Monday, October 31, 2005
Nordic countries top list
The United States dropped by more than 20 places to 44th place in the Reporters Without Borders fourth annual World Press Freedom Index, while Poland also dropped more than twenty spots to tie for 53rd place, behind such notables as Bulgaria and Mozambique. This should come as no surprise to both countries, the US government in the Bush era has led an attack on alleged liberal bias in the media while mostly cutting off a free flow of information from the White House. Polish courts on the other hand have ordered reporters to be jailed for such actions as libeling local officials. Once again leading the pack were the Nordic countries, which is no surprise. Now I'd like to see Bush meet with Putin again and have him lecture how a free press is important. BTW, Russia is ranked 138th, just behind the United States of America in Iraq!
1 Denmark - Finland - Iceland - Ireland - Netherlands - Norway - Switzerland
9 Czech Republic - Slovenia
12 Hungary - New Zealand - Sweden - Trinidad and Tobago
16 Austria - Latvia
18 Belgium - Germany - Greece
21 Canada - Lithuania
24 United Kingdom
25 Benin - Cyprus - Namibia
28 El Salvador
29 Cape Verde
31 Australia - South Africa
33 Bosnia and Herzegovina
34 Jamaica - Mauritius - South Korea
37 Japan - Mali
40 Spain 41 Costa Rica 42 Italy 43 Macedonia 44 United States of America (American territory) 45 Bolivia 46 Uruguay 47 Israel 48 Bulgaria 49 Mozambique 50 Chile
51 Dominican Republic - Taiwan
53 Cyprus (North) - Mongolia - Poland
56 Croatia 57 Niger
60 Botswana - Fiji
63 Brazil - Tonga
65 Serbia and Montenegro
66 Ghana - Panama
68 Nicaragua 69 Paraguay 70 Romania
71 Congo - Guinea-Bissau - Seychelles
74 Moldova - Tanzania
76 Angola - Honduras
78 Burkina Faso - Senegal
80 Uganda 81 Lesotho 82 Central African Republic
83 Cameroon - Liberia
85 Kuwait 86 Guatemala 87 Ecuador 88 Comoros 89 Malawi
90 Burundi - Cambodia - Qatar - Venezuela - Zambia
95 Togo 96 Jordan 97 Madagascar 98 Turkey 99 Georgia
100 Kosovo - United Arab Emirates
102 Armenia - Gabon - Guinea - Indonesia
106 India 107 Thailand 108 Lebanon
109 Chad - Kenya
111 Kyrgyzstan 112 Ukraine
113 Malaysia - Tajikistan
115 Sri Lanka 116 Peru 117 Haiti 118 Swaziland
119 Kazakhstan - Morocco
121 Djibouti 122 Rwanda
123 Bahrein - Nigeria
125 Afghanistan 126 Sierra Leone 127 Mauritania 128 Colombia 129 Algeria 130 Gambia 131 Ethiopia 132 Palestinian Authority 133 Equatorial Guinea - Sudan 135 Mexico 136 Yemen 137 United States of America (in Iraq) 138 Russia 139 Philippines 140 Singapore 141 Azerbaijan 142 Bhutan 143 Egypt 144 Côte d’Ivoire 145 Syria 146 Democratic Republic of Congo 147 Tunisia 148 Maldives 149 Somalia 150 Pakistan 151 Bangladesh 152 Belarus 153 Zimbabwe 154 Saudi Arabia
155 Laos - Uzbekistan
157 Iraq 158 Vietnam 159 China 160 Nepal 161 Cuba 162 Libya 163 Burma 164 Iran 165 Turkmenistan 166 Eritrea 167 North Korea
Friday, October 28, 2005
It looks like Fitzmas will become Fitznukah, since "Scooter" Libby has been indicted (perjury! Obstruction of justice!) and with more indictments to come in the next week. Instead, I propose we all celebrate Fitztevus! The holiday for the rest-of-us. It is, after all, the most appropriate holiday, because it includes the famous Airing of Grievances. Unlike Fitzmas or Fitnukah, Fitztevus can include our Republican friends, who can air grievances like "you're always so damn right!" I would gladly sit Libby, Cheney and Rove at the table, and after all the grievances were aired I would gladly challenge Cheney to a Feat of Strength so that Fitztevus could appropriately end with a Cheney coronary thrombosis.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Fitzmas will soon be upon us, and the right wing blogosphere is up in arms over the comments of Al Franken, who on the the Late Show with David Letterman said that Karl Rove and "Scooter" Libby will likely be executed because they committed treason. Al then reiterated his statements to Matt Lauer on the Today Show:
"Oh they, they'll be indicted. I, I am absolutely sure and this is about, of course, the war in Iraq really. It's about the justification for the war and smearing Joe Wilson by outing his wife who's a CIA agent. George H.W. Bush, the President's father, said, as, when he was head of the CIA, that outing a CIA agent is treason. I, I agree. So I think that Rove and Libby will be executed."On the Letterman show Franken also said:
"I don't know how I feel about it [execution] because I'm basically against the death penalty, but they are going to be executed it looks like."The right wingers obviously cannot take a joke, but what they are really up in arms about, and what they perceive is the hypocrisy of the media, is how can members of the media attack Pat Robertson for saying that the US should "take out" Hugo Chavez, and then laugh when Franken says Rove and Libby should be executed? Clearly these conservatives never took logic and critical thinking courses in college, if they had they would have voted for Kerry, and that is the proof in the pudding, but I digress. Let me explain to these idiots (can't think of a better word) the difference, Pat Robertson was calling for the assassinationn of a freely elected head of state because the US doesn't agree with his (disastrous) policies. Al Franken on the other hand was simply pointing out that the law that might have been broken was signed into law by George H. W. Bush, and Bush Sr. stated that outing a CIA agent is treason. Treason is punishable by death under US law, as John Conn learned back in Texas in 1862 (hasn't happened since, and how eerily appropriate). So to set the record straight, Franken was not calling for the assassination of Rove or Libby, he was being funny, and he was spot on.
Al Franken really is a genius, he knew this would get headlines, and his new book The Truth ~with jokes~ has been hovering between #2 and #3 on Amazon.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
As reported by Gustav at Warsaw Station, the coalition between the wacky rightwing euro skeptic nuts in the Prawo i Sprawiedliwosc party and the western leaning Platforma Obywatelska reformers has apparently fallen apart. While Gustav indicates that this means that the situation has obviously gone from bad to worse, I, being the eternal optimist, think this is actually a good thing; let PiS fall on its face all by itself. This way PO will have the credibility to actually win outright during the next election, after what will surely be a governmental debacle for the next few years to come.
I also think we'll have a lot of funny moments involving the new Vice-Speaker Andrzej Lepper. How better to lose any credibility with voters then to put a joker like Lepper in a position of, at least implied, power. I always hate to bring up the bogeyman of politics, but I have to remind everyone of how everybody's favorite despotic madman, Adolf Hitler, came to power. Kurt von Schleicher wanted to be Chancellor of Germany, he looked at the Nazi party as a fringe group that could help him get his coveted position. "Schleicher hoped to attain a majority in the Reichstag by forming a so-called Querfront, meaning 'cross-front,' whereby he would unify Germany's fractious special interests around a non-parliamentary, authoritarian but participatory regime."1 We all know what happened next, yada, yada, yada. Clearly I don't think Lepper will be the next Hitler (I am aware of my hypocrisy with using Hitler in the political sphere, as is well documented here, and can be seen watching this clip from the Daily Show with Jon Stewart), but I think every politician should know that even though he thinks that he's smarter then the wacko he wants to take advantage of, he really might be opening a pandora's box by giving the wacko legitimacy.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
These famous words were uttered by Napoleon himself, and they mean "Drink, but drink like the Poles". Napoleon was referring to how the Polish legions in his army were able to get hammered, but then be ready bright and early the next morning to march (or fight). I picked up this little tidbit in 1999 while I was in St. Etienne north of Paris. During this time I was traveling through Europe with my college roommate Chris and on this particular night a nice enough Parisian had taken us off the beaten path to this little rock'n'roll bar, and he proceeded to buy us rounds of Wyborowa and Żubrówka shots. We of course spoke little to no French, the Parisian fellow didn't speak much English, but we did learn to say "buvez comme les Polonais". This was back in 1999. I mention this because I had a friend email me a picture of A.J. Pierzynski recently drinking it up at a bar. A.J. is a catcher for the Chicago White Sox, and he always comes ready to play. I know he's undoubtedly Polish at heart because he is just way to controversial not to be. For those worried that maybe he shouldn't be downing shots of Belvedere vodka the night before a game, just remember what Napoleon told his troops.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Boy I just keep getting slapped around politically. It started with Bush winning in 2000, it continued with Bush repeating in 2004, and now we have the Duck winning in Poland in 2005. The Duck of course is a Kaczynski brother, don't ask me which one, I could care less, both are about as intellectually stimulating as our very own Dubya. In fact the Kaczynski clones are Dubya-type Poles, religious conservatives who don't understand sound economic principles.
