Wednesday, August 31, 2005

 

Cities starting with "New"

Greetings dear readers...

It's been slow blogging over the past couple of weeks, due primarily to the impending trip to NYC, and ending today the actual trip to New York. I'm in the concourse of LaGuardia, blogging as the flight is (hopefully slightly) delayed. A little windy here today, no doubt due to Katrina.

I have been away from the news for the most part this trip. This means I haven't really had the time to absorb the full impact on one of my favorite cities by that huge storm. Perhaps because it wasn't as dramatic as 9/11 or as significant in terms of loss of life as the tsunami ... it still feels remote. I've been to New Orleans 3 times and truly love it's vibe, and the people I've met there have been uniformly fun and inviting and up for adventure. It was always a risk building a modern city there but they did it and I love it and now they will do it again and for that I'm glad. I also hope to help out a bit when I'm there again in June 06.

As for the trip to New York: lots of walking. A couple of serindipitous moments that seem inevitable in this city, including stumbling upon free tickets to the revival of the 1971 version of Two Gentlemen of Verona at Shakespeare in the Park, starring Rosario Dawson, my favorite, in her first stage gig. She was very good and the show as a whole was a hoot. Missed opportunity - Friday night, the night we saw the Rude Pundit LIVE, it turns out we missed a Central Park screening of The Muppets Take Manhattan. GRRRR.

Tennis? Saw my favorite woman, Milagros Sequera, lose. Saw my favorite man, Robby Ginepri, on his way to win. Missed Roddick's loss, thank goodness. Became a new fan of Vania King and Italy's Roberta Vinci and Scoville Jenkins and Jamea Jackson. Sat next to James Blake's brother. Loved it.

The bottom line, however, is that there's just too too much to do, and if you're not careful you will feel disappointed that you didn't do something you could have done. Statue of Liberty. Yankees game. Harlem. Still haven't done any of that in all my trips there. Regardless, my advice is to leave at least 2 days for walking around, not even to sightsee, but just to wander into places, stop at a cafe or restaurant, and RELAX. Because otherwise it's go-go-go. And you will collapse from exhaustion. Which is no fun. That is all.

So much for my future career as a travel writer, eh?

Looking forward to coming home, just wish we could be going back tomorrow, so that there would be a new crossword puzzle in the onflight magazine...

Monday, August 22, 2005

 

Afghanistan

You know what's interesting?

The Iraq war has so overshadowed the situation in Afghanistan that we don't even get much of a conversation (such as these conversations go) about the success with which Bush and the other members of the coalition are prosecuting it with.

So as a handy service, a recap of the situation in Afghanistan:

Osama bin Laden = on the lam.

US troop deaths in Afghanistan = on the rise EVERY YEAR since the start of the war in 2001.

Iraq clusterfuck = free ride for Bush on topic of the actual 9/11 war.

Friday, August 19, 2005

 

Friday semen blogging

Special film review edition.

Now, I rarely go to the cinema these days, what with the cost and the fact that cinema is dead and all, and I certainly had no intention of going to see The 40-Year Old Virgin, until I read this review:

"Virgin" reaches new low in loathsome humor

A perfect double bill, in hell, would be "Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo" and "The 40 Year-Old-Virgin." Both are relentlessly juvenile, unkind to women, hyper-crude about sex, and perhaps more important for a movie bent on making money, unfunny.

Yet the audience at Monday night's screening was not all silent — both men and women laughed heartily at jokes such as Steve Carell's frustrated virgin spraying himself with his own pent-up semen; a drunken woman vomiting the remains of a margarita into Carell's mouth as she smashes her auto into another vehicle; two adolescents discovering Carell in bed with their mother as he removes a condom from his foot; Paul Rudd exposing his buttocks on widescreen TV in an electronics store and — perhaps most regrettably — a philandering man celebrating the huge penis (he insists) of his unborn son, who is seen in a scan sloshing around the womb, again on widescreen TV at the store.


Ms. Eleanor O'Sullivan seems to think there's something remotely regrattable about seeing Paul Rudd's exposed buttocks.

...

...

...

No, I mean, seriously, has she seen Paul Rudd?

THIS GUY?!?










You know what? Before you start complaining about the amount of semen in a film, maybe you need to take a good hard look at yourself! You got issues, lady.


Thursday, August 18, 2005

 

If the Democrats are going to win in 2006, they cannot forget the issue the GOP handed them this year, flush off the Man Date, and somehow continue to

flog within an inch of its life. I was out canvassing in the burbs this weekend and my first interview was with an older Republican woman. I asked her what issues were most important to her.

