Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Peter Atkins of Naturapet didn't ask the right questions

This post will be pretty "inside baseball" for many people but it was written to reach a few very select audiences. When I read about people in corporations who want to know how to "interact with the bloggers" (which either means "how do we shut them up?" or "how do we sell them stuff") I go a little crazy.

Good communications is good communication. Your actions are your actions. People can tell the difference between authentic communications and corp speak or spin. I'd be happy to come to your office and explain it all to you (and your CEO).

When an executive takes an action that is different from what he says, people notice. Contrary to some people's beliefs, although customers might not have the same high IQ (or fat paycheck) as a CEO, they are geniuses when it comes to sniffing out when people are holding back information or when they are being spun.*

Some companies say stuff like "we listen to our customers" because they think it makes the people feel valuable, but often their actions show them actively IGNORING their customers. Why? Because customers can be a pain in the ass. Especially if they ask questions that companies don't want to answer. So what do the companies do? They answer the questions that they want to answer and think that the customers will think that it is good enough, and some some it is.*

I called this dodge the Rumsfeld Technique (And yes I coined that term -spocko). Rummy "Took control" of an interview by asking and answered the questions himself! Brilliant! Lots of the press fell for it. CEOs admired his "managing" the press. And it worked, because he was good at it, but eventually it got harder and harder to hide from reality.

Below is a long post is from a forum at Itchmo.
[UPDATE 7/25/2007 The Brilliant Offy has provided a recap and summary of this story having to do with ExperTox findings of acetaminophen and cyanuric acid in Innova dry dog food made by Naturapet. (Offy really is super smart, I've talked to her and from one brain to another, I'm impressed.)

If you want to read the background and the whole thread go here
It has to do with my friend Donna and the results she got when she tested her Innova dry dog food.

Peter Atkins posted his results of some testing Naturapet did and Donna replied and point out the holes in his test and story here.

I'm sorry if for some people this isn't clear or they think it is too long, but if you aren't interested you don't have to read this.


*With the exception of about 25 percent of the people who DO believe spin, see current Bush polls.

MY Post in the Itchmo Forum.
I know that the people at Naturapet and their competitors/colleagues are reading this so I want to be clear, I'm going to talk to you all like intelligent adults since I understand the stakes.

You are of course very aware of HOW you went about doing this testing. It was not an accident who you choose and what specifically you asked them to look for. That is to be expected. Your goal would be to disprove ExperTox's results. That is your short term communications goal. But I think we all know that you did NOT address the real question which was, "Something made our customer's pets sick, what was it and why did it happen?"

Your food, given to Donna's pets made them sick. What they ate is the variable here. I think we can agree on that (unless you want to go the accusation route which I sincerely hope you do not given all the incredible lengths that Donna went through to deal with you in good faith)

How you responded to Donna and your specific follow up shows clearly the focus was to shut down the criticism rather than address the real question.

I understand that posture. It is what your stockholders would expect you to do. Of course if you want to keep your customers happy you would probably want to find out the answer to that question. Why? So it doesn't happen again. Because making pets sick is not good for business. Maybe you have looked back up the supply chain and found the Chinese vitamin manufacturer that made the mistake. Maybe you found another chemical that you don't want to talk about but you quietly changed suppliers. Your lawyers would probably advise you to keep that quiet because that's what lawyers do. "Don't make any extra information available unless they ask, preferably under a subpoena!"

And that is shown specifically when you look at what the UC Davis lab was ONLY requested to look for, Acetaminophen. Note: No request to look for cyanuric acid. Which was ALSO found in Donna's food sample.
Other tests might have come back, but you did not post the results. If not, why not? And of course the MidWest test (who I believe is your regular lab) wasn't even looking for acetaminophen.

Now I note that ExperTox also tested a sample, clever move on your part.
So what does that mean, was ExperTox wrong on Donna's sample or were they wrong on your sample? I'll expect you to throw out the "opened bag" gambit, where you make a subtle accusation at the honesty of the person who has shown time and time again that they are not trying to shake you down, yet simply wants the truth. This same gambit was used by P&G and Iams on Ben here at Itchmo. You throw the burden back on the consumer and work to discredit the lab. In my conversations with people in the industry this is considered SOP when dealing with these issues.

I want you all to know something.

NB: Latin for Note Well.
This is not about someone who is putting a finger in her chili to get money out of Wendy's. These are not people who are bringing cockroaches from home to put in the food at the restaurant to get a free meal. These are not hysterical pet owners who are freaking out when Rover gets a tummy ache.

You would know if the people who reported problems here on this forum were looking to shake you down if they acted like those people. They. Did. Not.

Yet you have chosen to treat them like false accusers rather than people who simple want to know, "What is it in your food that made my pet sick? Why did this batch make my pets sick when it never made them sick before?" They expected YOU to look out for their pets first because they thought that it would ALSO be good for your business.

