Friday, June 30, 2006

Friday Random 10

This week's random 10 is dedicated to the memory of some dead guy.

1. The Drifters, "Save the Last Dance for Me"
2. Ryan Adams & the Cardinals, "When Will You Come Back Home?"
3. The Cranberries, "Disappointment"
4. The Style Council, "My Ever Changing Moods"
5. The Stems, "Love Will Grow"
6. Eugenius, "Breakfast"
7. Soul Asylum, "Without a Trace"
8. Bobby Darin, "That's All"
9. Creedence Clearwater Revival, "Green River"
10. The Replacements, "God Damn Job"

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Double Good News

By Cassandra D

This is turning out to be a wonderful day.

First this.

"The Supreme Court today delivered a stunning rebuke to the Bush administration over its plans to try Guantanamo detainees before military commissions, ruling that the commissions are unconstitutional."


Then this.

"The government has recovered the stolen laptop computer and hard drive containing sensitive data for up to 26.5 million veterans and military personnel, Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson said Thursday."

Have a great Thursday, everybody.

Sex Tape Derby, Round 58

It's Sex Tape Derby Thursday, so saddle up them shoes and let's go. The conceit is this: Birds do it. Bees do it. It's only right that you've gotta view it. So let's do it, let's view a homemade sex tape. Of the following celebrities, whom would you rather watch get crazy? Post your selections in the comments section below.

Model (and Howard Stern squeeze) Beth Ostrosky or ...














"Sell This House" host Tanya Memme?















Keanu Reeves or ...














Matt Dillon?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

What I'd Like To See...


By Cassandra D

...is what is directly beneath my feet.

When I was in the third grade, my friends and I spent every recess "digging to China." We used sticks day after day to dig up a huge rock, and I must admit that I was disappointed to find only dirt on the underneath side.

Isn't it pretty neat to think that if you kept digging and digging and digging, you would eventually come out on the other side of the planet?

From my eyeballing of my globe it looks like the Indian Ocean is beneath my feet. Surely if we can give our street address and come up with a satellite image of where we are, there must be a slick way to calculate coordinates on the opposite side of the globe and show us that image, too.

Anybody know where I can find it?

King George Doesn't Need the Courts

By Cassandra D

"If the Constitution and the law conflict, the president must choose."

Frightening.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Just For Fun

By Cassandra D

In need of a break? Go visit the Magic Gopher. He will read your mind.

Flame Of Liberty Still Burns

By Cassandra D

Three cheers for the good guys! The flag burning amendment went down to defeat by one little courageous vote.

Makes me feel better about our country.

Monday, June 26, 2006

What Horrible Genie Have We Unleashed?

By Cassandra D

When we were about to launch the war in Iraq I was deeply troubled. I remember driving by a candlelight vigil for peace and having the urge to stop and participate, yet I drove on. I also remember that my neighbor had a sign in her lawn that said, "War Is Not the Answer," and I wondered how she was so sure of that. I knew I supported the war in Afghanistan, but I was confused and uneasy about Iraq and wished I knew what stand to take.

After the fighting started I had the vague feeling, I'm sorry to say, that my neighbor's sign was unpatriotic. When the war began I was still very uneasy about it but I took a deep breath and hoped for the best, hoped our leaders knew what they were doing.

Now I wish that I had gone to that vigil, that I had put up a yard sign, too. Not that it would have made any difference.

I wonder how many Iraqis are truly happy with their liberation from Saddam Hussein. I suppose the Kurds are the happiest. But the rest of the country has slid into horrible sectarian violence, with tit for tat torture and religious "cleansing."

A Sunday Times article details the horror that is found at a Baghdad morgue. Read the whole thing, but here is an excerpt:

"...It receives 20 to 30 bodies on a quiet day. Last month it processed a record 1,384. Most autopsies have been cancelled; there are simply not enough doctors or officials to cope.

As a former trauma specialist in a hospital casualty department, Dr Baker Siddique, 29, thought he was inured to scenes of carnage. But nothing he had witnessed prepared him for a visit to a pathologist friend working at the mortuary.

"I saw a street packed with people and coffins standing up vertically," he said. "There wasn't enough room to lie them horizontally."

...

As the doctor talked to his friend, a police pickup truck pulled up with a dozen or more bodies piled in the back. "I could not believe that the dead were brought in such a way," Siddique said. "They were one on top of the other like animal carcasses."

When the police found that no porters were available to help, they threw the bodies off the truck. It was then that Siddique noticed the corpses of two boys aged about 12 lying in the pile on the ground.

"Each had a piece of knotted green cloth tied around his neck and I could see they'd been strangled," the doctor said. He also noticed round holes that were slightly inflamed in several parts of their body, a sign that they had been tortured with electric drills before being killed. "Even their eyes had been drilled and only hollow sockets remained," he said.

