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August 23, 2006

Chicken Little? Nope, Never Heard of Him

Here I am trying to contemplate my navel, and The Countess is doing her darndest to distract and annoy me. Oh well, today's piece of lint is a tiny add on to Juan Cole's Bush's Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

If anything it's a thank you to these bozo's consistency. Yes, they're running about trying to scare everyone by telling us that the sky is falling. The good bit is that since they believe so thoroughly in their own infallibility, they simply cannot concieve of the fact that this time around is isn't working.

From polls and anecdotal stories, it would appear that some wrong-wingers are going to be tossed out of office. Of course, the down side if the CL story is that should the sky actually fall, we're not going to believe it. These guys really could fuck up a wet dream.

Even the right wing base is becoming indifferent... the funny thing is that they like being scared (to get closer to the Appy Pocky Lipsy, don't cha know) but even they've picked up on the fact that the scare is bogus, plus that more mundane fact... that Bush & Co. haven't done squat to further their agenda. Can it be, even the religious wrong demands competence, results and accountability?

Posted on August 23, 2006 at 06:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)

Parody and Stupidity, Oh My

I can't pass this stuff up without commenting on it. I know I've been away for a few weeks. Been busy trying to live and write my erotica stuff. I finally got the name of the new Cliterature editor at Scarlet Magazine, so I don't feel as if I'm sending my erotic stories into ether anymore. That is a great relief to me.

I just couldn't pass this stuff up. First, the Stupidity Awards. They are truly precious. I vote for Cheney because he has affected more people with his stupidity than the penis pump judge. That judge got off easy. (Heh... she said "got off"... heh, heh, heh...)

STUPIDEST MAN OF THE YEAR

1) Donald Thompson – District Judge – a.k.a. Oklahoma Penis Pump Judge. 
He operated a powerful penis pump underneath his robes during at least three trials while court was in session (two of which were murder trials). Convicted June 29, 2006 on four counts of felony indecent exposure.
2) Michael Brown - former director of FEMA
3) Kim Jong Il - North Korean dictator
4) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad  - President of Iran
5) Dick Cheney - Vice President of the United States

Why stop there? Here are more.

STUPIDEST STATEMENT OF THE YEAR
1) "No fruit loops!”  Ex-Dictator Saddam Hussein on his breakfast of choice while in jail.
2) "They think work is a four-letter word." – Senator Hillary Clinton, speaking about kids today.
3) "I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency."  - Vice President Dick Cheney, on Iraq.
4) “What do you think you’re looking at, sugar tits?” Mel Gibson to female Sergeant in Malibu, California following his arrest for drunk driving.
5) "My family and I are deeply sorry for all that Vice President Cheney and his family have had to go through this past week," Harry Whittington, after Dick Cheney shot him in the face. February 17, 2006

THE DUMBEST MOMENT OF THE YEAR
1) Zinedine Zidane head butts Marco Materazzi in the World Cup final and is ejected.
2) Vice President Dick Cheney shoots friend
3) Britney Spears speeds with her baby’s head close to steering wheel
4) Danish Newspaper Jyllands-Posten publishes the controversial Mohammed cartoons
5) Protesters violently demonstrate against the Danish Mohammed cartoons
 
STUPIDITY AWARD FOR MAKING A STUPID SITUATION STUPIDER
1) Mel Gibson offering to urinate on the floor following his arrest for drunk driving.
2) Britney Spears almost dropping her baby after driving dangerously with him twice, and then talking about it on TV
3)  Nick Flynn trips on his shoelaces, falls down a set of stairs and smashes three priceless antique Chinese vases in a museum. Flynn then criticized the museum for not taking better care of its displays.
4) The Bush Administration in Iraq
5) Deciding not to tell anyone after Vice President Dick Cheney shoots his friend.

I have to admit that I don't have warm fuzzies over Hilary Clinton. She does nothing for me. However, Mel Gibson, George W. Bush, and Dick Cheney don't leave me feeling much love either. It's really a draw as far as I'm concerned for those folks. I'll let others decide instead of me.

