Things that baffle us

About 2 years ago — well, closer to 30 months, but whatever — we got involved in a new startup, and as part of outfitting the office we bought a relatively cheap halogen desk lamp. You know the type; heavy black base, long skinny arm, small head, bright like the sun.

It was a nice option in the cold, sterile office we used to have (lit, of course, by fluorescents), and when the startup became more virtual and we started officing at home, it was a welcome alternative to turning on all 6 incandescent bulbs in the ceiling fixtures of our home office room.

It was warmer than it needed to be, but whatever. We liked it. Until one day, the bulb burned out, and since halogen bulbs are vexing and legion, we put off opening the lamp to determine what type to buy until this morning.

SIX screws later, we’ve got the head open, and that’s where the baffle part comes in: there appears to be no way to change the bulb on this godforsaken lamp. We have never seen a disposable $30 lamp before, but there’s a first time for everything. WTF? It never even occurred to us to ascertain if the bulb was replaceable because, quite frankly, that seems to us to be a core attribute of “lamp.” See below; in the red circle, you can see how the bulb housing is RIVETED to the metal platform; the underside of the platform is just wires. There’s literally no way to replace the bulb.


It’s that time again

Yes, that glorious time when we review some of the truly bizarre search strings that have brought the huddled masses to Heathen Central. January brought us these gems:

“giant gator”
Where? You go get Boudroux, and we’ll get the shotgun! Maw, we’re eatin’ tonight!
AKA “Jojo the Dog-faced God.” Technically a “heathen” search, we reckon, but a bit literal for our tastes.
“slutty women in buffalo ny no pros”
Dude, you’re in Buffalo looking for sluts. Don’t get all picky on us NOW. Also, this isn’t, so you’re kinda out of luck.
“hermione has boobs”
Allah Akbar, my man.
“independent fundamental baptist churches neat seabrook tx”
“hide town jeff miller”
He’s not here. I think he’s taking a Mexican nap.
“pope evil”
Well, he *was* a Nazi. But he’s not here, either. What part of “heathen” don’t you understand?
“badger paris hilton”
We think it’s more properly referred to as “beaver,” but whatever.
“horny heathen”
Aren’t we all?
“hypnotized lizards”
Not THAT horny, though. You’re sick, dude.
“real yetis”
See above re: Buffalo. Though the one about lizards may apply, too, depending on your intentions with said yeti-americans.
“precis caucasian chalk circle”
Ah, the obligatory “Please do our homework for us, Mr Heathen” search. No.
“houston theater naughty sexy comedy”
See above, re: “Hide Town”
You bet your ass.

You know, we LIKED Edwards, even.

But it turns out he’s got no balls. They’ve issued an apology.

Confused? Here’s the deal: The Edwards campaign hired two fairly prominent liberal bloggers to run their campaign blog: Amanda Marcotte (of Pandagon) and Melissa McEwen (of Shakespeare’s Sister). Both bloggers have been unwavering in their support for, among other things, reproductive rights, and have occasionally — horrors! — used salty language in their postings. Furthermore, they’ve not been shy about pointing out how fundamentally antiwoman restrictive reproductive rights positions are, and that necessarily includes those of the church of Rome.

Disagreeing, even vigorously, with Catholic doctrine does not make one an “anti-catholic bigot,” except in the eyes of the wingnuts.

As if on cue, comes now ubercatholic bigot Bill Donohue, who loves to spew hate and bile about homosexuals and other groups whenever possible, who’s very unhappy that a candidate he’ll never vote for has hired people who don’t like his politics; in fact, his statement demands that Edwards fire the women.

Quickly following that, the right wing noise machine geared up to maumau anything Marcotte or McEwen might have said. We here at Heathen were hoping very much that Edwards would just tell these jackasses to get stuffed, but instead he’s rolled over and issued a namby-pamby pseudo-apology, though in his defense he kept the women on staff.

Even so, the whole tone of the thing is capitulatory — and it’s capitulatory towards an openly bigoted hatemonger like Donohue. The far-right Catholic League wins this encounter, but is still whining that Edwards didn’t fire the two, so at least they’re not actually happy. (They continue to insist that the bloggers are anti-catholic bigots, but it’s been clear to all who’ve read their words that their positions are not anything of the sort; it’s just more noise from the wingnuts.)

It’s going to be a long, long campaign season.

Logically, we reckon it’s the step just before Ortolon

The NYT discusses really, really, really fresh eggs.

