Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Griego Goes Goofy TV Ad

Despite what my enslaved Literature students think, I bet there isn't a single person in the entire city o' ABQ who likes goofy stuff better than me. Well, except for that Mr. Bean thing...that's stupid, and, well, just about any physical comedy. For instance, Benny Hill and that large breast Univision goes Tex Avery wolf eyes stuff...unwatchable.

But you get my point, I like goofy stuff. Really. Daily Show, love it. The Onion, could be funnier but really liking the new, more updated bloggish version. Photoshopped pictures of Tom DeLay being booted "get out of jail free" ala Monopoly, pretty darn funny. I know funny and I like it. Of course you should never trust a person who says something like that, but what's trust got to do with politics?

Which brings me to the Eric Griego goofy guy for Mayor ad. I SO MUCH wanted to like this TV ad. Given the money situation with the Griego campaign, we heard more hype about this spot than a Brad Pitt movie. And I like Eric Griego okay, especially in the sense that he seems to be human, whereas Marty Chavez exhibits absolutely no human species traits except for arrogance. Chavez is like the arrogant hyena who is tearing through the zebra entrails in slow motion in those nature films. You can just see Marty shaking that head in slow motion, eyes blazing in manic bliss as the small intestine flaps back and forth off his rabid hyena head.

Now personally, I would have preferred a Griego ad simply featuring a Photoshopped picture of Marty's head on a hyena body, entrails flapping. But Griego took the relative high road here, and goes Don Knotts meets Benny Hill instead.

If you haven't seen it, watch it about five times and come back to me. Good, welcome back. Have you ever heard a human being talk so fast without the use of crystal meth in your life? I can just see the elderly and hard-of-hearing in the TV audience looking at the ad. Just looking. Looking like they just got hit by that Sci-Fi laser that leaves victims with an eternal dull stare until the aliens come to do the anal probes. And the goofy, Don Knotts grin? All he needs is a Sherriff Deputy's hat and he's set for the Andy Griffith Show.

Griego talks so fast, especially in the beginning, that his droll attack on Marty and his developer money sounds instead like Eric is asking to score some crystal meth or something. It takes about five viewings just to figure out what the hell he's dissing.

Then he walks really fast, Benny Hill-style. Now I know, I already told you I don't like Benny Hill. And no, Eric does not move at super speed between various large breasted women at whom he stares Univision comedy-style. No, instead he high-tails it between his ex-school teachers, some retired police officers, pictures of his Mom and such, while little 3rd Grader-does- I-Movie HD graphics put little hearts and stuff over the pictures.

Combined with the walking at super-speed gag throughout, the effect is so darn cute you want to pinch Eric on his puffy little cheeks. Or maybe pinch them so hard you draw blood. It depends on your stomach for cute...and let's face it, this Griego ad might be the absolute CUTIST ad in political history. Aside for the indecipherable Chavez developer slam, this ad is the exact opposite of negative campaigning. Griego couldn't have looked cuter if he'd spent 30 seconds kissing cuddly little babies on the noggin in slow motion. He reminds you of Napoleon Dynamite doing that dance for Pedro's campaign and dancing after the music stops. Man he's cute.

Maybe I just don't like cute that much. I'm still with the Marty as intestine-slurping hyena. As a rule, I don't like negative campaigning, but Marty is so vile he cries out for it, and this town seems to treat him with such kid gloves. Yeah, I know, you say it wouldn't work to go negative, and I'd probably agree with you.

Okay, maybe instead of intestine-slurping we just show a big, long pan shot of the Westside of Albuquerque, with Eric's voice-over coming in after about 10 seconds asking in a serious voice:

Do you want our entire Goddamn town to look like this?

Then he could say that his first act as Mayor would be an executive order de-annexing the entire Westside, and building a Gaza Strip-style wall along the West Bank of the Rio Grande.

The other 15 seconds of the ad would just be a high-speed bounce back and forth between photos of Marty and the big shot of the Westside. Then in huge Orwell 1984 fonts we throw

Marty = Westside = Sprawl = Death

Maybe we could at least have some subliminal shots of those hyenas, too.
Railroad Silo, Darkening Sky, Outside Cortez, CO

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Blogging Light, with Menthol Filtering For Smooth Taste

Okay, no 1500 word entries tonight, just a quick mention or two and some South Valley bitching.

