My response to “Kerry Sucked.”

This was my comment on “Kerry Sucked” on AMERICAblog:

Face it. He was a shitty candidate. My question is why it’s ok to talk about everyone else who screwed up but not Kerry?

OK, count me in the “unwilling to turn on Kerry” column. I don’t agree that he sucked… unless, of course, we as Democrats also sucked by choosing him.

I mean, I rather liked that he was something of an intellectual and had some pretty good foreign policy credentials. But he was also a relatively stiff and colorless moderate… out of a field of candidates where I saw little to be enthusiastic for. In the initial debates, the only candidate with any real fire was Sharpton… who was no just “not electable” but well, genuinely unelectable.

Frankly, given that I actually went so far as to consider voting for former-Republican Wes Clark should indicate just how bad I felt our field of “electable” candidates was.

In the end, by the time the primaries got to California, it didn’t really matter. I voted for Kucinich, since despite the lack of a real shot at it at least he didn’t announce that he was dropping out and he was a genuine liberal.

Didn’t matter, of course. The tide of Kerry victories carried on by “electability” concerns continued.

And we got what we asked for… and “electable” colorless moderate, who got beaten – though closely – by one the worst Presidents since Buchanan.

I can’t believe I’m posting one of those stupid quizzes

Well, if you’re reading for the politics, just ignore these. Sadly, if I’m bored again there probably will be more.

From What’s your ideal drug?created with

You scored as Mushrooms. Shrooms! You’re still goin for one of the most natural drugs. You’d like to visit a whole other world, and see things you’ve never seen before. Fucking trippy.















Yuck, mushrooms. I won’t even eat the non-hallucinogenic kind, so this was bit off. But heck, cute Smurfs, eh?

Oh, and my actual drug of choice: dark beer (especially brown ale).

Today’s Blatant Shilling:Mr. Beer Premium Micro Brewery kitMr. Beer Premium Micro Brewery kit

In light of all the “Attack on Christmas” crud

There’s been a lot of discussion in the blogosphere about the right-wingers’ claims of an “Attack on Christmas” and frankly it seems to be entirely hot air … to the point where I’m not sure whether the discussion of it at all in the left-wing blogosphere isn’t simply giving them undeserved attention. Or maybe it’s something that needs a response… I don’t know.

See this note on Americablog for an example.

Well, while I don’t know what to make of the current issue, if you haven’t seen it in past years, you MUST go and check out Saturnalia, a comic strip at e-Sheep which pretty much is the response I’d like to make to all the “Attack on Christmas” types.

For the record, I personally celebrate an entirely secular holiday which happens to also be called “Christmas” but which simultaneously celebrates crass consumerism and an annual mini-family-reunion… and which I think is far more dangerous to any remaining shreds of a Christian holiday than a generic “Winter Holiday.” After all, how much “Christ” is there left in such a “Christmas” when practiced by a mostly-agnostic/vaguely-deist-at-times and totally non-practicing Jewish guy?

Ironic, in light of my last post.

From Today’s Daily Illuminator:

It’s A Wonderful Life
In 30 seconds. Re-enacted by bunnies.
Right here.
If this doesn’t get you into the holiday spirit, we’ll try again. You’ve been warned.

No direct link, sorry, it’s on the AngryAlien front page. And not up to their prior horror parodies. But worth passing on nonetheless.

It would’ve been a Wonderful Life

Sunday’s Maureen Down column in the NY Times:

RUMMY, dyspeptic: Holy mackerel! Take me to Dick!

CLARENCE: Dick and Lynne run a bait, tackle and baton-twirling shop in Casper, Wyo. You didn’t exist, so you never gave him those jobs in the Nixon and Ford administrations, and he never ran for Congress or worked for Bush 41 or anointed himself 43’s vice president. W. chose Chuck Hagel as his running mate. So without you and Dick there to dominate him, he was guided by his dad and Brent Scowcroft, who kept Condi in line. Colin Powell was never cut off at the knees and the U.N. and allies were never bullied. There was never any crazy fever about Iraq or unilateralism or “Old Europe.” Here’s Colin now, heading for the Oval Office.

Yep, it’s an “It’s a Wonderful Life” parody. Worth reading, and get it while it’s hot since it’ll disappear into the pay-only archives soon. (Requires login 🙁 ) Via AMERICAblog

Today’s blatant shilling:
Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History by Stephen Jay Gould
It’s a Wonderful Life the classic film.

