Monthly Archives: February 2012

The Congress of the Forest

A parable for Leap Day, with apologies to Aesop or whomever.

One momentous day, the Forest Congress assembled to debate the burning issue of the hour: a bill had been offered declaring every acorn a tree, and, thus, all criminal penalties should accrue to anyone disturbing an acorn just as they would to anyone cutting down a tree.

The Animal Caucus

The beaver delegation had boycotted the meeting in protest, but the deer and squirrels, especially targeted by this proposed ordinance had caucused earlier with the other animals and insects to prepare a unified front in opposition. Following the reading of the Bill, the leader of the Trees, a firebrand Oak named Orville took the floor to speak:

Senator Orville, an Oak: As I come before you today to defend the sanctity of all vegetable life, I know that I speak not only for my kind, but for all trees and shrubs everywhere when I tell you that a tree is a tree from its first moment as a seed on the ground. Continue reading

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Hart Williams Presents, Stardate 3.14159

Clown Noir

You know the drill: I find the “funny” headlines and comment on them. If not, catch up: I’ve been doing this irregularly since 1984. Today’s extra-special pantload is focused on mindless hatred. I know this doesn’t winnow down the GOP/Rightie blogosmear­ very much, but their accidental art relieves the tedium of actually reading their latest rewrites of Mein Kampf. Ready? Steady? GO!

Man, the mushrooms must’ve arrived at the basement of their grandmothers, from whence they broadcast their fake news: Sex and drugs and mock & -(soul). Continue reading

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The Silence of the Eloi; The Feasting of the Morlocks

In case no one’s noticed (and no one has), The Daily Caller, financed by Foster Friess, has successfully pushed its “destroy MediaMatters” scandal into the Murdochosphere, as a choreographed and concerted campaign to take out yet another “liberal threat” is taking place without any defense from the left.

Eloi and Morlock

How long before nobody’s left, in that Niemöllerian sense? Continue reading


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Happy Birthday, Theodore Sturgeon

Today would have been Ted’s 94th birthday. (He passed away in 1985).

And a good time to reprint this:

1 December 2009 · 7:06 pm

Sturgeon is Neither Alive nor Well

Just in time for Christmas, I received Slow Sculpture, Volume XII of the complete stories of Theodore Sturgeon (hardcover, North Atlantic Press, $35,  299 p.)

There are a number of interesting sidelights about it: this is the first of two volumes (Vol. XIII will be the final volume in 2010) to be edited by his daughter Noël Sturgeon (who has suffered a lifetime of umlaut displacement, generally as ö), because Paul Williams, legendary ’60s journalist and founder of the first rock magazine, Crawdaddy, “confidant of John Lennon, biographer of Bob Dylan and traveling companion to the Grateful Dead,” who had edited the previous eleven volumes of the Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon, beginning in 1991, and to whom this volume is dedicated: “He started this project in 1991 and stayed with it until Alzheimer’s from a brain injury made it impossible for him to continue.” Continue reading


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A Bedtime Story for the New Depression, redux

Naturally, given the “too big to fail” banks wild speculation in oil futures, even in the face of over-supply and under-demand, somehow it’s Obama’s fault, according to Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas:

Hutchison also hit the president on the more recent issue of rising gas prices.

“We can’t slow down global demand for oil and gas, but we can do a lot more here at home to assure that we have the energy we need and to halt skyrocketing costs,” she said. “But President Obama’s policy has resulted in an unprecedented slowdown in new exploration and production of oil and gas.”

Which is (you guessed it) utterly FALSE. Domestic production has far surpassed Bush the Dumber levels, and continues to grow.

Return with us to those thrilling days of yesteryear, or September 29, 2008, as we watched the speculators wrecking the US economy: Continue reading


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The Road Ahead

It actually takes longer to scan and tweak, format, etc. than it does to write a complete column.

But I didn’t feel like writing today. So … Continue reading


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Religious Freedom and God’s Own Perfidy

Er, sorry, I meant “Grand Old Party.” Must’ve slipped.

Let’s be very clear here: the “religious freedom” being invoked is the freedom to deny health care to women. Period.

When the Christian Scientists do this to their children, we rightly prosecute them for manslaughter or murder.

The execution of Anne Askew, Smithfield, England 1546

The issue that seems to have evaded the Religious Right is that, while ideology might bind them together, the second that religious issues become paramount, they will happily stab one another in the back as readily as they’re willing to stab women in the back (or elsewhere) based on the most tenuous of justifications.

Seldom have so many crocodile tears been shed in the service of such perfidy. Continue reading


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Foster Friess and the Famestream Feedia

I have been on this story for awhile — long enough to have monitored the coverage of Friess — and the coverage is, to put it mildly, AWFUL.

