Notes From Atlanta

Monday, June 30, 2003

Rush Limbaughtomy.

Barry has entered the Truth Laid Bear weblog contest. Go check out his entry and his blog. Beware, he has some nasty photos of Ann Coulter. Well, all her photos are nasty. 


Uhh oh!

AJC: Mike Luckovich.

Luckovich nails it! 


I Hate Republicans.

Eric Blumrich: I Hate Republicans.

Flash video. It is very funny and sadly truthful.

Everybody sing: "I hate Republicans....." 


A great John Mellencamp interview in Salon.

Salon: Ain't that America?
(Subscription required, or you'll need to do the daypass deal.)

The money quotes:

I did an interview two weeks ago for Fox News. They invited me to come on their national news show and talk about "Trouble No More." And I thought, well wait a minute, am I going to have to go on TV and argue with somebody and defend myself? That's not my job. I'm a singer, a songwriter, I'm not going to go on TV and debate and all that bullshit.

They said, "No, no, no. This is strictly about the record." So I said OK. So I go in there and they ask me a few questions about the record. Then all of a sudden the guy says to me, "You wrote a song that took some potshots at the president." I said, "Whoa, motherfucker! I didn't take any potshots at anybody, that's not my style. I'm not yelling from the back of the crowd or giving somebody the finger. That's not what I do." I said, "Listen, I wrote a song and got the lyrics out of any newspaper in the country." He said, "Well, you saw what happened to the Dixie Chicks." I said, "Listen, people have died in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam and a bunch of little wars in between so that people will have the freedom to speak out, and then the administration gets on the news and says there's a price for freedom. Yeah, and these dead guys have already paid for it. For people to drive by those women's houses [the Dixie Chicks] and call them on the phone and threaten them is criminal. What the Dixie Chicks did was legal."

On being Republican:

And I don't understand, in this day and age -- most people who are Republicans, they're not rich enough to be Republicans! I don't get it. My best friend is a Republican. He and I vowed a couple months ago never to talk about politics again. He's just a normal guy with a normal job and I've known him since I was 5 years old. But I just said to him, "Man, you don't have enough money to be a Republican. How can you afford this?"

Go read it now. 

Sunday, June 29, 2003

More NASCAR fans inside the perimeter than previously thought.

AJC: Increasingly, NASCAR is a perfect sports vehicle for gay fans.

Meet Betty Jack DeVine -- Atlantan, NASCAR fan, drag queen.

And the best way to get to know her, rather him, is on his Web site:

Unlike the rantings of most sports bloggers, DeVine entertains with snappy "track yack" sprinkled with the irreverence of a Southern diva.

He is all about getting out to the track, not about outing anyone in the infield.

He pens this on the welcome page about the drivers: " 'Are they gay?' . . . Not that I know of -- and who cares, anyway? All I know is these hot rod hotties are all bad sexy and wicked fast."


Statistically, DeVine, who works in corporate communications, fits this profile of a typical NASCAR fan: a male homeowner over age 35, with a household income over $30,000 and a full-time, professional job.

But when one of DeVine's favorite drivers wins, the scene in front of DeVine's TV is probably a little different than in most stock car fans' living rooms. When Jamie McMurray won last fall, "We were hollering and crying like Cher was winning another Oscar," DeVine recalled.

I really like that last line. Lets repeat it:

....When Jamie McMurray won last fall, "We were hollering and crying like Cher was winning another Oscar," DeVine recalled.

Friday, June 27, 2003

Letter posted at Dean's Blog for America.

Blog for America: Letter from SZ.

Dear Dr. Dean:

I know this isn't exactly on topic, but I need a place to put this.

My friend died today.

My best friend, Lance Corporal Gregory MacDonald of the United States Marine Corp died in Iraq when his vehicle overturned while rushing to aid a group of fellow Marines who were being ambushed.

I met Greg when we were both in graduate school at American University. He was studying Arabic and Near East affairs with a focus on the Palestian-Israeli conflict and Iraq.

During the entire build-up to the war in Iraq, Greg argued forcefully and logically that the case being outlined was false and not consistent with any expert opinion on the subject. He was also a man in the finest tradition the USMC has ever produced, and when called to serve with his Recon unit (one of the most dangerous positions, even for the USMC), he did not hesitate to answer the call of duty.

As a final act defiance before setting out to fight a war he knew was wrong, Greg was interviewed on the radio explaining why the President had not made his case for war. He did the interview on condition of anonymity because he did not want his fellow Marines to think he wasn't 100 percent committed to their mission.

Dr. Dean, we need you more than ever. Something is wrong with this country when our best warrior-philosophers are thrown into the cauldren of Iraq by a President who went AWOL from national guard duty. Something is wrong with this country when an actual expert on the subject of Iraq is sent to war by a cynical, unscupulous Vice President who had "other priorities" when it came his turn to serve.

I'm tired of the chickenhawks who lie while our best men pay the consequences.

Greg told me many times that he would support any candidate who stood up forcefully against this war because it was wrong and was not sold on evidence, but lies and ideology.

Greg would have supported you, Dr. Dean.

And I support you Dr. Dean, because I can think of no other way to better honor the memory of a man ten times greater than our President, even when he plays dress-up in a flight suit - unintentially mocking those who fought and died in uniform.

Thank you



It appears more people picked Lester Maddox than Strom Thurmond. The 2003 Lee Atwater Invitational Dead Pool.

Looking at the leader board, it looks like Maddox was a high choice. Gregory Peck and Johnny Paycheck were popular choices also. I don't see Maynard Jackson at all. Jesse Helms is a popular choice, that may just be wishful thinking. Nobody must have believed that Bush was goin to get Saddam or Osama, I don't see them at all.

Sadly, Warren Zevon seems to have been a very popular choice. He is hanging in, and recently became a grandfather of twin boys. I hope he makes it long enough that nobody gets points on him this year. 


What were you saying?

AJC: Stoned rats have shorter attention span.

What, huh? What were you talking about? Oh yeah! Huh?

I could have told them this, and then they wouldn't have had a bunch of rats wanting Cheetos. 


Ellen Goodman on WMD

AJC: Don't we care if we were conned into conflict?

I have had trouble believing there are no WMDs, and we may find evidence more compelling than a couple of broken-down trailers dubbed as mobile labs. But we haven't found the "thousands of tons of chemical agents" or the "massive stockpile of biological weapons," and the imminent threat of nukes turned out to be a scam.

As this becomes apparent, a lot of folks are busily parsing the difference between a lie and an exaggeration, a spinmeister and a fabricator. But by any definition, the script for a preventive war of pre-emptive self-defense was a craftily designed White House sales pitch.

So we don't know whether there are WMDs. But more importantly, we still don't know the real reasons why Bush went to war and why he thought those reasons wouldn't "sell."


The real lie is that the administration didn't (dare?) make its essential case for war. And the real shame is not that we were conned but, so far, we don't mind.

She says it very well.

(And yes, I know, we got rid of a bad dictator. However, he wasn't the worst and hasn't killed the most. Using that argument we should have attacked a few others first.) 


Unhappy about the gay sex ruling, the three men dropped to their knees.

Didn't George Michaels get in trouble for dropping to his knees in a public place?

It just amazes me that these religious people are so sure they they know what is best for all of us. And let me point out, that the scarf totally does not go with that suit. 


Nurses aide guilty of murder in hit and run and take body home.

AJC: Convicted driver in windshield death case said she was afraid to call police.

Hitting him may have been an accident. She did not just leave him to die, she hid the body so nobody else could find it, and then let him die. Hiding the victim while he was still alive, so that he could not be found and helped, deserves harsh punishment. That would be a tough jury to be on.

This case should also be used to show teenagers how drugs can severly affect your judgement. 

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Savage exposes weiner.

ACJ: TV Personality caught exposed!

Michael Savage, while in Atlanta for the Lester Maddox viewing, was caught in public viewing a scrap book of Ru Paul photographs while holding his little weiner. Local police said the situation was similar to Pee Wee's, only smaller, if you get my drift. Savage screamed, "Get your hands off me you perverts!" as the authorities arrested him. Reportedly, he became much happier when handcuffed. Savage was contemplating being savaged by his cellmate, and asked not to be bailed out. We will keep you updated as more information becomes available.

This is a joke! Any problems contact these fine folks. 


Stop me if you've heard this one....

Actually, lets play add the punchline.

Setup: Maynard Jackson and Lester Madox are standing in line at the Pearly Gates. Maynard walks up and St. Peter behind the desk says, "Welcome Brother Maynard! We are so pleased you could make it. You have done so much for the city of Atlanta and helping the black man get ahead. Please enter Heaven."

