Thursday, December 30, 2004

"Unnecessary Spanish" might make a fun band name

Maddox: 11 worst songs of 2004.

Wal-Mart Continues to be Staggeringly Evil

Recently voted Grinch of the Year.
washington, dc – The retailing giant Wal-Mart was named 'Grinch of the Year' in a national online poll held between December 6 and December 22 by Jobs with Justice.

Wal-Mart is a fitting recipient of the Grinch title. As the

United States' largest retailer and largest employer, Wal-Mart is a driving force in setting wage standards wherever its stores are located. Despite nearly $9 billion in profits, its wages are so low that many employees are eligible for food stamps. Even so, local taxpayers often finance Wal-Mart's expansion through tax breaks and development incentives.
They also kill kitties.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Patron Glossary

After a while you learn to speak their language. They certainly aren't ever going to get the hang of yours.

When a Patron says:
He/She means:
"Print a document using a computer and a printer."

This is even more mystifying considering that
When a patron says:
He/She means:
"The copy machine"

When a patron says:
"I could purchase a liberry card?"
He/She means:
"I would like to apply for and be issued a completely free public library card please."

This is closely related to
When a patron says:
"How long I could rent this book for?"
He/She means:
"What is the lending period for this item?"
One could speculate that these are two examples of how the language of commerce has permeated our culture to such an extent that many people now thoughtlessly apply it to innappropriately describe pro bono public services. Or one could just shut the fuck up.

Which brings us to,
When a patron Says:
"Have a blessed day"
He/she means:
"Bite Me"

Wednessday Evening Sports Item

Three grown men and a dog drive nine hours in the cab of a pickup truck from Nashville to New Orleans. Halfway through the journey the musty smell of three grown men and a dog in the cab of a pickup truck is temporarily overpowered by the smell of greasy fried fast food. Most of the trip is occupied by some permutation of the following conversation.

Dad: So what if we win and Seattle loses and Minnesota loses but St Louis loses too.

Me: We're out.

Dad: What if Seattle wins and we go 8-8 and St. Louis goes 8-8 and Minnesota goes 8-8.

Me: We're still out.

Dad: But we beat St Louis.

Me: And Minnesota beat us. So what?

Dad: Did St. Louis beat Minnesota?

Me: That doesn't matter, Dad. In a three way tie, the playoff bids are resolved according to conference record. It wouldn't be fair to the Rams if Minnesota went and they didn't based only on the fact that we were one of their several common opponents. In football, it doesn't necessarily hold that because A>B and B>C that A is automatically >C.

Dad: It does necessarily hold that if you have the same record as someone you beat and they go to the playoffs and you don't = bullshit.

Like I said, it went round and round like that a few times. I still can't believe anyone is even having this conversation given the fact that the Saints, still possibly the worst team in the NFL,are still alive in the playoff race with one game remaining. All that has to happen is 1) The Saints win at Carolina and 2) the Vikings beat Washington or the Rams lose to the Jets. Keep in mind, the odds of this stuff lining up properly are much much greater than, say, snow in New Orleans on Christmas day.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Instant Obit

While it is common for news outlets to write prefab obituaries of public officials in order that they can make deadline in the event of any sudden eschewing of fleshy incarnation. Recently CNN accidentally left some of their speculative obits available on the internet.
Creepy, yes, but until this morning, I had no idea how comprehensive this practice was. ESPN's NFL pre-game show broke the news of former Eagle and Packer Reggie White's death this morning and was ready to go with a slickly produced video retrospective within 15 minutes! Again.. creepy.

Saturday, December 25, 2004


It'd be a cold day in... well, New Orleans when it snows there. Apparently today was just such a day. It figures, I mean we had oyster dressing today in Nashville after all. Consuela claims to have photographs of my car in the stuff (snow not oyster dressing). Here are some photos of other freaked out denizens of south Louisiana enjoying the only white christmas of their lives. Try not to hurt yourselves.

