December 24, 2007


Holiday photo rebus

Decoded in comments

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December 21, 2007


The town cryer from hell

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

The Federal Communications Commission passed new media ownership rules by a three to two Bushco party-line vote this week. This opens the door for fewer and bigger media companies to decide what Americans see, hear and read in the news as the big fish can more easily swallow up local news outlets. The FCC did this despite a HUGE public outcry - in the required public comment period, 99 percent of the respondents opposed media consolidation! This is because they realize that fewer outlets in the media mean less honest oversight of the news, and more bias because of the pressure of large corporate interests and the emphasis on the bottom line over truth and accuracy.

Just a few examples pointed out by Norman Solomon of Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting:
* ABC, owned by Disney, doesn’t disclose in their relevant news reports about Disney’s stake in sweatshops.

* Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, owned by the same entity - Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp - don’t disclose that the ownership is entangled with the Chinese government to the detriment of human rights but to the advancement of the profit margin of the parent company.

* CNN has a huge multi-BILLION dollar stake in Internet deregulation, and the failure of the Congress to safeguard so far what is generally known as "Net Neutrality." So every time CNN does a news report on the Internet, on efforts to regulate or deregulate or create a two or three-tier system of the Internet, CNN News should disclose that Time Warner, the parent company, stands to gain or lose billions of dollars in those terms.

* Chevron is a funder of key news programming on PBS. They were an underwriter of "Washington Week" last year, and now the massive energy firm currently funnels big bucks to the most influential show on PBS, the nightly "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer."

* The corporate funders of the "NewsHour" now include not only Chevron but also AT&T and Pacific Life. There must be dozens of journalistic reports on the program every week - whether relevant to the business worlds of energy, communications or insurance - that warrant, and lack, real-time disclosures while the news accounts are on the air. Meanwhile, over at "Washington Week," the corporate cash now flows in from the huge military contractor Boeing and the National Mining Association.

* And that’s just "public broadcasting." On avowedly commercial networks, awash in corporate ownership interests and advertising revenues, a thorough policy of disclosure in the course of news coverage would require that most of the airtime be devoted to shedding light on the media outlet conflicts-of-interest of the reporting in progress.

And then there's Solomon's exchange with Glenn Beck, CNN's pinnacle of integrity, who had invited Solomon on his show to point the finger at NBC for its conflicting interests in news reporting that affects its parent company General Electric:
Solomon: A major advertiser for CNN is the largest military contractor in the United States, Lockheed Martin. So when you and others...

Beck: I got news for you, Norman. Norman...

Solomon: ...promote war, when you and others promote war on this network...

Beck: Norman...Norman...

Solomon: ...we have Lockheed Martin paying millions of dollars undisclosed. So I would quote you...

Beck: Norman...Norman...

Solomon: "Promoting but not disclosing is a bad way to go."

Beck: Norman, let me just tell you this. First of all, Lockheed Martin is not a corporate overlord of this program.

Solomon: It’s a major advertiser on CNN.

Beck: That’s fine. That’s fine. Advertisers are different. But let...

Solomon: Well, it is fine, but it should be disclosed.

Beck: Norman, let me just tell you something. If you think that it’s warmonger central downstairs at CNN, you’re out of your mind. But that’s a different story.

Solomon: Well, upstairs, when I watch Glenn Beck, in terms of attacking Iran, it certainly is. It’s lucrative for the oil companies, as well as for the major advertiser on CNN, Lockheed Martin.

So there you have it, the facts that show you’ve got to be careful about where you’re getting your news from (especially that gawldurn LIBERAL MEDIA!). As Solomon said in closing his column, "Wouldn’t it be nice if once in a while somebody came on and said, you know, I don’t really have an agenda except the truth? It’s my truth. If you don’t like it, you should go someplace else."

As Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) said in an op-ed response to the FCC vote, "The airwaves are owned by the public, not the mega media corporations. The American people deserve information from many different, independent outlets, with diverse, fair coverage from all sides of an issue, and different points of view."

