Thursday, December 30, 2004

EFI Evening News With Your Host Pile On®

New Surgical Procedure To Treat Migraines

New surgical procedures are offering relief from debilitating migraine headaches, research shows. The new surgical techniques were inspired by an unexpected side effect to facial plastic surgery — specifically, a forehead rejuvenation procedure. The report appears in the January issue of the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Patients undergoing the plastic surgery technique, which involves cutting muscle in the forehead, reported that their migraine headaches disappeared, writes researcher Bahman Guyuron, MD, professor of plastic surgery with Case Western Reserve University and the American Migraine Center.


Company makes apparel out of fur from pets

VIP Fibers of Morgan Hills CA offers custom hand spinning of dog hair into dog yarn and dog yarn keepsakes.

Like so many other pet owners, I couldn't bear to throw away the tuffs of fluff removed from my Chows brush after grooming. It was so soft, so light and the color was unsurpassed by any other natural fiber I had ever seen.

I think I have enough natural fiber in my Oreck for a nice stole.

Congressman Jim McDermott fined $60,000

Jim McDermott who represents a primarily Baathist district in Washington state faces a congressional investigation for ethics violations.

The House ethics committee has decided to investigate whether Representative Jim McDermott, Democrat of Washington, broke House rules in 1997 when he provided two news organizations a tape recording of an illegally intercepted phone conversation among Republicans.

The matter dates from an ethics case against Newt Gingrich, Republican of Georgia, who was then speaker of the House. In the phone conversation, in December 1996, Mr. Gingrich discussed with Mr. Boehner and other allies a strategy for dealing with the complaints against him. The conversation was recorded by a Florida couple, who gave the tape of it to Mr. McDermott, then the senior Democrat on the ethics panel.

What the above linked NY Times article leaves out is McDermott was fined $60,000 and ordered to pay court costs which could approach $600,000. U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan stated that McDermott’s “willful and knowing misconduct rises to the level of malice.”

Asshats, and the asshats who love them.


Mahmoud Abbas sucks up to Terrorists

JENIN REFUGEE CAMP, West Bank (AP) - A prominent West Bank gunman carried a smiling Mahmoud Abbas on his shoulders Thursday, endorsing the presidential candidate and prompting questions of whether Abbas is playing campaign politics or identifying with violent groups.

The murderous terrorist thug is dead, long live the murderous terrorist thug.


Lieberman: Iraq Election Must Go Forward

WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. Joe Lieberman, traveling in the Middle East Wednesday, said there is strong support in Iraq for the Jan. 30 election, and postponing it would only be a victory for the insurgents.

Precisely Senator, that is why people in some quarters are calling for the elections to be postponed.


Hot Dog Hookers

Long Island cops have busted two women who were selling hot dogs — and themselves — from a food truck parked along a busy stretch of Sunrise Highway, authorities said.

According to police, Scalia and Skorge started parking in Baldwin about four months ago and sold hot dogs, chips and sodas to dozens of unsuspecting customers from the front of the truck — and sex in the back.
When they spotted a potential consumer for their other business, they would first offer to strip, and then, if the man appeared to be craving something more, take it to the next level, according to cops.
"We've never seen hot dogs mixed with prostitution before," Deputy Inspector Rick Capece said. "There are so many jokes, so little time."

And now for the money quote of the day.......

And they weren't even tidy about their legitimate business — open bags of chips were scattered around. "It's certainly not the most sanitary hot dog truck I've ever seen,"

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

EFI Evening News With Your Host Pile On®

Ramsey Clarke to defend Saddam

Former US Attorney General under Lyndon Johnson joins the team of lawyers defending Saddam Hussein.

Clark said in the Jordanian capital Amman that his principle concern was protecting the former president's rights, who only saw a lawyer for the first time this month - a year after his capture.

"In international law, anyone accused of crime has the right to be tried by a confident, independent and impartial court, and there can be no fair trail without those qualities," he said.

"The special court in Iraq was created by the Iraqi governing council, which is nothing more than a creation of the US military occupation and has no authority in law as a criminal court," he said.

The Iraq Special Tribunal was established by the US-led administration in Iraq last December to try members of the former government.

Clark also said the US itself must be tried for the November assault on Falluja, destruction of houses, torture in prisons and its role in the deaths of thousands of Iraqis in the war.

Excuse me counselor but the US is not on trial. Did you take this gig to defend your client or to get your mug on camera and criticize your country?


Fannie May Sells $4 Billion in Preferred Stock

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fannie Mae, the largest U.S. home funding company, said on Wednesday it may privately sell up to $4 billion of preferred stock this week, which could help it meet higher capitalization standards it faces after regulators found it broke accounting rules.

This should help them cover the cost of the retirement package of former CEO Franklin Raines.


John Wayne Bobbitt Acquitted of Battery

LAS VEGAS (AP) - John Wayne Bobbitt has been acquitted of charges that he battered family members after the discovery of a sex toy in his bedroom.
In finding Bobbitt innocent of domestic violence, a Las Vegas judge ruled Monday that Bobbitt's 14-year-old stepson was to blame for the August fight.

Outside the courtroom, Bobbitt said he was thrilled with his acquittal.
"I've never been so happy with the judicial system," Bobbitt said.

No kidding?


Bush Administration is Insensitive

The Bush administration more than doubled its financial commitment yesterday to provide relief to nations suffering from the Indian Ocean tsunami, amid complaints that the vacationing President Bush has been insensitive to a humanitarian catastrophe of epic proportions.

Is there one sensitive person left in the Bush Administration? Perhaps we need a cabinet level Department of Sensitivity.


Space Station Crewman Study New Diet

Two crewman aboard the International Space Station discover rationing food supplies leads to weight loss.

Who knew?


The Red Carpet Flesh Factor

Stars are showing more flesh than ever as they step out at premieres - 59% of their naked bods, in fact. Researchers claim celebs show, on average, more than half their naked body when treading the red carpet.

They have scanned through the years to see how much nudity has been on show over the decades. Liz Hurley famously upped the ante in a safety pin Versace creation at the opening of Four Weddings And A Funeral in 1994. In that year, the average bare skin quota was just 39% - compared to Liz's treble-figure flash.

Since the 1950s, the most prudish decade was, interestingly, the 70s when stars like Carrie Fisher and Goldie Hawn showed just 7%. Researchers for the Odeon survey says if trends continue, stars with be showing off THREE-QUARTERS of their bods by 2010.

Our research indicates that by the year 2025 a postage stamp will suffice.


Obese Women On The 'Pill' More Likely To Get Pregnant

Women who are overweight or obese and who use oral contraceptives like the "pill" are more likely to become pregnant compared with women of lower weight, according to a new study.
The findings, by researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center will be published next month in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.

The researchers also said that no one knows for sure why obese women experience a higher level of birth-control failure. However, they did suggest a couple of possible reasons, including increased metabolism and fairly low hormone levels in today's oral-contraceptives compared with those from 40 years ago.