In the simple human stories are never so simple category, the heroine hostage in Atlanta a few months back admits she gave her captor crystal meth. I raise this not to criticize the heroine...hell we all have imperfections. It just adds a depth to the reality that the Christian Right never seems to want to understand or acknowledge.

The Brad Winter/Log Cabin Republicans brouhaha reminds me of the large postcard we here in the South Valley received the weekend immediately before the 2004 Election. Huge B&W photo of two guy kissing way romantic, and LINDA LOPEZ SUPPORTS GAY RIGHTS! in huge font as caption. I tried, but never found out who actually sent that out. Does anybody remember getting that piece of mail? Did anybody find out the shameless bastards who put it out?

That reminds me also to get that photo digital...I'll post it in a day or so. The absolute worst, in my somewhat limited experience, campaign mailer in my political history.

South Valley rant haikus:

Albertson's: a store
so bad we trudge disgusted
and go to Walmart

Walmart is evil
ceaselessly wailing children
shame grows like dense moss

The Sewer Guys are here
again to "really" fix this
time for real, honest!

Okay, I'm no Basho. I'm not even in Rod McKuen territory here...better stick to the 1500 word essays. You, of course, may reply that it makes no difference, my attempts in both areas suck. There is a comments section to say exactly that located about .60 inches below this sentence.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

The Communist Party booth at the anti-War rally, September 24, 2005

Sound, Fury, Marching, Listening

I spent Saturday at two events dedicated to sound and listening, although I didn't know it going in.

Part I

I went to the anti-war march/rally, pictures of which can be found on both sides of this entry. The march was notable for a few things (I largely skipped on the "rally" part/speeches, etc.):

1. In this, the heat of the city races, no politicians were there, at least during the march. No Eric Griego, no City Council candidates, not even the folks sponsoring the minimum/living wage initiative. Even though polls show a majority of Americans oppose continuing the Iraq War, events like this are shunned. Why? Hell, they're shunned by most of the people I know, and that subgroup is about 99-1 against the War.

2. By the time I left Jackson Park (a pitiful little area between Walmart and Highland HS) about the only booths I saw set up were from Albuquerque Peace and Justice and the Communist Party of New Mexico. I have nothing against either organization, but there's gotta be something a bit more up-to-date out there than two old folks sitting in front of a Communist Party banner.

3. Which gets me to sound and listening. We quietly walked North down San Mateo, accompanied by little or no chanting, scant music (one Tibetan handbell, a lonely harmonica), and only the occasional "when do we want it?" on a rather forlorn megaphone. By far the quietest march I've ever been on. Walking fast and slow among the crowd, I picked out plenty of private conversations, Internet fueled speculations (e.g., "I think W is back on the sauce. I saw it on the Internet.") and scattered bitching about the Albuquerque Police. All in all, we could have been walking to the Lobo game.

4. We got to the "rally" and the loud music kicked in, but outside of the respectable numbers there wasn't much to impress anyone. I already mentioned the few booths, but more importantly there just wasn't any oomph, passion or reason to be there. My two cent opinion on why is two-fold:
A. The Albuquerque Peace Movement needs some new leadership. I like old folks, like 'em plenty, but in addition to an average marcher age of 59, the folks running these shows seem to be too old, tired and out-of-touch to fire up a community opposing the war. We need a new spark, and there was a disappointing number of young people both marching and leading.
B. Those involved with these marches focus on a very broad "War is always bad" agenda, spiced up with the eternal "no nukes, etc." sentiments. The idea that wars are sometimes necessary but THIS IS THE WRONG WAR LED BY THE WRONG PEOPLE is pretty much verboten. I may be in the marcher minority, but I'm not dreamy enough to think wars are going away, and hell, it may take a war to change the direction of our own country. The reason why a majority of Americans want the troops home isn't because war is inherently evil.

The upshot is that the march and its leaders largely had a tin-ear in listening to what is making the war unpopular. We all, quietly, seemed to be just marching incoherently. I also think it's true that the ABQ peace movement doesn't really know what to do with a lead. Now that the tables are turned, and unlike March 2003 it's position is largely supported, what does it do now?

