Wednesday, January 31, 2007

ancient Chinese fire drill

Trying to capitalize on my incredible name recognition, no doubt…

(And thank you, Wendy…as usual and always.)

Ancient Chinese secret?
By Erin Klegstad, Staff Reporter, Alexandria Echo Press (Alexandria, Minnesota)
Published Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Chances are you cranked your head around the first time you drove by the new China Buffet.

With a red as bright as Dorothy’s ruby slippers, and an orange as orange as, well, an orange, the building along Highway 29 South definitely stands out.

The exterior angles of the new China Buffet along Highway 29 South represent the shapes of Chinese characters, while the building's bright colors represent Chinese celebrations and gatherings.

“The whole building is a festive type of look,” said its architect, Frank Duan of the Plymouth-based architectural firm, Duan Corporation.

He worked closely with the restaurant’s owners – Dian and Mei Jiang of Alexandria – to design the modern building.

Their first glimpse at the plans was “a shock…wow,” Duan said. “After they looked at it, they started to like it.”

The design’s angular lines and bright primary colors pay homage to the Chinese language and culture, Duan said.

Written using a logographic system, the Chinese language is a series of symbols called characters that represent a word or phrase.

The exterior building angles represent the shapes of those characters, Duan said.

The vivid colors stem from Chinese celebrations and gatherings. Many public buildings and temples in China have red columns, for example. “We had to tone down the red from that quite a bit,” Duan said.

The golden orange is representative of grains and rice, a staple in the Chinese diet. “When harvested, the rice is a golden color,” he said.

There’s a simplicity to the building, and it also “kind of makes a statement,” Duan said.

Aside from the unique exterior, the building is “fairly straightforward…it’s a pretty simple building” with the dining on the front side and the kitchen in the back.

“We tried to use color to liven [it] up,” Duan said.

The new restaurant is expected to open sometime in February.

Now, being that this is from a fairly small town, there is plenty of urban snobbery with which we can judge this story. Myself, I like that the phrase “kind of makes a statement” was actually saved as a quote. Must have been one hell of an interview. And the fact that it’s a story at all is quite funny to those of us who live in or near the murder and mayhem of Large, Faceless City, USA. But I do have sympathy for the folks who work for newspapers in somewhat rural areas, as the pickings are slim, indeed, when you’re trying to find anything even slightly newsworthy to fill out a sixteen-page (or more) publication. My uncle enjoys bringing us his newspapers when he visits from Larned, Kansas. I’ve seen more than a few stories about Ma and Pa Whitey who just framed and hung a jigsaw puzzle they’d been working on for twelve years or some such…

But what actually amuses me most about the whole thing – and god bless the internet – is the fact that, at the time I yanked this off the Echo Press’s website, there were thirty-five comments about this story. Damn. Imagine the hornet’s nest that erupts around town when something really juicy – like, with sex or drugs or something – hits the newsstands. Holeee shit.

Anyway, I found the comments as weirdly fascinating as the story. I sincerely envy the fact that a) this is somewhat important news in Alexandria, and b) so many people have comments about it. (Considering the fact that only about half the number of eligible voters actually participate in elections, it’s nice to hear so many folks get worked up about a weird looking Chinese restaurant.) So I copied and pastededed them from first to most recent for your edification and time-killification…


Christopher K - 01/24/2007 10:06 AM
The city never should of let them go with those horrible colors! Its a complete eye sore!

mike e - 01/24/2007 10:41 AM
It is a shame that this building will take some time to be occupied again when this restaraunt goes out of business because of the poor choice in colors.

Raeann B - 01/24/2007 11:07 AM
I have to agree with both of these comments. If i painted my house these colors what would happen to me? The city would be on me, i would be fined, ect..

Mike M - 01/24/2007 11:25 AM
I would also agree that it is horrific...

Kim D - 01/24/2007 11:33 AM
You people are a bunch of communist if you are trying to say that a commercial building can’t be painted certain colors. We live in the USA enjoy your freedoms. Furthermore to say that a business will go out of business because their building is painted a certain color is “Un Fung Shui”

L D - 01/24/2007 12:11 PM
I think it looks GREAT!! It about time there is something to brighten it up out there! And if you are choosing the resturant you eat at, by the color of the building, they more than likely dont want you as a customer anyway! Why does it matter the color of building if you enjoy the food?

Amy S - 01/24/2007 12:15 PM
I really like the colors and the building! People need to learn that CHANGE IS GOOD and step outside of thier box!!! It sounds like there was a lot of hard work and time put into the design of the building and the owners really put a lot of thought into it's meaning. I can't wait for it to open!!!!

S J - 01/24/2007 12:21 PM
it shouldnt matter what they paint the building the food they serve is good that is all should matter and you can always repaint a building if it goes under.i can not believe people these days we should be happy and not complain about a color of a building

DORIS c - 01/24/2007 12:31 PM
That communist remark gave me a 1950's flashback... but getting past that, I took Christopher's remark to mean that it will be difficult to resell the building in that color after it goes out of business - not that it will go out of business because of the color. I have to say one other thing about it, it certainly catches your eye when you drive by. Every one will know where this business is located.

Lindsay N - 01/24/2007 1:03 PM
Really looking forward to the new China Buffet. The food is always great and am sure that the new atmosphere will also be very pleasing.

