Shameless plug for Gillian Welch's latest record. Go buy it. Thanks to George for playing it for me. And happy birthday to him (this weekend) and Amy (today)!
hey, cool, Lord of the Peeps has been updated...only 138 days til "Return of the King" opens, folks. :)
And the band played on -- day in and day out, humanitarian disasters are consuming Liberia and Congo...what can we do about it, besides learn more? I learned a lot from the Medecins Sans Frontieres website, especially the reports of Dr. Andrew Schechtmann, a volunteer who was interviewed on NPR this week also. Also see the UNHCR page. The United Methodist Church has an emergency response donation program, which also has many news links. In the meantime, Aidan Hartley's new book The Zanzibar Chest tells his story of covering years of civil war and genocide as a reporter in Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Somalia, and as the son of a family of British colonial administrators in Africa.
OK, it must be gay marriage week around here or something...observe the latest Vatican screed on the subject. Best line: ''Allowing children to be adopted by [gay couples] would actually mean doing violence to these children"! Um, the last time I checked the Catholic church had a very different problem with violence against children...cast that first stone, and you know what happens next. Not to mention that their whole argument against gay adoption has been debunked, and of course it also argues against any single parent or other parenting arrangement...boy, if there's something the Vatican should have down pat it's parenting, right?
By now you may have heard all about yesterday's suprise birth on the T...a very sad story, I think. You can't blame the passengers for being totally stunned and unable to intervene, but the scuttlebutt around my office today is all "What's wrong with this woman?" and not in a nice, concern-for-her-mental-health kind of way. If she'd been a teenager, would that have garnered more sympathy? How will she, let alone her teenage kids, deal with the publicity, especially the fact that the Globe broadcasts where they live, at a Motel 6? Don't expect to feel any better after looking into whether she was elibigle for community mental heath services...sigh.

on a less depressing note, i have no idea why when one accesses this blog on a Mac all but three of the Links don't work...but i'm looking into it. those of you Mac users out there...uh...that's what Google is for, i guess. :P

and in happier news altogether, my weekend plans have changed...is anyone around on sunday afternoon to go see Theater in the Open at Maudslay State Park in Newburyport, one of the great hidden places of the Bay State? let me know...they're doing Moliere, and as Judd Nelson pointed out in The Breakfast Club, "Mo-lay really pumps my nads." ok, eww, gross. and on a shocking side note, that movie is EIGHTEEN YEARS OLD, friends...*shiver*


"Nothing Conventional About It" -- apparently that's the slogan for the 2004 Democratic National Convention, to be held right here in the Big Bean. Uh, I'm not sure sure about that one...but that's not stopping me from sending in my Volunteer Form (.pdf)...do it! Imagine the excitement of checking ID cards, handing out pencils, inflating balloons, woohoo!
As some of you know, I thought Pirates of the Caribbean was a pretty enjoyable summer flick, and not just because it features Orlando "Legolas" Bloom, a.k.a. Captain Hottie, Swashbuckler of the High Seas. I remembered after seeing the movie that none other than Dave Eggers, my favorite bizarro genius novelist, runs a fully stocked pirate store out of 826 Valencia, a center for free tutoring in writing for kids he established in San Francisco. If only I could somehow visit the store with Orlando and Dave and sail off on some kind of wacky adventure...sigh, that's what the internet is for...
Attack Nader early and often -- a piece from The American Prospect aimed at still-smarting Dems.
Late-breaking idiocy: Prez W. sez "we're all sinners" [!!!!] so let's get that federal gay marriage ban in place...hmmm, the view must be great from inside the White, i mean, Glass House these days...
OK, here come some of the greatest hits of old (and not so old)...in no particular order...

A bulletin from the Land of the Obvious: George W. Bush is too stupid to be President.

Interview with Roger Ebert in The Progressive, including his elegant assessment of conservatives' motivation: "Shut up!"

The Flag-o-Rama Red White & Blegghhh page -- oh dear god, it's been updated.