We could make a few suggestions, but since our lights are on, we will keep them to ourselves.

Birth control pills are less effective with overweight women

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Our Top Stories Tonight

Due to the fact that we are operating on a skeleton crew here at the Institute and we have undertaken a major renovation of our headquarters, we will be unable to post an in depth policy paper or an investigative exposé this week. But there is no reason to fret like one of my old teenage girlfriends waiting for me to call, the Institute has its proverbial foot on the pulse of the nation.


There have been 31 Grizzly Bear casualties since President Bush announced the end of major Grizzly Bear operations. Some environmentalists are concerned about U. S. hegemony in and around Glacier National Park.


This New York Times headline caught my eye, "Supermarket Giants Crush Central American Farmers".

Stupid supermarket giants, you don't want to crush Central American Farmers, it ruins the flavor. Pick them fresh, then chop them coarsely.


Schools are replacing the milk cartons with plastic bottles, citing a milk industry study that shows children drink more dairy when it comes in round plastic bottles.

That may be true, but if my childhood is any indication, children drink the most out of aluminum cans pinched out of their parents refrigerator.


Missouri Approves Fishing With Bare Hands

Next summer, it will be legal to plunge into some Missouri rivers and grab catfish by hand - a type of fishing that is not for the faint of heart.
Known variously as noodling or hogging, handfishing has long been a misdemeanor punishable by fines, because state officials fear it depletes breeding-age catfish. It can also be dangerous: Noodlers hold their breath for long periods under water and sometimes come up with fistfuls of agitated snakes or snapping turtles instead of fish.

Missouri's biological concerns are that handfishers, who go for the biggest fish they can wrestle from riverbanks or hollow logs, will take too many sexually mature fish from their underwater nests.

While we at the institute are in favor of the trend to get outdated blue laws off the books, we had no idea this would lead to the botherment of sexually mature catfish.


Oscar winning actress Liza Minnelli was hospitalized after falling out of bed.

No photo was available. Honest.


Czech supermodel Petra Nemcova, was vacationing at the resort of Phuket, when she and her boyfriend were swept out of their bungalow by the tsunami over the weekend. She suffered a shattered hip and internal injuries but managed to survive by clinging to a palm tree for eight hours. Her boyfriend is still missing.

We wish her a speedy recovery, and we have great confidence in her full recovery, it is clear that supermodels are a hearty lot.

Petra Nemcova

Monday, December 27, 2004

Slow News Day Roundup

The head of the political wing of Al-Qiaiaieaieada, Osama Bin Laden announces today his opposition to democracy saying "voting is for Infidels".

We can't find words for just how shocked, SHOCKED we are.


Pharmaceutical companies issue a common sense warning to their employees, that really is good advice for all of us. Beware of scruffy fat dudes sporting a baseball cap that will twist your words, take you out of context and attempt to destroy the company you work for.


AOL announces that spam e-mail is declining. They recorded 1.6 billion e-mails in November compared with 2.1 billion in the same month a year ago.
After we got over the shock that those e-mails may not be effective we had to ask "if you can count them, why can't you block them?"


Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, who lost the special election announces that he will contest the results stating "Viktor Yushchenko is an arsenic addict that is not fit to serve".
We are just thankful that Kerry didn't take the election performance enhancing drug.


Major retailers are hoping to meet modest sales goals with a post Christmas rush of people using gift cards to take advantage of sales.
We find this most confusicating. Aren't gift cards already paid for? If we were a major retailer we would hope people never showed up to cash in their damned gift cards.


Bob Barker at age 81 announces that he will be back next year for his 34th season on the Price is Right.
We are not surprised, when you reach the pinnacle of the tv business why not stay there as long as you can. Game shows have seasons?


In other shocking news, the staff at the Institute could not come up with a single interesting news story, that would allow us to post a picture of a hot chick. Must be a slow news day.

Faith Based Relief Funds

Scott Ott (the great one) of Scrappleface, has set up a clearinghouse for those wanting to help the victims of the earthquake and tsunami. He has selected some charities for those wanting to give to Christian Organizations.

Scott, you are the best.

Tsunami Disaster Demands Fast Action

As President Bush announces the U.S. will rapidly respond with disaster relief for the victims of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Asia; the environmentalist left is quick to respond linking the scope of the disaster to global warming. While they lack the ambition or creativity to directly blame the earthquake on human activities, they are sounding the alarm bell with predictions of doom for the future.

A creeping rise in sea levels tied to global warming, pollution and damage to coral reefs may make coastlines even more vulnerable to disasters like tsunamis or storms in future, experts said Monday.

Few coastal ecosystems are robust enough to withstand freak waves like the ones that slammed into Asian nations from Sri Lanka to Thailand Sunday, killing more than 22,000 people, after a subsea earthquake off Indonesia.

But global warming, poorly planned coastal development and other threats over which humans have some control are weakening natural defenses ranging from mangrove swamps to coral reefs that help keep the oceans at bay.

Scientists say a build-up of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere from human burning of fossil fuels threatens to trigger more powerful storms and raise sea levels, exposing coasts to more erosion.

As the death toll rises in Asia from this disaster(at the time of this writing it is at 23,000), look for more reporting on how global warming has made the situation even worse. It all comes back to you, your SUV, the Kyoto Accord and Bush.

For an interesting perspective on all this, an excerpt from a speech at the National Press Club made by MIT professor in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Richard Lindzen.

Do you believe in global warming? That is a religious question. So is the second part: Are you a skeptic or a believer?

Essentially if whatever you are told is alleged to be supported by 'all scientists,' you don't have to understand [the issue] anymore. You simply go back to treating it as a matter of religious belief. Once a person becomes a believer of global warming, you never have to defend this belief except to claim that you are supported by all scientists -- except for a handful of corrupted heretics.

"With respect to science, the assumption behind the [alarmist] consensus is science is the source of authority and that authority increases with the number of scientists [who agree.] But science is not primarily a source of authority. It is a particularly effective approach of inquiry and analysis. Skepticism is essential to science -- consensus is foreign.

Alarmist predictions of more hurricanes, the catastrophic rise in sea levels, the melting of the global poles and even the plunge into another ice age are not scientifically supported. It leads to a situation where advocates want us to be afraid, when there is no basis for alarm. In response to the fear, they want us to do what they want.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

From Our Pack To Yours--Merry Christmas

The staff and management of the Ebb & Flow Institute wish you a very merry Christmas.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Christmas Eve Vespers At The Institute

Seasons Greetings

Just because it is Christmas eve doesn't mean there isn't any beer news. Iowa Farmers are feeding beer to cattle, and of course they like it, even getting a little finicky if they are fed without it. I'll drink to that.


Still have some last minute gifts to pick up? Why not send a goat to the third world in someone's name? You will be providing some lucky third worlder with milk, meat, manure and offspring for trade. Nothing says Merry Christmas like manure.


