Friday, May 4, 2007

Sade is Amazing

Sade is one of my favorite singers of all time. She's smooth, seductive, and soulful. So, with this week ending to little fanfare or actual news of importance (there was a story about Jay-Z being killed in a plane crash, but those have been determined false. There was a plane crash, but no Jay to the mothafuckin' Z), I'm going to peace out for the next week with a video from Sade for her song Paradise. This is top ten of her songs for me.

Until the 15th, Peace.

Katie Couric: Her Own Worst Enemy

In a Gallup organized poll, only 51 percent of Americans have a positive feeling towards CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric. This puts her solidly in third behind the two men who work the news desk for ABC and NBC.

When Couric was hired by CBS, she was expected to be a breath of fresh air, a revival to the struggling evening news institutions, especially at CBS where Dan Rather had been unceremoniously run our of town following his report on Bush's affiliation with the Alabama National Guard. She seemed like an appropriate choice as she was the super popular host of NBC's morning juggernaut Today. But, as time has gone on, the softer focus that she has taken on the news along with not giving fair time to both conservatives and liberals has, after its initial bump from the novelty of Couric on the evening news wore off, stayed in the bottom space. And, to be honest, the other guys are better. Their shows are better with better story coverage and a bit more neutrality. Then again, all of them pale to the juggernaut that is The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS.

I'm not trying to diss Couric or anything. She seems like a fairly nice, polite person. I'm sure she's probably a bit of a diva, but I expect most newspeople to be regardless of sex. This story is just one of those stories that piqued my interest in a strange way.

I Hope They Tranquilized Him


A gang of armed robbers forced a man to strip naked and then glued him to his exercise bike and sealed his lips with more glue while they ransacked his house, according to a published report.
Note to robbers: it is not gangster to glue a dude to a bike while you rob his house. Effective, but so not gangster, especially stripping him naked.

Reality Shows are Tickets to Nowhere

So in some tragic misfortune of my life, Britain has decided to export all of its (quasi-)major celebrities over to our shores. International footballer and English bum David Beckham signed a contract to move him away from Real Madrid in Spain to play in Los Angeles for up to 250 million dollars in soccer pay and advertising revenue. This means that we also have to confront the size zero tornado of one Victoria Beckham, better known to the American population as Posh Spice. You know, one of the Spice Girls.

Without getting any legitimate fan fare (read: getting people to actually give a flying shit about them), the Beckhams have been thrust upon America. Constant reporting on Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, and E!. The major gossip raps (US Weekly, Life & Style, etc.) are all over every move the two of them make. I should correct that as it is really only one of them: Posh. She lives the most boring existence of all time. She shops. She goes out to things with the hubby. She jetsets. Is that worthy of a reality show? I mean, you could follow David, but that wouldn't really matter either. David Beckham plays soccer. Soccer is not a mainstream sport in America. I understand that soccer is trying to boost its image by bringing in an international superstar on the tail end of his "illustrious" career* like was done with Argentine great Diego Maradona, but, by thinking like this, this experiment with the MLS won't work. It's going to be trying to get people to actually care about a guy who is not even on the top of his form, who is literally playing in America for the exposure and the money. He's showing a more advanced, but lower quality form of the beautiful game. Puts him right on par with the MLS. But, him and Victoria are only one group of Brits trying to win the hearts and minds of the American gossip/celebrity consumers.

Another group of Brits that are trying to gain such fans is Peter and Jordan. To show you how much that I care about Peter, he has a last name. I could easily google it and look it up, but I'm not going to because I don't care that much. I only know who Jordan is from my days of reading the lad magazines in high school (All I read was magazines in high school), but I'm not really clear on what she actually does. Her full name is Katie Price and her breasts are as fake as Joan River's face. I know she models, but that's about it.

These two people have less street cred than the Beckhams, who have very little of their own even though Victoria keeps flashing her nips to the paparazzi. But, regardless of their celebrity, or lack thereof, in America, Peter and Katie have a reality show on E!. They wear matching jumpsuits and looked very merry. It reminds me of Lisa Loeb's old reality show in the fact that the more you watch them on the show, the sorrier you feel for them. I felt for Lisa, but watching her on her show was insufferable. The same goes for Peter and Katie. They are all very nice people, but the reality show is not a good format for them.

But, larger than that, I hope that these attempts to build the fame of moderately famous people in other countries will teach producers a lesson. Celebrity cannot be foisted upon the American public. It is generated by the public itself. I'm not going to argue and say that Newlyweds, which is clearly the inspiration for Peter and Katie's show, is a good show or anything, but it developed stars out of Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey because we all know their music wasn't going to do it. The benefit was that both of them already had basis in our society. Both of them were played in heavy rotation on the radio for a couple of years, enough so that people know who they were. The reality show was built out of a groundswell and their willingness to participate. This is not the case with the Brits coming to America; they haven't gained the clout that they need to be a respectable member of celebrity culture to make a reality show a compelling watch. Since they don't have that sort of standing, I'm going to say that these reality shows are, in fact, an affront to America.

The reality shows of these Brits are a typical imperialist way to present themselves to an American audience that will go "who?" upon first watch and probably will be too bored to continue on watching for the full...episode. But, I must admit, it is bold of these people to come over to America and impose their presence upon us. They are returning to the role that they maintained in America starting in 1607 with the Jamestown colony in Virginia. Now, I'm not calling these modern groups racist or anything, but I am saying that they are imposing their will upon a friendly but skeptical community. But, unlike the Jamestown settlers, Victoria Beckham isn't going to be walking around killing Native Americans, but the Natives are hip to the game this time and aren't going to be so sympathetic to the Brits.

*I say illustrous in quotes because he actually has been a very successful player, leading Manchester United to a Treble back in 1999. He's immensely talented, but he plays in England. England hasn't won the World Cup for a very long time. Beckham was supposed to be the missing piece. He hasn't turned out to be that. He's approaching great status, but he's not there yet because he can't add this one piece to his resume. Well, to be fully truthful, he would also have needed to be successful in Europe for the last couple of years, which he hasn't. So, like Maradona and Beckinbauer previous, Beckham's on the down side of his career, showing his true reasons for coming to America instead of saying them.

A Quickie

I had written a really long comment involving The Office, the NBA, and many other random things. But, it all amounted to me posting a video from the best game show ever made: American Gladiators. So, this one will do the same thing. I don't know what code I copied, and I could check it in an initial post, but it's also 2 in the morning, I'm lazy, and I want to crank out a commentary on British celebrity before I fall asleep.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

GOP Debate

There is a debate tonight for the Republicans. I'm kind of interested, but I'm using it more as a guise to get wasted by chasing Maker's Mark with beer. Anyway, if I'm still sober, I will post two more times. If I am wasted, only one more time. I can do things blazed like major academic work (did all of the research for my senior thesis wrecked), but drunk is a more challenging proposition.

He's Old, But What's Her Excuse?


Despite a prominently displayed pile of cash, video screens advertising the charity, and an impassioned plea made by Nemcova herself (which the couple missed), Douglas (via his rep) tells Radar that he and his wife were not aware that the gathering was a fundraiser.

This was a CELEBRITY GOLF TOURNAMENT! When have you known anyone to just organize a golf tournament or anything else that involves huge screens and wads of cash just for fun? For shits and giggles? This is ridiculous. Even if you didn't know, it's not like they're exactly hard up for money. Catherine Zeta- Jones still has that t-Mobile money unless she has blew it all aware. Sorry for the pun there. Michael Douglas doesn't have a claim either. I saw his ass in Wall Street on three different channels in the last week. He's not hurting for cash either. Catherine & Michael: You're on notice. You better hope your next movies are amazing.

Ping Pong

We Make Money Not Art:

Intimate Game Controllers, by Jennifer Chowdhury (she of The Cell Atlantic CellBooth!) and Mehmet Sinan Ascioglu, is a platform where game controllers are built into undergarments so that players must physically touch one another to play.

This is a really, really nifty idea and who wouldn't want to play pong by touching their partner's chest. That's fun for everyone involved!

A Personally Sad Day For Me

One of my favorite shows on television is Gilmore Girls. Yes, Gilmore Girls. It's well written, and all of the characters are so interesting. I got into it on a whim, but, after that, I was completely hooked in. I watched an entire season in two days one time. It was an infinitely watchable show. Unfortunately, the last season was kind of bad and they couldn't hammer out a new deal with the stars so the show is now going the way of the dodo.

So, I bid farewell to Lorelai and Lorelai "Rory" Gilmore. Their rapid-fire dialogue and intense popular culture references along with the seemingly strange neighbors they maintained in Stars Hollow, CT will all be greatly missed.

p.s. yea. that photo makes me uncomfortable too.

