Monday, February 28, 2005

I Guess the Seeds of Democracy Grow Better in Blood

Iraqi workers clean debris near a large pool of blood at the scene of a suicide attack in the city of Hilla, February 28, 2005.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Gannon, Norquist and Armstrong Williams. A closer look at the Leadership Institute.

Maybe it's my early spring diet and the time of day, but I just went to the newly minted Following the links I realized I was getting physically ill. Nauseous.

First off there's the Fear and Loathing headline -- we're all guilty of using it, in COLLEGE. Using "Fear and Loathing" when you are an ADULT instead of thinking of your own headline is just embarrassing. It was cliché almost as soon as Hunter penned it. If you are going to borrow it, you better live up to its pedigree (you sir, are no Hunter Thompson). To use it now, considering the recent suicide of its creator, is so lazy and to, well, make you sick.

Wanting to better understand The Guck's ideological identity, I went to a place where there's a public record of ideology. GOPUSA and Talon have a mission and plenty of material to peruse, but the Leadership Institute claims Karl Rove himself used their workshops to learn about politics and leadership. This is a place where yu ind everyone is on the same page.

On their website they sell a video called The Roots of the Ultra Left. As a matter of fact, it is the ONLY item for sale on the Leadership Institute website. Sure, they offer "workshops" in "journalism" and "leadership" -- but how much you wanna bet if spent the cash and attended, you would watch the video and break out into groups to use the rhetorical foundation of The Roots Of The Ultra Left to form various strategies.

I think we can use this resource to glimpse their inner mind.

Even though the script itself is only 90 or so pages, it took a while to digest because there's an historical figure the Leadership Institute references -- Robert Owen -- who the Leadership Institute basically thinks is The Supreme Evil One himself. Despite the fact that studied Marxism and other forms of utoptianism in graduate school, I had never heard of this Owen -- so off to educate myself which was very easy. Owen's got a lot of web presence despite the fact he died more than a century ago. He has a museum and is considered on the I wondered what Owen's offense was and was intrigued by his status as The Root Man of the Ultra Left. I've been a lefty since birth and I had never heard of this guy.

Robert Owen

He was a British industrialist and reformer who fought to establish child labor laws and other civic commitments we take pretty much for granted, most prominently, public education. For this, the Leadership Institute compares him to Hitler and Stalin. It's a long story and a boring read, but The Roots of the Ultra Left are workers' rights and public education which to these people, are The Root of All Evil.

This is THE ONE MESSAGE the Leadership Institute spends its time and apparently generous budget promoting.

Now for the tasty bits.

Guess who is on the appears on this video as guests of the Leadership Institute:
Grover Norquist
Robert Bork
Ann Coulter
David Horowitz,
Walter Williams, George Mason School of Economics
Dan Flynn, author of Why The Left Hates America
Mike Pence, Indiana Republican Congressman

Armstrong Williams. Paid partisan hack.
Ann Coulter, Partisan hack. Possibly insane.
Dan Flynn, Partisan hack. Not as photogenic as Coulter.
David Horowitz, Partison hack. Former Salon conservative pustule.
Then there's the brains of the operation.
Grover Norquist, Grand Pooh Bah
Robert Bork, Grand Pooh Bah
Walter Williams, Pooh Bah
Mike Pence, Little Pooh. Bah Wannabe

The script outline has the inelegant tone of a 1940s racist screed. Get a load of this:
Section One:
Profit Comes From Evil Greed
Socialists must get all your property
Tax all income at 100%
Support big government. No new tax cuts.
Why work when you can loot those who do?
Socialism has never been tried

Section Two:
What Socialists Really Think About Your Family And Our American Culture
Traditional morality is always bad
Do what feels good now. Make taxpayers pay the bill
Break all family ties
Make God illegal
Masculine is bad; feminine is also bad
Kill it. Why give your baby to a moral couple?

Section Three:
What Socialists Really Think About Liberty
Give the Left all power.
Stamp out liberty. It's unfair.
Everything not compulsory must be prohibited
Re-write history or stop teaching it
Keep campuses conservative-free zones
In the media, any conservatives are too many
No free speech for conservatives
Only groups have rights
Give up your guns. We want you defenseless.
Pay the union boss or we'll crack your skull
Save the environment. Kill off all the people.
Destroy all non-government education
Teachers unions -- more important than teaching kids
When judges give us what we want, forget the laws and the Constitution

blah blah blah -- there's more -- go see for yourself.

My husband has been talking to a guy at work (another software developer) who has been upset about the "socialists" for some time now. We've been perplexed at this because, well, the Cold War is over and has been for some time now. Having studied Marxist theory in school, this made my brain lock. So I ignored it. It makes my brain lock because saying there is a Socialist threat in America (now!) is like saying there is a gravitational threat and therefore are an Anti-Gravitarian. This is a Capitalist country. We all buy and sell stuff. The scruffy communists in Lafayette Park don't run things. No one it taking anyone's property -- except the Republicans in taking our sons and daughters off to war.

But there it is. These people really believe there is a Socialist Threat and if you read the material you find out that what these people hate most is public education and workers' rights. These are the Angry White Men, who, despite having great jobs and stay-at-home wives and home-schooled chunks of children, they truly believe the world is out to get them. The feminists want their masculinity. The schools want their religion. The government wants their money. They are middle class and operating out of fear they might lose their footing. they are one lay-off or serious illness from bankruptcy (for as long as that exists).

What they don't see is that these are projections, that the only people out for their shit is the conservatives. So, it's sad to say the least. These folks benefit the most from "transfer payments" in the form of roads and government services and they are being used to tear down their world brick by brick at the behest of Grover The Defunder Norquist.

What gets me most is that the tyranny of the masses is ignorance and it's public education they are most fiercely opposed to. Wake up people.