Nagin is vulnerable

But perhaps not if this is the field.
Among his potential opponents, Nagin said, are Civil District Court Clerk Dale Atkins, City Councilman Eddie Sapir, state Sen. Lambert Boissiere Jr., Dock Board Commissioner Bernard Charbonnet, and former state Rep. Sherman Copelin.

Spitzer selling out

Well, he is running for governor.

Bad headlines

Ok, Ricky, I think this one may be worse.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Obligatory X-mas link

NORAD Santa tracking.

And now, the weather.
It's unnaturally cold in Nashville. Yesterday, I saw real snow for only the second time in my life. Suburban Nashville is a completely alien landscape. The roads already feature the most severe curves and inclines (also these people don't believe in sidewalks for some reason) and yesterday's ice made them impassable so I've been cooped up all day with my family. Tough business, yes, but I'm managing to survive. This is only Tennessee. I have no idea how any of you Yankees live like this. Back home it's practically balmy tonight. Here's hoping everyone is well. Merry Xmas.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

So when do we invade Canada?

CALGARY, Alberta, Dec. 21 - China's thirst for oil has brought it to the doorstep of the United States.

Chinese energy companies are on the verge of striking ambitious deals in Canada in efforts to win access to some of the most prized oil reserves in North America.

The deals may create unease for the first time since the 1970's in the traditionally smooth energy relationship between the United States and Canada.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Lib Chron Holiday Digest

We, the management of this publication, would like to express our deepest gratitude for/interest in/amusement at the overwhelming outpouring of/infinitesimal trickle of concern/dismay/anger/relief/rejoicing expressed to us via e-mail/g-mail/snail mail/ flyer/gossip/threatening post-it/carrier pigeon/semaphore over the lack of activity which has lately been in abundant evidence in this space as of late. On the one hand, we would very much like to apologize for/offhandedly excuse this absence by citing some holiday business related cliché. On the other hand, it is much more fun to simply blame Daisy. Daisy, as long time viewers of the illustrious internet may recall, once published an admittedly obscure, yet undeniably blue piece of blogspace known as I Have A Snake. Due to a rather jarring episode in which the contents of I Have A Snake were made known to some of its most indispensably loveable yet emotionally fragile (despite safely anonymous) regular characters, Daisy has (unwisely in my opinion) decided to cease publication. This has been something of a blow to the staff at Lib Chron. We (especially when we are in the mode of referring to ourselves in the plural) have always viewed I Have a Snake as a sort of companion piece to what we have offered here. Often Daisy’s take on events at the library, be they encounters with nutty patrons, or the follies of the staff, or even our own unique hi jinx has freed us from the obligation of describing such matters as it is assumed here that readers would have gleaned the necessary information from her site before advancing to the more elevated topics discussed in our forum. I Have A Snake provided much library related context which this site (despite its title) often felt free to ignore. Daisy’s ignominious departure from this arena has predictably left us with the seemingly unbearable burden of covering her beat in addition to producing the daily lazy highlighting of selected national news items/local sports scores/links to other blogs/photos of Barry Bonds that readers of this space have come to expect. Daunting? Certainly. Impossible? Not necessarily. Likely to be done properly? Um.. no.
Incidentally, we strongly urge those of you who may harbor misgivings about poor Daisy and her sudden loss of a necessary creative outlet not to fret. She has decided to apply her considerable talent toward the pursuit of a far more high profile publishing endeavor. Daisy has graciously accepted/been swindled into the rewarding position of editor of the NOPL employee newsletter which is most unfortunately titled In Circulation. In her sacred capacity as steward of the NOPL employee news, Daisy is responsible for the monthly assemblage, formatting, and distribution of such crucial matters as Cupcake Recipes, Amateur Poetry and, of course, the naming of the Pet of the Month. I could continue to enumerate the sad sundry details of Daisy’s shameful descent into banality but I can’t allow my much more lofty purposes to be derailed by such trivia. After all, I have a blog to update. So here you go, dear readers/suckers. Here is all the crap you’ve pined for in my absence in convenient bite sized form.

