Friday, October 28, 2005

"The Aspens are turning"

Boy, I bet Fitzgerald was pissed when that letter was leaked, huh?


Thursday, October 27, 2005

"I thought they were the GOOD kind of racists . . ."

Grace at Scriptoids catches David Yeagley of David Horowitz's Moonbat Central, apologizing for rushing too hastily to defend young Nazis, Lamb and Lynx Gaede (Google them).

Yeagley read only one page of an ABC News story about the girls, and therefore, "had no idea of the extent of their racial and ethnic hatred or their express admiration for Adolf Hitler."

No, he was laboring under an entirely different impression:

I misperceived them as "white nationalists" — rebelling against a multiculturalism that allows every other group to express ethnic pride except whites. In fact these people — or rather the parents behind the twins — are not misguided protesters of politically incorrect justice, but black-hating racists and Jew-hating Nazis.

Grace is a little too hard on Mr. Yeager, I think. I mean, how could he possibly have known that so many self-proclaimed "white nationalists" espouse racial hatred?

Democracy rules!

"And the reason why I'm so strong on democracy is democracies don't go to war with each other." - President Bush, November 12, 2004

"And so not only was the action [invading Iraq] worth it, the action is worth it to make sure that democracy exists, and, uhh, because democracies will yield peace, and that's what we want. " -President Bush, April 4, 2005

"Anybody who recognises Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury, [while] any [Islamic leader] who recognises the Zionist regime means he is acknowledging the surrender and defeat of the Islamic world." - Democratically
elected president
of Iran, and fundamentalist dickhead,Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, October 26, 2005

(Bush quotes courtesy of the invaluable DubyaSpeaks)

Trent Lott

Looks like the cat who swallowed the canary.

Gitmo for you, boy!

Ooh, you are gonna be in so much trouble, MD.


The psychotic thug G. Gordon Liddy is on MSNBC right now giving advice on stonewalling a grand jury.

Why the hell does the network give this bastard air time? He should be shunned by decent people

How innocent people get convicted

without any prosecutorial misconduct: An acquaintance of mine recently served on a jury in a criminal case. I asked her about it, expecting to hear just a mildly entertaining account of the case. What I heard was haunting.

The defendant was charged with kidnapping. The body of his girlfriend was found on the road, in front of a police station; she had died of head injuries. A few days later, the defendant came forward (or the police found him - I'm not clear on how the police became aware of him): She had been riding with him, and he claimed, jumped out of the car while they were arguing. He didn't know she had been hurt and kept on driving.

As my acquaintance - I'll call her Jane - related the facts, the defendant and his girlfriend had broken up and reconciled a number of times. She thought the case was a domestic argument that got out of hand.

"So y'all didn't convict him?" I asked.

They had. Jane went on: The girlfriend needed a ride home from work. Her co-workers were prepared to give her a ride, but as they were leaving, the defendant pulled up and said something like "I'm here to pick you up." And the girlfriend willingly got in the car with him.

I was confused. "How do you get kidnapping out of that?" I asked.

Jane said that the prosecutor presented testimony that the defendant had grabbed the girlfriend's arm when she was getting into his vehicle, but the defense had shown the jury the very high-heeled boots the girlfriend was wearing - it was equally plausible to Jane that the defendant just took her arm to steady her. Especially since, evidently, the defendant had not at any point yelled for help.

And then there no eyewitnesses to what had happened between the defendant and his girlfriend between the time he picked her up and the time her body was found. The defendant said they had argued, and she had jumped out of the car. It happened in front of the police station, and he just kept on driving, not knowing, he said, that she had gotten hurt. He assumed that she was going to go inside the police station and get help.

"I still don't see how you get kidnapping out of those facts," I said.

Jane said, "Well, he was driving a different car" - not his usual vehicle.

Me: "But what difference would that make?"

Jane: "I don't know . . . you had to be there . . ."

Me: "Whaddaya mean, you don't know? You convicted him!"

At this point Jane started crying and I instantly felt like a complete heel. "Oh, no, please don't cry!" I said. "I didn't mean to browbeat you!"

Jane was truly distraught, and I felt awful for not realizing how upsetting the experience had been for her. Still, I was troubled because it seemed apparent to me that Jane didn't think the guy was guilty. After she calmed down, she told me that she had ultimately voted to convict because the jury was given a copy of the kidnapping statute, and, as she put it, the state had only to prove one part of it.

"So what part did the state prove?" I asked. Jane stammered something about the part about forcing someone: He had taken her arm, when they got in the car.

"But you don't think he forced her?" I asked. No, she didn't. Basically, not only did she think the state had failed to carry its burden of proof, she didn't think the guy was guilty of kidnapping. If I understood her correctly she thought that they had just had a fight, one of many in their relationship, and in the heat of argument the woman jumped out of the car and was, tragically, fatally injured.

