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Tom Coburn is a Big Fat Jerk


Home of the Barking Moonbat


Saturday, January 15, 2005

The fences are falling down

No really, they are. This isn't some kind of obscure hillbilly political metaphor. Sometime yesterday evening or late last night, the back fence fell halfway down.

I knew it was going to happen and have been working on getting all the fences here fixed. The problem is, it's fallen down a month or so before I wanted to fix it. And it's cold out there and I'm still in my jammies. And I haven't even finished the fireplace yet or, for that matter, moved the computer into the kitchen.

This wouldn't be such a big deal except the fenced area is, in part, to keep my dogs (the large hairy beasts) in --- but more important, to keep everything else out.

The fence is, IOW, a symbolic barrier between civilization (my little home and cultivated areas) and barbarianism (the rest of my property where all the critters like deer and bears (!) and fat groundhogs and beaver families and snakes (!!) live.

Inside the fence: me and dogs and a million kinds of frogs and the skinks and gardens and lots of birds and the tiny prehistoric monster lizards.

Outside: mayhem. The neighbor's horses. Possums!

So my little one day hiatus is going to be a two day hiatus. I'll be back tomorrow.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Fireplaces and oil and agribusiness and whatnot

I'm going offline til tomorrow --- not that I've been online much today, given I've been teaching a good 60 miles from here --- but I managed to nab a really nice fireplace for next to nothing. So it's getting installed tonight. But that means I'm going to have to move the computer again which is going to be a real problem because the computer room is being used as a bedroom right now and the bedroom is being used as a plant room (don't ask) right now so the computer's going to have to go in the kitchen for a while til I get the backporch built using these handy little things -- and let me tell you, when you live on up and down hills made of pure rock, these handy little things are the only way to go, unless you like using dynamite and jackhammers.

In any case, when I get back, I want to get myself back on track. I'm in a dither over The Evil Abu and Social Security and basically everything right now --- but I have longstanding snits going about agribusiness and big oil and the importance of local economies and whatnot, and it's time for me to get back on track and find some way to integrate them with my ragings over Evil Abu and the Puppetmasters.

So a day away from the blog will be a good way for me to step back, take a look and get myself headed back out in the right direction.

If you're lucky, I'll have some pictures of my two favorite geese who are living over at the abandoned, poorly concealed survivalist camp down the road.

See you in a day or so, unless that idiot Bush does something really idiotic. Which he will, of course.

Friday afternoon poultry blogging

This handsome fellow was responsible for herding all those runaway chickens over to my place and under my porch. It took him a while to understand that I wasn't planning on cooking him for dinner --- the hens were much more savvy, and quickly learned that I would feed them a little extra if they came to the front door and sounded weak. But he came around eventually. Unfortunately, by the time he realized I wasn't planning on making a nice fricasee out of him, his people realized this is where he'd run off to.

I miss my little band of runaway chickens.


Thursday, January 13, 2005


A year or so ago, I was invited to join a small, private internet forum composed of so-called liberals with so-called progressive values and enlightened attitudes.

They seemed a pleasant enough bunch. Oh sure, there were a few cracks in the veneer, but I assumed those cracks were merely a product of my own foibles and neuroses.

But I was wrong. And I discovered just how wrong when I foolishly posted about an invitation to join a local assistance organization. I've done a lot of work with groups like that over the years and was excited about the prospect of doing yet more of it.

My excitement, however, was not shared by the members of the elite, private, so-called liberal with so-called progressive values and enlightened attitudes group. Instead, they descended upon me like piranha on a wounded gosling tossed into the churning wild seas.

They insisted my first plan of action must be to install Bally-style gyms. Then, I must stop everyone in this area from having babies --- immediately! --- because, as we all know, procreation should be restricted to the white upper and upper-middle classes of affluent Northestern cities and villages. Preferably only Episcopalians and Presbyterians, although Catholics and Jews might also be allowed to procreate, depending on their political stance and bank balances.

