We satirize. You laugh.
Where's the Archive?
1 G-strings for democracy
2 De-riskifying real estate
6 In the swing
9 Christmas in November
13 New PRI show needs new co-host
15 What's Russian for "decider"?
17 Bush on APEC 2006
20 Little media warmth on global warming
21 To Sir, With Love
22 Le gauchiste ma envoyé
23 Bush frees Turkish prisoners
For November 23-30, 2006
Bush frees Turkish prisoners
The rendition program holds individuals suspected of having links to the terror group al-Tryptophan at undisclosed centers in other countries. Critics say the host nations allow interrogation methods legally banned in the US, such as saltwater brining, sausage walnut stuffing and giblet roasting.
The case had been filed with the 6th circuit by the American Grocery & Lattes Union, which hailed the release as a victory for civil liberties with gravy.
The AGLU has an additional case pending with the court, charging the existence of a warrantless surveillance program against American citizens who prefer cranberry sauce made from scratch instead of canned.
"Too many seem to think it's patriotic to have cranberries that slide out of the can in a tidy cylinder," said Shel F. Stocker, AGLU spokesman. "The reality is that many Americans prefer homemade, and the Constitution guarantees us that choice."
No kidding: Seattle news via Minnesota--
Posted November 22, 2006
Le gauchiste ma envoyé
Pahrump, NV, a Las Vegas satellite community home to radio's Art Bell and the setting for a recent "Studio 60" two-parter, has stood tall and done its bit to safeguard the American Republic. To wit, the Pahrump town council voted 3-2 last week to outlaw the flying of foreign flags--unless flown below the Red, White & Blue.
Violators would face a $50 fine and community service. The same ordinance also declared English the town's official language.
At the time Mr. Richard Stans, founder of the citizens group Pahrump Flags of Liberty, America and Glory (PFLAG), hailed passage of the law.
"America is better than all other countries," exulted Stans, "and this is Pahrump's way of rubbing their noses in it in the most childishly petulant manner imaginable."
However, a backlash is in the making. The Pahrump Business Chamber has urged reconsideration due to the presence in the community of six of the world's largest flag makers. These include San Francisco Values Inc., which makes tolerance-themed Rainbow Flags, and the Malaysia-based Guatemala Flag Co., maker of the inexplicably best-selling Dominican Republic flag.
Businessman Groucho M. Frandle urged caution. "These companies provide hundreds of jobs to Pahrump, as well as kindling for angry mobs the world over," Frandle said. "Damaging these relationships could irreparably damage the local economy," he said. "Without them, there would only be Wal-Mart," warned Frandle.
Pahrump foreign language clubs fearing a crackdown have reportedly gone underground, opening a number of "speakeasys" catering to French, Spanish and Italian speakers.
The State Department has also received official protests from the 37 foreign consulates located in Pahrump, which help generate tourism for the town of 30,000 as well as the entire state of Nevada.
Speaking anonymously in French, one diplomat said tourism would plunge if consular officials were forced to conduct official business in English. "Little old ladies from Marseilles just want to come to Nevada to play the slots, maybe some craps, and catch Celine Dion," said the diplomat. "They don't want to have to learn English just to apply for a tourist visa."
To make matters worse, the law is even garnering opposition from Pahrump ultra-conservatives who will no longer be able to fly Confederate flags.
Posted November 21, 2006
To Sir, With Love
The proposal to have Mayor Greg Nickels take over leadership of the Seattle Public Schools is a great idea!
The problems faced by the school district are traceable to weak, divided or ineffective leadership. The result has been a growing budget deficit, unmotivated staff, and way too much surplus district property sitting idle.
The obvious solution is a 180° turn. What is required is a monolithic unitary executive, an authoritarian top-down manager. Preferably one with an interest in trains, real estate and billionaires.
That is Greg Nickels to a tee, and this online column enthusiastically endorses him for the top district job.
Nickels will bring to the school district the same populist vision, blue collar work ethic and relentless dedication to achieving a predetermined outcome that has made him a successful mayor, admired by grateful citizens and deliriously happy City workers alike.
A Seattle school district under Nickels's leadership would be one of excellence in all the ways that count:
School Transportation. The time wasted by the district in researching an in-house bus system is typical of the ineffective leadership of the past. Nickels has a better way to get kids to school: light rail transit. A "SchooLINK" LRT will offer comfortable and predictable service in a high capacity corridor. Yet, we will continue to use the proven technology of the yellow school bus to shuttle children to and from the SchooLINK stations. Bus drivers keep their jobs, the bus contractor keeps its business, and students build a lifetime habit of using mass transit until they're old enough to get their licenses. Win-win-win!