Mr. Barber, the chef and an owner of Blue Hill in Greenwich Village and Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills in Westchester County, had just been introduced to the wonders of eggs that are described, with varying degrees of delicacy, as immature, unborn, unlaid or embryonic. In plain English, these are eggs that have not been laid and are sometimes discovered when an elderly laying hen is slaughtered.

Big Brother still wants to watch

With Congress pushing ISPs to log all your surfing and net activity indefinitely, it might really be time to start using Tor to protect your activities from prying eyes. Seriously, why trust your ISP to do the right thing, or your government not to abuse this information?

Of course, once you start viewing it this way, it’s easy to see just exactly how effective such a scheme is likely to be. Law-abiding citizen traffic will be there in droves, but easy access to anonymizing tools will ensure that anyone who values privacy will escape logging. Oh boy!

Jobs to DRM: Drop Dead!

Steve Jobs has published a long open letter on iTunes, music, the myth of iTunes “lock-in,” and (most of all) DRM. It’s pretty clear and very cogent, and the part that’s got the Intarwub all a-twitter is this:

The third alternative is to abolish DRMs entirely. Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats. In such a world, any player can play music purchased from any store, and any store can sell music which is playable on all players. This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat. If the big four music companies would license Apple their music without the requirement that it be protected with a DRM, we would switch to selling only DRM-free music on our iTunes store. Every iPod ever made will play this DRM-free music.

Why would the big four music companies agree to let Apple and others distribute their music without using DRM systems to protect it? The simplest answer is because DRMs haven’t worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy. Though the big four music companies require that all their music sold online be protected with DRMs, these same music companies continue to sell billions of CDs a year which contain completely unprotected music. That’s right! No DRM system was ever developed for the CD, so all the music distributed on CDs can be easily uploaded to the Internet, then (illegally) downloaded and played on any computer or player.

In 2006, under 2 billion DRM-protected songs were sold worldwide by online stores, while over 20 billion songs were sold completely DRM-free and unprotected on CDs by the music companies themselves. The music companies sell the vast majority of their music DRM-free, and show no signs of changing this behavior, since the overwhelming majority of their revenues depend on selling CDs which must play in CD players that support no DRM system.

Apple’s taken a lot of heat for using DRM at the iTMS, and for not licensing it elsewhere, but the actual fallout of that turns out to be pretty minimal: the overwhelming majority of music on iPods is ripped, not bought, which means almost nobody is buying into the DRM. Now Jobs is pointing out how broken the idea of DRM is, and he’s by no means alone (archrival Gates said as much in an offhand comment recently, but he’s not the music power that Jobs is).

If Apple manages to drag the music industry into the DRM-free sunlight with this switcheroo move, it’ll be a pretty neat trick. Consider it, though: in retrospect there was no way the RIAA was going to participate in an online marketplace devoid of DRM, so Apple creates one that has perhaps the least onerous terms of any in existence. Apple then makes the iTMS an enormous success — it’s one of the biggest retail outlets for music online or off — and then starts agitating about ditching the DRM. The RIAA is crazy about the revenue, and Apple’s holding all the cards because the music boys have all their eggs in their basket. Nobody else is more than a blip on the radar, but iTMS tracks are only compatible with Apple’s tools. What happens next?

It’s obvious consumers don’t want DRM, but neither does the RIAA want to be beholden to a single vendor like this. Opening the tracks would free both the glorious Heathen hordes AND the RIAA.

Of course, this presupposes that the music industry and the RIAA will behave rationally and realize what business they’re really in instead of trying to protect their existing (and broken) model. We’ll see. No matter what, we’re pretty sure the next steps will be interesting.

Wal-Mart Sets New Standard In Failure

So, Wal-Mart has entered the movie download business. Great. However, they’ve got a few problems to sort out:

  • The site doesn’t work with Firefox. Seriously, how do you justify building for IE-only in 2006? Are you on crack?
  • The price for movies is $20, or about what most DVDs cost at Best Buy.
  • The resolution is a paltry 240×320.
  • The files are DRM’d out the wazoo.
  • The files will only play on Windows; Macs and Linux need not apply, nor should Zunes or iPods.

Yeah, we’re sure that’s gonna take off like, well, a metal dirigible.

Things We Didn’t Know: Music Division

Or: How we lost the last 20 minutes on Wikipedia. Anyway:

Tom Waits’ pseudolive Nighthawks at the Diner (Asylum, 1975) featured someone named Mike Melvoin on piano. It’s one of our favorite records.