#2 -- WE'VE GOT TO BRING THE BOYS HOME

#1 -- KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF MY SOCIAL SECURITY

This should be the single most iconic image of the next 15 months:


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

 

The Real World: Abu Ghraib

I can't believe this is even subject to debate. The government doesn't want to release the videos that show what happened in Abu Ghraib when interrogators stopped being nice - and started getting REAL.

And the apologists are out in force saying that, of course they shouldn't be released, we already know what happened, plus you'll just be inflaming the bad guys who will use it to rile the arab street against us.

Well, too mother-loving bad. SHOULDN'TA DID IT IN THE FIRST GOD! DAMN! PLACE!!!!!

Billmon gets it partly right but he is uncharacteristically circumspect. Here's how the argument goes, and everyone with a conscience should be screaming it from the top of their lungs:

This administration and its defenders escaped accountability, both internationally and domestically, for what happened as a matter of policy in our - and I will say it - very own gulag archipelago. Their desire to stop the videos from being released has everything to do with domestic political considerations, not with the health or lives of our troops. They don't give a shit about our troops - if they did, they wouldn't still be insufficiently armed, and well god damn it they wouldn't have been sent into Iraq in the first place.

The American public needs to see who they voted for. They need to see the actions that they sorta-kinda knew about but refused to hold accountable during the November elections. They didn't want to know what happened in Abu Ghraib, the photos we saw were ultimately dismissed because beyond the initial shock value, they did not convey actual pain, actual torture. It was more performative torture, easily consumed and then forgotten about.

But it's not the whole of what happened. And without the videos, apparently, we will not be able to grasp the enormity. The Congress saw the video, and apparently was so sickened that they thought it better to drop the issue, to effectively hand it over to another non-independent committee named by the criminals in charge. They abdicated their oversight responsibility because, as we know, they have been thoroughly and utterly cowed by this administration - both the Republican and the Democrats. Hell, they confirmed Gonzales to be Secretary of State. So that's one branch down.

The electorate, as I mentioned, also abdicated its responsibility - to educate itself, to demand answers, and ultimately to vote out those responsible. Why? Bloodlust, near as I can figure.

The media? Bought.

So that leaves the judiciary. The judiciary that the right is doing everything in its power to discredit, coopt, undermine, and slander. It, apparently, is the only bastien of hope. Of rationality. Of accountability. Billmon does not envy Judge Hellerstein, but I do. He has a chance to be a hero - perhaps one of two or three in this whole ugly affair.

Judge Hellerstein? Let's roll.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

 

Willie F. Wilson, Will You Please Go NOW?!?

There's some significant chatter on the left blogo about Rev. Willie Wilson's recent preaching about gays and lesbians in the black community and what it all MEANS in terms of the slicing and dicing of the great Democratic coalition and pitting groups against each other and OH MY GOD!!!

PEOPLE!!! Willie Wilson is an old-fashioned insane lunatic and a liar and most likely a serious pervert. While I firmly believe in the importance of paying attention to the issues of various parts of one's coalition, I believe even more strongly in being able to dismiss a raving nutjob who says raving nutjob things, because otherwise his raving nutjobism is going to highjack the discussion, and get the attention he craves, and trust me, he's just not worth it.

So I'll post once on this topic, and then we will send The Most Reverend Willie F. Wilson to bed.

Here's what he said (bizarrely reminiscent of Sen. Tom "Oklahoma is being taken over by teenage lesbians" Coburn):

"Women falling down on another woman, strapping yourself up with something, it ain't real. That thing ain't got no feeling in it. It ain't natural. Anytime somebody got to slap some grease on your behind and stick something in you, it's something wrong with that. Your butt ain't made for that."

"No wonder your behind is bleeding. You can't make no connection with a screw and another screw. The Bible says God made them male and female."

And then here's what else he said:

"The situation is so grave that it should be declared a national emergency."

"Our girls, some as young as 10 and 11 years of age, are engaging in same sex relations," Wilson writes, citing as evidence an incident in an unnamed "local school" where girls were "asked to report to the gymnasium" so school officials could "decipher how many girls were involved in same sex relations." Those who were, he writes, outnumbered those who had not been "by a 10 to 1 count."

Okay, first of all, this bullshit can only go so far among African Americans, who know how many skeletons we have in our own personal closets (and those of our family members) and how dangerous it is to go talking publicly about what's in other people's if you want to have your own closet closed. It's a lesson Henry Hyde might have could learned.

