Art Pottery, Politics and Food
Saturday, October 23, 2004
In this Saturday grab bag of political odds and ends, I would like to begin by thanking readers of this blog for their kind patronage.
I really appreciate it.
Thanks to a new web monitoring service, eXTReMe Tracking, I can, now somewhat, distinguish my modest but highly discriminating (wink, wink) readership by their geographic region.
In addition to a local readers, I’m amazed and humbled by the hits and reloads coming from across the United States and, internationally, from countries as diverse as the United Kingdom, Mexico, Canada, the Netherlands, Italy, Poland, Germany, Australia, Japan, the Syrian Arab Republic and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart and sincerely hope that I’ve made you smile or alerted you to a chunk of previously unknown information.
If you would like to view these tracking reports scroll to the bottom of this page and click the little radio button on the left side of the page.
We have only a few unimportant little secrets here at planetsean global HQ and freely worship at the traditional, if presently maligned, American altar of free and impartial information, the lifeblood of real democracy.
Oh, one other item of house, or blog, keeping:
Some of you have cruelly mocked my blog’s title by saying that, in all actuality, I should have called it Politics, Politics and Politics.
Very funny, ladies and gentlemen…
I laughed but inside I (wink, wink) cried a few salty Jim Bunning-esque tears.
So, to rectify the situation, somewhat, I plan a few future remarks on a couple of rapidly approaching important Art Pottery auctions taking place here in the metropolitan area of the Queen City of the West.
Locally, here on the rolling bluegrass hills of the Commonwealth, I think it is important to highlight another recent bizarre but illuminating remark, reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer, from Kentucky’s flash-tempered junior Senator and, today, birthday boy, 73-year-old Jim Bunning at a Rotary Club event this past week in Louisville:
"Let me explain something: I don't watch the national news, and I don't read the paper. I haven't done that for the last six weeks. I watch Fox News to get my information.”
CNN reported yesterday afternoon that national Democratic Party leaders are privately referring to Bunning as (snicker), “the gift that keeps on giving.”
Poorly dressed hack Washington Post and CNN media “critic” Howie Kurtz, this morning, attempts the difficult task of applying a bit of mud to the presently shining image of Crossfire-slayer and Comedy Central Daily Show host Jon Stewart.
I was most interested by a fresh quote from one of the, apparently, still mortified pretend journalists speared by Stewart’s sharp and insightful tongue, chubby and bow-tie wearing Tucker Carlson:
"There are things wrong with cable shout-shows, definitely. There are things wrong with 'Crossfire.' What bothered me was the pomposity and sanctimony, the notion that we're the problem. He doesn't understand the role of shows like ours in the media food chain. Not only was he not funny, he was not interesting. Banal."
Something tells me dear Tucker is still rubbing ointment into Stewart’s bite marks, however, if there is anyone on the modern corrupt media scene with an unquestioned expertise in pomposity and sanctimony that person has to be, without question, our little table-turned Tucker.
Two new pro Kerry videos are available, this morning for those of you with Windows, QuickTime or Real media players.
Click here for Eagle.
Click here for Win Back Respect.
Images: bunningforsenate.org, newsmakers, DNC, winbackrespect.org
Thursday, October 21, 2004
Images: Reuters, nhptv.org
Flash animators working with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have released a hysterically funny Flash animation and fund raiser starring my hero James Carville.
The animation is a follow-up to this past summer's very funny Republican Survivor.
You won't be sorry for clicking this link!
If you do not have a free Flash player click here.
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
As Kentucky’s Democratic Senate candidate Dr. Daniel Mongiardo displays increasing electibility and a heftier campaign war chest thanks to a $466,000 gift from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, embattled 72-year-old incumbent junior Senator Jim Bunning angrily, if warily, emerged from his self-imposed campaign isolation, today, to accuse his opponent of spreading the type of “disgusting” rumor more commonly associated with the Hall of Famer’s own re-election campaign.
