Saturday, September 19, 2009

Must Read: Why I threw the shoe

Remember when The Commander Guy was over in Iraq, giving some kind of press conference, and the Iraqi journalist who stood up, likely knowing his fate for the act he was going to commit, threw his shoes at the War Criminal Court-Appointed President?

Muntazer al-Zaidi is his name, and he has a post up on the Guardian UK, a tremendous read, from the heart, from the perspective we have had too little of, from our own, warmongering, cheerleading Corporate media.

Why I threw the shoe - I am no hero. I just acted as an Iraqi who witnessed the pain and bloodshed of too many innocents

I say to those who reproach me: do you know how many broken homes that shoe which I threw had entered? How many times it had trodden over the blood of innocent victims? Maybe that shoe was the appropriate response when all values were violated.

When I threw the shoe in the face of the criminal, George Bush, I wanted to express my rejection of his lies, his occupation of my country, my rejection of his killing my people. My rejection of his plundering the wealth of my country, and destroying its infrastructure. And casting out its sons into a diaspora.

If I have wronged journalism without intention, because of the professional embarrassment I caused the establishment, I apologise. All that I meant to do was express with a living conscience the feelings of a citizen who sees his homeland desecrated every day. The professionalism mourned by some under the auspices of the occupation should not have a voice louder than the voice of patriotism. And if patriotism needs to speak out, then professionalism should be allied with it.

I didn't do this so my name would enter history or for material gains. All I wanted was to defend my country.

Muntazer al-Zaidi is an Iraqi reporter who was freed this week after serving nine months in prison for throwing his shoe at former US president George Bush at a press conference. This edited statement was translated by McClatchy Newspapers correspondent Sahar Issa

We covered it here, on The Garlic;

"Son of A Dog!"
Leave it to The Commander Guy, to go off on a "Mission Accomplished" victory lap and be greeted, as The Bush Grindhouse long propagandized, like a "liberator".

It would be fitting, especially with the Court-Appointed-President's party attempting to kill off unions, to stand by and watch Detroit sink (reprising their positions of Katrina-battered New Orleans), if the UAW workers, as well as all American, sent their old shoes to Dubya, in a symbolic gesture of supporting the sentiments of the Iraqi journalist, Muntathar al Zaidi


I'll be waiting, watching, to see how soon The Worst President Ever makes another one of those mocking videos, ducking shoes, much like he pretended to look for WMDs under his desk.

For all the lies, the deception, the careless disregard for all things good, the White House should have turned into a veritable shoe warehouse.

Instead, our media all but got on their hands-and-knees, and fit them with velvet slippers.

With all the troops still stationed in Iraq, and the call for more troops to be rushed into Flintstonesville (aka Afghanistan), perhaps we should emulate Muntazer al-Zaidi, or, at least, in spirit, start practice whipping off the shoes and flinging them.

(H/T to Jeremy Scahill, for his Twitter post on this)

Facebook'em Danno!

I have to admit, when I checked the byline for this story, I was somewhat disappointed that it didn't originate in Oklahoma.

At least, then, it would be understandable.

This guy gets an automatic pass for an Ignorant Dolt award;

Burglar leaves his Facebook page on victim’s computer

MARTINSBURG - The popular online social networking site Facebook helped lead to an alleged burglar's arrest after he stopped check his account on the victim's computer, but forgot to log out before leaving the home with two diamond rings.

The dimmest of dimwits.

If this cat is lucky, he'll get this kind of jury.

Bonus Links

Facebook burglar adds insult to injury

Burglars search Facebook, Twitter for targets; Social network users post information about big ticket purchases, vacations

This Date ... On The Garlic

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Cheney Slated For Surgery; Halliburton Gets No Bid Contract; $26M For Operating Room Clean-up; "Can't have VP's DNA Floating Around" Says White House

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Yeeow! Ayipioeeay! ...You're Not Doin' Fine, Oklahoma!

If they ever get around to doing that sequel for 'Idiocracy', it could be suggested to the producers to set up a casting call in our 46th state, the Sooner State, Oklahoma.

75 Percent of Oklahoma High School Students Can't Name the First President of the U.S.

Only one in four Oklahoma public high school students can name the first President of the United States, according to a survey released today.

The survey was commissioned by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs in observance of Constitution Day on Thursday.


"They're questions taken from the actual exam that you have to take to become a U.S. citizen," Dutcher said.


About 92 percent of the people who take the citizenship test pass on their first try, according to immigration service data. However, Oklahoma students did not fare as well. Only about 3 percent of the students surveyed would have passed the citizenship test.
Holy empty schoolbags, Batman!

