Monday, July 30, 2007


Broadcaster Tom Snyder Dies At 71 - Entertainment News Story - KNBC | Los Angeles

Broadcaster Tom Snyder Dies At 71 - Entertainment News Story - KNBC Los Angeles: "His catch phrase for the show was: 'Fire up a colortini, sit back, relax, and watch the pictures, now, as they fly through the air.' Snyder smoked throughout his show, the cigarette cloud swirling around him during interviews.
He gained more fame when Dan Ackroyd lampooned him in the early days of Saturday Night Live.
In 1995, he returned to late night television as the host of 'The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder' on CBS. The program followed David Letterman's 'Late Show' until 1998, when Snyder was replaced by Craig Kilborn."

Just thinking of him the other day, this was so interesting and, well, sad to see. Snyder was a casual professional, something I quite enjoy in people. His show was really simple, kind of similar in set design to Charlie Rose. He was the always smiling, jovial late night guy whose personality made up for some of his guests' lacking. I have since quite missed his show, and wish his family well.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


We Are All Sinners

Episcopal Priest Faces DUI, Public Indecency Charges - News Story - WLWT Cincinnati: "GLENDALE, Ohio -- An Episcopal priest faces several charges, including driving under the influence and public indecency.
Robert Hufford, 63, a chaplain and faculty member at Bethany School in Glendale, was arrested July 14 in Monroe.
A caller told police that a man was seen fondling himself in front of a car around 4 a.m. at a rest stop near Interstate 75."

No comment.

Friday, July 27, 2007


PepsiCo to disclose water supplier: tap - Los Angeles Times

PepsiCo to disclose water supplier: tap - Los Angeles Times: "PepsiCo Inc. will spell out that its Aquafina bottled water is made with tap water, a concession to the growing environmental and political opposition to the bottled water industry.
According to Corporate Accountability International, a U.S. watchdog group, the world's No. 2 beverage company will include the words 'public water source' on Aquafina labels.
'If this helps clarify the fact that the water originates from public sources, then it's a reasonable thing to do,' said Michelle Naughton, a Pepsi-Cola North America spokeswoman.
Pepsi's Aquafina and Coca-Cola Co.'s Dasani are both made from purified water from public reservoirs, as opposed to Groupe Danone's Evian or Nestle's Poland Spring, so-called spring waters shipped from specific locations that the firms say have notably clean water. "

When I have said to tap water drinkers that I don't like Aquafina, they always say, "water doesn't have taste". Uh, yeah, it does. If you have ever had water from a well, and then had water from a spring and then had water from a public tap, then try to tell me that the three didn't have very distinct tastes. They do. Years ago, when visiting a friend here in a small town in Central California, the tap water was so brown and disgusting, I didn't even want to brush my teeth in it. Public water is not always so healthy. I have been bottle fed ever since. Pepsi's admission is only surprising in that they admitted it, not that it was tap water.


Pot smoking linked to psychotic disorders?

Pot smoking linked to psychotic disorders - Los Angeles Times: "The mood disorder studies were less successful in filtering outside factors, so the increased risk may be unrelated to smoking marijuana, Zammit said.
Dr. Victor Reus, a psychiatrist at UC San Francisco who was not involved in this study, said he was unconvinced by Zammit's conclusions for both psychotic and mood disorders.
Too many outside factors contribute to the disorders, and the studies Zammit used were too vague to draw hard conclusions, he said.
'There's a limit to what you can do with the data that's in these studies,' he said."

We talk all of the time about how many psychological disorders go undiagnosed, yet these researchers think that it is just the higher dose of pot. That is so misleading, and makes me wonder if they are just cozying up to the Administration in order to get their next study funded. I mean, they didn't even do a new study. These researchers used old studies to come to this conclusion, presumably having never met or talked to the subjects. They would also, I would asssume, not have had access to the psychiatrists who were examining these some 61,000 people. In fact, to be clear on this issue, they would have both needed 61,000 people who had been under psychiatric care for most of their lives and would have needed access to all of those early psychiatric healthcare providers in order to make determinations. Even that could be called into question, but it is better than this very questionable study of studies.
People who tend to enjoy large amounts of pot over many years seem to, from my experience, have other things going on. They may have other addictions, rocky pasts, or any host of other problems. That tends to be true for alcoholics, sex addicts, and meth users seemingly, for that matter. To single out the most inocuous drug makes me question these "researchers" more than the drug itself.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


