Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Fat Tuesday

Yahoo! reports that despite Katrina, Mardi Gras is in full swing.

When I attended Mardi Gras, it looked nothing like this!

Granted, it was almost 30 years ago that I attended and the festivities could attract a different crowd, but I have never even seen a picture of Mardi Gras celebrants looking so particularly white and republican!

It's nice that there's a big party for white people in New Orleans. White, upwardly mobile out-of-towners need a big party in The Big Easy to assuage their pain. So many people left homeless. So poor, so black. Tens, even hundreds, of thousands of poor black people still living in shelters and crap hotels in far-away cities, in disjointed communities away from their friends and loved-ones.

Yeah! America needs a big party to distract us from our total failure to address the needs of our own citizenry.

It's like that Peggy Lee song "Is That All There Is?"!
Then one day a big hurricane came and washed the city away. A big jet took me to Houston where I sat with all the po' black folks. We got a debit card for expenses and my daddy got drunk with it. I stood there in the Airport Hilton and asked, is that all there is to a hurricane?

Since the only important thing the federal government has to do for New Orleans is ensure that businesses are going concerns, I think our recovery plan for Katrina is a success!

So, everybody: "Let's break out the booze and have a ball!"

Dick Mac Recommends:

The Best of Miss Peggy Lee
Peggy Lee

Monday, February 27, 2006

The 2006 Winter Olympics Are Complete

And thank goodness for that!

I have been a fan of the Winter Olympics since 1968. I love the luge, bobsled and speed skating.

Recent Olympiads have been nearly unviewable, and this year's was an abomination of broadcasting.

The creation of controversies and the lame post event interviews. I can't stomach another Q&A like this:
"Walk us through your emotional state during the event."

Followed by some unfathomable remarks about intensity.

I want to have MY OWN emotional response to the event, and I do not want to hear from a talking head or an athlete about THEIR emotional response. Why does NBC insist on stripping its viewers of their personal reaction to the event?

Since the majority of the Olympiad is taped and repackaged, NBC is intentionally interrupting sporting events for commercials. They can insert the commercials before and after events, but insist on saying: "We'll be right back for the conclusion of this 2 minute event after a word from Budweiser, making America strong and proud."

Amd why can't NBC list the timing of the events. The listing says "8:00 P.M. - 11:30 P.M. Speed-skating, luge, slalom, biathalon." I tune-in and there is no indication of when my event is to be broadcast. So I turn it off! I am not going to watch figure-skating for 90 minutes, hoping to see eleven minutes of bobsleds. So, I turn-off the Olympics.

NBC fails completely to keep me interested.

The Olympic Committee should sell the rights to a network that is interested in broadcasting to the fans, and not to the advertisers. NBC is an embarrassment to sports broadcasting, and if they broadcast the next Olympics, I may skip it altogether.

For interesting web reports of the Games, ignore the sports and new sites and visit DFL. Now THAT'S an interesting site!

Dick Mac Recommends:

PDR Drug Guide For
Mental Health Professionals

Physician's Desk Reference

Friday, February 24, 2006

Hillary Hunkering Down - Dump Her

Hillary Clinton, the junior senator carpetbagger from New York, has hired her husband's former fundraisers to head-up her senate campaign (and possibly a presidential run).

Hillary insists that the GOP is out to get her.

Happily, many democrats are out to get her.

Clinton has been a terrible senator and failed to represent the citizenry of New York. She has done a fine job for President Bush and various corporate interests. She has done nothing for New Yorkers as a whole. She votes against the interests of New Yorkers, is completely out-of-touch with the soul, mind, spirit, and political hopes of New Yorkers from Montauk to Niagra Falls. She is a Southern conservative interested only in furthering her own interests.

I happily supported Clinton in 2002, because I believed she was a liberal.

She is not. She is barely a conservative, she almost borders on being a corporate fundamentalist of the same stripe as Tom DeLay.

New York Democrats should defeat her in the primary, so the GOP need not waste any money on her.

If New York is to have a senator that supports the Bush agenda, we might as well have a republican who can bring home some bacon!

Better yet: New Yorkers should nominate Jonathan Tasini to represent the Democratic party and just get Hillary out of town. Tasini is a progressive and believes in what New Yorkers believe in: America!

If you are a New York Democrat, please consider supporting Tasini. I am!

Tasini For New York

Sen. Clinton Turns to Veteran Fundraisers

Dick Mac Recommends:

Sometime in New York City
John Lennon, Yoko Ono, The Mothers

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Port Security or Cognac Security?

In Saudi Arabia, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the agreement was thoroughly vetted. "We have to maintain a principle that it doesn't matter where in the world one of these purchases is coming from," Rice said Wednesday. She described the United Arab Emirates as "a good partner in the war on terrorism."

Since the "war on terror" is a fraud and only exists to line the pockets of so-called security contractors, what Secretary Rice is saying is that the United Arab Emirates is a close friend with those in the administration who profit handsomely from this bilking of the United States Treasury.

The story is that the department of homeland stupidity is allowing an Arab company to control security at major United States ports. Oh, and ofcourse, the president had no knowledge of the deal!