So instead of working so hard to only DISPROVE results, you might have worked hard to answer the question, what WAS it that made the pets sick? Isn't THAT something that all the employees at Naturapet would like to know? Maybe it isn't something that has revealed itself yet, remember it took a while to find the cause of the Menu Foods recall one lab's results weren't replicated, yet the bottom line was SOMETHING was making the pets sick and killing them. That should be you goal.

This is an important distinction and one that must be made. In a world with a working government that is designed to protect the food supply the FDA or USDA should be answering the question as an outside group, but sadly they have proved that only a major disaster gets them to act and then slowly and with the concerns of the business first and customers later.

At some time I'd like get into a discussion about testing methods done by all these labs the LACK of apples to apples sample comparisons and the issue of LG-MS vs GC-MS and methodology. I've had discussions with people in the scientific community about all of these, but first:

The issue of the "retain sample is a composite of the entire production run".

To be clear I'll call this the poison potato vs. the poison soup analogy.

Let's say you have a stew and you have some poison potatoes in it and the person testing the stew only takes a scoop of the stew without potatoes. Tested for poison it will reveal nothing. The potatoes are in discrete lumps and can be missed.

Now if you have a smooth bowl of tomato soup and the person testing the soup takes a scoop out of the soup and tests it for poison it will reveal the poison because the poison is probably evenly mixed throughout the soup.

So is the food more like stew or like soup? Did your test get the "poison potatoes" in the stew? ExperTox says they stand by Donna's results. Why the problem with YOUR sample? Why not do the same test with her samples?

The sample of the product in question (and I've seen the photos) was more like stew, I've seen the lumps. So unless the "composite of the entire production run" shows the same lumps then you were testing the scoop without the "poison potato".

Everyone here understands the high stakes. We also understand the methods that companies will use to avoid dealing with the real problem. Many of us live in the real world and can see through techniques designed to calm the consumers and not address the underlying issue.

The industry holds up the Johnson and Johnson company as the gold standard for how to deal with a crisis with food and drugs. Ironically it was their branded acetaminophen that had to be recalled. What few people remember is that at the time their actions were considered "over reactions" in the industry and I believe that they were first punished by Wall Street for doing a global recall. Many thought that they would never recover, but people KNEW by their actions that the people doing the recall thought first of the customer and then later about what the Lawyers would say and how the market would react.

I compare that response to how the pet food companies responded. Who does the pet food industry hires to defend them? How do they deal with customers?

I have confidence in Donna's word. I will stand by her and support her goal of protecting the health of her pets.

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

No Rush, this is NOT what happens at Gitmo.

"Thriller" as performed by inmates of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center

You just have to wonder about the behind the bars negotiations for this.
The planning! The practice sessions! Who started it? Were there try outs?

"Five, six, seven, eight, now drag, and drag and shuffle shuffle shuffle stomp.
Number 3593, more zombie arms!
And step and step and turn, turn, turn shuffle stomp! Excellent!"

Where there Zombie favorites? Where cigarettes traded for being closer to the action?
Were old cons who were big cheeze dancers on the outside brought in as ringers like Burt Reynolds in that foot ball prison movie the Longest Yard?

Thanks Cory at boing, boing for this.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Can the FDA Assure Safety and Security of the Food Supply? Part 2 hearing

TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2007

Diminished Capacity: Can the FDA Assure the Safety and Security of the Nation's Food Supply? – Part 2
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
9:30 a.m. in room 2123 Rayburn House Office Building
Witness List
Connect to the Video Webcast (100 kbps)

Witness list:

Thanks to reader Mike for staying on top of this.
I'm of course hoping that someone will ask them timeline questions.

Also I'm hoping for some
"What did you know and when did you know it?" questions (It always seems to come back to that, doesn't it...)

As I've reminded people, the FDA has no recall power, except for baby formula.
So faced with a new problem (chickens and hogs that ate melamine and c-acid laden pet food) the FDA decided that instead of telling Big Chicken and Big Pig to recall the chickens and pigs, they "worked closely with industry" and created a risk assessment report based on, how shall I say this politely, weak science.

And guess what, the risk assessment said, "Sure send it out to the humans, based on old data from other species and not on any actual current feeding tests, the probability is low that it won't be a problem." Hey America, how does it feel to be Big Chicken's guinea pig? Would have been nice if we could have known when we were being used as a guinea pig right? So we could say, "I don't trust your "risk assessment" please tell me which chickens were the ones I ate.

But I always wondered, if it wasn't a problem then why didn't they tell us the NAMES of the big chicken farm that sold the chickens? Why didn't they say, "The chicken is as safe as houses based on our "risk assessment" so the company that is selling it to you is ____________."?

