Wednesday, November 30

The Sky Is Falling!

My Firefox Weather Thingy (!) flashed a Severe Weather Alert so I checked it out:

Hmm .. guess I won't be able to throw my lit cigarettes out the car window until this has past. Why are They interfering with my Rights As An American?

Tuesday, November 29

running the gauntlet

One of today's tasks was to take a friend to DFW. That accomplished, I tried the "Olympus Blvd" exit from 635-LBJ and found myself in the Fry's Electronics parking lot; funny how that works. Noting that there were no SABR*s outside, I decided to mosey inside and do some shopping.
* SABR - Salvation Army Bell Ringer
This was different from the Fry's in Plano - I wonder if They track the impact of SABRs on store sales? Presumably, some people will shop only at SABR-equipped stores. I make a point of avoiding the SABRs when possible. Mentally, I must equate passing one of them to crossing a picket line; one of my ancestors must've been a union scab.

I also equate SABR donations to giving spare change to someone at a street intersection - I just don't do it. Some may be truly in need (homeless, etc.) but I think most of them beg because it pays better than working at the McDonalds down the street. Then again, they may have a Criminal Background Check issue which precludes working at The Golden Arches.

Normally, I don't grocery-shop at Albertsons, but I noticed the one near my home is SABR-free so I may go there for the next few weeks (assuming Whole Foods Market doesn't qualify).
30/11/5 update: The Dallas Managed News had an article about SABRs today .. says there are 421 approved locations in the four-county area but only 272 employees (they are not volunteers - they're paid $6+/hour). The 6-week Red Kettle drive nets $1.1M for the local chapter. I have to wonder if this is as cost-effective as Direct Mail?

Monday, November 28

in or out? make up your mind!

Screen doors were common when I grew up; our home in Louavull never had air conditioning. When it got too hot, I'd retreat to the basement (for Texans: that's a level of the house that's mostly or totally underground). I have never seen a home here with a basement; it just ain't done.

At any rate, as we younguns ran in/out of the house over 100 times per day (easily) we'd let houseflies inside, which wasn't terribly popular with the old folks (parents) ... hence the admonishment: "in or out? make up your mind!" at which time we'd usually decide that Out Was Better.
(flashback:) I remember the Thrill Of Technology we experienced when the No-Pest Strip was introduced: WOW! Wasn't it called the Shell No-Pest Strip then?
With that in mind (!), I spotted a Pizza Hut (WingStreet™) ad a few days ago, offering chicken wings in three (3!) varieties:
  1. bone-in;
  2. bone-out;
  3. or
  4. traditional
Not knowing the difference between bone-in and traditional, I asked. Today, this reply landed in my inbox:
"Thank you for your e-mail and noting that the website does not explain the difference between Bone-In and traditional WingStreet Wings. Bone-In is a breaded wing with a bone and the Traditional is a non-breaded wing with a bone.
Since I already knew that Bone-Out means a breaded wing without a bone, I now understand the difference. Sadly, non-breaded wings without bones are unavailable. This is very, very sad indeed.
Deep Thought #83: why don't Crab Cakes have frosting?

Friday, November 25

Chile: Texas' sister country?

The Texas "Lone Star" flag (left) was adopted in 1839, and the flag of Chile (right) was adopted in 1817 .. 24 years earlier.

For Texas, the colors represent loyalty (blue); purity (white), and bravery (red). The large white star was first used in the 1830s during the battles between Texas and Mexico.

For Chile, the colors represent the sky (blue), the snow in the Andes Mountains (white) and the blood shed during the revolution (red). The white star represents a guide to progress and honor.
Deep Thought #82: Texans eat Chili, but do Chileans eat Texaco?
Unrelated #7^3: Today is Jenna and NotJenna's 24th birthday. Rumor is it that Their Daddy (President Quagmire) drove them to the US Army Recruiter in Waco, so they could join the Air Force [sic], but the recruiter was closed for Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 23

use the web, Luke ...

