.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

A Faerie's Farthing

Flitting through the internets looking for sparkly bits. All content mine and not to be reproduced without permission.

Location: All Material Copyrighted, United States

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Mary Carey on the GOP

Mary Carey on the GOP

"I actually get hit on more in Washington D.C. by republicans that are drunk than I do by porno fans in Vegas."

You simply can't make this stuff up. Crooks and Liars has the video.

Tags: , , ,

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Thank You, Ken!

Thank You, Ken!

Fascinating exchange between Matthews and Mehlman. Matthews actually mentions shrubya's free-fall ratings and Ken responds by saying, "well, maybe or maybe not, but let me state my talking point now, Chris."

The best part, though, is his commentary on what they're looking for in a candidate for '08 - someone like shrubya! They are working overtime to become the minority party once again.

You're doing a great job, Kenny boy!

Tags: , , ,

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Hearts and Minds

Hearts and Minds

Once again, Steve Clemons has very interesting friends.

This picture is from a Carnival celebration in Portugal. Trust me; you want to read the accompanying text.

Tags: , , ,

Friday, March 10, 2006

Agreeing on Definitions

Agreeing on Definitions

Crooks and Liars has a great, if not older, post up about a graphic from Fox News. It's from summertime, when shrubya was considering O'Connor's replacement. Across the bottom of the screen, it reads: "Fox Facts - Bush nominee will interpret constitution faithfully."

Is it any wonder the country's state of political discourse is so polarized? It seems we can't even agree, as a society, on what constitutes a fact. Heckuva job, Rupert.

Tags: , , ,

(Inadvertent) Truth in Advertising

(Inadvertent) Truth in Advertising

North Carolina's got itself a live one: Congressional Candidate Vernon Robinson. He recently pulled this ad from his website and rightly so. It's a veritable smorgasbord of hatred and bigotry. I have to give him credit though - it's an exceptionally clever ad. The end is especially amusing. Too bad it's so repulsive. The ad rather begs the question of "Has it come to this?" Does the Wingnutâ„¢ Brigade now feel so emboldened that they no longer have to hide their true agenda?

Naturally, the issues he carps on are all the wedge issues you'd expect - gays, immigration, prayer in schools, etc. The one that really stands out to me for its lack of intellectual honesty is how the right gets its knickers all atwist over the objections to "under God" being in the pledge of allegiance, mentioning God on our currency, etc. Do they not realize those notions weren't added until the '50s?

"Political correctness run amok" is how one senator is describing a court's ruling that the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional.

A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools is an unconstitutional "endorsement of religion" because of the addition of the phrase "under God" in 1954 by Congress.

...Citing a concurring opinion in a Supreme Court decision, the 9th Circuit said, "The Pledge, as currently codified, is an impermissible government endorsement of religion because it sends a message to unbelievers 'that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community, and an accompanying message to adherents that they are insiders, favored members of the political community.'"

The court said the 1954 insertion of "under God" was made "to recognize a Supreme Being" and advance religion at a time "when the government was publicly inveighing against atheistic communism" -- a fact, the court said, the federal government did not dispute.

Unfortunately, though, it's not just the fundies; some members of Congress called the ruling "nuts," and "stupid" among other things. The Senate passed a resolution in support of the pledge 99-0. The squatter in the White House even had the DoJ look into it.

Pray, tell, what about this position is conservative? What is strict constructionist about including religion in the national pledge? How many more blatant contradictions like this will it take before people realize that this group is dead serious about installing a theocracy?

Just like they only support state rights when it suits their masters interests, the legions of the far right are really only strict constructionists when it comes to civil rights and government regulation. Other than that, they're open to all manner of creative interpretation. To wit: money is equivalent to free speech, companies deserve the same civil rights as citizens, Florida needs to stop counting votes right this second, etc. Taken to its logical extreme, strict constructionism should preclude the entire bill of rights - they're only amendments, after all. Women's suffrage? An obvious afterthought.

But maybe we shouldn't go giving them ideas...

Tags: , , ,

Picture of the Day

Picture of the Day

This is just golden:

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Predicting Sunspots

Predicting Sunspots

Things that make you go hmmmm...