Maynard thanks St. Peter and strolls in.

Lester Maddox walks up to the white desk.

Punchline #1: St. Peter says, "Welcome Brother Maddox. So glad you are here. If you stroll around to the back, there is a door with a sign that says 'segregationists enter here.' You may sit at that little counter for the duration of your stay. You guys have your own little bathroom to use. I recommend the chicken!"

Punchline #2: Suddenly, three black angels come running out of the Pearly Gates carrying axe handles......

Your turn.

(Yeah, I know I am going to get flamed, but that is half the fun.)

Update: Mike Luckovich of the AJC has Lester Maddox and Strom Thurmond at the pearly gates: "See this afro comb? It belongs to God....

Update: Editorial cartoonist Doug Marlette runs the gag with: "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone." 


The white man always keeping a brother down.

AJC: Cover

Just seems odd they stacked the picture this way. Maynard was much taller than Lester. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Governor Perdue angers many with flag orders.

AJC: Flag order angers some Jackson supporters.

Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue ordered flags on state buildings and grounds lowered to half staff today to mark the death of former Governor Lester Maddox.

But Perdue faced criticism for failing to extend equal honors to Atlanta's first black mayor, Maynard Jackson, who died Monday.

Perdue signed an executive order this morning requiring flags to be lowered from now until sunset on the day of Maddox's funeral.

For Jackson, only the flags on the state Capitol will be lowered and for just one day -- Saturday -- the day of Jackson's funeral. Perdue issued that order Tuesday.

Lower the flags for several days for an unapologetic segregationist Governor who many look on as a caricature of the southern man of days gone by. However, only lower them one day for Atlanta's first black mayor, and a man still respected throughout the country. Seems like Sonny "Moon Pie" Perdue is showing his old southern, racist tendencies. 


Nice letter to the editor on O'Reilly's column on Brinkley.

AJC: Letters to the Editor.

I'm sorry, but Bill O'Reilly weighing in on David Brinkley's legacy makes me want to die throwing up.

I can only compare it with having your dimwitted uncle show up at your father's funeral to tell you he's running the business now.

And another one:

So Bill O'Reilly is calling upon legitimate journalists to stop reporting the news and start "opinionating" the news -- like himself and his colleagues at Fox News. Obviously, O'Reilly is seeking validation for his network's brand of unethical tabloid journalism.

Although some Americans need entertainers such as O'Reilly to do their thinking for them, many others find solace in having someone simply recite the news without inserting some obnoxious opinion. O'Reilly sells -- but so does the National Enquirer.

Well done! 


This is why swimming lessons are better than tennis lessons.

AJC: Father who swam five hours to shore with daughter held for psychological evaluation.

A father and his 11-year-old daughter swam five hours to shore after their 8-foot sailboat capsized in the Atlantic Ocean, authorities said.

The father was being held Tuesday for psychological evaluation. An official said the man thought poisonous gases were spreading across Florida and taking his daughter out to sea was the only way to save her.

Swimming lessons are also better than bass guitar lessons, but the bass player for Loverboy found that out the hard way a few years ago. 


Lester Maddox, segregationist, dead at age 87.

AJC: Former Gov. Lester Maddox dies at age 87.

Man, the old booger hung on for a long time.

Maddox was an unapologetic segregationist, but at times was also a caring man to people of all races. I certainly don't feel the same loss as when I heard Maynard Jackson died, but I will admit Maddox did some good for Georgia. He made us look like backwoods hicks and racists, but he did some good also.

Saxby Chambliss, Sony Perdue, Tom Murphy and Zell Miller have reactions to his death on the AJC website as of 9AM. It will be interesting to see what other reactions are printed, and who they come from.

UPDATE: An interesting reaction to the death posted in the AJC.

We are saddened at anyone's death. We offer our condolences to the Maddox family.

The sad thing about Mr. Maddox in his later years is that he refused to acknowledge his sins. He died as a racist segregationist who would not admit he was wrong. He refused to rise to the level of a George Wallace who apologized and was embraced by Afican-Americans in Alabama.

There were some good things he did, but he was overshadowed by his racist, segregationist stand. He refused to bend.

It was in his soul. He came from an era that was all about segregation. It was all about black people not being able to vote. He believed in that. It's sad that anybody would live this long and witness all the changes and not bring himself to accept them.

-- State Rep. Tyrone Brooks (D-Atlanta), president of the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

300 at Dean's Atlanta Rally.

Georgia for Dean: Atlanta Rally a Success, 300 Attend.

About 300 supporters cheered former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean in Atlanta on Monday as he launched his presidential campaign with a call to "take back the Democratic Party" and the White House next year.

I am just visible in some of the photos! Whooooo! I am famous!

Again, a good rally with a good group of people.  


Puerto Rico reefs dead or dying.

The Cabin: Cousteau says Puerto Rico reefs are dead.

FAJARDO, Puerto Rico (AP) - The son of the late ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau toured Puerto Rico's northeastern coastline by helicopter Saturday, saying much of the area's coral reefs appeared to be dead.

"We continue using the ocean as a trash can," Jean-Michel Cousteau told environmentalists and reporters after the tour. He was basing his assessment of Puerto Rico's reefs on appearance and existing data.

Cousteau said ignorance about coral reefs and the hundreds of species they support was contributing to a worldwide trend in coral depletion.

Pollution, chemicals, erosion, diseases and physical contact are factors that can lead to coral depletion, he said.

Cousteau has followed in the footsteps of his late father, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, who until his death in 1997 led ocean expeditions throughout the world and popularized marine issues through films.

I was in Fajardo last October and was amazed at what a lovely place Puerto Rico is, and how badly the locals have trashed it. I did do some snorkling, and the reefs and water did not look great. Now Bush and company keep saying that global warming is not science, and reject the Kyoto Treaty, I figure the oceans will get worse. When do we hit the point of no return for our enviroment? 

Monday, June 23, 2003

Many reactions to Maynard Jackson's untimely death.

AJC: Reactions to death of Maynard Jackson.

This one seemed most appropriate today, with the Supreme Court's decision on affirmative action.

It is so ironic and so strange that he passed today around the same time the Supreme Court decision (on affirmative action) was coming down. He was one of the early supporters and a real leader for affirmative action. He was a leader among politicians, but African-American politicians in particular. He was not afraid. He was brave and courageous to get out front on some of the issues he felt very strongly about.

-- Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.

One of my bosses knew Maynard fairly well. He said he saw him in a store a month or so ago. He complemented him on losing some weight. Marnard said that he was down a little, but he really needed to drop another hundred. He added that he had always been a big man. The end of the conversation was Maynard saying, "Lord knows, I love to eat." After battling weight, diabetes and heart disease for too many years, Maynard Jackson passed away.

Go read the nice words about a great leader. Atlanta will miss him. 


Republicans show true class!

Repubicans for Sharpton!

The GOP wingnuts are so scared of Dean and Co. that they want to influence the PAC primary. Poor little brownshirts! Sharpton would never get the nomination, but I think giving him as much press as possible is great! He has been spot-on with his one-liners on Bush. He even gets all the other candidates rolling on the floor. Lets move him up the polls so he gets even more press.

Oh, and notice the little photo of Bush and Sharpton like they are in a debate. Sharpton would have Bush babbling and drooling in a debate. Sharpton would put him down quicker than Mike Tyson putting down Michael Jackson. I would pay good money to see that debate! 


Somebody didn't like the calls at a local youth baseball game.

AJC: 'Basebrawl' leads to fisticuffs, 10 arrests in Cobb.

Ten people were arrested Sunday night at an East Cobb youth baseball game, Cobb police said. Five adults and five 15-year-old boys were charged after a brawl broke out during the game, which was being played at Walton High School.

"Apparently one of the kids didn't like one of the calls," said Cobb Police Spokesman Brody Staud.

"It just all escalated from there."

"That's my boy!!!! Yeah, the one who is breaking that guys nose! In the blue uniform. That's the way to swing!"

The game was sanctioned by East Cobb Baseball Association, a regional powerhouse with a national reputation.

"It was not a good situation," said Gary Baldwin, president of ECB.

I think that is safe to say. 


Earthlink Live and the Georgia for Dean Rally.

Dean for America: Stand up and be counted.

I just got back from watching the Dean Declaration Celebration via satellite at Earthlink Live in Atlanta, Georgia. A good speech. Sometimes it seemed a bit awkward, usually when he tried changing the pace, but overall very good.