When the jury took the first vote, Jane said, eight jurors voted not guilty. As deliberations went on, the other jurors - two in particular - just ground the holdouts down. The two kept referring to their own history of domestic abuse - even though there was no evidence introduced that the defendant had ever abused the girlfriend. One of the jurors said that she had been in an abusive relationship and that said that a person could get so desperate she would jump out of a moving car. The juror made reference to an Oprah show she had seen about abusive relationships.

"That's not evidence!" I screeched.

"I know, I know," said Jane.

Had I been in that jury room, I guess I could have recollected how I once got into a big screaming fight with a (non-abusive) ex-boyfriend, who had not kidnapped me, and jumped out of his (slowly) moving truck onto the highway. That's not evidence, either, but it's at least as relevant as the other juror's experience.

Jane had been the last holdout on the jury. She finally was persuaded to vote guilty by the other jurors. It seemed to me that she regretted it. If Jane weren't such a truly sensitive, gentle person, I would have asked her more questions about what finally made her change her vote, but it was obvious that the whole experience had been pretty upsetting for her.

So I let it go. But I'll always be haunted by the thought of jurors in criminal cases letting old Oprah shows supersede actual evidence.


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

What a joke

Remember this?


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

When DOES conception begin?

Roger Ailes (not the evil one) points out Armstrong Williams's column about how unfair it is to blame the dam president for damn failure:

Hurricane Katrina pounded the Gulf States, leaving a city destroyed and countless citizens homeless. It was a tragedy of biblical proportions. So how did the national media respond? Many simply blamed our President. The damn broke, and it’s President Bush’s fault.


Yes, our President has rightly engendered criticism. Yes, he went about the war in Iraq in a flawed manner. And yes, his strong stances tend to make him a magnate for criticism.

And yes, my sexual magnate-ism is undeniable!

Longtime readers of Rogue Planet will not be surprised by Mr. Williams's difficulty with the English language:

T told us that he had gone to see Jim DeMint and Inez Tenenbaum debate at Coastal Carolina University during the Senatorial campaign. Armstrong Williams was one of the "journalists" asking questions.

Williams asked Ms. Tenenbaum, "So, Ms. Tenenbaum, when do you think conception begins?"

Ms. Tenenbaum replied, "I'm not sure I understand the question."

"When does conception begin?" Williams said impatiently.

Tenenbaum said, "I think you mean, does life begin at conception."

"Whatever," Williams said.

Welcome to Bizarro World

Isn't it weird? Lefties are positively beside themselves with outrage over the leak of (possibly) classified information which (may have) blown the cover of a CIA agent working undercover, while Republican politicians and liberal media establishment types alike are saying, ho-hum, this is politics as usual, no big deal, and hey, perjury ain't no thing.

Me, I don't think the WH officials in question blew Valerie Plame's cover out of a desire to deliberately compromise our national intelligence-gathering on WMD - I think they did it out of the sheer ham-fisted incompetence that has marked so much of their dealings. But what they did was wrong, and now, Flying Spaghetti Monster willing, they're gonna pay.

One question (of MANY) that the press has failed to address, as Bob Somerby points out, is whether any actual damage was caused by the leak of the Plame info. If the media have even tried to address this issue, I missed it. Somerby asks, incomparably:

Was Valerie Plame still really “under cover” at the time she was “outed?” Were
real security interests compromised when her CIA status was revealed? We haven’t
seen these matters settled. And no–the fact that the CIA filed a complaint
doesn’t resolve these questions.

Sure, any number of bloggers have discussed the POSSIBLE repercussions (Plame contacts murdered, etc). And Steve Gilliard has enthusiastically made shit up. "What about all those people tortured for having contacts with Brewster-Jennings?" Steve asks, rhetorically as it turns out. "They," he proclaimed ominously, meaning White House officials, "got people killed. Including a CIA officer. "

Wow! I thought as I read this. What a blockbuster story! Why has the press totally IGNORED this? An alert commenter on Gilliard's site asks for a link supporting these explosive allegations. And this is Gilliard's response:

Wikipedia says a star was added to the memorial wall at the CIA a few weeks after Brewster-Jennings was revealed as a CIA and it is widely believed that someone died directly as a result.

Go ahead and laugh, people, but remember this: Gilliard used to be a card-carrying reporter. His fact-checking credentials must be impeccable. If he says "It is widely believed" then, by God, it is widely believed. Who are you to question this?

Gilliard's baloney aside, as far as I know, no blogger or media outlet has bothered to try to ascertain whether any actual harm was done, as a result of the leak of Plame's status, to Plame or her contacts or to America's WMD-proliferation intelligence.

One thing that IS certain, however, is that as a result of the Plame investigation, Judith Miller's cover as a covert White House operative has been thoroughly and completely blown. The damage to the White House's propaganda-spreading apparatus must be considerable, yet no "MSM" outlet has bothered to undertake an assessment of the consequences.


Monday, October 24, 2005

Rosa Parks is dead

A great lady.