Yesterday I moseyed to a nearby store to fetch some DVDs that have been on my Wish List for many months. After All Was Said And Done, I paid ~2% more than the Best Price I could find on the web, and got immediate delivery of most of the films on my list. Sure, these are "used DVDs" but unless they're scratched I'll never know the difference. It's not like a VHS copy that wasn't rewound at the end of every viewing.

To effect a fair cost comparison, I added sales tax to my local purchase (and deducted their in-store promotional discount) then compared that with shipping charges from the web merchant. I did not add 45¢/mile for travel (or whatever the going rate is for petrol these days).

My local purchase comes with a 30-day guarantee from the merchant (Moving Trading Company at 5907 Beltline - west of Preston). If I ever need to wring their necks, they're in easy range.

The thing that drives me to the web in the first place is that I loathe driving around town looking for what I want. I suppose If I Shopped Like A Woman (walking through stores, day-after-day, aimlessly looking for Random Crap With Which To Fill My Home) I'd have a different attitude. But most of the time, I know exactly what I want, since I've thoroughly researched my purchase in advance.

If I do make the mistake of going to a Brick & Mortar store, odds are that what I want is either:
- not in stock
- located somewhere that only a sociopath would think to hide it*
* stock clerk: I'll put the frozen tater tots in the section marked "videotapes"
unrelated #98.6: Stores should have SABR-free day each week when the Salvation Army Bell Ringer won't be annoying customers needing to shop. I started to grab something at Fry's in Plano yesterday, but made a U-turn when I saw The Bell and decided my purchase can wait until January.

unrelated #867-5309: Rambo's come for a visit .. not sure how many days. He and Beta will probably stay up all night and have a pajama party.

Tuesday, November 22

beep boop BUZZ

When UPC (barcode) was introduced to retail, many years ago, customers were wary of discrepancies between the price posted on the shelf, and the one in the computer. I remember that early customers were told they'd get the item free if there was an error.

Over the years, we've become complacent and I rarely see anyone question the prices on a cash register. Today's newspaper has a story saying that an acceptable error rate (US NIST) is 2% while Wal-Mart had an 8% error rate (the company blames bad reporting). The source of that report are the union organizers behind Wakeup Wal-Mart and is subject to an error rate of ±50% (my interpretation).
Deep Thought #81: I wonder how many chocolate fondue fountains will be packed away in our collective attics, beginning about the 2nd week of January? I'm seeing these things advertised at everyplace but vending machines. Related: how many wedding fondue sets are used once (if ever) and then sent into permanent cold storage?
Notable: Dallas is the 9th largest city, yet has the 5th highest crime rate for cities our size (ref: City Crime Rankings by Population Group). How shall I celebrate -- rob a gas station?

Expected later today: Dick Cheney will seize the opportunity to demonize Jack Kennedy for being assassinated in Dallas 42 years ago today. He will claim this to be egregious historical revisionism.

Microsoft Online Crash Analysis

Here's a splendid message I see on my Sony PC about twice a month; it causes the PC to crash without warning. Since it's on a system I use primarily for reading webmail while gazing out the window, it hasn't been a high priority to fix, but it's insightful to read Microsoft's boilerplate response:

Stop error caused by a device driver


You are receiving this message because a device driver installed on your computer caused a stop error message. This error message required a restart of your computer. After the restart your computer should continue to operate normally, however the error may re-occur until the problem is corrected.


A stop error occurs when your computer encounters an error from which it cannot recover. This is usually caused by a device driver which encounters an unhandled exception or performs an illegal operation. When the operating system detects this situation it is stopped to prevent further problems, such as data loss or further system instability.


Your error report has been computer analyzed and is unable to determine the exact cause of the error at this time. Since a cause and resolution has not been found your error report will be analyzed by Microsoft and any associated vendors to determine the cause of the error. After a cause has been found and corrected you will receive an updated message the next time you receive this same error with instructions on resolving the problem. We apologize for any inconvenience this error has caused and are working to resolve it as quickly as possible.