How can this be?

It's almost as if they have intentionally, with great purpose, avoided anything - books, magazines, television, radio, the Internet - that would remotely, incidentally, educate themselves.

I mean, even the Scottish students, in not doing well in exams, winged it;
WIKIPEDIA and other online research sources were yesterday blamed for Scotland's falling exam pass rates.

The Scottish Parent Teacher Council (SPTC) said pupils are turning to websites and internet resources that contain inaccurate or deliberately misleading information before passing it off as their own work.

The group singled out online encyclopedia Wikipedia, which allows entries to be logged or updated by anyone and is not verified by researchers, as the main source of information
I might be tempted to suggest that, "Hey, Oklahoma students, get a glove, get in the game!", but I fear that may cause distress, as they get stumped on what part of the anatomy to put the glove on.

If they did bring 'Idiocracy' to Oklahoma, they would have to import Miss Teen USA from South Carolina, to take lead role, played by Luke Wilson.

On the upside of this, could be a windfall for the state, in having the most Stella, or Darwin, Award winners, for years to come.

You can go here to read more of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs Study.

This Date ... On The Garlic

18 September 2008... On The Garlic

"From this day on, the official language of San Marcos will be Swedish ..."

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Media Lobbies Vegas Court To Delay OJ Proceedings Until November Sweeps; Amicus Brief Filed; Media Caught "Flat-Footed", Need Time To Ramp Up For Doc Blocs and Cooper's Emotions

Top Ten Cloves: Possible Problems With Suing God

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Breaking News! With DisneyBaghdad, Bush Says “Nobody Wins Hearts and Minds Better Than Disney; Disney, With Secret Contract, Working With White House, Military On Building Baghdad Moats; ‘Pirates of the Caliphate’, Other Attractions To Mask Security Measures; State Dept. Touts “DisneyBaghdad Will Pay For Itself”

Top Ten Cloves: Other Ways John Yoo Thinks Presidency Has Regained Its Balance and Is Reinvigorated

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Instant Ignorant Dolts - Rick Stengel and Time Magazine

We haven't done much with Glenn Beck, here on The Garlic.

It's already satire, as soon as he opens his mouth, and we don't want to get into the daily "Look what Beck Said Now" circus.

His prodigious lunacy, long ago, granted him being grandfathered into The Garlic's "Ignorant Dolt" roster.

It would be one thing, like a major news periodical, say, Time Magazine, decided to look into the smegma that is Glen Beck, the lies, the racism, the fomenting of anarchy, and report on that, even acknowledging that the Flying Monkeys of the Right Wing Freak Show eat it up like happy soup.

But no.

Editor Rick Stengel has decided to do a puff, cheerleading, piece, that gives credibility to Beck's ranting lunacy by using the 'straw man" argument that the liberal left is just as bad.

Funny, I don't remember the Liberal Left foaming at the mouth that The Commander Guy wasn't a U.S. Citizen, or continually depicting him in offensive racial caricatures.

If someone has a tape of "The Cheeseburger That Sweats" (aka Rush Limbaugh - (H/T Barry Crimmins)), singing "Bush, The Hapless Honkey", get it posted asap.

Time's cover story this week, written by David Von Drehle, is "Mad Man: Is Glenn Beck Bad for America?"

You can go read it, and it take some time, as you will have to gather yourself up off the floor, having fallen down laughing so many times, you may end up with some bruises.

Or, you can read Greg Mitchell's deconstruction of it;

New TIME Cover on Glenn Beck Ignores Facts, and Worse

I have no quarrel with TIME magazine devoting a cover to Glenn Beck -- so long as the accompanying story sticks to hard facts and harsh truths. The issue coming tomorrow, online today, sadly fails to do so in an apparent effort to woo the rightwing with a ludicrously "balanced" treatment of equally dangerous and wacko "ranting" coming from left and right.

It starts right away with a first paragraph that claims that only "liberal sources" estimated the protest crowd in D.C. last weekend as about 70,000, while conservatives say up to a million or more. Actually, virtually all mainstream media sources, along with nonpartisan factchecking organizations such as PolitiFact, cite the lower number.


There's a scattering of extreme Beck quotes lost in many paragraphs on the money deals. And groups like Media Matters are accused of "cherry picking" the bad ones. But then, they are just part of the "rant industry" on the left. There's a long, long graf quoting Beck on 9/11 and the Freedom Towers but no mention of his attack on the 9/11 widows. It notes his assault on the Obama "czars" and "he has some radical-sounding sound bites to back it up."

