31 July 2004


Mike Tyson gets thrown a beating and the fight's called in the 4th round. I generally don't wish death on people unless they need it. But this guy needs it. He's a rapist and a thug, and he's a waste of good air. Wouldn't mind seeing Tyson twisting at the end of a rope.

30 July 2004


A subject near and dear to my heart . . . on many levels.

Many of you know I bought a new truck a couple months back. Well, I'm a purist. I don't like fruit in my beer, I drink my liquor (Jack Daniels) straight, I smoke my cigarettes unfiltered (Camel), and my cars are American. That's just the way I am. Mrs. F is used to it.

Anyway, synthetic oil is out for close to 25 years now and I figured I would try it, finally, in one of my vehicles. We have about 7 or 8 customers who have used synthetic oil in their cars since they were new. (We'll put whatever kind of oil you want in, provided it meets manufacturers spec) Guess what, I'm finally convinced. It makes a difference.

One car in particular, an '89 Pontiac Firebird 5.0, has close to 300K on it and I've never been inside the motor. Runs like a champ. Another is a Ford Ranger like mine, same motor and trans, 10 years older, synthetic all its life. 180,000 miles, never opened her up, only routine maintenance (brakes, tires, battery, oil changes, etc). I'd tell you about the Mercedes with a half-million on the clock, but it's a Mercedes, you expect that. If I get 250K out of my truck, I'll be a happy idiot. I'll let you know how it goes.

But remember, Lugnut, I'm still gonna change the oil EVERY 3000 MILES.

By the way, I've had the damn thing 6 weeks and just passed 2000 miles today. I'm gonna be doing a lot of oil changes.

Last night

Picked up two suits, a blazer, and a couple dress shirts. Not bad, though most of the time was taken up deciding between two gray suits (I needed a gray). I settled on the Ralph Lauren, I think. I don't know anymore. Got a khaki suit too, like something from "Out of Africa" but double-breasted. Had no idea I was gonna get it, but it caught the Mrs.' eye and it looked good. Should go over well with the snooty Limeys. And I bought a blazer that I never thought I'd catch myself in, this Neo-Punk thing in a wild gold houndstooth like pattern. All I know is, I won't get a second look if I just wear a T-shirt under it. The good part was, it was over quickly. Then we stopped at a Bennigans on the way home and had dinner and a few pints. My ass is dragging now though. Had to stay up to see the Kerry speech and was up at 04:00 to take the Mrs. to the train station. I'm wiped.

Pleasant dreams.

As always, political blogging at The Alternate Brain.

I'm tired

Stayed up to watch Kerry's speech at the Convention so I'm beat. Morning routine and then I'm off.


I'll have more on my suit shopping adventure last night too.

29 July 2004

One of them days

Don't ask, but know this. If you car was hit bad enough in the nose to deploy your airbags, it needs more help than I can give you. No, we can't take the deployed bags out and let you have the car. They need to be replaced. No, we can't give you two new tires on the front and not replace the bent control arms and struts. Oh, and being that the nose is so swung over to the right, you won't be making too many left turns. Here, let me give you the number of a body shop. Oy!

Gotta go to the tailor tonight. Oy squared! The Mrs. even emailed me so I wouldn't forget. There goes the old short-term memory dodge out the window. I just can't get comfortable with a little old Jewish man running his hands through my pants as my wife watches. Not that there's anything wrong with it. I guess I should take a shower first, huh?

Pleasant dreams.

Oh, and I have excerpts from all the major speeches at the Democratic Convention in Boston and links to the full transcripts at The Alternate Brain if you're interested.

See ya

I'm off. Gonna be hot and very humid today. Wonderful. Gotta go to the tailor tonight and pick up a couple suits and blazers. We're sailing with the Limeys in a couple weeks on the QM2 and EVERYTHING is formal. I can still fit into one of my old tuxedos and I got a white dinner jacket so that's two nights out of the way. Pissed me off that my body has changed so much since I turned 40. Does my ass look big in this? I've turned into a fag.


Use a little lubrication this time

The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) is at it again:

(Queens-WABC, July 28, 2004) — The financially troubled Metropolitan Transit Authority -- facing billions of dollars in deficits -- now wants you to pay more for New York subways and buses.

This comes just one year after it raised fares 33 percent.

[. . .]

But what may change is what you pay for a discount MetroCard. About 83 percent of riders out there are using a MetroCard with some degree of a discount. And that price may change. Sources tell Eyewitness News that when the MTA lays out its budget on Thursday, the MetroCard discount may take a hit.

The price increases likely would apply only to seven- and 30-day discount MetroCards that offer unlimited rides. The discounted monthly cards, which currently cost $70, could increase by as much as another $5, to total $75.

[. . .]

Full story.

Mr's F pays over $3000 a year to ride the NYC transit system. It's bad enough that little fucking troll, Mayor Bloomberg, wants to raise the Commuter Income Tax for all those who work in the city but live in the suburbs. Now the crooks at MTA want to take more out of our pockets? Rat bastid, fucking assholes.

28 July 2004

CNG what?

Yesterday, the Department of Motor Vehicles rep stopped by. The semi-annual no-notice inspection of all our equipment relating to the New York State Vehicle Emissions Program. No big deal, we're honest and he didn't find anything out of order. The thing about his visit was that he had a new car. One of these:

From Alternative Fuels Data Center:

[. . .]

Since last year's Clean Cities Conference in Washington D.C., where a GX was driven from California to the nation's capital, Honda Civic CNG GXs continue to find homes in fleets from coast to coast. The state of California acquired its first 40 GXs after an initial trial purchase, and the state of New York put 50 additional Civics to work after trying 15, and finding that they performed beyond expectations. [my emphasis]

Now, the East Coast will benefit from two other fleet acquisitions of the "Cleanest on Earth" Civic GX.

The District of Columbia Department of Public Works just added 24 GXs to its fleet. And the Yellow Cab Company is helping to clean up the airport area of Hartford, Connecticut, by operating a fleet of 31 bright yellow Civic GXs. Because of its 100% alternative fuel use and sub-ultra-low-emission- vehicle emissions, the Civic GX remains an EPAct and Clean Air Act compliance specialist.

[. . .]

Yeah, well it seems the State of New York bought them for their DMV field reps. Naturally we asked him how he liked it. His feelings were deeply held.

"I hate the fucking thing. It has no fucking range. There's no fucking room in the trunk. It's a piece of shit."

He pops the trunk open and a 12 pack of Coronas wouldn't fit in it. Most of it is taken up by the tank for the natural gas. He tells us there are only 6 places on Long Island to get his tank filled, and he only can get 120 miles out of a tankful. He's rescheduling his stops around his gas needs every day. Don't forget Long Island is 110 miles long and 14 miles wide. He ran out of gas once and it was Hell getting a tow. Two guys showed up and refused to hook up because they were scared to have essentially a big propane tank hanging behind them. The poor bastard hates the car with a vengeance.

My advice, if you're gonna drive Green, get a hybird. Everybody makes 'em now and all you need is regular gas. Simple, easy, environmentally friendly. Fuck that natural gas shit. That's for buses and shit that don't go far from their starting points. More advice. If you're gonna go hybrid, go with a major Japanese (Honda, Toyota, Nissan). They do it better than anybody.

Ho hum

Unbelievably it was a fairly routine day. Nothing really went to shit, no real surprises, the inspection machine behaved itself, and no insane customers. Man, I love days like this. Traffic sucked on the way home. Rain, and everybody forgot how to drive in it since the weekend, but since the day wasn't bad, it didn't bother me too badly. Took the back roads home for about half the ride. So now I'm hitting the showers and going to get the Mrs. Political blogging at The Alternate Brain. Oh don't forget, the link to my pearls of automotive wisdom is in the column to the right. I updated it yesterday. Have a good evening.

Pleasant dreams.

I'm off

Off to the mines. It's rainy and muggy in New York, making for a fun day of fixing peoples' cars I'm sure.


27 July 2004

Good night

I'm done, gotta take a shower and pick up the Mrs. If you can put up with more of my crap, head over to TAB. Have a good evening.

Pleasant dreams.


I have nothing against tattoos. I got three of them and I'm debating a fourth. My deal is with folks who do it frivolously. I feel, that if you're going to mark yourself permanently, have it mean something to you. One of mine memorializes my old unit in the Air Force, another is a rose with Mrs. F's initials on it, and the third is an eagle killing a snake, again commemorating my Air Force service. They repesent things very dear to me, things I'd lay my life on the line for.

The one that gets me the most is these girls with the Chinese or Japanese writing tattooed on them. I can just imagine some little Japanese telling them: "Yeah, it means 'whispering wind'." And instead he tattooing a 'kick me' sign on their backs in Japanese. And what is it with these girls who have these huge tattoos all over, like this:

You know what she's gonna look like in 20 years? I doubt you'll even be able to figure out what they are. All you girls who are my age know about gravity, don'tcha? And how do you 'splain it to your grandchildren? A little one on the ankle or on the inside of a breast is sexy. Big tattoos are for ugly suckers like me.