I warned everyone about Bush in 1999, but I'm telling you VERY few people really thought he would be as reckless and corrupt as he is. I knew he would be, but of course everyone thought I was overreacting, the most annoying argument was that of Nader voters who claimed Gore and Bush were basically the same thing. Told you so! But I digress, with the Duck as President of Poland I don't have the same dread, it is a representative role after all, and most of my dread came when PiS won the parliamentary elections. This is more disappointment at my fellow countrymen, who once again are getting hoodwinked by religion posing in politics.
As for that representative role, it's a little to bad that the Duck resembles a troll, but I guess Poles wanted an ugly leader after having the good looks of Kwasniewski for so long. The bright side of all this is that the other Duck clone probably won't become the premier, it would be a little confusing for people like me. Yet you never know.
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Freddy Adu is a little, whiny biatch
I was thinking of going to the Chicago Fire playoff game against DC United yesterday, am I glad I didn't! 0-0 draw, which of course was marred by terrible officiating (for those that want to, you can watch MLS games live on the net for free through Mlsnet.com). The big story was of course that soccer phenom Freddy Adu watched the game in street clothes from a skybox. Why was Freddy not playing? Because he bitched like a little primadona about not getting enough playing time, and he thinks that is why he likely won't take part in the 2006 World Cup, I believe he said "I'm screwed". Let me give you a little advice Freddy, to start with you have been averaging 60 minutes a game, and you have played in every game you were available for this season. On top of that, you're not as good as the guys actually starting ahead of you. When you start, you take a better players spot. See, if you were better you would have shown it the way all better young players have in the past, such as Michael Owen or Wayne Rooney. Owen and Rooney lit up the league when they came on as subs and they quickly got starts because they were better. You're not better, yet. Yes, your goal of the week was pretty cool, but that was because of the artificial turf, and you've scored a whopping four this season. Score ten coming on as a sub and I guarantee you that you'll start every game. Now stop your bitching.
Monday, October 17, 2005
This is a little weird, because this morning when I woke up I was SURE Harriet Miers had pulled herself out of the running as a Supreme Court nominee. This can only mean one of two things 1) I have really lame dreams or 2) I can forsee the future! So let's see what happens, because if I did dream it, and it happens, then I'll be a little freaked out about the whole thing. I'll also pay more attention to the lotto numbers that dance in front of my eyes at night. Oh, and congrats to the White Sox, I picked them in six, they won in five. I'm a Cubs fan, but if the White Sox win and actually draw some fair weather fans which have been flooding the gates of Wrigler, then we might have a real rivalry in Chicago.
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
"and go fuck yourself!!!!!" said my wife. Jokingly of course, she says it all the time. Can David Gray rock out? I mean it's
It's a free ride when you've already paid", that would be uncool, and you would be a pussy, and it wouldn't be okay. David Gray is a guy though, so we get more freedom with that. Plus, he was rocking on Babylon, really. After the show I asked my wife who she thought was better in concert, Knopfler who we had just seen recently, or David Gray, she scoffed at me and said "Knopfler of course, no comparison", and then she added "now go fuck yourself!"
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
This little pimple faced thug, who also happens to be the youngest member of the Polish parliament, is nothing more than a "dresowiec", a Polish wannabe gangster, or a hooligan. I got wind of this worthless piece of garbage from Beatroot, if ever someone needed a kick in his smug face it would be this asswipe. He was part of the egg and stone throwing counter-demonstrators to the Tolerance Parade in
I would ask that everyone spam and flame this twat, I got the following info from gaylife.pl which coincidentally has an article with a list of Polish homophobes (great idea BTW), Bosak made the list.
Sekretarz Młodzieży Wszechpolskiej
telephone: 0 508 101 026
Monday, October 10, 2005
Q: You stated that Cheney would get a staph infection, after getting everyones hopes up, it turns out he is ok.