When he pointed out the injuries to his friend, the pathologist shrugged and took another drag on his cigarette, saying this was now routine. "

(emphasis added)

Yes, Saddam and his torturers are gone, but now everybody's neighbors have taken up the slack.

Iraq has become hell on earth, and a little bit of democratic icing on top doesn't seem to be changing that.


(via The Moderate Voice)

Waterlogged

Happy Monday, everybody. And while we're on the topic of rainy days and Mondays ...

The massive ice sheets of Greenland are melting faster than even the experts had predicted.

The Los Angeles Times' Robert Lee Hotz explains:

"By all accounts, the glaciers of Greenland are melting twice as fast as they were five years ago, even as the ice sheets of Antarctica — the world's largest reservoir of fresh water — also are shrinking, researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of Kansas reported in February.

"[NASA glaciologist Jay] Zwally and other researchers have focused their attention on a delicate ribbon — the equilibrium line, which marks the fulcrum of frost and thaw in Greenland's seasonal balance.

"The zone runs around the rim of the ice cap like a drawstring. Summer melting, on average, offsets the annual accumulation of snow.

"Across the ice cap, however, the area of seasonal melting was broader last year than in 27 years of record-keeping, University of Colorado climate scientists reported. In early May, temperatures on the ice cap some days were almost 20 degrees above normal, hovering just below freezing.

"From cores of ancient Greenland ice extracted by the National Science Foundation, researchers have identified at least 20 sudden climate changes in the last 110,000 years, in which average temperatures fluctuated as much as 15 degrees in a single decade.

"The increasingly erratic behavior of the Greenland ice has scientists wondering whether the climate, after thousands of years of relative stability, may again start oscillating.

[...]

"Zwally and his colleagues in March released an analysis of data from two European remote-sensing satellites showing the amount of water locked up in the ice sheet had risen slightly between 1992 and 2002.

"Then the ice sheet began to confound computer-generated predictions.

"By 2005, Greenland was beginning to lose more ice volume than anyone expected — an annual loss of up to 52 cubic miles a year — according to more recent satellite gravity measurements released by JPL. The amount of freshwater ice dumped into the Atlantic Ocean has almost tripled in a decade.

"'We are clearly seeing the effects of climate change starting to kick in,' Zwally said.

"Since [University of Colorado climatologist Konrad] Steffen started monitoring the weather at Swiss Camp in 1991, the average winter temperature has risen almost 10 degrees. Last year, the annual melt zone reached farther inland and up to higher elevations than ever before.

"There was even a period of melting in December.

"'We have never seen that,' Steffen said, combing the ice crystals from his beard. 'It is significantly warmer now, and it happened quite suddenly. This year, the temperatures were warmer than I have ever experienced.'"

The nothing-to-see-here-move-along crowd can grouse all they want that global warming is a hoax. Whatever. Some minds -- providing they have minds -- are too strong and powerful to be manipulated by the temptations of science and empirical evidence.

But I would respectfully submit that the global scientific community needs to stop daydreaming about human cloning and get to something really important: Start working on a way to give us all gills again.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Where's the Al Qaeda Whisperer When You Need Him?

By Cassandra D

I just started getting the National Geographic channel and so have been able to develop a brand new addiction: "The Dog Whisperer." Have you seen him? The guy is amazing. Problem dogs who have bitten people and killed animals are tamed in minutes. Neurotic dogs find peace. Cesar Millan is a miracle worker.






My Dog Whisperer addiction comes right on the heels of my "Supernanny" craze. Jo Frost is a magician. Did you see the episode where she made a 9-year-old girl, spittin' image of Veruca Salt, turn into a relatively nice kid?



If there are people who can transform mad dogs and horrid children, there must be somebody out there with the same power on crazy and malicious adults.




So where's the al Qaeda Whisperer?

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Make-Believe Meets Make-Believe

Evidently, the tax-hating, rich folk-loving wonks of The Heritage Foundation are learning how to sex up their symposiums. How else do you explain the right-wing think tank leading a conference on terrorism-fighting techniques of Fox's hit series, "24"?

In a take-Hollywood-back-from-the-liberals sort of scene, Rush Limbaugh moderated the forum, which featured Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff and "24" stars Gregory Itziu, Mary Lynn Rajskub and Carlos Bernard.









Radio personality Rush Limbaugh exhales into the mouth of actress Mary Lynn Rajskub to demonstrate how he can administer oxycodone

The Washington Post reports:

"The title of the session was '"24" and America's Image in Fighting Terrorism: Fact, Fiction or Does it Matter?' Everyone seemed to agree that it mattered, somehow, which is probably the answer Fox's promotions department was hoping to hear. No less than Chertoff himself praised the character and tenacity of '24's' fictitious uber-agent, Jack Bauer ... and his CTU colleagues, saying such perseverance will help America defeat terrorism.