I hate to knock dealers, because I've met some talented mechanics working at dealerships, but their mindset sucks.

Case in point. One of our customers brought their 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee in to us last Friday. Complaint: Overheating. The thing has 30K on it. I look it over and determine it's the cooling fan relay on the blink. Fine. I call him and suggest he take it to the dealer, since it's under warranty. I'm not gonna take his money if Jeep can fix their crap relay for nothing. He's happy and takes it to the Jeep store. Yesterday afternoon, he calls me up.

"Hey, Fixer-man," he says on the phone. "Did you happen to look at my brakes while you had my Jeep there?"

"No," I say. "But they looked okay at the last service. Hold on, lemmie pull the last bill." I pull the bill and ask him the mileage. I checked the brakes 2300 miles ago and noted they were half life then. "They should still be decent," I tell him when I pick up the phone. "Why?"

"Well," he says to me. "The car's here at the dealer, and they fixed the relay for the fan."

"Fine," I reply. "Do the brakes sound like they're finished?"

"No," he says. "But they say the rotors are annihilated and I need two calipers as well, aside from the brake pads. They want to hit me up for $1700."

"Dude," I tell him. "Get in the car and bring it to me. Fuck them." Remember, I looked at the thing in depth a little over 2000 miles ago. And I drove it Friday. If the brakes were that bad, I would have noticed it immediately.

"They say I shouldn't drive it," he says.

"Tough shit," I shot back. "Get in it and drive it over here. If it's like they say, I'll fix it for free."

"I trust you," he replies and hangs up. It's good to hear those words. My rep is everything to me.

In the 15 minutes it takes for him to get to us, I fill Harry in on what went down. He trusts me too so I wasn't worried that I'd be springing for brakes, calipers, and rotors out of my own pocket. On the off chance I was talking out my ass.

Make a long story short, the customer gets there and I put it up on the lift, rip the wheels off, and disassemble all four brakes with him next to me. Showed him the rotors, which were beautiful, showed him the smooth operation of each caliper, and proceeded to change his brake pads on all 4 wheels, although he probably could have got the 700 miles until his next service out of them and I could have done everything at once. No fucking rotors, no fucking calipers, no $1700 bill. Cost him $145 and the $10 bill he left to buy us breakfast this morning. Have I mentioned his wife, children, and anyone else in his family close enough, comes to us for all their maintenance? He trusts us not to fuck him. I might not have hit him up for a $1700 brake job, but there are about 6 people who share his last name who bring me their work religioulsy and won't go anywhere near that fucking dealership. I think I'm doing better my way, don't you?

Had another customer go through the same thing at Volkswagen, on her little Beetle with 25,000 on the clock. They told her she needed struts when she was in for recall maintenance. She came to us. The struts were fine.

You see what the deal is. Dealerships don't survive on regular customers the way we do. Their mindset is to get what they can out of you now (when you're in for a recall job or something like that), because they probably will never see you again.

Remember that when you choose a mechanic. Like I said, I don't like knocking dealerships. Go to your local dealer for an oil change and see what they try to sell you on top of it. Then take it to the little guy in town who's been there 20 or 30 years and see what he says.


I'm off to the mines. Not much here this morning 'cause I was up since 3:30 posting at TAB. It's the Democratic convention you know.


26 July 2004

Good night

I'm outta here. Gotta take a shower and go get the Mrs., and then it's cervezas on the patio. It's a gorgeous day in New York, 75 and dry. Figures, since it rained all fucking weekend. Have a good evening.

Pleasant dreams.

Oh, and remember, all my political diatribe is now over at The Alternate Brain.


As you know, I also write novels. I do a lot of other things too, but writing and carpentry are therapeutic for me. Anyway, I've written fourteen novels, spy stories and a bit of science fiction. Generally, I write on the average of two a year, sometimes more, sometimes less. The shortest time it took to write one was a month; my juices were flowing. The longest took me about eighteen months. Except for one. This fucking thing has been kicking my ass for five years. I've rewritten it ten times, made about another ten false starts, and I still hate the fucking thing.

So, I've made up my mind. I told you where I'm going on my vacation this year:

This year's trip will be a week in London followed by a trans-Atlantic cruise home aboard the Queen Mary 2. Now, I have to admit, I'm looking forward to the crossing more than I am spending time in London, just because I'd rather veg out on vacation than do the tourist thing. Mrs. F, however, wants to see as much of the world as possible, so this works out perfectly. It will also be the first time I'll be in London sober. I guess I should see some of the landmarks.

And since I'll have six nights and seven days at sea on the newest, biggest passenger liner on the Seven Seas, I decided that I'm gonna start another rewrite of this fucking book that's kicking my ass. I'm gonna do the Hemingway thing, something I never do. I'm gonna write while drinking. I've tried it a couple times, had a couple beers and zipped off a few chapters and I hated it the next day. This time I figured that since I hate everything I've written sober with regard to this book, I might as well try it drunk. I'll have my laptop with me so what the fuck? If I come home with 50 pages of a solid storyline, it'll be a good start. So, I'm resolute. I'm gonna do this . . . unless I get drunk and forget my declaration.


Indian was back and we weren't crazy. Checked out a used car for a customer before she bought it (like I tell you people to do). Found a few little shits that gave her the leverage to bargain $500 off the price. Heed my words, Lugnut.

I'm off

Gotta empty the dog and I'm off. Hopefully the Indian will be back today and it won't be so crazy. Yeah, right. Monday's are ALWAYS nuts.


25 July 2004

Good night

I'm done, the race is almost over and the Mrs. is cooking dinner on the grill. I'm gonna head out there and bring a couple of beers with me. Remember, I'm doing my political and news posting over at The Alternate Brain. Have a good evening.

Pleasant dreams.

Auto Wisdom-Index

I'm gonna put together all the links to my bits of auto wisdom here and I'll put a link to this on the main page. This way, you won't have to search through the archives for my little pearls.

  • Every 3000 Miles

  • Paper Assholes

  • Every 3000 Miles-Revisited

  • Ever Since

  • Your Parts vs. My Parts

  • My friend said . . .

  • Oy!

  • Summer in the city

  • Friday Morning

  • Duh

  • Car wisdom

  • K-cars

  • Ask me, please

  • Factory Parts

  • Auf Wiedersehen

  • Don't be a pain in my ass

  • Magazines

  • Summer's here

  • I'm in love with my car

  • Wheels and tires

  • I wasn't going to

  • Tough day

  • Dealerships

  • CNG what?

  • Lubricants

  • Lugnuts

  • Evap Scam

  • Gold-plated crap

  • I'll update this list as I post other little gems from my deranged mind. I'm adding Gordon's insights below. Remember, for our political and current events diatribe, visit us at The Alternate Brain.

    From Gordon:

  • Winter Prep

  • Ready for Winter? NOT!

  • Getting Started

  • Don't Just Stand There Like A Lox...

  • New Tires

  • Changes

    Cross posted from The Alternate Brain:

    Okay, here's what I'm gonna do. Since I can't find anyone willing to spend the time blogging here [TAB] (and I'm tired of looking), and I'm tired of choosing content for both blogs (here and The Fixer), this is what I'm gonna do.

    This blog [TAB] will be nothing but my political rants and news, and The Fixer will be for all my little bits of automotive wisdom I impart from time to time.

    It's just gotten out of hand. Wish me luck.

    Fraud, again

    Been following the research into President No Show's military records over at The Alternate Brain. Lambert and the folks at Corrente, along with investigative reporter Paul Lukasiak have been going through the latest release of records and they've found some interesting things. Read my summarized version here, or follow the thread at Corrente here and here.

    That's rich

    I just heard a promo for Fox News' election coverage "without the agenda and the spin".

    Ha! Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! They can say this with a straight face?

    "America's newsroom", my ass.

    Bush on the 9/11 Report

    From Kos:

    [. . .]

    If you’ve got time to plow through a thorough deconstruction of Dubyanocchio’s efforts to gag investigators, I recommend How the Bush administration sought to obstruct and discredit the 9/11 investigation put together by the Center for American Progress.

    Simply stated, had it been up to Bush & Cheney, there would have been no hearings, no report and certainly no bipartisanship.

    There’s plenty to be said in favor of national unity when confronted by peril. So I understand the 9/11 Commission’s desire not to discredit the administrations of either Bill Clinton or George Bush for the failures that cost nearly 3000 lives in Pennsylvania, Washington and New York three years ago. Several Commissioners have remarked in television interviews that we should use their investigation not as a means to gain partisan points in a backward-looking blame-game, but rather as a bipartisan jumping-off point for building an intelligence apparatus that improves America’s ability to prevent this kind of attack from happening again.