I was distracted for much of the speech by the asshole with the huge "Vote Green Party" sign. The other side said "Nadar 7% Vermont." The sign was 5 foot by 5 foot on a 15 foot pole. It was being held directly besides Dean's head in what looked to be a public area. With Dean's people not wanting to tackle and beat the shit out of the guy, the sign waved behind Dean for most of the speech. Supporters put together "Dean" signs to block it out, but the distraction was there. I ended up concentrating on the battle more than the speech. Hopefully next time, Dean will have a backdrop, or multiple cameras angles out front.

Dean made some very strong points and had the crowd in Vermont very excited. The exitement did carry over to the hundreds gathered at Earthlink Live. The loudest cheers came for:

- Dean thanking Senator Leahy for helping to block Bush's judicial nominees.

- Dean commenting on women keeping the right to choose.

- Comments on taking the Deomcratic Party back.

- Comments on taking our country back.

- Comments on neither party owning the flag, but the American people owning the flag.

- Comments about Bush having Rangers and Patriots, his term for people making big donations, but Dean has Americans.

The crowd was very diverse- black and white, young and old, well dressed and jeans and t-shirts. Dean supporters were asking the younger people to sit up higher in the auditorium, keeping the more easily accessed seats for the seniors. There were many seniors there. Lunch was provided.

I did see a guy from the Atlanta Journal Constitution covering the event. I heard him interviewing a young man behind me who sounded to be big on the enviroment. It will be interesting to see if the AJC uses that to paint Dean as a liberal. At least they had a reporter there.

Dean supporters are not the most talkative. I tried striking up conversations with a number of people after the speech, and while on MARTA, but was getting very short responses. I look fairly normal and average, so I don't think they were scared of me. But I may be wrong, I am fairly used to seeing myself.

Oh, Green Party? I was very much interested in using my vote for some of your local candidates. After watching your guy wave that sign behind Dean for 40 minutes, that won't be happening. If you can't control your party members, you will not get any votes from me. That showed no class and no respect. If I wanted to put people like that in office, I would vote for the GOP.

Visit Georgia for Dean for more info on local happenings.

Visit Dean's official blog for comments on the celebration.

Press coverage here.

For a full transcript of the speech visit Dean for America


Maynard Jackson, former Mayor of Atlanta, dead of heart attack.

AJC: Former Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson dies.

That is very unexpected. I am sure the local press will really give some time to this story, including much about his three sucessful terms as Mayor. He will be missed. 


Ellen Goodman on Pvt. Lynch.

AJC: Lynch has become war's redefining story.

Maybe it's best that Jessica Lynch doesn't remember what happened. The doctors say she doesn't recall the ambush and capture, the April days that transformed the private first class into a first-class war hero.

So Private Lynch, at least, had no part in the making of the Legend of Pvt. Lynch. When the nonstop coverage began, she was a survivor being carried on a stretcher in and out of planes and hospitals. When producers "took meetings" for TV specials and docudramas, she was having her bones meticulously pinned back together.

When the big names of television tried to woo her with lockets and books and deals, when they tried to "get" her as if she were a charm for their bracelet, they didn't know that the star of the story couldn't actually tell the story.

There is something terrible about the alchemy that tries to turn a human into a symbol. In this case, the alchemists took a young soldier from the hollows of Palestine, W.Va., to the hollow world of myth-making. And now we are discovering the fool's gold.


But to turn a human into a symbol, you have to take away the humanity. In the pursuit of fool's gold, you burn away the metal. By making Jessica into a cartoon hero, we may have missed the bravery of the young soldier now recovering in Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Pvt. Jessica Lynch didn't empty an M-16 into the enemy. But she has learned how to take a hundred steps with a walker, one step at a time. That's heroism enough for one lifetime.

Goodman nails the story. Lynch has never tried to be more than just a human. It was the news networks, writers, Bush Adminstration, and television industry that have tried to turn her into gold. They are dragging her along, hoping to exploit her. It must be very hard to learn to walk again with everybody clutching at her. 


We all just know Wooten is a conservative hack.

AJC Letters: Why no outrage over Wooten?

Either The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a filter down there that just accepts letters of criticism of Cynthia Tucker and none critical of Jim Wooten, or I'm missing the letters sections on the days he gets blasted. Wooten says some of the most outrageous things, and hardly anyone in this metro area of 4 million takes him to task for it.

Recently, he gushed all over Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Mich., for its stance in saying that it will proudly discriminate in its policy and refuse government money.

And Wooten's going to permanently disfigure knee ligaments if he remains in the crouched stance he has taken while trying to sell us Alabama Attorney General William Pryor as a worthy federal appeals judge.

Surely he writes some things for the shock value and idiocy of saying it. Right? No pun intended. Right?

Actually, everybody just knows he is a conservative buffoon, and ignores him. He'll look you right in the eye and lie more than George, Collin, and Ari in a press conference about WMDs. I used to fact check him some, but proving his lies was as easy as finding conservative Republicans getting charged with sex crimes.

If you look at the bottom of the list of columnists, you'll see columnist Vernadette Broyles who seems to be hoping to replace the old geezer when he retires. 


Bush administration trying to look busy.

AJC: Saddam rumored killed by missile.

Experts are trying to determine whether an American missile strike that destroyed a convoy last week killed Saddam Hussein or his sons, The New York Times and the Washington Post reported.

There was no evidence Saddam was hit in the attack, both newspapers reported, citing unnamed defense and intelligence officials. DNA tests are being carried out on the victims, the Post said, though it also said intelligence officials had no knowledge of any request to match Saddam's DNA.


A senior administration official described the intelligence that led to Wednesday's attack as a good lead. But another administration official told the Times, "I have no information that leads us to believe we got Saddam." And one military officer told the Times that intelligence reports that Saddam or his sons might have been in the convoy may have been based more on hope than evidence.

So lets see, there was no evidence that Saddam was in the convoy, there was no information that leads them to believe they got Saddam, and the reports regarding Saddam being in the convoy are based on hope. Still, somebody feels the need to release reports that DNA testing is being done?  

Sunday, June 22, 2003

This is really does not shock me.

AJC: Millions wasted at MARTA.

Just yards from the throngs of commuters who rush through the Lindbergh rail station each day, MARTA stashes five years of mistakes that cost millions of dollars.

Past two security doors, in a gray concrete building, a 20-by-20 room holds nearly 500 pieces of computer hardware the transit agency never expects to use. The equipment includes stacks of high-end modems, circuit boards and network routers, as well as a $1.26 million IBM mainframe mothballed three years after it came online.

Many of the items remain in their original shipping containers, and most were never installed. Despite that, MARTA spent tens of thousands of dollars on maintenance contracts to make sure some of the unused equipment would run properly.

MARTA outfitted the storage room in 1999 to be a state-of-the-art computer center. But after spending $299,000 to equip and secure the building for computer operations, MARTA laid the plan aside, making the space perhaps Atlanta's most well-appointed storage closet.

I should be shocked, shocked I tell you. I am not. MARTA has a history of poor management practices, and poor spending habits. None of this amazes me. What would amaze me is if a report came out showing MARTA showed sense and restraint in any part of their organization. I am not going to hold my breath on that. 

Friday, June 20, 2003

Lets see how the pundts react.

Blog for America: Statement by Governor Howard Dean 6/20/2003.

SFGate: Democratic candidate says son charged with burglary.

"Early this morning, my 17 year-old son Paul and several friends were cited in court by the Burlington Police Department for attempting to steal alcoholic beverages from a local country club.

"When a child gets in trouble like this, it constitutes a family crisis, and I believe it's important that I be home. I have canceled my scheduled appearances tomorrow in Iowa so that I can return to Vermont and deal personally with what my family and I consider a very serious matter.

"I understand that this matter is being handled by the state's attorney and I hope the press and the public will respect the privacy of my family-- particularly of my son-- during this difficult time."

I guess this is when we see if the conservative pundits respect Dean's privacy like they have asked for all the wayward Bush children of Georgie and Jebbie, or if they try to exploit it for political advantage like was done with Clinton's child. Of course Clinton's kid never really did anything and has turned out to be a good adult, but that didn't stop the pundits from having a go at her. 


What, they don't have bikes?

AJC: Golf cart drivers must be licensed in Peachtree City, court rules.

A ruling by the Georgia Court of Appeals has struck at the heart of Peachtree City's uniqueness -- the ubiquitous golf cart.

From now on, you'll need a driver's license to drive one on the city's roadways and golf cart paths, just as if it were an automobile.

The ruling applies to everybody in the state but really hits Peachtree City, an affluent Fayette County town where young people consider driving golf carts a prelude to driving cars.


Molly Lanxton, 15, contemplated how her life may be changed by the ruling while riding around Peachtree City on Thursday with two friends in, of course, a golf cart. Lanxton, who has a learner's permit, has been driving a golf cart to McIntosh High School and planned to drive the cart to get to an after-school job.

