g r o t t o 1 1

Peeve Farm
Breeding peeves for show, not just to keep as pets
Brian Tiemann
Silicon ValleyNew York-based purveyor of a confusing mixture of Apple punditry, political bile, and sports car rentals.

btman at grotto11 dot com

Read These Too:

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James Lileks
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As the Apple Turns
Entropicana
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Capitalist Lion
Red Letter Day
Eric S. Raymond
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Aziz Poonawalla
Corsair the Rational Pirate
.clue
Ravishing Light
Rosenblog
Cartago Delenda Est



Cars without compromise.





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 3/28/2005 -   4/3/2005
 3/21/2005 -  3/27/2005
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12/27/2004 -   1/2/2004
12/20/2004 - 12/26/2004
12/13/2004 - 12/19/2004
 12/6/2004 - 12/12/2004
11/29/2004 -  12/5/2004
11/22/2004 - 11/28/2004
11/15/2004 - 11/21/2004
 11/8/2004 - 11/14/2004
 11/1/2004 -  11/7/2004
10/25/2004 - 10/31/2004
10/18/2004 - 10/24/2004
10/11/2004 - 10/17/2004
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 4/19/2004 -  4/25/2004
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 3/15/2004 -  3/21/2004
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 2/23/2004 -  2/29/2004
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 1/26/2004 -   2/1/2004
 1/19/2004 -  1/25/2004
 1/12/2004 -  1/18/2004
  1/5/2004 -  1/11/2004
12/29/2003 -   1/4/2004
12/22/2003 - 12/28/2003
12/15/2003 - 12/21/2003
 12/8/2003 - 12/14/2003
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11/24/2003 - 11/30/2003
11/17/2003 - 11/23/2003
11/10/2003 - 11/16/2003
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10/27/2003 -  11/2/2003
10/20/2003 - 10/26/2003
10/13/2003 - 10/19/2003
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 9/22/2003 -  9/28/2003
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 8/18/2003 -  8/24/2003
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 7/28/2003 -   8/3/2003
 7/21/2003 -  7/27/2003
 7/14/2003 -  7/20/2003
  7/7/2003 -  7/13/2003
 6/30/2003 -   7/6/2003
 6/23/2003 -  6/29/2003
 6/16/2003 -  6/22/2003
  6/9/2003 -  6/15/2003
  6/2/2003 -   6/8/2003
 5/26/2003 -   6/1/2003
 5/19/2003 -  5/25/2003
 5/12/2003 -  5/18/2003
  5/5/2003 -  5/11/2003
 4/28/2003 -   5/4/2003
 4/21/2003 -  4/27/2003
 4/14/2003 -  4/20/2003
  4/7/2003 -  4/13/2003
 3/31/2003 -   4/6/2003
 3/24/2003 -  3/30/2003
 3/17/2003 -  3/23/2003
 3/10/2003 -  3/16/2003
  3/3/2003 -   3/9/2003
 2/24/2003 -   3/2/2003
 2/17/2003 -  2/23/2003
 2/10/2003 -  2/16/2003
  2/3/2003 -   2/9/2003
 1/27/2003 -   2/2/2003
 1/20/2003 -  1/26/2003
 1/13/2003 -  1/19/2003
  1/6/2003 -  1/12/2003
12/30/2002 -   1/5/2003
12/23/2002 - 12/29/2002
12/16/2002 - 12/22/2002
 12/9/2002 - 12/15/2002
 12/2/2002 -  12/8/2002
11/25/2002 -  12/1/2002
11/18/2002 - 11/24/2002
11/11/2002 - 11/17/2002
 11/4/2002 - 11/10/2002
10/28/2002 -  11/3/2002
10/21/2002 - 10/27/2002
10/14/2002 - 10/20/2002
 10/7/2002 - 10/13/2002
 9/30/2002 -  10/6/2002
 9/23/2002 -  9/29/2002
 9/16/2002 -  9/22/2002
  9/9/2002 -  9/15/2002
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 8/26/2002 -   9/1/2002
 8/19/2002 -  8/25/2002
 8/12/2002 -  8/18/2002
  8/5/2002 -  8/11/2002
 7/29/2002 -   8/4/2002
 7/22/2002 -  7/28/2002
 7/15/2002 -  7/21/2002
  7/8/2002 -  7/14/2002
  7/1/2002 -   7/7/2002
 6/24/2002 -  6/30/2002
 6/17/2002 -  6/23/2002
 6/10/2002 -  6/16/2002
  6/3/2002 -   6/9/2002
 5/27/2002 -   6/2/2002
 5/20/2002 -  5/26/2002
 5/13/2002 -  5/19/2002
  5/6/2002 -  5/12/2002
 4/29/2002 -   5/5/2002
 4/22/2002 -  4/28/2002
 4/15/2002 -  4/21/2002
  4/8/2002 -  4/14/2002
  4/1/2002 -   4/7/2002
 3/25/2002 -  3/31/2002
 3/18/2002 -  3/24/2002
 3/11/2002 -  3/17/2002
  3/4/2002 -  3/10/2002
 2/25/2002 -   3/3/2002
 2/18/2002 -  2/24/2002
 2/11/2002 -  2/17/2002
  2/4/2002 -  2/10/2002
 1/28/2002 -   2/3/2002
 1/21/2002 -  1/27/2002
 1/14/2002 -  1/20/2002
  1/7/2002 -  1/13/2002
12/31/2001 -   1/6/2002
12/24/2001 - 12/30/2001
12/17/2001 - 12/23/2001
Friday, October 10, 2003
13:42 - This can't be right
http://www.cpa-iraq.org/transcripts/20031009_Oct-09Bremerpresscon.htm

