Wednesday, March 31, 2004
i want one!!
('course, i should prolly get a house first...)
CNN catalogues a number of Bush's reversals.
tomorrow night, yes, Thursday, April 1, the clumsy lovers are playing at Fado's down on 4th street. they start around 9, cover is $3. and you should SO go, coz they're awesome and, like, i love them. remember? adam and i publicly announced our worship of this band last month.
yes, go. see you there!
You are Maureen Dowd! You like to give people silly
nicknames and write in really short, non
sequitur paragraphs. You're the most playful of
the columnists and a rock-ribbed liberal, but
are often accused of being too flamboyant and
frivolous. You tend to focus on style over
substance, personality over politics. But your
heart is in the right place. Plus, you are a
Which New York Times Op-Ed Columnist Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
Tuesday, March 30, 2004
Floor Statement of Sen. Daschle on the Abuse of Government Power
enter your annual salary into the Global Rich List and see where you rank in terms of global riches. you'll either be delighted at how you're sittin' pretty or feel a bit guilty about the whole "rich 20th century first-world denizen" thing.
me? at <$40k, here's my ranking:
You are in the top 4.33% richest people in the world.
There are 5,740,000,000 people poorer than you.
How do you feel about that? A bit richer we hope. Please consider donating just a small amount to help some of the poorest people in the world. Many of their lives could be improved dramatically or even saved if you donate just one hour's salary.
Oh, and in case you’re interested you are the 260,000,000 richest person in the world.
Krugman on the american response to terrorism.
Last week an opinion piece in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz about the killing of Sheik Ahmed Yassin said, "This isn't America; the government did not invent intelligence material nor exaggerate the description of the threat to justify their attack."
So even in Israel, George Bush's America has become a byword for deception and abuse of power. And the administration's reaction to Richard Clarke's "Against All Enemies" provides more evidence of something rotten in the state of our government.
The truth is that among experts, what Mr. Clarke says about Mr. Bush's terrorism policy isn't controversial. The facts that terrorism was placed on the back burner before 9/11 and that Mr. Bush blamed Iraq despite the lack of evidence are confirmed by many sources — including "Bush at War," by Bob Woodward.
And new evidence keeps emerging for Mr. Clarke's main charge, that the Iraq obsession undermined the pursuit of Al Qaeda. From yesterday's USA Today: "In 2002, troops from the Fifth Special Forces Group who specialize in the Middle East were pulled out of the hunt for Osama bin Laden to prepare for their next assignment: Iraq. Their replacements were troops with expertise in Spanish cultures."
That's why the administration responded to Mr. Clarke the way it responds to anyone who reveals inconvenient facts: with a campaign of character assassination.
This administration's reliance on smear tactics is unprecedented in modern U.S. politics — even compared with Nixon's. Even more disturbing is its readiness to abuse power — to use its control of the government to intimidate potential critics.
Where will it end? In his new book, "Worse Than Watergate," John Dean, of Watergate fame, says, "I've been watching all the elements fall into place for two possible political catastrophes, one that will take the air out of the Bush-Cheney balloon and the other, far more disquieting, that will take the air out of democracy."
The White House has bowed to pressure to allow National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice to testify in public and under oath to the 9/11 commission.
Previously officials had insisted that Ms Rice could meet the Commission in private for unsworn conversations but not face a full hearing.
President Bush and Ms Rice said that her appearance would contravene the constitutional separation of powers.
The offer has been made on condition that it would set no precedent.
finally. we'll see what happens next...
Monday, March 29, 2004
awww. we're so CUTE!
As controversies simmer across the country over teaching evolution, scientists at UC Berkeley are taking the offensive against the modern-day foes of Charles Darwin.
Experts at the university's Museum of Paleontology have created a new Web site designed to offer beleaguered classroom teachers support and guidance through the often slippery attacks they can encounter teaching natural selection and other concepts.
The site, at evolution.berkeley.edu, grew out of a conference that the museum hosted four years ago at which representatives from virtually every national scientific and education organization gathered to consider the growing pressures against evolution curricula.
"We realized we really needed to put new resources into teachers' hands, and that's how the idea of using the Internet emerged," said David Lindberg, chairman of Berkeley's Department of Integrative Biology and former director of the paleontology museum.
ATLANTA (AP) - Ralph Nader said Sunday he will meet with John Kerry next month to discuss the effort to defeat President Bush in the November election.
...Nader prodded Kerry, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, to push traditional Democratic values of helping working families. He said the Democrats in general need to be reminded of that.
