Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Moderate Voice exposes the GOP's presidential hopeful


IF THIS THE KIND OF COMPETITION THE GOP PLANS TO THROW UP AGAINST OBAMA IN looks bad for the Elephant set. See what you think about this column by...


"It is a bit early to order the 57th Presidential Inaugural collectibles but the smart money has to be on Obama getting re-elected in 2012. This week was a major victory for Obama, not only with the signing of his stimulus package, but also with a well-received prime time address that bolstered his approval ratings while the country continues its economic nosedive.

It couldn’t get any better for Obama, could it? Oh, yes… I forgot about the other actors in our national political drama, the hapless Republican Party. First, Michael Steele announces that he is going to start a civil war within the ranks to get rid of sitting Republican United States Senators because of their vote on the stimulus package. Second, the party revives Newt Gingrich as its new (or retro) leader of the loyal opposition. Yesterday, the CPAC true believers booed Tucker Carlson for having the nerve to give them political and media advice that might actually work in the 2010 midterm elections.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the cherry on top of the unpalatable sundae is the remarks by Governor Bobby Jindal on Tuesday night. Not only did the GOP front runner look like a spelling bee contestant that has stage fright, it has been learned that his story about the Louisiana sheriff was totally made up. Jindal’s presidential run and the best hope of the Republican Party to offer an alternative to Obama over the next three years failed miserably.

For the GOP, it’s back to the drawing board. For Obama, you better keep the name of that horseshoe maker a secret… everybody is going to want one."

Jindal image via Google Images

Pay Toilets on Airline? Customers without cash in deep s**t!

LONDON (Reuters) – Ryanair's chief executive said Europe's largest budget carrier might start charging passengers for using the toilet while flying, but his spokesman cautioned Michael O'Leary often just made things up at will.

"One thing we have looked at in the past and are looking at again is the possibility of maybe putting a coin slot on the toilet door so that people might actually have to spend a pound ($1.43) to spend a penny in future," O'Leary told BBC television.

He said this would not inconvenience passengers traveling without cash. "I don't think there is anybody in history that has got on board a Ryanair aircraft with less than a pound."

A spokesman said the airline had considered the fee as a possible source of extra revenue since passengers had the option of not using the toilet on board, but added that "maybe O'Leary was just taking the p*ss this morning."

To read the rest of the story click here.

image via DW/Mattox via Google Images

Controversial doll turns fifty: Barbie is still a hot item


Guess who just turned 50? That's right. Barbie.

The real age Barbie offered today, with gray hair and all (shown top left), is a far cry from the original Barbie. One thing is for sure about Barbie - she changes with the times, as evidenced by the photo above in her black leather and fishnet stockings. A month ago a group called "Campaign for Commercial Free Childhood" named the Dallas Cheerleader Barbie the Worst Toy of the Year Award - the TOADY (Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young children) for causing harmful expectations on what girls are supposed to be like.

But not everyone things she's bad. Collectors rave about her. Children still play with her. And she's probably as popular now as she was in 1959. Here's an article from The Chicago Tribune about her birthday and the decades she dressed up.

images via Google Images  

Friday, February 27, 2009

'Attractive' Lions with Dark Manes have a Little Secret!

I was watching the Animal planet the other day and they had some interesting information about lions.

It seems the darker their mane is, the more attractive they are to the females. Scientists have determined that those with dark manes tend to be healthy and even have less lice.

There's one big drawback however. Those dark manes, unlike the light ones, attract the sun more and tend to sap the lion's strength.

When their that hot, scientists say, their sperm is weak and too slow to impregnate an eager female! What irony! What a trick of nature.

It's one time when the best-looking mammal doesn't get the girl!


Servings are getting smaller these days but this is crazy!

Back in 1969, a school buddy and I were traveling in Canada when we ran across a little Mom & Pop hamburger stand in Manitoba. When we got our order they were the smallest hamburgers we'd ever seen! We even took a picture of those miserable burgers for posterity. Now, many years later, it looks like someone has made an even smaller burger. Is it the smallest burger in the world? Who knows? Who cares? It's kinda fun to look at.

(images credit: Daily Cognition)

It's really not a printable story unless a man bites a dog!

Back in journalism school in the mid-seventies, I remember one instructor who always used the phrase, "If a dog bites a man - there's no story. But, if a man bites a dog - then you have something!

image via   

Repentant Republicans: Party Chief looks too change GOP image!



"Michael Steele sure has an interesting idea for how to rebrand the Republican Party: Loudly announcing at CPAC that they messed up, and pledging to do better now."

