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Desperado

The blog incarnation of the Desperado mailing list, the voice of the apocryphalypse since 1978.

Monday, October 31, 2005

When I was 12, they called me Peatmoss 


The indictment handed down the other day names the defendant as
I. Lewis Libby, also known as "SCOOTER LIBBY"
Awww, ain't it cute the way he scoots around!
posted by Tom  # 10/31/2005 06:57:00 PM
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A diller a dollar a 10 o'clock scholar 


Victor Davis Hanson , who claims to be a classicist and military historian, has unloaded some of his deepest thoughts for the readers of the National Review. You may prefer to go directly to some destructive criticism:
I'm only stopping by here to make one small point. Hanson's article is called
Crossing the Rubicon
Even before I saw HBO's Rome and even though I am not a classicist, nor a military historian, I knew this:
"Crossing the Rubicon" means "bring troops into the capital city and establish a military dictatorship".
I don't doubt that this is exactly what Hanson wants.
posted by Tom  # 10/31/2005 06:15:00 PM
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Sunday, October 30, 2005

Devil's Book of Quotations: filtxr foolzing wisdoms 


Subject line
:Bro check out this awesome new product

The promise: No more penis enlarge ripoffs!

The URL: snipped

The secret text to fool the filters:
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. Science is the record of dead religions. Politics, n. Strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. Wisdom is harder to DO than it is to know. The world must be made safe for democracy.
Wait a minute! Rip what off?
posted by Tom  # 10/30/2005 06:20:00 PM
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Saturday, October 29, 2005

Vice President for Torture -- Excuse me while I go vomit 


My internet pal, Roy M. Silvernail, can't hold it in, so, he lets it out.
I firmly believe that the Powers That Be will not be satisfied until they have destroyed every last vestige of liberty and true democracy that once existed here.
More, including vulgar expletives and hot rage, at Rant Central.
posted by Tom  # 10/29/2005 01:21:00 PM
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Thursday, October 27, 2005

And, after that, Off with their heads! 


I'm sick of "Saint" Patrick Fitzgerald and his "grand juries" and "indictments"! Let's just grab Bush and Rumsfeld and Cheney and Libby and Rove and Alberto Gonzalez and a few hundred more like them and transport them off to juridical limbo and badger them night and day and whale the crap out of them for a few months and then lock them up and throw away the key. After all, we know they're guilty, right?

This formally charging people with crimes is an outmoded luxury of an innocent age and only leads to lawyers and judges and all sorts of impediments to real justice. In other words, let's give the George W. "W" Bush administration the same treatment they gave to American citizen Jose Padilla, the "dirty-bomb terrorist" who is so dangerous an "enemy combatant" that he couldn't possibly be exposed to a vigorous defense by a lawyer in a fair and timely trial under specific charges before a jury of his fellow citizens and an impartial judge.

Padilla has asked the Supreme Court for the ordinary rights of the mugger, rapist, and crooked politician. So far, he has been denied them. And that is a crime. This administration has looted our liberties with the same ardor they applied to looting the treasury.

Here's an idea:
Save millions on military housing costs by quartering soldiers in houses without the consent of the owners. That will rape the still-virgin Third Amendment.

Go read the Bill of Rights and dispassionately contemplate the last five years. No honest citizen can fail to conclude that this is a criminal administration, violating not just the ordinary laws like honest elections and protection for spies, say, but violating the very deepest and most serious laws that we have, the laws that make us free, Amendments I, IV, V, VI, VII, and VIII.

There's so much more at stake here than elections and foreign policy. These criminal buffoons have put history and destiny up for grabs.

Ed's note: Discussion of II reserved.

posted by Tom  # 10/27/2005 11:45:00 PM
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Scary but funny like so many things these days 


Bush is "Forrest Gump from the Dark Side" Follow link for prize rant.
posted by Tom  # 10/27/2005 11:28:00 PM
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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Earthquake-proof Frisco 


And, should it occur to you to make a JELLO(TM) model of San Francisco and take beautiful photographs of the result:
Too bad! Elizabeth Hickock has beaten you to it!
There's always room for JO.
posted by Tom  # 10/26/2005 01:07:00 PM
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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Prison rape = not funny 


I'm looking forward to the indictments and subsequent convictions of large numbers of White House liars, but let me step to the podium here for a brief announcement:
It is not funny to be raped, even if the victim is Karl Rove and the rapist is the legendary "new best friend, Bubba".
Not a bit funny. It is a disgusting, inhumane outrage.
posted by Tom  # 10/25/2005 04:54:00 PM
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Why would we need this? We already have President Bush 


Brother Dave discovers the Alive Chimpanzee, which turns out not to be either one.