My religion requires me to take LOTS of Percodans

and lorazepam and dieazepam. So I'll be applying for a job as a pharmacy assistant at Target.


Thursday, October 20, 2005




Sorry. Get a load of this:

LOS ANGELES - President Bush flew cross-country to help dedicate a new Air Force One exhibit at the Ronald Reagan presidential library, but his appearance at a GOP fundraiser while he was here irked top California Republicans. They said Bush's appearance Thursday night at a $1 million Republican National Committee fundraiser was poorly timed because of the upcoming Nov. 8 special gubernatorial election.

"Unless President Bush is coming to California to hand over a check from the federal government to help us with the financial challenges we face, the visit seems ill-timed," said Karen Hanretty, a spokeswoman for the state Republican Party.

Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is trying to court independents and Democrats — two voter blocs that typically haven't supported Bush.The governor's campaign expressed disappointment that Bush would travel to the state to raise money just two and a half weeks before the special election.

During a campaign stop Wednesday in Anaheim, Schwarzenegger addressed why he was passing on the opportunity to sit with Bush.

"Ve're in high gear right now for our campaign," he said. "So of course, right now, it's all about paying attention to dat. So dis is vy I couldn't really accept de invitation to be part of de ceremony at de Reagan Library out dere."

But he also said he was not happy that the president was coming to California so close to the November election to raise money for the Republican National Committee. To date, Schwarzenegger has yet to reach his $50 million fundraising goal to promote his ballot initiatives.

"I've met with the president several times in de past. Ve've worked togedder, and ve have a good vorking relationship," Schwarzenegger said, adding, "... Ve vould have appreciated it if he had done his fundraising after Nov. 8."

Pardon my unseemly laughter, but . . . HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Forget the candy corn

I'm giving THESE babies out for Halloween.

(Via Desi)

Just for PJ

You know, if I went to the animal shelter and brought home 16 dogs or 16 cats I'd be called a "pet hoarder." But if I had 16 children they'd be called little gifts from God.

The other day Blondesense Liz, quoting Mark Morford, and her commenters (including, ahem, me) had some snarky fun at the expense of the Duggar family of Arkansas - Jim Bob and Michelle and their 16 children.

Far be it from me to judge the Duggars for having 16 children - after all, I wouldn't want anyone judging me for not having any (well, you can judge me if you want to but then you can kiss my ass). Sure, if EVERYONE had 16 kids the human race, and the planet, would soon be in deep doo-doo, but if everyone was like me and had no kids, the human race would be in even bigger trouble. Though the planet would probably be better off. But I digress: I want to make it clear that I wholeheartedly support the right of the Duggars to continue having children for as long as Michelle can continue fashioning pinafores out of curtains from Wal-Mart.

In all seriousness, almost everyone I know (with the exception of this one asshole I dated briefly) who grew up with multiple siblings seems to me to be exceptionally well-adjusted. Is there something about growing up in a big family that makes a person less selfish? I can't help thinking that's the case, despite my experience with the aforementioned asshole, who I think is an aberration. My best friend of many years has four brothers and sisters, and they're all terrific. Her whole family is so wholesome and fun. Like a family of Labrador Retrievers or something. Seriously, I LOVE them.

When I was a kid I was jealous of my friend who had four sisters. Her big sisters were cool and nice, and her family always seemed to be having more fun than mine. Of course, she was jealous of me because I had my own bedroom. My sister and I were friends with another pair of little girls our age who lived down the street; their family had 11 kids, which seemed quite exotic to me (it still does). I don't remember any of the kids in that family other than the two little girls, but I do recall how their mother looked like a grandmother. She looked tired all the time, and every time I saw her she would be wearing some sacklike dress. I also remember my mother dismissively saying, "Well, they're Catholic," in the context of a discussion about the size of the family. At the time I didn't really know what a Catholic was or why a Catholic would have 11 kids. Anyway, despite their mother's seeming weariness, the two little girls were nice and friendly and normal. But I must say I've never known anyone who grew up with 15 siblings, though an ex-boyfriend had a distant cousin or aunt who had 17 kids. When he told me about that the first thing out of my mouth was: "How does she remember all their names?" Regrettably predictable and idiotic, but still: How DID she remember their names?

My point? I don't really have one, other than to assure PJ that I don't have anything against large families. I rather like them. Besides, God knows somebody's gotta reproduce, because I'm not gonna do it. ;)


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Alas, "Prick Up Your Ears " is taken

John Aravosis at Americablog seeks title suggestions for the book Jeff Gannon is writing.

Cheney to resign?

U.S. News and World Report reports that Washington is aswirl with rumors that Cheney will resign.

You'd better hope they're just rumors. You think things are bad now, just imagine if BUSH were in charge.


Monday, October 17, 2005

Shorter Brad Warthen

"Why can't the United States be more like Pakistan?"