Please note it is important you continue to report errors so analysts will have data to analyze and correct the problem as quickly as possible. We appreciate your patience and assistance while we work to resolve your error. "

Monday, November 21

records are meant to be broken

I thought I'd have an entire theatre to myself, but one other person stopped in for the early screening of Paradise Now (2005) today. I'm not surprised that the theatre wasn't packed; the plot concerns the motivation of Palestinian suicide bombers (Fox "News" spins this to "homicide bombers") and all but about a dozen words are spoken in Arabic (i.e. heavily subtitled). This film was full of no-name actors, excepting Lubna Azabal who has more than a dozen films to her credit.

Last week (the same day I got sick) I took in the early screening of North Country (2005) (starring Charlize Theron). Charlize is not as memorable as her role in Monster (2003) but she still turned in a very credible performance and could be an Emmy nominee for her role as Josey Aimes.

Two movies in five days. Hardly a record.

Sunday, November 20

another use for Duct Tape

It's not December 31st yet, but I'm ready to crown US Congressmember Jean Schmidt as "CFRP Patsy of the Year" after her fumbling attack on Jack Murtha last Friday. She quoted a Marine reservist (and Ohio state congressmember) named Danny Bubp, saying (in effect) that anyone who thinks we should give Iraq back to the Iraqis is a coward. By inference, if that shoe fits Murtha (war veteran), well ... he must be immediately vilified (Karl Rove Tactic #1). Later, she asked that her comment be stricken from The Record, but .. the damage was done.

What an idiot. I repeat: part of the qualification for being elected to Congress should be an intelligence test. And I'm not talking about something as absurd as the TAKS test here in Texas* (college freshmen are admitted based on a set of questions to a specific test, but are otherwise functionally illiterate).
* Today's lesson: Compare And Contrast the TAKS to the NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress).
No, I'm thinking more in line of a Stanford Binet (or Mensa-accepted test) although it would be impractical to hold them to a Top 2% threshold. Maybe the top 80% .. just enough to weed out the nice folks such as Ohio's Jean Schmidt, who doesn't understand that not every communication deserves to be repeated.
Deep Thought #80: Speaking of repeating stuff (!) I read somewhere that the few "mixed Islam" cities (villages?) in Iraq are starting to trend one way or the other (Sunni or Shia). If that's true, it lends more credibility to the idea of an eventual civil war after the American/British troops leave, splitting the country into 3 parts. When/if that happens, the big challenge will be keeping Iran, Syria and Arabia out of their internal struggle. It'd be fascinating to see a map of the area in 20 years time, where entirely new countries have formed from today's chaos.

Saturday, November 19

missing digits

Paula's en route Phoenix now, having left around 5pm today. It was nice having another human in the house this week, and Beta certainly enjoyed their company. Now, she's crashed in front of the TiVo, watching Animal Planet.

Unrelated #0: I haven't thought about it much lately, but .. when I was growing up I remember how each of my uncles in Mississippi had missing fingers, and how normal that seemed. Sometime during their work career at the cotton gin, each of them had their hands inside, trying to dislodge a stuck blade .. when .. SLICE .. there goes a finger (or thumb). I suspect I could've identified which-uncle-was-which just by the pattern of remaining digits.

Unrelated #1: I don't know whether all fast food places operate this way, but Rumor Has It that at least one chain "grades" their managers on how much total food they sell, so it pays an unethical manager to cut each portion of meat, tomatoes, cheese, etc. What if they can shave 0.5 ounces off every order - would any of us notice? Is there anything like an official "Weights and Measures" department of the FDA [Food & Drug Administration] that polices this (like the nice folks who make sure the pumps at gas stations actually dispense 1 gallon of fuel)?

Friday, November 18

Gene Bob's Weight Loss Plan

I hesitate to call it a "diet" since no food is involved. Yes, it's indeed possible to lose 6 pounds in a single day, all by following the steps I took Wednesday night:

1 - get a stomach virus (best guess)
2 - vomit multiple times (more than 12)
3 - any food entering via mouth shall be summarily ejected by reverse route

It works! After spending some Quality Time with The Great White Porcelain God, I'm now several pounds lighter. Let's see, if I repeat the procedure for one year, I can lose 6*365 = 2,190 pounds. Bring It On!!