Random Hot Rhyme

Whether you're an old head
Or a young buck
I'm not the elevator
I'm no come-up

-Cam'ron "Child of the Ghetto"

Goat Sex? I Don't Know What This is About

From The Times (UK):

Rose, the goat that found international celebrity last year after being forced into marriage with a Sudanese man, has died after accidentally swallowing a plastic bag.

When did this story happen? When did an African guy marry a goat? Why wasn't I informed, so I could say that this guy was setting Black people back years with his actions. Additionally, why was this an international phenomenon? I mean it's ridiculous that a dude would marry a goat, but seriously. Actually, I just noticed that the line says the goat was FORCED to marry the man. While still setting the Black people back, I didn't know that a goat can be forced into marriage. That's really impressive in a bizarre way.

Regardless of facts, this story makes me laugh and cry a little bit. Laugh because this is absurd. Cry because this is really, really sad. Not the death, but the story itself.

Worst Women in Prison Movie Ever

Paris Hilton would do a terrible job of using her wares to negotiate the clink while she (possibly) serves time. If she actually has to go to jail, maybe it'd be a wake-up call for all of her buddies to stop being so fucking irresponsible all of the time. But, seriously, Paris in Chains= not so hot. Sorry, Paris!

I already hate college ball

Men's College Basketball is a sham as it stands. The first thing that it needs to do is shorten its shot clock to 30 seconds. 35 seconds encourages shitty play and overpassing instead of driving the lane to open up the game. But, this won't change since it took until the 80's to put in both a shot clock and eliminate Four Corners. Anyway, the NCAA has made some new rule changes in the hope to change the game. My favorite line in this article is this one about the charge-block line:

But the committee rejected adding the arch underneath the basket for charge-block calls, a line the NBA uses, in part because it believed there would be too many lines on the court.

Are you serious? There would be too many lines on the court? There aren't that many lines on a basketball court now. They should try watching a rugby. That pitch is covered in lines and is way more confusing to understand than basketball. Additionally, this is two lines. TWO! And they are arcs. How is this confusing?

This is one of the poorest pieces of reasoning I've ever heard. These are people running major centers of higher learning in America, and they couldn't make a better rationale than that it looks bad? This is why I don't like college basketball: people who have no idea of what's actually good for the game are making changes for the game.


Apparently, John McCain really has gone nuts, arguing that men and women who are willing to sacrifice their lives in defense of this country should not be allowed to serve if they are gay. I didn't know that your sexual orientation affected your ability to handle a weapon or serve your country. Additionally, gays and lesbians should be able to go into the military if they want to because you know who's not going? This guy.

James Brown's Crusade for Decency

Firstly, dap from the ground above to the ground below for the godfather of soul James Brown. Today is his 74th birthday, and, like with any regular birthday celebration, his daughters have come on CNN to talk about the need for removing negative content from hip-hop.

Honestly, if this discussion could stop some time soon, I'd really be appreciative. I don't like the materialistic nature of hip-hop, how it has become about bitches, hos, diamonds, and slinging drugs. All of this negative rap is produced from a system that sells social narcotics.

Drug usage and violence is frequently promoted in hip-hop to the pleasure of white moneymakers at the major labels. Yes, the rappers usually own the channels and make a lot of money on their own, but they are also being sucked under by the need to maintain an absurd street edge, which is impossible since most rappers don't live on the street anymore. All of this street cred is supposed to help rap relate to the Black community. I grew up in a Black community, the shit I was hearing on the radio wasn't what I was experiencing. Wasn't even close. The negativity and nihilism is all part of a larger scheme that has been fought by the underground for many years. But, it's hard when they don't have the money to fight the Goliath.

The goliath keeps pushing this crap in the effort to keep Black people down in America because they are afraid of what we can do if given full power and creative & marketing control. Yes, I said it: Rap music, the music created by Kool Herc up in the Boogie Down back in the 1970's which was a voice for the disenfranchised Black and Latino communities of NY, is being used to keep the communities that started it down. Any radical rapper that you can think of that doesn't talk a lot of junk and isn't Public Enemy never gets on television...ever, even if they are hotter than 99% of the groups out right now. Groups like Little Brother and Black Eyed Peas (back in the day BEP, not Fergie BEP) got their videos thrown off of BET and MTV because they were was too educated, they were going to put too many revolutionary ideas in the malleable minds of impressionable Black youth who weren't smart enough to know better that can put money in the corporate coffers.

Record companies are making a killing off rap, they aren't going to tell rappers to change their content so that it will be more socially acceptable.* The only way that the rap game won't kill itself, and prove Nas right (dude said this shit on hip-hop is dead and in a Jet from a while ago), is to start being about the content again. And, having James Brown's daughters going around in New York trying to provoke the record labels to change is not going to do this. This has to come from within the community of hip-hop because we are the only ones that are going to be able to actually make a change.

*the argument that rap is offensive to society is laughable. No music should ever aspire to be social acceptable. That stifles creativity. As well, who is to say what the societal standard is. I can't define it, but neither can a conservative. No one can because we will always disagree. Additionally, by making rap socially acceptable, you are depriving rap of the ability to tell stories about the seedier aspects of life. Drugs do happen. Violence does happen. It needs to be discussed, not censored. But it also does not need to be glorified as so many rappers are doing now.

Bush on the Veto Again?

Apparently, the deciding guy has threatened that he will not sign a bill that would expand the definition of a hate crime to cover sexual orientation, gender, and disability. This is how the law stands now from the first time it was passed following the political assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968:

...federal authorities can investigate and prosecute violence motivated by a victim's religion, race, national origin or color if the act is committed against someone engaged in a federally protected activity, such as voting or attending public school.
The current bill suggests the expansion of federal authority to help state and local law enforcement better enforce the laws. As usual, such a law that actually suggest defending the interests of gay people, women, and blind/handicapped (I'm not calling you either differently abled or handicapable, wheelchair bound people) in America has raised the ire of the conservative (read: white) members of government as well as groups that believe in traditional values.

Members of the house Judiciary Committee wrote, "Justice should be blind to the personal traits of victims" in voicing their opposition to the change in law. In general, I would agree, but there is a problem here: there is no such thing as blind justice. Gary Graham aka Shaka Sankofa was killed by this President on the evidence of a sole witness who acknowledged that it was dark and couldn't clearly see the person. As well, there was ZERO physical evidence that linked him to the scene, and this is the age of DNA testing, I mind you. Apparently, this paper thin case was good enough for the White jury and for Bush, who did not give him a stay and killed Sankofa in cold blood. He is only one person out of hundreds of similar cases.

People are frequently targeted because they are a specific thing. Gwen Araujo was killed in cold blood because she was a transsexual. Matthew Shepard was killed because he was gay. These people need protection from homicidal maniacs who only want to kill them because they don't like who they are. That's a hate crime just as much as someone killing me because I'm Black or killing an upstanding American citizen because they are Islamic. Gays, lesbians, and women suffer enough in this country. They need to get the protection that they deserve from the law as well.

And this all comes back to the deciding guy. So, decider, are you going to extend appropriate protection against hate crimes to other marginalized groups or are you going to fall in lockstep with your conservative cronies and veto a completely essential bill. Wait, wait, let me guess.

No Jokes Here

I don't take a lot of things seriously. It's my general nature. One of the few things that I take seriously is corporate responsibility and culpability. Corporations should be responsible members of society, working to serve the needs of the public while also taking steps to protect the environment. Michael Baroody has not had this interest, and we all know what this nets him: the opportunity to serve in the Bush administration. Do your part to stop this travesty. Send a letter.

Shit's Only Gone Downhill Since He Cuts the Dreads

Busta Rhymes was arrested in New York under suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Now, last year, he was arrested for assaulting his driver, driving with a suspended license, and beating up a guy who spat on his car. While the dude who spat on the car had it coming, the other ones most likely could have been avoided. Regardless, all of these issues came after cutting his dreads off and making Touch It. Now, Touch It is a pretty hot track on a very weak album. Regardless, this track ended up with a bodyguard dead in Brooklyn and a crusade to stifle creative license in hip-hop music. Before all of you start tripping and shit, I have no problem with rap policing itself, which it needs to do so it can cut out all of the bullshit rappers talking about nothing and rapping on yachts. But, I have a larger problem with the government regulating rap music, which is what many would like following the Imus fiasco. Because when the government gets involved, it removes culpability from the parents for being more involved in their children's lives by doing things such as learning what they are listening to, seeing what they are watching, and finding out who they are running with. Busta Rhymes is one of the people at the forefront of this plague of rap even though Leaders of the New School didn't promote a lot of junk. I don't know if Busta Rhymes is trying to solidify his street cred or something, but he didn't have these problems before shaving his dreads off.

