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July 30, 2005
The Times They Are A-Blowin' in the Wind

Hey! Hi. I'm still alive.

Here's why I haven't been posting, since at least one person has given me shit about it.

• We're moving this weekend.
• We're moving this weekend.
• We're moving this weekend.

But wait! There's more.

We're moving this weekend because we bought this apartment dealie (they call it a condo, but we don't) up on Capitol Hill, which is this ultra-hip neighborhood in Seattle. We moved there because we're ultra-hip and were languishing in an only semi-hip neighborhood. Situation remedied, and now we're homeowner types. Landed gentry. The propertied class.

To boot:
• I was recently elevated to the position of IT Manager at The Stranger, as well as still being in charge of everything related to the web site. Mo' money, mo' problems.
• I got a new bike. It looks like this and I love it and have been sitting on it a lot, both in motion and not. It's fantastic.
• As soon as we're all moved in, we're going to France and Italy for 2 weeks, and we haven't bothered to plan that at all. It seems like it should be fun, but right now, it's just another thing to do.
• I have various looming freelance deadlines which are all occurring at the exact same time as everything above.

PLUS, it's July, and nothing important happens in July. Everybody knows that. Just ask the Bush administration. They've taken advantage of the slow news month by nominating an inscrutable dude to the Supreme Court, which got Karl Rove out of the headlines, and also took the opportunity to rebrand the War on Terror™ as the Global Struggle Against Extremism. Catchy, eh?

I guess War on Terror™ just wasn't getting butts into uniforms and uniforms into Iraq.

So I'll be back when the life tsunami has receded and the destruction has been fully determined and the relief effort is well under way.

Meanwhile, if you live in Seattle and are looking for some nice furniture cheap, like now, please behold my craigslist postings:

Computer Armoire
Creamy Couch
The Big Blue Chair
Mexican Bookshelf

July 25, 2005
Report: Crappy Music Actually Crappy

Here's a shocker..

You know how when you turn on the radio, you hear a bunch of un-listen-to-able garbage and wonder, "How could this possibly be a hit? Are my fellow countrypeople really so completely devoid of taste?"

Well, the reality is that they may not have inherently bad taste, but they sure do know how to follow a crowd.

New York attorney general and nemesis of corporate asshats everywhere Eliot Spitzer has investigated all the payola that goes into making a shitty song a hit and an untalented hack a star.

"Please be advised that in this week's Jennifer Lopez Top 40 Spin Increase of 236 we bought 63 spins at a cost of $3,600."

"Please be advised that in this week's Good Charlotte Top 40 Spin Increase of 61 we bought approximately 250 spins at a cost of $17K …"

foxnews.com

So feel a little bit better about the idiots around you. They have terrible taste in music, but it's not completely their fault.

Then again, it is.

July 23, 2005
A World Gone Mad

egypt bombings

Blasts in Egypt Kill at Least 83 at Resort in Sinai Peninsula

As someone said, this isn't a clash of civilizations, it's a clash between people who are civil and people who are not. And those who are not civil are not Muslims, or Arabs, or foreigners, they are simply murderers and lunatics. They have no legitimacy. Their cause is death only.

They are wrong about everything. These tactics will always fail to engender the changes they seek. Should a place such as hell exist, it was made for them.

July 20, 2005
Google Moon

In honor of the 36th anniversary of the first moon landing today—still, to my mind one of the most amazing things humans have ever done—Google has added Google Moon to their insane list of really cool things.

google moon

Google Moon.

July 19, 2005
John G. Roberts, Come On Down

You gotta love the Times' headline for Bush's nominee to O'Connor's seat...

President Chooses Conservative Judge as Nominee to Court

john g. roberts

REALLY? A conservative?!?! Get the hell outta here! I am shocked. Just shocked.

I don't know anything about this guy, but I have a feeling I'm not going to like him. Look at that haircut.

30 Days

I'd like to take a moment to recommend Morgan "Super Size Me" Spurlock's new series on FX, 30 Days.

30 days

The premise of the show is to put people into different life situations for 30 days and see what happens. Episodes so far have placed a West Virginia Christian in a Muslim family, a Michigan homophobe in the Castro, and the filmmaker and his fiancée in minimum wage jobs. The results are often fascinating and start great conversations. It's amazing to watch people's prejudices broken down before your eyes. Sure, it's television, but it's effective.

The main fault with the show is that the episodes are only one hour, which isn't even close to long enough to deal properly with some of the more serious issues that come up. Each could easily be a full-length documentary.

Anyway, recommended.

July 18, 2005
Rove Thing

Yes, it's true, I've stopped trying to think of good titles for my posts. For right now, anyway.

Quick update: The threshold for being disciplined if you're a member of the Bush administration has
recently been changed
. Now it's not enough to be directly involved in dirty tricks, back-stabbing politics, and the compromise of the nation's intelligence agents. Now you have to be actually found guilty of a crime.