Mike Melvoin’s daughter Wendy is Wendy of Wendy and Lisa and The Revolution.

Mike’s son was the late Jonathan Melvoin, the Smashing Pumpkins‘ touring keyboardist who overdosed in 1996.

Wendy is twins; her sister Susanna is also a working musician, and is married to Austinite and Stevie Ray Vaughan associate Doyle Bramhall II.


Update: In answer to the question in the comments, Melvoin has a Bacon number of 2. She was in Toys with Ralph Tabakin; Tabakin was in Sleepers.

Why on earth would anyone take Rob Enderle seriously?

We’re not sure he’s ever said anything remotely accurate about technology; Daring Fireball takes him to task about his most recent absurd pronouncements in re: the as-yet-unreleased iPhone, but we’ll go a little point-by-point here because it’s fun to pull wings off flies like Rob.

From the linked story:

Image-conscious executives who want to own the latest tech gadgets might put their companies at risk if they try to connect iPhones to corporate networks, warns an analyst

Yes, it’s possible some execs will have trouble connecting the iPhone to their corporate mail, but only because many corporate mail servers are proprietary (Notes, Exchange) instead of standards-based (POP, IMAP), but there’s no evidence at all that successful attempts to do so will result in “risk.” The article, by the way, lists none to back up this assertion; it’s a total bullshit lede.

To guard against such eventualities, IT departments should begin drafting policies forbidding executives from connecting their Apple iPhones to company networks, said Rob Enderle, a principal analyst with the Enderle Group based in San Jose, Calif.

We wonder, as does DF, what other analysts work at this “Group”.

“The device isn’t secure enough, nor is it designed to run with corporate systems,” he said.

We have no idea how he knows if the device is “secure enough,” since none have been released for testing. Since it’s currently a closed platform with no software channel other than Apple, it strikes us as a pretty unlikely vector for attack at this point. Nothing else is knowable, which means Enderle is talking out of his ass.

Companies spend a lot of time getting RIM and Palm handheld devices up to par so they can be secure enough to connect to company e-mail, he said.

Really? Are you sure, Rob? Because I’ve done these things, and have seen no evidence of any such time investment. Blackberry integration with closed back-end systems involves an (expensive) add-on server, that’s true, but if your company uses IMAP or POP, there’s basically ZERO effort required to connect these tools. They exist as just another mail client. Mail clients, with the enormous exception of Outlook, are not typically virus vectors or security risks.

Before the iPhone is as secure as the BlackBerry and Treo, it needs a product such as Good Technology Mobile, which is designed to securely deliver enterprise applications to mobile devices. But now that Good Technology has been bought by Motorola, it’s unclear whether it’d be interested in creating a product for Apple’s iPhone, Enderle said.

Aaaaah, now we see the thrust of the article, if it can be called that. We Heathen aren’t exactly technological neophytes, and here’s the news: We’ve never heard of this “Good Technology Mobile.” We suspect, therefore, that this bit is actually a thinly veiled press release on their behalf, set up by Enderle.

Think of it this way: Execs with Mobile Device X typically want only a few functions.

  • Phone, first and foremost
  • Email
  • The ability to view Office attachments
  • Synced calendar and address book

All of these functions are CORE attributes of the Treo and the Blackberry, and are expected to be available on the iPhone. No additional software is required. We suspect that 99.9% of Blackberry users never bother adding any additional software, and that this percentage is only a little lower for the Palm-based Treo (which has a long tradition of add-on gadgets, games, and such dating back to its launch as a non-phone PDA in 1996).

The idea that corporations need some “secure channel” to control software installation on these gadgets is therefore absurd on its face. There’s very little business need to do so for the vast majority of users, and even in cases where it’s needed, the installation is trivial. We’re sure, of course, that some clueless IT directors will seize on this opportunity to control MORE systems, but the need really just isn’t there.

Leaving all that aside, though, remember this: the iPhone is closed. This means nobody but Apple can sell you software for it. Daring Fireball addresses this very well:

Enderle and Khanna are arguing that the iPhone is insecure because it doesn’t (at least yet) allow for third-party software, which means you can’t install third-party software designed to let you securely install additional third-party software.

Seriously, what the hell?

Enderle even invokes the corporate boogeyman du jour:

But because of the iPhone’s attractive form factor, executives are likely to start buying it when it becomes available in June in the U.S., and tech departments need to head them off at the pass by issuing policies that forbid iPhones from being connected to networks, Enderle said.