He did not elaborate on the meeting he plans with the Massachusetts senator and there was no immediate response from the Kerry campaign.
In response to Nader's comments, Bush campaign spokesman Reed Dickens said Bush welcomes debate with Nader and Kerry.
Nader said Sunday he believes if anything he will take away votes that were meant for Bush because more people are fed up with high budget deficits and Bush's economic policies.
"Members of the other party usually come back to the fold during the next election year," Nader said of Democrats.
an online friend of mine thinks that perhaps the reason Condoleeza is running around yapping her mouth to everyone EXCEPT the 9/11 commission could be that she's being set up for a fall by the Bush administration. a HARD fall. at least one media outlet is beginning to agree...
so the republicans want to declassify and release Richard Clarke's testimony before a congressional panel investigating 9/11, in order to discredit him. Sen. Maj. Leader Bill Frist claims that Clarke told two different stories between the 2002 testimony and his testimony wednesday before the independent and bipartisan commission investigating 9/11.
Clarke's response? sure, release it all! records, testimony, all of it. let's see what he's made of, shall we? and let's see what the previous investigation came up with, while we're at it.
meanwhile, Condoleeza Rice has nothing to hide, she says, although she won't testify under oath. she likes to stick with the tabloid journalism circuit.
Friday, March 26, 2004
US Senate passes Unborn Victims of Violence Act. another bit eroded out from under the right to choose.
this is scary.
this bit of speculative fiction gave me really uncomfortable dreams last night about the sanctity of my own body in the eyes of the state (salon.com article, but worth the click-through ad to get to read the entire thing).
when is a person a person? when and why should one person have rights that outweigh those of another? at what point is a woman's body not her own? this is coming to a head, folks, in the next few years, what with cases like the scott and laci peterson murder trial and melissa rowland's reluctance to have a Cesarean section performed to save the life of her unborn twins causing such division. ye gods, folks, what freakin' country do we live in?
Thursday, March 25, 2004
Confused by the twists and turns of the US gay marriage issue, Oregon's Benton County has decided to err on the side of caution and ban all weddings.
Until the state decides who can and cannot wed, officials in the county have said no-one can marry - even heterosexual couples.
They hit upon the plan to ensure that none of the county's 79,000 residents are subject to unfair treatment.
Gay marriage has proved controversial, deeply dividing US public opinion.
The last Benton County marriage licences were issued on Tuesday and, from now on, any locals wanting to get hitched will have to go elsewhere.
"We are happy Benton County is not going to violate the law by issuing illegal marriage licenses, but we are perplexed as to why they would not issue legal licenses
Tim Nashif, Defense of Marriage Coalition
"It may seem odd, but we need to treat everyone in our county equally," county commissioner Linda Modrell told Reuters.
The county had initially decided to start issuing marriage licenses to gay couples from Monday, but they reversed that decision in the face of a flurry of lawsuits across the US relating to the issue.
It is unlikely any wedding planners will be going bankrupt over the decision however, as the country only issues about 20 marriage licenses a week, and it is just a short drive over the county line for couples eager to tie the knot.
Last bastion of support
The decision has found favour with pro-gay marriage activists who argue that at least it sends a clear message that everyone is entitled to equal rights:
"It is certainly a different way for county commissioners to respect their constitutional obligation to apply the law equally to everyone," said Rebekah Kassell, a spokeswoman for Basic Rights Oregon.
"We appreciate that they are willing to say they are not going to participate in discrimination."
and then of course, the whiners...
But anti-gay marriage campaigners are not impressed:
"We are happy Benton County is not going to violate the law by issuing illegal marriage licenses, but we are perplexed as to why they would not issue legal licenses," said Tim Nashif, spokesman for the Defense of Marriage Coalition.
"Oregon not only has the only county in the nation issuing illegal (same-sex) marriage licenses, we probably have the only county in the nation refusing to issue marriage licenses at all."
so kevin drum of calpundit has moved over to the washington monthly. i do believe i'll put him over in the sidebar as a permalink. he's all smart and stuff.
Rare Five-Planet Alignment Visible
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Five planets are arrayed across the evening sky in a spectacular night show that won't be back for another three decades.
For the next two weeks, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn — the five closest planets — should be easily visible at dusk, along with the moon.
"It's semi-unique," said Myles Standish, an astronomer at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "They're all on the same side of the sun and stretched across the sky and that's what is kind of pretty."