Just thought you'd like to know.

July 14, 2005
Nanny Clinton Wants a Probe

You'd really think our government has nothing to do...

Sen. Hillary Clinton pressed on Thursday for a government investigation into how simulated sex cropped up in a modified version of the blockbuster criminal adventure video game "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas."

Clinton asked the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to investigate the origins of a downloadable modification that allows simulated sex in the personal computer version of one of the most popular and controversial video games in history.

"We should all be deeply disturbed that a game which now permits the simulation of lewd sexual acts in an interactive format with highly realistic graphics has fallen into the hands of young people across the country," Clinton wrote in a letter to the head of the Federal Trade Commission.

Reuters

You know, it's just sex. This happens to be one of the most violent video games ever made — you can decapitate police officers in it — but Congress is all up in arms about some hack that lets people have sex? My god, focus, people.

Clinton is just trying to show she's all about "family values" in an attempt to pull conservative scolds to her side for '08. Pathetic.

July 12, 2005
Press Conference Video Fun

Video of the White House press conference yesterday. Very entertaining. McClellan is twisting in the wind.

July 11, 2005
U.S. Signs Pact To Boost Trade With Itself
The United States and the U.S.-backed government in Iraq have signed a formal agreement aimed at boosting economic ties between the two countries, the U.S. Trade Representative's office said on Monday.

The pact, which could lead to a free trade agreement between Washington and Baghdad, was signed during a meeting of the U.S.-Iraq Joint Commission on Reconstructio

Reuters

In 2004, the U.S. exported $856 million worth of goods to Iraq. One leading export: spare parts for the U.S. military.

Blood in the Water

Oh, man is this sweet. The press is finally going after McClellan, and by extension the President himself, for the Plame leak. We haven't seen the White House press corps this worked up in YEARS. Keep after his lying ass, please.

A long excerpt, but well worth it...

Q Scott, can I ask you this; did Karl Rove commit a crime?

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, David, this is a question relating to an ongoing investigation, and you have my response related to the investigation. And I don't think you should read anything into it other than we're going to continue not to comment on it while it's ongoing.

Q Do you stand by your statement from the fall of 2003 when you were asked specifically about Karl and Elliott Abrams and Scooter Libby, and you said, "I've gone to each of those gentlemen, and they have told me they are not involved in this" -- do you stand by that statement?

MR. McCLELLAN: And if you will recall, I said that as part of helping the investigators move forward on the investigation we're not going to get into commenting on it. That was something I stated back near that time, as well.

Q Scott, I mean, just -- I mean, this is ridiculous. The notion that you're going to stand before us after having commented with that level of detail and tell people watching this that somehow you decided not to talk. You've got a public record out there. Do you stand by your remarks from that podium, or not?

MR. McCLELLAN: And again, David, I'm well aware, like you, of what was previously said, and I will be glad to talk about it at the appropriate time. The appropriate time is when the investigation --

Q Why are you choosing when it's appropriate and when it's inappropriate?

MR. McCLELLAN: If you'll let me finish --

Q No, you're not finishing -- you're not saying anything. You stood at that podium and said that Karl Rove was not involved. And now we find out that he spoke out about Joseph Wilson's wife. So don't you owe the American public a fuller explanation? Was he involved, or was he not? Because, contrary to what you told the American people, he did, indeed, talk about his wife, didn't he?

MR. McCLELLAN: David, there will be a time to talk about this, but now is not the time to talk about it.

Q Do you think people will accept that, what you're saying today?

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, I've responded to the question.

Go ahead, Terry.

Q Well, you're in a bad spot here, Scott, because after the investigation began, after the criminal investigation was underway, you said -- October 10th, 2003, "I spoke with those individuals, Rove, Abrams and Libby, as I pointed out, those individuals assured me they were not involved in this." From that podium. That's after the criminal investigation began. Now that Rove has essentially been caught red-handed peddling this information, all of a sudden you have respect for the sanctity of the criminal investigation?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, that's not a correct characterization Terry, and I think you are well aware of that. We know each other very well, and it was after that period that the investigators had requested that we not get into commenting on an ongoing criminal investigation. And we want to be helpful so that they can get to the bottom of this, because no one wants to get to the bottom of it more than the President of the United States. I am well aware of what was said previously. I remember well what was said previously. And at some point, I look forward to talking about it. But until the investigation is complete, I'm just not going to do that.

Q Do you recall when you were asked --

Q Wait, wait -- so you're now saying that after you cleared Rove and the others from that podium, then the prosecutors asked you not to speak anymore, and since then, you haven't?

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, you're continuing to ask questions relating to an ongoing criminal investigation, and I'm just not going to respond any further.

Q When did they ask you to stop commenting on it, Scott? Can you peg down a date?