Lisa M - 01/24/2007 1:26 PM
I don't see what the problem with the color is! They are colors...bright colors! Maybe the yellow in Subway is too bright...should that be changed? Is the red roof on Pizza Hut too red? There aren't many other red roofs around? What difference does it make?? It is eye-catching and had cultural ties!

hayley r - 01/24/2007 1:27 PM
Oh my goodness, it is a building with colors that have cultural meaning. Maybe we can think of it as an opportunity to learn, grow and be more tollerant instead of so close minded. If, and that is the key word here "IF" the resteraunt goes out of business, I am sure that the building will have no problem being sold. It is called paint people...a rather inexpensive way for someone to change to look of the building if they so choose.

c m - 01/24/2007 2:04 PM
the building looks great.... glad to see some progress for businesses that have been around this area for awhile... it will probably help their business to be located in an area that is passed by constantly by those that live here and those that are just passing by... kudos to the owners!

ted s - 01/24/2007 2:08 PM
They can paint their building whatever color they want, but I think the colors are garish. Whether it's a cultural thing or just the colors they want in my opinion it's an ugly combination, but like another poster mentioned you sure will notice the building.

greg b - 01/24/2007 3:45 PM
NAPA Auto Parts Store isn't very attractive either.

Leah L - 01/24/2007 4:20 PM
the alexandria planning commission should be flogged for allowing those colors, its totally out of character for the area

marty s - 01/24/2007 5:14 PM
I personally don't care for the color combination, but who cares, it's fitting for that type of restaurant. It looks entirely more welcoming then the building and location they're in right now. It's no different then the bright red and white barn that KFC is in, but it's fitting for that restaurant, and the bright red hat that's on the Arbys sign, it's fitting for that. I don't hear people barking about those places and their color choices.

David B - 01/24/2007 9:55 PM
Double happiness it isn't.

james d - 01/24/2007 11:46 PM
Bright colors is all I can say. Bringing culture to towns is good to help expand people's horizon. Even if this has nothing to do with culture, it is a unique building and the owners should be proud to do something outside the box.

Brandon B - 01/25/2007 12:56 AM
It is a crying shame to set here and read the negative comments that people write here about a couple with a dream and ambition,not to say the Million dollar amount that it is costing to get the land and put in a building and parking lot. Probably those that are complaining about the color don't have the guts or the know how to do this. You would drive to the cities and not think twice about going in to a place of wild colors. It catches your eye and it will attract the people off the interstate to come and eat, which are the people they want since so many talk about it going out of business,before it even opens. You have to stop and remember, these are people who live in Alec and will keep the money in Alec, not a chain that takes deposits to the bank to be transfered out of state to some other state. These are your hometown people,maybe of different skin color but they are our people, treat them like good people, because they will be paying in taxes to the city coffers whether the building is green,black,orange or red. Get A Life!!!

Andrew W - 01/25/2007 2:53 AM
I believe colors have strong ties to the sub-conscience. Colors have the ability to change a person's mood at any given time. Why do people have favorite colors? It is because they take a liking to a certain color because of the way it makes them feel. Do these colors make the majority of Alexandria or any city for that matter feel good, obviously not based on the responses. Good business sense would be to change the colors... but what do I know about business? I wish them good luck with everything they do. I am more than willing to open the book regardless of the cover.

Laura H - 01/25/2007 10:07 AM
I would like to congratulate China Buffet and Hiltop Lumber for courage to think outside the box. I returned from New York City for a visit, and was delighted to see the amazing growth of business and diversity, but still sense a very conservative atmosphere. I wish more people would open thier minds to different ideas, and travel greater than a 50 mile radius of the city limits to see the truly colorful, diverse, and beautiful world that is out there.

nancy j - 01/25/2007 12:01 PM
I like the design of the building, and the fact that China Buffet will be moving to a much newer, nicer location, but I have to agree with some that I do not like the color choices.. I'm fine with it being there, but to me it just doesn't scream "Chinese Restaurant!" It says something like "Space Aliens" Or "Chuckie Cheese" ..Some sort of child based restaurant chain...

Andrew W - 01/25/2007 1:06 PM
Don't most restaurant owners/designers strategically use reds, yellows and greens because these colors help enhance the appetite and are found more appealing to most people? Since these are also the favorite colors of the Chinese is very suprising to me...that they used bright colors, but not the 'correct' colors to attract business and appeal to the senses. Personally, I think a pagoda shaped building in the Chinese colors would have been a wonderful design rather than a building that looks more like a paint ball facility or a space alien game room....

Judy H - 01/25/2007 2:06 PM
Orange not the correct color? Orange is notably one of the colors that increases appetite. -Did not you the Arby's next door? What color is matched with the brown?

Longtime R - 01/25/2007 2:08 PM
The color is hideous, as is every other Chinese restaurant painted this color throughout the U.S. It may be good for their business, because it stands out like a sore thumb and shouts "I'm a Chinese Restuarant", but it surely wouldn't be of any benefit to any surrounding business, since that tacky color takes your eyes away from everything else.

nancy j - 01/25/2007 4:45 PM

Glenn C - 01/25/2007 5:02 PM
I agree, the orange works, for me, it's the blue or maybe the combination that just doesn't seem right...? Seems interesting though, that people either love it or hate it....regardless, I think we all agree that we'd like to see the owners do well, and hate to see something like the color of the building have an ill effect on their business.