No Wonder People Come To Hate The Government

On Base, a Plea to Give Each Death Its Due - New York Times: "FORT LEWIS, Wash. — Twenty soldiers deployed to Iraq from this Army base were killed in May, a monthly high. That same month, the base announced a change in how it would honor its dead: instead of units holding services after each death, they would be held collectively once a month.
The anger and hurt were immediate. Soldiers’ families and veterans protested the change as cold and logistics-driven. Critics online said the military was trying to repress bad news about deaths. By mid-June, the base had delayed the plan."

Who was the idiot that came up with this plan, and then who were the idiots that approved it? This is so obviously offensive that I cannot even imagine what these people must be thinking other than the expense, which is not an issue to be pondered after the serviceperson has died in combat. In fact, what if a company had people dying every month and they decided that they should only hold monthly memorial services? People would find that outrageous too. I do not think it is about repressing bad news. I do think it is about money, but that just cannot be an issue here. These dead are our dead. They are American service people, among those that we should hold in highest esteem in life and death. That means you give them full military honors individually. There should be no question about this.

Friday, July 20, 2007


Trusting the EPA Seems a Big Risk

Airborne Asbestos Hazard Minimized, but Debris Shows Contamination - New York Times: "A small army of workers in coveralls, rubber boots, helmets and, for at least a time, respirators swept away mud and asphalt yesterday from the vicinity of Wednesday’s steam pipe explosion as health officials and environmental experts continued to play down the danger from asbestos that was spewed by the blast and later settled to the ground.
Michael R. Bloomberg said that 12 air samples were taken throughout the day by the city’s Department of Environmental Protection and that none showed evidence of asbestos.
But 14 of 56 samples of debris collected near the blast contained asbestos. Most had just trace amounts of less than 1 percent, Mr. Bloomberg said, but two samples, believed to hold pieces of the pipe insulation, did contain what he called significant amounts of asbestos. Con Edison officials said their own sampling produced similar results.
One sample, from 41st Street and Lexington Avenue, was 8 percent asbestos, while the other, taken at 150 East 42nd Street, between Lexington and Third Avenues, contained 16 percent, according to Charles G. Sturcken, a spokesman for the Department of Environmental Protection. Results from tests on 15 other samples were pending."

The same EPA that is splitting the ridiculous hair of the asbestos being in the dust but not the air is the same one who continues to insist that the 9/11 air was safe. First, it does not take much of anything to kick up this asbestos-laden dust. Therefore, what is dust is in the air. The fact that our Environmental Protection Agency at the State or Federal level allows this kind of rubbish to be disseminated to a trusting public is really criminal. Christine Todd Whitman was just on the Hill in the last couple of weeks reasserting the sad and very dangerous claim that the air in Lower Manhattan after 9/11 was absolutely safe. Let me just take one little bit of that and run with it. When we go to the airport and board a plane, there are signs all over the outside of the airport walls that have warnings about fuel hazards. These are air and flammability warnings among others. That day, we had two fully fueled jetliners crash on one city block which fueled a fire that lasted at least a day or two. Jet fuel smoke is perfectly safe? If so, then why are smokers America's red-headed step-children? I mean seriously, if flaming jet fuel is safe, then cigarettes seem hardly the public safety issue that it is made out to be as parks across the country ban it in open air. And the jet fuel is but one of the many issues of that air in those days. I can't be the only one who think the EPA is the very stretched rubber band readying itself for a very public break. I just hope that someone wo knows more about this than I do speaks up...loudly!!


TSA Allows Lighters on Planes

U.S. Will Allow Most Types of Lighters on Planes - New York Times: "Federal aviation authorities have decided to stop enforcing a two-year-old rule against taking cigarette lighters on airplanes, concluding that it was a waste of time to search for them before passengers boarded."