Click here to read the rest of the story.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Citizen Joe: Republicans looking at possible new leader!

You heard it here.

Joe-the-Plumber is being invited to a lot of Republican functions lately, and the rumor is that he's going to be the next LEADER of the Republican Party!

GOP members are grooming him as the next straight-talking, folksy kinda guy, who could inspire extreme Conservatives to back him for the next presidential election in 2012. One GOP insider, who declined to give his name, said that Joe wouldn't have any problems with attacking Liberals and tossing out lies about Democrats.

Critics say he was a lousy reporter and had less insight than a titmouse. Past customers from his plumbing business say that he wasn't afraid to get in the shit...there only complaint was that he played with turds a lot!

Political analysts say Joe could team up with Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and make a strong ticket for 2012. Until then, if anybody has a plumbing job they need done at a reasonable price...just see Joe. He's busy trying to pay his back taxes and will probably give you a hell of a deal!

Image via


Attorney General Holder halts medical marijuana club raids!


"Attorney General Eric Holder said at a press conference Wednesday that the Justice Department will no longer raid medical marijuana clubs that are established legally under state law. His declaration is a fulfillment of a campaign promise by President Barack Obama, and marks a major shift from the previous administration."

For the whole story click here.


image via Google Images

Here's a Hands-On approach to sculpting shapes...

image via:

There's a War going on in Mexico that has expanded into the United States


The images above are from Mexican cartels that have been warring among themselves for over a year now. The violence has crossed the border and now Americans are being killed and kidnapped at alarming rates. Travel advisories to American tourists regarding Mexico have been full of warnings. It's just not safe anywhere in Mexico right now. To get a good overview on what's happening today take advantage of the two following links:



Officials plan on taping magnets to crocodile heads to "disrupt" their homing ability!

Rueters writer Jane Sutton talks about crocodiles invading neighborhoods...

Florida wildlife managers have launched an experiment to see if they can keep crocodiles from returning to residential neighborhoods by temporarily taping magnets to their heads to disrupt their "homing" ability.

Researchers at Mexico's Crocodile Museum in Chiapas reported in a biology newsletter they had some success with the method, using it to permanently relocate 20 of the reptiles since 2004.

"We said, 'Hey, we might as well give this a try," Lindsey Hord, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's crocodile response coordinator, said on Tuesday.

Crocodiles are notoriously territorial and when biologists move them from urban areas to new homes in the wild, they often go right back to the place where they were captured, traveling up to 10 miles a week to get there.

Scientists believe they rely in part on the Earth's magnetic fields to navigate, and that taping magnets to both sides of their heads disorients them.

"They're just taped on temporarily," Hord said. "We just put the magnets on when they're captured and since they don't know where we take them, they're lost. The hope would be that they stay where we take them to."

Hord and his co-workers have tried it on two crocodiles since launching the experiment in January, affixing "a common old laboratory magnet" to both sides of the animals' heads. One got run over by a car and died, but the other has yet to return, Hord said.

Once an endangered species, American crocodiles' numbers have rebounded to nearly 2,000 in coastal south Florida, their only habitat in the continental United States. That puts them in increasing contact with humans, especially in areas where backyards border on canals around Miami and the Florida Keys.

Crocodiles are still classified as a threatened species, so game managers are reluctant to move them to new areas where they might be killed battling other resident crocodiles for turf rights, Hord said. Unlike alligators, which are far more numerous, each crocodile is considered important to preserving the species, he said.

"These crocodiles are unique and valuable creatures and we feel like we have a responsibility to live with these animals as much as we can," he said.

Many frightened residents don't share that view, although crocodiles are shy creatures, Hord said. Wildlife managers will try to relocate any thought to pose a significant risk, mainly those that seem to have lost their fear of humans.

Most crocodiles in Florida are tagged as hatchlings so biologists can easily recognize them, Hord said.

Any that come back twice after being captured and moved are sent to zoos or otherwise placed in captivity, something biologists hope to avoid if the magnet experiment works.

"This one is by no means a really well-developed scientific study with a control group. It's just something we thought we would try," Hord said. "We do have to make some room to live with them."

(Editing by Pascal Fletcher and Todd Eastham) image via Google Images

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Here's a case of terrible timing after Chimp attack on Woman


Ashton-Drake Galleries had the bad luck to offer us a baby monkey doll the same week Travis the chimp went berserk and mauled a woman.

This ad ran in one of the Sunday circulars in last week's Boston Globe.

In the defense of the advertiser, there was really nothing it could do to prevent this ad from appearing in newspapers this weekend.