One German newspaper is only printing good news in it's Christmas issue this year. I had to wonder if they would be able to find enough material to print, but they seem to have come up with a few things anyway.

An Israeli scientist had developed a laser treatment against bad breath and a mugger in Zagreb who was always polite to his victims was finally captured by police.

"The procreation rate rises each year during the Christmas holidays," was the headline over a report that the number of births in Germany rises sharply every year in mid-September -- nine months after Christmas. That's good news?


It is cold in North Korea, but rest easy Mr. Beloved Leader got a yuletide commie vent tongue massaging. That dude is sick. I like that!


Scott Ott is being outsourced to a classroom of trained chimps in St. Louis. Don't worry about the Institute, we get by with a low wage canine work force.

Ebb & Flow salutes Jeff at Beautiful Atrocities.


Liberal Larry is taking some much deserved time off during this strictly secular time of the year. But not before dumping his mailbag for us, and wishing us a very Happy Kwanzaa and a Merry Mandatory Staff Meeting. What a sweet, sweet man.



For your Christmas eve tv viewing pleasure tune into Fox News for a look back at the key moments of the Scott Peterson Murder trial, with Greta Van Suteran at 10 p.m. ET.

I God Woodrow!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Trolling For Illegitimacy With Congressman Conyers

Congressman John Conyers

Congressman John Conyers has asked that the raw data from exit polls, conducted by the National Election Pool, be turned over to the House Judiciary Committee so they can study the discrepancy between the polls and the outcome of the election. Data from exit polls released early in the day of the election showed John Kerry leading by 3 percentage points in key states like Ohio and Florida.

In a letter to Warren Mitofsky of Mitofsky International, who handled the exit polling for news organizations, Conyers said the exit poll information could help determine whether there is evidence "of voting irregularities that occurred as a result of poor election practices and intentional voter disenfranchisement."

Really Congressman? Polling data will help you determine that? Are you aware that most polls depending on the sample size have a margin of error of at least 3%? We don't elect people based on polls, you see polls are conducted by news organizations to help them predict the results of an actual election. When it come to polls the larger the sample size the more precise the poll becomes. It just so happens that the sample size of the actual votes is just a little bit larger than that of the exit polls. Even if there were some discrepancies in how the vote was tabulated the sample size of actual votes cast correctly would be much more accurate than the exit polling of a few thousand voters.

Perhaps the congressman should study Statistics 101 and then include that in the help with homework section of his website.

It is patently absurd that data released in the middle of the day, before most working people even have a chance to vote, should be used as political fuel for the congressman's efforts to make illegitimate the election of President Bush.

The congressman is fishing, and the Institute is not biting.

Seasons Greetings

Have you been naughty or nice?

I received the nicest winter holiday greeting that touched me so deeply I thought I would share it with everyone.


Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral celebration of the Winter Solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice or the secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

And best wishes for a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2005, but not without due respect for the calendars of other cultures whose contributions have helped make America great - not to imply that America is greater than any other country or is the only "America" in the Western Hemisphere - and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, choice of computer platform or sexual preference of the wishee.

***By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms: This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes and is void where prohibited by law. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first. All other warranties are disclaimed. Void where prohibited.

A big Ebb & Flow Salute to KJ.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Lucha Libre--la Acción es Fantástica

Lucifer & Verdugo

Are you going to have some down time over the holidays? Will you be channel surfing, looking for some high-minded socially redeeming entertainment that the whole family can enjoy? Let me make a suggestion, set your Tivo, or check your local listings for Lucha Libre.

Yes, Mexican Wrestling. This is high-flying non-stop action that makes American Wrestling look like over produced silliness; what with their fancy auditoriums, high dollar costumes and modern video production values. Lucha Libre is real down to earth grassroots entertainment.

You might see legends like El Santo and Misterioso, or current favorites like Chilango, Rosa Salvaje, The Chivos and Those Crazy Chickens & minis Tsuki, Mascarita Sagrada, Parkita & Guerrerito.

If you are really fortunate you can catch super starlets like Kitten DeVille, Erochica, Ursulina, Cardinal Cyn, Summer Peaches, Ming Dynatease & Desire D'Amour.

Let me just say, those chicas es muy bueno.

Grab a twelve-pack, turn it on and you've got yourself more fun than a Red Sovine double cd pack, not to mention a good way to bone up on your español.

As a friend who turned me onto this said "Lucha Libre is a microcosm of everything that is fu**ed up about Mexico".

Slate on SDI--Good Old Yankee Inability

On the heels of last weeks failed test of a missile defense system, critics of the program are quick to call for an end to the program. I ran across this article entitled "Just Another Unknown Anomaly--Must we spend another $80 billion before we admit missile defense doesn't work" at Slate by Fred Kaplan who writes a column called "War Stories" .

Let's say you're buying the most complicated computer system ever devised. It's still in the early stages. The payments are costing a fortune. The software's riddled with bugs. Some software hasn't been written yet. Several scientists doubt the thing will ever work properly. Finally, just this week, you couldn't even get it to switch on.

Several scientists? Who are they and what are their qualifications Fred? Are these like unnamed sources?

That would be a good analogy provided not having this computer system could make American cities vulnerable to catastrophic nuclear attack.

.......But 23 seconds before the interceptor missile was scheduled to blast off, the system shut down, due to what the MDA is calling "an unknown anomaly." As of Thursday afternoon, Pentagon officials were saying,both publicly and off the record,that they still don't know what happened.

They still don't know what happened? After one whole day? What incompetence.

A question for the overseers in Congress: Is it time now for a serious look at this program? Missile defense consumed $10.7 billion of this year's military budget, far more than any other weapon system. About $80 billion has been spent on it since Ronald Reagan stepped up research and development for the mission 20 years ago. Another $80 billion is scheduled to be spent before the decade is out. It may be time to ask: Why?

Why? Well perhaps because it is a dangerous world with bad guys out there that would like nothing more than to kill as many Americans as possible (you included Fred). There are rogue nations, that have nuclear capabilities and missile technology, North Korea for one and if Iran doesn't already it likely soon will. Iran has ties to terrorist organizations and North Korea is in desperate economic condition and will do business with anyone.

There is no need to repeat here the dozens of reasons for skepticism that an antiballistic-missile system has much chance of shooting down a single enemy warhead. If it can shoot down one warhead (a lucky roll of the dice), the bad guys can simply launch a second warhead, and there hasn't yet been even a rigged test involving multiple targets. Everything about the system is way too complicated, the software; the command-control network; the integration of early warning radars, target-acquisition sensors, and weapons-launch centers.

Nothing like a positive "can do" attitude. Good old Yankee Ingenuity is dead at Slate. It is impossible so let's not even try. If we could only use embryonic stem cells in the research? Fortunately Gorbachov had a higher opinion of what America might accomplish should we put our mind to it.

I would be more concerned if all the tests went flawlessly. Sometimes we learn more from our failures than we do our successes. Through trial and error we can get the bugs out of the system and devise ways to overcome problems we may not be aware of. If only every failure were not used as a political blunt instrument to demand an end to the program.