Foster’s little cross to Bayer

Yesterday, in Salon, Robert Reich talked about the plutocrats financing the GOP presidential primary. Friess was identified as:

Freiss, a fund manager based in Jackson Hole, Wyo., gave $669,000 (he had given the Santorum super PAC $331,000 last year, bringing Freiss’ total to $1 million).

Zowie. Well, Reich can be forgiven, as a NOT professional journalist, for not knowing that Friess retired ELEVEN YEARS AGO. But, if it’s any comfort to Reich, his “facts” aren’t any worse than anybody else’s. In the month since Foster made the jump from blogosphere to famestream feedia, there have been lots of stories about Mr. “Aspirin between the knees,” but none that I am aware of has given you any more information than is contained in this paragraph.

How pathetic is that? How bought and owned are your commercial “news” outlets, given a month to cover an important story, when they haven’t dug one micron deeper than the superficial? Continue reading

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Sorry: Glenn Beck is NOT a Catholic

The question here isn’t whether Glenn Beck is a delusional idiot. The real question is WHO at the Washington Post decided that this hogswallop was worthy of publication in any serious newspaper?

Why we are all Catholics now
By Glenn Beck

Photo: Beck meets the newly elevated Cardinal Timothy Dolan in the Vatican.

I am a proud member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but today, I call myself a Catholic. Why? Because the state is telling the Catholic Church to violate its principles and teachings. So if you are a person of faith, you must call yourself a Catholic.

Today, the Catholic Church is defending a historic American freedom. We tend to forget that many of America’s earliest European settlers were religious refugees. Europe was not a kind place to the faithful if the state didn’t approve: Jews in Spain, Puritans in England, Protestants in France and so on. You were cast out, or worse…

Self-righteous, pseudo-persecuted moron.

This is a hilarious internal contradiction, when you realize that the Jews in Spain and the Protestants in France were being PERSECUTED BY THE CATHOLIC CHUCH!

Here is the Catholic Church’s position on Mormonism (note the “Nihil Obstat and Imprimateur at the bottom of the document.): Continue reading


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Foster Friess, Fake Cowboy, Fools the Foils

Frustrating, that’s what it is.  I started covering Foster Friess — albeit unknowingly — in 2007. So, to see that our postmeridian and matutinal media mavens, our profound political pundits, our fulminating famous frothy photonic philologists haven’t even gotten to square one … well, it’s frustrating on YOUR behalf.

fake cowboys are nothing new in American popular culture

… that Friess’ $3 million dollar baby, The Daily Caller is on a media jihad to destroy MediaMatters, just as they have engaged in several other media “hits” — a vile practice that generally dates back to Karl Rove and the Blogosmear taking out Dan Rather over “proportional spacing” — but no media outlet bothers connecting the dots. Continue reading


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The Difference Between Republicans and Democrats (redux)

[This post first appeared on March 27, 2008, and bears repeating.]

To a recovering Republikan, who cannot fathom the circular firing squad nature of Democratic party politics: There is a fundamental difference in style between the two parties — but they switch sides on issues constantly. (Remember when REPUBLIKLANS were screaming about deficit spending?)*

[* 2012 - Whoops! Somehow they've switched 180 degrees again.]


The Republiklan Party is run as though Continue reading

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If Patrick Henry Had Been Born A Woman

She’d have said this.


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An Immodest Proposal

[CONTENT WARNING: There are three uses of one bad word here that could make you cry. So please be careful.]

Since the Republicans have made clear that they are against women in so many ways (that no man would ever accept, were they prone to the same biological tyranny, and would lead to bloody revolution), allow me to suggest a somewhat less bloody and certainly more effective solution.

Lysistrata by Aubrey Beardsley

American women should stop fucking all Republicans and Conservatives. Period. Call it the “Lysistrata” option: Continue reading


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Public Employee Spreads Hate on Taxpayers’ Dime


I have to start with my ethics, because I’ve spent more than 48 hours wrestling with whether what I’m about to do is the RIGHT thing to do. Right as in “correct,” and “proper,” and not as politics, as is in common parlance.

George Washington statue at
Independence Hall, Philadelphia

You see, I posted three hours of a radio interview into six years of investigative reporting that’s been recognized by outlets from PBS’ “NOW” to the Portland Oregonian.

And then a conservative blogger responded with hate speech of at least vaguely grammatical insensate rage.

And he did it on the Oakland Schools, White Lake, Commerce Township, Michigan server. On the official government servers. I have zero doubt that this is — apart from the hypocrisy of railing against “big government” and tax fraud and waste on the government’s dime — clearly a violation of local and state policy. Continue reading


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