Friday, March 31, 2006


The world has a new hottest chilli pepper. Introducing the Dorset Naga, courtesy of the Telegraph :
"It is something I wouldn't eat but some people must like them," said Joy Michaud, who developed the chilli at the Peppers by Post business she runs with her husband Michael at West Bexington.

An American laboratory found the chilli to be almost 60 per cent hotter than the one listed in the Guinness Book of Records. The Naga registered a Scoville heat unit of 876,000. The record holder is a Red Savina Habanero with a rating of 577,000.

The result was so startling that the Dorset pepper was sent for a second test to a laboratory in New York used by the American Spice Trade Association. It recorded a higher figure of 970,000 heat units. The Naga, which is sold with a health warning, was developed from a variety which originated in Bangladesh.

The Michauds found the chillis, collected the seeds and grew them. It was only when customers told them they were unable to eat curries containing half a small pepper that they realized how hot they were. ...

Aktar Miha, of the Indis Bangladeshi restaurant in Bournemouth, said: "Most people don't cook with it; they just have it near to them when they eat. They just touch their food with it. If you don't know what you are doing it could blow your head off."
Blow your head off? Excellent.


The point goes to MIT in our continuing game of mortality. This time the dearly departed is Hal, a coyote who was caught in New York's Central Park, tagged for continued study -- and promptly died in the tagging process.

Wired wires has this:
The coyote stopped breathing Thursday night during the routine tagging procedure and biologists could not revive him, said Gabrielle DeMarco, spokeswoman for the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Pathologists were trying to determine whether the stress of his capture or captivity or something else contributed to the death of the year-old, 35-pound coyote.

The coyote, nicknamed Hal by park workers, led dozens of police officers on foot and in a helicopter on a wild chase through the urban greenery March 21 and 22. He jumped into the water, ducked under a bridge and leaped over an 8-foot fence.

Hal was finally caught when a police officer shot the animal with a tranquilizer dart.

Officials had taken Hal from a wildlife rehabilitation expert in Long Island on Thursday and had planned to release him in a state forest in upstate New York.
The best-laid plans and all.


Yeah yeah, we also hear Neal Boortz is being hauled to Springfield in June to bolster talk station KSGF. But hey, Boortz ain't the Reeg (and it sounds like KSGF is still looking for funding partners to pay for a Boortz junket).

Branson chamber types on Friday touted the Regis Philbin drop-in:
The multi-talented star of television’s Regis and Kelly Show pays a solo, return visit to Branson to launch the World’s Largest TITANIC Museum Attraction, and to perform in concert at The Grand Palace for the first time.

As Titanic’s master of ceremonies, Regis will christen the ship at 11:30 am, Friday, April 7 followed by the ringing of Titanic’s bell at noon, a symbolic ritual that will be repeated daily. The museum attraction’s creators extend an open invitation to the public to join them and Regis for launch festivities at the ship’s bow (weather permitting) on Highway 76. Boarding passes for afternoon tours of the ship can be purchased at this time.

"Regis in Concert" at The Grand Palace will begin at 8:00 pm and will showcase the versatile star’s unique humor and smooth vocal style.
No Kelly Ripa is a definite disappointment.

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Destination: the outskirts of Las Vegas, where the U.S. plans to detonate one big-ass bomb.

How big? From Vegas you'll be able to spot the mushroom cloud, "the first time in Nevada that you'll see a mushroom cloud over Las Vegas since we stopped testing nuclear weapons," said James Tegnelia, director of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

The Associated Press reports:
Tegnelia said the test was part of a US effort to develop weapons capable of destroying deeply buried bunkers housing nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.

"We have several very large penetrators we're developing," he told defense reporters.

"We also have -- are you ready for this -- a 700-tonne explosively formed charge that we're going to be putting in a tunnel in Nevada," he said.

"And that represents to us the largest single explosive that we could imagine doing conventionally to solve that problem," he said ...

He said the Russians have been notified of the test, which is scheduled for the first week of June at the Nevada test range.

"We're also making sure that Las Vegas understands," Tegnelia said.
One thing to develop and test a 700-tonne weapon that might destroy deep bunkers. Quite another thing to figure out how to deliver it to a target.


U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made a gesture on Sunday. He was in a church, the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.

Scalia was asked by a reporter what he had to say to his critics. The Boston Herald reports on what he did next:
[Peter] Smith was working as a freelance photographer for the Boston archdiocese’s weekly newspaper at a special Mass for lawyers Sunday when a Herald reporter asked the justice how he responds to critics who might question his impartiality as a judge given his public worship. "The judge paused for a second, then looked directly into my lens and said, 'To my critics, I say, 'Vaffanculo,'" punctuating the comment by flicking his right hand out from under his chin, Smith said.

The Italian phrase means "(expletive) you."
The Herald printed the story. Scalia denied making any obscene gesture. Smith, the freelance shooter, says Scalia is full of it. "It’s inaccurate and deceptive of him to say there was no vulgarity in the moment," said Smith, a Boston University assistant photojournalism professor.

Click the link, scope out the pic and decide for yourself.


The "Street Talk" site has been updated (finally). Podcasts for last week's show, and this week's, are being posted as the monkeys type.

Last week, Ann Schonert of The Pet Connection discussed Springfield's push to clamp down on vicious animals, especially dogs.

This week, Randy Turner of The Turner Report is on-board with a thoughtful dissection of today's mainstream media. He also talks about his first novel, Small Town News.

You'll find the new podcasts here.

As always, send your comments to this address -- or send one via this blog.

Next week: A very special "Street Talk." No shark-jumping allowed.


The freelance writer for the Christian Science Monitor -- abducted in January -- was released early Thursday in Iraq. Wires are chattering with the news; reaction is swift and, in some cases, terrible.

The Freeper freaks insist Carroll should be "checked for suicide bombs" before being allowed back into the United States. Kindness, eh? Check the entire thread here.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


It is difficult -- almost impossible -- to dismiss the power of heroin when you're tightly bundled in its warm embrace. Nothing is wrong when the opioid takes over; even when the drug wears off and you feel the torment of Want, you don't blame the powder because it's the only truth that makes things better.

This week, the San Francisco Chronicle has a compelling read on Rhonda Bye, a former model who died at 39 after years of heroin and crack addiction.

There are three photos of Bye with the story. Look at her before the ravaging began, and then see what she became.

"This is not how I wanted to end up," she told the newspaper in 2004, as she begged for money on a highway off-ramp. Sadly, she got what she did not want.


Wednesday's News-Leader trots out endorsements for school board. Three slots open, five people running. The deck on the edit extols the virtues of the Chosen Three ("They stand out in solid field for school board"), but that's not what the editorial claims:
The two other candidates ... would also make good school board members, but we had to limit our endorsements to three.
The edit board's choices for school board are Gerry Lee, Kris Callen and Andy Hosmer. We're rooting for Hosmer, too, but not for any of the reasons listed in the editorial.

Our pro-Hosmer stance comes from observation. Hosmer's black, white and red signs dot the local landscape. You'll find an especially big display at National and Sunshine, on the fences of Marsh Travel.

They look so damned familiar. They are so damned familiar. Peer in for the proof: They're the same signs Craig Hosmer used when he ran for state senate in 2002. Only instead of the capitol dome silhouette, it's now an indistinct school-like structure. And the name "Craig" has been whitewashed.

Hosmer for School Board, then. Anyone frugal enough to recycle someone else's campaign signs is probably going to be a good steward of the public's money.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


The Democrats are fielding Doug Harpool against state Sen. Norma Champion. Harpool filed Tuesday afternoon.

How good is Harpool? He served five two-year terms in the Missouri General Assembly and was one of the best Democratic legislators in southwest Missouri. He knows how to legislate. He's more than capable of beating Champion.


The former defense secretary died Tuesday in Bangor, Maine. Just now crossing CNN. Insert your own friendly ghost joke here.


Filing ends on Tuesday for people who want to run in the August primary election. As we noted on Monday, the Democrats continue to draw flies to the 7th District congressional race. Two more >minor candidates filed for the Democratic primary on Monday, leaving the field wide open for a "name" Dem to run against Rep. Roy Blunt.

(Who, besides Jim Kreider, former speaker of the Missouri House? Top Dems suggest former state rep Doug Harpool or Craig Hosmer, chair of the Greene County Dems.)

Keep track of the filing in the 7th District by clicking here.

The other (non)-race to watch is the 30th District state senate seat now held by "Aunt Norma" Champion. As of Tuesday morning, Democrats had not fielded a challenger to the former TV personality.


Late last year we told you about Victor Willis, the original policeman from the Village People. Last December the cops were looking for Willis on cocaine and weapons violations.

Three months later, the search is over. The San Francisco Chronicle reports:
South San Francisco police ... said today that Willis had been arrested after the car in which he and a woman were driving was stopped Sunday by Officer Ivan Delacruz on the 700 block of Airport Boulevard. Neither Willis nor the woman had proper identification, and both had cocaine and drug paraphernalia, police said.

The man didn't give his name, but was later identified as Willis through fingerprints, police said.

Willis co-wrote such hits as "YMCA" and "In the Navy" in the 1970s. He entered a plea bargain on the cocaine-possession and other charges in early September that would have resulted in a prison term of no more than 16 months, but he never showed up for sentencing and has been wanted ever since.

Willis' case has received national attention from the television show "America's Most Wanted," which did a story on him.
Young man, you can make real your dreams/but you've got to know this one thing.