No joke. I kid you not. Slight exagerration --- but not by much.

And no amount of explaining the organization was about getting new roofs on elderly people's homes and handicapped ramps onto the porches of the disabled, trying to alleviate in some immediate way some of the most pressing effects of the entrenched poverty of this area --- hungry elders, families without the funds to bury an uncle --- none of it got through.

I won't even get into their insistence that we deserve agribusiness --- we deserve to suffer the environmental and economic devastation wrought by Tyson and similar corporations.

The kicker came, however, when I was told this entire area of the country should be bulldozed under.

I left in disbelief, but not before seeing their lengthy posts enjoining me to stay because I need their help --- and their angry, pettiness when it became apparent I had left them.

How dare I violate their self-perceptions of superiority and progressive values!

In any case, Steve Gilliard was a constant topic on this forum. One thread ran a good 50 replies long as they agonized over his spelling errors and grammatical flaws. Steve, how could you, what is wrong with him, well he obviously has psychological problems and can you believe his pathological anger and arrogance in refusing to fix his spelling errors! How dare he, how dare he, they would cry.

As a result of their obsession with Gilliiard and their determination to psychoanalyze his every move [his spelling errors are certainly a sign of his grandiosity! no, he's obviously got some kind of rage disorder!] --- as a result of this, I have avoided Gilliard's blog for months, certain that these nitwits were an active part of it.

I finally checked him out last night, however.

He's good. And he's funny.

So I'm adding him to my blogroll.

Let's just hope this doesn't garner me the attention of the nitwits. Although I doubt it does.

The Merchants of Horror: Bush Family Values, Part II

Via Seeing the Forest:

Cakewalking on Graves ~ Death Squad 'W' and the Shining City on the HillĀ 

quote: The results of Salvadoran military training are graphically described in the Jesuit journal America by Daniel Santiago, a Catholic priest working in El Salvador. He tells of a peasant woman who returned home one day to find her three children, her mother and her sister sitting around a table, each with its own decapitated head placed carefully on the table in front of the body, the hands arranged on top "as if each body was stroking its own head."

The assassins, from the Salvadoran National Guard, had found it hard to keep the head of an 18-month-old baby in place, so they nailed the hands onto it. A large plastic bowl filled with blood was tastefully displayed in the center of the table.

source: What Uncle Sam Really Wants, by Noam Chomsky, 1992.


If anyone thinks that Armstrong "Buff Daddy" Williams is some kind of pioneer in this regard, well, think back. The Bush Borg and its well greased Right Wing fleet of killer satellites have been orbiting the earth for years. The entire scope of the covert funding and elaborate propaganda whirlwind which swirled around the Reagan/Bush Latin America adventure in bloodletting during the 1980's is extremely complex. Much to complex for this short blog post. But some of the key operators in this carnival of death included the "Outreach Working Group on Central America" which farmed the assistance of multiple right wing Christian, neoconservative and New Right organizations; including Pat Robertson's Freedom Council, Falwell's Moral Majority, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, the Heritage Foundation, the Eagel Forum, the Conservative Caucus, Accuracy in Media, and Richard Viguerie's mass mail marketing brigantine, among others. /end quote

It will turn your stomach --- read in its entireity.

All the President's Newsmen

A day or so ago, I lamented to myself that the Dept of Education would be saddled with the entire responsibility for Payolagate, and BushCo would (once again) get off with nary a scratch.

So maybe. But maybe not. In today's NYT, Frank Rich writes: ... the Jan. 7 edition of CNN's signature show can stand as an exceptionally ripe paradigm of what is happening to the free flow of information in a country in which a timid news media, the fierce (and often covert) Bush administration propaganda machine, lax and sometimes corrupt journalistic practices, and a celebrity culture all combine to keep the public at many more than six degrees of separation from anything that might resemble the truth.


we should pause a moment to analyze this "Crossfire" co-host's disingenuous use of the term "full disclosure."

