There Is No Cat

Hollering into the void since 2002

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Coming Out of the Log Cabin

I thought George Bush's speech today in favor of gay marriage was remarkable. I never expected to hear such a thing from him.

Posted at 11:13 PM
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Taking the gas


A trench containing a ribbon marking a gas pipeline

Posted at 2:07 AM
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Thursday, February 19, 2004

And it burns, burns, burns

Oh Hallelujah, praise Jah almighty. The family of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash has stepped in to prevent the use of one of the finest songs of all time, "Ring of Fire", in ads for Preparation H. I couldn't believe that the song would be descrated like that when I first heard the story. Well, at least as desecrated as a song about forbidden love and marital infidelity can be.... Still, this just would have been beyond the pale. Now it's not going to happen, and I couldn't be happier. It's a moment of sanity in an otherwise insane world.

Posted at 9:19 AM
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Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Clean for Dean

So Howard Dean is out. Sounds like he gave a kick-ass speech. It makes me sad, although it doesn't surprise me at this point. I wish New Jersey's primary wasn't the last in the nation; by the time the voting gets to us, the decision has been made and the primary is pretty pointless. No matter. I'm grateful to Howard Dean for running. He's had a huge impact on the tone of the race and is largely responsible for the backbone transplant the rest of the candidates appear to have received. And for that alone, I consider the money I gave to the campaign well-spent. Maybe that makes him this cycle's Gene McCarthy, another candidate who defined the race but didn't win. I still think Howard Dean would have been the best President. I think this country could use another Harry Truman, and Governor Dean was the closest thing to a new Truman I've ever seen. And I think he was perfectly electable this year. So many people are so mad at George Bush about so many things that I think the Democrats could nominate a stuffed cabbage and still win.

So I'll be ready to vote for the stuffed cabbage in November, and do whatever I can to make sure that George Bush gets that one-way bus ticket back to Crawford.

Posted at 4:56 PM
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Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Because some ideas are just too good not to share

I don't know why the phrase "frog cannon" popped into my head this afternoon, but there it was. And there was nothing to be done but Google it, and I'll be damned if someone hasn't created one.

Posted at 3:54 PM
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Sunday, February 15, 2004

It's a small world after all

One of my favorite bands of recent years has been Australian band Ninetynine, led by ex-Sleater-Kinney drummer Laura Macfarlane. I found their first two albums some years back, but had no luck finding more recent releases here in America. So last week, feeling like maybe I could actually spend a few bucks on records for a change, I went looking for the missing records. I couldn't find a single source that had more than one of the three albums. Insound in NYC had one, Stickfigure Distro in Atlanta had another, and Chaos Music in Melbourne, Australia, had the most recent record, which the band's label says is already deleted. So I placed orders at each. New York City and Melbourne must be about the same distance from New Jersey, because the orders from Insound and Chaos, placed on the same day, showed up in my mailbox on the same day, five days after ordering. Five days from the other side of the world; formidable. The world is getting smaller; even atoms take less time to travel than they used to, let alone bits.

The albums are great, for the most part. Ninetynine has become more of a band than it was for the first two albums, which is good musically, but not so good when the other band members sing. In particular, the momentum on The Process comes to a screeching halt when drummer Cameron Potts takes his two lead vocals. Pity, because it's a really kick-ass record up to that point. I gather its the first one they've recorded in a real studio, and it sounds excellent. You can sample the title track in a great video on the band's site, made up of what appears to be 1960s-vintage Super 8 film from China, southeast Asia and northern Africa.

Another of my recent faves, Winnipeg-based band Nathan, has some great news on their site; they've been signed to Nettwerk Records, which means their next album, to be released in May, will be coming out in the U.S. and U.K. in addition to Canada. That should make it a bit easier to get than the first one was. Maybe they'll get some promotion, too. They got a fair amount of press within Canada for the first album, but I didn't see anything here in the U.S. about them.

Posted at 10:50 PM
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Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Vampires, leeches, they're all the same thing

I loathe disgraced former New Jersey Senator Bob Torricelli. I thought he was a disgrace to his party, his state, and his office, and I was delighted when scandal drove him from office and gave me an opportunity to vote for someone I respect (because, after all, even a lowlife scum-sucking leech like Torricelli is better than a Republican). As I recall, he was one of the first Democrats to call on Al Gore to surrender the fight against Dubya for Florida, which really steamed me.