Yeah, yeah .. I'm (mostly) All Better Now (throat's a bit raspy from all the churning) .. mild headache remains. And yes .. I updated the Sundry on Thursday blog, for all its legion of fans.

Wednesday, November 16

PBS to become CRBS ?

Looks like the Bush Regime continues their mission of installing inexperienced cronies in positions of authority. Today, President Quagmire is out to change the Public Broadcasting System [PBS] into the Christian Republican Broadcasting System [CRBS], by appointing Patricia ("Patsy") de Stacy Harrison as president of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Harrison replaces Kenneth Tomlinson, the buffoon who resigned in disgrace a few days ago, after he was caught padding PBS with propaganda from the Radical Right. I guess Tomlinson thought no one would notice when Masterpiece Theatre was replaced by Republican Prayer Breakfast.

According to the Washington Post, Harrison's sole qualification is that she's a Faithful Republican Hack:
Harrison, a former public relations executive who has no public broadcasting experience, was a co-chairman of the RNC from 1997 to 2001, and helped raise funds to elect party candidates, including President Bush, who appointed her to the State Department.
Just goes to show .. you can't teach a Puppet new tricks. I'm waiting for Him to say: "You're Doin' a Heckuva Job, Patsy!"

Deep Thought #79: When the new Christianized Sesame Street debuts, expect Cookie Monster to lead prayer sessions, and Pat Robertson (replacing Big Bird) to order the assassination of Miss Piggy (in the name of Allah). Either that, or it'll turn into a 24x7 "Davey & Goliath" channel.

Tuesday, November 15

poverty stricken

I could have been rich beyond my wildest dreams, but .. I was 10 minutes late.

After making a run to the grocery store at 9:30pm (doesn't everyone do that on Tuesday night?), I decided to buy exactly one Mega Millions lottery ticket. But .. it was 9:55 and sales ended at 9:45. {sigh} I guess that means I'll have to dig through the trash, find a cardboard box, and live there from now on.

.. and oh yes, Miles and his mom arrived Sunday night; they'll be here until the end of the week. Beta is giddy beyond belief.

Sunday, November 13

just another week ...

rumor has it (!) that Miles and his owner will be in town this week .. something about a training session at my old office. if so, that'll give Beta someone to run and play with! I hope he doesn't start marking every piece of furniture (a trait peculiar to male canines).

Then, there are ten (10) other things on the calendar through Friday .. some I'll attend, others probably blow off since they're Attendee Functions (meetings, movies, feedings). Then, there's the full moon on Wednesday, when I turn into a werewolf. Just another week in paradise Dallas.

Saturday, November 12

the Joy that is OPML

Truly, OPML is a wonderful thing. That's the meta-file that allows you to import/export your RSS feeds to different readers. Today, I used it to try Microsoft Live (in beta) so I can compare it to Bloglines which I've used for over a year.

Naturally, before you can use the Microsoft product, you have to give Microsoft Passport your age, IQ, Social Security number, and the type of tree you'd like to be when you grow up. Once past all that nonsense, in Microsoft Live you get something vaguely reminiscent of the other portals - perhaps a bit more spartan, which is a Good Thing (most portals are much too busy for my taste).

What's the advantage? Portability, of course .. I can check my RSS feeds from any Internet connection, and that is Goodness. The downside? There's no way to synch your status; reading items with Bloglines won't automagically mark them as read in SharpReader, for example. I don't know how to solve that problem; we should leave all that Really Hard Stuff up to the nice people at Google, right?

conventional marketing wisdom

There's an item in Tim Bray's ongoing blog called "War Marketing" which is succinct. Succinct is good sometimes.
Deep Thought #78: messages that have been in Trash more than 30 days will be automatically deleted
(a message on Gmail)
Speaking of Trash, I was disgusted with The Regime again yesterday - more so than usual. Yesterday was Veteran's Day here in the States, where the idea is to honor the veterans (it was originally Armistice Day -- the holiday to commemorate the end of The Great War a/k/a WWI).