It's used to being that scrappy little dog barking uselessly in the corner. I think it prefers to be the scrappy little dog, and Saturday's march looked like a scrappy little dog that wasn't even really barking like it meant it.

Part II

Then I went from the faintly ugly to the predominantly sublime and saw Thomas Riedelsheimer's Touch the Sound at the Guild. I've spent the last two years writing a bunch of movie reviews, so I'm too burned out to bore you with cinematic analysis, but let's just say that anybody with an iota of artist's blood in them will like this movie. It's a look at Scottish percussionist Evelyn Glennie and her rather madcap life as an avant-gardist musician deeply passionate about sound and sound-making. Reidelsheimer directed the quite-wonderful documentary Rivers & Tides about the work of sculpture Andy Goldsworthy, and Mr. R. here uses the same visual devices to explore an aural artist.

We get to see Glennie work with long-time experimental string-artist Fred Frith (who actually steals the doc to an extent), better understand her obsession with hearing the endless sounds around us, and get to find out that Ms. Glennie is almost completely deaf. I think the film will attract some with this deaf person-as-musician angle, but it's rather unimportant to both the film and Ms. Glennie work. After a quick explanation by the percussionist of how she hears, you don't wonder how a deaf person could be a musician, you wonder how a deaf could NOT be a musician.

There are's about 10 minutes too long, and if you can't stand the inherent narcissism of modern avant-garde music it's about 30 minutes too long. Still, I found it inspiring and incredibly thought-provoking. I also love Mr. R.'s visual sense, and the juxtaposition with an aural artist was really fun. To put it in context, I admired the way Riedelsheimer listened to Ms. Glennie's world and visually/aurally immersed us in it. I also admire the higher level listening that Evelyn Glennie exacts from the world around her, and wish I could be that good a listener for just one day. As a former drum student, it also wouldn't hurt to be able to play xylophone, drums etc. half as good as she....there are some great musical passages amidst the intentional noise.

P.S.: After seeing the movie and loving it, I went to the Evelyn Glennie website (I knew nothing about her going into the movie). Not to appear too Netsnobby, but have you ever really liked something and then checked out the website about it, and the website was totally lame and had broken links and shit, and you thought, "hey, maybe I shouldn't like this so much"? Well, here's Evelyn Glennie's website.

Yeah, she also sells jewelry, which for some reason brings up all this anti-jewelry making angst caused by bad previous relationships. I think I'll see a therapist tomorrow.

ABQ's Anti-War Rally Yesterday Crossing the River Gibson

Saturday, September 24, 2005

What This Town Needs is a Really Good Five Cent Blog

Mr. Misanthrope (that's me...well sometimes) spent some quality time at the NewWest "launch party" Thursday Night at the ABQ Press Club. I spent most of the evening hiding out in the endless nooks of the building, but also had a number of refreshing conversations. I guess because the "launch" was for a blog (NewWest is an multi-noded Intermountain West blog, and yeah my wife is responsible for the ABQ/SF node) much of the talk was about this new-fangled blog thing.

Of course, on one level the discussion was embarrasing in that backward ABQ, provincial way: "Wow, what the hell are these here blog things anyway?" ala a more sophisticated town circa 1999 or so. Still, it beat the hell out of talking about corn dogs at the State Fair.

Generally what I got from the whole shindig, besides too many free beers to count, was an appreciation that there are plenty of folks ready to finally jump ship altogether from the mainstream media (MSM). Right now the only worthy print media in town is the Alibi, and most folks agree that their political coverage is about as good as it's ever been. Tim McGivern has been doing very good work. Still, the problem is that the Alibi only comes out once a week, meaning about four/five pages of decent hard-copy political coverage per seven days. Election season or no, that's unacceptable.

Meanwhile, everybody knows the Journal is crippled by an overarching political stance somewhere between Barbara Bush and Joseph McCarthy and nobody reads the Tribune (their circulation is about on a level with this pitiful blog at this point). And that's where the blogs fit in. It's taken a while, but both readers and writers around here seem to have finally figured out that blogs aren't just for intensely narcissistic whack jobs anymore. Okay, maybe they are, but that doesn't mean they also can't be a venue for good reporting/writing not found elsewhere.

