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25 May 2006
 
Lay's Day


Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling of Enron have both been found guilty, and in Lay's case this may mean the rest of his life will be spent in prison.

Lay, 64, was convicted of six counts of conspiracy and fraud and faces up to 45 years in prison.

Skilling was found guilty of 19 counts of conspiracy, fraud, insider trading and making false statements which, combined, carry a maximum sentence of 185 years. He was not convicted on nine criminal counts.

In a separate trial, U.S. District Judge Sim Lake found Lay guilty of all four bank fraud charges for illegally using money from $75 million in personal loans to buy stock...The convictions of Lay and Skilling bring to 19 the number of Enron executives who pleaded guilty or have been found guilty of crimes for their part in the company's demise.

As someone who was driven from California by the economic disaster caused by the electric crisis Enron deliberately caused and took advantage of, I applaud loudly.

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24 May 2006
  Funny How He Looks Like He Never Got Laid In His Life

This is definitely a way of ruining everybody's graduation.



What an asshole.

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The Drawback of Being Unhip and Humorless

Tom DeLay's supporters just sent out a fundraising e-mail where they credit Stephen Colbert with getting to the bottom of the hate toward DeLay. (Having to do with Robert Greenwald--they have the video on their site and think it's actually a defense of DeLay)

Too bad they don't realize Colbert is a satirist. What goons.

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23 May 2006
 
Stuff Sucks

...is the name of a really cool webcomic by the talented young (and by this I mean 19--geez, I feel old and incapable) cartoonist Liz Greenfield, who resides in the Netherlands.

Check it out.

Note: Some of you might have noticed half my links on the right have disappeared. Or at least I just did. I messed up the code while trying to fix the template. Many apologies, and I will fix it as soon as I can be bothered to...

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Phoebe Zeit-Geist

My hero, the late Michael O'Donoghue, along with Frank Springer, did a graphic novel for the magazine Evergreen called Phoebe Zeit-Geist, a very funny and, to modern eyes, extremely non-PC satire of just about everything. sadly, like most of Mr. Mike's work, it's out of print and one shouldn't expect it collected anytime soon; usually you can only find it for a lot of money on Ebay.

But those cool cats over at the Groovy Age of Horror have gone and put it all, it appears, online, so check it out while you can.

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21 May 2006
  Drawing In Dirt: The Infection Spreads

Check out Drawing in Dirt at ApogeeMag.com!

Thanks, Heather!

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19 May 2006
 
Republicans Don't Think They Need Latinos

Or at least one might think so, because when no one was looking, they made English the "national language" yesterday by a 63 to 34 Senate vote. There are 55 Republicans, 44 Democrats, and 1 independent in the senate right now. Only one Republican voted against it, and nine Democrats voted for it. (McCain voted for it, probably not a brilliant move for an Arizona senator)

I was under the impression that they were cultivating the Latino population as Republican voters. Have they simply decided they have enough white gated-community bigots to make up the difference?

This will not go well for them, and ranks among one of the most ill-timed political mistakes ever. There are only so many Miami Cubans.

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18 May 2006
  "A Competing Network"

Is Press Secretary Tony Snow still on Fox's payroll? From Raw Story:

...The questioner begins: "...There's been a more vociferous outcry on issues that are well-known to the President in terms of what conservatives oppose about this immigration idea. So what specifically is he prepared to do to bring them around, other than to lead on the issue?

After Snow answers, the questioner asks about Karl Rove's meeting with House Republicans, "What you're describing and the notion that this was a hopeful and positive meeting --

MR. SNOW: Well, it's not my notion, it's what Karl said.

Q Okay. But, I mean, maybe it was a terrific meeting. As far as I can tell, that has not stopped Republicans, particularly in the House, from going gangbusters against this President before they've had a chance to read everything, as you say they should do.

MR. SNOW: Well, as I pointed out -- I mentioned this yesterday, and for -- let me see if I can find my quote, because I pulled it out. Chuck Hagel, as you may recall, made a fair amount of news over the weekend when he first said that -- let's see -- "Well, I want to listen to the details and I want to listen to the President," said Senator Hagel -- he said this on "This Week" on a competing network. But I would say this: I think we have to be very careful here. That's not the role of our military, that's not the role of our National Guard."...

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Judy Miller Knew From Government 9/11 Was Coming
In 2001, an anonymous White House source leaked top-secret NSA intelligence to reporter Judith Miller that Al Qaida was planning a major attack on the United States. But the story never made it into the paper.
The whole story here.

If the leaker knew, the NSA knew. If the NSA knew, the federal government knew.

And if they knew, and no defenses were ready--and they weren't--they let it happen, because they knew it would be to their benefit.

And we'll all let them get away with it, because we're a nation of doormats.

