Sunday, November 28, 2004

Hoist on his own petard

I get great joy when I can find an error in smarter people than me. This morning the Civil War historian, Shelby Foote, was interviewed on booknotes for several hours. he said that some historian/general was "hoisted on his own petard."

What do you think it means?


Below is the definition of "petard". Read it and then die laughing at all the Springfield editorial writers/historians/learned folk that get it wrong.

[French pétard, from Old French, from peter, to break wind, from pet, a breaking of wind, from Latin pditum, from neuter past participle of pdere, to break wind. See pezd- in Indo-European Roots.]
Word History: The French used pétard, “a loud discharge of intestinal gas,” for a kind of infernal engine for blasting through the gates of a city. “To be hoist by one's own petard,” a now proverbial phrase apparently originating with Shakespeare's Hamlet (around 1604) not long after the word entered English (around 1598), means “to blow oneself up with one's own bomb, be undone by one's own devices.” The French noun pet, “fart,” developed regularly from the Latin noun pditum, from the Indo-European root *pezd-, “fart.”

Thursday, November 25, 2004

The Ayatollas on the Right in America

As most who know me are aware, I am an amateur photographer. Some days I am a very good photographer. Other days ... well ...

And as a person interested in photography I follow what others do. Mostly on the internet nowadays, since we have high speed connections and can trade high resolution photos on various websites, email, and newsgroups.

But I am dismayed at what is happening today, under the name of "family values" or the quaintly named "Patriot Act", which any patriot of 1776 would have hanged the one who thought it up.

Photographers have been detained, arrested and harrassed across the country for taking photos. I even have my own horror story. The Federal Medical Center for Prisoners is located in the middle of a Springfield, MO. It sits on a large tract of ground -- bare, dull, boring and ugly -- except for about 1/3 of a mile of driveway from the street to the facility itself. There, they have planted Oaks, Maples, and ornamental trees to break the monotony of the starkness of the outside and the inside of the facility. I like to take photos of those trees in the fall.

Except for the fall of 2002 that is.

I had stopped inside the driveway about 100 feet and was preparing to take some photos of the trees. A janitor -- a fucking janitor -- stopped his pickum'up truck truck to tell me I couldn't take any pictures. I don't recall my exact words, but I suppose I left no doubt in his mind as to what he could do with his ideas of whether or not I could take a photo of a tree.

Janitor-boy was pissed.

And so he called goon-boy, who usually works as the plunger handler, while they are interrogating a prisoner.

Goon-boy, tries to tell me I can't take photos. Goon-boy gets much the same response as janitor-boy. Goon-boy doesn't want to use his plunger in public, so calls boss goon-boy.

Boss goon-boy is mightly impressed with his own importance. Unfortunately, since he has neither an ID or a badge .... his importance does not impress me, because I am not lying on my stomach, handcuffed, in a secret room, with an ungreased plunger being pointed at me.

Goon-boss demands that I give him my film. Since I remember stuff like the search and seizure laws I am provided in the US Bill of Rights, I ask Goon-boss if he has a warrant. Goon-boss allows as how he don't need no stinkin' warrant -- gimme' the film. Screw you -- or words to that effect I say.

Gonn-boss orders goon-underling who has accompanied him to accost the person clearly with the ciminal intent of taking photos of trees, to open my camera and confiscate the film. Goon-underling clearly doesn't know how to get my camera open so asks me to help him. My response to goon-underling is roughly the same as to goon-bossboy and goon-janitor.

After much fiddling goon-underling gets the film rewound and takes it away -- no receipt for the confiscation, thankyou -- I hope they had fun looking at the photos of the Volleyball game -- because that was all that was on the roll of film.

Other photogs has been arrested for taking a photo of a bridge. One friend of mine was arrested in Baton Rouge for photographing two models in a fountain in the middle of the day -- his $7000 camera was confiscated for two months until the cops found the only photos on it were the two flatfoots who accosted him in the first place.

But now, considering the 51% mandate for Dubya, the crazies from the pulpits are coming out in force ... even though the support reported for "family values" has dropped over the past 20 years according to the Guardian in Great Britian. Nevertheless, they think they got the power, and they are gonna' use it -- right now.

Consider the following which wou can find the full part here.

As the pietistical pose becomes the single stance in public life, brace yourself for the specially nauseating form of hypocrisy which is religious hypocrisy. The phony reverential attitude, the lowering of the eyes, the clasping of the hands in a way which denotes piety and pure living, the formulaic braying and the unarguable deference for any inanity so long as it comes from a religious source—it all follows. Perhaps the worst consequence which comes with elevating religion to a place of such importance is empowerment of the clergy.

Ain't it the truth ...