Friday, February 25, 2005

Gannon/Guckert -- the entire JC Forum collection


Question of GAY SEX surrounding White House reveal who we have become -- Saturday, February 19, 2005

Guckert/Gannon and Republican GAY-ness -- Monday, February 21, 2005

Working the GUCKERT angle does not equal HOMOPHOBIA -- Tuesday, February 22, 2005

GAY PORN TO BRING DOWN WHITE HOUSE -- Wednesday, February 09, 2005

OMG! bush's nickname for Victor Ashe is BULLDOG! -- Sunday, February 20, 2005

What you need to know to work for Talon News -- Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Hey, it's me again -- questions for McClellon from Bill

UPDATE: vermin scribe identified! and he's into GAY PORN! -- Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Kill Insect Scribes Dead: The Stop Government Propaganda Act -- Saturday, February 05, 2005

Our lives begin to end when we fall silent about the things that matter

(hey ya'll -- here's a little post i ran across this morning. as i drink my morning. enjoy)

"This is something that Martin Luther King said once. I refer to that quote often now, as I delve deeper and deeper into speaking out against this immoral and dishonorable war in Iraq as a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War and also as a conscientious objector who refused to participate in it.

'Our lives begin to end when we fall silent about the things that matter.'

I refer to this quote when I encounter people who advocate just keeping one's mouth shut and looking out for one's self, even to the point of advocating that even if we disagreed with the Iraq war, that we have to support our government in what they're doing now.

'Our lives begin to end when we fall silent about the things that matter.'

I remember this statement when I feel anger creep over me at the thousands of US service members who were betrayed by our high officials in sending them to a war of choice, rather than one of a last resort. And especially I reference it in regards to those Democratic members of Congress who, while not directly sending them to war, failed to speak out against it at the time. From where I stand, 'political pragmatism' is hardly an excuse for failing to take a moral stand against such a grave injustice.

'Our lives begin to end when we fall silent about the things that matter.'

Most of all, I remember these words to inspire me that a better future isn't something that comes about immediately -- the goals we place may not even be achieved within our lifetimes -- but that the important thing is that we never waver in seeing the better world we want to help create, and that we keep the hope alive in making that world a reality.

'Our lives begin to end when we fall silent about the things that matter.'

Martin Luther King not only spoke these words, he lived them. And even though his tireless work toward a better tomorrow resulted in the loss of his own life, he created the ripples in still waters that affected millions of others to carry on his vision of peace with justice and brotherhood into the future. Thank you, Martin."


For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled.

Better To Burn Out Than Fade Away?

Damn, HST. We needed you now more than ever.

It's a giant walnut!

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Female Urination

Hey, it's me again

I think that in light of the latitude given Talon news by the White House, as shown by allowing them to have a reporter in the press room a month before they existed, it is only fair that our Brook also receive press credentials (a daily pass would be fine I am sure,) She could ask softball questions like:

“When Gannon visited the White House was he paid $200 per hour or did you take advantage of his $1500 weekend saver rate?” (This would surely appeal to fiscal conservatives...)

or perhaps Brook could ask:

“Given the following statement that appears on the Talon news web site;

“Talon News will be offline while we redesign the web site, perform a top-to-bottom review of staff and volunteer contributors, and address future operational procedures.”

is it safe to assume that GOPUSA staff will be assisting in the bottom portion of that reveiw?”

Any other questions for the press secretary? Put ‘em in comments!

A Parody---But Gospel to Half of All Americans

The U.S. went to war in Iraq to remove an evil and dangerous political adversary from power. Now that we have done that, the American troops must remain in Iraq until the country is a fully functioning democracy, able to spark change throughout the entire Middle East. While I find this obvious, there are still a lot of people in our country who fail to grasp it. I support Bush-administration foreign-policy goals, but I stand firmly against the individual men and women on the ground in the Persian Gulf.

Yes, occupying Iraq does require troops, but they are there for one reason and one reason only: to carry out the orders of the U.S. Defense Department. As far as their overall importance goes, they are no more worthy of our consideration than a box of nails. Ribbons and banners in ostensible "support" of the troops miss the whole point of the invasion, which is to gain a strategic hold over that volatile and lucrative geopolitical region.

Need I remind the reader that it is our flag, not the troops, that we salute? It is our nation-state, not a bunch of 20-year-olds in parachute pants, that deserves our allegiance. As a patriot and true American, my heart sings at the thought of the Pentagon, and the zealous, calculating measures undertaken by the proud military bureaucracy of this great superpower. I feel a surge of pride when I think about our high-tech GBU laser-guided bombs, capable of carrying a 2,000-pound warhead. I tied a ribbon around my tree for the safe return of our nation's F-16s, because our military aircraft are instrumental to finishing our work in Iraq. And on the back of my car, I have a sticker stating my support for the CIA's ongoing efforts in Iraq.

I support the occupation, and the occupation alone, because when we start to support the troops, we pave the way for irrelevant concerns about their families back at home. Before you know it, questions about who is and isn't going to be home in time for Christmas will be interfering with the crucial decision-making process of our commander-in-chief.

I'd like to ask those currently trumpeting their support for the troops a question: Have you ever actually met any of these soldiers in person? Well, I have, and believe me, they are no more impressive than any other low-level functionary of a large institution.

In all honesty, my soul swells with pride at the thought of the military-strategy papers and cost-analysis reports in which the troops are represented as numerical figures. But, as for the men and women—well, in almost every respect, they are average. Although they are no less intelligent than any other American, it is certainly fair to say they lack the ability to devise the complex strategies and tactics to manage their own divisions, much less grasp the nuanced reasons for their deployment.

It is ridiculous that my "heart" is somehow morally or ethically obliged to "go out" to the troops. In fact, had the troops not been put to productive labor by the sheer might and institutional authority of the U.S. military, a good number of them would be sitting around bars, drinking and gambling. In short, we shouldn't view the troops as objects of sympathy, because their very contribution to our society is their ability to carry out simple commands on a battlefield.

When I say that, while I do not wish death for any of the troops, death tolls should not be our greatest concern. All that matters is the pursuit of the foreign-policy goals of this great land, the land I love. America.

The bums lost. condolences.