"Chertoff, of course, failed to mention a few other key departures from reality, such as that '24's' president, Charles Logan, last season was A) a devious madman who authorized a plan to supply a Russian terrorist group with nerve gas, and B) had several people killed, including his predecessor, and C) was the tool of a shadowy organization whose leader wears one of those funny telephone earpieces.

"Well, said Bernard afterward, it's silly to demand too much reality from a network TV series. 'It's a show,' said the soul-patched actor ..."


And a show, as we all know, has little to do with reality ...

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Dark Lord, Revisited

By Cassandra D

So Dan Rather is finally really gone from CBS.

What led to his departure? The infamous forged Bush National Guard memos.

Rehashing the CBS mess dredges up all sorts of unpleasant memories, but it is also a cautionary tale for those who are opposed to the Bush administration and its dream of a perpetual Republican majority.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I strongly suspect that Rove was behind the forgeries. After all, the content was pretty much truth. Bush did weasel out of his service. And what better way to make the public doubt the veracity of Bush's weaselhood but to put the truth in a forged document?

Rove is the same guy who placed bugs in his own candidate's office, in order to make it look like the other guy was crooked.

Rove is the sneakiest sneaky bastard of them all. I'm not the only one who thinks it's a good bet Rove was the mastermind behind the CBS forgeries.

What does it mean for us now? Since Rove no longer has to fear becoming jail meat, he is no doubt getting back in touch with his inner sewer rat.

The Dark Lord returneth...

Friday Random 10

This one's for you, Debbie Downer.

1. Count Basie and His Orchestra, "How Long Blues"
2. U2, "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of"
3. The Mingus Big Band, "Moanin'"
4. The Church, "Constant in Opal"
5. The Mooney Suzuki, "New York Girls"
6. The Beau Brummels, "Just a Little"
7. Los Straitjackets, "My Heart Will Go On"
8. blink-182, "All the Small Things"
9. Kanye West, "Roses"
10. The Butthole Surfers, "Pepper"

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Stop the Presses!

By Cassandra D

Fox News says global warming is real and is caused by humans. Not only that, but the accompanying sidebar has links to all sorts of scary articles about global warming problems and predictions.

What happened to the folks at Fox? Are they sick or something?

(h/t Crooks and Liars)

Sex Tape Derby, Round 57

Hello boys and girls, and welcome to another installment of Sex Tape Derby, the derby where you decide. The setup is this: Who of the following would you rather see get their freak on, to help you get your freak on? Post your selections in the comments section below.

Old-school Catherine Deneuve ...














or old-school Brigitte Bardot?













Late night lubriciousness: Jay Leno ...

















or David Letterman?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Aborted Thought

Regardless of where you stand on abortion, Buzzflash's take on Louisiana's new anti-abortion bill smacks of sexism: "Louisiana Democratic Governor and woman Kathleen Blanco signs abortion ban."

Are women not allowed to have a moral opposition to abortion? If you believe that aborting a fetus is tantamount to murder, why on earth would gender matter?

That sort of mind-set doesn't do the political left any favors.

Cock That Brow












As someone who has prided (or deluded, depending on your point of view) himself on having a sense of humor, I will admit to having long been frustrated by my inability to execute a tried-and-true trick of the humor trade. It isn't necessarily a prerequisite for being funny, but as affectations go, it's among the best to have.

Go back sometime and revisit National Lampoon's Animal House, the movie that made John Belushi a superstar -- and, for my money, is the gold standard for movie comedy. Check out the cafeteria scene, just before Belushi shoves a plate of Jello down his throat. What does he do right beforehand? Or check out the scene in which two cheerleaders are sitting on bleachers, and the camera pans down to reveal Belushi doing a peeping Tom bit. What does he do?

He cocks one eyebrow.

It's hilarious.

Don't ask me why, but it's funny. You know it is. Compared to the Single Eyebrow Lift, or S.E.L., an eye roll looks like amateur hour.

Jack Black can do the S.E.L., too. All the really funny people can: George Carlin, Stephen Colbert, Horatio Sanz. I bet Dr. Pants can do it, the lucky prick. Joan Crawford could do it, too, which might be why I giggle every time I see Mildred Pierce.

Alas, I cannot lift one eyebrow. Such nuances of movement elude me. Always have. In grade school, I was the only kid I knew who couldn't do Mr. Spock's Vulcan salute (not that I needed to, mind you -- I was a geek all right, but not that kind of geek). I can't do a damn thing with bubblegum except chew it. Hell, I can't even whistle without it sounding like the last gasp of a flat tire.

So imagine my surprise and joy when I discovered that my 6-month-old daughter, the lovely Apple Rosebud, can raise the one eyebrow.













Right after this photo was taken (which is a few months old), she cocked her right eyebrow. She did; trust me. And God help me if it wasn't just knock-down, crap-your-pants funny. She seems to be doing it more and more these days, particularly when her mother or I are acting like idiots. I know it'll be less cute when she's a teenager, and the S.E.L. will be in reaction to my wearing black socks with white shoes or something like that, but until then ...