But it sure is creepy. I think a cat along these lines might pretty much work, but not our evolutionary buddy.
=*=

Backstage at the circus, if you say "Lion coming through!" they'll stand a bit aside. If you say "Elephant coming through!" make some room. But if you say "Chimpanzee coming through!", the blase' circus folk will trample an elephant or lion to get out of the way.
=*=

If we share 98 per cent of our DNA with chimpanzees, then 2 per cent of our DNA is a heck of a lot, don't you think? Especially since we share about 40 per cent of our DNA with asparagus. (Percentage derived by reliable invention.)
posted by Tom  # 10/25/2005 04:25:00 PM
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Continental drift 


Country going in the right direction? State by state, from Utah, -1% to Maine -52%, the answer is No.

Per the perspicacious JO.
posted by Tom  # 10/25/2005 01:10:00 PM
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Okay, little Swedish band, go be cruel 


Pure whimsy from four singing dancing Swedish dudes called Ok Go:
A million ways to be cruel

posted by Tom  # 10/25/2005 01:07:00 PM
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Absence of Yes + Time = No 


If I were firmer in my prejudices, I never would have come across this Mickey Kaus item and therefore would have missed hearing about an "old Hollywood rule" that I now take up as my own:
Miers in the Senate: Perhaps, as the Senate finds ways other than a vote or a filibuster to signal that it really doesn't want to confirm someone--e.g., leaking negative reviews, sending back questionnaires, asking for more documents, etc.--the old Hollywood rule applies:

Absence of Yes + Time = No

posted by Tom  # 10/25/2005 12:27:00 AM
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President George W. "W" Bush did promise to put the grownups in charge 


Norm Ornstein rocketed to fame as a quote machine/master soundbiter, but what he really wanted was a web log. Herewith, as of today's posting, Ornstein's greatest hit:
Americans all have to consider the implications now of a worst case scenario -- the problems of scandal and polarization result in a meltdown of the W. Administration and a collapse of governance in Washington. No Doubt some hard core partisans and ideologues would exult. But with the domestic and foreign policy challenges the country faces, it would be a disaster for all of us.

We are in the same boat, and if it is rudderless, we all sink. So how can we deal with the consequences if that worst case scenario occurs? Here is one simple three step roadmap:

1. Vice President Cheney resigns -- and President Bush replaces him not with Condoleeza Rice, as the rumors in Washington speculate, but with his father, George H.W. Bush.

2. President Bush resigns, allowing his father to move up to the presidency.

3. Bush 41/44 chooses his best buddy and surrogate son Bill Clinton (42, that is) to be Vice President. Talk about a fusion White House. Talk about bringing us together. Talk about compassionate triangulation.
Talk about smoking opium.

Live by the coup d'etat, die by the coup d'etat.
posted by Tom  # 10/25/2005 12:12:00 AM
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Saturday, October 22, 2005

Juan Cole finds White House glass half spit 


On the Stymie issue discussed immediately below, Juan Cole picks up a brassbound figure of philosopher Gottlob Frege and uses it to batter the absurd contention that "Joe Wilson's wife" is not equal to "Valerie Plame":
The problem with the strategy is that the philosopher Gottlob Frege had already in 1891 demonstrated that even though there might be a difference between the sense or connotation of two phrases, their referent could be the same. His famous example is "the morning star" and "the evening star." Both of these phrases have the same referent, which is the planet Venus.
More at link.
posted by Tom  # 10/22/2005 04:32:00 PM
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Friday, October 21, 2005

Oh Tay! Stymie takes out Buckwheat and Farina makes his move 


I once asked Brother Dave for a glass of water. I was 15 and he was 7. Why I thought he would actually bring me a glass of water was not recorded, but he trotted up with a full glass. I sipped. Hot water. "You didn't say you wanted cold water." I told him I wanted cold water and he went back. I sipped. "You didn't say not to spit in it." And so on. Every family has such scenes.

The defense of Karl Rove and Lewis Libby was drawn from the same well. "We didn't say 'Valerie Plame', we said 'Joe Wilson's wife', so that means we didn't identify her."

If that doesn't work, perhaps they'll reveal crossed fingers or a sotto voce King's X uttered just before the fatal revelation.

When they call you Scooter and Turd Blossom you end up thinking like a schoolboys with Our Gang nicknames:
The Gang decide no one loves them at home, so they build a raft and sail away to become pirates.

posted by Tom  # 10/21/2005 01:21:00 PM
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Thursday, October 20, 2005

It was a graveyard smash 


Pop-music immortal Bobby "Boris" Pickett does "The Climate Mash".
posted by Tom  # 10/20/2005 02:23:00 PM
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Why not lie to weak people? 


