Art Pottery, Politics and Food
Friday, January 21, 2005
Stinking Traitors!

Decent, God-fearing America is, once again, sickened and stunned by another beloved cartoon character discovered working on behalf of the forces of darkness.

The fancifully traitorous cartoon bear joins the evil ranks of other outed children's TV characters suspected by right wing interest groups to be advancing a global agenda of perversion and indecency more commonly and rightly associated with Saudi royalty and the American television and movie industry.


At 1.2 billion miles from war-torn and soon to be Bush-dominated Earth there’s a chance of partly cloudy skies and occasional showers on the super cold exotic surface of the Saturnian moon Titan.

ESA Scientists describe Titan's exotic environment

The first scientific assessment of data from the Huygens probe, including previously missing information recovered through American and European radio-telescopes monitoring the probe’s telemetry, was made at the European Space Agency Headquarters this morning in Paris, France.
Dr Martin Tomasko, Principal Investigator for the Descent Imager-Spectral Radiometer (DISR), said:

"Geological evidence for precipitation, erosion, mechanical abrasion and other fluvial (pertaining to rivers) activity says that the physical processes shaping Titan are much the same as those shaping Earth.”

Though Titan’s river and lakebeds appear dry at the moment, Huygens provided strong evidence of recent liquid methane rainfall.
Scientists reported the Gas Chromatograph and Mass Spectrometer (GCMS) and Surface Science Package (SSP) both detected methane evaporating from the landing area “soil” following contact with the atmospherically warmed skin of the Huygens probe thus further reinforcing the organic compound’s primary role in the moon’s geology and atmospheric meteorology.
Spectral measurements of the small “rocks” visible in the probe’s pictures of the Titanian surface are, according to the ESA scientists, “consistent with a composition of dirty water ice rather than silicate rocks.”
At Titan’s –170 degrees Celsius (-274 degrees Fahrenheit) surface temperature methane exists as liquid and gas while water ice exists in a form as solid as an earth-bound rock.
Many of our Earth’s familiar geophysical processes, according to the Huygens' data, have an exotically different chemistry within the alien Titanian environment:

Instead of liquid water, Titan has liquid methane. Instead of silicate rocks, Titan has frozen water ice. Instead of dirt, Titan has hydrocarbon particles settling out of the atmosphere, and instead of lava, Titanian volcanoes spew very cold ice.

Scientists speculate that Titan’s methane rainfall may be seasonal and, according to the BBC, indicated a desire to send robotic explorers, similar to the Mars Rovers, to further explore this unusual new world.

Mars Meteorite Update

NASA has posted this color image of “the first meteorite of any type ever identified on another planet.”
According to Opportunity’s spectrometers, the “pitted, basketball-sized object” is made of iron and nickel.

I've dashed off an email to Google AdSense about the recent flood of pro Bush advertising atop this page.
Since most of you ignore these ads I don't find them terribly troubling except to realize that some sticky-fingered Rethug loyalist went to a bit of trouble evading Google's filtering process to occasionally stick the President simian visage atop this humble blog.
Actually, I'm taking it as a, sort of, strange compliment.


Thursday, January 20, 2005
A Face in the Crowd

The President laughs at the always funny Trent Lott

Instead of watching George Bush dispense platitudes and make empty promises to a crowd of millionaires within a fenced-in and concrete-barricaded federal enclosure, I chose to watch Elia Kazan’s brilliant 1957 film A Face in the Crowd starring Andy Griffith and Patricia Neal on Turner Classic Movies.
Reading the President’s Inaugural speech at the site. allowed the realization that I had made the correct decision thanks to a clever cable TV counter-programmer.
I’m wondering if the networks and print media pick out the one morsel of news contained in this chunk of the President’s committee-written Inaugural hoo-haw:

I ask our youngest citizens to believe the evidence of your eyes. You have seen duty and allegiance in the determined faces of our soldiers. You have seen that life is fragile, and evil is real, and courage triumphs. Make the choice to serve in a cause larger than your wants, larger than yourself.

Yes, kiddies, volunteer for military service or future TV talking heads will point to this paragraph as Mr. Bush’s boldly indirect clarion call for a return to some form of involuntary conscription.