    Sounds good. But there's a problem. Because, as Joe Conason points out in Salon today, while Republican 9/11 Commissioners are smiling at their Democratic colleagues, Republican leaders in Congress are still eagerly blaming Bill Clinton for the terrorist attacks.

    You should read the entire report of the Commission, but you don't have to do that to know what a freakin’ lie this attack on Clinton is. All the worse of a lie when spouted by minions and pals of the guy whose administration did worse than zero about terrorism up until September 12, 2001. . .

    [. . .]

    So forget bipartisanship. What about speedily making the changes the Commission recommends? Can we afford to wait? After all, isn’t that exactly what we so often criticize Bush for having done in his first nine months of office? Indeed, usually level-headed folks at the Center for American Progress are seeking rapid action.

    Certainly, our intelligence operations need improving. And the last thing we need is for the 9/11 Commission report to wind up on the shelves alongside the 2001 Hart-Rudman report or the 2000 Report of the National Commission on Terrorism (Bremer) .

    On the other hand, this call to do something right this instant gives me the creeps. The 9/11 Commission has, after all, recommended the broadest overhaul of U.S. intelligence in five and a half decades, one that will be with us for many decades to come. Every great change generates unintended consequences. Speedy change offers vast potential for more such consequences. For instance, one key recommendation is centralization. That could be beneficial or terrifying.

    [. . .]

    Entire post.

    While my first instinct screams, 'do something now', I remember how the Patriot Act was rushed through Congress and now we're still trying to figure out what rights we've lost. I don't know if I like the idea of one guy controlling the entire intelligence gathering apparatus of the United States government. Kos is right, the thought is is terrifying.


    Well, the monster is in good health, although I was reminded once again that she was a little on the large side. The vet wants us to cut back a little more on her food intake. The good thing is that she actually lost 3 lbs. She had all her shots and she was a good girl during the process.

    NASCAR today. They're in Loudon, New Hampshire for the Siemens 300. 1:30 EDT on TNT. Let's see what that whiny bitch Tony Stewart gets away with this week.

    It's good to be the Bush

    From Jim Hightower:

    Observing from afar, it seems to me that "Being Bush" must be such a great joy. Reality never seems to intrude, his own lies (including whoppers) seem sincerely to be believed by him, irony never strikes his noggin, hypocrisy seems to be a welcome old friend, doubt never darkens the door of his absolute certainty, and he thinks introspection means taking your car in for a checkup.

    Very few presidents in our nation’s string of 43 have been as brazenly servile to the moneyed elite as has George (only Grant, McKinley, and Harding are competitive). And none have been so blithely obtuse to that servility, couching every single act as being for "the children," "the single mom," "the small farmer," " the seniors," or some other humble group that actually gets none of the action.

    [. . .]

    Yet, throughout the 2000 election, he claimed to be Mr. ConsumerMan, promising to fight like an enraged bear for a national patient’s bill of rights: "It’s time for our nation to come together and do what’s right for the people."

    Where did Papa Bear go? Four years later, We the People still don’t have that bill of rights. Bush made no fight for it – in fact, he no longer bothers mentioning it. The issue didn’t go away – polls today show that four out of five Americans continue to want such a law. Bush simply lied, feigning interest in the common good as a cloak to get elected, bide his time, let the media move on to other issues… and let his HMO and insurance backers escape scot-free from any public accountability for their abuses.

    The Bushites are laissez-faire purists striving for their ideal of a corporate-run state. Not only does this mean removing public restrictions on corporate power, but also removing anything and everything that has the word "public" attached to it – from education to Social Security, housing to health care, national forests to our local water supplies. Their extremist anti-government agenda, culled from a sprawling cluster of right-wing corporate-funded think tanks, is so sweeping and being pursued so energetically that one can imagine them holding pre-dawn pep rallies each day in the White House and every government agency, complete with pom-poms and cheerleaders:

    [. . .]

    Bush & Company are not merely trying to take us back to the Gilded Age of pre-New Deal, robber-baron corporatism, but also all the way back to the "enclosure movement" of 18th century England. Back then, with the blessing of parliament, the dukes and barons of the aristocracy suddenly laid claim to the forests, meadows, wild game, and other resources that, up to then, all had shared (and the peasantry had literally relied on for sustenance), enclosing this commons as the private property of the elites.

    [. . .]

    Fail the test, and not only does the child pay a price, but so does the school and the entire school district, including having their funding slashed. The pressure on all – third graders, parents, teachers, principals, superintendents – is so intense that the real-life affect of Bush’s CEO-style accountability is that the education of our kids is being abandoned in favor of "teaching the to test." The schools drill the test questions and answers into each child day after day, hoping that most of them memorize enough to pass so Bush won't yank the school's funding. Never mind whether students really learn (as in learning how to learn and developing their cognitive ability). Under No Child, everything they need to know is on the test, isn't it? It’s what you might call the narrow view of knowledge.

    Besides being a pitifully inadequate measure of educational progress, Bush’s testing scheme is being forced on public schools without the funding necessary to administer it. This underfunding is the result of – what else? – another Bush lie. He got congress (and specifically, Sen. Ted Kennedy) to pass his NCLB on the solemn pledge that he would back the law with an agreed-upon level of federal dollars.

    Yet, in this year’s Bush budget, after asserting rhetorically that it fulfills his promise of "making sure our children get educated," he shortchanges his own landmark education initiative by $9.4 billion. Billion! This is on top of the $17 billion that he’d cut from the No Child Act in the previous two years. This is why states from Virginia to Utah are in open rebellion, declaring that they will no longer comply with the NCLB law, since it amounts to a cumbersome questionable and unfunded federal mandate.

    Meanwhile, the education president’s 2005 budget provides just enough money to allow Head Start (which is only one of the most successful education programs in history) to reach half of the eligible children. Also, the Early Head Start program is budgeted so low that it can serve only five percent of those eligible. That’s a lot of children left behind.

    [. . .]

    Read Jim's entire post.

    Brain injuries

    Via Melanie at Just a Bump in the Beltway:

    By Brad Amburn
    United Press International
    Published 7/23/2004 4:42 PM

    WASHINGTON, July 23 (UPI) -- Nearly two-thirds of injured U.S. soldiers sent from Iraq to Walter Reed Army Medical Center have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries -- a percentage thought to be higher than any other past U.S. conflict, military officials told United Press International.

    About 60 to 67 percent of soldiers coming through the hospital with wounds as well as injuries from blasts, severe falls and motor vehicle accidents have suffered these potentially life-altering brain injuries, said Dr. Deborah Warden, national director of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center at Walter Reed, where the majority of patients with suspected head injuries from Iraq are sent.

    [. . .]

    With the development of more sophisticated body armor and helmets made of Kevlar -- a bullet resistant material -- the survival rate of soldiers with traumatic brain injuries has greatly improved, whereas in past wars similar injuries would have been fatal, Warden explained.

    She said soldiers who survive head injuries often suffer from a range of cognitive and emotional problems, including difficulty with memory, attention and reasoning, as well as high rates of depression, alcohol use, post-traumatic anxieties and irritability.

    [. . .]

    The development of better helmets has reduced the number of penetrating head injuries in Iraq, but internal, concussive head injuries are more of a problem in this war, Warden said, particularly among paratroopers injured by rough landings.

    Don't know if better helmets are a good thing. If it were a member of my family injured, I guess I'd be saying, 'thank god he's alive'. As a former combat vet, I'd probably say, 'let me die so I'm not a burden on my family'.

    I don't know. I brought a lot of demons with me from my military career, and they were the product of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Fortunately, with the help of my wonderful, understanding wife, and my determination, I don't wake up screaming anymore. I did for the first few years of our marriage. I could imagine what the burden on her would be if the cause had been some physical injury, something that couldn't be worked out, something that she'd have to deal with over the long term. I wonder how kind it is to save people from death so they can come home ot be dependent on others for the rest of their lives. For myself, I'd rather die on the field of battle. Missing a limb is one thing, but the loss of what makes me who I am is something else entirely. Just my opinion and I'm sure there are many who'd disagree.

    24 July 2004

    John Kerry on the 9/11 Commission Report

    But first, President Mission Accomplished:

    President Bush, presented with a copy of the report at the White House this morning, said he would study the panel's "very constructive recommendations." But he did not immediately commit his administration to any fundamental changes.

    And now, John Kerry:

    "After months of hard work for which we are all grateful, the 9/11 Commission has produced a report with urgent implications for the safety of the American people. Nearly three years after terrorists attacked our shores and murdered our loved ones, this report carries a simple message about our current state of security for every American who remembers that dark September day: We can do better. We must do better. And it's time to act — now . . ."[my emphasis]

    Read the whole article at Kicking Ass.