And, as others have noted, the GOP is still far too connected with the Trent Lotts of the world to be taken seriously as a viable option for the vast majority of blacks. The 1964 Civil Rights Act lost the South for the Democrats for generations? Well the resulting backlash lost blacks for Republicans for just as long.

But forget all that. Perhaps the breakup that the GOP and its henchmen are salivating over is nigh. Fine. Doesn't matter. The only appropriate response to Rev. Willie Wilson is to expose his lies, because that will help destroy his credibility, whatever he actually had on this issue, and then stop listening to him altogether.

Thanks for the Washington City Paper for taking care of that:

"My son in high school last year, trying to go to the prom, he said, 'Dad, I ain't got nobody to take to the prom because all the girls in my class are gay. And ain't but two of them straight and both of them ugly." —the Rev. Willie F. Wilson, July 3

Wilson’s above comments, made during a sermon graphically excoriating gay sex in the black community, have already been criticized as intolerant by gay-rights activists and political figures. Students at D.C.’s School Without Walls (SWW) have another complaint: They go to class with Wilson’s only son currently in high school, and they say the story isn’t true. Not only does SWW’s student body appear to be largely heterosexual, but Hamani Wilson didn’t need a date to prom—he’s been dating a classmate, Janeese Lewis, for the past year.

Read the whole thing, it's excellent.

Final thought: far be it for me to say, but shouldn't The Most Reverend Willie F. Wilson be a little bit more concerned that his ELEVENTH GRADE SON, one who goes to "a magnet school for some of D.C.'s most academically accomplished and progressive students" is using phrases like "I ain't got nobody to take to the prom" and "ain't but two of them straight and both of them ugly"!!!???!!!

Repeat after me: "Both of them ARE ugly"!

Don't he know? You got to wait til you're done with COLLEGE to start talkin' like that in front of your FATHER.

UPDATE! I did not mean to imply above that Rev. Wilson and Armstrong Williams were somehow connected, just that it seems like most right-wingers who denounce others' morals inevitably have something they'd rather not have revealed. In Rev. Wilson's case, I think the fact that the fact that he is a liar (and thus will be going to Hell), is skeleton enough. But one never knows what else might be out there...

 

a third of the way there!!!

So how did I celebrate my one-third-of-a-century birthday on Monday?

I learned about RSS!

So very exciting, except I'm not sure exactly what the hell it is that I learned. I know that I'm supposed to love the whole concept of a news aggregator, but I will have to slowly adapt, I think, because between google alerts and just having all my main sites in my cache, I really don't feel like I'm missing out on THAT MUCH right now. But now that I'm in the middle phase of my life (assuming I die on April 15, 2072, which hey could happen) I figure I should accept what people tell me to do when it comes to learning new technologies.

So I just added a link (see the last of the LINKS on the right) and now you too can get hour-by-hour updates on the status of Selfish Hedonist. From what I understand, if you don't already have an aggregator set up, go to Bloglines, set up an account, then click on "My Feeds" then "Add" then enter selfishhedonist in the space after the big B and click on Blogspot user and then click on Subscribe! Bloglines will then troll this site once an hour, and so you can just go to Bloglines every so often, and there will be a number in parentheses after Selfish Hedonist, and that will be the number of posts you've missed! Click on that and you can see what I've posted since you last checked.

Or something like that.

Anyhoo, there's so much I've been wanting to post on recently, but with all the hullaballoo over my big 33 1/3rd birthday extravaganza, there just hasn't been time. But stay tuned, and you just may see some posts about Lynne Cheney, Jack Chick, Margaret Thatcher, and other Happy Things!

In the meantime, go here and sign. Should you so desire. (Hat tip to bambam.)

Friday, August 12, 2005

 

Friday semen blogging

This article was posted at the BBC site but I'm linking to the India site because they are the only ones who seem to know the difference between semen and sperm:

Swedish police dog trained to scent semen
GOTHENBURG, Sweden | August 12, 2005 8:12:06 AM IST

Swedish police may have a new assistant in rape investigations -- a dog trained to smell semen.

Captain Lena Thor of the canine unit of Vastra Gotaland County Police, Gothenburg, told the BBC that Xena, a Belgian Malinois, has not yet been tested in active service. She said the canine unit decided to train the dog after receiving a request from the investigation unit.

We have a lot of rapes which are outside, in parks, and sometimes it is hard for the victim to tell us exactly where it happened, she said.

