Now That’s Plagiarism

After allegations and counter allegations of plagiarism flew between the Clinton and Obama campaigns earlier this month, an actual case of plagiarism hit the news cycle today that makes questions about Barack Obama lifting words from one of his campaign co-chairs and Hillary Clinton borrowing phrases from her husband seem like small potatoes.

Tim Goeglein, a senior White House aide, admitted copying from a ten-year-old essay by Jeffrey Hart. Goeglein’s plagiarized article appeared in The Fort Wayne News-Sentinel.

In an email to The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, Goeglein came clean, writing, “I am entirely at fault. It was wrong of me. There are no excuses.” Goeglein also said that he wrote to Hart and apologized.

So far, no word on whether Goeglein will resign his post, director of the White House office of public liaison. Paul Kiel of Talking Points Memo describes what Goeglein does at the White House. “[H]e’s tasked with serving as the “pipeline” to the president for the administration’s ‘most conservative supporters,’ as New York Times and Washington Post profiles put it,” Kiel wrote.

Blogger Mitch Harper of Fort Wayne, Observed says his blog is a “friend” to both Goeglein and the blogger who caught Goeglein by googling his work (well, actually not really his work), blogger Nancy Nall. Harper sums up how it went down.

UPDATE:  Goeglein’s resigning.

iNews Friday, Special Illustrated Edition – 2/29/2008

Headline: Serbs blame U.S. for violence

Live long and prosper Translation: “Highly illogical” for U.S. to burn own embassy, Vulcan Girl Scouts say

Woodland Park Zoo orangutans turn 40

Translation: Rush Limbaugh has birthday

Headline: With Big Dig done, Boston pursues new look
Translation: Cradle of independence motif “so 233 years ago”

Headline: English nearing one million words
Translation: Terms for anatomy, parentage, human waste, Republican already number two million

Translation: Conservative blogs link Oscar refusal to wear American flag pin to foreigners winning Best Actor, Actress

Headline: Oil Hits a High; Some See $4 Gas by Spring
Translation: Detroit developing engine that burns bundles of Twenties

Headline: As Inflation Rises, Home Values Slump, Data Show
Translation: “Sit up straight and none of your back-talk,” Bernanke scolds Home Values

Headline: Rockets’ Yao out for season
Translation: U.S. meant to fire rocket at Central China, not Chinese center

Headline: Polygamist Jeffs now in Arizona jail
Warren Jeffs Translation: Why the long face?
Translation (Turbo Mode): This time Jeffs is the bride

Headline: Poll – Majority of fans think Clemens is lying
Translation: Clemens a surprising second to McCain as Texas primary nears

Headline: William F. Buckley Jr. dies at 82
Translation: William F. Buckley Jr., 3,000,000 B.C.-2008
Translation (Turbo Mode): Crypto-fascist to be buried with 21-clipboard salute

Headline: Microsoft foresaw Vista problems
: Those aren’t bugs, those are ‘features’

Headline: The Other Boleyn Girl
Translation: Starring Cindy McCain and Vicki Iseman

Headline: Pelosi wants Bush aides investigated
Translation: Bolten and Meiers deny taking steroids

Headline: Bush will host NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer at the White House on February 29
Translation: Bush proclaims Feb. 29 shall henceforth be known as “Annual Yappy Hoops Heifer Day.”

Kangaroo Tails

There has been a lot of discussion in Australia about climate change and our food preferences. We curse the bastard who introduced fluffy bloody bunnies to this arid land. We should be cursing the ones who bought sheep and cattle here too.

The fact is our terrain cannot cope hard footed critters, or the ones that eat grass down beyond the roots. Kangas have been surviving this land far longer than the aborigines, and they are one of the longest continuing human groups.

Kangaroo is a common bush food, usually as patties, but that’s because we haven’t explored preparation methods. It is even more common as dog food. But as a meat it is gamey and quite edible.

The trouble is you can’t farm roos like ‘domesticated’ animals. They can jump tall buildings in a single leap. Free range is the ways to go, and the method cuts out a whole agricultural sector, the slaughter house.

All we need is a constant movement of trucks picking up those carcasses. Of course the findings would be best treated as stews or bully beef type products.

I’m just pricing a fleet of refrigerated trucks with bloody big kanga bars. I figure we could harvest and collect in one grand operation. of course it will take time to build a wider market, but for the soup kitchen market, the ones who begrudge spending drug money on food are a clear early target.