BTW, I'm pretty sure I know which one of the Big Chicken players it is, but of course after I alerted the advertisers to the violent rhetoric of the talk radio people and they shut down my blog and threatened me I have no desire to expose myself to the censorship games of yet another multi-billion dollar industry. (Hey, maybe I should tell people if they send me a self addressed stamped envelop along with $100 bucks then I can say, "You didn't hear it from me." )

Here's my questions that they won't get to because I don't have any real power (aka lobbyists whispering into my ear).

Did Big Chicken put the pressure on the FDA to create this "risk assessment" so that they could get the USDA stamp so they could sell to humans? What role did Big Chicken and Big Pig have in this process of determining the safety of the food that they probably didn't want to cull? Was that contact appropriate?

I wonder how they will respond. I mean it's not like they need to lie if you asked them. I'm sure they would just say that they were "working closely with industry". Say for example Big Chicken called the FDA and said, "Create a test so I don't have to kill 20 million chickens and 56,000 hogs." Would it be WRONG of them to suggest that? I'm sure that it would be seen as just a suggestion and it's not like they are trying to intimidate the FDA. I do wonder if there are some rules and guidelines that they are breaking-- maybe Lisa Shames and the wonderful folks at the GAO could tell us.

NOTE: We don't use the precautionary principle here.
Therefore looks like we are going the China route. So I guess the rule is "If it's not EXPLICITLY going to kill you, go ahead and put it in. And then, if later, we find out that it DOES kill people, well then we'll stop."

I do hope one of the fine reps asks about the process of creating the risk assessment, and then asks, "Who's chickens were they and then where did those chickens and pigs get sent to?"

I'm sure they have a good answers, the best money can buy.

Updated and edited, draft was posted first. I blame Haloscan.

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Even the Ghosts are Angry

When this administration is even pissing off ghosts, you know they have gone too far. We are talking Supernatural Anger. Spiritual Pissed Offedness. Non-corporal Rage.

This post from Hume's Ghost says what I sense a lot of people are feeling and thinking. For some the most recent trigger event was the commutation of Libby's sentence and the obstruction of justice that it revealed. For Hume's Ghost the item that sent his non-corporal self around the bend was the report that al Qaeda is back to pre-9/11 strength levels.

How much money was spent and blood was shed to get us back to square one? And these same "experts" who are suppose to be fighting this war on terror, now want to go after Iran? As the kids say, WTF?

Below is Hume's Ghost post. He's not feeling friendly toward the White House these days. (Sounds like someone's due for a haunting.)

The angry "left"

We all know this meme. The unhinged "left" blogsophere is full of nothing but anger and vitriol. And uses foul language. You know what I have to say to that?

You're god damn right I'm angry. And if being critical of the Bush administration is now what the word "left" connotates .... fine I'm "left" and just about every sane person in the world should be "left".

What am I so angry (actually, not angry - furious, irate, livid, indignant, etc - are words that better describe my mood) about? For 6 years, this administration and its cheerleaders in the noise machine have questioned the patriotism of anyone who did not blindly accept nearly every aspect of its so called "war on terror." Michelle Malkin says that we are ostriches putting our heads in the sand, pretending that their is no terrorist threat. In 2004, Neil Boortz openly wondered who was more dangerous: al Qaeda or John Kerry voters. Karl Rove has told us that Democrats want to appease terrorists. Ann Coulter has said that "liberals" are treasonous by nature, and Dinesh D'Souza has called "the cultural left" the "enemy at home." Rush Limbaugh has declared that Democrats are at war with America. Bill O'Reilly says that the "s-p" media wants us to lose in Iraq, and Malkin and co. have accused at one point or another pretty much every non-noise machine agent of the media to by guily of treason. [Blogger's Edit - And Charles Krauthammer, columnist for - in the words of Michelle Malkin - the "Pulitzer for Treason" Washington Post "diagnosed" Bush critics as being mentally deranged.]

When we object to the President illegally spying on US citizens we are accused of not wanting to pursue the terrorists. When we complain about our leaders authorizing torture and abandoning the human rights standards that the USA helped champion after WWII in order to prevent the horrors of the Holocaust from ever happening again we are told we hate America.


Now we have a report that has come out saying that al Qaeda is back to pre-9/11 strength levels. You're god damned right I'm angry. I've been betrayed. This nation has been betrayed. With unprecedented approval ratings after 9/11, President Bush embarked on a purely partisan political campaign to use the attacks to consolidate power for the conservative movement and to achieve the ideological goals of the PNAC crowd that has designed his foreign policy.

Six years after the attack and what do we have to show for it?

Good question. Read the rest here.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Alora 12 and 1/2 Years Old

Sarah Deere's granddaughter Alora is dying.

I don't know Sarah or Alora. I don't even know if those are their real names and I don't care.