(top)
Via Balloon Juice-- a stark look at the terrible cost of the quagmire in Iraq.

I can't quote. I'll just copy the whole thing. The wider this can spread, the better.

L. Paul Bremer

Coalition Provisional Authority Administrator

Opening Remarks

Press Conference 9 October 2003

Six months ago today Coalition Forces liberated Baghdad.  I am sure that many of you were as thrilled as I was to see Saddam’s statue and his regime fall.

Most, but not all, of what has happened since then is good.

The Coalition has completed over 13,000 reconstruction projects, large and small, as part of our strategic plan for the reconstruction of Iraq.  That plan has four elements:

·      Create a Secure Environment.
·      Begin Restoration of Essential Services.
·      Begin to Transform the Economy.
·      Begin the Transformation to Democracy.

Before taking your questions I would like to review briefly some of the progress in each of these areas.

Create a Secure Environment.

Six months ago there were no police on duty in Iraq.

·      Today there are over 40,000 police on duty, nearly 7,000 here in Baghdad alone.

·      Last night Coalition Forces and Iraqi police conducted 1,731 joint patrols.

Six months ago those elements of Saddam’s military that had not been destroyed in combat had buried their airplanes and melted away.

·      Today the first battalion of the new Iraqi Army has graduated and is on active duty. 

·      Across the country over 60,000 Iraqis now provide security to their fellow citizens.

Six months ago there were no functioning courts in Iraq.

·      Today nearly all of Iraq’s 400 courts are functioning. 
·      Today, for the first time in over a generation, the Iraqi judiciary is fully independent.

As today’s events have made clear, much remains to be done to establish an acceptable security environment.  Even so, things have improved enough to ease the curfew in Baghdad to only four hours.

Begin Restoration of Essential Services.

Six months ago the entire country could generate a bare 300 megawatts of electricity.

·      On Monday, October 6 power generation hit 4,518 megawatts—exceeding the pre-war average.

·      Please notice these photos of central Iraq:

o    The first was taken February 1, 2003.
o    The second was taken April 11.
o    The third was taken October 1.

·      If we get the funding the President has requested in his emergency budget, we expect to produce enough electricity for all Iraqis to have electrical service 24 hours daily—something essential to their hopes for the future.

Six months ago nearly all of Iraq’s schools were closed.

·      Today all 22 universities and 43 technical institutes and colleges are open, as are nearly all primary and secondary schools.

·      Many of you know that we announced our plan to rehabilitate one thousand schools by the time school started—well, by October 1 we had actually rehabbed over 1,500.