("Shorter" concept stolen from busybusybusy)

News of the illustrious Rogue Planet blogroll

New to the blogroll: Samurai Sam, whose taste is impeccable!

Also kindly welcome A Lie a Day, blogging from my hometown of Columbia, South Carolina; Bad Tux the Snarky Penguin; and New Spew joins Acidman and Velociman and Satan in filling my right wing link quota.

Note: If you've linked to this blog and I haven't reciprocated, drop me an email and I'll take care of it.

Speaking of impeccable taste: Distance Blog and this blog get a nod in this article by a lovely and talented young lady from my alma mater.

Femmes fatales Anntichrist of Blondesense and Desi of Great Scat are guest-blogging at Jesus's General.

The anniversary of Satan's last blog post approaches. One year ago, Satan probably thought his work here on Earth was done - Bush had been re-installed as president, the United States was enmeshed in war in the Middle East, Republicans controlled the Congress - but now, everything's gone to Hell in a handbasket. No pun etc. Satans henchmen on Earth have either been indicted or face imminent indictment, Bush's approval ratings are in the toilet . . . Come back, Satan! Your party needs you.

In which I am proved fucking right!

So, two people this weekend - an ex-boss and my mom - told me that they now regret having voted for Bush. Statistically speaking, among all the people I know who voted for Bush (which is nearly everyone I know) at least some of them would have to be feeling chagrin about it now.

I don't hate to say, "I told ya so." But I try not to be too insufferable about it. My mother said something about "the rich just keep getting richer" and I refrained from shouting, "DUH!"

I'm back!

Did I miss anything?


Thursday, October 13, 2005

Out of town again this weekend

Please, TRY not to clutter up this blog with your incessant comments. Thanks!

How Bush picked Harriet Miers

I just looked around an' picked the most qualified justice I could find. There
was the coffee mug, the stapler, an' Harriet Miers, and in the end I just had to
go with the candidate I felt was the strongest.

From Fafnir's interview with President Harriet Bush.

I guess with Bush's approval rating at an historic low

our heroic press feels safe finally reporting the truth about stuff like this.

John Aravosis: Closet Right Wing Nut

John Aravosis is a member of the swelling (no pun intended) ranks of so-called progressives intent on engaging in juvenile, accusatory speculation about the sexual orientation of certain people. Namely, Republicans.

If I understand John's position correctly, it is that because a portion of the Republican Party (OK, a large portion) opposes equality for gays, then the sexual orientation of ALL conservatives is fair game. And furthermore, being single is prima facie evidence that one is gay. Sure, John denies that he's accusing Harriet Miers of being gay because she's never married, but in fact that's precisely what he's doing here when he says

This week President Bush’s second Supreme Court nominee, Harriet Miers,
joined the swelling ranks of high-powered Republicans with, um—how to put
it?—ambiguous sexual orientations.

John assures his readers that he's not calling Miers's sexual orientation into question because she's single:

Miers, 61, has never been married, has no kids, doesn’t appear to have any
serious love interests, and has a special place in her heart for softball. Does
that make her a lesbian? Of course not.

But he offers no proof, none, of the alleged ambiguity of her sexual orientation. I can only conclude that he is indeed suggesting that her single status "makes her a lesbian." *

And, to use John's coy parlance: um - how to put this? - what the hell would John Aravosis know about female sexuality anyway? I would venture to say, not a fucking thing.

It might be different if Harriet Miers had a history of opposing equal rights for gay people. But that's not the case. Harriet Miers has NOT been a vocal opponent of gay rights nor is there any indication that she's a lesbian (NTTAWWT, of course). Her crime is to be single and Republican. Personally, I can forgive her, in fact I rather admire her, for the "single" part but not the Republican part. Nevertheless, unless she's muff-diving by night and gay-baiting by day, I think wink-wink-nudge-nudge innuendo about her sexuality is just as repugnant as the White House's wink-wink-nudge-nudge-I-promise-you-she's-the-right-kind-of-Christian innuendo. I wholeheartedly support full equal rights for gays, but bullshit like John's really throws me off. I really can't think of anything more puerile, more third-grade, than making sniggering innuendos that a woman (or man; I've seen this kind of crap directed at Lindsey Graham) is gay just because she isn't married.

The fact that a person is single doesn't mean that he's gay. Any more than, as we should all know, the fact that a person is married doesn't make him straight. NTTAWWT.

Personally, while I have nothing against parents as a rule - shoot, I have two of them myself - I find single politicians a refreshing change from the likes of the Mark Sanfords and the John Robertses with their perfect wives and cute little children, always ready to be trotted out for a cloying camera tableau when Daddy's running for office or vying for a Supreme Court position.

Oh, and yes, you guessed it, I am single, albeit MUCH younger than Harriet. MUCH. MUCH. (I'm only 59). But being single doesn't make me gay, most of the time. When people ask me why I'm not married I tell them, because he hasn't asked yet. And neither has she.