The Tuesday morning resignation of the White House chief of staff injects an unexpectedly weird light into the day. Can spokesman Scott McClellan be far behind? Will Karl Rove suddenly have more free time to talk with special prosecutors? More soon ...

Monday, March 27, 2006


Tuesday marks the 27th anniversary of the core meltdown at Three Mile Island nuclear plant near Middletown, Pa. A generation later, nuclear power is being discussed as a viable option. Glowing food for thought.


The former press secretary and political adviser to President Reagan was 81. News just crossing the wires now.

Updated 9:14 p.m.: The Associated Press obit said Nofziger died of cancer at his home in Falls Church, Va. The obit contains several gems, including these grafs:
“I’m not a social friend of the Reagans,” he told an interviewer. “That’s by their choice and by mine. They don’t drink enough.

Bombay gin, outrageous puns and fierce loyalty to Reagan and conservative Republican principles were Nofziger hallmarks. His caustic wit made him a favorite among some reporters who covered Reagan as governor and president and on his various campaigns. One of his trademarks was a stock of Mickey Mouse neckties.
On edit, Nofziger's age is corrected to 81 sted 71.


The Democrats have two more candidates to run against Rep. Roy Blunt, majority whip of the House. Charles Christrup of Cape Fair filed just before 3 p.m., and Jack Truman of Lamar filed just before 4 p.m.

Christrup has lost to Blunt before. There is no reason to believe this run will be any different.


For the past three years, Josh Weast has coached about 40 students at Mater Dei Catholic High School in Breese, Ill. Weast isn't a teacher, but he's been allowed to use the gym because hey, he helps the school's cheerleaders get better.

Rather, he used to help at Mater Dei. Weast has been banned from campus because the principal found out about his gay-porn past. WQAD reports:
Weast said he regretted making the videos, but he said he made them about a year ago at a time when he needed the money badly. Still, he said his private life should have no effect on his coaching activities. In comment on the case, the executive director of a well-known Illinois gay rights groups said private religious schools have a legal right to enforce their own values as long as federal anti-discrimination laws are not violated.
Crazy, isn't it, how the principal just stumbled across some gay porn?


Hey. How's it going? The "Street Talk" crew is busy working on what we suspect will be a pretty good piece, so life is a little busy and postings may be sporadic. Objects in the mirror, naturally, will not be what they seem.

Meanwhile, the world continues to spin and teeter:

•A bomb at a police recruiting station in Iraq kills at least 20.

•The provincial governor of Baghdad says he will "suspend all cooperation with U.S. forces until an independent investigation is launched into the killing of 20 Shi'ites in a mosque." Or so reports Reuters.

•Ozarks Democrats have one more day to line up a candidate to challenge Norma Champion, perhaps the worst state senator in Missouri history.

Saturday, March 25, 2006


Point to MIT, late on a Saturday. From the Associated Press:
Richard Fleischer, who directed several memorable films from sci-fi classics such as "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" to war movies as "Tora! Tora! Tora!" died Saturday. He was 89.

Fleischer died Saturday of natural causes at the Motion Picture and Television Hospital in Woodland Hills, said his son, Mark.

A quiet-spoken but firm-minded director, Richard Fleischer never achieved the recognition of his more flamboyant contemporaries, but his name was on a wide variety of well-known films, including "Fantastic Voyage" (1966); "Doctor Dolittle" (1967); "The Boston Strangler" (1968); "Che!" (1969); "The New Centurions" (1972); "Soylent Green" (1973); "Mr. Majestyk" (1974); "Mandingo" (1975); "Conan the Destroyer" (1984) and "Red Sonja" (1985).

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who starred in "Conan the Destroyer," praised Fleischer as "a true Hollywood legend."
Soylent Green is people!


No more acting naturally for Owens, who died in his home on Saturday, according to the Associated Press.

Take that, MIT.


Now that our 2005 lusting for an iPod is sated, we're ready to reevaluate our hasty assessment that Pearl Jam is past its sell-by date.

The new PJ single, "World Wide Suicide," rocks. No other word for it. And thank God, because that whole "Man Of The Hour" phase was a real snoozefest.

What else is ringing in the ears around the palatial CHATTER executive offices and typing cage? Something fresh, something ancient, and the new Against Me! track with its great hook (Condoleezza/What are we gonna do now?).
Renegades of Funk
Afrika Bambaataa & Soul Sonic Force

My Tortured Soul

From Her Lips to God's Ears
Against Me!

Rock Kills Kid

Popstar Wedding

How I Could Just Kill A Man
Cypress Hill

A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More Touch Me
Fall Out Boy



World Wide Suicide
Pearl Jam
We continue to compile music for Andy at Rhetorica, who acknowledged during a recent blogfest that he wasn't familiar with Nirvana.

BTW, notes the coming release of some new TOOL. Life on May 2 will be quite fine.


WikiChick, who claims to live in that garden spot known as Relative Obscurity, Mo., posts an eye-opener on her site. Seems the actress Natalie Portman -- she of the Star Wars franchise -- has one of the world's biggest craniums, right up there with former KYTV anchor Tony Beason.

WikiChick has the photographic proof. Yikes. Portman needs to put on a few LBs.

Friday, March 24, 2006


Yes, the apocalypse is nigh. Springfield Police say a hapless crook failed in his Friday morning attempt to rob the Kum & Go at 2404 E. Sunshine St. From SPD spokesman Matt Brown:
The suspect displayed a handgun to the clerk and demanded money during the robbery. The crime was interrupted by a private security officer who entered the business and took custody of the suspect. No shots were fired during this incident.

The suspect is identified as Cregg A. Goodwin (DOB 8-31-86) of Springfield. Goodwin was arrested and booked into the Greene County Jail for first degree robbery.
The private security guard is Friday's local hero, blessed with a lifetime supply of free Kum & Go coffee. Does life get any better?


Much the same as the alleged "War on Christmas," only this one involves bunnies and Jesus. World Net Daily claims the anti-Christians are taking aim at Easter:
This week in Minnesota's capital, a toy rabbit, pastel-colored eggs and a sign with the words "Happy Easter" adorning the entrance to the St. Paul City Council offices were ordered to hit the bunny trail by the city's human-rights director who claimed the items might offend non-Christians.

"I sent an e-mail that Easter is viewed as a Christian holiday and advised that it be taken down," Tyrone Terrill told the Pioneer Press. "It wasn't a big deal."

But City Council Member Dave Thune had no problem with the seasonal display.

"I absolutely wonder how colored eggs and bunnies and chickens are Christian," Thune told the paper. "I'm a little puzzled how people can be offended."

In response to the bunny ban, the New York-based Catholic League is sending Terrill a full-size bunny suit.

"It is our hope that once Tyrone dons the costume, he will realize that even non-Christians are not offended," said the league's president, Bill Donohue. "And we urge him to read and digest a copy of the First Amendment, preferably while munching on some rancid carrots."

Terrill has now posted a notice on the city's website, stating, "I wanted to let you know that my request was not to remove bunnies or eggs from the City of Saint Paul, but the sign on the door that says Happy Easter. With that being said, I am sorry for all the confusion that this has caused as my e-mail had nothing to do with rabbits, eggs etc."

Already, many stores and malls across the U.S. are preparing for seasonal events, with some refraining from usage of terms like "the Easter Bunny," opting instead for more generic terms like "Spring Bunny," or other names avoiding the name "Easter."
Guess our crucified bunny display is out for this year.


Tina Vazquez is 33 and in love. Too bad Ms. Vasquez's beau is currently married to Angie Hausler.

Cops say Vasquez came up with a novel solution to her love problem -- she allegedly poisoned Hausler with sodium nitrite.

All of this happened in Bonne Terre. The Daily Journal updates:
“Tina Vazquez allegedly gave Ms. Hausler two capsules which she believed to be the antibiotic amoxicillin,” said St. Francois County Sheriff Dan Bullock. “The pills contained sodium nitrite. Shortly after taking the pills, Ms. Hausler collapsed and was taken to a local hospital. She was later transferred to St. John's Mercy Center in St. Louis.

Invesigators said the hospital determined that Ms. Hausler was given a toxic substance. “The hospital couldn't identify what the toxic substance was,” said Lt. Greg Armstrong of the St. Francois County Sheriff's Department. “The hospital questioned both Mr. and Mrs. Hausler to try to determine what the substance was. Mrs. Hausler said she had taken an amoxicillin pill that a friend had given her on Saturday morning. The hospital asked if she had anymore of the pills. She said yes there is still one more at home.”

Armstrong said Mr. Hausler was sent home to retrieve the second pill. When the pill was tested, it was not amoxicllin.

“Mr. Hausler then contacted the suspect and questioned her about the pills,” Armstrong said. “The suspect told him (Hausler) that he didn't want to know what was in the pills. He said yes I do and she went on to tell him that it was sodium nitrite.”

Bullock said Mr. Hausler contacted the St. Francois County Sheriff's Department late Sunday evening to report what had taken place. “We have interviewed Mr. Hausler and have arrested Ms. Vazquez,” Bullock said. “She has been charged with assault in the first degree and is in jail on a $60,000 bond.”

Bullock said sodium nitrite is used in curing meats, but it is diluted.

“Ms. Hausler was given pure sodium nitrite which can be fatal,” Bullock said. “She has been administered the antidote and is in stable condition.”
Click on the link to discover a marvelous mugshot.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


One day -- hopefully not on deadline -- the earth's magnetic poles will flip and we will all ... what? Lose the fridge magnets? Fall off the planet? Nobody knows because it hasn't happened for, oh, about 780,000 years.

