Saturday, May 10, 2008

Music Viddie Of The Day

'Cause you can never have too much Tom Lehrer.

Viddie Of The Day

Illegally Download A Song And Risk Losing Your House: Another Victory For Corporatism

And the artists get how much again?

Via BoingBoing:
I was just alerted that the House of Reps has passed HR 4279, with the lovely name, PRO-IP (Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008). Like the doublespeak PATRIOT Act and Peacekeeper missiles, PRO-IP puts local law enforcement in a position to demand the forfeiture in criminal proceedings of stuff used to violate copyright. Which means that instead of the RIAA simply trying to collect fines, they can also incite local authorities to collect all the computers and related gear that was used to pirate.

This isn't a judgment on my part as to whether piracy is good or bad (I think copyright deserves to be protected through reasonable methods), but I am always horrified when civil enforcement morphs into criminal enforcement. Conservatives and liberals should be up in arms alike that local prosecutors and/or police could intervene as they desire in essentially a private affair arranged by the RIAA, and permanently seize thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in private property in addition to any civil penalties.

If this bill is passed in its present form by the Senate and signed, that means there's no more pro forma RIAA lawsuit payoffs, because if you wind up settling with the RIAA, you could still lose all your stuff in addition to any fee you paid them.

This is particularly irksome in light of the MSN Music shutdown, about which the EFF has written a strong and powerful letter. It is increasingly likely a normal person could have purchased music legally from an online site, burned it to an ordinary audio CD, and in the right set of circumstances be branded a pirate because the original "granting" authority no longer exists to prove that the consumer was a legitimate purchasers.

The more the law is constructed to sweep in folks who are absolutely observant of it, the more we need broader protections.
Meanwhile, our friends, the RIAA, refuse to allow DRM to die.

Query: If I'm pretty much allowed to do anything with the music I buy, do I own it? In other words, am I buying something but allowed, in essence, to own it?

President McCain's Supports The War Against Christians

Sure seems that way. Read this and decide.

The Scum Around President McCain

Raw Story:
A bizarre Capitol Hill ceremony a few years ago in which the eccentric conservative publisher the Rev. Sun Myung Moon declared himself the Second Coming was organized with help from a senior adviser to John McCain's presidential campaign.

Charlie Black, a Washington lobbyist and McCain confidant, lent his name to the coronation ceremony and invited a few friends, according to newly disclosed e-mails.

"What is clear from this email is that top Mccain advisor Charlie Black is admitting that he helped plan, and would have attended, an event where a convicted tax fraud would have been crowned King Of America and declared himself the Messiah--all on U.S. Government federal property (on March 23, 2004)," writes author Cliff Schecter, who published the e-mails on his blog Friday.

President McCain's BFF

So when's the next prez going to disavow his BFF like his lovers in the Big Media made Obama do with his? Just asking....

Raw Story:
Presidential candidate John McCain’s pastor problems are bubbling up again, with Reverend John Hagee, whose support and endorsement McCain has actively sought, reversing last week’s retraction of remarks he made in 2006 blaming the destruction of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina on a planned gay pride parade.

MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann pointed out Hagee’s reversal and also noted that McCain recently had a photo op at a plaque honoring New York firefighters who died on 9/11. Another McCain supporter, the late Reverend Jerry Falwell, famously blamed 9/11 on “the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays” and threatened that it could happen again if “God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve.”

Olbermann then asked Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson to comment on how McCain is pulling off “one of the great political magic tricks of all time” by making these questionable connections disappear.

Robinson agreed that Hagee “is a complete lunatic [who] makes Jeremiah Wright sound fairly mainstream, yet McCain seems to get away with this.”

“I don’t see how how McCain … can continue to pretend that Hagee’s not out there,” Robinson continued. “There is a kind of demagoguery gap … Republicans are much better at demogoguing these issues than Democrats are. … Democrats remain tethered to things like objective fact and fairness. But by any standard, there are parallels here that are going to have to be addressed.”

“What is the difference in how McCain and Obama are seen that puts Reverend Wright on the front page and Reverend Hagee nowhere at all?” Olbermann asked. “Is it as simple as black and white?”

