Friday, October 28, 2005


Friday semen blogging

I can't believe I haven't posted on this before, but according to a Google blog search, I sure haven't! Anyway, here's the story:

Judge used 'penis pump' during murder case

Sep 26 2005


A US judge will go on trial today charged with three counts of indecent exposure after allegedly masturbating using a “penis pump” while presiding over a murder case.

Witnesses claim they could hear the noise of the device coming from beneath the robes of Donald Thompson as he sat on the bench.

The 58-year-old former district judge had served at Creek County Court, Oklahoma, where he was charged, for 22 years.

The sex toy will be presented as evidence during the trial.


He is accused of using the pump during two murder trials and a civil case in 2003.

Jurors claim they heard what sounded like a bicycle pump or blood-pressure pump.

One "heard 'a swooshing kind of air, like kind of ch, ch' and saw Thompson making some movement with his upper body and arms," according to documents filed by the state attorney general.


According to an affidavit, a court-ordered DNA sample confirms the fluids found in his old courtroom and office were semen.

Judge C Allen McCall has not yet decided whether jurors will get to hear Ms Foster’s audio recording.

So apparently in Wales, semen is considered plural? Or was that just a mistake?

Anyway, the trial is still apparently going on. The defense attorneys are saying the court reporter was a pot smoker and thus ... hears swooshing sounds randomly?

Anyway, there you are. Have a great weekend! Happy Halloween and Fall Backwards day!

Thursday, October 27, 2005



April 4, 2005

CHICAGO (AP) -- Mark Buehrle was in a hurry on Opening Day.

Working quickly, throwing strikes and letting his fielders get involved, Chicago's lefty was in rare form.

"We have a good defense, so let them put the ball in play," Buehrle said Monday after pitching the White Sox past the Cleveland Indians 1-0.

Buehrle retired the first 12 batters and allowed just two hits in eight innings. The first White Sox season opener at home in 15 years took just one hour and 51 minutes to play.

"Buehrle was as good as I've ever seen him," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said.
Playing its first season opener at home since the final year of old Comiskey Park in 1990, Chicago finally broke the scoreless duel in the seventh, thanks to an error by Indians shortstop Jhonny Peralta.

Paul Konerko doubled down the left-field line, moved to third on Jermaine Dye's fly to right and scored as Peralta misplayed Aaron Rowand's one-out grounder. Peralta was the first player other than Omar Vizquel to start for the Indians at shortstop since 1993.

"If the guy throws the ball, I'm going to be out probably," said Konerko, a slow runner.

"He started to run and I started to go into the ball. I couldn't catch the ball," Peralta said. "It was a little bit tough. It played hard off the field."

Shingo Takatsu pitched a perfect ninth for the save.

How perfect. A magical season, ending the way it started, with a 1-0 triumph. Great (brilliant?) starting pitching, a strong performance out of the bullpen. And a defense so great it'll make ya believe. Yes, we had 200 homeruns and some timely clutch hitting, but the 1-0 score was a sign that this really was how it was meant to be. Grinders. Win or die (Dye) trying. Don't stop believing. Oh wow.

Peter Gammons just named this team one of the 5 best of the last 25 years. (The '98 Yankees were the best, we were named comparable to the '84 Tigers, '99 Yankees, and one other team I forget.) Based on what they accomplished: 11-1 in the playoffs, wire-to-wire leaders in a division that was better than the vaunted AL East, their pitching, a record 37 games to start the season in which they had a lead in a game (WOW!), offensive balance, and their defense.