    Now who do you want running the show?


    You thought all this bullshit about Bush being AWOL during his duty with the Texas and Alabam ANG was a load of crap? Read the story of how President Run and Hide defrauded the government and covered it up. I got it at TAB becasue it was just too long to cross post. Read it here. This ain't tinfoil hat bullshit, this is the deal.

    Update 19:20

    This story is developing and I'll update it over at TAB when I find something else.

    We don't need no steenking security

    We have the 'war on terror'. [Cross posted from The Alternate Brain] From The Talking Dog:

    David Galland writes this week's entry for our weekly visit to Pravda (where we often go, to find news about here you can't seem to get from here, as our "fair and balanced" media's attention is captivated by reality television and shit), telling us of a report in the Tombstone Tumbleweed to the effect that among the over 5,000 "non-Mexicans" picked up and detained by border patrol officials for illegally crossing the border into Arizona include numerous Arabic speakers. Among the "non-Mexicans" are men (its always men...) believed to be of Syrian and/or Iranian descent (two of the top 5 terrorist sponsoring states, for those keeping score). Homeland Security Department officials, will not, of course, confirm this (that might scare people legitimately, by telling us of a real, actual threat, as opposed to vague threats just designed to stir up anxiety for political reasons, such as non-sensical threats that A.Q. would attack the highly fortified conventions, rather than its usual "soft" targets).

    [. . .]

    I've been saying it since 9-fucking-11. I see it here, in New York, believe it or not. Hell with ya if I offend, but strip 'em naked and you can't tell an Arab from a Mexican, especially if he can speak Spanish. You can't swing a cat on Long Island without hitting a bunch of illegals standing on a street corner, waiting for some Italian landscaper to give them work for the day and exploit them. Never mind the open border to our north.

    WABC in New York had this piece last week:

    (New York-WABC, July 20, 2004) — With the threat of a terror attack hanging over both political conventions, we have uncovered alarming security gaps. In some areas the border is wide open and unguarded. The New York State border with Canada stretches 500 miles. Anyone that crosses it, including a possible terrorist, can be in the tri-state area in just a few hours. . .

    [. . .]

    At the major new Canadian border, they are asking questions and checking identification. All trucks pass through radiation detectors. And when we went through in an empty U-Haul truck, U.S. Custom inspectors stopped us to take a look inside.

    But for all the post 9/11 tightening of the border's front-door, we found several back doors still unlocked and wide open.

    [. . .]

    But even less secure is the Mohawk Indian Reservation which straddles the border. As we discovered, here it's so easy to cross into Canada, you don't even know when you're doing it. No signs, no manned check points.

    [WABC investigative reporter, Jim]Hoffer: "Are we in Canada or New York?"
    Woman: "Canada."

    Several roads inside the reservation cross the Canadian border. It is a drug trafficker or terrorists' dream.

    Hoffer: We are just a few hundred yards from crossing back into the state of New York. And you can do this freely, go back-and-forth between the two countries undetected.

    David Harris, Terrorist Intelligence Expert: "There is no conceivable excuse for this kind of mismanagement of border security."

    [. . .]

    How are we winning the 'war on terror' when these folks can just walk in and out of here undetected? Just like 9/11, we're gonna be asleep at the switch when a major U.S. city goes up in a mushroom cloud. Hey, I'm all for immigration. I wouldn't be here if my parents didn't come to this country in pursuit of the Dream, neither would my wife, or my best friend . . . well, you get it. The Great Melting Pot is what makes America what it is. But I'm for LEGAL immigration. Forget the loss of revenue in taxes and the other attendant expenses relating to illegal immigrants, it's the security issue. If undereducated, south of the border, economic refugees can get in here this easily, in such numbers, imagine what a terrorist can do. I thought Bush was gonna make the borders safer, the lying sack of shit.

    What a waste

    Of time and energy to make a saddle for the ass of an asshole. Via WTF Is It Now??:

    Retired Michigan teacher Jim Rice, 75, has spent the past six weeks crafting a saddle for President Bush.

    The result is worth about $3,500.

    Michigan Congressman Nick Smith will present the saddle to the
    President later this year.

    Rice worked for 40 years as an industrial arts teacher in
    Adrian, Michigan, until retiring in 1989.

    In the summer, he would work full-time as a saddle maker and
    leather worker.

    Rice says he and a fellow leather worker, Danielle Cole, will have
    put between 80 to 90 hours of work into the project.

    This is the dictionary definition of 'too much free time'


    Well, it's been two months since I started this fucking thing and I have to admit I'm enjoying myself. It's a good way to vent, and I feel like I'm doing my part to help get President Dipshit out in November. I give a shit if only like 5 people read it. That's 5 more folks who are thinking instead of just believing the bullshit they hear in the media from the 'pundits'. And, as we saw in Florida 2 yars ago, every vote counts.

    My morning is going to be somewhat hectic. Gotta take Mrs. F's little monster to the vet for her checkup and shots. This is a deal becasue the dog looks at a vet visit like a social event. She barks at the other folks in the waiting room for them to come pet her, because she believes they are all there to see her. Once again, I'm gonna get torn a new asshole by the vet because the princess is a little . . . ahem, big boned.

    And one more thing from WABC in New York:

    (New York-WABC, July 23, 2004) — A member of the Eyewitness News team is hospitalized in New Jersey after an accident during Friday night's storm. Five p.m. anchor, evening reporter and our friend Sade Baderinwa was struck by a car while covering the story in Hackensack.

    The driver reportedly was traveling at a high rate of speed, and did not stop. We are told the car was found a short time later. The driver is still at large.

    [. . .]

    Her family and friends are with her in the hospital, and our thoughts are with her as well.

    We will have more on her condition as it becomes available.

    As of 6 this morning, she's still hospitalized, but they expect her to make a full recovery. Our prayers are with her. This happens far too often in this area. There are too many assholes driving around without licenses and insurance. Hopefully they get this motherfucker before he actually kills someone. The roads are bad enough with legal assholes like me driving around.

    23 July 2004

    Another question

    Did you ever surf a porn site and find pictures of someone you know? Blew my mind the first time it happened.

    Worked late today. No Indian again and we had to get everything out before the weekend. Harry and I were nuts. It's definintely a cerveza night. If I post anything tonight, it'll be over at TAB. Have a good evening.

    Pleasant dreams.

    One question

    I just have one question. Why do the fucking Mets still have John Franco on the payroll? This moron has been losing games he should have saved even before he had the operation. He still sucks. Keep him on as a coach, fine, but don't let him play anymore.

    I'm off to the mines. It's FRIDAY!!!!


    22 July 2004

    Mo Dowd Wisdom

    More wisdom from Maureen Dowd:

    [. . .]

    Well, as it turns out, the United States did bomb the wrong Ira-.

    President Bush says he's now investigating Qaeda-Iran ties, and whether Iran helped the 9/11 hijackers.

    Whoops. Right axis. Wrong evil.

    It's like Emily Litella - "What's all this fuss I hear about making Puerto Rico a steak?" - except the U.S. can't simply shrug "Never mind" because 900 American troops are dead.

    The Bush administration had no good intelligence, so it decided to invade the Ira- that was weaker.

    The war was based on phony W.M.D. analyses and fallacious welcome scenarios drummed up by the neocon Chihuahua Ahmad Chalabi.

    Mr. Bush should have worried about the Axis of Evil in the order of the threat posed: North Korea, which has nukes; Iran, which almost has nukes; Iraq, which wanted nukes.

    Now American forces are so depleted that the Pentagon is pulling forces out of South Korea to go to Iraq. And, given the huge National Guard deployment in Iraq, states say they don't have enough manpower to guard prisoners, fight wildfires or police the streets.

    [. . .]

    Just as the invasion of Iraq was "a Christmas gift" to Osama, as the C.I.A. official who wrote a book as "Anonymous" put it, in terms of recruiting in the Muslim world and diverting the U.S., so it may be a gift to Iran. U.S. military officials say Iranian agents have been helping Iraqi insurgents as a way to shape Iraq into a Shiite fundamentalist satellite.

    Though the 9/11 panel found no "collaborative" relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda, it found one between Iran and Al Qaeda - but no evidence that Iranian officials knew in advance about the 9/11 attacks.

    The report concludes that "Al Qaeda's relationship with Iran and its client, the Hezbollah militant group, was far deeper and more longstanding than its links with Iraq," according to The Washington Post.

    Mr. Bush vowed to deal harshly with any country that harbors terrorists or assisted the 9/11 plot. But our military is so overextended from invading Ira-, we'd be hard pressed to go after Ira-.

    See, don't take the word of an idiot mechanic. Listen to someone who actually knows something about what's going on and she'll tell you the same thing.