Standish missed Monday evening's opportunity, but said Tuesday that he will gaze up when he walks his dog this week and next. He expects mountains and bright city lights to hamper his view, however.
The planetary lineup will be visible to the naked eye every night for an hour after sunset through early April. At the end of the year, the same five planets will reunite for a few weeks, but in the pre-dawn hours.
Standish said this particular planetary grouping may offer the best nighttime views until 2036.
The orbits of the five planets take them to the same side of the sun every few years or so. The conditions have to be just right for all five planets to be clearly visible at dusk or dawn; Mercury is often tough to catch. Even rarer are so-called alignments, where the planets are clustered together in the sky; this is not one of those.
Stargazers should look to the western horizon just after sunset. Mercury, Venus, Mars and Saturn will be lined up in the sky with Jupiter close to the eastern horizon. They will span about 135 degrees. Saturn will be almost directly overhead.
Wednesday, March 24, 2004
adding ALD to the sidebar. it's fun.
Arts & Letters Daily - ideas, criticism, debate
why slate's fred kaplan believes that clark is right about bush's negligence on terrorism.
a thinker of an article. made me rather sad, actually.
LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) -- Coming back soon to a theater near you -- a controversial film about a Jewish guy from Nazareth who is worshiped as the Messiah and crucified by the Romans.
No, it's not Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ." It's Monty Python's "Life of Brian."
Inspired by the runaway success -- and public furor -- over Gibson's portrayal of the last 12 hours in the life of Jesus, the creators behind the 1979 biblical satire about an anti-Roman activist who spends his life being mistaken for a prophet are planning a 25th anniversary re-release next month.
"Life of Brian" will open at the end of April in Los Angeles and New York before expanding to other cities across the country, Rainbow Film Company president Henry Jaglom, whose distribution arm is reissuing the film, said Tuesday.
Jaglom, a writer-director whose partner, John Goldstone, produced the original film, said trailers for the comedy would appear in theaters starting on Good Friday.
"We decided this is an important time to re-release this film, to provide some counter-programming to 'The Passion,' " Jaglom told Reuters. "I intend it, hopefully, to serve as an antidote to all the hysteria about Mel's movie."
He said marketing for the re-release would play off Gibson's film by adapting such taglines as "Mel or Monty" and "The Passion or the Python" -- "we want to give people a choice."
The members of the Monty Python comedy troupe -- John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin, Terry Jones and the late Graham Chapman (who played Brian) -- all shared writing credits on the film and won back theatrical rights to it several years ago. Jaglom said the surviving members "all agreed this was a good time" to re-release the film and would help promote it.
fact-checking as done by 9/11 widows, and evidently NOT by the 9/11 Commission that is currently meeting.
Tuesday, March 23, 2004
LONDON (Reuters) - Cult TV comedy "The Office" is poised to dominate the BAFTA television awards for a third consecutive year after it scooped three nominations on Tuesday.
A hat-trick was also on the cards for the series' star, Ricky Gervais, who was nominated a third time for best comedy performance after winning the category the past two years.
It was a stroke of luck for Gervais, who plays dysfunctional boss David Brent in the sitcom, after a BBC clerical error almost left him out of the running for the British Academy Television Awards.
The "Office Christmas Special" received a nomination in the best situation comedy category, which it scooped the previous two years, while actor Martin Freeman was nominated for best comedy performance alongside Gervais.
but what about dawn?
Threat rating: Low. You are annoying, but too much
of a softy tree hugger to pose any threat to
the mighty machine of Republican progress. And
the FBI know where you live.
What threat to the Bush administration are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
paul krugman, on bush administration whistleblowers and how truth will (hopefully) always prevail.
From the day it took office, U.S. News & World Report wrote a few months ago, the Bush administration "dropped a shroud of secrecy" over the federal government. After 9/11, the administration's secretiveness knew no limits — Americans, Ari Fleischer ominously warned, "need to watch what they say, watch what they do." Patriotic citizens were supposed to accept the administration's version of events, not ask awkward questions.
But something remarkable has been happening lately: more and more insiders are finding the courage to reveal the truth on issues ranging from mercury pollution — yes, Virginia, polluters do write the regulations these days, and never mind the science — to the war on terror.
Still, the administration would like you to think that Mr. Clarke had base motives in writing his book ["Against All Enemies"]. But given the hawks' dominance of the best-seller lists until last fall, it's unlikely that he wrote it for the money. Given the assumption by most political pundits, until very recently, that Mr. Bush was guaranteed re-election, it's unlikely that he wrote it in the hopes of getting a political job. And given the Bush administration's penchant for punishing its critics, he must have known that he was taking a huge personal risk.