This is gonna be a long post, so bear with me. A few years ago when I lived a few blocks from the park and worked there for a year and a half, I discovered the cult that is White Sox Nation, and it was a weird, wild, exciting place. I was something of a tourist, but I was there, and thrilled to be there. I only went to one game this year (that was a White Sox loser) but followed every game, even when I was at a Doves concert or canvassing in the suburbs. DR showed a lot of patience throughout the season & I'm thrilled he was able to share it with me. And it was a team impossible not to love. Fun, tight games. And best of all - they did it as a team. So here's to the team:

* Man Soo Lee, the Babe Ruth of Korea, adding that perfect extra aspect to the internationalism of the team as the bullpen catcher.
* Art Kusnyer, the bullpen coach. Obviously did a great job, because our bullpen was amazing pretty much throughout the year.
* Greg Walker, the hitting coach. Nobody hit .300, but nor did anyone have really debilitating droughts, and in the playoffs, when it counted, the patience shown at the plate was the difference in most of the games.
* Harold Baines, the bench coach. The only member of the current team with his number retired, a crucial connection with the teams oft-ignored history.
* Joey Cora, third base coach, who seemed unable to put on a stop sign for almost the entire season.
* Don Cooper, on whom I developed a tremendous crush over the past month.
* Ozzie Guillen, the starter for the American League in the All-Star Game, 2006. More and better things will be written about him than I can do justice him.
* Ken Williams, the architect. Any team with a black general manager, a latino manager, and a white leadoff man/base stealer is okay by me. Ken? You win. Brilliant.
* Jerry Reinsdorf, you earned a lot of fans back tonight. Thanks for trusting Ken & Ozzie.

And the players:
* Shingo Takatsu - I hope he gets a ring. He had 8 saves this year and only one blown save, but he started us off on the right track when it mattered. The only player to start the season with the team not to end it with the team.
* Brian Anderson, Joe Borchard, Ross Gload, Pedro Lopez, Raul Casanova, Jamie Burke, Jeff Bajenaru, Jon Adkins, Kevin Walker, David Sanders - apparently you played at least once for the Sox this season (some more than others, Brian, Ross & Joe). Yay for that!
* Brandon McCarthy - Started rough, showed scintillating stuff toward the end. If not for you, we would have missed the playoffs. If we somehow repeat as champs next year, it will be because of you.
* Timo Perez - Nice to have a lefty off the bench who can play so many positions.

And those with iconic playoff moments:
* Pablo Ozuna - stole 2nd when everyone knew he was going to in the Pierzynski game, and scored the winning run.
* Chris Widger - walked in the insurance run in Game 3 of the World Series & caught a lot of different pitchers into the wee hours of the morning.
* Willie Harris - singles against Lidge & scores the only run in Game 4 of the World Series.
* Geoff Blum - I was down on him, but all is forgiven with his single postseason at-bat. Hope he sticks around!
* Carl Everett - 12 hits in the postseason was nice but being on the top step for most of the playoff was great. Yelling "MOTHERFUCKER" at Roy Oswalt in game 3 after he hit Crede? Priceless.
* Aaron Rowand - my favorite. The ultimate grinder. Not enough clutch hits but he's persevered for years on this team and apparently hangs out in my building (where I work) at Jake Melnick's! And he was born 5 years and a day before my brother, both in Portland, OR, so SHOUT OUT TO BRO BEN! Iconic postseason moment: the infield hit leading to the insurance run in Game 3 of the WS.
* AJ Pierzynski - hee hee. You know that one. He has an entire GAME named after him.
* Juan Uribe - The Catch for the 2nd out with a runner on 2nd in Game 4.
* Tadahito Iguchi - The 3 run home run after Graffanino's error.
* Paul Konerko - Nice Grand Slam, there Paul-eeee. Yarr.
* Jermaine Dye - Not the fabulous single to score the only run in Game 4, not the phantom hit-by-pitch, but his at-bat against Oswalt in the 5th inning of Game 3. THAT won the series for us.
* Scott Podsednik - Nice little trade there, Ken Williams. The MVP of the season to me, the difference maker in the team, the All-Star extra player, and oh yeah, a Game Winning Home Run. Heh.
* Joe Crede - A star is born. Iconic moments - his glove throughout, that double against the Angels, and the homer to start things off in Game 3 of the WS. The people's MVP.
* Luis Viscaino - 0.00 ERA in his one inning of post-season work.
* Cliff Politte - Best batting average on the team (1.000 in his only at-bat) during the regular season. Other than a little bit of a let-down in Game 3, he did his job quite beautifully in the Series.
* Damaso Marte - Shut up me and all the other Sox fans with his work in Game 3.
* Oswaldo Hernandez - Bases loaded, no out, 8th inning in Fenway? Bring in El Duque. El mago.
* Dustin Hermanson - Gutted out a terrific regular season, but less than perfect yesterday. No matter, give that man a ring.
* Neal Cotts - A star-making turn this week on a big stage. ERA? 0.00.
* Freddy Garcia - Closed out the Red Sox. Closed out the Astros. Complete game against the Angels. Road. Warrior.
* Jose Contreras - The ace, from nowhere.
* Jon Garland - 11-3 strikeout to walk ratio in two postseason games. Weeks off in-between starts, and gems.
* Mark Buehrle - Win & a save in two straight games. All Star starter, All Star Winner. Nice little run.