The Christians and their churches, which are using their temporary, strategic, electoral-minority position to gain majority dominance, will live to wish that they hadn’t labored so long to put "people of faith" in the driver’s seat. Other than dogmatism and a built-in resistance to reason, logic and science, sectarian religions have nothing in common except a potential antagonism for each other—one which holds the threat of someday ripping the country to shreds. "Religion" and "faith" are pushing ahead on a common front now, but in due course they will fall on each other with mortal fury. History teaches that the one thing religions hate more than secularism is other religions. With each year that religions are encouraged and given a preferential place, they become more demanding and more truculent in claiming more power and deference. As more members of more religious organizations adopt peculiar and distinguishing forms of dress, headgear and hair, the lines harden and the probability of physical conflict between these groups of faith-based fanatics grows.

Time to take the old AK-47's out of the closet, clean the rust off, test fire them, and be ready to do to the crazies on the right what the French hoi-ploi did in 1792.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Joe Blundo writes a funny/true/sad

The flood of American liberals sneaking across the border into Canada has intensified in the past week, sparking calls for increased patrols to stop the illegal immigration.

The re-election of President Bush is prompting the exodus among left leaning citizens who fear they'll soon be required to hunt, pray and agree with Bill O'Reilly.

Canadian border farmers say it's not uncommon to see dozens of sociology professors, animal rights activists and Unitarians crossing their fields at night.

''I went out to milk the cows the other day, and there was a Hollywood producer huddled in the barn," said Manitoba farmer Red Greenfield, whose acreage borders North Dakota.

The producer was cold, exhausted and hungry. ''He asked me if I could spare a latte and some free-range chicken. When I said I didn't have any, he left. Didn't even get a chance to show him my screenplay, eh?"

In an effort to stop the illegal aliens, Greenfield erected higher fences, but the liberals scaled them. So he tried installing speakers that blare Rush Limbaugh across the fields. ''Not real effective," he said. ''The liberals still got through, and Rush annoyed the cows so much they wouldn't give milk."

Officials are particularly concerned about smugglers who meet liberals near the Canadian border, pack them into Volvo station wagons, drive them across the border and leave them to fend for themselves.

''A lot of these people are not prepared for rugged conditions," anOntario border patrolman said. ''I found one carload without a drop of drinking water. They did have a nice little Napa Valley Cabernet, though."

When liberals are caught, they're sent back across the border, often wailing loudly that they fear retribution from conservatives. Rumors have been circulating about the Bush administration establishing re-education camps in which liberals will be forced to drink domestic beer, learn how to shoot a handgun and watch NASCAR.

In the days since the election, liberals have turned to sometimes ingenious ways of crossing the border.

Some have taken to posing as senior citizens on bus trips to buy cheap Canadian prescription drugs. After catching a half-dozen young vegans disguised in powdered wigs, Canadian immigration authorities began stopping buses and quizzing the supposed senior-citizen passengers. Many others were caught wearing Birkenstock sandals with young appearing feet in them - a dead giveaway.

''If they can't identify the accordion player on The Lawrence Welk Show, we get suspicious about their age," an official said.

Canadian citizens have complained that the illegal immigrants are creating an organic-broccoli shortage and renting all the good Susan Sarandon movies.

''I feel sorry for American liberals, but the Canadian economy just can't support them," an Ottawa resident said. ''How many art-history majors does one country need?"

In an effort to ease tensions between the United States and Canada, Vice President Dick Cheney met with the Canadian ambassador and pledged that the administration would take steps to reassure liberals, a source close to Cheney said.

''We're going to have some Peter, Paul & Mary concerts. And we might put some endangered species on postage stamps. The president is determined to reach out."

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Medicare's dirty little secret

I recently had a surgical procedure. Nothing dramatic, in fact it was done as an outpatient. That's what we are supposed to do -- right? Keep costs down by not demanding a hospital bed and incuring the associated overhead costs?

Not in today's world, buddy.

What hospitals charge for supplies and services have been legendary for years -- $5 asprins, $3 alcohol wipes -- the list is endless of overcharges that hospitals use -- mostly so that people like Medicare pay them what the stuff is actually worth. And even at that, hospitals remain one of the richest industries in America. Buying up land and building buildings at a rate that is just staggering.

Here's the dirty little secret. The hospital says they want about $4000 for my procedure. (the doctor wanted about $2000 for his professional services, and got about $900, and that sounds fair to me, and he doesn't complain). OK, Medicare and I know that this $4000 that they want is wildly inflated, and actually paid them about $1000 -- which is probably what the operation is worth.

However, Medicare also bills the patient a deductable. It's twenty percent. Twenty percent of what Medicare has determined the procedure is worth? Not on your life ... twenty percent of that inflated bill that the hospital sends out ... my "copayment"???... almost $800 --- or almost 50% of the value of the operation.

What a scam on the American public -- all allowed by your friendly Congresscritter, who promises every two years that he is going to look out for your interests.

Remember him in 2004.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Suck it up boys and girls of the press

Ah, the whining, wailing, rending of garments and gnashing of teeth (and very white teeth they are too).

A reporter for a TV station has refused to give info to a grand jury and has been told by the judge that he had better think of what it will be like to sit in a jail cell for contempt until the whole thing is over.

If the folks in the press had been doing their job for the past few years, working for me, and not for their corporate and political masters, I might have a mild twinge of sympathy. But since they haven't I don't.