Instead, Karl Rove (who's become increasingly predictable in the spotlight) scrambled aboard Air Force One, then commanded His puppet (President Quagmire) to read a lengthy statement to another hand-picked audience -- this time at the Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania Army Depot. Basically, it's a tired rehash of Rove's view that it's un-American to question President Quagmire's judgment about Iraq. I guess the line in Rove's speech that really browned my muffins was "These baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning America's will ..." when it's clear to anyone with a brain (thus leaving out The Puppet) that the attacks on His Regime are not baseless.

Tried-and-tested Rovian Tactics include "Repeat The Lies and They Will Believe": the Puppet said it's "deeply irresponsible" to criticize His war policy, since that sends the wrong message to the terra-ists and Evil Doers. It's as if He is speaking to a nation filled with zombies from the CRP; He can't understand that His credibility is shot. Once that's gone, you can stick a fork in it (it's done). The Puppet's approval rating's down to 37%; the remaining Believers appear to be Fringe Elements: the Kansas School Board; Tom DeLay and His Ilk; and The Fristians.

I look forward to the day that Rove is locked away in Guantánamo Bay, where the CIA's allowed to use the torture techniques approved by Dick Cheney Himself. Finally, see Brian Coughley's insights: Sleaze, Deceit and Torture (caveat: it's not succinct). And then, have a nice day!

Friday, November 11

booming business: U-Hauls in Dover, PA

Given that the townspeople are in a panic trying to get out of Dover, Pennsylvania, I'll bet the local moving companies are doing their best-ever business.

Yesterday, Pat Robertson told (rural) Dover residents that His Christian God would soon attack them. Why? Well, Dover residents sensibly voted out all eight (un)Intelligent Design school board members (each a Rhodes Scholar, no doubt). To paraphrase The Daily Show, I suspect the IDiots believe that Adam & Eve rode their dinosaurs to church every Sunday.

{queue sarcasm} You know, I'm sooo relieved that Texas voted to amend the constitution (earlier this week - it was in All The Papers) to mandate blissful marriage among straight white Republicans. If that hadn't happened, Texas'd surely be facing a nightmare scenario of nucular [sic] annihilation (Pat Robertson's prediction, no doubt).

At least they're not the laughingstock that is Kansas; can you imagine a high school graduate (schooled in Intelligent Design) trying to get into MIT with his Kansas High School diploma? Next!

Speaking of unfathomable stupidity (!), a tip of the Gimme Cap to Mary (not a -Bob) who forwarded the list of Stupid Quotes by Tom DeLay. You know, when Gene-Bob becomes King, I'll mandate an intelligence test for all politicians. They'll have to prove they have more brains that an avocado before they can run for office. That should keep the vermin like DeLay and Robertson out of our courthouses.

PS: yeah, yeah .. the Sundry on Thursday blog is updated. Please - calm down!

Thursday, November 10

"Just Wait - You're Next" Syndrome

There's probably an official name for it, but I like JWYN [Just Wait - You're Next] Syndrome. How would that be pronounced - Juw-Yon?

The lead story in today's Dallas Managed News was not the suicide bombings in Amman; rather, it was that the same TaliBaptist zealots who backed the pro-Hate Proposition 2 on this week's ballot are now emboldened! They'll next do what's needed to lower Texas' high divorce rate. That's right - now they'll mandate which straight couples must stay together (despite being in loveless and/or abusive relationships). Presumably, they'll disallow it in the case of whites but encourage divorce among The Colored People! As Everybody Knows™, what the world needs the most are more white babies, and who better than the TaliBaptists to Make It So (apologies to Jean-Luc Picard -- to be born in 2305).
Speaking of Star-Trek, the show's writers -- obviously Baby-Eating Liberals -- sometimes tackle race and gender issues when the crew encounters alien species. In a memorable ST:TOS (The Original Series) episode ("Let That Be Your Last Battlefield"), Frank Gorshin played an Emmy-nominated (no joke) role as a species with races distinguished by which side of their face was dark (left-siders versus right-siders, I guess). Naturally, the unbiased Captain Kirk didn't even notice the difference until it was pointed out to him, in typical melodramatic Shatner fashion.

