Monday, February 25, 2008

Yes, it is crazy.

Thanks for asking, Unsigned Editorialist.

Borderline crazy? Don't reject SR822


Shafer's Senate Resolution 822 doesn't suggest a land grab, rather it creates a boundary commission to work with the states in resolving the border questions. Certainly, though, getting some riverfront property is the eventual goal.

It still might be a longshot, but Shafer points out that his legislation doesn't change the border at all; it just recommends the boundary - as Congress decreed - align with the 35th parallel.

To recommend any piece of legislation without acknowledging the reasons we're actually in this fix, to the point where we're moving a state border--to carry on in that vacuum without a word about how we knew full well that our crisis was coming and did nothing about it--well, that's par for the course.

Labels: ,


Friday, February 22, 2008

Not fit for the kid.

For the record, I rarely allow my elementary school-age child to have first look at the front page of this filthy rag, on account of stories like this above-the-fold piece.

Grisly testimony
Man accused of killing with ax appears in court


Thursday, February 21, 2008

One petition that needs signin'...

even if you're not a big believer on these here Interwebs petitions.

On the other hand, if you
want Sonny to remain smugly attached to the notion that a small minority of Georgia's bible literalists should impose their weird notions about keeping demon alcohol away from the Sabbath, please don't go there.

Labels: ,


When Those People get their own credit cards...

My Klan-dar goes off when I see a story like this:

LAWRENCEVILLE - A paintball gun, mountain climbing gear, $4,000 worth of DVDs and Cosmopolitan magazine were some of the "unusual" purchases by government staffers found in a recent audit of Gwinnett County's purchasing card program.

While an official had an explanation for the purchases, Matthew Whitley, director of the Performance Analysis Division, said the items are examples of lapses in the county's purchasing card policy.
Why? When there's no terribly good reason?

Probably because of tales like this, from various right wing outlets to explain away all the fraud and corruption afoot in New Orleans post-Katrina without actually explaining anything, by focusing on small-time crap and ignoring the mountains of corruption and thuggery.

And I'll forgive myself for hearing the racist dogwhistle here, even though Camie Young's never given me good reason to think any such thing of her in the past.

Labels: ,


Saturday, February 16, 2008

You remember that "arguing on the Internet is like competing in the Special Olympics" gag?

If you don't know the punchline, google it.

I only mention it because my first reaction to this LTE written by an
Adrian Devine of Lawrenceville was "what a retard."

And I had plenty of justification:

Roger Clemens has been a remarkable athlete for more than 20 years. Now he is under scrutiny because of his success. [...]

Our Congress has turned this investigation into a witch hunt based on the claims of a dope-dealing liar. Are there hurdles for Clemens to clear? You betcha.

McNamee has "evidence," but is it able to hold water? Time will tell. Time and an awful lot of taxpayers' money that will be poured into this investigation. Remember, these are the same people who thought it was a waste of money to investigate Bill and Hillary Clinton some 10 years ago.

Roger Clemens? Hmmm. How about putting all of Congress under the microscope, and let's see who comes out unscathed.

Maybe Ted Kennedy or Hillary will volunteer to go first.
This is seriously retarded, in every sense of the word. Mentally, sexually, and politically.

Thing is, the mentally retarded folk I've known in my half-century on this planet have been the salt of the earth. I never actually watched Forest Gump but I've always taken to heart the notion that "stupid is as stupid does," and it takes a pretty decent sized IQ to write a truly stupid letter to the editor.

This piece of crap fails the logic test on so many levels I won't even begin to address the painfully obvious. I will ask this: Just how many Americans actually believe that Ken Starr's 70 million dollar Excellent Adventure was a good use of taxpayer resources? 20 percent? 25, maybe?

Labels: , ,


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Cowering Cal Thomas' Moooooozelum "Invasion"!

While once again grasping at straws to draw analogies between our Warren Terra and The Big One, the crazy old coot is back at it again with the religious bigotry:

While Sept. 11 was an overt act, many covert acts are occurring that will render Britain and America less able (and less willing) to respond to the next attack. An estimated 2.5 million Muslims have invaded Britain.

They didn't immigrate, they didn't come to Britain legally and seek employment and a better life, these scary swarthy Mohammedan types. Nope, they "Invaded!"

Still, a part of me would rather endure this stupidity than the Hillbilly Rag's token DC "liberal" chatting up the splendid bi-partisanship and making me wonder if Barney Frank is really a tool since David Broder's taken to saying nice things about him.

Labels: , ,


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

You don't get out much, that's why.

Bill Shipp asks "How could I be so wrong on so much?"

Among the things he admits to having been wrong about is, rather embarrassingly, how...
Obama seems to be on a roll. I still say he can't go all the way. No matter what I say, however, Obama is the new kind of black leader we'll be seeing for the next generation. Al and Jesse's strategy of "every black a victim" may be evaporating.
Bill, "Al and Jesse" weren't, and aren't, you know, actual elected officials. Barak is; has been for the better part of two decades. "Al and Jesse" aren't determining "strategy" as Co-Kings o' de Black Folk, much as you and some of your so-called liberal media mouthpieces want to continue to believe it.



Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Wanted to give credit where it's due

but can't, not really.

It's a decent bit of reporting on a straightforward story that affects locals. Three trash haulers won't be able to do pickups in Unincorporated Gwinnettlandia; according to the county's Connie Wiggins,

"Companies much smaller than these two companies have been able to get all the insurance and bonds they were required to do."

But it's not enough to report that the haulers in question didn't return phone calls. The thing we needed to hear is verification from one or two other "much smaller" companies that had, in fact, obtained the insurance and bonds required of these three.