I "know" Sarah from her writing. I know that Sarah gets pissed at the standard God talk that many people bring out during times like this. A relative of mine just had to deal with another faith's prescribed rituals and they seemed overwhelming and, because she didn't grow up in that tradition, seemingly arbitrary. "What's with this covering all the mirrors?"

Not all people grieve the same. There is no one perfect way.
Traditions vary. Personally my favorite is toasting the deceased with a glass or twelve of Romulan Ale. When our friend Harve died that was what we did, but I don't expect everyone else to be soothed by the green goodness.

Over a long period of time I've been reading the story of Sarah's granddaughter's illness. And how Sarah and her family are coping with this.

Sarah has said that commenting has helped her deal with this. I'm glad. About 154 years ago when the internet started there was a community called the WELL. When someone was in pain people would put parentheses around that person's name to show that you are hugging them or holding them in their thoughts.

As in: ((((Sarah Deere))))

It was a nice gesture, but it aways seemed inadequate. When someone who you like is hurting you want to have the right words, the right action, the right gesture, the right tone of voice. And if you are there physically you often know just to say nothing and hold their hand or hold them in your arms and let them feel your support.

For all its power, the internet fails tragically at times like this.

Sarah has said she appreciates our words of support and I'm glad. I know just how much the supportive notes from strangers on the internet meant to me. I should have individually thanked everyone who sent notes and money. But I was in the heart of the situation and had trouble just keeping my nose from gushing green blood from all the pressure. But those words did help me and I know they DO help connect us, even over vast physical distances.

Your words or Sarah's words may have been written in Toronto or Atlanta, but they were read by my brain right there in my home on my box. They helped me deal with the isolation that many of us feel. I'm glad that Sarah knows we are thinking about her and feels our support.
We are connected. Sometimes in pain sometimes in victory.

My thoughts to your thoughts Sarah. Be well.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Heywood Ja Sacrifice Something?

From Heywood J's Hammer of the Blogs:

We have not even been asked to cut into our large-living ways; indeed, we've been encouraged to indulge them. Consumerism is what keeps this Ponzi economy afloat, that and dangerously bundled derivatives on the esoteric hedge-fund market. So instead of conserving and rationing, the way homefront Americans were glad to do in WW2, to be part of the cause, we continue to indulge and consume, and in particular waste oil profligately, as if we weren't over in the Middle East to -- at least in part, whether people can admit it to themselves or not -- secure our access and supply.


This is replayed day after day, across the country, heedlessly, rhythmically, almost like a ginormous variation of musical chairs -- if they stopped, they would think about what they were doing, and reality might set in. And the heroic Chinese-made ribbon magnet might then not seem to be enough to justify driving a 3-ton, 10-mpg mini-RV to the post office or the Wal-Mart.

Sacrifice should be shared across the board, rich and poor, wherever possible. But mostly it appears to be two classes of people who need to start sacrificing proportionately to what they take -- the profiteering class and the mindless hyper-consumption class. (read the whole thing here)

When I travel to the midwest it is clear to me just how little impact this war actually has on many people, and sadly they can't see how their behavior could make a difference.

What if the President asked everyone to enlist? What if he went on the air and said:

"I don't want to have a draft, but we don't have enough troops. We need 500,000 more troops NOW to win this thing. I won't let my successor take on this burden and they way they are talking, they will leave. In my mind leaving is losing. So I'm asking every able bodied man and woman to enlist in the armed forces. If you are between 17 and 42 you can enlist in the army. And I'm going to ask the military contractors to leave Blackwater and related firms and re-enlist in the armed forces."

What if he specifically asked the rich to send their money and their children to fight? Maybe he could call people who didn't go to war, unpatriotic? He would demand that people who make excessive profit from the war that they are America haters and traitors. People who have avoided taxes by going offshore will be identified and vilified.

"If you can't serve yourself, ask your child to serve.
If your child can't serve, ask your relatives to serve.
If you can't serve, have no children or relatives serving, send us your money.
If you have children and relatives already serving, God bless you.

We need more than just your taxes. To win we need your savings and then we need some more. If we don't get it, we will lose and we will be attacked and many of you will die. What good will your money do you if you are dead? Everyone who has a yellow ribbon on their car or a flag in their heart should be willing to send us more than just your tax dollars.

I pledged not to raise taxes, but I never said I couldn't ask the people to voluntarily give more. We need 900 billion more to win.