The last thing our democracy needs is fewer independent media voices. Congress has the power to reverse this rule change, and if you agree that they should, let your voice be heard. Following the vote, a bipartisan group of 26 senators sent a letter to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, vowing to "immediately move legislation that will revoke and nullify the proposed rule." Please give these Senators a stronger voice by also signing this online petition.

For more on big media and net neutrality matters, checkout Freepress

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December 16, 2007


Impeachment: let's get exponential

Among many excellent topics of discussion in this evening's Constitutional Forum (see previous post), Congressman Dennis Kucinich related a most interesting story. He said a former member of the House Judiciary Committee during the Nixon/Watergate crisis told him that NOT ONE member of the Democrat-controlled committee was willing to proceed with impeachment hearings against President Nixon.

"What started the fire, then?" Kucinich asked.

"The people," was the reply.

Need a light?

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December 15, 2007


Hang in there, Bill

Dear Bill,

Happy Birthday, dude! Wow, 216 years since you were RAD-ified! Where has the time gone, bro? It seems like just last week you were rising up as the law of the land and laying down the promises of free speech, peaceable assembly, exercise (or not) of religion, petition (airing of?) grievances to the gummint and at least nine other great things that citizens of these United States have been able to depend on across the centuries.

But lately some foks [sic] who claim to be your pals have been giving you a hard time. Doesn't seem fair to be pressing so hard on a person of your vintage, but press they have. And speaking of press, the big dogs among them have hardly been exercising that right to freedom you put up for them way back. And the kids? Man, poor little Article VI has had its hide tanned but good by these thugs. It's gotta be painful for someone of your age and wisdom to see Six and lifelong pal Habeas torn asunder.

But hang in there buddy, help is on the way. In fact, Sunday night Dec. 16 at 8 p.m. New York time is a big pow-wow with you as the guest star! Congressman Dennis Kucinich's presidential campaign is sponsoring the first of three gatherings of experts and scholars for a forum to shed new light on the U.S. Constitution and its relevance to current political issues such as the war in Iraq, threatened aggression against Iran, and the Patriot Act. It's going to be simulcast online at This first program will focus primarily on you, Bill. World-renowned author Gore Vidal will kick-off the evening with a five-minute video message. Congressman Kucinich will then join a panel including John Kaminski, Chair of Maine Lawyers for Democracy, who will present a sort of "This Is Your Life, Bill O'R," and I'm confident you'll have plenty to reminisce about those heady days of Reconstruction with your stalwart pal XIV and his faithful sidekick the Due Process Clause. Who knows? Perhaps Chief Justice Warren will pop by to entertain the younguns with tales of how Miranda v. Arizona squeaked by 5-4. Ray McGovern, retired CIA officer and commentator on intelligence-related issues since the late 1990's, and Steve Cobble, co-founder of will also be on the panel.

Isn't that GREAT, Bill? I sure hope all the football fans and Desperate Housewives can forego their Extreme Makeovers to give a listen. They might just be moved to slide a contribution to the congressman's campaign, the only one out there with the impeachment of the two highest office-holders in the land on its platform.

On this auspicious day, Best Wishes for many more!

Love, O' Tim

P.S. - You won't remember this, but look at this awesome photo I dug up at the Archives of Lil' Billy and the Fathers in the Nursery!

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December 13, 2007


The Monthly Max

November-December happenings: Max can crawl as fast as a bug, he can stand/cruise along anything strong enough to lean on (that doesn't preclude him trying things that aren't), he can hoard Cheerios in his cheeks with the best of chipmunks, and he is becoming fluent in Pterodactyl and Sleastak.

It was in here yesterday

It looks like one of them Devil Dogs, Mom

I don't care what it is, I must have it

My thinking place

And my happy place, too

Just listed: Well-appointed exer-saucer with plenty of room for the kids,

solarium w/deck & skylights!

December 09, 2007


I meme, you meme, he/she/it memes

Oyvez, he's done it again ! ! ! But I am flattered, and must also confess that he's passed along another good one, this time a "thinker," the true essence of any good meme.