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Now that we've done away with Stupidity, let's deal with Parody. The prizes for the Bulwar-Lytton Awards is in. I'm happy to announce the Grand Prize Winner, and my favorite entries that won prizes. For those not familiar with this gem, the Bulwer-Lyttons are awarded to very bad prose, depicting the opening words of a famous, bad novel. I will warn you - many of these winners may bring on apoplexy and Saint Vitus Dance.

GRAND PRIZE WINNER

Detective Bart Lasiter was in his office studying the light from his one small window falling on his super burrito when the door swung open to reveal a woman whose body said you've had your last burrito for a while, whose face said angels did exist, and whose eyes said she could make you dig your own grave and lick the shovel clean.
Jim Guigli
Carmichael, CA

RUNNER UP

"I know what you're thinking, punk," hissed Wordy Harry to his new editor, "you're thinking, 'Did he use six superfluous adjectives or only five?' - and to tell the truth, I forgot myself in all this excitement; but being as this is English, the most powerful language in the world, whose subtle nuances will blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel loquacious?' - well do you, punk?"
Stuart Vasepuru
Edinburgh, Scotland

Winner: Children's Literature

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe who had so much equity (because our story, dear children, is set in Miami's hot real estate market) that she upgraded the exterior to blue suede siding as a tribute to her idol, Elvis, moved her kids to a bootee out back, and then reopened the place as the "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" motel (but you'll have to wait until you're 18 to read any further).
Barbara Bridges
Sierra Madre, CA

Runner-Up - Historical Fiction

The McCain boys strode off proudly to fight in the Civil War, one for the Union and one for the Confederacy, neither of them giving a single thought to who would play them in the television movie of their story, which would be decided more than a hundred years later by 20-something casting agents who kept getting the Civil War and World War II mixed up.
Carmen Fought
Diamond Bar, CA

Miscellaneous Dishonorable Mention

I saw her from across the room and knew I had to meet her, not because of her ample bosom, or her full lips, or her beautiful creamy skin, or the way her hair was twisted into a nice tight bun, or the buttoned-up blouse that begged to be torn off her body, or the skirt that was perhaps a size too small, but because she was my kid's teacher and I was here for the parent-teacher conference.
Lori Yates
Kezier, OR

That's more than enough. Go to the link to read the rest.


Posted on August 23, 2006 at 06:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

August 07, 2006

Gingrich, Leave My Country Alone

Think Progress has a bit about Gingrich speaking against voters who are considering backing Lamont in Connecticut and labeling them ostrich insurgents. Ostrich, as in run from Iraq and stick your head in the sand, and insurgents, as in these voters are pretty damn close to being rebels against some holy cause (and in some cases, insurgents are considered traitors).

Gingrich, Get The Fuck Out Of My Country. Shame on you, you know better. You know that this government is for and by "We the People", and trying to smear them and shame them from doing what the people may consider right is stomach turning.

While I disagree with the reasoning behind the ostrich label, it is a statement of disagreement with a potential policy and as such can be fairly made, I wholeheartedly disagree with your use of the insurgent label. Members of Congress are representatives of their constituents. You're framing these voters as somehow trying to hijack the political process and the "good work" of (in this particular case) Lieberman.

If the voters of Connecticut reject Liberman, it is not because they are insurgents trying to throw a monkey wrench into the works. They are "We the People of Connecticut" who do not believe their respresentative, their "servant" in Congress, best represents the concerns of the people he represents. Yes, I am trying to whack a 2x4 upside your head with that last sentence.

While we're at it, who kicked over the rock you've been under these last few years? I see you yourself are sensing the winds of change coming in November and are already trying to position yourself to take advantage as some sort of resurrected "elder statesman" and member of the "loyal opposition". Or, are you trying to be a White Knight who saves the Republican Party from losing congress? There sure would be a lot of folks owing you if you did, wouldn't there?

No, you still represent a reprehensible and failed agenda. Fortunately, the timing of your re-emergrence is completely off and come November you'll be just a another piece of corrupt flotsam caught in the tsunami of change. The crystal ball says... yes, it says... you'll get tarred and feathered alongside the rest of your neo-conservative friends. With luck you'll get the picture and not come back.