I'm asking the middle classes --those making between $30,000-350,000 a year-- to send us 5 percent of your GROSS income to help pay for this global war on terror. This is on top of your taxes, that I will remind you, I haven't raised. Those making $350,000-2,500,000? I'm asking you for 10 percent. If you are fortunate enough to make 2.5 million to 25 million we need 15 percent of your gross. 25 million and up. 20 percent. If you try and cheat on this and leave the country or lie on your taxes I'll consider you a traitor and unpatriotic. I'm going to ask the people who supported this effort in the beginning to be the first to give. If you were on board and supporting me in 2003 I know I can count on you now. Right now I'm going over the lists of all the Bush Rangers, radio talk show hosts, Fox news anchors, and PNAC members. If you have flipped flop on your support of me and this war, shame on you. Only liberals flip flop and don't follow what their duly elected President says. Especially when it comes to matters of National Security--which everyone agrees is the responsibility of the executive branch.

Yes, you can question the percent that I'm asking, but if you do, you obviously don't want America to win and don't deserve your freedom. Freedom's not free and right now you aren't paying your fair share. The people who won't have to pay this voluntary extra money? The people who have a spouse or child serving in the armed forces.

Why do we need your money now? Several reasons. The first reason is that sacrifice in the global war against terror is only borne by a small part of America, and that has to stop. We are better than that.

Another is that the cost of this war is forcing us to do things detrimental of the health of America. For example, right now America is beholden to China. China is the bank and we are charging this war on the credit card they issued us. In return we are forced to eat their poisoned food and accept their untested vitamins and drugs. We don't like to talk about this, but that was part of the deal China made with us when they agreed to pay for the war. The "interest" we pay is accepting the goods they send us, with nothing more than cursory checks on the food. Their system is so dangerous and corrupt that they sentenced the head of their FDA to death. It was a price I was willing to pay on your behalf because I didn't think they would really sell us that much poisoned food, but I was wrong. I won't allow Americans to die because we had to eat poison food to pay for this war. If we want to get out from under our debt, we need more money. And we can't just cut China off, if we do they will retaliate economically and our economy will crash. Specifically our largest employer, Wal-Mart, will crash, and I can't let that happen.

I love to hear the phrase Freedom isn't free from people because those people know that they need to pay their fair share. And this will be enforced by the IRS.

Starting on July 4th the IRS will be be undergoing a radical shift in focus to the top one tenth of one percent, so anyone who isn't making over 2.5 million a year doesn't need to worry. That doesn't mean they won't still be doing the rest of their work on regular tax payers, but if you try to hide your income in foreign banks or with tricks, we will find you and punish you. Also, no companies that are incorporated out side of the US and who aren't paying their fair share of taxes,will get Government contracts.

And we will know if these people and companies aren't paying taxes.

I will use my authority under the Patriot Act to post the names of American citizens and companies who have NOT paid their taxes, voluntarily given more or enlisted. The first list will be all members of this administration and all Republican elected officials. The next list will be all corporations that have been been employed by the government in the global war on terror.

If we can't do this for our country then we don't deserve the trust of the people. It's a small price to pay for our freedom and liberty.

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I will keep planet Earth safe from attacks from the Cybermen, the Daleks, and the Borg

Since I seem to be into lists lately, here is a good one from David Allen at Thought Crimes, in response to Rudy Giuliani's "Twelve Commitments".

It is so good I'm just going to pull the whole list from here and remind you to read his blog at Thought Crimes.org because it really does provide a new way of looking things.

In the spirit of Rudy's list, here is my own, which I point out is just as realistic as Rudy's.

• I will alter my car's engine to run on water and get 100 miles to the gallon.

• I will command my pug to stop shedding.

• I will keep planet Earth safe from attacks from the Cybermen, the Daleks, and the Borg.

• I will install an asteroid shield over the planet.

• I will lead America to give up meat, high fructose corn syrup, cigarettes, beer, reality TV, and computer porn.

• I will compel Microsoft to release a robust and secure version of Windows for less than $100.

• I will persuade Bill O'Reily, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Rupert Murdock, Sean Hannity and a dozen other blowhards to be chosen later, to colonize Mars.

• I will fly around the Earth at super speed, reversing its rotation and turning back time to January 1st, 2000. I will then kidnap Ralph Nader and keep him hostage on the Planet of the Nubile Underwear Models Who Dig Nerdy Older Guys in Wrinkled Suits.

• I will change male biology so that men can get pregnant, then arrange for every anti-abortion male in America to be artificially impregnated.

• I will raise Jerry Falwell from the dead, slap him, then send him to Mars.

• I will telepathically implant an actual clue in the head of each and every pundit and journalist in Washington, DC.

• I will require FDA and USDA officials who insist that contaminated foods and GM crops are perfectly safe for the public, to eat only that food themselves and to feed it their spouses, children and grandchildren.

I will buy a steak dinner for the first reporter who asks Rudy this question:

Will you honor these commitments the way you did your wedding vows in your first two marriages?

Friday, July 06, 2007

Bush Image Control. That is NOT a Beer!