Far more importantly, people are starting to READ this blog shit! Once the eye-rolling and snickering over blogs stop, some folks are hankering down for some blogtime. I'll use me as an example: For about two years now I've read DailyKos every day, afternoon and evening. Then I put Wonkette, Metafilter, Fark and some other national sites in the mix and pretty soon I was spending 90+ minutes a day.

Then I went local. Someone told me about DukeCityFix and my wife got on board with NewWest. More time is spent. And here's the part where Scientists might want to start taking notes for any studies they are performing on the workings of those with below-average intelligence.

After about two solid years of reading all this stuff, I distinctly remember having the epiphany "hey, DailyKos is a blog!...And Metafilter, and Wonkette"...They're like politically/socially directed Google-blogs gatekeeping all the other like-minded blogs!"

Hey, I never claimed to be smart or original. Basically, I had the same thought millions of others had about five years earlier. Maybe I've been living in ABQ too long. So Wonkette is rich, and I'm starting a blog.

I digress because, well because I tend to digress alot. It's a blog, sue me. The rather shaky point of my personal memoir interjection is that maybe alot of other folks are making this brain synapse leap. Using the blog gateway drugs of DailyKos, et. al., we're ending up at places like DukeCityFix (which is doing great work by the way). And, despite my own simple-mindedness, these people tend to be educated, involved, creative and productive.

Which is where the advertising comes in. Now I teach middle-school and know as much about Advertising/Marketing as I do Quantum Physics. I couldn't sell a car to an American, or Flood Insurance to a Lousiana coastal resident. Still, isn't it true that if you have an audience of educated, involved, creative and productive folks they might have some money to buy stuff with?

Now me, personally, I've avoided paying for web content like it's heroin on a schoolyard. I reject Salon and Slate just because one of them starting charging for stuff and they both start with an "S". One reason I hate the ABQ Journal is their outrageous rate for content. Now the New York Times is charging ($49.95! a year) for their columnists' musings. As a cheapskate, I've loved the Net for so long because of its anarchical inexpensiveness. Now, Maureen Dowd is for sale.

But to answer your ultimate question: what the point, Scot?, I ask: Wouldn't most of us pay just a little bit to find out the real news on Albuquerque? Especially since we don't get it often enough anywhere else? I see that the Alibi has increased their own blogging, and Tim McGivern's blog piece on a recent Mayoral forum was great reading. Wouldn't even a cheapskate like me pay a nickel for that?

And what about Martha's Body Bueno (a retailer I pick simply because I like saying the name five times really fast)? Wouldn't she/they invest a bit into a site visited by educated, involved, creative and productive 'Burqueans?

I have been called by some over the years as the ultimate master of stating the obvious, and here I've spent about 1500 words doing just that. I could just use the excuse that it's a blog and you can (and probably have) change/d the channel, but maybe I'm not the only one having this technologically-delayed reaction. Maybe something is really happening. To give the Journal a shot, I drop by their site from time to time, and have noticed they have started blogging. With some exceptions the blog entries are pathetically weak. Still, they think they need to blog. I'm not a journalistic carnivore, but I sense blood in the water. Journalistic comrades: you have nothing to lose but your word count chains! Let's see what's really going on in this town, Molly Ivins-style!

I've got a nickle burning a hole in my pocket waiting.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Growth Management, Moab, Utah 2004

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Terri Cole Over-appearance

Just recovering from a Terri Cole upper-thigh sighting on a KRQE "interview" with Dick Knipfing. As Dick lobbed soft balls into Terri about the minimum-wage ordinance, two things were clear: 1., having Dick and Terri simultaneously on a television screen at any time forces us to redefine media terms such as decency and obscenity; 2., a shot of way more Terri Cole upper-leg than anyone should ever be forced upon Mr. Cole, much less the unsuspecting KRQE viewer.

Ms. Cole, of course, is slightly notable as Commissar of the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, but is far more well-known as an evil boss on a level somewhere between the twisted mind-screwing of suspender-wearing Bill Lumbergh in "Office Space" and the slutty megalomania of Sigourney Weaver's character in "Working Girl". That Ms. Cole is still in her position says more about the survival powers of Central American dictators and cockroaches than her actual ability to do anything for Albuquerque businesses.