Kerry H - 01/25/2007 5:37 PM
So picky about colors.... so much criticism about the orange..... this is america..let them paint it any dang color they want to... When you open up your own business, you can do the same. I think its great that it stands out... isnt that the point?? You may say it looks tacky and blah blah, when did you become an art ciritic? Some people may not have like the Mona Lisa, some did. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the brush strokes of the artist. Ok Fine, you don't like it.... dont eat there, more chinese food for me, lol.

Steven G - 01/25/2007 9:05 PM
For some reason, when I see the color of that building, I get my fill, fut about a half-hour later I need to see it again!

Alvin O - 01/25/2007 9:10 PM
I feel a strong sense of Alexandria ignorant hostility towards the color of this building. What's new? We are a town based on visitors coming here and spending their money. The different design and colors will attract more people traveling through to stop there and generate a greater revenue for this business. Smart move on their part. I think the design is one of the best I have seen around here lately.

John B - 01/26/2007 10:08 AM
This is America. They have the right to paint it any color they darn well choose. Good luck is the most important thing I can say. Get more and better restaurants in Alexandria

Erin J - 01/30/2007 1:05 PM
Is there anyone in the Alex area who doesn't know that there is a new chinese place being built and exactly where? Don't you think passers by on the interstate will remember it to? Sounds like a very good decision from a business standpoint. Recognizable and rememberable. Good for them!

Good for them, indeed...

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Friday, January 26, 2007

“burned at the state”

(...a botched cliché that a former co-worker – and probably Dubya, at some point – used)

You know, I never watch the State of the Union speeches. Or any other speeches by politicians. I haven’t for years and I’m not ashamed in the least to admit it. Because I know full well that all political speeches are not designed to communicate anything truthful or realistic…they’re designed to sell. And that applies to any politician in either party…at least from the state level up. There are perhaps a few local or regional politicians who give speeches that are actually attempts to inform residents and/or constituents in a useful way. But the truth is that most political speeches are exercises in public relations. And I have no desire to waste my time with them.

Needless to say, I didn’t watch Dubya’s SOTU the other night. But I’ve heard grumblings from fellow grumblers about one particular subject the president went out of his way to avoid, and it is a subject that has become dear to my heart: New Orleans. And the wretched debacle that was – and is – the aftermath of Katrina.

Here’s a blurb from a blog I read this morning about the gaping hole in the president’s speech… (You can read the entire blog – it’s not a long one – by clicking on the title.)

The Missing Paragraph

I was hoping you'd have something like an attempt to remind the country that what binds us together as American(s) vastly outnumbers that which separates us. Instead you gave us the lady from Baby Einstein who sold out to Disney. You could have attempted to speak clearly, thoughtfully, poetically, but then you gave us phrases like: "the great tradition of the melting pot." Sir, I'm sorry, but that makes me think of the nacho cheese in movie theaters, not how the very foundation of our solidarity as a nation rests in our diversity as a people…

...But back to the Katrina-shaped hole in your speech, President Bush. America was left afraid, angry, and ashamed by what happened in New Orleans, to say little of what is still happening there. Has so much time passed from when you flew over people's broken lives that you've forgotten what happened to your fellow Americans? It seems to me that it is more than possible that tonight's speech was just another reminder of your unfailingly apathetic and blatantly racist disregard for the citizens who need not only your time and attention, but the rest of the country's as well.

I have a stack of Katrina-related articles just waiting to be compiled into a monster post of some kind. (I also have a fantasy of dragging Hal Samples down to New Orleans with me for a week or two to see how much shit we can stir up, and see what kind of physical and emotional carnage we can report on, since no one else seems to be doing it with much success.) But since I’m still trying to get caught up on that and other subjects, I’d just like to run a quick set of numbers past everyone…

$10 million per hour

$8.4 billion per month

The first number is what we are currently spending (pre-“surge”) to continue our occupation of Iraq. The second number is what is projected to become the new pricetag for the ongoing operation there…what I’ve taken - like, just now - to calling Operation Muslim Humiliation. (Which I believe we called “the crusades” once, back in the olden days…)

Can any of us even fathom what ten million dollars per hour could do for the U.S. gulf region and New Orleans in particular? What eight billion dollars per month could have already accomplished down there by now? The fact that those figures are so unfathomable is, in itself, unfathomable. There is no adjective I can think of that can describe the injustice – not to mention just obscenely misplaced priorities – of our spending that kind of money on the other side of the globe when so many lives were destroyed – and remain in ruin more than a year after Hurricane Katrina – here on American (toxic) soil. Disgraceful? Unthinkable? Is “inhuman” too strong a word?

In New Orleans, mental illness, suicide, decay, disease, violent crime and cruelty to animals have become the new standard of living. At least until all the poor (read: people of color) people are gone permanently…dead or alive.

Why are so few Americans as outraged by what is – and is not – happening in the NOLA area? How is it that it’s acceptable on any level to spend the amount of money we have already spent - and will continue to spend - in Iraq while this absolutely deliberate ethnic cleansing (and I challenge anyone to prove to me that this is not what the situation has become) is occurring right here in our own country?

