Monday, December 25, 2006

Le parrain du soul est mort
James Brown is dead

What to say? The Godfather of Soul has left the planet. He changed the music. He brought honesty to pop music. He gave raw sex a raw soundtrack. Alongside Little Richard, he set the stage for every glam-rock, disco dude and out-there R&B act that ever came into existence. From George Clinton to Freddy Mercury, all must bow before that caped force of nature.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

What, me racist?

Proof of what your blogstress has been saying: We white folks are still in denial about our racial prejudice. Offenders of whom to be most wary: white liberals. Why? If in denial about our possession of this most fundamental of American traits, we can do more damage than all the Klansmen in Georgia. From the recent CNN/Opinion Research poll:

Almost half of black respondents -- 49 percent -- said racism is a "very serious" problem, while 18 percent of whites shared that view. Forty-eight percent of whites and 35 percent of blacks chose the description "somewhat serious."

Asked if they know someone they consider racist, 43 percent of whites and 48 percent of blacks said yes.

But just 13 percent of whites and 12 percent of blacks consider themselves racially biased.

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The monster liberal

From the fabulous Frankie G. (your blogstress's partner in musical crimes), a.k.a. Frank Gilligan of Beltway Sewer Productions, comes word of this educational item, just in time for your holiday -- oh, pardonez-moi, mes amis, your cybertrix unintentionally there made war on somebody's sacred day -- Christmas, Hanukkah, Eid, Alban Arthuan, Saturnalia, etc. -- giving:

Help! Mom! There are Liberals Under My Bed

By Katharine DeBrecht

This full-color illustrated book is a fun way for parents to teach young children the valuable lessons of conservatism. Written in simple text, readers can follow along with Tommy and Lou as they open a lemonade stand to earn money for a swing set. But when liberals start demanding that Tommy and Lou pay half their money in taxes, take down their picture of Jesus, and serve broccoli with every glass of lemonade, the young brothers experience the downside to living in Liberaland.

Reading Level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover, 54 pages. Full-color illustrations.
No, mes filles et garcons, this is not a joke (although your blogstress admits that it is pretty funny -- in a very scary sort of a way). As Frank writes: "Until our side plays like this, nothing will be accomplished."

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A river runs through Egypt
Mel Gibson's "unfortunate experience"

It came as no surprise to your blogstress when Mel Gibson, in the course of promoting his upcoming cinematic bloodfest, "Apocalypto," expressed sympathy for his fellow bigot, Michael Richards. What did surprise your cybertrix, however, was Gibson's demonstration of denial as to the nature of his own crime. One would have thought that some brilliant public-relations consultant would have drilled into the patron saint of the Catholic right the need to at least appear to take responsibility for whatever venom spews, via one's own brain, from one's own mouth.

In an AP report, Gibson says he doesn't expect his celebrated rant to affect box office on the movie:

The movie will stand on its own, regardless of any unfortunate experience I may have stumbled upon."
Stumbled upon? As in, I was just weaving my inebriated self home when I stumbled upon a torrent of anti-Semitic taunts flowing out of my mouth at a Jewish police officer, upon whom I had also stumbled.

More from the AP story, in case you missed it:
Are people refusing to work with him?

"No, people aren't like that," Gibson tells the magazine. "Those are just the headlines: Mel ostracized by Hollywood! Hollywood is what you make it. There is no great pooh-bah up there saying, `Go! You are condemned!'"

Gibson says he's not anti-Semitic.

"I never have been and never would be," he says. "But (the incident) hit this fear thing in me. My god, I made people afraid. … And it was a horrible feeling. That's when I said, `My god, I don't want to be that monster.'"

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Yosemite Sam bites the dust

John Bolton, that most undiplomatic diplomat who has been serving as acting U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations since his recess appointment last year, stepped down today when it became apparent that there was no way in hell that he could win confirmation in the lame-duck Senate.

Two men deserve special thanks for this outcome: Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.), who lost his re-election bid, and Steve Clemons, author of The Washington Note. It was Clemons who brought turned the attention of denizens of the blogosphere to the perils of an Ambassador Bolton (who famously denied the exsistence of the United Nations)*, and who never dropped that ball. Chafee, whose committee vote made kept the Bolton nomination from reaching the Senate floor, deserves commendation for doing the right thing, even after his defeat by a Democrat. In fact, Chafee went so far to make that point that the outcome of the 2006 mid-term elections, as epitomized by his own loss, signaled the electorate's desire for the kind of change that the ouster of Bolton would represent.

* "There is no such thing as the United Nations. There is an international community that occasionally can be led by the only real power left in the world and that is the United States when it suits our interest and we can get others to go along."

--John Bolton

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Friday, December 01, 2006

House intelligence

While your blogstress has always had mixed feelings about the well-versed but not-always-stalwart Jane Harman (Calif.), who has served, lo, these last few years as the ranking Democratic member on the House intelligence committee, you cybertrix hardly knows what to make of the naming of Silvestre Reyes (TX) by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to lead the committee.

The muckraking Laura Rozen, your Webwench's colleague on TAPPED (the Weblog of The American Prospect Online) details a meeting with Manuchar Ghorbanifar of Iran-Contra fame in which the new committee chairman joined the tainted Republican Curt Weldon (Penn.) for a discussion of God-knows-what.

Pelosi's issue with Harman is reportedly that the Speaker's California colleague has not protested loudly enough against the Bush administration's assault on civil liberties. And your ecrivaine agrees, for the most part. On the other hand, Harman is smart and serious, and came across as impeccably credible in her outings on the Sunday chat shows.

Silvestre is an improvement over the man who was said by the media to be the Speaker's early favorite -- Alcee Hastings, who was impeached while serving as a federal judge after being charged with taking a bribe. He was later acquitted of the bribe charge by a federal jury.

This whole deal, however, reeks of bad politics. Here you have three people who represent the underrepresented contstituencies in national politics: a woman, a black man and a Latino. Yet you, the first female speaker, choose to throw the woman under a bus, and to limit your appointment to a choice between two men of minority backgrounds who appear to ethically challenged, when -- in your supreme role as Speaker -- you could have chosen a person from a minority background who does not appear to be ethically challenged. I must admit to being a bit befuddled by the Speaker's moves.

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Weird planetary alignment

It's as if the goddesses and their consorts were preventing your blogstress from issuing forth from the blogosphere, but all manner of confusion between the evil big-business domain-hocker Network Solutions, and another outfit which we'll call Hemp-Hed Hosting (not its real name) has led to your cybertrix's Weblog appearing only intermittently, between messages that declare the breakaway republic to be "under construction," or even better, to have an "expired" name.

At Network Solutions, customer service comes in the form of condescending young men in an East Asian country whose "help" generally requires about four phone calls to achieve any result. Meanwhile, over at Hemp-Hed, very nice, very mellow American geeks chat you up, knowing exactly what the problem is, but forget to put in the order for the fix. So, it takes about four calls to achieve any result, but at least the calls tend to be amusing.

Okay, well there's still the gig at TAPPED (The American Prospect Weblog) to feed your Webwench's blogging jones, n'est-ce pas? Well, wouldn'tcha know that technical woes at The Prospect site have seen TAPPED out of commission for the past couple of days. Maybe it's those funky aspects this week between Mercury and Neptune, and Mars and Saturn. Other suggestions will be entertained.

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