Support Us: Please visit our sponsors

.Mac (Apple Computer, Inc.)

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye Mr. Bush, and Good Riddance!

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



The day has finally arrived!

Our last New Years Eve with George W. Bush, warmonger and prince of fools. May he choke on a pretzel on his way out the door.


Bush will be remembered for many things. Nothing good, mind you. This is a president who has driven the country right into the ground. And it won't just be George W. Bush they'll be pointing the finger at. History won’t have anything positive to say about those who defended this intellectual abomination, either. It is neither noble, nor patriotic to guard the door whilst the fox raids the hen-house.

Oh, we will indeed remember George W. Bush. No question about it. How can we ever forget? He was a many of many words, most of which, like everything he touched, he butchered…

"America better beware of a candidate who is willing to stretch reality in order to win points." George W. Bush, aboard his campaign plane, Sept. 18, 2000

"We'll let our friends be the peacekeepers and the great country called America will be the pacemakers." George W. Bush, Houston, Texas, Sept. 6, 2000

"I'm gonna talk about the ideal world, Chris. I've read I understand reality. If you're asking me as the president, would I understand reality, I do." George W. Bush on abortion, MSNBC's "Hardball," May 31, 2000

"Will the highways on the Internet become more few?" George W. Bush, Concord, N.H., Jan. 29, 2000

"I am mindful of the difference between the executive branch and the legislative branch. I assured all four of these leaders that I know the difference, and that difference is they pass the laws and I execute them." George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Dec. 20, 2000

"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator." Washington, D.C., Dec. 19, 2000

"If you don't stand for anything, you don't stand for anything! If you don't stand for something, you don't stand for anything!" George W. Bush, Bellevue Community College, Nov. 2, 2000

"I'm not really the type to wander off and sit down and go through deep wrestling with my soul." George W. Bush, as quoted in Vanity Fair, October 2000


Bush Caricature 1b
Days Remaining in Office: 21

"Never again in the halls of Washington, D.C., do I want to have to make explanations that I can't explain." George W. Bush, Portland, Oregon, Oct. 31, 2000

"They said, 'You know, this issue doesn't seem to resignate with the people.' And I said, you know something? Whether it resignates or not doesn't matter to me, because I stand for doing what's the right thing, and what the right thing is hearing the voices of people who work." George W. Bush, Portland, Ore., Oct. 31, 2000


No doubt. History will not soon forget George W. Bush.


B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



Sound and Recording - Sound Foundation - National Newswire - The Infinite Echo - Impeachment Now! - Skate the Razor -
Skate the Razor Blog - blogment

Monday, December 29, 2008

Barack the Magic Negro?

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor





You must be kidding me? This story is offensive on so many levels. How could a high ranking Republican with aspirations within the party possibly arrive at such an abominable conclusion?


Let me bring you up to speed. Chip Saltsman, candidate for Republican National Committee Chairman, has chosen to distribute a satirical CD containing racist material about Barack Obama as a Christmas gift. Not one copy, mind you, sent to a friend, but a rather substantial number of copies, sent to a number of prominent Republicans.

The offending CD is titled: ‘We Hate America, and is obviously the product of an amateur. His name is Paul Shanklin and he is neither clever nor funny on this collection of politically incorrect ditties. This is the kind of trash one might find offered up at a trailer park yard sale for a nickle.

Here’s a quote from the lyrics of the song in question:

“Yeah, the guy from the L.A. paper said,
He made guilty whites feel good,
They’ll vote for him and not for me,
‘Cause he’s not from the hood”


Watch out, Slim Shady. This guy is after your job.

This sort of thing only qualifies as satire in an academic sense. Satire, Spirit and Art, by George A. Test describes Satire in the following manner:

"The emotions that are thought to give rise to satire are generally acknowledged to be the least admirable human emotions-anger, malice, hatred, indignation. The emotions that satire are said to evoke are likewise emotions that make most people uncomfortable- shame, anger, guilt, anxiety. The view of humanity in satire is a negative one- tumultuous, crowded, aggressive, cynical, pessimistic."