Right! Here we have an oil man as president, whose father and grandfather have done decades of business with the binLaden family, Henry Kissinger, the Saudi Royal Family, and the Hunt family, who has personally profitted from dubious business dealings with Arabs, and he knew nothing about this deal. Of course. I believe that!

Comedians, absurdists, and conspiracy-theorists don't even have to write anything anymore. The current American administration could provide Fellini, Bunuel, and Passolini with enough material for a thousand films, and no text would ever have to be created!

Hey! I have an idea! Let's have Arabs secure our ports and our cognacs! Let's hope they hire lots of Muslim fundamentalists! Everything will be better then!

Arab Co., White House Had Secret Agreement

Bush Unaware of Ports Deal Before Approval

Dick Mac Recommends:

The Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie
Luis Bunuel

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Finally, Doctors Stand-Up And Speak

An hour before Michael Morales was to be strapped to a gurney in the death chamber at San Quentin Prison, officials called off the execution, saying they could not comply with a judge's recent order to have a medical provider administer the fatal dose of barbiturate.

"We were not able to find a licensed professional that was willing to inject medication intravenously, ending the life of a human being," San Quentin spokesman Vernell Crittendon said Tuesday evening.

I am sure that a slew of wrong-wing whacko doctors unlicensed in the State of California will rush forward to be Schwarzenegger's executioner-for-hire and Morales will eventually be killed by our tax dollars; but it is encouraging to know there are doctors in America who refuse to participate in the murder of citizens.

If Americans want to kill people, let's send them where their needed: in the war against danish pastry and Danish cartoons. Let's send them to Texas where the citizens brag about killing a living thing. They can all be sent to Mt. Everest and be divided into teams and shoot each other (and that irritating socialite who is climbing to the summit).

Joking aside, it is time for Americans to put an end to the state-sponsored murder of our fellow citizens.

Doctors' Doubts Put Off Calif. Execution

Dick Mac Recommends:

Ultimate Punishment
Scott Turow

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Last Sunday I Had Apricot, Today I Want Cheese. My Favorite Is Prune.

I love danish pastry. I really love them. I love them too much. My sister-in-law and I used to work together and we ate too many sugary cheese danish together!

Everyone seems to like danish pastries. I have had them everywhere from San Francisco to Casablanca and the only time they are bad is when they are stale, which seems to only happen in New York City.

Did danish pastry originate in Denmark? Is it really Danish? What else have the Danes invented?

There is a dog breed named the Great Dane (which dogs are about the same size as the nation):

Great Dane

There is Copenhagen brand tobacco:

Copenhagen Smokeless Tobacco

Carlsberg beer, sponsor of Liverpool Football Club, is from Denmark:

Steven Gerrard, LFC

Writer Hans Christian Anderson was from Denmark:

Hans Christian Anderson

Cartoons are from Denmark:


Oh . . . wait . . . Danes are not historically known for their cartoons! Until recently, when a not-very-funny, but somewhat amusing, cartoon depicting religious fundamentalists as whackos published in Denmark in September 2004 appeared in Islamic nations, most of which don't even have press or media.

Now, the idiot muslim fundamentalists are claiming the law has been broken and the cartoonist must be put to death.

What do they think they are? Texans?

In Denmark, writers and other artists enjoy freedom of speech and freedom of expression. These are basic tenets of a free society, a sophisticated people, a truly enlightened civilization (well, not in Texas).

Muslims, of course, wouldn't know anything about this because they, like Texans, believe in hegemony. They believe there is only one way to think and that is their way.

They seem to forget that the so-called laws of Islam are not the laws of any nation (not even Iran or Afghanistan anymore). There is no strictly Muslim nation that is so completely theocratic that they use the Koran as their law book.

However, idiot muslims with no education and less food and money, and nothing to live for except the death they desire and deserve (after they finish raping their women) which is supposed to bring them some load of virgins for fun in death, want (like Texans) to inflict their whacko religious beliefs on thinking people.


Give me a danish pastry and a book of Anderson fables, a tin of long cut, a bottle of beer and let's cheer: Go 'Pool'! We'll all support everything Danish -- even if we don't like it, because it's worth supporting the Danes over these idiot fundamentalists!

The State Of Denmark (CBS-60 Minutes)

Dick Mac Recommends:

The Truth
Al Franken

Monday, February 20, 2006

No Problem, Osama, It's Presidents Day And The President's Got You Covered!

Happy Presidents Day!

In his celebration of Presidents Day, Osama Bin Laden has vowed to never be captured alive.

I don't think he needs to worry about that, because I don't believe we are really looking for him. He's a mamber of a very powerful Saudi family with close ties to the Saudi Royal Family, Henry Kissinger, and the Bush family. He's elderly and infirm, suffering from renal disease, and we still can't find him!

I have to believe that nobody currently running the United States executive branch wants him captured or killed. He's the son of old friends and they can just let bygones be bygones.

George Bush and Dick Cheney have failed at every effort they've made except for gutting our Constitution and profiteering for their own benefit.