Speaking to a handpicked crowd of “business leaders” and local Republican officials in the northern Kentucky city of Florence, the citizen-shy Senator accused his opponent of statements actually leveled, last week, in a Louisville Courier-Journal editorial.
As reported by Bruce Schreiner of the Associated Press:
U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning…fired at his Democratic opponent Wednesday, accusing him of spreading "disgusting" rumors that the incumbent is mentally incompetent…[and] charged that Daniel Mongiardo's campaign conducted a "push-poll" that asked respondents: "Did you hear that Jim Bunning was mentally incompetent to run for the U.S. Senate?"…Contacted by The Associated Press, Mongiardo denied Bunning's accusation as "just another absurd comment," but questioned his opponent's reclusiveness during the campaign and his "bizarre conduct."
The Courier-Journal editorial, dated October 14, 2004, said:
His attacks…and the outrageous statements he has made in his rare public appearances are giving voters pause. They are raising questions about Sen. Bunning's suitability for office…is his increasing belligerence an indication of something worse? Has Sen. Bunning drifted into territory that indicates a serious health concern? His latest blast is the most outlandish so far. He accused Dr. Mongiardo…of "trying to abuse my wife" at Fancy Farm last summer…As his wild statements mount and he increasingly isolates himself, small things take on great significance…There is, of course, an easy way for Sen. Bunning to end what has become national speculation about his fitness. He could call press conferences throughout the state, stand before the public and say, "Here I am. Ask me questions. You'll see how fit I am."
The irate former Detroit Tiger and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher, who forbade a studio audience and broke mutually agreed upon rules in an October 11th statewide Debate telecast, indirectly admitted that he has not campaigned in Kentucky since August.
According to the Associated Press:
Bunning's campaign has relied on his name recognition…his conservatism and a huge campaign war chest that has allowed him to run a television ad blitz.
CNN, meanwhile, is reporting that national Democratic leaders, smelling an upset of finely laid Rovian plans, have not only plied Mongiardo with a large DSCC contribution but are hinting that they will enter the last inning of the televised fray with their own commercials.
The Senator, today, while not commenting on reports of $10,006 illegally acquired Tom Delay PAC dollars, promised to conduct a 30 county bus tour next week.
So, across the state, Kentuckians are poised for more electoral fireworks as we approach the home stretch of this less than perfectly pitched political ball game.
Images: bunningforsenate.org, University of Kentucky, AP
The 388,000 plus citizens inhabiting Kentucky’s four northernmost counties who had to compete last Friday morning for 800 available doses (200 per county) of Flu vaccine should be justifiably angry by a story in this morning’s Washington Post headlined “No Flu Vaccine Shortage at Capitol”.
Yes those 535 fabulous “leaders” who were too busy sitting on their hands before September 11th, giving themselves late Friday night pay increases and, generally, dithering while America burns apparently are swamped with flu vaccine as the Post reports thousands of dispensed vaccine doses:
While many Americans search in vain for flu shots, members and employees of Congress are able to obtain them quickly and at no charge…Even if they are young and healthy…Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (Tenn.), a heart surgeon, sent letters urging his 99 colleagues to get the shots because they mingle and shake hands with so many people…The practice appears to directly contravene the instruction being given by the government's executive branch.
I’m sure (wink, wink) no one is directly responsible for this but, I dare say, a yet to be appointed Presidential Commission will waste several million dollars going through the motions of generating some type of investigation that will, of course, be kept super duper decoder-ring secret.
Hey, it’s great and healthy to be a member of the Imperial elite, so go suck undosed eggs all you ordinary schmucks!
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Kentucky’s embattled 72 year old Junior Senator Jim Bunning has taken $10,006 illegally obtained PAC Dollars from ethically challenged House Majority Leader Tom Delay’s Texans for a Republican Majority according to figures published by the Institute for America’s Future.