Last year Mr. Novak had failed to fully disclose - until others in the press called him on it - that his son is the director of marketing for Regnery, the company that published "Unfit for Command," the Swift boat veterans' anti-Kerry screed that Mr. Novak flogged relentlessly on CNN and elsewhere throughout the campaign. Nor had he fully disclosed, as Mary Jacoby of Salon reported, that Regnery's owner also publishes his subscription newsletter ($297 a year). Nor has Mr. Novak fully disclosed why he has so far eluded any censure in the federal investigation of his outing of a C.I.A. operative, Valerie Plame, while two other reporters, Judith Miller of The Times and Matt Cooper of Time, are facing possible prison terms in the same case. In this context, Mr. Novak's "full disclosure" of his friendship with Mr. Williams is so anomalous that it raised many more questions than it answers.


the White House is saying that the whole affair is, in the words of the press secretary, Scott McClellan, "a contracting matter" and "a decision by the Department of Education." In other words, the buck stops (or started) with Rod Paige, the elusive outgoing education secretary who often appeared with Mr. Williams in his pay-for-play propaganda.

But we now know that there have been at least three other cases in which federal agencies have succeeded in placing fake news reports on television during the Bush presidency.


is Mr. Williams merely the first one of his ilk to be exposed? /end quote

Dear Thunder Beings and Forest Sprites and Gods of Ice Creams and Other Desserts: Please let this be just the opening shot.

Rich's OpEd here.

Torture and Death Squads: Bush Family Values

1. At the urging of the White House, Congressional leaders scrapped a legislative measure last month that would have imposed new restrictions on the use of extreme interrogation measures by American intelligence officers, Congressional officials say.

2. Her fingers fidget as she recalls darting from a line of women who were about to be shot, and creeping into a bush. She stayed immobile for hours, recognizing her children's voices crying ''Mamita, they're killing us!'' as they were bayoneted.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Here's to you, Michael Shackelford

I grew up in downtown Tulsa which was, quite frankly, a pretty gay place. Even though I didn't even believe gay people existed until I was in my 20's (absolute truth), many of my best friends in middle and high school and beyond were gay. It was common knowledge as we all came of age that gay bars were the most fun places to go, gay parties the best --- it was never anything that any of us thought about because it just wasn't an issue. It wasn't an issue for us. It was simply a part of the way things are. I knew someone who had an Auntie Diesel, the name she and her entire family used in preference to her given name, a friend whose mother was gay, etc. Etc. Etc. Etc.

All things which just seemed to be a part of the landscape of normal life until the strange and perverted rilings of the fascists ...

But Sand Springs? It's a lovely little town --- but it's west of even the West Side. And the West Side has always been notorious for its bigots and perverts and slack-jawed crazies. Not to mention, it's a bit too close to Central Oklahoma, which is way too close to Western Oklahoma for even my tastes.

I've had to live in those parts before. You couldn't pay me enough to go back. And it's not that eastern Oklahoma is any kind of cultural or intellectual Mecca --- far from it! But there's a strongly libertarian spirit in these parts, not to mention that the Ozarks have always been populated by --- well, just all kinds of people.

It's a far cry from Sand Springs, that's for sure.

In any case, I have a sense what Michael Shackelford has confronted in recent months. I'm not gay but, even as a child, I was always much too arty. I come from a long line of Alternative Women :=D , and Sand Springs and the West Side just don't tolerate that.

Even I was fearful some big old redneck babe shit kicker would take me out in those parts.

I can't imagine what it would be like to be a gay teenage boy.

So let me tell you, it has taken some real courage and some real strength and some true machismo for Michael Shackelford to have done what he's done. I can't watch the Nightline show about him because I can't get television out here. But Washington Post did a pretty good little series. And word is, he's getting some pretty good support from his town --- thank goodness because that fruitcake Fred Phelps has gone after him.