If executives insist on connecting iPhones, then the IT department has a duty to report the violation since it could mean that Sarbanes-Oxley or other compliance rules have been broken, Enderle said.

We figure RIM must be paying him as much as these “Good Technology” people for a remark like that. He’s not established in any meaningful sense how the as-yet-hypothetical iPhone might constitute a security problem, but he’s already banging the drum to get it banned by corporate fiat. We’re pretty sure we all know how well edicts like that are typically followed; since we’re talking about execs with money to burn on fancy gadgets, we’re probably also talking about people who can cheerfully flaunt whatever bullshit regulations the IT director pushes — after all, if the money-printing sales VP wants the iPhone, odds are he’s gonna get it.

Furthermore, we’re unsure where SarBox mandates RIM- or Treo-only mobile devices in corporate America, so we’re also not sure exactly what “violations” Enderle is talking about.

Again: Why the hell do people keep listening to this jackass? He’s made it abundantly obvious over the years that he cares far more about slamming Apple (and the Open Source world, another favorite target) than he cares about being right or the truth. Virtually nothing we’ve read of his can withstand even basic scrutiny; he’s like a weird Bizarro-world FUD machine, constantly shilling for Microsoft, SCO, and doing anything he can to pull down Open Source and Apple. Worse, a cursory review of his history will also show that he has no compunctions about making pronouncements and predictions in favor of paying clients, which you’d think would pretty much sunder his credibility, and yet here he is again, babbling about the iPhone.

Dear tech media: Please stop quoting this dork. Thanks.

Finally, Astronauts enter the tabloid news era

This is fucking bizarre:

Lisa Marie Nowak was accustomed to hard training, prolonged deprivation and a strong sense of mission. But this is not exactly what NASA had in mind when they made her an astronaut.

Equipped with a knife, pellet pistol, can of pepper spray, steel mallet and 4 feet of rubber tubing, Nowak arrived at Orlando International Airport early Monday morning, police said, to confront one challenge the space agency had never considered: a romantic rival.

Nowak, 43, remains in Orange County Jail without bail on a variety of charges arising from a confrontation with Colleen Shipman, an Air Force captain whom she allegedly assaulted in the parking garage during what police characterized as an attempted kidnapping.

Punk and Ice Cream

Susie Horgan took a bunch of pictures in DC in the early 80s that ended up chronicling a big part of the punk scene there, all while working at a Hagen-Dazs shop with, we shit you not, Henry Rollins. Check it out. We defy you to have some reaction other than “holy crap, they’re all babies.”

More on the Boston fiasco

Bruce Schneier weighs in with some excellent points.


Wil Wheaton has this to say:

You know, if the goal of terrorists and the whole point of terrorism is to scare the shit out of us so badly that we leap ten feet in the air whenever someone says “boo,” then the terrorists are clearly kicking our national asses.

The folks at Making Light are also all over it; this rundown is entitled “Why the Boston Police have no credibility.”

Anybody got a registrar that DOESN’T suck?

We’re pretty sure we need to bail on the fools at GoDaddy, especially in light of the news summarized at; here’s a cut-and-paste, sans the links. You should go check it out if you have domains:

On January 24, 2007, I (Fyodor) woke up to find that my domain registrar, GoDaddy, had suspended one of my most popular domains (SecLists.Org) because MySpace objected to content posted by some user to a mailing list which SecLists archives. They didn’t give me a chance to dispute or resolve the problem — just a voicemail saying my domain was “scheduled for suspension”, followed up by a Domain Suspension Notice exactly 52 seconds later. Note that neither of these included a phone number for the abuse department or a reason for the shutdown. It took many hours of phone calls (to general support) and emails (to the abuse department) before they even gave me the reason for the shut down, and fixing the problem took longer still. You can read the full details here. One thing I forgot to mention in that email is the secret phone number to their abuse department: +1 480-624-2505.

Note that SecLists was never hosted by GoDaddy. They were just our registrar, whose job is to maintain a list of the 18 million domains their customers own and the corresponding name servers. They aren’t the web content police and shouldn’t go suspending domains at MySpace’s behest without a court order.

