Friday, January 19, 2007


dailykos: Salvation Army's War on the Poor

The Salvation Army is evicting low-income women from two buildings in Manhattan that were donated to the Salvation Army specifically to provide housing 'for women of modest income'.

The Salvation Army also discriminates against gays and lesbians. Send your charitable donations elsewhere.


I keep telling people, global warming isn't just about warm weather. It's about more and more weather extremes as we lose the delicate balance of our temperate world. Witness, the past few days in Europe:

Huge waves lash into the port of Wimereux, northern France.
(AFP/Getty Images)

LATimes: 27 die in fierce European storms
High winds and heavy rain damage buildings and cancel flights.

It snowed in Malibu this week -- yep, that Malibu, surf city, Malibu Beach, sunny southern California: LATimes: Expected thunderstorm becomes snow and hail

Icicles cover oranges in a grove along Victoria Avenue in Riverside.
(Irfan Khan / LATimes) Jan 17, 2007

It's Hard to Keep Up

From Overheard in New York:

All I'm Going to Say Is That the First One Is Free

Old JAP: Alan, I'm thinking about upgrading my phone. I hear good things about the Blackberry, but will that be compatible to send emails to my friends with Crackberries?

Alan: Ummm, I'm not going to bother explaining, but yes, they are compatible.

--Kosher pizza place

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Deja Vu: My Personal Financial Information Hacked - Again

First my alma mater, Boston College, then my hometown newspaper, The Boston Globe,, now Marshalls/TJMaxx:

The Consumerist: TJ Maxx & Marshall's Hacked, Tons Of Credit Cards Stolen

Boston Globe: TJX credit data stolen; wide impact feared

RIP Art Buchwald

When I was a kid, my parents used to read the Art Buchwald columns out of the paper and laugh uproariously. He had a wicked sense of humor, in a good way.

NYTimes: Art Buchwald, 81, Columnist and Humorist Who Delighted in the Absurd

WaPo: Newspaper Columnist Art Buchwald Dies at 81

Editor & Publisher: A Visit With Art Buchwald: 'Tell Them to Just Keep Writing'

Wikipedia: Art Buchwald

Gates Foundation to Review Assets for Social Responsibility

Reacting to the series in the LATimes, the Gates Foundation has announced that it will conduct a review of its assets to assess whether they are socially responsibility. Hooray, investigative journalism!

Hat tip to the Technology, Health & Development blog, which left this news in comments.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

News Round-Up, January 17, 2007

Happy 65th birthday, Muhammad Ali [photo from wikipedia]

The Greenland ice sheet is melting much faster than scientists had predicted; our consumption of crap is increasing global warming; even the God Squad is becoming concerned about global warming; yet the fucking morons in the Bush Administration are cutting funds for the scientific research that could help. God help us.

Obama's running. Wow, who saw that one coming?

The Scooter Libby trial started yesterday. ThinkProgress links to all the blogs with good coverage. First time ever bloggers got courtroom seats as press!

The Bush Administration is running federal prosecutors out of town (TalkingPointsMemo), using an obscure provision in the Patriot Act (dailykos). Greasing the skids to skate for their crimes? Can you say 'abuse of power'? Stay tuned.

The Crawford Caligula has been out there doing interviews and cementing his unpopularity. You can watch his psychopathic giggling as he talks about war; Scott Pelley of 60 Minutes (transcript, video), and Jim Lehrer of PBS (transcript, podcast)

Hey, I'm finally in a majority: NYTimes: 51% of Women Are Now Living Without Spouse

Digby has a dark post about death squad activity in Iraq possibly encouraged by Bushco. Because it worked so well in El Salvador.

Finally, I am sad to report that Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake has been diagnosed with a third recurrence of breast cancer. Get in there and kick cancer's ass, Jane. We're all pulling for you.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Addition to Blogroll

A few months ago I saw a link to this blog & bookmarked it. Can't remember for sure but I think I saw it on BoingBoing. [Yup, here's their post.] I'm sure Don Crowdis is one of the oldest bloggers out there. He doesn't even own a computer, just writes his posts out in longhand and mails them to a relative who posts them for him.

Don To Earth
A Nonagenarian (90+) Ponders Life, the Universe, and Aging

Yesterday he posted about having survived the largest man-made explosion prior to the atomic bomb in 1917. I had never heard of this. A ship loaded with bomb-making materials exploded in Halifax Harbor, and over 1500 people were killed from the explosion.

I was four years old, and survived physically unscathed, but my mother lost an eye and my aunt was thoroughly crippled. The large family across the street was not so fortunate -- all but one died at breakfast. It was, and still is, the dividing date in my life. During the next two and half years, I lived in seven places, three of them foster homes.

All this made me anything but a headstrong hero about anything. I learned I was not the boss anywhere, and this made me a very good boss later on, as a teacher, as the head of museums, and as the chairman of associations of various sorts. I was careful, and preferred to be understated until I showed my hand, although I know my real nature was to take charge. The Halifax Explosion took my DNA and made me what I became. On December 6 each year, I am very conscious of all this.

Read the rest, he writes well and has an interesting and informed perspective on things.

Monday, January 15, 2007

God Coming to USA

The Telegraph (uk) reports that Liverpool and Rafa are definitely not renewing Robbie Fowler's contract, and that he is therefore exploring the option of moving.....


MLS! USA! USA! Robbie Fowler would trod the same ground as we mere mortals.

Breathe, Coach Mom, breathe.