Obviously, Shanklin is within his Constitutional rights on this issue, and if he and Mr. Saltsman want to distribute this vile nonsense, it is certainly their prerogative. Still, I am surprised the Republican hopeful would find this CD a useful tool for rehabilitating the GOPs already heavily damaged image. Who knows? Maybe Mr. Saltsman actually finds this stuff funny. How sad.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



Sound and Recording - Sound Foundation - National Newswire - The Infinite Echo - Impeachment Now! - Skate the Razor -
Skate the Razor Blog - blogment

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Phoenix Launches Light-Rail Service

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



After four years of construction, the city of Phoenix has finally begun operation of it’s long anticipated Light Rail service, connecting the central phoenix corridor and the east valley.

Contrary to reports, however, all did not go quite as planned. Although trains were scheduled to arrive at each station every four to six minutes, some folks waited hours in line, as trains already packed with riders arrived every twenty-five minutes or so. Still, the weather was pleasant, and the throngs who came out for the days festivities left satisfied.

Light Rail
Phoenix Metro Light-Rail Train

For residents of the valley, this day has been long in coming. Construction of the project began back in 2004, and as is nearly always the case with projects of this magnitude, an array of problems, most notably with the track, delayed the launch date.

Phoenix mayor Phil Gordon certainly appeared pleased, and with good reason. Gordon, a light-rail advocate, was seeing his vision come to life. The mayor spent his morning riding the new trains and exuberantly shaking hands with riders.

The sleek new trains are quiet and energy efficient, providing a viable alternative for some valley commuters. Not all residents, however, will reap the potential benefits, as service is currently limited to approximately twenty miles of track. The service should have some impact on downtown traffic and airport congestion, but won’t do much to relieve the untenable snarl of vehicles suffocating the surrounding suburbs.

Still, most everyone on hand was optimistic about the new service. Although this high tech new Metro Light-Rail system cannot be the solution to all of the valleys transportation woes, there is little doubt most residents minds. At least the city of Phoenix is finally on the right track.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



Sound and Recording - Sound Foundation - National Newswire - The Infinite Echo - Impeachment Now! - Skate the Razor -
Skate the Razor Blog - blogment

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Iconic Little Red Wagon Going High Tech

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor




This is not your typical little red wagon. Radio Flyer, maker of the iconic red wagon coveted by boys and girls alike since 1917, has announced it will soon introduce a new, high tech model wagon for the next generation.

This new wagon, called the ‘Cloud Nine’ comes complete with five-point safety harnesses, cup holders, and padded seats. And if that’s not enough, this nifty little wagon even comes with an optional MP3 player.

It doesn’t stop there. The ‘Cloud Nine’ comes with foot breaks, fold out storage containers, and a digital handle that tracks the current temperature, time, distance and traveling speed. No kidding!

Although the Chicago based company is best known for its ever popular red wagon, Radio Flyer manufactures an array of innovative outdoor childrens products, including tricycles and bicycles.

"We approached this product much like an automotive company might with a concept car," states Mark Johnson, product development manager for Radio Flyer. Tom Schlegel, vice president of product development concurs. "We sit down and observe how moms and kids are using our products," adds Schlegel. "That's where our new ideas come from." "This year has been a difficult year for a lot of companies," Schlegel says, "But Radio Flyer is actually growing. We're actually looking for engineers and designers in our product development group to keep up with the growth of the company."

Not to worry however. Radio Flyer has no intention of ending production of it’s model #18 Classic Red Wagon ant time soon. Products this reliable just don’t roll by every day. As for the high tech new ‘Cloud Nine’ wagon, only time will tell if this new model will fly as high as its lofty predecessor, or will ultimately prove to be just flightless, Red Herring.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



Sound and Recording - Sound Foundation - National Newswire - The Infinite Echo - Impeachment Now! - Skate the Razor -
Skate the Razor Blog - blogment

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Franken Confident of Senate Victory as Final Ballots Counted

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



Things are looking up for former comedian and Saturday Night Live cast member Al Franken. The Senate candidate currently holds a small lead over his rival, incumbent Minnesota Senator, Norm Coleman.

Franken was all smiles Tuesday morning, having claimed the lead over the incumbent by a margin of no greater than fifty votes, out of nearly three million cast during the November election. The counting continues, as both camps haggle over a handful of crucial ballots. Still a confident Franken camp posted the following message on his web site this morning: "We are more confident than ever that Al Franken will be the winner of this election,".

A decision could come at any minute. According to Bloomberg.com, the state canvassing board intends to complete counting votes some time today. The outcome may ultimately come down to a hundred votes the Coleman camp claims may have been double counted. Should the canvassing board decide to throw out those votes, this election could come down to less than a half a dozen votes or so.