Sunday circulars are created and printed far in advance. Getting the circular pulled in time would also have required the agreement of all the other advertisers appearing in the same circular.

Sometimes the sublime suggests secrets scarcely seen!


Hidden beauty is often in the eye of the beholder who can see beyond a first glance. What do you see here?  

images credit: Octavio Ocampo)

The Ugly Head of Racism Rises in Texas Town of Paris

I can't believe that in this day and age, there are people so prejudice that they have to do hateful acts to show their their displeasure. This account from the Chicago Tribune this morning sickens me...

By Howard Witt | Tribune correspondent/2/24/09

HOUSTON — Only a few weeks ago, race relations had reached such a low point in the troubled east Texas town of Paris that federal Justice Department mediators were called in to try to bring together black and white citizens, but the public meeting quickly dissolved into rancor.

Now fresh racial tensions are erupting inside one of the town's biggest employers, the Turner Industries pipe fabrication plant, where black employees charge that hangman's nooses, Confederate flags and racist graffiti have been appearing throughout the workplace for months. Click here for the rest of the story.

(Photo by Karl Mitchell / 2/24/09)

A Real Ball Buster! Woman assaults boyfriend who didn't call her!


Does this woman look like a testicle crusher? Well, that's what cops claim University of Colorado student Chalie Simon did to a former boyfriend early Saturday morning during a confrontation at a campus apartment.

Simon, a 19-year-old sophomore, went to Job Donkor's home at about 4 AM and became irate when he sought to remove her from the residence. That's when Simon allegedly "grabbed his testicles and squeezed hard," according to a police report. Donkor, 23, replied, "Yeah, it hurt a lot," when a cop asked about Simon's squeeze play. Donkor told police that he had dated Simon "on and off" during the prior 18 months, and that they had broken up "approximately 20 times."

Simon was apparently angry because Donkor had not, as promised, called or sent her a text message by 3 AM (police noted that another woman was sleeping in Donkor's bedroom when they arrived). Simon, pictured below in a Boulder County Sheriff's Office mug shot, was arrested on assault, trespass, and domestic violence charges.

image via

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

FROGS CAN FLY: 'A Piece of ART as a Living Substance'


Why frogs?” / Interview

PHOTO via MiMi Moscow

“K’ung-fu-tzu” (Confucius) 2003

The jump of frog symbolizes thirst of flying.
As genetic magic dream, about that far time,
when frogs were the ANGELS.

Project FROG CAN FLY refers to people, frogs being only actors.
DE I: Why frogs?
Mi-Mi: Because they are small and light.
Can you imagine a Scooby Doo ring for example?
Of course you can, but don’t break your finger…
If you find a real dog set in place of a stone.
But a frog is an actor of a small chamber genre.
One cannot find a better main character for this role in nature
if one wants to develop the theme “A piece of art as a living
None of the fixing locks in the project are made of rubber and
their size is between 3 and 5 centimeters in the waist.
Strict! ... As on a podium. What can one do?- c’est la vie.
It is impossible to fit into somebody else’s shoes.
DE I: What principle was used to select an actor for the role?
Mi-Mi: The only principle: talent and desire to work.
Not all the applicants passed the audition. And,…
there were so many of them.
Some could not stand the intense schedule, some failed
because of personal reasons,
Others thought it was mere “talk-show” …
But the results of selection produced real Stars.
Frogs same as people may possess Star quality and Virtuosity.
It wasn’t necessary to force them to do special or
unnatural movements.
What was most difficult... to wait for a "Revelation"
on their side and not to interfere with this process.
Everybody is gifted in many different ways, and frogs
are not an exception.
Some open slowly and thoughtfully, like Confucius,
Others inflame instantly, like Eddy Chlorophyll,
But the truth is they cool down the very next moment.
Eddy is a natural born comedian.
Eddy is the one and only frog who can so selflessly put his paws
on his tummy and smile with such charm.
Nobody taught him, he just knew how, he was capable
and used it with grace.
He did 2 full days of shooting in the project and then he left.
Afterwards he used to come quite often but ...only as a spectator.
Confucius is unequivocally a Shakespearian character.
He is superb in tragic roles. If the project could continue,
he would make a remarkable King Lear.
But, on September 21st all Moscow frogs go to sleep till spring.
There's nothing to be done about it.
DE I: We hope nobody was hurt?
Mi-Mi: On the contrary, everybody ended up happy.
Siberian Postman and Fly of Destiny now live at our place.
They stopped being interested in mosquitoes and now eat delicious
African cockroaches with tremendous appetite.
They became fat and look contented.
“Freedom and Will” issues are of no relevance at the moment.
At nights they lose themselves singing duets

interview / “Desillusionist” magazine / 2006
Translation by

Lyan In Su & Steven Brayshaw.


