September 30, 2005
Lil' Kim Loves Philly Back
It was not know how city tourism officials were going to play this endorsement. There were unconfirmed reports of hurried phone calls to set up a celebratory party at Cuba Libre.
More from Kim, who happens to have a new CD out Tuesday:
"I want all my friends, family and fans to know that I am in good spirits and I will be fine," Kim said in the statement. "Contrary to the rumors, I am in general population at FDC and I have adjusted to the facility and to my fellow inmates who are all cool people. Each day, I read, sharpen my focus and grow. Of course, I wish I could be out to celebrate the release of my new album this week, The Naked Truth but instead, I am looking to take advantage of this time to work on my personal development. Thank you to all for your continued support."
We're delighted to be able to follow that development in Lil' Kim's blog, although it's not clear she has 24-7 Internet access while doing a year and a day for federal fibbing. Someone is helping her post, apparently.
Her blog reports there were rumors that she was harassed by fellow inmates and sent to solitary. Not true!
The blog helpfully quotes her lawyer, J. Londell McMillan, saying,
"I was amazed at just how good Kim looked on my two visits to see her in prison last week. Even in a jumpsuit, Kim still has the style and swagger of a star.
Kim respects her inmates and they respect her. She will turn this experience into a positive reality for herself as well as her fans and community. She is evolving into a remarkable person of faith and courage."
Three winners. First, via Matt of the Tattered Coat, is this sickly brilliant, brilliantly sick subversion of The Shining. It was a contest: Take bits from a film and recut them to completely change the movie's meaning.
Hint: It still is scary, but in a totally different way.
Second, Opera Dude by Tokyo Plastic. Strangely beautiful, and visa versa. An animation. The percussion alone would make an unusual ringtone.
Last, an oldie but goodie: With Anna Nicole Smith headed for the highest court in the land - no this is not what the president means when he talks about diversity, her inheritance case against her late hubby's kin will be heard - it's a shame she doesn't get to represent herself. She could deliver no more compelling performance than that "like my body?" classic of gin gibberish from the American Music Awards in 2004.
I do not know what would make the giantess RuPaul link to this, but attention must be paid.
What this is, is the portfolio of Glenn C. Feron, retouching artist. Roll your cursor over the glossy photo of some of creations' most gorgeous women of color, and you see what their photos looked like before they got a little tweaking. Less gorgeous. Whoa!
Ok, Alicia Keys is gorgeous any way you look at her, but some of these are frightening. That's no normal day at the beach for those ladies in the picture. On Feron's site, touch it with your cursor and they start to look like what that poor Charlize Theron character starts seeing in The Devil's Advocate.
September 29, 2005
In Da Club
Who knew there was a database for these love handles?
Dick Cheney is Big Time, a likely reference to his response to the president's proctological description of former Timesman Adam Clymer.
Maine GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe is The Big O.
Baseball fan George Will is The Commissioner.
Colin Powell is Balloon Foot
Vladimir Putin is Pootie-Poot.
This was the first artwork I found, but that would have been wrong.
Raj Bhakta, described by Politics1 as "the bow-tie wearing, walking-stick strutting prig and womanizer" from Season 2 of "The Apprentice," has his sights on one woman in particular, according to the Northeast Times.
He wants U.S. Rep. Allison Schwartz's 13th District seat.
The former investment banker-turned real estate developer and technologist told The Intelligencer "Another girl who got fired from The Apprentice is off eating bugs. I've gotten off and tried to talk about issues I think are important for the country."
After Trump fired him, he asked receptionist Robin for her phone number. "Too much like Trump," opined MSNBC's Andy Dehnart in an eviscerating post.
Raj, a 29-year-old Republican, is a product of The Hill School and Boston College. He lives in Fort Washington and grew up in Blue Bell, Montco. A Northeast Times article today spotlights his candidacy. (via Philadelphia Will Do)
Of course he has a blog. Read about Raj on the issues here. It's called Coalition For the Advancement of
Raj the Republic.