U.S. President George W. Bush (C) is joined by President of the Washington Nationals' Stan Kasten (L) and Nationals' General Manager Jim Bowden as they watch the Washington Nationals' baseball team play in Washington, July 5, 2007. REUTERS/Jim Young (UNITED STATES)

When Pansypoo over at First-Draft saw this image her question was:
A. "who does he think he's fooling?"

Q. The media. And 28 percent of the people all of the time.

I'm glad nobody asked him what it was. I'm sure we would have a logical explanation like the bump in his jacket, during the debate. And the media would just look silly asking the question, and it would be disrespectful, and not relevant. Because they really want to focus on serious stuff like haircuts. No, they don't care what an alcoholic is drinking out of a paper bag at a ball game. Because EVEN if it was beer, I'm sure that they would easily find a reason to excuse it.
WingNut Excuses if it was Revealed Bush was Drinking Again

  1. It's not a crime to drink beer!

  2. Prove it.

  3. Show us the empty can.

  4. You can't prove it can you?

  5. State your sources

  6. You have no proof.

  7. It was near beer anyway. I'll bet you want to test the left over liquid to confirm it really was near beer. Tin foil hat time!

  8. Just because the President occasionally has a drink doesn't make him an alcoholic. He never admitted to being an alcoholic anyway.

  9. I suppose you want a special investigator to find out "the truth".

  10. The AA method of never drinking again is not the only way to deal with alcoholism. Besides, the President never attended AA meetings.

  11. I thought the liberals would have more sympathy, you are always calling it a disease, maybe your compassion only applies to people who are Hollywood liberals like Lindsey Lohan who go to rehab and get a free pass.

  12. Hey didn't your beloved "San Francisco Values" Mayor have a drinking problem? You don't kick him out of office for it or his woman problems.

  13. You are hypocrites if you don' t demand that Gavin resign for his drinking problem! Besides do you really think that they would let Bush drink in public?

  14. This is a non-issue and the fact that liberals are focusing on it proves they have no new ideas or solutions.

  15. They just hate our troops and many of the troops voted for Bush because he's their kind of guy, a beer drinkin' guy.

  16. He's the kind of guy you could have a beer with, you are just jealous because nobody wanted to have a beer with Al Gore or John Kerry.

  17. Hillary probably says she drinks beer, but really drinks Cosmopolitans or Mojitos like those gay men and women in Sex in the City.

  18. A real Presidential candidate would drink American beer, or whiskey, neat. That's what Fred Thompson drinks.

  19. In heaven, where Bush is going, there is no beer. That's why he drinks it here.

  20. Bush is just getting back to his roots as a guy who drinks beer with other real men.

  21. I don't see what the problem is, it's not like he is "on-duty".

  22. He wasn't drunk! There were no breath tests! There was no proof of his BAC! Besides, in case of an emergency President Cheney would have acted.

  23. It's not like there were any real US threats the week of the Fourth of July anyway. The US threats were vague and didn't tell the date, time, or methods of attack. The threats are all over in Britain, Iraq and Afghanistan because we are safe here because he's the President.

  24. When Hillary is President we won't be safe and all the Presidential soberness in the world won't stop the terrorists from attacking once she is President and wants to "use her words."

  25. I'm sure it's a one time thing.

  26. Now I suppose you will bring up the pretzel incident, can't you people "move on" and get over it all ready?

  27. Lots of sober people get a pretzel caught in their throat, pass out and hit their head on a coffee table. Alcohol had NOTHING to do with it.

  28. On WorldNetDaily and in the Washington Times they have hundreds of stories about people passing out from pretzels, but the drive by media never report on it so you never hear about it. You only hear about it on Drudge, talk radio and Fox-- thank god they exist or we would never know anything.

  29. There goes your Bush Derangement Syndrome!

  30. You call Rush a drug addict all the time, where is your compassion for him and his substance abuse problems?

  31. Rush was sympathetic to Al Gore III for his drug and speeding problem, where was your sympathy for Rush?

  32. Shouldn't you give us credit because Rush has sympathy for Al Gore III?

  33. Haven't you ever drank a beer on a hot day?

  34. Let me guess, you drink a Pink Lady when it's hot outside.

  35. I'll bet John Edward's drinks mint "jewlips" or Pink Ladies when he goes to polo matches, he wouldn't be caught watching a real man's sport.

  36. Did you notice it was an American beer Bush drank, not some foo foo French beer?

  37. The bag was there to cover up the near beer because the moonbats went nuts over the shot of him drinking the near beer in Germany. The White House just wanted to avoid useless speculation from crackpots with keyboards.

  38. Why shouldn't the President be able to drink a beer like the regular guys at the park?

  39. This will actually boost his ratings., everyone sort of likes guys who drink beer at the ball game, except for the real whack-jobs.