We all want our children to have all the things we never did. Knowing that my daughter will be able to execute the perfect double-take at parties is, well, it's more than I could ever have hoped.

I can't wait to teach her how to do a spit-take. Danny Thomas, eat your heart out.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Rush Loves It When Our Troops Get Tortured To Death

By Cassandra D

Rush is having a great day. He just loves that our soldiers were tortured and beheaded. You know why? Because he gets so excited he almost wets himself at the thought of making people hate liberals. That is his entire reason for being. He is at his happiest when he can say that Democrats love such events as today's, because he loves to say that Democrats like anything that makes Bush look bad. And most of all he knows nothing will make Americans hate Democrats more than thinking that Democrats support our troops being tortured and beheaded.


(After reading the material for the addendum on my previous post, I decided to take off the gloves. And I'm not so sure this is a straw-man argument. I'm thinking it is pure and unadulterated truth.)

Just Wait

By Cassandra D

I pretty much knew, as I'm sure the rest of you did, as soon as I heard about the kidnapping of American soldiers that they would be found dead in some horrible way. So it was without surprise but with sorrow and anger that we have heard about the recovery of their mutilated bodies. I suspect we will hear of a video soon, too.

I can't bring myself to look at the right-wing blogs or listen to Rush or O'Reilly but I will be incredibly surprised if they aren't saying that Democrats are rejoicing over the deaths and torture because Democrats hate progress in Iraq because Democrats hate for Bush to succeed. Can't you hear them say it?

I was going to just come right out with an inflammatory straw-man and say, "Rush and O'Reilly are having a great day. They just love that our soldiers were tortured and beheaded. They are at their happiest when they can say that Democrats love such events, because they love to say that Democrats like anything that makes Bush look bad. And they know nothing will make Americans hate Democrats more than thinking that Democrats support our troops being tortured and beheaded."

Even though I do suspect them of such despicable pleasures, I can't bring myself to make such a sick argument.

Perhaps that's why Democrats lose.


************
Addendum:

Well, that sure didn't take long, did it?

Monday, June 19, 2006

Wayne's World

The Flaming Lips' frontman (and Oklahoma City's own) Wayne Coyne giving this year's commencement speech at the Classen High School of Advanced Studies.

(Hat tip to -- what else? -- You Tube)

Primarily Clueless

Time columnist Joe Klein, apparently unencumbered by the confines of reality, has whipped up a column with this curious headline: "Why Bush Is (Still) Winning the War at Home."

It's one thing for the president to insist he pays no attention to polls. Apparently, his refusal to acknowledge the public is also shared by Bush sycophants.

I will defer to the words of Balloon Juice's John Cole:

"Bottomed out in the polls, a government is finally in place months (years) after it should be, troops abducted, chaos everyday, and the White House is ‘celebrating’ the fact that the President’s closest advisor was not indicted.

"Maybe the Democrats should be happy they are ‘losing’ and George Bush is ‘winning.’"

An Inconvenient Planet

So yesterday I celebrated my first Father's Day as an honest-to-goodness dad (well, "celebrated" is probably a bit highfaluting for a day created by the greeting card industry), and, in the spirit of that newfound responsibility, Mrs. Chase and I also took the weekend to see the documentary, An Inconvenient Truth.

And let me tell you: This is some kind of frightening. As mawkish as it might sound, I actually walked out of the movie theater thinking about my 6-month-old daughter, and what kind of a world she would inherit as the result of all the myopic generations before her. Generally, I leave movie theaters thinking about waffles, so this really was kind of a pivotal moment.

In all seriousness, I cannot stress enough what a compelling and important documentary this is. And yet I also realize that plenty of would-be audiences will understandably be wary of a movie that is essentially a Powerpoint presentation by Al Gore.

Don't let that deter you, dear friends. Granted, Gore-haters will have to bite down hard and tolerate several self-aggrandizing biographical vignettes that director Davis Guggenheim weaves through the film. Those irritants, however, are tangential in a work that covers -- succinctly, starkly and, yes, with a generous dollop of entertainment -- perhaps the paramount issue of our lifetime, global warming. Gore has been giving this multimedia presentation for more than a decade, but cataclysmic events of recent years have added urgency to his warning.

The San Francisco Chronicle's Mike LaSalle puts it eloquently:

"An Inconvenient Truth ... treats audiences like adults, presenting a detailed, lucid and intelligent explanation of a serious issue. It doesn't preach to the converted. On the contrary, it directly and respectfully addresses the questions and concerns of skeptics, methodically piling evidence on top of evidence, until the truth becomes obvious and unmistakable.