    I wasn't going to

    I wasn't going to even bother this afternoon. Was a crazy day again at work, and again no Indian. Stopped by his house on the way home and he's looking better, although drugged, not really a bad thing. The Indian drugged, that is. Harry and I managed to blow one up on the dyno today doing an inspection, a couple gallons of 225 degree antifreeze all over the floor in 100 degree heat. We weren't happy campers. Then I got a guy bring me his car because he gets a clicking noise when he touches the brakes. Listen to me, Lugnut. If you really have to do your own brakes in the driveway, don't throw away all the little clips and springs and shit that attach to the pads. Those little shits are there so you don't get a clicking noise when you step on the brakes, you bonehead. Yeesh.

    The reason I did is because President Dipshit is on TV live with that moron Tom Ridge. What's with Ridge? Does he have Down's Syndrome or something? I mean, I know he's an ex-jarhead, but he looks even more vacant than the average Marine. Did President Numbnuts want one person in his cabinet that was dumber than he is? Oh wait, he has Tommy Thompson already. And then there's Ashcroft. You know, come to think of it, we got a lot of stupid at the top.

    Oh, and get the 9/11 Commission Report here. It's a PDF so you'll have to download the FREE Adobe Acrobat Reader. Go get it and read it.

    Contessa Brewer is an airhead and a moron. Pretty girl though.

    Finally found a pic of the Freedom Stone, the cornerstone of the Freedom Tower that will rise from the pit at Ground Zero:

    Gotta go get the Mrs. and then I'm gonna relax. Have a good evening.

    Pleasant dreams.

    Now this pisses me off, again

    Via Pandagon:

    Making a tough choice with U.S. troops still in Iraq (news - web sites), the House on Wednesday sided with the chamber's Republican leaders to embrace spending restraint over an expansion of a program to improve family military housing.

    In a near party-line 212-211 procedural vote, lawmakers signaled their willingness to remove a $500 million expansion of the housing program from a $10 billion military construction bill for next year.

    The housing expansion provision; supported by President Bush (news - web sites), most Democrats and many Republicans; was expected to be formally deleted from the legislation on Thursday.

    Hours after the first vote, though, lawmakers underscored the election-year sensitivity of the issue by voting 423-0 for a separate bill doing exactly the opposite; expanding the same family military housing program by $500 million.

    The back and forth underscored the GOP's ambivalence about which priority should gain the upper hand, controlling spending or helping the troops during wartime. It also illustrated the party's internal battle between conservatives and moderates, and the balancing act GOP leaders must often perform.

    [. . .]

    Ain't nobody on the Right gave a damn about the troops in the first place. Well, maybe McCain. These fucking assholes see our fighting men and women in terms of strength charts, not as human beings who have the needs all other humans have. They can't get the Reservists' pay situation straight and they don't care if military families have a place to live. Fight and die, that's it. What more does the military need? Motherfuckers.


    I woke up thinking it was Friday. What a letdown. The 9/11 Commission report comes out today, like all the best parts haven't been leaked already. While everybody's waiting for this fucking thing so expectantly, I figure it'll be forgotten in a couple months. Remember the Rudman/Hart Report? Didn't think so. That's been relegated to obscurity, though it forecast things pretty accurately. Three years from now, the 600-page tome will be relegated to doorstop or coffee table duty.

    Well, have a good Thursday. I'm off to the mines. It'll probably be a day like yesterday. Hopefully, Dead Ed will make it in.


    21 July 2004

    This is funny

    Via Eschaton. It's time to play The Right Wing Squares.


    Glad to be home. Not only wasn't the Indian in, but Dead Ed was out too. Harry and I were jumping all day. Thankfully, no stupid shit, just a lot of work and a hot day. Not much blogging this afternoon. I'm hot, I'm tired, and the world could blow up and I don't give a shit.

    Good one

    My brother in law sent this and it's good:

    Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him and a bad guy when Bush needed a "we can't find Bin Laden" diversion.

    Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.

    The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.

    A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multinational corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation..

    Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.

    The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.

    If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex.

    A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our longtime allies, then demand their cooperation and money.

    Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy. Providing health care to all Americans is socialism.

    HMOs and insurance companies have the best interests of the public at heart.

    Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.

    A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense. A president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.

    Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.

    The public has a right to know about Hillary's cattle trades, but George Bush's driving record is none of our business.

    Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness, and you need our prayers for your recovery.

    You support states' rights, which means Attorney General John Ashcroft can tell states what local voter initiatives they have the right to adopt.

    What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the '80s is irrelevant.

    Friends don't let friends vote Republican!


    I've been getting a lot of crap for supporting the judge who ruled against unreasonable searches of protesters by the NYPD. I'm gonna paraphrase Ben Franklin here.

    Those who are so willing to give up their freedoms for security, deserve neither.

    I'm done, gotta empty the dog and then I'm off. The weather nitwit says this is gonna be the hottest day of the year so far. That's great. Doubt the Indian will be in so Harry and I will be jumping once again. Let's pray the nutcase doesn't show up today. The bright side is that I'll probably sweat off 5 lbs.


    20 July 2004

    Good night

    I'm done. I'm tired and I got shit to do. If I post anything later I'll do it over at TAB. Have a good evening.

    Pleasant dreams.

    I'm not the only one

    I know you think I'm crazy when I compare President Dipshit and his Administration to Nazis and that they will do something to affect the elections in November to their benefit. I did that here, here, here, here, here, and here. Well, Xan at Corrente does today too, so I stole his whole post:

    Any Tom Clancy fans reading today? Take a look-see at this little item. A group called Citizens For Legitimate Government has an essay by one Wayne Madsen, described in the credits as "a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and columnist. He served in the National Security Agency (NSA) during the Reagan administration."

    This is long but worth it. He starts out:

    You have to give the right-wingers credit. The fear tactics they learned from arch-Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels remain at the front of their political playbook. First, they put out the notion that in the event of a terrorist attack around the time of the November 2 election, a postponement of the vote may be necessary. Second, they start talking about the Federal government’s response to such a scenario. It’s the second item we must all be focused upon.

    And then he tells you EXACTLY how they could steal it this time. (As Madsen notes, "Like bin Laden, these people never use the same tactic twice.") I cut to the conclusion:

    That is what all this talk about a terrorist attack on Election Day is about. It is to prime the population and allow Bush surrogates at Fox News, CNN, and MS-NBC to begin their perception management campaign that an attack will occur around the election. But there will be no postponement of the election or cancellation – this is simply another plan to manipulate the public through the use of phony threats and fear tactics....

    To paraphrase James Carville, “It’s California and the voter turnout, stupid!” Forget about canceling or postponing the election. Keep your eye on a “Red Terrorist Alert” on the West Coast for Election Day. That doesn’t take a constitutional amendment, merely an okay from Bush and his homeland security team. They must be stopped – the future of this nation is at stake!

    Go read. Now. Take it as tinfoil-hat raving if you like, or start picking out the cast list for the movie version.

    Yeah, keep calling me crazy. I made a career out of crazy, but I've dealt with too many power-hungry fools in the course of a lifetime. Desperate men commit desperate acts when their position is threatened. As everything Dubya touches goes to shit, you can bet he's desperate. As my German relatives say, Achtung! Minen!

    And take Xan's advice. Go read the whole article.

    Tough day

    Well, the Indian is down with bronchitis so it was just Harry and me turning wrenches today. Oy! My ass is dragging. It's like super humid in NYC today and about 90 in the shade. That means the shop was about 100, not counting the times we had cars running on the dyno for inspections. The fans couldn't keep up

    To top it off, the neighborhood nut was hearing noises in her car again. I know every shop has one of these, the crazy broad who hears things that aren't there. We feel bad for this one, her ex used to kick the shit out of her and she's a little twitchy. We feel bad, but she's making us nuts. We're not the models of sanity either so you can imagine. If she were a guy, we would have thrown her out already and we're beginning to understand why her ex beat her up constantly. Oy gevult! It's one thing humoring her when we have a full crew, but on days when we're short, the joint's jumping. The last thing you need on days like this is the nutcase coming in, terrified to drive her car.

    "It made a horrible noise," she said.

    "Let's go for a ride," I say. "Show me, you drive."

    "But it made a noise," she said. "I don't want to drive it."

    "But you drove it up here," I say. "Let's just go around the block and you point out the noise to me."

    "O-okay, if you say so," she replies and we get in the car.

    We drive. I don't hear a fucking thing except a great-running Volkswagen. "What noise?" I ask again.

    "But I heard it when I drove to the shop," she said. "And it made the noise the other day. I had to go home."

    "Well, this thing runs great," I say. "Drive the crap out of it."

    "But what if it does it again?"

    "Drive it directly to the shop," I reply.

    "Can I leave it with you?" She asks. "Will you look underneath?"


    "Will Harry and Indian look at it too?" She asks.

    "Everybody will look at it," I assure her. "You probably snagged a branch and that's what you heard."