Celebrate Presidents Day 2006 by remembering that we have lost four airliners, two trade centers, a piece of the Pentagon, all our allies, an army in the desert, an American city, our freedom, funding for social programs, and our standing as the greatest nation ever.
Bin Laden Vows Never to Be Captured Alive

By STEVEN R. HURST, Associated Press Writer

Osama bin Laden vowed never to be captured alive and said the U.S. military had become as "barbaric" as Saddam Hussein in an audiotape reposted on a militant Islamic Web site after first being broadcast last month.

In the tape posted to the Web site Monday, bin Laden offered the United States a long-term truce but also said his al-Qaida terror network would soon launch a fresh attack on American soil. The tape was initially broadcast Jan. 19 on Al-Jazeera, the pan-Arab satellite channel.

Islamic militant Web forums often repost messages from al-Qaida leaders to ensure sympathizers can see them. U.S. intelligence officials confirmed that last month's tape was of bin Laden — making it his first message in more than a year.

"I have sworn to only live free. Even if I find bitter the taste of death, I don't want to die humiliated or deceived," bin Laden said, in the 11-minute, 26-second tape.

In drawing the comparison to American military behavior in Iraq to that of Saddam, he said:

"The jihad (holy war) is ongoing, thank God, despite all the oppressive measures adopted by the U.S. Army and its agents (which has reached) a point where there is no difference between this criminality and Saddam's criminality."

Bin Laden also denied Bush administration assertions that it was better to fight terrorists in Iraq than on U.S. soil.

"The reality shows that the war against America and its allies has not been limited to Iraq as he (Bush) claims. Iraq has become a point of attraction and restorer of (our) energies," he said.

The last audiotape purported to be from bin Laden was broadcast in December 2004 by Al-Jazeera. In that recording, he endorsed Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi as his deputy in Iraq and called for a boycott of Iraqi elections.

Associated Press reporter Omar Sinan contributed to this report.

Thank you, Mr. President. You have totally destroyed my nation.

Dick Mac Recommends:

Imperial America
Gore Vidal

Friday, February 17, 2006

New Orleans Failures

The current administration has failed at every effort it has made (except stealing another election).

The perpertrators of the crimes committed at the World Trade Center and Pentagon remain at large and there is no plan to find them.

There are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but more than 2,200 American soldiers and tens of thousands Iraqi citizens have died.

The economy is at its worst point since the Daddy Bush administration.

The Bill of Rights has been gutted to ensure coroprate fundamentalism can control the nations resources.

We have alientated almost all of our allies.

We are the only Western democracy that intentionally kills its own citizens.

There is almost no access to health care, even for the insured middle class.

Social welfare has been gutted while corporate welfare has been bloated.

The education budget is slashed with the lie that education isn't working. Education worked fine until Reagan and other republicans began slashing the education budgets.

Democracy has diminished at home and we have failed to spread it anywhere.

The list goes on.

Now, having lost an entire city while he fiddled, the president is truly unable to fix or even make progress with New Orleans!
Blocking Progress In New Orleans
Robert Reich
February 16, 2006

Robert Reich is professor of public policy at the Richard and Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. He was secertary of labor in the Clinton administration.

More than five months after Hurricane Katrina—and almost five months of political verbiage and posturing and name-calling and blame-mongering—New Orleans is still a wreck.

Two thirds of the Big Easy’s pre-Katrina residents continue to live in exile; only a handful of schools have reopened; only a third of the city’s former hospital beds are available; two-thirds of its buildings are still without electricity. Two hundred thousand homes and business properties are in ruins.

The next few months will be a turning point. Either there will be a raft of personal bankruptcies, foreclosures and bank failures, followed by the permanent closing of much the city, or—what? Free-market fundamentalists say New Orleans just has to wait until capital and people return. But it’s been five months and they haven’t returned. Why should they be expected to?

Yes, residents and businesses moved back to Chicago after the Great Chicago fire, and they moved back to San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake. But the citizens and merchants who had occupied these cities before the disasters had few alternatives afterwards. And most of the capital needed to rebuild these cities came from local investors who also had few alternatives but to put their savings back into the cities their savings had been in before.

Today it’s different. People can move far more easily. Former residents of New Orleans are now scattered across much of the United States. Former businesses are gone. Capital is now global.

New Orleans faces two chicken-and-egg problems that Chicago and San Francisco didn’t have to face, and private markets don’t know how to remedy. The first is how to get people to live in places where there are no jobs because there are no people living there. The second is how to get capital to rebuild damaged buildings in neighborhoods that are worthless because so many buildings are so badly damaged.

There’s no private market renewing New Orleans because nobody has an incentive to move back or reopen a business or invest, because no one can be sure there will be enough other people moving back, reopening and investing to make it worthwhile.

This is why an idea now being pushed by Republican Rep. Richard Baker, who represents Baton Rouge to the north of New Orleans, is so sensible. Baker wants to create something called the Louisiana Recovery Corporation. Essentially, it would buy property and mortgages at 60 percent of their pre-Katrina values, package them together in parcels that might be attractive to private developers, and then auction off the packages. The resulting revenues from developers would then replenish the fund.

The developers would have reason to rebuild their parcels and generate jobs because they’d own enough property to recreate small neighborhoods and shopping areas. In other words, they could overcome the chicken-and-egg problems.

The Bush administration opposes the Baker plan, maybe because it sounds too much like government meddling in the free market. Someone should tell the White House there’s no free market in much of New Orleans to meddle in.

