Monthly Archives: January 2011

The bio-blog-sphere

Some time ago I noted with unexpected sadness the passing of a fellow blogger, a man I’d never met and with whom I’d only recently become acquainted. His name was Jim and he blogged as The Hippie Professor. A college professor, a musician, a proud father, a patient and thoughtful man, he was steadily building a readership. And then one day the posts simply stopped; some weeks later, a personal friend of his came into a comment thread and told us that Jim had died – a sudden and massive heart attack.

Word quickly spread around our little blogging community and the thread where John had told us about Jim’s death grew. And grew – as people stopped in and wrote their condolences and appreciations of this fine man. Recently one  of his daughters stopped in to say that reading that thread – words from people known only to her father – was very comforting to the her and her family. She said that they stop in from time to time and they are very touched to see how many people her father touched.

Yesterday, a new comment appeared in another  thread, from February of last year.

The post in which it appeared had mentioned Sarah Palin and her scorn of what she called  ‘that hopey changey thing’.  Here’s part of what Jim said in that post:

Hope and change is about inclusion.  It is about bringing the disenfranchised into the political process.  It is about believing – truly believing – that every American can become involved and take part and make a difference.  It is about taking those who have been cast aside and bringing them into the fold.

Classic Jim – a fine and thoughtful man. Kind and caring.

So as I said, this new comment appeared yesterday – below those fine words. And it was generated by one of those bots, some kind of targeted robotic spam a  cellular accessory. Or something.

These things pop up in blogs all the time – like weeds in a garden. Those weeds get pulled regularly – unless there’s no blogger there to do it.

Jim’s blog is now an orphan – unprotected. The vultures are free to move in. The weeds will take over. A beautiful and fine thing, built lovingly over the years, is falling victim to the elements of the blogsphere which is bigger than any of us. Impersonal and cruel.

Like life itself. Sorry Jim.

ComcastGEMSNBC and Olbermann broke up

About 20 minutes after Comcast bought NBC or NBC bought Comcast or GE bought everything in the entire frackin’ world, Keith Olbermann stepped down from his rich throne at MSNBC. After he branded their network (giving liberals a place to go when Bush made their teeth hurt) they said ‘ahh, just get outta here.’

People who know him (and suddenly everyone in media knows Keith very very well) say it was probably him as much as the network – Olbermann does things his way and famously does not suffer fools. Which would make him a bad fit with corporate overlords.

A surprise for sure. Perhaps time. We’ll see. The guy was often over the top, but his voice resonated.

Who needs citizens when we have Citizens’ United

Eric Cantor (R-Va) has a cool idea

I must admit I never saw this coming. But then why not? We might as well go the rest of the way in corporatizing our government, er,  I meant our elections.

House GOP moves to end public financing of campaigns

” . . .  the House will vote next week on legislation that would end public financing of presidential campaigns and national party conventions.

The program, which Congress enacted during the aftermath of Watergate, is funded via voluntary $3 contributions when taxpayers file their annual federal income taxes. . . . Eliminating the program all together would save taxpayers $520 million over ten years.” (oooohhhh, $52million a year! )

In the understatement of the year, the story concludes:

It’s unclear how eliminating the program will actually make a dent in the federal deficit, since taxpayers voluntarily contribute cash to the effort.”


Friday oldie

That skinny thing with the great legs on the left ? That’s Aretha. Really. A long long time ago.

Also from Frum Forum (I just like typing that)

 Reading down the front page at Frum Forum, I see a negative story calling Rush Limbaugh’s recent President Hu slur ‘offensive’. Of more interest to me though, was that David Frum’s conservative site chose to use this very unflattering photo.

From The Note:

“Hu Jintao — He was speaking and they weren’t translating. They normally translate every couple of words. Hu Jintao was just going ching chong, ching chong cha,” Limbaugh said, before launching into a 17-second imitation of the Chinese leader’s dialect.

I woudn’t call it an imitation – I’d call it a mockery. And so 1950.

“Your lungs or your job.”

This morning, I heard a fascinating panel discussion on US-Canada relations. David Frum, former Bush guy, was among those on the dais, so I decided to stop over at Frum Forum which I do from time to time because he is not crazy. Found this just now – we are truly moving into upside-down-land.