Scientists thought pole-flipping was a random event. Now they're not so sure. From Physics Web:
[P]hysicists in Italy have found that the frequency of these polarity reversals is not random as previously thought but occurs in clusters, revealing some kind of "memory" of previous events.

Although a full geomagnetic polarity reversal can take thousands of years to complete, the implications could be enormous. As well as affecting the migration trajectories of birds and other animals, the disruption to the Earth's magnetic field could expose the Earth to hazardous cosmic rays -- a scenario that some researchers have linked to mass extinction events like the one that wiped out the dinosaurs around 65 million years ago. Geoscientists believe that our planet's internal magnetic dynamo is responsible for pole reversals, but the actual mechanism is not well understood.

Previous analyses assumed that the number of times the poles have reversed over last 160 million years follows a Poisson distribution, implying that the events are random. The Poisson distribution tells you the probability of a number of events occurring in a fixed time if the events are independent and the average rate is known. A good example of the Poisson distribution in physics is the likelihood of unstable radioactive nuclei decaying in a certain period.

Now, a team of physicists led by Vincenzo Carbone of the University of Calabria have discovered that the sequence of polarity reversals can be well described by a Lévy distribution instead. In contrast to Poisson statistics, the Lévy distribution describes stochastic processes that are characterised by the presence of "memory" effects -- or long-range correlations between the events in time. Lévy distributions are widely used to study many critical phenomena, such as earthquakes, and also when analysing financial data. The researchers obtained their results by careful statistical analysis of different sets of paleomagnetic data containing estimates of when the Earth's poles reversed.

"The result means that polarity reversals are not random events that are independent of each other," explains team member Fabio Lepreti. "Instead, there is some degree of memory in the magnetic dynamo processes giving rise to the reversals," he says.
The Earth remembers.



He was the only conscientious objector to win the Congressional Medal of Honor during World War II. He died Thursday at age 87.

The Chattanoogan tells it this way:
Mr. Doss never liked being called a conscientious objector. He preferred the term conscientious cooperator. Raised a Seventh-day Adventist, Mr. Doss did not believe in using a gun or killing because of the sixth commandment which states, “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13). Doss was a patriot however, and believed in serving his country.

During World War II, instead of accepting a deferment, Mr. Doss voluntarily joined the Army as a conscientious objector. Assigned to the 307th Infantry Division as a company medic he was harassed and ridiculed for his beliefs, yet he served with distinction and ultimately received the Congressional Medal of Honor on Oct. 12, 1945 for his fearless acts of bravery.

According to his Medal of Honor citation, time after time, Mr. Doss’ fellow soldiers witnessed how unafraid he was for his own safety. He was always willing to go after a wounded fellow, no matter how great the danger. On one occasion in Okinawa, he refused to take cover from enemy fire as he rescued approximately 75 wounded soldiers, carrying them one-by-one and lowering them over the edge of the 400-foot Maeda Escarpment. He did not stop until he had brought everyone to safety nearly 12 hours later.

When Mr. Doss received the Medal of Honor from President Truman, the President told him, “I’m proud of you, you really deserve this. I consider this a greater honor than being President.”
Here's a photo from that moment with Truman. Click here to read his MoH citation. "Outsanding gallantry," indeed.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Fort Branch, Ind., is where we find this slice o' irony. The Associated Press reports:
The blaze broke out about 10 p.m. Monday while firefighters were responding to a call at Fort Branch Community School, said Rob Houchins, chief of the Fort Branch-Union Township Fire Department.

Firefighters in the department's two pumper trucks were stuck at a railroad crossing on the way back to the station in the town about 20 miles north of Evansville. By the time they arrived, Houchins said the building, which was more than 80 years old, was lost to the fire.

"When we first pulled up, there were flames coming up through the roof," Houchins said.

No injuries were reported. The fire's cause remained under investigation Tuesday, but Houchins said arson was not suspected.

Fire crews from Haubstadt, Owensville, Princeton and Toyota Motor Manufacturing helped fight the fire in the building, which also housed the South Gibson School Corp. central office and the Union Township trustee's office.

The department's rescue truck was inside when the fire started, but firefighters managed to pull out before the roof collapsed, Houchins said. No other vital equipment was damaged.
Just the pride of the Fort Branch-Union Township Fire Department.


This is what happens when a candle gets outta control in Florida. From WFTV:
The fire was sparked by a candle and then accidentally spread by a woman's hair.

The woman set her hair on fire and, in the process of trying to put it out, she set the house on fire. That fire was devastating to the house where the family had lived for more than 20 years.

The woman tried to blow out a candle, but ended up setting her hair on fire. She succeeded at putting her hair out, but the fire quickly spread and consumed the whole room.

The freak accident that started it all happened when Ramona's grown daughter turned in for the night and went to blow out a candle and, in turn, caught her hair on fire.

Amazingly, Ramona's daughter wasn't hurt. Nor were her four young grandchildren. Every last person made it out with barely a scratch and with enough time to grab all the valuables they could carry.

And as workers started to put her home back together, Ramona looked on Tuesday, fully aware her dilemma could have been so much more grim.

Ramona said her daughter's hair was singed and she has a few burns on her shoulder, but aside from that was by all accounts very lucky after a bizarre series of events that destroyed more than two decades of memories.
Insert your own "hothead" joke here.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


President Bush held a news conference on Tuesday and actually gave Helen Thomas a chance to ask a question. Politically it's smart for Bush; he knows Thomas is going to throw heat and he needs to rally his base by hitting a homer off the Dame of the White House press corps.

There's the wind-up and here's the pitch:
THE PRESIDENT: Helen. After that brilliant performance at the Grid Iron, I am -- (laughter.)

HELEN THOMAS: You're going to be sorry. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Well, then, let me take it back. (Laughter.)

HELEN THOMAS: I'd like to ask you, Mr. President, your decision to invade Iraq has caused the deaths of thousands of Americans and Iraqis, wounds of Americans and Iraqis for a lifetime. Every reason given, publicly at least, has turned out not to be true. My question is, why did you really want to go to war? From the moment you stepped into the White House, from your Cabinet -- your Cabinet officers, intelligence people, and so forth -- what was your real reason? You have said it wasn't oil -- quest for oil, it hasn't been Israel, or anything else. What was it?

THE PRESIDENT: I think your premise -- in all due respect to your question and to you as a lifelong journalist -- is that -- I didn't want war. To assume I wanted war is just flat wrong, Helen, in all due respect --

HELEN THOMAS: Everything --

THE PRESIDENT: Hold on for a second, please.

HELEN THOMAS: -- everything I've heard --

THE PRESIDENT: Excuse me, excuse me. No President wants war. Everything you may have heard is that, but it's just simply not true. My attitude about the defense of this country changed on September the 11th. We -- when we got attacked, I vowed then and there to use every asset at my disposal to protect the American people. Our foreign policy changed on that day, Helen. You know, we used to think we were secure because of oceans and previous diplomacy. But we realized on September the 11th, 2001, that killers could destroy innocent life. And I'm never going to forget it. And I'm never going to forget the vow I made to the American people that we will do everything in our power to protect our people.

Part of that meant to make sure that we didn't allow people to provide safe haven to an enemy. And that's why I went into Iraq -- hold on for a second --

HELEN THOMAS: They didn't do anything to you, or to our country.

THE PRESIDENT: Look -- excuse me for a second, please. Excuse me for a second. They did. The Taliban provided safe haven for al Qaeda. That's where al Qaeda trained --

HELEN THOMAS: I'm talking about Iraq --

THE PRESIDENT: Helen, excuse me. That's where -- Afghanistan provided safe haven for al Qaeda. That's where they trained. That's where they plotted. That's where they planned the attacks that killed thousands of innocent Americans.

I also saw a threat in Iraq. I was hoping to solve this problem diplomatically. That's why I went to the Security Council; that's why it was important to pass 1441, which was unanimously passed. And the world said, disarm, disclose, or face serious consequences --

HELEN THOMAS: -- go to war --

THE PRESIDENT: -- and therefore, we worked with the world, we worked to make sure that Saddam Hussein heard the message of the world. And when he chose to deny inspectors, when he chose not to disclose, then I had the difficult decision to make to remove him. And we did, and the world is safer for it.
Bush used Thomas to roll out his little 9/11 speech and further confuse people into wrongly thinking that Iraq had something to do with the attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. He also used the opportunity to lie about recent history and claim U.N. inspectors weren't allowed into Iraq before the war. They were.

Brilliant politics for Bush. More terrible times for the country.


The former teacher who reportedly had sex with a middle-school student is speaking now (2:30 p.m. Central) in a news conference. Prosecutors have dropped charges after a judge refused to accpt a plea bargain. The victim's family didn't want him to testify.

She says she's bipolar; she bristles at the media and says she "wants the world to see that bipolar is real ... I challenge you to read a book on bipolar illness." She says she's doing an online course for journalism and says she has a gift for writing.

She doesn't care, she says, about the media coverage, or what people think of her. "I believe that my family knows who I am. Right now, my family and my friends are all that matter," she says.

Lafave says she's in therapy, and prays all media coverage will die out. She says her passion was teaching, and she's lost that. She says she's very remorseful: "My greatest regret would be that I put this young man through this."

She says she's a "strong Christian woman," and having sex with a student was "just a bump in the road."