Jim Hightower on why you should boycott Walmart-- as if we need more reasons.

Your tax dollars at work -- Barney the White House dog has a web page...and a web cam.

The incredibly compelling 34 Million Friends Campaign -- an effort by two women to raise the $34m the Bush Administration is witholding from the UN because of the usual medieval arguments against family planning...and for $1 or more, you can help.

Church and State, do I need to separate you two? -- read the textof the Massachusetts Catholic bishops' statement on why marriage is so cool only straight people should get to have some...and to urge their parishioners to call their representatives about it. Gee, those bishops sure do know a whole lot about marriage, not to mention sexuality and identity...what great catches they must have made when they were single...oh, wait. Then, to cool your blood, check out the latest over at Equal Marriage of Mass.

and of course, the World RPS Society-- i quote Bart Simpson, "Good old rock, nothing beats that."
For those of you looking ahead to the election season as a restful diversion from current events, here's a handy little chart for sizing up Dean and Kucinich...thanks, Marc. I'd like to add some "Fun Facts" on Al Sharpton from the Project Vote Smart site -- hey, he's a Libra! Those Libras, always getting involved in federal indictment hoaxes and what have you...
David Broder in the Washington Post on why the California recall election is everything that's wrong with American politics in a nutshell.
John Kerry in The Onion -- too good not to link separately. :P
Y'know that classic vaudeville moment when the comedian pauses after delivering a punchline and a beat later dozens of tomatoes and cabbages come sailing onto the stage? Well, that's me this morning -- ask and ye shall receive, my email inbox is truly flooded with lots of juicy content for this new venture...I'll get to that later on (I do still actually have a job, folks), but for now I'll post a little good news/bad news for your Wednesday delectation:

Shamelessly RedSoxian Good News: Last night, Sox third baseman Bill Mueller became the first major league player to hit two grand slams -- one from each side of the plate -- in one game, huzzah!

Not So Good News: the Transportation Security Administration is pulling the much-vaunted "air marshals" from overseas and international flights because...it costs too much to put them up in hotel rooms. don't worry, Money, some day maybe you'll get introduced to Mouth...someday.

and as a little antidote, here's Maureen Dowd on Wolfowitz & Co.'s DARPA escapade.


Jack Kerouac is a bobblehead doll. Kool! Some purists are unhappy, but we fans of the Lowell Spinners (the local Red Sox minor league affiliate and the best $5 you can spend on baseball) know that somewhere up in the ether Kerouac is smiling down benevolently...he himself probably wouldn't get one if he showed up at the park, there are only 1,000 and they're probably going straight to Ebay.
And now, just to break the tension, decide for yourself who is creepier: Gollum, the guy from The Smoking Gun's All-Time Scariest Mugshot, or Paul Wolfowitz...come on, it's Wolfowitz.
Welcome, gang. You have Angus to thank for this, hence the name. I'll post up all the little tidbits I'd normally send out in a cumbersome, old-fashioned email, and you can peruse it at your leisure. Also send me more stuff to post -- time to clean out that "Saved" file and watch the little e-mailbox gauge flutter down to 9% or so. ;-)

I will kick things off with the Outrage du Jour, the emerging debacle over at the Pentagon around a DARPA program scheduled to go live this week wherein a futures market would be established *by the federal government* on "policy analysis" of future instability in the Middle East. what does that mean in plain English? well, let's ask Darth Wolfowitz, shall we? essentially, investors would bet on whether and how much events in the Mid-East would affect the region, and make money if their predictions were correct, i.e. if Israel *was* bombed with chemical weapons or if King Abdullah *was* assassinated. in other words, it's Who Wants To Be A Federally Funded War Profiteer? yep, this is real life, not The Onion. :o

The silver (or possibly just chrome) lining to all this, it appears the Democratic leadership has awakened from its slumber and succeeded in blowing the whistle, shutting the program down. seems like cold comfort to me, though -- if this passed unnoticed for this long, what the hell else are they cooking up over there? i say again, let's move to the moon.