    "But you'll look at it?" She asks again. "Maybe it's the transmission?"

    Here's where I almost lost it, but I say, "If the transmission made a noise as bad as you say, the car wouldn't move under its own power. I'll call you." And I push her out the door after I remind her that combined, Harry, Indian, and I have more than a hundred years experience in the field. This takes up a 1/2 hour of my time. Did I mention we're a man down? Fine.

    She goes and there are ten customers waiting to drop off their cars so I help Harry and Dead Ed the Office Bitch check them in. I get the keys from two of them and tag them, and as I turn around, guess who shows back up? The nutcase.

    "I told you that it was a grinding noise, right?" She asks, interrupting the guy telling me about his fucking K-car and the sound it makes.

    "Don't you see I'm busy with this gentleman?" I growl at her. Told ya she was twitchy. She starts crying uncontrollably. Oy gevult! Now she's crying and the women standing there are all looking at me with homicide on their minds. I need this at 7:45 in the morning? Thank god Harry offered her a ride home and gets her out of there. Now there are 5 women who hate me and two guys laughing, so what do I do? I take all their keys and chase 'em out. Peace at last. Now I can get to work fixing their piece of shit cars. Harry comes back 5 minutes later from dropping off the nutcase and he's ready to beat the shit out of her too.

    PS: She calls around noon and goes through the whole thing again. Took me 10 minutes to get her off the phone and another 15 to get rid of her (no charge)when she showed up to pick up the car, the crying episode seemingly forgotten. We're praying she finds another place to look at her car but you know that ain't happening.

    Seriously, and for all you feminists out there. We would never beat the crap out of any woman. You can ask our wives. I don't need you all in front of my house tonight with torches and a noose, singing 'I am woman, hear me roar'.


    Well, some common sense finally prevails in NYC:

    (New York-WABC, July 19, 2004) — The NYPD is being forced to ease restrictions on demonstrators at the Republican Convention. That means no handbag searches, unless officers can show a specific threat to public safety.

    [. . .]

    After a protest that became known for its violence on February 15 of 2003, protesters sued police for over-policing, accusing them of denying the public proper access on that day. And they sued over the use of metal pens, or barricades. And they accused the police of over-zealous searches of handbags and backpacks.

    On most points in the case the protesters won. They include Annie Stauber, wheel-chair bound, who could not get out of a police pen on that day.

    Annie Stauber, Peace Activist: "I'm thrilled. It makes it a lot safer to do further demonstrations, to do the Republican Convention demonstrations. I'm very happy not to be shut in anywhere."

    [. . .]

    Sorry, Mr. Ashcroft and Mr. Bush, this is still NYC, the most diverse city in the world. We also don't put up with police state bullshit. You had to have your convention here? Well then, you'll have to put up with us. New Yorkers don't roll over because some village idiot from Texas tells us to.

    I'm off to the mines. Later.

    19 July 2004

    Good night

    Gotta get Mrs. F. Fillet mignon tonight, one of the Mrs.' signature dishes. She makes it just the way I like it. As an old redneck told me once, 'I seen cows hurt worse than that who lived'. Have a good evening.

    Pleasant dreams.

    Oh really?

    Oh yeah, we NEEDED to go into Iraq. This from the Jerusalem Post:

    The risk of Iranian non-conventional weapons being transferred to the Hizbullah [Hezbollah] "exists," in the same way the group was supplied with long-range rockets, a senior IDF intelligence official said in the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday.

    The official, Brig.-Gen. Yossi Kupperwasser, said that Iran has resumed its work on nuclear centrifuges needed to make nuclear materials after releasing themselves from a commitment to Europe to halt efforts. He said the development is "worrisome."

    [. . .]

    And let's see, what did the 9/11 Commission say? From Reuters:

    [. . .]

    The commission investigating the attacks will detail links between al-Qaida and Iran in its final report this week, raising new questions about why Bush turned his focus to Iraq after Sept. 11, 2001. The commission has found more al-Qaida contacts with Iran than with Iraq, officials said.[my emphasis]

    [. . .]

    So why are we in Iraq? Because President Mission Accomplished is a bully and a coward. If he went into Iran or North Korea, we'd lose ten thousand troops, maybe more. Iraq was easy and Bush knew it. Or rather Cheney knew it and he told President C-student to do it.

    Girlie men?

    For those of you who are upset about Arnold's comment? Just shut the fuck up. I'm no fan of the Gropinator either but there's bigger shit to worry about. If I had to apologize every time I said something off color or downright rude to someone, I wouldn't have time for anything else. Jesus H. Christ, do you know how many times a day I call someone an asshole? Just shut the fuck up, please.

    Slow news day

    In Knoxville. Via Bubba:

    A Maryville man spent his 23rd birthday in custody after police said they found him early Sunday running nude from the John Sevier pool snack bar with a box of stolen snacks.

    Authorities said the man had apparently scaled an 8-foot tall fence while naked and covered in nacho cheese and was seen running toward a Jeep in which officers found clothing and an open bottle of vodka.

    . . .[The suspect, Michael P.]Monn was charged with burglary, theft of property less than $500, vandalism less than $500 and public intoxication. He was also cited with indecent exposure. . .

    [. . .]

    [Maryville Police Officer Scott]Spicer reported at 3:38 a.m. Sunday he saw a Jeep CJ-7 in the parking lot of the pool and saw an open bottle of vodka in the console along with various articles of clothing. Minutes later, a nude man carrying a cardboard box ran toward the Jeep before Spicer stopped him and found the box filled with Frito Lay snacks and a container of nacho cheese.

    ``In addition, the male had nacho cheese in his hair, on his face and on his shoulders,'' Spicer reported. ``The nude male had a strong odor of alcohol and was semi-incoherent.''

    Details here.

    They sure know how to have fun up in them thar hills.

    Kill Arafat and get it over with

    The Associated Press
    Updated: 1:26 p.m. ET July 19, 2004

    RAMALLAH, West Bank - Backing down in the face of violent protests, Yasser Arafat asked the ousted Palestinian chief of security to return to his job Monday, placing him in command of his controversial cousin, Palestinian officials said.

    The Palestinian leader phoned Abdel Razek Majaide and asked him to return to the office he left last week at Arafat’s request, said Nabil Abu Rdeneh, a senior Arafat adviser.

    [. . .]

    While this bodes well (that Arafat can still be swayed by the street), he ain't giving up power so easily. Can't like the Jordanians or the Egyptians take his ass out and make it look like his own people did it? It would open the door for moderates in the PA and spread the power out a bit. It could turn into an internal power grab, but I think it's worth the risk. Can't get much worse there. I'm a firm believer in 'better the Devil you know' but as long as Arafat is alive, ain't NOTHING happening in Palestine but more death and destruction.

    Ron Jr.

    Has the Republicans all fired up. From Digby:

    Although Michael Reagan has consented to appear at the GOP convention, Ron Reagan's scheduled speech at the Democratic gathering is galling to many Republicans.

    "Ron Jr. has either allowed himself to be used or he's knowingly partaking in something whose purpose is to damage the party his father spent all of his adult political life in," [former Reagan aide, Gary]Bauer said.

    I think this is great! And I can imagine what Ron Jr. will say about the Republicans (chiefly the Jesus freak, Christo-Fascist, right-wingnut Republicans). Gotta tape it.

    Vacation, not mine

    From Clare at Kicking Ass:

    Job security worries force Bush vacation cut backs

    Don't misunderestimate George Bush's commitment to his campaign. For the first time since he took office, Bush will only spend half of the month of August at his Crawford, TX getaway, rather than the whole month. Though Bush took August off while there were terrorist warnings in '01, impending war in '02 and sustained job losses in '03, this August apparently necessitates an abbreviated respite due to the more pressing concerns of a campaign year.

    With over 300 days of his Presidency spent on his ranch or at Camp David, Bush has spent more time on vacation in four years than most Americans take over their entire careers. While neither war nor terrorism warnings nor an ailing economy have ever made Bush cut his vacation short, now that his own job is on the line, he's finally willing to show up for work.

    Aw, poor baby. Ain't like he's going to use the two weeks to better our lot. He's worried that he'll lose his no-show job.


    I didn't want to wake up this morning. Now I'm late and I still have to empty the dog. Wonder what shit got towed in over the weekend. Have a good one, I'm off to the mines.


    18 July 2004

    Good night

    Mrs. F made a great dinner and now I'm lazy as hell. I'll say goodnight and enjoy the rest of the evening.

    Pleasant dreams.

    Oh yeah, I'm still looking for someone to blog over at TAB.

    The Aunts

    I got two aunts. Not blood relative, father's or mother's sister type aunts, but two old German ladies who were my mom's closest friends since she and my dad moved out here from Queens in '62. This was a very European neighborhood when I was growing up, Krauts, Polacks, and Guineas. They tolerated my dad because he was married to my mom, a good German woman.