A reporter asks if, through counseling, she's learned why she had sex with a student. Lafave pauses for several seconds and frowns. She mouths something about being in counseling for a long time, but no, she doesn't know why. It's bipolar's fault.


The hot blonde teacher from Florida will stand trial for allegedly having sex with a middle-school student, after a judge on Tuesday said "no dice" to a deal. The St. Peterburg Times reports:
Marion County Judge Hale R. Stancil had said he would call Lafave, 25, and her attorney and prosecutors back to his courtroom to announce his decision. Instead, he issued a written order rejecting the plea.

"Acepting the proposed plea agreement would undermine the credibility of this court, and the criminal justice system as a whole, and would erode public confidence in our schools," Judge Stancil wrote in the order released Tuesday ...

The mother of the boy, 14 at the time of the June 2004 sexual encounters, decided last fall that the media frenzy surrounding the trials in Hillsborough and Marion counties would be too much for her son.

So Hillsborough prosecutors in November reached a deal with Lafave. She pleaded guilty to two counts of lewd and lascivious battery in exchange for serving three years of house arrest followed by seven years of probation.

Marion prosecutors wanted to offer Lafave the same punishment, to run concurrent, in exchange for her pleading guilty to two counts of lewd and lascivious battery and one count of lewd and lascivious exhibition.
Sounds like the judge just wants to hear the juicy details about Lafave's shaving habits.

Monday, March 20, 2006


The former speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives is seen by many to be the only hope for Democrats wanting to defeat Rep. Roy Blunt.

But by all accounts, Kreider won't make the run. Too bad. Would have been a great race with national play. Here's the speech we wish Kreider would make:

Fifty years ago, a man named Charlie Brown decided that enough was enough.

Like many of his fellow Ozarkers, Charlie was tired of politics as usual. Tired of the money games being played in Washington, D.C.

Charlie wanted to make a difference, so he challenged an incumbent congressman who had been in office more than 20 years, a fellow who had grown out-of-touch with his constituents. Charlie gave the people of southwest Missouri a message about change. About the promise of a brighter future for their families.

He gave the Ozarks a message of hope. And 50 years ago this November, Charlie Brown made history. He beat the special interests. He won.

Today we find ourselves in familiar, peculiar times. Our elected leaders say things are just fine, and getting better by the day. But look around -- at the good-paying jobs that have up and left for a foreign country. At the growing gap between the haves and the have-nots.

Look around at the things we're doing for other countries -- health care for everyone in Iraq, nation-building in Afghanistan -- and ask yourself, "Why can't we offer the same hope for Americans?"

I'll tell you why. It's because our elected leaders have forgotten their ways.

Our congressman is one of those politicians. He seems to have forgotten his most important job -- representing you in Washington, D.C.

He seems to have forgotten that his rich friends, the K-Street lobbyists, do not share the same values as the good people of the Ozarks.

He seems to think that a war chest filled with millions of dollars in corporate donations is more important than representing your best interests.

He seems to believe in the tyranny of the majority -- that the majority always rules, and the minority should just roll over and take it.

That's because he's in the majority, of course. He forgets that veterans and farmers and people on Social Security are a minority of the population.

Our friends on the other side of the political aisle have been in charge for a few years now -- not just in Washington, but up in Jeff City, too. They have made a mess of things, and they have no one to blame but themselves.

They have the power, but instead of using it to help the powerless, they have held it close and let it infect their hearts, their souls.

They are not bad men. But they have put us on a bad road, a rough road, and it's getting rougher by the day.

The only way to get back on good road is by changing direction.

We know the trip they've already taken us on. Now they're saying where they want to take us, and trust me, it isn't the scenic route.

The national Republicans say they have a four-point agenda for this year. They say they want to focus on national security, retirement security, economic security and energy.

So let's look at those four points.

Number 1: National Security. The Republicans like to talk a big game about securing our country. Then they turn around and think it's OK to hand over control of our nation's ports to a foreign country.

They like to talk about national security, but then they do nothing to secure our southern border and halt the flow of illegal aliens into America.

The second point on their to-do list: Retirement Security. Republicans tried to dismantle Social Security. They said the program was in trouble, even though their own budget people said Social Security is solvent for the next several decades.

They want to kill Social Security so their big banking buddies can make more money setting up private retirement accounts.

Now, what about those of you who work hard, live paycheck-to-paycheck and don't have leftover money to put into a private account? Under the Republican plan, when you retire, you're just out of luck. Sorry.

That's a pretty cold way of treating hard-working people, isn't it? In the 7th District, nearly 70,000 households receive income from Social Security. The Republicans would have those families fend for themselves. We believe Social Security is a big part of America's heart. It should not be killed.

Even our incumbent congressman now says a remake of Social Security is "not doable." I'm glad he sees the error of his ways.

The third point in the Republican plan is economic security. The party that brought us huge federal budgets, record deficits and a $9 trillion debt now says it wants to give you economic security. I'm sorry, but that's like having your home robbed -- and then saying to the burglar, hey, come on in and fix the locks for me.

And finally, point four of the Republican agenda calls for a new energy policy for America. Of course their idea of an energy policy is giving more tax breaks to the oil companies so they can charge us more at the gas pump.

The Republican agenda is a plan for the future -- future profits for big business and oil companies. Future hardships on working-class people. Future backroom deals with foreign countries to export our jobs.

It's a future we cannot afford.

Like I said, it's no scenic route. More like a cynic's route. Because after all the mistakes they've made, they actually expect you to believe they're the ones with the right answers. They think that all they have to do is say "September 11th" or "terror alert" and you'll be scared enough to vote for them.

That's their message. They peddle fear.

We all know that FDR said the only thing to fear is fear itself. He also said that democracy is "a quest, a never-ending seeking for better things."

Better things. Like affordable health care for everyone.

Like real national security, with a focus on stopping illegal immigration.

Better things, like real economic security, more manufacturing jobs for southwest Missouri, and a real living wage that will help lift people out of poverty.

Better things, like real honor to the 67,000-plus veterans in southwest Missouri. Our Republican friends like to talk about caring for veterans, but they refuse to fully fund veterans benefits.

When I was speaker of the Missouri House, I was proud to help establish six new veterans homes. Proud to help commission four new veterans cemeteries. Proud to award high-school diplomas to those veterans who left school to fight for America.

When I think about politics, I think about the things I was able to do to help people in Missouri. Call me naive, but I actually believe that politics -- public service -- can and should be an honorable profession.

For most of his adult life, the congressman from the 7th District has been a public servant, and I honor his past record and thank him for his service.

But it is time for the servant to come home. It's actually past time, because he ran for Congress and said he was for term limits, but once he got there he decided that the limits really didn't apply to him.

It is time for him to understand that Congress is not supposed to be a gravy train for the rich and powerful.

Friends, it is time for a change in the way business is done in Washington. As I said before, their policies have put us on a rough road right now. It is time for us -- all of us -- to gather together and steer our way back onto good road.

Fifty years ago, Charlie Brown stood up and volunteered to do the steering. Today I stand before you and accept the same challenge.


Not a joke. Not even close. The Associated Press reports:
Budget constraints are forcing some local FBI agents to operate without e-mail accounts, according to the agency's top official in New York.

"As ridiculous as this might sound, we have real money issues right now, and the government is reluctant to give all agents and analysts dot-gov accounts," Mark Mershon said when asked about the gap at a Daily News editorial board meeting.

"We just don't have the money, and that is an endless stream of complaints that come from the field," he said.

FBI officials in Washington denied that cost-cutting was putting agents at a disadvantage.

Spokeswoman Cathy Milhoan said e-mail addresses are still being assigned, adding that the city bureau's 2,000 employees would all have accounts by the end of the year.
G-men without G-mail.

Saturday, March 18, 2006


The Associated Press uses the great line, "The cause of death was not immediately known." Umm, perhaps he died because he was 92? From the story:
Jacqueline Kennedy, only 31 years old when her husband was elected president, was the pinnacle of style in the White House years from 1961 to 1963. Her simple, geometric dresses in sumptuous fabrics, her pillbox hats and her elegant coiffure were copied by women from ages 18 to 80.

Cassini said that shortly after John F. Kennedy was elected, he persuaded Jacqueline Kennedy to use him as the creator of her total look, rather than as one of many designers.

The one-time Hollywood costume designer turned couturier had been friendly with the Kennedy family for years.

"We are on the threshold of a new American elegance thanks to Mrs. Kennedy's beauty, naturalness, understatement, exposure and symbolism," Cassini said when his selection was announced.
By the '90s, Cassini had started a partnership with David's Bridal. In a way he was already dead.

BTW, Smitty gets the point for this one.

Friday, March 17, 2006


An audio version of this week's show, with Joe Hadsall and Larry Burkum, is now available on the "Street Talk" website. Many thanks to noted photojournalist Mike Wingo for allowing us to use some of his post-storm images.


Jakub Fik is one sick bastard. The Chicago Sun-Times tells you why:
Before cops threw the book at him, Jakub Fik threw something unusual at them -- his penis.

Fik, 33, cut off his own penis during a Northwest Side rampage Wednesday morning. When confronted by police, Fik hurled several knives and his severed organ at the officers, police said. Officers stunned him with a Taser and took him into custody.

"We took him out without any serious injury, with the exception of his own," said Chicago Police Sgt. Edward Dolan of the 16th District.