*Unless he thinks it's the softball thing that makes her gay. Huh. Now that I think about it, maybe she IS gay. 'Cause softball is for DYKES!


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

At least he didn't call for their assassination, not in so many words . . .

Mullah Pat Robertson delivers an ominous warning to conservative senators.

You bastards can have my mortgage interest deduction

when you pry it from my cold dead fingers!

(via Atrios)

Speaking of Bush on the Today Show

Did y'all see that? When Lauer asked Bush about Rove and the Plame investigation, Bush got this weird, inappropriate grin on his face. He looked like he was going to start giggling uncontrollably.

Seriously, what is wrong with that guy?

Misleading headline of the day

Actually, of yesterday. From the unimpeachable Newsmax, this headline:

Laura Bush: Harriet Miers' Critics Sexist

But then when you read the article, you get this:

Asked by NBC "Today Show" host Matt Lauer if sexism was behind the attacks
on Miers, Mrs. Bush said: "That's possible. I think that's possible."

"That's possible" is hardly the same as "Harriet Miers' [sic] Critics Sexist."

The repair guy

This guy came and fixed my hall floor. My dealings with him were very strange. I'd tell you all more about it, but then I'd have to kill you.

Anyway, the floor is fixed now. I'm glad.


Monday, October 10, 2005

Coincidence? I think not.

John "Buttrocket" Hinderaker shares initals with Jack Handey.

See if you can tell them apart:

A. Actually, though, the Constitution doesn't require Supreme Court justices to be lawyers, let alone judges. I've always thought it might be salutary to have a non-lawyer or two on the Court. God knows we have plenty of businessmen, scientists, historians, housewives and others who are perfectly competent to read and understand the Constitution or a federal statute. And I think it would be fun to have such a person say, just once, as the Justices are deliberating: "Where does it say that?"

B. You know what would make a good story? Something about a clown who makes people happy, but inside he's real sad. Also, he has severe diarrhea.

I bet a funny thing about driving a car off a cliff is, while you're
in midair, you still hit those brakes. Hey, better try the emergency

Update: Speaking of Jack Handey, go read the latest installment of Deep Thoughts, by Peggy Noonan, at the superb World O'Crap. John Hinderaker and Jack Handey may share initials, but Peggy Noonan is Jack Handey-er than Jack Handey himself.


While I was getting hysterical over a minor flood in my house, people in Pakistan were digging with hand tools through earthquake rubble, looking for survivors.


Sunday, October 09, 2005

I remember when I was free

And I didn't know it.

A few days ago I read this post by Russell Shaw on The Huffington Post about "the owner/renter divide." The gist of it is that renters are getting the shaft. It included this whoppingly asinine passage:

Are you sensing what I am getting at here? There are two Americas: one for
property renters and one for property owners. Renters live in a world of
arbitrary rules, where ruin is an illness or pink slip away. Owners can be
foreclosed on, of course, but we live in a society where purchasers can procure
mortgages loans for a couple of pennies on the dollar.

Shaw dismisses the very real threat of foreclosure that haunts some owners with a cavalier "Owners can be foreclosed on, of course," and then goes on to say that it's easy to get a mortgage. Well, yeah, until you've lost your home to foreclosure. I'm not sure how the ease of procuring a (first-time) mortgage alleviates the pain of foreclosure.

Shaw also talks about his hard-scrabble days as a renter, floating checks to make the rent. I remember those days too. I've had them both as a renter and as a mortgage-paying homeowner, and believe me, the latter is worse. When I think back on my days as a renter, I remember how relatively free I was - I didn't have much money, I didn't own any more stuff than I could fit into my Camaro, but I always felt free to just pick up and leave any time I felt like it. Or any time I needed to find a cheaper place. No baggage, no mortgage, no 15- or 30-year note.

When I hit a rough financial spot as a mortgage-paying homeowner, I definitely didn't have that feeling that I could escape, move on, if I had to. Rather I felt trapped. I was an OWNER! I couldn't fall behind, let my house go! I couldn't just MOVE, I had to come up with that whopping mortgage payment every month!

I'd also just read a New York Times Magazine article suggesting that renting, at least right now, can be a better deal financially than home ownership, at least for some people. Even when you factor in the mortgage interest deduction, in some places renting is just cheaper than owning.

Plus, I thought as I pondered the Shaw piece, when something in your house breaks, you gotta pay to fix it. Not so when you're a renter. Shaw, I decided, was full of shit. I thought about doing a blog post about renting vs. owning, but didn't get around to it. Too lazy.

So. Saturday evening, I take a shower, in my very own home, and blow dry my hair to silken perfection, if I do say so myself. I had just finished drying it and was admiring my handiwork when I heard this big noise from downstairs. BOOOSHHH! Then a roaring, rushing sound, like a waterfall. Coming from downstairs, from the general vicinity of the laundry room. It sounded kinda like the way the washing machine sounds when the tub is filling up with water, only louder . . . a LOT louder.