The People’s Business?

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has asked the DoJ to investigate pitcher Roger Clemens to determine if he committed perjury during his Feb. 13th testimony regarding the use of performance enhancing steroids…

…and the question we should be asking ourselves is: Has Congress taken leave of their senses! Is this their idea of ‘conducting the people’s business’? Roger Clemens has ensured that he’ll end up as a minor-f*cking-footnote in sports history. His career is over. His reputation is shot. His awards are tainted, and his body is probably broken. So now Representative Henry Waxman wants to waste more millions of dollars on a perjury investigation? Who the F*CK cares if Clemens lied or not?!

Mr. Waxman, are you a moron?  Are you senile?  In the near future DHS plans to “harmonize” domestic and international travel rules under the ‘Secure Flight’ proposal so that, like Imperial Russia, we’ll all need permission from our lor–I mean the Feds–before we travel to Disneyworld.

In a few weeks 4000 US serviceman will have died fighting Bush’s War, not to mention the 10’s of thousands of veterans maimed by our enemies as well as by an administration that forgot about them upon their return from the battlefield.

Perhaps the honorable Mr. Waxman might want to take a look at his committee’s stationary. I appears that he has forgotten either his committee’s name, or its charter, or both.

The economy of debt

I read online recently that American credit card debt grew by 315% from 1989 to 2006. 315%! I guess I know where I should be investing my money, in credit card companies. They have convinced my fellow Americans to take out 2.2 Trillion dollars in credit and cash advances in the last year alone. You know what that means? They’re making profits like the oil companies!

Am I the only one who find this statistic completely insane? I know that Americans are worried about recession. Housing prices are down, some are defaulting on loans. But I have to ask myself, how the Hell do you run up 2.2 Trillion in debt in one year?! Is it just another facet of the “finance our lives on the backs of our children” mentality or is something even more sinister at work here? What do you think?

Rage in a Cage

cage3.jpg Here in glorious Port Macquarie, on the sub tropical east coast of Australia, the local council just spent nearly one million bucks ‘beautifying’ an intersection, the gateway to the town centre. There are more ways to kill a cat than… and one convict has proved the power of street theatre.

Two key pedestrian crossing points have been blocked by wire cages on the pedestrian ramps since the project was completed last October. The ramps, we were told, were dangerous for handicapped users.

cage1.pngAfter attempts and rebuffs from the council, my quixotic brother Robin decided a bit of street theatre might be the only way to get these abominations moved. He dressed as one of the convicts who were the original reason for this town and chased the media exposure.

Council doesn’t take pedestrians into account, just drivers, as though shoppers can drive right into the shops. Well we all know they’d prefer to, but drive thru shopping hasn’t really caught on yet.

So scared of being sued by handicapped people using the crossings, the cages have forced everyone else, from frail elderly to mothers with baby pushers, to hike across the gardens either side of the cages to cross the road.

cage2.jpgHaving launched his campaign, all week Robin waited for media response, normally so quick for a good colour story. Nothing! Despite constant prodding the convict was ignored totally. So we thought, until Friday afternoon when a council works team arrived and removed the offending cages.

Robin still feels robbed, robbed of his chance to bolt his convict in a cage and rage at the stupidity of it all. It seems the media’s attempts to get the council angle first stirred up a whole lot of background activity. That is easy to understand for a council waiting to be replaced by an administrator in the next few weeks because of corruption allegations.

Obama flag pin stance draws fire – “Not enough items of flair,” say critics

Republican Party officials today criticized Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama for not wearing an American flag lapel pin and other patriotic buttons, which conservatives call “flair.”

Republican image consultant Francis F. “Fifi” Frandle wants to talk to the Illinois senator about his flair. Frandle — known to many as ‘the Mr. Blackwell of the Right Wing’ — said flair is a must for any serious candidate.

“Items of flair are de rigeur political fashion accessories for anyone who wants to be taken seriously as a politician,” said Frandle.

“Politics is about media, and media is about image,” he explained. “If Obama goes on TV without flair, he’ll be a bland, flair-less island in the middle of a screen filled with sparkly animations, captions and news-crawls. He’ll clash,” warned Frandle.

Obama dismissed the controversy over his flair today in comments to reporters. He had worn flair after 9/11, he said, but stopped because he believed it had become a substitute for true patriotism.

He said he would not start wearing flair again. “I don’t really like talking about my flair,” Obama added.