I have never understood the knee-jerk reaction against missile defense from the left in this country. This is a weapons system that is by it's very nature strictly defensive. What on earth do they have against defending ourselves? Is it some sort of fatalistic mental disorder.

I can't help but think the critics of missile defense would be the first people screaming for answers about why we didn't do more to defend ourselves if we ever were to suffer a missile attack. There would be special commissions made up of former Senators to dole out the hindsight recriminations.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

A First Family First

From Brit Humes Grapevine......

President Bush has become the first President in U.S. history to send out a Christmas card with a Bible verse. About 2 million friends and supporters received a card that featured a painting of the White House's Red Room and this line from the book of Psalms, "Let us come before him with Thanksgiving and extol him with music and song."

I have to wonder if the ACLU will file a suit.

I have been dreading going to the mall to do some last minute shopping, but I finally got it over with and bought the much deserving lovely bride some beads and trinkets. As I make it a rule to avoid the mall whenever possible I was surprised to observe a few things.

First, the mall walkers that go to the great indoors (on a nice day in Houston for a walk outside) for exercise, now carry little dumbbells. And it looks like it is getting competitive.

Then I saw one woman's clothes store that carries nothing but black & white clothes. Fine, I see women dressed like that all the time. But then I saw a store that had nothing but black & pink clothes. That would seem to be taking niche marketing a little too far, but then they didn't ask me to invest in it.

If you still have to make a trip to the mall, I have a great idea for you to make the best of your trip. Go into a department store like Neiman Markups or Saks and find the woman who looks like she has the cob inserted the deepest. Approach her like she is a store employee and ask her in an impatient tone, "can I please get some help in the intimates section"? If she doesn't help, threaten to report her to her manager.

Then report back how it goes.

Merry Christmas from the Institute

Rumsfeld The New Ashcroft

Donald Rumsfeld seems to have replaced Ashcroft as the favorite target in the Bush administration for the media and now several Senators who fancy themselves mavericks, and enjoy the adoring media coverage that is available whenever a Republican goes against his own party.

We at the Institute are on record as supporting Rummy. The job of transforming our military from a cold war force to one that is mobile, can be dispatched quickly and able to handle the threats that now confront us, and will continue to confront us in the foreseeable future, requires a man that isn't afraid to ruffle a few feathers. Having said that I am aware that in doing so, he may have dismissed, and made enemies of some who are not a part of the problem and should be his allies.

I am not going to spend a lot of time posting about this, there is plenty out there if you are interested. Captain Ed of the Captain's Quarters has several very thoughtful posts on the subject and seems to be taking a minor flogging from his readers. He has also posted an e-mail he received from Dafydd, one of his regular readers, that is very thought provoking, regarding the consequences should McCain and his sidekicks be successful in forcing Rummy out.

Go check it out. I only hope the Captain's server can handle the Ebbalanche.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Dumb Ass Quote of the Week

Senator Joe Biden

This weeks winner has us wondering where Neil Kinnock is, and is he too busy to help out his biggest fan.

Presumably because of his expertise in these matters, Senator Joe Biden D. Delaware, was on Meet the Press with Tim Russert Sunday discussing the situation in Iraq, when he uttered the following phrase that makes him our big winner this week. Congratulations Senator.

We just sent a Black Hawk helicopter crew over. I get calls from the wives. They wanted fabric for seats because the seats were torn. Imagine that. And this Pentagon and this president acts like, "Oh, no. They've got all they need."

Yes, imagine that!!

Secretary Rumsfeld must be held accountable for this torn upholstery crisis.

Weekly award is given out whenever we durn well feel like it.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Hitler Legacy Now Sealed--He Was Bad

Klaus-Dieter Dubon, a retired Bavarian notary and tax expert has unearthed new evidence that Adolph Hitler was a tax evader that owed up to 405,000 Reichsmarks -- equivalent to $8 million today.

Hitler earned 1.232 million Reichsmarks in 1933 from sales of "Mein Kampf". He should have paid 600,000 Reichsmarks in taxes on that income but his tax debt was forgiven when he became Maximum Leader of Germany.

Among many historians, Hitler's negatives such as starting World War II and interning millions of Jews sending many of them to the gas chamber has always been balanced by his unprecedented record of trains running on time. With this new SHOCKING evidence, it appears Hitler's historical legacy has been sealed. HE WAS BAD!!

Senator Chuck Hagel R. France --No Confidence

Senator Chuck Hagel who many in Washington think is planning to run for president in 08 is off to a rocky start as the hint of a scandal begins to grow surrounding his use of an official Senate website for political purposes.

A search by The Hill found at least five overtly political press releases on his Senate website addressing topics ranging from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaint filed by the Bush-Cheney campaign against Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) to the fitness of the Republican gubernatorial ticket in Nebraska.

The statements, bearing the Senate seal, were posted between May 12, 1998, and March 31, 2004. Direct links to the press statements could no longer be connected to through Hagel’s Senate home page, but they remained cached on his website.

The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics said Hagel’s official press releases smacked of campaign politics.

This is a clear breach of Senate ethics.

Chapter 6 on political activity in the Senate Ethics Manual states: “Official resources may only be used for official purposes. This principle derives in large part from 31 U.S.C. section 1301(a), providing that official funds are to be used for the purposes for which appropriated. … It is thus inappropriate to use any official resources to conduct campaign or political activities.”

I think it is absolutely unpardonable for senator Hagel to have used his website in this manner and not to have properly prepared his staff to follow Senate ethics rules. It's a manifestation of a clear lack of cogent, clear, straight-talking planning in an election season.

This issue is just astounding to me and it does reflect how out of touch Hagel and his staff are, and how dismissive they are. My goodness, that is the least we can expect of a Senator. If other Senators can obey senate rules why can't Senator Chuck Hagel?

I am not prepared to say Senator Hagel should not serve out his term, that is up to the voters of France, but I have no confidence in Senator Hagel.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Preliminary Inquiry Into Flatuphobia

As you know, we have added the study of Grassroots Movements for Change into our already heavy workload at the Institute. One thing we have noticed is that most of these movements by their very nature lack mass popular appeal. One alrt spd rdr noted in a comment here that there may be a segment of our population that would be served by a Grassroots Movement for Change. In his words......

Medical Science has proven beyond a doubt that beans, beans are good for your heart. Gas Up for Healthier Lifestyles was organized to take back the business of men's fitness from the oppressive tyranny of matriarchal etiquette. Too long have men suffered under the yoke of so-called “civilized manners” that attempt to prevent Chili-loving men everywhere from carrying out their God-given right to vent methane in a public place! We at GUHL recognize this practice for what is: anti-health and anti-male. (Everyone knows that women never fart.)GUHL seeks to educate men everywhere to heed the clarion call of their ultimate self-expression! We will fight them in the elevator! We will fight them on the escalators! We will even take our fight to the churches of this fair land, trumpeting the rights of men everywhere to advertise their commitment to a healthy lifestyle! Join GUHL today so that one day your children can pass freely across the face of this earth.--spd rdr

Upon reading this I instructed the staff here to do some research on the subject, and frankly I was blown away by the untapped potential for a movement in this area. The idea has already caught on down under, as one Australian group is doing some important work. Australians Against Flatuphobia is serving as a support group for victims of flatuphobia as well as serving as an activist organization to end this hateful victimization.