    Anyway, one of these women is the mother of my best friend Steve and has always been a second mom to me, so I gotta keep in touch. They just live around the corner. So today was one of those days. We were summoned there on Friday becasue her cucumber crop was overly bountiful (it is every year because she plants so damn much) and she had so many extra, we had to take some. Fine.

    Here's where the problem arises. They're just like all the other old German ladies in my family. They're not happy until you weigh 500 lbs. So we go over there and of course she had a fruit torte just coming out of the oven. Naturally, I wasn't allowed to do anything unless I had a piece (have I mentioned I'm 42 years old). Oh, yes, something to drink too. No, just a taste wouldn't do, she had to cut the damn thing up and put it on a plate in the middle of the table. I didn't need much coaxing to have a second and third piece as well. I swear it's more addictive than cocaine. These ladies can bake. It's why I gain 20 lbs in 2 weeks when I visit my real aunt in Germany. If you can resist the first piece you might succeed, but when you take the first bite it's all over. If you think it's easy to resist and old German lady pushing warm-from-the-oven cake in front of you, be my guest.

    Now Mrs. F has cut the dinner menu in half because we're both so full we couldn't eat everything she had planned. Thankfully, they didn't insist we take any home otherwise dinner would have been the rest of the cake and a dollop of vanilla ice cream. Oy!!!

    Good question

    Tom at Corrente asks a question I haven't heard yet, let alone thought about.

    As he campaigned around the country last week, President Bush asked voters to give him another four years to make the nation "safer and stronger and better." But with the election less than four months away, one of the biggest mysteries surrounding the president's campaign is what he would actually do if he wins a second term.
    (via WaPo)

    Here's a newsflash: He doesn't know.

    There really are only a couple of possibilities: either they're waiting to craft their agenda in reaction to what Kerry says (meaning they have no plans of their own) or it's all so evil and twisted they don't want the rest of us to know about it.

    Either one is pretty appalling, eh?

    Well, we know he's gonna be at war for four more years, that's for sure. God knows the world won't run out of 'evildoers'.

    Couldn't resist

    I love this pic. It says it all:

    Via Today in Iraq.

    Told ya so

    From Melanie at Just a Bump in the Beltway:

    BAGHDAD—Leaning in close, the mid-level American administrator speaks more in a hiss than a whisper. His tone is confessional, drenched in frustration.

    "We didn't hand over power to the Iraqis. We threw it at them," he confides, casting a guilty glance toward the many eyes filling the chandelier-lit room. Nobody else heard him. Good. This kind of talk could cost him his job.

    [. . .]

    If this doesn't piss you off, you haven't been paying attention. This is "postwar planning." This is what is or isn't going to get us out of the quagmire in Iraq.

    These are not competent people. They are our representatives to the world. No wonder they hate us.

    Entire post.

    Told ya. Iraq got 'sovereignty' because President WMD needs someone to blame for the failures there come November. Who better than the Iraqis themselves? I can see it now, Bush saying "We gave them sovereignty months ago and look, they've done nothing with it. The Iraqi people don't want to be free, they don't understand democracy". Mark my words.

    9/11 Final Report

    Cross posted from The Alternate Brain:

    From the Washington Post via Kos:

    [. . .]

    . . . In fact, the language of the final report suggests that the Bush administration had warnings of lower Mahattan being targeted. The graphic linked above sums this up nicely along with other discrepancies.

    [. . .]

    Here it is in graph form, comparing the Bush Administration's bullshit before the Commission to the facts the 9/11 Commission found.

    Just a thought

    Fred Barnes is a fucking asshole.

    NYC Airspace

    [. . .]

    Here's what has some people worried. If you are the pilot of a low-flying private plane, there are no rules, no flight plans. All you have to do as you approach New York City is say: 'I'm here.' This is what Senator Charles Schumer wants to change.

    [. . .]

    Sen. Charles Schumer, New York City (D): "There's a gaping hole in New York's air security. It's small planes that fly below 2,000 feet, and they can go virtually wherever they want."

    [. . .]

    In fact, many New Yorkers are surprised and certainly worried to learn what a spokesman at the Air Traffic Controllers Association told us today on the phone.

    Eric Chouinard, National Air Traffic Controllers Association: "Any plane can fly down the Hudson River or up the East River below 1,200 feet without even talking to air traffic control."

    From WABC in New York.

    Weren't we all worried about crop dusters and shit a couple years back? This is really good, some joker can fly up and down the Hudson Valley, from Staten Island to Quebec, and hose us down with whatever they want, and no one would notice until folks started dropping like flies. But New York is a blue state, so who in the White House gives a shit. Assholes.

    17 July 2004


    Got in too late last night but we had fun. I'm in bed already and the Mrs. is on her way. I'm still looking for a blogger over at The Alternate Brain by the way.

    Pleasant dreams.

    So, it's the Republicans

    According to Digby:

    [. . .]

    I think it's very important to note that this is not something that's confined to the Bush administration alone as if they are some sort of GOP anomalies. The fact is that this is an ongoing, serious problem of the modern Republican Party in general. They are congenitally opposed to compromise which leads inevitably to rule by force.

    [. . .]

    But it's not the Bushies, it's the party. Removing Bush will not solve this problem. Indeed, I'm sure the GOP congress would love to get back into action and resume its natural investigative role which they have been shut out of while Republicans are in the white house. Their egos demand a little bit of the spotlight.

    [. . .]

    I have been repeating this "undemocratic" mantra since the mid 1990's. (You can google this blog for the word and you'll see that I've done my best to bore everyone to tears with it.) It is a huge threat to this country --- one that has been magnified a hundred fold by the events if 9/11. It's not tin-foil kookiness and it's not partisan angst. It's real. And while I have little doubt that many reasonable sorts (which, by the way, I am also) will shake their heads sadly once again at my shrillness and hysteria for taking this view, I'll continue to do it. The Emperor has no clothes. I see what I see. I'm glad to have some company.

    Entire post.

    I've been thinking this for a while, yet I hate to generalize, but yet I think the right-wing Jesus freak asshole brigade has taken over the party. There are many Republicans that I respect, but this leadership (Frist, Santorum, DeLay, and others) is off the wall crazy. In a third world toilet, these guys would be part of a ruling junta.

    Private avaition

    Man, I got a problem with recreational flying for the average Joe Schmo. Seems like every other fucking day, you hear about some nitwit putting a small plane down in a house, on the highway, in the water, or just augurs it into the ground. Remember JFK Jr.? Fucking asshole.

    Don't forget, these are the same people you see every day on the road, the same fucking idiots with their heads in their ass. I don't believe the same people who have a problem dealing with left and right should have the option of working with up and down too. Hell, these folks get up and down with their cars and you want to give them a fucking plane? What the fuck are we thinking giving pilots' licenses to everyday assholes? Flying should be left to the professionals, not a bunch of pretentious retards with too much money and free time who think they're Chuck Yeager.

    Dirty wars

    Cross posted from The Alternate Brain:

    Go over and read this. Lambert at Corrente details Bush's 'war on terror' and likens it to Ronnie-boy's fooling around in South America. This is a far more deadly game, however.

    [. . .]

    Blowback from the Middle East will probably take the form of the loss of an American city to a loose nuke in the hands of a fundamentalist. However, since most target cities (even Washington, DC) is not part of the base—that is, not SIC, more likely to be gay, more likely to be immigrant, less likely to be white, and much more likely to vote Democratic—they are almost certainly regarded by the Bush administration as expendable. (The rhetoric of "cleansing fire" was already prepared in the aftermath of 9/11. Please refer all comments involving the words "tinfoil hat" to the Department of "No! They would never do that!")

    So, yes, the stakes are great in November. Bush—on no authority but his own—has initiated a dirty war in the Middle East that we are almost certain to lose, because a strategy built for Latin America isn't going to scale to the Middle East. In prosecuting this dirty war, which will involve not only "terrorists" but Europe, Russia, and the rest of the Middle East, the United States is going to lose its character as a constitutional republic, plant the cultural seeds of fascism, and lose a city or two to nuclear weapons through blowback.

    If you want that, vote for Bush in November.

    As I said, go read the whole thing.

    New BDUs

    Jumping on the bandwagon, the Air Force is phasing in new Battle Dress Uniforms. Via Air Force Link:

    I always liked the tiger-stripe pattern, used to wear them regularly when we were on duty on the DMZ in the early eighties. It's the way we set ourselves apart from the rest of the Air Force weenies, grunts, and jarheads. Well, that was until some congressman came to visit and we reminded him too much of Vietnam, so that was the end of tiger-stripe for AF SOCOM PJs and TACP FACs in the Far East. I like 'em though, but more importantly, I hope the troops do.

    My dog

    Wanna see the princess I keep telling you about? Go here.

