Friday, December 31, 2004


Often this is something i'm forced to do as i encounter these bits of pop culture rather than what was actually released in the year 2004. however, whenever possible i try to keep it current.

Movies I Enjoyed this Year (In no Particular Order):

The Incredibles - wonderful story and animation (even if it borrows heavily) and THANK GOD no meaningless songs and talking creatures to provide comedy. I like Eddie Murphy, but i could live my whole life and never hear him being a 'funny animal' again. he should start cussing more (again).

Sky Capt. and the World of Tomorrow - I really liked the idea of a female Nick Fury in a prop driven Heli-carrier. Again, it mines from other stuff i like, so maybe that eases its way into my head.

Hero - Beautiful. i need to see his newer movie, house of the flying daggers (is that the name?)

Kill Bill (let's just lump 1 & 2 in together) - Jesus! what a ride. if you saw it you know why someone would like it, even if you didn't. if you didn't see it i really can't do it justice here. i particularly enjoyed the oddball references, particularly the opening with the 'Shaw Brothers' shield (famous HK Kung Fu movie studio) and the use of the AWESOME gordon Liu. one of my favorites.

Fahrenheit 9/11 - How utterly alarming and eye opening. i have seen the movie and the detractor's 'counter' movie with an open mind and the detractors fall remarkably short in putting to rest the issues raised in this movie.

Hellboy - Perfect match for the comic. lots of fun. i want a part 2.

Harry Potter 3 - good, but not as good as the first 2. mostly because the villain kid was made less menacing or threatening. he'd say something mean and another kid would put him in his place over the course of about 15 seconds. end of scene. that's not very good. otherwise, nice movie.

Starsky and Hutch - Hey, i liked it.

Bourne Supremacy - Great follow up. it had everything i liked about the first movie.

Spider-Man 2 - perhaps one of the best adaptations of a comic book character. i did not mind the different take used on the storylines. One thing about Peter Parker is that he's got a troubled 'real' life despite his 'super' life. they played this so well, i was really feeling sorry for the guy as the movie went on. i was shocked at the sympathy the actor and director was able to create. also the villain was MUCh better than the 1st movie and the special effects were wondrous.

Mean Girls - Man, that movie was great! Tina Fey gives us a teen movie for adults. that's really what i thought it was. I liked every bit of it.

City of God - One of the best films of the year. the story was compelling and pretty tough. it has an effect on you to see how different life is in this world. Excellent film!

The Movies I've yet to see but wish i had:

Ray, Hotel Rwanda, I Robot, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, Beyond the Sea, Anchorman, The Aviator, DeLovely, Spanglish, Oceans 12, the Life Aquatic, Closer, Alexander, I Heart Huckabees, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Open Water, Million Dollar Baby, Sideways, Friday Night Lights, and the Redone, re-issue of Sam Fuller's The Big Red One. that was supposed to be really good.

Oh yeah. Team America sucked but had one of the best songs of the year: America, F*ck Yeah! it seemed as if penned by our good friend Jas N Smith.

Music I Enjoyed this Year:

This was a thin year for me on good, new stuff that i liked. I liked the Jet album and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. oh yeah, and ....

BaadAssss Cinema - Collection of Blackexploitation themesongs and hits.
Books I Enjoyed this Year:

Charlie Wilson's War (finishing up right now) by George Crile

Means of Ascent (Vol. 2 Lyndon Johnson Biography) by Robert Caro

Hunter S. Thompson:
*Fear & Loathing on the Campaign Trail
*Hell's Angels
*Better than Sex (the story of a political junky)
**and about 4 others that i'm leaving off!
Comics of the Year:

The Illustrated Daily Scribble by Charles Pugsley Fincher
This Modern World by Tom Tomorrow
The Sketchbook Diaries by James Kochalka
Conan (the new series) by Kurt Busiek and Cary Nord
The New Frontier by (my favorite artist in comics today) Darwyn Cooke

Monday, December 27, 2004

YEAR END Best Of List

movies, books, toons, and music. all coming soon!