So, here she is being asked questions by the transparently-obvious conservative Dick Knipfing about the deleterious effects of forcing ABQ employers to pay a living wage, when the eye is drawn below the interviewing table to Terri's slit skirt, exposing a slab of thigh meat big enough for the most antibiotically-bloated Tyson Ostrich or Emu. We're talking major exposure here, revealing an almost R-rated level of blanched white thigh..uh...material. Combined with her just-back- from-Madri Gras long bead look and ridiculous thatch of artificially blond hair trying to insert itself into her ceaselessly open mouth, Ms. Cole most closely resembled an old woman, three daiquiries to the French Quarter wind, just about to flash Dick Knipfing and anyone else too sick to turn away.

It was the type of upsetting, inappropriate image I thought U.S. news organizations had sworn to avoid, like showing dead bodies in New Orleans, but KRQE seemed to take wicked glee in its low-angle shot running up the lengthily exposed leg. Somebody in charge of the KRQE control room had to be falling over themselves laughing maniacally, perhaps a close relative of someone Ms. Cole has screwed over during her long, Kim Jong-il-esque reign at the Chamber.

As a survivor of the hideous sight, I can only guess that the freakshow folks at the State Fair are desparately trying to get their hands on a videotape of the will go well alongside the exhibit of the two-headed snake eating itself and the man with the hugely weighted piercing of his testicles.

Sorry, I don't have copies available here guys.

P.S.: I noticed that KRQE's slogan on their website is "balanced news". This adds to the Orwellian redefinition of "balance" started by Fox News. Next up: CNN, The War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength Network!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Meditation Dog in Snow

Night on the Town Report

About halfway through our dinner last night at Crazy Fish Sushi (Trib review) my wife and I noted that we don't go out anymore. By the way, Crazy Fish wasn't snazzy, but the fish seemed pretty darn fresh.

We are so boring that we walked up and down Central in Nob Hill and noticed about six businesses we'd never seen before. We'd walk in front of a new place and ask ourselves if it was a gay bar or not, and wondered why a place in the early 21st Century would call itself "Harlow's".

Then we went to an old friend, Burt's Tiki Lounge. All in all, an enjoyable experience. A friend was playing in one of the four bands on the card, Lousy Robot's the name, and a good time was had. One nice thing is that you can still hear yourself talk despite the crowd and bands, and that the super-strong Stone Ruination IPA (a 91 at Beer Advocate) was only $5 a bomber. Hell, it's that much at Jubilation.

Some of the bands were better than others, with Lousy Robot the best (okay Mike you owe me a beer), while the rapper group "Mantis Fist" looked like some Larry the Cable Guy does Beastie Boys parody, but I could be wrong.

All in all a pleasurable evening, and the wife and I decided we needed to get out from our Internet infested world and actually interact with humans more often. We'll see if that happens.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Hi, I'm Robert Vigil

Hi! I'm Robert Vigil, State Treasurer of New Mexico. Below, you can find a new Request For Proposals (RFP) authorized by my office. First, in case you don't know me and my ultra-suave, hands in the pockets, fancy suit self you can check out my recent activities.

Here's the original RFP from my Office...Well, it's still technically my Office.

A 'Burque Trib story about me and my friend Michael Montoya

My State Treasury Homepage...notice the URL says nothing about NM State Government

Here's my biography. Notice that I graduated from New Mexico Highlands, a school that really teaches you how "things work in New Mexico".

Manny Aragon, President of NMHU, exemplifies the University's commitment to scholarship.

New RFP for New Mexico State Treasurer Office

Request for Proposals for Professional Services
Providing Securities Lending Oversight Boss (SLOB)
Services to the Office of the New Mexico State


A. Purpose

The purpose of this Request For Proposals (RFP), in accordance with the New Mexico State Procurement Code Regulations 1.4.1 NMAC, is to select an offeror to provide Securities Lending Oversight Boss (SLOB) Services to the New Mexico State Treasurer's Office (STO).

As further described below, the purpose of this RFP is also to provide State Treasurer Robert Vigil with unlimited kickbacks and other considerations for financial services projects that he may deem necessary, depending on his need for a new boat or addition to his house.

B. Scope of Work

The initial scope of work shall be to engage a qualified person(s), entity, or entities to provide SLOB Services.