Doctors at Northwestern Memorial Hospital reattached Fik's penis Wednesday, sources said. He was listed in good condition Thursday, according to hospital spokesman Andrew Buchanan, who declined to comment further.
What a dick.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


A hand-delivered letter from the police chief to the parents of several Rountree Elementary School children says investigators have identified "six victims" of child molestation.

The letter was delivered by police officers on Thursday to the home of some parents. The one-page letter invites parents to a Monday night meeting to discuss the molestation allegations, which became public this week when physical-education teacher Mark Washam was arrested.

Washam has not been charged with any crime; he was released from police custody following his Monday arrest.

The Monday night meeting is not open to the public, according to Rowe's letter. Curiously, not all Rountree parents received letters; it appears police have narrowed their focus to students in the fifth grade.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Our earlier brief on the arrest of a Rountree Elementary School staffer certainly won't be the last word on the case. Even before news of the arrest became public, parents in the central-Springfield area were talking about the teacher, Mark Washam.

Our sources say a "good-touch, bad-touch" assembly brought the allegations against Washam to the surface. The school calendar shows third- and fifth-graders had a "Better Safe Than Sorry" presentation on March 1; police say the first child-abuse hotline call in the case was made March 2 -- coincidentally, Washam's 42nd birthday.

Police say they conducted interviews with "victims and their families" the next day. Washam was arrested Monday, but has not been charged with a crime. Missouri law requires a charge within 20 hours of an arrest, or the suspect is released.

The Springfield Police Department named Washam in its news release. But mainstream media outlets are holding off, for now.

The News-Leader didn't name Washam in its Wednesday afternoon news update, but identified the school as Rountree.

KYTV went one step further, reporting that "because no formal charges are filed, KY3 News isn’t identifying the school because it would identify the teacher."

KOLR didn't have the story on its web site as of Wednesday evening.

KSPR, the ABC affiliate, hasn't updated its news page since Feb. 13.


Missouri State University's search for a provost may be over. Sources tell CHATTER that Belinda R. McCarthy was on-campus Wednesday for a visit and second interview.

McCarthy is the only provost candidate invited back for a second looksee, the sources said.

Other candidates, according to Missouri State:
Dr. Robert G. Frank – dean of the College of Public Health and Health Professions and professor of clinical and health psychology at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla., since 1995;

Dr. Sharon K. Hahs – provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs and professor of chemistry, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville since 2000;

Dr. Warren Kent Wray – professor of civil engineering at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Mich., who served as provost and senior vice president for academic and student affairs at Michigan Tech from 2000-05.
McCarthy is dean of the College of Health and Public Affairs at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. She has been there since 1990.


Springfield police have arrested a Rountree Elementary School staffer on allegations of child molestation. According to police:
The SPD was alerted to the crime pursuant to a Children’s Division hotline tip on March 2nd, which purported the molestation took place prior to the end of the 1st semester. An initial report was taken by UOD officers, and was assigned to a Detective for follow up the same day. The Detective assigned to the case performed follow-up interviews with the victims and their families on March 3rd.

After follow-up interviews, an arrest was made of Mark Washam M/W 03/02/64 of Springfield, for First Degree Child Molestation.
The school's directory lists Washam as Rountree's physical-education teacher.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Pat Roberts, a Republican senator from Kansas, swore the intelligence committee he chairs would get clear answers on how prewar intelligence on Iraq was so screwed up.

Now he's playing the too-helpful deputy, telling everyone to move along, there's nothing here to see. From Reuters:
Roberts laid out a schedule for completing four of the investigation's five segments by the end of April and pledged to release much of the findings to the public.

The largest segment of the Phase 2 investigation, which has increasingly become a lightning rod for partisan squabbling, promises to examine whether Bush administration officials exaggerated intelligence on Iraq as they made their public case for war in 2002 and 2003.

"Over the next several weeks, the committee's members will work with staff to write the final products," Roberts said in a statement. "This schedule provides a reasonable time frame for member input as we complete the inquiry."

Aides to Roberts said the chairman released the work schedule in a public bid to counter behind-the-scenes efforts by Democrats to expand the Phase 2 probe.
Democrats want to "interview about 20 senior administration officials, including former Secretary of State Colin Powell," according to Reuters. They also want the committee to "press ahead with its probe of former U.S. defense policy chief Douglas Feith, whom Democrats accuse of manipulating intelligence to suggest links between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden."

Douglas Feith: "The f--king stupidest guy on the face of the earth." Or so says Gen. Tommy Franks, an authority on Feith and his intelligence-twisting ways.


Joe Hadsall, editor of the Nixa News-Enterprise, talks about the efforts of his staff as they covered the March 12 tornadoes that slashed through southwest Missouri.

Christian County was especially hard-hit, with more than 300 structures suffering some damage. Hadsall joins us just after his deadline and turns in a solid.

Also appearing: The man himself, Larry Burkum, executive producer of the show, to discuss the media's performance in covering the storms. The Doc has some interesting observations.

Also on the show: A closing essay on a peculiar downtown sight.

"Street Talk" airs at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday on Mediacom Channel 14, with rebroadcasts at 10:30 p.m. Thursday and 12:30 p.m. Sunday.


The baddest ass of them all is stepping away from "60 Minutes." He is 88. From CBS in Chicago:
Wallace said he's getting too old to travel and to maintain the busy schedule required of 60 Minutes correspondents.

"I’ve often replied, when asked, ‘I’ll retire when my toes turn up’," said Wallace. "Well, they’re just beginning to curl a trifle, which means that, as I approach my 88th birthday, it’s become apparent to me that my eyes and ears, among other appurtenances, aren’t quite what they used to be. And the prospect of long flights to wherever in search of whatever are not quite as appealing.

"But CBS is not pushing me," he said. "I’ll be in a comfortable office on the same floor -- just around the corner from where I’ve holed up for the past 43 years -- available, when asked, for whatever chore CBS News, 60 MINUTES, the CBS EVENING NEWS, have in mind for me."

"Plus, longer vacations, of course," he added.

CBS News President Sean McManus said:

"Mike Wallace is one of a few giants of broadcast journalism for whom a list of endless superlatives can’t and don’t do justice. From his genre-creating early days in radio to his standard-setting work on 60 MINUTES for the past 38 years, and from datelines all over the world, Mike has completely embodied what good, tough, fair journalism should be over the course of his 60-plus years in the business. And he’s broken more than his share of big stories along the way. I’m very pleased that he’ll remain at CBS News as Correspondent Emeritus. There is no finer journalist from whom everyone in the news business can learn."

Wallace was the original co-host along with Harry Reasoner when the legendary news magazine program debuted in 1968.
Sucks to get old.

Monday, March 13, 2006


John Skinner, 54, described as a "retired salesman," lives in Atascadero, Calif. His life recently got interesting. Very interesting. The Tribune of San Luis Obispo picks up the tawdry tale:
Skinner, a retired salesman, said he was on his way to a 7 p.m. Bible study when an exotic dancer knocked on his door and offered him a free strip-o-gram.

The dancer, identified as Maureen Murphy, 25, told him a friend had already paid for the show.

When Skinner agreed to let her perform, Richard Adam forced his way through the door carrying a knife and told the man he owed $400.

Murphy and Leslie Talbert, 20, who work for Exclusive Review as exotic dancers, later told police that Skinner owed them money.

Skinner said he owed Talbert money for sex one time but not for a previous time when he said she fell asleep before they could have sex.

Murphy, who also owns an entertainment business named Bikini Assassins, told police he had "stiffed her" as well.

Adam tied Skinner’s hands behind his back and his feet with a lamp cord and telephone cord in the house, according to the police reports.

Skinner said Adam held a knife to his nose, eye and ear and said the pair needed to leave with money or a body part. He said Adam hit him in the face and cut the man’s foot when tying him up.

Murphy went upstairs to find valuables and returned with thong underwear and medication for erectile dysfunction.
See what happens when you pass up Bible study for a free stripper?


The actress Maureen Stapleton died Monday at age 80. The Associated Press says she had been living in Lenox, Mass.

She won the Oscar for best supporting actress for her role in "Reds." Can't place the face? Look here.


Phone service has finally been restored to the southside CHATTER complex. Quite the night, as tornadoes slashed through southern Missouri, killing at one least person near Marionville.

City Utilities of Springfield on Monday reported:
Damage was heaviest in the far south portion of the electric distribution system…especially around the James River Power Station.

There was also a moderate outage along the I-44 corridor from the last storm of the night.

It is hoped that power can be restored later today in the Eagles Gate, Millwood, and Highland Springs developments ...

Damage was done to five of the six transmission circuits feeding out of the James River Power Plant.

A large steel structure at the Lake Springfield Dam bluff was damaged along with at least 15 sets of insulators on a transmission circuit feeding out from the west side of the James River Power Station.

Nine distribution poles were lost in the area of the Highway 60 & 65 intersection. The wind in the Eagles Gate area was so strong it blew some ground- mounted transformers off their concrete pads.
We were lucky in Springfield.

Sunday, March 12, 2006


Frazier Glenn Miller, the racist who wants to be a congressman, has been shunned by Democrats and Republicans.

Now the Libertarians respond to Miller's decision to file under their party's banner:
Allowing a candidate who would put white people on a pedestal over everyone else, does not adhere to libertarian principles ... let alone the principles of decent human living.
There is something troubling in the me-too rush to condemn Miller. If he meets the statutory requirements, why shouldn't he be allowed to run for Congress? SWMo Libertarian covers this in his post. Give it a read.