Good thinking. Question: Why did it take so long? Why wasn't this seen as a major waste of time to begin with? And in all of this, I saw no apology, no real mea culpa, just a change. I guess the apology does little for all of us, but you would think that wasting the flyers' money by throwing lighters away and the taxpayers' money for the time it takes to search is worthy of a "we were so very stupid, and promise not to be that stupid in the future" type of statement. Although that may be dangerous as they are quite likely to be thick in the future as well.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


On Sontag: The Benefactor

It occurred to me today just how difficult it is to flush religion. To say it is so surface level and feels freeing, but to do it, to really free yourself takes work. After her death, there was no shortage of praise for Susan Sontag, also not any shortage of reminders of her unedited moments. The praise made me wonder, so I found the cheapest copy of one of her works on eBay and had it sitting for some time. I picked it up recently, not having a clue what to expect. The Benefactor can only be described as one totally fucked up novel. As I was reading Hippolyte describe how he remodeled his mansion for Frau, I realized that misogyny has overcome me be it through culture or as a natural matter. In fact, its genesis is not at all important. Here I am having lunch, being talked to by the bartender to whom I can hardly reply as I am so dumbfounded, offended by this anti-hero allowing himself another assault on his victim. I wasn't so offended when Amis took us into the Gulag where they tossed men in the air to count the number of broken bones from one to the other. In Amis we collectively see the many dark crevices in his mind that he is doubtlessly eager to lead the tour. No, in this, I was offended that a woman had this dark place, that she was so willing to explore and exhibit it. I thought how she must have been so embarrassed to take this to her publisher, realizing quickly that my daydream for her was probably far from true. I wondered who in hell liked this stuff. I mean, I read the reviews printed to sell the book. I am reconciled to finish the book to be able to say that I finished the book, that I read the book to have insight to her success, of which this novel gave me little. I am okay with those that will charge me with thickness or immaturity for my lack of appreciation. That's alright. Really. It is true to say that I don't get it. If I do, I will update this post later today when I finish it. I will be happy to be on to the next.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Israeli Rabbi Should Consider the Effects of his Misogyny

Chief Israeli rabbi denounces career women: "Israel's chief Ashkenazi rabbi has denounced the 'phenomenon of women who make their careers on the backs on their children,' the tabloid Maariv reported on Thursday.
'The principle role of the Jewish mother throughout the generations has been to take care of the home and the children,' Yona Metzger told a religious assembly earlier in the week, the daily said.
'It is important that this principle be respected,' he said, adding that 'a prolonged absence by women from home is damaging for children's education.'
The rabbi said he was not against women working, on the condition that they 'don't build careers.' "

I suppose, on this line of thought, that it was better for my grandmother to go without clothes and eating beans and bread three meals a day just so her mother could take care of the home. And, sure, a confident woman who "builds a career" is a home-wrecker? It would be horrible if a woman had a career of her own when her husband keeled over from a heart attack at forty, right? It is better for a woman to be a stay-at-home Mom dependent on that man even if he is unfaithful and beats her, her children, right? Yona, some of us believe that women have more to offer than the mere capacity to dust the living room.


Pelosi is Funny After All

Leveling the Praying Field - TIME: "'We talk about ways people of faith have gone wrong in the past, what they have done right and where they see it going in the future,' says [Obama's] faith-outreach adviser, Joshua DuBois. Speeches on everything from the budget to immigration to stem-cell research are carefully marinated in Scripture. 'Science is a gift of God to all of us,' said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during a debate on increased embryo-research funding, 'and science has taken us to a place that is biblical in its power to cure.' "

This is hysterical. To hear politicians parsing faith to get attention is dreadful, especially when you are mixing the idea of science and faith, which have been so ridiculously at odds. If I can see through this, chances are 'life'ers will too. They do not like the idea of science taking life, no matter how minute and it is unlikely that they will take their moral guidance from a politician.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Best Line of the Day

Flynt, Palfrey target D.C. 'hypocrisy' - Jeanne Cummings and Anne Schroeder - "How nice and what a remarkable state of affairs, a whore and a pimp are going to clean up Washington."

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


The Renewal of the 2nd Vatican Council

Vatican Says Other Christian Churches "Wounded" - New York Times: "The document said the Council's opening to other faiths recognized there were 'many elements of sanctification and truth' in other Christian denominations, but stressed only Catholicism had all the elements to be Christ's Church fully."