A: Karma has decided to keep Cheney alive long enough to see Scooter Libby behind bars, after which he'll have a staph infection. Hey, I'm not the Karma police, that's how Karma wants it, that's how it'll be.
Q: Who hates Gays more, the American right wing politicians or the Polish right wing politicians?
A: This is an easy one! Polish politicos of course! American right wing wackos even have lesbian daughters (see Dick Cheney), American right wing wack jobs are all talk, trying to get the stupid vote, while the Polish right wing politicians really DO hate gays.
Q: Did legalizing gay marriage in Sweden destroy the rate at which couples got married in Sweden?
A: Stop watching that idiot O'Reilly, please, oh please, he REALLY, REALLY, REALLY is a complete fucking moron. And when did Sweden legalize gay marriage, wasn't it civil unions?
Q: Are you asking yourself these questions?
A: Who wants to know?
Q: You were SO RIGHT about Tatum Bell!
A: Damn straight.
Q: Where do you get your pictures?
A: I steal most of them, and rarely do I give anyone credit. So sue me! (Um, I'm just joking, don't sue me, just write me a nasty letter including cease and desist language)
Q: Where did you steal the image to the right?
A: http://www.coe.nitech.ac.jp/ and it's meant to suck!
Q: Whatever happened to the shoes in your hallway?
A: Gone! Except for like a pair, I don't get it, just keep ALL of your damn shoes in your place, is that so hard?
Q: Could a drunk Bush do any worse then a sober Bush?
A: See, it wasn't really a question, I was just trying to... oh forget it, the answer is no.
Q: Who wins this week, Poland or England? Sweden or Iceland? Angels or White Sox?
A: Poland 2:0, Sweden 3:0, White Sox in six.
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Once again the Norwegian Nobel committee has made it's choice, and this year it fell on the IAEA. Scandinavian media interprets the decision in their usual fashion: It's to be regarded as criticism towards the Bush administration. Perhaps they are right about the committee's intentions this time.
Without a doubt, the IAEA has an important mission as the supervisor of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty . But, are IAEA and Mohamed ElBaradei - as discussed every year - worthy of the prize? Sure, the IAEA has been working hard, but when faced with its greatest task ever - Iraq - it failed miserably. What will happen in Iran and North Korea is too early to say, but one thing is certain, IAEA has not succeeded. So, will this affect the US unilateralism on nuclear talks with Iran and North Korea? Nooooo... Is that the effect that the committee looking for? Yesssss...
Why do I find it funny that Karl Rove is of Norwegian descent?
Thursday, October 06, 2005
The Eagle has landed, Brandmeier back at
Several unreliable sources have confirmed that the Eagle has landed, I repeat, the Eagle HAS landed. An announcement is expected the week of
Brandmeier was the king of
UPDATE OCTOBER 7, 2005: According to a Robert Feder column appearing today in the Chicago Sun-Times, Brandmeier is slated to be back on the air on Oct. 27, 2005 as soon as he signs on the dotted line. The deal is indeed multi-year, spanning a little over three years. Feder also claims the announcement is to come "as early as Monday", which I nailed right on the head. It would appear that my sources got it pretty close on this one (three days off on the start date), so I now owe them a years supply of raccoon meat and headcheese, along with coto salami, and pig snouts.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Poland's Law and Justice party candidate for prime minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, in an interview appearing in the Polish edition of Newsweek magazine, responded to a question asking whether homosexuality should be denounced. "It is unnatural," he said. "The family is natural, and the state must stand guard over the family."
Oh great, we get a Polish political candidate talking about homosexuals. Did you know 39% of Poles still believe that Jews killed Christ? Yeah, that's right, not the Romans, the Jews. So it's not surprising that in this overtly Catholic nation you would have idiots saying what the potential premier said, but come on, I wish we wouldn't have a homophobe as Polands next prime minister. This sucks.
Monday, October 03, 2005
Finally we get a REAL Bush nominee, yey! The Roberts nomination made it seem like the guy may have an insy bit of respect for the US judicial system, but nominating someone who has never been a judge like Harriet Miers smells of the cesspool of cronyism and corruptness that we have all had to wade through since the beginning of Bush's reign of terror. All is right with the world afterall. This is great! I love it! I just didn't think Bush had the balls to do it, actually I did think he had the balls to do it, I just didn't know whether he had the evil of the "evildoers" to do it. Now I know, all is right with the world again, we can go to bed feeling we're run by an incompetent dunce again.