Archive for December, 2002

Rall on a Roll

Friday, December 27th, 2002

I’m becoming increasingly unable to imagine how I got by before I had Ted Rall’s weekly columns to read. And I apologize for being behind in bringing you, the loyal reader, up to date on his latest output. Anyway, here are his most-recent two columns: The Lame White Hope, comparing Al Gore unfavorably with Charles DeGaulle for having given up the resistance against the Vichy regime currently occupying the White House, and Another War, Still No Proof, pointing out that the smoke and mirrors Bush & Co. used to justify the overthrow of Afghanistan is, so far at least, failing to sway the nation in the direction of supporting the overthrow of Iraq.

Barney Peddling Smut

Friday, December 27th, 2002

From Hiro comes word of this fun CNN story about a couple of kids in New Jersey who opened up their new “Sing-Along Songs Barney” book to find a photo of a naked man and woman embracing below the headline “Wilder Sex”. Seems the publisher’s outsourced Chinese printing operation needs better quality control.

U.S. Experiencing Technical Difficulties

Tuesday, December 24th, 2002

A cool little animation, from the folks at Technical Difficulties. Web-hostile Flash (I’m assuming; I have a hard time caring enough to keep the various ‘Why isnt’ the Web more like TV?’ technologies straight), but otherwise worthwhile.

Onion: Bill of Rights Streamlined

Wednesday, December 18th, 2002

More great knavery from The Onion: Bill of Rights Pared Down to a Manageable Six. As usual with them, it’s not so much the idea, as the execution.

Serkis Brings Gollum to Life

Tuesday, December 17th, 2002

The Los Angeles Times, despite having a really user-hostile web site, has a really nice article this morning on Andy Serkis, the actor who portrays Gollum in TTT. Check it out, if you can stand the registration requirement (cypherpunk98/cypherpunk), pop-up ads, and assinine little DHTML “blimp” that crawls back and forth over the text you’re trying to read: Putting a Human Face on ‘It’. Oh, and by the way: Miranda Otto, who plays Eowyn, is 35 today. Happy birthday, Miranda!

Salon on Dubya’s California Vendetta

Monday, December 16th, 2002

Salon has a nice piece outlining some of the high points in Bush’s ongoing war on California: Bush to California: Choke on This. My favorite part is where they point out that dubya’s claim to support states’ rights at the expense of federal encroachment only applies when the state in question is pursuing an agenda favorable to the oil industry. In California’s case, where the state is leaning the other way, Bush has no problem at all with the federal government jumping in with all the authority it can bring to bear.

Rall: Dubya Has Declared Himself God

Friday, December 13th, 2002

It really makes my day when Ted Rall writes something. Like George W. Bush, Warlord. Go read this now.

Jimmy Carter Scolds Dubya on Taking Sides with Israel

Friday, December 13th, 2002

While acknowledging that he’d be willing to play a mediator’s role in the Arab-Israeli conflict if both sides, and the U.S. president, asked him to, Jimmy Carter opened a mild can of moral-authority whoop-ass on dubya the other day by pointing out that he (dubya) is unique among recent U.S. presidents in siding wholeheartedly with Israel in that conflict, rather than offering at least an illusion of even-handedness (which, granted, is fairly academic anyway, given the U.S.’s consistent role in funding the Israeli military machine throughout that period). In any event, Carter has since acknowleged that he doesn’t have a snowball’s chance of being asked to mediate anytime soon.

Academic Boycott of Israel?

Thursday, December 12th, 2002

From the Guardian comes an interesting, if lengthy, piece on a small but growing movement, centered in British academic circles, to boycott Israeli academic researchers. Among its other virtues, the article offers some insights into the range of viewpoints within Israel, or at least Israeli academia, toward the current bury-them-in-rubble approach to the Palestinian issue espoused by Sharon.

Arianna Does Dubya

Thursday, December 12th, 2002

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, unless it’s a former conservative standard bearer disillusioned and radicalized after finding herself the unwitting dupe of a bunch of stupid white men. Anyway, Arianna Huffington must surely scare the pants off dubya these days, and not just because she knows how to use big words like “admonition.” The latest example of her dissatisfaction with the ongoing abuse of power that is the Bush administration is this piece: White House Chutzpah. Enjoy!