Our esteemed leader has visited New Orleans once – once – in the last eight months. That visit amounted to a photo op to mark the one year anniversary of…I’m not sure, actually. Katrina making landfall? The first breach of the levees? His comment to Michael Brown that he was “doing a heckuva job…”? His initial, compassionately conservative fly-over in Air Force One? Anyway, he said the following at his brief, though no doubt productive, visit last August: “This anniversary is not an end. And so I come back to say that we will stand with the people of southern Louisiana and southern Mississippi until the job is done.”

The question I have is what “job” he and his people have in mind.

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crony baloney

Two very important – perhaps the most important – questions with regard to the Iraq war and the true motivations behind it are raised yet again in the commentary below. However, they are prefaced with equally important statements and a discussion of “crony capitalism/democracy”…

Is it plausible for Americans to ask, Were the corporations that Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld had close relationships with a factor in the decision-making process to attack Iraq, since many of these companies secured multimillion or multibillion-dollar government contracts as a result of the Iraq War? Were government contracts directly relating to the Iraq War signed with companies with Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld connections prior to the attack on Iraq, and is this a conflict of interest?

The answer is not in stars; it is in intense scrutiny of the ever-widening circle of the military-industrial complex and implementing legislation that is currently absent, by curtailing or curbing or eliminating this new age of crony capitalism and crony democracy that has descended upon the American people and their government.

You can read the rest (beginning) of the commentary at the following link…

The Iraq War and Crony Democracy

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...establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility...

Speaking of the honorable E. Howard Hunt (Mike’s brother), our hero Carl Bernstein – as in “Woodward and…” – had some pretty damning comments directed at the Bush administration in an online chat at yesterday. Among the highlights…

After a long explanation of how the American system “worked,” eventually, with Watergate, Bernstein said:

“In the case of George W. Bush, the American system has obviously failed – tragically…But imagine the difference in our worldview today, had the institutions – particularly of government – done their job to insure that a mendacious and dangerous president (as has since been proven many times over – beyond mere assertion) be restrained in a war that his killed thousands of American soldiers, brought turmoil to the lives of millions, and constrained the goodwill towards the United States in much of the world.”

Later, asked if the Nixon administration was unique in hiring disreputable characters, he replied:

“In terms of small-bore (but dangerous) characters like Howard Hunt and Gordon Liddy with their schemes, I doubt that any presidency approaches the criminality of the Nixon White House. But the Watergate conspiracy to undermine the constitution and use illegal methods to hurt Nixon’s political opponents and even undermine the electoral system was supervised by those at the very top.

“In the current administration we have seen from the President down – especially Vice President Cheney, Attorney General Gonzales, Condoleeza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld – a willingness to ignore the great constitutional history of the United States – to suspend, really, the many of the constitutional guarantees that have made us a nation apart, with real freedoms unknown elsewhere, unrestricted by short-term political objectives of our leaders.

“Then there are the Geneva conventions: Who would have dreamed that, in our lifetime, our leaders would permit their flagrant abuse, would authorize torture, ‘renditions’ to foreign-torture chambers, suspension of habeus corpus, illegal surveillance of our own citizens…

“But perhaps worst, has been the lying and mendacity of the president and his men and women – in the reasons they cited for going to war, their conduct of the war, their attempts to smear their political opponents.

“Nixon and his men lied and abused the constitution to horrible effect, but they were stopped.

“The Bush administration – especially its top officials named above and others familiar to most Americans – was not stopped, and has done far greater damage. As a (Republican) bumper-sticker of the day proclaimed, ‘Nobody died at Watergate.’ If only we could say that about the era of George W. Bush, and that our elected representatives in Congress and our judiciary had been courageous enough to do their duty and hold the President and his aides accountable.”

When asked about the CIA leak case surrounding Valerie Plame, Bernstein said it was “a truly Nixonian event, a happenstance not atypical of the take-no-prisoners politics of the Bush presidency. But it pales in comparison to the larger questions of the Constitution, of life and death, of the Geneva conventions, of he expectation that our leaders – from Condoleeza Rice to Dick Cheney, to the attorney(s) general to Paul Wolfowitz and on down and up the line speak truthfully to the American people and the Congress. They have consistently failed to do so.”

Couldn’t have said it any better, myself. And, obviously, I didn’t.

And I still adore Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.


from the “boo-hoo” file...

E. Howard Hunt died a couple days ago. (Unfortunately, Chuck Colson and G. Gordon Liddy are still around.)

Hunt once said, “I had always assumed…that anything the White House wanted done was the law of the land.” Not quite, though he’d fit in perfectly with the current administration. (And why does everyone else in the country seem to also be making the same assumption these days…?)

Hunt was apparently annoyed by the fact that he was often referred to as a Watergate “burglar” rather than “conspirator.”

I, however, am a somewhat vindictive little shit who takes some joy from the fact that he had to suffer this minor annoyance. My only concern is whether the word “scumbag” is spelled correctly in his obituary…

Say “hi” to Tricky Dick for us, E. Howard…!


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

an existential crisis

I can't believe I let this comment from Dick Cheney pass me by...

"This is an existential conflict. It is the kind of conflict that's going to drive our policy and our government for the next 20 or 30 or 40 years. We have to prevail and we have to have the stomach for the fight long term."