Sports Items: It’s like this, people. Despite their best efforts to perform worse than the sorry NFC, the Saints are going to make the playoffs. It’s really the only possible outcome in this the strangest of years which has seen so many events that totally tip the surreality scale. Bush reelected, World Champion Red Sox, Saints in the playoffs. It just fits. Enjoy it while you can, New Orleans this may be your last chance.
Saban is as good as gone. The latest golden age of LSU football is at an end.

Local News Item: The mayor may actually do something right and try to stop the latest attempt by the hotel industry to encroach further into the French Quarter. Don't hold your breath, however. Without going into too much detail, let me just express my eternal and absolute hatred for the tourism trade and what it has done and continues to do to this city. Its dominance of the local labor market has severely and adversely affected the already unhealthy distribution of wealth in the community. Its trivialization and commercialization of the city's vibrant culture has diminished the quality of life for its citizens. Also tourists are largely rude, and ignorant, and they tend to pee on everything.

Weather Report: Let it snow, bitches!! I've actually only seen snow once in my entire life. We got almost an inch back in 1989. It looks like we might get close this year. Of course I have to be in Nashville for Christmas. I always miss the good stuff.

Library related item: Yep, the rumors are true. Last night NOPL held a great scandalous bacchanalia of an Xmas party. Or to put it another way, they gave us the afternoon off and forced us to go to a party all in the interest of "team building." Actually it wasn't all that bad. Despite the fact that I was invited, we didn't run out of liquor. The accoustics were sufficiently bad to allow one to ignore the karaoke. Daisy and I, who work at an isolated branch, were somewhat taken aback to discover the degree to which we were both um.. known to many of the staff. She proved to be a minor celebrity of sorts due to her aforementioned involvement with the monthly newsletter. I discovered, to my horror (no, delight.... really) that some staff members have seen my blog. Hello there.

Blogging around: Timshel links to this story about (gasp) ticket fixing in Orleans Parish. I wish I could have rustled up some help from these folks a few days ago. As it is, I'm out $181.00 for a stop sign which I did not run you freaking pigs!

Josh Marshall on the Fainthearted Faction.

Right Hand Thief on Iraqi Cajun Bingo

Rudolph: Bush is like Walmart.

And then there's this.

Obligatory Barry Bonds Photo:

That's it, folks I've gotta plane to catch. Next Update from Nashville.

Merry Xmas

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Chocolate Rations are Up

Or maybe down

Lovely Lovely Ludwig Van

Happy Birthday, Beethoven.

Ode to Joy

Update: Ha ha. link fixed. Last one was playing Waltzing Matilda

X-Mas continues

Here's an early suggestion for the regular Timshel Friday feature. It's sort of holiday themed in that it involves snow. Take a few cuts at some diving penguins. Degree of success may depend on your Yeti's relationship with BALCO.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Welcome to Kafka land

Good Christ.
ORGANTOWN, W.Va. - May 5, the day that changed Aliakbar and Shahla Afshari's lives, began like most others. They shared coffee, dropped their 12-year-old son off at Cheat Lake Middle School here, then drove to their laboratories at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, a federal agency that studies workplace hazards.

But that afternoon, their managers pulled the Afsharis aside and delivered a stunning message: they had failed secret background checks and were being fired. No explanations were offered and no appeals allowed. They were escorted to the door and told not to return.
More here

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Quick ones

Our library is closed today due to a... um plumbing emergency. As a result, I have been given the privilege of forfeiting an afternoon's worth of vacation time in order that I might wrestle the X-mas shopping beast. Um.. I gotta get back to that. In the meantime, here's the latest batch of crap sitting out there on the internets.

The world is shocked shocked shocked to learn that Sharpton picked up a $35,000 consulting fee to campaign for Kerry.

The major lefty blogs are ganging up on the DLC today. Here's is Kos's contribution. The consensus there seems to be that the DLC is losing its grip on the party because the corporate money spigot is drying up. I'm not so sure of this. One thing is for sure, if the Democrats really believe they lost because they weren't running far enough to the right, well then it's time for a new party.