Now Torricelli has brought his ethically-challenged perspective to this year's Democratic primaries. The AP reports that Torricelli was one of the main backers of the shadowy group, Americans for Jobs, Healthcare and Progressive Values, that ran ads in New Hampshire and South Carolina that linked Howard Dean to Osama bin Laden, giving $50,000 to the group's efforts.

Torricelli, the former New Jersey senator who is now raising money for front-runner Kerry, donated $50,000 from his Senate campaign fund to the group.

Federal Election Commission spokesman Bob Biersack said it was "fuzzy" whether Torricelli's contribution was permissible under FEC rules. Donations to such groups are not included on an FEC list of permitted uses for campaign funds.

Bob still hasn't learned to handle his money legally, apparently. What does this mean for John Kerry? Because, as the AP noted in that story, and in another story focusing solely on Torricelli's fundraising, that's what Bob's doing these days, shaking his contacts down for money for Kerry.

Presidential Democratic hopeful John Kerry is letting former Sen. Robert Torricelli raise money for him less than two years after the Senate formally rebuked Torricelli for his actions with a political donor.

My mom told me she's trying to like Kerry. I'm not even trying. Associating with people like Torricelli shows that he's just part of the same old same old. Sure, I'll hold my nose and vote for him in November if it comes to it. But that's all I'll do. After all, if he's got Bob raising money for him, he sure doesn't need my money.

Whatever happened to those criminal cases against Torricelli? Can't someone just drive a wooden stake through this vampire's heart?

Posted at 5:34 AM
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Sunday, February 8, 2004

Why can't they hear me?

I've been screaming at the television a lot lately. Kia has been running an ad for their new Amanti car that asks questions like, "Where is it written that only the rich get to feel safe? Where is it written that luxury is only for the few? If it is written somewhere, we couldn't find it."

To which I keep screaming, "It's in the Republican party platform, damnit!" But they keep running the ad.

Posted at 7:12 AM
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Tuesday, February 3, 2004

Moving On or Moving Out?

MoveOn is returning to its roots, in a bizzaro-world kind of way. It originally started as a movement to stop the impeachment of Bill Clinton for getting blow jobs, calling instead for the alternative of censure. Now, in the absence of any movement toward impeachment of George Bush for lying America into a war, MoveOn is calling again for Congress to censure a sitting President. I mean, if they can impeach Clinton for his blow jobs, it seems the least they can do to Bush for being responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers in a war of choice is to censure him. That's got to be at least the equal of getting some on the side.

Posted at 8:57 PM
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Screaming the blues

The BBC has a report about Mieskuoro Huutajat, the Men's Screaming Choir of Oulu, Finland. They render songs by screaming them rather than singing. Sounds like some of my favorite bands, come to think of it. There are a couple of clips on the group's web site, including an unrecognizable version of The Star Spangled Banner that just has to be heard. Sign them up for the next Super Bowl; they're bound to be more entertaining and less controversial than the entertainment they had this year.

Posted at 8:01 AM
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Sunday, February 1, 2004

Is Bush electable?

The more I see, the more beatable I think George Bush is in November. This article in The Nation points out something I noticed on the night of the New Hampshire primary: a whole bunch of Republicans voted for someone other than George Bush. John Kerry came in second in the Republican primary with 4.5%, and Howard Dean came in third with 2.8%. In all, slightly more than 20% of voting NH Republicans were sufficiently motivated to go to the polls on a freezing cold day to vote against a sitting President. 15 people even voted for Al Sharpton in the Republican primary! New Hampshire is a state that Bush barely won last time. Bush's final tally was 79.55% of the Republican vote. With his base showing signs of fraying, I think he's in serious trouble. He may never win a Presidential election at this rate.

I think the "electability" issue that has supposedly hurt Dean is a red herring. That is, even if the Democrats nominated a red herring to run against him (or maybe a bluefish), Bush would lose.

Posted at 11:24 AM
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This site is copyright © 2002-2017, Ralph Brandi. (E-mail address removed due to virus proliferation.)

What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

- Albert Einstein, explaining radio


There used to be a cat

[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


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