So now that jackass has admitted what many of us opposed to the bogus "war on terror" have been claiming for years now...that a "war" on a non-specific enemy is essentially a war on whomever we want it to be for as long as we want to wage it. Well, he only partially reveals the truth. He doesn't get into the fact that the only real benefactors of this kind of endless war are the corporations and industries that provide the parts and pieces - hardware, software, intelligence, security and so on. But that's the next logical inference, wouldn't you think...?

And who's this "we," kemosabe? As I recall, you skirted the draft for Vietnam at least six times. It's definitely easier to have the "stomach for the fight" as long as you're not the one doing the fighting, isn't it? Between he and Dubya, we're being led around by the nose by two total chickenshits-in-chief.

Oh, and while Big Dick was on Fox News this past weekend asking the members of congress to ask themselves whether or not their opposition to the proposed "surge" in Iraq would be "helping the troops," a new Bush administration policy was put into effect. And I can't help but wonder whether Vice Dick considers this "helping the troops"...?

The ability of the neo-cons to speak out of both sides of their mouths is just...sickening.

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Sunday, January 21, 2007


Amazing...written in 1985, while I was still in high school...

Well they divided up all the land
And we've got states and cities
Cities have their neighborhoods
And more subdivisions

There's countries divided by walls
Oceans and latitudes
And longitude, longing to find out
Just what they're missing

They're lots of area codes
And nine digit zip codes
Secret decoder ring codes
Arteries, shopping nodes

We'll invent some new computers
Link up the global village
And get AP, UPI, and Reuters
To tell everybody the news

We'll be one happy neighborhood
Spread out across the world
But who's going to stop that burglar
From breaking in my house, if he lives that far away

We'll be just like old friends
No means to your ends
The police state is to busy
And the neighborhood's getting out of hand

It's not about my politics
Something happened way too quick
A bunch of men who played it sick
They divide and conquer

It's all here before your eyes
Safety is a big disguise
That hides among the other lies
They divide and conquer

Well I expect I won't be heard
Because my silence is assured
Never a discouraging word
They divide and conquer

They divide and conquer


Wednesday, January 17, 2007 Order to form a more perfect Union...

There are actually two articles at the following link, both having to do with the American media and the desperate need for reform. But the first article in particular is very articulate in the way it spells out the president's agenda...the truth versus the way it's reported.

If Beale Street Could Talk - Part 1: Bush's Escalation Speech

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Monday, January 15, 2007

We the People of the United States of America...

Bush refuses to waver on Iraq troop plan

"I fully understand they could try to stop me," Bush said of the Democrat-run Congress. "But I've made my decision, and we're going forward."

So there’s our president showing tremendous respect for the checks and balances established in our constitution...the kinds of checks and balances put into place to prevent people like those in his administration from doing the kinds of things they’re doing now...

As the president talked tough, lawmakers pledged to explore ways to stop him.

"We need to look at what options we have available to constrain the president," said Democratic Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, a possible White House candidate in 2008. Democrats remain wary, though, of appearing unsupportive of American troops.

In other words, Democrats are searching for ways to pander to the lowest common they always do. Chickenshits.

A defiant Cheney, meanwhile, said Democrats offered criticism without credible alternatives. He pointedly reminded lawmakers that Bush is commander in chief.

"You cannot run a war by committee," the vice president said of congressional input.

You can’t? I thought that’s what the Defense Department was for. Otherwise, wouldn’t we find ourselves with a little Napoleon running around shooting at everything in sight? Oh, wait...

"Some of my buddies in Texas say, 'You know, let them fight it out. What business is it of ours?'" Bush said of Iraqis. "And that's a temptation that I know a lot of people feel. But if we do not succeed in Iraq, we will leave behind a Middle East which will endanger America."

Yet when asked if he owes the Iraqi people an apology for botching the management of the war, he said, "Not at all. We liberated that country from a tyrant," Bush said. "I think the Iraqi people owe the American people a huge debt of gratitude."

Wow...where to begin. What business is it of ours? Well, technically, it’s not any of our business. Or it wasn’t until we coerced the two sides into fighting each other by taking over and occupying their country and playing each ethnic and religious group against one another. As for the Middle East we will leave behind…I believe the phrase you’re looking for, Mr. President, is ‘hellish quagmire of death, destruction and corruption.’ I don’t know about most folks, but it’s not on my travel itinerary anytime soon. And we have the neo-cons to thank for that.

I’m sure the Iraqi people are still rehearsing their collective ‘thank you’ speech to the United States. ‘Thank you, America, for wantonly killing over a half-million of us in order to steal the oil rights from underneath us. Thank you also for taking the beehive of religious animosity that has existed for centuries and whacking the crap out of it like it was a piñata so that we could have the excuse we’ve all been looking for to start kidnapping and drilling holes into each other’s faces and dumping the bodies out onto the streets for family members to see. Oh, and thank you for methodically destroying what little infrastructure we had, leaving us without water, sanitation or power. Not that we need any of that stuff because we’re all either confined to our homes or afraid to leave them. Thank you, America, for showing us that there can be a hell on earth, that it is much worse than anything we or anyone else ever dreamed of, and that only you are powerful enough to create it for us at will. Because nothing says “the land of the free and the home of the brave” like calculated genocide. You guys are the shit.’

"You don't like to micromanage the Defense Department, but we have to, in this case, because they're not paying attention to the public," said Rep. John Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat who helps oversee military funding.