MSNBC, Please tell your journalists how to conduct an interview

Now, I'm not a journalist or anything of the sort. I'm just some guy with some ideas. But, I know fairly well that anyone is allowed to run for the Presidency given that they are 35 years old and born in America. The second part of that might be changed, but regardless, that's what it is now. Kris Jansing of MSNBC has just flat-out said Dennis Kucinich doesn't really stand a chance. I didn't know that the election had already been decided so early. I'm glad Kucinich put her in the right place and get her to realize that politics is about issues and not necessarily money. She also kept trying to pin him into compromising statements, but the salty vet Dennis didn't bite. A terrible interview by Jansing, but a masterful interview by Kucinich. I wish that his actual candidacy actually had a chance because he might not be too bad, especially if he gets rid of that Department of Peace idea.

I'm The Hating Guy

"The question is, 'Who ought to make that decision, the Congress or the commanders?'" Bush told the crowd. "As you know, my position is clear – I'm the commander guy."

That's George W. Bush, icydk. Txt talk is sfd.

Dap: Raw Story

Look at How Much Money We Spend on Defense

Top Ten Defense Budgets Internationally

USA - $466bn
China - $65bn
Russia - $50bn (est)
France - $45bn
UK - $42.8bn
Japan - $41.75bn
Germany - $35.1bn
Italy - $28.2bn
South Korea - $21.1bn
India - $19bn

We spend over 700% more than the second place country! Why do we spend so much money on defense. Oh, right, we're still working on the missile defense system from the Reagan era (you know, the one with the video), it's just that no one talks about it anymore in the mainstream media. It's too busy dealing with Dannielynn's father's extended court battle with Anna Nicole Smith's gold digging estranged mother. Honestly, you think that this interest in the child is sincere?

Segolene, Je T'Aime

Even though they helped us in the 18th Century gain our independence from those English Redcoated bastards, America has maintained a hatred for France that runs so deep we took to changing the names of things that had french in the name (freedom fries anyone? they really did this. I went to a drag race and the stand only sold freedom fries). Is it because they are elitist? Did someone find a Serge Gainsbourg record and think it was dirty? Was it Sartre and Camus with their existentialist strains of writing? I mean, I don't know. I actually like France although I wish that some of its inhabitants actually wore deodorant, but that's a complaint I have about Americans, too, so I can't hold that against them.

So while we have been engaging in the longest election cycle in American history, the French have been having an actual election. They had a rundown. Bitches scrapped, Le Pen and Bayrou were not allowed to the runoff. Segolene Royal and Nicolas Sarkozy were the two chosen to run for the five-year term. Yesterday, Royal and Sarkozy had a debate, which is pictured above.

Now, I don't know what's going on in France other than the fact that they hate Black people and Arabs. But, I must say that this set is the hottest thing ever. How awesome would it be if there were such high-tech looking sets in American politics with huge LCD's that flash red when the candidate's time ends? Additionally, look at the the pose of Royal, i.e. the one on the left. The only thing I know about her is that she is a socialist candidate who had problems actually justifying her candidacy in the beginning. Look at her now, BBC! Anyway, she looks like she's either hot or so self-confident in her verbal beatdown skills that she doesn't need to be worried. I don't know. If it's the former, that'd be hot, but regardless, that's a boss pose. That means Segolene is thinking, "I am the SHIT!"

Anyway, I comment on French politics because this election has had something that American elections haven't had in a while: a huge set of balls. Even though Mme. Royal does not have any balls, hers are the size of her head. She's come out against enemies and generally been a high-quality, all around hater. I love it. The same goes for Sarkozy. There's no pussyfooting around issues; everyone is genuinely mad in this election. Hell, Bayrou won't support either of these people and he got voted out of the race. This is greatly different from American politics where everyone is so afraid of saying something controversial, unaware of the fact that if they say something controversial, they would actually be more popular than if they say something safe. The New York Times reported on "2007: LE DEBAT" this morning. I think that the following comment sets the mood of the debate quite well:

By midway, Ms. Royal’s perpetual smile disappeared from her face. Their tone was reminiscent of a couple bickering at the breakfast table, with the husband barely restraining his sense of superiority and the wife attacking him for not listening to her.
Who doesn't love squabbles? I would have loved it if Bush and Kerry started going for the jugular all of the time. It would be amazing! Best debate ever. I'm listening to this debate right now and it's a bit nippy for sure. There's a lot of back and forth, interruptions, raised voices, direct attacks. Essentially, it is everything lacking in American politics. The moderators are not the controllers as they've been made in American politics; they sit back and ask a fairly open question to allow the candidates to interface with the question and each other. This is a beautiful sight in politics. I love it. I also love exchanges like this:

“Calm down,” he told her.

“No, I will not calm down,” she replied.

“Do not point at me with this finger, with this——” he said.

“No. Yes,” she said.

“With this index finger pointed, because frankly——”

“No, I will not calm down,” she said. “No, I will not calm down. I will not calm down.”

“To be president of the republic, you have to be calm,” he said.

She responded: “Not when there are injustices. There are angers that are perfectly healthy because they correspond to people’s suffering. There are angers I will have even when I am president of the republic.”

In the middle of her sentence, Mr. Sarkozy tried to stop her, asking, “Madame Royal, would you allow me to say one word?” But she ignored him.

His voice took on a patronizing tone. “I don’t know why the usually calm Madame Royal has lost her nerve,” he said.

When was the last time you heard something like that happening in American politics? How awesome is that? Federal Election Committee, when the presidential debates come around, keep the town hall debate and a traditional debate behind podiums with a high school debate type feeling, but add one of these types of debate as well. I'm willing to miss an episode of The Office if I can get sound policy description and amazing back and forth conversation like this. Maybe such an election will also bring people back to politics and make it relevant in America again. But, I can only hope for something like that.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Falling Behind. Looking for That Second Wind

I never caught up from Tuesday trivia. I tried and tried, but everything that I did never got me closer to hitting that end. Additionally, my totally amazing friend Jessa called me. I just had to talk to her for a while since I hadn't heard from her in a while and I have missed her immensely.

So, if you are coming here for topical news delivered with high levels of derision and/or snark, I'm sorry that I will have to disappoint you for today. But, I do ask you to return tomorrow where I will be back on top of my blogging game.

With that I send you off into the night. I was going to post an Acid House Kings video, but I think I'll save that for tomorrow. Instead, I will post a Sergio Mendes video. This is Mas Que Nada, done with Brazil 66. There were other Brazils, but this is the best of the Brazils. It's like Fela Kuti and the different Africas. Musical idea is the same, but the intangibles are different.

Anyway, enjoy. And, until tomorrow.

Kate Moss: Extortionist?

In London, many people were anticipating the arrival of Kate Moss's designer line for Topshop. Given the model's reputation for being one of the best catwalkers in the history of fashion as well as a general fashion plate whenever she arrived in public, Moss's line inspired women far and wide, not in the literal sense, to wait in line for hours wearing pointlessly colored armbands to shop in the store for only 20 minutes.

Daily Mail writer Liz Jones discusses her own experience going to the Topshop to see the new line. I think that her feelings can be summarized in the following paragraph on the whole experience:

And, to be honest, what on earth were we thinking, allowing ourselves to be herded and prodded like cattle for the privilege of spending our own money? All the women around me in the queue were smart, educated, fashion-literate but, ultimately, also deluded, brainwashed and downright stupid. The Great British High Street had turned into the Great British con.
As Jones goes on, she finds that her clothes aren't really that nice, something that the other women talked to in the article found out as well. Jones said that this failed experience has signaled the end of selling clothes on solely celebrity status. She also goes on a rant about being a woman duped by the press in the glossy magazines

It sort of worked for others like Madonna and Kylie Minogue, but I can think of a series of rappers who tried to sell clothes that didn't take off (read: jay-z at reebok, the game's shoes. Also whatever happened to g-g-g-unit at reebok?) as well. Being a celebrity only does so much. The most I would buy from a celebrity is a Proactiv kit because did you see Jessica Simpson's face before Proactiv? That girl looked like she had oral herpes; she looked like a straight up hot mess. If I were a man or woman, I wouldn't even be trying to holler at bitches with a face looking like that. So, the fact that she doesn't have that anymore is a singing accomplishment for Proactiv. I can only ask that Jessica doesn't open her mouth. She really should not sing Proactiv's praises; her singing makes my soul die a little more every time I hear it.