So why did he write it? How about this: Maybe he just wanted the public to know the truth.
NYT link, of course, so use salon/tabletalk for login/password.
(also see josh marshall's Talking Points Memo lately for more analysis of the bush administration's freakishly defensive reaction to Clarke. velly velly interestink.)
Monday, March 22, 2004
Bush Administration Rejects Clarke Charges
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Top members of the Bush administration sharply rebuffed their former counterterrorism chief Monday, calling his assertions in a new book about the White House's handling of terrorism and Iraq "deeply irresponsible" and "flat-out wrong."
National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rica said Richard Clarke had engaged in a "retrospective rewriting of the history."
In his book "Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror," published Monday, Clarke accuses the Bush administration of ignoring repeated warnings about an al Qaeda threat in 2001 and looking for an excuse to attack Iraq at the expense of battling terrorism.
"I find it outrageous that the president is running for re-election on the grounds that he's done such great things about terrorism," Clarke said in a "60 Minutes" interview on the book with CBS. "He ignored it. He ignored terrorism for months, when maybe we could have done something to stop 9/11. Maybe, we'll never know."
Clarke's book offers the first perspective on Bush's performance on Iraq and the war on terrorism from someone who was on the inside.
and now, i must go back to work. after nearly a week off on top of the passing of one of my wee family.
man. it's gonna be hard. for so many reasons.
my kitty max passed on to his next incarnation yesterday. it was quite horrible, i came home and he was sick and immobile on the floor. luckily, maggie was with me, kept her cool while i freaked out...she talked me through finding all the phone numbers i needed, finding an emergency vet, she then got max into his carrier and drove us both to the vet. prognosis was that he'd broken a leg because of a bone infection caused by his chronic and incurable immune deficiencies....the mending would have been absolutely awful for him, that is, IF he recovered from the shock. i had to make the decision to let him go...which is tearing me up inside, right now. poor, poor max. he lived a very full 8 years, and i'm glad he was happy (and the absolute ruler of my household) right up until the end.
dutcher also came out to the vet office as soon as he heard and the three of us mourned max's passing together in front of the north austin emergency animal clinic. thanks to both of them for being so heroic and fantastic when i was panicking.
came home to the "surprise" party i threw for bethany's birthday, was surrounded by good folks drinking sangria. a fitting wake for my sweet kitty.
oh, also? Anything But Prettier photos!
Wednesday, March 17, 2004
Serious questions were asked today over how four Britons could be held for two years in Guantanamo Bay - but completely cleared by British police in just 24 hours.
The four detainees flown home from the notorious American prison camp were freed late last night, while one other Briton, Jamal al-Harith, had walked free almost as soon as landing in Britain the previous evening. Today the American government faced the prospect of huge embarrassment as the men prepared to tell their stories and lift the lid on the secretive camp.
Despite being branded "the worst of the worst" by US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the four - Tarek Dergoul, Asif Iqbal, Shafiq Rasul and Ruhal Ahmed - are now free without a stain on their character.
It took only eight hours of "perfunctory" police questioning by anti-terrorist squad officers and brief consideration by the Crown Prosecution Service to conclude there was no reason to put them on trial.
The police did not even use their powers to release the men on bail, indicating there will be no further questions.
Tuesday, March 16, 2004
first of all, they've found planet X! well, a 10th planet in our solar system. might just be a bit of the oort cloud, or perhaps the kuiper belt, that broke free. maybe just an errant meteor that just won't go away. at any rate, we've got a tenth planet!
earth, meet sedna. sedna; earth.
and, now it appears, she might have a moon!!!
Molly Ivins | For a clean presidential mind, change it often
"...The Bush administration, which baffled the world when it used an attack by Islamic fundamentalists to justify the overthrow of a brutal but secular regime, and which has been utterly ruthless in its political exploitation of 9/11, must be very, very afraid.
Polls suggest that a reputation for being tough on terror is just about the only remaining political strength George Bush has. Yet this reputation is based on image, not reality. The truth is that Mr. Bush, while eager to invoke 9/11 on behalf of an unrelated war, has shown consistent reluctance to focus on the terrorists who actually attacked America, or their backers in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
It's now clear that by shifting his focus to Iraq, Mr. Bush did Al Qaeda a huge favor. The terrorists and their Taliban allies were given time to regroup; the resurgent Taliban once again control almost a third of Afghanistan, and Al Qaeda has regained the ability to carry out large-scale atrocities.