That’s funny. Up until now, I thought we had no control over military funding at all...

"I really am not the kind of guy that sits here and says, 'Oh gosh, I'm worried about my legacy,'" Bush said.

Of course not. That would require introspection, which isn’t possible when you have the Worst Case of ADD The World Has Ever Known. Now sit in your chair and be still.

The president also said he saw part of the Internet-aired video of the execution of Saddam Hussein, which showed some Iraqis taunting Saddam as he stood with a noose around his neck on the gallows. He said it could have been handled a lot better.

Bush said he got no particular satisfaction from seeing Saddam hang. "I'm not a revengeful person," he said.

Aside from the fact that we get an awesome new Bushism in the word “revengeful,” this is the same man who had Saddam in his sights from the moment he took office (“He tried to kill my dad”)...and, as we’ve all seen now, there’s more than a decent amount of evidence to prove that the Bush administration had a regime change plan for Iraq in place since well before 9/11.

All I can say for the president is...dude, eventually, you’re going to have to take cover. Oswald was a patsy, too, and look what happened to him...

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You know those annoying emails people forward to every human being in their address list, assuming they all share the same political and/or religious beliefs as the person sending the email? I know you do, because I’m guilty of doing it too. Though, I do at least try to only preach to the choir...I don’t send out a bunch of rantings and ravings about Dubya to my Republican friends and relatives. Anyway, when you do send something out willy-nilly, with no regard for the principles and opinions of folks on the receiving end, you’re gonna wind up offending somebody. Today, I am that somebody, as what follows may very well be the most offensive forwarded message I’ve ever received...

NOTE: They have received more snow since this email was sent out.

I Salute the People of the Colorado Republic!


Denver Post:

This text is from a county emergency manager out in the central part of Colorado after today's snowstorm.


Up here, in the Northern Plains, we just recovered from a Historic event--- may I even say a "Weather Event" of "Biblical Proportions" --- with a historic blizzard of up to 44" inches of snow and winds to 90 MPH that broke trees in half, knocked down utility poles, stranded hundreds of motorists in lethal snow banks, closed ALL roads, isolated scores of communities and cut power to 10's of thousands.


George Bush did not come.

FEMA did nothing.

No one howled for the government.

No one blamed the government.

No one even uttered an expletive on TV .

Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton did not visit.

Our Mayor did not blame Bush or anyone else.

Our Governor did not blame Bush or anyone else, either.

CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX or NBC did not visit – or report on this category 5 snowstorm. Nobody demanded $2,000 debit cards.

No one asked for a FEMA Trailer House.

No one looted.

Nobody - I mean Nobody demanded the government do something.

Nobody expected the government to do anything, either.

No Larry King, No Bill O'Rielly, No Oprah, No Chris Mathews and No Geraldo Rivera.

No Shaun Penn, No Barbara Striesand, No Hollywood types to be found.

Nope, we just melted the snow for water.

Sent out caravans of SUV's to pluck people out of snow engulfed cars.

The truck drivers pulled people out of snow banks and didn't ask for a penny.

Local restaurants made food and the police and fire departments delivered it to the snowbound families.

Families took in the stranded people – total strangers.

We fired up wood stoves, broke out coal oil lanterns or Coleman lanterns.

We put on extra layers of clothes because up here it is "Work or Die".

We did not wait for some affirmative action government to get us out of a mess created by being immobilized by a welfare program that trades votes for 'sittin at home' checks.

Even though a Category "5" blizzard of this scale has never fallen this early, we know it can happen and how to deal with it ourselves.

"In my many travels, I have noticed that once one gets north of about 48 degrees North Latitude, 90% of the world's social problems evaporate."

It does seem that way, at least to me.

I hope this gets passed on.

Maybe SOME people will get the message. The world does Not owe you a living.

I’m still dumbfounded by the fact that somebody sat down to compose this. It’s obviously bullshit, with “urban legend” written all over it (what the Denver Post has to do with anything is beyond me). But, authenticity aside, it almost literally hurts me to see how hateful, bigoted and ugly this message is...and the thoughts behind it must be. It actually ties in a little bit to a post I’m going, post shortly. To bend so far over backward to somehow connect a snowstorm with Hurricane’s just such a mean-spirited, aggressive, nasty way to express your beliefs while kicking someone less powerful than you. I can feel the disgusted expression I have on my face right now.

Feel free to comment...or not. And I probably don’t help matters by posting this (I’m a firm believer in ignoring hate speech and hate groups because I think indifference wounds them more deeply than anything). I just can’t get past my one-word question when I read this: Why...?

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

I'm one and more are on the way...

I'm a clone, I know it and I'm fine...
I'm one and more are on the way
I'm two, doctor, three's on the line...
He'll take incubation another day

I'm all alone, so are we all...
We're all clones...all are one and one are all
All are one and one are all

We destroyed the government, we're destroying time...
No more problems on the way
I'm through doctor, we don't need your kind...
The other ones, ugly ones...stupid boys, wrong ones

I'm all alone, so are we all...
We're all clones...all are one and one are all
All are one and one are all

Six is having problems adjusting to his clone status...
Have to put him on a shelf ("please don't put me on a shelf...!")
All day long we hear him crying so loud,
"I just wanna be myself...I just wanna be myself...I just wanna be myself"

I'm all alone, so are we all...