Robinson explained that research has shown that “members of one group tend to look at members of a different group and think they have more in common with each other than they necessarily do. … People look at these two black guys, a pastor and Obama, and tend to think they have more in common.”

Friday, May 09, 2008

Another Of President McCain's Scary-Wacky BFFs

Just A Wonderful Piece

Pulitzer-prize winner Dan Neil, one of my very favorite writers:
OK, my story: Six years ago this August, I discovered my then-wife had been cheating on me. That sort of hurt my feelings. Forty days and a thousand nights later, the separation papers came through. I abandoned the cot I had set up in my home office--all good stories of cuckolding at some point involve a cot--and moved into an empty house with my 16-year-old son from my first marriage, from whom I began to borrow Marlboros at an alarming rate.

I sat on the porch of that house for a month, smoking and crying. When I had finally had enough, I made a decision. I was through with marriage. My first had ended as tragedy, the second as pants-dropping farce, and not my pants, either. Moreover, I had nothing to offer a woman so misguided as to be inclined to marry me. I was jinxed, a heartsick two-time loser, a 42-year-old freelance writer--which is to say, unemployed--with a teenage son. Dad was a wreck. Dad was no help at all.

I wasn't giving up women. Oh no no no no. . . . I was soon back in action. Men are such pigs that they can be emotionally devastated and still be horny--indeed, that might be our defining characteristic. But I had pretty well concluded that a lasting monogamous relationship, with or without benefit of clergy, was not in the stars for me.

Giving up on marriage was hard. It felt like the end of youth, the opening stanza of a sour and pessimistic middle age. To get married is to embrace an exceptionalism that says, despite everything informed people know about the odds and perfidies of the heart, we're good. We're together for life. Anybody who gets married with less than that total conviction--paging Pamela Anderson--is deranged. If they are under 50, they should probably be sterilized.

In most other respects, I think, I was pretty sensible. I was (and am) hostile to notions of the supernatural, i.e., that God or divine providence, karma or some other celestial magic has a hand in people's lives. Rubbish. I had also studied literature and knew that Petrarch--the 12th-century Italian poet--was responsible for more divorces than alcoholism. It was Petrarch who codified Western culture's absurd, you-complete-me expectations of romantic love. But far from there being only one true love for every person--the needle in life's haystack--there are thousands of people who are potentially fit mates for one another. Love isn't destiny. It's epidemiology.

I could apply such reasoned skepticism to everyone's relationships but my own. In my own skin, I was surprised to find a deeply traditional person who wanted a soul mate to last for life. When that didn't happen, I was crushed. Then it didn't happen again. That was that. Somewhere between cigarette 1,028 and 3,833, I became resolved. I will say "I do" no more, forever.

What strikes me about this story as I tell it is just how magnificently wrong I was. Wow. No sooner had I sworn off love and marriage than I fell deeply in love and found myself back on a trajectory toward the altar.

Tina was an acquaintance. She worked for my friend at his veterinary hospital. When he told her what had happened between me and my wife, she was surprised because I seemed to her like a good guy. She told my friend she'd like to go out with me. I was agreeable on the grounds that--I am chagrined to say it, but it's true--she was the most beautiful female I had ever laid eyes on. We made a dinner date.

We saw each other for about a week before we concluded, mutually, that it wasn't going to work out. She was 30, ready to marry and have kids. I was an emotionally shattered husk of a man spiraling into despair, the dictionary definition of a rebound. For her sake, I told her, it's better if we break it off early.

A week went by. The phone rang. "Why haven't you called?" Tina asked. "Because we decided I shouldn't," I said. "That doesn't mean anything," she said. Ah, right, I see.

We've been together ever since. I proposed to her one night eight months after we met. Actually, she was crying over a fight she had on the phone with her sister. I couldn't bear to see her upset, so I handed her the ring, telling her "Please, if you'll stop crying, I'll marry you." Upon reflection it might be the most articulate thing I've ever said.