Have you ever been in a situation where you have had a problem with flatulence and become a social outcast after just one mistake? For example, accidentally let one slip at a board room meeting and been demoted or even sacked. Ever broken wind at a religious service and been banished from all further gatherings. We are a support group who deals with these incidents of victimisation and provides victims with support, advice and encouragement. Our other major function to promote anti flatuphobia in Australia and breaking down the stereotype of flatulence in popular culture.

Their website has testimonials from victims of societies flatuphobia, including this one from a woman in Olinda, Victoria (spd, the potential for this movement includes the fairer sex as well).

"I had worked at Tobin Brothers in Croydon for five years. During one funeral I accidentally let one rip and sent the whole congregation into hysterics. But my boss didn't think it was funny and I was given notice a week later. They said the reason for my sacking was my poor attitude but I am certain it was due to my flatulence problem."

Gut wrenching isn't it? I can relate to this, sometimes as I lay in the fartsack at night I am haunted by a memory from 27 years ago when I was ostracized by my village for a minor transgression. I was ten, and attending the high school graduation of my other brother when a healthy diet, cheap metal folding chairs and a gymnasium with reverberating acoustics conspired against me. I found myself in a situation that I could not discreetly excuse myself from, so I tried to muffle one, like I would have safely done at home on my mothers sofa, but the metal folding chair was not as forgiving. In fact it served as an amplifier in a way that my knowledge of physics cannot explain.

You would not believe the angry looks and sideways glances I received. I thought the whole village was going to arrange a public trial and force me to wear a scarlet F for the rest of my life. I was shunned and humiliated. My only defense was that I couldn't help it, which I thought was a good defense, I mean, would I have done it a second time even louder if I could have prevented it? Even oldest brother On was giving me dirty looks telling me to cool it. I would have thought the man that discovered a nerf basketball was a great way to store the smell of flatuence for weeks until it was needed, would be a little more understanding.

We at the Institute have reached the conclusion that a movement of this nature could have broad grassroots appeal and help clear the air to end the fear and ignorance that is so pervasive in our society. But since our mission at the Institute is to observe and study, not actually participate in society we can not actively lead this grassroots movement.

Other Related Sites For Your Study

Yapoo "The Fart" for all you ever wanted to know about farts but didn't know who to ask. Knowledge is power.

Farting Dog Harmonics - Farting dogs. Click on each dog to hear a different fart.

The Farting Survey--contribute to their research by taking the survey.

The Blue Dart Page--WARNING, this site contains graphic video of people igniting their flatuence.

The Gassy Girl-- this one is rather self explanatory.

Fun With Farts--free bulletin board and professional farting discussion groups.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Spotlight on Women's Issues II

Button up those blouses ladies, before going to Atlantic City to gamble. Casino workers use surveillance cameras to keep and eye on women in low cut blouses. Evidently they think these women pose a greater risk of cheating. We think it is a clear case of "profiling", and an obvious violation of the Casino Clandestine Surveillance Profiling Act of 2001. ___________________________________________________________________

A pregnant woman dies during a government AIDS study when doctors continued to give her an experimental drug after she showed signs of liver failure. Perhaps we should leave this research to the private sector, they can be held liable. ___________________________________________________________________

A new study shows it is healthy to be married, with the exception of the tendency to be overweight. I found this paragraph from the article to be interesting.

Some 70.6 percent of husbands were overweight or obese compared with 65.1 percent of all men. For females, 48.6 percent of married women were overweight or obese, virtually the same as the 48.5 percent of women in general. Widows made up the largest share of overweight women at 53.2 percent.

So it appears men chunk out after getting married and women wait until their husbands are dead to do so.

Ursula Andress who played Honey Ryder in Dr No (remember the bikini scene as she walked out of the water) is blasting current Hollywood stars for being to skinny. ___________________________________________________________________

If you men are getting the woman in your life lingerie for Christmas, keep this in mind. Dutch women prefer big comfortable knickers. The story doesn't say anything about American woman. ___________________________________________________________________

Sorry ladies, another rich eligible bachelor is off the market. Yep, Enrique Iglesias is married. We think this relationship will last, so there is no point in starting an office pool.

Enrique Iglesias & Anna Kournikova

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Frisky Fodder II

Those of you who loathe 12 days of Christmas parodies may want to rethink your position after seeing this. If you are at the office turn up the volume to 11, nothing will bring out the Christmas spirit like a song about STDs. Via Princess Kimberly (the link not the STDs).

As I ventured down into the dirt among the fleas, grubs and worms to educate myself about grassroots movements for change I encountered a couple of other movements worthy of note if not an in depth exposé.

First, Tampaction, yes that is right, menstrual activists for change.

The Tampaction Campaign is a national, youth led effort to replace unhealthy, unsustainable tampons and pads with sustainable alternatives and positive attitudes towards menstruation, menstruators' bodies, and the environment.

It doesn't get much more grassrooty than that.

this. Using self-love to end conflict. The sacrifices some people will make for peace. Remember you can't love others until you love yourself.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Spotlight on Grassroots Movements for Change

After writing the post on the editorial in The Nation encouraging people to vote for Fahrenheit 911, it occurred to me that I don't know jack about grassroots movements for change. I don't like to not know jack about something, so I decided to do a little research on grassroots movements for change and get to know jack.

I did a google search on grassroots movements for change and got 326,000 hits. Wow, that is too much jack for my limited staff at the Institute, but I am toying with the idea of making a regular feature of this site to highlight different grassroots movements for change. Today I will feature the Global Women's Strike.

They are an international group of women of colour, indigenous & rural women, mothers, women in waged work, women with disabilities, lesbian & bisexual women, older women, young women, sex workers, religious activists, students, teachers, women in trade unions and alternative health care supporters. [I hope I didn't leave anyone out.]

What do they do:
They go on strike every March 8th.

Why do they strike:
Women do the work of giving birth to, feeding and caring for the whole world. Those in whom we have invested our lives are slaughtered as ‘collateral damage’ or turned into killing machines.
And so we have been central to every anti-war movement. It is a disaster that only half the human race is trained to care and the other half told it has ‘more important things to do’.
As corporate power and its wars threaten every corner of all our lives, people everywhere have formed massive movements – to reclaim our land and our planet, and to stop the theft (via privatisation) of water, seeds, genes . . . The Global Women’s Strike, women’s independent voice in this great movement, reclaims military spending for caring, feeding, healing, learning.
These women have some issues.