Xena has been cross-trained to sniff out flammable liquids as well.
(UPI)


OH! MY! GOD! Journalism at its worst. The ONLY point in even THINKING about printing something like that is to address the question on EVERYBODY'S mind:






How, exactly, did they conduct the training?

 

Banana Republicans

On the front page of today's New York Times.



I saw that today and it messed me up. I'm through with Happy Posts. I'm mad at the J. Crewers at the helm of this farce, and I'm particularly mad at the Times, which continues to perpetrate this farce.

The photo is seemingly unconnected to any story. It's just an ad for the breezy, happy world the Terrible Three inhabit. But there is a story next to it in which Bush says not to believe the hype about pulling troops out any time soon, and in which Cindy Sheehan gets several column inches (after the jump, natch).

What sickened me just as much was the headline: "Bush cites gains but sees no cuts in troops in Iraq". I feel like the Times, like any and every media outlet, needs to stop going back to the well of giving Bush's lies the time of day. The only think newsworthy about his talk yesterday was "...no cuts in troops in Iraq."

I'm not the only one who thinks so. The online version of the article has been changed to: "President Tries to Resolve Mixed Signals After Pentagon Remarks". Better.

 

Happy post #3

What does it say about me that it is now taking entire chunks of days for me to come up with ideas for happy posts? Oh, great blog-god in the sky, please start sending more honey-coated goodness like this and less frightening, nauseating, shocking, please-let-it-be-over travesties like this (which leads to this, which features such lovelies as "how should I witness to a Jew" and "The biblical way to witness to a homosexual is not to argue with him about his lifestyle but to use the Law to bring the knowledge of sin. This will show him that he is guilty of breaking God’s holy Law, and he is damned not because of, but despite his sexual preference. The Law was made for homosexuals, as well as other lawbreakers," cause yeah, that's gonna work, and "Learn how to do what Jesus did and circumnavigate the intellect") or this ("three-point turn" my ass ... a man is dead!) (when you're done with the second "this" go look at this. And weep.)

But then I remembered the other thing I did today, which was compile the election numbers of Hyde's opponents since he started running for re-election in 1976. I got to see for myself what a remarkable job Christine Cegelis did last year, and it gave me that much more happiness and good feelings, and it will do the same for you. Rather than post all the numbers, I'll just say that only once had a Democrat running against incumbent Hyde posted more than 40%, and that was the first election following the impeachment debacle and associated revelation's of Hyde's "youthful indescretions" committed when he was well older than me and I'm an old man. Cegelis trounced all previous opponents. And she hit the ground running this time around.

Now, Lynn Sweet's article in Thursday's Sun-Times provides a note of caution in her rundown of what CC has been able to put together in recent months. While Michael in Chicago (cross-posting on the promising local (remember: all politics is local and that should include blog-itics) combined blog SoapBlox) did a good job of pointing out the major problems with Sweet's statement that "Emanuel uses one major yardstick to measure political viability, and that is fund-raising," this in particular had me perk up my ears:
Cegelis' second quarter haul was below the national average raised by Democrats and Republicans competing for open seats, according to research by the DCCC.


Okay, first, my response to people who think the DCCC is onto something with their sole criteria crap -- I'll be more interested in listening when you START POSTING GAINS IN THE HOUSE!!!

Second, with regard to her "haul" -- we already KNOW Cegelis is a viable candidate. She's got the name recognition, the committed volunteer factor, the solid team around her, and the track record of success. If she needs a little help raising money, you would be a fool not to send some of it her way. She is not a self-funder. She doesn't have lots of industry PACs begging to max out on her. She's got a lot of other intangibles, and she did an amazing thing 9 months ago. And like it or not, IL-06 will be a bellweather campaign in the region and probably even nationally. If you can replace Henry Hyde with a Democrat, you do it. Roskam is not invincible.

But most important, what the hecky darn is this about "below the national average raised by Democrats and Republicans competing for open seats"???!!!??? According to this right-wing site there are only FOUR open seats in the country. Roskam's $350K+ (from a small number of donors) obviously raises the "national average". So how far below the average is Cegelis, exactly? And how far below other dems is she? If I didn't know better, I'd think there was a little double-speak and possible subversion going on here.

If so, that makes me very angry. But not angry enough to mess up my happy mood.

Okay, enough Cegelis (go donate!) for right now. It's late. But have no fear: she'll be back.

