Open your eyes to The Nation

The Nation is hosting pictures from Sunday’s march here.

Check it out.

Additionally, there are links to a write-up about the Billionaires for Bush march, excerpted here:

Billionaired for Bush is basically a one-joke movement, but the joke’s a good one and the movement has added some much-appreciated agit-prop hilarity to the goings-on in the RNC city.

On Sunday the Billionaires opened their convention activities with a croquet game in Central Park before convening near the Plaza Hotel for a pre-march rally. A fake secret service agent shooed reporters away, “unless you are with Fox News-then step forward.” The chants ensued-“Four More Wars! Four More Wars!-and funny/biting signage unveiled: “Swift Yacht Vets for Bush,” “Privatize Central Park,” “2 Million Jobs Lost-It’s a Start,” “Free the Enron 7,” “No Justice? No Problem,” “Global Warming-Better Tans.”

More. Go ye there.

Well, Garrison Keiller- Who woulda thunk it?

The Public Radio Twain, the bard of Lake Woebegone, chimes in with his take on the state of the Republican Party, and not surprisingly, it’s funny:

The Nixon moderate vanished like the passenger pigeon, purged by a legion of angry white men who rose to power on pure punk politics. “Bipartisanship is another term of date rape,” says Grover Norquist, the Sid Vicious of the GOP. ‘I don¼t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.” The boy has Oedipal problems and government is his daddy.

The party of Lincoln and Liberty was transmogrified into the party of hairy-backed swamp developers and corporate shills, faith-based economists, fundamentalist bullies with Bibles, Christians of convenience, freelance racists, misanthropic frat boys, shrieking midgets of AM radio, tax cheats, nihilists in golf pants, brownshirts in pinstripes, sweatshop tycoons, hacks, fakirs, aggressive dorks, Lamborghini libertarians, people who believe Neil Armstrong¼s moonwalk was filmed in Roswell, New Mexico, little honkers out to diminish the rest of us, Newt¼s evil spawn and their Etch-A-Sketch president, a dull and rigid man suspicious of the free flow of information and of secular institutions, whose philosophy is a jumble of badly sutured body parts trying to walk. Republicans: The No.1 reason the rest of the world thinks we¼re deaf, dumb and dangerous.

Today is Veterans’ Day at Yelladog

This was in the Daily Media Report that goes out to people that work for the Marine Corps. I have family the work at Quantico, and was lucky enough to get this in an email today. It’s a hell of a story.

France gives a U.S. Marine a top honor

John Bodnar, who trained the French Resistance during WWII, received the Legion of Honor award.

By Cynthia J. McGroarty

In the middle of a bright afternoon in August 1944, Sgt. John Bodnar found himself perched at the door of a B-17 bomber, staring down at a patch of hard alpine earth. Within seconds, he would fly out into the mountain air and plummet to a spot 400 feet below.

Surviving the jump would be tough enough – it was an absurdly low altitude for parachuting out of a plane – but the mission ahead would be downright perilous. Bodnar and six other Americans were to work behind enemy lines to arm and train local pockets of the French Resistance, or Maquis, in territory crawling with almost 4,000 German troops.

[Read more…]

I think I’m Pissed

Well, my initial reaction to the whole Purple Heart BandAid thing was kind of “Yawn. More demagoguery from the Republicans… NEXT!”

But the more I think about it, the more it really winds my stem…

Because of fat, smug morons like this:

Reported on MSNBC earlier today:

MSNBC Correspondent Chip Reed: What is that on your chin?

Pat Peel-Delegate from Texas: I have a purple heart, I hurt myself this morningÖ uhhÖ swimming a river I think it was.

The screen grab:


“Oh, it’s a Purple Heart. I hurt myself this morning. I got my arms blown off riding in an under-armored Humvee. Tee-hee!”

Purple Heart Bandaids?

I don’t know what’s more disgusting about this whole flap- the facts themselves, the fact that we missed the opportunity to have delegates run around at the DNC with those little bibs that one wears at the dentist’s office, or the creator of the campaign’s Neo-Nazi credentials:

Blackwell has also trained rightist political forces in Latin America and Africa(19) through IPF, notably supporters of the Pinochet military dictatorship, Argentinean rightists, and supporters of Inkatha chief Buthelezi in South Africa. It was Buthelezi’s group that later attempted to create civil war in South Africa to keep apartheid policies in place. Inkatha worked with pro-apartheid and neo-nazi groups to stop the elections eventually won by Nelson Mandela.

Some of the commenters over at Atrios had some input on this:

“Was he all out of tiny little yellow chickhawks?” -katie

“You know what would be great? There’s this big black wall in Washington. They could pass out their band-aids in front of that. Yeah, that would be pretty fucking hilarious.” -alkali

Jane Dark is Blogging the RNC

She’s using not one, but two pseudonyms… Go figure…

But there’s no mistaking her gimlet summations.