What are their demands:

Payment for all caring work - in wages, pensions, land & other resources. What is more valuable than raising children & caring for others?

Invest in life & welfare, not military budgets or prisons. [And burkas, we need to invest in burkas.]

Pay equity for all, women & men, in the global market. [Thanks for throwing the men a bone, Marx was a man you know.]

Food security for breastfeeding mothers, paid maternity leave and maternity breaks. Stop penalizing us for being women. [Do men get this stuff already?]

Don't pay 'Third World debt'. We owe nothing, they owe us. [Well somebody has got to pay damn it]

Accessible clean water, healthcare, housing, transport, literacy. [Men have this stuff, we just keep it in the mens' locker room at the country club]

Non-polluting energy & technology which shortens the hours we work. We all need cookers, fridges, washing machines, computers, & time off! [It is a little known fact that non-polluting energy will shorten the hour to 50 minutes.]

Protection & asylum from all violence & persecution, including by family members & people in positions of authority. [Damn, if only we hadn't cut the prison budgets we could lock these bad guys up.]

Freedom of movement. Capital travels freely, why not people? [ I understand capital uses travelocity.]

Other things that piss them off.

America's new war" and all wars - women & children are most of those killed & wounded, and 80% of refugees.

Globalisation - an end to no pay, low pay and too much work.

Can anyone deny that production should be at the service of caring, not killing and profit? Yet $800+ billion is spent on arms each year – and more money has been committed to bombing countries like Afghanistan where people are starving, and persecuting or imprisoning anyone anywhere who dares to oppose.

A strike is the strongest weapon that workers have, and women, who do 2/3 of the world’s work, are the hardest workers. When we stop, everything is disrupted.

People everywhere see that governments are promoting corporate greed against us while lining their own pockets. They impose structural adjustment programmes and cuts in services and welfare benefits, impoverishing us and imposing killing overwork. [I am starting to get the impression these women just don't want to work.]

The gap between women's wages and men's is 25%-50% and growing, lowering our pensions and our social power at every age.

Together the Strike and its demands give a unique framework for grassroots women and girls to express our needs whatever our situation, race, nationality, age, income, occupation, dis/ability, sexual preference . . . In towns and cities but also in villages, where most of us live.

I feel like I know a lot of jack now, but I still have a few questions for the Global Women's Strike so I sent them the following note.

My name is Pile. I am writing about grassroots movements for change. You seem to have a good one, would you help me out and answer a few questions.

What do you find is the biggest impediment to acheiving change through grassroots means?

Do you think we would not need prisons if the worlds governments met your demands?

Not that I dispute it, but where did you get the statistic that women do 2/3 of the worlds work?

Do you like pudding?

At the time of posting I have not received an answer to my little note, but rest assured I will update the post if I do.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Caption Contest Winner

As you know we take great interest in caption contests at the Ebb & Flow Institute. While we have been feeling somewhat uninspired lately others have been excelling. We give a big Ebb & Flow Salute to Cassandra the blog princess extraordinaire from Villainous Company who has won the latest Outside the Beltway caption contest.

Good on ya.

Frisky Fodder

I find this shocking. SHOCKING!! Mobsters are picking on poor little Al-Quaiaeiuaida suspects in Italian prisons.

You guys set off bombs and do massacres. If you don't change prisons, you're dead," the criminals were reported to have told Saadi Nassim, in comments confirmed by his lawyer.

What mean poopy heads.

I heard this story on CBS radio during my appointed rounds today. It appears rising gas prices have diminished demand for large SUV's and Ford is going to discontinue the Excursion. At the end of the story the reporter said...

"The Sierra Club, which dubbed the Excursion the "Ford Valdez" after the infamous Alaskan oil spill, called it an environmental disaster because of its poor fuel economy rating. "

I thought that was an odd thing to put in the story when I heard it so I searched for the story online. The only story was from Reuters, and damned if it didn't contain the same line. CBS News ripping and reading from Reuters, what a great combination.

For those of you still struggling with what to get me for Christmas, let me help you out.

The British aristocracy has long been an exclusive club but now anyone can become a Lord or Lady -- for as little as 30 pounds ($58).
A raft of British Web sites are offering one square foot of the Glencairn Estate in northeast Scotland and, with it, access to the prestigious-sounding title of Lord/Laird and Lady of Glencairn.

Lord Pile On has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

Smells like Christmas Spirit

Cassandra at Villainous Company has two threads going on what she loves about Christmas as well as what she hates about Christmas. It caused me to do some thinking about what I love about Christmas and I thought I would list a few more here that I haven't already posted on her site. I also thought it would be consistent with the Christmas spirit to link to her post and send some of my massive traffic her way. Lord knows none of the people that visit this site have ever heard of my favorite site on the web. If I spent as much time here as I do there, I would be spending a lot more time here than I am there.

1. Christmas eve oyster stew. This is a tradition at the On household. We would go to a church service at 6pm, (my oldest On brother would selflessly volunteer to stay home and guard the stew) then come home, eat the stew and open presents. I hated the stew as a kid but I suffered through it for the reward of opening presents. Now I love it.

2. Every year at the Christmas eve service an elderly gentleman would perform Christmas tunes on the tuba. God bless him, he tried hard, and he was fairly talented but the tuba just doesn't lend itself to beautiful solos. Sometimes in the month of December you would walk past his house and you could hear him practicing for his big night. This memory will always bring a smile to my face.

3. Christmas lights pissing contests. In neighborhoods all across the country there are two guys that find themselves in a competition for having the most lights decorating their house. All month long they keep one upping each other. The results are a disorganized hideous yet delightful display (delightful because you know their hearts will be filled with remorse when they have to take it all down).

4. Internet shopping at stores that gift wrap for those out of town people you want to buy presents for.

5. Robert Earl Keen's Christmas tunes that I will try and post an audio link to later in the month.

6. Purchasing a bucket of tamales from a church group fundraiser. A little slice of heaven, and will make you very popular if you take them in to the office.

I will add more as things occur to me.


7. Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. I would not want to try and get through the holidays without this seasonal offering from Sierra Nevada, my all time favorite brew. I usually buy a case of it before it becomes unavailable with the intention of saving a few bottles for next year to compare it with the new offering (big beers like this improve and mellow with age). By about the end of February I tell myself that I like an agressive beer and don't want it to mellow, so I drink the last of it.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

This Peoples Choice--More Choices Please

I have been looking at the Yahoo News feed on my sidebar for the last few days wondering what case the good folks at The Nation might have for voting for Fahrenheit 911 as the peoples choice for best movie. I finally decided I might as well take a look.

The Peoples Choice Awards are considered, among all the awards shows, to be the one which most accurately reflects mainstream public opinion in the United States, so it would be a big deal--at least on the culture front--for an avowedly left-wing film to win the contest. It would also help continue to establish political documentaries as commercially-viable products, which makes it much easier for small, independent films to find funding sources and distribution outlets.