Also in the AJC today....

AJC: Fat? Blame the neighborhood.

Try telling this to a real estate agent: I want a healthy neighborhood.

That request may sound reasonable once you know that people who choose to live in sprawling subdivisions are more likely to be overweight -- even obese -- according to data released Thursday.

Not that suburbanites riding around in electric carts and suburbanites being obese have any correlation.  


Horn borken, watch for finger.

Lane Ranger: Atlanta scores a 'D' for driving behavior.

More than one in six admit to "communicating with rude gestures while driving," which Heenan politely defined as "telling people the Braves are No. 1."


River Snorkeling.

AJC:'Snorkeling Hole' surprisingly bountiful.

The stretch of the Conasauga River known as The Snorkeling Hole is the sort of place you want to keep to yourself. Just north of the junction of the Jacks River, a few hundred yards above the Georgia state line, the confluence of geology, topography, temperature and water chemistry provides for a variety of aquatic life that surprises those who take a look.


The snorkeling hole on the Conasauga River, for example, harbors more than three dozen kinds of fish, from endangered blue shiners the size of your pinky to rainbow trout 18 inches long. While the fish lack the Technicolor hues of their Caribbean cousins, the spring spawning season gives the blue shiner a brighter blue body highlighted by an electric gold horizontal stripe the length of its body. The Alabama shiner, in efforts to attract a mate, sports a red tail.

As a triathlete I frequently swim long distances in open water- lake, river, and ocean. I have always preferred cloudy water so I was not able to see if anything was swimming below me. Ignorance is bliss. I never had a strong desire to snorkel or scuba dive. While in Puerto Rico last year I finnaly did some snorkeling and loved it. Now while doing my open water swims at Lake Lanier I am much more aware of what is below me, and look for fish, Budweiser cans, and old tires. This article has me itching to head up to the old snorkeling hole this summer. But if I see a five foot gar, or anything of the sort, my ass is out of there.

For a dryer look at river ecology, head up to the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga. It is one of my favorite day trips. 

Thursday, June 19, 2003

They want to come home cause it is not safe.

Access North Georgia: Wives of 3rd Infantry soldiers want their husbands home now.

Once the picture of pride and patriotism during the war, the wives are arguing that the soldiers who did the killing should not have to do the peacekeeping.

"They need to be out of there, because I don't believe its safe," said Ellen Peterson, the wife of a 3rd Infantry sergeant who was deployed in January from the divisions base at Fort Stewart in Georgia.

You know the killing is just so much safer than the peacekeeping. 


What to get Rick Santorum for his birthday.

WSBTV: Denmark Amusement Park Bans Genital-Shaped Lollipops.

"Tasteless." That's how one Danish amusement park official describes a lollipop shaped like a male organ.

You can still get the nuts, I guess.

Hold on, just wait one minute! There is a dietary supplement that may improve the taste, however. (Via Tbogg from Rubber Nun.) Hmmm, well maybe not. 


Fulton County makes right choice for the pound.

AJC: New pound contractor vows to promote adoptions.

Three months after parting ways with the Atlanta Humane Society, Fulton County has a new long-term contractor to run its animal pound.

The county selected Southern Hope Humane Society on Wednesday to replace Atlanta Humane, which departed in March after disagreements with the county about money and performance.

Under Atlanta Humane, the shelter killed a higher proportion of animals than pounds in several neighboring counties. Animal lovers complained to Fulton County commissioners, leading to friction with Atlanta Humane, which had run the pound since 1974.

Southern Hope was among two bidders on a new contract intended to increase the animal adoption rate. The nonprofit group from Cobb County stepped up adoptions and reduced the kill rate after it was selected to run the pound on an interim basis during the three-month bidding process.

Any organization would be better than the Atlanta Humane Society, which turned out not to be too humane at all. 


Why is it....

That conservatives are now saying that one of the reason we had to depose Saddam is because he was executing people? However, as Governor of Texas, Bush let more executions happen than any other Governor, and that doesn't bother them? Is executing Americans okay, but executing Iraqis is not?

Oh, and Lean Left points out, it is very possible that not all of them were guilty.

Just think if all these conservatives who are so worried about Iraqi executions decided to help out The Innocence Project. They could sleep better at night knowing less innocent men were being executed right here at home, in America. I would then be much more likely to believe their arguments against Saddam.


Wednesday, June 18, 2003

RAAM Competitor killed in accident. RAAM Competitor killed.

Not BRAG but RAAM, Race Across America, which is going on at the same time.

The Race Across America (RAAM) suffered a terrible blow early Wednesday morning as racer Brett Malin was struck and killed by a truck along US route 60 in New Mexico. The accident, which happened at around 2:30am EST, marks the first fatality in the race's 21 year history. Malin, a member of four-person Team Vail-Go Fast, reportedly was struck by the truck as it attempted to swerve to avoid the collision, which was deemed an accident.

Just terrible. As always, prayers to the family.  


Southern Baptists want to help Gays.

Access North Georgia: Southern Baptists initiative aims to convince gays to become heterosexual.

And Bush wants to help me maintain my civil liberties.

The Southern Baptist Convention has started an initiative to liberate gays from their homosexuality by befriending them and convincing them they should accept Jesus as their savior.

At the denominations annual meeting, which ends Wednesday night, leaders asked their 42,000 churches to reach out compassionately to gays, focusing on how Christianity can save them.

Homosexuals can find freedom from this sinful, destructive lifestyle, said Richard Land, head of the Southern Baptists public policy arm. They can be redeemed. They can be liberated.

Liberated from the God given desire to love somebody of their choosing? Instead of loving who you want, I think the Southern Baptists want men to love people more like her, her, or her, or her. No more men thinking of Brad Pitt!

Women should be thinking about men like these guys and this guy


More on BRAG

Savannah Morning News: On a roll across Georgia.

Taking a week to bicycle 422 miles through south Georgia in the summer heat is not for everyone.

After the first day's ride of some 60 miles from Bainbridge to Thomasville, after the heat had very nearly parboiled my brain -- never mind that we started at 6:30 in the morning -- and I couldn't remember the name of a certain marvelous Georgia writer (it was Bailey White), I broke down and called a Savannah friend to help me out of my memory-lapse misery.

He left White's name on my answering machine at home along with the words, "Sounds as if you're having a good time. Sort of."


This is a bad thing?

AJC: ATL lacking in 'Charm.'

Mariah Carey's last two visits to Atlanta resulted in food poisoning and international press dispatches after her partly eaten turkey sandwich turned up on eBay. Maybe that's why the pop princess is blowing us off completely on her freshly tweaked "Charmbracelet Tour."

Why is this bad? What is the downside here? 


City of Atlanta, but Atlanta's citizens win.

AJC: Court- Fix air or else! Atlanta loses EPA break on pollution.

Environmentalists are claiming victory after a federal court ruled the EPA was out of line when it cut Atlanta some slack on air pollution standards.

"This is tremendous news for everyone who lives in the Atlanta region," said Ciannat Howett, Atlanta director of the Southern Environmental Law Center. The center represented the Sierra Club and other environmental groups that sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last year.

The court's ruling is "a binding precedent," Howett said. "We think it's going to prevent, in the future, the EPA from taking these kind of actions."

EPA Deputy Regional Administrator Stan Meiburg said he is pleased with the court decision because it clarifies the agency's role in approving state air quality plans. "It was time to accept and move on," he said.

*cough, cough, cough*

What I meant to say was...

*cough, cough, cough*

It's not the heat, it's the pollution.

Oh, and the business leaders in Atlanta want clean air. Not much arguement from them.

AJC: Business pushes for cleaner Georgia air. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

View the Howard Dean commercial that is running in Iowa.

Blog for America.

On the right hand side look for the following or just click on these links:

Watch the new Dean TV commercial running in Iowa:
Quicktime, large (54 MB)
Quicktime, small (4.5 MB)
Real, large (1.8 MB)
Real, small (420 K)

May be good for Iowa. I don't know if it would fly in Atlanta. 


Danny Goldberg makes so much sense.

Salon: How the left lost teen spirit. Dispatches from the Culture Wars: How the Left Lost Teen Spirit.

But beginning in the mid-1980s, with the emergence of Tipper Gore's Parents Music Resource Center, some of the most sustained and high-impact attacks on pop culture -- mainly meaning rap and heavy metal lyrics, video games and violent movies and TV programming -- have come from Democrats. As the music industry's self-appointed point man on the issue, Goldberg went toe-to-toe with Tipper on numerous TV panel shows, and "Dispatches From the Culture Wars" has lots of juicy detail on his private efforts to find some common ground with Tipper and her husband. (The private discussion between Goldberg and Al Gore on the interpretation of "With a Little Help From My Friends" is especially good.)