Six months ago teachers were paid as little as $5.33 per month.

·      Today teachers earn from 12 to 25 times their former salaries.

Six months ago the public health system was an empty shell.  During the 1990’s Saddam cut spending on public health by over 90 percent with predictable results for the lives of his citizens.

·      Today we have increased public health spending to over 26 times what it was under Saddam.

·      Today all 240 hospitals and more than 1200 clinics are open.

·      Today doctors’ salaries are at least eight times what they were under Saddam.

·      Pharmaceutical distribution has gone from essentially nothing to 700 tons in May to a current total of 12,000 tons.

·      Since liberation we have administered over 22 million vaccination doses to Iraq’s children.

Six months ago three-quarters of Iraq’s 27,000 kilometers of irrigation canals were weed-choked and barely functional.

·      Today a Coalition program has cleared over 14,000 kilometers of those canals.  They now irrigate tens of thousands of farms.  This project has created jobs for more than 100,000 Iraqi men and women.

Additionally, we have restored over three-quarters of pre-war telephone services and over two-thirds of the potable water production.

Before the war there were 4,500 Internet connections and important services, such as instant messaging were forbidden.

·      Today there are 4,900 full-service connections.
·      We expect 50,000 by January first.

Begin to Transform the Economy.

Six months ago Iraq’s economy was flat on its back.

·      Today anyone walking the streets can see the wheels of commerce turning.  From bicycles to satellite dishes to cars and trucks, businesses are coming to life in all major cities and towns.

Six months ago all banks were closed.

·      Today 95 percent of all pre-war bank customers have service and first-time customers are opening accounts daily.

·      Today Iraqi banks are making loans to finance businesses.

·      Today the central bank is fully independent.

·      Today Iraq has one of the world’s most growth-oriented investment and banking laws.

Six months ago Iraq had two currencies.

·      Next week Iraq will get a single, unified currency for the first time in 15 years.

Begin the Transformation to Democracy.

Six months ago there was no freedom of expression.  Satellite dishes were illegal.  Foreign journalists came on 10-day visas and paid mandatory and extortionate fees to the Ministry of Information for “minders” and other government spies. 

·      Today there is no Ministry of Information.

·      Today there are more than 170 newspapers.

·      Today you can buy satellite dishes on what seems like every street corner.

·      Today foreign journalists and everyone else are free to come and go.

Six months ago Iraq had not one single element—legislative, judicial or executive-- of a representative government.

·      Today in Baghdad alone residents have selected 88 advisory councils.  Baghdad’s first democratic transfer of power in 35 years happened when the city council elected its new chairman.

·      Today in Iraq chambers of commerce, business, school and professional organizations are electing their leaders all over the country.

·      Today 25 ministers, selected by the most representative governing body in Iraq’s history, run the day-to-day business of government.

·      Today the Iraqi government regularly participates in international events.  Since July the Iraqi government has been represented in over two dozen international meetings, including those of the UN General Assembly, the Arab League, the World Bank and IMF and, today, the Islamic Conference Summit.  The Ministry of Foreign Affairs today announced that it is reopening over 30 Iraqi embassies around the world.

Six months ago Shia religious festivals were all but banned.

·      Today, for the first time in 35 years, in Karbala thousands of Shiites celebrate the pilgrimage of the 12th Imam.

In six short months we have accomplished a lot.

We are also aware that the progress we have made is only a beginning.  A quarter century of negligence, cronyism and war mongering have devastated this country.  Such profound damage cannot be repaired overnight.

Bringing Iraq up to minimum self-sufficiency will require the full $20 billion the President has asked of Congress in his supplemental budget request. 

We are fighting terrorism here and we will continue to fight it until it no longer threatens the hopes of Iraqis, the hopes of the world.

The importance and urgency of this task was underscored for all of us today when terrorists car-bombed a police station and assassinated a Spanish diplomat.

As the President just said, “We will wage the war on terror until it is won.”

And as we all know, the penultimate paragraph nullifies all the rest of it. Remember, our involvement in Iraq is a dismal failure founded on lies and deception, and deeply contrary to American values.