Even if Obama did start wearing a flag pin again, it is not likely to satisfy critics.

“The patriotic minimum for flair is actually 15 items,” said former Senator Mel Martinez, general chairman of the Republican National Committee.

“It’s up to Obama whether or not he wants to just do the bare minimum. Rudy Giuliani, for example, has 37 pieces of flair. And a terrific smile.”

Martinez urged Obama to look to others within his own party for leadership. “Why can’t Obama be more like (Senator) Joe Lieberman?” wondered Martinez.

“Lieberman always wears at least 25 items of flair.”

:: Originally ran October 9, 2007 at Wiseline Institute NW

Ralph Nader – The modern Harold Stassen?

You go from Iraq to Palestine/Israel, from Enron to Wall Street, from Katrina to the bungling of the Bush administration, to the complicity of the Democrats in not stopping him on the war, stopping him on the tax cuts, getting a decent energy bill through – and you have to ask yourself, as a citizen, should we elaborate the issues that the two (parties) are not talking about?

— Ralph Nader announcing his 5th run for the presidency

Ralph you miserable wretch! You…accusing the Democrats for not stopping the war is like an arsonist accusing the firemen of not doing their jobs because the building he set on fire burned to the ground.

— Kvatch

The following is a reprint from Blognonymous that I wrote when Nader announced that he might run early last year.

Dear Ralph Nader,

Well…there certainly isn’t much left for anyone to say about you and your monumental ego. Though I suppose I should give credit where credit is due: Few people reach the end of their lives with such deep and abiding hatred of their fellow man. I mean how many of us can really say that they have had the opportunity, and in your case the will, to contribute in a substantial way to the utter destruction of their nation? It’s as if 30 years of consumer advocacy have turned you into the ultimate consumer assailant.

Ralph NaderYou see, you whine and cry about how there is no real difference between the parties, but you know that’s not true. If it were true then there would have been no point to your playing the spoiler in 2000, no point to helping George W. Bush into power. The sad fact is that things would have been different with 8 years of a Gore administration. Oh, the excesses of corporate America would have barreled along unchecked, but Gore would have handled 9/11 very differently–no $500B dollars down the tubes. Gore would have used the presidency as a “bully pulpit” to agitate for a proper response to global climate change, and the public might just have gotten on board. But you can’t see that. All you can see is a one way trip to hell for the rest of us so you can sooth your own rage at your monumental impotence.

2008 is coming around Ralph, and you’ve only got one card left to play. Unfortunately, the fact that you’re willing to play it tells us everything we need to know about the pathetic louse you’ve become.

Invest in your 401K, not your footwear

I keep reading these articles in women’s magazines, and hearing from women bloggers that they consider their shoes “investments”. They collect Christian Louboutins, Jimmy Choos, and Manolo Blahniks ~ all of which cost between $450 – $800 a pair! You people have been watching too much Oprah.

Shoes are like cars. They are never going to appreciate in value. In fact, they begin to lose value the minute you “drive them off the lot”. Take a lesson from Carrie on Sex and the City. When she wanted to buy her apartment, she found out that she had spent $40,000 on shoes, and didn’t have the money for a downpayment.

I’m all for looking good, but the truth is you need a retirement fund a lot more than you need a pair of $750 shoes. Invest in your future, put the money in your 401K. You can borrow against it when you want to buy that first house, but banks don’t consider your shoes collateral.

McCain undergoes emergency surgery – Lobbyists found up his wazoo

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee John McCain underwent emergency surgery today to remove corporate lobbying connections from his wazoo.

The lobbyists were discovered last week during a physical examination by the health section of the New York Times

A subsequent pathology report found Sen. McCain’s wazoo is filled with malignant corporate connections, and include Charlie Black of BKSH & Associates,  Alcalde & Fay, Davis Manafort, The Loeffler Group, Ogilvy Government Relations, and dozens of lobbyists raising money for his campaign.

Doctors say the condition is common in politicians who have been in office for a long time.  Dr. Rollie Fingers, a polirectal health specialist from Hershey, Pennsylvania, says it is likely McCain got lobbyists up his wazoo while in bed with telecom lobbyist Vicki Iseman of Alcalde & Fay.

Dr. Fingers said the usual treatment is chemotherapy.  He said is it likely doctors will start high doses of Ralph Nader, which should allow McCain to recover by early November.

The best prevention strategy is screening, says Fingers. The New York Times should go up politicians’ wazoos at least once a year, he said.