But Mr. Bush's lapses in the struggle against terrorism extend beyond his decision to give Al Qaeda a breather. His administration has also run interference for Saudi Arabia — the home of most of the 9/11 hijackers, and the main financier of Islamic extremism — and Pakistan, which created the Taliban and has actively engaged in nuclear proliferation.
Some of the administration's actions have been so strange that those who reported them were initially accused of being nutty conspiracy theorists. For example, what are we to make of the post-9/11 Saudi airlift? Just days after the attack, at a time when private air travel was banned, the administration gave special clearance to flights that gathered up Saudi nationals, including a number of members of the bin Laden family, who were in the U.S. at the time. These Saudis were then allowed to leave the country, after at best cursory interviews with the F.B.I.
So when the Bush campaign boasts of the president's record in fighting terrorism and accuses John Kerry of being weak on the issue, when Republican congressmen suggest that a vote for Mr. Kerry is a vote for Osama, remember this: the administration's actual record is one of indulgence toward regimes that are strongly implicated in terrorism, and of focusing on actual terrorist threats only when forced to by events. "
writing about mars, that is. mmmm.
Essay: A Red Planet Forever in the Orbit of Science and Dreams
NYT link, so yes, use salon/tabletalk as login/password.
The Exorcist in 30 seconds with bunnies.
Monday, March 15, 2004
March Madness is here and nothing says basketball like a front yard party complete with free beer and music. Game on - come one, come all to the 9th annual P2 BBQ/SXEastAustin.
When: Thursday, March 18 from 1:00 until Grand Champeen is done.
Where: 3810 Sycamore in sunny East Austin (Please follow parking instructions below.)
Why: SXSW wouldn't be the same without it...and wristbands topped the century mark this year. The poor kids gotta live too.
How: In so many ways.
1:00 - 1:25 The High Strung (Detroit) www.thehighstrung.com
1:35 - 2:00 The Natural History (NYC) www.thenaturalhistory.com
2:10 - 2:35 Gingersol (Brooklyn) www.gingersol.com
2:45 - 3:10 The Silos (NYC) www.thesilos.net
3:20 - 3:45 John Roderick of the Long Winters (Seattle) www.thelongwinters.com
3:55 - 4:20 The Amazing Letdowns (Austin) www.theamazingletdowns.com
4:30 - 4:55 Li'l Cap'n Travis(Austin) www.lilcapntravis.com
5:05 - 5:30 Ethan Azarian (Austin) http://www.ethanazarian.com/bio/
5:40 - 6:05 Mike Nicolai w/ Grand Champeen (Austin) www.mikenicolai.com
6:05 - 6:30 Grand Champeen (Austin) www.grandchampeen.com
- Exit 38 1/2 street off of I-35 and go east on 38 1/2 (left if travelling south on 35, rightif travelling north). Continue past the Fiesta to Maplewood Elementary at the corner of Maplewood and 38 1/2 - PLEASE PARK HERE. If the lot is full continue on 38 1/2 through the stop sign at Cherrywood. About a block up on the right (just past Vineland St.) is Mims Chapel - PLEASE PARK HERE if the school lot is full. The house is one block north of 38 1/2 Street on Sycamore.
check it out:
(see that band called Anything But Prettier playing Thursday at 10? i'm a-playin' bass for 'em! come see us!)
also, there's the acoustic set.
this is all wristband-free, so wander on in if you're passing by. i have no idea what the venue's like, but i hear it's pretty cool...
bloodshot records' SXSW schedule (emphasis mine on the FREE AFTERNOON BBQ!!!):
*****Thursday, March 18th @ OPAL DIVINE’S FREEHOUSE****
700 W. 6th St
Starts at 8 pm!!!!! 21 and over. Wristbands and badges welcome, and tickets
can be bought at the venue.
8pm ***NORA O’CONNOR*** Bloodshot’s newest gal pal. CD in the summer
9 pm ***THE MEAT PURVEYORS*** Austin’s very own….
10 pm ***REX HOBART & the Misery Boys*** Kansas City’s Kings of Pain
11pm ***TRAILER BRIDE*** Spooky, sexy, jittery hillbilly noir
12 am ***DOLLAR STORE*** Deano from the Waco Brothers new band----thick and angular guitar noise with lots of rootsy overtones.