More recently, a ST:TNG episode ("The Outcast") featured an androgynous species where some were "born different" .. they had gender! Anyone exhibiting this abnormality were subject to reprogramming (much as the TaliBaptists aim to "cure" our gay population).
Anyone, back to the JWYN Syndrome: once the KKK-TaliBaptists (now merged) lower the divorce rate (By Any Means Necessary) they'll surely move to the next step: banning divorce altogether. Then, a few years later (further emboldened), they'll implement the Arranged Marriage customs common elsewhere in the world. Somewhere in the middle, they'll ban alcohol and any clothing which allows more than 5% of the skin to show. I can't wait to see what happens after that -- perhaps mandatory full burqas?

It's only a matter of time.
Everybody Knows is a trademark of Fox "News"; Rush Limbaugh Productions; and the Christian Fascist Republican Party.

Tuesday, November 8

Go Kinky !?

I don't normally watch CMT (Country Music Television), but will make an exception this week. It seems they're going to broadcast the pilot for Kinky Friedman's reality show, called "Go Kinky". Word is that if the pilot gets good ratings (at midnight, who wouldn't expect it?) they'll order more episodes.

It's good that TiVo knows about this show, being aired after midnight tomorrow, else I might miss it altogether, eh?

Monday, November 7

get out the vote HATE campaign

Governor PrettyHair's group is working the phones today; by noon, I've received four calls asking me to vote for the pro-Hate State Proposition 2 (not to be confused with the City Proposition 2), which seeks to make only female-male marriages legal in the eyes of the Texas Constitution. Will anyone be surprised when an Activist TaliBaptist sues to make Domestic Partner healthcare contracts illegal?
8 Nov update: no surprise .. 76% of Texans (66% of Dallas residents) voted pro-Hate, so it's now mandatory to legally discriminate against everyone who's gay. Let the lawsuits begin!

Unrelated: the proud, white voters of White Settlement, Texas voted not to change the town's name to West Settlement. And without the public support of the KKK, too.
I'll bet Tom DeLay has something to do with the phone survey, along with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison ("perjury's still a crime? really??") and Congressman Pete $e$$ion$ ("I never met a contributor I wouldn't take money from, then pay lip service to").

(although it was an automated droid) I asked them why Governor PrettyHair wasn't marching alongside the KKK (another supporter of His proposition) and they said He wasn't affiliated with them (publicly, at least). I then asked them if they're calling on behalf of the Christian Fascist Republican Party (CFRP is apparently the new name for the GOP). The beginning of the message says it's coming from a survey company (in the 571 areacode, so says CallerID), but it's patently obvious from the wording of the questions that they're bankrolled by the CRP.
6pm update: the automated survey droid called back; it asks ...

do you favor State Proposition 2?
would you re-elect your Texas congressman? (Tony Goolsby)
do you consider yourself a Regressive Republican?
do you consider yourself a Baby Eater Democrat?
do you favor a school voucher program?
are your property taxes too high?
should property tax appraisals be capped?
is Ronnie Earle playing politics with Tom DeLay's indictment?

and then it closes with "This survey was authorized and paid for by the Republican Party of Texas."

As if that was a surprise.

Sunday, November 6

In Cold Blood

After watching Capote at the Magnolia, Judy-Bob and I moseyed over to Chuy's (4544 McKinney) for a late dinner. First time I've been to the one in Dallas; oddly, the only other one I've dined at was in Houston!

How to follow up the movie [Capote]? I could locate a copy of In Cold Blood at the used bookstore, or maybe it'd be easier to watch the 1967 movie instead? Oddly, it also makes me want to re-watch [To Kill A Mockingbird] (based on Harper Lee's novel). Culture overload, indeed.