This isn’t some left-wing wacko idea. Baker himself has 91 percent lifetime approval rating from the American Conservative Union. Yet even he knows where there’s no market, the only way you get one is if some government body creates it.

If America could rebuild Europe after the Second World War with the Marshall Plan, we can certainly rebuild New Orleans with a revolving loan fund that will probably end up paying for itself.

This commentary originally appeared on Marketplace, public radio's only daily business news program, and is reprinted via a special arrangement between TomPaine.com and Robert Reich. Marketplace is produced by Minnesota Public Radio and is heard on 322 public radio stations nationwide. More online at www.marketplace.org

Now that the vice-president has shot a citizen, maybe the media will hold the administration to task for something . . . anything!

Dick Mac Recommends:

Worse Than Watergate
John W. Dean

Thursday, February 16, 2006

" . . . one of the worst days of my life at that moment."

"The image of him falling is something I'll never ever be able to get out of my mind," Cheney said. "I fired, and there's Harry falling. It was, I'd have to say, one of the worst days of my life at that moment."

You see, it wasn't a bad day the entire day, just the part when he saw Harry falling. After Harry fell, it stopped being the wrost day of his life and it was back to business lying, deceiving, cheating, and destroying the world!

Fortunately, the president is satisfied with the situation and Cheyney's apology-lacking contrition.

Whew! I though for a moment that the president might actually grow a testicle and do the right thing by asking Cheney to step down.

Dick Mac Recommends:

The Divine Comedy
Dante Alighieri

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Faulty Intelligence

This published by The Borowitz Report on February 12, 2006.


Believed Shooting Victim Was Zawahiri, Veep Says

Vice President Dick Cheney revealed today that he shot a fellow hunter while on a quail hunting trip over the weekend because he believed the man was the fugitive terror mastermind Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Mr. Cheney acknowledged that the man he sprayed with pellets on Saturday was not al-Zawahiri but rather Harry Whittington, a 78-year-old millionaire lawyer from Austin, blaming the mix-up on “faulty intelligence.”

“I believed I had credible intelligence that al-Zawahiri had infiltrated my hunting party in disguise with the intent of spraying me with pellets,” Mr. Cheney told reporters. “Only after I shot Harry in the face and he shouted ‘Cheney, you bastard’ did I realize that this intelligence was faulty.”

Moments after Mr. Cheney’s assault on Mr. Whittington, Mr. al-Zawahiri appeared in a new videotape broadcast on al-Jazeera to announce that he was uninjured in the vice president’s attack because, in his words, “I was in Pakistan.”

An aide to the vice president said he believed that the American people would believe Mr. Cheney’s version of events, but added, “If he was going to shoot any of his cronies right now it’s a shame it wasn’t Jack Abramoff.”

At the White House, President George W. Bush defended his vice president’s shooting of a fellow hunter, saying that the attack sent “a strong message to terrorists everywhere.”

“The message is, if Dick Cheney is willing to shoot an innocent American citizen at point-blank range, imagine what he’ll do to you,” Mr. Bush said.

Elsewhere, aviator Steve Fossett completed his three-day journey around the globe, setting a world record for wasting both time and money.


In other news, every citizen is now welcome to hunt with the veep:

Quail Hunting with Dick Cheney

Dick Mac Recommends:

The Man Who Fell to Earth
Nicholas Roeg, David Bowie

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Seven Dollars and Counting

Vice-President Dick Cheney shot a man in the face over the weekend.

He was looking for birds to shoot, but shot a long-time friend instead.

There are severe penalties for shooting somebody, even if it is a friend. (And with friends like Dick Cheney, as the saying goes, who needs . . . )

The retribution rains down upon the vice-presidential mansion. Cheney has paid $7.00 after being cited for failing to buy a stamp allowing him to shoot upland game birds in the State of Texas.

This entire episode is upsettng because, according to Pamela Willeford, the U.S. ambassador to Switzerland, "He's a great shot. He's very safety conscious. This is something that unfortunately was a bad accident and when you're with a group like that, he's safe or safer than all the rest of us."

Dick Cheney: Poster boy for hunting safety!
Cheney Cited for Breaking Hunting Law

By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer

Vice President Dick Cheney has been given a warning citation for breaking Texas hunting law by failing to buy a $7 stamp allowing him to shoot upland game birds.

The warning came from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department after it investigated Cheney's accidental shooting of a fellow quail hunter Saturday on the private Armstrong Ranch in the south part of the state.

The department found the accident was caused by a "hunter's judgment factor" when Cheney sprayed another hunter while aiming at flying birds.

The report said the victim, prominent Republican attorney Harry Whittington of Austin, was retrieving a downed bird and stepped out of the hunting line he was sharing with Cheney. "Another covey was flushed and Cheney swung on a bird and fired, striking Whittington in the face, neck and chest at approximately 30 yards," the report said.

Cheney, an experienced hunter, has not commented publicly about the accident. His office said Monday night in a statement that Cheney had a $125 nonresident hunting license and has sent a $7 check to cover the cost of the stamp. "The staff asked for all permits needed, but was not informed of the $7 upland game bird stamp requirement," the statement said.

