Friday, December 31, 2004

Friday Cat Blogging

Well, if all those other blogs can do it, I should hop on the bandwagon. Here's the selection for the end of 2004 - Dec 31.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Let Them Eat Cake

When told that the people were hungry, Marie Antoinette is said to have remarked "Let them eat cake!" When asked about concerns over the American trade deficit, George Bush remarked "Let them buy American products!"

This, of course, comes from a president who has already suggested that the best way for us to survive flu season is to avoid getting sick. Four more years? We can hardly wait.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Jefferson: There's a Light at the End of the Tunnel

"A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to it's true principles. It is true that in the mean time we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war & long oppressions of enormous public debt. But who can say what would be the evils of a scission, and when & where they would end? "

Read the entire letter here:
From Revolution to Reconstruction: Presidents: Thomas Jefferson: Letters: PATIENCE AND THE REIGN OF WITCHES

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

A Uniter?

The President-elect, George W. Bush, has pledged to reach out to Kerry supporters, saying "So today I want to speak to every person who voted for my opponent. To make this nation stronger and better, I will need your support, and I will work to earn it.”

What are the odds of this happening? Let's look at the record. Back in 2002, after the Republicans gained a clear majority in the Senate and strengthened their majority in the House, Vice President Dick Cheney was talking to Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill. The two had this exchange:

"O'Neill said he tried to warn Vice President Dick Cheney that growing budget deficits-expected to top $500 billion this fiscal year alone-posed a threat to the economy. Cheney cut him off. "You know, Paul, Reagan proved deficits don't matter," he said, according to excerpts. Cheney continued: "We won the midterms (congressional elections). This is our due."

My advice: don't hold your breath waiting for Bush to toss you any crumbs. This isn't a charitable guy, and it's certainly not a charitable administration for anyone outside the base.

Not My President

I was traveling around the blogosphere yesterday, looking for reactions to the ongoing election, when I came across a post by someone named Maximos on The early exit polls looked good for Kerry and bad for Bush. Confronted with the possibility of a Bush loss, this blogger wrote "But while I certainly won't regard Kerry as my president (no commonality of beliefs whatsoever, hence, no basis for respect), we'd all do well to accustom ourselves to the dissonant clash of the phrase, "President Kerry". He then added "My harp is turned to mourning, and my organ shall speak with the voice of them that weep. Spare me, O Lord, for my days are truly as nothing."

Interestingly enough, the exit polls turned out to be premature. Kerry lost, Bush won, in an election that once again demonstrated the deep divisions in America. While not nearly as close as the election of 2000, Bush was still opposed by nearly half of the voting electorate -- 48%. Furthermore, this is a President who has shown little interest in opposing viewpoints. When confronted with someone who politely presented his disagreement with the President, Mr. Bush replied "Well, who cares what you think."

The irony is that folks like Maximos will expect -- no, demand -- that the country unite behind Bush. And that unity will take place not on common terms, but strictly on the terms Mr. Bush dictates. Anyone who opposes Mr. Bush will be branded a traitor by the likes of Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh. In Mr. Bush's democracy, dissent is not tolerated; opposing viewpoints may not be presented. During the runup to the election, you were required to present proof of your allegiance to Mr. Bush if you wanted to attend a campaign rally. During his second term, you may be required to present more.

Mr. Bush had no mandate during his first term, no plurality of the popular vote, yet he governed as if he did. Might we expect any less from his second term? And what would happen if some poor soul were to echo the words of Maxmos and declare, of Bush, that he's "not my President." What then?

Monday, October 25, 2004

Enemy Mine?

In a stunning admission, administration officials declared the American public to be the enemy. Regarding the disclosure of the theft of more than 754,000 pounds of high explosives (some of the most powerful explosives known), a "senior administration official" said that the news was not made public sooner because standard intelligence practive is "not to let the enemy know such information."

This begs the question: Who's the enemy? Surely, the people who stole the explosives -- the iraqi insurgents -- knew about the theft, as did the provisional Iraqi government, the American administration, the UN officials who repeatedly warned the Bush administration to secure the storage site, and probably the average Iraqi on the street.

In fact, the only large group of people to be kept in the dark about the missing explosives was the American public.

Comments, Mr. Bush? - IAEA: Tons of Iraq explosives missing - Oct 25, 2004: "IAEA: Tons of Iraq explosives missing"

Friday, October 08, 2004

Saddam had the intent to build WMDs?

Hesiod puts it all into proper perspective:

Counterspin Central: The unofficial "FIRST AMENDMENT ZONE.": "INTENT VS. CAPABILITY"

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Programmers Abandon Global Variables!

One surprising development arising from the recent Presidential Debates has been the near-universal decision of American programmers to forsake the use of global variables. This follows a statement by John Kerry that any decision to engage in preemptive war must pass a global test "where your countrymen, your people understand fully why you're doing what you're doing and you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons."