Unsurprisingly, it's looking more and more like that kid was just trying to bring Jello to school. Freaking paranoid school administrators need to back off. Treating students like inmates is nothing new to local public schools. In November, an armed private security guard shot a 16 year old in the foot because she claimed she thought he had a joint.

I need to get a cable modem. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I use AOL at home and it bugs the shit out of me. Between the uninterrupted flow of IM spam and the daily "headlines" that say things like "8 Mom-Tested Toys" I'm going to end up taking a bullet or two just to stop the constant ringing in my brain.

This helps though. Here's your GBV to put on repeat for the rest of the day.

Gotta go. More consumer whoring to do.

Officially sanctioned merriment micromanagement plus today's Lib Chron flashback

A recent message broadcast over the library's office e-mail (which D and I affectionately refer to as the "text belcher") has mysteriously, but graciously, granted us permission to decorate the library for christmas even going so far as to helpfully suggest "lights, garland and wreaths on the outside." I am a bit surprised to find that this permission could have been witheld. We didn't have any trouble last year what with all the knowing sugary grins.

Update: link fixed. Sorry, yo.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

UNO Student Paper Shut Down

Timothy Ryan has gone from being a crappy economist to an even crappier chancellor. Allowing a campus newspaper to go under on your watch is unbelievably irresponsible and a disservice to the student body at large as well as to the hardworking staff of the paper. Lying to that staff three days before changing the office locks on them is heinously disrespectful.

The Driftwood site is still up and its editors are venting here.

Concerned individuals may e-mail the chancellor's office at tpryan@uno.edu

Monday, December 06, 2004

Trust no one

Every time I think I've seen the worst thing I'll ever see, along comes the worst damn thing I'll ever see. Here is yet another reason for me to bristle whenever Dad or r suggests that I really ought to buy a cell phone. These motherfuckers here have finally done it. They have officially turned your whole goddamned life into one hollow marketing event.
The sausage campaign was organized by a small, three-year-old company in Boston called BzzAgent, but that firm is hardly the only entity to have concluded that the most powerful forum for consumer seduction is not TV ads or billboards but rather the conversations we have in our everyday lives. The thinking is that in a media universe that keeps fracturing into ever-finer segments, consumers are harder and harder to reach; some can use TiVo to block out ads or the TV's remote control to click away from them, and the rest are simply too saturated with brand messages to absorb another pitch. So corporations frustrated at the apparent limits of ''traditional'' marketing are increasingly open to word-of-mouth marketing. One result is a growing number of marketers organizing veritable armies of hired ''trendsetters'' or ''influencers'' or ''street teams'' to execute ''seeding programs,'' ''viral marketing,'' ''guerrilla marketing.'' What were once fringe tactics are now increasingly mainstream; there is even a Word of Mouth Marketing Association.
Remember good 'ol Gen X and how we were all supposed to be too smart and cynical to fall for this kind of shit? Well, as we all know, that sellout train left the station years ago, but just look at this.
The endless chatter of American consumer life that BzzAgent has infiltrated is not simply a formless cacophony; it has its structures and hierarchies, which have been studied exhaustively for decades. Tremor, the Procter & Gamble word-of-mouth unit, which also does work for a variety of non-P.&G. clients, was founded four years ago with those structures in mind. A key Tremor premise is that the most effective way for a message to travel is through networks of real people communicating directly with one another. ''We set out to see if we could do that in some systematic way,'' Steve Knox, Tremor's C.E.O., said recently. He added a second, closely related premise: ''There is a group of people who are responsible for all word of mouth in the marketplace.'' In other words, some friends are more influential than others, and those are the ones who are chosen to join Tremor.