Right-Wing Fruitcakes Still After Title IX

The inimitable Michelle Akers [1999 World Cup]
Michelle Akers powers past her way past Brazil. She would later convert a penalty to seal her side's 2-0 semi-final triumph.
Copyright: / Brett Whitesell / Daniel Motz

Great, great article on Title IX in, of all places, a British paper, The Guardian (uk).

Steven Wells, Guardian (uk) Sportsblog: Why American sports are facing the ultimate Title fight
The Title IX law has been eroding sex discrimination in the US for 35 years, so it's no wonder the right-wing fruitcakes want to get rid of it.

Thirty-five years ago President Nixon signed Title IX - a 37-word law that banned sex discrimination in federally funded education. It revolutionised US sports, changed the lives of millions of women and girls, led to the formation of a professional women's baseball league and to the US women's soccer team winning two World Cups.

More importantly, Title IX smashed to smithereens the creaky old idea that sport is somehow inherently masculine. There are 10 times as many women playing high school sports as there were in 1972. Five times as many women now play sport in college.

And beyond the statistics, there's overwhelming anecdotal evidence that Title IX is the best thing ever to happen to US sports. "When I was growing up throwing slow balls in baseball-crazed Southern Illinois," writes Hank Shaw. "I didn't know a single girl in my class who was active in sports. Fast forward to the present: six of my seven nieces love playing sports. That's all the proof I need to cheer on Title IX."

Title IX has achieved "an explosion of female Olympic stars, college and professional women's teams playing to packed stadiums, new magazines aimed at female athletes. But most of all the freedom, strength and joy of a whole generation of young women," wrote Ruth Conniff in the Nation.

In short Title IX is the bee's knees, the cat's pyjamas and the bollocks of the most enormous dog. As good things go it's up there with love, rainbows and orgasms.

Which means, of course, that it's attacked relentlessly by the gibbering jihadists of right-wing fruitcakery. Bush administration employee Jessica Gavora - former speechwriter to Newt Gingrich, John Ashcroft and Roberto Gonzalez - slammed Title IX as "affirmative androgyny" (as if that would be a bad thing). Anne Coulter - right-wing über-troll and self-confessed fan of Joe McCarthy - described Title IX as "the ultimate totalitarian folly", "crazed feminist social engineering" and an "insane feminist dream ... to change nature".


[t]he heart of all the arguments against Title IX [is] the somewhat Victorian notion that sport is strictly for people with penises.
Thirty-five years on, the really amazing thing about Title IX is that it's still going strong. Still forcing schools and colleges not to fob female athletes off with second-rate equipment and facilities. Still inspiring girls to do something more than just wave pom-poms on the sidelines. Still changing the world one pony-tailed midfielder at a time.

Happy birthday, Title IX.

Like the right-wing fruitcakes who oppose having cheerleaders cheer for both boys and girls games. Why is that controversial?

Winnie Hu (I kid you not), NYTimes: Equal Cheers for Boys and Girls Draw Some Boos

I Have A Dream

That someday Bush and Cheney will get their just desserts, and be judged on the content of their character.

Pic from Dependable Renegade: Sittin' in the Dock at the Hague...

Sunday, January 14, 2007

'His flop sweat was palpable'

In this video frame grab taken from television, President Bush addresses the nation from the White House library in Washington, Wednesday Jan. 10, 2007. (AP Photo/APTN)

The final word on the escalation speech:

Frank Rich, NYTImes: He’s in the Bunker Now

PRESIDENT BUSH always had one asset he could fall back on: the self-confidence of a born salesman. Like Harold Hill in “The Music Man,” he knew how to roll out a new product, however deceptive or useless, with conviction and stagecraft. What the world saw on Wednesday night was a defeated Willy Loman who looked as broken as his war. His flop sweat was palpable even if you turned down the sound to deflect despair-inducing phrases like “Prime Minister Maliki has pledged ...” and “Secretary Rice will leave for the region. ...”

TimesSelect wall; also here

His Lips Are Moving

Guardian (uk): Bush set for climate change U-turn

George Bush is preparing to make a historic shift in his position on global warming when he makes his State of the Union speech later this month, say senior Downing Street officials.

You can only believe that Bush is serious about this is if you ignore his long history of prevaricating on issues relating to climate change, energy conservation and his beloved oil:

ThinkProgress: Bush Promises To ‘Knock Our Socks Off’ At SOTU With 5 Year Old ‘Energy Independence’ Pledge

In every one of his previous State of the Union addresses, Bush has promised to push America towards energy independence:

- 2006: Keeping America competitive requires affordable energy. And here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world. The best way to break this addiction is through technology. [1/31/2006]

- 2005: To keep our economy growing, we also need reliable supplies of affordable, environmentally responsible energy. … I urge Congress to pass legislation that makes America more secure and less dependent on foreign energy. [2/2/2005]

- 2004: Consumers and businesses need reliable supplies of energy to make our economy run — so I urge you to pass legislation to modernize our electricity system, promote conservation, and make America less dependent on foreign sources of energy. [1/20/2004]

- 2003: Our third goal is to promote energy independence for our country, while dramatically improving the environment. …Even more, I ask you to take a crucial step and protect our environment in ways that generations before us could not have imagined. [1/28/2003]

- 2002: Good jobs also depend on reliable and affordable energy. This Congress must act to encourage conservation, promote technology, build infrastructure, and it must act to increase energy production at home so America is less dependent on foreign oil. [1/29/2002]

- 2001: We can produce more energy at home while protecting our environment, and we must. We can produce more electricity to meet demand, and we must. We can promote alternative energy sources and conservation, and we must. America must become more energy-independent, and we will. [2/27/2001]