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Christmas Tidings

Tonite i went to only my 2nd Midnite Mass. I'm not Catholic so I've not had a reason to do these in the past. listening to the service, i decided that there is perhaps no better delivery of bible scripture than Linus of the Peanuts gang a la the Charlie Brown Christmas Special. his tone and delivery are a comfort to me.

I have a hard time in church. As a person who does think about spirituality a lot, but does not often go to church...well...when i do go, i have a hard time. It really just sends my mind reeling. I think it's the old philosophy major in me. i think over the dogma and the scripture. i think about the versions of the text that aren't the 'king james' version and what differences therein lie, as well as what effect they may have on my belief system. I think about the Holy Spirit a great deal and how little i understand about it. as a matter of fact, i've never had someone explain to me that part of the trinity in a way that remotely made sense (give it a shot in the comments section if you like).

I also think about my own progress. my shortcomings and successes. i think a lot about what i'm doing at that moment in time, in my life. i scrutenize all these things so intently be honest with you, it is difficult to remotely pay attention to the preacher. if the preacher is not charismatic (not meant in the theological sense) and the sermon isn't touching on a hot topic for me....well...he gets ignored and my mind just goes off on its own. off to the races. I actually often get deeply upset over things: myself, other people, what i realize is being done, even theological issues...and i can tell its really getting to me, particularly in parts of the sermon that really aren't that emotional.

Anyway, like i said, church is really hard on me. really hard. none-the-less, i recommend you watch the Charlie Brown Christmas special and listen to Linus deliver his lines. next think about people that are alone right now and wish they weren't. finally, do something about that.

Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 24, 2004

GOP Makes it Harder for the Poor to Get to College

(CNN) -- A change in eligibility for Pell Grants to be announced Thursday by the Department of Education would cut some 90,000 students from the rolls of recipients and affect more than 1 million others, an education advocate says.
Keep it up, Jerks!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Now THAT is Close!

From the AP:

"The head of the state Democratic Party said late Tuesday that recount results from King County give Democrat Christine Gregoire an eight-vote victory in the closest governor’s race in state history."
Previously this was a Republican victory.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Just in Time for Chrsitmas: The Donald-Patch Kid!

Now that's pretty funny. Posted by Hello

Small Victories

I'm pleased to report that Mr. Mooch and I worked diligently for a man wrongly accused of a crime recently and in court today his charges were thrown out. After many set backs over the last year, this victory comes as a nice Christmas present for my last appearance in court in 2004.

Here's our Republican Governor Hard(ly) at Work!

It seems Gov. Haley Barbour is looking for any way possible to cripple the Public Education system of this state. Luckily the Democrats of the MS House of Representatives care a little more about this state! (NOTE: M.A.E.P. mentioned below helps bring poor and struggling school districts in line with the public school in richer districts)

JACKSON - House Education Chairman Randy Pierce, D-Leakesville, said Monday that he is angered by statements about education funding that Gov. Haley Barbour made last week during his tour of South Mississippi.

Barbour said the $381 million extra for next year being requested for education tells
him spending priorities are all wrong, too heavy on administration. 'I'm no math major,' Barbour said during numerous stops in South Mississippi, 'but when you see that $100 million funds the teacher pay raise and classrooms, but they're asking for $381 million, that means one-quarter is going for teaching and three-quarters for things not for teaching.'

Pierce said Barbour is "once again, wrong, wrong, wrong."

"He either does not understand the education budget," Pierce said, "or he does and is attempting to create a misconception about the education budget to justify his lack of commitment to (the Mississippi Adequate Education Program)."

Yeah, I'll Take That!

From the pages of "It Ain't Over 'Til it's Over":

SEATTLE Dec 17, 2004 — With Washington state in the middle of a recount of its amazingly close governor's race, election officials in Seattle's King County entered a warehouse Friday and found a plastic tray containing 150 misplaced ballots.

The discovery brings the number of belatedly discovered ballots to 723 in the heavily Democratic county potentially enough to swing the election to Democrat Christine Gregoire.

Doesn't Work? DEPLOY IT!