It appears the goal here is to cast this multi-authored tome in a multitude of directions in hopes of getting it to go viral on one or more tracks. I am seventh in line as it comes to me. Mathman appears twice so far as he was the meat in a meme sandwich (a testament to just how ka-raazy this thing could get).

We begin:

I woke up hungry. I pulled my bedroom curtain to the side and looked out on a hazy morning. I dragged myself into the kitchen, in search of something to eat. I reached for a jar of applesauce sitting next to the sink, and found it very cold to the touch. I opened the jar and realized it was frozen. (Splotchy)

"That's strange," I said out loud to no one in particular. My fingers slowly reached towards the jar again. My body experienced a wave of apprehension as weighted blanket covering me as I did so. The jar was completely frozen.

I picked it up and stared at it, my fingers stung with little knives of chill. "What the..." again I spoke aloud. Then I realized what had happened with a shock. Suddenly the jar flew from my hand. It shattered creating a collage-like mixture of frozen applesauce and glass shards on my kitchen floor, the lid lazily rolling to a stop across the room.

I stood for a moment considering what all this meant. Oh, I knew what it meant, I didn’t need to waste time thinking about it. He was back. And he was mad.

I ran down the hallway and flung open the door at the end. I was immediately hit with a blast of cold. I took a step back as I tried to catch my breath. I bent over, hands on my knees panting. He always had this remarkable effect on me. After so much time, it no longer scared me, but it was a shock nonetheless……

“You know,” I panted, “There’s no need to break things to get my attention.”

I woke up in the same position as in my dream, on my knees. I was sweating even though the room was freezing. (Mathman6293)

I was used to the house being quite cold in the mornings, as the night log usually burns out around one a.m. when I am dreaming cozily under my covers, not normally waking to put a new one on until morning. I was surprised because on the rare occasions that it actually had reached sub-freezing temperatures in the house, I had awakened in the night to restart the fire. I would have been worried about the pipes before P-Day, but there hadn’t been running water in two years and that was one of the few advantages to being dependent on rainwater, no pipes. (Freida Bee)

The nightmares began during the following spring. The apple trees came to life in my dreams. At first the trees spoke and I thought they were amusing. That changed when the messages arrived. Lately, their anger was directed at me. (Mathman6293)

There is only one thing to which I can attribute this shift. Since the shock wore off of realizing that Coker's P-Day "festivities" had split me into two identical, morphable beings (what did it take - two, three weeks?), I spend much of my time trying to advance to the simultaneous rather than the sequential. I haven't progressed to an understanding of the chronological differences of the continua, nor am I absolutely sure there are just the two. But from everything he's displayed to this point I know Coker can't be happy that I am making progress, and so it appears that somehow he's broken through and is giving me shit during the only time I can recharge. I've got to find a place where I can focus one hundred percent. This cold weather combined with a slowly increasing Green Time isn't helping.

How many more are there like him? And are all of them as paranoid about their power? Surely there's an individual out there, a collective perhaps, that's hip to newbies and sees spreading the knowledge of the planes as the only way back to sanity, the only way toward the sublime society that Vandreau advocated for so many years before the fucking wheels fell off. (O' Tim)

And so on to the writers:

Miz UV
Joe (you owe me two now)

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December 08, 2007


He'll get away with it

I know that I recently posted about fighting the good fight, but seeing the way the Bush administration gets a pass on every-fucking-thing, I can't help but be feelin' a little Todd tonight.

And instead of putting a countdown ticker in my sidebar, I'm going with one constructive idiot's dedicated method of reminding me/us that the days left to impeach Bush and Cheney are dwindling.

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December 04, 2007


The soundtrack of my life

Ye gods! Mathman has turned down meme lane once more, and honks as he throws the paper through my window.

I've not seen this one before, though, and it's pretty cool. The rules:

1. Put your music player on Shuffle
2. For each question, press the Next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER WHAT (this is in capital letters, so it is very serious).