And since the war's end, the only thing our millions of highly-trained babykilling amphetamine-freak warrior-cavemen have done is ride around in SUVs, raping local girls and making pregnant women eat depleted uranium and making fun of Muslims at prayer, when they're not being blown up by Iraqi Patriots dropping grenades from overpasses.

And Bush just wants that $87 billion so he can buy yachts in which to zoom around Umm Qasr.

Right?


09:44 - But ... he's from Aus... nnnnever mind
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/031008/80/eajkk.html

(top)
There's just something encouraging and heartwarming and no small bit silly about this.



Afghan children smile in front of a billboard featuring Hollywood action hero Arnold Schwarzenegger in Kabul on Wednesday. The man they know as "Arnold, the American man, the bodybuilder", was elected as the new governor of California. REUTERS/Rathavary Duong

Via Tim Blair.

Thursday, October 9, 2003
18:44 - Frank J. Quote of the Day
http://www.imao.us/archives/001036.html#001036

(top)
Tips to Ahnuld:

* I know you campaigned saying you're for gun control, but come on; you're Arnold. Liberalize laws on guns and then save money by cutting the police force in a program called "Shoot Your Own Damn Criminals".

Hee hee hee.


11:51 - O'really?

(top)
In between legs of a journey once again to Home Despot to pick up trifling little tidbits like MORE GIANT CREOSOTE-SOAKED RAILROAD TIES, which I sincerely hope is the last we'll ever have to see of these things, I heard the Fresh Air interview that aired last night with Bill O'Reilly. Bill walked out fifty minutes in, after telling Terry Gross in no uncertain terms that he thought her interviewing tactics were despicable and that he was being made the unfair victim of a hatchet job.

The audio stream is here. And it's worth a listen, because both O'Reilly (on his own show) and Terry proudly broadcast the interview, each thinking that it exonerated him/herself and made the other person look like a dunce or bitch (as the case may be). O'Reilly said, "I rather enjoyed telling her off; go listen to the archived interview on my own site and see what I mean"; but Terry actually used that quote in her packaging of the show, appealing to the "I'm the unbiased one! See? Look, I don't even use any adjectives in describing how the interview went!" contingent.

And I listened. I was interested in hearing exactly how the interview deteriorated.

The subject was nominally O'Reilly's book, Who's Looking Out For You?-- though it turned out to be more about Al Franken's book, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, which skewers O'Reilly. And the very first question that Terry led off with was, "Are you sorry you sued Al Franken?"

This was only the first in a long string of erroneous accusations that Terry leveled at him, and O'Reilly deflected them all with facts and personal statements of purpose. Now, I can see how some people might consider O'Reilly to be a pompous ass-- he says things like "I have three bestselling books, Terry," and unless you realize the context is that he's trying to explain that he doesn't want the Times reviewing them because he knows they'll only turn it into an excuse to attack him, it sounds rather high-handed. But by the time O'Reilly got to the point where he drew himself up to his full height and really told her off, it was clear (to me, at least) that he was entirely right in thinking that the interview had been very little but a long string of attacks that he was expected to fend off, hopefully saying something potentially embarrassing along the way "that they can print in Harper's Magazine". Terry's questioning consisted almost entirely of reading disparaging quotes against O'Reilly that other authors and reviewers had made, and then asking him: "So, is that a fair assessment?" It's like "Al Franken here calls you, and I quote: A snooty nutcase who's brainwashed into going lock-step with the party line and clubs baby seals. How do you respond to that?" Over and over and over. The only thing that wasn't along those lines was in the middle of the interview, where she asked him, in effect, So you're conservative, huh? How did you get that way? Did you have a bad childhood? Were you abused by your father? Is it maybe some kind of medical condition? Please explain to our listeners; I'm sure they really want to know.