Who are they? Check out the word-of-mouth industry's favorite graph. The graph is meant to show the pattern by which ideas or products or behaviors are adopted, and it looks like a hill: on the left are the early adopters; then the trend-spreaders; the mainstream population is the big bulge in the middle; then come the laggards, represented by the right-hand slope. This is not new stuff -- Knox himself cites research from the 1930's, as well as the 1962 academic book ''Diffusion of Innovation,'' by Everett Rogers -- but it has become extremely popular over the past five years or so. Seth Godin, who wrote ''Permission Marketing,'' ''Unleashing the Ideavirus'' and other popular marketing books (and whose ideas partly inspired BzzAgent), uses it, as do dozens of other marketing experts. Malcolm Gladwell's ''Tipping Point'' made an argument about these ideas that was simultaneously more textured and easier to digest than most of what had come before (or since), and it became a best seller. But whatever the intentions and caveats of the various approaches to the subject, the most typical response to the graph is to zero in on the segment that forms the bridge over which certain ideas or products travel into the mainstream -- influentials, trend-translators, connectors, alphas, hubs, sneezers, bees, etc. Let's just call them Magic People.

Knox said that Tremor's approach to finding the Magic People is intensively researched. The company tries to isolate the psychological characteristics of the subset of influential teenagers, and has developed a screening process to identify them. The details of this are a secret, but as an example, Knox noted that most teenagers have 25 or 30 names on their instant-messaging ''buddy list,'' whereas a Tremor member might have 150. Tremor recruits volunteers mostly through online advertisements and accepts only 10 or 15 percent of those who apply. The important thing, Knox said, is they are the right kind of kids -- the connected, influential trend-spreading kind. Knox mentioned a focus group of Tremor kids in Los Angeles, where several teenagers showed up with business cards. Magic.
How do you like being a bunch of sheep who do and think and buy whatever the "magic people" tell you? I hope you assholes are proud of yourselves.
Look, you know it's evil shit when you see the obligatory meaningless marketing "verb" rear its souless head.
Finally, while BzzAgent tells its volunteers that they are under no obligation to hide their association with the company and its campaigns, the reality is that most of them do hide it most of the time. They don't tell the people they are ''bzzing,'' that they really found out about the sausage, or the perfume, or the shoes, or the book, from some company in Boston that charges six-figure fees to corporations. ''It just seems more natural, when I talk about something, if people don't think I'm trying to push a product,'' Karen Bollaert explained to me.
Why why why, Ricky, did you have to link to this and ruin my night? Here is some additional commentary I would like to add:

Geez God what the fuck oh my god really? Really? What what what!! Aww geez I can't believe the.. ohhhh man!! Fuck fuck fuck!!!

Monday Night Sports Page

So I'm sitting here with my back to the Cowboys vs Seahawks MNF yawner trying to keep my mind off of the daunting work with which I have been charged this evening but have yet to begin. It's best if you don't ask why this is so, but just know that right now, I am supposed to be writing a review of latest Instant Christmas Classic, the movie adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg's The Polar Express starring the voice of Tom Hanks and many many snowy pixels. That's about as far as I've gotten having not, in fact, seen the film myself. But whatever, I'm sure it involves some kid embroiled in some sappily sad circumstance who is magically restored to his proper state of happy brattery when he learns the "true meaning of Christmas" or some such bullshit. The basic premise behind my going forward with this project is that one does not have to actually witness a thing with his own eyes in order to know that it sucks.
Take, for example, Sunday's not so contentious contest between the Carolina Panthers and your hometown high school Saints from New Orleans High School. The game was blacked out locally and, regular readers will note, I did not attend the game. But did it suck? Um.. yeah it..it kind of sucked. What I wouldn't give for an audio clip of Saints radio analyst Hokie Gajan's on air mock celebration when the Saints finally gained a first down.. sometime in the second quarter. It was a classic moment and really all you need to know about this game or this season. The speculation is already underway about possible coaching replacements. I agree mostly with what Ricky says here. Anyone who thinks the Saints have even a remote chance of getting a hold of Saban has to be chemically altered mentally. Not that I know anything about John DeShazier's habbits that shouldn't be made public. If I remember correctly, it was DeShazier who lobbied hard for the Saints to draft Michael Clayton in the spring. Would have been a nice move, if he had been available. As for Haslett, well, I prefer the management style of so called "players' coaches" to jackass drill sargeant disciplinarians. I think adult employees of any business ought to be treated like adults. So, in this regard, I am dissappointed to see him fail. I think that if you do take the nice guy approach to leadership, it is possible to maintain focus if you remember to hold people responsible for behaving as the adults you have assumed them to be. It's okay if guys want to listen to music in the locker room, or play cards, or dress casual on the plane, or joke around during practice. But when your first round draft pick ditches a pre-game meeting to check out the buffet in the press box, or when your starting quarterback, even if he is a literacy advocate, refuses to throw a hail mary pass at the end of the half because it might mess up his stats, well that stuff is out of line and those people need to be held accountable. Unfortunately Haslett let too much of this stuff slide, and ended up losing his team's attention as a result.
For now, Haslett has four more games to lose before Benson gets yet another chance to clean house and start over. Given Benson's track record, I'm sure you'll pardon me for being less than optimistic.
Meanwhile, I'm tired of this losing shit. Thank god it's basketball season, eh? Oh. Oh good christ!