Goldberg's book is a fascinating memoir of the nexus where pop culture and left-wing politics collided throughout the '70s, '80s and '90s, and a cautionary tale directed at his own generation, the middle-class liberals of the baby boom who he fears are in danger of becoming their own intolerant parents. Perhaps in an effort to cleanse themselves of the cultural taint of the '60s, Goldberg speculates, Democratic middle-roaders like the Gores and, more recently and forcefully, Al's 2000 running mate, Sen. Joe Lieberman, have gone to considerable trouble to alienate themselves from contemporary youth and popular culture, sometimes by endorsing patently ludicrous attacks on constitutionally protected speech. These center-left moralists, themselves products of the tremendous cultural upheavals of the '60s and '70s, seem to believe, as Goldberg puts it, that pop culture was brought here by evil aliens and isn't actually, well, popular.

As Goldberg points out -- and no other political pundit, to my knowledge, has noticed this -- in 1996, Bill Clinton beat Bob Dole by 19 points among voters under 24. In 2000, George W. Bush and Gore were dead even in that age group, a total of about 9 million votes. Restore even half of Clinton's '96 edge with youth, and the result of the election is clearly different, with or without the much-debated Nader factor.

We need to learn from the '60's. When I think of the Democrats of the '60's I think of Civil Rights, JFK and RFK, Marvin Gaye, ecology, the Cuban Missle Crises, Kent State, an Indian crying over pollution, Republicans sending boys to die and America getting mad. It was a time of free love and free speech. America pushed through decades of repression and became willing to experience life. Women were fighting to live like men, blacks were fighting to live free, and boys were fighting to live. We fought for our enviroment, our freedoms, and for a woman's right to choose. When I think of the struggle young people fought, I do not understand how America's youth is now willing to give that all back to live life like they did in the '50's.

The Democrats need to stand up as social liberals. Gore and Lieberman are not social liberals. They are social conservatives. How did the Democrats ever end up with Presidential ticket that opposed freedom of speech? Tipper Gore and Joe Lieberman certainly turned off many Democrats, hell they repulsed me. I want Democrats who yell as loud as they can that we have freedoms, and we will damn well fight to keep them. We will fight for freedom of speech, and the right to protest, be it times of war or peace. A woman has the freedom of choice, one which men cannot legislate away. We can choose what we want to read, watch, and hear. No conservative can dictate their bounds of good taste upon us. I want Democrats who vow to protect out enviroment. Not only do I want to stop drilling in the artic, I want to relaim our water ways, our forests, our wetlands, and our coasts. I want animals running through our national parks without fear of getting run over by snowmobiles.

The Democrats do need a policy and a philosophy. I think it does need to incorporate the good things that came out of the '60's. Check out the article and the book. Danny Goldberg has some ideas the Democrats need to consider. 

Monday, June 16, 2003

Guns don't kill people....Oops, what the fuck....

AJC:Tragedy in Rockdale occurs hours before Father's Day.

A Father's Day reunion turned tragic Saturday night when a 15-year-old boy was shot and killed by his father, a Rockdale County sheriff's deputy, in what authorities are saying was an accident.


According to authorities, the father had just returned to his Conyers home Saturday night after practicing shooting at a private firing range with his personal gun.

He cleaned the weapon, reloaded it and was "carrying it through the house when it discharged in a family office-type setting," Wigington said.

The boy, who was sitting at a computer, was hit in the chest.

I'm thinking the tie was a bad idea. Maybe gun saftey classes would have been nice.

How the fuck does a sheriff's deputy accidentally shoot his son at the family computer? This is a guy who wears a gun out in public all day long. Yet he accidentally discharges and puts a bullet in his son's chest? Could he be related to Don Knotts? Will the sheriff allow him more than one bullet from now on? This just seems really bizarre.

What is the name of that website that tracks all these types of accidents? 


Who's in?

From Dean for America:


I’m writing you because I want you to join me at a Dean campaign event that I'm attending. Howard Dean is the only candidate running for President who says what he thinks, and acts on what he says. I think he’s dead on, and the only candidate making sense about foreign policy, health care, and fiscal responsibility. Dean is not only taking on Bush, but directly addressing the failures of the Democratic party to give people a reason to vote. He also has a powerful record of success as Governor of Vermont. If you don’t know about him, visit his website:

You can sign up for my event here:

Type in your zip code and find my event in the list of events in our area.

I don’t want money to decide who leads this country, and for the first time in a long time, it might not because Dean is running a very grassroots campaign that relies upon people like us to go out and spread the word.

Its inspiring to be a part of something this big, but where each of us still counts. Even if this is the first time you have heard of Howard Dean, or if you are unsure about who you support, please come along and learn more. Howard Dean's campaign is important to me, personally, and I think it is critical to the country. Also, it should be fun.

Thanks! I hope you come! Here's the info on the event(s):

Declaration Celebration Rally Atlanta
Earthlink Live - 1374 Peachtree Street
Monday, June 23, 01:00 PM
Join thousands across the country to watch Governor Dean's Official Campaign Announcement in a satellite telecast from Burlington, Vermont.

There should be events all over the country. Get the word out. Lets make sure the press cannot ignore this. 


Remember the lesson of the Good Samaritan

30 In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'
36 "Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"
37 The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."
Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."

Did the Bishop forget that lesson?

AJC:Phoenix bishop arrested in fatal hit-and-run.

PHOENIX -- The Roman Catholic bishop of Phoenix was arrested Monday in a deadly hit-and-run accident after police traced a license plate number to his car and found the windshield caved in.

Man, he's going to have some 'splaining to do! Of course he may answer to the man upstairs about some other things to.

Earlier this month, it was announced that O'Brien relinquished some of his authority in an unprecedented agreement with prosecutors that spared him from indictment on obstruction charges for protecting child-molesting priests.

For somebody whose career choice could indicate he believes in Heaven and Hell, the Bishop is playing with fire so to speak. Jim Croce may have some advice for him.

I think it is stories like his that would ever keep many from returning to the Catholic Church. I can understand the argument about not letting man's frailties hurt ones belief in God, but I believe it does have an effect on how people view organized religion. When the church continues to allow men like this to remain as priests and religious officials, I believe it hurts the church even more. Allowing men who have violated serious moral guidelines to remain in positions of power is not forgiveness. It is weakness.  


For Comments about Cleland's injuries.

Scroll down. Blogger links don't work. Look for post titled Conservative twit.

Also below is a link to Cleland's speech this weekend, where he was pretty hard on the Bush administration. 


Just pick the damn thing up and throw it away. teams pick up urine jars along roads, Caltrans workers often won't touch waste.

First thing, how do they know it is not just Mountain Dew? Are they smelling it? Second, why can't they just pick it up, poor it out, and toss the bottle into the trashbag. It's urine. God forbid these people should ever get a puppy or have a child. The first time they go to change a diaper, and the kid squirts them, are they going to have a heart attack? The highway workers will be less at risk than any janitor that cleans a restroom. 


Max Cleland speaks.

AJC: Max returns, with fire in his eyes.


This administration has not found Osama bin Laden. It has not found Saddam Hussein. And it has not yet found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Supposedly all of that was the rationale for losing over 200 American lives and wounding over 500 American troops so far.


We are trying to re-build hospitals and schools and trying to provide health care and food in Iraq. We need to rebuild crumbling schools in America. We need to extend health care insurance to the 41 million Americans not currently covered by health care insurance. We need to improve police and first responder capabilities in America. We need to rebuild the infrastructure of America, provide jobs to Americans. But we are trying to make Iraq the 51st state. This administration is doing all of this in a time of record deficits while at the same time slashing taxes for the wealthy. And let's be clear about this "economic stimulus." In the long run, this tax cut will redistribute the tax burden onto the middle class. In the tax bill the president signed, those families with children making less than $26,000 a year were denied a child tax credit while those families making more than that amount were given a $1,000 deduction per child. I ask you this. Does this seem fair? As I travel around this state, I see increasing unemployment, increasing financial hardship and increasing economic devastation due to Republican policies which have become themselves weapons of mass destruction particularly falling hardest on those families making $26,000 year or less.

What then is the Bush record in fighting the so-called war on terrorism? They have not found bin Laden. They have not found Saddam Hussein and as of yet there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. However, we have found two trailers. Is that why we fought the war? For two trailers? Did we send our sons and daughters to spill their blood in the desert over two trailers? We are spending over $100 billion bombing and then rebuilding Iraq while giving a tax cut to America's wealthiest citizens and denying hard-working Americans making $26,000 a year or less a child tax credit in order to pay for it.

