film is a hit because the respectable media haven't been doing their job.

Yes we can

Unfortunately he made the wrong choice.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Can we stop with the freaking rumormongering already

Let's get this overwith so that I can once again be wrong wrong wrong.
PITTSBURGH -- John F. Kerry spent yesterday in isolation at his wife's 90-acre suburban farm, working on his convention acceptance speech amid signs that the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee may announce his choice of a running mate here as early as next Tuesday
Also, Word of the Day #2: "media boomlet"

Word of the Day


Saddam show trial begins

Saddam's statement to the judge, "Hey relax, fella. Look over there!"

May I buy you another round?

Really, no I insist. It's good for you.