Oh yeah, just like the way Blogger spellcheck rejects the word blog.

Atrios has one of those little ironies that hack sit-com writers seem to salivate over.

Christmas Shopping?

Hey look, it's the Publishers Weekly Book of the Year. Hint? what hint?


Now that eight US soldiers have filed suit over the Army's "stop loss" policy, I'm beginning to wonder out loud to myself how much longer we can stay in Iraq, without a draft. A few months ago, I wouldn't have hesitated to say, that we'd be shipping out the conscripts by March. Already, the judiciary is working to meet our needs through creative sentencing. But a few weeks back, I came across this story where we find various neo-cons and PNAC types calling for a pull out by next year. What is going on? No, really, I'm asking you. One thing they might be thinking is, let's get these elections held so that a newly "legitimate" Iraqi government can ask the UN for help with security. Seems like a weak idea to me but I'm just looking for explanations. Certainly a US pullout now will only expedite the decline into civil war which may be happening already anyway. Any ideas?

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Drunken Rants Department

The following was meant for Oyster's comments section but unsurprisingly I went on and on a bit much for Haloscan's liking. If you live in New Orleans you really ought to include RHT in your daily reading list. Oh, wait, you already do. Here is the relevant post. Here is the comment to which I refer.
Also.. yep pretty drunk so.. you know.. whatever.

I have to agree with the previous comment. I am highly suspicious of the degree to which the rest of the country, and particularly Hollywood, "gets" Louisiana and its peculiar half-tragic uniqueness. The two books which come closest to capturing it for me are (nonfiction) A.J. Leibling's Earl of Louisiana and (the excellent novel) A Confederacy of Dunces by, I'm sure all of your readers know, John Kennedy Toole. "All the King's Men" is, for my taste, not representative of what Huey Long really meant for the poorest denizens in the poorest of the states during the most desperate of times. Long wrested Louisiana from the grips of the recently "redeemed" planter class and singlehandedly lifted it out of the mud. His extreme methods and the arguably less than democratic system they left in place paved the way for the corrupt abuses of his successors, but Long himself was a necessary and to this day misunderstood antidote to the miserable patriarchy which preceeded him. I recommend, unsurprisingly, T. Harry Williams's biography of Huey for a comprehensive look at Long's career and the Louisiana of his time. I certainly do not trust the filmakers to be sympathetic to our uniquely progressive heritage.. although we seem to be in the throes of a collective amnesia ourselves these days.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Fuck fuckity fuck fuck fuck

I missed GBV on Conan last night. Still pissed that they aren't taking the farewell tour to NO. But I guess that is this and so forth and right on.