John McCainís charm, aside from his arid and serpentine persistence, is that though he is a nerd and a warrior, he still seems to recall some basic lessons of cool. Foremost among them is that, if you are parsimonious with your yeses, each one counts more. Again, this is not particularly subtle; it works anyway. And so it is that the Republican partyís favorite nay-sayer can play his opening-night duties as a principled return to the fold. Heís earned his free thinkerís badge; he even cut eyes at the Democrats, as if there was some legitimate risk he might rollerskate over to the other rink — as if he somehow might not show up at the RNC, benediction in his pocket and happy to see us.

The fact that she’s blogging this under a moniker inspired by one of the best rock (steady?) songs of all time is a nice touch. ( I realize it’s not technically rock steady, but it’s not reggae, either. I ain’t Sasha Frere-Jones, so what….?)

This is what happens….

when you fuck with people that are smarter that you.

Over the weekend, the right wing guys that were threatening to show up at peaceful protests and raise hell, the “Protest Warriors,” got their database hacked. I would normally never link to the “Free” Republic (where you can get banned so fast it’ll make your mouse jump) and Little Green Footballs, but the pained and outraged ignorance in both those places is truly… magnifique….

You can see LGF’s reaction here.

And the Free Republic thread here.

Apparently(?) there was a site defacement at, but it’s hard to say for sure. These guys aren’t very clear in their use of all this interweb-thingy lingo.

I am fairly ambivalent about the whole thing, but I must say, after reading the genocidal garbage that spews off of the pages of LGF and, I have about zero sympathy for them.

If you’re gonna be a brownshirt (by their own admission, “digital brownshirts“), then you better lock your doors at night. There are plenty of folks that take that kind of rhetoric seriously.

Marathon Man

I just now heard about this guy:

A defrocked Irish priest with a history of disrupting sports events was given a one-year suspended sentence and fined $3,600 Monday for grabbing a runner who was leading the Olympic marathon with three miles to go.

Argh! Kill! Kill!

I have run three marathons in the past three years, and I am about to run my fourth in October. (though, if you want to know what a REAL endurance athelete is like, see Ultra-Marathon running FREAK Kilgore Trout. (I only call him a freak because it makes me insanely jealous that he can run fifty miles and I CAN’T.)

Running that far HURTS. Running that far and winning? That’s got to be some kind of nirvana of pain. Running 23 miles, leading the race, and then being tackled by a kilt-wearing psychopath?


Fortunately, this guy is about to win a Darwin Award and be removed from the gene pool:

Horan, in a costume similar to Sunday’s, ran onto the track at the British Grand Prix last year and stayed there for more than 20 seconds, forcing Formula One racers traveling at more than 200 mph to swerve around him. He was carrying a sign that said: “Read the Bible the Bible is always right.”

I’d say it’s just a matter of time.

Nuts… But Very Clean… and Minty, too!

I just dropped a Dr. Bronner’s reference in the comments section of another weblog in response to a truly incomprehensible commenter. (If you’ve never stood in the shower and read the label on a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s soap, then you’ve missed one of the truly strange morning experiences.)

Just out of curiosity, I googled the Good Doctor, and found the Straight Dope’s explication of the label. Or, at least, as close an anyone could come…

But the biography of the Good Dr. Bronner was what blew me away-

Bronner has had an eventful life. The son of a Jewish German soap maker, he emigrated to the U.S. and pleaded with his father to do the same when the Nazis came to power. The old man refused. One day Bronner got a postcard with the words, “You were right. –Your loving father.” He never heard from his parents again.

Initially settling in the midwest, Bronner married the illegitimate daughter of a nun, who eventually became suicidal and died in a mental hospital. (He says she was tortured by the hospital guards.) He also began devising his plan for world peace. Fittingly, he took to the soapbox to promote it. One of his listeners, Fred Walcher, was so inspired that in 1945 he had himself crucified in Chicago in order to publicize the plan. (He survived.)

Later Bronner was arrested while trying to promote his plan at the University of Chicago and was committed to a mental hospital. He escaped three times, finally fleeing to California in 1947. He’s been there cranking out soap and soap labels ever since.

Despite his eccentricities, Dr. Bronner has built his soap company into a prosperous concern, mostly by sheer force of personality. In the early days he would set up a table at health food conventions. If a dealer strayed within ten feet, Bronner would pounce and not let go until he’d gotten an order.

But things didn’t really take off until he was discovered by the counterculture during the 60s. With the aid of his sons Jim and Ralph, who handle production and sales, he currently sells some 400,000 gallons of liquid soap and 600,000 pounds of bar soap a year. He says he’s now worth $6 million–not bad, he notes drily, for somebody who’s supposedly nuts.

Um… As South Knox Bubba would say…

OK, then…