And finally (and oh gee it's late):

* Frank Thomas - He knows he played his part this year. More importantly, the future Hall of Famer and best Sox player in history became part of the team and showed his love of the franchise and the city. You deserve this ring more than anyone.


* First-base coach Tim Raines. I loved seeing my favorite player ever's jersey whenever a Sox got on first. Congrats, Rock.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Onion makes me cry

The most disturbing thing about the below story is not what the White House did, but the cave job by the Onion:

White House Orders Satirical Paper 'The Onion' to Stop Using Presidential Seal

By E&P Staff

Published: October 24, 2005 2:25 PM ET

NEW YORK Despite White House spokesman Trent Duffy's admission to New York Times reporter Katharine Q. Seelye that "more than one Bush staffer reads The Onion and enjoys it thoroughly," the White House is seeking to stop the satirical paper from using the presidential seal on its Web site.

Seelye's seal scoop, printed in Monday's paper, reveals that associate counsel to the president Grant M. Dixton sent a letter to the Onion on Sept. 28 stating that the seal "is not to be used in connection with commercial ventures or products in any way that suggests presidential support or endorsement."

Given that this post is about fair use, I'm not going to reprint the entire E&P article. But I will tell you that the Onion fired back a response that humorously pointed out the publication's satirical nature. But it also went one step further:

Klaskin also asked that the Onion be considered f[or] an official exception to the rule, which is allowable by law.



A publication as obviously satirical as the Onion must not ever EVER feel an obligation to get an exemption to use a "copyrighted" American image (which, by the way, is not owned by President Bush or the White House but by the American citizenry as a whole). No public figure/entity that is the target of satire should ever get veto power over that sort of thing, particularly the government itself. To even ask for an exemption gives too much power to the government to control speech.

It's gross, actually. I knew the Onion had lost something recently, but I had no idea they'd ever consider prostrating themselves wholly before the jerkos currently running the show. Bottom line be damned, there are some fights you fight. Damn lawyers.


Speaking truth to power

Rosa wasn't the first. As the story goes, other young women, who weren't secretary for the local NAACP, one of whom was in fact a soon-to-be unwed mother, had previously refused to give up their damn seats, and had been arrested for it. But due to her exemplary credentials, the still nascent civil rights community chose to take up Rosa Parks' case and use it as a touchstone for a world-changing decade-long campaign, the aftershocks of which we are still coming to terms with.

No matter. Rosa Parks still deserves her place in history. She was willing to be that icon, and that took the strength of thousands of unknowns who supported her as well as deep wells of her own fortitude. She helped create a mythology that continues to resonate, because it's based on a deep truth, as all good myths are. And more to the point, well, she coulda been killed.

We like to think we will be able to speak truth to power when the stakes are high. But it's easier said than done. Too often, really, it's done through comedy -- a powerful weapon, to be sure, but humor rarely has that finishing punch that absolute sincerity has. Even more frequently we see it done with anger aflame. It's risky, in this day, to face the ridicule that comes with seriousness and calm. Dignity. Not dignity devoid of humor or passion, but dignity that subordinates those important aspects of ourselves to a greater goal -- justice, truth, love.