CLEAN AIR ACT UNDER ATTACK . . .  the new chair of the House Energy and Power Subcommittee, Ed Whitfield (R-KY) thinks that some dirty air is okay and is not afraid to say so.

In a recent interview with National Journal Daily, the coal state Republican talked about his desire to roll back provisions of the Clean Air Act, saying:

This is a much broader issue than the health of the American people and lungs and emphysema; it’s how can we balance that in the global marketplace for jobs.

Your lungs or your job. Is that the trade-off that Whitfield is asking American voters to accept? There likely wouldn’t be many takers.

I hardly know who to watch in this new Congress. There’s such a delicious choice.

Who’s the patriot?

The new Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 112th Congress of the United States of America declines invitations to  official State Dinners of the United States of America – unless George Bush invites him. Apparently. And he thinks it’s okay – or even clever. It is not.

He is the third in line to the Presidency of the United States of America and when this nation formally and most diplomatically entertains the leader of our greatest competitor, a country likely to challenge us for ‘great power’ leadership, he is supposed to be there, supporting his government. It’s his frackin’ job.

FAIL, Mr. Boehner,  big time FAIL.

A few words on that from Jena McGregor’s “On Leadership” column in today’s Washington Post.

” [This] marks the third time the Republican leader has skipped a state dinner during Obama’s administration. But [the] rationale that Boehner doesn’t believe in Washington’s pomp apparently didn’t stop him from attending a 2007 state dinner for Queen Elizabeth II during George W. Bush’s presidency. The white tie dinner for more than 100 guests included caviar, champagne and dover sole.

Some etiquette experts have looked aghast at Boehner’s decline. Politics Daily quotes Anita McBride, chief of staff to former First Lady Laura Bush, as saying that “you really have to be sick, dead or dying to regret a state dinner invitation.” Meanwhile, Letitia Baldridge, who was social secretary to President Kennedy, had even sharper words . . . Boehner’s decision was “short-sighted and a failing of his duty.”

[the columnist adds]  “he should deal with it for an evening. Leadership requires that people do things they don’t like all the time, whether it’s attending a fancy dinner or negotiating on thorny issues with opponents.

A leader at Boehner’s level should actually want to take every opportunity to present a unified front to other countries.”

Suppose he’s declining these invitations to sit down with foreign heads of State for an altogether and far more troubling reason – suppose he wants allies and adversaries to perceive the leader of our country as weak? If that’s the case, his rudeness does damage to the country he claims to love. China conceivably could see Boehner’s snub as evidence that the United States is a disjointed, politically unstable country.

And now, some special words from Glenn Beck

I can say whatever I want and they pay me. Suckers.

This is taken from a radio program segment from way back in March 2001. It’s the somewhat famous Beck program in which he screams at a woman caller ‘bitch, get the hell off my program’. But the rest is new to me – the part in which he launches his little ‘people I’d like to kill with a shovel’ segment. (It’s short.)

If Joe Lieberman starts lobbying for AIPAC . . .

I may have to put needles in my eyes.


Look what the Republicans did – already!

Now, this story and chart should not be misinterpreted. Positive news on  manufacturing jobs in  2010 should in no way be seen to be due to anything the Democrats have done or the President has done. It is so-totally a result of Republicans being elected for the 2011 Congress.

The Wall Street Journal today:

U.S. manufacturing, viewed as a lost cause by many Americans, has begun creating more jobs than it eliminates for the first time in more than a decade.

As the economy recovered and big companies began upgrading old factories or building new ones, the number of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. last year grew 1.2%, or 136,000, the first increase since 1997, government data show. That total will grow again this year, according to economists at IHS Global Insight and Moody’s Analytics.

1997 – that would be the Clinton Administration.

(I love how the line is headed down (Reagan/Bush) until Clinton when it starts back up. Then, ooops!, w-a-y down throughout Bush’s two terms and the first year of Obama. And what’s it doing now? Why it appears to be heading up again? Wonder why that is?)

But, but, but . . . .

Michael Kinsley asks a good question at Politico. Since talk radio et al are insisting that the only cause of the shooting in Tucson was insanity . . . what will they be saying when his lawyers plead insanity? Which they will of course. Or – horror of horrors –  when the guy is deemed unable to stand trial?

Welcome to the great Christian nation of Alabama!