Services shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Recommend an investment strategy for those working with the STO that includes weekly payments sent in white paper envelopes to a drop-off location to be determined.

2. Monitor the credit worthiness of those working with the STO and prepare weekly reports to Mr. Vigil on how much more we can squeeze out of the bastards.

3. Assist the State Treasurer in threatening those who choose not to “play ball”.

4. Monitor the securities lending program for avoidance of any contact with Federal, State and Local regulators and law enforcement officials.

5. Make visits to those unwilling to follow STO guidelines and strongly encourage compliance. Make additional visits when necessary to ensure compliance. A strong knowledge of low to high-level torture techniques (brass knuckles, bag of oranges, vises, chain saws, etc.) is strongly preferred.

6. Make on-site visits to the STO, work with the Treasurer's staff to develop timely and accurate alibis to exonerate STO activities, including collaborating on false stories focusing on former “disgruntled employees”.

7. Provide specific securities lending support and services to the State Treasurer including but not limited to: finding former “disgruntled employees” and “taking them out” Pat Robertson-style.


A. Number of Responses

Offerors shall submit only one proposal, to be personally given to Gov. Bill Richardson and Robert Vigil in a private meeting held in the freezer room of Tomasita’s Restaurant. Wear heavy clothes.

B. Number of Copies

Offeror will make absolutely no copies of any correspondence of any kind. Anyone wearing a wire to a proposal meeting, well, you know what will happen.

C. Proposal Format

All proposals must include a donation to the Bill Richardson for President 2008 Committee, Robert Vigil, Treasurer. Be sure to provide names of all relatives so that we can get the donations under Federal disclosure notification guidelines.

Offerors may attach other materials that they feel may improve the quality of their responses. These may include dirt on Republicans officials, local, State and especially Federal. Photos always help a proposal, especially those involving hotel rooms, barnyard animals and lines of cocaine.


Evaluation Point Summary

The following is a summary of evaluation factors with point value assigned to each. These, along with the general requirements, will be used in the evaluation of offeror proposals.

: Points Available

  • Knowledge of house address of certain FBI agents and their families: 25
  • Experience with and knowledge of extortion techniques: 15
  • A Really Bitchin’ Car to make drops with: 15
  • Graduates of New Mexico Highlands U.: 15
  • "Outside the box" ideas for extracting funds from potential contractors: 10
  • Previous jobs, stints in the “joint”, etc.: 5
  • Donation to Bill for President 2008 (1 pt. per $10,000): 15
Total Points Possible: 100 (but Math was never our strong suit)

*Note: Recent events involving the State Treasurer and former State Treasurer have put this RFP on-hold. Potential offerors are invited to visit Mr. Vigil and or Mr. Montoya at one of their upcoming court appearances to get more information. Wear a disguise.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Nancy Grace

To create a quality humor column I don't think you really need more than those two words. Nancy Grace. Thanks and have a safe drive home!

In the .24 seconds I viewed her show on Headline News tonight before I realized that it was her, my brain flickered with the realization that all was right with the world.

She was talking about Natalie Holloway missing in Aruba.

Then the oozing pustules immediately formed over my entire body in reaction until I flew past her "show" to the next channel in line.

In its need to immediately repress all knowledge of Ms. Grace and her show, my brain almost succeded in making me forget that she spent much of her show the MONDAY HURRICANE KATRINA RIPPED THROUGH THE GULF COAST on the Holloway topic. In flying through all the "news" choices cable provides, Nancy was classic Orwellian comfort talking about the evil Dutch folks and the desperate Alabama family. Not every family in Southern Alabama, just Natalie Holloway's family.

As I said, my brain was trying to forget, but unfortunately I found at least one reference to the episode on the net.

Can't "Headline News" just go back to endlessly repeating the same vacuous 20 minutes of superficial "news'? Boy, those were the good ole' days.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Five Reasons Why I Can't Get Excited about the Roberts' Hearings

1. The inevitability thing. It's like watching the NCAA Basketball tournament and rooting for that 16 seed. You know that even if they knock off Kansas in the 1st Round, they're just setting ya up for a pummeling. Roberts is the next CJ unless we start talking curly hairs in coke cans right now.