Bill Cardoso was his name, and according to the Los Angeles Times, this is what he did for history:
On a press bus in New Hampshire during the 1968 presidential campaign, writer Bill Cardoso told Hunter S. Thompson, "Don't worry, [the other reporters] are all so square they won't know what you're doing."

Cardoso was referring to the marijuana joint he had just given Thompson, a freelance journalist of some notoriety who had earned admiring reviews for a book about the Hells Angels motorcycle gang. But Cardoso could just as well have been talking about something else he shared with Thompson: a vision of journalism that he later summed up in one spectacularly apt word:


An elegant stylist whose work appeared in such publications as the Boston Globe, Rolling Stone, Ramparts and Esquire, Cardoso never achieved Thompson's fame. But he assured himself a page in journalism history when he applied that strange five-letter word to the darkly exuberant, drug-infused brand of participatory reporting and novelistic writing that Thompson perfected in such works as "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," a 1972 classic of what became known as New Journalism.

Cardoso died of cardiac arrest Feb. 26 at his home in Kelseyville, about 80 miles northeast of San Francisco, said Mary Miles Ryan, his longtime companion. He was 68, a year older than Thompson was when he killed himself a year ago in a final rebellion.

He christened Thompson's brand of writing in 1970, when Thompson was anxious about a piece on the Kentucky Derby he had written for Scanlan's Monthly magazine. With his mind wasted on drugs and his deadline looming, Thompson desperately yanked the pages out of his notebook and turned those in, fully expecting that he would never be asked to write again. Instead, the editor asked for more.

When "The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved" was published, congratulations poured in, including a note from Cardoso exclaiming that his buddy's work had been "pure gonzo." The adjective wasn't in any dictionary, but "gonzo journalism" was born.

"Hunter grabbed it like a hungry dog and ran with it," Ralph Steadman, the British artist who was Thompson's longtime friend and collaborator, said of the "gonzo" tag in an interview last week. Cardoso "had the right word at the right time."

"Gonzo" eventually made it into dictionaries, defined in Webster's New World Dictionary in 1979 as meaning "bizarre, unrestrained, extravagant, specifically designating a style of personal journalism so characterized."
Said an editor of Cardoso: "He could really write." Sounds like he really lived, too.


Seems the Chief Wana Dubie post got linked to, so we're seeing some fresh hits from interesting places.

So welcome, Farkers. Nose around, bookmark, all that.

Friday, March 10, 2006


Salem, Mo., is not only the center of the known universe, it's also the land of the best-named candidate in the history of Missouri politics.

Running for state representative in the 150th District:
Jason T. Smith 301 S Jackson
Salem MO 65560

Chief Wana Dubie Route 4, Box 931-1
Salem MO 65560
No offense to Mr. Smith of Salem, but we're going with the Chief.


Our early warning that Frazier Glenn Miller was running for Congress was only the first word in what has become a race to see who can flee the racist's clutches.

The Democrats returned his filing fee. Republicans said they didn't want him. It looked like Miller was heading for the Libertarians. But as you'll see from the comments posted on our earlier entry, the Libertarians are already preparing to repel a Miller invasion:
Hey, we don't want him, either. We're not racists.

We're going to have an exec conference about this freak Miller.

He's not running AS a Libertarian... he's just trying to avoid running as a write-in or an independent. He just wants a flag to run under, and we were next on the list.

He does not have our support, and on the local level we will be just as vocal about not supporting this freak as any rational person should.
In other 7th District news, Roy Blunt ended speculation on Friday and filed for reelection at 3:32 p.m. Two hours earlier, Frazier Glenn Miller filed as a Libertarian.


Men and women lose limbs in battle. The federal government is spending money trying to figure out a way to regrow those lost limbs in the lab. MSNBC reports:
Like no war before, the war in Iraq has seen unprecedented numbers of injuries due to surprise bomb attacks. And like no other war before, troops are often surviving those attacks, though many of them lose limbs or suffer severe burns. That has led researchers to create the Soldier Treatment and Regeneration Consortium with the goal of growing back body parts, like ears and fingers, and treating burns.

Researchers say the advancements could have a broad impact well beyond the battlefield. The consortium, which includes the backing of the military, received $1 million in funding from the federal government last week.

"It's a starting point and it will enable us to get organized and prepare and hopefully treat one or two patients this year and generate clinical experience," said Alan J. Russell, director of the University of Pittsburgh's McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and executive director of the Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative.

The new consortium's five-year goal is to create a fully functioning finger.

For about five years, researchers at the Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative have been running the National Tissue Engineering Center, a Defense Department-supported institute that strives to improve the survival of those with life-threatening injuries.

But the need for speedier developments became apparent as American military forces became injured in Iraq, Russell said. According to the Department of Defense, 6 percent of the more than 16,000 soldiers wounded in Iraq have required amputations.

"The need is very, very easy to see unfortunately," Russell said.
Nothing like pissing a million bucks down a drain hole and calling it worthy research. Does anyone think the five-year goal of a functioning finger is realistic?

And, you know, an easier way to drastically reduce the number of amputees would be to end the war in Iraq.


The kids ask: Who? The grown-ups nod in remembrance of the sex scandal. The Guardian briefs us:
Tony Blair today led the tributes to the former Conservative minister John Profumo, who resigned in a sensational sex scandal, following his death at the age of 91.

Profumo died from a stroke at the Cheslea and Westminster Hospital at around midnight last night. He was surrounded by his family and had been admitted to the hospital two days earlier, a spokesman said.

The former Tory secretary of state for war was at the centre of the most dramatic political scandal of the 20th century. He was forced to resign from the cabinet for lying to the Commons over his affair with the call girl Christine Keeler.

Harold Macmillan's cabinet was plunged into crisis by Ms Keeler's revelations that she had had sex with both Profumo and Commander Eugene Ivanov, a Russian intelligence officer and the Soviet assistant naval attache in London.

In March 1963, Profumo - having protested his innocence to his ministerial colleagues - was forced to make a personal Commons statementin which he denied any "impropriety whatever" in his relationship with Ms Keeler.

He resigned on June 4 after admitting to the prime minister that he had misled him, the government and the House of Commons.
Anyone of a certain age remembers Christine Keeler straddling a chair.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Be on the lookout for a fat man claiming to be a manager at Chili's. The Springfield Police Department says:
The SPD would like to make the public aware of an individual who is posing as a Chili’s manager and soliciting rides and money from those he encounters. The suspect is described as a B/M approx. 30-yoa 250-280 pds and 5’6” with long cornrows. The suspect is also described as wearing a Chili’s polo shirt with a nametag that identifies him as management. He acts in a professional demeanor and is well groomed in appearance. The suspect approaches individuals on parking lots, identifies himself as a manager from Chili’s restaurant and asks for money and a ride to an automotive shop. The suspect has approached 3 different people on the Cheddars, Lowes and Battlefield Mall parking lots.
Hey hey hey.


We love the Chuck Taylor All Star -- preferably the Hi, but any Chuck'll do. Almost any Chuck, that is, save for these shoes being marketed as "walking works of art." Observe:
15 artists create original, hand-painted designs on their Converse canvas. The bright colors and motifs draw heavily on wildlife themes and are based on design from traditional jicara bowls.

Each pair is an original work of art. Previously available exclusively in Converse boutiques around the world, only 11 pairs are now being offered for sale online - and only to members of our Chuck Fan Club. The price for these exclusive shoes is $300 each.
Or buy a pair of plain classic Chucks and paint 'em yourself.


Dubai Ports is apparently going ahead with a deal to take control of six big U.S. ports -- even though a congressional committee put the ixnay on the plan during a Wednesday vote.

Reaction from the members of Free Republic includes this classic post from someone with the screen name Flavius Josephus:
Two Words: Bring. It. On.
What. A. Maroon.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


We taped on Tuesday, as usual, though the show was anything but usual -- an editorial meeting, a half-hour of tossing around story ideas and trying to show viewers how the process works.

Great fun was had by all, but it really didn't work. It's one thing to discuss those stories in free-form fashion, another to edit it into cohesive form. Commander Gerald, the director, tried mightily, by all accounts. But it's the diff between chicken salad and chicken, um, litter.

In lieu of the editorial meeting -- known forevermore as the Bootleg Tape -- we're running an encore of our chit-chat with KYTV's Jerry Jacob. Shows already planned for the next several weeks, so we're back with a fresh STREET TALK on March 15.


If your phone rings and caller ID says it's the Dove Foundation, you're in for a slippery treat that has nothing to do with soap.

The Dove Foundation is a non-profit group that wants to ban all forms of provocative entertainment. No, the people at Dove don't use the word "ban." They prefer to cloak their agenda with another word:


The organization is currently calling people across the United States to solicit input for its "entertainment survey." Dove says it's exempt from Do Not Call legislation because it's a charitable organization.

As Dove notes on its site:
Currently we are contacting American families to talk about family-friendly entertainment and how people can influence film makers to produce more wholesome movies. Also, we are asking people their thoughts on the MPAA movie rating system, and if they feel helpless to change what is being produced. We plan on sharing the information we collect with studio executives and also have posted some of the results of our phone survey on our web site.
The results of Dove's poll? Not surprisingly, 93 percent of people said they believed "offensive material in TV, Movies & the Internet is on the rise." A like percentage said they felt "helpless to change what is being produced."