Whittington also received a warning for failing to have the stamp. A department spokesman said warnings are being issued in most cases because the stamp requirement only went into effect five months ago and many hunters aren't aware of it.

Whittington was in stable condition at Christus Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Memorial and was moved from intensive care to a "step-down unit" Monday. Doctors decided to leave several birdshot pellets lodged in his skin rather than try to remove them.

Katharine Armstrong, owner of the ranch where the shooting occurred, said it happened toward the end of the hunt, when it was still sunny but as darkness was encroaching and they were preparing to go inside. She said Whittington made a mistake by not announcing that he had walked up to rejoin the hunting line, and Cheney didn't see him as he tried to down a bird.

Armstrong said she saw Cheney's security detail running toward the scene. "The first thing that crossed my mind was he had a heart problem," she told The Associated Press.

She said Cheney stayed "close but cool" while the agents and medical personnel treated Whittington, then took him by ambulance to the hospital. Later, the hunting group sat down for dinner while Whittington was being treated, receiving updates from a family member at the hospital. Armstrong described Cheney's demeanor during dinner as "very worried" about Whittington.

Pamela Willeford, the U.S. ambassador to Switzerland, another member of the hunting party, told The Dallas Morning News for a story in Tuesday's editions that she and Cheney didn't realize Whittington had picked up a bird and caught up with them.

Willeford said she has hunted with Cheney before and would again.

"He's a great shot. He's very safety conscious. This is something that unfortunately was a bad accident and when you're with a group like that, he's safe or safer than all the rest of us," she said.

The accident raised questions about Cheney's adherence to hunting safety practices and the White House's failure to disclose the accident in a timely way.

Duane Harvey, president of the Wisconsin Hunter Education Instructors Association, said if Whittington had made his presence known "that would have been a polite thing to do." But, he added, "it's still the fault upon the shooter to identify his target and what is beyond it."

President Bush was told about Cheney's involvement in the accident shortly before 8 p.m. Saturday — about an hour after it occurred — but the White House did not disclose the accident until Sunday afternoon, and then only in response to press questions.

Facing a press corps upset that news had been withheld, press secretary Scott McClellan said, "I think you can always look back at these issues and look at how to do a better job."

Armstrong said she told Cheney on Sunday morning that she was going to inform the local paper, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. She said he agreed, and the newspaper was the first to report the incident on its Web site Sunday afternoon.

Secret Service spokesman Eric Zahren said that about an hour after Cheney shot Whittington, the head of the Secret Service's local office called the Kenedy County sheriff to report the accident. "They made arrangements at the sheriff's request to have deputies come out and interview the vice president the following morning at 8 a.m. and that indeed did happen," Zahren said.

At least one deputy showed up at the ranch's front gate Saturday evening and asked to speak to Cheney but was turned away by the Secret Service, Zahren said. There was some miscommunication that arrangements already had been made to interview Cheney the next morning, he said.

Gilbert San Miguel, chief deputy sheriff for Kenedy County, said the department's report had not been completed Monday and that it was being handled as a hunting accident, although he would not comment about what exactly they were investigating. Both the sheriff's department and the state have determined that alcohol did not appear to be a factor.

Please note that the citation Cheney received has nothing to do with shooting a person!

So, just like Katrina, Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, the president's cocaine problem, and the White House's connections to white-collar criminals, they disclose nothing:
President Bush was told about Cheney's involvement in the accident shortly before 8 p.m. Saturday — about an hour after it occurred — but the White House did not disclose the accident until Sunday afternoon, and then only in response to press questions. (emphasis mine)

Maybe in this day of nano-technology, George Bush and Dick Cheney can become known as the iAdministration.

Let's have an impeachment!

Dick Mac Recommends:

David Bowie

Monday, February 13, 2006

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman."

Somehow that statement by Bill Clinton seems so much more palatable when compared to:

The accident was not reported publicly by the vice president's office for nearly 24 hours, and then only after the Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported it Sunday.

Yeah! The vice-president shoots a guy and doesn't report it for 24 hours!

When will the impeachment hearings begin?

Dick Mac Recommends:

The Idiot
Iggy Pop

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Dick Cheney Has Never Done Anything By Accident

Dick Cheney shot a companion in the face while hunting on Sunday.

He says it was an accident.

The only thing I believe was an accident is that the guy lived.

Cheney has never done anything by accident!

Anyway . . . how do you have that kind of accident when surrounded by Secret Service and other guards?

Cheney has been a liar his entire life and now he's shooting people!

Cheney Accidentally Shoots Fellow Hunter

By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer

Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot and wounded a companion during a weekend quail hunting trip in Texas, spraying the fellow hunter in the face and chest with shotgun pellets.

Harry Whittington, a millionaire attorney from Austin, was "alert and doing fine" in a Corpus Christi hospital Sunday after he was shot by Cheney on a ranch in south Texas, said Katharine Armstrong, the property's owner.

He was described as in stable condition by Yvonne Wheeler, spokeswoman for the Christus Spohn Health System in Corpus Christi.

Armstrong in an interview with The Associated Press said Whittington, 78, was mostly injured on his right side, with the pellets hitting his cheek, neck and chest during the incident which occurred late afternoon on Saturday

She said emergency personnel traveling with Cheney tended to Whittington until the ambulance arrived.