In The Dugout Men Come and Go
It's a work in progress, his "One Art," the Charlie Manuel version. So far, he's got:
The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many Phillies games seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of poor baserunning, the middle reliever money badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.
Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
road trips, and sweeps, and where it was you meant
to double-switch. None of these will bring disaster. . .
Surely we can help him with a verse or two.
For more inspiration the Baseball Think Factory, via Throwing Things, tosses "The Love Song of J. Albert Pujols," featuring such winners as
In the dugout the men come and go
Talking of Chris Capuano.
Saved by Crystal Meth
"A moment of brilliance," is how a veteran conflict negotiator described Ashley Smith's moves in March when she talked an Atlanta shooting suspect into letting her go, then turning himself in.
In interview after interview, the calm blonde waitress told how she read from her Bible and a book called The Purpose-Driven Life, and pacified Brian Nichols, who had taken her hostage after he allegedly shot his way out of a courtroom where he was being tried on rape charges.
She was celebrated as a heroine, the everywoman who summons unknown strength to rewrite tragedy into triumph.
"It's clear that sharing her faith with Nichols did much to help them both get through the situation safely," wrote Christianity Today.
Turns out she shared something else -- her stash of crystal meth.
Her book, Unlikely Angel, tells the story, how Nichols had bound her to a bed and asked for marijuana, and how not having any, she offered him the highly addictive stimulant known as "ice."
It's the sort of story Blogtown loves.
Prayer, crystal meth, whatever, is the caption NewMexiKen choses for his raised-eyebrow of a post.
Writes Bijan C. Bayne in the Pop Culture blog:
umm hmm - big hero, like Jessica Lynch. The media need to do a better job of tracking these things down - like Natalie Holloway and partying, not that any teen is perfect, or deserves to be murdered. The real heroes are right in our own Gulf, in Louisiana, Mississippi and East Texas.
The Associated Press story reports that Smith did not disclose to authorities at the time that she offered meth to her captor. Investigators said she opened up about the drugs months later when they interviewed. They said they have no plans to charge her with drug possession. The AP writes:
Smith, a 27-year-old widowed mother who gained widespread praise for her level-headedness, says the seven-hour hostage ordeal in March led to the realization that she was a drug addict, and she says she has not used drugs since the night before she was taken captive. “If I did die, I wasn’t going to heaven and say, ‘Oh, excuse me, God. Let me wipe my nose, because I just did some drugs before I got here,”‘ Smith told the Augusta Chronicle.
In the Sublime Rage blog, David Svendsen is smelling something bad about the whole story.
My B.S. meter is at full tilt right now. At this point I am putting into doubt everything she said about what went on in those hours while he was with her. Look at the facts:
- Her husband was shot dead by some 'anonymous' people
- Of all the places that this Judge killer from Atlanta could have gone, he ends up at this specific spot
- She 'just happens' to have meth on hand for the guy.
An All Spin Zone commenter named Dan (no, not me) makes a shrewd point: "You know I could see where giving a little pot to a pumped up psycho killer might help mellow him out but giving crystal meth to a full blown wacko is not a trick I would reccommend you try at home."
In Article of Faith, an Athens, Ga. professor named Todd, doesn't blame her for winning her release by icing her captor. And she deserves credit for her disclosure, he writes:
At least she had the guts to come out and admit the story, and has protested, the few times I've seen her, any kind of "halo" others might have been trying to crown her with. People are strangely desperate for good news stories that feature "Christian redemption" or pseudo-spiritual "mediums" and the like. This seems evidenced by the abundance of television shows on this fall concerning these very subjects. Smith, however, seemed to protest her role as savior from the beginning, so I think she personally deserves props for her candor.
The disclosure explains a lot to Tiny Cat Pants, a blogger at NashvillesNews.
I was wondering how she got him to listen to her read that sappy, drivel, The Purpose Driven Life. But that explains it: he was on drugs.
Anyway, back to my point: so what? So she's a drug-addled whack job.
Does that mean her faith is somehow invalid? That she was wrong about being used by her god?