Well, that's where the Dove Foundation comes in. Hell-bent on removing profanity, nudity and violence from American cinema, Dove is using its survey (a million strong, it claims) to pressure Hollywood into blandness. As a Dove writer notes:
There are still a few diehard filmmakers who insist on making movies to impress their peers, without regard for the audience-at-large.
And this:
According to some filmmakers, movies are made to send a message. But, as Louis B. Meyer once said, “If you want to send a message, call Western Union.” According to Merriam-Webster, “to entertain is to amuse.” Portraying society in its most despicable state at the lowest depths of depravity is not, in the minds of most people, entertainment.
No depravity, no "explicit portrayals of sex, violence, nudity and profanity." Dove wants you to believe that none of that stuff existed before the heathens and homosexuals took command of the culture.

This would conceivably damn "On The Waterfront," the best picture of 1954. Or "Midnight Cowboy," best picture in 1969. Or "Patton," the greatest film of 1970. Too much violence, too much sex, too much profanity, in that order.

But there's a mighty queer disconnect between Dove's claims and harsh reality. One example: Dove gives a "family approved" OK to "The Pink Panther" remake with Steve Martin, despite "sexual innuendos scattered here and there ... crude reference to male genitalia ... murders and fights and poison darts but nothing graphic." Oh, and two references to "hell" and one uttered "bastard."

But Dove gives a "not approved" frown to "Good Night, and Good Luck," citing "the inclusion of 2 GDs that could have easily been removed before the film's release." Note: The movie contains no sex, no violence and no nudity. But it was directed by that leftist George Clooney. Coincidence?

Dove seeks three things from you:

3) Encourage video stores to carry Dove-approved flicks, as "an alternative to protests and boycotts."

2) Tell your friends and neighbors of their efforts to force Hollywood to its knees.

1) Send money. Send lots of money.

In lieu of that last one -- but in honor of the Dove Foundation -- we're going to watch "Glengarry Glen Ross" and quote the hell out of it.


Some sort of technical difficulty going on right now (6:49 p.m. Wednesday). We're working on it.

updated 7:30 p.m. Beats us what happened, but whatever it was, it's gone. Sorry for the "forbidden 403" messages some of you got when you got here. We think it had something to do with the archive, so we've gone to a monthly compilation of past entries. Or it could just be Blogger going batcrap.


The notorious Doc Larry brought this splendid story to our attention. Great quotes in a story about a sicko:
Leroy Donald Johnson was caught this weekend in a barn with his pants down, literally, according to a sheriff's office report.

"You caught me ... I tried to (expletive) your sheep," Johnson told his neighbor, according to the report.

But the Mesa Fire Department deputy fire chief changed his story when a sheriff's deputy arrived on his doorstep minutes later, denying anything happened.

Johnson, 52, was jailed on suspicion of disorderly conduct and criminal trespassing after the neighbor told investigators he found Johnson, unzipped and holding a sheep down on its side.

That's the sanitized version. The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office report released Monday night is a little more graphic.

Johnson's neighbor told sheriff's deputies he was called home Saturday afternoon when his 13-year-old daughter saw Johnson drag one of their sheep into a barn.

The teenager said Johnson had first knocked on the front and back door of the home in the 1200 block of East Catclaw Street, in a county island in Gilbert, before grabbing the small gray lamb, records showed.

One of the deputies noted that Johnson had bloodshot eyes and smelled of alcohol, and neighbors who confronted him said he admitted everything.

According to the deputy's report, "(The owner) took me into the back yard and showed me where he and (neighbor) pulled up. He took me through the corral gate and I saw the victim for the first time. She was a small gray lamb about three feet tall and four feet long."

The men then told the deputy they walked over to the small barn, opened the door and "saw Leroy holding the lamb down on its side in the hay with his pants down trying to have sex with it. That's when he made the statement about (expletive) the lamb."

The men said Johnson stood up and zipped up his pants.

"The sheep ran out of the barn at that point," the report says.

Johnson apologized, according to the report, and said he'd had "too much to drink."

The Mesa Fire Department placed Johnson, on paid leave Monday pending an internal investigation. Johnson, deputy chief of technical services, has been with the Mesa Fire Department for nearly 26 years.
For the want of an inflatable.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


The Sydney Morning Herald gets the scoop:
The ultra cool gadget, the mid-range model of Apple's hot selling digital music player, was presented to Pope Benedict XVI by a group of Vatican Radio employees, according to the Catholic News Service.

The 2GB Nano - a white model - came loaded with what was described as "special Vatican Radio programming and classical music" and was inscribed on the back. The model sells for $299 in Australia.

Vatican Radio employees bought the Pope his iPod to commemorate his first visit to the station's headquarters.

"Computer technology is the future," the Pope is reported to have said when presented with the gift by the head of the station's technical and computer support department.

The news service said compositions by Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky had been downloaded and installed on the player.
Now time to get Benedict an iPod Hi-Fi so he can rock the joint.


Widow of Christopher Reeve, the actor who played Superman. More info found here.


And man, what a doozy. At 2:32 p.m. Monday, this man filed to run as a Democrat for Congress in the 7th District of Missouri:
Glenn Miller, Jr.
17209 Lawrence 1220
Aurora MO 65605
That would be Frazier Glenn Miller, white supremacist and federal informant. Bet the Dems are jumping for joy, eh?

Monday, March 06, 2006


In Pennsylvania, Democrat Bob Casey, Jr., is so far ahead of GOP Sen. Rick Santorum that the race is all but over. It's a dream scenario for Democrats -- 16 points ahead of the incumbent and gaining support by the day.

Naturally, this means the Democrats are about to screw the pooch.

The problem with Casey is he's anti-abortion, pro-life, anti-choice. He's off the Dem reservation. Never mind that he can beat Santorum -- he's a DINO, a Democrat In Name Only.

MSNBC reports a possible death knell to Dem hopes in Pennsylvania:
Abortion rights leader Kate Michelman is thinking of jumping into the Senate race in Pennsylvania as an independent.

Michelman is appalled by Democratic Party leaders’ selection of anti-abortion candidate Bob Casey Jr. as their choice to try to unseat two-term Republican Sen. Rick Santorum.

For Michelman and other supporters of the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion decision, the final straw came in late January when Casey endorsed President Bush’s Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito.

Analyst and pollster Terry Madonna at Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania said, “If she runs as an independent, they’ve given Santorum a significant boost.” He added, “This is a very interesting dilemma liberal Democrats have right now.”

Michelman said that if she joined the Senate race, she’d do so as an independent since she couldn’t meet Tuesday’s filing deadline to compete in the May 16 Democratic primary.

To run as an independent Michelman would need to get the signatures of 67,000 registered voters by Aug. 1.
Democrats must decide. Do they want to win elections or wage internecine war?


"Crash" beats "Brokeback Mountain" for the Best Picture Oscar and the film world goes ape, claiming it's the biggest damned upset in the history of flicks.

Not the biggest. Just the latest. Scroll through the history of the Academy Awards and you'll find a few boners:
1969: Gig Young is named Best Supporting Actor for his role in "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" Jack Nicholson was nominated in the same category, for "Easy Rider."

1972: "The Godfather" (rightly) beats its competitors for Best Picture, but Francis Ford Coppola loses Best Director to Bob Fosse (for "Cabaret").

1973: "The Sting" wins Best Picture, beating "American Graffiti" and "The Exorcist." among others.

1974: Art Carney wins Best Actor for "Harry and Tonto." Carney beats Jack Nicholson in "Chinatown" and Al Pacino in "The Godfather, Part II." Yeah, some justice there.

1976: "Rocky" is Best Picture, defeating "Network," "Taxi Driver," "All the President's Men" and "Bound for Glory."

1979: "Kramer vs. Kramer" defeats "Apocalypse Now" for Best Picture. Oh yeah, "Breaking Away" and "All That Jazz" also lose to "Kramer vs. Kramer."

1990: "Dances With Wolves" is Best Picture. "GoodFellas" is not. Kevin Costner is Best Director. Martin Scorsese is not.

1994:"Forrest Gump" bests "Pulp Fiction" for Best Picture.
And yes, we purposely left out Marisa Tomei's 1992 Oscar for "My Cousin Vinny." That was the same year Al Pacino won for "Scent of a Woman," perhaps the worst role of his career. You want Pacino, baby, you got to say hello to his little friend.


The continuing saga of four men hunting death. Ace gamer MIT alerted us to the death of Kirby Puckett, baseball Hall of Famer. From the Monday night wires:
Puckett suffered a massive stroke Sunday morning at his home in Scottsdale, Ariz., and underwent surgery. He had been transferred to St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix.

Family members assembled at the hospital Monday to make the decision on life support. The people with knowledge of Puckett’s condition said he was expected to be removed from the life support sometime Monday.
Puckett was 45.


Granted, the veep only wounded a man. offers up this slice o' life:
"How low is 18 percent?" This was a headline in the Washington Post on March 5. The 18 percent is the support rate of vice president Dick Cheney from a public opinion survey conducted by CBS.

The Washington Post included the support rates of notoriously famous people to prove how low 18% is.

Michael Jackson, who was alleged of sexually harassing an underage boy, and American football player O.J. Simpson, who caused a huge clamor for being suspected of murdering his wife in 1994, each maintained 25 percent and 29 percent favorable impression rates, respectively.

The paper pointed out that even vice president Spiro Agnew during the Nixon presidency who resigned due to tax evasion allegations still maintained a 45 percent support rate right until he resigned in 1973.