I was reading something the other night where it was espoused the most overused literary tool was the coming-of-age gig. Simple rules for hacks like me: Don't try to describe sunsets, don't pull a catcher-in-the-rye.
After my last tome of a rant, to no response (is anyone in the forum actually in JC anymore?) I thought I'd hold off in the future, save for the occasional cough. Bad etiquette you know - i didn't know. But then Brook slapped down those ol' chestnuts of that unfortunate working girl with former city manager John Campbell (and one of JC's finest whose name I forget), and something came roaring back, and I just leaned back and thought... holy shit.
I'm not sure why Brook had me be the guy to go right into the belly and interview Campbell about these. I remember I was so nervous I went to the library first to draw up a couple of sheets of bogus, softball questions to ask first. Kind of like buying condoms at the grocery store. And some milk. And maybe this gum here. And a TV Guide. You get the idea.
I think Brook found the photos slipped under the door of the expansive mildewed basement office the Beat inhabited then. I think David told me it was from a disgruntled ex of the police force, some redneck with a grudge. Why they didn't go to the JC Press with it was beyond me, but I didn't care. Holy shit. I mean, holy shit - pay dirt, a damn miracle. A stripper (and, unfortunately, a prostitute). In what was obviously city hall. With laughing, leering officers of the law. And cash money. In the city manager's hand. Who seemed to be having a really good time, and stupidly didn't seem to think the camera in the room was such a bad idea. Obviously, he thought he was among friends.
I remember the photos hit the table one at a time, me trying to do it quickly but consciously without some sort of spinning flair or anything. They slid to a halt, one by one, and then I just held my gaze and leaned back in this plastic chair that was already making my underwear bite into my soft, clammy ass.
(I had been watching the unheralded officer standing in the doorway with the reflection from the cheap glass of some stupid fox hunting print on the scuffed wall, opposite. The guy's silhouette stood up higher to see over me at what I'd put on the desk, and then sank about eight inches. For some reason it occurred to me that he'd spread his feet -- ready for anything. Man of action.)
John Campbell was a fat man. He was fat in the way that career obese people aren't. There was something corrupt about it. Like the baron from Dune.
I actually watched the sweat bead out on his head, and that stale sweaty polyester smell immediately filled the room. The interview lasted less than ten minutes more. Campbell and his officer made two obvious suggestions that I leave, but I stayed seated and kept my face passive. I think they thought I was some sort of hard case, that I really knew what I was doing. They didn't know I was so scared I didn't think to move.
I went to the Beat office immediately after. Well, after drinking my first three beers in a row, ever, over at The Cottage, for some reason. I had worn a sportcoat to the interview. The waitress asked me if I'd gotten a new job and was celebrating, with my briefcase against the bar rail. I was afraid to let it leave my site. It had occurred to me what I'd done. This wasn't just a eye-poke, this was a conspiracy we'd uncovered. This was Tittygate.
What Campbell told me after I totally ambushed him in his own office was that it wasn't his idea, some of the boys had arranged it for his birthday. But, I said, that's money in your hand, there. You are smiling. This is a woman, barely dressed, on city property, on tax payer's time. Didn't you think this was the wrong thing to do? The man was absolutely blindsided. He actually teared up. I almost felt sorry for him.
Then, late one night while coming home from ETSU, I got stopped on one of the blind roads near the Shamrock. Two officers, one car.
Then again, a week later, on the road behind the baseball fields near the university. Same two officers, one car, another joining after ETSU security was waved off and I was asked to step onto the asphalt.
The third time, it was different. A moustache with one of those under-uniform turtlenecks and a real hard-on (He called me "cowboy") got testy and held me onto my hood by the back of my neck, telling me some story of an identical blue blazer that went over the radio just a few minutes before. He stank of cologne. I told him, I don't doubt that, you guys have been stopping me all winter. I haven't done anything, ever. I'm clean. My wallet's in my back pocket. Search my truck. Write me a ticket. But let me up, and get me my coat. I got a couple of bruises that time from rough handling. They found a dusty, empty Pete's rolling around in the very back and a pair of long-lost forceps I had used for trout fishing, and gave me a hard time about it. I talked to a lawyer.
The fourth stop, I mainly remember being jammed into the cruiser, trying to breathe, sitting on a broken finger. At some point my hand had been slammed in my own door. My entire hand made little internal crunchy noises if I shifted in the seat. My left index is still a little crooked.
Johnson City had always been a sort of gritty estuary for me, right from when I was sneaking into Quarterbacks under-aged to see the Nightmares and choke down a beer and watch the University High girls dance, right until about that moment I slapped those photos down on Campbell's desk. I was a late learner, but I learned it all in a very short time. Before spring I'd leave JC, leave school, leave period. Despite all that bullshit, no where has felt quite like that particular flavor of home since. That's weird, isn't it?
OK, I know I'm not David Sidaris. I'll either keep my submissions shorter or start my own damn blog.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Country Bracing For Draft The Lone Star Iconoclast Online

CRAWFORD — The United States has not had a military draft since 1973, but fears are growing throughout the country that there might soon be a return to the Selective Service.
Students are beginning to take the looming threat seriously as they consider ways of making themselves “draft resistant” as they gear up for conscientious objector status, establishing advance proof that they will qualify.
Lawmakers are scrutinizing the military commitments of the United States. If the numbers fall short, a military draft could quickly follow.
According to Sen. Joseph Biden, (D-Del.) “Our ability to have any flexibility with ground forces anywhere else is diminished. If we had to move into Iran, Syria, North Korea, or anywhere else, we’d be in real difficulty.”
He added, “We have absolutely spent, exhausted, and in some instances misled the National Guard and the reserves. I’ve been in Baghdad and Fallujah and I’ve spoken with them. When they enlisted in the Guard, they never anticipated being sent for two tours of duty in Iraq lasting a year or 18 months. We can’t keep asking citizen soldiers to do that.”
A draft, if enacted, could be up and running quickly, thanks to former President Jimmy Carter who in 1980 put into place a program requiring young men to register with the government when they turn 18."