Here is another fine example of the poor priorities exhibited by our president. Despite the reduced threat of a Nuclear Missle attack (vs. a terrorist attack), Bush has decided to put Billion$ into a 'Missle Defense Shield' commonly referred to as 'Star Wars'. The problem isn't just that the program is somewhat mis-guided, it doesn't work. Over the course of the system's development it has NEVER worked.

Despite this, bush ordered the pentagon to oput the testing on the back burner and to move on to DEPLOYING IT. Well they tried another round of tests and the rocket that was supposed to intercept the 'incoming nuclear missle' couldn't even get off the ground.

What did the director of the program have to say? He called it a "serious setback."

No kidding. I guess public safety can't get in the way of war profiteering!

Thursday, December 16, 2004

How My State Spends Its Money.

In Mississippi, more than 75% of the state budget goes to fund education (kindergarten through the university level), corrections, health care and public safety.

Even Trent Lott Thinks Rumsfeld Should Go.

We agree on something!

'I'm not a fan of Secretary Rumsfeld,' Lott, R-Mississippi, told the Biloxi Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday morning. 'I don't think he listens enough to his uniformed officers.'

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Barbour presents $40M to Northrop

PASCAGOULA - Gov. Haley Barbour presented Northrop Grumman Ship Systems a check on Tuesday - a big, big check. 'Some of you may have seen a $40 million check
before,' Barbour joked, 'but those of us from Yazoo City, we ain't seen too many of them.'
This was part of a deal to bring a few thousand jobs to Mississippi. It was recently the sticking point in a Special Session of the Legislature, where many House Members were uncomfortable with our governor's ease in backing away to his commitments to other state interests. No word on whether he credited the Democrats that brokered the deal creating this photo op.

My guess is 'no'.

The Bush Commitment to Truth

WASHINGTON (AP) - The government's chief of AIDS research rewrote a safety report on a U.S.-funded drug study to change its conclusions and delete negative information. Later, he ordered the research resumed over the objections of his staff, documents show.
I'm really beginning to think the Bush Administration just doesn't like science very much.

And Then There were Three.

Rick Whitlow, spokesman for the Department of Human Services, has announced his bid for Jackson mayor, according to a statement released on Monday.
Whitlow, a former sports director for WAPT-Channel 16, will run as a Republican. Whitlow, in the statement, said his campaign platform will consist of six issues with reducing crime as No. 1.

This guy used to be Sportscaster on Jackson, MS television. He's a decent guy, but running as a Republican here is about like running as a member of the Communist Party. I was excited to see him in the race (vs. the current Mayor, Harvey Johnson, and local TV magnate (and black businessman) Frank Melton). All 3 are black candidates, and the race would be interesting if they were all democrats. Now it is much less so.

Hint of the Day for Judges

Don't wear Blackface to a party and think no one will be offended (he's been suspended).

Sunday morning with Kathy Nester - The Clarion-Ledger

Read a little bit about one of my favorite people. She's an advocate for many Women's issues as well as a top notch attorney. Beyond all that, she's a damn fine human being and a role model for just about anyone.


NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Blockbuster Inc. announced Tuesday it is abolishing late fees on all its video tapes, DVDs and video games as of Jan. 1.

The world's largest video rental company will still have due dates for their rental products -- one week for games and two days or one week for movies, depending on
whether it's a new release.

But customers will be given a one-week grace period after that to return the product. After that grace period ends, the chain will automatically sell them the product, less the rental fee. If the customers don't want to purchase the movie or game, they can return the product within 30 days for a credit, less a restocking fee.
As a former Blockbuster Employee, I can tell you they get a LOT of revenue from late fees. they must believe billing you for the entire rental item(note, VCR tapes can run $100) will net them more money.

Keeping You in the Know...

News I heard today from Harper's and various other sources:

Scientists developed a biodegradable cell phone cover that turns into a sunflower when thrown away.

Bernard Kerik withdrew from consideration to replace Tom Ridge as head of homeland security after discovering that a nanny he had employed may have been an illegal immigrant for whom he may not have paid taxes. (Of course this reason given is somehow not as big a deal as his mob ties, questionable stock options, and multiple simultaneous affairs which have been the subject of an unlawful employment practices lawsuit...for God's sake, it HAD to be that Nanny that raised an eyebrow).