Update: Right. No more posting after midnight. I was in a rush & misread the Freeper site, and in fact there seem to be more like eleven open House seats for 2006. Still, I'm suspicious of their calculus....

Update AGAIN: And there's this site, which shows 18 open seats. So from now on, I'll keep my fingers shut. BUT I'M STILL SUSPICIOUS!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

 

Happy post #2

Oh happy day!

You know, I was worried today, after reading about the America Supports You Freedom Walk (on September 11! Sponsored by Lockheed Martin and Subway!! Entertainment by Clint Black!!!) and Focus on the Family's pushing of reparative therapy for four-year-olds homos (featuring square peg treatment!!!!) that my happy blogness would be short lived. I mean, knowing that this stuff is a prominent part of our mainstream body politic, how can there be any hope in the world? And that doesn't even count the remarkable success of the mother loving Dukes of Hazzard movie.

But then I went to the Cegelis for Congress Meetup (hey, go register right this minute) tonight and remembered: I'm actively involved in a campaign that is all about goodness and light, progression and puppy dogs! And overcoming the Republican stranglehold on the aforementioned body politic.

And guess what: there's someone else who knows that this campaign is one to be reckoned with. Yup, that's right! The Honorable Henry Hyde!

Hyde endorses Roskam

Hyde also shed more light on his decision not to run again when his term ends next year. When he defended the seat last fall, challenger Christine Cegelis won 44 percent of the vote against him--the closest any Democrat had come against him since he first won the seat in 1974.

The district includes northeastern DuPage along with parts of Cook County. It has changed demographically over the years, but Hyde, who has been hampered by declining health including a sore back, said he believes that "properly campaigned"--with public appearances and knocking on doors--"this is a Republican district and will continue to be."

"I did none of that last time because I physically couldn't," he said. "I think the vote totals showed that. ... I didn't want to risk the 6th District going to a Democrat."


Oh, Henry! Keep talkin' like that my fiend I MEAN FRIEND! IL-06 is a-changin' and Cegelis has the mojo to take it.

Speaking of Christine, for those of you wondering why I spend so much time & energy volunteering for her campaign, check out this interview with the ePluribus media folks. She's bright, passionate, devoted to good policy and her district ... the complete opposite of the empty suits that populate so much of our political landscape. Seriously, the interview is a must-read. GO NOW!!!

You, like me, will find your happy place.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

 

Happy Post #1

In keeping with my pledge to give up Bush Porn and the Outrage Fatigue that is its inevitable result, and instead stick with optimistic things about how great things are in the world and stuff, I hereby bring you Happy Post #1:

Group fights funds for Gay Games

By Lorene Yue
Tribune staff reporter
Published August 4, 2005, 10:53 PM CDT

A conservative Christian organization wants the Illinois Bureau of Tourism to keep public funds away from the 2006 Gay Games in Chicago.

The Illinois Family Institute of Glen Ellyn has called on its supporters to persuade the state tourism department to deny a request for a grant from organizers of the sporting event. The Gay Games VII, a quadrennial-sporting event conceived in 1982 to help promote self-esteem in the gay community, will take place in July at various sites in Chicago.

"We're opposed to the use of taxpayer dollars to promote an event that celebrates homosexuality," said Peter LaBarbera, executive director of the institute. "The idea of using sport to promote homosexuality is wrong."


Oh, Illinois Family Institute. Will you ever win??

This is truly great news. Not only is IFI doing everything in their power to give publicity to the Gay Games, which will help boost crowds and participation throughout the region, country, and world, but they're completely discrediting themselves at the same time! It's a twofer!

Hmm, perhaps Peter LaBarbera really secretly wants the Gay Games to succeed beyond anyone's wildest expectations, and thus have thousands upon thousands of in-shape (and often scantily clad) men descend on various venues in Chicagoland. Because, think about it. I mean, knowing that it's illegal in Chicago to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, if the Board of Tourism were to heed IFI's call and deny the gays funding simply because of the gayness factor, it would cost the City a significantly larger amount of money to defend that crap in court. So they'll definitely be getting that grant now, I think.

The other thing that makes me smile about this new IFI/GG06 post is how IFI puts "quotation marks" around certain "words" in their press releases.
ACTION: Tell the Illinois Bureau of Tourism not to spend one dime of your taxpayer money to promote the "Gay Games"--an athletic contest for homosexuals that will be held in Chicago next July. IFI has received word that Gay Games organizers have applied for a state grant to run ads urging homosexuals from across the nation and presumably the world to come to Chicago for these Homosexuality "Games."

