Archive for April, 2009

Happy Unprofessionals’ Day!
April 28, 2009

photo from cakewrecks blogspot

photo from cakewrecks blogspot

Thousands of teenagers massacred
April 24, 2009

At 2 a.m. on April 25, 1915, thousands of young Australian and New Zealand soldiers (the ANZAC force) disembarked to what they’d been led to believe was a gentle sandy beach on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey. Their British commanders had sent them to the wrong place! Consequently, they disembarked at the bottom of a cliff. At the top of that cliff, the British enemy – the Turkish – lay in wait.

Out of the first 200 soldiers to disembark, only 21 men made it to shore. The surviving ANZAC forces continued to advance to the shore, and the Turks receded, waiting for the ANZACS to come over the top. The ANZAC soldiers dug themselves into the cliffside for cover, gaining the eternal epithet of ‘Diggers’. ANZAC officers demanded confirmation from the British command that they were indeed expected to take the territory from that ludicrous position. Confirmation came. The Diggers went over the top. And died.

Australia and New Zealand commemorate the Diggers, on April 25 every year. The Diggers have all since gone to God. May they rest in peace.

The flower of Australian and New Zealand manhood was lost, and ultimately tens of thousands of girls could never marry or have children because the boys never came home from World War 1.

“They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”

Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)

Lest we forget.

Sarah Palin Recycles Phony Senate Appointment
April 21, 2009


Until a few weeks ago, Tim Grussendorf was a registered Republican. Then he got wind of Sarah Palin’s plan to deprive her arch-enemy of a rightful vacant State Senate seat of the capital city, Juneau.

Arch-enemy, Alaska State Rep Beth Kerttula (who, more than any Alaska Democrat, has supported Palin in the past), did nothing more than state her view last year that Palin was not in any way qualified for the role of VP. Which, of course, she wasn’t. “Hell hath no fury like Sarah Palin scorned,” is what you often hear in Alaska.

So Sarah appointed in succession two pseudo-Democrat, inexperienced males – Grussendorf, and Joe Nelson – to the Juneau seat. The Senate Democrats rejected both, unsurprisingly. There was talk of a compromise candidate, a former Mayor of Juneau.

But Sarah wasn’t interested in compromise; she doesn’t know the meaning of the word. Instead, she “re-appointed” Tim Grussendorf and announced she would “re-appoint” Joe Nelson again if she couldn’t get Grussendorf! Que??

Nelson took himself out of the game; he’d had enough humiliation.

None of this is legal (nor is it cool) but at the very same time Sarah was trying to have her new Attorney-General confirmed. It was under his advice that Sarah Palin indulged in all these embarrassing and illegal shenanigans. The new Attorney-General is famous for his contempt for women, Natives, gays – pretty much everybody who isn’t an old white guy like him. The thing he loves is guns. He doesn’t love the law so much, perhaps because he just needs to get to know it better. He previously ran for Governor of Alaska as a candidate for the Alaska Independence Party, a secessionist group. All up, he is not the sort of lawyer Alaska needs as Attorney-General with a governor like Palin. So, the Republican-dominated Legislature rightly refused to confirm him – making history in Alaska.

So, there is Sarah Palin, stuck without her gun-toting, people-hating Attorney-General and stuck with her illegal and ridiculous recycled “appointee” to the State Senate ….

“What insane and unlawful thing will she do next?” we wondered.

With no Attorney-General to do her dirty work, she lost interest in screwing with Alaskans. With only a couple hours to go before the 2009 Alaska legislative session gaveled out until 2010 – leaving Alaska’s capital city without representation for the rest of the year – Sarah Palin appointed the compromise candidate.

And she wants to be President??

Has Tom Cruise declared bankruptcy?
April 18, 2009


I’ve seen six Tom Cruise movies, all of them on television, but outside of Top Gun I haven’t spent a moment of my life watching Tom Cruise pretending to be a hero. Or tall.