Killer Bees Need To Be On The Swarm


BELTSVILLE, Md. - Unless someone or something stops it soon, the mysterious killer that is wiping out many of the nation's honeybees could have a devastating effect on America's dinner plate, perhaps even reducing us to a glorified bread-and-water diet.

Honeybees don't just make honey; they pollinate more than 90 of the tastiest flowering crops we have. Among them: apples, nuts, avocados, soybeans, asparagus, broccoli, celery, squash and cucumbers. And lots of the really sweet and tart stuff, too, including citrus fruit, peaches, kiwi, cherries, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, cantaloupe and other melons.

In fact, about one-third of the human diet comes from insect-pollinated plants, and the honeybee is responsible for 80 percent of that pollination, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Even cattle, which feed on alfalfa, depend on bees. So if the collapse worsens, we could end up being "stuck with grains and water," said Kevin Hackett, the national program leader for USDA's bee and pollination program.

I hate bees as much as the next person. But I do love oranges. And man, do I love the nuts! I'm not concerned yet, as modern science is pretty advanced. They can keep me from dying from the clap, so I have to trust them if they aren't concerned yet. Once they get concerned, I'll start storing food in my bomb shelther.

The New Pollution

George W. Bush, after the initial escalation of the war with little returns as well as his current rejection of the Iraq Spending Bill with its oh-so-unreasonable demands to take the troops out, has started a public relations campaign to drum up support for the war again.

According to the Associated Press, Bush spoke to a group of contractors about the war, suggesting that al-Qaida is the number one group to be concerned about in Iraq. In fact, Bush called al-Qaida "public enemy #1." Bush attempted to such language by talking about the only thing that this administration uses to make a point: 9/11:

"For America, the decision we face in Iraq is not whether we ought to take sides in a civil war, it's whether we stay in the fight against the same international terrorist network that attacked us on 9/11," Bush said. "I strongly believe it's in our national interest to stay in the fight."

First things first, this isn't really true. Al-Qaida in Iraq is only one component of a larger battle against the American forces. I am not trying to defend al-Qaida, but I am trying to suggest that they are not really public enemy #1. What about the Mahdi Army and the smaller groups that have been allowed to pop up in the country during this time of upheaval. If you don't believe me, watch this episode of Frontline, which talks to many of the different sectarian groups in Iraq along with giving their rationale.

Additionally, I don't like the line of logic used by Bush in making his argument. The war in Iraq is not related to 9/11. It isn't. Time and time again, it has been proven that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden did not consort with each other. Additionally, the reasons that we went to Iraq have been proven false as we haven't found a single weapon of mass destruction. To continually connect these two things is intentionally misleading and patently false.

I don't expect a lot out of Bush, but I expect him to at least play it straight. While I don't listen to the president on face value, I know that other people do. He owes it to them to tell the truth and not make false connections where they don't exist. But aside from this, the other problem that I have with Bush's appeal is the following:

"And the definition of success as I described is sectarian violence down. Success is not no violence. ... But success is a level of violence where the people feel comfortable about living their daily lives."
Grammar aside, people cannot feel comfortable about living their regular lives when they don't have basic needs like running water and electricity. If this is the benchmark, Iraq will never get there. I think Bush needs to come down off the hill and join us in the reality-based community with regards to this war.

That's Tragic


BOULDER, Utah - By Day 2 in the blazing Utah desert, Dave Buschow was in bad shape. Pale, wracked by cramps, his speech slurred, the 29-year-old New Jersey man was desperate for water and hallucinating so badly he mistook a tree for a person.

After going roughly 10 hours without a drink in the 100-degree heat, he finally dropped dead of thirst, face down in the dirt, less than 100 yards from the goal: a cave with a pool of water.

Families are correctly pissed. The Boulder Outdoor Survival School, aka BOSS, said that Buschow waived the school of liability. I don't know who's right and who's wrong, but I'm sad for the family and their loss. I can't even really make a joke about this even though I would like to.

Seriously, MSNBC, Drop Me A Line

Day after day, I prove that I am more qualified to be a political strategist on MSNBC. Today's proof stems from news that Iran does not appreciate the "evil approach" favored by the Bush administration when talking in regards to Iraq, a country that both nations shared a vested interest in.

The United States, the bastion of morality that we are, will only talk to Iran when it completely stops its nuclear development program. Why? Because they are "making bombs." Every analyst under the sun knows that Iran cannot make bombs right now. That is at least four years from now. Additionally, the country's public statements have suggested otherwise. But, most importantly, I look at paper. And ON PAPER, Iran is a signee of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. I'm not suggesting that Iran won't develop the bomb, but, if they do, that puts them in violation of international law and therefore attackable through military means, but we already know that's going to happen through fabricated claims. But I'm not saying that.

On the other side of this debate, Iran, fully within the rules of the NNPT as understood, has decided to start processing Uranium to advance a nuclear energy program. I don't trust Ahmadinejad. I trust his business casual fashion sense, but his statements not so much. Regardless of whether I trust him, he is the key to solving the dilemma in Iraq; he must be talked with to stop the civil war. For this talk to happen, the US must switch its position on this issue. Iran is not going to concede in any way, which they rightfully do not have to since they are not in violation of the law.

I knew this as soon as the idea came into the public forum due to the Iraq Study Group. Talking with groups that don't share its exact viewpoint is very difficult for the Bush administration, which is tragic because it is ruining our standing in the international realm. The pound is about 2 dollars. The Euro is around 1.50. Our national significance is slipping. Our economic influence is decreasing, as our economy is slowing down. We don't have a leg to stand on in threatening Tehran right now. The fact that the Bush administration doesn't understand this is ridiculous. Condi Rice needs to just start talking to them now instead of trying to be all forthright and resolute.

I get this and I can talk about it. Perhaps on MSNBC during Contessa Brewer's newshour? Hmm?

What Not To Write

I'm not posting this article from Thomas Sowell posted at the National Review because I agree with it or anything of the sort. Seeing myself as someone who hopes to add to the intelligentsia eventually, I can't agree with comments such as:

Our education system, our media, and our intelligentsia have all been unrelentingly undermining the values, the traditions, and the unity of this country for generations and, at the same time, portraying as “understandable” all kinds of deviance, from prostitution to drugs to riots.

I am posting this because this column doesn't make sense. Most people, even those with random thoughts that are going to be syndicated across America, at least think about what they are going to say and form their work appropriately, not just scribbling it down and jumping from the destruction of "the American life" to talking about Babe Ruth. That's irresponsible writing.

An Hour at The Office?

According to BuzzSugar, NBC CEO Jeff Zucker is noted in Fortune saying that he and Entertainment president Kevin Reilly are considering expanding The Office to an hour and cancelling the original Law and Order. There are two problems with this idea.

To deal with the latter first, Law and Order is amazing. NBC has done the show wrong by putting it on at a time when no one would be able to watch it, as many people don't sit around on Friday nights waiting for it to come on. For some unknown reason, NBC decided to move the show from its bedrock position at 10 PM on Wednesday nights. I don't know what they were thinking. Before they cancel it, they should put it on at its original time and if it tanks there, fine, cancel it. But, at least give it a chance.

The Office is a fantastic show. It's one of my favorite shows on the box right now. That said, I don't really want it to be an hour every week. An hour every once in a while is fine, but I don't know if I could sit through an hour all of the time. The last time they did an hour, Benihana Christmas, was hilarious but it was the confluence of a lot of things and worked. I don't think that they can carry that kind of strength over a weekly hour-long program. Even the original Office was not an hour in its run on the BBC. But, I am pro-expanding The Office to longer than a half-hour.

I'm really into the ongoing supersized episodes of The Office. It's long enough to fully satisfy while not being boring to watch. 45 minutes feeds the needs that I have for the folks in Scranton. If they could find another equally strong sitcom to pair up with The Office & 30 Rock to do a 45 minute show, that would be the best way to do Thursday nights with ER bringing up the rear at 10.

Also, NBC needs to renew Friday Night Lights for a whole season. It is one of the best shows on television. The acting is amazing. The writing's tight. Most of the show doesn't have to do with football, which is good for people who don't like sports (as proven by the previous post, I like sports). And it's not predictable like a lot of other television. As well, I want to know what happened at the end of this season. So many of the story lines are left unfinished right now. I want to see what happens with Julie and Matt, whether or not Coach Taylor leaves for Austin, if Tyra actually gives Landry a chance as he clearly cares about her, will Jason start dating that dishy tattoo artist from Austin who conveniently is staying with her sister in the area. So many story lines, so many answers that I need. BRING IT BACK, NBC!!!