Based on previous research by Mausumi Dikpati, NOAA scientists recently found a more accurate method of forecasting sunspot cycles. The specifics of how these sun cycles affect earth's climate are still up for debate, but some interesting patterns have been observed. For example, a series of unusually cold periods in the planet's history corresponds with low sunspot activity cycles. According to Dikpati's findings, we're in for a doozie:

The sun occasionally hurls hailstorms of energized particles at speeds of up to several million miles an hour. These can threaten astronauts' health and the electronic gear on which they rely.

Now, scientists say they have devised a more accurate way to forecast the onset and relative strength of the sun's stormy "seasons," or sunspot cycles, which peak roughly every 11 years. Some liken the approach to seasonal hurricane forecasts on Earth - but with potentially much higher accuracy.

...Until now, sunspot forecasts were based mostly on statistics drawn from historical cycles. The new approach incorporates the sun's basic physical processes that underlie the cycles.

...For the record, the team's research indicates that the next sunspot cycle will be 30 to 50 percent stronger than the last one, not weaker as others have forecast. The cycle will start late in 2007 or early in 2008, six to 12 months behind schedule, and it should peak in 2012, the researchers say. In testing their model against the past 12 solar cycles, the team reproduced "forecasts" with better than 98 percent accuracy.

Interestingly enough, 2012 is the end of the Mayan calendar:

The turn of the great cycle is conjectured to have been of great significance to the Maya, but does not necessarily mark the end of the world. According to the Popol Vuh, a sacred book of the Maya, they were living in the fourth world. The Popol Vuh describes the first three worlds that the gods failed in making and the creation of the successful fourth world where men were placed. The Maya believed that the fourth world would end in catastrophe and the fifth and final world would be created that would signal the end of mankind.

The last creation ended on a long count of Another will occur on December 21, 2012, and it has been discussed in many New Age articles and books that this will be the end of this creation or something else entirely. However, the Maya abbreviated their long counts to just the last five vigesimal places. There was an infinitely larger number of units that was usually not shown. When the larger units were shown (notably on a monument from Coba), it is expressed as, where the larger units are evidently supposed to be 13s in all larger places. In this age we are only approaching, and the larger places are nowhere near the 13s that would match the end of the last creation.

This is confirmed by a date from Palenque, which projects forward in time to, which will occur on October 13, 4772. The Classic Period Maya obviously did not believe that the end of this age would occur in 2012. According to the Maya, there will be a baktun ending in 2012, a significant event being the end of a 400 year period, but not the end of the age.

Some people believe 2012 is the end, though, a notion which runs eerily parallel to the Christian end-times mythology. Curious stuff.

Tags: , , , ,

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Cafferty Show

The Cafferty Show

Why doesn't it exist yet? He is one of the few news anchors worth watching, if you ask me. But see for yourself.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

You Don't Say!

You Don't Say!

Here is a very interesting tidbit from Lou Dobbs, who has been all over the Dubai ports deal. Sure it's fun to watch him make fun of shrubya's goon squad, but the highlight is the snippet about the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act.

Things that make you go hmmmm...

Tags: , , , , , ,

Friday, March 03, 2006

WHIG: The Sequel

WHIG: The Sequel

With all the sabre-rattling over Iran, it should come as no surprise that the U.S. is now establishing a special office solely to deal with Iran. But even they aren't foolish enough to make such obvious comparisons to the Iraq campaign; this one is called the "Office of Iran Affairs." Sound familiar? It should:

The U.S. State Department is creating a special office to deal with foreign policy changes related to Iran and to promote a democratic transition in the Islamic republic, State Department officials said Thursday.

Traditionally, Iran has been dealt with as part of a larger grouping of Persian Gulf countries, but the officials said the new Office of Iran Affairs reflects a growing concern over actions by the Iranian regime and the need to devote significantly more personnel and resources to Iran policy.

...The office will deal with Tehran's support for groups on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations and Iran's alleged human rights violations. The office also will be involved in issues related to Iran's nuclear energy program, which the Bush administration fears is designed to develop nuclear weapons.

Just replace "Iran" with "Iraq" and it's just like we're back in 2003. Even scarier: not much else about the plan, if they can be said to have one, is different from before either.

