Friday, December 22, 2006

Imagine all the people, living life in peace

Happy freakin holidays from me and Spooney.

I'll be back in January.

And the weiner is...

Ladies and germs, I am proud to announce that your very own beloved blog, Bells On, has won the 2006 Drysdale Award for "Least Influential Political Blog."

I want to thank Grant Miller - officially, and the Academy, and Jesus Christ, of course. The lord is always in my house, y'all. Whoop. Whoop. Also I would like to thank my little shithole of a Hoosier hometown, and all the assclowns and dicktards I encountered there until I was 18 and could get the fuck out of that goddamn place. Your intolerance, stupidity, and unfailing narrow-mindedness in the face of overwhelming proof of being wrongity-wrong-wrong will always be an inspiration to me. I would also like to thank my parents, and those one or two cool teachers I had, who proved to me that you could always roll your eyes, say something sarcastic, and soldier on.

I love you all!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

And if they won't learn, kill them.

The people of the 8th congressional district in North Carolina must be so proud of their newly re-elected representative, Robin Hayes, who recently said in a speech before constituents:

“Stability in Iraq ultimately depends on spreading the message of Jesus Christ, the message of peace on earth, good will towards men. Everything depends on everyone learning about the birth of the Savior.”

Congratulations, North Carolina's 8th!! You really picked a winner!!

(via HuffPo)

The new way forward. Way, way, way, way, way, way forward.

If you haven’t yet figured out that BushCo is rejecting the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, you have only to check out the alternative plan posted at the American Enterprise Institute’s website. Bush said in his press conference yesterday that he hasn’t finished deciding what he’s going to do yet in his “new way forward,” but you can bet he’s going to use this tired “new” idea of the “troop surge” (thanks for pushing it, John “maverick” McCain! Good to see that your head isn’t still firmly planted inside Bush’s asshole at all!) and all the other neocon reshufflings as an excuse to put together a way forward that really isn’t a way forward at all, but a way to keep us in Iraq until Bush is out of office. Because as long as he keeps fighting this awful losing battle, he won’t have lost this war, his successor will.

For a much better analysis of Bush’s dilemma of the ego, see Sidney Blumenthal’s essay in Salon today (reg. required for free day pass):

The opening section of the ISG report is a lengthy analysis of the dire situation in Iraq. But Bush has frantically brushed that analysis away just as he has rejected every objective assessment that had reached him before. He has assimilated no analysis whatsoever of what's gone wrong. For him, there's no past, especially his own. There's only the present. The war is detached from strategic purposes, the history of Iraq and the region, and political and social dynamics, and instead is grasped as a test of character. Ultimately, what's at stake is his willpower.

Repudiated in the midterm elections, Bush has elevated himself above politics, and repeatedly says, "I am the commander in chief." With the crash of Rove's game plan for using his presidency as an instrument to leverage a permanent Republican majority, Bush is abandoning the role of political leader. He can't disengage militarily from Iraq because that would abolish his identity as a military leader, his default identity and now his only one.
If you still doubt that Iraq has become all about him, check out this response at his press conference yesterday when a reporter, after remarking that people commonly assert that 43 will only be remembered for Iraq, asked the president what he will do with the last quarter of his presidency to expand his record:
“And you're talking about legacy. Here, I -- I know -- look, everybody's trying to write the history of this administration even before it's over. I'm reading about George Washington still. My attitude is if they're still analyzing number one, 43 ought not to worry about it, and just do what he think is right, and make the tough choices necessary. We're in the beginning stages of an ideological struggle. It's going to last a while. And I want to make sure this country is engaged in a positive and constructive way to secure the future for our children. And it's going to be a tough battle.”

(Bush then mentions Medicare reform and No Child Left Behind, and asserts that he’s cut the deficit while lowering taxes – yeah, I know – but let’s stay on point.)
“So there's been a lot of accomplishments. But the true history of any administration is not going to be written until long after the person is gone. And it's just impossible for short-term history to accurately reflect what has taken place. Most historians, you know, probably had a political preference. And so their view isn't exactly objective -- most short-term historians. And it's going to take awhile for people to analyze mine, or any other of my predecessors', until down the road, when they're able to take -- you know, watch the long march of history and determine whether or not the decisions made during the eight years I was president have affected history in a positive way.”
Get it? He doesn’t have to listen to any criticism while he’s alive, even. Because we don’t understand him. No one can. Because our minds are too firmly rooted in the horror of the present, and “short-term” historians are all against him. According to him, it’s going to take many, many years before history will gain the kind of hindsight that can judge the brilliance of his deeds.

But what I really want to know is, if Bush is a genius in some far off, distant future, can we just bury him in some kind of time capsule and send him there? You know, stick him in a box with an iPod, a McRib sandwich, some hair extensions and a copy of Maxim, and let some future society figure that shit out?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Bitch is not going to be happy the next time she googles her own name

“Coming from Texas I think the majority of us feel that with a male leader we feel safer. I would not vote for a woman president ever.”

That people still feel like the person above feels does not surprise me. That they would express it publicly into a microphone is a little startling to me. And I’m not sure what the whole “coming from Texas” preface is supposed to mean, except that the capacity of Texans for rolling in their own rhetorical excrement never ceases to amaze me.

But the best part is that the above quote is not from the kind of NRA-belongin’all-hat-no-cattle cowboy douchebag that the Lone Star State seems to specialize in. The above quote is from a woman. In fact, the bitch’s name is Nadia Collin. You can hear her spew her unashamed ignorance about a minute into the linked NPR story.

I feel sorry for Nadia. I do. Because she strikes me as the kind of woman that is unable to imagine a member of her own sex being capable of strength of character and force of will, just because those are qualities that she herself lacks.

And I don’t want to hear any shit from my readers about how I cannot dissect her personality just from hearing two bullshit sentences dribble out of her dumbass mouth. If Frist can perform a medical diagnosis of Terri Schiavo that contradicted all her doctors just from watching a videotape of her poor dead head lolling about on her neck, then I can certainly call that Collin bitch out.

Think of it as one of those internet personality tests. Like what American City you are, or what Tarot Card.

In fact, Nadia, let me make it easy for you. Just take this short quiz:


When confronted with a difficult situation, do you:

  1. cry
  2. call Daddy (note that the term “Daddy” can mean either your biological father, one of your stepfathers, or your husband)
  3. cry really loud

At a party, do you:

  1. stand in the kitchen with the other women, talking about babies
  2. wash dishes or otherwise help the hostess
  3. collect plastic surgeon references

How often do you vote?

  1. whenever my husband lets me
  2. always – it’s important to defeat pro-choice candidates
  3. women should never have gotten the vote

When you were a little girl, what did you want to be when you grew up?

  1. a ballerina
  2. a housewife
  3. a Bush sycophant

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

  1. Houston
  2. Dallas
  3. in my daddy’s house, biding my time until my bitch mama dies and I can assume my rightful place of honor beside the man I love best.

Now please tell us what kind of code we should give you for your results

 __ Live Journal/Blogspot

 __ My Space

 __ Facebook

 __ one of those internets tube things

Congratulations, Nadia! Your results are in, and you are:


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

You know who you are

My sister has dared me to tell my ugly holiday sweater story, and you know how that goes, when a younger sibling dares you. I’m afraid if I don’t write this post that she will double dare me, and then double dog dare me, and nothing good can come of that.

