more on the Manchurian Beefcake scandal from Digby

Who Are They Kidding?
And isn’t it interesting that the other main character in the White House payola scandal, Armstrong Williams, was sued by his male assistant for sexual harassment and settled it for an undisclosed sum. (One of the sweeter aspects of that settlement was that the plaintiff was given a nice sinecure at Oliver Stone’s media outfit. Semper Fi, baby.)

It certainly does seem as if the Bush White House is pretty darned tolerant for an administration that mined millions of votes in the evangelical community by being against gay rights. And the Dems and the mainstream press know very well that this is a problem for the Republicans.

George W. Bush’s carefully crafted mystique is built entirely on his manufactured masculinity. In fact, the Republican Party has based its whole image upon the idea that they are the party of macho straight men and the fawning traditional women who love them. They have spent the last 35 years impugning the manhood of every male Democrat and portraying every Democratic feminist as a man-hating bitch — and winning the national security issue pretty much on the basis of what that implied to their bigoted Neanderthal base. It never ends. Back in the day it was “I can’t tell if you’re a boy or a girl with all that hair.” Just last year they spent hundreds of millions of dollars convincing a large number of people that a documented war hero (and killer) was a mincing, vacillating “Frenchman.” What do you think that that was all about?

I’ve always believed that one of the main reasons Clinton frustrated them so much was that his womanizing protected him from the ongoing gay-baiting subtext of the Republican appeal. It took one of their most potent arrows out of the quiver. The best they could do was call Hillary a dyke.

Every time the Republicans are called upon to squeal “don’t ask don’t tell” when asked about JimJeff Gannon, it puts another hairline crack in their coalition. Don’t ever think that this does not affect them. It goes to the very essence of who they portray themselves to be.

and the kicker…

Update: The above many be the subtext, but here’s the hook [Gannon’s own statements suggest he fed exclusive stories damaging Bush opponents to networks; Bragged of feeding Rather story].

Well, isn’t that interesting? </ChurchLadyVoice>

blivet – 2004/09/11

Fifty-two Days #

We have 52 days to make a difference in 2004 and beyond. Kerry is not out of the race. Bush is not ‘winning.’ Nothing has been decided, yet.

Operation Ignore #

A chapter excerpt from Al Franken’s book: Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them. via Atrios

9/11… #

Kevin Drum on Juan Cole’s reminder of what Osama bin Laden was trying to accomplish with his attacks three years ago.

Drum sums up with “We are where we are because of George Bush. Never forget that.” Exactly.

9/11 #

A sad anniversary of a terrible day. Remember, we can put our flags out in commemoration as well, the stars and stripes do not belong only to the Republicans…

blivet – 2004/03/18

Turning The Tide #

Noam Chomsky blogs. [wood s lot]

"The Panda’s Thumb" is many things… #

Many pointers to this weblog "dedicated to defending the integrity of science against all attempts to weaken it, distort it, or destroy it" today…

""The Panda’s Thumb" is many things…

First, it is an example of jury-rigged evolutionary adaptation made famous by the late Stephen Jay Gould in an essay of the same name. Second, it is the legendary virtual bar serving the community of the legendary virtual University of Ediacara somewhere in the Ediacaran hills of southern Australia, growing out of the lore of the Usenet talk.origins newsgroup. And now it is a weblog giving another voice for the defenders of the integrity of science, the patrons of "The Panda’s Thumb".

Much as in any tavern serving a university community, you can expect to hear a variety of levels of discussion, ranging from the picayune to the pedantic. The authors are people associated with the virtual University of Ediacara (and thus the talk.origins newsgroup), and various web sites critical of the antievolution movement, such as the TalkOrigins Archive, TalkDesign, and Antievolution.org.

So, here’s a virtual pub crawl that you might actually learn something from. We hope you find your time spent here pleasant and rewarding." [The Panda’s Thumb]

blivet – 2002/09/11

Honor them with peace, not war.

It has been a year since the tragedy of 11 September. Today we personally remember in whatever manner we deem fitting. Nationally, we will be flooded with messages from many corners telling us how we should feel and act. Today, my thoughts, compassions, and prayers go to all who lost husbands, wives, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, friends and relatives of every kind, co-workers, casual acquaintances, and complete strangers.