Peeing Alderwoman Acquitted of Lewd Conduct

Wednesday, December 11th, 2002

It’s nice to see, in a time when so many of our cherished national traditions are under attack, that a jury of honest American citizens is still willing to defend the right of local politicians to erect a barrier of sheets and blankets, and pee in a trashcan during a City Council meeting.

Vicar Spills Beans on Santa Hoax

Wednesday, December 11th, 2002

I’m intrigued by the story of Lee Rayfield, a British vicar who reportedly reduced youngsters in his audience to tears when he delivered a sermon pointing out that the Santa Claus myth defies the laws of physics. I look forward to his next sermon, in which he explains how Christ could not actually have turned water into wine, raised Lazarus from the dead, or appeared to his followers three days after his crucifixion.

Making Fun of the Elderly, Onion-Style

Wednesday, December 11th, 2002

From the newly updated Onion (yay!): the Strom Turns 100 infographic.

FedExing Santa

Friday, December 6th, 2002

The usual holiday frivolity. This guy David sent a FedEx letter to Santa. Cute comment about John Ashcroft making things easier in the knowing who’s naughty and nice department. Also, don’t miss the link to FedEx’s tracking app, where you can see that indeed the package was delivered, and signed for (well, “signature on file”) by “S CLAUS”, in Basalt, CO.

Onion: Shocking Revelations on Presidential Lying

Wednesday, December 4th, 2002

Yet another nice piece from The Onion: Report: Presidents Washington Through Bush May Have Lied About Key Matters. As usual, it’s the little touches that really set their stuff apart.

Rutton: Kissinger Getting a Free Ride

Wednesday, December 4th, 2002

Tim Rutton, writing in the L.A. Times’ Calendar section, has some choice words for those in the media who are reporting with a straight face the appointment of Henry Kissinger to head the commission investigating the 9/11 attacks: Kissinger Kiss-Up: Media Not Doing Their Job. Update: More of the same from Joe Conason and David Corn.

Get Your War On Updates Again

Wednesday, December 4th, 2002

I know; I’m behind the times. Get Your War On updated way back before Thanksgiving, and I’m just now noticing. So sue me. But first, if you haven’t, go check it out. Favorite quote: If an FBI agent secretly takes a dump in your toilet, does he have to flush?

Viggo Mortensen’s Anti-War Views on Charlie Rose

Wednesday, December 4th, 2002

Viggo Mortensen, who plays Aragorn in the LOTR movies, made some really fabulous statements in opposition to the U.S.’s current mania for dropping bombs on people during an appearance on the Charlie Rose show Tuesday night. I’d love to link to news coverage of it, but I don’t think any has made its way onto the Web just yet. Let me know if you run across some, okay? Thanks. Update: One of the obsessed fans sent a description of Viggo’s comments to That’s all I’ve been able to find so far. Later: More spoutings from the obsessives, as collected over at Still later: Another Movable Type blog (Lying Media Bastards) saw fit to mention the incident.

Rundle: Winona Was a Walking Pharmacy at the Time of Her Arrest

Wednesday, December 4th, 2002

Deputy D.A. Ann Rundle has filed the prosecution’s brief in advance of Friday’s sentencing of Winona Ryder. Rundle calls for community service, a $26,000 fine, and drug counseling, which, except for that intervening trial and conviction part, is pretty much what I was predicting back in the day. The most interesting part of the brief is where Rundle details all the drugs Winona had on her at the time of the arrest. I don’t think there can be any real question but that the girl, for all her clothes sense, has a serious substance-abuse problem.

Rice: Bush on Solid Legal Ground with Derwish Killing

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2002

Condoleeza Rice has stated that the U.S. can kill whomever it wants in pursuit of al Qaeda, even U.S. citizens. “I can assure you that no constitutional questions are raised here,” she said of the killing of Kamal Derwish, a U.S. citizen who was in the car with Qaed Salim Sinan al-Harethi when the CIA used a remotely launched Hellfire missile to blow him up in Yemen on November 3. According to the Bush administration, Derwish was an enemy combatant in wartime. Nice. And since our enemies in this war have no recognizable country or uniforms, and fight on no particular battlefield, and since this war, by definition, will never be over, we basically can just take all that crap in the Constitution that limits the power of the government, and throw it away.