Cheney's spokeswoman, Lea Anne McBride, said the vice president was with Whittington and his wife at the hospital on Sunday.

The shooting was first reported by the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. The vice president's office did not disclose the accident until nearly 24 hours after it happened.

Armstrong said she was watching from a car while Cheney, Whittington and another hunter got out of the vehicle to shoot at a covey of quail.

Whittington shot a bird and went to look for it in the tall grass, while Cheney and the third hunter walked to another spot and discovered a second covey.

Whittington "came up from behind the vice president and the other hunter and didn't signal them or indicate to them or announce himself," Armstrong said.

"The vice president didn't see him," she continued. "The covey flushed and the vice president picked out a bird and was following it and shot. And by god, Harry was in the line of fire and got peppered pretty good."

Whittington has been a private practice attorney in Austin since 1950 and has long been active in Texas Republican politics. He's been appointed to several state boards, including when then-Gov. George W. Bush named him to the Texas Funeral Service Commission.

Whittington owns property in Travis County worth at least $11 million, the Austin American-Statesman reported last year, not counting a downtown block at the center of a long-running dispute with the city over a condemnation issue.

Armstrong, owner of the Armstrong Ranch where the accident occurred, said Whittington was bleeding and Cheney was very apologetic.

"It broke the skin," she said of the shotgun pellets. "It knocked him silly. But he was fine. He was talking. His eyes were open. It didn't get in his eyes or anything like that."

"Fortunately, the vice president has got a lot of medical people around him and so they were right there and probably more cautious than we would have been," she said. "The vice president has got an ambulance on call, so the ambulance came."

Cheney is an avid hunter who makes annual hunting trips to South Dakota to hunt pheasants. He also travels frequently to Arkansas to hunt ducks.

Armstrong said Cheney is a longtime friend who comes to the ranch to hunt about once a year and is "a very safe sportsman." She said Whittington is a regular, too, but she thought it was the first time the two men hunted together.

"This is something that happens from time to time. You now, I've been peppered pretty well myself," said Armstrong.

Associated Press writer Paul Weber in Dallas contributed to this report.

Dick Mac Recommends:

What's the Matter with Kansas?
Thomas Frank

Friday, February 10, 2006

This means that the White House has lied to us

Things continue to improve in America.

Despite months of denials by Karl Rove and Dick Cheney, it seems that everyone (including the President?) in the White House knew of Lewis Libby's plan to blow CIA Agent Valerie Plam'e cover. This means that the White House lied to us about Libby's actions: Libby: White House 'Superiors' OK'd Leaks

Despite months of denials by the federal government about what they knew after Hurrican Katrina struck the Gulf Coast. It has now come to light that everyone in the White House knew of the severity of the disaster. This means that the White House has lied to us about Katrina: Documents: White House Knew About Levees

The former Connecticut Governor, Republican John G. Rowland, was released from prison after serving a mwere ten months for corruption at the highest levels of his office. Rowland is a typical Republican, he lies about everything, but he got caught. It's sad that he served only ten months, when there are single mothers serving life imprisonment for drug crimes that netted them a fraction of the benefits stolen by Rowland. Former Conn. Governor Released From Prison

Despite the clear separation between church and state guaranteed by the Constitution, the Republican-controlled military ahs decided that commanding officers may insert their religious views into training. I wonder how that will work for Muslim officers? Air Force Revises Guidelines on Religion

The latest lie out of the White House is that they saved Los Angeles from a terror attack in 2002. If this was true, they would have held a huge press conference and paraded Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa before the cameras for his testimony of what a great job the feds did protecting the country. However, the LA mayor knows nothing about this alleged plan and the ensuing federal salvation. Which leads to only one conclusion: there was no threat and warrantless wiretapping has brought no benefit to Americans. This means that the White House has lied to us: L.A. Mayor Blindsided by Terror Info

Whew! I feel so much safer today!

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Idiots (Redux)!

Ok! I can't let go of this.

I just listened to another whacko Muslim on television saying that nobody has the freedom to express an opinion of Islam that varies from his fundamentalist interpretation of the Koran.

When I say "Muhammed was a pederast," (blessings and peace upon his name) it does not mean I necessarily really believe that Muhammed (blessings and peace upon his name) inserted his penis into the anuses of young boys. But, I have the right to say it. It's called freedom of speech and it is a conrnerstone of civilization.

Now, we can debate whether a fundamentalist has any interest in civilization (generally they do not, especially Muslim fundamentalists), but it doesn't matter if some idiot Muslim believes in freedom of speech. Most of civilization guarantees such a right.

Arson and murder are crimes in every nation. Nobody is guaranteed the right to burn and kill whether in the name of some God or prophet or not. Any nation that allows their citizens to attack a soverign nation by vandalizing its embassy and threatneing its citizens is a nation that should be marginalized with boycotts and sanctions and should be expelled from every Western democracy.

Every nation should imprison every citizen that is calling for the death of another or the destruction of propery (especially over a cartoon).

Enough already.

Get the idiots off the street and into the asylums where they belong. Face them towards Mecca, give them a lovely rug and let them pretend there are seventy-odd virgins awaiting them in paradise.