I have an aversion to holiday sweaters. I know I’m not the only one, but when I see an otherwise attractive woman walking around in stirrup pants and one of these babies…

…it’s like she doesn’t want her husband to fuck her again, EVER.

They only time the above sweaters are acceptable is if you are over 75 years old AND live in the Midwest or other deeply unfashionable area of the country, or are so disfigured that you are actually trying to keep people from discerning a human body shape underneath your head.

I received a holiday sweater once. It was the holiday sweater to end all holiday sweaters. I wish I had a picture of it. But let me describe it to you. It was a red cardigan divided into panels featuring different scenes of TEDDY BEARS baking CHRISTMAS COOKIES. And buttons of the sweater? Well, they were shaped like CHRISTMAS COOKIES, of course. Were there sequins, or beads, or other embellishments on the sweater as well, you ask? Girl, you know there were. You know that sweater weighed about 28 pounds. 28 pounds of serious, serious, ugly.

At this point, one of you out there should be nodding your head in recognition. Because you gave me that sweater. Do you remember? Do you? Because, when I received that sweater I thought “This person has known me my whole life. On what freakin planet, in what kind of strange bizarro universe, do I wear a FUCKING CHRISTMAS SWEATER WITH FUCKING TEDDY BEARS BAKING FUCKING CHRISTMAS COOKIES???”

It was like you didn’t even know me. Or like you were trying to tell me that I was old, and that my days of looking attractive should by all rights be over, and that that holiday sweater was my initiation into the post-cute club or something. And that hurt.

To be fair, you’ve done fine since then, and I have never spoken to you of the Holiday Sweater Incident. But if you are reading this, and you want to acknowledge your mistake, and offer up an excuse that involves a Xanax overdose, or perhaps being pressured into the purchase by a former significant other with really bad taste, I would be willing to let bygones be bygones. You know, it the spirit of Christmas and all that.

(thanks to my sis for the awesome fugly holiday sweater montage)

Monday, December 18, 2006

Oddly enough, Angel Moroni had tremendous numbers

In a new WSJ poll, it was revealed that “eight in 10 Americans would be “comfortable” or “enthusiastic” about an African-American or woman running for president.”

That same poll showed that “more Americans express doubts about a candidate who served in Bush’s cabinet (59%) than one who is gay or lesbian (53%).”

So is that, as my friend JackJo asks, a measure of how far gays and lesbians have come, or a measure of how far BushCo has fallen?

Both, I guess. Because although the G&Ls did better BushCo, they are still on a par with the Mormon negatives (53% would have “some reservations” or be “very uncomfortable” about a Mormon seeking the White House”).

Well, first of all, I blame Bill Paxton for the Mormon negatives. Because people tend to personalize questions like this, and when I think of a Mormon president I get a wicked mental picture of Bill and his fugly Mormon baby mommas overrunning the White House and setting back the already tenuous First Lady fashion sense a couple of centuries.

Ugh. And this is them trying to look NICE.

Similarly, I think the African-American/woman numbers are more a measure of Obama/Clinton popularity than anything else.

Obama’s been getting a lot of that “He’s too centrist!” PR lately, which is, of course, exactly what he wants right now. The Dem left accuses him of “triangulating,” or working with the enemy.

Personally, I think it is his job to work with the enemy. And when the final product is worthwhile legislation, then great. That means you are working for me.

When the final product is bad legislation, and an increase in your own personal power, then bad. That means you are Joe Lieberman.

(thanks to JackJo for both links)

Slowly whittling down that reader base one smug, supercilious post at a time

Y'all know how I feel about being a vegetarian. Shut the fuck up is how I feel.

But it turns out that the defensiveness of meateaters is totally justified. Because we vegetarians don't just ACT superior, we ARE superior.

(thanks to all the self-satisfied vegetarians who sent me this one)

Put your junk in that box

A Special Christmas Box is the best thing since Three Times One Minus One's Eww, Girl, Eww.

p.s. be sure to click on the uncensored version. unless, you know, you're a pussy.

Friday, December 15, 2006


You know folks, there are certain milestones to living in LA: your first martini at Musso and Frank; puking on that smelly ferry to Catalina; trying to park your car on a 45 degree incline with a four inch cushion in Silverlake; motoring through the illegal fireworks gauntlet in Echo Park on the 4th of July; spotting Angelyne or Dennis Woodruff tooling Hollywood Boulevard; sushi food poisoning; watching Marty and Elayne at the Dresden; driving your beater until it literally falls apart on the 405; spending half your paycheck for a table at some lame club on the Strip...

...and spotting Ed Begley Jr. in his cute little electric car. Which is what happened to me on the way to work this morning.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I don't need your stinking memes

I am a certified marksman with the NRA.

This happened while I was in college. At Penn State, we were required to take 3 gym classes for an undergraduate degree. No doubt this requirement helped justify their huge athletic department budget. At the time, I was a militant anti-team-sport-person, and lord knows I hated mindless exercising (is there any other kind?), so I had to get creative with my selections. I ended up taking archery, fencing, and riflery.

Yes, I became deadly three different ways, my friends. As you can imagine, this was a bit off-putting to most guys when they found out. It didn't help that I was also very tall and skinny, and fond of leather jackets and sneering. On the other hand, that whole package was VERY ATTRACTIVE to certain guys, but those ended up not being the kind of guys I really wanted to date. I mean, who wants to be a top ALL THE TIME? Not me. Too exhausting.

But back to riflery.

In riflery class, we had to learn the parts of our .22 rifles and be able to take them apart and put them back together. That was not a problem. We also had to shoot at a bulls-eye in the standing, kneeling, and lying on our stomachs positions. I would get nervous when we were being tested, what with all the “blam! blam!” and my hands would shake, making it hard to aim accurately. I did best in the lying-down position (shaddup) because I could brace my arms against the floor.

For the final exam, I shot a nice grouping in the center of my target from 50 yards. I was excited. I pressed the button to recall my target paper. It was blank. I stared at it for a minute, confused. Then in the range next to me, the guy who was just starting his test yelled out “Hey, someone shot my target!”

I had sighted the target in the lane next to me, instead of my own.

“Ssssh!” I said to him. “I shot it by mistake. Give it to me, and I’ll give you my blank one.”

The guy cooperated, and I turned in an impressive final.

The next week, when we got our results, I was handed a piece of paper from the NRA that said I was a “marksman.” It was the lowest level you could obtain, as I recall, sort of the yellow belt of the gun world, but still. I asked the instructor why the certificate came from the NRA, since this was a class offered by the university, and he smiled and said “The NRA buys our bullets.”

I got junk mail and newsletters from the NRA for a couple of years after that. At some point, I threw the certificate away or lost it. I wish I hadn’t, as I would now frame it and put it on my front porch. Don’t get me wrong, I hate the NRA, but I live in a kind of marginally shitty neighborhood and I am a big fat hypocrite, I guess.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Wait. Where are you going? I was going to make Espresso.

Peter Boyle is dead at age 71.

You don't have to be Iranian to deny the Holocaust...

...but it sure helps.

Let's not forget folks, that the US of A practically invented Holocaust denying.