We got married at the Beverly Hills courthouse four years ago. Last year, our two baby girls, Rosalind and Vivienne, were born. We're ecstatic. Everything that marriage is supposed to be--passionate, profound, fun--ours is. No one is more surprised than me.

I'll tell you this, young lovers: Life has a way of taking your most earnest pledges and folding them into funny hats for you to wear.


You reach my age and you start to believe your
chance to be cool has passed you by. Then you see
some guy in a tattered overcoat washing car windows
for change and you think, "Hey, I could do that!"

(Tidewater Joe)


I was sad when I found out that ours was one of 50
percent of all marriages that ended up in divorce.
Then I realized that the other half end up in death.

(Jerry L. Embry)


Rhetorical Question

Assuming McCain's elected, does anyone truly doubt it'll be four more years of what we've had??

Cheery News

Really. It'll make you smile. Go look.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

President McCain To Continue His Predecessor's Policies

John McCain sought to burnish his conservative credentials Tuesday with a broadside against "the common and systematic abuse of our federal courts by the people we entrust with judicial power" and a promise of "better judges" in the mold of Supreme Court Justices John G. Roberts and Samuel Alito.

A Really Sad And Depressing Cartoon...

...about the pathology of Our Leaders. Link.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

President McCain For Dummies

The expert speaks.

Another Milestone For Freedom In America, Now More Than Ever A Beacon To The Rest Of The World

I'm sure this was a major post on Drudge....
Nobel Peace Prize winner and international symbol of freedom Nelson Mandela is flagged on U.S. terrorist watch lists and needs special permission to visit the USA. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice calls the situation "embarrassing," and some members of Congress vow to fix it.

Man Bites Dog!

The CIA is concerned that its analysts be able to think. Of course, the real issue has ever quite been on that level but its "customers'" pre-conceptions and wanting to hear them confirmed e.g. the pressure to cook intel or have it ignored. IN other words, the agency's relationship to facts is in fact a secondary problem. Read its book!

Flash! Progress: Right To Vote Replaced By Right To Disenfranchisement

Just what the GOP wants: Between this and rigged (I mean, defective) e-voting, why bother?
About 12 Indiana nuns were turned away Tuesday from a polling place by a fellow bride of Christ because they didn't have state or federal identification bearing a photograph.
Sister Julie McGuire said she was forced to turn away her fellow sisters at Saint Mary's Convent in South Bend, across the street from the University of Notre Dame, because they had been told earlier that they would need such an ID to vote.
The nuns, all in their 80s or 90s, didn't get one but came to the precinct anyway.
"One came down this morning, and she was 98, and she said, 'I don't want to go do that,'" Sister McGuire said. Some showed up with outdated passports. None of them drives.
They weren't given provisional ballots because it would be impossible to get them to a motor vehicle branch and back in the 10-day time frame allotted by the law, Sister McGuire said. "You have to remember that some of these ladies don't walk well. They're in wheelchairs or on walkers or electric carts."
Nonetheless, she said, the convent will make a "very concerted effort" to get proper identification for the nuns in time for the general election. "We're going to take from now until November to get them out and get this done. You can't do this like school kids on a bus," she said. "I wish we could."
Elsewhere across the pivotal state, voting appeared to run smoothly, despite the fears of election experts that the Supreme Court's recent refusal to strike down Indian's controversial photo identification law could cause confusion at the polls.
A voter hot line set up by the secretary of state's office had no complaints regarding photo IDs as of 3 p.m., said spokeswoman Bethany Derringer. In a primary expected to draw record numbers, most calls concerned precinct locations.
"The No. 1 call they've heard so far is just people asking where they can go to vote," Derringer said.
But a group of voting rights advocates that established a separate hot line reported receiving several calls from would-be voters who were turned away at precincts because they did not have a state or federal identification bearing a photograph.
One newly married woman said she was told she couldn't vote because her driver's license name didn't match the one on her voter registration record, said Myrna Perez of the Brennan Center Justice at New York University's law school, coordinator of the 1-866-OUR-VOTE hot line. Another woman said she was turned away from casting her first-ever ballot because she had only a college-issued ID card and an out-of-state driver's license, Perez said.
"These laws are confusing. People don't know how they're supposed to be applied," she said.
Indiana's photo ID law is the strictest in the country. The Republican-led effort was designed to combat ballot fraud, said supporters, who also have acknowledged that no case involving someone impersonating a voter at the polls has ever been prosecuted in Indiana.
The state's American Civil Liberties Union sued, calling the law a poll tax that disproportionately affected minorities and elderly voters, those most likely to lack such identification. On April 28, the Supreme Court ruled 6 to 3 that the law did not violate the Constitution.
Since then, advocacy groups have fretted that people showing up to vote in Tuesday's primary would not understand their rights under the law, which include being able to cast a provisional ballot and obtain a proper ID within 10 days so that ballot would be counted later.
Rick Rice, a precinct judge at the Charles Martin Youth Center in South Bend, said one person complained about the voter ID law when he attempted to use a federal identification that didn't have an expiration date on it.
"I didn't know who it was put out by, but we couldn't accept it," Rice said. "He had a driver's license, he was just trying to make a point. He wanted to push it and the law is very clear."
Rice said the man voted, then asked where he could write to file a complaint.