I want to believe when a county official official makes a claim like this. But I really can't, not until it's verified, somehow, and there's nothing in the story that does that for me.



Sunday, February 10, 2008

Filed under "We gots Flush Toilets!"

Ok, mustn't hate. Mustn't take cheap shots at decent people doing decent things. And I'm not, really; I think it's great that this couple are carpooling to work twice a week, and it's even greater that the Clean Air Campaign provides incentives:

"Our company at Micromeritics, we joined forces with the Clean Air Campaign," she said, "and we've got at least 10 or 15 people here who do some sort of carpooling."

It's even easier for the Ellisons, who don't have to stop by any other houses.

The arrangement, it turns out, is beneficial in several ways, the couple said. For the first 90 days they rode into work together, the Atlanta-based nonprofit paid them $3, as long as one of them logged in.

Soon, their names were being entered into giveaway drawings, for which they were eligible to win Visa gift cards. Charlie has already won twice so far.

Anne, who has been participating in the Clean Air Campaign longer but has never had her name drawn, said, "Lo and behold, like, the month after (Charlie) started logging in, he was one of the $25 Visa gift card winners. And it was so funny, because apparently that very same day, they had picked his name a second time."

What isn't great is that this is, apparently, so newsworthy here that it merits above-the-fold coverage in the Sunday Life and Leisure section. One might think that the reporter covering this one might've found a graf or three to reflect on this, or to even manage to report some kind of relevant statistics about how many Gwinnettians manage to share a ride even once a month, but... nope.

But we gots us at least one couple of carpoolers that we know about.


Saturday, February 09, 2008

Addicted to Nazi Radio? (Some sane podcasting alternatives.)

Well, of course you aren't a Kool-Aid swiller. If you're reading this, you probably believe that Rush Limbaugh is a lying asshat who's done more than any single man since Joseph McCarthy to destroy America's foundational concept of justice for all; that Neal Boortz is a cult leader, that Sean Hannity's outer-borough bleatings are those of a frustrated closet case, etc.

But it's likely you know those folks who are, who suffer the foolishness of the above mentioned radio stars. They're decent, reasonable people who may disagree vigorously most of what they're hearing on the air, but find themselves in need of something, anything pundit-like whilst out on the road, say, after their NPR affiliate's switched from news to music. And in spite of themselves, they find themselves, if not agreeing, at least saying "well, so-and-so is kind of entertaining to listen to."

Presumably you have some kind of left-leaning (or at least more-moderate) radio lifeline out there via podcast. But I'll bet your friend doesn't.

It doesn't have to be that way, of course. I figured the time had come for me to provide some kind of guide to those who are either dealing with friends who are enthralled with AM hate radio, or have -- shock, horror -- fallen prey to the siren songs themselves. My links herewith are in no particular order; I don't have a "favorite" as such, since the nature of talk radio is such that it's easy to get burned out on anyone, even a nice, reasonable fellow like, say, Peter B. Collins, whose shows can be downloaded here at the Green960 site, or here, at White Rose Society's.

Thom Hartmann took over Al Franken's old noon-3pm (EST) weekday slot on Air America. At the moment, San Francisco's Green 960 offers his shows as podcasts here. He's noteworthy for engaging actual conservatives in debate on his show fairly and openly. Unlike most hosts, once a conservative's made an appearance, he'll actually tell his callers to lay off any verbal attacks on the the guest in question, reasoning--imagine that!--that it's not fair to allow a show to attack someone who isn't there to defend themselves. Go ahead and cite the right-wing whackjobs who'd extend the same courtesy. That's ok, I'll wait...

Rachel Maddow's star is rising of late--she makes frequent appearances on MSNBC panels, often paired with the racist xenophobe anti-Semite Pat Buchanan. Rumors have abounded that she might get her own show on MSNBC, but for now, she does one of the snappiest, wittiest two-hour slots anywhere, broadcast weekdays 6-8pm on AAR and postcast here.

If you're more in the mood for something that goes right for the gut, you want Randi Rhodes (postcast here or here) or Mike Malloy (whose podcasts from Nova-M radio are paid-subscription.). Neither host is terribly interested in playing fair or making nice. Both are utterly necessary, if, like me, you believe that if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.

I suppose I could point out what ought to be bleedin' obvious, that there are more middle-of-the-road talkshows available for podcast. Given that Georgia Public Radio's talk offerings are mostly timid and corporate-friendly, it'd behoove one to check out the WNYC site's podcasting lineup which includes two prime examples of what a "fair and unbiased" show might really sound like, Leanard Lopate and Brian Lehrer.

So far I've only cited weekday talk shows, but there are some terrific catch-up weekenders worth mentioning as well. My all-time favorite is Sam Seder, who used to have a primo morning slot on AAR until the corporate geniuses decided that the squishy, Libertarian Lionel (who, I'll admit, I actually find tolerable in small doses) would rake in the advertising bucks, and sent Sam to Sunday evenings 4-7pm. His Seder on Sunday show's mission: to document and lacerate the bobblehead Sunday-morning TV atrocities, and put the week's events in rational perspective. He includes a regularly scheduled "Watchdog" segment and, best of all, two or three liberal bloggers who'll discuss the week's events the way you only wish corporate media could muster.

It's a little more Establishment and middle-of-the-road most of the time, but AAR's Ring of Fire is a good resource for underreported items as well. And it's got RFK, Jr. so what's not to like? (Available as a free AAR podcast here.)

+ + +

Technical note: If you (or your friend) doesn't realize this, there is a little bit of work involved in getting a podcast from the website to the mp3 player. Rather than delve into it here, I'd suggest looking at the website's recommendations and if there's any trouble, simply post any troubleshooting tips or questions in the Comments link below.