Great. Don't vote for what you think is the best movie but rather vote to send a message about supporting independent films of social importance. Won't that make for impressive banter at your Manhattan cocktail parties this holiday season. It's the big picture you see, it doesn't matter that the film is a pile of misleading manufactured crap, we have got to support grassroots movements for change. The ends will always justify the means when it comes to the peoples best friends on the left.

If you want to go vote, here are your other choices for best picture.

Spiderman 2
I have not seen it, I understand it is not unwatchable.

The Incredibles
Never heard of it.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Shrek 2
Have not seen it either but I doubt it does anything to support grassroots movements for change and that is what it is all about with the peoples these days.

Supposedly they came up with these choices by polling thousands of ordinary American peoples. Bullshit.

Also, you might like to know that Michael Moore has urged the peoples in an open letter to vote for him. You can almost see him sitting at his computer, munching on cheetos and Dr. Pepper trying to figure out how to overide the one vote limit. Mel Gibson whose film The Passion of the Christ did not make the peoples cut for best movie, but is up for best drama, has not urged the peoples to do anything. I guess he just doesn't care about grassroots movements for change.

I can't wait for the broadcast, I am on pins and needles to find out who the peoples think should win for best smile.

This man does not care about grassroots movements for change.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Friday Vespers at the Institute

Join us at the Institute for a beer this afternoon.

Pub owners have discovered the best way to get patrons to leave at closing time, play a Cliff Richards song.

A beer delivery truck driver took a truckload of beer to a neighborhood in Indianappolis and told the residents to help themselves after he was fired. The police were tipped off when someone tried to sell a liquor store owner a pallet of beer. The police were surprised there was any left. I am not, it was Miller Lite after all.

A new study contradicts the notion that drinking beer kills brain cells.

This could turn the buffalo theory of beer on it's head.

A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the lowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. That's why you always feel smarter after a few beers.

The Institute reminds you to practice "safe" beer drinking.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

DNC Chairman--The Case for Kucinich

We have been fielding quite a few queries at the Institute regarding who we think should replace Terry McAuliffe as the Chairman of the DNC when his term expires. We have been resisting weighing in on this since we really don't have a dog in this cat fight, but after some reflection we decided to make our views public.

As you might expect there is a struggle in the party between those that want to take the party rightward to the center, those that want to continue moving the party leftward and those that want someone who can manage the party and raise large amounts of money. We quickly dismissed the latter, the party has been managed into nationwide minority status by a Clinton hand picked, Global Crossings profiteer, who gave the party an arrogant abrasive face, while raising record amounts of money.

No it is time for them to try something different. The Democratic Leadership Council has been sounding quite sensible lately. They are proposing that the party not write off the solidly red states of the South and Midwest. They suggest here, that the party should distance itself from those on the far left.

Most rank-and-file Democrats, of course, are just as patriotic and zealous about vindicating our national honor as any Republican. But let's be honest: Cultural elites with influence in the party often give off more than a whiff of fashionable anti-Americanism. They tend to equate patriotism with jingoism, see America more as a global bully than as a victim of a terrorist conspiracy, haul out the tired Vietnam metaphor anytime U.S. troops encounter difficulty abroad, and are as hypercritical of America's faults as they are forgiving of those of our adversaries.

That is sound advice. They also suggest that Democrats need to nominate candidates that America can trust on national defense and getting the budget under control. The DLC has our sympathies, but we don't think the republic is well served by a two party system where the parties are mirror images. We also suspect that it is more marketing than an expression of their true beliefs. No, we need parties that give voters clear and contrasting positions.

That brings us to Howard Dean ,who is the most vocal candidate for the position as state Democrat officials meet at Disney World this weekend. Dean garnered a loyal following during the primaries among those in the party that are angry about the war in Iraq. But his momentum burned out as anger can only carry a party so far. The party needs someone who is more than one dimensional. Dean, when governor of Vermont was not the liberal that he made himself out to be so we suspect his anger was more opportunism than idealism.

The party needs a true believer at the helm. A visionary. If Dean is qualified after losing to Kerry, the man we consider the worst candidate in decades, then Kucinich is even more qualified. And he is the real deal. From the biography page of his website.

US Representative Dennis J. Kucinich, a Democrat of Ohio, is a dynamic, visionary leader of the Progressive Caucus of the congressional Democrats who combines a powerful activism with a spiritual sense of the essential interconnectedness of all living things. His holistic worldview carries with it a passionate commitment to public service, peace, human rights, workers rights, and the environment. His advocacy of a Department of Peace seeks not only to make nonviolence an organizing principle in our society, but to make war archaic. His is a powerful, ethical voice for nuclear disarmament, preservation of the ABM treaty, banning weapons in outer space, and a halt to the development of a 'Star Wars' - type missile defense technology.

Congressman Kucinich is one of the few vegans in Congress, a dietary decision he credits not only with improving his health, but in deepening his belief in the sacredness of all species.

Kucinich has our backing for Chairperson of the DNC. That dog may not hunt necessarily, but it will certainly forage around for roots and berries.

Congressman Dennis Kucinich

Post linked to Beltway Traffic Jam @ Outside The Beltway

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Kerry Was Going To Win--Before He Didn't

Election reflection from Brit Hume's The Grapevine at Fox

The pollster John Zogby said the election was swinging to Kerry in the final days, but it swung the other way. Now he's got a new poll that suggests people really don't like Republicans after all.

It shows that more Americans think Santa Claus is a Democrat than a member of any other party. But his poll, does suggests that people think there are a couple of Republican Christmas characters: Ebenezer Scrooge
and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

Well, my interest was piqued, I am sure there was no questionable wording in that polling. But I am afraid I won't be able to learn more. I went to the Zogby site and was unable to access the polling data without paying for a subscription.

I guess I will just continue to wallow in ignorance.

Calvin Murphy acquitted of Sexually Molesting Daughters

Basketball hall of famer and Color Commentator for Houston Rockets television broadcasts has been acquitted of the charges of sexually molesting five of his daughters (the other five testified on his behalf).

The daughters alledged that they were sexually molested over ten years ago from 1988-1991. Murphy's defense claimed that they were angry with him for financial reason, wanting money that was left to Murphy when their mother was killed in a car accident.

There is no way for me to know what actually happened, but a jury of 9 men and 3 women found him not guilty. If he is really guilty, then I feel for his daughters, but if he is innocent then there should be some recourse against the daughters. They have alleged crimes against a man, worse than any I can imagine. Sexually molesting your children is the most hideous thing a human being can do and I don't say that lightly, I would prefer to be charged with any other crime.

I don't know if Murphy will be able to continue with his life without carrying this baggage with him. The Rockets have placed him on paid leave and have said they will reevaluate his position at the end of the season. I never cared for Calvin Murphy and his commentary makes me reach for the mute button (but I seldom watch unless they are playing the Spurs) but I do think the Rockets should let him return to his old job. We are talking about the NBA here.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Head of Institute Security Turns Five

Zoe C. On

Heres to you Miss Security Provider Unit, Manager of the Alpaca herd.