Cartoon Of The Day

What can you do?

Monday, May 05, 2008

American Justice: Justice 4 Sale

Taser International has fired a warning shot at medical examiners across the country.

The Scottsdale-based stun gun manufacturer increasingly is targeting state and county medical examiners with lawsuits and lobbying efforts to reverse and prevent medical rulings that Tasers contributed to someone's death.

That effort on Friday helped lead an Ohio judge's order to remove Taser's name from three Summit County Medical Examiner autopsies that had ruled the stun gun contributed to three men's deaths.

"We will hold people accountable and responsible for untrue statements," Taser spokesman Steve Tuttle said earlier this week. "If that includes medical examiners, it includes medical examiners."Many medical examiners, who are charged with determining the official causes of death, view the Scottsdale-based company's efforts as disturbing, the spokesman for the National Association of Medical Examiners says.

"It is dangerously close to intimidation," says Jeff Jentzen, president of the National Association of Medical Examiners. "At this point, we adamantly reject the fact that people can be sued for medical opinions that they make."

A Rightist's Demented Screed

They're like vicious little chick dogs, locking their jaws for no good reason. Obscene as GTA is, is it really so important a moral issue? This guy is unable to find something of true, significant importance?
To decry the upcoming release of Grand Theft Auto IV, Jack Thompson sent a message to the mother of Take-Two Chairman Strauss Zelnick, according to a report by Shacknews.
The email is provocative, to say the least. Not only does it say Mr. Zelnick is "like the Hitler Youth," it also attributes the deaths of three Alabama policemen and "a recent plethora of cop killings" to prior entries in the GTA series.
Game|Life contacted Mr. Thompson earlier today and were informed that the email was actually issued to Zelnick's lawyer. This would be in following with a prior settlement that prevents Mr. Thompson from contacting Take-Two, unless he does so through legal counsel.
"I sent it to Strauss Zelnick's attorney. I would never send it to his mother," Mr. Thompson told me.
I've specifically been avoiding passing any judgement on the email; Instead, I offer you all the chance to form your own opinions. The email sent by Mr. Thompson can be found verbatim directly below:
"Mrs. Zelnick
Strauss Zelnick, Take-Two Chairman’s Mother
New York, New York Via e-mails to intermediaries
Re: Your Son, Strauss Zelnick
Dear Mrs. Zelnick:
Your son, as you may know (or maybe you don’t know), is Chairman of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., whose most popular video games are the Grand Theft Auto murder simulator games banned in some countries but sold to children here.
Your son last week was reported to have said the following about Grand Theft Auto IV, due to be released Tuesday, April 29:
"We’ve already received numerous [GTA IV] reviews, and to a one, they are perfect scores. My mom couldn’t write better reviews…"
Taking your son’s thought, I would encourage you either to play this game or have an adroit video gamer play it for you. Some of the latter gamers are on death row, so try to find one out in the civilian population who hasn’t killed someone yet.
What you will see in your son’s game, if this iteration of GTA is anything like its predecessors, is incredible interactive violence aimed at police officers (whom you can shoot in the head and see the blood spray), innocent bystanders (whom you can run over with your car just for the heck of it), and of course the plentiful female prostitutes you can have sex with and then filet with a knife or stomp with your feet in order to get your money back. Experts note that the recent plethora of cop killings is caused in part by your darling son’s entrepreneurial energy. There are three policemen dead in Alabama because of Grand Theft Auto. I was on 60 Minutes about it. I hope Strauss has provided you with a flat screen tv to see the grief of the bereaved families that fills the screen.