The Deficit. The problem with the district's capital facilities is that there are too many buildings, dispersed over too wide an area. This "sprawl" is just not a sustainable use of land, incompatible with SchoolLINK, and a poor example to teach our children and grandchildren as we build a green future in the 21st century already.
Nickels has a better way. Every morning his first thought is What Can I Do for Paul Allen Today?, and this mantra is right for the schools because it suggests an obvious synergy: to sell all district property to Paul Allen. This will immediately eliminate the deficit and possibly bring a profit. Then, Nickels will receive from Paul Allen a single large parcel in a central location like downtown, where we will build the Seattle Unified Eduplex (SUE)
SUE will be a high-density skyscraper containing all of Seattle's schools, with classrooms and sportsfields on every floor--truly a center for "higher" learning! SchooLINK will serve SUE with the aforementioned SchooLINK rail corridor, bringing children into downtown from two whole directions. Can you say "world class"?
Discipline. If Greg Nickels is known for one thing, it is his compassion. And the other thing is his no-nonsense enforcement of the laws that make Seattle a decent place to live. This translates into school discipline policy that will be square (as the kids say) but fair, and above all moral. Nickels will focus on two principle areas to keep our kids safe: (1) at school sports events, a total prohibition on cheerleading within four feet of a spectator; (2) no lapdancing at school dances, including proms at off-campus facilities. Promgoers especially are preyed upon by the formal wear rental industry, which is well known to be dominated by the Colacurcio family.
Administration. The district's job #1 is education, not property management. So instead of the district owning and managing SUE, Nickels has a better way. He will sell SUE to Paul Allen, who will act as landlord for the district in a complicated public-private (win-win!) leaseback arrangement. Of course Allen is a businessman, not a charity, and will have to charge the district market rate rent. This won't be cheap, as those who have put down deposits on the new downtown highrise condos already know. But who said education is cheap? If we want the high-density luxury education complex that our children and grandchildren deserve, centrally located in an exciting, cosmopolitan, 24/7 downtown, (and don't they deserve the very best?), we should be happy to tax ourselves to pay for it! With special levies every 4-8 years.
Of course, with Nickels there is always an upside. In this case, the high rent paid to Paul Allen would mean Seattle's per-classroom spending would shoot throught the figurative roof! We would be the envy of underfunded school districts everywhere.
The Seattle Public Schools is like a leper in need of a miracle. Greg Nickels can be that savior. The district stands at the edge of either a new frontier or a brave new world, and I. Can't. Wait.
Posted November 20, 2006
Little media warmth on global warming
An important international conference was held last week in Nairobi, Kenya: a meeting of the 160+ countries signatory to the UN Kyoto Protocol on curbing greenhouse-gas emissions. The conferees did not achieve a We Are The World moment beyond a goal of halving CO2 emissions. In fact, there is a growing outcry in the international press post-conference that not enough progress is being made, quickly or decisively enough.
However, some important accomplishments were attained, including: agreement on managing a fund to pay for low-carbon alternatives in the developing world; a 2008 progress review; compliance procedures that effectively make the treaty fully operational.
There was little U.S. Tamestream Media™ coverage of the conference. Of the few that did make it, one focused on a Devil's advocate theory that air pollution may be beneficial. The top Google News hit this morning on nairobi "kyoto protocol" is an anti-Kyoto manifesto at FrontPage.
Paucity of coverage gives greater prominence to loony-right opinion, not to mention pooh-poohing of green-consumerism. The question then is why the Kyoto nations aren't getting a bigger news bounce in the USA. Clearly they need to redesign their message to appeal to the Liberal U.S. Media*
There are a great many important and serious issues competing for media attention in America. Kyoto needs a new publicist who can couch global warming in the sort of nuanced, substantive terms preferred by our print and electronic media. Some suggestions:
Posted March 17, 2010
Bush on APEC 2006
FIRST TIME ANYWHERE! Excerpt from George W. Bush's memoirs!
Posted November 15, 2006
What's Russian for "decider"?
Posted November 13, 2006
New PRI show needs new co-host
Fair Game, a new PRI program testing on Friday evenings on Seattle's KUOW-FM, ought to impress. The host is Faith Salie, of whom much is made that she's funny, a Rhodes scholar, actor and (nerd appeal) appeared as a "tradeable life form" on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Fair Game is also supposed to be a "Daily Comedy News Machine," so it also ought to be right up Mr_Blog's alley.
So why did I switch off the Nov. 9 installment after only five
minutes? Two reasons.