Ignorance and possible racism are never raised, despite polls showing that frightening numbers of conservatives believe that Obama was born in Kenya or may, in fact, be the "anti-Christ."
There's more that Mitchell has, and, also Glen Greenwald, taking Stengel, and Time, to task in his "Time Magazine: the liberal bias of facts"

It is also rather odd that Stengel would opt to puff up Beck in this weeks' 'Time', considering, just yesterday, Salon ran with an excellent expose on Beck - "Meet the man who changed Glenn Beck's life: Cleon Skousen was a right-wing crank whom even conservatives despised. Then Beck discovered him."

Beck is idolizing, and preaching the word of, a man who both the Republican Conservatives AND the Mormons booted out, not wanting any part of him.

If you can't cut it with either of those two, man, you gotta be so far off-the-planet, the Hubbell Telescope couldn't find you.

Mitchell offers an Update in his post;
Just got the print edition. In editor's note, Richard Stengel actually writes, "One of our jobs as journalists is to be the referee, the honest broker who sorts through the accusations and says, This is fact, and this is fantasy." Then explains that's why they put Von Drehle on Beck.
I guess Stengel hasn't gotten around to reading the Salon piece, or anything much else on Beck, and just ran with "the fantasy" stuff.

Rick, how's about being that "honest broker" next week, and place on your cover The Garlic awarding you the Ignorant Dolt Crown and Sceptre.

You, Rick Stengel, are today's' Instant Ignorant Dolt.

Bonus Links

Jamison Foser: How Time magazine enables Glenn Beck's lies

John Cook: Leftist 'Terrorizer' of Children Is Now Glenn Beck's Official Portraitist

David Weigel: Time Magazine Disputes Time Magazine’s Reporting

Steve Krakauer: MSNBC Forced To Talk About Glenn Beck

Will Bunch: UPDATED: Where Glenn Beck gets his ideas

One Grey Day It Happened ... RIP Mary Travers

Somewhere, maybe in Honah Lee, or down Cherry Lane, perhaps, in grief, hiding out in the sea, Puff The Magic Dragon is shedding a torrent of green scales.

I had been working on a another post, when a NYT News Alert dropped in;

Mary Travers, a Member of Peter, Paul and Mary, Has Died at 72

An otherwise good mood turned to sadness.

Rather than continue finishing writing, I spent the next hour+ out on YouTube, listening to Mary Travers, and Peter, Paul and Mary, marveling at how iconic they were, how timeless their music is.

Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary Dies at 72

Mary Travers, whose ringing, earnest vocals with the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary made songs like “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “If I Had a Hammer” and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” enduring anthems of the 1960s protest movement, died on Wednesday at Danbury Hospital in Connecticut. She was 72 and lived in Redding, Conn.

The cause was complications from chemotherapy associated with a bone-marrow transplant she had several years ago after developing leukemia, said Heather Lylis, a spokeswoman.


The group’s interpretations of Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” translated his raw vocal style into a smooth, more commercially acceptable sound. The singers also scored big hits with pleasing songs like the whimsical “Puff the Magic Dragon” and John Denver’s plaintive “Leaving on a Jet Plane.”

Their sound may have been commercial and safe, but early on their politics were somewhat risky for a group courting a mass audience. Like Mr. Yarrow and Mr. Stookey, Ms. Travers was outspoken in her support for the civil-rights and antiwar movements, in sharp contrast to clean-cut folk groups like the Kingston Trio, which avoided making political statements.

Peter, Paul and Mary went on to perform at the 1963 March on Washington and joined the voting-rights marches from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., in 1965.

Peter, Paul and Mary Website

Mary Travers on Wikipedia

Leaving On A Jet Plane - Peter, Paul and Mary

Peter, Paul and Mary -Puff The Magic Dragon

Peter Paul & Mary - Blowin in the wind

This Date ... On The Garlic

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Weekend Special - Sautéed Cloves

Do All Neocons Look Alike? ... The Results - The Garlic's Weekly Poll

Help Spead The Garlic!

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Weekend Special - Sautéed Cloves

Monday, September 14, 2009

Computer Purgatory

Well there, Garlic Fans, we have to, once again, stand before you, head bowed, a bit, murmuring into our shoes, about the trials-and-tribulations we've experienced, leaving The Garlic barren of any new material.

In a phrase, Computer Purgatory.