So sayeth  (or meaneth) the new Governor. The former pastor seems not to have the hang of his new job yet. (h/t to friend Ed)

“There may be some people here today who do not have living within them the Holy Spirit,” Bentley said. ”But if you have been adopted in God’s family like I have, and like you have if you’re a Christian and if you’re saved, and the Holy Spirit lives within you just like the Holy Spirit lives within me, then you know what that makes? It makes you and me brothers. And it makes you and me brother and sister.”
  Bentley added, ”Now I will have to say that, if we don’t have the same daddy, we’re not brothers and sisters. So anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister, and I want to be your brother.”

That ought to put the rest of them in their place.

Something’s missing here . . . hmmm


I try not to pay attention to the once-governor of Alaska; I find her to be downright offensive. But a few days ago I took issue with her producing a video with her speaking to a camera with an American flag behind her, as if she were anything but a private citizen. Tasteless. I will assume I was not the only one to note this (I’m pretty sure she’s not reading my blog) – in her ‘interview’ with Sean Hannity, the flag is gone. Same location but the flag is gone. Much better.

Last week

They walk among us. Still.

And they’ll probably always be out there. Some of our friends from the paranoid world of ‘white supremacy’ confused many schoolchildren recently. The kids, probably assigned to write papers about MLK Jr.  turned – as students do – to Google to begin their projects.  Below is a little of what they found at, (which comes up third on Google when searching “Martin Luther King Jr.”).

WHEN THE COMMUNISTS TOOK OVER a country, one of the first things that they did was to confiscate all the privately-held weapons, to deny the people the physical ability to resist tyranny. But even more insidious than the theft of the people’s weapons was the theft of their history. Official Communist “historians” rewrote history to fit the current party line. In many countries, revered national heroes were excised from the history books, or their real deeds were distorted to fit Communist ideology, and Communist killers and criminals were converted into official “saints.” Holidays were declared in honor of the beasts who murdered countless nations.

Did you know that much the same process has occurred right here in America? Every January, the media go into a kind of almost spastic frenzy of adulation for the so-called “Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.” . . .

It’s a poorly designed site, but uses the kinds of language kids have come to expect at educational sites – things like ‘download the flyer to bring to your classroom”.  Even so, I think our kids are a bit smarter than the clowns who publish this site.

After almost 50 years, they’re still afraid of a dead man who had a dream.

My blog-self is playing hide-and-seek

Sigh . . .

Sometimes the brain breaks. It will not allow focus for longer than ten minutes; gets the dishes done but wreaks hell with reading and paperwork.

Such is the state at present of that gray blob in my cranium. I am in the unbloggiest place I’ve been since launching this place. I suspect Tucson and the resulting navel-gazing is implicated.

Lackluster – an old word I haven’t heard in a bit, but relevant to this endeavor at present. I’m around. I’ll be posting. I will not feel inspiration or urgency – until I do. Not too long probably. The beat does go on.

Somebody is in a bad mood

Whoever this dude is (and he’s a minor somebody, since Ann Althouse decided to link to him), his jaw-dropping rant  suggests he didn’t get a turn to sit in the front seat today. And that’s not fair!

He says “I do not want a civil discourse.” He also says “bite me”.

The young and the bestest

It’s 8:30pm and I’m actually watching the Golden Globes. There seems to be a trend developing – young unknowns (well, unknown to me) usurping front runners. If this keeps up, Social Network and its leading actor may leave The King’s Speech and its lead actor still sitting in their seats.

UPDATE: A sad note – Laura Linney just won a Golden Globe. The announcer said only that Linney wasn’t able to be there to accept her award. (In fact, her father died yesterday – the great American playwright Romulus Linney. )

This one is for Alan who, like all good conservatives, is sure the president most recently elected by the America people is a SOCIALIST!

I just read this at The Drudge Retort. Ben picked it up from this morning’s New York Times.

All about capitalism working so well for US businesses – once the Socialist governments in the US give them a hand launching their business. Until they find a better deal with a better government who’ll give them even more. 

(But there is an upside for us: we can buy cheap toys right up until we lose our jobs.)

BEIJING — Aided by at least $43 million in assistance from the government of Massachusetts and an innovative solar energy technology, Evergreen Solar emerged in the last three years as the third-largest maker of solar panels in the United States.

