Tuesday, August 29, 2006

One Year

It's been a year since Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans and destroyed the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Check out this timeline for a reminder of the tragedies and failures of the storm, but beware--it angries up the blood, as someone older and wiser might say.

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Does the Word "Unsustainable" Apply Here?

I found this in the New York Times over the weekend. Yes, yes, I know I'm always a couple of days behind. Deal with it.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Another good word is "bubble."

If that's too small (and it probably is), there's a larger, eye-friendly version of the same graph here.

But, but, the market knows all! Invisible hand! I suppose, when the inevitable crash occurs, the market-knows-best types will simply say that it is a "correction," and ignore the hordes of people who are absolutely ruined.

Sometimes, I wish I were religious like that.

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Saturday, August 26, 2006


He would've livened things up a bit.

So I went to the Nazi rally (or, more accurately, to the counter-rally) today. I wasn't able to find a clown wig, so I just had to go dressed normally.

And man, were those guys boring. They'll never attract a following like that. There were at least three times as many cops as white supremacists. I mean, there were only about thirty of them. Thirty!

Yet the city, county, and state had to spend what must be a whole ass-load of money to have enough cops around to keep the douchebags from getting jacked.

Also, it rained on them. That was nice.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

UPDATE: "Poop." Just for Brenda.

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Excellent News

Fuck that shit.

Aly, who has lived through a whole shitload of Modern Medicine for the last eight months, has no more chemotherapy sessions. None. She's through with that shit. So congratulations to her! She's wonderful, and she deserves good things.


Rush Limbaugh: Fat Racist Prick

This is an African-American Navy SEAL. Tell him he can't swim, you racist fuck. He'll kill you without breaking a sweat.

It seems that Rush should be here in Madison this weekend, attending the "White People RULE!" rally. I'm actually somewhat shocked by this.

Survivor, grand poobah of reality shows, is returning yet again this fall. This time around, the honchos at CBS have decided to break the "tribes" up along racial lines. Cue Fatboy Limbaugh:
LIMBAUGH: The new Survivor is actually a race between races, ladies and gentlemen. It premieres on September 14th. They're going to pit four tribes of people against each other: the African-American tribe, the Asian-American tribe, the Hispanic tribe, and the white tribe. And they are going to actually have a battle of races on the next Survivor. They know that it's going to be controversial. They know it's going to -- and people at CBS, behind the scenes, who just have heard about this, sort of scratch their heads -- say, "What the hell are we doing? What are we going to do -- the swimming portion, how is that going to be fair?"


LIMBAUGH: All right. Back now to this Survivor story: A race between races. In just a couple of weeks, the new season of Survivor will take 20 castaways to the Cook Islands -- the middle of the Pacific Ocean. They will be split into four tribes and they will compete against each other. The four tribes are these: the African-American tribe, the Asian-American tribe, the Hispanic tribe, and the white tribe. Noticeably absent here -- the Native-American tribe. But I guess they had a full boat, so to speak, when they have -- when they have 20.

So, you look at this and you say, "OK, here we are. We live in a society where we're not supposed to cause racial friction. We've been getting away from this, so we're all one, we're all the same." This is -- this is incredible. Now, we've got the Survivor series segregating contestants into tribes. Not even groups! We're calling them tribes. I don't know how many people still watch this show; I guess quite a few, because it's still on the air. You might cause riots on this show, or in the country as a result of this show. But here are the -- here are the tribes: the African-American tribe, the Asian-American tribe, the Hispanic tribe, and the white tribe. Now, of these four tribes, just off the top of your head, who do you think has the advantage? Who do you think here is going to win? Do you think it's going to be the white tribe? The Hispanic tribe? The African-American tribe? Or the Asian-American tribe? We've been looking at this here amongst ourselves, and our early money is going on the Hispanic tribe, providing they stay unified.

We don't know who makes up the -- I mean, we've got the names here of all these members of the tribes, but Hispanic encompasses a lot. You could have a Cuban in there. You could have a Nicaraguan. You could have a Mexican or two. You could have any number. And you know, if they start fighting for supremacy amongst themselves, that could lead to problems. But our early money is on them anyway, because these people have shown a remarkable ability, ladies and gentlemen, to cross borders, boundaries -- they get anywhere they want to go. They can do it without water for a long time. They don't get apprehended, and they will do things other people won't do. So, our money, early money, is on the Hispanics.

The white tribe, I have to tell you -- I don't have a whole lot of hope in the white tribe. The Asian -- the Asian-American tribe probably will outsmart everybody, but will that help them in the ultimate survival contest? Intelligence is one thing, but raw, native understanding of the land and so forth -- this is probably why the Native Americans were excluded, because they were at one with the land here, and they probably would have an unfair advantage.