The pornography and violence that your son trafficks in is the kind of stuff that most mothers would be ashamed to see their son putting into the hands of other mothers’ children, but, hey, your son Strauss has recently assured the world that he is "a Boy Scout, everybody knows that." I’d love to see the merit badges that Scout Troop handed out. Is there a Ted Bundy merit badge? If so, your loving son deserves one now. It should be red and green, for obvious reasons.
With Passover having just come and gone, it is appropriate to note the following from the Old Testament, Proverbs 22:6:
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
Mrs. Zelnick, did you train up your son, Strauss, to make millions of dollars by pushing Mature-rated video games to children? Any kid can go right to little Strauss’ corporate web site and buy GTA IV with no age verification. Strauss is even marketing the new Grand Theft Auto IV on World Wrestling Entertainment tv shows seen by millions of kids. If you trained up Strauss to do this, then shame on you.
But maybe the explanation for your son’s corporate sociopathy is to be found in Old Testament Proverb 29:15:
"The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame."
Maybe you, Mrs. Zelnick, were so taken by your handsome son that you spared the rod and spoiled the child. That would explain why he has brought you, by the way he presently acts, "to shame."
There’s another mother you would do well to talk to. Mrs. Crump in Alabama had a son who was a police officer. He’s now dead because a teenaged boy unwittingly trained himself to kill him on Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. She has a grief she carries every day that only a mother can know.There are other such mothers in the heartland of America whose inhabitants your son simply sees as commercial targets.
Your son, this very moment, is doing everything he possibly can to sell as many copies of GTA IV to teen boys in the United States, a country in which your son claims you raised him to be "a Boy Scout." More like the Hitler Youth, I would say.
Happy Mother’s day, Mrs. Zelnick, which this year is May 11, two weeks after your son unleashes porn and violence upon other mothers’ boys. I’m sure you’re very proud.
Sincerely, Jack Thompson"
An hour after Mr. Thompson sent along the above message, he also pointed out to me a number of Biblical references dealing with John The Baptist's issues with Herod in the New Testament -- the same references he mentioned in his email.
According to Mr. Thompson, the following passages further illustrate his argument and draw parallels between his own actions and those of John The Baptist. Please draw your own conclusions:
John The Baptist
John The Baptist and Josephus
Josephus On John The Baptist (Antiquities of the Jews XVIII)

Sunday, May 04, 2008

John Dean Says President McCain Is No Goldwater Conservative (That Leaves Extremist Wingnut)


A Few Words Of Wisdom

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a man who understands finance pretty well, is not on board with the “gas tax holiday” plan.

Bloomberg said the “gas tax holiday” is “about the dumbest thing i’ve heard in an awful long time from an economic point of view. i don’t understand why you think there is any merit to it whatsoever. We’re trying to discourage people from driving and we’re trying to end our energy dependence. You don’t do that — oh, and incidentally having money to build infrastructure. All three of those things fly in the face of giving everybody 30 bucks a year.”

How Our Leaders Make Us Safer. Not


Another One Killed By The World's Greatest Healthcare System

A man who was denied a liver transplant largely because he used marijuana with medical approval to ease the symptoms of hepatitis C has died.


His death came a week after a doctor told him a University of Washington Medical Center committee had again denied him a spot on the liver transplant list. The team had previously told him it would not consider placing him on the list until he completed a 60-day drug-treatment class.

Another Soldier Dies For No Good Reason

Marine sergeant who became a symbol of resilience as he strove to recover from a roadside bomb blast in Iraq that blanketed 97 percent of his body with burns has died, the Defense Department said. He was 22.