"For some, the tipping point will come with the charts showing the rapid increase in global temperatures and the accompanying increases in greenhouse gases. For others, it will be the sight of polar bears struggling to find ice in the Arctic, or of shots of glaciers reduced to almost nothing in a span of only 30 or 40 years. It's a shock to see photographic evidence that the snows of Kilimanjaro have been reduced to a light dusting.

"Through these pictures, Gore shows that global warming is no longer a hypothetical. It's here already, and the evidence is everywhere, not least in the floods, hurricanes and droughts that we're seeing all over the world -- our 'nature hike through the book of Revelations,' as he calls it."


The issue is not open for legitimate debate, as Gore's plethora of data makes clear. U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe can grouse that global warming is a "hoax" and The New York Post can blather on with a ludicrous savaging of the documentary -- but, at some point, even the most obstinate contrarian must face a day of reckoning. "It will be interesting," David Denby recently wrote in The New Yorker, "to watch how skeptics will deal with Gore's bad news on the environment without making themselves look very small."

Gore correctly likens global warming's so-called "debate" to the nicotine-smudged days of yesterday, a time when Big Tobacco had actually produced enough smoke and mirrors (mainly smoke) to blur questions of whether secondhand smoke was an actual health hazard. Don't think the energy industry isn't every bit as resourceful as R.J.R. Reynolds.

In An Inconvenient Truth, the ex-veep takes several justifiable swipes at the current administration, but Gore also hastens to add, correctly, that global warming transcends political debate. It is a moral issue, he intones, and cowardice and temerity infect both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill.

While it's true that Republican zeal for deregulation can be anathema to the concerns of environmentalists, it is equally true that plenty of Democratic officeholders are loathe to take the long view necessary to protect our planet. The oil and gas industry doles out more campaign contributions than the scientists charting the melting of the polar caps, and American automakers, with their continued insistence on SUV mania amid plummeting profits, apparently have the awareness and imagination of roadkill.

And, lest we forget, Gore himself had the privilege of holding the nation's second-highest office for eight years -- and still the planet is on a collision course with Armageddon-styled dangers.

I'm no dummy (I like to tell myself that, anyway), but the evidence that Gore lays out in An Inconvenient Truth is more than a little eye-opening. We no longer have the luxury of inaction.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Chase's Hope For Apple Rosebud...

By Cassandra D

...is that she turns out like this kid.

(Here's more.)

God's Test

By Cassandra D

I received email from a coworker today. She almost never emails me anything, and so, even though it was something forwarded, I opened it. Mistake!

At the bottom of the sappy story of a dying but faithful child with "Jesus in his heart" I found this:

"If you Love God, and are not ashamed of all the marvelous things he has done for you. Send this to ten people."

Hm...Grammar mistake....Must not really be an email from God...

Get behind me, Satan!

Whew! Just in time! None forwarded.

My Own Sex Tape Derby

By Larry Mondello

Chase isn't the only one who gets to challenge you with carnal dilemmas.
Try this one:


Conservative "hottie" Ann Coulter

or

Cannibal legend Albert Fish.

Tough choice, but I gotta go fishin'

Friday, June 16, 2006

Friday Random 10

Chase's iPod has bitten the iDust for some strange reason, so I've been tapped to step up and fill the digital void ... here goes nothin'.

1. The Bens, "Wicked Little Town (Tommy Gnosis Version)"
2. Blues Traveler, "Hook"
3. The Magic Numbers, "Try"
4. Shakira, "La Pared"
5. Cat Power, "Willie"
6. Dave Matthews Band, "Too Much (live)"
7. Lewis Black, "Education in Arkansas"
8. Barenaked Ladies, "Life, In A Nutshell (live)"
9. Dizzee Rascal, "Respect Me"
10. Natalie Merchant, "Cowboy Romance"

Thursday, June 15, 2006

It's Your Funeral

The first-she's-dead, now-she's-not woman, Whitney Cerak, is on the mend.

Surely you'll recall the bizarre scenario several weeks ago in which Cerak was believed to have died in an April 26 car accident. In a sort of tragicomic version on The Parent Trap, however, Cerak was actually alive and comatose -- and misidentified as a Laura VanRyn, a classmate of Cerak's and a woman who had not survived the deadly crash. As both women were blonde and had similar features, VanRyn's family kept vigil at Cerak's hospital bedside, wrongly under the impression that the heavily injured patient was their 22-year-old daughter.

Anyway, a blog operated by Whitney's family reports that the 19-year-old Michigan native is laughing and cracking wise. And she apparently even thanked her church pastor for speaking at her funeral -- which, we now know, was inadvertently the funeral for Laura VanRyn.

This is fascinating stuff. If you're a functioning human being, chances are you have dreamt about -- or at least pondered -- the notion of attending your own funeral. The dream must be as common as the tried-and-true falling-through-the-air dream, the stuck-at-school-in-my-underwear dream, or the ever-popular "Match Game"'s-Brett Somers-seduced-my-cat dream (or maybe that's just me).