21st Century Schizoid Man - King Crimson

Crosseyed And Painless – Talking Heads

LaGrange - ZZ Top

Jammin’ – Bob Marley

Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar) - The Doors

Feelin’ Alright – Traffic

Conservative Christian, Right Wing Republican, Straight, White, American Males - Todd Snider

Achilles Last Stand - Led Zeppelin

A Change Is Gonna Come - Sam Cooke

10. WHAT IS 2+2?
Give Back The Key To My Heart - Wilco

John Barleycorn Must Die - Traffic

I Second That Emotion - Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders

Laugh Laugh - The Beau Brummels

Home At Last – Steely Dan

Eyes Of The World - String Cheese Incident

A Wolf At The Door – Radiohead

Let’s Work Together - Canned Heat

I Need More Love – Robert Randolph & The Family Band

That’s How AIDS Began - Todd Snider

After The Goldrush – Neil Young

Salt Of The Earth – Rolling Stones

The Man Who Loved Life – The Jayhawks

I'm thoroughly amazed at how some fit in so perfect, while others might have fit better under a different question. I'm also amazed that no Dead showed up, but I did get the Jerry/Merle Motown cover and the String Cheese version of "Eyes."

I am cross-posting this at Where The Vibe Is and invite my fellow musical authors (nat, Joe, Cheezy and Jefe) to post up their results there and/or on their own blogs. Hmm, I’m thinking I need to see Miz UV’s results as well. And what the hell, because he needs to make up his mind about blogging (and because I want to see 22 songs from his player) Fez Monkey can get on it also.

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December 03, 2007


My asshole is set to be defeated

As we come into the homestretch in The 2007, it seems a nomination for one of my favorite rectal cavities in Joe The Troll’s monthly American Asshole poll is going to fall several lengths short. Joe has typically dug up some great choices to recognize for assholery in the next-to-last month of competition, but I had my marbles on none other than the anything-but-reverend Fred Phelps, 78, the disbarred lawyer, father of thirteen (four estranged, according to liberally-biased Wikipedia) and hate-crusading pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas.

Phelps and his congregation, the majority of which reportedly consists of his extended family, have made numerous headlines with their disgusting protests at military funerals. These protests are fueled by their claim that “God Almighty” is punishing the U.S. through the Iraq War because, among other things, the country is "a sodomite nation of flag-worshiping idolators." Westboro maintains several websites with names like,, and (along with about six or seven other websites dedicated to specific deity-despised nations).

Phelps makes the AA list at Under The Bridge for the recent $10.9 million judgment against Westboro in a lawsuit filed by the father of Lance Cpl. Matthew A. Snyder. The Marine was killed in Iraq on March 3, 2006 when his transport vehicle overturned. According to the Kansas City Star, “Snyder’s Maryland funeral drew Phelps’ followers and their usual antics, such as flashing placards at the passing motorcade that read, ‘Thank God for dead soldiers’ and ‘Fag Troops’."

If organizing consummately hateful efforts to disrupt the funeral of a 20-year-old soldier, an only son described by his father as "the love of my life" isn't at the very least, as the verdict determined, an “invasion of privacy by intrusion and intentional infliction of emotional distress” upon the Snyder family, I don't know what else could be.

Phelps deserves to owe a debt to them, and hopefully the action will bankrupt the church to the point that their insane hatred is made unobtrusive. Sadly, he may get the check his ass can't cash covered by the First Amendment, which has heretofore allowed him to do all this in the name of his benevolent supreme being, including tirades against Sweden, Ireland, Hillary Clinton and, in what seems to me to be a valiant attempt to prove that he is an equal-opportunity hatemonger, Ronald Reagan, Billy Graham and Jerry Falwell (Westboro cancelled plans to pickett Falwell’s funeral as well as the services for the slain Amish school girls). The guy is pure sunshine, no?

So while the Constitution protects his acts from being technically considered criminal, it does not rescue him and his ilk from moral bankruptcy. I know they would find that laughable, but I will be glad to discuss it at Phelps’ funeral service, should they be foolish enough to schedule one after he croaks. My Day-Glo “Phelps Brand® Fertilizer is GOOD Fertilizer” sign and mega phone stand ready.

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