Sgt. Merlin German died April 11 at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, where he was continuing treatment for the injuries he suffered in combat on Feb. 22, 2005, the Pentagon said Thursday.

The former turret gunner was dubbed the "Miracle Man" for his determination in facing his wounds, which cost the former saxophone player his fingers and rippled his face with scars. He endured more than 40 surgeries, spent 17 months in a hospital and had to learn to walk again.

Meanwhile, he started a charity, Merlin's Miracles, to aid child burn victims and considered college and a career.

"Sometimes I do think I can't do it," he told The Associated Press last year. "Then I think: Why not? I can do whatever I want. ... Nobody has ever been 97 percent dead and survived, and lived to walk."

Born in New York City, German moved to its suburbs as a teenager. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in September 2003, according to his charity's Web site. He was medically retired four years later, the Defense Department said.

More albeit rather biased info here.

President McCain's Class And Straight Talk

A Clive man drew gasps from fellow audience members at today’s presidential candidate forum by using a four-letter word in a question to Sen. John McCain.

A member of the audience, identified as Marty Parrish of Clive, asked McCain during the event at the Polk County Convention Complex about a rumor that McCain had once used a profane word referencing female genitalia to describe his wife.

A book, “The Real McCain” by Cliff Schecter, accuses McCain of using the word in an exchange with his wife, Cindy, in 1992.

Here’s a transcript of today’s remarks:

PARRISH: This question goes to mental health and mental health care. Previously, I’ve been married to a woman that was verbally abusive to me. Is it true that you called your wife a (expletive)?

MCCAIN: Now, now. You don’t want to … Um, you know that’s the great thing about town hall meetings, sir, but we really don’t, there’s people here who don’t respect that kind of language. So I’ll move on to the next questioner in the back.

The audience gasped at the question and applauded at McCain’s handling of it. Parrish was escorted from the event and questioned by Secret Service, but not charged. Parrish had checked in to the event as a member of the press.

Parrish, a 45-year-old Baptist minister and technology business owner, said he attended the event specifically to confront McCain about the rumor.

“This is about character,” Parrish said, when reached by telephone afterward. “And in a moment of intemperance, he called his wife the most despicable name a person can call a woman.

"Barron's" Bolshevik Claims Latest BLS Figures Fabrications

Read it and decide for yourself....
NO NEED TO WAIT FOR THE LAST BALLOT to be counted -- it's all over but the shouting. This is not -- repeat, not -- a prediction about the outcome of the election or even the pillow fight between Hillary and Obama. We're talking instead about something much more important, namely, who'll get the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

The winner hands down, we fearlessly forecast, will be that brilliant narrative confected by, of all people, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and published just last Friday under the deceptively bland title "The Employment Situation: April 2008." Although we're loath to deprive you of even a modicum of the thrill of devouring this marvelous work of magic realism by revealing too much of its contents, rest assured it's carefully designed to leave you with a comfy feeling in these rather trying times.

No doubt you've already gleaned the beaming news that instead of the 75,000-80,000 or even greater job losses and higher unemployment rate that the soothsayers were prognosticating, payrolls last month were trimmed by a much more modest 20,000, and the unemployment rate dipped to 5%, from 5.1%. Hallelujah! It's such a happy contrast to those nasty expectations and to the 81,000 jobs that vanished in March.

What makes the report all the more extraordinary is that it comes in the face of otherwise dismal dispatches from the employment front. Layoffs last month, according to Challenger Gray & Christmas, the placement firm, tallied 90,015, a hefty 68% greater than in March. New claims for unemployment insurance in the last full week in April rose to 380,000, from 345,000 the week before, while continuing claims topped the three million mark. Monster, the online want-ad outfit, reported a 6% drop in its April index compared with the same month a year ago, and the Conference Board's help-wanted index sagged to a new low while its measure of employment opportunities showed, not surprisingly, jobs are ever-harder to come by.