Let's Party Like it Was 1933

T-Shirt Hell

Check out the shirts. You won't regret it.

Unknown Kid Blasts Gannon/Guckert!

Mister T Blasts Gannon/Guckert!

FALLING DOLLAR: what it means to you

Price of a barrel of oil when George W Bush took office: $18
Price of a barrel of oil today: $51

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Saddam Blasts Gannon/Guckert!

google and you shall find

Democratic leadership joins call for Gannon inquiry

The Senate Democratic leadership is privately circulating a letter calling for other senators to join a call for an investigation into discredited White House reporter Jeff Gannon, RAW STORY has learned.

The letter, issued from Minority Whip Richard Durbin (D-IL), calls on President Bush to “order a full inquiry” into how a “fake” journalist working for a “sham” news organization got access to the president."

Working the GUCKERT angle does not equal HOMOPHOBIA

"Political movements arise from the spadework of intellectuals, not politicians."
-- David Brock, Blinded By The Right

One of the things I love David Brock's Blinded By The Right is that it illustrates step-by-step how the Neo-Cons and the right wing usurped old-school radical rabble-rousing techniques to win the war against, well, old-school rabble-rousing liberals. They conducted an insurrection with Gingrich bringing up the rear in 94, and have not much changed their strategy since then.

Basically their strategy is this: we are at WAR with the Democrats and anything less than all-out warfare on ALL FRONTS will not be tolerated. They went after us in the media by launching personal attacks; they have defunded our institutions; and now they are emptying our communities of our young adults so that they may steal oil from the rest of the world. They have won on all fronts.

And yet here we are, day after day, digging and pecking -- fighting for every last morsel of political capital we can throw into the pot latch. We have may irons in the fire. The election fraud front is going strong and has the distinction of introducing us to a class of statesman who will fight with us. I'm talking about Conyers et al here. We have the elevation of Barbara Boxer as a freedom fighter with her elegant refusal to let Condi Rice get away with soiling the Senate chambers with lies and innuendo. We have a diverse and vibrant anti-war movement and finally we have a real Democrat in the DNC.

Slowly but surely we are making progress.

Then, along comes Guckert.

Amid our confusion that this story received no ink upon first glance, and the FIGHT to get it in the evening news, now we must toil with our identity as progressives vis a vis Guckert's homosexuality, because like it or not there are progressives gays who feel prickly about using Guckert as an issue, AND you have to expect that the Rovian response to this battle is going to be an all-out war on our gay-cred. "Well, well, well -- what do we have here? Homophobia on the LEFT?"

Friends and neighbors, don't let this deter you. It is an illusion. A straw man. We are not homophobic. We have the RESPONSIBILITY to our party and our causes (war, poverty, judicial appointments) to follow this story and unveil the machinations behind the Velvet Curtain. There is political capital sitting on the table and the only ethical thing to do is to pick it up and walk away with it.

I wrote the piece on Guckert's ball-shaving, chest waxing and wrestling called: Guckert/Gannon and understanding REPUBLICAN GAY-ness.
You can find it here:

See also a more serious deconstruction here:
Question of GAY SEX surrounding White House reveal who we have become.

It's humor. Irony. I had to affect a voice of shock that I can only imagine from knowing weird "normal" people in my family. I don't care if you shave your balls or your head or your dog. I don't care if you wrassle or square dance or participate in animal sacrifice to get your freak on. BUT, I'm guessing most "normal" people do. Most "normal" people who supposedly voted for Bush. Most "normal" people who look at your piercings and tattoos as a sign of the devil. Or worse, sexual! Most normal people who are being lead by the nose to destroying Social Security and the Bill of Rights.

We are a tribe and we are fighting the same devils. As such we should be keenly aware of our potential for accruing political capital. This is called TACTICAL STRATEGY. In Rules For Radicals, Saul Alinsky outlined 13 Rules of Power Tactics for outsider political action:

Power is not only what you have, but what your enemy thinks you have.
Guckert is not a pawn to us. He is at least a Bishop or Rook. He know's everything about the Velvet Mafia and they are running from him as if some big cockroach somewhere just yelled, "RAID." They no longer control him and they have no idea what he'll do next.

Never go outside the experience of your people.
I think we are much more comfortable talking these issues than your basic Southern Baptist. Ball-shaving, chest waxing -- whatever. This, I can talk about and not lose my balance.

Whenever possible go outside the experience of the enemy.
See above.

Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.
Well, well, well. Seems like this rule was tailor-made for the Guckert scandal. This one little controversy PROVES they can't live up to their standard of reporting, or of personal conduct. Extra points.

Ridicule is your most potent weapon.
Indeedy-do. When the Clinton scandal broke, remember the meme of the day was that political discourse was to become the domain of late night television -- that only the Jay Lenos and David Lettermans of the world possessed the ability to speak openly of blowjobs and spoo-stains. And ridicule they did; night after night for like three years. They had independent panels and spent millions of dollars on this ridicule. Guckert provides the means to keep this pot boiling -- take it off the heat at your own peril.

A good tactic is one that your people enjoy.
See above, again. What's more fun than ridiculing Republicans and having it STICK. Here's an illustration:
img src="

See how good that feels to see this dumb-ass holding a sign that ironically impugns his own message. Ah, that's good!

(i'm going to save you some of the padding and skip ahead thru the rules now)

Keep the pressure on.

The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
Examine this in action on US -- the threat of being labeled homophobes is, I"M SURE keeping people out of this discussion. Everyone knows that the Dems and left wing have supported the gay community thru thick and thin. We have paid heavily for it in some cases. It'd be nice if some gay-folk would get behind this and reveal as much as they know about the Velvet Mafia -- like this guy:
Padraig Pearse's piece on DailyKOS entitled Gay Facts and fantasies in Propagannon Research
The Republicans are shaking in their cowboy boots on this one, folks -- make no mistake. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Pick a target; freeze it; personalize it; polarize it.
The Velvet Mafia goes all the way up to Rove. The connections are there plain as day.