A certain stop-reading-now warning, the phrase "speak truth to power". It once rang with truth and power, but it has become a cliche, marking either inconsequentiality or B.S.

In a recent instance, we find quasi-furry Andrew Sullivan opining that two racists throwing plausible sounding pseudo-scientific dust in our eyes in The Bell Curve are speaking that truthistic thing to the powerfulistic when in fact it is quite the reverse.

Highly amusing too, is the fact that the phrase "speak truth to power" is most identified with the Black Moses, Sojourner Truth, who, as it turns out had some truth about equality worth speaking to Sullivan, as well as Richard Herrnstein, Charles Murray, the pseudo-scientists in question.

In her famous 1851 speech, "Ain't I a Woman?", Sojourner Truth said:
Then they talk about this thing in the head; what's this they call it? [member of audience whispers, "intellect"] That's it, honey. What's that got to do with women's rights or negroes' rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?
Ed's note:This was all touched off by Leonce Gaiter's web log entry, "Andrew Sullivan's Moral Sewer".
posted by Tom  # 10/20/2005 01:43:00 PM
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Reports of irony's death greatly exaggerated 


Robert Bork attacks Harriet Meirs, adding that the Supreme Court is "left-leaning and imperialistic" in the Wall Street Journal. The Court has seven Republicans, the imperialistic ones, we assume, and two Democrats, the token left-leaners.

Next, Mickey Mouse makes fun of Minnie's three-fingered white gloves in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories.

Republicans would have you believe that Bork was "borked" out of his Supreme Court nomination because he was a Republican, when actually it was because he was and is a malignant Constitutional idiot, as he reminds us here.
posted by Tom  # 10/20/2005 12:46:00 PM
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Saturday, October 15, 2005

100% risk-free, okay, send me the $10 million 


First paragraph of e-mail from a stranger:
I apologize if the contents hereunder are contrary to your moral ethics, but please treat it with absolute secrecy and personal courtesy.
Then came the proposal that I help him steal $10 million carelessly left in a British bank by some foreigner. This was followed by the last paragraphs:
Be rest assured that this business is 100% risk free.

We await for your prompt response.

NB: PLEASE NOTE THAT IT DOES NOT MATTER IF YOU ARE NOT RELATED TO MY LATE CUSTOMER; THE FUND WILL STILL BE PAID TO YOU, SINCE WE ARE PRESENTING YOU AS HIS NEXT OF KIN.

posted by Tom  # 10/15/2005 01:55:00 PM
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Pintoresco 


It is thoroughly fitting that a web log called "Vague Nihilism" should celebrate Harold Pinter's Nobel Prize.

The best example I can recall of Pinter's amazing technique of saying nothing and cloaking it in menace was the line cited by John Simon reviewing a Pinter film:
"They were Spanish horseflies. From Corsica."
The poem quoted by Mr. Nomen-est-omen is neither subtle nor menacing, just nasty and unreflective anti-Americanism. I'm thinking the anti-Americanism had as much to do with the award as the brilliant plays and films of 40 years ago.

Ed's note: Last paragraph added after posting.
posted by Tom  # 10/15/2005 01:14:00 PM
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Friday, October 14, 2005

Steverino's pal Gordon Hathaway dies 

"HEIGH-HO, ST. PETERINO!" LOUIS NYE, R.I.P.
Steve Allen's various variety shows featured a gang of regulars: Louis Nye, Don Knotts, Tom Poston, Bill Dana and Gabriel Dell.

From the always entertaining music newsletter from sal@nycd-online.com.
posted by Tom  # 10/14/2005 02:10:00 PM
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More TV thievery in less time 


Some network VP opined that using Tivo to fast forward past the commercials was theft. That's nothing.

With a two-channel satellite and Tivo (and the magic of many, many commercials) I can watch two one-hour TV shows in a little over an hour.

This apparent wisecrack is literally true. Just watch on one channel until the first commercial starts, pause it, go to the other channel and unpause (or rewind) it and watch until another commercial starts, pause again, and switch back to the first channel.
posted by Tom  # 10/14/2005 01:24:00 PM
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Ohmigod, President George W. "W" Bush is a fake! 


Everyone is agog (or is it ablog?) over the sight of a Defense Department warm-up comedian prepping the soldiers (half of them captains) who appeared in an allegedly "informal give-and-take between the President and the troops".

