Feb 27, 2007

For crying out loud.

I knew there was a reason why I rarely, if ever, watched anything on CBS. It's run by a bunch of morons. Check out this latest example:
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel obtained a letter from "Saturday Early Show" senior producer Michael Rosen to Broward Circuit Judge Larry Seidlin, who presided over the Anna Nicole Smith case. In the letter, Rosen expresses interest in having Seidlin join the "Saturday Early Show."

"I have been extremely impressed by your compassion in the Anna Nicole case and I would love to discuss with you the idea of being our judge on a new segment, `Morning Justice,'" wrote Rosen. "It would be a semi-regular segment in which you would resolve the ethical and legal questions of our viewers who send in the issues troubling them."
What the hell?

Feb 24, 2007

Wait. People actually like him?

Members of the "Go Fuck Yourself" fan club:

Silly Aussies.

(Props to Whatever It Is, I'm Against It for the photo.)

This week's cognitive dissonance

In case you needed another reason to believe that the war in Iran Iraq [thanks, a] was motiviated by interests other than fighting terrorism, it's this. We're not even interested in going after the guy who started this whole thing (emphasis mine):
The Army's highest-ranking officer said Friday that he was unsure whether the U.S. military would capture or kill Osama bin Laden, adding, "I don't know that it's all that important, frankly."

"So we get him, and then what?" asked Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, the outgoing Army chief of staff, at a Rotary Club of Fort Worth luncheon. "There's a temporary feeling of goodness, but in the long run, we may make him bigger than he is today.

"He's hiding, and he knows we're looking for him. We know he's not particularly effective. I'm not sure there's that great of a return" on capturing or killing bin Laden.

As far as I'm concerned, Dubya and Sith Lord Cheney are no longer given permission to invoke 9/11 in any future speeches, since they seem to think that capturing the mastermind behind the attacks really doesn't produce "that great of a return."
... Schoomaker's remarks echoed comments last year by Vice President Cheney, who seemed to play down the value of capturing or killing bin Laden days before the Bush speech. "He's not the only source of the problem, obviously. . . . If you killed him tomorrow, you'd still have a problem with al-Qaeda," the vice president said.
To be sure, terrorism itself is a problem that transcends any one individual, but it's obvious that we've wasted a lot of time and money pursuing the wrong guy and the wrong country. That is, of course, if you're still working under the assumption that the war in Iraq was begun in response to the 9/11 attacks.

Meanwhile, al-Qaeda is rebuilding itself and getting stronger.

(Thanks to AMERICAblog for the link.)

Feb 18, 2007

Giuliani: "I said FIJI water, bitches!"

Seeing as how I'm just a G-lister, I found it quite amusing that Giuliani has a rider:
In addition to his $100,000 speaking fee, the former mayor insists that he be shuttled to and from any event by a private plane — and not just any plane, mind you!

“Please note that the private aircraft MUST BE a Gulfstream IV or bigger,” notes the contract, referring to a $30 million jet that can clock 600 mph.

Once there, Hizzoner demands that he be met by “one sedan and one large SUV,” and booked into a hotel room “with a king-size bed, on an upper floor, with a balcony and view,” plus four more rooms on the same floor for his entourage.

And, oh, yeah, America’s Mayor doesn’t like “candid photo opportunities,” but he will stand for posed pictures provided they are taken in a room “with sufficient light” and “without direct, on-camera flash bulbs.”
Who does he think he is? J-Lo?

(Link courtesy of The Carpetbagger Report.)

Feb 16, 2007

Rock on.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

Friday morning Flamenco blogging

Because I'm really into Fandangos right now:

Featuring a very young Chano Lobato!

I have another show in two weeks. Yes, I'm excited.

Feb 13, 2007

Yeah, whatever. Love, schmuv.

Sappy-head couples are probably cooing in delight over this latest news:
Archaeologists have unearthed two skeletons from the Neolithic period locked in a tender embrace and buried outside Mantua, just 25 miles south of Verona, the romantic city where Shakespeare set the star-crossed tale of "Romeo and Juliet."