We will not let go of the Guckert/Gannon story until this whole mess is unraveled. If you are uncomfortable with that, there's lots of other places we can use your help. Just know that are purpose is not to trade in stereotypes and Ann Coulter-esque hate mongering. [b]We have fought the gay battles right along side of ya'll for YEARS. [/b]Don't reject the most potent weapon in our arsenal. We are not criticizing "being gay." We are using TACTICS AGAINST OUR COMMON ENEMY.

google "famous racist republicans", then click on IMAGES

just do it.

FROM THE VAULT: whose your city manager now? Bill "that's not a dollar" Campell

good times.

Poncharello Blasts Gannon/Guckert!

Monday, February 21, 2005

GirlieMEN: a primer

Guckert/Gannon and Republican GAY-ness

It's going to be the news of the week -- unless Bush decides to bomb something -- that gay prostitution infiltrated the Republican's side of the journalistic bullpen. I can't wait to see what we bomb.

As a 30-something woman, I'm having a difficult time digesting all this new, gay culture I'm being introduced to via the Guckert/Gannon story. Who knew men prefer chest-waxing to a good old manly rug? Personally, I'm for the rug. It's how I can tell my partner is of age. Oh, I guess that's the point.

Who knew their heads weren't the only thing they shaved. Not a bad idea in my opinion, but it seems risky. Is there a special styptic pencil for that? On the one hand, shaving one's balls seems a generous and romantic gesture. On the other, I'm thinking why waste a good shave on wrestling. That's how I know they aren't just wrestling. You aren't going to waste a set of freshly shaved balls on pinning a guy down without showing him who is boss -- so to speak. We're talking about SHAVED BALLS HERE FOR GOD'S SAKE! He's going to feel unattractive if you don't fuck him. Look at all the thought he put into your encounter!

The ins and outs of this gay underworld are fascinating. Imagine how special you would feel if your honey went to a fraction of the lengths that men go to have sex with men. Set aside the hair removal for a moment. There's classified advertising. Boudoir photography. There's weekends of travel to exotic places. High society social events with an accepted language and a tacit agreement of secrecy. Imagine if straight folks enjoyed such openness in their affairs. Wow. We'd all be fucking each other constantly. I'd be madness. You'd never get anything done.

Speaking of that -- where do these guys find the TIME for all this messing around? They are running the country (into the ground), which has to be time-consuming. They have the campaigning and the fundraisers and the leaking of stories -- who among them has time for wrestling? There's the war and dismantling Social Security, these are busy men. Do you think they all shave their balls? I can't stop thinking about the shaved balls. I'm imagining Bush giving the State of the Union address with itchy undies. Am I to understand that dangling beneath Rove's pleated sans-a-belts hang a pair of pink ping pong balls. It's almost too much to bear.

And who knew the homo chickenhawks in the administration really longed for love in the fox hole. Rove and the rest of the Velvet Mafia cruise for HOT MILITARY STUDS. You'd think since they can't resist a man in uniform they would have JUMPED at the chance to serve in Vietnam. Were they deferred for priapism? They apparently don't want gays in the military because they want them out here in civilian life where they are available to answer their page.

Best of all, who knew that gay men find gay-bashing attractive. It's such a topsy-turvy world. You have to appear manly on the outside, while looking like a boy on the "inside." You have to wrestle and otherwise beat each other up to show your love. And finally, you must look like a Drill Sergeant in order to attract draft-dodgers.

Thank you Jim Guckert, for this insight into your world. I guess I can take you at your word, that gays are sick. My experience up until now has been that gay men want pretty much what anyone else wants -- acceptance, security, and equal protection under the law. But then again, all the gay men I know are Democrats. Maybe that's the difference.

In his own words: Hunter Thompson

It had been a bad and wild in some moments, slow and dirty in others, but on balance it looked like a bummer. On my way back to San Francisco, I tried to compose a fitting epitaph. I wanted something original, but there was no escaping the echo of Mistah Kurtz' final words form the heart of darkness: "The horror! The horror!...Exterminate all the brutes!"

Learned not to do this in j-school...

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Author Hunter S. Thompson Kills Himself

ASPEN, Colo. - Hunter S. Thompson, the acerbic counterculture writer who popularized a new form of fictional journalism in books like 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,' fatally shot himself Sunday night at his home, his son said. He was 67.

'Hunter prized his privacy and we ask that his friends and admirers respect that privacy as well as that of his family,' Juan Thompson said in a statement released to the Aspen Daily News.

Pitkin County Sheriff Bob Braudis, a personal friend of Thompson, confirmed the death to the News. Sheriff's officials did not return calls to The Associated Press late Sunday."

OMG! bush's nickname for Victor Ashe is BULLDOG!

whaddya know! bow WOW.

WATCH Gannon on Anderson Cooper

Excellent interview. Note how he refers to his journalism career as "what he was ASKED to do."

i don't know about you, but this seems an interesting way to become a White House reporter. who knew this was something you were "tapped" for.

and to think i've been wasting all my time reading, writing and studying to learn to be a writer. this is so much simpler.

Putting a Face on Genocide.

While the West was grappling with grunge rock and Pulp Fiction, an African nation saw nearly 1,000,000 of it's citizens hacked to death with machetes in a little over three months.

Hotel Rwanda, now showing at Real to Reel.

"We'll watch it on TV, say 'that it's terrible,' and go right on eating our dinner. "

P.S. We woulda helped---but they don't have any oil)

Velvet Texas Mafia/Gannon/Gay Facts And Fantasies

hey ya'll -- Daily KOS has been doing some fantastic research on the Gannon controversy and I'm posting a piece of this article because it's one of the best I've seen. Please follow the link for the rest (click on title).

Daily Kos
Gay Facts And Fantasies In Propagannon Research
by padraig pearse
Sat Feb 19th, 2005

Lots of well-meaning Kos's are reluctant to explore the gay aspects of this story for fear that it unfairly targets people because of their sexuality and distracts from the "real" issues.