Photo: Reuters

Wednesday, January 19, 2005
"Fester"ing Image

Isn't it time for the VP to spend some of that Halliburton cash on a new coat for Lynne so she can return this tired costume to Fester Addams?

Photos: Reuters,

Condi Uses Hypno-Eye
On Senate Committee!

Helpless Senators voted 16 to 2 to recommend Condi’s confirmation after she revealed her hypnotic alien 3rd eye at Wednesday's hearing.
Entranced Senate Foreign Relations Committee members, in response to the President's request for a Dark Lord of Mordor-themed 2nd term, also voted to fund a 4–year brooch and clothing allowance and to change her title from Secretary of State to Foggy Goddess of Sleepy Bottom.

Modified Image: Reuters

Martian Meteorite

In a perfect example of scientific serendipity, the Mars Opportunity Rover, rapidly approaching its 1st Martian anniversary on January 24, has discovered, according to a story on, what NASA’s Mars Rover Science Team believes is an iron meteorite.

Meteorite is visible above black opening in heat shield

The incredibly lucky discovery, visible in previously released images, was made as the intrepid little Rover continued its exploration of its inverted heat shield on the southern latitude Martian plain called Meridiani Planum or the Middle Flat Plain.

Meteorite is in the lower left corner in this opposite view of the heat shield

The meteorite, which scientists are calling the “Shield Rock” because of its proximity to the Opportunity’s silvery, inverted heat shield, is believed to have been part of a larger meteorite which broke up upon entry into the Martian atmosphere or upon crashing onto the Martian surface.
Shield Rock was discovered on January 10th or on the Rover’s 345th Martian day.

Images: JPL/NASA

Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Under Oath

"I personally believe...that your loyalty to the mission you were given, to sell this war, overwhelmed your respect for the truth."
--Senator Barbara Boxer, D-California

Modified Photo: Stephen Crowley-NYT

Monday, January 17, 2005
Imperial Entanglements

Seated, from left, are Marvin Bush, Laura Bush, President Bush, Barbara Bush, former president Bush and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Standing behind them are Georgia Grace Koch, Margaret Bush, Walker Bush, Jenna Bush, Doro Koch, Barbara Bush, Robert P. Koch, Pierce M. Bush, Maria Bush, Neil Bush, Ashley Bush, Sam LeBlond, Robert Koch, Nancy Ellis LeBlond, John Ellis Bush Jr., Mandi Bush, George P. Bush and Columba Bush.

While I couldn’t make myself read the slobberingly puffy Bush Dynasty article in Monday's Washington Post, I did study the accompanying Imperial Family portrait and noticed a few interesting bits.
First, the President, looking every inch the special birthday boy though the event celebrated Bar and Poppy’s Diamond wedding anniversary, was wearing his supremely ridiculous presidential seal cowboy boots.

Don’t you just know the uncomfortable-looking Jeb, out of Bar’s line of sight, murderously rolls his eyes at the esposa when he sees these ostentatious little gems?
Anyway, when eyeballing the front row, it seemed that two of Jeb and the President’s siblings were missing.
After further intensive study and a quick consultation with my trusty and well-thumbed Kitty Kelly, I knew the identities of the missing sibs and began to suspect a missing niece.
Absent from the warm embrace of the seated front row were the President’s divorced sister and brother, Doro and the infamous Neil.
Where could they be and what dynastic rumblings could this suggest?
Further study of the photo and its massive cut line revealed both Doro and Neil in, but just barely, the photo.
Both marriage-impaired Bush siblings are shown unceremoniously placed in the 3rd row, behind a line of nieces and nephews and well out of the front row power penumbra.
Anyone even remotely familiar with family photos would find this placement curious and one cannot but wonder at the, no doubt, Bar-instigated dynamic.

Neil’s widely publicized and recent elections year troubles are, of course, widely known and if I was Bar I’d stick him in the 3rd row.