So here's to you, Michael. Nicely done.

Wednesday Evening Tornado Blogging

I mean, come on now, people. It's January. The rest of the country is enjoying gloomy, soggy, grey slush and windchills of -45.

But not us. Cold fronts around here are never good news, and I knew it was fixing to get a little hairy while driving home through sheets of pouring torrential monsoon rains.

I decided it might be fun to do a little tornado blogging. So an hour or so ago, I was starting to upload satellite pics of storms in this area, captioning them in various ways --- 'This is what a tornado looks like on radar' and such. You know --- folk meteorology lesson.

And then the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning, with the center of rotation located about 6 miles southwest of me and headed northeast --- or straight toward me.


So I put my tennis shoes on (the first rule is, always be prepared to run) and stationed myself between the computer (so I could refresh satellite) and the front door (so I could bail the minute the trees bent a bit too far over).

And I'm not sure what happened, but it looks like the tornado jumped us and is now wreaking havoc to the northeast of here, like a little Tasmanian Devil. Although around these parts, they claim they can split storms by throwing an axe just so in the ground.

I think it's all our trees and hills and water that break the storms up. But who am I? Maybe it's the axe-throwing.

In any case, it's now headed straight for Fayetteville and Siloam Springs, home to the Bubba side of my family --- so hey, Bubbas! Time to hit the ground!


Dave Johnson of Seeing the Forest implores the Blogosphere to shout it ftom the rooftops.

He notes Chris Bowers' Armstrong Williams is a Crack in the Matrix and that this kind of a payoff from the administration to the press has happened three other times ... that we know of.

quote: We need a blog drumbeat on this story until the "mainstream press" has to cover it. This is a BIG DEAL. This is our government paying right-wingers to repeat right-wing propaganda. It is a major crime. And it says a lot about what has been happening in this country! WHO ELSE IS BEING PAID? AND WHO IS PAYING? /end quote

Now believe me, Blogosphere, I understand waxing and waning in our outrage --- we're not crackpots like Rush, we lack the antisocial personality disorders of the Spankers amd Floggers, we abhor the characterization of sado-masochistic rape and torture as playful hijinx, we find Abu Gonzales reprehensible --- we understand the need for reflection and meditation and time spent just watching the critters out back to recharge so we don't become them. We have a conscience.

But he's right. Like the spiraling continual inevitable deterioration in Iraq, like privatization, like The Evil Abu and Death Squads, like all the rest, we have to keep after this.

Let's kick their asses clear to Mars. There's a reason big media is so strangely silent on Payolagate. Maybe it's time we start trying to get to the bottom of why.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Giving myself a headache here

He said activities such as making human pyramids with naked hooded prisoners were not illegal.

Well I feel much better about the while thing now.

*banging head against wall some more*

On a brighter note ...

The large hairy beasts and I were just roused from our early afternoon nap by a brindle-coated bloodhound standing outside the front gate and howling greetings at us.


The Crazy-Makers Again

Maybe it's because the backhoe dude is coming by to bid on putting in new septic (you really don't want to know what's out there now).

Or maybe it's because rumor has it a giant cold front's moving in.

Or it could be that my experiments last night with my new ice cream maker were so successful that I ate four bowls of ice cream.

Or maybe the news really is that crazy and I've gone that far beyond the point of disbelief that people could possibly be this stupid.

Whatever the case, all I seem able to do this morning is to stare sullenly at words, lots of words, knowing that common sense doesn't matter anymore.

Anyone else catch the irony here? Wall Street support is crucial to Mr. Bush's plans. Financial firms would end up managing much of the money that people would be allowed to divert, under Mr. Bush's approach, from payroll taxes to personal accounts.

Or here? President George W. Bush on Monday named Allan Hubbard, an Indiana businessman and major fund-raiser for his presidential campaigns, to serve as one of his top economic advisers, the White House announced.