My hope here is to help narrow the discussion along lines of probability as narrowed by an experienced perspective.

As a seasoned gay man of a certain age I'd like to examine some of the facts that have been unearthed and to infer these facts' larger meaning from the perspective of a gay "insider". And I can tell you, from the amount of hand-wringing over the horror of lefty bloggers making a big deal over poor Jeff's former, and, overlapping career, that they are terrified that the extent of Bush's intimate Gay network will be exposed.

Given their monstrous treatment of our nation's Gays, they deserve it. Having ridden to electoral victory by unleashing the worst homophobic bigotry we've seen in decades, it is fit and just that this maelstrom of hate turns against them. I'm sure they know the Bible quote?: "He who sows the wind, reaps the whirlwind"?. In an earthier version I've heard the same principal expressed as "He who stirs the shit, gets to eat it."

But the Gay network may also provide substantial clues as to the Dirty Tricks department of Team Bush. I think it likely there is huge overlap.


That many Gay Republicans should prefer the closety games of the 1950s over the open Gay culture that arose out of the post Stonewall era should come as no surprise. They are reactionaries after all. In fact, I know Gay men of a certain age and income who routinely excoriate "the fags" while nonetheless indulging appetites and behaviors that would leave Margaret Sperling's head spinning. But since the lights are out in their orgy rooms, good Republicans are happy to just overlook and pretend not to see. It is the public avowal of affection that makes them crazy over the gay marriage issue. To compare Gay marriage to a perversion, as right next to bestiality is on the face of it insane. Gay people seeking to have stable monogamous relationships accepted into their families and their communities are, in key respects, far more conservative and traditional than the many gays in the republican party who scuttle around in the shadows, procuring illicit sex and using sites like

I have been with my partner 25 years this summer and I personally am sick and tired of being told that my only option is to have a lavender marriage with an understanding lesbian or a loveless marriage with an unsuspecting woman while trolling public toilets and internet chat rooms on the side. You tell me which of these is the more honorable?


While it might seem thrilling to imagine that Gannon found a sponsor through his website the chances of that are actually next to nil. Far more likely is that he met his sponsor in a more refined setting. In New York there is a piano bar on the East Side that fancies itself a bit of a British gentlemen's club. The place is filled with older men of means and younger men on the make. Prostitution is never mentioned. For a young gay to quote an hourly rate would be a fatal error. In this refined atmosphere we're not talking about by the hour rent-boys but long-term investments: what I've always called mortgage boys.

lots more at DailyKOS!

Giant squirrels rescue humanity from evil monkeys

Knightrider Blasts Gannon

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Question of GAY SEX surrounding White House reveal who we have become

Who here has ever attended an elite prep school? Anyone been to jail? Well, I'm sure everyone has been to the zoo.

The kind of behavior associated with Gannon's flavor of "services," and Bush's affair with Vicktor Ashe, have nothing to do with what most people consider sex. I know this is difficult to understand because we *are* talking about the act of eventually bumping uglies. Make no mistake, that happens in the end (pun intended), but it's not "romantic." All the well-groomed bachelors of a certain age in surrounding the GOP and the While House, they aren't all looking for love. They are "establishing order."

Homo-erotic social ordering is at the center the Lord of the Flies world inhabited by the orphans of privilege who attend elite private schools. It's also common in public schools, and in neighborhoods. You most certainly see it in prison. Who is whose bitch. It's certainly not a behavior exclusive to the wealthy. I grew up in central Florida and the cracker kids in my neighborhood did it. I've witnessed it in the corporate world where you have the bullying in a hereto-erotic manner. Hell, my 14-pound female Italian Greyhound asserts her authority over her roomie, an 18-pound male Iggy. I love it when we have guests over in the summer for BBQ's and Astra is humping away at Trouble. "Well you see, they are establishing dominant order. It has nothing to do with sex-drive. If she were in heat, believe me, she would be acting much different."

Skull and Bones is supposed to be the final stopping place for the adolescent ready to leave that ordering process behind. Or is it? Does the behavior serve a purpose beyond the developmental ordering of youth? I would say it most certainly does. Who wouldn't want to be privy to your opponent's vulnerability? If you were the bully, I imagine you could use your reputation for mad ruthlessness against your peers forever -- given you maintain the rep through continued ruthlessness.

This is base nature, folks. It's what we form social institutions to guard against. The Enlightenment, humanity in general, the arts, music. Our entire culture until now has been centered on progress and The Social Contract. Now, it is Hobbe's State of Nature re-created by men in power in order to fill a need -- most likely a garden variety narcissist need with Daddy-issues thrown in. Always needing to show oneself to be "the boss," or "the big Man," is not normal behavior. It's aberrant. Transgressive.

Everyone who has an angle on the Gannon story wants to assert their reason "why the sex is relevant," or why it's not. I'm no exception. I believe the issue of sex is important because it tells us something about this administration's sense of social ordering. It's claw to jaw. It's pre-modern. It's Old Testament.

When Clinton was fooling around with his little muffin, it wasn't about him being a big man. He's not proving to the world and to his Father that he is better. Clinton had to become his own father. He had to grow up fast and nurture his mother. I have some experience with that. When you come from those roots, you don't have anything to prove, anymore. But you do get lonely. When you are everyone's parent, there is nothing left for you.

In the Clinton dalliance there was yearning for connection. In Bush's case the yearning is to stand over the vanquished -- this is called "annihilation."

We must get better at articulating what this is about because it seems to me that whether or not you believe any of the Left Behind crap, Bush The Annihilator, does. Those are the rules he is playing by. He is a sick man and he is going to take all of us with him on his Odyssey to prove to Poppy once and for all, who's The Man.

Mental Intercourse

Mental Intercourse: the act of engaging in intelligent and interesting conversation.

I enjoyed our mental intercourse today. Perhaps again, tommorrow?

From the interesting

Friday, February 18, 2005

The End of the World---in Flash

More accurate than you might think.