Huh. I thought. That sounds like the washing machine. But I washed a load of clothes hours ago, the machine shouldn't be doing anything now. I thought, I sure hope that's not my washing machine springing some kind of leak. Ha ha! No, it's probably not that. I worry too much. I'll just go down and check.

So I trotted downstairs, in, um, my undies, and sure enough, this rushing roar was coming from the laundry room. Ohhh, shit. I opened the door and JESUS! It was a veritable frigging GEYSER in there! Gushers of water spraying all over the goddamn place, at high pressure.

AAIIIIEEEEE!! I screamed and lunged into the laundry room. A gusher of water was spraying from behind the washer, from the hose, apparently, or the wall, I couldn't tell. I frantically tried to remember where the cutoff valves for the washing machine water supply were; goddamnit, I just checked on those a couple of months ago, after my upstairs toilet sprang a leak and I figured I ought to acquaint myself with that kind of thing.

There was so much water spraying - it seemed like a freakin' fire hose - that I couldn't see anything. I couldn't find the valves. Water sprayed all over me, my face, my hair, my body. Some tiny part of my brain thought, Damn it, not my hair! It was perfect!

I had to get help. I slammed the laundry room door shut - it's really not a room, just a large closet off a hallway - and ran back upstairs, no time to get dressed, goddamn, that water was coming out SO FAST, I threw on my bathrobe and belted it, running downstairs. I opened the laundry room door and made another try for the washing machine shutoff valves. Water just gushing right into my face. Jesus! I couldn't see anything! I couldn't feel them! There they were, I tried to turn them, no luck, shit, shit, shit, this is taking too long, water's going EVERYWHERE, I have to go outside and turn off the water at the main valve, turn off the water source to the whole house.

I grabbed my cell phone as I ran outside, in my fluffy white bathrobe, and found the metal lid to the water meter, where the main valve was. Shit! Was that one mine? Yes, it's gotta be, that's it, I pulled the lid off, and it's just a hole full of mud. I started frantically scooping the mud out. For every handful of mud I scooped out, another two handfuls flowed in. WHERE'S THE GODDAMNED VALVE? JESUS, LOOK AT ALL THIS MUD! I CAN'T FIND THE VALVE! MORE MUD IS COMING IN! OH GOD, MY HOUSE IS FLOODING! THIS CAN'T BE HAPPENING TO ME!

I stop digging, wipe the mud off my hand onto mhy fluffy white bathrobe, and run to my nearest neighbor's house, ring her doorbell. Nothing. I run over to the gay couple's house, surely one of them is home, one of those guys will know what to do, oh God, no one's home. By now I'm losing it. Hyperventilating, frenzied. I dial 911. I know, I know.

"What's your emergency?" says the operator.

"My washing machine exploded! My house is flooding!"

"Ma'am, that is NOT our problem" - in exceptionally nasal tone.

"What am I supposed to DO?" I screech. "HY HOUSE IS FLOODING!"

"Ma'am, you need to call the water company," she snipped.

For the love of GOD! I don't know the fucking water company phone number! I dial 411, back digging mud again now, hysterical, ask for the water company EMERGENCY number, this is an EMERGENCY. Get connected. Get a busy signal. OH JESUS GOD! Back into the house, more water in the face, can't turn the valves. I call my best friends, S and T, they know everything, T can fix anything, they're just four miles down the road, they can help me. S answers. "Can you please come help me, my washing machine EXPLODED, water's going everywhere, I can't stop it, I can't find the shutoff, no one's here, please come!" T's not home. S, who after ascertaining that I myself have not been physically harmed, says she doesn't know what to do but she'll be right over. I think by this point I'm officially hysterical, hyperventilating, feeling faint, frantic, and helpless.

Meanwhile water is spewing, gushing, blasting. lI run over to yet another neighbor's house, YES, their door is open, they're home, just let them pretend they're not, goddamnit. Bang on the storm door. J comes to the door, he's probably about 69 years old, wiry thin, slow moving. "Oh, God, my washing machine exploded! Water's going everywhere! I can't turn the outside water off, I can't find the valve, can you please come help me!"

J says, "Well, why don't you just turn off the water to the washing machine . . ."

"I TRIED! I CAN'T!" I shriek.

J starts to offer another helpful tip and I scream, "Please, my house is flooding! DO something! Just CALL somebody!" Then I flew down off his stoop and back to my house, my bathrobe flapping. I hear J's voice behind me: "Oh, my dear, you're barefooted, be careful, your poor feet" - thank God, at least he's coming.

Back in the house, back to the laundry room, I look down, of course there's a lake on the floor; gallons of water in my face, fumbling for the valve, no luck, God DAMN it!

J comes in behind me.

"Oh, dear, what's happened."

"It's the hose," I blathered. "It burst, I can't turn it off, oh, God, this is terrible."