Posted on August 7, 2006 at 08:50 AM | Permalink | Comments (33)

August 02, 2006

Father's Rights Activist Arrested For Hitting His Father

Father's rights activists are indefensible. Just when these guys step in and defend each other, usually when they are engaged in damage control, you read yet another example of how horrible they really are. These guys sink themselves with their comments and actions. Father's rights activists like to blame the horrid statements and behavior of their fellow supporters on a "lunatic fringe element". That's just an excuse. The men most active in the fathers' rights movement have engaged in some ugly behavior and they have made ugly statements. Below is yet another example.

I've written about Rinaldo Del Gallo before. He was kicked out of the Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition. Now, he's been arrested for hitting his father. His mother has a restraining order out against him. He's no "fringe element". He was the founder of the Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition, the same group from which he was kicked out.

Father's rights advocate arrested for hitting his dad
Updated: 7/14/2006 10:23 PM
By: Karen Honikel

Rinaldo Del Gallo III, 43, was arraigned in District Court on charges of assault and battery and intimidating a witness. Del Gallo also happens to be a candidate for the Governor's Council 8th District.

It was his mother that called 911.

Captain John O'Neil said, "Pittsfield police received a 911 emergency call from the Del Gallo residence. Officers responding talked to the mother and father. They found probable cause that Mr. De Gallo pushed his father."

This isn't Del Gallo's first scrape with law. He was arrested two years ago.

Captain John O'Neil said, "He was arrested one other time on post office property for gathering signatures. The post office wanted him off the property. He refused to leave the property. He was placed under arrest."

Janie McCormick is the director of Shelter Services for the Berkshire County Community Action Council. She wants people who live in abusive environments to know help is available, and that they don't have to stay in those situations.

McCormick said, "I think that anyone who is involved with any kind of violent act needs to deal with why they are there."

Father's rights advocate arrested for hitting his dad

The founder of the Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition, a group that supports father's rights, was arrested yesterday for allegedly pushing his elderly father.

McCormick also said that people from all walks of life--both men and women, young and old--can find themselves in abusive situations. She said there are so many resources people can turn to, and said that although Del Gallo has not been convicted of abuse, McCormick believes there is a problem.

McCormick said, "I think he needs help. I try to help the clients I deal with on a regular basis."

Del Gallo's mother has taken out a restraining order against her son, who has been living at home for the past five years.

Posted on August 2, 2006 at 03:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (30)

Media Distortions By Father's Rights Activists

I received a lot of e-mail from people telling me about Glenn Sacks's reaction to my Grand Forks Herald column Don't Force "Shared Parenting" On Children. My column was a response to misrepresentations Sacks and co-writer Mike McCormick had written about shared parenting.

As expected, Sacks responded with more misrepresentations. It's rather telling if you can't support your position with the truth. If you can only support your position with more misrepresentations, that doesn't say much for the validity of your position.

The National Network On Family Law Policy responded to Sacks's complaints about criticism of his and McCormick's column. Here it is, below.

Media Distortions by Fathers' Rights Advocates

Glenn Sacks has complained about recent responses to his and other fathers' rights advocates' comments about joint custody. In one of his columns of August 1, 2006, " Feminist Columnist Slams Glenn, ACFC Over North Dakota Shared Parenting Initiative," he attacks Trish Wilson's recent commentary with distortions and misrepresentations.

One has to wonder: if the facts have to be distorted to make your case, isn't that a clue that perhaps your conclusions are incorrect?

The joint custody advocates' primary claim is that men are not being treated equally as parents by the courts. But let's look at what that word "equality" actually means in the law, and not the propaganda and rhetoric.

"Equality before the law" means that persons who are in similar positions will be treated similarly. Thus, for example, if a father is a child's primary caregiver, that fact will be given the same weight as it would if a mother is a child's primary caregiver. And, for example, if a husband is a dependent homemaker spouse, he would be as entitled to alimony as a wife in the same position.

However, a contrived equality of outcome when persons come before the law in dissimilar positions would be tantamount to disparate treatment. It would require taking persons who were not equally situated and treating them differently in order to effect "equality." That's not what "equality under the law" means; in fact it's the anti-thesis of it.