EGG ART : Modern Masters Make Marvelous Miniatures


(image credit: Lew Jensen)            Cranes" by Gary LeMaster


"Unicorn" by Ron Cheruka                  The Grecian Urn" by Gary LeMaster

Remember the highly praised Faberge eggs from the courts of Russian tzar?

Modern masters of eggshell filigree carving make similarly detailed works, using only the nature-given material: eggshell itself, cut in creative patterns by hand with high-speed drills.

GOP Strategy : Firmly Bury Head in Hole and Just Say No to Everything!

The word must have gone out when they lost the presidential election, that all Republicans are going to be big babies in defeat!
Just look at what their doing in Congress and the House of Representatives. Republican governors are also in lock-step with the new GOP strategy to “Just Say No” to whatever Democrats purpose.
It’s a mindless and petulant approach that doesn’t serve all Americans. But the GOP isn’t worried about all Americans. They serve a constituency that is out of touch with the majority of Americans.
They call themselves Conservatives, but they are really more like Extremists, who want things their way and that’s all there is to it. Confronted with reality, these GOP followers start throwing mud. They conjure up a crisis where there is none. They twist the words of Democrats into mangled messages to mislead the general public.
The so-called Moral Majority and Neo-Cons, have no positive direction to go because their own response to anything outside of their beliefs, is vicious attacks and lies. With one side of their mouth they say they hope the new Economic Recovery Plan will help Americans. From the other side of their mouth they are spewing dissent. They don’t want President Obama and the Democrats to succeed.
If they had any guts they should at least admit it. Partisanship has poisoned our country. GOP governors are positioning themselves as possible presidential candidates in 2012, by refusing help from the Recovery Plan. Damn the people in their state who need it. The GOP is sticking to core beliefs, which by the way have economically crippled America during the last eight years.
Look at what Bush and GOP cronies have wrought. A country in crisis.
You’d think that the Neo-Cons would wake up with reality bitch-slapping them everyday on Wall Street and Main Street USA.
Not so. The GOP’s core following is wealthy people who finance their follies because they want to continue being rich. Any concept of equality goes out the door when money is the motivator. They sit on Ivory Towers and call upon God to help them continue their dominance over the average American.
So that leaves us with a snake in our political system. It will strike out any attempt at bi-partisanship to prove how powerful it is. Tattoo’s, reading something like, “ Might makes Right and Money makes Might” are inscribed somewhere on their brains.
How can any sensible person work with someone who comes to the table with an attitude like that? Here’s what the GOP Extremists need to understand: the majority of Americans support Obama. That’s why he was elected president. Obama’s clear mandate to help the majority of Americans should count for something. In my opinion, the GOP won’t be happy until they get back in power. That however, is not going to happen for a long time, if ever again.
AS IT STANDS, we wouldn’t be struggling to survive as a country today if the Republican’s hadn’t made such a mess of things

image via

It may be Hard Times but Mardi Gras revelers are having fun

Tourism officials don't believe the economic downturn has dampened the mood at this year's Mardi Gras celebrations, and say that big crowds over the weekend and nearly full hotels bode well for the annual event.

Image via

Monday, February 23, 2009

NORML announces introduction of landmark pot bill that will tax and regulate it like alcohol & tobacco!


February 23, 2009
Dale Gieringer, Director, Cal NORML  (415) 563-5858

San Francisco, Feb. 23 - Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-SF) announced the introduction of a landmark bill to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol and tobacco at a press conference today.

"With the state in the midst of an historic economic crisis, the move towards regulating and taxing marijuana is simply common sense," said Ammiano. "This legislation would generate much needed revenue for the state, restrict access to only those over 21, end the environmental damage to our public lands from illicit crops, and improve public safety by redirecting law enforcement efforts to more serious crimes."

The bill would save the state's taxpayers over $1 billion, according to an economic analysis by California NORML, with additional economic benefits of $12 -18 billion. background/CA_legalization2.html.

The bill would provide for licensed producers and distributors, who could sell to adults over 21.  Producers would pay an excise tax of $50 per ounce, or about $1 per joint.   Sales taxes would generate additional revenues, bringing total tax revenues to $1 billion. Additional economic benefits would be generated in the form of employment, business and payroll taxes and spin-off industries, like the wine industry, amounting to some $12 - $18 billion.