    She's got a million of 'em

    Another from Mrs. F:

    Great Excuse!

    A woman calls her boss one morning and tells him that she is staying
    home because she is not feeling well.

    "What's the matter?" he asks.

    "I have a case of anal glaucoma," she says in a weak voice.

    "What the hell is anal glaucoma?"

    "I can't see my ass coming into work today"

    I, Robot

    If you're an Asimov fan like I am, you'll boycott this piece of shit. They threw the book away and only used the title. Ol' Isaac's gotta be spinning in his grave.

    Maureen Dowd

    Cross posted from The Alternate Brain:

    Go read:

    [. . .]

    When the British report came out yesterday declaring that Saddam Hussein had no significant W.M.D., or perhaps no W.M.D., Tony Blair accepted "full personal responsibility" for "the way the issue was presented and, therefore, for any errors made."

    Mr. Bush, by contrast, took full personal irresponsibility. Still pressing the preposterous case that he has made America safer, even though we are inundated with threats from Al Qaeda, and that he is winning the war against terror, even though there are more terrorist attacks, the president had to go farther afield to find a sufficiently enthusiastic audience.

    Instead of fleeing to Canada to dodge a war, W. had to flee practically to Canada to defend a war. In the middle of July, the president was campaigning in the middle of nowhere, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan — the first president to bother to trek up to Nick Adams country since William Howard Taft.

    Mr. Bush must have left the buck in deer country because the White House keeps passing the blame to the same C.I.A. that Dick Cheney and his Pentagon henchmen leaned on to supply the rationale they needed for the war they were determined to launch.

    They're trying to turn George Tenet from lapdog to scapegoat, while letting Dick Cheney, the 800-pound gorilla who tried to turn the little C.I.A. analysts into parrots, continue his rumble in the jungle.

    If this sounds like "Animal Farm," it is. What is more Orwellian than President Bush's rhetorical fallacies?

    Campaigning at the nuclear lab in Oak Ridge, Tenn. — he finally found nuclear-related capability — Mr. Bush defended the Iraq war: "So I had a choice to make: either take the word of a madman or defend America." He also said of the terrorists, "We will confront them overseas so we do not have to confront them here at home."

    That's nonsense. Just because more terrorists are attacking Americans abroad doesn't mean terrorists aren't poised to also attack us at home. And in fact, Bush officials keep warning us that terrorists are planning "something big" here, as the acting C.I.A. director, John McLaughlin, said yesterday in a radio interview.

    It's just like the president's other false dichotomies: You're either with us, or you're with the terrorists. If we don't stop gays from marrying, it will destroy the institution of marriage.

    [. . .]

    I got nothing to add. Go read the full editorial here.

    Yeah, on both counts

    From WTF Is It Now??

    The GOP: party of family values and morality

    Serial harrasser Arnold the Gropinator and adulterer Rudy Guiliani will be the featured speakers at the reboob national convention this summer, along with faux-democrat Zell 'attention whore' Miller, 'former' democrat Mike Bloomberg, and Lynne Cheney, the author of a novel of hot lesbian love.

    RNC spokesman Leonardo Alcivar said the speakers were selected to reflect the “strengths and breadth of the Republican Party… who underscore the president’s vision of leadership {Ed.: wtf???}, and to provide an opportunity for all Americans to see the best and brightest of the Republican party."

    Well, there you are.

    Note: looks like Blogger is trying something new again, which means this page will probably look #ucked up for a while.


    I give a shit what polls say this early.  And it's still early, but the CBS has this:
    (CBS) Senator John Kerry heads toward his nominating convention holding a slight lead over President George W. Bush in the CBS News/New York Times poll, and the ticket of Kerry and his vice presidential nominee John Edwards seems to have generated increased enthusiasm for the Kerry candidacy. This year the electorate is especially well tuned-in. Today, nearly half of all registered voters say they are paying a lot of attention to the race and nearly all voters are paying at least some. In 2000, just one-quarter were paying a lot of attention at this stage of the campaign. In fact, more voters in this poll say they are paying a lot of attention at this point in time than in any CBS News summertime election year poll.[my emphasis]

    This bodes well for Kerry/Edwards in my opinion because the more people pay attention to what's going on, the more people will question the looters in office now. That's if they don't get their news from Fox.

    New Yorkers

    Yeah, we got attitiude and the average New Yorker doesn't take any shit, but we're good people, as we demonstrated after 9/11 and yesterday:
    By Kemberly Richardson
    (New York-WABC, July 16, 2004) — It's one of those situations in life that really tests your honesty.
    A cabbie finds some jewelry in the back seat of his cab. And some serious jewelry this was -- rare South Pacific black pearls, worth $78,000.  This is a cabbie who makes $80 a day, has been mugged twice, and is behind on his rent. What would you do?
    [. . .]
    It was only his second week on the job. On Wednesday night Nester picked up Larry Policastro and dropped him off on the Lower East Side. Then Nester picked up another passenger who told him someone -- Larry -- had left a bag in the back seat.  Nester looked inside and found mounds of black pearls.
    [. . .]
    Nester admits he thought about keeping the gems for a split second. He's behind with his rent, and has been mugged twice, and the thieves took all of his money. But still, he couldn't. Since there was also a cell phone in the bag, it was fairly simple for Nester to track Larry down and return the loot.
    [. . .]
    Larry insisted on giving Nester a $500 reward, and has raised $5,000 towards his tuition for nursing school this fall. Nester says he would do the same thing again. This cabbie is now being called a gem of a driver.

    Yeah.  And this is more the rule than the exception.  Have I mentioned that I love New York?

    Looting Iraq

    From Lambert at Corrente:

    Republican looting: Don't follow leaders—watch the parking meters

    Or, in this case, oil meters.This is one of those WaPo stories that starts out "He said, She said" but has the killer detail in the very last graf. Wait for it:

    The Bush administration is withholding information from U.N.-sanctioned auditors examining more than $1 billion in contracts awarded to Halliburton Co. and other companies in Iraq without competitive bidding, the head of the international auditing board said Thursday.  The dispute comes as the board released an initial audit by the accounting firm KPMG on Thursday that sharply criticized the U.S.-led coalition's management of billions of dollars in Iraqi oil revenue.  KPMG outlined a series of other shortcomings, including the coalition's failure to install meters on Iraq's Persian Gulf export loading platforms, making it impossible to determine how much oil Iraq was exporting.
    (via WaPo)

    Wow! Free oil! I wonder where it all went? Hey, freedom's untidy!Look out, Kid—it's something you did...

    Iraq is a corporate raid, pure and simple.

    16 July 2004

    Secrets to a long life

    Another funny one from Mrs. F:
    A passer-by noticed an old lady [one would guess about 80] sitting on her front step: "I couldn't help noticing how happy you look! What is your secret for such a long, happy life?""I smoke 4 packs of cigarettes a day", she said. "Before I go to bed, I smoke a nice big joint.  Apart from that, I drink a whole bottle of Jack Daniels every week, and eat only junk food.  On weekends I pop a huge number of pills and do no exercise at all." "This is absolutely amazing at your age!!!!", says the passer-by. "How old are you?" "Twenty four"

    A quick one

    It's halftime at the wedding and we got an hour and a half to kill before the reception.  Let me just say, I've been to a lot of Catholic weddings, here and in other countries, and this is the first one I've been to where it was completely in Spanish.  Anyway, got one from Bubba:

    No U.N. inspectors for U.S. vote

    Friday July 16, 2004 The House voted against allowing U.N. inspectors to observe voting in the U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL) was not happy:

    "I come from Florida, where you and others participated in what I call the United States coup d'etat. We need to make sure it doesn't happen again," Brown said. "Over and over again after the election when you stole the election, you came back here and said, 'Get over it.' No, we're not going to get over it. And we want verification from the world."

    They then voted (along party lines) to have her remarks stricken from the Congressional record. I'm surprised they didn't vote to have her gagged, shackled and removed to Guantanamo. These are the times we live in, my friends.

    We're screwed in November if Bush is allowed to pull off the same shit as in 2000.


    Just a reminder, I'm looking for someone to take over blogging duties at The Alternate Brain.  If you're interested, let me know in the comments or email me. 


    Just this one on Martha Screwit.  If she wouldn't have been so fucking greedy, she wouldn't have got into this fucking mess to begin with.  Fucking Christ, she only made 40 grand on the deal.  When they caught her, she should have said 'so sorry, I fucked up' and given a hundred grand to the United Way.  The greedy bitch would be a hero today instead of a fucking convict. 

    Update 18:30:  Just heard her whiny little speech outside the courthouse.  Fuck my ass!  Man if I finagled 40 thousand illegally, I'd be doing 2 1/2 to 5, and I sure wouldn't be allowed to whine about it afterward.  My ass would have been on it's way to Rikers, not Danbury Minimum.  Bitch.