Monthly Archives: December 2006

What’s yer accent?

We all move around, some of us think we have adopted new accents. Check out this site to see if your accent is showing.

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Riverbend sums up the state of Iraq

link
This blogger in Iraq tells the facts from the Iraqi POV. A few samples:

1. The UN has to open a special branch just to keep track of the chaos and bloodshed, UNAMI.
2. Abovementioned branch cannot be run from your country.
3. The politicians who worked to put your country in this sorry state can no longer be found inside of, or anywhere near, its borders.
4.The only thing the US and Iran can agree about is the deteriorating state of your nation.
5. An 8-year war and 13-year blockade are looking like the country’s ‘Golden Years’.
6. Your country is purportedly ‘selling’ 2 million barrels of oil a day, but you are standing in line for 4 hours for black market gasoline for the generator.
7. For every 5 hours of no electricity, you get one hour of public electricity and then the government announces it’s going to cut back on providing that hour.
8. Politicians who supported the war spend tv time debating whether it is ‘sectarian bloodshed’ or ‘civil war’.
9. People consider themselves lucky if they can actually identify the corpse of the relative that’s been missing for two weeks.

Go read it.

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Filed under George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Iraq, Middle East, Politics

How old is the Grand Canyon? Park Rangers: “no comment.” UPDATE: not so much

Yes, international tourists visiting the United States, we ARE idiots here. Not just over the line, but actual imbeciles. Don’t think you have anything to fear from THIS country, led by the geniuses who came up with this nonsense:

Washington, DC — Grand Canyon National Park is not permitted to give an official estimate of the geologic age of its principal feature, due to pressure from Bush administration appointees. Despite promising a prompt review of its approval for a book claiming the Grand Canyon was created by Noah’s flood rather than by geologic forces, more than three years later no review has ever been done and the book remains on sale at the park, according to documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

(link)

are they at least able to say, “it was here when I was hired….” ?

[UPDATE: DarkSyde at dkos fires a sarcastic scientific shotgun blast in the face of the creationists who demanded this of the deeply corrupt and stupid Republican administration.]

UPDATE: according to this post, the “no comment” may not be based in fact.

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Filed under Outdoors, Politics, religion

Ford’s Heaven-dential campaign asks Bush not to stump [UPDATED]

Pearly Gates HVN (HP)– The Heaven-dential campaign staff of former US president Gerald R. Ford has requested that current president George W. Bush not appear on behalf of Ford’s campaign to enter The Pearly Gates. Citing Bush’s low popularity in the Heaventh Congressional district, Ford’s choir of angels announced that Bush will not be invited to appear at the next and most important campaign stop, Ford’s funeral in Arlington next week.

Ford’s heavenly people have been trying to distance the affable dead Michigan Republican from Bush, as polls have shown that most angels in heaven would not vote for Bush, if the election were held today. In Ford’s latest posthumous speech, delivered by fallen angel Bob “Thou Art the Glory Forever” Woodward, Ford distanced himself significantly from Bush’s most sinful act, the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, and all the “over the sin-line” behavior that followed therefrom: lying, killing, rape, torture, greed, probably some lust, a whole lot of coveting thy neighbor’s petroleum deposits, and boocoo taking the name of the Lord thy God in vain. Bush’s standing in heaven has been further compromised by recent photographs suggesting, shall we say, at least an aura of evil:
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The Pew poll this week indicates the iffy nature of Ford’s chances at this point: of angels who are likely to vote, Ford holds a slight plurality 45% voting for heaven, 43% for hell, and 12% undecided, with a margin of error of 3%. Ford’s other big liability besides Bush, the pardon of Richard Nixon, has lost him considerable votes among the “judge the quick and the dead” wing of the angels.

Word from the Bush camp in Texas is that Bush will allow Ford to Run in Peace (RIP), and comply with the request from “on high,” to remain out of public view during the Ford funeral, perhaps the most important Ford Heaven-dential campaign stop [UPDATE: Bush will participate in the viewing, on Jan. 1, in the Capitol Rotunda; there are rumors that he will be required to wear a hood to prevent him from spitting on the remains.]. [UPDATE II: Bush risked a lightning strike by actually speaking at the funeral. I can only guess at what this might mean for Ford's chances for eternal salvation/damnation.] During the funeral, many godly and truthful persons will testify to the goodness of President Ford, citing his involvement with football, Grand Rapids, and an occasional person of color, during his long and faithful stint in the Republican Party. It is hoped that these final testimonials will pursuade the undecideds among the heavenly host to vote in favor of opening the pearly gates to Ford, whose campaign slogan
“ETERNAL MORE YEARS”

has proven to be a non-starter.

Bush’s prepared funeral speech, (a draft of which circulated through the Ford camp) reportedly included a number of references to Republicans who are not (and apparently never will be) residents of the Heaventh Congressional District, such as Donald Segretti, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Nixon, Abu Gonzales, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, John Bolton, Bill Kristol, Jack Abramoff, and Henry Kissinger.

Other personal and political issues are also a concern for the angels: first, of course, there’s the farting. And even more importantly, Ford’s people have been informed that Bush’s failure to address “climate change” has made the Texan very unpopular in Heaven, where rising temperatures prompted one resident to comment, “Jesus H. Christ on a biscuit, it’s hotter than Hell here today!”

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Filed under George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Humor, Politics, religion

Bush’s new CD: Had to be re-recorded

Laura Bush reportedly gave the President a CD for Christmas: “Overnight Sensational”, by Sam Moore, of the duo from so many years ago, “Sam and Dave.” The preznint appreciated the syntactically incorrect title.