Or the simple clarity of so many of the reasons why. On a spring day, Susan Lawrence was flipping through a magazine, Home School Digest, when she came across an advertisement that took her breath away. In it, ''The Rod," a $5 flexible whipping stick, was described as the ''ideal tool for child training." [...] Many of his customers returned for more rods, and cited the Scriptures when they made their purchases, he said. Bullock's convictions about corporal punishment are shared by many religious leaders. James Dobson, founder of the group Focus on the Family, one of the nation's prominent Christian evangelical organizations, has written about the proper use of spanking for children who willfully disobey parents" and here: We found that, particularly for males who had never had any psychotherapy, when they reported a high level of childhood punishment, they were significantly more likely to endorse a range of punitive public policies and from the same site: "Grogan-Kaylor said that: Even minimal amounts of spanking can lead to an increased likelihood in antisocial behavior by children .... This study provides further methodologically rigorous support for the idea that corporal punishment is not an effective or appropriate disciplinary strategy."

Lord save us from your followers.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Colonizing the Mind

There isn't much I can say. The contortions I would have to do to explain just aren't worth it.

But for anyone who wonders why Coburn won in these parts, I offer you this as partial explanation: The recent election of Tom Coburn to the U.S. Senate, said Wickliffe, should be beneficial to the [United Keetoowah Band]. Coburn's opponent, U.S. Congressman Brad Carson is a member of the [Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma], and told [Keetowah] officials last year that their tribe's existence was a "mistake" that should be rectified by Congress.

I have my doubts that was ever said. I think the real problem was, Carson's a member of Cherokee Nation --- and the rivalries between Cherokee Nation and United Keetoowah are intense.

Further on a bit ... "We have opportunity like we've never had before, because we have friends in Washington now," said [Keetoowah chief] Wickliffe, who - along with Locust - will visit Washington, D.C. next week.

*banging head against wall*

No. Sorry. Thought it was bad before? Just wait, Keetoowah. Someone's led you guys on a real wild goose chase, and you all bought it hook, line and sinker.

/end of rant

Monday Afternoon Poultry Blogging

Everyone else is doing Friday night cat blogging.

So I've decided to do some Monday Afternoon Poultry Blogging.

So here goes: pics of the runaway chickens who moved in under my front porch last winter.



Tide turning?

Only a bit perhaps, but ...

I began the day with a quick glance at the headline WaPo:"Democrats United" to Oppose Bush over at Kos.

Hmmm. A somewhat pleasant thought, but I'll believe it when I see it.

I then went to my first classes of the semester --- today's the day when I get up in front of the classes and see how many I can scare into dropping.

Along with the other requirements and scary edicts, I whomped them with my usual "any use of the Bible or any religious as a weapon of hatred against any individual or any group will result in 'F' for the course." But I added a twist this semester, inviting those so inclined to the use of the Bible and other religious texts as weapons of hatred, inviting these Christian Crusaders to turn me in to Students for Academic Freedom.

Now, my students are usually pretty receptive to this --- for as conservative as rural eastern Oklahoma is, it isn't Alabama, believe it or not, or even western Oklahoma (gag!).

However, I got a nice surprise today when, after a short silence, one student raused her hand and said "Why aren't any of the churches speaking out against what's going on?"

Yes! YES!!!!

So maybe --- just maybe --- we're seeing the beginning of widespread, diverse in origin, real live opposition to the fruitcakes and fascists who've taken over the country.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Light blogging for a day ...

While you all were resting peacefully or whatever, I spent most of last night tossing my cookies. Really annoying, too, as the minute I'd lay back down to sleep, I'd have to get right back up to go --- welll, hurl, for lack of more delicate terminology. :=D

It's all the quitting smoking. The stuff to help people quit makes me sicker than the cigarettes themselves, but I smell a lot better (except when I'm tossing cookies).

In any case, I just can't get it together to post much of anything today. I'll be back tomorrow.