Anyway, Whitney has had an opportunity that hopefully few of us will ever be afforded. She can pore over every detail of her funeral. And luckily for her, the funeral drew an overflow crowd of more than 1,400 mourners.

Can you imagine if it had been sparsely attended? If no one cried? If her boyfriend hit on a relative? If one of the pallbearers had worn flip-flops? If her parents had purchased a coffin from the budget bin? Boy, oh, boy -- try explaining that to your recently revived daughter.

Whitney Cerak has been doubly blessed. Not only is she out of her coma, but her funeral was a big success and she is alive to hear all about it. And even better, it's kind of a valuable run-through for when the real thing finally arrives. Whitney's family now knows what worked, what didn't, what was just "too deathy."

On a related note, we think it might be a nice gesture for Whitney's family to share her with the VanRyns, who must now grieve the death of their daughter after spending weeks thinking she still had a fighting chance. Maybe a joint custody sort of thing? Or visitation? Fair is fair.

President Wise Ass Strikes Again

By Larry Mondello

AP story says Prez accidentally teases an almost blind guy at a news conference. Actually, it was an honest mistake and you have to give GWB some credit for apologizing later. But the most significant line in the whole story is the quote from the reporter. He doesn't mind the mistake, but he does mind that the President never answered his question!

Sex Tape Derby, Round 56

In recognition of the upcoming Father's Day (my first as an honest-to-God father, for those of you keeping score at home), this week's installment of Sex Tape Derby salutes fathers and sons and mothers and daughters -- but not in a creepy Appalachian sort of way.

Anyway, you know how this goes: Let's say you get to (or got to, depending on your priggishness about abject voyeurism) watch that thing that the birds and bees do. Who would you choose to be the star of your homemade video porn? Post your selections in the comments section below.

Brittny Gastineau or ...














mom Lisa Gastineau?












James Brolin or ...













son Josh Brolin?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I Am a Suitcase of Rocks, I Am an Island

It's apparently an old-fashioned bitch-slap fest over at MSNBC, as Keith Olbermann recently sent an email to a viewer noting that colleague Rita Cosby is "dumber than a suitcase of rocks."

We suspect that Keith is underestimating a suitcase full of rocks. I think even rocks would know when it's time to retire the Natalee Holloway story.














As a mesmerized TV audience watched on helplessly, Rita Cosby transformed herself into Sally Struthers ....

"Is That Water I Hear?"

By Cassandra D

I recently received correspondence from "flamewhore," who is a loyal reader of and frequent commenter on this blog. She poses an interesting question about cell phone etiquette.

Is it okay to talk on your phone in a public restroom?

Yeah, I know there are some people who have zero problem with carrying on a phone conversation while visiting the commode. Kind of icky, but if you don't mind having someone hear your elimination, and they don't mind being on the receiving end of that auditory delight, then more power to you both.

But what about in a public restroom? To me, that seems just a tad beyond weird. Flamewhore reports that she has witnessed this phenomenon with ever increasing frequency in women's restrooms, and also that her husband claims to see it in the men's room all the time.

Really?

Is this the new normal in men's rooms? Is it becoming normal in women's rooms, too?

Yick.

***************
ADDENDUM:

Our ruder than Rude Pundit Oklahoma blogger Dr. Pants weighed in yesterday with an excellent reason cell phones should not be used in public restrooms. Leave it to His Local Rudeness to explain in graphic detail what I dared not.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Lucky Dog

By Conrad Spencer

In reading The New York Times' article on Karl Rove's incredible good fortune in eluding indictments, I saw this picture:


and, though I was reading about matters of great national importance, my first thought was, "Who's the hottie?"

My second thought was that, if anyone knew, it would be someone at Wonkette.com. I clicked over there, just in case, and found this post with the same picture, asking the same question.

While it's distressing to see proof that I obviously spend too much time reading blogs, it's also reassuring to me that most usage of the Internet -- the greatest communications tool in the history of humankind -- isn't anything more than junior high gossip. The world changes, but people stay the same--which is to say we all act, on some level, like we did when we were 13.

A Dusty Metaphor

Pity the poor employees of The New York Times, who apparently have so little time to leave their ivory tower, they evidently believe Oklahoma is still in the throes of a dust bowl. Witness this ostensibly benign review in The New York Times Review of Books for a new book about Oklahoma's alt-rock band, the Flaming Lips:

"[Author Jim] DeRogatis, the pop music critic for The Chicago Sun-Times and the author of a biography of Lester Bangs, does a nice job rendering the 60's and 70's cultural dust bowl that produced these alt-rock lifers ..."

Huh? Is it possible for The New York Times to get past Oklahoma's dust bowl?