And carrying on that fine tradition at Iranian president Mahmoud "crazy like an Ayatollah" Ahmadinejad's "Holocaust: Imperialist Zionist Myth or Imperialist Zionist Conspiracy?" conference was our own former presidential candidate, KKK Imperial Dragon and Republican State Senator for the fine state of Louisiana, David Duke, who apparently postulated publicly at the conference that so-called "death camp" ovens were not used for the disposal of bodies, but for the defrosting of delicious Hot Pockets for the Jewish guests of Sandals Treblinka and Sandals Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Also at the conference was an advisor to the Syrian ministry of relgious affairs, who said "If the Holocaust ever occurred, it was a conspiracy against the Arab-Islamic world as today the Middle East is still paying the consequences."

The above remark would seem to suggest that the conference attendants are not so much united in their sincere belief that the Holocaust never happened, as they are that Muslims are the ones who have suffered the most because of it.

They suffer because of their empathy for the Palestinians, apparently. Bahrain, one of the countries participating in the conference, suffers unbelievably. And while their suffering is mainly of the Jew-hating,
Michael Jackson-hiding, and terrorism-sponsoring variety, as opposed to the divert-some-of-your-obscene-oil-wealth-away-from-
$175-million-dollar-resorts-and-actually-help-some-Palestinians variety, still, they, you know, suffer.

You are a dork

You are The Star

Hope, expectation, Bright promises.

The Star is one of the great cards of faith, dreams realised

The Star is a card that looks to the future. It does not predict any immediate or powerful change, but it does predict hope and healing. This card suggests clarity of vision, spiritual insight. And, most importantly, that unexpected help will be coming, with water to quench your thirst, with a guiding light to the future. They might say you're a dreamer, but you're not the only one.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Thanks to one of my newer blog friends, Johnny Yen, for the link to the above pointless diversion.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

An early Xmas present

Enjoy Pauly Shore getting punched by a redneck. So suitable for holiday gift giving.

via HufPo

High five!

So, you're a drunk preppie fratboy in the company of other drunk preppie fratboys. The whole world is your oyster, yes?

But then this guy pretending to be a foreign journalist gets aboard your RV, and gets you to sign a release, and then videotapes you letting loose about how you really feel about women and minorities. Or rather, how your daddy really feels about women and minorities, since it's extremely unlikely that you yourself are capable of independent thought.

Again, bonus, right? Someone is pretending that the tripe that issues from your mouth is meaningful and deep! Woo hoo!

But then it turns out that you were rather easily duped. And that footage of you and your friends gets put into a movie with wide national release, and then the movie does really well and a lot of people see it.

And you come to realize - albeit slowly - that other people are horrified by your behavior and your opinions. And then you find out that you didn't get that job at the major corporation. And then your friend, the one who was with you in the RV, doesn't get that internship that he thought he was a going to get even though his daddy pulled some strings, yo.

And you try to sue the movie studio, and also that fake journalist, saying that you were tricked into consenting. And you hope that by suing that the scenes you are in don't make it into the DVD and forever immortalize you in the annals of asshatdom. But the judge tosses out your case for lack of evidence, and further states that it is unlikely that you can demonstrate damages.

Which is funny. Because you, with your wealthy parents and your privileged lifestyle and your stupid fucking ignorant opinions had the potential to do so much damage in the world yourself. But by having those opinions taken and played not in front of your cronies, but in front of the very people you look down on, you have found, to your horror, that those opinions have damaged you instead. And this confounds you to your core.

Your life is suddenly not going the way you thought it would.

Oh, Christ

A coworker found this little noodle under a bush near her house. Or rather, her bird dog found it. She managed to get her away from doggy in time, but we are having trouble finding a foster parent, and the local Humane Society would euthanize her because she is too small to spay.

She does not act feral and is completely socialized to humans. She prefers to hang out balanced on my shoulder and purr in my ear, rather than in the carboard box with the comfy towel. She is 4 weeks old but knows how to eat wet food and pee in a box.

My email address is in my profile. If you are in the LA area and can help, drop me a line.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Merry Fucking Christmas

I will admit that I feel fairly stressed right now. It’s stupid, I know, but between the 2 trips to the mall this weekend because the embossing on my gift wasn’t finished when they said it would be, the 2 trips to Fry’s to purchase the correct size photo paper for the homemade cards, the hour and a half devoted to finding stamps and stickers for those same cards, the search for the correct pastry bag tip for the meringue Christmas cookies, the time I spent driving to 3 different grocery stores looking for 1 quart Ball jars, the 35 minutes I spent waiting in line at the post office, the $105 dollars I spent JUST ON MAILING gifts, and the soul-crushing circle of hell known as CostCo, is it any wonder we domestically inclined gals are susceptible to throwing back a case of Chardonnay and passing out on the lawn under the sprinklers?

Now I understand why there are still Bush supports out there

Q: How many people do you have to kill before some fucking morons will withdraw support for your administration?

A: If Chile is any example, a lot. A fucking lot.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Don't be fooled. I am not funny.

Readers who know me know I love me some Christopher Hitchens. If you haven’t read his latest piece in Vanity Fair on why we ladies are more than a bit crippled in the humor department, I have provided a portion of it below. Of course, I could not resist my own entirely worshipful commentary, inserted in italics. It’s a liberty for which I know - in my deeply feminine and unfunny heart - Mr. Hitchens would forgive me.

Why Women Aren’t Funny

By Christopher Hitchens

Be your gender what it may, you will certainly have heard the following from a female friend who is enumerating the charms of a new (male) squeeze: "He's really quite cute, and he's kind to my friends, and he knows all kinds of stuff…

Guilty as charged! We gals just can’t resist a guy who knows stuff!

…and he's so funny … " (If you yourself are a guy, and you know the man in question, you will often have said to yourself, "Funny? He wouldn't know a joke if it came served on a bed of lettuce with sauce bĂ©arnaise.")

Ho ho ho! That is so SPOT ON, Hitch! I mean, if I’ve heard a guy use that “sauce bĂ©arnaise” analogy once, I’ve heard it a hundred times. Seriously, Hitch, the next time my boyfriend brings up that bed of lettuce with the sauce thing, I am so going to be chuckling, thinking of you.

However, there is something that you absolutely never hear from a male friend who is hymning his latest (female) love interest: "She's a real honey, has a life of her own … [interlude for attributes that are none of your business] … and, man, does she ever make 'em laugh."

Hitch, you forgot the part where he goes on to say “And she absolutely loves it that I talk like a character from a 1940s Frank Capra movie!”

Now, why is this? Why is it the case?, I mean. Why are women, who have the whole male world at their mercy, not funny? Please do not pretend not to know what I am talking about.

Wow, Hitch. You busted me. I WAS going to pretend like I didn’t know what you meant by women having the whole male world at their mercy. I was going to bring up retrograde anti-choice laws in the US, and Muslim sharia law, and then segue into a listing of all the major world religions that treat women as inferior and reinforce cultural repression against women - including female genital mutilation and honor killings, and even talk about the still pervasive fear, even among American women, that the streets of their own neighborhoods, no matter where they live, are not as safe and as free to them as they are to men, and how that affects your understanding of your place in the world, which would most definitely NOT be a place of holding men at your mercy, but…well, like I said: I stand busted, Hitch. At my mercy you most certainly are.

All right—try it the other way (as the bishop said to the barmaid).

Can I just interject here and say that I bow down to you, Hitch? I totally would have gone for a “that’s what she said,” but you took the high road with the whole bishop/barmaid reference, and that sentence is all the funnier for it. Bravo.

