Friday, September 30, 2005

judy, judy, judy


So what was Miller doing in jail? Was it all just a misunderstanding? The most charitable explanation for Miller is that she somehow concluded that Libby wanted her to keep quiet, even while he was publicly -- and privately -- saying otherwise. The least charitable explanation is that going to jail was Miller's way of transforming herself from a journalistic outcast (based on her gullible pre-war reporting) into a much-celebrated hero of press freedom.

Note to reporters: There is nothing intrinsically noble about keeping your sources' secrets. Your job, in fact, is to expose them. And if a very senior government official, after telling you something in confidence, then tells you that you don't have to keep it secret anymore, the proper response is "Hooray, now I can tell the world" -- not "Sorry, that's not good enough for me, I need that in triplicate." And if you're going to go to jail invoking important, time-honored journalistic principles, make sure those principles really apply.

All Over the Map

After spending an hour at this website, I was curious about where the people who hit my site were from.

Last 30 hits:
Austin, Texas
Auburn, Alabama
San Diego, California
Mcclellan Afb, California
Chicago, Illinois
Budapest, Hungary
United Kingdom
Allston, Massachusetts
Bathgate, West Lothian, United Kingdom
Pawcatuck, Connecticut
Austin, Texas
Austin, Texas
So Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Momoxpan, Puebla, Mexico
Barcelona, Cataluna, Spain
Zrich, Zurich, switzerland
Gurnee, Illinois
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Brussels, Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, Belgium
Nekkeveld, Gelderland, Nethetlands
Atlanta, Georgia
Okotoks, Alberta, Canada
Bangkok, Krung Thep, Thailand
Stevenage, Norfolk, United Kingdom
Federal Way, Washington
Armadale, Victoria, Australia
Federal, Entre Rios, Argentina
Bucharest, Bucuresti, Romania
Tucson, Arizona
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

friday elfgirl blogging



Friday Random Ten: happy fun time edition

Poor Lost Soul - James McMurtry
Autumn Sweater - Yo La Tengo
The Hardest Walk - Jesus and Mary Chain
Atmosphere - Joy Division
Oblivion - Glass Eye
Love Kills - Joe Strummer
Tomarrow She Goes Away - Ramones
Bitch - Sincola
The Mercy Seat - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Hammer Horror - Kate Bush

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

DeLay indicted on conspiracy charges

Austin American-Statesman [free subscription required]

A Travis County grand jury today indicted U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay on one count of criminal conspiracy, jeopardizing the Sugar Land Republican's leadership role as the second most powerful Texan in Washington, D.C.

The charge, a state jail felony punishable by up to two years incarceration, stems from his role with his political committee, Texans for a Republican Majority, a now-defunct organization that already had been indicted on charges of illegally using corporate money during the 2002 legislative elections.

DeLay Watch

Conspiracy charge a possibility for DeLay [Austin American-Statesman : registration required]

U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's leadership post is on the line today as a Travis County grand jury is expected to consider indicting DeLay on conspiracy charges, several lawyers familiar with the investigation said.


Wednesday's secret vote by the grand jury could mark the end of a three-year investigation into whether DeLay and his Republican and business allies illegally spent corporate money to help elect a Republican majority to the Legislature in 2002. In turn, state lawmakers drew congressional districts urged by DeLay that gave Texas Republicans more clout in Washington. The lawmakers also elected Craddick, a Republican from Midland and a DeLay ally, as their speaker.

DeLay had appeared to escape criminal scrutiny as early as last year when Travis County prosecutors concluded that they did not have the jurisdiction to pursue election code violations against him. Under the law, only DeLay's local district attorney, a Republican, had jurisdiction, and he expressed no interest in trying to topple the second most powerful Texan in Washington.

But a conspiracy charge would fall under the criminal code, not the election statute that bans corporate money from being spent on a campaign.

That tactic is what defense lawyers fear — and would give Travis County prosecutors jurisdiction over DeLay.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Politics of Distraction


President Bush yesterday called for Americans to cope with gasoline shortfalls by cutting down on their driving. And he continued to push for increased military authority in national disasters.

What do these two campaigns have in common? They're both red herrings, to some extent--distractions in the wake of the shockingly botched government response to Hurricane Katrina.

Consider this, for instance: There is no gasoline shortfall.

And a broad range of experts agree that putting the military into a position to enforce martial law is not only unnecessary, it's dangerous. The Pentagon itself opposes the idea. And under existing rules, the president has ample discretion to send troops in to help disaster victims already--discretion that he chose not to use for Katrina, but used amply for Rita.

One fair test of how seriously Bush takes his new energy conservation kick will be whether he exercises any self-restraint. But don't expect cardigans or thermostat-lowering in this White House.

Bush's gas-guzzling motorcade was whizzing all over town yesterday--and today he flies off in his fuel-gulping 747 for his seventh trip to the Gulf Coast since Katrina struck a month ago.


Study confirms that SUV drivers are jerks.

The study, by the Australia Institute, indicates the average 4WD driver is a male city dweller in his late 40s or 50s, and far from cool.

The institute based its study on a Roy Morgan Research survey of 24,718 people aged 14 and over.

It found that the drivers were more likely to be homophobic than other drivers. It also discovered they were not community minded and less likely than drivers of other vehicles to give to a charity.