That's the Bush record. It is not compassionate, and with this year's budget deficit running over $400 billion -- a record set by no other President, Republican or Democrat, it is certainly not conservative.


In terms of the tax cut -- more than $300 billion of tax cuts I might add -- these monies should go to improve the health care in the military for the over 500 servicemen and women and POW's who were wounded in Iraq alone. Additionally, we need to improve dramatically VA healthcare for all of our veterans instead of cutting the requested VA budget by $6.5 billion as President Bush has done.

Stimulate the economy not by tax cuts for the rich but by a payroll tax holiday so that working-class Americans upon whom the burden of taxes and war always falls will see their sons and daughters return from overseas to an economy that has jobs for them.


The speech is long. Cleland presents some very good solutions to some of the country's problems. Take a few minutes and read it. 


I'll buy that they were smoking crack.

AJC: 'Greatest Songs' list bound to stir passions of fans.

As one kvetcher (among many) on VH1's online message boards recently wrote: "VH1 smokes crack." That was alongside other attacks on the song list, including "useless," "pathetic" and "This is more than insulting, this is a farce."

Yes, yes and yes. I agree.

No Elvis Costello? No Rush? Celine Dion? Why I don't watch VH-1 or MTV.  

Sunday, June 15, 2003

They're back!

AJC: Rebel group targets legislators.

Can't they just admit they were rubes, that Perdue used them, and then go away.

The group will soon begin fund-raising by giving away, in exchange for donations, "most wanted" decks of cards of Georgia elected officials who voted to change the flag during the most recent legislative session.

Nooooooo! Not the "Most Wanted" cards! Anything but the "Most Wanted" cards! Please don't distribute them down in Atlanta. Don't let all the Atlantans know who voted against the Confederate Flag. Don't throw the legislatures into that brierpatch! 


BRAG has started.

AJC: Pairs earn bragging rights.

This years course is flat, and is perfect for tandems.

Spandex-clad riders will cut a seven-day swath through townships, hamlets and crossroads, dodging the Okefenokee Swamp, until they come to the tidewater of St. Mary's.

Most of the cyclists on BRAG will ride singly. But the route changes annually, and this year's pancake-like course is especially appealing to tandems. They like the flatlands.

Brag's website for more information. 


Conservative Twit!

So there is this conservative twit who has left a few comments on my new blog. The post she commented on was about the hypocritical GOP refusing to grant additional child tax credits for soldiers serving in Iraq. You know, "Support the troops or be unamerican, but we can't give the men risking their lives in Iraq any more tax relief because we have to give the rich more tax cuts" hypocrisy. Her defense of the GOP:

Actually, not all service members make low pay. Some make pretty darn good pay, and I speak from personal experience as my husband is in the army.


So think again when you start saying that the poor military are taken advantage of.

So you can see she is probably not the brightest. I hope her husband she claims is in the military doesn't blow all the money he saves from the dividend tax cut in one place.

With her husband being in the military, and her being Republican and all, you would think she would be very respectful of veterans, right? Well read her post on Cleland just can't let go. (Scroll down)

Seven months later, Max Cleland can finally talk about it.

Oh please, just get over it.

I love the next paragraph

The former U.S. senator from Georgia likened his stunning re-election defeat to the moment in Vietnam when a grenade explosion ripped away his legs and part of an arm.

What, you mean that his losing the election reminded him of his tossing a handgrenade around like it was a toy? - Yes, that is how he got injured in Vietnam - he was P L A Y I N G with a grenade. Idiot. And then he spends the next 20 or so years playing off his injury as if he "earned" it while fighting for his country.

No, he's a fuck-off and it shows.

Why is this even considered news worthy? I'll tell you why - because he's a liberal and the AJC is an extremely liberal paper.

To spread lies and make fun of a disabled military vet is unbelievable. To call a vet who loses three limbs in Vietnam and still continues to work for his country in the VA Administration and in Congress a "fuck-off" and an "idiot" just boggles my mind. Max Cleland has more courage than she can ever know. I certainly hope when the soldiers return from Iraq, those injured and those who thankfully make it home physically unhurt, receive more respect than this piece of trash gives Cleland. That includes her husband if he is serving overseas. I can't speak for Freepers like this piece of garbage, but I know the antiwar left will certainly show great respect to our Gulf War II vets. I am sure Democrats in Congress will do all they can to make sure all of those who return injured are well taken care of- although I can't speak for the GOP.

On Cleland and his injuries. He had assumed for many years that the grenade which exploded had been his own. He believed it had fallen off his webbing while jumping off a helicopter during a dangerous military night mission. However during a 1999 Larry King show, one of the viewers was a man who was on the mission with Cleland. David Lloyd, who helped save Cleland's life, cleared up the matter:

For years, Cleland believed he had dropped the grenade that nearly took his life. But Lloyd assured him it was another Marine, who had straightened all his grenade pins, who dropped the explosive that Cleland stumbled upon.

"It took such a load off my mind," Cleland said. "When I first got the call, I just didn't believe it."

Saturday, June 14, 2003

While cable news covers the Laci Peterson case 24/7...

Jim Morin: Sunday's Editorial Cartoon.

The death toll in Democratic Republic of Congo's civil war approches 3.5 million.

And tons of other stuff is happening with our government, but you don't need to pay attention to that. 

Friday, June 13, 2003

May Saxby Chambliss and George Bush rot in hell.

AJC: To Cleland, defeat as painful as war injuries.

Seven months later, Max Cleland can finally talk about it.

The former U.S. senator from Georgia likened his stunning re-election defeat to the moment in Vietnam when a grenade explosion ripped away his legs and part of an arm.

"It was like the trauma of being suddenly and traumatically blown up, and I in effect relived all that hell of 35 years ago," Cleland said in an exclusive interview from his new office at Washington's American University. "It's been very tough to recover."


With a snicker, he added, "In my case, it turned out it didn't matter what I said or what I did with my vote. The president came after me, anyway," he said, referring to President Bush's five trips to Georgia to boost Chambliss' campaign.

The memory of that campaign remains painful. It was one of the most closely watched and hardest fought contests of the 2002 elections, with control of the Senate hanging in the balance.

The lowest moment for Cleland came when Chambliss aired a TV spot that attacked his voting record on homeland security issues and featured photos of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.

Cleland said at the time he was personally hurt by the ad, and during the interview this week he remained bitter.

"The charge that somehow I was unpatriotic, when really I had helped write the law on the homeland security legislation, all those lies that occurred in the campaign -- that was a trauma that was unexpected for me," he said. "I thought I had done a good job for the people of Georgia. I thought they knew me as someone who had served and sacrificed for the country, as someone who was willing to defend the country 35 years ago. . . . But the White House and the media image makers turned me into some kind of villain."

Go read this now. Cleland has some intersting comments on Iraq, and the way Bush is running the government. 


Sounds like a fairly honest and truthful review.

Creative Loafing: Fresh Fish- Yeah, Hillary.

Sugg seems to like the book, yet...

The book, however, isn’t all that satisfying. And that goes to the root of the problem with the Clintons. The book can’t gain traction because Hillary isn’t sure where she stands. She wants to appear principled (and, compared to Bush, she’s a paragon of ethics), but it’s damn hard to pin down her principles. The Clintons, despite vast reserves of political currency, really didn’t stand for that much. And still don’t. Hillary has been AWOL among those who opposed Bush’s Endless War plans, for example. She should be leading the assault on Bush’s war against America’s poor via tax cuts for the rich – her response is, at best, lukewarm.

That said, the sales of her book are a signal to the Bushites that despite their propaganda firestorm, there are still Americans with brains.

My favorite part of this short blog entry is about Clinton.

His greatest legacy may be to show the utter bankruptcy of the far right. Remember those guys, who condemn as traitors those who dissented from the war? But did the neo-cons support the commander-in-chief when he was forced to commit troops. Nah, of course not.

The right has been so rabid in its never-ending attacks on the Clintons that many people became suspicious that it was more of the GOP’s Big Lie. There is a vast right-wing conspiracy. It lies, it enriches itself at your expense, it happily kills thousands to pursue goals most Americans aren’t informed about – and if they are, don’t support.

Interesting view.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

GOP screws over servicemen again, at least the ones who made it back alive.

CNN: House approves extension on child tax credit.

Slipped into the third paragraph:

The House also removed from a Senate-passed bill language that would have enabled families of servicemen and servicewomen who served in the war with Iraq to claim bigger child tax credits.