Leaning on his erroneous premise of "equality," Sacks criticizes Wilson's point that "ninety percent of parents settle without the need for court intervention in deciding what form of custody is best for them and for their children." Sacks claims that her "statement is misleading because it implies genuine agreement between parents." Sacks writes that "such accords aren't made in a vacuum -- they're bargained in the shadow of the law. What happens in most cases is that fathers must agree to having a very limited role in their children's lives because they don't have the tens of thousands of dollars (or more) necessary to fight for shared parenting in family law proceedings which are heavily stacked against them."

But Sacks's position is specious. Not only are the fathers coming into court without a marital track record of having been equal carers of the children and household, but when it comes to litigation, it is the men who generally have greater access to funds to litigate, more time to litigate, and more sophistication and ability to network, hire lawyers, and make a case. And be this as it may, the reality is that most men simply don't want joint custody. They don't want it for the very same reasons they were not doing half or more of the housework and childcare when they were married. Their careers and habits don't suddenly alter merely because they are getting divorced. And that's why the vast majority leave "custody" where it de facto was during the marriage, changing as little as possible in their and their children's lives.

Sacks also criticizes Wilson's statement that "when dads make an issue of custody, they get some form of it more than half the time." This was the finding of every single state gender bias commission who looked at the issue (there were 40 of them.) Sacks pretends that Wilson's statement is based on one small study of 60 women, and purports to debunk that as nonrepresentative. But it wasn't. The reality simply is not debatable. Sacks also claims that the Massachusetts gender bias task force findings by lawyers and scholars have been discredited, based on speculations made by libertarian men's rights journalist Cathy Young in an opinion piece. But she did not get her facts right or conclusions correct then. Repeatedly citing to secondary opinion sources that were wrong to begin with is not tantamount to documentation. It doesn't matter how many times a claim is made, such distortions just do not gain veracity with repetition, any more than the children's game of telephone.

The reasons mothers more often end up with custody after divorce encompass all of the same reasons that mothers end up being the majority of child caregivers and homemakers while marriages are intact.

To the extent the factors moving this include bias, it's bias that's occurred long before anything that ever happens in connection with a divorce. In fact, that more men post divorce end up with far more custody time than they ever spent caregiving, homemaking, or with their children during their marriages attests to a divorce court bias that far and away favors fathers.

Posted on August 2, 2006 at 02:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (13)

August 01, 2006

Stardust@home Is Starting

Today at 11am PDT, Berkeley University of California and The Planetary Society will launch a new internet collaborative effort called stardust@home. This effort will ask for the help of interested world wide web users in identifying particles of interstellar dust hopefully brought back to earth in aerogel collectors by the Stardust spacecraft.

Berkeley already  has an ongoing collaborative effort called seti@home (SETI stands for Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) which uses the power of distributed computers, via a screensaver volunteers can download, to perform Fast Fourier Transform analysis of radio telescope data collected over the years in the search for non-naturally occuring radio signals from space. The idea being that these radio signals may be voluntary or involuntary communications from an extraterrestrial intelligence.

The gist of what is asked of you is as follows:

By asking for help from talented volunteers like you from all over the world, we can do this project in months instead of years. Of course, we can't invite hundreds of people to our lab to do this search—we only have two microscopes! To find the elusive particles we are using an automated scanning microscope to automatically collect images of the entire Stardust interstellar collector at the Curatorial Facility at Johnson Space Center in Houston, we call them focus movies. All in all there will be 1.6 million such focus movies. These are available to Stardust@home users like you around the world. You can then view them with the aid of a special Virtual Microscope (VM) that works in your web browser. The VM downloads and displays these images, so that you can do just what someone sitting at real microscope would do: focusing up and down in each movie to look for tracks. To use the VM you will need a relatively fast internet connection, and the latest version of just about any web browser. To find out more about the system requirements for the VM visit our Technical FAQ.

Together, you and thousands of other Stardust@home participants will find the first pristine interstellar dust particles ever brought to Earth.

First, you will go through a web-based training session. You must pass a test to qualify to register and participate. After passing the test and registering, you will be able to login to the virtual microscope. The VM will automatically connect to our server and download focus movies. The VM will work within your web browser, under your control. You will search each field for interstellar dust impacts by focusing up and down with a focus control.

Posted on August 1, 2006 at 03:44 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)