Well! (said in that big old Dick Orkin Chicken Man voice),
  1. Who didn't know that that's the way they always do it?
  2. I guess ordering everyone in the White House not to watch Fahrenheit 9-11 really didn't work out that well. The sight of Paul Wolfowitz licking his comb is not easy to forget. Or the President delivering a deeply earnest invocation of freedom or heroism or one of those other virtues he admires too much to actually practice and then switching to golf immediately, "Watch this drive!".
  3. If everything had gone perfectly and no one had viewed the prep session, we would have been left with the sight of President Bush standing at an artfully canted podium talking to a screenful of white soldiers in an obviously staged event.
Ed's note: If Google's complexity has you baffled, you can find the video at Crooks and Liars, as usual.
posted by Tom  # 10/14/2005 12:24:00 PM
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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Let George do it 


President George W. "W" Bush, the son of a millionaire President and grandson of a millionaire senator, who deserted his post during the Vietnam war, made millions in invented jobs, and then lied us into a war which he personally visited for one hour so he could pose with a plastic turkey, socks it to Osama bin Laden, who is still on the loose, one thing that September 11 didn't change:
Bin Laden says his own role is to tell Muslims, quote, "what is good for them and what is not." And what this man who grew up in wealth and privilege considers good for poor Muslims is that they become killers and suicide bombers. He assures them that his -- that this is the road to paradise -- though he never offers to go along for the ride.

posted by Tom  # 10/12/2005 12:59:00 PM
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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Ironically 


That ad of a helicopter attacking a mosque was even worse than I thought. The text of the ad:
"It descends from the heavens. Ironically it unleashes hell.
"Consider it a gift from above."
Eat hot pork, insurgents!
posted by Tom  # 10/04/2005 01:03:00 PM
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Devil's Book of Quotations: Confession said to be not particularly good for the soul 


Mined from the miasma by miasma-miner JO:
"Confession is good for the soul only in the sense that a tweed coat is good for dandruff."
-- Peter de Vries
posted by Tom  # 10/04/2005 12:54:00 PM
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Sexual constancy, New Orleans musical style 


Two more from the New Orleans songbook.

Sweet Emma Barrett and her New Orleans Music:
I ain't gonna give nobody none of my jelly roll
I wouldn't give you a piece of cake not to save your soul
My momma told me today before she went away
If I be a good little girl she'd put my hair in curls
Ain't no use for you to keep hangin round
I know you want it I've got to turn you down
My jelly roll is sweet and it can't be beat
I know you want it you can't have it
I ain't gonna give you none
The Spiders with Chuck Carbo:
Fine little mama came a knocking knocking on my front door
Hip shaking mamma wanted rockin, rockin and reelin slow

But I didn't wanna do it oh no I didn't wanna do it
I didn't wanna do it but she moved me so

Called me her lovin daddy held me oh so tight
Squeezed and teased and thrilled me all through the night

But I didn't wanna do it no no I didn't wanna do it
I tried not to do it but she sends me so

Daddy wanna roll daddy wanna rock
Rockin and a'rollin all around the clock

I didn't wanna do it tried not to do it
But she was a'worth it soon I had to get it
I didn't wanna do it but she wigs me so

When the dawn was breakin I told her she had to go
Baby looked up and told me, Daddy wanna rock some more

But I didn't wanna do it no no I tried not to do it
I didn't wanna do it but she thrills me so
My baby, my baby thrills me so. Woah woah.

posted by Tom  # 10/04/2005 12:33:00 PM
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Monday, October 03, 2005

Two can tango, but it only takes one to mess up someone else's evening's fun 


As Eric Partridge said:
A dirty mind is a joy forever.
In that spirit, the only further warning you need is that you shouldn't read this while eating.
posted by Tom  # 10/03/2005 02:18:00 PM
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Saturday, October 01, 2005

Angry President Viciously Excoriates Racist Rightwinger 


An outraged President George W. "W" Bush deployed his most deep cutting and scathing billingsgate against professional tut-tutter William "beat me, baby" Bennett after Bennett inadvertantly called for killing all black children so as to reduce the crime rate:
“The president believes the comments were not appropriate,” White House press secretary Scott McClellan said.
Bennett, reeling with remorse, called for a cigarette, a drink, a bucketful of slot tokens and a great big knife so he could commit seppuku in peace and style.

Ed's note: Second link is to one of the first items ever published in this web log.

Ed's Second Note: As far as I can tell, Bennett was actually guilty of no more than the stupid mistake of using reductio ad absurdum on right-wing talk radio, but who cares? It's the stupidity, stupid!
posted by Tom  # 10/01/2005 01:40:00 PM
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Not a mosque, a mosquito! Spray for peace 


That ad showing our V-22 Osprey helicopter attacking a mosque? A "clerical error", says Boeing. Those zany clerics!
posted by Tom  # 10/01/2005 01:26:00 PM
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