Even after this episode made news worldwide, GoDaddy refused to admit they were wrong. In a News.Com article, GoDaddy general counsel Christine Jones “pointed out that GoDaddy’s terms of service say the company ‘reserves the right to terminate your access to the services at any time, without notice, for any reason whatsoever.'” In that same article, Jones refuses to rule out suspending a site such as News.Com if a reader posts illegal information in a discussion forum. In another article, Wired reporter Kevin Poulsen catches Jones in a lie. When Kevin notes that GoDaddy shut down the domain only 52 seconds after leaving the voicemail, not one hour as Jones previously claimed, Jones “admits she doesn’t know exactly how much notice [Fyodor] had” and declares that “I think the fact that we gave him notice at all was pretty generous”. Is this the sort of company you would hire to manage your domain names? This could happen to any site which allows reader comments or other user generated content.

Mary Cheney Is Full Of Shit

This week, VP Cheney’s lesbian daughter famously pronounced her decision to have a child of her own off limits in terms of political discussions, which is utter horseshit. Dan Savage says it better than we could:

Nice try, Mary.

Yes, it’s a baby, not a prop. My kid isn’t a prop either, but that never stopped right-wingers from attacking me and my boyfriend over our decision to become parents. The fitness of same-sex couples to parent is very much part of the political debate thanks to the GOP and the Christian bigots that make up its lunatic “base.” You’re a Republican, Mary, you worked on both of your father’s campaigns, and you kept your mouth clamped shut while Karl Rove and George Bush ran around the country attacking gay people, gay parents, and our children in 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006. It’s a little late to declare the private choices of gays and lesbians unfit for public debate, Mary.

And so long as your party insists on making the fitness of homosexuals to marry or parent — or, hell, exist — a subject of public debate, Mary, your decision to become a parent is germane and very much fit for public discussion and debate. The GOP’s selective embrace of some pregnant dykes — only knocked-up lesbians with powerful connections will be treated with respect — is a disconnect that demands answers. From you, from your father, from your venomous mother, from the idiot president you helped elect. Is that fair? Maybe not. Want to blame someone? Go look in the mirror — and then come out swinging, Mary — for yourself, your partner, and your child.


Maybe Brother Heathen ought to get promoted to his own blog; here’s what he had to say about Charles Stimson in comments, below:

He should be disbarred. Alarmist on my part? I don’t think so. I worked by ass off to be admitted to a pretty exclusive group of professionals. A group who, ostensibly, purport to swear to uphold the rights of their clients within the bounds of the Constitution and the laws of their respective jurisdictions.

Making a comment like Mr. Stimson did is analogous to impeaching a criminal defendant’s counsel in front of a jury for stooping to represent the defendant. It is like asking a witness if they would lie on the stand when you have no basis to believe that they are, in fact, lying. For all the shit lawyers get, the one thing we do to deserve it is admit people like Mr. Stimson. He is a disgrace to an honorable profession. A profession that is fundamentally based on giving each party equal and responsible representation and letting the law figure out who is “correct.”

Mr. Stimson has shown that he values propaganda more than justice, fury more than honesty and prejudice more than liberty. He is a disgrace to the bar, the Justice Department and the Executive Branch (which is saying a lot considering the current resident of the White House). He should be disbarred. Draconian? Perhaps. But he has made is bed. And it is a disgraceful place to sleep.

Goddamn right, Brother. Well said.

Someone needs to explain the Principle of Least Surprise to Microsoft

In re: Vista, there are bears in those woods.

A bit:

I fiddled with a few file and folder permissions (initially it had been read-only), but couldn’t get the directory listing to tell me the truth. Puzzled, i tried opening the file with Notepad, and fell headlong into some kind of parallel universe: the changed content was gone, and the file had reverted to its original content. What?!? I went back and opened it again with the original editor: my changes were there, just as i made them. I opened it with Notepad, then Wordpad: my changes were gone.

The answer to the puzzle is one of the creepiest “features” we’ve ever heard of, and proof positive that MS is utterly ignorant in matters of user expectations.

Score one for Gov. GoodHair

We are absolutely SHOCKED by this, but it’s awesome:

Today, the Lone Star State’s Governor Rick Perry signed an executive order to require all girls entering sixth grade to be vaccinated against HPV, according to the Associated Press. Perry, a conservative republican opposed to abortion and stem cell research, avoided the battle such an aim would incite in the Legislature by issuing the order himself. Despite the fact that we can now successfully vaccinate against HPV — the most common cause of cervical cancer, which kills 4,000 women yearly — many conservatives are up in arms over the implications of inoculating young girls against a sexually transmitted disease. To do so would undercut messages about safe sex; possibly encouraging sexual activity, they argue.