2. Compared to our collective liberal vision of who Bush could have appointed, Roberts seems benign. Of course he hasn't said anything, ever...but that's positively great compared to our imagined candidates (Pat Robertson, Ashcroft, Mephistopheles).

3. The Hearings deflect from the Katrina Bush-bashing. Yes, I know picking a CJ is more important to most of us in the long run. But refer to #1. If it's a done deal, why not just...

4. Put the Roberts shindig on-hold and have THE DAMN HEARINGS ON THE FEDERAL RESPONSE TO KATRINA!

5. Oh wait...the Republicans control both Houses of Congress? Oh, you mean that's why we're not having Katrina hearings instead? Maybe it'll be Mephistopheles for the Sandra Day O'Connor seat. Or worse...Ashcroft. I'm trying to think of a worse choice...nothing's coming to mind. Lex Luthor, no. Mohammar Qaddafi, no. Nope, Ashcroft beats 'em all out, even the Dark Lord of Hell.

November 1, 2006: Off-year Election Day. Man, I can hardly wait.
And it better get here soon, and mean something, something big or we're gonna be wishing it was only Mephistopheles being nominated for the Supreme Court.

Salk Institute, La Jolla, California.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Following the Money

It's not a java game or a flash animation, but I'm having major fun playing "follow the money" with PoliticalMoneyLine. You can search by candidate, but also by zip in the South Valley zip of 87105, I looked there and found some guy gave "Pete's Political Action Committee" $1,000 recently (look for Randall Gurule), which makes sense when you see the contract won by said Mr. Gurule and his Wiley Coyote rip-off named company, ACME Worldwide Enterprises, Inc. $1,000 to get $1.1 million, who needs the lottery? Oh wait....that's just the start, here's another government contract for $5M. Who says the South Valley can't be like the big boys. Haliburton, move over!

Now in all fairness, Mr. Gurule gave the $1,000 AFTER he received the contracts. I guess in that case it's more of a far less than 15%.

Death Hype for Cutie?

Rhapsody junkie that I am, I just spent the last three days marveling that Death Cab for Cutie was #1 in requests on that service. Usually a spot reserved for 50 Cent & Green Day types. Can I stand to listen to a band that popular? Definitely time for another Northwest band now that Modest Mouse and Death Cab are getting rich. Or am I too old to really care at this point? Time for a KEXP shot of musical caffeine. Thank (insert deity, spirit or mathematical probability here) for Internet Radio, because we all know real radio is dead.

Except for XM. More about that later.

Summit of CO's Mr. Shavano

On top of Mt. Shavano. Actually I'm taking the picture and the more brave person taking another picture is just some young person who was at the summit at the same time.

My Birthday Wish

Yes, today is your humble blogmaster's birthday. And my wish is that:

Everyone would stand up and say Martin Chavez is a jerk, while at least Eric Griego is funny. We need more funny and less Westside. In fact, my real wish is that the Westside would just secede from the city, and be teleported to Phoenix where it wants to be anyway.

I also wished for a big lemon chess pie, but I already got that. Lemons, good.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Katrina & the Blame Game

I hate to admit, but I'm a Fantasy-Nerd (baseball only), and as nerds know part of nerdy obsession is posting on message boards. The following was a post I made about the Admin. (the U.S, not the fantasy Commish) and its handling of the Katrina situation....I post it here because I realize now that I spent way too much time putting it together. I mean, it's a fantasy baseball message board for Christ's sake.

Bush-defenders: Imagine the same scenario with Bill Clinton as President. Do you really think you'd be saying the same thing?

If Clinton (who is/wasn't a "liberal", but a rather milque-toast "moderate" who had plenty of "conservative" policies...e.g. balancing the budget, undercutting social welfare, etc.) had been in charge of this Federal response EVERYBODY would be calling for his ouster (me included, and I voted for him, twice).

We can't have it both ways. When we want the nice, shiny Saddam-less Iraq complete with the optional democracy and sunroof, we can't spend for it without either skipping on some amenities here at home, or maxing out own credit card.

Our President decided to skip on a few things around the house and to also max out our credit card. "We" voted for him, so he got what he wanted.

As it turned out we could be having this discussion about the EPA, Civil Rights, National Park Service, Education or any of a host of deliberately underfunded domestic programs. It just so happens to be FEMA.