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17 May 2006
 
No Tears Here



Ward Churchill has been found guilty by the University of Colorado of a very peculiarly elaborate form of plagiarism: not just passing others' work off as his own, but trying to disguise using himself as a source:
Here's a sample of one of the more interesting forms of misconduct, related to what some people call "sock-puppetry": Churchill is found guilty of passing off others' work as his own (plagiarism), but also of passing off his own work as others'. The latter is faulted as a general departure from "established standards regarding author names on publications" (p. 89); but it's also more specifically, and more seriously, faulted because Churchill then used the work published under another's name "as apparently independent authority for claims that he makes in his own later scholarship" (p. 89). This "permits the author to create the false appearance that his claims are supported by other scholars when, in fact, he is the only source for such claims" (p. 90). Here's an example, from pp. 23-24 (some paragraph breaks and emphasis added):
Footnotes 63 and 64 of his "Perversions of Justice," in Struggle for the Land (1993 edition), contain basically three sources to support the claims regarding the General Allotment Act of 1887. All appear to the reader to be reputable, independent third-party sources.

First, Professor Churchill cites directly to the originally enacted version of the General Allotment Act of 1887 .... [But n]ot only is his statement unsupported by his source, but also more significantly, he did not follow the referencing convention that a lawyer or historian citing a lengthy statute for a particular detail normally would follow, which is to pinpoint the precise section number of the multi-section statute that supported his claim. As one will see throughout this report, this general reference to an apparent independent source in its entirety constitutes an unconventional referencing style frequently employed by Professor Churchill to create the appearance of independent support for his claims, while simultaneously discouraging or, at least, making far more difficult, any effort by other researchers to check his claims by failing to pinpoint the precise location of his claimed support in an otherwise lengthy work. Standing alone, this referencing failure might constitute some level of sloppiness, but certainly would not constitute research misconduct.

When it is combined with a pattern of other misconduct reflected in this and other allegations, however, the Committee is left with a firm impression, by a preponderance of the evidence, that it constituted part of a deliberate research stratagem to create the appearance of independent verifiable support for claims that could not be supported through existing primary and secondary sources. To put it most simply, it was part of a pattern and consistent research stratagem to cloak extreme, unsupportable, propaganda-like claims of fact that support Professor Churchill's legal and political claims with the aura of authentic scholarly research by referencing apparently (but not actually) supportive independent third-party sources. The next problem discussed with these two footnotes makes this stratagem far clearer.

The other two apparently independent third-party sources cited in footnotes 63 and 64 are essays published in the same volume, The State of Native America, one under the name of a person named Rebecca Robbins and the other under the name of M. Annette Jaimes, the editor of the volume. Since both essays do contain statements of the type that Professor Churchill claims, that might have put an end to the matter of research misconduct regarding this allegation, except for the fact that in response to the separate allegation that he had plagiarized the Robbins essay in another later published piece, Professor Churchill said in Submission E that he had in fact ghostwritten both the Robbins and the Jaimes essays, in full.... [This] constitutes a serious problem of research misconduct. The initial support for the disputed statement involved three independent sources. As already noted, the Act does not expressly provide what Professor Churchill claims and therefore can provide no support for his claims whatsoever. The two other apparently independent third-party sources, the Robbins and Jaimes essays, turn out not to be independent sources at all but, rather, to have been ghostwritten in their entirety by Professor Churchill. This action provided him with apparent independent sources that he could and did in fact cite to support otherwise insupportable claims of legal and historical fact. In short, when one carefully dissects the Churchill claim quoted in the original allegation, the three apparently independent third-party sources dissolve into one source (the Act) that clearly does not expressly support his claim, and two other sources (the Robbins and Jaimes chapters) that he wrote himself.

Although Professor Churchill purported to offer his claims as supported by research, based on independent sources, it turns out that the claims not only cannot be supported but that he has misrepresented the independent nature of his sources employed to buttress the unsupportable details of his conclusions....

Now, given the war of the likes of Bill O'Reilly, David Horowitz, and other fascist scum against this charlatan(who also claims Indian blood and uses it as a shield against all critique), the purpose of said war being not to crush Churchill so much as academic freedom itself by using him as a straw bogeyman, I suppose others of my political stripe would say I should be calling this a travesty of a mockery of a sham.

But I'm not. Calling Churchill any kind of example or representative of the academic community is the travesty of a mockery of a sham. As is the man himself. I'm glad this embarrassment to leftists everywhere, this sub-Chomsky-wannabe, is finally getting shunted from a system he only gums up by being in. This is a phony leftist hoping to make money on the lecture circuit like Father Noam. (whom I've never been impressed by either)



His "little Eichmanns" comment about the victims of 9/11 was easy, stupid, and incorrect. (For one thing, Eichmann
wanted people to think he had no hands-on involvement in the Holocaust, but that's not so)



He's a poseur and he's been found out, and his expulsion has nothing to do with his infantile politics. To defend this crook is to tar leftists everywhere. I say: Good riddance.

If he were a conservative, they'd keep defending him no matter what he did. The left has brains. When it tries.

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16 May 2006
 
Even Texas Hates George

Have a look at these numbers and feel better. Bush's approval numbers are greater than his disapproval numbers in only three states, and sparsely-populated ones at that.