Franken has reason to be confident going into the stretch, but a month and a half after voters spoke at the polls, it is still too early for victory celebrations. The Associated Press suggests the race won't likely be decided before the new Congress is sworn in January 6th.

Norm Coleman, Republican, has served in the US Senate since 2003. This is Al Franken's first attempt at national politics. Franken appeared on Saturday Night Live during the eighties, and has written a number of books, including ‘Lies: And the Lying Liars who Tell Them, ‘The Truth (with Jokes) and ‘Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot. Franken is a Democrat.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



Sound and Recording - Sound Foundation - National Newswire - The Infinite Echo - Impeachment Now! - Skate the Razor -
Skate the Razor Blog - blogment

Monday, December 22, 2008

New Poll Suggests Cheney Among Worst of the Worst

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor




A newly released national poll suggests nearly a quarter of all Americans surveyed believe Richard Cheney is among the worst Vice Presidents in US history.

Of those who responded, an additional 41 percent rated the Vice Presidents job performance as ‘poor’. On the flip side, only one percent believe Cheney to be the best veep in US history, and little time remains until Cheney’s term expires on the 20th of next month.

Few were surprised by the polls conclusions. The Vice President has been at the center of numerous scandals, ranging in scope from the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, to shooting a hunting buddy with a shotgun. Questions began as far back as March of 2001, when details about the Cheney Energy Task Force Documents became public. Cheney has faced a steady stream of controversy ever since.

If the Vice President is at all concerned by these new numbers, he certainly doesn’t show it. "I'm very comfortable with where we are and what we achieved substantively. And frankly, I would not want to be one of those guys who spends all his time reading the polls. I think people like that shouldn't serve in these jobs," Cheney stated during an interview on "Fox News Sunday."

Cheney has been making the rounds recently in an attempt to rehabilitate his legacy and that of George W. Bush and other members of the current administration. Cheney joins Dan Quayle and Spiro Agnew among the list of least popular Vice Presidents. The poll was conducted by the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation, Friday through Sunday of this past week.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



Sound and Recording - Sound Foundation - National Newswire - The Infinite Echo - Impeachment Now! - Skate the Razor -
Skate the Razor Blog - blogment

Shoe Sales Skyrocket Following Assault On President

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



The answer: Model 271 Brogues, shoes for men. The question: What is the hot must-have item throughout Arab countries this holiday season?

According to reports, orders for the shoes have skyrocketed since Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi removed his from his feet during a recent press conference, and proceeded to hurl them at US president George W. Bush, along with a few choice epithets.

Al-Zaidi has paid dearly for his actions, suffering a broken tooth and apparent cigarette burns, caused by Iraqi authorities following his arrest. He has a court hearing scheduled for later this month. In the meantime, al-Zaidi cools his heels in an Iraqi jail.

For the maker of the shoes, however, the incident has led to a windfall in sales. Ramazan Baydan, Istanbul shoemaker has had to hire a hundred additional employees to meet market demand, with over 300,000 pair ordered in just under a week. Over 100,000 pair have been ordered in Iraq alone, and upstart shoe distribution companies have been opening throughout the region to help meet buyer demand.

Hurling shoes has long been considered an insult in Arab culture. President Bush was light on his toes however, and managed to dodge the incoming projectiles. The assailant, al-Zaidi was quickly dragged to the floor by security, but was able to unleash yet another traditional Arab insult before being hustled away. “A farewell kiss to a dog” he was heard to exclaim. Indeed, there are still many in Iraq who perceive George W. Bush, not as a liberator, but as an unwelcome invader. George Bush will end his term as the 43rd president of the United States on January 20th, 2009. He will be replaced by incoming president, Barack Obama, who will be sworn in the same day.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



Sound and Recording - Sound Foundation - National Newswire - The Infinite Echo - Impeachment Now! - Skate the Razor -
Skate the Razor Blog - blogment

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Warner Music Pulls Plug, Drains YouTube Talent Pool

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor




Negotiations between Warner Music Group and YouTube have hit a snag, sinking what once appeared to be a lucrative agreement for both parties.