Why are men, taken on average and as a whole, funnier than women? Well, for one thing, they had damn well better be. The chief task in life that a man has to perform is that of impressing the opposite sex, and Mother Nature (as we laughingly call her)…

Holy cow, you know, I DO call her that laughingly! How do you know that, Hitch? It’s like you can see right into the depths of my soul.

…is not so kind to men. In fact, she equips many fellows with very little armament for the struggle. An average man has just one, outside chance: he had better be able to make the lady laugh.

I couldn’t agree more. Superior physical strength, good looks, money, a cushy job at a national glossy magazine – none of those things really impress women. Go to your local comedy club and survey those guys, and you’ll see that in terms of attracting rich, powerful, and desirable women, those open mike stand-up guys have got it made.

Making them laugh has been one of the crucial preoccupations of my life.

And it shows!

If you can stimulate her to laughter—I am talking about that real, out-loud, head-back, mouth-open-to-expose-the-full-horseshoe-of-lovely-teeth, involuntary, full, and deep-throated mirth; the kind that is accompanied by a shocked surprise and a slight (no, make that a loud) peal of delight—well, then, you have at least caused her to loosen up and to change her expression. I shall not elaborate further.

Out of modesty, I have no doubt.

Women have no corresponding need to appeal to men in this way. They already appeal to men, if you catch my drift…

If only I had known this when I was a skinny, pimply, bespectacled, no-boob-havin’ teenager with braces! Then I totally wouldn’t have had to develop a personality!

*…This is not to say that women are humorless, or cannot make great wits and comedians. And if they did not operate on the humor wavelength, there would be scant point in half killing oneself in the attempt to make them writhe and scream (uproariously).

Hitch, you scamp. I think you’re making a sly reference to the notion that a women laughing is very similar in attitude and vocal inflection to a women in the throes of sexual ecstasy! Am I right? Did I get it?

Wit, after all, is the unfailing symptom of intelligence.

I couldn’t agree more.

Men will laugh at almost anything, often precisely because it is—or they are—extremely stupid.

Wow. I am so moved, really, by your attempt at self-deprecation. It is charming, and utterly convincing.

Women aren't like that.

It’s so true. Women do NOT laugh at stupid things. I am reminded of that universal truth every time my mother forwards to me an email about the antics of cats.

And the wits and comics among them are formidable beyond compare: Dorothy Parker, Nora Ephron, Fran Lebowitz, Ellen DeGeneres. (Though ask yourself, was Dorothy Parker ever really funny?) Greatly daring—or so I thought—

You know what I think? I think the test of a truly great mind is the ability to define the confines of the opposition’s argument, and then to destroy their argument by tearing down the definition of it that you yourself have concocted! And all in two and a half sentences!

I resolved to call up Ms. Lebowitz and Ms. Ephron to try out my theories. Fran responded: "The cultural values are male; for a woman to say a man is funny is the equivalent of a man saying that a woman is pretty."

And good for you, Hitch, for not taking this statement and inferring the larger (and surely ludicrous!) point that perhaps it’s not that women are not as funny as men, but that their humor is not being defined by the people that share their experiences, at least to some extent. I would hate to see you stoop so low. Like if you drew some analogy to those intelligence tests they used to administer to school children that always showed that minority and poor children weren’t smart because they didn’t know that, for instance, in a exercise wherein one must link words from two lists that are often paired in speech, the word “cup” must of course be linked to the word “saucer.” Because saucers are a universal truth of the lives of children, rich or poor, black or white. As is the humor of men. It is universal to both sexes. I can see that, Hitch. With a little help from you, of course.

There is, as you might have guessed, more to Mr. Hitchen’s argument. I invite you to immerse yourself in the world of his wisdom here. Martinis optional.

*At this point I have edited out a small section on a Stanford study of humor recognition in men and women that was so asinine it was difficult to make fun of effectively. But check it out in the original article. It’s all about whether women think some cartoons are as funny as men think they are. I’m not kidding.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Oh yeah? Well, feel this.

Apparently George W. Bush can feel the prayers of millions of Americans.

If it ain't broke, don't, you know, say that it is, just so you can make more money and stuff, ya greedy bastard

I've been listening to all this whining about how post-Enron accounting reforms have stifled the US markets, and I've been thinking that that is such a huge load of crap.

Doesn't it seem like a smart investor would want to buy into companies that are forced to comply with strict accounting regulations? And if the US markets are losing share, isn't simply part of the natural growth of other world markets?


Well, it turns out that Robert Reich agrees with me.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

And the latest celebrity pube waxer is...

Excuse me, I must go soak my eyeballs in bleach now.

Never again

I know I already told y'all that Rolling Rock was the beer of my youth.

It's gone in and out of style several times since those days, but it was always there, like an pale, mellow old friend. A friend who doesn't shout for your attention, but rather, hangs out, waiting for you to re-discover how good its company is. And I loved that about Rolling Rock.

When Anheuser-Busch bought up the brewery and shut down the Latrobe, PA bottling plant, I vowed to never drink it again.

And I've stayed true to my promise. No problem.

But it's not enough that A-B killed the integrity of Rolling Rock, now they're dragging its corpse through the streets and pissing on it.

"a small man in search of a balcony"

The fabulous Cintra Wilson reminds us why President Giuliani would be a really bad idea:
Giuliani hired Bill Bratton as police commissioner, and Bratton put together a team of cops who transformed the way America polices itself. Deputy Commissioner Jack Maple had invented a statistics-based system called Compstat that entailed "flooding the zone" with cops in whatever physical location showed an uptick in crime. As head of the city's transit cops Bratton had applied the "broken windows" theory, which posits that cracking down on petty crimes catches perps guilty of bigger crimes and sends a message of order, and had cleaned up the subways. Together, Compstat and "broken windows" and Bratton's team helped push New York's crime numbers down.

They also pushed Bratton to center stage, and that drove Rudy crazy. Only a year into Rudy's first term, when Bratton was praised in the pages of the New Yorker, NYPD press spokesman John Miller was asked to downsize his staff of 35. The former ABC newsman refused, saying he wouldn't be "a loyal Nazi," and quit.

In 1996, Bratton's face appeared on the cover of Time. Giuliani got rid of him. He also, apparently, initiated an investigation into whether a Bratton book deal constituted a conflict of interest. It was speculated that Rudy fired the man many called the nation's best police chief because he was, simply, insanely jealous.

To replace Bratton, Giuliani brought in Howard Safir -- a move that alienated the remaining players on Team Bratton, particularly Bratton's No. 2 man, John Timoney. When a visibly dismayed Timoney referred to Safir as a "lightweight," Giuliani, in a move that would set the tone for his zero-tolerance policy toward dissent, first tried to demote Timoney to captain, then forced Timoney out of office, ordering him to take a leave of absence until his retirement. Jack Maple, the man responsible for Compstat, resigned days later.

Giuliani, having destroyed what might have been the best management team in NYPD history, had to start from scratch. Bratton's successors continued using the tactics of the men Rudy had canned, but twisted and distorted them. Giuliani and Safir, in trying to one-up the strategic balance of the Bratton team's approach to law enforcement, opted to jack up the "enforcement" and not pay so much attention to the "law."

(The post title quote is how Jimmy Breslin once described Giuliani.)

Democrat minority out with a whimper

The acquiesing on the confirmation of Gates is just so typical of the Senate Democrats.