A bit of blatant shilling…

I’ve added a link to my Amazon wish-list and an Amazon search box. The former is mainly for my family although I suppose if some anonymous fan of the blog out there wants to get me a gift you’re welcome to do so. The latter, well, is there if you are going to be ordering from Amazon anyway and don’t mind my making a few cents off of it. Lastly, I’ve added a WP plug-in which should let me link to various items on Amazon for convenience or the off chance you actually want to order them and don’t mind my making a few cents.

Harmless, and in good fun I hope even if I never make any cash.

Rolling over in her grave…?

Well, not quite — Ursula Le Guin is very much alive, and has thoroughly (and IMO deservedly) panned the film Earthsea which is loosely based on her novels Wizard of Earthsea, Tombs of Atuan, and The Farthest Shore

I stress loosely… I saw the first episode last night, and it’s entertaining enough, although I’m glad it’s been ages since I read the novels. The differences were obvious pretty immediately… they switched the hero’s “true name” and his social name from the books, added plotlines. I’m watching the second episode as we speak, and the changes only get more obvious and to some degree, more silly.

Ah well.

The Lord of the Rings films weren’t perfect, but they were at least relatively true to the spirit of the novels… I think Tolkien isn’t rolling over in his grave, and might even be pleasantly surprised at how well they translated. But this is one of those Hollywood rewrites, and the kindest thing I can say about their choices is that it’s nowhere near the perversion that Starship Troopers was.

There’s a good thread on this on rec.arts.sf.fandom which also supplied the link to Ms. Le Guin’s site.

Update, a few minutes later: Replaced the link with a better one to the same short essay on her site. Here’s a link to the film on the Sci-Fi channel’s web site though heck, they really don’t need the free advertising.

20 Amazing Facts About Voting in the USA

“Did you know….
“1. 80% of all votes in America are counted by only two companies: Diebold and ES&S.

“2. There is no federal agency with regulatory authority or oversight of the U.S. voting machine industry.

“3. The vice-president of Diebold and the president of ES&S are brothers.

“4. The chairman and CEO of Diebold is a major Bush campaign organizer and donor who wrote in 2003 that he was “committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year.”

“5. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel used to be chairman of ES&S. He became Senator based on votes counted by ES&S machines.

“6. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, long-connected with the Bush family, was recently caught lying about his ownership of ES&S by the Senate Ethics Committee.

“7. Senator Chuck Hagel was on a short list of George W. Bush’s vice-presidential candidates.

“8. ES&S is the largest voting machine manufacturer in the U.S. and counts almost 60% of all U.S. votes.

“9. Diebold’s new touch screen voting machines have no paper trail of any votes. In other words, there is no way to verify that the data coming out of the machine is the same as what was legitimately put in by voters.

“10. Diebold also makes ATMs, checkout scanners, and ticket machines, all of which log each transaction and can generate a paper trail.

“11. Diebold is based in Ohio.

“12. Diebold employed 5 convicted felons as senior managers and developers to help write the central compiler computer code that counted 50% of the votes in 30 states.

“13. Jeff Dean, Diebold’s Senior Vice-President and senior programmer on Diebold’s central compiler code, was convicted of 23 counts of felony theft in the first degree.

“14. Diebold Senior Vice-President Jeff Dean was convicted of planting back doors in his software and using a “high degree of sophistication” to evade detection over a period of 2 years.

“15. None of the international election observers were allowed in the polls in Ohio.

“16. California banned the use of Diebold machines because the security was so bad. Despite Diebold’s claims that the audit logs could not be hacked, a chimpanzee was able to do it! (See the movie here .)

“17. 30% of all U.S. votes are carried out on unverifiable touch screen voting machines with no paper trail.

“18. All — not some — but all the voting machine errors detected and reported in Florida went in favor of Bush or Republican candidates.

“19. The governor of the state of Florida, Jeb Bush, is the President’s brother.

“20. Serious voting anomalies in Florida — again always favoring Bush — have been mathematically demonstrated and experts are recommending further investigation.”

from Angry Girl at (with links to references!) via Idle Thoughts

The FCC Song

Old news, but I was just reminded of it, and it remains funny as heck… from the Python Online site,

Eric Idle presents… The FCC Song.
“Here’s a little song I wrote the other day while I was out duck hunting with a judge… It’s a new song, it’s dedicated to the FCC and if they broadcast it, it will cost a quarter of a million dollars.”

Download Here (3.1MB)

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