Soccer or Football. To-ma-to, To-mat-o

Today, at the challenge of one Adam Khatib and due to the fact I was going to watch it anyway, I'm live blogging the 2nd Leg of the Champions League Semi of AC Milan v. Manchester United at the bizarrely named San Siro.

For the non-soccer folks, this is like two of the top ten of all-time in their field going up against each other. To set the scene, Man U is up 3-2 currently, but the game was at their house. AC Milan has to win by a differential of 1 to go through to the final and keep it from being an all-England final as possibly could be. Click the link and stay posted. I'm just going to keep adding to this. Hopefully this match will be more entertaining than Chelsea v. Liverpool.

  • We're still in pre-game, so pump your brakes there, chief.
  • I have to say without question, my favorite unreasonable part of football is the line-up and the young child. no use for the young kids.
  • Kick-off: it is a wet, rainy day in Milan. Keep that in mind.
  • Milan in Red, Man U in white.
  • It's less than a minute in and Christian Ronaldo does something dumb. Backheels with an interceder: always a bad idea
  • Kaka on the run and almost got it on the foot of Inzaghi. Could have been 1-0. he complains that he was getting pulled. He was, but they'll let that side.
  • Also, color commentary guy is going to be worthless in this game. I already have the feeling.
  • Milan's setting up against for the attack. Free kick on the wing. Seedorf cleans up and almost puts it in. Good work from Van Der Sar on the save.
  • 4 minutes in, I realize I should probably note minutes when things happen.
  • 6' - Ronaldo ran, but the ball was put safely out of the touch of Rooney
  • 7'- Good cross. Kaka should have finished that ball.
  • 8'- Man U's looking out of sorts defensively. They need to find their rhythm otherwise this will be a long, long game
  • 11' - Kaka: GOAL!!!!! Pretty shot, right out of the reach of van der sar. Great ball control, better finish for the trailer Kaka in the bottom of the net. 1-0 Milan. Assist to Seedorf, a criminally underappreciated player.
  • 13' - Man U is pushing. They have the corner. Giggs on the corner. Good ball, but Milan broke it up and is now in the offensive half.
  • 14' - A bad cross will go down as a shot because it got to the goalkeeper.
  • Manchester looks scared or something. They don't have the same swagger they normally have. They look lost like they don't play in hostile environments all of the time.
  • 16' - Pirlo crosses a fancy ball. Van der Sar got their before Inzaghi, but the idea gets applause from this guy.
  • 17' - Pirlo goes from about 20 m. Off target but it made the keeper come off his line.
  • 18-19' - The ball needs to be in Rooney's control more. He's who they should be looking for on this upcoming free kick from about 30-35 m. Giggs hooked it in, it was deflected and played back in. Offsides.
  • 20' - Giggs gives it a rip, but Dida swallows it up.
  • This Milan defense is stifling. Any ball that comes in on a Man U foot is being stolen with ease. This is crazy.
  • They are referencing Man U playing Everton. Everton is not Milan, and Everton has been known to play less than neat football.
  • 22-23' - Fletcher trying to control, but the defense was there and put it on the corner. Milan goal kick.
  • I'm going to agree with the color guy here. Manchester's getting comfortable again in the game and its flow. They are attacking more, their runs are better, and they are getting good looks.
  • 25' - Milan in the offensive half. Tried to get a flop, but no dice.
  • This game is like bombardment. Man U's D is just getting pelted with crosses and penetrations.
  • 28' - Milan corner. Deflected high in the sky and cleaned up nicely by Van der Sar.
  • 30' - SEEDORF GOAL!!!!!!! 2-0 Milan. A beautiful, hustling goal. He gets the ball taken off his foot, but instead hits it out of the air to the bottom corner of the net. Awful defending by Man U, fantastic goal by Seedorf. Van der Sar's rightfully pissed.
  • 33 minutes in and I haven't heard Wayne Rooney's name get called. If Man U wants to go on, they need to put the ball on his feet. They've been talking about Evra a lot, and he's really good, but this is more than one player. This team doesn't have its head in the game. Sir Alex needs to get them refocused or something for them to even stand a chance. This isn't Roma; Milan can play fantastic defense.
  • 35' - BODY CHECK!
  • 37' - Man U playing dirty in the set pieces. Milan goal kick.
  • 39' - Wayne Rooney gets a call on a cross, but it didn't work out so well. Dida caught it with ease. The rain's slowed. Let's see if Man U starts streaking more.
  • 40' - Handball - Fletcher. Milan free kick about 35-40 m out. Pirlo really botched that one. The announcers called him a master. Now, they are calling him an ex-master.
  • 41' - Inzaghi gets a good look. A little too much force, but good attempt nonetheless.
  • I'm going to go on record and say that Gattuso is a beast. As long as they don't call him the snarling dog many more times during this broadcast, I'll be alright.
  • 44' - Man U's applying pressure, or at least trying to. We are approaching stoppage time. Let's see if Man U can go in on a high note.
  • 45' - Rooney with a good strike. It got deflected, but he needs to do more like that. Rooney needs to start dictating the pace.
  • One Minute of Stoppage Time. This can only end too soon for Man U.
  • 45+' - Ronaldo tries from deep to no avail, as can be expected.
An exciting 45 minutes of professional European football. Milan thoroughly outclassed Manchester in that half. They displayed better touch on the ball, more creativity, and looked for its primary strikers. The defenses were studies in opposites. Man U: shaky, playing timidly. Milan: solid as a rock, not letting any strikers get a good look on frame. Milan is also controlling the midfield in possession and putting the ball into useful spots for the strikers. The only thing that Milan supporters can hope for is that the team does not sit back on its laurels and defend instead of trying to ice the game and take it completely out of Manchester's reach. They also cannot let Giggs, Scholes, and Rooney get started in the middle of the field. Man U needs to get their D tightened up and working as catalysts. Let them make runs and get the ball into the offensive half. The first 45 were compelling. The next 45 should offer just as much with a team that is now desperate to put up 2 goals to stay alive (with only one, they would be out on aggregate due to the fact that Milan scored two away goals while Manchester will have only scored one).

  • We are post halftime now. Milan at minute 46 has the free kick from 37 m. With that poor showing, can someone please take Pirlo off the free kick if he's going to continue doing that?
  • 48' - O'Shea with a dangerous cross. No one could finish it off. Giggs tried, but his efforts were thwarted.
  • 50' - Milan with the sloppy crossing pass. O'Shea tried to play it into the box. Dida clears it up easily.
  • 53' - Kaka goes running and puts it on frame. Van der Sar made a fantastic save. Simply fantastic. Whoever is on Kaka is getting SMOKED like salmon.
  • 55' - Ronaldo tried to go on frame, but the defender blocked it. Milan went running. Seedorf tried to play cute and Man U took control. They almost got on frame, but Dida got it.
  • 56' - Ronaldo tries to go on frame from a set piece. No dice; hit the wall. Corner. Easily dealt with by Dida.
  • 58-59' - Gattuso gives up a corner kick in a terrible spot. About 25 meters out from goal. Ronaldo with an attempt to save the team. Blocked by the wall. Dida does clean-up.
  • This half is considerably more controlled than the first. Dida made an interesting clear, but it should be alright.
  • 62' - Inzaghi played it right, but couldn't get on the end of the ball.
  • 63' - Fletcher has a fantastic look, but makes a terrible attempt. Rooney should have struck it instead of Fletcher.
  • 64' - Rooney gives it a go twice. One from the side of the net, another as a bicycle. Both ineffective. Rooney was looking for a penalty and has a legit claim, but it's too late to consider otherwise (no instant replay in soccer).
  • Milan's packing it in a little bit. This is what I feared they would do. They need to work to put one more on the goal to shore things up. They don't need to sit around and play defense. Solidify then rest.
  • 69' - Kaka finally gets the stick from his defender.
  • 70' - Solid cross. Defender had to put it into touch for Milan. The cross came in, but didn't work out so well for them.
  • GILARDINO GOAL!!!! On 78'. 3-0 Milan. This game is pretty much over. They have to get it to 3-2 to ensure that they will play overtime! Gilardino's goal is useful, but third prettiest on the night for sure. Note: that would make it the ugliest one.
  • 83' - FISTICUFFS!!!!!!
  • 84' - Ronaldo booked on the retaliation foul.
  • 85' - Gattuso replaced with the salty vet Cafu. He's so salty, he can cure meats with one touch.
  • While a quieter half, Milan has still dominated.
  • 86' - Kaka taken out to a warrior's applause. He's had a great day on the pitch.
  • Commentator just said that Manchester isn't on the level of Milan. I'm apt to agree.
  • 88' - Giggs tried to play in, but was smacked down by the defense.
  • 89' - Man U tries from long, but still no dice. Time is running down, they have to get this done or at least try instead of looking like some sauce bums.
  • 90' - The fans are doing the wave. Oh man, this game is over. Go get a beer, get a bite to eat, continue on with your lives because this football game is OVA!
  • Three Minutes of Stoppage Time. I don't know why. Manchester can't come back in that time span and it seems slightly unreasonable. I guess it must be because of the fisticuffs and the substitutions
  • 90+' - Cafu puts it on frame, but it was a weak effort. He could have done more with it, but it doesn't really matter.
  • Final Whistle! 3-0 Milan. Dida gets the clean sheet. Milan completely outclassed Manchester. Fantastic win that. End of the month: Liverpool v. AC Milan in Athens for all the marbles.