Police Baffled By Bottle-Shaped Paper Bag

April 21, 1999 | Issue 35•15

BRIDGEPORT, CT—Local police officials are "utterly baffled" by a bottle-shaped paper bag that local resident Jimmy Kilty held while sitting on an East Side strip-mall bench Monday.

"It's a real mystery," said Sgt. Ted Vittorio of the Bridgeport Police Department. "Judging from the way he kept putting the paper bag up to his mouth, you'd think he was drinking something out of it. But obviously he wasn't, since paper can't hold liquid. It would soak right through instantly."

Vittorio said he was making his normal patrol of the area when he noticed Kilty clutching the strange bag.

"It's part of my job to monitor for loitering and public intoxication, so when I spotted Kilty sitting on the bench, I slowed down to survey the scene," Vittorio said. "I thought maybe he was drinking, but, as it turned out, he was just repeatedly putting a paper bag up to his face. Such behavior may be strange, but it's certainly not illegal, so I moved on."

Enlarge Image Police Baffled

The mysterious paper bag that has confounded Sgt. Ted Vittorio (inset) and other police officers.

Read the rest of this Onion story here. The Onion, America's Finest News Source.

UPDATED 07/07/07: Added a few excuses I expect to hear and I formated them to be easier to read.
("They Moonbats edit the posts where they make up stuff because they can't handle criticism.")

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Why Must We Fight This Nightmare Every Day?

Gentilly Girl gives her "standard truth speech" about rebuilding New Orleans. There are lots of reasons both economic, historical, cultural and personal to bring New Orleans back. They are part of us, and frankly we owe them.

I think it would be useful for the people who think otherwise to have a conversation with some of the NOLA bloggers. I know lots of well meaning people have misconceptions about rebuilding. And then there are the "experts" who willfully get the story wrong and have written off New Orleans.

One thing I get from the NOLA bloggers is that this story is not over, and when they see or read or hear people who have written off the city and the area as not worthy to rebuild they are stunned, flabbergasted, and pissed off.

"What's the point? It's all below see level anyway." or "I thought it was mostly fine by now, I saw Mardi Gras on TV." or "Well it was an act of God, it's not as if the government caused it, they just want to blame George Bush for everything."
- Common Myths and Misconceptions on New Orleans

The media is event driven, and they have a hard time with stories that go on and on and on. Unless people like Matt at Fix the Pumps dig up some juicy incompetence and malfeasance, they will simply report on the next event that makes news.

The people in charge of PR for New Orleans think, "How can we get the tourists back?" that is their job, I get that. But that doesn't include showing all the destruction that still exists and the pathetic, tragic hold-ups. "Why would we want to promote the problems and dig up negative stories?" But someone should be thinking, "How can I keep the attention of the news media to keep the pressure on for the rebuilding?" The bloggers are trying, but it is exhausting to do that in addition to rebuilding their own lives. Here is part of Morwen's "standard truth speech", read the rest here.

New Orleans and SE Louisiana were shattered by the hands of man and the needs of a Nation. That’s what happened on 8/29. (the shorthand is for those who can only remember tiny bits of data)


In all of the 200+ years you in the U.S. have “owned” us, we have never begged. We took care of things and kept going. We provided what was needed. (Many of my ancestors lie on the bottom of the oceans because they answered America’s call.)

We here in SE Louisiana have more than given our pound of flesh for this Nation, and it’s time to get a little bit of it back in order to rebuild our homeland. We have more than earned it. Otherwise… you have no idea of the Hell you will have to live in if we are gone from the scene or if we decide to leave your little confederation of states.

Think about it.

I’m Morwen Madrigal, and I must live to be 80 in order to pay the debt of repairing my home that was damaged for the Nation. I gave almost 10 years to this country in service, and am again saddled for another 30 years.

What have you given to America?

Morwen's question makes me think, it might make you think too, read the whole thing here.

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

If Right-wing Talk Radio Hosts Were Alive in 1776

After reading I wondered what the talk radio hosts of the day would be saying about the founding fathers and their comments about the king?

"King George is the kind of guy you can have an ale with!"

"With this "Declaration of Independence" (a fancy name for treasonous whining if you ask me), Hancock and his ilk will be forcing the King to send more of his troops HERE. If these whiners don't like the rules they should go to England and fight them there instead of bringing the battle here! Hancock's actions will embolden the King's troops! Hancock is the wealthiest man in New England. Hancock Manor, with it's massive brownstone walls, made out of imported granite sits in the snootiest spot on the top of Beacon Hill. Yet he pretends to care about the good of all the people? Balderdash!

"Did you notice that fancy signature that HandCOCK made? I'm not saying he is light in his buckled boots buttttt...

Has anyone noticed what an expensive wig he has? The fancy gold braid on his coat? How snugly his breeches fit? Put it all together folks. Expensive wig, tight breeches, flamboyant handwriting? I'm just saying..."