Maybe not. From a Jan. 14, 2004, feature in the Times about Wayne Coyne and the Flaming Lips:

"Onstage [Coyne] usually dresses in a white suit and an open-collar shirt, looking something like a charismatic New Age guru. More than anything else, though, he and his bandmates come across as Dust Bowl Everymen with Bible Belt work ethics."

Is it possible for any major metropolitan newspaper to write about the Flaming Lips without conjuring up the 70-year-old specter of the dust bowl?

From The Chicago Tribune on March 26 of this year:

"It was just another day at the office for the Flaming Lips, whose improbable 24-year journey has taken them from Dust Bowl hicks who could barely play their instruments to festival-headlining shamans who will be headliners at Lollapalooza this summer in Chicago's Grant Park."

Then again, perhaps this is what you expect from cities that gave us the "Son of Sam" killer and the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.









Tom Joad .... yesterday and today

Monday, June 12, 2006

Happy Birthday

"I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart."

Anne Frank would have been 77 years old today ...













... had she lived.

Straw Man Contest #1

By Cassandra D

It's time for all of you to dust off your thinking caps. We all know that Karl Rove and company have made a lot of mileage off of straw man arguments. Heck, they've perfected the dubious art, and unfortunately people tend to be convinced.

In an article on this phenomenon, the Washington Post quotes Bush in the run-up to the 2004 election: "The natural tendency for people is to say, oh, let's lay down our arms. But you can't negotiate with these people. . . . Therapy won't work."

I'm convinced that if a Democrat (or moderate Republican, should one exist) is to win in 2008 we must muster up straw men to help our cause. What we need is practice, practice, practice! To that end I am starting a contest.

The subject matter for Week #1: Flag Burning

And to start things off, here's my attempt at a straw man argument:

"Some people think that our country is so weak and threatened that it can be hurt by pitiful acts such as burning our flag. They think that the only way to get people to respect the flag is to outlaw disrespect. Well, we know that our country is strong. We don't have to be threatened in order to show respect to the flag. We believe that our demonstrating love for our country and flag speaks loudest to the rest of the world when they know we could choose to do otherwise. And they envy our freedom. The Soviet Union needed laws to protect their flag. We don't. Why have the Republicans lost faith in Americans? Why don't they think our country has earned our respect?"

Your turn ...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Zarqawi's Remains

By Cassandra D

So Zarqawi's family in Jordan wants his body sent there for burial.

I have a better idea:

Let's cremate him along with a dog and a pig (who have died of other causes; not killed to be with him) and throw the accumulated ashes out over the Pacific. And then we tell all other known Islamic terrorists that that will be their fate, too, when we find them.

Those who use Islam's tenets to fuel their insane quest for murder and martyrdom deserve to have their own religion's weapons used against them.

How else are we going to deter these lunatics? What else do they care about?

Friday, June 09, 2006

Scissors Beat Paper ...

At long last, "rock, paper, scissors" is getting its day in court.

Seriously. Its day in court. A federal judge in Florida, irritated by the inability of both sides in a lawsuit to reach consensus on anything, has ordered both parties to resolve the most recent dispute by playing a round of the venerable game.

AP reports:

"U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell scolded both sides and ordered them to meet at a neutral location at 4 p.m. June 30 to play a round of the hand-gesture game often used to settle childhood disputes. If they can't agree on the neutral location, he said, they'll play on the steps of the federal courthouse.

"The winner gets to choose the location for the witness statement.

"'We're going to have to do it,' said David Pettinato, lead attorney for the plaintiff, Avista Management. 'I guess I'd better bone up on "rock, paper, scissors" rules.'"

What I find stranger than the judge's ruling is the attorney's admission that he will need to brush up on the rules. If you want to know what's wrong with the legal system, it's the mindset of someone who would actually need to revisit "rock, paper, scissors." Hell, the name of the game alone tells you what beats what.

Although while we're on that subject, I've got to say I've often been befuddled by the oh-so-convenient rule that paper beats rock. How exactly does paper neutralize a rock by covering it? What a crock.

Besides, it is common knowledge that the only thing that can beat rocks are heavily armed Israeli soldiers.

Friday Random 10

iPod. Therefore, I am.

1. The New Pornographers, "Graceland"
2. Cracker, "Happy Birthday to Me"
3. Me First & the Gimme Gimmies, "Elenor"
4. Blue Cheer, "Summertime Blues"
5. Marvin Gaye, "I Heard It Through the Grapevine"
6. Bettie Serveert, "Palomine"
7. Ryan Adams & the Cardinals, "Sweet Illusions"
8. David Bowie, "Modern Love"
9. Sam Cooke, "Chain Gang"
10. The Drive-By Truckers, "Too Much Sex (Too Little Jesus)"

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Sex Tape Derby, Round 55

Today's Sex Tape Derby is dedicated to the memory of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who no doubt is gonna be royally pissed when he learns the 72 virgins awaiting him in the afterlife are Arabian horses.