They always do stuff like that. Gay "marriage" for instance. It's really "hilarious" and quite "surreal."

So, cheers to the Illinois Family Institute for bringing a little more joy to all of us!

(Honestly, these guys should have been at the Second City Classic this past weekend. There was such debauchery as me drinking a "beer" after the match. Also, at one point I showered without wearing any "clothes." Seriously, though, some of the doubles teams did have matching shirts. That was pretty damn "gay.")

Monday, August 08, 2005

 

weeeeeeeee are the champions!

Saturday, August 6, 2005

CHICAGO (SelfishHedonist News)

Randomly paired tennis partners David Carmack (Indiana) and Jonathan Kelley (Chicago) rocked the sports establishment today with two straight-set victories, giving the team a shocking first place finish in this weekend's Second City Tennis Classic. Although nobody seems to have taken photos of the pair, nor will any results be posted on the Internet any time soon (it would seem), trust this reporter that they won the D division.

Both men lost in yesterday's first round of the D Division singles tournament, a savvy move that left them sharp for doubles play. Strangers to each other until the draw party on Thursday, the two faced an early 0-4 deficit in the first round Friday afternoon against a Louiville-area team. Though lesser competitors would have been dejected, wondering whether they should even continue in the sport that seemed to lead to nothing but pain, humiliation, and wasted money, Carmack and Kelley fought back, pulling out the first set with a run of six straight games. Their victory was unfortunately short-lived, though, as the Ohio River team rediscovered their flagging confidence and won the second set handily.

The third set was notable for its unpredictability and significantly higher level of play by both teams. Up an early break, the midwesterners seemed to have the match in hand. Their opponents, however, fought back to even the score at 2-2 and the teams traded entertaining rallies and games to reach 5-all. This reporter doesn't remember the last two games of the match for some reason; suffice it to say, the wrong guys won them both and Carmack and Kelley walked off the court with a combined record of 0-3 on the day. Not the stuff of legends, to be sure.

Or was it?????

Because the D Doubles was the only event in the tournament with a round-robin format, the two men knew they had two more matches to play, both today. They also knew there was an outside chance they could still win the whole shebang (contingent on the performances of the other teams, naturally). First up: another team of previously unpaired midwesterners, featuring the #1 D singles player who soundly trounced Kelley on Friday. Kelley was openly disdainful of their chances, despite the encouragment of having gotten so close the previous afternoon. Carmack was strangely quiet, but focused. Surprisingly, the match was close early on, with neither team able to take advantage of some tortoise-paced second serves. Then, a lucky break: leading 6-5 with their opponents serving, Carmack and Kelley reached set point and won it on a double fault.

The second set progressed quite similarly. With the score tied 5-5, Kelley held serve and then faced the same server they broke to win the first set. They reached match point, and the server missed his first serve. This time, however, instead of double faulting, the second serve was in. Kelley, playing the unusual role of ad-court returner, got himself into position and blasted a forehand winner. He had won his first match in tournament play in his life. And his team was back in the mix.

The team who had beat them very comfortably won their second round match and were now 2-0. Carmack & Kelley and the other midwesterners were both 1-1, but had a better set record at that point (3-2 vs. 2-2). Kelley knew they had to win their next match in two sets (against the winless team of a Floridian and an Alabaman) and have the other midwesterners beat the Louivillians in straight sets as well. Three teams would have the same 2-1 record, but Kelley & Carmack's set record would be better than the other two teams'. The two final matches were played on adjacent courts and Kelley and Carmack were fortunate to have a spirited cheering section supporting them from on high.

Well, the first contingency was met (but not without overcoming some extremely hard serves and body shots from the Alabaman, along with their fourth straight 7-5 set). The eventual champions then looked over to see the last few points of the other match, and found their conquestors overcome by the team they had beaten that morning. In two sets!!! First place was theirs. Carmack began to weep sweet tears of victory. Kelley strutted the strut of a true champion and has yet to shut up about his serve; his return; his footwork; his overheads; and his new hardware (the trophy should arrive Wednesday). Honestly, this reporter had to leave the post-match interview. It was that bad.

Friday, August 05, 2005

 

Friday semen blogging

In honor of my blogging hero, Rude Pundit, whose one-pundit show I am thrilled to have tickets for, I give you classic Rudeness -- Cheney style!:

Sean Hannity Loves Dick

After last night, it can no longer be denied: Sean Hannity loves Dick. He can't get enough Dick. He loves Dick so much that he wants Dick right in his face. Hannity stares straight at Dick and tells Dick how amazing Dick is. There's nothing Dick does that Hannity finds objectionable. Dick can thrust itself into places where no Dicks should be thrust, and Hannity would simply smile, happy to know Dick is there. Dick needs no justification for Sean Hannity. Just the fact that Dick exists and does everything that Dick does, well, who is mere Sean Hannity to question the ways of Dick.