O'Reilly seemed unaware of what Fresh Air is about. If he had, he might have been well aware of how "balanced" Terry's choice of guests and interview formats is. She had clearly not been as confrontational with Al Franken when she'd had him on a previous show, as O'Reilly charged in a surmise-- she admitted as much. And last week, when she hosted the guy from Americans For Tax Reform (who, incidentally, was erudite and genuinely pleasant and inspiring to listen to-- especially his bit about being a "Reagan Federalist", in the sense that he believes each State should have to compete for "customers"-- citizens-- by providing the best bang for the buck, or else they'll move to a different State), she listened to what he had to say with genuine and abject horror. When the guy explained how any kind of tax that divides people based on their income is sold to the public based on how many people are likely to be alarmed by it ("Don't worry-- it's not you that's being affected by this, it's them-- it's someone else"), it's based on the same kind of mentality that led to the Nazis' actions, Terry audibly blinked a few times, interrupted him, and said, "Did... did you just compare a progressive tax to the Holocaust?" And the guy had to explain it all over again-- he didn't backtrack or rethink what he was saying, but he had to drive it all home again to try to counter Terry's Godwin-esque attempt to drive her shiv into his credibility. It's a real shame that she didn't simply listen to what the guy was saying, and respond intelligently, rather than just using her unassuming and melodic voice to caress and massage and look for just the right chink in the guest's armor where she can zero in for the kill.

As for O'Reilly, I think he acquitted himself with dignity, though Terry did her best to damage-control her way out of it with matter-of-factness and making a big show of how unemotional she was in presenting The Facts. I think O'Reilly was plenty justified in feeling threatened and under attack by her questioning-- I know I wouldn't have enjoyed spending an hour countering disparaging remarks made against me by my rivals. I'm proud of Fresh Air for posting the transcript, because I do think it's more damning against Fresh Air than it is against O'Reilly.


11:24 - Sleep deprivation is a terrible thing

(top)
Refer to Savage Garden.

When alcohol and cholesterol are runnin' through your veins
And lawyers suing burger joints are poisoning my brain
Vegan food and whole-wheat pizza pushin' me too far
I've got to break away
So take my hand now
Cause I want to live like cannibals
Healthy and free, like cannibals
I want to live
I want to run through the jungle
For arms and the ribs and the eyes and the feet...

I've been having difficulties shopping at the store
Unexpected cravings always leave me wanting more
Cannibals are onto something, Stouffer's doesn't see
Which one eats a human?
Solves our problems, you and me

Nutrition in the jungle
Nutrition in your head, yeah
Would you like to make a run for it?
I would like to taste your hand, yeah

Cause I want to live like cannibals
Healthy and free, like cannibals
I want to live
I want to run through the jungle
For arms and the ribs and the eyes and the feet...

Sometimes a meal can get you down
It's so unhealthy
There's so many carcinogens
And I feel like
I'd sorta rather eat the cheeeeeeef
Aaaaahhhhhh
Aaaaahhhhhh...

When alcohol and cholesterol are runnin' through your veins
And lawyers suing burger joints are poisoning my brain
Cannibals are onto something, Stouffer's doesn't see
Which one eats a human?
Solves our problems, you and me

Nutrition in the jungle
Nutrition in your head, yeah
Would you like to make a run for it?
I would like to taste your hand, yeah

Cause I want to live like cannibals
Healthy and free, like cannibals
I want to live
I want to run through the jungle
For arms and the ribs and the eyes and the feet...

Thank you, thank you.

...What?

UPDATE: Let's get the revolution started, then. I'm hungry.

Wednesday, October 8, 2003
09:22 - I'm sure that doesn't count as gloating...

(top)
Greg Kihn is on a roll these days.

...And the shining star of democracy rises into the sky like a lawn chair attached to a weather balloon... making navigation difficult for slow-moving blimps. Let the new age dawn for California! And I say, two cars in every garage! Two chickens in every pot! ... And free pot for every chicken!

I think he just makes it up as he goes along.

Tuesday, October 7, 2003
01:30 - Let the "Recall Arnold" petitions fly
http://www.ejectejecteject.com/archives/000067.html

(top)
For the most satisfying response to today's events that I've yet found, I'm going to recommend (surprise) Bill Whittle.