If I get called to a grand jury, and I am not the target of the investigation, I can't even claim the 5th to avoid giving them what I know. What makes a reporter so special that she/he can keep silent in the face of wrongdoing? Or if they do keep silent, shut up and take their punishment like a man/woman?

If these fine specimens of J School had a past history of being the slightest bit concerned about their readers/viewers and about actually getting the truth when it comes to government/politics/health/war/science/anything else, perhaps we could carve out a special status for them. But instead they have become corporate drones. Lazy, untalented, uncurious, and inept.

A pox on his house.

Suck it up, bubula.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Another Day --Another Fundie -- Another Stupid

A crazy Texas (where else?) mother says girls asking boys for a date can lead to a crazed fag.

Unbelieveable?? Believe it. Read it here.

TWIRP stands for "The Woman Is Requested to Pay," and for years Spurger schools hosted the day during Homecoming Week to give boys and girls a chance to reverse social roles and let older girls invite boys on dates, open doors and pay for sodas.

And of course, wouldn't you know. That Pfat Pfool Pfalwell has his hands out of his fly and into this one too.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Anna Nicole Smith

Oh, yes ...she of the bad acting fame has lost about 250 lbs since she was able to smother her zillionaire 96 year old hubby ...

Did you catch her into on the tube last night?? Someone send me the vids or a link.

I wonder what was in those brownies they served before the show.

No .... I don't wonder .... I want some!!!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Author Unknown

Dear President Bush,

YeeeHa and a big old hi boy, howdy! As you know, being from Crawford, Texas, that's the way we talk down south.

Congratulations on winning your second term as President of theUnited States of America. It was your strong conviction as a Xtian that won against the Democrat's evil candidate.
I'm also a born-again religious fundamentalist, but I am not a biblical scholarlike you. I am trying to be evangelical and bring in more good 'ol southern boys into the fold, because The Word seems to give us a great deal of freedom to do as we please. We appreciate your support and example.

Since you are a theological scholar, I do need some advice from you regarding a few items found in The Word and how to follow them. These questions are perplexing and cause arguments among us while cooking up some good 'ol meth and "shine." That's not being hypocritical is it?

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that we religionists may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't we own Canadians as well as Mexicans?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is, my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2. clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it? Bythe way, which day is "The Sabbath?" Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday? There seems to be lots of confusion regarding that over the years.

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality.Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination? If so, where can these degrees be found in the BIBLE? Do abominations have degrees of difficulty similar to those in gymnastic events?

7. Lev.21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God ifI have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?I would hate to go to Hell for having poor eyesight and approaching an altar by mistake!

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, includingthe hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.19:27. How should they die? Hanging? Death by squirrel rifle? Beheading?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these issues extensively and enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help. I am looking forward to your definitive advice as a theological scholar and advocate for fundamental religionists in this country.

Thank you again for reminding us that The Word of the BIBLE is eternal, absolutely unchanging, and should always be followed by religious fundamentalists to the letter as you undoubtedly do.

Yours in Politics,
Billy Bob Botts

Smackover, Arkansas

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

"A toadie to the end"

Assama bin Asscroft quits in shame.

"Kaiser Ashcroft doesn’t think of them as nukes--he considers them ‘rapture accelerants’ "

Read it here.

Brilliant Government marketeers

The advertisements that ran on about 200 buses across the city in recent months carried posters displaying a suggestively posed woman in hot pants kneeling among a pile of books beside the snappy slogan "Read Books, Get Brain."

What unhip, unsuspecting local transportation officials did not know was that "get brain" is street slang for oral sex.

Read about it here.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Stealing the election -- 2004

Read the site here.

Was the election of 2004 stolen? My first thought was not even Karl Rove could steal 3 million votes. Now I am not so sure. My first thought was that the crazies in fundamental churches had just gotten out the vote, to let the economy go to hell, let our sons and daughters die in the wastes of Iraq, and soon to come, Iran, and far worse; just so a faggot couldn't visit the deathbed of the person he/she loves.

Several things, first the gloaters are pointing to a county map that shows a lot of red. Fine -- except counties don't elect presidents. People do. George the Lesser declares a mandate for himself, sorry George, 51% is not a mandate, it's a squeeker. Barack Obama won a mandate size election.

Second, if I were a California voter I would be mightly pissed that my vote counted between 1/3 and 1/2 of that of a voter in Wyoming. Thanks to the lopsided anti-democratic aspects of the electoral college.

And lastly there were those pesky exit polls which all of a sudden, after years of extraordinary acuracy, have started give us garbage info --- or have they?? Pretty smart people that design and run these polls .. how did they screw up so bad for the second time in a row? Maybe one answer is that people they talked to told them the truth ... and then something happened to the votes later.... unreasonable to think of that?? Remember one thing.

Karl Rove and the do anything at any cost desire to get and stay in power.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Europeans itching to crush US economy

Read it here.

Of course we don't care just so long as we can keep those queers away from each other.