This line of reasoning is so loony, so unabashedly callous, it’s amazing to hear it so widely parroted. It essentially deems naughty girls who do not heed parental warnings about the dangers of unsafe sex as expendable — either to a HPV, a disease we can prevent, or, in the worst cases, cervical cancer. “The HPV vaccine provides us with an incredible opportunity to effectively target and prevent cervical cancer,” Perry said. “If there are diseases in our society that are going to cost us large amounts of money, it just makes good economic sense, not to mention the health and well-being of these individuals to have those vaccines available.”

More at the local fishwrapper.

Things we didn’t know

Pyrex is actually no longer Pyrex, and may well shatter if exposed to rapid temperature changes. The original, real McCoy Pyrex is a brand of borosilicate glass created largely FOR its enormous resistance to thermal shock; today, “Pyrex” is really just a brand of garden variety glass (it’s not even borosilicate), and is just as resistant to thermal shock as any other glass, which is to say “not at all.” Needless to say, there’s been no effort at all to make sure consumers know that Pyrex is no longer Pyrex, so many folks have been surprised in messy and dangerous ways when they trusted “new” Pyrex to be the same durable and solid material.

Basically, some beancounting marketer has destroyed the brand and thought nobody would notice. Don’t buy Pyrex.

The President is a Criminal

Many have said this of presidents in the past, but in the US today, it’s a matter of public record:

LAST August, a federal judge found that the president of the United States broke the law, committed a serious felony and violated the Constitution. Had the president been an ordinary citizen — someone charged with bank robbery or income tax evasion — the wheels of justice would have immediately begun to turn. The F.B.I. would have conducted an investigation, a United States attorney’s office would have impaneled a grand jury and charges would have been brought.

But under the Bush Justice Department, no F.B.I. agents were ever dispatched to padlock White House files or knock on doors and no federal prosecutors ever opened a case.

The ruling was the result of a suit, in which [James Bamford, the author, is] one of the plaintiffs, brought against the National Security Agency by the American Civil Liberties Union. It was a response to revelations by this newspaper in December 2005 that the agency had been monitoring the phone calls and e-mail messages of Americans for more than four years without first obtaining warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, as required by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Let’s compare:

  • CLINTON lied about a blow job in an investigation of an ancient land deal in Arkansas on which he lost money: IMPEACHED

  • BUSH admitted on national television that he was wantonly committing hundreds if not thousands of felonies by ignoring FISA, not to mention starting a trillion-dollar war with a country essentially unrelated to Islamic terrorism: UNIMPEACHED

At least someone noticed

The floppy disk is dead. If anything, it outlived its usefulness. We haven’t carried a laptop with a floppy since 1997 or 1998 (a Dell, if memory serves; a superslim no-internal-removable-drives IBM followed before we jumped to our first Powerbook in 2000 or so). In other words, 9 or 10 years, and NOW it’s a story?

What we really like about the linked story is the error message they’ve pictured. If you recognize it, you’re really geeky.

Forget Muslims; in Beantown, they fear CARTOONS!

Electrolite has easily the best summary of the whole “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” bullshit today in Boston. Here’s the money shot:


  1. The devices have been up for weeks in ten other cities, and no one’s panicked.

  2. The devices have been up for weeks in ten other cities, and the Department of Homeland Security doesn’t know about it.

We don’t know which is sadder.

Godspeed, Molly

Molly Ivins, 1944 – 2007. She was only 62.

Molly said this recently:

We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war. Raise hell. Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous. Make our troops know we’re for them and trying to get them out of there. Hit the streets to protest Bush’s proposed surge. If you can, go to the peace march in Washington on Jan. 27. We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, “Stop it, now!”

One of her editors said:

Goodbye, Molly I.

Molly Ivins is gone, and her words will never grace these pages again — for this, we will mourn. But Molly wasn’t the type of woman who would want us to grieve. More likely, she’d say something like, “Hang in there, keep fightin’ for freedom, raise more hell, and don’t forget to laugh, too.”

If there was one thing Molly wanted us to understand, it’s that the world of politics is absurd. Since we can’t cry, we might as well laugh. And in case we ever forgot, Molly would remind us, several times a week, in her own unique style.

Goddamn right.

We are in no position to dispute this

Modern Drunkard magazine has named Andre the Giant as Greatest Drunkard of All Time.

By the way, from Wikipedia, this is the best fact about Andre ever:

Actor Cary Elwes explains in his video diary of The Princess Bride that Samuel Beckett was a neighbour of the Roussimoff family while living in France. He used to give Andre a lift to school every day, since the boy was unable to take the school bus owing to his large size.