MR. McCLELLAN: Back at that time period.

Q Well, then the President commented on it nine months later. So was he not following the White House plan?

MR. McCLELLAN: John, I appreciate your questions. You can keep asking them, but you have my response.

Go ahead, Dave.

Q We are going to keep asking them. When did the President learn that Karl Rove had had a conversation with the President -- with a news reporter about the involvement of Joseph Wilson's wife and the decision to send --

MR. McCLELLAN: I've responded to the questions.

Q When did the President learn that Karl Rove had --

MR. McCLELLAN: I've responded to the questions, Dick.

Go ahead.

Q After the investigation is completed, will you then be consistent with your word and the President's word that anybody who was involved would be let go?

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, after the investigation is complete, I will be glad to talk about it at that point.

Q And a follow-up. Can you walk us through why, given the fact that Rove's lawyer has spoken publicly about this, it is inconsistent with the investigation, that it compromises the investigation to talk about the involvement of Karl Rove, the Deputy Chief of Staff?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, those overseeing the investigation expressed a preference to us that we not get into commenting on the investigation while it's ongoing. And that was what they requested of the White House. And so I think in order to be helpful to that investigation, we are following their direction.

Q Scott, there's a difference between commenting on an investigation and taking an action --

MR. McCLELLAN: Go ahead, Goyal.

Q Can I finish, please?

MR. McCLELLAN: You can come -- I'll come back to you in a minute. Go ahead, Goyal.

White House Press Briefing

One of these days, something will happen that people won't be able to rationalize away.

July 8, 2005
Ribbon Sighting

Furthest afield "Support Our Troops"-style magnetic ribbon spotted on the streets of Seattle today (no camera, unfortunately): "Autism Awareness"

Needed: Prayers for the Unhurt

Spreading that good old American compassion and selflessness world-wide...

NEW YORK (Reuters) - London was the scene of carnage on Thursday after a series of deadly blasts but American R&B crooner Omarion, who suffered no injury or inconvenience, wants people to pray for him.

"Omarion was in London during the tragic bombings that struck this morning," a statement by the singer's publicist AR PR Marketing, released hours after the bombings, said.
Making no mention of the fatalities or casualties of the blasts, the singer's statement concluded, "He would like his fans to pray that he has a safe trip and a safe return home. He appreciates your support."

He was in London for Saturday's Live 8 show, his publicist Shana Gilmore told Reuters from Los Angeles. Asked why anyone should pray for him, Gilmore said, "He wasn't hurt or anything, but just the fact that he was there and all that."

Reuters

UPDATE ::

A quick glance around Omarion's message boards on sonymusic.com is really very amusing. It's getting flamed hard and people are posting fake news stories that he's died in a plane crash, to which one user responded:

Why U Lyin!! U fuckin' w/ my emotions!!! I hope that site is fake. I don't see it on CNN.com either. But imma try 2 turn it to CNN on TV, but my grandma is watchin' Luther Vandross funeral, but soon as she step out 4 a minute, I'm turnin.

Sometimes real life is just so much more hilarious than anything you could make up...

July 7, 2005
Shit

london bombings

Series of bombs hits central London.

Current reports indicate at least 33 dead, hundreds injured. Three blasts were in the subway system, one was on a double-decker surface bus.

July 5, 2005
Keep Prosser Beautiful

Spotted on our hangover tour of historic Prosser (satellite view) in Washington Wine Country yesterday...

Nothin' But Yeah

Apropos of nothing, a sweet video clip of Diamond David Lee Roth performing "Jump" with the Boston Pops Symphony Orchestra.

diamond dave

Video Gallery.

Via Arye Dworken at Jewsrock.

NASA Probe Smashes Into Comet, Wacky Lawsuit Ensues
MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Russian astrologist who says NASA has altered her horoscope by crashing a spacecraft into a comet is suing the U.S. space agency for damages of $300 million, local media reported Monday.

NASA deliberately crashed its probe, named Deep Impact, into the Tempel 1 comet to unleash a spray of material formed billions of years ago which scientists hope will shed new light on the composition of the solar system.

"It is obvious that elements of the comet's orbit, and correspondingly the ephemeris, will change after the explosion, which interferes with my astrology work and distorts my horoscope," Izvestia daily quoted astrologist Marina Bai as saying in legal documents submitted before Monday's collision.

A spokeswoman for a Moscow district court said initial preparations for the case were underway but could not say when the hearing would begin. NASA representatives in Moscow were unavailable for comment.


Reuters

July 2, 2005
Half-Marathon Pics
sunriver pics

More photos from our trip to Sunriver last weekend...

July 1, 2005
Here We Go...

supreme court

Sandra Day O'Connor to retire.

O'Connor—appointed by Ronald Reagan—is what a conservative justice used to look like. Let's see what kind of a psychopath the president considers to be a reasonable choice these days.