I'd love to go in the "way back" machine and see the vitriol that would be spewing toward our last, supposedly Liberal, President given the same facts. The Impeachment hearings would have already started. It's interesting to remember that arch-Republicans of the past like Dick Nixon actually did champion some arch-Socialist ideas...remember price controls old-timers? The whole political landscape has moved so far to the Right it isn't recognizable even from 30 years ago.

The same thing almost happened in a slightly altered form in the 1950s. McCarthyism wasn't the whacko extremism we think of as today. It was the reality. And then during the relatively endless TV hearings a Special Counsel to the Army, General Joseph Welch, said to Sen. McCarthy:

"You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"

Now we just need a General Welch.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Saddam for FEMA Director

Perhaps after reading this essay, the Bush Administration has decided to "recall" Michael Brown (is this "recall" like Ford recalling a bunch of cars that spontaneously combust...hopefully Mr. Brown will have some compassion solenoid's obviously been defective). Right now he's got some Coast Guard guy in a uniform taking over...could be an interim thing before the real move to Hussein.

In recent days, there has been widespread concern about the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) response to the horrific destruction of Hurricane Katrina. In particular, FEMA Director, a guy named Michael Brown has been gutted and ridiculed for his numerous comments indicating either a disregard for the truth or the intellectual cunning of a two year-old golden retriever. Most classic in this regard is his admission that FEMA (or at least he) didn’t even know the NOLA Convention Center was being used by thousands of refugees in addition to the Superdome.

Since that day, everybody from Tim Russert to Che Guevara has questioned the abilities of Mr. Brown, including his previous work as Commissioner of the International Arabian Horse Association (a job one wouldn’t think of as related to natural disaster relief management). In addition to the almost universal condemnation of FEMA’s work (with the notable exception of Mississippi’s Republican, Jimmy Swaggart at 60 hair-styled, Governor Haley Barbour), Mr. Brown has caused additional distress just from watching his sorry ass fumble TV interview after interview.

Now that it is apparent Mr. Brown’s chief qualification for the job at FEMA, being a college roommate of a Bush Administration big-wig, has proven as useful for the job as tits on a boar hog, it’s time to look for someone else to head the agency. Now. But who?

May I suggest Saddam Hussein? Think about it. FEMA needs a dramatic autocrat who can wade through the myriad local/state/federal bureaucracies and get things done. Whatever bad things you can say about Saddam, he certainly evidently cut through the Iraqi bureaucratic red tape. On top of that, he was obviously able to convince the coalition of the willing that Iraq had its act togethere, when in fact the Iraqi army consisted of nothing but a few Baathist good ole boys with some shotguns. Out of nothing, Saddam created a nation scary enough to have the U.S. spend $191 billion and counting to get rid of him. And needless to say, as screwed up as Iraq was before we started spending that money, it certainly wasn’t as screwed up as it is now.

Saddam is the man for the job. And he’s available, sitting around waiting for some show trial to begin. In a nation desperate for leadership from both sides of the political aisle, maybe we in the United States need to construct a new aisle. But you’re saying to yourself, “Scot, wouldn’t Saddam likely be a totalitarian madman?” And my response is, “Yes, yes he would.” So some safeguards would need to be in order.

Namely, I’m thinking of a “Escape from New York” approach. You know, that movie with Kurt Russell as “Snake Pliskin”, a Rambo-fied prisoner sent to save the United States, or New York, or Bernadette Peters, I can’t remember exactly. Anyway, what the Gummint did with Snake was implant a little poison cartridge that would kill Snake in 24 hours, unless he accomplished the task and got back to the rather evil-looking Gummint doctors with an antidote.

So, we implant Saddam thusly, Geneva Convention be damned. I mean, who in the Bush Administration has been paying attention to that anyway? We implant Saddam with the poison cartridge, set it on 48 hours, and put him in charge. We’ll even give him his own TV station, just like the Baghdad days, and he can run things “old school”. No meddling Mayors or Governors: just Saddam calling the shots, and one evil-looking Doctor, played by Max Van Sydow or Donald Pleasance with his hand on a button that will burst the poison cartridge if Saddam can’t get the job done.

I know this option may be extreme…that many might question the plan. But seriously, could it be any worse than what we’ve seen up to now?