I swear, if Bush handed them a big plate of shit, they'd say "Hey, at least he didn't kick us in the balls when we ate it!"

It seems pretty clear that in the past Robert Gates has been guilty of...wait for intelligence in order to provide cover to the administration in power. If we put this guy in charge of the Pentagon, how does that help us get the fuck out of Iraq and stay the fuck out of Iran?

Goddamn Senate Democrat ass clowns. You'd think they lost the last midterms, not won them.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Or you could just go with "dickweed"

BushCo nemesis Hugo Chavez was easily re-elected in Sunday’s Venezuelan presidential election. In his acceptance speech, he unveiled a new nickname for our own president: “Mr. Danger.”

Even given that something might be getting lost in the translation, “Mr. Danger” is WAY too cool a nickname for 43. It makes him sound like some kind of a mildly retarded James Bond villain, an achievement that would be significantly beyond the abilities of our commander-in-chief. I mean, "Now watch this drive” - yes. “Now say goodbye, Mr. Bond” -

If I may suggest, Mr, Chavez, why not call him “Cabeza Arbusto”? It’s original, it’s demeaning without being obscene (at least as far as I know), it's a spin on a famous Texas explorer, and it makes reference both to the inarticulate stuffing of his noggin, and his first mismanaged Daddy-funded venture. I think it’s kinda cute. And it’s yours. No attribution necessary.

City Council abandons LA's #1 pain in the ass

I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of editorial hand-wringing about the Los Angeles City Council’s recent decision not to plant any more palm trees on streets and medians, but you won’t hear any from me. I fucking hate palm trees, and here’s why:

1. Where’s the shade, bro? It’s a hundred a twenty degrees out; I could do with a patch of shade that’s more than eighteen inches square.

2. Have you ever had a palm frond fall on your head from a seventy-five foot tree? Surprisingly painful.

3. You can’t really count yourself as a citizen of LA until you’ve driven over a frond and had it wrap around your wheel and disable your car.

4. Once palm trees reach a certain height, they must be professionally trimmed every couple of months or citrus rats will nest in the dead fronds. And in a city where a domestic beer in a bar is seven bucks, gas is still over $2.50 a gallon, and the median home price hovers around half a million dollarinos, professional palm tree trimming is so what I want to be spending my money on.

Friday, December 01, 2006

How about changing your name to The BushCo Agenda Department?

The Feds are investigating whether a U.S. voting machine company paid bribes to Venezuelan officials in order to win a contract in Venezuela. The parent company is owned by Venezuelan investors who may have ties to BushCo enemy Hugo Chavez.

While I always applaud the investigation of fraud, I can't help pointing out here that Diebold, whose crimes are too numerous to mention here now (especially with TGIF nearly upon us), continues to operate with impunity. The officers and directors of Diebold, who have lied and dissembled time and time again about the technology and systems upon which our most important right relies, walk the streets of this nation, scot free.

So yeah, let's for chrissakes make sure no one in any office of elections in VENEZUELA got bribed at all. That's an excellent priority. Good job, Justice Department. You continue to surprise and delight.

Spooney wants the airwaves, baby

Hey parents, are you tired of listening to that Barney CD your kids have now played 28 times in a row?

How about you pick up a copy of Brats on the Beat, a kid-friendly tribute to the Ramones?

My man, Spooney, sings a track on the record. You can also hear Brett Anderson of The Donnas, Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio, and Nick Oliveri from Queens of the Stone Age.

And if you don't want to peruse their MySpace page, and just want to skip to the part where you buy the fucking thing - look! Look! It's on fucking Amazon, baby!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Listen to your mother

I don't have children.

But if I did, I would tell them the usual stuff, I guess. Stay in school. Drink your milk. Don't smoke crack naked in alligator-infested waters.

Not too little, but alas, too late

Nevada Thunder featured this editorial on Iraq by Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE). Read it. It pretty much says it all.

Too bad he wasn't this sensible when he voted to authorize giving BushCo the keys to our nation's treasury (300 BILLION so far) and putting the lives of our service men and women into their greedy, corrupted, self-serving hands.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I'm putting my money where my big fucking mouth is

And you can too.

Send a care package to a soldier in harm's way, via

You can choose a serviceman or woman randomly, or choose one from the town where you live.

Go to their page at the above site, and find out what their unit needs. Portable snack foods, candy, DVDs, toiletries, and articles of clothing are all frequently requested items. Plus, you can get rid of those old Beanie Babies you have hanging around your house (you know you have them) because they are a popular item with Iraqi children, and the soldiers like handing them out when they can.

Isn't that awesome?

You could even organize your coworkers to take up a collection of items.

What better way to walk the walk this holiday season than to put some time and just a little bit of money into a care package for those men and women who are risking their lives for our country?

And then next year, let's bring them home.

Bells On brings you the inside scoop on that Hobbit film

Apparently, Peter Jackson, director of the Lord of the Rings trilogy is feuding with New Line, and as it stands now, he will NOT be asked to direct the upcoming LOTR prequel The Hobbit.

LOTR fans everywhere are distraught, in a kind of predictably hilarious way.

New Line has not yet announced who will now direct The Hobbit, but they have been taking a lot of meetings. Bells On has gotten a hold of their short list, which I will now share with you, dear readers:

Quentin Tarantino – Thinks the chronological plotline is too straightforward. Would tell the story backward (jump cuts!) from a high camera angle that would suggest that the real protagonist of the story is the goblin assassin. Wants Sam Jackson for Bilbo, and Uma Thurman for the goblin. And surf music. Lots of surf music.

Martin Scorsese – Envisions Middle Earth in the sewers of New York City, with the Hobbits as working class Italian immigrants, and the dwarves as a brutal crime syndicate. Wants to lose the actor who played Golum in LOTR and bring in DeNiro.

Ron Howard – Thinks struggle between good and evil in the book is WAY too ambiguous – would simplify, simplify, simplify. Wants Russell Crowe for Bilbo. Would write in two Hobbit love interests (Kate Beckinsale and Kirsten Dunst) representing the hero’s internal struggle. Of course the usual deal for Ron’s brother – maybe third lead dwarf?

Woody Allen – Not really interested in the film unless he can play Bilbo. Will only shoot on location in NYC. Would punch up verbal sparring between Bilbo and Golum. Wants Scarlett Johansson for Golum.

Tim Burton – Thinks the story is short on kitsch, and would set the film in 50’s suburbia: bright colors, manicured lawns, elves as Tupperware ladies, dwarves living in bowling alleys, that kind of thing. Will only direct if Depp can play Bilbo, Gandalf, and Golum, and wife can play all the dwarves.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Trends I am NOT down with

Faithful readers of Bells On might remember my past rants against various Ugg-ly trends, like tiered skirts, which thankfully are so over now. (Note to my readers in the midwest - tiered skirts are so over now.) And of course my feelings about Crocs are well known.

But I have to say for the record that I am just not down with this:

No, not bubble skirts. Although god knows those are excellent if you wish to appear as though you are a recent immigrant from a former Soviet bloc country.

No, I'm talking about ankle boots with skirts.

Oh, sure, it looks cute if you're six foot tall and gorgeous, but let me tell you gals, if you are like me and only 5'9" and medium hot for your age, the whole ankle boots with a skirt thing makes you look like you're auditioning to be a Clydesdale on one of those annoying Budweiser Superbowl commercials.

