March 24, 2005

You rock me like a Pharaoh


Vesna Pavlovic, Kasina Hotel, Majdanpek, 2001. [photo via]

* Dowd. excerpt:

"Are the Republicans so obsessed with maintaining control over all branches of government, and are the Democrats so emasculated about not having any power, that they are willing to turn the nation into a wholly owned subsidiary of the church?

"The more dogma-driven activists, self-perpetuating pols and ratings-crazed broadcast media prattle about 'faith,' the less we honor the credo that a person's relationship with God should remain a private matter.
...
"Maybe President Bush should spend less time preaching about spreading democracy around the world and more time worrying about our deteriorating democracy.
...
"The president, who couldn't be dragged outdoors to talk about the more than a hundred thousand people who died in the horrific tsunami, was willing to be dragged out of bed to sign a bill about one woman his base had fixated on. But with the new polls, the White House seemed to shrink back a bit.
...
"The president and his ideological partners don't believe in separation of powers. They just believe in their own power. First they tried to circumvent the Florida courts; now they're trying to pack the federal bench with conservatives and even blow up the filibuster rule. But they may yet learn a lesson on checks and balances, as the federal courts rebuffed them in the Schiavo case.

"Mr. DeLay moved yesterday to file a friend of the court brief with the Supreme Court asking that Ms. Schiavo's feeding tube be restored while the federal court is deciding what to do. But as he exploits this one sad case, Mr. DeLay has voted to slash Medicaid by $15 billion, denying money to care for poor people in nursing homes, some on feeding tubes."

* At the Black Cat last night Robyn Hitchcock hoped "Emperor penguins would attack Karl Rove" and wished "a reincarnated Jimi Hendrix would take Don Rumsfeld's position" at the DOD. Certainly interesting ideas.

* Weird science: Skiers tan faster when skiing on powder. excerpt:

"Skiers get suntanned faster on new powder snow than on old, wet snow which absorbs far more of the sun's ultraviolet rays, according to Norwegian researchers.

"About 90 percent of the ultraviolet rays which cause suntans and sunburns reflect off the crystals in dry, new snow against just 10-20 percent from wet snow.

"'We get brown, or burnt, almost twice as fast on dry new snow as on wet, heavy snow,' said Berit Kjeldstad, a physics professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

"She said surroundings were often as important as whether it was sunny or cloudy for anyone seeking a tan."

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