Last but not least, the bill would save the state $170 million in costs for arrest, prosecution and imprisonment of marijuana offenders.  The result would be to eliminate such prohibition-related problems as black market dealers and smugglers, grow houses, and pirate gardeners on public lands. 

The bill would not alter California's medical marijuana law, which allows patients, caregivers and collectives to grow medicine for themselves.

"California has the opportunity to be the first state in the nation to enact a smart, responsible public policy for the control and regulation of marijuana," said Ammiano.  His bill is the first of its kind since

California outlawed cannabis in 1913.  Only after being prohibited did marijuana become widely popular, eventually being enjoyed by millions of Californians.  Due to soaring enforcement costs, the legislature decriminalized possession of small quantities in the Moscone Act of 1975, saving the state's taxpayers $100 million per year.

However, production and distribution remained illegal, leading to continued prohibition-related enforcement costs.   Last year, agents eradicated a record 5 million illegal plants, up more than tenfold in five years.   Marijuana arrests jumped to 74,119 in 2007,  their highest level since the Moscone Act.  California has over 1,500 inmates in state prison for marijuana offenses, ten times as many as in 1980.   Marijuana is reported to account for 61% of the illicit  drug traffic from Mexico, where prohibition-related violence has killed over 6,800.

"Tom Ammiano deserves credit for recognizing that legal taxation and regulation is the only solution to California's marijuana problem," says Gieringer of California NORML, a sponsor of the bill. "Marijuana users would happily  pay taxes to buy it legally."

California NORML also thanks former Sen. John Vasconcellos for providing the original draft of this legislation.

Recent polls indicate that public support for legal marijuana is growing.  A new Zogby poll found 44% of American voters support taxing and regulating marijuana, with support as high as 58% in western states:

image via Google Images

Time to get rid of the myths about why rich people deserve their money

Matt Miller, writing for The Daily Beast, thinks "The sooner we shed our illusion that people end up financially where they deserve to, the faster we’ll fix the economy."

"Yes, it should have been obvious before, but now that a seemingly endless parade of bankers have made fortunes while gutting their institutions and sinking the economy, we’re finally having our eureka moment.

Wealth in America increasingly comes not as the proverbial reward of the “free market,” but from rigged compensation systems that reward mediocrity or outright failure. This is causing a brain burp among many professionals — a group I call the Lower Upper Class – because it’s an affront to an idea they’ve cherished since they first started bringing home A’s from school and acing their SATs."

Click here to read Miller's whole column.

Slivers of splendor: semi-precious stones sliced to sell


Photographer Bill Atkinson reveals the wondrous textures within the semi-precious stones.

 (Check out more examples from his recent book "Within the Stone"). Mr. Atkinson was one of the original developers of the Macintosh computer, responsible for Finder, QuickDraw, and HyperCard, among others. He is now an amazing nature photographer who is also working on next-generation printing technologies.


Shame! Shame! Shame! Lehman Brothers CEO hiding his assets

Despite the fact that Lehman Brothers got a bailout from the taxpayers last year, CEO Richard Fuld get $22 million in "retirement" pay! Between 1993 and 2007, Fuld was paid $466 million in wages and bonuses. Now it looks like Fuld is trying to hid his assets in case someone comes after his thieving ass! He recently sold one of the five houses he and his wife jointly own, to his wife for $100 in an effort to shift and protect his assets. How low will he go?

Tom Engelhardt, writing for The Nation takes a look hard look at Fuld's history.

For the whole column click here.

image via Google Images

Sunday, February 22, 2009

In Today's Times-Standard: The real war on drugs


A survey is only as good as the questions it asks.

The California Attorney General's office recently released a student drug usage survey which illustrates that point.

Past state and national surveys have missed the mark for measuring substance use among secondary school students, according to the 12th biennial California Student Survey (CSS).

Professor Rodney Skager, who started this statewide survey in 1985, added a couple of key questions to the latest survey - conducted in 2007 and 2008 - that make a huge difference in getting an accurate picture of what really happens with students in public secondary schools.

For today's AS IT STANDS - The Real War on Drugs: survey finds past campaigns were flawed, in it's entirety click here. 

image via Google Images

Bad Boy Burris: What is the senate going to do with him?


"The Senate's Republican leader wants a quick recommendation from the Senate ethics committee on Illinois Democrat Roland Burris.

The committee has begun a preliminary inquiry, and Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., hopes the committee will look at the matter quickly. Whatever the recommendation, the full Senate would make a final decision."

Click here for full story. Image via Universial Press Syndicate

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...