The rich get their tax cuts, but our returning servicemen and women can't get an additional child credit for risking their lives and earning less money fighting Bush's war. Just lovely! 


Neikro on going for his 300th win.

AJC: Niekro's been there, done that - Ex-Braves pitcher recalls frustration of being stuck at 299.

While being interviewed about Clemens struggling to get number 300, Neikro talks about needing 5 games to get his 300th. He also gives up a very good story about that 300th win.

With two outs in the ninth, Niekro had an 8-0 cushion when his brother came to the mound. Phil tried to hand the ball to Joe to get the last out, but Joe refused. Joe told Phil that at 46 he was one out from becoming the oldest pitcher to throw a shutout, so he needed to get the 27th out. Phil protested and told Joe they had an agreement, but Joe walked away.

But that isn't even the best part. Read until the end. 


Adventure racer dies during race.

Inside Triathlon: Competitor dies at Raid Gauloises.

The 2003 Raid Gauloises adventure race, currently underway in Kyrghyzstan, was temporarily halted Tuesday following the death of a competitor during the race's first whitewater canoeing leg.

Frenchwoman Dominique Robert, racing her tenth Raid Gauloises as part of team Endurance-AGF, became trapped in branches on a whitewater canoe section in the first hours of the race. Safety teams where unable to revive her at the scene and she is presumed to have drowned.

Unfortunately, one of things that makes many sports a challenge is the risk involved. As adventure racing and triathlon become more popular, we will probably see more of this. 


An AJC reader gets it!

AJC: Conservative teachings lack Christ's love.

Leonard Pitts' surprise at the concept of Eric Rudolph being called a "Christian terrorist" shows he has been out of step with many liberal Christians' problems with how Christianity has been presented in our society.

I have to check Christian publications and promotional items for conservative teachings before I can give them to my children. Why? Because conservative teachings often teach intolerance, pride, nationalism, isolationalism and fear. Not only do these not follow the teachings of Christ's love, but they also can all lead to so-called hate theology when taken in the extreme.

As a liberal Christian, I firmly believe Jesus asks us to reconsider our violence toward others as well as having faith in a God who doesn't need us to beat up others for him to force them to comply with our own judgments of his needs.


Wednesday, June 11, 2003

No hate crime penalty for assault against gay college student.

AJC: Price found guilty of assault, not of hate crime.

A Fulton County Superior Court jury acquitted former Morehouse student Aaron Price of hate crime charges in the Nov. 3 beating of fellow student Gregory Love with a baseball bat in a dorm shower.

A short time earlier, the jury had found Price guilty of aggravated assault and aggravated battery in the Nov. 3 incident. He was sentenced to 10 years on each count, to run concurrently. If convicted of a hate crime, Price could have had 5 years added to his sentence for the assault and battery charges.

During the arguments for and against convicting Price of the state's first hate crime, Assistant Fulton County District Attorney Holly Hughes asked the jury to remember the words Price allegedly uttered "when he beat [Love] with a baseball bat: 'Faggot, you're gay, gay ... I hate these Morehouse faggots.' "

I guess not in the south in this decade. At 5' 3" and 19 years-old, I think Price will be thinking about homosexuality frequently for the next 10 years.

Aaron Price, 19, an expelled Morehouse sophomore, is on trial on aggravated assault and aggravated battery charges in the Nov. 3 beating of student Gregory Love in a dormitory bathroom, allegedly because Love stared at him in the shower.

Men are going to be doing just a bit more than staring at him in the coming years. I'm guessing he didn't take a logic course in college yet. 


Well, that could have gone better!

MSNBC: Israeli copters fire missiles in Gaza.

A visibly angry U.S. President Bush condemned the Jerusalem bombing and urged all nations to cut off financial aid to terror groups and “isolate those who hate so much that they are willing to kill.”

The increasing cycle of violence threatens to overwhelm a U.S.-backed peace plan referred to as the “road map” to peace launched by Bush and agreed to by the Israeli and Palestinian prime ministers only a week ago.

Why is it anything Bush touches just turns to shit? We are talking Afgahnistan, Iraq, the economy, and partisanship. Everything he touches just goes right down the toilet.  


Lock your bikes up!

WSBTV: How to Protect Your Bike.

No this stupid seat alarm is not going to deter much. Best bet is to lock the bike up all the time- even in your garage, securely lock the bike to an unmovable object.

Stupid quote of the story:Probably the best advice may be to forego a $3,000 bike and opt for a $59 version instead. That could, arguably, be the best deterrent to theft.

No, that would be the way you make sure you never actually ride. Expensive bikes are well worth the money. They operate better and last longer. Would you rather drive a new BMW or an old 1972 Beetle. There is a difference.

Just make sure you keep your bike locked up, and don't give thieves any chance to steal it. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Burt hates puppets!

Puppet pummeling provokes protests!

Steal my toupee, you little bastard! 


Watch the dancing monkeys!

Take Back the Media: A Day in the War. (Sound)

Shake it, shake it, shake it!



Hillary's book flying off the shelves.

AJC: Brisk sales reported for Clinton memoir.

A Fickle Finger of Fate to all those conservatives out there! 


Delta execs set poor example.

AJC: Delta execs set example rank and file can't follow.

Delta Air Lines can't seem to get it right.

The company, whose embarrassingly high pay and bonuses for executives nearly derailed federal aid for ailing airlines this year, is at it again. At a time when it is asking for pay cuts from pilots, Delta is coughing up more money to feather the nests of senior officers with big bankruptcy-proof pensions.


Delta Air Lines may be the single most critical component of the local economy -- the petroleum that fuels metro Atlanta's economic engine. If it founders and lands in bankruptcy, its collapse would spread economic misfortune throughout the region. So its executives ought to be showing employees an example of the personal sacrifice needed from the airlines' entire labor force.

Instead, we have the sight of the captain and his officers donning life jackets on the bridge, while the crew members in the engine room are told to keep working harder to keep the troubled ship afloat. By shielding themselves from much of the harm in the event of a collapse, the Delta leaders are putting themselves in a safe harbor -- a place of privilege above the shareholders, the creditors, the employees and the existing pensioners.

Greedy officers! I would almost like to see Delta fail, but it will be the workers who end up being hurt, not these idiots running the company. If there was only some way the workers could rip all this money out of the officers greasy little hands. 


Drownings on Panhandle.

AJC: 6, including Atlantan, drown off Florida Panhandle.

By early afternoon Monday the red flags, signaling it's too dangerous to swim, had been changed to yellow on the Florida Panhandle beaches where five people drowned in riptides Sunday. A sixth drowned on Monday.


Chad Carl, an attendant at WaterColor Market near Seaside, said Monday: "That's usually what happens down here. People see the red flags and they don't stay out of the water, they think that's going to make a funner day."

It amazing how poor swimmers will jump right into an ocean with rough water. Still, it happens every year. With all the drownings at area lakes, you figure people would be more careful when visiting the beach.

FYI: Riptides are narrow currents that shoot excess water out away from the beach as waves keep bringing more in. You can't swim against them but you can swim parallel to the shore until you are out of them. There is no such thing as an undertow, but riptides are frequently called this.

What do I do when I see red flags? I say "Hell yeah! This is gonna be funner!"  

Monday, June 09, 2003

Islamic hardliners take advantage of political vaccum in Iraq.

BBC News: Iraqis fear rise of clerics.

"Women who don't wear the veil won't be served when they go shopping; taxis won't pick them up and they might have eggs and rotten tomatoes thrown at them," he says.

"As far as the sellers of alcohol, they will be forced to stop, if necessary, by bringing their shops crashing down on their heads."


"They want everyone to wear the veil like in Iran and they say make-up is forbidden. But that's not our way," she says.

"If this country becomes like Iran, I'll pack up and leave."

Religious fanatics of the Bush Administration, meet the religious fanatics of Iraq. Yeah, we are making Iraq a better place, just like we did Afghanistan. 


Getting people back on the river.

AJC: Race revives recreation on Chattahoochee River.

Hundreds lined up Saturday along Garrard's Landing off Holcomb Bridge Road in Roswell. They lugged kayaks and canoes, which doubled as umbrellas as rain fell. Many reminisced about how spots like this on the Chattahoochee River used to thrive with revelry and recreation come summertime. Others wanted their own taste of "Shooting the 'Hooch."


In the early to mid-1980s, thousands would flock to this waterway and the revelry was infamous. The most famed event was the Ramblin' Raft Race, which drew 300,000 people at its peak. But the rambunctious -- some might say hedonistic -- crowds were driven out when the National Park Service put an end to the event in the early 1980s.