The Bush Administration was tapping the phone of Mohamed El Baradei, the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency who questioned U.S. intelligence on Iraq.

Iran claimed it started working to weaponize its uranium to instigate offers of economic incentives to stop the process (evidently, you can't just ask).

Scientists were warning men not to place laptop computers on their laps since overheating the scrotum can reduce fertility (Mr. Mooch and I use desktops).

The Vatican disapproved of a nativity scene in Madame Tussaud's wax museum in London that depicted David and Victoria Beckham, aka Posh Spice, as Joseph and Mary, with George W. Bush, Tony Blair, and the Duke of Edinburgh standing in for the three wise men. "There is a tradition in which each generation tries to reenact the nativity," explained a spokesman for the Archbishop of Canterbury, "but oh deary me." (*Ahem*).

FCC Chairman Michael Powell reported to Congress that there has been a sharp rise in complaints over programing in the last year (from 350 in 2001 to 240,000 in 2003). The FCC estimated that 99.8 percent of complaints came from one conservative group: the Parents Television Council.

A report found that a federally funded program to promote abstinence in schools has been teaching students that a 43-day-old fetus is a "thinking person," abortion
can lead to sterility and suicide, touching a person's genitals can result in pregnancy, and HIV can be spread by sweat and tears. (When asked about this, Sen. Majority Leader and Medical Doctor Bill Frist would not deny the assertions).

Have a Blue Christmas!

You may have already seen this, but here is a quick rundown of which companies donate to Republicans and which Donate to Democrats. You can use this easy to read page when buying those last Christmas gifts!

Friday, December 10, 2004


In covering the soldiers that confronted Donald Rumsfeld over the lack of supplies in Iraq, John Stewart (again) hit the nail on the head. As you know, the soldiers asked why they were being made to perform dangerous missions without the proper equipment. Rumsfeld finally surmised: "As you know, you have to go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you want."

To which Stewart pointed out: THEY have to go to war with the army YOU have. Does this administration ever take responsibility for anything?

coming up soon: THE DRAFT!

Thursday, December 09, 2004


Some harsh words...that i tend to agree with. From Ed Killgore, Policy Director of the Democratic Leadership Council:

I came to believe strongly that the real agenda of the people closest to Bush--including his political advisors and much of the Republican congressional leadership--was not only dishonest, but deeply cynical and irresponsible: a drive to simultaneously wreck the federal government and to perpetuate their control over the wreckage as long as possible through the exercise of the rawest sort of institutional power and corruption. And moreover, this belief made me angry at even those Republicans who did not share that agenda, because they were helping to promote it against their own best instincts ... I think today's Republican Party, and its leader, are built on a foundation of fundamental dishonesty about who they are, what they want, and where they are taking the country. As a Christian, I will endeavor not to hate them for that. As an American, I will endeavor to respect those who voted for Bush, because after all, they have as much right to the franchise as I do. But until they demonstrate the ability to walk, or perhaps I should say swagger, in a straight line, I will continue to hold the president, his advisors, and his allies in Congress in minimum high regard. That did not change on November 3.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Let Them Eat...Yellow Ribbons?

Seems some of our Vets from Iraq are now showing up at US Homeless Shelters. I suppose that 'support our troops' business ends with the bumper sticker.

No Personal Responsibility in Sight

From Salon:

Army Spc. Thomas Wilson, for example, of the 278th Regimental Combat Team that is comprised mainly of citizen soldiers of the Tennessee Army National Guard, asked Rumsfeld in a question-and-answer session why vehicle armor is still in short supply, nearly two years after the start of the war that ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein

Rumsfeld replied that troops should make the best of the conditions they face and said the Army was pushing manufacturers of vehicle armor to produce it as fast as humanly possible.
Of course that assumes we HAD to go to war when we did. we didn't. they simply wanted to do it and the troops safety was not the first concern. Now, 2 years later, they are still on the back burner. Rumsfeld should be fired.