Rosa Parks did an exemplary job of embodying that dignity. In retrospect, it's hard to believe it was possible, what she did and what she represented. I'm not so sure I would be alive today if not for her seizing her moment and holding onto it. So, selfishly, I have to say - thank you, Mrs. Parks.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


Hey, No-Shavey! What's with the beard?

My beard is gettin' itchy. And do you know why??? I have decided not to shave until some indictments are handed down.

I'm not greedy. It doesn't have to be Cheney. It doesn't even have to be Rove. It don't gotta be for outing a CIA agent or leaking classified information. But this has been going on too long, and touches on too many important issues, and there are too many creeps & criminals involved for this to end up with a big zero. And far more importantly, there has been too little accountability over the past 5 years due, in part, to the fact that this administration and its bootlickers in Congress haven't had to deal with anything as solid as a conviction. So the obfuscation, the media complicity, and the BS fake investigations (or non-investigations) have been able to continue with no real actual blowback.

I think an indictment of an administration official, combined with the fact that they'll no longer be able to say "we won't comment on an ongoing investigation" (or, after a conviction, "...on an ongoing criminal case") means we might finally, finally be able to get some satisfaction.

And hopefully that will come this week.

Because my beard really does itch. And I ain't shaving until I get an indictment.

Or the White Sox win the World Series. Whichever comes first.

Monday, October 10, 2005


We need an X-Files for actual conspiracies.

Okay, this is probably pretty obscure for those of you whose primary source of news is this blog. Which, come to think of it, is nobody. Anyway, here's what's going on:

For the past several months, the Republican party of Ohio has been rocked by a money laundering scandal known as "Coingate" in which a Toledo based operative has apparently been taking money from state pension funds, investing it in some stupid rare coin deal, and giving the proceeds to the effort to win Bush for Ohio last year. He won by less than 120,000, a relative drop in the bucket that ended up proving the difference in the Electoral College.

With me? Good.

Okay, well, Salon on Thursday published a story detailing the possible role of a the Toledo Blade's chief political columnist, Fritz Wenzel, in basically covering up the story back when it could have had a significant impact on the election. Oh, by the way, Wenzel was a Republican operative in Oregon before he came aboard the Blade and worked for Zogby polling during the election (even reporting on Zogby polls without letting Blade readers know he was in the pollster's employ), and then as soon as he left the paper, hooked up with (of all people) Jean Schmidt(!) who just beat Paul Hackett in the special congressional election outside of Cincinnati. Wenzel got a cool 60G for that effort.

Oh, and Wenzel is friends with Tom Noe, who is the guy in the middle of all this.

I strongly encourage you to read the whole Salon story. You have to get a day pass, but it's worth it. Not only because of the corruption, ethical lapses, and lies lies lies, but because of the messy divorce that helped tip this story. It's hot stuff.

There's one thing that was elided a bit in the story that I think is an important thread to keep in mind: The messy divorce in question involved an allegation that Diebold, the electronic voting machine company that has become synonymous with conspiracy-mongering about Republicans and stolen elections, was offering kickbacks to Joe Kidd -- then the Lucas County director of elections. An investigation even opened into the allegation, but it's unclear if it's continuing, given the possibility that Kidd will turn state's evidence against Tom Noe.

But the allegation itself is huge, and needs to be fully investigated if there is even a sliver of truth about it. Because if it happened, Diebold should be barred by every state legislature from participating in any selling of election machines.

This has been blogged about before, I know, months ago by people much more heavily into the whole case than me.

There's a lot more dirty stuff that goes with this. I Googled me some "Joe Kidd" and "Diebold" and came across this little story from 2003 written by, wait for it, FRITZ WENZEL! It reads as a beautiful press release, comparing the machines to being comparable to ATMs without mentioning the company's ethical questions, it's ties to the GOP (and the Dems in some places) or, more importantly, the critical issue of the lack of a paper trail in such machines, which is the basis of most complaints about electronic machines. To wit:
The Significant Other tells you there is no milk in the fridge; so you stop at a neighborhood convenience store late one October evening. You don't have any cash; so you go to the ATM in the corner.