The BLS report, then, was like a burst of sunshine dispelling the gloom. So we take this occasion to tip our hat to the bureau's artistry in being able to fashion a comparatively heartening picture of the job market out of some very unpromising raw material. The populace, as recent soundings make clear, is plenty uneasy and disgruntled about the stumbling economy, feeling the pinch and worried about a paycheck; so anything that can provide a lift to sagging spirits is more than welcome.

Actually, the praise really belongs to the unknown (at least to us) and certainly unsung numbers-bender who crafted the so-called birth/death adjustment, supposedly created to capture the additional jobs of firms too new to be captured by the survey. As it has demonstrated time and again, it's much more a product of the imagination than of dull data, as, of course, any worthwhile work of fiction is.

We have on occasion pointed out the contribution the birth/death adjustment has made to the payroll total, but we have trouble remembering when the additional slots it conjured up were anywhere near as massive as they were in the April reckoning, when it "generated" 267,000 jobs. Put another way, ex the adjustment, last month's job loss would have ballooned to 287,000. Bit of a difference, eh?

Just one illustration points up the, shall we say, peculiarity of what the BLS adjustment has wrought. According to the birth/death model, 8,000 jobs were added in April -- are you sitting down? -- in the financial sector. Which, we assume, will come as a stunning surprise to the gosh knows how many poor souls who have been laid off by the banks, the brokerage houses and the rest of the not-very-robust financial fraternity. Must be something really wrong with our vision, moreover, since new firms in that sector appear to be conspicuous by their absence.

As Philippa Dunne and Doug Henwood, the very bright bulbs who run The Liscio Report, point out -- though they usually view the birth/death model more kindly than we do -- among the stranger additions made via its agency in the April report was the 45,000 to construction jobs. (In case you've been vacationing on the moon, construction is not exactly booming.)

They also suggest that the 83,000 new slots supposedly created in the leisure and hospitality field is definitely suspect. "With vacation plans at near-record lows and restaurants reporting reduced traffic," they feel many of these supposed job gains could simply disappear come the next benchmark revision.

After reviewing the defects in the household version of last month's employment trends, Philippa and Doug warn, "given all its internal blemishes," it would be wrong to conclude from the April report that the economy and the job market are stabilizing. And they caution, "An economy providing lots of part-time jobs to the young and few full-time jobs to the prime-aged" is an economy that could have a tough time "sustaining life."

Workers At A Profitable Business Get Screwed By The Owner


The Wisdom Of President McCain

There is no excuse for electing this specially after the last eight years.

At a townhall event yesterday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) implied that the U.S. went to war in Iraq over oil, saying that if America had energy independence that would “prevent us from having ever to send our young men and women into conflict again in the Middle East. Later, on his campaign plane, McCain tried to clarify his remarks, claiming that he was talking about the “the first Gulf War.” Pressed by a reporter, McCain stumbled when asked if he was actually “thinking about the first Gulf War” when he made the statement:
But then when specifically asked by an Associated Press reporter if, when he made the statement, he was “thinking about the first Gulf War,” he said no.

“No, I was thinking about- it’s not hard to- we will not,” McCain stumbled. “By eliminating our dependency on foreign oil, we will not have to have our national security threatened by a cut off of that oil. Because we will be dependent, because we won’t be dependent, we will no longer be dependent on foreign oil. That’s what my remarks were.”

The Golden Age GOP Leadership Has Brought Us

Via Atrios.

There He Goes Again With The Flip-Floppery!

Beloved Lies Put Into Beloved Leader's Mouth

From Goebbels Central:
A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

The right of ordinary men and women to determine their own future, protected by the rule of law, lies at the heart of America's founding principles. As our country celebrates the 50th anniversary of Law Day, we renew our commitment to the ideals on which this great Nation was established and to a robust system of ordered liberty.

The American legal system is central to protecting the rights and freedoms our Nation holds dear. The theme of this year's Law Day, "The Rule of Law: Foundation for Communities of Opportunity and Equity," recognizes the fundamental role that the rule of law plays in preserving liberty in our Nation and in all free societies. We pay tribute to the men and women in America's legal community. Through hard work and dedication to the rule of law, members of the judiciary and the legal profession help secure the rights of individuals, bring justice to our communities, and reinforce the proud traditions that make America a beacon of light for the world.