Last Tuesday, as we were settling in, rolling up our sleeves to start pounding the keyboard, a little icon popped up, indicating that "You're computer is not fully protected".

Clicking on the small McAfee icon did nothing.

Hmmm ...

So we clicked on the larger, shortcut McAfee icon, and, again, nothing.

Went into the Program Menu, clicked the McAfee icon and - wait, you know this answer - yes, nothing ...

So that prompted about 5-6-hours of running malware and spyware scans, which turned up ... nothing.

Shutting down and rebooting - nothing

Completely turning off the computer and restarting it - nothing.

So Tuesday evening, we make the call to Comcast, batter through their evil voice-mechanized telephone system, get a live person, get transferred to the Internet Department, and then, once problem is stated, transferred to the Comcast-McAfee Department (CMD for short, going forward).

First CMD person encountered, reeking of being in a country not the United States starts running me through her script, with all the ebullience she could muster, yet you could, if you listened closely, hear the "Insert Customer Name Here", and plowing through, despite my requests to allow me to just tell her what the trouble is.

When we get to that point, I am told the problem rests with Internet Explorer (which I don't use), and I was given instructions to remove IE 8, and then (and this is the part I really liked), call the Microsoft Hotline (she provided the number, once I calmed down and ceased ranting), to get instructions on how (and where to find) downloading IE 7 (or IE 6), which she confidently exclaimed was compatible with McAfee.

On Wednesday AM, I did such, and said Microsoft Hotline person exerted themselves with Herculean muscle, pointing me to their website.

So, IE 8 removed, IE 7 downloaded and installed, reboot and, once everything is back up, click on the McAfee icons ...

Drumroll, please


So, back to calling Comcast (see above), live person, another transfer, and we land with CMD Person #2, also located in a country not the United States.

This CMD Person #2 wants to show me how smart he is, telling me to forget all that stuff about Internet Explorer and to read him all of the programs loaded on my computer.


CMD Person #2 pulls the needle out of the haystack and says I have to remove Malawarebytes Anti-Malaware and SuperAnti-Spyware, as they are the culprits.

I reply that they have been the most helpful programs, removing, with ease, any trojans and other garbage ... CMD Person #2 confidently boasts the McAfee will do that ... I retort that I had McAfee and got a trojan, which prompted me to use either, or both, of those programs to remove said trojan, the one McAfee didn't get.

CMD Person #2, feeling trumped, perhaps, decides to get snide, and blames my troubles on the "Third Party Software" I use, meaning the McAfee program provided by Comcast as standard service ... I shoot back that, doesn't McAfee stand behind its' product?, prompting some verbal stumbling by CMD Person #2, and the additional instructions to also remove "Windows Live One-Time Safety Scanner" and, wait, you're gonna like this, call the Microsoft Hotline (Hey, I already have that number!) to get instructions, once removed, of cleaning up any pieces of it that may lay behind in my Registry, or other locations.

Were into Thursday now, do the removals and call Microsoft Hotline, transferred to Live Care Department, and a good souled person advised all that was needed was to go to the Add/Remove Program and remove it.

Complete that, reboot, start-up and still no McAfee, and dreading calling the Comcast-McAfee Department again, fearing further instruction from them will leave my computer looking like it went through a Looney Tunes repair shop.

So, on Friday, bolstered by a few cups of coffee, we make the call and CMD Person #3 (yes, not in the USA) gets on the line, and before he can do anything, I recount for him the above, and he's not going to shine me on.

[Note - I was remiss, in the above, on adding, that with each step, I also had to remove the McAfee program, and then, after performing the the various steps, go back out to the Comcast website and redownload McAfee]

CMD Person #3 was quite emphatic, and I thought I heard a mumble of WTF!, as I retold him the previous steps.

I was advised to reload Malaware and AntiSpyware, remove McAfee once again, run those programs, reload McAfee again and all should be fine.

That was Friday night and Saturday morning (sure enough, there were hundreds of shit files now on the computer) and once everything was done, clicking on the McAfee icon opened up McAfee


While we did, through all this, sneak on each day, to post the "On This Day" posts (and, the special Sept 11th one), we stayed off the computer, so as not to further contaminate the computer, so we have been terribly behind in our reading.

Additionally, we have a few things percolating on the homefront, and still under siege of allergies, therefore, we couldn't muster up the creative energy to get back on-track this weekend.

Hopefully, we can still salvage September from this sad-sack beginning and get back to business.

So, once again, thanks for visiting (remarkably, traffic has remained steady, if not slightly better) and reading The Garlic

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