You never call in sick, and no one enters the institute without a pretty darn thourough checkin' over.

You never complain when Mrs. On puts silly headwear on you.

You always poop in the yard, like a really good girl.

Yes, you do a fine job, if we had one complaint and it ain't much of one, it's that your strict open door policy sometimes leaves us feeling vulnerable in the executive washroom.

This is a day that will, if not live in infamy, live a mighty long time.

So Happy Birthday Zoe C. On, we like the cut of your jib.

Science Update: Is Your Hair Malnourished?

Is washing your hair everyday exposing you to chemicals that might be killing brain cells. A study released yesterday by researchers at Pitsburgh University states that you just might be.

Everyday exposure to a chemical found in many shampoos and hand lotions and widely used in industry could be harmful to humans.
A study published yesterday said methylisothiazolinone (MIT) inhibited the development of certain neuron structures that are essential for transmitting signals between cells in the body.
The researchers, from Pittsburgh University, said MIT restricted the growth of these structures in immature rat nerve cells and may have potentially damaging consequences to a developing nervous system.

Risk to Fetus
Dr. Elias Aizenman, one of the researchers, said: "While more research is needed to determine what effect MIT would have in rodent models, both at the cellular level and to a developing nervous system, our results thus far suggest there is a potential that everyday exposure to the chemical could also be harmful to humans. I would be particularly concerned about occupational exposure in pregnant women and the possibility of risk to the fetus."

This is disturbing news, not that we might be exposing our brain to toxic chemical, but the notion that people will take this seriously and stop washing their hair. It could cause a panic when coupled with the knowledge that their water supply may be contaminated with dihydrogen monoxide. This combination could be deadly.

Fortunately a spokesperson for Big Shampoo allays our fears.

However, the Cosmetics, Toiletries, and Perfumery Association described the findings as interesting, but said there was "no cause for concern."

This news, along with a commercial I saw last night for a shampoo that claimed it would nourish my hair has me really thinking about the health and well being of my hair. Could I possibly be starving my hair? My shampoo does not contain any of the following string of mostly made up words, Jojoba Oil, Hazelnut, Kukui Nut, Squalene, Helio Carrot, Evening Primrose, Borage, Vitamin E & essential oils of Myrtle, Eucalyptus Staigeriana, Cedarwood, Ylang Ylang & Litsea Cubea.

Crap, I don't think my hair has had a damn thing to eat since I was a teenager and used my sister's wheat germ oil and honey shampoo.

Post linked to Beltway Traffic Jam @ Outside The Beltway

Monster Burger--Make Mine A Juicy Double

Hardees Monster Burger

This is causing hypertension among the usual crowd of nosy do-gooders. Frankly we are glad to see a company going against the grain and not buckling to pressure from people that aren't their customers anyway.

I think they have it all wrong anyway. Think of it like the python that swallowed the pig. He won't have to eat again for weeks. Think of how much this could improve worker productivity. I know I could get a lot more done if I didn't have to stop several times a day and prepare food or sit in a drive through, not to mention all the down time as I shove the food in my pie hole.

Now if I could just figure out how to do all the days breathing in a few short minutes I could really get some work done.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Reader Comments Lost

I added on outside trackback service which also changed my comments system causing me to lose all previous comments. I suppose this is what I get for being lazy and letting them auto load the changes. This sucks for me because I value every utterance by those who stop by here.

On the bright side you all might prefer the new system, so I will leave it alone for a while. It may also allow me to add a recents comments section on the sidebar which I really like at Villainous Company. I will have to investigate.

I would appreciate your input.

Spotlight on Women's Issues

It is common knowledge that we at the institute are champions of equal rights for women. We love and cherish women, yet for some reason we are not getting enough traffic from the fairer sex here at our website. In an effort to reach out to, and increase our readership among women, we will periodically take a look at news stories regarding women's issues.

Wells College is one of the few remaining all female institutions of higher learning, but that will soon be changing. We are not alone in our displeasure with this development. We think that if people want, for some strange reason, to attend a single sex college there should be a place where they can do so.

Working out should not just be a bastion of male dominance. Here is a great idea for mothers to get some exercise and bond with their children while doing so.

The Methodist Church shows its intolerance of lesbians.

While we don't disagree that a long wait in the airport may in some cases be grounds for divorce, we are outraged, that in Saudi Arabia a man can divorce a woman anytime he wants, but a woman has to jump through legal hurdles to get a separation.

We oppose the exploitation of women, but we are thankful to live in a country where even women can exploit women.

It would not be possible for us to disagree with this New York Times article any more than we do. We are disappointed with the fact that there are few really good roles for women in the movies today, and we find it offensive that someone thinks actresses need to do sultry Calvin Klein underwear ads to promote themselves for the few good roles there are. We hope Hillary Swank doesn't take this advice and just keeps making good movies.

Hilary Swank

Intelligence Reform Bill Sparks Debate At Institute

The pressure on members of the House Intelligence Committee to quickly pass a bill reforming the Intelligence community sparked a debate at the Institute regarding the changing roles of the House and Senate.

In Federalist Paper No. 52 it is clear that the House was intended to be closer to the people, to reflect the popular will of the populace.

As it is essential to liberty that the government in general should have a
common interest with the people, so it is particularly essential that the branch
of it under consideration should have an immediate dependence on, and an
intimate sympathy with, the people.

The Senate on the otter heiny, was intended to be a more deliberative body. The House was set up to have direct elections with only two year terms. Senators were to be appointed by the state legislatures and served longer terms than the House. By design they were to be less prone to the flaming passions of an aroused public, as is clear from this passage from Federalist Paper No. 62.

The necessity of a senate is not less indicated by the propensity of all
single and numerous assemblies to yield to the impulse of sudden and violent
passions, and to be seduced by factious leaders into intemperate and pernicious

In the modern age Senators are now directly elected as is the House. Senators, we believe because of their fewer numbers suffer from celebrity. Their primary goal (of which representatives are not immune) is to be reelected. To this end they pursue face time on the evening news and try to come up with catchy sound bites to capture the fancy of the media. The goal is to pass legislation that they can campaign on to get reelected.

The House, because of their numbers are less well known. They less often get the face time on the Sunday shows, and are left with nothing else to do but do their jobs, going about the business of governance.

Which brings us back to the Intelligence Reform bill. The Senate wants to quickly pass a bill for the appearance of having done something. Certain members of the House want to deliberate and pass a bill that actually will serve to strengthen the intelligence community and make us more secure.

It is the official view of the Institute that nothing that is passed is going to make us safer in the short term, but changes that are made now could have a dramatic effect on our security ten years down the road. Therefore, taking a few months to pass the right bill is warranted. The Senate wants to pass the proposals of the 9/11 commission with very few changes. We think given the embarrassing behavior of that commission some deliberation is warranted.