But some of the songs were just…well, not to the W’s liking. Not constrained by facts, Bush ordered the titles changed, and the songs re-recorded. It took some time, what with the preznint having to spend 12-15 minutes a day figuring out our next misstep in the Middle East. But here is the finished version. Bush is reported to be very pleased. I, however thought it was a little over the line.

“I Can’t Stand the Rain Hard Work”- with Wynonna, Special guests Bekka Bramlett and Bebe Winans (vocals) and Billy Preston (Hammond B-3)

“Better To Have Make War And Not Need Peace” – with Bruce Springsteen

“Blame It On The Rain Democrats” – with Fantasia

“Lookin’ For A Love WMD” – with Jon Bon Jovi

“Ain’t No Love Stay the Course” – with Steve Winwood

“None Of Us Are Free enlisting in the military” – with Sting

“It’s Only Make Believe a number” – special guest vocals by Mariah Carey and Vince Gill

“Don’t Play That Song (You Lied)” – with Bekka Bramlett deleted

“If I Had No Loot I’d go back to Wyoming” – with Van Hunt and Nikka Costa, special guest Billy F.Gibbons Dick Cheney (guitar)

Riding Purple Thumb” – with Travis Tritt, Special guest Robert Randolph (pedal steel)

“We Shall Be Free of Helen Thomas in two years” – with Paul Rodgers

“You Are So Beautiful Sleeping So Well” – with Billy Preston, special guests Zucchero (vocals), Eric Clapton (guitar) and Robert Randolph (pedal steel)

I don’t think these new versions are up on iTunes yet, but I intend to keep checking every hour or so, and will post an update when they come up.

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Filed under entertainment, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Humor, music, Politics

war in Iraq/neglect of Afghanistan: deadly heroin epidemic in US

LA Times

More blowback from Bush’s ridiculous and illegal invasion of Iraq.

Afghanistan is a failed state, but a sweeping success in growing poppies. As a result, the price of a hit of heroin in the US is now about the same as the price of a candy bar. Literally. Lower prices, bigger doses, more OD’s, more addiction.

Poppy production in Afghanistan jumped significantly after the 2001 U.S. invasion destabilized an already shaky economy, leading farmers to turn to the opium market to survive.

Not only is more heroin being produced from Afghan poppies coming into the United States, it is also the purest in the world, according to the DEA’s National Drug Intelligence Center.

Despite the agency’s own reports, a DEA spokesman denied that more heroin was reaching the United States from Afghanistan. “We are NOT seeing a nationwide spike in Afghanistan-based heroin,” Garrison K. Courtney wrote in an e-mail to The Times.

He said in an interview that the report that showed the growth of Afghanistan’s U.S. market share was one of many sources the agency used to evaluate drug trends. He refused to provide a copy of DEA reports that could provide an explanation.

The agency declined to give The Times the report on the doubling of Afghan heroin into the U.S. A copy was provided by the office of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a member of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control.

Maybe once it hits the suburbs of Dallas, somebody will figure out that this is over the line.

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Filed under George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Middle East, Politics

Noka chocolate: It costs more, doesn’t that make it better?

[Crossposted at dailykos]

This is one of the funniest “over-the-line” stories (and best reporting) I’ve seen in a long, LONG time. The rich folks in Texas, in part through the gold-plated auspices of Niemann-Marcus, have been paying greater-than-caviar prices for this slyly marketed but quite ordinary chocolate.

Vintages Collection (i.e., molded tablets) — Signature Box (i.e., stainless steel).
96 piece — approximately $464 per pound
48 piece — approximately $795 per pound
24 piece — approximately $1,146 per pound
12 piece — approximately $1,760 per pound
4 piece — approximately $2,080 per pound

Let’s compare that with the products of some commonly known chocolatiers. Godiva chocolates range from about $30 to $65 per pound. Joseph Schmidt chocolates range from around $30 to $55 per pound. Fran’s chocolates cost around $55 to $70 per pound. Michael Recchiuti’s chocolates run from $58 to $85 per pound. And La Maison du Chocolat ranges from about $65 to $85 per pound.

My only regret is that a “Sideways”-kind of movie wasn’t made of the faux-connoisseur chocolate buffs who made a lot of bucks for these entrepreneurs.

The piece is quite long and detailed, explaining some of the intricacies of the chocolate industry. Briefly, there are bean grows, chocolate processors, and “chocolatiers”, who basically melt down bulk chocolate, pour it into molds, and then put it in fancy boxes.

Noka has slyly implied by its statements and its evasiveness that it is not simply a chocolatier, and that its chocolate is somehow the best. In reality, as the reporter brilliantly shows, Noka seems to simply buy bulk chocolate from Bonnat, one of the many chocolate processors, whose product is by no means the highest rated.

How much does Bonnat cost? The bars I used for the taste-testing in this report were purchased from Chocosphere for $33.99 per pound. Keep in mind that this is retail pricing for individually molded and wrapped 100-gram bars. Buying the same bars from the authorized US distributor (with a minimum order of a case of 6 bars) pushes the price down to $17.82 per pound. By purchasing blocks of couverture (rather than individual portioned bars) and cutting out the middleman, I’d be very surprised if Noka is paying more than $11-12 per pound.

Noka, according to the piece, then does a rather amateurish job of melting it into candy in a modest strip mall storefront in suburban Plano, TX, but a masterful job of marketing it to snobby Texans who have too much money for their own good.
I say congratulations to the reporter, but also to the two ex-accountants who started Noka; they have both done a spectacular “take-down”.

(link)

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Filed under food/drink, gadgets, Humor, Texas