If Right-wing Talk Radio Hosts Were Alive in 1776

After reading I wonder what the talk radio hosts of the day would be saying about the founding fathers and their comments about the king?

"King George is the kind of guy you can have an ale with!"

"With this "Declaration of Independence" (a fancy name for treasonous whining if you ask me), Hancock and his ilk will be forcing the King to send more of his troops HERE. If these whiners don't like the rules they should go to England and fight them there instead of bringing the battle here! Hancock's actions will embolden the King's troops! Hancock is the wealthiest man in New England. Hancock Manor, with it's massive brownstone walls, made out of imported granite sits in the snootiest spot on the top of Beacon Hill. Yet he pretends to care about the good of all the people? Balderdash!

"Did you notice that fancy signature that HandCOCK made? I'm not saying he is light in his buckled boots buttttt... Has anyone noticed what an expensive wig he has? The fancy gold braid on his coat? How snugly his breeches fit? Put it all together folks. Expensive wig, tight breeches, flamboyant handwriting? I'm just saying..."

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Bush and Cheney. Time to Resign.

You know that great scene in the movie Independance Day, where Bill Pullman (playing the president we wanted for a crisis vs. the the one we have now) gives this great speech:
We are fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: "We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight!" We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!

Did that scene send shivers down your spine? It did me.

Watch this video of Keith Olbermann calling for Bush and Cheney to resign.

See if you don't get shivers during the end.

And here is a fun fact for you folks in radioland:
Melanie Morgan's mom really really likes Keith Olbermann.
Lee Rodgers likes to say he has more people locked in his bathroom than watch Keith Olbermann's show. To which I have two comments.
  1. Someone should contact the police in Rodger's city and have them check out his bathroom. (Rodgers doesn't live in the Bay Area, he really DOES "phone it in" every day.)
  2. Jealous much?

Monday, July 02, 2007

Even Paris Hilton Went to Jail

From my clever friend dave™©

Buy it for your hybrid. Buy a couple and give 'em to your friends.

Lizard Brains and the Slaughter of Innocents

Echidne of the Snakes discusses the wingnut response to the events in Great Britain this weekend here and especially how quickly the people in the comments section move to advocate wholesale killings of large numbers of Muslims. I often would like to ask these people what their personal religion has to say about killing large numbers of people.

In the land of unthinking fear. I read the comments section of this post tonight. It is worth wading through, despite the nastiness of doing so, because it tells much about the reasons for the wingnut behavior and how well the terrorists' policies are working. Note how many of the comments advocate wholesale killings of large numbers of Muslims? Note how many explain that liberals, progressives and others with similar views are the real enemies, because they don't allow this mass killing to defend "our values"? That those values appear to include the slaughter of yet more innocents doesn't seem to be noticed. When you read the comments remember that the three recent attacks killed exactly zero people (unless the terrorist who was hospitalized died).

It was helpful for me psychologically to read those comments, though also upsetting. Mostly, because the impact of these (pretty clumsy) U.K. attacks in the U.S. seems to be exactly what bin Laden would desire: fear is growing and so is the desire to start a world war against Islam. If you read about bin Laden's plans you will find out that this is exactly what he intends. He wants to unite the Muslim countries into one unit which will fight the west, and he wants to destroy the open societies of the west. Well, the open societies are closing pretty rapidly already.

But the strongest impression I got from those comments was how they were written from the lizard brain, with the exception of a few reasoned ones. The lizard brain is my term for the times when we act out of some very primal emotion: hate or fear or lust, and when we send the logical part of the brain out drinking. The lizard brain hates liberals, too, because liberals don't write about these topics from the lizard brain. Or most of them don't.
Read the whole piece here

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Happy Canada Day!

Is Canadaphile a real word? If it is, I am one. I like to acknowledge the wonderfulness of the country to our north (unless you live in Alaska). I could probably write an ode to why I like Canada and so many Canadians, but I'm having a bit of bloggers block these days.

But I will mention two great things about Canada.

1) Interrobang We found each other on the Internets and she embodies so many wonderful values and intelligent view points that I'm proud to call her my "Canadian friend" (as well as just my friend.)

2) Canada's laws are not the same as America's laws. They are their OWN country, and they don't just follow the United State's lead on everything! Thank goodness for that! I know that some people think that Canadians are just "Americans who end sentences with an 'eh" but they are not.

As this Bush administration has proceeded to discard centuries of legal precedence and create a class of people that have no rights, I'm grateful that Canada stands on its own. They are staying truer to the ideals of America's founding fathers than we are.

How did Robin Williams put it?

I pledge allegiance
to the flag of the United States of America
and to the republic
for which it stands
one nation
under Canada
with liberty and
justice for all.