"Well, let me see . . ." J got back in there, started struggling with the valves that are behind the washing machine, just beyond whether the hose burst. He's getting soaked, the poor man. "I can't seem to turn this," says J. "I may have to go and get some pliers." He has a very slow and deliberate way of speaking.

I go out on the porch, dial 411 again, get the emergency number for the water company. This time someone picks up. "Please please please, you have to come to my house and turn off my water, my washing machine broke, water's going everywhere, it's flooding, you have to come RIGHT NOW!" I give the women my name, my address. She wants my phone number. I stammer it out. "Just send somebody!"

J goes to get his pliers. I go back in the house fling the cell phone to the floor, have the presence of mind to look for a bucket to catch the flood, find a bucket, shit, what good will that do, the water is spraying out of the TOP of the hose and there's so much of it this bucket will overflow in no time. I wedge it in under the hose anyway, for whatever it's worth. J has put a washcloth over the part of the hose where the water's coming from, but water is still spewing all over the place. I try stanching it with a towel. The jostling seems to make it worse, more water's coming out now, but at least it's not going straight into my face. It's the hot water hose. At least the water's not blistering hot. Now that I can see the valve, I strain again to turn it off, but it's not budging. I look down at the floor. I'm standing in inches of water. How long before this covers the entire first floor of my house?

I go back outside to look for the outside water shutoff valve again. S drives up. She scrabbles in the mud for the outside shutoff valve, can't find it. There's so much mud.

I think we're back inside fumbling with the washer shutoff valves when J comes back in the house, with his pliers. He hands me my phone, which he has picked up off the floor. "Here's your phone, dear." He and S get back in the laundry room.

I walk outside, I'm worthless, just in everyone's way. I feel helpless and despairing. I cannot believe that water is spewing all over my house and I should be able to stop it and I CAN'T stop it and nobody can stop it. I start crying. My cell phone rings. Behind me the roar lessens, then ceases. J has finally got it cut off. I answer the phone. It's the water company guy. I'm hiccuping and sobbing. I tell him I think we got it taken care of. S comes out and hugs me. "It's not so bad," she says. "Yes it it is!" I wail. "I called 911!" I weep. S starts to laugh. I start laughing too.

I'm in shock. J is soaking wet and so is S. I apologize profusely. "Oh, stop," they say. S has to ask me three times for towels before it sinks in. Oh yes, towels to soak up the water, I already threw some down somewhere in the confusion, here's some more.

J' girlfriend (yes) V comes over while I'm apologizing.

"I'm sorry I got so hy-hy-hysterical," I say.

"Oh, honey, that's what women do," says V.

Everyone tells me it's not so bad, and I look around and maybe they're right. There's two inches of water on the laundry room floor, and the hall carpet is SOAKED, but it's not nearly as bad as my hysterical imagination had it while the water was gushing.

Long story short (OK, not-so-short), the floor in the hallway is seriously warped now and will have to be replaced. Hey, it could be worse. What happened was, the hot water hose supplying the washing machine just ruptured all of a sudden. It could have happened when I wasn't even HOME. The washing machine wasn't even running when it happened. I could have been gone for hours and come home to a house FULL of water. As it is, I just have to worry about replacing a part of my floor.

So. My point is . . renting ain't always such a bad deal.


Thursday, October 06, 2005

Michael Totten and Christopher Hitchens

I wondered if they had orgasms when Bush said "Islamofascism?" Expect them to praise Bush's speech effusively. Which one will be the first to say "Bush dared to call evil by its name!"


Maybe, maybe not, but there's enough evidence to give some right wingers pause.

That might explain why she's never been married though . . . I mean, if she was one of those bra-burning, man-hating, hairy-pitted feminazis who doesn't understand that families is where our nation finds hope, where dreams take wing.

Why Miers?

'Cause the White House is convinced the former gambling czarina will do its bidding.

Give generously

Wampum Blog, which hosts the world-famous Koufax Awards, is holding a fund-raising drive. Normally when bloggers ask for money I laugh derisively (to myself) and give nothing, saving my meager discretionary giving funds for worthier causes. But the Koufax Awards are evidently a strain on Wampum's server, and the hosts must work their butts off counting the nominations and votes, and it's a cool blog thing, etc.

So, Wampum deserves a little bit of moolah. IF you have it and IF you feel like giving, go here for details.


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Separated at birth?



More evidence here.

(Bush pic by Ron Edmonds of the AP, and via Watertiger at Dependable Renegade. Second pic via Greeting Mania)


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

I'm sensing a theme here

The lovely Desi relates, with alarm, Preznit Bush's (apparently weirdly rehearsed) remarks today on the Avian Flu and the possibility of using the military to quarantine groups of American citizens.

I'm getting the distinct impression that Bush is just itching to unleash federal troops on Americans. Yikes.