The U.N. watchdog group, the International Atomic Energy Agency, wants Tehran to take action to prove its nuclear energy program is intended for peaceful purposes. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has ordered the Islamic state to end its voluntary cooperation with the IAEA.

The creation of the Iran office comes on the heels of an announcement last month by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice of a $75 million State Department initiative to support democracy in Iran through intensified cultural exchanges, increased programs for democratic advocates and expanded broadcasting into the country.

When asked directly whether the office is being created to promote regime change in Iran, the senior official said the office is being created "to facilitate a change in Iranian policies and actions."

Iranian Chalabis, propaganda, "regime change" - it's the Iraq blueprint all over again. Since they seem to have so much confidence in these already tried and failed plans, can we take this to mean they truly do believe things are going well in Iraq? Did that experience actually give them confidence in their cockamamie schemes?

Speaking of cockamamie schemes, this one does have an added twist that I think explains a whole lot about shrubya's insistence on the Dubai ports deal:

Several new positions are being created worldwide for the new Iran office. In addition to beefing up Washington-based staff working on Iran, a regional center will be built in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to focus on neighboring Iran with four new foreign service posts and four local employees to do outreach. There will also be officers stationed in Germany, Azerbaijan and Britain to deal with Iranian expatriates.

"Frankly, there is an imbalance between Iran's role in the world and its impact on U.S. diplomacy and the resources we are devoting to the portfolio," the senior official said. "When you consider the fact that you have the terrorism problem, proliferation concerns, human rights, democracy issues and regional development, two officers is not enough. In order to pursue our broad agenda concerning the country, we've got to have more people doing it."

I've got a bad feeling about this...

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Republican Study Committee's Warped Agenda

Republican Study Committee's Warped Agenda

Courtesy of Barry Welsh:


1. Make the Tax Cuts Permanent, including the repeal of the marriage-tax penalty and the death tax and pass fundamental tax reform.

2. Pass Budget Process Reform, which includes budgeting for emergencies with a rainy day fund, instituting a sunset commission for federal programs, instituting a constitutional line-item veto, and making the budget resolution carry the force of law.

3. Pass another Deficit Reduction Bill in the form of budget reconciliation, to reign in autopilot spending, which has risen from 25% of all federal spending in 1963 to 54% today, and is expected to reach nearly 60% in 2014.

4. Pass Ethics Reform that requires transparency and earmark reform that permits Members of Congress to strike earmarks on the House floor.

5. Pass the Marriage Protection Amendment, to ensure that marriage, the union of a woman and a man as husband and wife, is not redefined by activist judges.

6. Pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to put our fiscal house in order.

7. Offset all emergency supplemental spending with spending reductions and offset all new programs with simultaneous, equivalent reductions in, or eliminations of, existing programs.

8. Defend the Sanctity of Human Life, which includes banning all human cloning, passing the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act, promoting ethical adult stem cell research, and preventing federal funding for destructive embryonic stem cell research.

9. Pass Protections for Religious Freedom, such as the Pledge of Allegiance, the Ten Commandments, and religious expression in the public square.

10. Pass legislation that stops the raid on the Social Security Trust Fund and allows Americans to own a Personal Social Security Account.

People of Indiana - let Mr. Pence know your thoughts, won't you?

Tags: , , ,

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Slackers, Inc.

Slackers, Inc.

I just now got around to watching footage from Coretta Scott King's funeral. All I really should say is "watch it. now." But I'll add that if you don't, you will regret it. I also must say that the Maya Angelou segment is not to be missed.

Incorrigible as I am wont to be, I will also add that I really don't get all the Wingnutâ„¢ hystrionics over the proceedings. They talk and talk until they're blue in the face about how "inappropriate" some of the more political speeches were - including Reverend Lowery's. Let's ignore for a moment the week-long fetish that accompanied Reagan's funeral and all the attendant paeans to conservativism.

The most astounding thing about this apoplexy the right had over the political musings is the narcissism inherent in believing they are fit to make such judgements. Why do they feel entitled to define the norms for a culture they couldn't begin to understand? If you watch the video, the audience clearly applauds Lowery. Heartily. With cheers. Who the hell do O'Bierne and all the other hand wringers think they are to say that something obviously resonant with the audience members is "inappropriate?"

Do they ever stop to think about the things they say? Don't answer that.

Tags: , , ,