The African-American tribe, tough to handicap on this one, because you just -- it's -- it's -- there are many characteristics here that you would think give them the lead and the heads up in terms of skill and athleticism and so forth. The Asians, as I say -- the brainiacs of the bunch. The Hispanic tribe -- they've probably shown the most survival characteristics of any -- What? What are you shaking your head about for? What are you -- well -- well, I don't know that CBS is going to let them get away with that. The -- we were talking about the white tribe. We're speculating among ourselves that if the white tribe behaves as it historically has, they will bring along vials of diseases; they will end up oppressing the other groups; they will deny them benefits; deny them their property, steal it from them, and you know, put them on some kind of a benefit program. The white tribe put everybody else on some kind of benefit program, but the benefit program, of course, will not be enough. There will be no education. The white tribe will not allow any health care.
When did it become okay again in America to be openly racist? Katrina? I think that was it.

Jesus. Go to that link and read, because a caller actually delivers a verbal beating to the vacuous gasbag.

This is the modern Republican Party. Scratch a Republican, find a racist. It's that simple.

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Your Media

Lookit the reporters!

Dumb as fucking posts, and played again. Did everyone see the great story about Rockey Vaccarella, who drove his "FEMA" trailer from St. Bernard Parish to DC, just to tell El Presidente Arbusto how great and wonderful and shiny he is?

Well, naturally enough, it was bullshit. As anyone with five minutes and that obscure tool called "Google" could have told you.

Will Bunch lays it out:
The good news is that CNN seems to have finally stop obsessing over John Mark Karr. Instead, they've found a new soap opera to go ga-ga over, Katrina survivor Rockey Vaccarella, who drove his FEMA trailer from his home in ravaged St. Bernard Parish to Washington with "the hope" of convincing President Bush to meet with him.

You can see why TV loves this story (the guy's named 'Rockey,' for cryin' out loud!), because to those who pay casual attention, i.e., the vast majority of viewers, the parallels to another news story are striking.

It was exactly one year ago that the headlines were all about Bush, on another lengthy vacation in Crawford, refusing to meet with an average American who was devastated by a tragedy -- Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq. It was a publicity bloodbath, and it rolled right into the horrors of Katrina and a seemingly indifferent White House, beginning the long slide in Bush's approval rating.

Now comes Rockey, a plain-talking character who lost it all in Katrina, who nearly died in the hurricane, forced to hang onto a rope for four hours (some of that was captured on film), and now wants to government to do more for Katrina victims. And what a difference a year makes -- not only did Bush, not in Crawford but hard at work in the White House, meet with this "average American," but check out the glowing praise our president received in return.

First, here's the way that the media spun the meeting: A triumph for the little guy:

CNN's RICK SANCHEZ: I don't know if you were watching a couple days ago, but you might remember that we talked to a man named Rockey Vaccarella. I got a lot of phone calls on this interview. He's a Katrina victim who was driving to the White House with a FEMA trailer. And he seemed to strike a nerve with people. He's there now. He's actually been invited inside. He wanted to go and met with the president. Well, guess what, the president has decided to meet with him. Last night he met with Donald Powell (ph), the government's point man for rebuilding the Gulf Coast. Told him just what he and his family went through during Katrina.

A minute later:

SANCHEZ: And amazing his persistence because he was originally told that the president was just busy. Look, he's not going to be able to meet with you.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN: He's like, that's all right. I'm still going.
SANCHEZ: I'm going to hang out there.
O'BRIEN: I've driven all this way.
SANCHEZ: He was confident when he told us that the president would come out and find a way to talk to him.

Here's so here's what Rockey told the nation just now on TV:

You know, it's really amazing when a small man like me from St. Bernard Parish can meet the President of the United States. The President is a people person. I knew that from the beginning. I was confident that I could meet President Bush.

And my mission was very simple. I wanted to thank President Bush for the millions of FEMA trailers that were brought down there. They gave roofs over people's head. People had the chance to have baths, air condition. We have TV, we have toiletry, we have things that are necessities that we can live upon.

But now, I wanted to remind the President that the job's not done, and he knows that. And I just don't want the government and President Bush to forget about us. And I just wish the President could have another term in Washington.

This guy is a symbol of the misery that so many people in Louisiana and Mississippi? If we didn't know any better, this couldn't have been more of home run for Bush if the whole thing had been set up by Karl Rove.


In fact, we had a hunch -- that maybe, just maybe, Rockey Vaccarella had a background himself in GOP politics.

And, whaddya know? Turns out that the earthy Vaccarella -- a highly successful businessman in the fast-food industry -- is indeed a Republican pol, having run unsuccessfully under the GOP banner for a seat on the St. Bernard Parish commission back in 1999. We don't have a good link, but here (via Nexis) is part of his bio that ran in the New Orleans Times-Picayune on Oct. 15, 1999:

35. Born in New Orleans. Grew up in Arabi and Chalmette. Lived 11 years in
Married, two children.
Graduated from Chalmette High, 1982. Attended St. Bernard Community
Director of operations, Lundy Enterprises, as manager of 31 Pizza Hut
restaurants and 450 employees. Former general restaurant manager of Popeye's Chicken & Biscuits on East Judge Perez Drive in Chalmette.