But now the company is closing its main American factory, laying off the 800 workers by the end of March and shifting production to a joint venture with a Chinese company in central China. Evergreen cited the much higher government support available in China

And – you know of course – they are not alone

Anybody got a dictionary?

I need to look up impactful. It must be a word because some serious news reader on CNN used it today.

Friday night oldie

I wanted something special for this week. Here’s Leonard Cohen with the original. (Not so old actually . . . )

Pet peeve redemption! Double space be gone!

For years, I’ve been pestering people to stop using two spaces after a period when typing . My pleas fell on deaf ears and to my horror I found that people actually didn’t care! They claimed something they called ‘priorities’.

The use of double spaces is a throwback to the days before computers, before even IBM Selectric typewriters, when two spaces were visually necessary as there was no kerning – every keystroke, be it an “i” or an “M” or a “;” took up the same horizontal space. We needed that double space so our eyes could sort it all out.

Even then though, they  were never employed in typography. Fonts controlled  word and letter spaces, making text much easier to read.

So when IBM Selectrics and then computers entered the scene with fonts for all, the old double space was retired. Or it was supposed to be, except a few hundred million people didn’t get the message.

Today, Slate explains it all, and I am redeemed (I hope) amongst those friends who’d taken to covering their ears upon any mention of ‘spaces’. I shall immediately make them aware that I was, ahem, right.

Speaking of shark jumping

Has the day finally arrived? Is Mr. Bouncy-Bouncy’s reign of fear crumbling?

FOX News is once again surprising me. It’s 6:45 pm and Brett Baier has convened his panel. He plays a bit of Limbaugh from the radio today wherein he railed at who-knows-who and downright and cynically mocks the memorial service in Tucson.

Charles Krauthhamer does not love Rush Limbaugh! Juan Williams does not love Rush Limbaugh!  They were quite dismissive of the comments they heard. And –  they did not walk back their own comments.  Is it possible that folks aren’t as afraid of the un-citizen as they once were?

If anyone starts walking back, bet it’s Limbaugh – tomorrow.

Check out the 'bullet holes'

(And zounds! Just switched to MSNBC where I heard the tail end of a report about some trouble in radio land. A local station has pulled down its Limbaugh billboards today after the totally tasteless comments. An early and incomplete story here. )

UPDATE – CORRECTION – the billboard was taken down Monday before the fat man’s vulgarity of today. Not clear exactly who pulled it down – the language at the two places I’ve read the story is ambiguous.)

Tom’s double trouble

DeLay Blames Liberal Jury For Conviction

I remember when he claimed he was being targeted by a liberal prosecutor for political reasons.  (Video at the link.)

Maybe he’d have gotten a better shake beyond our shores – like in the Marianas Islands, where he is much beloved.


Who the hell was in the stands

I watched the Memorial event from Tucson last night and reluctantly offer this comment: it was an event without an identity.

On one hand, we had Bible verses and hymns. On the other hands we had the Star Spangled Banner (mangled by bad audio planning) and much speechifying.

Most jarring of all however, was the constant shouting and applauding and whistling from the audience. At one point they whistled and cheered one of the Bible readings. They whistled and cheered after every name of the fallen Obama mentioned. They even whistled and cheered randomly and mid-sentence when Obama was speaking. It was genuinely bizarre.

I found the audience behavior distracting, disrespectful and completely inappropriate to the occasion.

(Nice to see Sandra Day O’Connor again, but what were Eric Holder and FBI Director Mueller doing there? )

I’m still avoiding the hard stuff, so here: It’s a Daily Show reunion!

Skip the chit-chat and go straight to 1:35 into the video. This is from something called “Night of Too Many Stars”, a fundraiser for something that was held sometime somewhere. But who cares really when there’s an opportunity to see Stephen Colbert and Steve Carrell go all song-and-dance-men.

Because I need to change the subject

Ready. Shoot. Aim.

All over the liberal media, conservatives are being blamed for the Tuscon shootings!! So sayeth the right wing noise machine.  Oh, and it’s not fair sayeth they – since conservatives aren’t blaming liberals (actually, they are, but that doesn’t lower the volume.)

Google search for ‘obama violent rhetoric’ yields over 900,000 results. Here’s page one. (I didn’t even include the word Tuscon.)