Warner Music Group has announced it will no longer allow its artists to be featured on the video site, and ordered YouTube to immediately begin pulling videos, a move that will undoubtedly send ripples throughout the industry. Warner (WMG) controls the licensing for many of the music industries most successful acts, including mainstays, Madonna and Metallica, as well as more recent acts like My Chemical Romance. WMG was also the first major label to pursue an agreement with the internet upstart, which in 2006, led to Googles acquisition of YouTube for a staggering $1.65 billion dollars.

Unfortunately, the entire enterprise straddles on the precipice of becoming just another unsuccessful partnership. Although pay per click profits amount to less than a penny per click, it was believed the shear magnitude of hits would generate huge sums of capital for all parties. Apparently, however, such has not been the case, as WMG reports returns have fallen far short of projections.

The failure of this agreement does not bode well for either party. Although both are expected to survive the rough seas ahead, the future remains uncertain. YouTube is the most popular video site on the web, and prospects are good. Warner, however, stands to lose millions in lost revenue and will be facing increasing difficulty as consumer trends change. What seemed like a marriage made in heaven only two years ago, may have been a harbinger of struggles to come, as the entertainment industry adjusts to a rapidly changing market.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



Sound and Recording - Sound Foundation - National Newswire - The Infinite Echo - Impeachment Now! - Skate the Razor -
Skate the Razor Blog - blogment

Friday, December 19, 2008

Polaroid Files for Chapter 11

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor





Take a picture, it lasts longer!


With the Christmas holidays less than a week away, Minnesota based Polaroid Corp. has announced the iconic brand will soon be filing Chapter 11 under the nations bankruptcy protection laws.

The company also recently announced it intends to stop making film for it’s once popular Instamatic cameras at the end of this year.

Polaroid Land Camera
Polaroid Land Camera

With the advent of digital technology, Instamatic cameras have become all but obsolete. Over the decades, the sensational little cameras have attracted legions of fans. As word reached consumers, stores who normally stock the film experienced unusually high demand, as anxious consumers anticipated an end to an era, buying up all available product, leaving store shelves empty.

According to officials within the company, the bankruptcy is intended to allow Polaroid to restructure it’s finances. "We expect to continue our operations as normal during the reorganization and are planning for new product launches in 2009," stated Polaroid chief executive officer, Mary L. Jefferies. "Our operations are strong and during this process Polaroid will ship products to our retail partners, work with our suppliers and contract manufacturers to fulfill retailer demand “

According to records, Polaroid’s parent company, Petters Group Worldwide, is currently under investigation for fraud. Although Polaroid is not the subject of the investigation, it is difficult to predict how the outcome of such an investigation might effect future operations at Polaroid.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



Sound and Recording - Sound Foundation - National Newswire - The Infinite Echo - Impeachment Now! - Skate the Razor -
Skate the Razor Blog - blogment

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Another Black Eye For the Bush Administration

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor





President Bush may have dodged an attack by incoming shoes during last weekend’s now infamous Iraq press conference, but it seems White House Press Secretary Dana Perino was somewhat less fortunate. According to reports (hers included) Perino sustained a black eye when a US Secret Service agent (code name ‘Keystone Cop’) toppled a microphone stand during the subsequent melee.

Bush Caricature 1b
What, Me Worry?

As is customary with this president, George Bush just shrugged it all off. What’s another pair of shoes for a man who has cost so many innocent people their legs? What’s another black eye to this once great nation? Bush is without conscience. Why should he care if a stranger tosses their shoes in his direction? Bush did, after all, encourage ‘them’ to “bring it on”. I just don’t think he was anticipating a size 10 wingtip. Nonetheless, the old adage stands… if the shoe fits, wear it.

As for Perino, her physical wounds will heal soon enough. It is the black eye to her own legacy with which she should be most concerned. Her days as mouthpiece for the lamest of all ducks are quickly drawing to a close. When George W. Bush limps out of the Oval Office for the last time on January 20th, Dana Perino will find herself left to the wolves. Just ask Scott McClellan. He could write a book on the subject.

Of course, Perino’s own snide demeanor has undoubtedly left many with reason to envision black circles around her beady little eyes. Irony has not been lost on the fact that it came down to the Secret Service to accomplish the dirty deed. What a long, strange trip it has truly been. I suppose the truth does indeed hurt, or at least in this instance, it smarts a little. My advice to Dana? Just do what you always do… ignore it and it will go away.