Tom Cruise reportedly gets paid a cool $20 million to emulate a hero. If folks actually go to watch him pretending to be a hero, his take is – what – $60-70 mil per picture? He gets paid this money by companies like BMG, EMI, Sony, Universal, Columbia Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Universal, and Warner Bros (and others).You would think he could easily find a lazy grand under every couch cushion in all of his homes …

But is he really scratching for a buck from his residuals? The Hollywood machine has been crying poor for years because of nasty internet downloaders. Or uploaders, or whatever you call them. I can’t do torrents because I have no bandwidth to offer – but I can tell you this: every movie under the sun since practically the dawn of time is available on torrents. Every movie released in June this year is probably on torrents, too.

After fending off corporate lawsuits in several countries, the owners of Pirate Bay have been struck down in their own home (Sweden). In addition to being sentenced to one year in jail, they were ordered to pay $3.6 million to be shared among BMG, EMI, Sony, Universal, Columbia Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Universal, and Warner Bros (and others). At long last the corporations have had a win! Wow, that $3.6 million dollars is going to buy them all a new jacuzzi by the time it’s divided up. And they certainly can’t afford Tom Cruise on that.

In order to ensure that Tom Cruise can continue to make mega-millions pretending to be a hero please donate to today.

The crazy busload of Swedes at the center of this farce can be found at

Another Palin SNAFU
April 16, 2009


Alaska State Senator Kim Elton (D) accepted a job in Washington in January. So would I have. The Alaska Senate Democrats nominated a replacement senator to the governor (Sarah Palin) – whose job it is to appoint said senator – to be confirmed by the Democrats.

The Alaska Senate Democrats’ one and only choice was Beth Kerttula, a sitting Alaska State Rep and the most highly-respected prospective replacement among Democrats in all of Alaska.

Last year, Beth Kerttula was critical of Sarah Palin’s ability to do the job of Vice President. Instantly, Beth Kerttula went to the top of Sarah Palin’s very long hate list.

“But traditionally, you have to offer me a list to choose from,” shrieked Ms Palin.

“We don’t have to do anything of the kind. We don’t have to offer you two more people whom we feel are not our first choice,” replied the Democrats.

“I’ll show you who you’re messing with,” threatened Ms Palin. She called for job applications for the vacant seat. Weeks went by.

Then she appointed a man who had been a Republican until six weeks previously. That was Tim Grussendorf. The Democrats refused to confirm him.

Then she appointed a man who has never been active in politics. He was at least a Democrat, but with very close and longstanding Republican ties. That was Joe Nelson. The Democrats refused to confirm him.

Then she offered the Democrats a list of three contenders: Tim Grussendorf (yep), Joe Nelson (yep) and Alan Wilson, who changed his voter registration to Democrat so recently that it wasn’t yet on the Alaska Division of Elections computer.

The governor’s role is to ‘appoint’ one senator for one seat and the Democrats’ role is to confirm, so it’s not possible for things to be done the legal way, things being what they are. Sarah Palin knows that. Her yet-to-be-confirmed Attorney-General knows that, too – and he doesn’t care.

The Alaska State Republican Senators must be shaking in their boots wondering what manner of precedent Palin is trying to set that will come back to bite them in the ass.

S.N.A.F.U. in Sarah Palin’s Alaska.

Remembering L’Aquila
April 7, 2009

It’s not possible to not love Rome. It’s also not possible to not enjoy getting away from it occasionally. I wanted to see the Gran Sasso. It’s a mountain in central Italy. That’s where L’Aquila was, too.

It’s a small town by my standards, but not by Italian rural standards. The thing that struck me was that it’s a family kind of place. No big commercialism, no tourism, no industry, no subdivisions – just the town that services dozens of farming towns.

And it’s an old town, a very old town, in a mountain valley. What could be nicer?

But L’Aquila is no more. Mother Nature has shattered L’Aquila after 800 years.

L'Aquila from our picnic vantage point

L'Aquila from our picnic vantage point

The bridge across the moat

The bridge across the moat