The day will come when we will lose a big election. On that day, we should say that we lost because we failed – we failed to articulate our message, we failed because we ran corrupt and uninspiring candidates, we failed because we didn’t listen to the wisdom of the electorate – we failed because we thought four or five political hacks in a campaign room somewhere knew what was better for the nation or the state than the millions and millions of people who actually live and work in it. And on that day, we should pledge to do better, to try harder to get the message across, and most importantly, to listen to what the people are saying. And we should accept that loss, congratulate the winners, accept defeat with grace and dignity – like adults -- and then look under the hood with a very cold and unemotional eye, fix the mistakes, and get a better product out there. This would mean giving up the infantile pleasures of moaning and crying about the Lost Cause. But that is what you have to do in order to win. And with stakes this high, winning matters. It matters.

Yes. And I intend to treat this election's results as the dignified and meaningful expression of our two-century-old institution that it is, and ponder the deep significance of declining opposition poll numbers and the democratic implications of mid-term special elections and the phenomenon of actor governors and the realism of expectations for the remainder of the current term and the cautious eye we'll have to keep on ourselves to make sure we hold Arnold to the same standard that we'd hold anybody...

...Tomorrow.

Tonight, I'm simply going to go to bed happy.

I guess it's all to the good that my iPod has finally croaked its last, and no longer stays mounted long enough for me to boot the iMac and do screenshots before it resets itself repeatedly and endlessly. Tomorrow I buy an external pocket drive. And tonight I lie on a couch and smugly reload those poll numbers.

I'll be back to my analytical and dispassionate self in the morning.

(Hyeah.)


20:09 - Insane! Insane, I tells ya!

(top)
So I register my G5 with Apple. And they send me an e-mail that says, "Hey! Thanks for registering. As a thank-you, how about we give you a year's free subscription to MacWorld?"

Eh. Whatever, y'know? I can't even really get too excited about MacAddict these days; I haven't read MacWorld in an awfully long time. And whoopty-doo, a half-year's subscription and stuff. And there was much rejoicing; little flags wave.

The e-mail sits in my inbox for like two weeks. Finally, today, while I wait for the recall results to be announced (Heh-- CNN reports results of 0% for every candidate, for the recall, and against the recall), I pop it open and read what it actually says.

You may choose to receive your free issues of Macworld in the exciting NEW digital format OR the traditional print format. By choosing digital, you can receive your first issue of Macworld instantly - no waiting for it to arrive in the mail. It's the same great magazine delivered directly to your Mac with powerful and interactive features.

Digital format? Hmm. You mean, like, a web page? Or maybe a PDF?

What the hell. I go click on the linky thing. I fill out the little form. I select the digital option. It downloads something called the "Zinio Reader", which is an app that automatically downloads these packaged digital magazines on a regular basis and lets me read them offline. Mm'kay; with ya so far.

Up pops the November issue of MacWorld.



Hmm.

Looks like a PDF. Gee-whillikers. I can click to zoom in, and click again to soom out. Yaaay.

How do I turn the page? No little arrows in the toolbar.

Wait.

<clicks on the right margin, because it seems intuitive to do so>



Aaaaaahh!

Wait! Do that again!



The page-turning effect takes less than half a second. It goes ZIP. And it's totally smoothly mapped onto this weird curved surface.

Is that bloody gratuitous or what?

Phew. <flip> <flip>

Okay, get that thing outta my face. Hide the app. There's my web browser.

CNN: NO on recall, by 52-47%? You gotta be kidding me...

UPDATE: Wait, no. 53-45% in favor.

UPDATE: No! 52-47%! Dang it! They keep changing their mind. How can they not know all the results ten minutes after the polls close?! Blaahh!



09:41 - Representing the human vote

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Greg Kihn with ongoing recall election coverage:

Green Party candidate Peter Camejo getting strong support from the waterfowl and rodent population... waterfowl and rodents, of course, having gotten the vote after Gray Davis signed the "Every Species Gets a Vote" bill, secretly, last week...

I gotta get to the polls. Damn waterfowl!

Monday, October 6, 2003
10:05 - Dirty dancing can be dangerous
http://www.ljworld.com/section/schools/story/145633

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"No, Freddy! Haven't you heard about the new dance policy? That's not acceptable here!"



I don't know if I should give these people points for creativity and gamely attempted humor, or points for inadvertent train-wreck quality.

Either way, it's in Lawrence, Kansas, Mike...

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© Brian Tiemann