I'm not saying some of them aren't center-right--Representative-elect Heath Shuler (NC-11) for instance, as Donovan himself noted. But there is a difference between objective context (Shuler supports fiscal responsibility, social programs and environmental protection) and the GOP Talking Point--which implies that conservatives are all alike, so Americans must still love the conservative GOP!
It was like Fair Game has a dedicated fax line right from Ken Mehlman's office.
Am I being too hard on this new show? Well are they Fair Game, or not?
Posted November 9, 2006
Christmas in November
And now a special Holiday Season public affairs edition of... A Christmas Carol:
Announcer: From Washington-- "The McScrooge Group," an unrehearsed discussion of major issues of the day. For over two decades, the sharpest minds, the best sources, the hottest talk. This week, with- Rev. Ted Haggard; Carson Kressley; Britney Spears; and Eleanor Clift of Newsweek. Here is your moderator, Ebenezer Scrooge.
ES: Issue 1-- "Midterm Election: Moral Backfire?" [Videotape of Gay Pride Parade stock footage] Democrats have swept to victory in Congress, you might say the Liberal Spirits have done it all in one night. The GOP planned to ride to victory on Terrorism and Values. Team Mehlman targeted the party base with warnings of unfettered abortions, gay marriage and Democrats taxing Americans into the poorhouses. Instead of a backlash, did the strategy backfire? What say you, Vicar Ted?
TH: Well, I have to say the results were fabulous for Values Voters. Traditional Marriage ballot measures passed almost EV'rywhere!
ES: A fabulous from Ted. Carson?
CK: I don't think I see the fashion connection, but--I have to see the election as a plus for gays.
TH: Oh be serious.
CK: No, really. Even though he resigned in disgrace, Mark Foley still got 48% of the vote in Florida-16. You have to read that as a HUGE endorsement of the gay agenda.
TH: Did you say huge?
BS: Can I interrupt here?
ES: Go Britney.
BS: The results were horrible for Republicans, and it was because they didn't reach beyond the base! Democrat success means we will have more attacks on basic values. In fact, the mere fact that we now have Speaker Pelosi, from the gay hotbed of San Francisco, is a threat to Traditional Marriage. It's why mine didn't even survive election day!
ES: So on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 representing impossibility and 10 representing complete metaphysical certitude, what is the chance of a Clinton-Federline ticket in 2008? Ted.
TH: Rap is the Devil's music, and I never listen- well almost- once I- I really like Sir Mix A Lot.
BS: He's dating Chelsea Clinton? That scum! His chances are zero.
CK: 2, if he loses the velour tracksuits first.
ES: Eleanor Clift, you've been very quiet thus far.
EC: Well I'm aghast at the lack of logic and utter stupidity being displayed here today.
ES: HUMBUG!!! Federline is in rap, he would be smeared by conservatives as "acting Black"-- "acting Black."
Issue 2-- "Was the Vote Hacked?" [Videotape of touchscreen voting, Diebold HQ] Days before the election, and days after Karl Rove said "the math" predicted Republican victory, an HBO documentary addressed the left-wing conspiracy theory that the 2000 and 2004 elections were stolen by computerized voting systems, including those made by Republican-backed Diebold. Question: Should we still trust technology to count our votes? Ted Haggard.
TH: I firmly believe there was some funny business going on. My own very recent experience, just a for instance, with voice mail shows that even innocuous so-called high-tech can have- uh, unforeseen results.
BS: I think we should trust our President, who said the Republicans are going to keep the Congress. I'm going to call Mehlman, and urge him not to concede any race! Stop the vote! Recounts! Audits! Lawsuits! After all, that HBO film proved the machines could be hacked!
EC: That would really take some chutzpah for the GOP to claim that, after Ohio and Florida. Besides, Bush is now calling for bipartisanship-- yeah, now he says that-
CK: Britney, honey, for once the results matched the exit polls.
TH: Heh-heh. "Polls."
ES: HUMBUG!!! The answer is "paper!" Computers cost too much to make, program and maintain! Whereas paper ballots can be counted by armies of low-paid Cratchits late into the night. Some might even be so foolish as to volunteer! "Paper."
Issue 3--"Ghosts of Quagmires Past." [Videotape of Twin Towers, Osama, Mission Accomplished, soldiers on patrol, explosions] Election eve polling showed as much as 67% of voters said they were dissatisfied with the President's performance, and the worsening situation in Iraq was the primary reason. Considering that the 1980s saw a series of Vietnam-themed movies that helped America get over the loss in Vietnam, the question is: What theatre arts can the White House now employ to re-build popular support for the war effort? Lead on, Carson, the night is waning fast.
CK: Choreography. Bush was always good at the photo opportunity, you know those photos of the Cabinet lined up on stage, looking earnestly into the cameras? What happened to those days? Now Tony Snow gets up there and it's like the 11pm spot at Comedy Underground. They need someone who can tell them when to walk and where to stand.