My mom has been sick off and on for a few years now, so I have been making more mercenary trips over Sam's Gap late at night.
The new highway, despite my best efforts in my Earth First! days, does indeed rock harder than a Korean washer with a full load of Wranglers. It's not a lot faster, but it's a lot safer. And pretty. Despite the well-lit truck ramps and other lights there are still several places up there without so much light pollution where you can stop to stretch the legs, maybe throw down a downward-facing dog, or have a smoke, or look over gorgeous black peaks silhouetted against a starlit navy-blue sky before getting on your way.
On the Tennessee side, the whole road is pretty dark until Erwin. Once I pass the Okolona Road sign on the right, and then the Doozy Truck Covers neon on the left, come around the turn and pass the cut in the hill, the glow from my college town floods the dusty night sky all around and it stays that way, kinda envelopes you all the way to Sulpher Springs.
Since I moved to Asheville, oh, eight years ago, Johnson City's obvious growth could be gauged annually from the ambient light of well-fed capitalism lapping either shore of the guardrail. I've watched these indicator lights of humming humanity grow in intensity and number: lots more people, stuff going on. Intriguing, but I never got off the interstate on these night flights until the Gray exit. Good job, folks. Wish you well. But just passing through.
But last weekend I spent multiple days at my parent's house. I had occasion to wonder just what sort of growth this is. Dad was in Daytona. Sis was out of town training for a new job. Mom needed company and a safety net for her improving condition. So hold on, I'm coming, and I'm bringing my work with me, I said. Have laptop, will travel.
On Saturday, Mom said she'd like to go out to eat. Mom likes Cheddars and Cootie Brown's. Heck, I decided I liked Cootie's -- they had for-real vegetarian options and for-real handicapped access. Their black bean tamales were tasty. And there was a close proximity to Mr. K's Used Books, a hill-top home-bound mom-magnet if there ever was one.Lots of cool stuff, I thought, business makes marvels, who'd a thunk it.
I said to Mom, how great is this - this couldn't make it here when I was a young'un. Apparently the new folks moving in, their money, the economy, whatever; this apparent silver lining to urban sprawl almost made up for the condos in the cornfields. Yet, I found when it came time to check the email and turn the crank and check the news, I couldn't even get on the bubble. Anywhere.
You know, the internet, y'all. No wireless access. I had no way to do my thing. First time, ever. I was . . . paralyzed. And shamed, obviously I've become uber-geek if this would bother me so much. And then, pretty grumpy. I mean, what kind of civilization is this?
Back home, I did a search. Within 20 country miles of 37659 there were 3 wi-fi hotspots: Panera Bread, Tri-Cities Regional, and the Hampton Inn on St. of Franklin. This doesn't include places like the Barnes & Noble where I could download a special app and use it to access their wireless network for a fee (The B&N in A'ville has free access). I don't want to do that, that's stupid.
Right now I'm marking this up to differing cultural values. Fruity Paris Of The South vs. workman's Little Chicago. Remaining Johnson Citians: is this assessment accurate? But wow - if so, pretty telling indicator of what JC deems necessary. Hooters and NASCAR cafes, yes. Internet hubs, no. Surely I'm missing at least one cool bookstore, independent coffeeshop or cafe where I could drink some coffee and burn a battery down. Someone post suggestions if you got 'em, I'm due back this upcoming week.

BREAKING NEWS: Gannon reportedly knew about "Shock and Awe" four hours before it happened

A news producer for a major network just told me that Gannon told the producer the "shock and awe" campaign launching the Iraq war was about to happen four hours before President Bush announced it to the nation.

According to the producer, Gannon specifically told them that in four hours the president was going to be making a speech to the nation announcing the "shock and awe" campaign had begun. The producer told me they were surprised that Gannon, working with such a small news outfit, could have access to such information, but "what did you know, he was right," the producer said today. The producer went on to say that Gannon often had correct scoops on major stories, including information about Mary Mapes and the Dan Rather BUSH/AWOL scandal that this news outlet got from Gannon before any had the information publicly.

read the rest here at Americablog!

Thursday, February 17, 2005

MUST READ: Maureen Dowd on GANNON/GUCKERT & white house credentialing

Bush's Barberini Faun

I am very impressed with James Guckert, a k a Jeff Gannon.

How often does an enterprising young man, heralded in press reports as both a reporter and a contributor to such sites as,,, and, get to question the president of the United States?

Who knew that a hotmilitarystud wanting to meetlocalmen could so easily get to be face2face with the commander in chief?

It's hard to believe the White House could hit rock bottom on credibility again, but it has, in a bizarre maelstrom that plays like a dark comedy. How does it credential a man with a double life and a secret past?

"Jeff Gannon" was waved into the press room nearly every day for two years as the conservative correspondent for two political Web sites operated by a wealthy Texas Republican. Scott McClellan often called on the pseudoreporter for softball questions.

Howard Kurtz reported in The Washington Post yesterday that although Mr. Guckert had denied launching the provocative Web sites - one described him as " 'military, muscular, masculine and discrete' (sic)" - a Web designer in California said "that he had designed a gay escort site for Gannon and had posted naked pictures of Gannon at the client's request."

And The Wilmington News-Journal in Delaware reported that Mr. Guckert was delinquent in $20,700 in personal income tax from 1991 to 1994.

I'm still mystified by this story. I was rejected for a White House press pass at the start of the Bush administration, but someone with an alias, a tax evasion problem and Internet pictures where he posed like the "Barberini Faun" is credentialed to cover a White House that won a second term by mining homophobia and preaching family values?

At first when I tried to complain about not getting my pass renewed, even though I'd been covering presidents and first ladies since 1986, no one called me back. Finally, when Mr. McClellan replaced Ari Fleischer, he said he'd renew the pass - after a new Secret Service background check that would last several months.

click on link (title for rest of column)

DAMN RIGHT you can't sniff my bookbag. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS! "Student's defiance leads to suspension" -- CHICAGO

A claim that her civil rights were being violated got Pleasant Valley High School junior Meghann Trott suspended for three days.