I don’t know what else to say except that I hope that we, individually and collectively, can begin to piece our lives and our world back together. Perhaps we will then begin to quit starting at shadows and whispers. Perhaps then we can rebuild our society of freedom, openness, and trust we have left behind.

This will doubtless include bringing more to answer for the murders of so many. This is right action. Many other things that are contemplated are not right action as they are motivated by personal, political, and, I fear, corporate gain. This is not right action.

When we have returned to our lives we can truly say we are honoring the innocents slain a year ago. Of course, this is my opinion. You may have a differing one. That is part of being free.

Except for what is above, blivet will have no postings today.

blivet – 2/5/2002

I have to go to bed…

More really good things on PBS tonight. On NOVA was a Secrets, Lies, and Atomic Spies which "chronicles the lives and covert activities of the so-called "atom spies" in the 1940s, including the big one that got away". Then came what turned out to be a rebroadcast, Bill Moyers Reports: Trading Democracy. "Bill Moyers takes an investigative look at the way corporate investors are using an obscure provision in the North American Free Trade Agreement to secretly challenge laws, regulations and jury verdicts before an international trade tribunal." The NOVA program was good, excellent in fact, but that is not unusual. The Moyers program just blew me away completely. It is truly sad that there is not a companion website for this program like often accompanies things broadcast on PBS. It’s beyond sad really, the provisions of NAFTA – Chapter 11 are devastating to the rights of citizens, municipalities, and it seems, nations, when corporations feel their profits are being lessened. Most especially where environmental law is concerned. Really disgusting and disturbing corporate behavior.

All Aboard… This heartens me greatly as several months ago I did not imagine that Doug could sound so upbeat about his workplace. Fantastic! I’m really happy for you Doug! [Erehwon Notebook] [ed. note: I added the link to Doc’s piece which was further up on Doug’s page]

"(…)Over the past few months, I and an incredible team of people have literally revolutionized a failing business through the application of the simple principle Doc outlines above. Technology enables it, but isn’t the heart of it. Our organization functions like a web. Decision-making is distributed, with the people best equipped to make decisions completely able to do so. Most importantly, we strive to make information as accessible and as transparent as we can. Knowledge isn’t the possession of senior management, to be distributed in small packets and kept compartmentalized. (…)"

Man, I have *got* to start going to those staff meetings! John (genehack) is at a new url, jumped the post-doc ship and donned the "That’s Doctor Root to you" mantle at the same place. He got a step in pay to be a sysadmin too I’ll bet. At least I hope so, unless Bio post-docs get paid a lot more than Archaeo post-doc. But he sounds happier. (Hi John!) Tangent: Does anything besides being a Grad TA pay less than an Archaeo post-doc? [corrected a typo 2/7]

Levi’s "Crazy Legs" Super Bowl XXVI ad
Thanks Rafé

"Here’s a USA Today article about Johnny Cervin, the dancer in the Levi’s "Crazy Legs" Super Bowl ad. The ad was filmed in Mexico City, and directed by Spike Jonze. All of Cervin’s moves were real, but they superimposed an image of his perfectly still upper body into the video. (Thanks, Tara.)"

blivet – 1/25/2002

Thanks for the kind words about Ian. Like any new parent, I never tire of looking at him or talking about him.

American Samizdat, a group effort from some familiar bloggers.

These are great thoughts from Craig. (Your Uncle Albert sounds like a great guy.)

"Be good to yourself and to your loved ones. Call up an old friend or relative that you haven’t seen in a long time. Tell them that you love them, before you miss your last chance."

Introducing: Matthias Xavier Kurt Roepcke. Hi little guy! [have browser, will travel]

blivet – 11/23/2001

Ken posted this amazing letter to the editor from today’s (23 Nov) edition of the Eugene Register-Guard.

Susan Kitchens of 2020Hindsight came by the blivet hacienda and got to meet Ian.