The only person less popular than Vice President Cheney is Paris Hilton, the female actress. Hilton, who is the heiress of the global hotel chain Hilton Group, and who has a “blonde party girl” image, only got a 15 percent approval rating.
If Cheney makes a night-vision sex tape, he'll be less popular -- but if he's accused of molesting kids (or killing two people with a knife), he'll be more popular? We're so confused.


OK, he's a First Amendment hater. Is that better?

Sater, a state representative from Cassville, has introduced a resolution calling for the Missouri General Assembly to "stand with the majority of our constituents" and make Missouri a Christian state.

No, really. Granny Geek turned us on to this one via her blog, and she wouldn't steer us wrong.

We looked up Sater and found the precise bill he's sponsored. Here's the text:
Whereas, our forefathers of this great nation of the United States recognized a Christian God and used the principles afforded to us by Him as the founding principles of our nation; and

Whereas, as citizens of this great nation, we the majority also wish to exercise our constitutional right to acknowledge our Creator and give thanks for the many gifts provided by Him; and

Whereas, as elected officials we should protect the majority's right to express their religious beliefs while showing respect for those who object; and

Whereas, we wish to continue the wisdom imparted in the Constitution of the United States of America by the founding fathers; and

Whereas, we as elected officials recognize that a Greater Power exists above and beyond the institutions of mankind:

Now, therefore, be it resolved by the members of the House of Representatives of the Ninety-third General Assembly, Second Regular Session, the Senate concurring therein, that we stand with the majority of our constituents and exercise the common sense that voluntary prayer in public schools and religious displays on public property are not a coalition of church and state, but rather the justified recognition of the positive role that Christianity has played in this great nation of ours, the United States of America.
Surprisingly, there is no "amen" at the end of the bill. Probably an oversight.


This according to CNN. The network reports:
Three days after officials inspected a storm-damaged home spray-painted with "0" -- indicating no bodies inside -- cadaver dogs led searchers to a victim of Hurricane Katrina in the attic.

Before dying, the man apparently was trying to crawl out of an air-conditioning vent to escape rising floodwaters, said Dr. Louis Cataldie, Louisiana's medical examiner.

Cataldie said searchers expect to find up to 400 more bodies of storm victims still hidden inside New Orleans homes six months after the storm.

Cataldie said Monday that cadaver-searching dogs are critical to the search and recovery missions.
When you think your job sucks, think about being on a cadaver-recovery mission in New Orleans.


The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled that colleges and universities that take federal money cannot ban military recruiters from campus. From MSNBC:
Justices rejected a free-speech challenge from law school professors who claimed they should not be forced to associate with military recruiters or promote their campus appearances.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the decision, which was unanimous.

Law schools had become the latest battleground over the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy allowing gay men and women to serve in the military only if they keep their sexual orientation to themselves.

Many universities forbid the participation of recruiters from public agencies and private companies that have discriminatory policies.

Roberts, writing his third decision since joining the court, said there are other less drastic options to protest the policy.

“A military recruiter’s mere presence on campus does not violate a law school’s right to associate, regardless of how repugnant the law school considers the recruiter’s message,” he wrote.
No stunner here.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


Some strays on Sunday night's Academy Awards:

10:30 p.m.
•Tom Hanks is thankfully succinct as he introduces the Best Director nominees. Ang Lee wins. Wowza.
•Jack Nicholson is old. Jack Nicholson is great. He intros the Best Picture nominees. He rules the world.
•Best Picture is "Crash"! Holy hell, a real "oh my God" moment at the Academy Awards. The audience is about to bust loose in some sort of mass Three 6 Mafia moment.
•But then they play the producers of "Crash" off the stage -- in mid-speech -- and into a commercial. This is what happens when you have eight billion montages in a three-hour telecast. Rat bastards.

Things we want to forget about this year's Academy Awards:
•Ben Stiller in his green unitard.
•Charlize Theron's dress.
•Kathleen "Bird" York performing "In the Deep" from "Crash." Slo-mo dancers and a burning car. WTFF? Yes, FF. It was that freaking weird.
•"Crash" screenplay winner Bobby Moresco getting dinged from speaking. Director Paul Haggis said his piece, but before Moresco could talked, the orchestra played them off the stage. Bastards. Guess this is what writing is worth.
•Jon Stewart as host. He was OK, which isn't OK. More "meh" than anything else. Neither Stewart nor Dave Letterman are Johnny Carson.

10:15 p.m.
•"Brokeback Mountain" wins best adapted screenplay. See? Something for everyone.
•Uma Thurman's hair is, um, something. JBF was our first thought, but we're weird that way. "Crash" wins for best screenplay. Best Director is all up in the air. Except for Clooney, of course. No way he can win.

10:02 p.m.
•Philip Seymour Hoffman's win is the ultimate reason to now see "Capote."
•It's 2 past the top of the hour, so there's no way the show will end on time.
•It is a relief that the "gay Oscars," as the social conservatives called it, are not living up to the right-wing hype. A little bit of something for everyone, from "Narnia" and that damned penguin movie to Three 6 Mafia and Robert Altman. "Crash" wins for editing. Even Mel Gibson popped up in the open, making another one of his dead-language epics.
•John Travolta's face cannot get any wider, can it?
•"Memoirs of a Geisha" bombed at the box office but has done very well tonight -- three Oscars (we think). Meet the next hot DVD reissue to take your money.
•Time for Best Actress. We're pulling for Reese Witherspoon because we never thought the "Legally Blonde" chick could ever win an Oscar.
•Witherspoon isn't crying, she's just got that tremor in her pipsqueak voice. Good actress.

9:35 p.m.
•Richard Pryor gets the coda on the We Salute Our Dead montage. And the biggest applause, we might add. It would suck to be one of the post-prod peeps who wins only a smattering of claps in the obit reel. Then again, they're dead, with no idea that Pat Morita's passing in 2005 overshadowed their own contributions to cinema.

9:30 p.m.
•He said it in a flippant way, but Jon Stewart was on to something when he noted that Three 6 Mafia were the most-excited guys in the joint. Hey, even Dolly Parton was jazzed when the rappers won, and they seemed genuinely blown away by the win. Perhaps the only person more surprised was the guy with the dump button, waiting for acceptance-speech profanity that never came.
•Clooney's back on stage, his Oscar safely tucked down someone's dress, to introduce the We Salute Our Dead montage. What an upper.

9:23 p.m.
•Three 6 Mafia captures our thoughts with precision. It is hard out here for a pimp. And now Oscar will forever have the word "pimp" in its history.

9:15 p.m.
•The Academy finally gives Robert Altman an Oscar -- an honorary one, of course, because he doesn't kiss ass. "The Player" and "Short Cuts" are personal favorites. He thanks his doctor by name. The industry's best actors are hanging onto his words. There is no music bed. This is a fine moment.

9:02 p.m.
•We want to see "Capote." Really, we do. It's just that we're voice bigots. Not proud of that admission, but we're not certain that we can stand two hours-plus of that voice, the one we remember from that strange man in the guest chair on Johnny Carson's show. But it's Truman Capote, for God's sake, the writer who described Holcomb, Kan., this way:
Like the waters of the river, like the motorists on the highway, and like the yellow trains streaking down the Santa Fe tracks, drama, in the shape of exceptional happenings, had never stopped there.
The writing voice, we love. No nasal tones at all.
•As the evening wears on, Jon Stewart becomes the Incredible Shrinking Host. Though his "salute to montages" crack -- after an especially pointless montage of clips -- is a good one.

8:50 p.m.
•We learn something new every day. In this case, we learn Itzhak Perlman is alive and well, 'cause there he is, playing selections from the nominees for best original score. Yes, we're musical barbarians.
•Salma Hayek. Mmm. Must be the hair.

8:43 p.m.
•Keanu Reeves is not aging well. Than God he's still vapid.
•We're rooting for "Good Night, and Good Luck," and not just because it's a film about a great journalist. We think about that movie a lot -- the all-indoors shots, the cadence of Joe McCarthy's insanity, the parallels to the all-or-nothing knife fight that passes for today's politics -- and need it on DVD.
•Samuel L. Jackson can be a serious presenter all he wants, but he'll always be Jules to us:
There's a passage I got memorized, seems appropriate for this situation: Ezekiel 25:17. "The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you."
•Oh no. A boring Academy guy is talking. The audience looks stupified.

8:25 p.m.
•What in hell is Charlize Theron wearing? Looks like some sort of left shoulder pad. Damned Penguin guys win an Oscar, bring props to the stage. They're lucky to draw the same air as Theron. Music gets louder over French guys talking, narrator intros Jennifer Lopez. Nice shoulders on that woman.
•Time for another nominated song. After seeing Dolly Parton's tiny waist and gigantic shelf-like breasts during her number, we're blind to all else.

8:15 p.m.
•ABC's open relied on film icons. Too many present-tense touchstones
•Fab opening film with past hosts.
•Jon Stewart killed -- kinda. Uneven monologue, but better than expected. His shrugging mugging doesn't work well in a big freaking hall.
•The music bed beneath every acceptance speech is past annoying and into ridiculous. Works on radio, doesn't work with the Oscars.
•Morgan Freeman flubs his intro into Best Supporting Actress. He sounds so high.
•Rachel Weisz says something above "brimming over," and while she's not talking about her breasts, she ought to be. She grabs Freeman's hand as they exit the stage. Lucky bastard.
•Nice spoof commercials on the Best Actress nominees. As Stewart notes: "Shameful."