Other than that, he appears to be despised coast-to-coast and the whole map is turning blue. No matter how long Dubya may hold his breath. Saying you don't think there's anything wrong with spying on Americans--after denying strenuously that you do any such thing--might be a factor in this.

But what's gotta hurt is this number. Only 42% (still relatively high by comparison to the other figures) in Texas.

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WorldNet Fascists

Seems a writer with a terrible hairstyle has decided to look to a very bad example regarding the immigration problem.
...[Bush] will be lying, again, just as he lied when he said: "Massive deportation of the people here is unrealistic – it's just not going to work."

Not only will it work, but one can easily estimate how long it would take. If it took the Germans less than four years to rid themselves of 6 million Jews, many of whom spoke German and were fully integrated into German society, it couldn't possibly take more than eight years to deport 12 million illegal aliens, many of whom don't speak English and are not integrated into American society.

Er...

Yes, it's amazing what can be done when you abandon all humanity and decency. I wonder if our writer here knows some of the other efficiency-honing techniques his dear Germans used in these "deportations."


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12 May 2006
  Gravity Finally Enforces Itself

Holy shit. According to the Wall Street Journal, Bush has now slid to(again, drum roll):

29% approval!

This is free-fall.

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Christzis

A very spooky article at Salon on the rise of Christian Nationalism.

"People who call themselves Jews represent maybe 2 or 3 percent of our people," Cabaniss told me after a January 2005 rally in Austin. "Christians represent a huge percent, and we don't believe that a small percentage should destroy the values of the larger percentage."

I asked Cabaniss, a thin, white-haired man who wore a suit with a red, white, and blue tie and a U.S. Army baseball cap, whether he was saying that American Jews have too much power. "It appears that way," he replied. "They're a driving force behind trying to take everything to do with Christianity out of our system. That's the part that makes us very upset."

...

"We must remove all humanists from public office and replace them with pro-moral political leaders," LaHaye wrote.

...

Speaking to outsiders, most Christian nationalists say they're simply responding to anti-Christian persecution. They say that secularism is itself a religion, one unfairly imposed on them. They say they're the victims in the culture wars. But Christian nationalist ideologues don't want equality, they want dominance. In his book "The Changing of the Guard: Biblical Principles for Political Action," George Grant, former executive director of D. James Kennedy's Coral Ridge Ministries, wrote:

"Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ -- to have dominion in civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness.
But it is dominion we are after. Not just a voice.
It is dominion we are after. Not just influence.
It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time.
It is dominion we are after.
World conquest. That's what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power of the Gospel. And we must never settle for anything less...
Thus, Christian politics has as its primary intent the conquest of the land -- of men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom of Christ."


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11 May 2006
  America and Bush: A Portrait

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08 May 2006
 
Maybe They're Just Not That Into You

And now more fun. Bush's approval rating is now, according to USA Today/Gallup, at (drum roll please):

31 %!!!

Bush's fall is being fueled by erosion among support from conservatives and Republicans. In the poll, 52% of conservatives and 68% of Republicans approved of the job he is doing. Both are record lows among those groups.

Moderates gave him an approval rating of 28%, liberals of 7%.

"You hear people say he has a hard core that will never desert him, and that has been the case for most of the administration," says Charles Franklin, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin who studies presidential approval ratings. "But for the last few months, we started to see that hard core seriously erode in support."

Only four presidents have scored lower approval ratings since the Gallup Poll began regularly measuring it in the mid-1940s: Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and the first George Bush. When Nixon, Carter and the elder Bush sank below 35%, they never again registered above 40%.

...

"Historically it's been pretty devastating to presidents at this level," Franklin says. Even Republican members of Congress are "now so worried about their electoral fortunes in November that he has less leverage with them than he normally would with his own party controlling Congress."

"You do it to yourself, you do,
And that's what really hurts."
Radiohead

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And Now A Bit Of Fun

After the agony of the last three weeks, I could do with some fun and I'll bet you can too. So, from my absolute favorite show when I was a kid, the Electric Company, here's....LETTERMAN! (you can also just click this below and watch from here)



You know, till now, I didn't know that Letterman was Gene Wilder and Spellbinder was Zero Mostel...

You may also care for a sweet roll.


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06 May 2006
 
Almost Back To Normal

New home I'm moving into tomorrow, and not a moment too soon. As you folks may imagine, it's been a harrowing three weeks, but things are very nearly back to normal.

And this story will be told, once I've had a chance to recover. But be assured: there are evil people in this world.

Thanks to all who have been so supportive.

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  "I would have responded to your post faster, but I was recovering from this morning's unnannounced full body cavity search."

Let's check out Judy Miller's MySpace page!


Judy's Blurbs
About me:
Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter, best-selling author. First Amendment martyr.

Who I'd like to meet:
Bob Woodward. King Hussein. Yitzhak Rabin. Oh, wait, I've already met them. Sorry! ROFL!

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