Buried between 5,000 and 6,000 years ago, the prehistoric pair are believed to have been a man and a woman and are thought to have died young, as their teeth were found intact, said Elena Menotti, the archaeologist who led the dig.

"As far as we know, it's unique," Menotti told The Associated Press by telephone from Milan. "Double burials from the Neolithic are unheard of, and these are even hugging."

I'm not bitter. Happy Valentine's Day or whatever. Tomorrow, I mean.

(Photo credit: AP/Archaeological Society SAP)

Feb 12, 2007

Who's the baby daddy?

I love a good train wreck as much as the next person, and not that I'm keeping score or anything, but here are the current front runners in what I like to call, "Who's the Baby Daddy?"
  1. Howard K. Stern, lawyer/lover/"husband"/opportunist/looks like an old ex
  2. Larry Birkhead
  3. Anna Nicole's former bodyguard
  4. Prince Fredric von Anhalt, Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband
  5. Howard Marshall II's frozen sperm
Jesus H, who's next? I wouldn't be surprised if Don Rickles was next to step to the plate.

Feb 10, 2007

Love your hoohaa, please. That's all I ask.

You all know by now the "scandal" that erupted in Atlantic Beach, Fla. with the woman who was so offended that the marquee advertising The Vagina Monologues actually said the word "vagina" on it.

Atlantic Theatres in Atlantic Beach, Florida, received a complaint from a woman who'd seen the advertised title as she drove past with her niece. She said that it had made her niece ask her what a vagina was.

The theatre's Bryce Pfanenstiel commented: 'I'm on the phone and asked “What did you tell her?” She's like, “I'm offended I had to answer the question.”'
Hello, you're a woman. You have one. Your niece? She has one. Why be offended that you had to answer the question? What you succeeded in doing is throwing the blanket of shame around it. And thanks for passing that shame along to your niece, when all you could have said was,

"Oh that? That word is 'vagina,' and it's what you call the body part between your legs."

Or something to that effect. And boom. End of discussion.

But instead, because of your stupid, freaked-out, Puritanical, shame-throwing, vagina-hating ways, you pretty much forced the owners of the theatre to change 'vagina' to "hoo haa," as in "The Hoohaa Chronicles." Corny. So not only have you made your niece feel dirty because she has a vagina, but you've also done your part to censor art. Congratulations, you stupid ass.

Props to the theatre owners for changing the marquee back to the play's original title. I personally don't think you should have even changed it in the first place, but it's cool. You're redeemed.

To the woman in this story: Obviously you haven't seen the vagina celebration that is The Vagina Monologues. I suggest you buy yourself a ticket. STAT.

Say it loud and proud, girlfriend: I HAVE A VAGINA.

UPDATE: On second thought, maybe this woman is one of those who think her vag is ugly.

(Props to Scott for the link.)

Feb 9, 2007

Git 'er done

Wine consumption is up among NASCAR fans.
While NASCAR fans' growing penchant for wine may sound surprising, team owners and racecar drivers are not surprised at all. NASCAR team owner, Richard Childress, has ventured into the wine business, as has driver, Jeff Gordon. In 2005, Gordon announced a series of upscale wines under a self- titled label, the Jeff Gordon Collection.
While 70% of total NASCAR fans' wine consumption is domestic, no mention was made about how much of that was of the boxed variety.

:: rimshot ::

Feb 8, 2007

I love Erykah Badu

Erykah and daughter Puma (whose father is Outkast's Andre 3000), in the February/March issue of Heart & Soul.

(Photo by Bode Helm, link courtesy of Crunk + Disorderly.)

Bush cuts off NPR and PBS

Is nothing sacred? I urge you to sign this MoveOn.org petition:
George W. Bush is trying—yet again—to slash funding for NPR and PBS. This week, Bush proposed a new budget with devastating cuts to public broadcasting.(1) "Sesame Street" and other ad-free kids' shows are under the knife. So is the independent journalism our country needs.

Enough is enough. We've fought this fight before and won—but we can't afford the risk anymore. With the new Congress, we can make sure this never happens again. We need Congress to insulate NPR and PBS from the political winds.