Monday, November 27, 2006

The war on Christmas wreaths

Residents of a small town in southwestern Colorado are demanding that someone be called to account.

Parents of soldiers in Iraq are said to be upset.

Other residents fear that the devil may be in their midst.

The culprit:

The woman who hung this wreath on her home may be facing fines from the local homeowner’s association, which has rules against posting signs with messages. She defended her invocation of the peace symbol as being “a spiritual thing,” and not political.

You know what? If some collection of rural wingnuts wants to be nationally known as the stupidest goddamn retards this side of the Mississippi, that’s fine with me.

But first of all, can we all just remember this crazy-ass shit the next time some lefties get all hot and bothered about some fucking manger on a courthouse lawn? Can we?

And secondly, can someone make sure that Bill O’Fuckface gets a copy of the story, so he can decry that homeowner’s association for waging a war on Christmas wreaths?

And thirdly...Satan? Really, Satan? Are you sure you want to hang your hat on that old chestnut? Because if you get worked up and fearful at things like that, you tired-ass fucked-up Christian-y hacks, then I don't even know how you make it out of the house to SEE your poor neighbor's harmless little wreath, which, if it were up to me, would be banned not for being political but for being the wrong size for the scale of the house, and for having bad ribbon placement.

But hey, merry fucking Christmas to the Loma Linda Homeowner's Association. I would wish you peace on earth, but I don't want to upset you any more than you obviously are.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

My own personal Squanto

My blogger friend, SJ, has been dealing with a situation similar to one I dealt with about 3 years ago: the break-up of my marriage. Reading her posts and thinking about her has of course brought back memories of that time in my life when the rug was pulled out from under me. Below is a piece I wrote several months after my husband left me. I offer it to you now, gentle readers, in the spirit of Thanksgiving – believe it or not.


It’s funny, I’m not sure how long it’s been since he walked out the door with his clothes in grocery bags. Was it July, or August? I’m really not sure. I could look at my checkbook and tell instantly, I guess. See where his writing stops and mine begins. See the last entry for gas bought with the ATM card at that station near his office, the last check written to the hardware store. Time passes differently for me now, and I feel differently about its passage. Days and night stretch out in front of me, as full or as empty of chores and errands as I wish them to be. If I do not wish them to be full, very little happens. The dogs need food, that needs to be done, and I must go to work every day, but very little else seems to depend on whether or not my old schedule is met. And so at times I test this premise, wrap myself up in a blanket and sit out in the back yard in the lounge chair, staring straight ahead. Go ahead and test me, Mr. Time, I can take it. I can sit like this for hours while dishes lie dirty and dry cleaning remains unclaimed and balls of dog fur and dust roll across the floor like tumbleweeds.

He would have been happy, probably, to see me surrender some rigidity. Funny then, that this surrender comes too late, that it was triggered by the event that also made it moot.

As I sit in my chair, I ask myself the same question that I imagine so many others in my situation ask: How Did I Not See It Coming?

A year ago, we were happy and normal, I thought. After ten years, we still had great times together. I could still absolutely break him up, put him on the floor, laughing, wiping his eyes. And he could still make my stomach feel funny and my hands tremble if he put his arms around me in that way he did sometimes. Sure, we struggled, over the years, with our sex life, with the boredom and the complacency, but we always managed to find a way back to each other, to connect again. People tell me that we were absolutely the very last people on earth that they thought would break up, get divorced. I remember, I thought so too. I would imagine sometimes, what medical infirmities would eventually plague us in our old age, and how we would cope with them. Would he need a colostomy bag someday, like that old guy next door? Or what if I needed one? Would he still want to have sex with me if I did? Is his forgetfulness a sign of future senility? Should I be buying him vitamins or an herbal supplement? Stuff like that. The kind of stuff you think about when you expect to spend the rest of your life with someone.

No, there was no shortage of accoutrement for a lifetime commitment: insurance policies, mortgages, major appliances, wills. Seven years my junior, he moved in with me almost immediately after we started dating, and a couple of years later, he proposed. Having suffered a brief and painful marriage in my twenties, I was content to remain unwed, but when he proposed, I realized I wanted it too. It felt good to say yes to this idea of permanence. He was twenty-five when we met, twenty-nine when we married, and thirty-five when he left.

One night, about a year ago, he announced that he was unhappy, and that he knew I was too. Why not just end it, he said.

I’m searching for a word to express the magnitude of the shock I felt upon this announcement. I remember, my jaw dropped open. I remember thinking as I watched his lips move, as he went on about our unhappiness, that there might be some misunderstanding, that I must be misunderstanding something. It felt unreal. Time slowed. My brain raced. I felt the sensation of walls tumbling down all around me. I was out of my mind, out of my body, cut loose from everything. It was the worst moment of my life, and it wouldn’t end. It just went on and on and on.

It came down to this: he couldn’t believe I wasn’t unhappy, and I couldn’t believe he thought I was.

I begged for couples therapy, for another shot, and he finally gave in. Our therapist pronounced a “profound lack of communication” at work.

Well, yeah.

Although until my spouse’s little eye opener, I would have said that we communicated just fine.

The therapist wanted individual sessions. He went twice, I think, and then he stopped. He would promise to go, and then not, or he would avoid calling the therapist, whose phone messages went from polite to stern to plaintive. Meanwhile, I would go every week, and say things like “he seems happier,” or “I’m trying to really listen to what he’s saying,” plus, I’m being REALLY POSITIVE about our future, and tiptoeing around his moods, and analyzing every word out of his mouth, and trying really hard to look sexy without looking like I’m trying to look sexy. Sometimes, when he left the house, I would sink to the floor and cry, out of exhaustion and despair.

Some weeks later, he pronounced himself “cured” and asked that we speak of it no more. I was relieved. Our counselor was troubled by this, and said that if he wouldn’t come to session, how could he expect to be helped? So when the therapist called a month later to see how we were doing, my statement that we were still together was met with surprise on his part. I was insulted, and still certain that we would survive. C’mon, it was us. We loved each other. This was the man who stood on stage at our wedding reception and sang “Thunder Road” to me as a wedding present. The whole song. Sang it to me while I laughed and cried simultaneously. Who else on earth could make me feel so goofy & gloriously alive? And who else could make him feel the same?

Months passed, and one day I got a replay of the “I’m not happy, I want out” speech, only this time, I saw it coming. I had gradually become aware that he was not cured, that he was miserable and conflicted, and it was then that I put together my meager scraps of understanding and realized why he never went to session: he didn’t want to sit and lie for an hour every week. He didn’t want to tell lies about trying to make it work. And he couldn’t tell the truth, apparently, either, because that was even worse.

The truth: He wanted out. He just did. He wanted off the hook. He just did. I don’t know why, I don’t know why. He just did. Whatever it was he got from me, it meant less than his freedom, less than the weight of permanence being lifted from his head, less than being able to walk out the door with those grocery bags full of clothes.


I came across this piece about a week ago, and after re-reading it, my first reaction was to wince at the amount of pain fairly dripping off the page. My second reaction was to recognize that my understanding of the events has increased over the last 3 years in inverse proportion to the degree to which I give a shit about the events. Isn’t that always the way?