1am ***THE YAYHOOS*** Rare festival appearace!!!! These boys (featuring Dan Baird of the Georgia Satellites, and Roscoe Ambel) know how to BRING THE ROCK!!! Good and Greasy. Riffalicous!!!!
************FRIDAY, MARCH 19TH************
YARD DOG GALLERY
1510 S. Congress
Our annual BBQ blowout. No badges needed, no cover. Short teaser sets by all our bands (don’t ask for a schedule, we make it up as we go along). The perfect way to sample short sets on a crappy PA and whet your appetite for the full on affairs in the evening.
Starts at NOON, so get yo’ ass out of bed, you can sleep when you are old. The free beer (while it lasts) will help take the edge off.
Also, in conjunction with our 10th anniversary, there is an art show in the Gallery featuring works for sale by: Jon Langford, Rico Bell, Markus Greiner (Bloodshot’s long suffering in house designer), Kathleen Judge (cover artist for Devil in a Woodpile, Jon Rauhouse and more), Melissa Swingle (Trailer Bride), and Dana Lee Smith (Alejandro Escovedo)
*************SATURDAY, MARCH 20TH************
213 W. 5th St (all ages)
Badges and wristbands welcome, and tickets can be purchased at venue.
8pm JON LANGFORD’S Ship and Pilot Mekon/Waco Brother preps you for his upcoming solo CD. Welsh country bluster featuring Tony Maimone of Pere Ubu and
Steve Goulding of the Mekons
9pm PAUL BURCH & the WPA Ballclub High-minded literate honky-tonk
10pm JON RAUHOUSE’S Steel Guitar Rodeo featuring Kelly Hogan, Sally Timms and maybe others….
11pm GRAHAM PARKER The legend!!!!! New CD out now
12pm BOBBY BARE JR and his Young Criminals Starvation League. Yeah, baby, this will smoke!!!
1pm SPLIT LIP RAYFIELD The bluegrass apocalypse hits the big stage. Will the room be left standing? Come and find out!!!!
Friday, March 12, 2004
Pike, a 21-year-old polar bear, buries her head on a pile of ice cubes as she seeks relief from the warm weather at the San Francisco Zoo in San Francisco, Tuesday, March 9, 2004. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
photo thanks to jenniferb, who has no link of her own, sadly.
Thousands of people crowd a central square in the northern Basque city of Pamplona Friday, during a demonstration to protest the numerous bomb attacks on trains in Madrid Thursday, that killed nearly 200 people and injured at least another 1,400. (AP Photo/Jon Dimis)
Millions Choke Spanish Streets in Bomb Protest
MADRID (Reuters) - Chanting "Cowards" and "Killers," millions of protestors packed rainswept streets across Spain Friday condemning the country's worst ever guerrilla attack which killed at least 199 people.
Spanish royals and Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar headed the march in Madrid alongside Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi and EU President Romano Prodi demonstrating unity a day after what was also Europe's bloodiest bomb attack in 15 years.
"No More Killing" read banners among a column of marchers filling Madrid's main thoroughfare under a sea of umbrellas for more than two miles. The city came to a virtual standstill.
"We Were All On That Train" read one banner in Madrid, in reference to 10 bombs which tore apart four commuter trains on Thursday, injuring some 1,450 people and sparking protests from Seville to Barcelona.
A police spokesman on the street said officers flying overhead in helicopters estimated the crowd in Madrid alone at "more than two million."
Spanish authorities at first blamed armed Basque separatists ETA outright for the attacks but have since called the group the main suspects while not ruling out Islamic militants such as Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network.
Media in the northern Basque region reported that ETA, which has killed some 850 people since 1968, had denied its involvement in the attack.
this photo also from jeffiner b, who remains without link herself.
...In short, things aren't as bad as they seem; they're worse. But should we blame the Bush administration? Yes — because it refuses to learn from experience.
Franklin Roosevelt, in his efforts to combat economic woes, was famously willing to try anything until he found something that worked. George Bush, by contrast, seems determined to try the same thing, over and over again.
In 2001 the administration rammed through long-term tax cuts, heavily tilted toward the affluent. But employment didn't turn around, and by late 2002 many economists — including supporters of the original tax cut — were urging it to try something different. My own piece, "My Economic Plan," was fairly typical: I called for extended unemployment benefits, temporary aid to state and local governments, and rebates for low- and middle-income workers.
Maybe this more or less textbook response to a depressed economy wouldn't have worked. But we'll never know, because the administration rejected all such proposals. Instead, it went for a clone of the 2001 tax cut — another big break mainly for those at the top. And once again this failed to deliver the promised jobs.