We can make it happen if enough of us sign this petition: "Congress must save NPR and PBS once and for all. Congress should guarantee permanent funding and independence from partisan meddling." Clicking here will add your name to the petition.

After you sign, please forward this email to your friends, family, and co-workers to keep this campaign going. We'll deliver the petition to members of Congress as they consider Bush's budget—offering a public counterpoint to this dangerous attack.

Congress can protect NPR and PBS from future cuts. The long-term solution to save public radio and TV is to:

* fully restore this year's funding
* guarantee a permanent funding stream free from political pressure
* reform how the money is spent and keep partisan appointees from pushing a political bias

Bush's budget would cut federal funds for public broadcasting by nearly 25%.1 According to PBS, the cuts "could mean the end of our ability to support some of the most treasured educational children's series" like "Sesame Street," "Reading Rainbow," and "Arthur." (2)

As telecommunications chair Rep. Ed Markey said, "In a 24-7 television world with content often inappropriate for young children, the public broadcasting system represents an oasis of quality, child-oriented educational programming. We owe America's children and their parents this free, over-the-air resource."(1)

The cuts could also decimate one of the last remaining sources of watchdog reporting on TV—continuing the partisan war on journalism led by the ex-chair of public broadcasting, Ken Tomlinson.(3) More people trust public broadcasting than any corporate news media.(4) President Bush would rather undermine our free press than face reporters who are asking tough questions.

Feb 6, 2007

Shades of gay

Even as a heterosexual woman, I find this to be utterly absurd. And when I say "this," I mean the fact that they felt the need to issue a press release declaring the non-gayness of ex-minister Tom Haggard:
One of four ministers who oversaw three weeks of intensive counseling for the Rev. Ted Haggard said the disgraced minister emerged convinced that he is "completely heterosexual."

Haggard also said his sexual contact with men was limited to the former male prostitute who came forward with sexual allegations, the Rev. Tim Ralph of Larkspur told The Denver Post for a story in Tuesday's edition.

"He is completely heterosexual," Ralph said. "That is something he discovered. It was the acting-out situations where things took place. It wasn't a constant thing."

Ralph said the board spoke with people close to Haggard while investigating his claim that his only extramarital sexual contact happened with Mike Jones. The board found no evidence to the contrary.
To refresh your memory:
Haggard resigned as president of the National Association of Evangelicals last year after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced. He was also forced out from the 14,000 New Life Church that he founded years ago in his basement after Jones alleged Haggard paid him for sex and sometimes used methamphetamine when they were together. Haggard, who is married, has publicly admitted to "sexual immorality."

Is this latest "development" supposed to exonerate him Ted Haggard, purveyor of faith and leadership and acting moral compass of his congregation because of the fact that he's been declared to be like, completely heterosexual? You know, minus the whole paying-a-male-escort-for-sex-and-meth thing. Does that make it all OK?

Did they "pray the gay away" during these weeks of "intensive counseling"?

Whether Haggard is straight, bi, experimental, or g-g-g-g-GAY is of no importance here. It is this evangelical movement, the Preznit's "base," that has quickly gained control of the GOP, shaped the Republican agenda, and manipulated and motivated to vilify and demonize a particular group of people for the purposes of political gain. It's this group of people, the Preznit's self-proclaimed "base," that has had a heavy hand in shaping public policy during his administration.

And yet, Haggard is the embodiment of everything these people stand against. But somehow, people like James "He will continue to be my friend, even if the worst allegations prove accurate" Dobson manage to find the compassion and forgiveness that they should be showing to their fellow human beings rather than just toward people just like them.

The "Ted Haggard is not gay" announcement also begs the question: How many same-sex encounters does one have to have in order to be officially gay? Is there some kind of threshold you have to cross? Is there a checklist or something? And if you have to pay for gay sex, does that mean it's not real?

My fellow BARBARian, Generik, also shares with us his point of view.

Feb 5, 2007

Blame it on the booze

What's good for disgraced Congressman Mark "Maf54" Foley is good for Gavin, I guess.

Note to self: Rehab is the new duct tape.