Monday, October 03, 2005

Harriet Miers

Not much to say about her right now, except to point out that she's clearly not one of those small-government conservatives. Seeing as how she was Texas State Lottery Commissioner for five years. Promoting state-sponsored gambling. Oops, I mean "entertainment."

Prop Bible?

Grace at Scriptoids comments on the suspicious itty-bittiness of the Bible that Mrs. Roberts held at Justice Roberts's swearing-in ceremony.

Grace also tells us what holy books SHE herself might swear on. I like her idea, but I'd take one step further. Why swear on a book? I'd swear on a slab of rare rib-eye, or a pint of Haagen-Dazs, or a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes.

I'd only do that 'cause I'm not a Christian, of course, and if I were a Christian, I'd really be loathe to swear on a Bible. Because as I understand the plain language of the book, Jesus himself was agin' the swearing of oaths. Totally agin' it. Jesus said,

But I tell you, do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is God's throne, or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply let your "Yes" be "Yes" and your "No," "No;" anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

Matthew 5:34-37. That seems pretty clear-cut to me. I don't understand why Christians are so all-fired eager to line up and put their hands on the Bible and solemnly swear an oath on a book that says it's wrong to swear oaths.

Well, "Margarita" IS Spanish, isn't it?

Via the delightful World O'Crap, an example of how the latest Bush generation benefits from the soft bigotry of low expectations:

Everyone seems to know about Jenna Bush, the blond half of the partying first twins. But, like her sister, Barbara, who's caring for AIDS-afflicted children in Africa, the 23-year-old has shelved her dancing shoes and is following in the footsteps of her mom, Laura, the former Texas school librarian. Jenna has turned her attention to Washington's Hispanic Mount Pleasant neighborhood, coteaching second graders at the highly regarded Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School. And, we're hearing, the University of Texas English major is wowing folks at the school, which teaches English along with Spanish or French. One example: Just last month, her second-grade class dropped into the neighborhood public library, marching quietly up to the second floor where there's a sprawling children's reading
room. "It was great, and very sweet," recalls a librarian. "She was just a good
teacher, and the kids were hanging all over her." It was the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, and Jenna was helping the kids find books and showing them how
to handle the check-out. She never raised her voice or showed frustration.
Friends say she even speaks a little Spanish.

Wow! She actually has a job, and has been observed performing it! She's just like one of us, only with better boots!

"We were all really impressed. It was all very positive," says the librarian. "It made me feel hopeful that even though she's been around all that power, she's a real erson. And I really liked her boots."

What a load of CRAP

Someone named Michael O'Hare was disparaging Harriet Miers over at Mark Kleiman's blog. I was all into it until I read this:

Ms. Miers was the first woman to have various positions. This is to her credit, but among all the thousands of "first woman to do X", not in and of itself a very big selling point. It should probably be discounted by her total lack of direct experience of what being a woman professional is for those who have children or even spouses.

(emphasis supplied) What the HELL? Unless you've bred or married, your experience as the first woman to do anything should be "discounted?"

I'd be offended, but anything Mr. O'Hare says about professional women should be discounted by the fact that he has a dick, theoretically. And is one.

Barbara Bush Humanitarian of the Week Award

This week's award goes to the Harrison County, Mississippi Sheriff's Department.

JOURNALOctober 3, 2005;

LONG BEACH, Miss. -- Last Wednesday, police and the U.S. Marshals Service swept into a Red Cross shelter for hurricane refugees here. They blocked the parking lot and exits and demanded identification from about 60 people who looked Hispanic, including some pulled out of the shower and bathroom, according to witnesses. The shelter residents were told to leave within two days or else they would be deported.

"They asked me where I wanted to go: to Houston, Atlanta or back to Mexico," said Jose Luis Rivera, 39 years old and an undocumented construction worker from Veracruz, Mexico. Mr. Rivera said he had been sleeping in a tent outside the large shelter building since Hurricane Katrina struck just over a month ago, flooding his second-story apartment in nearby Pass Christian and destroying all his belongings, including a pickup truck. "I lost everything I own in the storm. But they said they didn't care. They told us that if we didn't leave they would return on Friday with buses to take us away," he said.

(Link via the very useful Cursor)

While I was out

Thomas Friedman revealed himself to be objectively pro-genocide.

John Assrocket, Esquire, called for a Congressional investigation of the press's Katrina reporting. Gee, I can't imagine any Constitutional impediments to such an inquiry.

President Bush sent his fanatically devoted aide and pathological liar, Karen Hughes, abroad to patronize foreign citizens. As opposed to patronizing American citizens at home, which used to be her job. Ms. Hughes brought shame upon herself, her administration, and her country by revealing her abject ignorance of the United States Constitution.

Oh, and DeLay got indicted, and re-indicted, and St. Judy suddenly got a waiver that was just riiiight and so agreed to testify. As you all probably know. Only a complete cynic would postulate that Miller's decision to testify had anything to do with, say, Fitzgerald's threatening to press criminal contempt charges against her.


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