Meanwhile, Mr. Bush has mortgaged the nation's future. If all of his tax cuts are made permanent, they'll reduce revenue by at least three times the amount that would be needed to secure Social Security benefits at current levels for the next 75 years.
No sensible person blames Mr. Bush for the onset of the recession in 2001. But he does deserve blame for the fact that all he has to show for three years of supposed job-creation policies is a mountain of debt.
(full article found at link above, which is a NYT link, so use "tabletalk" and "salon" for login/password)
download the new Liars album!
Thursday, March 11, 2004
and, of course, ~*~opportunity~*~'s livejournal!
I took soooo many pictures today. NASA was so bossy. So much for being a self-directing rover. Put your arm here, Opportunity! Now put it here! Now put it over there! Take another picture, Opportunity! I never get to have any fun. But at least I got to watch the eclipse. I haven't had a chance to put my pictures up yet, but I hope to soon!!
I'm so wiped out. I'm just gonna veg tonight. I wonder if one of the orbiters could beam me a movie or something.
the NASA spirit rover's livejournal.
i've been staring at the same rock for two weeks.
stupid, boring rock.
this weekend i got my revenge. first i got to grind into it, then i drove right over it.
okay, i admit it, i had fun. i'd like to do more of this autonomous navigation thing. i knew i didn't really need nasa telling me what to do.
Wednesday, March 10, 2004
great. no personality, just purty. and in need of rescuing. swell.
Which Princess Bride Character are You?
this quiz was made by mysti
link from zallekin, thanks!
and, justin's in the southern hemisphere, taking up his brilliant studies there in canberra, let's all go look at his blog, kangarooloo, right NOW!
okay, it's not called "kangarooloo." but it IS his blog. keep an eye on it, it's sure to be good.
(for those who were there, and who don't already know who justin "jozzy" leach is, recall that he was the Purple Zorro Pimp at a certain halloween party (the one with the 3-4 pimps at it? yeah, that one!))
(justin's in the sidebar, too, now)
the more politically-minded might be interested to note that in addition to adding CCC (see below post) to the sidebar, i've added hullaballoo, omnium AND eschaton as well!
yep yep. go read 'em. they good.
kerry, doggett win primaries in texas.
whew! one down, one to go!
sadly, i'm the only one of all my friends in austin who were left in doggett's district after the Delay reDistricting fiasco...but he's still in the running! sweet.
Tuesday, March 09, 2004
damn, i hate linking to the fucker's column, but i had to. i can't believe this is being printed in a mainstream newspaper.
Monday, March 08, 2004
the Clumsy Lovers' website quotes the album review that Adam and I did for the High Hat on their press page!
Who are your top five fictional crushes?
well, it could be, had i juicy crushes. at SOME point in my life, i've thought the following were juicy. you can judge for yourself:
1. when i was wee, i simply adored Jon Baker (played by Larry Wilcox), partner to Frank "Ponch" Poncherello, on CHiPs. that blonde rugged handsome-osity just cranked my wheel, floated my boat, hooked my horns, and besides, he drove that cool motorcycle. my mom was all over the Ponch action, herself, but me, i just wanted Jon to hold hands with me while we went snake-hunting in the canyon.
2. my jon-love was probably directly rooted in my Luke Skywalker love. do i really need to say more? what little kid WASN'T in love with Skywalker in the '70s? it wasn't until i matured into the ripe old middle school years that i realized what an overlooked babe Han Solo truly was.
3. my current fictional crush is cap'n malcolm reynolds of Firefly fame. man, what a hottie! this is the person Gene Roddenberry WANTED kirk to be...shatner was a cutie, but really. can't live up.
don't get me wrong, i have a deep abiding love for captain kirk.
but a MAJOR crush on captain mal!
4. AND of course, Severus Snape.
Okay, not so much Snape as Alan Rickman, not quite as fictional, but I guess I’m functionally just as likely to meet him as Snape...plus, I’m invariably equally in love with all characters played by rickman.
Mmmmm. Alan Rickman...
5. Will Stanton from Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising series, for whom there are no photos, as he's completely literary at this point. i'm honestly not sure whether i wanted more to MARRY will stanton or to BE will stanton. really, probably the latter. the seventh son of a seventh son, raised in the english countryside, will awakens on his 11th birthday to find that he's suddenly magical AND the center of the universe! how much better could life possibly get? not a whole lot, i always say. quick-witted and resourceful, adventurous and exciting, i just wanted will stanton's life, one way or another.