(Props to John at Blogenlust [you'll always be a BARBARian in our hearts] for the link.)

Dubya's attack on rich folk

In a stunning display of his intermittent ability to grasp the painfully obvious, Not-My-President gave a speech on Wall Street recently in which he acknowledged that income equality exists.

No shit?

So now that he acknowledged it, what's he going to do about it? Think Progress breaks down Bush's previous attempts to fix the problem:
– “$77 billion in funding cuts for Medicare and Medicaid over the next five years, and $280 billion over the next 10.”

– $223 million in funding cuts (4 percent decrease from this year’s levels) to the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

– “$4.9 billion, or 8 percent, cut in education, training, employment and social services” grants.

– $100 million cut for Head Start, which provides child development services to economically disadvantaged children and families.

– “$2.4 billion cut in community and regional development grants — which often provide funding for low- and middle-income communities — to $16.5 billion from $18.9 billion.

– $400 million — 18 percent — cut in the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, “which provides $2.2 billion to help people pay heating bills this year.”

– $172 million — nearly 25 percent — cut in funding for housing for low-income seniors.
Did I say "help"? Sorry, I meant "swift kick in the nutsack of the American poor and middle class."

He also went on to say that “government should not decide the compensation for America’s corporate executives,” and that “... the salaries and bonuses of CEOs should be based on their success at improving their companies and bringing value to their shareholders.”

Isn't that how it is already?

Rich people, never fear. Despite what Dubya tells the press and the American public, he'll still hook you up. In perpetuity, even. Keep your chin up, ol' boy.

(Props to Think Progress for the link.)


Cameron at Overstated compiled a side-by-side comparison of San Francisco neighborhoods with their supposed cognates in NYC. (I thought Chelsea was the east coast's answer to the Castro, but what do I know?)

Check it out here. As to be expected, there's much discussion in the comments secton.

I've never lived in NYC, only visited many times, but I never ever thought of Union Square:SoHo, though. Yeah, you can shop in both places, but that's too easy a comparison. SoHo's more edgy and modern, reminding me of boutiques you'd find in Hayes Valley/the Mission/the Haight, even. But Union Square? For hustle-and-bustle and public transportation hub factor, I say Union Square:Times Square (minus the roasted nut carts in the winter - yum!).

Also, Staten Island's feeling a bit left out, although I've never been there to even venture to give my own opinion on it.

I guess Oakland's what ... Hoboken?

Don't hate on Oakland, yo. Seriously.

Cameron is right about one thing though: Jah help you find even a semi-decent burrito in NYC.

(Props to Overstated for soothing my Manhattanlust, as I had to postpone my NYC trip again.)

Feb 4, 2007

Sunday Night Flamenco Blogging

I had my first Flamenco show tonight. All day, I had been so nervous about it. Wanting-to-vomit-I'm-so-nervous style. What if I missed a step? What if I fell on my ass during my first turn? All these 'what ifs" running through my mind.

As a child, I had a history of performing; tap dancing, jazz and piano. State competitions and stuff. This should be old hat to me, right?

But I have so much respect for this art form, this gypsy dance, this song of the outcasts, that I wanted to make sure I did it justice.

I managed to pull it off, thank Jah. I did mess up a few times, but I don't really think anyone in the audience really noticed. And now I am more sure than ever that I've found the creative outlet that I've been searching for. I have another show at the end of the month, and I'm really excited about it.

Oh yeah, and I think I'm supposed to come up with a stage name. Because all of you who know my real name know that it isn't exactly ... Spanish-y. Any and all suggestions welcome. I feel weird making up my own Flamenco nickname. It's totally awkward saying, "hey, call me this!" But you know, whatever. All in the name of art or something.

Feb 3, 2007

Get out those ripped jeans and hair spray!

David Lee Roth is back with Van Halen. Sweeet.

Even though these days, he is a bit ... crackish.

But whatever. I love reunions. Even pure PR stints taking place about a month and a few weeks before Van Halen gets inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Not that I'm a cynic or anything.

Somewhere out there, Valerie Bertinelli's ... well, doing whatever Valerie Bertinelli does. Sans a Van Halen.