The hotheaded Hall of Famer is one of 3 top Kentucky recipients of Delay’s dirty PAC money including Rep. Anne M. Northup of Kentucky’s 3rd Congressional District who received an astonishing $32,000 and Rep. Ed Whitfield of the 1st Congressional District who pocketed $13,014.
Call or email these uncommonly cash-flush representatives of our Commonwealth and demand that they return Tom Delay’s dirty PAC money.
Images: bunningforsenate.org, campaignmoneywatch.org
Reality based Science Fiction
This morning’s New York Times and Washington Post report two frightening studies of the human brain and two parts of the limbic system, the amygdala and the hippocampus, in the moderation of our behavior.
Basically the amygdala regulates fear and our response to it by coupling sensory stimulus to an adaptive response such as fight or flight.
Thanks to the amagdala, we see a weapon-bearing thug approaching and from prior adaptation some of us know to attack or to run like hell.
As the amagdala controls fear, the hippocampus rules long term or declarative memory.
Declarative memory is humanity's version of a computer hard drive.
All of our experiences and conscious memory are stored through the intensity of blood flow through the hippocampus.
The New York Times report details the teaming of neuroscientists with corporate marketing departments to produce the new marketing science of Neuromarketing:
At issue is whether marketers can exploit advances in brain science to make more effective commercials…Machines are being used to shed light on brain mechanisms that play a central role in consumer behavior: circuits that underlie reward, decision making, motivation, emotions and the senses of self. Anything that is novel, researchers have found, grabs the brain's attention system by tapping directly into reward pathways…making it possible for companies to see more quickly and accurately what their customers want, like and feel that they need.
The Washington Post reports details current Phillip K. Dick-ian studies on memory modification:
The study is part of a promising but controversial field of research seeking to alter, or possibly erase, the impact of painful memories -- a concept dubbed "therapeutic forgetting"…drugs may be able to prevent traumatic memories from being stored with such disturbing intensity in the first place, or perhaps deaden effects of old memories.
The reports are absolutely fascinating and registered, through my throbbing amagdala and hippocampus, a searing memory of recent national trauma and our national reaction to it.
Images: September 11 Digital Archive, about.com
Sunday, October 17, 2004
The Profane Heart
of George W. Jesus
A friend presented me with a Xerox copy of a parody of the 23rd Psalm currently making the rounds in Cincinnati area offices.
Though unsigned, a quick Google reveals this thread from brokenuniverse.com, which attributes the parody to “a 70 year-old supermarket bagger”:
Bush is my shepherd, I shall be in want.
He maketh me to lie down on park benches.
He leadeth me beside the still factories.
He restoreth my doubts about the Party.
He leadeth me onto the paths of unemployment for His cronies' sake.
Yea, though no weapons of mass destruction have been found,
He makest me continue to fear Evil.
His tax cuts for the rich and His deficit spending discomfort me.
He anointest me with never-ending debt.
My days of savings and assets are finished.
Surely poverty and hard living shall follow me all the days of his administration,
And my jobless child shall dwell in my basement forever.
The parody is a fitting companion piece, this fine, if chilly, Sunday morning, for Ron Suskind’s scary New York Times Magazine article on the Crawford Messiah:
Three months ago, for instance, in a private meeting with Amish farmers in Lancaster County, Pa., Bush was reported to have said, ''I trust God speaks through me.'' In this ongoing game of winks and nods, a White House spokesman denied the president had specifically spoken those words, but noted that ''his faith helps him in his service to people”… when the moment came in the V.I.P. tent to shake Bush's hand, Billington [a 52 year-old fundamentalist Bush supporter from Poplar Bluff, Missouri] remembered being reserved. '''I really thank God that you're the president' was all I told him.'' Bush, he recalled, said, ''Thank you.''
''He knew what I meant,'' Billington said. ''I believe he's an instrument of God, but I have to be careful about what I say, you know, in public.''
Modified Image: emmerich1.com , Reuters