And in fact, Vaccarella seemed very confident that he would be meeting with Bush when he left home, to the point where he had a date scheduled and everything:

Dinner with the President is planned for the evening of August 22nd.

As it turned out, dinner last night was with the White House aide running Katrina relief, and he met Bush at the White House today. Close enough. Before he left Louisiana earlier this month, Vaccarella made it clear that he's no Cindy Sheehan:

"We want to thank President Bush and the American people for everything they have done so far for south Louisiana and the Gulf Coast region but, to remind everyone that the job is not complete and to please do whatever is possible to help clean-up and re-build so our people can return home."

Shouldn't the media be a tad more skeptical about events like these? And isn't the fact that Vaccarella was once a Republican candidate for office a relevant fact that should be mentioned, to help viewers place his effusive, nationally televised praise in context.
And Lucy pulls away the football yet again. Don't you people ever get tired of looking like schmucks?

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Weekend Fun

Fresh produce? Oh, hell yeah.

Nazi douchebags? Oh, fuck no.

Here in Madison, the goddamn Nazi Party is planning a rally this Saturday. You may not see how this translates into weekend fun, but bear with me. As one of the many downsides to this, the Dane County Farmers' Market is gonna have to close two hours early, so that the cops can set up enough security to keep these Nazi cocksuckers from getting their stupid fucking Aryan heads beaten in by a righteous mob.

So here's my Saturday plan, and any of you who are local are welcome to join me:

a) Go to the Market early, and spread some cash around (if you've got any). The two-hour-early closing represents, no doubt, a serious loss of revenue to the vendors. And it's a good excuse to load up on Stella's Hot & Spicy Cheese Bread. If you've never had that, you are missing out.

b) Return at two p.m. Since, as noted, the cops aren't gonna let us crack any Master Race skulls, and being indignant doesn't make an impact, here's my plan. I'm gonna put on a brown shirt, black pants, black tie, break out my old combat boots, and show up.

In a clown wig. I mean a big-ass rainbow clown wig. Maybe we can get a bullhorn and make comical speeches, too.

Ridicule is really the only notice these douchebags deserve. Anybody want to come along?

Or are there any other suggestions?

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New Link

Just one. Check out EMcKenna. Simply reading her will make you cooler. And you really could stand to be cooler.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Nerd News

It seems that a Russian man has won--and declined--the Fields Medal. He didn't just decline the medal; he also passed on the cash money that goes along with it.

Russian Grigory Perelman, has, apparently, solved the Poincaré Conjecture. If so, good on him. But passing on a million bucks? That kind of math doesn't make any sense to me.

How, you might wonder, could a person tackle such a vexing problem?

Simple. He hasn't spent any time dating. Don't believe me? Check out this photo.

Now you understand what I mean.



Monday, August 21, 2006

In Praise of John Madden

I was watching the Colts-Seahawks game last night on NBC, the new home of John Madden and Al Michaels. Michaels is a great play-by-play guy, and Madden is, well, Madden.

It's easy to riducule Madden (fun, too)--the silly onomatopoeias, the obvious statements, and his style in general. But, last night, the man was a prince.

Michaels pointed out that Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy's son was on the sideline watching the game. Then he started in about Dungy's son Michael, who committed suicide last year. Naturally, that must have been awful for Dungy and his family. Michaels seemed intent on milking the pathos from last year's event. He went on for a few minutes about how it affected Dungy, and his family, and then posed a question to Madden (I'm paraphrasing here): "And, John, don't you think that it was his faith that helped him get through that tragedy?"

Madden's response: Silence.

Way to go, John. Leave the personal tragedy alone. Michaels cheapened the incident, and the family's grief, with his rambling, barely coherent monologue. Madden did the right thing by ignoring the question and letting the subject die.

I want my sports to be about sports. The Olympics are nearly unwatchable anymore, because we have to hear about every goddamn athlete's Personal Story of Overcoming Tragedy. Everybody fucking overcomes tragedy, okay? We've all got 'em. If you don't overcome it, you curl up into a ball and die.

Thanks, John Madden, for keeping the broadcast about the game, and not exploiting the events of the personal lives of the players or coaches. You're the man.

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Sad, Sad Shit

Read this Times-Picayune story. Then tell me about how a loving god watches over us.

If His Eye is on the sparrow, then why doesn't the motherfucker ever do anything?

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Wading Ashore, Corncob Pipe in Mouth

I have returned, motherfuckers.

That's what MacArthur would've said if that fool had possessed any panache.

But I'm back. Wheee, bitches!

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