TH: Well I've always thought good costuming and choreography go together.
BS: You are so right, Ted, and I have a great choreographer! And I know all my male backup dancers would be glad to help them out at a workshop. And you know what? They're all Republicans!
TH: I would be interested in meeting them for a prayer meeting.
CK: I see the Cabinet in lycra competitive-ballroom costumes.
TH: With flowing red sleeves?
EC: I can't believe you people! Ted, you're so obviously in denial it's painful. And YOU two, do you read anything besides Details, People or The Weekly Standard? Ever pick up a newspaper?
CK: Eleanor, you and I have the same hairstyle.
BS: Are you, like, older than my mother?
EC: I give up.
ES: HUMBUG!!! "American Idol" shows us that it's "music" that is popular with the mass of voters-- "music." White House Chief of Staff: Stephen Sondheim.
TH: I am going to hate the sin but love the sinner. I do. Love love love love-- those sinners.
CK: Red and blue are on the way out. This spring states will be attired in Dusky Rose or Tropical Teal.
BS: I'll be dating Rush Limbaugh.
EC: I'm speechless.
ES: Increased mortality rates of turkeys in November. In December an undeserving employee will demand Christmas Eve off; ghostly activity will markedly increase. Bye-bye!
Announcer: For a transcript of today's program-- scroll to the top of the post and copy the text.
Posted November 6, 2006
In the swing
Tomorrow night the pundits will be all over the media talking about the election results. I thought I would get my thoughts out on the table now.
It's not my intent to prognosticate on the last polling numbers, tomorrow's exit polls, statistical margins, or presiduncial coattails (face it--we all know he doesn't have any). Rather, I have picked a few contests I think will be revealing (assuming the memory cards and central vote tabulators don't get hacked), in terms of taking the pulse of the country, no matter the outcome.
The results in key races, mostly in the East and Midwest, will signal a) a big Democratic tidal wave leading to a mandate, b) divided Congress and interparty squabbling for the next 2 years, or c) election fraud.
Will check in again post-election. And if the tabulators ARE hacked: see you at the riots!
Posted November 2, 2006
De-riskifying real estate
Any ballot measure that uses smoke to obscure its true intention ought
Initiative backers, the innocently-named Farm Bureau, are playing on justifiable fears of eminent domain and outrage over the Kelo decision to trick Washingtonians into voting for what is essentially a handout to property developers that takes risk out of real estate speculation.
In actuality, I-933 does not touch on eminent domain.
What it would do is exempt property owners from any responsibility to adhere to land use, environmental and other government regulations that might harm (undefined) their property values.
The teeth of 933 amounts to legalized blackmail--either the government pays for the amount of devaluation (assessment method undefined) or waives the regulation/s in question. In other words, 933 backers want to holdup taxpayers to pay developers to not do things that regulations already proscribe (933 is retroactive to the mid-90s; apparently, proponents think 1996 had all the environmental regulations we will ever need).
I-933 makes no exceptions for development that puts costs onto others. For example, if developers use 933 to allow them to pave over forest or wetland, they would be forcing the public to shell out for new infrastructure to perform functions the environment now provides naturally.
The age of the neocons is ending. Their dominance has already proven costly, they don't need any lovely parting gifts. Vote no on I-933.
Posted November 1, 2006
G-strings for democracy
MUST one go through the reasons to vote No on Seattle Referendum 1?
It would regulate (and therefore impact the wages of) employees (the strip club dancers), not owners.
Assumes a crime-generating problem that the statistics don't support--and neither does current experience at locations around the North End.
Hilarious that the Mayor also wants to create a special district these alleged bad-actors can call home--or "Pottersville"?
Finally, there's the SPD's last-minute preëlection fishing expedition at Rick's. No doubt the vice officers were picking out which tables they'll hang out at should Ref. 1 pass.
Worried that strip clubs are fronts for criminal enterprises? Then investigate the business side. Unless there's a spate of potholes at the base of stripper poles, leave the dancers alone and get on with the business of running the City.
There are 2 comments
November 24, 2006 - 01:34
Subject: Bush frees Turkish prisoners
Damn! Now I'm going to have to make a contribution to the AGLU! ;-)
November 07, 2006 - 10:35
Subject: In the swing
I may live in what is the safest district in the whole US, and I'm still planning on taking my camera into the polling place tomorrow. Gonna photograph every page of my ballot and piss off a bunch'a poll workers. (6 boxes of ballots ended up in the Bay in 2002.)
Leave a Comment
Powered by TalkBack
Spam fighting by Akismet