Okay, it's a little dated, but the point is, RP (college professor that he is) got in a great couple of turns of phrases in...

The segment ended there and headed back to the studio where Hannity sat with Alan Colmes. Hannity demonstrated that not only does he love Dick, but he's a cocksucker, too. When Colmes tried to insist that perhaps the Vice President hadn't been very nice to Howard Dean, Hannity leapt on the desk and screamed, "Stop it, stop it. Look at my teeth. They are gleaming with semen, Vice Presidential semen, and I love the shine." Colmes sunk a little lower into himself before announcing that they would be back with more on the disappearance of that white girl in Aruba. It was par for the course. The show had demonstrated how newsworthy the interview was by spending the first thirty minutes of the hour on the Michael Jackson verdict.


Does it get any better than that?

Thursday, August 04, 2005

 

Bush porn

Outrage fatigue is a real phenomenon, in spite of the Onion's article about it last year. Watching this administration, and the Republicans in general, while coming from a point of view that is rational, or humanist, or progressive, you start become inured to it. It's like porn - you have to take a break from it from time to time or you'll stop feeling any genuine reaction to it.

And yet, there are the addicts. Bush porn, like any porn, can trigger a sensor in the brains of those not smart enough to stay away from it, to the point that the LACK of any outrageous statement or action by this administration leads to a sense of incompleteness. Like NFL addicts after the Super Bowl. Fortunately, we never have to go long without our fix.

For me it started in 1999, when it became clear that the money that had been raised for Bush, plus his name recognition, plus the fact that he won two elections for governor of the increasingly scary state of Texas, would give the man an almost insurmountable lead in the GOP primary, and that HE was the man that the entire party, basically, was comfortable rallying around because they so desperately needed a win after the long national nightmare of peace & prosperity under Clinton. The 2000 debates. The stolen election. The "uniter" naming John Ashcroft my attorney general. The unilateral disengagement from international treaties (without any public discussion). The tax cut/deficit shell game. The 2002 elections. Naming Henry Kissinger to head the 9/11 commission. And of course, the rush to war.

Oh, and Abu Ghraib.

And his loyalty to Karl Rove.

And the gay marriage crap.

Point being: when the president gives his endorsement to "intelligent design" I am now like, "ho hum." When the president spouts such inanities as "grim reminder that we are at war" when 14 marines die in one attack, I am merely nauseated. When it becomes increasingly clear that Bush made a fortune off of a steroid-riddled team, and that he was likely aware of the riddled nature of said team, and yet that aspect of the story is ignored ... it's just like watching hour three of a four-hour long wall-to-wall adult film: wake me up when something surprising happens.

So for the foreseeable future, my postings to this blog will be porn-free (except for Friday semen blogging of course). It will be about positive developments in the world, and will ignore the snuff-film-in-the-room that is the Bush administration. Unless something truly, truly, truly outrageous happens, I pledge chastity and positivity.

Wish me luck...

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

 

anyone for tennis?

Need a break from the crowds of Market Days?

Come out and watch some good tennis at the Second City Tennis Classic (SCTC) tournament this weekend!

This is just a reminder that the SCTC tournament is occurring this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Lakeshore Athletic Club and Midtown Tennis Club facilities.

On Friday match play at both facilities begins at 8 am and concludes approximately at 8 pm. On Saturday match play at both facilities begins at 8 am and concludes approximately at 6 pm.

The finals for singles and doubles for all divisions will be held Sunday at MIDTOWN.

Singles finals begin at 10 am and doubles finals begin approximately at 12 noon.

On Sunday during the finals there will refreshments served up to enjoy.

Come on out on any or all of the days of the tournament to see some great tennis at the SCTC tournament!


Or, if you prefer some lame-ass tennis, come see me! My schedule is as follows - Friday, 3:30 p.m. singles and 6:00 p.m. doubles. Saturday, 10:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., both doubles. If I somehow win Friday singles, I play the semifinals Saturday, 8:00 a.m. The only way I'd play Sunday would be to end up in the finals, and that would be 10:00 a.m.

Edited to add: All my matches will be at Midtown.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

 

So! Very! Close!!!

