August 2005


Media&Politics31 Aug 2005 08:19 pm

The Credibility Gap

Back in the Vietnam era a phrase was coined, and surprisingly it has not come back, or achieved traction again, yet: credibility gap. Harry Shearer was in a radio satire group of that name, and his web site advertises an old anti-Clinton book “It’s the Stupidity, Stupid.” I guess for a pro comic, any President is fair game and I gotta admit, running up these tax break and foreign war deficits requires real men of genius, Mr. 43rd President of the Crude Oil Age!

Some may ask… Is Iraq Vietnam on crack?

For those dumbasses who did vote for Bush, they must be scratching their sorry asses wondering, “How come gas is so high? I thought we were ‘sposed to take over Iraq and get their oil!” Well, there’s a credibility gap for ya, buddy.

There are plenty of more complex gaps for those who do their homework, such as the bait and switch of al Qaeda for Saddam, the phony Niger yellow cake document accompanied by the smoking gun mushroom cloud scare, the missing WMDs, the neglect for wartime planning protocols, the hiring of contractors to sidestep Geneva Convention laws… it goes on and on. People have been asleep at the wheel and they need the sobering slap of hurricane Katrina to wake themselves up. Here’s Condi Rice’s credibility gaps.

The Incredible Condo

When I lived in Jacksonville, FL the regular guy on the street, or golf course, did not see much difference between Osama and Saddam. “They’re both a couple of camel jockeys, what’s the difference?” they’d say using their charming down home Southern comfort logic.

As resources, lives and patience wears thin here in the U.S.A. homeland, ask youselves, “Is this president credible or just an unbelievably incredible Hulk cartoon?” How much B.S.ing are you gonna take?

Young Hulk Offspring

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Spiritual&Technology31 Aug 2005 07:58 am

Charles Darwin

Read. Learn. Think. This is the introductory line at Literature.org, an online library of literature.

Here is the last sentence from their online text of Charles Darwin’s “The Origin of Species.”

There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.

This last line has the words “by the Creator” added at The Virtual Fossil Museum web site. Thus we see the mystery of the evolution of text.

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Media&Spiritual24 Aug 2005 06:56 am

Storm Pilot

Art for God is a web site that appears to be run by a modern Christian artist and his model who poses as Jesus, announcing a National Christian Art Competion.

Undefeated No Appointment Necessary
Joy To The World Ty Gardner Jesus Model
Link to story about model for Steve Sawyer’s paintings.

More contemporary renderings of Jesus Christ:

Black Jesus Montage Black Jesus Walks On Water

Sallman Head of Christ Christ (Black)
With Students With Expectant Moms
With Golfers Always With Fishermen Always
With Surgeons With Vets
Baseball Sports Statue Jesus Plays Soccer
Jesus Plays Football Jesus Plays Basketball
After looking at this commercial confusion of the image of Jesus, the Muslim limitations on figurative art is understandable, thus there are very few images of Muhammed to be found on the web.

There is a large assortment at Jesus of the Week 2005.

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Media23 Aug 2005 10:20 am

Boom Box Symphony

My alma mater, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has been ranked the number one party school by the annual Princeton Review survey, and I agree completely. Congratulations Badgers!

Madison is a wonderful town, with excellent public transportation and bike trails. It is also in the middle of a state with many breweries and a Mid Western atmosphere of relaxed friendly fun times, eh?

Proving that you could party and have fun without drinking, Leon Varjian would lead a boom box symphony around the state capitol and down State Street on April Fools Day and Thanksgiving. A local radio station would broadcast John Philip Sousa marching band music, so we could all stay perfectly in tune.

Butch Vig of Garbage and Jim Mallon of Mystery Science Theater 3000 are among the creative talents who hung out in Mad City with Leon in those fun times. Jim and Leon’s Pail and Shovel Party were behind the installation of a Statue of Liberty head on Lake Mendota, and an early surprise attack of pink flamingos on Bascom Hill. In this atmosphere of fun and creativity it is no wonder that Rodney Dangerfield chose UW for a prime location of his Back To School comedy, and The Onion grew out of Mad City’s side streets. Madison also throws a great borderline out of control multi-block outdoor Halloween party (at least they did when I was there). I was glad to get a top notch education there and survive to write about it.