Monday, December 06, 2004

From the Horse's Mouth...and the Horse isn't Happy.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 - A classified cable sent by the Central Intelligence Agency's station chief in Baghdad has warned that the situation in Iraq is deteriorating and may not rebound any time soon, according to government officials.

The cable, sent late last month as the officer ended a yearlong tour, presented a bleak assessment on matters of politics, economics and security, the officials said. They said its basic conclusions had been echoed in briefings presented by a senior C.I.A. official who recently visited Iraq.
Well, it seems our post-invasion plan and its re-tooling has come into some snags. You know, I'm more worried about a draft and a terrorist attack on the united states than i have ever been in my life, including just after 9/11. We are not heading in the right direction. This is all coming after our important victories in Falluja, showing just how complicated 'winning' is over there.

I am becoming convinced that we cannot do a proper job over there without more troops, and that means a draft. I believe this administration would rather not do the job right than to re-instate a draft. Sadly, I'm not sure that's a better plan. I believe the president has thrown away most of the good decisions we have left to select.

Martina McBride is an Idiot.

martina McBride has a song called Independence Day. She's a country singer that is a big fan of the Right Wing haymakers out there. Sean Hannity is one of her favorites and he uses her song as an intro to his show. it goes like this:

Let freedom ring
Let the white dove sing
Let the whole world know that today is the day of a reckoning
Let the weak be strong
Let the right be wrong
Roll the stone away
Let the guilty pay
It's Independence Day

How bad is that? the way that freedom rings is for the right to be 'wrong'? well...i guess it fits Hannity's radio show.

Protecting the Nation, eh?

AP: - Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson resigned Friday,
warning of a potential global outbreak of the flu and health-related terror attacks. 'For the life of me, I cannot understand why the terrorists have not attacked our food supply because it is so easy to do,' he said.

Thompson, the eighth member of Bush's 15-person Cabinet to resign since the Nov. 2 election, said he tried to leave office a year ago, but stayed through Bush's re-election campaign at the request of the White House.

So, I guess he doesn't think the White House has done a good job protecting us. Who'd have guessed?

Shocking! ...Well, No...It Isn't.

Seems the Media Giant Clear Channel has found its soulmate in FoxNews. Clear Channel, as you may recall had actively promoted the President in its radio broadcasts and in some cases banned (Dixie Chicks) anyone that had publicly campaigned against the President. Clear Channel operates over 1200 stations nationwide.

SAN ANTONIO - Clear Channel Communications Inc., the nation's largest radio
station operator, has picked Fox News Radio to be the primary source of national
news for most of its news and talk stations, officials announced Monday.
Curiously, they are also behind a recent crop of bill boards that have a picture of bush and state: "Our President" (Um...isn't that creepily like what Saddam did in Iraq? Pictures of him everwhere?).

Musical Chairs in Louisiana

The Run-Off for 2 U.S. Congressional Seats occured Saturday in Louisiana. It was somewhat of a wash as a former Democratic seat went GOP and a former GOP seat went Democratic.

Homeland Security Chief is a Deadbeat Dad

It seems our new Sec. of Homeland Security, Bernard Kerik, fathered a child while in Korea in 1975. A year later he abandoned the mother and child, leaving the country.

Thank GOD we have such great morals and values in these Republican leaders.

Family Values indeed.

What are We Listening to?


The Needle & The Spoon - Lynyrd Skynyrd
Nashville Skyline - Bob Dylan
Marie's the Name (of His Latest Flame) - Elvis Presley
Rubberband Man - The Spinners
Stomp - The Brothers Johnson

The Mooch:

If I Had a Hammer - Trini Lopez
Across 110th Street - Bobby Womack
Hip Hug Her - Booker T & the MG's (Polly and the Mooch's Official Theme Song)
Overkill - Men at Work
Sultans of Swing - Dire Straits

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Some Abstinence Programs Lie to Teens

Though its been talked about in many places, but i thought it was worth a mention here. Social Conservatives have long held the belief that frank talk about sexuality causes one to be sexually reckless. because of this, there is an utter devotion to abstenance only programs. Since these don't work very well, they seem to have upped the ante by just flat out lying to kids about sex. How anyone can think utter ignorance can lead to responsible decisions is beyond me. Sadly, these programs are most popular where they have the highest failure rates.