Thirdly, I really can’t believe how much happier I am now. And I think that’s because I’m a strong person, and I have great friends and family to rely upon as well, and I’m really pretty good at finding a way to be happy. But I got to give no small measure of credit for my happiness to my man Spooney, because he is wicked awesome, and because he makes me laugh at things I had forgotten to notice years ago, and because he loves me with his heart wide open, and I marvel at that.

So, thanks.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Vietnam Effect

You know, getting his ideological ass handed to him in the midterms may have softened 43's rhetoric a bit - he recently admitted, for example, that Democrats are not necessarily traitors - but it hasn't sharpened his sense of historical irony.

Case in point: when asked yesterday what lessons from the Vietnam war we can apply to our entanglement in Iraq, he said, "we’ll succeed unless we quit."

Wait a minute. THAT'S the lesson?

He does know that we quit in Vietnam, doesn't he?

If he doesn't, fine, he's just ignorant - nothing new there. If he does know, I'd be forced to conclude that he thinks it was a mistake to quit in Vietnam, in which case I...well, I...well, it's just too fucking horrible to consider, that he would think WE SHOULD HAVE STAYED IN VIETNAM.

Although it's really a quite brilliant and unmistakably Rovian strategy, to deflect the parallel of Vietnam to Iraq by asserting that we should have stayed in Vietnam just as we should stay in Iraq. Imagine all the scholars and historians having conniptions on talk shows all over the country, trying to refute the almost completely impenetrable blockheadedness of that assertion.

Let me tell you what the lesson of Vietnam is. The lesson of Vietnam is GET THE FUCK OUT. Actually, the 1st lesson of Vietnam is STAY THE FUCK OUT, but, once lied into getting in, then immediately proceed to GET THE FUCK OUT.

But what about creating a safe haven for terrorists in Iraq, you say? And what about the stability of the region? We can't have the whole region falling under the influence of fundamentalist theocracies, can we?

Ahem. Let's just skip the part about living in a theocracy for now, shall we? I'm depressed enough.

But, if you take out the words "fundamentalist theocracies" out of that sentence, and insert "communism," you'll see that there are indeed some interesting parallels between the site of our current folly and Vietnam.

Yes, I'm talkin' 'bout dat old Domino Theory. I think a lot of people today regard the Domino Theory as some crazy old school right-wing shit. It isn't. Well, actually, it is, but it was also the prevailing wisdom of the day. And by prevailing wisdom, I mean it was accepted truth by Dems and Repubs, by tv news anchors and by newspaper publishers, by history professors and by Washington policy makers. It was THE goddamn reason we didn't get the fuck out of Vietnam year after year after year, because Southeast Asia would fall to communism, and then its spread would engulf Asia completely, and then it would take over the Americas (for extra credit write 500 words on Reagan's employment of the Domino Theory in Central and South America in the 80s), and before you know it, the U.S. of A. would be surrounded by pinkos ready and willing to invade our country, acquire our gun registration lists, confiscate the semi-automatics of our citizens, and subdue the populace.

And yet, we cut and ran in Vietnam, and it didn't happen.

Readers, I put to you, that leaving Iraq would produce a similar response. The country may not be our BFF for a few years, but 1) our citizens would not die there anymore, and 2) all the problems that are currently being caused by our mere presence there (which are admittedly difficult to measure) would immediately evaporate.

Hey, I'm willing to gamble on the Vietnam Effect. How about you?

Tonight we're gonna rock you!

Where I'll be:

The Scene in Glendale. Yeah, Glendale, bitches. You got something to say about it?

Featuring a bill of ex-pat Bostonians trying to rock the tan in LA:

10 pm - First off is the captivating melodies of Orphan Train w/ a special guest appearance by The Watson Twins!

11 pm - Then it's the semi-sweet, power-pop of the one & only Banquet Hall (featuring my Spooney).

12 am - And lastly, but not leastly, the tasty rock stylings of Box, featuring Todd Spahr, formerly of The Cavedogs and The Gravy.

First 50 fans receive a free Banquet Hall swizzlestick!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Just wait 'til he goes on Fox

When JFK ran for president, a lot of people were afraid that as a Catholic, he would face a conflict of interest. They said he would be bound to do the bidding of the Pope, even if it went against the best interests of the United States.

Ho, ho, ho, you say. How fucking quaint. What a droll and primitive time, was this "1960" of which you speak.

Look how far we've come, you say. John Kerry proved in 2004 that not only were we not concerned about his loyalty to the Pope, we were actually amused as he was practically excommunicated from the Catholic church for having a mind of his own!

But those were Catholics. And Catholics, my friends, are not Muslims. Sure, they both do the long robe thing, and they both share a fondness for incense and fucking little boys, but theologically speaking they are WORLDS apart. See, Catholics believe in a kind of punitive father-figure-type god, who sent a prophet to earth to solve the great-great-great granddaddy of middle east crises (he failed), whereas Muslims believe in a REALLY punitive father-figure-type god who...ah, well, yadda, yadda, yadda, right?

There are important differences. For example, Catholic women are fighting to be allowed to be ordained as priests, and are opposed by church officials who contend that because they do not have a penis, they do not "resemble Jesus," which apparently is one of the main job requirements.* Whereas, Muslim women are fighting to be allowed to look at things with their eyes, so their struggle for equality is not quite as far along.

But I digress. My point was, that we think we are soooooo far above that kind of bigoted, primitive thinking about a group of people belonging to a religious sect. And for sure we are. We so are.

But CNN isn't:
GLENN BECK (CNN HEADLINE NEWS): History was made last Tuesday when Democrat Keith Ellison got elected to Congress, representing the great state of Minnesota. Well, not really unusual that Minnesota would elect a Democrat. What is noteworthy is that Keith is the first Muslim in history to be elected to the House of Representatives. He joins us now.

Congratulations, sir.

ELLISON: How you doing, Glenn? Glad to be here.

BECK: Thank you. I will tell you, may I -- may we have five minutes here where we're just politically incorrect and I play the cards face up on the table?

ELLISON: Go there.

BECK: OK. No offense, and I know Muslims. I like Muslims. I've been to mosques. I really don't believe that Islam is a religion of evil. I -- you know, I think it's being hijacked, quite frankly.

With that being said, you are a Democrat. You are saying, "Let's cut and run." And I have to tell you, I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, "Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies."

And I know you're not. I'm not accusing you of being an enemy, but that's the way I feel, and I think a lot of Americans will feel that way.

ELLISON: Well, let me tell you, the people of the Fifth Congressional District know that I have a deep love and affection for my country. There's no one who is more patriotic than I am. And so, you know, I don't need to -- need to prove my patriotic stripes.

You don't need to prove your patriotism?

How could the voters of Minnesota elect someone so completely unfamiliar with how Democratic politics works?

*You'd think recent events would have prompted them to rethink the whole penis emphasis, but they are so far sticking to their guns, so to speak.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Sorry, haters

Anyone out there a Martha Stewart fan?

I didn’t think so.

Everyone hates Martha Stewart. Why? Because we think she thinks she’s better than us.

Well, I got news for you…everyone thinks they’re better than you, okay? Everyone thinks they’re better than you.

It’s just that in Martha Stewart’s case – she’s right. She is better than you. Her focus, ambition, and attention to detail are downright scary. She’s a better cook than you are, she understands business better than you, and she throws better parties than you do. Generally, she knows a better class of people than you can ever hope to know.

She’s certainly better at making money than you are.

And what's more, she went to jail and came back more popular and more successful than ever. How many of us can say the same thing? That's right. None.