They are all friggin' idiots!

Then, let's move on to the fundamentalists who are trying to make creationsim into law. Give them all a bible, a bank account, and a mistress and let them surf porn sites in Gitmo Bay!

Friggin' idiots!

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Three more die in cartoon protests

You're all idiots! People rioting over cartoons are idiots. People calling for some religious trial of a satirist are idiots.

Islam is not a nation, it's a religion.

There are Muslim nations. In fact, some of the most hideous thocracies are Muslim nations. The publication of cartoons in Denmark is not a crime in Iran or Pakistan or Afghanistan or Syria. Nor is it a crime in Denmark. There is no need for a trial, as no crime has been committed.

Nothing wrong has been done by the Danes.

A person rioting and killing and burning over a cartoon is an idiot! And has committed a crime and should be prosected to the full extent of the law!

Friggin' idiots!

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Al Franken

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Foreign Service Resignations

Why is this forgotten and not spoken of?

When a second Foreign Service agent tendered his resignation because of the current American preisdent's immoral, unwinnable, misdirected and misguided war in Iraq, almost nothing was made of it.

From what I can discover, never have two foreign service agents resigned because of a president's actions.

Is this really the worst presidency ever?

Published on Wednesday, March 12, 2003 by CommonDreams.org
Letter of Resignation by John H. Brown, Foreign Service Officer

To: Secretary of State Colin Powell

March 10, 2003

Dear Mr. Secretary:

I am joining my colleague John Brady Kiesling in submitting my resignation from the Foreign Service (effective immediately) because I cannot in good conscience support President Bush's war plans against Iraq.

The president has failed:

--To explain clearly why our brave men and women in uniform should be ready to sacrifice their lives in a war on Iraq at this time;

--To lay out the full ramifications of this war, including the extent of innocent civilian casualties;

--To specify the economic costs of the war for ordinary Americans;

--To clarify how the war would help rid the world of terror;

--To take international public opinion against the war into serious consideration.

Throughout the globe the United States is becoming associated with the unjustified use of force. The president's disregard for views in other nations, borne out by his neglect of public diplomacy, is giving birth to an anti-American century.

I joined the Foreign Service because I love our country. Respectfully, Mr. Secretary, I am now bringing this calling to a close, with a heavy heart but for the same reason that I embraced it.


John H. Brown
Foreign Service Officer

John H. Brown, a Princeton PhD, joined the Foreign Service in 1981 and has served in London, Prague, Krakow, Kiev, Belgrade and, most recently, Moscow.

A senior member of the Foreign Service since 1997, he has focused his diplomatic work on press and cultural affairs. Under a State Department program, he has, up to now, been an Associate at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University, where he was assigned in August 2001.


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Monday, February 06, 2006

Appropriate Outsourcing of American Jobs

Congress today announced that the office of President of the United States of America will be outsourced to India as of March 15, 2006.

The move is being made to save the President's $400,000 yearly salary, and also a record $521 billion in deficit expenditures and related overhead the office has incurred during the last 5 years.

"We believe this is a wise move financially. The cost savings should be significant," stated Congressman Thomas Reynolds (R-WA).

Reynolds, with the aid of the Government Accounting Office, has studied outsourcing of American jobs extensively. "We cannot expect to remain competitive on the world stage with the current level of cash outlay," Reynolds noted. Mr. Bush was informed by email this morning of his termination.

Preparations for the job move have been underway for sometime. Gurvinder Singh of Indus Teleservices, Mumbai, India, will be assuming the office of President as of March 15, 2006.

Mr. Singh was born in the United States while his Indian parents were vacationing at Niagara Falls, thus making him eligible for the position. He will receive a salary of $320 (USD) a month but with no health coverage or other benefits.

It is believed that Mr. Singh will be able to handle his job responsibilities without a support staff. Due to the time difference between the US and India, he will be working primarily at night, when few offices of the US Government will be open. "Working nights will allow me to keep my day job at the American Express call center," stated Mr. Singh in an exclusive interview. "I am excited about this position. I always hoped I would be President someday."

A Congressional spokesperson noted that while Mr. Singh may not be fully aware of all the issues involved in the office of President, this should not be a problem cause Bush was not familiar with the issues either. Mr. Singh will rely upon a script tree that will enable him to respond effectively to most topics of concern. Using these canned responses, he can address common concerns without having to understand the underlying issues at all.

"We know these scripting tools work," stated the spokesperson. "President Bush has used them successfully for years." Mr. Singh may have problems with the Texas drawl, but lately Bush has abandoned the "down home" persona in his effort to appear intelligent and on top of the Katrina situation.

Bush will receive health coverage, expenses, and salary until his final day of employment. Following a two week waiting period, he will be eligible for $240 a week unemployment for 13 weeks.

Unfortunately he will not be eligible for Medicaid, as his unemployment benefits will exceed the allowed limit.

Mr. Bush has been provided the outplacement services of Manpower, Inc. to help him write a résumé and prepare for his upcoming job transition. According to Manpower, Mr. Bush may have difficulties in securing a new position due to limited practical work experience. A Greeter position at Wal-Mart was suggested due to Bush's extensive experience shaking hands and phony smile.