Has She Gone Off The Deep End?

Yea, she did perform last night, which hints at the idea of sanity, but these new pictures suggest otherwise. You decide.

Source: Egotastic

Katie's Career is Going

Katie Holmes, contrary to my previous reports, is actually working on a new movie, but, as can be figured, there is some controversy.

Holmes is flirting with her co-star on her current movie, according to Life & Style. Now, L&S is not the most reputable of all gossip magazines, so I take this story with a grain of salt. Regardless, Tom Cruise, although he says he's not, should be worried. Katie's co-star Adam Rothenberg has two things on Señor Cruise. Firstly, he's actually a similar height to Katie, not having to look up to her whenever he wants to kiss her or being on a very different plane from her in red carpet photos. Secondly, and most importantly, he's way hotter than Tom.

A new three words for Katie Holmes: Run, Katie, Run.

A Stand for Beth and Keira

I don't normally come to the defense of people in showbusiness, but I will here for Keira Knightley, the waifish and oft-criticized star of the Pirates of the Caribbean films. In an article in Metro, Knightley said about Lesbian garage goddess Beth Ditto of the Gossip:

'When she was performing she started taking all her clothes off. I stood there watching her strip, thinking, 'Oh my God, that woman is so sexy. She has the most amazing body.' She added she wishes she 'had a body like [Italian actress] Monica Bellucci, which is just so womanly, female and curvy'.

Everyone went batshit because she volunteered that she may want to be a bit on the heavy side, but I think that everyone is missing the point of her comment, which is put into further context by the comment about Monica Bellucci. Bellucci is a shapely, fully figured woman. She's not as big as Beth Ditto sure, but Bellucci and Ditto share comfort in their bodies, something that I don't think that Knightley has, especially as a very thin woman who is constantly criticized for causing the death of a youth. She just wants to be a larger, fuller bodied, more confident woman like Ditto and Bellucci. I hope that no one thinks that anything is wrong with her because of it, especially wanting to look like Bellucci. Yowza!

Additionally, while I'm not really that into larger ladies like Beth Ditto, she's hot in a very bizarre way. She oozes sexuality from every pore. Seeing her strip at a concert with all of the heaving flesh, there's something very erotic about it. Like Keira, I have to agree that she is sexy. So sexy: that's a bit of a reach.

Another hat tip goes out to Keira Knightley for actually wanting to slow down and live a normal life for a while. Lindsay Lohan could learn a lesson from Knightley, who has rejected partying and the hard-charging lifestyle preferred by the Young Hollywood jetset.

Lastly, Keira Knightley has warmed herself to me in a way that only she could:
The star also admitted that, unlike some celebrities who don't like to be seen wearing the same thing twice, she sometimes wears the same clothes for 'three or four days straight'.

'If I find something I feel comfortable in, I'll just stick with it,' she said.

I think that I'm one of the few people in the world impressed by someone saying they walk around in the same clothes for days at a time. I think I only am because I do it all of the time. Yea, I said it and I'm not ashamed.

Oh No ScarJo

As of late, there has been a lot of chatter about Scarlett Johansson working on a cover of Tom Waits covers. While I was initially excited for this for some reason, this video has materialized from her on-stage appearance with the Jesus and Mary Chain at Coachella and dampened that enthusiasm. I guess I must have blocked out her performance in Lost in Translation because her singing is awful and she was only there for the chorus.

This is YO MOMMA

As of late, there has been a lot of press about Wilmer Valderrama and his new-fangled connection with American Idol creators Fremantle Media. Aside from being the slightly incomprehensible guy from That 70's Show, he came up with Yo Momma. Have you watched this show? How did this show get Wilmer anywhere? I didn't even know that it was still on MTV; I figured that they had pushed it out with more episodes of Pimp My Ride and My Super Sweet Sixteen. I find this show completely unwatchable. Watch this clip and tell me how you find this funny if you actually do.

I have an easy answer for this

In a recent interview with Nylon magazine, Lindsay Lohan pontificated about her very special relationship with the paparazzi. On one hand, she is an attention whore and loves the attention that is showered upon her by them. But, on the other hand, she is mad at them because she feels that they are getting in the way of her actually being successful as an actress. In her own words:

“The thing about the press and why they need to leave me the [bleep] alone for a little bit is because I don’t want that distraction from my work,” she told the mag. “I want to get a nomination. I want to win an Oscar. I want to be known for more than, like, going out. For being ‘the party girl.’ I hate that. I bust my [bleep] when I’m filming, and when I gave time off, yeah, I like to go out and dance.”

Yes, Lindsay, leaving a film and quitting another so you could be replaced by Jessica Biel is really busting your ass on set. Also, if you don't want to be the party girl, not doing "party girl" things like being the drunk girl in the club or always staying out until the morning hours might actually help your cause in some minor, infinitesimal way.

We Did It!

If you are a continual reader of this blog, you already know that every week I go to trivia night. The first week, we didn't get into the money (read: gift certificates), but we were really close. Second week, we crossed the precipice and got third place (10 bucks, but the place we play has half-priced beer for a good while because we're always early). Third week, we knew the answer but tried to play smart and bet nothing. This ended up in two words: no dice. This week, we finally did it. FIRST PLACE, BITCHES! While this is only 25 dollars, it's a lot more than that also because we were only one of two teams to get the final question right (the first non-American to be Time Man of the Year was Mohamas Gandhi). It wasn't even close. We won by 300+ points. Just wanted to love it a little bit.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Would You Like Some Jazz With Your Lunch?

You don't really have a choice because you're getting Jazz. Also, I'd like to note the condescension of the host in this clip. One Note Samba- Laurindo Almeida and the Modern Jazz Quartet

All We Need Now is a Shirt Color

In a move reminiscent of Hitler and Mussolini, al-Maliki, according To CNN, has established his own sketchy security office in Iraq with a distinctly Shi'ite agenda (Iraq's in civil war, mind you). The Office of the Commander-in-Chief (that reeks of American democracy, doesn't it?) has great range in its practices as shown by CNN:

The "Office of the Commander in Chief" has the power to overrule other government ministries, according to U.S. military and intelligence sources.

Those sources say the 24-member office is abusing its power, increasingly overriding decisions made by the Iraqi Ministries of Defense and Interior and potentially undermining the entire U.S. effort in Iraq.

Now, if I were surprised that something like this was happening, my reaction would be outrage, horror, and general hysterics, something that wouldn't be out of place in a 1970's slasher movie that takes place at a summer camp or otherwise idyllic locale where high school kids can make out and do drugs. But, I'm not, and the reason why is very simple: Unitary Executive

The current Bush administration is a huge fan of the Unitary Executive. The Unitary Executive is a theory that there are not really checks and balances within the Constitution, that the president has control over all aspects of executive power, which is as written in the Constitution also held in minority by the other branches of government. Bush has been doing this frequently. The most noticeable way that Bush has used the power of the unitary executive is through the application of signing statements. These statements essentially say that the President is free to interpret the law how they see fit. Bush has used hundreds of these during his time in office to put his spin on things. This is also in addition to the myriad other ways of hiding information used by the administration such as changing the rights to accessing presidential records.

With an administration as bent on secrecy as this one, an shadowy office of power isn't as much of a shock any more, regardless of how wrong it actually is. Next thing you know, this office will be in round-ups and its Kristallnacht all over again. This is something to watch. I hope more comes out about it because I want to know what's going down in this shadow office.

*creepy music*

The War on Terrorism

...isn't working so well. I need to go have a talk with it.

Mission Accomplished

On this very day, America's "boy" George W. Bush did his best Tom Cruise in Top Gun impression by landing a tailhook on the USS Abraham Lincoln. He had the jumpsuit, the helmet. They even gave him his own Goose! That's so considerate of the Navy!