A drug-sniffing dog visited the school for a random drug check Tuesday afternoon and Trott refused to leave her belongings in Dan Beadle's sixth-period science class. She claimed it violated her civil rights to be subjected to random searches.

According to Ginger Picchi, assistant principal, the dogs are provided by an outside service and have been used at both Pleasant Valley and Chico high schools since the beginning of the 2004-05 school year.

The decision to use Interquest Detection Canines at the high schools was approved by the Chico Unified School District's board of trustees in August 2004.

Picchi explained that the school conducted assemblies in the fall to inform the students about the process.

'This is the first student who has refused,' said Picchi, and she had not heard complaints from any others. 'Students have been very receptive.'"

(we can't understand it -- up until now the sheep willing lead themselves to slaughter. we figure we better get rid of her. she will spoil the rest with her uppity-ness! YOU GO GIRL!)

DEMAND answers on GAY PORN-REPORTER -- send slaughter kudos for bravery!

Slaughter demands more answers on Gannon; Other Democrats remain mum

The following statement is from Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY). Sen. Lautenberg’s office, seen as leading the drive for an inquiry lead, did not immediately return calls for comment today.

Washington, DC - During the February 10 White House briefing, Press Secretary Scott McClellan stated that Jeff Gannon, “…like anyone else, showed that he was representing a news organization that published regularly” in order to receive his day pass to press briefings. It has been confirmed that Jeff Gannon was in the White House briefing room, actively participating in these briefings, as early as February 28, 2003 a full month before Talon News even existed.

Rep. Louise M. Slaughter (NY-28), Ranking Member of the House
Committee on Rules, who has led the call for answers in this matter, today called on the White House to explain their relationship with the discredited “reporter” once and for all.

“It has been a week since I wrote President Bush seeking answers in this matter. I have not yet received a reply. With each new revelation it becomes more and more clear that the relationship between the White House and Jeff Gannon was anything but typical,” said Slaughter. “It is time for this Administration to stop the stonewalling and come clean with the American people,” she added."

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Can't Sleep

Clowns being shitbags like Karl Rove and Condi Rice...

Kid Rock nabbed at nibby club

(file this under He Ain't No New Messiah, but close enough for rock and roll)

Police Arrest Kid Rock

First on Metro Police arrested musician Kid Rock who was accused of assaulting a DJ at a Nashville strip club early Wednesday morning.

An arrest warrant was issued for Robert Ritchie, 34, who’s better known as rock singer Kid Rock, after a scuffle broke out at Christie’s Cabaret, located on 8th Avenue South, around 3 a.m.

The fight with the club’s DJ was over the music the DJ was playing, police said. The DJ, Jay Campos, was punched in the face, police said. He had a red mark on his face and his glasses were broken.

Kid Rock was booked through night court and his bond was set at $3,000. He asked reporters there to cover the story if his hair looked okay.

He posted bond and was released. As he left he said, "Everything is wonderful. It was a beautiful night."

Kid Rock was in Nashville to attend the funeral services of Merle Kilgore. Kid Rock performed at the funeral.

This story was first reported online on

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

THIS would make my month Posted by Hello

Taxation Nation

What is the Tennessee Unauthorized Substances Tax?
The unauthorized substances tax is a state excise tax levied on controlled substances (marijuana, cocaine, crack, methamphetamine, etc.) and certain illicit alcoholic beverages (untaxed liquors and spirits).

I crap you negative.

This Would Make My Month

Does anyone remember a few years back when the Shapeshifters opened for Junior Brown at the Paramount?.....and the LONG onstage introduction from the concert promoter who thought (until that moment) that we were a true country act?
This whole church sign thing brought it all back to me, somehow.
From behind the drums I remember seeing two audience members with their jackets over their heads as we played a very brief set.
These are the memories I feel compelled to write about.

I also have some new views on cymbal-choking and it's relation to time travel but I'm afraid no-one will be interested 'cause this is a real smart group.

Your friend,
Mark Ryalls

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Tragedy + Timing

The (Yawn) Grammys

Not only could Sting fart in a Ziploc and win (I stole that), but Norah Jones must have some pictures of Grammy execs fucking monkeys. As Dieter might say, "how tiresome."

Saturday, February 12, 2005

bald heads may be fun but THE BATTLE FOR AMERICA HAS BEGUN


This is an amazing film from the written word thru the performance and production. I just saw it for the first time and wanted to get it up here fer ya'll, so I have searched for a script or a list of participants. I thought I recognized Ntozake Shange.

Bottom line, it was like going to church. I feel re-born.

Friday, February 11, 2005

The More Things Change.....

A Thousand Words

"It's IMPOSSIBLE to get a WH pass using an alias"... DU

"Having worked in the White House, I can assure everyone that not only would it be impossible to get a White House pass using an alias, it is impossible even to get past the gate for an appointment using an alias. Thorough FBI background checks are required for the former and a picture ID is necessary for the latter. Therefore, if Gannon was using an alias, White House staff had to be involved in maintaining his cover."

-Bruce Bartlett


i am SOOOOO unemployed


It's a fact of life that people acquire fetishes for all sorts of odd, common-place things. Like, shaved heads, for instance.

It has been asserted that Gannon's fabulous cue ball wound up in the White House Press Corps because of his affiliation with gay military fetish and bald fetish escort services. The theory goes that his client list might include some embarrassing names. Or maybe, that Bush just feels better when there are bald heads around.f

They say that fetishes emerge in early adolescence and the need to feed the fetish thru life indicates a kink in development -- that the individual needs to travel back to this PERFECT place to be calm and happy.

We know Bush had some major issues with growing in Poppy's household, and has throughout his life had trouble taking responsibility and being a GROWN-up. Given this, I think the GAY MILITARY SHAVED HEAD FETISH fits right in. Maybe he HAD to start a war to feed his sexual needs. Maybe he had no control of himself. Maybe he regrets being such a pussy when he was in the national gaurd and skipped the war. Who knows, but i'm betting dimes to dollars that the Bush gets woody when he rubs the fuzzy nubs.