But on to the main attraction. Here's the deal: If you asolutely, positively must watch a celebrity in the sacred art of lovemaking, who would you rather see get it on? Post your selections in the comments section below.

Kate Beckinsale or ...













Kate Bosworth?













Adam Sandler or ...












David Spade?

Gay Marriage: A Guest Weighs In ...

A longtime reader of this blog is hopping mad (hopping mad or hopped up, I forget which) about the Republicans' ever-handy -- and fabricated -- wedge issue of gay marriage. And so, without further adieu, I turn the blogging duties over to a dear friend, Crumbles, who wants to get something off her chest ...

By Crumbles

OK, so Chase is a good friend of mine. He has two groups of friends: The really smart ones and the rest of us (you members of the latter group know who you are). Anyway, he has invited me to post before, but I never have because of my lack of self-esteem. Lately, however, I just want to scream about something.

It is this -- a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Which begs the question: What the fuck?

Frightening. I had lunch yesterday with a couple of my best friends, one being a member of Chase's latter group of friends, (see above), and one squarely planted in the former. Their intelligence level is of no consequence, however, as all I could think of was their sweetness and happiness and love for one another. They're gay men -- married to one another -- and they're in love. They take care of each other and their respective families.

And frankly, if I had to choose between them taking my children (after my husband learns about the affair and commits the inevitable murder-suicide) or a few of my straight couple friends taking my children, there would be no contest. The gay guys win hands down.

So, the question I have for those hardcore opponents of gay marriage is this: What exactly is your problem with it? What does gay marriage actually threaten? How does it hurt you and yours? I've tried and tried to think of answers to these questions, and I just can't think of any. And I don't think it's due to the fact that I'm a member of Chase's "rest of us" group of friends.

Someone please enlighten me. Seriously.

Coulter Clash

By Cassandra D

Hmm. So Ann Coulter (and you must click on the link; it's the most flattering photo of her to date) thinks that 9/11 widows are "enjoying their husbands' deaths."

Do you suppose she thinks that John Walsh is enjoying the fact that his six-year-old son was kidnapped and beheaded?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Colbert Cuts to the Chase

By Cassandra D

Did you watch "The Colbert Report" last night? I thought Stephen Colbert hit the nail on the head when he said something along these lines:

"President Bush and his supporters believe that one of the gravest threats to our nation is committed monogamous relationships among gays."

That's not an exact quote, but it gets the gist.

Well said, Stephen.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Polygamy

By Cassandra D

My husband and I watched the season finale of "Big Love" last night, a show we began watching primarily because it's after "The Sopranos." For the HBO-less among you, it is a show about a polygamous family, with one husband, three wives, and a bunch of kids, trying to live a happy and successful life in Utah without having their lifestyle discovered. It took a little bit, but we became hooked on watching it. I had never before thought much about polygamy, but after watching the show and giving it some thought, I'm now wondering this:

What's the big deal about polygamy?

I figure married men have been having affairs and fathering illegitimate children for, well, forever, and they aren't breaking the written law of the land. If consenting adults want to make a life-long commitment to each other and to their children, isn't that better?

You can make the argument that it is better for children to be in a standard two-parent household, but you can also argue that the standard model often doesn't work. Divorce, domestic violence, adultery, child abuse... Traditional families are certainly not immune. And even if you don't like polygamy, should it really be illegal? How about just not legally recognized? Wouldn't that be a good enough way for society to refrain from supporting it?

Friday, June 02, 2006

When the Evening Come

By Conrad Spencer

Just after I complain about the time I spend commuting I go and have one of those rare moments of absolute commuter bliss.

Yesterday afternoon it rained, cooling everything off and giving a welcome respite from the unseasonably warm temperatures. When I left work the sun had returned, but not the heat. It was perfect weather to open the sunroof and roll down the windows.

Outside the city the interstate was blessedly unencumbered. The radio played "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" and I drove 90.

Granted, that's not doing much about the peak oil problem, but you've got to take your joy where you can find it.

Friday Random 10

I can't believe I actually went a week without posting a Sex Tape Derby. Lord forgive me, but I've been slacking big-time on CTTC these last several weeks. At any rate, let me offer a heartfelt thanks to the decent and upstanding contributors on this here blog. Freedom is on the march because of you.

Oh, yeah, and now for the obligatory Friday iPod shuffle ...

1. Bob Seger, "Rock and Roll Never Forgets"
2. Tommy James & the Shondells, "Hanky Panky"
3. Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention, "Harry, You're a Beast"
4. The Velvet Underground, "Sunday Morning"
5. Brave Combo, "Fly Me to the Moon"
6. John Wesley Harding, "Old Girlfriends"
7. Marcy Playground, "Sherry Fraser"
8. The Replacements, "Portland"
9. Jane's Addiction, "Summertime Rolls"
10. Los Lobos, "Don't Worry Baby"