Schmidt Wins 2nd District Special Election

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Republican Jean Schmidt held off an unexpectedly tough challenge from Democrat Paul Hackett to win Tuesday's Second Congressional District special election.

With all precincts reporting unofficial returns, Schmidt won with 52 percent of the vote.

Schmidt is the first female to be elected from the Second District.

The campaign to replace Congressman Rob Portman has drawn national attention largely because of Hackett's Iraq war service and his criticism of President Bush.

...

"We began this race way back in late March, and no one had thought we'd be the focus of the national media or be the so-called first test of the Republican Party and the Bush mandate. Well, ladies and gentleman, we passed that test," Schmidt said.


Yeah, you passed with a D-. You passed with the worst grade possible in a district that went for Bush with 64% a mere few months ago. Sure, you had some drawbacks: facing a veteran (who was slimed by your advisor and again today by Rush Limbaugh), being a crazy person, lying about your connections to one of the most corrupt state parties in the country.... But come on, face it: with the registration advantage you had, combined with the traditional skewing right of special elections, you still nearly lost. (Too tired to link to all of these - check out Atrios' last couple of weeks for details.)

The story continues:
Hackett won mostly rural Adams, Brown, Scioto and Pike counties.

Schmidt, a former state representative, called herself the candidate who best understood the district and held its values with her anti-abortion views, opposition to gay marriage and support for the president.

Ah, the old buggeraboo, gay marriage, once again enters the picture. How long, honestly, can they run on that. I'm already tired of the term, and I'm a big supporter! I think those two words, conjoined together in a Match Game/Password Plus/$25,000 Pyramid kind of way for the past 24 months, are going to finally get a divorce. That is to say, soon enough, when somebody leads Americans with "gaaaaaaaayyyyy...." the automatic response is not going to be ".......maaaaayriage" and the phrase will have lost its power to destroy electoral politics in this country and the GOP will be in serious trouble.

My unsolicited advice to candidates is to treat the issue that way almost every time. "What? You've got to be kidding me. He's trying to win the election by putting the fear of "gay marriage" into the voters in this district? Pshaw! How 2004! Sorry but we're smarter than that here in (insert random conservative district). The "gay marriage" scare turned out to be much ado about nothing -- whatever finally comes about is going to have very little impact on the day-to-day lives of most Americans. Now, let's talk about ..." and that should just about do it.

In any case, the best part of this for yours truly is that it is very, very good news for Christine Cegelis. No longer anywhere in the Midwest can simply being "a Republican" protect you from competition. Voters like smart. They like fearless. And they are getting sick of the lies, the disingenuity, and the general mess of the GOP. Names like Bush, Rove, DeLay, Frist, Hastert, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bolton ... those are the names that will very possibly boost IL-06 to turn blue in a mere 15 months...

Say, why not take this opportunity to give a few bucks to help her get a head start...

Update: Important post by Billmon. The kicker:

Nor is there any reason to be defensive about raising the [fraud] question. After Florida 2000, Ohio 2004, and everything that's come light since then about the Rovian death grip on power, it doesn't seem too tinfoilish to wonder whether the GOP's approach to close elections in Ohio isn't the same as the party's approach to close votes on the House floor -- in which the count is held open until the leadership gets the result it wanted.


Frankly, this should have happened with every election following 2000: We, the National Democratic Party, refuse to participate in elections until we can be assured of greater transparency and fairness. No matter what the results, it's hard to imagine the situation would be worse than it is now.

 

penguins



I don't care how cute they are, the narration in March of the Penguins tries to impose compulsory heterosexuality on an animal that exhibits natural sexual diversity and I won't stand for it. Moreover, the anthropomorphism involved with ascribing emotions like "love" and "jealousy" to.....

Aww, who am I kidding! The damn birds really are cute. Hell, you could have Screech narrating the documentary in German over a background of Falco songs and I would still pay to see it. So very, very cute.

For those who see the amazing wonderment that is the journey of the emperor penguins and want to know whether it's a sign of god's existence, the answer is that it provides no proof one way or the other.

For those who are curious as to whether global warming will threaten the amazing wonderment that is the journey of the emperor penguins, the answer is maybe.

For those who wonder whether there are more colonies of emperor penguins than the one shown in the film, the answer is "yes, obviously, you would have to be an idiot to even have that question in your fool head, Jonathan."

For those who want to know what the utlimate message of the film is, the answer is, like every other film:

Bush is a very, very, very bad president.

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