Does the Christian God ever wait around for perfect people?
We let Pastor Pat English close, from her Shades of Gray blog:
I must confess that I had my doubts when I read that this violent captor was subdued by Ms. Smith reading him a book. That made the story almost magical. You could see the beast falling asleep, as if the book was a magic charm. I wonder though, why a woman would give a drug (known to make people violent and unpredictable) to someone who was already violent and unpredictable? Perhaps he spared her simply because she was a drug user, much the same as he was. Unfortunately, the cynic in me feels vindicated by this story. I knew there was a "rest of the story" here. I hope the ordeal was frightening enough to change Ashley's way of life and I sincerely hope that she does allow God to work in her life so that she can overcome her addiction.
September 28, 2005
God On Our Side
The most blogged about news story of the day:
A study claims that the religious devotion in the United States may actually contribute to its ills.
From a Times of London account published Tuesday:
The paper, published in the Journal of Religion and Society, a US academic journal, reports: “Many Americans agree that their churchgoing nation is an exceptional, God-blessed, shining city on the hill that stands as an impressive example for an increasingly skeptical world.
Author of the study is a social scientist from Baltimore named Gregory S. Paul, who mined data from the International Social Survey Programme, Gallup and other research groups to compare murder rates, abortion, suicide, teenage pregnancy etc... (Googling Paul, he appears to be a paleontologist.)
The Times: The study concluded that the US was the world’s only prosperous democracy where murder rates were still high, and that the least devout nations were the least dysfunctional. Mr Paul said that rates of gonorrhea in adolescents in the US were up to 300 times higher than in less devout democratic countries. The US also suffered from “ uniquely high” adolescent and adult syphilis infection rates, and adolescent abortion rates, the study suggested.
“The United States is almost always the most dysfunctional of the developing democracies, sometimes spectacularly so.”
This has attracted some comment.
"A truly astounding display of bigotry and arrogance," writes The Wide Awakes.
A commenter at Jew School kvetches:
It's really a us bashing story, comparing non religious uk (supposed low crime rate) with religious us (high crime rate); anyone with 1/8 of an ounce of brain would note there are hundreds of differences between the us and the uk that might contribute to different crime rates having nothing to do with religion. simple exercise, you're walking down a dark alley late at night, would you rather meet someone just coming out of a church meeting, or anyone else?
Peter C Glover's Wires From the Bunker doesn't buy it:
I can only apologise to our American cousins that a leading national British newspaper should have sunk so low. May God help us and perhaps give some of us who care sufficiently about truth to have the strength to do more than just carp about it.
I really can’t imagine how much better a country this would be if we again started putting money into daycare, Headstart, and our schools.
Trouble In Seat 6A
Three flight attendant's groups have called for a boycott of Flightplan, the Jodie Foster movie that opened at No. 1 last weekend across the country.
The reason why they're angry spoils a key plot element, so read this knowing that.
Today's The Day For DeLay
A grand jury to determine whether to indict U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay today? The Austin American-Statesman is reporting just that. Attribution: "several lawyers" involved in the case. Article says:
Wednesday's secret vote by the grand jury could mark the end of a three-year investigation into whether DeLay and his Republican and business allies illegally spent corporate money to help elect a Republican majority to the Legislature in 2002. In turn, state lawmakers drew congressional districts urged by DeLay that gave Texas Republicans more clout in Washington.
AP has a similar report. Says conspiracy charges to be considered as panel concludes its business today.
Yes. Indicted on a conspiracy charge. Here's the Knight Ridder lead from this afternoon:
A Texas Grand Jury indicted House Majority Leader Tom DeLay Wednesday, forcing one of the most powerful Republicans in the government from his post.
The single criminal charge accused him and two associates of conspiring to circumvent Texas election laws in what turned out to be a successful campaign to win control of the Texas state House way from Democrats.
DeLay angrily denied the charge he said stemmed from a political vendetta against him. ``I am innocent,’’ DeLay said. ``I have done nothing wrong.’’
NYT piece here.