B. Thomas Cooper

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



Sound and Recording - Sound Foundation - National Newswire - The Infinite Echo - Impeachment Now! - Skate the Razor -
Skate the Razor Blog - blogment

The Fall of the Aztec Empire

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor




The fall of Aztec civilization has long been a subject of great interest. The Aztec were an extraordinary people, steeped in myth and mayhem, their impact still felt throughout Mexico. The sudden collapse of the Aztec Empire in 1520-1521 has been compared by scholars to that of ancient Rome.

The Aztec Empire collapsed quickly, lasting no more than a century. Some scholars have blamed the collapse on the arrival of Hernando Cortes and the invading Spaniards but in fact, fatal disease and regional discord also played major roles in their demise.

In the year 1427, the Aztecs under the rule of Itzcoatl, and with the assistance of surrounding communities successfully conquered the Tepanecs, thus gaining control of the Valley of Mexico'. However, unlike other warring nations, the Aztec were primarily interested in occupation of new territory, seeking offerings, human and otherwise, for sacrifice to their unusual Gods.

Existing community temples were burned or destroyed, replaced with Aztec alters. Residents were instructed to worship their new God, Huitzilopochtli. Aztec religion was represented through numerous deities, most which appear on the Aztec calendar. These deities were believed responsible for blessing or cursing Aztec life. Such practices were unacceptable to many regional communities, who often found themselves or their neighbors victims of Aztec atrocities.

Flare CT002

Around 1521, the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan became infected with the small-pox virus. The subsequent epidemic wiped out nearly half the population of the city, leaving it vulnerable to attack from outside forces.

Soon after, Hernando Cortes mobilized nine thousand of his own troops and nearly a hundred-fifty thousand regional troops.

The arrival of Cortes and his army had a profound psychological effect on Montezuma and the Aztec peoples. Many scholars have portrayed Montezuma as weak willed and indecisive, but for years prior to the Spanish conquest, omens had predicted an end to the Aztec empire. Montezuma is said to have played and lost a ritualistic ballgame, another ominous sign.

As Hernando Cortes and his army began approaching from the south, rumors were already reaching Montezuma about the four legged monsters with human bodies traveling northward. Montezuma and his councilors watched the approach strangers with noted apprehension. Feeling his hands were tied by psychological and logistical considerations, Montezuma received Cortes and his troops without resistance.

Bernal Díaz del Castillo, a witness, later wrote of the encounter:

“Montezuma took Cortez by the hand and told him to look at his great city and all the other cities that were standing in the water and the many other towns and the land around the lake… So we stood looking about us, for that huge and cursed temple stood so high that from it one could see over everything very well, and we saw the three causeways which led into Mexico… And we saw the aqueduct of fresh water that comes from Chapultepec, which supplies the city, and we saw the three bridges on the causeways which were built at certain distances apart… And we beheld on the lake a great multitude of canoes, some coming with supplies of food, others returning loaded with cargoes of merchandise, and we saw that from every house of that great city and of all the other cities that were built in the water it was impossible to pass from house to house except by drawbridges, which were made of wood, or in canoes; and we saw in those cities Cues (temples) and oratories like towers and fortresses and all gleaming white, and it was a wonderful thing to behold!”


According to the first hand account of Diaz del Castillo, Montezuma would soon die at the hands of his own people. Diaz and his companions were saddened by the death of the great warrior.

“Cortes and all of us captains and soldiers wept for him”, Diaz wrote. “And there was no one among us that knew him and had dealings with him who did not mourn him as if he were our father, which was not surprising, since he was so good. It was stated that he had reigned for seventeen years, and was the best king they ever had in Mexico, and that he had personally triumphed in three wars against countries he had subjugated. I have spoken of the sorrow we all felt when we saw that Montezuma was dead."

The subsequent collapse of Aztec culture became inevitable. By August of 1521, the Aztec were all but decimated, and in their wake, began the era of Spanish rule throughout Mexico. Stone had given way to steel.

Descendants of the Aztec continue to live throughout Mexico, and much about Aztec culture remains. Previously unknown ruins have recently been documented and excavated, leading to much new information about these amazing people. Still, like their relatives, the Mayan and the Toltec, the Aztec left behind a curious and troubling legacy, some mysteries of which we shall never fully understand.



B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



Sound and Recording - Sound Foundation - National Newswire - The Infinite Echo - Impeachment Now! - Skate the Razor -
Skate the Razor Blog - blogment