Susan Kitchens of 2020Hindsight stopped by and got to meet Ian. At one point it got rather recursive (Susan taking a picture of Hal taking a picture of Susan taking a picture…).

It was really good to see her again and hear about some of her projects. Of course Ian was sociable, as always.


The Doonesbury comic strip that has Rush upset. I had already cut it out, I’ll just find a better place to hang it. via wood s lot

Jonas is off to Thailand. I hope you have a great time and that things work out…

I don’t know if I had anything to do with it (it was Thanksgiving in the USA after all), but I really enjoyed reading what people were thankful for yesterday.

catching up a bit…

Have a look at these great interactive maps of Afghanistan at National Geographic.
via Charles at little green footballs who got it from Jon Swenson

This has been happening for several years ˜ today is Buy Nothing Day! via adbusters

Eliot (FMH), thank you for the linkage.

blivet – 8/25/2001

The National Writer’s Union has released their report on Pay Rates for Freelance Journalists. From my rather cursory investigations I knew the rates don’t come close to providing a living wage ˜ they are even less than being a consulting archaeologist! However, I was not prepared for "In real dollars, freelance rates have declined by more than 50 percent since the 1960s." Ack! pointer via MetaFilter

I’m glad you like The Importance of Philosophy to Engineering article, David. I’m still working my way through it as well.

A couple of quick pointers found along the way as I follow a tangent this morning…

Wild Earth – The Journal of Wildlands Recovery and Protection

Friends of Nevada Wilderness

blivet – 5/30/2001

Give Me a Hug: When Multinationals Want to Be Our Friend
by Naomi Klein at the Globe & Mail. via wood s lot. this brought me up short and captured my attention – I’ve used the same quote in the (vain) hope of achieving the same effect:

…it’s one of the ironies of our branded age that, as corporations become more remote by cutting lasting ties with us as their employees, they are increasingly sidling up to us as consumers, whispering sweet nothings in our ear about friendship and community. It’s not just Shoppers: Wal-Mart ads tell stories about clerks who, in a pinch, lend customers their own wedding gowns, and Saturn ads are populated by car dealers who offer counselling [sic –ed.] when customers lose their jobs. You see, according to the new marketing book, Values Added, modern marketers have to “make your brand a cause and your cause a brand.”(…)

Ever since large corporations such as Nike, Shell and Monsanto began facing increased scrutiny from civil society — mostly for putting short-term profits far ahead of environmental responsibility and job security — an industry has ballooned to help these companies respond. It seems clear, however, that many in the corporate world remain utterly convinced that all they have is a “messaging problem,” one that can be neatly solved by settling on the right, socially minded brand identity.(…)

Nothing will change until corporations realize that they don’t have a communications problem. They have a reality problem.

While you’re at it, don’t miss Toxic Culture Syndrome– by Kalle Lasn, also at the Globe & Mail.

garret news: “for those who have a lack of ‘danger’ in their lives, maybe this will suffice until things get straightened out.” His discussion group and image galleries are accessible, but no archives at the present time. By all means check out herodotus.

Thanks for the linkage Dori!

Friday marks a major career and personal milestone for a friend, Dave Rogers. I’ve been reading your writing for some time Dave, I wish you the best. Hey! My copy of Photoshop doesn’t have the George Clooney or liposuction filters either! What’s going on here?

Good Morning. I think it’s morning anyway. I’m running late – updates will follow uh…, later.

blivet – 4/11/2001

Wes has a new logo for Hack the Planet Prime! I like it

ockham’s razor, a new blog. heads up from wood s lot

The 25 top stories buried by the mainstream media in 2000 from Project Censored. “Some of the stories you missed: The bombing of the Chinese Embassy in the former Yugoslavia may not have been an accident. The United States could have stopped genocide in Rwanda. An independent study found that genetically modified foods cause serious health problems in rats. And multinational companies are fighting to privatize and commodify the world’s water supply.” link via Jeff

I’ve been a giant histamine reaction for the last five days and a bit off my feed. I love Spring even if its not very nice back. I hope the rest of you are feeling better. Speaking of you all out there, how’s your back doing Al?


Just a little preliminary page flip action – updates to come.