If you want to hate someone for thinking they’re better than you, hate me. Because I definitely think I’m better than you are, and I’m just a no-talent, no-money bitch who can’t knit and doesn’t raise her own chickens. So who the fuck am I to think I’m better than you? I fucking suck. Hate me, you fucking haters.

They report the angle that serves their corporate masters, you decide how much of it is complete bullshit

HuffPo has acquired an internal Fox News memo:

"Let's be on the lookout for any statements from Iraqi insurgents, who must be thrilled at the prospect of a Dem-controlled congress."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Jesus fucking Christ

Will you fuckers ever fucking learn?

I can't wait to find out how many millions the citizens of LA are going to have to pay this guy.

Or this fucking guy, for fuck's sake.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Once again, the payback, she is a bitch

The Germans, who should know from war crimes, are indicting Donald Rumsfeld, Alberto Gonzalez and George Tenet, among others, on the whole Abu Ghraib thing.

Formerly, the German prosecutor did not indict because he believed the U. S. was pursuing an investigation of the matter. I guess Rumsfeld's resignation has convinced him that we are doing no such thing.

Ah, but here's the sweet, sweet part of the story:
Lawyers for the plaintiffs say that one of the witnesses who will testify on their behalf is former Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, the one-time commander of all U.S. military prisons in Iraq. Karpinski, who the lawyers say will be in Germany next week to publicly address her accusations in the case, has issued a written statement to accompany the legal filing, which says, in part: "It was clear the knowledge and responsibility [for what happened at Abu Ghraib] goes all the way to the top of the chain of command to the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld ."
The former general was demoted to colonel in the wake of the scandal. She insists that she was made a scapegoat.

Here's what I don't get

If we Democrats are so closely aligned with Al-Qaeda types that our election to the U.S. Congress prompts the president to make this statement to warn the terrorists that it's not olly olly oxen-free time:
Do not confuse the workings of American democracy with a lack of American will. Our Nation is committed to bringing you to justice, and we will prevail.
And even "fair and balanced" networks are forced to wonder if I am just a mouthpiece for bin Laden:

Then how is one to explain the arrest of right-wing freeper Chad Castagana, who allegedly mailed anthrax-like powder to famous Democrats and entertainers? How can a man who believes "Ann Coulter is a Goddess" and who "worships" Laura Ingraham and Michele Malkin be not "with us" but "against us"? That just goes against everything BushCo and the media have been saying.

How can a man who describes himself as having "an Associates Degree in the Science of Electronics" hate America?

In short, how can a terrorist be a Republican????????

Not only that, but what in the hell is the DeVry Institute of Technology teaching its students these days??

Friday, November 10, 2006

Did I leave the iron on?

Jill Greenberg's new photo series, inexplicably titled Monkey Portraits, is just as cool as her last one.

But since she didn't make any precious children cry this time, it's likely to be less controversial.

You didn't really expect him to nominate someone acceptable, did you?

Sooo...when our new nominee to replace Rummy, Robert Gates, was nominated in 1991 by 41 to head the CIA, many agency analysts protested because Gates had a history of...wait for it...

cooking intelligence.

What a HUGE fucking surprise.

This holiday season, why settle for irrelevent, when you can be embarrassing?

In honor of Veteran's Day, I bring you a horror worse than any war. Well, okay, not worse than war, but pretty damn high up there:

The long-awaited Billy Idol Christmas album.

Yes, I said Christmas, not "holidays," because there's none of that diversity music for Mr. Idol! No dreidel song on this album, and certainly no singing of songs from Fiddler on the Roof and pretending they're Hanukkah songs.

I guess fans of has-been 80s rockers will have to petition David Lee Roth to come out of retirement for that one.

And speaking of David Lee Roth, what's with the bad face lift, Billy? Because the whole grinning skull look is not exactly merriment-inducing. Maybe a Halloween album would've been a better idea. Call your people.

So readers, watch one of the cuts here, and then tell me what you think is in that gift package Billy keeps shaking. I'm betting it's a gun to shoot himself with, but that might be just wishful thinking.

Yeah, that's it. My Christmas wish.

(thanks to Spooney for the link)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

George "Did I mention how sorry I was about the whole 'macaca' thing?" Allen concedes.

Dems take Senate.

Now, are we going to use it, or lose it?

(thanks to Daddy-O for the link)

Judge of Election makes Chicago safe for democracy, pt. 1

In honor of our recent election, I will share with my readers one of my many semi-amusing anecdotes from my experiences as a Democratic Judge of Election in Chicago.

Yes, I worked the polls in Chicago, and no, I never let any dead people vote. Not unless you count those DePaul University students…

And before you go getting all impressed with my civic-mindedness, let me tell you that 1) the gig paid $80, which was nothing to sneeze at for me back then, and 2) by being a judge of election, I could legitimately refuse to spend election day standing outside a polling place with some dumb sign or some dumb flyers while the voters avoided making eye contact with me. Except for the ones that would spit on me, that is.

One thing I learned from being a judge of election is to make friends with your cop. See, in Chicago, there is a cop assigned to every polling place. Sometimes, they are actually there, too. And the cop usually has better stories to tell than the half-demented/90% deaf senior citizen sitting next to you. One cop I spent election day with normally worked a beat in Cabrini-Green, and had been shot 4 times and stabbed twice. Wow, that’s a bad beat. His supervisor must’ve hated his shit.

Anyway, one mayoral election day, I notice that this guy had finished voting, but instead of handing us our ballot and leaving, he was looking over the stall at the ballot of the woman standing next to him. Just as I was about to say something, the guy spoke to the woman in a really loud voice…

Guy: (to woman) What are you doing?
Me: Sir.
Guy: (to woman) You’re not seriously voting for that guy!

The woman he is speaking to looks at him, annoyed. Everyone in the tiny polling place turns to look as well.

Me: Sir. Excuse me sir.
Guy (to me) What?
Me: You can’t do that, sir.
Guy: What?
Me: You can’t try to tell her how to vote.
Guy: It’s okay, she’s my wife.

I looked at him for a moment. He wasn’t joking. He was serious.

Me: Well, regardless. Unless, she’s asked you to assist her – ma’m, have you asked him to assist you?
Woman: (crosses her arms) No!
Me: Okay, then. Sir, you are not allowed to see who she is voting for, or to make comments about her choices.
Guy: Why don’t you mind your own business?
Me: Well, sir, this is my business. I’m a judge of election.
Guy: It’s my wife, okay? So why don’t you settle down?
Me: Sir, if you’re finished voting, I’m suggesting that you give us your ballot and leave. You can wait for your wife outside.

At this point I look up at the cop standing a few feet to my right. The cop, bored out of his skull and probably up for anything, takes a step forward and actually puts his hand on the handle of his nightstick. Like he’s ready to go on my word. Christ, I’ll love that cop until my dying day for doing that.

The guy’s gaze goes from me to the cop, and then after a few seconds he stomps over to the ballot box and makes a big show of watching one of our semi-capable seniors put his ballot in the slot and give him his receipt. Then he stomps out of the polling place, giving me the evil eye the whole time.

As soon as he’s gone the cop shakes his head and goes back to leaning against the wall. The guy’s wife goes back to punching her ballot, and takes her sweet time, too.

Well, that’s the end of that story. Maybe next time I’m tell you about when I worked the polling place in the firehouse.