Here are a few gems in these programs as mentioned in the Washington Post article:

A 43-day-old fetus is a "thinking person."

HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, can be spread via sweat and tears.

Condoms fail to prevent HIV transmission as often as 31 percent of the time in heterosexual intercourse. (its 3% fail rate for STDs and pregnancy).

Abortion can lead to sterility and suicide.

Half the gay male teenagers in the United States have tested positive for the AIDS virus (actually, 59% of boys 13-18 yrs old become infected through heterosexual sex).

Touching a person’s genitals “can result in pregnancy”.

HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, can be spread via sweat and tears.

The article continues:

Supporters of the abstinence approach, also called abstinence until marriage, counter that teaching young people about "safer sex" is an invitation to have sex.

Alma Golden, deputy assistant secretary for population affairs in the Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement that Waxman's report is a political document that does a "disservice to our children." Speaking as a pediatrician, Golden said, she knows "abstaining from sex is the most effective means of preventing the sexual transmission of HIV, STDs and preventing pregnancy."

Nonpartisan researchers have been unable to document measurable benefits of the abstinence-only model. Columbia University researchers found that although teenagers who take "virginity pledges" may wait longer to initiate sexual activity, 88 percent eventually have premarital sex.

These programs often target the sexual issue agenda of the 'moral majority'. President Bush has enthusiastically pushed $270 Million into these programs.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

My Friend Mr. Young has a Great Story

I have kept this conversation for a few years now because i thought it was so funny. many longtime readers actually know this fellow. anyway, without further delay, let me present Mr. Young one of my favorite stories:

Young: did I tell you about that redneck trying to pick a fight with me?
Polly: wha!?!
Young: lol... this is hilarious
Young: I need to write a story about it
Polly: maybe a comic!
Young: I went to see Spy Game and this big ass redneck and three girls were talking really loud forever...
Young: so I finally had my fill of it and turned around and yelled "BE QUIET!" really loud...
Young: they were stunned, then started laughing. One girl said, "Who said that??" and I stood up and raised my hand and said, "I did!" ...
Young: then the guy said, "Gonna be hard for you to talk without a mouth, boy!"... whatever that means...
Polly: uh. ok
Young: so after the movie, the lights came on, and we got up to leave... then I felt something behind me on my back...
Young: and this guy is HUGE... and he's shoving his chest into my back, all bowed up and acting like a badass...
Polly: haw. what a dork
Young: I said, "How's it goin'?" and he said the same thing... I said, "Can I help you?" He said, "You just keep on walkin', bitch. We gonna take this outside."...
Young: And the theater was watching this, because he was making a scene... So I kept walking... I said, "Whatever you got to say, say it now. I paid money to hear the movie, not a bunch of loudmouths..." He said, "We gonna do a lot more than talk, bitch."...
Young: so we walk outside (D. H. has my back)... I turned around and said, "Now what do you have to say." He said, "Naw, we gonna go talk over here!" but I refused. Then the three girls walked up, and he said, "Y'all get on back to the truck!"...
Young: they said, "Naw, we wanna watch you kick his ass!" I said, "What's up, dude?"
Young: so then he got real close and said... "Look... look, my girlfriend's a bitch, okay. She's a BITCH! I hate her! I promise you... man, I swear I'm gonna break up with her, okay? I swear!" I was like, "What??" I started laughing...
Polly: haw haw haw haw haw haw haw
Young: he said, "My dignity is intact here, man... put yourself in my shoes!" I said, "What, you wanna hit me in the stomach or something to make it look real?" He said, "Naw, man... look, I got a little carried away back there, okay? I said some stuff I
shouldn't have."...
Young: then the funniest part... "I'm just prayin' to God they can't read lips, man." I just laughed and said, "You have a good night," and walked off.