Despite the apparent soundness of this argument, President Bush denounced the very idea of a global test, calling it a "dangerous outsourcing of our security." Because global variables are so ubiquitous in the coding world, the very notion that their use could lead to a weakening of American security struck a note of terror for many programmers. Others, of course -- most notably programmers working in India, China, and Russia, thanks to oursourced work -- were ambivalent.

Norman Sundergood, a free-lance programmer working from his home in Sioux City, Iowa, swore off global variables for good, saying "I guess I just won't use them any more. I mean, I used to think that 'global' meant 'not restricted in outlook or applicability,' like it could be used anywhere in my program. But, like, he's the President, man! Dude! So, I mean, like whoa! No way I can run the risk of the French hijaaking my code. The Japanese, maybe, but the French? I mean, have you ever smelled brie cheese?" French programmers and cheesemakers were unavailable for comment.

White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan did not say whether there were any plans to purchase a dictionary for the President, nor did he say whether the President had been simply making up definitions or had been consulting with third-graders.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Bush Administration Solves Iraq Problem!

The Bush Administration, faced with unrelenting bad news from Iraq, applied all of its brain power, know-how, cunning, resolve, and strategery, and came up with the ultimate solution: It banned the release of the bad news! Read the story here: Concord Monitor Online and remember: What you don't know can't hurt you!

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Cheney Opposed War in Iraq

Guess who's opposed to the war in Iraq? Dick Cheney! Joel Connelly, of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, dug up a speech that Cheney gave in 1992. (Cheney was the Secretary of Defense during the first Gulf War, and was integral to the decision to end the war without going to Baghdad to get Saddam Hussein.) Read the article for yourself:

In the Northwest: Bush-Cheney flip-flops cost America in blood

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Bush Campaign Signs Hermann Goering as Campaign Advisor!

"...the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

Hermann Goering

Friday, September 10, 2004

Chivalry is Alive and Well!

Here we see a splendid example of the care with which Fine Upstanding Republicans treat those with whom they disagree. Note how the gentleman carefully anchors one hand on the young woman's back, for maximum leverage, while sharply pulling her hair with his other hand.

Yahoo! News - Top Stories Photos - AP

More Proof the Economy is Blazing!

Vice President Dick Cheney says the economy is doing great. How does he know? Simple! Folks are flocking to e-bay to sell their stuff!

One has to wonder, though... if people have to sell their belongings just to survive, how well can they really be doing?

DNC: Kicking Ass: "Vice President Dick Cheney said that the nation's economic figures would be even healthier if the people who make money off eBay are taken into account. Cheney said about 400,000 people collect cash selling things on the Web site. And he said those numbers are being missed when the nation's economic data is collected."

Thursday, September 09, 2004

All You Need to Know

I believe this sentence, from a New Republic story by Ryan Lizza, says all you need to know about a son of privilege who never had a problem with getting someone else to do the fighting for him.

The New Republic Online: Two-Sided Story: "Not only did someone else get shipped off to Vietnam when Bush landed his Guard duty, but once Bush was bored with flying and abandoned his spot, a pilot returning from Vietnam was forced to replace him."

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Scotty the Contortionist

Here's the statement (thanks to wherein Scott McClellan suggests that we can best avenge September 11 by going out and killing lots of people who had nothing to do with it:

McClellan notes 1,000th American death in Iraq

Honor September 11 Victims by Killing an Iraqi!

In a statement acknowledging the death of the 1,000th American soldier in Iraq, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan sought to tie the war in Iraq with terrorism in general by suggesting that the best way to remember those who died on Septemember 11th was by killing Iraqis.

McClellan failed to offer any other alternatives, which left me in a quandary. Since I don't know any Iraqis, and since I really don't want to kill someone, I wonder if it would be permissable for me to become exceptionally sarcastic with someone of Irish descent? Or could I short-change an Asian? Cut a Mexican off in traffic? Perhaps I can give the finger to a Frenchman?

White House on thousandth U-S death in Iraq: "We remember, honor and mourn"

Bush Claims Deficit, Largest Ever, is Smaller!

As amazing as it may seem, the Bush administration has reacted to the record deficit projected for this year, $422 billion, by saying that "the strengthening economy is helping to bring down the deficit."

You may blink now. Yes, Mr. Bush now has the temerity to claim that the deficit -- the largest one in our nation's history -- has somehow been "brought down." Anxious math tutors around the world are hoping for the chance to explain to Mr. Bush that when a number becomes larger, it has not been "brought down." It has, in fact, been increased, which can also be described as "brought up." That is to say, larger is bigger. More is not less. - Money - Record $422 Billion Deficit Projected For This Year

Monday, September 06, 2004

Brave Young Republicans

So... What kind of person kicks a person -- especially a young woman -- while she's being held on the ground by three burly security people?

A Brave Young Republican Lad, that's who.

Here's a link to WABC-TV's video of this fine human being demonstrating good ol' Republican Family Values.

Friday, September 03, 2004