The study additionally found they were more likely to suffer road rage. According to the institute four-wheel-drive vehicles also had a higher rate of being involved in accidents that kill or maim people in other vehicles.

via Rorschach at No Capital

thank god i'm an atheist

Societies worse off 'when they have God on their side'

RELIGIOUS belief can cause damage to a society, contributing towards high murder rates, abortion, sexual promiscuity and suicide, according to research published today.

According to the study, belief in and worship of God are not only unnecessary for a healthy society but may actually contribute to social problems.

The study counters the view of believers that religion is necessary to provide the moral and ethical foundations of a healthy society.

It compares the social peformance of relatively secular countries, such as Britain, with the US, where the majority believes in a creator rather than the theory of evolution. Many conservative evangelicals in the US consider Darwinism to be a social evil, believing that it inspires atheism and amorality.

Many liberal Christians and believers of other faiths hold that religious belief is socially beneficial, believing that it helps to lower rates of violent crime, murder, suicide, sexual promiscuity and abortion. The benefits of religious belief to a society have been described as its “spiritual capital”. But the study claims that the devotion of many in the US may actually contribute to its ills.

The paper, published in the Journal of Religion and Society, a US academic journal, reports: “Many Americans agree that their churchgoing nation is an exceptional, God-blessed, shining city on the hill that stands as an impressive example for an increasingly sceptical world.

“In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy and abortion in the prosperous democracies.

“The United States is almost always the most dysfunctional of the developing democracies, sometimes spectacularly so.”

via arse poetica

Monday, September 26, 2005

Cindy Sheehan arrested outside white house

Cindy Sheehan, the grieving California mother of a soldier slain in Iraq, was arrested today while protesting the Iraq war outside the White House.

Carolina Rollergirls Fall Season Opener

The flat track Carolina Rollergirls kick off their Fall season this Sunday, October 2nd.

The Debutante Brawlers face off against the Trauma Queens.

Sunday, October 2.

Skate Ranch of Raleigh

Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door.

Doors open 5:30pm, bout at 6pm.

Please visit the Carolina Rollergirls website for more info.

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Minnesota RollerGirls Season Opener

The flat track Minnesota Rollergirls open their new season at a new venue this Friday, Sepember 30th.

The Garda Belts skate against the Atomic Bombshells.

The Rockits take on the Dagger Dolls.

Friday, September 30.

Roy Wilkins Auditoium

Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door.

Please visit the Minnesota Rollergirls website for more info.

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Burlesque Benefit for Jimmy McCarty

Hosted By: Ruby Lamb
When: Wednesday Sep 28, 2005
at 9:00 PM
Where: The Ritz
320 E. 6th Street
Austin, TX 78701
A burlesque event created by Ruby Lamb to benefit the brother of Rubber Jenn (Sacred Heart Rubber). Jimmy McCarty was paralyzed in a car crash and needs financial assistance. Jimmy has no health insurance and his family has given all they can.

Join MC, the Lizardman, and a cast of colorful and creative sexpots as they celebrate their bodies in honor of Jimmy. Scheduled to perform: Burlesque on the Fringe (Athena Fatale, Mimi Turpentine), Red Light Burlesque (Pinki Lane, Doubledown Dixie and Lacey Spades), Satan’s Cheerleaders (Lucky Dukes, Ruby Lamb, Scarlett Fury, Sindee Lux, Trixi Stix and Vixin Nixin), Katzen the Tiger Lady, Candy Snickers (from NYC), Herndon X, Johna, Nicole Labry and the Funhaters and The Oriah.

Squad 666

Satan's Cheerleaders in the new issue of Bizarre magazine. [free registration required - they are in the "real people" section]

Chimp Genome Affirms Science of Evolution

New Analyses Bolster Central Tenets of Evolution Theory

When scientists announced last month they had determined the exact order of all 3 billion bits of genetic code that go into making a chimpanzee, it was no surprise that the sequence was more than 96 percent identical to the human genome. Charles Darwin had deduced more than a century ago that chimps were among humans' closest cousins.

But decoding chimpanzees' DNA allowed scientists to do more than just refine their estimates of how similar humans and chimps are. It let them put the very theory of evolution to some tough new tests.

If Darwin was right, for example, then scientists should be able to perform a neat trick. Using a mathematical formula that emerges from evolutionary theory, they should be able to predict the number of harmful mutations in chimpanzee DNA by knowing the number of mutations in a different species' DNA and the two animals' population sizes.

"That's a very specific prediction," said Eric Lander, a geneticist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, Mass., and a leader in the chimp project.

Sure enough, when Lander and his colleagues tallied the harmful mutations in the chimp genome, the number fit perfectly into the range that evolutionary theory had predicted.

one year

and 14,694 visits later...

Sunday, September 25, 2005


Tens of thousands of people packed downtown Washington yesterday and marched past the White House in the largest show of antiwar sentiment in the nation's capital since the conflict in Iraq began.

About 100 people had gathered before a stage set up on the eastern portion of the mall as the noon rally began. A large photo of an American flag served as a backdrop for the stage, and country music blared from speakers while other banners and signs proclaiming support for U.S. troops waved in the breeze.

Must read Juan Cole

I conclude that the presence of the US ground troops is making things worse, not better.

Let's get them out, now, before they destroy any more cities, create any more hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons, provoke any more ethnic hatreds by installing Shiite police in Fallujah or Kurdish troops in Turkmen Tal Afar. They are sowing a vast whirlwind, a desert sandstorm of Martian proportions, which future generations of Americans and Iraqis will reap.

The ground troops must come out. Now. For the good of Iraq. For the good of America.