We know where the real news is made

Currently I am reading Gore Vidal's Empire. (I'm lazily making my way through all of his "American Chronicle" series.) Central to the plot of this one is the practice of "yellow journalism" of the sort practiced by William Randolph Hearst, who was kind of the Murdoch of his day. In one scene, Vidal describes Hearst on the floor of the editing room finding the most gruesome murder/rape story from the back pages and slowly rearranging the paper several times until he is satisfied. In the final result, the murder dominates the front page. One of the novel's protagonists gets into the newspaper business herself and, using Hearst's techniques, quickly improves her paper's circulation.
In much the same spirit, I am linking to today's revelation that San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds testified that he "unknowingly" took steroids in 2003. A few months back, I posted a pictorial comparison of Bonds in his early pre-cheating days to Bonds in his bloated phase. Ever since then, this site has been besieged with hits from people looking for "Barry Bonds image" or "Barry Bonds homerun ball." Today, I assume as a result of the news, I have been pounded with this genre of search term. It is basically to me what the crime news was to Hearst. So why fight it? Let's just give the folks what they're looking for. Barry Bonds: what a boob!

More Outrage

Second verse same as the first. More thuggery from our boys overseas. Super job, Rummy!

Chemical weapons found in Iraq

Except that it's apparently just us using banned weapons in Fallujah.
Fifteen years ago in Halabja - at a time when Washington was an enthusiastic supplier of chemical weapons to Saddam Hussein - thousands of Kurds were gassed. Even the US Central Intelligence Agency has disputed Saddam's responsibility, blaming Iranians instead. Assuming Saddam did it, and did it deliberately, the US may have done the same thing in Fallujah. As Asia Times Online has reported, Fallujah doctors have identified either swollen and yellowish corpses without any injuries, or "melted bodies" - victims of napalm, the terrifying cocktail of polystyrene and jet fuel. Our sources confirm testimonies by residents who managed to escape the Jolan neighborhood of bombing by "poisonous gases". A resident called Abu Sabah told of "weird bombs that smoke like a mushroom cloud ... and then small pieces fall from the air with long tails of smoke behind them. The pieces of these strange bombs explode into large fires that burn the skin even when you throw water over them". This is exactly what happens to people bombed with napalm or white phosphorus. The UN banned the bombing of civilians with napalm in 1980. The US is the only country in the world still using napalm.
I am disgusted and other than stating that there isn't really a word to describe the state of constant exasperation I find myself in these days, I can't really add anything to what Michael has to say about it
...even if the UN HADN'T banned napalm and white phosphorus bombs, they're still a pretty despicable thing to drop on a population you're supposedly "liberating." Liberating them from what? Their skin?
Michael has been posting busily today. You should really go read his site.

Today's T-P bad writing sample

Peter Finney, or the person responsible for writing his headline for him, with the full approval of his editor fearlessly describes a contest as "contentious."

Thursday, December 02, 2004

First, we kill all the lawyers

Oh it's a fun day in New Orleans. In what amounts to quite a two-fer we've had one assistant district attorney fired for extortion and a city attorney arrested (for the second time) for rape. Add another thing to Rudolph's list, I guess.

Fine, Daisy, I'll drive but they better have Diet Cherry Coke when we get there.

A Hawaiian contributor to This is Broken complains that 7-11's website store finder provides directions to slightly less convenient locations than he expected.

Happy World Aids Day

Don't feel like celebrating? Maybe this will get you in the spirit. The BBC reports that New York City's child welfare department has been testing dangerous experimental AIDS drugs on orphans.

via Cursor

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Now... about that spell check thing

The term "blog" has been chosen as the top word of 2004 by a US dictionary publisher.
Merriam-Webster said "blog" headed the list of most looked-up terms on its site during the last twelve months.
The word will now appear in the 2005 version of Merriam-Webster's printed dictionary.
However, the word is already included in some printed versions of the Oxford English Dictionary
Despite the fact that Blogger links to this story in its "Blogger news" section, the spell check function of its software continues to suggest "bloc" "bloch" "blows" and "bloke" in place of the word "blog."