I can remember watching the Ramblin' Raft Race in the early '70's. We are not just talking about rafts. We are talking about truck innertube and wood creations that would rivaled home patios. The rafts would be complete with eight track quadraphonic stereos, men and women in cutoff jeans, iced kegs, and the air of "fun" that existed before AIDS. We used to watch from the old Powers Ferry Road steel one-lane bridge. Rafters would throw cans of beer to the yelling spectators. Drunk rafters would swim from raft to raft in search of new friends, and perhaps eventually find their way back to the raft they started on. This huge party would extend as far up and down the river as you could see. For hours these partiers would keep coming around the bend up the river. Towards the end of the day the rafters would look more haggard as the people hungover from the night before brought up the rear of the "race."

It is possible some of the pollution in the river is left over from these old races.

The river is still a fun place. Near my apartment rowing teams from all over Atlanta store their boats and train. Kayakers and canoers put in and tour the river. On the shoals near the trails I walk my dogs on, fly fisherman can be seen out in force- although I have yet to find anyone who eats their catch. Tennagers spend the day basking on rocks in the middle of the same shoals. Geese and ducks swim around all the humans, going on about their business. The elusive "Budweiser fish" becomes rarer.

I am glad they held this small race. Anything to help revive and clean up the river has my full blessing.  


What an electrifying show!

AJC: College student electrocuted after walking barefoot at concert.

I can't imagine walking around barefoot at a concert. I would be just as likely to walk around in a porno theater without shoes. I have seen far too many drunks vomiting and pissing in pulic areas to even consider it. This shocking incident just gives me more arguments to support my position. 

Sunday, June 08, 2003

Is the Bush administration losing the press? Powell slams media on Iraq WMD reports.

The media put Bush in office. I hate to see the honeymoon end. Well, actually I don't hate to see it end. I think it would be great if the press started actually reporting news like they used to. It looks like the GOP is having trouble keeping them in line now.

Powell also mentions the "biological vans." You know the ones he and Bush keep harping on, but British experts say are actually vans use to produce hydrogen for artillery balloons. 


Stupid people live in Atlanta, and write the AJC about taxes.

AJC: Letters.

Just to point out, people who make between $10,500 and $26,625 a year, do pay taxes. While the GOP tries to argue that they pay little in Federal taxes, when you ad payroll taxes, which are indeed a tax, they pay just as high as a pecentage as rich people. The GOP doesn't want you to believe that payroll taxes are a tax, however.

Should the wealthy pay a higher amount in Federal taxes than poor people? Well the GOP wants to argue that since the poor get all the Federal money, they should pay most of the taxes. Well, social spending only accounts for 6% of the "Federal" taxes, so it all doesn't go to the poor and much goes to the wealthy in the form of corporate welfare. Now consider that over one third of those taxes do go to defense spending. Since wealthy people have more to defend, they certainly should pay a proportionally larger amount.

Yes, the well off should pay a higher percentge of taxes, and thank God everyday that they live in a country as great as ours that allows them the opportunity to be wealthy. They should consider it their patriotic duty to contribute to our nation. It is unpatriotic and un-American to try to shift the cost of the government that helps protect them, their lifestyle, and their property, to those who are currently living without. 

Friday, June 06, 2003

Nemo wouldn't actually make it to the ocean. Kids, Don't Flush 'Nemo' At Home.

A little story that explains how your kids pet fish will not make it to the ocean if they try to mimic the movie and flush their pet. Actually the chlorine will kill it painfully- like being put in a vat of acid. Explain to your children that like the stunts in the movie "Jackass", which features guys shooting bottle rockets out of their rectums, the stunts seen on "Finding Nemo" should not be tried at home. 


Atlanta one of the best cities for singles.

Forbes: Best Cities For Singles.

We're number 5!

Hot-lanta is back among the top five best places for singles this year, after falling to tenth place last year. The home of the 1996 Summer Olympics features some wonderful highbrow diversions, such as the High Museum and Fox Theater, as well as more mainstream attractions, including the Atlanta Braves and Falcons. Universities always help with culture and coolness, and Atlanta has two of the best in Georgia Tech and Emory. Even though its economy has been hurt by problems at local behemoths Coca-Cola and Home Depot, Atlanta is still expected to have very robust job growth over the next five years. And the city's nightlife has something for everyone, from sleek club goers to the Jell-O shot crowd. Unlike some cities that close shop at two A.M. (are you listening, Boston and Denver?), certain spots in Atlanta stay open all night. That alone gives it a few extra buzz points. --Davide Dukcevich

What does a city need to do to get ranked last? Be Norfolk, Virginia!



Bet you didn't even know they still made this.

AJC: Volkswagen to end production of old-style Beetle

Volkswagen said Friday it will stop making the original rear-engined Beetle later this year, bringing the curtain down on the nearly 70-year history of the classic "bug."

Production of the last old Beetles at the VW plant in Puebla, Mexico, will "end this summer," spokesman Fred Baerbock said, adding that an exact date was not set.

Yes, they have still been making the old Beetle in Mexico. They will finally cease production. Makes me miss my old Baja Bug.




AJC runs three editorials this week critical of Bush!

Well, it seems Bush's honeymoon with the media may be ending. Newspapers are beginning to be critical of Bush and his policies. It is a little late, but anything will help. Don't expect to see the following views on Fox, CNN or MSNBC.

AJC: Martha Ezzard - The truth is, Bush's words prove false

Instead of counting on the gender gap in next year's election, Democrats should attack the Bush administration's truth gap.

President Bush's rhetoric doesn't meet the reality test in three key areas: tax relief, weapons of mass destruction and corporate reform. Here's a sampling of the president's empty rhetoric.

Go read the rest.

AJC: Jay Bookman - Iraq saga's end is as murky as hunt for WMD.

The claim that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction posed an immediate threat to the United States was a sham. It will still be a sham even if some U.S. Army corporal outside Baghdad is stumbling across tons of anthrax right this very minute.

But don't take my word for it. When worried advocates of the war start claiming that it doesn't really matter whether WMD are found, they're saying the same thing I am:

WMD were just the excuse. They were never the reason. The Bush administration hyped WMD because it did not trust the American people with its true rationale for war, which was the launching of a crusade to remake the Middle East.

He could have been harsher, and included some more quotes. Still, a nice start.

AJC: John Young - Texans paying for Bush's spend now, pay later plan.

That was convenient.

Texas budget writers, frantically flapping June-bug wings, were about to hit reality's windshield in their quest to erase a $10 billion shortfall. Then what breeze of life should deliver them but -- the federal government.

It is an interesting turn: a state that constitutionally can't go in the red, aided by a government that doesn't have the money to do it, except that it can borrow.

An 11th-hour federal infusion of $1.26 billion came as flatbread from heaven, allowing Comptroller Carole Strayhorn to boost her revenue estimate and for lawmakers to temper some of the budget devastation they contemplated.


In Texas, it serves to remember that were it not for Bush tax cuts, two in successive biennia amounting to about $3 billion, this Legislature would not have been in such a hole.

But Gov. Bush looked good and electable doing it, as do his ideological heirs. You can't argue with success when it comes to finding a way to get someone years away to pay for what you are pulling off today.

Funny how Bush completely screwed up Texas, and funny how Texas can get some federal help but other states can't. 



AJC: Thanks but time to go.

In a move that will be debate, hated, and loved, Vince Dooley was told his contract will not be renewed after 2004. At 70 years-old, it may just be time for a long vacation. He will always be remembered at UGA. 

Thursday, June 05, 2003


AJC: McKinney poised for political return

Records at the Federal Election Commission show that the former Democratic congresswoman from DeKalb County has begun filing paperwork that would allow her to run in her old 4th District seat, which she lost to fellow Democrat Denise Majette in the August 2002 primary. Majette went on to win the general election.

She couldn't win a district that was handmade for her by her daddy. Why does she want to try again? 


Bush on WMD


“We’re on the look. We’ll reveal the truth....”

I thought George knew the truth. During an address to the nation in March, he said:

Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.


“But one thing is certain: no terrorist network will gain weapons of mass destruction from the Iraqi regime because the Iraqi regime is no more.”

Yeah, but we don't know who has the WMD, or where they even are. While Saddam hated Muslim extremists, whoever supposedly has the weapons, if they ever existed, might be more inclined to supply them to terrorists. How can it be said that no terrorist network will get them?

“America sent you on a mission to remove a grave threat and liberate an oppressed people and that mission has been accomplished,” he told the more than 1,000 troops.

Now, if we can only work harder on suppressing them ourselves, we can get the oil wells ups and running. 

News and notes from Atlanta, and a touch of national stuff, as seen by gttim.

Georgia for Dean

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