FDA Set to OK Food From Cloned Animals

Pay attention to the companies with whom all the folks quoted are allied. That pretty much tells you all you need to know with regard to agenda.

Corporations affiliated with agri-business, chemicals for human consumption, and prescription drug companies will kill us all before terrorists ever will. Because they're motivated by greed...and that's a motivation that trumps all others.

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the newest "surge" of propaganda and war

That there will be war with Iran is now virtually guaranteed. The Bush Administration set out a clear casus belli over the weekend in two stories – masterworks of warmongering propaganda – appearing in two major bastions of the "liberal media." The argument for this new war – buttressed with "facts" that as usual went unchallenged by the corporate scribes – is actually stronger and cleaner than the collection of conflicting mendacities that led to the invasion of Iraq. It is vain to hope that the Democrats, who have themselves demonized Iran with such ferocity, will stand against the call for the new war when it comes, in the terms now being established by the Administration.

...In any case, the sophisticated asymmetrical weaponry being used against Americans in Iraq need not have come from Iran; it has been around for a long time, and originated in the heart of the "Coalition" itself: yet another piece of deadly blowback from the dirty wars...that have done so much to shape the hell that afflicts us all today. But the media amnesia...and the unquestioning, uncritical retailing of unconfirmed assertions by an Administration of proven liars clearly bent on more war – means we are being plunged blindly once again into monstrous, blood-soaked folly.

Get Your War On: Bush Plays Casus Belli Card Against Iran

...And so begins the next propaganda-by-way-of-the-media push...

U.S. links 5 Iranians to Iraq insurgency


public service announcement...

...for people who live with cats.

Perhaps I don't grasp the concept of how this stuff is supposed to work, but based on my experience with it over the past couple weeks I can honestly say this is the worst, most useless shit I've ever bought.

Okay, if you don't scoop, the cat's not going to want to use it because he or she will have to do so while dancing around the crap that's just kinda sitting there waiting to be scooped out. And since the stuff is basically mulch - wood chips and sawdust and shit - when you do scoop it, you have to practically wear a breathing mask because it fills the air with very fine wood dust that gets into and all over everything. The box says it's flushable...and indeed, it is. (Though, I can't figure out why it would need to be flushable if you don't need to scoop...) However, my bathroom now looks like I've been sanding down a bookcase in it for the past month.

If you have a cat, do yourself a favor and avoid this stuff at all costs. Just a total fucking waste of time (among other things)...


my epitaph...?

...from the "Sunbeams" section of this month's The Sun. Hits a little too close to home...

Being alone in the house on a weekday still made him feel like he was back in high school and had just put one over on his parents. All sorts of exciting and illicit behaviors offered themselves for consideration. He could smoke a joint, phone an escort service, fry up a whole box of breakfast sausages. In the end, though, all he ever did was sit down in front of the muted TV and strum his guitar. - Tom Perrotta


Saturday, January 13, 2007

bully for us

Well, here's a big clue to our foreign policy decisions. As stupid as it sounds, I honestly never thought testosterone had anything to do with anything...

"Iran needs to learn to respect us...and Iran certainly needs to respect American power in the Middle East."

Translation: ours is bigger than yours. So just when you think it's impossible to be more embarrassed than you already are by our government, some new numbnuts steps out and says something quite possibly more stupid than anything the president has ever said. And that's quite a feat.

At any rate, here's what one expert is forecasting...

"The potential for sparking a wider conflict is great...if we're going for a confrontation with Iran, the pretext will be Iraq."

You can read more here...

Pentagon Intensifies Pressure on Iran

Oh, and also...Apparently, the first estimates of dead civilians in the Somalia attack appear to have been substantially off. We spend how many billions of dollars on "defense" and we can't even tell who we're supposed to be shooting at...?

Actually, that's unfair of me to say. It's not that we can't tell...we just don't care.

Air attacks against fugitive Islamists in south Somalia in recent days have mistakenly targeted nomadic herdsmen gathering round fires, killing 70, British-based aid agency Oxfam said on Friday.

"Under international law, there is a duty to distinguish between military and civilian targets," Oxfam added, citing its local partner organisations in Somalia for the information.

Washington sent a warplane into Somalia on Monday to try and take out what U.S. officials say are top al Qaeda suspects hiding with the Islamists.

More gory details here...

Somalia air raids hit nomads, 70 dead – Oxfam

Public relations ain't cheap. But the president thinks the "sacrifice is worth it." Not sure how much sacrifice or, evidently, skill and intelligence it takes to shoot fish in a barrel. Just imagine how much uglier this is going to get if this is how this whole thing is starting...


Friday, January 12, 2007

An exciting new development in the marketing of imperialism...!

(...and the Super Bowl ads should kick total ass!)

More "collateral damage" in our president's new public relations commitment to prove that the War on Terror (has that been trademarked yet...?) is truly a worldwide endeavor...not just an invasion and occupation of a country with a whole bunch of oil within its borders...

So more than two dozen innocent human beings, men, women and children, including a four-year-old boy, had to die -- for the sake of a talking point, for the sake of propaganda, for the sake of escalating an illegal war that has itself killed more than 600,000 innocent people. They are literal sacrifices on the altar of Bush's arrogance.

You can read the full article at the following link...