Saturday, November 5

look in the mirror, jackass

I had to laugh when I wandered across an update to the story about today's KKK rally in Austin, supporting Proposition 2 (the so-called "Hate Thy Brother Proposition"):
KKK To Rally Saturday In Support Of Gay Marriage Ban
The line that made me (first) laugh, then shake my head, was this:
"Pastor Ryan Rush of Bannockburn Baptist Church says a group that would come in that is characterized as hateful and bigoted is not welcome in Austin."
I guess it just baffles me that so many small-minded religious zealots can't see themselves in the mirror. Surely these morons know that gay marriage was banned by Governor Pretty Hair a few years ago (the Texas Defense of Marriage Act). I don't know anyone who expects the Amendment to fail; there are far too many churches (like Bannockburn TaliBaptist) where the Imam Preacher has ordered the congregation to vote "yes" or they'll all Roast In Hell come Wednesday morning. Never mind they (a) probably never met an openly gay person; (b) don't understand the legal ramifications of denying rights to someone; and (c) couldn't give a Tinker's Dam about "Love Thy Neighbor". After all (to The State) marriage isn't much more than a civil contract, so this will just give those activist (code word meaning "someone who doesn't share my opinion") Texas lawyers something to do for the next decade.

I suspect the only real suspense will be the margin of "victory" for the KKK and the TaliBaptists (and their ilk). Surely, they'll be high-fiving each other Tuesday night, having made the world safer for their children (who will have learned a valuable lesson in religious bigotry).
Deep Thought #77: WWLBJD? *

* What Would LBJ Do?

Wednesday, November 2

a ship of fools

Am I really living in The Land Of Idiots?

I see where Tom DeLay continues to stack the deck in his favor, for his upcoming (Real Soon Now) money-laundering trial. The Hammer™ didn't like the judge (who donated money to the opposition), so the Democratic judge was dismissed.

Next, DeLay wants to move the trial from Austin (which he refers to as "the Last Democratic Stronghold in Texas") to anywhere else, preferably a county where the judge donated large sums to the Regressives Republicans. Or, anywhere he can get a Stepford Jury (of Texas-educated white men named Bubba) to let him off the hook.

And then there's the report that says Texans are donating huge amounts of money to the "Please Let Tom Do Anything He Wants Including Murder If That'll Keep The Gays Out Of My Bathroom" fund. Also known as the Tom DeLay Criminal Defense Fund.

Tell me there's intelligent life somewhere in this state.
Thursday update:

In a copyrighted story, the Houston Chronicle explains "Another DeLay judge out"

Basically, it says the prosecutor now wants the Republican judge -- who would pick the replacement -- thrown out (as if it couldn't get weirder).

Tuesday, November 1

.. with Jethro Bodine at the helm

Yes, I'll admit it: Wal-Mart makes me laugh. I'm not talking about their stores, I'm talking about their incompetence in Public Relations. I haven't been inside a Wal-Mart in probably 10+ years. When I'm in need of something they're selling, I go to SuperTarget instead. Target's stores are cleaner, they don't look like a warehouse, and the staff actually has a clue which way is up. Not to mention, their politics are all wrong .. 78% of Wal-Mart's political contributions back President Quagmire's regime.
Full disclosure: Target's percentage is even worse (83%) but the contribution was much lower: $181,060 versus $1,354,790.
I laugh at Wal-Mart partly because of this morning's New York Times article; it seems Wal-Mart's so afraid of Robert Greenwald's new movie ("Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price") that they commissioned their own propaganda film called "Why Wal-Mart Works & Why That Makes Some People Crazy" (directed by Ron Galloway - I guess Leni Riefenstahl wasn't available). The former film will be showing here in Dallas [14/11 at the FunAsia theatre in Richardson], but it's sponsored by the local AirAmerica group that banned me, so I'll have to find a viewing at someone's home that week (November 13-19).

There's now an official Wal-Mart War Room which has hired image consultants from both Clinton and Reagan's campaigns: fascinating.

Conspiracy time: curiously, today's Dallas Managed News (print edition only) has an article (Maria Halkias' "Wal-Mart's urban push") that says that Metroplexers spend 31% of our consumable goods dollars at Wal-Mart, leading all major cities. Wal-Mart claims a 27% share of the local grocery market, well past Kroger and Tom Thumb who have 15% each and are tied for second.

For what it's worth: they're building another Wal-Mart SuperCenter a few miles from me (not sure when it's due to open), and I won't be shopping there, either.