After all of the regalia, pomp and circumstance, George Bush declared all major combat completed in Iraq and that we had won the war. As I mention it frequently here, I'll save everyone the wisecracking. He spoke this, but he also got someone to put up a huge banner that said Mission Accomplished. We all see how well that one has gone. But, most people when they saw this display of grandeur (deluded, as it was), they knew that it was a huge photo op for the president. But, it wasn't like Reagan standing in front of the Berlin Wall in 1987.

As it became clearer that George Bush had no what idea of what he was talking about with the whole-conflict-being-over thing, this became more like Dukakis riding in a tank for his 1988 campaign (as pictured above). I hope this is how he's remembered; oh, too priceless.

Anyway, with this being such a momentous anniversary for know-it-alls, skeptics, and others who like to be shown right, Firedoglake has a fantastic update on the current situation regarding this ended war over in Iraq along with new updates such as Condoleezza Rice telling the media that Bush is unwilling to accept benchmarks as a part of the compromise with benchmarks being deadlines with 75% less meaning.

I can't say it enough, but I don't understand what is wrong with saying hey, Iraq! You're a maturing country, and that comes with a lot of responsibilities. But the biggest one is existing on your own. We've been holding you up for a while, but now its time to get along with it. I guess this shouldn't be surprising from an administration that is unwilling to explain sex to kids that are probably going to start having it anyway. Fiasco!

More Fuel for the Internal Fire

I swear everyday that goes by, it only gets worse over there. All of Baghdad is in chaos if things like this can happen.

New Colors

That feels more like an airplane doesn't it?

Monday, April 30, 2007

Getting Things Done

Apparently, some really organized people follow a system called "Getting Things Done." I don't know what this is, but it also doesn't really concern me all that much because as long as I have it written down somewhere, I will remember it. Anyway, I'm talking about getting things done on this end because I actually sat down and started blogging before 4 pm, so I actually have some component of my night to work with. Maybe I will watch some basketball or the copy of Short Cuts I taped off the old idiot box. Additionally, I just realized that I am missing Prozac Nation, a movie that I wanted to watch while seeing a trailer for it during Cache, which is a fabulously challenging thriller. I enjoyed the film greatly, especially all of the actors which included Juliette Binoche. While I decide what I'm going to do, I'll leave you with this:

til the morning.

Oh Lindsay.

I watched a special on VH1 (yea, I know) about Lindsay Lohan. It went through the whole series of foibles she has had over the past year and a half. Between the vag pictures and the general overpartying, alcohol-swilling, drugged-out wear, I feel like she needs someone responsible in her life. Her dad is a hot mess. So is her mom, who is trying to be like her daughter which is just a terrible idea. Even with guardianship, Lohan is liable for her own language.

In a recent interview, Lindsay Lohan, to my non-shock following her history of rambling, poorly edited writing about important social issues (did she go to high school?), said the following:

In a frank interview about her time spent at the Californian rehab clinic, the 20-year-old actress, who has been linked with dozens of men, even hinted that she may be a sex addict.

‘Being an actress is lonely, and I never want to be alone,’ she said.

‘I hate sleeping alone. I like being able to be in different relationships – being able to see a few people.

‘I’m not really like a crazy addict. I mean – I enjoy having sex,’ she added.

One of the men who may have been keeping her company at night may well have been Jude Law.

Lindsay refused to name names when she was asked about her conquests but giggled when Law’s name was mentioned. ‘I’m having fun right now.

‘There’s obviously someone I like,’ she said

I'm not going to knock her for having sex. Having lots of wild sex is fine, if that's your scene. And admitting it in public isn't really a problem either. But, isn't having sex just to have a person in your bed a little seedy? What about a body pillow or a stuffed animal to fill that space? They are things to grab at and hold when you sleep and you'd save valuable courting time. Also, this article proves that Lindsay Lohan has no friends and she replaces her internal loneliness with copious amounts of sex. Lindsay, you are always surrounded by people. Maybe if you actually worked on a movie and connected with your fellow thespians, you'd probably have a lot of friends. Also, stop dating this guy.

He looks like he would break under the stress of your nymphomania, not that there's anything to wrong with that although you shouldn't want to hurt people with sex. And that's real, LiLo, really real.

UPDATE: My initial hunch was right. The other in the photo is Samantha Ronson.


See-Thru is Passé

Dear Ms. Spears:

I have not always been your largest fan. Toxic was pretty hot, but I could do without the rest of the music. My personal feelings towards you aside, I felt that I had to tell you that you look like a cheap prostitute. While you think you might look hot, you totally do not. Also, let us not forget, you are a mother to TWO kids. Shouldn't you make your look more mature and making a better example for them? I don't think walking around on the streets like this is acceptable.

Where do I even start with this. Since the first thing I see is the boots, I'll let those slide. Those actually look pretty nice. Those fishnets on the other hand: not so much. I hope you weren't planning to show up at the burlesque house in those. And, my major problem, this top. I have three major problems with this thing and two of them are underwear. Now, that leaves only one problem: this girl is walking the streets in a see-through dress!! I thought only Jamaican dudes wore see-through clothing. But, no! You do too, Ms. Spears! This is a tragedy. Like, I makes me gag a little looking at it.

In summary, yes, Britney, I get it. You lost weight. You look good. Can you put it away now or at least not dress like a street walker? You are a celebrity, act like it. You are your own worst enemy. Do something to help your own cause.

Sincerely, Ace


I Hope He Doesn't Paint It

From the BBC, there is a man who built a replica of Noah's Ark as a testament to his faith in Jesus. Religion aside, it's pretty cool that a guy built Noah's Ark. That's really intense.

The 1980's in 4 Minutes Thirty

While the 80's are a blur to me as I was born in the 80's, the explanations that I get for it are pretty much the same and most of those answers start out with mentioning Aqua Net. But, these stories can sometimes lend themselves to boredom, as I have watched all of the I Love the 80's and most of its sitcoms such as Alf, Small Wonder, Just the Ten of Us, Growing Pains, and Punky Brewster. Hell, we named our old dog after Avery Brooks' character on Spenser for Hire, an underrated show for its time but that's not for now. If I wanted to give someone a flash understanding of what the 1980's in America was all about, I would show them this video for "Sex Shooter" by Apollonia 6. It it a pure microcosm of what the 1980's meant: hair spray for crazy hair, multiple layer clothing, spandex, and the perpuation of the idea that if you are affiliated with someone wildly successful, you could be equally as successful even if you don't have any actual talent.

More Fuel

With the tragedy of New Orleans, this article only helps to solidify why I'm so upset with the current administration. It's just awful what is happening down there. And this could have helped, but the government didn't accept it. Ridiculous.

The Fuzz Are Out to Get Me!


Two police officers pleaded guilty Thursday to manslaughter in the shooting death of a 92-year-old woman during a botched drug raid last fall. A third officer still faces charges.[..]

The charges followed a Nov. 21 "no-knock" drug raid on the home of Kathryn Johnston, 92. An informant had described buying drugs from a dealer there, police said. When the officers burst in without warning, Johnston fired at them, and they fired back, killing her.

Fulton County prosecutor Peter Johnson said that the officers involved in Johnston's death fired 39 shots, striking her five or six times, including a fatal blow to the chest.

He said Johnston fired only once through her door and didn't hit any of the officers. That means the officers who were wounded likely were hit by their own colleagues, he said.[..]

Assistant U.S. Attorney Yonette Sam-Buchanan said Thursday that although the officers found no drugs in Johnston's home, Smith planted three bags of marijuana in the home as part of a cover story.

The case raised serious questions about no-knock warrants and whether the officers followed proper procedures.

h/t: Crooks and Liars

Tenet, Tenet, Bo Benet, Banana Fana Fo Fenet, Me My Mo Menet, TENET!

This is not the name game, my friends. This is the blame game. And all that blame is being hurled upon George Tenet, former CIA director and recipient of the Medal of Freedom.

In the last week, parts of George Tenet's new book have been circulating through the press. Tenet, former CIA director, is credited as saying that the intelligence for going into Iraq was a "slam dunk," which gave the Bush administration all of the proof that they needed to launch into a pre-emptive war with Iraq. As proven multiple times before the war by voices as diverse as Washington Post writer Walter Pincus to former Iraq weapons inspector Scott Ritter, such a war against Iraq was completely unnecessary. A common sense assessment would have told the administration that this slam dunk must have hit rim, traveled, or got blocked on the way up.

But, alas, this did not happen and we are where we are now with Iraq. But, as this involves the drama capitol of the world Washington D.C. (what, you thought it was Hollywood?), this has been made out into a play of drastic and very serious consequence. Families are losing children because of these people's bad decisions, and no one wants to say sorry to the families. So, in typical Washington fashion, there is a lot of finger pointing.