Another possibility is Bush's re-enlistment in the Texas Air National Guard. His prior records are conspicuously vague but should he choose this option, he would likely be stationed in Waco, TX for a month, before being sent to Iraq, a country he has visited. "I've been there, I know all about Iraq," stated Mr. Bush, who gained invaluable knowledge of the country in a visit to the Baghdad Airport's terminal and gift shop.

Sources in Baghdad and Falluja say Mr. Bush would receive a warm reception from local Iraqis. They have asked to be provided with details of his arrival so that they might arrange an appropriate welcome.

Thanks to Henry for sending this along.

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Friday, February 03, 2006

Blue Ribbon

A family dog snores incessantly and it drives the wife crazy. She takes the dog to the vet and learns to tie a ribbon around the dog's penis so he'll roll over and stop snoring.

Next night she finds a length of red ribbon and ties it around the dog's penis when he starts snoring. Miraculously, the snoring stopped.

Later on her husband starts snoring. She searches until she finds another length of ribbon and ties the blue string around her husband's penis. Oddly, he stops snoring, too.

The next morning her husband sees the dog with the ribbon, then looks down at himself. "I don't know what happened last night, but it appears we came in first and second."

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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Nam June Paik dies at 74

In 2001, Mrs. Mac and I sailed from London, England, to Bilbao, Spain, to see the Armani Collection and The Worlds of Nam June Paik at the Museo Guggenheim.

I had seen Paik installations in New York over the years, but had never seen a large collection of his installations. One piece was a collaboration with David Bowie during his "Serious Moonlight" Tour. Other collaborators, dating back to the late-1950s, include Laurie Anderson, Joseph Beuys, Bowie, John Cage, and Merce Cunningham.

Paik's work often combined nudity and technology, or humans and technology, and were the cornerstone for artscapes ranging from simple video installations to surveillance art. Paik was the godfather of the music video that has so insidiously altered electronic communications.

Paik's work was ground-breaking and his death is a loss to what is left of civilization.

See more information about his life and work at his web site.

Nam June Paik, the avant-garde composer who was credited with being the inventor of video art, has died. He was 74.

The Korean-born Paik died Sunday night of natural causes at his Miami apartment, according to his Web site.

Paik played a pivotal role in using video as a form of artistic expression. A member of the Fluxus art movement, Paik combined the use of music, video images and sculptures.

Paik's work has gained international praise from the Guggenheim Museum in New York, and the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago, among others, and much of his work is on display at the Nam June Paik Museum in Kyonggi, South Korea.

He completed degrees in music and aesthetics in Japan before pursuing graduate work in philosophy. Some of his experiments were in radio and television, and he is thought to have coined the terms "information superhighway" and "the future is now."

Paik made his artistic debut in Wiesbaden, West Germany, in 1963 with a solo art exhibition titled "Exposition of Music-Electronic Television." He scattered 12 television sets throughout the exhibit space and used them to create unexpected effects in the images being received. Later exhibits included the use of magnets to manipulate or alter the image on TV sets and create patterns of light.

He moved to New York in 1964 and started working with classical cellist Charlotte Moorman to combine video, music and performance.

In "TV Cello" they stacked television sets that formed the shape of a cello. When she drew the bow across the television sets, there were images of her playing, video collages of other cellists and live images of the performance.

In one highly publicized incident, Moorman was arrested in 1967 in New York for going topless in performing Paik's "Opera Sextronique." Said one headline: "Cops Top a Topless 'Happening.'" In a 1969 performance titled "TV Bra for Living Sculpture," she wore a bra with tiny TV screens over her breasts.

"TV Bra for Living Sculpture" and "TV Cello" are on display at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

Paik's journey as an artist has been truly global, and his impact on the art of video and television has been profound.To foreground the creative process that is distinctive to Paik's artwork, it is necessary to sort through his mercurial movements, from Asia through Europe to the United States, and examine his shifting interests and the ways that individual artworks changed accordingly. It is my argument that Paik's prolific and complex career can be read as a process grounded in his early interests in composition and performance. These would strongly shape his ideas for mediabased art at a time when the electronic moving image and media technologies were increasingly present in our daily lives. In turn, Paik's work would have a profound and sustained impact on the media culture of the late twentieth century; his remarkable career witnessed and influenced the redefinition of broadcast television and transformation of video into an artist's medium.

Many thanks to Deathwatch Central for this obituary

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Bush Goes Public With His Disdain For Democracy

Yesterday, President Bush announced he would not support the duly-elected government of Palestine:

The Hamas party has made it clear that they do not support the right of Israel," Bush said after meeting with his Cabinet. "And I have made it clear that so long as that's their policy, that we will not support a Palestinian government made up of Hamas.

Which begs the question from Left I Blog:

If American (and other) aid to Palestine is contingent on their recognizing the state of Israel, why hasn't American aid to Israel for the past 57 years been contingent on their recognizing a state of Palestine?

I thought Bush wanted to spread and support the democratic process around the world. Why do we support only duly elected governments that subscribe to our brand of hegemony?

Tell your elected officials in Washington that you do not want our givernment interfering with the establishment of a duly elected government in Palestine.

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