Mondo Apocalypto: Somalis Sacrificed for Bush's Speech

In a separate, but sickeningly related story, there comes this news of what is literally an act of war by the U.S. against Iran. Try as I might, I haven't seen much mention of this anywhere in the mainstream news...

There have been many criminal episodes in the history of the United States government; but I am hard-pressed to think of one that has been so egregiously stupid and self-destructive, and so riddled with pathological aberrations.

Hard on the heels of Bush's bellicose language against Iran in his "New Way Forward" speech comes news that American forces stormed an Iranian consulate in Iraq in a heavily armed raid – including five helicopters – with threats to kill the Iranian diplomats inside if they did not surrender.

As Glenn Greenwald notes: "Isn't it a definitive act of war for one country to storm the consulate of another, threaten to kill them if they do not surrender, and then detain six consulate officers?" Glenn – who with his usual dispatch has been all over Bush's rush to encompass Iran in the hellfire of his Middle East rampage – knows full well the answer to his rhetorical question: Yes, it is a definitive act of war.

Full article...

Marching to Persia: First Blows Struck in Bush's War on Iran


Master of Puppets

This one’s a tad dated, but what can I say...I’m still pissed off.

Clearly, dead Shiites are still no concern to the American rulers of Mesopotamia. Total domination is all that matters.

Read the rest by following the link, if you’re so inclined...

Puppet Kills Puppet

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"stronger than history..."

The following is true. Too bad so few Americans believe it anymore...

You are stronger than history, if you choose to be so. The future is yours to create, if you choose to do so. The moments to come are yours. Let nothing and no one steal them from you. Guard them with your life, because that is exactly what they are.

You can read the rest of the article from William Rivers Pitt by following this link...

A Sentinel in Time


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

truth in advertising

I was driving past Toyota of Dallas the other day and got to see yet another nauseating display of patriotism-as-advertising on their giant jumbotron sign thingy facing I-635. I forget the exact words but the message was something along the lines of the following...

God bless the USA and our troops fighting to protect our freedoms.

To the folks of Toyota of Dallas (from whom I bought my previous car)...fuck you. And to every other company who uses that kind of blindly jingoistic patriotism in order to sell us more shit we may or may not need...fuck you, too.

I've been fortunate in that I've only had one episode where I've worked - for fourteen years and in marketing, no less - where our company tried the patriotism-as-advertising thing. And it was the only episode I can recall where I just flat refused an assignment on principle. It was right after September 11, 2001...back when everybody was driving around with their "We Will Not Forget" and "United We Stand" bumper stickers, wearing red, white and blue on every occasion, plastering the American flag on every stationary object within reach, etc. I forget what the specific task was that I was asked to do, but I remember it involved running some sort of print ad or something with our name and some variation of the phrase "God Bless America"...clearly designed with the same distasteful and opportunistic zeal every other marketing/advertising department in the country was trying to employ during the months after 9/11. I was asked to write the copy for the ad, just as I'm asked to write the copy for every other thing that represents us on paper or online. I just remember telling my boss something like, "I'm sorry, but if you're going forward with this idea, I'm going to ask you to please ask someone else to take care of this. I know you don't understand, but I find this approach to advertising personally offensive and I cannot participate in good conscience." They wound up not doing the ad after all, but I felt better for having put my foot down.

At any rate, the point of this post is (as is my tendency) to direct the folks who truly believe - or at least don't stop to think about - the idea that "our troops (are currently) fighting to protect our freedoms." No, they're not. I'm not questioning their bravery or their motives...each of them probably has more courage and sense of duty to our country than I will ever posess or comprehend. But what they're fighting - killing and dying - for right now hasn't the slightest thing to do with freedom...ours or anyone else's.

Please check out the following from one of my current journalistic heroes, Chris Floyd. His article bluntly and articulately spells out what "our soldiers" are really fighting for. It's pretty plain, pretty simple, and pretty obvious for those who choose to take the time to think about the current situations in Iraq and Afghanistan (and Iran).

And if you don't...if you choose to believe that what we have are "troops fighting to protect our freedoms"...well, I don't know what else to say except: fuck you. You have the ability and, yes, the freedom to investigate and question what's being reported from myriad sources. By choosing to remain oblivious, you're as guilty of murder as anyone else in our current government's advertising campaign known as "the war on terror." If you haven't woken up yet, I doubt you ever will...

New Oil Law Means Victory in Iraq for Bush

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Thursday, January 04, 2007

more "sacrifice"

Apparently, I'm not the only person who's so appalled by our president's use of the word "sacrifice"...

Special Comment About "Sacrifice"


Wednesday, January 03, 2007


"The sacrifice has been worth it," the president said a couple weeks ago. Nevermind that neither he nor any of his advisors have sacrificed this war ("occupation" is the more appropriate term) or any other. Perhaps these articles might shed some light on the concept of sacrifice for him, though I doubt anyone in his camp reads the papers...

With Iraq War Come Layers of Loss

Cold Ground for a Summer of Love

There are three thousand other stories...most likely different in the details, but all the same with regard to the outcome. One of the things money apparently can buy is "sacrifice"...and plenty of it. Funny thing about sacrifice,'s only affordable to those who aren't actually paying for it.

Since ignorance really is bliss, I have no doubt the Bush team sleeps well each night. Sweet dreams, all...