After entering your PIN and making your withdrawal, you complete one more transaction - you cast your vote for mayor.

Though that may seem a little far-fetched today, industry insiders say it is the direction that elections are quickly moving as technology merges with a desire among voting advocates to boost citizen participation.

Diebold Elections Systems of North Canton, Ohio, is already moving down a path toward elections where people could vote almost anytime, anywhere. Joe Kidd, Lucas County elections director, is expected to release a report tomorrow recommending the company get a contract worth millions to supply Lucas County with new electronic voting machines.

The article, it goes without saying, quotes no opponents of the move.
Diebold is developing a track record in the elections business. Last year, the state of Georgia purchased 22,000 Diebold machines to replace all voting equipment statewide. Michael Barnes, a top assistant to Secretary of State Cathy Cox and the manager who directed the purchase and installation of their new system, said they worked well in November's election.

He said that not only were election results more reliable with the new machines, once polls closed they were transmitted from the precincts to the central tabulation center much quicker compared to earlier elections.

Diebold's only weakness, Mr. Barnes said, was in its training program for people who work at the polls on Election Day. But he said his office worked with the company to revamp the program, and that, in the end, it worked well.

Fast forward to two months ago -- allegations from another part of the state of bribery by Diebold employees. With the money quote:
Matthew Damschroder, director of the Franklin County Board of Elections, was suspended for 30 days after admitting he accepted a $10,000 check in January 2004 from Pasquale "Pat" Gallina, a Diebold representative who made out the check to the county Republican Party. The donation came the day the county was opening bids for new
voter-registration software. Prosecutor Ron O'Brien and sheriff's detectives are investigating.

And don't forget this gem: "[Diebold] chief executive Walden O'Dell wrote a 2003 Republican fund-raising letter vowing to help "deliver" Ohio for President Bush in 2004."

There is some seriously corrupt shit going on in Ohio. Through last year, it seemed to benefit on person more than any other - George W. Bush. That makes this a national story. I anxiously await the book, miniseries, and feature film about the Ohio Republican Party of the past 2 years. Remember: just because conspiracy theories are completely outlandish and in the fevered brains of confirmed nutjobs doesn't mean they're not actually true.

Sunday, October 09, 2005



All in all, it's been a pretty damn good week. Hate to turn this into a diary, but there seems to be a weird stasis in the world right now, and even though big things seem afoot, this blogger finds himself (I love writing in the third person) without a fulcrum around which to frame a post. Plus I was busy, meaning I missed my first Friday semen blogging in some time.

So in short order, we'll just hand out some game balls:

- To Mark (5:58:54), Peter (3:51:13), Megan (4:57:07), hell even Cody (5:28:46), and the other tens of thousands of people to complete today's Chicago Marathon. Damn. I watched from my old haunt on the south side, and cheered my little lungs out. I don't care if people crawled the whole way, I don't care if they STILL haven't finished, what an impressive display of guts and fortitude. Yay, y'all!

- To the ChiSox, not only winning their first postseason series since WWI (note the single I there), not only defeating the defending world champions, not only doing so in one of the most daunting venues in sport, but in a sweep. Between El Duque, Uribe, AJP, Paulie, Contreras, Iguchi, Jenks, Pod, Guillen, Rowand, and Kenny Williams, it's honestly quite difficult to name a most valuable player of the series. But that's how the team was all year. No one player stood above all others, all were willing to put it all out there all season long. But, however great this is, it means nothing without that next step. Get to the World Series, boys.

- To the singularly brilliant cartoonist who came up with this gem.

- To Christine Cegelis, who knocked out her most significant primary challenger this week. She's got a good organization, a great message, and a good chance to pull off something historic next year. If you haven't done so yet, shake out your pockets and donate. Hell, even if you have already, why not toss an extra few her way for the hell of it. She done good. (And don't forget, Tom DeLay's troubles are Peter Roskam's troubles).

- Finally, and most importantly, to the big guy, for making it through an unusually long hospital stay, losing at least a few pounds between organ removal and no meatloaf in his diet, and recovering strong. Onward, young man, to Brasil!

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