But, Doro’s placement, to me, remains curious.
According to la Kitty her first husband was a more working class type who didn’t mesh with the power and status mad Bush boys.
Then, again from Kitty’s steaming pages, Doro remarried a more socially acceptable (nervous throat clearing), um, Democrat in a Camp David ceremony during her father’s presidential term.
It seems unlikely to a non-imperial normal person that a Democratic 2nd husband would be the cause of Doro’s 3rd row banishment except for the fact that Mother Bar is said to share her favorite Presidential son’s penchant for lengthy and most unchristian grudges.
Additional perusals most curiously fail to show any young Bush niece named Noelle.
Were this vale of tears really imperial Rome our Doro and old Neilsie would have felt a sword’s kiss long before now.
Perhaps that explains Jeb's missing daughter.

Photo: White House Pool

January 15, 1929 - April 4, 1968

The March on Washington, August 28, 1963

A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand we are called to play the good Samaritan on life's roadside; but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life's highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.

Martin Luther King - April 4, 1967

The New York Times, normally in the business of ignoring material published in the Washington Post, flies to the aid of the White House this morning with a headline on their homepage that suggests yet another White House flip-flop on the supposed push for a Marriage Amendment to the United States Constitution.
But, the article, no matter the headline's claim, doesn’t ask the President-in-question for a clarification but merely restates the waffling non-answer given later yesterday by chief Bush goon and political crisis smoother Dan Bartlett to a timorous question posed by the-ever-deferential-to-things-Bush Meet the Press host Timmy Russert.
The article, continuing the usual compliant media illusion that tape recorders and note-takers again misinterpreted the President’s rambling string of sentence fragments, includes a quote from Bush zombie and animal sex expert Senator Rick Santorum spooned from the poisonous soup that is FOX News Sunday.
Good try guys but the article is only a reflection of an effective line of communication between Times editorial offices and the White House and further evidence that our President still has a need for that 3 percentage point “mandate”.


Beyond Vietnam is, perhaps, my favorite speech by Dr. King both because it is one our techno-industrial consumerist culture takes pains to avoid and because it brims with techno-industrially dangerous, edgy lyrical prophesy.
I would highly recommend following the above link and reading the entire speech.
The last chapter of C. A. Tripp’s brilliant, widely insightful and much maligned by the media Intimate Life of Abraham Lincoln speaks to the genius necessary to produce culturally valuable insight such as President Lincoln and Dr. King’s:

Genius cannot be a group product…the uniformity that every society struggles to maintain for smoothness and easy communication is precisely the opposite of what genius requires for expression—that is, a freedom from constraint and a degree of wildness that lives at the very edge…gave each of them the capacity to turn on a dime, sometimes at the first whiff of an advantage.

A report in this morning’s London Guardian, to me, develops this by illustrating modern media’s perversion of the “uniformity” baseline:

The media occupies a parallel universe to the one in which everyone else tries to do their job and make sense of the world…the media, with their preoccupation with violence, division and fault, are distorting our understanding of human nature. What the media portray, like one of those fairground mirrors, is a grotesque species that murders, squabbles, bullies and dies. What gets omitted is the extraordinary ordinariness that keeps people getting up in the morning; the humor, innocence, generosity, love and friendship - the very human characteristics that might begin to inspire more confidence in our ability to alleviate, rather than simply know about, the suffering of others.

Photo: BBC,, Corbus

Sunday, January 16, 2005
Full Cotton Jacket

President Bush, perhaps dizzy from his endless parade of theme jackets, has forgotten his 3 percentage point “moral mandate” and has told the Washington Post his second questionable electoral victory is, now, a mandate on the Iraq quagmire:

“We had an accountability moment, and that's called the 2004 elections…The American people listened…about what was taking place in Iraq…and chose me.”

The interview, in this morning’s edition of the Washington daily, also has the President slapping the collective faces of his most fervent religious supporters, hard:

For the first time, Bush said he will not press senators to pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage…”Nothing will happen.

The President also showcased his squishy soft attitude toward the mastermind of the September 11th terrorist attack.
Asked why his administration has been unsuccessful in capturing bin Laden, the President said:

"Because he's hiding…I am pleased about the hunt.”

While the American left's attitude toward Terror and Marriage is clear, the Post speculated that the President's about face on Gay Marriage "is likely to infuriate some of his socially conservative supporters."
Ya think?

Modified Image: Washington Post

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