Search Results

  1. News for obama violent rhetoric

  2. A History Of Obama’s Violent Rhetoric (Pt. 2)‎ – 1 day ago
    Here is a continuation of Obama’s violent rhetoric. In a 2010 midterm campaign message to Latino voters, Obama urged Hispanics to “punish our enemies” by….

    The Right Perspective69 related articlesShared by 5+

  3. Did Barack Obama’s Violent Rhetoric Inspire Mass Murder In Arizona

    Jan 10, 2011 The direct result of Obama’s violent rhetoric was the severe beating of Kenneth Gladney, a black man, at a ST Louis town hall meeting.…/did-barack-obamas-violentrhetoric-inspire-mass-murder-in-arizona/Cached
  4. A History Of Obama’s Violent Rhetoric

    Jun 12, 2010 During his short time in the American mindset, Barack Obama has used violent rhetoric on several occasions to get his point across.…/a-history-of-obamas-violentrhetoric/Cached
  5. Palin Twibe: Did Barack Obama’s Violent Rhetoric Inspire Mass

    Jan 10, 2011 The direct result of Obama’s violent rhetoric was the severe beating of Kenneth Gladney, a black man, at a ST Louis town hall meeting.…/did-barack-obamas-violentrhetoric.htmlCached
  6. Did Barack Obama’s Violent Rhetoric Inspire Mass Murder

    Jan 10, 2011 Jim Hoft over at Gateway Pundit has compiled a short list of Obama’s “greatest hits” his strongest and most violent rhetoric:
  7. Obama’s Violent Rhetoric…which we exposed some time ago “Would

    “During his short time in the American mindset, Barack Obama has used violent rhetoric on several occasions to get his point across.
  8. Reminder about violent Rhetoric: Obama: ‘If They Bring a Knife to

    Jan 10, 2011 Editor’s note: This blog post was published in 2008. In the wake of Saturday’s shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., a number of lawmakers and‘if-they-bring-a-knife-to-the-fight-we-bring-a-gun’/Cached
  9. Did Barack Obama’s Violent Rhetoric Inspire Mass Murder In Arizona

    Well? Did it? Obama: “They Bring a Knife…We Bring a Gun” Obama to His Followers: “Get in Their Faces!” Obama on ACORN Mobs: “I don’t want to quell.…/167139-did-barack-obama-s-violentrhetoric-inspire-mass-murder-arizona.html
  10. Did Barack Obama’s Violent Rhetoric Inspire Mass Murder In Arizona

    Jan 10, 2011 Did Barack Obama’s Violent Rhetoric Inspire Mass Murder In Arizona, Although there are undoubtedly more we know of one case for certain
  11. Violent Rhetoric Coming From……….OBAMA???

    Remember about 7 months ago when Princess Hag Pelosi went before the cameras to lament the hateful and, in her opinion, violent
  12. Mommy Life: Tuscon shootings: Obama’s violent rhetoric

    Jan 10, 2011 Tuscon shootings: Obama’s violent rhetoric. Interesting that the TOM urged us not to rush to judgment about the Fort Hood

Maybe a rifle over the mantle and brighter colors?

I think it’s odd that a private citizen has released a video of herself speaking in front of an American flag. I liked it a lot better when flags flew in special places and were treated with more respect. Not fond of a great big flag in the same room where the TV is tuned to Dancing with the Stars.

It’s a fair question

Steve Benen says:

“And I’ve been trying to stress this for eight years: “The right and the left both have intemperate voices. But here’s the key: only the conservative movement counts the most vile blowhards as leading lights, embraced by the leadership. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Sarah Palin: these are among the most popular conservatives in America. Who are the folks on the left with equivalent popularity and influence?”

(He said this before there was a Glenn Beck.)

A double Limbaugh!

From Balloon Juice, here’s something Rush Limbaugh said today:

What Mr. Loughner knows is that he has the full support of a major political party in this country.

 The poster asks: ” What does this even mean? They’ve been speaking in tongues so long that I think they’ve shifted to a new dialect and I can’t interpret them anymore.”

He adds: “I should probably note, in fairness to our media overlords, that I tagged this post assholes. So it is important to recognize David Gergen’s point that both sides use this over the top rhetoric. Rush told millions of people that an entire political party is supporting a mass murderer, and I called him an asshole. You can see how it is the same thing, can’t you?”

You’re welcome.