Friday, March 05, 2004
wow. how does this happen? do all three brains work? what about the internal organs? which mouth eats? how interconnected are the three? are they genetically identical, or are they not clones of each other? (i know i know, but it seems like frogs might be malleable enough to have something like this happen without it being a cloning situation...)
"Martha Stewart, the creator of a media empire based on domestic arts, was convicted today of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and making false statements in connection with the sale of her shares of ImClone Systems in 2001.
Conviction on the charges against Ms. Stewart would carry a possible sentence of up to 20 years in prison, but federal guidelines could reduce that to about a year. "
EDIT: a better link (not the subscription-only NYT).
and he nails it with this: "The biggest risk now facing Social Security is political. Will those who hate the system use scare tactics and fuzzy math to bring it down?
After Alan Greenspan's call for cuts in Social Security benefits, Republican members of Congress declared that the answer is to create private retirement accounts. It's amazing that they are still peddling this snake oil; it's even more amazing that journalists continue to let them get away with it. Yesterday in The Wall Street Journal, a writer judiciously declared that "personal accounts alone won't cure Social Security's ills." I guess that's true; similarly, eating doughnuts alone won't cause you to lose weight. Why is it so hard to say clearly that privatization would worsen, not improve, Social Security's finances?
Should we consider modest reforms that reduce the expenses or widen the revenue base of Social Security? Sure. But beware of those who claim that we must destroy the system in order to save it. "
some blokes having a bit of a laugh in the leicester square tube stop, where i spent more-than-adequate amounts of time while i was in london.
Thursday, March 04, 2004
Its alleged anti-semitism isn't the only problem with Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. There's also the small matter of it being in Aramaic. To help enrich your enjoyment, here is a handy glossary of useful terms.
Demketh! Udamaa lemath mtaynan b-tash'eetha d-khashey?
I fell asleep! What station of the cross are we up to?
Feelmaa haanaa tpeelaw! Proo' lee ksef dmaa!
This film is terrible. I want my blood-money back.
Laa baakey naa-eeth gelaa b-'ayna deel.
I'm not crying; I've just got a mote in my eye.
Austin, Texas Showlist
oooh, scroll down to Wednesday-Saturday, March 17-20, for info on SXSW day shows. suh-wheet.
Salon.com News | Gay couples start tying knot in Oregon
yes, like wildfire, change is spreading quickly...
U moves forward on sci-fi spinoff
Universal Pictures has greenlit "Serenity,'' the feature film based on Joss Whedon's Fox TV series "Firefly,'' which was canceled in late 2002 after just 11 episodes. Deals are in place for Whedon to direct and for the original cast of the TV show to reprise their roles.
link from the amazing spidra.
Wednesday, March 03, 2004
extensive online media archive full of douglas adams works - including hitchhiker's guide as read by the author! sweet.
The Douglas Adams media archive is presented here by the wi2600.org groups for your enjoyment. This allso is to serve as a tribute to Mr. Adams's great, but suddely shortened career. Those who have not heard his voice and those who know it well will both enjoy having this material available.We will miss him!
from boing boing.
the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe flick to begin shooting this summer!!!
hmmmm. i can be optimistic. after all, peter jackson did a good job. the harry potter films aren't the worst thing in the world.
*trying desperately to be optimistic, failing*
you need comments on your blog b/c i have a lot to say about tournament foosball. well, not really, except that during a FIVE-HOUR layover in houston this last june i met the 1989 (or so) *WORLD CHAMPION of FOOSBALL*! he was a nice MOR-kinda guy from flyover america somewhere. and he told me way more than i ever wanted to know about foosball. interesting stuff, really. anyhow, this mighta been the dan kaiser you mention in your article!!! dammit, i can't remember his name. hmmmm.
ANYHOW that remains one of the stranger layover-related events of my short life so far, just wanted to share. and now i guess i get to share with everyone. which is just dandy.
Amazon.com: DVD: The Office - The Complete Second Series (2003)
for release April 20, 2004!!!! preorder now! well, if you're as much of an office-slut as i am.
Furnulum pani nolo.
"I don't want a toaster."
Generally, things (like this quiz) tend to tick you
off. You have contemplated doing grievous
bodily harm to door-to-door salesmen.
Which Weird Latin Phrase Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
Tuesday, March 02, 2004
the great leonard pierce, brilliant as always. and this time, extremely thought-provoking.
Monday, March 01, 2004
that is all.