Statue of Liberty's Head on Lake Mendota Pink Flamingos on Bascom Hill

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Politics&Spiritual19 Aug 2005 09:40 am

Touched By His Noodly Appendage

We’re getting closer to locating God. Following up on a previous Intelligent Design article, members of the Pastafarian religion are using their noodles to add more sauce to the debate.

The long time faithful know righteously that this is only a new religious flavor of the week, and that the true sweet Way of Truth is through The Church of the SubGenius.

Church of the SubGenius

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Politics18 Aug 2005 08:09 pm

Mission Accomplished

The photo above was taken over two years ago, in May of 2003. The mission is still far from accomplished, unless the mission was to introduce chaos, confusion, looting, some poor American kids, and higher paid military contractors to Iraq. Pity the U.S. isn’t even get cheap oil out of the deal.

Setting the record straight on this thing 8 people in the White House rushed us into: after 9/11 we were supposed to track down the terrorist networks of Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, not invade Iraq. Passing the buck and avoiding the blame for 9/11 is a government art form. Thus the smokescreen of confusion started, and so it goes on.

Public opinion has moved towards a message to the Bush gang that many Americans want this war to be over now.

There are wars and jihads that continue and remain to be seen, while I watch and wonder is God really an extremist?

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Media&Spiritual10 Aug 2005 12:09 pm

Allen Ginsberg

In case you are looking for the link to the Allen Ginsberg page, it is here. The photos are from a taping of Leon Varjian’s “The Vern and Evelyn Show” on WISC-TV Madison, WI where Allen gamely made a appearance on a local home spun comedy show. Ginsberg referred to this as “jackanapes” after seeing the theatrical video nonsense we were performing.

Sooner or later I’ll get around to adding more to this thread, such as Leon where the hell are you?

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Media&Politics05 Aug 2005 08:29 pm

Last True Story I'll Ever Tell

This book is John Crawford’s own true story in his words, written while stationed in Iraq as a member of Florida’s National Guard, The Last True Story I’ll Ever Tell : An Accidental Soldier’s Account of the War in Iraq. I have not read the book, but listened to Terry Gross’s NPR interview with him, which is down to earth and funny in the way young Crawford offhandedly describes the bloody, stinky details of living through war time. He mentions that accessing too much phone and internet communication back home was a psychologically frustrating problem for many soldiers, that perhaps it would have been better to just disappear for a year.

And so John now appears on The Jon Stewart Show, which I unfortunately missed, but there is a clip on the Comedy Central web site.

This is an average soldier’s story, a guy who ends up in Iraq pretty much for mercenary reasons, in return for the National Guard paying his college tuition. In Iraq his buddies took steroids for combat and valium to stay cool. Kids from unpriviliged backgrounds (“I Ain’t No Fortunate Son”) who watched out for each other.

A tragic lesson learned is from the recent abduction and murder of freelance writer Steven Vincent and his Iraqi translator in Basra, Iraq. His book In The Red Zone accounts “his daring solo expeditions through post-Saddam Iraq… a vivid, frank, and unforgettable portrayal of the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people…” Going it alone at great risk, without a team, you could be attacked by any gang who doesn’t want you hanging around any more. In Steven Vincent’s blog, “In The Red Zone” his final entry, “The Niave American” and writings in the N.Y. Times pointed out corruption in Basra’s local politics.

Yeh, some folks inherit star spangled eyes,
ooh, they send you down to war, Lord,
And when you ask them, how much should we give,
oh, they only answer, more, more, more, yoh,

It ain’t me, it ain’t me,
I ain’t no military son,
It ain’t me, it ain’t me,
I ain’t no fortunate one,

It ain’t me, it ain’t me,
I ain’t no fortunate one, no no no,
It ain’t me, it ain’t me,
I ain’t no fortunate son, no no no,

– John C, Fogerty

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