Nearly 800 years ago, the Magna Carta placed the authority of government under the rule of law; centuries later, the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution marked tremendous advances in the march of liberty. These documents established enduring principles that guide modern democracies. Today, we are reminded of that past and look toward a hopeful future as we work to secure the liberty that is the natural right of every man, woman, and child.

On Law Day, U.S.A., our Nation celebrates our belief in the equality of each person before God and renews our commitment to strive to bring America ever closer to its founding ideals.

More From That Freaking Crazy GOP Whacko In Indiana

I did not want to have to fight the Republicans in the primary, but I've had enough of their lies. I have no choice but to lightly respond.

This is interesting.

I have posted a transcript of an interview I had with a local South Bend African-American magazine, Site 360, on the right under 2008-05-02-Site-360-Interview-Self-Determination. Wikipedia has an excellent article on the topic for those critics of mine who have not studied international law.

Some criminal or criminals are now targeting my family. Yes, this is the way of the Great Porn Dragon. Intimidate, threaten and refuse to debate the facts. Yes, the real Nazis, at least as the media portray them, are the Republican non-leadership and their supporters who are engaging in the "Nazi" tactic of "Tell the biggest lie because the bigger the lie, the more believeable it will be."

A campaign of flier distributors has been going around my Jewish Christian children's (their mother is a believing Jewish convert to Christianity who preaches the Gospel most effectively) neighborhood and is illegally putting fliers in peoples' mailboxes. Once I get the fliers, I'll post them here. They write this language:

"This person hates all race but his own. He puts [this neighborhood] in danger. His home is at ****. " The flier cites my speech before the National Socialists where I presented a Gospel book called the "Desire of Ages" to them. It also cites a lawsuit from a former client who ran a massage parlor that I'm simply ignoring.

*** I interviewed with CNN for The Situation Room with the Wolf Blitzer Show on May 1, 2008. I was interviewed in Chicago via Satellite by Carol Costello(sp?). CNN might not be able to broadcast it because the interview was definitely not politically correct. You can call CNN to contact Ms. Costello or her assistant Bob Ruff. Apparently, they were getting too many calls so they asked me to remove their phone numbers. I have done so as a courtesy. I believe they are in D.C. and New York, respectively. If any of you want to see it, you can call them and ask them to broadcast it, put it on or maybe you can request a copy. Of course, my good friendly firing, knee-capping buddies, the Republican non-leadership, had spoken to Carol Costello at CNN prior to my arrival and thoroughly slandered me just to ensure I would not get to make the first impression myself. If anyone sees my interview with CNN leaked out, please e-mail me a link to it on the Web.

**I don't think the e-mail box at the bottom right works, so please e-mail me directly at**

**Please note that pro-porners have posted on the discussion board. The "Be angel long ..." thread is now rated XXX because somebody posted a money shot pic. You must be 21 or older and consent to taking the risk of viewing obscene matter before you are authorized to view that thread of the discussion board."

Another Hypocritical GOP Closet Queen

Of course, it's the Roy Cohn system: The rightists protect and, well, closet, those who otherwise be publicly abused, as it were, when they are of service to what you can call the American Counter-Revolution.

So here's today's what they call bitch.

What McCain Said About "Mission Accomplished" In May 2003

Is This Guy Completely Out Of His Mind Or Just Really, Really Stupid (Not To Say He Isn't Getting Elected)

We report, you decide. Fair. Balanced.

Maybe The Saint Only Wants To Stay In Iraq For 100 Years? But What Do The Iraqis Say About Any Of His Ideas? Does Their Opinion Count?

Again, he says it, not me....

And a little context and stuff is here.

McCain: Iraq Forever!

From his own lips, some straight talk (as ever, subject toa little flip-flopping):

Hil Hedges: Runs For GOP AND Dem Nominations

Here she is, running for the GOP nod, sucking up to that so-vile Bill O'Reilly:

Cartoon Of The Day

Ah, another sign of the growing rightist empire: requirements of wearing national symbols. From the New Yorker, of course.