I think when Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens talk about the idiocy of man-made religions, they are specifically striking out at lines like this one from the 2nd Vatican Council (1962-1965). This strange superlative is now being dredged up by the current Pope, Popey Dict, in what can only be a shot across the bow at other believers.
In fact, it was just a couple of weeks ago that Fox News had Father Jonathan on saying that the sex abuse by pastors in Protestant Churches was just as widespread without the relentless coverage. I found it interesting that it could be true, but I found it absolutely disgusting to hear a man who remained a member of the Catholic Church do one of those, "Mommy, they're doing it too!!" whines. And Mommy says, "If the Protestants jump off a bridge...".

Monday, July 09, 2007


Vitter's Statement is Stupid

My Way News - Senator's Number on Escort Service List: "'This was a very serious sin in my past for which I am, of course, completely responsible,' Vitter said in the statement. 'Several years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and my wife in confession and marriage counseling. Out of respect for my family, I will keep my discussion of the matter there - with God and them. But I certainly offer my deep and sincere apologies to all I have disappointed and let down in any way.'"

What we know for sure is that Vitter likes naked women to rub around on him or for someone to suck his toes, as was the case for the honorable Dick Morris. While I am certain I understand the need to put out such a ridiculous pile as this statement, I wish it were entirely unnecessary. I wish people could just say that they enjoy a romp occasionally whether it is socially acceptable or not. Again, I really do understand that this was the piece of garbage that had to rain from his office, but I like my little dreamworld better, where honesty trumps feel-good apologies. I mean, have you ever, in your life, read anything this hollow?
There are going to be others that have to "apologize" for this nonsense. What we should be saying is that we don't care whether the men call the escort service and we don't care that women work for them as long as it is done freely, without force or cercion. The problem, of course, is that our law, much like the religion that Vitter references, does not see the two as equal. Men, under most laws, are immune to punishment on the matter, while women are carted off to jail for what is, in essence the very same offense. We should see with the number of men and the rank of many of them that this is a part of our lives whether we like it or not. I suppose I will sit alone with this take.

Friday, July 06, 2007


DC Madam is Finally Being Treated Somewhat Fairly

Alleged DC madam can distribute records - Yahoo! News: "A woman accused of running a prostitution ring in the nation's capital is free to distribute thousands of pages of phone records after a federal judge lifted a restraining order on Thursday. "

This should not even be a question. Not one for big feminist rants, I am apalled by the situation where the woman is looked at as dirty, shameful and an outsider, but the men who used her service are considered worthy of court protection. I mean, that is the argument, right? It is not rare on "Cops" to see women locked up for walking the streets while men are sent on their merry way. Women have no shot at equality in a system where that is still the norm. Either it is wrong for both sides (it isn't) or it is wrong for neither side. Remembering that not everyone has access to meaningful procreative sex at the snap of a finger, it seems we might just need to get over our superiority complex about prostitution. And really, I am not advocating their use, merely that it is not a criminal offense.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


Billy Clyde is Already Taking a Beating...

Sidelines: Gillispie making life tough for old friend: "if clyde wins 20 games i won't like him at all. if he wins 25 i will tolerate him. if he wins 30 i will like him. if he goes undefeated and wins the national title i will love him like one of my children. i am not a fanatic, just a typical big blue fan."

The story was about Billy Clyde Gillespie recruiting against his old and dear friend Bill Self. People's comments, like the one I linked on, are interesting. Why can't we support our team until there is no reason as opposed to wrinkling our brow until they do it right. I mean, UK is our team. These are "our boys". They will succeed or fail wearing our colors, listening and reading our cheers and jeers, and will find us the most supportive of fans (when they win). In fact, we are supportive even when they don't in many ways. We watch with anticipation during the preseason. We watched when they were suspended from the Championship even. We love basketball, and feel no shame in it whatsoever. Let the man coach. Let the boys play. Then if they do not show progress, make up your big signs and march outside of the practice facility to let them know how you really feel. Until then, I am thrilled to have a firecracker in a suit and tie as a coach. And seriously does it get any better than Billy Clyde for a Kentucky coach's name? I didn't think so.

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