Tenet directly blames the Bush administration for not being more critical and, in particular, Dick Cheney for making specious connections between Iraq and al-Qaeda, links that did not exist to people who knew that Hussein was running a secular state and would hate to support a fundamentalist organization like al-Qaeda. Secretary of State and Bush devotee Condi Rice (what's up with her? She's always all over Bush's shit. There's loyalty, but Rice and Bush is something deeper than that.) tried to run interference/deflection/damage control on the Sunday talk show circuit this week. She didn't really succeed, as she rattled off a bunch of talking points.

But along with Rice deflecting back to Tenet, Tenet's own men deflected back to him, calling him the Alberto Gonzales of the Intelligence Community. Aside from being a low blow, Tenet was well regarded as a very good Director of Central Intelligence. He served under both Clinton (starting in Clinton's 2nd term) and Bush and was the second-longest serving Director of the CIA, beaten out by Allen Dulles who has an airport near the CIA complex in Langley, VA named after him. Clearly, Tenet was a good CIA director who is being thrown under the bus.

I think that his history serves as an important part of the whole story here. Tenet is being used as the scapegoat for a war that the Bush administration knew that it was going to fight the entire time. Anything that Tenet said was not going to encourage or impede the progress of this administration. Wolfowitz was bent on going to war. Cheney and Rumsfeld were keyed in on war. Richard Perle, sitting on the Defense Policy Board at the Pentagon, was pushing for war. Tenet's comments would only make their actions seem less rash, as it would give them a tapered, thin leg to put this entire case on. But, this is Washington, D.C., someone must be held to account for failure. Unfortunately, this person will be George Tenet although it should be George W. Bush and all members of his foreign policy cabinet. I have beef with the other secretaries, but they didn't take us to war, they just ruined the majesty of America to make money to support their tax cuts.

Thanks Captain Obvious

My first reaction to this headline was, verbatim, no shit, really?! I've known this since I was 14. It's because if you are a Latino or Black person with a car, you're a drug dealer. I'm surprised I haven't gotten my unwarranted stop yet.

Truly Bizarre

Legos Kill.

When it rains it pours

More bad news from Iraq. According to this report from the BBC, 6 out of 8 major projects are reported as not working by sigir, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. Just to size this up and say that it is not a liberal conspiracy, sigir was established by Congress in 2004 when the GOP still was in power to oversee the reconstruction process as much money had been wasted in Iraq.

Here are some of the problems that sigir has pointed out in this most recent report:

At Baghdad international airport the inspectors discovered that $11.8m had been spent on new electricity generators, but that already $8.6m-worth were not working.

It was a similar scene at a barracks built for special forces in Baghdad where four large generators, each costing $50,000, were not working.

And at a maternity and children's hospital in Irbil a sophisticated oxygen distribution system was not used because staff did not trust it.

In the same hospital needles and bandages were tossed into the sewer system, which frequently blocked, because an incinerator installed to deal with such waste was not in use...

And at a recruiting centre in the town of Hilla faulty wiring was rife and blocked drains had caused the bathrooms to warp, inspectors said.
I have to say that this is really a problem here. Like awfully huge problem. But, people continue to say that we are succeeding in Iraq. I don't know what kind of success we are having if we cannot get basic things that are needed for the country's long-term vitality to work. In fact, I'd go so far as to say, that's not success, but in fact failure. Call me what you will, I just call them like I see them and this is how I see this one right now. If something improves, I'll be fair and say it does. But, let's be real, we all know that's not going to happen.

No Metrosexuality for Tehran

According to the BBC, there have been warnings put out to barbers all around the country to keep them from giving men extravagant hairstyles or using make-up on them. This new offensive is a component of the war against bad jihab, or, in non-Islamic code, un-Islamic attire. 16,000 women and 500 men have already been warned under these new codes. I can only wonder how much further it will go. Fortunately for me, Tehran has already given me an idea:

Iranian television has said the crackdown on un-Islamic clothing has entered its second phase now where mobile police units will patrol Tehran to look for those who are not observing Islamic dress properly.

According to the local media, Tehran's public prosecutor has suggested women who violate dress rules should be exiled from the capital to remote areas of the country.

A member of the parliament's legal committee has said there is no legal impediment to doing this.

Walking around with spiked hair is the new driving while Black. Better, walking around with a sense of fashion is over, ladies. I read a lot about different things that affect women in Iran because there are a lot. Those women are getting the short end of the stick. It seems as if you can get stopped essentially for being a woman. More pressing than walking around with spiked hair, having a vagina in Iran is the new driving while Black in America, but with far worse consequences. Black people only got humiliated by overzealous cops. Iranian women will get cast out of society by a government supported system. More stories will be coming out about this. We will all have to wait and see how many people are unfairly detained and harassed under this new system.

Jessica Valenti, I'm really sorry, but I love them.

VH1 has some how managed to warp my mind again and divert my mind from weighter issues to lighter fare. While it is usually quite interesting, VH1 somehow managed to set some group of people back. Whether that was Black people (Flavor of Love and I Love New York) or alcoholics trying to recover (Danny Bonaduce snapped and downed an entire fifth in one gulp! He had been clear for a really long time. It was tragic and disheartening at the same time.), someone was being disenfranchised by programming on VH1. And this spring is no different.

Some of the cast-off women from Flavor of Love were reconvened and "sent" to charm school. If you watched the aforementioned show at any point in time, you know why these girls were sent to charm school. By sending the girls to charm school, you would think that the program has become better in some way, improving itself from times before by adding some class. Unfortunately, my wishes were shattered in the most terrifying way.

The first way was when the girls initially entered the house. Mo'Nique, the host of Charm School, stripped the girls of their Flavor names. This was a nice thing because some of their names were flat out ridiculous. The most ridiculous of them all was Safari. That's not how you spell her name; there are ph's and a y somewhere in their as well. Anyway, when she was to strip herself of her old name, it turns up that Safari's name was in fact Safari. Yes, with the ph's. Also, Hottie, who did damage to the Black race with her first performance on Flavor of Love. She is completely out of hand. Her real name is, in fact, Schatar. What? Schatar? No, the name is true. Additionally, check out the myspace and watch the video. It blows my mind. Take that anyway you will.

She's really doing a lot of damage for her group here though. She's totally catty and unwilling to work with others in any meaningful way. It's kind of amazing how out there she really is. For example, in the second episode on etiquette, Schatar stole one of the girls' dresses and suits just to rattle her during the date challenge with THE bachelor Andrew Firestone. She stole them during the day, hid them, didn't say anything, and then brought it up in the interview with
the bachelor. It was one of the flat-out, most lowdown thing possible to do. What compels a person to be such a scheming bum? After the interview ended, Heather, the victim, was suitably pissed, and Brooke, an initial victim with Heather, put a pair of dirty panties over Schatar's picture, which hangs over top her headboard. But, Schatar wasn't phased. No, I mean that seriously, it really didn't phase her. It was mindblowing.

This sort of behavior is routine for this show. Flavor of Love: Charm School ft/ Mo'Nique is a multi-ethnic, all woman Flavor of Love in both its absurdity and its setting the women's liberation movement back at least 10 years, probably more like 20. Anyway, this is how Jessica Valenti comes into play.

Jessica Valenti is a feminist blogger, an active advocate for the woman's interest. She is an editor over at Feministing, a *surprise* feminist blog. It's quite informative, and I enjoy reading it immensely. While Miss Valenti is a fantastic young feminist, she doesn't deserved to be punished by Charm School. All of her hard work has essentially gone down the drain every hour this show comes on, which is like 20 hours a week because it's VH1. If you can't find an episode, you aren't trying; that's how easy it is.

While the show has damaged so much of the work that feminists have been struggling with for years (I'm going to shout out Jane Feustel here, in case she's googling her own name. She's a feminist of my day as well as a friend. She explained a lot of ideas to me.), I can't help but say the show is really, really entertaining. It makes me guilty to say it in a way, but it's true. The pettiness of it all is just laughable. I can't imagine what would make people want to act like that. While I know all of the negative connotations of the show, I can't turn away. It's really engrossing. It's like being hypnotized by the ridiculousness. I think I really only watch the show to see how much worse it could actually get, how many more years could be lost from the women's liberation movement's prior advances.

So,with that in mind, I apologize to Jessica, Jane, and other persons of the feminist persuasion for making your work harder because I really, really like Flavor of Love: Charm School. It's just too good.

epilogue: seriously, read feministing. it's a fantastic blog. I read it everyday.